Category Archives: R&B

Stay Sane at Work: Mixtapes

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For those of you /us who struggle from time to time with boredom or cynicism or ennui at work. And restlessness too. Just can’t stand your co-workers and your boss is a ponce? Well what you need is a bit of fresh music and a playlist or two to listen to between meetings (maybe even during meetings).

Here you go. Long live 5 o’clock!

Stay Sane Pt 1

Track Listing (Pt. 1)

01 The Wonder Of It All [Mind & Matter]

02 No No Blues[Culey Weaver]

03 Your Love’s Been Good For Me [Gladys Knight & The Pips]

04 Swing Low, Chariot [Sister O.M. Terrell]                                                                           1

05 Funny World [Johnny Hartman]

06 The Panama Limited [Washington White]

07 Get a Feeling [Kings Go Forth]

08 I Want Jesus To Walk With Me [Shirley Stewart]

09 Ash Can Blues[Cliff Carlisle]

10 Talk To Me Baby[Fleetwood Mac]

11 Signed Gladys[Gladys Knight & The Pips]

12 Kalimba [Mr. Scruff]

13 Sleepin’ Bee [Johnny Hartman]

14 Gotta Make Me a Gun[Basement Freaks]

15 Never Feel Cold (feat. Mendee Ichikawa) [Bosq Of Whiskey Barons]

16 Now That I Don’t Have You[Mind & Matter]

17 Missing You[Billy Paul]

18 Black Family  [Roy Ayers]

!!!++$

StaySane Pt 2

Track Listing: (pt. 2)

01 My Baby’s Got A Dead Man’s Number [Chris Gaffney]

02 Almost Persuaded[David Houston]

03 Amos Moses [Jerry Reed]

04 King of California [Dave Alvin]

05 I Wish I Didn’t Love You So [k.d. lang]

06 Polk Salad Annie[Tony Joe White and Johnny Cash]

07 Sad Songs And Waltzes [Cake]

08 Old River[Hazel Dickens/Ginny Hawker]

09 Ashgrove [Dave Alvin]

10 She Thinks I Still Care [Johnny Paycheck]

11 Are You Sure                [Ray Price]

12 California Women  [Hoyt Axton]

13 Another Place, Another Time [Jerry Lee Lewis]

14 Holding On To Nothing [Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton]

15 Rings Of Gold [Dottie West]

16 Alchoholidays [Chris Gaffney & The Cold Hard Facts]

17 Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone? [Charley Pride]

18 Collection Box [Thomas Jefferson Kaye]

19 In Time [Kelly Hogan]

##**!!

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For the Disheartened: Rhythm and Blues Mixtape

make you feel that way

when you miss your loved ones or when your spirit is strangely and persistently downcast then I find a bit of music is the order of the day.

So even if you’re feeling on top of the world, I commend this little mix tape to you.

Cheers

Track Listing:

01 Lay It Down ( Al Green and Anthony Hamilton)

02 Let Me Comfort You [Clarence Carter]

03 Flashback[Chic]

04 If I’m in Luck I Might Get Picked Up [Betty Davis]

05 Blazing Arrow [Blackalicious]

06 Harper Valley PTA [Clarence Carter]

07 Fly Like An Eagle [Neville Brothers]

08 Shakey Ground [Renee Geyer]

09 Munchies For Your Love [Bootsy Collins]

10 Make You Feel That Way [Blackalicious]

11 Kick The Bucket [The Five Aces]

12 Drunk [Ace Cannon]

13 人さわがせ

14 Big Brother [Tina Harrod]

15 The Highways Of My Life [The Isley Brothers]

16 Fight The Power(Parts 1&2) [The Isley Brothers]

17 Wiggle-Waggle [Herbie Hancock]

18 Your Old Lady [Chambers Brothers]

19 Let’s Stay Together (Feat. Chaka Khan) [Aaron Neville]

20 Cissy Strutt [Bill Harris and the Prophets]

21 Moonlight In Vermont [Junior Walker and the All Stars]

22 Some Kind Of Wonderful [Soul Brothers]

23 Be True To You [Andre Maurice]

24 Black Snake [Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears]

25 Magick Karpet Ride [Brooklyn Funk Essentials]

26 The Cross [Prince]

27 Windows Of The World [Issac Hayes]

MixituP

Let us Rejoice! Most Systems Go!: The Neville Brothers

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Well, all systems are go! At least for now, even if behind the scenes a veritable tech menagerie is working overtime to stave off complete oblivion. In my free hours since the loss of my digital world I’ve dug out ancient tiny external drives and copied the most complete libraries of music and photos that survived to other safe havens. My desk is a bomb site of USBs, wires, little external drives and those two ugly fat Seagates, still dead as stones.

Even the MacAir which was similarly defunct has been persuaded (by the good unblocker, Ganesh, perhaps?) to come to life again. So while the panic levels have decreased somewhat there is still some ways to go before I can sleep completely easy at night.

Thanks to all of you who provided comfort and even offers of help and cash to get the show back on the road. That was unexpected and really, very deeply appreciated!

So to celebrate the resurrection of the Dog, let’s groove to one of my perennial favorite family acts: the Neville Brothers of New Orleans Louisana USA. Lots of sparkling music and plenty of excellent positive vibrations seems like as good a way as any to pick up where we left off.

Dig it!

(P.S. as with all Neville Brothers records, volume up high is recommended)

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Track Listing:

01 Love Spoken Here

02 The Sound

03 Holy Spirit

04 Soul To Soul

05 Whatever You Do

06 Saved By The Grace Of Your Love

07 You’re Gonna Make Your Momma Cry

08 Fire On The Mountain

09 Ain’t No Sunshine

10 Orisha Dance

11 Sacred Ground

NB

Birth of the Smooth: George Benson

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George Benson has always followed his own path. Though that has meant he suffers the opprobrium of the jazz brahmanical elite he has elected to blaze a trail that unabashedly embraces pop music as an essential element of jazz. George grew up listening to Nat King Cole another jazz pioneer who was equally comfortable singing as he was at leading a small group of instrumentalists as a piano player of depth and originality. For George Benson there appears to be no line between silky pop crooner and swinging jazz guitar slinger.

What I have always loved about Benson’s jazz is that it is so accomplished. His playing which brings together scat-like runs, lightning-like picking and the most voluptuous rhythmic strumming is endlessly rich. He always surrounds himself with outstanding musicians and collaborators, most recently Al Jarreau but also Jack McDuff, Wes Montgomery, Lou Rawls just to name a few. His live performances are renown for their energy while his studio albums are always produced like fine art, with a familiar confident use of equipment and contemporary processes.

If there is a single word that comes closest to summing all of this up, it would be smooth. Smooth as in silky, elegant and sophisticated. Not in the sense used by snobs who label ‘smooth’ those artists whom they perceive to have ‘sold out’ or those whose music is somehow less legitimate because it appeals to a massive, diverse audience, not just a cabal of hard core jazz droolers.

Listen to Benson’s records if you want to understand what total artistic commitment to music sounds like. Whether it is in a hard bop jam session, a R&B duet, a funky workout with blazing organs and horns or a moody instrumental ballad, Benson is 100% ‘there’. Unlike some he doesn’t simply play his music in diverse settings, he matches his playing to the context be it blues, pop or virtuoso soloing.   With Coltrane I am blown away by urgent, desperate intensity. With Benson I am seduced by an incredibly multifaceted sexy woman.

The Washerman’s Dog team (of one) has pulled together a selection of wonderful enticements for your listening pleasure. Spread over two volumes you’ll get a glimpse of not only the many sides of this great guitarist but also his ultimate ‘smoothness’.

Go in peace!

 

benson front

 

Track Listing (v 1):

 

01 Push, Push

 

02 Hold On I’m Coming

 

03 So What

 

04 Ode To A Kudu (alt. take)

 

05 Little Train

 

06 The Wind And I

 

07 Shadow Dancers

 

08 Plum

 

09 I Got A Woman

 

10 Somewhere In The East

 

11 Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream

 

12 Billie’s Bounce

 

13 Let It Rain (featuring Patti Austin)

 

14 Benson’s Rider

 

15 Take Five

 

16 ‘Long Come Tutu

 

17 I Don’t Know

 

18 Myna Bird Blues

 

19 Shell Of A Man

 

20 Doobie, Doobie Blues

 

G.B.

 

 

 

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Track Listing (v. 2)

 

01 Top Of The World

 

02 Mona Lisa

 

03 Hippy Dip

 

04 One Like You

 

05 Ode To A Kudu

 

06 Shape Of Things That Are and Were

 

07 Ready And Able

 

08 Givin’ It Up for Love

 

09 The Ghetto

 

10 Still Waters

 

11 Will You Still Be Mine

 

12 Black Rose

 

13 Witchcraft [live]

 

14 The World Is A Ghetto

 

15 You Can’t Go Home [feat. George Benson]

 

16 Man From Toledo [Bonus Track]

 

17 El Mar

 

18 Strings of Love

 

19 Serbian Blue (new mix)

 

20 Love For Sale

 

21 Mona Lisa (Lil’ George Benson Age 8)

 

B.G

 

 

 

Heal thyself: Cymande

Cymande

Cymande

Wo!

Just the first day of the working week and one’s soul and body is already aching. No complaints, mind. Just a cold assessment of the current reality. Several more similarly long and full days await until the weekend arrives and I depart on another trip. This time to my favorite part of the world, India. Mumbai for a couple of short weekend days and then the nation’s capital for meetings and hopefully a bit of down time to stalk through the streets with all my senses open to ‘receptive’.

 

One does find there are days and weeks of days when despair and sadness are hard to keep at bay. What with all the shit happening in the Middle East and the suffering and rudeness of the ruling classes towards anyone who is not one of ‘us’ is enough to make the heart break.

When I get into those kind of places I generally find a long walk outside followed by a cold beer and some fine tunes return my inner barometer to the normal range. And over the weekend the tunes I turned to were from an old band with the slightly hard to pronounce name of Cymande (Shamaanday).

I used to spy this album in record stores years back and inevitably paused to take in the intriguing cover art. There was something just off beat enough about it to want me to try it out but of course I would opt for the more familiar product. In those days of youth when one is supposed to be full of adventure, I have to confess my musical tastes were firmly unadventerous. But let’s not look back.

Except perhaps to give praise. And much praise is due to these chaps with the unusual name. A group of West Indian immigrants in the UK, Cymande mixed together reggae, proto-dub, funk, sweet soul harmonies and a righteous message on their very limited number of records.   Except for a tiny number of music snobs, club hounds and critics the records didn’t get much uptake; the band disbanded in the late 70s.

Rediscovered by samplers a number of decades on, Cymande has probably reached a wider audience in the past 20 years then they ever did in their heyday.

This is very groovy music. Listen. And you’ll instantly be aware of its healing qualities. The deep throbbing bass shakes the blues loose (or perhaps packs it further down?) and slowly draws you to surrender.   Like a musical body tonic, Cymande, are an elixir.

Heal thyself!

The Message

Track Listing:

01 Zion I

02 One More

03 Getting It Back

04 Listen

05 Rickshaw

06 Dove

07 Bra

08 The Message

09 Rastafarian Folk Song

C Y M A N D E

 

Happy Anniversary Part 6: Jazz and Related Sounds

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And so we now come to a tri-partite celebration of jazz sounds as part of the ongoing commemoration of the Washerman’s Dog achieving the milestone of 700 posts (way back a couple of months ago). Thank you again to all visitors, regulars and encouragers along the way, its been a blast and I don’t’ see any reason to cease and desist any time soon.

 

Volume one is entitled Blue Vindaloo. Straight ahead jazz mixed with a fair number of Asian and Asian-inspired tracks by jazz artists from Afghanistan to Japan. Check out the Afghan Jazz Unit’s tremendous Spinboldak Saxophony.

Title track from the Pakistani-American uber guitarist Rez Abbasi.

 

Volume two is titled Afro Jazz and indeed here you will find much jazz from the Continent, as well as soukous, pop and other African delights.  Highlights this time are from Angola!  Title track comes via the mighty Madilu of DRC.

 

Volume three, Blow Baby, Blow is dedicated to outstanding brass, woodwind and brass band jazz. Sax, trumpet, tuba and trombone. Greats and unknowns.  Hope you enjoy.

blue vindaloo

Track Listing (Vol. 1):

01 Time Is Right Dr. L Subramaniam]

02 Beauty Of The Flower [Christoph Stiefel and Lissette Spinnler]

03 Elveen [Wynton Marsalis]

04 Spinboldak Saxophony [Afghan Jazz Unit]

05 Ranglypso [Ernest Ranglin]

06 Painted Paradise [Jiro Inagaki and Soul Media]

07 Fat Mouth [Weldon Irvine]

08 Yes, Sir That’s My Baby [Nat King Cole]

09 Abbaji (For Alla Rakha) [John McLaughlin]

10 Hub-Tones [Freddie Hubbard]

11 Eastern Dawn [Amancio D’Souza]

12 Sueño de Amor (Chachachá) [feat. Cachao] [Bonus Track] Generoso Jimenez]

13 Fried Pies (Take 1) [Wes Montgomery]

14 Tempo De Amor [Baden Powell and Vinicius de Moraes]

15 What a Little Moonlight Can Do [Billie Holiday]

16 Harlem On Saturday Night [Lil Hardin Armstrong and Her Orchestra]

17 Benson’s Rider [George Benson]

18 The Best Is Yet To Come [Mr. President]

19 Nuit sur les Champs-Elysees(1) [Miles Davis]

20 Awaara Hoon [Sunny Jain Collective]

21 Sina Nari [Hüsnü Şenlendirici]

22 Tanzania [Sadao Watanabe]

23 Summertime [Ahmed Abdul Malik]

24 Garuda [Raga Bop Trio]

25 The Look Of Love [Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66]

26 Quaze Caindo [Ricardo Herz Trio]

27 The Lewinsky March. [Rabih Abou-Khalil]

28 Ma’am A’rif Leh (Gingele) [Salma]

29 Blu Vindaloo [Rez Abbasi]

30 Raga Piloo [Joe Harriot & John Mayer]

++++

beau souvenir

Track Listing (Vol. 2)

01 Johannesburg Hi-Lite Jive [Hugh Masakela]

02 Margret Odero [D.O. Misiani & Shirati Jazz]

03 Muasi Oweli Bela [bolero] [Vicky et l’OK Jazz]

04 Bolingo Ekomisi Ngai Liboma [L’orchestre Zembe Zembe]

05 Kulekule [Konono No.1 De Mingiedi]

06 La Bycicletta [Keletigui et Ses Tambourines]

07 Avante Juventude [Os Anjos]

08 Whiskey et Coca-Cola [Amadou Balake]

09 Black Egypt -Intro [Bukky Leo and Black Egypt]

10 Soweto Blues [Mariam Makeba]

11 Awa Awa [Wes]

12 Koki (Hot Koki) [Andre Marie Tala]

13 Tweta [Mombasa Party and Zuhura Swaleh]

14 Injuria [Jose ‘Zeca’ Neves]

15 Hymn for the War Orphans [Zimology]

16 Na boyi danbinzi [Orchestre Mando Negro]

17 Onyame [Ashanti Afrika Jah]

18 Sogodounou [Nahawa Doumbia]

19 1er Gaou (Ivory Coast) [Magic System]

20 Kyrie eleison [Orcestre Hi Fives]

21 Ting’ Badi Malo [Gidigidi Majimaji]

22 Din Ya Sugri [Christy Azuma & Uppers International]

23 Gidelam [Baaba Maal]

24 Tollon Tollon [Afro National]

25 Ichibanda [Oliya Band]

26 Revolution [Sonny Okosun]

27 Mosquito [Flaming Souls]

28 Beau Souvenir [Madilu System]

29 Black Woman Experience [Geraldo Pino]

30 Despedida [Dimba Diangola]

###

Blow Baby Blow

Track Listing: (Vol. 3)

01 Blue Light [Ben Webster]

02 Black Man’s Cry [Fela Kuti with Afrika 70 and Ginger Baker]

03 Zomaye [Gigi]

04 Minnie the Moocher [Big Bad Voodoo Daddy]

05 Skalloween [Skatalites]

06 From Boogie to Funk part 1_ The Blues [Bill Coleman]

07 Don’t Take Your Love From Me [Frank Rosolino Quintet]

08 See-F [Ceasar Frazier]

09 Instant Groove [King Curtis]

10 Time Is Running Out Fast [James Brown]

11 Satan’s Blues [Don Bryon]

12 i want a little girl [Big Joe Turner]

13 John McLaughlin [Miles Davis]

14 Misterioso [Sonny Rollins]

15 Sida Gangbe Brass Band]

16 The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro) [Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass]

17 Balkan Reggae [Mahala Rai Banda]

18 Qonqoza [Dudu Phukwana]

19 Got No Money [Dusko Gojkovic]

20 Crazy Mixed Up World [Little Walter]

21 Ad Lib Blues [Lester Young]

22 Need You (right now) [Trumpet Thing]

23 Kuenda Namwendo [The Umtali Chipisa Band]

24 Blues for Harvey [Johnny Griffin]

25 Celestial Bliss [Rahsaan Roland Kirk]

26 Frantic Activity [Rhythm Funk Masters]

27 Struttin’ With Some Barbecue [Louis Armstrong]

28 Asaw Fofor [Melody Aces]

29 African Battle Manu Dibango]

30 How Deep Is the Ocean [John Coltrane]

***+

A Bit Belated: Byron Bay Bluesfest 2014 Mixtape

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Over the past few years I’ve put together an annual ‘peek’ into the Byron Bay Bluesfest, probably the most famous and grandest blues/roots festival in the southern hemisphere. Held in the stunning surrounds of Byron Bay on the northern coast of the Australian state of New South Wales, the Bluesfest has become a regular feature of many American and Australian blues acts’ itinerary.

 

This year, confronted with a new hectic pace of life, the festival came and went without my registering its Easter weekend occurrence. An old school mate who lives near to Byron Bay, recently and gently reminded me that the annual mixtape of Bluesfest offerings was long overdue!  And right she was!

 

And so, without any further comment, here is a musical souvenir of the some of the acts that headlined this year’s BBBF.

 

Rock on!

down under blues

Track Listing:

01 Mississippi Freight Train [James Cotton]

02 Drinking Muddy Water [North Mississippi Allstars]

03 Everybody Loves Me [Charlie Musselwhite and Charlie Sexton]

04 Get Behind The Mule [Booker T Jones]

05 Sweetest Waste of Time [Shane Nicholson and Kasey Chambers]

06 The Name Of This Thing Is Not Love [Elvis Costello and the Imposters]

07 Texas Flood [Jimmie Vaughan]

08 Pancho And Lefty [Steve Earle]

09 Way Back When [Ernest Ranglin]

10 Dis, Dat or D’udda [Dr. John]

11 Flying Machine [WAR]

12 Don’t Give That Shit to Me [Seun Kuti]

13 Ain’t Superstitious [Jeff Beck Group]

14 Lowdown [Boz Scaggs]

15 Devil Got My Woman [Gregg Allman]

16 A Change Is Gonna Come [Aaron Neville]

17 Oh My God [Michael Franti and Spearhead]

18 Bad Girl [Devendra Bahhart]

19 Vanishing Point [Boz Scaggs]

20 The Devil Never Sleeps [Iron and Wine}

21 Grey Blue Eyes [Dave Mathews]

22 The System [The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra]

23 Chokin’ Kind [Joss Stone]

24 Caution [The Wailers]

25 Ninety Nine And One Half [Buddy Guy]

Ÿ✪¤