Category Archives: NYC

Sensai Badu: I Understand The Game

Resonating truth by way of Erykah Badu on VH1’s Soul Stage performance.  Here she shares the story behind “The Other Side of the Game” which she wrote shortly after signing with Universal.

I already had this album done and I was trying to decide what label I was going to share MINE with, you know what I’m saying?  I was trying to make a business deal, I was going into a venture with somebody.

Because I know what music is worth.  The value of the entertainer, the star, the energy, the soul that we have.

When I got the record deal, I said I want to work with this group called The Roots.

(He) was like “Who is The Roots?”

“Don’t worry about it.  Just get me on the train to Philly and I’ll be back.”

-Erykah Badu

New Pup Video — please stop yelling at me!

Right, right, right.  I’ve had pathetic video malfunctions of late.  I’m not doing this on purpose.  I promise.  I find videos.  I share videos.  Videos disappear from Internet and make me look like a douche.  I am aware, and seeking to remedy the situation.

In the meantime, please to enjoy this BRAND SPANKING NEW Snarky Puppy video courtesy of my Google Alert.  I will continue my endeavor to properly post the “Quarter Master” video from the Jefferson Center.  Then you can stop calling me a tease and we can all have a nice listen.

I’ll be reporting from New Orleans this weekend — home at last after two solid months in Denton (God help me).  I’ll be spending a good chunk of July there, until we’re all covered in oil.  Then I’ll bounce between DFW and New York for the fall.  Lots to talk about, more to listen to.

Come play with us, New York

Ganglin' through the streets of New York (you know how I do). Photo by Michal Garcia

Tuesday is going to be a very big day for me.

My not-so-quiet small town, Denton, will play host to two extraordinary young artists setting fire to the New York jazz scene.  You can’t get much hotter than Ambrose Akinmusire, as far as I’m concerned.  Since discovering him at the NYC Winter Jazz Fest this year, I find myself listening in on the space inherent to breath and brass and hearing so much more than I have before.  Taylor Eigsti, from what I gather, is some sort of piano angel.  I missed his set with Nick Peyton, but still had a few chance sightings, most notably when he played with Gretchen Parlato.  I was fascinated by the chemistry of the band, especially the apparently elated pianist.  He was having a great time!  So we all joined in.

You can imagine my anticipation, then, to be welcoming these two firecrackers to my lil ole club, Cold Fusion.  This is all the doing of one Brian Girley —  a self-driven bandleader, talented saxophonist and UNT alum.  Brian invited the guys down to play two nights with a slew of North Texas’ emerging musicians — this includes Yuka Tadano, quite possibly the hottest chick bass player in existence; and Jason “JT” Thomas who has played with everyone from Roy Hargrove to Marcus Miller and has the smoothest voice of any drummer I’ve seen (he is likewise responsible for my introduction to D’Angelo and I therefore owe him a drink).  This dynamic quintet will be performing a very special two night engagement in Denton — if you are so compelled to hear the bleeding edge of living jazz, I do hope you can join us.

Wednesday night’s show at Hailey’s will feature sets by two young acts just starting to make waves through the North Texas jazz scene.  Tatiana Mayfield— our very own Josephine Baker, as saucy as she is talented — will have her Quintet on hand.  They’ve been gathering a steady following from Fort Worth’s underground scene with regular gigs at Scat Jazz Lounge and Buttons, while Tatiana has picked up notable mentions from Downbeat and All About Jazz.

Here she is in full recital regalia:

Wednesday’s show will also include Roberto Verastegui‘s group — the Grammy nominated One O’Clocker has been touring the globe (while going through the North Texas Jazz program, no less) with his inventive styling and decidedly personal inflection.  I must say, his playing reminds me very much of Bill Laurance (maybe it’s the Nord face, maybe the kicky knees, you decide).

Here’s Roberto with yet another hot bass player, Linda Oh.

Needless to say, I am just beside myself about these shows.  I will try my best to keep my Jazz Geek fits to a minimum (I held my own when we were all playing pool with Lyle Mays a couple months ago, but just barely).  The good thing is that since the shows are in Denton, there will almost always be someone jazz geekier than me somewhere nearby (though that may be up for debate at this point).

See you Tuesday!