It’s been a month yet it’s still very much in the forefront of my mind. Although he was not an actual friend, he was a very dear companion to me through his music, as he was to millions. My last entry on him was merely a mention of his latest release “Hit-N-Run: Phase 2.”
Roger Ortega, a.k.a. RO, has hit “The Lottery”! It wasn’t by way of a “Lottery” ticket though, but through his choices to relish in his fortune, and appreciating the benefits that life has afforded him. Ortega started his first group, Slo Motion, at the age of 14. These days he’s rollin’ solo, as an artist, with the undying support of his loving family.
Forty years ago this February, President Gerald Ford, was the first to recognize “Black History Month.” This period of acknowledgement evolved from “Negro History Week,” that was created by historian Carter G. Woodson, and other prominent African-Americans. This installment of the FUNKALICIOUS blog, is a retrospective of some American and Internatinal “Black” History accomplishments and occurrences, throughout 2015…
Louis Johnson, of the Brother’s Johnson discovered by Quincy Jones, passed away on May 21st. Truly one I was blessed to have met, and got to interview about his life and music, he was unquestionably one of the FUNKIEST to ever hold a bass guitar.
April 7th, 2015 would mark the 100th birthday, of the legendary Billie Holiday! Born on April 7th, 1915 in Philadelphia, her innovative vocal style has influenced a multitude of singers around the world, over the past century.
In the midst of societal ills and personal challenges I look to family and music for solace. Holy Moly! There are a few things that I am remiss about discovering at this juncture and some new releases and tunes forthcoming that I’m very excited to hear. Music serves as therapy for me, and is and will always be, the universal language that conjoins the hearts and minds of humanity.
Not too long ago, Laurence Fishburne played “Dr. Raymond Langston” in CBS’ CSI series, but first he was Dr. Joshua “Josh” Hall (#1) on “One Life to Live” on ABC TV from ’73 to ’76; he did a television movie, then began a career in film. He took on a role with Pee Wee’s Playhouse as “Cowboy Curtis” from 86 to 90; and most recently was “Jack Crawford” in the small screen version of “Hannibal,” that was based on the character made famous in the Oscar award winning film, “The Silence of the Lambs.”
A lover of music, history and culture, film biographies or the biopic, have long been a favorite of mine. While there are a plethora of stories to be told about people of latter day, I’ve always been fascinated about the journey of people that made their mark on the world before I was born, or made an impression on me early on.
Bootsy Collins is working on a song and has plans to shoot a video for the Food-Pantry “OUR DAILY BREAD.” “They feed hungry people every single day,” says Collins, who’s contacted other musicians to aid him with the cause. “Midnightstar & Eddie Levert (of the) Ojays are onboard to help me lay it all down for the people,” Bootsy remarked on his Facebook page. The FUNK legend and friends expect to start shooting the video this Wednesday, August 21st — more details to follow ala FB.
The Coen Brothers have gone from Funky Indy filmmakers to mainstream Hollywood since they first arrived in 1984. A follower of their work since “Blood Simple,” which I saw at The Quad theater in NYC’s Village area, I’m looking forward to their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Starring Justin Timberlake, the film also more than solidifies the singer’s place as an A-List movie actor.
A concrete park sprayed with graffiti is scheduled to no longer exist soon. Located under the tracks of the 7 train on Long Island City in Queens, NY, it’s been there for 10 years. Meres is the name of the gentleman that acts as curator of the legendary site, that’s said to be shutting down this September.
BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL! That used to be a popular phrase. One that still holds true for me, it doesn’t for a multitude of people… from the land where the black man — the first man — began. Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry are the directors of “Dark Girls.” Airing on OWN, it premiered last night, I don’t see any future air dates — but you can get all the details and see portions of the film on it’s official site: http://officialdarkgirlsmovie.com
If and when you’re in L.A. and need a dose of some FUNK, check out The Mason Affair. These guys have been compared to the likes of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Aloe Blacc, Ozomatli, Parliament/Funkadelic and Galactic. For me they’re a great fusion band of FUNK and Jazz, bringing flavor on their songs “All Night”, “I Can Tell You” and “Eyes On Fire.”
Tom Hanks is making his Broadway debut this season in Nora Ephron’s final play “Lucky Guy.” Bette Midler is even returning to the “Great White Way” for a one-woman-show in “I’ll Eat You Last,” where she’ll depict the life of Hollywood agent Sue Mengers. Although shows with Tom and Bette are exciting, after a 30-year absence, acclaimed actress Cicely Tyson returns to the stage for “The Trip to Bountiful” – that’s entertainment!