Give the Drummer Some's
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I've always had a great personal affection for jazz records with really off-the-wall "WTF?" liner notes. Especially those graced with incomprehensible literary dribble written by the artists themselves. It's as if the soul-bearing act of making the music just wasn't quite soul-bearing enough. Take for instance this excerpt from a rant Charles Mingus delivers on the back of The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady:
"Musicians partly come into the circle of various blame which encompasses much more than leaky faucets, rotten washers, or critics. Wow! Critics! How did they get here? I know. It's Freudian. Faucets and old rotten washers."
Or, how about this poetical passage from "Sound Structure of Subculture Becoming Major Breath/Naked Fire Gesture," Cecil Taylor's essay accompanying Unit Structures:
"Facing down, the ground springs tired chains. Voices spring from the eye there, at corners-sleep. Hoarsness becomes rhetoric seasoned / as first distinct words lacerate grim oppression reality behind vision tomb widowed enfeoffment jettisoned."
Enfeoffment? Really? Wow indeed. Of course, few examples of dust-jacket word-freak has ever unfurled with quite the audacious pomposity than King Pleasure's twisted muttering on Golden Days. Here is just a portion of what the good King has to say about the philosophy he calls "Planetism":
"My real name is Clarence Beeks. My professional name of "King Pleasure" is by selection as strange to me as the sudden "revelation" that occured to me in my sleep and woke me upright at the age of six in Oakdale, Tenn., my birthplace. The revelation was that I was the real saviour of humanity. And that I was a baby planet nucleus!"
[For the complete text, read Liner Notes of the Gods from an early issue of WFMU's program guide LCD.]
The reason I'm musing about all this is that after already having selected Free as You Wanna Be by the Lightmen to be the lead-off item for this week's Motherlode, I took a closer look at the art for the back of the record and was knocked loopy by the liners. Click on the thumbnail (right) to read the whole thing, or read the excerpted blurb, below.
The Lightmen ~ "Free as You Wanna Be"
(Blog: Hoochie Coochie Presents Jazz)
The Unbearable Lightness of Lightmen
"All selections on this album swing but not in the traditional sense of the word "swing." Attention has been directed toward removal from the time barrier that ushered the creations of our jazz pioneers into existence as part of the revolutionary process of music. "Swing" portrayed by this ablum signifies the creative and emotional feelings of musicians who believe in their music. The "Apport" of Music—Or this operation of a seance are exhilarations of energy and moods which span the spectrum of imaginatiobs. Apports are objectives through which these are transformed. The dead will speak through the living. "Apports" best describe these selections on the album by The Lightmen." (From the dust jacket )
Eduardo Araújo ~ "A Onde É Boogaloo"
(Blogs: Flabbergasted Vibes)
First imitated Bill Haley, then James Brown
"Wow... this is pretty cool. Singer Eduardo Araujo strikes me as an artist who was kind of constantly in search of a "new sound" to latch onto. He was one of the early jovem guarda '60s teenie-bopper rockers, and got a little wiggier in the '70s... This 1969 pop-soul album is a transitional record, but one that shows he could have done quite well pursuing a career in Brazilian soul music... He had a much stronger sense of American-style phrasing and a stronger band than many of the self-styled "Black Rio" artists such as Cassiano and Hylton who took up the mantle in the 1970s. His secret weapon was Brazilian funk pioneer Tim Maia, who was about to bust out on his own as a solo artist on the Philips label. Maia wrote punchy new arrangements for the numerous cover tunes on here, which range from Smokey Robinson's "Same Old Song" to Arthur Conley's "Funky Street," and for whatever reason this album avoids most of the clumsiness or self-consciousness that many similar imitations of American pop frequently suffer from." (Joe Sixpack, at Slipcue.com)
??? ~ "Non Stop Dancing"
(Blog: FM Shades)
Originally posted at FM Shades, this surf-infused Chinese pop platter has since resurfaced at the wonderful blog Flash Strap.
Marvin Holmes & the Uptights ~ "Ooh Ooh the Dragon and Other Monsters"
Sounds Like a Children's Story
"Marvin Holmes, one of the founding fathers of Oakland Funk, is among the world's leading guitarists. Fans have been enjoying Marvin Holmes and The Uptights since the early sixties until today. Marvin’s masterful, musical maturity and dynamic, driving guitar sounds, blending blues, soul and jazz have been captivating audiences all over the world. Marvin Holmes and the Uptights emerged as the Oakland Bay Area’s hottest soul band in the early 60’s and 70’s. Marvin’s knack for writing catchy tunes gave them two hits in the 60’s “The Funky Mule” and Ooh Ooh The Dragon. The “Funky Mule” instantly became a national hit and Marvin Holmes and The Uptights were signed to MCA UNI records. From that signing came the Album Ooh Ooh The Dragon and Other Monsters, which also became an instant hit." (Marvin Holmes's bio at BDR Records)
André Bourvil & Jacqueline Maillan ~ "Ça (Je T'aime Moi non Plus)"
(Blog: Bomber Blog)
Lovers Love Paris
"André Bourvil (real name Andre Raimbourg) was a great comic and tragic french actor and Jacqueline Maillan is a real impertinent french actress (mostly theater), they recorded this hilarous parody of Gainsbourg "Je t'aime moi non plus" in 1970..." (From a comment by Dr. Faustroll, who has a blog here )
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