Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Tremendous sadness over the loss of two exquisite artists the past few weeks:
A regal presence in the jazz world for half a century, it is bracing to recall that vocalist Abbey Lincoln was once dismissed as a being "professional Negro" (by critic Ira Gitler in Downbeat), who derided her socially conscious lyrics and unapologetic self-identification as a proud African-American woman. She will always be a national treasure.
Trumpeter Harry Beckett, who relocated from his native Barbados to London in 1954 at the age of 19, found himself again and again at the molten center of the British jazz scene in the 1960s and '70s and beyond. His vital contributions to the brilliant collective Brotherhood of Breath were a mainstay for two decades.
Up There Above
I'm not one much for picking favorites—favorite singer, favorite album, etc.—but A Turtle's Dream comes as close as any for me. I'm not sure what it says about me exactly, but I have listened to this melancholy masterpiece, start to finish, more often than any other record. Do so at least once and you will spend no better 69 minutes.
Harry Beckett ~ "Flare Up"
(Blog: Inconstant Sol)
Harry Beckett had been playing and recording professionally for over a decade—including a celebrated stint with Charles Mingus in the 1961 film All Night Long—when he released Flare Up, his first record date as a leader, in 1970. Alongside Beckett's warm, cheerful trumpet and flugel work here is some urgent blowing from a trio of British sax titans: John Surman, Mike Osborne, and Alan Skidmore.
Plus three more...
Piano adventurist Francois Tusques was playing free jazz in Paris years before all those American cats began arriving in '68. Of course when they got there, they quickly learned to book Tusques for gigs and recording sessions. This collection of pieces for prepared piano were recording in 1972. It's a pleasure comparing the opening ditty, "On N'est pas Chez les Colonels," to quintet version of the same tune on this tremendous quintet record from the year before. (Note: Files are in the lossless FLAC format.)
Don't know much about husband-and-wife duo Derek and Dorothy Elliott, who haunted the Yorkshire folk club scene—occasionally with eldest daughter Nadine singing shotgun—throughout the 1970s. Each of their three marvelous collections of traditional singing have been lovingly posted at the essential Time Has Told Me.
Sounds of the City Experience ~ "Sounds of the City Experience"
(Blog: My Best of *Dance-Disco-Funk-Soul*)
From the album: Babylon (mp3)
The year 1976 was a big one for Tiger Lily, the tax scam label created by Roulette Records' crooked boss Morris Levy. In fact as many as seventy records—Tiger Lily's entire discography—were released that year. Surely the most famous among them was Richard Pryor's "L.A. Jail," and surely one of the funkiest was this mysterious LP from "Sounds of the City Experience."
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