Been trying to find “Smokey’s Family Robinson” on CD for eons…finally copped it yesterday. His most left field and under recognized gem. I use to pick this record apart as a kid..still sounds fresh and innovative as it did in its ’75 release. If “Quiet Storm” had a sequel, “Family Robinson” is the perfect follow up..”Like Nobody Can” is the apex!! #Smokey #Motown
(we have very close and mutual friends..somehow I know we will meet!!) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to an icon named BOBBY WOMACK!!!
When you ask the average person, who is GENE PAGE? Many will not have a clue. But if you ask any great musician or authentic music fan, there will be high praise. He truly was one of the major innovators of THE LOS ANGELES SOUND. Having arranged and produced many great artists such as Dobie Grey, Barry White, The Jackson 5, Pop, Soul and Country..Mr Page was truly a gem that set a platform of excellence and richness in sound that has yet to me matched to this day. I had the honor of doing a session at the legendary Sunset Sound in Hollywood and I just so happen to be sitting in the conductor’s chair. My Mentor and Hero, the great WAH WAH WATSON looked at me said “this chair is very special, this was the chair that belonged to Gene Page“. I’d never seen a room become so quiet in my life, it was like a spell had taken hold on all of us when his name was mentioned.
courtesy of STUBASS (Soulful Detroit)::
I was recently contacted via musician-producer David Paich informing us that a nomination has been submitted to NARAS in an effort to honor the late legendary arranger-producer Gene Page with a NARAS Trustees Award. Los Angeles based (via Detroit) and well respected musician-arranger Sylvester Rivers is leading this effort, which has been supported by a who’s who of music industry leaders, from David Foster, Dionne Warwick, Tom Scott, Bruce Miller, and many many more. I spoke with Sylvester yesterday, and offered my enthusiastic support for this most well deserved recognition for Gene Page.
Gene Page, as many of you know, was the musical inspiration behind those beautiful arrangements for artists such as Barry White, Laura Brannigan, Michael Jackson, many Motown and Solar Records projects, along with an impressive list of top performers from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s. In addition to his musical virtuosity, Gene was always willing to help his fellow musicians, and served as a mentor to many of todays contemporary producers and arrangers.
I would urge you all to take a few minutes and drop an e-mail to Jennifer Dugas at NARAS in support of this most well deserved recognition.
I had a chance to visit the Blake Edwards Art Exhibit a few months back and was left in amazement by various pieces created by the legendary writer/director.
There was one piece in particular that stood out and left me asking the question:
Does Blake Edwards listen to Herbie Hancock?
August 6, 2009 | Categories: Unique 74 | Tags: Blake Edwards, Blake Edwards Art Collection, Director, Film, Hank Modern Series 1997, Headhunters, Herbie Hancock, JAZZ, Legend, Music, Unique74, Writer | Leave A Comment »
Michael Joseph Jackson was more than a perfectionist, an artist, or an entertainer. He was an institution, a way of life that raised the criteria above and beyond more than any other artist before or after him (Trust me..I was a fan long before Thriller and Off The Wall..). There is no question that he was an extension of the greats before him (ie, Ray Charles, James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr, Fred Astaire, The Nicholas Bros, etd) . There are very few artist that can stay on the pulse of art and culture for over a lifetime, while raising the bench mark. I could go on forever and a day to speak on such a great man and a gift to the world who taught me the ultimate definiton of the word ICON. At the moment, I am still in shock and am having a hard time putting together how I truly feel in its full essence.
Thank you Sir Michael, I will always love you!
Ps: We send all of our Love and Prayers to The Jackson Family and friends.
Msg: To all of the fans, we must stay strong and keep jamming MJ in your boombox, ipod, in your car or truck and lets celebrate his Homecoming! He is at PEACE..No one can hurt him anymore..
June 26, 2009 | Categories: RESPECT, Unique 74 | Tags: American Music History, Art, Artist, Black Music Legacy, Business, Dance, Fashion, Humanitarian, Icon, Innovator, International, Larger Than Life, Maverick, Michael Jackson, Musician, Philanthropist, Producer, Publisher, The Greatest Entertainer, Visionary, Writer | 1 Comment »
On this very day, the world was robbed of a great man who within his own contradictions and conflicts was able to teach us all how to love and to live unconditionally. This very man who came in after the reign of Sam Cooke /Jackie Wilson would later pave the way for the Stevie Wonders/Donny Hathaways plus countless others. One of the many things I admired about Mr. Gaye was that he did not settle for the status quo, he wasn’t afraid to push the envelope and raise the stakes. He celebrated the love, the pain, the disdain and the triumph through his music while effortlessly raising the bar.
Ironically, I had just purchased the “Live in Belgium” DVD a few days ago and I even did a mini tribute in my Dj set this past Sunday.
We Love You Marvin Gaye.
Ps: Bugsy Wilcox, Frank Blair and Gordon Banks where are you!? (a huge bravo!)
April 1, 2009 | Categories: RESPECT, Unique 74 | Tags: Blues, Composer, FUNK, Gospel, Icon, International, JAZZ, Marvin Gaye, Motown, Pop, Producer, PROGRESSIVE!, R&B, Soul, The Funk Brothers, Unique74, Writer | 6 Comments »