Nubag #26 (a year in the life)
Blue Night – Jimmy Beck & His Orchestra
Clear thought lodges in the Yi,
But in some lines no-one can find it.
If you don’t understand a line,
You interpret it in vain;
May as well paint a picture of the wind.
– Qiu Cheng (12th Century)
Black Up – Karl Bryan & Count Ossie
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars”. Khalil Gibran
Watch over me….x
Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City – Bobby Bland
“Dimensions are limitless; time is endless. Conditions are not invariable; terms are not final. Thus, the wise man looks into space, and does not regard the small as too little, nor the great as too much; for he knows that there is no limit to dimension. He looks back into the past, and does not grieve over what is far off, nor rejoice over what is near; for he knows that time is without end. He investigates fullness and decay, and does not rejoice if he succeeds, nor lament if he fails; for he knows that conditions are not invariable. He who clearly apprehends the scheme of existence does not rejoice over life, nor repine at death; for he knows that terms are not final“. – Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu)
Nubag #19 (a year in the life)
Little Richard – ‘Im Just a Lonely Guy
back in the ‘nubag’ saddle. RASCAL of a year so far but ‘che sera‘. As we roll, HOLD this BOSS, BURIAL, Crescent City, piece of urbane musicology from the pioneering, majestic Little Richard. Recorded, of course, at (Father) Cosimo Mattassa’s studio. The ONE and only spot to record for Cats who knew what it was..is..and will always be about.
The image is one of an (in)famous street in the heart of MY ‘town’ .. London. Where me and the ancestors have been roaming and rolling since, (at least) the 1700’s.
Nubag #11 (a year in the life)
Unseeing Eye – ‘Sonny Boy Williamson’
MAJOR selection from Sonny Boy Williamson II aka ‘Rice’ Miller/Little Boy Blue/Little Willie. Recorded and released in ‘Chi at/for Chess in 1959.
BIG DATA is on us like flies round shit..
“Boys you better be careful about what you say or do,
better be careful boys about…what you say and do,
that unseeing eye…just keep on watching you..”
Nubag #9 (a year in the life)
Yekefer Wegagane (Yonas) – Bizunesh Bekele
HEAVYWEIGHT Ethiopian selection from the ‘first lady of Addis’
Jimmie Nelson – Free and Easy Mind.
TOP Drawer ‘Big City’ blues from Jimmy ‘T99’ Nelson. Protege of the great Big Joe Turner who taught the young Nelson all he needed to know about singing and ‘the game’.
1955 Release on the Chess Label.
Lonnie Johnson – Why Should I Cry
over the MANY years that themusicologist has been flinging down cuts from the vaults OCEANS have flowed under the ‘bridge’, causing a man to reflect on the deepest of life’s experiences. I have been as deep as a wo/man can go. Travelled Hills and Gullies and along ‘the way’ there has only been one, consistent language that continues to teach and guide.
You know what language I refer to so I won’t spell it out.
Climbing back into the saddle with this mercurial (1951) piece from the pioneering blues legend , another Crescent City virtuoso, Lonnie Johnson. If you don’t know who this cat is suffice to say he was dropping urbanemusicology as far back as the 1920’s.
Hold this piece
Muddy Waters – She Moves ME
another one for the general.
Gatemouth Moore – Christmas Blues
Today’s cut is courtesy of little known prewar blues icon, powerhouse singer and influential composer Arnold Dwight “Gatemouth” Moore, who turned his back on the world of ‘popular’ music in the late 40’s to serve as a minister, (preceeding the host of Gospel singers who went the ‘other way’ in the years that followed). Superb downtempo festive cut from the man whose nom de plume was a reference to the strength of his voice.
Joe Turner & Pete Johnson – Roll ‘Em Pete
As important as Sam Cooke was to Soul, Big Joe took Jump, Boogie Woogie, Blues and Rhythm rolled them all up into a package and fathered Rock & Roll. Of course there were others who contributed, (Louis Jordan, Count Basie, Amos Milburn, Wynonnie Harris to name but 4), and as with all ‘Popular’ music no one person was responsible but as Doc Pomus is quoted to have said “Rock & Roll would never have happened without him…and as previously mentioned on themusicologist the dynamic duo’s late 40’s cut ‘Rocket 88 Boogie’ was the ‘inspiration’ behind Ike Turner’s seminal ‘Rocket 88’, a tune that has long been canonised into Rock and Roll history..
Today’s cut was recorded in the Big Apple on December 30th 1938…I’ll repeat that 1938 and released on a Columbia 78, which I was planning on laying down here but in truth it’s a piece scratchy !! so instead it’s the (top quality 24 bit), remastered version that certainly does the original justice….I can only imagine what it would have been like to witness these two in action back in Kansas City in the 1930’s a musical hotbed that kicked every bit as hard as Chicago, New Orleans and New York…Roll ‘Em Pete….
Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell – Bobo Stomp
Sliding out of the Cool Ruler tribute, (farewell Don Gregory gone but NEVER forgotten), into a new selection..
Don’t know how many of you are aware of the two Cats on this recording? but one in particular, (pianist, vocalist and songwriter Leroy Carr), almost originated the sophisticated Urban Blues style which in turn led to Rhythm & Blues.
Many a Rhythm & Blues legend such as Count Basie, Charles Brown, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Amos Milburn, T-Bone Walker, (to name a few), paid tribute to Leroy Carr.
Before Leroy, blues was distinctly ‘Country’…raw, rough and ready. Jazz was the ‘Urban’ sound for obvious reasons but it was, (predominantly), Leroy Carr who made the change and inspired all the Big Town Playboy’s who followed in his footsteps..from the Slick suits to the conversational, laid back style of singing and playing it begins with Leroy Carr in 1928 with his recording of ‘How Long, How Long Blues’ who epitomised ‘Urban Slick’. Today’s cut was recorded with his partner and friend Francis ‘Scrapper’ Blackwell in New York City on August 16th 1934 and released as a 78 on Vocalion. Leroy Carr died at the tender age of 30 less than a year later but his legacy is plain for all to hear.
Coasters – Shoppin’ For Clothes
Should have laid this down yesterday but didn’t make the time so before we hit the streets of Brooklyn today….here it is. All day yesterday I had this song running through my head mainly because we ended up on Madison Ave in gentlemens outfitters due to Sir Errol’s lack of clothes as a result of his luggage being redirected and not showing up !!
The day began with themusicologist getting my haircut in the excellent Tommy Guns on Ludlow St on the Lower East Side. If you’re in NYC and need a TOP RANKING cut, I would highly recommend it. Then it was over to the Deadly Dragon record shop where 3 hours slipped away before we realised that Sir E had to outfit himself for the upcoming night’s entertainment..
The first night of the Brooklyn Soul Festival was excellent..performances from Eli paperboy Reed, Vernon Garrett, Don Gardener, Roscoe Robinson, Tammi Lyn, Lee Fields and a few others that filled in for Barbara Lynn, whose names have slipped my mind…
Have to go now…the ‘Brooklyn Flea‘ is calling my name.
So hold this one from probably the longest serving Vocal group of all time.
Clarence Reid – Don’t Be A Fool
Second marrow trembler of the day but this time it’s from the opposite end of America and ‘The Outskirts Of Deep City’, (Miami), this is Southern Soul at it’s DEEPEST and finest courtesy of Clarence Reid. Yet another Highlight from the Numero connoisseurs. What a tune…
(The Harptones – A Sunday Kind Of Love)
Sitting here this morning preparing for the trip to NYC, (and the Brooklyn Soul Festival) listening to Doo Wop and I just realised that I should be sharing it with youse Cats & Kittens so here it is…SUPREME harmony from Willie Winfield, Billy Brown, Claudie “Nicky” Clark, William Dempsey, William “Dicey” Galloway and last but certainly not least Raoul Cita.
Simply BEAUTIFUL. Listen this F****N’ Tune and weep.
Down The Road A Piece #1
(Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee – My Fathers Words)
Where has themusicologist been for the last week?, (or the last 12 months come to think of it !!)
Lost and looking, Scheming and dreaming..for/about what? not sure but along the way much has transpired and it feels like I have walked backwards, forwards and round in circles…my poor shoes are worn and pants bottom torn but I’m still in the ring dancing, bobbing and weaving to the rhythm of life.
Sometimes it’s been blow after blow, (all landing square on me jaw), and the knees have almost gone but I’m still living and still learning hour after hour, day after day..
What I am trying to say is that I feel that themusicologist needs to change so I’m planning a new strategy that I’m working on. I’m not going to reveal it right now but hold tight and buckle up..it’s coming…
Until then I’ll just keep rolling with the ‘one tune’ in an effort to build up some consistency. After all ‘A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss’ so with that out the way hold this cut from the MAGNIFICENT Saunders ‘Sonny Terry’ Terrell and Walter Brown ‘Brownie’ McGhee. Bluesmen supreme who ‘climbed mountains’ to deliver some of the finest musicology ever recorded.
Hopefully you’ll listen, (and read), these poetic words of wisdom delivered by two Cats who knew exactly what the Blues, (and life), was all about…
My father, my father said these words,
Followed me down through the years,
Yes, yes, yes believe half you see son and nothing that you hear,
There’s a many broken hearts son that never sheds no tear,
It takes a rocks, takes a rocks and gravel,
To make wha? to make a solid road,
Yes, yes, yes everything that shines boy I declare it can’t be gold,
Well the brave old secret son that will never be told, (wooooh),
He said the longer, the longer the road,
The short, short, shorter the turn,
Yes, yes, yes listen my son you’ll never grow too old to learn,
I said why?
Because old coals will kindle light up and begin to burn,
He said the taller, the taller the tree,
The deeper, the deeper the roots yes, yes, yes
Blacker the berries well sweeter the juice,
Well with every rose son, there is some thorns too,
He said if you want if you want to be loved,
Here’s what you got, got to do,
Yes, yes you got to love somebody want someone to love you,
Well don’t let your right hand, know what your left hand do,
He said well a man well a man oh a man..man ain’t nothing but a man,
Yes, yes, yes..whole lot a things you’ll never understand,
Why?, so many people happy you catching as catch can
Go ahead Sonny Boy……
One more time now….
He said a man well a man oh a man..a man ain’t nothing but a man,
Yes, yes, yes..whole lot a things son you’ll never understand,
So many people happy you catching as catch can,
My fathers words…..
2LegendsClash II #9
(Billie Holiday – Big Stuff)
penultimate cut of the two legends…feels like the time has come to move on up.
1946 cut on the Decca label. Recorded in New York on March 13th. Featuring Joe Guy, Joe Springer, Tiny Grimes, Billy Taylor and Kelly Martin.
2LegendsClash II #8
(Dinah Washington -The Man That Got Away)
Today’s appropriate cut from the Legend that we know as Dinah Washington is one for those who know that the only blues is the ‘done lost my wo/man’ blues and no-one sings ’em better than Ruth Jones….Hold this quote from Pianist Junior Mance, ( 2 year musical companion of Dinah’s), who said;
“When I went to work with Dinah Washington, I learned what the blues were all about”
That’s not to say that the Blues are all about sadness…they’re not. I wrote recently about catharsis and that is what the blues are really all about. No good suppressing your feelings as one day when you are least expecting it they will come back and tear the heart and soul out of you. Another thing to bear in mind is that as sure as the sun shines trouble don’t last always and if you don’t feel pain you won’t recognise joy when it returns into your life.
This one from Dinah is from her Roulette days, (which turned out to be her last), recorded and released in the early 60’s by which time she had been married SEVEN times, (For those who don’t know her story she died at the tender age of 39 on December 19th 1963). Amazingly there are some who felt/feel that Dinah’s voice during this period had “lost it’s lustre” !! If I was there when they said it I would have simply replied;
“you’re talking shit and you don’t have a clue about music”…Job Done.
(Amos Milburn – Let’s Make Christmas Merry Baby)
Intended on breaking the mould today and throwing the cut early?, (unless of course you’re in NYC, LA, ‘Chi’ or pretty much any State in America), but as Robert Burns wrote:
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!”
So stick that in yer pipes and smoke it !! while we slide into this cut from one of the great Rhythm & Blues pioneers Amos Milburn who, (along with Louis Jordan), had a major impact on the transition from swing to Rhythm & Blues in the mid 1940’s. recorded in 1949 for Eddie & Leo Mesner’s powerhouse Aladdin label, (the home of West Coast Rhythm & Blues).