Monday, March 30, 2015

Edison Machado e Samba Novo (1964)

Short and sweet, with an all-star cast already featured on significant Brasilian projects posted in lossless format over at the Crypt.

Led by Edison Marchado – drummer on “Turma da Gafieira” and “Embalo” – the rhythm section is completed by Tenorio Jr on piano and Sebastião Neto on bass

The rest of the band is Paulo Moura on alto, J.T. Meirelles on tenor, and Raul de Souza on valve trombone, with Edson Maciel on slide and Pedro Paulo on trumpet.  All of these brass and reed guys played on Tenorio Jr’s “Embalo”, while Moura, Meirelles and Raulzinho were also part of Os Cobras' "O LP".

Moacir Santos, the great self-taught sax-monster also previously featured at the Crypt, is producer and arranger. He is also composer of four of the tracks, the first of which - "Nanã".- is "Coisa Nº 5" from his seminal recording "Coisas".

Nanã   (Moacir Santos)
Só Por Amor   (Baden Powell & Vinicius)
Aboio   (J. T. Meirelles)
Tristeza Vai Embora   (Baden Powell & Mário Telles)
Miragem   (J. T. Meirelles)
Quintessência   (J. T. Meirelles)
Se Você Disser Que Sim   (Moacir Santos & Vinicius)
Coisa Nº 1   (Moacir Santos)
Solo   (J. T. Meirelles)
Você  (Rildo Hora & Clóvis Mello)
Menino Travesso   (Moacir Santos & Vinicius)

Edison Machado É Samba Novo (1964)
54.4 MegaBytes at 256 kbpsé_Samba_Novo_(1964_).rar

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Snooks Eaglin - The Way It Is

The final album from the great Snooks Eaglin is a dynamite one. Jon Cleary and his Absolute Monster Gentlemen make up the backing rhythm section and Astral Projects' Tony Degradi is in the horn section. Great stuff.

Sadly the label, Money Pit Records, allowed this to go out of print almost as fast as it came out so now it sells for stupid bucks!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records - Extra Overload Bonus

The Paramount Art Book pdf
51 MegaBytes!2cwSAIoL!Va50VDyPJBfWqis5VKtF_JctlbYMmFkDuXiJy_xWYTI

Other Resources for the Curious:
Tuuk's book:
is the definitive history of Paramount

Alex van der Tuuk's on-line archive:
more to find out about all things Paramount

The Rise and Fall of Paramount - Volume 2, part 3 - our final tranche

"Radio killed Paramount" 

The decline began around 1928, the year Paramount cancelled Ma Rainey’s contract in spite of her having been their biggest star before Blind Lemon.  It was indication of Vaudeville’s fading out of fashion.  But radio’s impact came on more slowly - “most of our customers of the blues were black, and didn't have money to buy radios in those days, and so it took a year or two,” said Herb Schiele, Vice Prez of Artophone, a Paramount distributor which had forsaken records for Philco radios by 1930. Paramount's previous main distributor, the E.E. Forbes Piano Company of Birmingham, had already turned to Majestic radios.

This loss of ready access into the all-important Mississippi market increased Paramount’s dependence on advertising and mail-order.  But then those mailed orders began to pile up uncollected in post offices, forcing the company to pay postage if the stock was to be reclaimed. The unsold records were taken as a sign that the "race" record business was finished. Because of the fall in mail order revenues, they cut advertising.  Their final Chicago Defender ad was April 26th, 1930.

Paramount executives were reluctant to continue the label in face of the economic collapse which had been accelerated by the stock market crash of ’29.  Their record-presses were scaled back from more than 50 to some 10, reduced to only three five-hour shifts per week and, apparently aiming to divest themselves completely of the record business, they tried to sell-off their masters and failed.

Although between 1930 and 1932, Paramount's production costs were kept so low they had amazingly still managed to break even, the industry-wide sales of $11 million in ’32 were nonetheless only a mere tenth of the figure for 1920.

1932 was when the money ran out for everything – including music.

By 1933, nearly half of U.S. banks had failed, and 30% of the workforce was unemployed – that’s almost 15 million people. Paramount added to that number by firing its lower echelon employees at their Christmas party, and then went quietly out of business, the only record company of the era to fold of its own accord, without bankruptcy or imposed receivership.

The closure decision was based on their belief that the "race" business had been killed by radio. But the real culprit was the Great Depression - which, I guess, helps explain why their passing went by so largely unnoticed. 

"You can’t sell the records if no one has money to buy them"

The Rise and Fall of Paramount Volume 2, Part 3
1.76 GigaBytes!qZ42FKaC!RnvffpwXgsHBOlLdJGO4fJYLrJnRHLY13RwgXAlUZVA

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Awadi - Presidents d'Afrique (2010) - Senegal

Colonialism in Africa...
... is not responsible for genocide. It is not responsible for dictators. It is not responsible for fanaticism. It is not responsible for the corruption, prevarication. It is not responsible for waste and pollution…
The tragedy of Africa is that the African man has never really entered history. The African peasant who for centuries has lived according to the seasons, whose ideal is to be in harmony with nature, has known only the eternal renewal of time via the endless repetition of the same actions and the same words.  In this mentality, where everything always starts over again, there is no place for human adventure, nor for any idea of progress.
Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, speaking in Dakar on July 26th 2007

Presidents d’Afrique is an African response to Sarko from the highly influential and musically respected Francophone Hip-Hop artist, Didier Awadi.

It has taken me a while to open up to rap & hip-hop.  But not being fluent in French means being able to completely ignore what's being said, and maybe that's what helped a genre-newbie like me take notice instead of the way it's put together - the architecture, the construction, of elements assembled and stitched into the weave of a whole sonic fabric.

But if I never saw art in the genre before, I sure noticed its status as international medium for the dispossessed.  And what’s being voiced here comes from the long history of struggle against colonialism which marks past and future right across the continent.

Awadi’s assemblage takes excerpts from speeches by black leaders like Thomas Sankara, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Cheikh Anta Diop, Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon, sets their statements to music, and then blends rappers from across Africa, the Caribbean and America, to create a profound monument to revolutionary leaders who gave their lives for a Pan-African ideal of unity, independence and pride.
Some say that we don’t have a sense of history and memory in Africa. With this album we will make them think again…
Didier Awadi, Dakar, 2010

Awadi - Presidents d'Afrique - PLUS
121.3 MB!mcRH0ApQ!Iya15BTIzefOGD9VkPPtGZz8ruQORaa-tqwEwhZ17yo
A couple of the tracks sound like they cut off too early and abruptly.
In compensation, extra tracks from elsewhere are included.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tabu Ley Rochereau - The Voice of Lightness

"Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi Tabu (13 November 1937 or 1940 – 30 November 2013), better known as Tabu Ley Rochereau, was a leading African rumba singer-songwriter from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was the leader of Orchestre Afrisa International, as well as one of Africa's most influential vocalists and prolific songwriters. Along with guitarist Dr Nico Kasanda, Tabu Ley pioneered soukous (African rumba) and internationalised his music by fusing elements of Congolese folk music with Cuban, Caribbean and Latin American rumba. He has been described as "the Congolese personality who, along with [the dictator] Mobutu, [most] marked Africa's 20th century history." He was dubbed "the African Elvis" by the Los Angeles Times.After the fall of the Mobutu regime, Tabu Ley also pursued a political career.

During his career, Tabu Ley composed up to 3,000 songs and produced 250 albums." more @ wiki

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Paramount - Volume 2, part 2 - our fifth tranche

With our final tranche - coming next - we will have the whole collection of 1600 tracks.

How do we deal with such a random avalanche of unknown treasures?

iTunes works for me – I can order and search by title, by year, or by artist as I choose.  My fondness for Big Bill Broonzy means he was one of the first whose Paramount sides were played in my kitchen.  And I could listen to them vaguely in the order they were recorded and convince myself I was studying an artist’s development. I was curious also about Perry Bradford – the hustler and producer behind Mamie Smith’s “Crazy Blues” and the birth of the race-records industry.  So I checked out his Jazz Phools.  Harry Smith’s anthology had introduced me to the charm of Dock Boggs, so I was happy to find a couple of other titles here.

Other than this purposeful strategy, I have simply resorted to good old lucky dip, and here are a few nuggets that the randomness of iTunes’ “shuffle” control brought to my attention:

Two tracks from The Famous Blue Jay Singers of Birmingham turned up at Chitlins already (one on “Great Gospel - People Get Ready”, the other on CD4 of “Goodbye Babylon”). And there are eight more tracks here on Paramount from 1931.  "Clanka-A-Lanka (Sleep on Mother)" has become a favourite.

Blind Blake is a constant wonder.  He recorded "Sun to Sun" in November 1931, but modern ears had no chance to hear it until a copy was found in a North Carolina steamer trunk by the collector Marshall Wyatt in 2007.  It’s included here alongside 42 others.

Geeshie Wiley’s "Last Kind Words Blues" features on some other collections also, and I have always dug it.  There are a three other sides on Rise and Fall: two from 1931 are with Elvie Thomas.  Check this out while we’re at it:

Slim Barton & Eddie Mapp – I’d never heard of ‘em, either. Guitar and harmonica duo making music for dancing and drinking (on very bad shellac), their "Wicked Treatin’ Blues" is full of sadness and despair.

Rube Lacy is another unknown to me, but then as far as anyone can tell he only recorded “Ham Hound Crave” and “Mississippi Jail House Groan”. 

There are two Ollies I stumbled into – Ollie Powers and
Ollie Hess – and the latter’s "Mammy’s Lullaby" charmed and disarmed me. 

Just one track from a pianist called George Hamilton - "Chimes Blues" – but it’s a delight; Brother Fullbosom’s "A Sermon on a Silver Dollar" was my introduction to an unexpected genre of preaching; Elder J.J. Hadley on parts 1 & 2 of “Prayer of Death“ is really Charlie Patton. 

Part 2 of Volume 2 - our fifth and penultimate tranche of Paramount
1.75 GigaBytes!zZZC2LAB!YvK1HJBB-n932pICGyMUa7gSk8y1d9tBUpkr5xm8p7k

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Original R&B: Jukin' Past Midnite

I just discovered something guys - if you have jdownloader 2 beta and you copy the mixcloud link, it will show you the m4a and the mp3 that make up the mixcloud post - when you go to dl the mp3 it will direct you to an add-on that will let you extract the mp3!

Boo Boo Davis - East St. Louis

"James "Boo Boo" Davis (born November 4, 1943) is an American electric blues musician. Davis is one of the few remaining blues musicians that got experience singing the blues based on first-hand experience in the Mississippi Delta, having sung to help pass the time while picking the cotton fields.

Davis was born in Drew, Mississippi, where he was raised in the heart of Mississippi Delta. Davis's passion for music started at age five when his mother took him to church and he played the harmonica and sang. When he was eighteen years old he began playing drums for the family band, Lard Can Band, because Davis did not possess a drum kit and was forced to play on a lard can. The band featured his multi-instrumental father, Sylvester Sr., his younger brother Sylvester Jr. on the guitar, and his sister Clara on vocals. The band played throughout the state of Mississippi, including a stint as the back up for B.B King, who was unknown at the time." wiki

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mojo Buford - Campagne & Reefer

"George "Mojo" Buford (November 10, 1929 – October 11, 2011) was an American blues harmonica player, best known for his work in Muddy Waters' band.

Buford relocated from Hernando, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee in his youth, where he studied the blues. He relocated to Chicago in 1952, forming the Savage Boys that eventually became known as the Muddy Waters, Jr. Band. They substituted for Muddy Waters at local nightclubs whilst he was touring.

Buford first played in Muddy Waters' backing band in 1959, replacing Little Walter, but in 1962 moved to Minneapolis to front his own band, and record albums. It was in Minneapolis that Buford gained his nickname "Mojo", because of the audiences requesting him to perform his cover version of "Got My Mojo Working." Buford returned to Muddy Waters' combo in 1967 for a year when he replaced James Cotton. He had a longer tenure with Muddy Waters in the early 1970s, and returned for the final time after Jerry Portnoy departed to form The Legendary Blues Band.

He also recorded for the Mr. Blues label (later re-issued on Rooster Blues), Blue Loon Records, and the British JSP label.

Buford died on October 11, 2011, in Minneapolis, after a long hospitalization. He was 81." wiki

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Paramount - Volume 2 - our fourth tranche

Williams’ 1927 departure signals the beginning of decline, but it's not over yet.

So many Blind Lemon Jefferson records were sold that the original metal masters wore out and songs had to be re-recorded. He cut a total of 93 sides in three years for Paramount. And his popularity was only approached by that of Blind Arthur Blake – the man who "made his guitar sound like saxophone, trombone, clarinet, bass fiddle, and ragtime piano”, who Bill Broonzy regarded as “the best picker there is”.

Following the unexpected success of Fiddlin’ John Carson for Okeh, sales for Lemon and Blake also helped push Paramount’s door open to the old-time or hillbilly market.  So fiddlers and string-bands had become a label focus by the start of this period, with maybe the earliest suspicions of bluegrass. 

It was all the same to Paramount executives, though – a complete and totally impenetrable mystery to them – just like race-records had been.  This absolute incomprehension and absence of discrimination is undoubtedly, if accidentally, what makes their catalogue for us today such a luxuriant long-exposure snapshot of a hugely significant era in the birth of the record industry and the development of popular music.

We hear the roots of gospel and swing alongside distillations of blues and jazz – and the incipience of rock and roll. We get Charley Patton and Son House, Lottie Kimbrough and Dock Boggs, Geeshie Wiley and Skip James, Thomas Dorsey and Emry Arthur.....

It’s not over yet.
But we're getting there.

Here's a track-list for Volume 2
Only 247 KBytes!qQID1DrA!zh7q7u2JGh3E4cH3LHuHqvaEF2ZXX-VFFfhDUUUILS4

Here's the 1st bit of Vol 2 - and the fourth gargantuan part of our Paramount series
1.77 GigaBytes!zdIBCTJS!Rj27dv-3wIpVx4XGlokoKw5tQlekXIgGoaZK07aM0F0

Samba Mapangala and Orchestre Virunga - Malako

Soukous originated in the Belgian and French colonies of Congo, influenced by the Cuban Rumba styles so popular in the ‘40s & ‘50s.  It is known as “Congo” in West Africa because of it.  In Zambia and Zimabwe it is called “Rumba” still; in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania it is “Lingala” after the native Congolese language of the lyrics. Borne across to the east African coast by people on the move, the songs were sung also in Kiswahili, common to people of central and eastern Africa.

Samba Mapangala’s path was similar.  Originally from a port city on the river Congo, he left Mobutu’s Zaire in 1975 and travelled with other musicians to Amin’s Uganda, where they formed a band called Les Kinois (The Kinshasans), eventually reaching Nairobi in 1977. The band enjoyed great popular success there in Kenya but disbanded in 1980.

Mapangala formed Orchestre Virunga in 1981, and recorded “Malako” the same year.  Four tracks of sinuous molten vocals over hypnotic interlocking guitar lines on fluid dancing bass patterns, percussion fast & light, sweet saxophones, beautiful harmonies, and brilliant solos.

Similarly to the Orchestra Baobab happenstance, cassette copies circulating around the expatriate communities of Europe became highly sought-after cult items that reached the attention of the burgeoning “World Music” industry.  

The Earthworks label re-released it in 1990 (with a couple of extra tracks to boost the product to acceptable CD length) and broadened the Virunga audience enough to justify tours through Africa, Europe and North America.  After a final Virunga tour in 1997, Samba settled with his family in Washington D.C.

The band name is taken of course from the volcanic mountain range in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, the place where Dian Fossey introduced the world to the mountain gorillas.

Orchestre Virunga - Malako (1982)  87MegaBytes

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Chocolate Milk - Action Speaks Louder Than Words

It is fair to say that funk dominated the New Orleans music scene in the 70's. This band, however, was really built to make a national impact on that front more so than even the mighty Meters. I think that Toussaint envisioned these guys as the New Orleans version of Earth, Wind and Fire and for a hot moment when this album hit that looked like a possibility. To the average young black man in New Orleans in 1974, THIS was the the sound of contemporary New Orleans much more than the more familiar SeaSaint products that appear on most compilations today. For one thing these guys did not play Toussaint's music; the only band he produced that didn't as far as I can remember. I'm listening this morning as I write and that EWF comparison seems more and more on the mark. These guys were musicians, singers and song writers (sound familiar?) and where early EWF is more rooted in jazz, these guys were funky from the git-go. The title cut cracked the Hot 100, but beyond that they never really caught on despite being far more talented than 90% of the competition.

btw The only tune here that the guys didm't write themselves is that utterly luminous version of 'Tin Man'.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Paramount - a third tranche

In 1922, Paramount evaded bankruptcy by embracing the race-records market which had been discovered and established after Mamie Smith's huge 1920 success with "Crazy Blues" for the Okeh label.

In 1923, they bought up the Black Swan label and began using the services of Mayo Williams, a graduate of Brown University who had specialised in football and philosophy, and had become a black Chicago south-side bootlegger with important connections.

Paramount's treasure-laden five-years from '23 to '27 were defined by Williams - whose nickname of "Ink" was derived from his ability to get big names to sign on the dotted line..

He established Ma Rainey as the biggest blues star in the country after Bessie Smith, enjoyed several hits with Ida Cox and Alberta Hunter, found and recorded both Big Bill Broonzy and Blind Blake in Chicago, and managed and produced Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Record sales had been taking a hit from the rise of radio as the new technology replaced the wind-up Victrola as the source of home entertainment. But few places in the countryside were yet wired for electricity.  So labels turned their attention to rural markets and rushed to find blues music from the south that would sell to country audiences.

Paramount struck gold with Blind Lemon Jefferson - the first and most successful country blues star of the '20s, whose work would define and refine the down-home sound for all those who followed.

Mayo Williams, having identified a future for himself in the worlds of copyright and publishing, withdrew from the company in 1927.

His departure marked the end of an era alright.

But the biggest shadow yet to come was the one cast by the fat lady hanging just around the next corner.

Here's the Paramount Field Manual for Volume 1
327 MegaBytes!PBgB2ZbB!o9-BaUWJmh4qxEYWp7p2tcp4b1VUemnDarUYwRBKRuM
And here's our third and final tranche of tracks from Volume 1
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Trio Mocoto' - Samba Rock

"Trio Mocotó is a Brazilian band, originally formed in 1968 in the Jogral nightclub in São Paulo, and reformed in 2000. The group was influential in forming the musical style that became known as samba rock or samba soul. In 1969, they were backing Jorge Ben, being featured on seminal albums Força Bruta, Negro É Lindo and Tábua de Esmeralda.

In 1971, they had a hit with the single "Coqueiro Verde" (written by Erasmo Carlos). Their return to the studios with Samba Rock in 2001 was followed by tours and live appearance in main music festivals in Europe and Japan, with renewed energy and public. The group received in 2001 the APCA (São Paulo Art Critics Association ) award for Best Group, and in 2006 Nereu's album as solo artist "Samba Power" received again the APCA, this time with Best Album of the Year." wiki

The band's early material is definitely better suited to The Crypt as it more Samba Jazz (I'll post a 1974 set with Dizzy Gillespie over there soon), this one is a whole different animal entirely! All three guys had remained very active during their 25 years apart and had absorbed all kinds of new sounds and rhythms including rock, soul and hip hop. It all combines in a wonderful, fun ride here. You will not be able to sit still for very long with this one coming out of your speakers!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Donald Harrison Jr. - Indian Blues

I noticed a request for this one whilst editing the comments over at Buddy Bolden's Backroom (check the doors, brother). This stands as one of the greatest 'Indian' albums of the modern age (ya 70's) Being that it comes from a monster jazz dude like Donald it obviously leans a bit more jazzy than the glorious dirty funk of the Wild Magnolias, but that sure as shit don't mean it ain't loaded to the gills with New Orleans spirit and soul. To the best of my knowledge it also stands as the only recorded document of Don's dad, the great Big Chief Donald Harrison Sr. It is a thing of great beauty.

Lucky Peterson & Mavis Staples - Spirituals and Gospel

Welcome to church!

"Lucky Peterson plays blues. Mavis Staples sings gospel. One might wonder if this Saturday night/Sunday morning combo could create a lasting tribute to gospel great Mahalia Jackson. But it works, mainly because the two stick to a formula Jackson favored: Vocals accompanied only by an organ or piano.

Staples was deeply influenced by Jackson's music and friendship. And it was her idea to record a tribute using the accompaniment Jackson prefered. But she had trouble finding an organ player with the reputation that would interest a record company. Peterson had this reputation. In the mid-1990s, he was a red-hot blues player for Verve Records, getting lots of radio play, and gigs at major festivals. He was famous for his guitar playing, but equally proficient on the Hammond B-3 organ. Verve promised to release the Jackson tribute if Staples agreed to work with Peterson. The results are stunning, especially considering the two never worked together before.

Staples' voice is characterized by a deep rasp that adds an emotional edge to Jackson favorites like "Wade in the Water" and "Were You There?" Peterson, for his part, has the chops befitting a bandleader. But on this album, he gladly, almost worshipfully, steps into the supporting role. On every track, Peterson punctuates Staples' singing, and fills her pauses with appropriate chords. Never once does he upstage her, or play ahead of her.

The best example of this collaboration is "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." Here, Staples' voice soars to the heavens - praising God, Jackson, praising music itself - before descending to a gravelly bottom, filled with soul and solemnity. Peterson, again, follows wherever Staples goes. Like the perfect wingman, his eye remains on his leader, hands reacting quickly and competently to stay in formation.

"Spirituals & Gospel" works because of the special magic between Staples, a leader in sacred music, and Peterson, a star of the secular world. Who knew that great gospel needed a sinner to help it succeed? The Lord works in mysterious ways...."  Dan Klefstad

The Rise and Fall of Paramount - a second tranche


The Wisconsin Chair Company only stumbled into the phonograph-cabinet business after fire destroyed the Edison Phonograph Works in New York, and they got the sub-contract. Somehow as part of the deal they were also outfitted with disc manufacturing equipment.  The phonograph furniture they were now making was pretty expensive. They saw making records as a novelty device for driving cabinet sales.  That’s all.

Paramount Records and New York Recording Laboratories were incorporated by the parent furniture company in 1917.  But quality was never a prime consideration. The priority instead was low cost.  Their cheap shellac used filler materials such as pipe-clay, crushed limestone, silica, cotton flock, lamp black and various odds and ends.   These records weren't made to last.  Not like their furniture. They became notorious for poor sound and a sad lack of durability.

Those first five years of not really knowing what they were doing, and not really caring much about it, brought Paramount to the brink of bankruptcy.

Their second five years, 1923-27, is the period for which Paramount seems most remembered. Here's where they constructed the country blues and made "the Delta" into its heartland.

Of course, they had no idea at the time just how significant their catalogue would become to us guys inhabiting the future.  If they had, perhaps their legacy would have been preserved on better quality shellac.

Here's our second part of Volume 1.
1.79 MegaBytes!TUIz3Jhb!e4DwBeAdem6Cavmu5zDIreBuxRNbIzPbbhwRH438Qp0
The Paramount Track List Vol 1.pdf:!TNY2BSYJ!bxTm_WSSyiaIfVwzCnUbvgmNNczSZ_cBbKVlAEByQas