musicology #0652 Don’t Let Nobody

tribute to Don Pedro #2

Joe Morris – Don’t Let Nobody

sticking with the Rhythm and Blues selection for round two with more Don Pedro Philosophy..but before, during or after the cut i hope you will lend me your ear as i wax philosophically on this thing called Life…

the age old question of meaning is one i often ponder as i walk down the road and the longer the journey goes on the clearer i can see the path. for me life’s meaning is in the relationships we forge. not the aquaintances, the authentic connections to each other. the ones that present us with the opportunity to be ourselves, without fear or damnation. In the play Macbeth, Shakespere wrote the words:

“Out, out brief candle, life’s but a walking shadow a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signyfying nothing”

is it? … I have been honoured to share the journey with Giants along the way and regardless of how long we rolled together they continue to have a positive influence on me. They are by no means angels of virtue but their actions and non actions have touched the depths of me soul.

Don Pedro is one of them giants and the relationship will always be a cherished one.

This selection is taking shape serendipitously as today’s cut features the Gigantic Joe Morris, (another major player at the forefront of the shift from big band swing to small band jump/rhythm and blues), who, in his brief career, journeyed with some heavyweights such as Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Big Joe Turner, Dinah Washington, Wynonie Harris, as well as being the unoficial house band at Atlantic records in the early 50’s when Cats like brother Ray and Lowell Fulsom were cutting their R&B teeth. His candle went out at the tender age of 36 but half a century on and his voice is still heard loud and clear…

Like the man says..

“Don’t let nobody mess all over you”


musicology #466

2LegendsClash II #2

(Dinah Washington – How Deep Is The Ocean)

Dinah Washington…for themusicologist, the greatest female singer to ever record. Yes there are others such as the sublime Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Aretha Franklin, Randy Crawford and a whole host of magnificent vocalists to consider but for me Dinah wears the crown.

Not sure how much importance it has to anyone else, (but for me it has resonance), Ruth Lee Jones was born August 29th 1925 under a sign I am inextricably drawn to..Virgo…I know and love too many, (more than any other sign), to dismiss it as coincidence. Not sure exactly why but in my experience honesty is a key trait of those born under the sign and for me that alone is magnetic…when Dinah sings I listen.

Her career begun in 1940 but it wasn’t until hooking up with Lionel Hampton, (who had previously been part of Benny Goodman’s trailblazing quartet along with Teddy Wilson), on December 29th 1943 that her star began to rise. Much has been written about Dinah’s battles with various substances as well as her seven husbands !! which considering she died at the tender age of 39 says plenty about her credentials to sing about the Joys and Pains of love with such authenticity and passion.

Quincy Jones, (who knows a thing or two about musicology !!), described Dinah’s style with this eulogy saying she “could take the melody in her hand, hold it like an egg, crack it open, fry it, let it sizzle, reconstruct it, put the egg back in the box and back in the refrigerator and you would’ve still understood every single syllable.”

Today’s cut is Dinah at her best singing a song written by master songwriter Irving Berlin.

Listen Tune….

musicology #460

TheManWithTheBag #10

(Dinah Washington – Silent Night)

Have to throw down early today, (didn’t happen !!) as we, (kids and I), are off on a little excursion up to the beautiful Lake District, (Ambleside to be precise), for a few days to kick back before Christmas and I don’t think the internet has reached there yet !! so themusicologist won’t be able to throw down until returning to the big smoke.

STOP PRESS……in fact I’m throwing this down from Ambleside in a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi..i’ll keep it as brief as possible..our daughter is on me like a rash to get on facebook but it’s, (proper), snowing up here and the junior musicologist and I have climbed a mountain today, (look out for the pics…soon come)

Today’s fine cut is courtesy of, (in my subjective opinion of course), one of the greatest singers to have ever graced the mic. A voice overflowing with expression and emotion, drawn from the deep well of existence, (and essence), when Dinah Washington opens her heart and sings even the birds stop to listen and nod in appreciation.  Born Ruth Jones, she first came to the attention of Lionel Hampton in 1943 and for the next 19 years waxed some of the most heart wrenching slices of musicology known to wo/man. Personally speaking…it’s her Mercury output that brings me to my knees, trembles my marrow and brings tears to my ‘minces’ but I could never turn Dinah off no matter what the period.  (This one is from the Mercury 78)

musicology #390

Modernist #18

(Ernestine Anderson – Keep An Eye On Love)

Cats…apologies for leaving you all ‘hanging’ for this final excuse is that it has been ‘on me like a rash’ for the last couple of weeks and I haven’t been able to find the time for themusicologist. The Project is taking up most of my time leaving precious little for Mod/ernist musings although the combination of the two has produced the latest addition to the Tribute Tees below. Available in two colours, sizes from Small to XLarge and THREE cuts ‘Dubplate’, ‘Classic’, and ‘Double A’, (American Apparel) see Tribute Tees for further information

Final cut on the Mod/ernist theme..and I’m wrapping it up with this fine piece by extraordinary singer Ernestine Anderson whose long career stretches back to the early 50’s when as a teenager she toured with the, (legendary), Johnny Otis band and then Lionel Hampton’s. Essentially a Jazz singer but I’m sure she could ‘sit down’ on any piece of music with effortless ease. Recorded and released in 1963 it won’t come as a surprise to those who know this cut but for those who don’t know it, (as well as them that do),

Released on New York’s Sue Label (another slice of the Juggy Murray pie), and in the UK on the Mod/ernist’s most cherished Red & Yellow label of the same name. Apparently it didn’t get much play at the time, (according to my sources), but for me this piece is ‘well modern’ and If I had been on the wheels of steel back then it would have been one of themusicologist’s choice plays….what’s ironic is the timing of today’s cut. I have honestly tried my best to ‘Keep an Eye’ but all my efforts have been in vain…


musicology #283

twolegendsclash #6

(Louis Armstrong And His New Sebastian Cotton Club Orchestra – You’re Drivin’ Me Crazy)

Judging by this weeks viewer statistics It would be far more effective for themusicologist to roll with some funk/boogie/reggae/etc, boosting the figures, (and the ego), and patting myself on the back for my musical taste and how well it is received around the world but, for me, the unviversal language has a will of it’s own and compells me to follow rather than lead. themusicologist has no destination in mind or even a reason for being other than to share and spread the word.

It’s harder to be and stay positive when under seige from the media and society at large but through thick and thin music is always there to inspire thought and action on the journey and for themusicologist the selection chooses itself…

Armstrong and Bechet, (to name but two), learned, spoke, evolved and taught the language of the underdog, the oppressed and the disenfranchised to millions around the world in a style and formula that needed no translation or formal education. Listening to these Cats blow delivers musical riches beyond my wildest dreams and makes the spirit soar in tandem with the notes that emerge from their weapons.

Doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what you believe in or what colour skin you have, (which it most certainly did back then), the universal language speaks to us all and as always this page is a tribute to the artists on parade.

Today’s cut, featuring Father Armstrong, recorded on December 23rd 1930 in Los Angeles showcases his dexterity as trumpet player, vocalist and authentic man of the people. The way he mixes and blends, weaving in and out is a hallmark of his uniqueness. How many trumpet players are there, (or have ever been), that swing so effortlessy from playing to singing?

The band supporting consist of:

Armstrong, Louis (Trumpet, Vocal)
Hite, Les (Conductor, Alto Saxophone, Bass Saxophone)
Orendorff, George (Trumpet)
Scott, Harold (Trumpet)
Graven, Luther (Trombone)
Johnson, Marvin (Alto Saxophone)
Jones, Charlie (Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet)
Prince, Henry (Piano)
Perkins, Bill (Banjo, Steel Guitar)
Bailey, Joe (Tuba, Bass)
Hampton, Lionel (Drums, Vibraphone)

musicology #135

theGood,Bad&theUgly #2

(Roy Ayers Ubiquity – Ain’t No Sunshine)

part two of the alternative soundtrack selection finds Blondie, (the good), getting his comeuppance from Tuco, (the ugly), for doublecrossing him, (sounds like Blondie wasn’t listening to Tuco’s threat from round one).

musicology courtesy of Jazz Funkers Ubiquity led by Roy Ayers, Vibraphone virtuoso who was given his first pair of mallets at the tender age of FIVE by the instrument’s undisputed champ Lionel Hampton.

this cut is taken from the 1973 Polydor album Red, Black & Green and is, for themusicologist, as good as the Bill Withers original especially as the piece does what all the best ‘covers’ do…bring something fresh to the table.