‘El Derecho De Vivir En Paz’ Gives Voice To Protesters In Chile

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Chilean singer-songwriter Víctor Jara is depicted on the guitar of a protester in Santiago. Jara’s song, “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” was sung by a crowd of demonstrators on October 25, 2019.

Pablo Vera/AFP via Getty Images

 

Massive anti-government protests in Chile over the past few weeks have united demonstrators in song. Last week, up to a million people protesting in Santiago were joined by a cavalry of guitarists. They played a song called “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz,” which once stood as an anthem for resistance against the brutal regime of Augusto Pinochet that began in 1973.

Written by Chilean composer and singer-songwriter Víctor Jara, “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” — translated as “The Right to Live in Peace” — was originally a tribute to Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Jara, an outspoken political activist, was imprisoned by the Chilean military during Pinochet’s dictatorship, and his song quickly became a protest anthem after Jara was assassinated on Pinochet’s orders. Pop star Francisca Valenzuela says Jara is an icon who put his voice to the service of his fellow Chileans, calling him “a beacon of hope and resistance.”

Valenzuela is among 30 Chilean artists — including singers Mon Laferte, Gepe, Camila Moreno, rapper Pedropiedra, and rocker Fernando Milagros — who collaborated on a new recording of “El Derecho de Vivir en Paz” that was released earlier this week.

Part of this new rendition references “el Nuevo Pacto Social,” or the new social agreement, adding lyrics that correspond to the specific requests of protesters: “Dignidad y educación / Que no haya desigualdad.” (“Dignity and education / So that there is no inequality.”)

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Van Morrison announces new album Three Chords and the Truth, shares “Dark Night of the Soul” ~ Consequence of Sound

One of rock music’s most legendary quotations is by one Harlan Howard, a songwriter who wrote many hits for country singers like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles among many others. His quote was, ‘All you need to write a country song is three chords and the truth”

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Ben KayeSir Van Morrison has announced a new album, Three Chords and the Truth, and shared its lead single, “Dark Night of the Soul”.

Due out October 25th via Exile/Caroline International, the new LP marks Morrison’s 41st record overall and sixth in just the last four years. It’s follows 2018’s The Prophet Speak and You’re Driving Me Crazy, his collaborative effort with jazz musician Joey DeFrancesco.

Morrison produced and wrote all the tracks himself, save for “If We Wait for Mountains”, which was co-written with Don Black. Guitarist Jay Berliner, who played on the classic Astral Weeks, contributed to the sessions, while The Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley appears on the duet “Fame Will Eat the Soul”.

“Dark Night of the Soul” serves as a first listen to the 14-track collection. The song is vintage Morrison, mid-tempo and as graceful as an evening breeze. Smooth instrumentation provides a velveteen bedding for Morrison’s ageless vocals, which he really unleashes on the marathon of runs during the closing third.

Van Morrison Three Chords and the Truth

Van Morrison Previews New Album With Graceful ‘Dark Night of the Soul’

Van Morrison unveiled a tender new blues ballad “Dark Night of the Soul,” from his upcoming album, Three Chords and the Truth, out October 25th.

“Dark Night of the Soul” boasts a vintage mid-tempo groove of shuffling drums, silky guitar, rolling piano and the occasional keening organ. Morrison moves with nimble grace over these instrumentals, really showcasing his perennial vocal prowess during the final two minutes of the track, most of which he spends riffing on the titular refrain with an array of deft runs.

Morrison wrote all the tracks on Three Chords and the Truth, save for “If We Wait for Mountains,” which he co-wrote with Don Black. The album also features a duet with the Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley (“Fame Will Eat the Soul”) and contributions from guitarist Jay Berliner.

In a statement, Morrison said of making the album, “You’re just plugging into the feeling of it, more the feeling of it… when they’re playing… It’s like reading me. So, I think there’s more of that connection.”

Three Chords and the Truth, released via Exile/Caroline International, continues a particularly prolific period for Morrison, marking his sixth album in four years. Last year, he released two albums, The Prophet Speaks and You’re Driving Me Crazy, while he also released a pair of records in 2017, Roll With the Punches and Versatile.

Morrison has a handful of West Coast dates scheduled for this October, starting October 2nd in Reno, Nevada and wrapping October 8th in Chula Vista, California. Next year, he’ll kick off a five-night stand at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, January 31st through February 8th.

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Three Chords And The Truth is truly something wonderful — fourteen new original compositions effortlessly encapsulate the Van Morrison sound and showcase his talents as one of our generation’s most celebrated songwriters. His sixth album in just four years, Three Chords And The Truth is further proof that Van Morrison is one of the greatest recording artists of all time and a creative force to be reckoned with.

Three Chords And The Truth was produced and written by Van Morrison (except for If We Wait for Mountains which was co-written with Don Black). The album features contributions from legendary guitarist Jay Berliner and a duet with The Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley (Fame Will Eat the Soul).

 

Leonard Cohen ~ ‘Happens to the Heart’

“Happens To The Heart”

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
I got my shit together
Meeting Christ and reading Marx
It failed my little fire
But it’s bright the dying spark
Go tell the young messiah
What happens to the heartThere’s a mist of summer kisses
Where I tried to double-park
The rivalry was vicious
The women were in charge
It was nothing, it was business
But it left an ugly mark
I’ve come here to revisit
What happens to the heart

I was selling holy trinkets
I was dressing kind of sharp
Had a pussy in the kitchen
And a panther in the yard
In the prison of the gifted
I was friendly with the guards
So I never had to witness
What happens to the heart

I should have seen it coming
After all I knew the chart
Just to look at her was trouble
It was trouble from the start
Sure we played a stunning couple
But I never liked the part
It ain’t pretty, it ain’t subtle
What happens to the heart

Now the angel’s got a fiddle
The devil’s got a harp
Every soul is like a minnow
Every mind is like a shark
I’ve broken every window
But the house, the house is dark
I care but very little
What happens to the heart

Then I studied with this beggar
He was filthy, he was scarred
By the claws of many women
He had failed to disregard
No fable here no lesson
No singing meadowlark
Just a filthy beggar guessing
What happens to the heart

I was always working steady
But I never called it art
It was just some old convention
Like the horse before the cart
I had no trouble betting
On the flood, against the ark
You see, I knew about the ending
What happens to the heart

I was handy with a rifle
My father’s .303
I fought for something final
Not the right to disagree

 

Nowness, a partnership between the Leonard Cohen’s estate and Sony Music Canada, announced the release of this track on Facebook on the 25th of October 2019. They posted a music video and the message “NEW! Listen to previously unheard Leonard Cohen music… ‘Happens To The Heart’ is the first official single from the folk legend’s last original and unreleased album, Thanks For The Dance, which has been reimagined for film by award-winning director Daniel Askill”. Leonard Cohen’s experience of being a Buddhist monk for five years inspired the clip.

 

Los Tigres Del Norte Retrace Johnny Cash’s Steps In ‘Folsom Prison’ Documentary

In 2018, Los Tiges del Norte retraced Johnny Cash’s steps not only to pay tribute to the band’s idol but also remind the inmates that they are not forgotten.

Courtesy of the Artist

When country music legend Johnny Cash heard the heavy steel doors at Folsom Prison shut behind him on a cloudy January morning in 1968, he reportedly said, “That has the sound of permanence.”

That sound was not much different when I entered the same gates to accompany the norteño band Los Tigres del Norte 50 years later as they retraced Cash’s steps to mark the anniversary of his legendary performance.

When Cash played the inside of that prison cafeteria, the majority of the inmate population was white. Now prison authorities in California say the population is made up mostly of black and Latin men and women. In my 2018 piece for NPR’s All Things Considered, I noted there there were Los Tigres fans both among the inmates and the prison administration. Los Tigres del Norte at Folsom Prison, a new Netflix documentary that chronicles the concert, features inmates talking about the band’s influence on their lives before and after being incarcerated.

In the same way Cash became known as a voice for the marginalized after the concert was released, Los Tigres del Norte became la voz del pueblo (the voice of the people) as they chronicled the joys and challenges of immigrant life here in the U.S. The band members told me they wanted to pay their respects to one of their idols as well as remind the inmates that they are not forgotten. Their sincerity is visible every time they are on camera: greeting inmates inside Folsom’s Greystone Chapel, looking out over the prison yard as inmates sing along or gazing into their own memories of the life outside.

The concert and its documentary show the power of music to heal as well as the power of regret and redemption. It’s a lesson in doing the right thing, for the right reason, by Los Tigres del Norte, one of the most popular bands on either side of the border.

Booker T. Jones, Soul’s Ultimate Sideman, Takes the Lead at Last

In a new memoir, “Time Is Tight: My Life, Note by Note,” the Stax studio wizard and acclaimed producer tells his own story and finds his voice.

CreditCreditErik Carter for The New York Times

 

By

 

LOS ANGELES — Blocks from the ocean-misted mountain views of Venice Beach, Booker T. Jones was hard at work on a late-summer afternoon. The 74-year-old musician, dressed in a black baseball hat and a bright-blue athletic pullover, sat behind his customary Hammond B-3 organ with his chin angled up slightly, like an emperor, as his current road group, which includes his son Ted on lead guitar and the longtime Tom Petty drummer Steve Ferrone, helped rerecord the various classics that provide the names for each chapter in his new memoir.

“Time Is Tight: My Life, Note by Note,” out Oct. 29, is named for one of Jones’s hits as the leader and musical mastermind of Booker T. & the M.G.s, but despite the soul group’s fame in the ’60s and ’70s, this is the first time the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee has truly spoken in his own voice. His creative statements have more typically come as an accompanist: first as an arranger and house musician for Stax during the label’s golden age, then as a producer, musical director and keyboardist for generations of American musicians. His body of work spreads across whole branches in the family tree of 20th-century and 21st-century pop — you can hear him underneath Sam & Dave, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Bob Dylan, Big Daddy Kane and Valerie June.

But about a decade ago, with eight children and stepchildren from his three marriages, Jones became reflective. His friends and collaborators, from Neil Young to Robbie Robertson, had found willing readerships for their life stories, but Jones, ever the sideman, didn’t think in terms of a hero’s journey.

 

“I just started writing these little scenes,” he explained in his slow, deliberate manner. “Little memories of how I grew up, all the things I’ve seen.” The book’s structure isn’t chronological — Jones connects old stories to new ones, famous friends to unknown childhood ones. He wrote it himself, no ghostwriter, with the same unhurried process that he approaches all communication, from an interview to a horn chart.

The result emphasizes not only his Memphis roots and role in Stax’s reinvention of R&B but his second act here in Los Angeles — as a wide-ranging session man and producer who remains, in his eighth decade, a sought-after sonic guru.

“It’s really weird hearing my voice say those words,” he said. “But the words I use, the way I use English — I finally found my voice on the page.”

In the Venice studio, Jones showed off his more well-known facility with the language of music, working through “B-A-B-Y,” a perfect bit of Stax bubble gum by Carla Thomas from 1966. It’s filled with the sound of the B-3, a churchy keyboard that plays through a rotating speaker called a Leslie, granting it an emotive vibrato that, largely thanks to him, is synonymous with soul music.

I finally found my voice on the page,” Jones said.

La Santa Cecilia: ‘We Are As American As Apple Pie And Tacos’

La Santa Cecilia. From left, Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez, Miguel “Oso” Ramirez, Alex Bendaña, Jose “Pepe” Carlos.

Humberto Howard/Courtesy of the artist

 

 

Grammy Award-winning group La Santa Cecilia takes its name from the Catholic saint of musicians. It’s a fitting moniker; as if by divine intervention, the members of the band — Marisol Hernandez, Jose “Pepe” Carlos, Miguel “Oso” Ramirez, and Alex Bendaña — found each other in the sprawl of Los Angeles.

“I met Pepe Carlos on Olvera Street,” lead singer Marisol “La Marisoul” Hernandez recalls. “I was busking with the older musicians — my teachers who I learned all that beautiful, traditional Latin-American music from — and Pepe was busking with his little brother on the other side of the street.”

They formed a connection, and years later Hernandez roped in her friend, Oso, along with Alex Bendaña, to create La Santa Cecilia, a band “where we could make our own music, write about our own experiences [and] experiment with our influences,” she says. Those influences were vast. They heard Mexican accordions and horns in mariachi bands and fused those sounds with bossa nova, jazz and pop.

They came together to act on their individual, forward-thinking visions.

Some of that fusion is showcased on the centerpiece of the band’s self-titled album, out on Oct. 18. The song, “I’ve Been Thinking,” is about a shared, tragic experience.

 

“Oso, Alex, and I lost our fathers at different times,” Hernandez says. “It was a very big, big, big blow to the band and to us personally. We were all very close to our fathers, and I don’t know if I could go through this without my bandmates. I feel like this united us even more and we needed to write something and let out these feelings.”

La Santa Cecilia’s members have also all been affected to some degree by the recent political climate and the debate surrounding immigration.

Still, for Hernandez, the band’s political messaging brims with hope.

“In La Santa Cecilia, we will always continue to raise, with pride, our flag of love, of where we come from: of being Mexican American, of being from Latin America and being born here in the United States,” Hernandez says. “And whether people like it or not, we are as American as apple pie and tacos.”

Ginger Baker, Superstar Rock Drummer With Cream, Is Dead at 80 ~ NYT

Credit George Stroud/Express, via Getty Images

 

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Ginger Baker, who helped redefine the role of the drums in rock and became a superstar in the process, died on Sunday in a hospital in southeastern England. He was 80.

His family confirmed his death in a post on his official Twitter account.

Mr. Baker drew worldwide attention for his approach to the drums, as sophisticated as it was forceful, when he teamed with the guitarist Eric Clapton and the bassist Jack Bruce in the hugely successful British band Cream in 1966.

[Listen to 15 of Ginger Baker’s essential songs.]

Keith Moon of the Who was more uninhibited; John Bonham of Led Zeppelin — a band formed in 1968, the year Cream broke up — was slicker. But Mr. Baker brought a new level of artistry to his instrument, and he was the first rock drummer to be prominently featured as a soloist and to become a star in his own right. Mr. Clapton praised him as “a fully formed musician” whose “musical capabilities are the full spectrum.”

Both as a member of the ensemble and as a soloist, Mr. Baker captivated audiences and earned the respect of his fellow percussionists with playing that was, as Neil Peart, the drummer with the band Rush, once said, “extrovert, primal and inventive.” Mr. Baker, Mr. Peart added, “set the bar for what rock drumming could be.”

She Can Make That Guitar Talk ~ NPR

September 24, 201910:09 AM ET

Sister Rosetta Tharpe on tour in the U.K. in 1964.Tony Evans/Timelapse Library Ltd/Getty Images 

The country’s most distinguished gospel artist, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, arrived in Washington, D.C., to perform a sold-out concert. Sister Tharpe spoke to your reporter before her sold-out concert, sitting on her customized tour bus parked outside the venue. The bus — which Sister Thorpe believes is the first of its kind! — is emblazoned with the words SISTER ROSETTA THARPE – DECCA RECORDING ARTIST, painted in a bright and distinctive blue script along the side of the bus.

Sister Tharpe and her backing singers, the Rosettes, welcomed your reporter into the bus’ interior. Inside, there are dedicated areas for dressing, eating, and sleeping. The Rosettes eagerly pointed out their dedicated sections of the bus, each featuring a closet and dressing area — no one has to share! Sister Tharpe noted that the line of mirrors running along one side of the bus, to be used for hair and makeup, was inspired by the mirrors installed in the luxurious Richmond, Va. home she shares with her singing partner, “Golden Voice Favorite” Madame Marie Knight, a young singer who was discovered by Sister Tharpe, as well as her mother, Katie Bell Nubin, a noted evangelist from the Church of God In Christ, who got her start at Pastor Robert’s Chicago church.

The atmosphere inside the bus is charming and convivial. But its main purpose is an essential one: It assures that the ladies always have a comfortable and discreet place to prepare for their performances; they artists are able to dine in the bus, allowing them to carry-out food and not waste any time on the road. And the sleeping quarters conveniently allow the ensemble the ability to rest while traveling between concert appearances, especially in parts of the country where no suitable accommodation may be available.

When the troupe arrives at their destination they are met by large, sold out crowds. At a recent concert in Macon, Ga., Abner Jay, a disc jockey on local station WMAZ described the scene: “5,000 tickets were sold, that was the seating capacity. It’s estimated that they turned down 6,000. I had never seen nothing like it or heard nothing like it. Downtown near the auditorium the whole streets were full of people, no cars. People — standing room only — trying to get to the auditorium two and three blocks away. I never seen nothing like it, nowhere.”

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While the information above is correct and documented in interviews with people who were there (like the Jordanaires’ Gordon Stoker, who toured with Rosetta Tharpe in the time period she had her bus) published in the late ’40s and early ’50s, this article itself is pure invention — nothing quite like it exists in any historical newspaper archive. It’s hard to comprehend that a successful singer with a truly national profile would be driving through American cities and along highways in a personalized tour bus of her own design — likely the first documented instance of what would become a music business necessity as well as a highly sought-after status symbol for musicians in every genre — without dozens of breathless articles capturing every fabulous detail of the musicians’ surroundings, down to the quality of the finishes. The on-the-bus-with-the-musicians trope would become almost standard in artist profiles 20 years later.

Part of Turning The Tables is reflecting back on the originators, the women who defined the sound of popular music, who didn’t get sufficient credit when they were working and, in many cases — Rosetta Tharpe being high on that list — have not received anywhere near enough credit from researchers, scholars and archivists. She only made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, decades after many musicians who were directly influenced by her were inducted into their rolls.

But let’s imagine a world in which the opposite was true, and she was given her propers.

John Coltrane Took a Detour in 1964. Now It’s a New Album.

“Blue World,” culled from the sessions the saxophonist led for a film soundtrack, is a moment of looking back before he pushed even further ahead.

 

Credit Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

 

John Coltrane’s creative flame was burning at its brightest in 1964. The saxophonist had recently let go of his fixation on complex, layered harmonies, and he would soon pioneer a dry, squalling approach to group improvisation — nearly abandoning Western harmony altogether, and changing the course of jazz history.

Amid the transition, that year he recorded what would be his two most potent albums, “Crescent” and “A Love Supreme.” These works thrive at the crossroads: They are in touch with the driving, cohesive sound that his so-called classic quartet had established, but push into a blazing beyond.

Yet history is not this simple. Even for Coltrane — a symbol of tireless creative momentum, who is said to have never stopped hurtling forward — detours came up.

That spring, Coltrane was approached by Gilles Groulx, a young Canadian filmmaker at work on his first feature, “Le Chat dans le Sac.” Groulx asked his musical hero to record the film’s soundtrack, and to his surprise, Coltrane said yes.

Gospel Queen On The King’s Highway

The power and the glory of Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson sings at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957. Mary Lou Williams heard her there and said she felt “cold chills run up and down my spine.”

Bob Parent/Getty Images 

 

Pope John XXIII said such nice things to her. The National Baptist Convention was no less captivated, as were the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a host of black and white bishops and preachers and worshippers worldwide. The King and Queen of Denmark wanted more. So did the Empress of Japan, four U.S. presidents, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, broadcaster Studs Terkel, the City of New Orleans, Ed Sullivan and James Baldwin, among others. But for musicians, the best compliments come from other musicians and no one could praise Mahalia Jackson the way that the jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams did at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. Williams heard Jackson sing there and said, “That goddamn woman makes cold chills run up and down my spine.”

Early Access

“She precedes Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin,” says music historian Mark Burford, who specializes in 20th Century African-American music at Reed College. His 2019 book, Mahalia Jackson and the Black Gospel Field, re-examines years of scholarship and common assumptions about Jackson, who he believes had a lot to do with why “gospelized voices have become the lingua franca of popular culture.”

Gospel greats Cooke and Franklin expanded their appeal across the color divide when they transitioned to pop music in 1957 and 1960 respectively — without ever fully closing the door on the church. But Jackson introduced herself to white mainstream listeners singing the same songs she would have sung at many a black religious service. Exposing new audiences — virtually anyone with a radio or a television set — to what thousands of Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal and Sanctified congregations heard at church every week made Jackson “a cutting edge model for gospel in the early 1950s,” Burford says. Of course, white Pentecostal worshippers at the time were well acquainted with ecstatic revival singing, he adds. But those styles weren’t the same as Jackson’s operatic runs, moans, note-bending and interpolations.

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