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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Legendary Group:The Memphis Horns

Arguably the greatest soul horn section ever, the Memphis Horns were a critical part of the Stax formula during the '60s and '70s, as well as prolific contributors to numerous other sessions since the label's demise. Though today the name is identified with the duo of trumpeter Wayne Jackson and tenor saxophonist Andrew Love, the band at one time also included tenor saxophonist Ed Logan, trombonists Lewis Collins and Jack Hale, and baritone saxophonist James Mitchell. This was the lineup that recorded for RCA in the '70s, cutting LPs produced by Booker T. Jones and others. They also backed King Curtis and Aretha Franklin in the '70s. But they are best known for appearances on songs by virtually every Stax artist. The duo of Jackson and Love issued their own LP in 1992 for an independent label.


  • The Memphis Horns(1970) Cotillion
  • Horns for Everything(1972)Million
  • High on Music(1976)RCA Records
  • Get up and Dance(1977)RCA Records
  • Memphis Horns Band 2(1978)RCA Records
  • WelcomeTo Memphis(1979)RCA Records
  • Flame Out(1992) Lucky Seven
  • The Memphis Horns with Special Guests(1995)Telarc Distribution
  • Wishing You a Merry Christmas(1996)Icehouse Records

as invovled sessioners

Margie Joseph


Frequently compared to Aretha Franklin, singer Margie Joseph earned neither the fame nor the critical success lavished upon the Queen of Soul, but a series of excellent records for Atlantic during the 1970s nevertheless won her a spot in the pantheon of soul cult favorites. Margaret Marie Joseph was born in Pascagoula, MS, in 1950 — she got her start in the church choir, and began pursuing a professional singing career while a student at New Orleans' Dillard University. In 1967, Joseph made her first demo recordings at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, soon after signing to the Okeh label — her debut, "Why Does a Man Have to Lie?," had the misfortune of seeing release around the same time parent label Columbia decided to close Okeh's doors, and promptly sank without a trace. Two years later Joseph signed with the Stax subsidiary Volt, and with New Orleans soul legend Willie Tee assuming production duties, she released the underground favorite "One More Chance." Producer Freddy Briggs took the helm for Joseph's next effort, "Your Sweet Loving"; released in the summer of 1970, the single proved a minor R&B chart hit. The following year, she cracked the R&B Top 40 with a cover of the Supremes' classic "Stop! In the Name of Love," boosting sales of her fine debut LP, Margie Joseph Makes a New Impression, in the process. Another Supremes cover, "My World Is Empty Without You," formed the centerpiece of her 1972 follow-up, Phase II, but neither the single nor the album attracted much attention, and she soon signed to Atlantic to begin work with famed producer Arif Mardin, perhaps best-known for his earlier work with Aretha; indeed, Joseph's self-titled Atlantic debut was often criticized for its similarities to Franklin's classic work, although her sweetly plaintive vocals and more supple delivery were actually far more distinctive than detractors gave credit for. Joseph nevertheless scored an R&B hit in the spring of 1973 with her reading of the Al Green classic "Let's Stay Together," reaching her commercial zenith later that year when her second Atlantic album, Sweet Surrender, launched two more hit covers: "Come Lay Some Lovin' on Me" (more successful for Joseph than for the song's author, Paul Kelly) and "My Love" (a reading of the Paul McCartney & Wings smash that became her lone Top Ten R&B hit and pop Top 75 entry). The 1975 album Margie is generally regarded by fans as the creative peak of Joseph's recording career — the singles "Words (Are Impossible)" and "I Can't Move No Mountains" are both superb, and with the lovely hit "Stay Still," she earned a rare co-writing credit. A March 1976 live date in Jamaica introduced Joseph to the vocal group Blue Magic, and they agreed to record a duet — included on the 13 Blue Magic Lane album, "What's Come Over Me" would prove her second-biggest R&B chart hit. She moved to the Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion for 1976's Hear the Words, Feel the Feeling, produced by Motown legend Lamont Dozier — the title cut reached the R&B Top 20, and the sessions also yielded the wonderful disco-era seasonal cut "Christmas Gift," included on the Funky Christmas compilation. Joseph returned to the Atlantic mothership for the Johnny Bristol-produced Feeling My Way, but when the singles "Come on Back to Me, Lover" and "I Feel His Love Getting Stronger" failed to generate much airplay, the label released her from her contract. Joseph landed at the Philadelphia-based WMOT Records, recording an entire LP under the auspices of producer Dexter Wansel that was shelved after the company went belly-up; at this point, a frustrated Joseph quit the music business, turning to a teaching career. She returned to performing in 1982, cutting "Knockout" for the tiny HCRC label; the single was a surprise R&B hit, but HCRC went out of business as well, although the setback did allow Joseph to re-sign with Cotillion, where Narada Michael Walden agreed to produce her 1984 comeback album, Ready for the Night; the title cut was a minor hit, but again the label terminated her contract. Four years later, she signed with Ichiban to release Stay, her last new material to date, although much of her vintage Stax and Atlantic work has since been reissued on CD.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Legend: Idris Muhammad

Idris Muhammad (born November 13, 1939 in New Orleans, Louisiana; is a jazz drummer. He was born Leo Morris on November 13, 1939 before changing his name in the 1960s upon his conversion to Islam. He is known for his funky playing style. He has released a number of albums as leader, and has played with a number of jazz legends including Lou Donaldson, Johnny Griffin, Pharoah Sanders and Grover Washington, Jr. He has been touring and recording with pianist Ahmad Jamal since 1995. At 15 years-old, one of Muhammad's earliest recorded sessions as a drummer was on Fats Domino's 1956 smash hit Blueberry Hill.

In 1966, he married Dolores "LaLa" Brooks (former member of the Crystals; she converted to Islam with him and went for a time under the name Sakinah Muhammad). They separated in 1999. Together, they have two sons and two daughters. Muhammad is an endorser of Istanbul Agop Cymbals who issued a 22" Idris Muhammad Signature Ride in at the 2008 NAMM show in Anaheim, CA.


As leader
  • 1970: Black Rhythm Revolution (Prestige Records) Flac
  • 1971: Peace & Rhythm (Prestige) Flac
  • 1974: Power of Soul
  • 1976: House of the Rising Sun
  • 1977: Turn This Mutha Out
  • 1978: Boogie to the Top
  • 1978: You Ain't No Friend of Mine 
  • 1979: Fox Huntin'
  • 1980: Kabsha
  • 1980: Make It Count
  • 1992: My Turn
  • 1996:Legends of Acid Jazz
  • 1998: Right Now
As sideman
  • With Pharoah Sanders
  • Jewels of Thought(1969)
  • Journey to the One (1980)
  • Shukuru (1981)
  • Heart Is a Melody(1982)
  • Africa(1987)
  • With Nat Adderley
  • * Calling Out Loud (CTI, 1968)
  • With Lou Donaldson
  • * Fried Buzzard (Cadet, 1965)
  • * Blowing in the Wind (Cadet, 1966)
  • * Lou Donaldson At His Best (Cadet, 1966)
  • * Alligator Bogaloo (Blue Note, 1967)
  • * Mr. Shing-A-Ling (Blue Note, 1967)
  • * Midnight Creeper (Blue Note, 1968)
  • * Say It Loud! (Blue Note, 1968)
  • * Hot Dog (Blue Note, 1969)
  • * Everything I Play is Funky (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * Pretty Things (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * The Scorpion (Blue Note, 1970)
  • * Cosmos (Blue Note 1971)
  • * Sweet Poppa Lou (Muse, 1981)
  • With Grant Green
  • * Sookie Sookie (Blue Breakbeats 1998)
  • With Freddie Hubbard
  • * New Colors (Hip Bop Essence 2001) \ FLAC
  • With Ahmad Jamal
  • * The Essence of Ahmad Jamal, Pt 1 (1994) pass = yuforum\ FLAC
  • * Big Byrd: The Essence, Pt. 2 (Dreyfus, 1997) pass = yuforum
  • * Nature: The Essence, Part III (Dreyfus, 1998)pass = yuforum
  • * Picture Perfect (2000)
  • * Ahmad Jamal 70th Birthday (2000)
  • * In Search of Momentum (Dreyfus, 2002)
  • * After Fajr (Dreyfus, 2005) \ Flac
  • * It's Magic (Dreyfus, 2008)
  • With Rodney Jones
  • * Soul Manifesto (1991)
  • With Ernest Ranglin
  • * Below the Bassline (Island Records, 1998)
  • With John Scofield
  • * Groove Elation (1995)
  • With Leon Spencer
  • * Sneak Preview (Prestige Records, 1970)
  • * Louisiana Slim (Prestige, 1971)
  • With Stanley Turrentine
  • Common Touch(1968)
  • Sugar Man(1975)
  • With Andrew Hill
  • Grass Roots!(1968)
  • With Charles Earland
  • Black Talk!(1969)
  • With Reuben Wilson
  • Love Bug (1969)
  • With Lonnie Smith
  • Turning Point(1969)
  • With Sonny Stitt
  • Goin' Down Slow (1971)
  • With Gene Ammons
  • My Way (1970)
  • With Bob James
  • 1965: Explosions
  • 2003 - The Legendary Albums
  • With Roberta Flack
  • Feel Like Makin' Love (1975)
  • Blue Lights in the Basement(1977)
  • With Merry Clayton
  • Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (1975)
  • With Gabor Szabo
  • Macho(1975)
  • With Allspice
  • Allspice(1977)
  • With Richard "Groove" Holmes
  • Groove's Groove(1977)
  • Good Vibrations (1977)
  • With David "Fathead" Newman
  • Back to Basics (1977)
  • Concrete Jungle(1977)
  • Keep the Dream Alive(1977)
  • With Dexter Wansel
  • What the World Is Coming To(1977)
  • With Wilbert Longmire
  • Champagne(1979)
  • With Johnny Lytle
  • Fast Hands(1980)
  • Good Vibes(1981)
  • With Ximo Tebar
  • The Champs(2004)
  • With Horace Silver
  • That Healin' Feelin(1970)
  • With Bobbi Humphrey
  • Flute In (1971)
  • With Rusty Bryant
  • Soul Liberation(1970)
  • Fire Eater (1971)
  • With Melvin Sparks
  • Akilah(1973)
  • With Willis "Gator" Jackson,
  • Bar Wars(1977) \ APE
  • Single Action(1978)
  • With Etta Jones
  • My Mother's Eyes(1977)
  • With Randy Weston
  • Portraits of Thelonious Monk(1990,Verve)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Legendary Group:Wild Cherry

Rob Parissi (lead vocals & guitar) was raised in the steel mill town of Mingo Junction, Ohio . Parissi graduated from Mingo High School in 1968. Rob formed his first band in 1970 in Steubenville, Ohio, one mile north of Mingo Junction along the Ohio River. The band's name "Wild Cherry" was taken from a box of cough drops while Rob was recouperating from a brief hospital stay. The band played the Ohio Valley region, Wheeling, West Virginia and the rest of the Northern West Virginia panhandle, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The original lineup included: Ben DiFabbio - Drums, Lead and background vocals - from Mingo Junction, Ohio, Louie Osso - Guitar, Lead and background vocals- from Steubenville, Ohio, Larry Brown - Bass, Lead and background vocals - from Weirton, West Virginia, Larry Mader - Keyboards, Lead and background vocals - from East Springfield, Ohio, and of course Rob Parissi - Lead vocals and Guitar.After the original members broke up, there were other members who also played before the big hit, such as Rob's cousin, Coogie Stoddart - guitar, Lead and background vocals and Joe Buchmelter on Bass.

Several other records were released under their own label, including You Can Be High (But Lay Low), date unknown, and Something Special On Your Mind, 1971. The music at this stage was pure rock music, not funk. Wild Cherry eventually gained a record contract with Brown Bag Records. Several demos and singles were produced including Get Down, 1973 (re-release of earlier self labeled demo); and Show Me Your Badge, 1973.

The band broke up when a disillusioned Parissi left the music scene to become the manager of a local steakhouse. Rob quickly realized that the steakhouse gig was not going to cut it. As his enthusiasm for the music eventually returned, Rob decided to give the business one last shot.

Parissi re-formed the band with new musicians. The new lineup consisted of Bryan Bassett (guitar/vocals) and Ronald Beitle (drums/percussion/vocals), both from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Allen Wentz (bass guitar/synthesizer/vocals), who hailed from Detroit, Michigan. As the hard rockin' quartet began to perform non-stop and build a huge, devoted following in the Pittsburgh area, they were repeatedly asked by listeners to play more dance music. Disco was beginning its rule on the radio and the dance floor. At the 2001 Club in Pittsburgh, a table full of black fans kept coming to the stage and teasing: "Are you white boys gonna play some funky music?" One night during a break between sets, drummer Ron Beitle, in a group meeting in the dressing room, uttered the magic phrase that eventually was to be heard around the world: "Play That Funky Music, White Boy". On the way back to the stage to play the next set, Rob Parissi was immediately inspired to write the song that will live on forever, on a drink order pad with a pen borrowed from the bartender. The song took a total of 5 minutes to write. When the band went into the studio to record the song, studio engineer Ken Hamann was blown away by the potential hit and brought the band to the attention of Sweet City Records, which then immediately signed the group. Parissi had intended to record the song as the B-side to a cover version of the Commodores' "I Feel Sanctified", but the label suggested recording it as an A-side. Epic Records then picked it up for major world-wide distribution. During the recording of the first album, Mark Avsec was hired as a session keyboardist on two of the album's tracks, "Nowhere To Run" and "The Lady Wants Your Money", and was asked to join the band after the album was released and the group was about to embark on its first tour.

"Play That Funky Music" became a huge hit when released in 1976, peaking at number one on both the Billboard R&B and pop charts. Both the single and Wild Cherry's self-titled debut album went platinum. Play That Funky Music was #1 on the Billboard charts for 3 weeks. The band was named Best Pop Group of the Year by Billboard, and received an American Music Award for Top R&B Single of the Year, as well as a pair of Grammy nominations for Best New Vocal Group and Best R&B Performance by a Group or Duo that year, adding to their success.

Their 1977 album, Electrified Funk and 1978 album I Love My Music did not produce any top 20 hits, While their 1979 album Only the Wild Survive didn't produce a top 100 single.

U.S. billboard chart placements for singles from their 3 other albums:

* Baby Don't You Know (1977; peaked at #43)
* Hot To Trot (1977; peaked at #95)
* Hold On (1977; peaked at #61)
* I Love My Music (1978; peaked at #69).

"Hot to Trot" was a minor followup hit in some non U.S. markets.

Although it was never a chart hit, the song "1 2 3 Kind Of Love" had the right feel for the beach music clubs along the North and South Carolina coasts; it continues to be popular there today, and the song is included in the beach music anthology series by Ripete Records.

One musician who played with the band was guitarist/vocalist Donnie Iris (ex-The Jaggerz). Donnie was credited on their fourth and final album. Mark Avsec partnered up with Donnie following the demise of Wild Cherry to form The Cruisers, and also released a solo project under the moniker Cellarful of Noise in 1985.

Coogie Stoddart returned to perform with Wild Cherry beginning with the tour to support Electrified Funk. Coogie recorded the third album, I Love my Music, with the band. On that album is recorded one of Coogie's original songs, If You Want My Love, on which Coogie shares lead vocals with Rob Parissi. (The album jacket for I Love My Music incorrectly states that all songs were written by Rob Parissi; the album's label is correct.) Coogie Stoddart toured with the group in support of I Love My Music, but left before Only the Wild Survive was recorded.

Allen Wentz moved to NYC after leaving the band, and became a session synthesist playing on many records and jingles. He has produced a number of indie projects over the years, scored a few indie films, and has had some song placements. He still composes and records under different aliases, as well as under his own name. Over the years he has worked with artists ranging from Luther Vandross and Roberta Flack, to Cyndi Lauper.

Guitarist Bryan Bassett went on to a successful producing/engineering career, working with many great blues artists. And his guitar playing easily earned him a spot in the 90's with Foghat and Molly Hatchet. He continues to tour with Foghat and work in his studio.

Parissi later became a disk jockey in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Play That Funky Music was covered by the rock group ROXANNE in 1988 and was sampled by Vanilla Ice in 1990 (for which Parissi was not credited; he later won $500,000 in a copyright infringement lawsuit), and it continues to be a hit in dance clubs to this day. Play that Funky Music is regularly included on funk and disco compilations, and has been included in numerous movies, television shows and was the theme song for Craig Kilborn's late-night TV show. Taylor Hicks sang Play That Funky Music on American Idol a week before he won. On March 31, 2009, Adam Lambert sang this song on the American Idol television show.

In 2009 Rob Parissi was involved with members of 70's group LAW in recording a song for Ohio State University called 'GO BUCKS. It was released in August that year.


Studio albums

* Wild Cherry (1976)
* Electrified Funk (1977)
* I Love My Music (1978)
* Only the Wild Survive (1979)

Compilation albums

* Play the Funk (2000)
* Super Hits (2004)


  • "Show Me Your Badge/Bring Back the Fire" (1973)
  • "Play That Funky Music" (1976) \alternate
  • "I Feel Sanctified" (1976)
  • "Baby Don't You Know" (1977)
  • "Hold On (With Strings)" (1977)
  • "Hot to Trot" (1977) - also released as part of a double A-side with "Play That Funky Music" in 1977
  • "123 Kind of Love" (1978)
  • "This Old Heart of Mine" (1978)
  • "Try a Piece of My Love" (1979)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Minnie Riperton

The tragic 1979 death of 31-year-old Minnie Riperton silenced one of soul music's most unique and unforgettable voices — blessed with an angelic five-octave vocal range, she scored her greatest commercial success with the chart-topping pop ballad "Lovin' You." Riperton was born in Chicago on November 8, 1947; as a youth she studied music, drama, and dance at the city's Lincoln Center and later contemplated a career in opera. Her pop career began in 1961 when she joined the local girl group called the Gems, signing to the famed Chess label to release a handful of singles as well as lend backing vocals to acts including Fontella Bass, the Dells, and Etta James. After graduating high school, Riperton went to work at Chess as a receptionist; following the Gems' dissolution, she also signed with the label as a solo act, releasing a single, "Lonely Girl," under the alias Andrea Davis.

In 1968, Riperton was installed as the lead vocalist of the psychedelic soul band the Rotary Connection, which debuted that year with a self-titled LP on Cadet Concepts; the singles "Amen" and "Lady Jane" found a home on underground FM radio, but the group failed to make much of an impression on mainstream outlets. While still a member of the Connection, Riperton mounted a solo career; teaming with producer/arranger Charles Stepney and her husband/composer Richard Rudolph, she issued her brilliant debut, Come to My Garden, in 1970, but again commercial success eluded her grasp. After the Rotary Connection dissolved in the wake of 1971's Hey Love, she and Rudolph took a two-year sabbatical in Florida before relocating to Los Angeles, where she sang on Stevie Wonder's Fulfillingness' First Finale and toured as a member of his backing unit Wonderlove.

Wonder agreed to co-produce Riperton's 1974 album Perfect Angel, which contained the international blockbuster "Lovin' You"; the record made her a household name, although subsequent LPs like 1975's Adventures in Paradise and 1977's Stay in Love failed to repeat its success. By this time, however, commercial woes were the least of Riperton's concerns — diagnosed with breast cancer, she underwent a mastectomy in 1976, later becoming a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and earning a Society Courage Award from then-President Jimmy Carter. Riperton continued performing despite her declining condition, with 1979's Minnie the final record completed during her lifetime — she died in L.A. on July 12 of that year. Unreleased vocal tracks with new instrumental backing comprised 1980's posthumous collection Love Lives Forever.


1969 - Come To My Garden
1974 - Perfect Angel
1975 - Adventures In Paradise
1977 - Stay In Love
1979 - Minnie
1980 - Love Lives Forever

Monday, March 8, 2010

Legendary Group: SUN

Another of the many Dayton funk bands that emerged in the '70s, Sun didn't enjoy as much success as their counterparts. The band recorded prolifically for Capitol from 1976 to 1984, but just couldn't score a major hit. The closest they came was "Sun Is Here," which made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in 1978. They made one last try with Air City in 1984, but it flopped.


  • 1976 Live On, Dream On
  • 1976 Wanna Make Love
  • 1977 Sun Power
  • 1978 Sunburn
  • 1978 Dance (Do What You Wanna Do)
  • 1979 Destination: Sun
  • 1980 Sun Over the Universe
  • 1981 Force of Nature
  • 1982 Let There Be Sun
  • 1984 Eclipse

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Legend:Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis

Ramsey Emmanuel Lewis, Jr. (born May 27, 1935) is an American jazz composer, pianist and radio personality. He has been referred to as "the great performer",a title reflectin g his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, etc.) along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. Ramsey Lewis has recorded over 80 albums and has received five gold records and three Grammy Awards so far in his career.

Ramsey Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Ramsey Lewis, Sr. and Pauline Lewis. Lewis began taking piano lessons at the age of four. At 15 he joined his first jazz band, The Cleffs. The seven-piece group provided Lewis his first involvement with jazz; he would later join Cleffs drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt and bassist Eldee Young to form the Ramsey Lewis Trio. He has a grandson, named Ramsey Lewis who lives in California, but used to attend your local high school in Chicago's Northside.

The trio started as primarily a jazz unit and released their first album, Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing, in 1956. Following their 1965 hit The In Crowd (the single reached #5 on the pop charts, and the album #2) they concentrated more on pop material. Young and Holt left in 1966 to form the Young-Holt Trio and were replaced by Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White. White was replaced by Maurice Jennings in 1970. Later, Franky Donaldson and Billy "The Bhudda" Dickens replaced Jennings and Eaton; Felton Crews also appeared on many 1980's releases.

By 1966, Lewis was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with The In Crowd, Hang On Sloopy, and Wade in the Water. Many of his recordings attracted a large non-jazz audience. In the '70s, Lewis often played electric piano, although by later in the decade he was sticking to acoustic and using an additional keyboardist in his groups.

In addition to recording and performing, Lewis hosted a morning show on Chicago "smooth jazz" radio station WNUA (95.5 FM) until May 22, 2009. His weekly syndicated radio program Legends of Jazz, created in 1990, features recordings from artists such as David Sanborn, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau and Miles Davis. The show can be heard in 60 U.S. cities and overseas. On December 4, 2006, the Ramsey Lewis Morning Show became part of Broadcast Architecture's Smooth Jazz Network, simulcasting on other Smooth Jazz stations across the country for the first time. However, the show was still based in Chicago until it was cancelled when WNUA switched over to a Spanish format.

In 2006, a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast on public TV nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists including Larry Gray, Lonnie Smith, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett.

Lewis is artistic director of Jazz at Ravinia (an annual feature at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois) and helped organize Ravinia's Jazz Mentor Program. Ramsey also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Merit School of Music, a Chicago inner-city music program and The Chicago High School for the Arts, the new public arts high school in Chicago. Early in 2005, the Ramsey Lewis Foundation was created to help connect at-risk children to the world of music. As an offshoot of that foundation, Lewis plans to form a Youth Choir and Youth Orchestra. In January 2007, the Dave Brubeck Institute invited Lewis to join its Honorary Board of Friends at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Lewis is an Honorary Board member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Lewis is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. In May 2008, Lewis received an honorary doctorate from Loyola University Chicago upon delivering the keynote address at the undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Lewis still lives in Chicago, Illinois, the city of his musical roots. He has seven children, fourteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.


As A Sideman:

Max Roach – Art Blakey – Percussion Discussion (Appr. 1957) (Chess)
Max Roach - Max (1958)


Legends of Jazz: Showcase (with Ramsey Lewis).(2006)

Thanks to: Avaxhome,, ,, Bubu Hans,,Camillo,,,,, My Jazz World,
Mr.Moo,,,Nemo,,,,, Vel_Kam,, Zand...

Legendary Group:The Meters

Art Neville, the group's frontman, launched a solo career around the New Orleans area in the mid-1950s while still in high school. The Meters formed in 1965 with a line-up of keyboardist and vocalist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr. and drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste. They were later joined by percussionist/vocalist Cyril Neville. The Meters became the house band for Allen Toussaint and his record label, Sansu Enterprises.

In 1969 the Meters released "Sophisticated Cissy" and "Cissy Strut", both major R&B chart hits. "Look-Ka Py Py" and "Chicken Strut" were their hits the following year. After a label shift in 1972, the Meters had difficulty returning to the charts, but they played on several important records, working with Dr. John, Ernie K. Doe, Paul McCartney, King Biscuit Boy, Labelle, Robert Palmer and others.

In 1974 Paul McCartney invited the Meters to play at the release party for his Venus and Mars album aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones was in attendance at the event and was greatly taken with the Meters and their sound. The Rolling Stones invited the band to open for them on their Tour of America in 1975. That same year, the Meters recorded one of their most beloved and successful albums, Fire On The Bayou. From 1976 to '77 they played in The Wild Tchoupitoulas with George & Amos Landry and the Neville Brothers. The band broke up in 1977. Toussaint claimed the rights to the name "The Meters", so the musicians played under various other names and in various combinations for the rest of the decade.

They appeared on Saturday Night Live on March 19, 1977.

In 1989, the members of The Meters appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in an informal jam session and decided to reform. Zigaboo Modeliste was replaced with David Russell Batiste, Jr., a longtime collaborator with Allen Toussaint who had also worked with Robbie Robertson and Harry Connick, Jr.

In 1994, the departure of Leo Nocentelli led to the band inviting old friend Brian Stoltz into the fold as guitarist. Stoltz had been the guitarist for The Neville Brothers during the '80s, and during the '90s had done session work on records with Bob Dylan, Edie Brickell, Dr. John and Linda Ronstadt. With this new line up, the band was renamed the Funky Meters.

The original members of the Meters (including Modeliste and Nocentelli) have from time to time reformed for a limited number of shows in recent years. To differentiate from the Funky Meters, this version of the band is usually referred to as the Original Meters.



  • The Meters (1969), Sundazed
  • Look-Ka Py Py (1970), Josie
  • Struttin' (1970), Sundazed
  • Cabbage Alley (1972), Sundazed
  • Rejuvenation (1974), Sundazed
  • Fire On The Bayou (1975), Sundazed
  • The Best of The Meters (1975), Mardi Gras
  • Trick Bag (1976), Sundazed 
  • New Directions (1977), Sundazed
  • Here Come the Metermen(1986),Charly Records
  • Good Old Funky Music(1990).Rounder Select
  • Uptown Rulers: The Meters live on the Queen Mary (1992), Rhino
  • Fundamentally Funky(1994),Charly Records
  • Funkify Your Life: The Meters Anthology (1995), Rhino 
  • Message from the Meters(2000),BMG
  • Kickback (2001), Sundazed - rare and unreleased material
  • Fiyo at the Fillmore, Vol. 1 (2003), Too Funky - by the Funky Meters
  • Second Line Strut( ? ) Charly Records
  • Here Come the Meter Man(2011) Charly Records

  • The Meters & Professor Longhair-Live (1973)
  • Dr. John & The Meters — Chalmette, LA (3/5/1973)
  • Cissy Strut(1974).Island
  • Jackson, MS (1975)
  • Live At Rozy's1976(Dusty Groove America, Inc.)
  • Baton Rouge 1976 (Soundboard) flac
  • 1977: The Showboat Lounge & Bottomline (Live) NYC
  • The Meters And The JB Horns _ Dec.7, 1991, Mensa, Germany (butleg.3CD) Flac
  • The Meters Jam(1992).Rounder
  • The Original Funkmasters(1992),Instant (UK)
  • Funky Miracle(1993).Charly Records 
  • The Meters - Tipitina's 1993New Orleans, LAew Orleans, LA27, 1993
  • Crescent City Groove Merchants(1994),Charly Records
  • The Very Best of the Meters(1997).Rhino
  • The Meters Anthology: The Josie Years(2001).Repertoire Records
  • Let's Party with the Meters(2001)Get Back Records
  • Funky Good Time: Live at Moonwalker, Vol. 1vs JB's Horns '91(2001).Eureka  
  • Funky Miracle: Live at Moonwalker, Vol. 2 vs JB's Horns'91(2001),Eastsid
  • The Essentials(2002).Warner Strategic UK
  • Zony Mash(2003).Sundazed
Selected Meters-invovled

Renee Geyer

Renée Geyer is Australia's most respected and successful soul singer, with a recording career of nearly 30 years. Her career began around 1971 in Sydney, when a girlfriend took her along to the rehearsal of friends who were forming a band. Geyer was encouraged to get up and have a sing and was instantly invited to join as singer. Although she was so shy in the beginning she couldn't face the audience, musicians noticed her, and Geyer was invited to join one more experienced band after another until 1971, when she became part of an ambitious jazz fusion group called Sun. Geyer was still just 19.

After one album (Sun '72), Sun and Geyer parted company; Geyer eventually found herself part of a group called Mother Earth, still with jazz leanings but also incorporating the soul and R&B Geyer loved and excelled at. With Mother Earth, she started touring and was offered a solo recording contract. She insisted that Mother Earth provide the backings on her first album. For her second album, the cream of Melbourne musicians were assembled for the sessions. Geyer formed such a strong bond with these musicians, but by the time the It's a Man's World album was released and her powerfully provocative version of the James Brown title song was a big hit, Geyer was ready to throw her lot in with those musicians rather than be a solo performer.

Her two solo albums so far had been cover versions or sourced songs, apart from the single "Heading in the Right Direction." The Renée Geyer Band wrote the songs for 1975's Ready to Deal album in the studio and toured extensively. A live album, Really.. Really Love You, followed, based on Geyer's building reputation as a powerfully voiced, raunchy performer.

That reputation found its way to America and led to an invitation to record an album in Los Angeles with famed Motown producer Frank Wilson. While the Movin' Along album provided another hit at home, in America Stares and Whispers created confusion. R&B stations loved the record, but didn't know what to do when they discovered Geyer was a white Jewish girl from Australia. For the next few years, Geyer bounced between Australia and America, working in Australia and recording two more albums in America. When 1981's So Lucky album presented her with a huge hit with "Say I Love You" both in Australia and New Zealand, it became necessary to put the American dream aside for two years. In 1983, Geyer returned to base herself in America permanently, still keeping in touch with her Australasian fans with tours.

While in America, Geyer became part of a group called Easy Pieces with former members of the Average White Band. But the album took so long to record, by the time it was finished, the group had never performed and were going their separate ways. Geyer spent several years in America doing session work for Sting (the fade vocal on "We'll Be Together"), Neil Diamond, Jackson Browne, and others, touring with Joe Cocker and Chaka Khan and others, and writing songs.

During one foray back to Australia, Geyer was invited to sing the Paul Kelly song "Foggy Highway" for the soundtrack of a TV series based on the seven deadly sins. Kelly was so impressed by Geyer's version, he offered to produce an album and wrote some of the songs, including the title track, which (alongside "It's a Man's Man's World" has become Geyer's signature song, Difficult Woman). The working relationship with Paul Kelly was such a happy and satisfying one, Geyer decided to base herself back in Australia. With Paul Kelly and Joe Camilleri (Jo Jo Zep, Black Sorrows) producing, she recorded 1999's Sweet Life album.

At the end of 1999, Geyer released her frank life story, Confessions of a Difficult Woman through Harper Collins.



Saturday, March 6, 2010

Marlena Shaw

Marlena Shaw is among the most versatile and charismatic jazz vocalists on the scene today. Her performances are marked by an artful blend of pop standards and straight-ahead jazz tunes. Her extroverted stage presence gives her an edge over other vocalists, and clearly, singing live before an audience is where she feels most comfortable.

After her uncle Jimmy Burgess introduced her to the recordings of Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, she caught the jazz bug and purchased records by Al Hibbler, a vocalist who had a big influence on her singing style. When she was ten she performed at Harlem's Apollo Theater, and despite the enthusiastic reception she received in front of one of the world's toughest audiences, her mother refused to let her go on the road with her uncle, a trumpet player. Shaw attended the State Teachers' College in Potsdam, NY, but later dropped out. For some time in 1963 she worked around New England with a trio led by Howard McGhee. By the mid-'60s she was performing regularly for audiences in the Catskills, Playboy clubs, and other New York area clubs. In 1966, she recorded "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" for Cadet Records, and the single sold very well for an unknown singer. The single's success, a rare vocal version of the tune, prompted executives at Cadet to encourage her to record a whole album for the label in 1967. The diversity of styles, including blues, jazz, and pop standards, is reflected in the album's title, Out of Different Bags. Through her accountant, she was brought to the attention of bandleader Count Basie, and she ended up singing with the Basie band for four years.

In 1972, after leaving the Basie Orchestra, Shaw was the first female vocalist signed to Blue Note Records, and she toured for a while with the late Sammy Davis Jr. Shaw recorded five albums and several singles for Blue Note, and critics likened her singing style to Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. At her club shows, Shaw dazzled audiences with her intoxicating blend of straight-ahead jazz, soul, pop, and classic R&B, but her recordings will also satisfy fans of traditional jazz who have no prejudices about blues and R&B.



Phil Upchurch - Name of the Game (1983)  - guest vocalist 

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