Brother Jack and Young George

During the month of July 1964, Hammond B-3 whiz Jack McDuff was in a New York studio with tenor sax player Red Holloway, Joe Dukes on drums, and a 21 year old George Benson on guitar. The tracks they recorded were released on assorted LP’s between ’65 and ’69, but were compiled on a 1997 release called Legends of Acid Jazz.

This one will roll you through the mid week. This is their take on Horace Silver’s “Opus de Funk.” The album cover above has nothing to do with this track, but it’s so damn cool, I just had to include it. The world lost Brother Jack in January of 2001 at the age of 74. Another legend who will live on forever through his talent on the B-3.

Jack McDuff: Opus de Funk (mp3)

Piano Man: Now That’s a Wet Suit

Reading the story today about the “Piano Man” inspired me to showcase some quality piano work tonight. Did you all see this? A man shows up in a suit, soaking wet, on the Isle of Sheppey in the UK. He says absolutely nothing to anyone, is taken to a hospital, and sits down at a piano and plays for hours. Read the full story here.

Well, last June, I was listening to a live radio simulcast of the Playboy Jazz Festival from the Hollywood Bowl, and had the pleasure of hearing the sounds of the Michel Camilo Trio.

The artistry and virtuosity of Michel Camilo bridges the genres of Jazz, Classical, Popular and World music. He is a pianist with a brilliant technique and a composer who flavors his tunes with the spice of Caribbean rhythms and jazz harmonies.

I found this tune on Michel’s web site. The man flies on the keys. I’m positive he would give the ‘piano man’ a run for his money.

Michel Camilo Trio: See You Later (mp3)

Mo’ Madhouse

when a Google image search on “Madhouse” brings back a cartoon toilet bowl with an alien eye sticking out of it, you must post it. oh yes, you must.

This tune starts with a young lady’s moans of erotic pleasure. Did I get your attention? Good. From here, the drums kick in and we’re off on a Princely funky jazz adventure. The song showcases Eric Leeds on sax, and Prince on pretty much everything else. I posted from this album before, and if you want to purchase the CD, it’ll cost you a few tanks of gas (for a used one), but here goes anyway…

Madhouse: Seven (wma)

The Genius of Miles

I listened to sides 3/4 of Miles Davis‘ ‘Bitches Brew’ on the way home from work today. Windows down, volume way up… it had been a while since I took a listen to this groundbreaking album, and I felt compelled to share a tune for the uninitiated…

…the stellar “Miles Runs the Voodoo Down,” echoes the influence of Jimi Hendrix; with its chuck-and-slip chords and lead figures and Davis playing a ghostly melody through the shimmering funkiness of the rhythm section, it literally dances and becomes increasingly more chaotic until about nine minutes in, where it falls apart. Yet one doesn’t know it until near the end, when it simmers down into smoke-and-ice fog once more. – review from All Music

Miles Davis: Miles Runs the Voodoo Down (wma) – From: Bitches Brew, 1970.

Charlie Hunter’s 8 String Funk

Every time I listen to this live track, or any Charlie Hunter song in general, I’m amazed that all of the sounds are emanating from one guitar. Charlie is a Bay Area master of his custom-made 8-string guitar. He plays the role of both bass and guitar player. Nope, there isn’t a bassist in the band. What you hear is coming from one man. On this song, “Crossings”, Charlie and Adam Cruz (on drums) lay out 12 and a half minutes of rhythmic laid back guitar funk. How Charlie can negotiate those kinds of bass and guitar parts simultaneously is beyond me.

About his guitar:

custom-made Novax eight-string…..Designed by Ralph Novak, the instrument features special frets and separate signals for its guitar and bass portions. Picking bass notes with his right thumb while fretting them with his left index finger (while at the same time fingerpicking guitar chords and single notes with his right hand’s remaining four digits as he frets with his left hand’s other three fingers), Hunter achieves the real sound of two-for-one. – from All Music

Huh? I lost track of all the fingers…. If you want to see what his guitars look like, check out the cool Gear Page on his site. Anyway, this and a whole lot of others tunes are available to you on his web site, There’s a ton in the Audio section.

Facts of the day:

  • Charlie used to be a member of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Michael Franti’s group before Spearhead.
  • Jay Lane of Primus used to be Charlie’s drummer.

So without further ado:

Charlie Hunter – Crossings (mp3) – recorded live in Detroit, MI 20 Nov 1999.
Buy Charlie’s music on Amazon (plus a lot of unreleased downloads available for purchase on his site).

Nels Cline Article and Interview

I posted about the amazing Nels Cline a while back, and just came across this short but great article / interview on Guitar Player magazine’s web site. It has two excellent mp3’s available for download. Here’s a quick quote from the article:

But, as revolutionary as Cline is, he did not mysteriously appear out of nowhere. A mainstay of the Los Angeles free-jazz community for more than 20 years, Cline has worked with dozens of the world’s most innovative artists, including guitarists Bill Frisell and G.E. Stinson, sax/woodwind masters Yusef Lateef and Tim Berne, bass legends Charlie Hayden and Eric Von Essen, percussionists Adam Rudolph and Brad Dutz, violinists Jeff Gauthier and Jenny Scheinman, pianists Mark Weber and Richard Grossman, and electronics wizard Don Preston.

Beyond the jazz scene, Cline has collaborated with Mike Watt, Sonic Youth guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, and country-punk-poets the Geraldine Fibbers, as well as appearing on recordings by artists as diverse as MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, the Blue Man Group, and new-age composer Osamu Kitajima. And that’s not to mention sessions with singer-songwriters such as Deborah Holland, Mia Doi Todd, and Rickie Lee Jones, and key roles in two ’70s Miles Davis tribute projects: Yo Miles! and Miles Remembered: the Silent Way Project.

Guitar Player Interview with Nels Cline (includes 2 full mp3 downloads)

We’re Gettin’ Root Down

Since I just took off the Jimmy Smith track from last week, I feel obligated to include another JS gem. As I mentioned before, I didn’t find out about the greatness of Jimmy Smith until last year. Little did I know, I was grooving to Jimmy’s organ when I didn’t even know it, on the Beastie Boys’ “Root Down”. If I had any sense, I would’ve tracked down the originator of that groove when I was listening to it in the mid 90’s. *slap across the face*

Well, it’s no surpise that the original absolutely destroys the Beasties’ take on it (and I do LOVE the Beasties’ version). But man, that beat (and the way it starts, cascading into that sick groove), that rhythm, the sweet low down Hammond… Sheesh.

Listen: Jimmy Smith – Root Down (mp3)
Buy: Root Down

It’s a Madhouse In Here

It was fun being a Prince fanatic in the 80’s. You’d get a great new album every year, and interspersed in there would be his 12″ maxi-single releases. Most would have an extended version of the album track, as well a previously unreleased B-Side (they’ve all since been compiled on to the 3rd CD of his Greatest Hits release from the late 90’s). It was all so original and fresh: “Irresistible Bitch”, “She’s Always in My Hair”, “17 Days”, “Another Lonely Christmas”, to name a few.

On top of his own releases, Prince was busy working on his side projects: The Family, Appollonia 6, Sheila E., and Madhouse. Madhouse was made up primarily of Prince and Eric Leeds (Prince’s sax player at the time), with some contribution from Levi Seacer (bass) and Sheila E. (drums). It was basically an outlet for Prince to lay down some of his more jazz and jazz-funk oriented stuff. The first Madhouse album was entitled ‘8’, and the songs were entitled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. He released ‘6’ as a maxi-single, which included ‘6 (End of the World Mix)’, which I have for you now…

Madhouse – 6 (End of the World Mix) (mp3) – 1986, Paisley Park – {The album is out of print, but you can buy it on Amazon for , uhh, $110)

RIP Jimmy Smith

I didn’t discover Jimmy Smith until within the past year when I pulled out an old Blue Note Jazz Sampler that I had stashed away for years. Jimmy was a master of the Hammond B3 organ, and a pioneer of the organ as a jazz instrument. The sounds this man could put together are nothing short of amazing. I urge everyone to explore Jimmy’s music. Jimmy died on Wednesday at the age of 79 76 right down the road from me in Scottsdale, Arizona [Yahoo News Story].

Here’s one of Jimmy’s tunes from the early 70’s that absolutely COOKS…

Jimmy Smith – Sagg Shootin’ His Arrow (mp3) – from ‘Root Down’, 1972, Verve – {Buy Jimmy Smith on Amazon}

Mas Sangria, por favor!

In keeping in line with music that involves one of my favorite cocktails, sangria, I give you the long intoxicating journey that is “Sangria for Three”, as performed by Nels Cline, Wayne Peet, and Alex Cline, live at the Alligator Lounge in Santa Monica, CA. This one was downloaded from Nels’ Official Web Site, which has a ton of great MP3 downloads. Check his site out here. I’ve just recently begun to explore Nels’ music, which is, again, hard to label. Improv crazy acid mind bending guitar jazz. III dunno.

Nels Cline/Wayne Peet/Alex Cline – Sangria for Three (mp3) – from the Tony Williams “Lifetime” Tribute – Live @ Alligator Lounge, Santa Monica, CA USA 03/17/97