Monday, July 31, 2023

Atlantic City: Ahmet Ertegun 100

Phil Collins & Daryl Stuermer - In the Air Tonight

I know I promised another funeral, but that guy would have been 97 on Thursday next, so we've converted that wake into a super celebration, like I like to do where possible.

Once I figured that out 48 hours ago, I simultaneously grokked that we have a centennial to end the month, and a potent one at that.

Today's centenary cat wasn't a musician, even.

You could say he was more of an enabler, in the best and most constructive way you can be that.

The son of a Turkish Ambassador to the US, he inherited some serious diplomatic skills, which he put to use bringing some of the greatest music that will ever be made into the world.

It all happened because his dentist, flush from a bonanza trip to Las Vegas, agreed to lend him $10,000, which he put to use founding what many people hold as the single greatest record label in human history.

Along his journey he discovered, recorded, promoted, counselled, introduced and collaborated with an unquantifiable number of artists, many of whom went on to make music that will be played centuries beyond now, if not forever.

And today, Ahmet Ertegun -- mastermind of Atlantic Records -- would have been a hundred years old.

His influence will endure perhaps thousands.

There's a lotta ways to approach someone like this: for example, do a concert of an artist they made happen -- say, for instance Ray Charles -- whom Ahmet essentially ignited as a recording entity at the start of the 1950s. Or Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke, or any number of pioneering Soul or Jazz people.

Then I found this wild 2007 tribute concert from right after he passed at 83 in 2006 -- 
posted, by just one person, to YouTube -- which only seemed to exist as a high definition video.

Further inspection of the extracted audio -- which AFAIK doesn't circulate as a ROIO by itself --  of this 2 1/2 hour supershow yielded the information we love to hear: that it went all the way past 20 kHz, and wasn't apparently lossy at all.

So here's what I spent the last two days brewing it up into, kinky and in need of repair as it was... I think I did a job worthy of the all-star cast that showed up at Lincoln Center that night, to pay their respects to a man they all considered a mentor.

Jazz At Lincoln Center
A Tribute to Ahmet Ertegun
Rose Theater
New York City, NY USA

01 Wynton Marsalis & friends - Second Line Ramble fanfare & intro
02 Solomon Burke speaks
03 Eric Clapton speaks
04 Eric Clapton, Dr. John & friends - Please Send Me Someone to Love
05 Eric Clapton, Dr. John & friends - Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
06 Michael Bloomberg speaks
07 Solomon Burke introduces Just Out of Reach
08 Solomon Burke - Just Out of Reach
09 Solomon Burke speaks about Ahmet & Aretha
10 Henry Kissinger speaks
11 Bette Midler - Princess Poo-Poo-Ly Has Plenty Papaya
12 Bette Midler introduces Ben E. King
13 Ben E. King, Mick Jones & John Paul Jones - Don't Play That Song
14 Oscar de la Renta speaks
15 Kid Rock speaks
16 Sam Moore & Kid Rock - In the Midnight Hour
17 Sam Moore & Kid Rock - I Thank You
18 Bette Midler introduces Egemen Bağış
19 Egemen Bağış speaks
20 Bette Midler introduces The Manhattan Transfer
21 Tim Hauser of The Manhattan Transfer speaks
22 The Manhattan Transfer - Sing Moten's Swing
23 Taylor Hackford speaks
24 Jerry Wexler speaks
25 Phil Collins & Daryl Stuermer - In the Air Tonight
26 Phil Collins speaks
27 Genesis - Follow You, Follow Me (acoustic version)
28 David Geffen speaks
29 Stevie Nicks - Stand Back
30 Stevie Nicks - Rock & Roll
31 Stevie Nicks speaks
32 Jann Wenner reads a message from Keith Richards & speaks about Ahmet
33 Bette Midler speaks
34 Bette Midler - Beyond the Sea/Shiver Me Timbers
35 Mick Jagger speaks
36 Les McCann & Eddie Harris - Compared to What (1969 excerpt)
37 Crosby, Stills & Nash - In My Life
38 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Helplessly Hoping
39 Stills & Young - Mr. Soul
40 Bette Midler speaks in closing
41 Wynton Marsalis - Down By the Riverside

Total time: 2:26:33
disc break goes after Track 25
constructed to burn more or less contiguously to a single 18-track, 68-minute CD without the talking parts, including only Tracks 01, 04, 05, 08, 11, 13, 16, 17, 22, 25, 27, 29, 30, 34, 37, 38, 39 & 41

16/48 audio extracted from a HD YouTube video of this event
spectral analysis goes past 20 kHz, so this is equivalent to a preFM source
converted to 16/44 CD Audio, remastered, tracked and repaired by EN, July 2023
873 MB FLAC/direct link

Anyway if you want the long version of Ahmet Ertegun's one-of-a-kind story, I'd definitely suggest listening to this concert, full of tales straight from the mouths of Atlantic artists beloved throughout the world, whose lives were touched -- and in many cases transformed -- by his life.

There's also a lot of tremendous music to go along with the words, as Ahmet would have demanded.

As promised, we'll be back on Thursday to leave our hearts in San Francisco once again, but don't you dare hesitate to give this show a spin or 12 in honor of a modern-day sultan named Ahmet Ertegun, himself often called the greatest Record Man that ever lived. He who gave us the biggest, deepest Atlantic that wasn't technically a City or an Ocean.--J.

7.31.1923 - 12.14.2006

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