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Face of the Bass

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Everything posted by Face of the Bass

  1. I wish they'd think outside the box a little bit more. I would like to see more avant-jazz material from the 1970s and later, personally. The reissues of big bands from the 1930s and 1940s get old for me really quickly.
  2. Thinking about this more, what I might be able to do is to maybe pick at minimum ten songs that could be interpreted by students in short essay papers. There are going to be 50 kids in the class so if you have at least 10 songs that would be five students per song, and perhaps they could choose then which one to write about. I'd need the songs that I picked to have clear historical or social themes that could frame a paper. It would also probably help to pick songs from one region, as that would make the accompanying lectures more coherent. If I opened it up to anything then we would be having to cover everything from the Delta to the Appalachians and so forth. It might get unwieldy at that point. On the other hand maybe you could just identify a body of songs that deal with the Depression, and orient the papers around that. Allen I'm going to send you a message in a moment.
  3. I'm hoping the Organissimo community can help me. Next Fall I am teaching an undergraduate course on American history post-1865. It's a general survey course, and I'll have a lot of freshmen and sophomores in my class. This is somewhat outside of my field--my Master's is in American history, but my doctorate work is African history. When I teach African history, I always make sure to incorporate African music as a way of elucidating larger historical themes, and I'd like to do the same for American history. The idea that I have would be to focus on the Blues of the early to mid-twentieth century, using the texts of songs as a way to understand American cultural themes about race, class, sex, labor, mobility, etc. I thought I might assign a book like Robert Palmer's Deep Blues to give a broader and readable contextualization of Blues music, but I'd also like to try to put together a project on the Blues, using actual recordings and maybe song lyrics. Do you guys think that sounds like a workable plan? What texts or perhaps what song compilations might be useful? Any feedback is most welcome.
  4. Continuing my journey through many of the recordings recommended in this thread, I've been listening to the T-Bone Walker Capitol recordings, and the music provides such a nice contrast from the rawer blues of some of the other guys I've been listening to. I find his playing to be so wonderfully laid back, it makes me want to relax on the couch and drink until I'm barely able to stand. Also, I finished reading Robert Palmer's Deep Blues, which I found to be very engaging. The broad outlines of the subject were already familiar to me, but Palmer has a deft touch when it comes to humanizing his subjects, and I really appreciated that. Next year, it looks like I'm going to be teaching at least one class on Modern U.S. history for the first time (I'm an African historian by training) and I'm already thinking of doing a major section on the blues, with an assigned book (Palmer, or something else if I can find something better for an undergraduate audience) and maybe some recordings as well.
  5. What is the best choice for James's later sessions with Fire, Enjoy, etc? It appears there are a number of different collections out there.
  6. So, a first observation as I begin to absorb the music I bought as a result of this thread: Elmore James. Holy shit, Elmore James. Listening to the early recordings 3-cd set on Ace, and the music seems to offer an almost perfect blend of raw vocals and slide guitar. I've been listening this week to Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, all of it so far is various degrees of good. But Elmore James is, for me, operating at another level. I've been listening to this set for the last three days, and I can't get past disc one because I just keep replaying it and replaying it. The blues elements found in his music are so familiar to me, being an American who has grown up listening to American music, but there is an element to his voice and his guitar that feels otherworldly and immortal. It can't possibly get any better than this, can it?
  7. Some of the stuff from the Brotherhood of Breath has always sounded joyful to me.
  8. So I've gone ahead and ordered the T-Bone Walker Imperial Recordings and Capitol Black and White recordings, as well as the John Lee Hooker Legendary Modern Recordings. Later, I'm thinking of making a run at some of the Chess boxes, particularly Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. I love educating myself on styles of music that I have paid little attention to in the past.
  9. Thanks for all the recs (and whatever others you guys may add). I love starting these threads because the collective knowledge and passion found in this forum always results in an avalanche of good stuff that I've never heard of or considered before.
  10. One last bump. Two sets are left, I've slashed the prices one more time on each if anyone is interested.
  11. Where might be the best place to start with T-Bone Walker? The OOP Mosaic is prohibitively expensive...
  12. I need to expand my understanding of blues music from the 1940s and 1950s especially. All that I have in this direction is the five disc Chess box set that samples that label's output. Any other recommendations are very much welcome. I have a preference for box sets just because I like methods of chronicling the music that are more thorough and comprehensive. Thanks!
  13. Looking up some of these titles now, is the Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings better than the AMG guide? The online reviews seem to favor the AMG a bit.... I have to say, the Marybeth Hamilton book sounds really interesting to me.
  14. That's really well-written, Allen. Thanks for sharing. This is giving me a lot to think about. In general I like provocative arguments, even if they are flawed; I like tracing the history of an idea, even an idea that might be out of date or wrong. I like histories that are more poetic than "objective" (since nothing is objective anyway), and I love good writing. I think I will snoop around my academic library and see what I find, then go from there. This has been really helpful. I knew you guys would come through!
  15. So, far, far, too late, I've been getting into listening to blues music recently (Blind Willie McTell, Charley Patton, Bessie Smith, etc.) and need to know what are the best books out there on the history of the blues. Basically the only thing I've read that touches on the topic is Leroi Jones's Blues People.
  16. Bump: Price reductions on the McPhee and Sanders, several new sets added.
  17. It is still pretty much my favorite place to shop for music in person. I've always found the staff friendly and knowledgeable and I try to make a point of ordering from them when I can. I've discovered more music there than at any other store.
  18. Continuing my pruning of my current collection of box sets, I have the following four Mosaic Selects for sale. Each of them is $30, shipping included to the U.S. Paypal only. PM if interested. Will ship internationally at cost. For all four sets, the booklets and discs are in like new condition. The outer boxes have minor shelf wear consistent with what you see in most Mosaic selects. The Jones outer box is a bit more banged up than the others. All Sold. Thanks for looking!
  19. One more. In addition to everything I above, I've put a sealed copy of the Lester Young Mosaic up on EBay as well. The Buy It Now Price is $10 cheaper than the final price that the last one sold for... http://www.ebay.com/itm/251227584490?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
  20. Update: the Bill Evans Verve set and the Roland Kirk Mercury Set are now both on E-Bay. Here is a link to the auctions. You might be able to get them for a lower price: The Evans is here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251226782486?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 The Kirk is here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251226784771?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 The other sets that I still have available are listed above and can be had by sending me a PM. Thanks!
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