frontline 'soldier' in the war against musical banality
Rhythm and Blues
Nubag #29 (a year in the life)
Hold My Baby’s Hand – James Brown & the Famous Flames
“The eruption of feelings and emotions that follows a near-death experience, or any event that causes us to stop and look deeply at the reality of our lives, is ripe with the potential for insight & clarity.” – Allan Lokus
back in the ‘nubag’ saddle. RASCAL of a year so far but ‘che sera‘. As we roll, HOLD this BOSS, BURIAL, Crescent City, piece of urbane musicology from the pioneering, majestic Little Richard. Recorded, of course, at (Father) Cosimo Mattassa’s studio. The ONE and only spot to record for Cats who knew what it was..is..and will always be about.
The image is one of an (in)famous street in the heart of MY ‘town’ .. London. Where me and the ancestors have been roaming and rolling since, (at least) the 1700’s.
long time comrades in, (musical), arms of the ‘project/diary/soundtrack’ will know that for me Sidney Bechet is one of the GIANTS of improvisation/jazz/recorded music etc.
One of the MASTERS of the art that I have been blessed enough to have stumbled across along ‘the way’. Apprentice’ and Journeymen are in abundance. Masters are few and far between.
Second time on themusicologist for this one..if i was asked “what is music?” i would pull this one out. listen to Bechet blow and how he drives the intensity, demanding that the other cats on the session step up.Which, of course, they do.
Had me nut down over the past few weeks studying for an exam I sat on Friday.
the incredible drawing is by the legendary, pioneer of contemporary neuroscience, Ramon y Cajal. Pathologist, histologist, neuroscientist, and Nobel laureate, (not to mention artist).
It’s Your World – Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson
First outing (this year) on themusicologist for a GIANT of the arts and true ‘authentic human being’ the majestic, imperious, Gil Scott Heron, (this cut features Brian Jackson), who ALWAYS told it like it is/was and will be unless ‘we’ connect, communicate, collaborate and MOBILISE to build a nu world.
the power of the networked society is in connecting to (re)build a society that serves us rather than enslaves us.
KNOWLEDGE is FREELY accessible yet current society is being engineered for us to consume (mis)information and infotainment.
In the information age it is critical that we take control of the networked communication channel otherwise it will continue to take control of US.
sliding out of the Ska and into the 60’s Rhythm and Blues with this cut from the Vibrations. A vocal group who first appeared on the scene as the Jay Hawks in 1956 and had a ‘hit’ with; Stranded in the Jungle, (remind me to dig it out from the vaults and lay it down), as well as notable early ‘Soul’ cuts Oh Cindy, Since I Fell For You, the Watusi, Peanut Butter and the classic My Girl Sloopy.
Don Pedro shares a West Coast connection with these cats who hail from the City Of Angels in California. the Don took up residency there for many years after deciding it was time to leave the auld Country and head out West to stroll the Boulevards.
Back in the day the Don and I used to be found frequenting ‘Mod’ hang outs. I had become disillusioned with the rare Funk clique and was in between scenes and even though it was my second time, (once a mod/ern/ist always a mod/ern/ist), the scene had evolved, (or maybe it was us who had evolved??), anyway we had some memorable times together and it was there that my love and respect for the Don was born…again I digress so i’ll leave it there. Suffice it to say that the music connects us and i Know that he will enjoy this one… recorded for and released on Atlantic in 1964.
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…