Friday, March 05, 2004


Photo by Michael Wilderman

As noted in the prior post, Eddie Jefferson (the acknowledged father of vocalese) was the pen behind King Pleasure's big hit "Moody's Mood for Love" . Unlike Pleasure, Eddie stuck around for the duration; he recorded extensively throughout the fifties all the way into the seventies, where he was "rediscovered" and started laying verses over fusion tracks.

Eddie did covers of both Coleman Hawkins and Herbie Hancock, rapped over Miles' "Bitches Brew", Diz's "A Night In Tunisia" and (full circle!) Adderley's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy". He witnessed the evolution of jazz music from the forties to the eighties and he rode the beat like a cowboy.

Eddie's voice is no great shakes (sorta loungy Biz Markie, methinks); but that hardly matters when you can drop verbs over a freakin' glissando. Twista, eat your heart out.

Jefferson was shot to death outside a Detroit club in the late seventies. Online references on the circumstances of his death (and indeed any information on most of this week's musicians, Cannonball aside) are scant; information on his music is similarly so.

So here I am pitching a pebble in the ocean. Enjoy the pretty ripples.

Ladies and gents: Eddie Jefferson.


Eddie Jefferson - "Filthy McNasty"

Great riff over the Horace Silver classic, circa 1968.

Show of hands: who'd pay to hear a Wu-style Dirt McGirt cover?

Purchase the 1979 concert video "Eddie Jefferson Live from Jazz Showcase" from Facets Multimedia
In a horrific twist of fate, this concert was Eddie's last, filmed only two days before he was murdered.
An incomplete but impressive Eddie Jefferson discography and personnel list


Eddie Jefferson - "Body and Soul"

Beautiful tribute to Coleman Hawkins showcasing Jefferson's ample songwriting brilliance.

I really can't listen to the original anymore without singing the lyrics in my head; they fit so perfectly it's difficult to believe the words and music were written independently.

"In Gay Paree/In Germany/It's 'Ja' and 'Oui Oui'"

A pair of RealAudio excerpts from an interview with Eddie
I don't use RealAudio, so you'll have to tell me if this was worth your time.
This and the prior track can be found on Eddie Jefferson's "Body and Soul" available via Amazon


Eddie Jefferson - "Billie's Bounce"

Yow-ZA! Jefferson chews up Charlie Parker!

The verbal riff at 1:09 is a mindboggler. Anybody care to transcribe?

Just so much joy. Excellent snoopydancing accompaniment.

Purchase the CD "Things Are Getting Better" from Amazon, featuring the jazzrapcover of Sly and the Family Stone's "Thank You-Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin"(!); you could also take a hint from the tofukid and get yourself:
Jazz Singer which has VICIOUS coverart and an astonishing rendition of "So What" that defends Miles Davis' infamous lack of patience with doting jazz audiences. I certainly would've posted "So What" but I only have it on audio tape. Still, I can't recommend it enough. Go forth and buy!



More blogsplanation.

Daily Music Fix is a selection of musicblogs that I frequent, recommend and love. On any given day, these fellows post a cumulative two or three albums worth of music, so when I say Daily Music Fix, I exaggerate a little.

Lately, I'm lucky to hit and dl seven sites worth of updates. I alternate sites throughout the week and try to cull everything I can for listening, filtering and future exploration before it gets pulled down.

The past six months since I've started seriously exploring musicblogging have seen me discover more (and more diverse) music than I have at any other time in my life. One of the side effects of this level of diversity is genre invisibility: when you listen to godspeedyoublackemperor, britney, nelliemckay, kid606, scissor sisters, scarface, sufjan stevens and Gackt back2back2back; you stop thinking in terms of "indy"/ "bubblegum"/ "nuvocabaret"/"idm"/"dancepop"/"hiphop"/ "gloom"/"jpop" and start thinking solely in terms of "music".

Urg. I'm namedropping; but you get my point, yes?

An openminded fan with internet access can now take Coltrane sized giantsteps away from dichotomies of "trendy/play'dout", "commercial/underground", even "good/bad" and just start listening to whatever holds their attention regardless of hype, scenester cache, geographic location, personal cashflow or musical era.

We're rapidly nearing a time when our only musical limitations will be our ability to adapt to and accept new sounds. Within the next decade, musical miscegenation is gonna "fuck our ears coffee colored" to paraphrase Warren Beatty and I couldn't be more excited.

I love musicblogging and should really get around to writing a brief essay on the phenomena, especially seeing as I seem to be currently paddling toward the cresting wave of the zeitgeist.

This stuff always occurs to me at three in the morning. Meh. I'll draft a Manifesto later.

Meanwhile, here's the first seven sites on the list.

AltaVista Audio Search is really more of a tool than a blog, but it IS downright priceless. Just type in a phrase or artist and AltaVista will hunt the web for matching mp3/wav/RAM files with that word in the title. It's Musigoogle. Crazy helpful.


Jacob and Nick, the main boys at Gabba post (mostly) electronic dancesynth, beat driven hiphop, IDM and a healthy sprinkling of straight up pop. They hardly ever disappoint and a new Gabba posting is generally cause for celebration and a revamped gym playlist.

CURRENT HOTSHIT: That Memphis Bleek/Just Blaze track I noted in yesterday's post is still up and still hot.


Said the Gramophone is about as eclectic as they come, moving seamlessly from GUnit to ModestMouse in a single entry. Writing on the site is engaging, interesting and funny. Sean's turned me on to some tracks I'm treasuring right now; notably Sufjan's "Seven Swans" and Four Tet's "She Moves She". It's the place to be.

CURRENT HOTSHIT: The guitar stylings of Bert Jansch and John Renbourne on "East Wind" remind me of Bruno Battisti D'Amorio (a'la "The Good the Bad and the Ugly"), which merits big ups.


Teaching the Indy Kids to Dance Again hit the scene shortly before I started posting. His stuff is also pretty much all over the map (Beach Boys to Pizzicato 5), but mostly sticks to what the hip indy kids are listening to these days... I think? I'll be honest with you: most of the names he reps are totally unknown to me. Suffice it to say that I'm terribly uncool on the rock scene and unclear as to just how underground these tracks are. Regardless, Keith's a good guide and will be gentle with you as long as you keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

CURRENT HOTSHIT: Cafe Tacuba's "Raratonga" is about to come down and it would be a shame if you died without chickenwalking to it.


Fluxblog was my first musicblog. AKA "Th' Daddy" sets the standard by posting two new tracks daily for pretty much the past two years straight. The dependability, reliably bright prose and consistently interesting and unique choice in music that one can find over at Flux set the standard for musicbloggin'. Matt's taste doesn't always run parallel to mine but I'd say that over the course of a week he posts at least three tracks that get heavy airplay at casa de tofu for the following month. Can't ask for more than that.

CURRENT HOTSHIT: It's hard to pick just one, but you could do worse than sticking your nose into Wiley's "Problems". I'm prepping for a MethMan/Wiley teamup in early '05.


Fruits of Chaos is the brainchild of Mel and El and pumps out mostly J- K- and C-Pop of high quality distinction. Asian pop/rock has been a real interest for me as of late and it wouldn't have been without the chaos kids' direction. Domo Arigato Missus Robotos.

CURRENT HOTSHIT: Honestly, nothing's really grabbing me on this goround at the House of Chaos. A picture of Hyde does adorn the top of this site, so you could do worse than sampling his "Hello", which sounds like a Japanese Scott Weiland jamming over last summer's hot groove; but a little better, honest. Not for everyone but if that description didn't scare you off, you should go check it out.


So This Is Love is in Spanish, which breaks my heart since I'd love to learn more about the music he posts. Bummer. C'mon Diego, howsabout the occasional English column? I knows you gots it in you!

CURRENT HOTSHIT: The post by the Immortals is kinda niftily ambient. Haven't listened to it enough yet to really endorse it, but it's still easy on the ears after two listenings.



You must run (not walk) to Shut 'Em Down, an excellent Public Enemy resource with MULTIPLE live albums, rarities, interviews and instrumentals.

I've been listening to PE all night; why haven't you?

Particular shouts to the Herb Alpert "By The Time I Get to Arizona" mashup, the Pete Rock "Shut 'Em Down" remix, the rarity "Mao Tse-Tung" (which showcases some different styles from Chuck) and one of my favorites: "Rise 'N' Shine" with KRS-1 and Kool Moe Dee.


In an effort to give me a chance to live a real life (and not get burned out on posting), I'm opting to make this a 9-5 blog, meaning I'll probably refrain from posting much of anything over the weekends.

Actually, I will be posting our first (yay!) mix CD review over the weekend, having just received it in the mail! Stay tuned for that; a few tracks from the CD will likely be posted to accompany!

brief postscript to Damo: you didn't leave an email addy. Please drop one in the comments here or else we'll hafta open the CD up for newbidding.