The genesis actually goes back to the early eighties, when I was in high school. Around the time of Prince’s Dirty Mind, contemporary R&B was highly influenced by new wave (as opposed to punk).
His preference is the swing era style perfected by the great Lester Young, though he’s also a devotee of Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins.
These days he plays in a swing unit called the Harlem Blues & Jazz Band, which was organized back in 1973 by Al Vollmer, another senior jazz stalwart still going at 88.
He’s more properly considered soul, but like several funk musicians from the early seventies, it sounds like he’s reclaiming the rock influence. I realize there are people on both sides who believe that R&B, etc.
is it’s own separate thing, but the definition of rock isn’t finite.
Black music started retreating into the gospel roots.
As much as the British Invasion acts like the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Animals called attention to American rhythm & blues, ironically the gap only got wider after those bands arrived on the scene. As prominent as they were at the end of the sixties, they’re almost regarded as footnotes today, which is a disgrace. And then there’s the Duals, who had one hit in 1961 with an instrumental called “Stick Shift.” This was a two-guitar duo notable for being one of the few African-Americans involved with surf music.Fred Staton’s story is somewhat familiar, in that there are loads of great players in cities across America who never enjoyed stardom, had acclaimed recordings, or became famous.But their dedication to the music and its legacy is inspirational, and reaffirmation that when you are able in life to do what you love it’s a blessing, no matter how much or little money and glory you attain.The nucleus of the Hoodoo Party goes back to January of 1992, when I used to host a similar show on WHPK (the University of Chicago’s radio station) called Hoodoo Hoedown. I hadn’t hosted a regular radio program in a long time, and felt like doing it again on a lark.I asked Tom if there were any slots open at the station; since he was not able to do his own show more than twice a month, he offered me the opportunity to show up on the third Saturday of every month, from 11AM to 1PM (CST), and just tear it up.Given all the depressing news anyone who regularly follows national and international events encounters, sometimes it is easy to think there’s nothing good or joyous happening.