the human race has one really effective weapon

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Broadcast 04: The Jazz Thing, Part 2

sun_ra-sun_raysBelow are three links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my November 10th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until November 24th, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one.

This represents the second part of my free jazz/avant jazz/jazz show. I had the chance to start a little early this week, so the first few songs are a little different from what comes after. But they follow the improvisational character of the show just as well. You’ll have to fast forward to about the half-way point of the first link to hear those songs, as I came on right after a Boston College basketball game.

Any questions or requests, send me an email (see the about page).

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: November 10th, 2013 – Hour -.5, Hour 1, and Hour 2

  1. Dickie Landry, “Fifteen Saxophones” from Fifteen Saxophones (2011) on UNSEEN WORLDS
  2. Eli Keszler, “Cold Pin 1” from Catching Net (2012) on PAN
  3. Greg Kelley/Olivia Block, “Some Old Slapstick Routine” from Resolution (2011) on ERSTWHILE
  4. John Coltrane Quartet, “The Drum Thing” from Crescent (1996) on Impulse/MCA — originally released in 1964
  5. Archie Shepp, “Yasmina, a Black Woman” from Yasmina, a Black Woman/Poem for Malcom (2013) on CHARLY — originally released in 1969 on BYG Actuel
  6. Roland Kirk “The Inflated Tear” from The Inflated Tear (1968) on ATLANTIC
  7. Sun Ra, “Outer Nothingness” from The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Volume One (2010) on ESP-DISK — originally released in 1965
  8. Peter Brötzmann/Han Bennink, “NR. 7” from Schwarzwaldfahrt (2005) on ATAVISTIC — originally released in 1977 on FMP
  9. Roscoe Mitchell Sextet, “The Little Suite” from Sound (1996) on DELMARK — originally released in 1966 – song was titled “One Little Suite”
  10. Albert Ayler, “Holy Family” from Nuits de la Fondation Maeght 1970 (2002) on WATER — originally released in 1970 on Shandar Records, in two volumes
  11. Eric Dolphy, “God Bless the Child” from In Europe Vol. 1 (1989) on PRESTIGE — recorded in Copenhagen, 1961 – released by Prestigue in 1964
  12. Evan Parker & Joe McPhee “They Both Could Fly” from What/If/They Both Could Fly (2013) on RUNE GRAMMOFON
  13. Eric Dolphy “Oleo” from In Europe Vol. 1 (1989) on PRESTIGE — “Oleo” written by Sonny Rollins in 1954
  14. Ornette Coleman “Doughnut” from Town Hall 1962 (2008) on ESP — originally released in 1965



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Broadcast 03: Four for Lou/Free Jazz

dolphy_in_studioBelow are two links to the WZBC Archives where you can listen to my October 27th radio show, broadcast on WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston. Those links will remain active until November 10th, at which point the show will disappear and be replaced by a new one. I will not be uploading permanent MP3 links.

I intended to play two solid hours of jazz on Sunday night, from musicians like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and Joe McPhee. But after reading about Lou Reed’s death before heading into the studio, I grabbed three Velvet Underground records and played a few of my favorites from those. Many great words have been written about Lou Reed in the last day and half, all of them by people who have spent much longer with his music than I have. I encourage you to read the obituaries from Sasha Frere-Jones and Punk magazine co-founder Legs McNeil.

Here’s an excerpt from McNeil’s piece:

Lou Reed articulated things that were never supposed to be clarified, like those “rushing” sounds on “Heroin.” I actually get goose bumps listening to those sustained notes of the different drugs flowing from my bloodstream and magically walloping my brain that the song mimics. I mean, that’s a real fucking achievement—to audibly duplicate the experience of a drug hitting the brain. It’s so ludicrous, so exact, and so wonderfully transcendent that I can’t help loving Lou Reed for dedicating his life to making songs of the depraved. Not just for the hopeless, but music that spits back that private experience—just in case you’ve never had the pleasure—and makes it sound so beautiful.

I’d also like to point everyone to this obituary for Ronald Shannon Jackson, drummer for Last Exit, The Decoding Society, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and many others. It’s from Jeffrey Taylor’s excellent Jazz Diaspora column, part of the Line Out blog at The Stranger. That piece is the reason I picked up Köln last week and played it on the show. It’s definitely worth digging through previous entries in the Diaspora series, and Köln is an album that anyone interested in Peter Brötzmann, Bill Laswell, or Sonny Sharrock should check it out.

Almost no label links this time, as most of them wouldn’t help very much. You can find many of these records very easily  from the stores, shops, and distributors listed at the bottom of this page. Any questions or requests, send me an email (see the about page).

Thanks for listening.

Laughter: October 27th, 2013 – Hour 1 and Hour 2

  1. The Velvet Underground, “White Light/White Heat” from White Light/White Heat (1996) on POLYDOR – originally released in 1968 on Verve
  2. The Velvet Underground, “What Goes On” from The Velvet Underground (1996) on POLYDOR – originally released in 1969 on MGM
  3. The Velvet Underground, “Venus In Furs” from The Velvet Underground & Nico (1996) on POLYDOR – released in 1967 on Verve
  4. The Velvet Underground, “The Murder Mystery” from The Velvet Underground (1996) on POLYDOR — originally released in 1969 on MGM
  5. John Coltrane, “Mars” from Interstellar Space (2000) on IMPULSE — originally released in 1974 on Impulse, recorded in 1967
  6. Eddie Gale, “A Walk with Thee” from Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music (2003) on WATER MUSIC — originally released in 1968 by Blue Note
  7. Joe McPhee, “Nation Time” from Nation Time (2000) on ATAVISTIC — originally released in 1971 on CJ Records
  8. Bill Dixon, “Pellucity” from Vade Mecum (1994) on SOUL NOTE — included in the Black Saint/Soul Note 9CD set
  9. Eric Dolphy, “Straight Up And Down” from Out to Lunch (1964) on BLUE NOTE
  10. Noah Howard, “Ole Negro” from The Black Ark (2007) on BO’WEAVIL — recorded and released in 1969, on Freedom Records
  11. Last Exit, “Hard School” from Köln (2005) on ATAVISTIC — recorded in 1986, Discogs shows the first release as 1990 on ITM Records
  12. Miles Davis, “Miles Runs The Voodoo Down (fragment)” from Bitches Brew (2010) on COLUMBIA/LEGACY — originally released in 1970 on Columbia
Brotzmann playing a huge sax

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Morning Wake-Up Call: Peter Brötzmann’s “Machine Gun”

The Peter Brötzmann feature in this month’s issue of Wire magazine has me busting my copy of Machine Gun out again—and admiring the first decent Wire cover in ages. Machine Gun sounds better to me now than it did when I first heard it 14 or 15 years ago, when I was 15 or 16 years old. I remember hearing the opening saxophone blast for the first time and laughing, both out of surprise and because it delivered exactly what the album title promised: a scary, rapid fire blast built up from three saxophonists, two bassists, two drummers, and a lonely pianist. Brötzmann’s intensity and volume is mentioned in nearly every review his music gets (for good reason), but there’s a lot of great humor and subtlety folded into his music too: listen long enough to the song below and you’ll hear what sounds like a riot passing through a football game at a university. The Complete Machine Gun Sessions is currently out of print, but according to the Atavistic website you can find it at places like iTunes or eMusic. Recommended listening.