Pete’s Place – 10/31/11

Gabor Szabo, “Paint It Black” (Jazz Raga, 1967). Beach-blanket stalker music for Halloween.

The Crusaders, “Put It Where You Want It” (1971).

Ornette Coleman, “Singing in the Shower” from Virgin Beauty (1988). Harmalodic, with Jerry Garcia on guitar.

Philly Joe Jones, “Jim’s Jewel” from Philly Mignon (1977, Galaxy). Pros at work. Exotic soprano sax from Ira Sullivan.

Chico Hamilton, “Homeward” from Drum Fusion (1962. More Gabor Szabo, with Charles Lloyd on sax playing what Lloyd called “moderate avante gardism” — and it sounds modern 50 years later.

The Tony Williams Lifetime, “Spectrum” from Emergency (1969), “dangerous” early jazz/rock fusion record. Williams on drums with John McGlaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ.

Johnny Griffin, “The Cat” (1991). Chicago tenor, the Little Giant of the Tenor Saxophone, with a sneaky late-career recording.

Herbie Nichols, “House Party Startin'” (1955). Monk-like (and Monk-quality) pianist, overlooked in his short lifetime but now a “cult” figure.

Teddy Wilson Orchestra, “Blues in C Sharp Minor”– cartoon music from the 1930s.

Henry Threadgill Sextet, “Good Times” (TV show theme) from You Kow the Number (1987). Dyn-o-mite!

John Schofield “A Go Go” (Blue Note, 1988). Sco’ backed by Medeski, Martin, and Wood.

Don Bryron “The Goon Drag” from Ivey-Divey (Blue Note, 2001) with Jack DeJohnette on drums.

Lee Morgan, “Totem Pole” from Sidewinder (1963). Classic Blue Note hard-bop with Morgan on trumpet and Joe Henderson on sax. The back-and-forth exchange between horns on the release gives the tune its name.

(all Pete’s Place playlists at


Townsend on Peel

I saw this quote in an otherwise dull BBC article featuring Pete Townsend:

The guitarist praised John Peel, who died in 2004, for his dedication to listening to the music he was sent by up-and-coming acts.

“Sometimes he played some records that no-one else would ever have played, and that would never be played on radio again,” he said.

“But he listened, and he played a selection of records in the course of each week that his listeners knew – partly because the selection was sometimes so insane – proved he was genuinely engaged in his work as an almost unconditional conduit between creative musicians like me to the radio audience.”

John Peel is a big hero to me– and certainly not just for his awesome barn full of vinyl! I listen to a tremendous amount of new music each week, and air anything I think is worthwhile. Sometimes this means 180g vinyl from famous bands and artists, other times, it’s a battered cassette tape from a complete unknown. Providing this opportunity to musicians and listeners means a lot to me. Hopefully, you’ll check out my show next week, Saturday at 4am.

The Galaxy – Running the voodoo down

Cover of "Live at the Fillmore East (Marc...

Live at the Fillmore East cover (Cover via Amazon)

I remember, as a young boy, occasionally turning the tv to WSIU, and during the PSAs one might hear some interesting, transcendental, magical, slightly weird (to my 3 year old ears) music.  I didn’t worry about it much – I was completely focused on the fact that Sesame Street was coming up, and I wanted my Cookie Monster/Kermit/Grover/Bert and Ernie fix (rubber duckie, you’re still the one!).  Years later, I believe that I have figured it out – the folks at WSIU were using edits from Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew for these slots.  Absolutely brilliant!  Expose a kid to Bitches Brew while he’s still young enough to not really think about how different it was from the Partridge Family!

Of course, 40 years later, I know just how good that stuff is.  But the incident is brought back to mind on occasions like this, when we break out some live Bitches Brew, from the excellent Live at the Fillmore East (March 7, 1970) release.  Of course, the live version is substantially different from that which we hear on the classic recording.  In fact, I’d venture so far as to say that it is good to have both studio and live recordings of this work.  But this recording is of particular interest, as the sextet that Davis took to the stage is one that never had the opportunity to enter the recording studio, at least not in this lineup – some call this grouping “The Lost Quintet”.  All of the players (Davis, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, and Airto Moreira) participated in the Bitches Brew sessions, but the recording featured a larger band (3 keyboards – Joe Zawinul and Herbie Hancock were also in on it), 2 basses, a bass clarinet, two drums (Lenny White, later to join Chick Corea and form Return to Forever), and John McLaughlin was on guitar.  Also absent from the live rendition of these songs are the numerous tape edits that Davis was using by this time.

But not absent is the unending sense of exploration.  They get into some driving funk on Spanish Key, yet they also do a free jazz freakout on Directions.  This is absolutely must-hear music.  We heard a nice, extended, 5 song set: Directions, Miles Runs the Voodoo Down, Bitches Brew, Spanish Key, and Its About That Time/Willie Nelson.

I figure that it is quite appropriate, since the material is available, to move to what followed Davis’ sextet to the stage – Neil Young and Crazy Horse.  Young put out a 6 song set from that tour stop (Crazy Horse at the Fillmore), with some excellent performances.  We heard Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, Winterlong, and Down By the River.

A slight change of pace (ok, I understate this just a tad) from Neil Young is a sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven.  The sonata in question is his legendary Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, commonly known as the Sonata Pathétique.  I may have played this a few months ago, but greatness like this is worth a good listen.  Of course, the melodies that Beethoven presented in this beautiful piece of music (i.e. the theme from the 2nd movement) are the sorts of music that tends to stick in your mind, to the point where you might find yourself humming it days afterwards.  This is a good thing.  (I can name at least one person for whom the impact was pretty significant – Billy Joel based the melody for an album cut on An Innocent Man on the theme from the 2nd movement.)

I get an immense amount of pleasure hearing the instrumental interaction between the members of The Cream.  When they were at their best, they created some of the most supple music I’ve ever heard, where the virtuosity was almost effortless.  Tonight we heard Outside Woman Blues (the version recorded live at the BBC), World of Pain, Spoonful, SWLABR (Factoid: the title is an acronym, standing for “She Walks Like A Bearded Rainbow”), and finishing with Badge.

Liveblogging! “It’s Too Damn Early,” 10/30/11

Covering “Style City” for Emma today. My big apologies to Jimerson Montgomery Phillips III, whose text-to-voice message alerted me this afternoon that I had insulted his delicate and finely-tuned musical sensibilites with my radio selections. If you know him, take heed– he is a rare and fragile snowflake!

Joe Lasqo — Choshi (from “Turquoise Sessions,” on Edgetone)
Gen Ken Montgomery — Friedhof (from “Birds + Machines,” on Pogus)
Dolphin Logic — Her Eyes Were A Burning Laser (from “Replicant Embolisms,” self-release)
BKPR — Kollateral (from “BKPR,” on Autumn Abattoir and Seasonal Affect)
Charlie Morrow — Central Park 1850 (from “Toot!,” on XI Records)
Robert Ashley — Perfect Lives, pt.2; The Supermarket: Famous People (from “Perfect Lives,” on Lovely Music)
Warren Burt — La Strega Bianca Della Luna (this, and next two, from “Sonic Circuits VI,” on Innova)
David Barnes — Panic in Legoland
Rasmus B. Lunding — Det Nødvendige

“It’s Too Damn Early,” 10/29/11

You’ve seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. You’ve watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate– why do you keep missing my show?

Margaret Noble — Where Am I (from “Early Works,” on FEM Records)
Margaret Noble –Fingers
Margaret Noble — Atonement
Margaret Noble — Door Number Two
Margaret Noble — Kira’s Murder
Margaret Noble — The Walk Home On Ashland
Chefkirk — Vegan Buttermilk (from “We Must Leave The Warren,” on Eh?)
Chefkirk — Quiet Parts of In-Between
Chefkirk — Gross Pyramids
Psychotic Quartet — Entropy Is Information (from “Sphaleron,” on Eh?)
Psychotic Quartet — We Are All 11 or 26 Dimensions
Federico Barabino — Can You Listen To The Silence Between the Noise? (from album of the same name on Eh?)
Andrea Pensado — Ktotam (from album of the same name, on Zeromoon)

Your Community Spirit 2011 October 28

News includes the environmental impacts of the 99 percent versus the 1 percent; underwater cities; heat from cities barely affects global warming. Happenings include Fuller Fridays at the Bucky Dome by the Occupy Carbondale site; Rice and Spice; Friday Night Fair; Farmer’s Market; Vigil for Peace; Little Egypt Ghost Society book signing; Halloween Playground at Global Gourmet; Food for Thought; Solidarity March to Support SIUC Workers.

Pete’s Place Playlist – 10/24/11

Wayne Horvitz, “These Hard Times” (for the “occupiers) from This New Generation (1985). Industrial jazz.

Randy Weston, “African Village/Bedford Stuyvesant” from Blues to Africa (1974). Solo piano, original version of Weston’s theme song.

Lafayette Gilchrest, “Assume the Position” from The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrest (2004).

Billy Cobham, “Spectrum” from 1973 album of same name. Classic fusion album from Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer.

John Scofield, “Twang” from Grace Under Fire (Blue Note, 1992). Recognizable guitar sound over 40 years of recording.

John Mayall, “California” from The Turning Point (1970). Unique “acoustic” band for British Blues master. Sax, finger-style (nylon string) guitar, bass (no drums) and leader’s harmonica and guitar.

Yusef Lateef “Blues for the Orient” from Eastern Sounds (1961). Exotic sounding blues played on oboe.

Miles Davis, “Freedom Jazz Dance” from classic 1965 Miles Smiles album with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Tony Williams.

Caravan, “Yes and No” from Blue Monday album recorded in Carbondale at Tres Hombres (2005). Local band that held down Monday night slot at Tres for a number of years.

Dave Holland and Pepe Habischuela, “The Whirling Dirvish” from Hands (2010). Nice record of jazz bass and flamenco-style guitar.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, “Rahsaanica” from Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata (1971). Multi-instrumentalist playing roots music.

Herbie Hancock, “Watermelon Man” from Headhunters (1973). Electronic version of Hancock’s “hit” that first appeared on his first Blue Note solo record about 10 years earlier that this recording on the million-selling Headhunters album..

Archived playlists at: