Monday 26 September 2022

Monday Long Song

Albert Ayler once memorably noted that in terms of the saxophone '...John Coltrane was the father, Pharoah Sanders the son and I am the holy ghost...'  Coltrane left us at 40 in 1967, Ayler himself died in mysterious circumstances aged 34 three years later and the final link in that holy trinity, Pharoah Sanders, passed away in Los Angeles on Friday, just three weeks short of his 82nd birthday. In a 60+ year career, Sanders collaborated widely with artists such as Coltrane, Sun Ra, McCoy Tyner, Don Cherry, Jah Wobble and, most recently and memorably, with Floating Points & the LSO on the fabulous 'Promises' LP. 

Today's tune goes back to 1969 and the album 'Jewels of Thought'. The hypnotic 'Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah' features the vocals of Leon Thomas (who himself worked with everyone from Louis Armstrong to Santana) and the legendary Lonnie Liston Smith on keyboards.

Pharoah Sanders - Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah-Hum-Allah

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Red Gold & Green #34 - Junior Byles

It's a long held belief among a couple of my closest friends, that I'd been unwittingly clobbered by Covid very early on - here in fact. I never saw it myself and until now I'd always put my physical and mental collapse at the very end of 2019 down to the aftershocks of the personal annus horribilis I'd just endured. Today though, as I emerge blinking and bewildered into the daylight following a 100% guaranteed, 10-day bout with the aforementioned C19, I'm forced to re-evaluate that earlier illness. My main symptoms in each case were virtually identical - a complete loss of appetite, mad, feverish dreams (to the point of doubting reality) and incredible amounts of sweating (seriously, where does all that liquid come from?) So perhaps my chums were right all along and I was indeed among the first of us to have had a brush with this dreadful virus three years ago.

Here's the great Junior Byles, produced by the legendary Lee Perry, back in the halcyon days of 1972.

Junior Byles - Fever  

Monday 5 September 2022

Monday Long Song

Roy Orbison's 1960-64 imperial phase is the stuff of legend - 'Only the Lonely', 'Running Scared', 'Pretty Woman', 'In Dreams'...the list goes on. Roy didn't reduce his prodigious work rate as the hits became less frequent, releasing a steady stream of singles and albums during the remainder of the 1960s and right through the 1970s. There are some terrific, unjustly overlooked nuggets scattered throughout those later years, a few of which will hopefully feature in an ICA I'm currently tinkering with. 

Then there's 'Southbound Jericho Parkway'. You can search high and low in every corner of Roy's extensive catalogue and you won't find anything else remotely like it. Tucked away on the b-side of 1969 single 'My Friend' and heavily indebted to the previous year's 'MacArthur Park', the song was written by Bobby Bond, otherwise best known for penning more conventional material for the likes of George Hamilton IV, Waylon Jennings, Don Gibson and Crystal Gayle. Extraordinary.

Roy Orbison - Southbound Jericho Parkway

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