Friday, September 30, 2011

Hamza El Din

Mellow mellow, feeling really mellow.  Skip this post if you are in a bumpin mood and about to go out, but if you just want to chill and watch the rain for a while this is the tune to accompany you.  Hamza is a Nubian/Egyptian chap that plays the oud.  The oud... hmn... picture the combination of a guitar and a watermelon. :-)  He has interacted with a bunch of famous musicians but the coolest one is that he played with the Grateful Dead during their Egypt 1978 concerts.  Song 11 "Ollin Arrageed" is the one where Hamza plays; it takes quite a while to build but it's good stuff.  As a side note, this is not one of the Dead's better concerts but it gets better toward the end.

Hamza El Din - I Remember (1971)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

MC Solaar

Today the tuneage doctor prescribed some chill, French hip-hop; MC Solaar delivered.

MC Solaar - A Dix De Mes Disciples (1994)

Friday, August 26, 2011


Just discovered this band while surfing around music blogs and the internet. EatLiz is an Israeli progressive rock band that describes music as "complicated pop" (I like that they don't take themselves too seriously).  This song is cool because of its name and lyrics... and because it blends a bunch of music styles into a pumpin' melange.  It sounds like there live shows are pretty awesome and they were in the US for the first time earlier this year; hopefully they will be back.

EatLiz - Must Get Laid (2009)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mose Allison

Here's a little folksy, bluesy tune about a prison in Mississippi. If you have not heard of Mose Allison before you surely have heard musicians who have been influenced by him, ranging from Van Morrison, The Clash, Rolling Stones, The Who - pretty amazing.

Mose Allison - Parchman Farm (1957)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pete Philly & Perquisite

Pete Philly & Perquisite, hip-hop gents from Amsterdam released their first album called 'Mindstate' which was very well received.  Interestingly, after touring they decided to re-release the same album with all the songs remixed by well known DJs.  Pretty cool approach and it is cool to compare the versions across the two albums.

Pete Philly & Perquisite - Cheeky (DJ PCM Remix) (2006)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Eumir Deodato

So you may not recognize the song name "Also Sprach Zarathustra" but I can nearly guarantee that you have heard the tune.  It was originally composed by Richard Strauss and was featured heavily in the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey.  Here is an amazing version of the song with some heavy fusion-jazz influence.

Eumir Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra (1972)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Eels are playing here in Portland tonight and I am not able to go.  Argh... totally bummed as this would have been a really great show to see.  In an attempt to compensate I spent the afternoon listening to Eels.  The breadth of musicals styles that they span is really impressive.  One interesting thing I just learned is that Mark Everett is the mainstay of the band and the other musicians seem to float in and out of the group.

Eels - Souljacker part 1 (2001)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jaco Pastorius

Jaco, electric bass, genius.  What else is there to say? Actually, I think his music stands for itself but he was quite a mess off-stage.  Apparently he was bipolar and had major issues with drugs and alcohol. Sadly, this legend  was murdered in 1987 by a nightclub bouncer who brutally ejected him from the premises and beat him to death. 

He was homeless and broke for much of his life. I read an interesting comment beneath a YouTube video from a guy whose dad was a dentist that Jaco visited once.  Jaco had no money to get his teeth taken care of so he paid the dentist by giving him a box of unreleased recordings that were lying around in his basement! 

This YouTube video is an excerpt from a DVD called Modern Electric Bass, Jaco Pastorius and it sounds like they had to more or less lock Jaco up in a hotel room for a week so that he could stay sober enough to play and be interviewed.

Jaco Pastorius - The Chicken (late 1970s?)

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Gaturs

The Gaturs were a 1970's New Orleans funk band similar to The Meters although they did not enjoy much commercial success. They were led by Willie Tee who, interestingly, "grew up in the Calliope public housing complex alongside the Neville Brothers". It looks like these cats only put out one album which has a few awesome songs mixed in with a bunch of turds but I am lovin' the goodies.

The Gaturs - Gator Bait (1970)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Billy Preston

While I tend to like a very broad array of music, I must admit that there is one instrument that I just can't get enough of - the Hammond B3.  The sound is so unmistakable and so many famous musicians play the B3 that it is amazing they haven't produced a new one since the mid-70's.  I'll have to resist the temptation to post too many songs featuring the B3.

Excerpt from Billy Preston's Bio:
Billy was called the Fifth Beatle because he played keyboards on Let it Be, The White Album and Abbey Road. He also played on the Rolling Stones's hit song Miss You, and often played with Eric Clapton. He also did the organ work on Sly & the Family Stone's greatest hits. Preston's own hits included "Nothing from Nothing," "Will it Go Round in Circles," and "You Are So Beautiful," which Joe Cocker turned into an international hit.

Billy Preston - Have you ever loved a woman (2005?) live at Crossroads guitar festival with Eric Clapton

Check out this picture of Billy in his prime.  Hells yeah man!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Nicolas Repac

The Europeans definitely have something going on with electro-swing (or a least some forms of it).  Old time swing rhythms remixed with some faster beats combine into some really interesting and fun music.  I think it is totally chill.

Nicolas Repac - Swing Swing (2010)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ruthie Foster

They call her "the phenomenal Ruthie Foster" and I agree.  What a voice!  She is still quite young so I am looking forward to following her and her all female band. Lots more blues awards in her future, me thinks.

Ruthie Foster - Heal Yourself (2007)

Monday, July 25, 2011

James Brown

One of my favorite musicians of all time, soul brother number one, the godfather of soul, Mr Dynamite, the Godfather of Funk, the one and only Mr. James Brown.  At one point I thought I had every album and had heard every song many times but then I just kept discovering more.  The Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness was quite prolific and his genius is evidenced by the multitude of rappers and hip hop artists that sample his grooves.

"Sometimes, you like to let the hair do the talking!" - JB

This song first came out with score for the blaxploitation film Black Caesar in 1973. It was also included in the James Brown compilation CD "In the Jungle Groove" which was number 330 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of 500 greatest albums of all time.

James Brown - Blind Man Can See It (1973)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Herbie Hancock

Well, I imagine that y'all have heard Water Mellon Man and some of Herbie's more popular tunes, but how about this one?  I just came across this song and love it - actually, get lost in it would be a better way to put it.  This song comes from the album of the same name which "was a turning point for Hancock to move towards the Jazz-funk style." (per Wikipedia)

Herbie Hancock - Fat Albert Rotunda (1969)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Echo & The Bunnymen

For some reason Echo & the Bunnymen have caught my ear lately.  Here is a fantastic version of the Doors' Soul Kitchen with a cool 50's beach guitar sound melded into the haunting beat.

Echo & The Bunnymen - Soul Kitchen (1987)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Pop Group

Late '70's punk, oh yeah.  Bring it.  Somehow The Pop Group weaves dissonant sounds and Mark Stewart's screaming into great music.  It amazes me that they are so unheard these days.

"Consumer fascism, we are all prostitutes, everyone has their price" - I love that line.

The Pop Group - We are all prostitutes (1979)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oz Noy

Now here is another guitarist that I absolutely love, Oz Noy.  He is from Israel but relocated to New York in 1996 and plays regularly at The Bitter End and other clubs. He has won a couple awards from Guitar Magazine and played with lots of top acts.  The guy just cranks and I sure would love to see him live sometime.

His web site it says that he is available for hire... private lessons and weddings... seriously? WTF?

On his MySpace page you can listen to a bunch of songs for free and more info about him.

Oz Noy - Epistro Funk (2008)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Avi Bortnick

Here is an outstanding guitar jam by Avi Bortnick.  This song is from the album 'Clean Slate' which has lots of great tunes.

Avi Bortnick - Diabolus Solo (2003)


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gabor Szabo

Switching up the tempo a bit, here is a totally chill jazz, jam tune that has a nice, mellow beat and just flows beautifully.

Gabor Szabo - Mizrab (1967)