Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
There's something to float everyone's boat in this week batch of musical must-haves. Delve into the downloadables and here's what you'll discover: Every Zambian psych band seems to be enjoying a reissue renaissance these days, but not Blackfoot; Cannonball Adderley plays gloriously on a sonic travelogue of the 'Bama back roads; the power pop of Yellow Pills is dead (again), long live Yellow Pills; Charles Mingus sideman Jimmy Knepper steps out of the shadows into the limelight; a teenage Franco plays guitar for several top pop bands in 1950s Congo; well-loved U.K.-based song swinger Salena Jones has made a name for herself all over the world, except back home. Till maybe now.
The Good Foot
For those of us who weren't hanging out in Lusaka during the 1970s, right now is surely the golden age for lovers of Zambian fuzzadelica. Reissues of killer Zam-rock artists—Ngozi Family, Chrissy Zebby Tembo, The Peace, Witch, Amanaz, to name a few—have been coming fast and furious over the past couple of years, but one album yet to get the 180-gram vinyl treatment is this heartfelt effort from Blackfoot. Run don't walk to snag this Afro-pop marvel.
John Benson Brooks ~ "Alabama Concerto"
(Blog: Que Parte No Entendiste?)
Dear Old Southland
One of the rarest items in Cannonball Adderley's discography, this gem from 1958 is a symphonic tone poem depicting African-American life in rural Alabama. Pianist/composer Brooks had been hired to transcribe field recordings made in the American South by anthropologist Harold Courlander. This recording was the result of Brooks's inspiration after listening to tapes of "children's game songs, blues, hollers, spirituals and odd bits."
Various ~ "Yellow Pills: Refill
Pop, a Fistful
If power pop was a natural resource, Yellow Pills obsessive Jordan Oakes—with his adoring fanzine and series of compilation releases—could've harnessed it to keep the lights on in Cleveland for a nice stretch during the early 1990s. Nearly a decade after Oakes put out his final Yellow Pills collection, the label Numero Group resurrected the franchise in the form of a 2-disc anthology and coaxed Oakes out of retirement to curate it. Recently Numero's collection sold out and, with no plans to reprint it, they've encouraged fans to download it. [**Update: Though Numero's website encouraged fans to download it for free, the label requested that WFMU remove the link to the original blog site that had posted the download. So, the link here has been removed.]
Jimmy Knepper ~ "A Swinging Introduction to..."
From the album: Ogling Ogre (mp3)
Good to the Bone
Unfairly famous for getting punched in the mouth by Charles Mingus, trombonist Jimmy Knepper nevertheless spent many fruitful years in Mingus's group. This 1957 album features fellow Mingus sideman Dannie Richmond on drums and some brilliant work from pianist Bill Evans.
Various ~ "Roots of Rumba Rock"
Colonialism led to the creation of accidental cultural hybrids as profiteering Europeans disbursed to the far-flung corners of the disadvantaged world, their radios and record players in tow. In Léopoldville, Belgian Congo, the French beguines and Cuban rumbas that came to town deeply influenced the local music scene. By the early 1950s, every band, it seemed, had worked them into their repertoire. Among these recordings are the first ever made by a teenage François Luambo Makiadi—Franco—who would modernize the sound and become the Congo's most prolific and best-loved pop star.
Sarah + Lena = Salena
Jones, still active in her fifth decade as a club and cabaret favorite, would surely have enjoyed greater stardom had she not moved the U.K. in the mid-1960s. Born Joan Shaw in Newport News, Virginia (hometown of Ella Fitzgerald), Jones took a stage moniker that combines the names of singing royalty Sarah Vaughan and Lena Horne. According to Jones's bio, she has connections to actual royalty: She's a descendant of Crazy Horse. Dig the mod cover of this Polish pressing of her Moment of Truth album from 1969.
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