The Road To Ruined

I approach singer/songwriters with caution. It can be a rabbit hole of disfunction with boring musical accompaniment. Mix that with Jazz and I really worry.
Maybe because John Martyn’s “Solid Air” is both, and works so beautifully is why it’s been one of my very favorite albums for over 40 years.
It was the first record I played on my first real stereo system, which I bought by working as a busboy at a Marie Callender’s in 1974.
When I was putting this together, I couldn’t bring myself to interupt it’s flow, so tracks 7-15 are 1973’s “Solid Air”. The first six come from “The Tumbler” (1968), “Stormbringer!”(1970)*, “The Road To Ruin”(1970)*, “Bless The Weather”(1971), and the last eight are mostly from “Sunday’s Child”(1975), with the final song taken from “One World”(1977).
He was an incredible guitar player, fantastic singer, and songwriter.

But he had no shortage of demons. I hear many of his love songs as heartfelt apologies for bad behavior.
That’s why they ring so true.

In the ’80’s he morphed from underground folk artist into adult contemporary soft jazz blandness.
And then proceeded to gain about 300 lbs.

I’d Rather Be The Devil

There and Back Again

Going (Down The Road Feeling) Good

Here is a mix of quirky, atmospheric, and mostly upbeat instrumentals for barreling down the highway and enjoying the open road.

And get home safe

http://www34.zippyshare.com/v/99593151/file.html

Chillin’ With Miles

 
(Take It Or Leave It)

Despite producing the original sessions, Teo Macero was not involved in putting the set together, and is adamant that they should never have been released in this form. “I hate it,” he says. “I think it’s a bunch of shit, and you can quote me on that. And I hope you do. It has destroyed Miles and made him sound like an idiot. It’s a terrible thing to do to an artist when he’s dead. Those records were gems, and you should leave them as gems.”

It’s too bad most people think of “Bitches Brew” when the subject of electric Miles comes up, because it’s one of the least interesting of the period. Along with Agartha and Dark Magus, it would be an easy to think the whole era a funked up bore. It was that way for me until I got hold of “The Complete On The Corner Sessions”. I was familiar with Bill Laswell’s “Panthalassa”, but distrusted his approach. I don’t always like his interpretations, for instance his re-imagination of Bob Marley is pretty terrible.
I’d never heard the original “On The Corner”, but it’s reputation is pretty poor as many of his Jazz fans found the long funky pieces “not jazz”, and boring. I loved the unreleased jams Teo thinks are shit. It’s what opened my ears to Miles. Next I collected “The Complete Jack Johnson”, then “The Complete In A Silent Way”, and “The Complete Bitches Brew”.
I think Teo’s pissed because it’s pulled the curtain back showing how he and Miles manipulated hours of tape to construct a product instead of letting the jams speak for themselves.

“Chillin’ With Miles Davis” is a nice companion to the official releases. It’s for those who think they don’t like electric Miles. These tracks are really important in the scheme of things. He is making ambient music, he is anticipating dub. You can tell they were exploring unknown territory. Everyone is really listening and trying to make it work. Miles purposely got musicians to play out of comfort zones. That’s why this is so special.

Miles, inspired by Jimi Hendrix, and Sly Stone, set out to make rock n roll and reach a younger audience. I’m sure he figured it would be easy, after all it was being made by young cats without training, but he found Rock is deceptively simple, and it took him awhile to get his groove on.

I wanted to make an ambient album, I’d read somewhere that Brian Eno had been influenced by “He Loved Him Madly” and used it as a rough guide for texture and pacing in his ambient works, so I started with that and “Guinnevere” (“Bitches Brew” outtake). I made a cd, and while reviewing, realized that no matter how much I love it, “He Loved Him Madly” is too damn long, so I snipped off the first ten minutes, where a natural break occurs and a drum beat is introduced. This differs from the released version in that there are no overdubs or edits (save mine). It’s the original Jam.

“The Big Green Serpent” is another “BB” outtake. it’s a fragment, marred by a slight breakdown with conversation. I cut about 40 seconds.
In order for everything to fit on a cd, I trimmed about a minute no one will miss off the end of “Guinnevere”. Everything else “as is”.

I finished it off with “Go Ahead, John part One” (Jack Johnson outtake), which isn’t all that ambient, but a terrific bluesy closer with great solos by Miles, and John McLaughlin’s stunning guitar.

I heartily disagree with Mr. Macero. It has not destroyed Miles and made him sound like an idiot. This material enhances both Miles catalog and reputation, and in no way casts the artist in a poor light.

Link in comments.

It’s also here

Special Thanks to Willard for turning me onto the music.

Cow Cow Boogie

 
 

Peace, Baby

Peace, Baby

I’ve always loved this song. My parents played a lot of records. My Dad used to buy weird cut-outs, mostly by names he knew already, such as Chet Atkins, Doc Severinson, people of the previous era trying to make records in the swingin sixties. A lot of potential for uncool there. One record they played a lot was a Capitol Records something or other anniversary compilation of big hits. Cow Cow Boogie was the opener, being the fledgling label’s first gold record. When I was in High School I snickered every time Ella sang the lyric with “loco weed” in it (Still do, actually). Check out the ultra cool jive rap with Don Raye on The House Of Blue Lights. She actually calls him “Homey”.

Ella Mae Morse (September 12, 1924 – October 16, 1999), was an American popular singer. One of the most talented and overlooked vocalists of the 1940s, Morse blended jazz, country, pop, and R&B; at times she came remarkably close to what would be known as rock and roll.

She was all that

She was all that

Morse was born in Mansfield, Texas. She was hired by Jimmy Dorsey when she was 14 years old. Dorsey believed she was 19, and when he was informed by the school board that he was now responsible for her care, he fired her. In 1942, at the age of 17, she joined Freddie Slack’s band, with whom in the same year she recorded Cow Cow Boogie, Capitol Records’ first gold single. “Mr. Five by Five” was also recorded by Morse with Slack and they had a hit recording with the song in 1942 (Capitol 115). She also originated the wartime hit “Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet,” which was later popularized by Nancy Walker in the film, Broadway Rhythm.

Ella_Mae_Morse_In_A_Jazz_Recording_Session

Cow Cow Boogie
The House Of Blue Lights

Twang

 
Home of Twang

Home of Twang

I love this song. The rest of the album is pretty much Jazz, but this is something altogether different. It is nothing but music of the highest, most transcendent order. Bill Frisell kills on acoustic guitar, and it is a distinct pleasure just listening to the rhythm section of Charlie Haden and Joey Baron. Horns are Randy Brecker, John Clark, and Jim Pugh. Astonishing music.

John Scofield (born December 26, 1951 in Dayton, Ohio), often referred to as “Sco,” is an American jazz guitarist and composer, who has played and collaborated with Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Charles Mingus, Joey Defrancesco, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Pat Martino, Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, Billy Cobham, Medeski Martin & Wood, George Duke, Jaco Pastorius, and many other important artists. At ease in the bebop idiom, Scofield is also well versed in jazz fusion, funk, blues, soul, and other forms of modern American music.

Early in his life, Scofield’s family left Ohio and relocated to the small, then mostly rural location of Wilton, Connecticut; it was here that he discovered his interest in music.

In 1992, Scofield released Grace Under Pressure, featuring fellow guitarist Bill Frisell, with Charlie Haden on bass and Joey Baron on drums.

Twang

Alice Coltrane “Hare Krishna”

 
I hope to hear the whole thing someday

I hope to hear the whole thing someday

I can’t live without “Hare Krishna” from 1972’s Universal Consciousness, a record I don’t know and don’t have. I can’t say if the rest of it sounds like this or is any good. In fact I don’t know any of her other music. I have a fair amount of her husband’s, but I don’t listen to it much. I’m more into Monk.

I always say I’m not a big Jazz fan, in fact I usually say I hate it, when actually, I’ll admit to loving a lot of it.  For a non fan I sure have and cherish a lot of records.  “Hare Krishna” is one of my all-time favorite pieces of music.  It is a work of staggering beauty.  It’s intensely spiritual. It sounds like meditating while coming onto acid.  It’s some of the only ambient Jazz I know. It would sound great in an airport.

Alice Coltrane (née McLeod) (August 27, 1937 – January 12, 2007) was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, composer, and the wife of John Coltrane.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Coltrane studied classical music, and studied with Bud Powell. She began playing jazz as a professional in Detroit, with her own trio and as a duo with vibist Terry Pollard. From 1962 to 1963 she played with Terry Gibbs’s quartet, during which time she met John Coltrane. She replaced McCoy Tyner as pianist with John Coltrane’s group in 1965. She married Coltrane in 1966, and continued playing with the band until his death in 1967. John Coltrane became stepfather to Alice’s daughter Michelle, and the couple had three children: drummer John Jr., and saxophonists Oran and Ravi. John Jr. died in a car crash in 1982.

After John Coltrane (Sr.)’s death she continued to play with her own groups, moving into more and more meditative music, and later playing with her children. She was one of the few harpists in the history of jazz. Her essential recordings were made in the late 1960s and early 1970s for Impulse! Records.

Coltrane was a devotee of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. In 1972, Coltrane moved to California, where she established the Vedantic Center (see Vedanta) in 1975. By the late 1970s she had changed her name to Turiyasangitananda. Coltrane was the spiritual director, or swamini, of Shanti Anantam Ashram (later renamed Sai Anantam Ashram in Chumash Pradesh) which The Vedantic Center established in 1983 near Malibu, California. On rare occasions, she continued to perform publicly under the name Alice Coltrane.

The 1990s saw renewed interest in her work, which led to the release of the compilation Astral Meditations, and in 2004 she released her comeback album Translinear Light. Following a twenty-five-year break from major public performances, she returned to the stage for three U.S. appearances in the fall of 2006, culminating on November 4 with a concert in San Francisco with her son Ravi, drummer Roy Haynes, and bassist Charlie Haden.

Alice Coltrane died of respiratory failure at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center in suburban Los Angeles. She is buried alongside her late husband John Coltrane in Pinelawn Memorial Park, Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York.

Paul Weller dedicated his song “Song For Alice (Dedicated to the Beautiful Legacy of Mrs. Coltrane),” from his album 22 Dreams, to Coltrane; the track entitled “Alice” on Sunn O)))’s 2009 album Monoliths & Dimensions was similarly inspired. Electronic musician Flying Lotus is the nephew of Alice Coltrane.

Hare Krishna

Art Ensemble of Chicago

 
Art Ensemble Of Chicago

Art Ensemble Of Chicago

In general, I hate Jazz, probably because I’m a “musician” and I can’t play it. I found the Art Ensemble Of Chicago in the ’70’s when I was a punk. Something about them clicked with me, maybe it was the sheer disregard for dogma and that “anything goes” seemed to be the rule. Anyway, this is one one my all-time favorite pieces of music.
I call it “All Aboard For Duffy Town” because I don’t know the real title. This comes from a cassette copy of a long gone Delmarc double album. I bought it in the early ’80’s, but it dates from much earlier. I remember the two record set was mostly squalling noise, except for this. It’s evocative of a train ride through small town America, the spoken words are billborads, or the conductor announcing available stops. It morphs into a near parody of Jazz, not unlike cartoon music, but it swings like a mutha. I love it. Enjoy!

Wiki:

Members of what was to become the Art Ensemble performed together under various band names in the mid-sixties, releasing their first album, Sound, as the Roscoe Mitchell Sextet in 1966. The Sextet included saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, trumpeter Lester Bowie and bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut, who over the next year went on to play together as the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble. In 1967 they were joined by fellow AACM members Joseph Jarman (saxophone) and Phillip Wilson (drums), and made a number of recordings for Nessa.

As noted above, the musicians were all active multi-instrumentalists: Jarman and Mitchell’s primary instruments were alto and tenor saxes, respectively, but they played many other saxophones (ranging from the tiny sopranino to the large bass), flutes and clarinets. In addition to trumpet, Bowie played flugelhorn, cornet, shofar and conch shells. Favors added touches of banjo and bass guitar. Over the years, most of the musicians dabbled on piano, synthesizer and other keyboards.

In 1969, Wilson left the group to join blues singer/harmonica player Paul Butterfield’s band. That same year, the remaining group travelled to Paris [2], where they became known as the Art Ensemble of Chicago. The immediate impetus for the name change came from a French promoter who added “of Chicago” to their name for purely descriptive purposes, but the new name stuck because band members felt that it better reflected the cooperative nature of the group. In Paris the ensemble were based at the Théâtre des Vieux Colombier [3] and their distinctive music with percussion roles dispersed throughout the quartet was documented in a range of records on the Freedom and BYG labels. They also recorded “Comme à la radio” with Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem as a drummerless quartet before welcoming percussionist Famoudou Don Moye to the group in 1970.

In 1970 the ensemble recorded Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass and Les Stances a Sophie with singer Fontella Bass, then Lester Bowie’s wife. The latter was the soundtrack from the French movie of the same title. Bass’ vocals, backed by the powerful pulsating push of the band has allowed the “Theme De YoYo” to remain an underground cult classic ever since.

The ensemble returned to the United States in 1972, and the quintet of Mitchell, Jarman, Bowie, Favors and Moye remained static until 1993. Upon their return to the States, they came to prominence with two major releases on Atlantic Records: Bap-Tizum and Fanfare for the Warriors. Members of the group made the decision to restrict their appearances together, allowing each player to pursue other musical interests. It seems likely that this has contributed to the longevity of the ensemble. Despite the self-imposed limitations the Art Ensemble managed to release more than 20 studio recordings and several live albums between 1972 and 2004.

On Stage

On Stage

All Aboard for Duffy Town!