I'm not sure where I was when I first heard Culture but I knew a shift
happened. I sought out their entire catalog devoured it the way an
addict would. The harmonies were so soulful and wrought with
inspiration. Along with bands like Israel Vibrations, Culture
represented a shift from the single singer formula that had stood from
Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. But just like Toots from the Maytals, Joseph
Hill would eventually outshine his cohorts and take the throne of
Culture. Every album released by Culture is a near classic. You could
be hard pressed to tell one decades release from the next. They never
wavered. Sadly Joseph Hill died this past August and Reggae lost
another Giant from it's heyday. Joseph was still going strong in his
57th year eventually collapsing after a gig in Germany. Joseph will be
sorely missed but his music lives on.
Usually we have an audio
clip featuring our artist of the month but we'd like to show a video of
Culture's classic Natty Dread Taking Over
Mad Libs (from lat. ad libitum -
as you wish) is a word game
where one player prompts another for a list of words to substitute for
blanks in a story; these word substitutions have a humorous effect when
the resulting story is then read aloud.(wikipedia). If
you've ever played this game you know how it works, you fill in the
blanks and some times it's funny. Otis Jackson Jr., the beat miner from
Cali, definitely chose his moniker correctly when he took on the name
Madlib. Nobody can fill in the blanks quite like he can. Whether he
records as Quasimoto, Yesterdays New Quintet, Beat Konducta, Sound
Directions or the Otis Jackson Trio he is always on point. We've played
Madlib in the past we will continue keep pimpin him. The man is in so
much demand he has attained what many crate diggers only dream about.
Two classic labels asked Madlib to dig deep into their vaults and
release his favourites. Trojan, the venerable reggae-dub label asked
Madlib to create a classic reggae mix from its extensive catalog.
Keeping it in true reggae DJ vein tracks fall off, are mixed together
and seem to get lost in the confusion. This man has a true
understanding of how a true reggae DJ is; manic, maniacal and a little
under the influence. For most of us life would be complete after that,
well apparently it goes on. And on it did. The jazz giant Blue Note
rung Jackson up and asked to him to cull and remix their vaults. Shades
of Blue was the outcome and it was an instant classic. The album was a
head noddin trip down memory lane with Madlib remixing and rerecording
some of the songs under his many nom de plums.
out Yesterdays New Quintet's Sundays
Few people change the landscape of music and Trane did this. He was and
is a GIANT. Even if you don't listen to Jazz you know the name John
Coltrane. Coltrane had a distinct sound that is recognizable anywhere.
His quartet, rounded out by drummer Elvin Bishop, keys McCoy Tyner, and
Jimmy Garrison on bass, was the standard. Coltrane was beguiling, his
music lifting you to far off places. He cut his chops with the greats -
Monk, Gillespie and Miles. It was his star performance with Miles Davis
that made Coltrane the name that he was. Stealing the show on Kind of
Blue, Trane would release My Favourite Things shortly afterward and the
world was never the same. Jazz doesn't reach out to everyone, sadly,
and Coltrane definitely is not for everyone; but to those of us that
'get' it we share in the fact that if a day ever got us down or we woke
up on the wrong side of the bed the first few notes of A Love Supreme
would wash away those gray clouds.
Quite simply the
man is a GIANT. Check out this video of Coltrane and his famous quartet
doing Afro Blue,
and if you have my phone number give me a call - I hear this song ever
time it rings.
Below is Coltrane with
Thelonius Monk on his classic Trinkle Tinkle
It will be 26
years this month since Bob passed and I can still remember watching his
funeral on the New Music in Toronto. Bob touched a lot of people and
had a wide impact throughout the world. Bob was an outspoken
individual whose persona seems to have overshadowed who the actual
person was. Despite singing such classics as No Woman No Cry, Bob was
the father of 13 children from 9 different women. His children continue
to keep his legacy alive with Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley releasing the
already classic Welcome to Jamrock last year. Recently Multi-Grammy
winner Stephen stepped out from behind the board to release his first
solo effort Mind
Bob has left a legacy, this
much is true.
In 1963, Bob Marley, Bunny Livingston, Peter McIntosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith formed a ska
group, calling themselves "The Teenagers". They later changed their
name to "The Wailing Rudeboys", then to "The Wailing Wailers", and
finally to "The Wailers". By 1966, Braithwaite,
Kelso, and Smith had left The Wailers, leaving the core trio of Marley,
Livingston, and McIntosh.
Marley took on the role of leader, singer, and main
songwriter. Much of The Wailers' early work, including their first
single Simmer Down, was produced by
Coxsone Dodd at Studio One.
Simmer Down topped Jamaican Charts in 1964 and established The Wailers
as one of the hottest groups in the country. They followed up with
songs such as "Soul Rebel" and "400 Years".
Josh Davis AKA DJ Shadow served notice in 1996 that the world of Hip
Hop was about to change. Endtroducing exploded onto the scene and
nothing has been the same ever since. Listing only one sample credit
per song, heads were left scratching trying to find out where he came up with his
beats. Guinness recognized his talents and entered Endtroducing as the
'First Completely Sampled Album'. Shadow took sampling to a whole other
level. Sampling single drum beats and building his music that way let
him mask his sources, and in the competitive world of hip hop this is a
very hard thing to do. Shadow quite frankly walked very loudly and
carried a very large stick, and people noticed. He has toured the world
and collaborated with a host of amazing artists. With James Lavelle of
Mo Wax he became U.N.K.L.E. and recorded with Thom Yorke, Richard
Ashcroft and Mike D amongst others. Check out this video
of a high school band performing tracks from Endtroducing live. JD has
spent a lifetime digging in crates and has released some seriously rare
and funky tracks. Check out the Various Section of the Solesides site for some great tracks.
Art Neville - Vocals, George Porter Jr - Bass, Leo Nocentelli - Guitar,
Joseph 'Zigaboo' Modeliste. These four funky Mo-Fos make up, easily,
the funkiest band that has ever lived. After working with Lee Dorsey
the Meters went into the studio to cut some of their own tracks and our
world has never been the same. We here at the Low End Theory received a
tip some years back, before the internet, that the Meters would be
playing the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. We packed our
bags and prayed for the best. To make a long story short, the Meters
played 3 times in 4 nights including a night at the historic Tipitinas.
If the world ended after that well so be it. These four guys have been
sampled and covered by so many artists that we would need a whole other
web site to list them. Quite simply, these men are giants and we here
would like to say thank you
Kruder & Dorfmeister
Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister are arguably the Lounge Jazz and Remix
GODS. Pairing up in the early 90's on the Ninja Tune label this duo
from Vienna set the world ablaze with their low end groovers. They soon
caught the attention of many an artist, remixing the likes of Ron Size
and Depeche Mode. In 1998 Kruder and Dorfmeister released the epic K
and D Sessions. This 2 CD Masterpiece was broken into two moods. The
second CD is full slow jams to take you down from a long night out -
play once the clock hits 8:00 am, no earlier. The first CD is best
experienced in a drop top on a barren highway no earlier than 11:00 pm.
It would be a whole lot better if you had a cigar and White Russian -
we aren't condoning D&D but if you must, please do it with style!
Kruder and Dorfmeister bio from G-Stone
So who are Kruder & Dorfmeister?
Well, basically two guys mainly known through their successful dj-sets and a
respectable record of vinyl-releases since 1993. A dubplate-melting factor from
Vienna. Two producers/djs/remixers whose distinctive trademark sound is at most
times extremely mellow, has a lot of bass, downbeat tracks and a sense of epic
soundscapes. There might be the occasional double-time breaks and the heavy
and deep typically viennese feeling.
Consider K&D to roam in their own, unique realm of musical beutekunst that owes
and gives a lot to rare funk tunes, electric jazz arrangements, the feeling
of deep soul, hiphop, dub, reggae, ambient, fusion, brazil, chansons, dope beats
and drum+bass and still a lot more influences that happen to find the interest
of the two austrians.
Green is our artist of the month for January. If you don't
who Grant Green is then you aren't doing it right. Back in the 60s
world of jazz you either played a horn, keys or drums, nuff said. No
one wanted guitar players, let alone electric guitar players. Grant
Green changed that. Grant's smooth playing led him to jam with some
that eras greats. lets name drop, shall we?
Born in St. Louis, Green
began performing with a gospel group at 13 and
played with blues and R&B bands in his hometown and in East St.
Louis throughout his teens. He performed with Jimmy Forrest, Harry
Edison and Donaldson during the 1950s and moved to N.Y. in 1960 at
Donaldson's suggestion. He quickly became an integral part of the
city's vibrant jazz scene, gaining exposure that led to his winning the
New Star award on guitar in the 1962 Down Beat Jazz Critics Poll. Green
then began collaborating with the leading organists of that era
including Jack McDuff, Baby Face Willette, Gloria Coleman, John Patton
and Young. Signing with Verve in 1966 he enjoyed moderate commercial
success recording soulful versions of contemporary hits but eventually
rejoined Blue Note from 1969-72. Green's last Blue Note recording, Live
At The Lighthouse, features his working quartet augmented by (Jazz)
Crusader Wilton Felder, Gary Coleman and Bobbye
Hailing from Stockholm Sweden Freddie Cruger AKA Red Astaire just released Soul Search on Ubiquity.
Counting fans such as "Jazzy Jeff, Bobbito, Gilles Peterson, Quantic
and even Erykah Badu" Freddie, which has been mostly available only on
vinyl , releases an all new album of original material. Freddie mixes
soul, jazz, reggae, hip hop, dirty funk and latin grooves to come up
with a sound that is distinctly his.
Freddie Cruger bio on Ubiquity
find Swedish pop or black metal on Soul Search, instead Cruger brings
an album that could easily have come straight from one of the five
boroughs, never mind Stockholm. “My music must have some Swedish
feeling to it but I can’t really pinpoint what that means,” says
Cruger. “I have always been attracted to rhythm, drums and percussion,
and have been deep into Reggae, Soul, Latin, Funk, Rap for as long as I