musician

David Bowie: The definition of Cutting Edge in music

The music world has lost a game changing hero.

In these past two days since discovering the news of his all-too-sudden and shocking death, I reflected on what David Bowie’s music means to me – how it affected and influenced my musical path and life.

One thing is for sure, he was a great Rocker who wrote some really cool Rock songs that I would listen to right beside my other favourite Rock artists (most of whom are 70’s acts). The riffs and the grooves spoke to me right away. The lyrics were poetic.  It challenged my understanding of what Rock music could be. These are some of my favourite Rock songs by David:

Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold The World, Rebel Rebel, Suffragette City, and Jean Genie.

Just as I thought he was a cutting edge Rocker, he came up with a cutting edge Dance-Pop album called Let’s Dance. It’s one of my top favourite drumming albums and I used to play along to all the tracks on my drums.

David Bowie again challenged my notion of his music when I heard the gorgeous “This Is Not America”. He collaborated with the Pat Metheny Group, themselves a cutting edge Jazz-Fusion band, and the result was a piece of music with such a stunning ambience and truly moving/reflective lyrics.

David Bowie delivered one final album masterpiece called Blackstar. Even in the face of death, not one iota of his staggering creativity was lost. No stone was left unturned thematically, and even his death became such an artful exposition on the track, Lazarus. Some peope dismiss it as a gimmick to sell records. To that, I simply say, don’t listen to the record then.

It is no surprise to me by now that David Bowie could make truly powerful and moving art out of any theme, object, storyline in his music. He knew who he was and where he stood artistically. He never compromised on his artistic vision but his genius lay in his ability to make that vision assessable and commercially viable. How does one do that? Unfortunately we won’t have David around to show us the way, but we still have his music – his greatest message.

Rest in peace, Major Tom.

 

 

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In Memoriam: JACK BRUCE

Jack Bruce

A Personal Tribute To A Musical Giant

It is with deep sadness and shock that I write this post. I learnt about the passing of Jack Bruce about 30 minutes after the stroke of midnight on 26th October 2014. He had left the world many hours earlier on 25th October due to complications from liver disease.

Although I never knew Jack personally, much less even seen him live, Jack, although a bass player, IS a hugely influential musician to me. In all the years listening to and absorbing both his groundbreaking work with the original Power Trio, CREAM, and his own richly eclectic solo work, I learnt to be as broad as possible in my musical outlook. Every form of music on earth is equally beautiful and can be integrated to form new musical languages without diluting the integrity of the original forms. In this process, you ultimately find your own voice, and boy, did Jack certainly have his own voice. This was essentially the message that Jack Bruce taught me to appreciate through his work.

Jack Bruce did it all – he wrote some of the greatest Rock standards with Cream, pioneered a modern approach to playing the electric bass, was gifted with powerful soaring vocals that lifted every track he sung on, and produced solo works that inventively fused different musical forms into a very unique musical tapestry as only he could. Jack had the ingredients to be a such a great musician thanks to a solid background in Classical and Jazz. This background he had was one of the key factors that inspired me to take Jazz seriously. I’m a better musician for it today.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, JACK!!!

Much has been said about his groundbreaking work with CREAM that also included guitarist, Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker, both also massive influences on me. I would however like to share some tunes that I particularly like from his solo work. If you’re new to Jack Bruce’s music, perhaps give these tracks a listen. I hope that you’ll love these works of high level art as much I do:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnO1UDqsvjI – Never Tell Your Mother She’s Out Of Tune (from the album, Songs For A Tailor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YguY_jUDXRs – Theme From An Imaginary Western (from the album, Songs For A Tailor)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSinbaeI7Cc  – Mickey The Fiddler (version from the album, Jet Set Jewel, also recorded on I’ve Always Wanted To Do This)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiNN24qevBU – Directions Home (from the album, Shadows In The Air)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLUE2132_Mc – Hey Now Princess (performance on The David Letterman Show featuring Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker).

Enjoy these songs!!

Jack Bruce, rest in peace. We have your music close to our hearts every moment. May your shining example as a musician and person continue to inspire future generations of musicians who look to push the envelope of musical possibilities as you so capably had.

Social Media and The Independent Musician. What We’re Not Doing Right..

Social Media and The Independent Musician. What We’re Not Doing Right..

Hey lovely and sexy people!

Came across this very eye-opening article. If you’re an independant musician who is actively using the various platforms of social media to get your musical content across and build up a fan base, this article can help us do a self-check on how we’re going about it. 

Click on the title to go to the article.

Have a great and productive month ahead!