Aroundtheweb
DC
JOE
Sunday 08/09
JOE @ The Howard Theatre
$39.50 / $45
In retrospect of looking back over the past twenty years, R&B Superstar JOE Thomas crosses BRIDGES. The crooner’s new Album clearly defines his new outlook on life’s relationships and where they have taken him. Why “BRIDGES”? - “ We build them, cross them, burn them, then soon realize how much we need them” - JOE “Relationships are Bridges and at some point in life we must take full responsibility for where we have allowed those relationships to take us. Most important, what relationships or BRIDGES are we building, crossing into or burning?” The Album is described as therapeutic and open. “I must confess I’ve had my share of girls in my lifetime – honestly I’ve been on the wildest rides and maybe I should slow it down” are the opening lines of the Album’s introduction single – ‘LOVE & SEX’ PT. 2 which features the beautiful KELLY ROWLAND of Destiny’s Child and X-Factor fame. The single is widely and well received at Urban AC radio and video (directed by veteran director Bille Woodroof) with a strong reminiscence of the SOS Band days. Part one featured American Idol Fantasia and was featured on the singer’s 2013 Album release Double Back, (Evolution of R&B) which debuted #1 on the Billboard R&B charts and #6 on Billboard Top 200. When asked why the choice of Kelly over Fantasia, the R&B singer is very adamant that there is and never was a choice per say or comparison in his mind between the two. “Both are equally talented and beautiful”. If I had to describe in keeping with the concept of BRIDGES, (think of it this way), every major bridge has different levels or entrances when going across them. Your choice depends on the direction your going in. Both Kelly and Fantasia were necessary because I needed to go into two different directions for this particular song. I won’t call it a journey. That is for people to decide. I will say that it is heartfelt and relatable to past or present circumstances for any listener who embarks on BRIDGES. It is uplifting, fun and thought provoking. The biggest comment for those that I have played Bridges for is that one, you never feel like you have to skip over a particular song and that each song is enjoyable or as they say, “it reminds me of when I ….” That blank has been filled in some pretty amazing things. Songs like “Sex Ain’t A Weapon” hits hard with its strong ¾ shuffle beat reminiscent of Marvin keeps you grooving on the subject matter for the woman who chooses to hold back or deprive her man lovin’ when she feels like playing the mute game of making it easy to turn off her desire or quench his thirst for sex. Joe charismatically states “A queen B should never hold back the Honey…not later but sooner girl you’ll hear the rumor that other fish been swimming around in your sea. That’s why You Can’t Use Sex As a Weapon”. Then there’s the sure fire nostalgic Ballad entitled, If You Lose Her. I mean what would a JOE album be without one or several ballads (which he has not and never fails to deliver). The song makes JOE a spokesman for us guys to think about the consequence When Joe surveyed the landscape of modern R&B, the award-winning artist didn’t necessarily like much of what he saw. So with DoubleBack: The Evolution of R&B, the accomplished singer-songwriter-producer brings the music he loves back to its roots. “I’m going back to that old school feel, back to the elegance and class of what R&B represented back in the day,” Joe explains of his tenth studio album. “You look at the pictures from that era and they represent something very stoic. They’re beautiful photos, beautiful moments, beautiful memories. I want to get back to the beginnings of it, the humbleness of it, the way it was before with real stars, real celebrities, real entertainers who actually wrote a lot of their music and performed it with great intensity and passion. That’s what the essence of The Evolution of R&B is all about.” Classic R&B also told memorable stories, something Joe is keenly aware of. That’s why DoubleBack: The Evolution of R&B follows Joe through his search for true love. Joe kicks his new LP off with the gorgeous “I’d Rather Have A Love.” Accented by soothing guitar, finger snaps and lush harmonizing, the song traces the evolution of a man who goes from woman to woman into a man who realizes the power, joy and value of finding a woman he loves. As the album progresses, though, Joe takes a number of detours. On “Magic City,” for instance, he looks for love in all the wrong places. With the eyebrow-raising “Baby,” he details how he’s in love with two women at the same time. Then there’s “Mary Jane,” a mid-tempo tune that serves as a metaphor for having someone that releases all the stress and pressure of life. Showing the duality of life, he details the other side of a relationship on “Walk Away,” where he deals with the haters in his realm. Elsewhere, Joe finds his match on “Love And Sex,” an impassioned duet with Fantasia. Here, the two talented singers go back and forth about the wide range of emotions they’re feeling toward one another. “We’re going to town,” Joe says. “We’re emulating the feelings and the emotions of the difference between love and sex. It’s very classic and feels like something you’ve heard before. It has beautiful, touching lyrics and a beautiful story, too.” Beyond the rich storylines and dynamic storytelling, what makes DoubleBack: The Evolution of R&B remarkable is that Joe played all the instruments on the tracks he produced. In addition to having a more intimate relationship with the music, Joe decided to play his own bass, drums, guitar, and piano to show other artists how live instrumentation brings an extra element to music. “I think it’s important the younger generation sees more of that,” he explains. “They rely too much on just mechanical things, like synthesizers, beat machines. Picking up and using an instrument can change the whole mood of everything. Anytime I play around the house or on stage, it’s a completely different vibe, a different zone that I’m in. It’s really nice to expand yourself if you’re an artist, to branch out and be more than just a singer and a dancer.”
Jazz Is Dead feat. Alphonso Johnson, Jeff Pevar, Tom Constanten, Rod Morgenstern & Chris Smith
Wednesday 08/19
Jazz Is Dead feat. Alphonso Johnson, Jeff Pevar, Tom Constanten, Rod Morgenstern & Chris Smith @ The Howard Theatre
$30 / $35
"JAZZ IS DEAD promises to be one of the year's highlight events for the DEAD and jazz communities." - Ian D'giff/Long Island Village Voice "I haven't witnessed such a vibrant DEAD scene since JERRY's passing." - Steve Bloom/High Times on the Variety Playhouse show in Atlanta, GA "JAZZ IS DEAD not only exceeded my expectations (the crowd went wild!) but so did ticket sales. The show sold out and I hope we have JAZZ IS DEAD back to the House of Blues in the near future." - Michael Yerke/House Of Blues, Chicago, Ill "JAZZ IS DEAD would not normally be the first show I would choose to go to, or at least drive two hours for. I was, however sucked in. It is definitely a creation worth seeing, no matter what your musical taste." - Big Shout Magazine on the Keswick Thr. show in Phil., PA "You don't have to be a Deadhead to dig this musical event." - Natalie Davis, Baltimore City Paper "It was awesome to see such incredible musicians taking the DEAD'S music and spinning it into their own magical expression, putting a hip jazz twist into it." - Neil Wigenbach/KPFT, Houston, TX I. A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MUSIC: Led by highly stylized, virtuoso guitar player JERRY GARCIA, San Francisco’s GRATEFUL DEAD formed in 1965. Their music was a unique amalgam of bluegrass, folk, blues, motown & rock and roll, evolving to later include elements of jazz - the latter particularly, as regarded their penchant for free-form improvisation. In their time, GRATEFUL DEAD were the highest grossing concert attraction in the history of the touring talent industry, an unexpected statistic, when measured against ‘mediocre’ record sales. There are two reasons to explain this: First, GRATEFUL DEAD performed more than anyone else - three major tours (approx. 100 shows) a year since the advent of ‘arena rock’ circa 1972. Whereas THE ROLLING STONES or U2 for example, easily out grossed THE DEAD in any calendar year, the latter two (as with any major attraction) chose to tour every three to five years on average. Beside the physical demands of the road, no arena/ stadium sized attraction would dare tour in consecutive years, fearing depletion of market demand from overexposure. Second, GRATEFUL DEAD played long shows (3 to 6 hours), consisting of two sets with an intermission - working from an active repertoire of over 100 original compositions and cover material ... reprised differently from show to show, in off times bizarre & unexpected medleys - segue ways interwoven with lengthy, jazz-like, ‘psychedlic’ improvisations & dynamic drum solos. Over the course of a thirty or forty city tour, no two shows would be alike. On top of all of this, the band allowed ... even encouraged the fans to tape record the performances - unheard of in a record industry whose chief fear was ‘bootlegging’. Yet, instead of 'bootlegging' (selling the clandestinely recorded tapes for profit), the fans codified the phenomenon ... recounted orally from fan to fan, musically from tape to tape. II. BACKROUND: On August 9, 1995, at the age of 53, JERRY GARCIA died from heart failure in Northern California, where he was born and began an American musical legacy that is sure to reverberate down through the generations. A short time thereafter, GRATEFUL DEAD announced that it's existence as an ongoing, performing entity, was at an end. In the wake of these events, some remaining DEAD members and close musical associates that had played with GARCIA in other projects endeavored to continue the journey. In 1996, the DEAD's BOB WEIR and MICKEY HART created "Further Festival," a revolving retinue of Artists that had admired GARCIA and the spirit his music embodied. This ensemble featured JAZZ IS DEAD co founder, WEATHER REPORT bassist ALPHONOS JOHNSON (who had previously toured and recorded with BOB WEIR). At the beginning of 2015, the surviving members of GRATEFUL DEAD announced historic “Fare Thee Well” (farewell) concerts) … inspiring JAZZ IS DEAD to reform and likewise celebrate GRATEFUL DEAD’s 50th Anniversary. III. OVERVIEW: JAZZ IS DEAD, "Explorations Into the Music of GRATEFUL DEAD” embarks from the compass point of GARCIA and company's most complex and audacious material, culled from many periods of their storied history. From there, the musical heading is unknown ... each performance, promising inspired improvisation and new discovery ... crafted by a line-up of stellar players.