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Heute Abend – Satchmo

4 Aug

I haven’t posted much here in a while, but I just found this televised concert performance by Louis Armstrong, the first horn player of my consciousness, from Berlin in 1965. It’s exactly the kind of thing I might have watched on TV as a toddler in Australia. Always, loved him, still love him and went to his house in Corona, Queens a few months back. I wrote a piece about it for an Australian magazine, but don’t know if they ever used it; if not I’ll post it here.


The wonderful Arthur Blythe at Montreux 1981

11 Apr

Alto & Tuba action on a delicious bed of cello, guitar and drums

Did anyone else see Junior Walker and the All Stars at The Beacon Theater in 1989?

5 Jan

I was lucky enough to see Junior Walker and the All Stars live in concert the second night I was ever in New York City in July of 1989.  My friend and I arrived on a Friday night, I picked up a copy of The Village Voice and saw that there was a soul music concert the next night at The Beacon Theater, $25 a ticket to see Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Picket and Junior Walker.  Coming from Australia, this was unbelievable to me, but it was real and that specific concert is undoubtedly one of the experiences that compelled me to find a way to live in this magical musical city.  To see Percy sing When A Man Loves A Woman, Eddie knock knock knock knock knocking on wood for around 15 minutes and Wilson Pickett resentfully churning out performances of a dozen of his hits thrilled me half to death, but when Junior Walker came out swinging with his own band, The All Stars, and literally jumped right into Shotgun I broke down and wept.  Junior Walker has been one of my favorite sax players as long as I’ve had favorite sax players and his concert was one of the best I’ve seen in my life.  I couldn’t find any lengthier snippet of live footage than this clip of him and the band playing at the Ram Jam Club in London in 1967, but you get the idea of what I experienced and why he’s one of my faves in the first 10 seconds.

St. Clair Pinckney at 33:09

5 Apr

What better than a screeching solo from the late great St. Clair Pinckney to herald a costume change from black tux, black shirt, black bowtie to jade green jumpsuit and jerkin?  Of course I recommend the whole video, but if you’ve only got a minute for now, St. Clair’s solo is the height of horn-chic.  If you’re on leisure time start at the top and enjoy the mindblowing performance by BB King and glimpse MJ in the house too.

Here’s a documentary on NPR Music about Screechy Illinois Jacquet

21 Mar

Looks like it’s part of an interesting series. 

And here’s a video clip from what looks like a documentary called Texas Tenor:  The Illinois Jacquet Story.


Eddie Harris. Eddie Who?

9 Nov

Adorable footage of Les McCann and Eddie Harris at their face to face electric pianos singing the wonderful ode to Eddie Harris, written by Eddie Harris, Eddie Who? in which the story of Eddie Harris is succinctly summarized
and itemized in what has become my favorite autobiography of all time.

There’s a guy
you ought to know
He can really play a saxophone
He is from Chicago . . .

Eddie Harris [and the girls sing] Eddie Who?

He’s been singin’ about money
luck and overweight too
He’s written five books
on what he can do.

He introduced
the electric saxophone
He invented a reed mouthpiece
for the trumpet & the trombone.
… and so it goes on, with help from Les McCann (not Eddie Murphy).

He doesn’t actually pick up his sax in this clip so I thought I’d add these – no video footage, but this is a live concert recording from 1989 of Is It In which sounds incredible.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk – OMG.

28 Oct

Wonderful snippets from a documentary which is a work in progress entitled Return of the 5000lb Man, including an anecdote about Rahsaan’s first driving lesson. I am so humbled by this musician.

Rip Rig & Panic and Pigbag were the kinds of bands that made me want to play sax.

13 Oct

Rip Rig & Panic – Early 80s Brit JazzPunk NoWavers feat. Neneh Cherry

82. Pigbag on Top Of The Pops.

12 Oct

Happy Birthday Lester Bowie – Art Ensemble Of Chicago

11 Oct