musicology #0607

Blues’N’Rhythm #2

Joe Turner & Pete Johnson – Roll ‘Em Pete

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….

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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 #361

Ideology&Philosophy #2

(Billie Holiday – Getting Some Fun Out Of Life)

Looks like we may be in for the long haul again on this theme ! although this is NOT going to be about the history of western Philosophy more like the history of Philosophy that has influenced themusicologist or definitions of concepts that I believe are critical to living in this mis-information age..so maybe it won’t turn into an epic. Either way the ‘musical diary’ will be left open for those who have eyes and ears to see and hear.

But before we get into round two I just want to let all the Cats know that ‘The Project’ is picking up momentum so I am, (and have been), very busy trying my best to walk on water, which is hard work but once you get used to it it’s like riding a bike..you get on, you fall off, you get back on again until one day you’re riding down the street pulling wheelies shouting “Look ma…no hands” !!

I’m not there yet but for me belief is more powerful than fear in the same way that love is more powerful than hate and as a ‘believer’ there is no way negativity will dominate the one life I have to live.

Today’s dialogue, (of course strictly speaking it’s a monologue but I hope that dialectic comes from it), says a few more words about Greek philosophy, (which was in fact the first step on themusicologist’s journey to knowledge of the self after reading a short book by Plato called ‘The Trials Of Socrates’) . The way I have interperated it Socrates was the first in the western world, (on record), to question everything which, at the time was quite monumental. Up until then people, (at least the majority), just accepted whatever the dogma was and placed little importance on evaluation. Socrates through Plato, (or the other way around), challenged almost everything that was said to him in an effort to question the meaning of words. When I first read this small book I found this to be in synchronicity with my own feelings on such matters and armed with the bare minimum of formal education was able to follow Plato without trying. This important discovery helped me to realise how important it was for me, (and in know way am I trying to convince anyone else), how critical Philosophy is in making sense of the world I find myself in so the following extract is a very brief introduction to some of the thoughts contained in such a valuable discipline. By the way I’m by no means a disciple of Plato or any of the Greeks but it was where the journey started.

The music is a cut from a female singer who for me is one of the most important interperators of the 20th Century…Billie Holiday, who also happens to be one of my earliest teachers on the subject of the expression of emotions. A 1937 slice originally recorded on Vocalion. Backed up on the session by the legendary Buck Clayton, Buster Bailey, Lester Young, Claude Thornhill, Freddie Green, Walter Page and Jo Jones almost all of whom featured heavily in creating the backbone of the great Count Basie Band. The Painist, (strangely), is uncredited but it could only be one of two, the majestic Teddy Wilson or the ‘Count’ himself.

musicology #308

Live&Direct #5

(Lou Rawls – Goin’ To Chicago Blues)

Today’s cut features yet another of the great vocalists…Louis Allen Rawls. Life long friend of ‘Mr Soul’ Who was equally at home singing Gospel, Soul or Jazz whose impassioned response to Sam Cooke on the immortal 1962 cut ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ deserves special mention. A singer of the highest order about whom Frank Sinatra was quoted to have said “he has the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game”…

This cut, first performed, (and written), by Jimmy Rushing and the Count Basie band was recorded for Capitol in 1966 featuring musicians James Bond, Earl Palmer, Tommy Strode, Herb Ellis..produced by David Axelrod.

musicology #276

newyearboogie #4

(Roy Milton’s Solid Senders – New Years Resolution Blues)

Today’s cut is courtesy of pioneering combo The Solid Senders, led by singer, drummer and band leader Roy Milton who together with Joe Liggins and Johnny Otis helped shape, (in the late 40’s), the emerging sound that became known as Rhythm & Blues. A much smaller sound than the precceding style made popular by the likes of Count Basie, Louis Jordan and Joe Turner. The contribution of female pianist Camille Howard is worthy of special mention as it was, (along with Milton’s drums), the driving force behind Milton’s hits. For themusicologist Roy Milton’s vocals and the Solid Senders music always hit ‘the spot’.

p.s the sentiment in the cut does not reflect, (as is often the case), my own feelings on the subject.

musicology #260

sleighbellsring #8

(Harmon Ray – Xmas Blues)

Another Blues slice of the Christmas pie, this time from a cat I know nothing about other than the date and place recorded, (Chicago 1947), and the piano player…Eddie Boyd. What I do know is that not only am I a sucker for Christmas music I’m also a big fan of the piano. For themusicologist it’s the instrument of choice when it comes to communicating the message. Favourite players include Little Brother Montgomery, Fats Waller, Pete Johnson, Albert Ammonds, Meade Lux Lewis, Count Basie, The Duke, Ray Charles, Mempis and Sunnyland Slim and last but definately not least…Amos Milburn.

Love the intro on this cut.