Friday, August 31, 2018

That time Ali Farka Touré & Boubacar Traoré jammed on the street

Here's some rare footage of Mali's guitar masters Boubacar Traoré and Ali Farka Touré getting down.

One For The Weekend: Matthew "Doc" Dunn

You can get Doc Dunn's surprising new Lightbourn album in Toronto at Grasshopper Records (1167 Dundas West). 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Happy 75th Birthday Robert Crumb!

Check out Robert Crumb discussing the 78 rpm era on WFMU back in 2011.

The Mood Modern: KPM and Bruton Music story revealed

Here's the scoop...

Vocalion Books – a subsidiary of renowned reissue label Vocalion and leading independent classical label Dutton Epoch – presents its publishing debut: Oliver Lomax’s The Mood Modern. The product of extensive research, this new book tells the story of two of the world’s greatest recorded music libraries – KPM and Bruton Music.

Also known variously as mood, stock, background or production music, for decades library music has made an important though anonymous contribution to the broadcast media, supplying film, radio and television with innumerable themes and underscores.

The Mood Modern is three books in one, weaving together the separate strands of company history, biography and critical assessment of some of the most important music collectively produced by the KPM and Bruton libraries during the course of a quarter century, spanning the years from 1956 to 1980. At the heart of the book, however, is the Phillips family, one of Britain’s great music publishing dynasties, but in particular Robin Phillips (1939-2006).

The mid-1960s through the ’70s have come to be regarded as library music’s golden age. In Britain, it was when this somewhat mysterious branch of the music industry emerged from the chrysalis of its light music heritage, into a vibrant new era of modern, colourful sounds. Robin Phillips played a fundamental role in this transformation when, in 1966, he established a new library – the KPM 1000 Series. Robin would also introduce several new composers who would quickly become some of the best-known and most successful names in the library music field: Keith Mansfield, Johnny Pearson, Syd Dale, Alan Hawkshaw, James Clarke, David Lindup, Brian Bennett and Steve Gray among others. And thanks to Robin’s guidance, by the early ’70s the 1000 Series had become one of the world’s foremost libraries, its music a ubiquitous presence in countless films, documentaries, radio programmes and television series.

But in 1977, at the height of his success, Robin left KPM for ATV Music – taking with him his right-hand man, Aaron Harry, and the major composers – where he formed the Bruton library under the auspices of his brother Peter (who by now was ATV Music’s managing director) and show business mogul Lew Grade’s financial adviser, Jack Gill.

Drawing on interviews with members of the Phillips family (including Peter Phillips) and many of the composers, recording engineers, musicians and staff of both libraries, The Mood Modern tells the remarkable inside story of how KPM and, subsequently, Bruton came to be dominant forces in library music, both in Britain and internationally.

In addition to charting the origin and history of the music publishing firms – Keith Prowse and Peter Maurice – that merged to form KPM, The Mood Modern covers numerous related areas. These include the birth of Britain’s library music industry; the early British libraries and their inseparable link to the English light music tradition; how the arrival of commercial television in Britain led to the formation of the Keith Prowse library in 1956 under the aegis of its manager, Patrick Howgill, which paved the way for the KPM library; KPM’s legacy as a famous popular music publisher and its place in the history of Denmark Street (London’s Tin Pan Alley); Robin’s father, legendary music publisher Jimmy Phillips; the corporate manoeuvring that saw Keith Prowse, Peter Maurice and KPM bought and sold; and the clash with management that eventually caused Peter and Robin Phillips to leave KPM for ATV Music.

The importance of the recording engineer is acknowledged in The Mood Modern, and those who largely shaped the “sound” of the KPM and Bruton libraries are featured: Ted Fletcher, Adrian Kerridge, Mike Clements, Richard Elen (KPM) and Chris Dibble (Bruton Music). There’s detailed coverage of all the KPM 1000 Series’ overseas sessions – including personnel, dates, locations and what was recorded – and chapters respectively devoted to the sessions in Bickendorf, Cologne (along with the stellar lineup of international jazz talent that played on them) and in KPM’s two in-house studios. The Musicians’ Union embargo, which had forced British libraries to record much of their material on the Continent, is also scrutinised, as are the negotiations with the MU of the late ’70s that finally allowed British libraries to resume recording in British studios with British musicians.
As well as delineating the setting up of the Bruton library, its struggle to get established and the background of the parent company, ATV Music (itself a division of entertainment conglomerate Associated Television [ATV]), Bruton’s recording sessions and early output are placed under the spotlight.

Another aspect of The Mood Modern is the chapter-length biographical portraits of five of the KPM 1000 Series’ principal composers: Syd Dale, Johnny Pearson, Keith Mansfield, James Clarke and David Lindup. This is the first time that any of them have been the subject of an in-depth portrait, and these chapters take in many associated areas: KPM library offshoots Aristocrat, Radio Program Music and the KPM International series; the litany of famous and not-so-famous TV and radio themes within the KPM library; Lansdowne Studios; British jazz and pop; classical music; commissioned film and TV scores; BBC Television and Radio; Independent Television (ITV); the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society; the Performing Right Society; Phonographic Performance Ltd. and so much more.

A host of other composers also feature in The Mood Modern. These include KPM and Bruton stalwarts Laurie Johnson, Neil Richardson, Steve Gray, Dave Gold, Francis Monkman, Brian Bennett, Alan Hawkshaw, John Dankworth, John Scott, Duncan Lamont, John Fiddy and John Cameron as well as the KPM 1000 Series’ house bands, WASP and SHARKS.

Putting everything into further perspective is a thorough examination of the pre-1000 Series KPM library, and a chapter that focuses on a leading music editor of the ’70s, who describes the processes and equipment that were used in transferring library music onto the soundtracks of films, documentaries and television programs.

The Mood Modern is not only a major study of a fascinating sector of the music industry, but also essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in soundtrack music.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Happy Birthday Bennie Maupin!

Celebrating Bennie Maupin's 78th birthday with a Lighthouse performance alongside Lee Morgan. 

Champagne James Robertson @ Reposado, Wednesday

Champagne James will be joined by Lyle Molzan tonight at Reposado at 9:30 pm. Watch him with Lindi Ortega below. 

Ben Stiller's high school punk band gets 1982 album reissued

Ben Stiller's band Capital Punishment (now and then) are having their Roadkill debut reissued by Captured Tracks on September 14. 

Capital Punishment formed in 1979 in NYC when the 4 band members were teenagers. The band consisted of a future Supreme Court Justice for Arizona, a Professor of Slavic Studies, a Musician/Documentarian whose family built the Brooklyn Bridge, and an A-list world-famous actor. For a band of high school weirdos who actually got their shit together enough to make a completely uncommercial album with no means to sell it and still “release” it shows a lot of determination, persistence and perhaps insanity. But it’s always those kinds of weirdos who go on to do great things – just ask Judge Peter Swann, Professor Peter Zusi, Kriss Roebling and Ben Stiller.

September 14 will see the reissue of the debut (and only) album from NYC's Capital Punishment. Entitled Roadkill it was first released in 1982 and the new remastered and expanded version will be made available via Captured Tracks so you don't have to blow $250+ on an original copy. 

Beyond whatever curiosity the membership entails, Roadkill is an incredible example of the kind of home-spun, DIY post-punk that music collectors drool over at record fairs each weekend. Heavily influenced by Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Eno, Chrome and all sorts of proto-industrial music, Roadkill features a tracklisting that includes “Delta Time” - a post-punk anthem, written on a lark, with a tongue-in-cheek British accent that sounds like if Television Personalities decided to become kind of scary - and “Confusion,” an industrial psychedelic standout, with an eerie synth-lead verse that segues into a glam-rock chorus straight out of the Mick Ronson playbook.

Check out the track "Muzak Anonymous” below. Pre-order a copy of Roadkill right here.

Midweek Mixdown: Sleep Walker

Here's Sleep Walker's heady selection of classic Japanese spiritual jazz from the Columbia vaults. 

01 Toshiko Akiyoshi Quintet - Phrygian Waterfal 0:00
02 Hino Kikuchi Quintet - H.G. and Pretty 3:51
03 Eddie Daniels - This Is New 11:28
04 Norio Maeda Trio - Alpha Ray 17:05
05 Tadayuki Harada & His Group - Cinnamon and Clove 22:49
06 George Otsuka Trio - Blues by Five 26:20
07 Sadao Watanabe - Mas que nada 32:18
08 Hiroshi Suzuki & Masahiko Togashi Quintet - Castle Cats 37:39
09 Sadao & Charlie - Palisades 47:22
10 Hiroshi Okazaki & His Star Gazers - Flamenco Sketch 58:04
11 Kazuo Yashiro Trio - Black Nag 1:01:34

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Mark "BBQ" Sultan, Andre Ethier, Pow Wows @ Monarch Tavern, Sept 29

Check out three tracks from Mark Sultan's new album "Let Me Out" due Oct 12. Get tickets for the show right here.

Happy Birthday Kurt Bloch!

Raising a glass to the legendary Kurt Bloch on his day with "Fire Engine Green" by The Yes Masters.

Lucky Brown & The S.G.'s preview Mesquite Suite LP

Tramp Records is readying 505 numbered copies of Mesquite Suite for release in late September. Have a listen.

Nick Waterhouse vs. Ty Segall

Nick Waterhouse demonstrates that Ty Segall's "It #3" works quite nicely as an R&B swinger. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Listen to Mick Jenkins' track What Am I To Do produced by Kaytranada

Chicago MC Mick Jenkins connects with Kaytranada on the quick follow-up to "Bruce Banner" 

Nichol Robertson's Boogaloo Boys @ Reposado, Monday

Nichol Robertson's instro crew – featuring Sean Dean and Mike Belitsky – rocks Reposado tonight at 8:45 pm.

Happy Birthday Ronnie Splinter

Remembering late great Outsiders guitarist Ronnie Splinter (center) on his day with the ripping "Won't You Listen" 

Introducing: Gee Tee

Kel Mason and his Gold Coast crew Gee Tee are shown here "Hangin' At Caltex" off their debut LP for Goodbye Boozy.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Esther Rose, Layrite Boys @ Dakota Tavern, Sunday

Don't miss New Orleans singer/songwriter Esther Rose make a rare Toronto appearance with the Layrite Boys. 

Happy Birthday Nik Turner!

Ace Of Cups ready their way overdue debut album for fall release

San Francisco's legendary Ace Of Cups recently recorded their debut album with help from pals Taj Mahal, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Bob Weir. 
Here's the scoop from High Moon Records...
Ace Of Cups may not have been the first all-women rock and roll band, but they were the one that mattered within that bizarre wrinkle in time that constituted late 1960s San Francisco. Converging from a diverse set of backgrounds in the Haight-Ashbury just before the Summer of Love, these young women would constitute an independently-driven, uniquely-inspired organization, equally capable of feather-light poetry, funkier soul and further-out freakery than most of their more celebrated male compatriots within the psychedelic ballrooms. Yet despite the avowed interest of the industry and obvious hometown support, the original Ace Of Cups never got to release an album. Until now…

High Moon Records is honored to present the first full-length studio album by the mesmerizing Ace Of Cups. Produced by Dan Shea (Santana, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey),  and recorded at Marin’s Laughing Tiger Studios, the record’s twenty-one tracks span fifty years of masterful songwriting, that sound as timeless as they do cathartic.

Anchored by fervent playing and beautiful harmonies from the Ace, classic songs such as “Taste Of One,” “Pretty Boy,” “Circles” and “Simplicity” have been given new energy and focus while previously unheard newly written material reveals additional depth and soul.

Special guests include legendary players (and long time Ace of Cups friends)  Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, and Charlie Musselwhite as well as lead vocal turns by Bob Weir  on “The Well”,  Taj Mahal  on “Life In Your Hands”, Peter Coyote on “As The Rain”, and Buffy Sainte-Marie  on “Pepper In The Pot”. Despite the sheer number of songs and guests on the album, and the range of material, there is a remarkable consistency born from the band’s and musicians’ deep personal connection and musical bond. Pre-order the 2LP or 2CD version right here.

Ace Of Cups (High Moon Records)

LP 1 / CD1
Introduction: There’s a Record Being Made
Feel Good
Pretty Boy
Fantasy 1&4
We Can’t Go Back Again
The Well (feat. Bob Weir)
Taste of One
Mama’s Love
Feel It in the Air

LP2 / CD2

Interlude: Transistor
Interlude: Baby from the Forest of Knolls
Life in Your Hands (feat. Taj Mahal)
As the Rain (feat. Peter Coyote)
Daydreamin’ (feat. Taj Mahal)
On the Road
Pepper in the Pot (feat. Buffy Sainte-Marie)
Interlude: Breath
Indian Summer
Grandma’s Hands
Medley (The Hermit / The Flame Still Burns / Gold & Green / Living In The Country)
Outroduction: It’s Always Safe…

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Happy 85th birthday Wayne Shorter!

Here's Wayne blowing fire alongside Lee Morgan with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in Paris back in 1959.

Vinyl Freak John Corbett discusses Sun Ra

New album from The Aints due September 21

The Church Of Simultaneous Existence is Ed Kuepper's forthcoming album with The Aints – pre-order it here.

Friday, August 24, 2018

R.I.P. Leslie "Lazy Lester" Johnson, 1933-2018

Swamp blues harp great Lazy Lester, recently seen in a GEICO commercial, died of cancer at home in Paradise, CA.

Lindi Ortega's Liberty: Parkhill Sessions acoustic EP out today!

Lindi's three-song EP recorded in Calgary features a duet with Corb Lund on Lovers in Love which you can hear below.

Aug. 25 / Jam in the Trees / Black Mountain, NC
Sept. 7 - 9 / Sisters Folk Festival / Sisters, OR
Sept. 13 / Festival of Small Halls 2018 / Tamworth, ON
Sept. 13 - 16 / Supercrawl Festival 2018 / Hamilton, ON
Sept. 14 / The Hayloft Dancehall / Picton, ON
Sept. 15 /  Cityfolk Festival 2018 / Ottawa, ON
Sept. 18 / Beachland Tavern / Cleveland, OH
Sept. 19 / The Ark / Ann Arbor, MI
Sept. 21 / Cultivate Festival 2018 / Port Hope, ON
Sept. 22 / The B Side / Fort Wayne, IN
Sept. 23 / Holler on the Hill 2018 / Indianapolis, IN

Wine Lips opening for Daniel Romano's Ancient Shapes @ Lee's Palace, Saturday

Toronto's Wine Lips have been working on a new album which they may be previewing Saturday night. 

Whaddya mean you don't know Mike Nyoni

Now-Again recently issued a collection of Mike Nyoni's funky Zamrock joints in their Reserve subscription series. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dean Wareham vs. Bill Monroe

Dean Wareham's version of "Wayfaring Stranger" will be issued on his new album Dean Wareham Vs. Cheval Sombre.

Shelved Buck Owens album from 1975 released by Omnivore

Country Singer's Prayer was recorded by Buck for Capitol but deep-sixed when the first two singles didn't click.
The Buck Owens Album That Never Was—Until Now!

By late 1975, Buck’s unequaled success at Capitol Records was finally winding down. His singles were no longer topping the charts, and after the death of Don Rich the year before, Buck was starting to lose the fire that drove him through an unprecedented run of groundbreaking hits in the ’60s and early ’70s. His contract was due to expire at the end of the year, and he and the Buckaroos readied one final album for them in November.

Buck’s last single for Capitol, “Country Singer’s Prayer,” did not make a typical Owens showing on the charts—so a decision was made to shelf the album, and assign the selection number to Best Of Buck Owens, Vol. 6, which included two singles originally intended for the album that never was: “The Battle Of New Orleans” and what would have been its title track.

Omnivore Recordings, in conjunction with the Buck Owens Estate, is proud to present Country Singer’s Prayer—Buck Owens’ final Capitol album, which has remained unissued to this day. Mastered from the original tapes, and presented in what was the intended sequence, also included are the B-sides to Buck’s departing two singles.

With new liner notes by Scott B. Bomar featuring interviews with Jim Shaw (longtime Buckaroos piano player and co-writer of “Country Singer’s Prayer”), and R.J. Jones (aka Rocky Topp, the other co-writer of the title track), this is a fascinating chance to experience Buck’s last envisioned Capitol album.

While Owens did revisit some of these songs for the pointedly named "Buck 'Em" album after signing to Warner Bros. Records, these original recordings produced at Buck’s Bakersfield studio with the Buckaroos have remained in the vault. Watch Omnivore's promo trailer followed by the track "He Ain't Been Out Bowling With The Boys" 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Unissued recordings from Detroit garage crew The Debutantes uncovered!

The 15-track debut album by 60s Detroit garage group The Debutantes – due in Sept 21 – boasts nine unheard songs. 
The Debutantes

Jan McClellan and a rotating cast of Motor City kitties, aka The Debutantes, shattered hearts and glass ceilings from ’64 to ’69, busting out three sought after 45s and quietly putting to tape nine more recordings! The tapes have been found and those nine unreleased cuts combine with the coveted six to form the first-ever Debutantes LP!

A cohesive raucous bundle of raw joy, including a blistering take on the Andre Williams penned “Shake A Tail Feather,” a gender bending spin on “If You Wanna Be Happy,” a Stones cut, and so much more! Features a gatefold jacket with photos galore and notes by Glynis Ward, host of WFMU’s Crayons To Perfume. On colored vinyl and pressed in Detroit. Out September 21. Listen to The Debutantes' cover of "Shake A Tail Feather" following the preview trailer below.

Whaddya mean you don't know the Tohru Aizawa Quartet

Pianist Tohru Aizawa cut Tachibana Vol. 1 featuring the track "Sacrament" with fellow medical students.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

R.I.P. Spencer P. Jones, 1956-2018

Sadly, guitar great Spencer P. Jones, longtime Beasts of Bourbon member, has lost his battle with cancer. 

Probing new Robert Pollard bio Closer You Are out today!

Written by Bob Pollard's longtime pal Matthew Cutter, Closer You Are is an in-depth look at the man behind GBV.

Whaddya mean you don't know Head

Here's Graham Mince and company's self-released jazz rock gem "Blackpool Cool" from 1977.

Khruangbin @ Danforth Music Hall, November 29

Tickets are now on sale for Khruangbin's return to Toronto on November 29th. Watch their Tiny Desk Session below.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Happy 70th Birthday Robert Plant!

Believe it or not, Robert Plant turns 70 today... here's a clip of our man listening back to the first record he owned.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

R.I.P. Jack "Mr. Bongo" Costanzo, 1919-2018

Sadly, legendary percussion maestro Jack "Mr. Bongo" Costanzo passed away last night. He was 98.  

Introducing: T. Benny & the Buzz Brothers

Daptone's garage/psych/surf subsidiary Wick Records is pleased to present another platter that matters, by Queens' County's newest instrumental sensations... T. Benny and the Buzz Brothers.

Here's the story: The tape from said session was sent to Daptone HQ with only a small note that said: T. Benny and the Buzz Brothers - For Wick - Conceived at a smokey late-night session at Diamond Mine Studio, in Long Island City. No information about the musicians or personnel was shared, but upon hearing, the Daptone braintrust promptly called Diamond Mine to exclaim "WE WANT THIS RECORD!"

Anonymity aside, these mysterious folks have turned out two of the most exciting instrumental tunes of late! The A-Side "Gimme A Buzz", upon first look, one may expect a homage to any number of intoxicating substances - but it is in fact - a Link Wray inspired mauler that is a three minute sonic knee-to-the-face. The searing guitar lead over the unassailable groove builds a hellish beast upon a surf-rock skeleton that seductively lures the listener into oblivion. The flip-side, The Drought, is a brooding dirge whose relentless riff and doom-inspired, repetitive thump sounds like a ritualistic melody used to conjure an unholy bringer of ruination. A darkly satisfying instrumental offering. Fingers crossed we'll hear more from this group soon. Pre-order the new single right here. It's out August 24. Limited random colour vinyl (1 per person) available while they last!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Blue Rodeo, Serena Ryder @ Budweiser Stage, Saturday

Jim Cuddy takes you on a guided tour of Blue Rodeo's recording studio in Toronto.

Tia Brazda takes a bossa nova turn with "Daydream"

"Daydream" is the title track from Tia Brazda's new album out Sept 7th. She plays Glenn Gould Studio Sept 16th. 

6 Sept | Frankie's | Vancouver, BC
7 Sept | Hermann's Jazz Club | Victoria, BC
8 Sept | Village Town Hall | Lions Bay, BC
11 Sept | Ironwood Stage & Grill | Calgary, AB
12 Sept| Cafe Blackbird | Edmonton, AB
15 Sept | Stephen Leacock Museum | Orillia, ON
16 Sept | Glenn Gould Studio | Toronto, ON
20 Sept | Black Horse | Peterborough, ON
22 Sept | Pausa Art House | Buffalo, NY
29 Sept | Rudy's Jazz Room | Nashville, TN
5 Oct | Live On Elgin | Ottawa, ON
6 Oct | Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill | Montréal, QC
11 Oct | Record Archive Backroom Lounge | Rochester, NY
12-13 Oct | Andy's Jazz Club | Chicago, IL
18 Oct | Stone Mountain Arts Center | Brownfield, ME
25 Oct | The Registry Theatre | Kitchener, ON
2 Nov | Groove | New York, NY
4 Nov | Twins Jazz | Washington, DC
16 Nov | Westin Harbour Castle, "Liveright Gala" | Toronto, ON
18 Nov | Mahtay Café | St. Catharines, ON
22 Nov| Ottawa Conference & Event Centre, "Liveright Gala" | Ottawa, ON
23 Nov| Musikkii Café | Kingston, ON
24 Nov | Light Club Lamp Shop | Burlington, VT
29 Nov | Baba's Lounge | Charlottetown, PEI
30 Nov | Halifax Marriott Harbourfront, "Liveright Gala" | Halifax, NS

Friday, August 17, 2018

Deep digging DJ Nicola Conte excavates MPS spiritual jazz

Nicola Conte's new archival collection Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS will be out September 21. 

"Cosmic Forest" takes us on a spiritual journey through the musical universe of Musik Produktion Schwarzwald aka MPS, the most important German jazz label of the 1960's and 70's. Alongside such younger firms as ECM, Enja, and ACT, its catalogue of around 500 albums remains to this day one of the most interesting, comprehensive, multi-textured collections of "jazz made in Germany". German businessman Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer (HGBS), owner of the German electronics company SABA in Villingen/ Schwenningen, founded a record company in 1965 under the same name and equipped it with its own recording studio. Three years later he renamed the company MPS. The exceptional recording equipment and premium-quality record pressings, which were usually made in editions of 500 to 1000 LPs, are to this day regarded as "state of the art". Consequently, SABA/MPS remains one of the most important jazz labels for both vinyl collectors and fans.

There are still little-known gems to discover within the MPS catalogue. For instance, Cosmic Forest curated by DJ deluxe Nicola Conte. Cosmic Forest is a compilation that highlights some of the most compelling "spiritual jazz" recordings from 1965 to 1975. Conte, a world-renowned Italian musician and producer, as well as a passionate DJ and record collector, is a connoisseur of European jazz with an astounding ability to dig a little deeper when it comes to arranging such a compilation. In this case, he concentrated on the spiritual highpoints of the MPS catalogue, highlighting both well-known and obscure musical treasures, while connecting disparate pieces through a personal common thread. The choice of individual titles and the flowing character of their arrangement lend the album a quality of timelessness, while showcasing the breadth of the entire "cosmic jazz collection" within the MPS archives. Watch the preview clip below followed by MPS classics recorded by Michael Naura, Nathan Davis and George Gruntz.

One For The Weekend: Hasil Adkins

Here's Hasil singing "Going Back To St. Louis" off a nicely packaged single released by Farewell Records in France.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

R.I.P. Aretha Franklin, 1942-2018

Remembering the Queen of Soul with a Memphis-style tribute by George Jackson.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Midweek Mixdown: Exotic Belly Dance Delights

Check out Mr. A The Barber's swingin' selection for You Got Good Taste Vol. 59: Exotic Belly Dance Delights.