A Hollow Muscular Organ

14 02 2014

Yes, it’s that time of year again

– Happy V day from your pals @ the ARC – B, Fred + Quinn!


Grubby Dub Surfaces

15 07 2013

Everyone knows that ARC has the BEST interns in the American League, and today’s All-Star is Arlo, who, while inspecting classical LPs for surface worthiness, discovered some booklets stuffed inappropriately in inappropriate sleeves.

DubPoet_scan 1smlWho could have have thought to place these very pricey items (going for up to $125 online) into totally trashed Bach variations?  And why did they choose to snack on Jerk Chicken over the only illustrated page of ‘Inglan’?

DubPoet_scanSmiBut we’re glad to have them, and lucky that Arlo checked before he chucked.

If you’ve listened to the recorded versions of Linton Kwesi Johnson’s dub poetry, the righteous rhetoric tempered by tasty licks, you know how glad we are to have found these.  As Wiki claims, “In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series.”

But I prefer the wax.  Here’s a list of the LKJ LP recording here at the ARC.

• A cappella Live  (Lkj, CD 016, 5”, compact disc, 1996)
• Bass Culture  (Island, UK, ILPS 9605, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Bass Culture  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9605, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• Dread Beat An’ Blood  (Heartbeat, USA, 01, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp   , 1981)
• Forces of Victory  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9566, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)
• Forces of Victory  (Island, UK, ILPS 9566, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1979)
• In Concert With the Dub Band  (Rough Trade, Rough78/LKJ 006, 12”, vinyl disc-LP)
• In Concert With the Dub Band  (Shanachie, USA, 43034/5, 12″, vinyl disc-2Lp, 1985)
• LKJ in Dub  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9650, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1980)
• LKJ in Dub  (Mango, UK, RRCD 34 / (510 170-2), 5”, compact disc,1980)
• LKJ in Dub Volume 2  (LKJ, UK, LKJ LP 009, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1992)
• Making History  (Mango, USA, MLPS 9770, 12″, vinyl disc-Lp, 1984)
• Reggae Greats Linton Kwesi Johnson (Mango, USA, MLPS 9786, 12”, vinyl disc-Lp, 1984)
• Tings An’ Times  (Shanachie, USA, 43084, 5″, compact disc,1991)

There are a lot more out there – feel free to stuff a few into a Bach folio and send ’em on down to the ARC…

2 new adds 2 The Keith Richards Blues Collection + 1 Jazz LP

9 07 2013

Our fearless leader here at the ARC, known affectionately as B., often prowls rural flea markets, combing the stalls for unique and/or interesting sound recordings. The recent Fourth of July weekend was no exception, as B. returned with an armful of 12-inch discs.

Among them were three LPs of note: “Low Down Blues” by Champion Jack Dupree (Continental CLP-16002), a compilation entitled “Rhythm and Blues” on the UK Decca label, and “Sweet Swingin’ Stuff” by Stuff Smith.

LowDownBluesWebThe Champion Jack album is of note because it collates the songs from his three 78s on the Continental label in one place. Dupree, as we all know, was one of the finest blues pianists of all time, New Orleans born and bred. He had a LONG career, recording as early as 1940 and even made a couple fine albums in 1990 and 1991 before he died in 1992. In the liner notes to the album at hand, the clearly un-informed writer states that singer Dupree is accompanied by “a regrettably anonymous but very excellent blues piano player.” The writer also forgets to note the bass player, Count Edmonson, according to several discographies. The guitarist Brownie McGhee is duly noted; indeed, he is listed on the album cover but his name is misspelled. The session is a fine one, recorded in 1945, it harkens back to the classic, pre-war piano-guitar duet that was so popular during the Thirties. The version of Leroy Car & Scrapper Blackwell’s “How Long How Long Blues” accentuates that concept.

Side two of the album is much more mysterious, noted as by “Sonnie and Lonnie.” The writer states that Lonnie is Lonnie Johnson, a pianist who is not to be confused with the more famous legendary guitarist with the exact same name. Further information regarding Sonnie is not presented. According to some discographies, this is Teddy “Sonny Boy” Smith (one of the lesser known blues “Sonny Boys”). According to others he is listed only as “A. Smith.” A second guitarist, Sam Bradley, is not even noted by the writer. These six sides were also once issued on Continental 78s and, as the Champion Jack material, were presented here for the first time on a 33 1/3 RPM microgroove LP, manufactured probably around 1961, with a high quality, semi-laminate gatefold cover.

The cover is worth noting because, upon opening it, the first page is nearly blank, save for “technical data” small print on the bottom; the second page contains the track listing and the briefest of credits, plus the almost-helpful liner notes. Turn the page and there are TWO entirely blank pages. Couldn’t Continental Records come up with some photos of Dupree or McGhee (who were both still alive in 1961) or at least more accurate and complete notes about the sessions?

But the music is great, and the album is worth seeking.

R&B_DeccaWeb“Rhythm and Blues” is a collection of British blues and R&B recordings from the early sixties. When discussing British blues, it is occasionally said that the English cannot play the blues.

This argument is pretty much shattered by the compilation at hand. These acts—Dave Berry, The Graham Bond ORGANisation, Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, John Mayall and the Blues Breakers and Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band—are all fine proponents of the style. True, two of Berry’s three tracks are slightly pop-oriented, but his version of Bo Diddley’s “Diddley Daddy” is good. Instead of turning it into a haul-ass romp as most Brits did with blues material during the Sixties, he kept Bo Diddley’s lopping tempo and spiffed it up with odd guitar breaks.

It’s true that Britain never produced a singer with the vocal power of Howlin’ Wolf—and unfortunately John Mayall’s two songs here exemplify that fact. However, Mayall’s songs are likable and one cannot doubt his sincerity when he sings a tribute to Elmore James who had recently passed when “Mr. James” was written.

The bands of Zoot Money and Alexis Korner (known as the “Founding Father of British Blues”) turn in recordings (two each) that can be considered archetypal, pre-Rolling Stones/Yardbirds/Animals-style British R&B. The album contains five tracks by the Graham Bond ORGANisation and these are the best of the lot. Bond’s organ-driven combo stomps through the given material with a lot of enthusiasm and little reverence, the way it should be no matter where you come from!

British Blues may not be authentic blues in the strictest sense, but it is an original style of playing the blues, and therefore authentic—especially when performed by these guys.

This album has historical value of course, because many of the big classic rock stars produced by England learned their trade playing in these bands. Eric Clapton and members of Fleetwood Mac played with Mayall (though after these recordings); Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce are on the Bond and Korner tracks; Charlie Watts also played with Korner at one time; Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones recorded with Dave Berry (though not on these tracks); Zoot Money influenced Eric Burdon, etc.

Stuff_SmithWebThe story on the Stuff Smith album is all about the cover—a photo of an extremely square-looking white couple used to market an LP of jazz made by African American men! Granted, “jazz violin” may not be the hippest thing under the sun, but the way Stuff Smith played it, it was pretty close. There is no way that the art director for this cover even listened to the music; and quite possibly did not know the title, either: “Sweet Swingin’ Stuff.” Nothing about this cover swings, but the music sure does!
(B note : my cost $2)

Fred Patterson

Soul Session @ the ARC

12 12 2012

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 11.24.08 PMThis year’s winter Members Only Party, a preview and a shindig held on the Thursday evening before the semi-annual Record and CD Sale kicks into full swing, was a very soulful event.  Frank Lipsius, whose father founded Jamie and Guyden Records in Philadelphia during the fifties, planned to have a celebration in honor of the release of COOLER THAN ICE: THE ARCTIC RECORDS STORY; a box set containing 6 CDs and 6 seven-inch records representing the complete singles output of Arctic Records, another Philadelphia record label, this one specializing in soul music and run by the radio DJ Jimmy Bishop during the sixties, but owned and distributed by Jamie/Guyden.  Arctic’s biggest hit was “Yes I’m Ready” by Barbara Mason; a Number 5 smash during the summer of 1965.  Also, Arctic was the launching pad for several star-destined artists, including Darryl Hall (Hall & Oates), who was a member of The Temptones; The Trammps (“Disco Inferno”), which included members of The Volcanos; and Kenny Gamble, who wrote songs and issued a couple singles on Arctic.

Hamber1While the box set was not ready in time for the party, the party went on regardless.  And what a party!  Frank rented a bus in Philly and brought with him about fifty people associated with Arctic Records and the Philadelphia soul scene.  Those in attendance included several artists who recorded for Arctic, including members of the groups Honey & the Bees, The Tiffanys, The Temptones and The Royal Five.  Entertainment included three Arctic recording artists: The Volcanoes who sang their two Northern Soul favorites “Storm Warning” and “A Ladies Man;” Winfield Parker (below) with a stirring rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Going to Come” and “Funky Party;” and Kenny Hamber (right) with a really great version of Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine.”

ParkerAlthough he had no release on Arctic, John Ellison (the lead singer/songwriter for The Soul Brothers Six) stole the show when he sang his most famous song, “Some Kind of Wonderful.”  Do not confuse this with The Drifters’s song (written by Carole King/Gerry Goffin) of the same title.  The Soul Brothers Six song, released on Atlantic Records, barely scraped the bottom of the Top 100 in 1967.  However, it was covered by Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 and was the Number 3 song in the land the following year.  The song has since been covered by the likes of Buddy Guy and Huey Lewis & the News.  After five singles for Atlantic, Ellison and The Soul Brothers Six recorded for Phil-L.A. of Soul, another record label owned by the good people at Jamie/Guyden, which makes Ellison part of the family.

EllisonAt the ARChive Members Only Party, Ellison looked striking, dressed in a long, white Nehru jacket.  Whereas the other acts sang along to tracks–karaoke style–Ellison sang a capella, with just handclaps and the many people in the room who knew the song singing back-up, making for a very memorable performance.  It was a tremendous performance by a great artist!

How will the ARChive top this at its Members Only Record & CD Sale Preview Party this summer?  Become a member and find out in June!!!

Of course you can join now and get an end-of-the-year tax write off, and help support the ARChive.

Or drop by the ARC during our sale and say hello…

Fred Patterson

Blue Post

26 04 2012

Its been a long time since we offered info on our Blues recordings here at the ARC and the Keith Richards’ Blues Collection.  We hope to make the metadata on the whole 10,000 plus discs available online soon, so stay tuned.  For now, here’s a sampling of recent cataloged additions to the collection, starting with this mint SBW 10″ from France.

Sonny Boy Williamson.   Le Grand Chanteur de Blues et Spécialiste de L’Harmonica: Jazz Classics No. 17  (RCA, France, 130 238, 10″, 33.3, LP,  19??).

Arhoolie label’s vinyl is getting harder and harder to find in good condition these days, and that prompted us to go after a pile of ones we were missing, all mint or sealed, straight from the people at Arhoolie/Down Home Music in CA.

• Dave Alexander.   The Dirt On The Ground  (Arhoolie, USA, 1071, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1973).
• Dave Alexander.   The Rattler  (Arhoolie, USA, 1067, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1972).
• Juke Boy Bonner.   The Struggle  (Arhoolie, USA, 1045, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1969).

• George Coleman.   Bongo Joe  (Arhoolie, USA, 1040, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• K.C. Douglas.   The Country Boy  (Arhoolie, USA, 1073, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1974).
• Snooks Eaglin.   Possum Up A Simmon Tree  (Arhoolie, USA, 2014, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Charles Ford Band With Robben Ford.   Charles Ford Band With Robben Ford   (Arhoolie, USA, LP 4005, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1972).
• Guitar Slim & Jelly Belly.   Carolina Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, LP 2005, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.). Alex Seward is Guitar Slim; Louis Hayes is Jelly Belly.
• Roosevelt Holts & His Friends.   Roosevelt Holts & His Friends  (Arhoolie, USA, 1057, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1971).
• Earl Hooker.   His First And Last Recordings  (Arhoolie, USA, 1066, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Earl Hooker.   Hooker ‘N’ Steve  (Arhoolie, USA, 1051, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.). With Steve Miller.
• Lightning Hopkins.   In Berkeley  (Arhoolie, USA, 1063, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• John Jackson.   Blues From Virginia  (Arhoolie, USA, 1025, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• John Jackson.   In Europe  (Arhoolie, USA, 1047, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).  .
• John Jackson.   Vol. 2  (Arhoolie, USA, 1035, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1968).
• Lil Son Jackson.   Blues Come To Texas  (Arhoolie, USA, 1004, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1960).
• Johnnie Lewis.   Alabama Slide Guitar   (Arhoolie, USA, 1055, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1971).
• Mercy Dee.   Mercy Dee  (Arhoolie, USA, 1007, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.)
• Alex Moore.   In Europe  (Arhoolie, USA, 1048, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.)
• Alex Moore.   Piano Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, 1008, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.)
• Charlie Musselwhite.   Goin’ Back Down South  (Arhoolie, USA, 1074, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1974). Robben Ford, Lafayette Leake
• Charlie Musselwhite.   Takin’ My Time  (Arhoolie, USA, 1056, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1971).
• Piano Red.   Dr. Feelgood Alone  (Arhoolie, USA, 1064, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1972).
• L.C. Robinson.   Ups And Downs  (Arhoolie, USA, 1062, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1972).
• Doctor Ross.   His First Recordings  (Arhoolie, USA, 1065, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1972).
• Robert Shaw.   Texas Barrelhouse Piano  (Arhoolie, USA, 1010, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Smokey Babe.   Hot Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, LP 2019, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Soundtrack  [ Howard Armstrong ].   Louie Bluie  (Arhoolie, USA, 1095, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1985). R. Crumb Cover
• Various Artists .   Blues N’ Trouble Vol. 2   (Arhoolie, USA, 1012, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Various Artists.   Country Blues I  (Blues Classics, USA, LP BC5, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Various Artists.   Juke Joint Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, LP BC23, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1970).
• Various Artists.   Kings Of Country Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, 1085, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1971).  Dated 1969 and 1981
• Various Artists.   Louisiana Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, 1054, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1970).
• Various Artists.   Oakland Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, LP 2008, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1970).
• Various Artists.   Prison Works Songs  (Arhoolie, USA, LP 2012, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Various Artists.   Texas Blues Vol. 2  (Arhoolie, USA, 1017, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1968).
• Big Joe Williams.   Thinking Of What They Did To Me  (Arhoolie, USA, 1053, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Big Joe Williams & Sonny Boy Williamson .    (Blues Classics, USA, LP BC21, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Sonny Boy Williamson .   Sonny Boy Williamson 1937-1946 Vol. 2  (Blues Classics, USA, LP BC20, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Sonny Boy Williamson .   Sonny Boy Williamson Vol. 3  (Blues Classics, USA, LP BC24, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Ralph Willis.   Carolina Blues  (Blues Classics, USA, LP BC22, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).
• Johnny Young & Big Walter.   Chicago Blues  (Arhoolie, USA, 1037, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1968).  Big Walter Horton.

We’re still looking for a copy of : Big Joe Williams’ Tough Times  (Arhoolie, USA, 1002, 12″, 33.3, LP,).  It is out of print and no longer available from Arhoolie.

Just the other day an anonymous donor dropped off a munitions box stocked with 78s from the late 20s and 30s.  Here’s the Blues and Jazz related ones of interest.

• Benny Goodman Trio/Sextet.   “Body and Soul” / “After You’ve Gone”  (Columbia, 36781, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  With Teddy Wilson
• Benny Goodman Sextet.   “Limehouse Blues” / “If I Had You”  (Harmony, 1011, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  Harmony may have been a Columbia subsidiary.
• Wynonie Harris with the Hamp-Tone All Stars.   “In the Evening” / “Good Morning Corinne”  (Hamp-Tone, 103, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  “Good Morning Corinne” side listed as “Wynonie Harris with the In the Evening Blues” instead of “with the Hamp-Tone All Stars.”

• Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra.   “Summertime” / “Billie’s Blues”  (Columbia, C135-7/C135-8  37496, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).    Probably part of an album of reissued tracks
• Cliff Jackson.   “Lime House Blues” / “Royal Garden Blues”  (Black & White, 26, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).
• Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers.   “Georgia Swing”  (Bluebird, B-8515, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).
• Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers.   “Wild Man Blues”  (Bluebird, B-10256, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).
• Kid Ory’s Creaole Jazz Band.   “South”  (Crescent, Number 1, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  Recorded August 1944
• The Platters.   “The Great Pretender”  (Mercury, 70753, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).
• Tex Ritter.   “San Antonio Rose”  (Capitol, 20065, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).
• Bessie Smith.   “Cake Walking Babies”  (Columbia, C 31-3 / C 31-4; 35673, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  From album of reissued sides.
• Bessie Smith.   “Empty Bed Blues”  (Columbia, C 31-7 / C 31-8; 35675, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).   from album of reissued sides.
• Fats Waller and His Piano.   “Basin Street Blues”  (Bluebird, B-10115, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).

• Lu Watters Yerba Buena Jazz Band.   “Maple Leaf Rag”  (Jazz Man, Album 1, No. 1, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  Recorded 1941.
• Lu Watters Yerba Buena Jazz Band.   “At a Georgia Camp Meeting”  (Jazz Man, Album 1, No. 4, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  Recorded 1941.
• Sonny Boy Williamson.   Le Grand Chanteur de Blues et Spécialiste de L’Harmonica: Jazz Classics No. 17  (RCA, France, 130 238, 10″, 33.3, LP, ).
• Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra featuring Billie Holiday.   “Miss Brown to You” / “I Wished on the Moon”  (Columbia, C61-1/C61-2  36205, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  Probably part of a 4-disc album of reissued tracks.
• Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra featuring Billie Holiday.   “Easy Living” / “When You’re Smiling”  (Columbia, C61-7/C61-8  36208, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).  Probably part of a 4-disc album of reissued tracks

Not quite Blues, but nice to find in the big box, Bill Haley with Haley’s Comets.   “Crazy Man, Crazy”  (Essex, 321, 10″, 78 rpm, n.d.).

Finally, Fred Patterson, our head archivist has graciously donated a pile of Blues, R&B, Jazz and world CDs.  Here’s 73 relevant to this collection:

• Johnny Ace.   Memorial Album  (MCA, Europe, MCD 32642, 5″, CD, 1995).  008813264220.  CD reissue of album with bonus tracks
• La Vern Baker.   Saved  (Sequal, UK, RSA CD 912, 5″, CD, 1997).  5023224091222.
• Bobby Bland.   Dreamer  (MCA, MCAD-10415, 5″, CD, [1974]).  008811041526.  CD release of 1974 LP
• Blues Busters.   Busted!  (HMG / High Water, HMG 6512, 5″, -, CD, 1999).  012928651226.
• Charles Brown with Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers.   Drifting & Dreaming  (Ace, UK, CDCHD 589, 5″, CD, 1996).  029667158923.
• Leroy Carr.   Blues Before Sunrise  (Portrait, RK 44122, 5″, CD, 1989).  07464441222.  accompanied by Scrapper Blackwell and Josh White
• Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell.   1929-1935  (Wolf, Austria, BoB 10-CD, 5″, CD, n.d.).  -.  guitarist Scrapper Blackwell plays on all the Leroy Carr tracks, too.
• Wynona Carr.   Jump Jack Jump!  (Specialty, SPCD-7048-2, 5″, CD, 1993).  02221170482.
• Ray Charles.   The Early Years  (Tomato, R2-71656, 5″, CD, 1994).  081227165629.
• Albert Collins.   The Complete Imperial Recordings  (Imperial / EMI, CDP-7-96741-2, 5″, CD, 1991).  07777967402.
• James Cotton.   Best of the Verve Years  (Verve, 314 527 371-2, 5″, CD, 1995).  731452737120.
• Bill Doggett.   As You Desire Me  (King, KCD-523, 5″, CD, 1987).  012676052320.
• Bill Doggett.   Doggett Beat for Dancing Feet  (King, KCD-557, 5″, CD, 1987).  012676055727.
• Bill Doggett.   Dame Dreaming With Bill Doggett  (King, KCD-532, 5″, CD, 1988).  012676053228.
• Willie Egan and others.   Come On  (Relic, 7042, 5″, CD, 1993).  724075704723.
• Cecil Gant.   Cecil Gant  (Krazy Kat, UK, KK CD 03, 5″, CD, 1989).  008637600327.  writing on cover
• Smokey Hogg.   Angels In Harlem  (Specialty, UK, CDCHD 419, 5″, CD, 1992).  02667141925.
• Smokey Hogg.   Sittin’ in With Smokey Hogg  (Mainstream, MDCD 906, 5″, CD, 1991).  727285906529.
• The Hollywood All Stars.   Hard Hitting Blues From Memphis  (HMG / High Water, HMG 6518, 5″, -, CD, 1999).  012928651820.
• Homesick James.   Got To Move  (32 Blues, 32175, 5″, -, CD, 1999).  604123217521.  plastic/cardboard package
• Earl Hooker.   Play Your Guitar Mr. Hooker!  (Black Top, CD BT-1093, 5″, CD, 1993).  0 11661-6593-2 2.
• Bull Moose Jackson.   Sings His All-Time Hits  (Audio Lab / King, ACD-1524, 5″, CD, 1988).  012676152426.
• Floyd Jones – Eddie Taylor.   Masters of Modern Blues  (Testament, TCD 5001, 5″, CD, 1994).  012928500128.
• Junior Kimbrough and the Soul Blues Boys.   Do the Rump!  (HMG / High Water, HMG 6503, 5″, CD, 1997).  012928650328.
• Saunders King.   Cool Blues, Jumps & Shuffles  (Ace, UK, CDCHD 865, 5″, -, CD, 2002).  029667186520.
• Smiley Lewis.   The Best Of Smiley Lewis, I Hear You Knocking  (Imperial / EMI, E2-98824, 5″, CD, 1992).  0 7777-98824-2 7.
• Papa George Lightfoot.   Goin’ Back To The Natchez Trace  (Rhino / Ace, CDCHD 543, 5″, CD, 1994).  0 29667 15482 6.
• Little Axe.   “Ride On (Fight On)  (Wired, UK, 28, 5″, CD, 1994).  5026184002826.  samples Howlin’ Wolf.  Three mixes of title track
• Little George Smith.   Harmonica Ace  (Ace, UK, CDCHD 337 MONO, 5″, CD, 1991).  0 29667 13372 2.
• Little Willie Littlefield.   Boogie, Blues and Bounce : The Modern Recordings Volume 2  (Ace, UK, CDCHD 1056, 5″, CD, 2005).  029667010122.
• Little Willie Littlefield and Friends.   Going Back to Kay Cee  (Ace, UK, CDCHD 503, 5″, CD, 1994).  029667150323.
• Blind Willie McTell.   Atlanta Twelve String  (Atlantic, 82366-2, 5″, CD, 1992).  075678236624.  recorded 1949
• Bobby Mitchell & the Toppers.   I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday  (Night Train, NTI CD 7079, 5″, CD, 1996).  048612707924.
• Robert Nighthawk.   Bricks in My Pillow  (Delmark, 711, 5″, CD, 1998).  038153071127.  Recorded for the United label in 1951, 1952
• Professor Longhair.   Big Chief  (Rhino / Tomato,  R2 71446, 5″, -, CD, 1993).  0 8122-71446-2 3.
• Professor Longhair.   Rum And Coke  (Rhino / Tomato, R2 71447, 5″, -, CD, 1993).  0 8122-71447-2 2.
• Jimmy Reed.   Best Of Jimmy Reed  (GNP Crescendo, GNPD 2-0006, 5″, -, CD, 1987).  05282400062.
• Jimmy Reed / Eddie Taylor.   Ride ‘Em On Down  (Charly, UK , CD CHARLY 171, 5″, -, CD, 1989).  0 82333 09872 5.  the first song is by Eddie Taylor,
• Billy Lee Riley.   Shade Tree Blues  (Icehouse, IHR 9434, 5″, -, CD, 1999).  097037943424.  Rockabilly legend sings blues.
• Jimmy Rushing.   Rushing Lullabies  (Columbia / Legacy, CK 65118, 5″, -, CD, 1997).  0 7464-65118-2 4.  Originally recorded 1959, this is a combination of two albums Rushing Lullabies with Little Jimmy Rushing and the Big Brass, includes liner notes by original producer Irving Townsend and reissue producer Phil Schaap
• Roscoe Shelton.   Roscoe Shelton Sings!  (Excello, Excello CD 3007, 5″, -, CD, 1995).  7 68501 30072 1.
• Johnny Shines and Robert Lockwood.   Johnny Shines And Robert Lockwood  (Paula, PCD-14, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  0 97453-0014-2 5.  featuring Sunnyland Slim on piano, the first song is by Johnny Shines.
• Huey Smith and Friends.   Pitta Pattin’  (Charly R&B, UK, CD CHARLY 225, 5″, -, CD, 1990).  8 82333 11412 8.
• Sunnyland Slim featuring Jimmy Rogers,  Willie Mabon, St. Louis Jimmy.   House Rent Party  (Delmark, DD 655, 5″, -, CD, 1992).  038153065522.  recorded for Apollo label 1949.  Sunnyland Slim plays piano on all but the two Willie Mabon titles–Mabon plays on those.
• Tampa Red.   The Guitar Wizard  (Columbia / Legacy, CK 53235, 5″, -, CD, 1994).  0 7464-53235-2.
• Little Johnny and Ted Taylor.   The Super Taylors   (Paula Records, PCD-503, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  0 97453-0503-2 4.
• Various Artists.   River Town Blues  (Hi, UK, HI UK CD 118, 5″, -, CD, 1988).  5014757271182.
• Various Artists.   Not the Same Old Blues Crap II: A Fat Possum Records Compilation  (Fat Possum Records, 80342-2, 5″, -, CD, 2001).  045778034222.
• Various Artists.   Barrelhouse Boogie  (Bluebird / RCA, 8334-2-RB, 5″, -, CD, 1989).  7863583342.
• Various Artists.   Angola Prisoners Blues  (Arhoolie, CD 419, 5″, -, CD, 1996).  096297041925.
• Various Artists.   Regal Records In New Orleans  (Specialty, SPCD 2169-2, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  022211216926.
• Various Artists.   Motor City Blues  (Alive / Total Energy, Ner3019, 5″, -, CD, 1998).  095081301924.
• Various Artists.   Super Blues: All Time Classic Blues Hits Volume Two  (Stax, 8559-2, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  025218855921.
• Various Artists.   Jumpin’ The Blues  (ACE, CDCHD 941, 5″, -, CD, 1990).  029667194129.
• Various Artists.   St. Louis Town 1927-1932  (Yazoo, 1003, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  016351010322.
• Various Artists.   Risqué Blues Volume One  (King, UK, KCD 6021, 5″, -, CD, ).  667677602120.
• Various Artists.   Jackson Blues  (Yazoo, L 1007, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  016351010728.
• Various Artists.   Atlantic Blues : Guitar  (Atlantic, 7 81695-2, 5″, -, CD, 1986).  075678169526.
• Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.   Live at Carnegie Hall  (Epic, EK 68163, 5″, -, CD, 1997).  074646816325.  Liner notes by our pal Andy Schwartz
• Mercy Dee Walton.   One Room Country Shack  (Specialty, SPCD-7036-2, 5″, -, CD, 1993).  02221170362.
• Dinah Washington.   The Complete Volume 1  (Official, Denmark, 83 004, 5″, -, CD, 1988).  031287002920.
• Dinah Washington.   The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury Vol. 1: 1946 – 1949  (Mercury, 832 444-2, 5″, -, CD, 1987).  042283244429.  66 songs
• Dinah Washington.   The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury Vol. 2: 1950 – 1952  (Mercury, 832 448-2, 5″, -, CD, 1987).  042283244825.  53 songs
• Dinah Washington.   The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury Vol. 3: 1952 – 1954  (Mercury, 834 675-2, 5″, -, CD, 1988).  042283467521.  53 songs
• Dinah Washington.   The Complete Dinah Washington on Mercury Vol. 4: 1954 – 1956  (Mercury, 834 683-2, 5″, -, CD, 1988).  042283468320.  63 songs
• Junior Wells / Earl Hooker.   Messin’ With the Kid  (Charly, UK, CD CHARLY 219, 5″, -, CD, 1990).  082333112322.  Earl Hooker plays guitar on many of the Junior Wells sides.
• Robert Pete Williams.   Blues Masters  (Storyville, Sweden, STCD 8001, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  717101800124.
• Robert Pete Williams.   Santa Fe Blues: Last Recordings  (Blues Collection, France, 157832, 5″, -, CD, 1979).  3298491578321.
• Chuck Willis.   Let’s Jump Tonight: The Best of Chuck Willis  (Epic / Legacy / OKeh, EK 53619, 5″, -, CD, 1994).  074645361925.
• Chuck Willis.   Stroll On: The Chuck Willis Collection  (Razor & Tie, RE 2055, 5″, -, CD, 1994).  793018205528.  tracks recorded for Atlantic Records.
• Jimmy Witherspoon.   Jimmy Witherspoon  (Ace, UK, CDCHM 1062, 5″, -, CD, 2005).  029667011020.
• Jimmy Witherspoon.   Blowin’ In From Kansas City  (Ace, UK, CDCHD 279, 5″, -, CD, 1991).  029667127929.
• Jimmy Witherspoon.   Jay’s Blues – The Complete Federal Sessions  (Charly, UK, CD CHARLY 270, 5″, -, CD, ).  08233313502.

Cuban Treats In NY

17 04 2012

Sure Hillary is swigging it down at a Cuban ‘theme’ club in Cartagena, and Obama remains locked into a 50 year hissy fit against the mouse that roared, but we, the sensible ones, the friends of the ARChive, People Who Like People, have a chance to hear the real deal, some real Cuban music!

Sintesis is in New York and performing at SOBs this week (Friday, April 20), and in Miami next week @ the Dade County Auditorium.  That means if you’re smart, you can hear the band in an intimate setting, at one of the nicest clubs in NY.

The band has been around and popular since the 60s; the Sintesis sound is Youruba roots meets jazzy prog rock, and slightly Techno-santería.  Carlos Alfonso is the clan’s leader/founder and in demand vocalist with the younger generation represented by daughter Eme.  Available for the first time on this trip will be the bands new triple CD album, and Eme’s latest.

SOB’s is at 204 Varick St. 8 pm and only 10 bucks.  Whata deal.  You can get more info at the club’s site: http://sobs.com/events/latin-alternative/sintesis     Thanks to Ed Steinberg and Allan Bastos for doing the hard work and bringing the group to the US.

On another Cuban note I saw Yosvany Terry’s group last week at Jazz Standard.  As always the sound was great at this club, and the band was swinging with one of the best rhythm sections I have heard in years.  Not quite Latin, and not locked in to the standard rotating solo’s so commonly boring in jazz, the horns often returned to tight charted sections that were a delight.

Finally, this just in to the ARC –  a 78 set I had seen in the Cuban music archive in Havana (Museo Nacional de la Musica) and always yearned for – an early Miguelito Valdés album.  If you don’t know, Valdés was the role model for Desi Arnaz, Mr. Lucy copied Mr. Babalú’s songs, style, conga carrying and even the haircut!   Thanks to ARC member Ben May who donated this and quite a few other Cuban and Latin 78 albums.

Here’s the relevant recordings we have here @ ARC :

Miguelito Valdes

• Miguelito Valdes with Machito and his Afro-Cubans.   Bim Bam Boom  (DECCA, USA, 344, 10″, n.d0 Four discs in bound album, includes informational booklet in English and Spanish..

• Inolvidables  (Verve, USA, V/V6 5036, 12″, n.d.).  .

• Los Reyes del Ritmo (Decca, USA, DL4595, 12″, N.D).  .

• Orquesta Casino De La Playa Con Miguelito Valdes.   Memories Of Cuba (1937-1944)  (Tumbao, Switzerland, TCD-003, 5”, 1991).  With Miguelito Valdes, Perez Prado and Cascarita

• Miguelito Valdes With the Orquesta Casino De La Playa  (Harlequin, UK, HQ CD 39, 5″, 1994).

• Mr. Babalu!  (Mount Vernon Music, mvm 140, 12”, n.d.).

• Playing His World Famous Latin Rhythms  (Sutton, SSU 288, 12”)


• Ancestros  (Qbadisc, USA, QB 9001, 5″, 1987 / 1992).

• Ancestros  (Areito, Cuba, LD-4432, 12″, 1987).

• Ancestros 2  (Qbadisc, USA, QB 9015, 5″, 1994).

• El Hombre Extraño  (Areito, Cuba, LD-4787, 12″, 1989).

• Habana a Flor de Piel  (Unicornio, Cuba, UN-CD9030, 5″, 2002).

• Habana a Flor de Piel (VELAS, VLS20512, 5″, 2001).

• Orishas   (Milan Latino, USA, 35830, 5″, 1997).

… and the latest from Terry I bought up at the club;   Today’s Opinion (Criss Cross Jazz, Holland, 1343, 5″, 2012).

Caramoor + Sardines

25 07 2011

It’s amazing to me that more people in the city do not know about the great house, great gardens and great concerts at Caramoor   in upstate New York.  Caramoor has had a remarkable history of presenting the arts, the legacy of the Rosen family, who’s Grand Dame, Lucie, was the unlikely champion of Léon Theremin. That master of the proximity switch is invoked from first contact, all the gates swinging open automatically as you enter the grounds.

                                                                                           Photo:Gabe Palacio

Last Saturday’s offering was a concert by Malian singer and composer Oumou Sangaré.  The night was hot, the music sultry, and a pretty decent crowd for one of the great voices of West Africa.  Older, white and rhythmically deprived it was a typical Westchester crowd.  But their heart was in it and they all wanted to be there.

I’ve seen Sangare five times in four different countries, and as always she was a delight.  I’ve seen her with three backup singers, but tonight there was a recession to one, dynamic enough for three, Dandio Sidibi.  I’ve heard her original guitarist Boubacar Diallo, the role now assumed by Mamadou Diakite, who could rock, but shown brightest on the acoustic guitar. The kamalengoni, (or n’goni, a six stringed harp-lute described in the program notes as a person) once the driving force of much of the music from the Wassoulou region, was buried here.

A nice trick to get folks outa their seats was asking them to stand for “Wele Wele Wintou,” a song against forced marriages.  Once up wiggles ensued.  Sangaré often addresses social issues, along with the more typical, traditional praise and advice repertoire.  It wasn’t until a closing number that three African clad African women took the stage to ‘spray’ the singer with money, flinging bill after bill at her, the expected audience response throughout West Africa when a kind word is thrown their way.

So… please, get up offa that thing and plan a trip to Caramoor this summer for some music or a picnic. It’s just about an hour upstate by train or car, in Katonah.  An upcoming winner is the Jazz weekend   (Aug 5,6,7) featuring the likes of Juan Carlos Formell, the Christian McBride Big Band, Fred Hersch and John Scofield.

Driving back to the city on Sunday meant a visit to a Japanese street fair in Astoria and the object of my affection, grilled sardines.  I had always heard that summer brought out mounds of the small black salted stinkers and people who love them in this part of town.  So an invite to join a few other archivists and Spaniards at Casa Galicia – a Community Center with an imposing façade – could not be ignored.  And at 6 for $5 you know you’re not in posing Manhattan anymore.

It was family style seating plus wine, sardines, torta (potato pie), hearty beige bread, pulpo (octopus), Spanish empanadas (baked, flat, stuffed with either fish or chicken), and calamares fritos.  I also had an excellent Spanish beer, Estrella Galicia, from the North-West and noticed a sign offering cerveza nacional.  Asking, it turned out it was OUR beer national; Budweiser.

Unbelievably wonderful food, polished off by some Turkish coffee and sweets, made for another great day on the road.  You can learn a lot by taking a little fieldtrip now and then.

Speaking of fieldtrips: Tuesday evening, beginning at 5:30, Forro in the Dark plays outside for free @ the City Winery.  See you there.

AND – a reader has pointed out that Sangaré is performing Friday night at Celebrate Brooklyn, @ the Prospect Park Bandshell, on the bill with our pal Bassam Saba.  Is that out of town also?

Sangaré recordings @ ARC.

• Ko Sira  (World Circuit, UK, WCD 036, 5″, compact disc, 1993)

• Ko Sira  (World Circuit / Nonesuch, USA, 79576-2 , 5″, compact disc, 1993)

• Moussolou  (World Circuit, UK, WCD 021, 5″, compact disc, 1991)

• Moussolou  (World Circuit / Nonesuch, USA, 79575-2, 5″, compact disc, 1999)

• OUmou  (World Circuit / Nonesuch, USA, 79827-2, 5″, compact disc, 2004)

• OUmou  (World Circuit / Nonesuch, USA, PRCD 301363, 5″, compact disc-2CD, 2004)

• Seya  (World Circuit / Nonesuch, USA, 519650-2, 5″, compact disc, 2009)

• Worotan  (World Circuit / Nonesuch, USA, 79470-2, 5″, compact disc, 1996)

• Worotan  (World Circuit, UK, WCD 045, 5″, compact disc, 1996)

Candy kisses, raspberries, banana-nana-babouvism

14 02 2011

Well, it’s a traditional view of pair bonding, but at least the title, Girl Meets Boy, gives the majority gender top billing.  Happy Valentines from your institutional love machine, ARC.

No kisses for the latest show up at the Museum of the City of New York where I saw, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment, on Saturday. Now it’s not their fault that this was wall-to-wall webpages, blown-up and boringly the same; blame the Smithsonian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture who put the show together, who own most of the material on exhibit.

This is a show designed for easy travel, hence the modular panels, so slack given.  But after Carnegie Hall, the Apollo is America’s greatest venue.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring some vision to the task, certainly offering more than the same small and smaller screen presentation you could sample from your couch.  I suggest a re-look at one of the few good music exhibitions ever mounted, Rock ’n’ Roll 39-59, at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain in Paris (June 22–Octobre 28, 2007) – if not exactly waxing philosophical (but at least trying), offering an exhaustive and spectacular look at what happened, beautifully mounted and thought out. Then again, imagine anyone complaining about the depth of a gallery show about popular music.

I arrived behind forty Black high school students, who whisked through the whole thing in under six minutes.  Other than that viewers were me-like, post 50, white.  My highlight was seeing Mr. Schiffman’s (longtime owner) index cards listing artist payments and comments on their performances.  Take these first and last entries on Bo Diddley:  “8/19/55 – Very lowdown rhythm and exciting”… “10/17/58 – Popularity seems to have diminished to nothing”. Tito Puente’s first note complains that he has no drawing power.   A nice surprise was learning that minstrel’s blackface was once available commercially in a tube.

Speaking of bad execution, as the Egyptian ‘revolution’ in Tahrir Square was playing out, I was immersed in reading source documents of the French Revolution. Now whenever you think you know something about something, there’s another level of specificity, a realm of concerns, a focus unique to the inheritors of a tradition that brings you up short.  So I struggled through ‘babouvism’, an extreme take on sharing, made real in a movement entitled, “the conspiracy of equals” (our next blog rename?), a touchstone of communism.

I’ve attached some portions of the unsuccessful defense mounted by one of the founders, François-Nöel Babeuf (“Gracchus”) at his conspiracy trial in 1797.  He touches on a million inequities (“Education is a monstrosity when it is unequal”) and makes an easy slip and slide into a discussion that presages the creative commons and the ethics of filesharing.

“The products of industry and of genius also become the property of all, the domain of the entire association, from the very moment that the workers and the inventors have created them, because they are simply compensation for earlier discoveries made through genius and industry, from which the new inventors and workers have profited within the framework of social life, and which have helped them to make their discoveries.  Since the knowledge acquired is the domain of everyone, it must therefore be equally distributed among everyone”.

No wonder they killed him.

Inexplicable, ridiculously, the only way I’ve been able to keep the movement’s unfamiliar name in my head, is to incorrectly sing Shirley Ellis’ manifesto-like “Name Game”.

Obviously Shirley knows Presidents Day is upon us, and in the second verse she deconstructs Lincoln, not a very common name to posit haphazardly.

As I walked my 60 block walk to the museum, I found this mural on Lex around 116th St.  Not French, but honored in Spanish Harlem; another Queen with big hair, but always kept her head; a Cuban who loved Reagan and shunned revolution; called that “skinny Negresse” when she replaced Myrta Silva in La Sonora Matancera, they let her eat cake; Reina de la Salsa, Celia Cruz…

Tuckered out, after a great lunch @ Sisters Caribbean Cuisine (47 E. 124th St), I took the Lex line home.  On the platform, huddled and pretty much singing to himself, I couldn’t believe the miniature foot-powered double drum kit this genius had put together.  I gave him more than I gave the museum.

This is NOT the original Soundtrack

2 02 2011

In the early 80s I spent a lot of time in Jamaica, mostly in Kingston, twice on the north shore.  No matter where you were someone would point out that that villa over there was Goldeneye, home of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels.  As for the Bond music, I was more into the Desmond Dekker take on it all, but I did enjoy the big-burst horns (Stan Kenton, thank you), twangy guitars (Duane Eddy via Vic Flick, you’re welcome) and girly openings (frat boys I’m sure) of every 007 film.  So the death of composer John Barry sent me into the stacks for a quick lookaround.

Here at the ARC we have whole sections devoted to themes for intuitive finds, like ‘God’, ‘Black God’, ‘Southern God’, ‘Music To…’, ‘Music for…’, ‘Outer Space’ – ways to group the unsortable for the inevitable need.  Here are a few of our favorite, among the 100s, ‘Secret Agent’ LPs.

The above in honor the man who married Jane Birkin, now on to more serious matters…

Boo-La La!

29 10 2010

Ah, the past.  It’s all coming back to me now.  Spirits in the air, then airmail brought this very nice memory from the UK.

This large poster was one of six placed around London in 1983 when I launched Volume, (736 page discography on punk and new wave music).  I was working out of the Rough Trade office, and doing my semi-official show with John Peel on the BBC.  Hand drawn this, calling on one-time artschool skills.

Brits like to dress up funny, but Halloween was not a big deal then.  So the idea was a costume party with music and books to hawk and a stellar group of judges (John Peel, Siouxsie Sue and Genesis P Orridge!) for best lookers.  Well I don’t remember much more than that, oh, except the bands were great and leaving Heaven at about 4 am, dressed in a latex red devil outfit, pouch stuffed with £4oo in small bills, with a bit of a buzz on, I was stopped by the police.

But that’s another story.

What I meant to say was my mother grew up in an inner city, industrial city, and her best friend’s family ran a funeral parlor.  Her best story was the time they were playing hide-and-go-seek.  Well who could resist crawling in an empty display coffin to hide?  Not my Mom.   Of course the lid came down and quilted screams did their best, but it was hours before they found her.  To this day plush interiors leave her cold.

So on this All Saints Day, in Mom’s honor, with a nod to the recently deceased singing undertaker, Solomon Burke, I’m building a musical coffin corner.

The king of emerging (from a coffin) artists will always be Screaming Jay Hawkins.  With his hand-held skull-on-a-stick and occasional upturned bonemustache. SJH put a spell on youth in the 50s. Freddie (ARC archivist) actually saw him perform, and here Fred laughs at one of Jay’s jokes in a scary 80’s LA TV appearance on Art Fein’s Poker Party.

Freddie also remembered some buried footage in one of the worst rock movies ever made (…and the good one is?), “Bop Girl Goes Calypso.” Here the Goofers leave no grave-stone unturned for a laugh, and perform one number rising from the pine.  Truly horrifying!

Now I mention Lady Gaga because to do so brings an additional 300 readers to our blog.  Like all novelty acts, she too has struck the occasional resurrectionist pose.

I could go on and on.

You see there’s CD cases, and guitar cases, a Japanese band and DJ turntable cases all shaped like coffins.  But blogs have to honor people who view the news on their mobiles, and never get to the bottom of anything, let alone a grave.

I say the ARC is not about entertainment – two bit knowledge, and too much of it – that’s what makes us spooky.  And this Halloween Mom bids you, Vichnaya pamyat! (Memorial eternal!) – that’s RIP in Ukrainian.

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