music clip of the day


Tag: John Legend

Sunday, 1/29/12

 joy, n. exultation of spirit; gladness, delight. E.g., Calvary Baptist Church in West Philadelphia, with John Legend singing “How I Got Over” (2011).



listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• Theo Parrish, Sound Sculptures, Vol. 1 (Sound Signature)

• Coldcut, 70 Minutes of Madness (Journeys by DJ)

• O.V. Wright, Wright Stuff (Hi UK)

• Bertha “Chippie” Hill, 1925-1929 (Document)

• Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)

• The Fisk Jubilee Quartet, There Breathes A Hope (Archeophone)

•  This May Be The Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel on 45 RPM 1957-1982 (Tompkins Square)

• Lester Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, I Only Have Eyes For You (ECM)

• Chicago Underground Trio, Slon (Thrill Jockey)

• Charlie Christian, The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Sony)

• The Best of the Nat King Cole Trio: Vocal Classics, 1942-46 (Blue Note)

• Chicago Underground Trio, Slon (Thrill Jockey)

• Miles Davis, Legendary Prestige Quintet Sessions (Prestige)

• Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra (Thrill Jockey)

• Mahmoud Ahmed, Ethiopiques 19 (Buda Musique)

• Ludwig van Beethoven/Julliard String Quartet, String Quartets Nos. 13 & 16 (Sony)

• Ludwig van Beethoven/Solomon, Piano Concertos Nos. 3 & 5 (EMI)

• Ludwig van Beethoven/Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan cond., Symphony No. 7 (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Bela Bartok/Hungarian String Quartet, String Quartets Nos. 1-6 (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Bela Bartok/Takacs Quartet, String Quartets Nos. 5-6 (Hungaroton)

• Boulez Conducts Boulez (Deutsche Grammaphon)

• Cleveland Orchestra, Pierre Boulez cond./Mitsuko Uchida, Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg (Philips)

• Morton Feldman, For Bunita Marcus, Markus Hinterhauser, piano (Col Legno)

• Morton Feldman, Piano and String Quartet, Aki Takahashi, Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch)

• Hawthorne String Quartet, Pavel Haas (String Quartets Nos. 2 and 3), Hans Krasa (String Quartet) (London)

• Pavel Haas Quartet, Leo Janacek (String Quartet No. 1), Pavel Haas (String Quartets Nos. 1 and 3) (Supraphon)

• Arvo Part, Litany (ECM)

• Arnold Schoenberg/LaSalle Quartet, String Quartets Nos. 3 and 4 (Brilliant Classics)

• Robert Schumann/Zehetmair Quartett, String Quartets Nos. 1 & 3 (ECM)

• Zehetmair Quartet, Bela Bartok (String Quartet No. 5), Paul Hindemith (String Quartet No. 4) (ECM)

• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)

—Bach Festival
Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)


Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture“new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads 
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
Give the Drummer Some (Doug Schulkind, sui generis, Web only)
Lamin’s Show (sui generis)

Thursday, 2/24/11

what’s new
(an occasional series)

Have you heard the Lupe & John Legend?

—my 19-year-old son Luke

Lupe Fiasco (featuring John Legend), “Never Forget You” (2010)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Listening to music that means a lot to someone else gives you an opportunity nothing else does. You get to hear the world through their ears. This song, for instance, coming to my ears through my son Luke’s, makes me wonder: What’s it like to look back on your life, on all that’s come before, when you’re 19 years old?

More Lupe? Here. And here. And here.

More Legend? Here. And here.

Friday, 10/1/10

three takes

He’s the guy who, early in his career, while an arranger and producer for Curtom Records, brought Baby Huey & the Babysitters to the attention of Curtis Mayfield.

“Little Ghetto Boy” (Donny Hathaway)

take 1

John Legend & The Roots

Live (recording studio), 2010


take 2

Live, New York, 9/23/10

Want more of John Legend & The Roots? Here.


take 3

Donny Hathaway, live, 1972



Donny Hathaway, “The Ghetto,” live, 1970s


Donny Hathaway died in 1979 at the age of 33. He was a casualty of mental illness. Afflicted with severe chronic depression and ultimately diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he leapt to his death out of a New York City hotel room.


Curtis Mayfield on Donny Hathaway:

To see him there in the studio at about 21 years old, directing all these real big session guys like he’d been doing it for years, was a tremendous sight to see. But he always believed in himself. He always believed in his talent. He wasn’t conceited about it, but he knew he could do anything these guys could do and almost certainly better. I’d have loved to sign him as artist, but it wasn’t to be.


Bassist Christian McBride on Donny Hathaway:

You can tell that he listened to Stravinsky. He listened to Debussy. He was a musician who was the full 360-degree circle.

Monday, 9/20/10

two takes

“Hard Times” (Curtis Mayfield)

John Legend & The Roots, live (recording studio), 2010


Baby Huey & the Babysitters, 1971 (The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend, produced by Curtis Mayfield and released, posthumously [the singer died, at 26, in 1970], on Curtom Records)

I must have seen Baby Huey & the Babysitters at least a half-dozen times. In the late ’60s they played the Chicago area teen clubs. Tight rhythm section, punchy horns, soulful vocals—what could be, at 16, a finer date?

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