TOTO is going to release a new Live Concert Recording on DVD, BLU-RAY, CD and Digital Video in September 2016. It is a recording of the 1991 concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival, during TOTO’s the last tour with the late Jeff Porcaro:
“At the personal invitation of Quincy Jones and legendary Montreux Jazz Festival founder Claude Nobs to perform at the famed Swiss festival, Toto couldn’t resist the opportunity, resulting in Toto: Live At Montreux 1991. “From the perspective of the members of Toto,” states guitarist Steve Lukather, “the Montreux Jazz Festival is amongst the most revered events staged in the world. Our association, as a band, and individuals, is something we are deeply proud of. So much fun, and so much history has graced the ground in and around the lake.” “
The setlist sounds promising and includes hits like On The Run (video above), Kingdom of Desire and Jake To The Bone (one of my favourites). As it seems it is a performance with the all time best setup: Steve Lukather, David Paich, Mike Porcaro and Jeff Porcaro. After Jeff Porcaro’s death in 1992, Simon Phillips became the drummer of the band and David Paich didn’t join the band on every tour. He was often substituted by Greg Phillinganes (who became a regular member of the band for a few years). Mike Porcaro, who died suffering from ALS in 2015, was covered for by bassists such as Leland Sklar and Nathan East over the years (who also was a regular member of the band for some time in the past). So, this is probably the latest recording with most of the original members of the band. I am looking forward to it.
“Longevity among jazz groups is a surprisingly rare commodity. With relatively few exceptions, a run of a few years, at most, is standard; for a collective of jazz musicians to stick together for a decade or more is almost unheard of. That puts Fourplay, who celebrates their 25th anniversary this year, in a league of their own. Since 1990, bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Chuck Loeb (who joined five years ago) and drummer Harvey Mason have continued to explore together, their efforts resulting in what All Music Guide called one of “the most intuitive, forward-thinking and focused groups in modern jazz.” “
Fourplay is the only music group in history recognised by the U.S. Congress with a Congressional Record, acknowledging their importance to the music industry. Although it took me some time to get used to the band without Larry Carlton (as it took some time to get used to the band without Lee Ritenour before), I still consider them to be one of the best smooth jazz bands of all time. As a huge fan of Nathan East (who joined TOTO a few years back) I followed the band closely for many years. As a nice touch, both Lee Ritenour and Larry Carlton are featured on the Silver album as guest artists.
Among many other things I especially enjoyed the variety of street music in New Orleans during my recent trip. There are many bands playing day and night on almost every corner in the French Quarter, offering anything from traditional Blues and New Orleans Jazz to modern interpretations of pop music. The street bands seem to move around, sometimes joining each other and supporting local businesses e.g. by supporting them in fashion shows etc.
Street Music in New Orleans – 1
Street Music in New Orleans – 2
Street Music in New Orleans – 3
Street Music in New Orleans – 4
Street Music in New Orleans – 5
Street Music in New Orleans – 6
Street Music in New Orleans – 7
Second Hand Street Band
One band stood out in particular, the Second Hand Street Band. I liked them a lot, since they really motivated the crowd to stay, dance and sing along. The band is very versatile, offering classic tunes and modern pop songs with a comic twist. There are many videos on Youtube, so check them out.
If you are more interested in the roots of Jazz, check out the Preservation Hall. They are dedicated to preserving the original artform of New Orleans Jazz, offering 3-4 shows per day with changing lineup. Also they have a Preservation Hall Jazz Band, kind of the venue’s house band.
“New Orleans’ Preservation Hall was established in 1961 to honor one of America’s truest art forms – Traditional New Orleans Jazz. Operating as a music venue, a touring band, and a non-profit organization, Preservation Hall continues its mission today as a cornerstone of New Orleans music and culture.”
Although kind of a tourist trap, the Preservation Hall provides a unique experience. A 45 minute show costs around $ 20 and is well worth the money. The hall is pretty basic. There are just very few chairs, no bar, no restroom, to lighting or sound equipment. It’s all acoustic since it is meant to be as it once was in the old days. I went there on December 25 2015 and saw “The Joint Chiefs of Jazz” with Frank Oxley.
On December 9 2015 epic recording artist Tower of Power from Oakland, California, was showing off their awesome tower groove and world’s best horn section at the Fabrik in Hamburg. As was advertised repeatedly during the show, the band is celebrating its 48th year of existence, providing the world with urban soul music… and as you may know, I have seen them quite often already and highly recommend them as one the most energetic live bands I have ever seen. Just check out Youtube…
I especially like their new lead singer, Ray Greene, who joined the band 2 years ago, substituting for Larry Braggs, and also joins the horn section on the trombone at times. This certainly adds to the mix of the already outstanding setup of the band. I really hope Emilio Castillo and Stephen “Doc” Kupka, the founders of the band and both well in their sixties, keep it up until at least 50 years of Tower of Power for a hopefully awesome and global anniversary tour.
For anyone interested in the Tower Groove, I especially recommend the video “Tower of Groove” by David Garibaldi, the bands drummer and probably the the most relevant funk drummer of all time.
As you know, a Music Man Luke III is what I wanted. Well, since there is absolutely no reason what so ever to justify an investment like that (since I clearly lack any kind of skill) – this is what I’ve got:
To match the somewhat low budget investment, I decided to skip any fancy interface or multi effect as well and got an AmpliTube iRig for just 18 €. It’s an ok quality guitar/bass interface for iOS and works with the IK Multimedia apps as well as many others. You can also use the interface with your Mac, so it’s quite versatile for the money and surely a cheap place to start.