Saturday, August 25, 2007
Rumba para Monk
Jerry Gonzalez was born in 1949 in the Bronx Borough of New York City. He grew up with Afro-Cuban and jazzmusic which left a deep impact on his musical appreciation and molding his future work as an artist. As a youth, Gonzalez would listen to his father’s jazz albums, incuding artists such Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.
While studying in junio high school, he began playing the trumpet and later the congas. Gonzalez completed his formal studies New York College of Music and New York University.
Legendary Latin artists such Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri were also important sources of musical inspiration. According to Gonzalez, “The spirit of mother Africa travelled to the Caribbean, South America, North America and ... our music is a reflection of our experience here in New York City and of our consciousness of the cultural roots”.
Known as a percussionist, Gonzalez began his professional career as a conga and trumpet player in 1970, performing his own brand of Latin jazz with the internationally famous, Dizzy Gillespie. With maestro Gillespie’s support and encouragement, Gonzalez was able to fuse the African based rhythms onto jazz elemets without compromising the essence of either. The next year, Gonzalez joined Eddie Palmieri’s band, “El Son” for a brief period before moving on to work with “Conjunto Libre”, the band led by great timbales artist, Manny Oquendo.
Here is one of his masterpiece, Rumba para Monk, recorded in 1989. This album earned the recognition from the French Academie du Jazz with the “Jazz Record of the Year” award. Enjoy! - d0za
Thought this blog could use some quality drum and bass.
A mix compilation CD featuring brand new top quality tracks from a collective of 10 of NYC's finest jungle/drum&bass producers. Diverse styles fit together like pieces of a puzzle in Swingsett's DJ mix. A testament to true innovation and forward motion in drum'n'bass. Minimal and catchy amounts Jazz, Soul and Dub are featured as the flavors on this diverse d&b mix. For a quality listening experience, please enjoy with a fatty and your favorite set of headphones.
1. Tony Bricks - Believe You Me
2. Lorr - Yih Yeh Yah
3. del Mar - Remember Nothing
4. Motopsyco & Carol C. - Simple Thoughts
5. Swingsett & J. Warrin - Magnetic Fool
6. Lorr - Ritmo Verde
7. DLP - Alright
8. Boomish - Fusions
9. Strata - Buzz Bomb
10. Lorr - Heard It
11. Tony Bricks - Breathe
12. Lorr - Shoe Juice
13. del Mar - Twiggy
14. Pish Posh - Frantic
15. Swingsett & J. Warrin - Cabaret License
16. Math Department - Dancing Outlaw
17. Spearman - LN11
Mixed by DJ Swingsett
"On the original LP issued by Columbia, Mingus thanked producer Teo Macero for "his untiring efforts in producing the best album I have ever made." From his deathbed in Mexico in 1979 he sent a message to Sy Johnson (who was responsible for many of the arrangements on the album), saying that Let My Children Hear Music was the record he liked most from his career. Although Mingus' small-group recordings are the ones most often cited as his premier works, this album does, in fact, rank at the top of his oeuvre and compares favorably with the finest large-ensemble jazz recordings by anyone, including Ellington. The pieces had been brewing over the years, one from as far back as 1939, and had been given more or less threadbare performances on occasion, but this was his first chance to record them with a sizable, well-rehearsed orchestra. Still, there were difficulties, both in the recording and afterward. The exact personnel is sketchy, largely due to contractual issues, several arrangers were imported to paste things together, making the true authorship of some passages questionable, and Macero (as he did with various Miles Davis projects) edited freely and sometimes noticeably. The listener will happily put aside all quibbles, however, when the music is heard. From the opening, irresistible swing of "The Shoes of the Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jiveass Slippers" to the swirling depths of "The I of Hurricane Sue," these songs are some of the most glorious, imaginative, and full of life ever recorded. Each piece has its own strengths, but special mention should be made of two. "Adagio Ma Non Troppo" is based entirely on a piano improvisation played by Mingus in 1964 and issued on Mingus Plays Piano. Its logical structure, playful nature, and crystalline moments of beauty would be astounding in a polished composition; the fact that it was originally improvised is almost unbelievable. "Hobo Ho," a holy-roller powerhouse featuring the impassioned tenor of James Moody, reaches an incredible fever pitch, the backing horns volleying riff after riff at the soloists, the entire composition teetering right on the edge of total chaos. Let My Children Hear Music is a towering achievement and a must for any serious jazz fan. The CD issue includes one track, "Taurus in the Arena of Life," not on the original LP, but unfortunately gives only snippets from the Mingus essay that accompanied the album. That essay, covering enormous territory, reads like an inspired Mingus bass solo and should be sought out by interested listeners. One can't recommend this album highly enough." ~ AMG
01 The Shoes Of The Fisherman's Wife Are Some Jive Ass Slippers
02 Adagio Ma Non Troppo
03 Don't Be Afraid, The Clown's Afraid Too
04 Taurus In The Arena Of Life
06 The Chill Of Death
07 The I Of Hurricane Sue
"Fela is important to World Beat both because of his political stance and his amalgamation of African and American styles into one all his own, Afro Beat. It's difficult to pick one album, especially since CellulOid have rereleased so many, but this mid-seventies release seems quite representative and has the advantage of having three tunes on it instead of the rather common long instrumental vamp on one side with the vocal version on the other The music is pulsing and powerful, the familiar horns and percussion driving it along, with a generous dose of Fela's sax and organ. The vocals concern the necessity of not being "a zombie" in today's society, especially Nigeria's less-than-democratic society. The message is driven home with gruff military commands and sweet female backing vocals." ~ Whole Earth
Label: Movieplay Gold
Credits: Arranged By, Composed By, Producer - Fela Anikulapo Kuti
01 Zombie (12:27)
02 Monkey Banana (11:34)
03 Everything Scatter (10:33)
04 Trouble Sleep (12:08)
"Albert Ayler was a mysterious figure. His recording career was relatively brief, beginning in 1962 and ending in 1970, with several of the entries live performances released many years after his passing. His demise itself was a bizarre circumstance.
Revenant Records, by all accounts the most ambitious and thorough of all box-set minded labels, has now released a nine+ CD set of Ayler whose mystery has rubbed off a little on the project. Its coming was announced by a series of all black ads with little on them but what has become the set's slogan: “'Trane was the Father...Pharoah was the son...I am the Holy Ghost.” The result? Most probably the highwater mark in the often underwhelming realm of box sets. It is as if Ayler's body had washed up on the banks of the East River dressed in a natty Armani suit.
The box itself, though black plastic, was recreated from a handcarved original. The outer obi strip doubles as track listing and is marked with the flowers that became the motif for the set (presumably from David Murray's album Flowers for Albert ).
Inside are nine discs of rare and unissued recordings made between 1962 and 1970. Also included are a picture of Ayler with saxophone from his youth; a photostat of a handwritten note from a Copenhagen hotel; a reprinted copy of a Slugs flyer which includes a listing for a week of Ayler's quintet; a reprinted 1965 pamphlet by the late poet Paul Haines entitled Ayler-Peacock-Murray-You and the Night and the Music; a reprinted newsletter from 1969 by Jihad Productions with excerpts about Ayler; a bonus CD of two army band rehearsals from 1960 (in a mini-sleeve that recreates the original reel box); a dried flower from the box motif; and most impressively, a 208-page full-color hardcover book that acts simultaneously as a CD guide, history book, encyclopedia of the era and yearbook. How much would you pay for something like this, not including the Ginsu knife set sure to be offered? Vendors have the price hovering above or below $100, cementing the set as the most affordable and you-get-way-more-than-you-pay-for in history.
For those who question whether Ayler deserves such an ostentatious release when so many other musicians never get this treatment, the answer is twofold. Though the tenor saxophonist always gets his own chapter in any discussion of the avant garde jazz of the '60s, he is still relatively unknown to most jazz listeners, due mainly to his recorded work up until now being exclusively as a leader. Most listeners get exposed to a musician first from his sideman work; the lack of such material obscures him. The second answer is that the jazz lover who doesn't know Ayler specifically probably knows someone who was influenced by him, either through his deft interpolations of spirituals and marching band styles or his indefatigable, umistakable tone. Though there are many more Miles box sets and they undoubtedly sell better, Ayler is a figure who had such an impact; a box set, even of this magnitude, was inevitable.
It is easy to be bowled over by the impressiveness of the box and forget that there are nine CDs to go through, seven with music recorded either with Ayler as a sideman or as a leader in locales like Helsinki, New York, Copenhagen, Cleveland, Berlin, Rotterdam, Newport and the French countryside. The final two discs contain four interviews with Ayler (from 1964, 1966 and two from 1970) and one with trumpeter Don Cherry less than a year after Ayler's death.
The music runs the gamut of Ayler's various involvements. It begins with three straight ahead interpretations of standards by Ayler with pianist Herbert Katz' Quintet (Helsinki 1962). A 20+ minute blast of the Cecil Taylor Quartet (also 1962) follows featuring the two-horn attack of Ayler and altoist Jimmy Lyons “supported” by Sunny Murray's drums. An Ayler trio (with bassist Gary Peacock and Murray) from the Cellar Caf頦inishes disc one and starts disc two with Spirits and Prophecy material.
The addition of Don Cherry on trumpet for a long 1964 set from Denmark continues disc two. The last piece is a short untitled improvisation from Slugs' in 1966 by Burton Greene's quintet (with drummer Rashied Ali, bassist Steve Tintweiss and the second tenor of Frank Smith, another mysterious saxophonist.)
Discs three and four are Ayler's quintet in two shows from April 1966 in Cleveland. Joining Ayler were his brother Donald on trumpet, violinist Michel Samson, bassist Clyde Shy and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson. The three sets are a mix of earlier and later material, including songs that would be released later when Ayler switched from ESP to Impulse! Records. The second evening adds the tenor of the Rev. Frank Wright, Ayler's ESP colleague and stylistic foil, for a rare collaboration.
Disc five is two quintet sets, five days apart in November 1966 from Berlin and Rotterdam. Donald Ayler and Michel Samson are holdovers from discs three and four but the new rhythm section is bassist Bill Folwell and drummer Beaver Harris.
Disc six and seven are a m鬡nge from 1967-70, including the infamous performance at Coltrane's funeral, segments with Ayler as part of Pharoah Sander's Ensemble (1968) and his brother's (1969) and the impromptu performance at a French resort after the famed Maeght Fondation performances.
If all this sounds imposing, it is. But the book is an exhaustive reference, containing not only detailed notes on the performances but biographies of the players, interviews, remarks from Ayler's peers, essays, a “Sightings” list that fills out his sparse discography, numerous pictures and reproductions, all that give much needed and deserved illumination to this monolithic and iconoclastic figure." ~ All About Jazz
Herbert Katz Quintet With Albert Ayler June 19 1962 in Helsinki Finland
1~8 Sonnymoon For Two
3~8 On Green Dolphin Street
Cecil Taylor Quartet With Albert Ayler November 16 1962 in Copenhagen Denmark
4~8 Spoken Intro
Albert Ayler Trio June 14 1964 in New York City
6~8 Untitled ~ Ends With ''Spirits''
Albert Ayler Trio June 14 1964 in New York City
01~11 The Wizard
Albert Ayler Quartet September 3 1964 in Copenhagen Denmark
04~11 Spoken Radio Introduction
07~11 Untitled [Tune Q]
Burton Greene Quintet With Albert Ayler February 1966 in New York City
Albert Ayler Quintet April 16 1966 In Cleveland Ohio
01~11 Spoken Introduction By Peter Bergman
02~11 Spirits Rejoice
04~11 [Untitled] Minor Waltz
05~11 Our Prayer
06~11 Spoken Introduction By Peter Bergman
07~11 [F# Tune] Untitled
Albert Ayler Quintet April 17 1966 In Cleveland Ohio
09~11 Spirits Rejoice
10~11 Prophet ~ Ghosts ~ Spiritual Bells
11~11 Our Prayer ~ Spirits Rejoice
Albert Ayler Quintet April 17 1966 in Cleveland Ohio
01~06 Untitled ~ Truth Is Marching In
03~06 Zion Hill
05~06 Spiritual Bells
06~06 Untitled [F# Tune]
Albert Ayler Quintet November 3 1966 in Berlin Germany
01~10 Concert Announcement By Ralf Schulte-Bahrenberg
02~10 Ghosts ~ Bells
03~10 Truth Is Marching In
05~10 Our Prayer
Albert Ayler Quintet November 8 1966 in Rotterdam The Netherlands
06~10 Spoken Introduction By Peter De Wit
07~10 Truth Is Marching In
09~10 Spirits Rejoice
10~10 Free Spiritual Musics [Part IV]
DISC 6 Albert Ayler Quintet June 30 July 1 1967 In Newport Rhode Island
01~09 Truth Is Marching In ~ Omega
02~09 Japan ~ Universal Indians
03~09 Our Prayer
Albert Ayler Quartet July 21 1967 [''Coltrane Funeral''] In New York City
04~09 Love Cry ~ Truth Is Marching In ~ Our Prayer
Pharoah Sanders Ensemble With Albert Ayler January 21 1968 in New York City
05~09 Venus ~ Upper And Lower Egypt
Albert Ayler ca. late August, 1968 in New York area
06~09 Untitled Blues
07~09 Untitled Sermon
08~09 Thank God For Women
09~09 New Ghosts [Demo Fragments]
Don Ayler Sextet w/Albert Ayler January 11 1969 in New York City
01~06 Prophet John
02~06 Judge Ye Not
Albert Ayler Quartet July 28 1970 in Village Vacances Tourisme Saint-Paul-de-Vence France
03~06 Mothers ~ Children
05~06 Untitled [C Minor]
06~06 Untitled [F Minor-C Minor]
Albert Ayler ca. early December 1964 in Copenhagen Denmark
Interview With Birger Jørgensen
Albert Ayler November 11 1966 in Copenhagen Denmark
Interview with Birger Jørgensen
Albert Ayler July 27 1970 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence France
Interview with Daniel Caux
Albert Ayler July 25, 1970 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
Interview with Kiyoshi Koyama
Don Cherry unknown date, 1971 in Paris, France
Interview with Daniel Caux
Bonus Disc With Albert Ayler as member of U.S. Army Band!
"McCoy Tyner's considerable influence began during his long run as John Coltrane's pianist in the 1960s and grew steadily after he left Coltrane in 1965 to establish his own career. By 1974 and Sama Layuca, he was a major presence in jazz. All of his facets are on full display in this rich album his incomparable pianism, the use of modes and scales as bases for composition and improvisation, deeply layered harmonies, Latin, Asian, and African rhythmic elements. Capable of thoughtful lyricism "Desert Cry" but inclined toward passion and drama "La Cuba–a," "Paradox", Tyner employs his huge technique and imagination to create landscapes rampant with vivid colors, roaring rivers, smoldering volcanoes, and joyous life. His fellow musicians on Sama Layuca include some of the brightest lights of late twentieth century jazz." ~ Worlds Records
"Pianist McCoy Tyner is heard at the height of his powers throughout this rewarding set. He contributed all five compositions and has a colorful and diverse group of major players at his disposal to interpret them: vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, altoist Gary Bartz, Azar Lawrence on tenor and soprano, John Stubblefield doubling on oboe and flute, bassist Buster Williams, drummer Billy Hart and both Mtume and Guillerme Franco on percussion. The results (which include a brief Tyner-Hutcherson duet on "Above the Rainbow") are quite rewarding and serve as a strong example of McCoy Tyner's music." ~ AMG
01 Sama Layuca
02 Above The Rainbow
03 La Cubana
04 Desert Dry
Personnel: Bobby Hutcherson, Gary Bartz, Azar Lawrence, John Stubblefield, Buster Williams, Billy Hart, Mtume, Guilherme Franco Label: OJC
"Recorded in 1959 and released in 1960, “Drums of Passion” is a remarkable album. Babatunde Olatunji was a Nigerian student who came to Morehouse College in Atlanta as a student on a Rotary International Foundation scholarship where he formed a drumming group as a way to help other Nigerian students cope with homesickness. The music overwhelmed the scholarship after Olatunji’ moved to New York to pursue a graduate degree. His group began attracting attention in jazz circles. John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie were early fans and John Hammond, who is credited with ”discovering” Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen among many, many others, secured Olatunji a recording contract with Columbia Records. “Drums of Passion” was the inital result and it exploded on the music world like a rhythm bomb.
The music on “Drums of Passion” is all percussion and vocals with the emphasis on percussion. At the time of its release “World Music” wasn’t a recognized marketing category and many US listeners had little or no prior exposure to African drumming. Full bore African drum music can be so rhythmically complex that it is virtually incomprehensible to Western ears that are untrained in this type of music. Where the experienced listener (who would usually be a participant dancer in the music) hears a complex weave of sophisticated rhythms the unexperienced hears an undifferentiated percussive roar. In a desire to introduce Western listeners to his native Nigerian music Olatunji made the wise decision to keep it simple. The album was recorded in stereo, atypical at the time, and the drums and percussion instruments are very well miked so that each instrument can be clearly differentiated in sound and located in space within the mix. The result is that the interweaving rhythms can be clearly heard, understood and enjoyed without prior experience. It is a superb recording.
“Drums of Passion”, which has never been out of print since it was originally released, has had a long and illustrious life. The album has been variously credited with introducing Americans to world music, being the first album of African music recorded in the US and being the first album of African music recorded in stereo. Initially it was widely hailed in jazz circles and it led Olatunji to gigs with Randy Weston, Max Roach, Cannonball Adderly, Horace Silver and many others. Silver, Yusef Lateef, Charles Lloyd and Clark Terry all spent time in later editions of Olatunji’s group. One of the tracks on Drums of Passion”, Gin-Go-Lo-Ba, became one of Santana’s signature tunes after they covered it as “Jingo” on their first album. Music from “Drums of Passion” was a staple on the playlists of David Mancuso at the Loft and Francis Grasso at the Sanctuary, arguably the most important underground dance venues in New York in the formative days of underground dance culture in the early 1970s. In later times the World Music police have turned up their little noses at the album for not being “authentic” enough to satisfy their prissily insistent tastes.
“Drums of Passion” is powerful, exceptionally well recorded music that retains its power to excite almost 50 years after it was originally released. If you like drumming, rhythm or dance and haven’t heard it, check “Drums of Passion” out." ~ Tuned Into Music
A1 Akiwowo (Chant To The Trainman)
A2 Oya (Primitive Fire)
A3 Odun De! Odun De! (Happy New Year)
A4 Gin-Go-Lo-Ba (Drums Of Passion)
B1 Kiyakiya (Why Do You Run Away)
B2 Baba Jinde (Flirtation Dance)
B3 Oyin Momo Ado (Sweet As Honeybee)
B4 Shango (Chant To The God Of Thunder)
"John McLaughlin's second album as a leader is the most rock-oriented of the numerous projects he was involved with during his first year in America. Recorded in February of 1970 for the now defunct Douglas label, Devotion features McLaughlin and organist Larry Young taking a break from Lifetime to play with drummer Buddy Miles (Electric Flag, Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys) and bassist Bill Rich. The rock/soul rhythm section is what really distinguishes this from the similarly-minded Lifetime material and the all-instrumental Devotion often sounds like a long lost collection of Hendrix jams. It very nearly is, as Devotion was inspired by jam sessions that McLaughlin participated in with Hendrix, Miles, Young and Rich (those tapes have never been officially released). Not that McLaughlin could really be mistaken for Jimi Hendrix, but Hendrix's style is clearly an influence on McLaughlin as he makes the transition from being a supplemental player in more democratic ensembles to the lead guitar god who would front Mahavishnu Orchestra.
By any normal useage of the term, Devotion is what is known as a "wank-fest." Over the medium tempos established by Miles and Rich, McLaughlin basically engages in a series of extended, heavily-distorted guitar solos; Larry Young provides harmonic accompaniment and trippy textural variety with his Hammond organ and electric piano. Despite some technical problems I think the album is pretty good, even if I wouldn't call it essential. None of the six tracks are all that different, except maybe for "Siren," which dabbles with the sort of psychedelic studio enhancements that intrigued Hendrix. I think that the best piece is the long title track, which is the most organized of the bunch and which is the closest to having a developed theme. McLaughlin's playing is both passionate and uplifting and I consider it to be one of his career highlights. "Dragon Song" and "Marbles" are probably my two favorites after "Devotion," — I think they have the most memorable riffs — but the other tracks are all fairly similar." ~ Ground and Sky
John McLaughlin, guitar; Buddy Miles, drums, percussion; Larry Young, organ, electric piano; Billy Rich, bass
01. Devotion — 11:23
02. Dragon Song — 4:13
03. Marbles — 4:13
04. Siren — 5:42
05. Don't Let the Dragon Eat Your Mother — 5:16
06. Purpose of When — 4:44
Friday, August 24, 2007
"Fulfilling the potential promised on his Blue Note debut, Night Dreamer, Wayne Shorter's Ju Ju was the first really great showcase for both his performance and compositional gifts. Early in his career as a leader Shorter was criticized as a mere acolyte of John Coltrane, and his use of Coltrane's rhythm section on his first two Blue Note albums only bolstered that criticism. The truth is, though, that Elvin Jones, Reggie Workman, and McCoy Tyner were the perfect musicians to back Shorter. Jones' playing at the time was almost otherworldly. He seemed to channel the music through him when improvising and emit the perfect structure to hold it together. Workman too seemed to almost instinctively understand how to embellish Shorter's compositions. McCoy Tyner's role as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time was played here as well, and his light touch and beautiful, joyful improvisations would make him a much better match for Shorter than Herbie Hancock would later prove to be.
JuJu rests in the uphill portion of Shorter's creative peak. While the sidemen may have been an even better match for him than the ensembles he would put together for later albums, he was just beginning to find his footing as a leader. His performances were already showing evidence of great originality — yes, they were influenced by Coltrane, but only in the way that they broke apart the structures of the bop sound to create a sound that had all of the variety and flexibility of the human voice. On later albums like Speak No Evil and The Soothsayer, however, Shorter would rise to an even higher level as a performer with more powerful, confident playing that reached farther afield in its exploration of melodic textures.
What really shines on JuJu is the songwriting. From the African-influenced title track (with its short, hypnotic, repetitive phrases) to the mesmerizing interplay between Tyner and Shorter on "Mahjong," the album (which is all originals) blooms with ideas, pulling in a world of influences and releasing them again as a series of stunning, complete visions." ~ AMG
Bass - Reginald Workman*
Drums - Elvin Jones
Piano - McCoy Tyner
Producer - Alfred Lion
Tenor Sax - Wayne Shorter
Produced by Alfred Lion.
Recorded on August 3, 1964.
Recording by Rudy Van Gelder.
Digital Transfer by Ron McMaster.
Cover Photo and Design by Reid Miles.
Original Liner Notes by Nat Hentoff.
Submitted by: Walli
01 Ju Ju (8:26)
02 Deluge (6:49)
03 House Of Jade (6:49)
04 Mahjong (7:40)
05 Yes Or No (6:35)
06 Twelve More Bars To Go (5:26)
Bass - Dave Holland
Electric Piano - Chick Corea
Organ - Keith Jarrett
Percussion - Airto Moreira , Jack DeJohnette
Saxophone [Soprano] - Steve Grossman
Trumpet - Miles Davis
Notes: Fillmore East
Submitted by: the_electrician
A Wednesday Miles (24:14)
B Thursday Miles (26:56)
C Friday Miles (28:00)
D Saturday Miles (22:31)
"Although the title suggests otherwise, Introducing Roland Kirk is actually Kirk's second long player. Poor distribution kept his debut, Triple Threat, from receiving the attention it deserved until subsequent reissues of the album in the early '70s. On these sides, Kirk is accompanied by a quartet including: Ira Sullivan (trumpet/tenor sax), William Burton (keyboards), Don Garrett (bass), and Sonny Brown (drums). Kirk leads the ensemble with his "triple threat" — consisting of a variation of the soprano sax called a manzello; a stritch, which is a variant of the straight alto saxophone; and a slightly modified tenor sax — all of which he could maneuver simultaneously. Although Kirk's performances are exceedingly reserved on this album, there is little doubt of his technical proficiencies. The three sides penned by Kirk are among the most interesting as they allow for a certain degree of openness that is essential when spotlighting his unique talents. This autonomy yields some exceptional interplay between Kirk and Ira Sullivan — highlighted on "The Call" and "Soul Station." One of the motifs evident throughout Kirk's career involved his ability to personalize pop standards into his very distinctive mold as "Our Love Is Here to Stay" aptly exemplifies. Although some free jazz and avant-garde purists may find Introducing Roland Kirk not challenging enough, it provides a solid basis for his increasingly bombastic post-bop experiments throughout the remainder of the '60s and '70s." ~ AMG
01 The Call
02 Soul Station
03 Our Waltz Rose
04 Our Love Is Here to Stay Gershwin, Gershwin
05 Spirit Girl
06 Jack the Ripper
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Crossing the Atlantic to meet in Belgium for the first time in almost six months, and going their separate ways less than twenty hours later, Masada’s concert in Middleheim was under pressure from the beginning. Reaching full-out intensity in the first thirty seconds of their very first piece, this is Masada at their wildest—simultaneously out of control and yet intensely focused like a laser beam. "I felt like a squirrel being dragged behind a Mack truck." — Greg Cohen. Beautifully recorded by the Belgian radio.
1. Nevuah 9:50
2. Sippur 3:22
3. Hath-Arob 5:22
4. Kedushah 6:55
5. Ne'eman 13:07
6. Karet 2:05
7. Kochot 4:59
8. Piram 12:10
9. Paran 6:02
10. Ashnah 7:21
11. Tahah 7:27
Recorded at the 1979 Havana Jazz Festival, this short and powerful set, with Miles Davis alumni, drummer Tony Williams and guitarist John McLaughlin, and Weather Report bassist Jaco Pastorius, was one for the ages. The previously unreleased selections, one through five, are explosive, but mis-miked live tracks. Williams’ "Drum Improvisation" segues into McLaughlin’s fuzz-toned "Dark Prince," which does not swing in a silent way. Pastorious’ theme song "Continuum" is scaled down to its essential twilight textures, while the drummer’s "Para Oriente" - which later became a stable in V.S.O.P’s book, and was recast as "Angel Street" – is rendered here in a funky, pre-grunge mode. The guitarist’s "Are You the One, Are You the One?" previews the jam band craze. The rest of the cuts were recorded a week later in a New York studio, But the warts-and-all original sides are unmatched for their primal power.
1. Drum improvisation (Live)
2. Dark prince (Live)
3. Continuum (Live)
4. Para oriente (Live)
5. Are you the one, are you the one? (Live)
6. Dark prince (Studio)
7. Continuum (Studio)
8. Para oriente (Alternate take One) (Studio)
9. Para oriente (Alternate Take Two) (Studio)
10. Para oriente (Studio)
From some reviewer:
"Despite Barrow’s prolonged bout with writer’s block and the fact that many bands had since sought to plunder elements from the band’s terrific debut album, Portishead managed to stay relevant and avoid the sophomore slump on Portishead, one of 1997’s most highly anticipated and best albums. Although less melodic and memorable than Dummy, and lacking any brilliant singles along the lines of “Sour Times (Nobody Loves Me)” or "Glory Box," Portishead is nevertheless an equally singular work that is even spookier than its predecessor. Beth Gibbons’ quivering voice sounds on the verge of collapse, and her often electronically manipulated vocals show off extreme affectations while angrily delivering bitter, heavy-hearted lyrics such as “only you can tear my whole damn heart” or “why should I forgive you?” For his part, Barrow is typically resourceful, again supplying scratchy atmospherics and dramatic effects that are perfect for dimly lit rooms with a stiff drink as your lone, comforting companion. Addictively depressing and relentlessly morose (they're kinda like the equally brilliant but far different Tindersticks in that respect), Portishead’s richly jagged torch songs don’t flow quite as smoothly as Dummy’s (comparisons are inevitable), but the album nevertheless leaves a lasting impression, particularly Gibbons’ tortured emotives, which play an even more pronounced role than before. Sometimes she’s a tad too over the top, though, causing Portishead to occasionally veer uncomfortably close to self-parody, but far more often than not the band strikes a perfectly hypnotic balance. In short, Portishead the band remain one-of-a-kind leaders of this type of music, and Portishead the album was well worth the long wait."
Tracks written by Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley, except where noted.
1. "Cowboys" (Barrow, Gibbons) – 4:38
2. "All Mine" – 3:59
* Later covered by Tom Jones and The Divine Comedy
3. "Undenied" (Barrow, Gibbons) – 4:18
4. "Half Day Closing" – 3:49
5. "Over" – 4:00
6. "Humming" – 6:02
7. "Mourning Air" – 4:11
* Previously appeared on The Help Album.
8. "Seven Months" – 4:15
9. "Only You" (Barrow, Gibbons, Utley, Ken Thorne, Tré "Slim Kid" Hardson, Derrick "Fat Lip" Stewart) – 4:59
10. "Elysium" – 5:54
11. "Western Eyes" – 3:57
An amazing album from one of the great trip hop acts from Britain. Check it out.
"It's vibrant, pulsing stuff, with reedsman Hans Koch and cellist Martin Schütz adding electronics to their usual distinct voices, and Fredy Studer calling up rhythms that evoke everything from a Shinto temple to a reggae tape in a passing car. Tales is no incidental title. Every one of these cuts, dedicated to friends and family, somehow manages to tell a story of the road. It's Schütz who generally establishes the mood, leaving his colleagues to fill in the circumstantial detail. His cello raptly alternates between lyrical passages and episodes of bonesaw intensity.
The music was played "in context with" - it doesn't say whether it was also specifically for - Peter Liechti's movie Hardcore Chambermusic (A Club For 30 Days), a title which imposed the discipline of two sets per night for every day of September 2005. Significantly, most of the cuts seem to have been taken from later in the month, when the group chemistry had reasserted itself and, from what I can hear, raised itself to a new level, crystalline, combustible, hard as Carborundum and often so gentle and evanescent it resembles a luminous plasma.
There's nothing drearier than jumping up and down before midsummer about 'records of the year', particularly when amnesia settles all too easily around such premature nominations. Still, I'll be astonished if this Koch-Schütz-Studer disc doesn't make my shortlist."
1. 9/10 (for Daniel & Jean-Claude)
2. 9/29 (for Walter & Marianne)
3. 9/25 (for Christine)
4. 9/30 (for Beny)
5. 9/28 (for Peter)
6. 9/21 (for Markus & Silvio)
7. 9/26 (for Evelyne)
8. 9/11 (for the <
9. 9/23 (for Sonja)
Just thought I'd say that this is some of the most unique and innovative Avant-Guarde jazz I have ever heard, definitely check it out.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
AS POSTED ON DIME HERE: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=159428&viewcomm=1986215
Museum Of Contemporary Art, Nightvision Event
Los Angeles CA USA
August 11, 2007
AUD MD (Right Next To Speaker, Inches Away) > Aiff (Mastering, Tracking) > FLAC
2 Every Morning I Rise And Face The Firing Squad
3 Downloading Jesus
4 And Out Of The Sun's Gates
5 1987 (With Miriam Blackshire)
6 The Seventh Octave
7 Coded Language (Excerpt)
9 Penny For A Thought
11 Frida And Josephine (With Miriam Blackshire)
12 Children Of Night
13 Sermon On The Mount Of Inevitable Progression From Saul To Saul
15 Black Stacey
After issuing Anthony Braxton's Three Compositions of New Jazz in 1968, Chicago's Delmark Records took an enormous chance by issuing the first lengthy solo saxophone improvisation record in 1969 — and as a double LP no less! And while it's true that hindsight is 20/20, For Alto is still, over 30 years later, a record that is ahead of its time. There is nothing tame or nostalgic about these blasts of jazz futurism from the young Braxton, who sounds here like he's trying to blow his way out of Chicago. Most of the pieces on this set are over nine minutes, and all are dedicated to various influences and friends in the saxophonist's circle. Perhaps the most frightening — and enlightening — improvisation here is "To Composer John Cage." Braxton attempts to literally change the entire tonal terrain on which the saxophone plays solo. His skittering skeins of cascading runs are interspersed with huge shouts and screeches all played at lightning speed with a deftness and angularity of approach that is far superior to most of his peers at the time, Messrs. Mitchell and Jarman included. Braxton was introducing tonal possibilities and deconstructions on this record; a solid listen to "Dedicated to Multi-Instrumentalist Leroy Jenkins," with its deep color palette and textural shifts and shapes, is enough to disorient one still. Also, the use of trills as interval markers in "To Artist Murray De Pillars" is remarkable — especially now, as no one would follow this logic for such an extended period anymore. The reinvention of blues theory on this piece that becomes a kind of muted expressionism is truly remarkable. Many of the recordings from the magical period of the '60s and early-'70s creative movement sound dated now, quaint and diffuse from their original power. For Alto is not one of those records; it still has the literacy and vision to teach us about concentration, vision, emotional aesthetics, and even spiritual possibilities in the world of sound and how that world, that universe, interacts and dovetails with our lives. For Alto is one of the greatest solo saxophone records ever made, and maybe one of the greatest recordings ever issued, period.
Here are three trailers for the Lakai Fully Flared video...
This video is going to be the best skate vid ever made!! The lineup is amazing. It comes out on November 16! Erick Koston, Mike Carroll, Mark Johnson, Guy Mariano, Cairo Foster, Brandon Biebel, Rick Howard, Jeff Lenoce, Anthony Pappalardo, Rob Welsh, Scott Johnston, Jesus Fernandez, The French Connection (JB Gillet, Lucas Puig, JJ Rousseau), The Royal Family (Danny Brady, Nick Jensen), Alex Olson, Mikemo Capaldi
Probably the best album by dub outfit De Facto. A chill, laid back album with a couple of live versions of old songs. The last De Facto album before sound manipulator Jeremy Ward died. Features members of The Mars Volta. An amazing album.
1. Legend of the Four-Tailed Scorpion
2. Mattilious Creed
4. Hoxadrine [Live]
5. Muerte Inoxia
6. Vesica Pisces [Live]
8. 120e7 [Original Version]
9. Exit Template
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
"Curtains is the ninth solo album by John Frusciante released February 1, 2005 on the label Record Collection. It was the last album of a six album series of solo efforts, one released each month for six months.
Curtains is mostly acoustic in contraposition to his previous collaboration with Josh Klinghoffer, A Sphere in the Heart of Silence, which was mostly electronic. Carla Azar (from the band Autolux) plays drums, Ken Wild plays upright bass, and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (of The Mars Volta) makes various guest appearances on guitar. Frusciante plays all other instruments on the album. A video was made for The Past Recedes, released exclusively on the internet."
All songs written by John Frusciante.
1. "The Past Recedes" – 3:53
2. "Lever Pulled" (featuring Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on lead guitar) – 2:22
3. "Anne" (joined by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on lead guitar) – 3:35
4. "The Real" – 3:06
5. "A Name" – 2:03
6. "Control" – 4:29
7. "Your Warning" – 3:33
8. "Hope" – 1:56
9. "Ascension" – 2:52
10. "Time Tonight" – 3:12
11. "Leap Your Bar" – 2:36
"Omar Rodriguez Lopez has been a fan of Lydia's work since discovering her in the early 90's. When Mars Volta curated All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in december 2005 they invited her. And when Omar and Lydia met, they hit it off very well. The EP is the first of what Omar hopes will be a series of collaborations with Lydia. The music was recorded in Amsterdam and New York and Lydia's vocals were recorded at her own studio in Barcelona. The politics of the record are fairly obvious and Omar feels as though she speaks for both of them in that regard. The EP will be released on both CD and vinyl." ~ Willie Anderson
1. Welcome To My Church
2. Getting Rid Of God
3. Back To The Goddess
4. The End Of The White Man's Revolution
5. Woman (In The Beginning)
"Guru Guru's debut album shows why the band, even if it never reached the levels of appreciation and influence the likes of Can or Neu! did, still maintained a healthy reputation over the moons for its early work. Opening number "Stone In" has a quite appropriate title for a starting track — it is wonderfully tripped out, to be sure, and if Manuel Gottsching was more of a guitar god, Genrich kicks up a lot of frazzled noise. The principle of the Trepte/Neumeier rhythm section seems to have been "find loud weird grooves and then play them, sometimes chaotically." Again, they aren't Can's wickedly effective combination of Holger Czukay and Jaki Leibezeit, but they're not just falling over themselves either. The title track is the most memorable song, almost entirely eschewing conventional rhythm for an inward collapse of feedback and noise that sounds either like the Stooges' "LA Blues" even more strung out or early Main with a conventional band lineup. "Girl Call" and "Next Time See You at the Dalai" (a classic example of a just-groansome enough Krautrock pun that only Germans seemed to love) makes for a good combination, the increasing freakiness of the one leading into the start-stop chug and explosion of the latter. Genrich really gets to show off a bit on both, demonstrating that there is such a thing as technical ability that doesn't equal pointless fret abuse. "Der LSD-Marsch" is actually the most conventional of the tracks — while a good-enough slow burn up to a freakout (mostly provided by Neumeier's drum solo), it's too short to be truly epic and not otherwise distinguishable from many similar songs by the likes of Amon Duul II, say. For all that, though, it ends this enjoyable effort well enough." ~ AMG
Mani Neumeier, percussion, drums, voice, tapes;
Uli Trepte, bass, sounds;
Ax Genrich, guitars
01 Stone In Guru Guru 5:43
02 Girl Call Guru Guru 6:21
03 Next Time See You at the Dalai Lhama Guru Guru 5:59
04 UFO Guru Guru 10:25
05 Der LSD - Marsch Guru Guru 8:28
There really isn't a lot of info about this hardcore band from lyon, france. Forming after Mihai Edrisch split (not that that narrows it down much), this is their first material on a split release from purepainsugar and alchimia. it brings a somewhat nuanced sound of glistening guitars and ethereal passages amidst the blistering drum and throat shredding vocals (hardly discernible even if you speak french). the shifting dynamics are what make it amazing: epic when it's heavy and beautifully tense when it's not. at a mere 18 minutes, it's quite a trip for such a short one.
With the Don't Look Back tour featuring a new song, Slint has been back in the cultural mindframe as of late (as if they ever left). For now, for those of you who don't have this wonderful album, here.
"More known for its frequent name-checks than its actual music, Spiderland remains one of the most essential and chilling releases in the mumbling post-rock arena. Even casual listeners will be able to witness an experimental power-base that the American underground has come to treasure. Indeed, the lumbering quiet-loud motif has been lifted by everybody from Lou Barlow to Mogwai, the album's emotional gelidity has done more to move away from prog-rock mistakes than almost any of the band's subsequent disciples, and it's easy to hear how the term "Slint dynamics" has become an indie categorization of its own. Most interestingly, however, is how even a seething angularity to songs like "Nosferatu Man" (disquieting, vampirish stop-starts) or "Good Morning, Captain" (a murmuring nod to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner") certainly signaled the beginning of the end for the band. Recording was intense, traumatic, and one more piece of evidence supporting the theory that band members had to be periodically institutionalized during the completion of the album."
"With a residue of dissonance, intermingling melody and vibe, the City of Caterpillar waits in your house, in a room you never knew existed. Running through this album is an element you cannot quite touch; you listen to the music as it seeps over the edges of the room and burrows into your head, rewiring, growing more each time. This three-piece ensemble shows that a sum can be greater than its parts. The band's moody, sometimes spastic, sometimes brooding breed of dark rock is both well-written and timeless — spacy expressionism and straight-to-the-heart honesty. The City of Caterpillar's songs typically span periods of six-plus minutes, taking time to relay and warp themselves, changing moods within a context while never falling into a rut. Albums of this breed only come along a few times in a genre." ~ AMG
A1 And You're Wondering How A Top Floor Could Replace Heaven (8:33)
A2 A Heart Filled Reaction To Dissatisfaction (2:36)
A3 Minute-Hour-Day-Week-Month-Year- (The Faith's In My Chest) (9:17)
B1 Fucking Hero (3:51)
B2 When Was The Last Time We Painted Over The Blood On The Walls (4:37)
B3 A Little Change Could Go A Long Ways (9:39)
B4 Maybe They'll Gnaw Right Through (5:36)
This is one of those albums, along with Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Keith Jarrett's The Koln Concert, and not too many others, that is so great the reviewer sees it as an almost impossible task to do it justice in a few paragraphs. Because of this, I'm not even going to try; others have already done a better job at this than I could hope to achieve, and yet even they have failed. Suffice to say that the level of band communication and spirit on this recording is so great, with lofty crags of emotion so striking, that nearly everybody that encounters it accolades it with "instant classic" status upon the very first listen. When measuring the quality of different artistic achievements, there comes a point when it is so high that comparisons become almost totally meaningless - who's to say if Beethoven, Brahms, or Bartok is the greatest? This is one of those cases, where all you can do is listen and be astounded.
"Marley Marl remained on board, and Large Professor and Eric B. also hopped on to help produce Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's second album. With a wider range of sounds and the expansion of G Rap's lyrical range, Wanted: Dead or Alive is wholly deserving of classic status. The opening "Streets of New York" remains one of the most thrilling and unique rap singles released; the sparse rhythm, adorned with assured piano runs that complement the song to the point of almost making the song, falls somewhere between a gallop and a strut, and G Rap outlines more vivid scenes than one film could possibly contain. The track cemented Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's role as East Coast legends and showed Kool G Rap's talent as an adept storyteller like nothing before or since. Likewise, "Talk Like Sex" is the nastiest, raunchiest thing he ever recorded, with "I'm pounding you down until your eyeballs pop out" acting as an exemplary claim — as well as one of the few that is printable — made in the song. The boasts, as ever, are in no short supply, but "Erase Racism" takes a break from the normal proceedings with guest spots from Big Daddy Kane and Biz Markie. It's both funny and sobering, with Biz Markie's Three Dog Night chorus providing comic relief after each verse. Adding yet another dimension to the album, DJ Polo throws in a hip-house instrumental that avoids coming off like a throwaway. This album is only part of a major swarm of brilliant rap records from 1990, but it will never be lost in it." AMG Review
Label: Cold Chillin'
Credits: Co-producer - Kool G Rap (tracks: A2, A4, A6, B2 to B4) , Large Professor (tracks: A2, A4, A6, B2 to B4)
Executive Producer - Benny Medina , Tyrone Williams
Lyrics By - Nathaniel Wilson (2)
Mastered By - Carlton Batts
Other [Album Coordinator] - Dee Joseph
Other [Art Direction, Design] - JoDee Stringham
Other [Make-up] - Janine McMahon
Other [Styling] - Dorian Lipman
Photography - Robert Lewis
Producer - Anton* (tracks: A1, B5, B6) , Eric B. (2) (tracks: A2, A4, A6, B2 to B4) , Lynn Star Productions, Inc (tracks: A2, A4, A6, B2 to B4)
Notes: Mastered at Frankford Wayne Mastering Studio, New York
Run-out groove comment Side A: "WE GOT CRAZY BIG JAMMIES"
Submitted by: cowcud
A1 Streets Of New York (4:18)
A2 Wanted: Dead Or Alive (4:33)
A3 Money In The Bank (5:00)
A4 Bad To The Bone (5:23)
A5 Talk Like Sex (5:12)
A6 Play It Again, Polo (4:09)
B1 Erase Racism (4:30)
B2 Kool Is Back (3:25)
B3 Play It Kool (4:30)
B4 Death Wish (4:04)
B5 Jive Talk (4:36)
B6 The Polo Club (4:01)
"Soul On Ice is the debut album by Ras Kass, released in 1996. Its title is a reference to Panther member, Eldridge Cleaver's 1968 book, Soul on Ice. Soul on Ice was met with critical acclaim, but never reached the commercial success that most had anticipated. With extremely controversial tracks such as "Nature of the Threat" (in which Ras Kass presents his views on history, religion, homosexuality, and other subjects, some proven to date) the album was raved about in the underground hip hop loop. Many saw the subpar production, lack of guest appearances, and the absence of a hit lead single as the reason why this album had such little chart success. Despite all this Soul on Ice established Ras Kass as one of the West Coast's most gifted lyricists, and was by no means a failure." ~ Wikipedia
01 On Earth As It Is... (4:43)
02 Anything Goes (5:49)
03 Marinatin' (4:05)
04 Reelishymn (4:27)
05 Nature Of The Threat (7:43)
06 Etc. (3:12)
07 Sonset (6:00)
08 Drama (3:46)
09 The Evil That Man Do (6:10)
10 If/Then (4:50)
11 Miami Life (4:06)
12 Soul On Ice (3:42)
13 Ordo Abchao (Order Out Of Chaos) (4:30)
I got into this band after I heard the drummer (Blake Fleming) had joined The Mars Volta, who were my favourite band at the time, and Blake is a fucking beast. This album documents the entire discography of the noise rock group, which isn't much, but its a fucking rollercoaster ride. Someone sent me the album, and to be honest I had no idea what to expect. I had never heard any noise rock before. I had no knowledge of the genre, apart from that it was noisy. I wa actually kinda apprehensive, but now I know that was unnecessary. I remember putting on Beatrice The Coyote and hearing static and a bog standard beat for 20 seconds, still not knowing what to expect, then all falls silent, and a drum roll brings in a powerhouse drum solo from Blake, leading to the simple sounding yet complicated, immensly powerful beat which drives the song along, which I remember hearing was meant to represent a coyote running. Marcus DeGrazia then enters with gut busting baritone sax which plays a stop-start riff over the beat, and the a drum fill leads everyone to come in and the song absolutely explodes in a flurry of pounding bass (provided by Ben Armstrong), rhythm and sax. Drew St Ivany appears on guitar playing what seems to be just random notes, in the vein of bands such as Big Black and whatnot. Its all pretty well orchestrated though, as I heard Drew replicate the solo exactly in a live bootleg. The song continues in a whirry of solos and sheer intensity and power. This is basically the story of this album. Sheer intensity and fuzziness and drone and electronica and too many things to list. I really don't know what else to say apart from, get this album and listen to it. Theres no other way to describe it. This album turned noise rock into one of my favourite genres, and in turn is probably one of my favourite albums, and Laddio Bolocko are now one of my favourite bands. Highlights include Beatrice The Coyote, The Going Gong (Blake and Marcus simply amaze here), Dangler, Karl (a relaxing post-rock song), As If By Remote (droney and tribal with irregular drums), although the whole frikking album is a highlight in itself. Just listen. You will be impressed, trust me.
Also, if you want, I posted a link a while back to Live 2002 - The Franco Italian Tour
by a band called the Psychic Paramount, which Drew St Ivany and Ben Armstrong formed from the ashes of Laddio Bolocko. They released one of the best live albums I think I have ever heard with this. Think Laddio Bolocko, but more fuzzed out and aggresive. Both are seriously impressive bands, check them both out.
"Fallowing in my late 70's upload series for Sun Ra, here is Strange Celestial Roads. Cosmic Funk with the grace, colors and power that Sun Ra was touching on during this period. One of a few Sun Ra explorations into funky rhythms and vamps with layers built around that single vamp. The first time I heard Say it hit me like a ton of bricks." ~ Erik Otis
Credits: Bass - Richard Williams (4) , Steve Clarke
Drums - Luqman Ali , Reg McDonald
French Horn - Vincent Chancey
Guitar - Skeeter McFarland , Taylor Richardson
Keyboards - Sun Ra
Percussion - Artaukatune
Reeds - Danny Ray Thompson , Eloe Omoe , Hutch Jones , James Jacson , John Gilmore , Kenny Williams (3) , Marshall Allen , Noel Scott , Sylvester Baton
Trombone - Craig Harris (3) , Tony Bethel
Trumpet - Curt Pulliam , Michael Ray (2) , Walter Miller
Vibes - Damon Choice , Harry Wilson
Vocals - June Tyson , Rhoda Blount
Submitted by: mixmastermorris
01 Celestial Road
03 I'll Wait For You
"After Karma was issued and Sanders had established himself — to himself — as a musician who had something valuable and of use to say, he was on what this critic considers to be a divinely inspired tear. Deaf Dumb Blind is an example of that inspiration. Beginning with the title cut, a suite of over 21 minutes, Sanders brings in the whole of his obsession with rhythm and R&B. Using African percussion, bylophones, shakers, cowbells, and all manner of percussion, as well as drummer Clifford Jarvis, Sanders brought in Cecil McBee to hold down the bass chair and Lonnie Liston Smith back in on piano, and added a three-piece horn section that included Gary Bartz on alto and Woody Shaw on trumpet in addition to himself. Whew! Here the Latin and African polyrhythms collide and place the horns, as large and varied as they are, in almost a supplementary role. The horns check counterpoint in striated harmony, calling and responding over the wash of bass and drums and drums and drums! It evolves into a percussion orgy before the scary otherworldly multiphonic solos begin. And Shaw and Bartz are worthy foils for Sanders. And no matter how out it gets, those rhythms keep it rooted in the soul. "Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord" is almost 18 minutes in length. It has a long soprano intro, covered in shimmering bells and shakers with a glorious piano fill by Smith, who becomes more prominent, along with some excellent arco work by McBee, until the piece becomes a meditation on lyricism and silence about halfway through. The entire band eventually rejoins for a group ostinato with very little variation, except in timbre and subtle accented color work by Sanders and McBee. It is a stunningly beautiful and contemplative work that showcases how intrinsic melodic phrasing and drones were to Sanders at the time — and still are today. This piece, and this album, is a joyful noise made in the direction of the divine, and we can feel it through the speakers, down in the place that scares us." ~ AMG Review
Credits: Bass - Cecil McBee
Drums - Clifford Jarvis
Percussion - Anthony Wiles , Gary Bartz , Lonnie Liston Smith , Nathaniel Bettis* , Woody Shaw
Piano - Lonnie Liston Smith
Producer - Ed Michel
Reissue Producer - Michael Cuscuna
Saxophone - Gary Bartz
Saxophone, Flute, Percussion - Pharoah Sanders
Trumpet - Woody Shaw
Submitted by: ghostrider
01 Summun Bukmun Umyun (21:16)
02 Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord (17:46)
This album is also known as: Blithe Spirit Dance; Days of Happiness and Trio
01 Days of Happiness (Ra)
02 Magic City Blue (Ra)
03 Tenderness (Ra)
04 Blithe Spirit Dance (Ra)
05 God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be (Ra)
Ra-p; Richard Williams-b; Luqman Ali-d. Recorded 7/25/1979.
Check out this interview if you dig these sounds
Sun Ra Interview - 1988
AS POSTED ON DIME: http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=159197
March 25, 1969 Record Plant, New York, NY
01 Drivin' South
02 Everything's Gonna Be Alright/Jam
Jimi Hendrix - guitar
John McLaughlin - guitar
Dave Holland - bass
Buddy Miles - drums
Mitch Mitchell - drums on final part?
May 7, 1969 Record Plant, New York, NY
Johnny Winter - slide guitar, straight guitar
Jimi Hendrix - guitar, vocals
Steve Stills - bass, guitar
Dallas Taylor - drums
Buddy Miles - drums?
Billy Cox - bass?
03 Instrumental jam 1
04 Earth blues jam
05 Instrumental jam 2
06 The things i used to do take 1
07 Ships passing in the night
08 The things i used to do take 2
09 The things i used to do take 3 - not included, edited version released on "Lifelines"
"This is one of my favorite hip hop records, the presence of instrumental musicians makes this a very interesting listen." ~ Erik Otis
Credits: Producer - DJ Quik
Notes: Produced by DJ Quik 4 Hallow Point Productions, Inc.
Executive Producer : Suge Knight
Recorded and mixed at Skip Sailor Recordings, LA.
Mastered by Herb "The Pump" Powers at The Hit Factory Mastering.
Musicians on this album :
Keyboards, Strings, Synths & Drum Programming = Dante "DJ Quik" Blake.
Bass & Guitar = Robert "Fonksta" Bacon.
Drums = George "G-One" Archie.
Electric Piano = Warryn "The Boy Wonder" Campbell.
Flute = Charles "Chaz" Greene.
Del Atkins = Bass.
Kenneth Grouch = Electric & Acoustic Piano.
David Foreman = Guitar (Lead & Rhythm).
Marvin McDaniel = Guitar.
Bernie Worrel = Piano.
Garry Snider = Vocals.
Lasalle Gabriel = Guitar.
Alex Dunbar = Bass.
Reggie "El" Green = Piano.
Submitted by: jussumen
01 Street Level Entrance
02 Get At Me
03 Diggin' U Out
04 Safe + Sound
05 Somethin' 4 Tha Mood
06 Don't You Eat It !
07 Can I Eat It ?
08 Itz Your Fantasy
09 Tha Ho In You
10 Dollaz + Sense
11 Let You Havit
12 Summer Breeze
13 Quik's Groove 3
14 Sucka Free
15 Keep Tha "P" In It
16 Hoorah 4 Tha Funk (Reprise)
17 Untitled (Bonus Track)
"By the late 1970s the Saturn record label had become a musical newspaper, keeping the world abreast of the latest developments in the Sun Ra story, for those people lucky or persistent enough to find the few outlets where the albums were appearing. Sun Ra was releasing more records on his own label than ever before -- at least six Saturn LPs document his activities in 1979 alone. This however, is the first reissue of any 1979 Saturn album, and will be widely welcomed -- Sleeping Beauty instantly became one of Sun Ra's best loved records, and remains so to this day. At this period, compared to previous years, Saturn records tended to document more of Sun Ra's current work rather than older tapes. This was certainly true of one particular group of four albums released simultaneously into Saturn Records' distribution channels within a year of being recorded: 'God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be', 'Omniverse' and 'On Jupiter', and 'Sleeping Beauty'. These all represented facets of Ra's work during 1979, and between them include everything from piano trio compositions to conducted improvisations to disco music. Sleeping Beauty features the funkier end of the Sun Ra spectrum. It is a studio recording featuring at least twenty-eight musicians, an enlarged version of the Arkestra which had just crossed the Atlantic to play the 1979 Moers festival. The line up includes both acoustic and electric bass players, and electric guitarists, and the reed and brass sections are both augmented beyond the core members of the Arkestra." -- Chris Trent.
Sun Ra (synth, organ vocals)
John Gilmore (tenor sax, percussion)
Marshall Allen (alto sax)
Danny Thompson (baritone sax, flute, percussion)
Michael Ray (trumpet)
Noel Scott (alto sax)
June Tyson (vocals)
Eloe Omoe (bass clarinet)
Craig Harris (trombone)
Tommy Hunter (drums)
Al Evans (flugelhorn)
Jarbu Shahid (bass)
Samarai Celestial (drums)
Vincent Chancey (french horn)
Francisco Mora, Tani Tabbal (percussion): Bright Moments (congas)
The Bell Brothers (bells)
John Ore (bass)
James Jackson (Ancient Egyptian Infinity Lightning Drum)
1. Springtime Again
2. Door of the Cosmos
3. Sleeping Beauty
"This is the great late-night Sun Ra chillout album you never knew about. The band had been working in a more groove-oriented setting off and on for over a year, as evidenced by the albums Lanquidity and On Jupiter, with both featuring prominent electric bass and electric guitar. Sleeping Beauty picks up right where On Jupiter left off, with the gentle, swaying "Springtime Again" echoing the same mellow vibe of "Seductive Fantasy" from On Jupiter. A skittering intro coalesces as different instruments pick up bits of the melody, which is then fully expressed by the horn section and ensemble vocals. It's a simple two-chord vamp, with beautiful solos that seem to embody the reawakening and rebirth of springtime. "The Door of the Cosmos" starts with a gospel-like chant and handclaps, with comments from Ra's electric piano and electric guitar. A strong bassline enters, very reminiscent of "A Love Supreme, Pt. 1: Acknowledgement," but the accompanying chant celebrates the mysteries of the unknown rather than the universal truth of A Love Supreme. This track builds in intensity, but never loses its groove or becomes nearly as raucous as the Arkestra is sometimes known for. "Sleeping Beauty" is the album centerpiece, taking up all of side two. Ra's beautiful electric piano gets things rolling, and the band falls into a peaceful groove before the vocals enter, led by the wonderful June Tyson. These songs are all built on the simplest of structures, and the playing from everyone is understated and sublime. Sleeping Beauty is truly a high point in an unwieldy discography, and something of an anomaly at the same time. There's a good reason copies of this album go for several hundred dollars on the collector's market, but it really deserves a proper release so more people can hear it. Outstanding." ~ Sean Westergaard
Something for your Ears From Art Yard Records
SALAH RAGAB PAYS TRIBUTE TO SUN RA
Two Unreleased Tracks, with the Cairo Jazz Band
Recorded in 1971
To Listen to these two tracks just go to http://www.myspace.com/artyard
Track One: A Tribute To Sun Ra**
Track Two: The Egyptian March*
All Rights Reserved
SALAH RAGAB PAYS TRIBUTE TO SUN RA
Two Unreleased Tracks, with the Cairo Jazz Band
Recorded in 1971
To Listen to these two tracks just go to http://www.myspace.com/artyard
Track One: A Tribute To Sun Ra**
Track Two: The Egyptian March*
All Rights Reserved
"On Monday, August 27, 2007 there will be TWO MOONS in the night sky (sorta). In addition to the Earth's moon, planet Mars will shine the brightest. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will happen on August 27th, when Mars comes within 34.65 million miles of earth. Be sure to watch the sky on August 27th @ 12:30am. It will look like the Earth has 2 moons! The next time Mars comes this close is in 2287. Share this, because NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again." ~ Jason Hedge
"This live box set is a MUST for Crimson-heads. You should not miss this album.. But for those who are new to the band, I do not recommend buying this set. It is not that this set is lousy – oh no … not at all; and it’s really far from that thing. I just want you to be familiar with studio version songs first (from “In The Court of The Crimson King” until “Red” album), and then you can purchase and enjoy this CD set. This set is packaged very nicely; it contains 4 discs that feature the band’s live performance during 1973 – 1974 from six different venues. As a result, you will get the same songs performed in different stage. Luckily, each performance has projected different and unique nuance of the show. Even, the same song is played differently in other venue. So, I do not get bored listening to this CD.
The Crimson music has always made my adrenaline explodes. To me, their music is complex, dark, sometimes energetic and melodic such as “Easy Money” or energetic like “Fraccture”, “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic”, “21st Century of Schizoid Man”. Sometime, its melody is really killing me like “Moon Child”, “Epitaph”, “The Night Watch”, “Exiles”, “Book of Saturday”. Oh man … I like almost all of their songs – even the weird ones. The use of violin, mellotrons and long sustain guitar work also help accentuate their music.
Before I got this box set, I purchased the previous release box set “Frame By Frame” (compilation) that also satisfied me as well. I even doubt whether this live set would give me acceptable satisfaction as I doubt about the sonic quality. I was afraid that the repeated songs would be performed in the same style. I even doubt about the so many improvisations. Yes, tons of doubts. But, ….. I was wrong. The four discs packaged in this set contain a very dynamic music by the band. I really admire how great Bill Bruford is in his technicality looking after the drum stools. John Wetton is not just a great vocalist – he plays wonderfully with his bass fills especially during transition pieces and also on improvisation. David Cross plays great violin and Robert Fripp, as usual … “Fripp’s solo uses long sustain and he plays unison ensemble parts to create one of the most original guitar pieces in rock music.” (quoted from a book “Guitar – Music, History, Players” by Richard Chapman, Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2000 – page 159). Yeah … I do agree with the quote!
As usual, my chief reason to buy a box set is usually to get to know better the band – from the booklet provided – so that I know the background, the situations or the life dynamics of the band before the album was made. And it usually a very interesting journey for me as the more I spin the CD, my appreciation grows with my reading. As this is a live set, the dynamic were not on the album making but on the live concerts itself. This set has a wonderfully designed, sixty eight page colorful booklet that describe the dynamics, nuances of the concerts featured. It is the booklet that says that this is actually the band’s debut concert with a four-piece format and first experience with Bill Bruford. The band’s previous percussionist Jamie Muir missed 2 concerts and finally opted different paths of life, departing for a monastery in Scotland. [In my review about YES “Tales from Topographic Ocean” I mentioned that Jon Anderson was inspired by a book indicated by Jamie Muir for the creation of “Tales” album. I imagine also if Jon departed for monastery as well, who would replace him for YES vocalist? Trevor Horn?]. Well, I find that this booklet is really worthy – in fact if you don not like this live CDs and if you are Crimson-heads, I still recommend you to purchase this box set].
I’m now listening to “Book of Saturday” of CD two while finalizing this write-up. It’s a very touchy song performed flawlessly by the band. Of course it’s different with studio track, but it’s wonderful. This live set also gives you a lot of improvisations that sometimes they sound like a jam sessions. But I like it even though some improvisations performed in relatively long duration. Highly recommended box set! Keep on progging!
GW – Indonesia" ~ Prog Archives
Label: Virgin Records (UK)
Credits: Bass Guitar, Vocals - John Wetton
Drums, Percussion - Bill Bruford
Guitar, Mellotron, Electric Piano - Robert Fripp
Violin, Mellotron, Electric Piano - David Cross
1-01 - 2-02 Palace Theatre, Providence, Rhode Island: June 30th 1974
2-03 - 2-11 Glasgow Apollo: October 23rd 1973
2-12 - 2-13, 3-12 - 3-13 Penn State University: June 29th 1974
3-01 - 3-11 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Stanley Warner Theatre: April 29th 1974
4-01 - 4-04 Toronto, Massey Hall: June 24th 1974
4-05 - 4-12 Zurich Volkshaus: November 15th 1973
Submitted by: ElCondorre
1-01 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting (0:52)
1-02 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 2 (6:12)
1-03 Lament (4:04)
1-04 Exiles (7:00)
1-05 Improv: A Voyage To The Centre Of The Cosmos (14:41)
1-06 Easy Money (7:14)
1-07 Improv: Providence (9:47)
1-08 Fracture (10:47)
1-09 Starless (11:56)
2-01 21st Century Schizoid Man (7:32)
2-02 Walk Off From Providence ... No Pussyfooting (1:15)
2-03 Sharks' Lungs in Lemsip (2:38)
2-04 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 1 (7:25)
2-05 Book Of Saturday (2:49)
2-06 Easy Money (6:43)
2-07 We'll Let You Know (4:54)
2-08 The Night Watch (4:54)
2-09 Improv: Tight Scrummy (8:27)
2-10 Peace - A Theme (1:01)
2-11 Cat Food (4:14)
2-12 Easy Money (2:19)
2-13 ... It Is For You, But Not For Us (7:25)
3-01 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting (1:15)
3-02 The Great Deceiver (3:32)
3-03 Improv: Bartley Butsford (3:13)
3-04 Exiles (6:23)
3-05 Improv: Daniel Dust (4:40)
3-06 The Night Watch (4:18)
3-07 Doctor Diamond (4:52)
3-08 Starless (11:36)
3-09 Improv: Wilton Carpet (5:52)
3-10 The Talking Drum (5:29)
3-11 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 2 (Abbreviated) (2:22)
3-12 Applause & Announcement (2:19)
3-13 Improv: Is There Life Out There? (11:50)
4-01 Improv: The Golden Walnut (11:14)
4-02 The Night Watch (4:22)
4-03 Fracture (10:48)
4-04 Improv: Clueless & Slightly Slack (8:36)
4-05 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting (1:00)
4-06 Improv: Some Pussyfooting (2:23)
4-07 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 1 (7:41)
4-08 Improv: The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part 1 (6:31)
4-09 Improv: The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part 2 (2:17)
4-10 Easy Money (6:57)
4-11 Improv: Some More Pussyfooting (5:50)
4-12 The Talking Drum (6:05)
Monday, August 20, 2007
"'Kokura' was recorded under dark skies and howling winds, deep in the bowels of a Japanese club as the country shook outside. Recorded last year on a short tour of Japan, 'Kokura' is the fruits of a live collaboration between Acid Mothers Temple / Mainliner main man KAWABATA MAKOTO, Argentinean guitarist ANLA COURTIS (Reynols) and Japanese underground musician ROKUGENKIN. Based around hushed, mellow drones and hypnotic, yet restrained guitar wails, 'Kokura' is the first fruits of their labours and captures the sound of life beneath a hurricane." ~ Riot Season
Label: Riot Season
Credits: Artwork By - Junko Seguchi
Artwork By [Layout] - Smith
Guitar - Anla Courtis , Kawabata Makoto* , Rokugenkin
Mastered By - Courtis*
Recorded By - Rokugenkin
Notes: Recorded January 29th 2005 at MegaHerz(Mhz), Kokura, Japan.
Limited edition of 500.
Submitted by: jmoortga
A1 Mental Castle In The Mountains
A2 Arigato Explosion
B1 Japantenna N° 347125
B2 Satori Shower Camouflage
I'm not really sure what I can say about this that'll do it justice. Its a trio of bass, drums and sax. They are from Italy, and play a mixture of jazz, avant garde, grindcore, hardcore, math rock and noise rock. Probably one of the most diverse groups I've heard in a long time, and one of the most interesting. Its simply amazing. Just listen to it and be amazed. Stand out tracks include "Muro Torto" and "Mar Glaciale Artico".
1.The Elusive Character of Victory
3.Eli, Eli, Elu
4.Arbol de la Esperanza Mantente Firme
6.Untitled Samba for Kat Ex
9.Mar Glaciale Artico
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Triple 5 Soul Sessions gives the deejays and producers that we respect the chance to break out of public perceptions and give the world a taste of their inner musical selves. In our premier edition, Prefuse 73 digs deeps into his own psyche to bring you a mix of original rarities from the Latino diaspora, as well as some unreleased dubplates of his own.
"This mix is a small sample of what i go home to listen to. More than a traditional 'mixtape,' i prefer to let the introspective side in and share the sounds that i play when i'm cooking dinner, just thinking, or not sitting behind an MPC and various instruments for 12 hours!
The underlying theme is love and anti-war, or at least certain things missing as well the contemplation of the things you love. Far beyond the state of digging for records, this reflects the music that lies between the grooves of the vinyl. I hope you all can listen repeatedly at different hours of the day and meditate on the peace we so much need in this world!"
Compiled by: Guillermo Scott Herren a.k.a. prefuse 73 (among other things)
2004 Triple 5 Soul Limited Promotional Release
24 tracks, no track listing
"NEW FACES stands out as one of the best of the later Dizzy Gillespie recordings. This crisp sounding, upbeat session benefits from the digital production values of Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen and an imposing cast of young accompanists, including ex-Blakey alumnus Lonnie Plaxico on bass, and "Tonight Show" mainstays Branford Marsalis and Kenny Kirkland on saxophone and piano respectively.
There is an appealing Latin funk air to the band's performances throughout, particularly on "Lorraine" (for Diz's wife of 50-plus years), "Tin Tin Deo," "Tenor Song" and "Fiesta Mojo." Gillespie's ever-deepening blues vocabulary is well-represented on the classic "Birk's Works" and "Ballad," while the closing "Every Mornin'" varies between a churchy backbeat groove and a boppish 4/4 stroll. Walking the line between traditional jazz and the adult contemporary sound for which GRP has become famous, NEW FACES manages to satisfy fans of both styles." - www.muze.com
Label: Grp Records
Dizzy Gillespie Trumpet
Kenny Kirkland Piano
Branford Marsalis Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Lonnie Plaxico (1-6) Acoustic Bass
Lincoln Goines (7) Bass
Robert Ameen Drums
Steve Thornton (3, 6) Percussion
"Way back in 1980, the original wave of Talking Heads fans were pleasantly stunned to hear Remain in Light, produced and co-written by Brian Eno, on which Byrne and company are joined by guitar god Adrian Belew, and funk legends Bernie Worrell (keyboards) and Steven Scales (percussion), among others, for a fuller, funkier sound nobody imagined they had in them. The first three songs are long, layered, full-body dance parties, with incessantly repeated phrases (musical and lyrical), and increasingly catchy melodic hooks that won't let go for days. "Once in a Lifetime" was the big hit, but the rockingest track is the third, "The Great Curve," after which the songs get more linear and subdued. It's still great stuff, right through to the especially Eno-like droner, "The Overload," but the second half is maybe better to sleep to than dance to. Which is fine: after the exuberance of the first three songs, you'll need a little nap." --Dan Leone
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
David Byrne – lead vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion
Jerry Harrison – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Chris Frantz – keyboards, drums, percussion, backing vocals
Tina Weymouth – bass, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals
Brian Eno – bass, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals, mixing
Adrian Belew – guitar
Jose Rossy – percussion
Robert Palmer – percussion
Nona Hendryx – backing vocals
Jon Hassell – trumpets & horn arrangements on 5
Brian Eno – producer
Dave Jerden – engineer
Rhett Davies – engineer
Jack Nuber – engineer
John Potoker – engineer
Stephen Stanley – engineer
Greg Calbi – mastering
1. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) (Byrne, Eno) – 5:46
2. Crosseyed and Painless (Byrne, Eno) – 4:45
3. he Great Curve – 6:26
4. Once in a Lifetime – 4:19
5. Houses in Motion – 4:30
6. Seen and Not Seen – 3:20
7. Listening Wind – 4:42
8. The Overload – 6:00
"Dr. Stephen Strange was one of the most gifted surgeons in medicine before his hands were left shattered and useless as a result of a car crash. Spending his fortune in pursuit of a way to fix his fractured body, the dejected doctor believed all was lost until the Ancient One offered him hope and healing in Tibet.
Training mind, body and soul with the Ancient One and his pupils, Doctor Strange’s scope, power and compassion grows as he steps closer to his mystical fate. But to fully embrace his destiny and protect the worlds of magic and reality, Strange must face betryal, death and the emergence of Dormammu." ~ Marvel Comics
"Latest blockbuster VHF release, featuring two 20+ minute pieces along with the usual selection of punchy pop hits and cover art based on a tattoo design we found in the junky alley near where we live.
"an immense visceral slab of rackety action" VHF website.
"I am sailing the Amazon. I am covered in mosquitos. But I'm having the time of my life. As the sun begins to set and we make our way to shore, I can see fires burning in the distance through the trees. I'd read about how dense the jungle was here, but words rarely do a place like this justice. My heart is pounding at a million miles an hour. If I don't calm down, it might explode. I'm excited and nervous. We're staying in a village that is in the murky depths of the jungle, and surrounded by local tribes. While trying to get to sleep in bed, I can hear some kind of tribal ritual being formed. Drums beat rapidly and the voices resonate into a constant drone. It's calming, in a bizarre way, and eases any fears I have as I fall asleep. This is "Our Head Shone Like a Stone," and is a good metaphor for what Vibracathedral Orchestra's latest album is like." (foxy digitalis)
Label: VHF Records
Credits: Performer - Adam Davenport , Alex Neilson (tracks: 4, 5, 7) , Bridget Hayden , Julian Bradley , Mick Flower* , Neil Campbell
Notes: Mick Flower is credited as Michael Flower.
Submitted by: egonkey
01 Our Head Shone Like A Stone (4:20)
02 Ramshackle Sunrise (19:24)
03 The Silent Socket (2:32)
04 Magnetic Burn (3:59)
05 Visit/Forgive > Either (4:21)
06 Green Ears (3:25)
07 You're Hard To Get (10:02)
08 Immobiliser (2:27)
09 Goodnight Stars Goodnight Air (20:39)
"In a break from Medeski, Martin and Wood, retro keyboardist John Medeski gets co-billing with free-thinking guitarist David Fiuczynski in a freestyle dive into a maelstrom of funk, hip-hop, jazz and rock that grooves all the way down to the last laser pit. Medeski works out on an electronically modified Wurlitzer electric piano and a B-3 organ, playing in a funky, depth-charged, jagged style while Fiuczynski is forever chopping up the lines, streaking around the keyboards, emulating Hendrix or earlier, straighter blues guitarists. Fiuczynski's band, the Screaming Headless Torsos, provides a series of tough grooves as unyielding as its name, and Michelle Johnson's weird vocals on "Pacifica" and "Lillies That Fester..." seem to come right out of a creepy alternative rock station. The musicians these guys have absorbed would fill an encyclopedia — to cite a few possible sources, jungle-band Miles, the first Tony Williams Lifetime, hip-hop, M-Base — yet they manage to convert everything into a zesty, complex yet exuberant mix all their own. If you're of an electric frame of mind, check it out." ~ AMG
Credits: Backing Vocals - Gloria Tropp , Michelle Johnson
Bass - Fima Ephron
Drums - Gene Lake , Jojo Mayer
Producer - Jim Payne
Submitted by: Escapist
01 Vog (6:40)
02 Pacifica (4:25)
03 Gloria Ascending (6:00)
04 Pineapple (3:56)
05 Quest (6:35)
06 Feelance Brown (6:31)
07 Slow Blues For Fuzzy's Mama (6:50)
08 Lillies That Fester (4:25)
09 122 St. Marks (5:17)
10 Fima's Sunrise (6:08)
Chuck Berry, 1971
Getting a Chuck Berry interview is no mean task. He seldom grants them. In fact, almost never. Tall and erect, glistening pompadour hanging cliff-like above his forehead, razor-thin moustache turned up on the ends, bushy sideburns, see-through black-lace shirt, snappy yellow shoes. Sly and defiant. Always distant and noncommittal. You never know what he’s thinking.
In the early 1950s, Berry organized a trio with Johnny Johnson on piano and Ebby Harding on drums. They played “backyards, barbeques, house parties,” and clubs like the Cosmopolitan in East St. Louis. Nobody much cared about instrumentation and arrangements—the emphasis was on fun and spontaneity. Realizing that the big time would demand a highly polished and professional act, Berry began to arrange his music. He played note-for-note duplications of hit tunes, and expanded his repertoire to include a range of material from country blues to the urban ballads of Nat King Cole and the country tunes of Hank Williams.
Was he playing rock and roll before 1955? “In a sense,” he says. “It wasn’t named then. It was boogie woogie. It was even called jazz once—jive, you know. I heard a lot of country music stuff, and I copied a lot. I guess I couldn’t have said I was playing country, but I was stabbing at it.”
I asked Chuck if he liked performing in the 1950s better than at later points in his career. He says, “In the middle ’50s, when I started, it was fascinating, because every city I went to was new. But come the ’60s, there was no more star, you know. I’ve been gassin’ myself, and, at the same time, hopin’ to freak out my audience. I go up on stage now to entertain. In the beginning, I went up on stage to play music. That’s what I was supposed to do.”
In addition to being the best of the early rock and roll guitarists, Chuck was the all-time master of the simplistic, naïve rock lyric. He knew his market well. His lyrics perfectly mirrored all those teenage yearnings and resentments, and his tunes were cameos with real things in them—keen, neat stuff like souped-up jitneys and coffee-colored Cadillacs, coolerators, and ginger ale. I asked him some vague questions about the inspiration behind good song lyrics. He sat up, a bit rigid and uneasy, probably thinking he would have to say something pedantic.
“It’s my love of poetry,” he says. “A lyric is poetry with a melody—a message with a melody. And phrasing is all mathematics. If it’s eight beats to two bars, then you can sing 18 syllables. It’s always best to sing 15, though, so you can grab a breath now and then. In fact—you won’t believe it—but my biggest influence was my mathematics teacher. Music is so much mathematics that it’s pathetic. Anything off beat has to get back on the beat, or the whole thing is going to be out. So, with most of my music, I keep the basics on 4/4 time, and I take the deviations. It’s simple to teach 4/4, but it’s hard to teach deviations—dotted quarter notes and so forth. So I teach the basics, and take the versatility myself. That’s the reason why I’m out there seeming to deviate from the basic beat. At the end of the chorus, however, I’d better be back on!”
Excerpted from Fred Stuckey’s interview in the February 1971 issue of Guitar Player.