News & Updates

Big Mean Sound Machine: Video Premier & Big Mean BBQ

Big Mean Sound Machine: Video Premier & Big Mean BBQ

Since the release of Big Mean Sound Machine's fourth album Runnin' For The Ghost, released in April on Peace & Rhythm (North & South America) and Blank Slate (Europe & Asia), the band has continued touring relentlessly, winning new fans every time out with their avant-afro-psych-funk. The album has gotten a lot of radio play and excellent support from publications & blogs such as Downbeat, Afropop Worldwide, Okay Player, Global A Go-Go, Afrobeat Blog, Funkish, Grateful Web, Brooklyn Vegan and more. Word on the street is that this is one of critic's favorite albums of the year. We're also pleased...

Read more →


Joe Tex / Aug 8, 1935 - Aug 13, 1982

Joe Tex / Aug 8, 1935 - Aug 13, 1982

Born on this day in 1935 was the great Joe Tex! (later known as Yusuf Hazziez). From Texas, he played bari sax in a high school band and sang in church. He developed a style of part-preacher, part-rapper and made some funky, funky tunes (nasty ones like "I Gotcha!" and "Give The Baby"), and made a lot of "answer" songs to add to the fun. After some amateur-contest success at the Apollo Theater, he signed to King in '55 but struggled for a decade to make any hits. He garnered a big rep as a crazy live act. James Brown stole...

Read more →


Rahsaan Roland Kirk / Aug 7, 1935 - Dec 5, 1977

Rahsaan Roland Kirk / Aug 7, 1935 - Dec 5, 1977

One of my heroes, Rahsaan Roland Kirk brought a playful humor and inspired work ethic to some serious blues & bop chops. A man who could play THREE saxophones at the same time with a nose flute and bells around his ankles, but could really play a solo with the best. It is no secret that he was one of Jimi Hendrix's all time favorites: in fact as Jimi was blowing up big, he was found playing in Kirk's group one never-recorded weekend at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. (Hendrix said that Kirk told him to turn his volume UP). From...

Read more →


Charlie Haden / Aug 6, 1937 - July 11, 2014

Charlie Haden / Aug 6, 1937 - July 11, 2014

One of the greats, happy birthday to jazz bassist/composer/activist Charlie Haden. He was part of the revolutionary Ornette Coleman Quartet that took the jazz world by storm when they arrived in NYC in the late '50s. He grew up in Iowa from a professional country music family, singing with them until polio messed up his voice. After seeing Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton live in '54 he started playing jazz as a bassist. In '57 he moved to Los Angeles and started playing with Paul Bley, Art Pepper and Hampton Hawes. He was roommate for awhile with bass legend Scott...

Read more →


Dorothy Ashby / Aug 6, 1930 - April 13, 1986

Dorothy Ashby / Aug 6, 1930 - April 13, 1986

The queen of break-beat harp-jazz, Dorothy Ashby grew up in Detroit. Her father was a jazz guitarist and she went to high school with Donald Byrd and Kenny Burrell. After college she gigged around as a pianist in the early '50s while also dedicating time to mastering the harp. By the mid-'50s she was playing bop as a harpist and recorded several albums for Prestige, Atlantic and the Chess family of labels from the late '50s into the '70s. Her classic 1970 album The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby featured her on the Japanese koto. Her tunes have been sampled by hiphop...

Read more →