Friday, December 15th, 2006
... 6:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. ...
KZSU, 90.1 FM
Another sub for Fo,
doing his "No Cover, No Minimum" mix of blues, jazz, and world.
Most of the first two hours are "world" -- I just had a great time
mining the library and built up too many possibilities to ignore. Then I
coasted a bit with the familiar jazz stuff, ended up mixing them with
blues rather than "striping" the show as I've done before. How well
it worked, I don't know, but it was fun.
ARTIST -- "TRACK TITLE" -- ALBUM TITLE (LABEL, YEAR)
Horizontal lines denote microphone breaks.
Tina Marsh and the Creative Opportunity Orchestra [CO2] -- "Milky Way Dreaming" -- World Wide (CreOp Muse, 1998)
Always a nice opener for these early-morning shows, a 20 minute piece that starts in celestial, spacey territory with spoken narration about the planets. Second half is a jazzier groove, based on a relaxing little bass riff.
I picked up this CD when Tina Marsh got the rare opportunity to tour the CO2 around a bit, and visited Berkeley. Great big-band stuff, certainly leaning more toward accessible than avant, a vibrant and multilayered brew.
* Anouar Brahem -- "Sur le Fleve" -- Le Voyage de Sahar (ECM, 2006)
* Csokolom -- "Fi Barbat" (Fast Dance from Transylvania) -- Dog Daze (Arhoolie, 2006)
String quartet playing that fast-and-crazy kind of Balkan music. Works really well, lots of fun.
* Riccardo Tesi and Banditaliana -- "Assedio" -- Lune ((Dunya, 2005)
Melodeon player doing stuff that's somewhere at the intersection of
Spanish and Italian guitar music. Didn't have a chance to give it a studied
listen, but it's nice stuff, a mellow vibe with some strong rhythms and
touches of jazz. Rather modern mix overall.
* Miriam Makeba -- "Talking and Dialoging" -- Her Essential Recordings (Manteca, 2006; recorded 1977)
From a two-CD set celebrating the queen of South African music. Lots
of upbeat poppy stuff, but also tracks like this one, which contemplates the
way outsiders sucked resources from South Africa while claiming to be there to
better the lives of the people. Biting and effective, sung in English over a
low base funk.
Brenda Fassie -- "Black President (World Mix)" -- Black President [12" single] (CCP, 1990)
There's also a sappy track called "Miriam's Goodbye to Africa," which isn't
to my taste but is pretty powerful, as Miriam did have to leave and didn't
return for 31 years.
Couldn't decide if this would be cool or embarrassing to play. The
intent is there -- it's a pop track about the dream of having a Black
president (and, it seems, about some overthrow/arrest in 1963? I'm sorry to
say I don't know my history that well). But as you see, it's a 12" single,
and yes it does have a club/dance mix on it (at least it's not a maxi-club-
dance-whatever mix). So, if you listen carefully, it's got some dated '80s
elements to it.
Pele Juju -- "Under My Skin" -- Pele Juju (self-released, 1992)
Fassie died in 2004 at the age of 39. Her career was pockmarked with
scandals -- failed marriage, drug overdoses -- but from what I've read, she
gave a voice to Africans during what would become the waning days of
... Aaand, then there's this one. After two tough political songs, I
threw in this feelgood ditty. Kind of a sellout move on my part, but I
glimpsed this one in the library and wanted to fit it in; I don't know much
about Pele Juju (an all-female local troupe) but I've seen the name all over.
Musicially, it fit just fine. Lyrically, I wish I'd done better.
-- 7:00 a.m. --
* Marisa Monte -- "Infinito Particular" -- Infinito Particular (Blue Note, 2006)
Portugese singer; one of two CDs of hers that got sent to the jazz desk
here and got passed off to the World section.
Arto Lindsay -- "Twins" -- Salt (Righteous Babe, 2004)
Lots of little quirks to this one, with a minimalist glitch/hip hop
squeak representing the beat, underneath Arto's innocent, airy vocal.
Kronos Quartet -- "Turceasca" -- Caravan (Nonesuch, 2000)
Kind of an "obvious" pick for a guy like me, who doesn't know much
world music but does know Kronos plays it sometimes. But hey, it's good
stuff. This one's particularly athletic and pulse-pounding.
Ali Hassan Kuban -- "Hadouda" -- The Rough Guide to Ali Hassan Kuban (World Music Network, 2001; orig. released c.1989)
Starting a set that intentionally jumps all around the map. Some
upbeat music from a Nubian (Egyptian) singer who died in 2001.
Mighty Sparrow -- "Rastamania" -- Might Sparrow, Volume Three (Ice, 1992; orig. released in the '50s or '60s)
Happy party calypso music. With subversive, sarcastic lyrics. This
one's all about Rastaman, a happy party friendly guy .... who's got lots of
political power and shady connections to mess up your life with. I had doubts
about following this up with the harsh guitar opening of the De Kift song, but
after hearing the lyrics, it all fit in just fine.
* De Kift
(North East Indie, 2006)
* Chirgilchin -- "Khoomeige Yoreel" -- Collectible (Pure Nature, 2005)
Tuvan throat singing! An ensemble, plus instruments, that shows a
great deal of rhythm and attitude; this particular track, anyway, is dynamic
stuff that even rocks a little.
? Kipple -- "Infinity Plus One" -- Flashes of Irrational Happiness (Evander, 2006)
The latest band from Aaron Novik. I've seen it
described as an electric answer to his Klezmer-tinged jazz band Gubbish. Long
jams (mercifully divided into multiple tracks), in the spirit of the electric
Miles Davis days, with a cast of local folks.
Tonight happens to be the Kipple CD release party. Didn't discover that
until earlier this week, when I was scouting for possible late-night music to
see after the Amy X. Neuburg concert (being spotlighted on my regular 3:00 p.m. show
today). Happened to read the blurb on Kipple at the Hemlock and, knowing
Aaron's music, had to give it a shout out. I grabbed the Kipple CD at Aquarius last night and
stuck it on the air here. This track starts with a catchy bass groove to draw
'em in, then later dissolves into bumpier, more abstract jamming.
The Klezmer Conservatory Band -- "A Yingele Fun Polyn" (A Young Man from Poland) -- Oy Chanukah!
The Klezmer Conservatory Band -- "Klezmorim at Chanukah" (A Young Man from Poland) -- Oy Chanukah!
The Klezmer Conservatory Band -- "Klezzified" (A Young Man from Poland) -- Oy Chanukah! (Rounder, 1986)
Very cool album, with lots of celebratory music in the Klezmer
tradition, most of it focused on Chanukah. Interspersed are little narrative
tracks about the meaning of the holiday and about band members' memories of
music, family, and the season.
Kenny Ellis -- "Swingin' Dreidel" -- (Favored Nations, 2005)
"A Yingele Fun Polyn" is a fun, dramatic tale (I'm guessing) sung with
flair by Judy Bressler alongside one of those deliciously slow, stern dance
beats that Eastern Europeans do so well. And of course, it speeds up later
on, going into a silly medley of danceable snippets. The middle track is a
story about how families hired Klezmer musicians at Chanukah -- one of the few
times when "instrumental music was not forbidden," the pianist says.
One that we picked up last year, a swing-jazz singer with a low
baritone voice, doing a mix of holiday-themed songs, some of them sung in
Hebrew (Yiddish?) and one in the long-ago language of Sephardic Jews of Spain
("Ocho Kandelikas," which is apparently better known than I realized.
The punch line here is that I had no idea tonight was the first night of
Chanukah. Sarah Bellum, the 9:00 a.m. DJ, clued me in.
-- 8:00 a.m. --
Marty Ehrlich -- "Willie Whipporwill's Back Slidin' Heart Throb Two-Step" -- Pliant Plaint (Enja, 1988)
A decently jumping tune that nonetheless doesn't quite live up to the
liveliness of the title. Nothing against Ehrlich, but I've found that's often
the case with his music; maybe I'm being too shallow a listener. Took this
one off glorious vinyl; I'd been using the other side as my sound bed for mic
breaks, and I usually like to give the sound bed record a proper spin late in
* Junior Wells -- "Juke" -- Live at Theresa's (Delmark, 2006; recorded 1975)
A complete live set from 1975, including the stage banter between
tracks. Had to include some of that... but in trying to pick a shorter song,
I ended up with some pre-song banter that kind of rambled and didn't make
sense, something about a party at someone's place after the show (mentioned
again and again and again). Well, it's a good CD overall, anyway.
* Ben Bowen King -- "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" -- Sidewalk Saints: Roots Gospel Guitar (Talking Taco, 2006)
Contemporary recordings celebrating the "sidewalk saints," street
singers who'd dish out bluesy gospel tunes accompanied by guitar and sometimes
(as on here) a second vocalist. Bare-bones blues with heart.
* Keefe Jackson's Fast Citizens -- "Ready Everyday" -- Ready Everyday (Delmark, 2006)
Previously noted here. This is one
of the more "straight" tracks, with a swingy fast feel that (I hope) blended
well with the surrounding blues.
* Cleveland Fats -- "Cheaters Never Win" -- The Way Things Go (Honeybee, 2006)
Getting into the rockin' blues thang now.
* Solomon Burke -- "Seems Like You're Gonna Take Me Back" -- Nashville (Shout! Factory, 2006)
Ostensibly Burke's country album (he's a blues veteran), but the faster
tracks have that bluesy/rocking country sound and wouldn't be that far out of
place on the blues shelf. Slower tracks get closer to mournful country
stillness. This one's a faster track.
* Frankie Lee -- "High Horse" -- ... Standing at The Crossroads (Blues Express, 2006)
40-year blues singing veteran, with a CD on a San Francisco label.
* Antoine Berthiaume, Michel Donato, Pierre Tanguay
-- "Mr. Suozzi" -- Ellen's Bar (Ambiances Magnetiques, 2006)
Previously noted here. It was
tough finding a non-blues track to stand up against Frankie Lee; most things I
tried were just overpowered. This one works because it starts with a fast-
shuffle bass-drums beat, a kind of plain sound that cleared the way for
Berthiaume's liquidy jazz guitar.
*! The Scattered Pages -- "Before the Last War" -- The Scattered Pages (Three Ring, 2006)
Technically indie rock, an acoustic-guitar-led group from Texas that
uses old-time folk, blues, and possibly gospel as their starting point. But
the result doesn't come out blues; it's down-mood acoustic pieces with a
relatively high male vocal, definite indie-rock material. This one's got a
country-swaying kind of feel that could pass as modern blues, maybe. Couldn't
resist sneaking it into the program.
* Rudresh Mahanthappa -- "Frontburner" -- Codebook (Pi Recordings, 2006)
Previously noted here. Heh.
Total mood killer, from the gloomy but comforting sdness of Scattered Pages, a
quick snap into fairly fast saxophone zenoglossia. I like doing stuff like
* Ornette Coleman -- "Jordan" -- Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar, 2006)
* = Item in KZSU rotation
! = Pop anomaly
? = Item not in KZSU library
-- Go back to Memory Select playlists.
-- Bay Area free/improv music calendar: http://www.bayimproviser.com.