Archive for January, 2012

not the keb' mo' you know

keb' mo'. photo by meghan aileen schizme.

From an artistic vantage point, it is a no-win situation.

You work for years to carve out a niche, a recognizable sound, within the pop marketplace. If you maintain a steady stylistic course, you are viewed as being stagnant.  But if you shift even slightly, you upset the faithful that helped build your fanbase in the first place.

Such is the crossroads that Kevin Moore – better known to the pop mainstream as Keb’ Mo’ – has faced over the past year. The three-time Grammy winning singer, songsmith and guitarist has steadily established himself as one of the most commercially viable and visible blues artists to emerge in the past two decades. Yet on his newest album, The Reflection, Moore surrendered almost exclusively to the pop-soul sentiments that, in more meager doses on earlier recordings, established him as an assured crossover act.

Some might view the move as simply part of an inevitable artistic evolution. But audiences and critics seldom welcome stylistic change unconditionally. Luckily, Moore expected some dicey reaction to The Reflection.

“If you do the same thing all the time and kind of stay in your lane, then you’re just going to be considered as ‘reliable’ or ‘redundant’,” said Moore, who returns to Lexington for a Thursday performance at the Kentucky Theatre. “But if you do something different, you’re some kind of renegade. It’s like, ‘Hey, this isn’t the Keb’Mo’ we know.’

“No matter what you do, people are going to be mad at you. I figured some people would get this album and some would wind up being a little disappointed or perplexed. But I’m encouraged that there has been a lot less of the ‘What’s he doing?’ reaction with the new album than I thought there would be.”

In many ways, Moore’s move toward a silkier pop and soul sound shouldn’t come as a surprise. Though there are accents of traditional acoustic blues on his early recordings, including his 1994 self-titled debut for Epic Records (it contained covers of two classics by master bluesman Robert Johnson), Moore has also generously dressed his albums with mid-tempo, pop-inflected material that has helped forge his crossover appeal.

But the change on The Reflection is immediate. The album opens with a warm, worldly parable titled The Whole Enchilada. Its inviting narrative has been compared to the music of James Taylor by many critics. But Moore keeps the pop element clearly on the soul side with sleek instrumentation from veteran pop/R&B session guitarist David T. Walker (whose credits include esteemed early ‘70s recordings by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock).

“It was magical to work with David T. Walker,” Moore said. “He is a real special guitar player. Now, I know a lot of great guitar players. But David is so stylized and so good at what he does that his playing just makes you happy.”

Another curious ally on The Reflection is country star is Vince Gill, who guests on My Baby’s Tellin’ Lies. Moore recently relocated to Nashville from Los Angeles, so perhaps the alliance isn’t that unlikely. But there was also a challenge: to utilize Gill’s gifts at singing and songwriting without having the tune slide completely into country territory. On an initial mix of the song, that’s exactly where the music wound up.

“It took me a long time to wrestle with that one,” Moore said. “I had this great demo of Vince and I singing it. Then we recorded this beautiful track for it in L.A. that was just too country. I mean, it sounded great. But I kept thinking, ‘No. I don’t want to do that – not on this cut.’ So I stripped everything down to the drums and started over. I put some mandolin on it after I urbanized the music a little bit. I really wanted Vince and I to be showcased in something other than a country setting. I thought that would be more interesting.”

But perhaps the most telling tune on The Reflection is the album-closing Something Within, a soul affirmation that is a true family affair. It sports an arrangement by his son, gospel harmonies from his younger sister, additional vocals from his cousin and even samples of recorded singing from his grandfather.

“That was actually where the record started. We had this recording of my grandfather singing, but I’m not really good at sampling. I don’t know that world. But my son laid down this chord progression, came up with the grooves and put the samples in there. When I heard that, I was like, ‘Okay.’ So we built on that.

And there it is. Change. The sound of the blues and it slides into modern soul.

“I find that it’s just the general nature of ‘us,’ of human beings, to be creatures of habit. But the thing is you always have to be willing to change. You may be met at first with resistance. That’s kind of a crazy quirk in our DNA. But over time, that changes. And with music, it eventually becomes, ‘Oh, I get it now.’”

Keb’ Mo’ performs at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 East Main. Tickets are $50.75.Call (859) 231-7924.

(The new) Kindle eReader

The Irish Times August 14, 2010 | TOM KELLY Go Gadgets: Ah, the smell of competition! The launch of Apple’s iPad, with its powerful ebooks app, has prompted a swift reaction from Amazon, with the imminent release of a new Kindle, its own popular electronic book reader.

In case you missed the arrival of the Kindle’s predecessors and its e-cousins, this is a hand-held device that lets you read digital versions of books downloaded from Amazon. It’s one of several similar non-paper readers which, while not delivering the tactile pleasure of turning the printed page, do allow you tote around a virtual bookshelf with hundreds of publications as easily as you would a well-thumbed paperback.

In the case of this new, third generation Kindle, that’s a veritable Dr Johnson-esque library of 3,500 books, double its previous page count. Moreover, it bookends these into a smaller, lighter body reflecting that hoary old cheese puff about the electronics business that was so successful, they’d had to move to smaller premises.

The body has had a once-over too, with a new buffed, graphite finish and a claimed longer battery life. This Kindle still mimics the printed word with its black and white e-ink rather than iPad’s full colour offering. This certainly gives the Kindle the edge when holiday reading in sweltering sunlight, but that may not be enough to make it an iPad ekiller. bobblewaterbottlenow.com bobble water bottle

Of course, they do get another bite of the ebook cherry as their own app for the iPad lets punters eread Amazon downloads there too. And they are obviously not ones to worry about killing off their babies, with this simply being called a Kindle, with no sequel- suggestive numerals or a Ludlum-esque Kindle Librarium, for example. here bobble water bottle

As admirable as all their technical nips and tucks are, it’s at the pricing end where Amazon has sharpened up, with the WiFi-only Kindle just $139 (Irish customers are still being sent to the US site to buy).

Cost WiFi model $139 ([euro]106), WiFi 3G $189 ([euro]144), amazon.com Pod a Porter Neckband Perhaps the only inelegant note struck by this otherwise beautifully executed piece of product design is the pretension of its rather puntastic name. Almost as pompous as that opening line. Anyway, this is a very cool accessory, even jewellery, for an iPod Shuffle – the stamp-sized MP3 player from Apple. It’s an ultralight neckband to hold your Shuffle and neatly channel the headphones around so they don’t get twisted and tangled up in your clothes. These are crucial, because the player’s extreme buttonism means the headphone cables have the Shuffle’s controls built-in to them. Bust them and it’s not so much Shuffle as muffle.

At the same time, the PaP holds the Shuffle itself of course, for when you’re togged down to your exquisite basics for the beach or poolside. You can hardly tuck it in your thong after all: two wrongs won’t make a right.

Designer Michiel Cornelissen has one more twist: each Pod a Porter is individually produced by a 3D printer in polyamide when you order online. In black, white and a range of iPodista colours.

Cost [euro]25, shapeways.com Water Bobble Not a typo, but a smart, eco-positive solution to getting filtered water on the move. So the travelling middle classes everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief. See, the good-looking Bobble Water Bottle has an active carbon filter that’s good for 300 dechlorinated, decontaminated fill-ups. So it helps neutralise the environmental WMD that is bottled water. Plus, the Bobble itself is BPA-free, 100 per cent recycled and recyclable, for an all-round feelgood factor. Of course, there is the small matter of shipping it over here.

Cost $10 ([euro]7.50), filters $7 ([euro]5.50), waterbobble.com.betweenideas@gmail.com and betweenideas.blogspot.com TOM KELLY

piano man of mirth and melancholy

joey calderazzo and branford marsalis.

In describing Songs of Mirth and Melancholy, the recent album of piano and saxophone duets he recorded with longtime bandmate Branford Marsalis, pianist Joey Calderazzo seemed almost dismissive.

Like most of the recordings he has engaged himself with – be they solo projects or the numerous works undertaken over the past 12 years with Marsalis’ extraordinary jazz quartet – Calderazzo views Mirth almost exclusively in the past tense. The jazz process for him involves immersing himself in the music, seeking something applicable from it that can benefit his playing and then moving on.

“What I will do is overdose on a project,” says Calderazzo, who performs with the Marsalis Quartet on Thursday for a performance at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort. “I listen to it as a filter. And that’s what I did with the duo record. What I’m filtering is, ‘That’s good.’ ‘I need to work on that.’ ‘That sucks.’ ‘Why did I do that?’ ‘That’s cool.’ ‘That could be a tune.’ And ‘I should play more like that behind Branford because it worked.’

“I’ll do that and then I’m away from the album and then it’s gone.”

Well, yes – but not completely. True, Calderazzo’s thoughts of late have shifted to an upcoming Marsalis Quartet recording, the first since drummer Justin Faulkner joined the group (“It’s a good one, man – probably my proudest work”) and as well a concert recording with his own trio (with bassist Orlando le Fleming and drummer Donald Edwards). But as he reflects more on Mirth, a snapshot emerges. It’s of a musical environment the pianist said remains unique to the record.

The tune in question is the album-closing Calderazzo original Bri’s Dance. To illustrate, he vocalizes the song’s stately melody – or at least the one that frames it.

“There’s a part of that song where we are playing free, but the whole song is being implied. We’re playing in a whole other time. It morphs into something really cool. We’ve played that tune a few times live and we have never, ever gotten to that place again. And it happened organically.

“It’s not my best solo or Branford’s best playing. It’s what we did as a duo together. That, to me, was the really great part of what happened there.”

Calderazzo said the process is just as unpredictable when it comes to music created by the Marsalis Quartet, which is rounded out by longtime bassist Eric Revis.

“If you could witness the process, you would be like, ‘What?’ Some of the arrangements come out of mistakes. Some of the arrangements we stumble upon. Some of the arrangements… well, very few are talked about. So we just start playing and stuff develops. Then we’ll play it for awhile and something else will change. It’s a really neat way for things to happen. But there’s not a lot of talking. There just isn’t.

“For this new quartet record (tentatively scheduled for release in March), we basically had three tunes written going into the session. Eric brought in two and I wrote one at the session. Branford was like, ‘We’re going to need that ballad, man, so finish writing it.’ So I took an hour break and I wrote it. We did one take and that’s what’s on the record.”

A New York native now living (as is Marsalis) in North Carolina, Calderazzo was introduced to international jazz audiences in the late ‘80s by another saxophone titan, the late Michael Brecker. Curiously, Calderazzo replaced Kenny Kirkland in Brecker’s band, the pianist he also succeeded in the Marsalis Quartet (Kirkland died in 1998).

“Mike and I kind of grew up together,” Calderazzo said. “I was in his first band. Kenny did the record (1987’s Michael Brecker), but really didn’t do much touring. So I was right there from the get go. And that was Mike’s first real time as a bandleader. I wasn’t the MD (musical director), but I was the MD. So Mike would be like, ‘Well, what are we playing?’ I’d say, ‘Let’s play this.’ And he’d be like, ‘OK, cool.’ Anything I wrote, he would play.

“There was a period from ’99 to ’05 where I was playing with Mike and Branford both. I was behind the scenes, but I was on the road 240 days a year. I was doing three weeks with one and then running to Asia with another and then running back. Those were good times.

“I miss Mike every day. In the 20 years we were together, I don’t think three days went by that I didn’t speak to him. We talked all the time. He mentored me personally more than anything else. You get a bandleader to do something like that, then that’s a special guy.”

The Branford Marsalis Quartet performs at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Grand Theatre, 308 St. Clair St. in Frankfort. Tickets are $55-$80. Call (502) 352-7469 or go towww.grandtheatrefrankfort.org

critic's picks 211

Two agendas come into play on the splendid new all-star jazz releases Further Explorations and Come Sunday. One is exact and purposeful. The other could not have been more unplanned.

Both albums come to us as tributes. Further Explorations honors the music of jazz piano giant Bill Evans. But since these New York performances recorded at the famed Blue Note, one of the recording’s three participants has left us. Come Sunday is a quieter but even more reverential nod to traditional hymns and spirituals. Similarly, one of its two co-leaders departed between the album’s completion in 2010 and its release last week.

Further Explorations is the sublime concert brainchild of pianist and jazz journeyman Chick Corea. In assembling an Evans tribute for the Blue Note engagement, Corea recruited bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Paul Motian. Both served celebrated tenures with Evans, but not at the same time.

Wisely, the trio shies away from overt imitation of Evans’ gifted lyricism. Instead, it embraces a melodic playfulness all its own, starting with the mischievous shuffle Motian employs to ignite the album-opening Peri’s Scope.

The magic, though, is exerted in the pure warmth of tone Corea summons on piano that mirrors Evans’ instrumental delicacy (and complexity) without blatantly appropriating it. Cases in point: side-by-side readings on Further Explorations’ second disc of Corea’s giddy Another Tango and the beautiful Evans classic Turn Out the Stars. The former struts to a quirky march, the latter is positively elegiac with Corea playing off Gomez’s bowed, chamber-style bass.

Though Evans is the intended honoree (Further Explorations follows his Explorations album by exactly 50 years), the recording also serves as a memorial to Motian, who died at age 80 in November. For a crash course in Motion’s compositional cunning, give an ear to Mode VI (which precedes Another Tango). It now stands as a tribute to the industrious drummer/bandleader as much as it does to Evans.

Come Sunday is the second duet album of spirituals from bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Hank Jones. The first, Steal Away, dates back 17 years.

Like its predecessors, Come Sunday’s spiritual speak is gloriously subdued. Jones is a master at conjuring light, spacious piano phrases (a quality Evans also possessed). Such a style is put on lovely display during an immensely emotive (and almost haunting) Going Home.

Throughout the album, Haden largely stays in the passenger seat, adding ultra tasteful support and unfussy solos to stately versions of The Old Rugged Cross and Were You There When They Crucified My Lord. As a result, the subsequent duets are churchy, inviting and, above all, contemplative.

Jones died in 2010 at age 91. It’s hard to imagine a more graceful footote to his extraordinary career than the elegant spiritual solace of Come Sunday.

Lemon frozen yogurt. (recipe) (Sunset’s Kitchen Cabinet) (Column)

Sunset September 1, 1993 | McCarroll, Christina Christina McCarroll, Los Altos, California 4 cups vanilla-flavor low-fat yogurt 4 teaspoons grated lemon peel 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup light corn syrup Thin lemon slices Gingersnap cookies (optional) In a 9- to 10-inch square metal pan, mix yogurt, lemon peel, lemon juice, and corn syrup. Cover airtight and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 3 weeks. go to website frozen yogurt recipe

Break frozen mixture into large chunks; if too hard, let stand a few minutes at room temperature to soften. Whirl chunks in a food processor or beat with a mixer until a smooth-textured slush forms. Return slush mixture to pan. Cover and freeze until firmed slightly, 30 minutes to 3 hours. Scoop frozen yogurt into chilled bowls, decorate with lemon slices, and accompany with gingersnap cookies. Makes 6 to 8 servings. this web site frozen yogurt recipe

Per serving: 128 cal. (9.8 percent from fat); 5.6 g protein; 1.4 g fat (0.9 g sat.); 24 g carbo.; 89 mg sodium; 5.7 mg chol.

McCarroll, Christina

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.

in performance: bettye lavette

bettye lavette

The words bellowed in clarion call fashion from Bettye LaVette before the veteran soul singer hit the stage last night at Louisville’s ultra-intimate Clifton Center. Even from the wings, the masterful LaVette knew how to start a party.

And “say it” she did. The greeting triggered a show-opening reading of The Word that transformed the Beatles classic into a gritty blast of Sly Stone-style rock and funk. For the 90 minutes that followed, LaVette dressed everything from alt-country classics (Lucinda Williams’ Joy) to British pop (Ringo Starr’s It Don’t Come Easy) to vintage country (the George Jones hit Choices) with a studied, soul-savvy makeover.

Throughout, LaVette presented herself as a regal soul music matriarch. She commanded the evening not just through the regal tone of her singing, but in her remarkable sense of taste and confidence as a performer.

As an entertainer, LaVette was beyond cool. Early into the program she reminded the crowd of her brief ‘80s stint as a Louisvillian, a year-long status that netted her “not one damn gig.”

“But now I’m probably the only person in New Jersey that knows how to pronounce the name of your city.”

LaVette also regularly displayed a seemingly intuitive knack for dispensing the proper dosage of emotive performance angst for her tunes. For example, Joe Simon’s Your Time to Cry was delivered with a sense of torchy retribution that was truly chilling. Equally arresting were the near-operatic intensity of Damn Your Eyes (which was dedicated to ailing R&B contemporary Etta James) and a sagely soulful (and serenely desperate) take on The Who’s Love Reign O’er Me.

The concert never dissolved into the sort of theatrical shriekfest that smothers some soul/R&B/gospel outings. There was not a hint of vocal grandstanding. In fact, its most moving moment came when LaVette purposely cooled the proceedings.

On the show-closing encore of Sinead O’Connor’s I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, LaVette sang sans her four-member band but with generous conversational sass. Once finished, she placed her microphone on the stage floor and was draped with an overcoat in James Brown-like fashion before being whisked offstage.

You sensed the woman was still “saying it” as she exited.

fit for a king

bettye lavette.

Who is to say if it was a coincidence or not that Bettye LaVette and Ruthie Foster happened to wind up with return engagements in Louisville and Lexington this holiday weekend. Regardless of the reason, the musical traditions both women embrace will unquestionably be step with Monday’s Martin Luther King Day celebrations.

LaVette, who turns 66 later this month, is the astounding soul music matriarch that is still riding a remarkable career renaissance. Though she began recording and performing traditional soul-style music in the ‘60s, LaVette never really enjoyed lasting popularity until her soul-drenched, Joe Henry-produced I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise album was released in 2005.

LaVette’s newest R&B delicacy is a 2010 album of soul revisions of vintage British rock staples titled Interpretations.

ruthie foster.

Though perhaps not as well known, Foster is a powerful contemporary blues voice that hails from the Brazos Valley region of Texas. She returns to the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour on Monday with Canadian fiddler/stepdancer April Verch, having played the program in 2003 with Jason Ringenberg.

That engagement remains notable for the fact it came in the direct aftermath of a severe winter storm that left much of Lexington in a blackout. Her performance that night was a spark of electric life in a city that sat in stark, wintry stillness.

Bettye LaVette performs at 8 tonight at the Clifton Center Eifler Theatre, 2117 Payne St. in Louisville. Tickets are $33, $35. Call (502) 896-8480. Ruthie Foster performs at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Tickets are $10. Call (859) 252-8888.

Maine research studies vending’s impact on kids: health researchers examine the relationship between vending access in high schools and children’s body mass index and quality of diet, one of the first scientific studies of this hotly debated subject.(HEALTH AND NUTRITION)

Automatic Merchandiser March 1, 2006 | Maras, Elliot A group of researchers recently conducted a study on the relationship between access to vending machines in the high school environment and children’s body mass index (BMI) and quality of diet. This research, conducted in Maine, represents one of the first and only studies on school vending machines’ impact on the diet quality and BMI percentiles of high school students. The study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The research was presented at the 2005 annual meeting of NAASO, the Obesity Society, located in Silver Spring, Md. This is considered a leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity and committed to encouraging research on the causes and treatment of obesity and to keeping the medical community and public informed of new advances. The annual meeting was held in October 2005, in Vancouver, Canada.

An abstract of the study, titled “Frequency of school vending machine purchases, BMI and diet quality,” appeared in a recent NAASO publication.

Automatic Merchandiser sought permission from the study’s authors to provide a summary in the interest of providing readers some idea of how access to vending machines affects students’ diet quality and BMI percentiles from a scientific standpoint. The vending industry has been criticized in recent years for contributing to rising childhood obesity, resulting in legislative proposals to restrict vending machines in schools.

While rising obesity has alarmed many public officials and a portion of the public at large, some observers have noted a lack of scientific understanding of the causes of obesity. Automatic Merchandiser is committed to providing its readers credible research on the role vending plays in contributing to childhood obesity.

The abstract noted that the purpose of the study was to examine the differences in the frequency of vending purchases and the BMI percentile and diet quality in high school students.

MEASUREMENT STANDARDS BMI is a measure of weight for height and is gender and age specific. Some school districts have begun using BMI assessment as part of their efforts to monitor students’ health.

To determine BMI percentile in the study, height was measured twice to the nearest 0.25 cm using a stadiometer, the standard tool for measuring height. Weight was measured twice to nearest 0.1 kg using a calibrated digital scale. CDC growth charts were used to calculate age and gender specific BMI percentile. go to site cdc growth charts

To determine diet quality, researchers used the self-administered “Youth Food Frequency Questionnaire” to assess calories per day, total fat, saturated fat, total carbohydrates and sucrose.

The abstract noted there is concern that school vending machines offering low nutritional value items may contribute to weight gain and poor dietary intake in youth. The abstract also noted that a 2003 study found that 35 percent of items in vending machines in secondary schools met the “low-fat” criteria of less than or equal to 5.5 grams of fat per serving.

The study examined the differences between the frequency of vending purchases and percentile of body mass index and diet quality.

PARAMETERS IDENTIFIED Subjects included 552 students (225 girls, 327 boys) with a mean age of 15.8, plus or minus 0.9 years, from seven public high schools in Maine.

A total of 74 vending machines–55 beverage and 19 snack–were in the schools. Out of these 74 machines, 57 machines–44 beverage and 13 snack–were accessible to students. Subjects self-reported frequency of vending purchased in the past 30 days.

The beverages in the 44 glassfront beverage machines accessible to students consisted of 1,065 items. Beverage machines carried the following product mix:

* Sweetened beverages other than regular soda, 43.2 percent * Water, 40.4 percent * Regular soda, 7.7 percent * 100 percent juice, 4.8 percent * Diet soda, 1.8 percent * Milk, 2 percent [GRAPHICS OMITTED] Forty-six percent of all beverages met a low-fat, low-sugar criteria.

Seven of the machines were restricted access.

The 13 snack vending machines accessible to students carried a total of 480 items. Snack machines carried the following product mix:

* Salty snacks, 39 percent * Cookies, 26 percent * Candy, 25 percent * Other, 7.7 percent * Ice cream, 2.5 percent Twenty-three percent of all snack items met a low-fat criteria of less than or equal to 30 percent of total calories from fat and low sugar, less than 35 percent of sugar by weight.

Seven of the snack machines were restricted access.

Subjects were categorized into four groups based on self report of frequency of vending purchases: this web site cdc growth charts

1) 35.5 percent: zero items or only water;

2) 29 percent: 1 to 3 items;

3) 18.5 percent: 4 to 6 items; and 4) 17 percent: more than 7 items.

The greatest number of subjects reported purchasing water, followed by sweetened beverages other than soda, regular soda, salty snacks, 100 percent juice, candy, cookies, diet soda, other products and ice cream, as indicated in the chart above.

Preliminary analyses found consistent results for BMI percentile and diet quality between gender and age groups.

A later analysis showed no differences in BMI percentile between the groups. There were differences found in calories between groups.

FREQUENCY OF PURCHASE AND BODY MASS INDEX The results suggest that frequency of purchases from school vending machines was not associated with BMI, however; greater frequency of purchases was associated with a poorer diet quality. Students reporting a greater frequency of vending purchases had a greater caloric intake and poorer absolute dietary intake as compared to a lower frequency of purchases. This trend was also observed with the relative dietary intake of total fat and sucrose.

Other factors such as type of vending machines available or access to machines during the school day need to be considered, the authors noted.

No association was found between the number of unrestricted vending machines per student and frequency of vending purchases.

The researchers noted that in considering differences among the “frequency of purchase” groups, other factors, such as physical activity, intake of fruits and vegetables or availability of foods from other school food venues, should be considered. Longer term studies are needed to determine the effect that frequency of purchases from school vending machines has on BMI percentile in high school students.

Contributing authors included: Janet Whatley Blum, College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Maine; Anne-Marie Davee, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine; Rachel Devore, College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Maine; Paul Jenkins, Bassett Research Institute, Cooperstown, N.Y.; Christina Beaudoin, College of Nursing and Health Professions, University of Southern Maine; Janet Leiter, Bureau of Health, Maine Department of Health and Human Services; Lori Kaley, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine; and Debra Wigand, Bureau of Health and Human Services.

[GRAPHICS OMITTED] Elliot Maras, Editor Maras, Elliot

critic's pick 210

It figures. With most contemporary country stars serving up tunes that are little more than half-baked pop, is it any wonder a pack of jazz-directed popsters would emerge with the winter’s most traditionally flavored country record?

Welcome to For the Good Times, the second album by The Little Willies. And a good time it is, too. An ensemble of past and present New Yorkers boasting Grammy-winning piano jazz-pop princess Norah Jones as one of its two principal vocalists, The Little Willies rummage through decades of old school country gems (in the case of For the Good Times, classics by Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Lefty Frizzell) and serve them with perhaps an excess of spit-and-polish in the production but also a level of compensatory barroom cheer.

In short, this is a slick but scholarly workman’s holiday of an album.

While Jones is the marquee name in The LittleWillies, For the Good Times boasts a hearty group spirit. Rhythm guitarist Richard Julian splits vocal chores with Jones and approaches his singing with a decidedly folky attitude, as in the stark, cocktail lounge-lit contours of the neglected Willie Nelson gem Permanently Lonely.

Jones largely sounds liberated from the studied piano pop designs of her own songs, although her treatment of the Hank Williams hit Lovesick Blues, which is presented here as a bluesy lullaby, generously borrows from her jazz preferences.

But in true country fashion, the singers sound best when they work with and off one another. Ralph Stanley’s I Worship You opens with boozy, antique harmonies before exchanging verses that allow the tune to shift from a woozy waltz to hot rod guitar joyrides.

The latter is the product of The Little Willies’ true scene stealer, guitarist Jim Campilongo. Versed in the alert, animated guitar chatter of Chet Atkins and the more rustic country soul of Merle Travis but edged on by an intuitive spark all his own, Campilongo simmers this music with abundant cheer.

From the jazzy barnyard guitar leads that color a shuffle-style revision of the Frizzell staple If You’ve Got the Money I’ve Got the Time to the twilight blues strut highlighting Foul Owl on the Prowl (a tune pulled from the decidedly non-country soundtrack to In the Heat of the Night) to the white hot original instrumental Tommy Rockwood that falls somewhere between Buck Owens and Clarence White, Campilongo is the true life of this roots-infatuated celebration.

Make no mistake. For the Goods Times is far from a definitive portrait of traditional Americana. But that doesn’t seem to be the intent. The album instead respectfully plugs into a vintage country spirit that ignites a blast of summery sunshine. What a warm and welcoming sound to brave the dead of winter with.

Furniture fetish

Oakland Tribune July 19, 2003 The San Francisco Summer Furniture Market runs from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. today and Sunday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday. Work by numerous up-and- coming local designers, including design collective Launchpad, will be featured along with high-end pieces from retail and hospitality showrooms. Jennifer Jordan of HGTV’s “Sensible Chic” will lead a seminar on “Bringing Sensible Chic to Home Retailing” at 9 a.m. today at the Concourse Exhibition Center, Eighth and Brannan streets. Events will also be at The SF Mart, 1355 Market St.; The San Francisco Design Center, Eighth and Brannan streets and 101 Henry Adams St. and at the Giftcenter and Jewelrymart, 888 Brannan St. For more information, call (415) 490-5800 or visit www.sfdesigncenter.com Five-o’clock petals Trim those whiskers for the Bearded Iris Auction and Sale July 25. New introductions, old favorites and a wide variety of irises will all be showcased. The sale begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave. in Oakland. Call (510) 525-6536.

Girl power Ladies, grab your toolbelts and head to The Home Depot for a Do- it-HERself Workshop July 28. Back by popular demand, the free women- only how-to clinic will cover “How to Lay Ceramic Tile” at 6:30 p.m.; “How to Install a Ceiling Fan” at 7:15 p.m. and “How to Apply Faux Paint Techniques” at 8 p.m. Participating locations include:

Concord, (925) 798-9600;

El Cerrito, (510) 235-0800;

Emeryville, (510) 601-9400;

Fremont, (510) 490-0191;

Hayward, (510) 887-8544;

Livermore, (925) 243-1212;

Pleasanton, (925) 847-9200;

San Leandro, (510) 636-9600;

San Ramon, (925) 838-0194;

and Union City, (510) 489-9400. web site how to install a ceiling fan

What’s up at Strybing A collection of original gouache and watercolor paintings by Gianna Marino titled Culinary Herbs and Plants from Around the World is on view at the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture through Sept. 30. Free daily docent-led tours of the botanical gardens are at 1:30 p.m. weekdays and at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, starting from the Strybing Bookstore through July. Tours also begin at the Friend Gate at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Groups of 10 or more can call ahead for special tours.

Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is in Golden Gate Park at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in San Francisco. Call (415) 661-1316.

A passage to roses The Golden Gate Rose Society presents a Roses of India slide show and potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The event will be in conjunction with the society’s regular meeting. San Francisco County Fair Building, Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in San Francisco. Call (415) 229-1297 or (415) 550-0388. site how to install a ceiling fan

Faux Tiffany Shades of Tiffany showcases the work of seven Bay Area fused glass artists on Thursday. Browse through handmade lamps and glasswork inspired by the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Show hours will be from 6 to 9 p.m. and admission is free. Shades of Tiffany is at Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St., Ste. 100 in San Francisco. Call (415) 775-5500.

Evening excursions The University of California Botanical Garden presents Twilight Tours with an expert horticulturist at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 13. The tour topic for this Wednesday will be “A Walk in California” with horticulturist Nathan Smith, an expert on native plants. Tours are free for members and $5 for non-members. The garden is at 200 Centennial Drive in Berkeley. Call (510) 643-2755.

Victorian vibe The McConaghy Estate will hold an Antique and Collectibles Show and Victorian House Tour July 26 and 27. Browse through the grounds of the estate and view the wares of 55 antique and collectibles dealers. The 12-room farmhouse is decorated with vintage patriotic decorations. Admission to the outdoor sale is free. Admission to the house is $3 for adults; $2 for seniors and 50 cents for children. Show hours are 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. The McConaghy Estate is at 18701 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward. Call (510) 581-0223.

Bamboozled The California Horticultural Society presents a seminar on Beautifully Behaved Bamboo with Darrel DeBoer, president of the Northern California Chapter of the American Bamboo Society. DeBoer will discuss new species, and Jesus Mora and Jennifer York of the Bamboo Sourcery Nursery will show plants and root barriers. The seminar will be at 7:15 p.m. Monday. Admission is $5. The San Francisco County Fair Building is at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in San Francisco. Call (800) 884-0009.

Fruits of your labor That apricot tree seemed like a great idea — until it went crazy and produced more fruit than your family could eat in months. And of course, it’s all ripe right now.

Village Harvest, a neighborhood cooperative based in Santa Clara Valley, helps home fruit farmers from all over the Bay Area connect with local food banks. Their Oakland drop-off is the Alameda County Community Food Bank, 700 Murmansk St., Ste. 69, between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. Their Concord drop-off is the Contra Costa Food Bank, 4010 Nelson Ave., between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily. Call (925) 676- 7543.

Call (650) 740-7725 or visit www.villageharvest.org or.

— Jenny Slafkosky Send home and garden items at least three weeks in advance to Pad & Patio, ANG Newspapers, 4770 Willow Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588, or fax to (925) 416-4874. Please include the name of the event, time, date, place, description, cost and a telephone number. Event listings are free.

singing loretta

coralee. photo by herald-leader staff photographer mark cornelison.

coralee. photo by mark cornelison, herald-leader staff.

Over the last few months, local Americana songstress Coralee has been stepping slightly outside of the vintage country and soul orbits of her own music.

Last month alone, she joined coalitions of fellow Lexington artists in the annual tribute to The Band’s The Last Waltz, participated in a smaller club salute to Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album and wound up in an all-star quintet that ushered in 2012 playing Led Zeppelin songs.

Don’t get the idea, however, that Coralee has forsaken her country-roots band, Coralee and the Townies, or the robust original music that fuels its repertoire. There is, in fact, a new Townies tune (Always, Darlin’) available for download online.

But as the singer shifts artistic priorities back to her own songs – specifically, to the recording of a new album – the idea for one more musical tribute came into play. For her performance tonight at Cosmic Charlie’s, which is being viewed essentially as a fundraiser to help cover upcoming recording studio costs, she is splitting the evening in two parts.

Her second set will focus exclusively on original songs. But the first half of the evening will be devoted the music of another grand Kentucky country spirit – Loretta Lynn.

“People ask us to play Loretta songs all the time,” Coralee said. “We’ve always done (the 1966 classic) You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man). And it’s always been a big hit. So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make the show into a special event and hopefully draw out some people who haven’t seen us before.”

Coralee said the thrust of her newer music isn’t shifting dramatically from the soul-blasted traditional country that has been the Townies’ specialty in recent years. But as the singer dipped deeper into Lynn’s immense catalog, she came to admire the emotive and musical efficiency of the songs it contained. It was an attribute she hopes to convey in her own writing.

“It’s been a pretty good lesson in – and I almost hate to say this – commercial songwriting. Loretta’s songs are so quick. The solos are kept so short. But the songs accomplish so much in such a brief period of time. That’s been a really interesting and kind of humorous thing for us to figure out as we’re going through all of this material.

“One of the things about playing the Loretta stuff is that the songs she picked and the songs that she wrote herself are the kinds of songs that I like to write. Those kinds of things are fundamentally country. They are told with simple, common language but are still very clever.

“I’m not a very abstract songwriter. In my experience with the Zeppelin covers and the Bob shows, my reaches are expanding. But the Americana/country/soul stuff is what I love. That’s going to come through no matter what.”

So what specific Loretta Lynn tunes egg on a versed disciple like Coralee when assembling a tribute set?

“I love singing Blue Kentucky Girl,” Coralee said. “She didn’t actually write that song, but she had a big hit with it (Blue Kentucky Girl became a Top 10 country single for Lynn in 1966 and again for Emmylou Harris in 1979). That’s one of my favorites to sing, perhaps for obvious reasons.

“But I also love Fist City and Don’t Come Home Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind) – her songs with attitude. That’s the stuff I like to kind of project in my own songwriting. Those are really fun for me. But we’ve also worked up two songs for the show from the (Grammy-winning 2004) Van Lear Rose album. That is one of my favorites.”

But in immersing herself so deeply in the music of Lynn, Led Zeppelin and Dylan of late, how is there even time for Coralee to pen the new songs she hopes to record?

“Honestly, at this point, I’ve been so busy memorizing lyrics and cover songs,” she said. “We had the first Bob show last month but have had the Loretta tribute planned for a couple of months. And then we threw the Led Zeppelin thing in the middle. Now we’ve got another Bob show coming up. I’ve yet to sit down for an extended period of time and do some songwriting.

“But I’ve got a huge back catalog that I’m desperate to get in and record, so I’m really excited. I can feel all this music welling up inside of me.”

Coralee and the Townies: Tribute to Loretta Lynn. 10 p.m. Jan. 6 at Cosmic Charlie’s, 388 Woodland Ave. $8. Call (859) 309-9499.

critic’s pick 209

Over the course of the 13 minutes it takes to navigate through Hanuman, the tour-de-force manifesto from its powerhouse live recording In Case the World Changes Its Mind, the tag team of John Medeski and John Scofield keenly define the stylistic boundaries its jazz-infused jam band music exists within. Then the full quartet they co-lead with Chris Wood and Billy Martin promptly lays waste to them.

The tune enters with Medeski’s arsenal of keyboard accents that sound as if they were flown in from the outer cosmos. Guitar great Scofield – and, to a lesser extent, percussionist/drummer Martin – colors the shapeshifting ambience in a way that recalls Jerry Garcia’s exit lines from the Grateful Dead’s onstage improv indulgences. In short, lyricism meets the abstract. Then everything shifts again.

The keyboards turn vividly psychedelic in a way that suggests Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. Then Scofield lets loose with leads that embrace a fusion-flavored melody balanced by the wild, wiry tone that has long made him one of contemporary jazz’s most tasteful but resourceful thrillseekers. The ball gets passed back to Medeski one last time for a moog-like keyboard ambush that sounds like it was blown through a reed like a synthesized oboe.

No wonder the full quartet eases into something more familiar – namely, a cover of Amazing Grace that is both churchy and squeamish – once Hanuman lands back on earth.

In Case the World Changes Its Mind is loaded with such moments that balance the earthy (a version of the New Orleans funk staple Tootie Ma is a Big Fine Thing that conjures a sweaty playfulness long before the tune’s familiar chorus chimes in) with the otherworldly (the jagged Miles Behind that, true to its title, summons the electric fire of Miles Davis’ early ‘70s fusion adventures).

Mostly, though, the album is a robust performance testament to a cross-generational, cross-stylistic mash up that still reflects a very potent creative chemistry. Admittedly, Medeski, bassist Wood and Martin have been toying with this formula for some time. As a trio, they have been a champion of jam band crowds for over 15 years, yet they flirt regularly and restlessly with the avant garde.

Scofield, alternately, has been a wildly versed jazz guitarist since the ‘70s, but sounds equally at home as part of MSMW’s collapsible groove, shown off exquisitely on the new album’s chunky reading of Little Walter Rides Again.

In Case the World Changes Its Mind, ultimately, is the grand pay off of the union. It’s the sound that ensues when a master jazzman matches wits with younger but equally crafty mavericks to fire up a groove fit for all ages.

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