The dB's secured a place in rock history as one of the pioneering jangle-pop bands of the early '80s. Deftly combining new wave and power-pop, it created a melodic niche for itself among its Southern peers — bands like The Feelies and R.E.M.
Lionel Loueke was born in Benin, West Africa, in 1973. As a youngster, he sang and played percussion, but didn't really take up the guitar until the age of 17. Loueke was so gifted on the instrument that he was sent to study music at the Ivory Coast's Institute of Art. He continued on to the American School of Modern Music in Paris, where he turned heads, and in 1999 came to America on scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
On a new box set collecting the first four albums of Jack DeJohnette and his band Special Edition, two discs are gems and the other two have their moments. DeJohnette's quartet-slash-quintet was fronted by smoking saxophonists on the way up, set loose on catchy riffs and melodies. The springy rhythm section could tweak the tempos like no one this side of '60s goddess Laura Nyro.
OHIO PLAYERS: (Singing) Rollercoaster of love. Say what? Rollercoaster, ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh.
MARTIN: Leroy Bonner died last weekend at the age of 69. Best known as the front man for the Ohio Players, Sugarfoot, as he was called, joined the band in 1964 as guitarist, songwriter and, eventually, lead singer. He was the eldest of 14 kids, and he was a self-taught musician who never went to high school.