Thursday, April 07, 2011


Brian Carpenter was on "Fresh Air" (link: today. He has a new CD and the track "Voodoo" was played on the program. I really liked it. Here is the link. Scroll down the page a little, you can find on the left side of the page and listen to it. You can also listen to that part of the program, which explain the peculiar features of 1920's jazz.

Brian Carpenter's music is like a road map of the U.S. The multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter has cited places like Coney Island and the Florida Panhandle as inspiration for his concept albums Dreamland and Boy From Black Mountain.
On his latest recording, Hothouse Stomp — which he recorded with his ten-piece Ghost Train Orchestra — Carpenter musically travels to the jazz scene in 1920s Harlem and Chicago, when bands had fewer horns and more eclectic rhythm sections.
"There was a small period of time between 1926 and 1932 in New York and Chicago when the bands were made up of nine to ten people," Carpenter tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "So they hadn't yet evolved into the 16-piece big bands we know today. But they were small enough that they kept that visceral, bluesy sexual energy of early New Orleans jazz."
Carpenter rearranged music from several 1920s performers, including a brassy track called "Voodoo," which was originally composed by a Chicago-based vaudevillian named Tiny Parham, who played in between burlesque dancers and chorus lines at the Savoy Ballroom.
"His music doesn't sound like anything else," Carpenter says. "It's very eccentric. It's very idiosyncratic. He's got these slow, lumbering brass lines and these reed lines. Some of it's really creepy. And it's also just very beautiful — when I discovered Tiny Parham, I fell in love with him. There's nothing that really sounds like that."

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