music clip of the day

jazz/blues/rock/classical/gospel/more

Tag: Mos Def

Wednesday, January 8th

three takes

“Stakes Is High” (K. Mercer, D. Jolicoeur, V. Mason, J. Yancey [AKA J Dilla])

Robert Glasper Experiment with Mos Def (AKA Yasiin Bey), live

 

*****

“Suite for Ma Dukes—Stakes Is High” featuring Posdnuos (De La Soul) and Talib Kweli, live, Los Angeles, 2009

 

*****

De La Soul, recording (produced by J Dilla and De La Soul), 1996

 

**********

lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Chicago

Friday, August 19th

what’s new

A Tribe Called Red with Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Narcy, Black Bear
“R.E.D.,” 8/17/16

*****

the beat goes on

2,401 posts—and counting.

Friday, 7/27/12

The voice, too, is a rhythm instrument.

Yasiin Bey, AKA Mos Def
Live (studio performance), Paris, 3/5/12*

*“Quiet Dog,” “Niggas In Poorest,” “Sunshine/Screwface,” “Forever Alive”

Monday, 3/12/12

Some folks, seeking communion and transcendence, go to church. Others go hear hip-hop.

Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) & Talib Kweli
Live, Paris, 3/9/12

More? Here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

**********

lagniappe

reading table

[I]t has been only in the past decade that we appear to have entered an aura-free universe in which all eras coexist at once—a state of possibly permanent atemporality given to us courtesy of the Internet. No particular era now dominates. We live in a post-era era without forms of its own powerful enough to brand the times. The zeitgeist of 2012 is that we have a lot of zeit but not much geist.

—Douglas Coupland, New York Times Book Review (on-line, 3/8/12; print, 3/11/12)

Wednesday, 12/28/11

more favorites from the past year

passings

*****

Is any drummer more lyrical?

Paul Motian, drummer, composer, collaborator, bandleader
March 25, 1931-November 22, 2011

Paul Motian Trio (PM, drums; Joe Lovano, saxophone; Bill Frisell, guitar), “It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago” (P. Motian), live, New York (Village Vanguard), 2005

**********

lagniappe

Sometimes he would strip a beat to absolute basics, the sound of brushes on a dark-toned ride cymbal and the abrupt thump of his low-tuned kick drum. Generally, a listener could locate the form, even when Mr. Motian didn’t state it explicitly.

“With Paul, there was always that ground rhythm, that ancient jazz beat lurking in the background,” said the pianist Ethan Iverson, one of the younger bandleaders who played with and learned from him toward the end.

Mr. Motian’s final week at the [Village] Vanguard was with Mr. Osby and Mr. Kikuchi, in September. “He was an economist: every note and phrase and utterance counted,” Mr. Osby said on Tuesday. “There was nothing disposable.”

—Ben Ratliff, New York Times11/22/11

(Originally posted 11/23/11.)

*******

You’re never too young to die.

 Amy Winehouse, September 14, 1983-July 23, 2011

“Tears Dry On Their Own”

Take 1: original recording and video (2006)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

Take 2: remix by Organized Noize Dungeon Family (Big Boi)
(released 7/24/11)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(Originally posted 7/26/11.)

*******

Today we remember him with a mix of new clips and old favorites.

Gil Scott-Heron, April 1, 1949-May 27, 2011

“The Bottle,” live, Jamaica (Montego Bay, Reggae Sunsplash), 1983
Cool Runnings: The Reggae Movie (1983)

*****

I’m New Here (2010)

“Where Did The Night Go”

***

“Me And The Devil” (Robert Johnson)

***

It’s a remix world.

“New York Is Killing Me” (2010), Chris Cunningham remix

****

Here’s the original track, followed by a couple more remixes.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

With Nas

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

With Mos Def

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**********

langiappe

musical thoughts

In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing. About the dark times.

—Bertolt Brecht

(Originally posted 5/30/11.)

*******

Lloyd Knibb, drummer (Skatalites, et al.)
March 8, 1931-May 12, 2011

Lloyd Knibb’s importance to Jamaican music can’t be overstated. The inventor of the ska beat at Coxson Dodd’s Studio One, Knibb created a sound that spread like wildfire the world over.

—Carter Van Pelt, host, Eastern Standard Time, WKCR-FM

“Freedom Sound,” live, Belgium (Lokerse Festival), 1997

******

Live, Los Angeles, 2007

#1

***

#2

(Originally posted 5/18/11.)

Friday, 12/2/11

what’s new

Black Star (Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey [formerly known as Mos Def])
TV broadcast (The Colbert Report), 2011

“Fix Up”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

“Astronomy (8th Light)”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More? Here.

**********

lagniappe

reading table

I’m on a crowded ship
and I’ve been served the wrong breakfast.

This small mound
of soggy dough
is not what I ordered.

“Why don’t you just say
what you mean?”

Why don’t I?

*****

To be awake
is to discriminate

among birdcalls,
fruits, seeds,
“to work one’s way,”
as they say,

“through.”

*****

Apes can mind-read.
Studies show

what makes us human
is our tendency to point.

*****

I am not alone in this
sentence.

—Rae Armantrout, Money Shot (2011), misc. fragments

Monday, 5/30/11

Today we remember him with a mix of new clips and old favorites.

Gil Scott-Heron, April 1, 1949-May 27, 2011

new clips

“The Bottle,” live, Jamaica (Montego Bay, Reggae Sunsplash), 1983
Cool Runnings: The Reggae Movie (1983)

*****

“We Almost Lost Detroit,” live, Austria (Vienna), 2010

*****

Interview, England (London), 2010

*****

old favorites

Here’s a voice I didn’t know if I’d ever hear again.

Gil Scott-Heron, I’m New Here (out this week)

“Where Did The Night Go” (Gil Scott-Heron)

***

“Me And The Devil” (Robert Johnson)

**********

lagniappe

I’ve had bad times in my life when I’d rather be somewhere else doing something else, for sure. But you get to my age, that shit happens. You get in trouble; you maybe lose some folks—a parent or a friend. Maybe your marriage breaks up, you lose your wife, lose touch with your kid. But what life does not have those things in it?—Gil Scott-Heron (in yesterday’s Guardian)

(Orignially posted 2/8/10.)

**********

I’m the person I see least of over the course of my life, and even what I see is not accurate.

—Gil Scott-Heron (New Yorker, 8/9/2010 [Alec Wilkinson, “New York Is Killing Me”])

Gil Scott-Heron, “I’m New Here” (2010)

(Originally posted 8/24/10.)

**********

It’s a remix world.

Gil Scott-Heron, “New York Is Killing Me” (2010), Chris Cunningham remix

**********

lagniappe

Here’s the original track, followed by a couple more remixes.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

With Nas

Vodpod videos no longer available.

***

With Mos Def

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**********

langiappe

musical thoughts

In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing. About the dark times.

—Bertolt Brecht

(Originally posted 12/16/10.)

**********

langiappe

remembrances

Alec Wilkinson (New Yorker)

Richard Russell (XL Recordings; produced and released GSH’s last album)

Eminem, Chuck D, Cee Low Green, Talib Kweli, et al.

Sunday, 5/1/11

Won’t somebody tell me . . . ?

Blind Willie Johnson, lead vocals and guitar
Willie B. Harris (BWJ’s wife), vocals
“Soul Of A Man,” Atlanta, 1930

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(The guy in the photo is Chris Thomas King, who portrayed Blind Willie Johnson in Wim Wenders’ The Soul of a Man, which aired on PBS as part of Martin Scorsese’s The Blues.)

More? Here. And here.

**********

lagniappe

Blind Willie Johnson, a gospel singer, preacher, and pioneer of the blues, understood the power of the honest question, and he perceived its flame in the Bible.

Johnson was born in poverty in 1897 and blinded at age 7, when his stepmother, in a fight with his father, threw lye in his face. He died in poverty in 1945, sleeping on a wet bed in the ruins of his house, which had burned down two weeks before. Thankfully, between 1927 and 1930, he recorded a number of his biblically based blues songs with Columbia Records. These have inspired countless rockers, from Led Zeppelin to Beck. In 1977 his “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground,” a hauntingly inarticulate meditation on the Crucifixion, was sent into deep space on the Voyager 1 as part of the Voyager Golden Record, a collection of music representing the sounds of Earth to any potentially interested extraterrestrials. The time capsule is scheduled to be within 1.6 light-years of two nearby suns in about 40,000 years. The closest thing to timeless any musical artist could possibly achieve. Mercy, how we do so often love to immortalize those despised and forgotten in life.

Johnson’s uniquely spiritual blues music is driven by the deepest questions, often finding voice through an encounter between biblical tradition and his own life experience, which was well acquainted with sorrow. The Bible peopled his imagination. It was his wellspring of imagery. It empowered him to call this world into question and to envision another. On at least one occasion, the powers that be recognized how potentially explosive such an inspired combination of biblical language and lived oppression could be. He was arrested in front of a New Orleans city building for inciting a riot simply by singing “If I Had My Way I’d Tear the Building Down,” a song about the biblical hero Samson, who tore down the house of the Phil­istine lords after they had gouged out his eyes. To the officer who arrested him, the ancient story suddenly sounded dangerously contemporary.

In his well-known songSoul of a Man,” Johnson growls out the question he has pursued his whole life, knowing that no one can really help him find the answer: Just what is the “soul of a man”? Indeed, what is soul? It’s a question filled to overflowing with other questions. Am I more than my mind? More than my body? More than the sum of my parts? Do I have a soul? Does it live beyond this mortal coil? What am I? Who am I? Why am I here? Such profound questions are often asked, but too often are followed by erudite answers from someone who claims to know. Rarely by someone who honestly does not know. As none of us do.

Johnson recalls his lifelong soul search. He’s traveled far and wide, through cities and wildernesses. He’s heard answers from lawyers, doctors, and theologians. None have satisfied. In response to each of the answers he’s been given, he repeats his question with more forceful, gravelly urgency.

In his quest, he turns to the Bible:

“I read the Bible often, I tries to read it right

And far as I could understand, nothing but a burning light”

 Called to preach since age 5, steeped in the African-American Baptist tradition, this blind sage of spiritual blues knew the Bible inside and out from memory. Yet it gave him no answer, only a more profound mystery: nothing but a burning light.

Timothy Beal, “The Bible Is Dead; Long Live The Bible,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 4/17/11

*****

listening room: what’s playing

Tinariwen, The Radio Tisdas Sessions (World Village)

Tinariwen, Imidiwan: Companions (World Village)

Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star (Rawkus)

Various Artists, Life Is A Problem (Mississippi Records)

Various Artists, Oh Graveyard, You Can’t Hold Me Always (Mississippi Records)

Various Artists, Powerhouse Gospel on Independent Labels, 1946-1959 (JSP)

Arvo Part, Miserere (ECM)

WFMU-FM
Give the Drummer Some (Doug Schulkind), 9 a.m.-noon (EST) (web stream only)

WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)
Eastern Standard Time (reggae), Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-noon (EST)
Traditions in Swing (Phil Schaap), Saturday, 6-9 p.m. (EST)
—Duke Ellington birthday broadcast, 4/29/11

*****

art beat

What brings folks here? It’s not what you might think (if, that is, you were to give this any thought). When it comes to searches, what brings the most people here isn’t music; it’s paintings. “Captain Beefheart paintings,” “de Kooning excavation”: hundreds come here looking for them.

Saturday, 3/26/11

The notes are easy enough to replicate—the touch impossible.

Pinetop Perkins (piano, vocals), July 7, 1913-March 21, 2011

“Grindin’ Man” (with Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, harmonica), live, New Jersey (New Brunswick), 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available.

*****

“How Long Blues,” live

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**********

lagniappe

He was one of the last great Mississippi Bluesmen. He had such a distinctive voice, and he sure could play the piano. He will be missed not only by me, but by lovers of music all over the world.

B.B. King

*****

If you don’t want to die, don’t be born.

Red Paden, owner of Red’s Blues Club, Clarksdale, Mississippi

*****

my back pages

Many years ago I had the pleasure of working with him, co-producing his tracks on Living Chicago Blues, Vol. 2 (Alligator 1978). Warm, amiable, unassuming—he was easy to like.

*****

listening room: what’s playing

• Ornette Coleman, Town Hall 1962

• Mos Def, The Ecstatic

Lupe Fiasco, Lasers

Steve Reich, Double Sextet, 2×5

Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green, Apex

Nneka, Concrete Jungle

Theo Parrish, Sound Sculptures, Vol. 1

Powerhouse Gospel On Independent Labels, 1946-1959

WFMU-FM: Sinner’s Crossroads (Kevin Nutt), Mudd Up! (DJ/rupture)

WKCR-FM: Bird Flight (Phil Schapp), Jazz Alternatives (various), Out To Lunch (various), Western Swing Festival (various)

Tuesday, 3/22/11

Yesterday, on the way home from Bloomington, Indiana (where I’d left my son Luke), one of the things that kept me company was this guy’s latest album.*

Black Star (Mos Def, Talib Kweli), “Definition” (1998)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

*Mos Def, The Ecstatic (2009)

%d bloggers like this: