Tommy Walker – Vocals
Ivan Anderson – Guitar
Billy Sapanaro – Bass
Jeff Manian – Keyboard
Marco Santini – Drums
All Photos Edited by:
Frank Cunha III
Ensemble Studio Theater, 2nd Floor
549 West 52nd Street, New York City
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Whitney Houston died this afternoon … a rep for the singer told the Associated Press.
According to our sources, Houston died at the Beverly Hilton hotel. A police crime lab vehicle was seen outside the hotel just moments ago.
Houston won two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards during her record-breaking career. Her album “Whitney” was the first female album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard Charts. She has sold 200 million albums world wide.
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A Love Supreme is a studio album recorded by John Coltrane‘s quartet in December 1964 and released by Impulse! Records(catalogue number AS-77) in February 1965. It is generally considered to be among Coltrane’s greatest works, as it melded the hard bop sensibilities of his early career with the free jazz style he adopted later.
The quartet recorded the album in one session on December 9, 1964, at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.Coltrane’s home in Dix Hills, Long Island, has been suggested as the site of inspiration for A Love Supreme.
A Love Supreme is often listed amongst the greatest jazz albums of all time. It was also quite popular for a jazz album, selling about 500,000 copies by 1970, a number far exceeding Coltrane’s typical Impulse! sales of around 30,000. As further testimony to the recording’s historic significance, the manuscript for the album is one of the National Museum of American History‘s “Treasures of American History”, part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. In 2003, the album was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The publication called it a “legendary album-long hymn of praise” and stated “The indelible four-note theme of the first movement, ‘Acknowledgment,’ is the humble foundation of the suite. But Coltrane’s majestic, often violent blowing (famously described as ‘sheets of sound’) is never self-aggrandizing. Aloft with his classic quartet…, Coltrane soars with nothing but gratitude and joy. You can’t help but go with him.” The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested “Core Collection” and awarded it a “crown” stating “It is without precedent and parallel, and though it must also be one of the best loved jazz records of all time it somehow remains remote from critical pigeonholing” calling it “immensely concentrated and rich.”
The album’s influence has been extensive and diverse. Musicians ranging from tenor Joshua Redman to the rockstar Bono of U2 have singled out the influence of the album on their own work. Guitarists John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana have each credited the album as one of their greatest early influences.
Amy Winehouse performs at the V Festival 2008 at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, England in this file photo.LONDON — Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead Saturday in her London home, police said. She was 27.
Winehouse shot to fame with the album “Back to Black,” whose blend of jazz, soul, rock and classic pop was a global hit. It won five Grammys and made Winehouse — with her black beehive hairdo and old-fashioned sailor tattoos — one of music’s most recognizable stars.
Police confirmed that a 27-year-old female was pronounced dead at the home in Camden Square northern London; the cause of death was not immediately known. London Ambulance Services said Winehouse had died before the two ambulance crews it sent arrived at the scene.
“I didn’t go out looking to be famous,” Winehouse told the Associated Press when “Back to Black” was released. “I’m just a musician.”
But in the end, the music was overshadowed by fame, and by Winehouse’s demons. Tabloids lapped up the erratic stage appearances, drunken fights, stints in hospital and rehab clinics. Performances became shambling, stumbling train wrecks, watched around the world on the Internet.
Born in 1983 to taxi driver Mitch Winehouse and his pharmacist wife Janis, Winehouse grew up in the north London suburbs, and was set on a showbiz career from an early age. When she was 10, she and a friend formed a rap group, Sweet ‘n’ Sour — Winehouse was Sour — that she later described as “the little white Jewish Salt ‘n’ Pepa.”
She attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School, a factory for British music and acting moppets, later went to the Brit School, a performing arts academy in the “Fame” mold, and was originally signed to “Pop Idol” svengali Simon Fuller’s 19 Management.
But Winehouse was never a packaged teen star, and always resisted being pigeonholed.
Her jazz-influenced 2003 debut album, “Frank,” was critically praised and sold well in Britain. It earned Winehouse an Ivor Novello songwriting award, two Brit nominations and a spot on the shortlist for the Mercury Music Prize.
But Winehouse soon expressed dissatisfaction with the disc, saying she was “only 80 percent behind” the album.
“Frank” was followed by a slump during which Winehouse broke up with her boyfriend, suffered a long period of writer’s block and, she later said, smoked a lot of marijuana.
“I had writer’s block for so long,” she said in 2007. “And as a writer, your self-worth is literally based on the last thing you wrote. .. I used to think, ‘What happened to me?’
“At one point it had been two years since the last record and (the record company) actually said to me, ‘Do you even want to make another record?’ I was like, ‘I swear it’s coming.’ I said to them, ‘Once I start writing I will write and write and write. But I just have to start it.”‘
The album she eventually produced was a sensation.
Released in Britain in the fall of 2006, “Back to Black” brought Winehouse global fame. Working with producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi and soul-funk group the Dap-Kings, Winehouse fused soul, jazz, doo-wop and, above all, a love of the girl-groups of the early 1960s with lyrical tales of romantic obsession and emotional excess.
“Back to Black” was released in the United States in March 2007 and went on to win five Grammy awards, including song and record of the year for “Rehab.”
Music critic John Aizlewood attributed her trans-Atlantic success to a fantastic voice and a genuinely original sound.
“A lot of British bands fail in America because they give America something Americans do better — that’s why most British hip-hop has failed,” he said. “But they won’t have come across anything quite like Amy Winehouse.”
Winehouse’s rise was helped by her distinctive look — black beehive of hair, thickly lined cat eyes, girly tattoos — and her tart tongue.
She was famously blunt in her assessment of her peers, once describing Dido’s sound as “background music — the background to death” and saying of pop princess Kylie Minogue, “she’s not an artist … she’s a pony.”
The songs on “Black to Black” detailed breakups and breakdowns with a similar frankness. Lyrically, as in life, Winehouse wore her heart on her sleeve.
“I listen to a lot of ’60s music, but society is different now,” Winehouse said in 2007. “I’m a young woman and I’m going to write about what I know.”
Even then, Winehouse’s performances were sometimes shambolic, and she admitted she is “a terrible drunk.”
Increasingly, her personal life began to overshadow her career.
She acknowledged struggling with eating disorders and told a newspaper that she had been diagnosed as manic depressive but refused to take medication. Soon accounts of her erratic behavior, canceled concerts and drink- and drug-fueled nights began to multiply.
Photographs caught her unsteady on her feet or vacant-eyed, and she appeared unhealthily thin, with scabs on her face and marks on her arms.
There were embarrassing videos released to the world on the Internet. One showed an addled Winehouse and Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty playing with newborn mice. Another, for which Winehouse apologized, showed her singing a racist ditty to the tune of a children’s song.
Winehouse’s managers went to increasingly desperate lengths to keep the wayward star on the straight and narrow. Before a June 2011 concert in Belgrade — the first stop on a planned European comeback tour — her hotel was stripped of booze. It did no good,
An addled Winehouse swayed and slurred her way through barely recognizable songs, as her band played gamely and the audience jeered and booed.
Winehouse flew home. Her management canceled the tour, saying Winehouse would take sine time off to recover.
Though she was often reported to be working on new material, fans got tired of waiting for the much-promised followup to “Back to Black.”
Occasional bits of recording saw the light of day. Her rendition of The Zutons’ “Valerie” was a highlight of producer Mark Ronson’s 2007 album “Version,” and she recorded the pop classic “It’s My Party” for the 2010 Quincy Jones album “Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.”
But other recording projects with Ronson, one of the architects of the success of “Back to Black,” came to nothing.
She also had run-ins with the law. In April 2008, Winehouse was cautioned by police for assault after she slapped a man during a raucous night out.
The same year she was investigated by police, although not charged, after a tabloid newspaper published a video that appeared to show her smoking crack cocaine.
In 2010, Winehouse pleaded guilty to assaulting a theater manager who asked her to leave a family Christmas show because she’d had too much to drink. She was given a fine and a warning to stay out of trouble by a judge who praised her for trying to clean up her act.
In May 2007 in Miami, she married music industry hanger-on Blake Fielder-Civil, but the honeymoon was brief. That November, Fielder-Civil was arrested for an attack on a pub manager the year before. Fielder-Civil later pleaded guilty to assaulting barman James King and then offering him 200,000 pounds (US$400,000) to keep quiet about it.
Winehouse stood by “my Blake” throughout his trial, often blowing kisses at him from the court’s public gallery and wearing a heart-shaped pin labeled “Blake” in her hair at concerts. But British newspapers reported extramarital affairs while Fielder-Civil was behind bars.
They divorced in 2009.
Winehouse’s health often appeared fragile. In June 2008 and again in April 2010, she was taken to hospital and treated for injuries after fainting and falling at home.
Her father said she had developed the lung disease emphysema from smoking cigarettes and crack, although her spokeswoman later said Winehouse only had “early signs of what could lead to emphysema.”
She left the hospital to perform at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert in Hyde Park in June 2008, and at the Glastonbury festival the next day, where she received a rousing reception but scuffled with a member of the crowd. Then it was back to a London clinic for treatment, continuing the cycle of music, excess and recuperation that marked her career.
The following news story shows that people will still download full albums if it is filled with great songs.
Just one week after Eminem’s Recovery became the first album to sell 1 million digital copies, Adele’s 21 has surpassed the milestone and is now the biggest-selling digital album in history. Digital sales of 21 exceed 1.017 million (out of 2.6 million total), compared with Recovery‘s 1.005 million (out of 3.9 million). Overall, almost a third (32%) of the 155.5 million albums sold in the first half of 2011 were digital, according to a midyear report released last week by Nielsen SoundScan. That’s up 19% from the same period in 2010, when 27% of 153.9 million album sales were digital.
I had another terrific opportunity to shoot with the SWEET FIX group, this time at a New York City subway station for their upcoming single “FM Radio” (appropriately the F and M lines in mid-town). To lend a hand was Dee Portera who helped me photograph the boys: Tommy Walker (Lead Vocals), Ivan Anderson (Guitar, Back Up Vocals), Bill Sapanaro (Bass), Marco Santini (Drums). And tonight (May 14, 2011) they are playing at the Crash Mansion (199 Bowery, New York, NY) if you want to come out and support them (RSVP here). Also check them out on Facebook, MySpace, ReverbNation and Twitter. More Sweet Fix by FC3 here.
It is no surprise that up-and-coming band “Sweet Fix” managed to shut down the FM subway line in mid-town NYC on Sunday afternoon. Mixed with musical talent and great looks these sexy Rock Star divas know how to bring the house down. They’re musical style sounds like “a bunch of cotton candy melting on the engine of your car.” This is only a teaser of the vocalist, Tommy Walker, more to come soon….And look out for the next single “FM Radio” to drop soon.
Postscript– Photography by Dee Portela (Edited by Frank Cunha III)
John Cage. A pioneer of chance music, electronic music and non-standard use of musical instruments.
Cage was elected to the American National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and received innumerable awards and honors both in the United States and in Europe.
He was commissioned by a great many of the most important performing organizations throughout the world, and maintained a very active schedule. It would be extremely difficult to calculate, let alone critically evaluate, the stimulating effect and ramifications that Cage’s work has had on 20th century music and art, for it is clear that the musical developments of our time cannot be understood without taking into account his music and ideas. His invention of the prepared piano and his work with percussion instruments led him to imagine and explore many unique and fascinating ways of structuring the temporal dimension of music.
He is universally recognized as the initiator and leading figure in the field of indeterminate composition by means of chance operations. Arnold Schoenberg said of Cage that he was an “inventor – of genius”.
Photo of the Day (Part 1)
“Love, Peace, Joy”
Photo of the Day (Part 2)
“Love, Peace, Joy”