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Saturday, December 27, 2008

JOE BECK : Red Eye (1975)

R.I.P. Joe Beck (Jul. 29, 1945 - Jul. 22, 2008)
From the NY Times:
Joe Beck, a jazz guitarist who collaborated with artists like Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis and James Brown, died on July 22. He was 62. His death was confirmed by the Munson-Lovetere funeral home. He died at a hospice after battling lung cancer.
Mr. Beck was a prolific studio and session performer, arranger and producer, with an identifiable harmonic and rhythmic sound.
Mr. Beck was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey and the San Francisco area. He got his start as a musician as a teenager in the 1960s, playing in a jazz trio in New York. By 1968, he was recording with Davis and other top jazz stars.
After taking a three-year break from music to run a dairy farm, Mr. Beck returned to music in the 1970s. He worked with artists like Gloria Gaynor and Esther Phillips, including playing on Ms. Phillips’s hit single “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes.”
In 1975, his collaboration with the saxophonist David Sanborn, “Beck & Sanborn,” became a popular fusion hit.
He also composed and arranged for film and television, and played with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

This is a track off his collaboration album with sax player David Sanborn. It's a groovy little number, with alternating guitar and sax solos. You can hear how the sound of fusion was changing at this point in the 70s; from the grittier, groovier early '70s, to the more slick NY sound of the late '70s. The majority of this group became The Brecker Brothers backing band.

Song : "Red Eye" by Joe Beck
From the LP "BECK" (Kudu) 1975; also released as "BECK & SANBORN" (CTI)

Joe Beck : guitar
Dave Sanborn : alto saxophone
Steve Khan : guitar
Don Grolnick : keys
Will Lee : bass
Chris Parker : drums
Ray Mantilla : percussion

Get it here : Red Eye

Saturday, December 20, 2008

GERONIMO BLACK : Low Ridin' Man (1972)

R.I.P. Jimmy Carl Black (Feb. 1, 1938 - Nov. 1, 2008)
From Rolling Stone:
Jimmy Carl Black, the original drummer for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, passed away after a bout with lung cancer. He was 70. Black, the self-proclaimed “Indian of the group,” served with the Mothers from their acclaimed 1966 debut Freak Out! until Zappa’s 1970 album Weasels Ripped My Flesh. Black is also known for donning a dress on the cover of We’re Only In It For the Money. Black’s drumming also formed the heartbeat during the band’s chaotic live performances captured on albums like Uncle Meat and Burnt Weeny Sandwich. Black also played a noticeable role in the Zappa film 200 Motels, where he sang “Lonesome Cowboy Burt.” In his post-Mothers career, Black played in several bands, including a stint with Captain Beefheart, Geronimo Black (which Black fronted) and the Zappa tribute bands like the Grandmothers and the Muffin Men.

This track is from Black's first 'solo' album in the '70s. He's actually not playing drums on this, but singing in that deep voice of his. This is a slow funky rock track with a nice horn section and good backing vocals.

Song : "Low Ridin' Man" by Geronimo Black
From the LP "GERONIMO BLACK" (MCA) 1972

Jimmy Carl Black : vocals
Danny Walley : guitar, backing vocals
Tom Leavey : bass, backing vocals
Andy Cahan : drums, piano
Bunk Gardner : tenor sax
Tjay Contrelli : tenor sax, baritone sax

Get it here : Low Ridin' Man

Saturday, December 13, 2008

JACKIE ORSZACZKY : Friends Of Mrs. S (1976)

R.I.P. Jackie Orszaczky (Jun. 8, 1948 - Feb. 3, 2008)

From the Sydney Herald:
JACKIE ORSZACZKY, a renowned bass guitarist and one of the nation's most influential band leaders of the past 25 years, has died after a long illness.
Orszaczky, 60, died in Royal Prince Alfred Hospital on Sunday from complications in his treatment for lymphoma. He had been admitted after collapsing at home.

Born in Hungary, Orszaczky moved [to Australia] in 1974 and soon became an in-demand session bass player and band leader, fronting Marcia Hines's band in the late 1970s. As a muso, arranger and producer he contributed to albums from artists including the Whitlams, Tim Finn, Savage Garden, You Am I, Hoodoo Gurus, Grinspoon and Leonardo's Bride. Orszaczky remained popular in Hungary and attracted 30,000 people at his annual Budapest concerts.

Orszaczky got his start in the Hungarian progressive rock group, SYRIUS, before heading to Australia to live and record. This track is from his first solo album in the '70s. The song is ultra-funky, and has a sloppy laid-back groove. His bass playing is spot-on, with a great tone. He may have recorded this in Sydney, but it would sound quite at home with much of the Eastern European jazz-fusion of the time period.

Song : "Friends Of Mrs. S"
From the LP "Beramiada" (Real) 1976

Jackie Orszaczky : bass
John Robinson : guitar
Peter Jones : keyboards
Graham Morgan : drums

Get it here : Friends Of Mrs. S

Saturday, December 06, 2008

YMA SUMAC : Taki Rari (1954)

R.I.P. Yma Sumac (Sep. 13, 1922 - Nov. 1, 2008)

From LA Times:
Yma Sumac, the Peruvian-born singer whose spectacular multi-octave vocal range and exotic persona made her an international sensation in the 1950s, has died. She was 86.Sumac, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in February, died Saturday in an assisted-living facility in Silver Lake, said Damon Devine, her personal assistant and close friend.

Bursting onto the U.S. music scene after signing with Capitol Records in 1950, the raven-haired Sumac was known as the "Nightingale of the Andes," the "Peruvian Songbird" and a "singing marvel" with a 4 1/2 -octave (she said five-octave) voice."She is five singers in one," boasted her then-husband Moises Vivanco, a composer-arranger, in a 1951 interview with the Associated Press. "Never in 2,000 years has there been another voice like hers."

Sumac had one of the most unique voices I have ever heard, you have to listen to believe it. This is rich Latin music, short n sweet.

Song : "Taki Rari"
From the LP "MAMBO!" (Capitol) 1954

Get it here : Taki Rari