Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What Is Jazz?

An illustrated talk by Leonard Bernstein about what jazz is and isn't.  Preaching to the converted on the whole - so can't quite see who this record was aimed at?  Some interesting snippets of jazz and blues by Duke Ellington, Turk Murphy. Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong etc. break up a rather dull lecture by todays standards.

Wikipedia says - " Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to The New York Times, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history."
His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world's leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, as well as CandideWonderful TownOn the Town and his own Mass.
Bernstein was also the first conductor to give numerous television lectures on classical music, starting in 1954 and continuing until his death. He was a skilled pianist, often conducting piano concertos from the keyboard.
As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and commercial success of West Side Story."

Leonard Bernstein  -  What Is Jazz?  Pt. 1

Leonard Bernstein  -  What Is Jazz?  Pt. 2

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Charlie Gillett - Malcom McLaren (re-up)

Another old Capital Rado show from the 80's. Malcolm Maclaren makes an entertaining guest and plays a variety of music from The Pink Floyd to Marie Lloyd.
Again, apologise for the ropey sound quality of these ancient cassette tapes that have deteriorated over the years.

Wikipedia says -

"McLaren was born to Pete McLaren, a Scottish engineer, and Emmy Isaacs in post-World War II North London. His father left when he was two and he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Rose Corre Isaacs, the formerly wealthy daughter of Portuguese Sephardic Jewish diamond dealers, in Stoke Newington. McLaren told Andrew Denton on Enough Rope, that his grandmother always said to him, "To be bad is good... to be good is simply boring". In The Ghosts of Oxford Street he says Charles Clore (who bought Selfridges) became his mother's lover. When he was six, McLaren's mother married Martin Levi, a man working in London's rag trade. When McLaren was in his forties, a Sunday newspaper found Pete McLaren in an English "greasy spoon garage".

McLaren's stepfather and mother owned a rag factory in London's East End called Eve Edwards London Limited. They lived well but Malcolm and his stepfather never got along. He left home in his teens. Following a series of jobs (including one as a wine taster), he went on to attend several art colleges through the 1960s, being expelled from several before leaving education entirely in 1971. It was during this time that he began to design clothing, a talent he would later use when he became a boutique owner.

He had been attracted to the Situationist movement, particularly King Mob, which promoted absurdist and provocative actions as a way of enacting social change. In 1968 McLaren had tried unsuccessfully to travel to Paris to take part in the demonstrations there. Instead, with Jamie Reid, he took part in a student occupation of Croydon Art School. McLaren would later adopt the movement's ideas into his promotion for the various pop and rock groups with whom he was soon to involve himself."

Charlie Gillett  -  Malcolm McLarten  Pt. 1

Charlie Gillett  -  Malcolm McLaren  Pt. 2

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Charlie Gillett - Manu Dibango

Another Foreign Affair show numbered "46"  here on the cassette from the 80's sometime. Charlie chats to Manu Bibango and plays some of his favourite records including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington. Fela Kuti and Franco and TP OK Jazz etc.

Wikipedia says  -  "Dibango was born in Douala, Cameroon. His father, Michel Manfred N'Djok√© Dibango was a civil servant. The son of a farmer, he met his wife travelling by pirogue to her residence, Douala. A literate woman, she was a fashion designer, running her own small business. Both her ethnicity, the Duala, and his, the Yabassi, viewed this union of different ethnic groups with some disdain. Emmanuel had no siblings, although he had a stepbrother from his father's previous marriage who was four years older than he was. In Cameroon, one's ethnicity is dictated by their fathers, though he wrote in his autobiography, Three Kilos of Coffee, that he has "never been able to identify completely with either of [his] parents."
Dibango's uncle was the leader of his extended family. Upon his death, Dibango's father refused to take over, as he never fully initiated his son into the Yabassi's customs. Throughout his childhood, Dibango slowly forgot the Yabassi language in favor of the Duala. However, his family did live in the Yabassi encampment on the Bassa plateau, close to the Wouri River in central Douala. While a child, Dibango attendedProtestant church every night for religious education, or nkouaida. He enjoyed studying music there, and reportedly was a fast learner.
In 1941, after being educated at his village school, Dibango was accepted into a colonial school, near his home, where he learned French. He admired the teacher, whom he described as "an extraordinary draftsman and painter." In 1944, French president Charles de Gaullechose this school to perform the welcoming ceremonies upon his arrival in Cameroon."

Charlie Gillett  -  Manu Dibango  Pt. 1

Charlie Gillett  -  Manu Dibango  Pt. 2

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Charlie Gillett - Mose Allison/ Merchant

Another "City Beats" radio show from 4th March 1986 where Charlie's guests are Mose Allison and Merchant talking about the blues and soca  respectively.

Wikipedia says of Mose Allison  -  "Allison was born in Tippo, Mississippi. He played piano in grammar school and trumpet in high school. He went to college at theUniversity of Mississippi for a while, then enlisted in the U.S. Army for two years. Shortly after mustering out, he enrolled at Louisiana State University, from which he was graduated in 1952 with a BA in English with a minor in Philosophy. In 1956 he moved to New York City and launched his jazz career performing with artists such as Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Phil Woods. His debut album, Back Country Suite, was issued on the Prestige label in 1957. He formed his own trio in 1958.
It was not until 1963 that his record label allowed him to release an album entirely of vocals. Entitled Mose Allison Sings, it was an inspired collection of songs that paid tribute to artists of the Mojo TriangleSonny Boy Williamson ("Eyesight to the Blind"), Jimmy Rogers ("That's All Right") and Willie Dixon ("The Seventh Son"). However, it was an original composition in the album that brought him the most attention, "Parchman Farm." For more than two decades, "Parchman Farm" was his most requested song. He dropped it from his playlist in the 1980s because some critics felt it was politically incorrect. Explained Allison to Nine-O-One Network Magazine: "I don't do the cotton sack songs much anymore. You go to the Mississippi Delta and there are no cotton sacks. It's all machines and chemicals."
His music has influenced many blues and rock artists, including Jimi HendrixThe Rolling StonesTom WaitsThe YardbirdsJohn Mayall,J. J. CaleThe Who (who made "Young Man Blues" a staple of their live performances and used it to open their original Live at Leeds album), and Georgie Fame, who described him, at a concert at the Rose Theatre Kingston on 24 May 2013 as "more important than Bob Dylan". Blue Cheer also recorded a version of his song "Parchman Farm" on their debut album, as well as the band Cactus, featuring Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert in the very early seventies. The Yardbirds and The Misunderstood both recorded versions of his song "I'm Not Talking"

A few words HERE about Merchant who sadly died a few years back from Aids related illness.

Charlie Gillett  -  Merchant

Charlie Gillett  -  Mose Allison

Charlie Gillett  -  Mose Allison Pt. 2

Monday, June 17, 2013

Bill Zorn & Jon Benns

A bit of an obscure LP this I picked up at the boot sale this week.  Made for the evn more obscure Sunrise label in 1984.  An American ,Bill Zorn, teamed up with a comedian Jon Benns to form Bill & Benns back in the 70's but they passed me by I must admit. The Lp though is a bit of a curates egg - some great tracks and some that are not so great!

Bill Zorn seems to have gone back to the states in the 90's and joined The Limelighters. This is from their website -

"Bill was born in May, 1948. In 1970, after studying music and drama at Arizona State University, Bill earned a place with The New Christy Minstrels where he performed, directed and toured from Viet Nam to the White House (twice) for four years. A contact of Bill's from hosting a TV talk show was a then unknown singer, Kenny Rogers. Rogers told Bill there was an opening upcoming in the New Christy Minstrels. Bill informs us, "I replaced a guy named Byron Walls, who wrote one of Glen Yarbrough's signature songs, "Grandma's Letter." This was maybe the fourth generation of the group by that time, and I stayed with them for four years as their musical director. My brother was also in the group, and it was a great experience for us."
Then he became a banjo-playing full member of The Kingston Trio for three years. Bill says, "It was three years of full throttled, non-stop fun - like a Mardi Gras that never ends. But it was also lots and lots of travel and after a time I had to admit to myself that I just couldn't keep up with the pace. Remember, I had just come off of four years of the same with the Christy's. Every fiber of me was exhausted. I finally had to say to myself it's stay in the group and die, so I decided to take up my brother on his offer come have a good rest at this place in England."
Bill's move to England in 1977 didn't stop him from performing, and while there he recorded a hit single with his brother called "Car '67." He has also had his share of television acting, voice-over work, and comedy, gained by teaming up with British comedian Jon Benns to form the successful duo "Bill and Benns" in England. In 1995, while still in England, Bill produced a Glenn Yarbrough album called Chantyman."

Tracks are as follows  -  1. Wake Up  2. Conversation Piece 3. Billboards 4. Prune Pit Jackson 5. Luang Prabang 6. Oh Lord, When I Die

Chappell AV Series - Voices

Library music LP found at car boot on Sunday for a quid.  Has apparently been used numerous times for mixes - Aphex Twin in particular used the track "Evil At Play".  Other intriguing tune titles are Wonderment Chord, Voices From The Other Side, Attack and Kill, Satanic Rites and Raw Nerves.

"Founded in 1810 as a music publisher and piano manufacturer. In 1941 Chappell & Co. formed the recording company Chappell Recorded Music, which focused on library music."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Slimey Creatures
2. Attack & Kill
3. Rejected Wife
4. Oh For The Wings Of A Dove
5. Darkness & Light
6. Carefree

Chappell  AV Series  -  Voices

Friday, June 14, 2013

Charlie Gillett - Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin from The Blasters

This tape sounds a little better despite it's age . Mid 80's I would guess. City Beats 32 is all it says on the cassette.  I was never very good at documenting anything which I much regret now ofcourse.  Dave and Phil chat about their latest record and play some stuff they like.

Wikipedia says  -  "The Blasters are a rock and roll band formed in 1979 in Downey, California, by brothers Phil Alvin (vocals and guitar) and Dave Alvin (guitar), withbass guitarist John Bazz and drummer Bill Bateman. Phil Alvin explained the origin of the band's name: "I thought Joe Turner’s backup band on Atlantic records – I had these 78s – I thought they were the Blues Blasters. That ends up it was Jimmy McCracklin. I just took the 'Blues' off and Joe finally told me, that’s Jimmy McCracklin’s name, but you tell ‘im I gave you permission to steal it."
Their self-described "American Music" was a blend of bluesrockabilly, early rock and rollpunk rockmountain music, and rhythm and blues. They have a devoted fan base and have received largely positive critical reviews, but have earned only limited mainstream success. Critic Mark Deming wrote of them, "the Blasters displayed a wide-ranging musical diversity [and] were a supremely tight and tasteful band with enough fire, smarts, and passion for two or three groups."

Charlie Gillett  -  The Blasters  Pt. 1

Charlie Gillett  -  The Blasters  Pt.2

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Charlie Gillett - The Jolly Boys

Another "City Beats" radio show from the 80's featuring a live set from The Jolly Boys, a Jamaican calypso/mento band.   Sorry for the poor quality but this tape is over 30 years old and seems to have deteriorated worse than others.

Wikipedia says  - " The Jolly Boys grew out of a group called the Navy Island Swamp Boys that formed on 11 April 1945, and often played at Errol Flynn’s parties. This group included Moses Deans on banjo and guitar, Noel Lynch on Guitar and “Papa” Brown on rumba box. After this group split in 1955, Deans and Brown formed The Jolly Boys (a name Errol Flynn is said to have coined) with Derrick “Johnny” Henry on maracas and drum, Martell Brown on guitar, and David “Sonny” Martin on guitar. One of the group’s regular substitutes in this period was percussionist Allan Swymmer, who joined the group as a full member in the 1960s. This group was very popular throughout Port Antonio and earned the reputation of being the finest mento band in the parish.

In the early 1960s, the Jolly Boys' reputation grew substantially. It performed at hotels and for private parties, often alongside a floorshow/dance troupe. (One of the troupes they typically performed with was led by Albert Minott, at that time an occasional Jolly Boys member and now its current lead singer.) In 1962, the group competed and was a finalist in a national mento band competition held at the Ward Theater in Kingston. The national renown that followed probably also led to international attention. For example, the group auditioned for Jean Farduli, the proprietor of the Blue Angel Supper Club in Chicago (a venue famous for showcasing West Indian music) in 1964. Although it is unclear whether the Jolly Boys passed Farduli's audition, they did travel to New Hampshire in 1966 for what was the first of several six-month engagements.

In the 1970s, the Jolly Boys continued to perform in Port Antonio, but also took work elsewhere in Jamaica, most notably at the Round Hill Hotel in Montego Bay. However, in 1969 Allan Swymmer moved to St. Ann’s Bay and formed a second, concurrent "Jolly Boys" group composed of musicians local to that area. This group mainly performed in the parish, but they recorded two albums (Roots of Reggae: Music From Jamaica [1977] and Jolly Boys at Club Caribbean [1979]) and several 45s. Although the St. Ann's-based Jolly Boys existed only during the 1970s, its seeming lack of relationship to the group led by Moses Deans created considerable confusion about whether the two groups were related. The two did co-exist, neither, it seems, to the detriment of the other.

Because several of the Jolly Boys' original members had died by the end of the 1970s, the group floundered for a short period. However, around 1980 Swymmer moved back to Port Antonio and, together with Deans, reformed the Jolly Boys with Joseph “Powda” Bennett on the rumba box. The group found quick work at all the major hotels and was in great demand locally. When singer-songwriter and producer Jules Shear saw the band during a visit to the Trident Hotel in 1989, he decided to produce an album of the group’s music. This was the first of four albums the group released between 1989 and 1997. (Many of these albums have been subsequently reissued.) These recordings led to several world tours, an appearance in the film The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington, and a level of international recognition few mento groups ever experience."

Monday, June 03, 2013

Rikki Henderson

The third and last  ( thank goodness I here you cry!)  Embassy single from recent boot sale finds.  Covers of songs that were big hits for Elvis and Gene Pitney.  Rikki has a fair attempt at them but what to want for 2/6d   or whatever they were!

Wikipedia says -

"The label's releases mostly consisted of double A-side singles that were cover versions of then-current or predicted UK Top 20 hits and it was not unusual for different artists or contrasting popstyles to appear on either side of a record. Between November 1954 and January 1965 Embassy released around 1,200 songs recorded by about 150 different artists and these releases were sold for half the price of a major label release of the era. Embassy's records were recorded at the Embassy Recording Studios in New Bond StreetMayfair, and manufactured by Oriole Records, who also licensed the material to many foreign outlets.
The tight Embassy recording schedule required four different songs to be recorded in one three-hour session. Included in this standard three-hour session was the initial studio set-up time, before any actual songs were recorded, and a mandatory musicians' coffee break. This meant that on average there was a little over 30 minutes allowed for the recording of an individual song, which in turn meant that the artists who did the actual singing had to be first-rate professional singers who could enter a studio and record a song in very few takes. Therefore, these artists tended to be very experienced big band or session singers who would also regularly broadcast live on BBC radio. Sometimes these musicians used their professional name when recording for Embassy but very often they used pseudonyms. The recording sessions usually took place on a Thursday, so that the cover version discs could be rushed out into the stores by the following Monday to compete with the real thing. As well as releasing covers of current hit singles, Embassy Records also produced EPs of trad jazzchildren’s songs, light classical music, and songs from musicals.
The Embassy imprint disappeared after the parent label, Oriole, was taken over by CBS (Columbia in the U.S.), by which time the concept of budget cover version releases of current hit songs had been imitated by other labels such as Cannon, Crossbow, Top Six, and Top Pops. CBS subsidiary Hallmark/Pickwick launched the Top of the Pops series of albums a few years after the demise of Embassy,[5] but unlike Embassy's releases, no artists were ever identified on the records. It is now quite well known that Elton John recorded for the Top of The Pops series."

Rikki Henderson  -  Kiss Me Quick

Rikki Henderson  -  24 Hours From Tulsa

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Bud Ashton/ Joan Baxter

Another Embassy record from 1963 on the cheapo Woolies label -

Wikipedia says - " Embassy Records was originally a UK budget record label that produced cover versions of current hit songs that were sold exclusively inWoolworths shops at a lower price than the original recordings.As such, Embassy can be seen as the UK equivalent of U.S. labels such as Hit and Bell Records. The label was the result of a contractual arrangement between Oriole Records and Woolworths, with Embassy's product being sold exclusively through the latter's stores from 1954 to 1965. The label disappeared after the parent company, Oriole, was taken over by CBS Records. Later, from 1970 through to 1980, CBS Records revived the Embassy imprint to release budget versions of albums in the UK and Europe by artists that were signed to its parent company, Columbia Records."

Sadly no info on either Bud Ashton or Joan Baxter on the net.  Probably just pseudonyms  I imagine.  If anybody knows different then please let us know.

Bud Ashton & His Group  -  Maria Elena

Joan Baxter  -  Secret Love

Ray Pilgrim/ Joan Baxter

Another Embassy covers record from today's boot sale. A bit scratchy but an interesting take on two pop hits of the 60's via Woolworths cheapo label.  I think "I Can Dance" was originally recorded by Brian Poole & The Tremaloes.  Dudty Springfield did a hit version of "I Only Want To Be With You".

Wikipedia says  of |Ray Pilgrim -
"He recorded mainly for UK's Embassy Records under the Ray Pilgrim name and also made nearly 150 cover records for the Embassy Records label using in addition to Ray Pilgrim the name Bobby Stevens (particularly in earlier 1960-1962 releases). In later releases he used the names The TyphoonsThe StarlingsThe Jaybirds and the Beatmen. He was the lead vocals in The Typhoons alongside Mike Redway, and the lead vocals in The Starlings alongside Joan Baxter).
His recordings under various names were released on over 30 different labels in over 20 different countries with aggregate sales estimated at around five million. He also recorded TV jingles, demos, and film soundtracks.
Pilgrim did not regard singing as a long-term career and said he only became a professional singer to enable him to give up his job at a bank to go to university and get a degree at theLondon School of Economics. He sang with the Oscar Rabin Orchestra and was featured for over 190 consecutive weeks singing live on the popular BBC radio programme, Go Man Go. He was also guest on other shows such as the BBC's Saturday Club and ITV's Cool For Cats.
Pilgrim, although concentrating on singing cover versions of many famous songs, he wrote few original songs including "Baby Doll", "Little Miss Make Believe" and "Love Is Blind" which he recorded himself for Oriole. His songs were also interpreted by other artists. "Little Christine" written by Pilgrim was a successful hit for Dick Jordan, Burt Blanca, and Danny Fisher. Pilgrim's "Just Once More Dance" was recorded by Lee Curtis, and his song "Big Boy", which was the English version of the Norwegian Eurovision Song Contest song "Voi Voi", was performed and recorded by Nora Brockstedt."

Ray Pilgrim  -  I Can Dance

Joan Baxter  -  I Only Want To Be With You