Picks

Rob’s Roundup

This entry is part of 1 in the series Rob’s Roundup

Welcome to Rob’s Round-Up!

I hope you are enjoying the sunshine and welcome to my new blog where I can chat to you about what’s going on in the NUTsWORLD. Our summer events are coming thick and fast now, below I talk about some of the highlights to look out for and click on the links for the full programs.

The new issue of NUTSMAG with over a dozen great articles from our writing team includes Interviews with Betty Harris, Powder and The Excitements plus a number of scene DJ’s.

Out now for your listening pleasure is the new NUTSCAST with tracks from artists and DJ’s performing at Brighton and Euro YeYe and some of the latest record releases from current artists.

We got some great gigs and club nights coming up in the Capitol over the summer.

Join the NU network for FREE here for the very latest news and special offers.

Euro YeYe – 31 July – 2 August 2015

After the Oasis closed to become a McDonalds drive through (sacrilege), we have two amazing new venues in the City Centre for our favourite event of the year. If you have never been you still have a few weeks to join us for a wild weekend in Spain, you won’t regret it! For full info: Click Here! & Promo video here!

Brighton Mod Weekender – 28-30 August 2015

We have just 20 tickets left for Sunday and 50 for the Friday night at the Komedia now. Tickets for Venue 2 and 3 on Saturday night are selling fast and will get you into the Komedia allnighter after 3am. The full program including DJ’s and bands +  ticket info is here:
This video will give you a good idea of what to expect in Brighton.

Brighton ‘fuzz-for-freaks’ Weekender – 29 + 30 August 2015

After the success of last year we have planned another weekender for those of the Paisley persuasion featuring an exciting line-up of the best new up and coming live bands. On Sunday Les Grys Grys and Saturday the Magnetic Mind and The Carnations. Our disc jockeys will be playing the wildest Freakbeat, Garage and Psych 45’s in our intimate groovy cellar club just off Brighton seafront, think Mousetrap by the seaside and you got the picture. Check out our short promo video here! Program & tickets are here!

Crossfire Sat 10 October 2015

Get ready for another big night out of pure vintage underground partying. Our 1000 capacity venue in the heart of central London has three rooms of action with an all night bar. A stellar DJ line-up plus FOGBOUND, CAT BLACK and THE BEATNIKS live in the Beat Room.
Full info here!

Small Faces Convention – Sat 12 September 2015

The 19th annual Small Faces Convention takes place at 229, Central London. Small World, The Universal, The 45’s and The Electric Stars confirmed + special guests, memorabilia market and a Ronnie Lane Exhibition. Tickets are £22 from HERE! (No Booking Fee!)

New Untouchables Club & Gig Scene

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We have a lot of great gigs coming up at the Blues Kitchen, Camden in July. This Thursday NUTSMAG review continues with Cat Black, French Boutik and The Mocking Birds live for FREE. On 23 July we are delighted to announce a NUTsMAG special with the first ever performance from America’s answer to the Who, POWDER. Arrive early it’s FREE to get in and will be a busy one, you can read Graham Lentz fab interview with Richard Martin HERE. Friday 24 July is ZOO ZOO with one of my favourite bands from the early naughties the Phrogs for what will be a double-header with the evergreen Big Boss Man, arrive early folks. I’ll be spinning some discs along with a special guest until 3am.

Sat 18 July more MAXIMUM R&B this time at The Phoenix in Oxford Circus, expect Freakbeat, Pop-Art, R&B and boss Garage 45’s in our fab basement venue with a great selection of cocktails and craft beers and a huge wooden dancefloor with brilliant sound system.

August is quiet on the club front except two shows at the Blues Kitchen on the Friday 28 August. Gemma & the Travellers play Shoreditch Got Soul and Les Grys Grys play two sets at Zoo Zoo, Blues Kitchen Camden.

Mousetrap returns September with two stellar DJ line-ups. R&B allnighter returns on 12 September with guest DJ’s Cousin Benson (A Band A Parte), Jamie Parr (Teen Scene) and Lewis Mumford (Dandy Bloom) joining me and Chris Dale. The following Saturday Fabrice De Feo of UBU Popland records in Paris, Rhys Webb of Horrors fame and Carolina join me for ‘Fuzz For Freaks’ sessions.

The line-up’s for NUTsMAG, ZOO ZOO and TIMEBOX in September is yet to be confirmed.

Nutsmag

The new issue of NUTSMAG is out and includes Interviews with Betty Harris, Powder and The Excitements and DJ’s Mary Boogaloo, Gary Wall, Simon Bridger, Craig ‘Swifty’ Simpson, Paul Molloy and Scott Fraser Simpson. Other articles include part 2 James Thomas excellent new series ‘Jazz for Modernists’. James Clark collectors corner is the UK Atlantic Soul record releases. Enjoy Pete Feeley and Claire Mahoney simply brilliant articles on style and fashion and Graham Lentz reviews the latest record and books worth a punt on.

Some great reviews and airplay recently, grab a copy on vinyl or CD while stock lasts. The other new release this year was the Mousetrap 24th anniversary 45 both available in the NUTSTORE along with Mousetrap 45’s, Le Beat Bespoke and Modstock Vinyl & CDs, The Action DVD and I’m One-21st Century Mod’s Book, Pins and T-Shirts.

Nutstores

Out Now! Modstock LP and Le Beat Bepsoke 6 Vinyl & CD via the Nutstore!

RnB Records

I just added a lot of new 45’s to the website and offer 10% discount on any order over £50. Rare 45s and LPs! Clubs Sounds (RnB, Soul Jazz, Latin, Boogaloo, Blues and Funk) Freakbeat/ Garage/ Psych/ Rock/ Blue Eyed Soul, Northern Soul/ Mod Revival & Punk. Go to: RnB Records here!

Network

Why Join NUTs Network?
Get the latest NUTs news as priority, including premiere events like Le Beat Bespoké and Brighton. Network members get first opportunity to purchase tickets and receive discounts on merchandise and a chance to enter network competitions and win great prizes. It’s FREE to join and takes five minutes to create your profile. The NUTS Network is a cool, fresh place to keep in touch and meet new faces or chat with old friends! You can share pictures, videos, music, customise your own page and join the many clubs and forums to chatter away or promote your interests! Join the Network now!

Advertise with A push!

New Ad Package Deals For 2015/16 – Including full Event Sponsorship are available now! Contact: Rob Bailey@newuntouchables.com

Or you may need your own bespoke one-stop service (design, web, magazines, marketing, e-newletters) then please contact Pip! Pip! 

So errrr… What exactly is the New Untouchables?

The New Untouchables is a London, UK-based organisation promoting 21st century modernist & sixties underground music culture, through various methods including; nightlife, events, media, film, fashion, scootering, record collecting, with both UK and International Events!

Feedback here please folks! 

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drrobert

I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Articles Front Page General News Picks Scene Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Collectors Corner – “The UK Atlantic Records story Pt 1 – Soul on fire”

This entry is part of 6 in the series Collectors Corner

July 2015 – Collectors Corner – “The UK Atlantic records story Pt 1 – Soul on fire”

When Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson established Atlantic records way back in 1944 even they surely couldn’t have foreseen how legendary the label would become. Over seventy years later and after millions of worldwide sales they are still one of the most well-known and loved record companies of them all, and the golden period between 1944 and the late 70’s are what get vinyl collectors salivating to this day. When Atlantic first appeared in the USA it was mainly a vehicle for jump blues, jazz and as the 1950’s beckoned, doo-wop and rhythm and blues. At the same time as this fantastic music was exploding in the USA, in dull post-war Britain record companies started to look further afield for new sounds to sell to people at home. And so in 1949 UK Decca set up what was to become probably the most celebrated and collectable British record label of them all, London American recordings. This was to be a home for USA releases on small independent record labels such as Savoy, Dot and Abbott, and in July 1955, Atlantic records joined an ever-increasing and exciting roster until it was given its own label in the summer of 1964. Over the course of three articles we’ll be examining some of the huge rarities the label released on 45 rpm from 1955 up till the late 60’s, starting with the sound of r’n’b and early soul sounds on London American between 1955 and 1964.

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Big Joe Turner from Kansas City, known as the boss of the blues, had a total of six 45’s and two EP’s released in the UK in the 50’s and 60’s, and the most coveted are his London Atlantic releases. “Corinne Corrina” (HLE 8301), “Boogie woogie country girl” (HLE 8332) and “Lipstick powder and paint” (HLE 8357 – Gold label) are among the jewels in any Atlantic collection, copies of these releases are ridiculously hard to find in excellent or mint condition and these little beauties will all cost you anywhere between £200 – £400 in pristine condition. “Honey hush” (HLE 9055) and “Chains of love” (HLK 9119) weren’t released until 1960 but will still set you back between £30-50 though. All five are indispensable examples of 1950’s r’n’b and well worth seeking out. Atlanta born “King of the stroll” Chuck Willis only released a few tracks in his lifetime before his untimely death aged 30 in 1958. His Atlantic sides were well represented in the UK, “CC Rider” (HLE 8444) being the first and hardest release to find, which can cost up to £80 in mint condition. After this London released “That train has gone” (HLE 8489) “Betty and Dupree” (HLE 8595), “What am I living for” (HLE 8635) and “My life” (HLE 8818) none of which were hits and normally sell for between £30-£50 each. Smooth voiced “Baron of the blues” Ivory Joe Hunter had a total of three singles released in 1956-7 and they’re all both incredibly rare and worth seeking out. “A tear fell” (HLE 8261) is the first and hardest to locate (£250+), “Since I met you baby” (Columbia DB 3872) and “Love’s a hurting game” (HLE 8486) are a bit easier to find but still cost way more than £100 each.

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Chicago blues queen LaVern Baker had one of the most sensational voices ever and was afforded plenty of 45rpm releases in the UK, but amazingly none were hits at the time. Hence her catalogue is littered with choice rarities, especially her earliest releases some of which are so rare plenty of collectors have never seen them! “That lucky old sun” (HL 8199) and “”Get up! Get up!” (HLE 8260) are the hardest to locate and mint copies could cost up to £500 each. “Jim Dandy” (strangely issued on Columbia DB 3879), “Still” (HLE 8396) and “Jim Dandy got married” (HLE 8442) may be easier to find but still command £200+ price tags. “Love me right” (HLE 8524), “Substitute” (HLE 8638), “Whipper snapper” (HLE 8627), “I cried a tear” (HLE 8790), “I waited too long” (HLE 8871) were her remaining 1950’s releases and will cost you between £30 – £100 to own in mint condition. Her singles releases continued into the 1960’s with more London releases, “So high so low”, “Bumble bee”, “Tiny Tim”, “You’re the boss”, “Saved”, “See see rider” (£30-£50 each) and the hard to find rocker “Voodoo Voodoo” (HLK 9468- £80) complete the set. Ruth Brown was known as “The Queen of r’n’b” and one listen to her records will tell you why. Like LaVern she had a string of releases on London and none were anything like a hit! “Mama he treats your daughter mean” (HL 8153) and “As long as I’m moving” (HLE 8210) are the hardest by far to find and will cost between £300-£500 if you can actually find a copy. 1957 brought releases “I Want to do more” (HLE 8310), “Lucky lips” (another odd Columbia release on DB3913) and “Mom oh Mom” (HLE 8310) are all easily £200 singles in mint condition. Ruth continued to regularly release 45’s on London until 1962, eight in total, and all are desirable costing between £25 to £50 each.

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Vocal groups were massively popular in the 1950’s and helped pave the way for the great soul vocal groups in the next decade. The first hitmakers were Atlantic stalwarts The Coasters who had a string of hits written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, and, along with Bobby Darin, gave Atlantic their first UK chart hits. They had a total of fifteen UK releases on London Atlantic and most can be picked up quite cheaply, between £5-10 each. Exceptions are the first release “Searchin'” (HLE 8450) and the elusive “The shadow knows” (HLE 8729) which are worth between £20-30 each. The Clovers were much less successful over here and leave behind some of the rarest UK singles of all time. “Nip sip” (HLE 8229), “Love love love” (HLE 8314) and “From the bottom of my heart” (HLE 8334) are all incredibly hard to find, and will set you back between £200-£400 each. Later singles include “One mint julep”, “Easy lovin” and the best version of “Love potion no.9″. These also command good prices, especially the latter with its rare first pressing triangular centre (£30-50). Probably the most well-known Atlantic group to have releases on the London label were The Drifters. Any group that includes two of the best soul voices ever, Ben E King and Clyde McPhatter as their main lead singers at different times was bound to have some stellar releases in the catalogue. Their first UK release “Soldier of fortune” (HLE 8344) is one of the top ten London rarities and has sold for £1000+ in the past. Other notable rarities include the great doo-wopper “Drip drop” (HLE 8686 – £100), and proto-soul outings “There goes my baby” (HLE 8892) and “Dance with me” (HLE 8988 – £10 to £15 each). In 1960 The Drifters hit the number two spot in Britain with “Save the last dance for me” which secured a string of releases on the label for the rest of the decade. “This magic moment”, “Up on the roof”, “On broadway”, “Sweets for my sweet” and “Please stay” are all early 1960’s classic soul group singles and can be picked up quite cheaply, as can all their London singles, apart from “Rat race” (HLK 9750) which seems to be very rare.

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As the sixties came round R‘n’B began to morph into soul music and Atlantic were at the forefront of this. ‘King’ Solomon Burke was at the forefront of the new sounds and had plenty of UK releases, including “Just out of reach” (HLK 9454), “If you need me” (HLK 9715) and the all time classic “Cry to me” (HLK 9512), the last of which can sell for up to £100 in mint condition. Smooth voiced Michigan Barbara Lewis had three UK releases on London, including the classic tracks “Hello Stranger’ (HLK 9724) and “Snap your fingers” (HLK 9832). Around this time Stax recordings from Memphis began to get UK releases under the London Atlantic banner. Long term blues shouter Rufus Thomas had three dog related releases on London, including the classic “Walking the dog” (HLK 9799). The early queen of Memphis soul, and Rufus’s daughter Carla Thomas also had three releases, including the rare debut single “Gee whiz” (HLK 9310). In January 1964 London Atlantic released one of their last, but most important releases of the decade when the utter legend that was Otis Redding unleashed “Pain in my heart” on the British public (HLK 9833 – £30). Although not a hit single, Atlantic and Stax releases were becoming more and more popular with British soul fans, mods and in the discotheques. With this in mind, and a whole year before EMI launched the Tamla Motown label, Decca took the plunge and Atlantic records was born in July 1964 with The Drifters “Under the boardwalk”… and we’ll take a peek into this classic period in part two soon!


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James Clark

Loves collecting records. My main loves are 50's rock'n'roll, 60's soul and r'n'b, beat, mod and psych and hopefully will be sharing some nuggets with you over the next few months. Apart from being a vinyl junkie I'm a Arsenal obsessive and a hopelessly romantic drunkard, but don't let put you off, we all have our faults.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 2 – Ornette Coleman (1930-2015) (Part 1)

This entry is part of 2 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

Jazz for Modernists 2 – Ornette Coleman (1930-2015) (Part 1)

(Don Cherry & Ornette Coleman at Five Spot Café, New York, November, 1959)

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On June 11, 2015, the world of jazz (and beyond) lost one of its most revolutionary figures of the past sixty years: Texas-born composer, saxophonist, occasional violinist/trumpeter and all-round visionary Ornette Coleman (1930-2015). Like John Coltrane and pianist Cecil Taylor, his major North American contemporaries in the foundations of what became known slightly problematically as ‘free jazz’, Coleman’s influence was enormous, his legacy both undeniable and at times controversial. This brief article (the first of two) does not attempt to cover his life or major works, though it examines recordings from 1958 to 1965. Readers looking for reliable general appreciations of Coleman can consult other recent obituaries:

Instead, through an overview of his earliest UK releases, coupled with some fascinating nuggets of information about key listeners, I will outline Ornette’s importance for British music during the first half of that decade. In part two, I will examine in more depth his importance for the specific shift in our beloved modernist world towards the experimentations of the counter-culture and underground scenes of the middle and later sixties.

1959. A pivotal year for jazz in Britain. The disbanding of the Tubby Hayes – and Ronnie Scott-led Jazz Couriers; the second UK tour by the Modern Jazz Quartet and the opening of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 39 Gerrard Street. It also signalled the first official British release of an Ornette Coleman LP: Tomorrow is the Question! (Contemporary/Vogue), described by blogger ‘London Jazz Collector’ as “Perhaps tame by future “free jazz” standards, but adventurous and uncompromising in its time”. This is a fair appraisal of a record which, like its predecessor Something Else! (1958), still provided (minus piano) a fairly conventional bop rhythm section to Coleman’s (and trumpeter Don Cherry’s) non-chordal harmonic and melodic improvisations. By the time his quartet had divided opinion with its residency at New York’s Five Spot (November 1959), Coleman’s first Atlantic LP, The Shape of Jazz to Come had appeared in the States (though its official UK release was not until 1966).

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With Coleman’s quartet now featuring Cherry, Billy Higgins (drums) and dapper bassist Charlie Haden, The Shape of Jazz to Come is considered a major staging post on the journey from bebop to free jazz. Critic Piero Scaruffi writes: “The idea was to make every member of the band a soloist equal to the others and to free the improvisation from musical constraints: basically, each individual was only bound to the mood of the other individuals, not to the technical aspects of the music that they were playing” (http://www.scaruffi.com/history/jazz15a.html). The music, though, was still rooted in the blues and even pre-blues forms (field hollers, laments). This is perhaps not surprising, as Coleman had paid his dues in various rhythm and blues combos in Texas and on the West Coast during the 1950s. For this reason alone (to say nothing of his band’s sartorial elegance c.1960-1962), the quartet’s LPs on Atlantic are required listening for today’s open-minded modernists. Take ‘Lonely Woman’, from Shape, for example, or ‘Ramblin’’ from its follow-up Change of the Century (1960). Both tracks are infused with blues feeling. The first is an impression of a rich white woman wearing “the most solitary expression in the world”. Of the second, Coleman wrote in the sleeve notes: “Ramblin’ is basically a blues, but it has a modern, more independent melodic line than older blues have, of course”. Perhaps music writer Richard Williams summed it up perfectly last week, reminiscing about his first encounter with the 1961 LP This is Our Music. Rightly hailing the “impossibly cool” cover appearance of the quartet (now with drummer Ed Blackwell), he wrote: “Nothing about it, the raw timbre of the horns, the lack of conventional chord sequences bothered me in the slightest. What it had, apart from undoubted modernity, was the “cry” that went back to the origins of the blues”.

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Early receptions of Coleman’s music in the UK jazz press (Melody Maker, Jazz Journal, Jazz Monthly etc) were not always complimentary. Alun Morgan, in Jazz Monthly (June 1959), for example, remarked that he “appears to be handicapped by his own bad fingering in places and frequently produces two simultaneous notes an octave apart (in Claire O’Neal, Ornette Coleman, 2013, p. 22). However, for some young ‘in-the-know’ jazz musicians, this rejection gave him an appealing outsider status. Composer and double-bassist Gavin Bryars remembered “as a kid in Goole hearing the Ornette Coleman Quintet on the radio, 1958 or 1959, and thinking it was fantastic. I also loved it because it was being so much reviled by the jazz press, I thought this must be great” (Ben Watson, Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation, 2004, p. 82). The views of Morgan and Bailey encapsulate the divided opinions Ornette Coleman engendered throughout his career.

One important audience for this new music comprised intellectuals, poets and beatniks associated with Michael Horovitz’ New Departures, a new poetry journal emanating from Oxford. A student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, Horovitz, alongside Liverpool poet Pete Brown and David Sladen, played a key role in introducing readers to beat writers such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs. In June 1965, he would also be one of the brains behind The International Poetry Incarnation at the Albert Hall, often claimed to be the birthplace of the British ‘Underground’ counter-culture and (less plausibly) ‘Swinging London’. In volume 4 of New Departures (1962), a number devoted to jazz, Coleman’s work was appraised seriously alongside contemporaries Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor. Dolphy, who played UK dates in 1961, had appeared as part of a double quartet on Coleman’s extended improvisation Free Jazz (1961), which was initially only available in Britain on import. However, specialist jazz record shops in major cities were not slow to meet the demand for the new experimental forms of jazz. Furthermore, the case of London-based West-Indian sax player Joe Harriott, whose Free Form (1961) was recorded just before Free Jazz, shows that British modern jazz was undergoing its own revolutionary changes.

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Between 1962 and 1965, despite a self-imposed two-year break from live performance and recording, Coleman was gaining significant attention in Britain on the fringes of beatnik and mod circles. In Cambridge, where the New Departures crowd would stage readings and ‘happenings’, future Pink Floyd members Rick Wright, Syd Barrett and their entourage were fans. In Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd: Dark Globe (2010), Julian Palacios paints a vivid picture of free-jazz-loving ‘hip undergraduates’ rubbing shoulders with Vespa-riding mods, Barrett seemingly with a foot in each camp. In Canterbury (and later Mallorca), Australian beatnik Daevid Allen shared his love of Ornette with Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge (who in 1966 would become Soft Machine). Wyatt, who in Jonathan Green’s essential Days in the Life: Voices from the English Underground, describes his mod youth in the early sixties, recently paid generous tribute to his hero: “His voice is immediately unique, as if he were the last surviving speaker of an ancient language”.

By the time of his first UK concert, at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, August 29, 1965, hastily organised by Horovitz, Brown and promoter of experimental music Victor Schonfield, Coleman’s music enjoyed currency not only among jazz and improvisational avant-gardes, but also the more searching elements of the rhythm and blues/nascent rock world. Two further Atlantic LPs (with bassists Scott LaFaro and Jimmy Garrison) had appeared in Europe: Ornette! (1962), recorded just five weeks after Free Jazz in January 1961 and Ornette on Tenor (1962), the latter of which Richard Cook and Brian Morton say “hooks Ornette back into the raw R&B of his Texas roots” (The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 2000, p. 300). His new trio, featuring Charlie Moffett on drums and David Inzenzon on bass, had recorded Town Hall Concert (in December 1962) and a June 1965 soundtrack with free tenor player Pharaoh Sanders for the film Chappaqua (though director Conrad Rooks would ultimately use music by Ravi Shankar). The Kinks (minus Ray Davies) had seen the new Coleman trio perform in Greenwich Village in February 1965, while bands from the emerging American rock underground (Grateful Dead, Velvet Underground, The Fugs) were incorporating elements of his free improvisational styles into their own blues, folk and European-based music. Part two of this article will return to Ornette Coleman’s influence on the psychedelic and underground British music of 1965-1970.


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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July 8, 2015 By : Category : Front Page ModJazz Music Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Masters – Allan Crockford

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Masters2

 

Ask Allan Crockford about his musical CV and you can not help but be seriously impressed; The Prisoners, Prime Movers, Solarflares, Stabilisers, James Taylor Quartet, Goodchilde and Phaze. Add his own current band The Galileo 7 and you have a very fine body of work to appreciate.

All of these bands are highly influential and inspirational to successive generations of aspiring musicians with a psych, garage tendency. “But what about mod?” you may ask.

I work on the principle that arguably with the exception of The Small Faces, there is no-such-thing as a ‘mod’ band. However, there are legions of bands with a mod following. Most, if not all of the bands Allan Crockford has been a part of, fall into the latter category when it comes to the UK. Across Europe, they are more regarded as part of the psych, garage, punk scene.

Over the Whitsun Bank Holiday, Allan lines up with long-time collaborators, Graham Day and Wolf Howard at Margate as Graham Day and The Forefathers.

The purpose of this incarnation was simply to revisit the back catalogue of their combined output and revitalise some truly great songs, resulting in the acclaimed debut album ‘Good Things’.

01. How pleased are you with the reception of both the band and the album?

Very pleased with both. It’s come as a great surprise to be greeted with this sort of enthusiasm for doing something exactly the same as we’ve always done! We suspected that a few old faithfuls would be interested, but it’s gone beyond that. If only we’d had this sort of enthusiasm when we last together as The Solarflares then we might have carried on without the 10 year break. I think the internet has helped with making our presence known.

02. What has been like to revisit those great songs with Graham and Wolf?

A lot of them we had played before at various times, but not collected together in one set. It’s been pretty easy really. The real surprise has been doing Prisoners songs without the organ and not really missing it. I suppose we’ve got better at filling the holes in the sound, or maybe letting the songs breathe with a sparser sound. One of the two anyway… I’ve also really enjoyed playing Gaolers songs. To me they are like new songs as me and Wolf didn’t play on the original recordings. It means it’s not all nostalgia.

03. You have had a long-standing writing partnership with Graham Day. How does the process work for you both and has it changed over the years?

It’s not a writing partnership. Graham wrote the basic songs, then they were fleshed out and arranged with the full band, whichever one we were in at the time. I might have contributed the odd arrangement suggestion occasionally, but the songs we play in the Forefathers are very much his. If I made a contribution it’s more in being quick to pick his ideas up and play bass in a way that compliments his sound. I only started writing songs myself in the last 7-8 years, during the time that we weren’t playing together. If we were ever to record new material with this band, then I dare say we’d do it the same way as we always did, with me and Wolf jamming along with Graham’s basic idea until the song emerged. Why change a winning formula!

04. How surprised are you that The Prisoners and Prime Movers are still immensely popular in the 21st century?

I dispute that the Prime Movers were ever that popular! The only reason we were called that when we initially made our return was for a one off gig in Germany for an old record label that specially requested it. We dropped all the PMs songs from the set very quickly, apart from ‘Good Things’. And also ‘immensely popular’ is pushing it a bit for both bands! We’ve got a small set of very enthusiastic and loyal fans that make a lot of noise, but it’s still very small scale. We’re very grateful to them, but we never over-estimate our popularity. We’re preaching to a small number of converted.

05. You have told me in the past that throughout your career, from The Prisoners onwards, you and indeed the other members of the various bands, never regarded yourselves as mods, but you seem to have attracted a mod following in the UK. Why do you think that is?

We never disputed that there were ‘Mod’ elements to our sound and style, but we never wanted to be defined by a label. We just loved 60’s rock n roll and style. Most people dressed that way back then, but weren’t called Mods. I don’t get the need to identify with something narrow and limiting. Why can’t you play the music and wear some of the gear if you feel like it, without someone putting a label on you? The development of youth culture and tribal allegiances are kind of interesting as topics for a social thesis or a Phd, but it gets a bit boring to be asked the same question about it for the next 30 years… No disrespect! I love the music, but I also love a lot of music that apparently Mods aren’t supposed to like.

06. Your own band, The Galileo 7 have received critical acclaim for their album from last year ‘False Memory Lane’. How would describe your sound and what you are aiming for with them?

We’ve made two albums before that; ‘Are We Having Fun Yet? (2010) and ‘Staring At The Sound’ (2012). There’s also the brand new single ‘One Lie At A Time’. I suppose it’s psych-pop rather than garage-rock, if anyone can pick apart the differences within our little sub-genres. Influenced more by mid to late 60’s pop psychedelia than R&B, more Nuggets than Rubble… I haven’t got the vocal range to take on soully/R&B screaming and testifying like Graham, so I try to work on melodies and harmonies that will work whoever is singing. I’m not aiming for anything apart from carrying on playing and having a creative outlet for my ideas. I realise that not everyone who has liked the other bands I’ve played in will necessarily seek out our stuff, but there’s enough crossover musically for anyone who is into the same influences to find something they like. And with our new lineup, the energy level has increased and I think we’re delivering the songs better than ever live. Check us out when you can!

07. Getting back to Graham Day and The Forefathers, when can we expect a follow-up album to ‘Good Things’?

Don’t know if it’s ‘when’, more ‘if’. We haven’t got any plans at the moment. It’s very tempting to knock out ‘More Good Things’ just because the first one was so easy and everyone liked it so much. But that might be a bit lazy. We might do it, but doing new stuff together might be more rewarding. But it’s up to Graham to write the songs, and who knows if he has the time or the inclination these days. I think singles might be more likely if it’s going to be new stuff. And if we did record new material, we might do it under a different name just to be obtuse. The Forefathers are supposed to be our tribute band!

08. The band are playing Saturday night at the Margate Whitsun Weekender. Are you looking forward to it and what can the audience expect from the show?

We always look forward to playing, and the audience can expect…. The usual! A load of old songs played with energy and fire, with maybe some unexpected choices thrown in. we like to keep the set fresh by chucking in the odd song that no one expects to play. Sometimes we don’t expect it either.

09. Are there any other bands that have impressed you recently, and if so, which ones?

I don’t really see a lot of bands to be honest, so it would be forcing it a bit to write any down… I spend most of my time buying vinyl re-issues of records I’ve already got, like a lot of other middle-aged music fans.

10. And what about your own plans? Will we see more from The Galileo 7?

Yes, we’ll playing whenever we can and recording new stuff when I’ve written it. No definite plans but something will happen. I’m enjoying playing with the new line-up and I’m sure that will inspire me to come up with new material very soon.

Allan Crockford, thank you very much for this interview and best of luck with all your projects. Have a great time at Margate. See all the details here!

 


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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April 24, 2015 By : Category : Bands Beat Front Page Inspiration Interviews News Picks UK Tags:, , , ,
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Masters – James Taylor

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Masters2

James Taylor was born in 1964 and played organ in Medway legends the Prisoners, making four classic albums between 1982 and 1986. After the band spilt he formed the James Taylor Quartet, initially predominately playing Hammond-heavy versions of TV theme tunes and film soundtracks before developing his own brand of what would soon be known as acid jazz. Taking in jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, rock and more the JTQ have enjoyed huge success in a near 30 year period which continues to the present day. Ahead of the JTQ’s appearance at the Margate Weekender, James Taylor talks to Mark Raison for NUTSMAG.

01. When did you start taking an interest in music?

As early as I can recall, I remember seeing the Beatles on Top of the Pops in 1968 playing ‘Hey Jude’. I was into all sorts of music from an early age; eclecticism was always my thing and still is now.

02. Where they any musicians in your family?

My uncle had his own band playing sixties soul and my mother and grandmother were piano players and they gave me my earliest musical education. I had my first piano lesson when I was four years old. I was very interested in trying to work out tunes that I had heard on the radio and TV, so no change there really. My brothers and I formed a band playing Stevie Wonder covers.

03. Around the time of recording the first Prisoners LP, Better In Black, you briefly went to university but soon quit. What route do you think your musical path would’ve taken if you’d not made that decision?

Hard to say, I left after a few days when I realised there was no way I could take the whole thing seriously. I wanted to play with the Prisoners. I was not interested in engineering and I was bored of education. It was a scary decision to say to my professor “I want to be a musician” and to turn my back on serious education but I felt gigging was the most exciting thing in my life, so there was not much of a choice really. I still feel the same way.

04. On the first two Prisoners albums, before your Hammond, you got a great sound out of a Casio keyboard.

Thank you. I found the Casio in a keyboard shop and noticed it had a setting called ‘electric organ’. I played along with my 7” vinyl of ‘Green Onions’ and I was able to get a sound not too dissimilar to Booker T. Jones so that’s how I whiled away the evenings. As a sixteen year old before joining a band, I was hooked on all things Hammond-ish.

05. After the Prisoners, how did the James Taylor Quartet take shape and what was your original ambition for the band?

I was pissed off when the Prisoners spilt up because I just wanted to gig, so I put my own band together and just carried on really. You know when things fall apart sometimes it forces you into a new position or way or operating that was unforeseen but that in some way brings you forward unexpectedly. It was fortuitous that Eddie Piller liked our sound and started putting out our records. I was very surprised that other people liked our stuff; I thought I was the only Hammond nut around, turned out there were others.

06. Wait A Minute was a highpoint of the original JTQ line-up and included ‘Theme From Starsky and Hutch’ which is still what many people best know you for. What are your recollections of recording that LP and of Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley from the JB’s who played on it?

We were at a rather posh studio with a very expensive producer. We had a great laugh actually, didn’t want to come home. Pee Wee and Fred were really amazing. They complimented our sound and it felt odd to hear your heroes playing on your own record. I knew ‘Starsky’ would be popular but I didn’t think it would still be doing the rounds now, it’s aged well.

07. With Get Organized came changes to the quartet line-up. After working with the same musicians you’d known from Medway, how was it suddenly working with young jazz musicians known in their own right?

That was a period where I felt a lot of pressure from Polydor to be at the centre of this new emerging musical scene, but at the same time I really enjoyed working with all these great new players. I found a way to use the Hammond alongside all sorts; it was a kind of stretching experience. I felt that the early line-up had sort of extinguished itself and I had to decide how best to go forward. It was very liberating but when you separate from the people who share and understand your musical development closely it’s a shock to discover other people don’t see things quite the same, I had to be flexible. So it was a steep learning curve, it took a while until I found my feet again after the first band finished.

08. That period from the late 80s to early 90s encompassed rare groove, jazz, hip-hop and soul. It moved fast and the JTQ were right in amongst it; making albums at a rapid rate. How do you view those times?

We gigged and recorded flat out so it was tiring but very exciting. I could have taken more time out to examine things a bit I guess, but when you’re moving so fast you kind of don’t want to stop. The band was regularly selling out large venues all around the world. We were considered a very bankable act by the UK music scene and promoters, so we just lived on a bus basically, marriages fell apart, people got stressed out a bit, but it was a non-stop party for the first eight to ten years at least!

09. You had/have a strong reputation as a live act but was there pressure from record companies – when the acid jazz scene was at its height – to have bigger chart success?

Yes. Everyone in the business wanted us to be a vocal act, I was okay with this but instrumentals were always my passion, so it was good to make soul records as long as we could gig Hammond instrumentals as well. We had hits, a lot of commercial success was fun for a while but I soon felt the need to rebalance things and get back into our more core sound.

10. The Template celebrated 25 years of the JTQ in 2011. It’s a great album but you seem to operate more under-the-radar these days.

Thanks, but I wonder why you feel that to be the case? In the last three months we’ve played a week of sold out shows at Ronnie Scott’s, sold out the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Sage in Newcastle, headlined the Liverpool Jazz Festival. These are big gigs and we’ve been played on all the national BBC radio stations. As well as this we’ve recorded an album for TV/film and advertising, another live album for Ronnie’s, and I’ve written and am about to record a huge choral/Hammond piece for Cherry Red. I think you maybe feel we are under the radar because you’re not personally aware of these things. We are still one of the biggest jazz acts in the country and are permanently in demand worldwide, the problem is I’m running out of energy, I’m fifty now!

11. Your recent album, Closer To The Moon, contains elements of classical music. For many ‘classical music’ seems like something impenetrable and intimating, as well as outside their taste. What’s your interest in it?

Closer isn’t a classical record though, it’s just got some of those sounds on it. I’m interested in music which connects directly with me, this could be Stevie Wonder or J S Bach, I don’t really make a distinction. The Hammond works well in a variety of musical genres so I’ll make a record with Billy Childish or with a cathedral choir or Tina Turner, it’s all good. I recognise that classical music is a turn off to loads of people but what can I do? I’m just into it just like I’m into the Small Faces, so I’m excited to represent myself using aspects of the classical idiom. Have you heard those string arrangements of Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake?
Classical music.

12. What period of your career so far do you look back on most fondly and why?

I like things as they are now because I have complete freedom musically, so I guess now is the best period for me, it still feels very exciting to play the Hammond on stage, just as it did my first gig with the Prisoners. Being a musician is a privilege and it’s not a thing that I take for granted or shy away from.  I’ve enjoyed my career in music and I’m very grateful for your scene for being so supportive to us for so long. The mod scene got us started really and it’s always great to see mods in the crowd showing the others how to dance and dress. I’ve really enjoyed answering your questions, it’s given me a chance to reflect on many things and I’m very much looking forward to your festival down in Margate. I’ve never played there before so I can’t wait, also pleased to see that we share the bill with other great musicians: Graham, Allan and Simon [Graham Day and the Forefathers]. I reckon it’s going to be a memorable gig.

Find out more info about the Margate Weekender.


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Mark Raison

I've spent three-quarters of my life wandering the mod path with detours down its side streets and dark alleys. From an enthusiastic youth to a still-enthusiastic-but-harder-to-tell grizzled old goat, I've dabbled in all parts of the scene from writing fanzines 'Round Midnight and Something Has Hit Me; to promoting bands; attempting to manage bands; singing in the mighty garage combo The Electric Fayre; putting on indie, psych and soul clubs including Freak Scene, Orange Sunshine, and Shake!; writing liner notes for Reg King releases on Circle Records; and, in fitter times, tucking away the odd goal for the New Untouchables. I still DJ from my box of R&B humdingers but more often you’ll find me tapping away on my blog at monkeypicks.co.uk. I like the poetry of Charles Bukowski and dislike the taste of cheese.

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April 23, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page General Interviews ModJazz News Picks Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Jazz for Modernists 1- Intro

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series James Thomas on Jazz

Introduction: Ten for Starters

Hello, my name is James Thomas. Welcome to a new series about modern jazz in connection with modernism as understood by the New Untouchables, an important subject sometimes under-represented among mods and 50s/60s fans.

What was the role of jazz for the mod attitude and aesthetic? How much did early mods really listen to jazz? Where did they buy their records/hear live music? Did some mods follow ‘trad jazz’ due to its links with early  British R&B? How was jazz represented in fiction, film and other forms of cultural media? What about British and European modern jazz?

Jazz is fundamental to Mod history. The Ace/Kent label has produced a series of excellent ‘Mod Jazz’ CDs/LPs, concentrating on music for the dance floor. These are brilliant introductions to soul-jazz, funky hard bop, danceable cool, Latin and jazzy R&B. See, AN EXAMPLE IS HERE!

Jazz ‘beyond’ the dance floor, though, is equally ‘where it’s at’. Far from being ‘too intellectual’, modal jazz, the New Thing, post-bop, free jazz and their offshoots complement well the existential attitude of today’s mindful modernist.

Here are ten introductions to various styles of modern jazz. They’re not a ‘top ten’ of ‘mod jazz’, but they cover a lot of ground and introduce some essential names.

1. Bebop

Dizzy Gillespie & His Sextet: ‘Night in Tunisia’ (1946) (From Bluebird 66528-2CD The Complete RCA Victor Recordings, 1995)

GREAT VIDEO HERE!

dizzy_g

Written in 1942 (by Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Frank Paparelli), ‘(A) Night in Tunisia’ is a standard of bebop, the style pioneered in the early 40s by, among others, trumpeter John ‘Dizzy’ Gillespie, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, pianists Thelonius Monk and Bud Powell, drummers Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, guitarist Charlie Christian and double bassist Ray Brown. Bebop (or bop), evolving from big band swing, was developed by Kansas City – and New York-based musicians experimenting with harmony, rhythm and improvisation. ‘Night in Tunisia’ has often been covered; twice by drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (1957 and 1960). Though not the first version (Gillespie recorded it for Continental in 1944 with singer Sarah Vaughan & Her All Stars as ‘Interlude’), this 1946 recording is possibly the most important.

2. Cubop/Latin

Charlie Parker/ Machito & His Orchestra: ‘Okiedoke’ (1949) (From High Definition Jazz HDJ 4076-CD The Latin Bird, 2000)

GREAT VIDEO HERE!

Charlie_parker

Dizzy Gillespie encountered Latin rhythms in Cab Calloway’s 1930s orchestra through Cuban bandleader Mario Bauzá, later leader of the dance orchestra of singer-percussionist Machito (Frank Grillo). In May 1943, at Manhattan’s La Conga club, the orchestra (minus Machito) wrote ‘Tangá’, probably the first fusion of Cuban rhythms and black swing-band phrasing. The inevitable dialogue between Latin music and bebop became known as Cubop. Gillespie’s 1947 big band included percussionist Chano Pozo, composer of ‘Tin Tin Deo’ and ‘Manteca’, while West-Coast pianist/bandleader Stan Kenton appeared with Machito’s Afro-Cuban orchestra at New York’s Town Hall (January 1948). Norman Granz recorded Machito for his Clef label in 1948 and, soon after, with Charlie Parker. ‘Okiedoke’, where Parker’s solo is fairly straight bebop, is a good example of the genre.

3. Cool Jazz

The Modern Jazz Quartet: ‘Ralph’s New Blues’ (1955) (From Prestige LP 7005 Concorde)

Formed in 1952, The Modern Jazz Quartet became synonymous with ‘Cool jazz’, a term covering various styles that, from around 1946, dispensed with bebop’s fiery tempos. Although mainstays Milt Jackson (vibes) and John Lewis (piano) were trained in bop improvisation, Lewis was in the Miles Davis Nonet, which in 1949/50 recorded some important sides with arranger Gil Evans (released in 1957 as Birth of the Cool). Davis, Lewis and Evans (with Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond, Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan) took a more subdued, ordered approach, influenced by European classical (particularly Baroque Chamber) music. The MJQ were popular in Europe, providing the soundtrack to Roger Vadim’s 1957 film Sait-on jamais (released in the US as No Sun in Venice and the UK as One Never Knows).

4. Hard Bop

Horace Silver & the Jazz Messengers: ‘The Preacher’ (1955) (From Blue Note LP 1518 Horace Silver & the Jazz Messengers)

HoraceSilverAndTheJazzMesse

Connecticut-born Horace Silver (1928-2014) was a key pianist in ‘hard bop’, a style developed from the mid-50s to the mid-60s. Absorbing bebop’s new vocabulary, it drew on blues, gospel and rhythm & blues (big and small band) in contrast to the classical influences of ‘cool’ and chamber jazz. Hard bop numbers were longer than bebop or straight R&B, melodies alternating with lengthy soloing. Around 1953, Silver and drummer Art Blakey formed the Jazz Messengers, a constantly-evolving combo featuring the cream of East Coast jazz musicians. The catchy, gospel fused ‘The Preacher’ was initially deemed too ‘old-fashioned’ by Blue Note producer Alfred Lion. Silver’s own quintets, incorporating Latin, soul and modal jazz influences, recorded many fine albums for Blue Note, including The Tokyo Blues (1962), Song for My Father (1964) and The Jody Grind (1966).

5. (Cutting-Edge) Hard Bop

Thelonius Monk quartet, with John Coltrane: ‘Bye-ya’ (1957) (From Blue Note CD Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall, 2005)

‘Straight ahead’ and ‘funky’ hard bop, exemplified by Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, trumpeter Lee Morgan, saxophonists Sonny Rollins and Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley and Horace Silver’s groups was probably the dominant form of mainstream modern jazz from 1955-1967. However, many musicians involved were not content to repeat the formula. The first great Miles Davis Quintet (1955-1958), featuring John Coltrane on tenor sax, pushed boundaries on LPs like Relaxin’ (Prestige, 1957). In 1957, Coltrane joined the quartet of unclassifiable genius Thelonius Monk for a residency at New York’s Five Spot Cafe. His playing on Monk’s calypso-inspired ‘Bye-ya’, recorded at a recently unearthed concert at Carnegie Hall (November 1957), reveals how Coltrane’s ‘sheets of sound’ style owed much to his interaction with Monk’s abstract
piano phrasings.

6. Modal Jazz

Miles Davis: ‘All Blues’ (1959) (From Columbia LP CL1355/CS1863 Kind of Blue)

miles_davis

From Miles Davis’ epoch-defining Kind of Blue, ‘All Blues’, featuring Coltrane and pianist Bill Evans, is a foundational example of modal jazz (the title track of Milestones (1958) is often considered the first). Theorised by composer/bandleader George Russell (1923-2009), modal jazz uses scales or modes rather than chords for harmonic progression. This sounds technical and it’s often easier to identify than describe modal playing. Suffice to say, improvisation around scales allowed greater melodic and harmonic freedom and drone effects evoking an exotic, ‘Eastern’ flavour. Coltrane pursued modal styles after 1960 on tracks like ‘India’, ‘Impressions’ and ‘A Love Supreme’. Pianists McCoy Tyner (from Coltrane’s quartet) and Herbie Hancock (whose ‘Maiden Voyage’ is key) brought modal techniques to hard bop on their Blue Note sessions and those of artists like vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson and saxophonist
Joe Henderson.

7. Soul jazz 

Ray Bryant Trio: ‘Shake a Lady’’ (1964) Sue 108

Ray-Bryant-Prestige-7098

It’s quite difficult to distinguish ‘soul jazz’ from ‘hard bop’. ‘Moanin’, by Philadelphia-born pianist Bobby Timmons, is considered early soul-jazz; yet the first LP it features on, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (1958), is classic hard bop. Soul jazz perhaps emphasises gospel’s call-and-response structure more. While hard bop usually privileges at least one brass instrument, soul jazz often worked in a rhythm trio format, particularly with Hammond organists like Jack McDuff, Richard Holmes and Jimmy Smith. Another Philly pianist, Ray Bryant (1931-2011), perfected a funky soul jazz style for various labels (Columbia, Prestige, Sue and Cadet). His dance floor mover ‘Shake a Lady’, covered the following year by “Cannonball” Adderley, is classic soul jazz.

8. Post-Hard Bop

Charles Mingus: ‘Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting’ (1959) (From Atlantic LP 1305 Blue & Roots)

charlie_mingus

Double bassist, bandleader, writer and composer Charles Mingus (1922-1979) was a legendary figure for modernists, beats, original hipsters and progressive folkies like Bert Jansch and Davey Graham. His extensive discography includes five or six essential LPs for modernists, including Pithecanthropus Erectus (1956), Mingus Ah Um (1959) and Blues & Roots (1960). ‘Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting’ kicks off the latter in fine style, a frenetic, buzzing take on soulful blues featuring a six-strong horn line-up (including future Blue Note star, altoist Jackie McLean, the gospel-driven piano of Horace Parlan and Mingus’ stunning lead bass). Somewhere between Ray Charles and the free jazz of Ornette Coleman, this is five minutes of aural tension that all modernists need to hear.

9. Avant-garde/New Thing

Eric Dolphy: ‘The Prophet’ (live) (1961) (From New Jazz LP NJ 8260 At The Five Spot)

ERIC_DOLPHY

Los Angeles-born multi-instrumentalist (flute, alto sax, bass clarinet) Eric Dolphy (1928-1964), like fellow travellers Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor, was part of the so-called ‘New Thing’ in jazz. Veteran of sessions with Chico Hamilton and Mingus, in 1960 Dolphy recorded his first two LPs for New Jazz: Outward Bound and Out There, and featured on Coleman’s groundbreaking Atlantic LP, Free Jazz. In 1961, a momentous year, he recorded with Coltrane (Olé), George Russell (Ezz-thetics), pianist Mal Waldron (The Quest) and trumpet prodigy Booker Little (Far Cry). That July 16, a quintet featuring Dolphy, Little, Waldron, bassist Richard Davis (who would play on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks) and drummer Eddie Blackwell recorded at New York’s Five Spot around two hours of fantastically modern music, including ‘The Prophet’, described by critic Michael G. Nastos as “a puckery blues… armed with minor phrasings and stretched harmonics” (Allmusic). Dolphy’s masterpiece Out to Lunch (1964) would be his only recording for Blue Note.

10. Avant-garde/Post-bop

Andrew Hill: ‘Siete Ocho’ (1964) From Blue Note BLP 4159/BST 84159 Judgment!

andrew_hill

Of Haitian origin, Chicago-born pianist Andrew Hill (1931-2007) recorded a dozen or so outstanding, challenging sessions for Blue Note between 1963 and 1970. With one foot in tradition, another in the future, Hill, like Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard and the second great Miles Davis Quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, skirted the fringes of the avant-garde around a broad range of styles now defined as ‘post-bop’. Opening his third Blue Note session, Judgment! (1964), ‘Siete Ocho’ (Spanish for 7/8) is a pulsating nine-minute dialogue between Hill’s exploratory piano and Bobby Hutcherson’s atmospheric vibes, propelled by probing bass from Richard Davis and powerful drumming from Coltrane’s sticks man Elvin Jones.


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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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May 5, 2015 By : Category : Front Page ModJazz Music Picks Reviews Tags:,
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Rob Bailey on Margate Mod and Sixties Festival

I recently met up with Rob bailey, AKA DJ Dr Robert to chat about his joint new venture ‘Great British Music Culture’ (go to: www.gbmusicculture.co.uk) and their first Event ‘The Margate Mod and Sixties Festival’ (full info here). Here is what he had to say!

01. What was growing up in the Kent area like and what are your first musical related memories?

Music was all around me from an early age especially at school with the ever so cool sixth formers and our home economics teacher Miss Potts (who was every young Mods dream) riding her Vespa to school. Quite a few of us signed up for her classes she was a bit like Fay Hallam of Makin Time but before her time this was 1982/83. The music followed on from the style at first.

02. Margate, Kent, the Medway area have all been a vibrant historical ‘musical delta’ over the years?

Being close proximity to London helps of course but growing up near Medway in the early eighties was exciting. Along with my short spell at Gillingham football club my other passion was music. We had that in abundance and attitude from local heroes the Prisoners and JTQ followed when the Prisoners split. We also had a great DJ’s like Graham Sage and Keith Rylatt who run Bogart’s Soul club, Jo Wallace at Churchill’s and the King Charles Mod nights. In 1985 the Cool Running Scooter Club started organizing its own nights in Maidstone where both Lee Miller and I started our DJ journeys. This was going on all over Kent we met the Canterbury lads Jake, Paul, Nick and Chris also the Llewellyn brothers and Matt, Tony and Simon from Thanet. All these areas had their own Mod related nights and scenes. Allan Crockford used to work in my local Our Price record shop during the day and be a Prisoner or member of JTQ by night!

03. Margate itself was quite a Modernist Weekender Mecca in the golden era and the New Untouchables used to stage events there, why did this stop?

Margate like Brighton is close proximity to London and hit the headlines back in 1964 and will always be synonymous with the Mod scene. It’s has a great beach and the first ever fun fair Dreamland which reopens its doors this summer.

In 2002 New Untouchables revived it for a couple of years with great success but the problem was the town was detioriating around us.

04. So tell us what changes have been afoot in that Margate for those not from the local area?

Fast forward a decade and the new Turner Arts centre has transformed the town. Our venue the Westcoast and Black Cat Club in the heart of the old town is surrounded by vintage shops, boutique hotels, family run cafes, restaurants, tea rooms and even an old sweet shop. The UK’s first ever fun fair, Dreamland will reopen its doors for the first time in over a decade this summer. Margate also offers one of the best Beaches in Britain and one of the few places you can watch the sun rise and set.

05. So you have a new event called Margate Mod and Sixties Festival what is the new venue like?

The venue is fantastic space opposite the harbour in the heart of the old town and is a similar size and space to the Komedia in Brighton with two rooms and offers a great live music space. The smaller venue Black Cat is already hosting some great club nights that are Mod and Sixties friendly with Profumo, Wahoo, Face Up and the Soul Cellar. It will also be serving the best Caribbean food in town during the day all weekend.

06. What live bands have you got lined up for this Event?

We start as we mean to go on with a stellar line-up of live bands. Kicking things off Friday is closest you will ever get to hearing the Small Faces live. The Small Fakers have built a superb reputation as a must see live band for all things Small Faces. Saturday daytime is out Battle of the bands (go to: www.gbmusicculture.co.uk to enter). I can’t wait for Sat night and a chance to see Graham, Allan and Wolf in action playing all those songs I love from the Prisoners, Solarflares and Prime Movers. Sunday daytime we have two explosive young bands, the first from Spain the Faith Keepers are best described soulful dynamite and already blew the roof of in Brighton two years ago.  They will be joined by young London band The Turning who play 21st century Mod pop and recently supported mates The Strypes on tour. Sunday night James Taylor takes centre stage with those groovy Hammond vibes before our Northern Soul allnighter gets underway.

07. What about DJ Talent to fill those dancefloors?

We have a great mix playing of DJ’s playing across the board Mod and sixties sounds including the New Untouchables regulars along with local guys from the clubs mentioned above and special guests from the London area.

08. Anything else going on for Scooterists? Is there a meet up for those riding down from the London area?

There are two ride outs over the weekend. Our first ride out is organized by Bar Italia Scooter Club on Sat 23 May and leaves Blackheath Tea Hut on the A2 at 10am stopping at Medway Scooters in Strood and continuing down the A2 arriving at the Piazza opposite the Westcoast on Margate seafront early afternoon. Our second ride out is by the THANET AREA SCOOTER SERVICES to Ramsgate via Broadstairs, meeting at 12 noon on Sunday 24th at the Piazza. We have arranged parking in the Piazza with road closures on those days for scooters. The scooter Competition is sponsored by THANET AREA SCOOTER SERVICES, BAR ITALIA and THE PIRATES S.C and will take place at 3pm in the Piazza on Sunday 24 May 2015.

09. So there is a great outdoor area at the venue, tell us about that and how you will use it?

Our daytime events are on the Piazza opposite the Westcoast in the heart of the old Town right opposite the beach. We will have a stage with live music both days including battle of the bands on Saturday afternoon, open decks DJ sessions, scooter comp, market and record fair, food and drinks available at special prices for wristband holders.

10. How can folks buy a ticket and find out more?

The full program and tickets are online at: www.gbmusicculture.co.uk

If you want to enter battle of the bands or a trade stall or a spot at the Open decks session please contact us here!


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April 29, 2015 By : Category : Bands DJs Events Front Page Interviews Music News Picks Scene UK Tags:,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 5

This entry is part 10 of 11 in the series NUTsCast - Podcast

Welcome to The Nutscast Sessions, the newly revamped podcast from the New Untouchables. Each month we will bring you a band ‘in session’ recorded especially for Nutscast. In addition, your host ‘The Baron’ – Graham Lentz will play a mixture of the best new music, club classics and a few surprises.

gizzelle_1

Episode 15: (or 5 of the new format) of Nutscast. The new edition of the Nutscast Sessions is the Le Beat Bespoke 10 Special, featuring tracks from all the artists appearing on stage at 229 The Venue this Easter.

The live session comes from the High Learys and there are tracks by The Action, Roy Medina and Willie Mitchell. There is also an exclusive from the forthcoming album Le Beat Bespoke 6.

So join ‘The Baron’ aka Graham Lentz for the preview of Le Beat Bespoke 10 this Easter 2015 – brought to you by NUTsMag (newuntouchables.com).


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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February 16, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music News Picks Podcasts Tags:, , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 6

This entry is part 9 of 11 in the series NUTsCast - Podcast

Join The Baron for Part 2 of our Le Beat Bespoke 10 Special Nustcast shows. This time we have great sounds chosen by 18 of our guest DJs over the Easter Weekend to get you in the mood.

With tracks by the likes of Slim Harpo, July, New Swing Sextet, Martha Starr Night Beats and Gemma and The Travellers from selectors Ady Croasdell, Sean Chapman, Carlo Sesto, Traxel, Lolo, Holly Calder, Dr Robert, Lee Miller and John Vincent, Rhys Webb and Mik Parry! This one not to be missed take a listen here. See the list of who is playing here!

chris_dale_dJ

Episode 16: (or 6 of the new format) of Nutscast. The new edition of the Nutscast Sessions is the Le Beat Bespoke 10 Special, featuring tracks from some of the DJ talent appearing on stage at 229 The Venue this Easter.

So join ‘The Baron’ aka Graham Lentz for his DJ preview of Le Beat Bespoke 10 this Easter 2015 – brought to you by NUTsMag (newuntouchables.com).


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admin

Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

March 18, 2015 By : Category : DJs Front Page Music News Picks Podcasts Tags:, , ,
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NUTsCast – Sessions – part 4

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series NUTsCast - Podcast

Welcome to The Nutscast Sessions, the newly revamped podcast from the New Untouchables. Each month we will bring you a band ‘in session’ recorded especially for Nutscast. In addition, your host Graham Lentz will play a mixture of the best new music, club classics and few surprises.
 

Stone Foundation at Modstock

Episode 14: (or 4 of the new format) of Nutscast. Join Graham Lentz for this special Xmas edition of Nutscast Sessions with a look back at 2014 and ten live recordings from Modstock 3.

The featured artist is Stone Foundation, plus tracks from Secret Affair, Mergers, Apemen, Eddie Philips, Kenney Jones, The Velvelettes and Brenda Holloway.

In addition, we have songs from French Boutik, Phroggs, Eddie Floyd, Toots and The Maytals, Temptations, Nick Waterhouse, Muleskinners and Ronnie & Robyn. Presented by Graham Lentz brought to you by NUTsMag (newuntouchables.com).


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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

December 28, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Music News Picks Podcasts Tags:, , ,
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