New Orleans jazz singer Sharon Martin performs "Take the A Train," one of Duke Ellington's signature numbers and composed by Billy Strayhorn. Sharon's version was recorded live by WWOZ last February, at the historic Basin St. Station in New Orleans.
"Queen of the Blues" and Blues Hall of Famer Koko Taylor (d. 2009) does Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" in a 1967 studio performance. In 1966, Taylor's version reached #13 on the Billboard R&B chart and #58 on the pop chart.
For your hot summer holiday viewing pleasure, here's a 33-minute set of cool jazz from Dave Brubeck, recorded live in Germany in 1966. The tracks include "Take The ‘A’ Train," "Forty Days," "I’m In A Dancing Mood," "Koto Song," and "Take Five."
Legendary Texas country blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist extraordinare Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins (1912-1982) demonstrates his distinctive fingerstyle in this cover of the classic Ray Charles song "What'd I Say". Hopkins' New York Times obit called him "one of the great county blues" players, and "perhaps the greatest single influence on rock guitar players."
Jamaican vocal group the Heptones, backed by the Dutch musicans the High Notes, with their reggae cover of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released". The Heptones recorded this song twice, first in 1969 for Studio One and then in 1976 at Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark studio for their Party Time album.
Wilson Anthony "Boozoo" Chavis (1930-2001) of Lake Charles, LA with a live version of "Johnny Billy Goat" (or "Johnny Ma Cabrille"). Chavis, nicknamed the "Creole Cowboy" for his signature C&W attire, was a force in zydeco from the mid-1950s until his death in 2001.
Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Roadshow do "Foot Of Canal Street" during a Threadheads benefit concert at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington DC, June 3, 2010. With Big Sam, Alex McMurray, Debbie Davis, and a number of other familiar faces.
Can you say "Blues masterpiece"? Check out the Master of the Telecaster, the late great Albert Collins (d. 1993), in a 1990 performance of "If Trouble Was Money." From Leona, Texas, Collins was introduced to the guitar by his older cousin: Lightnin' Hopkins.
Before his sad, untimely death last week, Travis "Trumpet Black" Hill was collaborating with film maker James Demaria on a documentary. The videos below consist of clips recorded for that project. They are little tough to watch in places, but definitely worth 15 minutes of your time.