Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Louis Armstrong - Blues Accompaniments 1924-1927

If I were to compile a list of my favorite jazz players, it probably won't overlap with a "jazz genius top ten" by much. I'll take Sonny over Trane any day, ditto Fats and Brownie over Miles, and I am only lately starting to warm up to Parker, and then probably because of overexposure than because of a true emotional connection - I must've heard his Savoy sides more times than I've heard Pink Floyd. But there is one guy that will probably top both lists, and that is Louis Armstrong. Satchmo does it for me every time.
I'll take his Hot Fives/Sevens to a desert island, no contest. There is no point in sharing them, though: there have been at least three different "complete" reissues, probably more, and all are easily available elsewhere. However, his sideman recordings are more obscure. After coming up to Chicago in 1922 to play with King Oliver and then Fletcher Henderson, Pops was very much in demand as a studio musician and accompanist. I am sure he did not mind making some dough on the side, either, so there is a wealth of his solos backing the famous and not-so-famous blues singers of the day, from Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith on down. In fact, the record execs noticed that the 78s with his solos - even uncredited - often sold better, and that gave them a bright idea to record Armstrong as a leader; the rest, as they say, is history.
Today's share is a collection of tracks with Armstrong's participation, recorded between 1924 and 1927. There are some sublime solos here; my favorites are two Bessie Smith tracks - I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle and You've Been a Good Ole Wagon; another great track, He Likes It Slow, features the whole Hot Five and so appeared as a part of the "Complete" box sets. I should warn the prospective listeners that some of this is pretty sonically crude. Hot Fives and Sevens were an all-star band and they got all the latest studio gizmos and extra attention from the recording engineers; also, we get to hear the Hot Fives and Sevens after they've been put through the marvels of modern remastering. These tracks, OTOH, have none of the above; what they often do have is a distinctive unrehearsed "let's cut it and go drinking" one-take feel - the balance is all over the place, there are stumbles and rough spots, and the instrumentation is sometimes rather skeletal, such as the vocal-cornet-harmonium trio on the St. Louis Blues. So, for all the historical interest and occasional brilliance of Satchmo's solos, these probably won't be going with me to any desert island unless I'll be taking my 500GB hard drive with me.
A very thorough Armstrong discography can be found here, refer to it for session dates, personnel and instrumentation.
Track list and links are in comments.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Daily WTF

For those who think they have seen everything: a german a capella metal group van Canto does Metallica.

Dennis Schunke - Lead Vocals
Inga Scharf - Lead Vocals
Stefan Schmidt – lower rakkatakka vocals, wahwah solo guitar vocals
Ross Thompson – higher rakkatakka vocals
Ingo Sterzinger – lowest dandan vocals
Dennis Strillinger - Drums

Their 2006 album A Storm To Come is available here or here

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

There is common repertoire for every instrument. Every brass player comes across Arban's Carnival of Venus, every alto saxophonist encounters Parker's licks. For some instruments - piano, guitar - the literature is so extensive that there may not really be anything common for two musicians to share. If you're into country blues or Segovia, you can play guitar for fifty years and never get to learn Purple Haze. On the other hand, every slide guitar player can play Rollin' and Tumblin'. For many other instruments, the book is pretty thin: every banjoist can pick Black Mountain Rag, French horn's got its Mozart Third Concerto and Wagner bits, for harmonica there's My Babe, bagpipers have a handful of Scottish/Irish tunes... and how much is written for gamelan or theremin? It takes a long, long time to build a literature for an instrument - which makes the euphonium situation all the more miraculous.

Euphonium is a wonderful but obscure instrument of the brass family (it's also got a twin brother called a baritone saxhorn - the difference is like trumpet and cornet, i.e. pretty much none). Looking like a dwarf tuba, it is a tenor-pitched instrument with a range similar to that of a trombone. I blame its obscurity on the fact that there was pretty much no repertoire for it - until recently. In the last decade or so, an interesting thing happened: euphonium book spontaneously expanded and engulfed a most unlikely style - the video game music. A cursory search on youtube reveals hundreds of young euphonists (euphonimists? euphists?) bashing out this or that Mario theme, Zelda's Ocarina Of Time etc.etc. It's not like there's a music school somewhere with a particularly geeky/open-minded low brass professor - the players are from all over, Europe, UK, US, wherever. It seems like the idea of picking out a videogame tune on a euphonium or tuba is the most natural one.
Hereby, I present my case:

A one-man brass orchestra:

A one-man euphonium trio:

Final Fantasy 6


Here's one for three tubas

No less than five overdubbed euphonium parts - notice it's the same guy as the first video, euphonium07, Anthony Caillet - check out his youtube channel!

And this one must be the coolest videogame music interpretation ever - not on euphonium, though.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Duško Gojković - Swinging Macedonia (1966)

Sometimes the music takes its time to reach the destination. I got this album at least five years ago, gave it a cursory listen and shelved it. Just recently I put it on again, not even sure why, and discovered how great it was.
Duško Gojković, a trumpet/flugelhorn player, composer and bandleader, was born and spent his youth in former Yugoslavia. After rising to prominence as a trumpet virtuoso, he is leading a truly cosmopolitan life. He moved to Germany, spent considerable time in the US, both studying at Berklee and playing with many of the major jazz figures, and now resides in Munich and plays all over Europe.
Swinging Macedonia was recorded in Germany with american sidemen, including Mal Waldron on piano, but the focus here is on Dusko's own compositions that attempt to fuse the sensibility of Balkan music with jazz. Several elements are at play here: most obvious are, of course, the skewed rhythms of 5/4 and 9/4 that are native to the dances of southeastern Europe - Romanian, Macedonian, and gypsy music. Macedonia and The Nights of Skopje are written in 5/4. Secondly, it's the modal harmonic elements: Saga Se Karame (later recorded as Slavic Mood) is built on Phrygian; Balkan Blue and Macedonia are modal tunes. Finally, there are structural elements; very few of the tunes utilize the AABA form so ubiquitous in jazz. American jazz was already experimenting with many of these features - odd meters of Take Five and Don Ellis recordings, modal music etc., but here they are very naturally fused into a single unity, the first recording of what later became known "Balkan jazz". Another reason why this fusion sounds so organic is that brass instruments are very prominent in the real southeast European ethnic music - just look at the gypsy brass orchestras.
I truly love this album: the tunes are catchy, the playing is top-notch, the rhythm section grooves and the solos burn - I can listen to it daily for a month and never get tired.

The serbian spelling is Duško Gojković; on his american releases it is spelled at least two different ways: Gojkovic or Goykovich. He is still active both performing and recording; I have not heard his recent releases but apparently the critics love them. I did hear Belgrade Blues, which compiles his recordings made in early sixties, before this album, and they are more of a straightforward jazz - proficient, but not as impressive.

Bio and interview

Dusko Goykovich - Swinging Macedonia (1966)
ul.oz or zippyshare
1. Macedonia
2. Old Fisherman's Daughter
3. Jumbo Uganda
4. The Gypsy
5. Macedonian Fertility Dance
6. Bem-Basha
7. Saga Se Karame
8. Wedding March of Alexander the Macedonian
9. The Nights of Skopje
10. Balkan Blue

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zhou Xuan + linkage

Good news for the fans of ShiDaiQu.
Mr. Fung of Bolingo answered my pleas and shared the Zhou Xuan box.

Click the cover to get to Zhou Xuan bio and mediafire links to the bilingually-tagged files. Alternatively, you can get them on rapidshare, tagged in chinese only, here: one, two, three, four, five; booklet scans included.

Secondly, our most excellent contributor of late, Remorseful Prober, has a blog now.

Ambuscade From Ten Sides

More shidaiqu and other far east musical gems, lyric transcriptions/translations, a learned culturological commentary, and all-around coolness. Most of the stuff is either out of print, unavailable from european/american retailers, or both. There is no other place to get this music unless you live in China/Taiwan. Do check it out, add to your favorite RSS reader, download the music and leave a comment.

The subsequent Pathe 100 discs would be shared there! although I will link to new posts.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

VA - South Sea Wind (Pathe 100 Vol.8)

An upload by Remorseful Prober.

South Sea Wind (Pathe 100 Vol.8)
Tagged in Chinese on mediafire
Tagged in English on megaupload
1. Xiu Qiong Pan - The Spark in My Heart
2. Xiu Qiong Pan - I Can’t Help But to Ask You
3. Kuang Yu Ling - This Night the Moon is Especially Beautiful
4. Kuang Yu Ling - The Merry Widow Waltz
5. Kuang Yu Ling - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
6. Kuang Yu Ling - Shangri-la
7. Kuang Yu Ling - Mid-Autumn Moon
8. Kuang Yu Ling - I Can’t Forget You
9. Kuang Yu Ling - Don’t Look Back
10. Zhang Lai Lai - A Good Couple
11. Zhang Lai Lai - Dumb as a Baby
12. Zhang Lai Lai - The First Kiss
13. Lan Di - I Love Ballet
14. Lan Di - The Beautiful Youngest Daughter
15. Lan Di - Jealousy
16. Lan Di - Raise Your Head and Look at Me
17. Hua Yi Bao - Dreams
18. Hua Yi Bao - The Phoenix and the Raven
19. Hua Yi Bao - Eastern Mountain Rains, the Western is Clear
20. Hua Yi Bao - Live in Your Heart
21. Hua Yi Bao - Spring Flowers in Autumn

Carrie Koo Mei - Little Skylark (Pathe 100 Vol.14)

An upload and bio translation by Remorseful Prober.

Gu Mei (real name: Gu Jia-Mi, In English- Carrie Ku/Koo Mei) was born in 1934. Nicknamed "Lovebird" in her youth, at the height of her career she was dubbed "Little Skylark". She hails from Suzhou, in Jiangsu province in Southeastern China. In 1949 she moved to Hong Kong and two years later began to perform, landing a role in a Cantonese film "The Second Wife". By the next year she was acting and singing in Mandarin language films; her first song being called "I Don't Want to Be Apart from You".

In the 1950s she was signed to Great World, Big China and Phillips records, and largely remained a second tier actress. 1958 she went to Thailand to promote one of her movies, and she was invited to stay and make films there, where she became fluent in Thai and gained considerable popularity as a singer and actress in Bangkok. After her return to Hong Kong her popularity continued to increase on into the early sixties, as she continued to act, and her voice became familiar through the title songs of popular films ("Mountain Song" and "Dreams" - the latter is track 4 on this disc). Considered primarily a singer with only a few uneven appearances in films, in 1965 she starred in the Shaw Brothers' movie "The Lark" to great success and acclaim for both her singing and acting.

In 1969 she found herself free of all contracts, and she moved to Taiwan. There she began to host a variety show, "Everyday a Star" on TV. In 1971 she released her final record, a collaborative album with Chen Fen-Lan, another famous singer at the time in Taiwan. Her final movie was a Taiwanese ghost film, "The Bride From Hell". From that time on, she has neither sang nor acted, but instead started to paint. She has had many exhibitions in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, America and Canada. In 1977 she received an award from the Hong Kong Museum of Fine Arts. In May 1998, having not performed in 27 years, she sang as a favor for her brother at one of his concerts. She currently lives in Vancouver, Canada.

A bit more at the Soft Film blog.

Tagged in Chinese on mediafire
Tagged in English on sharebee
1. The Lady of Mount Ali
2. The Little Skylark
3. The Wandering Eye
4. Dreams
5. Red Lychees
6. The Girl Over There
7. Old Dreams are Hard to Find
8. Light Smoke and Dense Fog
9. A Dream of Love
10. A Slow Smile
11. Remembering Our Youth
12. Goodbye, Lover
13. Because I Have You
14. A Bitter Cup
15. Don’t Waver Again
16. Innumerable Flowers (1)
17. Innumerable Flowers (2)
18. Long-Odds Love
19. Mother, Where are You?
20. Looking for Love
21. I Await You Alone

Friday, September 4, 2009

A collection of the compositions by Ornette Coleman, pdf

Sheet music.

A collection of the compositions by Ornette Coleman, edited and transcribed by Gunther Schuller - 4mb .pdf file on depositfiles. Includes Bird Food, Chronology, Congeniality (with a transcribed solo), Face of the Bass, Focus on Sanity, Forerunner, Free, Lonely Woman, Peace, Una Muy Bonita. These are off of The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959) or Change of the Century (1960) LPs.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Billie Holiday with Lester Young - Lady Day and Prez 1937-1941

August 26th was a centennial of Lester Young's birth. I would like to honor the memory of a musician after whom I took my alias - LesTP (Lester The Prez).

Billie Holiday and Lester Young were a match made in the music writer's heaven: Lady Day, the embodiment of jazz, and The Prez, the best and the hippest of the shade-wearing, sax-toting, dope-smoking jazz cats. Their musical affinity, the tender platonic relationship, the fact that they gave each other nicknames, their brief, tragic, self-destructive lives inspired countless pages of purple proze. I quoted some of the more florid writing before: "like mating eagles, they rose higher and higher..." etc.

However, their alliance is interesting not only as a backdrop for a cliche'd romantic story, but for some very specific musical reasons. Lester Young is well-known as Charlie Parker's boyhood idol and the biggest influence on bop playing in general. The following style elements are usually listed: emphasis on the melodic rather than harmonic improvisation, fluid phrasing that goes across the bar, a loose rhythmic approach with a tendency to play behind the beat.
People who talk about his recordings with Holiday also say that their musical styles were especially close, and they list much the same elements as above. Apparently, Holiday and Young developed this approach independently, but once they started playing together, it really clicked.
Billie Holiday was never considered to be a bop forerunner or a bop singer proper, like Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, or Anita O'Day - by the time bop started to take shape, she was already too invested into her extramusical/chemical pursuits to stay on the cutting edge - but at the time of these recordings she was definitely the first modernist among the jazz singers.

Second point: the music writer's fascination with the romantic couple unfortunately draws attention away from the other musicians that played on this. Sessions for a commercially and artistically successfull singer together with the best instrumentalist of the time are bound to draw a constellation of great accompanists, and they do: see the listing here (for recordings in chronological order) or here (track-by-track). Walter Page, Jo Jones, and Freddie Green are the celebrated Count Basie rhythm section, Claude Thornhill's future band became a veritable school for the cool jazz musicians, a former King Oliver/Louis Armstrong colleague Benny Morton is on clarinet, another sax is by Johnny Hodges, who really needs no introduction. As any great musician, Billie Holiday develops a special rapport with each one of them.
My favorite contributions, though, are by Buck Clayton: hear, for instance, his trumpet figures behind Billie on Easy Living. He is present on virtually every track. For bonus nerd points, Clayton is the single biggest contributor to the development of Chinese jazz/shidaiqu (wiki): he lived in Shanghai in 1934-1937, led a highly popular jazz band, and closely collaborated with Li Jinhui, the main architect of the shidaiqu sound.

But all the musical nerdery aside, these are some great pop songs from back when jazz was a good-time party music, before it got mired in the high-art pretensions. They are bouncy, catchy, groovy, melodic - and they are made by the greatest jazz singer and the greatest jazz instrumetalist of the time at the peak of their powers. Highly recommended!

Billie Holiday with Lester Young - Lady Day and Prez 1937-1941
256kbps, 125mb on megaupload
1. This Year's Kisses
2. Without Your Love
3. All Of Me
4. Me, Myself And I (Are All In Love With You)
5. I'll Get By
6. Mean To Me
7. A Sailboat In The Moonlight
8. I'll Never Be The Same
9. Getting Some Fun Out Of Life
10. The Man I Love
11. Trav'lin' All Alone
12. Time On My Hands
13. Laughing At Life
14. Back In Your Own Backyard
15. Georgia On My Mind
16. Let's Do It
17. Foolin' Myself
18. Easy Living
19. Say It With A Kiss
20. You Can't Be Mine (And Someone Else's Too)
21. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
22. She's Funny That Way
23. Romance In The Dark
24. I Must Have That Man!

There are several compilations of this material out there. This one is a single-disc collection of choice picks from their legacy. There is also a double-disc Complete Billie Holiday and Lester Young at Taringa, although the bitrate is a little lower. There is also another "Complete recordings" collection on 3 CDs that includes a disc's worth of alternate takes etc., but I don't have that one.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Grace Chang - Pathe 100 Vol.15

An upload and liner notes translation by Remorseful Prober.

Grace Zhang (Ge Lan, real name Zhang Yu-Fang) was born in the city of Haining in Zhejiang province, and grew up in Shanghai. She immigrated to Hong Kong with her family in 1949. In 1952 she passed a screen test for the Taishan movie company, and dropped out of school to star in the movies. Her screen name Ge Lan comes from the English name Grace, selected by a studio director. In this year she starred in her first movie, "Love in Spring" which was shown in Singapore in 1953. By 1957, after starring and co-starring in several more movies her popularity soared, and she was considered for a brief time the queen of musicals. In 1959 she was invited by NBC to sing on US television, on the Dinah Shore show. She was married to a wealthy businessman in London in 1961, and then retired in 1964, having starred in over thirty movies.
Between 1950 and 1960 she made records for the Bai-Dai label, the most popular being, "I love the Cha-Cha", "Carmen", "I Want Your Love" and "I Want to Fly in the Blue Sky." In 1973 she began to study Beijing Opera, and when the state-sponsored Beijing Opera Troupe visited Hong Kong in 1979 she was allowed to perform one song with them, a considerable honor. In 1989 she recorded an album of famous songs of the Chinese Opera. In 1994 she performed in an a-capella commerative concert for the 100th birthday of one of Beijing's most famous opera performers, Mei Lan-Fang. In retirement, she continues to make occasional appearances.

This collection by Grace Chang is doubly different from the previous Pathe 100 discs. The singers featured before started in the Shanghai nightclubs and dancehalls and moved away from the mainland after 1950. While Grace Chang grew up in Shanghai, she began her career in Hong Kong. I think this is reflected in a more pronounced Western influence in her music. Secondly, the performers so far were singers first, and except for Zhou Xuan, appeared in the movies mostly in cameo roles or solely on the soundtrack. Grace Chang was foremost an actress, although she starred in musicals. The Soft Film blog has several posts with clips from her movies, promo photos etc. Make sure to check out her version of Carmen (Habanera) - strumming (pretending to strum) a National Tricone, no less!

Tagged in Chinese on mediafire
Tagged in English on sharebee
1. I Want Your Love (I Want You to Be My Baby)
2. What Do You Want
3. Moonless Night
4. Beautiful Taiwan
5. Carmen
6. Butterfly Lovers
7. Love in the Countryside
8. Good Tidings Come to the Door
9. World of Shadows
10. How Can I be Without Him?
11. Unspoken Joy
12. Beautiful Dancing
13. Suddenly I See Him
14. The Hula Hula Twist
15. Girl Soldier
16. Love Blossoming Everywhere
17. Marriage as a Cold War
18. Barroom Angel
19. Crazy in Love (literal: Love Sounds Like “Ding-Dong”)
20. Moonlight Love
21. Can’t Deny the Heart

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pathe 100 Vol.3 - Yao Li

Another share by Remorseful Prober.
A compilation of songs by Yao Li (Yao Lee) [Bio at Wiki]. She first rose to popularity in Mainland China, singing in a Shanghainese dance hall style. Her brother Yao Min was also a successfull pop singer, and they often recorded as a duo. She was a rival of Zhou Xuan, and had a stage name of "Silver Voice" in counterpart to Zhou Xuan - "Golden Voice". After the revolution she fled to Hong Kong where she continued to record, her songs featured prominently in many movies.

Yao Li’s voice changed with time. Her initial success in Shanghai was partially indebted to the techniques and vocal training of Russian diaspora court musicians. In the 1940s, Yao Min asked her to imitate black singers from Hollywood films that were easily available in Shanghai. Her voice thus became lower and thicker, full of jazz’s lyricism. In the 1950s, however, she began to fall in love with the voice of Patti Page and developed a new hybrid style based on jazz and country music. @

This disc is most notable for inclusion of the original version of "Rose, Rose, I Love You", possibly the only China-to-America crossover hit ever.

"Rose, Rose, I Love You" comes from the 1940 film A Pitiful Singing Girl. The music and words were written by Chen Gexin and Wu Cun respectively. The singer of the song, Yao Li, played a minor part as a singer in the film. It proved to be an instant hit. This very same song was also the first Chinese song to be adapted with English words, to win international fame. It was the famous American singer Frankie Laine who sang the English version, which made its way to the top of the American popular song chart in the early 1950s. As time passed, many Chinese people came to mistake the Chinese version for an adaptation from the English version. The liveliness and high spirits of the music, the clever blending of Chinese tunes into a cosmopolitan style, were probably the reasons for its popularity all over the world. @

This song is also featured on the Remixed and Restored Vol.1 CD by Shanghai Restoration Project.

Tagged in English on sharebee
Tagged in Chinese on mediafire
1. Catching Lovesickness
2. Susan
3. Rose, Rose, I Love You
4. Lovers With The Same Fate
5. Don’t Hesitate
6. Little Brother
7. Keep Silent
8. Ay-ya-ya
9. I Don’t Want You
10. Little Shepard
11. Riding a Bicycle in Spring
12. Wasting Your Youth
13. The Riverside in Suzhou
14. Long Distance Love
15. Don’t Say No
16. Looking for a Trace of You in the Moonlight
17. Happy Youth
18. What Kind of World is This?
19. What is Love?
20. Golden Oriole Flying
21. Fantasy
22. Red Lights and Green Booze

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Destiny Street

I did not mean to continue the Quine retrospective, but there are some new developments with his recorded legacy.

It is well known that Richard Hell was unhappy with the Voidoids' second LP. Destiny Street was recorded in 1982, in a difficult period for Hell. ...the record is heavily guitar-laden - when I couldn't muster the self-possession to leave the house I'd call the studio and tell them to lay down another guitar track - says Richard himself in the original liner notes.
And this is from a Quine interview:
Q: I read that sometimes Richard Hell would cancel or even no-show when you were recording, and that you would just lay down more and more guitar tracks. If this is true, did you help mix these and decide which tracks were used in the final cut?
A: When we were working on Destiny Street in early '81, Richard did totally disappear for a week (that's the only time that ever happened). We had already done the basic tracks. But the time was already booked, so Naux and I went in and did a LOT of overdubs during that week (too many!).
Then Richard reappeared and did his vocals and fixed a few bass parts. Then over a year went by before the album was mixed. I was invited to participate but declined — I was busy, and couldn't face dealing with the nightmarish number of overdubs I'd done (backwards guitars, constant feedback, etc.). So I wrote down some of my opinions on how the record could be mixed, some of which were followed.
My one basic misgiving about the final mix is that many of the guitars on the "live" basic tracks were fairly inaudible, buried under overdubs that were only meant for adding subtle textures. But over the years I got used to that mix, and it's difficult for me to imagine the album sounding any other way, for better or worse.

Recently, Richard Hell came across the original tapes for the album and decided to do it justice: Using those original rhythm tracks as the foundation, Hell recorded fresh, new vocals, did some editing, gathered new musicians of the highest caliber for the lead guitars, and re-mixed all the elements to produce Destiny Street Repaired - says the official release. The new musicians mentioned are Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and Ivan Julian.

In general, I would be excited to hear a "second take" like this one, especially with the star guitar players Hell picked. I recently posted Gerry Mulligan's second take on the Birth of the Cool, and I think it's a great effort, very much worth hearing. However, there is one caveat: those second takes should be an addition, not a replacement - what would you say if Mulligan's Re-Birth of the Cool was the only version available? Unfortunately, this is the case with the Destiny Street Repaired. Hell, the copyright owner, deliberately allowed the original to drop out of print and has no plans for bringing it back. A number of fans voiced their concerns: both of the original guitar players, Naux and Quine, are dead, and messing with their legacy like this is unfair. I would agree, except for the fact that it allows me to post the original officially-out-of-print album without any misgivings. Perhaps it should be titled Destiny Street DON'T FIX WHAT AIN'T BROKE.

Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Destiny Street
High VBR, 60mb on depositfiles
1. The Kid with the Replaceable Head
2. You Gotta Move
3. Going Going Gone
4. Lowest Common Denominator
5. Downtown at Dawn
6. Time
7. I Can Only Give You Everything
8. Ignore That Door
9. Staring In Her Eyes
10. Destiny Street

PS See The Hound's posts with Quine's unreleased recordings from 2004, shortly before his passing: one, two. Also, a Hell ROIR bootleg, Quine plays on tracks #4-9 and did overdubs on #11 and 14.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pathe 100 Vols. 10 & 16

More shares by RP

Pathe 100 Vol.16 - Rou Yun, Jing Ting, Yu Fei
Tagged in Chinese on mediafire, pt.1 and pt.2
Tagged in English on megaupload
1. Rou Yun - Diamond Flower
2. Jing Ting - Sun Song
3. Rou Yun - Red Sails in the Sunset
4. Yu Fei - Dream of My Hometown
5. Yu Fei - Memory of the Sea Shore
6. Rou Yun - Point of the Temple
7. Jing Ting - Matchmaker
8. Rou Yun - My Faithless Lover
9. Jing Ting - The Mountain Laughs at Me
10. Yu Fei - Follow You
11. Jing Ting - Comforting Conversation
12. Yu Fei - Love Too Late
13. Yu Fei - Awaiting My Lover's Return
14. Yu Fei - Knitting Girl
15. Rou Yun - Beautiful Garden
16. Yu Fei - Pin a Flower on Your Shirt
17. Jing Ting - Reminiscing At the Riverside
18. Rou Yun - Last Night I Couldn't Sleep Because of You
19. Jing Ting - If You Love Me Just Tell Me
20. Jing Ting - Equal to Zero
21. Yu Fei - Peach Flowers Blooming

Pathe 100 Vol.10 - Xia Dan (Hsia Tan) and Liu Yun
Tagged in Chinese on mediafire pt.1 and pt.2
Tagged in English on megaupload
1. Xia Dan - Spring in the Mountains
2. Xia Dan - Voices in the Valley
3. Xia Dan - Selling the Newspaper
4. Xia Dan and Jiang Hong - Picking Water Chestnuts
5. Xia Dan - I Can't Understand
6. Xia Dan - Stunned by the Splendor
7. Xia Dan - Steel Needle Dance
8. Xia Dan and Jiang Hong - Miss Rita
9. Xia Dan - Happy Song
10. Xia Dan - Nine Out of Ten Windows Opened
11. Xia Dan - Happy Home
12. Xia Dan - Just to Talk with You
13. Xia Dan and Yang Guang - Where's My Love?
14. Liu Yun - Little White Boat (Korean Folk Song)
15. Liu Yun - Feeding Chickens
16. Liu Yun - Sunshine
17. Liu Yun and Jiang Hong - The Girl at the Bar
18. Liu Yun - Bang the Drums
19. Liu Yun - Add a Little More (Love Me A Bit More)
20. Liu Yun - Carefree Morning
21. Liu Yun - Silly Girl
22. Liu Yun - A Fortnight

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pathe 100 Vol.20 - Hong Kong At Night

A share by RP.

Pathe 100 Vol.20 - Hong Kong At Night
Tagged in Chinese on mediafire pt.1 and pt.2
Tagged in English on 4shared
1. Yang Ping (Liang Ping) - Hong Kong at Night
2. Li Jing-Jie - Half as Much
3. Rou Yun - Tranquil Night's Reminiscence
4. Wei Xiu-Xian - Southern Country Night Song
5. Ye Feng - Clouds at Sunset
6. Ye Feng - Spring Night Complaint
7. Ye Feng - Street Lamps on a Winter's Night
8. Bei Lei - Happiness in the Wind and Rain
9. Liu Yun - Wishing All Day
10. Huang Ling - Deep Dark Night
11. Pan Di-Hua (Rebecca Pan) - Midnight Kiss
12. Chui Ping - Last Night's Dream
13. Fang Yi-Hua (Mona Fong) - Got Drunk Last Night
14. Gu Mei - Lonely Night
15. Gu Mei - Every Lonely Night
16. Jing Ting - Flowers in the Rainy Night
17. Jing Ting - I Won't Cry Again Tonight
18. Zhang Lu - One Little Bird Calling in the Night
19. Zhen Xiu-Yi - Cold Nights are the Most Miserable
20. Pan Xiu-Qiong and Sow Keng Poon - Midnight Guitar

Those who liked the Shanghai Lounge Divas' remixes better than the originals should check out the Shanghai Restoration Project, a neolounge/downtempo electronic project with a cross-cultural approach similar to that of Ian Widgery. A few albums can be heard at the jbums; I haven't heard Remixed and Restored Vol.1, but it seems very interesting.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Zhou Xuan (Chou Hsuan)

Another excellent share by Remorseful Prober.
Zhou Xuan is truly the jewel of Shidaiqu, a singer and movie star of singular talent, who has been compared to Edit Piaf and Billie Holiday, both for her expressive singing and for tragic personal life.
For a bio I would refer you to Wiki and to an article in The Chinese Mirror. They give contradicting versions of the origin of her stage name, though. There is also a japanese fan page.

If anyone has access to the 5CD Zhou Xuan box (this one), please share!!!

Pathé 100: The Series Vol.13
REUP: on depositfiles
1. Picking Betel Nuts
2. Missing My Husband
3. A Lover's Knot
4. Sweet Love
5. Women
6. The Flowers Bloom, I Await My Love
7. Four Seasons of Heartache pt 1
8. Four Seasons of Heartache pt 2
9. Silver Flowers Flying
10. Blossoming Lotus
11. Many Things I Hate
12. Autumn Wind
13. Little Stream
14. When Will We Meet Again
15. Butterflies
16. South Wind Blowing
17. The Flavor of Yearning
18. Let Me Look at You
19. The Peach Flowers of Longhua
20. Seeing My Brother Off
21. Tell Me

Here's another one via AvaxHome:

Shanghai's "Golden Throat" Zhou Xuan (1918-1957) - Sound Treasure Collected
Rapidshare pt.1 and pt.2
01. 天涯歌女 (A wandering songstress)
02. 四季歌 (A song of four seasons)
03. 襟上一朵花 (A flower on my chest)
04. 五月的风 (Wind in May)
05. 采槟榔 (Gather bethel nuts)
06. 银花飞 (Silver flowers are flying)
07. 拷红 (Interrogating Red Maid)
08. 卖杂货 (Selling sundry goods)
09. 龙华的桃花 (Peach blossoms in LongHua)
10. 花样的年华 (One's young life like a flower)
11. 想郎 (Longing for her lover)
12. 难民歌 (Refugees' song)
13. 永远的微笑 (Smile forever)
14. 黄叶舞秋风 (Yellow leaves danced in autumn wind)
15. 葬花 (Bury fallen flowers)
16. 月圆花好 (Full moon and blooming flowers)
17. 莫负青春 (Don't fail youth)
18. 夜上海 (Shanghai's night)

P.S. Thanks to everyone who comments, I do appreciate additional info, translations etc.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pathé 100: The Series

A guest upload by Remorseful Prober, this one might be the most interesting one in the history of this blog.

The first decades of the XXth century were a time of upheaval around the world - politically, technologically, and culturally. It was the Jazz Age in the States, the era of dramatic literary experimentation in Russia, explosion of modernity in european culture... China, though walking its own historical path, did not stay behind. The opium wars and european political meddling throughout the previous century cracked the empire open, and the seeds of foreign culture that came through the cracks gave their first shoots in the 1920s. Shanghai, the most prosperous and open city of the time, saw the emergence of shidaiqu - a fusion of Chinese folk music and European jazz.
Pathé Records was the record label dominating asian market at the time. Throughout the next decades, Pathé documented the development of this new music. The revolution of 1949 effectively ended Pathé activities on mainland, so the label continued operating from Hong Kong. It's been taken over first by Columbia, and then by EMI. Recently, Pathé started a retrospective called Pathé 100: The Series and dedicated to the the glory days of shidaiqu - 30s, 40s, 50s. The Shanghai Lounge Divas albums (here) introduced the style; other discs from the series are dedicated to individual performers or are topical. The next few posts will feature several albums from the series, all shared by Remorseful Prober.

The first one is by the Loo sisters - Chang Loo (AKA Zhang Lu), a singer and a movie star, deceased earlier this year at the age of 77, and her less famous sister Xiao Loo. This disc might be a good intro to chinese pop for the wary, as it includes several covers of american songs, including Merle Travis' 16 Tons and Oh Susanna, complete with a banjo solo. I guess she had a thing for country'n'western; she also did a cover of Hank Williams' Jambalaya, hear it here.

Vol.1: Zhang Lu and Xiao Lu
Tagged in Chinese, on mediafire pt.1 and pt.2
Tagged in English, on megaupload, translation by RP.
1. Spring Flowers
2. Where the Fish Are
3. I Hear Music and See the Lover's Shadows
4. Little Mottled Dog
5. Blue Tango
6. Mambo Italiano
7. 16 Tons (the Chinese Translation is "Patiently Waiting")
8. Hu-La-La-Yi
9. Tonight
10. Little Wooden Horse
11. Chinese Mambo
12. Lover's Snare
13. Oh Susanna (A Banjo on my Knee)
14. Golden Palace Dance
15. Happiness and Tranquility
16. Evergreens
17. A Woman's Lament
18. Open the Bottle
19. Song for a Cold Night
20. Red Pomegranates
21. Raindrops
22. Sister's Sowing Her Boyfriend's Wallet
23. A Cold and Snowy Day

No info on this one.

Vol.2: Fong Jing-Yin AKA Fang Tsin Ying
Tagged in English on megaupload or mediafire
1. A Young Girl's Dream
2. Dragon Lamps and Kites
3. Wait for Me Darling
4. Asking for Trouble
5. Buying Dumpling Soup
6. It's Good to be Young
7. Wonderful Spring
8. Wake Up!
9. Strict Father
10. Crazy Fun
11. On the Mountain Road
12. Hey Mr. Guitar
13. Silver Star
14. Come quickly to See Me
15. Ya Ya Ya Cha Cha Cha
16. Phoenixes Flying
17. Ya Cha Cha
18. Round and Round
19. Dangers of the Wandering Heart
20. Life on the Installment Plan
21. A Glass of Wine
22. Carrying Goods to Market
23. My Little Lover

Thursday, June 25, 2009

JDT + Bud Melvin

WFMU is linking here, which is the music blog's equivalent of Time cover. I think I should put the exposure to good use by passing it on to the more deserving folks.

One of the greatest pleasures of running a music blog is meeting interesting people, albeit only virtually. Among the people who left a comment here are The Hound, Monty Stark of Stark Reality, DJ Kalil, Mikey IQ of Brown Wing Overdrive and really many more than I can think of right now. So I will use the opportunity to highlight the projects of two of my readers.

Justin David Thomas - Music From My Bedroom
Listen or download
Pop-musique concrete: JDT creates minimalistic, melodic instrumental music from everyday noises, along with more conventional instrumentation of basses, keyboards in various states of disrepair, guitars etc.etc. Some of the track titles are directly descriptive: Music For Record Player and Found Objects, Music for Piano and Bathtub. The workings of a singular musical mind are showing through the rough seams on these tunes. Recommended!

Bud Melvin - Popular Music
Listen or download
They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but nothing is more improbable than two fellows found in this bed. The albuquerquean Bud Melvin is combining 8bit/chiptune music with bluegrass on his latest release Popular Music. His banjo and steel playing blends surprizingly well with his programming into a single choppy, flickering, pulsing fountain of sound, reminding us that everything new is old again... and new again... and old again...

While you're at it, check out The GREEN ALbum, too.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jelly Roll Morton - Birth of the Hot 1926-27

Jelly Roll Morton - Birth of the Hot: The Classic Chicago "Red Hot Peppers" Sessions 1926-27
VBR, 94mb on depositfiles
1. Black Bottom Stomp
2. Smoke House Blues
3. The Chant
4. Sidewalk Blues [Take 3]
5. Dead Man Blues [Take 1]
6. Steamboat Stomp
7. Someday Sweetheart
8. Grandpa's Spells [Take 3]
9. Original Jelly-Roll Blues
10. Doctor Jazz
11. Cannon Ball Blues [Take 2]
12. Hyena Stomp
13. Billy Goat Stomp
14. Wild Man Blues
15. Jungle Blues
16. Beale Street Blues
17. The Pearls
18. Wolverine Blues
19. Mr. Jelly Lord
20. Sidewalk Blues [Alt.Take 2]
21. Dead Man Blues [Alt.Take 2]
22. Grandpa's Spells [Alt.Take 2]
23. Cannon Ball Blues [Alt.Take 1]

Thursday, June 11, 2009


A contribution by DayGloJoe, who correctly judged that I would find this album interesting, and so would the readers of this blog.

The actual title of this comp is Ryukyu Rare Groove: Shimauta Pops in 60's-70's, but it is also sold by the non-japanese-speaking retailers as Okinawan Groove Collection. Here's a review by Mikey IQ Jones:
A fantastic collection of wonderful, chameleonic Okinawan pop music from the 1960s & '70s, Shimauta Pops showcases brilliant early examples of the collusionist aesthetic that makes Okinawan pop so much fun while being rather forward-thinking in approach. Featuring tracks by the Hoptones, Four Sisters, Yara Family, and Aiko Yohen (though unfortunately none of the info is translated into English), this disc shows the artists fusing traditional Okinawan island melodies and instrumentation with more "modern" western styles -- R'n'B, bossa, Tin Pan Alley, even some wild banjo/fiddle hootenanies! -- though in all honesty what is achieved here proves to be rather modern in itself while maintaining that gorgeous nostalgic questing tone that I love so much in the melodies. The final product often sounds like a much less frenetic cousin to Indian "Bollywood" film music, and as testament to their true pop nature, many of the songs are as infectious as influenza. The overall sound had a BIG influence on Haroumi Hosono (fresh out of Happy End but not yet on his way to Yellow Magic Orchestra) and his excellent mid-'70s trilogy of "tropical" albums -- Tropical Dandy, Bon Voyage Co, and Paraiso -- with shamisens and shakuhachis backed at times by New Orleans or Detroit Soul rhythm sections, steel pans and vibes, and doo-wop harmonies... track 7 even features a shamisen/Moog duet with primitive drum machines plonking away in the back! Overall, this is beautiful, innovative, and best of all, totally fun. Any record that simultaneously makes your head spin and your butt shake gets top marks in my book!

224kbps, 42mb on rapidshare
Unfortunately, the song titles and artists' listing are only in Japanese. See comments for the tracklist.

Some time ago, Solepower left a comment searching for Ernest Ranglin's album Sound and Power. The only copy circulating on the internets is a low-quality vinyl rip that's much shorter than the subsequent CD reissue. Solepower was able to find a better quality complete CD rip and posted it on his blog, here.
You can't go wrong with a Ranglin album!

1. Major Walk
2. Mix Master
3. Sound and Power
4. More Stars
5. West of the Sun
6. Black Man's Train
7. Psychedelic Rock
8. Ranglin Doddlin
9. Mama Top
10. So We Call It
11. Lee Arab
12. Jericho Rocking
13. Less Problem
14. Black Eyed Peas
15. These Eyes
16. Still Water
17. Now

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Essential Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Essential Preservation Hall Jazz Band
High VBR, 206mb CD1 and CD2 on sharebee
1. Tiger Rag
2. Mood Indigo
3. The Bucket's Got A Hole In It
4. His Eye Is On The Sparrow
5. St. Louis Blues
6. Gerorgia On My Mind
7. Careless Love
8. Precious Lord
9. Joe Avery
10. I Ain't Got Nobody
11. Shake It And Brake It
12. Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Part II
13. When The Saints Go Marchin' In
14. Petite Fleur
15. (True,) You Don't Love Me
16. Jesus On The Main Line
17. Do Lord
18. God Will Take Care Of You
19. Over In Gloryland
20. Bill Bailey (Won't You Please Come Home)
21. Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
22. Lily Of The Valley
23. Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet
24. Hindustan

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reup: Best of Cymande

Amazon review: Short-lived but legendary, Cymande is oft-compiled on funk assemblages, but this CD of their first two LPs is altogether necessary, even if the music moves away from tight beats into Rasta-folk toward the end. Cymande's reputation has grown considerably over the last twenty years. Featuring a multi-national crew with a strong Caribbean influence, the band produced a few hits in the early seventies, then disappeared. But the epochal "Brothers On the Side," and the ingeniously structured "Fug" contain a subtlety and tension lacking in all but the best bands of the era.

Funky 16 Corners: Their music was a sophisticated mixture of American soul and funk, African pop, Latin sounds, rock and all of the various and sundry intersections of those sounds. A close listen to their first LP is like a drive through Harlem in the early 70’s with your car windows down, letting snatches of Curtis Mayfield, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Santana and a thousand lesser groups (woven securely into the fabric, but essentially lost to the ages) drift through the windows and into your ears. There are elements of early-70’s prog-cum-stoner rock guitar, hard drums, jazzy bass and horns as well as a bedrock of polyrhythmic percussion.

AMG bio

Cymande (1973)
320kbps, 180mb on megaupload
1. The Message
2. Brothers On The Slide
3. Dove
4. Bra
5. Fug
6. For Baby Woh
7. Rickshaw
8. Equitorial Forest
9. Listen
10. Getting It Back
11. Anthracite
12. Willy's Headache
13. Genevieve
14. Pon De Dungle
15. Rastafarian Folk Song
16. One More
17. Zion I

PS My bad, Willy's Headache in the archive is corrupted. Here's the good file:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

John Huie and the Clear Wind Band - Shanghai Jazz 2

Another excellent disc from John Huie with the Clear Wind Band, the first one is here. Great swing jazz with some chinese folk instruments. A few of the tunes appeared on this blog before: The Pretender and Waiting For You to Come Back (AKA Waiting 4 U) were on the Shanghai Lounge Divas comp, and That Rhythm Man is better known as Reefer Man, and found here.

All thanks go to the original uploader, Shean Chin!

John Huie and the Clear Wind Band - Shanghai Jazz 2
REUP 11/11/14: High VBR, 110mb on zippyshare or
1. Shan Hai Yao Bai - The Shanghai Shuffle
2. Kan Zhe Wo - Look At Me
3. Ni De Ta - Your Man
4. Jia Zheng Jing - Pretender
5. Nao Ren De Ye Yu - Rain Song
6. Qie Ting Wo Shuo - Listen to Me
7. Na Zou Jie Pai De Ren - That Rhythm Man
8. Deng Zhe Ni Hui Lai - Waiting for You to Come Back
9. Shang Hai LIL - Shanghai LIL
10. Mei Gui Mei Gui Wo Ai Ni - Mei Gui Mei Gui Wo Ai Ni
11. Zai Na Yao Yuan De Di Fang - Far in the Distance
12. Lao Cha Guan - The Old Tea House
13. Gei Wo Yi Ge Wen - Give Me A Kiss
14. Qing Ren De Yan Lei - Lovers' Tears

Una mas

FM Einheit jammin' with Django

Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop
Just a good song...

The common theme here would be Finland... The Millie Small clip is off Finnish TV, and the band in the first clip are finns.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I got a vote for more youtube here's another one:
Sweet Emma Barrett at Preservation Hall, I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None Of My Jellyroll, 1959

via Badger

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Arthur Doyle

My son tipped over one of my CD racks the other day. As I was cleaning up the mess, in the pile of "downtown" stuff along with the obligatory Zorn, Ribot, numerous Laswell projects, etc. I found two CDs with Arthur Doyle and Rudolph Grey. I remember buying them on eBay some eight years ago, but why?
Next day I was surfing the 'nets, and accidentally bumped into an album that features early Doyle playing:
For unrelenting screaming banshee saxophone, the septet includes tenor player Arthur Doyle. As the original album's liner notes have it, in words that can't be bettered, Doyle is "propelled throughout by an almost incoherent rage, a chaotic and murderous sound." This is written about Noah Howard's Black Ark, available at The Changing Same; great album, great blog, BTW.
So I figured the coincidence is an indication that I should share these.

These two LPs by Doyle are the missing link between the late 60's free jazz and NYC's No Wave scene of the late 70's (I never knew there was a link, let alone that it was missing). His collaborator on both of these releases, guitarist Rudolph Grey, is the person who introduced him to rock audience and booked their shows on the same bill as Glenn Branca, DNA, Mars, and other skronk-mongerers.

Arthur Doyle bio from AMG

Arthur Doyle Quartet - Live at the Cooler
VBR, 60mb on rapidshare, zshare, badongo, megaupload, depositfiles
1. Spiritual Healing
2. Flue Song
3. Noah Black Ark

AMG on the Blue Humans: The Blue Humans is the unit name given to any performance led by improvisational guitarist Rudolph Grey. (Members have included reedsman Arthur Doyle, guitarist Alan Licht, drummers Beaver Harris and Tom Surgal, and tenor saxophonist Jim Sauter.) Bridging the gap between free jazz and downtown art noise (and with records as likely to be released on a punk label as on a jazz imprint), Grey is far more interested in textures and sound patterns than conventional notes, chords, and melodies, but his improvisatory performances have a structural logic and grace to them that makes them more interesting than some of the aimless Strat splat that gets passed off as experimentation.
The famously taciturn Grey basically refuses to answer any questions about his past and admits to no influences. Grey first appeared on the post-punk New York art scene in the late '70s, forming the short-lived Red Transistor with maniac guitar terrorist Von LMO. Although the duo lasted barely a year, they were an important formative influence on the nascent no wave scene percolating in the East Village. (Grey participated in that short-lived scene by playing briefly in Mars, one of its most extreme practitioners.) Grey then formed the Blue Humans in 1980, initially with Harris, a veteran free jazz drummer, and Doyle. (This lineup was finally documented on disc with 1995's Live NY 1980.) A Blue Humans performance can be anything from a duo to a four-piece, but Grey seems to prefer the trio format above others. The Blue Humans' albums and EPs are primarily live recordings of single extended improvisations such as 1988's Incandescense (recorded during an opening set for Sonic Youth at CBGB) and 1990's To Higher Time, but there's also a studio album produced by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, 1993's Clear to Higher Time.

AMG review: This album is the earliest recording of the explosive free improvisation group led by guitarist Rudolph Grey, recorded live in New York with a lineup that featured the power of legendary free jazz drummer Beaver Harris behind Grey's corrosive feedback guitar. Free jazz saxophonist Arthur Doyle also appears through the smoke of guitar feedback, and speaker destruction is provided by Rudolph Grey, whose style is like a more aggressive and abrasive Sonny Sharrock. No wonder this post-punk free improvisation had a profound influence on Sonic Youth and later incarnations of the Blue Humans featured Thurston Moore on second guitar. Live NY 1980 is a quintessential recording of the no wave scene that abridged punk, free jazz, and noise music.

The Blue Humans - Live 1980
VBR, 104mb on depositfiles, badongo, megaupload, zshare, rapidshare
Four untitled tracks

Monday, May 18, 2009

A couple of youtube videos

I was reading a review for Billie Holiday and Lester Young - A Musical Romance the other day; here's a quote:

Like any good newsworthy event of the 20th century, one of the most touching pieces of jazz history happened in front of the television cameras. On 5 December 1957, CBS aired a jazz special, The Sound of Jazz, which brought together many of the living jazz superstars. Billie Holiday was to sing the song "Fine and Mellow" in a casual group setting. Holiday was close to death, though still one of the most attractive women in the world in her ponytail and plaid slacks. She had been courting a serious love affair with heroin for many years. Accompanying Holiday was a myriad of horn-playing legends. Of particular interest was the tenor sax section, which was comprised of Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, and Lester Young.
Prez, who had wrecked his body with alcohol, was in such ill health he couldn't stand for the duration of the six-minute song. Holiday launched into the song and each sax man took a turn. Gerry Mulligan was first and played a solo in double-time. Webster was next, blowing a beautiful, breathy chorus. And then it was time for Prez. When it was Young's turn he wearily stood up, and locked eyes with Holiday as she sang a song with lines like "Love is like a faucet / It turns off and on". As Lady Day sang, Prez hit every note exactly in time with her and they took off like two eagles riding an air current as they rose higher and higher, way out of that studio and those television sets, circling around each other, Prez blowing the notes that sustained her as if he was the body to her soul, and then they came together in mid-air, as mating eagles will, and plummeted hundreds of feet earthward together, before breaking off and flying their separate ways. People in the control booth had tears in their eyes. It was the swan song of a bittersweet affection. After the show, the two had some brief backstage conversation and then they bid goodbye. They each had less than two years to live. Prez would die alone in a New York hotel, his body finally calling it quits. Not long after that, Holiday would be arrested on her deathbed for heroin possession.

A beautiful description, although I suspect the author was writing from memory, and a very embellished one, too. Mulligan's solo is actually fourth, after Prez, and there's maybe one bar in double time out of two choruses. The brass section riffs behind her, but none of this interlocking duo "like mating eagles" ever actually happens. The performance is great, the writing is beautiful, it's a pity they don't quite match...

Billie Holiday - Fine and Mellow (1957)

T-Bone Walker w/ Jazz At The Philharmonic - Live in UK 1966, playing Woman, You Must Be Crazy and Goin' To Chicago Blues
Dizzy Gillespie - t, Clark Terry - t, Coleman Hawkins - ts, Zoot Sims - ts, Jimmy Moody - ts, Benny Carter - as, Teddy Wilson - p, Louis Bellson - d, and Bob Cranshaw - b.
It's Clark Terry taking a solo at 3:10 and he is playing a trumpet mouthpiece.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chet Baker

Here are some 50's Chet Baker links for the Anonymous.

Chet Baker with Russ Freeman - Complete Pacific Jazz Live Recordings (1953)
Grey December (1953)
Young Chet (1954-1956)
In Paris Vol.1-4 (1955-1956)
Chet Baker And Crew (1956)
Chet Baker & Art Pepper - Picture of Heath [Playboys] (1956)
Embraceable You (1957)
Stan Meets Chet (1958)
Live in New York (1958)
Chet (1959)
Deep In A Dream - The Ultimate Chet Baker Collection (this one picks from his 1952-1965 recordings)

One LP I would personally recommend would be Chet Baker In Milan, 1959 - obscure italian sidemen, but the music is great. AMG review

VBR, 60mb on mediafire
1. Lady Bird
2. Cheryl Blues
3. Tune Up
4. Line For Lyons
5. Pent Up House
6. Look For The Silver Lining
7. Indian Summer
8. My Old Flame

Updated links:
Complete Chet Baker and Miles Davis with the Lighthouse All-Stars, 1953
Chet Baker - Ensemble, 1953

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gerry Mulligan - Re-Birth Of The Cool [1992]

Lee Konitz on the Miles Davis' "Birth of the Cool":
Miles was the titular leader because he had more of a name, and I suppose he could get the gigs; big deal, so he got one week at the Royal Roost. [...] The (Birth of the Cool) nonet was an arranger's band, because they rehearsed the music. Miles made some suggestions, but very few that I recall; I thought of it as Gerry's [Mulligan] band really. The nonet was a chamber ensemble where the solos were incidental to the writing, which was the most important aspect. - Fifties Jazz Talk: An Oral Retrospective, by Gordon Jack

In the early 1990s Mulligan decided to revisit his work with the Birth of the Cool band; he felt that a lot of the arrangements were done in a haste and wanted to do them justice.
In 1992, Mr. Mulligan revisited the "cool school" that began with the Birth of the Cool recording and assembled the Gerry Mulligan Tentet. The project, entitled "Re-Birth of the Cool" began with a recording for the GRP label with Mulligan, and Wallace Roney in Miles Davis's trumpet chair.
In the summer of 1991, in Rotterdam, Gerry told Miles he was planning to play the music again. Miles was very enthusiastic and said to let him know when it was going to be. Sadly, it was not to be, as Miles passed away.
The Gerry Mulligan Tentet, the Re-Birth of the Cool touring band, featuring Art Farmer on flugelhorn/trumpet and Lee Konitz on alto sax, embarked on a highly successful concert tour.
- Bio

Click to read a good review by Eric Thacker from The Essential Jazz Records: Modernism to postmodernism.

Gerry Mulligan - Re-Birth Of The Cool [1992]
VBR~230, 90mb on rapidshare or megaupload
1. Israel
2. Deception
3. Move
4. Rouge
5. Rocker
6. Godchild
7. Moon Dreams
8. Venus De Milo
9. Budo
10. Boplicity
11. Darn That Dream
12. Jeru

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Muddy at Newport 1960

The guests in the order of appearance: Betty Jeannette, Sammy Price, Jimmy Rushing
The band: Francis Clay - Drums; James Cotton - Harmonica; Pat Hare - Guitar; Second Guitar - ?; Otis Spann - Piano; Andrew Stephenson - Bass.
Not sure who the dancing dudes are and who are the fiddle and guitar players sitting in front (and what are they doing there?).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reader uploads

There's too much good stuff in the comments, I'll put the guest uploads in a separate post - all by the mighty Symbolkid, thanks a lot!

Howlin' Wolf's New Album, 1969
The ElectriK Mud Kats Band with Cosey on guitar backs up Wolf. The music is crazy good, but I hate the cover.

The Muhal Richard Abrams Orchestra - Blu Blu Blu, 1990

Muhal Richard Abrams - 1-OQA+19, 1976

Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Bob Brookmeyer - The Salle Pleyel Concerts, 1954

Vol.1 on rapidshare: pt.1 and pt.2 (via)

Vol.2 on megaupload

Monday, March 30, 2009

Muddy Waters - Electric Mud

I was looking through my Muddy Waters collection and stumbled (long live the search function on foobar!) on "Tom Cat" on a Psychedelic Jazz And Funky Grooves compilation. The song, a hypnotic stomper, really caught my ear. I tried to track down the source, and it turns out it's off the infamous Electric Mud LP with one Pete Cosey on guitar.

Guitarist Pete Cosey has a magic touch: any project he plays on, the critics seem to hate. His most famous achievements are, of course, on the electric Miles albums of the early 70s - Agharta, Pangaea, Get Up With It - the favorites of the lunatic fringe and pet peeves of the "real jazz" connoisseur. However, this one approaches the Miles LPs both in its underground popularity and in its notoriety.

Electric Mud was a brainchild of Marshall Chess, the son of Leonard Chess of the famed Chess Records, recorded and issued on the Chess subsidiary Cadet, which was an outlet for the unusual and experimental music. Electric Mud is an attempt to update the trademark Muddy Waters sound for the yound crowd by backing him with "the hottest, most avant garde rock guys in Chicago". Those "updating" attempts are not always successful, but they are often interesting. This one is nothing like the other Muddy Waters records; but if you appreciate Sonny Sharrock or Bob Quine, you should check it out. Electric Mud is not blues at all; it's a very tight and rocking psychedelic band with obvious avantgarde leanings fronted by Muddy and playing out of Muddy's book. Here's a Perfect Sound Forever review talking about "I Just Want To Make Love To You": The solo on this song is nothing short of phenomenal. The guitar starts playing some distorted melodic notes then morphs into this gigantic screeching feedback riff becoming louder and wilder then continues to morph from a tearing solo until it reaches this intense mind-bending groove that sounds on the brink of collapse.
Muddy himself seemed to have been ambivalent about this experiment at the time, but later he cooled down considerably, even calling it "dog shit" at some point. However, the record had its fans no matter what - most notably the rapper Chuck D, as well as, apparently, Miles Davis.

Muddy Waters - Electric Mud
256kbps, 74mb on 4shared (a ChrisGoesRock rip)
1. I Just Want To Make Love To You
2. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
3. Let's Spend The Night Together
4. She's Alright
5. Mannish Boy
6. Herbert Harper's Free Press News
7. Tom Cat
8. The Same Thing

I would also recommend checking out Blowin Gold, a solo 1969 album by saxophonist John Klemmer, who played with Don Ellis group at the time. It's also on Cadet and with the same Cadet rhythm section as above - Cosey on lead guitar, Phil Upchurch (on bass instead of rhythm guitar), Morris Jennings on drums. Incidentally, not a critical favorite, either. Not as focused nor as exciting as his early '70s sessions, says AMG. I think it's pretty good, some of the noisier jams approach the Stooges in that demented wailing-sax-over-a-monster-riff intensity. Available at the very interesting Ile Oxumare blog.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Art Farmer and Benny Golson (The Jazztet) - Meet the Jazztet

Farmer and Golson's Jazztet - one of the greatest hard bop groups of the 60s. They were easily the equals of the Jazz Messengers. If they ran for half as long as Art Blakey's group, they'd be a household name by now; unfortunately, the Jazztet disbanded only three years and six albums later.
An excellent short overview of the Jazztet and this album. Of the four Golson originals on this disc, three went on to become jazz standards - Killer Joe (learned by every aspiring jazzman), Blues March (covered by Blakey on Moanin LP), and I Remember Clifford (a Clifford Brown memorial).

Art Farmer and Benny Golson (The Jazztet) - Meet the Jazztet [1960]
High VBR, 72mb on 4shared
1. Serenata (Anderson-Parish) 3:30
2. It Ain't Necessarily So (Gershwin) 4:26
3. Avalon (Rose-DeSylva) 3:29
4. I Remember Clifford (Benny Golson) 3:10
5. Blues March (Benny Golson) 5:16
6. That's All Right With Me (Cole Porter) 3:53
7. Park Avenue Petite (Benny Golson) 3:41
8. Mox Nix (Art Farmer) 4:01
9. Easy Living (Rubin-Ranger) 3:33
10. Killer Joe (Benny Golson) 4:57

Art Farmer, trumpet
Benny Golson, tenor sax
Curtis Fuller, trombone
McCoy Tyner, piano
Addison Farmer, bass
Lex Humphries, drums

PS More Jazztet: Big City Sounds (1960) and Another Git Together (1962)
More Benny Golson - see below.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

City of Glass: Stan Kenton plays Bob Graettinger

As I was searching for Muhal Richard Abrams' Blu Blu Blu, I came across an interesting discussion of "heavily psychedelic big band jazz albums", whatever that means. Several of their suggestions appeared here before - Ghania with Pharoah Sanders, RRKirk's 3-sided Dream, just recently I posted Electric Bath, so I thought that other suggestions might be worth looking into. So, here's an interesting find: Bob Graettinger, a composer, arranger and sax player, and a bona fide mad genius if there ever was one. They call him the most radical arranger to ever work in jazz @.

An article about Bob Graettinger, Above the Timberline, worth reading in its entirety; and bio at AMG.

AMG review of This Modern World 10" LP:
The tragically short-lived, self-destructive Bob Graettinger could have been a matinee idol had he cared; some people who saw him on a Los Angeles bus one day mistook him for Elvis Presley. Instead, he devoted his last years to writing the most complex, atonal, uncompromising, potentially alienating music that even the iconoclastic Stan Kenton band ever played. This Modern World is Graettinger's reaction to the cold, driven, alien planet on which he lived, a natural sequel to the more famous City of Glass yet even more difficult and inward in expression. Comprised of six movements ("A Horn, Some Saxophones," "A Cello," "A Thought," "A Trumpet," and "An Orchestra"), This Modern World moves even further away from jazz into abstract contemporary classical music; undoubtedly, Mingus must have heard this music but it's almost impossible to name anything from which it derives. A jazz pulse occasionally surfaces but more often instruments drift in atonal clusters past each other in differing meters or blast dissonant fanfares, creating a feeling of unease as they converse quizzically. In our time, British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage's Blood on the Floor has picked up the torch where Graettinger left it upon his death in 1957, but it took 40 years, and it makes Kenton's decision to sponsor Graettinger's work seem all the more gutsy and courageous. The individual movements on this 10" LP can now be found on the City of Glass CD, along with the rest of Graettinger's small output.

On his personal life @ CRUD CRUD:
Born in Southern California, Graettinger played music for a while, before giving it up to write. He was in his early 20s when he gave Kenton some songs. Kenton didn't know if they were brilliant or bullshit, but he recorded them anyway... and then took Graettinger on as staff. Graettinger rarely spoke to anyone besides Kenton. Even when Kenton took him on the road, he sat by himself. His diet consisted of scrambled eggs, vitamin pills, cigarettes, and booze. He hated to sleep, saying he'd have enough time to do that in the grave. He lived by himself in a filthy apartment above a garage, which he rarely left. He was tall and skinny, had caved-in cheeks and was very very very pale. Many described him as "looking like death". He died of cancer at age 34. And he wrote some fascinatingly fucked up music.

More weird details about his life in this Bud Shank interview.

This CD collects his works that Stan Kenton Big Band recorded: suite This Modern World, City of Glass, and shorter pieces. This is from Kenton's period of flirtation with avant-garde, which Mort Sahl summed up with a joke: "A waiter accidentally dropped a tray and three couples got up to dance." @

City of Glass: Stan Kenton plays Bob Graettinger
256kbps, 117mb on 4shared
  • Thermopylae
  • Everything Happens to Me
  • Incident in Jazz
  • House of Strings
  • This Modern World, 1st mvt., A Horn
  • City of Glass, 1st mvt., part 1, Entrance into the City
  • City of Glass, 1st mvt., part 2, The Structures
  • City of Glass, 2nd mvt., Dance Before the Mirror
  • City of Glass, 3rd mvt., Reflections
  • Modern Opus
  • This Modern World, 3rd mvt., A Cello
  • You Go to My Head
  • This Modern World, 5th mvt., A Trumpet
  • This Modern World, 6th mvt., An Orchestra
  • This Modern World, 4th mvt., A Thought
  • This Modern World, 2nd mvt., Some Saxophones

    After Kenton's death, more Graettinger scores were found in the archive; in the 90's a jazz/modern classical big band under Gunther Schuller's guidance named Ebony Band recorded two CDs worth of this material.

    And by the way, I never found any Muhal Richard Abrams' recordings, so if anyone is willing to share, I'd appreciate!
  • Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    I'd also like to remind my readers that...

    ...heroin is a harsh mistress.

    Mid-50s (~25yo)

    Mid-80s (~55yo)

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    Gerry Mulligan Quartets with Chet Baker and Art Farmer

    I am listening to a lot of jazz lately.

    Gerry Mulligan - baritone saxophonist, arranger and composer, the mastermind behind a good chunk of Miles' Birth of the Cool album. His most well known venture (or second-most, after the Birth of the Cool sessions) was probably his pianoless quartet - a trumpet-sax-bass-and-drums group that he led with changing members throughout the 50s. This highly unusual, minimalistic set-up initially was an accident: a gig opportunity arose to play in a space that did not have a piano. Mulligan decided to take a chance and see how this stripped-down sound would work. [See Mulligan's interview for more info]
    It worked beautifully, due to a lucky choice of Chet Baker on trumpet for a second lead voice. Mulligan's cerebral, architectonic approach was yin to Baker's melodic, intuitive yang, and their proverbial telepathic rapport allowed each to anticipate and play off the other's moves. The laconic compositions group recorded were the epitome of cool, with two lead voices weaving countrapunctal lines around the Carson Smith's melodic bass lines and delicately supported by the Chico Hamilton's brush work.

    The Best of the Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker (1952-1953)
    REUP: 320kbps, 115mb on 4shared
    1. Bernie's Tune
    2. Nights At The Turntable
    3. Freeway
    4. Soft Shoe
    5. Walkin' Shoes
    6. Makin' Whoopee
    7. Carson City Stage
    8. My Old Flame
    9. Love Me Or Leave Me
    10. Swinghouse
    11. Jeru
    12. Darn That Dream
    13. I'm Beginning To See The Light
    14. My Funny Valentine
    15. Festive Minor

    Unfortunately, this lucky alliance did not last long: in 1953 Mulligan went to the slammer on a narcotic conviction. When he emerged six months later, Baker already moved on to become a crossover solo star, combining his trumpet, good looks, and newly discovered singing talents into an unbeatably commercial combination. Mulligan found a replacement in Art Farmer, a relatively obscure (at the time) trumpet player with a cool, melodic sound. During his time with Mulligan, Farmer also started playing flugelhorn, a trumpet-like instrument with a softer, more mellow sound; he went on to become one of the best-known jazz flugelhorn players. This album is the last Mulligan Quartet LP with Farmer playing flugelhorn exclusively.

    The Gerry Mulligan Quartet - What Is There To Say? (1959)
    98mb on depositfiles
    1. What Is There To Say
    2. Just In Time
    3. News From Blueport
    4. Festive Minor
    5. As Catch Can
    6. My Funny Valentine
    7. Blueport
    8. Utter Chaos

    PS Also, a great 1959 live set from "The New" Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Art Farmer, titled Americans In Sweden, over at

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    Don Ellis Orchestra - Electric Bath

    An album that made headlines in its day and is virtually forgotten now. It came out in 1967, and truly stood out, even among the torrent of new, exciting, far-out music that was gushing forth in the late 60s. It earned top marks from many critics, a Grammy, and an "Album of the Year" from Down Beat magazine. It won fans both among the older jazzhead hipsters and the young rock crowd; many Amazon reviews start out with "I was fifteen in 1967, when I first heard this album".
    Liner notes: Conceive, if you can, an aural collage created by the Beatles, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ravi Shankar and Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz. And then, imagine that creation churning through the high-powered talents of twenty-one young musicians, like a rumble before you open the door of a blast furnace.
    The description may seem bloated, but is, in fact, quite true: the album combines many interests of the leader, trumpeter Don Ellis - free improv, indian music, odd time signatures, electronic effects, unusual instrumentation (like, for instance, three bass players and an array of percussion), and high-energy arena-rock-sized playing. All of these elements are fused into a coherent whole and applied to a set of tunes that, despite the avantgarde leanings and all the cerebrailty, retain enough pop edge for the radio. It's got something for everyone. The reviewers uniformly pronounce this album to be the music of the future. Now that the future is here, why is it so obscure? I don't understand.

    Don Ellis Orchestra - Electric Bath
    192kbps, 70mb on zippyshare or
    1. Indian Lady
    2. Alone
    3. Turkish Bath
    4. Open Beauty
    5. New Horizons
    6. Turkish Bath (Single)
    7. Indian Lady (Single)

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    John Surman - John Surman (Anglo-Sax)

    A recent discovery: first album by a prominent british baritone saxophonist John Surman. Side B is a three-part suite by Surman and a large ensemble, strongly influenced by free-jazz. The reason I am posting this, though, is Side A, which is completely different: a small combo, with a pan player, is playing jazz covers of calypsos Obeah Wedding (Mighty Sparrow), My Pussin (Lord Kitch), Don't Stop The Carnival (which is here credited to Sonny Rollins, who, indeed, introduced it to jazz, but really is a traditional tune), and what I assume is an original by the piano player Russel Henderson, Good Times Will Come Again. This is calypso-jazz of the highest grade, highly recommended for the fans of caribbean music and for those interested in the jazz-ethno hybrids.
    In UK this came out as John Surman, US edition was titled Anglo-Sax.

    John Surman - John Surman
    REUP: 320kbps, 105mb on 4shared
    A1. Obeah Wedding
    A2. My Pussin
    A3. Good Times Will Come Again
    A4. Carnival
    B1. Incantation
    B2. Episode
    B3. Dance