February 2008


Hey all,

Just finished watching the latest debate in Ohio, between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I’m proud of the way he handled himself – not as a black man, but as a viable candidate.

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Astute, erudite, articulate, competent and focused. Those are some of the words that come to mind after seeing him in this debate, and I’m ready to vote.

There was one exchange that might cause him some grief in the black community though. In response to receiving the endorsement of Minister Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, Barack’s statement that he would “reject and denounce” the Minister’s anti-semitic statements and endorsement might be interpreted by some as a denouncement of Farrakhan himself. (The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire picked up on that exchange before ten-thirty this evening, check it out here.) I hope that we can put that fight (if there must be one) off until after the general election….

It’s truly a shame that we in Michigan have been disenfranchised as far as these primaries are concerned. That must never happen again!

On the lighter side, I think Hillary might have hired a Hollywood make-up team for this debate, she almost looked good enough to keep Bill home….

See ya.

Hey all,

When I was young, I thought that the Grammy Awards were given in recognition of outstanding musical achievement, and for a while I found that to be true.

Then something happened, and suddenly it seemed just about anybody could win a Grammy with the right amount of sales and publicity. The Nielsen ratings of the Grammy Award Show became more important than the content and merit.

After Stevie Wonder’s justly earned Grammy streak, the “Machine” took over and the major record labels began to pump money all over the place near Grammy time.

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Well last night things took a step backwards and forwards at the same time…. Herbie Hancock won the Grammy for Album of the Year! That was a step back to the days of recognizing true artistry, and a step forward from the folly of trying to increase over-all record sales by pandering to the lowest common denominator.

If you haven’t heard “River: the joni letters” CD you can go to Download.com and hear ten tracks from it.

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It was a great choice that the Academy made when they chose to honor this CD, Joni Mitchell is an extraordinary artist – so is Herbie (and Wayne Shorter who provides his virtuosity throughout).

Then there is Tina Turner with her take of “Edith and the Kingpin”, one of my favorite Joni tunes. Nora Jones is also there.

There may still be hope for this industry after all…. “Yes we can!”

See ya.

Hey all,

Though it may be seem a small accomplishment to many, it’s a great accomplishment to me – my post “Hurt people, hurt people.” has been viewed over a thousand times! Now, I know that many blogs get that kind of traffic in a hour’s time and it took me a few weeks…. but hey, a thousand is a thousand!

Been finding some great music lately and I thought I’d share what I’ve found with you. I’ll start with a fantastic saxaphonist named J. White.

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J. is from Detroit, but currently resides in Arkansas where he completed his studies at the University of Arkansas. His current project is named “Melodies From My Heart” and you can hear samples from it HERE.

This is an outstanding work from an artist I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot from in the future. J. has a heartfelt lyrical style that shines on each track. My personal favorite is “Relaxation” which reminds me of Stevie Wonder back in the “Talking Book” days. You can hear a clip from that track – and BUY the CD at CDBaby.

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I was thinking back to the old days in Detroit when the music scene was sooo vibrant, I began looking around for others who had memories of those old days and I ran across a great site full of information about things like the 20 Grand, Motown, and a lot of the smaller labels and studios back in the day. The site is called Soulful Detroit, and you can spend quite some time there remembering or learning about Detroit’s early musical days – Enjoy!

Oh, and for those of you who haven’t bought your copy of my new CD “The Late Show” – click HERE and get busy!

See ya.