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Take Five To Salute Dave Brubeck

Posted by Billyjam, December 6, 2012 08:38am | Post a Comment
          
Dave Brubeck Quartet "Take Five"

Jazz icon Dave Brubeck, who died yesterday (Dec 5th) in Norwalk, Conn of heart failure, just one day shy of his 92nd birthday, may well always be most remembered for his huge crossover hit of his long-time musical partner, alto saxophonist  Paul Desmond's composition "Take Five" that he and his quartet recorded for the groundbreaking 1959 album Time Out.  But the Bay Area born jazz pianist/composer's legacy goes far deeper than that one incredibly popular song from an equally popular album Time Out, which also featured "Blue Rondo a la Turk" - another song that would go on to become a jazz standard, was the first jazz album ever to sell a million copies. Time Out was just one release in an incredibly prolific and rich recording career by the artist who recorded over 50 albums (many more when you include all the compilations and collections such as Dave Brubeck: Twenty Classic Albums that was coincidentally released on Tuesday this week by Real Gone/Primetech). Check the JazzDisco.Org site for a complete listing of Brubeck's long discography and check the Amoeba online store for what is currently available from Brubeck's back catalog: about three dozen Brubeck releases in total, found under the three categories: Dave Brubeck solo Dave Brubeck Quartet, and Dave Brubeck Octet. Above and below are a few videos capturing some great moments in the artist's long illustrious career including that song that he will be most remembered for. Rest in peace Dave Brubeck.

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Rest In Peace Austin Peralta

Posted by Billyjam, November 30, 2012 10:10am | Post a Comment

As with everyone whose lives have been touched by Austin Peralta - the gifted young LA jazz pianist / composer whose sudden death last week shocked everyone who knew him - we here at Amoeba Music are similarly saddened greatly by this tragic news of the loss of our good friend who played at the Hollywood Amoeba just a few short months ago.

Austin is gone way too soon. But despite his young age, the talented artist had accomplished an incredible amount in his all too short time on this earth. He was only 15 years of age when he recorded and released his debut album of mostly jazz standards Maiden Voyage (on Sony/Japan) with respected jazz sidemen Billy Kilson (drums) and Ron Carter (bass). Then at age 16 the young jazz artist recorded another acclaimed album, Mantra for Sony/Japan, with respected seasoned jazz musicians Steve Nelson (vibraphone) and Buster Williams (bass).

Peralta, the son of skateboarder and film director Stacy Peralta, proved to be a tireless performer (check out this link to hundreds of YouTube clips) and recording artist. Two years ago he recorded his most attention getting album (Stateside) Endless Planets which was released by Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records imprint back in March of 2011. Six months ago Ireland's All City Records released his Views of Saturn Vol. 2 - a shared vinyl-only 12" release with the late great Sun Ra who inspired the record. It was four months ago when Austin stopped by Amoeba Hollywood to perform as part of our Brainfeeder series  (picture above was taken at that Amoeba in-store in July). A week ago on November 22nd just four weeks after his 22nd birthday Peralta died - the result of as yet unknown causes. At this sad time our thoughts here at Amoeba are with his family, friends, and fans. Rest in peace Austin Peralta.


The Big Bang Theory of Jazz - Louis Armstrong Arrives

Posted by Sherwin Dunner, November 26, 2012 05:15pm | Post a Comment

Louis ArmstrongIn what might be dubbed the Big Bang Theory of Jazz, the world began in April 1923 when King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band with Louis Armstrong in tow stepped into the Gennett Recording studio and cut nine sides. The Oliver band had been knocking 'em dead for several months in nearby Chicago at the cavernous South Side dance hall Lincoln Gardens, and these recordings would become the gold standard for early New Orleans jazz. Even more significant for the future of jazz, although Louis would play his first recorded solos on these sessions, he would soon outgrow the limited space for him in such ensembles of collective improvisation. He just wanted to cut loose and blow, and as people heard him and his fame grew, he would evolve into the first star of jazz and almost single-handedly transform jazz from a dance music to that of improvising solo performance.

You can witness what Louis had become by 1933 in the first Louis on film – that year he was captured in a live performance on a Copenhagen concert stage – no Hollywood gimmicks or studio post-dubbing of music. And you can explore that transformation in Amoeba's new Vinyl Vault.  In honor of, and as tribute to Louis, we have added digital files of virtually all of Louis' early records from 1923 to 1928, remastered directly from the cleanest original 78s available. So have fun exploring the Louis Armstrong archive in Amoeba's Vinyl Vault.
 

King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band (April 1923 to December 1923)

King OliverWhen I first started collecting 78s, I avoided early “pre-electric” discs because the sound was a bit distant and thin compared to the electric process, which was still a few years off in the future, and I passed up many of these 1923 King Oliver Gennetts. Now I look back on my screwed up priorities and feel it was akin to throwing away a hundred dollar bill because it was too wrinkled. Musically, if not sonically, these early King Oliver Gennetts still hold up as some of the most exuberant discs ever recorded. Every player attacked the thread of melody at once, each adding fuel to the fire without getting in each other's way – never mind that you're not a jazz fan, and don't confuse these recordings with later derivative white revival “dixieland” (or “dorksieland” as some of my friends call it).  Early jazz was first and foremost dance music, the rock 'n' roll of its day, and New Orleans style was loud, brash, rock solid dance music, activating hormones and posing the same kind of threat to middle America that rock 'n' roll would in the 1950s. Check out this1925 headline from a Cincinnati newspaper zeroing in on the insidious influence of jazz.

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Jazz Trumpeter Ted Curson Dead

Posted by Billyjam, November 5, 2012 12:36pm | Post a Comment

Ta-Tu featuring Ted Curson "Serenade To A Cuckoo" (2010)

Sad news for jazz fans: famed trumpeter Ted Curson, who was perhaps best known for his membership of Charles Mingus' band circa 1960, died yesterday November 4th at age 77. The Philadelphia born jazz musician began his musical career after relocating from Philly to New York City in the mid 1950's. There he recorded with Cecil Taylor before going on to collaborate with Charles Mingus. Along with Eric Dolphy, Booker Ervin, Dannie Richmond, and "special guest" Bud Powell, he performed at the Antibes jazz festival in 1960. That session was officially released as the double album Mingus At Antibes many years later in 1976, and re-released in recent years as a single CD set. In 1960 Curson also collaborated with Mingus on his album Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus. From that period on through the following two decades Curson recorded a series of albums as band leader and solo artist including such releases as 1965's The New Thing and the Blue Thing, 1971's Pop Wine, and 1976's Blue Piccolo.  Although not recording as much Curson continued performing up until this year. Above is a recent day live recording of Curson in Finland from a couple of years ago with the line up known as Ta-Tu performing the Roland Kirk song "Serenade To A Cuckoo." And below is the track "Better Git It In Your Soul" from Mingus At Antibes
 

"Better Git It In Your Soul" from Mingus At Antibes

Amoeba Vinyl Engineer Shai Fishman Talks About Amoeba Vinyl Vaults

Posted by Billy Gil, November 1, 2012 11:54am | Post a Comment

Shai FishmanShai Fishman is a composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer. He has composed music for museums, feature films and is one of the creators of The Voca People, an international a capella group that has appeared on the Italian X-Factor and has had millions of YouTube views for clips of its performances.

At Amoeba, he’s helped to digitize Amoeba’s collection of vintage vinyl and 78s for exclusive download at Amoeba.com’s Vinyl Vaults. Right now Amoeba is featuring more than 100 remastered songs by jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong, first released from 1923-1926. I spoke with Fishman about the digitizing and remastering process.

Amoeba: Can you take me through some of the basics of converting vinyl to digital? What are some of the concerns when dealing with older vinyl?

Fishman: As far is converting vinyl to digital media, the main concern is high-fidelity digitizing. We need to make sure that the analog recording process is done in such quality that it reproduces the signature vinyl sound we all love so much, in an authentic way, while still enjoying all the benefits of digital media.

Our digitizing allows for 96 KHz and 24 bit audio sampling resolution, which is more than enough to reproduce vinyl and at the same time allows us to have some room to manipulate the wave file, if need be.

When dealing with old vinyl the main concern is eliminating the noise that exists on copies that are older than 30 or 40 (roughly) years. That noise profile may be a simple surface noise, clicks, pops, crackle or any other intricate profile that we have to deal with in order to produce a digital copy that is in keeping with today’s sound standard.

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