Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yaw: Where Will You Be?

I'm not in the habit of posting music videos that are not music videos, that is to say that they have no moving images but merely consist of one image or a slide show uploaded to YouTube by fans of the artist/band. However, where there are rules, there are exceptions and an exception must be made in this case.

Last night I was listening online to the archived edition of Coco and Robin of Danish duo Quadron's April 20 guest DJ set on KCRW, Santa Monica with host Anthony Valadez who has a weekly midnight to 3 am show. Coco and Robin picked some favorite tracks and just after Michael Jackson's "Got To Be There", another song came on.

My ears perked up just from hearing the instrumental intro which - thanks to the sound of a lone trumpet - reminded me of Jerry Goldsmith's gorgeous soundtrack for the film "L.A. Confidential". And there were trembling strings, an angelic chorus of soulful Sam Cooke style backing vocals and sweet Isley Brothers guitar sounds before the sublime vocals kicked in - a man's voice, but with a Nina Simone timbre to it. I was puzzled: when was this recorded - decades ago or this year? I was intrigued, eyes wide open, ears and heart taking in every perfect note and word in this gut wrenching love song.

Today, after learning from KCRW's track list that the vocalist's name is Chicago based singer Yaw, I Googled the name and found his MySpace Music profile. Turns out British DJ and champion of great new music Gilles Peterson released the CD "Brownswood Bubblers 3" on his label Brownswood Recordings in 2008 - it featured various artists, including Yaw and his track "Where Will You Be".

Better late than never to find out about fab music - thank you Quadron and KCRW and Gilles Peterson.

NOTE: his MySpace page has several excellent tracks in addition to "Where Will You Be". Unfortunately, a party promoter has posted a P.R. piece with sound in Yaw's comment space - you'll have to scroll down the page and turn it off.

Yaw does hip hop as well, but I hope he'll record a full album of old school soul songs like "Where Will You Be" 'cause I want more of this intoxicating Nina Simone/The Isley Brothers/The Temptations/The Four Tops/Marvin Gaye/Al Green/Sam Cooke sound.

Flawless. Listen for yourself.