August 31: Happy 72nd Birthday Van Morrison

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“Van Morrison is interested, obsessed with how much musical or verbal information he can compress into a small space, and, almost, conversely, how far he can spread one note, word, sound, or picture. To capture one moment, be it a caress or a twitch. He repeats certain phrases to extremes that from anybody else would seem ridiculous, because he’s waiting for a vision to unfold, trying as unobtrusively as possible to nudge it along…It’s the great search, fuelled by the belief that through these musical and mental processes illumination is attainable. Or may at least be glimpsed.”
~Lester Bangs 

Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison; 31 August 1945) is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are described as transcendental, while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance and the live album It’s Too Late to Stop Now, are critically acclaimed and appear at the top of many greatest album lists.

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August 19: Happy 78th Birthday Ginger Baker

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“They credited us with the birth of that sort of heavy metal thing. Well, if that’s the case, there should be an immediate abortion.”
~Ginger Baker

If I am playing any music at all it is jazz music.
~Ginger Baker

There are a lot of great drummers. But Ginger Baker is an inspiration because of a certain almost relaxing quality that he brings to the drums. While a lot of drummers are putting speed and power first, Baker put rhythm first.
~bgamall.hubpages.com

Ginger Baker Biography – youtube video:

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August 16: The Late Jazz Legend Bill Evans was Born in 1929

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“My creed for art in general is that it should enrich the soul; it should teach spirituality by showing a person a portion of himself that he would not discover otherwise…a part of yourself you never knew existed.”
~Bill Evans

“To the person who uses music as a medium for the expression of ideas, feelings, images, or what have you; anything which facilitates this expression is properly his instrument.”
~Bill Evans

Bill Evans – Complete Last Performance’79:

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August 4: Late Jazz Legend Louis Daniel Armstrong Birthday

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“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”
― Louis Armstrong

“Seems to me it ain’t the world that’s so bad but what we’re doing to it, and all I’m saying is: see what a wonderful world it would be if only we’d give it a chance. Love, baby – love. That’s the secret.”
― Louis Armstrong

“Louis Armstrong was the first important soloist to emerge in jazz, and he became the most influential musician in the music’s history.”
~William Ruhlmann (allmusic.com)

When The Saints Go Marching In:

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August 3: Stevie Wonder Released His Wonderful Album “Innervisions” in 1973

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Innervisions is the sixteenth album by American musician Stevie Wonder , released August 3, 1973 on Motown Records; a landmark recording of his “classic period”. The nine tracks of Innervisions encompass a wide range of themes and issues: from drug abuse in “Too High,” through social anger in “Living for the City,” to love in the ballads “All in Love is Fair” and “Golden Lady.”

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As with many of Stevie Wonder’s albums the lyrics, composition and production are almost entirely his own work, with the ARP synthesizer used prominently throughout the album. This instrument was a common motif among musicians of the time because of its ability to construct a complete sound environment. Wonder was the first black artist to experiment with this technology on a mass scale, and Innervisions was hugely influential on the subsequent future of commercial black music. He also played all or virtually all instruments on six of the album’s nine tracks, making most of Innervisions a representative one-man band.

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Tom Waits: 10 Great Quotes & Pictures

Never have your wallet with you onstage. It’s bad luck. You shouldn’t play the piano with money in your pocket. Play like you need the money.
-San Francisco. September, 1987 (SPIN Magazine)

There are so many wonderful Tom Waits quotes & pictures around. In this series of posts I will share some of my favourites.

The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)
-Song title from the album “Small Change” (1976)

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