musicology #0760

Nubag #28 (a year in the life)

Losin’ Boy – Eddie Giles

“I began to understand that suffering and disappointments and melancholy are there not to vex us or cheapen us or deprive us of our dignity but to mature and transfigure us.”
-Hermann Hesse

 

 

musicology #0739

Nubag #8 (a year in the life)

Rocksteady aka Drunkards Psalm – Busters All Stars

Big piece of instrumental tune from Busters All Stars..1967 release on the Blue Beat Label (in England). Featuring a collection of Jamaica’s finest instrumentalists.

Arkland Parks, Dennis Campbell, Ernest Ranglin, Gladstone Anderson, Jerry Haynes, Karl Bryan, Lloyd-Knibbs, Oswald-Brooks, Raymond Harper, Rico Rodriguez, Val Bennett.

 

No need to wax lyrical about the Princes profound influence on Jamaican music as a bandleader, pioneer, producer, Sound Man and ‘Voice of the People’. Just suffice to say that throughout the 1960’s Buster was up there at the forefront.

 

musicology #0689

the Dells – Stay In My Corner

one of the mighty tunes. courtesy of legendary vocal group the Dells. one more with the general in heart and soul x

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 #497

SoulBoy #16

(The Fundamentals – Before It’s Too Late)

Through the ups, downs, highs, lows, hills and gullys of my life the only ever present is the soundtrack. To put it simply I am passionate about music in a way that is sometimes frightening. I Lose all sense of time and as long as I have music as a guide no mountain is too high to climb, (and I’ve found myself at the foot of quite a few !), If truth be told I could, (and would be happy to), spend my whole life bathing in musical waters….but before I can do that I need to make my play and at the moment I’m busy setting up the next phase of the project. It had to take a back seat for the last 9 months as the threads of my life unraveled….but as they say in France…C’est La Vie and one thing’s for sure “I plan to stay a believer”.. That’s not to say that I’m completely out of the woods..that will take some time but it feels to me like I’m on the right track.

Anyway…denough of the ramblings and back to the SoulBoy with today’s beautiful piece of 1967 Vocal Group action from out of Chi’.

musicology #396

PostMod/ernist #6

(Toussaint McCall – Nothing Takes The Place Of You)

Final cut on the PostMod/ernist. To be honest I have struggled with this theme. The circumstances I find myself in have affected my confidence which, unlike belief, is buried in the unconscious making it impossible, in my opinion, to cultivate, (again unlike belief), internally. Put simply it’s other people who are responsible for our fragile confidence and my observation is that too many don’t take responsibility for making and breaking it. I’m not laying any blame as that’s for the immature. Neither am I making any excuses, life is a two way street and I must be just as guilty of being irresponsible.

As you may already be aware themusicologist for me is and always has been a kind of diary shot through with Joy & Pain and utilising the power of music as communicator, comforter and guide.

Bottom line…my lifetime’s observation so far is that people will always let you down. Rarely intentionally but that doesn’t lessen the impact. One way to lessen the impact is to not have what Charles Dickens called ‘Great Expectations’. Shoot for the stars but accept that the probability is that you will miss. This attitude has led me to the belief that it’s the journey of and through life that’s important rather than the destination and along the way our companions will come and go. Some will last longer than others. Some will bring and share love while others will try to hurt and hinder. Live by your own values and pass no judgement on those of others. It’s a mean, fucked up world and, from what I can see, it’s only getting meaner. Play by your own rules and do what you think is neccesary for survival and bear in mind that the society that we live in has been created without our consent.

The final cut is a classic slice of 1967 Southern Soul courtesy of Louisiana born Organist and Vocalist Toussaint McCall with a tune that is known to Soul fans the world over which never fails to tremble themusicologist’s marrow. Especially poignant and a fitting end not only to this theme but also to the 20 year relationship I have had the pleasure to share.

musicology #312

Live&Direct #8

(Prince Buster – Move Over ‘Live’)

Time for a slice of the Rocksteady pie from legendary Jamaican musicologist Cecil Bustamente Campbell a.ka Prince Buster a nickname gained from his days alongside Lee Perry, (among others), as Coxsone’s ‘Security’ in the early days of the fierce rivalries between the various Sound Systems . ‘Prince’ Buster was known in and around Kingston for his boxing skills and fearlessness when confronted with opposing promoters ‘Dance Crashers’ whose sole purpose was to disrupt and close down the dance but it was with the ground breaking 1960 recording ‘Oh Carolina’ featuring Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation that his music career began to take shape.

Recorded live in London at either the Marquee or Brixton’s Ram Jam in 1967. Taken from the ‘Live On Tour’ Set..

musicology #310

Live&Direct #6

(Jimi Hendrix Experience – Like A Rolling Stone Live)

Today’s cut features one of the best known and most talked about Cats in recorded musical history…Johnny Allen, (Jimi), Hendrix about whom much has been written and said. No need for themusicologist to bore you with facts and details about his life and times so I’m just going to lay his version of Bob Dylan’s famous song, (about Edie Sedgwick i do believe?), on you. Recorded live at Monterey in 1967. In a word…magic.

“Once upon a time you dressed so fine,
Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didnt you?,
People call, say, beware doll, youre bound to fall,
You thought they all were kiddin you,
You used to haha laugh about,
Everybody that was hangin out,
Look atcha, but now you dont talk so loud,
Now you dont seem so proud,
‘Bout having to be scrounging yeah your last meal,

How does it feel,
Oh how does it feel baby,
To be on your own,
??????????????????
Look atcha a complete unknown,
Like a rolling stone?,

Gone to the finest school all right, hahah miss lonely,
But you know you only used to get juiced in it,
Nobody here to taught you how to live out the streets,
And now you just gonna have to get used to it,
You say you never you never compromise,
With the mystery tramp, but now you got to realize,
He’s not selling any alibis,
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes,
And he says hey baby would you like ta to make a deal?

How does it feel baby,
How does it feel,
To be on your own,
No direction home,
A complete unknown,
Look atcha like a rolling stone,

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people,
They all laugh and drinkin, thinkin that they huh got it made yeah
Exchanging all precious gifts and things but ah,
But you’d better take your diamond ring, I think you’d better,
you better pawn it babe,
Yes I know I missed a verse, don’t worry,

You used to be so amused,
At napoleon in rags and the sweet talk that he used,
Go to him now, he calls you, you cant refuse,
When you aint got nothing, you got nothing to lose,
Youre invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal,

How does it feel,
Oh how does it feel baby,
To be on your own,
With no direction home,
A complete unknown,
Look at ya like a rolling stone”.

musicology #309

Live&Direct #6

(James Brown – There Was A Time Live)

One from the self penned ‘Godfather’..James Brown featuring the band known collectively, (among other names), as the James Brown Band who were to leave Brown’s service a few years later following a pay dispute. Cats like Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley and St Clair Pinckney all left to pursue their own fortunes rejoining in the 70’s after mutaul agreement.

This cut has always been one of my faves by JB but live it shows how great a unit they were. Recorded at the Apollo in 1967. Funk at it’s finest.

p.s it stops abruptly due to it going straight into the next cut ‘I Feel Allright’ which I couldn’t include due to uploading restrictions based on filesize. A shame but ‘them’s the breaks’ I’m afraid. Hope it doesn’t spoil your enjoyment.

musicology #303

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #14

(The Paragons – The Tide Is High)

The end of the road for this theme. hard to pick a favourite but I’m going for the Wailers – Cry To Me. Tunes like that certainly don’t grow on trees and it resides in my top twenty of all time.

Today’s final slice of the ‘action’ is perhaps better known to many for the Blondie Version from the early 80’s. Or even the most recent version by Kardinal Offishal..My daughter reminds me that, (among others), there was also a poor pop version by The Atomic Kittens but thankfully I don’t know it. Blondie’s version was ok but not a scratch on this, the original from another one of the great J.A Vocal Groups led by John Holt, (who also wrote it)

The group also featured such luminaries as Bob Andy, Tyrone Evans, (who formed the group), and Junior Menz who, following Pat Kellys departure, sung lead for the Techniques most notably on Queen Majesty, (musicology #293), completing the trio on this cut was Howard Barret. A Duke Reid ‘Treasure Isle’ classic from 1967.

musicology #302

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #13

(The Voiceroys – Love & Unity)

Today’s slice of the J.A vocal group pie is yet another from the ‘Golden Age’ of the Vocal Group, the 1960’s. In fact, thinking about it, by the mid 1980’s the group sound had almost disapeared to be replaced by the single artist and ‘DJ’. Not sure exactly why? but it would probably have something to do with economics..the least people involved, the less money would have to be paid out. Producers are generally the people who earn the lions share of the ‘reddies’ leaving the artist, (especially in Jamaica), with very little. It’s a sad state of affairs that hopefully we are seeing change as the internet could and should reverse such injustice…let’s hope so.

This one is a Coxsone Dodd, (Studio 1), production from 1967 led by Wesley Tinglin, backed up, (probably) by Linval Williams and/or Daniel Bernard..

Listen Tune..

musicology #301

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #12

(The Uniques – Hooray, (One Fine Day)

Seeing this theme through until the end of the week and then I’ll be rolling out something fresh on Monday. Just like to thank all you Cats for the visits and comments on the Wailers cut, (and tee), most apprecited. Following a marrow trembler like that is nigh on impossible..one of them cuts that has left me ‘chewing canvas’ to use an old boxing colloquilism…you know the score, hanging on to the opponent for dear life hoping that the bell tolls for the end of the round..so without further delay hold this cut from one of Jamaica’s finest vocal groups The Uniques featuring one of the greatest vocalists to ever grace the M.I.C…Keith ‘Slim’ Smith, alongside Jimmy Riley and Lloyd ‘Charmers’ Tyrel with a first outing on themusicologist. A 1967 Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee production that sounds like it was recorded at the Dukes ‘Treasure Isle’ studio…the home of Rocksteady.

musicology #298

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #9

(Justin Hinds & The Dominoes – Save A Bread)

TOP RANKING 1967 slice of the Rock Steady pie for all the Financial Crisis sufferers out there. Recorded and released at and for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle label, (backed by Tommy Mc Cook and the Supersonics)

Not that, (if you live in good old ‘Blighty’), savings are going to get you out of the egg ‘n’ bubble as the Interest rates tumbling to 0% doesn’t make it an attractive proposition at the moment, resulting in all of us taking the proverbial ‘kick in the bollocks’ while the value of everything crash and burn…I think it’s called ‘The PolitRicKs Of Fear‘…

Looks to me like the new age is apoun us and the strategy is “if you can’t swim then you’re going to sink”. Employment as we have known it is in it’s death throes and now a larger percentage of people have something to lose, (property for example), an updated form of, (wage), slavery is rearing it’s ugly head. I have no answers other than to let the music, (and your community), be your guide…so in the words of foundation Jamaican musicologist Justin Hinds

“Today can be gladness mister, (you don’t know),
tomorrow can be sadness sister, (you don’t know),
what makes the world go around, (round and round),
you’ll never know, (you don’t know),
so save a bread mister, (save it for the future),
save a bread sister, (’cause things will be better),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (man shall come),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (for the time is now),

what you know you know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
greatest thing is to know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
anywhere you go, (what you don’t know you don’t know),

Today can be gladness mister, (you don’t know),
tomorrow can be sadness sister, (you don’t know),
what makes the world go around, (round and round),
you’ll never know, (you don’t know),
so save a bread mister, (save it for the future),
save a bread sister, (’cause things will be better),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (man shall come),
you know not the minute nor the hour, (for the time is now),

what you know you know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
greatest thing is to know, (what you don’t know you don’t know),
anywhere you go, (what you don’t know you don’t know),

musicology #293

JamaicanVocalGroupAction #4

(The Techniques – Queen Majesty)

Fourth slice of the vocalgroup and the second outing, (link below), on themusicologist for a group of Cats known collectively as The Techniques with their unique rendition of the Curtis Mayfield / Impressions 1961 cut ‘Minstrel & Queen’. Recorded for the Trojan’s, (Duke Reid), outstanding set up, Treasure Isle.

If you don’t know it and you like your music sweet and soulful then as far as I’m concerned you’re in for a treat. Lead on this one is sung by Junior Menz, (previously of the Ambassadors), with backing by Winston Riley but not Pat Kelly, (who sung lead on ‘You Don’t Care’), as he had returned to America to continue with his education…

“Queen majesty, may I speak with thee,
So much I’ve longed , I’ve longed to speak to you alone,
True I agree, I’m not of your society,
I’m not a king just a minstrel,
With my song to you I sing,
Though just a minstrel in life we’re so far apart,
But royal queen I see love in your heart, your heart
I love you too, your majesty…….hmmmmm,

Isn’t this really true,
These things I ask of you…hmmmm,
Oh,oh majesty would you really care for me,
As long as you love me,
And it wont be so hard,
As long as I see love in your heart, (your heart),
I love you too, (honest I do),
Hmmmm..(your majesty), hmmmm..(your majesty)
Ohh I love you too, (your majesty)
Hmmmm queen majesty…”

musicology #136

theGood,Bad&theUgly #3

(Roland Alphonso & The Beverleys All Stars – The Cat)

day three of the goodbad&ugly theme serves up a pivotal piece of dialogue . it’s the bit where Tuco and, (an almost dead), Blondie stumble across the dying Bill Carson who, with his dying breath, tells our man ‘Il Buono’ the elusive name on the grave.

the music, courtesy of one of Jamaica’s greats Roland Alphonso, (along with the Beverly’s all stars), was released in the UK the same year as the film 1967..maybe it’s just me but I can hear the echoes of the spaghetti western influence creeping in.

musicology #133

instrumentalsweek #6

(Eddie Harris – Listen Here)

finishing up the ‘players’ with this masterpiece from Eddie Harris who, in his own words, defines it as

“A Latin jazz tune for dancing”

taken from his final recording session for Atlantic in April 1967.. reduced from 30 minutes to just over 7, (a mistake in my humble opinion), featuring the combined skills of percussionist’s Ray Barretto & Joe Wohletz, Richard Smith on drums, Melvin Jackson on bass duties, Jodie Christian on Piano and the man himself blowing up a storm on Tenor Sax.

another BIG tune on London’s Rare Groove dancefloors back in 86/7, (as well as being a million seller on initial release)

by the way, tomorrow is the start of a new theme goodbad&ugly, an alternative soundtrack/tribute to one of themusicologists most loved films.

musicology #90

sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #13

(Alton Ellis – If I Could Rule This World)

this week it’s the turn of ‘Mr Soul of Jamaica’, the legendary Kingstonian..Alton Ellis.

foundation reggae artist who has been recording authentic Jamaican music since the late 1950’s !!

starting out his recording career with Coxsone, (Dodd), before he had set up Studio1, Alton Ellis has been at the forefront of Jamaican music for almost half a century and stands as tall as any other artist Jamaica has produced. name checked by most, if not all, of the Jamaican singers that followed as an inspiration, Alton recorded and worked with all the major players of the Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae periods..musicians, producers, engineers..have all been touched by the mans qualities. you don’t come by the name ‘Mr Soul’ for nothing…(checkback to the first of the six/six/six artists..Sam, (Mr Soul), Cooke. musicology #75-83)

setting the tone for the coming week of Jamaican musicology this piece is taken from his 1967 album ‘Mr Soul Of Jamaica’ produced by rock-steady king Duke Reid the ‘Trojan’ and backed by Tommy McCook and the Supersonics

just like to mention that Alton is, (hopefully), recovering from treatment for a serious life threatening illness and if any one is in contact with him please let him know that this weeks tribute to a legend on themusicologist is all about him and his musical legacy..wishing and hoping for a full recovery

musicology #48

vocalgroupaction .. day7

(Back Up Train – Soulmates)

last piece. 1967 .. who can tell us the name of the lead singer?