Archive for August, 2009

Two Miles Davis tribute programmes on BBC radio this week

August 24, 2009

You can hardly accuse BBC Radio of ignoring Miles Davis.

Last night’s Jazz Line-Up on BBC Radio 3 featured Julian Joseph’s celebration of the Miles Davis album Kind of Blue, in the company of trumpeter Henry Lowther, who performed with Davis’s regular collaborator/arranger Gil Evans.

Lowther also met Miles whilst playing in Hollywood, as well as seeing him perform in England not long after the release of Kind Of Blue. He talks about the impact the album has had on his own playing, and provides musical insights and illustrations highlighting the importance of this landmark recording.

Title: So What
Artist: Miles Davis/John Coltrane/Bill Evans/Cannonball Adderley/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb
Album: Kind of Blue
Label: Legacy 8869 733552
Track: 1
Comp: Miles Davis
Publ: Sony
Dur: 8m45s

Title: Freddie Freeloader (studio Sequence 1)
Artist: Miles Davis/John Coltrane/Bill Evans/Cannonball Adderley/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb
Album: Kind of Blue
Label: Legacy 8869 733552
Track: 7
Comp: Miles Davis
Publ: Sony
Dur: 30s

Title: Freddie Freeloader
Artist: Miles Davis/John Coltrane/Bill Evans/Cannonball Adderley/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb
Album: Kind of Blue
Label: Legacy 8869 733552
Track: 2
Comp: Miles Davis
Publ: Sony
Dur: 9m32s

Title: Blue in Green
Artist: Miles Davis/John Coltrane/Bill Evans/Cannonball Adderley/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb
Album: Kind of Blue
Label: Legacy 8869 733552
Track: 3
Comp: Miles Davis
Publ: Sony
Dur: 5m23s

Title: All Blues
Artist: Miles Davis/John Coltrane/Bill Evans/Cannonball Adderley/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb
Album: Kind of Blue
Label: Legacy 8869 733552
Track: 4
Comp: Miles Davis
Publ: Sony
Dur: 11m27s

Title: Flamenco Sketches (Alternate Take)
Artist: Miles Davis/John Coltrane/Bill Evans/Cannonball Adderley/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb
Album: Kind of Blue
Label: Legacy 8869 733552
Track: 5
Comp: Miles Davis
Publ: Sony
Dur: 9m29s

And tomorrow, Tuesday 25 August, at 2230, BBC Radio 2 celebrates the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way, and explores the extraordinary music that Miles produced in the period dubbed the “Electric Era” from 1969-75.

The documentary includes newly sourced interview material from musicians who collaborated with Miles including Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette and Dave Liebman.

You can listen to many BBC radio programmes online for 7 days after broadcast:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

Gerry Smith

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The Stone Roses’ first album: best rock album since… ?

August 14, 2009

The Stone Roses’ eponymous first album is the best rock album since… ? Beggars Banquet? Into The Music? The Queen Is Dead? It’s one of the top rock albums, and contender for best ever debut rockpop release.

Every grown-up music collection should have one. There’s no need to pay the extra for the new anniversary release (PR puff below) – it only has one extra. But if you don’t possess The Stone Roses, you should pick up the now heavily discounted original and play it loudly, repeatedly on long car journeys.

Great art. Highly recommended.

Gerry

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Promo for new release:

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of The Stone Roses debut album this iconic release has been remastered by John Leckie (Pink Floyd, Radiohead) who produced the album back in 1989, and singer Ian Brown.

The Stone Roses debut is rightfully cited as one of the UK’s greatest debut albums of all time, and is an album that helped change the face of British music at the end of the 1980’s by reintroducing a swagger which had been lacking from the UK scene since The Rolling Stones when they were in their prime.

The album follows the same track listing as the original (is there a better start to an album than ‘I Wanna Be Adored’, ‘She Bangs The Drums’ and ‘Waterfall’?) but now finishes with the full length version of the single ‘Fools Gold’ which was not included on the original release, but is one of the band’s finest pieces of work.

This remastered edition is an essential purchase for all the original fans as well newcomers who want to check out British Indie Guitar music at its finest. Many bands have been influenced by The Stone Roses over the last 20 years but only Oasis have come close to producing a landmark record of to rival them.

‘The Roses’ never reached the soaring heights of this album again, but it has left a legacy in the UK music scene that few will surpass. Classic is a word thrown around far too easily, but this is a genuine classic album that should be in your collection.

The Stone Roses (20th Anniversary Special Edition) by THE STONE ROSES

1.I Wanna Be Adored
2.She Bangs The Drums
3.Waterfall
4.Don’t Stop
5.Bye Bye Bad Man
6.Elizabeth My Dear
7.(Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister
8.Made Of Stone
9.Shoot You Down
10.This Is The One
11.I Am The Resurrection
12.Fools Gold

Dylan “too selfish”, according to female singer-songwriter

August 10, 2009

Singer-songwriter Dory Previn regards Bob Dylan as selfish.

In an interview with Jonathan Wingate published in Record Collector (Jan 2008?*), she tells of a gig she performed where Dylan asked to meet her backstage:

“Yes that was the worst… you can’t have a chat with him because he’s too selfish, so he won’t give you anything…“

Dory Previn was a cult favourite in the early 1970s. Her bleak confessional lyrics documented her mental health problems, marital breakdown, and a world going wrong.

In my list of favourite women rockpop artists from the 1970s, I’d place her second only to Joni Mitchell, and well ahead of every other female writer/performer.

(* The interview, pulled out the monthly mag Record Collector, looks as if it promoted the Jan 2008 release of The Art Of Dory Previn, a must-have compilation CD summarising the gifted singer-songwriter’s legacy.)

 

 

Gerry Smith

Blues Britannia – must-watch TV broadcast, Friday 7 August

August 6, 2009

BBC4 repeats its intermittently enlightening night of blues programming tomorrow night, Friday 7 August.

The core programme is a new BBC4 doc, Blues Britannia, a 90-min examination of how Anglo musicians took the blues, turned it into a key popular music form and exported it to the world (and back to the US, or so the story goes).

It covers the 1950s missionary work of jazzer Chris Barber and bluesman Alexis Korner, leading to the ‘60s R&B boom and the ascendancy of the Stones, right through to Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Cream and finally to Led Zep.

It’s a valuable primer, though the self-satisfied succession of old men in full-on reminiscence mode can be irksome; the narration, by Nigel Planer, isn’t to my taste, either.

The central argument (indeed, the party line peddled by Brit musos of a certain age) about the US market being oblivious to the blues until the English Invaders sold it back to them, has always struck me as self-serving bullsh*t: Music for Grown-Ups would welcome the views of American readers on the matter.

Blues Britannia airs at 2200 tomorrow, with related programmes before and after. And can be viewed online via BBC iPlayer for a week after transmission.

Gerry Smith