Archive for Berlin

Wilson Pickett 1973 / Bo Diddley 1975

Posted in Bo Diddley, R'n'B, Soul, Uncategorized, Wilson Pickett with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2016 by crownpropeller

Edwin Starr (left) and Wilson Pickett at Jazz Festival Montreux, 1973-

Hey People, it’s summer!

You need hot music! Wait, here its is:

Twenty minutes of Wilson Pickett at the Jazz Festival Montreux in 1973 featuring a guest appearance by Edwin Starr (of “War” fame), taken from a VHS cassette  in the Otto Flückiger collection. In spite of Pickett’s pleading, no Rolling Stone appears (I am not missing them). If you recognize any of the band members, please let me know.

And here’s another one:

Bo Diddley playing his signature tune “Bo Diddley” at the Philharmonie in Berlin during the “Rhythm & Blues: Roots of Rock” show of Berliner Jazztage sometime in early November 1975. (Look  here for a (german language) article dated November 7 – though it’s not clear whether this is the date of the concert or the date of publication)

Besides Bo we have Johnny Guitar Watson (guitar), James Booker (piano), Gene “Mighty Flea” Conners (trombone, tambourine), Preston Love (tenor sax), Jimmie Lee Robinson (bass), Panama Francis (drums). Thanks to David Blakey for identifying the band members (see comment section)!


“Battle Of The Big Horns”: Payne / Cuber / Brignola / Johnson

Posted in Cecil Payne, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2013 by crownpropeller

I was hesitating to put these clips up on youtube, since they have a severe tracking problem that could not be resolved. Then again who can resist the massive sound of three or even four baritone saxophonist played in line? I can’t.  And the tracking problem, although it never altogether disappears, gets better after a while.

Apparently the people behind the Berlin Jazz Festival could not come up with a more imaginative title when they invited Cecil Payne, Nick Brignola and Ronnie Cuber in 1985 to do a “Battle Of The Big Horns”.  Of course this is not about a “Battle”, but about the opportunity to listen to three very fine exponents of the baritone saxophone at great length. So here are: Nick Brignola, Cecil Payne, Ronnie Cuber (bar); Junior Mance (p); Rufus Reid (b); Walter Bolden (dr) Ray Barretto (congas) in Berlin on November 1, 1985:

The second part sees Howard Johnson added to the baritone front line:


P.S.: Now I know where a part of this clip comes from.

Arthur Blythe 4: Berlin 1980

Posted in Abdul Wadud, Arthur Blythe, clips, jazz with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2012 by crownpropeller

One of the musicians I must have seen playing most often in the late 1980s and early 1990s must be alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe – although I never saw him with one of his own groups.

Instead I heard Blythe several times with Roots, the “In The Tradition” band of Sam Rivers, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Nathan Davis, Don Pullen, Santi Debriano and Idris Muhamad which did the european festival circuit for a while. And I remember at least three concerts by The Leaders, the band that consisted of Don Cherry (later replaced by Lester Bowie), Blythe, Chico Freeman again, Don Pullen (later replaced by Kirk Lightsey), Cecil McBee and Don Moye.

A few years earlier Blythe had almost become a star when Columbia Records gave him a contract hoping that Arthur Blythe’s intelligent and deeply emotional handling of the whole alto sax history with his way of playing that is ornamental, biting and hard hitting all at the same time might have some sort of mass appeal – which it unfortunately did not have.

Over his long career Blythe has again and again worked (and still does) with tuba player Bob Stewart, with which Blythe also recorded (together with percussionist Ahkmed Abdullah) the LP Bush Baby in 1977, one of my favorite Blythe LPs:

Blythe’s abstractions and Stewarts funky, earthy bass lines always make a great combination. So I was really amazed to find on one of Otto Flückiger’s old VHS cassettes more than fifty minutes  of a concert the Arthur Blythe Quartet played at the Jazzfestival Berlin on November 1st, 1980. This is one of the classic Blythe groups from that time featuring besides Blythe and Stewart cellist Abdul Wadud and drummer Bobby Battle. They are playing:

Miss Nancy
Bush Baby

The last track is unfortunately not complete on the source tape, so I had to fade out during the drum solo (it just goes on for a few seconds). After that band also played Down San Diego Way and Break Tune. Maybe they will turn up on another VHS tape one day? Until then:


P.S.: And now a personal ad, directed to those living in Berlin: On tuesday October 23rd 2012 I’ll be spinning the wax at the Club Monarch, after the reading performance by the Verbrecherversammlung at Skalitzerstrasse 134. So if you are in the mood for some jump, jazz and jive,, I’ll be glad to see you!