musicology #0683

aSongforCon #22

Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan – Raga Bilashkani Todi

“After Silence … ”

Rest in Peace Kohzu. I Love you with every fibre of my being. x

musicology #591

Flow #10

Leon Ware – That’s Why I Came To California

Final cut of today’s 3 course ‘meal’ is one of my all time ‘Boogie’ favourites from a musicologist whose name should be known far and wide but sadly isn’t. Singer, song writer, producer, arranger who songs have been recorded by MANY a legend, Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, Minnie Ripperton, Donny Hathaway, Marlena Shaw, Quincy Jones and the list goes on..this one is from 1982. BIG tune…vocal duties shared and co written by Janis Siegel of Manhattan Transfer fame..

musicology #565

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…..

musicology #557

Shake It Up & Go #4

(Inez & Charlie Foxx – Hurt By Love)

Continuing with the Shake selection that I threw down last weekend. 1964, (New York), cut on Juggy Murray’s Symbol label.

musicology #516

Duets2 #6

(Vicki Anderson and Bobby Byrd)

Day six of the duets and the cat’s got my tongue again. So without delay I’ll just lay the cut down. Had it lined up as a possible for the recent covers theme but didn’t happen…so here it is. Love the Bobby Womack original and of course the Rufus and Chaka Khan version but husband and wife duo Bobby Byrd and Vicki Anderson work this one in perfect harmony.

musicology #514

Duets2 #4

(Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris – Love Lots of Lovin’)

Slipping out of Jamaica and back to America with this 1968 piece of New Orleans Soul courtesy of Deep Soul songstress Betty Harris in harmony with Crescent City native and Mod/ernist favourite Lee Dorsey. Produced by a man who has featured many times on themusicologist; Mr New Orleans….Allen Toussaint and released on his and Marshall Sehorn’s Sansu label. I’ll take an educated guess and say that it’s The Meters providing the funk but one thing is for sure and that is the contribution Allen Toussaint made to delivering some of the cream of Crescent City musicology throughout the 60’s and into the 70’s. Respect is always due.

musicology #513

Duets2 #3

(Winston & George – Denham Town)

Moving out of the soul searching and into the social commentary for todays cut with a classic piece of 1966/7 RockSteady critiquing the state of West Kingston District ‘Denham Town’ as it ‘Turned Vietnam’. Produced by Leslie Kong and featuring Gladstone Anderson on Piano Jackie Jackson on Bass and sax man supreme Roland Alphonso. Released in the UK on a Pyramid 45.

musicology #512

Duets2 #2

(Am I A Good Man – Them Two)

Today’s marrow trembler finds themusicologist standing in ‘still waters’ that run almost too deeeeeeeeeep and I’m probably shooting myself in the foot by peering into the darkest recesses of my soul in such a public way but authenticity compels me to continue asking the question….what/who am I? (not that I’m expecting or even asking for an answer as I don’t believe there is a definitive but unfortunately that doesn’t stop the internal dialogue).

Paradoxically? the question has reared it’s head at the onset of this ‘Harmony’ theme but in the words of Blues man supreme Little Willie Littlefield ‘Life is like that’ and no amount of running and hiding will alter a truth.

The musicology presented by the TOP RANKING Numero Label was originally recorded for and released on Miami’s Deep City label sometime in the late 60’s? and features the combined harmonies of Clarence Reid and Willie Clarke ably backed and driven by Helene Smith, Arnold Albury and Reed Roberts. For me music doesn’t get ‘better’ than this…what a tune.

har·mo·ny

–noun,plural-nies.

agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
Origin:
1350–1400; ME armonye < MF < L harmonia < Gk harmonía joint, framework, agreement, harmony, akin to hárma chariot, harmós joint, ararískein to join together

—Related forms

non·har·mo·ny, noun,plural-nies.
pre·har·mo·ny, noun

—Synonyms
1. concord, unity, peace, amity, friendship. 2. consonance, conformity, correspondence, consistency.

musicology #511

Duets2 #1

(Birdlegs & Pauline – Spring)

This week it’s all about the musical harmony between two people. Kicking off the theme with a 1964 mod/ernist classic courtesy of 60’s Soul duo Sidney ‘Birdlegs’ Banks and his wife Pauline Shivers Banks. Originally recorded for and released on Jim Kirchstein’s Cucca label..this is the Vee Jay Release.

musicology #496

SoulBoy #15

(Sam And Dave – Goodnight Baby)

Staying on board the Soul Train for this week as there are far too many cuts and artists who have yet to be featured..Marvin Gaye, Bobby Womack, James Carr, Sam Cooke, Teddy Pendergrass, Al Green, Aaron Neville, Bobby Bland, Solomon Burke and on and on and on in fact a year still wouldn’t be long enough to dig deep into the Soul Cellar so another week is the LEAST I can do.

Too many pieces to choose from…must have lined up at least 5 cuts…just as I’m about to prepare one a next piece floats out of the speakers to distract my butterfly mind. So without further delay hold this piece from one of the great duets Sam Moore and Dave Prater. So electric were they on stage that Otis Redding refused to go on after them. 1965 release on the Stax Label.

musicology #474

2LegendsClash II #10

(Dinah Washington – Journey’s End)

So just leaves Dinah to wrap up this session..beautiful duet with vocal group supreme The Ravens who along with The Mills brothers and The Orioles set the tone for the Doo Wop explosion that followed.

musicology #453

TheManWithTheBag #3

(Butterbeans & Susie – Papa Ain’t No Santa Claus)

Top ranking slice of the Christmas pie courtesy of three swingin’ Cats, Butterbeans & Susie, (Jodie Edwards and Susie Hawthorne), a long standing and much loved Vaudeville duo who teamed up in 1916 !! and Jazz pianist Eddie Heywood….who went on to play with such luminaries as Billie Holiday, Benny ‘King’ Carter and Coleman Hawkins as wel as performing in his own right. Recorded in New York City, (ahhh…New York…what memories), on Wednesday August 13th 1930 and released on an OKeh 78.

musicology #414

Terry Callier #6

(Terry Callier – Got To Get It All Straightened Out)

Caught in a triangle between me, the father and the holy spirit at the moment and for the record art doesn’t imitate life it is life. Hold this cut.

Huh, Gotta get it all straightened out,
Gotta see what it’s all about,
It’s time we should make a stand,
If we want to I know we can,
They’ve opened the curtains now,
And I know for certain now
We gotta get it all straightened out yeah,

Gotta see if it’s hit or miss,
Gotta see what the meaning is,
Gotta look back at where we been,
We don’t want to go wrong again,
This time we can make it right,
And bring all the truth to light,
We gotta get it all straightened out,

It seems to me that this old world,
Is nothing but doubt and confusion,
This old world might not be ending,
But I think it’s coming to a conclusion,
Heaven help us to see,
So we can be free of hate and illusion,
We all dreamers,
We need a light to banish the night away,
For once, for all and forever,
Come what may,
Heaven help us to see,
So that we can be free,
To stand in the light of day,

Gotta get it all straightened out,
Gotta see what it’s all about,
It’s time we should make a stand,
If we want to I know we can,
They have opened the curtains now,
And I know for certain now,
We’ve gotta get it all straightened out,

Gotta see if it’s hit or miss,
Gotta see what the meaning is,
Gotta look back at where we been,
We don’t want to go wrong again,
This time we can make it right,
And bring all the truth to light,
We gotta get it all straightened out,

Gotta get it all straightened out,
Got To get it all straightened out,
Gotta get it all straightened out,
Got To get it all straightened out,
Gotta get it all straightened out,
Got To get it all straightened out,
Gotta get it all straightened out,
Got To get it all straightened out,

musicology #389

Modernist #17

(Charlie & Inez Foxx – MockingBird)

Penultimate day of the Mod/ernist theme, (honest guvnuh !!), and then it’s onto musicolological pastures new. Hard for me to leave this theme as I love the music and am really enjoying the dialogue.

Couldn’t complete a mod/ernist theme without including this one from Charlie & Inez Foxx…1963 cut on Juggy Murrays Symbol label. BIG, BIG tune from back in the day.

musicology #382

Modernist #10

(Derrick & Patsy – Housewife’s Choice)

Sticking with the Jamaican selection with a next piece that was spun back in the day. The quote below from a cat named Ian Hebditch confirms conversations about them days that I have had with a good friend of mine’s Dad, (hold this one Don), who is Jamaican, born in 1947 and was there on the London scene at the time in question.

“There was a great degree of respect between the Mods and the West Indian Community. I personally found that. Within the Mod movement I don’t recollect any element of racism at all and by racism I mean anti-black feeling”.

Many a reason for this but one I would like to add is that in my experience Jamaicans have much of the mod/ernist attitude. Confident, Proud, Defiant, Dynamic are all attributes I have come across in my friends and their familys over the years and often have I witnessed this being interpreted as them having ‘a chip on their shoulder’ a misinterpretation that lingers on to this day.

Today’s cut is a 1962 slice from early Ska proponent Derrick Morgan in combination with a female singer by the name of Patsy Todd and I’ll leave it to Johnny Spencer to give you the details of the cut, a picture of the label and an informative piece of writing on it here on his magnificent project

musicology #348

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #15

(Etta James & Harvey Fuqua – My Heart Cries)

Today’s dialogue is especially poignant in as much as it offers an insight into not only the two characters, (Eddie & Sarah), but also a fundamental difference in the sexes. Don’t forget that this is 1961 and the dawn of a new era in the dialogue between man and woman. Sarah makes it as clear as crystal how she feels about Eddie leaving no ambiguity and he, (in time honoured fashion), tries to sidestep the issue but she reiterates her feelings and lets him know in no uncertain terms what she wants to hear him say.

The music is a beautiful piece of Soul from two great singers both of whom have already featured on themusicologist, Etta James and, (her husband at the time), Harvey Fuqua with yet another slice of the Chess records pie, (as influential as any label in the development of what is now known as ‘Urban’ music). Recorded and released in, yep you guessed it, 1961 and featured on Etta’s fantastic album ‘At Last’. Arranged by musicologist Riley Hampton.

musicology #323

DownbeatTheRuler #3

(Alton & Hortense Ellis – Easy Squeeze)

Out all day yesterday working the tees so apologies for not dropping a next ‘Downbeat bomb’ through your speakers. Hopefully today’s slice of the Coxsone pie will make up for it.

A classic piece of Brentford Road Rock Steady that has trembled my marrow for many years. Could have thrown it down a few times on previous themes but for reason unbeknown to ‘mesang’ didn’t until today.

One of the most emotive, hard hitting, Rough & Tough cuts of the Rock Steady period in my humble opinion…lyrics, vocals, music all combining in soul searching harmony to communicate a message concerning  the quest for that most elusive of feelings, True Love.

Recorded and first released in 1966? for Dodd by the Godfather Of Rocksteady Alton Ellis alongside his younger Sister Hortense, both of whom are sadly no longer with us. What is however (and will be for as long as music like this is being loved and played), are their ‘works’ many of which sit comfortably at the very top of the musicology tree.

Hortense was Jamaica’s ‘first female vocalist’ cutting her teeth as early as 1959 on such legendary talent shows as Vere John’s Opportunity hour, (where many a ‘Jam Down’ legend begun their careers), but it wasn’t until a few years later in 1961 under the tutelage of Downbeat that she begun a recording career. For sure having Alton as a brother helped but anyone who has heard her sing would agree that merit was the foundation stone apoun which she built a career that stretched right up to her untimely death in 2000 AD. Recording for many of the greatest Jamaican producers such as Duke Reid, Bunny Lee, Harry Mudie and Gussie Clarke, (to name a few)

As regulars may be aware Alton has featured more than any other Jamaican artist on themusicologist over the preceeding two years so I won’t wax lyrical on the man and his music today other than to reiterate that it was he and the previous Artist, (Bob Andy), who first opened my ears and heart to Downbeat The Ruler’s output and for that I am eternally grateful..

So in Tribute to the memories of Alton, Hortense and Clement Seymour ‘Sir Coxsone / Downbeat The Ruler’ Dodd hold this…..

musicology #315

SongsOfProtest&Freedom#1

(Woody Guthrie & Cisco Houston – Better World A Comin’)

this weeks selection is a collection of songs that speak the language of protest and freedom. bypassing the rhetoric of the chattering classes to deliver the message as directly as possible to those who have the power to make change….the people.

The ‘establishment’ know this so, as with all modes of communication, do their best to bury such knowledge and even wisdom beneath the mountains of information that are served up 24 – 7 – 365.

Who and what are the establishment?..I’m not saying there is a group whose ‘job’ it is to serve up such mis-information I don’t believe that’s not the nature of such things…ideology provides such a platform so no one person or even group is to blame, making it almost impossible to step outside of. Our times are not much different from previous ones although globalisation can and does, (for now), provide an opportunity to connect and communicate instantly which is relatively new. Obviously this is a two sided coin making it easier to spread the word of freedom as well as slavery but at least there is a choice as to what we spend our time doing, listening to, reading and watching.

only time will tell what opportunity is taken? education or entertainment.

With that in mind hold this cut from one of the fathers and greatest proponents of the protest/freedom song, Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, (named after the former president of the USA), whose relatively short life was FULL of experience and incident…

Mr Authenticity as far as I’m concerned whose musicology has touched my heart and mind from first hearing it a couple of years ago.Since introduction themusicologist is often to be found rocking and a rolling to this Cat.. This cut taken from the 1940’s ‘Asch’ Recording dates features his friend the singer and one time actor, Cisco Houston who along with Jim Longhi persuaded Woody to join the Merchant Marines during W.W II. Being political Woody was against supporting what was considered by some a Capitalist Fraud but rather than be drafted he settled for washing dishes and entertaining the troops.

Anyway….enough of the words and on with the music.

musicology #281

twolegendsclash #4

(Louis Armstrong – Weather Bird)

After deliberating ALL day on what piece of the Satchelmouth pie to serve, (and still not really coming up with a firm favourite), I’m just going to bite the bullet and lay this one down. A 1928 !!! cut featuring not only the improviser supreme but also one of the greatest players to ever tinkle the Ivories…Earl Hines.

Amazing duet that, to me, sounds almost like a whole orchestra such is the ‘fullness’ of the sound produced. One of his own compositions recorded for OKeh on December 5th 1928 in Chicago and the first to bear just his name, (all previous cuts were either featuring him or with an orchestra), What is impossible for us to comprehend is the impact that these 20’s cuts of his had. Granted there are probably players who came after him that could match his technique and as previously mentioned there were also those from before recording whose names shine bright but NONE of them had the same impact on 20th Century music. Louis blazed the trail for everyone who followed and not just in the field of instrumentals.

Ride on Mr Armstrong and let the Cats here know exactly what your’e talking about…

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’ !!