Monthly Archives: January 2013

This Week’s Groove

From Wikipedia:

Involver is a progressive house and breaks mix compilation by Sasha. Tracks which Sasha admired by other artists were chosen for this album and have each been remixed to give Sasha’s own interpretation of them. It received generally favorable reviews for its track selection and creative mixing techniques. Charlie May and Simon Wright assisted as co-producers for the compilation.

In 2005, the Grammy committee debated whether Involver was eligible for nomination as Best Electronic/Dance Album. The Recording Academy decided that the album was eligible, but Involver did not receive a nomination. Sasha did receive a Grammy nomination for his remix of Felix da Housecat’s “Watching Cars Go By”, which was featured on Involver.

I’ve been playing a couple of tracks by Sasha over and over and I’m becoming a real fan.  I like the driving bass lines and the hypnotic beats.

Sasha (born Alexander Paul Coe on 4 September 1969 in Bangor, Caernarfonshire, Wales) is a Welsh DJ and record producer. Sasha began his career playing acid house dance music in the late 1980s. He partnered with fellow DJ John Digweed in 1993, touring internationally and producing a series of mixes (compilations of other artists work played in a continuous fashion).

Get into Involver. This is good stuff.

This week’s groove: “Talk Amongst Yourselves (Sasha Involver Remix)” from the album “Sasha Involver”

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This Week’s Groove

In 1985, Sting went solo and released his first jazz album “Dream of the Blue Turtles” which was an original and incredible work of musical art.

In 1986, the band members he formed for “DoTBT” he brought together again for a musical documentary called “Bring On The Night,” which is worth watching to see the process Sting used/uses to create his music.  The docu-movie is worth buying for the music alone.

Interestingly enough, the documentary and the double CD are two different performances.  The live music in the film and the live music on the CD are both worth having.  The tracks are the same but they are performed different which is a treat to have two different versions of the same music.

However, the track I’m posting and linking to in YouTube is my preferred track from the film, “I Burn For You,” a Police hit, which technically means that if you have the Police version, you have three performances of this great track.

I like the film version of “I Burn For You” because of the incredible drum work by Omar Hakim.  Something you must see to appreciate.  In the CD version, there is no Hakim showcase.  Sting changed it up to more of a slow burn as opposed to the standing ovation Hakim receives in the film version.  Both tracks are good. but this one is great.

This week’s groove: “I Burn For You” from the film and double CD “Bring On The Night” by Sting.

This Week’s Groove

It’s been a while since I started this blog, but it’s time to refresh the purpose.  This blog, The Groove List, is about music appreciation, not just a list of songs.  For the record, there is a difference between music and songs.  Songs are performed by singers, in my opinion, not musicians or artists.  Prince is an artistSting is an artistStevie Wonder is an artist. Eric Clapton is an artist.

The music industry, however, is full of singers.  People that are more interested in selling a mediocre, soon to be forgotten song for fame and fortune than actually caring about the quality of the product they are allowing to be released in their name.  Rihanna is a singer.  These horrific boy bands, are singersKe$ha is a singer (abomination actually).

Music is an art.  Unfortunately, the art has been horribly, horribly damaged by the music industry bent on commercialization and record sales.  Reality singing contest shows like American Idol, The X-Factor and The Voice have further contributed to the destruction of music as an art form.

That doesn’t mean I don’t like singers.  I’m no purist, but I don’t appreciate musical trash forced on me ad nauseum by commercial radio pumping a song/singer over and over day-after-day to promote sales of a mediocre song to push records.  There’s no art in that.  It’s just blatant commercialization.  Nothing to appreciate.

I was recently subjected to listening to Country music for 12 hours straight. It’s not that I don’t like Country music.  I do.  But 12 hours of twanging, nasal whining has its limits.  But the key here is Country music, which is an oxymoron.  Country music, is not music as art.  It’s just songs.  Country music is about the lyrics, not the music.  Have you ever heard an instrumental “country” song?  It may exist, but I can’t bring one to mind.  You can take any country lyrics and run that over any “country music” and no one would know the difference.  There is no art there.  There is nothing innovative or creative about Country music.  There is nothing about the music that is special or could stand by itself without the vocals.  It’s just the same ol’ same ole’.

Music appreciation requires more than listening to the lyrics.  I like a lot of songs that I don’t particularly care for the lyrics, but the music actually made the song, so I can overlook the vocals for the appreciation of what is happening instrumentally.

You may or may not like disco, but the 70’s group Chic, were innovative.  Nile Rogers on guitar did some extremely innovative work.  They added an actual violin string trio, not synthesized keyboard strings, to their music.  Bernard Edwards on bass was a hell of a bass player.  There is something going on in their music beyond the vocals, and they had the talent to understand that as there are a lot of instrumentals in their albums.  It’s worth a listen for the appreciation of the music, regardless of whether you like Chic or not.  Their body or work is deeper than you may know.  They brought Madonna to “life.”  They brought Sister Sledge back from obscurity.  They did a very innovative album with Debbie Harry, Diana Ross, and many more.  And they influenced others to “borrow” their style which propelled others including Aretha Franklin to one of her best selling tracks ever, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who.

The point I’m trying to make here is, pay attention to all the music; the horns, the bass, the drummer, the strings, the keyboards; everything, not just the vocals.  Because it’s all important to the art.

So this week’s artist, and I mean that in the true sense, is Al Dimeola, whom you heard on guitar from last week’s groove in the Romantic Warrior.

This week’s groove: “Race With the Devil On Spanish Highway” from his album “Elegant Gypsy”

There is nothing on this album that is a throw away track.  Top to bottom.  Get this.

This Week’s Groove

Waaay back in 1976-ish, I was listening to my favorite radio station K-Soul in San Francisco and they had a contest asking listeners to call in with some answer.  I knew the answer and started calling and what do you know?  I was the winning caller.  My prize was 5 albums.  I don’t remember the other four, but the one I do remember was “Romantic Warrior” by the group “Return to Forever.”  Not being a jazz aficionado at the time, I had not heard of the group, but knew of bassist Stanley Clarke and jazz pianist Chick Corea and heard about Lenny White, who played drums for Miles Davis, back in the day.  I later became a fan of Al Dimeola, who’s music I will be posting here at the GrooveListBlog later.  This incredible guitarist is not to be missed.

After receiving my albums, I gave the “Romantic Warrior” a listen.  I think my family found it “outside” their sphere of interest, but I was enthralled with this “jazz fusion” I had not previously been exposed to.  (I think it grew on my family later as I played it quite often).

Romantic Warrior (1976) is the sixth studio album of jazz fusion band Return to Forever.  In my opinion, this album is a masterpiece of musical creativity which includes fast unison patterns and precision riffs that play throughout the album.

The album is laid out as a medieval story in a total of 6 tracks.  You must listen to the entire album, not just one track to enjoy what has been done here. Playing a single track out of context does not give one the total experience of this incredible work.   Here is the link to the entire album (Romantic Warrior) that you can hear online.  It is also available on iTunes for $9.99 and more than worth the money to add this to your collection.  I hope this makes you a fan of this album and “Return To Forever.”

This Week’s Groove

I’ve decided to change up from a track-a-day to a track-a-week which makes it easier to keep track of what and when I post.  This weeks track comes form Dobie.

Hip Hop producer from London. His first output was production work and remixes for Soul II Soul (along side Howie B). He later went on to release records on Howie B’s Pussyfoot Recordings label (in the downtempo/trip hop, hip hop vein). His most recent work has been production for UK Hip Hop acts (i.e.Rodney P). He has done remix/production work for Tricky, Björk, Bomb the Bass, Gabrielle, Howie B,Warren G, Brand New Heavies, Neneh Cherry and The Gravediggaz.

Don’t let the bio throw you off, however, because this track is not hip-hoppy but downtempo, ambient jazzy trance.  Just goes to show, you’ve got to give a listen before you make a judgement.

This Week’s Groove: “Way Over” (Instrumental” by Dobie from “The Sound of One Hand Clapping, V 2.5”