Originally posted at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Continuing my crusade to lighten the end-times pall occluding the blogosphere, I use this space to remind sonic explorers to check the archives at your favorite sites, for there's golden sounds in the pages. Take for example the lead off item in today's Motherlode.
A private press recording from '74 of black-positive musical theater from Chicago, this rarity has earned big bucks on the auction sites for years, but the LP has been posted, free for the taking since August 2011 at Digging for Diamonds in Mountains of Mediocrity. (How could the Miner not love a blog with such a name?) Most blogs provide easy-to-navigate links to archived pages. Use them!
(Blog: Digging for Diamonds in the Mountains of Mediocrity)
"'Black Fairy' was the second play at the Lamont Zeno Community Theater, a cultural program of the Better Boys Foundation, a family agency located in North Lawndale in Chicago. Many of the youngsters who perform in the play are members of our Youth Theater Development Program which is partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Under the capable guidance of Pemon Rami and his staff, we were able to take youngsters who had no previous theater experience and train them to become competent performers and also teach them other technical theater skills. The result of this effort has made 'Black Fairy' a favorite among both children and adults who have had an opportunity to see it. During the summer of 1974 'Black Fairy' was performed for over four thousand children in Chicago. And, in April of 1975, it played to over two thousand children in Detroit at Mercy College. 'Black Fairy' is the only the first of many children's plays we hope to produce at the Better Boys Foundation. There is an Afrikan proverb which says "Children are the reward of life." We at Better Boys Foundation are dedicated to this belief, and feel that helping children to appreciate their heritage is one means of showing our concern for their development." (Asante Sana Eugene (Useni) Perkins, from the liner notes)
[Note #1: This LP marks the first appearance on record of saxophonist Chico Freeman.]
[Note #2: The production that preceded Black Fairy at Lamont Zeno in March '74 was the premiere of Oscar Brown Jr.'s musical Slave Song.]
(Blog: On the Record)
"Well, how can you have the unmitigated gall
To come back now, expecting me to fall?
Right down on my knees and kiss your feet, yeah feet
Feet that one day went a walking out on me
With a fast talking slob you hardly knew his name
Your mind is de-arranged" (Opening stanza)
(Blog: Lonesome Lefty's Scratchy Attic)
"The quartet made appearances with Louisiana's Huey Long during his campaign for governor there in 1928; sales of their records made it possible for the full band to perform live across the Southeast. The four Revelers, who always kept their day jobs, also appeared in varied combinations as duets or as solo acts. The demand for their appearances increased in 1930, when they began a regular 6 to 7 p.m. Saturday night radio show on the 1000-watt, widely broadcast WJDX out of Jackson. Unfortunately, R. O. Moseley's death the following year marked the group's end, although Dallas Jones was still making appearances in the 1980s, and descendants, appearing as the Leake County String Band, provided music for the 1976 movie Ode to Billie Joe." (Description from an historic marker on the Mississippi Music Trail, in Sebastopol)
(Blog: Invisible Arteries)
"Infinitely enjoyable debut album of hard bop from this legendary jazz pianist. Energetic, playful, but cerebral, Tones for Joan's Bones delivers some mind meltingly awesome sections, and consistently fiery and inspired performances from all musicians involved." (Description from Neuronengesang)
(Blog: The Basement Rug)
Across 110th Street
Half a century ago, Columbia released a trio of boxed sets of iconic '20s and '30s recordings -- each representing, in succession, the earliest capitals of jazz. First came New Orleans, then Chicago and finally, with this set, Harlem. Here's hoping the Rugrat, the marvelous proprietor at The Basement Rug can deliver the other two sets!
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