Friday, August 31, 2007
Hip no more.
It's probably an anomaly; it could signal a trend. At a handful of jazz and R&B concerts I've attended in recent months, stars have explicity referenced Tower of Power. And it's true that their brand of horn-driven funk will never go away. The strength of most recent release, the already out-of-print The Oakland Zone, offers proof. Carlos Santana sits in with the band in this live performance of their most famous song.
I continue to plug away at my lonely little Kansas City jazz blog.
Kansas City Click: Try the Irish Fest tonight. Return Saturday and Sunday if you have a good time.
The Black Crowes hit the Crossroads Saturday.
Ginuwine does this to the Beaumont on Sunday.
Why not catch Liverpool at Santa Cali Gon Days on Labor Day? They're not the Beatles, but they're free.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Gone for good.
Solas, a fine Irish-American band, performs in my town this weekend at a popular Irish festival. They have their critics, but I appreciate how Solas makes short forays into new territories from their firm base in traditional music. This song is from their 2000 The Hour Before Dawn release. This video is representative of the band's vibe.
I'm amused by Raheem DeVaughn's reworking of Kanye West's "Can't Tell Me Nothing." Download it at his MySpace page.
Kansas City Click: The Beach Nuts are at Harry's.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Hilly Kristal died yesterday. By the time I got around to visiting Kristal's CBGB, bands like Television and Blondie had been replaced by the likes of The Cro-Mags. The hardcore punk group's out-of-print CD reissue of The Age of Quarrel and Best Wishes is an influential collector's item today. Would the group have had an outlet for their rage without the contribution of Kristal? Probably, but it wouldn't have been the same. Here's a tinny-sounding video of the Cro-Mag's 2001 reunion at CBGB.
I find plenty of nice things to say in my review of last night's Dave Matthews Band and Umphrey's McGee show.
While trapped in post-concert traffic, I heard a few tracks from the new Jacky Terrasson release. Gorgeous!
Kansas City Click: Johnny "Whiskey River" Bush is at Knuckleheads tonight.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Lonely no more.
The forthcoming holiday weekend is loaded with festivals. I don't know yet where I'll end up, but I could do worse than to catch Mark Chesnutt at Independence's Santa Cali Gon Days on Saturday night. Jason Michael Carroll opens. The honky tonk singer had a decent run of hits about fifteen years ago. My favorite is the summer heartbreak classic "Too Cold At Home". The song I feature from his self-titled release isn't quite as memorable, but true to the George Jones tradition upheld by Chesnutt, it also takes place in a tavern.
My review of Alice Cooper and Whitestarr is here.
Kansas City Click: Loren Pickford is at Jardine's.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I attended a memorial service at Charlie Parker's grave yesterday. Bobby Watson, Ahmad Alaadeen, Chris Burnett and other area saxophonists ran through "Now's the Time." It put me in mind of the great World Saxophone Quartet. On the excellent post-Julius Hemphill 25th Anniversary: The New Chapter, Oliver Lake, John Purcell, David Murray and Hamiett Bluiett continue their tradition of providing the ideal balance between tradition and musical progression. It's fun to watch kids react to the W.S.Q.'s honking in this video.
I was entertained by Alice Cooper last night. I'd almost forgotten the primal appeal of great songs like "Elected".
Kansas City Click: Magnolia Electric Company and Golden Boots are at the Grand Emporium tonight.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Etta James spoiled music for me. Her incendiary show last night makes it difficult for me to enjoy anything else right now. So I thought I'd seek solace in a very different type of vocalist. One of bluegrass' most gifted performers, Dale Ann Bradley trades in subtle nuances and quiet strengths. Fans of Alison Krauss- an avowed Bradley advocate- should seek Bradley out immediately. If this song from the out-of-print East Kentucky Morning doesn't convince you of Bradley's merits, her cover of "Me and Bobbie McGee" might do the trick.
My review of Etta James is here.
I'm Not There? I'm so there.
Kansas City Click: The Wreckers play a free show at Crown Center tonight.
Club Kandi is advertising a Saturday appearance by Project Pat.
Alice Cooper brings his "Psycho-Drama Tour" to the Uptown on Sunday.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Ska and reggae guitarist Jerome "Jah Jerry" Haynes died August 13. He was 86. He played on hundreds of seminal sides. I'm sure it's a gross simplification, but I've always figured that either Haynes or Ernest Ranglin played guitar on every Jamaican classic up to 1965 or so. Dozens of those hits are featured on the absolutely essential Ska Bonanza collection. While Jones probably plays guitar on this fabulous Andy and Joey selection, only a few Jamaican crate diggers know for certain. The Specials later rewrote it as "You're Wondering Now." Here's some very rough footage of Amy Winehouse singing and dancing along to the song.
Here's an inspiring story about jazz vocalist Ed Reed. The guy did time with Art Pepper and finally managed to release his debut recording this year.
I heard "So Hott" for the first time yesterday and I wondered why Buckcherry didn't let their vocalist sing lead on the sleazy song. It turned out to be the new Kid Rock.
Kansas City Click: Etta James is at the VooDoo tonight.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The door's shut.
I wasted far too much of my youth balancing on a bar stool while bands like The Pontiac Brothers stumbled around on a nearby stage. A few of the bands I followed- the Long Ryders, Thin White Rope, the Pontiac Brothers and the Rain Parade- are featured in this video. The unintentional irony of Lisa from Frontier Records being interviewed in front of a record store's "cut out" sign really upsets me. Another priceless tidbit is a brief interview with folk-rock cult artist Iain Matthews, who was apparently moonlighting as an A&R guy at the time. This typical song is from an out-of-print CD reissue.
"Pray To the Lord" is presumably going to be on Lil Wayne's next official release. It might be my favorite song of the year.
NPR aired a interesting feature about Chinese jazz vocalist Coco Zhao last week. The sole video at YouTube leaves me skeptical.
Kansas City Click: I'd never heard of ZZ Rose until I bumped into her at MySpace. I can't say I became an instant fan, but I'll bet she went over well at the organic farmer's market she appeared at today.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I liked High School Musical 2. Sue me.
It's set at a country club on summer vacation, so I expected a heightened level of romance and accordant sexual tension. I was wrong. It's a completely antiseptic document perfectly suitable for American grade schoolers. Maybe it's just me, but there is one scene that seemed to convey an unlikely homosexual theme. In the Michael Jackson-flavored "I Don't Dance," two young men compete in a jazz-dance battle. Lyrics like "I'll show you how I swing/You'll never know if you never try/There's just one little thing that stops me every time" seem open to liberal interpretration.
I'm much more comfortable with Alison Moyet singing about a "she-boy" on this song from her 1994 Essex release. Unlike the content of High School Musical 2, it's honest and direct. Here's a Moyet video from the same period.
My friend M. uncovered a lovely version of "Waterloo Sunset" by a Vietnamese band.
Kansas City Click: Mark Lowrey is at Jardine's tonight.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Not that it matters to anyone but me, but I've never featured the same artist twice at There Stands the Glass. I figured that I'd reevaluate the policy after I hit 500 posts. (This is #449.) If it wasn't for this self-imposed rule, I'd feature a song from Hillstomp's new After Two But Before Five today. The band is in my town tonight. But I already spotlighted the Portland, OR, duo 16 months ago.
Rather than post a Fat Possum artist- Hillstomp are deeply indebted to R.L. Burnside- I'm invoking Reverend Gary Davis. Hillstomp surely appreciate the gloom of this Davis favorite from a live 1967 recording.
In order to best illustrate the value of Hillstomp's punk-inspired take on traditional blues, I encourage you to compare and contrast these videos. Here's Hillstomp's aggressive approach. And here's a very famous group with the exact opposite tack.
One of my biggest musical and cultural shocks came several years ago when I joined a local jazz club and befriended the organization's younger members. Instead of finding Dolphy, Monk and Parker when I flipped through their collections, I discovered that their idea of jazz was Jon Lucien, Roy Ayers and Ronnie Laws. Lucien died Saturday. This video is typical of his style.
Kansas City Click: According to Back To Rockville, Hillstomp and a country-fried steak can be had at the Brick's Monday matinee for $6.95.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Fela Kuti died ten years ago this month. I've never previously posted bootleg material, and for all I know, this dubious disc is entirely legit and was assembled at the Fela shrine in Lagos. I know my friend M. acquired the CD the same day he visited the site and had his photo taken with Fela's daughter. The four minutes featured here is less than a third of the original 1973 recording. Here's the out-of-print full-length album.
Go ahead and accuse me of having a man-crush on Rodney Crowell. My rave review of his Wednesday night show is here.
Elvis with a sock! I caught some of TCM's airing of Jailhouse Rock last night. I'd forgotten that it's incredibly entertaining. The trailer doesn't quite capture the film's sublime cheese.
I'd be, like, totally lying if I said I wasn't going to watch High School Musical 2 at least once this weekend.
Kansas City Click: Earth, Wind & Fire are at Starlight tonight.
It appears that Ozomatli is the first of three bands performing at Crossroads on Saturday night, but they're one of today's best live acts, as evidenced by this rough fan video.
The Wild Women of Kansas City play a free Sunday evening show in Leawood.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
The great drummer Max Roach died today.
I last saw Roach when he was in Kansas City in 1997. In addition to headlining a traditional concert, Roach played at a ceremony in the lobby of the Black Archives. I want to say that someone honked on Charlie Parker's Grafton- I call it the Plastic Sax- at that event, but I'm unable to verify this recollection. As There Stands the Glass readers probably know, Parker used that instrument in the famous show at Massey Hall that featured Roach on drums.
This piece from Streams of Consciousness may be the single most concise and representative example of Roach's approach. The 1977 duet with Dollar Brand (later Abdullah Ibrahim), it shows both politically-driven musicians in top form.
(Thanks to my friend Jason for delivering the sad news.)
Herb Pomeroy died August 11. While he worked with a number of greats, the trumpeter may be best known for his lengthy tenure at Berklee. He's paired with clarinetist Billy Novick on This Is Always, an out-of-print ballads session from 1996. Pomeroy's eloquent playing on this Ellington tune serves as a fitting elegy.
The latest chapter in Bruce Springsteen's dastardly plan to bleed me dry was announced today. Earlier this week, I stumbled across this rough footage of Bruce's best summer song, "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" from 1975. While it's much rougher than the officially released London video from later that year, it still wipes me out. "Them angels have lost their desire for us..."
Too young and ignorant to grasp the significance of Elvis' death thirty years ago, I recall laughing in disbelief at the hysterical mourning of his fans. I know better now.
Kansas City Click: The Redwalls, Mark Mallman and There Stands the Glass favorites OK Jones are at the Grand Emporium tonight.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Heads up, Amy Winehouse fans. This 1965 song by Sugar Pie DeSanto is a virtual blueprint for the English soul revivalist. With its wails, moans and threats, the performance is so tough that it'd give Diana Ross nightmares. It features Etta James, the woman who's always somewhat overshadowed DeSanto. But this gritty song, as well as "Down In the Basement," her biggest hit, have aged incredibly well. This seems to be the only DeSanto compilation of her classic work for Chess, and it's out of print.
Kansas City is well over twice the size of Little Rock, yet I'm very familiar with the sense of independence and isolation captured in the trailer for the music documentary Towncraft.
Kansas City Click: I'm a wimp. My multi-year string of consecutive Warped Tour attendance will be broken today. It was only 90 degrees last year on the Verizon parking lot where most of the stages are erected, and I still spent $15 on Gatorade. It'll be over 100 today. Forget it. It's too bad- I'd been looking forward to P.O.S., K-Os, Coheed and Cambria, Gallows, Pepper, Circa Survive and Tiger Army.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Few have ever played as pretty as Ben Webster. That so many people are chattering in the background as Webster and pianist Kenny Drew bare their souls just floors me. I guess some things never change. The 1965 Danish session also features Nils-Orsted-Pedersen and Alex Riel. This title seems to be completely unavailable, but a second volume can be yours for $100.00. There's also a priceless video of Webster performing the same song with a different group.
I just returned from Branson, Missouri. Here are pictures I took of the tourist town's main drag.
The new release I'm rooting for today is Chingo Bling's They Can't Deport Us All. Here's the TV spot.
Kansas City Click: Danny Embrey sits in with the PBT trio at Jardine's tonight.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Maybe I'm the only person in the world who'd like to hear Pat Metheny sit in with Sonic Youth. It might result in something like Draw Breath. The inspired improvisation is much more compelling than the recent similarly-minded Frisell/Motian/Lovano releases. Nels Cline manages to seemlessly blend the sounds Duane Eddy, John Fahey, Jimi Hendrix, Elliott Sharp and Marc Ribot. It's a probable year-end Top 10 album for me.
That's it!. I'm learning Portugese.
Mine is the only positive review I've seen of last night's Rufus Wainwright concert. I adored his performance.
Kansas City Click: OK Jones play a free show at the River Market Brewery tonight.
Like Johnny Thunders? So do The Rich Boys. They're at the Record Bar on Saturday.
T.I. headlines a big show at Kemper Arena on Sunday.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I couldn't help overhearing a group of elderly gentlemen as they visited the American Jazz Museum yesterday. Their comments- delivered in the shout utilized by the hearing impaired- were priceless. "Charlie Parker? Whose band was he in?" "Where the hell did Bob go?" "Where's the damn exit?" And my favorite: "There's not one picture of Benny Goodman in this place!" I forget that to much of the World War II generation, jazz meant Glenn Miller, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. It'd be easy to dismiss old folks' lack of interest in the last fifty years of jazz. But not only would that be disrespectful, it would be a serious oversight not to investigate Goodman's later work. This May 1957 date features Hank Jones on piano and some startling clarinet work by Goodman. It's from the out-of-print The Yale Collection: Volume 4, a set of unreleased material from Goodman's vault.
My friend Tim told me about the forthcoming release by Arthur Alexander. Three songs stream at his MySpace page, and they're every bit as good as Tim indicated.
The new UGK is great- shockingly great.
Kansas City Click: It's my lucky day. I'll be indoors at the icy Harrah's casino for Rufus Wainwright, Neko Case and A Fine Frenzy.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I love Townes Van Zandt as much as the next guy. The troubadour deserves all the posthumous acclaim he's received. But where's the love for Chris Smither? Does the guy have to die in order to become fashionable? A few poor production decisions prevent Happier Blue from being perfect. The coveted out-of-print 1993 release closes with "Time To Spend." It reveals Smither's wit, lyricism and remarkable way with a guitar.
David Byrne covering "There Stands the Glass"? No way! Yet here it is.
Kansas City Click: Join the kids at El Torreon for Benison and Edwin Vs. the Ants.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
The prayer ends.
Having overcome throat cancer, Chicago gospel star Lemmie Battles titled her new release You're Looking For a Miracle. And she's filled with the Spirit, as evidenced by this view from a pew. I'm quite enamored with the project- I'm going to listen again today before I crack the seal on the new UGK.
Ray Price was in magnificent form Friday night. My review is here.
Kansas City Click: The Go and Be/Non are at the Record Bar.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Even if he'd never recorded with the likes of John Coltrane, Bob Dylan, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Quincy Jones and Freda Payne, the death of Art Davis would still merit attention. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times obituary, his journey was incredibly rich and dramatic. That said, Davis' discography is amazing. And his work holds the chaotic We Free Kings together. His solo on this Charlie Parker number comes at 3:17. Davis is also heard to good effect working with Max Roach in this video from 1958.
I expect I'll buy the new Underground Kingz by UGK tomorrow.
Kansas City Click: The Fuchsia Band visit Eddie Delahunt's Cafe tonight.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Tommy Makem, hailed by some as "the godfather of Irish music," died August 1 in New Hampshire. While it's not a song immediately associated with the Clancy Brothers, I couldn't resist featuring the poignant "The Dutchman" in this small memorial. It's a sentimental heartbreaker, perfect for Makem's spirited style. The song never fails to make my eyes a little watery. In the expert hands of these Irishmen, tears roll down my cheeks. It's on this live collection.
I speculate on the jazz audiences of tomorrow at Plastic Sax.
I'm currently infatuated with the unbelievable sound of Jessie Morales' band.
Kansas City Click: There's a stunning array great live music options tonight. I'm going with Ray Price at Knuckleheads.
Reverend Horton Heat and Murder By Death at Crossroads should make for a lively Saturday night.
Gary Sivils is at Jardine's on Sunday.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Knowing nothing about Dead Rock West except that John Doe had selected them as tour mates, I was put off when I first heard Honey and Salt. I thought these kids were unnaturally slick and refined. Only when I read the band's press kit did I realize that they're not kids- they're roots rock lifers. Their professionalism was earned the hard way. The band's members have worked with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Peter Case, Rickie Lee Jones and John Prine. This fan video of the band backing Doe on "Fourth of July" last month proves that it's an ideal pairing. And this video reveals the terrific chemistry between Doe and vocalist Cindy Wasserman. The tour continues without a break through August 10. I can't wait to see them in Kansas City a week from today.
Tommy Makem has died. I'll have a proper post tomorrow.
Kansas City Click: Even without Dave Alvin, The Blasters are a sure thing. The great band is at Knuckleheads tonight.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I've never comprehended the widespread dislike of accordions. They're simply breathing keyboards capable of more intimacy than most instruments. This 1990 collaboration between the great bassist Ron Carter and French accordionist Richard Galliano is infinitely charming. Dozens of Galliano videos grace YouTube. This one is particularly gorgeous.
Here's a suggestion for the makers of the next Harry Potter film: Use Leonard Cohen's "Who By Fire" over the end credits. Its lyrics and atmosphere are a perfect fit.
I'm surprised by how quickly I've embraced Mark Ronson's Dylan remix.
Kansas City Click: Wes Borland's Black Light Burns and Shudder are at the brand-new version of The Static Bar tonight.