current listening 01/15/12

Some weekend listening inspired by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday:

+ Sly and the Family Stone: There’s a Riot Goin’ On (1971) – Sly Stone’s summery funk began to splinter, along with the Family Stone’s lineup, by the time Riot was issued 40 years this winter. The result was a darker, more urbanized and altogether wintry variation on the Stone groove. Curiously, the murkiest song on the album, Family Affair, was the hit. An often brilliant snapshot of pop-soul America from the early, turbulent ‘70s.

+ Elvin Jones: On the Mountain (1975) – A fusion-flavored obscurity from the great jazz drummer’s ‘70s catalog, Mountain teams Jones with keyboardist Jan Hammer and alumni bassist Gene Perla. The electric keys may deter purists, but Jones rides steady with plenty of discreet playing in between blasts of volcanic fury. Still out of print, Mountain sells online for as much as $50. Found a pristine used copy at CD Central last week for 6 bucks.

+ Sun Ra and his Intergalactic Myth Science Solar Arkestra: Sleeping Beauty (1979) – Described by one critic as “the great late night Sun Ra chillout album you never knew about,” Sleeping Beauty is the most accessible in a series of 1979 recordings reissued overseas in 2008. Outer space jazzman Ra eases off the avant garde anarachy for brassy gospel/soul/funk grooves fueled by electric keyboards and a 28-member strong Arkestra.

+ Bettye LaVette: The Scene of the Crime (2007) – The title of this second in a series of comeback albums by the great R&B matriarch refers to Muscle Shoals, Ala. and the Southern fried soul LaVette cut for a 1972 solo debut album that was infamously shelved. Her guides this time were Drive-By Truckers, direct descendents of the Muscle Shoals sound who help fortify the regal soul sass in tunes by Eddie Hinton and John Hiatt.

+ Randy Weston: The Storyteller (2010) – An underappreciated jazz elder, Weston has long favored music with worldly, roots-conscious accents. Shades of African and Afro-Cuban rhythms orchestrate this live recording from a 2009 Lincoln Center date, as does Weston’s beautifully beefy playing. The Storyteller also serves as a memorial to Benny Powell, Weston’s longtime trombonist, who died shortly before the recording’s release.

OPTIONS FOR TRAVEL IN, OUT OF NYC.(Stars)(Column)

The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY) October 29, 2006 Byline: SANDRA SCOTT CONTRIBUTING WRITER Dear Sandra: We have an appointment in Manhattan at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday. We don’t want to drive into the city. Our plan was to drive to the Peekskill area, stay overnight, park at the Metro North commuter lot and take the train into the city in the morning.

The commuter lot does not allow overnight parking. Do you have any suggestions? – T.D., Syracuse.

Dear T.D.: It is a good plan; just pick another Metro North Station, one serviced by Allright Parking, www.allright parking.net . Peekskill is not one of them, nor can you park all night at the Riverdale and Woodlawn stations. If you decide to stay in New York City, the parking lot is free on weekends. The meter will automatically deal with it.

You will find several accommodation options between Ossining and Irvington, including ones operated by Comfort Inn, Marriott Courtyard and Hampton Inn.

Tip: Consider spending time in New York City. There are many things to do there: take in a Broadway show with half-price tickets, visit a museum, do a Circle Line boat tour or check on the free walking tour with Big Apple Greeters, www.bigapple greeter.org . site old lahaina luau

Excursions or adventures?

Dear Sandra: We are taking a Hawaiian cruise on the Pride of America plus spending three days in Maui. Should we take the ship’s excursions or explore on our own? Where is the best luau? – K.K., Clay Dear K.K.: While tours try to include all the highlights, some of the most memorable experiences happen when you strike out on your own. Consider a driving tour on some islands and an organized tour on others. On Hawaii, the Big Island, Volcanoes National Park is not to be missed. Just before sunset, head down to the ocean via Chain of Craters Road for the best nighttime lava show.

In Maui, consider a cliff-side driving tour to Hana through the rain forest.

On Kauai, pack a picnic and explore Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park.

Oahu has many attractions, including Pearl Harbor and Honolulu’s Chinatown. This might be a good place to take a tour. Tours booked independently may be a better value than those offered by the cruise company. The best luau on Maui is considered the “Old Lahaina Luau,” www.oldlahainaluau.com , located right on the water.

You can get a free travel planner for Maui at www.visit maui.com .

Tip: Attending a Hawaiian-language church service is memorable. The Kawaiahao Church on Oahu holds Hawaiian-language services, and prayers and songs are in Hawaiian at the Kupaianaha Church in Wailuku, Maui. in our site old lahaina luau

Trivia tease Where is the White City of Mijas? Look for the answer next week.

Sandra Scott, a retired Mexico Middle School social studies teacher, is a freelance travel writer and co-author of two local history books. Her column appears here weekly.

CAPTION(S):

PHOTO Courtesy of Sandra Scott TRIVIA TEASE: Last week we asked: Who was the only civilian killed during the Battle of Gettysburg? It was 20-year-old Jennie Wade. On July 3, 1863, she was baking bread for Union soldiers when a single bullet traveled through two wooden doors, killing her instantly. Shown is her house, now a museum, in Gettysburg, Pa.



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