Saturday, May 30, 2009

Funk nerds... gotta love ’em!

Dude make me wanna go blast this shit for myself...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Buddy Montgomery (1930-2009)

Charles “Buddy” Montgomery – the youngest brother of guitar genius Wes Montgomery, and the last surviving member of the Montgomery Brothers jazz trio – passed away on May 14. He was 79 years old.

The Los Angeles Times reported this news last night. The New York Times obituary, published last Thursday, is here.

Buddy Montgomery was a pianist and vibraphonist whose recording career spanned from the 1950s to the current decade.

Click here to hear “1,000 Rainbows” (which Montgomery composed) from his 1997 album “Here Again.”

Monday, May 18, 2009

Young rapper murdered in West L.A.

Like everyone who lives in Los Angeles, I’ve spent time at the Beverly Center mall near Beverly Hills. Never imagined it would earn a place in hip-hop infamy as a homicide scene.

This afternoon, a 21-year-old Atlanta rapper known as Dolla was shot in the head at the valet parking stand... waiting for his car.

Dolla, who reportedly came to L.A. to finish work on his debut album, has been rapping since the age of 12. Lately he had worked with Akon and T-Pain.

The Los Angeles Times report on the killing is here. No idea yet why Dolla was targeted. A suspect was arrested at the airport an hour later.

Disregarding the show-business element and the Beverly Hills element... this shit happens 20 times a day in America. A young black person murdered by another black person. And nobody talks about it. Least of all black folks.

Twenty times a day... every day.

Anyhow... here is one of Dolla’s music videos:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wayman Tisdale (1964-2009)

Wayman Tisdale, a smooth-jazz bassist and former NBA star, died this morning of bone cancer... a few weeks shy of his 45th birthday.

The obituary is here.

I never got into his music. But I want to honor Mr. Tisdale’s passing by streaming a track off his 2008 CD, “Rebound.”

To hear his cover of Barry White’s “Never Never Gonna Give Ya Up” – featuring country crooner Toby Keith on vocals! – click here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May I point you...

... to a hellified discussion that jumped off today on the cinema blog Shadow and Act?

It began with Sergio Mims’s provocative piece titled “Spike’s Career Crisis.” (And you know how it gets when black film freaks start rolling on the subject of Spike Lee.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Stick a fork in me...

... I’m done. If you’d like to Google around in the UBM archive, here’s a handy custom search engine:

UPDATE (05/05/09): Showbiz blogger Nikki Finke breaks the news that HBO has greenlit David Simon’s new drama series, “Treme.” (I just found out today my own self.)

That means we’ll be back in New Orleans in November to begin filming. The writing staff will get cracking over the summer. And “Treme” should be on TV screens some time next year. Yay, HBO!

Two final free downloads

In New York last week, I connected with Charles Blass, a fellow funk fan I probably hadn’t seen since Eddie Hazel’s funeral.

Blass is living every music nerd’s dream; he’s co-running an independent record label – LiveWired Music.

Dude hit me off with LiveWired’s two new releases: “EclecticisM” by vocalist M. Nahadr and “Seeds of Djuke” by guitarist On Ka’a Davis.

I haven’t had time to spin those CDs yet... but I can point you to a FREE MP3 off each one.

Click here to hear Ms. Nahadr’s “Trip.” Then click here to check out Mr. Davis’s “Yea! Yea!”

To download these tracks, click the titles below.

For many of the free MP3s I’ve featured on this blog, the download links are still active. Feel free to browse back through the archives for cuts you might be interested in.

“Trip” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store

“Yea! Yea!” (MP3)
Album available at iTunes Music Store

Random hipness