Reflection: A Different Kind Of Listening Experience

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    If you, like yours truly, are the kind of person who savors new and unexpected music experiences, you might want to give consi­deration to acquiring “The Spiritual Side of Wynton Marsalis.”

    The album is a collection of 15 tracks, almost all of which were taken from seven of the Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning jazz trumpeter’s spiritual albums.

    The music styles go all over the place. One minute you’re hearing traditional gospel or spiritual, then the rollicking sounds of a New Orleans/Dixieland band (Marsalis is from New Or­leans), followed by something in a standard jazz vein, and even a semi-sanctified church experience (like something the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater would perform to).

    Those with opens minds will never get bored.

    Marsalis, by the way, has embarked on an ambitious 16-city tour featuring an orchestra and a 70-voice choir!

    A SHOUT-OUT to all successful entertainers who realize their blessings and give back to the community.

    Usher is serving as executive producer of an interestingly titled film, “Undroppable,” which is scheduled for 2014 release. The movie is being made to address the alarming dropout rate in the United States.

    And a while back, Usher founded a non-profit organization called New Look to help young people get themselves together so they can become better prepared to be successful in life, personally and professionally.

    NEXT YEAR will mark the 20th anniversary of TLC’s pivotal album “CrazySexyCool.” Featuring such hits as “Waterfalls” and “Creep,” it was the biggest selling album by a female group of all time.

    It sold 11,000 copies in the U.S. and was certified “Diamond,” a designation for albums that reach the 10 million mark.

    So many people, including Alejandra Jackson, former wife of Jermaine Jackson and mother of two of his eight children, are baffled as to how he could have the nerve to buy a new Ferrari when he is, in fact, thousands upon thousands of dollars behind in child support payments.

    Were he still with us, comedian Nipsey Russell probably wouldn’t appreciate a new rapper calling himself “Nipsey Hussle.” And I wonder if acclaimed actor La­renz Tate (“Love Jones,” “Ray,” “Who Fools Fall in Love?” and more) is aware of the fact that there is a porn star using the name “Larenz Taste.”

    THOSE WAX figures in the Madame Tussauds museums (there are six, the original is in London) are amazing works of art, but they are so lifelike that, for me at least, they are creepy.

    Perfect examples are the Whitney Houston figures, covering different phases of her career, that were recently unveiled (with a gospel choir singing behind one of them!).

    Justin Timberlake sure has a strong fan base. His new album, “The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2)” sold a very impressive 350,000 copies in one week. Many artists would be grateful to sell that many copies in one year!

    You are likely to be familiar with “Unsung,” the programs that air on TV One, doing profiles of artists who are well known but deserve more recognition.

    Reader Von Harrell thinks the Drifters should be profiled. From 1953 to 1967, despite more personnel changes than the Temptations, the Drifters had an amazing string of hits, including the classics “On Broadway,” “There Goes My Baby,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Save the Last Dance For Me” and “Up on the Roof.”

    Their greatest lead singers were Ben E. King, Rudy Lewis, Clyde McPhatter and Johnny Moore.

    BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW that Grace Jones was a highly successful model before launching a singing career, and appeared in top fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle.

    MEMORIES: “Kiss” (Prince & the Revolution), “Hard to Get” (Rick James), “Oh Sheila” (Ready for the World), “You Should Be Dancing” (the Bee Gees), “Love Hangover” (Diana Ross), “Fame” (Irene Cara), “That’s the Way (I Like It)” (KC & the Sunshine Band), “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” (Barry White), “Rise” (Herb Alpert), “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” (Tina Turner).

    BLESSINGS to Rita Griffin, Linda Burgess, Cynthia French, Joseph French, Eric Hunter, Douglas Ware, Sabrina Owens, Al Allen, Sandra McCreary and Melvin Hollowell.

    WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Dr. Phil: “If you’re going to do something meaningful, you’ve got to start with truth.”

    Let the music play!

    Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com and PO Box 02843, Detroit, MI 48202.

     

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