Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Quite an epiphany kicks off today's haul. Ever hear of Indian sax legend Braz Gonsalves? Me neither until the excellent Indian and Pakistani Vinyl blog dropped the stunner that leads off today's Motherlode. Gonsalves turns 80 this year and just stopped playing jazz for good (though not because of age. He has renounced it due to his religious faith and now only performs gospel.)
If you're a lover of Indian-jazz hybrid sounds like me—or even if you're not—here's a way to make yourself very happy in three simple steps: (1) Click the link below and devour the major delicacy, "Raga Rock," immediately. (2) Head over to the Inconstant Sol blog and download Hum Dono, possibly the greatest album in this style ever recorded. (3) Sit back and enjoy this hour-long special I produced for WFMU back in 2011: Audio / Playlist.
The Braz Gonsalves 7 ~ Raga Rock
(Blog: Indian and Pakistani Vinyl)
Ragas to Riches
"Braz Gonsalves has made an international name for himself as a great jazz saxophonist. Fondly known as “The Grandfather” of Indian jazz, Braz was born in Neura, Goa and learned music at his father’s knee. He pioneered Indo-Jazz fusion and made an original album in Calcutta in 1970 called Raga Rock. Braz was selected by the Government of India, as India’s jazz ambassador to a numerable Jazz Festivals. He participated in more international and local jazz festivals than any other Indian musician." (Description taken from a page at TargetGoa.com)
[This version of "Raga Rock" has the intro and the ending faded out. A poorer quality but complete version can be heard on this video. Not shared in the download linked to above is the flip side of "Raga Rock," a number with Pam Craine singing "No Amount of Loving." You can listen to that track right here.]
Various ~ The Jamaican Blues, Vol. 1
(Blog: You & Me on a Jamboree)
Venerable Jamaican music blog You & Me on a Jamboree has been dishing out groovy platters since forever. Even better than its usual album offerings are the amazing home-made rarities compilations shared from time to time.* I wouldn't characterize the tracks on this collection as "blues" exactly—more like R&B, really—but whatever. What you can call them is spectacular!
*Volumes 1 & 2 of You & Me's "country" reggae collections are absolute must-haves—and they're are still available! They were shared right here in Motherlode #185. Go git 'em.)
Louis Killen ~ Ballads & Broadsides
(Blog: Zero G Sound)
Killen Me, Softly
"A dynamic singer of great individuality and integrity, Louis Killer has long been regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the mid-Twentieth century British folk revival…Louis Killen's first full-length solo recording, "Ballads & Broadsides", was published in 1965. The recording sessions look place in Bill Leader's Camden Town flat, when Killen was just thirty and had been a professional musician for two years. The album is a classic; one of the first solo recordings from Killen's generation of revivalists and has been an important influence on younger singers for over four decades." (Description by Zero)
Valdo Williams ~ New Advanced Jazz
"Writers and musicians sometimes talk as if only major players leave the big footprints. But minor players can be key influences, too. Jackie mentions two he knew from his old Harlem neighborhood. By example Ernie Henry (...) Less known was Valdo Williams. In the late '40's, says Jackie, "He was the first guy playing kind of free concept rather than Thelonious, who I thought was always freer then everybody else, even back then. Valdo's solos were very close to what you hear Cecil Taylor playing. When he played a song like 'All The Things You Are,' a blues, or whatever, he would play the correct chords, and accompany all the soloists in the traditional way. But when his solo came, he would stretch out and play against the form. If it was a 36-bar form, he would fill up 36 bars with his chorus, but it wouldn't be based directly on the chords. He would be playing much freer, freer than anybody I'd heard at the time." Williams left New York for Montreal in the early 50's." (Down Beat, October 1990, p. 22)
Les Chakachas ~ Discoteco Sudamericana
(Blog: Blue Beat in My Soul)
Les Check Cashers
Amsterdam-born Joseph Van Het Groenewoud relocated to Belgium in his early twenties (reportedly to escape service in the Dutch army), where he played viola in a formal orchestra. In the late '50s, Groenewoud (father of Flemish pop star/actor Raymond Van Het Groenewoud), formed an exotica band Les Chakachas. In 1971, a year before Chakachas had a breakout hit with their orgasmatronic "Jungle Fever," Groenewoud—who'd taken the stage name Nico Ooms, then changed it to Nico Gomez—record tracks for all-time killer dancefloor-filler Ritual, with his new outfit, Afro Percussion Inc.
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