Classic Melting Pot


Getting back on track means that I’m finally getting around to posting the last couple of shows we did in January. Since we’re not currently on the air, due to a fundraiser, in some ways this works out nicely, because by the time I’m caught up, we should be back on the air! This was the show just before MLK Day, and it begins with a tribute to “The Dreamer” featuring a bit of his final speech with music from the recent film Selma, composed by Jason Moran. This show also featured a tribute to Kim Fowley, as well as tunes from Sleater-Kinney, Quadron, Buyepongo,Chain & the Gang, Nedelle Torrisi and a beautiful and long track from Pharoah Sanders. Enjoy this, we’ll be back to business as usual before you know it.

Melting Pot on KPFK #188: First Hour
Melting Pot on KPFK #188: Second Hour

Playlist: 01-18-2014
{opening theme} Booker T & the Mgs – Melting Pot – Melting Pot (Stax)

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Jason Moran – Selections from Selma – Selma: Original Soundtrack (Paramount)
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Excerpts from Memphis April 3, 1968 – Free At Last (Gordy)
Marha Bass – Walk With Me – Selma: Original Soundtrack (Paramount)

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Pharoah Sanders – Healing Song – Live At The East (Impulse)

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Quadron – Herfra Hvor Vi Star – Quadron (Plug Research)
Tropics – Rapture – Rapture (Innovative Leisure)
Nedelle Torrisi – Don’t Play Dumb – Advice From Paradise (Ethereal Sequence/Drag City)

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The Runaways – Cherry Bomb – The Runaways (Mercury)
Kim Fowley – The Trip – 7” (Corby)
The Byrds – Hungry Planet – Untitled (Columbia)
Ariel Pink – Exile on Frog St. – Pom Pom (4ad)

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Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love – No Cities To Love (Sub Pop)
Chain & the Gang – Devitalize – Minimum Rock’n’Roll (Radical Elite)
Hunx & his Punx – Lover’s Lane – Too Young To Be In Love (Hardly Art)
Yvonne Carroll – Mister Loverman – Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found: One Kiss Can Lead To Another (Rhino)
Joe Hicks – I’m Goin’ Home Pt. 1 – I’m Just Like You: Sly’s Stone Flower 1969-1970 (Light In The Attic)
DJ Lengua – Cumbia Squares – 12” (Unicornio)

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Buyepongo – Mulatu Para Ti – 7” (Soul Fiesta)
Mulatu Astatke – Mulatu – New York – Addis – London –The Story of Ethio Jazz 1965-1975 (Strut)
Jungle Fire – Snake Pit – Tropicoso (Nacional)
Sons & Daughters Of Lite – The Real Thing – Let The Sun Shine In (Ubiquity)

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


Leon Thomas – Malcolm’s Gone
Leon Thomas – The Creator Has A Master Plan
Leon Thomas – One

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X. Malcolm is an important figure in my life, as he is for many others. For me Malcolm’s influence is two-fold, there is the model he provides of Gramsci called an “Organic Intellectual,” the individuals who are the vanguard of social change, who through their lived experience and talents are able to bring together disparate communities to fight against inequality and push towards liberation. Perhaps more than any other figure from the 1960s, though his time in the public was relatively short, Malcolm presented a critical and uncompromising understanding of the nature of racism, oppression and the promise of uplift through self-determination. This is especially true of Malcolm after he split from the Nation of Islam, and broadened his vision of equality.

Malcolm is also deeply important to me because there are few people who so vividly modeled the nature of redemption. From street criminal to prisoner to firebrand to finally, in his final year, visionary. Part of the lesson in the life of Malcolm X is that we always have the possibility of changing our lives, living our lives for the better and effecting change once we start on the righteous path.

So on the 50th anniversary of the moment he was ripped from us, I wanted to commemorate that by sharing one of the many tributes dedicated to Malcolm. This album by Leon Thomas is fairly well known. It marked his debut as a leader, after gaining attention earlier in 1969 as the vocalist on Pharoah Sanders’ legendary Karma album. The album features Sanders on tenor, though strangely he’s listed as “Little Rock,” a reference to his birthplace and I suppose connected to contractual obligations (you would have thought Bob Thiele’s connections to Impulse would have smoothed things over, but guess not). Aside from that, the album is notable for having a much shorter version of “The Creator Has A Master Plan,” a vocal version of Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” and the anti-war anthem “Damn Nam” and most importantly, “Malcolm’s Gone,” dedicated to the fallen leader.

I know he’s gone,
But he’s not forgotten,
I know he died,
Just to set me free.

Yes Malcolm’s Gone,
But he’s not forgotten,
He died to save me,
Gave me my dignity.

It’s a beautiful sentiment, one that pays tribute to this beautiful man and one that I felt compelled to share on this day…Additionally, here is Malcolm, in the last few months of his life, debating the issue of “extremism” at Oxford in December 1964. On display are so many of the things that many of us loved so much about Malcolm, his exceptional intelligence, his disarming smile and sense of humor and his ability to critically dismantle his opponent’s argument, often using the very same logic his opponent attempted to use against him. Missed dearly, but especially during the last year of his life, a beautiful model of the redemptive power of love and the strength of speaking truth to power:


Cassiano – Central Do Brasil

{Sooooo…I know I’ve been away for a while. I could excuse it away connected to a lot of things, the start of school, my responsibilities taking care of my new dog, getting divorced, but no matter what, I’ve just been taken away from this blog and from music in general. Well, this Lent I decide to give up procrastination, and thus, I’m back and I plan to keep it regular. I’m not going to pull 40 days, 40 posts, but I do promise, I’ll be back here on the regular and getting everything back to the way it should be, at least until Easter!}

This was a collection that unfortunately slipped through the cracks of 2014, and would have been in my best of list had I gotten time to spend with it last year. Boogie music has broken big in some circles, especially here in LA due to Dam Funk and Funkmosphere, but much of the focus has been on US based artist. Some of the more interesting and funky bigs of Boogie were created elsewhere and maybe the best was made in Brazil. Cultures of Soul has collected some of the best Boogie from some big names, such as Tim Maia, Marcos Valle, Jorge Ben and Banda Black Rio and combined it with deeper cuts from the likes of Sandra Da Sá, Tarántulas (covering MJ’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”!) and Cassiano, who is featured above. As I said, it’s a shame I didn’t get a chance to give this one all the spins it deserved in 2014, but I’ll more than make up for it here in 2015.

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