Birthdays 

Anke Helfrich at 50: German Jazz Pianist Performing with “Dedication”

There are not many female Jazz pianists from Germany, who tour the world. I can think of two, but one of them is an organist. Let’s stick to the actual pianist, Anke Helfrich, who was born half a century ago today. From the small town of Horb, at the Neckar river, in Swabia, she would be taken to Namibia soon, where she stayed five years. Her mother was an anti-Apartheid activist, who collected donations for the movement. Little Anke would sing “We Shall Overcome” and dance with children in African townships, while…

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Birthdays 

Richard Bailey at 61: The Off-Beat Genius who Became an Athlete After All

Richard Bailey played his ass off every time the British Jazz-Funk group Incognito hit the stage during the gigs and tours I joined, as their regional booker. And not just that. He treated his snare, toms, hi-hat and other cymbals as if they were part of him. It gets better: They actually are. And he is part of them. Richard was born 61 years ago today, in Guyana, and moved to Trinidad & Tobago with his family early on, before arriving in London, some years later. His father was a runner,…

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Birthdays 

Arturo Sandoval at 67: The Most Energetic Trumpet Hero Ever

It was in 1979, when a young trumpet genius by the name of Arturo Sandoval hit the stage at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, along with the other members of the Cuban group Irakere, which by now is music history, people looked at them in disbelief.  The performance delivered by the Cubans was nothing less than an explosion. The sounds hitting the stunned audience could be described as a hurricane of Afro-Cuban-Jazz-Rock of a kind nobody in the hall had ever heard before. It felt like a Cuban version of Earth, Wind…

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Birthdays 

Nick van Gelder at 52: Tight Groove Drummer & Multi-Instrumentalist

A tight groove specialist and multi-instrumentalist, who has played with several of Britain’s main “Acid Jazz” acts, including Jamiroquai, and who performs and records with his own projects, is celebrating a funky 52nd birthday today: Nick van Gelder. As a 6-year-old, he got a snare drum, which was pretty well equipped: “It had a cymbal arm”, van Gelder says. He had to wait another couple of years, until he was finally sitting behind his first complete drum set, on Christmas Eve of 1972, and another six years, until he had…

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Birthdays 

Tom Browne at 62: Jamaican Funk and Flying Packages

In the mid-1970s, a young trumpet player from Queens got a scholarship for the High School of Music & Performing Arts in New York. At that stage, nobody could have imagined he was going to provide one of the greatest Funk hits ever, or that he would come up with some of the most brilliant Jazz-Funk sounds ever recorded. Tom Browne learned from Freddie Hubbard and other fellow trumpet heroes. Downbeat Magazine used the expression “warm trumpet” very accurately, while describing his playing. Jimmy Boyd, who used to manage George Benson, Earl…

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Uncategorized 

About

Welcome to this site. We thank you for your interest. Why in the hell would anyone call their site magazine79.com? There are two reasons. First of all, 1979 was one of the best years in music. American Soul tunes included expensive arrangements. Thanks to people like the late Louis Johnson, the late Maurice White and many others, the Funk reached its peak. Earth, Wind & Fire recorded one of their best albums entitled “I Am” and, across the Atlantic Ocean, British Jazz-Funk was ready to develop further, when Incognito was…

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Soul Tours 

Akua Naru: A Powerful Voice Wrapping Up Huge Tour

Living in New Haven, Connecticut does not make anyone sit in the center of the world, but far from it. Still, this is the place where a strong voice has developed, a voice spreading revolutionary thoughts, telling tales of anything from justice to love and sex. Akua Naru is a story teller, an advocate for justice and a poet thinking about love and tenderness. The lady from New Haven, who has lived in China and Germany, spreads her message using Hip Hop rhythms, which she mostly speaks on. Some would…

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Collectors 

Real Music Collectors: Mario Moya in Mexico City

Mario Moya is from Mexico City, an Electronics & Communications engineer and a Real Music person. Growing up in a family of Jazz, Soul and Funk lovers, he soon became a connaisseur. This applies to other genres too, including Brazilian music. When Mario was a kid, he did listen to one of the greatest radio stations ever: “Jazz FM 104.1” in Mexico City was founded by Roberto Morales in 1979, a decade before Europeans “invented” that kind of radio station, and used the same name. The original “Jazz FM”, which was…

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Birthdays 

Dianne Reeves at 60: The Evolution of a Star

Note: The plural form of the word Grammy is part of this article. Reader discretion is advised. The minute she was born sixty years ago today, she was exposed to all of this great music. Her mother was a trumpeter, her father a vocalist. He is obviously the one she inherited her singing talent from. When, on top of all of this parental influence, which you inhale 24 hours a day, your cousin’s name is George Duke and your uncle is bassist Charles Burrell, you are supposed to be discovered…

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