Thursday, April 30, 2020

Whaddya mean you don't know Ilaiyaraaja

Ilaiyaraaja scored the film Ellaam Inbamayam (Happiness Everywhere) in which the song "Solla Solla Enna Perumai" is impressively synched by Kamal Haasan. 

Grab a copy of Finders Keepers' excellent Solla Solla compilation of Maestro Ilaiyaraaja's most exciting soundtrack jams right here

That time Damo Suzuki sang with The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol

Here's Can's Damo Suzuki with Ottawa's Band Whose Name Is A Symbol performing at the Dominion Tavern back in 2012. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Roy Ayers joined by Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad for new album

Roy Ayers: Jazz Is Dead 0002 is slated for release by the Jazz Is Dead label on June 19th. Listen to "Synchronizaton Vibration" and Jazz Is Dead 001.  

Here's the scoop...
Timeless music exists as a piece of art that is perpetually in vogue; a creation of sound that never sours with future generations.  For Jazz Is Dead, a taste for timelessness is essential and our strength is based on presenting the unexpected.  With great pride, we announce a new album with Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Adrian Younge and the godfather of neo-soul: Roy Ayers Jazz Is Dead (JID) 002

With a career spanning nearly 60 years, he’s inspired a multitude of artists with his jazz-oriented R&B: a fusion of post-bop and soul that canonized his place in the world of music.  He’s one of the most sampled artists of all time, responsible for some of your favorite songs by A Tribe Called Quest, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar and more.  His formative years came in the ‘70s, with a slew of Polydor releases including He’s Coming, Vibrations and Everybody Loves the Sunshine.

The Los Angeles bred Ayers was raised near the epicenter of the west coast jazz scene, Central Avenue.  By day, a pleasant downtown for the segregated black middle class; by night, a dynamic multi-cultural thoroughfare of music, entertainment, and Black excellence.  At a time when Bebop was the new wave, musicians ranging from Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, and Ella Fitzgerald were frequent regulars.  With fast tempos, instrumental virtuosity and complex chord progressions, it was the younger generations answer to the oversaturated jazz of yesteryear. At the age of 5, Ayers attended a Lionel Hampton concert, where he was personally gifted a set of mallets by the legendary vibraphonist. “I was singing before the vibraphone but I was playing the piano because we had one at home…the piano really made me want to play the vibraphone.”  Ayers sought to become the next Hampton.

At 17, Ayers convinced his parents to buy him a $300 vibraphone, with the goal of one day becoming a professional musician.  As he progressed, he began performing with fledgling musicians like Bobby Hutcherson and Edwin Birdsong.  He also played with more established artists like Chico Hamilton, Teddy Edwards, Jack Wilson, Phineas Newborn and Gerald Wilson.  His persistence paid off and he found his niche as a touring vibraphonist for the flautist Herbie Mann.

Towards the end of his four-year tenure with Mann, he signed a deal with Polydor that would define his career.  Slowly, he began to forego some of his post-bop virtuosity for a prevalence in groove and R&B.   Unbeknownst to Ayers, he would create a catalog, ultimately serving as the predecessor to neo-soul.  This move was heavily influenced by his childhood friend and frequent co-producer, Edwin Birdsong.  During these formative years, Ayers found a new purpose and reached a wider audience with soulful iterations of jazz.  In ’76 he released “Searching,” and “Everybody Loves The Sunshine,” the latter serving as one of the most influential songs of his career.

“The song changed everything for me. It’s still the last song of my show. People always join in and it’s been sampled over 100 times, by everyone from Dr. Dre to Pharrell Williams,” stated Ayers.  His biggest hit was ironically recorded at night and the phrase just came to his head.  Roy chanted, “Feel what I feel, when I feel what I feel, what I’m feeling. Then I started thinking about summer imagery. Folks get down in the sunshine, folks get brown in the sunshine, just bees and things and flowers. It was so spontaneous. It felt wonderful and I knew exactly how I wanted it to sound: a mix of vibraphone, piano and a synthesizer.”

It's this simple blending of soul and jazz that revolutionized a sound of music for years to come.  Prior to recording Jazz Is Dead 002, he worked with Alicia Keys, Thundercat and Tyler The Creator.  When asked why he still continues to record music, he had one simple answer, “For the younger generation. That’s exactly why I do it, exactly for that reason.”

R.I.P. Obie "Young" Jessie, 1936-2020

 Sadly, R&B great Obie "Young" Jessie of "Mary Lou", "Hit, Git & Split" and "Brown Eyes" has passed away. He'll be greatly missed.    

Ace Records Young Jessie Remembered

Quarantunes: Plastic Bertrand

Watch Plastic Bertrand reprise his 1978 synth-pop fave "Tout Petit La Planète" acoustically from home followed by the original. 

Happy Birthday Hasil Adkins!

Remembering Hasil Adkins on his birthday with two vintage performance clips, two 45s and suitably rockin' interpretations by Toronto's own Catl. 

Midweek Mixdown: Martin Belmont's Guest List

Sit back for two hours with guitarist Martin Belmont (of Ducks Deluxe & The Rumour) playing a typically well-chosen set of tunes on The Guest List #29. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Southern Culture's Rick Miller talks about his notorious guitar

Rick Miller spills the greasy details about his well-worn Danelectro followed by a Southern Culture on the Skids performance at Paste Studio ATL.

Watch the Orchestra Baobab documentary Specialist In All Styles

After a lengthy hiatus, Senegal's Orchestra Baobab returned in 2002 with the amazing Specialist In All Styles album which this short film documents. 

Midweek Mixdown: Jonathan Toubin's Night Train Soul Clap Classics 2020

Here's DJ Jonathan Toubin's swingin' new mix of NY Night Train Soul Clap Classics. 

Soul Supreme updates A Tribe Called Quest classics

Amsterdam-based DJ/producer Soul Supreme offers his own perspective on Tribe's "Lyrics To Go" and "Check The Rhime" 

Jazz runs deep through the music of A Tribe Called Quest. Two new tracks by Amsterdam-based, Jerusalem-born keyboardist, DJ & producer Soul Supreme is in its own way a reflection of that. The tracks are homages to iconic hip-hop tracks “Check The Rhime” & “Lyrics To Go” from a jazz perspective.

“I want to take the listener on a trip to overlook tracks they know, but from a different perspective,” says Soul Supreme. “I try to go 'in and out' of the ATCQ tracks so the listener never knows what’s going to happen next. My overall goal is to give existing music my own twist. I don’t want to sound like a rehash of something listeners have heard before.”

But to Soul Supreme, that’s far from science. He doesn’t sit down with a pad & pen to think of ways to switch things up, it happens through improvisation. In that sense, it’s A Tribe Called Quest’s hip-hop he loves, but a jazz influence that prevails.

Soul Supreme’s versions of “Check The Rhime” and “Lyrics To Go” follow the line of his The Message / Umi Says 7” release on Chicago-based imprint Star Creature Universal Vibrations last year. That record featuring instrumental tributes to Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Mos Def was sold out in a matter of days.

Quarantunes: Rob Sweeney

Here's another choice ripper from Crummy Stuff's Rob Sweeney called "You Didn't Tell Me"

Monday, April 27, 2020

Watch Nardwuar interview Ian MacKaye from home

Self-isolation restrictions aren't going to keep a house-bound Nardwuar from doing interviews – this time it's his third joust with Ian MacKaye. 

Happy Birthday Ann Peebles!

Celebrating the birthday of Memphis soul great Ann Peebles with performances"I Can't Stand The Rain" from 1974 and "Beware" from 1975.

Unexplained Sounds surveys contemporary Indonesia music

Italy's Unexplained Sounds Group led by Raffaele Pezzella offers a guided tour of the contemporary experimental music of Indonesia. Hear a track below. 
Here's the scoop...
For many centuries Indonesia, from the Malay Peninsula throughout the vast archipelago, has been subjected to successive foreign cultural invasions which have left their deep imprint on the indigenous way of life. Among the first was the Mongolian intrusion from central Asia. A later cultural wave came from India when Hindu merchants and immigrants introduced Hinduism and Buddhism into the islands. Subsequently, about the 13th century A.D. Islamic influences penetrated the archipelago. Finally in the 16th century, Western culture and Christianity came into the picture.

Although, after four centuries, Western civilization has by no means superseded the Islamic hold on Indonesia (90% of the population are Muslims), it has already reshaped the outward appearance of Indonesia life to a considerably extent. The cultural diversity is naturally reflected in the music.
In the current globalized and digital communications-dominated era, influences from the Western world become more and more evident, in everyday life , as well in popular art and music from Indonesia.

But listening to the tracks included in this compilation presented by Unexplained Sounds Group, you’ll discover how traditional Indonesian music, even in its more 'primitive' forms, as well in the very elaborate and developed ones from Javanese and Balinese tradition, are still very much recognizable. The current mix of influences in the experimental and avant-garde music from this region has resulted in an extremely fascinating kaleidoscope of sounds.

The Anthology Of Experimental Music From Indonesia curated by Raffaele Pezzella for the Unexplained Sounds Group is available right here. Have a listen to Senyawa's recording of "Sujud" from the collection followed by a performance clip of Java's Senyawa (feat. vocalist Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi playing a homemade string instrument) on stage in Copenhagen below.

Side-Line Interview with Raffaele Pezzella

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Listen to Hayes Carll's acoustic version of "Times Like These"

Texas troubadour Hayes Carll just put out an acoustic version of his song "Times Like These" and he's performing live via Instagram on Friday at 8pm Eastern.  

Watch The Fall on ITV's The Other Side of Midnight in 1988

Here's Mark E. Smith and company performing "Big New Prinz" introduced by Tony Wilson in 1988. 

Saturday, April 25, 2020

R.I.P. Hamilton Bohannon, 1942-2020

Sadly, Georgia-born drummer, composer, bandleader and producer Hamilton Bohannon passed away on Friday. He was 78. 

Aquarium Drunkard posted Daniel T's excellent mix Some For Bohannon which you can check out here

Happy Birthday Ella Fitzgerald!

Remembering Ella Fitzgerald on her birthday with the Chick Webb Orchestra fave "Wacky Dust" from 1938 and "Cow Cow Boogie" from 1944.  

Robbie Basho's lost Vanguard recordings issued on vinyl

Real Gone Music has released Robbie Basho's Songs of the Great Mystery as a 2LP set on clear vinyl limited to 1000 copies.

Here's the scoop...
Robbie Basho was one of the big three American acoustic guitar innovators, John Fahey and Leo Kottke being the other two. Basho was the least commercially successful of the three, but his influence and reputation has steadily grown since his untimely death in 1986 at the age of 45. And with good reason; for Basho's deeply spiritual approach, intellectual rigor, and formal explorations (among his goals was the creation of a raga system for American music), present a deeply compelling, multi-faceted artist. Basho was actually a college friend of John Fahey, and his early recordings (like Kottke's) were for Fahey's Takoma label. Following Fahey 's move to Vanguard, Basho followed suit, and released Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus for the label in 1972 and 1974, respectively (his most commercially successful records were made for the Windham Hill label later in the decade).

Flash forward to 2009: Vanguard contacted guitarist (and long-time Basho champion) Glenn Jones with the intriguing news that an unreleased Robbie Basho album session had recently been found, on a tape that, alas, lacked any real documentation. It was only 12 years later, when Jones, in the process of researching the liner notes for this release, discovered the truth: that not just the mysterious tape but both Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus were the result of one marathon session in 1971 or 1972 recorded in New York City by Vanguard staff engineer Jeffrey Zaraya.

Songs of the Great Mystery: The Lost Vanguard Sessions, then, takes its place as the third of the triumvirate of albums Basho recorded for the label, and it is their equal in every way, exploring, in particular, some of the same Native American themes found on Voice of the Eagle. Some of the tunes showed up on later albums in much different forms; 1978's Visions of the Country featured 'A Day in the Life of Lemuria' (re-titled 'Leaf in the Wind') and 'Night Way,' and 'Laughing Thunder, Crawling Thunder' went through various permutations before appearing on 1981's Rainbow Thunder as 'Crashing Thunder.' But for Basho fans, the originals will probably steal the show, particularly 'Song of the Great Mystery,' which, unlike some of the songs here that showcase Basho's singing and piano-playing, brings to the fore his amazing six-string guitar technique and touch.

Vanguard briefly put these sessions up digitally when they were located, but Real Gone Music's release represents the first time they have come out in any physical form (and the alternate take of 'A Day in the Life of Lemuria,' also discovered by Jones, has never been heard anywhere). Featuring track-by-track annotation, rare photos (including Basho's own handwritten notes found in the tape box), and remastering by Mike Milchner of SonicVision, Songs of the Great Mystery: The Lost Vanguard Sessions is a timely release heralding the release of a new documentary and an upcoming Basho box set. Available on CD or on a double-LP set pressed in clear vinyl limited to 1000 copies at Gotta Groove Records and housed inside a gatefold jacket. You can get a copy directly from Real Gone Music right here. Listen to "Laughing Thunder, Crawling Thunder" and "A Day in the Life of Lemuria" followed by the track listing below.

Robbie Basho – Songs of the Great Mystery: The Lost Vanguard Sessions

1. A Day in the Life of Lemuria
2. Night Way
3. The Butterfly of Wonder

1. Laughing Thunder, Crawling Thunder
2. Thunder Sun

1. Kateri Tekakwitha
2. Thunder Love

1. Song of the Great Mystery
2. Death Song
3. A Day in the Life of Lemuria (Alternate Take)

R.I.P. DJ/producer Mike Huckaby

Sadly, Detroit DJ/producer and educator Mike Huckaby passed away on Friday from complications due to COVID-19.  He was just 54. 

90s Nostalgia: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on the Jon Stewart Show

Watch JSBX perform "Ditch" and "Get With It" on Jon Stewart's pre-Daily Show program in December, 1994. 

Whaddya mean you don't know Ina & Al Harris

Canuck guitar slinger deluxe Smiling Al Harris accompanies his wife Ina on the atmospheric "Don't Tempt Me"

Toronto Star Smiling Al Harris, the guitar man

Friday, April 24, 2020

Nick Lowe releases live recording with Los Straitjackets

Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets' recording Live at Haw River Ballroom is available as a 27-track digital download right here.

Nick Cave launches Bad Seed TeeVee

Bad Seed TeeVee is streaming Nick Cave and related performances, interviews, videos and unseen footage 24/7. Check it out below. 

Nathaniel Rateliff toasts Willie Nelson with a birthday salute

Since Willie Nelson will be turning 87 on Wednesday, Nathaniel Rateliff didn't want to wait till the last minute to release his new tune. 

One For The Weekend: Nimrod Workman

Here's coal miner and union activist Nimrod Workman singing "O Death" in 1983 at the age of 87 – he went on to live for 11 more years. 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Rolling Stones share timely new track "Living In A Ghost Town"

Watch the new video for the just-released Rolling Stones tune "Living In A Ghost Town" which they presciently recorded about a year ago. 

Reunited X quietly drops Alphabetland, first new album in decades!

Check X's update of "Delta 88 Nightmare" off their long-awaited new album Alphabetland – produced by Rob Schnapf – available right here.

North Carolina's Skylar Gudasz releases her Cinema album

The songs "Femme Fatale," "Play Nice" and "Rider" are off the new Skylar Gudasz album Cinema out now on Suah Records. You can get it here.  

Watch The Ramones live at Max's Kansas City in 1976

Check out The Ramones at Max's Kansas City on April 18, 1976 just five days prior to the release of their groundbreaking debut LP. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Michael Moore marks Earth Day with Planet Of The Humans eco-doc

Filmmaker Michael Moore launched the climate change documentary Planet Of The Humans on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Watch it below.  

Happy Birthday Charles Mingus!

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was set to perform My Cherie Amour on The Ed Sullivan Show but decided instead on the rousing Mingus stomp "Haitian Fight Song"

Midweek Mixdown: Nicola Conte & Cloud Danko

Here are a couple of spiritually uplifting mixes from deep digging DJ Nicola Conte & Cloud Danko in their Love Flower series. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Iggy Pop & Bootsy Collins join forces for "Family Affair"

Iggy Pop is celebrating his birthday with the release of his cover of Sly & The Family Stone's "Family Affair" featuring his pal Bootsy Collins. Listen below. 

Thrilling Trailers: Empire Of The Ants (1977)

Here's a Joan Collins gem for AIP – Empire Of The Ants – directed by Bert I. Gordon, who also did Picture Mommy Dead  and Earth vs. The Spider.

Quarantunes: Katie Bulley

Hamilton's Katie Bulley has been busy posting solo performances from her home, check out a couple of 'em.

Happy Birthday Iggy Pop!

Raising a glass to Iggy Pop on his 73rd birthday with The Prime Movers' version of "I'm A Man."

Monday, April 20, 2020

R.I.P. Onaje Allan Gumbs, 1949-2020

Sadly, NYC jazz pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs – a key player on many spiritual jazz sessions – has passed away at the age of 70. He'll be greatly missed. 

Watch The Chills' long lost 1982 video for "Rolling Moon"

Watch the 1982 promo clip for The Chills' "Rolling Moon" recently unearthed by Peter Janes while working on The Chills documentary. 

Here's the scoop...
Emerging from The Chills archive – thirty-eight years after it's recording! – comes an unreleased early promo video for their first 7" 'Rolling Moon'. Recorded at Pilots Bay in Dunedin, New Zealand back in 1982, video director Peter Janes unearthed the video when sourcing material for their recent documentary film The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy Of Martin Phillipps.

"Something special for all you Chills fans as legendary New Zealand cameraman/director Peter Janes has used lockdown time to edit together the long-lost 'Rolling Moon' footage into a clip. The result of the 1982 shoot at Pilots Bay, Dunedin were originally deemed largely too dark for use and then the film was lost for over three decades and only recently discovered in time for a tiny piece of it to be included in the documentary 'The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy Of Martin Phillipps'. But now we finally have a promo clip for our first 7" single from 1982. Drummer Martyn Bull was too sick on the day to come out to where we filmed the clip so we had to go ahead without him. It's such a shame. Enjoy!" - Martin Phillipps

"I’m sorry it took so long, it’s amazing it surfaced at all. The footage has been in various, attics, stables, and garages for almost forty years. I really must speed up my post production efforts. Sorry Martin. I shot these clips for the joy if it really" - Peter Janes

Check out the video for "Rolling Moon" below followed by the trailer for the documentary "The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps" which will hopefully make it to a theatre in Toronto some day in the future.

Introducing: Joon

Maltese producer Yasmin Kuymizakis aka Joon just released her Johnny Jewel-mixed electro jam E.T. with an album slated for summer release.

Happy Birthday Beaver Harris!

Remembering the great Beaver Harris with the overlooked gem "Ismay, My Mother" and a set with Archie Shepp.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

R.I.P. Henry Grimes, 1935-2020

Sadly, bass boss Henry Grimes has passed away from complications due to COVID-19. He'll be greatly missed.

The Wire William Parker pays tribute to Henry Grimes

Listen to "Golden Oldies" by R.A. The Rugged Man w/ Eamon & Atmosphere

Fat-laced hip hop fans will enjoy R.A. The Rugged Man's new joint and then his pal Eamon shows he can handle a Sam Cooke tune.  

Whaddya mean you don't know The Ferraris

Straight outta Lansing, Michigan, here are The Ferraris – led by 14 year-old guitar playing twins Hector and Victor Juarez –performing "Lovin' Feelin' from 1965.