R&B and soul music would be a much different thing without Smokey Robinson. Since the late 1950s Robinson has been shaping American music, and in turn influencing music around the world. He's produced almost 40 Top 40 Hits in his career, and has shown a rare tenacity in his field, continuing to make records and stay in the public spotlight to this day. A house writer and longtime vice-president for Motown, his reach goes far beyond the records that bear his name. Smokey turns 71 today and we wish him a happy birthday as we survey a tiny portion of the great, expertly crafted music he's made. (Dennis Cook)
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.