Sunday, April 18, 2021

Marion Made

Let's rejoinder the post of a few minutes ago with the promised 2nd half of our weekend fare.

This one was taped as part of a mid-Eighties series that can only be described as essential to the power of necessary, times infinity squared.

From 1984 through to about 1988, the radio home of Brandeis University in Massachusetts broadcast a semi-weekly program called "The Joint" featuring some of the hippest Jazzers then jazzing.

I'll have a bunch of these for y'all as their anniversaries come up, but this one is from 36 years ago today and might be the single most astonishing one.

It's 68+ minutes of beautifully-captured solo saxophone, provided by one of our epoch's most tremendous alto practitioners.

I don't know about you, but there's few things I consider less significant in this lifetime than nearly 70 minutes of vintage, unaccompanied Marion Brown.

One of the most undersung and deeply lyrical players of our era, with one note or phrase you know who's blowing without even thinking.

He gets into a bunch of standards here -- if I can figure out what the 2nd tune is before I fall over, I'll die happy -- with an emphasis on compositions of Thelonious Monk.

Marion Brown 
"The Joint" on WBRS-FM
Winer Wing
USDAN Student Center
Brandeis University 
Waltham, Massachusetts USA

01 Angel Eyes
02 unidentified title 
03 I Can't Get Started 
04 Hurry Sundown 
05 Since I Fell for You
06 Black and Tan Fantasy 
07 'Round Midnight 
08 Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are 
09 La Placita 
10 Ask Me Now

Total time: 1:08:43 

Marion Brown - alto saxophone

1st gen cassette of the original WBRS-FM broadcast

So there you are, two in two hours and both well worth the while IMO.
Marion Brown would have been 90 this September, so don't be surprised if he makes a repeat appearance.

I shall return shortly to continue the April showers of sonics, but these two master blasts oughta keep you busy for a bit!--J.

9.8.1931 - 10.18.2010 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sound Czech

Stop! Hammer time!

I've never done this before but we're gonna wrap two around midnight here, one for the 17th and one for the 18th.

Up first is the 73rd birthday of a keyboard deity most folks know from TV, even if they have never heard his name.

Perhaps the most storied muso of our epoch to hail from the Czech Republic (when he was born, it was still Czechoslovakia), he first popped up on the world's radar as a charter member of The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

One of the first to use a Minimoog onstage, his weaving, ridiculously tasteful and funky solos helped TMO define the idiom of Fusion as much as any other group.

Unfortunately he and bandleader John McLaughlin did not get along too well, and the group imploded after an initial 18-month run scorching audiences' minds to madness.

He soon formed his own band, to which Jeff Beck was added for a sold-out tour.

He began to score for film and TV, and in 1984 he was commissioned to provide the music for a show that would obsess the whole world.

His multi-award-winning soundtrack for Miami Vice is probably one of the most recognizable of all time.

This here is the best 1970s boot of him, from a radio tape and remastered by the Pitch Professor Goody. I even restored the start of the first track from constituent parts, because that's how I roll.

Jan Hammer Group
Berliner Jazztage 1976
Berlin, Germany 

01 Topeka 
02 The Seventh Day 
03 Country and Eastern Music 
04 I Remember Me
05 Steppings Tones
06 No Lands Man (incl. drum solo)
07 Red and Orange

Total time: 50:42 

Jan Hammer - Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, keyboards, drums & vocals
Steven Kindler - violin
Fernando Saunders - bass & vocals
Tony Smith - drums

master off-air WDR-FM capture, remastered November 2020 by professor goody
beginning of Track 01 restored (with volume increased 5.75 dB) and volume increased 1.55 dB throughout remainder by EN, April 2021
343 MB FLAC/April 2021 archive link

So there's Jan Hammer, born this day in 1948 and still sizzling the ivories! See you in a few minutes with the next one.--J.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Rocher des Âges

It's time for a Saturday night special I've been at for a few days, one of those where I have to ask the person it's about if it's ok first. And it was!

She is 68 today, one of three magical sisters that formed one of the most beloved trios of our lifetimes.

One of them passed in 2017, effectively ending their run, which began when two of them dropped out of high school to tour back in the 1960s, when dropping out was the most in you could get.

They eventually ended up in the orbit of Paul Simon, who signed them to his production company after having them as backing singers on his 1973 tour.

They made a record in 1975, but the stresses of the music biz sent them south to Louisiana for a breather.

It was when the two of them returned to New York City -- you know your breather's over when you move there -- and their younger sister joined the group that things really started to exponentialize.

Their Christmas caroling adventures in downtown NYC led them to start to work up versions of existing songs, as well as their own soon-to-be classics, and it wasn't long until multiplying gigs got them noticed enough for the record business suits to start attending.

A deal with Warner Brothers followed, with their first LP hitting turntables in 1979.

This still-perfect album -- any Best Records of the 1970s list that doesn't have it somewhere is plainly depraved disinformation -- was produced by Robert Fripp, as was their third in 1981.

I think that's where I first heard of The Roches, from people that were into King Crimson.

Then at the start of college I became best friends with RF's 1979 solo record Exposure, upon which today's birthday lady lays perhaps that LP's finest vocal performances onto the waxen grooves.

Which is seriously saying something, as that albums other singers are Daryl Hall, Peter Hammill and Peter Gabriel.

One time I got to hang with/interview the three of them for the radio program of which I was then a part.
Truly a day which I will never forget, and coincidentally one that took place during the time of today's share, intended as it is to honor the birthday of Terre Roche, born this day in 1953!

The Roches
Theater of Living Arts
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

01 intro
02 Speak
03 Big Nuthin'
04 Cloud Dancing
05 One Season
06 The Anti-Sex Backlash of the '80s
07 I Love My Mom 
08 banter I
09 Merciful God
10 Quitting Time
11 banter II
12 Face Down At Folk City
13 Losing Our Job
14 Don
15 In the World
16 The Troubles
17 Nocturne
18 The Angry Angry Man
19 Everyone Is Good
20 The Hallelujah Chorus
21 band introductions
22 Love Radiates Around
23 Hammond Song
24 The Married Men
25 Clothesline Saga
26 Losing True
27 Garrison Keillor interview
28 On the Road to Fairfax County
29 Suzzy introduces The Train
30 The Train

Total time: 2:04:46
disc break goes after Track 14

Maggie Roche - guitar, keyboards & vocals
Terre Roche - guitar & vocals
Suzzy Roche - guitar, keyboards & vocals

Tracks 01-26 are from Theatre of Living Arts and are sourced from what sounds like a soundboard DAT or very low gen cassette;
remastered -- with the first few seconds of The Troubles reconstructed -- by EN, April 2021
Tracks 27-30 are bonus tracks sourced from an aircheck master cassette of Garrison Keillor's American Radio Company
broadcast on KQED-FM in San Francisco, CA and recorded at Lamb's Theatre in New York City on 10.27.1990
716 MB FLAC/April 2021 archive link

I worked on this a bunch over the last 72 hours, to take the somewhat dull and hissy tape of a tremendous show and make it a little brighter and less distant sounding.

I think it sounds way better than it did before, plus I took the time to reconstruct the first few seconds of The Troubles, which were missing.

Anyway I'll be back around next week with more decibels for your dormitory, but I would be in trouble if I didn't wish Terre Roche -- manifestly one of the greatest singers of our lifetimes -- the very best of birthdays.... and many more!--J.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Monday Funk Dumpling

Another week and another yummy anniversary special, yeah?

This one oughta get your ass moving and motivated on a Monday.

It was captured 22 years ago tonight at a college in Northern California, and has lost none of its flavor in the near quarter century since.

These cats were a big part of the 1990s Acid Jazz revival, and this set (OK, two sets) finds them at the dominant apex of their reign.

They're joined in the 2nd half by DJ Logic, whom I think guested on that Laswell thing I put up in January.... no wait, that was DJ Disk. Damn, you need a scorecard to tell the players sometimes.

Anyway this is 2 1/2 nicely captured hours of what makes keys deity John Medeski, drummer Billy Martin and bassist Chris Wood the lasting and highly potent combination that they are.

Medeski, Martin & Wood + DJ Logic
Humboldt State University
Arcata, California USA

CD1 - acoustic set 
01 set I opening jam
02 Note Bleu 
03 Querencia 
04 Brigas Nunca Mais
05 Rise Up 

CD2 - electric set
01 set II opening jam
02 Sugarcraft 
03 Seven Deadlies
04 Church of Logic 
05 Just Like I Pictured It
06 Toy Dancing
07 Gonzo 
08 outro jam

Total time: 2:23:15

John Medeski - keyboards & melodica
Billy Martin - drums & percussion
Chris Wood - bass
DJ Logic - turntables (set II only)

sounds like a master soundboard DAT
slightly edited for dead air, dropouts repaired, track markers adjusted and volume boosted throughout by EN, April 2021
692 MB FLAC/April 2021 archive link

I'll be back like The Terminator on Thursday with some truly vintage plucking from the Guitar Rarities tree for you all.

Until then, you are extra welcome to lather yourself into a delirious, half-dressed stupor with this 153 minutes of Funk furor and ferocity, courtesy of the tremendous trio MMW!--J.