Showing posts from 2020

Have You Hugged The Bass Player In Your Life?

It's Hug A Bassist Day!! Very fortunate to meet and hug a few.

Nathan East - Eric Clapton, Phil CollinsDavid Hungate - TotoJimmy Haslip - The Yellowjackets, Gino Vannelli, Jeff LorberRichard Brown - Entertaiment Director of Fantasy Springs CasinoTommy Sims - composer of "Change The World," Michael McDonald, Sheryl CrowLeland Sklar - Phil Collins, Jackson Browne, James TaylorRocco Prestia - Tower of PowerJerry Barnes - Nile Rodgers' Chic

Tower of Power Founding Bassist in Hospice

Tower of Power Official Facebook posted on their page today that bassist, Rocco Prestia is very ill. Stating; "Our brother and original Tower bassist, Rocco Prestia, needs our love, prayer and good vibrations more than ever before, as he is now resting and comfortable in hospice."It was not said what he is ill with but it's for those who have been longtime fans of ToP, Rocco has had several major health issues, including a liver transplant, which was successful.Rocco has recorded 22 albums with ToP. Those albums are the soundtrack of my life. Their songs are totally intertwined with my childhood. Like; "What Is Hip?," "You're Still A Young Man," "You Got to Funkifize," "Clever Girl," and soooo many others!!!  His unique "Fingerstyle Funk" of playing on the bass is so iconic and different than how a bass was played back then. To watch him in person was magical. Truly a talent. But as always, Rocco like to stick to the…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Hold On" by Santana from the album Shangó

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayNational Hispanic Heritage Month EditionHonoring Carlos Santana (mejicano), Orestes Vilató (cubano), Armando Peraza (cubano), Raúl Rekow (cubano) and Artist Cristobal Gonzáles (mejicano)Trying to choose my last Pick for this week, was so incredibly hard because there are just so many artists/musicians/bands out there that I have loved and grown up with.But this one is important. When I think of the band; Santana, I go back all the way to my childhood, growing up in East Los Angeles / San Gabriel, California.Families gathering for a wedding or quinceañera and always, ALWAYS - everyone would get up to dance to "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va," "Black Magic Woman" and more!From the time Santana came out in 1969 and myself being only 8 years old, I've literally grown up on this band. Memories of my older brother and his "Pachuco" buddies hanging around listening to Abraxas or Santana III stay…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - “Give Your Love” by Koinonia from the album; “More Than A Feeling”

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayNational Hispanic Heritage Month Edition
Honoring Abraham Laboriel (mejicano), Alex Aluña (peruviano), Justo Almario (colombiano) and Dan Garcia (not sure but will guess mejicano or Mexican-American born).
Let me just begin by saying that there isn’t ONE PERSON on this album that doesn’t deserve to be mentioned. They are all heavy hitters and legends in their own right. 😃 And man, do I love the projects they have been on. That being said, this Pick is based on honoring those who are Hispanic / Latino respectively and their contributions to music.
Let me just tell you all who the band members were: Bill Maxwell, Abraham Laboriel, Alex Acuña, Hadley Hockensmith, Harlan Rogers, Dean Parks, John Phillips, Justo Almario and later; Lou Pardini (of Chicago)
Released in 1983, spear headed by drummer; Bill Maxwell and Abraham Laboriel, this album was the debut by some guys who were studio musicians that got together in 1980 and later, de…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Dreaming Of You" by Selena

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayNational Hispanic Heritage Month Edition honoring Jimmy Haslip and Tejano / Pop Artist SelenaI think we can all agree that we know thatJimmy Haslipis one BAAAD musician!!! His rep of those he has played with is so vast.
How I personally knew about him before I realized that I loved West Coast music was when he toured with Chaka Khan along with my high school friend; keyboardist Tony Patler. That was the first time I'd ever heard of Jimmy. But he'd been out and made a name for himself before that; starting with CSN and one of my favorite albums, "Brother To Brother" by Gino Vannelli.
Jimmy Haslip is one of the most intuitive musicians I've ever listened to and had the pleasure to see live. Case in point; this song by another Latina I would like to acknowledge; Selena.
Written by Franne Golde and Tom Snow, "Dreaming Of You" is probably one of the most beautifully written songs from the arranging to …

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "The Higher You Rise"

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The Day:
"The Higher You Rise" from the high def test record; "The Sheffield Track & Drum Record" featuring Robbie Buchanan and James Newton Howard, keyboards, Lenny Castro, percussion, Nathan East, bass, Mike Landau, guitar, and Carlos Vega, drums.
National Hispanic Heritage Month Edition
Today begins the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. As a Latina, I am very proud of my Hispanic roots and felt that it was only proper to feature two of Inside MusiCast's favorites for my Pick today; Lenny Castro and the sorely missed; Carlos Vega.
Recorded May 22, 1982 at the Sheffield Lab Studios at MGM in Culver City, this album was designed for systems and component testing and evaluation. Sheffield Lab Recordings, founded by engineer great; Doug Sax and legendary musician / arranger; Lincoln Mayorga, it is an audiophile label which produced direct-to-disc classical and jazz albums.
What a fantastic song this…


Originally featured on Inside MusiCast, my Pick of The Day: "Jungle Boogie" by Kool & The Gang from their album "Wild And Peaceful"

The music world has lost another legend. Ronald Bell, aka Khalis Bayyan co-founder of one of the best funk bands ever; "Kool & The Gang" with brother Robert "Kool" Bell. 

Growing up in the desert of Palm Springs California, what was available to hear the latest in music was one radio station. When this song came out in 1973, I was about 12 years old. I remember hearing this it on the radio and thinking - “what the heck is this?? Give me more!” And then to see them on Soul Train, American Bandstand, The Midnight Special, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert was great to see them moving and grooving, especially since my parents didn’t have a problem with me staying up late to watch the last two shows.Because we all have a soundtrack to moments in our lives, buying the 45 record was so memorable for me. . .My dad'…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - '"Change of Heart" by Jon Gibson

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayLongtime “Contemporary Christian Music (CCM)” artist Jon Gibson has created music for about 40 years. . . his way - his rules. Jon is the epitome of that West Coast / Blue-Eyed Soul sound. Considered early in his career as the “white Stevie Wonder,” Jon has proved over and over that he has always been the real deal.This tune has that funky feel that is synonymous with 80's synth funk and soul. The message is clear, but delivered in a way that makes you want to get up a move yo'self, body and soul.The personnel on this are definitely "A" list. On sax is Jon's longtime friend, jazz artist; Eric Marienthal, whose solo has that "Huey Lewis and The News" feel. My own long time friend, Tony Patler is playing on this as well. . . guitar and keys. Bob Somma is on guitar. You might remember Bob's work on Paula Abdul's 1988 release; "Forever Your Girl," and 80's funk group "Gen…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY -"2nd Emotion" by Rosie Vela From the 1986 release; "Zazu"

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayThis album has to be at the top of my list of treasured albums. Especially for me, because I tend to gravitate towards more male vocalists than female.When I play this album, I am always taken back to the first time I heard her single "Magic Smile" on Los Angeles' 94.7 The Wave. I was so crazed!! I was like - "WHAT THE HECK IS THAT!? I LOVE IT!" At the time, there was really nothing else similar on the radio waves. I not only bought the album but the cassette because of course, I had to listen to it on the way home.The vibe of "2nd Emotion" is so bouncy and ultra cool. Perfect for the mid-80's aerobics! Hearing that gorgeous velvety voice with her slight cool, airy vibrator and the band playing along side her is truly a match made in heaven. For me at least. ;)Written by Rosie Vela, this tune features the best musicians in the business; Donald Fagen and Aaron Zigman on synth, Jimmy Haslip…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Pacific Coast Highway" by Jeff Lorber From the 1984 release "Step By Step"

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayToday is another special day for this lady!
July 1st, marks the day I was welcomed as a team member of Inside MusiCast in 2014.To commemorate that day, I'd like to re-post one of my first posts as a correspondent.This one is perfect too. As most of us have been on lockdown, being that I am in Seattle, I am wishing I could be cruising down my beloved Pacific Coast Highway in Souther California.When I wrote this Pick 6 years ago, I had been in California driving that ocean highwayWritten by Jeff, his tune is the soundtrack of the Pacific Coast Highway. California music at it's best.Man, the vibe of this song is just too cool. From the beginning, with the two strums of the guitar, then percussion and then synth.
This is soft funk with a whole lotta soul!Jeff Lorber takes his keyboards and brings it home with his 80's jazz fusion, making you feel so good. . .you just want to keep on driving. And I did, all the way into …

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DaySince today is my birthday, I wanted to revisit the first record I ever obtained.Early 1967 - 5 years old and back then I was really into EVERYONE from Motown, The Beatles, The 5th Dimension, Neil Diamond, The Monkees, Paul Revere & The Raiders and The Young Rascals.Although my parents had their share of records, I felt that I should have my own, so with my birthday coming up, I asked my mom to give me "Groovin" as a present. Not a doll. I wanted music.The song has been described as a slow, relaxed groove. And it is. . . but. . . I hear a slow relaxed doo wop in the piano and vocals. That could be because Felix Cavaliere who was once part of Joey Dee and the Starliters, known for their Doo Wop dance hit "Peppermint Twist," found that slowing down those chords and vocals to this Afro-Cuban influenced tune, was a good combination. And then add to that, at the interlude, the piano parts that remind me of …

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Modern Times Blues" by Jean-Luc Ponty from his 1984 release; "Open Mind"

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayWhat a perfect title this is. It describes where I was in 1984 / 85.Today, my husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary.We both LOVE music. In fact, that was one of the main things that attracted me to him. This intense love of music of a higher level. But more from the technical side versus from how I related to music, which was more emotional.Before meeting him, I was all about Motown, Soul, 70's Rock, Soft Rock, Disco and New Wave / Punk. Which I still love today.Getting to know my husband, I learned he had seen just about every one, from the Police to Santana to Journey and more.One thing he was very passionate about was Jazz Fusion and experimental. I'm pretty sure that at some time or another I would have learned about great artists like Pat Metheny, Stanley Clark, Weather Report, Al Di Meola, Azymuth, Jeff Lorber, Yellowjackets and Jean-Luc Ponty and SCORES of others. But my husband was the one who …

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Set Free" by Scott Smith from the 1984 release "Face To Face."

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayToday Mr. Howard Smith celebrates his birthday. What a perfect day for me to pick a song from one of my most treasured LP's. How the album "Face To Face" by producer Scott V. Smith came into my life in 1984 is a fabulous story in and of itself. Another day. . . ."Set Free" written by Howard Smith and Scott V. Smith is a beautiful ballad. IMC friend and former guest; James Harrah on guitars sets the tone from the beginning with his acoustic. Howard's vocals are like rich velvet. I've always loved the way Howard sings. Fans of Andrae Crouch & The Disciples will remember him from those days.Howard sings with such passion. There's such an urgency in his vocals when he sings the lyrics "Slavery!" and "Fantasy!" "They say He Holds the Keys." The man is singing from his gut. You FEEL him. Honestly, you feel him throughout the entire song. So beautiful.Also on this…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Heaven In The Real World" by Steven Curtis Chapman from the 1994 release of the same name.

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayLeland Sklar was our guest on Inside MusiCast. He had a great chat with Rick, Eddy & Kim Reilly. It's no secret Lee is one of my favorite bass players. His delivery is so there, that I usually know when he's on a recording, even when he's blending.Like take this tune; "Heaven In The Real World." When this was released, I wasn't really into the music of Steven Curtis Chapman. That developed later. But I really liked this song. I was loving the bass lines, the drums and of course the guitar. Only to find out later that Lee was on bass, John Robinson on drums and Dann Huff on guitar. HA! Amazing!Other notables are producer; Mark Heimermann and Michael Gleason on backing vocals, Phil Naish on Keyboards and Hezekiah Walker And The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir adding that Gospel fullness.Towards the end of the tune, Lee and Dann add some fancy string work that is work listening as well as John keeping…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Work to Do" by The Isley Brothers

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayI heard this on the radio today and knew that it had to be my Pick. Just hearing those lyrics; "I got work to do! Everybody's got work to do" made me think of those who are on the front lines while the rest of the world is on lockdown because of COVID-19.
I'm groovin' to the tune and then find myself tearing up at
"keep your love lights burning
And a little food hot in my plate
You might as well get used to
Me coming home a little late"
I realize the song was originally written with another topic in mind, but I couldn't help but think of all those who are overloaded, working overtime and missing their loved ones. This classic Soul tune has a completely meaning for me now.
Released in 1972, it has been covered by The Main Ingredient, The Average White Band, Vanessa Williams, Mayer Hawthorne and so many others. What I love about the original tho, is how organic it is, like all the way to the end, Pe…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "You're The One That I Want" From the 1978 Grease Movie Soundtrack.

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayMusicians Greg Mathieson and Casey Young were our guests last week on Inside MusiCast's Facebook page via Zoom. If you were there, you may have heard Greg talk about working with Olivia Newton-John and his contribution to the Grease Soundtrack.
I don't think there's a person out there who hasn't heard this track. But having Greg share his memories on working on "You're The One That I Want" and "Hopelessly Devoted To You" was so wonderful.He's an incredible storyteller. He was on the set from the beginning of filming and was the rehearsal pianist. He was then asked to play on both these hits.
When talking about "You're The One That I Want, Greg shares that at the chorus, singing "You're The One That I Want, the one that I want, the one that I want;" the original had no "piano bar" in between. Greg tells how he added those 3 notes in between because he f…

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Heaven's Design" by Bobby McFerrin

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast From the album Bang! ZoomReleased in 1995, this song never fails to move me, not only as a music lover, or a freaky fan of the great Bobby McFerrin, but the message is so profound. It's obvious he is singing to his beloved wife, Deb. How many women out there would love to hear these words from their men when they feel like they are not a priority? Bobby recognizes it and reconciles it with these beautiful lyrics.Profound lyrics wrapped up with some gorgeous music by some of the most incredible people in the biz: The Yellowjackets; Russell Ferrante, William Kennedy, Bob Mintzer and Jimmy Haslip, as well as Paul Jackson, Paulinho Da Costa, Judd Miller and Scott Wendholt. Totally an All-Star line-up.Such a beautiful song. I love the groove, every facet, every instrument. And those gorgeous subtle scats done the only way that makes Bobby McFerrin who he is. I just want to lap up every note, turning my stereo up or headphones just to get the last …

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "Under The Influence" by Anointed

Originally featured on Inside MusiCastThis fantastic family trio completely blows my mind and makes me want to try harder to be a great blender as well as vocalist. They are so soulful. They play their vocals like fine tuned instruments. Their enunciation is incredible while digging deep for those soulful jazz tones.And let's talk about the crew. Dan Huff setting the tone with smooth cool guitar, then changing to a scratchin' like he's channeling the early 70's and adding some sexy smooth jazz strings there. LOVE! His brother David Huff on drums with Terry McMillan (Renegade Gentleman w/Larry Carlton) on percussion and producer and engineer; Mark Heimermann on keys. Mark is known for his work DC Talk, Amy Grant, Chris Gaines, Garth Brooks, Charlie Peacock and more. The slamming bass is provided by the late Jackie Street.It's hard to believe this was released in 1996. It sounds so fresh. What a groove!!

LO'S PICK OF THE DAY - "End Times" by Michael and Stormie Omartian

Originally featured on Inside MusiCast as my Pick of The DayAnyone who is familiar with Michael Omartian is aware that he's not only responsible for producing a multitude of hit songs, but he also held a world record for being the only producer to have scored number-one hits in three decades consecutively, the ‘70s, ‘80s and '90s.From the beginning of his career, and working with Top A-list artists i.e. Christopher cross, Al Jarreau, Amy Grant, The Imperials, Rod Stewart, The Jacksons, Trisha Yearwood and so many more, he has always walked a faith-based life alongside his wife of 47 years, author Stormie Omartian - known for her "Power of a Praying _______" book series.The two of them have released their own albums respectively. Every now and then I dip into these albums and I’m completely blown away by the talent that is forever engraved on these tracks."End Times” is definitely one of those that I keep coming back to because it's THAT GOOD!The people on…