New Arrivals, Restocks, & Reduced - late summer 2014

** A feature on north Mississippi fife and drum musician Willie Hurt is new to the Articles section, and includes an interview, audio, video, etc.




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Fire Into Music
s/t
Ballroom Marfa
LP
$16

Very scarce LP by Fire Into Music (Jemeel Moondoc, Steve Swell, William Parker, & Hamid Drake) recorded live in Marfa, TX, on October 8, 2004.  Moondoc and Swell each contribute a tune that gets a side-long going over from the band.  Strong solos from everybody, some deep Parker/Drake grooves, well-done cover art, all bases covered.  Furthermore, you get to hear Parker solo accompanied by a passing train (must've been an outdoor gig), drawing some hollers from the audience.  Only 500 copies of this LP were pressed and most were sold by the band members while on tour.  Had this years ago, very glad to get more.  Hear some of Junka Nu.

Steve Swell: trombone
Jemeel Moondoc: alto saxophone
William Parker: bass
Hamid Drake: drums

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Cordell Jackson
The Split
Moon Records
45 rpm 7" EP
$9

Cordell Jackson was an innovative guitarist and songwriter who cut her own idiosyncratic path, establishing Moon Records in 1956, releasing killer classics by artists such as Allen Page.  In her later years she certainly was a striking image: a seemingly stately older lady in old-fashioned garb who loved to rock. This original pressing from the late-80s release has four instrumentals, charming as all get out.  Picture sleeve may have slight wear or discoloration at the edges.  Hear the title track: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtZjK8x5kGU

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Cordell Jackson
Knockin' Sixty
Moon Records
45 rpm 7" EP
$9

Original copies of this 1983 release that is a bit on the oddball side, with Miss Cordell trying on a variety of musical hats. The title track is likely the rocker you'd want: "Finger pickin' and notin' with the left hand and a busy pick going in the right." Great picture sleeve, too: "WARNING! Before you purchase - This is not a masterpiece of music, but it could be so bad you'd like it." Only a few copies here, the sleeve may have slight wear or discoloration at the edges.

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Rev. Charlie Jackson
God's Got It: The Legendary Booker and Jackson Singles
CaseQuarter
CD
$13

Rev. Charlie Jackson played deep, raw, bluesy gospel. Born in 1932 just outside of McComb, Mississippi, he took up the electric guitar as a young man and started out playing the blues. Soon afterwards, he gave up the blues to serve the Lord. He developed a highly potent style and often played on church programs with the legendary Rev. Utah Smith. He subsequently recorded a string of incredible and legendary 45s for Booker Records out of New Orleans. After his classic recordings for Booker went out-of-print, Rev. Jackson took matters into his own hands and started his own private press label, Jackson Records, in the late '70s. This disc collects almost all of his commercially-issued material, and it's some of my all-time favorite music. I've listened to these songs hundreds of times and they still move me deeply. If this sort of thing sounds as if it would be to your taste, I can't recommend it highly enough.

Please note that the LP contains 13 tracks, while the CD has 18. The album is pressed on very fine 180-gram vinyl.

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Rev. Charlie Jackson
Wrapped Up in Jesus / Lord You're So Good
Jackson Records
45rpm 7"
$24

Original copies of this very scarce 45, privately pressed by Rev. Charlie Jackson on his own Jackson Records imprint in the 1970s.

Regular 50 Miles readers/visitors may well have noticed that Rev. Charlie Jackson’s raw, bluesy gospel is a big favorite of mine.  Born in 1932 just outside of McComb, Mississippi, he took up the electric guitar as a young man and started out playing the blues.  Soon afterwards, he gave up the blues to serve the Lord.  He developed a highly potent style and often played on church programs with the legendary Rev. Utah Smith.  He subsequently recorded a string of incredible and legendary 45s for Booker Records out of New Orleans.

After the Booker material went out-of-print, Rev. Jackson took matters into his own hands and started his own private press label, Jackson Records, in the late ‘70s.  This 45 is Jackson 101 and it features a re-recording of “Wrapped Up and Tangled Up in Jesus,” one of his most popular numbers that had been previously released on Booker, backed by the previously unrecorded “Lord You’re So Good,” a deep and measured ballad.

This version of “Wrapped Up…” has not been reissued in any form.  Since Rev. Jackson sold these records exclusively at church services, they never entered the marketplace and therefore didn’t receive any other distribution.

Each side plays with relatively low but steady background crackle as well as the occasional pop which decreases in frequency a bit as the side progresses, probably reflection on the quality of the pressing.  Generally speaking, these are quite clean copies, but there may be occasional minor idiosyncrasies in label and vinyl.  Limited stock. One copy limit per customer.

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William Parker
Conversations
Rogue Art
book, 455 pages, plus CD
$35

Restocked; lower price!  William Parker has long taken an active role in the presentation of his own art (self-produced records/CDs, concerts, festivals, publications) and that of others.  That initiative continues with this major work, an anthology of musician-to-musician interviews in the lineage of Arthur Taylor’s seminal “Notes and Tones”.  Approximately 12 years in the making, “Conversations” has hallmarks of being a very personal project, spotlighting many musicians who are largely unknown to even avid fans of the music but very much a part of its secret history. 

On a personal note, it was an honor to first publish a version of the Louis Moholo interview found in “Conversations” in 50 Miles of Elbow Room issue #2 and to do the initial transcriptions for the majority of these interviews.

“During the last 10 years, William Parker interviewed 32 of his friends and colleagues, musicians and artists. In addition to the 32 interviews, edited by Ed Hazell, the book contains photographs by Jacques Bisceglia and a CD with excerpts of the interviews and great William Parker bass solos.” – RogueArt

Interviewees: Fred Anderson, Billy Bang, Han Bennink, Jacques Bisceglia, Dave Burrell, Roy Campbell, Cooper-Moore, Wilbert de Joode, John Edwards, Ge Gan-Ru, Charles Gayle, Alan Glover a.k.a. Juice, Milford Graves, Clyde Kerr, Joelle Leandre, Frank Lowe, Nicole Mitchell, Louis Moholo, Joe Morris, Sunny Murray, Sainkho Namtchylak, Jalalu Kalvert Nelson, Patricia Nicholson, Carl Lombard a.k.a. Pelikan, Walter Perkins, Richard Rodriguez, Paul Rogers, Alan Silva, Warren Smith, Oluyemi Thomas, Henry P. Warner, and Mark Whitecage

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Dan Rose
Wayne County Ramblin'
Little Ruby Pictures
DVD
$15

Dan Rose was born and raised in a suburb of Detroit and is highly-regarded for good reasons, among them the videos he's made for The Gories, Junior Kimbrough, Cordell Jackson. Wayne County Ramblin' is his first feature film, independently produced and over a decade in the making. Fittingly, it is a very personal, lovingly-created, and idiosyncratic work, with a roadtrip theme that is interspersed with vodun, folklore, the African-American migration north, and more. Many musicians are featured in acting roles, including Otha Turner, Bernice Pratcher Turner, Nathaniel Mayer, Tav Falco, Iggy Pop, Mick Collins, Cordell Jackson, and many others. Plenty of information may be found at Wayne County Ramblin'. Tech notes from Little Ruby: "This DVD has been created in the NTSC television standard, intended for home DVD players and personal computers. Playability may prove difficult, or impossible, outside North America (region 1)." You can also check out the trailer here.

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Elder Utah Smith
I Got Two Wings
CaseQuarter
book, 128 pages, plus CD
$15

"Despite waxing three of the hottest electric guitar records of the pre-Rock and Roll years, almost nothing has been known about the life of the sanctified electric guitar preacher the Elder Utah Smith. African-American music scholar Lynn Abbott's years of research has produced a remarkable biographical study finally shining a light onto the preaching, healing, and guitar playing ministry of this path breaking performer. I Got Two Wings firmly places Utah Smith within the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) tradition along with such COGIC contemporaries as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Elder David Curry, and Rev. F. W. McGee. Filled with fascinating anecdotes and first hand remembrances and testimonies, I Got Two Wings also features many rare and unpublished photographs and an 18-track CD. The music CD includes 5 previously unknown Utah Smith songs along with relevant performances by Tharpe, Curry, McGee and two rocking, sanctified performances by Utah Smith's daughter, Sister Sarah James and the Sanctified Six." - CaseQuarter

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Tenor Rising Drums Expanding
s/t
Sound at One
one-sided 12"
$20; see options below

Scorching 1995 session with Sabir Mateen on tenor sax and both Daniel Carter and David Nuss on drums, among the heaviest documents to come out of the NYC free jazz scene from that time. Recorded at the No-Neck Blues Band’s space, then located at 195 Chrystie Street in NYC, pressed in an edition of 500 in the late 90s, and out of print for many years.  Previously sold a bunch of their later picture disc LP; this one is a much tougher pull.  Hear a bit: http://50milesofelbowroom.com/soundclips/tenorrisingdrumsexpanding.mp3

Cover & price variants:
– Spray-painted blue fade, never seen this variant before (shown bottom right): SOLD OUT
– Handmade covers, some fully intact as shown (shown bottom left), others pasted and then partially ripped off again, a very fitting, fried vibe for this side (shown top right): $20
– Unusual crayon art version (shown top left): SOLD OUT

Sabir Mateen: tenor saxophone
Daniel Carter: drums
David Nuss: drums

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James "Son" Thomas
Gateway to the Delta
Rustron Records
LP
$20

Original sealed copies of this obscure late-80s release from celebrated blues singer and folk artist James “Son” Thomas. Thomas generally brought the heavy gravitas when being photographed (especially when pictured with his sculptures of skulls that sometimes included real human teeth), but his music at times also had a sly playfulness to it. This is a quite nice and varied acoustic set, warm and lived-in, with Thomas being accompanied by Walter Liniger on harmonica for around half of the songs. Especially nice versions of “It Hurts Me Too” and “After the War.” Released on Rustron Records, out of Holly Springs, Mississippi. These flew out of here last time, found a few more. 

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Various Artists
Live at the Bootleggers
Sutro Park
LP
$18

“Recorded live at a bootlegger’s homebase in Fayette County, Tennessee, in 1971 at the behest of Lattie Murrell, whom Bengt Olsson and Bill Barth had tracked down to document. Besides Murrell, Barth and William Floyd Davis, the contributors to this record just happened to be spellin’ with the same bootlegger that evening; they are unknown voices, arising with glory from the soak of moonshine, and then fading back into obscurity.” - Sutro Park. Hear a couple from Lattie Murrell: When a Gal Cross the Bottom / Howlin' in the Moonlight, and from the Bootleggers: Getting That Stuff and Bottle Up and Go

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Pete Whelan
78 Quarterly - Issue No. 3
78 Quarterly
book, 76 pages
$12

Published in 1988 and now very scarce. Front and back covers are clean. Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages. Feature articles:
“Paramount, Part 1: The Anatomy of a ‘Race’ Label” by Stephen Calt
“Trev Benwell: ‘Man and Legend’” by Russ Shor
“Polk Miller and the Old South Quartette” by Doug Seroff
“Collecting Ethnic” by Dick Spottswood
“’Big Foot’ William Harris” by Gayle Dean Wardlow
“Gennett-Champion Blues: Richmond, Indiana (1923-1934), Part 1” by Tom Tsotsi
“The Rarest 78s (A-B)”
“A White Man’s Integrity” by Stephen Calt (interview with Skip James)

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Pete Whelan
78 Quarterly - Issue No. 5
78 Quarterly
book, 96 pages
$12

Published in 1990 and now very scarce.   Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages.  Front and back covers show slight rubbing.  Features include:

"The Buying and Selling of Paramounts, Part 3" by Stephen Calt and Gayle Dean Wardlow
"Rarest 78s (F to G)"
"Louie Bluie, Part 1" by Terry Zwigoff
"100 Years from Today" by Doug Seroff
"When the Wolf Knocked on Victor's Door" by Dick Spottswood
"Gennett / Champion Blues, Part 3" by Tom Tsotsi
"Portrait of a Blues Singer" (Skip James) by Stephen Calt
"Six Who Made Recorded History" by Gayle Dean Wardlow

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Pete Whelan
78 Quarterly - Issue No. 6
78 Quarterly
book, 96 pages
$12

Published ~1990 and now very scarce.  Schlitz Jug Band on the cover.  Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages.  Front and back covers show slight rubbing.  Features include:
“Paramount Part IV: The Advent of Arthur Laibly” by Stephen Calt and Gayle Dean Wardlow
“The Rarest 78s (H-I-Ja)”
“Louie Bluie, Part 2” by Terry Zwigoff
“100 Years from Today: A Survey of Afro-American Music in 1890 as Recorded by the Black Community Press” by Doug Seroff, Lynn Abbott, and Ray Funk
“The Myth of Rock and Roll” by Stephen Calt
“Booker White on Bullet Williams” by Cal Stephens
“Gennett-Champion Blues: Richmond, Indiana (1923-1934), Part 4” by Tom Tsotsi

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Pete Whelan
78 Quarterly - Issue No. 10
78 Quarterly
book, 144 pages
$12

Published mid-late ‘90s? Saucy old-time ladies on the cover.  Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages.  Front and back covers show slight rubbing.  Only a couple copies here.  Features include:

"E. Belfield Spriggins: First Man of Jazzology" by Lynn Abbott
"The Rarest 78s (R thru S)"
"The Most Complete Biography of Johnny Dodds" by Bernard Klatzko
"Lonnie Johnson Goes to Cincinnati" by Gary Fortine
"The Broadway 5000 Series" by Rolf Von Arx
"Lost Man Blues: Who Was Sugar Underwood?" by Jim Lyons
"The Origins of Ragtime" by Doug Seroff and Lynn Abbott

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Pete Whelan
78 Quarterly - Issue No. 11
78 Quarterly
book, 128 pages
$12

Contains a very extensive Black Patti cover story (82 pages!). Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages.  Front and back covers show more significant rubbing and wear, the print treatment used on the cover seemingly making them susceptible to sticking to one another when stacked.  Featured articles:
“Black Patti” by Tom Tsotsi and Pete Whelan, with Joe Bussard, Matt Mintzell, and Rolf von Arx
“The Rarest 78s (T thru V)”
Bernard Klatszko obituary
“A Glimpse at the Golden Years of Ida Cox” by Rolf von Arx, with numerous clippings from The Chicago Defender
“Sis Quander – Duke Ellington’s First Vocalist?” by Kip Lornell and Rohulamin Quander