musicology #398

Sound&Fury #2

(Terry Callier – Darker Than A Shadow)

Slowing down the tempo a piece with this the second cut on the sound&fury courtesy of a Cat who has been a constant feature on themusicologist’s playlists over the past few weeks..poetic lyricologist of the highest order, childhood friend of Curtis Mayfield and one time Cabrini Green resident, Terry Callier.

This majestic slice is borrowed from his 2002 set ‘Speak Your Peace’. Just like to add thas far as I am concerned Terry Callier is an artist who deserves our support. Buy his sets, go to his concerts and let him know that he has some ‘warriors’ by his side.

“Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,

I was asleep and having dreams,
Awakened by a silent scream,
A raging wind and clouds of steam,
It was..darker than a shadow,

Unprepared for scenes like these,
With heavy air and boiling seas,
Destruction of societies,
It was..darker than a shadow,

What type insanity is this,
Standing on a precipice,
That leads into a deep abyss,
And it is darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,

There was a storm like this before,
Aftermath where angels walked,
Poisoned waters, wasted shores,
And it was..darker than a shadow,

Is this all we have learned my friends,
We’re doing now what they did then,
Repeating great mistakes again,
Darker than a shadow,

What type insanity is this,
We are walking in a scorching mist,
Leads down to a deep abyss,
And it is darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,

And then from out the deepest void,
There came a flaming asteroid,
One third of this world was destroyed,
It was…darker than a shadow

Mankind was in a raging fit,
And thermo-neuclear fires were lit,
We never saw the end of it,
‘Cause it was…darker than a shadow,

What mad insanity is this,
Standing on a precipice,
That leads into a deep abyss,
It is darker than a shadow
What type insanity is this,
Standing on a precipice,
That leads into a deep abyss,
And it is darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow,
Darker than a shadow”

musicology #391

PostMod/ernist #1

(Terry Callier – Keep Your Heart Right)

Transcendental cut from one of the great sets, (Timepeace), courtesy of the genius that is Terry Callier. Dedicated to my two children who have had to endure much in their young lives and today is no exception. Know that no matter what lies ahead, Dad is, and will always be, by your side.

“Can you feel the way the world is turning,
Will we live to love another day,
Is the lesson too late for the learning,
And do our emotions just get in the way,
Ohhh what d’ you say,
If the truth appears,
Will you turn away, turn away, turn away

In brightest day or darkest night
Dont give up the faith and keep your heart right,
Like a mountain stand for eternity,
Ohh your light will shine for the world to see

Keep your heart right,
Keep your heart right,

In a weary world that needs redemption,
Maybe we can learn to love again,
And this time there will be no exemptions,
Only better days ahead for us my friend
And it’s time to begin,
And if the thoughts are true wooohh,
The song never ends, never ends, never ends,

In brightest day or darkest night
Dont give up the faith and keep your heart right,
Like a mountain stand for eternity,
And your light will shine for the world to see,

Keep your heart right,
Keep your heart right,

musicology #366

Ideology&Philosophy #7

(Randy Crawford – Everything Must Change)

Taking a break from the Philosophy theme next week. To be honest it’s consuming too much of my time, is a bit too demanding and is affecting the consistency on themusicologist. Maybe I’ll come back to it at a later date? Maybe…But until then hold this final piece of dialectic concerning another stepping stone along the way, the Philosopher Jean Jaques Rousseau whose studies and subsequent observations on, (among other things), Society and Education being dominant forces controlling our lives are worth their weight in metaphorical Gold and well worth investing time in learning from.

The musicology is from the Majestic Randy Crawford….Listen Tune.

musicology #356

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #23

(Bobby Bland – St James Infirmary)

Leaving it all to the dialogue and Bobby Bland today..(both from 1961). So you’ll just have to take a listen for yourself if you want to know what’s occured.

musicology #341

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #8

(Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow)

The G20 ‘conference’ has disrupted my plans making it impossible to go out to work today so I’m directing my energies in other directions.

Today’s slice of the Alternative Hustler pie finds Eddie and Sarah together after their first night of passion. Not, I hasten to add, following on from yesterday’s piece of the action where she knocks him back for being ‘too hungry’. That night didn’t end up the way Eddie planned it so the next day he trys to hustle and finds his reputation has already spread around town making it difficult. He manages to find a dive where no-one knows him and makes a few bucks, returns to the bus station, (without knowing exactly why), and after a while Sarah arrives. She looks at him and without speaking they head off, arms entwined to her apartment…

The cut is another Town Hall/Dancehall early mod classic but this time from original girl group The Shirelles. (Shirley Owens, Alston Reeves, Doris Coley Kenner Jackson, Addie Harris McPherson, and Beverly Lee). The song was written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin with Luther ‘Strings’ Dixon producing. Recorded and released on Florence Greenberg’s Scepter label in 1960 it was the first song by an all girl group that hit #1 ushering in a new musical era that came to be known as ‘Soul’.

musicology #320

SongsOf Protest&Freedom#6

(Otis Redding – A Change Is Gonna  Come)

final cut of the freedom&protest…and what better way to finish with one of the greatest songs sung by one of the greatest singers. Sam Cooke’s original has already featured on themusicologist but couldn’t pass up this opportunity to throw it down again.

Otis singing Sam Cooke…doesn’t get any better. Taken from the LP ‘Otis Blue’…With Issac Hayes on the Keyboards, (and production), as well as the full Stax/Volt family Donald Dunn, Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love, Gene Miller and Fred Newman.

musicology #308

Live&Direct #5

(Lou Rawls – Goin’ To Chicago Blues)

Today’s cut features yet another of the great vocalists…Louis Allen Rawls. Life long friend of ‘Mr Soul’ Who was equally at home singing Gospel, Soul or Jazz whose impassioned response to Sam Cooke on the immortal 1962 cut ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ deserves special mention. A singer of the highest order about whom Frank Sinatra was quoted to have said “he has the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”…

This cut, first performed, (and written), by Jimmy Rushing and the Count Basie band was recorded for Capitol in 1966 featuring musicians James Bond, Earl Palmer, Tommy Strode, Herb Ellis..produced by David Axelrod.

musicology #277

newyearboogie #5

(Mel & Tim – Starting All Over Again)

New Month, New Year…New day dawns.

Listen Tune…

p.s flying home tonight so back in the saddle tomorrow with a new theme. A ‘clash’ between two of the greatest soloists ever recorded who together refined the language of improvisation and lifted it to new heights. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to who it could be. One thing’s for sure though it will swing so hard that by the end of it you’ll find your dancing shoes worn so thin you could use them to wrap a ‘zut’ !!

musicology #250

birthdaybashsoul&funk #5

(Red Hot + Riot – Sade – By Your Side CottonBelly Remix)

having heard from a few of the big guns that tore up the dancefloors during London’s ‘rare groove’ scene of the mid 80′s it’s time for a slice of the ‘close to my heart’ selection that was thrown down by me at the birthdaybash. One of the, (many), things I enjoyed about the ‘bash’ was the opportunity to play the music that I wanted to hear. Normally when ‘playing out’ the brief is to play a certain groove….whether that be Boogie, Funk, House, Reggae but not a cross section. Also the DJ is under pressure as the entertainer apoun who the ‘night’ relies. The Bash on the other hand was no pressure and more of a musical ‘journey to the self’ which I enjoyed immensely.

Anyway…the cut in question is the ‘Cottonbelly’, (Stuart Mathewman), remix of Sade’s ‘By Your Side’ for the tribute to Fela Red Hot + Riot project. For me one of the best pieces of ‘modernista’ around that not only communicates the message, In Spades, but also ‘trembles me marrow’ whenever I have the pleasure of feeling it. themusicologist is a BIG fan of Sade and Fela Kuti, (who also got a spin on the night), and to combine his legendary spirit, Sade’s beautiful lyrics and vocal performance with Stuart Mathewman’s production is a genuine musical treat.

“You think I’d leave your side baby?…
you know me better than that,
think I’d leave you down when you’re down on your knees?…
I wouldnt do that,
I’ll tell you you’re right when you want,
and if only you could see into me,
when you’re on the outside and you can’t get in I will show you,
you’re so much better than you know,
when you’re lost, you’re alone, can’t get back again,
I will find you darling and I will bring you home,

ooohh when youre cold i’ll be there hold you tight to me,
ooohh when youre alone i’ll be there by your side…”

musicology #243

soul&boogie #4

(Maze – Before I Let Go)

Boogie of the highest order from the legendary Maze featuring of course Frankie Beverly. Too many bombs dropped by them to list and every one a winner. Already featured twice on themusicologist so no need for the introduction. This one, released in 1981has got it all..lyrics, vocals, production and of course impeccable syncopation.

musicology #239

inmodwetrust #6

(The Marvelettes – Someday, Someway)

Bit late with this final instalment of the mod selection. big night Friday night…the Cyprus cats were back in town to celebrate which, although having nothing to do with ‘mods’ certainly deserves a mention. As the regulars know themusicologist is, for me, a musical diary, a soundtrack connecting my feelings to the sweet sound of music, the benefits of which are many. had a great night made even better by making new connections which was a pleasure.

Music wise today’s cut is another from the Berry Gordy and Motown selection by a girl group whose name burned brightly on the emerging Mod/ernist scene especially in the lead up to Soul establishing itself as a mainstream musical force. B-side to their classic Beechwood 45789. Quality double sider that was definately played in and around London back in the day.

Tamla 45 from the pivotal year concerning mods and soul, (1962), whose paths were inextricably linked on the ‘road to freedom’ as oppressed people discriminated by the colour of their skin or, (as was/is the case on these fair shores), the way they spoke, began to break down, (and through), the walls of class and colour boundries to have more opportunities to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

musicology #235

inmodwetrust #2

(Joe Hinton – You Know It Ain’t Right)

Round two of the mod/ernist musical merry go round and this time it’s courtesy of a relatively obscure vocalist by the name of Joe Hinton who up until 1958 had been a gospel singer but, it was with this one, (recorded for Don Robey’s Backbeat label in 1963), that he broke through. Going on to have a minor ‘hit’ with his version of Willie Nelson’s ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’ the following year. Unfortunately his career was cut short in 1968 after losing a battle with Skin Cancer but for themusicologist he is, (almost), immortalised by this slice of the Mod/ernist pie.

musicology #234

inmodwetrust #1

(Walter Jackson – That’s What Mama Say)

new theme on themusicologist and one that is very much a part of my musical education due to the fact that both my mum and dad were first generation mod/ernists, (1962-1966). the cuts laid down this week were all played in and around London during the above period.

first up is a piece from one of the premier ‘mod’ labels, operating out of ‘Chi’, OKeh. A label that was one of the first to focus on ‘immigrant’ music in the 1920′s recording many of the early Jazz pioneers such as Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Sidney Bechet and Mamie Smith. After some time spent lost in the musical wilderness the company’s fortunes were reignited by employing Carl Davis in 1962 as head of A&R who had the vision to employ Curtis Mayfield as associate producer in 1963 as well as three of the best arrangers Johnny Pate, Riley Hampton and Gerald Sims who is quoted to have said

“the Chicago sound came from basically one source…Curtis Mayfield”

This one from 1963 is sung by one of themusicologist’s favourite singers, Walter Jackson. Produced by the aforementioned Carl Davis, arranged by Riley Hampton and songwriten by none other than Curtis Mayfield with, (possibly), the Impressions harmonising.

musicology #228

communication #6

(Sam Cooke – Please Don’t Drive Me Away)

didnt throw one down yesterday, too much on me plate and there wasn’t one tune in particular that communicated the message. today is another day and already there are at least four or five cuts that I would like to lay down. so without further delay…hold this one from another of me favourite artists and communicators…the Lion, Sam Cooke. Taken from the 1963 album Night Beat featuring a sixteen year old Billy Preston on the organ…Arranged by Rene Hall.

musicology #224

communication #2

(Al Green – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart)

sliding out of that beautiful piece of musicology from Sade into this next slice of the musicology pie, written by the brothers Gibb, (Barry and Robin), produced by the legendary Willie Mitchell and delivered, in spades, by the ‘Reverend’.

listen tune….

musicology #223

communication #1

(Sade – Flow)

not finding it easy to concentrate at the moment. suffering from a touch of confusion with a side order of indecision so i’m just going to lay down a selection of cuts that, for me, communicate the/a message and inspire the ‘flow’… so for the next little while I’ll let the music do what it does best…the talking.

first up is a piece from UK Soul pioneers, Sade featuring the sublime vocals of Helen Folasade Adu in harmony with the nucleus of the band who have been together since first appearing as a unit in 1982. selected from the top ranking ‘Lovers Rock’ set recorded in the year 2000 …. Quality, (with a capital Q)

musicology #218

12AngryMen #13 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Donnie Elbert – What Can I Do)

so it’s almost over…not only for the 12angry but also for this chapter in the book of life. institutions are crashing and burning after almost a century of ‘rinsing’ it. no surprise that ‘man on the street’ is being asked to shoulder the load..it’s all in the game.

the dialogue features two of the three remaining ‘guiltys’ (with Lee J Cobb in commanding form in the supporting role). the music, I must confess, is a personal favourite and any chance to throw it down is good enough reason. but in true musicologist style when the right time come, up steps a tune to ‘express the inexpressible’ and this one is no exception. a piece, (no need to tell you from what year !!), that signals a shift away from Rhythm & Blues into a new style. one where the lead singer steps out of the vocal group shadow and into the spotlight. pioneered by cats like Donnie Elbert, Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke this sound became known as Soul…

Listen Tune……

musicology #211

HappyBirthdayToYou Selection

(Randy Crawford – You Bring The Sun Out)

Today my eldest child begins her journey through the Teenage Years…regulars to themusicologist will be aware not only of how much I love her but also how much of an inspiration she is to me and how much Joy she brings into my life. So today the alternativesoundtrack will be taking a back seat as I lay down a special dedication to our little Angel Child…

musicology #202

teachings of billionaire YenTzu #12

(Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face)

Awaiting The Turtle (being in the right place at the right time)

‘The opportunity for human life is rare,’ began the Patriarch Yen Tzu. ‘So rare that it can be likened to that magical event which occurs just once every 400 years. The moment when the great mythical sea turtle rises for air. Imagine, that while breaking the surface, the creature places it’s head through a bamboo ring. A hoop that happens to be floating randomly alone in the vast ocean. What perfect timing that would take! Imagine too that this solitary wooden necklace fitted exactly. What precision that would be! Now imagine that the human physical body is the bamboo circle, and the turtle is the immortal spirit entering it. Then you can imagine the perfect coming together of forces that must happen for our own birth.’

‘It is indeed hard to consider that our life is such a rarity,’ replied his pupil, Lu Chou. ‘Just look at the countless people going about their business in the Imperial city each day!’

‘Just so,’ answered Yen Tzu, ‘and each one of them is just where they should be. For in truth our lives are the result of a synchronicity between the physical and the spiritual. As such, each one of us began our lives at the rightly appointed time, and in the correct place intended.’
‘That must be why one person’s timing in life seems infinitely better than another’s,’ commented Lu Chou. ‘Where one man seems to make his fortune, another does not; where one struggles to no avail, another seems to attain easily.’

‘That is not the reason,’ said the Patriarch, ‘for the time and place has nothing to do with a man’s success. The rightness and timing in awaiting the turtle is merely to illustrate that such synchronicity is our birthright. But Man, instead of resolving to continue to use this natural serendipitous power has become conditioned to do the opposite. ‘In doing so he unconsciously acts against himself, seeking to manipulate and control outcomes according to his own rules. He has forgotten that everything that is to happen for his benefit does so at the right time; and everything that is forced beyond a natural course of events is either lost or distorted. ‘Even if the outcome is seemingly right it does not carry the power it would have had, or bring the benefit it was intended to bring. The result is that the harder he seems to push towards that which he wants, the further it moves away from him. Such is the plight of all who take the heritage of how they came to be for granted. Yet, in truth, knowing how to harness our natural synchronicity with Life’s opportunities creates the paradox of the less we do, the more we achieve.’

‘So what can we do to regain this power, this heritage,’ asked the pupil.
‘We must steadfastly resolve to live, trust, accept and have purpose in whatever we do, at the moment we are doing it. For the nature of being always in the right place at the right time is ours to command.’

musicology #197

teachings of billionaire YenTzu #7

(Sam Cooke – Keep Movin’ On)


Knowing The Eagle, (realising desires; needing nothing)

The great eagle, it’s huge wings covering it’s craggy mountain eyrie, was not immediately aware of losing one of her young as she tried to protect them from the fierce storm. The mother hen in the farm below was similarly unaware that something had dropped into the soft hay of her coup. Reared to behave as a chicken, the young eagle never learned to fly; completely unaware that his nature was to be a king among birds. A passing hermit noticed him awkwardly holding his great wings while strutting and pecking with the other chickens.

‘Don’t you know what you are?’ said the hermit, gently taking the eagle in his arms. ‘Your nature is to soar high in the sky. Come, stretch forth your wings and fly.’

The hermit’s action confused the eagle, however, and as he did not know who he was he jumped down to rejoin the chickens. For several days the hermit persisted, each time taking the eagle to higher ground, saying:

‘Know that although you may live like a chicken, inside you beats the heart of an eagle, a great eagle, know that you are the king of birds. Go, stretch forth your wings and fly.’

But each time, the eagle appeared unaware of his true, unknown, self, and awkwardly hopped back to join the chickens who were scratching for corn in the dust. The hermit noticed, though, how the eagle would cast a few glances at the sky, almost as if sensing something stir deep within its heart.

Finally the hermit carried the bird to the top of the mountain. Reaching a steep crag far above the chicken coup, the hermit held the bird aloft while repeating his words of encouragement. ‘Out there, among the heavens is where you belong. Go now! stretch forth your wings and fly! become the eagle that you are.’

But still the bird did not accept its true power. Not knowing what to do the eagle’s powerful vision swept back and forth from his coup to the sky. He could see the chickens pecking at their food, and felt that he needed to be back there. Then, as if spying something far in the distance, he began to tremble and slowly stretched out his wings. It seemed to the hermit that the eagle was growing in stature and, just at the moment when he could no longer hold him, the great eagle let out a triumphant cry and soared into the heavens.

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