Death Valley Radio Program 887

Death Valley Radio is a format-free program for the musically curious.

In this age of bland radio programming (both commercial and non-) and automated music services, DVR is still built by hand, non-algorithmically — one set at a time.

Death Valley Radio can be heard here at taintradio on Saturdays at 10:00 PM ET and Wednesdays at 10:00 AM ET.

DVR program 887 features electronic pop (Vampire Weekend, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Juana Molina, Ry Cooder with Juliette Commagere); Wadada Leo Smith and John Lindberg’s tribute to AEC bassist Malachi Favors; music from Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith’s new seven-part suite inspired by the paintings and writings of Indian modern artist Nasreen Mohamedi; a double quartet led by composer, bassist and cellist Henning Sieverts; and new music from M. Ward, Andrew Bird, the Canadian electric-guitar quartet Instruments of Happiness, the Haitian ensemble Lakou Mizik, and Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil recorded live in concert.

Each week’s playlist will be archived until the end of time at

Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 4/22 & Tues 4/26


Okay, let’s say 1965. And let’s round off and call that 50 years ago. In 1965 we knew a lot about what Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane represented and where they were going; and yes there were surprises, not least by a long shot John Coltrane’s sudden, shocking departure two years later—for me, an unfixable hole had been kicked in the world; but in ’65 he was taking his classic quartet, after a series of unbreakable limits broken, to its actual limit, while Sonny Rollins was flickering in and out of the avant-garde, sometimes with utter mastery of old and new materials, sometimes comporting himself so strangely that his discomfort seemed interplanetary, for a while. To cut to the bridge: no tenor saxophonist has been as original or influential since. 50 years! In earlier decades jazz did not go like that. There could be no one after Charlie Parker, and then there were a number of people after Charlie Parker, our two heroes among them; but no one (to simplify) of their size and influence since. Is that necessarily a terrible thing? Beethoven (to simplify) loomed irremovably over the entire Western classical 19th century, but that didn’t prevent a number of composers of genius from emerging and making their unforgettable marks, and the music they represented was anything but dead. This week on Updoc—Friday at 8 PM and noon next Tuesday, Birdland Vanguard Half Note Five Spot time—we continue our celebration of Sonny Rollins’ Road Shows Vol. 4 with four more tracks from that new CD, bracketed by a number of older Rollins classics, including his one-time recorded pairing with John Coltrane, 1956’s elided confrontation on Tenor Madness; each man In a Sentimental Mood four-plus decades apart; and two recordings from 1961 and ’62 in which each man goes for broke at length in his own way. A couple of hours of that and then let’s see if anything has changed our minds about where we are now and what it all means, man.

Downhome with Howling Dick (Ep 138 A Bloody Good Fry Up)

This time out Dick’s contemplating getting a hat, skipping through albums and pondering a singers fate. So whats all this got to do with blues? – who knows? But theres still an hour of fabulous music to listen to between the nonsense, so come onto the porch!


Hip Linkchain “How do you get a name like that?”

Lonesome Train Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson Somebody Done Stole My Cherry Red VIDEO
Cripple Creek Blue Swamp Band Voodoo Soup VIDEO
Elevator Man Lena & The Slide Brothers The Road VIDEO
Walking Blues Bonnie Lee Sweetheart Of The Blues VIDEO
Walking Blues Hip Linkchain Change My Blues VIDEO
Bad Feelin’ Blues Blind Blake All the Published Sides VIDEO
Whiskey And Good Time Blues Big Bill Broonzy Whiskey And Good Time Blues VIDEO
Raise the Devil Mary Flower Instrumental Breakdown VIDEO
Ludella Ian Seigal & Jimbo Mathus Wayward Sons VIDEO
Trouble In Mind Detroit Junior Take Out the Time VIDEO
Chicago Bound Willie Kent Everybody Needs Somebody VIDEO
Hound Dog Alfie Smith & Nicole Christian Come On In My Kitchen VIDEO
Beggar Man Long John Hunter Looking For A Party VIDEO
I’ll Take Good Care Of You (Second Version) Terry Reid Super Lungs VIDEO
Why Should I Suffer With The Blues The Canes The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968 VIDEO
Don’t Put No Headstone On My Grave Jerry Lee Lewis The Many Sides VIDEO



Death Valley Radio Program 886

Death Valley Radio is a format-free program for the musically curious.

In this age of bland radio programming (both commercial and non-) and automated music services, DVR is still built by hand, non-algorithmically — one set at a time.

Death Valley Radio can be heard here at taintradio on Saturdays at 10:00 PM ET and Wednesdays at 10:00 AM ET.

DVR program 886 features Sun-style rockabilly (Legendary Shack Shakers, Luther Dickinson & the Cooperators, the Million Dollar Quartet, Jerry Lee Lewis); tumbling tumbleweeds (Michael Nesmith, Brian Wilson with Van Dyke Parks, the Who); the sound of rain (M. Ward, Jim McAuley and Nels Cline, Max Richter with Robert Wyatt, Jóhann Jóhannsson); songs of hope and despair (Willie Nelson, Rickie Lee Jones, Charlie Rich, Sam Cooke, Jackson Browne); bassist Avery Sharpe’s new tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe; and saxophonist Noah Preminger’s new rendition of Skip James’s “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues.”

Each week’s playlist will be archived until the end of time at

Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri 4/15 & Tues 4/19


Yes, it’s another Sonny Rollins love-fest here on Updoc—8PM Friday and noon next Tuesday, Live at the Five Spot time. At the drop of a hat, or rather the release of Road Shows Vol. 4, I couldn’t resist devoting another two full hours to this unequalled bringer of joy to those of us who love this music. So, four songs from the new compilation, three of them probable classics and the fourth, well, also a probable classic, and for a middle act two tracts of retrospective from earlier decades. As for the new release of live recordings, Mr. Rollins said that he tried to choose performances that didn’t make him want to shoot himself. We hope he succeeded, and that one of these days he will get it right. Which brings us to the fresh joy of the news that he’s going to try to play again. It’s been a semi-open secret for a few years that the saxophone colossus was having trouble with his wind, probably due to his exposure, at his downtown studio, to the fumes and debris of 9/11—he was close to it, stuck indoors, with shut but not sealed windows, and being who he was he did a lot of playing, which may not have helped. Now he’s expressed a willingness to try some medication that may help put him back in playing condition, and this man, who could not be more loved by those who know his music, and therefore to some degree know him, can only wish Sonny Rollins the very best luck and healing and a return if he can manage it. He wants to play again and we all want to hear it, whenever this living national treasure feels ready.

Rafi Zabor’s Updoc Fri 4/8 & Tues 4/12


For starters there’s a new opening theme this week, and you’ll have to tune in to believe it—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Statue of Liberty time. After that? Three tunes from Noah Preminger’s new CD of Delta Blues updates, and then I couldn’t, after all the recent Rites and Springing, get loose from Igor “Slam” Stravinsky, so here’s the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performing his 1947 ballet score . . . wait for it . . . Orpheus: a breath-of-fresh-air sort of thing, surprisingly pretty. What else is in store? Well, I remain unconvinced by Vijay Iyer as a jazz musician, but the further he gets from idiomatic jazz the brighter his pianistic gifts shine, so here are three tunes from his new album of duets with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith: a spacious free-music idiom in which swing is not a factor and the blues can be a passing fancy suits him well. The title, however, might be the most pretentious or do I mean presumptuous title ever: A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke. A break please give me. For swing, though, we’re if anything overcompensated by Ralph Peterson’s new live piano-trio record with Zaccai and Luques Curtis, already getting picked as album of the month around the circuit and probably the swingingest new thing you will hear for a while (full disclosure: I wrote the liner notes). As for Stravinsky, the really interesting piece is saved for last: his 1957 ballet score Agon, the first work in which he joined the opposition and employed tone rows. The composer’s own recording was conducted by the man who insisted that music was incapable of expressing anything: the piece as he renders it is almost vehemently devoid of subjective expression. It’s an impersonal or suprapersonal gleaming, but I found a recording by the great Soviet conductor Yevgeny Mravinsky, who sails into it as if it’s by Shostakovich, full of dramatic and ironic oppositions and collisions. Mravinsky finds a dramatic and rhythmic through-line dynamic in this music that Stravinsky might have objected to but which might just bowl you over. Updoc finishes with a suitelet from Gato Barbier’s keening, romantic score for Last Tango in Paris, probably the best thing about the film aside from the . . . oh never mind. It’s hard to believe Barbieri was 83 years old: once heard, never forgotten: hail and farewell.

Death Valley Radio Program 885

Death Valley Radio is a format-free program for the musically curious.

In this age of bland radio programming (both commercial and non-) and automated music services, DVR is still built by hand, non-algorithmically — one set at a time.

Death Valley Radio can be heard here at taintradio on Saturdays at 10:00 PM ET and Wednesdays at 10:00 AM ET.

DVR program 885 features cowboy songs (Bill Frisell, Cyril Pahinui and Bob Brozman, Sonny Chillingworth, Buddy Miller’s Majestic Silver Strings); character studies of Fancy, Delta Dawn, the Old Laughing Lady, Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold, the Meanest Man in the World, Slow Driving Man and the Wichita Lineman; flamenco rhythms (Chango Spasiuk, Alfredo Rodríguez with Antonio Lizana, Jerry González with Diego el Cigala); songs by and about Cuban bassist, composer and arranger Israel López, better known as Cachao; and new music from Oğuz Büyükberber and Tobias Klein, a clarinet duo based in Amsterdam.

Each week’s playlist will be archived until the end of time at

Jazz Worldwide 127 4 April 2016

Song Title Artist Album Title Composer Record Label

Mali Nils Økland Kjølvatn Nils Økland ECM
Manzè Wesli Ayiti Étoile Nouvelle Wesley Louissaint Web Urban Productions
Mumuration Anat Fort with Gianluigi Trovesi Birdwatching Anat Fort ECM
The Porters’ Anthem (Lahn el-Shayyaalin) Reem Kelani Live at the Tabernacle Sayyid Darwish-Badi Khayri Fuse Records
Witch Hunt Gabriela Martina No White Shoes Wayne Shorter
No White Shoes Gabriela Martina No White Shoes Gabriela Martina
Amazon Farewell Camila Meza Traces Djavan-Brock Walsh-Mark Vieha Sunnyside
Ritual Mallet Dance Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica Quartet Where Here Meets There Brian O’Neill-Miguel de Falla-Chano Pozo-Dizzy Gillespie Tiki Jazz
Part 2 Ferenc Snétberger In Concert Ferenc Snétberger ECM
I Should Care Marcos Varela San Ygnacio Sammy Cahn-Axel Stordahl-Paul Weston Origin
Thirsty Flower Gabriela Martina No White Shoes Gabriela Martina
Charade Leslie Pintchik True North Henry Mancini Pintch Hard
Friday at the Thursday Club Danny Green Trio Altered Narratives Danny Green OA2 Records
Contemplation Kirk MacDonald Symmetry Kirk MacDonald Addo Records
Tiny’s Tempo Bill Charlap Trio Notes from New York Tiny Grimes Impulse-Verve
This is Yarmouk (Huna al-Yarmouk) Reem Kelani Live at the Tabernacle Reem Kelani-Iyad Hayatleh Fuse Records
Youssef’s Song Anouar Brahem Souvenance Anouar Brahem ECM

Downhome with Howling Dick (Ep 137 “Spot The Cliffords”)

Howling’s on the porch again at Taint, this time asking us to listen and learn, whilst he plays with a tennis racquet and waits for a pedant to call. Sounds like nonsense? Well it is! BUT he also plays an hour of some damn fine roots, blues, jazz and beyond – so listen in!

If you enjoy the show, you can download the podcast from  or subscribe at iTunes or by RSS feed  . In the meantime check out the links not only to the artists  down below but also to some great videos – check ‘em out.

And don’t forget to let Dick know how ya liked it at – he’ll thank ya!

Wanda Jackson SB 56898Wanda Jackson – “First Lady Of Rockabilly”

Bossman Dean Hawley New Breed Workin’: Blues with a Rhythm VIDEO
Shake Em On Down Gooch and The Motion Comin’ Home VIDEO
Early In The Morning Al Brown Scufflin’ VIDEO
Everyday I Have The Blues Pinetop Perkins Down In Mississippi VIDEO
Jimmy Page Jason Vivone My Roaring Twenties VIDEO
You Shook Me Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I VIDEO
Blues For Junior Herb Ellis Nothing But The Blues VIDEO
Old Europe Robert Wyatt Cuckooland VIDEO
Brand New Companion Steve Earle Townes VIDEO
Shake Em’ On Down Mississippi Fred McDowell The George Mitchell Collection VIDEO
Honey Don’t Wanda Jackson Queen Of Rockabilly VIDEO
That’s Allright Mama Glen Glenn Missouri Rockabilly 1955-1965 VIDEO
Guitar Man Lee Hazlewood Look At That Woman VIDEO
When You Wore A Tulip Michael Woods Bottleneck Ahead VIDEO
Ain’t No Backdoor Man Benjamin Bassford Songs From The Blue Door VIDEO
Drive Joe Bonamassa Blues Of Desperation VIDEO

Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Fri April 1 & Tues April 5


What can I say? After welcoming the season in with three brilliant versions of Stravinsky’s Sacre du Printemps over the last three weeks and now, finishing up with Stravinsky’s own 1960 recording—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Carnegie Hall time—after doing a lot of close listening to all these versions, I have to ask myself: is there really anything of value that Messrs. Bernstein, Boulez, Svetlanov or any number of others can add to what the composer himself brought to the music? His performance used to sound a little hard and tight to me, constricted compared to Bernstein and the other showpiece versions that followed, but I don’t hear that anymore, while on the other hand is the somewhat saturnine Boulez really more detailed than the composer himself bringing out what he put in? Neither does Stravinsky’s performance lack any voltage of excitement. It’s got everything, along with a degree of authenticity no one else can supply. Listen in if you like, and see if you agree. In any case, the Sacre is great emough so that no performance can exhaust its possibilities. It’s the center of this virtually all-Stravinsky show—it opens with well-known Ornette Coleman and Charlie Parker quotes from the Sacre, and there’s also a Parker masterpiece in the midshow featuring what may be a Stravinsky variation—preceded by Bernstein’s exhilarating Petroushka, the ballet composed immediately before the Sacre, which may be Stravinsky’s most emotionally direct and open music, ever. The Sacre, though, remains his Citizen Kane, the work no one will let him live down, the work because of which he’s tasked with never having gone for broke again, for being brilliant and heartless and not sharing his soul with us throughout his neoclassical period—his late works are another story: taking up Schoenbergian dodecaphonics gave him an amazing boost of fresh greatness. We don’t go there this week, but we do have two major middle-period works: the deeply committed Symphony of Psalms—Shostakovich, for one, thought it the greatest work of the century’s greatest composer—in a stunning, maybe definitive performance led by John Eliot Gardiner, and the 1931 Violin Concerto played to a fare-thee-well by a great young Hillary Hahn. If you’re up for two hours of glittering genius-level dazzlement, this is the place.