Amoeblog

Art for Art Garfunkel's Sake

Posted by Rick Frystak, June 26, 2014 10:40pm | Post a Comment

 

Ever since I first heard, "Dangling Conversation" and "Old Friends", I've loved Art Garfunkel's confident, husky-angel approach to harmony singing, and earnest, determined songsmith in his lead work with Paul Simon and...him. Not to mention all the hits these gents made, their work is of the highest caliber whenever they step up to the mic. Say what you will about Art, but that guy can SING!

Art's solo career doesn't immediately pop up in most folks' minds as being stellar hit-wise.  He did hit a high point in 1979 with "My Little Town" written and featuring Paul Simon on Art's Breakaway album, and Art won a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Children's Album for Songs From A Parent To A Child.

Art's 1979 LP, Fate For Breakfast (Doubt For Dessert)wasn't destined for any such attention. It was Art's first music release to completely miss any top 40 chart position in the U.S., but here's an interesting sales tidbit: for this LP, the United Kingdom import edition featured another track not on the U.S. version, that was used in the film Watership Down, and stayed on the UK singles chart long enough to be the best selling single in the U/K for 1979!!! Art Garfunkel!! And...the LP went to No. 1 in New Zealand and Holland! Talk about a global marketing kerfuffle!

And, as if with a premonition of sorts for all this, and, in hopes to restart Art's arty-edgy-eclectic credibility, this release would prompt Columbia Records to go all-out on the packaging concept and warrant enough art department budget as to create at least different covers for the initial U.S pressing of the disc! Huh? For Art Garfunkel? Very odd, also, that references to this package usually say "five" different covers were made, but I have found six!!!! Could there be even more?? Click on one of the covers above to see a slide show of the 6 unique covers presently residing inside Amoeba's Vinyl Vault in Hollywood.

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Remembering Paco de Lucia

Posted by Rick Frystak, February 26, 2014 12:45pm | Post a Comment

Paco de Lucia

Today, the world lost a giant of music, as Maestro Paco de Lucia passed away, at 66 years young, from a heart attack at a resort in Mexico. “Paco lived as he wished and died playing with his children beside the sea,” said a statement from de Lucia’s family published on the websites of Spanish newspapers.

Paco took the Flamenco style and tradtition of the elders in the genre and blasted off into his own universe, to some early criticism, owning every note of his huge legacy and backing up all his moves with incredible chops and technique. I had many unforgettable chances to see Paco in person doing his thing, each a unique and unpredictable experience, except for the sheer technical mastery of his instrument always present. I also took away from these shows Paco’s palpable confidence, his air of “badass”-ness that deservedly asserted his own internal awareness of what he was doing in the moment. I lament his passing, and will miss him tremendously. Adios, Paco.

Fortunately we have much in the visual and audio realms  to see and hear Paco, and to mark the absolutely inimitable place that Paco held in the music landscape. The 2-CD set, En  Vivo Conciertos, won a Grammy and is a most enjoyable album, displaying Paco’s genius live, and represents the last tour he did almost exactly. Amoeba has some true gems of Paco’s here.

(photographer unknown)

Tune Into Amoeba Hollywood's Rick Frystak on KPFK Today For Best Of 2013 + 5 Versions of Auld Lang Syne

Posted by Billyjam, December 31, 2013 10:21am | Post a Comment


Enjoy checking out all the Amoeba staffers Best Of 2013 lists? Then tune into KPFK radio Los Angeles this morning into early afternoon between 11am and 1pm (PST) when Amoeba Hollywood staffer, musician, musicologist, and Amoeblogger Rick Frystak will be manning the boards and working the turntables, sitting in for Betto Arcos on the ever popular weekly Global Village program.

What to expect from Rick's two hour live mix today? will be digging into his 2013 crates and playing many of his personal favorite releases from the past twelve months (including some "new finds"), along with some rare sounds, and to properly prepare us for a new year "five versions of 'Auld Lang Syne'!"  If you are in the Los Angeles area tune in on your radio dial at 90.7FM. Otherwise tune in online from anywhere at KPFK.org. And after the show has aired view the playlist and listen back to audio archive of show on the KPFK website here.

Rare Steve Lacy LP Shows Up In Hollywood

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 7, 2013 03:43pm | Post a Comment

Steve Lacy has always been one of my favorite horn players since I first hear him in the mid 70’s. He delivers a liquid, speech-like sound with his soprano saxophone which he plays exclusively.  Influenced by trad jazz players, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk and Gil Evans, Mr. Lacy composes and improvises with a quirky sense of melody unlike any other player around at the time or since, and his compositions reveal his very personal way of telling his stories. His staccato yet fluid attack, and almost vibrato-less legato stands out within the history of his axe. He has made many, many records (hundreds) and almost each one has its own individual sound and ultimate expression. Straight up swing to musique concrete to free improvisation are where Steve could be found at any moment, often simultaneously. His accompanists range from sitar duos to big band improv to sax/synthesizer/ drum outings, exploring all avenues of audible art. He also made many solo concerts, with just his soprano sax perhaps speaking the musical dialog about what was shaking at the moment. These concerts and recordings are a wonderful document of this artist’s creative depth.

I am fortunate to have met Steve when I had an in-store appearance with him while I was managing Rasputin’s Jazz and Soul record store in Berkeley, California in 1981. Steve is second from left, just to my right in this photo of that day (Rick Gillman far left, Lacy, Frystak, Michael Finney far right).

A kind and soft spoken personality belied his passionate, forward surging playing style.  His many bay-area fans that day were in heaven to be near this musical icon, myself included. He played later in the evening at U.C.Berkeley to a packed house. Steve passed in 2004 at age 69 years young, and I was fortunate to see him play multiple times, always searching and swinging in whatever context he found himself in.

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Amoeba Hollywood's Rick Frystak Talks About DJ'ing On KPFK

Posted by Billyjam, December 23, 2012 04:20pm | Post a Comment

Be sure to tune into KPFK radio tomorrow when Amoeba Hollywood's own Rick Frystak will spin a special two hour set of some of what the ever knowledgeable Amoeba buyer, avid music collector, musician, composer, DJ, and Amoeblogger promises will be a mix of his "favorite internationalist esoterica along with a bit of obscure holiday sounds and greetings." Frystak, who hosts the weekend morning KPFK show Roots and Beyond every second Saturday, will be filling in for Derek Rath's on The Global Village tomorrow Monday, December 24th from 11am to 1pm.

One of the go-to buyers at Amoeba Rick Frystak, who helped open the Amoeba Hollywood store eleven years ago, is a four-decade strong music business veteran who lives and breathes music. Hence he makes for the perfect radio DJ in a setting like Pacifica's KPFK that's not restricted by rigid formats but rather allows its DJs the freedom to program their own shows and take them into whatever direction they see fit during each live broadcast. Today I caught up with Rick Frystak, who also DJ's party gigs - most notably a string of year-end parties for the World Arts and Culture Department of UCLA, to ask him about his approach to putting together music sets, and what to expect during tomorrow's show on KPFK.
  
Amoeblog: Who are some of the artists you will be playing?

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