sábado, 24 de septiembre de 2011

Jeff Beck

Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck (born 24 June 1944) is an English rock guitarist. He is one of three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds (Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page are the other two). Beck also formed The Jeff Beck Group and Beck, Bogert & Appice.
Much of Beck's recorded output has been instrumental, with a focus on innovative sound and his releases have spanned genres ranging from blues-rock, heavy metal, jazz fusion and most recently, an additional blend of guitar-rock and electronica. Although he recorded two hit albums (in 1975 and 1976) as a solo act, Beck has not established or maintained a broad following or the sustained commercial success of many of his collaborators and bandmates. Beck appears on albums by Mick Jagger, Kate Bush, Roger Waters, Stevie Wonder, Les Paul, Zucchero, Cyndi Lauper, Brian May and ZZ Top. In 1988, he made a cameo appearance in the movie Twins.
He was ranked 14th in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and the magazine has described him as "one of the most influential lead guitarists in rock". He was also ranked second greatest rock guitarist of all time in Digital Dream Door, a site that ranks movies and music. MSNBC has called him a "guitarist's guitarist". Beck has earned wide critical praise and received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance six times. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: as a member of The Yardbirds (1992) and as a solo artist (2009).
Beck was born in 1944 to Arnold and Ethel Beck at 206 Demesne Road, Wallington, England. As a ten year old Beck sang in a church choir. As a teenager he learned to play a borrowed guitar and made several attempts to build his own instrument, first by gluing and bolting together cigar boxes for the body and an unsanded fence-post for the neck with model aircraft control-lines and frets simply painted on. When fabricating a neck for his next try he attempted to use measurements for a bass guitar.

Beck has cited Les Paul as the first electric guitar player who impressed him. Cliff Gallup, lead guitarist with Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps was an early musical influence, followed by B.B. King and Steve Cropper.
Upon leaving school he attended Wimbledon College of Art, after which he was briefly employed as a painter and decorator, a groundsman on a golf course and a car paint-sprayer. Beck's sister introduced him to Jimmy Page when both were teenagers.
Beck began his career in the 1960s. He joined "The Rumbles" a Croydon band in 1963 for a short period as lead guitarist, playing Gene Vincent and Buddy Holly songs, displaying a talent for mimicking guitar styles. His first appearance on vinyl was as a session guitarist on a 1964 Parlophone single by The Fitz and Startz entitled 'I'm Not Running Away' c/w 'So Sweet'.
In March 1965 Beck was recruited by The Yardbirds to replace Eric Clapton on the recommendation of fellow session man Jimmy Page, who had been their initial choice. The Yardbirds recorded most of their Top 40 hit songs during Beck's time with the band, which was short (but significant), allowing him only one full album, Yardbirds which became known as Roger the Engineer, released in 1966. From September to November 1966 he shared lead guitar duties with Page, who initially joined as bass player in June of that year.
In February 1967, after recording the one-off "Beck's Bolero" (with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins and Keith Moon) and two solo hit singles in the UK, "Hi Ho Silver Lining" and "Tallyman", Beck formed The Jeff Beck Group, which featured Rod Stewart on vocals, Ronnie Wood on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano and, after a series of drummers, eventually Micky Waller.
The group produced two albums for Columbia Records (Epic in the US): Truth (August 1968) and Beck-Ola (July 1969). Truth, released five months before the first Led Zeppelin album, features "You Shook Me", a song written and first recorded by Willie Dixon that was also covered on the Led Zeppelin debut. It sold well (reaching number 15 on the Billboard charts). Beck-Ola, while well-received, saw drummer Micky Waller replaced by Tony Newman, and was less successful both commercially and critically. Resentment, coupled with touring incidents, led the group to dissolve in July 1969.
Nick Mason recalls in his autobiography that during 1967 Pink Floyd had wanted to recruit Beck to be their guitarist after the departure of Syd Barrett[9] but "None of us had the nerve to ask him".
After the break-up of his group Beck took part in the Music From Free Creek "super session" project, billed as "A.N. Other" and contributed lead guitar on four songs, including one co-written by him. Next he teamed up with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, the rhythm section of Vanilla Fudge in September 1969, when Bogert and Appice came to England to resolve contractual issues, but when Beck fractured his skull in a car accident near Maidstone in December the plan was postponed for two-and-a-half years, during which time Bogert and Appice formed Cactus. Beck later remarked on the 1960s period of his life: "Everyone thinks of the 1960s as something they really weren't. It was the frustration period of my life. The electronic equipment just wasn't up to the sounds I had in my head.

In 1970, when Beck had regained his health, he set about forming a band with drummer Cozy Powell. Beck, Powell and producer Mickie Most flew to the US and recorded several tracks at Motown Studios with Motown session men, but the results remained unreleased. By April 1971 Beck had completed the line-up of this new group with guitarist/vocalist Bobby Tench, keyboard player Max Middleton and bassist Clive Chaman. The new band performed as the "Jeff Beck Group" but had a substantially different sound from the first line-up. Rough and Ready (October 1971), the first album they recorded, on which Beck wrote or co-wrote six of the album's seven tracks (the exception being written by Middleton), included elements of soul, rhythm-and-blues and jazz, foreshadowing the direction Beck's music would take later in the decade.
A second album Jeff Beck Group (July 1972) was recorded at TMI studios in Memphis, Tennessee with the same personnel. Beck employed Steve Cropper as producer and the album displayed a strong soul influence, five of the nine tracks being covers of songs by American artists. One, "I Got To Have A Song", was the first of four Stevie Wonder compositions covered by Beck. Shortly after the release of the Jeff Beck Group album the band was dissolved and Beck's management put out the statement that: "The fusion of the musical styles of the various members has been successful within the terms of individual musicians, but they didn't feel it had led to the creation of a new musical style with the strength they had originally sought."
Beck then started collaborating with bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, who became available following the demise of Cactus but continued touring as Jeff Beck Group in August 1972, to fulfil contractual obligations with his promoter, with a line-up including Bogert, Appice, Max Middleton and vocalist Kim Milford. After six appearances Milford was replaced by Bobby Tench, who was flown in from the UK for the Arie Crown Theatre Chicago performance and the rest of the tour, which concluded at the Paramount North West Theatre, Seattle. After the tour Tench and Middleton left the band and the power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice appeared: Appice took on the role of vocalist with Bogert and Beck contributing occasionally. They were included on the bill for Rock at The Oval in September 1972, still as the "Jeff Beck Group", which marked the start of a tour schedule of UK, the Netherlands and Germany. Another US tour began in October 1972, starting at the Hollywood Sportatorium Florida and concluding on 11 November 1972 at The Warehouse, New Orleans. In April 1973 the album Beck, Bogert & Appice was released (on Epic Records). While critics acknowledged the band's instrumental prowess the album was not commercially well received except for its cover of Stevie Wonder's hit "Superstition".
On 3 July 1973 Beck joined David Bowie on-stage to perform "The Jean Genie"/"Love Me Do" and "Around and Around". The show was recorded and filmed but none of the released editions included Beck. During October 1973 Beck recorded tracks for Michael Fennelly's album Lane Changer and attended sessions with Hummingbird, a band derived from The Jeff Beck Group, but did not to contribute to their eponymous first album

Early in January 1974 the band played at the Rainbow Theatre, as part of a European tour. The concert was broadcast in full on the US show Rock Around the World in September of the same year. This last recorded work by the band previewed material intended for a second studio album, included on the bootleg At Last Rainbow. The tracks Blues Deluxe and BBA Boogie from this concert were later included on the Jeff Beck compilation Beckology (1991). Beck, Bogert & Appice dissolved in April 1974 before their second studio album (produced by Jimmy Miller) was finished. Their live album Beck, Bogert & Appice Live in Japan, recorded during their 1973 tour of Japan, was not released until February 1975 by Epic/Sony.
After a few months Beck entered Underhill Studio and met with the group Upp, whom he recruited as backing band for his appearance on the BBC TV programme Guitar Workshop in August 1974. Beck produced and played on their self-titled debut album and their second album This Way Upp, though his contributions to the second album went uncredited. In October Beck began to record instrumentals at AIR Studios with Max Middleton, bassist Phil Chen and drummer Richard Bailey, using George Martin as producer and arranger. Blow by Blow (March 1975) evolved from these sessions and showcased Beck's technical prowess in jazz-rock. The album reached number four in the charts and is Beck's most commercially-successful release. Beck, fastidious about overdubs and often dissatisfied with his solos, often returned to AIR Studios until he was satisfied. A couple of months after the sessions had finished Martin received a telephone call from Beck, who wanted to record a solo section again. Bemused, Martin replied: "I'm sorry, Jeff, but the record is in the shops!".
Beck put together a live band for a US tour, preceded by a small and unannounced gig at The Newlands Tavern in Peckham, London. He toured through April and May 1975, mostly supporting the Mahavishnu Orchestra, retaining Max Middleton on keyboards but with the new rhythm section of Wilbur Bascomb (bass) and noted session drummer Bernard "Pretty" Purdie. In a May 1975 show in Cleveland, Ohio (Music Hall), he became frustrated with an early version of a "talk box" he used on his arrangement of The Beatles "She's A Woman," and after breaking a string, tossed his legendary Yardbirds-era Stratocaster off the stage. He did the same with the talk box and finished the show playing a Les Paul and without the box. During this tour he performed at Yuya Uchida's "World Rock Festival," playing a total of eight songs with Purdie. In addition he performed a guitar and drum instrumental with Johnny Yoshinaga and, at the end of the festival, joined in a live jam with bassist Felix Pappalardi of Mountain and vocalist Akira "Joe" Yamanaka from the Flower Travellin' Band. Only his set with Purdie was recorded and released.
He returned to the studio and recorded Wired (1976), which paired the drummer and composer Narada Michael Walden and keyboardist Jan Hammer. The album used a jazz-rock fusion style which sounded similar to the work of his two collaborators. To promote the album, Beck joined forces with the Jan Hammer Group, playing a show supporting Alvin Lee at The Roundhouse in May 1976, before embarking on a seven-month long world tour. This resulted in the live album Jeff Beck with The Jan Hammer Group - Live (1977).
At this point, Beck was a tax exile and took up residency in the US, remaining there until his return to the UK in the autumn of 1977. In the spring of 1978, he began rehearsing with bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Gerry Brown towards a projected appearance at the Knebworth Festival, but this was cancelled after Brown dropped out. Beck toured Japan for three weeks in November 1978 with an ad-hoc group consisting of Clarke and newcomers Tony Hymas (keyboards) and Simon Phillips (drums) from Jack Bruce's band. Work then began on a new studio album at The Who's Ramport Studios in London and continued sporadically throughout 1979, resulting in There and Back in June 1980. It featured three tracks composed and recorded with Jan Hammer, while five were written with Hymas. Stanley Clarke was replaced by Mo Foster on bass, both on the album and the subsequent tours. Its release was followed by extensive touring in the USA, Japan and the UK.

In 1981 Beck made a series of historic live appearances with his Yardbirds predecessor Eric Clapton at the Amnesty International-sponsored benefit concerts dubbed The Secret Policeman's Other Ball shows. He appeared with Clapton on "Crossroads", "Further On Up The Road", and his own arrangement of Stevie Wonder's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers". Beck also featured prominently in an all-star band finale performance of "I Shall Be Released" with Clapton, Sting, Phil Collins, Donovan and Bob Geldof. Beck's contributions were seen and heard in the resulting album and film, both of which achieved worldwide success in 1982. Another benefit show, the ARMS Concert for Multiple Sclerosis featured a jam with Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. They performed "Tulsa Time" and "Layla". This is the only time all of the Yardbirds lead guitarists appeared on stage together.
In 1985 Beck released Flash, featurng a variety of vocalists, but most notably former bandmate Rod Stewart on a rendition of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready".
After a four year break, Jeff made a return to instrumental music with the album Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop (1989), the first album to feature Beck as a fingerstyle guitarist, leaving the plectrum playing style. It was only his 3rd album to be released in the 1980s. Much of Beck's sparse and sporadic recording schedule was due in part to a long battle with noise-induced tinnitus.

Geoffrey Arnold ("Jeff") Beck (nacido el 24 de junio de 1944 en Wallington, Gran Londres, Reino Unido) es un guitarrista inglés de rock/blues que ha tocado en varias bandas influyentes en las décadas de los 60s y los 70s.

Es uno de los tres notables guitarristas que tocaron en The Yardbirds, siendo Eric Clapton y Jimmy Page los otros dos. Durante 25 años ha mantenido una esporádica carrera en solitario. A pesar de no haber alcanzado nunca la proyección comercial de sus contemporáneos, Beck ha tenido un gran reconocimiento, especialmente en la comunidad de guitarristas. Nunca nadie le ha encasillado en un género, Beck ha experimentado con blues rock, heavy metal y jazz fusion y actualmente ha absorbido influencias del techno, creando una innovadora mezcla de música heavy metal y música electrónica.

viernes, 23 de septiembre de 2011

Stacey Kent

Stacey Kent is a Grammy nominated Anglo-American jazz singer.
Kent attended Newark Academy in Livingston, New Jersey. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and moved to England after her graduation. While studying at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she met the tenor saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, whom she married on August 9, 1991.
In the early 1990s, Kent began her professional career singing regularly in a popular nightspot, Café Boheme in London's Soho. After two or three years, Kent began opening for established jazz acts across the road at the Ronnie Scott's nightclub in London.
Her first CD, Close Your Eyes, was released in 1997. She has released seven CDs as of 2010, and has been also featured on Tomlinson's albums, most recently The Lyric (2005), which won "Album of the Year" at the 2006 BBC Jazz Awards.
Kent's music has been championed by critic and jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton, and she won the 2001 British Jazz Award and the 2002 BBC Jazz Award for Best Vocalist. She has also presented jazz programmes on BBC Radio 2 and 3.
At the 2006 BBC Jazz Awards, Tomlinson, upon receiving the award for "Album of the Year" for The Lyric, announced that Kent had signed with Blue Note records label.
Kent's album, The Boy Next Door achieved Gold album status in France in September, 2006. Breakfast On The Morning Tram (2007) achieved Platinum album status in France in November, 2007 and Gold album status in Germany in February, 2008 and was nominated for Best Vocal Jazz Album at the 2009 Grammy Awards.

Kent appeared in Ian McKellen's 1995 film version of Richard III, singing a jazz version of Christopher Marlowe's poem The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.
Booker Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro wrote the liner notes to Kent's 2003 album, In Love Again. Ishiguro has co-written four of the songs on the fall 2007 Blue Note album Breakfast on the Morning Tram. One of the songs written by Ishiguro, "The Ice Hotel," with music composed by Tomlinson won first prize in the International Songwriting Competition in April 2008.
On 31 March 2009 Kent received the National Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) - a government decoration - in recognition of her contribution to the arts, from French Culture Minister Christine Albanel.
Stacey's latest album, Raconte-Moi, released on March 22, 2010, (Blue Note/EMI) is an all-French album.

Stacey Kent (South Orange, Nueva Jersey, 27 de marzo de 1968) es una cantante angloamericana de jazz, nominada a un Grammy.
Kent estuvo matriculada en la Newark Academy de Livingston, en Nueva Jersey.2 Se graduó por el Sarah Lawrence College de Nueva York, y se trasladó a Inglaterra tras su graduación. Mientras estudiaba en la Guildhall School of Music and Drama de Londres, conoció al saxo tenor Jim Tomlinson, con quien se casó el 9 de agosto de 1991.
A comienzos de los noventa, empezó su carrera profesional cantando regularmente en un popular nightspot, el londinense Café Boheme del Soho.

El 31 de marzo de 2009 recibió, de manos de la Ministra de cultura francesa Christine Albanel, la Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, una condecoración del gobierno francés como reconocimiento a su contribución a las artes.

Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman (born March 30, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her singles "Fast Car", "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", "Baby Can I Hold You", "Give Me One Reason" and "Telling Stories". She is a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy Award-winning artist.
Tracy Chapman was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where she was raised by her mother. Despite not having much money, her mother recognized Tracy's love of music and bought her a ukulele when Tracy was just three. Tracy Chapman began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of eight. She says that she may have been first inspired to play the guitar by the television show Hee Haw.
Chapman was raised Baptist and went to an Episcopal high school. She was accepted into the program "A Better Chance", which helps minority students attend private schools. She graduated from Wooster School in Connecticut and subsequently attended Tufts University. She graduated with a B.A. degree in anthropology and African studies.

In the mid-1990s Chapman dated author Alice Walker. Chapman maintains a strong separation between her personal and professional lives. “I have a public life that’s my work life and I have my personal life,” she said. “In some ways, the decision to keep the two things separate relates to the work I do."
Chapman often performs at and attends charity events such as Make Poverty History, amfAR and AIDS/LifeCycle, to support social causes. She currently lives in San Francisco. She says she enjoys going to the beach, going to the woods, a really good meal with friends, and fresh organic food.
During college, Chapman began busking in Harvard Square and playing guitar in Club Passim and within other coffeehouses in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[citation needed] Another Tufts student, Brian Koppelman, heard Chapman playing and brought her to the attention of his father, Charles Koppelman. Koppelman, who ran SBK Publishing, signed Chapman in 1986. After Chapman graduated from Tufts in 1987, he helped her to sign a contract with Elektra Records.
At Elektra, she released Tracy Chapman (1988). The album was critically acclaimed, and she began touring and building a fanbase. Soon after she performed it at the televised Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute concert in June 1988, Chapman's "Fast Car" began its rise on the US charts; it became a Number 6 pop hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending August 27, 1988. "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution", the follow-up, charted at Number 75 and was followed by "Baby Can I Hold You", which peaked at Number 48. The album sold well, going multi-platinum and winning three Grammy Awards, including an honor for Chapman as Best New Artist. Later in 1988, Chapman was a featured performer on the worldwide Amnesty International Human Rights Now! Tour. According to the VH1 website, "her album helped usher in the era of political correctness — along with 10,000 Maniacs and R.E.M., Chapman's liberal politics proved enormously influential on American college campuses in the late '80s".

Her follow-up album Crossroads (1989) was less commercially successful, but still achieved platinum status. By 1992's Matters of the Heart, Chapman was playing to a small and devoted audience. Her fourth album, New Beginning (1995) proved successful, selling over three million copies in the U.S. The album included the hit single "Give Me One Reason", which won the 1997 Grammy for Best Rock Song and became Chapman's most successful single to date, peaking at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her Telling Stories (2000) featured more of a rock sound than folk. Its hit single, "Telling Stories", received heavy airplay on European radio stations and on Adult Alternative and Hot AC stations in the United States. Chapman toured Europe and the US in 2003 in support of her sixth album, Let It Rain (2002).
To support her seventh studio album, Where You Live (2005), Chapman toured major US cities in October and throughout Europe over the remainder of the year. The "Where You Live" tour was extended into 2006; the 28-date European tour featured summer concerts in Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the UK, Russia and more. On June 5, 2006, she performed at the 5th Gala of Jazz in Lincoln Center, New York, and in a session at the 2007 TED (Technology Entertainment Design) conference in Monterey, California.
Chapman was commissioned by the American Conservatory Theater to compose music for its production of Athol Fugard's Blood Knot, a play on apartheid in South Africa, staged in early 2008.
Atlantic Records released Chapman's eighth studio album, Our Bright Future (2008). Chapman made a 26-date solo tour of Europe. She returned to tour Europe and selected North American cities during the summer of 2009. She was backed by Joe Gore on guitars, Patrick Warren on keyboards, and Dawn Richardson on percussion.

Tracy Chapman (n. Cleveland, Ohio, 30 de marzo de 1964) es una cantante estadounidense ganadora de varios premios Grammy y conocida por el éxito de canciones como "Fast Car", "Talkin' Bout a Revolution", "Baby Can I Hold You" y "Give Me One Reason".
Nacida en Cleveland, Tracy Chapman comenzó a tocar la guitarra y a escribir canciones con tan sólo 11 años. Fue aceptada en la organización orientada a reclutar niños afrodescendientes con aptitudes para destacar en diferentes campos, por lo que entró a estudiar en la Wooster School y posteriormente en la Tufts University de Medford, Massachusetts.
Durante sus estudios universitarios, Chapman comenzó a tocar en la calle y en cafés de la ciudad de Cambridge en Massachusetts. Tras su graduación fichó por la compañía Elektra Records, lanzando el disco Tracy Chapman en 1988. El álbum fue muy bien acogido por la crítica, y ella comenzó una gira donde fue captando a un gran número de fans.

Tras su actuación en el concierto homenaje a los 70 años de Nelson Mandela, la canción Fast Car comenzó a subir en las listas americanas hasta alcanzar el Top 10. El álbum alcanzaría ventas elevadas llegando al disco de platino y Tracy lograría tres grammys en la edición de ese año.
Su siguiente álbum Crossroads lanzado en 1989 tuvo menos éxito comercial que su predecesor y para el siguiente Matters of the Heart Chapman preparó una gira en recintos de poca capacidad para recalcar el aire intimista del disco. Para sorpresa de la industria musical su cuarto álbum New Beginning, fue todo un éxito comercial que llegó a vender 3 millones de copias tan sólo en Estados Unidos. Este álbum incluía el hit Give Me One Reason que ganó el Grammy a la mejor canción de Rock del año y se convirtió en el single de mayor éxito de Chapman hasta la fecha.
El siguiente álbum fue Telling Stories editado en el año 2000, y que supuso un giro hacia el rock frente al sonido folk dominante en los discos precedentes. Del disco el single Telling Stories fue muy difundido en las radiodifusoras europeas. Su sexto disco fue Let It Rain lanzado en 2002. En septiembre de 2005 lanzó el disco Where You Live y en noviembre de 2008, Our Bright Future.

jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2011

Pink Martini

Pink Martini is a 13-member "little orchestra" from Portland, Oregon, formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale. They draw inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop.
Pink Martini has twelve musicians (and sometimes travels with string sections), and performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia and New Zealand and North America. Pink Martini made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Since then, the band has gone on to play with over 30 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center and the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003, 2004 & 2008; two sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall; the opening party of the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in NYC; the Governor’s Ball at the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008; and the opening of the 2008 Sydney Festival in Australia.

Lauderdale met China Forbes, Pink Martini’s lead vocalist, at Harvard. He was studying history and literature while she was studying English literature and painting. Late at night, they would break into the lower common room in their college dormitory and sing arias by Puccini and Verdi – and the occasional campy Barbara Streisand cover –thus sealing their creative collaboration. Three years after graduating, Lauderdale called Forbes who was living in New York City, where she’d been writing songs and playing guitar in her own folk-rock project, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began to write songs together for the band. Their first song “Sympathique”– with the chorus “Je ne veux pas travailler”(”I don’t want to work”) – became an overnight sensation in France, and was even nominated for “Song of the Year” at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards.
Pink Martini’s debut album Sympathique was released independently in 1997 on the band’s own label Heinz Records (named after Lauderdale’s dog), and quickly became an international phenomenon, garnering the group nominations for “Song of the Year” and “Best New Artist”in France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards in 2000.
In October 2004, the group released its second album, Hang on Little Tomato.
In May 2007, the group released its third album, Hey Eugene!.
Their fourth studio album, Splendor in the Grass (album) was released on October 27, 2009.
Sympathique, Hang on Little Tomato and Hey Eugene! have all gone gold in France, Canada, Greece and Turkey, and Pink Martini's records have collectively sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.
On New Year's Eve 2005, Pink Martini performed live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Oregon. This performance was aired live on National Public Radio's Toast of the Nation, and in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting was recorded for a live DVD and later broadcast on US public broadcasting and French television. The DVD has been rereleased to retail as Discover the World: Live in Concert, featuring not only the full concert, but several vignettes and a short documentary of the band's history.

The band has collaborated and performed with Jimmy Scott, Carol Channing, Henri Salvador, Jane Powell, Chavela Vargas, Georges Moustaki, Michael Feinstein, DJ Dimitri from Paris, clarinetist and conductor Norman Leyden, Hiroshi Wada, DJ Johnny Dynell and several drag queens from New York City, among others. On June 1, 2007, the band appeared on the long-running BBC Two Later with Jools Holland TV music program. On June 14, 2007, Pink Martini performed on Late Show with David Letterman, performing "Hey Eugene".
Pink Martini played Walt Disney Concert Hall on New Year's Eve for the first two years it was open (2003/4 and 2004/5). They returned to play NYE there again in 2008/9.
In May 2009, the band recorded three concerts with the Oregon Symphony under the direction of Carlos Kalmar for the band’s fifth album … a symphonic record which is slated for a 2011 release.
Pink Martini songs appear in such films as In the Cut, Nurse Betty, Josie and the Pussycats, Tortilla Soup, Shanghai Kiss and Mr. & Mrs. Smith and have been used on television shows such as Dead Like Me, The Sopranos and The West Wing, among others.[citation needed] Their song "Una notte a Napoli" is an integral part of the Italian movie Mine Vaganti (2010), by the Italian-Turkish director Ferzan Özpetek. The song "No Hay Problema" is included as background/setup music for Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 and was also used as the background/setup music for an early build of Windows Longhorn, now known as Windows Vista.
In February 2011, the group's lead singer, China Forbes, recorded a video greeting to the European Space Agency's Italian astronaut, Paolo Nespoli, and Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Kaleri, on board the International Space Station. The astronauts were preparing to oversee the docking of ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) cargo vessel, Johannes Kepler, which took place at 17:08 CET on 24 February. The greeting was set to the sound track of Dosvedanya Mio Bombino - one of Pink Martini's signature songs - and was mixed with footage of the actual docking.

Pink Martini es una "pequeña orquesta" de Portland, Oregon, fundada en 1994 por el pianista Thomas M. Lauderdale. Pink Martini interpreta diferentes géneros musicales como la música latina, música lounge, música clásica, o el jazz. Su música ha sido descrita muchas veces como "vintage", una descripción que muestra el contenido, el estilo y la duración de las canciones que han inspirado muchas de sus canciones.
Originalmente crecieron juntos para en representaciones en Portland, Pink Martini realizó su debut europeo en el Festival de Cine de Cannes. Durante el 2003 el grupo realizó una gira que incluyó países como Francia, España, Portugal, Bélgica, Suiza, Mónaco, Grecia, Turquía, Perú, Taiwán, Líbano y los Estados Unidos, realizando conciertos propios o como acompañantes de otros grupos. Las letras de sus canciones están cantadas en diferentes idiomas: inglés, español, francés, italiano, portugués, japonés e incluso en árabe o griego moderno, en algunas ocasiones.
El álbum debut de Pink Martini, Sympathique, fue producido por el propio sello del grupo, Heinz Records, en el 1997, del cual se han vendido más de 1.300.000 copias por todo el mundo. La canción con el mismo nombre se presentó en el CD "World Lounge" Putumayo World Music.
En octubre de 2004, el grupo grabó su segundo disco, Hang on Little Tomato. Durante el periodo que va de su primer a su segundo disco, el cantante Pepe Raphael dejó el grupo para concentrarse en su segundo grupo, Pepe and the Bottle Blondes. La cantante principal China Forbes continuó escribiendo canciones con Lauderdale, ayudando a la banda a tomar una dirección más original.
Las canciones de Pink Martini han aparecido en diversas películas como En carne viva (In the Cat), "Persiguiendo a Betty" (Nurse Betty), "Josie y las Melódicas" (Josie and the Pussycats), Tortilla Soup, Shanghai Kiss y "El Sr. y la Sra. Smith" (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), y han sido usadas igualmente en series de televisión "Tan muertos como yo" (Dead Like Me), "Los Soprano" (The Sopranos) y "El ala oeste" (The West Wing), entre otros[cita requerida]. La canción "No hay problema" está incluida como música de fondo para Windows Server 2003 de Microsoft, así como en Windows Longhorn, ahora conocido como Windows Vista.

Durante la noche de Año Nuevo del año 2005, Pink Martini actuó en vivo en el Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall en Portland, Oregón. Su actuación se retransmitió en vivo en el Toast of the Nation del National Public Radio, y fue grabado para un directo en DVD y posteriormente retransmitido durante la emisión pública americana US public broadcasting y para la televisión francesa.
Debido a lo extenso de la banda, Pink Martini tiene problemas encontrando locales adecuados para tocar en algunas ciudades. Gracias a la ayuda de un amigo, Norman Leyden, empezaron sus representaciones tocando con algunas orquesta por todo el país, mientras crecían sus fans. El 1 de junio de 2007, la banda apareció durante el programa musical de televisión Later with Jools Holland del canal BBC Two. A mediados de septiembre de 2007, el grupo fue al Hollywood Bowl para realizar tres actuaciones que incluyeron a los artistas invitados Carol Channing y Henri Salvador.
El 14 de junio de 2007, Pink Martini actuó en el Late Show with David Letterman, interpretando Hey Eugene.

martes, 20 de septiembre de 2011

Nick Drake

Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake (19 June 1948 – 25 November 1974) was an English singer-songwriter and musician. Best known for the sombre pieces composed on his primary instrument, the guitar, Drake was also proficient at piano, clarinet and saxophone. Although he failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime, Drake's work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition; he now ranks among the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years.
Drake signed to Island Records when he was 20 years old and released his debut album, Five Leaves Left, in 1969. By 1972, he had recorded two more albums—Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. None of the albums sold more than 5,000 copies on their initial release. His reluctance to perform live or be interviewed further contributed to his lack of commercial success. Despite this, he was able to gather a loyal group of fans who would champion his music. One such person was his manager, Joe Boyd, who had a clause put into his own contract with Island Records that ensured Drake's records would never go out of print. Drake suffered from depression and insomnia throughout his life, and these topics were often reflected in his lyrics. Upon completion of his third album, 1972's Pink Moon, he withdrew from both live performance and recording, retreating to his parents' home in rural Warwickshire. There is no known footage of the adult Drake; he was only ever captured in still photographs and in home footage from his childhood. On 25 November 1974, Drake died from an overdose of amitriptyline, a prescribed antidepressant; he was 26 years old.

Drake's music remained available through the mid-1970s but the 1979 release of the retrospective album Fruit Tree caused his back catalogue to be reassessed. By the mid-1980s Drake was being credited as an influence by such artists as Robert Smith, David Sylvian and Peter Buck. In 1985, The Dream Academy reached the UK and US charts with "Life in a Northern Town", a song written for and dedicated to Drake. By the early 1990s, he had come to represent a certain type of 'doomed romantic' musician in the UK music press, and was frequently cited by artists including Kate Bush, Paul Weller and The Black Crowes.[8] His first biography appeared in 1997, was followed in 1998 by the documentary film A Stranger Among Us. In 2000, Volkswagen featured the title track from Pink Moon in a television advertisement, and within a month Drake had sold more records than he had in the previous 30 years.
Nicholas Rodney Drake was born on 19 June 1948, into an upper middle-class English family living in Rangoon, Burma. His father, Rodney (1908–1988), had moved there in the early 1930s to work as an engineer with the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation. In 1934, Rodney met the daughter of a senior member of the Indian Civil Service, Mary Lloyd (1916–1993), known to her family as Molly. Rodney proposed in 1936, though the couple had to wait a year until Molly turned 21 before her family allowed them to marry. In 1950, they returned to Warwickshire to live in the country estate of Far Leys, near Tanworth-in-Arden in west Warwickshire, just south of Solihull. Drake had one older sister, Gabrielle, later a successful film and TV actress. Both parents were musically inclined, and they each wrote pieces of music. In particular, recordings of Molly's songs which have come to light following her death are remarkably similar in tone and outlook to the later work of her son. Mother and son shared a similar fragile vocal delivery, and both Gabrielle and biographer Trevor Dann have noted a parallel sense of foreboding and fatalism in their music. Encouraged by his mother, Drake learned to play piano at an early age, and began to compose his own songs, which he would record on a reel-to-reel tape recorder she kept in the family drawing room.

In 1957, Drake enrolled at Eagle House School, an English preparatory boarding school in Berkshire. Five years later, he went on to public school at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, where his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather had all attended. He developed an interest in sport, becoming an accomplished sprinter (his record for the 100-yard dash still stands) and captain of the school's rugby team for a time. He was also Head of House in C1, the College's largest house. School friends recall Drake at this time as having been confident and "quietly authoritative", while often aloof in his manner. His father Rodney remembered, "In one of his reports [the headmaster] said that none of us seemed to know him very well. All the way through with Nick. People didn't know him very much.
Drake played piano in the school orchestra, and learned clarinet and saxophone. He formed a band, The Perfumed Gardeners, with four schoolmates in 1964 or 1965. With Drake on piano and occasional alto sax and vocals, the group performed Pye covers and jazz standards, as well as Yardbirds and Manfred Mann numbers. The line-up briefly included Chris de Burgh, but he was soon ejected as his taste was seen as "too poppy" by the other members. Drake's academic performance began to deteriorate, and while he had accelerated a year in Eagle House, at Marlborough he began to neglect his studies in favour of music. He attained seven GCE O-Levels in 1963, but this was fewer than his teachers had been expecting, and he failed "Physics with Chemistry". In 1965, Drake paid £13 for his first acoustic guitar, and was soon experimenting with open tuning and finger-picking techniques.
In 1966, Drake won a scholarship to study English literature at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge. He delayed attendance to spend six months at the University of Aix-Marseille, France, beginning in February 1967. While in Aix, he began to practice guitar in earnest, and to earn money would often busk with friends in the town centre. Drake began to smoke cannabis, and that spring he travelled with friends to Morocco, because, according to travelling companion Richard Charkin, "that was where you got the best pot". Drake most likely began using LSD while in Aix, and lyrics written during this period — in particular for the song "Clothes of Sand" — are suggestive of an interest in hallucinogens.
By autumn 1974, Drake's weekly retainer from Island had ceased, and his illness meant he remained in contact with only a few close friends. He had tried to stay in touch with Sophia Ryde, whom he had first met in London in 1968. Ryde has been described by Drake's biographers as "the nearest thing" to a girlfriend in his life, but she now prefers the description 'best (girl) friend'. In a 2005 interview, Ryde revealed that a week before he died, she had sought to end the relationship: "I couldn’t cope with it. I asked him for some time. And I never saw him again." Similar to the relationship Drake had earlier shared with fellow folk musician Linda Thompson, Drake's relationship with Ryde was never consummated.

At some time during the night of 24/25 November 1974, Nick Drake died at home in Far Leys from an overdose of amitriptyline, a type of antidepressant. He had gone to bed early the night before, after spending the afternoon visiting a friend. His mother claimed that, around dawn, he left his room for the kitchen. His family was used to hearing him do this many times before but, during this instance, he did not make a sound. They presumed that he was eating a bowl of cereal. He returned to his room a short while later, and took some pills "to help him sleep". Drake was accustomed to keeping his own hours; he frequently had difficulty sleeping, and would often stay up through the night playing and listening to music, then sleeping late into the following morning. Recalling the events of that night, his mother later stated: "I never used to disturb him at all. But it was about 12 o’clock, and I went in, because really it seemed it was time he got up. And he was lying across the bed. The first thing I saw was his long, long legs. There was no suicide note, although a letter addressed to Ryde was found close to his bed.
At the inquest that December, Drake's coroner stated that the cause of death was as a result of "Acute amitriptyline poisoning — self-administered when suffering from a depressive illness", and concluded a verdict of suicide. Though this has been disputed by some members of his family, there is a general view that accidental or not, Drake had by then given up on life. Rodney described his son's death as unexpected and extraordinary; however, in a 1979 interview he admitted to "always [being] worried about Nick being so depressed. We used to hide away the aspirin and pills and things like that." Boyd has stated that he prefers to believe the overdose was accidental. He recalled that Drake's parents had described his mood in the preceding weeks as having been very positive, and that he had planned to move back to London to restart his music career. Boyd believes that this levity was followed by a "crash back into despair". Reasoning that Drake may have taken a high dosage of his antidepressants in order to recapture this sense of optimism, he said he prefers to imagine Drake "making a desperate lunge for life rather than a calculated surrender to death". Writing in 1975, NME journalist Nick Kent comments on the irony of Drake's death at a time when he had just begun to regain a sense of "personal balance". In contrast, Gabrielle Drake has said she prefers to think Drake committed suicide, "in the sense that I'd rather he died because he wanted to end it than it to be the result of a tragic mistake. That would seem to me to be terrible..."

On 2 December 1974, after a service in the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Tanworth-in-Arden, Drake's remains were cremated at the Solihull Crematorium and his ashes later interred under an oak tree in the adjoining graveyard of St Mary's. The funeral was attended by around 50 mourners, including friends from Marlborough, Aix, Cambridge, London, Witchseason, and Tanworth. Referring to Drake's tendency to compartmentalise relationships, Brian Wells later observed that many met each other for the first time that morning. Molly recalled "a lot of his young friends came up here. We'd never met many of them."

Nicholas Rodney Drake (19 de junio de 1948 - 25 de noviembre de 1974), más conocido como Nick Drake, fue un cantautor y músico inglés, nacido en Birmania, conocido por sus canciones acústicas y otoñales. A pesar de que tuvo poco éxito comercial durante su vida, su trabajo es muy apreciado en la actualidad por los críticos y por otros músicos.
El instrumento principal de Drake era la guitarra, pero también sabía tocar el piano, el clarinete y el saxofón. Drake firmó un contrato con Island Records cuando tenía 20 años, y durante 1969 editó su primer álbum, Five Leaves Left. Antes de su muerte, Drake editó otros dos LPs, aunque inicialmente ninguno vendió una cantidad significativa de copias, en parte debido a que Drake rehusaba realizar presentaciones en vivo y ser entrevistado.1 Drake luchó contra la depresión y el insomnio durante su vida, lo cual se reflejó en sus letras. Tras completar su tercer álbum, Pink Moon (editado en 1972), dejó de tocar y grabar y se fue a vivir a casa de sus padres en Warwickshire.
Drake creció en la pequeña ciudad inglesa de Tanworth-in-Arden, cercana a Birmingham. Fue a la escuela pública de Marlborough, y después a la universidad de Cambridge, donde inició sus estudios de Literatura Inglesa. Nueve meses antes de terminarlos, abandonó los estudios para lanzarse a su carrera musical. Murió el 25 de noviembre de 1974 a los 26 años, como resultado de una sobredosis de antidepresivos, que tomaba para poder dormir. Se ha especulado ampliamente sobre si su muerte fue accidental o suicidio.

Lo cierto es que Nick pasó los últimos años de su vida sumido en una honda depresión, llegando a ser hospitalizado.
Si bien Drake no recibió reconocimiento durante su vida por su obra, en la actualidad es considerado un artista de culto,3 y ha influido a artistas como Badly Drawn Boy, Robert Smith (de The Cure), Peter Buck (de R.E.M.), Kate Bush, Paul Weller y The Black Crowes.3 4 5 En 1985 The Dream Academy llegó a las listas británicas y estadounidenses con "Life in a Northern Town", una canción sobre Drake y dedicada a él.6 La primera biografía sobre su vida fue escrita en 1997 y al año siguiente se editó un documental llamado A Stranger Amongst Us. En el año 2000 Volkswagen usó su canción "Pink Moon" en una publicidad televisiva, y en un mes se vendieron más álbumes de Nick Drake que en los treinta años anteriores.
Nicholas Rodney Drake nació el 19 de junio de 1948 en Rangún, Birmania, donde residía su familia por motivos laborales de su padre Rodney (1908–1988), quien se había ido a vivir allí a principios de los años 30 para trabajar como ingeniero en la Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation. En 1934, Rodney conoció a Mary Lloyd (1916–1993), llamada Molly por su familia. Rodney le propuso casamiento en 1936, aunque la pareja debió esperar un año hasta que Molly cumpliera 21 años para que la familia le permitiera casarse.8 En 1950 regresaron a Warwickshire, Inglaterra, para vivir en el condado de Far Leys.9 Drake tenía una hermana mayor, Gabrielle, que posteriormente se convertiría en una exitosa artista de cine y televisión. Sus dos padres tenían un interés por la música y ambos compusieron piezas. Las grabaciones de Molly que salieron a la luz tras su muerte son consideradas similares en tono y perspectiva a las composiciones de su hijo: ambos tenían una frágil forma de cantar, y tanto Gabrielle como el biógrafo Trevor Dann notaron que en su música había un paralelismo en cuanto a que generaban una sensación de premonición y fatalismo. Animado por Molly, Drake aprendió a tocar piano a una temprana edad, y comenzó a componer sus propias canciones, las cuales grababa en cintas magnéticas.
En 1957 Drake ingresó en la Eagle House School, un internado de Berkshire. Cinco años más tarde ingresó a una escuela privada de Wiltshire llamada Marlborough College, a la que habían concurrido su padre, su abuelo y su bisabuelo. Allí desarrolló un interés por los deportes, llegando a ser por un tiempo el capitán del equipo de rugby de la escuela y logrando un record de 100 yardas de carreras de atletismo que aún sigue sin ser batido. Sus amigos de ese período consideran que si bien era frío en su comportamiento, era seguro de sí mismo y "discretamente autoritario". Según su padre, uno de los reportes del director de la escuela afirmaba que "nadie parecía conocerlo muy bien", y que eso era algo común.
Drake tocaba el piano en la orquesta de la escuela, y aprendió a tocar el clarinete y el saxofón. Entre 1964 y 1965 formó una banda llamada The Perfumed Gardeners junto a otros cuatro amigos del colego. Él tocaba principalmente el piano, aunque en ocasiones aportaba su voz y tocaba el saxofón. El grupo tocaba covers de jazz y de artistas de Pye Records, al igual que canciones de The Yardbirds y Manfred Mann. La alineación del grupo incluyó brevemente a Chris de Burgh, quien debió dejar el grupo al poco tiempo debido a que el resto de los integrantes consideraban sus gustos como "demasiado pop".

Mientras tanto, el rendimiento académico de Drake comenzó a deteriorarse, y mientras que había adelantado un año en el Eagle House, en Marlborough dejó de ocuparse de sus estudios para dedicarse más a la música.16 En 1965 Drake pagó £13 por su primera guitarra acústica, y pronto comenzó a experimentar con diversas técnicas de afinación.
En el otoño de 1974 Drake dejó de recibir dinero de Island, y seguía alejado de sus amigos debido a los problemas que le causaba la depresión. En esta época intentó mantenerse en contacto con Sophia Ryde, a quien había conocido en Londres durante 1968.61 Ryde ha sido descrita por los biografos de Drake como lo "más cercano" a una novia que tuvo Drake, aunque ella prefiere ser considerada su mejor amiga.62 En una entrevista del año 2005, Ryde reveló que una semana antes de la muerte de Drake, ella había intentado cortar la relación: "No pude sobrellevarlo. Le pedí algo de tiempo. Y nunca lo volví a ver". Al igual que con la relación que Drake tuvo previamente con otra artista de folk, Linda Thompson, su relación con Ryde nunca se consumó. En octubre de 1974 Drake viajó a Francia para contactar a la cantante y actriz Françoise Hardy, quien en una ocasión consideró la posibilidad de grabar un álbum con sus canciones.
En las primeras horas del 25 de noviembre de 1974, Nick Drake falleció en la casa de sus padres en Far Leys por una sobredosis de amitriptilina, un tipo de antidepresivo. La noche anterior había ido a dormir temprano, tras pasar la tarde de visita con un amigo. Cerca del amanecer dejó su habitación para ir a la cocina. Su familia estaba acostumbrada a oírle hacer eso, pues solía hacerlo con frecuencia, pero en esta ocasión no emitió ningún sonido. Pensaron que estaba tomándose un tazón de cereales. Poco después volvió a su habitación y tomó algunas pastillas "para ayudarle a dormir". Drake solía sufrir insomnio y frecuentemente se quedaba despierto toda la noche tocando y escuchando música, antes de dormir hasta la mañana siguiente. Recordando los eventos de esa noche, su madre posteriormente afirmó: "No solía molestarlo en absoluto. Pero eran las doce en punto, y entré, porque realmente parecía que era la hora de que se levantara." Así fue como lo encontró muerto. No había ninguna nota de suicidio, aunque cerca de su cama se encontró una carta para Ryde.
En la investigación que tuvo lugar durante el mes siguiente, el juez de instrucción afirmó que la causa de la muerte fue un envenenamiento agudo causado por su antidepresivo, y concluyó que había sido un suicidio. Sin embargo, algunos integrantes de la familia de Drake discrepan. Rodney describió la muerte de su hijo como inesperada y extraordinaria; sin embargo, en una entrevista de 1979 admitió que siempre estaba preocupado por su hijo debido a su depresión: "Solíamos esconder aspirinas y pastillas y esas cosas." Boyd ha afirmado que prefiere pensar que la sobredosis fue accidental, y ha mencionado que según sus padres su estado de ánimo en las semanas previas era muy positivo, y que había planeado mudarse nuevamente a Londres para recomenzar su carrera musical. Boyd piensa que este período de ligereza pudo haber sido acompañado posteriormente por una nueva "caída en la desesperación", y que es posible que Drake haya tomado una alta dosis de sus antidepresivos intentando recuperar esa sensación de optimismo. Por eso prefiere imaginar a Drake "haciendo una arremetida por la vida en lugar de una rendición calculada a la muerte". En 1975 el periodista de NME Nick Kent comentó la ironía de que Drake haya muerto en un momento en que comenzaba a retomar un sentido de "balance personal". Por su parte, Gabrielle Drake ha afirmado que prefiere pensar que Drake se suicidó, "en el sentido de que prefiero que haya muerto porque quería a que haya sido el resultado de un error trágico. Eso me parecería terrible..."

El 2 de diciembre de 1974, tras una ceremonia en la Iglesia de Santa María Magdalena de Tanworth-in-Arden, Drake fue incinerado en el Crematorio de Solihull y sus cenizas fueron enterradas posteriormente bajo un roble en el cementerio contiguo a esa iglesia.68 Aproximadamente 50 personas concurrieron al funeral, incluyendo amigos de Marlborough, Aix, Cambridge, Londres, Witchseason y Tanworth. En referencia a la tendencia de Drake a mantener a sus conocidos separados entre sí, Brian Wells comentó posteriormente que muchos se conocieron por primera vez esa mañana. Según Molly "muchos de sus jóvenes amigos vinieron. A muchos de ellos no los conocíamos."