Amoeblog

Litquake Presents Loudon Wainwright III with Chuck Prophet & Harlem of the West

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 18, 2017 03:39pm | Post a Comment

Litquake, San Francisco's nine-day literary festival, runs from October 6th - 14th this year in venues all over the city. Amoeba Music is thrilled to come on board for Litquake's 18th year to co-present two events celebrating music and the written word.

Liner Notes: Loudon Wainwright III with Chuck Prophet
Tuesday, October 10. 8pm-10pm at Swedish American Hall.
With a career spanning more than four decades, Loudon Wainwright III has established himself as one of America's most enduring singer-songwriters. His songs can be laugh-out-loud funny, but they also can cut to the bone. In his new memoir, Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes & Excess, Death & Decay, & a Few of My Other Favorite Things, Wainwright details the fractured relationships in the Wainwright family throughout generations: the alcoholism, the infidelities, the competitiveness—as well as the closeness, the successes, and the joy. Wainwright performs some of his classics, and discusses his life and work with San Francisco singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet.
More info and tickets HERE.

Harlem of the WestHarlem of the West: San Francisco's Jazzy Fillmore
Thursday, October 12. 7pm-9pm at Doc's Lab.
Billie Holiday singing at the New Orleans Swing Club. Dexter Gordon hanging out at Bop City. Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, all swinging through town for gigs. San Francisco's Fillmore District was once an eclectic, integrated, and hopping neighborhood dotted with restaurants, pool halls, theaters, and two dozen nightclubs and music joints, before vanishing abruptly from redevelopment in the 1960s. Celebrate this unique and rediscovered chapter in jazz history with Harlem of the West?: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era co-author Elizabeth Pepin Silva and special guest musicians from the era.
More info and tickets HERE.

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I REMEMBER JOHN ABERCROMBIE, 1944-2017

Posted by Rick Frystak, September 4, 2017 02:12pm | Post a Comment


-photo Doug Proper

by Rick Frystak

Guitarist John Laird Abercrombie passed away of heart failure last week at the age of 72, too young an age for an artist who had so many more years of creativity left. John was one of my all-time favorite guitarists, one of only a handful of unique, tasteful ''jazz-rock'' guitarists who managed to create his own style and mature with it for all the years that he was active and making records.

John's playing had a swing, a lilt, perhaps a swaying effect that was captivating and had me eagerly anticipating his notes to see where he would go with a tune or a solo. His songs were quite often effectively moody and dark which I loved, but alternately funky, and always a good melody but left room for discovery. When he really let go, as he soon highlighted on his early solo records and the Billy Cobham big band records he could bring the house down. But when he turned inward, it was like telling a secret or a heartbreaking whisper. And his compositional directions were such an amalgamation of the old standard beauty and a new, ear-bending edginess.

I first heard John on the small, independent Oblivion label album, Friends, featuring Marc Cohen playing a searing electric alto sax, inspiring John to higher highs of energy I'd rarely heard outside of heavy rock, the whole group developing music that would be years ahead of it's time. Then came his first of a 43-year ECM Records relationship, the immortal, iconic Timeless, with Jack DeJohnette  and Jan Hammer (fresh out of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Billy Cobham's fantastic Spectrum album),which took the heaviness and beauty and made some of the most intense trio jazz since Tony Williams' Lifetime. He excelled in the trio format, and in his group with Peter Erskine and Marc Johnson they swung hard, burned.  He released his last ECM record this year, Up And Coming, which would be, as the press kit notes, his first album played without a pick, just using his fingers. This sound seems more buttery and lyrical, perhaps like a fine scotch,  the tempering of John's later-career approach and character.

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Birthday Week Part 2: Rosemary Clooney, Maxwell, and Robert Moog

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2017 10:38pm | Post a Comment

In continuation of yesterday's Amoeblog tribute to Morrissey's 58th birthday and the Amoeba Music one-day storewide 20% off sale on all Morrissey and The Smiths product to celebrate the date, we continue the birthday theme today by honoring three diverse artists whose birthday fell on this date of May 23rd: Rosemary Clooney, Maxwell, and Robert Moog. In the case of the latter artist/creator, whose legacy was celebrated over this past weekend with the annual MoogFest in North Carolina, select music artists whose careers were influenced by the moog synth creator will also be celebrated in this second birthday week Amoeblog installment.   Note tomorrow Wednesday, May 24th, Bob Dylan's 76th birthday will be celebrated with both a tribute Amoeblog as well as  one-day 20% off instore sale on the artist's releases And then on Friday this week, May 26th: birth date of the late Miles Davis,  the jazz great's legacy will similarly be celebrated in this one-week series.
Born on this date in 1934 and died in August 2005 at age 75,  Robert Moog was the inventor of the Moog synthesizer five and a half decades ago and, as such, widely credited with being a pioneer of electronic music.  It was in 1965 when the Moog company rolled out the commercially available modular voltage-controlled analog synthesizer systems. The radical musical creation would alter and help shape the course of popular music over the next half century. His electronic synthesizer keyboard instrument, that originally cost $11,000, counted among its earliest owners The Beatles, Sun Ra, and Mick Jagger after its introduction at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. As noted by such academics as Cornell University professor of Science and Technology Studies, Trevor Pinch Moog's creation and his name are often mispronounced. Moog rhymes with "rogue" not with "fugue" as it has repeatedly been mispronounced dating back to its earliest usage.

Among the earliest artists associated with the history of the Moog synth included Walter Carlos (later Wendy Carlos), Diana Ross & The Supremes, The Doors, and The Byrds followed by such others as  Rick Wakeman of Yes, Keith Emerson, Kraftwerk, and Gary Numan. Another fan of using the Moog synth, although not often associated with the instrument, was Bob Marley, But it was the aforementioned Walter / Wendy Carlos provided many music fans first introduction to the Moog with 1968 release of the crossover classical album Switched-On Bach which reworked Bach's pieces on this then new instrument. But in terms of the first big pop hit for the Moog as the main instrumentation, that occurred a few years later with the 1972 international pop hit single "Popcorn" by Hot Butter (song below) which was actually a cover of the song Gershon Kingsley wrote and first recorded in 1969 for his album Music to Moog By and done by numerous other artists including Jean-Michel Jarre who was recently featured on the Amoeblog for his WIMB? appearance.

Large Jazz LP Collection ­On Sale at Amoeba SF on April 1st!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, March 19, 2017 05:03pm | Post a Comment

Amoeba San Francisco acquired a large quantity of hard-to-find Jazz records from a collection that was cultivated inVintage Jazz LPs the 1960s and '70s by a longtime Amoeba customer (who was also an ex-New Yorker). This astounding collection will hit the store on Saturday, April 1st. No joke! You gotta be here April 1st to get first crack at this collection.

The Collection
Most of the records are from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, encompassing Free-Bop, post-Coltrane "Spiritual Jazz," South African Jazz, and more, with many rare European and Japanese imports among them. Also, there are some small-press labels, like Saturn (Sun Ra), Tribe (Marcus Belgrave's ultra-rare Gemini II), and many Strata East recordings as well!

Artists represented include Don Cherry, Archie Shepp (30 albums!), the Blue Notes (South African group) and its individual members, Mal Waldron, Steve Lacy, Yusef Lateef, Paul Bley, John Coltrane, and more.
Vintage Jazz Lps, Sun Ra Arkestra, Saturn Records
The Plan
Upon opening on Saturday, April 1st at 11am, we will have bins set up at the front of our stage (in the northwest corner of the store) that will contain the bulk of the collection. We will also have racks of "wall items" set up on the stage for the higher-valued items. There will be staff on hand to help you view bagged items and to bring your choices to the cashiers.

Pioneering Experimental Turntablist Jazz Trio Livehuman Celebrate "scratchBop" With March 16th Amoeba San Francisco In-Store

Posted by Billyjam, March 11, 2017 02:28pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco progressive jazz trio Livehuman have been together now for two full decades. In that time the turntablist/bass/percussion experimental ensemble, comprised of DJ Quest, Andrew
Kushin, and Albert Mathias, have performed countless concerts both locally and internationally including at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival and released a string of critically acclaimed albums. But it is only now with the recent release of their 2017 album scratchBop that these hard-working musical perfectionists feel that they've finally found their proverbial groove. They will celebrate the new album with an Amoeba San Francisco in-store Thursday March 16 at  6pm.
"Livehuman was born of an inspiration I had listening to Miles Davis' doo-bop record," percussionist Albert Mathias told the Amoeblog this week. Added the artist who cites among his other "jazz heroes"
as Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Sun Ra, and The Art Ensemble of Chicago, "That was a long time ago and for me scratchBop is what I dreamt might be possible….though I didn't realize it would take most of my adult life to achieve it." This insight by the gifted percussionist should not come as a total surprise to longtime fans of the band, familiar with such past album releases as Monostereosis: The New Victrola Method or Elefish Jellyphant, since scratchBop displays somewhat of a new musical chapter for the trio. Or as bassist Andrew Kushin calls it, "an uncovering" of sorts following years of tirelessly playing together and honing a distinct innovative jazz style. 

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