Composer, arranger, musician and producer David Axelrod died today at the age of 83. Axelrod’s influence began in the ’60’s when he worked in the A&R department for Capitol Records. He was a serious force behind the recordings of R&B singer Lou Rawls and jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley while at Capitol. By the late ’60’s he started to release solo albums of music that combined rock, R&B, and jazz. As a solo artist, the experimental nature of his music kept his popularity on the fringes. Hip-hop discovered Axelrod and like so many older artists, gave him a second life. Fat Joe, Swizz Beatz, Pete Rock and Dr. Dre are some of the people to sample his work and pay homage to his inventiveness. Renewed interest in his music prompted a reissue of his Songs Of Innocence album in 2000. Axelrod was aware of hip-hop producers using his music and had warm relationships with many of them including DJ Shadow who worked with him in 1998 as a member of the trip- group Unkle. Red Bull Music Academy published a guide to Axelrod’s music that you can read here.
Daily Archives: February 5, 2017
Valerie June was a guest on CBS This Morning and performed three new songs from her forthcoming album, The Order Of Time. June emerged in 2012 with Pushin’ Against A Stone after self-releasing her music for years. She also did an interview on the show and talked about her journey to becoming an artist in the music industry. “Shakedown,” “Astral Place” and “Got Soul” are from The Order Of Time which will be released on March 10th.
Ro James’ Eldorado was one of the best R&B albums of 2016 and he had the chance to tour it as the opening act for Maxwell and Mary J. Blige. In the video, James goes through a personal baptism in his bathtub and later walks through the desert and on the highway as he accepts life’s trials as a way to challenge and maintain his sanity. He is on a headlining tour in the states now and you can buy tickets here.
The Womack Sisters channel the ’60’s in the style and video for their debut single “Darling.” It is no coincidence that “Darling” is reminiscent of the late Sam Cook because Kucha, Zeimani and BG are his granddaughters. They are the children of Cecil and Linda Womack who are known for their 1983 hit, “Baby I’m Scared Of You.” The Womack Sisters are taking their family name into the 21st century with a style from the past that sounds refreshing because it is so different from the current trap-heavy scene. They are proof along with the recently passed Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley and Leon Bridges that the ’60’s soul blueprint is timeless.”Darling” is available from iTunes and they will go on a promotional tour later this year.
K.P. (Kia Phillips) & Envyi’s (Susan Hedgepeth) “Swing My Way” was another admission into Atlanta’s forever-growing hip-hop scene in 1998. K.P. and Envyi were individual artists who collaborated on “Swing My Way” and created an instant party classic and opened the way for other Atlanta artists. Polow Da Don appeared in the video, Algebra Blessett sang background vocals and Mixzo, who has worked for Bone Crusher, David Banner and Sandra St. Victor produced “Swing My Way.” Ludacris wrote lyrics to the remix produced by Carl Mo who became famous for producing Outkast’s “The Way You Move.” K.P. & Envyi did not record together again but they performed for the 2011 A-Town Legends concert in Atlanta.