Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Soul Lang Syne: Band of Gypsys 50

Can you imagine? Ten hours to go in ten years of a decade, and a whole new ten to come. Let's go back 50 years to a similar moment, shall we?
All you Hendrix heretics -- the ones that prefer this group over his others -- today is your day, and the anniversary of some pretty formative concerts in music history as well.
I know one thing for sure: the big man never intended for his music to be handled like his profiteering, neglectful step-sister has done.
Case in point is this new "Complete Band of Gypsys at the Fillmore" box set that they dropped like a lead weight on Jimi's last birthday in November. It's called Songs for Groovy Children, but how it was handled is anything but groovy, man.
Why, would you just look at that? That's the sole included performance of Izabella from said box. You'll note the hundreds of digital clips present, as well as the fact that the song cuts off before it's over.
And would you feast your eyes on this one? That's Machine Gun, the iconic take from the 1st set on New Year's Day 1970... you know the one? 
More than one player of distinction -- Ernie Isley, Vernon Reid, and Miles fucking Davis, for instance -- is on record in their consideration of it as the single greatest guitar solo ever recorded in the history of the human species.
Not Janie Hendrix, apparently. If she understood its significance beyond the ability of this music to purchase her more luxury lifestyle trinkets, there wouldn't be those several hundred ear-destroying digital clips on that screenshot, now would there? And several cuts would not be egregiously truncated.
Did I mention this "complete" set is missing fully five songs from these performances? Maybe next time, after Eddie Kramer mixes it all to perfection, Janie can spend the dosh to have someone other than the studio coffee boy prepare the shit for release.
Maybe Janie should just start titling the releases of the JH archival stuff "My New Fur Coat" and "House Number 12 in the Alps". Just to bring them into alignment with their true purpose in her world.
Anyway, enough shit-talking.... no need to start out the new decade with vitriol. The one that's now ending had more than enough of that. 
I prefer the more proactive approach, where I spend weeks repairing the disastrously inexcusable clipping issues, restoring the missing bits, and then mashing up an imaginary playlist of these iconic and genre-inventive shows into a form and flow that acknowledges their utmost importance.
Of course, this sort of  "officially released" material is off limits for my page, and I would never, ever Easter Egg such a playlist into a post like this, for people like yourself to enjoy. And if I dared do so, I certainly would never, ever ever ever place it into the cloud next to the beard concert that follows. Nope, never.
All right, enough calling the rich and unqualified to task for their malfeasance... let's party! And let's pile on the presents with this utterly depraved -- and accordingly smokin' -- tribute concert to the Band of Gypsys, featuring a worthily shredding all-star trio in its own right, all taped at a jazz festival in Switzerland 12 years ago.
Jean-Paul Bourelly/Band of Gypsys Reloaded
Jazzfest Willisau 2007
Willisau, Switzerland

01 announcement by Jean-Paul Bourelly
02 Who Knows?
03 Manic Depression
04 announcement by Jean-Paul Bourelly
05 Power of Soul
06 If 6 Was 9
07 Message to Love

Total time: 1:03:58

Jean-Paul Bourelly - guitar & vocals
Melvin Gibbs - bass & vocals
Cindy Blackman - drums

unclewolfi/TomP remaster of a Swiss satellite FM radio broadcast
That is gonna do it for this year for me and for all of us, I guess.
Thank you as always for reading and enjoying this page. Once I am settled into my new space in mid-January, I will try to get fully back on the beam to bring you the things.
Until then, I wish you all the very best and brightest days in the new decade, and encourage you to pull down what I have posted here today in celebration of the moment 50 years ago tonight, when Funk, Soul and Rock got down at the molecular level for very much the first time, rendering unto us the future we enjoy today and reminding us that with the power of soul, anything is possible.
Happy new year, first of all. And I hope that we have about a million, or two million, more of 'em.--J. 
everybody talk a lot
everybody laugh a lot
everybody love a lot
everybody hear my message

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

A Very Hot Source ChrisTmaS

We trust Yule appreciate this Christmas Day missive, designed to introduce you to a criminally undersung band of today.
This will feature the commentary of my guests Klaus -- he introduced me to these guys -- and his son Julian, as well as myself.
Julian: This is one of the only bands that is one, yet also many genres with their songs. You have hard rock, some Persian flute, and gypsy shit with some rock, etc. But at its core, it's Rock, and a good band. It's honestly kind of mesmerizing.
Klaus: Don't let the overwhelming complexity short out your system before you've given the first three listens. Off the hook, next level shit.... these guys are sick pups indeed.
Josh: If there are musicians more fluid and adept at merging multiple styles and cross-cultural inflections with such a supreme level of virtuosity and expressiveness, I know they aren't gigging anywhere on this planet. Maybe elsewhere, but not on Earth.
Julian: It's the kind of music you can just put on and just listen. No need for anything else, just the music.
Klaus: Many genres. One source.
Josh: The craziest array of sounds, and the highest notes-per-dollar ratio, on a double-necked guitar since The Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Julian: It's very over the top, yet mellow somehow.
Josh: Almost like the music of Return to Forever, as played by the band of Erkin Koray.
Julian: I enjoyed it so much, I put You Are Obsolete in my phone.
Josh: In case you haven't figured it out, they are called Consider the Source, they're from New York City, and they blaze like a billion fireplaces, so here comes a highly representative taste of their alchemic magic from 2014 to toss upon your Yule Log fire.
Consider the Source
The Stone Church
Newmarket, NH

01 Alap intro/You Go Squish Now
02 Closer to Home
03 Abdiel 
04 Absence of a Prominent Tooth
05 Tihai for the Straight Guy 
06 I'll Fight for the Imp
07 The Great Circuiting
08 (Good Point) Wandering Bear
09 talk
10 Keep Your Pimp Hand Strong
11 applause
12 bass solo
13 Ol' Chomper

Total time: 1:35:55
disc break goes after Track 06

Gabriel Marin - fretless double-neck guitar
John Ferrara - bass
Jeff Mann - drums & percussion

digitally captured matrix of on-stage mics and the soundboard feed;
recorded and mixed by Ted Gakidis
523 MB FLAC/December 2019 archive link
There's a tremendously depraved Internet Archive page that contains delicious reams of additional performances by CTS, which can be found right here.
You can find a whole motherlode of shows in lossless mode there, so dive right in! And of course you must visit their site and buy sixteen copies of each of their albums. They have a new platter they are planning and your crowdfunded dollar can help.
I'll be back New Year's Eve to break multiple copyright laws and kick the ass of a grifting profiteer with no artistic credibility of their own to speak of. Happy Holidays and stay tuned for the emphatic, decade-closing beatdown!--J.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Belew Xmas

Hey. Remember me? Bet you didn't think you'd ever see me again. There's been points in the last few months when neither did I. But here I am, in another state entirely, and I'm gonna yack up three posts at decade's end here to make it an even 100 for 2019.
The first one has to do with the 70th birthday today of a true guitar visionary of visionaries.
He burst upon the scene in the 1977 iteration of Zappa's Mothers, only to be stolen from that band into that of David Bowie. Who then lost him to the Talking Heads for awhile.
From there, he was drafted into the position for which he is best known: the first guitarist ever permitted to play alongside Robert Fripp in avant rock originators King Crimson.
Along the way he's had his own groups, like GaGa and The Bears. As well as a whole passel of solo records.
More recently he's been in a supergroup called Gizmodrome, with some other superheavyweights from some other super-revered bands.
What distinguishes him is pretty simple, really: he can make an electric guitar sound like more things than perhaps any other player ever to thrum.
In some senses one of the most singular heirs to Jimi Hendrix in terms of sounds and tones, he's played a zillion sessions on a zillion records too, and will always be in demand for his completely singular approach and arsenal.
Anyway he is out on the boards now, coming to a city near you, and will likely live to play into his 100s.
So we'll celebrate his septuagenarianization with a concert from 30 years ago this last summer -- on tour behind his then-current Mr. Music Head platter -- from the legendary First Avenue club in Minneapolis, made famous by Prince in Purple Rain.
Adrian Belew
First Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota

01 Cruelty to Animals
02 Hot Zoo
03 Three of a Perfect Pair
04 Bad Days
05 Coconuts
06 One of Those Days
07 Bird In a Box
08 1967
09 Oh Daddy

01 Heartbeat
02 House of Cards
03 Bumpity Bump
04 Motor Bungalow
05 The Rail Song
06 Superboy
07 Elephant Talk
08 guitar sounds intro
09 Big Electric Cat

Total time: 1:35:39

Adrian Belew - guitar, vocals 
Rick Fox - keyboards, wind instruments, vocals 
Mike Hodges - drums, vocals 

DAT of a master soundboard capture, which was possibly also a DAT
This crackler of a set even includes some interesting arrangements of a few Crimson classix, for your nostalgic inclinations.
I will pop back up like a naughty, sexually explicit Elf On A Shelf in 48 hours to shower you with holiday giftings and tidings aplenty.
There may even be spiked fruitcake, if I can straighten out the recipe. You'll wake up sometime in 3020, free of all the 21st Century Schizoid Men and Women.
For now, get your Elephant Talk on and celebrate the six-string psycho we know as Adrian Belew, born this day in 1949 and probably somewhere making a Fender Stratocaster sound like one of those honking, exploding party favors you blow into as I type this unmitigated nonsense.--J.