Between December 10th and the 16th, WEMU hosts played over 160 different new releases, so for one disc to rest atop that widely varied selection is indeed a rare honor. We are pleased to reveal that the leader of that week's "Sweet 16" was drummer Winard Harper and his magnificent group, The Jeli Posse.
As we WEMU hosts continue to be grateful to you, our listeners for your generous support, the new CD "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by former Detroiter Bettye LaVette resonates with us. Her new disc was the most-played recording on WEMU from November 26th through December 1st. This week's "Sweet 16" is a fine cross-section of WEMU offerings from the modern-day boogie-woogie and roots music of pianist and singer Julian Fauth to the supremely soulful organ jazz sessions from home town hero, saxophonist Ben Jansson and the first-time appearance of west-coast jazz organ legend Chester "CT" Thompson
Former Detroiter Bettye LaVette has always defied description and categorization. While many of her contemporaries followed the dictates of their record label or management, Bettye forged her own identity. There was always a dark edge to Bettye's voice - even in her early R&B sessions such as "My Man - He's A Lovin' Man", recorded when she was 16 years old.
A week after their Magic Bag Theater show, WEMU hosts continued to feature the timely and topical CD "Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead" by 7-string guitarist Charlie Hunter and drummer Scott Amendola. Both musicians are based in San Francisco and have been improvising partners for over 20 years. Neither has permitted their long association to allow them to slip in to cliches, reliable patterns or tawdry tricks. Rather, the two are stretching the definition of the jazz - jam band sound to include their duets and creative compositions. In WEMU's quest to identify the best new
Supporting regional musicians with airplay remains a highest priority at WEMU. As you peruse the "Sweet 16" for October 15th through the 21st, take note of the many recordings on the list with regional connections including the topper, "Thankful 'N Thoughtful" by Detroiter, soul siren Bettye LaVette.
Never let it be said that when a major artist comes to town, that WEMU doesn't get behind the show and share music with listeners to let them know about the music they'll hear. We got behind last week's Joe Jackson concert at The Michigan Theater featuring violinist Regina Carter in a real big way.