I had a wonderful time delivering these much-loved tunes. I selected the cuts as I was thinking about all the great artists that resonate deeply with me. These are the artists that I couldn't think of the music world without. Many have passed, but the music is timeless and the creative ideas are bountiful. Here are some of my favorites:
Eddie Palmieri..."Un Dia Bonito"...The Sun of Latin Music...(Coco)
I have long been a fan of Eddie Palmieri's music and certainly a highlight for me was the time I spent hanging out with the guy backstage at War Memorial in Holyoke. This is one of my favorite tunes, with his lengthy solo piano intro which at points calls to mind the likes of Randy Weston or McCoy Tyner.
John Cage & Rahsaan Roland Kirk...audio excerpts from the film Sound??
This fantastic short film captures two of my favorites (from totally different backgrounds) in prime action. From Cage's noise bicycle to Rahsaan's walk thru the zoo, the expansive approaches to sound these two took marvels me always.
Art Ensemble of Chicago..."Dexterity"...Message to our Folks...(Actuel)
Another infinitely sublime sound concept in the shape of a wildly entertaining and informative group of radical-traditionalists. We were so lucky that this creative summit amounted to the fine output and presence of these titans for decades.
Ahmed Abdul-Malik..."Isma'a"...Jazz Sahara...(Riverside)
An early exposure of mine to the addicting sounds of Middle Eastern rhythms came via this Brooklyn composer's fusion of bop jazz and North African music. Way ahead of its time in the 1950s.
Sabu Martinez..."Hotel Alyssa-Soussee, Tunisia"...Afro Temple...(Grammofonverket)
Sabu always led some ripping combos in the jazz latino field and his stay in 70's Sweden was certainly an exciting part of his catalog. Saxophonist Bernt Rosengren sounds great as always.
Skatalites meet King Tubby...Fugitive Dub...Skatalites in Dub...(Motion)
An example of Jamaican funk & dub colliding in a heavy fury of rhythmic bliss. OG mavericks meet the dub pioneer.
Nina Simone..."Do I Move You?"...45...(RCA Victor)
This is a perfect example of Nina delivering a tune with as much sexual draw as revolutionary call.
Albert King..."Born Under A Bad Sign"...Born Under A Bad Sign...(Stax)
I heard the great blues guitarist/bandleader Albert King at the pond in the center of UMass when I was a young kid. The power of this music drew me forever into the world of bass, blues and minor key.
Jimi Hendrix..."Freedom"...First Rays of the New Rising Sun...(Experience Hendrix)
Like many, Jimi's music has been with me forever. An absolute favorite of mine and always a pleasure to hear in any situation. I chose this tune not only for the lyrical concept but also because I find the material he was working on for his next (unfinished at his death) LP to be as great as anything I've ever heard from the guy.
John Coltrane..."Tranesonic"...Stellar Regions...(Impulse)
John Coltrane is an idol to me. A name that always rang out to me, no doubt due to the iconic image he deservedly is, I first really sat and heard Trane much earlier than a lot of other jazz due to my uncle introducing me to him. He hipped me to a lot of blues, 60s rock and some jazz. By the time I was 19 I was a fanatic and gobbling up every LP, tape or CD of Trane's music I could find. I chose this one to play because it was short in length (for programming purposes!) and also because it featured other artists I feel very strongly connected to through sound vibrations. Alice Coltrane, Jimmy Garrison and Rashied Ali were three of John Coltrane's greatest collaborators. I love the classic quartet too, but this unit was every bit as great. This was one of his last ever recordings. (Recorded 67, released in 95.) And I also highly recommend the Live In Japan set too, with Pharoah Sanders added.
Miles Davis..."On the Corner"...On The Corner...(Columbia)
Miles is one of the most polarizing musical artists. The old folks have been hating on his electric period since the changes were happening. And the hippies are fixated on the jamband safe-haven of Bitches Brew (another fantastic album, by the way!). And the heaviest Miles would be the Dark Magus type of nasty shit. But what the hell, I can groove to the polyrhythmic bliss of this ghetto-funk/acid-tabla madness if I want to.
Can..."Mushroom"...Tago Mago...(United Artists)
A 60s/70s German band of Stockhausen's students who were inspired by the Velvet Underground. The band has a catalog of exciting sounds, from funky breakbeats to primal scream noise. This isn't music for jamband devotées. But it should be.
The Velvet Underground..."White Light/White Heat"...White Light/White Heat...(Verve)
And while we're talking VU we may as well include the great influential outsiders themselves. A band that had 12 fans when they were active has 12 million now. And I can relate to all of them.
Spacemen 3..."Losing Touch With My Mind"...Sound of Confusion...(Glass)
The VU/13th Floor Elevators of my generation, I never got to see them live but I can attest to the magic in the grooves. I had all of their records by the time I was 20.
The Nation of Ulysses..."Spectra Sonic Sound"...13-Point Program to Destroy America...(Dischord)
I saw these guys in '91 at the Chapman St Grange Hall in Greenfield, MA with (a very, very early) Bikini Kill, Born Against and fondly remembered local band Spoke. This is timeless left-field jazz-influenced hardcore, spawning many bands.
James Brown..."I Got The Feelin"...45...(King)
The James Brown band is one of the greatest and tightest musical units to ever pace the earth.
Cymande..."Brothers on the Slide"...Promised Heights...(Janus)
I found this LP at an outdoor flea market in rural Hadley, MA. I have since collected all of their music and continue to be entranced by the variety they offer and the expertise in songsmanship on display with all their recordings. Their recordings offer funky Caribbean folk/rock informed with rasta leanings.
Betty Davis..."Your Mama Wants Ya Back"...They Say I'm Different...(Just Sunshine)
Betty has always gotten a lot of attention for the way she looks on her album covers, but she also proves an awesome talent. As producer/bandleader/songwriter/front woman she is nearly unrivalled, in my opinion. The heavy music of her early albums is a gripping listen. The shit she throws at you is some cutting hard funk rock!
Curtis Mayfield..."Little Child Runnin' Wild"...Superfly...(Curtom)
I rate Curtis as one of America's greatest composers. His gift for combining harmony, groove and social themes has led to several classics, not least of which is Superfly. I do, however, demand you check the rest of his catalog though. There is plenty more to enjoy.
Public Enemy..."Burn Hollywood Burn"...Fear of a Black Planet...(Def Jam)
Public Enemy offered some hard-edged rap with biting lyrics. These guys were a big name at this point and this tune offered two more rap heavies in Big Daddy Kane & Ice Cube.
The Ex..."Blueprints for a Blackout"...Blueprints for a Blackout...(Ex)
A Dutch anarchist band since the late 70s, these folks have been delivering challenging and delightful music for decades straight, even venturing into free jazz, African music, punk and various folk tunes.
XIT..."Reservation of Education"...Silent Warrior...(Rare Earth)
Native American hard rock ensemble with some heavy lyrics, just in time for our Thanks-Give-It-Back holiday week.
Eric B & Rakim..."Paid in Full" (Cold Cut rmx)...12"...(4th & Broadway)
This remix by Cold Cut (who went on to start Ninja Tune) was as big as the original version. Lots of great samples weave in and out of the mix, with a beautiful vocal by the late Israeli pop star Ofra Haza, who happens to have, like myself, been born on November 19 (the day of this broadcast).
Bad Brains..."Pay to Cum"...45...(Bad Brain)
I stumbled into this Rastafarian hardcore band as a teenager while investigating the SST catalog. I remain convinced that they are one of the greatest rock bands the US has ever produced.
Otis Redding..."Mr Pitiful"...45...(Volt)
Otis was an early fave of mine, thru my father.
Lee "Scratch" Perry & Devon Irons..."Ketch A Dub"...Upsetter in Dub...(Heartbeat)
Lee Perry made so many great records in the late 60s to the late 70s and his Black Ark material remains his best loved. This album of dub mixes of some of his best tunes was an early Scratch disk for me and it still sends chills down my spine.
Sun Ra Arkestra w/ June Tyson..."Satellites Are Spinning"...Space Is The Place soundtrack...(Evidence)
June Tyson was the voice of the galaxies and Sun Ra the great interplanetary jazz philosopher. I discovered Ra while tripping on LSD and I became an immediate convert. And how many times has Sun Ra been given a shout-out on the Sportsline program? Ryan X Murray couldn't resist as their program started up after mine.
Time unfortunately only permitted a two hour sample. Among those icons and heroes who were trying to pop out of my crate on this day: Funkadelic, Randy Weston, Charles Mingus, Fela & Tony Allen, Max Roach, Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, The Blue Notes (South Africa), Albert Ayler, Harry Partch, Led Zep, Black Sabbath, MITB, William Parker, The Supremes, Bob Marley, Tito Puente, Aretha, Don Cherry, Jorge Ben, Os Mutantes, Mulatu, BDP, Archie Shepp, John Lee Hooker, The Meters, Van Halen, (early) Metallica, Santana, Carl Stalling, Ray Barretto, Gil Scott-Heron, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, Newcleus "Jam On It", Herbie Hancock's "Rockit", Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC, Queen, Thelonius Monk, Oum Kalthum, Neurosis, Melvins, Sonic Youth, Minor Threat. Ask me for a mixtape.
Thanks for listening,
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