Thursday, May 5, 2016

Feliz Cinco De Mayo!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Here is our playlist of songs that are all available on the Freegal site to help celebrate the day:

Livin' La Vita Loca
We Are One (Ole, Ola)
Vivir Mi Vida
Viva Mexico
Mi Reflejo
Darte un Beso
Soy un Truhan, Soy un SeƱor
Oye Como Va
La Bamba
Hot Hot Hot
El Noa Noa
Cinco de Mayo
Can't Get Enough
La Cucaracha
Mambo No. 5
Hips Don't Lie
Duele El Corazon

Monday, May 2, 2016

New Arrivals

Below is a small sampling of what has just arrived on Freegal Music. More new music is being added

Sugar Symphony by Chloe & Halle
Atlanta natives Chloe & Halle Bailey got themselves noticed by posting a cover of the Beyonce song “Pretty Hurts” on Youtube. Viewers went crazy for their version and they girls were eventually notice by Beyonce herself. The superstar was so taken with the duo that she got them signed to her record label, and even featured them in her latest album. The sisters have been working hard since being signed to Parkwood Entertainment,  and their debut EP ‘Sugar Symphony’ is out now. Billboard calls the record “gorgeous”. Nylon Magazine writes “we might just be talking about the most promising new act in pop music.

All The Way by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan has announced a summer tour in support of his new LP “Fallen Angels” that is coming
out later in May. The new record will be out just days before he turns 75.  It is a follow up to last year’s “Shadows In The Night” LP. “All The Way” is the second single released ahead of the full length record. It was previously sung by Frank Sinatra. 

                                This is What You Came For by Calvin Harris & Rihanna
The last time Calvin Harris & Rihanna collaborated on a song, it was sold to over 10 million fans and it became the longest running #1 hit of the entire year. That was 2011. The two have just worked together for the first time since then, and the result is the single “This is What You Came For”. USA Today proclaimed it “the hit we need”. Rolling Stone describes it as “addictive”. Numerous sites have already declared it to be the song of the summer for 2016.

Great Moments At Carnegie Hall
May marks the 125th Anniversary of the opening of one of the most prestigious venues in the world for classical and popular music: Carnegie Hall. To commemorate this occasion, a series of live recordings from from top performers has been released. Some of the artists on this record of over 200  songs includes Leonard Bernstein, Leontyne Price, Yo-Yo Ma, and many more.

Empire Soundtrack: Season 2, Vol 2.
The latest full length LP of music from the megahit series Empire is here. This volume focuses on the second half of the second season and it includes some unheard songs from future episodes. With regards to this new LP,  Newsday writes “ the music it (Empire) has generated has only gotten stronger..stands on it’s own.”

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Jazz Appreciation Month

April is Jazz Appreciation Month. Who is your favorite artist and what is your favorite type of jazz? Although there is considerably more information about the genre than can be discussed in one blog entry, we are highlighting some of the major styles and some of the artists whose work falls into each category. All of the  musicians mentioned here have music on the Freegal site.

  New Orleans & Dixieland
New Orleans is often considered the birthplace of jazz. Early and pivotal jazz artists started their career in that city. Jelly Roll Morton for example was an experimental artist who was quite influential in the early 1900’s. He blended styles and made his own sound. Some of the best known songs by him and his band are “Black-Bottom Stomp” and “Smoke House Blues”. The city’s best known artist is probably Louis Armstrong. He was born in New Orleans and started his career there. His travel to New York and other cities helped spread the popularity of the genre.


The 1930’s was all about swing. Key leaders in developing the big band sound included Glenn Miller, Cab Colloway and Benny Goodman. According to swing music was very popular to dance to and music within this category was broadcast on the radio nightly on stations across America. The careers of music giants Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday began during this period.

Later in the 1940’s there was a movement to make jazz less of a mainstream dance sound to more of an art form. It was intended more for listening than dancing . Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown were just some of the standouts during this time. The career of “the first lady of song” Ella Fitzgerald also started to take off during this period. Ms. Fitzgerald’s style included many types of jazz, not just bebop. She produced music with a wide variety of artists from Louis Armstrong to Frank Sinatra.


Cool Jazz
Emerging in the late 1940’s, Cool Jazz was seen as more relaxed than Bebop and was an effort to bring Jazz a bit more back towards the mainstream. It incorporated varied sounds which did include bepop but also had influences of swing and even classical. Miles Davis is probably the most widely known of all the musicians at this time, but other top artists involved in this movement include Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, and Chet Baker.

Free Jazz
Allowing performers much more latitude than any of the previous styles , free jazz used less compositional material. It was a controversial move for the time. Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane are associated with this type of music. It was also during this period in the 50’s that Miles Davis released his groundbreaking “Kind of Blue” LP which is considered by many to be one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. That LP is labeled as modal jazz which Mr. Davis developed himself.


Jazz Infusion
During the late 1960’s and 70’s a hybrid of rock and jazz developed. Electric instruments are often used such as electric guitar, electric bass, and electric piano. Herbie Hancock, The Weather Report, and Chick Corea were highly influential in his period. Miles Davis also worked in this as well. His album “Bitches Brew” is considered to have been a significant influence on the rock genre.

Contemporary Artists
Jazz keeps changing as time moves on. There are still many variations within the genre. Some of the top musicians in jazz who have released music more recently that the previously mentioned artists include: Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Julian Lage, The Bad Plus, Aaron Diehl, Tony Bennett, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Stacey Kent, and many more.