So much to say but, words, for me, don’t do thoughts/feelings justice. That said, I will do my best with the vocabulary I ‘have’ in an effort to communicate my thoughts/feelings on the what, why, how, when of the nubag (new bag) that I feel like working out of for the new year.
Interestingly and without my knowledge (but not without my understanding), the time has come and the nu beat is being played and the dance begins TODAY.
Not ONLY is it the dawn of spring it is also the dawn of the final phase (for me) and rebirth is coming as we ‘sail into the mystic’…
My aim is to post a tune every day between Feb 8th (new years day) and Jan 27th (year end), a marathon for sure but I will give it my best ‘shot’. The music will be diverse.
First up a top ranking piece of, (late), Ska from a king of Jamaican music, Justin Hinds (and the Dominos), one of the pioneers of the vocal group style at his/their very best. Recorded for the mighty Duke, the Trojan, Reid and released on his Treasure Isle Label. Echoes of and certainly inspired by Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler’s early Soul killer .. I’m a Telling You. One more example of Curtis Mayfield’s contribution to the development of Jamaican music.
Out of the Rhythm & Blues and into the Rocksteady with this majestic cover of the Impressions cut. Rarely does a cover do justice to the original for me but this one is an exception to the rule..
Written by Master Curtis Mayfield and originally recorded by the Impressions for the 1966 Ridin’ High LP the Sensations recorded this version in 1967. Released in the UK on Graeme Goodall’s Doctor Bird label this is a BiG piece from the Sensations, a group originally formed by Jimmy Riley and Cornel Campbell that featured, (along the way), Buster Riley, Aaron ‘Bobby’ Davis, Johnny Osbourne and Jackie Parris, who the lead is on todays fine piece im not sure but i’m guessing its Jackie Parris rather than Jimmy who had moved onto one of Jamaica’s greatest vocal groups the Uniques by 1967 but it could even be Cornel Campbell?
one thing IS for SURE…the tune is a top ranking, nailed on marrow trembler and one that I’m sure Don Pedro will appreciate as the surf hits the shore on another day in paradise and he watches the sun sink over the pacific as the Don is world renowned for ALWAYS being ‘Right On Time’.
(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.
Saturday night at Vintage was B.I.G. The Soul Casino was rocking..Andy Weatherall threw down at the ‘Warehouse’ and the company kept was SUPERB. I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to make it through to see Leroy Hutson on Sunday night? but it was one of the main reasons for attending so I thought that if I stumbled around the festival into the early evening then I had a chance…
Why is Leroy such a legend?, (other than his musical genius), for those of us who had the pleasure to be ‘on the, (Rare Groove), scene’ back in the day (85-87), Leroy Hutson was one of the primary artists. His ‘Hutson II’ LP was IN DEMAND to say the least. If you were there you know what I’m talking about and to hear him perform today’s slice of the musicology pie Live and Direct was an experience never to be forgotten.
The legend wasn’t due on until 9pm so it was touch and go but I managed it, (due in part to Craig Charles who was on fire for the two and a half hours leading up to Leroy coming on). As soon as he walked on though I was buzzing and immediately found my second wind. The man proceeded to tear it up and wove his magic leaving the crowd screaming for more especially when he enticed a call and response session on today’s slice the Rare Groove classic ‘Love The Feeling’ getting the Kittens to sing “Love I Love I Love” and the Cats to sing “The way you make me feel” was as good as it gets and anyone who was there knows what I’m talking about. For me it will always be a cherished memory..Recorded for and released on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom label in 1976.
Somewhat of a dilemma over today’s slice..1 artist 2 majestic covers..what one to lay down? Donny’s version of Ray Charles’s ‘I Believe To My Soul’ or John Lennon’s ‘Jealous Guy’ ?? hmmm I think it’s going to be ‘Jealous Guy’. Nothing to choose between them as I said…both top of the ‘covers tree’ but something about this one that resonates stronger with me than ‘I Believe’. Am I a ‘Jealous Guy’…not neccesarily but I know I have been. Is it jealous or insecure? it’s a thin line indeed. Insecure…for sure so in true dialogue style hold this one from Donny’s Live set. Before I finish I just want to add how much I feel the man’s authenticity come through in his music…genuine dialogue between a man and his inner being I believe.
Others of note are Marvin Gaye, of course master John Coltrane, Gil Scott Heron, Terry Callier, Curtis Mayfield, Paul Weller, Dinah washington, Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday…there are others I could add but those are the ones who come immediately to mind without thinking long and hard. Recorded live, (1972), at the Bitter End and featuring Cornell Dupree, Mike Howard, Willie Weeks, Fred White and Earl DeRouen
Slipping back into the sweet sounds of Jamaica for today’s cut with a piece by one of the islands great artists the MAJESTIC and pioneering Cornell Campbell . A Cat who begun his recording career at the tender age of 11 in the mid 1950’s for Coxsone, moved on to record with King Edwards in the mid 60’s, harmonised within ‘The Sensations’ for Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle, returned triumphantly to Studio 1 with ‘The Eternals’ and then begun a long solo career that continues HALF A CENTURY later to this day.
Here heard cutting his teeth on a Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions soul classic. As far as I’m concerned an absolute marrow trembler from start to finish and yet another musical diamond mined from the Studio1 archives. One listen should leave us in no doubt as to the influence both Curtis Mayfield and Coxsone Dodd had on Jamaican musicology….LISTEN TUNE.