The Brightnest

This week’s edition of The Yellow Light proGram took the smarts and ran with them:

A River Rising- Peppermoth
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Still Rising- Cave Curse
Sledging- Cave Curse
Cascade- Cave Curse

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Talk About It- Jungle
Feel It- Joon Moon Ft. Liv Warfield
U Try Livin’ (Pressure)- Black Guy White Guy x 808 BEACH

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Mr. Okra- Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
Big Energy- Pachyman
Cuss Cuss- Horace Andy Ft. Subatomic Sound System
Money- Horace Andy Ft. Irie Worryah
Kwame Nikumah Dub- Zion Train
Steve Biko Dub- Zion Train

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Ogou (Pran Ka Mwen)- Lakou Mizik & Joseph Ray

Jane Lee Hooker – Drive

Joined our family Jane Lee Hooker as they celebrated the release of “Drive”. They received rave reviews from fans and music press around the globe when they released “Jericho” in January 2021 – the band’s first new music since 2017. While Drive still retains Jane Lee Hooker’s signature blend of bluesy, rock ‘n’ roll soul that can be heard throughout their catalog, the song represents a bit of a sonic evolution. With last year’s COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing requirements in effect in NYC, the band found themselves locked out of their Brooklyn rehearsal room – the creative space where they write and rehearse with amps cranked up at maximum volume. Out of necessity, band catch-ups were moved to the grapevine- filled backyard of singer Dana Athens’ family home in Brooklyn – with tiny practice amps, acoustic guitars and drummer Ron Salvo keeping the beat on upturned plastic garbage cans and recycling bins. The first song to come out of those acoustic backyard sessions was Drive, with lyrics penned by Athens. “I was not intending to write about travel, the song is really about long-standing plans to see a friend and how you can still feel connected to someone no matter the distance between you.” She continues, “Lockdown made these friends seem even further away, so I guess the song also contains a bit of escapism and fantasy – wishing that you could be together.” Guitarist Tina Gorin adds “Not being able to see friends and family in any normal way during that period of time, hearing Dana sing those words really made the lyrics hit home.” Matt Chiaravalle (Joe Bonamassa, Warren Zevon, Courtney Love, Spacehog, Kittie) produced and mixed Drive, having previously worked with the band on their Jericho single as well as both Jane Lee Hooker full-lengths: “Spiritus” and “No B!” A new album will follow later this year – and singles “Drive” and “Jericho” are a first taste for fans of what’s to come.

Piece Of The Heart

The final portion of the proGram definitely comes at us with a whole lotta heart:

Stir it Up- Acute Inflections
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Get Down, Get Down- Nate Smith
Skip Step- Nate Smith & KINFOLK
***pre-recorded conversation with Nate Smith***
Bounce: PTS I & II- Nate Smith * KINFOLK
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Pick Up Your Burning Cross- Sons Of Kemet Ft. Moor Mother & Angel Bat Dawid
Charge It To The Game- Nathaniel Cross
Higher Dimensions- Charnett Moffett
Swinging In The Realms- Charnett Moffett

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Aquarius (Bring Her Back Home)- João Donato Adrian Younge Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Bonfire- FOCUSYEAR BAND 2021
Crash Landing- FOCUSYEAR BAND 2021

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****pre-recorded conversation with Isaiah Collier***
Part II. Humanity- Isaiah Collier & the Chosen Few

Food For Thoughts

The middle portion of this week’s proGram grew it itself:

Jerkwater Strut- Hot Mustard
S O S- True Loves
Robin’s Revenge- True Loves
While You Sleep (feat. Ev Jones)- The Bamboos
Nothing I Wanna Know About- The Bamboos

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Slipped Biscuit- Redtenbacher’s Funkestra Ft. Keith Carlock & Tucker Antell
Stars and Stripes, Chirps and Bleeps- Calibro 35
Artificial Black Moon- Calibro 35
Slap Chess- Dirk Quinn Band

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Give Me Time- Evolfo
Strange Lights- Evolfo
Marrakush- Electric Kif
F.B.M.- Electric Kif

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Big Burner- Three-Layer Cake

Climbers

The first part of this week’s proGram knew how to get to the top:

If You Haven’t Any Hay- John Townley
greenarrowradio promo- Rob Stone
Blow Fish Blow!- Rob Stone Ft. Elena Kato & Hiroshi Eguchi
She’s Gone- GA-20

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On Bended Knees- Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
Same Old Train- T-Model Ford
Sweet And Easy- Soledad Brothers
Good Feeling- Soledad Brothers
Souled Out On You- Robert Finley

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It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World- Patti Parks
***pre-recorded conversation with Patti Parks & Kenny Neal***
I’m Trouble- Patti Parks
No Means No- Patti Parks

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greenarrowradio promo- Donna Herula
Bang At The Door- Donna Herula
Too Many People- Travellin’ Blue Kings

Nate Smith & Kinfolk At Madison Jazz Festival

For nearly two decades, Nate Smith has been a key piece in reinvigorating the international music scene with his visceral, instinctive, & deep-rooted style of drumming. He holds a diverse & ample résumé, which includes work with esteemed jazz leading lights such as Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, José James, John Patitucci, Ravi Coltrane, and Somi among many others. His 2x GRAMMY-nominated debut album, KINFOLK: Postcards from Everywhere, sees Nate fusing his original modern jazz compositions with R&B, pop, & hip-hop. He’s also ventured into the pop/rock world with recent collaborations with Vulfpeck spinoff band The Fearless Flyers, Brittany Howard (of Alabama Shakes) & performances with songwriters Emily King and Van Hunt. In recent years, through a series of viral videos, he has emerged as one of the most influential & popular drummers of his generation. His videos have been viewed millions of times and have inspired countless musicians and fans. In September of 2018, he released his first ever solo drumset album Pocket Change. As a composer and arranger, Nate received two (2) GRAMMY nominations for his composition “Home Free (for Peter Joe)” for best instrumental composition & best arrangement (instrumental or a cappella).

I had the complete pleasure to share some of the cool with Nate about his upcoming trip into Madison to play at Breese Stevens Field as part of the 2021 Madison Jazz Festival. We get into the who and what KINFOLK of this stripped down version of the band will be sharing with us (including some not yet released material), the making/feeling “it” of the music toGether. We find out how important the ears are an instrument & we get into an artists relationship w/our mutual friend Laura Hanifin as a story telling/conceptual image-taker on his projects of then now and the future. Get into this one and feel summa that cool ooze off you too.

Photo by Laura Hanifin from Pocket Change Album: Waterbaby Music: 2018

Thin Place Aloha

Another edition of the Summer spin-off proGram THE YELLOW LIGHT and this one brought a thin place to get over there from here to:

Brouhaha- Christian McBride
ETQ- Charnett Moffett
We Regret to Inform You- Jalen Baker
Desejo De Amor- João Donato, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad

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Olduvai Gorge- Lunar Octet
Norm’s Nambo- Lunar Octet

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Blues For Mr. Hill- Roy Hargrove & Mulgrew Miller (live)
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Toque de Queda- Trio Nilo
Camel- Trio Nilo

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Vanishing Point- Skúli Sverrisson Ft. Bill Frisell
Hallucinations- Alex Conde Ft. John Santos, Jeff Chambers & Colin Douglas
Laughing Lion- Richard X Bennett

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Fewfully explore moments of the past, present, and, yes, even the future. The new album Cosmic Transitions is a Five-part suite that addresses interpersonal relationships during a Retrograde period. The recording of this project took place on September 23rd, 2020 at Rudy Van Gelder‘s legendary studio where greats like John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, and many other great musicians expressed what they felt in those moments. Isaiah Collier is a Chicago/Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, curator, activist, motivational speaker & educator. He is probably most known for his work as a saxophonist, and drummer with this group. His sound/approach is drawn from the influences of John Coltrane, Roscoe Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Ari Brown and Gene Ammons and he has shared the stage with many distinguished artists—Chance The Rapper, Lewis Nash, Waddada Leo Smith III, Junius Paul, James Carter, Rene Marie, Marquis Hill, Bennie Maupin, Rudy Van Gelder, Angel Bat Dawid, Kahil El’Zabar and many more. He is one of many bright stars from Chicago and will bring the Chosen Few to Madison on June 12th for two shows at Cafe Coda as part of the Madison Jazz Festival.

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few are heading into the festival on the heels of a fresh new music release. A release filled with a wide range of human emotions and musical possibility, Cosmic Transitions was crafted with the full intention to awaken those who hear it. Each part of the Suite weaves into the next. Not for the faint of heart, the album sets out to be a timestamp for before and after. Enjoy the journey. And enjoy our conversation about the upcoming event (who will be making the moments with us),the creation of these newest sonic adventures and the giving of and beyond the music.

Whole Nother World with Patti Parks & Kenny Neal

It is always nice to et introduced to a new artist. For me, the new album by blues/soul singer Patti Parks is my first ear meeting with her. She’s releasing a new album entitled Whole Nother World, which is produced by GRAMMY AWARD-nominated blues great Kenny Neal. Patti, a Buffalo, NY native and a Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee, is, as expected, really excited about the release of this collection of songs. Recorded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at Brookstown Recording Studios (Kenny Neal’s studio), Whole Nother World was released on May 28 on Mr. Neals’ Booga Music label. Along with producing the album, Mr. Neal arranged and also performs masterfully on it. A riveting live performer, Patti has a soulful, sensual voice that does immense justice to her uplifting blend of Chicago blues, Memphis soul and tasty funk.

I had the opportunity to cacth up with both Patti and Mr. Neal to dive in a little deeper into this fantastic new release. We get into the history of some of the songs, including a story of loss and regain. We learn both how Patti worked differently on this album that work previous, with her being in a whole new element Mr. Neal’s hometown and in his revered studio. It was also really fascination to get an idea of how Mr. Neal goes about creating, using his ears to see what the story is and how it gets to the place he might have heard it in his mind….legends do! Of course, there’s the music and then there’s the give back. Patti has been a working nurse and is creator of the Nurs’n Blues education program, which she developed to help high risk children at drug rehab centers, so we made sure to give some shout outs to this great work.