Classic Melting Pot

kpfk-logo

{I know I was away for ALL of December, but now that I’ve gotten all caught up, I’ll be taking the rest of the week off and then next week we’ll be taking a look back at all of our picks for the best music from 2013! Have A Happy New Year!!!}

Traditionally, the last show of the year has been reserved for the best vinyl that I dug up (including online) over the past 12 months. My collection still isn’t anywhere near it’s former glory, but it’s slowly getting there and this year I clearly did a lot of musical therapy in picking up so many records. It was almost too many records, not only did I have to leave a crate of records at home since I already had two bags packed, but I didn’t even play some of the best records I bought this year. With these vinyl freeform shows, I just go where the spirit moves me, and a day after Funky Sole’s 14th anniversary, I was very much in a funky mood for most of the show. Quite a lot of the things I picked up this year were records that Matthew Africa turned me onto, or reminded me of good times shared in Oakland with him, so it seemed fitting to have a set of a few of those records. The show closes up with what I think is one of the best sets I’ve ever spontaneously produced, coming together with roughly two minutes to go before I had to drop the needle on the first song, which ended up being maybe my top find of the year, Hopeton Lewis. I already know that 2014 is going to be a much leaner year on the homefront, so there won’t be nearly as many records to showcase, but at least in terms of music, 2013 was pretty good to me.

Melting Pot on KPFK #150: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #150: Second Hour

Playlist: 12-29-2013
{opening theme} Boris Gardiner – Melting Pot – Is What’s Happening (Dynamic)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Yusef Lateef – Russell & Elliot – The Best Of Yusef Lateef (Atlantic)
Eduardo Aruajo & Silvinha – Opinage – Sou Filho Desse Chao (Beverly)
The Grodeck Whipperjenny – Evidence For The Existence Of The Unconsciousness – The Grodeck Whipperjenny (People)
Johnny Pate – Constant Wind – Outrageous (MGM)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Lebron Bros. – Dance, Dance, Dance – Brothers (Cotique)
The Isley Bros. – Keep On Doin’ – 7” (T-Neck)
Horace Silver – Acid, Pot & Pills – Total Response (Blue Note)
Johnny Frigo Sextet – Scorpio – The Electric Jazz OF Gus Giordano (Orion)
Junior Mance – Don’t Rush Us – With A Lotta Help From My Friends (Atlantic)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Miguel De Deus – Black Soul Brothers – Black Soul Brothers (Underground)
Dave Pell Singers – Oh, Calcutta – Mah-Na-Mah-Na (Liberty)
Weldon Irvine – I Love You – Sinbad (RCA)
Marvin Gaye – Where Are We Going – 12” (The Power Of Funk & Soul)
Donald Byrd – You and Music – Places and Spaces (Blue Note)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Sugar Billy – Brand New Girl – 7” (BGP)
Mongo Santamaria – Coyulde – Live At Yankee Stadium (Vaya)
Dee Edwards – Why Can’t There Be Love – 7” (GM)
The Jackson Sisters – I Believe In Miracles – 7” (Mums)
The Ohio Players – Ecstasy (Matthew Africa Edit) – 7” (Dub Plate)
Mary Jane Hooper – I’ve Got Reasons (Instrumental) – Psychedelphia (Funky Delicacies)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Di Melo – Ma-Lida – Di Melo (Odeon)
Gabor Szabo – Galatea’s Guitar – Dreams (Skye)
Darondo – Listen To My Song – 7” (Music City)
Erasmo Carlos – Minha Gente – Sonhos E Memorias (Polydor)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Hopeton Lewis – Hardships Of Life – Take It Easy (Merritone)
Johnny Hartman – Down In The Depths – Songs From The Heart (Bethelem)
George Jones & Tammy Wynette – Never Grow Old – George Jones With Love (Musicor)
Irma Thomas – Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand) – Take A Look (Imperial)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

{closing theme} Dungen – C. Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

ColonCrime

Willie Colon – Che Che Cole
Willie Colon – Eso Se Baila Asi
Willie Colon – Juana Pena

As part of what has become a tradition here on Melting Pot, here’s the last record that I picked up in 2013. I was over at Gimme Gimme Records hoping I’d run into the Jim Hall Bill Evans record Undercurrent. Instead I ran into this LP, a collection of some of the best sides from Willie Colon’s first several albums for Fania, from 1967-1970. Fania records are fairly hard to pick up over here on the West Coast, so anytime I run into any of them it’s hard to pass them up. In this case, knowing most of these songs, without having owned any of these records, there wasn’t a chance I was gonna let this one go. “Che Che Cole” and “Juana Pena” both come from 1970’s Cosa Nuestra, “Eso Se Baile Asi” is from 1968’s The Hustler, every single one of the other tracks is just as classic as these, all with that big beautiful trombone from Colon. I can’t think of a better way to close out a banner year of vinyl archeology.

Cheers,

Michael

Magnolia

Songs: Ohia – Farewell Transmission

Jason Molina’s passing earlier in the year was a helluva blow. Personally, I’d always hoped I’d get a chance to interview Molina to talk to him about his songwriting and his singular style. I won’t get that chance, but I will be able to continue to spread Molina’s music as long as I do this blog and the radio show. Magnolia Electric Co. was the final album for Molina’s Songs: Ohia, after this record he took the title as his own and used it as the name of his band. The sound of the album, released in 2003, marked a bit of a change in direction, from the more acoustic work of his first six or so albums, and the more electric sounds that marked the band Magnolia Electric Co. Molina’s prolific career was marked by a really high level of consistently incredible songwriting, and it’s quite possible that this record was his best. For the 10th anniversary edition, Secretly Canadian has added a second disc which just features Molina’s demos of these same tracks, likely recorded at home, on a four-track or maybe even on a tape-deck. They provide an interesting juxtaposition between the finished songs and the demos, as well as between the acoustic and electric leanings of Molina. “Farewell Transmission” is perhaps my favorite song on this album, one of my favorite song from Molina. What is even more striking about this recording is that apparently it was largely improvised on the spot in the studio. It makes it all the more stunning when you here the power in this performance. Talent like Molina’s will be sorely missed, but we should all be thankful that he recorded as much as he did and that he found his way to a label like Secretly Canadian who released it all.

kpfk-logo

Returned from a fundraising break with what turns out to be the last “regular” Melting Pot on 2013, featuring our mix of new and classic recordings. Quite a lot had happened since the last time we were on, with the passing of Nelson Mandela, a extraordinary concert from Charlie Haden at RedCat, the epic grand finale of the Afro Funke weekly party and the arrival of Winter. We tried to pay tribute to all of these things in the first part of the show. Managed to get a few new things too, including long-awaited music from Sharon Jones and Swervedriver (not together of course, though THAT would be an interesting pairing!), unreleased Donny Hathaway and rare music from 24-Carat Black. Hoping to share some exciting news about changes coming to Melting Pot in the new year, but for now you’ll just have to wonder and enjoy our shows from this past year.

Melting Pot on KPFK #149: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #149: Second Hour

Playlist: 12-22-2013
{opening theme} Booker T & the MGs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra – Nkosi Sikelel’I Afrika – Dream Keeper (Blue Note)
Jose James – Winterwind – The Dreamer (Brownswood)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Afro Funke Sound System – Grand Finale Mix – Self-Released (soundcloud.com/the_remitch)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Donny Hathaway – Don’t Turn Away – Never My Love (Rhino)
Myron & E – Clap, Sing & Shout About It – Cold Game (Timmion)
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – Making Up and Breaking Up – Give The People What They Want (Daptone)
The Aggrolites – Tonight – IV (Hellcat)
Mind & Matter – No One Else Can Do It To Me Baby – 1514 Oliver Avenue (Basement) (Numero)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

24 Carat-Black – Your Love Is In A World That Is Not Real – Acetate (Numero)
William Onyeabor – Something You Will Not Forget – Who Is William Onyeabor? (Luaka Bop)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Swervedriver – Deep Wound – Single (Self-Released)
Matthew Sweet – Do It Again – Altered Beast (Zoo)
Broadcast – Come On Let’s Go – The Noise Made By People (Warp)
Danny Brown feat. Charli XCX – Float On – Old (Fools Gold)
Damon – Birds Fly So High – Song Of A Gypsy (Now-Again)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

The Pepper Pots – We Must Fight – We Must Fight (Legere)
The Strange Boys – Between Us – Be Brave (In the Red)
Wolfe – Dancing In Circles – Bespoken Future (BBE)
Rhye – Last Dance – Woman (Innovative Leisure)
James Mason – Funny Girl – Soulful (Luv’n’Haight)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

{closing theme} Dungen – C.Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

GaborDreams

Gabor Szabo – Galatea’s Guitar
Gabor Szabo – Fire Dance
Gabor Szabo – Lady In The Moon

Of the many records I sold back in 2004, this is the one that has haunted me the most. I can’t remember now where I first bought this, likely at the Atlanta Record Show, but I’m not totally sure. I had started digging on the music of Gabor Szabo back when I still bought CDs and I was getting deeper into jazz. I was working through the Impulse catalog and I got a copy of his album Sorcerer, recorded live in 1967 at the Jazz Workshop. I was particularly entranced by Szabo’s measured use of feedback, a rare thing for a jazz guitarist, but Szabo was so much more than “just” a jazz guitarist. Of all of the albums I’ve heard of his (and at one time I owned 11 albums from Szabo) Dreams remains my favorite. When I ran into this copy at the December Beat Swap Meet, I just had to pause for a moment and breeze a deep sigh of relief.

“Galatea’s Guitar” leads off the album and it showcases everything that was beautiful about the way Szabo played and the way he was able to deftly mix together multiple genres into a unique mix. For me, it’s the single best thing he ever recorded and one of my all-time favorite compositions. Every single thing about the song is beautiful, every single thing. It sounds like nothing else under the sun and it transports you away from everything that is going on around you into a pure state of bliss. Some of the other tracks on the album are a bit hit and miss, with pop elements sometimes featuring too prominently, but when the band hits their stride, as they do on “Galatea,” “Firedance” and “Lady In The Moon,” it is something glorious to hear. Truly beautiful and so glad that I ran into this record, seemingly right when I needed this music in my life most.

Cheers,

Michael

HartleyWolfe

Hartley & Wolfe – Dancing In Circles

Part of the danger of this overly digitized music landscape we find ourselves in is that there are so many mp3’s being sent and downloaded, many of which have spotty ids and titles that it’s easy to make mistakes and lose track of who makes the music, let alone how much of it you have and where it’s located between all our many many devices. Case in point, this record. It was only after I had the thought to post this here that I even realized that the band’s name wasn’t simply “Wolfe” as the track was listed, but was Hartley & Wolfe and that Hartley & Wolfe doesn’t involve anyone named Hartley or Wolfe, but is just the title for the latest collaborative release from Russian born, London bred, NYC & Berlin dual resident DJ Vadim. Vadim has had a long and varied career, here with Hartley & Wolfe he’s in a much more focused soul vein, with his co-conspirator, Mr. Wolfe, Greg Blackman. The sound is thoroughly modern and would be a welcome addition to any contemporary R&B radio playlist, but because commercial radio is so close-minded and lacking in freedom, the music will never get the shine it so richly deserves. Thankfully these days artists like Vadim are able to carve out a successful career and find audiences who appreciate their craft, and I’m more than happy to play a small part in that.

kpfk-logo

I know, I know, it’s been essentially all of December since I did anything, including posting up the shows we did this month. Truth is, it was just a brutal month on the personal side of things and I didn’t have the time. Things have stabilized here at the end, so now I’m catching up, before I take another break until next week. This show was at the very beginning of December, before a two-week break for fundraising, features a few newer things and a couple things that I should have played more of earlier in the year. Wasn’t quite able to cram everything in, so I had to cut off the William Onyeabor track at the end, but there always seems to be not enough time and too much music. I’ll do my best to keep it regular in 2014…

Melting Pot On KPFK #148: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #148: Second Hour

Playlist: 12-1-2013
{opening theme} Booker T & the Mgs – Melting Pot – 7” (Stax)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

John Mayall – Dream With Me – Back To The Roots (Polydor)
Songs: Ohia – Farewell Transmission – Magnolia Electric Co: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Secretly Canadian)
Chelsea Wolfe – Destruction Makes The World Burn – Pain Is Beauty (Sargent House)
The Fresh & Onlys – God Of Suez – Soothsayer (Mexican Summer)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Pruno Truman – I Want More Of You – Amigos EP (Empty Cellar)
The Velvet Underground – I Found A Reason – Loaded: Fully Loaded (Rhino)
Cat Power – Hate – The Greatest (Matador)
James Carr – Dark End Of The Street – 7” (Goldwax)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Danny Brown feat. Freddie Gibbs – The Return – Old (Fool’s Gold)
Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band – Garden Of The Moon – Evolution (Sussex)
Adam Franklin & the Bolts Of Melody – I Used To Live For Music – Black Horses (Goodnight)
Spain – Love At First Sight – Sargent Place (Glitterhouse)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Haze – Waiting For The Moment – Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound (Brainfeeder)
Thundercat – Heartbreaks + Setbacks – Apocalypse (Brainfeeder)
Charlie Haden – Ballad Of The Fallen / Si Me Quieres Escribir – Ballad Of The Fallen (ECM)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Donny Hathaway – Memory Of Our Love – Anthology (Rhino)
Milosh – Jetlag – Jetlag (Deadly)
Julien Dyne feat. Dalziel – Tonight – December (BBE)
N.A.S.A. (Sam Spiegel & Ze Gonzales) feat. Aynzil Jones – Hide – Hide (Spectrophonic Sound)
Hartley & Wolfe – You’ve Got Nothing – Bespoken Future (BBE)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

Tim Maia – Hadock Lobo Esquina Com Matoso – Nuvens (Seroma)
The Crystal Antlers – Anywhere But Here – Nothing Is Real (Innovative Leisure)
Unwound – Warmth – Kid Is Gone (Numero)
William Onyeabor – Body & Soul – Who Is William Onyeabor (Luaka Bop)

~~~~ Break ~~~~

{closing theme} Dungen – C.Visar Vagen – Tio Bitar (Kemado)

ClifCoulter

Clifford Coulter – Yodelin’ In A Whatchamaname Thang
Clifford Coulter – Ridin’ On Empty
Clifford Coulter – Mr. Peabody/JVC

As with past years, I spent quite a bit of 2013 getting reacquainted with records that I used to own. I’m surprised that I hadn’t run into this Clifford Coulter record sooner, but I was more than happy to run into it at Atomic records a few months ago. “Do It Now” is part of a couple handfuls of seriously funky records on Impulse, which is best known as the house that Coltrane built, but by the 1970s had a very diverse roster.

Though I’m not certain, I’m pretty sure that Clifford Coulter came out of the Bay Area, aside from his debut being called “East Side San Jose” there’s just something greasy about the way he plays his funk that seems emblematic of that Bay Area sound. This album features one of my all-time favorite instrumentals, the absolutely atrociously titled, “Yodelin’ In A Whatchamaname Thang.” Part of my problem with the title is that while there is some wordless singing in the song, there isn’t any actual Yodeling. Additionally, the length and silliness in the title takes away from what is a really scintillating funky track. It’s not I can offer a better title, but damn near anything would be an improvement, even if it was just a description of what the song is, like “Breezy Funk.” The vibe of the song is certainly something that sticks in your mind and stays there for a long long time.

I’ve also included one of two full-on vocal performances from Coulter, “Ridin’ On Empty” as well as the party funk of “Mr. Peabody,” which in some ways I kind of wish didn’t have the chatter but kept the soul clap. Since “Peabody” and “JVC” run right together on the record and they’re both some dern funky, I didn’t see any reason to break-up a good thing. Not sure why it took me so long to dig this one up, I likely could have gotten a copy online any day of the week, but some records you only remember how much you loved them once you run into them again after being away for a long time.

Cheers,

Michael

Onyeabor

William Onyeabor – Good Name

From the picture on the cover, you might think the answer to the question, “Who Is William Onyeabor?” is some kind of Black JR Ewing from Dallas, but you’d be wrong…Onyeabor put out some very distinctive funk out of Nigeria in the 1970s. Luaka Bop has decided to shine a light on his music as part of their resurgent World Psychedelic Classics series (last year’s addition was the very necessary collection of Tim Maia’s 1970s output) and it’s an absolutely worthy addition. Almost all of the songs are around 10 minutes but none of them disappoints or loses your attention and all of them certainly keep you moving.

Proudly powered by WordPress. Theme developed with WordPress Theme Generator.
Copyright © Classic Melting Pot. All rights reserved.
[powerpress url="http://www.meltingpotblog.com"]