In 2006 I didn't get a chance to listen to music radio as often as I did in previous years. Most of my leisure time was spent listening to Pacifica Radio and
Air America radio. But when I did listen to music radio and sparingly watched videos I was once again impressed with John Legend, who is a major talent whose best years are still ahead of him. "Please Baby Don't", a collaboration with Sergio Mendes, from the "Timeless" CD was one of the standouts of '06. Mendes once again has re-invented himself. The "Timeless" CD does contain stellar performances by India.Arie,
Stevie Wonder, Gracinha Leporace and the aformentioned John Legend, but most of the CD is Brazilian classics redone in hip-hop. Such classics like Joao Donato's "The Frog" and Gilberto Gil's "Berimbeau" just don't sound right in Hip-Hop. I have been a big fan of Sergio Mendes since the 60's. I have 17 Sergio Mendes albums/CDs and eventhough I may not be too enthusiastic about "Timeless" I am thrilled to see him in the spotlight again.
George Benson's "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise" was in my opinion his best effort since the "Collaboration" CD with Earl Klugh. This song received considerable airplay on Jazz outlets all over the country. But the song I have chosen as "Song Of The Year" has to be Neil Young's "Let's Impeach The President" I was amazed at how many justifications for impeachment he presented in just one song. Young reunited with Crosby, Stills & Nash and toured the US to huge audiences in major cities. Because the corporate media avidly supports Bush there was little to no mention of the tour. I was also impressed with British newcomer Corinne Bailey Rae, whose unique vocal style is remeniscent of another era. She will be heard and seen in bigger venues in 2007 and beyond. That's the way I saw 2006 musically.