Posts Tagged ‘Willie Colon’

Weekend Playlist

9 May 2011

“The easiest way to get laid by a girl, or get rid of her, is to write a song about her.” ~ David Crosby


Fleet Foxes | Helplessness Blues


Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young | So Far


Lou Donaldson | Gravy Train


Dizzy Reece | Star Bright


Alice Cooper | Love It To Death


Paul Siebel | Woodsmoke and Oranges


Pink Floyd | Meddle


Kid Cudi | Man On The Moon: The End Of Day


Talking Heads | The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads


Various Artists | The Anthology Of American Folk Music, Volume Three: Songs


Freddie Roach | Good Move!


Various Artists | Latin Funk Flavas


Willie Colon | Cosa Nuestra


Santana | Abraxas


Various Monks | A Treasury Of Gregorian Chants


Various Artists | Fania DJ Series: Gilles Peterson


The Jazz Messengers | At Cafe Bohemia Volume 2


Curtis Fuller | New Trombone


Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers | Rare Bird Alert


Muse | Black Holes and Revelations

Weekend Playlist

24 August 2009

“Our music is red – with purple flashes.” ~ Eddie Fisher of The Creation

Bettye Swann | Bettye Swann (1968-1970)
Bettye Swann | Bettye Swann (1968-1970)

Eric Clapton | circa 2004
Eric Clapton | Crossroads Guitar Festival – Dallas, TX – 6/6/04
[Album cover not pictured]

Eric Clapton | Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert
Eric Clapton | Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert

Various Artists | Latin Funk Flavas
Various Artists | Latin Funk Flavas

Pink Floyd | Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Pink Floyd | Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

Muddy Waters | At Newport 1960
Muddy Waters | At Newport 1960

Tosca | J.A.C.
Tosca | J.A.C.

Furry Lewis | Shake 'Em On Down
Furry Lewis | Shake ‘Em On Down

Bar-Kays | The Best Of
Bar-Kays | The Best Of

The Beatles | The Alternate Revolver
The Beatles | The Alternate Revolver

Various Artists | Mojo presents Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers
Various Artists | Mojo presents Acid Drops, Spacedust & Flying Saucers

The Pharcyde | Cydeways: The Best Of
The Pharcyde | Cydeways: The Best Of

The Byrds | Fifth Dimension
The Byrds | Fifth Dimension

The Creation | We Are Paintermen
The Creation | We Are Paintermen

Ray Charles | Standards
Ray Charles | Standards

Whiskeytown | Faithless Street
Whiskeytown | Faithless Street

Ramones | Leave Home
Ramones | Leave Home

Willie Colon | El Malo
Willie Colon | El Malo

Jackie Mittoo | Showcase
Jackie Mittoo | Showcase

The Last Emperor | Palace Of The Pretender
The Last Emperor | Palace Of The Pretender

Bob Dylan | Modern Times
Bob Dylan | Modern Times

Fear | The Record
Fear | The Record

Wynton Marsalis | Baroque Music For Trumpets
Wynton Marsalis | Baroque Music For Trumpets

Nitin Sawhney | Prophesy
Nitin Sawhney | Prophesy

Thievery Corporation | DJ Kicks
Thievery Corporation | DJ Kicks

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Weekend Playlist

13 April 2009

Yesterday marked the 2nd anniversary of this blog, and while I’d planned to do a retrospective of some of my favorite and least favorite posts, I instead spent the day getting pummeled by the tax man. But the P and I still found time to run through a healthy pile of records. Here’s some of what we heard…

Ten Years After | A Space In Time
Ten Years After | A Space In Time

Beastie Boys | To The Five Boroughs
Beastie Boys | To The Five Boroughs

Black Keys | Chulahoma
Black Keys | Chulahoma

PJ Harvey | Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
PJ Harvey | Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea

Les Claypool & The Holy Mackerel | Highball With The Devil
Les Claypool & The Holy Mackerel | Highball With The Devil

Beck | Odelay
Beck | Odelay

Ween | Quebec
Ween | Quebec

Prince | Purple Rain
Prince | Purple Rain

Stevie Ray Vaughan | In Step
Stevie Ray Vaughan | In Step

Tony Rice | Plays And Sings Bluegrass
Tony Rice | Plays And Sings Bluegrass

Various Artists | New Order: Back To Mine
Various Artists | New Order: Back To Mine

Josh Ritter | The Historical Conquests Of
Josh RItter | The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter

Max Romeo & The Upsetters | War Ina Babylon
Max Romeo | War Ina Babylon

Tricky | Maxinquaye
Tricky | Maxinquaye

John Lee Hooker | Free Beer And Chicken
John Lee Hooker | Free Beer And Chicken

Various Artists | Night Train To Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues 1945-1970
Various Artists | Night Train To Nashville

Tony Joe White | The Train I'm On
Tony Joe White | The Train I’m On

Abyssinians | Satta Massagana
Abyssinians | Satta Massagana

Toots & The Maytals | Live
Toots & The Maytals | Live

Willie Colon | Cosa Nuestra
Willie Colon | Cosa Nuestra

Lil' Wayne | Tha Carter III
Lil’ Wayne | Tha Carter III

Jungle Brothers | Done By The Forces Of Nature
Jungle Brothers | Done By The Forces Of Nature

Willie Nelson | What A Wonderful World
Willie Nelson | What A Wonderful World

Taj Mahal | Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal | Taj Mahal

Charlie Musselwhite | Goin' Back Down South
Charlie Musselwhite | Goin’ Back Down South

Son House | Father Of The Folk Blues
Son House | Father Of The Folk Blues

Robert Nighthawk | Bricks In My Pillow
Robert Nighthawk | Bricks In My Pillow

Weekend Playlist

29 September 2008


The Rolling Stones | Hot Rocks 1964-1971


ZZ Top | Deguello


Mandrill | Composite Truth


Miles Davis | Bitches Brew


Mark Lanegan Band | Bubblegum


Fred Neil | Other Side Of This Life


Willie Colon | El Juicio


Santana | Abraxas


Beck | Mutations


Johnny Winter | Johnny Winter


Moby Grape | 20 Granite Creek


Tom Waits | Nighthawks At The Diner


Howlin’ Wolf | Moanin’ In The Moonlight


Fleetwood Mac | Then Play On


Small Faces | The First Step


The Black Keys | Chulahoma


Various Artists | World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love’s A Real Thing


Lee Morgan | Lee Morgan

Weekend Playlist

8 September 2008

Here are a dozen albums that hit my turntable over the weekend.

It was extremely HOT in the Bay Area both Friday and Saturday, so that affected the choices to some degree.

I’m often asked about what I’ve been listening to lately. Here’s a partial answer…


The Stooges | Fun House



Neil Young | Decade and On The Beach


My Morning Jacket | It Still Moves


Fleet Foxes | Fleet Foxes


Sweet | Desolation Boulevard


The Soft Boys | Underwater Moonlight


Willie Colon | Cosa Nuestra


Traffic | The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys


Earl Hooker | Sweet Black Angel


The Black Crowes | Warpaint


Fairport Convention | Unhalfbricking


Tosca | Suzuki

*****

QUESTION: What was on your playlist this weekend?

The P Habla: Across the Border

15 January 2008

Three Amigos

Zihuatanejo

dk and the P snuck across the border for a couple of days to attend a wedding in the lovely town of Zihuatanejo. One thing I love about Mexico is the music everywhere… from boom boxes to strolling mariachis to restaurants with tiny little stages. One of my favorite memories from camping trips in remote bays in Baja is the early morning sounds of fishermen out on the water, singing to themselves and their catch as they place their nets.

Zihautanejo is a sleepy town on Mexico’s pacific coast, with a well-protected bay and a couple of lovely beaches. We stayed up a hill, looking over the bay, with the sounds of wild parrots, geckos and Mexican radio swirling around us. In our wanderings around town, music was a constant companion on the streets. Walking through town one day, the strains of Willie Colon’s El Malo flowed out over a courtyard wall and drew us into what turned out to be a fantastic restaurant. Not bad for a trombonist from the Bronx!

This is not a town of big stages or fanfare, but of street music and simple melodies. My favorite memory of this trip reflects the basic rhythm of life in a Mexican beach town: the nighttime sounds of music floating over waves and water.

+++++

During our first evening in town we met a professor who teaches a class on the history of rock and roll at a Bay Area college. (No joke!) His focus: Rock and Roll music from its inception in the mid 40’s through the punk movement of the late 70’s and beyond. [Is this really a class? For credit? Sign me up!]

And as if on cue, we flew home sitting just a few rows behind a bona fide rock star, named after a pesky insect, who once posed naked with his bandmates on the cover of Rolling Stone. [Professor, I think this warrants extra credit...]

Buried Treasure: Cosa Nuestra

4 September 2007

[Today: Hot salsa and graphic art...]

Cosa Nuestra - album

Gangster to its core, the cover image of Cosa Nuestra is too good to ignore. It features Willie Colon standing over a prone body that has been wrapped in carpet and anchored to a rock. Colon holds his hat over his heart, as if he’s truly sorry for what has transpired, and wields his trombone case as a gangster would a machine gun. For an album released in 1969, it cannily anticipated the gangsta rap movement by a good twenty years, as well as the popularity of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather movies. Shot in the shadow of the Brooklyn bridge, it’s a quintessentially New York photo that would inspire a Wal-Mart embargo if it were released today.

Fortunately, the music is just as bold as the cover art. Colon and Eric Matos spar on trombone, pushing their instruments beyond the edge of distortion, while singer Hector LaVoe spins tales of unrequited love and the pain of betrayal. Album opener ‘Che Che Cole’ was a big hit that helped launch Colon and company to a higher level of prominence within the New York club circuit. Cosa Nuestra was followed by popular albums such as La Gran Fuga (1970) and El Juicio (1972) that helped define the sound of Latin music in the 1970′s and set a standard that few other Latin groups have ever approached. Unfortunately, like the poor stiff on this cover, Colon’s records have spent years submerged below the surface of public awareness, laying in wait to be discovered.

Listen: Che Che Cole

Top 10: August 2007

3 September 2007

Plenty of vacation days, lots of lazy reading, and heat without the humidity. Those were just a few of the highlights of my August. Here are ten more:

Hazlewood - album
1] Lee Hazlewood * Requiem For An Almost Lady

Hazlewood passed away on August 4th, but his music lives on…

40 Watts - book
2] Sue Carpenter * 40 Watts From Nowhere

A hilarious and revealing look at the inner workings of pirate radio. The author – my new hero – ran stations in San Francisco (KPBJ) and Los Angeles (KBLT) and she packs this slim volume with lots of anecdotes and plenty of suspense. Highly recommended.

Cosa Nuestra - album
3] Willie Colon y Hector Lavoe * Cosa Nuestra

This is the latest in a long line of Fania reissues that I’ll be buying. One of the great Salsa albums ever recorded, it features one of the coolest album covers ever.

jazz festival - photo
4] The 2007 Newport Jazz Festival

Another great jazz festival with an extra special bonus – no humidity! My special thanks to the P family for hosting, and to the town of Newport for being so easy on the eyes.

Trout Mask - book
5] Trout Mask Replica * by Kevin Courrier [33 & 1/3 series]

Big credit to the author – he took an album that’s dreadful to listen to and made a pretty fun read out of it. Dark tales of mind control, mascera snakes, and rotting carp heads make for another winner in the 33 & 1/3 series of album biographies.

Otis Redding - album
6] Otis Redding * The Best Of

A fantastic album for hot August nights. Otis simply ignites every song that he puts his voice to. Hearing his version of ‘(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ reminded me of reading that Redding’s version, with the horns, is how Keith Richards actually heard the song in his head before it was recorded, and that he preferred Redding’s version to the Stones’ own.

Max Roach - album
7] Max Roach * We Insist! Freedom Now Suite

In tribute to another fallen legend – bebop drummer Roach passed away on August 16th at age 83. Recorded in 1960 with a group that included vocalist Abbey Lincoln, Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax, Booker Little on trumpet, and many other luminaries, this meditation on freedom and equality is Roach’s masterwork.

Elvis Presley - album
8] Elvis Presley * From Vegas To Memphis

I picked up this double album for a song at the most recent flea market. It features two live concerts, one from Vegas, one from Memphis, and both from 1969. This album could have easily been included on this list, and backs up commenter Ted’s assertion that “never was a better pure rock band assembled.”

Julian Bream - album
9] Julian Bream * Baroque Guitar

Classical guitarist Bream’s baroque renditions are the perfect background music for intense work – which I have unfortunately been doing plenty of lately.

Nelson George - book
10] Nelson George * The Death Of Rhythm & Blues

Uber-critic George’s look at the history of black radio and music features plenty of great lines on early dj’s, like “When [Frankie] Crocker said, ‘Music might not heal you, baby, but it’ll help your soul. Reach over and touch your radio one time,’ speakers were fondled all over Fun City.” But this is a truly critical take on the negative toll that integration forced upon black music in the 70′s and 80′s. Worth your dime, and your time…

Top 10: June 2007

7 July 2007

Before June slips into our collective memory, let’s take a look back at a month that was hot for new music, and just plain hot. Here are some of my personal favorites:

El Malo - album
#1 Willie Colon * El Malo

This is 70′s latin funk at its finest. Colon leads an impressive band through a series of infectious, upbeat party anthems (‘Willie Whopper’ is my favorite of the moment). If El Malo is any indication, the reissues from the legendary Fania label are well packaged, loaded with great music, and worth your pocket money.

Babylon's Burning - book
#2 Babylon’s Burning * by Clinton Heylin

Heylin is one of the best music journalists in the world, so it’s a delight to see him turn his critical gaze once again towards Punk. His 2005 book From The Velvets To The Voidoids brilliantly illuminated pre-punk, and Babylon’s Burning picks up (more or less) where that book left off, tracing the rise and evolution of Punk music through the stories of the bands who made it happen. Week by week, month by month, the book draws a finely detailed account of the incubation and growth of the genre. Another platinum effort from a sterling author.

Dave Alvin - concert
#3 Dave Alvin at The Freight & Salvage * Berkeley, CA

The P and I caught Dave Alvin’s acoustic show at the Freight & Salvage last Thursday night. If you haven’t been to the F&S, it’s basically a barn in Berkeley with 220 mismatched seats – a great venue. And Alvin lit the room up. The guy is a fabulous storyteller and a magician with the guitar. He claimed to be playing a lot of stuff that he normally doesn’t get to, but he still found time for great versions of ‘King Of California’ and ’4th Of July’. Don’t miss the chance to see him live – it’s a musical experience you won’t soon forget.

Jungle Rot - album
#4 George Brigman * Jungle Rot

Temperatures have been in the 90′s in the Bay Area for the last couple of weeks – and when the thermometer’s in the red, this album is a must. I’m beginning to believe that side one of this record is flat out one of the finest album sides of the entire decade of the 70′s.

Cold War Kids - album
#5 Cold War Kids * Robbers & Cowards

Hang Me Up To Dry baby!

Spank Rock - album
#6 Spank Rock * YoYoYoYoYo

Back in December I chose YoYoYoYoYo as my 33rd best album of 2006, but if I were picking that list over again today, it would certainly make my top ten. I docked Spank Rock points for misogyny and bad language, but in hindsight, that’s a bit like penalizing a cat for having fleas. This album rips, and as I wrote back in December “the first half… is arguably the best Hip-Hop produced all year.”

Junior Wells - album
#7 Junior Wells * Blues Hit Big Town

Wells’ debut recordings from the early 50′s weren’t released until 1977 as Blues Hit Big Town. A ferocious harp player, and by all accounts one badass dude, Wells stomps and struts his way through an amazing set of songs. At various points on this record, his band includes Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Willie Dixon, and Otis Spann. But Wells is never overshadowed by his celebrated sidemen, and his raw take on the dirty Chicago Blues makes this a must-have for fans of the genre.

X - album
#8 X * Los Angeles

A great, great record. I didn’t include this in my 20 Greatest Punk Albums Of All-Time (Wild Gift got the nod) and my brother let me hear about it right away. Hey, I love this one, and it’s yet another album that is perfect for those days when the sun is hanging uncomfortably low in the sky.

Trojan Sunshine - box
#9 Various Artists * Trojan Sunshine Reggae

One more for Mr. Sun. This compilation of sunshine-oriented tracks is perfect for a hot summer day – but then, what Reggae isn’t? The latest in Trojan’s long line of super-affordable, three-disc box sets, Sunshine Reggae compiles the likes of Bob Marley, Lee Perry, and U-Roy alongside lesser know performers such as Byron Lee & The Dragonaires and Jamaica Duke. If you love Reggae and don’t know about this series of compilations, do yourself a favor…

Mix-Up - album
#10 Beastie Boys * The Mix-Up

The key to getting your money’s worth from the Beasties’ new instrumentals-only album is to forget who’s playing and just enjoy the music. Does this hold up to their best albums? Not a chance – this is lightweight funk that probably doesn’t even equal their instrumentals compilation The In Sound From Way Out. But is this a funky fun album that makes great background music? Absolutely. As my friend Kevin so eloquently put it, this is fresh muzak.

Random Propaganda V

22 June 2007

A random sampling of the stuff that has been moving me lately:

ickythump.jpg
The White Stripes * Icky Thump

If the Stripes’ last album Get Behind Me Satan was a discreet remodeling of their sound – with marimba and piano prominently added – then Icky Thump is a complete demolition and rebuild. None of the songs follow the typical verse/chorus/verse structure, making them unlikely candidates to get sung around a bonfire anytime soon. Many descend into some form of jovial chaos. But this isn’t a thumbs down by any means – if any modern group deserves the extra leash to do something that sounds like the Faces on acid, it’s Jack and Meg.

We Got The Neutron Bomb - book
We Got The Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story Of L.A. Punk * by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen

The late 70′s LA punks were overshadowed by their New York counterparts, mostly because they were a few years behind the NYC punk movement. But as the folks featured in We Got The Neutron Bomb will tell you, Los Angeles had its share of scary punks, great bands, and unbelievable stories. Told through a series of first person quotes (just like Please Kill Me did for the CBGBs crew) it is alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, a fine document of a time and place gone by.

Hip-Hop Essentials - box set
Various Artists * Tommy Boy presents Hip-Hop Essentials

This 12-disc box is a splurge (it’ll cost you a Benjamin) but it’s an instant primer on the genre, and has everything you need to fill out the old skool section of your collection.

Iggy '88 - album
Iggy Pop * Live At The Channel 7/19/88

Iggy Pop made some really abominable albums during the 80′s, but Live At The Channel proves that he remained a ferocious live performer. “I’m really thankful you showed up. We’re gonna try to work real hard for you and rock it straight, no bullshit.” Opening with red hot versions of ‘Instinct’ ‘Kill City’ and ’1969′, it’s a great show that mixes old Stooges with new Pop and delivers on Iggy’s between-songs boast. AllMusic.com inexplicably (literally without explanation) gave this two stars. Don’t believe it – this is a must for those inclined toward Stoogery.

El Malo - album
Willie Colon * El Malo

Fania records was founded and based in New York City and controlled the Latin music market for all of the 1970′s. Label founder Jerry Masucci passed away in 1997, and last year Fania’s back catalogue was sold to Emusica, who has begun to reissue a good number of those albums. If Willie Colon’s El Malo is any indication, there are plenty of treasures to be found under the Fania umbrella. A trombone player and band leader, Colon and pals cook through a series of uptempo barrio symphonies that will have you shaking your hips like you’ve had five tequilas. Brilliant.

2K6 The Tracks - album
Various Artists * 2K6 (The Tracks)

It sounds unlikely, but this soundtrack to the NBA 2K6 video game has hops. Featuring a dream team of Lyrics Born, Redman, Blackalicious, Ghostface, The Roots, Aceyalone, Common, and others rappin about hoopin, it’s a can’t miss winner that somehow fell through the cracks. Oh yeah, probably because it’s the soundtrack to a video game…

Jamaican E.T. - album
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry * Jamaican E.T.

Lee Perry’s driving, rhythmic creations have always been futuristic, but on Jamaican E.T. he’s finally caught up to the present. This self-produced sound spectacular is one of the best contemporary (2002) examples of Scratch’s genius, and actually won the 2003 Grammy for best Reggae album. The Grammy’s have about as much panache in award circles as Publisher’s Clearinghouse, but at least they got this one right.

Arctic Monkeys - album
Arctic Monkeys * Favourite Worst Nightmare

There have been a series of debut albums over the last few years (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Kasabian, and The Magic Numbers, to name three) that have been so good that they’ve scared me away from their follow-ups for fear of a big time letdown. No such worries here – if anything Favourite Worst Nightmare rocks harder and grooves tighter than last year’s sterling debut. The Monkeys sound like a good bet to slip the sophomore jinx.

porcupinetree.jpg
Porcupine Tree * Fear Of A Blank Planet

There’s a small neighborhood where the hardest edge of Radiohead meets the softest edge of A Perfect Circle. Porcupine Tree not only live in that hood, they run it like the Irish mafia. Fear Of A Blank Planet is a loose concept album about a rudderless generation consumed by video games, virtual stimuli, and utter boredom (sounds totally unrealistic to me) and to my ears it’s one of the very best of 2007. If you have any affinity for the longer, spacier Pink Floyd tracks (like ‘Welcome To The Machine’) then this one’s for you.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers