Bob Marley Birthday Tribute - New York City Article

Bob Marley Birthday Tribute

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Bob Marley Birthday Tribute

Feb 1, 2019

Bob Marley Birthday Tribute
Sony Hall
235 West 46th Street
Saturday, February 2 (two shows)

“One good thing about music, when it hits - you feel no pain.” The time has come to praise Bob Marley, the original “natural mystic,” whose 74th birthday is being celebrated this Saturday at Sony Hall by the CCB Reggae All-Stars, a group that has become kind of the house band for all of classic reggae. Viewed from the perspective of history, Marley (1945-1981) was one of the great singer-songwriters of the 1970s (in my own personal view, the single greatest, and I don’t think that’s a minority opinion), the successor to Hank Williams and Bob Dylan in previous decades. A musical innovator and a true poet, Marley was also a guru, a deeply spiritual being whose music (like “One Love” and “Exodus”), like the best American gospel artists, makes you feel like you’re going to a party and going to church at the same time - he makes reverie indistinguishable from revelry. Marley was the first and greatest international superstar of reggae, and you just can’t help humming his songs while, at the same time, being moved by their larger humanitarian aspirations. “Won't you help to sing / These songs of freedom?”

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)