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Word Jazz Pioneer Ken Nordine Has Passed Away At Age 98

Posted by Billyjam, February 16, 2019 09:39pm | Post a Comment

 
The golden voiced, word jazz pioneer Ken Nordine died this morning at age 98 at his North Side Chicago home as confirmed by his son earlier today.  Nordine's familiar sounding, deep commanding voice was one that many in previous decades knew from his voice-over work on Hollywood movie trailers and national radio and TV commercials. Examples include his voice-over of the trippy animated 1971 Levi’s jeans TV ad seen below. But Nordine’s legacy will be best remembered beyond the commercial realm, and for his jazz radio and spoken word jazz recording career.  Although it was thanks to his TV and radio work, in particular an early sixties paint radio commercial voice-over,  that most would first be exposed to his "word jazz" creation. Many recent decade music listeners would first hear Nordine via the numerous modern day artists who have sampled him.

Word-jazz was something Nordine initially crafted in the mid-fifties during the beat era and showcased with his 1957 debut album Word Jazz that he recorded with the Fred Katz Group for the Dot record label. WIthin a year he released the sequel Son Of Word Jazz in a recording career that would span five decades and include several different record labels such as San Francisco's now defunct Asphodel Records

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.

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Wooden Wand

Posted by Amoebite, December 27, 2017 03:14pm | Post a Comment

Wooden Wand at Amoeba Hollywood

"I'll probably take some guff for this," predicted singer/songwriter Wooden Wand (aka James Toth) as he pulled out Windham Hill: The First Ten Years from his Amoeba shopping bag. He went on to explain how he gets into arguments with other guitarists about the mostly acoustic, instrumental music label, considered by many to be an early proponent of "new age" music. "I think William Ackerman and Alex de Grassi made some incredible, incredible guitar records. In some ways every bit the equal - obviously very different - but every bit the equal of Robbie Basho and Fahey's early records." What was not up for debate was Toth's extensive music knowledge, as he went shopping for a wide range of genres, happily giving his personal take on each record in our latest What's In My Bag? episode.

Wooden Wand Clipper ShipFreak folk artist James Jackson Toth, better known as Wooden Wand or sometimes just WAND, first made his name as a member of the early and mid-'00s era New Weird America scene of psych, folk, and indie artists. Since then he has continued to evolve and experiment as an artist, dabbling in outlaw country, free jazz, acid folk, noise rock, and Americana-influenced rock 'n' roll. The prolific Toth has put out an eclectic mix of self-released singles, CD-Rs, cassettes, compilation albums and more traditional studio albums.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Bob Weir

Posted by Amoebite, July 4, 2017 04:57pm | Post a Comment

Bob Weir What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

"I'd totally forgotten about Bessie Smith until a few nights back," Bob Weir told us during a recent visit to Amoeba Hollywood. A few nights beforehand, Weir was accompanying country/folk legend Ramblin' Jack Elliot at a club in Mill Valley, CA and the two played a couple of her tunes. "Oh, that's right," mused Weir, "these songs are great...she really had something going back then." Before his in-store performance to promote his latest solo album, Blue Mountain, Weir grabbed a compilation of Smith recordings, as well as some other great picks that had a lot of meaning to him.

Bob Weir Blue Mountain Bob Weir is a guitarist, singer-songwriter, and founding member of the Grateful Dead. While still a teenager, he encountered Jerry Garcia playing guitar at a music store; he sat down and played some songs with Garcia and the pair decided to form a band together. Over the course of the Dead's thirty years, Weir played rhythm guitar, sang a significant portion of the band's non-Garcia lead vocals, and experimented with slide guitar. He released his first solo LP, Ace, in 1972. The other members of the Dead served as his backing band. Six years later, he released his sophomore solo album, Heaven Help the Fool. His next solo album came almost four decades later; Blue Mountain was released in 2016.

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Grateful Dead 'Live at Cornell University' Listening Parties on May 5

Posted by Amoebite, May 1, 2017 03:37pm | Post a Comment

Grateful Dead listening parties at Amoeba

We're excited to host listening parties for the Grateful Dead's long-awaited deluxe issue of Cornell 5/8/77 at our stores Friday, May 5th! Starting at 6pm, fans will have a chance to hear this legendary concert recording broadcast over our soundsystems and take home some special gifts with purchase, including stickers, composition notebooks, patches, and prints (while supplies last). Plus, fans in Hollywood and San Francisco will have the chance to win some cool prizes and nibble on Dead-themed treats (non-medicated, of course).

Grateful Dead Cornell University CDConsidered one of the Dead's finest performances, the May 8, 1977 concert at Cornell University's Barton Hall is so highly regarded that it earned a place in the Library Of Congress' National Recording Registry for musical works that have been deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important."

The master tapes for Cornell 5/8/77 were considered lost for years -- until the end of 2016. Recorded live and direct from Betty Cantor-Jackson's master tapes, the so-called "Betty boards" have been remastered by Grammy-winning engineer Jeffrey Norman. The concert will be available May 5th in a 3-CD set.

Come on down to any Amoeba store on Friday to experience this incredible live recording and take home some schwag!

Grateful Dead Cornell University Sticker

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