Tag Archives: Amy Winehouse

2011 ➤ Other picky people’s year-ending Best Ofs in music of all styles

BEST ALBUMS OF 2011 AT ALLMEDIANY

+++
AllMediaNY.com offers the next step in the evolution of modern journalism — “free media” — an outlet where journalists and readers together decide on what is newsworthy and what is not. Editor-in-Chief Drew Kolar says it was “a great year for real music”, sadly marred by the death of Amy Winehouse.

50 SEVENS THAT REALLY STRUCK ME AT DIS

+++
❏ At Drowned in Sound Wendy Roby whittles her year’s reviewing down to a top 50 “that really struck me”, starting at Africa Hitech’s Do U Really Wanna Fight, via Metronomy’s The Look and ending on Jamie Woon’s Lady Luck.

POPJUSTICE READER POLL’S BEST SINGLE

Rihanna — We Found Love feat. Calvin Harris.

RUSTY EGAN: WHAT’S ON MY IPOD MIX

❏ An hour’s-worth of vintage sounds mixed by former Blitz Club deejay Rusty Egan: “Some lost classics here plus some bands born in the 80s that sound like they wrote and recorded the songs in the 80s.”

CHRIS SULLIVAN’S TEN BEST MUSIC
DOCUMENTARIES EVER

Great Day In Harlem,photography,Art Kane, Esquire ,jazz,Count Basie,documentary
A Great Day In Harlem (1995) — “A must for any serious black music aficionado,” writes Zeitgeist-Meister Sullivan at RedBull.com. This documentary by Jean Bach tells the story of one summer’s day in 1958 when 57 musicians from jazz history met at 126th Street in Harlem to have their picture taken by Art Kane for Esquire magazine. Keen eyes will spot such greats as Horace Silver, Charles Mingus, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, English-born Marian McPartland OBE, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie. Kane called it “the greatest picture of that era of musicians ever taken”.

KATY PERRY’S FIREWORK SHOCKER

❏ The video for Firework not only outraged British TV stations into censoring the gay kiss, but it then won Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards. Result: the single remained in the UK charts for 58 weeks, way longer than in Billboard’s.

J J WHEELER’S JAZZ PICK

❏ A refreshing selection of five CDs and five gigs from 2011 offered at The Jazz Breakfast by a much-lauded British drummer/percussionist currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music after graduating from Birmingham Conservatoire. Listen to clips from his own quintet’s imminent album Unconventional at Soundcloud.

MUSIC BOOKS ROUND-UP

Nile Rodgers, books,Le Freak, Upside Down Story, disco, autobiography
❏ A broad survey of the year’s music books by the Evening Standard’s David Smyth reveals that in his collected lyrics Jarvis Cocker says “seeing a lyric in print is like watching the TV with the sound turned down: you’re only getting half the story”… Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny gives us a tour of the fascinating life story of Nile Rodgers [pictured] — conceived when his mother was 13, raised by beatniks who’d have Thelonious Monk over, he joined the Black Panthers and jammed with Jimi Hendrix, all before he wrote a vast collection of mega-hits, virtually lived in Studio 54’s bathroom and produced Madonna and David Bowie.

LADY GAGA: GOOD THING, BAD THING?

PopJustice’s 2011 In Review asks singer Will Young: As a notorious homosexual, did you feel empowered by Born This Way by Lady Gaga?
Will replies: “When it came on the radio I thought ‘She’s basically written this song for me’. Amazing. I actually think I shed a tear as I was driving up to Wales. I stopped at a petrol station and I thought ‘You know what, I don’t care what they think’ and I brought some pink bon bons. Normally I would just go for a Wispa.”

STEVE NORMAN’S HOTTEST DANCE VIDEO

+++
Tightrope by Janelle Monáe feat. Big Boi — “Amazing. Here’s to a year to remember, like 1981 only better!” says Spandau’s sax player Steve Norman.

➢ Don’t miss: Other picky people’s year-ending
Best Ofs from fashion, TV, web and film

FRONT PAGE

➤ Crooner Bennett defers to the rootsy tigress that was Amy Winehouse

+++
❚ IT’S PRETTY CLEAR who is the jazz singer in this much-anticipated video (above), released today. The old croaker Tony Bennett may be the last living legend in the crooner tradition, but he is utterly outclassed by the astonishing retro inflections of Amy Winehouse. She was his fan, so the 1930 standard Body and Soul, written for another showbiz legend Gertrude Lawrence, makes a noble epitaph for Amy. However, look to any number of earlier performances on video to appreciate the full measure of her sinuous, soulful, contralto voice, her body and her soul. She sang, as the Guardian obituary said, “as if her heart were damaged beyond repair”. Watch, as one example, her live acoustic version of Love is a Losing Game in 2007 (below) through to its ineffable conclusion.

Amy Winehouse Foundation launches
on her 28th birthday

➢ From today’s Daily Telegraph:
The Winehouse family have launched the foundation to mark what would have been the singer’s 28th birthday. Her mother Janis said: “We want to give money to projects that make a direct difference. It is a source of great comfort to know that Amy would be proud of this.”

One of the first major sources of income for the Amy Winehouse Foundation will be from her duet with Tony Bennett, which is released today. It was given its first play on the Ken Bruce show on Radio 2 this morning. Winehouse’s father Mitch said: “Amy was very generous and we kept coming back to the thought of how much she loved children. It seemed appropriate that the focus of our work should be with young people, those who are vulnerable either through ill health or circumstance.

Amy’s last studio recording

Amy Winehouse , Back to Black, albums, best-sellers,❏ The duet with her 85-year-old hero Tony Bennett, and titled Body and Soul, was Amy’s last recording. Released today by Columbia Records, the song was laid down on March 23 at Abbey Road Studios in London for Bennett’s upcoming Duets II album.

Amy was found dead at her flat in north London on July 23. Her critically acclaimed second album Back to Black, produced by Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, was much more Motown-flavoured R&B than her jazz-influenced debut, Frank, which won an Ivor Novello Award and prompted Billboard to describe her voice as “astounding”. Released in 2006, Back to Black reached No 1 several times in the UK, No 7 in the US, and yielded five hit singles aching with explicit and heartfelt lyrics, most notably Rehab. Renewed demand during the past month sent it back to No 1 to become the UK’s best-selling album of the 21st century.

FRONT PAGE