Archive for January, 2011

in performance: the lexington philharmonic with the kentucky state gospel ensemble and take 6

take 6: cedric dent, alvin chea, joey kibble, claude mcknight, mark kibble, david thomas. herald-leader staff photo by rich copley.

take 6: cedric dent, alvin chea, joey kibble, claude mcknight, mark kibble, david thomas. herald-leader staff photo by rich copley.

Just before How Majestic brought last night’s soul summit with the Kentucky State Gospel Ensemble to a jubilant first set zenith, Lexington Philharmonic conductor/music director Scott Terrell handed out thanks to the massive conglomerate of artists onstage and wished the crowd well until they met again after intermission.

Then came an audience reply from the first few rows that might normally seem foreign at an orchestral event: “Alright, my brother.”

Such was the feeling of solidarity at the Singletary Center for the Arts as the Philharmonic steered its repertoire toward spirituals. A lush yet serene delivery of Morton Gould’s Deep River served as an early highlight while the Kentucky State choir proved a youthful, exuberant and powerfully soulful vocal foil throughout the concert’s first half.

The rest of the performance belonged almost exclusively to the multi Grammy and Dove Award winning vocal troupe Take 6. The Philharmonic responded in kind to the hushed lyricism of Bless This House and nicely augmented the family friendly balladry of Lullaby. But it also operated as a musically complete entity whether the Philharmonic was on Take 6’s heels or not.

A vocal sextet raised in gospel, versed in jazz and accessible, in the broadest of terms, to pop references, Take 6 opened with light, high harmonies that sounded curiously like the Beach Boys. But once Smile commenced, Take 6 operated essentially as jazz band – not a jazz vocal group, but an actual jazz band with Joey Kibble mimicking trumpet lines and older sibling Mark Kibble playing the role of overzealous drummer. But those seemed almost like novelty moments compared to what bass singer Alvin Chea was dishing out. Throughout the program he handled the bottom end of Take 6’s airy harmonies with ease. But he also sang in punctuated beats to serve as the vocal equivalent of a string bass.

From there Take 6 took flight. Claude McKnight’s high tenor lead ignited a potent Wade in the Water, Joey Kibble sermonized with suitable vigor prior to the set closing affirmation Over the Hill is Home and Mark Kibble ignited the more fearsosme gospel urgency of Mary (a Take 6 modification of the spiritual Mary Don’t You Weep).

At it wildest, the group turned the concert on its ear by offering what Chea introduced as the “Lexington remix” of I’ve Got Life. Specifically, that meant the tune was all organic hip hop with the singers vocalizing beats and bass while the music took all kinds of intriguing detours, including one down a New Orleans alley seemingly modeled after Allen Toussaint’s ’70s funk classic Yes We Can Can.

It was a wild stylistic ride for sure, but one that Terrell and the Philharmonic nicely navigated through, even during the instances when the guests commandeered the wheel.

take 6 in 11

take 6: alvin chea, cedric dent,

take 6: alvin chea, david thomas, claude mcknight, mark kibble, cedric dent and joey kibble. photo by anthony scarlati.

Peruse the career of the celebrated gospel vocal group Take 6 and you will discover one of the key factors in its continued popularity: collaboration.

Since forming in 1980 as a smaller a capella ensemble called The Gentlemen’s Estates Quartet, the group now known as Take 6 has collaborated such varied pop and R&B celebrities as Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, k.d. lang and Queen Latifah along with a host of contemporary jazz artists that include David Sanborn, Joe Sample, and Marcus Miller.

So it should come as little surprise that Take 6 performs in Lexington this weekend on a bill that places the multi Grammy and Dove Award winning group alongside the Lexington Philharmonic and the Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble.

“From the very beginning of our career, it has always been important for us to stay in as creative a mode as we can,” said Take 6 founding vocalist Claude V. McKnight III. “And that often includes collaborations with others, whether that be in the writing process or recordings or the live shows. It can be with an orchestra, a choir, or other solo performers and instrumentalists. We try to do it all.”

Take 6’s most recent album (outside of the 2010 holiday recording The Most Wonderful Time of the Year) emphasizes its collaborative spirit while leaning heavily to jazz and soul accents. On 2008’s The Standard, the group enlists help from Aaron Neville, George Benson, Brian McKnight (the Take 6 founder’s younger brother), Al Jarreau and, by way of some nifty editing, the late Ella Fitzgerald.

But the highlight comes in an arrangement of the Mile Davis classic Seven Steps to Heaven, which enlists Jarreau and veteran jazz singer Eddie Jefferson. The tune, which typlifies Take 6’s light and immensely lyrical harmonies, earned the group a Grammy nomination in 2009 (its total number of Grammy wins sits at 10).

“When I started in this group, I was a freshman in college,” McKnight said. “It was basically a hobby. I had no idea I would be doing this for my life’s work. Certainly, 30 years later, it has been a huge blessing.

“And we’ve been blessed to collaborate with so many wonderful artists that have let us weave in and out of jazz, r&b, pop, country and, obviously, gospel. It’s all been very, very cool.”

The Lexington Philharmonic with Take 6 and the Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble perform at 8 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Tickets are $25-$52. Call (859) 233-4226 or go to www.lexphil.org.

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Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) January 18, 1987 Vito F. Grasso has been named executive director of the Capital District chapter of the national Multiple Sclerosis Society. He will be responsible for overall planning and daily operations. Previously he was government relations consultant for Upjohn Healthcare Services.

Also, Paul J. Bartoszewicz has joined the chapter as special events coordinator.

The Dime Savings Bank of New York, lending division, has announced the promotion of two officers.

Ellis Judd Staley III of Guilderland has been named vice president. He is responsible for business development and residential lending in the Capital District and Dutchess and Ulster counties and the Rochester and Syracuse areas.

Deborah A. Sears of Schenectady has been named assistant vice president. She is responsible for overseeing the daily mortgage origination and underwriting operation at the Colonie processing center.

Also, the banking division announced three promotions.

Mary Ellen Stofelano of Albany has been named vice president. She is responsible for the mortgage center operation of the upstate region. Kathleen Swinegar of Colonie has also been named vice president and will head the central services department in Albany. Michael Jenks of Delmar, manager of the Washington Avenue office, has been named assistant vice president.

Norstar Bancorp has promoted Robert J. Lynch and Joseph F. Pelgrin Jr. to vice president and Mary P. Doyle to personnel officer.

Lynch, a resident of Clifton Park, joined Norstar in 1972 as a member of the comptroller’s department and was named vice president and comptroller of the bank in 1982. In 1984, he was named assistant vice president.

Pelgrin, also a resident of Clifton Park, joined the comptroller’s department in 1974 and was named assistant vice president in 1981. this web site dime savings bank

Doyle, of Albany, joined the holding company in 1981 as personnel administrator. A graduate of the State University at Albany, Doyle is a member of the American Institute of Banking.

Jeanne B. Warzek, manager of the Clifton County Mall office of Realty USA, has been awarded the Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager designation.

A member of the Saratoga County Board of Realtors, she joined Realty USA in 1983. She received her Graduate Realtors Institute designation in 1975 and was also recognized as a member of the Realtors’ National Honor Society.

Harold M. Haase and John J. O’Brien have been elected to the board of directors of Beechwood, a Troy Eddy retirement community.

The directors are responsible for the management of the community.

Jonathan D. Howland of Troy has been promoted to senior geotechnical engineer by the Dunn Geoscience Corp., a Latham geotechnical consulting firm.

He was most recently at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, where he spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow. Previously he was with the California firms of Converse and Dames & Moore.

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swells guys

chris sullivan (left) and warren byrom of the swells. photo by richie wireman.

the swells' chris sullivan and warren byrom. photo by richie wireman.

For years, The Swells has been that link in the Lexington music scene to another time and place. The band approaches blues, jazz and swing like it sailed out of another century.

Ditto for its phrasing and playing. A clarinet break or a piano roll in their hands can linger luxuriously for what seems like an entire evening. The way brushes slide across drums create moods bursting with summer humidity. But the band can also summon a party in an instant, especially when it packs on the brass and quickens the tempo.

One of The Swells’ more memorable outings – and there have been a lot of them over the years – came in 2008 when it played before (and then collaborated with) The Hot Club of Cowtown on closing night of the original Dame location on West Main.

Now, as they say, you can take The Swells home with you. The band has issued an immensely inviting new album called Public Domain that covers music by blues giant Mississippi John Hurt, jazz giant Erroll Garner, country giant Marty Robbins, traditional pop giant Irving Berlin and a lot more.

Recorded between 2006 and 2008, the record also nicely shows off the band’s stylistic extremes complete with the vibe that makes a Swells show so cool. The opening Closer Walk is all Crescent City soul with accents of clarinet, trumpet and piano that stroll about loosely in the manner of a passing New Orleans funeral. Robbins’ Five Brothers is all cowpolk drama, a country yarn with Rawhide-like harmonies that follow a bloody lyrical trail. A personal favorite is a lullaby-like reading of the classic pop instrumental Sleepwalk performed on musical saw by Chris Sullivan.

On Friday, The Swells – Sullivan, multi-instrumentalists Warren Byrom and Andy Mason, bassist Scott Wilmoth and drummer David White celebrate the music of Public Domain with a CD release show at The Green Lantern.

The Swells perform at 9 p.m. Jan. 21 at The Green Lantern, 497 West 3rd St. Cover is $5. Call (859) 252-9539.

critic’s pick 158

“I really do believe there is joy somewhere,” sings Kentucky folk stylist Daniel Martin Moore near the midpoint of In the Cool of the Day. That proves to be a comforting affirmation for an album of spirituals, especially one that departs from the purely traditionalist view of Appalachian gospel one might expect from such a rurally conscious artist as Moore.

Make no mistake, though. The soul of Appalachia runs deep in this music. The title tune, in fact, is one of the best loved spirituals penned by Kentucky folk matriarch  Jean Ritchie. There are also discreet dialogues between fiddle and mandolin percolating through Dark Road and a hint of banjo-triggered, waltz-like elegance on Set Things Aright to inform you of the kind of roots-directed gospel that figures so prominently on this record.

But from the moment Moore’s thoroughly unforced a capella singing welcomes us in on the album-opening All Ye Tenderhearted, the album emerges as a very original work that was recorded largely in a Cincinnati church and mastered at a Louisville funeral home (seriously, The Funeral Home is an upper floor studio located in the Ratterman Family Funeral Home).

The gospel sentiments unfold at their own pace, which is very much in keeping with the pronounced calm of Moore’s past music. The catalyst is a lone piano that enforces the record’s predominantly sparse sound. From there, instrumentation is held in check. The aforementioned Appalachian-derived string things join the celebration, as do string bass and rumbling percussive accents. Together, the mix creates new voices for four Moore originals and seven traditional or traditionally-inspired covers.

In the Garden, for instance, works like a light jazz rumba with a New Orleans second line percussion groove. A still-reverent Closer Walk with Three bears a ballroom blues attitude full of light, lyrical wonder. And on It Is Well With My Soul, the spirits move out of the Mountains and head West for a dialect that recalls the relaxed folk music cut around Laurel Canyon in California at the close of the ‘60s.

As such, In the Cool of the Day is anything but grossly reinvented gospel. On the Moore original O My Soul, piano teams with colorfully churchy organ colors to enhance the resolute nature of the lyrics. “Shake your chains to the earth,” sings Moore in a manner that is as collect and confident as the music itself.

That alone reflects honest spiritualism. Being comfortable enough with the spirits you saddle up to keeps the music from sounding like a tired plea for conversion. On In the Cool of the Day, Moore is profoundly at peace with those spirits.

Daniel Martin Moore performs a free in-store show at CD Central, 377 S. Limestone at 2 p.m. Jan. 29. He also plays a full evening concert at Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade on Feb. 10 (9 p.m., $8).

in performance: doug e. fresh

doug e. fresh

doug e. fresh

If you are one of the many that buy into the stereotype of rap music as a materialistic, sex-and-violence-obsessed commodity corrupting the youth of all cultures, Doug E. Fresh offered some encouraging words last night.

As one of hip hop’s founding fathers, the Barbados-born, New York-raised artist turned the calendars back for a packed house at the Lyric Theatre to present an overview of hip hop that traced the music to its beginnings as a unifying, block party beat that flourished along 125th St. in Harlem. In a nearly two hour presentation, Fresh detailed his own role in the infancy of hip hop (specifically, his innovation of the mouth percussion performance art known as beatboxing), the mentoring roles of rap’s previous generation upon today’s artists and a frank personal admission that had little to do with music but everything to do hip hop’s spirit of community unity.

Fresh traced his own role in hip hop to a music deprived New York school system and a shapeshifting R&B scene that began to base beats around the looped grooves pioneered by James Brown. From there came a casual, upbeat and extremely focused tutorial on hip hop’s relationship between MCs, DJs, visual artists (primarily graffiti artists), dancers and beatboxers. He also linked the allegiances of two successive generations, citing the influence of Kool Moe Dee upon KRS-One, of Melle Mel upon Tupac Shakur and his own inspirational debt in the early ‘80s to Kurtis Blow.

A detailed question and answer session later led into direct examples of how history, inspiration and groove came together. For that, Fresh performed his 1985 hit The Show and offered an extended live blast of his extraordinary, unaccompanied beatboxing in action. Both instances presented hip hop as an unencumbered, socially responsible music that remains, true to his name, Fresh and vital.

The surprise though came just before the ending segment of music when Fresh disclosed that his mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. His discussion wasn’t a plea for sympathy conjured for sentimental effect. It was a frank yet hopeful admission offered as a call for family unity that mirrored the evening’s overall hip hop theme of community strength.

“You go through this as a family,” he insisted, when discussing his mother’s condition. There was no beatboxing to this story. But its message came through loud and clear.

Humane Society’s goal: Help strapped owners keep their pets.(NEWS)(Brief article)

Crain’s Detroit Business November 16, 2009 | Welch, Sherri Begin Byline: Sherri Begin Welch Michigan Humane Society, Bingham Farms President and CEO: Cal Morgan Budget: $12.1 million The Michigan Humane Society’s belief that pets are an important part of any family spurred it to launch a program to keep pets with their owners during financial hardship.

To that goal, the Bingham Farms-based nonprofit is subsidizing low-cost and no-cost vaccinations for pets, sterilization surgeries, discounted veterinary care, free pet food and free behavior assistance for pets of local families facing difficult times. go to site michigan humane society

Just over half of the Michigan Humane Society’s revenue comes from contributions. It earns another 40 percent from adoption center and vet services fees.

The society also began a program to adopt out “certified, pre-owned cats at no cost to new owners and to place free, identifying microchips in the animals.

A Michigan Humane Society staff advocate works with volunteers who now manage the program, holding subsidization costs for the society to $151,000 this year.

In its first year, the program, at little or no cost to owners, vaccinated more than 3,000 dogs and cats, placed microchips in 825 pets, sterilized more than 2,800 cats, provided free pet food to hundreds of families and provided free behavioral assistance for pet owners to more than 150 callers each month. go to web site michigan humane society

The Michigan Humane Society is working with other organizations, such as the Oakland County Pet Fund, All About Animals, and private veterinarians to get more pets vaccinated and sterilized.

The humane society subsidizes the procedures at those clinics, targeting areas with very high levels of abandoned animals.

Welch, Sherri Begin

a day for revolution

One of the few failings of Soundtrack for a Revolution is its title. While the music that served as a backdrop for the civil rights movement of the 1960s is certainly a key component of this very absorbing 2009 documentary by Bill Guttentag and Danny Sturman, the film is far more an oral history of Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent protests in eradicating segregation and the racial unrest that grew from it.

That alone makes the film essential viewing on King’s birthday. One World Films will present a free screening of Soundtrack for a Revolution on Monday at the Kentucky Theatre.

But music still speaks volumes in the film, perhaps more so than Guttentag and Sturman intended (more on that in a moment). The thrust is upon performances of songs of solidarity and protest long associated with the civil rights movement as performed by artists of the present day. But even here, such music is very much a “soundtrack” for the story of the movement itself, which is told by those were witnesses to it – namely Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis and the ever eloquent Julian Bond.

The Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles cuts to the quick, though, when exploring the implausibility of segregation extending to graveyards. “Dead people,” he says soberly, “get along with each other.”

A few of the contemporary performances miss their mark simply because the artists – specifically, Joss Stone, Angie Stone (definitely not related) and Mary Mary – sing over fussy, funkified arrangements that tend to dramatize moments in history that need no artificial embellishment. As such, Angie Stone’s performance of Wade in the Water seems a touch redundant when played almost side by side with newsreel footage of crowds singing the song in the early ‘60s accompanied only by handclaps. The sense of soul in the latter is considerably more profound.

Other performances are almost heartbreaking, especially Richie Havens’ sublimely and spiritually subdued reading of Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which is interspersed with photographs of the individuals – black and white, male and female, adult and child, military and civilian – murdered during the era’s protests.

Turning up the turbulence are The Roots who breathe new but unforced urgency into Ain’t Nobody Gonna Turn Me Around. Later, John Legend, accompanying himself on piano, serves Stayin’ on Freedom as an affirmation as the film concludes with King’s 1968 assasination in Memphis.

But there is a truly frightening musical moment early in the film that quietly underscores the depth of cultural division that existed, especially in the south, prior to the civil rights movement. It’s a film clip designed like a piece of war propaganda titled The Message from Mississippi. It details segregation and racial inequality as absurdly acceptable components of daily life in the early ‘60s. Employed as a backdrop is a bit of orchestral muzak, the kind of music one might have heard on period family TV shows like Leave it to Beaver. It chirps along unassumingly, as if to enforce the fact that social injustice was, in that day, perfectly acceptable, that life in Mississippi was fine just the way it was.

It’s an effectively disgusting reminder that we have indeed traveled far from the days before King’s dream took hold. Luckily the music that Soundtrack for a Revolution can truly call its own, speaks in louder terms of an honest and more lasting truth.   

Soundtrack for a Revolution will be shown at 2 p.m. Monday at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main. Admission is free. Call (859) 231-7924. The film is also available on DVD.

`The Dress’

The Washington Post December 11, 1997 | Meg Dennison My daughter reaches for the worn cotton-knit dress in my closet, yanking it from the hanger to the floor. “How about this one?” she inquires sweetly. go to website easrer dresses

My normal uniform of jeans and T-shirts is wearing on 3-year-old Alison, but that doesn’t deter her from pulling another dress from the closet for me when I decline the cotton knit.

“This one would be bootiful,” she insists. I try another tactic. “Aren’t I beautiful to you because you love me?” I see she’s considering this. She looks at me, then the dress in her hand, then back to me with my unbrushed hair, my frumpy dressing gown, my wool socks that have fallen down below my ankles. “No,” she says firmly, shoving the dress in my direction. Alison believes in dresses for any occasion, a strict outlook on life that I only really began to understand with the arrival of the Christmas Dress. Her grandma sent her the dress to wear for Christmas dinner, a dress-up occasion in our family when I get out of jeans and even put on perfume. The children’s clothes are usually festive reds or greens, in velvet, and sometimes even the very dress that I had worn at the same age. The Christmas Dress that arrived one day in early December was a departure from the traditional. But Alison fell in love with it immediately. It is green gingham with puffed sleeves and a fitted bodice. It has a detachable ruffled white yoke that’s decorated with a hand-painted jolly red-cheeked Santa and elf. When Christmas is over, the yoke comes off and two happy green turtles, painted on the bodice, take over. Alison wore the dress that night. All night. She slept in it and wore it to the park the next day. It was on day three that I knew we were in trouble. “How about this dress today?” I suggested, holding up one of her other favorites. Alison just wasn’t interested. She wore the Christmas dress every day, and a whole bunch of nights, too. It’s hard to describe how much Alison loves this dress. She walks up to complete strangers, runs both hands down over the turtles and skirt, and says, “Do you like my Christmas Dress?” To friends, she doesn’t have to ask. They have, by now, learned to comment on its beauty. As you might imagine, washing the dress has been a problem. Logistically, much harder than snatching a kid’s blanket while she sleeps. I was forced to resort to some serious bribery. “If you let me wash it, I’ll wear a dress today — any dress you want to pick out,” I promised. This approach taught me one thing: As much as Alison dearly wants me to dress up, she wants to wear the Christmas Dress more. A friend said I should be thankful. Her daughter wore a pumpkin outfit for a year. It’s been three seasons now and the Christmas Dress is still a daily favorite. Miraculously, it still fits, although last month my mother had to sew the buttons on tighter and hem it again. The turtles are beginning to fade. We hardly notice it anymore. She wore it last weekend on a hike in the woods, and while the other kids might have thought it was an odd outfit, we saw no problem. It’s no longer catalogue-cute, but it’s a dress that can hold up to the monkey bar climbing and wrestling with a big brother. In fact, I think something here is starting to rub off. The other day I was shopping in the funky secondhand store where I buy my T-shirts and shorts and I found myself reaching past the pastels and grabbing instead a slinky, leopard print blouse. It slipped easily over my head and immediately felt just right. I stood in front of the mirror, admiring the way the gold brought out the blond highlights in my hair. I loved the way the accordion folds fell so nicely on my bare shoulders. This is it, I said. I’ve got to have this. In that moment, standing there in front of the mirror, I knew just how Alison felt. I knew, at last, the power of the Christmas Dress. And I finally had something to wear with those plush purple shoes, the ones with the rhinestones, the ones that Alison loves me to wear. web site easrer dresses

Meg Dennison

still fresh

doug e. fresh

doug e. fresh

There was little by way of precedent back when Doug E. Fresh ruled the hip hop world.

Before him, there was nothing known as beatboxing, the ability to simulate mechanically designed beats with only a mouth and a microphone. Fresh was a pioneer of the style.

Before him, there was little by way of global consciousness for the music. Fresh took care of that by becoming the first hip hop artist to play Africa and The Carribean.

Before him, there was no such thing as a two-sided rap hit – namely, a single containing two tunes that both become high profile songs. Fresh was the first when the regally cheery The Show and the beatbox-heavy La Di Da Di became simultaneous hits in 1985.

There was no precedent for any of that before the rapper born in Barbados as Douglas E. Davis took the spotlight. But then, hip hop in the early-to-mid ‘80s was still its infancy. It was music of discovery that was just beginning to change the way mainstream pop, and the youth culture that sustained it, moved and grooved.

“I didn’t think hip hop would ever reach the level of impact that it has,” said Fresh, who will present a performance/presentation titled “Hip Hop: The Echo of a Movement” on Sunday at the Lyric Theatre as part of Lexington’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“I certainly thought the music would have some impact. But what’s happening now? I mean, it’s mindblowing. It’s over the top. Times have changed quite a bit. Still, some things you can never predict.”

“I’ve seen quite a bit. I’ve seen the relationship between hip hop and the struggles people went through to create this opportunity for us. So I’ll have a lot to talk about. But I always look at that opportunity as a blessing. I always look at it as, ‘Hip hop is not just an art form. It’s a way of life.'”

Fresh’s career took root in music he created out of New York in the early ‘80s with a then-novice crew of DJs called The Get Fresh Crew. Among them was a young artist who went by the name of MC Ricky D, who later ignited his own hip hop audience after switching to the stage name of Slick Rick.

Hits like The Show soon established Fresh with followings in England, Europe and Africa. While subsequent recordings never equaled the impact of its early successes, Fresh’s career has taken him though collaborations with Ludacris and Nas (the 2005 summit Virgo) right through to 2011.

Beginning in February, Fresh will take part in a 20 city tour headlined by the rap/soul duo Salt-N-Pepa that features a full roster of fellow hip hop vets including Kurtis Blow, Kool Moe Dee and, coincidentally, Slick Rick.

“We see the power of hip hop as communication all the time,” Fresh said. “President Obama probably would have had a harder time getting elected if it wasn’t for hip hop simply because a lot of the young men and women who grew up with this music and voted for him were hip hoppers. They came to the parties, they came to the shows. Obama really seemed like he was relating to our generation.

“I just think that hip hop, from a global point of view, has affected so many people. It’s unreal. Just in the way people move and think and the things that they do. It’s had a tremendous effect across the board.”

When it comes to making people move, few hip hop artists have been hotter than Fresh. Along with his music came a primping, muscle pumping dance dubbed The Dougie. It’s a Fresh creation that has picked up a number of very high profile fans. Among the foremost is former University of Kentucky basketball star John Wall, whose popular celebratory dance is rooted heavily in The Dougie.

“John Wall looks like he’s having fun doing it, too” Fresh said. “And that’s really what it’s all about. It’s just about having fun and keeping that enjoyment in your life. John Wall plays basketball real good. But a lot of people don’t know he can do The Dougie like that.”

The frontrunner for the most unlikely dancer of The Dougie? Try CNN newscaster Wolf Blitzer, who took a stab at the dance last year at the Soul Train Awards.

“All these people keep coming up to me going, ‘Teach me how to do The Dougie.’ And I just go, ‘Man, I am The Dougie.’

“It’s all about that vibration. It’s about having fun. That’s the whole purpose of the dance. That’s the whole purpose of hip hop. If there is a message to all of it, that message would be to celebrate life. That’s the message I live by. And I make sure it’s not just something I’m saying. It’s something I’m doing.”

“Hip Hop: The Echo of a Movement” featuring Doug E. Fresh will be presented at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Lyric Theatre, 300 East Third St. Tickets are $10 advance, $15 day of show. Call (859) 280-2201.

Take Steps to Prevent Pulmonary Embolisms; Critical to move around after surgery, expert says.

Consumer Health News (English) May 29, 2011 SUNDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) — In the wake of tennis star Serena Williams’ potentially fatal pulmonary embolism after surgery this spring, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons has a reminder: it’s sometimes possible to prevent the condition.

Pulmonary embolisms are caused when blood clots travel to the lungs, often from the leg where a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) develops.

Women are at higher risk than men, as are overweight people, smokers and those who take birth control pills. site pulmonary embolism symptoms

“Surgery is also one of the leading causes of blood clots in patients, which means those at highest risk need to be diligent in speaking to their surgeon about their elevated risks so preventive measures can be taken,” podiatrist Dr. Peter Blume, of Yale School of Medicine, said in a news release.

Anti-clotting medication can prevent blood clots in the leg in some cases. Doctors can also use an implantable device called an inferior vena cava filter to prevent the clot from traveling to the lungs, Blume said.

Exercise is another preventive treatment: Get up and move around after surgery, even if you’re wearing a cast or using crutches. see here pulmonary embolism symptoms

Some people suffer from blood clots in the leg while flying. “The biggest recommendation you see in the airline magazines when you’re flying is to move your legs to prevent DVT, because people who sit on a long flight have a high incidence of DVT,” Blume said. “Similarly, if you’re sitting after surgery and the blood is not moving in the calf and you’re not exercising, you could end up with a clot in your calf. Surgeons have learned over the years that getting people moving after surgery will reduce the risk of a clot causing a pulmonary embolism.” Symptoms of pulmonary embolism are similar to those of heart attack, including sudden and unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain and a cough that produces blood-tinged mucus. “Other symptoms may include wheezing, leg swelling, excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat and fainting,” Blume said. “Pulmonary embolisms can occur quickly, and prompt medical attention is vital for recovery, so patients need to seek care if they are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with the condition.” More information For more on pulmonary embolism, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

hearing voices again

robert pollard of guided by voices.

robert pollard of guided by voices.

Robert Pollard has never been one for nostalgia. In the time it would take to organize even the hastiest of retrospective projects, the tirelessly prolific Dayton, Ohio rocker could record two, maybe even three albums of all new music.

As such, it was quite the surprise that Pollard not only resurrected the moniker of Guided By Voices last fall, but reassembled the self-described “classic” lineup of the band that became such a cultish and critical indie-rock hit during the mid ‘90s.

It was to have been a brief get-together, through – a six week trek that reunited Pollard, guitarists Tobin Sprout and Mitch Mitchell, bassist Greg Demos and drummer Kevin Fennell for the first time in over15 years. Even more improbable, the tour would only spotlight material from the recordings the quintet cut during its four years together, which included Propeller (1992), Bee Thousand (1994), Alien Lanes (1995) and Under the Bushes, Under the Stars (1996). While that amounts to drops in the proverbial ocean of music Pollard has created in and out of Guided by Voices over the years, those albums largely established the band’s cranky, boozy legacy.

The trek began in Austin and ended in New York. And that was to have been that. Then New York received an encore by way of an Irving Plaza concert on New Year’s Eve. The reunion was going to end there. But look what we have now. “Oops,” was the heading of the blurb on Pollard’s website that stated the finale will, in fact, take place this weekend with a concert at Headliners in Louisville.

On one hand it remains a little deflating to admit Guided By Voices was always a far bigger deal in Louisville than in Lexington. The band, in one of its later incarnations, attempted to crack open the door here with a deliriously roughcut performance for the now demised Dame’s opening weekend in 2003 – roughly 18 months before the band officially split up. But that was about it.

The upside of the story, though, is that for a ticket and a road trip to Louisville on Saturday night of this three day weekend, you can party with the Voices in your head one last time.

Can’t make the trip? Then check out www.gbvdigital.com. The site has downloads of several shows from the reunion tour available for purchase. Especially recommended is the Dec. 30 performance from New Jersey when the band, in typical whirlwind fashion, crammed 47 bite-size songs into a 1 ¾ hour performance. Now that’s what you call efficiency.

Guided by Voices with Times New Viking perform at 9 p.m. Jan 15 at Headliners Music Hall, 1386 Lexington Rd. in Louisville. $27 in advance, $30 day of show. Call (502) 584-8088 or go to www.etix.com.

a winter night at the village vanguard

live from new york, it's joe lovano! photo by jimmy katz.

live from new york, it's joe lovano! photo by jimmy katz.

Looking for a sliver on warmth on a snowbound winter evening? Then take a trip to one of the most intimate and prestigious jazz clubs in the world without leaving home.

Tonight at 9, saxophonist Joe Lovano and his immensely resourceful double-drummer quintet, the Us Five, will send out a live set from New York’s famed Village Vanguard through cyberspace. You can catch the music as it happens on the NPR music website.

The Vanguard is a bit of living jazz history. Operating out of the same basement digs for over 75 years, it has hosted most every major jazz titan of that has roamed New York, from Thelonious Monk to John Coltrane to Dexter Gordon to hundreds of others.

Lovano has been something of a mainstay at the club, having recorded there (his sublime 1994 album Quartets) as well as performed within its modest confines with many of his own fine groups as well as with several collective ensembles – most notably, as one third of Paul Motian’s extraordinary trio with Bill Frisell.

I’ve been lucky enough to witness Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard perform at the Vanguard over the years. One is hard pressed as to which sensation is more powerful – the immediacy of the music at hand and the undeniable rush of confronting a sense of the mighty spirits that have played there.

Tonight, NPR Live at the Village Vanguard lets you taste that atmosphere with one of the leading jazz voices of the day at the helm. What a way to brighten a winter night.

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The key to an enduring jazz legacy is relevancy. In other words, such a legacy thrives when a musical inspiration from another era exists not as a museum piece and not as product fit for mere imitation but rather as a means to create an artistic voice that finds vitality and validity in the present day.

On his splendid new Bird Songs album, saxophonist, bandleader and overall jazz impresario Joe Lovano takes on the legacy of Bird himself – Charlie Parker. An iconic jazz figure ripe for the tribute treatment over the decades, Parker’s tunes exist on the recording not as historical footnotes to be studiously analyzed and dissected. They are not given over to gratuitous reinvention, either. With the help of his daring double-drummer quintet, the Us Five, Lovano explores Parker’s compositions more like soul music. The melodies, the construction and, quite often the swing are regularly embraced. But the arrangements also evolve with graceful, glowing dynamics, much in the way Lovano’s own compositions do. Add in the multitude of reed colors Lovano summons – on tenor, straight alto and something called the G mezzo soprano sax along with the double sax beast known as the aulochrome – and the Us Five’s considerable melodic flexibility and you have a brave, fun new voice for a proven jazz legacy.

Passport opens Bird Songs, alternating between bright, boppish intimacy and gloriously contained swing. This is textbook Bird raised several notches by Lovano’s typically warm and playful sax tone. Need a five minute vacation from the dead of winter? Passport is your visa out.

A similarly sunny lyricism is summoned with the Carribean and Brazilian accents of Barbados and Dewey Square. The former possesses the kind of bounce that brings to mind the more summery music of fellow tenor titan Sonny Rollins while the latter lets Us Five drummers Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III set the stride with funky percussive chatter that represents one of Bird Songs‘ most joyous departures.

The closing 12 minute reading of Yardbird Suite beautifully opens the album up. It begins with luminous dialogue between Lovano and pianist James Weidman that sounds like a springtime variation on the spiritual music of John Coltrane before loosening further for a light-as-air bass solo from Esperalda Spalding that blends right back into another animated piano run by Weidman.

In the liner notes, Lovano proclaims esteemed respect for the great sax man Coleman Hawkins, whom he terms “the first Bird in flight.” There are suggestions of his regal tone throughout Bird Songs, as well. But mostly the album works in a way every great jazz recording should. It pays generous heed to the masters, shoulders up to their spirits and then confidently roars forward with its own royal voice.

Kick back and enjoy this first great album of 2011. It’s a stunner.

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