Beyond Genre: Berklee Indian Ensemble’s World Music, Rhythm & Blues Goes Rock and Roll, More



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eleven years later Professor Annette Philippe give birth to Berklee’s Indian Sethis shuruaat The beginnings are, in a word, fascinating. After more than 255 million views of their videos, says Philip, “there is a unique power when musicians from different cultural and musical backgrounds make art together with vulnerability and openness in a space that celebrates their similarities.” and differences.” Thus, shuruaat (Hindi for beginning) features players from India, Jordan, Israel, Nigeria, Indonesia, Norway and the United States. Sound cannot be properly described. It is not one genre and all genres. It’s propulsive, percussive, action-packed, melodic, and as catchy and accessible as a pop radio hit demanding to be heard. And you can dance to it.

Billy Abercrombie and Fitch

So this cat Billy Abercrombie and Fitch was apparently a big badass in his time and that’s why we love Bear Family Records, the German label that takes so many forgotten American pioneers, resurrects them from under the dustbin of history and returns them to their former glory. Dwight Yoakam and Marty Stuart taught us that the true unvarnished mountain music is actually cool, not a degrading epithet to call it, more of a badge of honor. White Soul! (Let’s not forget that when Elvis was changing the world, he was called “The Hillbilly Cat.”)
Cadillac in “A” model: I’m gonna rock that cabin tonight by Billy Jack Wills, originally from Memphis, is a stone keeper. Billy Jack was 20 years younger than his legendary brother Bob “The King of Western Swing” Wills who set him up as a part-time bassist and drummer for his Texas Playboys before sending him west to California to run the Wills Point Club in Sacramento. So Billy Jack goes off and forms a house band so tough and in your face that they become one of the hottest bands of the 1940s and early 50s. They had the wildest backbeat in all of country music. They could swing powerfully. They could do bop, go for a ride, they improvised in the jam-band style, they were even inspired by Hawaiian music. They quit right before rockin’ and rollin’ since there was nothing like it back then…but you’d find it hard to believe that listening to these 31 tracks, especially “Good Rockin’ Tonight”, “Crazy Man Crazy”, “All She Wants To Rock” and “C-Jam Blues”.


Drummer alert! You just heard Disturbance! The voice of the drums (Australia’s Earshift Music) by Jeremy Rose & The Earshift Orchestra with Simon Barker and Chloe Kim. It’s wild, wide-ranging music for tenor sax, bass clarinet, synthesizer, bass, guitar, keyboards, trumpet and, most importantly, two action-packed solo drummers. The musical arrangements around the drummers Barker and Kim emphasize their percussion instead of the other way around. Rose, who is a woodwind specialist, composer, bandleader, label manager and festival organizer, explains: “To Disturbance, the drum parts became the foreground with the other instruments moving in and out of focus. By turns Prog-Rock, Jazz-Fusion and soundtrack music, it’s an instrumental merry-go-round of monumental proportions.

R&B becomes R&R 1

Rhythm & Blues goes Rock’n’Roll (Atomicat Records) is jam-packed with 28 heart-pounding tracks of pre-1964 pop, featuring white Americans, Australians and Canadians trying their hand at black hits. While it instantly conjures up nightmarish visions of the dreadful Pat Boone having greater success with “Tutti Frutti” than Little Richard, there’s no such profanity here. Buddy Holly nails Little Richard’s “Ready Teddy.” Holly also has hiccups in Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “My Baby Left Me”. Elvis covers The Shirelles and Ray Charles (just like Jerry Lee Lewis with “Hit The Road, Jack”). Conway Twitter says Chuck Berry. The Johnny Burnette Trio covers “The Train Kept A’Rollin'” (originally recorded by Tiny Bradshaw in 1951). Ronnie Hawkins does “My Girl Is Red Hot” (First written and recorded by Billy “The Kid” Emerson after leaving Ike Turner’s Kings Of Rhythm.)
And don’t look now, but there are four more volumes to come.

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