New Arrivals, Restocks, & Reduced - winter 2015

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75 Dollar Bill
Wooden Bag
Other Music Recording Co.
LP
$13

"75 Dollar Bill formed in New York City in 2012; the singular music of this instrumental duo draws various sources from around the world and across disciplines, everything from Mauritanian guitar to raw minimalism and blown-out urban blues, yet sounds unlike anything we’ve heard before. Wooden Bag is their debut vinyl release (after various cassette and digital EPs) and first for Other Music Recording Co., packaged in a limited-edition (500 copies) hand-stamped sleeve, download included." - Other Music. https://soundcloud.com/other-music-recording-co/75-dollar-bill-cuttin-out-1

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RL Boyce
Ain't the Man's Alright
Sutro Park
LP
$18

Restocked yet again! RL Boyce was born on August 15, 1955, in Como, Mississippi, where he still resides. It is a community with enduring blues, fife-and-drum, and gospel traditions.  Boyce picked up music as a teenager, starting out singing in the church choir and playing percussion in fife-and-drum bands. Regarding his evolution on the drums, he says, “I learned from a foot tub.  Back then we didn’t have a bathtub – a foot tub is what you bathed in, what you had your water in.” His earliest issued recording [“Late at Midnight, Just a Little Before Day,” on Traveling Through the Jungle: Negro Fife and Drum Band Music from the Deep South] was made on his 15th birthday, accompanying his uncle Otha Turner. Boyce later adjusted that percussion style to a blues context on a more expanded drum kit, as heard on Jessie Mae Hemphill’s classic Feelin’ Good album. His singular, bursting-at-the-seams drumming on the first side of that record is a benchmark of loose-limbed groove.  

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that such a vibrant musician would want to branch out from solely being a sideman to establish himself as a solo artist and leader of his own groups. Inspired by his neighbors Mississippi Fred McDowell and RL Burnside, he took up the guitar: “Oh man, I loved it. I always wanted to do what they did, so I got along with it.” He was coached by a couple local musicians including Joe Townsend (whose sole 45 for Designer Records is spellbinding, live-in-the-church gospel blues) and over time he developed an individual style that draws upon songs from the local repertoire and interprets them with considerable enthusiasm and spontaneity.

This record, Boyce’s long-awaited full-length debut, includes a rotating cast of collaborators who are accustomed to operating in this framework while also adding their personalities to the proceedings. In his earlier years, Luther Dickinson played extensively with RL (most notably on Otha Turner’s Everybody Hollerin’ Goat, which Dickinson produced), and here both men take a clear delight in renewing their partnership, at times calling to mind the sparks that flew when Mississippi Fred McDowell and Eli Green performed together. Guitarist Lightnin’ Malcolm and RL sit in on one another’s sets quite often, each seemingly with an open invitation to join the other (As documented on the M for Mississippi film and soundtrack). And it is always a treat to hear drummer Calvin Jackson’s instantly recognizable rolling and tumbling style, sometimes done in tandem with his son, Cedric Burnside, on a second drum kit. Like all the other participants, they sound as if they’re having a ball.  

Though RL is now one of the elder statesmen among the traditional musicians in Como, his songs still retain the quality of when he was an exuberant youngster who was thrilled to be learning to play music with his role models. Hear a couple clips:  Gonna Boogie / Going Away
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Peter Brotzmann and Jason Adasiewicz
Mollie's in the Mood
Eremite / Bro
LP
$30

Mollie’s in the Mood is the sequel to the Brotzmann / Adasiewicz 2012 tour-only CD Going All Fancy & the third LP on Bro since the label’s 2003 revival. Recorded in ‘you are there’ fidelity live at Chicago’s Hideout, a favorite venue of both artists on the duo’s 2012 USA tour. This is what happens when the most original vibraphonist of his generation slams into a force of nature. Vinyl cut at Sterling by Steve Fallone & manufactured at RTI. Hand pulled screen printed covers on heavyweight Stoughton ‘laserdisc’ sleeves by Alan Sherry / SIWA. One-time pressing in an edition of 600, VINYL ONLY.” - Eremite.

"A weighty disc in every way -- a substantial piece of vinyl, with music of unusual depth. Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz plays seamlessly across inside & outside contexts, his rich, deep resonance deploying sustain full on. Even so, you'd think, a lonely vibraphone would be overwhelmed by Brötzmann's stentorian tenor. But even while Brötzmann modulates his attack, Adasiewicz somehow matches him at full force, & it turns out to be a wonderfully simpatico partnership. Rambunctious tenor on ‘Seasons May Vary’ are met with sonorous chords from the vibraphonist: the track's conclusion sounds especially Ayler-ish. ‘Mollie's in the Mood’ features tenor playing as gently vibrato-laden as Coleman Hawkins, & it's when he switches to alto saxophone that Brötzmann's sound becomes huge. Perhaps unexpectedly, one of the musically richest releases in the Brötzmann catalogue." - Andy Hamilton, The Wire

Hear a bit of Seasons May Vary.

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Earl Cross, Muhammad Ali, Rashied Al Akbar, Idris Ackamoor
Ascent of the Nether Creatures
NoBusiness Records
LP
$25

Restocked once again! Excellent & previously unreleased live session that features Earl Cross (who was recorded far too infrequently), Idris Ackamoor of The Pyramids & many other projects, the legendary Muhammad Ali on drums, and bassist Rashied Al Akbar, about whom I unfortunately know nothing other than he held his own in this heavy company. Limited edition of 300 copies, recorded in the Netherlands on July 12, 1980. Hear some of Ascent of the Nether Creatures. See Roy Morris' Homeboy Music site for much more about Earl Cross: http://www.homeboy-music.co.uk/#cross

Earl Cross: trumpet
Idris Ackamoor: alto & tenor saxophone
Rashied Al Akbar: bass
Muhammad Ali: drums

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Ted Daniel's Energy Module
Innerconnection
NoBusiness Records
2LP
$34

Trumpeter Ted Daniel's Energy Module was an unfortunately short-lived outfit, performing only 2 gigs in their time together. This hot live recording was their last, recorded November 8, 1975, at Sunrise Studio in New York City. They burned through an array of tunes by Albert Ayler, Dewey Redman, Sunny Murray, and Ornette Coleman, plus a couple originals by Daniel, who also contributes some brief, evocative notes for the record. Edition of 400, gatefold sleeve. Hear some of Jiblet and The Probe.

Ted Daniel: trumpet, flugelhorn, French hunting horn, Moroccan bugle
Daniel Carter: tenor saxophone
Oliver Lake: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, piccolo, cow bell
Richard Pierce: bass
Tatsuya Nakamura: drums
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Rev. Charlie Jackson
Wrapped Up Tangled Up in Jesus / Morning Train
Booker Records
45rpm 7"
$9

Officially licensed reissue of Rev. Charlie Jackson’s first 45. All his original singles are in high demand, this one especially so: 2 hot, classic sides. Edition of 500.

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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.

Rev. Charlie Jackson played an especially potent brand of 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 powerful, instantly recognizable 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.

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Melodic Art-Tet
s/t
NoBusiness Records
2LP
$34

Very glad to finally get to hear some music of the Melodic Art-tet, a group who was active on the NYC loft jazz scene in the 1970s and often mentioned by musicians & historians, but who never had any records issued during their lifetime. It’s especially welcome that most of the tunes here are by Charles Brackeen, perhaps best known for the Rhythm X LP on Strata East (with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, & Edward Blackwell) and whose discography as a leader is fairly modest. The tunes are engaging and open, occasionally a bit Ayler-ish, though not so stratospheric and holy rolling. No liner notes with the vinyl edition but a there is a handsome gatefold sleeve with Raymond Ross’ photographs of the musicians. Recorded October 15, 1974, at WKCR in New York City. Edition of 400. Hear a bit of Above the Cross.

Charles Brackeen: flute, soprano & tenor saxophones
Ahmed Abdullah: trumpet
William Parker: bass
Roger Blank: drums
Tony Waters (Ramadan Mumeen): percussion

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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
Drop on Down in Florida
Dust-to-Digital
2CD & hardcover book
$32

“Based on four years of fieldwork throughout the state, the Florida Folklife Program released the two-album, 27-track 2LP Drop on Down in Florida in 1981. The album was intended to highlight African American music traditions for a statewide public audience, blues and sacred traditions in particular. In recent years, the Folklife Program sought the opportunity to produce an expanded reissue of the album that would include previously unissued fieldwork recordings and photos. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork materials now housed in the State Archives of Florida, the expanded reissue includes nearly 80 previously-unreleased minutes of music on 28 new tracks, plus numerous photos documenting the musicians and communities that perpetuated these traditions.

“Notable among the previously unreleased tracks are additional musical selections and personal narratives from one-string musician Moses Williams, four-shape-note Sacred Harp singing from an African American community in the Florida Panhandle, and recordings from the Richard Williams family in the blues and gospel-blues traditions. The reissue also includes new track notes from respected music scholars David Evans and Doris J. Dyen; reflective essays from past and present folklorists with the Florida Folklife Program, including Peggy A. Bulger, Dwight DeVane, Doris J. Dyen, and Blaine Waide; and an extensive essay on African American one-string instrument traditions by David Evans.

“The 2012 edition of Drop on Down in Florida: Field Recordings of African American Traditional Music 1977–1980 highlights the significance of the previously unreleased material. In addition, it calls attention to the importance of the original LP and makes its contents available once again, this time to a larger audience.” - Dust-to-Digital

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Various Artists
Drop on Down in Florida
Florida Folklife
2LP
$32

Original vinyl pressing of this seminal, elusive title now just reissued in expanded form by Dust-to-Digital (see info above). Heavy gatefold sleeve, thick booklet, the works. A personal favorite. Sealed copies, the sleeves show minor storage wear at the corners. Restocked after a long absence.

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Various Artists
Parchman Farm
Dust-to-Digital
2CD & hardcover book
$32

"In 1947, ’48 and ’59, renowned folklorist Alan Lomax went behind the barbed wire into the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck—and, in 1959, a camera—Lomax documented as best an outsider could the stark and savage conditions of the prison farm, where the black inmates labored “from can’t to can’t,” chopping timber, clearing ground, and picking cotton for the state. They sang as they worked, keeping time with axes or hoes, adapting to their condition the slavery-time hollers that sustained their forbears and creating a new body of American song. Theirs was music, as Lomax wrote, that “testified to the love of truth and beauty which is a universal human trait.”

“A few strands of wire were all that separated the prison from adjoining plantations. Only the sight of an occasional armed guard or a barred window in one of the frame dormitories made one realize that this was a prison. The land produced the same crop; there was the same work for blacks to do on both sides of the fence. And there was no Delta black who was not aware of how easy it was for him to find himself on the wrong side of those few strands of barbed wire…. These songs are a vivid reminder of a system of social control and forced labor that has endured in the South for centuries, and I do not believe that the pattern of Southern life can be fundamentally reshaped until what lies behind these roaring, ironic choruses is understood.” — Alan Lomax, 1958

“Black prisoners in all the Southern agricultural prisons in the years of these recordings participated in two distinct musical traditions: free world (the blues, hollers, spirituals and other songs they sang outside and, when the situation permitted, sang inside as well) and the work-songs, which were specific to the prison situation, and the recordings in this album represent that complete range of material, which is one of the reasons this set is so important: it doesn’t just show this or that tradition within Parchman, but the range of musical traditions performed by black prisoners. I know of no other album that does that.” — Bruce Jackson, 2013. 124-page hardcover book with 2 CDs, includes slipcase and foil stamping, 44 audio recordings, 12 previously unreleased, all newly remastered; 
77 photographs, many published here for the first time;
 Essays by Alan Lomax, Anna Lomax Wood, and Bruce Jackson.
 Produced by Steven Lance Ledbetter, founder of Dust-to-Digital, and Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive. - Dust-to-Digital

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Various Artists
Sorrow Come Pass Me Around
Dust-to-Digital
LP
$19

All-time killer gospel comp finally reissued. "A collection of spiritual and gospel songs performed in informal non-church settings between 1965 and 1973. Most are guitar-accompanied and performed by active or former blues artists. 'Most records of black religious music contain some form of gospel singing or congregational singing recorded at a church service. This album, though, tries to present a broader range of performance styles and contexts with the hope of showing the important role that religious music plays in the Southern black communities and in the daily lives of individuals.' --David Evans, from the liner notes. LP, 16-page 11"x11" booklet, tip-on sleeve, 16 photographs." - Dust-to-Digital. Hear Blind Pete Burrell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXG-yVEo1rc, Eddie Lee Jones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTE_3TT37ZE, and oh man Pattie Rosemon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvyvqIqhwsw

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

Published ~1990.  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. 8
78 Quarterly
book, 112 pages
$8

Frank Stokes on the cover. No publishing date listed, but presumably this is from the early-mid 1990s. Staples show rust that slightly stains the centermost pages.  Front and back covers show more significant wear, so a reduced price on this one.  Featured articles:
“H. C. Speir (1895-1972)” by Gayle Dean Wardlow
“Gennett Records: Capturing America’s Musical Grassroots” by Rick Kennedy
“Portrait of a Blues Singer, Part 6” by Stephen Calt (excerpt from Calt’s book on Skip James)
“The Rarest 78s (L-M-N)”
“Southern Echoes” by Tony Russell
“Gennett-Champion Blues: Richmond, Indiana (1923-1934), Part 5” by Tom Tsotsi
“Sweet Mattie Dorsey: Been Here, but She’s Gone” by Doug Seroff and Lynn Abbott
“Foolishness Rag: The Perception of Ragtime in Europe” by Rainer E. Lotz
“The Earliest Boogie Woogie” by E. S. Virgo
“American Ragtime Performers in Britain” by Mark Berresford

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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.  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