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Nancy Wilson Top Ten from Prolific Five Decade Career of Jazz Vocalist / Civil Rights Activist Who Died Yesterday At Age 81

Posted by Billyjam, December 14, 2018 07:44am | Post a Comment


Yesterday, December 13th, beloved prolific jazz-pop vocalist Nancy Wilson died at age 81 in her Pioneertown, CA home following a prolonged illness, according to the artist's management company. Celebrated for her commanding versatile vocal style Nancy Wilson enjoyed a rich five decade long career, recording dozens of albums, performing jazz ballads, American standards, Broadway show tunes, and easy listening vocals as well as such other genres as disco. In addition to her music career, the African American artist was also a noted civil rights activist during her lifetime. Back in 1965 she was among those to march on Selma, Alabama. As Wilson repeatedly stated over the years, one of her lifelong missions was to continually break down prevalent racial stereotypes. This she accomplished via such things as her appearances on The Carol Burnett Show.

While her music is generally found filed under “jazz” or “soul” or "pop" in interviews Wilson insisted on not been associated with any one modern musical genre, rather describing herself as a “song stylist” who tells stories in an intimate engaging fashion. That description is certainly true of some of her best known songs that tackled topics of failed relationships and heartache in an open honest and empowered manner, now seen as ahead of its time. In an artist tribute the NYT described Wilson as a, “forerunner of the modern female empowerment singer, with the brassy inflections and biting inflections to fuel it.” This apt description applies to her best known songs including such definitive Nancy Wilson hit singles as “Face It Girl, It’s Over” from 1968 and “Guess Who I Saw Today” from 1960.

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New Limited Edition Wu-Tang Clan Logo Shaped Picture Disc 7" Presents One of Hip-Hop History’s Most Iconic Logos

Posted by Billyjam, December 13, 2018 08:52pm | Post a Comment

The new limited edition Wu-Tang Clan logo shaped picture disc 7" pictured above presents one of hip-hop history’s most iconic logos; one designed a quarter century ago by DJ/producer Mathematics (aka  Allah Mathematics). The logo has been repeatedly used on group releases including the recently reissued four piece vinyl version of Wu-Tang Forever 4LP.

The multi-talented Mathematics would go on to create other Wu member graphic designs including for GZA/Genius and Method Man. The instantly recognizable W styled Wu-Tang logo is the unique design feature of the December 14, 2018 Wu-Tang Clan 7” logo shaped picture disc single. Featuring “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) (Album Version)” on Side A and “Da Mystery Of Chessboxin’” on Side B, the collectible single goes on sale immediately after midnight tonight (Friday Dec 14 12:01am Pacific Time) at Amoeba online. Note that purchases, while supplies last, are limited to one per customer.

Last year on LA radio station Power 106’s The Cruz Show the iconic logo’s designer Mathematics was a studio guest along with RZA of the Wu-Tang during which they discussed the back story to the logo. The actual turnaround time in its making was only 24 hours, according to Mathematics in the interview embedded below, where he says he got a last minute request just a day ahead of deadline to come up with a logo for the first Wu-Tang single "Protect Ya Neck." 

Vinyl LP Weekly Picks: Aloe Blacc, Angélique Kidjo, Paul McCartney & Wings, Abba, Richard Swift, Grateful Dead, Marvel's Spider-Man OST

Posted by Billyjam, December 12, 2018 09:00am | Post a Comment
Aloe Blacc Christmas Funk LP  (avail on CD) (Aloe Blacc Recordings, Inc.)


As 2018 comes to a close it does so continuing the trend witnessed throughout the year of an ever increasing steady flow of new vinyl releases dropping each week. These include lots of brand new album titles been pressed up on vinyl as well as CD and digital versions. Examples this week include the brand new 88rising two-vinyl set Head In The Clouds 2LP (also avail on CD) and the posthumous album The Hex pictured left (also avail on CD) from under appreciated singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift who tragically died earlier this year at age 41, reportedly the result of "alcohol addiction" as stated by his family upon his July 2018 passing.

Pivotal Year In Jazz Icon John Coltrane’s Career Captured On New Impulse! Vinyl Collection "1963: New Directions" 5LP Box Set

Posted by Billyjam, December 10, 2018 10:51am | Post a Comment
 
For jazz great John Coltrane 1963 was both a prolific and a pivotal year; one that’s comprehensively captured on the new Impulse! must get box set collection John Coltrane 1963: New Directions [5LP Box Set] (also avail as a 3CD box set).  All recordings from throughout '63, presented in chronological order, the 30 song set rewinds back fifty five years ago to an artistically significant time in the career of the legandary jazz saxophonist. Ahead of his time on many levels, Coltrane truly made a major impact in his all too short 40 years on this earth that came to a premature halt in July 1967.  From a historical perspective 1963 is viewed as the key transformation period from ‘Trane’s earlier bebop and hard bop years into his free jazz and fully championing experimental, avant garde, genre-expanding jazz. It’s the iconic artist’s creative period that fell exactly two years after his American standards interpretive My Favorite Things and two years before his avant-garde and free jazz masterpiece  A Love Supreme.  Or as Impulse! Records so aptly noted in their pre-promotion of this box set; “In the brief, bright arc that is the career of John Coltrane, 1963 marks a point of transition between past jazz masterpieces and future work which would transcend the boundaries of the music itself.” 

As seen in the picture above this vinyl box set contains five albums, each numbered in chronological order of their recordings, plus additional content such as the lovingly presented 20 page booklet. Scroll down to see the full 30 track listing of the box set contents that features 1963 recordings of the albums Live at Birdland, Newport ‘63, Dear Old Stockholm, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, and the album that presumably inspired this box set;  Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album. Initially released six months ago, a full fifty five years after its recording, this literally “lost album” draws its title in part from the famous John Coltrane quote, “I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once.”

Top 10 Hip-Hop LPs: Marvel variants LL Cool J, GZA & 50 Cent, Lndn Drgs, Busdriver, Eminem, Ghostface Killah, Damu, Cardi B, Illa J

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2018 01:36pm | Post a Comment

#01 Lndn Drugs (Jay Worthy & Sean House) Aktive LP (also on CD) (GDF Records)

Just a glimpse at the album art of Aktive LP (released on CD two months ago and now finally on vinyl) triggers one’s hip-hop brain to think of the LBC and SoCal G-Funk era for good reason. The album artwork is done by Joe Cool who is the very same artist who painted Snoop Doggy Dogg's classic 1993 debut Doggystyle LP (also on CD) album cover while Lndn Drgs two members, rapper Jay Worthy from Compton and producer Sean House from Vancouver, pay homage to the era but in an updated modern fashion even including among their album’s well chosen guests is South Central Jheri-curled emcee talent G Perico (on the tracks "Uza Trikk" and "La Quinta") whose image and dope mic style is a direct link back to that of  Compton pioneer DJ Quik. Also note that last year G Perico and Jay Worthy along with Dallas producer Cardo formed the G-Funk flavored collaborative group G-Worthy.

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