Is there any better noise in the history of recorded music than the noise that Duane Allman made playing slide guitar? I’m not sure that there is.
The really amazing thing about it, though, is that not long after Duane’s death, Dickey Betts was able to nearly duplicate Duane’s sound.
Has anyone else ever made noise like that? If so, I would like to hear it.
RANDY CALIFORNIA’S ESTATE COULDN’T PROVE THAT JIMMY PAGE STOLE THE OPENING CHORD PROGRESSION FOR “STAIRWAY”
Apparently it’s tough to prove that if someone else used the same chord progression in their song that you used in yours, they must have copied it from you. That’s my takeaway from the verdict in the Led Zeppelin copyright case, announced today.
I can’t help wondering, though: how much time do you have to make a claim for copyright infringement? Stairway to Heaven was released in 1971, the guy whose estate is claiming copyright infringement died in 1997, and the lawsuit wasn’t filed until 2014. I’m sure our intellectual property guru could explain how the lawsuit wasn’t barred by a statute of limitations, but I can’t.
They might not be interesting to a non-lawyer, but I always find stories discussing the legal end of the music business fascinating. This particular one is pretty inside baseball and devotes a lot of space to trivialities that are probably pretty boring if you aren’t a lawyer, but I was entertained by it.
Actually, I don’t think the references in the Thomas Dolby songs, Europa and the Pirate Twins and Eastern Bloc (Europa and the Pirate Twins Part II), have anything to do with the moon of Jupiter, but it made me think of those songs when I read an article on arstechnica.com about a planned mission to that strange, unique celestial body.
This is just an accumulation of tunes I like (10 of 'em, in no particular order):
There are some noteworthy performances here, over and above just the catchy tunes. Listen to the drummer on the Count Basic track. He plays a dragging fill-figure on the snare (it could be a rudiment?) that is just great. I also love the sound and feel of the drummer on the Chuck Mangione track. He's incredibly tight.
Actually, everything on the Chuck Mangione track sounds great. The saxophonist, Chris Vadala, has a sound that's hard to match. I think he stands out even against the smooth heavyweights on this list. I also think Steve Cole is underappreciated, and is certainly right up there with Boney and the Euge. His sound might be the most authentic of any of the saxophonists on the list.
How can I not mention Grover Washington Jr. in this discussion? Mister Magic is iconic, of course. He basically invented the genre with that track. Nothing else he did has ever really caught my attention, though.
It may not be high-brow, but I think this collection is just fun listening.
I'm not sure how I got so interested in listening to drummers. Mario probably had something to do with it.
The best drummers just have the right feel. I can't quantify it. I' not sure I even thought of it in those terms until recently. But I can tell pretty quickly if a drummer has it or not.
I have already written (maybe too much) on this blog about a number of drummers who have it. Some of them are obvious choices: Elvin Jones, Harvey Mason, Tony Williams, Neil Peart, John Bonham, Keith Moon, and of course Bernard Purdie. I've also written about some who aren't such obvious choices, but who also plainly have it (if you listen I'm sure you'll agree): Alex Acuna, Charlie Watts, Ringo, Nigel Olson, Chester Thompson, and the least-known great drummer I can think of, Buffin.
How about some others? Here are a few, some of whom I may have mentioned before, but some I'm sure I haven't yet (and many of them aren't exactly household names), in no particular order:
Stuart Copeland: you think The Police were great just because of Sting?
David Garibaldi: every bit as essential to the success of TOP as the horns.
Bruce Gary: I don't care what you think of his most famous group, just listen to him.
Aynsley Dunbar: the best jazz/rock player of them all.
Frank Beard: all you have to do is listen to Heard It On the X.
Lenny White: the undeservedly least-famous member of Return to Forever.
Sometime soon, I'll do a post about the place to go on the web to see just about all the great drummers.
While I was driving up the Mount Lemmon highway for my hike, listening to the Green Valley AM oldies station, I heard some of these, and the rest were just others I thought of that would get played on that station:
It might not be the most cohesive playlist, but they're all good songs. I couldn't find the original version of Montego Bay by Bobby Bloom, but the reggae version of it by Bobby Benjamin is almost as good. Moody Junior will probably never get played on AM radio these days, but I couldn't leave it out after I included another Junior Walker track.
They were playing Sousa marches too, but I decided that would make the list too schizo.
An album that really needs no discussion. I just want to jot down a few thoughts as I am listening:
Unsung hero? Alex Acuna. I saw him play in a small group with Brian Bromberg at Crowder Hall sometime during the period 1983-1986. He was outstanding. His contribution to Weather Report was vastly underrated.
Best track? How could it not be Birdland? Zawinul is immortal for that track alone (well, that and Mercy, Mercy, Mercy). But wait. My favorite has always been A Remark You Made. It's Wayne Shorter's finest moment on the album, and maybe his best of all with Weather Report.
Was Jaco really that great? Uh, yes. Just listen to this album. He was a kid who had only recently joined a group of very seasoned, very savvy jazz pros, and absolutely took over the joint. Next question?
Has it held up over time? Not all Weather Report albums have, but this one, you bet it has.
A lawyer who likes to write music commentary.