Posts Tagged ‘Mahalia Jackson’

playlist #124 (8/30/10)-beyond katrina

September 1, 2010
World of Music
Pgm #124 – Remembering the Katrina landfall 5th anniversary
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm EDT – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix / (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Les Charbonniers de L’Enfer: Diguedin / Wô / La Tribu 7205 – (QUÉBEC, CANADA)
The Rankin Family: Fiddle Medley / The Rankin Family / Capitol Records 99995 – (CAPE BRETON, CANADA)
The Cottars: Young Munro / Feast / Rounder 7068 – (CAPE BRETON, CANADA)
Jambalaya Cajun Band: Les Flammes d’Enfer / Cajun / Putumayo 184 – (N’AWLINS)
Cedric Watson: Cochon de Lait / Cedric Watson / Valcour Records 4 – (LOUISIANA, USA)
Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie: Bye Bye Mon Nèg / Zydeco / Putumayo 160 – (N’AWLINS)
Theryl “Houseman” de’Clouet: Ain’t No Yachts In The Ghetto / City of Dreams / Rounder 11661 – (N’AWLINS)
Mahalia Jackson: Didn’t It Rain / Gospels, Spirituals & Hymns / Columbia Legacy 65594 – (N’AWLINS)
Professor Longhair: Go To The Mardi Gras / Legends of New Orleans / Blue Marble Music 2 – (N’AWLINS)
Oswin Chin Behilia: Ata Toni / Liber / Otrabanda Records 10 – (CURAÇAO) *NEW*
Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba featuring Harouna Samake: Torin Torin / I Speak Fula / Out Here Records 1 – (MALI)
Shantel: Fige Ki Ase Me / Disko Partizani / Essay 15 – (GERMANY)
The Lost Fingers: Billie Jean / Lost In The 80s / Sony 88697556082 – (QUÉBEC, CANADA)
Magnifico: Land of Champions / Grand Finale / Avih N/A – (SLOVENIA)
Ukulélé Club de Paris: Cabo Azulado / Manuia! / EmArcy Records 17741 – (FRANCE)
Amália Rodrigues: Los Piconeros / The Essential Collection / Manteca 59 – (PORTUGAL)
Jake Shimabukuro: Thriller / Live / Hitchhike Records 1109 – (HAWAII, USA)
Sunshiners: Every Kinda People / Sunshiners / BMG 21074 – (OCEANIA)
Trombone Shorty: Hurricane Season / Backatown / Verve Forecast 4194 – (N’AWLINS) *NEW*
Clifton Chenier: Ti Na Na /Louisiana Gumbo / Putumayo 161 – (N’AWLINS)
Devin Phillips: Wade in The Water / Wade in The Water / 2006 – (N’AWLINS)
Kimberly Rivers, aka Black Kold Madina: Trouble The Water / Trouble The Water / 2009 – (N’AWLINS)
Dr. John: Goin’ Back to New Orleans / Goin’ Back to New Orleans / Warner Brothers 26940 – (N’AWLINS)
Poncho Sanchez: Dóndé Va Chichi? / Raise Your Hand / Concord Picante 30149 – (MEXICO/USA)
John Boutté: I’ll Fly Away / New Orleans Brass / Putumayo 270 – (N’AWLINS)

playlist #103 (2/22/2010)-black history month

February 22, 2010
World of Music
Pgm #103 – Black History month with the sounds of Africa, change, and revolution
Catch the show on Mondays 3-5pm EDT – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix / (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Chuck Bernstein: Kindred Spirits / Delta Berimbau Blues / CMB Records 102844 – (USA)
Nikki Giovanni: A Greater Love of God and Country / In Philadelphia / Collectables 6508 – (USA)
Mahalia Jackson: I’m Going to Wait Until My Change Comes / Amazing Grace / MCA 20489 – (USA)
Keb Mo’: America The Beautiful / Yes We Can / Hidden Beach Recordings 70 – (USA)
Guelel Kumba featuring John Sinclair: Njulli (Fulani Journey) / Afrissippi: Fulani Journey / Knock Down South 11 – (SENEGAL / USA)
Gil Scott-Heron: Me & The Devil / I’m New Here / XL Recordings 471 – (USA) *NEW*
Andy Palacio & the Garifuna Collective: Amuñegü (In Times to Come) / Wátina / Cumbancha 3 – (BELIZE)
Chabuca Granda: Callecita Encendida / Lo Mejor de Chabuca Granda / CD-DIS 26040 – (PERU)
Chiwoniso: Rebel Woman / Rebel Woman / Cumbancha 8 – (ZIMBABWE)
Gil Scott-Heron: New York is Killing Me / I’m New Here / XL Recordings 471 – (USA) *NEW*
Les Amazones de Guinée: Demembalou / Wamato / Sterns Music 1106 – (GUINEA)
Perú Negro: Taita Guaranguito / Jolgorio / Times Square Records 9035 – (PERU)
Black Uhuru: Freedom Fighter / Now / Mesa Bluemoon Recordings 79021 – (JAMAICA)
Nina Simone: Revolution (Parts 1 & 2) / Forever Young, Gifted and Black / RCA 74413 – (USA)
Nas: America / Nas / Def Jam 115050 – (USA)
Marvin Gaye: Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) / What’s Going On / Motown 3746353392 – (USA)
Mahotella Queens: Masibambaneni / Mahotella Queens / Label Bleu 2571 – (SOUTH AFRICA)
Madagascar Slim: Take Me Home / Good Life Good Living / MS 901 – (MADAGASCAR)
Novalima: Chinchiví / Afro / Mr. Bongo Classic Recording 41 – (PERU)
Sly & The Family Stone: Poet / There’s A Riot Goin’ On / Epic Legacy 82876759112 – (USA)
Ram: Marassa Elu / The Rough Guide to the Music of Haiti / Rough Guide 1067 – (HAITI)
Rokia Traoré: Sara / Bowmboï / Nonesuch 79852 – (MALI) *Coming to the Flynn Main Stage on 4/18*
Ali Farka Toure: Okatagouna / Ali Farka Toure / SonoDisc 8448 – (MALI)
Langston Hughes: The Weary Blues / The Voice of Langston Hughes / Smithsonian Folkways 47001 – (USA)
Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars: Tamagbondorsu (The Rich Mock the Poor) / Rise & Shine / Cumbancha 18 – (SIERRA LEONE) *NEW – coming out on March 23rd *
Marva Wright: Change is Gonna Come / After the Levees Broke / AIM 5015 – (N’AWLINS)
Omara Portuondo featuring Jorge Drexler: Gracias / Gracias / World Village 479021 – (CUBA)

playlist #98 (1/18/2010)-rhythms of change

January 19, 2010
World of Music
Pgm #98 – Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the people of Haiti
Listen Mondays 3-5pm EDT  – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix / (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Tabou Combo: Lakay / Sans Limites / Antilles Mizik 9050 – (HAITI)
Neville Brothers: My Blood / Yellow Moon / A&M 5240 – (N’AWLINS)
Neville Brothers & Les Freres Parents: San Nou Ki La (My Blood) / Konbit! Burning Rhythms of Haiti / A&M 5281 – (N’AWLINS / HAITI)
Emeline Michel: Moso Manman / Cordes et Ame / Cheval de Feu 1 – (HAITI)
Chick Corea & Gary Burton: Children’s Song / Crystal Silence / ECM 1024 – (USA)
Langston Hughes: Mother and Son (Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair) / The Voice of Langston Hughes / Smithsonian Folkways 47001 – (USA)
Nina Simone: Why? (The King of Love is Dead) / To Be Young, Gifted and Black / RCA 74413 – (USA)
Soweto Gospel Choir: In the Name of Love / In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 / Shout Factory 10608 – (S. AFRICA)
Wyclef Jean: President / Welcome to Haiti Creole 101 / KOCH 5783 – (HAITI)
Bill Summers & Irvin Mayfield: Yayiti Kongo, Petwo et Nago (recorded live in Port Au Prince, Haiti) / Los Hombres Calientes vol. 4 / Basin Street Records 204 – (N’AWLINS)
Black Kold Madina: Amazing / Trouble the Water / BKM 1 – (N’AWLINS)
Orchestra Tropicana d’Haïti with Dadou Pasquet: Superstition / 40 ème Anniversaire Vol. 1 / SOCD 6 – (HAITI)
Ti-Coca & Wanga Nègès: Gerda / Colibri / Accordes-Croisés 127 – (HAITI)
Mozayik: Sa Te Bel / Haitian Creole Jazz / Zoho 200506 – (USA / CUBA / HAITI)
Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson: Possum Slim / It’s Your World / TVT 4370 – (USA)
Tabou Combo: Fausse Conception / L’An 10 / Rotel Records 377 – (HAITI)
Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80: African Problems / Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80 / Disorient 56 – (NIGERIA)
Beethova Obas: Pa Prese “Prends ton temps” (Take your time) / Pa Prese / Sony 8420092 – (HAITI)
Fela Kuti: Sorrow Tears and Blood / The Best of the Black President / Universal 3145431972 – (NIGERIA)
Twoubadou: Ke’m Pa Kontan / en Folie / Antilles Mizik 9107 – (HAITI)
Mahalia Jackson: I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song / Gospels, Spirituals & Hymns / Columbia Legacy 65594 – (USA)

trading fours: hear this – not that!

September 5, 2009
perfect 'za

perfect 'za

Today I came across one of those articles that offered a comparison of the nutritional values of pizzas at national chain restaurants. Take just a moment to ingest that basic premise, if you will…

You’ve seen this kind of thing.

As a serious pizza fanatic I couldn’t resist finding out which fared best (and, of course, worst) – and, on the morbidly curious side – how many of these nefarious bad-boy pies I have personally consumed.

Not that many, it turns out. I admit the discovery leaves me with a mix of gratefulness and some measure of disappointment. For every sodium-laden, fat-drenched unearned calorie saturating the ones that ranked (BAD, very bad. Bad. Right?),  I envisioned an equally sumptuous, completely cheesy and delicious piece of pizza perfection (mmmmmm).

I dwelled for a while on the path (artery?) not taken, and ultimately decided my longevity was probably better off for the missed experience. I guess.

Articles like this pop up fairly frequently. Part of the larger nutritional awareness movement underway now, popularized with books like Eat This, Not That! Thousands of Simple Food Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds–or More!

Since I couldn’t spend the next half hour wading in melted pizza bliss I refocused (much more healthful) to consider what my choices would be for a recorded music equivalent: “Hear This, Not That! Simple Sound Swaps that Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Wasted Hours–or More!”

If you had to choose – I hope you don’t – between the Istvan Kertesz/London Symphony or Kubelik/Berlin Philharmonic recordings of the Dvořák 9th symphony – which would you pick? Very difficult to say, or even make a compelling case for recommending one over the other. They’re both benchmark performances of the work.

Same idea with Coltrane’s My Favorite Things, in the 1961 studio version vs. some of the live ones, like the 1963 Newport recording. You have to hear both. In personnel alone, the tune takes on very different colors with the Newport group, where bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Roy Haynes replace Steve Davis and Elvin Jones from the original studio ensemble. Add to that the live dynamic and there’s really no comparison here.

But sometimes these choices are more clear, and that’s the launching point for this edition of Trading Fours. Save yourself the empty calories and wasted time wading through disappointing, unfulfilling listening. Check these out.

Von Karajan's landmark 1963 Beethoven set

#1 – Beethoven’s complete symphony cycle (Herbert Von Karajan) – The infamous, narcissistic, perfectionist, genius – choose your adjective – German conductor Herbert Von Karajan recorded four complete Beethoven cycles in his long career. The first set was recorded from 1953-56 (w/The Philharmonia Orchestra); the next from 1961-2 (with his favorite orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic); a third came along from 1975-77 (Berlin Phil.); and the last was recorded from 1982-85 (yet again with Berlin). Assuming you’ll want to get one of these (only one) and save the rest of your budget for the next three recommendations here – which Beethoven set to pick? You want the second set, released in 1963, for how it so completely embodies one single word: firepower. These recordings reveal a young Von Karajan as a powerful leader capable of getting the very most from his orchestra. There is a rawness and urgency present here that gives each symphony a thrilling edginess. The longer he worked with Berlin the smoother and more synthesized their sound became, until you get to the 1980s (recordings his like two “Adagio” CDs come to mind) and it’s so rich and refined it’s beautiful, but very nearly drained of the personality that makes the 1963 set so special. Don’t be misled by the ‘newer (recent) is better’ perception when it comes to choosing recordings. This outstanding 1960s set is how you want to hear Beethoven.

TradingFours4-GoodNews#2 – “Good News” – 100 Gospel Greats – Need the Word? Sure you do. Every good music collection needs some great gospel. Choosing one recording isn’t easy, there are a lot of artist collections and anthologies available. I’ve chosen Good News for its variety, its depth and range, and – honestly – its disproportionate value for the modest price. Let me back up just a minute: the UK’s Proper Records is a terrific company, the self-described “home for roots music on the net”. A quick A-Z review of their roster reveals everything from Gene Autry and Chet Atkins, to Thelonious Monk and the Mills Brothers to “Zah, Zuh, Zaz: an Introduction to Cab Calloway”. They license music from the artist archives, and reissue it in nicely packaged, highly curated, very affordable collections. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of their boxes going for more than $25-30 retail, and even if you don’t find a cheaper used or discount copy, it’s still worth every bit of that. Think of it this way: when you spend $25 for this set, if you follow the iTunes model of .99 cents per tune, you’re getting 100 songs here for roughly .25 cents apiece. Can’t beat it.

Good News is a 4-CD, 100-song set that works its way chronologically from the earliest material (1926: the Birmingham Jubilee Singers) to the most recent on disc 4 (1951: Five Blind Boys of Mississippi) and makes a lot of important stops along the way with artist like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and many earlier groups in the Southern gospel ‘jubilee’ and ‘harmony’ traditions. It’s fun. It rocks. And if it’s the only gospel you have in your collection I’m convinced you’ll be completely happy with it.

TradingFours4-CityOfDreams#3 – City of Dreams: A Collection of New Orleans Music – One of the big labels for New Orleans artists is Rounder Records. Since the very beginning in 1970, their focus has been the sound of America: blues, bluegrass, folk, jazz, Cajun, and various other (African, Caribbean) world genres. Don’t all of those styles, together, also describe the unique confluence that informs the sound of the Big Easy? They sure do. You’ll hear all of those influences in the label’s recent City of Dreams anthology, with favorites like Marcia Ball, Irma Thomas, Ruth Brown and the Professor Longhair to the deeper cuts that really inform the heart of the collection. Like Eddie Bo’s soulful Hard Times, Bo Dollis’ Shoo-fly, and highlights from New Orleans piano legends James Booker and Tuts Washington, whose touching Do You Know What It Means? closes out the collection as the last track on the last disc. You’ll find that Dreams holds a good sampling of second-line brass band music, Delta blues, r & b, funk, and a whole lotta soul. There’s no way one single anthology – any anthology –  could wrap its arms comprehensively around all of the complex cultural influences at play in the music of a city like New Orleans. (Not that there are any other cities like that.) But this collection goes a long way to offer more than the usual superficial “best of” hit parade, it satisfyingly digs deeper to reveal much of the underlying artistry of the N.O. ‘sound’.

TradingFours4-Vivaldi4Seasons#4 – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (Rinaldo Alessandrini/Concerto Italiano) – This an interesting one, with some surprisingly divisive opinions to consider and navigate in choosing the recording that’s right for your collection. The most popular music Vivaldi wrote, it’s lovely and lyrical and there’s probably no part of it you wouldn’t recognize, even out of context. That speaks to the music itself. But, for performances of the Seasons, take a look at ArkivMusic where there are more than 200 recordings currently available. Which one of those 200+ is the right one for you? That’s where the controversy enters the picture. Ongoing academic research and discovery in the area of  ‘period’ performance practices has led to the divided house that now exists in regard to how this music is actually played. With vibrato (for many years the standard for Western classical music) or without (as it would have been performed and experienced in the pre-Baroque and Baroque eras, when this music was written)? With a big, full-bodied modern orchestra, or with the smaller chamber ensemble that would have been the standard in Vivaldi’s day? Tuned to the “440” pitch standard of the contemporary concert orchestra, or, to the “415-419” of the Baroque era? On modern instruments, or with the actual instruments (and faithful replicas thereof) from the Baroque?

You just wanted a nice recording of the Four Seasons. You didn’t know there would be so many decisions involved to find one. OK, well, before I recommend this one for you I will mention that I tend to prefer the ‘period’ performances, with their lighter touch, transparent textures, and often slightly faster tempi. There are wonderful recordings of the Seasons that find something of a balance, featuring modern instruments and orchestras with a soft ear toward the ‘authentic performance’ sensibilities: recordings with violinists Gil Shaham, Gidon Kremer, Joshua Bell, Julia Fischer are very nice and meet that standard to my ear. There are period ensembles that offer very nice, if not wildly adventurous performances: the English Concert, the Academy of Ancient Music, and the Raglan Baroque Players are of this variety. Then there are “the Italians”; groups that follow the ‘period’ performance path and offer raw, viscerally exciting readings that strip away the accumulated years of varnish and offer the music in a bracing, fresh context. (Which is kind of funny, really, when you consider the ‘fresh’ context is a style hundreds of years old!) Ensembles like Europa Galante, La Stravaganza, Il Giardino Armonico, Accademia Bizantina, and the Venice Baroque Orchestra fall into this second camp. So do Concerto Italiano, with their director Rinaldo Alessandrini.

At the great risk of planting my flag irreversibly in the ‘period’ music camp, it is this last recording I am recommending. Unapologetically. There is much color, nuance, and capacity for a new listening experience, even in pieces like these you’ve already heard many times. It takes the right recording to make that point. I’m offering this one as my choice because it gave me that experience the first time I heard it (and, in repeated listening). I heard – actually heard – Vivaldi anew again in this lively, articulate, passionate recording with the Concerto Italiano. That doesn’t happen very often.

I can’t offer this suggestion as THE definitive, one-and-only Four Seasons recording, because that would presume I had heard them all (not the case). And, there’s so much diversity in the different performance styles among the many groups who have recorded these concertos. But it’s sure a good place to start, and if you like it, and you decide you really only need one Four Seasons in your archive, it would be an equally fine place to stop.

(By the way, for a concise history of tuning practices, take a look at this article.)

That’s it for this edition of Trading Fours. We started with pizza and ended with Vivaldi (so it goes!), and what I hope will be some very satisfying listening experiences for you. Happy Labor Day weekend!

Trading Fours is an occasional series here designed to build your music library and share ideas about favorite recordings, in the long tradition of learning about music from friends. If you have picks to share leave a comment here. Send me your four choices along with a quick explanation of the theme that holds them together. I’ll do the rest and get them posted here to share with everyone else.

playlist #80 (8/31/2009) – remembering katrina

August 31, 2009


World of Music
Pgm #80 – Four years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a tribute to the people of the Gulf Coast and their incredible spirit
Listen Mondays 3-5pm EDT  – at 105.9FM in Burlington, VT or online at The Radiator
Nas with Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling) / Open Remix / (download) – (USA / SENEGAL)
Marva Wright: Katrina Blues /After the Levees Broke / AIM 5015 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Aaron Neville: Louisiana 1927 / Warm Your Heart / A&M Records 75021 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Langston Hughes: The Negro Speaks of Rivers / Our Souls Have Grown Deep Like the Rivers / Rhino Word Beat 78012 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band: Deep River / Deep River: The Spirit of Gospel Music in Jazz / Riverwalk Jazz Volume III – (SAN ANTONIO, TX)
Eddie Bo: Hard Times / City of Dreams / Rounder 2196 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Kermit Ruffins: Treme Second Line (Blow da Whistle) / New Orleans Brass / Putumayo 270 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Mahalia Jackson: Didn’t It Rain? / The Best of Mahalia Jackson / Columbia 66911 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Lorette Velvette: Get Right Church / Goin’ Down South / Inside Memphis 510 – (MEMPHIS, TN)
Devin Phillips: Wade in the Water / Wade in the Water / 2006 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Los Hombres Calientes (Irvin Mayfield & Bill Summers): Vodou Hoodoo Babalu / Vol. 4 / Basin Street Records 204 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Allen Toussaint: Hang Tough / Crescent City Gold / High Street Records 10324 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Buckwheat Zydeco: On a Night Like This / Legends of New Orleans / Blue Marble Music 2 – (N’AWLINS)
Katie Webster: Love Deluxe / Two-Fisted Mama / Alligator 4777 – (HOUSTON, TX)
Al Reed: Drops of Rain / The Genius of Dave Bartholomew / EMI 80184 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Buddy Guy: Feels Like Rain / Feels Like Rain / Silvertone Records 41498 – (LETTSWORTH, LA)
Madison’s Lively Stones: It’s Time to Make a Change / Saints’ Paradise / Smithsonian Folkways 40117 – (NEW BEDFORD, MA)
The Neville Brothers: My Blood / Yellow Moon / A&M Records 5240 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Russell Batiste, Jr. & the Orkestra from Da Hood: Wham! / The Clinic / 2003 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Gumbo: Alligator / Never Tell Me To Quit / Wild Rose 2009 – (N’AWLINS, LA) *NEW*
George Lewis: Ice Cream / Trios & Bands / American Music 4 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
The Meters: Jambalaya / Good Old Funky Music / Rounder 2104 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Black Kold Madina: Trouble the Water / Trouble the Water / BKM 1 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Joe KK and Zydeco Force: Hoochie Coochie / Zydeco / Putumayo 160 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Dr. John: Litenin’ / Creole Moon / Blue Note Records 34591 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band: Me Like It Like That / The New Orleans Album / Columbia 45414 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Los Vecinos: Alegria Bomba Es / P’Aqui, P’Alla / Category Seven Records 82 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Kermit Ruffins: Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams / Kermit Ruffins / Putumayo 233 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Jelly Roll Morton: Smilin’ the Blues Away / Members Edition / TKO Records 30842 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Louis Armstrong: That’s My Home / Blueberry Hill / Milan 35617 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
The Blind Boys of Alabama w/the Hot 8 Brass Band: I’ll Fly Away / Down in New Orleans / Time Life 9548 – (N’AWLINS, LA)
Kings of Harmony: When the Saints Go Marching In / Saints’ Paradise / Smithsonian Folkways 40117 – (NEW BEDFORD, MA)

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