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Tower of Power

Tower's 40 plus year odyssey actually began in 1968 when Emilio Castillo met Stephen "Doc" Kupka in July of that year. When Doc auditioned during a band rehearsal at Emilio's house, Emilio's father called him into the kitchen and offered the following advice: "Hire that guy, he's got something." Doc and his signature baritone sax sound were now in the band, and on August 13, 1968, Tower of Power, as we know them today, began playing gigs, and soon became very well known in the area. Many other bands came out of the San Francisco Bay area in the late 60's. Bands like The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Big Brother, Journey, Cold Blood and others all helped to define the "San Francisco Sound." Tower of Power has always claimed Oakland, California as their hometown

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Purdie Fabian Oswanski: Move On!

Read "Move On!" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

In a 1977 magazine interview, New York Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson (in)famously referred to himself as “the straw that stirs the drink" for his team. On this trio set with organ player and composer Ron Oswanski and bassist-composer Christian Fabian (who also shaped the arrangements), the one and only original funky drummer Bernard Purdie ...

Soul Songs, Mose Songs & COVID Aid for Djibouti

Read "Soul Songs, Mose Songs & COVID Aid for Djibouti" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Bahama Soul Club Bohemia After Dawn Buyú Records 2020 Soulful original music laced with judicious and striking samples, Bohemia After Dawn serves a textbook example of music that packs an impact larger than the sum of its parts. Written, arranged, produced and performed by Oliver Belz ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Rocco Prestia, Mark Egan, John McLaughlin & More

Read "Rocco Prestia, Mark Egan, John McLaughlin & More" reviewed by Len Davis

This week we open paying tribute to the late Rocco Prestia, bassist with Tower of Power. We then focus on the latest release by another reference bassist, Mark Egan. Enjoy the music! Playlist John McLaughlin “Dear Dalai Lama" Industrial Zen (Verve Records) 0:00:28 Chick Corea “Flight from Karoof pt 1" The ultimate ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Bob James, David Sanborn, and Marcus Miller: The Lost Tour

Read "Bob James, David Sanborn, and Marcus Miller: The Lost Tour" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Backing a new record with a live tour is, of course, standard practice. So, a tour in support of Double Vision (Warner Brothers, 1986) would be nothing out of the ordinary. The Bob James and David Sanborn classic, that also features Marcus Miller and Steve Gadd, proved to be visionary in its scope and profound in ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Lydia Pense & Cold Blood: The Endless Summer of Love

Read "Lydia Pense & Cold Blood: The Endless Summer of Love" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Fifty years ago, the Woodstock Festival blazed the music scene and put modern society on the map. Yes, it was the era of hippies, counterculture, peace, love, and dope. The west coast made its own lasting impression with the far-out, peaceful, yet happening, streets of San Francisco. The rich music scene was as potent as the ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes

Read "US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 US Air Force Airmen of Note The premier jazz ensemble of the US Air Force, the Airmen of Note is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The US Air Force Band. Created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller's Army Air Forces ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Double Vision Revisited: Bob James, David Sanborn, and Marcus Miller at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium

Read "Double Vision Revisited: Bob James, David Sanborn, and Marcus Miller at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Double Vision Revisited: Bob James, David Sanborn, and Marcus Miller Lakewood Civic Auditorium Lakewood, Ohio August 17, 2019 By the mid '80s, there started to be a major shift in the quality and focus of the music termed as jazz fusion. The genre had started in the late '60s with rockier ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

North Sea Jazz Festival 2019

Read "North Sea Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Ljubinko Zivkovic

North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands July 12-14, 2019 For a while now, jazz festivals have lost their exclusivity and being a musical source for just jazz fans or those who wanted to get involved in the scene. More commercial artists from other musical genres have actually become a ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Dave Weckl: The Cymbal of Excellence

Read "Dave Weckl: The Cymbal of Excellence" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Attention to details and impeccable standards coupled with a desirous curiosity and a wealth of talent have served Dave Weckl well. The savvy and astute musician has meticulously traversed the jazz and fusion world over the past few decades. Weckl is on a very short list when the topic of drumming icons is broached. Perhaps best ...


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