Text by Bruce Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery, October 22nd, 2021) “Halifax”By the Hampton Grease Band
From ‘Music to Eat’ – 2 LP Set on Columbia (rel in 1971) Wouldn’t you like to come to Halifax Air mass is moving eastwardly Wouldn’t you like to come to Halifax Air mass is moving eastwardly The land is fertile and filled with life We wish you would come there and spend some time Yes, We wish you would come to Halifax You like to spend some time there We wish you would come to Halifax Come and breathe some of our air You can worship at the church of their choice, the church of your choice
Colonel Edward Cornwallis He founded the home of Englishtown He established a civil government He brought strength to the English position He established a civil government
We wish you would come to Halifax You like to spend some time there We wish you would come to Halifax Come and breathe some of our air
We have many refreshments and entertainment… We have the largest ships and vessels also Six thousand six hundred thirty eight miles of grated roads Six thousand six hundred thirty eight miles of grated roads And alot of gravel too, and alot of gravel too Every city has an airport and alot of gravel too The telegraph stations, their owned and operated By the federal government. The telegraph systems, their owned and operated By the federal government. There are no TV stations, First radar is to protect Set up as the engine number two To maintain the level of the dew…
From the fall of 1969 until it closed in June of 1971, I attended nearly 20 shows at the Fillmore East. It was located at the corner of 2nd Ave & 4th St, right around the corner from the first location of DMG on East 5th St (1991-2003). It was my favorite rock music performance venue ever and I’ve been to hundreds of others (places & gigs) since. There were usually three bands starting at 8pm (and later at 11pm) and the ticket prices were $5 (orchestra), $4 (mezzanine) & $3 (upper mezz)!
Copyright of image: The Plastic People of the Universe
The Plastic who of the what? Never heard of them and I’ve been playing music for decades, you might say. Well, it’s not your fault. Even on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean where they’re from, the Plastic People (actually from Czechoslovakia, not the Universe) remained obscure. In America, fans of alternative music may simply know them as a cult band who made weird, experimental music. In fact, the Plastic People of the Universe were one of the greatest rock groups to emerge from Central Europe during the Communist era and their incredible history should be known far and wide by everyone who plays music for a living.
Formed in Czechoslovakia in 1968 shortly after the Warsaw Pact Invasion in which Soviet tanks and troops crushed the liberal period known as the Prague Spring, the Plastic People of the Universe endured two decades of persecution from the Communist regime simply because they refused to conform to the Soviet “normalization”. Since the era of Stalin, the Communists knew the importance of controlling the art in a society and they used art as propaganda to promote their own fake reality. They were fully aware of the power of music and art and couldn’t let it be created freely for fear that the truth would escape.
“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.” – William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice, act 5, scene 1)
On Friday, August 11th, 2017, white nationalists chose the largely liberal town of Charlottesville (Virginia) to stage a protest march. The alt-right, of whom white nationalists and white supremacists are an integral part. met with counter protesters. Violence and bloodshed erupted when an alt-rightist, in an indisputable an act of domestic terrorism, drove a car into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring several.
This continued series explores the relation between jazz and Islam. In this installment, I am continuing the presentation of the biographies of Muslim jazz artists.
Idris Muhammad was born Leo Morris in New Orleans (1939-2014). He began playing the drums at age 8. Before he reached the age of 21, he’d recorded with Sam Cooke and Jerry Butler, and was a respected session drummer for record labels such as Imperial, Specialty, and Ace. In the 1960s his music experienced a profound change due to the influence of John Coltrane. This led to a synthesis of R&B and jazz. He worked with Lou Donaldson 1965-67. In 1969-73 He worked as drummer for the Broadway musical “Hair” and 1970-72, he was the house drummer for Prestige Records. His releases as a leader include “Black Rhythm Revolution”, “Peace and Rhythm”, “Kabsha”, “My Turn”, and “Right Now”. Muhammad has performed or recorded with Larry Williams, Jerry Butler, Curtis Mayfeild, Sonny Stitt, Charles Earland, Gene Ammons, Pharoah Saunders, Roberta Flack, John Hicks, Randy Weston, Jamil Nassr, John Scofield, Roberta Flack, Johnny Griffin, George Coleman, Randy Brecker, his wife, vocalist Sakinah Muhammad, and countless others.