musicology #493

SoulBoy #12

(Irma Thomas – Ruler Of My Heart)

Love the way the SoulBoy is shaping up….Soul and Reggae are the two musical languages that I am fiercely passionate about..I like many genres and almost all styles but nothing connects with the I like these two. Maybe it’s because I was brought up with them? especially Soul, the sweet sounds of Jamaica didn’t make an appearance until I was 3 or 4 years old but Soul is in my flesh, blood and bones…prenatal style !!

Seems like the Soul Kitchen’s hotting up with every cut so i’ll keep up the pressure with this piece from the superb Irma Thomas..well known to Soul Cats and Kittens for many a fine slice, (this being one of them), ‘The Queen of New Orleans Soul’ started out singing in a Baptist Church choir as a teenager but it wasn’t until 1960 that she ‘waxed her first side’. Like all the great New Orleans Soul singers of the sixties it was on the pioneering label Minit that she really begun to cut loose under the wing and watchful eye of the legendary Allen Toussaint, producer, arranger, songwriter and piano maestro whose contribution to the emerging sound now known as Soul deserves, (and gets), honourable recognition. Today’s cut was reinterpreted by the ‘Big O’ for his first solo outing ‘Pain In My Heart’ and as good as that is, for me, this one reaches out even further. 1963 recording on the Minit label. Already featured twice on themusicologist, (#150/ #359 Irma Thomas oozes Soul.

musicology #359

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #26

(Irma Thomas – It’s Too Soon To Know)

Final slice of the Alternative Hustler Soundtrack and it’s come down to the faceoff between Eddie and Bert. Yesterday’s slice heard Fats declare that Eddie was the new king of pool and Bert showed his true colours. Not that he has done much to conceal them but he hints that maybe it was his boys that broke Eddie’s thumbs and if he, (Bert), commands it his heavies will do more than that this time. But our man has learnt some character and is prepared to make whatever sacrifice is necessary to ensure that Sarah’s brings about a Victory over Bert, (who in my opinion represents the establishment).

Bert on the other hand is only really interested in ownership and money, he has said it throughout the film but what he hasn’t said is how much he envies those capable of showing true feelings and who are not chained by the evils of power and money. Classic Capitalist mentality trying to show that it’s wealth, greed and power that makes the world go round and not happiness, love and integrity, (character). I make no bones about it money and power don’t motivate themusicologist and never will. I have bills to pay and, more importantly, mouths to feed and there are some who may, (and do), call that irresponsible and obviously they are entitled to their opinion but integrity/character don’t come cheap and as with most things there is always a price to pay, (for everyone concerned). Fantastic interchange of dialogue and ideology between the antagonist, (Bert), and protaganist, (Eddie), in this scene that deserves mention. How none of the main actors received oscars for their performances is beyond reason and therefore must have been in some sense political.

The director Robert Rosen had integrity/character but ultimately it was shipwrecked on the rocks of so called ‘Democracy’ and he lost it. Which is not a judgement or criticism, (of Robert Rosen), more of an observation. For more insight into the facts of life it’s worth taking another listen to a slice featured earlier on this theme; Memphis Slim’s ‘Mother Earth’ (musicology #352)

Tough call the final cut..couple of options but going with my gut feeling it has to be this one from Irma Thomas with a slice of pure unaldultarated heart wrenching Soul, (with a capital S), A cover of the song made popular first by the Orioles and then by the irrepressible Dinah Washington a singer who set the standards for every female singer that followed. Rare to find a Dinah song covered that even comes close to her version but for themusicologist this one does. Also as far as I’m concerned it’s fitting that the final call belongs to a female in tribute to the character played by Piper Laurie and the answer, (posthumously), is a resounding Yes. Recorded and released in 1961 for and on the Minit label. Produced, (I imagine), by Allen Toussaint.

musicology #150

ladiesweek2 #4

(Irma Thomas – It’s Raining)

yep…themusicologist has been a bit slack this week on the musical front. Saturday is here and I’ve only managed four cuts for ladiesweek2.

maybe I’ll fling down two slices tomorrow to bring the quota up to six. hopefully the quality and not the quantity has earned me a reprieve from your disappointment and today’s piece is no exception….in fact the piece is worth at least two ‘mortal’ cuts so I’m already feeling better about it !!

recorded in November 1961, released on New Orleans’ fabulous Minit label in 1962. written and produced by the legendary Allen Toussaint, (who is also tinkling the ivories ‘pon the session), an important musicologist in the development of the genre who’s production and songwriting talents have been enjoyed by many artists. first at Minit and then at his, (and partner Marshall Sehorn’s), notable Sea-Saint studios.