The great free jazz drummer has passed. Here’s a clip of him in possibly my favorite jazz band of all-time, Last Exit, with Peter Brotzmann, Bill Laswell, and Sonny Sharrock. This clip really features Jackson’s work.
I know after watching that, everyone is ready for a nice smooth mellow evening, just like after listening to a little Kenny G. I love Last Exit so much because for all the craziness, Jackson still grounds it in a big blues-rock beat that drives the music like a hammer.
Check this out too:
Mr. Jackson was born in Fort Worth on Jan. 12, 1940. His mother, Ella Mae, played piano and organ at a Methodist church and his father, William, was the proprietor of Fort Worth’s only black-owned record store and jukebox supplier. The saxophonists King Curtis and David (Fathead) Newman were relatives; among the musicians who preceded him at I. M. Terrell High School were Mr. Coleman and the saxophonists Dewey Redman and Julius Hemphill. Mr. Jackson played his first public engagement, with the saxophonist James Clay, at age 15, then worked with Ray Charles’s band in Dallas. In 1966 he went to New York, where he enrolled at New York University. That year he made his first recording, with the Charles Tyler Ensemble, and joined Ayler’s band. His work with Ayler is documented on two roughly recorded but urgently played volumes of “Live at Slug’s Saloon.”
So the same Fort Worth high school produced Ornette Coleman, Julius Hemphill, Dewey Redman, and Shannon Jackson. Huh. Whatever was in the water out there was pretty potent.
If Robert Byrd and his awesome fiddling were still in the Senate, it seems we could solve most of our political problems.
Bipartisanship around mountain music is something I think everyone can get around.
Byrd actually was a quite a good fiddler.
Woody Guthrie summed up the 2013 Republican Party without knowing it.
I was lucky enough to see Robbie Fulks last night at Cafe Nine in New Haven. You should check out his new album. It’s quite good. Here’s an old favorite:
And here’s the lead song of the new album, with a title I think everyone at LGM can support.
For your Saturday night, Louis Armstrong in Copenhagen, either 1933 or 1934 (sources use different dates). This has to be one of the first recordings of live music on film. Sound is pretty good too.
Do you ever wonder what your LGM writers do on Friday evenings, scouring the internet to entertain you? Well this, your daily World War II musical artifact, is pretty much what I do. It goes well with a negroni. As does everything else.
…A film in the same series, “Yankee Doodler” is just a bit more problematic, as music, as racism, and as propaganda. But hey, it stars Fred from I Love Lucy.
Others may have their own choice for the year’s best song, but I don’t know that I’ve heard a song as powerful as Jason Isbell’s “Elephant.” Note: this is not a song that will make you feel happy. It is about cancer. Be warned.
Warren Zevon is ten years gone. A remembrance from last month.
An appropriate song to end this exploration of labor and song is this piece on deindustrialization, Tom Russell’s “U.S. Steel.” I hope you enjoyed this set of labor music.
Sure it might be a cliche, but Charlie Haden at least believes that the people united will never be defeated. Besides, we need more leftist jazz.
Talib Kweli on what working people have to do to get by.