With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Catherine Rocks The Cleveland Way! May 26, 2018


Many of you who know me will by now know that my wonderful wife Catherine will very soon be embarking on a mammoth 109 mile charity walk on the Cleveland Way in the North East of England. A map of the Cleveland Way is shown at the very end of this post. Why is she doing this? Well four years ago Catherine and I were totally devastated by the loss of two children as a result of an adoption disruption. It was clear to us that the support needed by vulnerable children was just not available. There was no money and no urgency to the long term support that was needed. It is incredibly important to both of us that the children and young people in our community have access to the support they need to thrive and to grow into happy and resilient adults. We know that we are unable to do anything now for the children we lost, but we want to try and make a difference to the lives of other children and young people. We want to do whatever we can to try and prevent what happened to our children from happening again. Please feel free to contribute toward Catherine’s target of £10,000. Her efforts so far means that she is already at 46% of that total. Click here for the link to donate.

Anything you can add to that will be invaluable to the two charities we are supporting. Those charities are The Island (Enhancing the quality of life for vulnerable children and young people in York) and SASH (Working to prevent homelessness in young people aged 16-25 in York, North Yorkshire & East Yorkshire).

The Island offers support to vulnerable 8-13 years olds in York who are struggling to cope at home, at school, or in the wider community, or who are experiencing difficult transitions in their lives. The Island links these young people with volunteer mentors with whom they meet on a weekly basis over the course of a year (or longer if required). This allows them to develop supportive, ongoing relationships, whilst also providing them with the undivided attention and the ‘islands of space and time’ they need to increase their confidence and self-esteem, participate in worthwhile recreational activities, and move forward in their lives.

SASH run supported lodgings schemes which help young people develop the skills they need to live on their own. They provide an emergency nightstop service that makes a difference to young people’s lives when most needed.

Both charities need your support. They only exist because people in our community care enough to help them do what they do. Please click here to find Catherine’s Virgin Money Giving page. Now obviously this blog is essentially a music blog so I have picked ten walking themed songs (ok the first one loosely links to Catherine’s walking route) I hope that you enjoy them. In fact feel free to listen while you donate 🙂

 

 

Gregory Porter – Harrogate International Centre – Saturday 11th July 2015 July 11, 2015


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The delectable Catwoman and I took ourselves off to see the supremely talented Gregory Porter in Harrogate on Saturday night. Without a doubt he is an incredibly talented singer. If you see him as ‘just’ a jazz singer then you need to think again, yes he is very much in the jazz field but this guy also oozes soul and he can sing gospel and blues. His band is incredible and could easily work as an instrumental band in their own right. But when you add Mr Porter’s voice to the magical sounds the band produce you have a perfect mix.

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Until tonight I had only really heard the songs from his ‘Liquid Spirit’ album. I hadn’t appreciated that this was his third album! Gregory is also a very talented songwriter. My particular favourites are “Liquid Spirit”, “Water Under Bridges”, “Hey Laura”, “Free” and “Wolfcry”. The pianist Chip Crawford is an incredible pianist and his playing reminded me at times of Mike Garson. In the extended intro to “Wolfcry” Chip slotted in a piece from ‘Peter And The Wolf’ and the ‘Star Wars Theme‘. Ithink my favourite song of the whole show was “1960 What?” from his first album ‘Water’

Opmaak 1

Listening to Gregory and his band I was reminded of my days of being a soul boy and heavily into jazz funk in the late 70s. His vocals have a hint of Marvin Gaye about them and the overall sound of Mr Porter and his band was for me reminiscent of Roy Ayers, Norman Connors, the Blackbyrds and especially Gil Scott Heron. I will definitely see Gregory Porter again if the opportunity arises. On top of his immense talent he comes across as a very gracious and humble man. He clearly has great respect for his band; Chip Crawford (piano), Aaron James (double bass), Emanuel Harrold (drums) and Yosuke Sato (Sax). I think the feel-good-factor injected from this gig will stay with me for quite a while.

porter

As often happens I will end this post with a public service announcement. It is probably obvious, but none of the pictures or videos in this post were taken or filmed by me!

 

“Doing it in the park, doing it after dark” February 13, 2013


Donald Byrd

I am sad to report the death of Donald Byrd or to give him his full name Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II. he died on 4th February aged 80. He was seen by many as the finest trumpet player of his generation and was able to transition from a be bop style into jazz funk fusion. He was seen as a pioneer in the latter genre. It is via jazz funk that I became aware of Mr Byrd. I was a bit of a teenage Soul Boy, come Funkateer. As a result Donald Byrd’s band the Blackbyrds were a favourite of mine.

Byrd

I posted about him as recently as December last year; click here to read that post. He was also a much sought after sideman to many other performers including Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock to name but a few. My thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans. RIP Donald Byrd.

Donald Byrd Live

 

“You were only waiting for this moment to arise” a.k.a Four Colly Birds December 16, 2012


4 Colly Birds

So now we’re on to the fourth day, when my true love gave me four Colly Birds. These are in fact Blackbirds. After a 15% fall in the Blackbird population since 1970 their numbers seem to be on the rise again. So what two songs do I have for you to represent the Blackbird? Well I have two great but very different songs for you.

blackbyrds

Firstly it’s an early jazz funk track from the Blackbyrds, the sublime “Walking In Rhythm”. The name of the band was partly drawn from the surname of trumpet player Donald Byrd. The song was produced by Mr Byrd himself. This song was a million seller in 1975 and was also nominated for a Grammy. It made number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sadly just a lowly number 23 in the UK.

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The second song was an easy choice, it had to be the Beatles with “Blackbird”. It is featured on the Fab Four’s 1968 double album entitled ‘The Beatles’ but is known by most people as ‘The White Album’. As with most of their songs it was credited to Lennon – McCartney but was composed by Paul McCartney. Sir Paul has said that the guitar part was inspired by J.S Bach‘s “Bourree In E Minor” and the song itself was written in response to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The Dandy Warhols once said that when Michael Jackson died they would cover “Blackbird”. They did make good on that promise too!

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