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The Elmo Hope Trio with Frank Butler and Jimmy Bond on HIFI Records (1960) Here’s Barfly.
Pianist and composer Elmo Hope’s music might best be compared with that of Herbie Nichols. Both men shared some of Bud Powell’s intensity, Thelonious Monk’s inventive whimsy and, at times, hints of young Cecil Taylor’s realistic approach to the impossible. Over the years, both Nichols and Hope have achieved posthumous respect from an international jazz community which is itself marginalized. While Herbie Nichols could be said to have been ignored to death, Elmo Hope’s life and work were grievously complicated and ultimately extinguished (in 1967 at the age of 44) by the same narcotic plague that afflicted so many of his contemporaries.
Born in 1923, St. Elmo Sylvester Hope was the son of West Indian immigrants who settled in New York. He grew up with Bud Powell, studying J.S. Bach and dreaming of new concepts in modern music. Hope’s first recordings were with trumpeter Joe Morris, whose little R&B band boasted such innovative young minds as Johnny Griffin, Percy Heath and Philly Joe Jones. When in 1953 Alfred Lion gave Hope his first opportunity to record as a leader, he chose Heath and Jones to catalyze the eight tracks issued on New Faces, New Sounds.
Even as some of his music rippled with the restless energy of Herbie Nichols, Hope also made a point of composing and performing ritualistic reveries of profound and breathtaking slowness, sometimes drifting into a trance-like space where the listener may follow in order to contemplate the mysteries of life and death, of creativity and collective improvisation. Like Herbie Nichols, Elmo Hope imprinted everything he wrote and played with an indelibly personalized, harmonically advanced language. (AllMusic)
A rare EP that was only released in Sweden which features the extremely in-demand northern soul / new breed r&b / mod dancer “I Changed My Mind Jack” by Jo Ann Campbell. One of the hottest floor fillers around. Another answer song to Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road, Jack” Juke Box Records (1962)
Allen Ginsberg Reads Kaddish A 20th Centutry American Ecstatic Narrative Poem Atlantic Records Verbum Series (1966) Front Cover shot by Richard Avedon Back cover is some of Ginsberg’s handwritten manuscript of “Kaddish” and features a photograph of the poet with his mother at the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Two-page statement by Ginsberg entitled: “How Kaddish Happened” printed inside gatefold sleeve. Ginsberg wrote the poem about his mother Naomi after her death in 1956, who struggled with mental problems throughout her life. Naomi suffered many psychotic episodes both before Allen was born and while he was growing up. She went in and out of mental hospitals and was treated with medication, insulin shock therapy, and electroshock therapy. She died in an asylum in 1956.
The title Kaddish refers to the mourning prayer or blessing in Judaism. This long poem was Ginsberg’s attempt to mourn his mother, Naomi, but also reflects his sense of loss at his estrangement from his born religion. The traditional Kaddish contains no references to death, whereas Ginsberg’s poem is riddled with thoughts and questionings of death. After her death, a rabbi would not allow the traditional Kaddish to be read with Ginsberg’s Christian and Atheist friends, so he rebelled and wrote a Kaddish of his own. Ginsberg began writing the poem in the Beat Hotel in Paris in December 1957 and completed it in New York in 1959.
Below is an advert for the album.
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup Delmark Records “Look On Yonder’s Wall, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane” (1969). The human voice has rarely been as movingly rich as that of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup nor has the human experience been so thoroughly mirrored as in the simple blues poetry of this big and gentle man from Mississippi. Some have commented that Crudup’s voice sounds similar to that of Elvis Presley but the truth is the other way around; Crudup wrote several of Presley’s hits and seems to have been an early Presley idol. – Delmark Records His last few gigs were with Bonnie Raitt. He passed away in 1974. You can see here in the design, the melding of blues legends into popular music and the youth culture of the sixties.