Thursday, November 20, 2008

Taj Mahal

Biography from the Official Taj Mahal Site:

Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world – west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more. What ties it all together is his insatiable interest in musical discovery. Over the years, his passion and curiosity have led him around the world, and the resulting global perspective is reflected in his music.

Born Henry St. Claire Fredericks in Harlem on May 17, 1942, Taj grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father was a jazz pianist, composer and arranger of Caribbean descent, and his mother was a gospel singing schoolteacher from South Carolina. Both parents encouraged their children to take pride in their diverse ethnic and cultural roots. His father had an extensive record collection and a shortwave radio that brought sounds from near and far into the home. His parents also started him on classical piano lessons, but after only two weeks, young Henry already had other plans about what and how he wanted to play.

In addition to piano, the young musician learned to play the clarinet, trombone and harmonica, and he loved to sing. He discovered his stepfather's guitar and became serious about it in his early teens when a guitarist from North Carolina moved in next door and taught him the various styles of Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed and other titans of Delta and Chicago blues.

Springfield in the 1950s was full of recent arrivals, not just from around the U.S. but from all over the globe. "We spoke several dialects in my house – Southern, Caribbean, African – and we heard dialects from eastern and western Europe," Taj recalls. In addition, musicians from the Caribbean, Africa and all over the U.S. frequently visited the Fredericks home, and Taj became even more fascinated with roots – the origins of all the different forms of music he was hearing, what path they took to reach their current form, and how they influenced each other along the way. He threw himself into the study of older forms of African-American music – a music that the record companies of the day largely ignored.

Henry studied agriculture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the early 1960s. Inspired by a dream, he adopted the musical alias of Taj Mahal and formed the popular U. Mass party band, the Elektras. After graduating, he headed west in 1964 to Los Angeles, where he formed the Rising Sons, a six-piece outfit that included guitarist Ry Cooder. The band opened for numerous high-profile touring artists of the ‘60s, including Otis Redding, the Temptations and Martha and the Vandellas. Around this same time, Taj also mingled with various blues legends, including Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Lightnin' Hopkins and Sleepy John Estes.

This diversity of musical experience served as the bedrock for Taj's first three recordings: Taj Mahal (1967), The Natch'l Blues (1968) and Giant Step (1969). Drawing on all the sounds and styles he'd absorbed as a child and a young adult, these early albums showed signs of the musical exploration that would be Taj's hallmark over the years to come.

In the 1970s, Taj carved out a unique musical niche with a string of adventurous recordings, including Happy To be Just Like I Am (1971), Recycling the Blues and Other Related Stuff (1972), the GRAMMY®-nominated soundtrack to the movie Sounder (1973), Mo' Roots (1974), Music Fuh Ya (Music Para Tu) (1977) and Evolution (The Most Recent) (1978).

Taj's recorded output slowed somewhat during the 1980s as he toured relentlessly and immersed himself in the music and culture of his new home in Hawaii. Still, that decade saw the well-received release of Taj in 1987, as well as the first three of his celebrated children's albums on the Music For Little People label.

He returned to a full recording and touring schedule in the 1990s, including such projects as the musical scores for the Langston Hughes/Zora Neale Hurston play Mule Bone (1991) and the movie Zebrahead (1992). Later in the decade, Dancing the Blues (1993), Phantom Blues (1996), An Evening of Acoustic Music (1996) and the GRAMMY®-winning Señor Blues (1997) were all commercial and critical successes.

At the same time, Taj continued to explore world music, beginning with the aptly titled World Music in 1993. He joined Indian classical musicians on Mumtaz Mahal in 1995, and recorded Sacred Island, a blend of Hawaiian music and blues, with the Hula Blues in 1998. Kulanjan, released in 1999, was a collaborative project with Malian kora player Toumani Diabate (the kora is a 21-string west African harp).

In 2000, Taj released a second GRAMMY®-winning album, Shoutin' in Key, and recorded a second album with the Hula Blues, Hanapepe Dream, in 2003.

Taj joins the Heads Up International label in the fall of 2008 with the worldwide release of Maestro: Celebrating 40 Years. As the title suggests, this twelve-track set marks the fortieth anniversary of Taj's rich and varied recording career by mixing original material, chestnuts borrowed from classic sources, and songs written by a cadre of highly talented guest artists. This anniversary gala includes performances by Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Ziggy Marley, Angelique Kidjo, Los Lobos and others – many of whom have been directly influenced by Taj's music and guidance.

"The one thing I've always demanded of the records I've made is that they be danceable," he says. "This record is danceable, it's listenable, it has lots of different rhythms, it's accessible, it's all right in front of you. It's a lot of fun, and it represents where I am at this particular moment in my life. This record is just the beginning of another chapter, one that's going to be open to more music and more ideas. Even at the end of forty years, in many ways my music is just getting started."

Jim Henson's The Cube (Rare Color Version)

Retro Thing Review of The Cube:

Before Jim Henson went full time with The Muppets, he was also an experimental filmmaker. The Cube was one such experiment, an unusual project that manages to be humorous while dipping into the existential. There are no furry characters, no elaborate musical numbers... just a man trapped inside a white cube facing a lot of heavy questions about the nature of existence. The cube is infiltrated at various times by a variety of characters who only add to the mystery (Henson flexing his puppetmaster muscle?), leaving the man pondering a lot of the same questions that people have pondered forever.

The film is nearly an hour long, so pop some corn and take the phone off the hook. Fortunately this isn't a teeny YouTube copy - the Google video stream is large enough to enjoy. While you're watching you might think about this having been broadcast on a national TV network in the late 60's. Not even PBS gets this daring with content these days.

I've almost stopped wishing that TV would occasionally leave the beaten path and take a chance on viewers enjoying TV that's more thought provoking than usual. Hopefully the continuing growth of video on the internet will make it possible for online filmmakers to learn a lesson from The Cube and think outside the box.

Watch the full special here!

November 20, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 42: Gang Gang Dance - 2005 - God's Money


01. Nomad for Love (Canibal)
02. Egowar
03. Before My Voice Fails
04. Glory in Itself, Pt. 1
05. Untitled
06. Untitled
07. Untitled
08. Untitled
09. Untitled

"We are proud to present Gang Gang Dance’s much anticipated second full length release entitled God’s Money. With God’s Money Gang Gang Dance creates a modern music which reorients the palette of electronic music into an organic context, manipulating sound, rhythm and melody in an almost mercurial manner. Painstakingly recorded over the course of a year at Junkyard Audio Salvage, the band utilized whatever means were available to them to craft their sound: drums of all shapes, sizes and circuits, various keyboards and synthesizers, midi-triggering guitar scenarios, vocals reconfi gured via a guitar effect pedal and even the occasional aluminum chair. Blending their hypnotic rhythms into a highly structured compositional style or soaring in the lofty heights of practiced improvisation, this recording follows in the footsteps of the bands previous output, all while marking new ground.

In between writing and recording God’s Money GGD spent the last year playing to packed houses in NYC, Europe and on the road with Animal Collective. Exploding with an energy & confi dence rarely seen these days and coupling it with such a heightened level of musicianship the band has turned even the most casual of spectators into full on believers. With magazines such as The Wire, The Village Voice, I.D. & XLR8R having already run features on the band, the press is falling into the ranks of the converted.

God’s Money is the height of GGD’s uncompromising sonic pursuit which has spanned the better part of the band’s fi ve year history. Some of this can be gleamed from previous groups the members have been in, including Cranium, Actress, Ssaab Songs & Angel Blood. Though God’s Money may be interpreted as the band’s high-water mark of sorts it is much more the raising of the tide as they continually to push the boundaries of the palette of sound itself with no sign waning."

DƒG • Gang Gang Dance • EgoWar 'Live'

Little Richard

History of Rock Biography

The screaming vocals, rattling keyboard style and outrageous showmanship of Little Richard set the standard for the flamboyant excess rock 'n' roll has come to symbolize.
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Richard Wayne Penniman was born December 5, 1932 one of twelve children. His father Charles "Bud" Penniman was a Seventh Day Adventist preacher who sold moonshine on the side. Richard grew up on a dirt street in an impoverished section of Macon, Georgia. Music was everywhere. Street vendors and evangelist who paraded down his block would sing as loud as they could, whether selling vegetables or religion, to get attention of folks inside. All the neighborhood sang freely as well, improvising on spiritual songs to keep them company as they worked. Some gospel singers, particularly Marion Williams of the Clara Ward singers, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Mahalia Jackson had a profound influence on Richard.

As a youngster he sang gospel with the Penniman Singers and Tiny Tots Quartet. Richard had an infectious, hyperactive personality that was contagious and made him popular, but also got him into trouble and his homosexuality didn't help matters and he left home to dance to draw customer in a traveling medicine. By age fifteen he was a regular with Sugarfoot Sam's Minstrel Show.

In 1951 at 18 he won a talent contest in Atlanta that led to a recording contract with RCA Victor. Four records were recorded that went nowhere.

A local musician Esquerita took an interest in Richard and taught him some piano techniques. In the winter of 1952 his father was murdered and he returned torichard.jpg (2978 bytes) Macon to perform the blues at the Tick Tock Club in the evening while washing dishes at the cafeteria of a Greyhound bus station during the day.

Bill Wright, a local blues singer from New Orleans, might have been the person who had the greatest influence on Richard. When Richard met Wright in 1952 he was immediately taken with Wright's appearance. Wright wore pomade in hair that was piled high on his head and flashy clothes. It was Wright's stage make up of eyeliner and face powder that really caught Richard's attention.

While in Houston, his contract with RCA Victor expired, he recorded two singles for Peacock Records. One of the records "Rice, Red Beans and Turnip Greens" sounded like a precursor to "She's Got It". In early 1955 he recorded his last two singles for Peacock backed by the Johnny Otis Trio. One of the songs "Little Richard's Boogie" offer a glimmer of his style.

Back in Macon in early 1955 Richard was again working as a dishwasher when he cut a demo tape. Lloyd Price, whom he knew, suggested that the demo be sent richardband.jpg (35438 bytes)to Specialty Records with whom Price recorded. Art Rupe, the owner of Speciality, was hardly impressed and it would be six months before he got a call. A recording session was arranged in New Orleans' J&M Studios, owned by Cosimo Matassa and the home studio of Fats Domino. Bumps Blackwell was given the responsibility of meeting Richard and recording the session.

Initially Blackwell, was no more successful then his predecessors. Richard choose to record generally slow blues and he felt that none were particularly good. During a break he and Richard went to the Dew Drop Inn. With few people there and an old upright piano, Richard started playing like crazy, singing loud, lewd and hamming it up. Blackwell was stunned why couldn't he record this? Local lyricist was Dorothy LaBostrie was called to clean up the lyric. They went back to J&M and with only fifteen minutes left in the session. "Tutti Fruiti, good booty" became "Tutti Fruiti, aw-rootie" and the rest is history.

From the time he began with Specialty on September 13, 1955 until he left in October, 1957 Richard would record fifty songs, including alternate takes. From this wealth of material Specialty would release 9 singles and two albums.

For eighteen months between early 1956 to the middle of 1957 everything he recorded was a hit and club dates were sellouts. He appeared in several movies including "The Girl Can't Help It' for which he recorded the title track. On October 12, 1957 he began a tour of Australia with Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. In 1957, in the midst of a sold-out tour, Richard quit rock 'n' roll, after a plane scare, to become a preacher in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Specialty wouldn't let himrichardpreach.jpg (2990 bytes) out of his contract without one last session.

He entered Oakwood Seminary in Huntsville, Alabama where he began studies to become a Seventh Day Adventist Preacher. In the meantime Specialty had enough material to keep releasing singles and albums for another year. Sensing he was being cheated Richard hired a lawyer to collect back royalties from Specialty Records that he estimated at $25,000.

In January 1959 he signed with an Los Angeles agency to set up a gospel tour and in June signed a recording contract with Gone Records.

After three years of little success as a gospel performer Richard went back to Rock and Roll.. October, 1962 he began a tour of England and year later toured Europe with the Rolling Stones as his opening act.

A number of record companies took notice and invited him back to the studio, but they were only interested in repackaging his old hits. Specialty, in five sessions attempted to rekindle the 1957 magic.

During this period Jimi Hendrix was briefly Richard's guitarists.

Little Richard enjoyed a renewed popularity with the rock and roll revivals in the late '60s. In 1970 he signed with Reprise Records and had a minor hit with "Freedom Blues." For The Second Coming he was reunited with Bumps Blackwell, Lee Allen, and Earl Palmer.

In 1976 Little Richard returned to the ministry, and by 1979 had recorded God's richard97.jpg (25237 bytes)Beautiful City for World Records, and had become a full-time evangelist. In October 1985 he was seriously injured in an accident in West Hollywood.

In 1986 he appeared in the hit movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills, which included his first hit in sixteen years, "Great Gosh a 'Mighty," and recorded Lifetime Friend for Warner Brothers. He dueted with Phillip Bailey on the title song to the 1988 film Twins and sang background vocals on the minor U2-B.b. King hit "when Love Comes to town" in 1989. In 1993 Little Richard performed at Bill Clinton's presidential inaugural.

Little Richard was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986

Little Richard - Tutti Frutti

Little Richard - Long Tall Sally

Little Richard - Bama Lama Bama Loo

Little Richard on Jimi Hendrix

James Brown and Little Richard on Wheel of Fortune

Sesame Street - Little Richard sings "Rubber Duckie"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No-Neck Blues Band


For the past 13 years, the Harlem-based No-Neck Blues Band have ignored any logical illusion or obvious contradiction in exacting their own true monumental sound: an avant-garde of cemeteries, of almost complete blindness. Though their attempt to blur the edges between the prize of obviousness and the reality of ignorance has found them labeled remote by a few, you can read the past as you wish. It can either go down as an assault of backbreaking lifetimes or a mere flutter of sunstrokes. In due course, they have proven themselves to be continuous, rife with meandrous fog and vision, the purveyors of a snaky cohesion. Improvisation, over time, yields access to substratum vistas of altogether unseen colouration. This is characteristic of a place in which our music occurs. It may be heard simultaneously here on earth, it may be heard now in the future in surround-sound, DVD audio, via light pipe, etc. But due to its place of origin, it reaches us here without translation, solely as echoes sounding from an immaterial world. Not unlike the radio dish tuned into Space, hoping to catch some intergalactic communique, we've assumed responsibility for broadcasting the atmosphere surrounding the other intelligences combined among us.

Bola Sete

Wikipedia Biography:

Bola Sete (born Djalma de Andrade) was a Brazilian guitarist born on July 16, 1923 in Rio de Janeiro and who died on February 14, 1987 in Greenbrae, California. Sete played jazz with Vince Guaraldi as well as with Dizzy Gillespie. His song "Bettina" was featured on the "Tribe Vibes" breakbeat compilation, as it had been sampled by the musical group A Tribe Called Quest.

Bola Sete's name means "Seven Ball". In Brazilian billiards, the seven ball is the only black ball on the table, and Bola got this nickname when he was the only black member of a small jazz group. He studied guitar at the Conservatory of Rio and he started performing with his own sextet and local samba groups while he was still a student. His early infuences were guitarists Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel & Oscar Moore (of the Nat King Cole Trio), while he was also captured by the sound of the big bands that were touring South America at that time (Dizzy Gillespie, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman). His career started in Italy, where he played in various clubs and hotels for four years (1952-1956). Then, he returned to Brazil and started touring all of South America, during which time the manager of the Sheraton hotels noticed him and decided to bring him in the US to play in the hotels (1962). He played for a while in New York's Park Sheraton, later moving to San Francisco to play in the Sheraton Palace. Dizzy Gillespie was staying there at the time and listening to Bola Sete playing every day. When Gillespie decided to bring his pianist Lalo Schifrin to the hotel, he discovered that Lalo and Bola had already met and played together in Argentina. This meeting was the beginning of Bola's success in the US. In the fall of 1962, Gillespie took the guitarist to the Ninth Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, where he enjoyed a huge success. After that, he toured for a while with Gillespie and finally returned to San Francisco, where he joined the Vince Guaraldi trio. Bola was already well-known in the US, and his partnership with Guaraldi was another huge success for both of them. After staying for a couple of years with Guaraldi, Bola formed his own trio with his fellow Brazilians Sebastian Neto (bass) and Paulinho (drums). With his own trio, he appeared once more in Monterey (1966) with equal success.

Bola Sete - Tour De Force (Dizzy Gillespie)

Bola Sete - Mambossa

Lennie Tristano

Biography from the All Music Guide

Birth: 1919 03 19 - Chicago, IL
Death: 1978 11 18 - New York, NY

The history of jazz is written as a recounting of the lives of its most famous (and presumably, most influential) artists. Reality is not so simple, however. Certainly the very most important of the music's innovators are those whose names are known by all -- Armstrong, Parker, Young, Coltrane. Unfortunately, the jazz critic's tendency to inflate the major figures' status often comes at the expense of other musicians' reputations -- men and women who have made significant, even essential, contributions of their own, are, for whatever reason, overlooked in the mad rush to canonize a select few. Lennie Tristano is one of those who have not yet received their critical due. In the mid-'40s, the Chicago-born pianist arrived on the scene with a concept that genuinely expanded the prevailing bop aesthetic. Tristano brought to the music of Charlie Parker and Bud Powell a harmonic language that adapted the practices of contemporary classical music; his use of polytonal effects in tunes like "Out on a Limb" was almost Stravinsky-esque, and his extensive use of counterpoint was (whether or not he was conscious of it at the time) in keeping with the trends being set in mid-century art music. Until relatively recently, it had seldom been acknowledged that Tristano had been the first to perform and record a type of music that came to be called "free jazz." In 1949 -- almost a decade before the making of Ornette Coleman's first records -- Tristano's group (which included Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, and Billy Bauer) cut the first recorded example of freely improvised music in the history of jazz. The two cuts, "Intuition" and "Digression," were created spontaneously, without any pre-ordained reference to time, tonality, or melody. The resultant work was an outgrowth of Tristano's preoccupation with feeling and spontaneity in the creation of music. It influenced, among others, Charles Mingus, whose earliest records sound eerily similar to those of Tristano in terms of style and compositional technique. Mingus came by the influence honestly; he studied with the pianist for a period in the early '50s, as did many other well-known jazz musicians, such as Sal Mosca, Phil Woods, and the aforementioned Konitz and Marsh.

Tristano was stricken permanently blind as an infant. He first studied music with his mother, an avocational pianist and opera singer. From 1928-38, he attended a school for the blind in Chicago, where he learned music theory and developed proficiency on several wind instruments. Later, he attended Chicago's American Conservatory of Music, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1943. During his early years as a professional performer and teacher, Tristano worked in and around Chicago, achieving his first measure of critical attention and attracting his first important students, Konitz and composer/arranger Bill Russo.

In 1946, Tristano moved to New York, where he made something of a big splash, performing with many of the leading musicians of the day, including Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. The influential critic Barry Ulanov took an extreme liking to Tristano's music and championed his work in the pages of Metronome magazine; Tristano was named the publication's Musician of the Year for 1947. Tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh began studies with Tristano in 1948, and when Bauer and Konitz came back aboard, he had the core of his great sextet. In 1949 -- with the addition of bassist Arnold Fishkin and alternating drummers Harold Granowsky and Denzil Best -- Tristano, Bauer, Konitz, and Marsh recorded what was to become the basis of the band's collective legacy, the Capitol album Crosscurrents. The Capitol sessions spawned many of Tristano's best-known works, including the title track, and of course, the freely improvised cuts "Digression" and "Intuition" (these latter recorded without a drummer). The recordings synthesized the Tristano approach: long, rhythmically and harmonically elaborate melodies were played over a smooth, almost uninflected swing time maintained by the bassist and drummer. Counterpoint, which had been mostly abandoned by post-New Orleans/Chicago players, made a comeback in Tristano's music. Tristano's written lines were a great deal more involved than the already complex melodies typical of bebop; he subdivided and multiplied the beat in odd groupings, and his harmonies did not always behave in a manner consistent with functional tonality. The complexity of his constructs demanded that his rhythm section provide little more than a solid foundation. Tristano's bassists and drummers were not expected to interact in the manner of a bop rhythm section, but to support the music's melodic and harmonic substance. Such restraint lent Tristano's music an emotionally detached air, which to this day has been used by unsympathetic critics as a sledgehammer to pound him.

In 1951, Tristano founded a school of jazz in New York, the first of its kind. Its faculty consisted of many of his most prominent students, including Konitz, Bauer, Marsh, and pianist Sal Mosca. His public performances became fewer and farther between; for the rest of his life, Tristano was to concentrate on teaching, mostly to the exclusion of everything else. He shut down his school in 1956, and began teaching out of his home on Long Island. Thereafter he would play occasionally at the Half Note in New York City. Recordings became scarce. He made two albums for Atlantic, Lennie Tristano and The New Tristano. A compilation of odds and ends entitled Descent Into the Maelstrom was released on Inner City; its title track documents Tristano's experiments in multi-track recording of the piano. He toured Europe in 1965; his last public performance in the U.S. was in 1968.

Until his death in 1978, Tristano continued to teach. A later generation of his adherents continues to work and thrive in New York to this day. Musicians like pianist Connie Crothers, saxophonists Lennie Popkin and Richard Tabnik, and drummer Carol Tristano -- the pianist's daughter -- carry on his work into the next century. ~

Chris Kelsey, All Music Guide

Lennie Tristano - Berlin 1965

Lennie Tristano - Tangerine Copenhagen 1965

Christian Marclay

All Music Guide biography by John Bush:

Christian Marclay was the first non-rap DJ to make an art form out of the turntable, treating the instrument as a means to rip songs apart, not bridge them together. A long-time associate of Downtown improv figures John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, and Butch Morris as well as the Kronos Quartet, Marclay was inspired artistically by Joseph Beuys and musically by John Cage and the Fluxus group after a period studying at the Massachusetts College of Art. He noted the experimental applications made possible by using the turntable in ways hardly recommended by owners manuals and began performing as early as 1979. Marclay's methods included standard scratching, playback on damaged turntables, the actual destruction (and reassembly) of vinyl to record the results, and creating musical juxtapositions by mixing together a variety of radically different artists. His 1985 installation Footsteps included a gallery floor lined with thousands of records for people to walk over (the results were packaged and sold). His 1988 LP More Encores featured tributes to a variety of musical figures, including "John Cage" (recorded by gluing together pieces of several records to create one) and "Louis Armstrong" (using a hand-cranked gramophone to alter the pitch). Though he recorded much more sparingly in the 1990s, Marclay continued to appear on Zorn projects, including several editions of his Filmworks series. The Atavistic label has released the retrospective Records 1981-1989. Moving Parts was released in mid-2000.

March 1998 interview can be found here

Christian Marclay Mini Documentary

Christian Marclay on Night Music

November 19, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 41: Rahsaan Roland Kirk - 1975 - The Case Of The 3 Sided Dream In Audio Color

Rahsaan Roland Kirk: The Case Of The 3 Sided Dream In Audio Color

Atlantic 1674

01. Conversation
02. Bye Bye Blackbird
03. Horses (Monogram/Republic)
04. High Heeled Sneakers
05. Dream
06. Echoes of Primitive Ohio and Chili Dogs
07. The Entertainer (Done in the style of The Blues)
08. Freaks for the Festival
09. Dream
10. Portrait of Those Beautiful Ladies
11. Dream
12. The Entertainer
13. Dream
14. Dream
15. Portrait of Those Beautiful Ladies
16. Dream
17. Freaks for the Festival
18. SESROH [really backwards]
19. Bye Bye Blackbird
20. Conversation

Rahsaan Roland Kirk-tsx, bssx, f, tpt, manzello, stritchaphone, voc, arr
Pat Patrick-bsx
Cornell Dupree, Keith Loving, Hugh McCracken-g
Arthur Jenkins, Hilton Ruiz, Richard Tee-k
Francisco Centeno, Metathias Pearson, Bill Salter-b
Sonny Brown, Steve Gadd, John Goldsmith-d
Lawrence Killian-cga
Ralph MacDonald-cga, perc
William Eaton-arr, cond (7, 17)
Arthur Jenkins-arr, cond (4, 15)
"The part of the computer is played by Milton Grayson and Rondo H. Slade."

Regent Sound Studios

All Music Guide review by Thom Jurek:

"Perhaps I am an apologist for Rahsaan Roland Kirk, I don't know. If I am then I should be smacked, because he needed no one to make apologies for him. The Case of the 3-Sided Dream in Audio Color is a case in point. The namby-pamby jazz critics, those "serious" guys who look for every note to be in order before they'll say anything positive, can shove it on this one. They panned the hell out of it in 1975, claiming it was "indulgent." Okay. Which Kirk record wasn't? Excess was always the name of the game for Kirk, but so was the groove, and here on this three-sided double LP, groove is at the heart of everything. Surrounding himself with players like Cornell Dupree, Hugh McCracken, Richard Tee, Hilton Ruiz (whose playing on "Echoes of Primitive Ohio and Chili Dogs" is so greasy, so deliciously dirty it's enthralling), Steve Gadd, and others from that soul-jazz scene, it's obvious what you're gonna get, right? Nope. From his imitations of Miles Davis and John Coltrane on "Bye, Bye, Blackbird" to his screaming, funky read on "High Heel Sneakers" to his Delta-to-New-Orleans version of "The Entertainer," Kirk is deep in the groove. But the groove he moves through is one that is so large, so universal, deep, and serene, that it transcends all notions of commercialism versus innovation. Bottom line, even with the charming tape-recorded ramblings of his between tunes, this was his concept and it works like a voodoo charm. Here's one for the revisionists: This record jams."


Bologna 1973

Montreux 1975

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 40: 16 Bitch Pile-Up - 2007 - Bury Me Deep

Tiny Mix Tapes Reviews

It’s doubtful you will hear a more genuinely seat-gripping moment of terror this year than the layers and layers of screams that swiftly disarm on the eight track of 16 Bitch Pile-Up’s first factory-pressed CD, Bury Me Deep. So much of noise or any audio artform that attempts to strike-up a series of discomforting unpleasantries for its audience is based more on hints and implications of fear rather than its actual emotional response. Sure, certain sonics may sound evil and undoubtedly sadistic, but it’s usually all in the realm of auditory gonzo gore rather than a deep-seated fright. Like the brunt of slasher movies, the joy is in the gross-out, not actually leaps in your seat. But Bury Me Deep is one of the very few listening pleasures in recent memory to produce a pronounced tremble in your stomach or force you to look embarrassingly over your shoulder as if an ominous presence has suddenly materialized in your sphere.

Like Nurse With Wound’s ghastly Homotopy To Marie and X.o.4’s Cataracts LP, Bury Me Deep is a rare album that assuredly sustains a distinct mood of dread throughout its entirety. And like those albums, Deep feels to have an M.O. of making its listeners squirm erratically in their seats as if something’s bound to burst forth from the speakers sans warning. Some snobs may feel subtlety in the noise genre is a cop-out, but 16 Bitch Pile-Up can provide invaluable proof that doing less can punish so much stronger.

The second track is the most successful at enrapturing through minimalism throughout its 18 minutes of low-rumbling grime. At points, it feels like there’s a very slight melody working at hand, but it’s hard to be really sure of what’s being elicited underneath. Regardless, it’s never peaceful, feeling like it could cut forth frantically at any moment, especially when some very faint voices appear deep in the lower recesses of the sonics at certain intervals.

Track four includes an orchestra of motorcycle rev-ups and crashes in the manner of the most sleazy of ’50s and ’60s teen exploitation flicks. This particular piece shares a very apt kinship with the record’s trashy splatter flick artwork, but unlike the most gargantuan of cinematic blood-spills, there’s something alien and off about 16 Bitch Pile-Up’s loving tribute to grindhouse muck. The only point where we get a perversely violent money shot is on the previously mentioned eighth track, where a series of screams give way to the silence of a creepy, pitched-up playthrough of an AM pop tune. But without question, the burbles, hums, and disfigured sounds surrounding pieces like the fifth and sixth tracks jar and jolt with as much vigor and class.

Bury Me Deep is a bit difficult to process upon the first listen, whether it be from the strange quasi-narrative of the pieces or the fact that 16 Bitch Pile-Up have built up a strong reputation in the noise underground while remaining fairly inscrutable and scarce (like many, their long series of CD-Rs, 7-inches, and splits have gone very out-of-print). Yet coming back to Bury Me Deep reveals an incredibly nuanced and pronounced craft, one that requires patience and open-ears rather than a knack for instant gratifications. This is what puts Deep in line with the best horror and gore flicks: an obvious glee for transgressive filth, but an artistic imagination that confounds the standard assumptions for what makes both art and the genres its aligned with. 16 Bitch Pile-Up may not burst forth with the catharsis of the best harsh noise-niks, but their understated disquietude is just as shocking and exciting.

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by Paul Haney

16 Bitch Pile Up Live in 2006

The Walias Band

Bio on legendary Ethiopian group The Walias Band:

"Active from the early 1970s until the beginning of the 1990s The Walias Band (CD1/10) is a seminal band on the Ethiopian scene. Made up of musicians from the Venus Band (so called because they were employed by the Venus Club) and later Shèbèlé’s Band (from the Wabi Shèbèlé Hôtel) it was one of the first independent groups able to impose their own name upon the venues that hired them. Its longest lasting members were the saxophonist Mogès Habté, bass-player Mèlakè Gèbrè, drummer Tèmarè Harègou and trumpeter Yohannes Tèkola. Girma Bèyènè was also an active member of Wallias.

In 1981 The Walias Band was the first modern Ethiopian group to tour the community of Ethiopian exiles in the USA. Deciding not to return to Mengistu’s dreadful ‘paradise’, Girma Bèyènè, Mogès Habté, Mèlakè Gèbrè and Haylu Mergia chose to remain in exile on the East Coast. There Mogès released a CD accompanied by a booklet rich in biographical and historical information. In it he credits his major influences: King Curtis, Junior Walker and Maceo Parker. For a further ten years Yohannes Tèkola et Tèmarè Harègou continued to play, making the Wallias Band, together with the Roha Band and Ethio Star, one of the best modern groups during the sombre ‘Derg’ period."

- Francis Falceto, Le Val David, France

Muzikawi selt by Walias Band

If you'd like to hear more, follow this link

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

4,300-Year-Old Pyramid Discovered in Egypt

4,300-year-old pyramid discovered in Egypt

November 11, 2008


SAQQARA, Egypt---- Egypt's chief archaeologist has announced the discovery of a 4,300-year-old pyramid in Saqqara, the sprawling necropolis and burial site of the rulers of ancient Memphis.

The pyramid is said to belong to Queen Sesheshet, the mother of King Teti who was the founder of the 6th Dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom.

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass made the announcement Tuesday at the site in Saqqara, about 12 miles south of Cairo.

Hawass' team has been excavating the site for two years. He says the discovery was only made two months ago when it became clear that the 16-foot-tall structure uncovered from the sand was a pyramid.

Hawass says the new pyramid is the 118th discovered so far in Egypt.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dip Apple

Dip Apple · Made In Japan
CD · Apartment Records aparec028 / Synesthetic Recordings SYRE 024

1. Space Fuckin' (26:15)
Recorded live at Musica Japonica, Umeda, Osaka on 21 March 2007
Petter Flaten Eilertsen - electronics, effects and percussion
Per Gisle Galåen - guitar and effects
Hiroshi Higashi - synthesizer
Makoto Kawabata - guitar and effects
Kai Mikalsen - electronics and effects

2. Dope In The Water (21:27)
Recorded live at Ease, Himeji on 22 March 2007
Petter Flaten Eilertsen - electronics and effects
Per Gisle Galåen - guitar and effects
Hiroshi Higashi - synthesizer
Makoto Kawabata - guitar and effects
Shinsuke Michishita - percussion
Kai Mikalsen - electronics and effects

3. Strange Kind Of Woman From Tokyo (23:29)
Recorded live at Loop Line, Sendagaya, Tokyo on 31 March 2007
Petter Flaten Eilertsen - electronics and effects
Per Gisle Galåen - guitar and effects
Hiroshi Higashi - synthesizer
TOMO - hurdy gurdy

Recorded by Petter Flaten Eilertsen
Produced and edited by Kai Mikalsen and Petter Flaten Eilertsen
Mastered by Kai Mikalsen and Lasse Marhaug
Cover design by Bjørn Kjetil Johansen

Band Members Petter Flaten Eilertsen
(Love Hz, Phonoloid, Satangora, We Snakes)

Per Gisle Galåen
(DEL, The Birds, Slowburn, Crazy River, Ranheim)

Hiroshi Higashi
(Acid Mothers Temple)

Makoto Kawabata
(Acid Mothers Temple)

Shinsuke Michishita
(LSD March, LSD Pond)

Kai Mikalsen
(Kobi, Sketch, Origami Arktika)

(Transcendental Organic Magical Objective)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November 08, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 39: Dizzy Gillespie - 1954 - Afro


1. Manteca Theme
2. Contrastes
3. Jungla
4. Rhumba-Finale
5. A Night In Tunisia
6. Caravan
7. Con Alma

All Music Guide Album Review:

"Pairing Dizzy Gillespie with Cuban arranger/composer Chico O'Farrill produced a stunning session which originally made up the first half of a Norgran LP. O'Farrill conducts an expanded orchestra which combines a jazz band with a Latin rhythm section; among the participants in the four-part "Manteca Suite" are trumpeters Quincy Jones and Ernie Royal, trombonist J.J. Johnson, tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and Lucky Thompson, and conga player Mongo Santamaria. "Manteca," written during the previous decade, serves as an exciting opening movement, while the next two segments build upon this famous theme, though they are jointly credited to O'Farrill as well. "Rhumba-Finale" is straight-ahead jazz with some delicious solo work by Gillespie. A later small-group session features the trumpeter with an all-Latin rhythm section and flutist Gilberto Valdes, who is heard on "A Night in Tunisia" and "Caravan." Both of the Latin versions of these pieces are far more interesting than "Con Alma," as the excessive percussion and dull piano accompaniment add little to this normally captivating theme. Long out of print, this 2002 CD reissue will only be available until May 2005; it is well worth acquiring."

Dizzy Gillespie - Chega de Saudade

See jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie taking photos of the samba musicians and dancing with the brazilian girls at Portela School of Samba, in the city of Rio de Janeiro (Brasil, 1956).

Sound Affects Malmaison: Africa

Side 1

01. Honny & The Bees Band - Psychedelic Woman
02. Kayode Olajide - Olufela
03. Orchestra Lissanga - Okuzua
04. Orlando Julius - Selma To Soweto
05. Awa-Klash - Akoba
06. Dele Sosimi - Turbulent Times
07. Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band - Bukom Mashie
08. Dele Sosimi - Di Bombs
09. Dackin Dakino - Yuda
10. Yahoos - Mabala

Side 2
01. Honny & The Bees Band - "Psychedelic Woman" (Bonobo remix)
02. Kayode Olajide - "Olufela" (Adam Freeland remix)
03. Orchestra Lissanga - "Okuzua" (Zero PM remix)
04. Orlando Julius - "Selma To Soweto" (Walkner Hintenaus remix)
05. Awa-Klash - "Akoba" (Way Out West remix)
06. Dele Sosimi - "Turbulent Times" (Paul Oakenfold remix)
07. Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band - "Bukom Mashie" (Quantic remix)
08. Dele Sosimi - "Di Bombs" (The Jinks remix)
09. Dackin Dakino - "Yuda" (Radio Slave remix)
10. Yahoos - "Mabala" (Fink remix)

Sample Psychedlic Woman From Honny & The Bees Band Here

Friday, November 7, 2008

November 07, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 38: The Jimi Hendrix Experience - 1968 - Electric Ladyland

All Music Biography by Cub Koda

Jimi Hendrix's third and final album with the original Experience found him taking his funk and psychedelic sounds to the absolute limit. The result was not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix's original musical vision at its absolute apex. When revisionist rock critics refer to him as the maker of a generation's mightiest dope music, this is the album they're referring to.

But Electric Ladyland is so much more than just background music for chemical intake. Kudos to engineer Eddie Kramer (who supervised the remastering of the original two-track stereo masters for this 1997 reissue on MCA) for taking Hendrix's visions of a soundscape behind his music and giving it all context, experimenting with odd mic techniques, echo, backward tape, flanging, and chorusing, all new techniques at the time, at least the way they're used here. What Hendrix sonically achieved on this record expanded the concept of what could be gotten out of a modern recording studio in much the same manner as Phil Spector had done a decade before with his Wall of Sound. As an album this influential (and as far as influencing a generation of players and beyond, this was his ultimate statement for many), the highlights speak for themselves: "Crosstown Traffic," his reinterpretation of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower," "Burning of the Midnight Lamp," the spacy "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn to Be)," and "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)," a landmark in Hendrix's playing. With this double set (now on one compact disc), Hendrix once again pushed the concept album to new horizons.


Side one

1. "...And the Gods Made Love"
2. "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)"
3. "Crosstown Traffic"
4. "Voodoo Chile"

Side two

5. "Little Miss Strange"
6. "Long Hot Summer Night"
7. "Come On (Part 1)"
8. "Gypsy Eyes"
9. "Burning of the Midnight Lamp"

Side three

10. "Rainy Day, Dream Away"
11. "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)"
12. "Moon, Turn the Tides...Gently Gently Away"

Side four

13. "Still Raining, Still Dreaming"
14. "House Burning Down"
15. "All Along the Watchtower"
16. "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"

Indian Song/Cherokee Mist Jam

Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland(

Gypsey Eyes Solo Home Recording

Edith Piaf

All Music Guide Review by Steve Huey

"Edith Piaf is almost universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Still revered as an icon decades after her death, "the Sparrow" served as a touchstone for virtually every chansonnier, male or female, who followed her. Her greatest strength wasn't so much her technique, or the purity of her voice, but the raw, passionate power of her singing. (Given her extraordinarily petite size, audiences marveled all the more at the force of her vocals.) Her style epitomized that of the classic French chanson: highly emotional, even melodramatic, with a wide, rapid vibrato that wrung every last drop of sentiment from a lyric. She preferred melancholy, mournful material, singing about heartache, tragedy, poverty, and the harsh reality of life on the streets; much of it was based to some degree on her real-life experiences, written specifically for her by an ever-shifting cast of songwriters. Her life was the stuff of legend, starting with her dramatic rise from uneducated Paris street urchin to star of international renown. Along the way, she lost her only child at age three, fell victim to substance abuse problems, survived three car accidents, and took a seemingly endless parade of lovers, one of whom perished in a plane crash on his way to visit her. Early in her career, she chose men who could help and instruct her; later in life, with her own status secure, she helped many of her lovers in their ambitions to become songwriters or singers, then dropped them once her mentorship had served its purpose. By the time cancer claimed her life at age 47, Piaf had recorded a lengthy string of genre-defining classics -- "Mon Légionnaire," "La Vie en Rose," "L'Hymne à l'Amour," "Milord," and "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" among them -- that many of her fans felt captured the essence of the French soul.Piaf was born Edith Giovanna Gassion on December 19, 1915, in Ménilmontant, one of the poorer districts of Paris. According to legend, she was born under a street light on the corner of the Rue de Belleville, with her mother attended by two policemen; some have disputed this story, finding it much likelier that she was born in the local hospital. Whatever the case, Piaf's origins were undeniably humble. Her father, Louis Gassion, was a traveling acrobat and street performer, while her Moroccan-Italian mother, Anita Maillard, was an alcoholic, an occasional prostitute, and an aspiring singer who performed in cafés and on street corners under the name Line Marsa. With her father serving in World War I, Edith was virtually ignored by both her mother and grandmother; after the war, her father sent her to live with his own mother, who helped run a small brothel in the Normandy town of Bernay. The prostitutes helped look after Edith when they could; one story goes that when five-year-old Edith lost her sight during an acute case of conjunctivitis, the prostitutes shut down the brothel to spend a day praying for her in church, and her blindness disappeared several days later.Edith's father returned for her in 1922, and instead of sending her to school, he brought her to Paris to join his street act. It was here that she got her first experience singing in public, but her main duty at first was to pass the hat among the crowd of onlookers, manipulating extra money from whomever she could. She and her father traveled all over France together until 1930, when the now-teenaged Edith had developed her singing into a main attraction. She teamed up with her half-sister and lifelong partner in mischief, Simone Berteaut, and sang for tips in the streets, squares, cafés, and military camps, while living in a succession of cheap, squalid hotels. She moved in circles of petty criminals and led a promiscuous nightlife, with a predilection for pimps and other street toughs who could protect her while she earned her meager living as a street performer. In 1932, she fell in love with a delivery boy named Louis Dupont, and bore him a daughter. However, in a pattern she would repeat throughout her life, she tired of the relationship, cheated, and ended it before he could do the same. Much like her own mother, Edith found it difficult to care for a child while working in the streets, and often left her daughter alone. Dupont eventually took the child himself, but she died of meningitis several months later. Edith's next boyfriend was a pimp who took a commission from her singing tips, in exchange for not forcing her into prostitution; when she broke off the affair, he nearly succeeded in shooting her.Living the high-risk life that she did, Edith Gassion almost certainly would have come to a bad end had she not been discovered by cabaret owner Louis Leplée while singing on a street corner in the Pigalle area in 1935. Struck by the force of her voice, Leplée took the young singer under his wing and groomed her to become his resident star act. He renamed her "La Môme Piaf" (which in Parisian slang translates roughly as "the little sparrow" or "the kid sparrow"), fleshed out her song repertoire, taught her the basics of stage presence, and outfitted her in a plain black dress that would become her visual trademark. Leplée's extensive publicity campaign brought many noted celebrities to Piaf's opening night, including Maurice Chevalier; she was a smashing success, and in January 1936, she cut her first records for Polydor, "Les Momes de la Cloche" and "L'Étranger"; the latter was penned by Marguerite Monnot, who would continue to write for Piaf for the remainder of both their careers.Tragedy struck in April 1936, when Leplée was shot to death in his apartment. Police suspicion initially fell on Piaf and the highly disreputable company she often kept, and the ensuing media furor threatened to derail her career even after she was cleared of any involvement. Scandal preceded her when she toured the provinces outside Paris that summer, and she realized that she needed help in rehabilitating her career and image. When she returned to Paris, she sought out Raymond Asso, a songwriter, businessman, and Foreign Legion veteran; she had rejected his song "Mon Légionnaire," but it had subsequently been recorded by Marie Dubas, one of Piaf's major influences. Intensely attracted to Piaf, Asso began an affair with her and took charge of managing her career. He partially restored her real name, billing her as Edith Piaf; he barred all of Piaf's undesirable acquaintances from seeing her; he set about making up for the basic education that neither Edith nor Simone had received. Most importantly, he talked with Piaf about her childhood on the streets, and teamed up with "L'Étranger" composer Marguerite Monnot to craft an original repertoire that would be unique to Piaf's experiences. In January 1937, Piaf recorded "Mon Légionnaire" for a major hit, and went on to cut the Asso/Monnot collaborations "Le Fanion de la Légion," "C'est Lui Que Mon Coeur a Choisi" (a smash hit in late 1938), "Le Petit Monsieur Triste," "Elle Frequentait la Rue Pigalle," "Je N'en Connais Pas la Fin," and others. Later that year, Piaf made concert appearances at the ABC Theater (where she opened for Charles Trenet) and the Bobino (as the headliner); the shows were wildly successful and made her the new star of the Paris music scene.In the fall of 1939, Asso was called to serve in World War II. Early the next year, Piaf recorded one of her signature songs, "L'Accordéoniste," just before its composer, Michel Emer, left for the war; she would later help the Jewish Emer escape France during the Nazi occupation. In Asso's absence, she took up with actor/singer Paul Meurisse, from whom she picked up the refinements and culture of upper-class French society. They performed together often, and also co-starred in Jean Cocteau's one-act play Le Bel Indifférent; however, their relationship soon deteriorated, and Piaf and Simone moved into an apartment over a high-class brothel. By this time, the Nazis had taken over Paris, and the brothel's clientele often included Gestapo officers. Piaf was long suspected of collaborating with -- or, at least, being overly friendly to -- the Germans, making numerous acquaintances through her residence and performing at private events. She resisted in her own way, however; she dated Jewish pianist Norbert Glanzberg, and also co-wrote the subtle protest song "Où Sont-Ils Mes Petits Copains?" with Marguerite Monnot in 1943, defying a Nazi request to remove the song from her concert repertoire. According to one story, Piaf posed for a photo at a prison camp; the images of the French prisoners in the photo were later blown up and used in false documents that helped many of them escape.Before the war's end, Piaf took up with journalist Henri Contet, and convinced him to team up with Marguerite Monnot as a lyricist. This proved to be the most productive partnership since the Asso years, and Piaf was rewarded with a burst of new material: "Coup de Grisou," "Monsieur Saint-Pierre," "Le Brun et le Blond," "Histoire du Coeur," "Y'a Pas D'Printemps," and many others. Her affair with Contet was relatively brief, but he continued to write for her after they split; meanwhile, Piaf moved on to an attractive young singer named Yves Montand in 1944. Under Piaf's rigorous tutelage, Montand grew into one of French pop's biggest stars within a year, and she broke off the affair when his popularity began to rival her own. Her next protégés were a nine-member singing group called Les Compagnons de la Chanson, who toured and recorded with her over the next few years (one member also became her lover). Now recording for the Pathe label, she scored a major hit in 1946 with "Les Trois Cloches," which would later become an English-language smash for the Browns when translated into "The Three Bells." Later that year, she recorded the self-composed number "La Vie en Rose," another huge hit that international audiences would come to regard as her signature song.Piaf embarked on her first American tour in late 1947, and at first met with little success; audiences expecting a bright, gaudy Parisian spectacle were disappointed with her simple presentation and downcast songs. Just as she was about to leave the country, a prominent New York critic wrote a glowing review of her show, urging audiences not to dismiss her out of hand; she was booked at the Café Versailles in New York, and thanks to the publicity, she was a hit, staying for over five months. In that time, she met up with French boxer Marcel Cerdan, an acquaintance of about a year. In spite of Cerdan's marriage, the two began a passionate affair, not long before Cerdan won the world middleweight championship and became a French national hero. Unfortunately, tragedy struck in October 1949, when Cerdan was planning to visit Piaf in New York; wanting him to arrive sooner, she convinced him to take a plane instead of a boat. The plane crashed in the Azores, killing him. Devastated by guilt and grief, Piaf sank into drug and alcohol abuse, and began to experiment with morphine. In early 1950, she recorded "L'Hymne à l'Amour," a tribute to the one lover Piaf would never quite get over; co-written with Marguerite Monnot, it became one of her best-known and most heartfelt songs.In 1951, Piaf met the young singer/songwriter Charles Aznavour, a future giant of French song who became her next protégé; unlike her others, this relationship always remained strictly platonic, despite the enduring closeness and loyalty of their friendship. Aznavour served as a jack-of-all-trades for Piaf -- secretary, chauffeur, etc. -- and she helped him get bookings, brought him on tour, and recorded several of his early songs, including the hit "Plus Bleu Que Tes Yeux" and "Jézébel." Their friendship nearly came to an early end when both were involved in a serious car accident (as passengers); Piaf suffered a broken arm and two broken ribs. With her doctor prescribing morphine for pain relief, she soon developed a serious chemical dependency to go with her increasing alcohol problems. In 1952, she romanced and married singer Jacques Pills, who co-wrote her hit "Je T'ai Dans la Peau" with his pianist, Gilbert Bécaud; Bécaud would soon go on to become yet another of the pop stars launched into orbit with Piaf's assistance. Meanwhile, Pills soon discovered the gravity of Piaf's substance abuse problems, and forced her into a detox clinic on three separate occasions. Nonetheless, Piaf continued to record and perform with great success, including appearances at Carnegie Hall and Paris' legendary Olympia theater. She and Pills divorced in 1955; not long afterward, she suffered an attack of delirium tremens and had to be hospitalized.As an interpretive singer, Piaf was at the height of her powers during the mid-'50s, even in spite of all her health woes. Her international tours were consistently successful, and the devotion of her massive French following verged on worship. She scored several more hits over 1956-1958, among them "La Foule," "Les Amants D'un Jour," "L'homme à la Moto," and the smash "Mon Manège à Moi." During that period, she also completed another stay in detox; this time would prove to be successful, but years of drug and alcohol abuse had already destabilized her health. In late 1958, she met another up-and-coming songwriter, Georges Moustaki, and made him her latest lover and improvement project. Teaming once again with Marguerite Monnot, Moustaki co-wrote "Milord," an enormous hit that topped the charts all over Europe in early 1959 and became Piaf's first successful single in the U.K. Later that year, she and Moustaki were involved in another car accident, in which her face was badly cut; in early 1960, while performing at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, she collapsed and began to vomit blood on stage, and was rushed to the hospital for emergency stomach surgery. Stubbornly, she continued her tour, and collapsed on-stage again in Stockholm; this time she was sent back to Paris for more surgery.Piaf was soon back in the recording studio, eager to record a composition by the legendary French songwriter Charles Dumont. "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" became one of her all-time classics and a huge international hit in 1960, serving as something of an equivalent to Frank Sinatra's "My Way." Piaf went on to score further hits with more Dumont songs, including "Mon Dieu," "Les Flons-Flons du Bal," and "Les Mots D'Amour." She staged a lengthy run at the Olympia in 1961, and later that year met an aspiring Greek singer named Théo Sarapo (born Theophanis Lamboukis), who became her latest project and, eventually, second husband. Sarapo was half her age, and given Piaf's poor health, the French media derided him as a gold digger. Nonetheless, they cut the duet "À Quoi Ça Sert l'Amour" in 1962, and performed together during Piaf's final engagement at the Olympia that year. Despite her physical weakness -- on some nights, she could barely stand -- Piaf had lost very little of the power in her voice.Piaf and Sarapo sang together at the Bobino in early 1963, and Piaf also made her final recording, "L'Homme de Berlin." Not long afterward, Piaf slipped into a coma, brought on by cancer. Sarapo and Simone Berteaut took Piaf to her villa in Plascassier, on the French Riviera, to nurse her. She drifted in and out of consciousness for months before passing away on October 11, 1963 -- the same day as legendary writer/filmmaker Jean Cocteau. Her body was taken back to Paris in secret, so that fans could believe she died in her hometown. The news of her death caused a nationwide outpouring of grief, and tens of thousands of fans jammed the streets of Paris, stopping traffic to watch her funeral procession. Her towering stature in French popular music has hardly diminished in the years since; her grave at Père-Lachaise remains one of the famed cemetery's most visited, and her songs continue to be covered by countless classic-style pop artists, both French and otherwise."

Edith Piaf - Non, je ne regrette rien (1961)

Edith Piaf - La Vie En Rose

Edith Piaf - Autumn Leaves

Edith PIAF: 'L'Etranger'

aLL Orange

aLL Orange, a caravan that arrives in your town to take you into the mysterious house of Light and Shadow, a flourescent glow in the dark... a Multi Media show using Light, sounds played on primal instruments/found objects, Projections, and a voice chanting from the other side. aLL Orange is sure to take you to other dimensions..... prepare for an intense time and deep understandings.....

Wanakan Dreams

Mothers of Invention Drummer Jimmy Carl Black Dies

From the Official Jimmy Carl Black Website:

Jimmy passed away peacefully last night Saturday 11/01/08 at 11:00 o'clock pm. Jimmy says hi to everybody and he doesn't want anybody to be sad.

The Associated Press

By ROBERT BARR – 2 days ago

LONDON (AP) — Jimmy Carl Black, drummer, vocalist and self-anointed "Indian of the group" of Frank Zappa's The Mothers of Invention, has died at age 70.

Black, a native of El Paso, Texas, died Saturday of cancer in Siegsdorf, Germany, according to Roddie Gilliard, a British musician who performed with him.

Born James Inkanish Jr. on Feb. 1, 1938, Black had Cheyenne Indian ancestry through both parents. He changed his name legally to Jimmy Carl Black in 1958, adapting the name of his stepfather, Carl Black.

He was playing in the Soul Giants in Los Angeles in 1964 when the group recruited Zappa.

"He joined the band and three days later he took it over," Black once said.

Zappa changed the group's name and, according to Black, boasted that "if you guys learn my music, I'll make you rich and famous."

"He took care of half of that promise, because I'm damn sure I didn't get rich," Black recalled.

He credited Zappa, who died in 1993, with introducing him to modern classical music and teaching him complex rhythms.

Black appeared on Mothers albums including "Freak Out," "Cruising with Ruben and the Jets" and "Burnt Weenie Sandwich." He played trumpet as well as drumming on the 1968 album "We're Only In It for the Money," and also introduced his catchphrase: "Hi boys and girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, I'm the Indian of the group."

Zappa disbanded the Mothers in 1969, and Black's career thereafter was not lucrative. A recent remix of some of Black's work was titled "Can I Borrow a Couple of Bucks Until the End of the Week?"

The band members were shocked when Zappa fired them.

"We all just got a phone call from him stating that he had decided to break up the band and your salary has ended as of last week. That is pretty cold," Black said once in an interview.

Black later appeared as Lonesome Cowboy Burt in Zappa's film "200 Motels," and in 1980 he worked on five songs from Zappa's "You Are What You Is."

"I had a really good time with Frank at that time and he really treated me great. I even got paid," Black said.

Following the breakup of the Mothers, Black formed a band named Geronimo Black after his youngest son. The band's 1972 album was not a commercial success, and Black went to work in a doughnut shop in Anthony, Texas.

In 1980, he teamed with ex-Mothers Bunk Gardner and Don Preston in The Grandmothers, a band that broke up and reformed several times over two decades.

During one musical lull, Black formed a house-painting company in Austin, Texas, with Arthur Brown. They also made an album, "Brown, Black and Blue."

Black moved to Italy in 1992, then to Germany in 1995, and has appeared as a singer with The Muffin Men, a Liverpool band that specialized in the music of Zappa and Captain Beefheart.

Black is survived by his wife, Monika, whom he married in 1995 following the death of his second wife; three sons and three daughters.

A fundraiser planned in London for Black will go ahead on Sunday, Gilliard said Wednesday.

Ella Fitzgerald

Biography from the Official Ella Fitzgerald Website:

Dubbed "The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. In her lifetime, she won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums.

Her voice was flexible, wide-ranging, accurate and ageless. She could sing sultry ballads, sweet jazz and imitate every instrument in an orchestra. She worked with all the jazz greats, from Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Nat King Cole, to Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Goodman. (Or rather, some might say all the jazz greats had the pleasure of working with Ella.)

She performed at top venues all over the world, and packed them to the hilt. Her audiences were as diverse as her vocal range. They were rich and poor, made up of all races, all religions and all nationalities. In fact, many of them had just one binding factor in common - they all loved her.

Humble but happy beginnings

Ella Jane Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Va. on April 25, 1917. Her father, William, and mother, Temperance (Tempie), parted ways shortly after her birth. Together, Tempie and Ella went to Yonkers, N.Y, where they eventually moved in with Tempie's longtime boyfriend Joseph Da Silva. Ella's half-sister, Frances, was born in 1923 and soon she began referring to Joe as her stepfather.

To support the family, Joe dug ditches and was a part-time chauffeur, while Tempie worked at a laundromat and did some catering. Occasionally, Ella took on small jobs to contribute money as well. Perhaps naïve to the circumstances, Ella worked as a runner for local gamblers, picking up their bets and dropping off money.

Their apartment was in a mixed neighborhood, where Ella made friends easily. She considered herself more of a tomboy, and often joined in the neighborhood games of baseball. Sports aside, she enjoyed dancing and singing with her friends, and some evenings they would take the train into Harlem and watch various acts at the Apollo Theater.

A rough patch

In 1932, Tempie died from serious that injuries she received in a car accident. Ella took the loss very hard. After staying with Joe for a short time, Tempie's sister Virginia took Ella home. Shortly afterward Joe suffered a heart attack and died, and her little sister Frances joined them.

Unable to adjust to the new circumstances, Ella became increasingly unhappy and entered into a difficult period of her life. Her grades dropped dramatically, and she frequently skipped school. After getting into trouble with the police, she was taken into custody and sent to a reform school. Living there was even more unbearable, as she suffered beatings at the hands of her caretakers.

Eventually Ella escaped from the reformatory. The 15-year-old found herself broke and alone during the Great Depression, and strove to endure.

Never one to complain, Ella later reflected on her most difficult years with an appreciation for how they helped her to mature. She used the memories from these times to help gather emotions for performances, and felt she was more grateful for her success because she knew what it was like to struggle in life.

"What's she going to do?"

In 1934 Ella's name was pulled in a weekly drawing at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. Ella went to the theater that night planning to dance, but when the frenzied Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. "They were the dancingest sisters around," Ella said, and she felt her act would not compare.

Once on stage, faced with boos and murmurs of "What's she going to do?" from the rowdy crowd, a scared and disheveled Ella made the last minute decision to sing. She asked the band to play Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy," a song she knew well because Connee Boswell's rendition of it was among Tempie's favorites. Ella quickly quieted the audience, and by the song's end they were demanding an encore. She obliged and sang the flip side of the Boswell Sister's record, "The Object of My Affections."

Off stage, and away from people she knew well, Ella was shy and reserved. She was self-conscious about her appearance, and for a while even doubted the extent of her abilities. On stage, however, Ella was surprised to find she had no fear. She felt at home in the spotlight.

"Once up there, I felt the acceptance and love from my audience," Ella said. "I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life."

In the band that night was saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter. Impressed with her natural talent, he began introducing Ella to people who could help launch her career. In the process he and Ella became lifelong friends, often working together.

Fueled by enthusiastic supporters, Ella began entering - and winning - every talent show she could find. In January 1935 she won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. It was there that Ella first met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb. Although her voice impressed him, Chick had already hired male singer Charlie Linton for the band. He offered Ella the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.

"If the kids like her," Chick said, "she stays."

Despite the tough crowd, Ella was a major success, and Chick hired her to travel with the band for $12.50 a week.

Jazzing things up

In mid 1936, Ella made her first recording. "Love and Kisses" was released under the Decca label, with moderate success. By this time she was performing with Chick's band at the prestigious Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, often referred to as "The World's Most Famous Ballroom."

Shortly afterward, Ella began singing a rendition of the song, "(If You Can't Sing It) You Have to Swing It." During this time, the era of big swing bands was shifting, and the focus was turning more toward bebop. Ella played with the new style, often using her voice to take on the role of another horn in the band. "You Have to Swing It" was one of the first times she began experimenting with scat singing, and her improvisation and vocalization thrilled fans. Throughout her career, Ella would master scat singing, turning it into a form of art.

In 1938, at the age of 21, Ella recorded a playful version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." The album sold 1 million copies, hit number one, and stayed on the pop charts for 17 weeks. Suddenly, Ella Fitzgerald was famous.

Coming into her own

On June 16, 1939, Ella mourned the loss of her mentor Chick Webb. In his absence the band was renamed "Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Band," and she took on the overwhelming task of bandleader.

Perhaps in search of stability and protection, Ella married Benny Kornegay, a local dockworker who had been pursuing her. Upon learning that Kornegay had a criminal history, Ella realized that the relationship was a mistake and had the marriage annulled.

While on tour with Dizzy Gillespie's band in 1946, Ella fell in love with bassist Ray Brown. The two were married and eventually adopted a son, whom they named Ray, Jr.

At the time, Ray was working for producer and manager Norman Granz on the "Jazz at the Philharmonic" tour. Norman saw that Ella had what it took to be an international star, and he convinced Ella to sign with him. It was the beginning of a lifelong business relationship and friendship.

Under Norman's management, Ella joined the Philharmonic tour, worked with Louis Armstrong on several albums and began producing her infamous songbook series. From 1956-1964, she recorded covers of other musicians' albums, including those by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, the Gershwins, Johnny Mercer, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hart. The series was wildly popular, both with Ella's fans and the artists she covered.

"I never knew how good our songs were until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing them," Ira Gershwin once remarked.

Ella also began appearing on television variety shows. She quickly became a favorite and frequent guest on numerous programs, including "The Bing Crosby Show," "The Dinah Shore Show," "The Frank Sinatra Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Tonight Show," "The Nat King Cole Show," "The Andy Willams Show" and "The Dean Martin Show."

Due to a busy touring schedule, Ella and Ray were often away from home, straining the bond with their son. Ultimately, Ray Jr. and Ella reconnected and mended their relationship.

"All I can say is that she gave to me as much as she could," Ray, Jr. later said, "and she loved me as much as she could."

Unfortunately, busy work schedules also hurt Ray and Ella's marriage. The two divorced in 1952, but remained good friends for the rest of their lives.

Overcoming discrimination

On the touring circuit it was well-known that Ella's manager felt very strongly about civil rights and required equal treatment for his musicians, regardless of their color. Norman refused to accept any type of discrimination at hotels, restaurants or concert halls, even when they traveled to the Deep South.

Once, while in Dallas touring for the Philharmonic, a police squad irritated by Norman's principles barged backstage to hassle the performers. They came into Ella's dressing room, where band members Dizzy Gillespie and Illinois Jacquet were shooting dice, and arrested everyone.

"They took us down," Ella later recalled, "and then when we got there, they had the nerve to ask for an autograph."

Norman wasn't the only one willing to stand up for Ella. She received support from numerous celebrity fans, including a zealous Marilyn Monroe.

"I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt," Ella later said. "It was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the '50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him - and it was true, due to Marilyn's superstar status - that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. And she didn't know it."

Worldwide recognition

Ella continued to work as hard as she had early on in her career, despite the ill effects on her health. She toured all over the world, sometimes performing two shows a day in cities hundreds of miles apart. In 1974, Ella spent a legendary two weeks performing in New York with Frank Sinatra and Count Basie. Still going strong five years later, she was inducted into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame, and received Kennedy Center Honors for her continuing contributions to the arts.

Outside of the arts, Ella had a deep concern for child welfare. Though this aspect of her life was rarely publicized, she frequently made generous donations to organizations for disadvantaged youths, and the continuation of these contributions was part of the driving force that prevented her from slowing down. Additionally, when Frances died, Ella felt she had the additional responsibilities of taking care of her sister's family.

In 1987, United States President Ronald Reagan awarded Ella the National Medal of Arts. It was one of her most prized moments. France followed suit several years later, presenting her with their Commander of Arts and Letters award, while Yale, Dartmouth and several other universities bestowed Ella with honorary doctorates.

End of an era

In September of 1986, Ella underwent quintuple coronary bypass surgery. Doctors also replaced a valve in her heart and diagnosed her with diabetes, which they blamed for her failing eyesight. The press carried rumors that she would never be able to sing again, but Ella proved them wrong. Despite protests by family and friends, including Norman, Ella returned to the stage and pushed on with an exhaustive schedule.

By the 1990s, Ella had recorded over 200 albums. In 1991, she gave her final concert at New York's renowned Carnegie Hall. It was the 26th time she performed there.

As the effects from her diabetes worsened, 76-year-old Ella experienced severe circulatory problems and was forced to have both of her legs amputated below the knees. She never fully recovered from the surgery, and afterward, was rarely able to perform. During this time, Ella enjoyed sitting outside in her backyard, and spending time with Ray, Jr. and her granddaughter Alice.

"I just want to smell the air, listen to the birds and hear Alice laugh," she said.

On June 15, 1996, Ella Fitzgerald died in her Beverly Hills home. Hours later, signs of remembrance began to appear all over the world. A wreath of white flowers stood next to her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a marquee outside the Hollywood Bowl theater read, "Ella, we will miss you."

After a private memorial service, traffic on the freeway was stopped to let her funeral procession pass through. She was laid to rest in the "Sanctuary of the Bells" section of the Sunset Mission Mausoleum at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, Calif.

Ella Fitzgerald, Amsterdam 1957 - Angel Eyes

Ella sings "Georgia on My Mind" Sweden 1963

Ella sings "Summertime" Berlin 1968

1974 - Ella Fitzgerald - It Don't Mean a thing