Counting Pebbles with Ben Rosenblum Nebula Project

Award-winning New York City jazz pianist & accordionist Ben Rosenblum has been described as “mature beyond his years,” (Sea of Tranquility), an “impressive talent” (All About Jazz), who “caresses [the music] with the reverence it merits” (Downbeat Magazine). Since the release of his debut trio album, Instead, Mr. Rosenblum has toured extensively with his trio & sextet throughout the United States, including multiple trips to the Northeast, Midwest, South & West Coast, as well as internationally in Canada, Europe & Japan. He was a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall’s Stern-Perelman Auditorium – with Reona Ito’s New York Harmonic Band – and has appeared at prestigious venues throughout the world, including at the Appel Room at Lincoln Center, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Ravinia, Himawari-No-Sato Concert Hall in Yokohama, Bird’s Eye in Basel and the Library of Congress. Rosenblum’s second trio album in 2018, River City, was called “richly romantic” and “well-realized” by JAZZIZ Magazine, which featured the title track as part of their Best of Fall 2018 CD. In 2020, he released his third album, Kites and Strings, which is the first to feature him on both piano & accordion alongside his new sextet, the Nebula Project. That year, the Nebula Project was voted runner-up for Best New Artist in JazzTimes’ Readers’ Poll. Most recently, Rosenblum released his fourth album, A Thousand Pebbles, in 2023. In May 2023, Mr. Rosenblum and the album were featured in a Downbeat Magazine article entitled “Worldly Jazz Adventuring.” He has been privileged to share the stage with many highly acclaimed jazz musicians, including extensive work with Curtis Lundy, Winard Harper, Deborah Davis & Chris Washburne, as well as appearances with Bobby Watson, Sean Jones, TS Monk, Warren Wolf, Eliot Zigmund, and many others. Rosenblum’s musical interests also extend beyond jazz to include work in numerous world music scenes, including musical styles from Brazil, Peru, Croatia, Bulgaria, India, Ireland, Jewish traditions and more.

I had the pleasure of catching up with Ben ahead of his July 14th show in Madison at The North Street Cabaret with Nebula Project. Ben was just about to head off to Europe to do another leg of a tour with the great Rickie Lee Jones. We spoke about what the people who head out on what I am sure will be a perfect evening in mid-July and get some Nebula Project in their world. We dove deep into the new record, ‘A Thousand Pebbles’ and got a peek behind the curtain a bit on how it went from those beGinning moments into a final product ready for ear consumption. We also spoke about his involvement in the Swiss vocalist, Gabriela Martina‘s striking new album ‘Homage to Grämlis and what was fresh and new for him with that work. And it wouldn’t be right if I let Ben go without trying to have him build a setlist. One thing I learned in my chat with him is that I think ‘d really like to spend a bunch of time listening to and talking about music with him. Maybe on the 14th?

Photo: Monica Witt

David Rudder at the Lincoln Center

From his humble teenage beginnings as a backup singer for the legendary Lord Kitchener to his majestic reign at The Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, over the course of a more than 50-year career as a composer, live musician and producer, Calypsonian maestro David Rudder has always proudly represented the beating heart of Trini culture. A designated recipient of the esteemed Order of the Caribbean Community and a UN Goodwill Ambassador, Rudder is perhaps best known for his massive 1988 hit, “Calypso Music,” which remains one of the genre’s most lasting and beloved songs. Rudder continues to musically experiment in collaboration with major artists, including Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, and Etienne Charles. I just could not miss (virtually) this opportunity to celebrate the King of Calypso’s 70th birthday bash, live at Damrosch Park and it was worth every momnet.

Green Stars For All

The final portion of this week’s proGram looked at things form the other side first.

En Busca- White Sun

THA KING- Meshell Ndegeocello Ft. Thandiswa
Vuma- Meshell Ndegeocello Ft. Joel Ross & Thandiswa
The Blues Reincarnated- Javier Nero Jazz Orchestra
Dizzy Who?- Steve Yeager

“D” Town- Javon Jackson
***pre-recorded conversation with Mr. Javon Jackson***
Brother G- Javon Jackson

One More Once- Anthony E Nelson Jr Ft. Kyle Koehler & Cecil Brooks III
Minor Chant- Anthony E Nelson Jr Ft. Kyle Koehler & Cecil Brooks III

It’s Animals- Kassa Overall
No It Ain’t- Kassa Overall Ft. Andrae Murchison
Absence- DJ Enki

Meeting Worlds

The middle portion of the proGram just tried to reach more of the community.

Sailin’ On- Bad Brains
I- Bad Brains
***pre-recorded conversation with Lori Carns Husdon***
Day Tripper / She’s a Rainbow- Bad Brains (Live)
Everything I Do- H.R. Ft. Nick Hexum

Blam Blam Ft Cheshire Cat Remix)- Richie Phoe & Kingston Express
This Time (Cheshire Cat Remix)- Richie Phoe & Kingston Express
Personal Jesus (Dub)- Dub Mode Ft. Joseph Holiday
Armagideon Time (Rob Smith Aka RSD – Onedrop Remix)- Seanie T. Meets Aldubb
Ninth Sun- Nevaris

Accra Electronica- African Head Charge & King Ayisoba
Saved from the Jazz (Spring)- Eje Eje
Peres- Yossi Fine & Ben Aylon

greenarrowradio promo- Zuco 103
Squid Inc.- Django Django
Monsour- Boom Pam
Eteretaco- Calibro 35

Milking SUM Weeds

The first part of this week’s proGram knew what was about to come out.

Bad = Woman = Bad- Arts Fishing Club

Bad Girl- Larry Taylor & the Taylor Family w/The Soul Blues Healers Ft. Demetria Taylor
You’re a Queen- D.K. Harrell w/Greaseland All-Stars
One for the Road- D.K. Harrell w/Greaseland All-Stars
Good Advice- Nic Clark
Sweet Honey Child- Billy the Kid & The Regulators

greenarrowradio promo- Arlen Roth
Shake- Arlen Roth & Jerry Jemmott Ft. Joe Louis Walker
Crusin’ Kansas City- Mile Bourne Band
Two Hearts- Mike Guldin and Rollin’ & Tumblin
Divin’ Duck Blues- Mike Guldin and Rollin’ & Tumblin Ft. Mikey Junior

Fortunate One- Joe Perry Ft. Chris Robinson
Quake- Joe Perry Ft. Gary Cherone

Zuma 85- Allah-Las

HR of Bad Brains and His Wife Lori

Paul D. Hudson, known professionally as H.R. (Human Rights),lead the hardcore punk band Bad Brains, and is an instrumental figure in the development of that genre (really its more of a undefined sonic community). His vocal delivery has been described as diverse, ranging from a rapid-fire nasal whine, to feral growling & vast screeches, to smooth near-crooning or staccato reggae rhymes. He has departed that band periodically to pursue solo efforts that are more reggae than Bad Brains’ punk type sound. H.R. and his Bad Brains bandmates became Rastafari around 1979 after attending a Bob Marley concert at the Capitol Center. This spiritual direction influenced the music of Bad Brains via his vocals, and inspired the creation of his reggae band, Human Rights (or H.R.). Although reggae is the focus of his solo material, he often has explored rock and other musical genres as well. Interviews with H.R. feature prominently in the 2006 documentary American Hardcore, in which he discusses the early days of the hardcore scene in New York City & Washington D.C., and his association with peers like Minor Threat & the Cro-Mags. In particular, he recalls encouraging Ian MacKaye to fully articulate Minor Threat’s emerging straight edge philosophy, to give young people a positive direction. As depicted in the 2012 documentary Bad Brains: A Band in D.C., H.R.’s behavior, such as wearing a motorcycle helmet during a performance and refusing to sing, caused some friction with other members of the band. In late 2016, the film Finding Joseph I: The HR From Bad Brains Documentary premiered in Europe and the United States. Directed by James Lathos, the documentary features interviews with H.R., as well as other musicians, peers, & family member, while chronicling his life, struggles, & philosophies.

There are not enough words to keep adding to the influence H.R. had one so many people, myself included. I believe and would credit him with being one of the people that helped open my mind’s ear to allow more diverse sounds to clash into one another. Something I try and continue to do every day. Many know about H.R.’s behaviors on and off stage, his mental conditions untreated and treated and some know about the long years of thoughts shattering headaches he suffers from, and how surgery years ago helped, but like may things, they came back with attitude. I was lucky enough to get a little time with Lori Carns Hudson, H.R.’s wife, to talk about these headaches and the obvious toll(s) they have taken on a life and a career of someone many know via name/video/legend/. We also get an idea what Lori does daily to try and ease the times, keep things moving forward (when tours get canceled & creative opportunities are less soften) and care for H.R.. These are sometimes the people that get forgotten in the shuffle of the suffering. Lori shares some info on a brand new single featuring Nick Hexum of 311 and potential album in the Fall. What we really learn is that help is what is also needed from the community, a hard thing to ask for, but a recognizable truth. Here’s a place to go to be a part of that community. Lori has also started a blog about excruciating pain & caregiver fatigue.

Photos used with Lori’s permission

With Peter Bradley From Javon Jackson

Javon Jackson was raised in Denver, Colorado and chose saxophone at the age of 10. At age 16 he switched from alto to tenor and later enrolled at the University of Denver before spending part of 1985–86 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He left Berklee in 1986 to join Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he later played alongside pianist Benny Green, trumpeter Philip Harper, trombonist Robin Eubanks & bassist Peter Washington. Mr. Jackson remained a fixture in the Jazz Messengers until Blakey’s passing in 1990. In 1991, Javon made his recording debut with Me and Mr. Jones, FT. James Williams, Christian McBride, & master drummer Elvin Jones. He joined Jones’ group in 1992, appearing on the great drummer’s albums Youngblood & Going Home. His 1994 Blue Note debut, When the Time Is Right, was a straight-ahead affair produced by iconic jazz vocalist/bandleader Betty Carter. His subsequent 4 recordings for the Blue Note label through the ‘90s were produced by Craig Street and featured wildly eclectic programs ranging from Caetano Veloso, Frank Zappa & Santana to Muddy Waters, Al Green & Serge Gainsbourg. His subsequent 4 recordings for the Palmetto label had him exploring a blend of funk, jazz & soul with such stellar sidemen as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, guitarists Mark Whitfield & David Gilmore, trombonist Fred Wesley and drummer Lenny White. In 2012, Javon released a potent tribute to a towering influence, Celebrating John Coltrane, his inaugural release on his Solid Jackson Records which featured the venerable drummer and former Coltrane collaborator Jimmy Cobb. He followed later in 2012 with Lucky 13, which featured the great soul-jazz keyboardist Les McCann and included a mellow instrumental rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing along with a version of McCann’s 1969 hit, Compared to What. That same remarkably productive year, Jackson was the recipient of the prestigious Benny Golson Award from Howard University in Washington, D.C. for recognition of excellence in jazz. Jackson’s debut on the Smoke Sessions label, 2014’s Expression, was a live quartet recording from the Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in Upper Manhattan. On February 18, 2022, Javon released, The Gospel According to Nikki Giovanni, his 5th album for his Solid Jackson Records label.

Along comes 2023, and it is now time for the With Peter Bradley Soundtrack & Original Score via Solid Jackson Records. The record features Jackson’s stellar quartet with pianist Jeremy Manasia, bassist David Williams & drummers McClenty Hunter or Charles Goold, with guest trumpeter Greg Glassman. Jackson’s gift for musical portraiture is evident in the score, which nods to some of Bradley’s favorite jazz icons – including Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Jackson’s former employer, Art Blakey – while vibrantly capturing the moods and personalities of the film and its subject. I had the opportunity to catch up with friend of the proGram, Mr. Javon Jackson to dive into this new release. With the Peter Bradley Soundtrack & Original Score, we find the acclaimed sax-man composing his first original film score for this art world documentary that he has a close relationship with. We find out how Art Blakey introduced Javon to abstract artist Peter Bradley and they’ve been friends ever since. of course, when he was asked to compose an original musical score for the documentary, he was honored and inspired. We get deep into the process of making this score/album, the relationships between the film and the music and the stories of the people it tells. We get really in depth on the man behind the film as it paints an image of the man behind the ideas. After catching the documentary finally, I can say that the stories the music tells, certainly seems to jive with the style of rhythms & inspirations that an outsider like me miGht think Mr. Bradley enjoys walking to. I am honored to be a part of spreading these conversations with all forms of art that speak to me. Another cool part is how we will figure out how t get Javon back to Madison to hanG with his pal MISTER Richard Davis, play a show and get a chill in with ‘Doc” G.

Fading Into Summer

The final part of this week’s proGram was bright in line with the way SUM felt.

Stop the Rot- WITCH

Parsley Disco- Baharat
The Egyptian- Baharat
Royal- Boom Pam
Lava Tongue- Boom Pam
Angizia- Psyché
Amma- Psyché

C’est Si Bon- Say She She
A Better Woman- Cole Williams

The Formula- Kool Keith Ft. Ice T. & Marc Live

On the Way- Kuna Maze
A Bad Attitude- African Head Charge
Interference- Nevaris

Rise Up When Coming Down

The middle part of this week’s proGram had SUM spots where the warmth filled.

Bored Folks- Todd Clouser’s The Mexico City Experiment Ft. Orestes Gomez, Last Jerónimo & Erik Deutsch
De Buche- Todd Clouser’s The Mexico City Experiment Ft. Orestes Gomez, Last Jerónimo & Erik Deutsch
Cissy Strut- Marc Ciprut
Shaggy- Marc Ciprut

Bird Song- Dave McMurray

Congo- Fareed Haque
***pre-recorded conversation with Fareed Haque***
Estamos Aqui Interlude- Fareed Haque
Fi Non Bois- Fareed Haque Ft. UGOCHI

Clear Water- Meshell Ndegeocello Ft. Justin Hicks, Deantoni Parks, Jeff Parker
Towers- Meshell Ndegeocello Ft. Joel Ross
The Score Was Made- Kassa Overall Ft. Vijay Iyer
Going Up- Kassa Overall Ft. Lil B, Shabazz Palaces & Francis and the Lights

Splash of Grown

The 1st part of this week’s proGram went from that to this with SUM pizzaz.

I Must Be In A Good Place Now- Seth Walker
I Wanna Wish- Dean Mueller
Happy Wonderland- Malcolm Holcombe
Tall Cool One- Thomas Lauderdale

Days Move Slow- Bully
My Gift- .decker

Old Soul- Stephen Marley
Kwanumkwanu- Keturah
Samala- Keturah

Out of My Head- Secret Night Gang
Cuchito- Kiltro
Ella Duerme- Armando Perez

Fareed Haque Group Brings Casseus To Madison

A modern guitar virtuoso and friend of the proGram, Fareed Haque, is steeped in classical & jazz traditions. His unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition & fearless innovation. Fareed’s been busy performing & recording with his trio featuring legendary B3 virtuoso, Tony Monaco, his own trio and jazz quartet, as well as his larger world music group, the Flat Earth Ensemble ands so many other projects that slide under the radar. In 2009 he was voted ‘Best World Guitarist’ by Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers’ poll. His acclaimed 2009 release, Flat Planet, was twice #1 on the World Jazz Radio charts. After 10 years of over 2000 dates with Garaj Mahal, his interest in electronic music and the Moog Guitar spurred him to leave Garaj Mahal and form Fareed Haque’s MathGames featuring bassist, Alex Austin, and drummer, Greg Fundis. “New Latin American Music for Guitar and String Quartet,” was picked by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune as one of the top releases of 2018. In addition, the release was chosen as Downbeat Magazine Editor’s Pick in 2018. The critically acclaimed “Out of Nowhere” featuring drummer, Billy Hart, and bassist, George Mraz, The Flat Earth Ensemble’s latest release, Trance Hypothesis, and The Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque release, Furry Slippers, reached the top 10 in Jazz Radio Airplay. Some more recent projects include artistic directorship of numerous jazz festivals, performances with Tony Monaco, Paquito D’Rivera, Vijay Iyer, pundit Vikku Vinacrayam, long-anticipated reunion concerts with Garaj Mahal, concerts in India, a return to Java Jazz, concerts, and teaching in China. 2019 was a busy year, as Haque retired from 30 years at Northern Illinois University to accommodate extended tours with Cobham, Goran Ivanovic, and his own groups. Highlights included The Montreux Jazz Festival with Cobham, and appearances with his own groups at The Bluenote Beijing, Louisville, & Minneapolis Guitar Festivals, among others. New recordings with his own group and with Goran Ivanovic are scheduled to release soon under the legendary Delmark Label. Fareed continues to record and tour extensively along with documenting his unique teaching methods in a series of best selling interactive video courses through TrueFire. It goes on! Here we are in 2023 after some weird times, and Fareed Haque and his group have something new and exciting for us to bring with us throughout of journey. CASSEUS!.

I had the chance to catch up with Fareed ahead of the June 30th show at The North Street Cabaret. We got into the scene that is going to unfold as we join in toGether to share in this special vinyl record release party and show for this exiting new release – CASSEUS!. Just listening to Fareed describe the liner notes and foreword as well as the art of the album cover and all that physical holdings stuff was thrilling. We spoke about how he got to know Frantz Casseus‘ music through Marc Ribot, who studied under Frantz Casseus and also has a project of his music. Mr. Casseus, perhaps best known for work he did with the legend, Harry Belafonte, like ‘Day-O’ & ‘Merci Bon Dieu’, certainly had his own feel for his sounds. Fareed gleefully talks about how soaking this music in took his mind to just how he and the group could become the orchestra behind a new sound of this music and some of the feelings it created within him. There is no way to talk about this album (and the original music) without mentioning the rhythms and grooves and just how that has already been digested in a live setting at Millennium Park in Chicago, and how people were able to get their ‘thang’ on with what could be considered more of cerebral music(?). It was fascinating to hear mention of Fareed’s style and guitars – a little about his kids hearing the Haitian grooves for the first time and how they responded – that personal touch is what makes your radio a true friend. Speaking of that, we did make mention of our mutual pal UGOCHI, who makes an appearance on Casseus on the beautiful & challenging track, ‘Fi Nan Bois’, which aptly closes the album out. She is a member of a group Fareed leads known as Chicago Immigrant Orchestra. Hope to see you on the 30th for some body opening music to free your minds and spirt. (oh and there will be vinyl to get autographed, too)

Is Is Alive

The final part of this week’s proGram made it good to feel in a certain way.

Rust- Yussef Dayes Ft. Tom Misch
Still Ain’t Find Me- Kassa Overall Ft. Tomoki Sanders, Bendji Allonce, Mike King & Ian Finklestein
Maybe We Can Stay- Kassa Overall Ft. J. Hoard
Enough Is Enough- Woxow Ft. Azeem

SOY- TribalMixtura
No Time to Snooze- Mr. Confuse

By The Time You Realize- WITCH
Unimvwesha Shuga- WITCH Ft. Hanna Tembo & Theresa Ng’ambi
Passing Clouds- African Head Charge
Disruption- Nevaris

Swan Song- The Mexico City Experiment
Candela- Flamenco Passion Ft. Mikkel Nordsø, Bjarke Falgren & Mathias Heise
Pente xronia dikasmenos- Dimitris Papageorgiou

Drip Droppin’ In

The middle part of this week’s proGram came in as it just feel fell in.

Profusion- Don Braden
Master Blaster (Jammin’)- Don Braden
Do It Again- Paul Litteral

Ode to Spring- Bruno Råberg
Mi Wa Se- Gretchen Parlato & Lionel Loueke Ft. Marley Guiliana & Burniss Travis
If I Knew- Gretchen Parlato & Lionel Loueke Ft. Burniss Travis & Mark Guiliana
Georgia Ave.- Meshell Ndegeocello Ft. Joshua Johnson
Omnipuss- Meshell Ndegeocello

Curtain Call (Knozz-Moe-King -C Jam Blues)- Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (live)

***pre-recorded conversation w/artist John Himmelfarb***

Kerosene- Kiltro
Samosa- Kuna Maze
Smoke Break- Kuna Maze

The Cruise Rider

The first part of this week’s proGram had itself a way about it.

Bits and Pieces- Malcolm Holcombe
Burn One Now- Dean Mueller
Pray For Rain- Nat Myers

greenarrowradio promo- Joan Jett
If You’re Blue- Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
Still a Pawn- TSIGOTI
Climate Climax- TSIGOTI

Crazy Fingers- Dave McMurray
Bar 55- Jeff Richman
King Tang- SexMob
You Can Take a Myth- SexMob Ft. Vijay Iyer

Synchronicity I- Hazelrigg Brothers
At Last- George Coleman (live at Smalls)

Outdoor Mobile Orchestra – Madison Make Music Day

John Himmelfarb is an American artist, known for idiosyncratic, yet modernist-based work across many media. His diverse influences ranging from Miró, Matisse & Picasso to Dubuffet, New York school artists like de Kooning, Guston, and Pop artists inform his work, described by critics and curators as chaotically complex and tightly constructed. He often employs energetic, gestural line, dense patterns of accumulated shapes, and fluid movement between figuration & abstraction, using strategies of concealment and revelation to create a sense of meaning that is both playful & elusive. His work is also unified by “a circulating library” of motifs and organizing structures, such as geographic and urban mapping, abstracted natural and industrial forms, and language systems. One of the things he is fond of as a subject is trucks. His “Trucks” series represents a most improbable journey. It began unexpectedly one day after seeing a Dubuffet painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. Dubuffet employed a liquid black line over a multicolored background that electrified Mr. Himmelfarb. He immediately went to his studio to emulate the graphic impact on an “Inland Romance” painting. When a crane-like form emerged, he drew what appeared to be a truck below it. In the next painting, Avion (2004), he dispensed with the crane and only a truck appeared. A new series was born which would expand to include drawings (many on old library catalogue cards), prints, & sculpture employing ceramics, wood, cast iron, steel, and eventually, 25-foot, drivable assemblages incorporating actual trucks, that critics have described collectively as whimsical, formally inventive. Curators would bring together this eclectic work in the touring museum exhibit, “Trucks” (2014–6). While he initially focused on two-dimensional works that bore the influence of Dubuffet & Guston, after a 2007 residency at the Kohler Arts Center “Arts in Industry” program he felt enabled to seriously explore three-dimensional work. He began casting molten-like, expressionistic trucks that were sometimes indistinguishable from their freight, such as Greek Opera & Bird in Hand. In 2008, he made a huge leap, acquiring a 1946 International KB-1 pickup truck, along with a host of found objects—steel barrels, equipment, tools, pipes—that he welded together and painted stop-sign red to create the assemblage, Conversion. He followed with Galatea (2010), a work more essential in its forms and drivable, and later, with the widely traveled Penelope Awaiting Her Chamberlain (2013), a mobile work using a 1946 Chevrolet farm truck that references the mythological Penelope and assemblage sculptor John Chamberlain. Despite their more literal references, Himmelfarb’s “Trucks” function much like his other work, freely shifting from familiar to strange, functional to artistic, industrial to whimsical, with the trucks serving largely as “carriers” of form (colors and shapes) and meaning (stand-ins representing human qualities reflected in titles such as Charity, Dedication, or Forbearance).

I had the great opportunity to chat with Mr. Himmelfarb ahead of the Outdoor Mobile Orchestra event he and his two interactive “truck” sculptures as part of Madison Make Music Day, June 21st at Café CODA. John and I get into the impromptu nature of this special Make Music Day event and how for this get toGether, he has something brand new attached to one of the sculptures for a brand new sonic experience. I mean, people can drum on and play these trucks items to find the rhythms and vibrations of that moment.. Find out what he has in store for us on the 21st here in Madison and how people can plan on actually interacting and creating with this. We talk about how this process got started for him and where it has taken him along the way as he saw his idea form into a true entity. Check out a lot more insights and participation in the project here. We got into the moments just before he puts that final bead on with a masterful weld, and what goes into making that final decision. This man is quite the prolific artist and music has been a part of his life and while he ended up on a unique path, I am thankful the exploration of sound in such a thoughtful and creative way has been shared for all to share in. With that said, John and I talk about the ‘smile factor’ for him as this and other events see his idea(s) turned into a cool, useable creative space being explored, examined and inspiring. I think this is what it’s all about and hope to see some or many of you seeing just how to express ourselves with this interactive art.

photograph of KB-3 by Kathy Moens; photograph of John with KB-3 by Rick Graves

In The Heart

The final part of this week’s proGram had me wondering what’s in some people’s veins.

I Like It, I Love It- Silky Steps
Ben Yehuda- Hoodna Orchestra
Iron Tusk- Whatitdo Archive Group
Beyond The Crimson Veil- Whatitdo Archive Group

Fuck Yeah- Léon Phal
Without You- The Sextones
Shout It Out- The Ready-Mades

In Between Thoughts…A New World- Rodrigo y Gabriela
***pre-recorded conversation with Gabriela Quintero***
Descending To Nowhere- Rodrigo y Gabriela
The Ride Of The Mind- Rodrigo y Gabriela

Left Right Here- Jeff Richman

Looking On Out

The middle part of the proGram had its feelers out and finding.

Imidiwan Mahitinam- Tinariwen
Arajghiyine- Tinariwen Ft. Daniel Lanois
Stalker- Valia Calda
Towards the Sun (Original Vocal Mix)- Greenwood & Horn

Freedom- Ranky Tanky (Live at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival)
**pre-recorded conversation w/Quentin E. Baxter of Ranky Tanky***

Good Time- Ranky Tanky

Running Away- Thee Sacred Souls
Chief Got a New Suit- The Rumble & Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr. (Live at the Maple Leaf Bar)
Make America Love Again- Phillip Lassiter
Sugar Coat Me- Phillip Lassiter

Eilat 22- Sababa 5
Elifelet 23- Sababa 5
In Your Corner- Pale Jay
On The Hook- Misha Panfilov

Getting Ready To Join

The first part of this week’s proGram clicked Mother Nature’s join button and is awaiting entrance in.

Night Fever #4- Savile Row Ft. Chubb Rock, Open Mike Eagle, & Milyssa Rose
Leaving The Light- Genesis Owusu
Me First (UNIIQU3 Remix)- Kari Faux
Blueprint- Woxow Ft. Raashan Ahmad
Enough Is Enough- Woxow Ft. Azeem (Luke Beats Remix)

Inspiring Light (Vocal Edit)- Phosphorus
Alma De Bruja- YBU

Ire- Ralph Alessi Quartet
Hypnagogic- Ralph Alessi Quartet
Walkin’ Up- Bill Evans
Tonologue- Mark Dresser

Blues for Ochún- Benjamin Lapidus
I’ll Remember Compadre Pedro Juan in April- Benjamin Lapidus
Hitori Kaze- Meiko Kaji

Making Sure

Did an extra pre-show proGram, just to make sure.

Spain- Joe Deninzon & Stratospheerius Ft. Rachel Flowers & Alex Skolnick (live from PROGSTOCK)

Hot Barbecue- Towner Galaher Organ Trio (live)
I’m Walkin’- Towner Galaher Organ Trio (live)

I’m Going- C Bone
Someone Else Is Steppin’ In- Mississippi MacDonald Ft. Benny Turner
greenarrowradio promo- Skylar Rogers
Them Bugs- Graham Parker & The Goldtops Ft. The Lady Bugs
Mr. King- The Bablers


Ke Nako- Bokani Dyer Ft. Sereetsi and the Natives
Québec- Moustafa Kouyaté & Romain Malagnoux
ATLAS (Sloth Rave Version)- KAYAM

Ranky Tanky with very special guest Ms. Lisa Fischer

Ranky Tanky, a two-time Grammy Award winning, Charleston, SC-based quintet, performs timeless music born from the Gullah culture of the southeastern Sea Islands. Gullah is a culture that originated among descendants of enslaved Africans in the Lowcountry region of the US Southeast. Their debut album, ‘Ranky Tanky’, was released in October 2017. By the week of February 10, 2018, it was listed number one in the Billboard jazz charts, a position it held for two weeks. For their album ‘Good Time’, the band won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Now we are in 2023, and they just won a second Grammy in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category, for ‘Live at the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’. The name “Ranky Tanky” comes from a Gullah expression roughly translated as ‘get funky.’ The overall goal of the group was/is to create a contemporary interpretation of the Gullah musical vocabulary to share with the world, while remaining true to the pared-down, working-class attitude of the songs.

I had the chance to catch up with Drummer/Producer for Ranky Tanky, Mr. Quentin Baxter ahead of folks in Madison preparing to celebrate Juneteenth and the final day of the 2023 Madison Jazz Festival. On June 18th in Shannon Hall at The Wisconsin Union Theater, we will be treated with jazz-influenced arrangements of traditional Gullah music performed by two-time Grammy-winning Ranky Tanky and featured singer from Oscar-winning film “20 Feet from Stardom”, Ms. Lisa Fischer. Ms. Fischer is known for her remarkable vocal range and vocabulary, singing soul, jazz, rock, gospel, pop, folk and classical with equal facility and authority. Quintin and I get into some of the ins and out of the amazing uniqueness of this upcoming event with Ms. Fischer in Madison. We dive into the creation and ideas behind their latest and first ever live album, (the recent Grammy winning album) which was captured during their debut at the iconic New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival last year. The bottom line seemed to really be that live is really what they do, and the album proves it, but so will this set in Madison. Quentin and I both guarantee that many, if not all the ‘feels’ can and will be felt when live music from Ranky Tanky is involved, and if you don’t bring the right shoes, just kick off the ones you have and let it all out. Before letting him go, I did pick his brain about what perhaps medley of Ranky Tanky songs he’d put into a setlist for the listeners and what he may round that set out with. It is always interesting to hear what people are thinking about when it comes to building a playlist. So, let’s prepare to ‘get funky”.

The lineup for the event at the Madison Jazz Fest:

Lisa Fischer, Guest Vocalist
Quentin Baxter, Drums and Percussion
Kevin Hamilton, Bass
Quiana Parler, Vocalist
Clay Ross, Guitar and Vocals
Charlton Singleton, Trumpet and Vocals