Music Notes The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes.html Mon, 24 Sep 2018 01:04:07 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Jean Gilles: Requiem - Introit http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/3-classical/23923-ludmia-warzecha-lata-dwudzieste-lata-trzydzieste.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/3-classical/23923-ludmia-warzecha-lata-dwudzieste-lata-trzydzieste.html

Jean Gilles: Requiem - Introit

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluelover) Classical Notes Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:34:17 +0000
Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/3-classical/23897-shostakovichs-violin-concerto-no-1.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/3-classical/23897-shostakovichs-violin-concerto-no-1.html Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1

During his long career under the Communists, Dmitri Shostakovich seesawed between being the pride of Russian music and a pariah one step away from the Siberian Gulag. His lowest moments came in 1936, when he was denounced for his seamy opera “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” (he restored himself to favor with his famous Fifth Symphony), and again in 1948. In that year, Stalin, aging and crazier than ever, attacked musicians, writers, scientists, and scholars: denouncing the most prominent figures to cow the masses. A Party Resolution condemned composers for "formalistic distortions and anti-democratic tendencies alien to the Soviet people." Black lists were drawn up, and heading the composers' list were the names of Shostakovich and Prokofiev.

Dmitri Shostakovich - Violin Concerto No 1 in A Minor

In 1948, Shostakovich had just completed his First Violin Concerto, but locked it away in a desk drawer; this probing and sometimes sarcastic work might seal his doom with the Soviet authorities. With little warning, Shostakovich and other leading Soviet composers found that many of their works that were once praised were now banned. The rationales given were ludicrous; Shostakovich and other composers were forced to listen to long harangues from cultural apparatchiks laden with virtually meaningless terms like “formalism” and “socialist realism.” Despite having sincerely tried to understand these terms for the past two decades, many composers came to the conclusion that social realist works were simply the ones in favor at the moment and formalist ones were not. It would have been laughable if only so much had not been at stake.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Shostakovich and Stalin

 

After the death of Stalin in 1953, there was a gradual relaxation of the persecution of Soviet artists. By 1955 when the composer was 50, under the more relaxed regime of Nikita Khrushchev, compositions that had been hidden away for fear of disciplinary actions were beginning to emerge. One such was Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. He revised the score a bit; the premiere was given in Leningrad on October 29 of that year by the illustrious violinist David Oistrakh with the Leningrad Philharmonic under Evgeny Mravinsky, and published as Op. 99.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Mravinsky, Oistrakh and Shostakovich

 

The Concerto is drawn to the broad proportions of such predecessors as the violin concertos of Beethoven and Brahms, but it is in four movements rather than the usual three (as Brahms had actually intended for his own concerto at first), resembling the form of a symphony more than a concerto, and quite specifically the somewhat unorthodox layout characteristic of Shostakovich's own symphonies.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Dmitri Shostakovich

 

The opening movement is not a heroic allegro, but a slowich Nocturne. Shostakovich presents us with a supremely beautiful movement, beginning Moderato and sustaining a quiet mood of meditation and memory for quite a long time. The upper registers of the violin are used to their full extent, lyrical and invading, lilting over adept orchestrations. This is profoundly melancholy, even anguished music: an aria for violin with the soloist as a lonely insomniac singing to a sleeping, indifferent world. Darkest woodwinds — clarinets with bass clarinet, bassoon with contrabassoon — paint deep shadows around her. The bleak ending, with tolling harp and celesta accompanying the soloist floating on a fragile high harmonic note, is unforgettable.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Opening movement - Nocturne

 

The savage second-movement Scherzo is a Fellini-esque circus of the absurd. “Scherzo” means "joke," and this is a harshly sarcastic joke indeed. The ensuing scherzo is a wild, frenetic dance. In this movement, Shostakovich introduces for the first time what would become his musical signature: the notes D-Eb-C-B (in German, these notes are called D-S-C-H, a cypher for Dmitri SCHostokowitsch, the German spelling of Shostakovich’s name). Technically, the first appearance of this figure is D#-E-C#-B, but it later morphs into the more usual form. The inclusion of this motif suggests an autobiographical intent. We cannot know what Shostakovich was thinking when he wrote this passage, but one of Shostakovich’s comments to his friend Maria Sabinina after being forced to read a speech at this time seems to resonate:

“And I got up on the tribune, and started to read out aloud this idiotic, disgusting nonsense concocted by some nobody. Yes, I humiliated myself, I read out what was taken to be ‘my own speech.’ I read like the most paltry wretch, a parasite, a cut-out paper doll on a string!!” This last phrase he shrieked out like a frenzied maniac, and then kept on repeating it.

Not long after the appearance of Shostakovich’s musical signature, the music arrives at a boisterous, klezmer-inspired central episode. The beleaguered soloist flies through a crazed, driven dance of exacting virtuosity.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Hilary Hahn plays Violin Concerto No. 1

 

As he would in other major works, Shostakovich turned to the Baroque passacaglia form for his powerful F-minor third movement, the Concerto's emotional center. The passacaglia is a repeating melodic-harmonic pattern, usually in the bass. The bass line in this case is a heavy, oppressive figure introduced by the cellos and basses, as horns play pulsing figures and arpeggios above it. Shostakovich's theme, which we hear is 17 measures long and broken into choppy two-measure phrases. Gradually this pattern travels through the orchestra; even the soloist eventually takes it up in fierce double-stopped octaves. After a quieter variation for winds, the soloist enters with an expressive melody. An increasingly tense series of variations follows, until the solo violin takes up the bass line itself before returning to its original melody. The movement concludes with one of the longest and most taxing (both physically and emotionally) cadenzas ever written for a violinist; it is almost a movement in itself and constitutes the soloist's commentary on the entire concerto.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Passacaglia theme

 

In the concertos of the previous century, cadenzas were normally placed just before the end or at the climax of the first movement. Instead, Shostakovich places his cadenza between movements, making it seem untethered, as if we have passed into some netherworld that is neither here nor there. Suspended in this liminal space, the soloist seems even more alone and isolated. The cadenza becomes faster and more intense as it progresses, recalling ideas from the previous movements, including the DSCH motif. Climaxing with the return of the klezmer theme in the violin’s highest register, the cadenza then accelerates into the finale.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Nicola Benedetti plays Violin Concerto No. 1

 

Shostakovich titled the last movement “Burlesca,” (Allegro con brio) an indication that fits the music’s darkly comic atmosphere. Its mad, virtuoso fiddle music brings the concerto to an unsettling, but thrilling conclusion. But here the mood seems less bitter than earlier: more a wild folk dance over a driving rhythmic ostinato. Midway, the passacaglia theme makes a brief, mocking appearance in clarinet, horn, and the hard-edged clatter of xylophone. Again, shrill woodwinds dominate this finale, while the soloist hurtles through a non-stop display of virtuosity, culminating in a final acceleration to Presto.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Leonidas Kavakos plays Violin Concerto No. 1

 

Composed in four movements of symphonic weight, this is a true "iron man" concerto, calling on everything in the violinist's technical arsenal as well as vast physical and emotional stamina. Even the redoubtable Oistrakh begged the composer to give the opening of the finale to the orchestra so that "at least I can wipe the sweat off my brow" after the daunting solo cadenza that concludes the third movement.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Shostakovich and Oistrakh

 

Because of the delay before its premiere, it is unknown whether or not the concerto was composed before the Tenth Symphony (1953). While the Symphony is generally thought to have been the first work that introduces Shostakovich's famous DSCH motif, it is possible that the First Violin Concerto was actually the first instance of the motif. Shostakovich uses this theme in many of his works to represent himself.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Dmitri Shostakovich

 

 

 

Dmitri Shostakovich - Violin Concerto No 1 - David Oistrakh

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Classical Notes Tue, 07 Aug 2018 21:36:16 +0000
La Bamba http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/23740-la-bamba.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/23740-la-bamba.html La Bamba

La Bamba is the story of 1950s rock 'n' roll rage Ritchie Valens, played herein with gusto and credibility by Lou Diamond Phillips. The film follows 17-year-old Ritchie as he strolls from one end of his California barrio to the other, guitar in hand. We meet Ritchie's colorful Mexican/American family, who react to his fame with varying degrees of pride and envy. And we meet the ladies in his life: his ambitious mother Connie Valenzuela (Rosana De Soto), his half-sister Rosie Morales (Elizabeth Pena), and blonde classmate Donna Ludwig (Danielle von Zerneck), who inspired Ritchie's first hit "Donna." Both this song and "La Bamba" are given con brio interpretations by Lou Diamond Philips and by the contemporary group Los Lobos, who appear in the film as the Tijuana band. The tragic coda of La Bamba is not unduly emphasized; this is a celebration of Ritchie Valens' life, not a eulogy.

La Bamba

"La Bamba" is a classic example of the son jarocho musical style, which originated in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The song also refers to a specific incident which occurred in the year 1683, in Veracruz, when pirates attacked the people, free and enslaved, living there. The Spanish officials mistreated the enslaves so horribly that they rebelled in what was known as the 'Bambarria', an enslave uprising that pitted the African enslaves and Indians against the Spanish.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

La Bamba, 1987, poster

 

Most people never thought of “La Bamba” with an African/Black connection, but, it does have an African origin, and the song owes its creation to enslaved Africans. The song was originally a song sung by African slaves in Veracruz as they worked, since many of the enslaves brought to Mexico by the Spaniards, came from Angola and Congo, with the Africans who originated the song hailing from the MBamba peoples of Angola. Bamba is the name of an African tribe in Angola and in Congo, from the Bamba River. As enslaves, the MBamba peoples brought their beautiful culture with them, and the original origins of this song, over 500 years ago, and as so very often, with enslaved Africans in the new world, they fought against enslavement, running away and joining up with the indigenous peoples in the rain forests and mountainous areas.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Los Lobos sing La Bamba, 1987

 

Influenced by Afro-Mexican and Spanish flamenco rhythms, the song uses the violin, jaranas, guitar, and harp. Lyrics to the song vary greatly, as performers often improvise verses while performing. However, versions such as those by musical groups Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan and Los Pregoneros del Puerto have survived because of the artists' popularity. The traditional aspect of "La Bamba" lies in the tune, which remains almost the same through most versions.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

El Mariachi

 

The song and dance was traditionally performed at weddings and in general it's thought to be a "love" dance. The bride and groom (or couple dancing it) perform intricate steps. The line 'arriba' (up) is most likely referring to the steps in which the knee is slightly lifted. Towards the end of the song they dance back and forth over a long red ribbon called a listón. At the very end, they tie the long ribbon into a love knot (a bow) using only their feet. Then they hold up their perfect bow to show everyone. It's a really beautiful dance.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

La Bamba dance - Arriba

 

The most famous version worldwide is the one sung by Ritchie Valens in 1958. Valens was born Richard Valenzuela in Pacoima, California to Mexican-Indian parents. He didn't speak fluent Spanish, but could understand his mother and speak a fair Spanglish. Valens obtained the lyrics from his aunt Ernestine Reyes and learned the Spanish lyrics phonetically, as he had been raised from birth speaking English.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Ritchie Valens

 

Valens' "La Bamba" infused the traditional tune with a rock beat, making the song accessible to the population of the United States and earning it (and Valens) a place in rock history. The song features simple verse-chorus form. Valens' version was originally the B side to his first hit, "Donna." "La Bamba" entered the Top 40 two weeks before the 17-yearold died in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Donna/La Bamba, 1958

 

This song was only a modest hit when it was released in November 1958, but it became far more popular when the Ritchie Valens biopic La Bamba was released in 1987. The movie was a big deal because it was the first major, mainstream Hollywood film with a Hispanic subject. The movie was released in the United States in both Spanish and English versions, and Coca-Cola did a marketing tie-in targeting the Hispanic population in America - a population that would grow considerably in size and influence over the next several years.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Ritchie Valens

 

The Los Lobos version was the title track of the film La Bamba and reached No. 1 in the U.S. and UK singles charts in the same year and remained No. 1 for three weeks in the summer of 1987. Valens' version of La Bamba is ranked number 345 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is the only song on the list not sung in English. Ritchie Valens' tapping into a Mexican folk song unwittingly paved the way for “Twist and Shout” and all the other songs based on it since 1962.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Ritchie Valens - La Bamba, 1987

 

La Bamba by Ritchie Valens


Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Pa' mi, pa' ti, ay arriba, ay arriba
Ay, arriba arriba
Por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré

Yo no soy marinero
Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán
Soy capitán, soy capitán
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba, bam

Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Para mi, para ti, ay arriba, ay arriba

Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba
Se necesita una poca de gracia
Una poca de gracia
Pa' mi, pa' ti, ay arriba, ay arriba
Ay, arriba arriba
Por ti seré, por ti seré, por ti seré

Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba
Bamba, bamba

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Los Pregoneros del Puerto sing La Bamba

 

English translation


To dance the Bamba,
to dance the Bamba,
one needs a bit of grace.
A bit of grace for me, for you,
now come on, come on,
now come on, come on,
for you I'll be, for you I'll be, for you I'll be.
 
I'm not a sailor,
I'm not a sailor, I'm a captain.
I'm a captain, I'm a captain.
Bamba, bamba,
bamba, bamba,
bamba, bamba, bam...
 
To dance the Bamba,
to dance the Bamba,
one needs a bit of grace.
A bit of grace for me, for you,
now come on, come on.
 
Rrrraa-ha-haa...
 
To dance the Bamba,
to dance the Bamba,
one needs a bit of grace.
A bit of grace for me, for you,
now come on, come on,
now come on, come on,
for you I'll be, for you I'll be, for you I'll be.
 
Bamba, bamba,
bamba, bamba,
bamba, bamba...

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

La Bamba dance - final

 

 

 

Tlen Huicani - La Bamba (Son Jarocho)

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Mon, 02 Jul 2018 20:44:12 +0000
I'll Take Care of You http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/1-blues/23630-ill-take-care-of-you.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/1-blues/23630-ill-take-care-of-you.html I'll Take Care of You

In 2011, Toronto-based pop star Drake named the album ‘Take Care’ but only a few people have caught the original reference. Produced by British indie darling Jamie xx, "Take Care" is a sultry “club number that features Rihanna sweetly murmuring a verse that begins with a memorable couplet: I know you've been hurt by someone else / I can tell by the way you carry yourself." Echoing her words is the ghost of Gil Scott-Heron, whose brooding piano-based version of a song called "I'll Take Care of You" was one of several Jamie xx reworked for the remix album ‘We're New Here,’ released shortly before Scott-Heron died this past May. The energetic but oddly somber beat mixes with those melancholy vocal hooks and Drake's own emotional vocalizing to effectively deliver the song's message of belief in damaged yet redeemable love.

I'll Take Care of You

"I'll Take Care of You" is a song written by Brook Benton, a gifted vocalist and songwriter. Beginning in 1959, and over the next 10 plus years, Benton had 49 charted singles on Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 chart…which was established on August 4, 1958 to track and rank singles from all genres of pop music (including rock and roll). In the U.S., 24 of Benton’s single records entered the Top 40.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Drake feat. Rihanna - 'Take Care'

 

Brook Benton was born Benjamin Franklin Peay on September 19, 1931, in Camden, South Carolina. He became a gospel singer at a young age and was a member of the Camden Jubilee Singers. Benton moved to New York City at age 17 in 1948 to try his luck as a songwriter. When he first arrived in New York he sang with such gospel groups as Bill Langford's Spiritual Singers, The Langfordaires, The Golden Gate Quartet, and The Jerusalem Stars. He eventually went back to South Carolina, drove a truck for a while and joined the R&B singing group The Sandmen prior to returning to New York again in search of a big break. This time Benton found a successful career co-producing albums and writing songs for such artists as Nat 'King' Cole, Clyde McPhatter (he penned the hit song "A Lover's Question" for McPhatter), and Roy Hamilton.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Brook Benton, 1959

 

Benton enjoyed his first minor hit with "A Million Miles from Nowhere." He then switched to Mercury Records and achieved his greatest commercial success recording a steady string of hit songs with that label. In 1959 Brook scored two major breakthrough successes: "It's Just A Matter of Time" peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts and "Endlessly" went all the way to #12 on the charts. Benton sustained this winning streak with such equally excellent tunes as "Thank You Pretty Baby," "So Many Ways," "Hotel Happiness," "The Boll Weevil Song," and "Kiddio." Brook cracked the Top 10 one last time in 1970 with a beautifully moving rendition of Tony Joe White's lovely ballad "Rainy Night in Georgia."

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Brook Benton, 1970

 

Benton seems to have never recorded "I'll Take Care of You", however. Instead, blues lion Bobby "Blue" Bland claimed it as his own, cutting it for Duke Records in 1959. The original record is a slow 6/8 ballad with soothing Blue Bland vocals gliding over the top. Bland's version is a lesson in getting to tshe depths of a seemingly simple song – melodramatic but classy, it perfectly balances nurture and seduction with just a dash of sexy menace. Like many of Bland's recordings from this era, it's the epitome of sophisticated blues. It reached number 89 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1960.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Bobby 'Blue Bland - 'I'll Take Care of You', 1959

 

"I'll Take Care of You" subsequently became a blues classic. With its dramatic pacing and a melody singers could climb like a golden staircase, the song offers the chance to show off, but it also has an inherent gravitas; it's a Big Number, but grittier, more down home. It's a mountain of a song, and artists try to climb it in order prove their mettle.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Bobby 'Blue Bland

 

The song has been covered many times since by artists such as Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Roy Hamilton, Etta James, Mick Hucknall, Irma Thomas, O. V. Wright, Mark Lanegan, Gil Scott-Heron, Beth Hart and Rebecca Ferguson.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Irma Thomas sings 'I'll Take Care of You'

 

I'll take care of you by Brook Benton


I know you've been hurt by someone else
I can tell by the way you carry yourself
But if you let me, here's what I'll do
I'll take care of you

I've loved and I've lost the same as you
So you see I know just what you've been through
And if you let me, here's what I'll do
I'll take care of you

You won't ever have to worry
You won't ever have to cry
For I'll be there beside you
To dry your weeping eyes

So darling tell me that you'll be true
There's no doubt in my mind, no, what I want to do
And just as sure as one and one is two
I know I'll take care of you

I'll take care of you
I'll take care of you
I'll take care of you

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Blues Notes Mon, 11 Jun 2018 20:44:06 +0000
Donovan's “Catch The Wind” http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/29-pop/23557-donovans-catch-the-wind.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/29-pop/23557-donovans-catch-the-wind.html Donovan's “Catch The Wind”

Donovan is often described as a hippie, lightweight Dylan, a kind of Dylan Lite. And there’s no denying the resemblance. But who wasn’t trying to sound like Dylan in the sixties? And unlike many of the imitators, Donovan actually had songwriting and musical chops to back up his imitation. Take “Catch the Wind,” a pretty little song that sounds like a “Freewheelin’” Bob Dylan castoff but is sweeter than anything Dylan has ever done. At its worst, this sweetness made Donovan sound like a sprite or naive schoolboy, but on songs like this, it was utterly charming.

Catch The Wind

It took Great Britain a little longer than America to embrace Bob Dylan, with the singer/songwriter's second album, “The Freewheelin'” Bob Dylan, not marking his chart debut there until May 1964, a year after its release. With that, however, Dylan became enormously popular, with his next albums “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and “Another Side of Bob Dylan” scoring higher than they did at home. By early 1965, Dylan had begun to record with electric instruments, but in England he was still viewed as a folksinger with an acoustic guitar hanging from his shoulders and a harmonica rack set before his mouth. Just then, a homegrown version of the same thing appeared: 18-year-old Donovan Leitch. There is little doubt that Donovan's resemblance to Dylan is what got him a pair of managers and a shot on the British TV show ‘Ready Steady Go!’ on February 6, 1965, with return engagements the following two weeks.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Donovan, 1965

 

Donovan Leitch started appearing on the folk scene in the mid 1960s. In fact, he performed at the famous 1965 Newport Folk Festival at which Bob Dylan went electric. He followed with a series of hits, including “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Sunshine Superman,” “Jennifer Juniper,” and numerous others. Many, including John Lennon, looked upon Donovan as a significant influence with his combination of melodic pop sensibility and lyrics that were a kind of epitome of the flower-child ethos of the Sixties.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Dylan & Donovan, Newport 1965

 

Recorded in 1964 and released the following year in both the United States and United Kingdom, "Catch The Wind" was Donovan's debut single. It was released as a single in the United Kingdom on March 12, 1965 through Pye Records and a few months later in the United States through Hickory Records. The single was backed with "Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do?" on both the United Kingdom and United States releases. The melody of the song was influenced by "Chimes of Freedom" by Bob Dylan.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Catch the Wind, single, Pye Records 1965

 

Employing a similar title to Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," "Catch the Wind" was also a ballad played on acoustic guitar with harmonica fills, sung in a similarly husky, if somewhat more regular voice than Dylan's. The main difference was that while Dylan rarely sang directly of romantic love (at least, he rarely did so approvingly), "Catch the Wind" was an unabashed love song in which a young man, in highly poetic language, his desire for a woman before wistfully adding, "Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind."

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Catch the Wind, single, Hickory Records 1965

 

In an interview with Dierdre O'Donoghue on KCRW Radio, Los Angeles, Donovan said: "'Catch The Wind,' I wrote it for Linda (Lawrence, who he married in 1970), although I hadn't really met her yet. It is a song of unrequited love, yet I hadn't really met her, so how could I miss her? And I seem to write prophetic songs in the sense of the Celtic poet and I wrote this song before I met Linda, of a love I would like to have had and lost." The lyrical sentiment reflected a legitimate naivety, as an 18-year-old Donovan sang wistful lines including “When sundown pales the sky / I wanna hide a while / Behind your smile / And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.” That unaffected, unadorned innocence was echoed in a dulcet folk melody matched to Donovan's acoustic guitar chording and harmonica riffs. The single version featured Donovan's vocals with echo and a string section.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Donovan & Linda Lawrence

 

The melody of “Catch the Wind” sounds ageless, and Donovan uses this characteristic to play to the lyrics’ age-old theme of unrequited (or is it just impossible?) love. His vocal performance teeters on the edge of tweeness, but that catch in his voice when he says “would be the sweetest thing” is, against all odds, perfect.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Joan Baez & Donovan, Newport 1965

 

From his early troubadour songs of 1965, Donovan quickly developed into key figure in the development of music of the period. Embracing music from other cultures, composing collections of songs for children, and working with The Beatles, he defined what we now refer to as both psychedelia and acid folk. For a short period in the mid-Sixties, Donovan was seen as Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan. History, however, has not been kind. By the Eighties he was dismissed as a psychedelic novelty, a hippy-dippy troubadour who clung to Eastern mysticism while all around him the pioneers of New Wave presented a political urgency.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Donovan & Crystal Gale sing Catch The Wind

 

"Catch the Wind" hit the British charts in March 1965 and peaked in the Top Five (No.4). In May, it figured in the American charts, peaking in the Top 40 by July (No.23). Though it remains identified with its author, the song has earned a respectable number of covers over the years.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Eartha Kitt sings Catch The Wind

 

Donovan - Catch The Wind


In the chilly hours and minutes,
Of uncertainty, I want to be,
In the warm hold of your loving mind.

To feel you all around me,
And to take your hand, along the sand,
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind.

When sundown pales the sky,
I wanna hide a while, behind your smile,
And everywhere I'd look, your eyes I'd find.

For me to love you now,
Would be the sweetest thing, 'twould make me sing,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

When rain has hung the leaves with tears,
I want you near, to kill my fears
To help me to leave all my blues behind.

For standin' in your heart,
Is where I want to be, and I long to be,
Ah, but I may as well, try and catch the wind.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Catch the wind

 

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluelover) Pop and Misc. Notes Sun, 27 May 2018 14:37:43 +0000
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/25-jazz/23413-sing-sing-sing-with-a-swing.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/25-jazz/23413-sing-sing-sing-with-a-swing.html Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)

On the evening of January 16, 1938, Benny Goodman took to the stage at Carnegie Hall along with his trio, his quartet, and his big band. It was the first time ever that a swing band played Carnegie. Historians now look to this night as the moment when jazz gained validity from the music establishment.

The last number on the program was "Sing, Sing, Sing" — what Goodman called a "killer diller," a number intended to get a crowd on its feet, jitterbugging. Drummer Gene Krupa sets the groove with his tom-toms, and members of the orchestra take their turns soloing, including a mournful one from Benny himself. But Jess Stacy steals the show with his piano.

Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)

One of the best-known tunes of the jazz era started life as a vocal written by Italy's favorite son, Louis Prima, as "Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)." It was originally intended as a feature for singer Helen Ward and Prima’s friend Bing Crosby. Prima was never known as a composer. Indeed, were it not for “Sing, Sing, Sing,” it is likely that few people would know of any tunes composed by Louis Prima.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Benny Goodman - Carnegie Hall 1938

 

Many years after it was composed, Prima recalled how the tune came to be: “I was out at the race track back in 1936 with Bing Crosby and George Raft. On the way home, the phrase ‘Sing, Bing, Sing,’ kept running through my mind. By the time I got home, I decided that wasn’t very commercial, and I changed it to ‘Sing, Sing, Sing.'” Prima tried out the new song (Prima also wrote the simplistic lyric) in a club where he was playing with a small group. “It got no reaction, but a few days later my publisher brought Benny Goodman around to hear it. Benny was reluctant, but he bought it.”

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Louis Prima & His Band

 

While rooted in New Orleans jazz, swing music, and jump blues, Prima touched on various genres throughout his career: he formed a seven-piece New Orleans-style jazz band in the late 1920s, fronted a swing combo in the 1930s and a big band group in the 1940s, helped to popularize jump blues in the late 1940s and early to mid 1950s, and performed as a Vegas lounge act in the late 1950s and 1960s. From the 1940s through the 1960s, his music further encompassed early R&B and rock'n'roll, boogie-woogie, and even Italian folk music, such as the tarantella. Prima made prominent use of Italian music and language in his songs, blending elements of his Italian identity with jazz and swing music. At a time when "ethnic" musicians were often discouraged from openly stressing their ethnicity, Prima's conspicuous embrace of his Italian ethnicity opened the doors for other Italian-American and "ethnic" American musicians to display their ethnic roots.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Louis Prima

 

Louis scored tremendous chart topping hits throughout the Big Band Era with several of his own compositions including "Oh, Marie," "Robin Hood," "Brooklyn Boogie," "Oh Babe,"and many others. Louis Prima composed "A Sunday Kind of Love" in 1946, and the song became a hit over four decades and in six different musical genres including Swing, Doo-Wop, Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, and Country! Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, Frankie Laine, and many other prominent artists recorded this Prima standard.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Louis Prima - Sing Sing Sing (1936)

 

On July 6, 1937, "Sing, Sing, Sing" was recorded in Hollywood by Benny Goodman and a masterpiece was born. With Goodman himself on clarinet, he was accompanied by stunning trumpets, saxophones, trombones, piano, bass, guitar, and arranged by American Jazz composer, Jimmy Mundy. Each instrument shines its brightest to create this downright wonderful piece, this cacophony of boldness, this tornado of mischief and unbridled joy.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Benny Goodman Big Band (1937)

 

Unlike most jazz records at the time, this song was an extended arrangement — clocking in near an epic nine minutes. Instead of a standard 10″ 78rpm single, it was released by Bluebird Records as a 12″ record, with the song split over two sides. James Mundy wrote the arrangement for Goodman’s 1937 recording of Prima’s tune, which was made in Hollywood — he combined “Sing, Sing, Sing” with Fletcher Henderson’s “Christopher Columbus.” But the most recognizable part of the song is Gene Krupa's drumming, which exists as a motif throughout the song. Helen Ward recalls that one night Krupa refused to stop drumming when he got to the end of the third chorus and Goodman picked up his clarinet and soloed right along with him.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Helen Ward

 

The classic Victor recording was made some fifteen months later. It shows how much an arrangement could develop, if it was one that audiences were interested in. Audiences were obviously interested in the original Jimmy Mundy blueprint, as were the musicians in the Goodman band, who over those fifteen months made the changes that transformed what was essentially a rhythmic pop tune with a weak lyric into an epic instrumental workout for drummer Gene Krupa, tenor saxophonist Vido Musso, trumpeter Harry James, Benny himself, and the entire Goodman band. This is a great performance. It had a great deal to do with propelling Gene Krupa and Harry James to stardom.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Benny Goodman - Sing Sing Sing (Victor 1937)

 

The Carnegie Hall concert was a first for jazz, and today is seen as the beginning of its acceptance as mainstream American music. The performances themselves are an artistic triumph (Goodman had given up a few gigs so the band could spend a couple days rehearsing in the Hall and getting used to its unique acoustics). Martha Tilton’s performance invoked a standing ovation and calls for an encore - but it was when the band launched into “Sing, Sing, Sing” that they really tore it up.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Benny Goodman Big Band - Carnegie Hall 1938

 

Next day, contemplating the diverse review, the interested editorial opinions in the Times and the Herald-Tribune, someone said to Goodman, "Its too damned bad somebody didn’t make a record of the whole thing." He smiled and said, "Somebody did."

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Benny Goodman

 

“Sing, Sing, Sing” is a song so deliriously happy and brimming with excitement, that it seems anything is possible. The moment it begins, with that mischievous beat of the drum, you know you are about to hear something beautiful and wild. Then the trumpets kick in and woah, just woah. Before you know it you’re up and dancing and without a care in the world as you hear the piano softly here or the crash of the symbols there.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Gene Krupa (1937)

 

Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) lyrics by Louis Prima


Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing

Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing

And when the music goes around
Everybody goes to town
But here's something you should know
Ho ho baby ho ho ho

Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing
……………………………………….

And when the music goes around
Everybody goes to town
But here's something you should know
Ho ho baby ho ho ho

Sing, sing, sing, sing
Everybody start to sing
La dee da, ho, ho, ho
Now you're singing with a swing

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Harry James, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa

 

 

 

Benny Goodman - Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) – Carnegie Hall 1938

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Jazz Notes Sun, 29 Apr 2018 16:45:24 +0000
Stabat Mater by Arvo Pärt http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/3-classical/23254-stabat-mater-by-arvo-paert.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/3-classical/23254-stabat-mater-by-arvo-paert.html Stabat Mater by Arvo Pärt

When Arvo Pärt sets words to music, he gives the impression of having entered into the depths of his chosen text and returned to the surface with an entirely fresh impression of what it's all about. This is certainly true of his “Stabat Mater,” and yet the result is to reaffirm the traditional significance of the text and to place the work securely in the long line of settings that includes those of Josquin Desprez, Lassus, and Palestrina, and in modern times Poulenc and Penderecki. Pärt achieves this partly by the purity and simplicity of his musical language, and partly by the way in which he draws such powerfully expressive music directly out of the rhythms and forms of the text, so that it almost seems as if the words have composed the music.

Stabat Mater by Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt was born in Estonia in 1935. Most of the works at the beginning of his career were for piano in the neo-classical style. After that, he turned his interest to serial music and continued creating works with serial techniques throughout the 1960s. After his “self-imposed silence” period (during the years 1968-1976), Pärt emerged with a new musical style, which he called “tintinnabuli.” Although, this technique was influenced by music from the medieval period, the texture and function of its musical style cannot be described easily in terms of any single musical technique of the past.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Arvo Pärt

 

Tintinnabuli comes from the latin word ‘tintinnabulum’ which translates to ‘bell’ (you may recognize the word from Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “The Bells,” in which he coined the word “tintinnabulation”). When a bell is struck, we hear an initial single tone but then we also begin to hear the overtones emanating from the initial tone. “The tintinnabuli method,” writer Arthur Lubow explains in a 2010 article for The New York Time Magazine, “pairs each note of the melody with a note that comes from a harmonizing chord, so they ring together with bell-like resonance.” Specifically, Pärt is concerned with triads and diatonic melodies, heavily influenced by the sound of Gregorian chant and the Notre Dame School (which refers to a group of composers working between the mid 12th and 13th centuries). To our contemporary ears, it is a relatively simple music, evocative (as you would imagine) of dark, incense-filled abbeys.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Arvo Pärt - Stabat Mater

 

“Stabat Mater” was composed in 1985 when Pärt got a commission by the Alban Berg Foundation. The title is a similar name to the medieval sequence that was attributed to Jacopone da Todi (c. 1230-1306), a Franciscan monk. There are two hymns in Stabat Mater, which are ‘Stabat Mater Dolorosa’ and ‘Stabat Mater Speciosa.’ Stabat Mater Dolorosa, which means “sorrowfully his mother stood” in Latin, reflects Mary’s suffering during Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. Wright suggests that Pärt’s version of Stabat Mater text is very similar to the version of Palestrina. This is probably because Pärt may have known the Palestrina’s setting when he studied pre-Baroque music during the 1970s.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Arvo Pärt - Stabat Mater (Quator Franz Joseph)

 

A pathetic motif of three descending notes is elaborated instrumentally and vocally. The text is sung in a slow recitative and the sparse, open texture of the vocal lines is paralleled by the string parts, heightening the pain and anxiety of the text. The predominant slow motion is interrupted three times by short fast gigs. In the "Amen" at the end the motif from the beginning returns. The Stabat Mater is, in many ways, a realization of the composer’s goal to find “a musical line that is a carrier of the soul, an absolute monody, a naked voice from which everything originates.”

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Stabat Mater

 

This work differs from Pärt’s other music that uses sacred texts because other works are set up for choir; however, Stabat Mater was composed for string trio and solo voices (soprano, contratenor (alto), and tenor). This instrumentation suggests a similar sound to chamber music. It has a duration of approximately 24 minutes. A version with expanded forces (mixed chorus and orchestra) was premiered on 12 June 2008 at the Großer Musikvereinssaal during the Wiener Festwochen 2008 with Kristjan Järvi conducting the Singverein der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien and the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich. This new version was commissioned by the Tonkünstler-Orchester.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Arvo Pärt - Stabat Mater (Goeyvaerts String Trio)

 

Stabat Mater could be described as Pärt’s greatest hit. The orchestra and choir work together in this commemoration of the Virgin Mary’s suffering on witnessing the death of her son. The low mournful sound of the music is abruptly joined by a high keening vocal lament. In the end, one doesn't hear the music as part of the tintinnabuli method or as the product of a system of composition, but rather as lovely, simple music whose magnetic appeal is undeniable.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Stabat Mater

 

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Classical Notes Thu, 29 Mar 2018 08:59:47 +0000
Metallica’s „Fade to Black” http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/23118-metallicas-fade-to-black.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/30-rock/23118-metallicas-fade-to-black.html Metallica’s „Fade to Black”

It has its critics, but "Fade to Black" is undoubtedly one of the most important songs in Metallica's history. Their first true ballad, it showed they were far too astute to box themselves in, creatively speaking, and churn out only pedal-to-the-metal thrashers. There's hardly a whiff of that here and, instead, this somber comment on suicide showcases James Hetfield's increasingly mature lyrics and Kirk Hammett's impressively tasteful guitar melodies. And perhaps more than any other song Metallica released in the 1980s, it pointed to the move to the mainstream that the band made beginning with its album ‘Metallica’ (aka ‘The Black Album’) in 1991.

Fade to Black

In 1984, Metallica was still far from being recognized (by most of the world, anyway) as a band that would change heavy metal and hard rock, but the band's ‘Ride the Lightning’ track "Fade to Black" became a concert favorite and one of the few Metallica tracks to get radio airplay in the mid- to late '80s. Its simple melody and subtle progression was unlike the band's typically multi-layered sound, and its imprisoned, smothered, and oppressed feel mirrored the rest of the ‘Ride the Lightning’ album.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

‘Ride the Lightning’ album

 

James Hetfield commented on the song in a 1991 interview with Guitar World: “That song was a big step for us. It was pretty much our first ballad, so it was challenging and we knew it would freak people out. … I wrote the song at a friend’s house in New Jersey. I was pretty depressed at the time because our gear had just been stolen, and we had been thrown out of our manager’s house for breaking shit and drinking his liquor cabinet dry. It’s a suicide song, and we got a lot of flack for it, [as if] kids were killing themselves because of the song. But we also got hundreds and hundreds of letters from kids telling us how they related to the song and that it made them feel better.”

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

James Hetfield

 

The track's calm, matter-of-fact introduction and powerful, suicidal lyrics are chillingly realistic, and the song feels like a suicide. Its detached disposition soon swirls into not-quite-suppressed self-hate and rage, and at midpoint in the track, the tempo kicks in and a precisioned guitar riff gallops over boiling-over anger ("yesterday seems as though it never existed/death greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye"); the song eventually (and appropriately) fades out.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Cliff Burton (bassist)

 

Lars Ulrich has revealed that when their first album ‘Kill 'Em All’ was finished, band was obsessed with the concept of death. All the live stapes from ‘Ride the Lightening’ deals with death of some form of death. In "Fade to Black", because of it's forceful interpretation of committing suicide, Metallica was accused of promoting death.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Lars Ulrich

 

“Fade To Black” follows a structure which Metallica would continue on further ballads which is the song is split into two parts: the first half is more like a melodic ballad while the second half is much more aggressive and generally dominated by guitar leads. Kirk Hammett: “We doubled the first solo, but it was harder to double the second solo in the middle because it was slow and there was a lot of space in it. Later I realized that I harmonized it in a weird way—in minor thirds, major thirds and fifths. For the extended solo at the end, I wasn’t sure what to play. We had been in Denmark for five or six months, and I was getting really homesick. We were also having problems with our management. Since it was a somber song, and we were all bummed out anyway, I thought of very depressing things while I did the solo, and it really helped.”

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Kirk Hammett

 

Before "Fade to Black," most heavy metal/hard rock songs did not delve quite so far into the human psyche; songs dealt with death, but usually in a cartoonish, gothic, or mystical way. "Fade to Black" helped heavy metal gain some songwriting credibility, and Metallica continued this graphic, realistic imagery in songwriting on their subsequent songs and albums in the 1980s.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Fade to Black

 

Fade To Black lyrics


Life it seems will fade away.
Drifting further everyday.
Getting lost within myself.
Nothing matters, no one else.
I have lost the will to live.
Simply nothing more to give.
There is nothing more for me.
Need the end to set me free.

Things not what they used to be.
Missing one inside of me.
Deathly lost, this can't be real.
Cannot stand this hell I feel.
Emptiness is filling me
to the point of agony.
Growing darkness, taking dawn.
I was me, but now he's gone.

No one but me can save myself, but it's too late.
Now I can't think, think why I should even try
Yesterday seems as though it never existed.
Death greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye.

Goodbye...

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Metallica, 1984

 

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Rock Notes Sun, 04 Mar 2018 13:28:00 +0000
Trust My Baby by Sonny Boy Williamson II http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/1-blues/23001-trust-my-baby-by-sonny-boy-williamson-ii.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/1-blues/23001-trust-my-baby-by-sonny-boy-williamson-ii.html Trust My Baby by Sonny Boy Williamson II

Sonny Boy Williamson was, in many ways, the ultimate blues legend. By the time of his death in 1965, he had been around long enough to have played with Robert Johnson at the start of his career and Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Robbie Robertson at the end of it. In between, he drank a lot of whiskey, hoboed around the country, had a successful radio show for 15 years, toured Europe to great acclaim and simply wrote, played and sang some of the greatest blues ever etched into black phonograph records. His delivery was sly, evil and world-weary, while his harp-playing was full of short, rhythmic bursts one minute and powerful, impassioned blowing the next. His songs were chock-full of mordant wit, with largely autobiographical lyrics that hold up to the scrutiny of the printed page. Though he took his namesake from another well-known harmonica player, no one really sounded like him.

Trust My Baby by Sonny Boy Williamson II

'The Real Folk Blues' is a series of blues albums released between 1965 and 1967 by Chess Records, later reissued MCA Records. Each album in the series highlighted the music of one major Chess artist. The series, overseen by Marshall Chess, was a reaction to the increasing audience for the blues following the British Invasion. Companion discs, titled More Real Folk Blues, were released for many of the artists.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Sonny Boy Williamson II, 1963

 

Sonny Boy Williamson's “The Real Folk Blues” was not really folk, and not really regular album. Rather, it was somewhat arbitrarily chosen compilations, titled to appeal to the crowd that had gotten turned onto the blues during the 1960s folk revival. In Williamson's case, all tracks were done between 1960 and 1964. At any rate, this does have several of his best and most familiar songs: "One Way Out," "Bye Bye Bird," "Help Me," "Nine Below Zero," "Down Child" and “Trust My Baby”. “Trust My Baby” was first released by Checker Records in 1960 - with "Too Close Together" on B-side.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Sonny Boy Williamson - “The Real Folk Blues”

 

This album is classic, with incredible songs and playing. He played acoustically without a bullet mic and amplifier. Throughout his playing, notice little quick groups of two holes played at once, called double stops. Rick Estrin calls these the glue that holds the carpet together. Notice repetitive tongue slaps. His preferred harmonica keys were F, C, B flat and D, but he also played in E, G and A. He generally played in second position, with the occasional exception e.g., on "Trust My Baby" be played in first position on a G harp.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Sonny Boy Williamson - Trust My Baby, 1960

 

Sonny Boy was, legitimately, “The King of the Delta Blues Harmonica” whose career spanned most of the Golden Era of delta blues began as a preacher “Reverend Blue” at age six and by the 1930s he was playing with blues legend Robert Johnson and his stepson Robert Lockwood Jr., with whom he was playing amplified blues as early as 1938 (six years before Muddy Waters owned an electric guitar) to recording with Eric Clapton and the Yardbirds, Eric Burdon and the Animals and Jimmy Page in 1963-65.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Sonny Boy Williamson & Robert Lockwood Jr.

 

Marc Ryan wrote: "The tone of Sonny's harmonica was unusually full, the result of a combination of virtuosic breath control and an especially large resonating chamber created by cupping his hands around his ... harp ... Sonny thus brought unique timbres to his blues, which were ... laden with a joyful sensuality."

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Sonny Boy Williamson & The Yardbirds, 1963

 

Sonny Boy's harp style included: "intricately woven phrasing, bold sonic textures, trills and vibrato ... He was also an effective showman -- he could, for instance, put the entire harp in his mouth and still draw notes. More important, his playing made the harp the centre attraction, no matter how many other great blues musicians shared the stage with him.”

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Sonny Boy Williamson - Copenhagen 1964

 

Sonny Boy Williamson - Trust My Baby, lyrics


I have a right to trust my baby
She always looks out for me
I have a right to trust my baby
She always looks out for me
But that sweet woman, oooh, is so good to me

Every time my baby talk
Chills run, run all over the place
Every time my baby talk
Chills run, run all over the place
But that sweet woman, oooh, is so good to me

When I woke up this morning
Tears was in my eyes
When I woke up this morning
Tears was in my eyes
But that sweet woman, oooh, is so, so good to me
Saint Jane, Saint Jane

Do it again Saint Jane, wait for me boy

I have a right to trust my baby
She always looks out for me
I have a right to trust my baby
She always looks out for me
But that sweet woman, oooh, is so good to me

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

King Biscuit Time, 1941

 

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluesever) Blues Notes Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:38:19 +0000
Aretha Franklin - Ain't No Way http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/29-pop/22918-aretha-franklin-aint-no-way.html http://theblues-thatjazz.com/en/notes/29-pop/22918-aretha-franklin-aint-no-way.html Aretha Franklin - Ain't No Way

Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since. Yet as much of an international institution as she's become, much of her work is erratic and only fitfully inspired, making discretion a necessity when collecting her records.

Aretha Franklin - Ain't No Way

Franklin's roots in gospel ran extremely deep. With her sisters Carolyn and Erma (both of whom would also have recording careers), she sang at the Detroit church of her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, while growing up in the 1950s. Years later, their church-honed harmonies would be heard on hits issued on Atlantic Records during Aretha Franklin's mid-'60s heyday. While her pumpin' million-sellers such as "Respect" and "Think" may be better known, "Ain't No Way" is one of the singer's best sides.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Father, Aretha & Carolyn Franklin

 

"Ain't No Way" is a song written by singer-songwriter Carolyn Franklin for her elder sister Aretha. Inspired by her sisters' successes in the secular music field in the early 1960s, Carolyn followed Erma and Aretha into a secular recording career, first recording in 1963. Like Erma, Carolyn's modest success in the industry wasn't matched by Aretha's blockbuster breakthrough in the late 1960s. While struggling to release a hit, she began to work behind the scenes as a songwriter, mainly for sister Aretha's work.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Erma Franklin

 

Aretha and Carolyn's bond led to several collaborations between the two and Carolyn came up with several compositions that became classic hits including "Ain't No Way", recorded in 1968. The ballad single was the b-side to Aretha's top ten triumph, "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone". The song peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the Hot R&B Singles Chart in 1968. Carolyn and members of the Sweet Inspirations performed backing vocals on the track.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Sweet Sweet Baby - Aint No Way (single)

 

The Sweet Inspirations were an American R&B girl group founded by Emily "Cissy" Houston, mother of Whitney Houston, and sister of Lee Warrick (herself the mother of well-known sisters Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick). The group sang backup for many stars, including Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Esther Phillips. On March 30, 1968, the group scored their first and only top forty hit on the Billboard Top 40 Pop Chart with the song "Sweet Inspiration" on Atlantic Records. The record was on the chart for ten weeks and peaked at number 18. Previously (December 19 and 20, 1967), the group did backing vocals for the Aretha Franklin song "Ain't No Way" which was later released on her acclaimed “Lady Soul” album.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

The Sweet Inspirations

 

The album was her second R&B chart-topper, the follow-up to “Aretha Arrives” and included some of her biggest hit singles, "Chain of Fools" (#2 Pop), and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (#8 Pop), and "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone" (#5 Pop). It eventually sold over a million copies in the United States alone. “Lady Soul” peaked at #1, #2 and #3 on Billboard's Black Albums, Pop Albums and Jazz Albums charts respectively. The Sweet Inspirations are credited as background vocals on several tracks, along with Aretha's sisters Carolyn and Erma Franklin. In 2003 the TV network VH1 named “Lady Soul” the 41st greatest album of all time. It is number 84 on Rolling Stone′s list "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Carolyn Franklin

 

The "Ain't No Way", low-key ballad has a sparse mix that highlights Aretha's aching lead vocal and the pensive tone of the lyrics. A high, reverb-drenched soprano wail gives the track an "otherworldly" feel.

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

Lady Soul, album 1968

 

Ain't No Way, lyrics by Carolyn Franklin


Ain't no way for me to love you,
if you won't let me.
It ain't no way for me to give you all you need,
if you won't let me give all of me.
I know that a woman's duty is to help and love a man,
and that's the way it was planned.
Oh, but how can I, how can I, how can I
give you all the things I can,
if you're tying both of my hands?

Oh, it ain't no way (ain't no way).
It ain't no way (ain't no way).
It just ain't no way, baby (ain't no way).
Ain't no way baby (ain't no way).
It ain't no way for me to love you,
if you won't let me.

Stop trying to be someone you're not.
How cold and cruel is a man
who pay too much for what he got?
And if you need me to love you, say, say you do.
Oh, then baby, baby, baby don't you know that
I need you.
Oh, Oh, it ain't no way.
I'll tell you that it ain't no way,
It ain't no way.
It ain't no way, baby, no.
It just ain't no way.
It sure ain't no way
It ain't no way for me to love you,
if you won't let me...

Image could not be displayed. Check browser for compatibility.

 

]]>
administration@theblues-thatjazz.com (bluelover) Pop and Misc. Notes Tue, 23 Jan 2018 21:26:43 +0000