Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Remember the legendary NYC record emporium SoHo Music Gallery? Located at the corner of Wooster and Grand, for a while it was next-door neighbor to a kosher sushi restaurant called Shalom Japan. (I kid you not.) The list of ex-record clerks at SoHo Music Gallery could fill a music who's who. Jesus, who didn't work there? Future downtown stars John Zorn, Tim Berne, Anthony Coleman; future Luaka Bop headman Yale Evelev; future WFMU royalty Ken Freedman and Ray Franks—just to name-drop a few. Music lovers like me made frequent pilgrimages to the joint just to shuffle around and attempt to look cool while thumbing through the bins. If you were lucky and happened to be around while new boxes of LPs were being opened, you'd crane your neck as undorkily as possible to try to see the latest arrivals.
During one particular visit to the store in 1987, I remember stumbling upon a box of records containing many dozens of copies of a single album—John Cage Meets Sun Ra. Wow! It wasn't easy remaining nonchalant when confronted with such a dense concentration of holy vinyl. I must have been stunned, because for some stupid-ass reason I didn't buy a copy. I must've made the genius calculation that there were so many, I'd just swing back in a few days and snag one then. Of course, the box and its contents were gone upon my return. Cementing the ignominy, SoHo Music Gallery itself disappeared not too long after that.
I lived with the nagging lament of that missed opportunity until last year when I stumbled on a page at the magnificent UbuWeb that, miraculously, has MP3s of John Cage Meets Sun Ra. Then recently, the newish Sun Ra-related blog Adventure Equation posted both sides of the record as two lossless FLAC files, along with dust-jacket artwork. (See the lead-off item, below.)
Sponsored by Coney Island's Sideshows by the Seashore, John Cage and Sun Ra were presented as a double bill almost exactly 25 years ago—June 8, 1986. Despite the album's misleading title, most accounts of the concert state that the two alternated sets and never actually shared the stage. Nevertheless, "Blue" Gene Tyranny in a review of the disc asserts that Messrs. Cage and Ra did in fact perform together toward the end of the evening, though there is no audible evidence of this on the recording.
Holy grail, Batman...
John Cage & Sun Ra ~ "John Cage Meets Sun Ra"
(Blog: . Adventure-Equation .)
Nice Double Bill
"Knowing the stories and ideas of these two men, the performance of this album is almost the sonic equivalent of their lives. Sun Ra shows off his zany, spaced out mind. His music sounds like it’s from another planet, a royal proclamation from Saturn. Conversely, John Cage shows his independent, introspective self with his Empty Words IV literature and extended periods of silence. The two together form a compilation of some of the strangest, weirdest, and somehow profound music of all time. Both men being under appreciated and extremely important 20th century innovators, they never worry about fans or appeal like so many other artists. The two men show a love for music, ideas, and the profound relationship between them." (Tyler Fisher, at Sputnik Music )
Keni Okulolo ~ "Talkin' Bass Experience"
(Blogs: San Pasquale Ent.)
Need to Know Bassist
Take good care with this one people, it's a killer LP, and even if it sounds really crispy you should love it…Simply one of the best Nigerian bassist, playing with men like Victor Olaiya or even the great Fela Kuti, he's also, with Joni Hasstrupp, an original founder of Monomono, well known Nigerian band, who released two killer lps "Give the Beggar a Chance" and "Dawn of Awareness."" (xensma, at San Pasquale Ent. )
Boogie Days, Nights, Weekends
Brother Drop Dead (Boogie), Diddy Wah Boogie, Mountain Boogie, Georgia Boogie, Grandpa's Boogie, Jug Band Boogie, Spookie Boogie, Big Chief Boogie, Sugarfoot Boogie, Hadacol Boogie, Hillbilly Boogie, Boogie Man Boogie, Choo Choo Ch'boogie, The Haunted House Boogie, Tamburitza Boogie, Hi De Ho Boogie, Motor City Boogie, Byrd's Boogie, Hoe Down Boogie, Ball and Chain Boogie, Bomb Bosh Boogie, I Love You Boogie, Beatin' Out the Boogie, Tight Shoe Boogie, Boogie Woogie Baby, Bullfrog Boogie, Country Style Boogie, Steeling the Boogie, Wine-O Boogie, Help Me Lose the Boogie Woogie Blues and 113 other tracks on six discs. Go git 'em.
31st of February ~ "31st of February"
(Blog: Old Melodies… Dream's Mirror)
Wouldn't That Be March 3rd?
"Co-produced by Steve Alaimo and Mike Shapiro, 1969's "The 31st of February" has always struck me as an undiscovered gem. Performed with considerable enthusiasm, the collection was varied and energetic. [Scott] Boyer had a great voice, that occasionally reminded me of a more commercial Greg Allman, perfectly suited for the band's excursions into Byrds-styled folk-rock ("Porcelain Mirrors" and "A Different Kind of Head"), progressive ("Treason") and psyche ("A Nickel's Worth of Benny's Help"). Elsewhere, the standout tracks may have been [David] Brown's stomping "Wrong" and the trio's ghostly cover of Buffy Sainte Marie's "Co'dine." Among the few missteps; Brown's "Broken Day" was a little too sensitive singer/songwriter, while the band's cover of Jackie DeShannon's "The Greener Isle" (good taste in outside material), came off as MOR (blame Shelby Singleton's overwhelming string arrangement). Unfortunately, the set generated little in the way of sales." (Scott Blackerby, at BadCat Records)
Coon-Sanders Nighthawks ~ "Radio Aces"
(Blog: Lonesome Lefty's Scratchy Attic)
"Howdja Do, Howdja Do, Howdja Do—You Big 'Ol Raddio Pooblic"
"Arranger [Joe] Sanders was among the first to spread saxophone-section voicing: he inserted a vocal into almost every selection, and every instrument was given a chance to be heard. Coon-Sanders played jazz—original and unique; their music was happy and peppy, invitational to dancers or foot-tappers. Joe's boyhood training as choir vocalist and concert pianist enabled him to provide the Nighthawks with material bordering on what may be called "concert jazz." He wrote numerous and delightful "breaks" into numbers, pyramided chord structures, punctuated his music with stops. Hymns and spirituals were often played in syncopation!" (Paul F. Karberg, from the liner notes)
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