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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mixtape: Roger Riddle - "Tuning In"

I've been "Tuning In" to a lot of good new music lately. I share what I recently discovered with my newest mix.

This mix came about because I have not been able to spot playing Katranada's "Lite Spots", Jarreau Vandal's "Small Talk", and Prequel's "Nothing Better".

I guess you can call these songs house music, but they really blur the lines between a lot of different styles.

So as I am listening to them over and over again over the past couple of months, I have been collecting songs that I think will sound good around them. Some were old favorites of mine - Trus'me's "W.A.R." and House of Gypsies' "Sume Sigh Say" but most were new. There is a lot of good new music out there right now and it just keeps coming.

Then just as I thought I had all I needed to finally put together a decent mix, I hear something I knew about but had slept on. Emanative's cover of Sun Ra's "Love In Outer Space". It came on in my headphones and I knew right then that I had to include it - even if it wasn't really a house song.

This song was part of an album called The Light Years of Darkness that was recorded and released as a fundraiser for the Steve Reid Foundation - an organization which aims to help people working in music who are in crisis. Killer album for a great cause. Download it.

And because of that Emanative song, I was finally able to play that massive Cut Chemist tune at the very end of the mix that has never fit anywhere else.

Listen, share, and enjoy. Tracklist after the jump.

Trus’me - W.A.R.
Moodymann - I Got Werk
Kraak & Smaak - Way Back Home Feat. Ivar
Reverendos Of Soul, Danny Losito, Micky More, Andy Tee - Moon Rising (Micky More & Andy Tee Mix)
Re-Tide - Revolution Is Here (Original Mix)
Joy Jones, Osunlade - Over (Osunlade Remix)
Marcel Lune - Sketches (Original Mix)
DJ Gregory - Block Party
Eli Escobar, Steven Klavier - Back 2 Luv
Soul Vision, Dario D'Attis - Don't Stop (Dario D'attis Remix)
Mad Villains, Aisha Zoe - Senses feat. Aisha Zoe (Extended Mix)
Jarreau Vandal - Small Talk
Reckonwrong - Getting Warmer (Hot Mix)
Seven Davis Jr - Open Up(Remix)
Kort, FaMEnotMoney, Elementary - That's Why (Original Mix)
Prequel - Nothing Better
House Of Gypsies - Sume Sigh Say (MAW Remix)
Emanative - Love In Outer Space (feat' Ahmed Abdullah)
Cut Chemist - Adidas to Addis

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mixtape: Superfunkycalifragisexy - ChillHop: Autumn Serenade

ChillHop: Autumn Serenade

I've been using Mixcloud to host my mixes for awhile now, but I am just finding a community of my own within it. One of those people in that community is a DJ by the name of Supercalifragisexy.

Supercali's most recent mix is a relaxing instrumental listen that is really jazzy tones over hip-hop drum beats.

It's one of those mixes that I wish I had pulled off myself - each song making me say, "Ooh! What is this?"

Perfect for work. Perfect for just relaxing. Perfect for night time. I suggest you listen.

I'll work on getting the full track list for this mix.

Need more to listen to? Try my mix, "Big Love".

Maynard Ferguson - Primal Scream

Maynard Ferguson's Primal Scream is the work of a bad M.F.

Maynard Ferguson - Primal Scream
Columbia, 1976

I'll buy anything that has Bob James name on it, and that's how I ended up with this record. I have to say that I feel as if I will never run out of Bob James records to buy. He easily could have been the hardest working musician of the 70s. The only person I can think of that holds a candle to Bob James is Ron Carter. These two men were on every album made in the 70s.

Bob James produced this album. It has that great 70s Bob James feel, and it features the cast of musical characters you would expect to see on an album produced by Bob James.

Eric Gale, Ralph MacDonald, Gary King, Steve Gadd. Chick Corea makes an appearance on a track titled "Cheshire Cat".

A notable track is "Pagliacci" which Ferguson performed at the closing ceremonies of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

When I bought this album, my good friend Dale Hamlin was in town for a visit. He pointed out this pretty funny section on the back of the album jacket.

 Now, I believe what is going on here is that Ferguson used his own initials to signify that the instruments were from his own design. However, hilarity ensued when Dale read the section as, "Maynard Ferguson plays a Mutha' Fuckin' Horn Trumpet..." Funny. As. Hell.

I hope there was a bit of intentional double entendre written into the way that was worded.

If you need some music to keep you going, may I suggest my Mixcloud mix, "Big Love" - a mixture of funk, soul, Latin jazz, Brazilian, and a little bit of deep house thrown in for good measure.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gabor Szabo - Bacchanal

I grabbed Gabor Szabo's Bacchanal because of a Bobby Womack interview.

Gabor Szabo - Bacchanal
Skye, 1968

I've been on a Gabor Szabo kick lately. If I hear him, I really tune in. If I see one of his records, I buy it. It's all because I found out that he did the original recording of "Breezin'" - the song made famous by George Benson.

I learned this in an interview with Bobby Womack (in that same interview Bobby Womack said he wrote "Breezin'", which I didn't know. He also said that he wrote lyrics to the song).

That was enough to make me pay attention to Szabo. Bacchanal is one of three albums he released on the Skye label - which he started with Cal Tjader and Gary McFarland.

The album featured two new songs written by Szabo, and the rest of the songs were covers of pop tunes of the day. The stand out track for me is his version of Donovan's "Three King Fishers". He also covers Donovan's "Sunshine Superman". There are also songs from Burt Bacharach, Lee Hazelwood and others.

Be sure to check out my mix, "Big Love", on Mixcloud.

Mixtape: Roger Riddle - Big Love

Almost a year later, I take a second look at my set from Big Love.

Almost a year ago I played a sustainability festival in Akron called Big Love. I built a set that focused on drums and percussion because I was going to be playing along side Elec Simon, who would be live drumming over the mix. 

Elec is an incredibly talented guy. He toured with STOMP! for 10 years. Then he came back home to Northeast Ohio and began working on a anti-bullying porgram because his best friend growing up committed suicide due to bullying.

He goes into different schools and teaches percussion classes while sliding in an easy to digest anti-bullying message. He has become a mentor to many kids in the process.

So the guy is seriously busy. In fact, when the day came for us to perform at Big Love, he had just gotten back home from Toronto the day before. He was there playing the NBA All-Star game weekend as part of the three-point shootout entertainment.

So, with all that in mind I had to be on my A-game. We had only played together once before and that was an impromptu set at Mighty Soul Night. Mighty Soul Night is a night of funk, jazz, latin, soul, and afro-beat spun by DJs with live drummers. It takes place every 4th Friday at Uncorked Wine Bar in downtown Akron, Ohio. The night I met Elec, I just happened to be DJing a guest spot, and he just happened to come in after being invited to come hang out with a friend. We hit it off.

So I came up with a set that I thought Elec would be able to work with. I practiced and I recorded those practice sessions so I could figure out my mistakes and tweak the session where it was needed. When I was satisfied with it, I shared the final practice session with a few close friends. Then I got ready to play it live.

The set turned out to be beautiful. However, I didn't record it so all I had was those recordings of my practice sessions. I recently took another look at the tracks from that day and started to play them again. I realized that I really liked this set. I added a track. I took one away. And then I hit record and here it is. It's not perfect, but it is still a fun listen. I hope you enjoy, and more importantly I hope you dance.

The track listing can be found after the jump.

Bill Withers - Let It Be
Herman Kelly & Life - Dance to the Drummer's Beat (Jim Burgess 12" Mix)
Barry White - Your Sweetness Is My Weakness
Third World - Now That We Found Love
Ben Westbeech - So Good Today
Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley - As We Enter
79rs Gang - Drama
The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau, Part 1
Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Startin' Something (Roger Riddle Big Love Re-edit)
Rick Wilhite - Drum Pattern & Memories (Moodymann Mix)
Eddie Kendricks - Date With The Rain
Héctor Lavoe - Mi Gente (LOUIE VEGA EOL REMIX)
Todd Terje - Strandbar (samba)
Sonzeira - Bam Bam Bam [feat. Giovanca]
Kashmere Stage Band - I Wish (Todd Terry Remix)
Kaori - Good Life (Good Vocal Mix)
House Of Gypsies - Sume Sigh Say (MAW Remix)
Salomé De Bahia - Outro Lugar
Portinho - Batumata
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Ain't Nothin' But A Party

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What was it like to go to a Pink Floyd concert in 1966?

Pink Floyd in 1967. (L-R: Nick Mason, Rick Wright, Roger Waters and Syd Barrett) Michael Ochs Archives/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Joe Boyd remembers those Pink Floyd early years because he was booking the band at his club in London.

To celebrate the release of the new Pink Floyd Early Years 1965 - 1972 box set - a 27 disc set (to put that in perspective, Dark Side of the Moon wasn't released until 1975) - NPR sat down with writer and producer Joe Boyd to talk about those early days of the band.

In 1965 Boyd went to the UK to help get an overseas office of Elektra Records up and running. The following year he opened his own club, the UFO Club, in London. It was London's first psychedelic rock club, and one of the acts that played there regularly was Pink Floyd.

So, few people know what a live performance from Pink Floyd was like better than Boyd does. Take a listen to what he had to say about that era with his All Songs Considered session with NPR.

And be sure to read the full NPR All Songs Considered post to learn more about #PinkFloydWeek.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mixtape: Jazzcat - Falling Leaves

Falling leaves, crisp air - something about Autumn just says jazz. 

Right after I posted "For Ears With Hearts" to Mixcloud, Jazzcat's "Falling Leaves" showed up in my timeline. He had posted it just a couple of days earlier.

There was comfort in knowing that I wasn't the only one who was motivated by the changing of the seasons to do a chillout jazz mix. And when it's coming from Jazzcat, you know it's going to be good. The guy is a master selector.

I suggest you put on your headphones and go for a walk in a park while this one plays. Make sure you wear a scarf loosely looped around your neck. Take in the colors of the trees. Reflect on what the year has brought you. Imagine what new adventures will come. Think of all the special people in your life. Wonder who you will meet next. This is what this mix and Mother Nature inspires around this time of year.

If the hiking through the park isn't really your thing, then light a fire in the fireplace (or candles if that works better), dim the lights, and pour the wine.


Autumn In New York (Part One) - Arthur Blythe
'Tis Autumn – The Maynard Ferguson Orchestra
Portrait of Jeannie – Blue Mitchell
Dolphin Dance – Herbie Hancock
Dahomey Dance – John Coletrane
Chant - Donald Byrd
These Are Soulful Days – Lee Morgan
Nica's Dream – The Horace Silver Quintet
Speak No Evil – Wayne Shorter

Mixtape: Roger Riddle - For Ears With Hearts

Sometimes you just need some jazz to chill out to, "For Ears With Hearts" delivers.

"For Ears with Hearts" has been a long time coming. I had some of these songs on the back burner for a long time. I think I first came to know Beth Gibbons' "Romance" 10 years ago, and was never able to work in into a mix until now.

Sly 5th Ave's instrumental cover of Kendrick Lamar's "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe" was one of those songs I just kept going back to for a listen. The problem was there was a long time when the song was only available for streaming. One day recently, I went back to the site for a listen and realized not only could I buy a download, it was available on a 7" inch single. I felt that after waiting so long to get my hands on it, it was going to be worth it to have that physical copy on my self to pull out an wow someone one day.

And that sparked the mix. Once I had Sly 5th Ave's track quickly other ideas popped into my head. 

The Esbjörn Svensson Trio's "Somewhere Else Before" is this incredible track that pops up in my life to soothe things just when I need it most. Danger Mouse and Daniel Lupi's ode to Ennio Morricone in the "Theme of Rome" fits so nicely. 

Then there are the oddball choices that aren't jazz but somehow get the vibe just right. Submotion Orchestra's "All Yours" was another track that I have long loved but could never work it into a mix. It found a home here. Zero 7's "Throw It All Away" is a remix that nod's its head to the work of J Dilla. Still, it works here.

And speaking of Zero 7, Ira Sullivan's "Kingdom Within You" could easily be mistaken for some rare Zero 7 song. However, it was produced in 1980 as part of his Strings Attached album.

I could go on an on about each song in this mix. Badbadnotgood's "Time Moves Slowly" featuring the STELLAR voice of Samuel T Herring (Who is this guy? How have I missed out on him all this time?) is just one of the great tracks from their new album. A since I am waxing poetic about voices, Melanie De Biasio and Michael Kiwanuka definitely deserve praise.

Every song is good. Just give it a listen. The track list is after the jump.

Sly5thave & The Clubcasa Chamber Orchestra - Don’t Kill My Vibe
José James - Heaven On The Ground (feat. Emily King)
Esbjörn Svensson Trio - Somewhere Else Before
Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Theme Of ''Rome''
Melanie De Biasio - Sweet Darling Pain
Zero 7 - Throw It All Away [Tribute to Dilla remix by Demus]
Badbadnotgood - Time Moves Slowly (feat. Samuel T. Herring)
Submotion Orchestra - All Yours
Michael Kiwanuka - Place I Belong
Bob Cunningham - Lover's Theme
Curtis Mayfield - The Makings Of You
Ira Sullivan - The Kingdom Within You
Soil & "Pimp" Sessions - MO' BETTER BLUES
Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura Band - La Rumba Experimental (Motor City Drum Ensemble Remix)
Beth Gibbons - Romance
Jazzanova - Dial A Cliché

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Marvelettes - Sophisticated Soul

So I finally got my hands on a copy of the Marvelettes' Sophisticated Soul album.

The Marvelettes - Sophisticated Soul
Tamla, 1968

For years I have wanted this album because I am in love with the song, "You're the One For Me Bobby" (Not to be confused with the song "You're the One" which was also on this album and released as single). It was always just outside my reach.

I never ran across it in record stores. I could never find a copy of it online except for copies overseas. Those overseas copies would run $30, $40, sometimes as much as $60. Which I might have paid but when you add international shipping, it wasn't worth it. There never seemed to be copies for sale in the United States.

I once met a guy who ran a record stand at a flea market in Macon, Georgia. He swore up and down he had a copy of it in a storage unit. I told him I wanted it. He said it would be more than his usual $5. I told him I would pay the $30 he was asking for it. Each week I went back, he never had it. That was as close as I ever got.

This album didn't have a hit on it. Plus, Gladys Horton had left the group (though her voice does appear on the album as a backing vocal on "You're the One"), and Anne Bogan had stepped in to replace her. Even though there was production and writing by Smokey Robinson and Ashford and Simpson, and instuments played by the Funk Brothers, the album didn't produce a big hit. Not to mention Sophisticated Soul came towards the end of the Marvelettes run. This all adds up to there just weren't as many copies of this one as there were some other Marvelettes albums.

The album was such an afterthought of the #Motown catalog that it never made it to CD or mp3. So, I was just screwed. No "You're the One For Me Bobby" for me.

Then one day last week I look up the album - as I would do for time to time - and there are copies everywhere! All over the United States. Just about all of them were $10 and under. It's like a warehouse was found with dead stock cases or something.

So now, I own two copies. And I will probably buy a third one to trade!

Now next on my list of records to get is Kiosk's "Mona Call" (Good luck with that one, right?)

Follow more of my record collecting stories on Instagram.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mixtape: Roger Riddle - Hoxxx! (I'm Talking to You, Ladies) - A Tribute to Princess Freesia

The playfully soulful sounds of Princess Freesia.

The release of Princess Fresssia's newest album, STELLARSONIC! is just the next stop on the wild ride I've been on since I first heard her voice.

Back in the days when Soundcloud wasn't deleting everything everybody uploaded, I spent a lot of time uploading to, searching, and listening to what was available on that website. 

I had run across and was following a producer named Soulpersona. I loved his remixes - particularly a Whitney Houston one comes to mind. Then one day I ran across a song called "Ultrasuperlove" that he produced. 

I was blown away by the sound. And the voice? The singer was amazing. 

What manner of music was this? It was new but it reminded me of the soulful sounds from the late 70s that I loved so much.

So looked up the vocalist behind the track, Her name was Princess Freesia. The next song I found was a cover of Barry White's "Never Gonna Give You Up". The integrity of the song was still there, but she had made it her own. At this point, it was official - she had her hooks in me. 

What came next was a bit of an obsession with this singer/producer 1-2 punch. 
I have since then bought every album I could find and any song with her name on it. That's seven full length albums - more than a lot of artists release in their entire career. 

In the world of Princess Freesia's music, it is always nighttime. She is loving, strong, bold, fun, and unapologetically feminine , and because of all of that, the music is very sexy. 
Her newest album, STELLARSONIC!, continues with her tradition of releasing solid albums. It is well worth the purchase. 


Track list:
Princess Freesia - Light Up
Princess Freesia - Love
Princess Freesia - Fateful Attraction
Princess Freesia - You're Running To Me
Princess Freesia - Make It Real
Princess Freesia - Hoxxx!
Princess Freesia - Do It Baby
Princess Freesia - I'm Still Young
Princess Freesia - What's That All About
Princess Freesia - Never Gonna Give You Up
Princess Freesia - Play With Me
Soulpersona & Princess Freesia - Give It Up
Soulpersona feat. Princess Freesia - The Lapdancer Theme
Princess Freesia - Mean Streets
Princess Freesia - Workin' Out Fine feat. Terry Lewis
Soulpersona feat. Princess Freesia - I Got Into This Mess (Part 2)
Princess Freesia - Slip It On
Princess Freesia - Taffeta
Soulpersona & Princess Freesia - You Did It Again
Soulpersona feat. Princess Freesia - Coochie
Soulpersona & Princess Freesia - Makes You Feel Good (feat. Jocelyn Brown)
Soulpersona feat. Princess Freesia - Make That Money
Soulpersona feat. Princess Freesia - A Girl's Gotta Get Her Lovin
Soulpersona & Princess Freesia - Goodness Me (So Hot!)
Princess Freesia - I Like It
Soulpersona & Princess Freesia - Sold Reprise (Bonus Track)