This seems appropriate for the day after Valentine’s Day: one of the great “morning after” duets ever by (arguably) the greatest duo ever.
Presenting Barry White’s timeless “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” as a public service for those still looking for a sexy, romantic song to kick off their Valentine’s Day celebration….
I know there’s only, only one like you;
There’s no way they could have made two;
You’re, you’re all I’m living for, your love I’ll keep forevermore;
You’re the first, you’re the last, my everything.
If all “smooth jazz” sounded like the late Al Jarreau, there wouldn’t be nearly as many jokes about “smooth jazz”.
Ignore the early 1980s hairstyles, clothing choices and orchestration, and just listen to Jarreau’s voice on “We’re In This Love Together”. Not only does he display exquisite technique with not a note out of place, Jarreau also conveys the breezy, effortless, walking-on-air-with-our-feet-planted-firmly-on-the-ground feeling of a truly great romantic love.
Dorothy Love Coates is the antithesis of a “prosperity gospel” singer. With her, there are always consequences to faith and costs to redemption.
For two verses “He’s Calling Me” is indistinguishable from a prosperity gospel song. In the first verse, the same divine voice that called Moses, David and Peter is calling the singer. In the second verse, the singer’s mother is giving her deathbed testimony about going onto glory.
But the third verse…that’s when everything gets real, real fast.
I heard a voice; Jesus calling;
I didn’t want to go;
All at once, something happened;
My feet got light; my soul got happy;
I began to feel all right;
I confessed my sins, started living like a Christian;
I got my orders from heaven;
Now I’m working on my mission.
Not only does the singer’s life change (“I began to feel all right…started living like a Christian“), but now she’s got a new mission, a new work in life. It’s a “no guts, no glory” kind of faith.
Which is where that glorious sound comes from.
Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band had a short-lived (1960-64) but spectacular existence, never more so than when old friend Zoot Sims joined them on tour in 1960.
Check them out on Ben Wester’s sweet, sly, soulful “Go Home”.
In a major address last November, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy observed that “during the past months the specter of a massive deportation campaign aimed at ripping more than ten million undocumented immigrants from their lives and families has realistically emerged as potential federal policy.”
One thing that’s clear from the deportation yesterday of Guadalupe García de Rayos is that it’s no longer “potential federal policy“; it’s actual policy.
García is a 35 year old married mother of two teenagers (both US citizens) who had lived in the US for the past 21 years. Since getting caught in 2008 using a fake Social Security card (apparently her only crime) to get a job, she’s reported annually to the local ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) office. When she showed up there yesterday morning (after going to morning Mass) she was arrested, separated from her lawyer, and deported, despite the efforts of her family and the organized nonviolent support of Puente, a Phoenix-based migrant justice organization.
Bishop McElroy was about as unequivocally clear as Catholic bishops get when he talked about Trump’s plans:
“We must label this policy proposal for what it is – an act of injustice which would stain our national honor in the same manner as the progressive dispossessions of the Native American peoples of the United States and the internment of the Japanese.
For us, as the Catholic community of the United States, it is unthinkable that we will stand by while more than ten percent of our flock is ripped from our midst and deported. It is equally unthinkable that we as Church will witness the destruction of our historic national outreach to refugees at a time when the need to offer safe haven to refugees is growing throughout the world.” (emphasis added)
Among other things, García’s deportation confronts the US Catholic Church with the question: if it truly is “unthinkable” to stand by while the Trump administration deports millions and locks out refugees fleeing war, starvation, and persecution, then what is the Church—not just Bishop McElroy and his brother bishops, but also the tens of thousands of priests and nuns, and tens of millions of lay members—going to do?
There were a lot of cover songs in 1987. (Young people: save this post next time your parents start talking about how musicians today just aren’t as creative as they were in the old days.)
Australian new wavers Pseudo Echo squeaked into Billboard’s year-end Hot 100 chart with their version of Lipps Inc.’s“Funkytown”. And in an absolutely stunning triumph of marketing over musical talent, Bruce Willis(?!?!) charted with the Staple Singers’ classic “Respect Yourself”.
But my favorite cover song from 1987 is Club Nouveau’s new jack swing version of”Lean On Me”. It brings out a joyfulness that’s submerged in Bill Withers’ original.