Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins: ”There Will Never Be Another You” Live in Denmark 

Saying that Sonny Rollins had a ”great” seven decade long career is an understatement. Rollins is not only one of the most significant jazz musicians in music, but he is a living inspiration and amazing composer who has received accolades such as the National Medal of Arts , Polar Music Prize, multiple Honorary Doctor of Music awards, and elected to the American Academy of Arts of Sciences. Yet, it is not just the awards that represent just how astonishing Rollins’ career has been. Even if Rollins was not as recognized or given so many awards, his music’s quality is momentous and exceptional. Whether he was a saxophonist creating music for Blue Notes Records, Okeh Records, Prestige, RCA, or any other recording company…his compositions will forever be rich jazz standards that are a part of music history since the late 1940’s. Thank you Mr. Sonny Rollins.  Here is one of my favorite performances/song from live in Denmark, 1965, ” There Will Never Be Another You.”

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Image result for sonny rollins

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Boogie Down Bronx:Classic Photography

1520 Sedgwick Avenue and D.J Kool Herc are names forever synonymous with a part of the origins of rap music. In 1973 on August 11th, Kool Herc hosted a back to school party for his sister at the recreation room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue apartment building. At the community house party, he introduced a technique that involved two turntables, a mixer, two copies of the same record, and playing another song at the beginning or middle of the record while focusing on ”the break” in each one. With D.J Kool Herc presenting his technique, his friend Coke La Rock began to rap and many legendary rappers like Afrika Bambaataa and Grand Master Flash all claimed to have witnessed this historic significant event in music history. In honor of The Boogie Down Bronx, here are some truly amazing and influential photos that shows why  The Boogie Down Bronx will always be considered a birthplace of the rhythmic poetic art we call Hip Hop.

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John Coltrane’s Blue Train: A Classic Revisited

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John Coltrane’s 1958 released album Blue Train is one of his gems that is both timeless and significant in any era. Not only was the label Blue Note Records a legendary & important part of music history, but it is Coltrane’s brilliance playing the tenor saxophone, Lee Morgan on the trumpet, Curtis Fuller’s trombone skills, Kenny Drew playing the piano, Paul Chambers on base, and Philly Joe Jones as the drummer that completes this album in such a compelling manner . The album was produced by Blue Notes Records co-founder Alfred Lion and Coltrane wrote nearly all of the music, with Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern writing the song ”I’m Old Fashioned.” The album has two sides, which includes ”Moments Notice” and my personal favorite ”Blue Train” on side one. Side two includes ”Locomotion”, ”I’m Old Fashioned”, and ”Lazy Bird”.  In 1997, alternate take bonus tracks were released of ”Lazy Bird” and ”Blue Train”. This was only Coltrane’s second solo album & although it is considered ”Hard Bop”, I think all of his music is beyond just one specific genre. Of course, not long after releasing Blue Train, Coltrane would go on to create an album that was chosen as one of the 50 recordings picked by The Library of Congress & added to the National Recording Registry…the groundbreaking & innovative classic Giant Steps.

 

 

Gordon Parks Photography: Some of My Favorites

Gordon Parks is not only one of my favorite photographer- artists, but he is also an icon that has captured some of the most memorable photos for legendary magazines like Life and has directed classics like Shaft. Each and every one of these photographs describes a story, a time, and a place that are all historic in some specific way. Here are some of my favorite Gordon Parks photographs.

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80s Fresh: The Classic Jamel Shabazz Photo Collection

Jamel Shabazz, a fashion/fine art/documentary photographer created a book called Back in The Day in 2001, and this photography book has some of the best photos of everyday people in the 80s. His other amazing photography books includes A Time Before Crack, Alex Fakso, & The Last Sunday In June. The significance of these classic photographs are a major part of fashion, culture, music, lifestyle, and art. These people were living and a part of a golden era and innovative time in music and lived in New York City, a place that is home to Boogie Down Bronx/ 1520 Sedgwick Avenue. If anyone loves old school rap and knows it’s history/birthplace, then those locations/references are significant and means a lot when it comes to music history/culture. It is interesting seeing photos of everyday people who were in the midst of it all. Here are just some of my favorites.

Ain’t No Half Steppin-Big Daddy Kane’s Classic Revisited

The Golden Era included legendary rappers like this one. Big Daddy Kane not only created classic songs like ”Ain’t No Half Steppin” and ”Raw”, but he is also a man whose style/hair cut is often imitated and the inspiration behind many popular looks.  Classic rap (80s and 90s) & the culture/trends of these eras will never get old or go out of style.

J. Edgar Hoover Deemed Them The Greatest Threat: Vintage Footage of Black Panther Party’s Youth Learning Centers *Edited*

J. Edgar Hoover once called the Black Panther Party for Self Defense ”the greatest threat to the internal security of this country”. Um,okay. At first I was looking at this quote from just one angle, but if you think about it they stood for a lot of things that many Americans with a mindset like Hoover did not want. So, they were a threat but definitely not a negative/bad one. One definition of ”internal security” means upholding the national law and defending against internal security threats. Yet when I analyze Hoover’s quote, what he really meant was ”keeping the order of things the same way”  and not acting, disturbing, or speaking out against unfair mistreatment/ racism in our society. The Black Panther Party were not about being racist or spreading a hateful message, but they believed in being revolutionary/rebellious concerning the mistreatment/societal issues in our country. In Hoover’s mind this was a great threat to our country’s internal security. Of course, just like all other organizations there were some members who were not really for the party’s cause, however the Black Panther Party were doing great things in the community like helping children learn, get healthy breakfasts, and basically following a belief that is totally fine with me and makes a lot of sense: Self Defense. The problem is, since they were black, armed, and speaking out against the horrible things happening on a mass mainstream level to African Americans and other minority groups….it was a problem. They were a younger generation who did not want to necessarily follow Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s method ,had revolutionary mindsets, and this was threatening to many. Unfortunately and sadly, COINTELPRO  and other illegal projects caused total destruction to the Black Panther Party, which included assassinating people like Fred Hampton, harassment, and etc.  This video is a great example of how The Black Panther Party For Self Defense had learning centers and positive resources in inner city communities. But nevertheless, Hoover said this was the greatest threat to the internal security of our country. I wonder why.

On A Ragga Tip Classic: The Art of 90s Electronic/Dance Culture

Here is a perfect example of the vibe/style of classic 90s electronic/dance music that was popular years ago. However, for those of us who love 90s electronic music, then music like this will always be current. Whether they called it big beat, breakbeat, hardcore, rave, triphop, dance or whatever….the 90s had some of the best electronic music that has ever been created.

The Art Of Sarcasm In Songs: Two Examples of Songs With Thought Provoking Lyrics To Analyze

   

Both of these songs have a good message, but the way they say it is in a sarcastic way to mock and make you think. Here are the lyrics, which, is the best way to further understand the art and inspiration behind sarcastic/irony filled songs that are actually positive songs.

Christion Full of Smoke

But let us leave these two young men
To sit and reflect on the fate of the world
For life as we know it my brotha, must go on
And so the hustlers continue to hustle
And the playa’s continue to play

I’m the man today
Can’t nobody tell me nothin’
Got a hold on life
I’m takin’ each day by day being strong
Know just where I’m going to

As I get higher and higher
Dreams grow, visions flow by
This is as good as it gets
As I take another hit, suga
I can’t stop, I won’t stop

‘Cuz I’m too cool
And what they say is true
Ooh, I’m full of smoke
‘Cuz I’m too cool
And what they say is true
Ooh, I’m full of smoke

Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down

And all the day time just passes by me slowly
But I’m alright, you’ll see
Faces and places catching different cases
True runners it’s glorified

Same situation, nothin’ ever changes
Just being a bona fide hustler
Hustler, baby, from day to night
Business is as good as it gets
As I take another hit, honey
I won’t stop, I won’t stop

‘Cuz I’m too cool
And what they say is true
Ooh, I’m full of smoke
‘Cuz I’m too cool
And what they say is true
Ooh, I’m full of smoke

Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down

I’m the man today
Can’t tell me ‘cuz I’m feeling

‘Cuz I’m too cool
And what they say is true
Ooh, I’m full of smoke
‘Cuz I’m too cool
And what they say is true
Ooh, I’m full of smoke

Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down

Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down
Watching my life go down

Local H Bound To The Floor
Born to be down
I’ve learned all my lessons before now
Born to be down
I think you’ll get used to it

And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic

And you don’t
And you don’t
And you don’t
And you don’t

Born to be down
I think that I’ve said this before now
Born to be down
What good is confidence?

And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic

And you don’t
And you don’t
And you don’t
And you don’t

And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic

And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic

And you don’t
And you don’t
And you don’t
And you don’t

And you don’t
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you don’t
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic
And you don’t
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you don’t
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic

And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic

And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic
And you just don’t get it, you keep it copacetic
And you learn to accept it, you know it’s so pathetic

And you don’t