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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Willie "Little Beaver" Hale


William Hale, 15 August 1945, Forest City, Arkansas, USA. Little Beaver, a singer and guitarist, made his mark on the tail-end of the soul era in the early 70s, with a typical southern-style body of work that included both blues and soul traditions. Little Beaver grew up in Arkansas, but as a teenager moved to Florida. He recorded some local hits for various labels, with a Bobby Bland-style gospel-blues voice. He then joined Henry Stone’s TK complex of labels in 1971, and penned some hits for Betty Wright as well as playing on innumerable sessions. By the time Little Beaver first recorded on his own for TK’s Cat subsidiary in 1972, he had found his own voice and style and had a national hit with ‘Joey’ (number 48 R&B). His biggest hit was ‘Party Down’ (number 2 R&B) from 1974. His deep southern sound was not all that compatible with the emerging disco and funk trends and Beaver had his last chart record in 1976.







Discography

  • Joey (Cat 1972)
  • Black Rhapsody (Cat 1974)
  • Party Down (Cat 1975)
  • When Was The Last Time (Cat 1976)
  • Beaver Fever (Cat 1980)
  • Katie Pearl (Henry Stone Music,2006)-Singles of 70x

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Legendary People's Choice


Vocalist/keyboardist Frank Brunson formed People's Choice in Philadelphia in the early '70s. Drummer/percussionist David Thompson, vocalists Valerie Brown and Marc Reed, guitarists Darnell Jordan and Johnnie Hightower, keyboardists Clifton Gamble and Bill Rodgers, and bassist/vocalist Stanley Thomas were in the original lineup. Despite the vocalists, the group's biggest hits were instrumentals. They were signed to Philadelphia International and worked with Leon Huff on the funk and disco gem "Do It Any Way You Wanna," among the great pieces of '70s Philly dance music. It was their lone R&B chart-topper, and it peaked at number 11 on the pop charts in 1975. They previously recorded for Phil-L.A., and "I Likes to Do It" had reached number nine in 1971. They remained on Philadelphia International until 1982, when they recorded for TPC. They also issued one LP on Mercury, Strikin', in 1984.

Discography
  • 1971-1972 - I like To Do It
  • 1974 - Party Is A Groovy Thing
  • 1975 - Boogie Down USA
  • 1976 - We Got The Rhythm
  • 1978 - Turn Me Loose
  • 1980 - People's Choice
  • 1982 - Still In Love (EP)
  • 1984 - Strikin'





Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bernard "Pretty" Purdie


Bernard Lee "Pretty" Purdie (born June 11, 1939) is an American session drummer, and is considered an influential and innovative exponent of funk. He is known for his strict musical time keeping and "The Purdie Shuffle".
Purdie recorded Soul Drums (1968) as a band leader and although he went on to record Alexander's Ragtime Band, the album remained unreleased until Soul Drums was reissued on CD in 2009 with the Alexander's Ragtime Band sessions. Other solo albums include Purdie Good (1971),Soul Is...Pretty Purdie (1972) and the soundtrack for the Blaxploitation film Lialeh (1973).

Purdie was credited on the sound track album for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and more recently he was the drummer for the 2009 Broadway revival of Hair and appeared on the associated Broadway cast recording. In 2010, he had his portrait painted by Jane Moorhouse, an artist based in London.

At an early age Purdie began hitting cans with sticks and learned the elements of drumming techniques from overhearing lessons being given by Leonard Heywood. He later took lessons from Heywood and played in Heywood's big band. Purdie's other influences at that time were Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Joe Marshall and Art Blakey.

In 1961 he moved from his home town of Elkton, Maryland, to New York. There he played sessions with Mickey and Sylvia and regularly visited the Turf Club on 50th and Broadway, where musicians, agents, and promoters met and touted for business. It was during this period that he played for the saxophonist Buddy Lucas, who nicknamed him 'Mississippi Bigfoot'. Eventually Barney Richmond contracted him to play session work. In the same year original Beatles drummer Pete Best and guitarist Tony Sheridan recorded tracks in Hamburg with the Beatles. Later Bernard Purdie added drum overdubs to tracks from these sessions, including "Ain't She Sweet", "Take Out Some Insurance on Me Baby" and "Sweet Georgia Brown". The main reason for this was to give them a punchier sound for the US market. These tracks were eventually released on January 31, 1964 by Polydor. Ringo Starr's physical approach to drumming was probably influenced by Purdie's Motown style.

Purdie was contracted by arranger Sammy Lowe to play a session with James Brown in 1965 and recording session records also show that Purdie played on "Ain't That A Groove" at the same session. This was one of several sessions he played with Brown and the track "Kansas City" from Brown's album Cold Sweat (1967), displays one of the most sophisticated and driving shuffles recorded for Brown's catalogue. Purdie is also credited on the albums Say It Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud (1969) and Get on the Good Foot (1972) on which "Ain't That A Groove" appeared.

Purdie started working with Aretha Franklin as musical director in 1970 and held that position for five years, as well as drumming for Franklin's opening act, King Curtis and The King Pins. In 1970 he performed with both bands at the Fillmore West; the resulting live recordings were released as Aretha Live at the Fillmore West (1971) and King Curtis's Live at Fillmore West (1971). His best known track with Franklin was "Rock Steady", on which he played what he described as "a funky and low down beat". Of his time with Franklin he once commented that "backing her was like floating in seventh heaven".

In 1973 Purdie founded Encounter Records and released five albums

EN 3000: Seldon Powell - Messin' With
EN 3001: Sands of Time - Profile (with Jimmy Owens, Garnett Brown)
EN 3002: East Coast - East Coast (with Larry Blackmon, Gwen Guthrie)
EN 3003: Frank Owens - Brown N Serve (with Hugh McCracken)
EN 3004: Harold Vick as "Sir Edward" - The Power of Feeling


Discography:

Albums
  • Soul Drums -Direction (1968)
  • Stand By Me-Mega (1971)
  • Purdie Good -Prestige (1971)
  • Soul Is ... Pretty Purdie" -Flying Dutchman (1972)
  • Lialeh - Bryan (1973)
  • Shaft - Prestige (1974)
  • Delights of the Garden- Celluloid (1975)
  • Purdie As a Picture - Kilarnock (1993)
  • Tokyo Jazz Groove Sessions - Lexington (1993)
  • Coolin' 'n' Groovin' - Lexington/West 47th 1993 (1993)
  • After Hours with The 3B's - 3B's (1993)
  • The Hudson River Rats - 3B's (1994)
  • Kick N Jazz Drum Beat- Blocks (1996)
  • Soul to Jazz I -Act(1997)
  • In the Pocket- P Vine (1997)
  • Soul to Jazz II- Act (1998)
  • Get It While You Can- 3B's (1999)
  • Purdie Good Cookin' Own Label (2003)
  • The Godfathers of Groove(2008)
  • The Godfathers of Groove _vol 3 (2010)  

Contributions

  • Gabor Szabo - Jazz Raga (1966)
  • James Brown - Cold Sweat (1967)
  • King Curtis and his Kingpins - Instant Soul (1967)
  • The Soul Finders - Sweet Soul Music (1968)
  • Albert Ayler - New Grass (1968)
  • James Brown - Say It Loud-I'm Black & I'm Proud (1969)
  • Al Kooper - You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (1969)
  • Gary Burton - Good Vibes (Atlantic, 1969)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Cornucopia (Solid State, 1969)
  • Aretha Franklin - Young, Gifted and Black (1972)
  • James Brown - Get On the Good Foot (1972)
  • Larry Coryell - Coryell (1969)
  • BB King - Completely Well (1970)
  • Robert Palmer's Insect Trust - Hoboken Saturday Night (1970)
  • Eddie Palmieri - Harlem River Drive (1970)
  • Aretha Franklin - Aretha Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • King Curtis - Live at Fillmore West (1971)
  • Larry Coryell - Fairyland (1971)
  • Herbie Mann - Push, Push (1971)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Real Thing (1971)
  • Hubert Laws - Wild Flower (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace (1972)
  • Esther Phillips - Alone Again Naturally (1972)
  • Miles Davis - Get Up with It (1972)
  • Ronnie Foster - Sweet Revival (1972)
  • BB King - Guess Who (1973)
  • Cat Stevens - Foreigner (1973)
  • Hall & Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Come Together (1974)
  • Joe Cocker - I Can Stand a Little Rain (1974)
  • Bama The Village Poet - Ghettos Of The Mind (1974)
  • Cornell Dupree - Teasin' (1975)
  • Todd Rundgren - Initiation (1975)
  • Jorge Dalto - Chevere (1976)
  • Hummingbird - We Can't Go On Meeting Like This (1976)
  • Steely Dan - The Royal Scam (1976)
  • Steely Dan - Aja (1977)
  • Hummingbird - Diamond Nights (1977)
  • Pee Wee Ellis - Home in the Country (1977)
  • Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson - You Can't Make Love Alone (1977)
  • Joe Cocker - Luxury You Can Afford (1978)
  • Dizzy Gillespie - Digital at Montreux, 1980 (Pablo, 1980)
  • Steely Dan - Gaucho (1980)
  • Jimmy McGriff - Blue to the Bone (1988)
  • Elliott Randall - Still Reelin (2006)
  • Hair - Broadway Cast Recording (2009)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Legendary Nite-Liters(The)

Harvey Fuqua and Tony Churchill formed the Nite-Liters in 1963 in Louisville. When the band subsequently expanded to 17 members, with a pair of vocal groups and a instrumental ensemble, they were renamed New Birth, Inc. Churchill, Austin Lander, James Baker, Robert Jackson, Leroy Taylor, and Robin Russell were the original bandmembers. Ben Boxtel, Roger Voice, and James Hall were later recruits. They had two mild instrumental hits for RCA in 1971 and 1972, with "K-Jee" making the R&B Top 20.
1970 - Instrumental Directions
1970 The Nite-Liter
1971 - Morning, Noon & The Nite-Liters
1972 - Different Stroke
1973 A-Nal-Y-Sis

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Heatwave


Heatwave was an international funk/disco musical band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder (vocals) of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton (keyboards), Swiss Mario Mantese (bass), Czech or slovak ??? Ernest "Bilbo" Berger (drums), Jamaican Eric Johns (guitar) and Briton Roy Carter (guitar).
They were known for their successful songs "Boogie Nights" and "Always and Forever" (from their 1976 debut album, Too Hot to Handle), and "The Groove Line" (from their 1978 follow-up album, Central Heating).
Founder member Johnnie Wilder was an American serviceman based in West Germany when he first began performing, upon his discharge from the U.S. Army, he stayed in Germany. He sang in nightclubs and taverns with an assortment of bands while still enlisted. By mid-year, he decided to relocate to the United Kingdom and through an ad placed in a local paper he linked up with songwriter/keyboardist Rod Temperton.
Touring the London nightclub circuit billed as Chicago's Heatwave during the mid-1970s allowed them to refine their sound, adding a funk groove to disco beats. In search of a fuller sound vocally, Johnnie Wilder called upon his brother Keith Wilder (who was performing in a local band in Dayton, Ohio) to join the band on vocals. The group signed to GTO Records in 1976 (Epic Records would handle GTO's releases in the states). They were paired in the studio with GTO house producer/session guitarist Barry Blue and rhythm guitarist Jesse Whitten. Rhythm guitarist Roy Carter replaced Whitten after Whitten was killed in a stabbing incident. They began creating their first album Too Hot to Handle in the fall of 1976.
Their third single, "Boogie Nights" from their debut album, in 1977 reached on the British popular music charts in January and in America in November. The group's debut album, Too Hot to Handle, was released in the spring of 1977, giving Heatwave a on the Hot 200 and on the R&B charts, while the next single, the soul ballad "Always and Forever", reached on the Hot 100 in April 1978 and #2 on the R&B charts.
Continuing to use Barry Blue's production skills, Heatwave released their second album Central Heating in April 1978. Lead single "The Groove Line," reached on the Hot 100 in July 1978.
During the late 1970s the band changed. At first Eric Johns quit the band and Billy Jones was his replacement as guitarist. Then Rod Temperton quit the band. Although Temperton would continue writing new songs for Heatwave, he soon became better-known for his songwriting for other artists, penning award-winning songs for some of funk's biggest names, including Rufus and The Brothers Johnson. He also wrote for Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, but his most famous partnership remains the one forged with Michael Jackson, writing three songs for his 1979 Epic debut Off The Wall - "Rock With You," "Off The Wall" and "Burn This Disco Out", and three songs for the 1982 Thriller LP, including the title track.
Despite these changes Heatwave were about to return to the studio, when Mantese attended a party at Elton John's house in London. He was with his girlfriend, who decided to go home early from the party, reason unknown. When Mantese arrived home, she was furious with him, perhaps from an incident that happened at the party and stabbed him. The knife hit him in the heart and for several minutes, he was clinically dead. When, after several months, he awoke from coma, he was blind, mute and paralysed in his entire body. To date, he has no memory of this tragic event. He decided not to press charges against his girlfriend, and moved in with her after leaving the hospital. Mantese was replaced by bassist Derek Bramble. Adding keyboardist Calvin Duke to the group, and now working with new producer Phil Ramone, Heatwave cut Hot Property, released in May 1979.
During the spring of 1979, Johnnie Wilder, Jr., suffered injuries in an auto accident while visiting family and friends in Dayton, Ohio. Although he survived, the accident left him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to continue performing with the group. After the accident, Johnnie remained a co-producer of the group, along with Blue.
Determined to continue working with the band he had nurtured since the very beginning, Wilder participated with studio work and, during 1980, Heatwave recorded the Candles LP, with Temperton again providing the songs, except stand out track "All I Am", written by Blue's former writing partner Lynsey de Paul. The group recruited James Dean "J.D." Nicholas, who later became a member of the Commodores, to handle vocals in concert.
Heatwave's popularity was on the wane, though, as the November single "Gangsters of the Groove" proved to be their last popular music success, scoring number twenty-one in the U.S., and number twenty in the United Kingdom early in the New Year. But the album peaked at a mere number seventy-one in the United States in December 1980.
Heatwave's 1982 LP, Current, marked yet another new era for the band, as they returned to producer Blue. The album managed only number 156 on the U.S. Billboard 200, although it scored the band a number twenty-one success on the R&B charts, where Heatwave continued to be a strong presence. A Rod Temperton penned single, "Lettin' It Loose," proved a minor success during August.
Derek Bramble quit the band at the end of 1982, like Roy Carter, for a career in production (he would go on to work with David Bowie on 1984s Tonight LP, and later masterminded Jaki Graham's breakthrough). J.D. Nicholas left to replace Lionel Richie as the lead singer of the Commodores. After this long series of departures, the remaining members of Heatwave effectively disbanded.
Silent since early 1983, Heatwave reconvened in a new line-up to record and release the album The Fire in 1988. However, Keith Wilder was the only original member of the band present in this incarnation (although Billy Jones, who had joined the band in the late 1970s returned as well). Meanwhile, that same year, Johnnie Wilder released a solo spiritual album My Goals on Light. The Wilder brothers once again teamed up the following year for the gospel album, Sound of Soul. None of these late 1980s albums sold well, but Heatwave's recognition was revitalized in 1991, when a remix version of their "Mind Blowing Decisions" charted in the UK. By the middle of the 1990s, Keith Wilder had again reformed the band. Joined by bassist Dave Williamson, keyboardists Kevin Sutherland and Byron Byrd, guitarist Bill Jones[disambiguation needed ], and original drummer Ernest Berger, the reborn Heatwave launched an American tour with a live album recorded at the Greek Theater in Hollywood, arriving in 1997.
Heatwave released an extended club remix of "Boogie Nights" in 2002. Keith Wilder is the lead singer of the current line-up (and the only remaining original member). The current touring line-up includes a host of lesser known musicians, including New Orleans keyboardist Jeremy Crump.
Johnnie Wilder died in his sleep at his home in Dayton, Ohio in May 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Discography:

1976-Too Hot to Handle
1977-Central Heating
1979-Hot Property
1980-Candles
1982-Current
1988-The Fire 

Compilations & Mix:
1990-Gangsters Of The Groove (Hits In The 90's Mix)
1996-Always Forever (The Best Of)




Monday, April 9, 2012

Legendary Floaters, The



A short-lived spinoff group formed by onetime Detroit Emeralds members James Mitchell and Marvin Willis, Floaters scored a number one R&B and number two pop hit with their debut, "Float On," for ABC. It was neither a lyrical nor vocal triumph, but was still among the biggest-selling R&B singles of 1977. Featuring lead singer Charles Clark, along with Larry Cunningham, Paul and Ralph Mitchell, and Jonathan Murray, the group wasn't able to sustain whatever magic it generated with "Float On." The next two singles were actually superior performances to the hit. "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" and "I Just Want to Be with You" demonstrated that Clark could be an effective ballad singer, but neither could move beyond moderate R&B chart status.



Discography

1975 - Float On
1977 - The Floaters
1978 - Magic
1979 - Float Into The Future
1981 - Get Ready For The Floaters & Shu-Ga
1998 - The Best Of The Floaters

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Dramatics


Originally formed in 1962, the Dramatics (at various times) consisted of:

Ronald Dean Banks (b. 10th May 1951, Redford, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 4th March 2010, Sinai Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1962 to 2010

Larry Reed (lead singer) 1962 to 1968

Roderick Davis 1962 to 1968

Elbert Wilkins (d. 13th December 1992, from a massive heart attack - formerly of the Theatrics) 1962 to 1973

William 'Weegee' Howard (b. William Franklin Howard II, 13th July 1950, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., d. 22nd February 2000, Bronxville, New York, U.S.A.) 1968 to 1973 then 1986 to 1989

Willie Ford (b. 10th July 1950, LaGrange, Georgia, U.S.A. - formerly of the Capitols) 1968 - today

Robert Ellington 1964

Craig Jones 1981 to 1982

Larry 'Squirrel' Demps (b. 23rd February 1949, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1962 to 1981

Leonard Cornell Mayes (b. 5th April 1951, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 7th November 2004, Southfield, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1973 to 2004

James Mack Brown (d. 28th November 2008)

L. J. Reynolds (b. Larry James Reynolds, 27th January 1952, Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.A.) 1973 to 1981 then 1986 to today

Winzell Kelly (b. 16th January 1953, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. - ex: the Capitols, Five Special, TFO Band, and the Floaters) 1994 to today

Steve Barnett-Boyd 1989 to 1994

Bo Henderson 1981

and

Michael Brock 2006 to today

The Dramatics were formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1962. The Dramatics initially released two singles on the Wingate imprint (including 'Somewhere' b/w 'Bingo', a 45 that was misprinted as being recorded by the Dynamics, a fault later corrected on further pressings) and 'Inky Dinky Wang Dang Do' b/w 'Baby I Need You' both released in 1966. Robert Ellington left the band at an early stage in the Sixties. The group were mistakenly named the Dynamics, back in 1962, however, as the Dramatics they achieved major success with their songs, 'In the Rain' and 'What You See Is What You Get'. In 1967, the Dramatics achieved a small hit with the Ivy Joe Hunter produced song 'All Because Of You' b/w 'If You Haven't Got Love' by the Dramatics, released on the small Detroit label, Sport Records (Sport 101). During that year, The Dramatics were staying at the Algiers Motel, following a performance at Detroit's Fox Theatre, during an alleged murder by members of the Detroit Police Department. This became one of the incidents which sparked the Detroit Riots of 1967.



It wasn't until 1971 when the Detroit producers Don Davis and Tony Hestor signed the Dramatics to the Memphis-based Stax Records in 1971, where the group saw greater success with their song 'Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get'. The song reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 9 back at the time. The group were awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. later that year. At this stage, The Dramatics comprised of Ron Banks, William 'Wee Gee' Howard (ex. The Sir Primes, who died of a heart attack on the 22nd of February 2000 at the age of 49), Elbert Wilkins (who died of a heart attack on the 13th of December 1992 at the age of 45), Willie Ford, Larry Demps and keyboardist James Mack Brown (who died on the 28th of November 2008 at the age of 58).



Following the release of the group's first album, William Howard and Elbert Wilkins left the group. They were replaced by L.J. Reynolds (previously of Chocolate Syrup) and Leonard 'Lenny' Mayes. In 1973, the group released the song 'Hey You! Get Off My Mountain' (taken from the 'A Dramatic Experience' album), which became an R&B number 5 and pop Top 50 that year. During the Seventies, the Dramatics released several further popular sides, including the haunting ballad 'In The Rain'. In 1974, the Dramatics left Stax Records, and the following year began an association with Los Angeles-based ABC imprint, while still recording in Detroit with Davis and Hestor.



U.S. hits at ABC included the ballad 'Me And Mrs. Jones' (R&B number 4 and pop Top 50, 1975, a song made popular by Philadelphia International star Billy Paul), 'Be My Girl' (R&B number 3, 1976) and 'Shake It Well' (R&B number 4, 1977). The Dramatics appeared on Soul Train and also released the songs 'Toast to the Fool', 'Me and Mrs. Jones', 'I'm Going By The Stars In Your Eyes' and 'Be My Girl'. In the meantime, William Howard and Elbert Wilkins formed their own version of the Dramatics. They released the song 'No Rebate on Love', and called the group 'Ron Banks and The Dramatics'. Relocating to the MCA imprint in 1979, the group achieved their last Top 10 hit with 'Welcome Back Home' (R&B number 9, 1980). The same year, the group released the album 'The Dramatic Way', which contained the popular rare groove dancer 'Get It'.

Shortly afterwards L.J. Reynolds left to establish a solo career, and in 1981 Craig Jones was recruited in his place, but they disbanded in 1982 after Ron Banks left to start a solo career, releasing 'Truly Bad' for CBS in 1983 (featuring 'This Love Is For Real'). William Howard later rejoined the original group for the albums 'Somewhere in Time: A Dramatic Reunion' in 1986, and 'Positive State Of Mind' in 1989. He then left the group again. The Dramatics were reunited in the late 80's and released 'Look Inside' for the NCI label in 2002. The Dramatics have worked with many diverse R&B acts, including Snoop Dog, and continue to tour.



The current line-up consisted of Ron Banks, L.J. Reynolds, Willie Ford, Winzell Kelly and Michael Brock, (who replaced Lenny Mayes, who died of lung cancer on the 8th of November 2004 at the age 53). Ron Banks sadly passed away in 2010 at the age of 58. He was at home with his family when he abruptly passed out, according to fellow Dramatics singer L.J. Reynolds, who had spoken to Ron just minutes earlier. Ron passed away at the Sinai Hospital in Detroit. His last hometown gig with the Dramatics was a November 2009 concert at Motorcity Casino’s Sound Board venue. Ron Banks is survived by his wife, Sandy Banks, four daughters and two sons.


Discography

as the Dramatics:


Solo: L.J. Reynolds:

with Ron Banks:
  • 2 Of A Kind (Lifesong Records 1994)
  • Love Is About To Start (Volt Records 2000)
  • Through The Storm (Da Pit Bull Kat Records 2007)
  • The Message (Crystal Rose Records 2007)

Solo: Ron Banks:

*****************************************************
Info is credited to SoulWalking.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Legendary Max Roach



Born: January 10, 1925 | Died: August 16, 2007 Instrument: Drums

Maxwell Lemuel Roach is a percussionist, drummer, and jazz composer. He has worked with many of the greatest jazz musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Sonny Rollins. He is widely considered to be one of the most important drummers in the history of jazz.

Roach was born in Newland, North Carolina, to Alphonse and Cressie Roach; his family moved to Brooklyn, New York when he was 4 years old. He grew up in a musical context, his mother being a gospel singer, and he started to play bugle in parade orchestras at a young age. At the age of 10, he was already playing drums in some gospel bands. He performed his first big-time gig in New York City at the age of sixteen, substituting for Sonny Greer in a performance with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.



In 1942, Roach started to go out in the jazz clubs of the 52nd Street and at 78th Street & Broadway for Georgie Jay's Taproom (playing with schoolmate Cecil Payne). He was one of the first drummers (along with Kenny Clarke) to play in the bebop style, and performed in bands led by Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, and Miles Davis.

Roach played on many of Parker's most important records, including the Savoy 1945 session, a turning point in recorded jazz.

Two children, son Daryl and daughter Maxine, were born from his first marriage with Mildred Roach. In 1954 he met singer Barbara Jai (Johnson) and had another son, Raoul Jordu.



He continued to play as a freelance while studying composition at the Manhattan School of Music. He graduated in 1952.

During the period 1962-1970, Roach was married to the singer Abbey Lincoln, who had performed on several of Roach's albums. Twin daughters, Ayodele and Dara Rasheeda, were later born to Roach and his third wife, Janus Adams Roach.

Long involved in jazz

education, in 1972 he joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

In the early 2000s, Roach became less active owing to the onset of hydrocephalus-related complications.

Renowned all throughout his performing life, Roach has won an extraordinary array of honors. He was one of the first to be given a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, cited as a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, twice awarded the French Grand Prix du Disque, elected to the International Percussive Society's Hall of Fame and the Downbeat Magazine Hall of Fame, awarded Harvard Jazz Master, celebrated by Aaron Davis Hall, given eight honorary doctorate degrees, including degrees awarded by the University of Bologna, Italy and Columbia University.



In 1952 Roach co-founded Debut Records with bassist Charles Mingus. This label released a record of a concert, billed and widely considered as “the greatest concert ever,” called Jazz at Massey Hall, featuring Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Mingus and Roach. Also released on this label was the groundbreaking bass-and- drum free improvisation, Percussion Discussion.

In 1954, he formed a quintet featuring trumpeter Clifford Brown, tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell (brother of Bud Powell), and bassist George Morrow, though Land left the following year and Sonny Rollins replaced him. The group was a prime example of the hard bop style also played by Art Blakey and Horace Silver. Tragically, this group was to be short-lived; Brown and Powell were killed in a car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in June 1956. After Brown and Powell's deaths, Roach continued leading a similarly configured group, with Kenny Dorham (and later the short-lived Booker Little) on trumpet, George Coleman on tenor and pianist Ray Bryant. Roach expanded the standard form of hard-bop using 3/4 waltz rhythms and modality in 1957 with his album Jazz in 3/4 time. During this period, Roach recorded a series of other albums for the EmArcy label featuring the brothers Stanley and Tommy Turrentine.



In 1960 he composed the “We Insist! - Freedom Now” suite with lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr., after being invited to contribute to commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Using his musical abilities to comment on the African-American experience would be a significant part of his career. Unfortunately, Roach suffered from being blacklisted by the American recording industry for a period in the 1960s. In 1966 with his album Drums Unlimited (which includes several tracks that are entirely drums solos) he proved that drums can be a solo instrument able to play theme, variations, rhythmically cohesive phrases. He described his approach to music as “the creation of organized sound.”

Among the many important records Roach has made is the classic Money Jungle 1962, with Mingus and Duke Ellington. This is generally regarded as one of the very finest trio albums ever made.

During the 70s, Roach formed a unique musical organization--”M'Boom”--a percussion orchestra. Each member of this unit composed for it and performed on many percussion instruments. Personnel included Fred King, Joe Chambers, Warren Smith, Freddie Waits, Roy Brooks, Omar Clay, Ray Mantilla, Francisco Mora, and Eli Fountain.

Not content to expand on the musical territory he had already become known for, Roach spent the decades of the 80s and 90s continually finding new ways to express his musical expression and presentation.



In the early 80s, he began presenting entire concerts solo, proving that this multi-percussion instrument, in the hands of such a great master, could fulfill the demands of solo performance and be entirely satisfying to an audience. He created memorable compositions in these solo concerts; a solo record was released by Bay State, a Japanese label, just about impossible to obtain. One of these solo concerts is available on video, which also includes a filming of a recording date for Chattahoochee Red, featuring his working quartet, Odean Pope, Cecil Bridgewater and Calvin Hill.

He embarked on a series of duet recordings. Departing from the style of presentation he was best known for, most of the music on these recordings is free improvisation, created with the avant-garde musicians Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Abdullah Ibrahim and Connie Crothers. He created duets with other performers: a recorded duet with the oration by Martin Luther King, “I Have a Dream”; a duet with video artist Kit Fitzgerald, who improvised video imagery while Roach spontaneously created the music; a classic duet with his life-long friend and associate Dizzy Gillespie; a duet concert recording with Mal Waldron.



He wrote music for theater, such as plays written by Sam Shepard, presented at La Mama E.T.C. in New York City.

He found new contexts for presentation, creating unique musical ensembles. One of these groups was “The Double Quartet.” It featured his regular performing quartet, with personnel as above, except Tyrone Brown replacing Hill; this quartet joined with “The Uptown String Quartet,” led by his daughter Maxine Roach, featuring Diane Monroe, Lesa Terry and Eileen Folson.

Another ensemble was the “So What Brass Quintet,” a group comprised of five brass instrumentalists and Roach, no chordal instrumnent, no bass player. Much of the performance consisted of drums and horn duets. The ensemble consisted of two trumpets, trombone, French horn and tuba. Musicians included Cecil Bridgewater, Frank Gordon, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, Delfeayo Marsalis, Robert Stewart, Tony Underwood, Marshall Sealy, and Mark Taylor.



Roach presented his music with orchestras and gospel choruses. He performed a concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He wrote for and performed with the Walter White gospel choir and the John Motley Singers. Roach performed with dancers: the Alvin Aily Dance Company, the Dianne McIntyre Dance Company, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

In the early 80s, Roach surprised his fans by performing in a hip hop concert, featuring the artist-rapper Fab Five Freddy and the New York Break Dancers. He expressed the insight that there was a strong kinship between the outpouring of expression of these young black artists and the art he had pursued all his life.

During all these years, while he ventured into new territory during a lifetime of innovation, he kept his contact with his musical point of origin. His last recording, “Friendship”, was with trumpet master Clark Terry, the two long-standing friends in duet and quartet.

Link to Article: All About Jazz

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Discography
As leader

  • 1953 : Max Roach Quartet (Fantasy)
  • 1953 : Max Roach and his Sextet (Debut)
  • 1953 : Max Roach Quartet featuring Hank Mobley (Debut)
  • 1956 : Max Roach + 4 (EmArcy)
  • 1957 : Jazz in ¾ Time
  • 1957-60 : Conte Candoli & Max Roach - Drummin' The Blues & Jazz Structures
  • 1958 : Max Roach/Art Blakey (with Art Blakey)
  • 1958 : Max Roach Plus Four at Newport (Mercury)
  • 1958 : Max Roach Plus Four on the Chicago Scene (Mercury)
  • 1958 : Max!
  • 1958 : Max Roach with the Boston Percussion Ensemble (EmArcy)
  • 1958 : Deeds not Words (aka Conversation) (Riverside)
  • 1958 : Max Roach/Bud Shank - Sessions (with Bud Shank)
  • 1958 : The Defiant Ones (with Booker Little)
  • 1958 : Deeds, Not Words (with all new cast Ray Draper, Booker Little, George Coleman)
  • 1959 : Rich Versus Roach (with Buddy Rich)
  • 1959 : A Little Sweet (aka. The Many Sides of Max ) (Mercury)
  • 1959 : Award-Winning Drummer (Time T)
  • 1960 : We Insist! (Candid)
  • 1960 : Max Roach + 4 - As Quiet As Kept
  • 1961 : Percussion Bitter Sweet (Impulse! Records)(with Mal Waldron)
  • 1962 : Speak, Brother, Speak!
  • 1962 : It's Time (Impulse! Records)(with Mal Waldron)
  • 1964 : The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan (with Hasaan ibn Ali)
  • 1966 : Drums Unlimited (Atlantic) (Leader, with James Spaulding, Freddie Hubbard, Ronnie Mathews, Jymie Merritt, Roland Alexander)
  • 1968 : Sound as Roach (Atlantic)
  • 1968 : Members, Don't Git Weary (Atlantic
  • 1971 : Lift Every Voice and Sing (with J.C. White Singers)
  • 1976 : Force: Sweet Mao-Suid Afrika '76 (duo with Archie Shepp)
  • 1976 : Percussion Discussion (with Art Blakey)
  • 1976 : Nommo (Victor)
  • 1977 : The Loudstar (Horo)
  • 1977 : Solos (Baystate)
  • 1977 : Streams of Consciousness - duo with Dollar Brand
  • 1978 : Confirmation (Fluid Records)
  • 1978 : Birth and Rebirth - duo with Anthony Braxton (Black Saint)
  • 1979 : The Long March - duo with Archie Shepp (Hathut)
  • 1979 : Historic Concerts - duo with Cecil Taylor (Black Saint)
  • 1979 : One in Two - Two in One - duo with Anthony Braxton (Hathut)
  • 1979 : Pictures in a Frame (Soul Note)
  • 1980 : Chattahoochee Red (Columbia)
  • 1982 : Swish - duo with Connie Crothers (New Artists)
  • 1982 : In the Light (Soul Note)
  • 1984 : Scott Free (Soul Note)
  • 1984 : It's Christmas Again (Soul Note)
  • 1984 : Survivors (Soul Note)
  • 1985 : Easy Winners (Soul Note)
  • 1986 : Bright Moments (Soul Note)
  • 1989 : Max + Dizzy: Paris 1989 - duo with Dizzy Gillespie (A&M)
  • 1991 : To the Max! (Enja)
  • 1995 : Max Roach With The New Orchestra Of Boston And The So What Brass Quintet (Blue Note)
  • 1999 : Beijing Trio (Asian Improv)
  • 2002 : Friendship - with Clark Terry) (Columbia)

With Clifford Brown

  • 1954 : Brown And Roach Incorporated
  • 1954 : Clifford Brown and Max Roach
  • 1954 : Jam Session
  • 1954 : Daahoud (Original Master Recording)
  • 1954 : Clifford Brown & The Max Roach Quartet - Historic California Concert
  • 1954 : Daahoud (Mainstream-Audiofidelity Japan)
  • 1954 : Study in Brown
  • 1954 : More Study in Brown
  • 1955 : Clifford Brown with Strings
  • 1956 : Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street
  • 1957 : Clifford Brown with Strings
  • 1979 : Live at the Bee Hive (Columbia Records)

With M'Boom

  • 1973 : Re: Percussion (Strata-East Records)
  • 1979 : M'Boom (Columbia)
  • 1984 : Collage (Soul Note)
  • 1992 : Live at S.O.B.'s New York (Blue Moon Records)

Live Albums and Bootlegs
  • 1964 : Live in Europe: Freedom Now Suite (with Abbey Lincoln)
  • 1977 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Tokyo (Denon)
  • 1977 : Max Roach Quartet Live In Amsterdam - It's Time (Baystate)
  • 1978 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Milan
  • 1978 : Max Roach and Anthony Braxton Live in Alassio
  • 1978 : Max Roach and Archie Shepp Live in Milan [info]
  • 1979 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Frankfurt
  • 1979 : M'Boom Re:Percussion Live in Alassio
  • 1981 : D.Gillespie/J.Moody/M.Roach feat. WDR Big Band - Live in Moers "Charlie Parker Memorial Concert"
  • 1981 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Rome [info]
  • 1982 : M'Boom Re:Percussion Live in Milan [info]
  • 1983 : Live at Vielharmonie (Soul Note)
  • 1990 : Max Roach Quartet Live in Berlin [info]

As sideman

  • 1944 : Rainbow Mist (with Coleman Hawkins)
  • 1944 : Coleman Hawkins and His All Stars (with Coleman Hawkins)
  • 1945 : Town Hall, New York, June 22, 1945 (with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker)
  • 1945 - 1948: The Complete Savoy Studio Recordings (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1946 : Mad Be Bop (with J.J. Johnson)
  • 1946 : Opus BeBop (with Stan Getz)
  • 1946 : Savoy Jam Party (Don Byas Quartet)
  • 1946 : The Hawk Flies (with Coleman Hawkins)
  • 1947 : The Bud Powell Trip (with Bud Powell)
  • 1947 : Lullaby in Rhythm (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1947 : Charlie Parker on Dial (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1947 : Miles Davis - First Miles (with Charlie Parker and Miles Davis)
  • 1947 : Dexter Rides Again (with Dexter Gordon)
  • 1948 : The Band that Never Was (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1948 : Bird on 52nd Street (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1948 : Bird at the Roost (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1949 : Birth of the Cool (with Miles Davis)
  • 1949 - 1953: Charlie Parker – Complete Sessions on Verve (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1949 : Charlie Parker in France (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1949 : Genesis (with Sonny Stitt)
  • 1949 : The Stars of Modern Jazz at Carnegie Hall
  • 1950 : The McGhee-Navarro Sextet (with Howard McGhee)
  • 1951 : The Amazing Bud Powell (with Bud Powell)
  • 1951 : The George Wallington Trip and Septet (with George Wallington)
  • 1951 : Conception (with Miles Davis)
  • 1952 : New Faces, New Sounds (with Gil Melle)
  • 1952 : The Complete Genius (with Thelonious Monk)
  • 1952 : The Quintet - Jazz At Massey Hall (Debut Records)
  • 1952 : Live at Rockland Palace (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1953 : The Metronome All Starss. MGM (with Billy Eckstine)
  • 1953 : Chet Baker and Miles Davis with the Lighthouse All-Stars
  • 1953 : Mambo Jazz (with Joe Holiday)
  • 1953 : Yardbird: DC-53 (with Charlie Parker)
  • 1953 : Cohn's Tones (with Al Cohn)
  • 1953 : Diz and Getz (with Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz)
  • 1954 : Dinah Jams Featuring Dinah Washington
  • 1955 : Relaxed Piano Moods (with Hazel Scott)
  • 1955 : Introducing Jimmy Cleveland And His All Stars (EmArcy)
  • 1955 : New Piano Expressions (with John Dennis)
  • 1955 : Herbie Nichols Trio (with Herbie Nichols)
  • 1955 : Work Time (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1955 : The Charles Mingus Quartet plus Max Roach (with Charles Mingus)
  • 1956 : Sonny Rollins Plus 4 (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1956 : Sonny Boy (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1956 : Introducing Johnny Griffin (with Johnny Griffin)
  • 1956 : The Magnificent Thad Jones (with Thad Jones)
  • 1956 : Brilliant Corners (with Thelonious Monk)
  • 1956 : Tour de Force (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1956 : The Music of George Gershwin: I Sing of Thee (with Joe Wilder)
  • 1956 : Rollins Plays for Bird (Sonny Rollins Quintet)
  • 1956 : Saxophone Colossus (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1957 : First Place (with J.J. Johnson)
  • 1957 : Sonny Clark Trio
  • 1957 : Jazz Contrasts (with Kenny Dorham)
  • 1957 : Abby Lincoln - That's Him
  • 1958: Booker Little 4 and Max Roach (United Artist)
  • 1958 : Freedom Suite (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1958 : Shadow Waltz (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1959 : Moon-Faced and Starry-Eyed (Mercury)
  • 1959 : Aix En Providence (with Sonny Rollins)
  • 1960 : Quiet as it's Kept (Mercury)
  • 1960 : Tommy Turrentine (with Tommy Turrentine)
  • 1960 : Stan 'The Man' Turrentine
  • 1960 : Again! (Affinity)
  • 1960 : Parisian Sketches (Mercury)
  • 1960 : We Insist! Freedom Now Suite (Candid)
  • 1960 : Long as You're Living (Enja)
  • 1960 : Uhuru Afrika (with Randy Weston)
  • 1960 : Sonny Clark Trio (with Sonny Clark)
  • 1961 : Straight Ahead (with Abbey Lincoln)
  • 1961 : Out Front (with Booker Little)
  • 1961 : Paris Blues (with Duke Ellington)
  • 1962 : Money Jungle (with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus)
  • 1962 : Drum Suite (with Slide Hampton)
  • 1966 : Stuttgart 1963 Concert (with Sonny Rollins
  • 1972 : Newport in New York ‘72 (Roach on 2 tracks only)
  • 1975 : The Bop Session (with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, John Lewis, Hank Jones and Percy Heath)
******************************************************************************

Soul Children



  • Shelbra Bennett (later Shelbra Deane) (born Memphis, Tennessee)
  • John Colbert aka J. Blackfoot (born November 20, 1946, Greenville, Mississippi, US; died November 30, 2011)
  • Anita Louis (born November 24, 1949, Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Norman Richard West, Jr. (born October 30, 1939, Monroe, Louisiana)


The Soul Children was an American vocal group who recorded soul music for Stax Records in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They had three top ten hits on the Billboard R&B chart – "The Sweeter He Is" (1969), "Hearsay" (1972), and "I'll Be The Other Woman" (1973) – all of which crossed over to the Hot 100.



The group was formed in 1968 by Isaac Hayes and David Porter of Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, after one of the label's top acts, Sam & Dave, left Stax to join the Atlantic label. As leading songwriters and producers for the label, Hayes and Porter put together a vocal group with two male and two female singers, all of whom sang lead on some of the group's recordings. The original members were Norman West, John Colbert (aka J. Blackfoot), Anita Louis, and Shelbra Bennett. Colbert – who had been known from childhood as Blackfoot for his habit of walking barefoot on the tarred sidewalks of Memphis during the hot summers – had recorded solo singles before joining The Bar-Kays as lead singer, after four original band members were killed with Otis Redding in a plane crash. Anita Louis was a backing singer on some of the records produced by Hayes and Porter. Shelbra Bennett had recently joined the label as a singer. Norman West, Jr., the last to join the group, grew up in Louisiana, and sang in church with his brothers Joe, James, and Robert. He replaced William Bell as a member of The Del-Rios in 1962, later recorded several unsuccessful solo singles in Memphis, and sang with a rock band, Colors Incorporated, which had been formed by members of Jerry Lee Lewis' band.



The group's first record, "Give 'Em Love", produced by Hayes and Porter and released in late 1968, was a Bilboard R&B chart hit, as were two follow-ups. Their fourth single, "The Sweeter He Is", became one of their biggest hits, reaching no. 7 on the R&B chart in late 1969 and no. 52 on the Hot 100. The group also released their first album, Soul Children, in 1969. Musicians used on the recordings included Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr., of Booker T. & the M.G.'s, as well as Hayes. However, after the group had a minor hit with a slowed-down version of "Hold On, I'm Coming" in early 1970, Hayes left the project to develop his solo career. The group recorded a second album, Best of Two Worlds, at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, but their next few singles failed to make the charts. In 1972, they recorded another album, Genesis, arranged by Dale Warren and produced by Jim Stewart and Al Jackson, which produced another hit single, "Hearsay". Written by West and Colbert, it reached no. 5 on the R&B chart and no. 44 on the US pop chart. They appeared at the Wattstax concert in August 1972, and followed up with several smaller hit singles. In 1973, they recorded the ballad "I'll Be the Other Woman", written and produced by Homer Banks and Carl Hampton, and with lead vocals by Shelbra Bennett, which became their biggest hit, reaching no. 3 on the R&B chart and no. 36 on the pop chart. They also recorded a final album for Stax with Banks and Hampton, Friction.



The Soul Children left Stax in 1975, and Bennett left for a solo career. The trio of West, Colbert and Louis signed to Epic Records in 1976, releasing an album, Finders Keepers and several moderately successful singles. Their second album for Epic, Where Is Your Woman Tonight (1977), reunited the group with producer David Porter. Porter then signed the group to a reactivated Stax label established by Fantasy Records, and co-produced another album for the group, Open Door Policy (1978). However, it was less successful than their earlier recordings, and the group decided to split up in 1979.



After the group split up, Anita Louis left the music business and later worked for Federal Express, Time-Warner, and as a professional business trainer. Norman West continued working in night clubs and as a gospel singer and musician. J. Blackfoot became a successful solo singer; his biggest hit was "Taxi" in early 1984, which reached no. 4 on the R&B chart. Shelbra Bennett recorded several singles as Shelbra Deane in the late 1970s and early 1980s; her biggest solo success was "Don't Touch Me" (no. 50 R&B, 1977).

In 2007, West and Blackfoot decided to reform the Soul Children, adding two new singers, Ann Hines and Cassandra Graham. They recorded an album, Still Standing for JEA Right Now Records. West released a single in 2008 called "Long Ride Home."


Discography
  • 1968 - Soul Children
  • 1971 - Best of Two Worlds
  • 1972 - Genesis
  • 1974 - Friction
  • 1976 - Finders Keepers
  • 1977 - Where Is Your Woman Tonight?
  • 1978 - Open Door Policy
  • 2008 - Still Standing

Compilations
  • 1979 - Chronicle (Greatest Hits)
  • 1997 - Hold On, I'm Coming

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peace Fans

I hope everyone is doing ok. I just wanted to thank everyone for supporting Blax-Jive. This blog has came a long way since we first started. I know that several post need to be updated and I have plans in doing that. As everyone is aware that several third party hosting sites has been shutdown and thus Blax-Jive have been collateral damage, but thanks to the continuous efforts by my good friends Zand, Vel-Kam and Simon -several posts are on separate accounts. That means the blog is not dead by any means.

I know people have request and I would love to fulfill them, but right now time does not permit me to update the blog. In the past we have had contributors that had a request for certain groups and sent the information over email (with active links), so I could make a post. If the community is willing contributions are always accepted.

Once again I want to thank everyone for their continuous support. I have no intentions on putting ads or any negative capitalistic advertising on this blog. This blog is purely informational and I intend on maintaining that theme. I will keep everyone informed and I am sure my buddies will keep you blessed with that funk and soul.

Salute,
Self-Science

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chuck Brown



Chuck Brown (born August 22, 1936 - May 16, 2012) is a guitarist and singer who is affectionately called "The Godfather of Go-go". Go-go is a subgenre of funk music developed in and around Washington, D.C. in the mid- and late 1970s. While its musical classification, influences, and origins are debated, Brown is regarded as the fundamental force behind the creation of go-go music.

Brown's musical career began in the 1960s playing guitar with Jerry Butler and The Earls of Rhythm, joining Los Latinos in 1965. He still performs music today and is commonly known in the Washington, DC area. Brown's early hits include "I Need Some Money" and "Bustin' Loose". "Bustin' Loose" has been adopted by the Washington Nationals baseball team as its home run celebration song, and was interpolated by Nelly for his 2002 number one hit "Hot in Herre." Brown also recorded go-go covers of early jazz and blues songs, such as "Go-Go Swing" Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing If Ain't Got That Swing", "Moody's Mood for Love", Johnny Mercer's "Midnight Sun", Louis Jordan's "Run Joe", and T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday".

He has influenced other go-go bands such as Big G and The Backyard Band, Rare Essence, Experience Unlimited (EU), Little Benny and the Masters, and Trouble Funk. The song "Ashley's Roachclip" from the Soul Searchers' 1974 album Salt of the Earth contains a famous drum break, sampled countless times in various other tracks.
In the mid-1990s, he performed the theme music of Fox's sitcom The Sinbad Show which later aired on The Family Channel and Disney Channel.

Brown is considered a local legend in Washington, D.C., and has appeared in television advertisements for the Washington Post and other area companies. The D.C. Lottery's "Rolling Cash 5" ad campaign features Chuck Brown singing his 2007 song "The Party Roll" in front of various D.C. city landmarks such as Ben's Chili Bowl.

Brown resides in Waldorf, Maryland. His son, Nekos, was a defensive end/linebacker for the Virginia Tech football team. While his son was in college, Brown scheduled concerts and other appearances around the Hokies home schedule to ensure that he would never miss a game, and became a fixture at Lane Stadium. Following the Virginia Tech massacre, Brown stated in an interview that he was "absolutely devastated" by the tragedy, and cried every day for two weeks. In shows that followed, Brown would pause for a moment in prayer for the victims and their families before beginning his performance, and dedicated several shows to their memory.

Brown was the subject of the cover article in The Washington Post Magazine on October 4, 2009, entitled Chuck Brown's Long Dance. He received his first Grammy Award nomination in 2010 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for "Love" (with Jill Scott and Marcus Miller), from the album We Got This.

Since the early 1970s, Brown has exclusively played a blonde Gibson ES-335, which is affectionately referred to as his "Blondie."

On September 4, 2011, Brown was honored by the National Symphony Orchestra, as the NSO paid tribute to Legends of Washington Music Labor Day concert - honoring Brown's music, as well as Duke Ellington and John Philip Sousa - with a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol. Brown and his band performed capped the evening with a performance.

****************************************************************

Discography:

  • 1972: We the People
  • 1974: Salt of the Earth
  • 1978: Bustin' Loose
  • 1980: Funk Express
  • 1984: We Need Some Money
  • 1986: Go Go Swing Live [Future Sounds Production]
  • 1987: Any Other Way to Go?
  • 1987: Live '87 - D.C. Bumpin' Y'all [live; double album]
  • 1989: Trust Me: Live Pa Tape, Vol. 2 [Future Records & Tapes]
  • 1990: Wind Me up Chuck, Vol. 3 [Raw Venture Records & Tapes]
  • 1991: 90's Goin' Hard
  • 1993: This Is a Journey into Time [live]
  • 1995: Hah Man
  • 1995: The Other Side - with Eva Cassidy (recorded in 1992 )
  • 1997: Live Pa Tape
  • 1998: Timeless
  • 1999: The Spirit of Christmas
  • 2001: Your Game...Live at the 9:30 Club
  • 2002: Put Your Hands Up!
  • 2005: Best of Chuck Brown (remastered)
  • 2007: We are About The Business (Raw Venture Records)
  • 2010: We Got This (Raw Venture Records)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Legendary Blood, Sweat & Tears




Biography

No American rock group ever started with as much daring or musical promise as Blood, Sweat & Tears, or realized their potential more fully -- and then blew it all as quickly. From their origins as a jazz-rock experiment that wowed critics and listeners, they went on -- in a somewhat more pop vein -- to sell almost six million records in three years, but ended up being dropped by their record label four years after that. Blood, Sweat & Tears started as an idea conceived by Al Kooper in July of 1967. An ex-member of the Blues Project, Kooper had been toying with the notion, growing out of his admiration for jazz bandleader Maynard Ferguson, of forming an electric rock band that would include horns and use jazz as the basis for their work. He planned to pursue this in London, but a series of New York shows involving some big-name friends didn't raise enough money to get him there. He did, however, find three players who wanted to work with him: bassist Jim Fielder, Blues Project guitarist Steve Katz, and drummer Bobby Colomby. Kooper agreed, as long as he was in charge musically. The horn section featured Fred Lipsius (saxophone), with Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss on trumpets and fl├╝gelhorns, and Dick Halligan playing trombone. The new group was signed to Columbia Records, and the name "Blood, Sweat & Tears" came to Kooper after a jam at the Cafe au Go Go, where a cut on his hand left his organ keyboard covered in blood.

That first version of Blood, Sweat & Tears played music that roamed freely through realms of jazz, R&B, soul, and even psychedelia in ways that had scarcely been heard before in one band. The songs were bold and challenging, and the arrangements gave Lipsius, Brecker, et. al room to solo, while Kooper's organ and Katz's guitar swelled in pulsing, shimmering glory. Their debut, Child Is Father to the Man, was released in February 1968, and seemed to portend a great future. The only thing it didn't have was a hit single to get AM radio play and help drive sales.

Disagreements about repertory grew into doubts about Kooper's ability as a lead singer, and soon split this band. Kooper left in March of 1968, and Brecker followed him out. That might've been the end of the story, except that Colomby and Katz decided to salvage a band of their own band out of this debacle. The lineup was reshuffled and expanded, and for a lead singer they found a Canadian national named David Clayton-Thomas.

The new Blood, Sweat & Tears recorded their album in late 1968. Blood, Sweat & Tears, released in January 1969, was smoother and more traditionally melodic than its predecessor. Equally important, the singles from the album were edited, removing the featured spots for the jazz players. "You've Made Me So Very Happy" rose to number two and lofted the album to the top of the LP listings. "Spinning Wheel" b/w "More and More" and "And When I Die" followed, and when the smoke cleared, the album had yielded a career's worth of hits. The LP also won the Grammy as Album of the Year, selling three million copies in the bargain.

In the spring of 1970, however, the group lost a huge amount of momentum with its core audience, college students, when they undertook a tour of Eastern Europe on behalf of the U.S. State Department. The Vietnam War was still raging, and anything to do with the government was potentially poisonous on college campuses. It was on their return to America, amid this dubious career move -- which was done to overcome the problem of Clayton-Thomas' shaky immigration status -- that Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 was released. It briefly topped the LP charts, and the single "Hi-De-Ho" reached number 14, but both sold only a fraction of what their earlier releases had done. Additionally, the group was now criticized in the rock press, which felt that Blood, Sweat & Tears were either a pretentious pop group that dabbled in horn riffs, or a jazz outfit trying to pass as a rock band. The group's decision to perform at a Las Vegas casino -- which even upset the head of Columbia Records, Clive Davis -- did nothing to defuse these doubts.

Clayton-Thomas exited after the fourth album to pursue a solo career. Most of the group's original and second-generation players were gone by then as well, though the playing standard remained consistently high. The lineup became a revolving door -- even Jaco Pastorius passed through their ranks, briefly -- and the group's record sales imploded, squeezed as they were by Chicago on the pop side of jazz-rock, and outfits such as Weather Report and Return to Forever on the more musically ambitious side of the spectrum. Clayton-Thomas returned in 1974, to what was billed officially as "Blood, Sweat & Tears Featuring David Clayton-Thomas." They released New City (1975), which did well enough to justify an ambitious tour that yielded the double-LP Live and Improvised. Columbia Records dropped the group in 1976, and even Bobby Colomby, who had trademarked the group's name, gave up playing with them. Clayton-Thomas has kept the group name alive in the decades since, fronting various lineups.
(from allmusic.com)

Discography

  • 1968 Child is Father To the Man
  • 1969 Blood, Sweat & Tears
  • 1970 Blood, Sweat & Tears 3
  • 1971 Blood, Sweat & Tears 4
  • 1972 New Blood
  • 1973 No Sweat
  • 1974 Mirror Image
  • 1975 New City
  • 1976 More Than Ever
  • 1977 Brand New Day
  • 1980 Nuclear Blues

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brick




Brick is a former American band that created a successful merger of funk and jazz in the 1970s. Their most popular single was "Dazz", (#3 U.S. Pop, #1 U.S. R&B, #36 UK Singles Chart) which was released in 1976.

Brick was formed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972 from members of two bands - one disco and the other jazz. They coined their own term for disco-jazz, "dazz". They released their first single "Music Matic" on Main Street Records in 1976, before signing to the independently distributed Bang Records. Their next single, "Dazz", (#3 Pop, #1 R&B) was released in 1976. The band continued to record for Bang records until 1982. Other hits followed: "That's What It's All About" (R&B #48) and "Dusic" (#18 Pop, #2 R&B) in 1977, and "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody" (#92 Pop, #7 R&B) in 1978. Their last Top Ten R&B hit was "Sweat (Til You Get Wet)" in 1981.

Members:

Jimmy Brown - lead vocals, saxophone, flute
Regi Hargis Hickman - guitar, bass, vocals
Eddie Irons - lead vocals, drums, keyboards
Donald Nevins - keyboards, vocals
Ray Ransom - vocals, bass, keyboards, percussion

Discography:
  • 1976 -Good High , Bang
  • 1977-Brick , Bang
  • 1979-Stoneheart , Bang
  • 1980-Waiting on You , Bang
  • 1981-Summer Heat , Bang
  • 1982-After 5 , Bang
  • 1988-Too Tuff , Magic City
  • 1995-The Best of Brick , Epic/Bang 
  • 2000-Super Hits , Sony

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Legendary Andre Williams


Biography

Multi-talented Zephire "Andre" Williams has worn many musical hats during his long career: recording artist, songwriter, producer, road manager, and so on. The Father of Rap was born November 1, 1936, in Chicago, IL, and was raised in a housing project by his mother, who died when Williams was six years old. Thereafter, Williams' aunts raised the precocious lad, who had already become quite the character. The R&B legend is best known for co-writing and producing "Twine Time" for Alvin Cash & the Crawlers, "Shake a Tailfeather" by the Five Dutones, and a greasy solo recording, "Bacon Fat," where Williams talked over a funky, crude rhythm.

A slick, street-smart, dapper Dan, music was one of Williams' hustles. He ventured to Detroit in his late teens and befriended Jack and Devora Brown, the owners of Fortune Records. He started singing with the Don Juans, a group in which the Browns titled their 45s according to who sang lead, something Gwen Gordy and Billy Davis later did with the Voicemasters. At Fortune, Williams became adept at putting songs together. To date he has more than 230 compositions registered with BMI. In 1956, Fortune issued seven singles by Williams, all but two co-billed with the Don Juans: "Going Down to Tia Juana," "It's All Over," "Bacon Fat," "Mean Jean," "Jail Bait," "The Greasy Chicken," and "Country Girl." "Bacon Fat" and "Jail Bait" were solo shots, the former got a boost from Epic Records, which took over the distribution when the demand got too great for Fortune to handle. Fortune also released "Ooh Ooh Those Eyes" by Don Lake & the Don Juans, and two by pianist Joe Weaver & the Don Juans, "Baby I Love You" and "Baby Child," in 1956. Little Eddie & the Don Juans recorded the first Don Juans record on Fortune, "This Is a Miracle" b/w "Calypso Beat," in 1955. Williams later sang with the Five Dollars, who released records on Fortune from 1956 to 1957, and were billed as Andre Williams & the Five Dollars on a 1960 release.

Doing his Fortune stint, Williams kept busy playing the popular clubs in Detroit and other locales, including the Flamingo Club in Memphis, TN. His biggest solo hit, "Bacon Fat," occurred during a drive to Memphis' Flamingo Club. When he got back to Detroit he persuaded Devora Brown to book a session. Fortune's recording studio was in the back room of a record shop the Browns owned. "Bacon Fat" was Williams' third single for Fortune; he didn't even have the lyrics written, but hurried and did so on a napkin while Devora busied herself setting up the studio mikes. Thank God for DJ Frantic Eddie Durham, who observed the session. He was the only one who understood what was going on. Everyone else, including Joe Weaver, thought Williams was wasting time and money with this talk-singing. Williams and Durham proved them wrong when "Bacon Fat" took off, becoming, with "The Wind" by Nolan Strong & the Diablos, Fortune's most popular record. Williams started talking instead of singing because he knew he couldn't compete vocally with Nolan Strong, Clyde McPhatter, Little Willie John, Jackie Wilson, and others. He created a new style that was later adapted by Harvey Fuqua ("Any Way You Wanna"), Jerry-O, Shorty Long, Bootsy Collins, and others.

After Fortune, Williams languished with Berry Gordy and Motown from 1961 to 1965. He signed as an artist, producer, and writer. His only 45, "Rosa Lee" b/w "Shoo Ooo," was scheduled for release on Gordy's short-lived Miracle label, but was never issued. Gina Parks, a friend from the Don Juans, enjoyed a couple more solo releases on Motown labels but none scored. Williams co-wrote Little Stevie Wonder's first record, "Thank You for Loving Me"; "Oh Little Boy What You Do to Me," the flip of Mary Wells' "My Guy"; an early Eddie Holland single, "It Cleopatra Took a Chance"; and "Mojo Hannah," recorded first by Henry Lumpkin, then Marvin Gaye (outside of Motown it's been remade by Tami Lynn, the Ideals, the Neville Brothers, and others).

His relationship with Berry Gordy was one of mutual respect, but stormy. He never conformed to Gordy's way of doing things, and the four years he spent at Motown weren't consecutive months. When Williams got under Gordy's skin, Gordy fired him; Williams would leave for a few months and produce a hit for someone on another label, and Gordywould invite him back. Williams was still associating with Motown when he masterminded "Shake a Tail Feather" for the Five Dutones and "Twine Time" for Alvin Cash & the Crawlers, on George Leaner's Onederful Records in Chicago. Williams cut a lot of tracks for the Contours; by his estimate he supervised at least two albums' worth of material on the wild, raucous, dancing group, but few were released. During this time Williams co-wrote "Girls Are Getting Prettier," a non-hit for Edwin Starr on Ric Tic Records. At one point, Williams was Starr's road manager.

By 1965, Williams left Motown for good to sign with Chicago's Chess Records and had a string of R&B releases including "The Stroke," "Girdle Up," "Humpin' Bumpin' & Thumpin'," and "Cadillac Jack." His legend grew. A nefarious character but a good entertainer, Williams wore lavender suits, and continued to entertain crowds at bucket-of-blood-type establishments. He produced and wrote for more acts than he remembers, including "The Funky Judge" by Bull & the Matadors on Toddlin' Town Records. A 18-month stint with Ike Turner led to Williams' hitting rock bottom; after the experience he returned to Chicago a full-blown street junkie and was on the verge of self-destruction for years. His biggest period as an artist came around 1960 when Fortune released the LP Jail Bait. He contributed to many sessions including Parliament, Jesse James, Funkadelic, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Spinners, Trey Lewd (George Clinton's son), and Amos Milburn. He produced tracks for Mary Wells when she left Motown for 20th Century Fox Records.

Williams now lives in Queens, NY, and is back active in the business of music. He performs at much better venues then he did during his Jail Bait years, and still dazzles audiences with his swagger and loud, pimpish wardrobe. He released more albums in the '90s than he did during the first 40 years of his career, including Silky and Directly from the Streets. The Black Godfather and Fat Back & Corn Liquor followed in 2000. He paired with the New Orleans Hellhounds for 2008's Can You Deal with It? on Bloodshot Records. For 2010's That's All I Need, also on Bloodshot Records, Williams worked with Detroit musicians, including members of the Dirtbombs, the Witches and the Volebeats as well as the Funk Brothers' Dennis Coffey.

Discography

  • 1990 Directly from the Streets
  • 1994 Mr. Rhythm Is Back
  • 1996 Mr. Rhythm
  • 1998 Silky
  • 1999 Hot As Hell
  • 1999 Red Dirt
  • 2000 The Black Godfather
  • 2000 Fat Back & Corn Liquor
  • 2001 Bait and Switch
  • 2003 Greasy
  • 2003 Holland Shuffle! / FLAC
  • 2005 Red Beans and Biscuits
  • 2006 Aphrodisiac
  • 2006 - Movin On Greasy and Explicit Soul Movers 1956-1970
  • 2008 Can You Deal with It?
  • 2008 - Rhythm & Blues!
  • 2010 That's All I Need
  • 2011 Mr. Rhythm Is Movin'!
  • 2011 The Joy of Christmas

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