Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Knockin' Around... (Something Else! 11/03/11 for Wtnr Radio.com
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Hello again! Been in kind of a "classics" mood, lately. I've been finding a lot of great music from the past. "Please Set Me At Ease" by Bobbi Humphrey is a tune that I'd been familiar with because of the Madlib remix from his Shades Of Blue project on Blue Note. I didn't realize I hadn't heard the original version until I was surprised by the spoken world vocal that comes in! Another tune where I'd known the remix before the original is "Mustt Mustt (Lost In His Work)" by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The remix of this by Massive Attack is verging on legendary. Speaking of legends, I decided to feature an underplayed song by one of the icons of the 1960s, Jimi Hendrix. "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland?)" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is practically an homage to Curtis Mayfield, although I am sure that Curtis' output in the 70s was influenced by Hendrix's work. While we're talking about the influence of Jimi Hendrix, "Mantra (Doors Of Perception Mix)" by Material sounds quite different than Jimi's work, but the manipulation of sound owes a great debt to the pioneering work of Hendrix's first few albums, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland. The last tune was driven in a large part by the bass guitar, which makes sense as Material is generally comprised of bassist/producer Bill Laswell and whoever he is working with at the time. The driving bass line made me think of the intro to Flora Purim's title track, "Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly" which features the prominent work of bassist Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report/George Duke-Billy Cobham Band.) The hymn "Amazing Grace" is adapted for the next track, bassist Marcus Miller's "Your Amazing Grace." "Knockin' Around The Zoo" by James Taylor & The Original Flying Machine is slightly obscure, but has been sampled numerous times. Although what you will hear is a cohesive take, the full track includes many false starts, chatting between musicians & engineer and even some funky naked drum grooves. If you're wondering, the James Taylor mentioned is the famous folk/soft rock vocalist. By the way, if you go to his website (click on his name in the previous sentence) he's teaching guitar! "Knockin' Around The Zoo" is from the first album he recorded which included Danny Kortchmar, who went on to be an in-demand guitarist and music producer working with artists like Linda Ronstadt, Carole King (appearing on her landmark album, Tapestry) Neil Young & Billy Joel. Jadell's "Brand New Sound" is a song I've liked for a number of years and seemed a great followup to "...Zoo." Next up, "Memory Band" by Rotary Connection is another song that's relatively obscure, yet shows up as a sample in several tunes. Erykah Badu adapted "The American Promise" by Ramp for the opener on her album New Amerykah Part One (4th World War,) "Amerykahn Promise." Ramp is mainly known for their classics "Daylight" and their cover of Roy Ayer's "Everybody Loves The Sunshine," so it's nice to play something of theirs that's more energetic. Speaking of energetic, in the early 90s Miami put its stamp on house music with the triumph of Ralph Falcón & Oscar Gaetan, aka "Murk." Under various project names, they managed to have 7 consecutive singles reach #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. Funky Green Dogs is one of their most common projects and I feature an alternate version of one of their big hits, "Reach For Me (Percapella.)" The closing tune this week starts out as the brazilian beat underneath "Reach For Me" and also happens to be a remix of the first tune ever released on the label Wall Of Sound. Enjoy "Maracaña Madness (Zoot Woman Remix)" by E-Klektic.