If you're looking for info about Jimmy Raney, Doug Raney or me, you've come to the right place... but not quite... This blog is no longer active and I have in fact moved my own site, blog and forums and merged it with a new Jimmy Raney website to http://www.jonraney.com. In it you will find tons of info, music, videos, blogs and more! Click on the Raney Legacy link to the right and just below my photo.

April 19, 2012

USA Scholarship... the scam continues into college

As a follow up to a 2009 post The National Youth Leadership Forum marketing scam, my daughter was recently the recipient of a mailing scam from USA Scholarship Program for Engineering Students offering the possibility of a scholarship up to $7,500. Ofcourse, there is a $29 processing fee. They probably bought the mailing list from an unscrupulous college bound student list seller, maybe the same one that NYLF used - which allows student names to be bought off of SAT applications.Stay away from these people- 39 complaints with BBB in last 3 years. And this scam has been going for longer than that. Simply google the Scholarship director, Ike Onwo and you will find numerous references, dating as far back as 2006.

November 8, 2011

Mariah Carey: Closet Jazz Singer? Pop singers go jazzy on us and do a damn good job!

Mariah sings beautiful on this very short duet with Tony Bennett. I also love the sections where she rounds out Tony's tone in the upper register when they sing together.Yes there is the R&B flavoring but so what. Good singing is good singing!

Mariah surprised me as well as a few other pop vocalists on Duets II album. The real standout on the album was Amy Winehouse's Body and Soul though. She was channeling Dinah and Billie on this. Given it was her very last recording, very poignant as well.

November 4, 2011

Listen to this not that...

In the spirit of the famous dietary advice with that tagline, I propose this installment for musicians
Listen to this...not that

Listen to this:

A Song for You
Donny Hathaway

NOT That:

A Song for You
Christina Aguilera with Herbie Hancock

Sorry Herbie not into it. You're a genius but this ain't happening for me.

Obviously Christina used Donny's version as the basis for her own interpretation but somewhere in the middle it just became overwrought and tiresome. IMHO Herbie's sophisticated dense jazz chords and jazz fills just sound colorless in this context. In terms of singing, for me generally, the current generation of soul based artists really need to take a lesson in restraint and taste in regards to R&B embellishment. Donny shows how to do it. Listen to it with headphones. It will go right through you.

October 30, 2011

The computer and book battle rages on

My old Dell laptop was pretty much on last legs by the end of August. With one available usb port andbasically a non-working mousepad it was becoming impossible to work, not to mention afew close calls with crashes and reviving my computer from the dead putting my book project at risk. Having enough I got a new Mac Quickbook.(I hate the vista, windows 7 family of products). In order to continue my book work I basically needed to upgrade to Sibelius 7. I figured I'd start cooking pretty good after that. A bit of new mac user learning curve but a good one and trading in a lot of processing sludge for new speed.

Not quite. My battles over the problematic Sibelius 7 for Mac are now public knowledge (see Sibelius forums. You can actually find me easily at top of a search by googling on "unhappy with Sibelius and my name" ).A replacement CD set later, I'm still struggling with things but basically the very necessary things- being able to save my work seems to be solved by downgrading my sound set while writing and saving. I respect Sibelius in many ways and wouldn't go back to Finale but Sib7 is a work in progress unfortunately.

Other things are Mac related. I'm really discovering what a PC dominated world it is in terms of finding Mac equivalent software. Video upload and creation software like I used with my PC (despite Mac users extolling the virtues of equivalent products like Handbrake and some others) just don't work right. I use my wife's PC for that. For the most part you have to pay for stuff - that's the bottom line. Something I'm not used to with the frequent freebee and open source available for PCs.

I managed to figure out how to use my prized MS Word 2007 (that I created my book in) in Mac via programs called X11 and Wine Bottler. Sun Microsystems product, Open Office just makes a mess of my work when I import it- especially images and none of the equivalent out of the box font theme styles are available. Figuring out the Mac directory system is a job and a half but I've managed to bookmark my last saved locations so I don't have to think about it. X11 gives you a virtual MS view but file directory locations are a bit virtual as well - where "my desktop" is not really "my desktop".

Anyway... currently focusing on the bolded areas. Other areas of the book are continually augmented with new extra examples that occur to me (and old ones haves to be revised because of fig X.X numbering.) Another solo transcription is in the list as well

  • Chapter 8: The Essential Elements of Jimmy Raney's phrases

  • - II-V "go-to" licks
    - Inverted chord lines
    - auxilliary tones (PT, NT, and turns)
    - Exercises 8A-C (based on above 3 sections)
    - Major Chord concepts
    - Minor chord concepts
    - Dominant chord concepts

    - Exercises 8D-F (based on above 3 sections)
    (Status: 80-90% done. Needed: minor, dominant concepts sections, Exercises 8D-F

  • Chapter 12: Transcribed Solos

  • - Jim's Tune
    - Cross Your Heart
    - Isn't It Romantic
    - Motion
    - Signal
    - Just One of Those Things (Norvo)
    - No Male for Me
    - Pennies from Heaven
    - The Flag is Up
    - Stella By Starlight (3) ...Tokyo, w/ Phil Woods, Strings & Swings
    - Anthropology
    - The Song is You (Birdland '52)
    - Anthropology
    - Strike Up the Band



    October 28, 2011

    Aphorism of the Day

    "Nothing good ever came out of ripping a drinking hole in the lid of your coffee"


    September 6, 2011

    Doug Raney on Jazz Guitar part 1

    I had originally scheduled this for Doug's Birthday, Aug 29th. Unfortunately limitations of video conversion via my new Mac computer made it - well impossible(via Imovie and Handbrake - they're crap IMO). So I reverted back to my limping PC and Windows Moviemaker and Any-Video-Converter (best free one around) and it came out fine as always. Anyway here it is! Enjoy. It's a European documentary from 1985 that Doug did when touring with Thorgeir Stubo

    Happy (belated) birthday Doug!

    You can also watch it on youtube here

    August 21, 2011

    New Jimmy Raney video

    As promised, a new video segment from Jimmy Raney/Cal Collins videotape on the tune, Autumn Leaves. Although Jimmy looks slightly uncomfortable in spots (shifting his seat, flexing his arm, etc) he's still one of the most fluid jazz guitarists who ever walked the planet. Tyrone and Bruce are getting a good groove here and Jimmy is just flying over the top


    Or click here to watch the video on youtube