Monday, December 22, 2014

"My Music Den" - The Late George Howard

Who doesn't love the sound of a saxophone. I know I do and I love it even more when the music coming from it, is not only smooth and sexy but almost spiritual.  That is what I hear when I am listening to the sounds of the late great George Howard. His time on this earth was short, but he left such a profound impact on the music world, and more specifically jazz.

George Howard is from an Era when some of the best music was heard in nightclubs, house parties, and live concerts. From the 70's through the early 90's no matter where you ended up on a Friday or Saturday night, the food would be flowing, people mingling and most importantly great music.  I came to know George Howard's music at a house party.  I grew up with friends who almost every weekend, there was a get together at someones house and one particular friend always played a nice mix of Oldies, R&B and Jazz.  When I first heard "Love Will Follow" I fell in love with the sound and vibe of this song.

When my friend told me it was George Howard, his music has been a staple on my playlist ever since.  He, like myself, was a Philly native, where music was the cornerstone of our city.  Many artists got their start right here.  Unfortunately I never got to see George perform live, but I can only imagine that he was awesome.

Interestingly, not only could he play his saxophone well, he was a very good singer. When I first heard "Cross your Mind" I was in awe of his talent and even more so when I realized he was actually singing the lyrics. Not many jazz musicians will or can do that.

He died a young man, in his prime, and it sometimes saddens me that we will never know what else he had in store for us to hear. However, his short time here was not wasted.  Just maybe this is what he was sent here to do. Delight us with his gift of music. After all music is like food for the soul. Artists like George Howard are the chefs filling our plates with smooth sounds and funky rhythms.

Many artists of the 70's, 80's and 90's Era had a loyal following, waiting patiently for their new album to be released; It would be as many 5 or 6 songs if not more, on one album that were hits, compared to today, when millions of people will download a popular song by an artist, but lose interest when a knew kid is on the block with a hit song. But then you have artists who have fans with longevity and loyalty. 10, 20, 30 years from now, fans of George Howard will continue to enjoy and appreciate his music and I will be right there with them.

Rest In Peace George, Job well done.

One of my favorites by the Late George Howard
"Love Will Follow"

Saturday, December 20, 2014

My 2014 Year In Review!

Wow, where did the time go! This has certainly been a fast track year for us, and definitely more highs than lows.  You never know what each year will bring, but you pretty much just have to go with the flow of things. There have definitely been more highs than lows compared to previous years, losing both my parents, within 3 years of each other; and since that chapter of my life is closed with many great memories to cherish. I miss my parents every day but I am grateful and blessed to have had each of them in my life as long as I did. In the midst of losing my parents, I lost a girlfriend, 2 aunts and an uncle. From their deaths I take comfort in knowing they all had special meaning in my life, and now I look forward to new and exciting things to come

I decided to post this year in review not only to reflect on what is really important in life, but to maybe encourage you to re-evaluate what is important to you.  We all have our jobs and careers and bills to be paid, but how many of us are truly working hard to live and enjoy life.

We live in a world where many people value money and things over people.  There is nothing wrong with working hard, and making lots of money doing it, but at what cost?  How much joy can TV's, cars, clothes and jewerly bring to your life?

I was asked by a friend, if I could have a Jeanie in a bottle, what wishes would I want granted? I told her, round trip airline tickets to anywhere in the world, for LIFE! a Mac Pro, Louis Vuitton Luggage and my husband to carry it all Lol!  Hey that is all I would need for my dream job.  So many people want things, I want experiences.  Oh the places we would go. Savannah Georgia for its History, France for the culture, and New Orleans for the music and food. She then asked me why would I not ask to have my parents back, and I said to her, that would be like saying God made a mistake in taking them.  God doesn't make mistakes.  She then understood.

With that being said, I am looking forward to 2015 and all that it will bring. Sometimes the unexpected can be even more exciting. Stay tuned.  All the pics below are a nice reflection of family, friends, fun and enjoying life!  I am looking forward to sharing more of my life's adventures with you in the new year. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Favorite Jazzy Entertainer Of 2014

My hubby and I have covered a lot of jazz concerts in 2014, and we had a really great time being entertained by some of the best in the business. There is one particular artist that I am personally nominating as "entertainer of the year" and that is none other than, who I like to call, "Cool as a Cucumber" Mr. Nick Colionne.

He is well known for his badness with a guitar and his unique, smooth stylish wardrobe, but I admire him most for his ability to engage with his audience. If you have never been to a Nick Colionne concert, I suggest you treat yourself in 2015 and see him perform live.  Not only is he fun and entertaining, but he loves to take pictures and mingle with his fans.  Not only does he mingle after the show, but during the show, he comes into the audience and will literally get people out of their seats to party!

With so many artists in the music business along with their entourage and tight security, the chances of getting a picture taken with them or even having a conversation is pretty much impossible.  That is what sets jazz musicians apart from mainstream artists. Many of them will engage their fans, pictures and all.

At the 4 day Rehoboth Beach Jazz Fest this past October, Nick performed several times, including his after party at the Rusty Rudder, and the major event at the convention center, where after the show, he was out and about talking and mingling with his fans; With all the hustle and bustle going, I managed to sneak a selfie with him, and without hesitation he gave a friendly smile for my phone camera.  What a class act he is; He definitely did not miss his calling in life, and I look forward to seeing him perform again in 2015.

Check out Mr Colionne live in action! Smooth.

My Selfie with Nick at the 2014 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Fest!  My smooth jazz buddy!