musicology #0625

The Agony Of Power #1

Hemsley Morris & Phil Pratt – Little Things

Been Rockin’ Steady these past few weeks with the sweet sounds of Jamaica as the, (primary), soundtrack and the writings of one of my most cherished and respected guides and companions on the journey; Jean Baudrillard whose insights I featured a selection of last year, (Fragments), on themusicologist.

Inspiration is the key for themusicologist to rise up to throw down and often the seed is sown by music and literature and this theme is no exception..

The quotes in this series, (beginning today), belong to Baudrillard…highlited from a collection of his speeches and essays entitled ‘The Agony Of Power’

The musical wisdom is courtesy of Hemsley Morris, (Vocals), a collection of the cream of Jamaica’s instrumentalists from a pool of Cats such as Lynn Taitt, Tommy Mc Cook, Winston Wright, Gladdy Anderson, Vincent Gordon, Johnny Moore, Hugh Malcolm, ‘Easy Snappin’, Clifton ‘Jackie Jackson’, Drumbago, Herman Marquis…and the producer, (none other than one of the great Jamaican musicologists), George ‘Phil Pratt’ Phillips who is also harmonising on this wicked cut.

So without further delay hold this quote and listen tune…

“In order to grasp how globalization and global antagonism works, we should distinguish carefully between domination and hegemony. Domination is characterised by the master/slave relation, which is still a dual relation with potential alienation, a relationship of force and conflicts. It has a violent history of oppression and liberation. There are the dominators and the dominated-it remains a symbolic relationship. Everything changes with the emancipation of the slave and the internalisation of the master by the emancipated slave”

musicology #0619

ChristmasComing #12

Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby

Sticking with the 60’s Soul festivities with this cut from none other than the legendary ‘Big O’.. I’m led to believe that this one was released in 1968?? which would make it a year after he ‘boarded the train’ to the pearly gates..if it was then it would have be synoymous with themusicologist as I was born in the month of December, in the year of the Earth Monkey whilst revolution filled the air. Having already laid Otis’ majestic rendition of Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ down two years ago I’m very happy to be bringing this version of Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore’s Rhythm & Blues Christmas classic ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ to the festive table..First recorded by the Three? Blazers, (Johnny Moore, his brother Oscar, Charles Brown, Eddie Williams), in 1947.

Listen Tune….

musicology #530

Jamaica #10

(The Uniques – Love & Devotion)

on the previous cut I mentioned one of Jamaican musicology’s prime movers and shakers Edward ‘Bunny’ Lee, (aka Striker/Sir One Strike), and his skills as a record plugger, (originally for Duke Reid). Today though it’s the man himself’s turn to deliver but this time as producer…So many top ranking slices of the Rocksteady and later the Reggae have the Striker stamp that they could easily fill a theme on themusicologist and maybe one day they will but right now It has to be just the one from that long list.

But before throwing down I would just like to add that MANY of the great Jamaican artists have yet to be featured on the theme but what can a man do? I’m sure that over the years they will all be HEAVILY represented, (as some already have), all I can say is that, (at least in my book), every cut laid down on here is a gem so that will have to do.

So who’s up? has to be this one from the Uniques with a personal favourite that I first heard way back in the mid 80’s and has been etched into my consciousness ever since. Featuring the Sublime vocals of first Jimmy Riley then Slim Smith and finally Lloyd Charmers..each blessed with a voice that could ‘charm the monkeys from out of the trees’ On rhythm duty are Cats we are already more than familiar with (Lynn Taitt, Winston Grennan, Gladstone Anderson, Bobby Aitken, Val Bennett, Lester Sterling, Vin Gordon, Johnny Moore)…..MAJESTIC

musicology #268

sleighbellsring #16

(Johnny Moore’s Blazers – Christmas Eve Baby)

Woke up this morning with the smell, sound and sight of Christmas in my nose, ears and eyes…what JOY. So with that in mind today I am going to post as many cuts as I can manage in between preparing for Santa’s visit tonight.

First up is a cut from Johnny Moore’s Blazers. Not sure of the exact year or even whether it’s Charles Brown on vocal duties what I am sure of however is it’s quality…..

musicology #158

vocalgroupaction2 #3

(The Drifters – Oh My Love)

while scouring the vaults looking for vocalgroup cuts it occured to me that there are many practitioners of the art that deserve a musicologist representation…but there are two who are essential. The Miracles..and this group who epitomise the genre.

originally formed in 1954 by Clyde McPhatter, the Drifters have been through many line up changes, first it was Clyde singing lead followed by Johnny Moore and then Bobby Hendricks.

in 1958 the whole group was fired and replaced with one that was going under the name of the Five Crowns, (featuring the unmistakable pipes of Ben E King), who soon delivered national success in 1959 with ‘There Goes My Baby’ true to form the line up didnt last and after an altercation between the two managers Ben E King, (eventually), went solo.

this is the B side to the aforementioned hit from 1959 featuring Ben E King singing lead in the year that ‘doo wop’ was being challenged by the emerging sound that became known as Soul.

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