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.
This week, newer material with a twist. I love and appreciate when today’s artists do cover versions of great oldies. And I’ve got a batch to share. Let’s get rolling.
We start out going back to 1937 and a song that was in a Rodgers and Hart musical and movie, “Babes In Arms.”
Born in Italy, Sylvia Bennett was discovered legendary vibraphonist Lionel Hampton who made her the first female singer to record with him in thirty years.
Bennett does the honors here by taking a soft, slow ballad and revving it up.
Bennett sings in English, Spanish, and French. That’s impressive.
It’s Bossa Nova time. Antonio Carlos Jobim created the style and his songs have been performed by countless singers and instrumentalists.
Zoe Scott left her London home for Rome at the age of 18 with dreams of being an actress, songwriter, and singer. Scott’s love of music then took her to Los Angeles. After briefly living in a van at the bottom of L.A.’s famous Laurel Canyon, Scott began cutting her first rock demos.
“I remember the hard edges of it all. I loved it at first. The angst, the power, the energy, but simultaneously, I recall how boxed in I felt,” said Scott. “I remember the moment I felt ‘this isn’t me anymore’ and I started a journey of self-discovery and healing. With that came new artistic expressions and new ways to see, and receive love. When I first heard Antonio Carlos Jobim, I was swept away. I felt his soul through his music; through Bossa Nova and that was it. I had to make this album.”
“Bossa Nova taught me that there is life in the quiet spaces,” said Scott. “I find peace, love, and joy there.”
Next up is Gary Meggs. For more than 20 years he taught music in public schools in Texas and received awards in marching, concert, and jazz Bands. Meggs also rebuilt the University of Arkansas at Monticello band program, transforming a 35- member band into a 140 piece marching band, 2 concert bands, 4 jazz bands, 3 jazz combos, and almost 100 music majors.
Now semi-retired, Meggs is still involved with the University of Arkansas at Monticello Jazz program, and performs across the country playing saxophone, flute and clarinet with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. His resume includes playing with the Harry James Orchestra, Temptations, Four Tops, Bob Newhart, Don Rickles, Mickey Gilley, Conway Twitty, Regis Philbin, and many others.
Here’s the perfect selection for this time of year, like you’ve never heard it before.
In the past I’ve highlighted this award-winning saxophonist.
Her most memorable recording was called “Tequila Moon,” the title track of her first album released in 2008. Here’s a tiny clip:
Let’s bring in guitarist Paul Brown. His latest album has an interesting concept. For “Ones Upon a Time” Brown took ten songs that he personally produced for other artists that all went to #1 on the charts…and recorded them himself. On this track Brown mirrored Jessy J’s saxophone perfectly on his guitar.
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
A few nights ago I had a strange dream. Tonight’s lineup of music had actually been chosen a few weeks ago, and the closer was part of that dream.
Seems I was walking in a British neighborhood one night that really looked more like Milwaukee’s Third Ward. I was with John Lennon, a few other gents and two women. John was spending most of his time with one of the ladies who was more homely than Yoko. Never did find out where she was. No one seemed to notice John. No one approached him. I told you it was strange.
We ducked into this dingy bar and made our way to a private back room where we all had nice conversations. Elsewhere in the bar a live band was playing and John danced with his lady friend next to our table.
Now we’re all seated and the band launches into a very familiar tune. I looked at John with his long hair and those oval glasses and said excitedly, “You know John, when I was growing up that was my favorite Beatle song!”
John looked at everyone else with a big smile, paused, and then started laughing out loud as if to suggest, ‘that was your favorite’?
Dream over. Me and the great John Lennon, my favorite Beatle, laughing at me.
Paul Tuvman started flying planes in 1976 and completed his 34 year career as a Delta Air Lines B777 Captain on September 01, 2020.
Tuvman can also play piano. He began at the age of 8. His influences included Ray Charles, Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole, Vince Guaraldi, Dave Brubeck and Ray Manzarek.
“The Beatles shaped a big part of my musical life,” said Tuvman. “I picked 12 tunes from their vast catalogue and tried to make them my own while maintaining the integrity of the original tunes.”