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About AllenLowe

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  • Birthday 04/05/1954

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  • Location Moonlight Bay

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  1. I think a legitimate question to ask, visa a ve the change in Sonny's approach, is whether his rhythm sections of that last part of his career were cause or effect. I tend to think a little but of both, with a lean toward cause. But I also wonder if Sonny just decided it was time to be more accessible. As for his damn clip-on mic, that was a major cause of the change in his sound; I hate that thing, which was tinny and limited in frequency range. What were they thinking?
  2. I remember the bassist had a foreign accent, maybe European or South American, because we talked to him a bit. But English was not his native language. And I was very close to the shooting. It was pretty awful.
  3. I was a student there, yes; there was also something called the Straight Country and Blues Committee which did incredible vernacular work. I also recall, on the same night a student was shot to death in the student center, a great Sam Rivers Trio concert; were you involved in that as well? I do remember perhaps the first time I saw Sonny, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1969 or 1970; and a few of us went who had spent time listening to his Prestige and Impulse work; we sat there, he had a conga player and god-knows-what-else, and we kept looking at each other, wondering "when is he going to start playing?" It was all vamps and rhythm, drums and conga; and then, before it appeared to have even begun, it was over.
  4. I agree completely in terms of his status. Listening to Worktime, at the tender age of 14, basically led me to spend a lifetime dealing with this music in one way or another. And it's funny because yes, I listened over and over. Spent days in my room trying to figure out what the hell he was doing - and why - on There's No Business Like Show Business. Though there was a night, in Binghamton, New York, when he played Strode Rode (circa 1974 or '75) and all things seemed possible..
  5. In my opinion, of those 3, only Bo Diddley (the exception that proves the rule, like Chuck Berry) is a true rock and roller; has to do with basic instrumentation (a quartet, string band format, close to the Delta set up); and because he is basically a country musician at heart. Most down-home rock and roller in history. I find Little Richard to be closer to R&B, and Fats....well, worst performer with a good reputation. Basically a good songwriter, terrible singer and mediocre pianist (I have expressed this opinion before and it usually generates a bit of hate mail). Stylistically he is a hybrid, that N.O. R&B thing, lots of Latin tinge. Personally I find Prof. Longhair to be more significant a musician. getting closer, only about 10 years behind - hoping to start work on my country music history, Joe, which will essentially do just that. As for Harmonica Frank, he, along with evangelical guitarists like Utah Smith and Claude Ely, may be the Rosetta Stone of rock and roll's pre-history.
  6. I agree; I actually think that he and Lucille made a very conscious decision, just after that, that he was gonna make some money, lighten up his repertoire and approach, thicken up his rhythm section. More power to Sonny, he deserves as much money as he can make, but the music suffered. yes, nothing wrong with joy; lotsa fun stuff in Sonny's oeuvre in these years. Still, it's like James Joyce doing a graphic comic. It's gonna capture my attention, but it ain't Ulysses.
  7. I happen to think that I did a better job than anyone else in my own history/prehistory of rock and roll. The key is to look not at blues and r&B but at hillbilly and country music (both black and white), also evangelical guitar players like Brother Claude Ely and Utah Smith. I think r&B in particular is another animal. In it I wrote a long chapter on country music and its relationship to rock, and was quite happy to find that Tony Russell, to whom I sent it, approved and called the chapter "significant." Basically, I call it a white way of thinking about black music. And a very original way at that.
  8. I heard Sonny MANY times after 1969 (I actually saw him at a very ill-fated Town Hall appearance in '69). Yes, that's right, I am discounting a lot of what he did over half a lifetime. But it happens. Think Lou Reed, who stopped doing much of interest for me after about 1970. I am sure there are others. Not saying that Sonny didn't have his moments, but he lost his true focus, to my way of hearing. It's not heresy to observe such a thing, and certainly Sonny has nothing to apologize for, but though some of those later groups were solid, nothing put him in the same artistic frame of mind as his work from, say, 1956-1969. There is just no comparison. Larry Kart, are you out there?
  9. New Woody Herman Mosaic

    maybe.....actually now that he mentions it, it does make sense (I'm tired of toting' such a heavy download).....
  10. New Woody Herman Mosaic

    well, how about uploads? Is there a difference?
  11. oh....neither is very good, I think.
  12. I vote for a good rhythm section.
  13. that book is really garbage - full of the usual cliches, badly written, too packed with "facts" that ultimately add up to nothing. Worthless in my opinion. I hate to be so blunt but it has been praised by a lot of jazz people who don't know the subject. I actually read it initially for a U press and told them to send it back.
  14. not sure that his estimation of DeArango's playing is really accurate - though I have to admit I haven't heard much if anything from after the 1940s.
  15. I can't help thinking what Jamil Nasser told me years ago - he thought Sonny was really thrown for a loop when Coltrane became the dominant tenor, and hence his wandering in search of something to put him on a higher plane - the bridge, the mohawk, and then I guess meditation. I love Sonny, but for me his playing ended around 1969. Maybe he shoulda just given it all up and hired a decent rhythm section.