Archive for November, 2015

The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1

November 26th, 2015 11 comments

The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1

There are many session drummers who are valid contenders for the label “greatest ever” or “most influential”, if one is into these absolutes. Some have featured in this series: Hal Blaine, Jim Keltner and Bernard Purdie might make it into a four-way final with Steve Gadd (and that”s not to mention Earl Palmer).

Gadd is responsible for one of my all-time favourite single drum hits, on Grover Washington”s Be Mine Tonight (with vocals by another fine drummer, Grady Tate). At 5:44 minutes into the song, as Grover is climaxing his sax solo, he hits the cymbals with such exquisite and eloquent timing. The song would be masterful without it; this easily missed moment elevates it to the sublime.

You”ll have heard Gadd on many famous records, and perhaps even seen him in action: he backed Simon & Garfunkel in the famous Concert in Central Park. He also appeared in the Paul Simon movie One Trick Pony (and drummed on the album of that name, including Late In The Evening). If you caught Eric Clapton in concert between 1994 and 2004, or in 2009, chances are you saw Gadd playing live.

Inspired by his uncle, Gadd took up drumming as a seven-year-old. By the time he was 11, in 1956, he reputedly sat in with Dizzy Gillespie. He made his first recording in 1968, backing Gap Mangione.

Apart from the artists that will feature over the three Steve Gadd Collections I have queued up, he has also backed “” deep breath now “”Bette Middler, Bob James, Joe Farrell, Rusty Bryant, Ellie Greenwhich, Jackie DeShannon, O”Donel Levy, Chet Baker, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Deodato, Stanley Clarke, Hank Crawford, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Merry Clayton, David Sanborn, Leon Redbone, Kenny Vance, Chick Corea, Maynard Ferguson, The Brecker Brothers, Jon Lucien, Alessi Brothers, Freddie Hubbard, Ashford & Simpson, Eric Gale, Phoebe Snow, Lou Courtney, Al Di Meola, Harry Chapin, Earl Klugh, Sergio Mendes, Garland Jeffreys, Ringo Starr, Frankie Valli, Lolleatta Holloway, Manhattan Transfer, Weather Report, The Sylvers, Mongo Santamaria, Sadao Watanbabe, Richard Tee, Charles Mingus, Yusef Latif, Meco, Larry Carlton, Herb Alpert, Joe Sample, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Ross, Tania Maria, Paul Shaffer, Laurie Anderson, John Sebastian, Mark Cohn, Edie Brickell, Buddy Rich, Angela Bofill, Stephen Bishop, Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman, Joss Stone, Randy Crawford, Nils Landgren, Kate Bush “” and many others”¦

And, yes, the Steely Dan track he drummed on will feature in a future mix!

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-drummed covers.

1. Steve Gadd – My Little Brother (1984)
2. Paul Simn – 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (1975)
3. Bill LaBounty – Livin” It Up (1982)
4. George Benson – Love Ballad (1981)
5. Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle (1975)
6. David Ruffin – Walk Away From Love (1975)
7. Al Jarreau – Love Is Waiting (1983)
8. Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb – Guilty (1980)
9. Grover Washington Jr. – Be Mine (Tonight) (1981)
10. Michael Franks – When The Cookie Jar Is Empty (1978)
11. Dave Grusin – Anthem Internationale (1982)
12. Diane Schuur – Talkin” “Bout You (1988)
13. Kate Taylor – A Fool In Love (1978)
14. Dr. John – Dance The Night Away With You (1978)
15. Bonnie Raitt – What Is Success (1974)
16. Art Garfunkel – Since I Don”t Have You (1993)
17. Aztec Camera – Paradise (1987)
18. Carol Townes and Fifth Avenue – Number One (1976)


Previous Session Musicians:
The Roy Bittan Collection
The Larry Carlton Collection
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 3
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Joe Osborne Collection
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Ringo Starr Collection

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Any Major Paris In Black & White

November 17th, 2015 8 comments

Any Major Paris In Black & White

Here is my tribute to Paris, a city that will not be defeated by terrorists. I wish my music collection would allow me to likewise compile collections in tribute to the people of Beirut, Baghdad, Ankara, Gaza or whichever city the genocidal bastards of Boko Haram are blowing up this week — or, indeed, whichever Afghan hospital the US destroys in a case of couldn’t-give-a-damn.

And on that cheerful note, to the music. Unlike the first Any Major Paris mix, which I posted last year, this one trades bilingually in nostalgia: there are tracks by great French singers such as the majestic Edith Piaf, her ex-lover and protégé Yves Montand, the great entertainers Charles Trénet and Maurice Chevalier, the powerful Gilbert Bécaud, and the godmother of them all, Mistinguett.

Among the English tracks, Petula Clark’s song is a cover of a French chanson which is best heard in Piaf’s version.

A couple of the American artists who sing here in French once scandalised prim Parisian society. Josephine Baker’s story is well-known, that of Joan Warner less so. The tall blonde used to dance in Parisian joints in various stages of nudity. For that she was tried in 1935. Found guilty she fined, just a nominal sum, even though she contended that she had been painted all in white make-up and was partly covered with a transparent silk cloth which served as a “fig leaf” — without that, the judge said, her fine would have been fined eight times as much. Warner is still alive, it seems, at the age of 102.

And speaking of Piaf, should you go to Paris and want a guided tour of Edith Piaf’s life, I know someone who does that. Message me for contact details (ideally via Facebook; become my friend here).

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-bricolé covers. PW in comments.

1. Dean Martin – I Love Paris (1961)
2. Patachou – Sous le Ciel de Paris (1956)
3. Edith Piaf – Notre-Dame de Paris (1952)
4. Petula Clark – Mademoiselle de Paris (1963)
5. Gilbert Bécaud – Dimanche à Orly (1963)
6. Jacques Dutronc – Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille (1968)
7. Mel Tormé – Paris Smiles (1967)
8. Sammy Davis Jr. – April In Paris (1965)
9. Francis Lemarque – Lair de Paris (1957)
10. Mouloudji – Le Mal De Paris (1954)
11. Charles Trénet – Le Coeur de Paris (1946)
12. Maurice Chevalier – Place Pigalle (1946)
13. Yves Montand – À Paris (1948)
14. Kate Smith – The Last Time I Saw Paris (1940)
15. Joan Warner – Etre Parisienne (1936)
16. Mistinguett – La tour Eiffel est toujours là (1942)
17. Django Reinhardt et le Quintette Du Hot Club De France – Belleville (1942)
18. Josephine Baker – Paris Paris Paris (1949)
19. Eartha Kitt – Under The Bridges Of Paris (1953)
20. Les Baxter – The Clown On The Eiffel Tower (1957)
21. Catherine Sauvage – L’Île Saint-Louis (1954)
22. Pierre Dudan – Ciel de Paris (1957)
23. Georgette Plana – Le Dimanche à Paris (1953)
24. Quincy Jones – Evening In Paris (1957)
25. Judy Garland – Paris Is A Lonely Town (1962)
26. Max Steiner – Casablanca: Paris Montage (1942)


Any Major Paris
Any Major London Vol. 1
Any Major London Vol. 2
Any Major London Vol. 3
More Mix-CD-Rs

More Music in Black & White

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In Memoriam – October 2015

November 5th, 2015 9 comments

In Memoriam_1Best-known for his hit Down In The Boondocks and the original versions of Deep Purple”s Hush and The Osmonds” Yo-Yo (all written by Joe South), Billy Joe Royal comfortably straddled genres. He was at home in both pop and, as of the 1980s, in country, but his song Heart”s Desire was a popular staple in England”s Northern Soul scene. Royal performed his last concert on September 24 and at the time of his death at 73 had a tour lined up.

In the world of jazz-fusion and of the Internet, Larry Rosen was a pioneer. Starting off as a drummer in the 1960s, Rosen soon moved into production and engineering before setting up a record label with the great musician and composer Dave Grusin, calling it Grusin/Rosen Productions (now better known by its acronym GRP). The label discovered many of big names in fusion, such as Earl Klugh, Tom Browne (whose crossover hit Funkin” For Jamaica Rosen produced), Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour and many others. GRP”s roster grew to include many notable artists, such as Spyro Gyra, Diane Schuur, Ramsey Lewis, Tom Scott, B.B. King, Larry Carlton, Yellowjackets and Diana Krall. Rosen engineered and co-produced Dave Grusin”s 1981 Mountain Dance album, the first ever digitally recorded non-classical album, from which the featured track comes. He left GRP in 1995 to launch, within a year, one of the first Internet e-commerce and content companies, N2K, which pioneered digital downloads long before iTunes.

With the death at 93 of folk singer Leon Bibb, another once blacklisted voice has fallen silent. Bibb said he had never spoken to a white person while growing up in Kentucky. That changed when he moved to New York City in 1941 at the age of 19. A talented baritone, he was a cast member of the first stage performance of the musical Annie Get Your Gun in 1946. He went on to become a star on Broadway in the 1950s, but his left-wing politics, especially in the area of fighting racial discrimination, saw him blacklisted (alongside his idol Paul Robeson). At that time he became a folk singer, keeping the company of the likes of Pete Seeger, and performed at the first Newport Folk Festival. With the blacklist abolished, he appeared many times on American TV, including return engagements of the Ed Sullivan Show. In 1969 he moved to Vancouver. He continued a fruitful career in Canada, but also initiated anti-bullying/discrimination programmes in schools. His son Eric Bibb is a prominent Finland-based blues musician, and his grandson Rennie Mirro is a well-known dancer in Sweden.

In 1982, one of the songs I despised the most was PhD”s I Won’t Let You Down. In 1984, it was the UK #1 hit I Should Have Known Better, by erstwhile PhD member Jim Diamond, which I Read more…

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