I was getting ready for a DJ gig on Saturday, February 11th when I began to see videos popping up all over Facebook. Why are so many people posting Whitney Houston videos, I wondered? She can't be dead... A few seconds later, I saw the news.
In addition to being on my way to a gig, I had my radio show that night. I began my research to get the best possible tribute together. It wasn't long before I came upon a song she recorded for Bill Laswell's experimental punk/funk outfit Material. Material, and Whitney Houston seemed like an odd fit at first, but the album that the song appears on, One Down, is already more straight forward in it's jazz/funk/disco style than previous Material albums. And there are plenty of songs out there that combine somewhat avant garde instrumentation with a pretty melody sung by a diva's voice. In fact, that describes quite a number of Material songs. This one though, "Memories," is one of the best. The sax solo from legendary jazz musician Archie Shepp is pretty spectacular as well.