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themusicologist

themusicologist
quality music from across the musical spectrum..from the Gospel sounds of the Soul Stirrers to the hard rock of Humble Pie themusicologist is passionate about connecting and communicating using recorded sound from the 1920's up to the present day. Ev
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musicology #142
2008-05-07 11:06:00
SpectrumOfLove #2 (Johnny Mathis - 12th Of Never) yesterday flew by without a post so today I’m getting this one in early. what is Love? everyone has their own definition I suppose but for themusicologist this 1957 cut from well known singer Johnny Mathis goes a long way to providing an answer. I read/heard somewhere that the music that touches us deeply gives us and others around us, (our ‘Loved’ Ones), an insight into how/who we would like to be in the ideal world, without the chains of our personal experiences that have shaped our lives. I don’t know about that but I do know that I gravitate towards songs about Love partly because It’s an emotion that I find very hard to express, (other than where my children are concerned), This is not because I haven’t received it, (thanks especially to my mum), and maybe therein lies the conundrum..for me the unconditional variety is the only one worthy of the name … but before this post gets too dee...
musicology #141
2008-05-05 12:59:00
SpectrumOfLove #1 (The Radiants - I’m In Love) this weeks theme is dedicated to the quest for the ‘holy grail’ .. LOVE some ‘thing’ that we all need, and if we’re lucky .. give and receive. the love theme stretches across the full musical spectrum and I can’t think of a genre where it isn’t included in the repertoire and it’s of particular interest to themusicologist for the simple fact that I struggle to under/overstand and therefore express it. to be honest I think it’s partly why I listen to and appreciate the musical arts to such a degree as it seems to capture the essence of this emotion like no other form of external expression, (in my humble opinion of course), and these next six, (maybe seven), pieces are examples of that. first up is a slice of prime 1963 Soul from vocal group The Radiants whose track ‘Voice Your Choice’ was a BIG Mod/ernist tune in London’s clubs and dancehalls on release in 1964...
musicology #140
2008-04-27 21:31:00
theGood,Bad&theUgly #7 (Ennio Morricone - The Good The Bad & The Ugly (main title) finishing up this tribute to one of themusicologist’s all time favourite films with the final scene….guns drawn for the finale. don’t know how many of you remember the film in detail but this is shot in the centre of the graveyard. Il Buono has written the name on the stone and it’s waiting there for the victor to claim…as a piece of atmospheric cinema it ranks up there with the best of ‘em and even though I have seen it many times it always has the same sense of drama and anticipation. A large part of that is down to Ennio Moricone’s film score and I would like to pay tribute to the man, (who’s film scores are enough for me to watch any film), by including his work here on the last day. I won’t lie to you it’s been hard work this week searching through the vaults for diverse tunes that try to capture the essence of the film but mo...
musicology #139
2008-04-26 18:57:00
theGood,Bad&theUgly #6 (Sidney Bechet & The New Orleans Feetwarmers - Egyptian Fantasy ) penultimate day of the alternative soundtrack and it’s almost over. all three have managed to arrive at the cemetery and it’s time for the showdown. A winner takes all gunfight to the death…no prisoners taken. Angel Eyes thinks he’s holding all the cards but Blondie has double crossed them both and is still the only one who knows the real name on the grave that contains the Gold. I’ll say no more and leave it to the man himself to elucidate… the music is courtesy of virtuoso musician Sidney Bechet, (ably backed by ‘The New Orleans Feetwarmers), whose professional career stretches right back to the birth of ‘Jazz’ in New Orleans during the early 1900’s. Along with ‘Duke’ and ‘Pops’ Bechet is credited with being instrumental, (no pun intended), in the development of the music that we know and love today a...
musicology #138
2008-04-25 19:21:00
theGood,Bad&theUgly #5 (Dub Organizer - The Herb) day 5 and the battle’s getting hotter..this section finds Tuco and Blondie back in the saddle together following Angel Eyes’s double cross (who’s expecting that Tuco was ‘taken care of’ back in the ‘pig-sty’) for themusicologist this piece nails the atmosphere of the whole film in 5 mins of ranking ’spaghetti dub’ and should go some way to providing a showcase of the influence that the films will always have. the tune itself is courtesy of the UK based Fashion Label and was recorded at, (South London’s), A Class studio in 1997, (30 years after the film), the engineer on the session is the Dub Organizer, (Frenchie?), and it must be Augustus Pablo on the melodica, (no info on the label)
musicology #137
2008-04-24 14:29:00
theGood,Bad&theUgly #4 (The Gaturs - Gator Bait) we’ve already heard from ‘il Buono’ and ‘il Cattivo‘ over the preeceding three days and now it’s time for ‘il Brutto’ whose ‘nom de plume’, (Angel Eyes), seems to be well known to banditos like Tuco Ramirez. Lee Van Cleef, (il Brutto), was a true veteran of the western genre first appearing in ‘High Noon’ with Gary Cooper in 1952 he went on to feature in many more such as ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’, ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance’, ‘How The West Was Won’, (along with Eli Wallach), and the second in the ‘Dollars’ trilogy ‘For A Few Dollars More’. as a measure of the mans on screen qualities his name, (along with Clint Eastwood’s), was hijacked by Reggae DJ’s, (MC’s), and claimed as stage names, (Josey Wales too), so you can understand the huge impact these films and actors had on...
musicology #136
2008-04-23 16:14:00
theGood,Bad&theUgly #3 (Roland Alphonso & The Beverleys All Stars - The Cat) day three of the goodbad&ugly theme serves up a pivotal piece of dialogue . it’s the bit where Tuco and, (an almost dead), Blondie stumble across the dying Bill Carson who, with his dying breath, tells our man ‘Il Buono’ the elusive name on the grave. the music, courtesy of one of Jamaica’s greats Roland Alphonso, (along with the Beverly’s all stars), was released in the UK the same year as the film 1967..maybe it’s just me but I can hear the echoes of the spaghetti western influence creeping in.
musicology #135
2008-04-22 12:02:00
theGood,Bad&theUgly #2 (Roy Ayers Ubiquity - Ain’t No Sunshine) part two of the alternative soundtrack selection finds Blondie, (the good), getting his comeuppance from Tuco, (the ugly), for doublecrossing him, (sounds like Blondie wasn’t listening to Tuco’s threat from round one). musicology courtesy of Jazz Funkers Ubiquity led by Roy Ayers, Vibraphone virtuoso who was given his first pair of mallets at the tender age of FIVE by the instrument’s undisputed champ Lionel Hampton. this cut is taken from the 1973 Polydor album Red, Black & Green and is, for themusicologist, as good as the Bill Withers original especially as the piece does what all the best ‘covers’ do…bring something fresh to the table.
musicology #134
2008-04-21 13:35:00
theGood,Bad&theUgly #1 (Augustus Pablo - Cassava Piece) this weeks selection is a project that themusicologist first played around with 10 years ago when the ‘techne’ was beginning to make it possible to ‘mix & blend’ media together. the impact of the spaghetti western on contemporary street culture cannot be overestimated. especially in Jamaica where the ‘gun-man’ was beginning to dominate in the wild west atmosphere of Kingson’s shanty towns. The Good The Bad & The Ugly, (the third film in the trilogy), was released in Italy at the end of 1966 but took a year to be released around the world, (opening in America in Dec 1967), widely criticised for it’s gratuitous violence, (amazing when you consider that Vietnam was in full swing), it was an instant success and inspired a  whole generation of  youngbloods which continues to this day. Tarantino called it “the best directed film of all time” Apart from masterfu...
musicology #133
2008-04-20 21:42:00
instrumentalsweek #6 (Eddie Harris - Listen Here) finishing up the ‘players’ with this masterpiece from Eddie Harris who, in his own words, defines it as “A Latin jazz tune for dancing” taken from his final recording session for Atlantic in April 1967.. reduced from 30 minutes to just over 7, (a mistake in my humble opinion), featuring the combined skills of percussionist’s Ray Barretto & Joe Wohletz, Richard Smith on drums, Melvin Jackson on bass duties, Jodie Christian on Piano and the man himself blowing up a storm on Tenor Sax. another BIG tune on London’s Rare Groove dancefloors back in 86/7, (as well as being a million seller on initial release) by the way, tomorrow is the start of a new theme goodbad&ugly, an alternative soundtrack/tribute to one of themusicologists most loved films.
musicology #132
2008-04-19 17:11:00
instrumentalsweek #5 (Rupie Edwards All Stars - Your New Love) penultimate cut on the players selection and it’s another pearl from Jamaica. a Winston Wright organ led version of one of themusicologists favourite pieces of early Reggae, singer Dobby Dobson’s top ranking song ‘Your New Love’ although a singer of some fine songs Rupie Edwards was and is better known for his skills as a producer, having worked with such luminaries as Johnny Clarke, The Heptones, Gregory Issacs, the great Joe Higgs and foundation DJ’s U Roy and I Roy, (to name a few), and his contribution to the development of ‘Dub’ is sometimes overlooked. before the ‘version’ became the standard B-Side to every Jamaican 45, Rupie Edwards was experimenting with the instrumental and this one is an example of his capabilities. (Probable Session Line Up) Saxophone - Tommy McCook Trombone - Vin Gordon Drums - Carlton ‘Santa’ Davis Guitar - Hux Brown Piano ...
musicology #131
2008-04-18 19:48:00
instrumentalsweek #4 (The J.B’s - Hot Pants Road) today’s top ranking 1972 cut is courtesy of the hardest working band in show business, none other than the J.B’s with a tune that epitomises Funk. BIG on London’s, Rare Groove, dancefloors back in 1986/7 (probable line up) * Fred Wesley - trombone * Jimmy Parker - alto saxophone * St. Clair Pinckney - tenor saxophone * Bobby Byrd - organ * Hearlon “Cheese” Martin - guitar * Robert Coleman - guitar * Fred Thomas - bass * John “Jabo” Starks - drums * Johnny Griggs - congas
musicology #130
2008-04-17 21:31:00
instrumentalsweek #3 (Roland Alphonso - Jazz Ska) this prime slice of Jamaican musicology comes from the King Edwards stable and features many of the best proponents of the Ska style. Baba Brooks, Arkland ‘Drumbago’ Parks, Lester Sterling and tenor sax king, Roland Alphonso. Recorded and released on the King Edwards label in 1965 at the height of the genres popularity, (it would only be a year before Rock Steady became the ‘in thing’), this is Ska at it’s finest.
musicology #129
2008-04-16 15:41:00
instrumentalsweek #2 (Mulatu Astatqe - Yegelle Tezeta, (My Own Memory) been trying to get the ‘early post’ in for the last couple of weeks otherwise my day gets backed up with things to do….this weeks selection looks like providing the opportunity I’ve been waiting for so I’m grabbing it with both hands and flinging this one down when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and my, much loved children are here brightening up the day … this fine slice of Ethiopian funk was recorded and released in 1969, (available on the Top Ranking CD Ethiopiques #4), and is credited to Ethiopia’s premier musicologist Mulatu Astatqe who arranged, produced and also played on the session along with what sounds like the cream of Ethiopia’s ‘modernists’…. listen tune…
musicology #128
2008-04-15 13:39:00
instrumentalsweek #1 (Louis Armstrong & His Hot 5 - Muskrat Ramble) after the lyrics of the socialcommentaryweek I feel like bathing in the waters of the instrumental for a while so with that in mind, this week, i’m leaving it the ‘players’ to ’speak the universal’ first up it’s the father of ‘popular music’ Louis Armstrong accompanied by some of the greatest proponents of the New Orleans style Johnny Dodds, (clarinet), Johnny St Cyr, (Banjo), Lil Hardin, (Piano) and Kid Ory on trombone who together made up the worlds first ’super group..known collectively as the Hot 5.
musicology #127
2008-04-13 20:04:00
socialcommentaryweek #7 (Billy Bragg - Johnny Carcinogenic Show) finishing up with this one from brother Bragg’s latest ’set’, Love & Justice, (the deluxe edition), a pucker selection of quality slices that is highly recommended. has to be the deluxe as it has the accoustic and the accompanied versions of each cut. part of the inspiration for throwing down the social commentary selection has been my regular viewing of documentary’s made by Adam Curtis which are always to be found in the tray of themusicologist’s dvd player. each episode full of information on the how, who and why we find ourselves in the freedom trap of the 21st century. ‘The Power Of Nightmares’, ‘Century Of The Self’, ‘Pandoras Box’, ‘The Mayfair Set’ and ‘The Trap’ are not available on DVD, (surprise, surprise), but they are all out there available for consumption thanks to knowledge pirates who make an effort to share g...
musicology #126
2008-04-12 18:46:00
socialcommentaryweek #6 (Phil Ochs - The Ringing Of Revolution) penultimate cut on the ’social’ and themusicologist is rolling with one from an artist who was brought to my attention by the man that kicked off this current theme Stephen William, (billy), Bragg who not only cites Ochs as an inspiration but also recorded a tribute to the man ‘I dreamt I Saw Phil Ochs Last Night’ on his 1990 LP ‘the Internationale’ being an admirer of Billy Bragg, (”I just couldn’t help myself guess I was born with a curious mind”), themusicologist headed off on a journey and tracked down some of the man in question’s work. there are many great online sources of Phil Ochs Info so i’ll leave it to them to fill you in on the full and very colourful picture of his bitter sweet life and, in musicology style, let the music do the talking. this piece of revolutionary prose is taken from the Phil Ochs In Concert LP (1966) and is, for me, as goo...
musicology #125
2008-04-11 19:34:00
socialcommentaryweek #5 (Curtis Mayfield - Power To The People) yep it’s time for Curtis. one of the undisputed, hardest hitting social commentators to have graced us with his presence. as usual his lyrics are clear and concise and leave no room for interpretation. regulars will know how much Curtis means to themusicologist and I could never sing his praises loud enough. so i’ll leave it to the man himself to lay it on you…for me Curtis has always spoken for the oppressed whatever colour, race or creed and his message has always transcended those enforced divisions. pucker tune that says it all.
musicology #124
2008-04-10 21:51:00
socialcommentaryweek #4 (Bob Dylan - It’s Alright Ma I’m only bleeding) house full of kids today, (easter holidays), so it’s an evening post.. hardcore social commentary from the man who needs no introduction. must confess that themusicologist’s relationship to Mr Dylan had two periods..the early, (as a young child via my dad), and the second time round as an experimental 21 year old on the ‘bottom lips’. during that part of the journey this one in particular expanded my mind. a lyrical and emotional tour de force that almost transports me back to me days wandering in a ‘diamond sky’ taken from the 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home.. Darkness at the break of noon, Shadows even the silver spoon The handmade blade, the child’s balloon Eclipses both the sun and moon To understand you know too soon There is no sense in trying. Pointed threats, they bluff with scorn Suicide remarks are torn From the fool’s gold mouthpiece The...
musicology #123
2008-04-09 19:28:00
socialcommentaryweek #3 (Earl Sixteen - The System) one of themusicologists favourite pieces of social commentary from 1994. a 45 on the appropriately titled Voice In Progress label listen tune..
musicology #122
2008-04-08 15:34:00
socialcommentaryweek #2 (Style Council - A Stones Throw Away) not easy to find tunes that criticise the establishment. no surprise really, (especially these days), at a time when most artists concern seems to be with achieving the two F’s, (fame&fortune) not that I blame them as, in this age, success is measured by material wealth…big motors, large amounts of ‘tom’, houses in every town..you know what I mean. art as entertainment is todays message as the culture of pop dominates every corner of our society. this 1985 piece taken from the Style Council’s most critical set ‘Our Favourite Shop’ shows that there was a time when some saw it as their duty to openly criticise without fear…read ‘em and weep. “For liberty there is a cost, it’s broken skulls and leather cosh, From the boys in uniform, now you know whose side their on, With backing, with blessing, from earthly gods not heaven, A stones throw away from it all. ...
musicology #121
2008-04-07 15:35:00
socialcommentaryweek #1 (Billy Bragg - Take Down The Union Jack) themusicologist has tried to keep politics off the menu but it’s one of the subjects that infuriates me. the deceipt, corruption, greed and unbeleivable hypocrisy is just too much for me to not have a musical say. unfortunately the only politics left today is the politics of greed and the blame for that lies with those who shape society. ultimately responsibility lies with each of us but we all know that ‘the law’ restricts us from taking action in ever increasing ways and is in fact an establishment tool that has very little to do with justice. the subjects that are, (for me), most important are Health and Education, essentially because I have two children and find myself at the ’sharp end of the stick’ in both areas. of course economics are an issue but money has no place in my heart so holds little interest. one of musics greatest attributes is delivering a message and themusicologist i...
musicology #120
2008-04-01 13:42:00
jamboree #7 (Derrick Harriott - No Man Is An Island) tasty slice of the Jamboree pie from Mr ‘One Stop’. Vocalist, producer and ‘Reggae’ pioneer whose contribution to the development of Jamaican musicology from the earliest days, (with the Jiving Juniors 1958-62), right through the Ska and Rocksteady periods and into the sound we know and love today deserves honouring. from the 1976 LP.. Music For Midnight Lovers “No man is an island, no man stands alone, treat each man as your brother and remember that each man’s dream is your own”
musicology #119
2008-03-30 20:07:00
jamboree #6 (Gil Scott Heron - B-Movie) sticking with the 1981 selection the time has come to lay down some Gil Scott on yah..one of the kings of the social commentary lyric. not sure how many of you know this one but it completes, (along with ‘The Bottle’ and ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’ ), themusicologists top three from this hard hitting, no nonsense poet, astute observer and commentator. “Well, the first thing I want to say is…Mandate my ass! Because it seems as though we’ve been convinced that 26% of the registered voters, not even 26% of the American people, but 26% of the registered voters form a mandate – or a landslide. 21% voted for Skippy and 3, 4% voted for somebody else who might have been running. But, oh yeah, I remember. In this year that we have now declared the year from Shogun to Reagan, I remember what I said about Reagan…meant it. Acted like an actor…Hollyweird. Acted like a liberal. Acted like General Franco when he ...
musicology #118
2008-03-29 14:51:00
jamboree #5 (Ozone - Gigolette) all things considered..has to be this one. for three reasons. 1: It’s me dear Uncle Bassie’s Hawaii Five-O birthday bash today and I’m sure he will appreciate the four string on the track 2: Big night out tonight celebrating ms Steen’s birthday at Brother Sean Rowley’s Guilty Pleasures, (Leisure Wear theme !!) 3: The piece was released in 1981 (same year as the notorious Diadora Borg Elite which will be on ‘me plates’ tonight) Good Enough… 1981 was also the year themusicologist became a teenager, Raygun became president, the Brixton, Toxteh, (and Lewisham), Riots boiled over, 13 people died when a house in New Cross burned to the ground. Britain was deep in recession, Bombs were going off in the capital, Berbatov was born, Bob Marley died and Spurs won the FA cup, (themusicologist was there at Wembley to see Ricardo ‘ Ricky’ Villa score the winner), beating Manchester City in a glorious repl...
musicology #117
2008-03-27 16:49:00
jamboree #4 (Gnarls Barkley - Who’s Gonna Save My Soul) for themusicologist this piece is straight out of the ‘top drawer’. not often that themusicologist makes recommendations on what to consume but this latest ‘Set’ (The Odd Couple), from the dynamic duo Brian ‘Danger-Mouse’ Burton and Thomas ‘Cee-Lo Green’ Callaway, (known collectively as Gnarls Barkley), is a must add to your musical vaults. a great example of the VALUE music can, (and does), create. At least NINE ranking cuts on the Set which, as far as I’m concerned, should be owned by every musicologist on the planet. LISTEN TUNE ..
musicology #116
2008-03-26 18:51:00
jamboree #3 (Erykah Badu - Soldier) as always the musicologist has been devouring a lot of diverse music from the Kinks, James Carr, Gnarls Berkley, Small Faces, Dizzee Rascal…but this one feels like today. a pucker slice courtesy of Erykah Badu….taken from her latest ‘Set’ .. the innovative New Ameryka, released last month. puts me in mind of Curtis Mayfield… (also featuring musicologists Roy Ayers and Madlib)
musicology #115
2008-03-25 14:17:00
jamboree #2 (Michael Israel - Badness) day two of the jamboree with a ‘one tune’ tribute to Jamaican Music ambassador and long time musicologist Michael ‘Mikey Dread’ Campbell who, sadly, succumbed to a Brain Tumor, 10 days ago….never knew the man but know, appreciate and value the man’s music Respect is due…Rest In Peace.
musicology #114
2008-03-24 13:00:00
jamboree #1 (Bobby Bland - Ain’t Nothing You Can Do) themusicologist is a place to share, communicate and connect and one of the things I have learnt over this past year is that the message is in the music but it’s not always the one were looking for. the universal language speaks to us all but not necessarily about the same topic…I’m laying down this selection as a ‘theme of no theme’..a complete ‘Jamboree Bag’ where anythings possible… a tune a day to help keep the wolves at bay. almost every day while listening to music a tune will come on and I’ll think to myself… “I’ll have to lay that piece down one day”.. but often find themusicologist in the middle of a ’session’. so for the next few weeks it’s random..just good old BOSS sounds of all flavours and vintages. starting with the majestic, late night, 1964 sound of Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland who, as a member of the Beale ...
musicology #113
2008-03-09 14:44:00
sixartist, sixtune, sixweekspecial #36 (New Establishment - People Skanking) final cut from Jackie and the last of the six/six/six. it was a toss up between this and a tune called Wall Street, (which is one of my personal favourites), but I went with this one because, for me, it sums up perfectly how music can give you the strength, (and courage), to keep on ’stepping’ in the right direction. One of those ‘call to arms’ tunes that not only communicates but also delivers…another diamond from the Studio1 showroom that does exactly what the title suggests. just leaves me to thank you all for listening and the six artists; Sam Cooke / Stevie Marriott / Alton Ellis / Curtis Mayfield / Paul Weller and Jackie Mittoo for providing the ammunition over the past six weeks to ‘lick shot’
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