As I wrote last month, our twice-a-year Hackathon would have started yesterday, if not for the Current Unpleasantness, and this mix would have been on the “air” (or our virtual radio station) at 10am this morning. Following in the steps of previous volumes “The Low End Theory” and “The Mighty Hammond,” this is a jazz mix that focuses on the contribution of one instrument, the vibraphone.
For me, the vibes are the instrument that makes midcentury jazz cool—not in the sense of Joe Cool but in the elegant, restrained tone they bring in the hands of a master like Milt Jackson. It was therefore a surprise a few years ago to find their avant-garde side, first in the hands of Bobby Hutcherson (who plays on four tracks in this set), then my more recent discovery, Walt Dickerson. I had to cut the set for time, but there are some pretty significant modern vibes players out there too who are well worth checking out, including Joel Ross.
I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed putting it together, and remember, stay positive.
Delilah (Take 3) – Milt Jackson And Wes Montgomery (Bags Meets Wes!)
First Things First – Red Norvo (Hi Five)
Wait Til You See Her – George Shearing Quintet (I Hear Music)
Mars – Gil Melle (New Faces – New Sounds)
Serves Me Right (Take 5) – Cannonball Adderley (Things Are Getting Better)
Death and Taxes – Walt Dickerson (Spiritual Jazz 10: Prestige)
Soul Sauce (Guachi Guaro) – Cal Tjader (Talkin’ Verve)
Latona – Big John Patton (Let ’Em Roll)
Jean De Fleur – Grant Green (Idle Moments)
Searchin’ the Trane – Bobby Hutcherson (Spiritual Jazz Vol. 9 – Blue Notes, Part One)
The Original Mr. Sonny Boy Williamson – Archie Shepp (On This Night)
Visions – Sun Ra and Walt Dickerson (Visions)
Guide to the players:
Milt Jackson (tracks 1 and 5) — most famous as the longtime vibes player of the Modern Jazz Quartet, he appears to have played with everyone in the classic post-bop era.
Red Norvo (track 2) — 1950s bandleader, played with Frank Sinatra on a few tours
Marjorie Hyams (track 3) — American jazz vibraphonist who played with everyone from Woody Herman to Mary Lou Williams to George Shearing
Joe Manning (track 4) — not much is known. Recorded on Gil Mellé’s first Blue Note session.
Walt Dickerson (track 6, 12) — jazz post-bop and avant-garde player noted for his collaborations with Andrew Hill and Sun Ra
Cal Tjader (track 7) — probably the most famous non-Latino player of Latin jazz. Brought cool to soul jazz.
Bobby Hutcherson (tracks 8-11) — bandleader who guested on many 1960s Blue Note and some Impulse sessions, including these featuring Joe Henderson, Grant Green, and Archie Shepp
Next week would have been Veracode’s Hackathon, during which we do a lot of crazy things, including run a volunteer company Internet radio station. I’ve made a bunch of one-hour-long mixes over the last few years for this effort, and was looking forward to playing along loosely with the Hackathon theme (pirates!) this time, starting with an unusual (for me) mix of covers.
Of course, the pandemic intervened. So it goes.
But I had already completed one of my two planned mixes (the next one is, as they say, Coming Soon), so I figured, why not post it anyway?
A few notes about the mix: it is a covers mix, because what is the act of taking someone else’s song and making it yours but musical piracy? And the covers are all reggae or reggae-adjacent (except for a bit near the end of reggae and ska originals of more famous cover versions by English and American bands), because (a) there’s a long tradition of reggae covers of popular songs that is a fun rabbit hole to go down, and (b) reggae is a music of the islands where the Caribbean pirates once sailed, and (c) one of the members of our pick-up band absolutely hates reggae. Also, (d) Dread Zeppelin. Enjoy!
Randy’s Cover Versions
Mother & Child Reunion
The Song Remains the Same
Don’t Let Me Down
Reggae Anthology: Melody Life
Here Comes the Sun
20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Peter Tosh
Heartbreaker (At the End of Lonely Street)
Bridge over Trouble Waters
A Little Love
High and Dry (feat. Morgan Heritage)
Easy Star All-Stars
Radiodread (Special Edition)
Your Time Is Gonna Come
Battle for Seattle
The Tide Is High
On the Beach With the Paragons
Rudy, a Message to You
Copasetic! The Mod Ska Sound
Copasetic! The Mod Ska Sound
Dub Will Tear Us Apart
Rough Mix From Their TBA 12″ | www.thesocialregistry.com
It’s still Christmas, technically, until the Feast of Epiphany on January 6. That’s what I keep telling Lisa when she asks when I’m taking down the Christmas tree, and that’s what I’m telling you when I post this new Exfiltration Radio playlist of slightly askew Christmas (and Hanukkah) tunes and a few spoken word bits. Hope you find something in it to help ease back into the daily routine.
Did You Spend Christmas Day In Jail? (excerpt) – Rev. J.M. Gates (Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree – A Vintage Holiday Mixtape)
The Toy Trumpet – Arthur Fiedler;Al Hirt – Boston Pops/Arthur Fiedler (Pops Christmas Party)
Ring Those Christmas Bells – Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians (The Sounds of Christmas)
Good Morning Blues (feat. Cécile Mclorin Salvant) – Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (Big Band Holidays)
Please Come Home For Christmas – Little Johnny Taylor (It’s Christmas Time Again)
I’m Your Christmas Friend, Don’t Be Hungry – James Brown (Hey America)
Who Took The Merry Out Of Christmas – The Staple Singers (It’s Christmas Time Again)
Deck the Halls – R.E.M. (Gift Wrapped – 20 Songs That Keep On Giving!)
I Hate Christmas – Oscar (Sesame Street: Merry Christmas from Sesame Street)
The Little Drum Machine Boy – Beck (Just Say Noel)
Come on! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance! – Sufjan Stevens (Songs For Christmas)
Do You Hear What I Hear? – Chaka Khan (Do You Hear What I Hear? – Single)
Nutmeg – Stephen Colbert & John Legend (A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!)
Sleigh Ride – Dread Zeppelin (Presents)
Big Bulbs – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (It’s a Holiday Soul Party)
Silent Night – Bootsy Collins (Christmas Is 4 Ever)
Don’t Shoot Me Santa – The Killers (Don’t Shoot Me Santa – Single)
Christmas Island – Bob Dylan (Christmas In the Heart)
Fan Club Christmas Record – 1964 (excerpt) – The Beatles (Fan Club Christmas Records)
Last Hackathon I made an hour long mix of Hammond organ centered jazz. In retrospect, while the listening was great, it felt like it didn’t go far enough into the different types of performance techniques on the organ, or different styles. So this time, I decided to do something a little more subtle, and focus on the bass.
It can be hard to appreciate what a bass player brings to your typical small group performance. But you can start to dig in just by considering the different choices available to the bassist: acoustic or electric? Pizzicato (plucked) or arco (bowed)? Holding down the root of the chord, or playing a counter-melody? There are a bunch of different bass players on this mix, and each of them approaches their role very differently. Enjoy!
Re: Person I Knew – Bill Evans Trio (Chuck Israels, bass) (Moon Beams [Original Jazz Classics Remasters])
Tale of the Fingers – Paul Chambers (Whims Of Chambers)
Caravan – Duke Ellington With Charles Mingus (bass) & Max Roach (Money Jungle)
Moment’s Notice – John Coltrane (Paul Chambers, bass) (Blue Train)
It’s that time again… time for a new Hackathon radio mix. The latest entry in the Exfiltration Radio series deals in spookiness and mystery, and lots and lots of black. It’s a gothic and goth-adjacent postpunk sort of set, and it’s a lot of fun even if you don’t wear black on the outside. Another one is coming soon, so stay tuned!
10:15 Saturday Night – The Cure (Three Imaginary Boys)
Bela Lugosi’s Dead (Official Version) – Bauhaus (The Bela Session)
Pink Flag (2006 Digital Remaster) – Wire (Pink Flag)
Not Great Men – Gang Of Four (Entertainment!)
Shadowplay – Joy Division (Unknown Pleasures)
Gathering Dust – Modern English (Mesh & Lace)
In the Flat Field – Bauhaus (Swing the Heartache: The BBC Sessions)
Halloween – Siouxsie & The Banshees (Ju Ju (Remastered))
Somewhere – The Danse Society (The Indie Years : 1983)
Love Like Blood – Killing Joke (Night Time)
Lucretia My Reflection – The Sisters of Mercy (Floodland (Deluxe Version))
A Short Term Effect – The Cure (Pornography)
Song to the Siren – This Mortal Coil (It’ll End in Tears)
It’s another Hackathon at Veracode, and time for another playlist. This time around we get an hour of jazz and jazz-adjacent Hammond organ, for your ass. This is not your ballpark organ music, he said, glaring sternly at the interrogator; it’s something that should be deep in your soul.
There’s lots of Jimmy Smith on this, as God intended, but there’s also Groove Holmes and Ronnie Foster and Jimmy McGriff and Dr. Lonnie Smith and James Brown and the latter-day Delvon Lamarr and… just listen already!
Iron Leg – Mickey & The Soul Generation (Iron Leg)
The Cat – Jimmy Smith (Talkin’ Verve)
Finger Lickin’ Good – Jimmy McGriff & Groove Holmes (Dueling Organs)
I Want To Hold Your Hand – Grant Green (I Want To Hold Your Hand)
Top Going Down, Bottom Going Up (Live) – Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (Live at KEXP!)
Mystic Brew – Ronnie Foster (Two Headed Freap)
The Bird – Jimmy McGriff (Groove Grease)
Sagg Shootin’ His Arrow – Jimmy Smith (Root Down)
Devil’s Haircut – Dr. Lonnie Smith (Boogaloo To Beck)
Grits (Extended Version) – James Brown (Grits & Soul (Instrumentals) [Expanded Edition])
This is the second of two recent Hackathon playlists, and where The Holy Ghost was all about the Spirit, this one’s all about the body.
I have trouble believing that 1988 was thirty years ago, but then I also have trouble believing that my being old enough to drink happened before some of my youngest coworkers were born.
Lots of material that I omitted that might have made a volume II, in favor of more recognizable (though still oblique) corners of 1988. But it’s worth recognizing that the iconic rubbery shredding guitar on that iconic early Morrissey solo number is by none other than Durutti Column frontman Vini Reilly. And that Janet Jackson wouldn’t do anything as innovative as Rhythm Nation for basically the rest of her career (though she’d have bigger hits). And that Madonna would ultimately prove more transgressive than what Thurston did to “Into the Groove,” but that the combination of the two would be as dark and unsettling as Leonard Cohen. And… Well, you get the picture. There was a lot of darkness around the corner everywhere in the late 1980s.
Eye of Fatima, Pt. 1 – Camper Van Beethoven (Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart)
Birth, School, Work, Death – The Godfathers (Big Hits, Skinny Ties:New Wave)
In Your Room – The Bangles (Everything)
I Don’t Mind If You Forget Me – Morrissey (Viva Hate)
Peek-A-Boo (Single) – Siouxsie and The Banshees (Peep Show)
Cupid Come – My Bloody Valentine (Isn’t Anything)
Everybody Knows – Leonard Cohen (I’m Your Man)
Into The Groovey – Ciccone Youth (The Whitey Album)
Miss You Much – Janet Jackson (Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814)
Silver Rocket – Sonic Youth (Daydream Nation)
Coldsweat – The Sugarcubes (Life’s Too Good)
Dad I’m in Jail – Was (Not Was) (What Up, Dog?)
Don’t Believe the Hype – Public Enemy (It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back)
Christine – The House of Love (The House of Love)
Carolyn’s Fingers – Cocteau Twins (Blue Bell Knoll (Remastered) [Remastered])
It’s been a hard day for many folks, after a hard year and 259 days. But in these days you have to do what you can, and not worry about what you can’t.
For me that translates to seeking out what’s important in music. Which is why the fifth volume in my series of one-hour Exfiltration Radio shows is about spiritual jazz.
(Why that name? The music takes some of the techniques of free jazz and infuses it with the searching, looking beyond that Coltrane brought to the table with A Love Supreme. It’s a broad banner, as the multiple volumes of the Spiritual Jazz compilation series show.)
This one mixes up a track from one of my favorite McCoy Tyner albums, his Extensions, with other tracks from Alice Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Wayne Shorter, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the redoubtable Pharoah Sanders, and a few other goodies that I’ve found over the years on Bandcamp or other spots. It’s a good one-hour introduction if you’re feeling sinister—and it’s a good reminder that not everything that is in the world is of the world.
Rainbow Warriors – Alan Braufman (Valley of Search (Reissue))
Journey In Satchidananda – Alice Coltrane (The Impulse Story: Alice Coltrane)
Message From The Nile – McCoy Tyner (Extensions)
Dance! Dance, Eternal Spirits – Joe Bonner with David Friesen, Billy Harper, Virgil Jones, M (Black Saint)
Elijah – Donald Byrd (A New Perspective)
Ja Mil – Hastings Street Jazz Experience (Spiritual Jazz)
JuJu – Wayne Shorter (JuJu (Rudy Van Gelder Edition))
Spirits Up Above – Rahsaan Roland Kirk (Volunteered Slavery)
My other Hackathon mix is here. This is a true mixed-genre, anything-goes hour of stuff, with everything from Devo to shoegaze to Folkways to the late Philip Levine. I’m really enjoying this format, btw—though it’s hard to edit down to an hour, it feels like these come together much more rapidly than the bigger mixes I’ve been doing before. Enjoy!
Time Out for Fun – Devo (Oh No! It’s Devo)
Do You Like Me – Fugazi (Red Medicine)
Blonde Redhead – DNA (“Fame” (Jon Savage’s Secret History of Post-Punk 1978-81))
Junun – Shye Ben Tzur, Jonny Greenwood & The Rajasthan Express (Junun)
Exhumed – Zola Jesus (Okovi)
Political World (feat. Keith Richards) – Bettye LaVette (Things Have Changed)
Dry Bones – Delta Rhythm Boys (Historia de la Musica Rock: Locas)
Still catching up from Hackathon. I put together a couple of hour-long radio shows that were a lot of fun to build. The first one is an hour of 1970s and 1970s-adjacent jazz. Lots of fun stuff in this, including some electric Vince Guaraldi, tasty jazz organ, some modern finds (Yussef Kamaal for the win), and a little Digable Planets. Enjoy!
Birth Of A Struggle – Wax Tailor (Tales Of The Forgotten Melodies)
Oaxaca – Vince Guaraldi (Oaxaca)
Red Sails In The Sunset – Jimmy McGriff (Groove Grease)
Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Roy Ayers Ubiquity (The Best of Roy Ayers (The Best of Roy Ayers: Love Fantasy))
Mystic Brew – Ronnie Foster (Jazz Dispensary: Cosmic Stash)
Joint 17 – Yussef Kamaal (Black Focus)
Jettin’ – Digable Planets (Blowout Comb)
Ayo Ayo Nene – Mor Thiam (Spiritual Jazz)
Superfluous (LP Version) – Eddie Harris (Instant Death)
Lady Day and John Coltrane – Gil Scott-Heron (Pieces of a Man)
Early Minor – Miles Davis (The Complete In A Silent Way Sessions)
Black Narcissus – Joe Henderson (The Milestone Years)
Infinite Search – Miroslav Vitous (Infinite Search)
We just finished another Veracode Hackathon, and this one was rock and roll themed. One of our brilliant hackers put together an Internet radio station where you could sign up for a one-hour time slot and post a playlist. Naturally, this was catnip. I spent a few hours putting together two playlists, which I’ve embedded below—one all genres and one focusing on (mostly) 21st century jazz.
Production notes: I did some processing of individual audio files through Amadeus Pro and assembled everything in GarageBand. I’m very much still learning how to crawl with the latter tool, so I hope it doesn’t stink too much.
The playlists are below. Enjoy!
Orbits (Live) – Wayne Shorter (Without a Net (Live))