The 1st 2022 Virtual Vinyl Birthday Celebration
As the snow began to fall this winter evening in Maryland, we began the 1st 2022 Vinyl Listening Club Birthday Celebration at the Vivens Lounge in Rockville, MD. I want to truly thank everyone that joined in the session to celebrate my birthday and to have some fun. We had a good crowd, new listeners as well as short time and longtime Vinyl LLC listeners. Listeners from all over the country; Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Rhode Is., New York, California, and of course the DMV.
All attendees were encouraged to utilize the Zoom Chat feature so everyone could introduce themselves and to chat throughout the session for conversations.
To get the evening event warmed up, we started off with;
· HOT - Roy Ayers, a rocking number with outstanding vibraphone play.
· Keep On Loving – Dr. Lonnie Smith
· Where Have All the Flowers Gone – Earth Wind Fire
Jazz reviewer and writer, Elliott Simon presented the most appropriate song of the evening by introducing a favorite song by a traditional New Orleans Jazz clarinetist. He wouldn’t tell us the name of the song when he introduced the author. He said, “you will figure it out when you hear it.”
· Happy Birthday to You – Willie Humphrey, it was well received.
There was a connection from Willie Humphrey to the next artist. Betty Carter played the washboard on "Happy Birthday".
· A Few of My Favorite Things – Betty Carter
· Knucklehead – Grover Washington
To get listeners involved, I asked everyone to chat about who will win the AFC and NFC football playoffs. Who is going to the Super Bowl and who is going to WIN? The winner will receive a surprise gift from the Vinyl LLC.
· Everlasting Love – Rufus and Chaka Khan
· It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
· Funky Broadway – Wilson Pickett
· Mt. Airy Groove – Pieces of a Dream
Entire Album Side Play
We continued with a segment wherein we play of an entire side of a particular album. This segment was devoted to the album Deeper by Pete Belasco. A somewhat unknown crooner. This album, Deeper, was released in 2004. Belasco was influenced by the music veterans of 1970s and early ‘80s, such as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Smokey Robinson. He created the record as an homage to those musicians.
Side A of the Deeper album
1. Hurry Hurry
3. I’ll Come to You
4. Keep On
His grooves are relaxed but steady. The incredible wah-wah sounds coming from the guitars, the contemporary jazzy style of the saxophone, and that smooth falsetto strongly recalls his heroes.
The style is deliberate and has references to a quiet storm, the musical style named after a Smokey Robinson album, on "I'll Come to You".
Comments were made that said he was smooth like Curtis and Smokey.
We continued with;
· Amani – Deodato, a smooth Latin style song
Around 6:30 we took time out to make a toast and pay homage to those who we have lost, to the blessings of seeing this day, and to look forward.
I shared some advice from a sheet I recently came across from many years ago by my very dear friend Darrilyn.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
You have experienced many positive and possibly some unpleasant experiences in this past year. You have made a positive difference in the lives of more people than you probably realize. May all your prayers and efforts be rewarded beyond your wildest imagination. I stand for your new year being full of God’s richest blessings of Health, Peace, Prosperity, Good Friends, Good Times, Laughter, Love, and Faith.
We continued play with;
· Smiles and Smiles to Go – Larry Carlton, jazz guitarist who has collaborated with many artists.
Everyone was thanked again for their participation this evening. It is my utmost wish that sometime in 2022 we will be able to meet for an in person listening meet. My greatest wish is that we will meet on one of the last warm summer days in September. Preferably in a rooftop setting. Keep on the lookout for spaces where we can meet.
NFL Football Update: As of Jan 28, 2022, the NFC and AFC champs had not been decided. As of Feb 1, only one person guessed correctly who would win their division title; Bengals and Rams - Elliott Simon. He also predicted that the Bengals would win the Super Bowl. Elliott wins a special prize.
Zach McGant, who played a few selections, introduced himself as a buyer and seller of record albums. Contact Zach at email@example.com to buy/sell vinyl records.
We concluded the session on a comical note with the selection, ”Africa”, from Richard Pryor’s 1982 Live on the Sunset Strip album. Some of Richard at his best.
Thank You and Be Safe
The following selections were played:
Selection Artist Played By
What I Say Ray Charles Vanella
Memory Lane Minnie Riperton Darrilyn
Stand By Me Maurice White Jerry
That's The Way of the World Earth Wind and Fire Rhonda
And the Beat Goes On Buddy Rich Randy
The Two of Us Nancy Wilson & Daryl Coley, April-Mark
Never Can Say Goodbye Isaac Hayes Minnedore
Thinkin' About It Too Al Jarreau Richardeen
Rise Herb Alpert Earl
Pusherman Curtis Mayfield Sean
Save The Last Dance For Me The Drifters Sylvia
Who Can I Turn To Ahmad Jamal Darrilyn
Theme from the Planets Dexter Wansel Jerry
Jam Tonight Freddie Jackson Mark
The highlight of the afternoon was the last portion dedication to the Queen Aretha Franklin. The Problem was there was too much Re Re and not enough time time
What a day for the lead into the “Let’s Begin Summer” Vinyl Happy Hour.
The day had been filled with the homegoing service for George Floyd. As guests began to log in, mentions were made of the Floyd service on TV. Songs and requests were made with references to Mr. Floyd.
A beginning request was made to play “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye”.
That was the first song of the session. Followed by;
· Sure ‘Nuff, Sure ‘Nuff by Sonny Phillips - This tune was introduced by Elliott Simon, a Jazz reviewer. Sony Phillips was an American jazz keyboardist. His primary instrument is electronic organ but he often played piano.
· Is It Because I’m Black by Syl Johnson – Introduced by DJ Zach McCants. Syl Johnson was an American Blues and Soul singer who started his career in Chicago in the 50’s
· It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye by G. C. Cameron from Cooley High
· Harlem River Drive by Bobbi Humphrey
· Misty by Earl Grant
· Mother Beautiful by Sly and The Family Stone
· Raspberry Beret by Prince – This was requested to honor the recent celebration of Prince’s birthday
· Wherever I Go by the Winans
· Ponteioby Sergio Mendez
· The Groove by Rodney Franklin
· Razzamatazzby Quincy Jones and Patti Austin
Since this is a Happy Hour session, at 6:30 we raised a glass in honor of George Floyd and A Day of Change. A few had comments about George that were well received.
· Take A Little Trip by Minnie Riperton
During this session, we introduce a new feature called VinylVaZam. This is where a song is played and whomever is the first to identify the song and artist is recognized with a prize/point/gift/whatever.
I played Watching You Watching Me by Grover Washington Jr. with vocals by Jon Lucien. Jerry Price was the first to guess Grover. No one guessed Jon Lucien. But, Jerry Price is the inaugural VinylVaZam listener. He gets a half prize. We will do this again, next session.
· God Is Love and Mercy, Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye
We closed out the session with
· Inner City Blues (live version) by Marvin Gaye
A good time was had by all. At one time, we had up to 21 screens online. We had a few people online from Florida. Much thanks to all who came on. We will do this again soon. Take care and be safe.
On a cold, snowy, rainy, and icy day in DC, only a Die Hard Vinyl Listener would come out to play. We had quite an intimate group of vinyl lovers that just warmed up the room while the weather was the last thing being thought about. We had regular Vinyl LLC members as well as first time guests. Thanks to Sotto Bar for hosting our session. A great spot to vibe music.
We started off the set with the following;
1. New Frontier - Don Fegan
2. Coyote - Joni Mitchell
3. Ms - David Oliver
4. Kid Charlemagne - Steely Dan
5. Thank You - Jazz Crusaders
6. None Shall Pass - Aesop Rock
And then the room took a turn and went Old School R&B with;
7. Joyous - Pleasure
8. Sassafras Girl - Pleasure
9. Camille - Grover Washington
10. Deliver the Word - War
11. Sweet Sticky Thing - Ohio Players
12. Friends and Strangers - David Oliver
13. Going in Circles - Isaac Hayes
14. Motor Booty - Parliament
15. Me and Baby Brother - War
16. If Six Was Nine - Jimi Hendrix
17. H2Ogate Blues - Gil Scott Heron
Hearing the words from Gil Scott from an earlier era resonated with us as it relates to what is happening today. I wonder what Gil would be rapping about today’s America?
18. ASE - King Sunny Ade
19. Dusic - Brick
20. Feel the Fire - Peabo Bryson
We ended the session with tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King with;
21. Everything Must Change - Nina Simone
Again, another fine Vinyl Listening Lounge Club session event. Good times were had by all. The next vinyl session will be a “Jazz Only” event on Sat. Feb. 22, again at Sotto. I hope to see you then.
I want to truly thank everyone that joined me and the Vinyl Listening Lounge Club on The 1st 2021 Full Moon Virtual Vinyl Listening Birthday Celebration
On a sunny but very cold day in Maryland, we had a great Vinyl music celebration event. The ending of the first month in the new year has created a tentative sense of hope. As we look forward, there is so much work to be done on the vast systemic problems in our country. While the New Year is a time for self-care, reflection, and recharging, it’s also time to think about how we can continue to contribute to the greater good.
I want to thank everyone that Zoomed in for the Vinyl Listening and my Birthday Celebration. We had a large group that that came in and out during the session. Vinyl listener Dane Edley was also celebrating his Aquarian birthday this day. The music selections were varied and on point. Much fun was had by all.
A brief poll was asked about who will win the Super Bowl. A majority consensus favored Kansas City over Tampa Bay. We paid respect to an angel that fell today, Cicely Tyson.
Music wise, I started the evening with my favorite duo violinist group;
1. Showoff by Black Violin
2. Expand Your Mind by Lonnie Liston Smith played by DJ Zach McGant of Rhythmlingo Music, Co-host of Vinyl LLC events, and distributor of vinyl records. https://www.instagram.com/rhythmlingorecords/
3. It’s Time To Get Down by The O’Jays played Dr. Nick, Host of Southern Soul program on WPFW Radio, Washington, DC
4. What You See Is What You Get by The Dramatics played by Larry Wyborski, a friend and fellow jazz music vinyl listener.
5. Kokobe by Tabou Combo, a popular Haitian dance hall music group. Played by my son-in-law, Joseph Vivens, who is from Haiti. His father introduced to him Haitian music and musicians.
6. Heartache #9 by Delegation
7. Ponciana by Ahmad Jamal – I played this selection because this is the pianist, in a trio, that turned me on to Jazz as a young kid. This song, Poinciana, gave me a music vibe that I didn’t get from R&B.
8. I Want to Thank You by Alicia Myers
9. Back In Stride Again by Frankie Beverly & Maze
We received an Astrology reading and highlights for the 12 astrological signs by OMARI MARTIN, MAFM, LPMAFA – Business professor and certified professional astrologer offers consulting services and strategic guidance for novice and professional astrologers and entrepreneurs desirous of developing a prosperous and profitable business. For each astrological sign, Omari gave us great vision and knowledge on who and where we are now and how we should navigate through 2021.
Website Address: - http://www.soularwisdom.com
10. Living For The Love of You by The Isley Brothers – Played by a first-time guest and friend Rose, who lives in Baltimore, DC. She had no idea that this song was very instrumental in the beginning of my relationship with the person would become and is still my wife. This was Our Song.
11. What’s Going On (live at the Kennedy Center, 1972) by Marvin Gaye – Played by me. Another artist and song that is special to me. This was from the live concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 1972. The selection played was the entire side 3 of a double record album.
12. I Used To Love Her by Common
We took a brief break in the music to give away gift book. “The Music In Me” by Paulette C Jackson. Paulette was a guest on Dr. Nick’s radio program a week before. I was so impressed with her interview that I purchased one of her books. The winner of the book has to guess the three-digit number that I am thinking of. Listeners will enter a 3-digit number in the chat. After the end of the next song, I will announce the person who enters a number closest to my number.
13. Stay A Little While Child by Loose Ends
So, my number was 777. The person who came the closet was Wendy Johnson with 770. Congratulations Wendy.
14. What Is Hip? by Tower of Power played by Robin Harmon, a member of the Vinyl LLC
We again raised a glass again to honor the now and the future.
15. Buck Jump by Trombone Shorty
16. Love Will Find a Way by Lionel Richie
17. In a Mellow Tone by Duke Ellington played Tamara Smith, a member of the Vinyl LLC
18. Please Pardon Me by Rufus and Chaka Khan
Time has flown over the past few hours. We ended the session with a tune that has become somewhat of an anthem over the past year due to the unrest in this country.
19. Rise Up by Andra Day
Another great vinyl session event. Good interactions and information. Many thanks go out to everyone that got on the session today. Be on the look out for the next virtual vinyl session event. Help me spread the word. I hope to see you in person in 2021.
2020 was a year of chaos. 2021 can become A Year to Rebuild. We all have limited time, resources, and emotional energy, but here is a shortlist of some simple thoughts for how to maneuver your way through 2021 and beyond;
1. Educate yourself – continue to learn new things and grow.
2. Take care of your mind and soul – practice meditation, introspection, mindfulness.
3. Take care of your body, inside and out – eat healthy, hydrate with water, moisturize your skin, walk, exercise.
4. Practice Love, Compassion and Humanity.
5. Support and/or donate to charities that you care about and stay involved.
Oh, what a JAZZ evening we had on this first Thursday of Spring, 2022. First off, I want to thank everyone that joined in the session. We had a full array of listeners from all over the country. And for the very first time, we had a couple of Vinyl Listeners from across the pond. Two listeners, Chris and Tod, joined in, all the way from London, England. What a pleasant surprise.
Everyone was encouraged and we used the Zoom chat feature to introduce ourselves and for conversations during the session. A few listeners played selections from their turntable.
We opened by acknowledging Women’s History Month. It seemed like that it set the tone for the evening. We started the evening with;
Brazilica by jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis from the album Salongo, released in 1976.
I briefly mentioned to the listeners that we have had conversations in the past about Jazz genres. A question was asked prior to the session about what type of jazz we would be playing. I responded that in a few sessions I presented in text that showed there were over forty-five sub-genres of Jazz. We will be playing whatever our DJs interpretation of Jazz. With that, I listed the more than 45 Jazz genres in the Chat.
We talked and acknowledged that this is Women’s History Month. DJ Zach McGants mentioned that he would be playing only female artist during the session, and he started with;
We’ll Be Together Again by Vi Redd from the album Lady Soul. Redd is a vocalist and saxophone player. She has a smooth and sexy voice, like Billie or Sarah. That was followed by;
Everything Must Change by Nina Simone. Played by Dr Nick. He stole one my planned selections. But how can you get through Women’s History Month and Jazz without someone mentioning Nina.
African Dance by Muriel Grossman alto saxophone. A spiritual Jazz selection from her latest album Union, played by Elliot Simon. That was followed by;
Round Midnight by James Moody saxophone. I selected this tune and asked everyone to guess the title song. Our listener from London, Todd chatted in the song name and texted about his first time hearing this song. After the song was over, Tod came in on video and told us of the first time hearing this tune coming from another room when he was in college, 20 years ago. He did not discover the name and composer until sometime later.
Exactly Like You by vocalist Abbey Lincoln, from the 1958 album It’s Magic. She had ties to the DC area with musicians that she met through Betty Carter.
Messy Bessy, an original tune by Shirley Scott on the Hammond B3 organ. The album is titled Something with a full range of star musicians performing with her.
Get Ready from the album Just Ella by Ella Fitzgerald and Eric Gale 1968/69. This is late Ella and her encouragement from Eric Gale to get in into R&B during this period of her life. If it’s R&B (or anything else) sung by Ella, it has to be Jazz. There were other contemporary songs on this album.
Catching the Sun by Spyro Gyra from their 1980 release by the same name. A remarkably familiar Jazz tune.
Without Your Love I Will Die by the Blackbyrds. The player of this tune, Michelle, mentioned that the title is something that every woman wants to hear. This is a smooth jazz tune with hints of R&B.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I was going to play the entire side of the Baltimore album by Nina Simone. However, that was sabotaged by Dr. Nick with the playing of “Everything Must Change”. That was to be the album Baltimore by Nina. So, the next selection played was;
Baltimore by Nina Simone. We had a first time Listener and friend, Velva Spriggs, who joined in. Velva is a music lover, and she paid a tribute to radio station WPFW in DC. Velva, who lives in DC, is a Social Worker, professor/educator, and an advocate for children and families.
Around 6:30 we raised a glass to remember and honor those we have lost from this earth. To give thanks to awakening this day. And look forward to the days ahead, to grow and to learn. May we have peace in the days ahead. We also recognized a few musicians whose birthday was in the month of March; Quincy Jones, George Benson, Harry Belafonte, Ornette Coleman, Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Sly Stone, and Sarah Vaughn. The next selection;
Night In Tunisia by Chaka Khan The next selection played was;
Broken Hearted Melody by Sarah Vaughn from the album The Magic of Sarah album. Elliot showed us a copy of Ella first album titled. Sarah Vaughn. The next song;
Mean To Me by Morgana King, former actress, turned jazz singer.
Bumpin Onn Sunset by Wes Montgomery. Can’t go wrong with Wes Montgomery.
We ended the session with a bit of comedy from the legendary humorist and activist, Dick Gregory, with a selection from his 1973 “Caght in the Act” album, wherein he talks about quitting the night club circuit. We ended with our Goodbye’s.
A Great Time was had by All. Looking forward to seeing you at our next Vinyl Listening session, hopefully in April. Stay tuned. Follow us on the social media sites.
Vinyl Listening Lounge Club
· I Can’t Find - Smokey Robinson
· Wish That I Could Talk To You - Sylvers
· God Bless The Child - James Taylor
· Put It where You Want It - The Crusaders
· Solid As a Rock - Ashford and Simpson
· Everybody Loves the Sunshine - Roy Ayers
· I Found A Way - Black Ivory
· When Did You Leave Heaven? - Nancy Wilson
· Spain - Al Jarreau
· Let Me Be Close To You - The Valentine Brothers
· Keep Your Head To The Sky - Earth Wind Fire
· Who’s Making Love - Johnny Taylor
· Tell Me This is a Dream - The Delfonics
· A Fork in the Road - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
· Space Lady - Lonnie Liston Smith
· Treat Her Like a Lady - The Temptations
· A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
· Thoughts of Old Flames - Pleasure
· Treat Her Like a Lady - The Temptations
· Aint no Stopping Us Now - McFadden and Whitehead