It’s a Monday morning in the winter of 2015. In this blog’s little corner of the world that means it must be snowing.
… (Checking at the window)…
Why yes, yes it is. The six-foot high snowbanks are getting a lovely dusting of 2-3″ of fresh snow.
That’s a good thing because 1) the snowbanks were getting depressingly ugly, and 2) it’s not 12-24″ of fresh snow like it has been on more than one Monday since the start of the year.
All the more reason then to start the week with some music to get your groove on, and who better to provide it than the premier pop music orchestra of the 1970s, MFSB. Here they are with “Sexy”*.
*Bonus: set to video from Soul Train. There, isn’t that better?
The almost impossibly young, gorgeous, silken-voiced Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers singing about faith in the “dying hour”:
Friends standing around, tears in their eyes, they know that I am about to die;
But I’m not worried, I’m not afraid; I know you do, Jesus, just what You say.
They’re burying Clark Terry this morning from Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem this morning. It should be a grand and glorious occasion. If you ever had the opportunity to see Terry perform, you know he was one of the most incandescently talented and joyous musicians of the past century.
You’ve heard of the parlor game “Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon“? In jazz, you can play “Six Degrees Of Clark Terry” with everyone from Louis Armstrong to that kid holding down the 3rd trumpet chair in your local high school jazz band. That’s how broad and deep his influence was as a bandleader, improviser and educator.
Here’s his novelty hit, “Mumbles”, in which—as usual—his effervescent spirit and good humor are equaled only by his stunningly fluid and electricifying musicianship.
Speaking of Jackie Wilson, here’s “Mr. Excitement” himself performing “Baby Workout” on Shindig in 1965. Even with all the constraints of a network television studio show, you can see the thru line from Jackie Wilson to Michael Jackson to, say, Bruno Mars.
They say that when someone told Elvis Presley about Wilson being called “The Black Elvis” Presley replied, “I guess that makes me the white Jackie Wilson“. High praise indeed, even if he did say it himself.