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A look back at the funky, psychedelic, soulful 70s in Nigeria

According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 18, 2014 - 10 comments

For a foot stompin' Tuesday

Lizzie Miles (1895-1963) was a blues singer from New Orleans. (Her music was recently featured during the closing credits of Blue Jasmine.) Less well-known are her two half-siblings, blues singer Edna Hicks (1895-1925), and jazz trumpeter and vocalist Herb Morand (1905-1952). [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide on Jul 29, 2014 - 4 comments

Sing it

Nat King Cole. Eartha Kitt. Mahalia Jackson. Pearl Bailey. Cab Calloway. Ella Fitzgerald. Billy Preston. All assembled for a single musical: the 1958 W.C. Handy biopic St. Louis Blues. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 26, 2014 - 6 comments

Richard Pryor: that clown can really sing the blues

Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 5, 2014 - 14 comments

Vintage Vice

Oldtime Tales of Drugs, Sex, Liquor and Gambling [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by ursus_comiter on Aug 14, 2013 - 11 comments

Roll On

Old records wear out, and sheet can't really describe the swing of jazz, ragtime and blues—but a good player piano roll captures the style and rhythm of a live performance and preserves it for generations to come. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Aug 11, 2013 - 20 comments

A Few First Ladies of Jazz and Rhythm 'n Blues

Nellie Lutcher - Blue Skies, It Had to Be You & Let's Fall In Love
Martha Davis & Spouse - That's Life
Dinah Washington with Louis Jordan - What A Difference A Day Made & Makin' Whoopee
Ella Fitzgerald -- It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
Count Basie & Helen Humes - I Cried for You
Sarah Vaughn -- The Nearness of You
Billie Holiday -- Fine and Mellow
posted by y2karl on Jul 30, 2013 - 13 comments

More Belgian/Italian Goodness

Sarah Ferri serves up blues and jazz and other good stuff. A Place on the Moon. The Hungry Villain. Dancing at the Supermarket. And the ear-worm that is On My Own. That is all.
posted by IndigoJones on May 27, 2013 - 2 comments

“Music exists in nature to make you smarter."

Bob Brozman, the undisputed master of the National Resonator Guitar, has passed away at age 59. Ethnomusicologist, virtuoso fingerpicker, musical historian, and anarchist philosopher Bob Brozman fell in love with National’s metal body resonator guitars as a teenager and made them his life’s passion. [more inside]
posted by zaelic on Apr 26, 2013 - 34 comments

3 examples of great African-American music, with commentary and analysis

Listening Guide to West End Blues by Louis Armstrong - Listening Guide to Backwater Blues by Bessie Smith - Listening Guide to Salt Peanuts by Dizzy Gillespie and His All Stars
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 11, 2013 - 6 comments

"the arts are just a part of the weapons of life"

The poet Jayne Cortez passed away this past December 28th in New York City (New York Times obituary). She started publishing her poems in the late 1960s and in the 70s began performing her poetry backed by music, first in collaboration with bassist Richard Davis, and then backed by her own band The Firespitters. Some of their tracks have found their way to YouTube: I See Chano Pozo, If the Drum Is a Woman, There It Is, Maintain Control & Economic Love Song I, Everybody Wants to Be Somebody, Takin' the Blues Back Home, Talk to Me (for Don Cherry), I've Been Searching, You Can Be and Endangered Species List Blues. Just two years ago she performed solo with her son by Ornette Coleman, drummer Denardo Coleman: Find Your Own Voice, I'm Gonna Shake and She Got He Got. In 1997 she was featured on University of California television network in the series Artists on the Cutting Edge where she read poems and discussed her work. Finally, here's a brief clip from the 1982 documentary Poetry in Motion, where she was interviewed.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 5, 2013 - 4 comments

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks
This is the complete show from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz in March 1987.   Via The Iwebender Channel

Love that Maria Elena.... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 9, 2012 - 10 comments

Who loves ya? Scott Bradlee, apparently.

Scott Bradlee is probably best known around the internet for his ragtime reinterpretation of classic 80's hits (previously), but that's certainly not the only thing he's done. There are the relatively straighter covers, for example. And then there's the other stuff. [more inside]
posted by KChasm on Sep 22, 2012 - 6 comments

Via Route 66, comes My Sweet Embraceable Moonlit in Vermont Lorraine by the King Cole Trio & Others

Nat King Cole Trio - Sweet Lorraine
Nat King Cole Trio - Route 66
Nat King Cole Trio - Embraceable You
Nat King Cole Trio - Moonlight in Vermont
Nat King Cole with Coleman Hawkins & the Oscar Peterson Trio - Sweet Lorraine
posted by y2karl on Jul 3, 2012 - 15 comments

Can't stand no...

I put a spell on you: a dramatic lip reading (SLYT).
posted by es_de_bah on Jul 1, 2012 - 32 comments

Drink up, y'all!

New Year's Eve is fast approaching, and for lots of folks that means... drinking. Plenty of drinking. And since there's no shortage of singers and songwriters who've had a little something to say about that particular topic, maybe some of the following tunes can serve as an appropriate soundtrack to your own joyous (or not?) imbibing of spirits. For example, there's... Jimmy Liggins with his succinct rendition of Drunk, and there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 30, 2011 - 67 comments

You shall Hear things, Wonderful to tell

A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2011 - 107 comments

The Rhythm Wreckers with Whitey McPherson

Here is Whitey McPherson yodeling his heart out:

The Rhythm Wreckers - Never No Mo' Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Blue Yodel No 1 (T For Texas)
The Rhythm Wreckers - Brakeman Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Blue Yodel #2 (My Lovin' Gal Lucille)
The Rhythm Wreckers - St. Louis Blues
The Rhythm Wreckers - Old Fashioned Love In My Heart [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 19, 2011 - 6 comments

we're gonna need more speaker cones

He is from Miami. They are from Orlando. [more inside]
posted by anigbrowl on Apr 19, 2011 - 9 comments

"I've Been Thrown Out of Some of the Best Churches in America."

He began his musical career as Georgia Tom, playing barrelhouse piano in one of Al Capone’s Chicago speakeasies... [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Feb 5, 2011 - 4 comments

Peoria 2010 Old-Time Piano Weekend

Performances [MLYT] from the 2010 Old-Time Piano Championship in Peoria. Featuring early March, Cakewalk, Ragtime, Boogie, Stride, Blues, Novelty, Jazz, Classical, and popular song styles from before 1930.
posted by gman on Jun 20, 2010 - 13 comments

A website devoted to jazz and American civilization

Jerry Jazz Musician is "a website devoted to jazz and American civilization." Individual pages have been linked a few times on MeFi, but it's high time this terrific site got its own post. Anyone interested in jazz (or blues, or any of the related topics they frequently cover, like Ralph Ellison or Romare Bearden) should bookmark it pronto. A sample, more or less at random: the life and photography of Milt Hinton. (Via The Daily Growler, itself an excellent source for informed and passionate discussion of music, NYC, and life in general; the linked post finishes with a tribute to that fine pianist Terry Pollard.)
posted by languagehat on Jan 8, 2010 - 5 comments

Ahmet Ertegun profiled by George W. S. Trow in 1978

Ahmet Ertegun was profiled by George W. S. Trow in The New Yorker in a classic piece back in 1978. Ertegun was the son of the Turkish ambassador to the US and he remained behind in D.C. studying medieval philosophy at Georgetown. Instead of devoting himself to his studies he founded Atlantic Records with his friend Herb Abramson. Trow charted how Ertegun moved from tramping through muddy, Louisiana fields in search of hot new sounds to the whirl of Studio 54. Below the cut are links to the songs mentioned in the article, as best as I could find, in the order in which they appear. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Aug 17, 2009 - 25 comments

クレイジーケンバンド!

The Crazy Ken Band! Cool and Hot! Swinging horns! Groovy chicks! Fast cars! Danger! Crazy! CRAZY! [more inside]
posted by ardgedee on May 25, 2009 - 5 comments

Delicate Things

Who you are is what you listen to: Prof. Adrian North of Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University recently published results of what the Beeb calls "the largest study of its kind" linking music listening habits to personality characteristics. His breakthrough conclusions? Heavy metal listeners, contrary to public perception, are not a "suicidally depressed" or a "danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things." [more inside]
posted by beelzbubba on Sep 5, 2008 - 65 comments

There's Always One More Time

September 14, 1998 "the Tan Canary" passes away. He started out as a gospel singer but went on to perform blues, soul, county, and jazz. In 1968 he covered the country standard "Release Me" and it became a hit. His audience grew, but stardom outside of his home in New Orleans was not to be his. [more inside]
posted by nola on Jul 6, 2008 - 4 comments

Canadian Brass

The brass quintet Canadian Brass is both venerable--it's been around 38 years--and prolific--its discography is as long as your arm. While they often play classical arrangements, they also mix in jazz and blues, along with a complement of showmanship and humor. (Also, they play Flight of the Bumblebee on the tuba.) [Mouseover for titles.]
posted by Upton O'Good on Jul 3, 2008 - 18 comments

Do You Like American Music?

Sounds of America is a new monthly streaming audio program, a collaboration between the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Global Sound. Up now are 3 episodes: African-American music in New Orleans, Women in American Music, and Freedom Songs of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
posted by Miko on Apr 2, 2008 - 12 comments

Wardell Quezergue: The Creole Beethoven

Regarding the 'Creole Beethoven' Wardell Quezergue, composer, arranger, big band leader, master of Second Line funk, who brought us Earl King's Trick Bag, the Dixie Cups' Iko Iko and Chapel of Love, King FLoyd's Groove Me, Baby, Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff to name but a few--not to mention A Creole Mass--and who, later in life, survived Katrina, to become, among other things of late, according to Home of the Groove's Quezergue Onstage and Behind The Scenes, a street performer in the French Quarter. His is a name that ought not be forgotten. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 23, 2008 - 5 comments

Nick Cave, the Black Crow King, is fifty today

NickCaveFilter: Fifty years ago this very day, Nicholas Edward Cave [previously] crawled from the womb and started to plot.  At 16 he formed his first band which evolved quickly into the Boys Next Door [Shivers].  This in turn mutated into the Birthday Party (1980) who terrorised the post-punk soundscape in Australia and the UK [Release the Bats | Nick the Stripper].  The Birthday Party relocated to England and in 1984 the band imploded in an orgy of drugs and booze.  Shortly after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were born [The Ship Song - video & solo live | The Mercy Seat - video & live | Where the Wild Roses Grow], and 23 years and 11 studio albums later (not to mention a best selling book, a great screenplay, some acting and several soundtrack projects) he is still going strong.  But, instead of sitting on his musical laurels he decided to get back to basics and, in 2006, grew a huge moustache and formed Grinderman – a four piece with a primeval hybrid Birthday Party/Bad Seeds sound [No Pussy Blues | Honey Bee].  Fellow Mefites, I ask you to raise a glass to Mr. Cave… And, especially if you are not familiar to his work, don’t forget to “look inside” for my primer on the enigma that is Nick Cave, one of the finest song-writers on the face of this miserable planet. [more inside]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar on Sep 22, 2007 - 98 comments

Ain't It Time We Mellowed Out?

Tasty
6/4 blues: Carlos Santana/Buddy Guy duo. Jeff Beck "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With the Blues" at the Udo Music Festival '06. Roy Buchanan "Sweet Dreams" at the Rockpalast and here trying out a Fritz Bros. custom guitar.
posted by sluglicker on Aug 14, 2007 - 9 comments

A variety of talent both well known and forgotten.

Harlem Variety Revue. Pre-rock & roll TV show featuring swing from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, and Sarah Vaughan. Rhythm & blues from Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, Martha Davis and Larry Darnell. Jazz & calypso from Nat Cole. Ballad by Dinah Washington. Doo wop from The Clovers. Harmony from the Larks and the Delta Rhythm Boys (complete with exciting choreography). Comedy provided by Nipsey Russell & Mantan Moreland, tapdancing by Coles & Atkins and Bill Bailey (check out that 1955 Moonwalk at the end!) Hosted by Willie Bryant.
posted by andihazelwood on Jun 16, 2007 - 12 comments

y2karl's 78 RPM jukebox-o-rama

For murder ballads, here's your Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins and your Grayson & Whitter's Ommie Wise. Then, for some early white blues bottleneck guitar, here's your Frank Hutchison's K. C. Blues. Not to mention Charley Patton's Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues. All courtesy the Internet Archives 78 RPM tag. where there is way more--like Bix Beiderbecke's first record, Davenport Blues, Louis Armstrong's Ain't Misbehavin' and Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words, among many others. Then, for more, Nugrape Records has an mp3 page. The standout there, at least for me, is Gus Cannon's Poor Boy Long Ways From Home. As for their namesake, the Nugrape Twins, well, the Archive has the mp3 of I've Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape. And don't let me omit mentioning PublicDomain4U. They have Mississippi John Hurt's Frankie, for one. Tyrone's Record and Phonograph Links will lead you to more 78 RPM goodness. And don't forget the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine.
posted by y2karl on Aug 25, 2006 - 48 comments

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - dead at 81

Things ain't what they used to be. Blues, jazz, Cajun and country music great Clarence Gatemouth Brown dies at 81. Brown safely evacuated his home in Slidell, but was said to be broken hearted by the devastation wreaked by Katrina on his beloved Louisiana. Alligator bio (sound alert).
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 11, 2005 - 31 comments

The Show Must Go On

After the Storm Sometime this weekend, you may be able to hear one of the best expressions of New Orleans’ role in music and culture available in any mass media. It's American Routes, a weekly show carried on many US public radio affiliates. Programmed and hosted by folklorist and UNO professor of folklore and culture Nick Spitzer, the show normally broadcasts from a studio in the heart of the French Quarter, but has found a temporary home on a Creole/Cajun French/English public radio station in Lafayette. Spitzer told the NYT that he began planning the music for this week’s show as he was fleeing the flooding city in his car, playing Fats Domino’s “Walking to New Orleans." This week’s show highlights New Orleans’ recovery from disasters past, emphasizing the city’s role as the greatest single wellspring of American music. The Crescent City, after all, has either birthed or nurtured everything from jazz, R & B, cajun and the related black-influenced zydeco, soul, blues, gospel, and rock and roll.) With an encyclopedic knowledge of American vernacular music, an utterly democratic spirit, and an unmistakeable respect and love for American musical forms and the people who create them, Spitzer has stepped forward several times this week to serve as a compassionate and optimistic spokesman for the irrepressible creative spirit of a suffering city and a culture in diaspora.
posted by Miko on Sep 10, 2005 - 19 comments

looka! surviving New Orleans musicians

Longtime Mefi member chuq offers a tiny respite from the misery with his report on the survival of many of Louisiana's beloved musicians, including the good news that Fats Domino was rescued from his roof. More coverage here and here. (more)
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 2, 2005 - 38 comments

Featuring some of the greatest musical artists of our generation

Gallery 41 A jazz photography collection covering the past quarter-century and over 150 artists. Hear musical excerpts and highlights of recorded conversations as you explore.
posted by LinusMines on Jun 15, 2005 - 8 comments

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