03-18-19 | Songs for Listening | Brian Blade
Drummer and bandleader Brian Blade picked tunes for Songs for Listening for Monday, March 18. Brian was born in 1970 in Shreveport. His mother, Dorothy Blade, is a retired kindergarten teacher and his father, Rev. Brady Blade, Sr. has been pastor at Zion Baptist Church for over 50 years. Brian studied music at Loyola in New Orleans and soon thereafter became amongst the most in-demand sidemen in music, recording with Joshua Redman (incredibly, Redman's 1994 Moodswing release features Josh, Brian, Brad Mehldau, and Christian McBride), Bill Frisell, Daniel Lanois, Norah Jones, and Emmylou Harris; in addition, Brian has recorded and toured extensively with a pair of musical icons: Joni Mitchell (Brian recently co-music directed Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, an all-star tribute that showed at the Music Center in Los Angeles and played as a concert film on PBS) and Wayne Shorter (Brian has been a member of Wayne's quartet since 2000). Finally, Brian has led his own ensemble, The Fellowship Band, for 20 years, over which time the ensemble has made six releases.
As a player, Brian is alternately placid — full of good feeling and sympathetic swinging grace — and volcanic — seizing the spotlight for one extensive and explosive solo after another. Away from the bandstand he is gentle, kind and effusive; also, though, someone who prefers his privacy to a late-night hang. He tours the world perpetually and is called to record constantly, but lives in his hometown with his high school sweetheart and, when home, attends service at his father's congregation on Wednesdays and Sundays. Brian is, in short, enigmatic and much-loved — Daniel Lanois once remarked that “heaven is sitting next to Brian Blade's ride cymbal.”
'Let Your Light Shine on Me' by Blind Willie Johnson from 'The Complete Blind Willie Johnson'
'Billy the Kid Suite: I. Introduction. The Open Prairie' by Aaron Copland, performed by the NY Philharmonic
'Dearly Beloved' by John Coltrane from 'Sun Ship'
'Paprika Plains' by Joni Mitchell from 'Don Juan's Reckless Daughter'