By Gene Santoro
As track columnist for The Nation, Gene Santoro has proven himself as a big new severe voice, in a position to write good on a large spectrum of well known track and jazz with out wasting contact with the innovative of today's tune scene. approximately Nat "King" Cole, Santoro reviews: "adjectives can't describe the swinging, ingratiating self-confidence laced with tenderness that shades Nat "King" Cole's making a song. His baritone/tenor is so ethereal and elemental, so palpably actual, it invitations you in, then surrounds you glowingly..." And at the hugely winning rock band dwelling color, Santoro isn't any much less evocative: "hardcore steel raveups slam into bluesy ballads and psychedelicized pop, lilting Caribbean inflections collide with hiphop scrambles of prerecorded fabric and touches of funk."
Dancing on your Head gathers Santoro's liveliest experiences and essays for the 1st time, introducing a clean and provocative viewpoint on a number of many years of musicians and their paintings. Santoro covers a large musical vista, from the mythical blues singer Robert Johnson to Public Enemy's debatable rap lyrics, from the lengthy working conflict among blues and African American gospel to the rock iconoclast Neil younger, from the nice James Brown to George Hay, the founding father of the Grand Ole Opry. Documenting the evolution of jazz, rock and roll, and rap, Santoro's observations are incisive, sincere, and reflective. Of his early publicity to Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Bela Bartok, Santoro feedback, "That experience of ask yourself and discovery is what occurs whilst you've been hit by way of art's fast vatic strength. It hasn't ever left me, has been touched and renewed via each one stumble upon I've valued." Santoro examines the endurance of track legends Lou Reed, Eric Clapton, the thankful lifeless, and sunlight Ra, the freewheeling jazz artist who prefers to name himself a tone artist instead of a musician. targeted highlights contain numerous items on Miles Davis; e-book reports, together with one on Gunther Schuller's two-volume History of Jazz; a full of life and certain profile of the Neville Brothers; and a dialogue of jazz nice Ornette Coleman that compares him to Orson Welles and Charles Ives.
Taken jointly the items in Dancing on your Head research the historic roots of today's renowned tune whereas delivering perception into performers and tendencies that dominate the present scene. Balancing a serious and old sensibility with an unharnessed enthusiasm for all varieties of song, Santoro is a perfect advisor to the previous and new.
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Additional resources for Dancing in Your Head: Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Beyond
So he called Hi's owner Joe Cuoghi to tell him he was bringing Green back to Memphis. After a lot of coaxing, Green bounced along on the hump of Mitchell's band van for the several-hundred-mile ride. Time and conversation—and the fact that Mitchell loaned him $1500 to pay off Grand Rapids bills—convinced him this was the right road. " But Green had been writing songs, and obsessing on one in particular, for years. ' So everybody says, 'Yeah, right, right (laughs). Maybe we could cut . . Let me see.
The Travelers were massively influenced, as were many, by the Harris-era Soul Stirrers, but that doesn't diminish their yearning musicality. The next decade saw the triumph of "hard gospel" quartets like the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama, whose appearance a few years back in the wonderful Greek-tragedy-goes-gospel Oedipus at Colonnus stopped the show. Lead vocalist Clarence Fountain is an incandescently ragged stylist who incarnates the physical growling and piercing screams of this period on Oh Lord—Stand by Me/Marching up to Zion (Specialty).
That's the bottom line. With Uptown, the bottom line may meet the Nevilles' second line for the first time. The Nevilles have, with this LP, ventured into the mainstream realms of synthesizer-driven pop. The very notion may horrify their longtime fans, even before they've heard the disk itself. But remember, after all, that Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and other Crescent City innovators—including the Neville Brothers—never intended their music to be a fossilized art form. For the Nevilles' story is the tale of a way of life and of the city in which that lifestyle flourishes, a New Orleans which tourists catch a glimpse of once a year at Mardi Gras, far from the riverboats and picturesque French quarter and the Superdome.