Billie Holiday: Master Storyteller

Billie Holiday in Downbeat Magazine, Feb. 1947 [Public Domain]

After listening carefully to her recordings over many years, I’ve come to appreciate the amount of effort Billie Holiday invested in each song and what a skillfully crafted stylist she was. Billie Holiday was no accident of nature. She was a skillful storyteller and has many lessons to offer. Continue Reading →

Waking Up in Berkeley

DJ, West Berkeley Graffiti

It’s a typical weekday morning and at 5:30, the clock radio kicks in. Disoriented, foggy with sleep, I have yet to realize what I’m hearing. Will I be tazed by a screeching Sun Ra freestyle romp that will jangle me out of bed? Repeatedly nudged by Native American chants that go on just a little too long? Irritated and then charmed by a beatified bebop bongo ballad? Continue Reading →