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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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Huge Jazz & Blues LP Collection Hits Amoeba SF this Saturday!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 1, 2012 05:45pm | Post a Comment
Once again, we have hit the collectors' motherload as a huge Jazz & Blues LP collection has come into our hands at the Amoeba San Francisco store. We have hundreds of rare titlesmany Blue Note label LPs and DJ promo labels, and we are going to make them available for your browsing and buying pleasure this Saturday, October 6th





 

Not in Our Name: Dia de Los Muertos Concert with The John Santos Sextet, Oct. 27th in SF

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 1, 2012 04:40pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music and CIIS Public Programs & Performances present Not in Our Name: Dia de Los Muertos Concert with The John Santos Sextet on October 27thJohn Santos Sextet at the Brava Theatre in San Francisco.

"Perhaps the most innovative Latin Jazz group playing today outside Cuba...highly innovative, intimately explosive."


East Bay Express

Five-time Grammy nominee and USA Fontanals Fellow, John Santos, and his stellar Sextet shed light on the historical and cultural significance of Latin Jazz, as well as its aesthetic characteristics pertaining to instrumentation, rhythm, interpretation and improvisation. Organized in 2003, they specialize in educational presentations from lecture/demonstrations to detailed clinics focusing on any number of relevant subjects such as composition, arrangement, rhythmic development, stylistic interpretation, studio performance, etc. Their repertoire consists of exciting arrangements from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the US, as well as original compositions. Their first CD, Papa Mambo, was released on John's Machete Records label in the summer of 2007. Their second CD, Perspectiva Fragmentada, was released in October, 2008. Equally at home with a dance or concert repertoire, the John Santos Sextet presents a wide range of styles and rhythms for audiences of all ages.
CIIS
Don't miss your chance to see this dynamic group! Get your tickets HERE!

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