Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Jazz

“Snowfall”: Soulful + Strings

The Soulful Strings evoke the magic of falling snow — thanks to Dorothy Ashby‘s harp — on their classic instrumental track, “Snowfall“: “Snowfall”     Soulful Strings     1968 Discogs helps us appreciate how The Soulful Strings were able to create an identifiable sound despite only playing other people’s material: “The Soulful Strings

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Hank Garland: Lost Album of ’60

Fascinating that a musician of the caliber of Hank Garland (who was signed to Columbia, for cryin’ out loud) would release a companion album of sorts – Subtle Swing – to the groundbreaking (and previously discussed) Jazz Winds from a New Direction, and yet so little information to confirm its existence,

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"Tacos and Grits"
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“Tacos & Grits”: Jazz Trombone

Zero to 180 kicks off its musical salute to grits with an obvious winner of an instrumental, “Tacos and Grits” by Al Grey: “Tacos and Grits”     Al Grey     1963 The first featured song in Zero to 180’s music & grits series — launching on the heels of Saturday’s big Max

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"Soft"
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Bill Doggett’s “Soft”: Enduring

Bill Doggett and his Hammond organ, in 1957, would breathe (via flute) fresh life into Tiny Bradshaw‘s “Soft” from 1952 – both versions released on King.  Even though Doggett’s “Soft” would ‘only’ peak at #51, Billboard’s “Hot 100 Chart History” indicates this song to have spent 14 weeks on the

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Don Sebesky: Clavinet Pioneer

Last November’s tribute to the funkiest musical instrument known to humankind would seem to designate NRBQ‘s “Stomp” (recorded December, 1968) as among the earliest of recordings to feature the clavinet, even though by article’s end I reveal my trump card: “Attractive Girl” by The Termites — an album track on

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Liberation’s Sweet Sound

The alluring flute and vibraphone are just a ploy – liberation’s crafty end game.of using music to help listeners recognize the shared humanity that binds us all: “Liberation”     The Afro-Blues Quintet Plus One     1965 “Liberation” is the debut single/opening statement from The Afro-Blues Quintet Plus One, who released five albums

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Dorothy Ashby’s Jazz Harp

Just as Rufus Harley expanded the musical possibilities of the bagpipes, Dorothy Ashby likewise liberated the harp from its orchestral internment.  Dorothy Ashby, as it says on her 1957 debut album, was a “jazz harpist” – though not strictly.  1968’s “Soul Vibrations,” as you can hear, would also incorporate funk

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Rufus Harley’s “Scotch ‘n’ Soul”

Rufus Harley‘s sole 45, “Bagpipe Blues” on Atlantic Records – an original amalgamation of Scottish highland and African-American musical traditions from 1965 – was undoubtedly the first of its kind.  The title track of Harley’s second Atlantic album – “Scotch and Soul” – would find a way to incorporate Afro-Cuban

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First Steinberger Bass Sighting?

Q:  Do you remember where were you the first time you encountered that newfangled electric bass of the 1980s made out of some kind of industrial epoxy — and invented by an industrial furniture designer who had no prior experience with musical instruments?   Home video of The Dixie Dregs playing

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"Elephant Talk"
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Alphonso Johnson + The Emmett Chapman Stick

I was having a rare meal out alone and needed something to read, so I purchased a Rolling Stone back issue from 1979 that included an article about a new and somewhat radical 10-stringed electric instrument invented by Emmett Chapman called “The Stick.” Emmett Chapman in 1970 with prototype and

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