And It’s Free, Can’t You See…

grant_illustration

I’ve been going easy on the 2 of you. I ‘ve been putting up music that, for the most part, is easily digested. Things that have a recognizable structure. But I have to change up this Sunday. Time for a little free jazz. I figured by the 20th post, you would be grown enough to handle some Ornette Coleman. Some Eric Dolphy. Some Don Cherry and some John Coltrane. And since this is Sunday, the best way to introduce you to the free side, is to start off with the spiritual experience which is The Creator Has a Master Plan.

Karma was Pharoah’s first album after Coltrane’s death, and it’s the step to where Coltrane was trying to get to. The Creator… is a direct descendent of A Love Supreme,
and goes beyond its exhilaration and into transcendence. He may have been tripping off of acid at the time also, I can’t confirm that, but I know that Trane was doing that towards the end of his career. So… you know. It doesn’t really matter, the end result is a chant and message for all religions, and THE greatest spiritual jazz movement put on record.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Creator Has A Master Plan- Pharaoh Sanders

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I’ll Take The Penis Mightier For $500

pen is mightier

Did you ever think, “What would the James Bond Theme sound like played by Count Basie? “? Ok, me neither. At least until I found Basie Meets Bond album. It’s sounds just like you would expect: a large wall of instruments tight and in step with one another and kicking a little swing. This isn’t his big swing orchestra from the 40s and 50s, but it still has that grand ensemble sound.

From spy to private eye, we come over to Jimmy McGriff‘s version of The Theme From Shaft. McGriff is one of the masters of the Hammond B-3 organ. The Hamomond oozes soul; it’s the kind of instrument that if you can’t make the listener say “aaahhh shit” when you start laying down the cords, then you shouldn’t be messing around with it. McGriff takes one of most well-known, funky soul songs and adds an extra layer of funk on it.

Woody Herman was another big band leader of the swing era. He started playing the clarinet in bands in the late 30s and played right up to his death in 1987. This may have been due to owing the IRS back taxes from his orchestras in the 60s. It might also be that he just loved to play. He was one of the few from the swing era that would change his sound with the times while still incorporating the big band sound. His rendition of The DoorsLight My Fire swings just enough to call it that.

And lastly, I’ve just rediscovered Bobbi Humphrey and I’m upset missed out on most of her stuff when it first came out. Her music is funky. And she plays the flute. “funky flute” are just not words that go together. Although if you Google it, her image comes up. For the Duke Ellington classic, Satin Doll, she performs this breezy funk romp, Star Treking it out. I hold this dear to me because I can remember being little and listening to my grandmother play it for me. Not as down as Bobbi’s, but it’s still the best version I’ve heard.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Count Basie- The James Bond Theme

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Jimmy McGriff- The Theme From Shaft

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Woody Herman- Light My Fire

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Bobbi Humphreys- Satin Doll

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See That Prince Over There? The One With The Fuzzy Hair?

I Got Six Prince

Ok, I just realized that in the last post, I complained about coming up with ideas for post. That was just my 17th post. I can’t bitch about topics already. I haven’t even reached 3 moth mark yet; I’m still on probation. So I’m going to concentrate on giving you, yes YOU, the music you want and deserve.

Today I was chilling’ with in the TV/Game/Music room with Kali and Ra, just going through something to spin and I came across Ray Bryant‘s Up Above the Rock, which was a really good find about a month ago. It’s prized because of the title song, which is in the same vein as Ike Turner and The Rhythm Kings‘ Getting Nasty. There’s a little church-funk going on in it. Bryant’s piano, like  Nasty‘s Billy Preston, is the main attraction.  But the driving force is the drumming of Grady Tate. You might remember him bangin’ out beats for Quincy Jones, Wes Montgomery, Ray Charles and other such luminaries. Old folks may know him as being the drummer on The Tonight Show (Johnny Carson, not the pretenders.). or you know him and not know it from Schoolhouse Rock Fireworks, Naughty Number Nine, or my favorite: I Got Six.

That brutha don’t wash no dishes! Tate played and sang on the Schoolhouse Rock shorts.

So I present to you Up Above the Rock, and I Say a Little Prayer. And, because i can never hear I Say a Little Prayer without thinking of her, I give you the definitive version of it by Dionne Warwick. She’ll get her own post a little later on.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Up Above the Rock- Ray Bryant 

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I Say a Little Prayer- Ray Bryant 

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I Say a Little Prayer- Dionne Warwick 

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