Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Few things in the prevailing political climate enrage me more than the Republicans' obscene slashing and burning of governmental structures with the capacity to do public good. Given the current governor of Florida, it's a marvel that the Sunshine State still has a shred of a budget line supporting the archival activities of its state library's Memory project. A large component of the effort has been the conscientious work of archivists, folklorists and historians, cataloging and making accessible a considerable trove of sound recordings and photographs from 58 years of the Florida Folklife Festival.
My favorite manifestation of their work so far has been the four full-length CDs of blues, gospel, folk, old-timey and ethnic immigrant musics that the state has produced (here, here, here, and here). You can avail yourself of digital downloads posted on the Florida Memory website, or request physical copies, which will be mailed free of charge! Now a fifth must-have CD—an all-blues collection—has been forged from the Florida archives, and that compilation is the lead-off item in today's Motherlode.
Drop on down in Florida...
Your Tax Dollars at Work
"The music presented on Where the Palm Trees Shake at Night was selected from hundreds of hours of Florida Folk Festival performances and field recordings spanning 25 years, from 1977-2002. Alongside the down-home folk traditions of Emmett Murray, Richard Williams, and Moses Williams are performances of standard Blues by Albert “Buck” Thompson, Charles Atkins and Martin “Tampa Blue” Locklear. The Piedmont finger-picking style of North Carolina guitarist Etta Baker was captured at the Florida Folk Festival, as was the renowned Washington, D.C. duo Cephas and Wiggins’ more modernized interpretation of Piedmont Blues." (Description provided by the Memory Project at Florida's State Library & Archives)
Dixon's the One
"The six minute trumpet solo “Long Alone Song” is quite lovely and evidence of what Taylor Ho Bynum notes as Dixon’s desire to make his trumpet sound like an orchestra. There’s a richness of tone and expression here, but also a naked intimacy that comes from the format. In this week’s New Yorker, Marc Fisher’s article on WBAI legend Bob Fass (article not online, but there is some audio here) at one point cites Miles Davis’s line on choosing “not to play all the notes you could play, but to wait, hesitate, let space become a part of the configuration.” Though Dixon might blanch at the Miles reference, it’s incredibly apt, as Dixon fearlessly embraces hesitation, and makes space an integral part of his musical framework." (Description by Destination Out)
I Dream of Jeanne
"Her first solo album, Conspiracy (Earthform, 1974) displayed her creative style, which expanded the jazz vocabulary with gestures borrowed from Tibet and India, inspired by Yma Sumac, taking advantage not only of the "voice" but also of lip and throat sounds." (Commentary by Piero Scaruffi, at Sunnyside Records)
All Hail Peanut Cantrell
"The back country of southeast Tennessee, though not as celebrated or documented as east Tennessee, has in the past provided some of the best old-time music to come out of the state. Modern times have done a lot toward breaking down and diffusing this once-thriving folk music culture, but a surprising amount of the old music does survive for those who have the patience and resources to seek it out....All too often we hear today that the genuine old time music is all but extinct in the grass-roots South, that it is played only by folklorists and self-conscious revivalists. Here is proof to the contrary—proof that at least some of the wellsprings of traditional music still flow." (Charles Wolfe, from the liner notes)
A Great Unknown
"She was born in 1922 or 1924 in Salt Lake City. Carr recorded "Say It Isn't So" with Charles Mingus in 1946 in Los Angeles. She married pianist-arranger Donn Trenner and worked with him in a group called The Donn Trio and Helen. She sang for short periods of time with the big bands of Charlie Barnet, Georgie Auld, Chuck Foster, Skinnay Ennis, Stan Kenton and Buddy Morrow. She sat in with Charlie Parker a couple times and made two albums for Bethlehem; one in a quintet with trumpeter Don Fagerquist, altoist Charlie Mariano, Donn Trenner, bassist Max Bennett and drummer Stan Levey, and one with a trio comprised of trumpeter Cappy Lewis, guitarist Howard Roberts and bassist Red Mitchell. These are either from 1953 and 1954 or both from 1955, depending on the discography one looks at." (Scott Yanow, on a message board at Jazz Corner)
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