Showing posts from 2022

Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA, 6/15/2022; Let's Give 'Em Something to Celebrate

  Photo Courtesy of the Artist Bonnie Raitt played  The Mann Center for the Performing Arts  on Wednesday night, June 15th armed with her 18th album, Just Like That , her slide guitar, and her crackerjack touring band. One of Raitt's strengths, in addition to her music, is the way that she speaks to the audience. Opening the show, she said that she was very glad to be back on the road following a two year Covid layoff. Raitt thanked the crowd for coming to the show and the thunderous applause that she got throughout sounded more like a sold out large arena or stadium (if you closed your eyes) rather than The Mann, which wasn't quite full.  I was glad too, being that this was my first time back seeing live music since December 2019. Despite several excellent live streams, there is nothing like seeing a live show in the flesh. During the song "Something to Talk About," I kept thinking that this was something to celebrate.  The sound at The Mann that night was outstandin

Adventures in Babysitting (Touchstone Pictures, 1987 ) ...And the Award for Best Use Of Music in a Conventional Motion Picture Goes to a Movie of Most Unconventional Quality

  Photos and Video Courtesy of Touchstone Pictures Gems From the Movie Shelf: One measure of a good movie is how it holds up over time. The first time I saw  Adventures in Babysitting was in 1988 when I rented the VHS tape to play with my kids in a Jersey beach motel. At the time, we knew nothing about the movie except for the premise of its title. We not only thoroughly enjoyed it, but I'm here to say that it is one movie that gets better with repeat viewing, and still looks and sounds great on DVD, now 35 years later. Like many ostensibly similar night in the city mishap movies ( Into the Night ) the premise is simple. Elisabeth Shue plays high school senior Chris Parker who, as the movie opens, is preparing for a big date. When her boyfriend shows up, he cancels the date with the excuse that he has to take care of his sick little sister. Suddenly without plans for the evening,  Chris reluctantly accepts a babysitting job.  At the job, the parents had not been gone a half hour wh

Dave Brubeck Trio: Live From Vienna 1967; Brubeck And His Rhythm Section Wow The Vienna Audience As A Three Piece

Photo courtesy of the artist Previously unreleased in the USA, Brubeck Editions has released  Dave Brubeck Trio: Live From Vienna 1967.  Beyond the excellent sound quality, this concert was a true rarity in that this lineup of personnel usually performed in a quartet. For this show at the Konzerthaus, saxophonist Paul Desmond missed the group's flight from Hamburg to Vienna. In light of the situation, Brubeck decided to go on with the show as a three piece with Joe Morello on drums and Eugene Wright on bass. The recording that night was all set, and it was fortuitous that this show was captured, as this may be the only recording of these musicians performing together as a trio. As much as I love Desmond's composition "Take 5" along with his sax work, the trio makes good use of his space for their solos, improvisations, and such. The music is spectacular as well. The following excerpt from the press release details the performance, track by track. The trio sizzles with

Melissa Manchester - Live '77; Released Just In Time for Its 45th Anniversary

Photo: North Dakota State University Archives (October 22, 1977) Back in the 1970s, I was aware of Melissa Manchester, quite liked her music, and I would dip into her albums from time to time when I was on the radio.  If I had known that her live shows sounded like this, I would have made more of a point not to miss her.  On October 30, 1977, her show at  Great Southern Music Hall in  Gainesville, Florida was recorded for a live album, which never was released until now. Arista Records, her label at the time, inexplicably decided to leave the tapes on the shelf rather than release them. Just released now to celebrate the 45th anniversary of this recording, the folks at Real Gone  Music and Second Disc Records have released this excellent album on two CDs.  Earlier that year, Manchester had toured opening for Leo Sayer. That fall, she undertook a headlining tour from whence this show originated. Manchester had a superb band with her and they excelled at every position.  It was a dynamit

Sleepless In Seattle Soundtrack (1993) & You've Got Mail Soundtrack (1998); Two Classic Romantic Comedies From Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks & Nora Ephron With Soundtracks Just ReIssued In Special Colored Vinyl Editions

  Gems From the Record Room You might think of Nora Ephron as an author, but she wrote film screenplays so well that when she had the opportunity to direct her own work, the result was a string of romantic comedies such as Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail . These movies were as successful at the box office as they were beloved by film audiences everywhere. In addition to (co-)writing and directing, Ephron was known to help with the song selection for the soundtracks. One of my favorite reissue labels, Real Gone Music, now offers the two LPs in special colored vinyl editions. These two soundtrack albums are perfect examples of Ephron's sensibility.  Sleepless In Seattle There are many ways to summarize the plot of this movie, but I will share a bit of the Real Gone press release for the soundtrack album. Indeed, the film re-introduced a whole new generation to the unique charms of Jimmy Durante with his renditions of “As Time Goes By” and “Make Someone Happy” over the o

Sasha Dobson - Girl Talk (2021); Dobson's Vocals and Compositions Join Peter Bernstein's Incredible Guitar To Set the Sixties On It's Ear to Make a Must Hear Jazz Album

  Photos: Courtesy of the artist They say that the best music towns are Nashville, Austin and New Orleans. I wouldn't argue the point except to add Los Angelos, Chicago and New York City to the list. A case could be made for NYC as the best music town of all. I've never had the pleasure of visiting The Big Easy, but I've been to all the others and I'm here to say that New York's volume of venues, of all stripes and sizes, has a lot going for it.  Back in the mid 1990s, I fell for a little group known as Once Blue and saw them play live a couple of times. Once Blue was composed of Jesse Harris and Rebecca Martin. You may know Harris from his work with Norah Jones and his Grammy winning composition "Don't Know Why." Once Blue only released one wonderful album before breaking up, but at the time I would have gone anywhere to see singer Rebecca Martin.  I think it was 1997 when I trekked up to NYC to see her at The Living Room's original Lower East Sid