musicology #0650 (Truth&RightsRemix)

Johnny Osbourne – Truth & Rights

themusicologist is back in the saddle today with a remix of the Johnny Osbourne Downbeat Roots Classic ‘Truth & Rights’. Recorded in the late 70’s at Sir Coxsons Studio 1, although in truth it was, like  much of Coxsons later output an overdub recorded over an early 70’s ‘golden age’ Studio 1 rhythm, a practice originated by Sugar Minott  a few years earlier.

By the late 70’s Jamaica was on the edge and Kingston was to all intents and purposes a battlefield. The economy had collapsed due, (in part), to outside influence as well as infighting between the opposing forces of the JLP and the PNP. Without going into too long a narrative Jamaica, (and the Caribbean) was on the frontline of the Cold War. Manley was a ‘Socialist’ and Seaga was a ‘Capitalist’ and the war that erupted was instigated by outside pressure to destabilise the situation. The age of ‘Roots & Culture’, One Love and ‘Ites was almost over and the ‘Gunman’ style was on the march. Studio 1, (as a creative force), was too all intents and purposes finished and Sir Coxson was relocating to the relative peace and safety !!! of Brooklyn signalling the end of the mightiest of Jamaica’s Musical powerhouses…

The rhythm for this tune was originally recorded at Studio 1 in the early part of the 70’s and released as ‘Take a Ride’ (miscredited to Al Campbell). Johnny Osbourne’s Truth and Rights was, (to the best of my knowledge), never released as a 7 Inch and was only available on the LP, (along with other ‘golden age’ overdubs), anyway…before i digress here is my tribute version to one of the mightiest of the Studio 1 roots cuts…


musicology #191

teachings of billionaire YenTzu #1

(Third World – Now That We Found Love)

new theme built around the teachings of legendary taoist Yen Tzu who, legend tells, founded a famous academy somewhere in the mountains of an Eastern Province in ancient China around two and a half thousand years ago which led him to become China’s first commercial billionaire. not that this is about money, rather self mastery through individual inner understanding which, for themusicologist is the only ‘way’ to navigate a course through life’s most dangerous waters.

this the first ‘lesson’ taught is known as ‘Taming The Bull‘ (harmonising communication)

‘Toeless Wong was crippled for allowing Duke Ling’s prize bull to run amok in the kilns,’ said Ho Chi, in answer to his fellow disciples question. ‘Indeed it is said that he lost a toe for every one of the ten Imperial vases that were smashed.’

‘In truth it was through having his feet stamped on by the mighty bull while he bravely fought to recapture it’, said their patriach, Yen Tzu, upon overhearing their discourse.

‘By my ancestors,’ exclaimed Ho Chi, ‘what courage!’

‘Indeed yes,’ said Yen Tzu, ‘but fighting yang with yang is not the way to communicate and overcome.’

‘It is said that yin and yang connect all,’ said Ho Chi, ‘but please explain how, in the context of such a difficult situation.’

‘the mutual seeking of yin and yang depends on opening and closing.’ Began Yen Tzu. ‘Opening and closing are the natural principles that influence the rise and fall in all of heaven and earth’s ten thousand things, including man and beast. Yin and yang should always be harmonious. for the opposite of one, redresses the balances of the other.

‘When the bull was in yang mode, so was toeless Wong. Rather than adapting yin mode, he fought charge with charge. He pitted his agression against the bulls. When yang is hard and agressive, only the yielding softness of yin can calm it. As a seasoned keeper, Wong knew full well how to calm the bull. But seeing the crashing commotion before him he forgot, and was as a fool rushing in. In doing so he was no different to the bull.

‘Yin and yang modes can be taught to be switched on or off according to what is needed. Yin or yang must be used as appropriate to tame that part within all of us which can be likened to a charging bull, and to soften the raging bull within others who appear to be attacking us. ‘Men’ do not mirror themselves in running water; they can only see themselves in still water. Only what is still, can calm to stillness others.

Always remember that it is important to know when to speak and when to remain silent. When you want to hear others’ voices, return to silence; when you want to be expansive, be withdrawn; when you want to rise, lower yourself; when you want to take, give; and when you want to overcome, give way.’

musicology #142

SpectrumOfLove #2

(Johnny Mathis – 12th Of Never)

yesterday flew by without a post so today I’m getting this one in early.

what is Love? everyone has their own definition I suppose but for themusicologist this 1957 cut from well known singer Johnny Mathis goes a long way to providing an answer.

I read/heard somewhere that the music that touches us deeply gives us and others around us, (our ‘Loved’ Ones), an insight into how/who we would like to be in the ideal world, without the chains of our personal experiences that have shaped our lives. I don’t know about that but I do know that I gravitate towards songs about Love partly because It’s an emotion that I find very hard to express, (other than where my children are concerned), This is not because I haven’t received it, (thanks especially to my mum), and maybe therein lies the conundrum..for me the unconditional variety is the only one worthy of the name … but before this post gets too deep let’s return to the music.

This is the original version of a song first known to me sung by the magnificent Jamaican singer Pat Kelly who has already featured on themusicologist, (musicology #54), and I was going to lay down his top ranking reggae version but I feel that this one taken from the LP ‘Johnny’s Greatest Hits’ suits the SpectrumOfLove better….a beautiful ballad sung by a great singer that is all about the subject in question, LOVE

Listen Tune…

musicology #139

theGood,Bad&theUgly #6

(Sidney Bechet & The New Orleans Feetwarmers – Egyptian Fantasy )

penultimate day of the alternative soundtrack and it’s almost over. all three have managed to arrive at the cemetery and it’s time for the showdown. A winner takes all gunfight to the death…no prisoners taken.

Angel Eyes thinks he’s holding all the cards but Blondie has double crossed them both and is still the only one who knows the real name on the grave that contains the Gold. I’ll say no more and leave it to the man himself to elucidate…

the music is courtesy of virtuoso musician Sidney Bechet, (ably backed by ‘The New Orleans Feetwarmers), whose professional career stretches right back to the birth of ‘Jazz’ in New Orleans during the early 1900’s.

Along with ‘Duke’ and ‘Pops’ Bechet is credited with being instrumental, (no pun intended), in the development of the music that we know and love today and a listen to this should give you an indication as to why.

recorded in 1941 he plays both the clarinet and the soprano sax on this one and is joined by ‘The New Orleans Feetwarmers’

Henry Allen, (Trumpet), J.C Higginbotham, (Trombone), James Tolliver, (Piano), Wellman Braud, (Bass) and J.C Heard on drums.

musicology #88

sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #11

(Humble Pie Feat Steve Marriott – Strange Days)

penultimate piece of musicology magic from Mr Marriott and friends…can’t believe it’s gone so quick.

one of the many things I ‘love’ about the geezahh is his obvious dedication and commitment to communicating using the ‘universal language’. Not only as a vocalist or musician, (could, and did, play most of them), but also as a performer.

most people can sing, (some can play instruments), but what seperates the legends from the rest of us is how they deliver…Steve Marriott delivers as good as anyone and deserves to be ranked in the uppermost branches of the musical tree so that the sun can shine on him from morning to night..

hold this piece of 1971 Rock, Rhythm&Blues from one of the great English bands..Humble Pie .. telling it like it is…quality piece of musicology. a Glyn Jones/Humble Pie production..lyrics courtesy of Steve Marriott.

musicology #87

sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #10

(Small Faces – All Or Nothing)

couldnt throw down a Steve Marriott tribute without laying down the piece that kick started my appreciation of the brothers vocal and soulful qualities.

while not prolific in their collaborative output there’s no denying the Small Faces impact on contempory music and this one gets into the tribute for two reasons

1:Mod anthem

2: brings back memories of being 11/12 and 13 years old as a second generation Mod .. ahhhhhh .. music brings back so many memories..

so without further words hold this piece from the Mod band with the Mod classic, pinpointing the evolution and metamorphosis in the autumn of 1966 from American Rhythm & Blues to English Rock & Blues…

strangely, (or probobly not), one that my kids enjoy and sing along to just as another Mod revival begins to take shape in 2008

musicology #86

sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #9

(Steve Marriott – Help Me Through The Day)

What / Who Is Mod? … for themusicologist there are only a handful of cats who can lay claim to the title. one of them is Steve Marriott …

Why? because he lived life to the full, often at the extremes, always on the vanguard and didn’t compromise his personal values. Selfish? .. probably, Obsessed…almost definately, Dedicated….100%

Not suggesting that these qualities are the only, (or even most important), Mod credentials but if you dig deep enough they are, in themusicologist’s opinion ones that are ever present….another vital ingredient would be the love of Soul, Blues, Rhythm & Blues…without this you can’t be Mod !!

the aim is still to let the music do the talking and believe me I’m trying but the six/six/six is inspiring themusicologist to ‘nail me colours to the mast‘ ..

hold this cut from his solo album, simply titled Steve Marriott, (not his choice of title I hasten to add), recorded in 1975…pucker