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)
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])
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))
I’ve been working on this one for a while, and today felt like the right day to finish it up. This is an indulgent (over four hours long) tour through at least four different genres, with a common thread of funk.
There’s no particular logic to the sequence except that they’re loosely grouped by genre so as to keep the groove flowing. And the first track might seem odd, but listen to Carleton Coon and Joe Sanders trading scat syllables (in a style that will seem familiar to fans of the Warner Brothers cartoon “Dough for the Do-Do”) and the connection to funk becomes clear.
Roodles – The Coon-Sanders Nighthawks (“Radio’s Aces”)
Calling On My Darling – Albert King (Chess Blues 1960-1967)
Grab This Thing (Part 1) – The Mar-Keys (The Stax Story)
Black Boy – Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples (The Stax Story)
I Have Learned to Do Without You – Mavis Staples (The Stax Story)
Sissy Walk (Full) (Vocal) – Eddie Bo (The Hook and Sling)
Tighten Up Tighter (Feat. Roosevelt Matthews) – Billy Ball and the Upsetters (The Funky 16 Corners)
Dap Walk – Ernie and The Top Notes Inc (The Funky 16 Corners)
Check Your Bucket (Full) – Eddie Bo (The Hook and Sling)
Sock It To ‘Em Soul Brother – Bill Moss (Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label)
Hey Pocky A-Way (A Way) – The Wild Tchoupitoulas (The Wild Tchoupitoulas)
The Meters – Here Comes The Meter Man – DJ Jedi (Blowout Breaks)
The Headhunters – God Made Me Funky – DJ Jedi (Blowout Breaks)
Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2) – James Brown (Messing With The Blues)
Outer Spaceways Incorporated – Sun Ra (Space Is The Place (Original Soundtrack))
Umbrellas – Weather Report (Weather Report)
Red China Blues – Miles Davis (Get Up With It)
Harvey Mason – Hop Scotch (1975) – Herbie Hancock (Herbie Hancock – Man With a Suitcase)
Eddie Henderson – Ecstasy (1978) – Herbie Hancock (Herbie Hancock – Man With a Suitcase)
Whitey on the Moon – Gil Scott-Heron (Small Talk At 125th and Lennox)
The Last Poets – Black Is – Chant – DJ Jedi (Blowout Breaks)
Ku Mi Da Hankan – The Elcados (Nigeria Rock Special: Psychedelic Afro-rock & Fuzz Funk In 1)
Everybody Likes Something Good – Ify Jerry Crusade (Nigeria 70 – Lagos Jump)
Live in Another World – Itadi (Afro-Beat Airways)
The Things We Do In Soweto – Almon Memela (Next Stop Soweto 4: Zulu Rock, Afro-Disco & Mbaqanga 1975-19)
Do The Afro Shuffle – Godwin Omabuwa & His Casanova Dandies – Godwin Omabuwa & His Casanova Dandies (Nigeria Afrobeat Special: The New Explosive Sound In 1970�)
As so often happens as I’m putting mixes together, I’ve collected enough tracks for about three mixes since I published “picture of you where it began” back in May (“Blasphemous Rumors” was a one-off theme mix that didn’t dip into this pool). So I ended up splitting out this first set of tracks as the first go-round via a stochastic process of picking the first and last songs and removing every other song from the list. After a little re-ordering, it shaped up into the dark bullet below.
As previously announced, my mixes will no longer be appearing on Art of the Mix, but I’m not sure what the right way is to have them show up in the blog. In this case, the iTunes mix widget was just about right because all the tracks from the mix were available in the store (except for the Elvis Costello cut, which was the original version from Brutal Youth–and now I’m curious about the alternate version in the store). But going forward I’ll probably use some other method to publish the lists. Anyone got a favorite?