• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About AllenLowe

  • Rank
  • Birthday 04/05/1954

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ 0

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Moonlight Bay

Recent Profile Visitors

11,189 profile views
  1. Give It Up For Booker!

    from my favorite Booker album:
  2. Give It Up For Booker!

    many years ago I talked to Bill Barron about that album and I said to him it was and amazing thing to go up against a player like Ervin and really hold your own; he was very modest about this, but clearly quite proud. Bill was a good guy.
  3. William O. Smith RIP

    fantastic clarinetist.
  4. Cheap sonic upgrade

    this is all why I have stopped listening to anything. If I cannot have the purest experience I don't want the experience at all.
  5. Support for Jimmy Cobb

    I am sorry, but none of this makes sense without some kind of detail, of which there is very very little in the appeal. I just got through with very intensive cancer treatments, and medicare plus medicare supplemental covered over 98 percent (and my bills for 7 weeks of treatment were about $250,000). At his age he can easily get the same; maybe he needs skilled nursing home treatment and, though that can wipe you out, it is do-able - unless, and this may very well be what is happening, they are trying to get the cash for treatment so his assets aren't spent all the way down, as they are when you need nursing care. But they need to explain it. I would never give money without a complete understanding of the situation.
  6. Pharaoh Sanders live in Paris (1975) ORTF source

    plus it sh*ts all over the place. Mine is now glue.
  7. take this at your own risk (since you not long ago described me as a terrible human being), but here are 2 books which can teach you a lot about the minstrel show: and:
  8. possibly, though I think Elvis' relationship to black vernacular music was, in many ways, the next step. Or a real a continuation - check out a white hillbilly performer named Herschel Brown.
  9. the thing is that, relative to Pound's dance, things were way different on the Minstrel stage and for the Minstrel audience. The audience believed that the minstrel act was authentically "black," not different. And the fact that it was a pose AND the real thing was part of the understanding between audience and performer - I know it seems odd and contradictory but this was kind of the white version of double consciousness. Things like Pound's performance were just part of a different world than that of the minstrel. Audiences saw some of the minstrel performance as parody of blackness, but other parts as "real," the real way in which black performers moved, played instruments, and sang. That's just the way it was - though sometimes the performance was, from not just contemporary accounts, but also from scripts and songs - actually closely based on black folklore. There's a ton of literature on this. I know it sounds odd, but it's what makes the whole minstrel thing so complicated. The white working class audience found minstrelsy to be a safe form of rebellion against straight society, and used these black characters as a way to mediate that rebellion; the fact that the performers were really white protected the audience from any sense that, in admiring the performance, they were violating the social norm of white superiority. It's not unlike racist white kids embracing hip hop.
  10. I think he's doing both; the white working working class audience for this music when it was presented as Minstrelsy is both looking for the real thing and for assurance that it's all a pose and not a threat. So yes, there is momentary authenticity, and it's part of a pact between audience and performer - and the performer wants to be 'real,' authentic, and thinks that as a white guy he can do it better than a black performer. This was very much part of the psychology of the pose. But his whiteness can and is wished away after the performance when he goes back to existing as the ultimate superior being, the White Man. the assumption of blackness is typical of the Minstrel pose, as this is - and the reference to darkies, etc is considered to be, as it is today, insider terminology.
  11. I am ready, definitely, for a bit of flack, but I am currently taking some steps to possibly mitigate criticism (can't say much now, but it has to to with someone who is considering doing the introduction).
  12. Ridiculous statement regarding vinyl dynamic range

    and I would add, there is ambient sound, which you perceive but do not necessarily hear in a tangible sense, and so which might not be measurable in a conventional way. But I also wonder about other aspects of sound, and not just frequency and dynamic range; in other words, analog versus digital "warmth." And, at the risk of starting one of those perpetual battles here, I might rather hear analog tape at 15K than digital at 20k. To my (prejudiced) ears, analog, even at lower resolution, had a sonic depth-of-field that digital does not. 24 bit has helped a LOT, but preference for one over the other presumably has to do, like cheeseburgers, with what you grew up with.
  13. This is from the intro of my new book/reissue project Turn Me Loose White Man, and is printed here because there were some objections to the title: "Is it important to clarify what I mean by the main title of this new collection and book, Turn Me Loose White Man? Given the rawness of our current political atmosphere, yes. And I have to admit I ran the title by a few trusted friends before deciding for certain to use it. There is a recording, from 1902, which fits very neatly into what I would call the immediate pre-history of country music, by the white singing duo Cantrell and Williams, of a song called Mississippi River Song Tapioca. At one point in the tune the obviously-white singer - portraying a black character, and in the midst of warbling about working on the Mississippi River amongst the “darkies” and other happy workers - yells out "turn me loose, there, white man." It is a jarring moment, representing, I would say, a kind of transference of the desire by a white man for artistic freedom onto the 'other,' the black man, in the guise of demanding cultural/expressive liberation. "Set me free," the white singer seems to be demanding, "by making me as black as I am pretending to be." The call is clearly for cultural freedom, though the inescapable minstrel taunt of white men “exposing” black men for their “pretensions” of equality is also obvious. Less apparent is how singer and audience of the time perceived this call for action – was it simply a matter of comic silliness? Of contempt for the futility of any black notion of equality? Was it a stagey impersonation, regarded by the audience as being as good as the real thing but safer and more manageable as long as white people were in charge? Or was it just a good, fun, catchy phrase in the midst of a catchy tune? Given how minstrelsy (not unlike current white representations of black expression in the way white people dress, move, and use the idea of hip-hop time and lyrics) represents a complex love/hate/fear view by white people of African Americans, this is a perfect example of imitation as a protective barrier of privilege. Black me up and I will be free, and then when I am done I will be really free (in other words, white). You have a white man portraying a black man, and the white man is not only in a position of power and privilege but is, ironically or not, expressing something that has historical resonance because it is being said at a time in American life when not only is black music struggling to overcome white hegemony, but Black America is doing same in a political and social sense. To me this, for the white singer, represents a different kind of double consciousness, though we have no idea if the white man who is singing has any sense of the deeper meaning of the gesture or of the nastiness of the irony involved. Minstrels were actors and impersonators, yes, but their manner betrayed a sly - if racist - commentary on their actions, a simultaneous, social call and response, as though they were saying, or, really, being, one thing while meaning another, as part of a "secret" yet openly exposed pact with their equally racist audience. And yet - they were smart enough to create enough distance between their words and implied actions to allow for what politicians now call “plausible deniability:” the singer in this never says explicitly that he is portraying the black character as deluded; his words indicate the opposite. There is no obvious and audible proof, in the recording itself, that this exists in a false and racist reality; in order to know that, you have to extrapolate from not only the whole method of minstrelsy but also from the mass conditions of African Americans at the time – something of which many white people were of no doubt aware, but which probably just seemed to most of them like the natural state of things in the post-Adam and Eve world. If in today’s America millions of white folks can say, as they have, that white people are as discriminated against as black people are (or more so, according to some polls), you can imagine how less evolved the political landscape was 120 years ago. And at the time this was recorded there was no consensus, among white people, that minstrelsy was intrinsically evil; among black people, yes, but not necessarily among black entertainers, thousands of whom made a professional living in the minstrel field . Hence deniability, plausible or not. As for, finally, the title of this book and of this collection, the history of American music, to my ears, is essentially a timeline of African Americans liberating themselves in sound, creating an alternative history to that which has been imposed on them. As a title and reference it is meant to evoke the not-so-straightforward way in which this has been achieved."
  14. Steven Cerra blog

    he's a good guy, even if he does like Gene Lees. And I like his blog.
  15. Ella: The Concert Years

    yes to Larry and Jim on all counts. Ella is one of those singers who, over the years, I felt that I should like more, but whom I never listened to all that much. Love the Armstrong and some of the Chick Webb, and I need to check this one out. Also, had a long talk with Tommy Flanagan when he was her accompanist, which was illuminating. Nothing shocking, just that she repeated the same improvs night after night and that he was bored; but this is one of the hazards of the working-singer, a show-biz deficit that is perhaps less likely to hinder a jazz instrumentalist.