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Archive for May, 2011

Introducing Sexual Chocolate!

Introducing Sexual Chocolate!

With the release of the Jam Cruise line up yesterday, I can’t stop thinking of the artist and how they impact our time on the boat.  Running into them in the elevators, having them knock on your cabin door when they hear the pop of a champagne bottle or laying down their food tray to have a leisurely meal with a fan in the dining hall.

As I looked at the line up, I noticed the familiar names.  There is always a George Porter project, an Eric Krasno project, a Karl Denson project.  The latter is the artist I have been thinking the most about.   I just missed two nights of a 3-set GreyBoy Allstars show at the Brooklyn Bowl due to being in the hospital taking care of my boy toy, Josh!

I met Josh at the Karl Denson Tiny Universe shows just about a year or so ago.  During Bowlive 2010, Josh and I actually got a chance to speak to him and thank him for helping us meet.  His response to us: “Just make sure you show me pictures of the children.” Classic Karl. Needless to say, he holds a special place in our hearts.

Karl’s name is yet again plastered as a Jam Cruise headliner, leading his project Karl Denson Tiny Universe.  It was on my first Jam Cruise, Jam Cruise 8, that I truly got to experience Karl Denson in all his glory.  But not as a member of The GreyBoy Allstars, not as a member of The Tiny Universe.  No, this project was called Sexual Chocolate.

Karl Denson rockin his wig!

Karl Denson rockin his wig!

With outstanding talent, worth ethic and enthusiasm, Karl Denson is one of the most respected men in the Funk music community.  Amazing us with his saxophone and flute skills, among other instruments, Karl Denson fronts bands such as Karl Denson Tiny Universe and GreyBoy Allstars! But have you ever heard of his involvement with Sexual Chocolate?

If you haven’t already watched it, go rent Coming to AmericaEddie Murphy plays many rolls throughout the movie but the best role was as the band leader of Sexual Chocolate. And who’s playing saxophone for this gnarly band?  None other than our beloved Karl Denson.

Jeff Coffin and others

Jeff Coffin and others

For many years Sexual Chocolate was out of commission but lucky for us, Karl Denson decided to breathe life into this fictional band by performing a funky Sexual Chocolate set on Jam Cruise 8 in January of this year.

Backing Karl on stage was an Allstar cast consisting of the members of KDTU, Debrissa McKinney (Josh Phillips Folk Festival), Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk), Jans Ingber and Liza Oxnard (The Motet).  A super special surprise came when legendary harmonica player Lee Oskar (WAR), a guest on the boat, came out on Galaxy, an actual WAR cover.

Lee Oscar, famous Harmonica player/designer

Lee Oskar, famous Harmonica player/designer

Please enjoy these funky and jazzy tunes which can be downloaded below!

Download music set here!

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe ~ 01-07-10 ~ JamCruise 8 ~ Theatro Carlo Felice ~ MSC Poesia

1. …banter… (2:01)
2. Front Money (5:57)
3. Galaxy  (13:25)
4. Groovy Thing (5:15)                                                   
5. Fallin’ (6:06)
6. Flute Down (8:54)
7. Mighty Rebel (9:23)
8. Groove On (9:31)

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When asked to think about musical groups who laid the fundamental foundation for Funk, the same names tend to pop up in people’s minds. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, James Brown, Maceo Parker & Fred Wesley, Sly and The Family Stone, Graham Central Station, and Earth Wind and Fire.  However, one of the most underrated groups to have played a roll in defining the funk genre emerged from Brooklyn, NY in 1968.  Calling themselves Mandrill, a trio of brothers, Carlos Wilson (trombone, vocals), Lou Wilson (trumpet, vocals) and Ric Wilson (sax, vocals), would join their collective multi-instrumental forces to make up  the backbone of a group that would come to be one of the most important pioneers of World Music and one of Funk and R&B’s most progressive bands. 

Mandrill

Over the years Mandrill has rotated through members included Bundy Cenas (bass), Neftali Santiago (drums, percussion, vocals), Juaquin Jessup (lead guitar, percussion, vocals), Charles Padro (drums), Claude ‘Coffee’ Cave II (keyboards, percussion, vocals) and Fudgie Kae Solomon (bass) and Omar Mesa (Guitar).

Still touring the U.S. and abroad, the Wilson Brothers remain the driving force behind Mandrill.  Their current band is fueled by a new generation of multi-talented musicians including Marc Rey, Arlan Schierbaum, Keith Barry, Michael Beholden, Gemi Taylor and Stacey Lamont Sydnor. However, it was the first generation of musicians that made the greatest impact on what Mandrill stood for and how it helped shape our musical culture.

Mandrill ‘s reputation as a World Music group began with their self-title debut album.  This first record is considered one of the truly great opuses of the late 60’s hippie scene recorded at the then brand new Electric Lady studios in New York.  Containing the raging composition titled Peace and Love, it would eventually be sampled on Kanye West’s Two Words with Mos Def, Eminem’s On Fire, and Vinni Paz’s No Spiritual Surrender.

The Wilson brothers, whose melting-pot background of Caribbean culture blended with the sound and heart of urban America, would make up the brass section while they found their groove with drummer and percussionist Neftali Santiago, keyboardist Claude ‘Coffee’ Cave II , guitarist Omar Mesa and legendary bassist Fudgie Kae Solomon.  These seven players played over 20 instruments and would fuse their Latin and jazz roots  with gospel, blues, soul, salsa, psychedelia, straight up rock and funk.  Tackling every genre with ease and combining them seamlessly, by their third album, Composite Truth, Mandrill’s focused combination of percussive instruments and funk had defined their trademark sound.

Many argue that Mandrill was actually the first funk band to actually make an impact on the charts, beating out Kool and the Gang by a year or so. Over the years, they performed on Don Kirshner’s In Concert and the Rock Concert television series. On numerous occasions they appeared on Soul Train with Don Cornelius and Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack. They were also featured on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television program Soul!.

Neftali says; “I remember playing drums, and it used to make me uncomfortable (with) George Clinton and Maurice White sitting right in back of me taking notes! Then all of a sudden Earth, Wind and Fire gets a horn section, and Funkadelic starts adding horns, percussion and become Parliament, and it’s like hmmm that’s interesting.”

As one of the most sampled groups by this generation, Mandrill’s songs have been sampled by hip-hop acts such as Johnny D, Public Enemy, Shawty Lo, Big L, Kanye West, Jin, Eminem, and 9th Wonder.  You can hear their worldly funky sound on Brandy’s single Talk About Our Love, Shawty Lo’s’ Dey Know, KRS One’s For Example, Black Eyed Peas Weekends, Floetry’s Have Faith, Wyclef Jean’s You Say Keep It Gangsta, Tweet and Missy Elliot’s We Don’t Need No Water, Kindred’s If I, Public Enemy’s By the Time I Get to Arizona, and Nas’ U Gotta Love It.  As well, some of their songs have been used in the soundtracks of movies: The Greatest (1977), The Warriors (1979), a personal cult favorite of mine, and Civil Brand (2002).

Mandrill is not only an underrated group, they are practically impossible to duplicate and hardly any band has come close.  Today, it’s virtually impossible to pick an entire group that embodies what Mandrill embodied in their prime.  California’s Breakstra is one group that comes close as well as the wonderful Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings.  The Mighty Imperials, actually under the Daptones Record label, is another group who attempt to reach to the amazing levels that Mandrill accomplished. And even then, these aforementioned groups only hit on an extension of their sound.  Toubab Krewe must also be mentioned for their fusion of of rock and African rhythmic patterns.

Mandrill is one of those groups who plowed their way through numerous genres, seamlessly flowing through one into another in a single song.  Their music has been sampled by numerous musicians yet hardly anyone has come close to fully duplicating their energy and sound.  Mandrill was a group who let it all hang out and stood in the forefront as a pioneer in all of music, yet hardly anyone has heard of them. It is my job to spread the word 🙂

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May 2011 Music Calendar

May 2011 Music Calendar

Calendar updated daily!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard

Monday, May 2, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($20) The Airborne Toxic Event @ Pianos
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($24) The Airbourne Toxic Event @ The Mercury Lounge

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($24) The Airbourne Toxic Event @ The Bowery Ballroom
  • ($40-$133) Batiashvili, Bartók, and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Thursday, May 5, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • (Free) Gent Treadly @ 11th Street Bar
  • (Free) Nir Felder Group (Mark Guiliana) @ 55 Bar
  • ($5) Sophistafunk @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) Jackie Greene @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20-$25) The Airborne Toxic Event @ Webster Hall
  • ($40-$46) Bad Religion @ Terminal 5
  • ($65-$144) Gladys Knight @ Beacon Theater
  • ($1,500 – $5,000) Alan Gilbert Conducts 120th Anniversary Concert @ Carnegie Hall
    • Gala tickets include a seat at the concert and admission to a post-concert dinner-dance at The Plaza

Friday, May 6, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • (Free) Taurus (Mark Guiliana) @ Bowery Electric
  • ($10) The Mother Hips @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15 – $20) The Infamous String Dusters @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($22) Reverend Horton Heat plus Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ The Bell House
  • ($24-$45) The Airborne Toxic Event @ Town Hall
  • ($25-$30) Minus The Bear @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($40-$46) Bad Religion @ Terminal 5
  • ($40-$127) Batiashvili, Bartók, and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Saturday, May 7, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • ($22-$27) The NEW DEAL with special guests OTT & Sub Swara @ Terminal 5
  • ($43-$138) Batiashvili, Bartók, and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Sunday, May 8, 2011

  • New Orleans Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
  • ($22) Reverend Horton Heat plus Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($41-$46) Interpol / Blonde Redhead @Terminal 5

Monday, May 9, 2011

  • (Free) Now vs. Now (Mark Guiliana) @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($1,500 – $5,000) James Taylor @ Carnegie Hall
    • Package A: Tickets are either $2,500 or $5,000 and include the exclusive After-Party and a seat in the Prime Parquet at the concert.
    • Package B: Tickets are $1,000 and include the pre-concert Cocktail Reception and a seat in the Parquet or Second Tier at the concert.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

  • (Free) Chris Morrissey Quintet @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland New York
  • ($32-$38) Raphael Saadiq @ Webster Hall
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($60-$159) Paul Simon @ The Beacon Theater

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($15) The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($55-$159) Paul Simon @ The Beacon Theater
  • ($50-$65) Blind Boys of Alabama @ City Winery

Thursday, May 12, 2011

  • (Free) Maceo Parker @Pier One ~ Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • ($15) Break Science @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$40) Brenda Russell and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$64) Warren Haynes Band @ Beacon Theater
  • ($40-$87) A Celebration of Kate McGarrigle w/ Rufus Wainwright, Emmylou Harris & Martha Wainwright Town Hall

Friday, May 13, 2011

  • (Free) Meshell Ndegeocello @ Gatehouse Restaurant and Bar, Brooklyn
  • ($12) Wyllys @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($30) Deftones @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($30) The Mahavishnu Project plays the music of Jeff Beck @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$40) Brenda Russell and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$55) Allen Toussaint @ City Winery
  • ($40-$87) A Celebration of Kate McGarrigle w/ Rufus Wainwright, Emmylou Harris & Martha Wainwright Town Hall

Saturday, May 14, 2011

  • (Free) The Prigs @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) Meshell Ndegeocello @ Gatehouse Restaurant and Bar, Brooklyn
  • (Free) Red Baraat for the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series @ The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
  • ($24-$29) Crash Test Dummies with Rob Morsberger @ City Winery
  • ($30) Deftones @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($30-$40) Pharoah Sanders Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($80-$130) David Crosby & Graham Nash @ Town Hall

Sunday, May 15, 2011

  • (Free) Red Barraat for Celebrate Brooklyn! at Brooklyn Bridge Park @ Celebrate Brooklyn Dance Party
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$55) Taylor Hicks @ City Winery
  • ($45-$65) Al Jarreau and the George Duke Trio @ The Blue Note
  • ($45-$75) Marcus Miller Presents: A Concert for Japanese Tsunami Relief  @ Highline Ballroom
    • Featuring Raheem Devaughn, Robert Glasper, Sean Jones, Angelique Kidjo, Gregoire Maret, Raul Midon,Q-Tip, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Kaoru Watanabe, Louis Cato, Alex Han, Federico Gonzalez Pena, Vince Wilburn, Wallace Roney and more TBA!

Monday, May 16, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($24-30) Rusted Root @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

  • ($20) Rusted Root’s Adam Ezra Group @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$35) Lykke Li @ Webster Hall
  • ($35-$60) Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers w/ Henry Butler @ Highline Ballroom

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($20) Felice Brothers @ The Bell House
  • ($25) Maceo Parker @ S.O.B.’s
  • ($30-$35) Lykke Li @ Webster Hall
  • ($35-$40) En Vouge @ B.B. Kings
  • ($35-$60) Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers w/ Eric Lindell (Album Release) @ Highline Ballroom

Thursday, May 19, 2011

  • ($15-$20) Lo, Aaron, Dan and Jon of God Street Wine @ Joe’s Pub
  • (Free) Nir Felder Group (Mark Guiliana) @ 55 Bar
  • ($10) Fundimensionals @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($18-22) New Riders of the Purple Sage @ B.B. Kings
  • ($20) The Felice Brothers @ The Bell House
  • ($20) Reflection @ Rocks Off Cruise (The Halfmoon)
  • ($25-$31) Brett Dennen @ Webster Hall
  • ($35-$80) Adele @ Beacon Theater

Friday, May 20, 2011

  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($25) John Mayall @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($25) Murder By Death @ Rocks Off River Cruise

Saturday, May 21, 2011

  • ($12) Garage A Trois @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($50-$77) Adele @ United Palace Theater
  • ($55-$75)  Johnny Mathis @ Lehman Arts Center, Bronx
  • ($55-$65) Esperanza Spalding @ Town Hall

Sunday, May 22, 2011

  • (???) Mark Guiliana @ 55 Bar
  • ($10-$15) A Soulful N’awlins Sunday Brunch w/ Brother Joscephus & The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($50-$107) Elvis Costello and The Imposters – The Revolver Tour @ Beacon Theater

Monday, May 23, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($50-$107) Elvis Costello and The Imposters – The Revolver Tour @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($7) Richie Goods and Nuclear Fusion @ Local 269
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($20-$100) Club d’Elf & John Medeski @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($25-$30) Panic At The Disco @ Terminal 5
  • ($30-$40) Kenny Barron Quartet with Terrance Blanchard @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($35-$41) Artic Monkeys @ Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle
  • ($50-$107) Elvis Costello and The Imposters – The Revolver Tour @ Beacon Theater

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

  • (Free) Brooklyn Shakedown with Nutritious @ Bembe
  • ($10) Gent Treadly, Willie Waldman Project, DJ Logic @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($15) Kenny Barron Quartet with The Louis Armstrong Centennial Band @ Birdland NYC
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle
  • ($52-$65) The Cars @ Roseland Ballroom

Thursday, May 26, 2011

  • (Free) Celebrate Brooklyn! at Brooklyn Bridge Park @ Celebrate Brooklyn Dance Party @ Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY
    • Red Baraat and many more…
  • (Free) Tall, Tall Trees @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($30-$40) Kenny Barron Quartet with Terrance Blanchard @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

Friday, May 27, 2011

  • ($15) Joe Krown Trio feat. Walter “Wolfman” Washington & Russell Batiste followed by MiloZ @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($20-$25) Steve Kuhn (solo piano) & The Daniel Bennett Group @ The Triad Theater
  • ($25) The Birdland Big Band directed by Tommy Igoe @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle
  • ($50-$200) Wavy Gravy’s 75th Birthday!
    • Jackson Browne, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, Dr. John, Bruce Hornsby, Jorma Kaukonen, Steve Kimock, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Wavy Gravy

Saturday, May 28, 2011

  • ($20) Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars @ The Bell House
  • ($25-$28) David Johansen (Of the New York Dolls) @ City Winery
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note

Sunday, May 29, 2011

  • ($18) Slick Rick @ B.B. Kings Blues Club
  • ($23-$28) Bob Schneider @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) The Birdland Jazz Quartet @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

Monday, May 30, 2011

  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($20-$25) Bill Frisell Quartet featuring Ron Miles, Tony Scherr, Kenny Wolleson @ Village Vanguard
  • ($25) Mingus Big Band @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

  • (Free) Ray LaMontagne, Brandi Carlile, The Secret Sisters @ Central Park’s Summer Stage
  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) 7 Walkers featuring Bill Kreutzmann of Grateful Dead, Kirk Joseph of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Papa Mali and Matt Hubbard, Jason Crosby and Dark Loft @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$45) Stanley Clarke @ The Blue Note
  • ($37.50) George Clinton & The Parliament-Funkadelic All-Stars @ B.B. Kings
  • ($40-$115) Bettye LaVette @ Cafe Carlyle

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