Tag Archives: Music

Yesterday and Tomorrow (it’s a chicago thing): David Boykin Trio at Danny’s featuring DJ Ayana

Below, one of the great Chicago recordings that I’ll feature.

check out a bit of David’s work below.


Curtis Mayfield wanted to get a little bit.

 

This 1976 record by Chicago’s own Curtis Mayfield used to be a favorite spin in my College Radio days.   It’s been back on my radar in recent days. “Give a little bit, Get a little bit, Take a little bit” picks up on the theme of the classic “Give Me Your Love” with an offer for a more even exchange. Very lean groove, yet it somehow still has a whole bunch going on (check the masterful guitar work). Jive on!


Dance Dorchester!

dance locally to vintage sounds culled from Dorchester Projects’ Dr. Wax Collection heavily leaning on music that ‘jus grew’ out of our community: this friday, june 24th, 7pm til 10pm.

bring your favorite summertime dish to share with friends

100% wax spun by dj ayana

from The Dr. Wax Collection


a little Love & Happiness for your holiday

Wishing you candied yams, green bean casserole, pie and a touch of “Love and Happiness” from local group Gregory James Edition (led by keyboardist Gregory Bibb and guitarist James Norris) on Chicago’s own Dakar Records, from their album “Prophets of Soul” (1973).  Found a GJE 45 on a recent trek. Killer, off-kilter funk.

Oh, save me a plate.


Summertime and Billy Stewart: Fruitful and Fleeting

summertimeSummer has left our once-warm grasp.  In memorium, Darkjive presents Chess Records’ Billy Stewart with a 1966 version of the classic song “Summertime” (from Porgy and Bess).  I love how Billy Stewart’s scats interplay with insistent horns and halting guitar licks.  The drummer on the cut is a very young Maurice White (of Earth, Wind, and Fire). 

Originally from Washington, D.C., Stewart scored a string of hits in the mid sixties with Chicago record label Chess, including “I Do Love You”, “Fat Boy”, and “Sitting in the Park”.  He died just shy of his 33rd birthday when his car plunged into a North Carolina river, alongside three of his bandmates.  Billy Stewart’s “Summertime”: Fruitful, fleeting talent singing the praises of a fruitful, fleeting season.

31st street beach

(above, 31st Street Beach, Chicago)


Esser says: She’s Never Satisfied

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I caught the video for “Satisfied” by Esser on cable access recently, and consequently can’t get the  tango-inflected song out of my head.  British artist Esser is a young chap with a notable ear and notable hair.  The level of camp in this clip is high.  Sort of makes me crave some Kid Creole & the Coconuts (above).  Thoughts?

Notably, the video seems to take some inspiration from a 1903 film called “Le Mélomane”.


Billy Butler: Brotherly Soul

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From Jerry Butler’s little brother, Billy, it’s “I’ll Bet You”.  Jerry Butler, of course, was a member of the Impressions (as well as one of the most successful solo acts in Chicago Soul history).  Billy never quite made it out from the shadow of his superstar brother, but he made a few valiant efforts: among them, “Right Track”, and this George Clinton and Sidney Barnes-penned mover, later recorded by Funkadelic. 

Billy started his career at Chicago’s Okeh Records with a group called the Enchanters (later the Chanters).  He was a talented songwriter and guitarist who credited both his brother, Jerry, and Curtis Mayfield for sparking his interest in music.  The artists used to rehearse in the Butler living room.

Later in his career, he recorded with a group called Infinity, but ultimately ended his career solo on Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records with the rare 70s groover “Sugar Candy Lady”. 


Mos Def Performs Billie Jean in Chicago

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Recorded at the House of Blues here in Chicago a few days back.  It’s Mos Def, and his homage to the gloved one:  a fresh interpretation of “Billie Jean”.  Somehow, it works.  Invention isn’t dead, after all. Jive on!


Digital wolves in warm, fuzzy sheep’s clothing

45cases2

I know a lot of the Darkjive faithful are also among the analog faithful (some, if only in spirit).  The clicks and pops old records afford make our hearts skip a beat (even recreated on digitized copies).  Well, get ready for a digital wolf in warm, somewhat fuzzy sheep’s clothing: 45iPodcases.com.  Their tagline even heralds “Digital meets analog” (very, very literally).

Very clever, I say.  Using old vinyl, labels and all (and old cassette tapes for iPod nanos) their collision of chips and skips is definitely a statement maker.  As a 45 collector, I hope they use records that are unplayable (no reason for the babies to suffer). 

And speaking of a new birth of wax, both iTunes and Amazon are  selling digital 45s!

Apple’s iTunes Music Store is taking digital music back into the groove, offering two-song packages known as “Digital 45s“: which feature an A-side and a B-side. For $1.50-$2.00, you can purchase a single along with a lesser-known track you might not already have (that can be difficult to find elsewhere on iTunes).  Great ideas never really die.  They just get remixed.

Jive on…

 

 
 
 

 

 


Natural Four: Soul, if only for a moment

By way of the Bay Area, it’s Chicago’s own Natural Four.  They signed to Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records in 1972, after five years without a hit, and within a year they gave us this blue light basement classic: “Can This Be Real.” 

Inexplicably, the Natural Four never reached the success they deserved, dissolving in 1976.  Robert Pruter, author of the book Chicago Soul, pointed out that they most likely suffered from the trend of doo-wop style vocal groups succumbing to the age of Disco, which mainly favored solo artists.  But the Natural Four shone brightly, if only for a moment.  Jive On.