Would you like to make a deal?

Last week we looked at Jamaicans playing soul music in Toronto, and different variants on "Wade In the Water". This week, two late additions. Wayne McGhie is the singer you'll hear on the songs by Jo-Jo & The Fugitives, below. Please scroll down and download those songs right now; they will surprise you by being so very excellent and exciting.

Welcome back. "Fire" is a McGhie original and, what a song. It's a bit incoherent until you realize that you, too, know exactly what that kind of relationship is like. But then, the fact that it is a relationship song sounds like the least of McGhie's worries. Download this song, too - it's at least as good as "Chips, Chicken, Banana Split," and that's praise from a deep place. Moistworks would like to thank the good folks at Light in The Attic records for bringing these songs to our enthusiastic attention.

THE GRAHAM BOND ORGANization was one of the earlier, bluesier Brit bands - they broke up when Graham Bond's RHYTHMsection up and formed Cream. Not so very well known these days, Bond was once voted "Britain's New Jazz Star" (that, according to this website). But here's Bond's take on the blues of today: "We are playing the blues of today," he said. "I can get away with playing practically anything." Somewhat coincidentally, Bond threw himself under a train the year b/f Eric Clapton (I kid you not, he really did) release/d an epic reworking of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot."

I'd read a shelf's worth of books about the place. When I got there a few ghosts were still around: Joe Mitchell came in every day, but died a few months after I arrived; I never caught a glimpse of him. Brendan Gill darted in and out of the office now and then - a tall, twinkly man in a pink baseball cap - and I'd run the occasional errand for him. One of the writers I wanted to meet most was the magazine's jazz critic, Whitney Balliett, who was not yet a ghost, but passed away the other day, at the age of eighty. The closest I got was sneaking away into the library to read another of his articles. This is the first paragraph of a justly-celebrated profile of Lester Young, which you can read in full in American Musicians: Fifty-six Portraits in Jazz:


Very little about the tenor saxophonist Lester Young was unoriginal. He had protruding, heavy-lidded eyes, a square, slightly oriental face, a tiny mustache, and a snaggletoothed smile. His walk was light and pigeon-toed, and his voice was soft. He was something of a dandy. He wore suits, knit ties, and collar pins. He wore ankle-length coats, and pork-pie hats - on the back of his head, when he was young, and pulled down low and evenly when he was older. He kept to himself, often speaking only when spoken to. When he played, he held his saxophone in front of him at a forty-five degree angle, like a canoeist about to plunge his paddle into the water. He had an airy, lissome tone and an elusive, lyrical way of phrasing that had never been heard before. Other saxophonists followed Coleman Hawkins, but Young's models were two white musicians: the C-melody saxophonist Frank Trumbauer and the alto sacophonist Jimmy Dorsey - neither of them a first-rate jazz player. When Young died, in 1959, he had become the model for countless saxophonists, white and black. He was a gentle, kind man who never disparaged anyone. He spoke a coded language, about which the pianist Jimmy Rowles has said, "You had to break that code to understand him. It was like memorizing a dictionary, and I think it took me about three months." Much of Young's language has vanished, but here is a sampling: "Bing and Bob" were the police. A "hat" was a woman," and a "homburg" and a "Mexican hat" were types of women. An attractive young girl was a "poundcake." A "gray boy" was a white man, and Young himself, who was light-skinned, was an "oxford gray." "I've got bulging eyes" for this or that meant he approved of something, and "Catalina eyes" and "Watts eyes" expressed high admiration. "Left people" were the fingers of a pianist's left hand. "I feel a draft" meant he sensed a bigot nearby. "Have another helping," said to a colleague on the bandstand, meant "Take another chorus," and "one long" or "two long" meant one chorus or two choruses. People "whispering on" or "buzzing on" him were talking behind his back. Getting his "little claps" meant being applauded. A "zoomer" was a sponger, and a "needle dancer" was a heroin addict. "To be bruised" was to fail. A "tribe" was a band, and a "molly trolley" was a rehearsal. "Cam Madam burn?" meant "Can your wife cook?" "These people will be here in December" meant that his second was due in December. (He drifted in and out of three marriages, and had two ren.) "Startled doe, two o'clock" meant that a pretty giirl was in the right side of the audience.