Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Jazz

“Jaguar”: George Benson, Most Exciting New Guitarist

Not sure if you’ve heard of George Benson, but apparently he’s new and very exciting: “Jaguar”     George Benson     1966 As it turns out, he’s not new:  this original instrumental is from 1966 album, It’s Uptown.  But he’s still exciting to listen to nearly 50 years later. I love

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“Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead”: Sammy & Buddy, United in Battle

Sammy Davis, Jr. and Buddy Rich emerge triumphant a mere minute & forty-five seconds into this classic confrontation between good and evil: “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead”     Sammy Davis, Jr. & Buddy Rich     1966 Ernie Freeman, Arranger — George Rhodes, Conductor — Jimmy Bowen, Producer. Amazing But True Buddy

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Charlie Byrd’s Guitar Weeps – Due to Late 60s Social Tumult

In an attempt to convince the skeptical (and serious) music purchaser that this album really is a wise investment in the quality of one’s listening experience, almighty Columbia tries to have its cake and eat it, too, with Charlie Byrd’s Aquarius album from 1969, as the unnamed writer of the

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“Slick”: Musical Athletics as Envisioned by Herb Alpert

Herb Alpert demonstrates music’s connection with athletics in this playfully surreal video for “Slick” by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, from ‘Beat of the Brass’ – Herb’s 1968 television special: “Slick”     Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass     1968 There’s a comically dangerous moment (or is it dangerously

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“Jazz Ain’t Nothin’ But Soul”: What Jazz Is

From what I can tell, Norman Mapp only released one album as a vocalist – 1961’s Jazz Ain’t Nothin’ But Soul on the Epic label, an imprint of almighty Columbia Records.  As a songwriter, however, Norman Mapp saw his songs recorded by a number of artists, such as “Rock and

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“Jump Children”: These Ladies Rock

International Sweethearts of Rhythm, first of all, is a great name for an all-female band that can really swing, as well as throw down the boogie, as on this tune, “Jump Children”: Given the group’s top-notch talent and global aspirations, there is shockingly little of The International Sweethearts of Rhythm

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"Four Brothers"

The Barclay Stars: Five French Guitars

The album cover would seem to say it all — but the liner notes reveal that this is not just any ordinary guitar army: This album was recorded in France.  It spotlights the work of five of France’s outstanding guitarists:  Francis Le Maguer (musical director), Pierre Cullaz, Raymond Gimenes, Paul

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Toots Thielemans: Ya Ya!

From Toots Thielemans‘ appearance on David Sanborn’s ‘Night Music’ TV show, I learned that Toots is a jazz harmonica virtuoso who (1) played the harmonica on the original ‘Sesame Street‘ theme song, as well as (2) whistled the famous melody for the Old Spice deodorant TV ads of the 1970s.

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Joe Pass: Unlikely Mid-60s Stones Fan

If you search the web for information about a 1967 album on the World Pacific label by jazz guitar great, Joe Pass – The Stones Jazz – you will generally see uniform agreement that this album was recorded on July 20, 1966.  I love that:  one day to record an

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