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quinta-feira, 19 de junho de 2014

Marinês e Sua Gente - Nordeste Valente (1976)

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Marinês e Sua Gente
Nordeste Valente
1976 CBS 104333

 01. Nordeste valente (João Silva – J. B. de Aquino)
 02. Casa de marimbondo (Djalma Leonardo – Antonio Barros)
 03. Carimbó de vovó sinhá (Naldo Aguiar)
 04. Flor de croatá (João Silva – Raymundo Evangelista)
 05. Sou o estopim (Antonio Barros)
 06. Grilo na moringa (G. de San – José Gomes Filho)
 07. No laço do carimbô (Naldo Aguiar)
 08. Você me machucou (Kim de Oly – André Araujo)
 09. Mestre mundo (Julinho – Luiz Bandeira)
 10. Nosso amor está morrendo (Antonio Barros)
 11. Maracá de menino (Assizão)
 12. Como vai passando (Cecéu – Ademar Caetano)

---------------------


Here's a thoroughly pleasant album by forró singer Marinês, the Queen of Xaxado, because I've been remiss in commemorating the Festas Juninas this year.  It probably won't knock your socks off or anything, but the arrangements and playing are very tight and a make for fun listening.  There are also no less than three tracks of carimbó here, a style that is northern rather than northeastern, proving again that Nordestinos embrace good dance music no matter where it's from.  And also that the carimbó was getting super popular in the second half of the 70s.

What keeps this record from rising above merely average is the sparsity of stand-out compositions on it, a failing of a lot of records in this genre from the time.  I mean, the first song is kind of an earworm.  I've always liked that word, "earworm."  For me it always seemed like an earworm ought to be a sinister psychic phenomenon from the world of Dune.  You are stranded somewhere on Arrakis with a song you can't get out of your head.  You start tapping your foot involuntarily, and within seconds a gigantic spice-crazed sandworm has appeared from the ground and swallowed you. My point is that earworms can kill you.  As further evidence I present "Sou o estopim" - I am the fuse - which is clearly intended to manipulate the listener, Manchurian Candidate-style, into blowing up a government building with homemade explosives.

Actually the latter song was written by Antônio Barros, composer of a ton of forró and a performer in his own right along with partner Cecéu, who also has a credit on the final song of this record.  Look, I don't want to compare all songwriters of forró or baião to Zé Dantas or Humberto Teixeira, because that would be like comparing every English pop band to The Beatles.  It's not fair.  I also don't know nearly enough about Antônio Barros to make bold claims, but there is something formulaic in his writing that just doesn't do it for me.  It's sort of the "hook school of songwriting" that pushes all the buttons you are supposed to push to make a catchy memorable song, but still ends up producing something that is essentially forgettable as soon as the next catchy song comes around and pushes it out of your ear canal.  He's got song credits all over the place, including Jackson do Pandeiro's albums from the 1970s that nobody remembers.

I feel the opposite way about the track featured here from João Silva (and Ronaldo Evangelista), "Flor de Croatá."  It has a beautiful melody, one that works at different tempos with equal effect.  Check out these two very different versions, the one from this album and another from Jacinto Silva








 Good, innit?

Well, enjoy the Festas Juninas if you have one in your area.  If not, and don't have any trendy Euro-American faux forró bands playing in a gentrified neighborhood near you, at least you can put on this record.  It's fun for a least a spin or two.


domingo, 8 de junho de 2014

Aldo Sena - Solo de Ouro (1984)


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Aldo Sena e Seu Conjunto
SOLO DE OURO
1984 RGE 309.6006

01     Big Show   
02     Lambada Do Papão   
03     Juliana   
04     Lambada Do Campeão   
05     Paraíso   
06     Gosto De Você   
07     Solo De Ouro   
08     Lambada Do Leão   
09     Menina Do Cinema   
10   Lambada Do Bomba   
11     Festa Do Amor   
12    Transfusão De Bordão


This post is obviously coming far too late in the day for you to break it out at your Sunday barbeque or churrasco, but there is always next weekend.  It's been a while since I posted anything and I've been told that it is of paramount important for your "brand" to stay constantly active in social media.

This is Aldo Sena, one of the greats of guitarrada, a party music from Pará listened to by working class people, and hence largely ignored by the Brazilian cultural elite because they only care about poor people when they can be turned into folklore.  The songs on this record comfortably move between related styles like lambada and brega, and there is even a reggae-brega that isn't half bad.  When I first heard the vocal tunes on this record, I felt like they were filler, but I no longer feel that way.  They are pretty good, especially Menina do Cinema which has that strum-along sing-along Jovem Guarda thing going, and I like Gosto de Você although it may be the least dread faux-reggae song you've heard in a while (hopefully you won't find it dreadful..).

Most of Aldo's repertoire here is instrumental music, centered on his electric guitar that has a clean tone you might associate more with surf music than Brazilian music.  A lot of the popular music of northern Brazil has as much if not more in common with things happening with its neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean than with the sounds found in MPB.  You are more likely to hear music that sounds like bachata or cumbia than bossa nova.  Mestre Vieira, who is kind of the godfather of this stuff (more James Brown than Corleone of course), used to play lots of choro and chorinho at the very beginning of his career, but also played lots of mambo and merengue, an omnivorous music appetite that would have caused music critic José Ramos Tinhorão to begin foaming at the mouth.  If guitarrada suddenly came on the scene today, there would be people using words like "transnational" and "hybrid" and "postmodern," but in the 70s and 80s the gatekeepers of taste would have been, well, unlikely to use those words.  Words weren't really necessary anyway when you could just keep people from being part of the conversation from the beginning.

Things have changed, though, with Aldo Sena having been featured as the youngest member in a "supergroup" called Mestres de Guitarrada along with Mestre Vieira and Mestre Curica.  They received attention via showcase presentations at  Itaú Cultural in far away lands like São Paulo, and a CD of music released in a great looking but highly impractical wooden box format that has been pretty much out of print and scarce since it the week it was released.  Neither of those things would have happened without the intervention of researchers and producers with access to the cultural elite.  So it goes with "cultural preservation" and "rescue" missions.  You can see a clip of one of these Itaú Cultural shows below, with some of the audience restricted to chair-dancing until finally people can't resist any longer and end up dancing in the aisles. 
 
Although the power of AM radio airplay should not be underestimated, the bread and butter of artists like Aldo Sena was in live performances.  The other live clips, filmed more recently by an audience member at a small club in Ceará, proves that he still sounds great, and the people still dance.  Boy do they dance.  In the clip that I've put first, the band rips through the song "Melô do Bode,"  a song by Vieira e Seu Conjunto that is one of my favorite things in the whole world (you can find it here), and the clip below it featuring the fabulous dancers is a carimbó.  The last two clips below that are studio tracks from the actual album featured in this post.

** Interesting side note: this needledrop is from an LP that once belonged to Rádio Tamandaré, an AM station in Recife that began in the 1950s and has since converted to an entirely evangelical Christian format (100% Jesus!).

Videoclipes:





terça-feira, 27 de maio de 2014

James Moody - The Blues And Other Colors (1969)

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James Moody
THE BLUES AND OTHER COLORS
Original release 1969 (Milestone MSP 9023)
OJC Reissue 1997

1. Main Stem
2. Everyone Needs It
3. Savannah Calling
4. A Statement
5. Gone Are The Days
6. Feeling Low
7. You Got To Pay
8. Old Folks
-----------------


Lineup

Tracks 1, 4, and 8

James Moody: flute, soprano sax
Johnny Coles: trumpet, flugelhorn
Tom McIntosh: trombone
Joe Farrel; alto flute, oboe, alto sax
Cecil Payne: baritone sax
Kenny Barron: piano
Ron Carter: bass
Freddy Waits: drums

Tracks 2 and 3
add Sam Brown - electric guitar, Ben Tucker (acoustic and electric bass) replaces Ron Carter

Tracks 5-7

James Moody: flute
Britt Woodman: trombone
Jim Buffington: french horn
Linda November: voice
Alfred Brown: viola
Charles McCracken: cello
Kermit Moore: cello
Dick Katz: piano
Ron Carter: bass
Connie Kay: drums

Recorded August 14, 1968; January 3, 1969, and February 11, 1969

-----------------
Produced by Dick Katz and Orrin Keepnews. 
Recording engineer - George Sawtelle
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1997, Fantasy Sound Studios, Berkeley, California).
------------------
=======================================================




Well this is an odd little record.  James Moody's body of work is kind of all over the place but somewhere between Dizzy Gillespie, his Argo albums, and his Perception Records albums, he found time to make a handful of records for the Milestone label.  This one, recorded with two entirely different ensembles (except for Ron Carter, who is the common denominator of all jazz equations, apparently*).  It runs the gamut from modern jazz, hard bop, and toe-tapping soul jazz.  A lot of it is the sound of a small band playing big band arrangements courtesy of trombonist Tom McIntosh, who dropped out of jazz shortly after these sessions.  And the arrangements here are always interesting.  The dissonant soul treatment of Ellington's "Main Stem" is a gem  The summer stroll through a city park that is "Everybody Needs It" is lovely.  The jazz combo + chamber ensemble idea works well on this record, better than his Moody With Strings album on Argo, for example.   And considering that the album is culled from two sessions separated by six months, it holds together as a long player.  About the only weak spot for me is "Gone Are The Days," a deconstruction of Stephen Foster that was probably intended as sociomusical critique but ends up being just kind of forced.  (I was somewhat surprised to see that it scored so favorably on the liner notes, both of the reissue and the original release).  Maybe it doesn't work for me  because it seems to be trying so hard to make a statement, and pales before the previous track, ironically titled "A Statement," which is truly breathtaking.

The presence of frequent collaborator Johnny Coles is welcome here, as is Cecil Payne.  Kenny Baron plays capably.  Holding down the drum throne are future M'Boom member Freddie Waits and MJQ stalwart Connie Kay.

The last batch of compositions feature wordless vocals by one Linda November.  Her calendar-girl name sounded vaguely familiar but I couldn't place it, so I looked her up.  Alongside her credits as a pop backup singer, she more famous as the anonymous voice of TV jingles like the Meow Mix song and the "I'd Like To Give The World A Coke" song.  I have no idea how she ended up on this record.  Even when it's awkward it still works, though, like on the McIntosh composition "You Got To Pay," which I happened to have played recently on one of my freeform radio hours. The one fact that might legitimately scare some people off is that Moody eschews alto and tenor sax for soprano for the first half and stays on flute for all of the second half.  I happen to love jazz flute but it drives some people crazy for reasons I refuse to comprehend so don't even bother trying to explain it to me.


* There is an equation for predicting the probability of Ron Carter appearing on any given album.  Take the year of release, add the catalog number (substituting numerological values for any letters), divide by the number of tracks, and multiply by 100.

terça-feira, 13 de maio de 2014

Candeia - Luz da Inspiração and Axé (1976-78)

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CANDEIA
Dose Dupla (2 on 1)
Luz da Inspiração (1976) and
Axé! Gente Amiga do Samba (1978)


LUZ DA INSPIRAÇÃO
1977 Atlantic/WEA

1 Riquezas do Brasil (Brasil poderoso)
(Waldir 59, Candeia)   
2 Maria Madalena da Portela
(Aniceto)   
3 Olha o samba sinhá (Samba de roda)
(Candeia)   
4 Vem menina moça
(Candeia)   
5 Nova escola
(Candeia)   
6 Já curei minha dor
(Padeirinho)   
7 Luz da inspiração
(Candeia)   
8 Me alucina
(Candeia, Wilson Moreira)   
9 Falso poder (Ser ou não ser)
(Candeia)   
10 Era quase madrugada
(Casquinha, Candeia)   
11 Cabocla Jurema
(Candeia)   
12 Pelo nosso amor
(Cartola)   

AXÉ! GENTE AMIGA DO SAMBA
Candeia   
1978 Atlantic/WEA

1 Pintura sem arte
(Candeia)   
2 Ouro desça do seu trono
(Paulo da Portela)   
Mil reis (Candeia-Noca)

3 Vivo isolado do mundo
(Alcides Malandro Histórico)   
Amor não é brinquedo (Candeia-Martinho da Vila)

4 Zé Tambozeiro [Tambor de Angola]
(Vandinho, Candeia)   
5 Dia de graça
(Candeia)   
6 Gamação
(Candeia)   
Peixeiro granfino (Bretas-Candeia)
Ouço uma voz (Nelson Amorim)
Vem amenizar (Candeia-Waldir 59)

OMITTED FROM CD VERSION - 7 O invocado
(Casquinha)   
Beberrão (Aniceto do Império-Mulequinho)

______________________________________________________________



















Dia de Graça
Hoje é manhã de carnaval (ao esplendor)
As escolas vão desfilar (garbosamente)
Aquela gente de cor com a imponência de um rei, vai pisar na passarela (salve a Portela)
Vamos esquecer os desenganos (que passamos)
Viver alegria que sonhamos (durante o ano)
Damos o nosso coração, alegria e amor a todos sem distinção de cor
Mas depois da ilusão, coitado
Negro volta ao humilde barracão
Negro acorda é hora de acordar
Não negue a raça
Torne toda manhã dia de graça
Negro não se humilhe nem humilhe a ninguém
Todas as raças já foram escravas também
E deixa de ser rei só na folia e faça da sua Maria uma rainha todos os dias
E cante o samba na universidade
E verás que seu filho será príncipe de verdade
Aí então jamais tu voltarás ao barracão



It's the 13th of May, a holiday in Brazil commemorating the abolition of slavery in 1888, when Princess Isabel found it in her benevolent, saintly heart to "free the slaves."  Commemorations only work well when you exclude the inconvenient, which in this case would involve decades of debt peonage, landlessness, discrimination, and systemic racism shielded by a self-serving myth of so-called 'racial democracy' ("Brazil does not have a race problem, it has a class problem...").  It is inconvenient for commemorations to pay attention to the harassment of people of color simply for being in the "wrong place" (like a shopping mall), to the militarization of the slums to make sure that people "know their place," or if that still doesn't work, vigilante citizens chasing and beating a teenage petty thief, stripping him naked and then chaining him to a lamppost with a bike lock.  Inconvenient that all of these last items have happened in the 21st century, in spite of provisions in Brazil's 1988 constitution that make racism and racial discrimination a crime punishable by prison time, but which is of course never enforced.  It's also probably best not to think about the voluminous documentation of forced slave labor and human rights abuses in the remote interior of the country (mind you, as an occasionally pedantic American historian insisted to me once, this is "not the same as the chattel slavery" of the transatlantic slave trade.. She's right, but she was also kind of missing the point). 

So with all that in mind, a blog post of music by Candeia might be better suited for the holiday commemorating the death of Zumbi of Palmares rather than this patriotic flag-waving, parade-holding one.   After all Candeia did found his own samba organization called Grêmio Recreativo de Arte Negra e Samba Quilombo.  The song "Dia de Graça" is a gorgeous little composition, whose lyrics (cited above) trace a hopeful, somewhat utopian vision that messes with the classic "inversion" theme of carnival that is a beloved subject of erudite analysis from Bakhtin to Roberto DaMatta to that annoying book by Alma Guillermoprieto.  That well-trodden debate tended to be framed as:  Is the upside-down, burlesque and irreverent world of carnival - where the poor and dispossessed could dress and act like aristocrats or royalty -  a kind of social critique made by those whose voices were historically silenced, or was it a kind of 'steam valve' to release the bottled-up tensions of a hierarchical society to prevent them from erupting into genuine chaos and disorder.   Candeia's poem, however, is from the point of view of the people who participate in the courtly procession of the samba school, which has roots stretching back to the black brotherhoods of Our Lady of the Rosary and the coronation ceremonies of the Congo Kings of the colonial period.  My 'free' translation with no attempt to maintain meter or rhyme, hence laid out as a paragraph here:


It's carnival morning in all its splendor, the samba schools are going to parade in their elegance; these people of color with the majesty of kings are going to stride along the concourse (hail Portela!). Forget our troubles and suffering that we've lived through, live the happiness that we dream of all year long, give our hearts, happiness, and love to everyone with no regard for their color.  But when the illusion is over, poor thing, the black man returns to his humble shack.  Black man wake up, it's time to wake up.  Don't deny your race.  Make every morning your day of grace and freedom.  Black man don't be humiliated and don't humiliate anyone else, all of the races were also once slaves.  Stop being a king only in the pageant and make your Maria a queen for all days.  Sing samba in the universities, and see that your son can be a true prince in real life, and then you will never again have to return to that humble shack.
Samba has no shortage of bittersweet  songs about carnival, but I can't think of too many that also sneak in jarringly direct negations of the supposed inferiority of black people with a line like "todas as raças já foram escravas também."  It's a we-shall-overcome expression of racial uplift clothed in the silk and velvet of Louis the XV.

--------------------------------

"Dia de Graça" is from Candeia's greatest album, "Axé - gente amiga de samba"  recorded shortly before he died.  He was a samba purist in the era of the commercialized spectacle that would culminate in the building of the Sambadrome, disillusioned with the direction of the samba schools were taking.  His father was a flautist who played choro and was part of Portela's first comisão da frente. In his own words, Candeia was something of an intermediary between the generations, bridging the two Paulos - the original Paulo de Portela, and the great Paulinho da Viola.  You can see both Candeia and Paulinho (although not at the same time) in this amazing short film by Leon Hirszman called Partido Alto



The first half of this film centers around Candeia holding court from his throne of a wheelchair, giving a didactic demonstration of the partido alto style, its base in improvisation and similarity to Northeastern repente or embolada, different ways to sing it and dance it.  Check out the posters from Senegal on the walls behind them, which are very possibly from the first Festival of Black Arts held in Dakar in 1966 which had a big Brazilian contingent.  The second half, "In the house of Manacéia" captures as well as any film can the informal cauldron of creativity at a Sunday lunch of feijoada and samba with the old guard, seemingly extending quite long into the evening.  Paulinho, in the only narration in the film placed at the very end, talks about how from a very young age he saw partido alto as a type of communion, a participatory rite in which everyone could enter in their own way of improvising.  He remarks how "today" (i.e. the latter half of the 70s), samba had so many external obligations, emphasizing the "spectacle" at the expense of the sambistaReturning to the partido alto was a way to stay grounded in samba's authentic roots.  The concept of "authenticity" is one that has preoccupied me on this blog and in other writing that I don't put here.  Typically, along with my fellow travelers, I am preoccupied with the way elites have created and sustained the notion of an "authentic" form of culture, excluding much in the process, at the service of one or another ideology (both conservative and revolutionary).   What I've been interested in lately is the different ways that the idea of "authenticity" is used by participants themselves of a given form of cultural expression as a way to safeguard against the cooptation of outsiders.  Of course this gets hopelessly complicated when we have to consider state interventions that designate "patrimony," and partido alto received that official recognition by IPHAN in 2007.  Journalist Lena Frias points out on the back cover of "Axé" that Candeia launched his Samba Quilombo foundation without any reference to the "whitening" of the art form that was a polemic at the time, and cites lyrics to show that he wasn't interested in excluding anyone from the world of samba based on skin color.  A valid observation, but it doesn't contradict in any way that Candeia felt pretty strongly about defending the black, Afro-Brazilian roots of the art form.

 When I first did some blog posts of Candeia records I was mildly chastised by a French blogger friend for not having written more at length about the greatness and importance of this important artist.  Naturally this discouraged me from posting anything else about Candeia for the better part of two years - What is it with these French dudes and their impressive 5000-word posts about samba, ain't nobody got time for that!

Anyway, it is a non-trivial travesty that the Brazilian recording industry (and/or its multinational overlords) let this album stay out of print for decades.  Too add insult to injury, when Warner finally did reissue this album, as part of a double disc set including both of his Atlantic records, they left off the final track for no reason that I can discern.  Possibly an issue over publishing rights, but it could also just as likely be pure negligence or sloppiness on their part.  This was sort of a budget release (R$30 when it came out, now going for  R$20), but doesn't even bother with even a blurb of text from Tarik de Souza, let alone actual liner notes.  I hate to praise EMI for anything but their budget series of 2-em-1 CDs from the early 00's did much better in this regard.  It also fails to note the participation of other great sambistas like Dona Ivone Lara, Manaceá, Clementina de Jesus, and Aniceto de Império who all sing on different tracks.  Seriously, none of these people get mentioned anywhere on the CD.   I will say one good thing about this reissue - the remastering is quite nice and a huge improvement over the garbage reissues that the label Discobertas put out.

Which reminds me that I've yet to offer a single word about the other album in this set, Luz da Inspiração from 1976.  It is a fine album in its own right,  overshadowed by Axé but a very different record in a lot of ways.  Opening with the samba enredo of "Riquezas do Brasil", it also has some first-rate offerings in the partido alto style - "Maria Madalena de Portela," "Olha o samba, sinhá," and "Vem menina moça."  There are slower tunes too, almost samba-canção, like "Me alucina" and the title song whose arrangements have flavors of the Golden Age of samba (and, incidentally, a lyric about slaves transformed into kings).  The tune "Nova Escola" seems like it had his new foundation Quilombo in mind.  A few tunes have a more 'samba de asfalto' style like the work of Paulinho da Viola or João Nogueira, and then there's the spare spiritism of "Caboclo Jurema."

"Luz de Inspiração" is a more stylistically diverse album than "Axé" but also less cohesive as an artistic statement.  "Axé" really shows Candeia firing on all cylinders, with writing partners spanning his entire lifetime as a sambista, from Paulo de Portela to Martinho da Vila.  In fact the album deserves a post all to itself, but I will either leave that to the French, or perhaps I will make another one using a vinyl needledrop since it has ALL THE SONGS ON IT for fuch's sake...

This blog post doesn't really come around full circle to 13 de Maio or anything like that.  It's a day for parades and for getting drunk.  Freedom is never "granted" by princesses or politicians.  Everyone knows that.

domingo, 4 de maio de 2014

The Awakening - Hear, Sense, and Feel (1972) [Black Jazz BJ9]

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The Awakening
Hear, Sense and Feel
1972 Black Jazz Records BJ9


1     Awakening - Prologue / Spring Thing     9:36
2     When Will It Ever End    7:16
3     Convulsions     6:37
4     Kera's Dance     10:05
5    Jupiter     7:33
6     Brand New Feeling    5:50
7    Awakening - Epilogue     1:08



    Bass – Reggie Willis
    Drums – Arlington Davis, Jr.
    Flugelhorn, Trumpet – Frank Gordon
    Piano, Electric Piano – Ken Chaney   
    Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Ari Brown
    Trombone – Steve Galloway
    Electric bass on "Brand New Feeling" - Richard Evans

Produced by – Gene Russell
Recorded at Streeterville Studio, Chicago


-----------------------------------



A lovely, dare I say a gorgeous record from jazz ensemble The Awakening, all of whose members seemed to have connections of the AACM collective founded by Muhal Richard Abrams in Chicago.   While Frank Gordon and Ken Chaney were co-credited as bandleaders, the record has the kind of musical egalitarianism you might expect.  Recording for the short-lived Black Jazz label, they were only around for about four years and put out two excellent albums of mostly mellow, modal, moody jazz in the more soulful corner of the Afrocentric "spiritual" jazz idiom.  In spite of having a track titled "Convulsions", everything on the record is melodic, with the occasional free riffing or over-blowing coasting on top of solid grooves.  The record opens up with a invocation-type poem that leads into "Spring Thing," which eases us into the album.  If I have any criticism of the record it might be that, while this first track features obligatory solos from everyone as a way of introducing their voices, it somehow ends up not particularly representing the musical identity of the group.  But that is okay, because 1972 was a time when people seemed to have more time to sit and listen to music and didn't have to be `hooked` in the first few minutes to stay interested. Patience, my friend.  "When Will It End" has a circular-time thing going apropos of the title, with the bass playing a five-note ascending riff that barely changes over the course of seven minutes.  Chaney switches to electric piano for this one with delicious results.  Speaking of piano, for whatever reason, random association or coincidence, the two compositions by (trumpeter) Frank Gordon remind me a lot of McCoy Tyner

With the exception of special guest Richard Evans, who plays the only electric bass on the record on the funky closer "Brand New Feeling,"  the two members with the broadest pedigree outside the AACM seem to be Steve Galloway and Ken Chaney.  Galloway played with Count Basie in addition to credits on the cult-classic "Funky Skull" album by Melvin Jackson and a respectable number of soul sessions (Jerry Butler, The Dells, The Staples), and Ken Chaney, who among his other accomplishments played on the massive hit "Soulful Strut" by Young-Holt Unlimited.

"Hear, Sense, and Feel" is an immediately accessible, uplifting jazz record.  Their next album, "Mirage," was a bit funkier and a little bit more "out" as well.

A long time ago I promised to share a whole bunch of stuff from the Black Jazz discography.  Well as the saying goes, promises were meant to be broken.  Anyway this should help ease the pain until I dip back into their catalog again here.

sexta-feira, 18 de abril de 2014

Flabbergasted Freeform Radio Hour # 8

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FLABBERGASTED FREEFORM No.8
April 2014

Well it's about time for another podcast.  I hope you enjoy it.  You can listen to it on either Mixcloud or Soundcloud, or get yourself a direct download from the link at the bottom.






Playlist



Lord Nelson – Garrot Bounce
Alejandro Duran – Cumbia Costeña
Latin Fever – Chirrin Chirran
Sly and The Family Stone – Jigsaw Puzzle
Chubby Checker – Gypsy
Gabor Szabo – Theme From Valley Of The Dolls
Shorty Rogers and His Giants – Chega de Saudade
João Gilberto, Miúcha, and Stan Getz – Isáura
Conjunto Ajiruteua De Marapanim – Da Cacaia
Blue Mitchell – Flat Backing
 
-----------


Nelson Sargento – Primavera
James Moody – You Got To Pay
Paco de Lucia – Quizás, quizás, quizás
Jackson do Pandeiro – Nortista quatrocentão
Raul Seixas, Sergio Sampaio, Edy Star – Quero Ir
Isaac  Hayes – Chocolate Chip
Alberta Hunter – Sugar
Prince Buster – Don’t Throw Stones (or Rude Rude Rudie)
Olodum – Vinheta Cuba-Brasil
The J.B.s – The Grunt Pt. 1
Golden Gate Quartet – Same Train
Som Três – Oh Happy Day
Maysa – Quizás, quizás, quizás
Ijahman Levi – Are We A Warrior
 




in 320 

  in FLAC 



terça-feira, 8 de abril de 2014

Chanson - Chanson (1978) 24/96khz

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CHANSON
"Chanson"
1978 Ariola Records  SW-50039

A1     Don't Hold Back    4:23
A2     I Can Tell    7:03
A3     I Love You More     3:49
B1     Why     4:25
B2     Did You Ever    4:33
B3     All The Time You Need    5:10

LINEAGE: Vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply); Creek Audio OBH-15; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; Click Repair; individual clicks and pops taken out with Adobe Audition 3.0 - dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced (for 16-bit). Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

James Jamerson Jr - lead vocals and bass guitar
David Williams - lead vocals, guitar
David Paich - Keyboards
Jeff Porcaro - drums
Eddie Bongo Brown - congas, bongos
Ollie Brown - percussion on "Did You Ever"
Al McKay - guitar
Steve Porcaro - Synthesizer on "All The Time You Need"
Linda Evans - lead vocal on "I Can Tell"
Horns - Donald Myrick, Michael Davis Michael Harris, Louis Satterfield, Fred Jackson Jr., Willian Green, Oscar Brashear, George Bohannon
Backing Vocals – Julia Tillman, Lorna Willard, Marti McCall


 Recorded At – Kendun Recorders
 Mixed At – Kendun Recorders
 Mastered At – Allen Zentz Mastering
 Arranged By – Benjamin F. Wright Jr.
Art Direction, Illustration – John Georgopoulos
Published by Kichelle Music/Jamersonian Music/Cos-K Music ASCAP.
Produced for MK Productions.

   
    Concertmaster [Strings] – Janice Gower
      Contractor – Don Myrick
    Coordinator [Production Coordination] – Susan Evans

    Engineer [Recording and Mixing] – Richard Heenan
    Executive Producer – Marc Kreiner, Tom Cossie

      Mastered By – Brian Gardner
    Photography By [Back Cover] – Art Maruyama
    Photography By [Front Cover] – Sam Vinci
        Typography [Lettering] – Tom Nikosey

Recorded and mixed at Kendun Recorders.
Mastered at Allen Zentz Mastering Inc.


"Chanson" was a project of  James Jamerson Jr. - son of the great Motown legend James Jamerson, and who had played with a bunch of Motown bands in his own right, including the 70s incarnation of the Temps - and David Williams, who had played with The Dells.  The two standout tracks were released on the single - "Don't Hold Back," the manically funky anthem to the 70s philosophy of "if it feels good do it" (actually a lyric in the chorus, shamelessly) with which they had a reasonably big hit and which features a classic breakdown in the middle, and the slower tune "Did You Ever," which sounds like it might have been aiming for the Quiet Storm radio format.  Ollie Brown's percussion on that tune is some of the most quiet conga playing I have ever heard and the whole tune works real nicely.  "I Can Tell" is straight-up disco-funk with lots of conga and a nice vocal from Linda Evans.    "I Love You More" is a  modern soul number with a funky verse, a pop hook in the chorus, and a tight little flute riff.  Side One only lasts about fifteen minutes (the whole album clocks in a half an hour).  So at this point you would get up and refresh your drink, powder your nose or whatever other rituals compel you, and when you flipped the record over hopefully you wouldn't notice that the next song "Why" has the exact same chord pattern as the last tune.  Except it sounds more like Billy Ocean or maybe the Doobie Brothers covering a song by Billy Ocean.  It's not bad but at this point you start to wonder if some of this record isn't a kind of "paint by numbers" modern soul / R+B album.  The mellow "Did You Ever" brings things back from the brink and keeps it interesting, and the album goes out on another slow-burner, "Take All The Time You Need". 


The playing is all super-tight and the arrangements are solid but lean, with a live-band sound to all of it even though there are some string overdubs.  I particularly like how they favored using acoustic piano over keyboards, kind of an unusual production choice for an album of this kind in 1978.  The few synth patches here and there stand out because of that, but in a good way, like in the lead off track.  All in all, this group had potential but sort of prove that oodles of talent and tight grooves can only get you so far without the stellar songwriting available to the environment nurtured Jamerson's dad.  The whole thing has a pretty radio-friendly sound, and the first track will stay stuck in your head for days, but the rest of the tunes may need a little superglue or chewing gum.  They made one more album, which I have but about which I can literally remember nothing at all.  Which leads me to believe this is the better of the two, although I suppose I can dig that one out again sometime.

P.S. - Louis Satterfield of Earth Wind and Fire toots a horn on this record.

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