New single Skinnie: Can’t Cut You Loose

A while ago, I posted a clip from a song recorded by Skinnie, a Dutch singer-songwriter. That clip was removed. Not due to copyright infringement. Nope. The idea was to release that clip with the new single. And so the clip and single were launched last Monday the 15th of November. For the new Skinnie video and song (featuring yours truly on vocals as well) you’ll have to visit this link.

The video I am presenting here is made by Nicky Dassen. She is the daughter of Pieke Dassen, a well-known actor, puppeteer, singer, painter and allround artist. They lived around the block where I spent my childhood. Nicky went to see a performance of the LSO mid October, the LSO is the regional symphony orchestra and they played a piece of Debussy, La boîte à joujoux. Filmmaker Richard Dols made a movie starring the puppets of Pieke Dassen.

JekerJazz Maastricht 2010: Funk’d

This requires a little bit of info. The past four days, Maastricht celebrated the 20th edition of JekerJazz, a musical fest in the heart of the city with cafes, pubs, lounges and small diners offering free music to their audiences. I got involved a couple of months ago and helped Giel Coenen and Appie Weijers with some PR and promotional activities: Using social media and networks like Facebook, Twitter and the incomparable WordPress blogconcept to spread the word. On Saturday we had a few things going on in which i was highly involved. A homage for Glenn Corneille, the musician who sadly passed away due to a tragic car accident in 2005, started with music in the old bell tower of the City Hall. Kenneth Tan, a very good photographer made some real nice pictures and if you click his name, you get a pretty good idea of what it was like up there.

We spent the afternoon in bar lounge Cabane, watching a DVD of Corneille’s latest concert with his Corneille Roelofs Trio in the company of his parents and their friends. It was a heartwarming experience with some moving moments, especially for Glenn’s parents. Even though it was a DVD, after each song played by the Trio, the audience in Cabane applauded just like the people on the DVD did. As if it was a genuine live concert. It sure sounded like one.

So, for the evening there was a lot to choose from and we left it to where chance might lead us. I got wind of some groovy sounds and when i went into the Falstaff cafe, i couldn’t have been more surprised. So many bands were programmed i really didn’t keep track of who was in what band and such. And there he was, Roger Corneille. Yes. he’s Glenn’s cousin. My entire day was a Corneille one it seemed, and not a bad day to spend it in the company of Corneilles. For the musical talents sure weren’t limited to Glenn, who really was one of a kind in the way he mastered his instrument. But his cousin Roger has something to call his own as well!

And it wouldn’t be real Mizar6-ish, or Mizar5-ish if there wasn’t a Steely Dan connection somewhere along the way. So we’re going to see who’s in this truly funky groovy Funk’d from Venlo, a small southern town northwest in the province of Limburg: Duncan Tilmans (drumz), Werner van Gool (keys), Charles Coppens (bass), Roger Corneille (vocals) and Berland Rours on guitar. And it’s this Berland guy who is our Steely connection. Besides being a real good player as you can easily assess when having seen the clip above, he’s also on drummer Ron van Stratum’s latest album: Swingin’ In The Swamp.

Will leave it to you to find the answer: Ron van Stratum (drums, percussion); Jim Beard (keys); Mike Roelofs (keys); Wilbert Kivits (keys); Jon Herington (git); Frank Peeters (git); Berland Rours (git); Roman Korolik (bass); Henk de Laat (ac-bass); Peter Hermesdorf (sax); Andy Middleton (sax); Sam Vloemans (trp); Nadine Nix (voc). CD mastering by Scott Kinsey.

Skinnie Dub

If you’ve read the All About Jazz review here about a new release from Skinnie, One Add One, you’ll probably have noticed the clip no longer works. I took it down. Not because of any copyright infringement. The clip sprung from my mind and my computer. No. It was taken down because of a happenstance. If you’re curious and would like to learn more, just click on the image and find out.

Dukes without an occupational hazard

NEW YORK — Separately, the Dukes of September have sold tens of millions of albums, explored every major strain of popular music and commanded attention over four decades.

United, they are promising to deliver a unique concert bonanza for Boomers and connoisseurs of R&B and soul.

Tonight in Danbury, Conn., Boz Scaggs, Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald play the first of 22 Rhythm Revue dates during which they’ll try to justify the regal, doo-wopish title they’ve bestowed upon themselves. It shouldn’t be hard, as they offer up nuggets from their own careers, alongside tunes from jukebox heaven and the Americana attic. Tour stops include Boston (Aug. 31), Chicago (Sept. 11), Los Angeles (Sept. 29) and a finale in Las Vegas (Oct. 2).

continue reading on USA TODAY

Can’t Cut You Loose (Skinnie dub)

He’s a man of few words who prefers a simple approach. His debut EP, My Heart Beats On The Moon (REMusic Records, 2008), a collection of five songs, is now followed by yet another mini-album of only seven compositions. Once again, Dutch singer-songwriter Skinnie makes sure he is in the best of company, this time relying on two outstanding and seasoned musicians—guitarist Martijn van Agt (Anouk, Ilse DeLange, Sarah Bettens), and multi-instrumentalist/producer Michel van Schie (Candy Dulfer, Anouk, Soulvation)—who definitely elevate Skinnie’s songs onto a higher plane.

Skinnie’s reflective lyrics about love, loss, generosity, resignation, truth, dreams, desire and playful contemplation are woven into a setting of lush musical moods leaning towards pop, country, blues and jazz in an intelligent design. The subtle tones of van Agt’s pedal steel and slide guitar characterize a sense for detail and finesse that all three musicians have in common. The disc starts and ends with “Sailing,” in a single edit and album version. It’s a catchy tune, with a likewise attractive and perhaps recognizable imagery provided by lyrics about escaping reality for a while, until a neighbor at the door complains about the trash in the garden. Skinnie delivers his songs in a warm and genuine manner with his deep and sometimes husky voice.

The title track has a few surprises, and showcases van Agt’s skills on guitar with distinctive flavors and hints reminiscent of the sound that makes the music of Steely Dan appreciated in wider musical circles. It’s an approach and arrangement that also returns in “No Little Girl, No More.” “Can’t Cut You Loose” stands out; a beautiful sensitive ballad about accepting life and relationships the way they are, after questioning their values and virtues.

It’s a very pleasant album that, like its predecessor, asks for more. If there has to be critique, then it would serve to point out some flaws in the English lyrics. A few mistakes that can easily be forgiven, as these sailing and flying Dutchmen do understand the craft of musicianship to the max. Music, after all, is a universal language; a language that Skinnie and company know how to speak very well.

source: All About Jazz

Storm in a teacup

On the way home yesterday, i could see the storm bursting out in a promising ouverture.
Trees were tested by the wind, old branches and leaves floated freely in the sky or covered the road.
The force of nature, as a fascinating presence.
Realizing we may count our blessings, for it is not as destructive here as it can be elsewhere on the planet…

| Music: Satellites (demo) by Rickie Lee Jones | The Duchess of Coolsville Anthology 2005 | |
(used with permission of RLJ)

In the nick of time

Or better yet, I nicked some time off a good night’s sleep last night. Had to go out for work (a book about the Haspengouw region in Belgium) in the evening and thought I was drinking decaf at this wonderful location, a medieval farmstead that has been beautifully restored by its owners. Or maybe I was just inspired by the peace and quiet, good entrepreneurship and genuine Flemish hospitality. On my way home I decided to let the cellphone camera roll and film the journey back and after having arrived at my destination, I switched on the computer and spent hours watching clips in YouTube and listening to music. The wee hours, as they say. I could hear the real early birds sharpen their toncils and exercise their vocal chords. If they have any.

There’s a lot to be thankful for. Honest to Jove. Cherries in the garden. One single tree feeding six households in the hood. Neighbours exchanging homegrown salad for a bowl of fresh handpicked cherries. The simple stuff can be so magnificent. It’s what draws one back to the essence of life, perhaps. Despite the whole lot of ugly that surrounds us. And music. Music is magic. Always. It was a trip down the 80s lane yesterday, most of the time. It started at a friend’s Facebook page with Robert Palmer. Every Kind Of People. And soon it drifted on to Thomas Dolby and an incredible version of The Flat Earth. From there, it went haywire. Medium Medium, C Cat Trance. Shriekback, Scritti Politti, Curiosity Killed The Cat, Big Country, Wet Wet Wet. And loads more.

I also found an interesting cover of Rickie Lee Jones’ Night Train. A couple of years ago, she said she would love for others to cover her songs. She realized that the general perception of her music is that she has such a distinctive voice, her compositions and lyrics might not be covered easily because each song is extremely authentic, breathing RLJ’s persona, spirit and imagery. Well, here’s a pretty cool version of Night Train, done by a duo, Joe and Ellen. And to end this in a Steely vibe, kinda keeping it close to its old Mizar5 roots, this same singer/bassist Ellen also has a clip up singing Josie