Tag Archives: postaday2012

Lifting A Glass to Ray Collins

I was saddened to learn of Ray Collin’s passing on Christmas Eve. Ray Collins was instrumental to the creation of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention by mentioning to Jimmy Carl Black and Roy Estrada when they were part of the Soul Giants he knew a guitarist for their group.

The Soul Giants band consisted of drummer Jimmy Carl Black, bassist Roy Estrada, saxophonist Davy Coronado and guitarist Ray Hunt. Hunt, however, was incompetent or purposely messed up to be spiteful, Collins relates.

“I was new to the band but it was up to me to get rid of him,” Collins says. After the deed was done – no punches were thrown, he insists – he made a fateful suggestion.

“I told them, `I know a guitarist in Cucamonga. His name’s Frank Zappa,”‘ Collins says.

Zappa auditioned and fit in perfectly, but he was a prolific songwriter and a new direction was called for.

“If you will play my music, I will make you rich and famous,” Zappa is said to have told them.

Credit: http://www.dailybulletin.com/ci_12484780

Ray Collins first became known as a vocalist by performing with various doo-wop and pachuco groups in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

File:Frank Zappa - Cruising With Ruben & the Jets.jpg

My two favorite Ray Collins’s Zappa/Mothers recordings are:

America Drinks and Goes Home” – Absolutely Free (1967)

“Anything” – Cruisin with Reuben and the Jets (1968)

I hope we’ve played your requests…
the songs you like to hear…
Last call for alcohol!…
Drink it up folks…

(c) 1967 Zappa Family Trust

 

Edward The Mad Shirt Grinder – The Beautiful Articulation of Nicky Hopkins

Cover of "Beck-Ola"
Cover of Beck-Ola

Jeff Beck Group HandbillNicky Hopkins is without question rock’s greatest session musician. His signature contributions are still felt strongly today, 18 years after his passing. I continue being blown away by the breadth and depth of Nicky Hopkins piano contributions to rock.history

My first encounter with Nicky Hopkins’s musicianship was with The Jeff Beck Group and Beck-Ola. I saw Nicky Hopkins play with The Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East on July 3, 1969. He is depicted performing with The Jeff Beck Group on the cover of this definitive book by Julian Dawson.

Nicky Hopkins got his recording start with Del Shannon. You can hear his piano virtuoso as a lad of 17 on the 1961 hit, “Runaway”.  His frail health (he suffered from Crohn’s disease) forced him into the life of a session musician, where he excelled.

Nicky Hopkins was known as the Sixth Stone. His body of work with the Rolling Stones is immeasurable, ranging from “Ruby Tuesday” to “Waiting On A Friend”.

Nicky moved to Mill Valley, California to improve his health and took up with such San Francisco bands as The Jefferson Airplane and Jerry Garcia Band. He was considered a full-partner in Quicksilver Messenger Service and his touch played a fundamental role in Shady Grove and Just For Love.

The musicians he worked with over the decades were very taken with him.

“It was such a thrill to work for him as well as have him work with me. Every time I hear Joe Cocker’s ‘You Are So Beautiful’ I want to cry before Joe’s even come in. People try to emulate that piano piece, but there’s only one person could have played that—Nicky Hopkins.”
Peter Frampton

He worked with all four of the Beatles when they went solo. I am especially fond of his song, “Edward (The Mad Shirt Grinder)” that he recorded with QMS and on his best solo album, The Tin Man Was A Dreamer George HarrisonMick TaylorKlaus Voormann and Hopkins’ fellow Rolling Stones sidemen Bobby Keys and Jim Price.)


 

Jefferson Starship – Count On Me

Earth (Jefferson Starship album)
Earth (Jefferson Starship album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I happen to like the Jefferson Starship phase of Jefferson Airplane. I shuttled through their hits tonight and settled upon the song, “Count On Me” from Earth  (1978) to video post. Enjoy.

 

Pono Lets You “Feel the Soul of the Music

The InterWeb buzz for Neil Young’s PONO increased markedly this past week. The Music of Our Heart sifts through the various tea leaves to gather a  PONO brew for you as we enter the Christmas and New Year 2012 Holiday weeks. The number #1 PONO FAQ was, When Can I Have It?. Quite the act of faith considering PONO is unheard by the masses and very little is known, technically about this much-anticipated high-resolution audio solution. Neil Young tweeted earlier this month that Pono will roll out the service’s cloud-based music-library component and portable digital-to-analog players by summer. Patrick Flanary free-lance writer for Rolling Stone continues to keep us well-informed about PONO. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/neil-youngs-pono-plans-take-shape-with-new-trademarks-20121219#ixzz2FmqsCD4v Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

“It’s actually a little early for us to give any information,” Elliot Roberts (Neil Young’s Business Manager), the head of Lookout Management in Santa Monica, said in a brief telephone interview. “When we can comment, we’ll be an open spigot.”

Neil Young’s Ivanhoe, Inc. published “the” InterWeb home page for PONO where you can stay informed via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook ;) MyPono From the About page…

Hi Friend, There’s an awfully good chance you heard about a revolution we’re working on. Something that will significantly improve the way you get to hear and feel your favorite music. Shocking you say? That perhaps the promise of “Perfect Sound Forever” propagated by the inventors of the Compact Disc was a bust? And that“CD Quality” promoted by the likes of iTunes and the creators of the MP3 was only an inkling of the flawed format they were hoping to emulate? We’re here to say it’s incredibly true! Miraculously, there’s a wealth of music & soul (or if you must, “data”) trapped on millions of recordings made over the last half century, that we’re hoping to unleash for the very first time. Can you imagine? Your own personal time machine, to take you back to the place and time of the original musical event, and let you feel music in ways you’ve only felt seeing it live? We here at Pono are listening to it now and assure you, IT’S AMAZING!!!! We ask dear music lover that you root for Pono bringing this very real technology to the world. We’re still toiling away on making this happen (yes, there are record labels, artists, publishers and more to finalize with), but we wanted to share our excitement with you. In the meantime, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates. Rescuing an art form, The Pono Team

Twitter:  @RealPono Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NeilYoungPono

Kaleidoscope Art – Music By Kitaro

Offer yourself solemnity during this frantic holiday season. My thanks to the Domo Music Group and Kitaro, Namaste’

1) Kaleidoscope Art – Music by Kitaro “Impressions Of The West Lake” (HD Quality)
万華鏡アート 喜多郎 インプレッションズ・オブ・ザ・ウェスト・レイク (高画質)
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/impression-of-the-west-lake/id307430626

2) Kaleidoscope Art – Music by Kitaro “Oasis” (HD Quality)
万華鏡アート 喜多郎 オアシス (高画質)
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/kitaro-best-ten-years-1976/id159667527

3) Kaleidoscope Art – Music by Kitaro “Oasis” (HD Quality) Version. 2
万華鏡アート 喜多郎 オアシス (高画質)バージョン2

Kitaro Official Website
http://domomusicgroup.com/kitaro/index.php

喜多郎オフィシャルサイト
http://www.diaa.net/kitaro/index.php

Jerry Garcia Website Launches! – An Initial Review

Jerry GarciaTake a journey over to the just launched Jerry Garcia Web site . You’ll find it more than a long strange trip its been ;)

The Jerry Garcia Web site accomplishes two main objectives on behalf of its visitors, 1) Rich content about Jerry Garcia’s life, friends and accomplishments,  2) A creative, engaging shopping experience.

The site is designed by Third Door, Inc. I am surprised to learn how many popular music artist sites have been designed by Third Door’s David Maier. David’s choice of tools as a graphics and Web designer map to the Web software I plan to become more skilled in using in 2013 and beyond. The site was constructed with WordPress for content management, Adobe PhotoShop for images and Adobe Dreamweaver for HTML/HTML5 coding.

The Web site has a product tie-in promotion with the first release from the newly launched Garcia Live series which features a recording from the historic Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey on March 1, 1980.

My first assessment of the jerrygarcia.com Web site is based upon the following viewpoint/criteria.

Fan Viewpoint

Shopping Experience – A+

The Jerry Garcia Store is a standout section. It is tightly coupled with the Garcia official merchandise offered through their exclusive arrangement with MusicToday for ordering/fulfillment. Products were easy to view with the Zoom feature available for closer articulation.

Fan level information – B+

The Timeline section has 97 posts but lacks an evolutionary dated timeline for context and correlation (suggestion…). The content offers in depth reading and visual images that drive the reading experience well.

My favorite image is the black and white photograph of Jerry Garcia playing the pedal steel guitar. The Bio is nicely summarized. I would have liked to have seen a Web link to Wikipedia or another more substantive biography about Jerry.

The News section is very initial with just 4 posts. But it is only Day 1 for the site ;).

Multimedia content – A+

The Music, Artwork and Video sections meld together in cohesive fashion. The Music section offers a cover art jump point to a second page with music vendors, song listings and just the right level of social network icons for now.

The Artwork area is a gem and it is a good first level representation of an evolving Gallery area. I suggest an Amazon link on this page to the coffee table book,  Jerry Garcia: The Collected Artwork for visitors (I just love leafing through that book!)

The Video section knocked me out. The highlight for me was Jerry Garcia’s 70th Birthday. I was unable to watch Move Me Brightly on TRIStudios this past August. I am pumped to see the 17:47 video highlight featured on the Video page.

Technology Viewpoint

Usability – A

The Web site fully leverages responsive design and WordPress content management effortlessly. The images are compelling and never oversized or stretched. Navigation is straight forward and relaxing. It represents a landscape book with a menu as table of contents off to the left side, unobtrusive but accessible.

Design- A+

The page design varies between various postings or single Photoshop images of Jerry that are warm testimonies of him.

Responsive design is available throughout the Web site, which makes this a technology appealing visual, audio, video experience.

I have anticipated the Jerry Garcia Web site for sometime now and I wasn’t disappointed one iota!

Great work team! I look forward to the content evolution from here on out.