June 24 on ASPiRE TV: Miles Davis tribute featuring DJ Moonbaby with Robert Glasper and Terrace Martin

AJ Miles Davis

On May 19, 2016, in honor of  jazz legend Miles Davis and his 90th birthday, Grammy-nominated producer/multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin along with GRAMMY-winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper joined my good friend DJ Moonbaby at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles for a once in a lifetime community event. Glasper, who won his first Grammy with his breakout album, Black Radio, was celebrating his current release, a tribute to and re-imagining of Miles Davis’ music, Everything’s Beautiful. Martin has become well-known for his work with Kendrick Lamar, Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, 9th Wonder, and Talib Kweli, among many others.


The free show brought the community together for a night of entertainment, jazz history, and the opportunity to witness some of this generation’s most talented musicians. It was incredible to bring the legend of Miles Davis to such a diverse and youthful crowd. With the release of the feature film, Miles Ahead, featuring Oscar-winner Don Cheadle, the timing is apropos. With a line-up of world class musicians, the packed crowd was wowed they played the music of the groundbreaking genius, Miles Davis. The entire event will be broadcast on the ASPiRE TV NETWORK THIS COMING FRIDAY, JUNE 24TH AT 10 P.M. PST.


Martin and Glasper are not only bringing their love of jazz to the mainstream and new generation, they are merging genres with their collaborations with artists from other genres. Terrace has worked with a wide range of hip-hop and R&B artists, while Glasper has worked with musicians as diverse as Radiohead and Joni Mitchell.

DJ Moonbaby has a weekly radio show on acceleratedradio.net called UnRestricted, every Thursday night from 8-10 p.m. PST, playing the best in soul, hip-hop, gospel, and R&B, but truly throwing in anything she wants, even some trip-hop electronica now and then. She features live music and interviews with an indie artist discovery spotlight along with some of your favorite artists such as three-time Grammy winner Lalah Hathaway, Faith Evans, and more.  Additionally, she serves at the Gospel and TV/Film Music Awards Manager for the Grammy Awards. Aside from that, this busy chica has a gig hosting/curating a music series called Grammy Pro Buzzin’, in which she interviews musicians who are making waves in the current musical ocean as well as the current Grammy nominees and winners.

You can search find ASPiRE TV on your cable provider by searching their website here or calling your local provider. Do not miss this event: truly talented, innovative musicians paying tribute to one of the most groundbreaking musical geniuses of the 20th Century.


Grammy Pro is Buzzin’ with DJ Moonbaby
DJ Moonbaby pays tribute to Marvin Gaye
Bringing the (City of) Angels back to higher ground: DJ Moonbaby

Miles Davis Event
Miles Davis Event


Miles Davis Event










Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus & Max Roach: Money Jungle

duke money jungle

Duke Ellington was a native son of Washington DC and his icon and energy is everywhere. I lived there from 2000 through 2005 and always felt the presence of his legacy during my time in that beautiful city. I was browsing Politics & Prose Bookstore on Connecticut Avenue on a rainy day and I was drawn in by the sound of the rain co-mingling with the piano keys of the most sophisticated jazz music. It was “Money Jungle” by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach.

Up until then, I knew Duke Ellington as a band leader and for his earlier music like “It Don’t Mean A Thing” from 1943. Money Jungle was released in 1962 and is a stripped-down post-bop jazz trio music, very different from the big-band sounds I was used to hearing from Ellington.

I promptly bought a copy and haven’t stopped for the past 10 years playing this album on a regular basis. When I listen to it, I feel urbane and funky, and it allows my mind to wander on about society, politics, and the culture we are living in.

It’s simultaneously contemporary and classic, as it was recorded more than 50 years ago, but sounds as current as something recorded last year. It was recorded in one live session and was not rehearsed. The album you hear is the first time these musicians played together. Remarkable.

You should buy this album for your essential albums collection whether on iTunes or the CD version.

Here is the second track from the album “Fleurette Africaine (African Flower)”, composed by Duke Ellington:

Here is the second to last track “Caravan” composed by Juan Tizol:

The blues according to Nina Simone: my ode to Queen Nina


What hasn’t been said or written about Queen Nina Simone? She has been called an icon, a legend, and a genius, and she is one of my favorite artists of all time and I would be remiss if I didn’t use my blogging platform to honor her music – especially her love of blues and her strong political stance. She passed away in April of 2003 and she has haunted me since.

My late father told me a story of being about 16 years old in Hollywood, I believe at the Formosa Cafe. This would have been in the early/mid 60s. Nina Simone was playing at a club and he snuck in to see her. He met her for a few seconds and she told him how adorable he was. He used to listen to her version “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” over and over, which the Animals covered a few years later. After my pops passed, I would listen to that song over and over too. It was soothing to my soul. She was incomparable and a complete bad-ass in everything she did.

Here are some of my favorite Nina tracks, starting with the aforementioned:

“Do I Move You?”

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