archiv of the category odds and ends


Billy Taylor documentary

A new documentary film, Billy Taylor: American Hero, which was show at the IAJE Conference in New York, is now available for downloading/viewing on Billy’s website

Produced and directed by Bret Primack, the film includes interviews with Billy, Jon Faddis, Kim Taylor Thompson and Alan Bergman, as well as rare performance footage of Billy with Duke Ellington and Willie “the Lion” Smith on the David Frost Show, and, Billy’s acting debut on the CBS Television Program, See It Now, in 1952, when he portrayed Jelly Roll Morton.

“Billy Taylor is unique,” Primack believes, “not just for his accomplishments in Jazz, as a musician, composer, educator, broadcaster and spokesperson, but for his humanity. That’s what this documentary is really about, an incredibly caring, creative man who has touched the lives of many people through his music, and by meeting them. Billy is the Dalai Lama of Jazz.”

After writing a Jazz Times tribute to Billy Taylor that appeared at the time of his 75th birthday, Primack begun collaborating with Billy Taylor on several projects, including Jazz Central Station, GMN Jazz Plus, and mostly recently, on Taylor’s website. “As fate would have it, I used to listen to Billy on WNEW back in the early 60s, when I was first getting into Jazz. His program was a wonderful introduction to the music, and he was an icon of
cool. Thirty years later we began working together.”

Primack is excited about using the Internet as a way to distribute the documentary and believes that “in the next few years, the web will replace television, offering literally millions of video options. The success of the Video iPod is proving to be the catalyst for a revolution in the way video is produced, marketed and distributed, just like MP3 files have done for music.”

Instead of waiting to get the documentary on cable tv, or in film festivals and theatres, Primack has bypassed the usual distribution channels and jumped immediately to the web, where “anyone, anyplace can download and view the video, any time of day and night.”

It’s just the press release, I was actually too lazy to write something myself. Also visit Bret Primack’s website.


a bon mot

Music is now increasingly just a cheap noise to sell image.

Michael Penn

Just discovered this on the Underground Soul forum in someone’s signature…unfortunately Michael Penn is right when it comes to the mainstream market.


the soul of Detroit is a site that tells us more about soul music from the past from Detroit, hence the title I suppose. And no, they don’t focus on Motown but on obscure artists. There’s also an article about the love of the Northern Soul scene for these forgotten gems.
[via Number One Songs In Heaven]


old 78s


Here’s a website full of labels of old 78 rpm singles covering a timespan from 1900-1960.
[via spreeblick]



Put on your dancing shoes, your fancy shmancy dress and visit the discomuseum! Despite it’s nearly antique design (well, one year online is adequate to five years in real life and this site looks so 1997) this site is surely a labour of love by someone who seems to know everything about disco and dance music. Where else will you find a list of 12″es issued by labels like Casablanca, Buddah, or Atlantic? There’s even an lengthy article about Marlena Shaw.


The Freedom Now Suite

To make your day on the internet worthwhile you should not only visit the What Is Jazz lectures but also have a closer look at The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship.
Amongst many other things you’ll learn that…

[…] Jazz performers responded to the force of the civil rights movement by recording and performing their music. The most ambitious response was the Freedom Now Suite of Max Roach, recorded in August and September 1960, and involving such major performers as Coleman Hawkins, Abbey Lincoln, and Nigerian drummer Olatunji. The Freedom Now Suite was issued on the small label Candid Records rather than on Max Roach’s regular label, Mercury.

What is jazz?

At you can learn more about jazz, its origins, history, influences etc. in four lectures. All told by a man who surely knows what he’s talking about: Dr. Billy Taylor.
The only disadvantages is that this all took place in 1995 when nobody had broadband, so all the audio files are split to very small pieces and you have to download numerous audio files to hear all four lectures.



Someone’s been very hardworking. Over at tofuhut you can find an almost endless list of audioblogs. I would like to inlcude some audio files as well on jazz-not-jazz, especially of older obscure songs, but since I’m not a lawyer and don’t want to file bankruptcy because I’ve just posted a few audio files, I rather leave things the way they are now.
[via boingboing]


history of sampling

Yes, we’ve heard it all before. But have we seen it all before? Have a look at the history of sampling (enable java to see something).
[via boingboing]


Soul Deep on BBC2

If you receive BBC2 make sure to watch the Soul Deep series which starts today 7 May, 8.25pm. More infos can be found on
[via music from my loft]


download Slide by Mark de Clive-Lowe

If you haven’t got a copy of Tide’s Arising, the new album by Mark de Clive-Lowe, you will certainly be pleased to hear that you can download one of my favourite songs, Slide, here for free as mp3 file.


Soul Movement

While I looked for some additional infos about the Escofferys, I stumbled across the Soul Movement page. If you’re an avid collector of soul records like I am, then you certainly love this site with all the covershots of records from the 90s.


Verve Remixed 3 and the lack of ideas

What label executives say:

“I’m very excited about Verve Remixed 3,” says co-producer and Verve Music Group A&R Director Dahlia Ambach Caplin. “The opportunity to make another record working with the Verve vocal catalogue, which continually yields gems that inspire the artists and producers to create such special collaborations, combined with all the things we learned from working on the previous albums, allowed us to make a record we’re very proud of.”

“Verve Remixed 3 is a testament to the talents we worked with” says co-producer Todd Roberts. “They each transcended the idea of a remix by digging deep into the spirit of the original songs.”

And what they really mean:

“I’m very excited about Verve Remixed 3,” says co-producer and Verve Music Group A&R Director Dahlia C. “We’ve totally run out of ideas and we’re too stingily to develop and nurture new artist who doesn’t provide us with a hit record with their debut. So we’ve decided to rip the Verve vocal catalogue and give some songs to untalented remixers who doesn’t give a damn about the original artist or the song’s message. The result is a crappy piece of plastic, but it didn’t cost us anything and that’s something we’re proud of.”

“Verve Remixed 3 is a testament to the bunch of untalented blokes we worked with” says co-producer Todd R. “They each had no idea what they did but, hey, they can put a stupid dancebeat under a song and alter vocals with their equipment.”

Come on Verve…what’s the use of this project? Verve Remixed 1 and 2 had at least some A-class remixers instead of the B and C-class we get here. And some of the remixes on #1 and #2 were quite good as well. Why flog an idea to death? The unmixed album release is much better, although this lacks an overall theme that would make the songs coherent. So in the end, this is just another loveless compilation of good vocal jazz songs.
I know you can do better, Verve. After all you gave us Lizz Wright, some funky stuff from Roy Hargrove and some leftfield-jazz grooves from Me’shell Ndegeocello. And you’re still my favourite major jazz label. Although the competition isn’t really one with Blue Note and Warner Jazz being the only competitors that spring to my mind. (Does Sony/BMG have a jazz sublabel now that they have merged?). Warner hasn’t by far such an extensive back catalogue like Verve/Universal and Blue Note/EMI has lost me since they release their CDs with copy protection in Germany. I’ll never buy a CD that is copy-proctected because I want to play my music on every possible CD-player and not the ones EMI wants me to play the CDs. (I even did not buy the last Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson releases although I call them both favourite artists of mine)
There is a good reason why the Red Book standard for CDs has been developed. And I like to rip my CDs to play them as ogg (vorbis)-files on my DAP (digital audio player) and to record self-made compilation CDs. That may be also possible if they are copy-protected but it’s not legal anymore in Germany to use software to rip copy-protected CDs.
As far as I know Verve/Universal hasn’t released copy-protected CDs in Germany. So they are still a label one can buy a release from every now and then. But I really see no greater vision behind Verve Remixed 3 than cashing in on the success of Verve Remixed 1 and 2. Oh yes, I’m still annoyed about the Curtis Mayfield Mayfield Remixed and the Motown Remixed Projects and Verve Remixed 3 doesn’t make things better for me and my (slight) antipathy towards major labels.

Tracklisting of Verve Remixed 3: 1./ Nina Simone “Little Girl Blue” - Postal Service Remix/ 2. Billie Holiday “Speak Low” - Bent Remix/ 3. Anita O’Day “Sing, Sing, Sing” - RSL Remix/ 4. Sarah Vaughan “Fever” - Adam Freeland Remix/ 5. Shirley Horn “Come Dance With Me” - Sugardaddy Remix/ 6. Blossom Dearie “Just One of Those Things” - Brazilian Girls Remix/ 7. Astrud Gilberto “The Gentle Rain”- RJD2 Remix/ 8. Sarah Vaughan “Peter Gunn” - Max Sedgley Remix/ 9. Jimmy Smith “Stay Loose” - Lyrics Born Remix/ 10. Hugh Masekela “The Boy’s Doin’ It” - Carl Craig Remix/ 11. Nina Simone “Lilac Wine” - The Album Leaf Remix/ 12. Billie Holiday “Yesterdays” - Junior Boys Remix/ 13. Dinah Washington “Baby, Did You Hear?” - Danger Mouse Remix | released 2005 by Verve Records

[If you want to discuss the music on this compilation, you can leave your comment below and also use the forum]


soulstrut is a nice site for all fans of vintage soul/funk/jazz. Just have a look at the site’s review list with rare albums from the 70s like Shirley Caesar’s Get Up My Brother or Della Reese’s Black Is Beautiful. If only the covershots would be larger…


Radio Avolta

Fans of Brazilian vibes from the 50s to the early 80s will certainly love the podcasts Radio Avolta has to offer. Visit their website (odd, that they didn’t called it to download their shows. Large files with lots of songs, unfortunately only 64kpbs encoded. Dear Radio Avolta, can I please have them as ogg-files, since my DAP (digital audio player) can play my favourite lossy audio codec. :-)
[edit: Try Avolta’s show from March 05 about Tim Maia, that features the great (and epic) Rational Culture.]


three links and are two web radio stations you might enjoy and at you’ll find some more links to web radio stations and other stuff.