JD Twitch, one of our DJ heroes, joins Justin Carter** behind the turntables for this weekend’s edition of Mister Sunday. Twitch runs the excellent Optimo Music label; he DJed and ran the long running Optimo parties in Glasgow for thirteen years (and still does the occasional Optimo party); and he is one of the world’s finest DJs. He played for us last year, and it was lovely. Tickets are here, and if you come down early, you’ll probably be able to get them at the door.
**Both will be less somber than in the pictures above, and Justin will be about ten years older.
Every week of this outdoor Mister Sunday season, the party begins with the airing of an entire album. This week Justin Carter selects. He’s chosen Shahen-Shah by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. This is what he has to say about it.
Last Friday I went to the Shinnecock Nation’s Pow Wow in Southampton, NY. There were representatives of tribes from all over North America dancing in absolutely beautiful traditional clothes, and accompanying them were a couple of groups of singers and drummers. The music was an entrancing polyrhythmic, polyphonic combination of singers and drummers. I’ve been dreaming about it since and trying to find recordings.
I haven’t yet found anything, but I’ve pulled out this album by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the master of Qawwali, a devotional Sufi music that’s most often heard in Muslim areas of Pakistan and India. One day, when I go back to school to get my doctorate in musicology, I’ll figure out the cultural and migrational connections between the Native American music I heard Friday and Qawwali, but for now, all I can say is that both are evocative and trance inducing, and both are stunningly beautiful. I can’t wait to play Nusrat for you on Sunday…
If you’re headed out of town this weekend, have a great time, and we’ll see you when you’re back. We’ll be Mistering outdoors until October 18th this year, so plenty of time to get down with us in the late summer and autumn…
Every week of this outdoor Mister Sunday season, the party begins with the airing of an entire album. This week Justin Carter, who’s playing solo, selects. He’s chosen The History of Jazz Vol. 3: Then Came Swing. This is what he has to say about it.
I’ve chosen this week’s album for couple reasons. One is that I love old jazz and blues, and this set from 1945 is full of great names like Coleman Hawkins, T-Bone Walker, Benny Carter and Nat Cole. But the other is because of the format and a question that it answers. Before I collected 78s, I always used to wonder, “Why do we call LPs albums?” Well, as I was digging through old collections, I started to find bound books full of records – they looked a lot like photo albums, actually, but inside, the pages would be sleeves holding 78s. Until the vinyl LP was widely introduced in 1948, the dominant technology was a shellac record cut at 78rpm. While the LP could hold twenty minutes of audio on a side, the 78 could only hold five minutes (most just held three-and-a-half), so if you wanted to hear a collection of songs, you’d have to buy a book of records – literally an album. The term stuck, and even though LP (short for long player) was the official term for the format that replaced the book of 78s, “album” stuck.
Beyond the trivial reasons for bringing out The History of Jazz, there’s a special bonus: I’ll have my player, so I can bring down some gems from the rest of my 78 collection, which I’ll try to squeeze in through the rest of the day. I’m looking forward to playing them for you on the big system!