What My World's Like

What My World Sounds Like: Essential Esperanza

Feb
15

Sunday night, bassist, composer and singer Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz artist to win a Grammy for Best New Artist. It’s kind of a big deal. I’ve been intending to listen to her music for a while and the opportunity knocked me upside the head yesterday when my friend, artist/designer/deejay/conversationalist extraordinaire, Alvin Black III, decided to repost his Essential Esperanza mix he compiled back in December to celebrate her Grammy win.

It’s a really nice introduction to her work. So much so that I’m already making plans to buy a concert ticket. Budget? What budget? 😉 I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

What My World Sounds Like: Mulatu Astatke

Mar
02

‘Jazzy’ is probably the best term to describe my sonic climate right now. It started some time ago, but began to overtake other genres when I started really listening to Robert Glasper. Since then, it’s been ‘Robert Glasper Radio’ on Pandora all day long. Just recently, I was hipped to Mulatu Astatke (also Astatqé) of Ethiopia. Father of Ethio-jazz, a combination of jazz and Latin music influences with traditional Ethiopian music.

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Looking in the Mirror

Jun
30

michael jackson

A few weeks before Michael Jackson died, I have a strong suspicion that people would’ve offered more cruel words than they’re willing to now that he’s passed. Initially, I was bothered by this, thinking that most of them were just hopping on the MJ bandwagon. A few months ago, after one of my friends told me he was going to start working with Michael, I wrote to ask him, “You don’t think he’s weird?” The next time we talked, he told me that the media painted an image of Michael that was different than who he really was and that he looked beyond that; my friend didn’t judge him and believed that he wasn’t trying to recreate the pain he’s experienced.

After several days of being inundated with Michael Jackson news, music, videos and movies, I began to truly realize why his passing was such a big deal to people. Troubled or not, he was unarguably one of the biggest icons the world has ever known; at some point in many people’s lives since 1964, he provided the soundtrack. I started reminiscing on my own MJ mania and remembered just how much his music meant to me and how much he meant–and means–to generations of people.

Pretty much everyone is troubled with something, regardless of how privately they struggle. (more…)