Sunday, May 31, 2009

Zach Hill + Carson McWhirter - Collab Studio Video March 2009

Zach Hill on Drums, Carson McWhirter on Guitar

Untitled from brozone on Vimeo.

Carson plays bass for The Advantage. Zach Hill plays drums for everyone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scofield, Cobham, Duke, Johnson 1976-07-06 Montreux, Switzerland (NTSC)

Billy Cobham / George Duke Band
July 6, 1976
Montreux, Switzerland

Video: Satellite Tv > Sony DVD-Recorder RDR-HX900 > TMPGEnc DVD Author
Tv System: NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
System Bitrate: 4710kbs
720 X 480

Audio: SBD
Audio Coding Mode: AC3
Sampling Rate: 48kHz
Bit Rate: 256 kbs (2 chnls)

Red Barron
Almustafa The Beloved
Ivory Tattoo
Some Day
Hip Pockets
Sweet Wine
Life & Time
Thats's What She Said

Billy Cobham - Drums
George Duke - Keyboards, Vocals
John Scofield - Guitar
Alphonso Johnson - Bass, Chapman Stick, Vocals

Chicago 1970-07-21 Lenox, MA (NTSC)

Lenox, MA

Pro Shot BGP
Pro-Shot>?>Low/Mid Generation VHS>> ? Transfer > ? Author > DVD

1.better end soon
3.Ballet for a girl in buchannon a man

Video : Mpeg 2 Program Stream File [Video/Audio]
Muxrate : 10.08 Mbps
Aspect ratio 4/3 (TV)
Interlaced, chroma format: 4:2:0
Size [720 x 480] 29.97 fps 7.62 Mbps

Stevie Ray Vaughan xxxx-xx-xx '80s Compilation (NTSC)

SRV - TV Appearances
NTSC DVD - PC authored with menus
(Originally seeded on Dime: ... this is just a reseed, nothing new here)

A collection of finest quality SRV clips taken from standalone discs I've received from trades. Not sure if all of the clips are from VHS masters, but at least some are (and it's possible they all are)

18aug85 - JVC JazzFest, Ft. Adams State Park, Newport, RI
-Couldn't Stand The Weather

15feb86 - "Saturday Night Live", NBC Studios, New York City, NY
-Soul To Soul
-Change It (with Jimmie Vaughan)

06sep87 - Starwood Amphitheater, Nashville, TN
Volunteer Jam XIII (Slightly better quality than on Volunteer Jam DVD)

22apr88 - S.S. Presidente, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA
(Better quality than on Midtfyns/Texas Tornado DVD)
-Life Without You
-Frosty (with Albert Collins)
-Texas Flood (BB King, A Collins)

07jun90 - "The Tonight Show"
-House Is Rockin'

22sep89 - "Late Night with David Letterman"
- Wall of Denial

12oct89 - "Night Music", Los Angeles CA
(The DVD version from Japanese broadcast might be slightly better quality)
-Travis Walk
-Sailing Shoes

10apr89 - "Late Night with David Letterman"

15feb86 - "Saturday Night Live", NBC Studios, New York City, NY
(alternate, better source)
-Soul To Soul

10oct89 - "Austin City Limits", University of Texas, Austin
-Instrumental with W.C. Clark (not officially released)

The Beatles Cartoons

The Beatles Cartoons Volumes One Two And Three


MPEG-2 Video
3670 kbps

48000Hz 384 kb/s total (2 chnls)

As far as I've been able to determine, there has been no official release of this material nor are there any plans for such. . .hopefully this won't get pulled cause I'm sure the interest for these runs deep. . .

artwork is included in the torrent, and will be posted in the comments along with some screens at my earliest convenience.

And if anyone can hook me up with Vols 4-7 I'd be happy to upload those as well!

Enjoy and help seed!

A King Features Production
September 25, 1965 - September 7, 1969
Executive Producer: Al Brodax
Associate Producer: Mary Ellen Stewart
Production Manager: Abe Goodman
Voices of the Beatles:
Paul Frees (John and George) Lance Percival (Paul and Ringo)

Trade DVD >DVDDecrypter >HD >You

Vol. #4
19. With Love From Me To You/Boys
20. Dizzy Miss Lizzy/I Saw Her Standing There
21. What You're Doing/Money
22. Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand/She Loves You
23. Bad Boy/Tell Me Why
24. I Feel Fine/Hold Me Tight

Vol. #5
25. Please Please Me/There's A Place
26. Roll Ovr Beethoven/Rock And Roll Music
27. Eight Days A Week/I'm Looking Through You
28. Help/We Can Work It Out
29. I'm Down/Run For Your Life
30. Drive My Car/Tell Me What You See

Audio Codec AC3
Audio Bitrate 384 kb/s
Video Bitrate 3671
Video System NTSC 29.970

A King Features Production
September 25, 1965 - September 7, 1969
Executive Producer: Al Brodax
Associate Producer: Mary Ellen Stewart
Production Manager: Abe Goodman
Voices of the Beatles:
Paul Frees (John and George) Lance Percival (Paul and Ringo)

TV > Low Gen VHS > ? Transfer & Author > DVD

Vol. #6
31. I Call Your Name/The Word
32. All My Loving/Day Tripper
33. Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer
Bonus: 1965, 1966, 1967 Season Openings, Trailers & Ads.

Vol. #7
34. Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields
35. And Your Bird Can Sing/Got To Get You Into My Life
36. Good Day Sunshine/Ticket To Ride
37. Taxman/Eleanor Rigby
38. Tomorrow Never/I've Just See A Face
39. Wait/I'm Only Sleeping

Audio Codec AC3
Audio Bitrate 384 kb/s
Video Bitrate 3671
Video System NTSC 29.970

Marvin Gaye 1974-01-06 Oakland, CA (NTSC)

Marvin Gaye
January 6, 1974
Oakland Coliseum
Oakland, CA

"The Midnight Special"

Video: Tv > Low Gen VHS > Panasonic DMR-ES40V > NERO 6 > SA > TMPGEnc (Uncompressed) > DVD [Menu & Song Select]
NTSC 4:3
8000 kbs
29.97 fps

Audio: SBD
256 kbs (2-chnls)
48 kHz

What's Goin' On
Let's Get It On
How Sweet It Is
Innercity Blues
I'll Be Doggone (Medley)
Try It Baby
Can I Get A Witness
You're A Wonderful One
Stubborn Kind Of Fellow
How Sweet It Is
Trouble Man
Let's Get It On
Come Get To This

John Lennon & Yok Ono 1971-06-05 New York, NY [w/ Zappa] (NTSC)

Here are details again.

This film came 2nd gen SVHS to me from the actual filmer - a woman, who filmed most of the Fillmore East shows in the 70's. Her 16mm film was transferred down to 2" video for a video project on Frank Zappa that never materialized. A trading buddy of mine knew her and got a copy on SVHS from her 2" master. I then got a SVHS copy in trade from him.

It has been rumored on some Zappa forums that this footage was stolen from Frank Zappa, then leaked into the trading circles - but that is untrue. I leaked this about 9 years ago into the video trading circles via snail mail trade worldwide to other Beatles collectors. Nothing was stolen - this comes 2nd gen SVHS from the owner of film.


John Lennon & Yoko Ono with Frank Zappa.
Fillmore East
June 5, 1971
New York City

Video Lineage: Single 16mm film camera on tripod from balcony w/soundboard audio

Transfer Lineage: 16mm Film Master > SVHS w/timecodes > SVHS > Hard Drive via Pinnacle 11 Studio.


Format: NTSC
Stream type: MPEG-2 MP@ML VBR
Resolution: 704*480
Aspect ratio: 4:3 Generic
Framerate: 29.97
Nom. bitrate: 7000 Bit/Sec
VBV buffer size: 112
Chroma format: 4:2:0
DCT precision: 10
Pic. structure: Frame
Field topfirst: Yes
DCT type: Field
Quantscale: Nonlinear
Scan type: Alternate
Frame type: Interlaced
Audio: LPCM

Menu and Chapters: Yes (simple "play" menu with chapter marks at the beginning of each song)

Running Time: 24minutes

01. Well!
02. Say Please/King Kong/Jamrag/Aaawk
03. Scumbag

The musicians:

John Lennon--guitar, vocals
Yoko Ono--bag, vocals
Frank Zappa--guitar, vocals
Howard Kaylan--vocals, tambourine
Mark Volman--vocals, tambourine
Bob Harris--keyboards
Don Preston--Minimoog
Ian Underwood--keyboards, alto sax
Jim Pons--bass, vocals
Aynsley Dunbar--drums

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Terence Mckenna - Culture Is Your Operating System

Josh White

Josh White and the Protest Blues
by Elijah Wald (published in Living Blues magazine)

"The blues, contrary to popular conception, are not always concerned with love, razors, dice, and death," Richard Wright wrote in 1941, in the liner notes to a new album of 78 rpm records. "Southern Exposure contains the blues, the wailing blues, the moaning blues, the laughing-crying blues, the sad-happy blues. But it contains also the fighting blues . . ."

Southern Exposure was the third album by Josh White, a young singer who was then staking out a unique position in American music: he was the only musician ever to make a name for himself singing political blues. Oddly, he made no claim to uniqueness; like Wright, he argued that the blues was by its nature a protest music, and decades of writers on the subject would concur. They always pointed, though, to veiled verses like "You don’t know my mind/ When you see me laughing, I’m laughing just to keep from crying." What Josh was singing was something quite different: a repertoire of blues about current events, written from a strong left-wing perspective. Some of the other blues artists who became caught up in the folk revival recorded similar pieces (Big Bill Broonzy’s "Black, Brown and White" and Leadbelly’s "Bourgeois Blues" are the most successful examples), but only Josh made it the centerpiece of his work.

In 1941, Josh White was 27 and had already lived out two previous musical careers. He had spent his childhood traveling around the South as "lead boy" for blind blues and gospel singers, making his first recordings at age 14 with the streetcorner evangelist Blind Joe Taggart. Then, in the early 1930s, he had settled in Harlem and became a solo artist, his records influencing a generation of players in the southeastern states (both Blind Boy Fuller and John Jackson covered his songs and guitar arrangements). These early recordings were pretty standard blues and gospel fare, though his guitar work was already outstanding and he was the only artist to have simultaneous success in the sacred and secular markets, recording gospel under his own name and blues as "Pinewood Tom." Only one of his 1930s records hinted at his future direction: in 1936 he put out "No More Ball and Chain" backed with "Silicosis Is Killin’ Me," two songs by a populist country songwriter, Bob Miller. Miller was a link between what was then called "hillbilly" music and the progressive New York scene, working with the Appalachian ballad singer and union organizer Aunt Molly Jackson and later the Almanac Singers, but his collaboration with Josh was brief. They might have done more work together, but, shortly after making the record, Josh cut his right hand so severely that he was unable to play for the next four years.

When Josh reemerged, it was in a different musical world. While his earlier songs had been issued as "race records," for sale to a black, rural population, he made his return in a Broadway show, John Henry, starring the activist actor and singer Paul Robeson. The producers had found him by pure chance, but it is hard to imagine another blues artist who would have been so perfectly equipped to capitalize on this opportunity. His new audience was urban, sophisticated, and, to an overwhelming extent, white and "progressive," a term that would come to be associated with people sympathetic to the Communist left. His first recordings were, once again, traditional-sounding blues (though with the interesting addition of clarinetist Sidney Bechet on two numbers), but he soon followed up with Chain Gang, an album unlike any previously made. Featuring a backup group that included the future Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin, it was a collection of prison songs adapted and rewritten first by a leftist folklorist, Lawrence Gellert, and then by Josh and his musical director, Leonard DePaur. Most were fairly standard work songs, pieces like "Nine Foot Shovel," arranged in the rather formal manner of the Negro college spiritual groups, but there was also "Trouble," a song more explicit in its treatment of racial issues than anything on record:

Well, I always been in trouble, ‘cause I’m a black-skinned man.
Said I hit a white man, [and they] locked me in the can
They took me to the stockade, wouldn’t give me no trial
The judge said, "You black boy, forty years on the hard rock pile."

Trouble, trouble, sure won’t make me stay,
Trouble, trouble, jail break due someday.

Wearin’ cold iron shackles from my head down to my knee
And that mean old keeper, he’s all time kickin’ me.
I went up to the walker and the head boss too
Said, "You big white folks, please see what you can do."
Sheriff winked at the policeman, said, "I won’t forget you nohow,
You better come back and see me again, boy, about 40 years from now."
Went back to the walker, he looked at me and said,
"Don’t you worry about 40, ‘cause in five years you’ll be dead."

Trouble, trouble, makes me weep and moan
Trouble, trouble, every since I was born.
Trouble, trouble, sure won’t make me stay,
Trouble, trouble, jail break due someday.

Chain Gang was produced for Columbia records in 1940, under the sponsorship of John Hammond, and within the next year Josh would become ubiquitous in the leftist folk music world. He was singing on Alan Lomax’s CBS radio programs, and acting as accompanist and sometimes vocalist for the Almanac Singers, the loose-knit group of agit-prop folkies centered around Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Fred Hellerman, and often Woody Guthrie. It was with the Almanacs that he first recorded for Keynote Records, an outgrowth of New Masses magazine, and in 1941 the label released his most influential album of the period, Southern Exposure: An Album of Jim Crow Blues. This time, the songs were all original compositions, collaborations between Josh and the Harlem Renaissance poet Waring Cuney. It was the first full-fledged Civil Rights record album, and there would never be another with so much popularity or impact. The title song gives an idea; written to the tune of "Careless Love," it was the lament of a Southern sharecropper:

Well, I work all the week in the blazin’ sun, (3x)
Can’t buy my shoes, Lord, when my payday comes.

I ain’t treated no better than a mountian goat, (3x)
Boss takes my crop and the poll takes my vote.

The rest of the material, most of it in a straightforward 12-bar blues framework, included "Jim Crow Train," Bad Housing Blues," and "Defense Factory Blues." The latter was typical, a hard-hitting attack on wartime factory segregation with lines like, "I’ll tell you one thing, that bossman ain’t my friend/ If he was, he’d give me some democracy to defend." Harlem’s main newspaper, the Amsterdam News, devoted two articles to the album’s release, rating it as a work that "no record library should be without" and emphasizing the painful familiarity of the subject matter: "All of you know the guy who ëwent to the defense factory trying to find some work to do . . .’; and over there on 133d St. and Park Ave., and down in Mississippi and out in Minnesota, we all have a brother or a sister or a cousin who can wail: ëwoke up this mornin’ rain water in my bed. . . . There ain’t no reason I should live this way. . . I’ve lost my job, can’t even get on the WPA.’"

Despite this favorable press, Josh’s work did not have much impact on African American listeners. The only one of his records to be advertised in the Amsterdam News was the sexy "Jelly Jelly," and, by the 1940s, even sexy songs by solo acoustic guitarist/singers were selling only marginally. Blues had become a band form, the Chicago sound of Walter Davis, Big Maceo, and Sonny Boy Williamson, the Kansas City shouts of Jimmy Rushing and Joe Turner, or the smooth combo style of Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker. By the middle of the decade, most of Josh’s peers from the "race records" days had been forced to give up music and turn to day jobs, or were eking out an ever more precarious living on street corners. It was Josh’s good fortune to turn the trick that B.B. King would turn some thirty years later, replacing his black popular audience with a new fan base by becoming an "ambassador of the blues" to white listeners.

Southern Exposure was also reviewed in the mainstream media, even getting a full story in the New York Times, which had paid virtually no attention to blues until that time. This coverage all concentrated on the political content of his music, the Times writer noting that "the burden of these songs is the bitter lot of the Negro seeking his meed of equality." For Josh, the album’s most significant song would be "Uncle Sam Says," a blues he and Cuney wrote about segregation in the armed forces. Josh had gone to visit his brother in basic training, only to be shocked by the unequal treatment of black and white recruits. He talked the experience over with Cuney, and they produced a cutting 12-bar critique:

Airplanes flying 'cross the land and sea,
Everybody flying but a Negro like me.
Uncle Sam says, "Your place is on the ground,
When I fly my airplanes, don’t want no Negro 'round."

The same thing for the Navy, when ships go to sea,
All they got is a mess boy’s job for me.
Uncle Sam says, "Keep on your apron, son,
You know I ain’t gonna let you shoot my big Navy gun."

Got my long government letter, my time to go,
When I got to the Army found the same old Jim Crow.
Uncle Sam says, "Two camps for black and white,"
But when trouble starts, we’ll all be in that same big fight.

If you ask me, I think democracy is fine,
I mean democracy without the color line.
Uncle Sam says, "We’ll live the American way,"
Let’s get together and kill Jim Crow today.

This song and "Defense Factory Blues" were particularly controversial. With America’s entry into World War II, even a lot of people who opposed segregation felt that the issue should take a back seat to a united war effort. Among these was the president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but he was trying to make some careful steps in the right direction, if only to appease his African American supporters. When someone sent him a copy of Southern Exposure, he became interested in meeting this voice of black protest and invited Josh to the White House. "He said he wanted to see what I looked like singing the song to him," Josh later recalled. "Because he knew I was talking about him when I was singing about Uncle Sam. . . . People said I should say I had laryngitis, because I shouldn’t sing this to the president, but I figured if he wanted me to come down and sing the song, I was gonna go down and do it."

Josh gave a concert for the Roosevelts, then had a quiet chat with the President. He brought up problems like the "walking tax" that blacks in his home town of Greenville, South Carolina, had to pay simply to use streets, and Roosevelt expressed sympathy and interest. In the following years, Josh would perform for FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt many times, and became known in some circles as "The Presidential Minstrel." Despite his strong stance on military segregation, he also played at hundreds of benefit shows to raise money for the war effort, singing songs like "Little Man on a Fence," "Minute Man," and "Blues in Berlin." Many of these were not blues; "Minute Man" was a pop number backed by the Mary Lou Williams Trio, and "Blues in Berlin" was a rewrite of Harold Arlen’s "Blues in the Night."

The war years were a curious period in American politics, because for a moment the Soviet Union was an ally and Communists were enthusiastic boosters of the war effort. Some of Josh’s songs explicitly reflected this united front spirit: "Little Man" is a sarcastic picture of the non-interventionist Americans who urged that the country remain neutral while "the Soviet Union went rolling along." It would be wrong, though, to suggest that Josh at this time was simply parroting a Moscow "Party line." The Communist Party had joined the liberals in arguing that racial agitation should be put off until the war was won, but Josh always mixed his win-the-war numbers with songs critical of racial disparities both at home and on the battlefields. There was, for example, the blues he wrote about Dorie Miller, a black naval messman who took over an anti-aircraft gun during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and was subsequently decorated for bravery. Josh never recorded the song, but it was quoted in a long article in Opportunity magazine. It started out saying that "Japan came messin’ around, where she didn’t have no right," then told of Miller’s heroism: "They found Dorie Miller, behind that great big Navy gun/ He made them wish they’d stayed in the land of the risin’ sun." However, even after awarding Miller with a medal, the navy still would not let him serve in a combat post:

[Sent him] back to the messroom with the Navy Cross he’d won,
They should have placed him right back behind that big navy gun.

Now if we want to win this war and sink those U-boats in the tide,
We’ve got to have black and white sailors fighting side by side.

Josh also acted in a BBC radio play about black soldiers, The Man Who Went to War, written by Langston Hughes, and one of his most popular songs of this period was a war-and-integration number from Hughes’ pen, "Freedom Road." This was not a strict blues, but both Hughes and Josh worked to make it fit his style:

Hand me my gun, let the bugle blow loud
I’m on my way with my head up proud
One objective I’ve got in view
Is to keep ahold of freedom for me and you

That’s why I’m marching, yes, I’m marching
Marching down Freedom’s Road
Ain’t nobody gonna stop me, nobody gonna keep me
From marching down Freedom’s Road

It ought to be plain as the nose on your face
There’s room in this land for every race
Some folks think that freedom just ain’t right
Those are the very people I want to fight . . .

United we stand, divided we fall
Let’s make this land safe for one and all
I’ve got a message and you know it’s right
Black and white together, unite and fight!

By the mid 1940s, Josh’s repertoire had expanded to include everything from medieval English ballads to contemporary pop tunes. He had a national hit in 1944 with "One Meat Ball," and that lead to featured spots in movies and on Broadway. While reviews and interviews still called him a blues singer, and highlighted his childhood roaming the South, he was also getting known for songs like "Strange Fruit" and "The House I Live In," the latter a patriotic wish for a racially unified country that went on to be a hit for Frank Sinatra. Both of these songs had lyrics by Lewis Allen (the pen name of Abel Meeropol, who would go on to adopt the sons of the executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg), and Josh also was getting material from popular songwriters such as Gene Raskin, who would go on to write "Those Were the Days." Raskin provided him with a tenants’ organizing song, "Landlord," that had a tongue-twisting lyric about the depredations of urban slumlords.

Josh was by now considered an adept performer in pretty much any popular or folk genre, so little effort was made to write specifically blues numbers for him. Still, blues was his main strength, and a favorite song of this period was "Free and Equal Blues," with music by Earl Robinson and lyrics by Yip Harburg (lyricist of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," "It’s Only a Paper Moon," and "April in Paris," among hundreds of other songs). Originally recorded by Robinson with Dooley Wilson, the piano playing "Sam" in Casablanca, the song became one of Josh’s big crowd-pleasers. It was perfectly suited to his style, being a take-off of another song he had been instrumental in popularizing with the folk and cabaret crowd, "St. James Infirmary."

I went down to that St. James Infirmary, and I saw some plasma there,
I ups and asks the doctor man, "Say was the donor dark or fair?"
The doctor laughed a great big laugh, and he puffed it right in my face,
He said, "A molecule is a molecule, son, and the damn thing has no race."

And that was news, yes that was news,
That was very, very, very special news.
'Cause ever since that day we’ve had those free and equal blues.

"You mean you heard that doc declare
That the plasma in that test tube there could be
White man, black man, yellow man, red?"
"That’s just what that doctor said."
The doc put down his doctor book and gave me a very scientific look
And he spoke out plain and clear and rational,
He said, "Metabolism is international."

Then the doc rigged up his microscope with some Berlin blue blood,
And, by gosh, it was the same as Chun King, Quebechef, Chattanooga, Timbuktoo blood
Why, those men who think they’re noble
Don’t even know that the corpuscle is global
Trying to disunite us with their racial supremacy,
And flying in the face of old man chemistry,
Taking all the facts and trying to twist ëem,
But you can’t overthrow the circulatory system.

So I stayed at that St. James Infirmary.
(I couldn’t leave that place, it was too interesting)
But I said to the doctor, "Give me some more of that scientific talk talk," and he did:
He said, "Melt yourself down into a crucible
Pour yourself out into a test tube and what have you got?
Thirty-five hundred cubic feet of gas,
The same for the upper and lower class."
Well, I let that pass . . .
"Carbon, 22 pounds, 10 ounces"
"You mean that goes for princes, dukeses and countses?"
"Whatever you are, that’s what the amounts is:
Carbon, 22 pounds, 10 ounces; iron, 57 grains."
Not enough to keep a man in chains.
"50 ounces of phosophorus, that’s whether you’re poor or prosperous."
"Say buddy, can you spare a match?"
"Sugar, 60 ordinary lumps, free and equal rations for all nations.
Then you take 20 teaspoons of sodium chloride (that’s salt), and you add 38 quarts of H2O (that’s water), mix two ounces of lime, a pinch of chloride of potash, a drop of magnesium, a bit of sulfur, and a soupÁon of hydrochloric acid, and you stir it all up, and what are you?"
"You’re a walking drugstore."
"It’s an international, metabolistic cartel."

And that was news, yes that was news,
So listen, you African and Indian and Mexican, Mongolian, Tyrolean and Tartar,
The doctor’s right behind the Atlantic Charter.
The doc’s behind the new brotherhood of man,
As prescribed at San Francisco and Yalta, Dumbarton Oaks, and at Potsdam:
Every man, everywhere is the same, when he’s got his skin off.
And that’s news, yes that’s news,
That’s the free and equal blues!

Considering his popularity, and the uniqueness of his material, it seems surprising that Josh is not featured more prominently in histories of blues, folk, and popular music, but the political impact of his work would turn out to be a double-edged sword. In 1947, the Cold War and the Red Scare began in earnest, and Josh found himself in a quandary. Though he had clearly been in the "progressive" camp, his politics were not particularly sophisticated: he was opposed to segregation and racism, and supported anyone who joined him in that fight, but he was not an economic analyst or a student of geopolitics. Like many people, he was caught completely off guard by the virulance of the anti-Communist witch hunt, especially since one of the first targets was his home base: Cafe Society, the nightclub where he had headlined for years and had his greatest success, was hounded out of business in the first days of the scare because of its owner’s left-wing connections. Josh, with five children to support and no savings to fall back on, tried to duck and cover. While continuing to sing his topical songs, and to appear at New Deal events with Eleanor Roosevelt, he asked for his name to be removed from the People’s Songs listing, and requested help from right-wing columnists to make sure that his future benefit appearances would not be labeled as "subversive."

Then, in 1950, while on his first tour of Europe, Josh found that he had been named in Red Channels, "The Bible of the Blacklist." In 1949, he had broken into acting, appearing as one of a group of gold miners in a Randolph Scott western, The Walking Hills, as well as starring in a Broadway Play, How Long Till Summer. Now, just as things were taking off for him, his whole career threatened to evaporate in the political ferment. His reaction was understandable, but profoundly unfortunate. Attempting to walk a middle line, he refused to "name names" of fellow leftists, but appeared voluntarily before HUAC, the congressional committee investigating "subversives," to say that he had been misled by the Communists and to repudiate a purported statement by Paul Robeson that African Americans would not fight in a war between the US and the USSR. Since this was still the early days of the blacklist, his appearance clearly played into the hands of the red-hunters, and earned him the undying resentment of his old friends and younger folksingers on the left. Meanwhile, he maintained his strong stance on Civil Rights issues, ensuring that he would have few boosters in the conservative camp.

The early 1950s were bleak years for Josh. Work in the United States essentially disappeared, and he supported himself and his family with frequent tours of England and the European continent. Towards the end of the decade, though, his fortunes improved once again with the arrival of the second folk boom. Harry Belafonte and the Kingston Trio, the two most popular acts on the scene, had both been strongly and directly influenced by him, and by 1963 he was appearing on the Hootenanny TV show and a Billboard magazine poll of college students rated him America’s third most popular male folksinger, after Belafonte and Seeger, but ahead of Bob Dylan. That year, he also performed at Martin Luther King’s "March on Washington" (which had been organized by his erstwhile sideman Bayard Rustin), and he continued to regularly sing for movement fund raisers. In general, though, he was now avoiding politics. Once burned, twice careful, he was not willing to risk his resurgent popularity, which was mostly among the more mainstream and apolitical folk fans. He still sang "Strange Fruit" and "Freedom Road," and was considered a voice of black pride, but few people thought of him as an active protest singer. Indeed, now more than ever, he was often presented as a bluesman. His two final albums, both recorded for Mercury records in 1963, teamed him with a blues rhythm section and the Mississippi/Chicago harmonica master Aleck "Sonny Boy Williamson" Miller, with a song selection that harked back to his "race records" days.

Josh died in 1969, and his popularity outlasted him for only a few more years. The folk revival was ending, and the new generations of blues fans had no interest in his smooth, cabaret stylings. Like Charles Brown and the other sophisticated blues balladeers, he was dismissed as "too slick" by an audience whose model was Robert Johnson or Muddy Waters. His impeccable guitar work, with its unmatched vibrato and clear, singing tone, had influenced generations of revival players, from Pete Seeger to Dave Van Ronk to Don McLean, but it lacked the Delta drive that had become synonymous with blues for many listeners. Meanwhile, the folk mainstream had less and less place for African American artists.

Today, most of Josh’s early recordings have been reissued, and he is beginning to have a small resurgence of interest, but his legacy remains very much in doubt. Were there any justice, he should be seen as the clear predecessor and musical ancestor of contemporary singers like Keb’ Mo’ and Guy Davis, who pay lip service to Robert Johnson, but are much closer to his model as adept and entertaining popularizers of blues and blues-based music for a folk audience. Like them, he tried to keep the roots and power of his work intact, while broadening its appeal. Though his roots reached back to the richest period of acoustic blues, and older black fans remember him alongside Blind Boy Fuller and Buddy Moss, he took blues around the world, introduced it to Broadway, Hollywood, and hundreds of concert and nightclub stages, and made it the voice of a Civil Rights movement that often rejected his contemporaries’ work as "backward" and demeaning. He did more than any artist until B.B. King to make the blues singer a recognized cultural icon, and his rediscovery as a seminal musical giant and a unique American voice is long overdue.

Interview with an Ex-Vampire

Parts 1-9:

At The Drive-In NTSC DVD's

At The Drive-In

O'Kayz Corral
Madison, WI, USA


August 28, 1999
Che Cafe
San Diego, CA, USA

Source: mid gen vhs, maybe 4th

Lineage: vhs > Panasonic AG-1980P > Canopus ADVC300 > Firewire > DV/PC > dvdr

NTSC DVD, main menu w/correct chapters
Video: MPEG-2 8000Kb/s CBR
Audio: Dolby 448Kb/s


Merry Christmas all! For those of you who didn't go to Zomb for this one, here is the show that Voltarized originally uploaded here on Dime. Although the video is better than the screenshots indicate, it still has that VHS orange colourshift in places due to the lighting. However, still well worth a download.

I might not seed this all in one go, so DO NOT PANIC, you'll get it all eventually...

At The Drive-in

This was transferred to dvd & sent to me by Randy Bayers to seed transferred from a first gen VHS received in a trade from Austria authored by me (Voltarized - previously seeded on Dime). (uploaded on Zomb by ToOL - GSpot info added to text file by jamroom)

TV Broadcast - Viva2 Overdrive (SBD audio) > VHS(1) > panasonic standalone burner > DVD decrypter > TSUNAMI dvd author

Video: MPEG2 NTSC (4:3), 720x480, 29 fps, 4.5 Mbps
Audio: AC3, 2ch, 48kHz, 256kbps

01 Arc Arsenal
02 Pattern Against User
03 Sleepwalk Capsules
04 Quarantined
05 Rascuache
06 Cosmonaut
07 Pickpocket
08 198d
09 Rolodex Propaganda
10 One Armed Scissor
11 Napoleon Solo
12 Catacombs

56 minutes

Cedric Bixler-Zavala – lead vocals
Jim Ward – guitar, keyboards
Omar Rodríguez-López – guitar
Paul Hinojos – bass guitar
Tony Hajjar – drums, percussion

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bill Evans Trio - 1977 - Eastman Theatre, Rochester, NY (FM)

A big thanks to Our Man in Sound, Prof. Goody, for once again lending his golden ears to make the music sound better.

This recording shows its age. Samples provided below.

Bill Evans Trio
Eastman Theatre
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
Autumn 1977

Bill Evans, piano
Chuck Israels, bass
Eliot Zigmund, drums

Source: FM Radio broadcast > ? > CD-R trade > EAC (WAV) > Cool Edit Pro (See details below) > TLH (FLAC - Level 8)

Goody's notes:
Track 04 edited to remove redundant duplication of 2 beats of music.
Pitch was approximately 1 semitone flat throughout.
R Channel Amplified by 155%
Other small edits and fades applied for a smoother listening experience...

Notes from Bill Evans biography (How My Heart Sings, by Peter Pettinger):

"Eddie Gomez had made his last recording with Evans, but he continued to play in the trio for a few more months. In autumn 1977 a date at the Eastman School of Music at Rochester, New York, was scheduled. But (Eddie) Gomez had a recording session fixed in California and was unable to play. Evans asked his former bassist Chuck Israels to fill in and, confident that the problem was solved, discussed repertoire with him on the flight from New York City. Although it had been more than ten years since they had played together in a trio, it was easy to plan a program of items largely familiar to Israels. 'Summertime' was revived, with its catchy bass riff intact from How My Heart Sings, as was Bernstein's 'Some Other Time.' Evans began the vening by telling the campus audience at the Eastman Theatre that the program would be unannounced, but then got into the swing of introducing each tune, taking care to credit each one with its composer. In a route that would have confounded those critics who complained that he never spoke, he chattily introduced 'Some Other Time' as 'one of the three best songs which they left out of the movie' of On The Town. From the beginning he had been eager to praise Israels for his 'true improvisation' in stepping in. In a number of fine solos, the bass player's grainy sound was unmistakable, as were his song lines. This was one of Eliot Zigmund's last appearances with the trio, and all of a suddent the pianist was without a group."

01. - 0:47
02. Emily (Evans) - 6:56
03. Time Remembered (Evans) - 6:12
04. Summertime (Gershwin/Heyward) - 6:51
05. In Your Own Sweet Way (Brubeck) - 8:24
06. I Loves You Porgy (Gershwin/Heyward/Gershwin) - 6:14
07. Up With The Lark (Kern/Robin) - 6:38
08. Some Other Time (Bernstein/Comden/Green) - 5:40
09. My Romance (Rodgers/Hart) - 10:16

Total time = 58:01

Note: A video of this performance exists, though I do not know if it's in circulation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Enter the Void - 2009 - Gaspar Noe

The 3rd film from shocker Gaspar Noe, he has been working on this one for a long while. The alternate French title of the film reads "Soudain Le Vide." Ultimately it's about a drugdealer in Tokyo who has to take care of his baby sister who happens to be a stripper. Not only is it not ready yet, it will be premiering in Cannes a week from tomorrow. Noe and crew will be finishing the film only 24 hours before the official premiere on the 22nd. While that is absolutely unbelievable, it still proves the man has heart. Although the only negative aspect would be possibly no US distribution until 2010. He's got 50 artists working as we speak on the final outcome of the post-production stint. He's got the hottest + dopest actress in New York working as the second main lead: 24 year old Paz de la Huerta.
He's got the newest motherfucker to hit "Hollywood" on main lead:
20 year old Nathan Brown.

It has also been stated that before shooting, a Gaspar affiliated French production company bought the rights to 10 minutes of unreal visuals by the visual artist Glennwiz:

Taken from a quote by Gaspar himself that he made right after shooting the film in Tokyo (where most of the film was shot on location) - "The reason for choosing the most modern areas of Tokyo as a setting is to further emphasize the fragility of the brother and sister by propelling them like two small balls in a giant pinball machine made up of black, white and fluorescent colours.
My previous two films, which were far less ambitious, were once described by a critic as being like roller coasters playing with the most reptilian desires and fears of the spectator. enter the void, whose themes and artistic choices will be far more varied and colourful, should, if I succeed..." -Gaspar Noe
Noe has also compared the making of this film to throwing 'a big big party' and that his 4th film after Void will be the 'calm Sunday' after the party. A happy porno!!!

10 second Teaser, more to come soon.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13, 2009: Album of the Day Vol. 43: Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information Volume 3

Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Inspiration Information Volume 3
(CD) Strut Records, 2009-04-14

01. Masengo
02. Cha Cha
03. Addis Black Widow
04. Mulatu
05. Blue Nile
06. Esketa Dance
07. Chik Chikka
08. Live From Tigre Lounge
09. Chinese New Year
10. Phantom Of The Panther
11. Dewel
12. Fire In The Zoo
13. An Epic Story
14. Anglo Ethio Suite

Stones Throw Records:

The Heliocentrics – the London-based collective centered around drummer Malcolm Catto, bassist Jake Ferguson and producer Mike Burnham – first performed with legendary Ethiopian Jazz composer/arranger/pianist/vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke in early 2008. The pairing went so well – Astatke celebrated the band as the Heliocentrics performed the classic songs Astatke recorded for the Ethiopian Amha label in the late 60s and early 70s – that a collaborative recording session became a must. Thus began the landmark sessions in the Heliocentrics’ cavernous studio that resulted in Mulatu Astatke and The Heliocentrics: Inspiration Information 3.

Though the ensemble run though some of Mulatu’s classic recordings, the bulk of this album is newly recorded psychedelic jazz with a funk and rock edge. Astatke’s presence clearly challenged the band to write and record an album worthy of the legend. From melancholic modal musings to thunderous funk, Mulatu Astatke and The Heliocentrics: Inspiration Information 3 follows in the lines of the landmark, impossible-to-categorize albums that Astatke and the Heliocentrics have offered to the world.

AstroNation Torrent Blog .83

John Coltrane - Newport Jazz Festival

1) My Favorite Things 21:29
2) Welcome 11:06
3) Leo 22:55

John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders: sax
Alice Coltrane: piano
Jimmy Garrison: bass
Rashied Ali: drums


Turner Hall Ballroom; Milwaukee, WI, US

Taped, Transferred, Tracked, and Edited By: Matt Krueger

Source: Church Audio CA-11 > Church Audio STC-9000 > 1/8th inch stereo analog cable via line in jack > Edirol R-09 > SanDisk 2 GB SD Memory Card @ 16 bit/44.1kHz

Transfer: Edirol R-09 > USB Cable > WAV > CD Wave 1.94.5 > FLAC Level 8 (Trader's Little Helper 2.4.1)

The fade in on track 1 and the fade out on track 15 were done in Cool Edit Pro 2.0.

01 - The Precipice
02 - Hunted by a Freak
03 - You Don't Know Jesus
04 - I Know You Are but What Am I?
05 - I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School
06 - Ithica 27 ø 9
07 - Summer
08 - I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead
09 - Friend of the Night
10 - Auto Rock
11 - 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
12 - Batcat
13 - (crowd noise)
14 - Helicon 1
15 - We're No Here

Do not sell this recording.


Altes Heizkraftwerk
Wolfsburg, Germany
Movimentos Festival

Recorded by: Zs.F.
Positon: 15 meters from the stage in the middle.

Core Sound Binaural mics
-> Battery Box (flat response - no filter)
-> Roland Edirol R-09 (24 bit, 48kHz, Mic in, rec. level 12)
-> 8GB Kingston(SD4) SD card

8GB Kingston(SD4) SD card
-> HD (WAV: 24 bit, 48kHz)
-> Sonic Foundry Sound Forge v5.0 (volume boost, reducing heavy low freq. bass, fade in/out)
-> HeadAC3he v0.23a (WAV conversion to 16 bit, 44.1 kHz)
-> CDWave 1.97 (tracksplit, conversion to FLAC level 5)

Shared by Zs.F. @ DIME (May 2009)

01. Beginning
02. Intro
03. Die Mensch Maschine
04. Expo 2000
05. Heimcomputer
06. Tour De France 2003
07. Tour De France
08. Autobahn
09. Computerliebe
10. Das Model
11. Neonlicht
12. Schaufensterpuppen
13. Trans Europa Express

Encore 1 (with robots on the stage)
14. Die Roboter

Encore 2 (wireframe suits, 3D projection)
15. Nummern
16. Computerwelt
17. Radioaktivität
18. Vitamin
19. Aerodynamik
20. Music Non Stop

Total length: 111:25

Photos of the Wolfsburg shows:


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy Biography

Despite years of research, the details of William Lee Conley Broonzy's birth remain problematic. He may have been born on 26 June 1893 - the date of birth he often gave - or according to Bill's twin sister Laney, it may have been in 1898. Laney claimed to have documents to prove that. However recent research using the 1930 census suggests that he was actually born in 1901 (see below). The place of his birth was probably Scott, Mississippi, but .......

Bill's father Frank Broonzy and his mother, Mittie Belcher had both been born into slavery and Bill was one of seventeen children. His first instrument was a violin which he learned to play with some tuition from his uncle, his mother's brother, Jerry Belcher.

The family moved from Mississippi to Pine Bluff, Arkansas where young Bill worked as a violinist in local churches at the same time as working as a farm hand. He also worked as a country fiddler and local parties and picnics around Scott Mississippi. Between 1912 and 1917, Bill worked as an itinerant preacher in and around Pine Bluff. From 1918 to 1919 Broonzy served in the US army.

Later, returning to Arkansas, he worked in clubs around Little Rock. In about 1924, Big Bill moved to Chicago Illinois, where as a fiddle player he played occasional gigs with Papa Charlie Jackson. During this time he learned to play guitar and subsequently accompanied many blues singers, both in live performance and on record. Bill made his first recordings in 1927 and the 1930 census records him as living in Chicago and (working as a labourer in a foundry) and his name was recorded as 'Willie Lee Broonsey' aged 28. He was living with his wife Annie (25) and his son Ellis (6).

Big Bill became an accomplished performer in his own right, and, on 23 December, 1938, was one of the principal solo performers in the first "From Spirituals to Swing" concert held at the Carnegie Hall in New York City. In the programme for that performance, Broonzy was identified in the programme only as "Big Bill" (he did not become known as Big Bill Broonzy until much later in his career) and as Willie Broonzy. He was described as:

"...the best-selling blues singer on Vocalion's 'race' records, which is the musical trade designation for American Negro music that is so good that only the Negro people can be expected to buy it."

The programme recorded that the Carnegie Hall concert "will be his first appearance before a white audience".

Big Bill was a stand-in for Robert Johnson, who had been murdered in Mississippi in August that year. Hammond heard about Johnson's death just a week before the concert was due to take place. According to John Sebastian (1939) Big Bill bought a new pair of shoes and travelled to New York by bus for the concert. Where he travelled from is, however, left dangling. The inference of the text is that it was from Arkansas, but by by late 1938 Bill was established as a session man and as a solo performer in Chicago and within weeks of the 1938 concert Bill was recording with small groups in a studio in the windy city.

In the 1938 programme, Big Bill performed (accompanied by boogie pianist Albert Ammons) "It Was Just a Dream" which had the audience rocking with laughter at the lines,

"Dreamed I was in the White House, sittin' in the president's chair.
I dreamed he's shaking my hand, said "Bill, I'm glad you're here".
But that was just a dream. What a dream I had on my mind.
And when I woke up, not a chair could I find"

According to Harry "Sweets" Edison, a Trumpeter with the Count Basie Orchestra, also in the concert, Big Bill was so overwhelmed by the audience response that he failed to move back stage as the curtain came down and got caught in front of it. Later, according to Edison) perhaps not realising he had to do a number in the second half of the concert,he was found to have left the Carnegie Hall and caught a bus home.

Regardless of the truth of that story, when a second concert was organised in 1939, on Christmas Eve, Bill was there again. This time, again with Albert Ammons, he performed two numbers: Done Got Wise, and Louise, Louise

The guitar on the left is a Martin model 00028, a beautiful instrument. Bill played one of these from the 1950s to his death on 15th August 1958.

Max Roach

All About Jazz Biography

Born: January 10, 1925

Maxwell Lemuel Roach (born January 10, 1924) is a percussionist, drummer, and jazz composer. He has worked with many of the greatest jazz musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins. He is widely considered to be one of the most important drummers in the history of jazz.

Roach was born in Newland, North Carolina, to Alphonse and Cressie Roach; his family moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was 4 years old. He grew up in a musical context, his mother being a gospel singer, and he started to play bugle in parade orchestras at a young age. At the age of 10, he was already playing drums in some gospel bands. He performed his first big-time gig in New York City at the age of sixteen, substituting for Sonny Greer in a performance with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

In 1942, Roach started to go out in the jazz clubs of the 52nd Street and at 78th Street & Broadway for Georgie Jay's Taproom (playing with schoolmate Cecil Payne). He was one of the first drummers (along with Kenny Clarke) to play in the bebop style, and performed in bands led by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, and Miles Davis.

Roach played on many of Parker's most important records, including the Savoy 1945 session, a turning point in recorded jazz.

Two children, son Daryl and daughter Maxine, were born from his first marriage with Mildred Roach. In 1954 he met singer Barbara Jai (Johnson) and had another son, Raoul Jordu.

He continued to play as a freelance while studying composition at the Manhattan School of Music. He graduated in 1952.

During the period 1962-1970, Roach was married to the singer Abbey Lincoln, who had performed on several of Roach's albums. Twin daughters, Ayodele and Dara Rasheeda, were later born to Roach and his third wife, Janus Adams Roach.

Long involved in jazz education, in 1972 he joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

In the early 2000s, Roach became less active owing to the onset of hydrocephalus-related complications.

Renowned all throughout his performing life, Roach has won an extraordinary array of honors. He was one of the first to be given a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, cited as a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, twice awarded the French Grand Prix du Disque, elected to the International Percussive Society's Hall of Fame and the Downbeat Magazine Hall of Fame, awarded Harvard Jazz Master, celebrated by Aaron Davis Hall, given eight honorary doctorate degrees, including degrees awarded by the University of Bologna, Italy and Columbia University.

In 1952 Roach co-founded Debut Records with bassist Charles Mingus. This label released a record of a concert, billed and widely considered as “the greatest concert ever,” called Jazz at Massey Hall, featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Mingus and Roach. Also released on this label was the groundbreaking bass-and-drum free improvisation, Percussion Discussion.

In 1954, he formed a quintet featuring trumpeter Clifford Brown, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell (brother of Bud Powell), and bassist George Morrow, though Land left the following year and Sonny Rollins replaced him. The group was a prime example of the hard bop style also played by Art Blakey and Horace Silver. Tragically, this group was to be short-lived; Brown and Powell were killed in a car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in June 1956. After Brown and Powell's deaths, Roach continued leading a similarly configured group, with Kenny Dorham (and later the short-lived Booker Little) on trumpet, George Coleman on tenor and pianist Ray Bryant. Roach expanded the standard form of hard-bop using 3/4 waltz rhythms and modality in 1957 with his album Jazz in 3/4 time. During this period, Roach recorded a series of other albums for the EmArcy label featuring the brothers Stanley and Tommy Turrentine.

In 1960 he composed the “We Insist! - Freedom Now” suite with lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr., after being invited to contribute to commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Using his musical abilities to comment on the African-American experience would be a significant part of his career. Unfortunately, Roach suffered from being blacklisted by the American recording industry for a period in the 1960s. In 1966 with his album Drums Unlimited (which includes several tracks that are entirely drums solos) he proved that drums can be a solo instrument able to play theme, variations, rhythmically cohesive phrases. He described his approach to music as “the creation of organized sound.”

Among the many important records Roach has made is the classic Money Jungle 1962, with Mingus and Duke Ellington. This is generally regarded as one of the very finest trio albums ever made.

During the 70s, Roach formed a unique musical organization--”M'Boom”--a percussion orchestra. Each member of this unit composed for it and performed on many percussion instruments. Personnel included Fred King, Joe Chambers, Warren Smith, Freddie Waits, Roy Brooks, Omar Clay, Ray Mantilla, Francisco Mora, and Eli Fountain.

Not content to expand on the musical territory he had already become known for, Roach spent the decades of the 80s and 90s continually finding new ways to express his musical expression and presentation.

In the early 80s, he began presenting entire concerts solo, proving that this multi-percussion instrument, in the hands of such a great master, could fulfill the demands of solo performance and be entirely satisfying to an audience. He created memorable compositions in these solo concerts; a solo record was released by Bay State, a Japanese label, just about impossible to obtain. One of these solo concerts is available on video, which also includes a filming of a recording date for Chattahoochee Red, featuring his working quartet, Odean Pope, Cecil Bridgewater and Calvin Hill.

He embarked on a series of duet recordings. Departing from the style of presentation he was best known for, most of the music on these recordings is free improvisation, created with the avant-garde musicians Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Abdullah Ibrahim and Connie Crothers. He created duets with other performers: a recorded duet with the oration by Martin Luther King, “I Have a Dream”; a duet with video artist Kit Fitzgerald, who improvised video imagery while Roach spontaneously created the music; a classic duet with his life-long friend and associate Dizzy Gillespie; a duet concert recording with Mal Waldron.

He wrote music for theater, such as plays written by Sam Shepard, presented at La Mama E.T.C. in New York City.

He found new contexts for presentation, creating unique musical ensembles. One of these groups was “The Double Quartet.” It featured his regular performing quartet, with personnel as above, except Tyrone Brown replacing Hill; this quartet joined with “The Uptown String Quartet,” led by his daughter Maxine Roach, featuring Diane Monroe, Lesa Terry and Eileen Folson.

Another ensemble was the “So What Brass Quintet,” a group comprised of five brass instrumentalists and Roach, no chordal instrumnent, no bass player. Much of the performance consisted of drums and horn duets. The ensemble consisted of two trumpets, trombone, French horn and tuba. Musicians included Cecil Bridgewater, Frank Gordon, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, Delfeayo Marsalis, Robert Stewart, Tony Underwood, Marshall Sealy, and Mark Taylor.

Roach presented his music with orchestras and gospel choruses. He performed a concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He wrote for and performed with the Walter White gospel choir and the John Motley Singers. Roach performed with dancers: the Alvin Aily Dance Company, the Dianne McIntyre Dance Company, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

In the early 80s, Roach surprised his fans by performing in a hip hop concert, featuring the artist-rapper Fab Five Freddy and the New York Break Dancers. He expressed the insight that there was a strong kinship between the outpouring of expression of these young black artists and the art he had pursued all his life.

During all these years, while he ventured into new territory during a lifetime of innovation, he kept his contact with his musical point of origin. His last recording, “Friendship”, was with trumpet master Clark Terry, the two long-standing friends in duet and quartet.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Furry Lewis

Trail of the Hellhound: Furry Lewis

Born March 6, 1899, in Greenwood, Mississippi, Lewis acquired the nickname "Furry" from childhood playmates. At the age of seven he and his family moved to Memphis, where young Lewis took up the guitar under the tutelage of a man whose name he recalled as "Blind Joe." Blind Joe apparently was versed in nineteenth century song and taught his protégé "Casey Jones" and "John Henry," songs based around the exploits of heroic figures. Lewis would later record these two songs for the Victor and Vocalion labels respectively. By 1908, he was playing solo for parties, in taverns, and on the street. He also was invited to play several dates with W.C. Handy's Orchestra.

Lewis hoboed around the country until 1917, when he lost a leg in a railroad accident. He returned to Memphis, playing in association with Jim Jackson, Gus Cannon (who would form Cannon's Jug Stompers for recording dates), and Will Shade. Though primarily a solo performer, Lewis worked with this combination in a variety of clubs on Beale Street including the famous Pee Wee's (now the site of a Hard Rock Café) into the 1920s. The loss of a leg did not prevent him from touring during the early 1920s with the Dr. Willie Lewis Medicine Show, where he made the acquaintance of a young Memphis Minnie. His travels exposed him to a wide variety of performers including Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and Texas Alexander. Like his contemporary Frank Stokes, he tired of the road and took a permanent job in 1922. His position as a street sweeper for the City of Memphis, a job he would hold until his retirement in 1966, allowed him to remain active in the Memphis music scene.

In 1927, Lewis cut his first records in Chicago for the Vocalion label. A year later he recorded for the Victor label at the Memphis Auditorium in a session that saw sides waxed by the Memphis Jug Band, Jim Jackson, Frank Stokes, and others. He again recorded for Vocalion in Memphis in 1929. The recordings from these dates exhibit a nimble, clean, and versatile picking style that provides an excellent counterpoint to his complex verses. Several of his recordings (notably "Judge Harsh Blues" and "Cannonball Blues") display Lewis's bottleneck slide playing, a style in which he was proficient but not a master. His vocal range was limited but he compensated by composing humorous verses that were by turns bawdy, sly, boasting, and pleading.

The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 brought Lewis's recording career to a halt. He continued to play Beale Street and became a frequent performer in W.C. Handy Park during the 1930s and 1940s. During the "Blues Revival" of the 1960s, Lewis was rediscovered by a younger generation of fans that appreciated his expressive lyrics, dexterous playing, and charismatic charm. He parlayed his delayed celebrity into a movie cameo (initially offered to Sleepy John Estes), a talk show appearance, and large hall shows with the rock and roll bands that were his musical progeny. Furry Lewis died in Memphis September 14, 1981.

Kool G Rap

All Music Guide Biography by Jason Birchmeier

As part of the golden-age MC-and-DJ tandem Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, the "Kool Genius of Rap" enjoyed a successful and, above all, influential run during the late '80s and early '90s before embarking on a fitful solo career. Born Nathaniel Wilson on July 20, 1968, in Queens, NY, Kool G Rap debuted in 1986 on Cold Chillin' Records with the It's a Demo/I'm Fly 12" single, produced by Marley Marl and billed to "DJ Polo & Kool G Rap" (the rapper's name would later come first, before the DJ's). A couple further singles followed — Rikers Island/Rhyme Thyme (1987), Poison (1988) — along with a Kool G Rap feature on Marley Marl's Juice Crew classic The Symphony (1988), before Kool G Rap & DJ Polo released their debut album, Road to the Riches (1989), on Cold Chillin'. Featuring each of their previously released singles, along with a couple new ones ("Road to the Riches," "Truly Yours"), Road to the Riches was a remarkable debut and proved highly influential. Two subsequent Kool G Rap & DJ Polo albums, Wanted: Dead or Alive (1990) and Live and Let Die (1991), proved similarly influential and, though they tend to be less celebrated than Road to the Riches, are widely considered classics of the genre and are arguably better albums than the duo's debut.

Kool G Rap embarked on a solo career at this point, releasing 4, 5, 6 (1995) on Cold Chillin'. He released his second solo album, Roots of Evil (1998), on Illstreet Records, for Cold Chillin' had ceased operations. The latter album was not well received, at least relative to Kool G Rap's albums on Cold Chillin', and the rapper took some time off to regroup. He returned in 2000 with a promising 12" EP for Rawkus, The Streets, and then another, My Life, in 2001. Rawkus planned to release a full-length album by Kool G Rap, The Giancana Story, in fall 2001; however, when the label was abruptly shuttered and sold to MCA Records, the album didn't get released until over a year later, in November 2002, on Koch Records. Following this unfortunate turn of events, Kool G Rap went the independent route, releasing a collaborative album, Click of Respect (2003), on Blaze the World Records. Few heard that album, which was the last release by Kool G Rap for several years. It wasn't the last heard of the rapper, though, as he popped up on guest features now and then, most memorably alongside Big Daddy Kane on both the Roots' "Boom!" (2004) and UGK's "Next Up" (2007).

Mance Lipscomb

Mance Lipscomb Biography

Mance Lipscomb (1895-1976), guitarist and songster, was born to Charles and Jane Lipscomb on April 9, 1895, in the Brazos bottoms near Navasota, Texas, where he lived most of his life as a tenant farmer. His father was an Alabama slave who acquired the surname Lipscomb when he was sold to a Texas family of that name. Lipscomb dropped his given name, Bowdie Glenn, and named himself Mance when a friend, an old man called Emancipation, passed away. Lipscomb and Elnora, his wife of sixty-three years, had one son, Mance Jr., three adopted children, and twenty-four grandchildren.

Lipscomb represented one of the last remnants of the nineteenth-century songster tradition, which predated the development of the blues. Though songsters might incorporate blues into their repertoires, as did Lipscomb, they performed a wide variety of material in diverse styles, much of it common to both black and white traditions in the South, including ballads, rags, dance pieces (breakdowns, waltzes, one and two steps, slow drags, reels, ballin' the jack, the buzzard lope, hop scop, buck and wing, heel and toe polka), and popular, sacred, and secular songs. Lipscomb himself insisted that he was a songster, not a guitarist or "blues singer," since he played "all kinds of music." His eclectic repertoire has been reported to have contained 350 pieces spanning two centuries. (He likewise took exception when he was labeled a "sharecropper" instead of a "farmer.")

Lipscomb was born into a musical family and began playing at an early age. His father was a fiddler, his uncle played the banjo, and his brothers were guitarists. His mother bought him a guitar when he was eleven, and he was soon accompanying his father, and later entertaining alone, at suppers and Saturday night dances. Although he had some contact with such early recording artists as fellow Texans Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Willie Johnsonqqv and early country star James Charles (Jimmie) Rodgers,qv he did not make recordings until his "discovery" by whites during the folk-song revival of the 1960s.

Between 1905 and 1956 he lived in an atmosphere of exploitation, farming as a tenant for a number of landlords in and around Grimes County, including the notorious Tom Moore, subject of a local topical ballad. He left Moore's employ abruptly and went into hiding after he struck a foreman for abusing his mother and wife. Lipscomb's own rendition of "Tom Moore's Farm" was taped at his first session in 1960 but released anonymously (Arhoolie LP 1017, Texas Blues, Volume 2), presumably to protect the singer. Between 1956 and 1958 Lipscomb lived in Houston, working for a lumber company during the day and playing at night in bars where he vied for audiences with Texas blues great Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins,qv whom Lipscomb had first met in Galveston in 1938. With compensation from an on-the-job accident, he returned to Navasota and was finally able to buy some land and build a house of his own. He was working as foreman of a highway-mowing crew in Grimes County when blues researchers Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records and Mack McCormick of Houston found and recorded him in 1960.

His encounter with Strachwitz and McCormick marked the beginning of over a decade of involvement in the folk-song revival, during which Lipscomb won wide acclaim and emulation from young white audiences and performers for his virtuosity as a guitarist and the breadth of his repertoire. Admirers enjoyed his lengthy reminiscences and eloquent observations regarding music and life, many of which are contained in taped and written materials in the Mance Lipscomb-Glenn Myers Collection in the archives and manuscripts section of the Barker Texas History Centerqv at the University of Texas at Austin. He made numerous recordings and appeared at such festivals as the Berkeley Folk Festival of 1961, where he played before a crowd of more than 40,000. In clubs Lipscomb often shared the bill with young revivalists or rock bands. He was also the subject of a film, A Well-Spent Life (1970), made by Les Blank. Despite his popularity, however, he remained poor. After 1974 declining health confined him to a nursing home and hospitals. He died in Grimes Memorial Hospital, Navasota, on January 30, 1976, and was buried at West Haven Cemetery.

Arhoolie Records (El Cerrito, California) has released seven albums of material by Lipscomb: Mance Lipscomb: Texas Songster and Sharecropper (Arhoolie 1001); Mance Lipscomb Volume 2 (Arhoolie 1023); Mance Lipscomb Volume 3: Texas Songster in a Live Performance (Arhoolie 1026); Mance Lipscomb Volumes 4, 5, and 6 (Arhoolie 1033, 1049, and 1069); and You'll Never Find Another Man Like Mance (Arhoolie 1077). Trouble in Mind was released by Reprise (R-2012). Individual pieces are included in other anthologies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Austin American-Statesman, February 1, 1976. Lipscomb-Myers Collection, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. Mance Lipscomb and A. Glenn Myers, I Say Me for a Parable: The Life and Music of Mance Lipscomb (Washington-on-the-Brazos: Possum Heard Diversions, 1981). Mance Lipscomb and A. Glenn Myers, Out of the Bottoms and into the Big City (Red Rock, Texas: Possum Heard Diversions, 1979). A. Glenn Myers, Mance and His Music: Mance Lipscomb Speaks for Himself (Washington-on-the-Brazos: Possum Heard Diversions, 1976). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

John Minton

"LIPSCOMB, MANCE." The Handbook of Texas Online.
[Accessed Mon Jul 31 16:42:17 2000 ].