From today’s New York Times:
Les Paul, Guitar Innovator, Dies at 94
By John Pareles
In 1940 or 1941 — the exact date is unknown — Mr. Paul made his guitar breakthrough. Seeking to create electronically sustained notes on the guitar, he attached strings and two pickups to a wooden board with a guitar neck. “The log,” as he called it, was probably the first solid-body electric guitar and became the most influential one. “You could go out and eat and come back and the note would still be sounding,” Mr. Paul once said.
The odd-looking instrument drew derision when he first played it in public, so he hid the works inside a conventional-looking guitar. But the log was a conceptual turning point. With no acoustic resonance of its own, it was designed to generate an electronic signal that could be amplified and processed — the beginning of a sonic transformation of the world’s music.
Paul died today, after a bout with pneumonia, in White Plains, New York.
Philadelphia-born jazz drummer Rashied Ali, a veteran of sessions by John and Alice Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Pharoah Sanders, and the leader of his own Rashied Ali Quintet, died yesterday at the age of 74.
Ali and Ponderosa Stomp fave James Blood Ulmer worked together in the groups New York Art Quartet and Phalanx. Go here to read a great interview from Jazz Weekly.
Were you able to hoof your way to New York last month when Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan of the San Francisco-based face-meltingly fantastic rock group the Flamin Groovies — backed by the ever-capable A-Bones — reprised their appearance at the 8th annual Ponderosa Stomp with a pair of gigs at Maxwell’s and Southpaw? The … Continue reading Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan Plus Miriam Linna Make Three
Before the event got underway, the New York Post weighed in with a lengthy preview. David Fricke, in Rolling Stone: “The third night of the inaugural Lincoln Center edition of the Ponderosa Stomp — the annual spring resurrection of forgotten roots-rock and R&B heroes and heroines, founded and held in New Orleans — was … Continue reading Ponderosa Stomp @ Lincoln Center: The Reviews Are In
On the afternoon of Sunday, August 30th, at the Silver Moon Club in Newport, Ark., Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, W.S. Holland, Smoochy Smith, former Little Green Men drummer J.M. Van Eaton and Carl Mann will join forces to celebrate the life of fellow Sun Records alumnus Billy Lee Riley, who died at the age … Continue reading R.I.P. Billy Lee Riley – Benefit On August 30
2600 St. Claude, the site of Frankie and Johnnie’s Furniture Store. Let ’em have it!