Hello GO Mechanism enthusiast. In order to fully appreciate this post, it helps if you read it as you listen to GO Mechanism Number Nine simultaneously; preferably as it is being aired for the first time on Saturday July 2 at 7:00 PM (West Coast) or 10:00 PM (East Coast)—or in what ever time zone you happen to be in—on Luxuria Music. It is presented as part of the Saturday Night Special series, where a different DJ plays music each week. From time to time, the Luxuria Musics plays host to The GO Mechanism.
Here are the notes for GO Mechanism Number Nine. If the GO Mechanism had a real DJ, he would discuss this stuff on the air. But the GO Mechanism producers would rather play music than talk, thus we have notes here in the Boogaloo Bag. After all, the “G” stands for groove, and yappin’ can get in the way of it; especially when so much O’Rooney is in the mix!
This edition’s Science Corner*** features the bongo player Preston Epps. He’s known mostly for “Bongo Rock,” a 1959 hit recording. In the early seventies, the song was re-hitted by The Incredible Bongo Band. Mr. Epps made several records and most of them are pretty cool. GO Mechanism Number Five featured his “Afro Mania,” a tremendous percussion-laden jam. In 2014, Preston Epps appeared at Tiki Oasis—the fabulous tiki culture festival held each summer in San Diego. It was there at Tiki Oasis where the Boogaloo Bag writers were able to catch Mr. Epps in action (and get his autograph on “Afro Mania!”). When Mr. Epps got into his groove, he would close his eyes and become one with the rhythm.
The three selections of Preston Epps’ music heard in this edition of The GO Mechanism are not typical of his recordings. The first is from an album called Calypso Trinidad that, for the most part, is just vocalist Louis Polliemon and Epps’ bongo playing. It was recorded maybe two years before “Bongo Rock.” The next track, “Watusi Bongo,” was recorded in the early sixties for the Donna Record Company, but it was not released until the British label Ace Records added it to a Donna/Del-Fi Records anthology. It may be one of his best recordings from the period and it’s a shame it went unreleased at the time. The third has a vocal by Andre Franklin. “Say Yeah” is a hot gospel-flavored R&B number that has become a big dance-floor favorite in reet music circles.
Cootie Williams was an outstanding trumpet player who became famous for his growling style and his use of a toilet plunger for a mute while he was a member of Duke Ellington’s Famous Orchestra. Cootie was in the band from 1929 to 1940, when he joined the big band of Benny Goodman before starting his own orchestra about a year later. His orchestra was both swingin’ and far-sighted. It employed young musicians such as Charlie Parker and Bud Powell who would soon make names for themselves in Bebop; as well as Eddie (Cleanhead) Vinson and Willis (Gator Tail) Jackson who became popular in the rhythm & blues field. Williams was the first established band leader to record songs by Thelonious Monk, such as the version of “Epistrophy” heard here. It was titled “Fly Right” at the time but it remained unreleased until Columbia Records issued a three-record compilation celebrating the big band era called The Sound of Harlem. Cootie’s orchestra also recorded the first ever version of Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” in 1944. Luckily, that one was issued soon after it was recorded. Later in the forties and early fifties, Williams also cut some fine R&B-oriented tracks.
Where did acid rock come from? The very first reference to L.S.D. on a rock ’n’ roll record is most likely this 1959 recording by the The Gamblers called “LSD-25.” The other side of the record is “Moon Dawg,” which is often considered the very first example of guitar-based surf music. The members of the band were its leader Derry Weaver, Bruce Johnston, Elliot Ingber, Larry Taylor and Sandy Nelson. Weaver left only a few recordings of The Gamblers as examples of his genius, but all of the other band members had significant careers in music.
Speaking of surf music: It is a little-remembered fact that early surfers listened to jazz records. Thus it is not surprising to see that trombonist Kai Winding titled his 1963 album Soul Surfin’. It was later re-titled More after that song (a theme from the Italian movie Mondo Cane) became a Top Ten hit. However, the photos of surfers remained on the cover and “Soul Surfin’” remained the title as per the back cover! Record business shenanigans for sure.
Les Yper-Sound was a collaboration between two French composers: Pierre Henry, who specialized in electronic sounds, and Michel Colombier, who is mostly known for his movie scores. Their use of electronic noises and cool Go-Go grooves is irresistible to the GO Mechanism producers. In fact, “Jericho Jerk” was aired during GO Mechanism Number One and, for some reason, Number Three. Expect to hear more from them here at The GO.
Does anybody know who Rolley Polley is? His Mad Drums album on Capitol is a pretty good example of exotic percussion, with “Swingin’ the Samba” included in this show. The liner notes on the back cover mention only that Mr. Polley grew up in Texas and now lives in Hollywood (or did at the time of the recording). No matter, the album swings and we’ll hear more of it on future GO Mechanisms, that’s for sure.
The Boogaloo Bag writers recently witnessed a live performance by the Mexican group Son Rompe Pera. The band consists of a bass player, a drummer, a fellow who plays bongos on a stand—similar to a timbales player—and two guys who bang away on the same very long marimba. Their music is sort of a rocked-up mutant cumbia. Indeed, their moto is “Cumbia is the new Punk.” The show was very high energy and it was shocking how well the concept worked. The Boogaloo Bag writers bought the album, and a song from it is included in this show, but there is nothing like seeing this act live. If Son Rompe Pera comes to your town, stop what you’re doing and check the group out. You’ll buy a t-shirt, too.
“One O’Clock Jump” is a famous swing number first recorded by Count Basie & His Orchestra in the thirties. It was very popular and several big bands of that era, as well as eras that followed, have performed it. The GO Mechanism presents a version by Chuck Berry. It is another track that was unreleased at the time it was recorded—probably because it was a warm-up number during a recording session. However, it shows how well Chuck Berry and his band could swing. For those keeping a score card, that’s Johnny Johnson on piano, Willie Dixon on bass, Fred Below on drums and J.C. Davis on tenor sax. Berry mostly plays rhythm on this, after he takes a brief solo near the beginning. Most of the show belongs to Davis, a talented saxophonist who also worked with Hank Ballard and James Brown. His string of singles on Chess are terrific R&B instrumentals, with “Monkey” being a favorite.
This is probably the shortest version of “Light My Fire” you will ever hear.
“Shotgun” is another Motown recording with its lead vocal track missing. See the Science Corner in GO Mechanism Number Six for more on that.
Gétatchèw Mèkurya was an Ethiopian saxophonist who mixed modern jazz with traditional Ethiopian music. His music came to the GO Mechanism producers’ attention when it was included in the Éthiopiques series of CDs that culled some incredible music from that country. There are about thirty volumes and the music ranges from very interesting to absolutely fantastic. Collect ‘em all!!
GO Mechanism Number Nine closes with a song from the super fine songwriter Peter Case. “Put Down the Gun” was written while he was on his first tour as a solo artist in 1986 and it was recorded for his second solo album. It is as timely now as the day it was written—maybe more so now.
Once again we have asked the New York City musician Oweinama Biu to recite the poetry for The GO. He does an excellent job of reading “The Bombardment,” a World War One era poem by Amy Lowell. The poem is a little lengthy, so it was broken up and delivered at several important intervals during GO Number Nine. The background music for the poem is “In C” by Terry Riley.
Here is a complete track listing of the records played during The GO Mechanism Number Nine:
- Earl Bostic—Lester Leaps In (King)
- Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra—G Is for Groove (from LP The Private Collection Volume Three – Studio Sessions New York 1962; Saja)
- Cootie Williams & His Orchestra—Fly Right (Epistrophy) (from LP The Jazz Odyssey Volume Three: The Sound of Harlem; Columbia)
- Terry Riley—In C (from LP In C; Columbia Masterworks)
- The Three Suns—Danny’s Inferno (from LP Movin’ ’n’ Groovin’; RCA Victor)
- Kai Winding featuring Kenny Burrell—Surf Bird (from LP Soul Surfin; Verve)
- Gene Walker & His Combo—Empire City (Arock)
- Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers—No Hay Problema (from soundtrack to film Liaisons Dangerueses; Fontana; France)
- The Herbie Mann Afro-Jazz Sextet + Four Trumpets—Sawa Sawa Dé (from LP Common Ground; Atlantic)
- Les Yper Sound—Too Fortiche (Fontana; France)
- The 4 Instants—Caravan (from LP Discotheque; Society; UK)
- The Gamblers—LSD-25 (World Pacific)
- James Brown—The Lowdown Popcorn (King)
- Pacho Galan y su Orquesta—Gaitade de Mi Tierra (from LP Cumbias y Gaitas Famosas 3; Discos Fuentes; Colombia)
- Charles Mingus—Boogie Stop Shuffle (from LP Mingus Ah Um; Columbia)
- Rolley Polley—Swingin’ the Samba (from LP Mad Drums; Capitol)
- Combo Los Galleros—Tabaco Mascao (from LP Cumbias y Gaitas Famosas 2; Discos Fuentes; Colombia)
- Ray & His Court—Soul Freedom (Jazzman; UK)
- Maximillian at the Piano—Blowing My Brains Out Over You (Cub)
- ***Louis Polliemon & Preston Epps—Dumbalai (from LP Kingston Calypso; Crown)
- *** bed music—Guem—Entourage (from LP Percussion; ???)
- ***Preston Epps—Watusi Bongos (from LP The Return of the Del-Fi & Donna Story; Ace, UK)
- ***Andre Franklin with Preston Epps & His Trio—Say Yeah!! (Polo)
- Son Rompe Pera Feat. Macha—Los Chucos Suaves (from LP Batuco; Aya)
- Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers–Strange Happenings (Chieftain)
- Chuck Berry—One O’Clock Jump (from LP Chess Masters; Chess, UK)
- The Hollywood Persuaders—Drums A’ Go-Go (Original Sound)
- The Doors—Light My Fire (Boogaloo Edit) (Elektra)
- Junior Walker & the All Stars—Shotgun (Soul)
- Gil Scott-Heron—Gun (Arista)
- Big Jay McNeely—3-D (Federal)
- The Tenners—Do the Reggay Dance (from LP Do the Reggay Dance; Sutro Park)
- Jack Gale and the Medicine Men—The Medicine (Columbia)
- Emy Jackson with Jackey Yoshikawa and His Blue Comets—Angel Fish (CBS, Japan)
- Annie Ross—I’m Gonna Go Fishin’ (Everest)
- Mose Allison—Young Man Blues (from LP Back Country Suite for Piano Bass and Drums; Prestige)
- Gétatchèw Mèkurya— Shellela (from LP Éthiopiques 14: Negus Of Ethiopian Sax; Buda Musique, France)
- Curtis Mayfield—Freddie’s Dead (Boogaloo Edit) (Curtom)
- Peter Case—Put Down the Gun (from LP The Man With The Blue Post Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar; Geffen)
- The Bonzo Dog Band—Slush (United Artists)
As noted above, GO Mechanism Number Nine will be blasted over the interwebs via the Luxuria Musics for the first time on Saturday July 2, 2022. After that, it will be available as a podcast on the Luxuria Musics website—look for the Saturday Night Special dated 7/3/2022. After a few weeks, it will magically appear on the Boogaloo Omnibus Mixcloud hustle and also right here in the Boogaloo Bag.
Thanks goes out to the nice people at the Luxuria Musics who, in spite of everything, keep hosting The GO Mechanism on its website. Luxuria Music is a wonderful music streaming radio service. It is free. It has cool music. All of its DJ programs are unique and worth listening to. Also, please donate to them if you have the means to do so. They don’t make a lot of money, but it costs a lot to stay on the interwebs. Be a listener sponsor or buy something from its store.
Older GO Mechanisms can be found on the Boogaloo Omnibus Mixclouds and/or earlier posts here in The Boogaloo Bag. Go to The Boogaloo Bag home page and either scroll down or search for “GO Mechanism” to dig.