quinta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2020
She, and most drag performers, were driven out of Boston in 1948 when Archbishop Cushing banned them. In New York she was a regular at 82 Club. She put out an LP, Come to Me at Tea-Time, 1968, and was a guest singer in the seminal film, The Queen, 1968, hosted by Jack Doroshow (Sabrina). She was a regular in Avery Willard’s Ava-Graph films, and also a member of the Ridiculous Theatre Company. She also worked with the underground film director, Andy Milligan, even to the point of sewing dresses when he opened a dress shop.
She is a connecting link from the drag shows in the days of vaudeville and burlesque, through the avant-garde of the 1960s to the end of the 20th century. However she says that she made more money as a sex worker than as a singer.
She was an activist in the early Gay Liberation movement in New York. Although she was non-op, she normally wore female clothing off-stage as well as on, and preferred female pronouns for herself. She was also a musicologist and gay historian. She died at age 73.
domingo, 20 de setembro de 2020
To listen to guitarist Ray Russell's early Columbia recordings is to open an ear onto a different world, at least a different world in jazz. Dragon Hill's quartet of Russell, pianist Roger Fry, bassist Ron Matthewson, and drummer Alan Rushton was a frighteningly solid jazz unit. They could play the canon until the cows came home and yet, also made the best case for modern British jazz at the time. These were young, restless players; while the blues were fine and good, the edges explored by John Coltrane and the electric Miles Davis group were difficult to resist. Dragon Hill is the sound of a band reinventing itself; undoing the method they previously played music in and replacing it with an intense monster they could barely handle, let alone control. Nothing on this disc was edited, and everything was done in one take without overdubs of any kind. When Russell states a blues theme lifted straight from Davis' "All Blues," you wonder what's up.But it lasts only a moment because he goes right out of the frame. The band keeps the mode harmonically, but Russell loops over the margins and gets the band to explore with him. They return periodically -- especially Russell, who seems afraid to let go -- but by the time they reach the next tune, "Something in the Sky," the fear is gone. "Dragon Hill" winds out, wailing the blues in a whole new context, unburdened by the chord changes. "Something in the Sky" is like a bebop tune that has become unwound. Adding a four-piece horn section here and on "Mandala," the album's closer, Russell reveals how much influence Jimi Hendrix had on him. He takes in the jazz leanings of the horn players, creates a new harmonic base with Fry, and then shoves his screaming rock guitar into the thick of jazz. It's as if he's trying to break it all apart and it works with the context of the group. The album's backbone is "Can I Have My Paperback Back." Russell's melodic line gets doubled by Fry on electric piano, and they take the blues to ride into the jazz-funk territory before spiraling the entire composition into pure improvisation without any regard for where or when they may return -- and they never do fully. It's a different tune at the end. Dragon Hill is the first in a pair of albums that revealed -- at least to those in Great Britain lucky enough to hear him play -- that Russell wasn't merely a fine jazz player, but a truly original musical thinker and an improvisational force to be reckoned with. This disc is a wonderful introduction to an underappreciated artist. AMG. listen here
Despite this success, all the bandmembers left, forcing Charlie Allen to build a new Pacific Gas & Electric around him. Enter guitarist Ken Utterback, bassist Frank Petricca, Ron Woods on drums, Jerry Aiello on keyboards, trumpet player Stanley Abernathy, sax players Alfred Gallegos and Virgil Gonsalves, and percussionist Joe Lala. Around this time, the Pacific Gas & Electric Utility Company asked the band to change their name, which was shortened to PG&E, also the title of their 1971 album. They also appeared in and provided music for the Otto Preminger film Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon starring Liza Minnelli.listen here