Yaala Yaala RecordsPlaylist for
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
October 25, 2007

Hosted by Greg Lyon on Thursdays at 2-4 pm
on WPVM Asheville (103.5 FM and www.wpvm.org)

This show is available for listening as an archive for one week after its airing at WPVM’s Archive Page (click on the STREAM button for this show–under the letter ‘G’)


Into the Hot was the 1961 follow-up to Gil Evans’ 1960 great post-Miles-Davis album Out of the Cool. But it’s not clear that Gil Evans had much of anything to do with this one. Instead, it’s trumpeter/composer/arranger Johnny Carisi who’s in charge–on at least half of the album. The other half might as well be a Cecil Taylor Septet record, as it’s them (including Henry Grimes, Jimmy Lyons, Ted Curson, Roswell Rudd, Archie Shepp, and Sunny Murray!!!) performing Cecil Taylor compositions. Very strange. I guess we have to give Evans credit for bringing this thing together, but I don’t get it. There must be a story behind this, but I couldn’t find it.

— My biggest revelation of the week was the Mark Stewart and Maffia cut I played, "Liberty City," from the 1983 album Learning to Cope with Cowardice. Stewart had been the frontman for the fiercely political and noisy post-punk band The Pop Group, and then he joined Adrian Sherwood’s New Age Steppers project, before recording this, his first solo effort. I’ve always been skeptical of the British white guys doing dub thing (don’t really care for that period of the Clash, for example), but maybe all my recent listening to real dub has triggered a swtich in my brain to allow me to dig this stuff too. Regardless of how it happened, I really dug this cut. It’s rather gratifying to discover that a record you’ve owned for years and years and never really paid attention to is actually great. Now I guess I have to pick up those New Age Steppers records somewhere (what a terrible band name). Click on the album cover to go to a nice Mark Stewart & Maffia website.

— I continued to be bowled over by the African stuff coming out on Yaala Yaala records. Here’s a great post about the Pekos / Yoro Diallo release from one of my favorite blogs, Outer Space Gamelan. It would seem that Pekos and Yoro Diallo are the artists who collaborated on the cassette from which this CD was compiled, but there is no information about them. I don’t know how I feel about this, really. Jack Carneal, the guy behind Yaala Yaala, lived in Mali for years, and that’s when he picked up this stuff, and although I take his word that finding out more about these griots is difficult going, they must have an audience if they’re having cassettes sold in their names, and one would also think they play live at times. My point is: there should be more info on these amazing artists, and the excuses for not having it probably have more to do with lack of linguistic and investigative acumen than with a west African cultural aversion to "verification," as Carneal reports in the sorry excuse for notes that comes with the CD. That said, I’m incredibly grateful to Carneal (and likewise to his friends at another label, Sublime Frequencies, for that matter) for making it possible for me to listen to this music. Very grateful indeed.

— I finished the show with a track from one of the best big band collections I own, Chick Webb 1929-1934 on Classics Records. Because he died in 1939 at the age of 30, Webb tends to be overlooked when discussing the big band greats. Too bad. He’s the guy who gave a teenaged Ella Fitzgerald her first big break, and his drumming was always ace, despite suffering a hunchback because of congenital tuberculosis of the spine. Chick Webb rocked.

Background Music: Gil Evans – Into the Hot (Impulse)

Artist Song Album Label Comments New
Gil Evans Orchestra Pots Into the Hot Impulse Cecil Taylor composition  
Steve Lacy – Roswell Rudd Quartet The Bath Early and Late Cuneiform Amsterdam, June 1999 *
Old Time Relijun The Tighest Cage Catharsis in Crisis K still diggin’ this new one *
Mark Stewart & Maffia Liberty City Learning to Cope with Cowardice On-U More brilliant that I remembered.  
Pekos / Yoro Diallo Track 1 s/t Yaala Yaala Everything on Yaala Yaala I’ve heard has been revelatory *
Chicago Afrobeat Project bscg2 (A) Move to Silent Unrest s/r Surpisingly good afrobeat *
Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers Buster’s Boogie Natural Boogie Alligator most distinctive fuzz guitar in blues history?  
Roger Petway Catfish Blues Last Kind Words Mississippi compilation LP, a birthday gift from my friend Nick, who’s the best  
Dock Boggs Pretty Polly His Folkways Years 1963-1968 Smithsonian Folkways Don’t underestimate the later Boggs recordings!  
Magik Markers Body Rot Boss Ecstatic Peace! Very Sonic Youth *
Health Ticeratops s/t Lovepump United L.A. post-punk *
The Seeds You Can’t Be Trusted s/t GNP Crescendo L.A. pre-punk (1966)  
Les Savy Fav Raging in the Plague Age Let’s Stay Friends French Kiss medieval post-punk *
The Undertones Hypnotised Hypnotised Sire 2nd album, 1980.  
The Mice Felicia For Almost Ever Scooter Scat 1985 Cleveland gem  
Robert Pollard Count Us In Coast to Coast Carpet of Love Merge from one of two new releases *
MV & EE with the Golden Road Mama My Gettin’ Gone Ecstatic Peace! Matt Valentine couldn’t sound more like Neil Young *
Mono Memorie dal futuro Gone: A Collection of EPs 2000-2007 Temporary Residence Japanese instrumental indie rock, recorded by Steve Albini *
The Go-Betweens Twin Layers of Lightning Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express Beggars Banquet 4th album, 1986. Song has gorgeous vibraphone  
Chick Webb I Can’t Dance I Got Ants in My Pants 1929-1934 Classics too often overlooked, one of the biggest bandleaders of the big band era (even if he was a small guy)  

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