musicology #0692

i.believe.i’ll.make.a.change.

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.

musicology #692
                        musicology #692

musicology #0691

i.believe.i’ll.make.a.change

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

musicology 0691
musicology 0691

musicology #0606

Blues’N’Rhythm #1

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.

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 #472

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.

musicology #370

SuchIsLife #4

(Howlin’ Wolf – How Many More Years)

Missed yesterday’s date with themusicologist but returning early this morning with a wicked slice of 1951 Rhythm & Blues from the magnificent Chester Burnett, (A.K.A Howlin’ Wolf), and band featuring none other than Ike Turner on Piano, Willie Steele on drums and Wille Johnson on guitar with the Wolf blowing up a storm on Harmonica. (Produced By Sam Phillips)

musicology #347

AlternativeSoundtrack #14

(Buddy Guy – First Time I Met The Blues)

After taking an old school battering as well as having his thumbs broken by the roughnecks who didn’t take kindly to his hustle Eddie turns up back at Sarahs apartment looking like he’s been ten rounds with Cassius Clay. She takes pity on the kid and wants to take care of him. Some women are funny that way…or is it just the mothering instinct? ..all the bravado and ‘front’ has gone and we catch a glimpse of the boy behind the man. If youve been there you know how it feels.

The music today is yet another slice of the Chess Blues pie but this time from guitar virtuoso George ‘Buddy’ Guy whose influence has spread far and wide touching almost every guitar player that followed; Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton have all cited Guy as a major inspiration, (especially Hendrix who was known to cancel concerts to go and hear Guy play). His stage antics are legendary which according to the man himself were inspired by, (at the age of 13),  seeing Guitar Slim perform in 1949.

musicology #343

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #10

(Otis Spann – The Hard Way)

On today’s slice of dialogue we hear the return of Eddie’s former partner Charlie who has tracked him down and wants to go back on the road hustling. Eddie doesn’t want to know and the truth comes out that he is planning on taking Minnesota Fats on again. Sarah is silent throughout the dialogue between them but sees a new, (to her at least), ruthless side to Eddie that hits her hard and during the conversation Eddie spits Charlie out showing a heart as cold as Ice which leads her to the painful conclusion that the ‘good times’ are over…

The musicology is courtesy of legendary Blues pianist and long time Muddy Waters cohort Otis Spann with a cut taken from a 1960 session featuring Robert Lockwood Jr on guitar and St Louis Jimmy on vocal duties.

musicology #340

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #7

(John Lee Hooker – I’ll Know Tonight)

Our man Eddie wakes up from his short sleep at the bus station, sticks his bag in a locker there and heads back into NYC trying to decide what to do next..he hits a local bar and there in a booth, alone in an empty bar is the girl whose magnetism drew him to her at the Station..He buys her a drink and finds out that ‘Sarah’ is a ‘boozer’. Something about this lady intrigues and ‘attracts’ him but he only knows the “fast and loose” hustle so that’s the way he plays it..she clocks his small town play and initially declines his offer but as we are to find out later, birds with broken wings are a perfect match especially if they can help each other to become whole again.

The musicology is a 1960 slice borrowed from the LP ‘Travellin’ on Calvin and Vivian Carter’s Vee Jay label from the Inimitable John Lee Hooker, (featuring Lefty Bates, Sylvester Hickman and Jimmy Turner),with his unique combination of Delta and City blues perfected whilst drifting up from his birthplace near Clarksdale Missisippi through Memphis and eventually settling in Detroit.

musicology #275

newyearboogie #3

(Blind Lemon Jefferson – Happy New Year Blues)

1928 slice of the new year pie from pioneering bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson whose contribution to the genre looms as large as any of his contempories. Originator of the ‘Texas’ Style his legacy stretches from T-Bone Walker, (who learned how to play from Jefferson), through Chuck Berry, right up to and beyond Jimmy Hendrix. Reknowned for his dexterity both as player and songwriter the cat ‘swung’ the blues all over the Southern States.

musicology #215

12AngryMen #11 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(John Lee Hooker – Little Wheel)

not long to go now as the ‘guiltys’ fall like dominoes. each piece of evidence is being scutinized and eventually found to be unworthy.

the music is courtesy of  Bluesman supreme, the pioneering John Lee Hooker whose first recording, (Boogie Chillen’) was in 1948. This one, from 1957,  is one from his days spent at Vivian Carter and James Bracken’s Vee Jay Label.

musicology #212

12AngryMen #8 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Sherman Booker & The Blue Notes – Cool Daddy’s Blues)

back to round 8 of the ‘alternative’ and brother Henry is on a roll. The Guilty’s are falling like dominoes as the ‘Socratic method’ employed by our man continues to work it’s magic.

Philosophy is such an important part of our lives that it’s shocking how little is taught in our schools. Unless we count the almost complete domination of the Greek School of thought which is taught ideologically to young children in an effort to set them up as ‘citizens of the future’ rather than introduced as a tool to help them aquire ‘knowledge’. For me Philosophy is all about asking, (and answering), questions and coming to your own conclusions which obviously doesn’t fit in with current politrickal ideas of mass control. With that in mind and before I get too far into the saddle of my high horse I’ll get back to the music.

today’s cut of the ’57 pie is a piece of ‘blues’ from an almost unknown outfit, Sherman Booker & The Blue Notes, about whom I know absolutely nothing, other than they recorded this one in 1957 for L.A’s Combo Label.

musicology #179

soulsearching #1

(Bessie Smith – Poor Mans Blues)

kept a low one last week to consolidate and regroup for an assualt on this existence called life.

what has this got to do with music? I’m glad I asked..

having always provided themusicologist with a means to externalise the internal turmoil that is ever present music has always been a consistent, reliable guide and trusted companion on the journey. as we experience the rough and the smooth, (together), there is always a slice of the musical pie that nails the feeling and even though this next selection is completely self indulgent it is, I assure you, very necessary.

the idea is to try and lay down a musical dialogue between the yin and yang of a turbulent soul existing in the post modern world. sound deep? in all honesty it is..and bottomless to boot!!

day one of the soulsearching..and who better to start proceedings than the incomparable Bessie Smith…Queen of the blues with a belter of a tune from 1928 that is as true today as it was back then, especially poignant considering the ‘Great Depression’ was just around the corner. which just goes to show how little, (of substance), has changed as a result of the so called ‘age of progress’. Produced by legendary musicologist John Hammond and featuring the musical talents of:

Joe Williams, (Trombone)
Bob Fuller, (Clarinet/Alto Sax)
Ernest Elliott (Clarinet/Alto&Tenor Sax)
Porter Grainger (Piano)

a musical gem from a legendary performer…watch the ride.

mister rich man, mister rich man,
open up your heart and mind,
mister rich man, rich man,
open up your heart and mind,
give a poor man a chance

help stop these hard, hard times,

while you living in your mansion,
you don’t know what hard time means,
while you living in your mansion,
you don’t know what hard time means,
hard working mans wife is starving,
your wife is living like a queen,

please listen to my pleading ’cause I can’t stand these hard times long,
ohhh listen to my pleading, can’t stand these hard times long,
they’ll make an honest man do things that you know is wrong,

poor man fought all the battles,
poor man would fight again today,
poor man fought all the battles,
poor man would fight again today,
he would do anything you ask him in the name of the USA,

now the war is over poor man must live the same as you,
now the war is over poor man must live as the same as you,
if it wasn’t for the poor man mister rich man what would you do?

musicology #81

sixartist,sixtune,sixweekspecial #4 (Sam Cooke – Driftin’ Blues)

had to bite the bullet, wipe my hard drive and reinstall Windows yesterday so wasn’t able to ‘throw down’. Back in the hot seat now..with the techno issues done and dusted.

out of the bonus cuts and back into the original tribute selection…

this cut taken from his 1963 album ‘Mr Soul’ finds the man paying his own tribute to foundation vocalist Charles Brown, (a major influence for Sam, Ray Charles, Bobby Bland and a host of singers that followed), with a heartfelt rendition of Brown’s 1946 classic ‘Driftin’ Blues.

musicology #21

ladiesweek #1

(Billie Holiday – Love Me Or Leave Me)

Kicking off ladiesweek with possibly the most influential female vocalist of all time…Eleanora Fagan Gough popularly known as Billie Holiday who most certainly had a right to sing the Blues and sing them she did but in a new ‘uptown’ style that took it’s lead from the one and only Louis Armstrong.

Of course there’s Bessie Smith, Mahalia Jackson and Dinah Washington  to consider but let’s leave that debate to one side.

very difficult to pick one slice of musicology from her repertoire but one it must be…

Accompanied by the sublime artistry of Teddy Wilson and full crew from sometime in the 1930’s … Billie step up to the m.i.c and let us know what time it is..