Billboard Magazine has done all the tabulating and the results are in, the kid from Salzburg is the winner! Who would have ever believed that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart would be a top best seller for this past year? This is for 2016 NOT 1816. W.A.M. left the planet in 1792 at the young age of 36 with so many great years ahead of him. His early death was a tragedy of the first order. Yet, his genius matters more than ever. His music touches us generation after generation.
Billboard reported that the $400 boxed set of 200 CDs with every piece the man ever wrote has sold close to two million copies. Right up there Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Adele. Hats off to Decca Records who curated this impressive release which was timed for the 225th anniversary of his death. The collection features sixty orchestras and six hundred world class soloists along with an impressive book. They did it right.
With Mr. Blue Note, trumpeter Chris Botti, who gigs at Blue Note jazz clubs all around the world. Chris just had the honor of opening the latest one in wine country (Napa, California). It’s pretty amazing if you’re a jazz fan having three major jazz clubs dotting the SF Bay Area. We’re getting spoiled! Chris has got a hot new band that’s heading to NYC for the holidays. They’ll be doing 56 sets at the world famous Blue Note in Greenwich Village for the 12th year in a row.
The Puppy and the Goddess in Berlin, 1990. That was quite a moment. Got a chance to sit down and chat with the amazing Joni Mitchell while rehearsing for Roger Waters’ massive performance of “The Wall” at the Berlin Wall. No one has laid out such intimate truth in song like Joni. On this, the week of her 73rd birthday, a couple of Joni wishes;
In my Beach Boys’ Pendleton shirt holding my favorite album of all time; Pet Sounds (SACD edition). The timeline went something like this; Rubber Soul > Pet Sounds > Sgt. Pepper.
Throwing down the musical gauntlet 50 years ago this week with this beautiful collection of rich melodies, emotions, harmony and vision. Thank you Brian Wilson (he was just 23 years old), you changed everything. It just took the world a few years to catch-up. I used to use the beautiful “Let’s Go Away for Awhile” as my sign-off song in my early DJ years.
This is Abbey Road Studio #2. See that little window upstairs? That’s the control room where producer George Martin sat, listened and looked out as some of the greatest music in history unfolded down below.
From “Please, Please Me” to “Sgt. Pepper” Sir George and his crew of engineers rolled tape, collecting takes and helping to steer that creative force known as The Beatles. I walked down that stairway once upon a time thinking about just how important he was to the recipe. Thank you George Martin for your vision and dedication. You were one of a kind.
Rather than being auctioned off to wealthy collectors piece by piece, Bob Dylan’s massive $60 million collection of papers, poetry, films and notebooks are going to be kept under one roof. And, believe it or not, it’s in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Aside from being the home state of his hero and mentor Woody Guthrie, it’s the location of the George B. Kaiser Foundation and the University of Tulsa. Scholars, musicologists and historians will have access to this stunning trove for all time. Eventually there will be a museum/gallery for all of us Dylan fans.
Here’s more from the New York Times.
Happy Birthday to a most amazing cat. Teruo Nakamura has been a great friend and mentor for thirty years now. He’s an incredible acoustic and electric bassist, as well as record producer, concert promoter and photographer of the highest order.
Over the years we’ve traveled to Japan together for some of the finest radio broadcasts of my career. Along the way Teruo has introduced me to some of the finest jazz players on the planet.; The MJQ, Brian Blade, Roberta Flack, Roy Haynes, George Benson, Lenny White, and Chaka Khan. From Harlem to Tokyo, a true Renaissance man. Happy Birthday Nak!