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.
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
New dawn yesterday for themusicologist and family/friends/regulars and even recent travelers along the way know there’s been a few false ones over the past few months and years. Life is funny that way but one observation on the journey through it is that it’s not what happens to us that it’s how we respond. My, (learned), belief is that I don’t choose which path to take It just unfolds before me. Intuition is the guide and I feel my way through the darkness until the day breaks anew and the sun begins to shine once more. In certainty…day always follows night no matter how long it lasts.
Hope you do me the honour of rolling with me on this post as I try me best to wax lyrical on the final musings of 2009. I could say it has been the worst year of my life but that would be a lie. Not only have I had a few that would make your toe and fingernails curl but as this one ends I am counting my blessings….1……2……3 and they are all so beautiful. Yep, (in metaphorical style), like a ship that’s lost at sea I have been tossed and battered by some powerful crashing waves but as the storm clears not only do I find myself still afloat but on assessment of the damage I am finding both my hull AND keel stronger than ever before.
Was it Nietzsche? that commented “that which doesn’t kill one makes one stronger” well whoever it was got that right as did Ray Charles who was quoted to have said “Live everyday like it’s your last because one day it will be”. Wisdom can’t be taught, only lived whereas knowledge and the garbage that is information are both aquired, often to the detriment of growth. I have no agenda here other than to be which Is my resolution for the rest of my days and even though this existence ain’t no bowl of fuckin’ cherries the essence can taste so sweet.
So for all you ‘shoulder to the wheel’ crew out there who are suffering, (and we all do), try to bear in mind that the harder the battle…the sweeter the victory. Breathe deep, pick yourself, (or even better find/ask someone else to help you), up from the canvas and let’s prepare ourselves for the next round which is where we begin to make an authentic comeback..
Excited to say that I have some real gems lined up for this theme…
Today it’s the turn of English Rock and Roll supergroup Humble Pie featuring one of the best vocalists to come out of these ‘green and pleasant lands’, original Mod icon, Stephen Peter Marriott…(a Cat who featured last year on the SixSixSix hall of fame).
Recorded at New Yorks famed Filmore East in 1971it was to prove the end of the road for Peter Frampton’s involvement in the band after becoming dissilusioned with Steve’s dominance, (the band was originally put together as a front for Frampton), so this is the band in all their glory covering a Ray Charles song penned by Nick Ashford, Valerie Simpson and Jo Armstead.
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.
had to bite the bullet, wipe my hard drive and reinstall Windows yesterday so wasn’t able to ‘throw down’. Back in the hot seat now..with the techno issues done and dusted.
out of the bonus cuts and back into the original tribute selection…
this cut taken from his 1963 album ‘Mr Soul’ finds the man paying his own tribute to foundation vocalist Charles Brown, (a major influence for Sam, Ray Charles, Bobby Bland and a host of singers that followed), with a heartfelt rendition of Brown’s 1946 classic ‘Driftin’ Blues.