musicology #0755

Nubag #23 (a year in the life)

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)

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 #378

Modernist #6

(The Impressions – Say It’s Alright)

I was going to end this theme tomorrow but on reflection there’s too much music yet to be featured and such is the quality of the dialogue from the commentators I’m letting it run for another week.

A large part of the debate has been the use of the word ‘Modernist’ and whether it was in fact used by anyone at the time? with that in mind hold this quote from the book ‘Soul Stylists’ compiled by Paolo Hewitt which is full of anectodes from Cats who claim, (and I see no reason to believe they are lying), to have participated in the ‘nameless thing’ of the early 1960’s.

“The bands from our youth club in Hastings were dressed like The Shadows on the cover of their first album; very neat red jackets, dark ties and white shirts. Then I spotted these strangely dressed guys from another school. They had short Italian haircuts and they wore bum freezer jackets with cut away collars and half belts on the back, narrow ties, tapered trousers with slits up the sides and side laced winklepickers. I went up to one of them and asked;
“Why are you dressed like that?” and he spoke the immortal words;
“Because I’m a Modernist”

The cat’s name is Lloyd Johnson and no date is mentioned but from the sounds of the ‘clobber’ it’s likely to have been before 1964

From themusicologist’s perspective what is beyond doubt are the release dates of the music contained on the theme which is obviously, (in almost all cases), not subjective and delivers insight into the most important aspect of any ‘scene’..the music and today’s cut is, in my mind, one of the greatest pieces of mod/ernist musicology of the period from quite possibly the driving force behind the winds of change none other than Curtis Mayfield who has featured heavily on themusiciologist over the last few years but also in my life since babe in arms.

hold this next quote on today’s cut from a book on the legend by author Peter Burns.

“Recorded in August 1963 the horn arrangement, a suggestion of Mayfield’s, took it’s inspiration from a Bobby Bland single but the idea for the song itself had come from a conversation between Curtis and Fred, (Cash, member of ‘the holy trinity’), one night when the Impressions were on tour in Nashville. Mayfield was effusively expounding some ideas and future plans and Cash was interjecting from time to time and concurred with “Right” and “Well that’s allright”, suddenly Curtis had a hook line ‘Say It’s Alright’. They cut this historic track at Universal studios in Chicago just two months after Curtis’s hit production of Major Lance’s ‘The Monkey Time’ which was still riding high on the charts. All the vital elements came together and this modern classic brought The Impressions back even stronger than before”.

Released on ABC-Paramount and arranged by Johnny Pate

“Say It’s alright, (it’s alright), say it’s alright, (it’s alright),
It’s alright have a good time cause it’s alright wooohh it’s alright,
We’re gonna move it slow, when lights are low,
When you move it slow it sounds like a moan and it’s alright wooohh it’s alright
Now listen to the beat, trying to catch your feet,
You got Soul and everybody know that it’s alright wooohhh it’s alright,

When you wake up early in the morning feeling sad like so many of us do,
Hum a little Soul make life your goal and surely something’s gotta come to you,
And say it’s alright, say it’s alright…it’s alright have a good time cause it’s alright woohhh it’s alright,
Now everybody clap your hands give yourself a chance,
You got Soul and everybody know that it’s alright wooohh it’s alright,

Some day I’ll find me a woman who will love and treat me real nice,
Then my roams? gotta go and my love she will know from morning noon and night,
And she’s gotta say it’s alright..say it’s alright,
It’s alright have a good time cause it’s alright woohhh it’s alright,
Now everybody clap your hands, now give yourself a chance…you got Soul now baby..”

musicology #210

12AngryMen #7 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Rosco Gordon – Cheese & Crackers)

So, the ‘battle’ is on…our man Henry has done enough to convince the ‘old man’ that there is a possibility of doubt and therefore further questions need to be asked and answered…

the music is a 1957 slice of the Sun Records catalogue performed by the legendary Rosco Gordon. member of the famed collective of hip cats known as ‘the Beale Streeters’ out of whose ranks rose Bobby Bland, Johnny Ace and B.B King.

musicology #153

duets2 #2

(Beres Hammond & Marcia Griffiths – Live On)

I had planned on throwing this one down yesterday but for some unknown reason my internet connection was playing tricks and locked me out of the ‘information highway’
so i’m taking this opportunity to fling it now in case it happens again.

day two of the duets selection is one of the tunes that drew me back to the sweet sounds of Jamaica in 1993 after a year spent in the musical wilderness waiting to be inspired after 5 years listening, playing and DJ’ing ‘house’ which by then had made the transition from under to overground and was being used to to sell cat food, yoghurt, etc …

the male vocal comes from the pipes of the mighty Beres Hammond whose career stretches back to the early 70’s but for themusicologist it was throughout the 90’s that he established himself as one of Reggae’s greats. one of those rare artists who rarely seem to put a foot wrong, (Bobby Bland is another who springs to mind), this cat could charm the birds out of the trees with his blend of harmony, sincerity and effortless timing.

the female vocal is courtesy of the queen of Jamaican music .. Marcia Griffiths. whose career stretches way back into the sixties, first as solo singer, (1964), then in tandem with Bob Andy, (musicology #37), then as member of Bob Marley & the Wailers backing group the I-Threes.

this piece, (which I never tire of hearing), produced by Donovan Germain for his trend setting Penthouse label is a slice of the ‘College Rock’ rhythm from 1992/3, a ‘digital’ reworking of Jackie Mittoo’s late 60’s Studio1 cut ‘Freak Out’…

beautiful song sung expertly by two of Jamaica’s premier vocalists….one especially for all the couples out there who understand what it takes to hold on when the road is rough and rocky.

“live on….”

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.