Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
For the past several weeks we’ve been focused on the holidays and sounds of the season. We haven’t explored more contemporary music so that’s our focus this week with nice covers of some great oldies. Love keeping those oldies but goodies alive!
Maybe in my next life I’ll be able to play a musical instrument. I marvel at folks who can master the piano or any keyboard for that matter.
Our first performer has quite the resume and his career amazingly began at a very early age. Al DeGregoris started playing piano at age four, saxophone at six, wrote his first song and formed his first band at seven and performed his first paying gig when he was just 13.
His latest album includes a rendition of an old Sly Stone hit and also features Steve Cole on sax. Guitarist Nils produced.
Music journalist Jonathan Widran gave high marks to the track on DeGregoris’ website:
“It’s a party on fire, a lively affair full of snazzy, horns, joyful affirmations, propulsive energy, fascinating harmonics and a grooving piano melody that may ultimately turn the funk anthem into a contemporary jazz standard.”
Notice you didn’t see Meryl Streep or any of her kind in that video?
We move on.
Talk about multi-talented! This next artist has hundreds of patients in the Washington DC area. He’s a board certified dentist in group practice.
So when you see “Doc” placed in front of his name as many musicians have done in the past it’s absolutely true.
Saxophonist Phillip Doc Martin’s latest release is “Pocket Love.”
“Pocket is the groove that is created when playing with a group of musicians,” Martin explained. “The better the individuals, the better the pocket. Pocket is only created when everyone in the ensemble is working as a cohesive unit. I love the feeling I get when I am in a great musical situation where everyone is listening to each other and we are creating good vibes. Now THAT is Pocket Love!”
As for Martin’s dual career…
“If it’s unheard of that a saxophone artist also wants to be the best dentist you’ve ever gone to,” he says. “That’s a testament to the hard work I have put in so that I may enjoy these two amazing careers. In both worlds, success comes from working with incredible, dedicated people and developing inspiring, enduring relationships.”
Bill Withers wrote and sang this song, but Grover Washington, Jr. recorded it first.
The doctor provides a seductive cover.
Grover Washington, Jr.
So far this week we’ve featured a keyboardist, a saxophonist, and now a guitarist, on we’ve highlighted many times before because he’s so good.
No surprise, Peter White who grew up in England heard the Beatles on the radio and immediately became fascinated with music. With the acoustic guitar his parents bought him when he 8 years old White taught himself to play. White didn’t stop there. He took lessons on the recorder, piano and clarinet.
Then in 1967 he heard this.
“I was amazed- never had I heard sounds like that coming out of my acoustic guitar and I decided that from that day on, I had to have an electric guitar. Now if only I could convince my parents to buy me one,” said White.
“I soon got my electric guitar and set to work trying to play like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), but my rock star dreams were soon put on hold when my beloved axe was burned in a fire (accidentally) set by my brother Danny. Distraught, I turned back to my old acoustic guitar, which had been gathering dust in the corner. The guitar-burning incident, though tragic at the time, would prove to be a major turning point in my life. I started to develop a love for acoustic music, something that continues to this day- I soon found lots of inspiration in the music of Crosby Stills and Nash, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell all featuring acoustic guitar. I now carried that acoustic guitar with me everywhere I went – it became my best friend.”
White’s been playing and recording since the mid 1970’s. His latest release is collection of acoustic guitar interpretations of compositions from the 1950s to the ’80s.
The Three Degrees, who originally did “When Will I See You Again”
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
Mac Rebennack looks nothing like this when he appears onstage today.
That photo is from the 1970’s.
Rebennack professionally goes by Dr. John. The New Orleans native is a singer, songwriter, voice actor, pianist, and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz, zydeco, boogie woogie, and rock and roll. Decades ago he drew attention for his Mardi Gras and voodoo costumes.
In 1973 Dr. John recorded his most recognizable song, peaking at #9 on the Billboard chart. He performed it on Dick Clark’s In Concert on late night ABC-TV, tossing numerous pounds of glitter on the stage in the process.
We close with Texas guitarist Al Gomez.