Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Sunday Jazz – It May As Well Be Spring

…………………….because it sure doesn’t feel like summer!

“It May As Well Be Spring” –  The Bill Evans Trio

William John Evans, known as Bill Evans (August 16, 1929–September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist.

His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and trademark rhythmically independent, “singing” melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists including: Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Taylor, Steve Kuhn, Don Friedman, Marian McPartland, Denny Zeitlin, Bobo Stenson, Warren Bernhardt, Michel Petrucciani and Keith Jarrett, as well as many other musicians world-wide.

The music of Bill Evans continues to inspire younger pianists like Fred Hersch, Bill Charlap, Lyle Mays, Eliane Elias and arguably Brad Mehldau, early in his career. He is considered by some to be the most influential post World War II jazz pianist.

Evans is an inductee of the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

 

 

To buy the music of The Bill Evans Trio click HERE

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June 12, 2011 Posted by | Jazz, Old Music | | Leave a comment

Peck Of The Week – Maria McKee

Here is a great live acoustic version of a Springsteen classic from Maria McKee (Lone Justice)

“Backstreets” (Live) – Maria McKee

McKee was a founding member of the cowpunk/country rock band, Lone Justice, in 1982, with whom she released two albums. Several compilations of both previously released and unreleased material and a BBC Live In Concert album have been released since their demise. Her band opened for such acts as U2.

When she was 19, she wrote Feargal Sharkey‘s 1985 UK number one hit “A Good Heart“, a song she has since recorded herself and released on her album Late December.

The song was originally written about her failed relationship with musician Benmont Tench. Sharkey would later go on to also cover “To Miss Someone” from her self-titled solo debut, on his third solo album “Songs From The Mardi Gras”.

In 1987 she was featured in the Robbie Robertson video “Somewhere Down the Crazy River”, and contributed back-up vocals to his debut solo album, which included the song.

She released her first solo, self-titled album in 1989. Her song “Show Me Heaven“, which appeared on the soundtrack to the film Days of Thunder, was a number one single in the United Kingdom for four weeks in 1990.

She refused to perform this song in public up until recently, when she sang it for the first time in eighteen years, at Dublin Gay Pride.

Following her debut, McKee has released five studio (and two live) albums. The later three, High Dive, Peddlin’ Dreams and Late December, were released independently via her own Viewfinder Records label (distributed in the UK via Cooking Vinyl).

 

To buy the music of Maria McKee click HERE and for Lone Justice click HERE

 

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories, Old Music, Peck Of The Week, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Friday Fun – What Drink Can Do To You

Lennox Herald Sports Journalist Feels Effect Of One Pint Of Lager

The after effects of a super “Stand Up For The Sons” Comedy Dinner last Saturday were felt by a local superscibe and nearly referee.

We understand normal service has now been resumed.

 

(Sorry Andy just joking the picture just looked like you!)

Here is an appropriate  track from an appropriate album.

“Drunken Nights In The City” – Frankie Miller

 

To buy the music of Frankie Miller click HERE

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Dumbarton FC, Humour, Old Music | , | Leave a comment

Blues Monday – The Bishops

Too Much Too Soon
Till The End Of The Day
Taking It Easy
Train Train
Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White
Don’t Start Me Talking
Baby You’re Wrong
I Don’t Like It
(I Want) Candy

Although amounting to little more than a footnote in the early days of English punk rock, the Count Bishops were a fine, energetic, R&B-based band capable of kicking out a fierce racket of noise that sounded like a grimier version of seminal British R&B revivalists Dr. Feelgood.

Originally fronted by journeyman American singer Mike Spencer, the Count Bishops’ 1975 debut EP, Speedball, (see previous post HERE )released on Ted Carroll’s wonderful Chiswick Records, was a straight-ahead slice of R&B that featured the spooky, exhilarating “Train, Train.”

“Train Train” (Live Album Version) – The Bishops

Surprisingly, the band unceremoniously dumped Spencer and recorded their self-titled debut with fellow Englishman Dave Tice, who had a voice so gruff it sounded as though he gargled with ground glass.

The live album above, originally released as alimited edition 10″,  followed (by this time they had dropped “Count” from their name), but it was clear that the band was simply treading water.

By 1979, the thoroughly mediocre Cross Cuts was released to public apathy, guitarist Zenon de Fleur was killed in a car wreck, and lead guitarist Johnny Guitar hooked up with Dr. Feelgood. The Bishops called it a day.

To buy their music click HERE the live album is available as a download from eMusic HERE

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Blues, Old Music, R&B, Video | , | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Billie Holiday with Don’t Explain

Don’t Explain” is a song written by jazz singer Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr, it is said that she wrote the song after her husband, Jimmy Monroe, came home one night with lipstick traces on his collar.

“Don’t Explain” – Billie Holiday

Hush now, don’t explain
Just say you’ll remain
Unless you’re mad, don’t explain

My love, don’t explain
What is there to gain
Skip that lipstick
Don’t explain

You know that I love you
And what loving does
All my thoughts are real
For I’m so completely yours

Try to hear folks chatter
And I know you cheat
Right or wrong, don’t matter
When you’re with me, sweet

Hush now, don’t explain
You’re my love and pain
My life’s your love
Don’t explain

 

To buy the music of Billie Holiday click HERE

June 5, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music | | Leave a comment

Blast From The Past – Billie Davis

Billie Davis (born Carol Hedges, 22 December 1945, Woking, Surrey, England, had hits in the 1960s, and is perhaps best remembered for the UK hit version of the song, “Tell Him” (1963) and “I Want You to Be My Baby” (1968).

Davis’ performing name was suggested by the impresario, Robert Stigwood, and was derived from those of blues singer Billie Holiday and the entertainer Sammy Davis Jr.

In February 1963 Davis had her biggest success with a cover version of The Exciters‘ “Tell Him”. This song, written by Bert Russell (sometimes known as Bert Berns), was covered in the sixties by a number of other artists, including Helen Shapiro and Alma Cogan, and successfully revived in the late 1990s by Vonda Shepard, for the American Fox television program, Ally McBeal. Davis’ recording reached number ten in the UK.

“Tell Him” – Billie Davis

In 1963, the year in which popular music was transformed by the rise of The Beatles, Davis left Decca records, with which she had had some financial disagreements only to return in the late 1960s when she  made some recordings, including Chip Taylor‘s “Angel of the Morning“, on which she was backed by, amongst others, Kiki Dee and P. P. Arnold. The latter recorded the song herself and had the bigger hit in 1968.

 

“Angel Of The Morning” – Billie Davis

This is however my favourite track of her’s from 1965.

Davis’ final chart entry was a Northern soul version of Jon Hendricks‘ “I Want You to Be My Baby”, originally recorded by Louis Jordan in 1952, which reached number 33 in October 1968, although sales were affected by an industrial dispute at the manufacturing plant.

Billie in Particular found much success in Spain with ‘I Want You To Be My Baby’, produced by Michael Aldred, featuring the voices of Madeline Bell , Doris Troy, Kike Dee, Kay Garner and the Moody Blues Pulled from the studio next door. Billie actually also translated and recorded a version in Spanish. “I did Top of the Pops the record was selling 12.000 a day I remember very clearly a friend of mine was looking after Joe Cocker and we were doing the same sales a day.”

Billie has never really stopped working, just a few breaks bringing up her two children, but has continued to gig and write.

She was a very close friend of Jet Harris touring with him extensively.

Billie and Jet

Following his sad recent passing she will be playing at a Jet Harris Tribute concert as below.

 

 

To buy the music of Billie Davis click HERE

June 2, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, Video | , | Leave a comment

Gil Scott-Heron – RIP

With critical and commercial appeal still surrounding what now turns out to have been his last album “I’m New Here” it is particularily unfair that he should be taken from us.

On promoting the album he described himself as “eccentric, obnoxious, arrogant and selfish” and held the view that “if you have to pay for all the bad things you’ve donethen I have a big bill coming”.

Born on 1st April 1949 he had an absentee Jamaican father Gilbert who was the first black footballer to play for Glasgow Celtic back in 1958.

Living between his mother and his grandmother, as his mother struggled to bring him up alone, he developed an early skill in essay writing at school, his penchant for education resulted in his attendance at Lincoln University where he made his first forays into music.

It became obvious that he was as much an author as he was musician and even to this day his signature tune/essay remains a track from his first 1970 album “A New Black Poet – Small Talk at 25th and Lenox”

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gil Scott-Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
Skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
or report from 29 districts.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion.

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock
news and no pictures of hairy armed women
liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
The revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be right back after a message
bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live

 

 

 

The song was without doubt  the wake up call to black America to switch off the television and do something less passive instead.

Perhaps given that he lived to see a  US administration led by a black President who was actively pursuing as a priority the health of all it’s citizens he considered his work here was done.

Source (in part):-  www.independant.co.uk

 

To buy the music of Gil Scott-Heron click HERE 

May 29, 2011 Posted by | Blues, New News, Old Music, R&B, Video | | Leave a comment

Sunday Jazz – Stormy Weather

The weather during the past week has seen the greatest degree of wind I have seen since I last scoffed an Ashoka vindaloo, therefore it gives the ideal chance to post the great Sinatra’s version of  “Stormy Weather” one of many great songs written by  Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler.

Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem. It has since been covered by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Clodagh Rodgers, and Reigning Sound. Leo Reisman‘s orchestra had the biggest hit on records (with Arlen himself as vocalist), although Ethel Waters recorded version also performed well.

The song tells of disappointment, as the lyrics, “Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky” show someone pining for her man to return. The weather is a metaphor for the feelings of the singer; “stormy weather since my man and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time.”

The original handwritten lyrics, along with a painting by Ted Koehler, were featured on the (US) Antiques Roadshow on 24 January 2011, where they were appraised for between $50,000 and $100,000. The lyrics show a number of crossings out and corrections.

Ethel Waters‘ recording of the song in 1933 was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Library of Congress honored the song by adding it to the National Recording Registry in 2004.

 

“Stormy Weather” – Frank Sinatra

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Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time
Life is bare, gloom and misery everywhere, stormy weather
Just can’t get my poor old self together
I’m weary all the time, the time
So weary all the time

When she went away the blues walked in and they met me
If she stays away, that old rocking chair’s gonna get me
All I do is pray the Lord above will let me
Walk in the sun once more

Can’t go on, everything I have is gone, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together
Keeps raining all the time
Keeps raining all the time

Can’t go on, everything I have is gone, stormy weather
Since my gal and I ain’t together
Keeps raining all the time, the time
Keeps raining all the time

 

To buy the music of Frank Sinatra click HERE

 

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May 29, 2011 Posted by | Jazz Vocal, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Football

Dedicated to Mrs Giggs.

“Footballer’s Wife” – Amy McDonald

To buy the music of Amy MacDonald click HERE

May 27, 2011 Posted by | Footbal, Humour, Old Music | , , | Leave a comment

Blue Monday – Bob Dylan

Despite being regarded as one of the greatest sonwriters ever Dylan has never been slow to honour his roots and inspiration either on record, in concert or more recently during his brilliant radio shows.

His inspiration for his debut album released in 1963 drew from American and Celtic Traditional Folk, Spitituals and of course the blues.

Blue Monday thus brings you three of those tracks in celebration of his roots.

First up is the traditional song “In My Time Of Dying” an early version of which was recorded by Blind Willie Johnson.

Well, in my time of dying don’t want nobody to mourn
All I want for you to do
is take my body home
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Well, well, well

Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Jesus gonna make up, Jesus gonna make
up
Jesus gonna make up my dying bed.

Well, meet me Jesus, meet me,
meet me in the middle of the air
If these wings should fail to me,
Lord,
won’t you meet me with another girl ?
Well, well, well, so I can die
easy
Well, well, well
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Jesus gonna
make up, Jesus gonna make up
Jesus gonna make up my dying bed.

Lord,
in my time of dying don’t want nobody to cry
All I want you to do is take me
when I die
Well, well, well, so I can die easy
Well, well, well
Well,
well, well, so I can die easy
Jesus gonna make up, Jesus gonna make
up
Jesus gonna make up my dying bed.

Next up is a Bukka White classic “Fixin’ To Die”

Feeling funny in my mind, Lord,
I believe I’m fixing to die
Feeling funny
in my mind, Lord
I believe I’m fixing to die
Well, I don’t mind
dying
But I hate to leave my children crying
Well, I look over yonder to
that burying ground
Look over yonder to that burying ground
Sure seems
lonesome, Lord, when the sun goes down

Feeling funny in my eyes,
Lord,
I believe I’m fixing to die, fixing to die
Feeling funny in my
eyes, Lord
I believe I’m fixing to die
Well, I don’t mind dying but
I
hate to leave my children crying
There’s a black smoke rising, Lord
It’s
rising up above my head, up above my head
It’s rising up above my head, up
above my head
And tell Jesus make up my dying bed.

I’m walking kind
of funny, Lord
I believe I’m fixing to die, fixing to die
Yes I’m walking
kind of funny, Lord
I believe I’m fixing to die
Fixing to die, fixing to
die
Well, I don’t mind dying
But I hate to leave my children
crying.

Finally and somewhat appropriate as an end to this theme is Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”

Well there’s one kind of favor I’ll ask for you
Well there’s one kind of favor I’ll ask for you
There’s just one kind of favor I’ll ask for
you
You can see that my grave is kept clean.

And there’s two white
horses following me
And there’s two white horses following me
I got two
white horses following me
Waiting on my burying ground.

Did you ever
hear that coffin sound
Did you ever hear that coffin sound
Did you ever
hear that coffin sound
Means another poor boy is underground.

Did you
ever hear them church bells toll
Did you ever hear them church bells toll

Did you ever hear them church bells toll
Means another poor boy is dead
and gone.

And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
And my heart stopped beating and my hands turned cold
And my heart stopped
beating and my hands turned cold
Now I believe what the Bible
told.

There’s just one last favor I’ll ask for you
And there’s one
last favor I’ll ask for you
There’s just one last favor I’ll ask for you

See that my grave is kept clean.

To buy the music of Bob Dylan click HERE

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Blues, Old Music | , , , | 1 Comment

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