Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Happy National Gorilla Suit Day!

In celebration of National Gorilla Suit Day, please enjoy this video of a sketch from the British comedy series "Not the Nine O'Clock News" entitled "Gerald the Gorilla." I'd write more about it, but it's really hard to type while wearing these big, hairy gloves.

The Neville Brothers and the Meters
- "Fire on The Bayou"

From the David Letterman show, year unknown.

Buy Neville Brothers CDs
Buy Meters CDs

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Archie Shepp - "U-Jaama"

Featuring Shepp on saxophone, Ken Werner on piano, Santo di Briano on bass and John Betch on drums.

Buy Archie Shepp CDs

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Get ready for National Gorilla Suit Day!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to remind you that National Gorilla Suit Day is just five days away. National Gorilla Suit Day, which happens every January 31, is the day that we, in the words of TV, comics and animation writer Mark Evanier, "remember Mad magazine's maddest cartoonist, the late Don Martin. Mr. Martin was, among his many skills, the master of great sound effects in comics."

And it's true - from AAAAGH! to ZZZZZZZZZZZ, and from Xmng! to SHKLORBBADORP, Martin's comic onomatopoeia was always hilarious. Unfortunately, I know of no recorded examples of someone actually voicing Martin's sound FX - but a music video of people in gorilla suits, that I can give you.

So, without further ado, and in honor of National Gorilla Suit Day 2007, Heliocentric Worlds proudly presents the Nairobi Trio. (Look for more gorilla-suit goodness to come on NGSD itself.)

Buy Ernie Kovacs DVDs
Buy Don Martin books
Buy Mad books

Muddy Waters - "Got My Mojo Working"

Two versions of one of Muddy Waters' signature numbers - the first from what looks to be the very early 1960s, and the second from 1971. Note how much the song's arrangement evolved over the period between the two, from a swinging, almost jazzy feel to a more hard-driving, single-minded rhythm.

Buy Muddy Waters CDs
Buy Muddy Waters DVDs

Thursday, January 18, 2007

John Zorn's Masada - "Tekufah"

Featuring Zorn (alto saxophone), Marc Ribot (guitar), Trevor Dunn (bass), Jamie Saft (keyboards), Kenny Wollesen (drums) and Cyro Baptista (percussion).

Buy John Zorn CDs

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sly and the Family Stone - "M'Lady"

Rare footage from 1968, filmed in what looks like 8mm at a "battle of the bands" held at Ohio State University. The audio quality isn't great, but the Family Stone's energy level and some of the band members' stage moves are nothing short of remarkable.

Buy Sly and the Family Stone CDs

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Michael Brecker 1949 - 2007

The weekend brought the sad news that saxophonist Michael Brecker had passed away at age 57. Brecker had been ill for a couple of years with a rare blood disease that eventually developed into leukemia after a search for a bone marrow donor failed to turn up an effective match.

Brecker will be remembered as one of the most acclaimed and emulated saxophonists of his generation, and was also, by all accounts, a hard-working, decent sort of person. His playing was clearly inspired by John Coltrane, yet nevertheless he developed an instantly recognizable sound of his own and became one of the most sought-after and frequently recorded session players of the 1970s and 1980s. (The list of sideman credits on his Web site runs to six pages.) During this time, Brecker also co-led the first incarnation of the Brecker Brothers Band with his trumpet-playing brother Randy and owned a club, Seventh Avenue South, in New York. After releasing his first album as a leader in 1987, Brecker cut back on the hired-gun work and concentrated on his solo career and on meaningful collaborations with other musicians of equal stature.

Since he was so prolific, there are a lot of examples of his playing available not only on CD, but online in video clip format. As a small tribute to a man who made a lot of great music in too short of a life, here are a few videos featuring some of the many facets of Michael Brecker.

Brecker Brothers Band - "Funky Sea, Funky Dew" parts 1 and 2

Recorded in 1980 at the Northsea Jazz Festival, featuring Michael Brecker (saxophones), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Mark Alexander Gray (keyboards), Barry Finnerty (guitar), Richie Morales (drums) and Neil Jason (bass).

Brecker Brothers - "Some Skunk Funk"

Recorded during their European tour in the mid-1980s, with Dennis Chambers (drums), Mike Stern (guitar), James Genus (bass), and George Whitty (keyboards).

Brecker Brothers - "Straphangin"

With Robben Ford (guitar), George Duke (keyboards), Alphonso Johnson (electric bass). and Peter Erskine (drums).

Brecker Brothers - "Sponge"

Recorded in 1992 at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival.

Steps - "Invitation"

Featuring Steve Gadd on drums.


Recorded 2003 in Middleheim, Belgium.

Steps Ahead - "Trains"

Recorded 2004 at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival.

Buy Michael Brecker CDs

Bob Dylan - "Subterranean Homesick Blues"

Buy Bob Dylan CDs
Buy Bob Dylan DVDs
Buy Bob Dylan books