Aretha Franklin – Spring Pledge 2014 – 11 and 16 May 9 -2

Ron Lee | May 11th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

585Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, is best know for her hits like Respect, Chain of Fools, Spanish Harlem and Freeway of Love. Aretha started out singing gospel as a child at her dad’s church. See started her secular career at Columbia records singing jazz standards. Listening to those early recording at Columbia are a great surprise. Aretha’s commercial success really took off when she move to Atlantic records. She would eventually record 88 charted hit singles. There is no other singer like Aretha.

For KCSM Spring pledge we are featuring the box set Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, the Atlantic Recordings. This 4 CD set has 88 tracks drawn from the best of her albums, singles and b-sides on Atlantic. It is considered the best of her box sets.  You will hear Bridge Over Troubled, Water, Sparkle, Night Time is the Right Time, and Spirit in the Dark as well as all her hits. Take a closer look at KCSM Spring Pledge – Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, the Atlantic Years

KCSM Spring Pledge Memorial – Armando Peraza 2 – 6 pm Sun 11 May

Fred Witt | May 11th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

14_05_10_KCSM_PerazaArmando Peraza, bongo & conga player, is a story of talent rising to a 70+ year world carer.  Armando was an orphan in Havana Cuba, switched from boxing coach to band drummer on a chance encounter, moved through Mexico and New York to California performing internationally along the way.  Armando pased away in April of this year.

There are at least two realities about Armando’s legacy that we can listen to and both are from favorite names of jazz that he worked with. His work and bands included Parker, Gillespie, Mingus, Brubeck, Tjader, and Shearing.  In one reality if you want composition and balance listen to some of the many released tracks from the great bands.  If you want energy and speed from the drummer look at videos of live performances by the bands.

Join Chuy Varela & Chris Cortez Sunday afternoon on KCSM to hear interviews and tracks from Armando’s life work.

KCSM Spring Pledge – Ella! 2pm – 6pm Thu 15 May

Fred Witt | May 8th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

14_05_08_KCSM_EllaWho are among the best lady jazz singers of our times ? Pick your list, but likely Ella is on it, & up there ! The fact that she had a great voice on several counts has just been the springboard for her spirit and variety in the life’s jazz song performances. (There was also a great smile !) Her work has the fame to go with it. Ella is an example of talent that can’t be held back, coming at one point from homeless orphan beginnings. See the several “Ella” CD’s on the KCSM “thank you” page that are available as pledge gifts. Top of the gifts is an interesting wellspring source 5-CD set, “Ella Fitzgerald The Voice of Jazz”, with 200+ tracks.

Join Sonny & Mel Saturday midday on KCSM to hear tracks from this collection and life stories of Ella.

Friday Night Blues – Spring 2014 pledge gifts

Ron Lee | May 7th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

homepage_specials_thanks (1)Regular listeners of KCSM know that Friday nights is Kathleen Lawton’s Crazy About the Blues show from 9 – midnight. For me that is how I close out the week. It is great to sit back and enjoy the blues. Since it is Spring Pledge Kathleen has picked out some special pledge gifts for Crazy About the Blues. We have:

Howlin’ Wolf – Evil

When you hear Howlin’ Wolf you immediately know it is him. His graveling voice stands out. On this two CD set is Smoke Stack Lightin’. I always stop and listen when Kathleen plays this cut. Howlin’ Wolf was one of the top Chicago Blues artists and recorded for Sun and Chess Records.

Jimmy Witherspoon – Ain’t Nobody’s Business

Jimmy Witherspoon was a LA based blues and later jazz R&B singer. This two CD set is a great sampling of his work.

Various – The Sun Blues Story

Sun records was one of the top blues labels out of Memphis. They recorded all the top blues artists and their biggest hits came from rock and roll/country artists like Elvis Presleym Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash. This CD set focuses on the blues artists Sun was recording in the 50s. Great stuff.

Various – A Bad Case of the Blues

This 3 CD set is a great sampler of the top blues artists. It covers lots of the most popular blues songs. It is a great way to get an introduction to the blues.

Various – Essential West Coast Blues

Essential West Coast Blues is a 2 CD collection of LA and Bay Area blues artists. There are some big names like Ray Charles, Big Mama Thorton and other lesser know artists. If you have been around the Bay Area for awhile there will be names you recognize.

John Abercrombie – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 11 May

Fred Witt | May 4th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

14_05_05_JAbercrombieJohn Abercrombie, one of America’s leading jazz guitarists has recently released another of his albums, “39 Steps.” John is from the New York state and Boston, and was recently located in New York.

John has a reserved, open style. His work is distinct in progressive, fusion, and avant-guard jazz and he manages his own group, the John Abercrombie Quartet. John is a senior artist with a 40-some year career, has a long page of releases, and can be found on lists of the top 20 American jazz guitarists. John spent a lot of 2013 touring Europe.  He was at Yoshi’s Oakland this February, and will be in Norfolk VA on the 24th of this month.  Some of John’s tracks are pretty cool, and some can be *really different*. You can try some of John’s quartet tracks here.

John’s interview will be on KCSM’s ” I’m Talkin’ Jazz” this coming Sunday, May 11, with Clifford Brown Junior and you can get the story with Clifford and John.

Icon: Best of Blue Note – KCSM Early Pledge gift

Ron Lee | May 4th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

41UjXTYhydLBlue Note records is well known as one of the jazz standards for recording. Dating back from the 1940s to today Blue Note is know for having some of the best jazz recordings. Famed engineer Rudy Van Gelder did many of the classic recordings. Today Blue Note is part of Universal Music Group and is home to new artists like Ambrose Akinmusire.

This CD set is a selection of tracks from the Blue Note catalog that represent Blue Note’s top artists. KCSM is making this available as a pledge gift along with a early bird pledge baseball cap at KCSM Early Bird Pledge

Help shorten our Spring Pledge drive!

Track Listings

Disc: 1
1. Summertime – Sidney Bechet Quintet
2. ‘Round About Midnight – Thelonious Monk
3. A Night In Tunisia – Bud Powell
4. Brownie Eyes – Clifford Brown
5. Blue Train – John Coltrane
6. Tune Up – Sonny Rollins
7. Moanin’ – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
8. Cool Struttin’ – Sonny Clark
9. Blues Walk – Lou Donaldson
10. Somethin’ Else – Cannonball Adderley (feat. Miles Davis)
11. Back At The Chicken Shack – Jimmy Smith
Disc: 2
1. Chitlins Con Carne – Kenny Burrell
2. The Sidewinder – Lee Morgan
3. Speak No Evil – Wayne Shorter
4. Maiden Voyage – Herbie Hancock
5. Song For My Father – Horace Silver
6. Black Byrd – Donald Byrd
7. Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) – US3 feat. Rahsaan and Gerard Presencer
8. Come On In My Kitchen – Cassandra Wilson
9. Cold Cold Heart – Norah Jones
10. Afro Blue – Robert Glasper feat. Erykah Badu
11. Liquid Spirit – Gregory Porter

Suzanna Smith – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 4 May

Ron Lee | April 28th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

suzanna-cdcover-hires-600x6001Oakland based singer Suzanna Smith has been a long time performer in the Bay Area. She grew up in Livermore and went to school at Wellesley College in Boston. She returned back to the bay area and has been performing regularly in jazz venues. She is a student of Berkeley’s Jazz School. Currently you can catch her at Zingari restaurant in SF. Recently in late 2012 she released her debut album “Halfway between Heaven and Earth”. The album is a mix of standards and original tunes written by Suzanna. Coming up she will be performing her Peggy Lee Project 31 May at the Sound Room in Oakland.

Listen to her perform Comet from her album “Halfway between Heaven and Earth”.

Celebrating South Africa’s free election 25 Apr 2pm

Ron Lee | April 24th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

April 27th, 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of South Africa’s first free,
fair and democratic elections in which citizens of all races were allowed
to take part.  On Friday, April 25th, KCSM will be celebrating this
momentous occasion by tracing the music of South Africa with Larry
Slater’s “The South African Jazz Story”, on Jazz in the Afternoon, from
2-6PM.  Don’t miss it!

Peter Zak – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 27 Apr

Ron Lee | April 21st, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

Peter Zak grew up and studied music in Oakland. After graduating from UC Berkeley he played at many of the local clubs and now resides in NYC. In NYC he plays with his trio and is a faculty member at the renowned jazz program at the New School University. Recently he release his new album “The Eternal Triangle” . Tune in and here him chat with Alicia Clancy.

Here he is playing at the Kitano in NYC.

Andre Thierry – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 20 April

Fred Witt | April 14th, 2014 | Leave a Comment »

14_04_13_KCSM_ThierryAndre plays a traditional form from Louisiana that’s a mixture of Cajun, Blues, and Rhythm & Blues. The form is known as Zydeco; Andre’s instrument is the accordion. While Andre’s family have long traditions from Louisiana, they migrated to California, and Andre is from Richmond.

Andre has his own band, the Zydeco Magic. Their music is pretty lively, and usually has quite a bit of vocal work in it. Their tour calendar is busy. They have just played in San Jose, San Francisco, Alameda, & Cotati. See their web site for a coming few months of many stops in Louisiana, Texas, and California. Try clicking some of these tracks from his recent CD “Are You Ready To Learn” for a sample of Andre’s music. If his style is for you, you can catch him in person from one of the bookings on their site.

Andre’s interview will be on KCSM’s I’m Talkin’ Jazz this coming Sunday, April 20, with Greg Bridges and you can get the story from Andre himself.