Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
“Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is there: weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war, stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner, mothers rocking their infants to sleep ... music is a part of the fabric of everyday life.”
Daniel J. Levitin, This Is Your Brain on Music
It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.
The weekend has finally arrived.
The sun has set.
The evening sky has erupted.
Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.
It’s customary for me on my Friday night music blog whenever I’ve spent many a week being nostalgic to break the pattern by focusing on some contemporary works. Tonight, I’ll share some newer release I hope you’ll like.
Remember, we do this every Friday night to demonstrate that despite the God-awful junk masquerading as art, there’s still plenty of really good music available.
We begin with bassist Nathan East who has an incredible resume. East has spent two decades as part of Fourplay, the smooth jazz quartet with Bob James (piano) and Harvey Mason (drums), as well as a number of great guitarists including Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, and Chuck Loeb.
He’s also been featured on almost 30 years of Eric Clapton albums, Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, many of Barry White’s recordings, and possibly the biggest hit of the last five years, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky?”
“It got to where I was just embarrassed when I did interviews, you know, ‘Where’s the Nathan East album?’ “East said. “And that went on for decades. I’m the only guy in Fourplay who hadn’t done a solo album. I’ve got a dozen at least under my belt with Fourplay, and I’d been calling that my solo career, because that’s outside of my usual rock and roll or whatever -- and it’s my band. And I didn’t want it just to be a side project for me. I really wanted it to be full on, committed, jump in with both feet – and get really wet.”
There are 70 musicians contributing to this album, and that’s counting the entire Nashville Recording Orchestra. The album is currently #1 on the contemporary jazz chart.
Michael McDonald joins East to sing “Moondance” with brass section arranged by legendary saxophonist Tom Scott.
Next up, Paulo Rustichelli. He’s the son of three-time Oscar nominee and movie composer Carlo Rustichelli. He began his career at age 16 as a soundtrack composer and as a rock keyboard player with the highly acclaimed album "Opera Prima"on RCA Records. Artists he’s worked with include Carlos Santana, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Andy Summers, and Placido Domingo.
Here’s his latest single with scenes from Rome, “Soul Italiano."
His Facebook page reads, “At 30 years old, (this trumpeter and vocalist) has already done what most musicians spend their lives dreaming about. He’s traveled the world, played stages in historic clubs, in massive stadiums and at cultural landmarks, recorded a solo album, appeared on national television and performed for two sitting U.S. presidents. His collaborations range from pop idols to jazz legends, and the list reads like a lineup for the best New Orleans Jazz Fest ever. He’s worked with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Alicia Keys, The Jonas Brothers, Wyclef Jean, Justin Bieber, Natalie Cole, James Ingram, Wynton Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Chris Botti along with many, many more.”
Jumaane Smith plays a hot trumpet. On his new release, he joins forces with the voice of Michael Buble on a hit from a 1946 Broadway musical.
Time for yet another exciting trumpet player, though Gabriel Mark Hasselbach isn’t limited. He also plays flugelhorn, C and alto flutes, valve trombone, and the Akai EVI wind instrument. Gabriel has recorded or performed with Michael Buble, Bob James, Ernie Watts, Little Richard, To Scott, George Benson, John Denver, the O'Jays, Ben E. King, Heart, and John Lee Hooker.
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend.
There's great music out there.
Find it. Buy it.
And my thanks to the artists I feature for keeping those great oldies and standards alive and well.
Time for our close.
Of the most recorded popular songs in history, this one is second only behind “Yesterday” by the Beatles. It’s one of the tracks from the latest release by Brian Simpson, the music director for popular saxman Dave Koz.
Simpson’s cover of “The Girl from Ipanema” is a wonderful remake of a more than 50-year old masterpiece. Of course, Koz joins in with sax solos. The Simpson-Koz collaboration is terrific. Close your eyes and you're dancing in a late-night cocktail club. The accompanying video shows breathtaking scenes of Rio de Janeiro, complete with women relaxing in the exotic paradise. Such pictures we could use with the stretch of crummy weather we’ve had to endure, no?
The above photos, then and now, Heloisa "Helo" Pinheiro, the woman that inspired “The Girl from Ipanema” pictured in the 1960’s and on July 3, 2012.