Thursday, July 27, 2006

Primitive Sound System at Stolen Moments - Thursday July 27th

Hello Y'all,
This week I'll be spinning my Jass Off! I'm bringing Jazz 45's from the 50's, 60's and 70's to "Stolen Moments" which is the weekly jam session hosted by DJ (and a man who is no stranger to improvisation) Smallchange. The night is billed as one that is Jazz by sensibility more than definition but I figure why not define myself with some Jazz. Some of these records are the very reason I listen, collect, share, DJ and play this joyful noise we call music. I'll have a pretty good selection of Soul Jazz, Latin Jazz, some HardBop, Free... Jazz & Jazz amongst other flavors. Taking him up on the sensibility description I have also thrown in some things that speak Jazz to me like Curtis Mayfield, early Kool & The Gang - "Dujji," Oliver Sain - "On The Hill," Stylistics - "People Make The World Go Round," Jon Lucien, and a few others. I get to sit in around 10:30PM or so and play until 12... 1AM or there abouts. As always I'll have way too many records so when someone says, "Yo, fat man! Give it a break!" I'll pass the seat and make my way to a cold beverage.

- pat.
Primitive Sound System

Stolen Moments
Thursday July 27
The East Side Co.
49 Essex Street (near Grand Street on the Lower East Side of NYC - look for the wooden door)
No Cover 9PM-3AM
No sign? No Phone? Just knock on doors until you find it, that's what I am planning on doing.

Here's a very brief sampling of some of what I am bringing.

Jimmy McGriff - "The Worm" (Solid State cat. SD 2524)
COWBELL! Hell yeah, this is by and far away my favorite Jimmy McGriff 45. The intro comes on pretty aggressive but about a minute in there is a little burst from the sax that let's you know they have no intention on letting up. The sax talks its way through the first minute and a half or so before giving way to the trumpet. Blue Mitchell riffs and screams with conviction and soulful purpose before the band builds back up. McGriff is up next and damn can this man play organ. He attacks each key as if he might not get another chance to play again. Throughout, the drums are funky and heavy and they have to be because no one can play bass lines like McGriff and here he is joined by Bob Bushnell on electric bass as well. If it didn't fade I might pass out because that is one insane rhythm section.

Mary Lou Williams - "The Credo" (Mary Records cat. MA-6)
Smooth, deep bass opens this subtle track over a simple drum beat. Ms. Williams piano lines flow out of her effortlessly as the words of a poet. "Credo" could be the soundtrack of heaven or hell as there is something introspective, joyful and sinister all at once unfolding here. The track seems to float perpetually. If you listen closely... you can hear it now.

Red Holloway - "Gittin' Down (The Churn)" (RH Records cat. 003)
Raw breaking drums and congo get us started before Mr. Holloway duels it out with the guitar. This is where the lines between Jazz and Funk become blurred. Screaming sax, rolling percussion, sharp drums, round bass and nasty guitar licks beat it out for two and a half minutes and no room to breath.

The Rhoda Scott Trio - "Sha-Bazz (Pt.1)" (Tru-Sound cat. 45-419)
This was my introduction to Rhoda Scott. I dropped the needle on it and all I pictured was some sort of ritual happening taking place on stage with one of the coolest Jazz Organ Trios I have ever heard providing the backing. After the chanted intro which includes some amazing percussion played on kit only the track launches into a late 60's Jazz groove at top speed. Ms. Scott's organ has an incredibly raw and almost sax quality to it making it hard to distinguish the two instruments from one another. When the sax digs in and gets a bit more deep sounding during its solo the two instruments sound as if they have been torn apart after being conjoined at the hip. After a statement of the theme we are suddenly thrust back into the percussive intro groove and a quick fade.

Lonnie Smith - "Move Your Hand - Part 1" (Blue Note cat. BN-1955)
Lonnie Smith's voice is a unique one to say the least. That is not to say it doesn't sound totally amazing because... IT DOES! Matched with Ronnie Cuber's deep baritone sax, which is beautiful, and the guitar which handles the highs very nicely allows for Mr. Smith's fuzzed out, distorted vocal to not detract but add to the feel and mood of the song. His voice pushes from his stomach, up through his throat and some how bypasses the lungs altogether giving it a sense (and sound) that can only be described as frustration.

Herbie Hancock - "Crossings" (Warner Bros. Records cat. WB 7598)
"Crossings" is the title of Mr. Hancock's last LP for Warner Bros. but the track does not appear on that LP. I first heard the song an a compilation called "Treasure Chest" and yes, this is certainly a treasure. The song is a workout for the drums, bass and keyboards more than anything which is why it may have not been included on the LP. Synth sounds dart in and out of focus all the while the drums pound out a pretty funky groove. Could this be the line where Fusion and Funk get blurred? The song is just 2:32 long (2:36 on Treasure Chest, go figure) which makes it about a third as long as the shortest track on the LP. Maybe this is why it was not included. Regardless, I was happy as a pig in shit when I found a copy of the 7" and then was equally as sad when I dropped it while DJing one night. This is my third copy and it was pretty easy to get considering I don't think many people are aware of how incredible this little track is.

Lee Morgan - "Cornbread, Part 1" (Blue Note cat. 45-1930)
Lee Morgan plays trumpet. Lee Morgan played trumpet very well. He was one of the greatest trumpet players to ever strut the surface of this dirty ball we call earth. Morgan's wife shot and killed him. The legend goes something like this: she became frustrated and tired of his cheating so she went to Slug's where he was performing and shot him dead. Apparently she waited for him to finish his solo... that is how good Lee Morgan was. "Cornbread" is one of Morgan's Soul / Jazz tracks that moves in a Boo-Ga-Loo mode at points but never lets you forget it is a Jazz track. Morgan solos for most of the track and at times even comps a sax sound that is just crazy to hear. The sound is not much different than "Sidewinder" which was a bona-fide hit for him.

Rusty Bryant - "Fire Eater" (Prestige cat. PRT-750)
Soul Jazz doesn't come much heavier than this. Rusty Bryant was always known for his blowing session style and he took to the Funk and Soul sounds of 70's Jazz better than most. Drums that crackle, slam and break, organ that sounds as if it may be on fire, and of course Bryant's screaming sax just buries the damn thing. The LP track is 9:30 long but here we are treated to one of the best 45 edits ever produced at just 3:12! All the elements of the extended track are represented and Idris Muhammad's mind blowing drum break is included as an added bonus. Undeniably the best of the best when it comes to Soul Jazz / Funk.

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