FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What I’m Listening to This Week

 

Curtis Salgado: Strong Satisfaction (Shanachie)

The best bluesinger on the West Coast got crushing news this week when doctors informed Curtis Salgado that he cancer has invaded his liver. While Curtis awaits a liver transplant in Eugene, its time to get reacquainted with his stunning body of work. There’s no better introduction to Salgado than “Strong Satisfaction”, a deeply grooved blend of blues and soul, where Curtis does his Al Green thing and does it damn good, too. Godspeed, bro.

Rosie Ledet: It’s a Groove Thing! (Maison de Soul)

I made a cursory examination of the performers slated for JazzFest this year and couldn’t find the young zydeco phenom Rosie Ledet anywhere on the list. She probably got booted to make room for Springsteen and his brass band and all the other musical carpetbaggers descending on the ruins New Orleans. That’s okay. Most of the best music during JazzFest weekends is performed at the local clubs, such as the Rock’n’ Bowl, which is immortalized by Ledet in her stomping song “String Beans at the Rock’n’ Bowl.” This is joyous music that infuses traditional zydeco with southern soul.

Nicholas Payton: Sonic Trance (Warner Brothers)

After his two sizzling tributes to Louis Armstrong, Gumbo Nouveau and Dear Louis, the hot young New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton was written off by many jazz snobs as yet another W. Marsalis-like neo-traditionalist. Boy, did they miss the mark. Sonic Trance is jazz at its most surreal and riskiest, a challenging melange of electronica, hip-hop, reggae dubs (Fred Gardner please take note of “Cannabis Leaf Rag No. 1”) and acid jazz. Payton proves here that could easily have won first trumpet chair in Sun Ra’s Archestra.

Earl Bostic: Flamingo (Proper Pairs)

These days the place you’re most likely to hear the great Earl Bostic is by tuning in the Mystery Channel and watching those sleazy Mike Hammer movies with the cokehead Stacey Keach, which uses as its theme song Bostic’s haunting cover of the Earl Haggen-penned “Harlem Nocturne”. That’s too bad, because Bostic, born in Tulsa in 1913, was without question the most influential saxplayer in R&B. His fat and driving sax sound, which broke onto the scene with his bopping cover of Ellington’s “Flamingo”, shaped the music of musicians as varied as Blood Sweat and Tears, James Brown, Clarence Clemons and the horn charts of the Rolling Stones. The Coltrane of early rock and roll.

John Prine: In Spite of Ourselves (Oh Boy)

Prine breathes new life into a long dead format: the country duet. He croaks out these pun-saturated honkey-tonk standards with a glamour roll of singers from Nashville’s past and present, from Connie Smith and Melba Montgomery to Patty Loveless and Trisha Yearwood. But the highlight of the set is Prine’s duet with Iris Dement on his own song, “In Spite of Ourselves.” Dement and Prine may have the most recognizable and idiosyncratic voices in folk music and they collide here in a kind of comical collage. Perhaps only Iris Dement could get away with the following couplet: “He ain’t got laid in a month of Sundays. I caught him once sniffin’ my undies.” One of my favorite records in the last decade.

JEFFREY ST. CLAIR’s music writings (as well as CPers Ron Jacobs, David Vest and Daniel Wolff) can be found in Serpents in the Garden. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

 

 

 

More articles by:

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution. He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net or on Twitter  @JSCCounterPunch

November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail