The Gutter Twins
The Gutter Twins--Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs and Mark Lanegan lead singer of the Screaming Trees--released a new CD onto the digital shelf last week. The track "Bete Noir" is dark and thrilling and worth playing over and over again. The vocals are stirring and the production is breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The band is currently touring the world so go check them out. Download "Bete Noir" off the album Saturnalia.
Charles Mingus, composer, jazz bassist and legend, was born on a military base in Nogales, Arizona, in April 1922. His mother died months after he was born. Eventually his father remarried and moved the family to Watts, California, where he was raised. Mingus' earliest music influence came from the church where his father and stepmother noticed his musical gift as he was tinkering on the piano. They gave him a trombone when he was six and, at 16, he picked up the bass. During the 1940s, he toured with Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton. Shortly thereafter, Mingus moved to New York where he worked with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. In 1977, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a debilitating nerve disease. For the last two years of his life, his body no longer cooperated and he lost his ability to play, but he recorded his ideas by singing them into a tape recorder. Charles Mingus died in January 1979. Download "I X Love" from Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus released in 1963.
Artist: Charles Mingus
Song: I X Love
Album: Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Soulive, founded in 1999 is a New York City band known for their funky old-school R&B soul and deep grooves. They've opened up for Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews and John Mayer and end every show by singing their mantra-phrase "Love Take Over The World." Guitarist Eric Krasno has produced songs for 50 Cent, Talib Kweli and, most recently, remixed the new Snoop Dog track titled "Sensual Seduction." Keyboardist Neal Evans, also doubles as the band's bassist, playing lefthanded bass on the keys. Neal and the band's drummer/vocalist Alan Evans are brothers. Lead singer Toussaint Yeshiva, an Indiana native, is the band's newest addition. The track "Waterfall" is soulful and positive. Download "Waterfall" from the album No Place Like Soul.
Genre: Soul / Funk
Album: No Place Like Soul
Elysian Fields, founded in the early 90s by singer Jennifer Charles and guitarist Oren Bloedow, is one of those great underground New York bands with attitude. The song "Star," off the critically acclaimed album Bleed Your Cedar released in 1996, has a simple groove with Charles' mysterious, smoky, talk-sing vocals. Download "Star."
Genre: Indie Rock
Artist: Elysian Fields
Album: Elysian Fields [EP]
Composer, comedian and actor Jackie Gleason was born Herbert John Gleason in February 1916 in Brooklyn, New York. His mother worked as a subway token booth clerk and his father suffered from alcoholism, deserting the family when Jackie was around nine. He died shortly thereafter. Gleason was discovered by the legendary movie executive Jack Warner and while the success of The Honeymooners is still vital today, Gleason never won an Emmy for the show. In 1959, he took home a Tony Award for Take Me Along. In 1962, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Hustler. Gleason's passion for music was made evident by his catalog of recordings for Capitol Records. He also wrote the Honeymooner's Theme "You're My Greatest Love." The Romantic Moods of Jackie Gleason is velvety and filled with fantastic schmaltzy cinematic orchestral arrangements. Download "Melancholy Serenade" from The Romantic Moods of Jackie Gleason.
Genre: Vintage Pop
Artist: Jackie Gleason
Song: Melancholy Serenade
Album: The Romantic Moods of Jackie Gleason
Pianist/composer Marc-André Hamelin was born in 1961 in Montreal, Canada. At age five, his father introduced him to the piano. By age nine he was winning awards. In this collection of Haydn Sonatas, Hamelin performs elegantly. The sounds of "Piano Sonata No. 24 in D Major," from the album Haydn Piano Sonatas Marc-André Hamelin, should be in your brain.