Sunday, May 31, 2020

I Ride In Your Webstream

OK, this is one of those where I had no idea when I woke up I was gonna post anything, but it was so good and there are so many rare songs I couldn't resist.
It's also really appealing, as this is the first time I've ever posted something on the same day it was made.
Richard Thompson's been doing these almost weekly, and I might go back through them and pick out the best performances and the least-performed tunes and pluck the audio. 
We'll see if I can get to that after the 10,000,000 other things I have lined up for here.
I dunno I've ever heard him play Doctor of Physick solo before, so it's worth the (free) price of admission just to hear him get into the creepiest, dirtiest Full House-era Fairport song.
His pal Zara Phillips joins him for the last five songs, adding harmonies and such.
He was saying between songs that for this series of home concerts, they're free but if you want to donate, a portion of the proceeds will go to a food bank in New Jersey. So click the link to do that, if you will. 
Richard Thompson
private home venue
Montclair, New Jersey

01 Sam Jones
02 The Poor Ditching Boy
03 Sunset Song 
04 Doctor of Physick
05 Devonside 
06 The End of the Rainbow
07 Old Thames Side
08 Hand of Kindness
09 Guns Are the Tongues
10 Razor Dance
11 Poppy-Red
12 She Twists the Knife Again

Total time: 1:08:24

Richard Thompson - guitar & vocals
Zara Phillips - vocals on Tracks 08-12

.TS file of digital capture of the Facebook Live webcast
That's the May fare, what a month huh? Should society remain intact and functional enough for me to continue living and having a web connection, I will be back to -- in a nice way -- blow up June soon.--J.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

"In" Crowd Control: Ramsey Lewis 85

We'll begin to wrap up the May days with a birthday recognition for a stalwart player that's been around for what seems like forever.
He led his first session in the mid-1950s, so maybe not forever but a good, long time anyway.
One of the rare Jazzers to run some material up the Pop chart flagpole, he's had future superstars aplenty come through his group since way back.
Heck, Maurice White -- founder of Earth, Wind & Fire -- was once his drummer.
In addition to playing the music, he's hosted one of the great radio programs about the music since 1990, called Legends of Jazz.
He also art directs a major festival in his native Chicago.
He's one of the principal figures that has had lifelong success with one of the hardest aspects: getting a non-Jazz audience to enjoy Jazz.
Part piano deity, part educator, part broadcaster, part ambassador .... is there anything Ramsey Lewis -- turning 85 today and still going strong -- doesn't do well?
Let's time travel back to 2004 for an example of his ongoing artistry, shall we? I knew you'd say yes.
Ramsey Lewis Trio  
Onondaga County Community College
Syracuse, New York USA

01 Wade In the Water
02 O-o-h Child
03 Betcha By Golly Wow
04 Armando's Rhumba
05 Sun Goddess
06 Ray Charles medley incl. Amazing Grace, Georgia On My Mind & Motherless Child
07 Pass Me Not/Blues improvisation incl. Heartbreak Hotel & Flip, Flop & Fly
08 The "In" Crowd 

Total time: 1:06:10

Ramsey Lewis - piano
Leon Joyce, Jr. - drums & percussion
Larry Gray - bass

master DAT from the soundboard
slightly edited, gaps fixed & volume issues corrected by EN, May 2020
I refurbished this one some, especially around smoothing it out volume-wise and fixing the lonnnnnng fade up at the beginning to play consistently in a reasonably audible fashion.
I'm gonna try to finish up this ridiculous Kraftwerk playlist and get it up by the end of the month, but no promises because it's a motherfucker and I want to tribute Florian Schneider in the most awesome way possible.
But today is all about Ramsey Lewis -- born this day in 1935 and still playing with the vigor of someone a half century his junior -- and you clicking that link and getting to wade in the waters of what he's been laying down for 65 years in music and counting.--J.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

"Kind of Blue" Period

I was gonna do something else today and do this one on the weekend, but it occurs to me that today is the appropriate day so here we go.
Obviously today would have been the 94th birthday of one Miles Dewey Davis III. 
But the other day we lost the last remaining player from Miles' 1959 Kind of Blue project -- pretty much considered the #1 Jazz LP in history -- and one of the bedrock drummers of the music in general. 
That famous story where Miles tells John Coltrane that if he needs a trick to finish off a solo, he might try taking the horn out of his mouth? Today's honoree -- who passed the other day at the tremendous age of 91 -- is where that story comes from. Because he was there.
He was there, all right. His steady, quarter-note pulse style animates a zillion more ultra-necessary albums too, giving him that most rare quality in percussionists: the ability to make you know who is playing four bars into the song without being told.
If you just say his name, what comes to mind is impeccable time and the supple backbone that brings the music to a whole other level of subtlety and fluidity.
You know that no instrumentalist in a band can fashion a solo worth the tape it's recorded on without that drive and accentual flow from the rhythm sectioneers.
But back to the granddaddy of them all and Kind of Blue.
Clearly everything that can have been said about such a seminal, universally revered platter has been said, so I won't try.
Other than to say that every second of bliss contained in its grooves would never have made it to wax in that form, were it not for the pure artistry of Jimmy Cobb.
What better way to honor his passing than on Miles' birthday, with this 66 minute rendition -- in the company of some truly heavyweight players -- of the entire record, taped at a festival in Switzerland 11 years ago?
Jimmy Cobb's So What Band
"Kind of Blue"
Jazznojazz Festival
Theaterhaus Gessnerallee
Z├╝rich, Switzerland

01 So What
02 Freddie Freeloader
03 Blue In Green
04 All Blues
05 Flamenco Sketches

Total time: 1:06:33

Wallace Roney - trumpet
Vincent Herring - alto saxophone
Javon Jackson - tenor saxophone
Larry Willis - piano
Buster Williams - bass
Jimmy Cobb - drums

digital capture of a European digital FM broadcast
Imma be right back in 24 with another luminous Maestro who is, thankfully, still breathing.
But don't you dare miss out on this exquisite concert, as we commemorate the life and legacy of Jimmy Cobb -- indisputably one of our age's greatest drummers -- and his contribution to one of the greatest albums that shall ever be.--J.
1.20.1929 - 5.24.2020

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Warren Piece

The next screed concerns the 35th anniversary of a badass performance by a most legendary badass.
I've been looking for an excuse to put him on here and today we have one.
Today's hero almost personifies the definition of Revered Cult Artist.
His 1970s records are worshiped in a way few songwriters ever provoke.
I remember seeing him on TV just before he died.
Weirdly, I got into his stuff right as he passed away in the early Oughts.
They just don't make songwriters like him anymore... if he showed up today at the record biz office with all his tunes and wild attitude, they'd call security.
I have a couple of friends that hold him as their favorite of all time.
Come on, we've all been in situations where we needed dad to send lawyers, guns and money to save us, am I right?
Anyway 35 years ago this evening, this character called Warren Zevon played this great club in Houston, Texas, where the stealthy soundguy surreptitiously taped a whole lotta shows.
Warren Zevon
Houston, Texas USA

01 Frank and Jesse James
02 Start Me Up
03 Poor, Poor Pitiful Me
04 Veracruz
05 Reconsider Me
06 Detox Mansion
07 Bill Lee
08 Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner
09 Johnny Strikes Up the Band
10 Accidentally Like a Martyr
11 Tenderness On the Block
12 Boom Boom Mancini
13 The Factory
14 Werewolves of London
15 Not Fade Away
16 Lawyers, Guns and Money
17 announcements

Total time: 1:30:35
disc break goes after Track 08

Warren Zevon - guitars, piano & vocals

master soundboard cassettes of the early show, remastered by Mexminute in 2008
This one has it all -- all the trademark Zevon songs and madness are on full display -- and it's just the early set.
Whatever mayhem went on in the late set is lost to history, unfortunately.
Anyway I will be back midweek with more delectables, but you better not miss this audience with the Werewolves of Houston over which Mr. Z presided this day in 1985.--J.
1.24.1947 - 9.7.2003