Posts Tagged With: NRBQ

Monday Morning Music

Okay, this morning? Well, looks like it’s going to be a classic rock day. Up until the Jeep went into the transmission shop for a brand new transmission last week (where it still is), I was playing nothing but Jethro Tull on the cd deck. Hadn’t listened to them in a while, so the revisit was nice. They’re one of the few classic rock bands I still like a lot.

Most of the others? Yeah, I’ve heard those songs a billion times. But Tull doesn’t get a lot of radio play around here (at least on the stations we listen to), so their songs remain somewhat unscathed. (although, really, I don’t need to hear “Aqualung” again for a very long time)

So, Tull. Trying to find the video I wanted to share with you was tough, because one of my requirements was that it would feature my favorite band member (who isn’t always Ian Anderson). That fellow would be their keyboard player from 1970 to 1980, John Evan. He’s one of the few rock keyboard players I love, because he can actually play. (Terry Adams from NRBQ is my other top fave) One of my favorite Tull pieces is a piano jam on Living in the Past called “By Kind Permission Of.” It’s ten minutes of Evan vamping on Beethoven and I adore it.

There’s no live video of that one, though, so I had to keep looking. Eventually, I came up with this one. Here’s the band performing “Locomotive Breath” somewhere in the early ’70s (Youtube doesn’t say). You get to see (and hear) all three of the frontmen (Anderson, Evan, and Barre) do their stuff.

And you get a two-fer. Just cuz. Here’s Tull without Evan performing “Song for Jeffrey” in the Rolling Stones‘ odd little flick Rock’n’Roll Circus. Someone in the comments described them as “hobbits on drugs.” Not a bad description for their early persona before Anderson discovered the joy of wearing really tight pants (and codpieces) on stage. He was always prancing around on one leg, though.

Categories: Monday Morning Music, Music | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Monday Morning Music

It’s going to be so hot this week. And I live several hours away from the beach, which is where I’d much rather be this morning. So, today, you get a two-fer, in the hopes I don’t melt before the end of the week.

First up, the Incredible Casuals (a band that, combined with the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, replaced NRBQ in my heart after that band broke up a few years back and things got wierd with all those guys–oh, the gossip). The song is “Summertime.” Hella fun live, these guys.

And then an oldie, the Slickee Boys, a band I loved when I was in the Balto-Wash area back in the ’80s. Also fun live. Here they are with “When I Go To The Beach.

Categories: Monday Morning Music, Music | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Monday Morning Music (Tuesday Edition)

Sorry, all, that there was no video yesterday. I couldn’t find the exact one I wanted, and then my brain froze. It happens.

The song I wanted to find was NRBQ‘s “Girl Scout Cookies,” because the Girl Scouts were out when we went grocery shopping on Saturday. Yay! I asked one of the girls how many boxes we should buy, and she was adamant that we get “Four!” So, it was: thin mints, samoas, lemon drops, and dulce de leche. Yum.

But, nope, no sign of the Q’s awesome, yet wholly inaccurate and somewhat creepy, song.

This morning, though, I regrouped and am happy to bring you one of my recent favorite songs. Originally a mega-hit by George Michael, “Faith” was recently recorded by local heroes Lake Street Dive, and their version has been getting a lot of airplay on my favorite local station. I love their version much better than I ever did the original, so here you go. I hope you like it, too.

Categories: Monday Morning Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

Oscar Peterson: The Man and His Jazz by Jack Batten – A Review

Oscar Peterson cover

Called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, received the Order of Canada and is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. This new biography from award-winning author Jack Batten, promises to tell Oscar Peterson’s story in a complete, compelling and sympathetic way. This is first biography of Oscar Peterson for young people.
This book is the story of a black kid from a Montreal ghetto who reached acclaim in the great music halls of the world.

Oscar Peterson is one of my favorite pianists, regardless of genre. His mastery of those 88 drums (to quote NRBQ‘s Terry Adams) is incomparable and a joy to listen to. So, I was quite pleased when an email from LibraryThing told me I had won an Early Reviewer copy of his latest biography written by Canadian author, Jack Batten, and published by Tundra Books.

I approached this book knowing very little about its subject. I’ve listened to many of Oscar Peterson’s records, but I didn’t know anything about him away from the instrument he affectionately called “The Box.”

Batten did a decent job of introducing me to the man, describing his upbringing in the Montreal neighborhood of St. Henri, his introduction to the piano by his father, Daniel, his quick rise to the national and then international stage by the time he was 24, and then his decades of success as one jazz’s greatest pianists.

This book is aimed at a younger audience. I’d recommend it to junior high and high school music students who are interested in learning something of one of jazz’s major icons. It’s an easy read and not an academic biography, by any means. The downside to that is that it’s lacking in primary research and source material and seems to gloss over elements of Peterson’s life that could have been worth delving into.

It could also be organized better. For example a mention of a crisis in Peterson’s second marriage is made without any explanation until several pages and another chapter later. There are plenty of photographs, which is a nice addition. However, they, too, could have been better organized, either appearing closer to the topics they were concerned with, or perhaps all being placed in a center section by themselves.

Those criticisms aside, it’s a pleasant, quick read that’s a good start to learning about the Maharaja of the keyboard.

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