Thursday, May 7, 2009

Playing For Change

Citizen K. recommends that you drop by Starbucks and get a copy of Playing For Change: Songs Around the World, which gathers musicians and singers from around the world as part of "a multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music." The CD/DVD set is a project of the Playing For Change Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps bring music into the lives of disadvantaged youth. The "Stand By Me" video went viral last year; the album also features covers of "One Love," (video below)"War/No More Trouble," "Biko," "Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution," and "A Change Is Gonna Come." In short this is the best album of its kind since Steven Van Zandt led the Artists United Against Apartheid through Sun City back in 1985. Do a favor to your heart and your feet by adding Playng For Change to your music collection. For more information, see

Citizen K. has lately been availing himself of the considerable pleasures of straight ahead jazz. There's nothing innovative going on in any of these CDs, but all four make for great listening.
  • Earfood, The Roy Hargrove Quintet. Trumpeter Hargrove leads his band through twelve compact compositions (and a cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me" that leave you asking "Who are these guys?" Just like the posse in Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, these keep coming at you.
  • Present Tense, James Carter. Carter's wend their way through a set of ten covers and originals with precision and grace. No matter what the tempo, Carter's soloing remains one of the marvels of contemporary jazz.
  • The Bright Mississippi, Allen Toussaint. Although the elegiac qualities give Mississippi its burnished glow, this is no mere exercise in nostalgia by the great New Orleans pianist, composer, and arranger. The inclusion of Mark Ribot's acoustic guitar allows Toussaint to explore his musical memory while simultaneously looking forward to the future.

Authors of the torture memos face backlash. That's not the only lash they should face...

Breaking News: Joe the Plumber quits the GOP. Whatever will they do now?...

Say it isn't so, Manny. The excuse that "I took something a doctor in Miami prescribed" has become flimsy, shopworn, and unbelievable. This is a great player whom no one accused of taking performance enhancing drugs, and now he's just another guy fumbling to explain himself...

NOLA Happenings: Just because Jazz Festival is over doesn't mean that the party is over. Dance to the music and learn about fire safety in Covington at the Stop, Drop, Rock 'n Roll...Don't want to leave town? Then check out the fourth annual 7th Ward Festival at the corner of Urquhart and Pauger...

Musicians and singers from around the world join Keb' Mo' in performing Bob Marley's great song, "One Love":


Roy said...

Years ago I swore I'd never go in another Starbucks (overpriced, burnt-bean coffee for yuppies with more money than taste). I guess just this once, though. But I'm still not buying any of their crappy coffee!

I've been following the progress of Playing for Change for a while now. It's good to see that the DVD is out now. And yeah, I was around for Little Steven and the Sun City album. I still have that around here somewhere.

Ain't Hargrove great? Man, I just eat that stuff up!

Foxessa said...

AND HBO is taking a full season of David Simon & Co.'s Tremé on the basis of the rough cut pilot (that didn't even have the music yet)!

I'm so excited about this. Who who knows me all my life would ever believe I would be excited about something on televison?

We got the news yesterday, one day before the official news was released today.

Love, C.

K. said...

I guess this means I have to take HBO again!