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Month: September 2019

soulBlog: Cobham at T’Bird, Lake at COA’s Jazz Poetry Month, Adrian Younge/Ali Shaheed Muhammad

Billy Cobham, 19.09.17 Thunderbird Café

Billy Cobham, feat. Randy Brecker, came to Thunderbird Café & Music Hall 19.09.17. It was too bad that Roxian Live had to move the show to their smaller venue due to tik sales, BUT the seating accommodations were a wonderful touch for the older crowd. We were appreciative. #soulshowmike image.

The 75yo Cobham waxed on baobab trees, the record industry, etc. between sets. When the giants start talking retrospectively, it is actually more important than playing the music, as wonderful as it is.

Jazz Poetry Month with Oliver Lake, 19.09.17 City of Asylum

Spoken word artists continued the tradition ofJazz Poetry Month, w/Oliver Lake in his 15th year of presence. City of Asylum, particularly in the context of People of Color, continues to be a Pittsburgh Best-Kept Secret (along w/Sembene: The Film & Arts Festival – Pittsburgh, PA)…relevant, free, on the bus route.

The Midnight Hour

One of last fall’s most important shows was The Midnight Hour. Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge return for an encore performance on Tuesday night at Club Café. It was packed last time. Highly recommended.

(all images by soulshowmike)

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soulBlog: Medeski w/STH at T’Bird, A. Merrell at Katz, Kevin Howard’s 2020 release, Beni Rossman to LA

Medeski w/Steeltown Horns

Keyboardist John Medeski visited Thunderbird Café in September with his Mad Skillet Quartet. He is best known for membership in the avant-groove trio Medeski, Martin & Wood. He visited the 2018 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival with the group Hudson.

Steeltown Horns opened for Mad Skillet, then joined them on stage for the second half of the evening. It was a wall of four horns, including the sousaphone of Skillet’s Kirk Joseph.

Kirk Joseph of Mad Skillet

Alton Merrell & Impact at Katz Plaza

Dr. Alton Merrell & Impact are probably Pittsburgh’s preeminent gospel. He and they brought church to Katz Plaza to one of the last outdoor JazzLive summer outings. (The indoor Backstage Bar schedule will be posted to the Concert Calendar very soon.)

Keyboardist Kevin Howard stopped by the performance. He told me his new album will be out shortly, so we’ll hear it together on the Three Rivers at Three segment of The Soul Show.

Beni Rossman

Bassist Beni Rossman, co-founder of the Pittsburgh psych-funk outfit Starship Mantis, mentioned on FB this week that he’s headed to LA permanently in February 2020. Over the years, Beni has worked with The Regulators, Afro Yaqui Music Collective and Soul Distribution. One of his most important recent projects was Songs In The Key Of Life, an installment of The Rex Theatre’s Legendary Album Series. We will miss you, Beni. Best of luck.

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soulBlog: Kingfish & Third World, Flying Lotus

Kingfish at WYEP and Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival

Blues phenom Christone “Kingfish” Ingram was in Pittsburgh last Saturday for the 2nd annual Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival. Earlier in the day, he stopped by the WYEP studios for an acoustic set plus interview with host Joey Spehar. Kingfish enjoyed the time with us, and mentioned to his manager that it would be cool to record an acoustic album.

all photos and video by soulshowmike

Here is the full WYEP interview:

http://wyep.org/audio/live-direct-with-christone-kingfish-ingram

The only disappointing aspect of Kingfish’s festival appearance was that it was 55 minutes.

Third World at Blues & Heritage

Third World made its second Pittsburgh visit this summer, and this one followed the release of the new album “More Work To Be Done.” Band original members Cat Coore and Richie Daley shared the front stage with vocalist AJ Brown. They played the classics and a couple of tracks from the 2019 release. AJ wowed everyone with his opera singing near the end of the show. Cat played a beautiful rendition of Marley’s “Redemption Song” on his electric viola.

Just by chance, on Sunday I sat between AJ and the band engineer on a Southwest flight to Ft. Lauderdale. AJ said they were on their way home after a long tour. He also asked that if anyone had vids of the new songs, he would appreciate seeing them posted.

Flying Lotus and Brandon Coleman, Stage AE

Flying Lotus aka Steven Ellison is part of the West Coast Get Down jazz/hiphop collective that includes Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Kendrick Lamar and others.  He headlined at Stage AE on 9/3, playing a lot of the tracks from the 2019 “Flamagra” release on his own Brainfeeder label.

FlyLo is a record producer, musician, DJ, filmmaker, and rapper.  The show was an audiovisual delight.  I was probably the oldest, and most clueless, audience member, so a young guy had to lead me to the complimentary 3D spectacles to improve the experience.

I’ve been trying to see as many of the West Coast Get Down musicians as possible when they come to this side of the country.  Keyboardist and WCGD member Brandon Coleman was one of the opening acts.  His first album, “Resistance,” was released on Brainfeeder in 2018, and you’ve probably heard some of it on The Soul Show.

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soulshowmike’s Shows of Note this week and On the Horizon

This week

  • Jazz Poetry Month at City of Asylum (see full Concert Calendar for dates/times)
  • A Taste of Soul at Genuine Pub, 9/24
  • Interval Jazz Night at Spirit, 9/25
  • Black Violin at Byham Theater, 9/26
  • Trio+ at BURN, 9/26
  • Raheem DeVaughn at August Wilson Cultural Center, 9/26
  • Let’s Groove Tonight at Sewickley Arts & Music Festival, 9/27
  • Jazz Night at Parkway Theater (McKees Rocks), 9/27
  • Gospel Jazz Brunch at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, 9/28
  • Dom Flemons at Hillman Center for the Performing Arts, 9/28
  • Tony Campbell at Wallace’s Whiskey Room, 9/28
  • Soulful Sunday featuring Tony Terry at Teamsters Local 249, 9/29
  • GH3 at Wallace’s Whiskey Room, 9/29
  • Smooth Groove Sunday at Rocks Landing, 9/29

and On the Horizon…

  • The Midnight Hour at Club Café, 10/1 (Highly Recommended), 10/1
  • Sheila E. at Meadows Casino, 10/4
  • Ravi Coltrane at New Hazlett, 10/5
  • Billy Ocean at Meadows, 10/9

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soulBlog: Jazz Poetry Month at COA, McCoo/Davis Jr. Performance and Interview, Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival schedule (starts tonight!)

Annual Jazz Poetry Month at City of Asylum (last night)

This is the fifteenth year of Jazz Poetry Month, and Oliver Lake has been featured at every one.  City of Asylum, particularly in the context of POC, continues to be a Pittsburgh Best-Kept Secret (along w/ Sembene: The Film & Arts Festival – Pittsburgh, PA)…relevant, free, on the bus route. Find the entire schedule in the Concert Calendar section of soulshowmike.org.

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (Palace Theatre performance, interview)

The best-known members of California soul group The Fifth Dimension visited The Palace Theatre (Greensburg) in August. Billy killed a Sam Cooke cover, and Marilyn killed everything she sang. On the heels of my interviewing Dionne Warwick, McCoo and Davis gave twenty minutes of their time for a fantastic conversation. Some of the highlights: (1) because The Fifth Dimension was formed during the burgeoning “Songwriter Era,” the group was actually discouraged from penning their own material (2) before fame came, Billy opened a club in his hometown of St. Louis to learn how to really perform.

Here are the two interview segments that aired on The Soul Show (WYEP) on 8/10/19. Enjoy.

McCoo/Davis, Part 1
McCoo/Davis, Part 2

Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival

Here’s the schedule for the 2nd annual Blues & Heritage Festival. It starts today. Lyndsey Smith returns from the Big Easy to perform with Steeltown Horns at the Taste of Blues Party.

https://aacc-awc.org/event/highmark-blues-and-heritage-festival/

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soulBlog: Jazz Poetry Month at COA, McCoo/Davis Jr. Performance and Interview, Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival schedule (starts tonight!)

Annual Jazz Poetry Month at City of Asylum (last night)

This is the fifteenth year of Jazz Poetry Month, and Oliver Lake has been featured at every one.  City of Asylum, particularly in the context of POC, continues to be a Pittsburgh Best-Kept Secret (along w/ Sembene: The Film & Arts Festival – Pittsburgh, PA)…relevant, free, on the bus route. Find the entire schedule in the Concert Calendar section of soulshowmike.org.

Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. (Palace Theatre performance, interview)

The best-known members of California soul group The Fifth Dimension visited The Palace Theatre (Greensburg) in August. Billy killed a Sam Cooke cover, and Marilyn killed everything she sang. On the heels of my interviewing Dionne Warwick, McCoo and Davis gave twenty minutes of their time for a fantastic conversation. Some of the highlights: (1) because The Fifth Dimension was formed during the burgeoning “Songwriter Era,” the group was actually discouraged from penning their own material (2) before fame came, Billy opened a club in his hometown of St. Louis to learn how to really perform.

Here are the two interview segments that aired on The Soul Show (WYEP) on 8/10/19. Enjoy.

McCoo/Davis, Part 1
McCoo/Davis, Part 2

Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival

Here’s the schedule link for the 2nd annual Blues & Heritage Festival. It starts today. Lyndsey Smith returns from the Big Easy to perform with Steeltown Horns at the Taste of Blues Party.

https://aacc-awc.org/event/highmark-blues-and-heritage-festival/

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soulshowmike’s Shows of Note for this Week and on the Horizon

This week (dates/times at soulshowmike.org, Concert Calendar)

  • Phat Man Dee’s Tune It Tuesday at Black Forge Coffee Shop
  • Cross/Current at Katz Plaza
  • Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds Project with Randy Brecker *****location changed to Thunderbird Café******
  • Jazz Poetry Month at City of Asylum
  • Quantum Modern Jazz Sessions at Quantum Spirits
  • TRIO+ at Burn
  • Highmark Blues & Heritage Festival at August Wilson Center
  • Das/Alexander/Matt at Backstage Bar
  • Royce and Jack Swing at Thelma Lovette YMCA
  • Tony Campbell at Wallace’s Whiskey Room, 9/21
  • GHIII at Wallace’s Whiskey Room
  • Smooth Groove Sunday Session at Rocks Landing

On the Horizon

  • Black Violin at Byham
  • Raheem DeVaughn at August Wilson Center
  • Dom Flemons (a founder of Carolina Chocolate Drops) at Hillman Center
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soulshowmike’s Shows of Note for this week and on the horizon

This week

and on the horizon, ….

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soulBlog: Shows of Note for this week

  • Lynn Speakman Quintet at Katz Plaza, 9/3
  • Flying Lotus at Stage AE, 9/3
  • “A Taste of Soul” at Genuine Pub, 9/3
  • Quantum Modern Jazz Sessions at Quantum Spirits, 9/4
  • Funky Miracle: An Art Neville Celebration at Thunderbird, 9/5
  • Das/Rossman/Potter at Wolfies Pub, 9/6
  • Najee at MCG Jazz, 9/6
  • The Soul Merchants at Riley’s Pour House, 9/6
  • Kem at Heinz Hall, 9/6
  • Starship Mantis at LeCreme Music Festival, 9/7
  • GH3 at Wallace’s Whiskey Room, 9/8
  • Smooth Groove Sunday at Rocks Landing, 9/8

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