Posts Tagged ‘music’

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Date of Interview: 03/27/2013

© 2013 Clayton Perry

Ted Gioia is a pianist, music historian, and one of the founders of the jazz studies program at Stanford Univeristy. The New York Times has named two of his works notable books of the year: The History of Jazz (1997) and Delta Blues (2009). Gioia is also the author of West Coast Jazz, Work Songs, Healing Songs and The Birth (and Death) of the Cool.

In promotional support of The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire (Oxford University Press: July 6, 2012), Ted Gioia spoke with Clayton Perry about the evolution of music criticism, defining moments in jazz history, and the importance of music education.

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Date of Interview: 03/01/2013

© 2013 Clayton Perry

The music of Allen Stone pulsates with new millennium blues and reverberates with Gospel-infused fervor. On his self-titled debut, the rough, jagged and smooth contours of adolescent and young adult life are reflected in a free-flowing, introspective sea of sonic tales. Although born-and-raised in Chewelah, Washington, Stone’s music is “univer-soul” – tackling the highs and lows everyone must face along Life’s journey.

In the midst of extensive international touring, Allen Stone managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting upon 20′s angst, “Satisfaction,” and pre-recorded music.

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Date of Interview: 12/04/2012

Over the past two decades, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton has received commercial success and critical acclaim for speaking on wax – and in the streets – about social and political issues that directly affect the African-American community. Although known internationally as an ambassador of hip-hop and one of rap’s great icons, without question, “Big Boi” is Georgia’s beloved native son. From Atlanta to Savannah, Patton is well-regarded for his activist spirit and philanthropic efforts.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Big Boi managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting upon “edutainment,” the birth of Stankonia Studios, and the importance of family.

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Emeli Sande

Date of Interview: 08/23/2012

Emeli Sande is the 2012 winner of the BRIT Critics’ Choice Award. Sande’s debut album – Our Version of Events – became the year’s biggest-selling new release in the United Kingdom, as well as the fastest-selling since Susan Boyle’s I Dreamed a Dream (2009). The critical and commercial success of the Scottish-born singer led her to play a crucial role in the 2012 Summer Olympics – performing Henry Francis Lyte’s hymn “Abide With Me” during the Opening ceremony, “Read All About It” (Part III) during the Closing ceremony, and a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” exclusively for BBC’s coverage of the Games.

“Wonder” – Our Version of Events’ fifth single – will be released on September 30, 2012. In support of the Naughty Boy-produced track, Emeli Sande managed to squeeze some time out of her busy schedule to settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on life as a medical student, the “science” behind music-making, and her emotional attachment to “Heaven.”

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OCEAN water has remarkably uniform chemical composition despite all of the various elements and creatures that reside within it. Even when controlled and uncontrolled substances are dumped into its waters, it pH level remains fairly neutral – being neither wholly basic nor acidic. So let us all – for a moment – skinny dip in the “odd waters” of Mister Frank’s OCEAN!

On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, Frank Ocean revealed via Tumblr that he was bisexual. (Lock-and-step: favorable news headlines were penned; fellow entertainers fawned over the announcement; and the singer-songwriters’ Twitter following increased substantially.) Without trivializing “the matter,” kudos is deserved to Frank Ocean for being open and honest about the man he claims himself to be. Shame on the media for treating his disclosure as some grand circus exhibition! And shame on America for failing to recall the pioneering life and works of James Baldwin – who traversed these waters decades earlier! (*sigh*) Without harping too long on shame, however, let us focus on the far more important issues – floating unnoticed, yet festering unequivocally – in Mister Frank’s OCEAN.

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Date of Interview: 06/18/2012

Long before Haley Reinhart made a name for herself as an American Idol finalist, she was performing on international stages. Haley’s pre-Idol participation in Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival and Italy’s Umbria Jazz Festival underpinned her dazzling soul-infused renditions that ultimately led to her third-place finish. Throughout the tenth season, Reinhart tackled several venerable classics: “God Bless the Child” (Billie Holiday), “Fallin’” (Alicia Keys), and “Rolling in the Deep” (Adele). Her debut album – Listen Up! – was released via 19 Recordings and Interscope Records on May 22, 2012 and received widespread critical acclaim.

In the midst of a promotional campaign for Listen Up, Haley Reinhart spoke with Clayton Perry about her upbringing in a “house of rock,” the catharsis she found in slam poetry, and the value of risk-taking.

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Date of Interview: 05/14/2012

Bram van Splunteren is a Dutch filmmaker and journalist. His hip-hop documentary – Big Fun in the Big Town (1986) – captures a series of extraordinary events during an incredible week in New York: Doug E Fresh beatboxing and philosophizing on the street in Harlem, Grandmaster Flash scratching records on his living room table, and LL Cool J discussing love raps at his grandmother’s house in Queens. Twenty-five years after its initial broadcasting on Dutch public television, 5 Day Weekend has made this rare, historical footage commercially available for the very first time.

In support of Big Fun in the Big Town’s worldwide release (DVD: May 22, 2012), Bram van Splunteren spoke with Clayton Perry about his passion for filmmaking, early radio resistance to hip-hop music, and the vital support received from Def Jam publicist Bill Adler.

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For the past few months, I have waited anxiously for the “new” Epic Records to unveil projects from its fresh line-up of R&B singers. Much of this excitement was fueled by Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s attachment to the label, as well as his meticulous selection of executives to assist him with its rollout. Adding an additional layer of excitement, Christopher “Tricky” Stewart was designated as the president of A&R; his brother, Mark Stewart, was named EVP of A&R operations. On April 10, 2012, the label released one of its first major projects: a soundtrack to the comedy film adaptation of Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Woman, Think Like A Man. For this particular release, “Tricky” served as executive producer.

Considering the massive success of the original New York Times bestselling non-fiction text, the pressure was on to match the literary predecessors accomplishments visually – and sonically, with original music for its motion picture soundtrack. In both respects, the mission was soundly accomplished – and the Think Like a Man soundtrack is worthy of residence in the penthouse suite of Billboard’s top albums chart.

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Date of Interview: 04/08/2012

Over the past two decades, Greg Tate has garnered a reputation – and eventually dubbed by The Source magazine – as a “Godfather of hip-hop journalism.” Much of his most-popular writings were published during his stint as a staff writer with New York City’s Village Voice between 1987 and 2003. Greg Tate’s publications extended beyond the outlet, however, and include the following titles: Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture (New York: Broadway Books, 2003) and Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2003). His forthcoming works: Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader (Duke University Press) and James Brown’s Body and the Revolution of the Mind (Riverhead Press).

A co-founder of the Black Rock Coalition, Greg Tate also serves as the leader of Burnt Sugar, an improvisational band that fuses funk, jazz, rock, and African music through experimental – yet cohesive – performance. Currently, he is serving as a Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University. In 2010, he was awarded a United States Artists fellowship, an organization whose mission statement is “to invest in America’s finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society.”

In response to a “special request,” in support of the body of literature composed during his incredible journalism career, Greg Tate managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry – reflecting on his love of hip-hop, the founding of Burnt Sugar, and an “unappreciated” De La Soul emcee.

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