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Interview with Producer Fabian Jolivet of New Orleans Benefit "The Congo Square Project" Distributed Exclusively By Amoeba

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2013 03:02pm | Post a Comment
It may now be eight years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast but that does not mean that Amoeba Music has in any way abandoned its continued commitment to doing its bit in the still much needed recovery and rebuilding in the area. On the contrary; we've up the ante, and so this Fat Tuesday (Feb 12th) Amoeba invites you to celebrate Mardi Gras in style with us while simultaneously helping the city of New Orleans in its long, slow uphill road to recovery and rebuilding - with a portion of proceeds from all sales at Amoeba on Fat Tuesday going directly to NOLA and benefitting Tippitina's Foundation and the New Orleans Musician's Clinic. For Fat Tuesday at Amoeba Hollywood there will be  big celebration that will include a very special performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (they play UCLA later that night with Allen Toussaint), DJs spinning rich diverse mixes of New Orleans music, plus another popular Line Parade (see video below of last year's Line Parade at Amoeba Hollywood). And in its continued homage to New Orleans as cultural center of American music and in helping preserve and protect its musical legacy, Amoeba.com's Vinyl Vaults now feature more than a hundred remastered rare songs (circa 1923-1932) of N.O. legend Louis Armstrong. Additionally Amoeba will exclusively be distributing six volunteer/benefit releases compiled/produced by Fabian Jolivet for The Congo Square Project Foundation with all proceeds benefiting New Orleans relief efforts. 

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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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Krazy Kat - One of the kolossal komics in the kontinuum debuted 13, October, 1913

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 13, 2012 06:23pm | Post a Comment

INTRO TO KRAZY KAT

Krazy Kat

On 15 October, Google paid tribute to Winsor McCay's comic, Little Nemo in Slumberland, which debuted on that date in 1905. It was a beautiful tribute to one of the greatest comic strips of all time. Just two days earlier, though not celebrated by Google (I don't expect them to honor something every day), was the anniversary of another of my all-time favorite strips, Krazy Kat, which debuted in 1913 -- although some of the characters dated were introduced in George Herriman's earlier strip, The Dingbat Family.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

Krazy Kat wasn't widley popular although it was hugely influential and afforded serious criticism as early as 1924, when Gilbert Seldes's article "The Krazy Kat Who Walks by Himself," was published. Fan and poet E. E. Cummings wrote the introduction to the first book collection of the strip.The Comics Journal placed it first on its list of the greatest comics of the 20th century. Charlie Chaplin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, H. L. Mencken, Jack Kerouac, Pablo Picasso, and Willem de Koonig were also avowed fans of the groundbreaking series.

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Farewell New Orleans Musical Great James "Sugar Boy" Crawford

Posted by Billyjam, September 18, 2012 10:07am | Post a Comment
As reported yesterday by the New Orleans' Times-Picayune website nola.com  New Orleans rhythm & blues legend James “Sugar Boy” Crawford passed on Saturday while under hospice care following a brief illness. He was 77 years of age. The  New Orleans singer will live on through his music and through one song in particular; the song that most folks know as "Iko Iko" which was a rendition of his song which, in turn, was his interpretation of much earlier N.O. traditional music.  Crawford recorded it under the title "Jock-A-Mo" which he borrowed from traditional Mardi Gras Indian chants. The song was later remade into “Iko Iko” by the Dixie Cups who, among many others, won acclaim with the song. The numerous others who have covered it over the years include Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, The Radiators, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Willy DeVille. The Grateful Dead and Cyndi Lauper have also done versions of the song.  Of course James "Sugar Boy" Crawford's musical legacy goes a lot deeper than that one song and I have included a few selections below (audio only video clips) from the artist's rich career which peaked in the fifties and sixties (he retired in the mid 1960's - reportedly after getting beat up by the cops but had returned to the public eye in recent years). Look for many of these songs, that include the 1956 Imperial Records single "She's Gotta Wobble (When She Walks),"  on CD at Amoeba Music's three stores. His music so worth seeking out even if, at times, it can be perceived as sexist. 

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Tipitina's Foundation to Induct Amoeba Music Into Wall of Fame

Posted by Amoebite, April 30, 2012 01:55pm | Post a Comment
We are honored to announce that the Tipitina’s Foundation is inducting Amoeba Music into The Tipitina’s Foundation Wall of Fame tonight in New Orleans during their annual event, Instruments A Comin’!

The Tipitina's FoundationThe Tipitina's Foundation was founded before Hurricane Katrina (in 2003), and is committed to preserving Louisiana culture and musical heritage. Of course when the storm ravaged most of the city, the need for resources for displaced musicians and a community place became even more crucial. The Tipitina's Foundation continued to serve unemployed musicians, as well as raise money to replace instruments, and keep the spirit of Louisiana culture alive and well and in the hearts of all New Orleans residents.

In 2005, Amoeba began hosting regular charity auctions to raise money for Gulf relief efforts post-Katrina. In addition to the money raised during the auctions themselves, Amoeba has matched the winning bids dollar for dollar, doubling the money for the Tipitina's Foundation. We also share our love for New Orleans with a Mardi Gras party each year, complete with beads and a parade.

Music is an integral part of New Orleans culture and a huge part of the spirit of one of the most beloved American cities. Keeping that spirit alive and thriving is a huge focus of the Tipitina's Foundation and we are humbled and thankful to be a part of that community.

Today happens to be International Jazz Day, and one of the richest American cultural exports is jazz music. American jazz and blues are the foundation of our cultural heritage---so we celebrate that today. 

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