First outing on themusicologist for the multi talented Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews a cat who was BORN and RAISED with brass in his mouth.
“So advanced was he that, at the age of EIGHT, a club in the city’s Tremé district, where he was born and raised, was named Trombone Shorts in his honor”. – Thom Jurek
This 2011 cut is highlighted from the ‘Backatown’ set which features, (among others), one of Nola’s GREATEST urbanemusicologists the majestic Allen Toussaint whose first, (credited), production the 1960 recorded mod/ern/ist R&B classic ‘Ooh Poo Pah Doo’, (musicology #334), was for Troy Andrews’ grandfather, (Jesse Hill).
“What we tried to do with the record is capture what we do live and then just tighten it up a little bit, make it translate on record. Live, we may come across some stuff and jam on it, but the record brings it in and focuses on what we needed to do. We worked hard and we didn’t rush it. I think we alright with this one.” – Troy Andrews
long time comrades in, (musical), arms of the ‘project/diary/soundtrack’ will know that for me Sidney Bechet is one of the GIANTS of improvisation/jazz/recorded music etc.
One of the MASTERS of the art that I have been blessed enough to have stumbled across along ‘the way’. Apprentice’ and Journeymen are in abundance. Masters are few and far between.
Second time on themusicologist for this one..if i was asked “what is music?” i would pull this one out. listen to Bechet blow and how he drives the intensity, demanding that the other cats on the session step up.Which, of course, they do.
Had me nut down over the past few weeks studying for an exam I sat on Friday.
the incredible drawing is by the legendary, pioneer of contemporary neuroscience, Ramon y Cajal. Pathologist, histologist, neuroscientist, and Nobel laureate, (not to mention artist).
sticking with the Rhythm and Blues selection for round two with more Don Pedro Philosophy..but before, during or after the cut i hope you will lend me your ear as i wax philosophically on this thing called Life…
the age old question of meaning is one i often ponder as i walk down the road and the longer the journey goes on the clearer i can see the path. for me life’s meaning is in the relationships we forge. not the aquaintances, the authentic connections to each other. the ones that present us with the opportunity to be ourselves, without fear or damnation. In the play Macbeth, Shakespere wrote the words:
“Out, out brief candle, life’s but a walking shadow a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signyfying nothing”
is it? … I have been honoured to share the journey with Giants along the way and regardless of how long we rolled together they continue to have a positive influence on me. They are by no means angels of virtue but their actions and non actions have touched the depths of me soul.
Don Pedro is one of them giants and the relationship will always be a cherished one.
This selection is taking shape serendipitously as today’s cut features the Gigantic Joe Morris, (another major player at the forefront of the shift from big band swing to small band jump/rhythm and blues), who, in his brief career, journeyed with some heavyweights such as Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Big Joe Turner, Dinah Washington, Wynonie Harris, as well as being the unoficial house band at Atlantic records in the early 50’s when Cats like brother Ray and Lowell Fulsom were cutting their R&B teeth. His candle went out at the tender age of 36 but half a century on and his voice is still heard loud and clear…
cracking on with a new selection in tribute to a genuine living legend who i call Don Pedro, a KING amongst pawns who is an inspiration. Before i kick off though allow me to talk a while.
Hopefully everyone knows a ‘Don Pedro’ one of them Cats whose actions speak MUCH louder than their words. Trailblazers who lead, Shepherds not sheep who ‘Walk the Walk’ rather than ‘Talk the Talk’. I first met Don Pedro in my late teens, the man was sharp like PAPER. Never settling for anything less than the best that life was offering. International traveller with a taste for the fine things. Don Pedro hustled with the best and could sell snow to eskimos. The best hustlers are the ones that present opportunities rather than try to take you for what you’ve got and Don Pedro was right up there with the champions. Life was/is NEVER dull when you are rolling with the Don. Memories are made of these connections and relationships like these are rare and full of life. Pedro lives life to the FULL and this selection is in his honour. Enough with the words and on with the music. STRICTLY boss tunes for the Don from across the musical spectrum
Roll on DON Pedro you touch and continue to inspire everyone who has the fortune to call you friend…
First up is a slice from one of the Rhythm and Blues pioneers whose Tympany 5 was instrumental in changing the direction of urbanmusicology from Big Band Swing to Small Band Rhythm & Blues and in the process inspired a new genre. a GENUINE legend Louis Jordan and Don Pedro speak the same language, sing from the same hymn sheet, blow the same horn and would have rolled together in the 1940’s. NO doubt.
Fitting start to the selection as Don Pedro ALWAYS made sure to ‘Let The Good Times Roll’
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….
(Terry Callier – What About Me (What You Gonna Do About Me)
So…Terry Callier last night at the Pigalle..what words can I use to try and explain? none do it justice…one of the highlights of my year so far. To see someone perform in such intimate surroundings….it was truly a night to remember. It put me in mind of Curtis, (Mayfied), Live at the Bitter End. Unfortunately I wasn’t there in 1971 but I know the LP inside out having listened to, (and learned from), it for almost 40 years. Scandalously last nights promotion was a joke so as a result there were no more than 50? people there but that didn’t deter Don Callier and full crew, (Bosco De Oliveira, Chris Kibble, Dave Barnard, Gary Plumley, Jim Mullen, Nic France), from delivering almost two hours of pure joy.
I don’t know who was meant to be promoting it but they FAILED miserably. Hopefully the North, (Edinburgh/ Kendal/ Manchester), will be out in full force to give them the support they DESERVE.
Today’s cut was one they well and truly rinsed last night..Listen to the lyrics and understand WHY, for me, Terry Callier is a prophet, (even though he disagrees), 1994 release borrowed from his ‘Looking Out’ set.
Can’t linger too long in the semantic forest so I’ll just lay this Majestic Jazz/Funk/Rhythm&Soul cut down to get me in the mood for tonight’s excursion to see the Filthy Six, (among others), throw down at Soul, Soul, Soul. I choose this Live cut because for me it illustrates perfectly what a collective, (in both cases a sextet), are capable of when in perfect harmony, six sounds become one..anyone who knows me will testify that I’ve been banging on about the ‘Six since catching them at Vintage so I’m looking forward to seeing them weave the musicology again.
Recorded live at the Cliche Lounge in Newark on August 15th 1970 featuring not only the maestro, (Grant Green), but also the supreme talents of Idris Muhammad, Claude Bartee, Ronnie Foster, Joseph Armstrong, Neal Creque and William Rivens. The song was originally recorded by Don Covay in 1966.
Continuing with the Vintage @ Goodwood story…(can’t believe it was a week ago !!), Saturday morning after a few hours kip, (had the breakfast call at 8:30), I crept back up to the site at around 11am and drifted around on my ‘jacks’ without much purpose until I caught a mesmerising sound floating on the breeze that compelled me to investigate further. The music was so tightly woven together it was almost like one sound…harmony. Not blowing my own trumpet but I have heard a LOT of what I consider to be superb, and I try not to use that, (or any other), word lightly, music over the years and this was no exception. The location was the ‘Soul Stage’, (curated by Eddie Piller), the scene of much of the weekends entertainment as far as I was concerned and, as is often the case I allowed my ears to be my guide….The band on stage were playing what I like to call a blend of ‘Rhythm & Jazz’ in the mould of such luminaries as Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Eddie Harris etc. My initial interest was in the guitar playing and my intention was to just give it a listen and then float off and take in the rest of the festival but the ‘Six were SO good that I couldn’t leave until the end of their set.
Quality music does that for me..once It starts I just can’t walk away until it’s finished. It was truly inspirational made even better in that I wasn’t expecting it. Basically it set the tone for the rest of the weekend which just got better and better. To finish the story later in the day I caught up with Eddie and raved about what I had just witnessed and found out that he had just released their set on his Acid Jazz Label. I kid you not ‘The Filthy Six’ are Quality with a capital Q. So in memory of my ‘discovery’ I’m laying this one on you which KICKS from start to finish.
The Tune is a rendition of the theme tune from seminal, cult English film ‘Get Carter’ which is particularly serendipitous for me as it was the first film I composed an alternative soundtrack for many moons ago when cutting and pasting film dialogue and combining it with alternative musicology was NOT done on the computer…since then I have composed alternative soundtracks for The Good Bad & The Ugly, Quadrophenia, 12 Angry Man and The Hustler and it’s about time I got another one together…
The Filthy Six are Nick Etwell, Mark Brown, Nigel Price, Pete Whittaker, Dean Drury and Graham Fox and I’m looking forward to catching them at Soul, Soul, Soul a G Spot event next week, (Sep 3rd), at ‘home’ in Soho, (London)