In 1956 I was living in Suffolk; I had subscriptions to both the MM and the NME and one of them reviewed an LP by Joe Turner, it was titled ‘The Boss of the Blues’ on the Atlantic label. It was such a rave review that I immediately bought a copy and it was indeed as good/great as the reviewer said it was. If I had to choose a top 10 from my entire collection of records this one would definitely be in there.

 A little background: When the ban on American musicians performing in England was lifted in the early 50’s the Count Basie band was a regular visitor, they probably came at least once a year, sometimes twice. I loved the Basie band and went to see them whenever possible, consequently I was familiar with all of the musicians. It turned out that the backing band on the Joe Turner album were almost all Basie-ites so for me that was a double treat, the king of Kansas City blues plus all those guys I’d come to love. 

 Just a word re. Kansas City; when the US Navy shut down the brothels in Storyville in New Orleans in 1917 they eliminated the places where all the jazz musicians worked, hence they all hit the road, highway 61 heading north for NY, Chicago, LA and Kansas City. Each city absorbed them and there they evolved different styles of jazz in each, Kansas City being perhaps the most unique. Kansas City jazz is more blues based and more swing oriented than any of the others and it has the longest list of superstar musicians who started life there; they include, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Count Basie, Jimmy Lunceford, Pete Johnson, Ben Webster and dozens more, it was the most fertile jazz source in the country and in 1936 Columbia record producer John H. Hammond launched his career by discovering Kansas City talent starting with Count Basie who he heard on a radio broadcast from a KC club.

 Another side note, Robert Altman was a fierce Kansas City jazz fan, in 1996 he produced and directed a great film which is totally based on the KC jazz scene of the 30’s, well worth seeing, it’s title, ‘Kansas City’. It was nominated for a Palme d’Or. Plus In 1979 there was  a documentary film starring Basie and  Big Joe Turner, and featuring many performers from the original era. It’s titled ‘The Last of the Blue Devils’. If you haven’t guessed by now, Kansas City jazz is the style I’m most addicted to and what much of my vinyl jazz is comprised of.

 So when I departed England for Los Angeles in 1958 I packed just a few personal belongings, my LP’s and about a dozen books on the subject of jazz plus whatever clothes I had. Boss of the Blues was absolutely included and it’s still played fairly regularly and the books are still on my bookshelf.  Many years later, possibly in the early 80’s, I met Joe Turner and I asked him to autograph my album, he did so with a black felt tip, right across the cover BIG JOE TURNER FROM KC. He died in LA in 1985 and I went to his funeral as did several thousand others.

 It came as a huge surprise to recently find several cuts from the album on youtube, though as the poster commented it is very rare and almost impossible to find so rather than my usual post of one cut I’ll post three.

 Here’s Joe Turner, The Boss of the Blues and here he sings Kansas City Jazz.

The personnel are:






Tuesday Challenge – Number 3.01 – Meet The Band ! ! !

Okinawan girl rockers Streropony

I think this is going to be a really tough one for you ! ! !  

I was listening to  More More More which is the latest album by Stereopony and the opening track is called Introduction.  It is a short track where Ami (the singer and guitarist) just says a few words about the band in English.

So I started to think about it and I have only 3 tracks where the bans introduce themselves.  One other Japanese track  and one English.

So I think this will be a tough challenge for you.

What are your favourite Meet The Band tracks ? ? ?

Here is Stereopony with Introduction:

The Race

John Schroeder Orchestra – But She Ran the Other Way
Edwyn Collins – Running Away With Myself
Cabaret Voltaire – Runaway
Yello – Who's Gone? ("Who's Groove")
Shriekback – Running On The Rocks
Gary Clail & On U-Sound System – Escape [On The Mix]
Bim Sherman – Run Them Away
African Head Charge – Run Come See

Vivian Girls – Where Do You Run To?
Heartless Bastards – Runnin
Boxer Rebellion – The Runner
Thee More Shallows – Fly Paper
John Vanderslice – They Won't Let Me Run
Tiny Ruins – Running Through The Night
Ambrose Tompkins – Running On Grass
Tindersticks – Running Wild

running up that ‘spill

1 Run Tings Inner Terrestrials
2 Running From The Thoughts Dub Pistols
3 Running On Empty Honkeyfinger
4 Run Boy Run Dudley Sibley
5 Running two* Run Lola Run
6 The Runaway (feat. Elle. J) UNKLE
7 Dog Run De Phazz
1 Hare And The Tortoise HMS Ginafore And King Creosote
2 When I was Running Out of Time Joseph Arthur
3 Must Land Running Stepdad
4 Run From Safety Octoberman
5 Knock A Door Run Arctic Monkeys
6 Time Runs Too Slow Downdime

Earworms 30 July 2012 Mystery Edition

Just give me a glass of wine and a clock that tells no time,
Some cigarettes that’s all my company.

This week, at DarceysDad‘s suggestion, you might like to have a little fun guessing who submitted each of these worms.

Wormers,  you know your own but you will need to comment on them  otherwise you will give yourself away – and if you would like to pop back before Sunday morning to identify yourselves, please do so, or I’ll do the big reveal on Sunday afternoon.

There will be lovely Spill Points for the person(s) with the highest number of correct guesses.

1: The Distortions – Behind My Wall ~ ?

A group that endured in one lineup or another until the late 1970s.  This was their closest to a national hit, on a major label.  A departure from their garage rock style, this was twee psychedelic pop with faux Brit accents.

2: The Pogues – I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day ~ ?

Oh, I love Shane singing in the Pogues as much as the next non-Irish person might; but this one – with Cait O’Riordan taking lead vocals – is a special treat from Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (as far as I know it’s never been anthologised). With a voice that is clear, sweet and decidely feminine, Cait declares herself to be “Jock Stewart”, the eponymous rare fellow. And you believe her. She *is* Jock – generous, charming… but could you trust him?

3: Rita Pavone – Heart ~ ?

Rita Pavone’s 45 was in a box I was going through and I remembered I loved it and still do.

4: Breathe – Hands To Heaven ~ ?

Here’s the song that ISN’T Fiction Factory’s Feels Like Heaven, but which fights for the same memory space in my head whenever FF are mentioned, making it an ‘earworm par excellence‘! And yes, despite it being complete treacle, I like it!

This is a NYC teen I rap with (go me, huh?) who has more musical ideas than the rest of us put together. He makes Common seem, well, Common. It’s a kid doing stuff from his bedroom who has no clue how good he is.

5: BlaZe – Autumn, Winter, Spring ~ ?

A young man making music who has no idea how good he is.

6: Pink Floyd = The Crying Song ~ ?

Neither psychedelic Syd nor grumpy Roger, this is  an example of Pink Floyd’s softer side. This song gets lodged in my head from time to time, I was making a compilation for a friend who wasn’t very familiar with the band and thought it showed a different aspect of their sound.

A big Thank You to everyone who contributed worms to this playlist and/or  sent them to the wormbank. Do you have more to share?  Send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked: to either or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

He Said – She Said – Our Current Favourites ! ! !

Read this post or we shoot the puppy ! ! !

She Says:

We wanted to make a post to share some of the tracks we are listening to just now.  Of course when it is Mr P and I, you know there will some surprises and also some artists  you can probably predict.  We had a lot of fun writing it and we hope you enjoy the post ! ! !

He says:

This week we have chosen some of our favourite “up to the minute” ( more or less) artists to share with you. We hope these give a little taster of what we cool, trendy young folks listen to when drinking our Horlicks. I hope you enjoy them.
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Back in the early ’60’s jazz was my music of choice and had been for near twenty years but as that decade progressed I found myself ignoring jazz which was becoming stilted and repetitive in favor of the newly emerging ‘pop’. There was so much creativity in so many of the new pop groups that I wound up becoming seriously addicted and spending a lot of time in the various LA clubs that featured all the top groups; it was a brand new music compared to the rock’n roll of the earlier Bill Haley era. That pattern continued ’til the early ’70’s. Throughout that period I was a grad student at the UCLA film school and consequently I was regularly seeing just about every foreign film that was released, French, German, Swedish, Italian, English, Spanish, the lot! Until one day my local Art theater advertised that the following week there’d be a Jamaican film, hell, I didn’t even know that they made films in Jamaica but of course I went to see it.
It was ‘The Harder they Come’, a film by Perry Henzel and featuring Jimmy Cliff; I absolutely loved it, I thought it was the best film in recent history! And on top of all that it had a fabulous musical soundtrack, something new to my ears, Reggae!
I became an instant obsessive, not just of the music but the whole culture. I found LA’s Jamaican community and started buying my records in their shops and eating in their restaurants and I also started visiting Jamaica, in short, I was hooked!
And then six months later the Wailers released their first album, ‘Catch a Fire’, that did it, my days of listening to jazz and pop were basically over, or at least substantially reduced, from here on and for the next twenty odd years my life changed, I became a total obsessive regarding all aspects of Jamaican culture, frequently visiting there, photographing and writing about every aspect of it, the music, the art, the literature, the language, the history, everything! The majority of the creative people that I met were either full on Rasta’s or were very sympathetic, Bob had made Rasta acceptable and apart from the religious component I found myself very much in agreement with their philosophy, several of my Jamaican friends used to call me Tony, [Toe-en-ee] Him a baldhead rasta!
So 1972 was a very dramatic fork in the road for me and this week I have two youtube musical choices, the first is from the film The Harder they Come, it’s ‘By the Rivers of Babylon’ by the Melodians and the second is the Wailers, the original Wailers, Bob, Peter, Bunny, the Barrett Bros and Wya, all assembled in the BBC studio to record a clip for ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’, the song is from their then new album Catch a Fire, it’s Concrete Jungle. A classic piece of film, look how young Familyman is, I saw him last year, he looks like me now.
In later years I was to meet and spend time with both Perry Henzel and the Wailers in Kingston, some years ago I wrote a piece here about my relationship with Basil Keane who played the roll of Preacher-man in the film, very interesting times and this music’s bringing it all back home. Such happy and interesting days.
If anyone hasn’t seen the film I noticed that youtube has it, it’s well worth a look and Spotify has both the soundtrack album for ‘The Harder they Come’ plus the Wailer’s album ‘Catch a Fire’, also both worth a listen.