Barbara Ess was an American photographer and musician.
She is probably best known for her work with Y Pants.
Chick Corea was a legendary American composer working in jazz, mainly playing keyboards.
He is a celebrated name in jazz fusion, but he never actively appeared on my radar.
So, I give you “Was Dog a Doughnut?” (1977) by Cat Stevens on which Chick plays keyboards. This did came to my attention in the period when I was researching late 20th century nightclub music.
Phil Spector was an American musician and record producer known for his Wall of Sound sound production.
The Wall of Sound was a very dense sound with little room for details of individual instruments, exemplified in recordings such as “Da Doo Ron Ron” “Be My Baby” or “Baby, I Love You”, all released in 1963.
There is a good documentary from 1982 on Phil Spector, without his cooperation , in which Albert Goldman is recorded as saying:
“Rock ‘n’ roll is basically institutionalized adolescence. And the bottom line of rock ‘n’ roll is that it’s a baby food industry and Phil found a new formula for baby food.”
I thought that was quite funny.
RIP Jon Gibson was an American musician and visual artist.
Gibson’s death happened in 2020 but I forgot to give it attention.
Maybe I did not find the right record to play with it.
Today, via The Saturn Archives, a recently discovered high quality music channel on YouTube, I give you Two Solo Pieces (1977).
The beginning is a highly accomplished drone piece. The end is a piece with gamelan echoes.
MF Doom was a British-born American rapper. He died two months ago, but news came out only recently.
Like Sun Ra, who he sampled more than once, MF Doom builds his own universe. It is not difficult to see how he influenced Tyler, the Creator, another voice in hip hop I appreciate.
Like Buckethead, MF Doom wore a mask during concerts.
Stanley Cowell (1941 – 2020) was an American jazz pianist and co-founder of Strata-East Records.
Strata-East Records first gained notoriety outside the world of jazz after the British label Soul Jazz Records put out three anthologies of their recordings in the 1994-1997 period.
I give you “Travelin’ Man” (1974) in its first version.
Has anyone besides me noticed the likeness to “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes?
Harold Budd was an American composer working primarily in ambient music.
His two collaborations with Brian Eno, 1980’s The Plateaux of Mirror and 1984’s The Pearl, established his trademark atmospheric piano style.
Update: it took a Facebook comment of David Toop to bring Budd’s best work to my attention:”Bismillahi ‘Rrahman’ Rrahim” (1975):
Budd’s track on the Marion Brown Vista album:
and Budd’s own recording of that track on The Pavillion of Dreams.
Howard Wales was a keyboardist best known for his collaborations with Jerry Garcia in the early 1970s.
However, solo, he produced little gems such as this “Rendez-Vous With The Sun, Part. 2” on his album of almost the same name in 1976.
The tracks is also included in DJ Harvey’s cult mix “Sarcastic Disco Volume 2” which you will find on Soundcloud.
RIP and thank you for the music.