Monday, February 9, 2015

Azar Lawrence - Bridge Into The New Age (1974)

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Azar Lawrence
Bridge Into The New Age
Prestige P-10086 1974


Bridge Into The New Age     6:45
Fatisha     4:05
Warriors Of Peace     7:59
Forces Of Nature     8:41
The Beautiful And Omnipresent Love     10:07


01 - Bridge Into The New Age  6:45

    Arranged By – Ernie Straughter
Bass – Clint Houston
Drums – Billy Hart
Lyrics By – Ray Straughter
Percussion – Guillerme Franco
Trumpet – Woody Shaw
Vibraphone – Woody Murray
Voice – Jean Carn
Written-By – Azar Lawrence

    02 - Fatisha     4:05

   Percussion – Kenneth Nash
Piano – Joe Bonner
Written-By – Azar Lawrence


03 - Warriors Of Peace  7:59

 Alto Saxophone – Black Arthur
Bass – John Heard
Congas, Percussion – Mtume
Drums – Ndugu
Piano – Joe Bonner
Written-By – Azar Lawrence

   
04     Forces Of Nature     8:41

    Alto Saxophone – Black Arthur
Arranged By, Written-By – Ernie Straughter
Bass – John Heard
Congas, Percussion – Mtume
Drums – Ndugu
Flute – Hadley Caliman
Piano – Joe Bonner
Trombone – Julian Priester


05 - The Beautiful And Omnipresent Love   10:07

    Arranged By – Ernie Straughter
Bass – Clint Houston
Drums – Billy Hart
Flute [Wood Flute], Lyrics By – Ray Straughter
Percussion – Guillerme Franco
Percussion [Intro Only] – Kenneth Nash
Trumpet – Woody Shaw
Vibraphone – Woody Murray
Voice – Jean Carn
Written-By – Azar Lawrence


Credits

Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Azar Lawrence
    Art Direction – Phil Carroll
    Engineer – Eddie Harris
    Illustration  – Vincent Hollier

    Producer – Jim Stern, Orrin Keepnews
  

Notes
Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, Ca.
Tracks 1 and 5 recorded September 1974
Tracks 2-4 recorded May 1974


Oh crap, it's almost Carnival!  But I don't have a Carnival blog post for you this year.  In fact I doing away with all topical posts - seasonal, obituary, holiday or otherwise.  I have decided to live in the Eternal Now from here on out, with my bongos and soul patch.  I did however consider posting this album at the beginning of the year when the daily news was just a shitstorm of horrors and negativity.  But the moment got away from me.

I confess, I've been holding out on you.  I've had this vinyl rip sitting on my computer hard drive for at least a year and a half.  There were some things about the transfer that bugged me a little and I wanted to start it all over, with some minor adjustments to the equipment, but alas I never got around to it.  Now I have a new cartridge and was thinking about re-doing it again and finally just realized this is getting way too obsessive-compulsive.  This is a great record, and having only been briefly available once in Japan on CD, not terribly easy to find in the digital realm.

 Now I love lots of Prestige stuff from the 70's, but this first record by Azar Lawrence, a sax player in the modal mold of Coltrane, could have sat comfortably side by side with anything being released by the Strata-East label, flush as it is with spiritual-jazz and Afrocentric accents.  The Black Jazz label comes to mind too, if only because it is book-ended with a pair of tracks featuring the not-yet-famous Jean Carn on vocals.  Presumably it Lawrence's affiliation with (ex-Coltrane quarter member) McCoy Tyner, in whose band he played for a while in the early 70s, that brought him to the attention of Orrin Keepnews and the Milestone/Prestige/Fantasy family.

There are a bunch of heavyweights from the outer limits on this album. Julian Priester and Arthur Blythe have credits on one track each, while Woody Shaw shines on two, as does the ubiquitous Billy Hart on drums.  The singularly named soul searcher Mtume runs the drum and percussion throne on other tracks.   There are also some arrangement credits given to Ernie Straughter, who went on to contribute to a ton of more mainstream but funky modern soul records in addition to a Bobbi Humphrey album.  In all it's an eclectic collection of a musicians for a very focused record.  Very upbeat and driven, even on the laid-back Fatisha. It occurred to me yesterday that the track "Warriors of Peace" would be perfect for an imaginary Blaxploitation film  It features a scene involving a few dozen Afro-hippies dressed in Egyptian headdresses, descending on the Pentagon, serving macrobiotic food to everyone, and handing out artisinal Shea butter to spread their message of universal harmony.  However, this could have been a side effect,  a combination of what sounds like a harmonic minor scale while walking around in the scorching heat where I am currently hiding out.  The heat will pass but this music shall remain.  Dig it.


Enjoy the Beautiful Omnipresent Love!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Flabbergasted Freeform Radio Hour # 10 - Festivus edition

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I will post two downloadable versions later today, in mp3 and FLAC.  Gotta sleep now, Santa is tired.

320 kbs download


Note: I mistakenly read from my notes that I had played the track "Tequila" by  Juncal y Sus Calistos!  I actually dropped this tune from the set, because it's so damn sloppy that it pretty much brings your groove to a crash landing.  Fun tune, but not fun enough.

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Primeiro Eu - Elza Soares
Sumpin’ Jumpin’ Around Here – Sandy Williams Big Eight feat. Johnny Hodges
Shark – Mixed Bag
Hang In – Gwen McCrae
Find Out – Monomono
Calypso Be Bop – Lord Flea
Groovin High – Dizzy Gillespie with Gil Fuller and the Montery Jazz Orchestra
Batucada   Surgiu -  James Moody also with Gil Fuller and the
Os Olhos – Rubinho e Mauro Assumpção
Carimbó de Dezembro – Candango de Ype
Ce Pas – Tabou Combo
Born in Bethlehem – The Stape Singers
 

That’s How It Goes – Black Merda
Come Into My Life – The Supremes
Middle of the Night – Lalo Schifrin
Corrina Corrina – Bukka White
J.P. Boogie – James P Johnson
Estrada do Sol – Sylvia Telles
Mestre Sala dos Mares – Elis Regina
Windmills of your Mind – Barbara Lewis
Satan – Jon Lucian
Angel of the Morning – Joya Landis

My Favorite Things - John Coltrane (featuring Eric Dolphy)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mongo Santamaria - Afro Roots (1958 - 1959)

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Prestige PRCD-24018
Previously released as "Mongo" (1959) and "Yambu" (1958)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gerson King Combo - Gerson King Combo (1977)

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Gerson King Combo
1977 Polydor

1     Mandamentos Black    
2     Just For You    
3     Andando Nos Trilhos    
4     Esse É O Nosso Black Brother    
5     Swing Do Rei    
6     Hereditariedade    
7     Foi Um Sonho Só    
8     Uma Chance    
9     God Save The King    
10     Blows




I'm wasn't planning on writing at length about this album, but November is 'Black Consciousness Month' in Brazil.  I'm running out of time to post a record in solidarity, and recent events in AmeriKKKA have left me feeling pretty shitty today.  So why not spread some cheer?   Mind you, it is kind of ludicrous that there even *needs to be* a "Black Consciousness Day" in the one country that has the most people of African descent outside the continent of Africa, but there you go...  The actual holiday was November 20th, to mark the date in 1695 when the ex-slave and quilombo leader Zumbi of Palmares was beheaded.  The commemoration itself wouldn't exist if it weren't for some serious grassroots mobilization that went on in the 70s.  In short, it means different things to different people, it has its problematic aspects, but it's definitely worth some respect.

One could say the same about Gerson King Combo, actually.  I sometimes think I'm in the minority in my opinions about Gerson King Combo, but then again at some of my friends share them so maybe I'm not such a freak.  Let me start by saying I've had the pleasure of seeing Gerson perform live four or five years ago at the Mercado Eufrásio Barbosa in lovely Olinda, and the guy is still quite a showman and force of nature.  I have no regrets about making that show, none at all.

But his actual records present an uncomfortable thing for me - I often find myself wishing I could just listen to the Combo swing their thing without Gerson singing on top of them.  The band is tight as hell and the arrangements are smart and engaging.  But as someone who's been a big James Brown fan since I was twelve years old,  it's hard not to break out laughing when I hear Gerson shouting "good God!!!"..  Most of the funk jams on the record don't feature him singing so much as vocalizing, occasionally bursting into exclamations of  "aaachk-ck-ck-ck-ck-ck-aaaack owww!!" To me it almost begins to seem like a parody, as if Gil Brother was fronting a band in the 70s.  Oddly enough when he does some soul ballad crooning, like on "Foi um sonho só," he's not a half bad singer at all, even if he's certainly no Tim Maia.  But on the dance-floor rump shakers, I find his vocals kind of distracting and in constant danger of giving me a case of incurable giggles.  I think it's fair to say that Gerson King Combo's importance lay more in the role he played in iconography of the Black Movement of the time, whether as a performer or as an immediately recognizable sound when a DJ put on one of his records at a baile.  He cut an imposing figure, and it's a case where the attitude and image were inseparable from the music. The significance of that shouldn't be underestimated, but his recorded output and legacy does not cast the long shadow that many of his peers can claim. 

The opening cut, "Mandamentos black," is a classic of the genre.  And there is lots of other fun stuff here (Swing do Rei, Hereditariadade, Uma Chance are all winners), and some socially conscious lyrics in the middle of it all.  Even my ears eventually "adjust" to Gerson's voice when I'm in the mood for this album.  But still, if anyone uncovers a tape of the all-instrumental mixes, please send me an email, okay?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lord Nelson - Then and Now (1974)

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Since I recently took a long break from blogging after being called an imperialist gringo pig spreading misinformation about cultures and countries that aren't mine. So it may be a while before I begin posting lengthy pontifications again about whatever records happen to be tickling my earhole on any given week. Let me be perfectly clear that I am not from Trinidad andTobago, Barbados, Brooklyn or the Bronx and can make no pretense of authority on this music.  In fact I only started collecting it a few years back.  I could extrapolate on how I am interested in the ludic, carnivalesque aspects of it from a cross-cultural perspective, its place in the black musical diaspora and Caribbean history and sugar production, it's cutting and off-color humor...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Return of Flabbergasted Vibes / Freeform Radio Hour #9



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It's back.

Enjoy the music.

320 kbps   /   FLAC




___________________________

Sounds of the City Experience – Stuff and Thing
Chuito& the Latin Uniques – Hey Funky Mama
Mass Production – Music and Love
Gary  Burton – Doin’ The Pig
Johnny Otis – Justine
Rahsaan Roland Kirk – Breath-A-Thon
Sabinda – Liberdade
Carib Tokyo Steel Band – Super-rod
Alfonso Lovo – La Gigantona
Gong of Busungbiu  –  Lagu-tabhuh-gari
Harold Land – Our Home

Christopher Komeda – Lullaby   and Crib Sequence
Los Buenos – Groovy Woovy
Phil Upchurch – Crosstown Traffic
Sarolta Zlatnay and Skorpio – Hadd Mondjam El
The Cutlass Band – Obiara Wondo
Miroslav Vitous – Aim Your Eye
Paulo Moura – Dois Sem Vergonha
João Bosco – Boca de Sapo
John Holt with Leory Sibbles – Let’s Build Our Dreams
Irma Thomas – Hittin’ On Nothing
The Impressions – Look What I’ve Got
Yellow Bird – Wings of a Dove
Blind Willie Johnson – Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground

Gene Page - Good To The Last Drop

Incidental and background music during the breaks come from the soundtracks fro Dawn Of The Dead (Goblin), Psycho (Bernard Hermann), and Nosferatur (Popol Vuh).


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Aldo Sena - Solo de Ouro (1984)


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Aldo Sena e Seu Conjunto
SOLO DE OURO
1984 RGE 309.6006

Tuesday, May 27, 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
-----------------


Tuesday, May 13, 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)


Sunday, May 4, 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


Tuesday, April 8, 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

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Nara Leão - "Descontrolada" (1976) unreleased single!



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Well this is a new thing for the blog, the first time I have ever hosted a "leaked" track unavailable elsewhere, and hopefully it won't get us shut down after managing to survive this many years.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bettye Crutcher - Long As You Love Me (1974)

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Bettye Crutcher
Long As You Love Me
Original release 1974 Enterprise / Stax
Reissue 2013 Ace Records
Remastered by Duncan Cowell at Sound Mastering

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ataulfo Alves - Vida de Minha Vida, Vol. 1 (1933 -1956)

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VIDA DE MINHA VIDA - ATAULFO ALVES VOL. 1
Ataulfo Alves 1993 Revivendo (RVCD 086)

1 Sexta-feira (Almirante, 1933)
2 Saudades do meu barracão  (Floriano Belham, 1935)
3 O coração não envelhece  (Ataulfo Alves e Seu Estado Maior, 1950)
4 Teus olhos  (Aurora Miranda, 1939)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Caetano Veloso & Banda Black Rio - Bicho Baile Show (1978)

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 Caetano Veloso and Banda Black Rio
Bicho Baile Show (1978)

1.  Intro

2. Odara
3. Tigresa
4. London, London

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Jamelão - A Voz do Samba Vol. 2 (2002)

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Jamelão
A Voz do Samba, Volume 2
2002 Warner Brasil (092745933-2)