Saturday Night Music, October 24: Santana and Tower of Power at Montreux, “What Is Hip?”, 2006

Of course, the song, “What Is Hip?” happened beyond Rick Stevens’ tenure. Lenny Williams and Chester Thompson headline ToP’s third album, also named Tower of Power in 1973. The first cut, “What Is Hip?” showcases their fabled Horn Section, but it was “So Very Hard to Go” that went Number One on the West Coast, No. 17 on the Billboard Top 100 nationwide.

Tonight, fifty-eight year old Francis “Rocco” Prestia is being feted as a legendary funk bassist (along with Charlie Haden), with a lifetime achievement award given by Bass Player Magazine in Los Angeles. Naturally, there is going to be an all-star jam with a few members of ToP in attendance. It should be starting up about now, since I’m on Central Time, and it’s a little after 9:00 p.m. Prestia became seriously ill in 2001, and a foundation was established in his name to pay his mounting bills, which resulted in a liver transplant. Only now has he been able to return to what he does best. Good for him, that he lives now to receive all these accolades.

Prestia is no slouch; he is generally thought to be one of the most important axemen in electric bass history, lining up not only with Charlie Haden, but guys like Jaco Pastorius, Monk Montgomery (brother of Wes), Larry Graham, and Louis Johnson of The Brothers Johnson.

So, ToP moves onward and upward, always.

The occasion is the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival held yearly in Switzerland. This is a killer jam, as only ToP can bring it.


~ by blksista on October 24, 2009.

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