Sound News Volume 86 - The Walking Distance-Spring 2020-A New World
Sparrow Sound Design, Southport Records News & Commentary
by b. p. sparrow
Bradley Parker Sparrow & Joanie Pallatto on Southport
AFTER HOURS WITH RICK KOGAN
Musician and singers Joanie Pallatto & husband Bradley
WGN Radio’s Rick Kogan is with Bradley Parker Sparrow and
his wife Joanie Pallatto to talk about what’s cooking at
Southport Records, listen to some amazing voices and talk
about the incredible music at available www.chicagosound.com.
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by b. p. sparrow
Soundnews 86 Update: 6/4/2020
During these troubled times we have used music and words as
a type of medicine. First the virus and then civic unrest
beneath the shadows of George Floyd. As a half black and
half white man I have skipped into the social river of life.
The gangs on the South Side in Woodlawn of my youth. The
smell of fire with the riots of 1968 as many black
businesses burned to the ground creating the wasteland that
we can not look at. On the Southport cover page you see a
picture of George Freeman, proud and lean at "his" home. For
what I have seen in 65 years is but a shadow of
what George and all the Freeman's have seen.
40 years ago I was standing at a bar in Chicago on Lincoln
Ave. The door flew open and two large white men came up to
me and said. "Come with us." I said: "Who are you?" The man
on the left pulled his tight jacket back and it had an
holstered gun. "We ask the questions." It was dark and
raining as the plain clothed police put me in the back seat
of their police issue Chevy. We went west on Cortland Ave.
and then past the Chicago river. I said... "Officer where
are we going?" They said, shut up or you will end up over
there, pointing (in the river) and no one will know it...
or... why. They pulled up to a white frame house and a young
white woman was on the stairs, her head bent over. The cop
said... "Come here and look at this boy... is it him?" She
shifted down the steep stairs and looked at me. "No, that is
not him... he was blacker..."
Silence as we drove away back to the bar on Lincoln. "Get
out." I did not go back in the bar.
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The Walking Distance
Do I have a 6' 2x4 to keep the sweating, heathing large man away from me while jogging on the sidewalk by Whole Foods? Will he guide his healthy body away from me, or ignore me because I am a large, bald ancient black man? Does he know that I am from the arts and streets, a musician/composer or am I just another black man stranded from the L train on the perfect North Side of Chicago. What is the walking distance? Is the virus a large George Orwell strainer that filters out the chosen perfect? So many years since 1984, or 2001, or 911 as the earth, like a giant forest fire clears away the trees?
What is the Walking Distance?
October 30, 1959, Episode 5, "The Walking Distance"
- the first year of The Twilight Zone.
"Martin Sloan, age thirty-six. Occupation: vice-president, ad agency, in charge of media. This is not just a Sunday drive for Martin Sloan. He perhaps doesn't know it at the time, but it's an exodus. Somewhere up the road he's looking for sanity. And somewhere up the road, he'll find something else." Opening narration, Rod Serling. Original score, Bernard Herrman.
Sparrow, born 1954, from 47th and Drexel, Chicago, moved to the "pocket" on 70th and Woodlawn at age 6. Can I go back in time to "The Little Store" that sold butter cookies from a plastic container for 1 cents, like the penny candy? Would the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Fain be there in their 1959 purple Buick? Would young Blackstone Rangers be trying to force me in their gang so that I could fight the west side Disciples? Could I hear the sound of the Illinois Central electric train, next to the Oakwoods Cemetery by the secret path and the sounds of tall, cheap cottonwood trees bending in the wind. And like that back in time episode of the Twilight Zone, when I got back in time, would I see myself as a child, my parents and my relatives as the sun sets next to "Daddy Harry's" chrome barbeque grill and taste Harry's secret barbeque sauce as his wife "Grandma Brown" smoked Kool cigarettes?
What is the walking distance? Gig Young plays the ad executive that goes back in time.
If you look closely you will spot Ron Howard from The Andy Griffith show in this episode as the Wilcox boy... Ronny and I were both born in 1954. I wished at age 5 that my father was really more like Andy Griffith.
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How many times have you tried to tear off a payment section from a bill and the quick tear perforations are so close and weak toward the fold of the bill that you have to stop. You say to yourself, "I will destroy this bill if I am not patient." Then you go into very slow hand motion and try to define the perforations with smooth even strokes. Oh no, your new crease increases more perforation confusion. You lose patience and try to go for it. Then, and only then do you destroy the stub.
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Toilet Paper, Tortillas and Joggers
Mother nature is complex. The way we treat our world, as humans is a mess. Pollution,
damage to all rain forests. The use of fossil fuels. And now Covid 19. Did the people
that hoarded all the toilet paper also buy all the fresh tortillas? Did they stuff the tortillas with chorizo and lard and then need all the toilet paper in the world? A rare site these days is a whole wheat tortilla! As far as staying away from people 6 feet while outside, what about joggers on the sidewalk...massive, breathing, sweating and coming right at you like a vulture. Are they eating all of the tortillas and using all the toilet paper?
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See the smoke from that brown mountain,
Lost in anxious hill, you will find. John Prine.
Early 70s joints on Lincoln Ave, beer/bourbon/guitar in hand,
Place a dollar in the pickle tip jar
For a young John Prine at the Plug Nickel, The Earl Of Old Town
Guitar in hand.
Folk of the folk bending notes...
beer/bourbon/guitar in hand,
A young John Prine.
So dark the hair and eyes that shoot right through you,
The melodic view, a southern northern stew
Of working class and dancing fast.
So young the man from Maywood, Illinois
This is his time.
John Prine (RIP)
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Southport CD Projects in the works... Art marches on!!!!!!
George Flynn "Duo Diorama" (S-SSD 0149)
performs music by George Flynn and Winston Choi
MingHuan Xu, violin and Winston Choi, piano
Composer/Pianist/Producer Flynn returns with his 13th CD project from the Southport Composers Series, "Duo Diorama."
This CD includes three works performed by Duo Diorama (violinist MingHuan Xu and pianist Winston Choi). Those works are: Flynn's Seeking Serenity, Winston Choiâ€™s Tetrachromatic Musings and Flynn's Meditative Fantasy. A fourth piece
on the CD is Flynn's piano solo American Icon, performed by Winston Choi.
Recorded live on September, 2018 and May, 2019 as part of the Chicago Soundings Concert Series at Queen Of Angels Church in Chicago by engineers Carl Beitler and Todd A. Carter on the 9' Steinway concert grand.
George Flynn (b. 1937) has performed and organized concerts of new music in a variety of New York City and Chicago venues. Many of Flynn's works reflect extra-musical interests, including images of this country and the Vietnam experience. His chamber duos consider human relationships, and several piano solos seek to extend the limits of gestural, technical and poetic elements.
The Boston Globe called Flynn's 2011 Tanglewood performance of his "Pieces of Night" "a furiously virtuosic, brilliantly chiseled 50-minute monument to Vietnam-era insomnia, turbulence both historic and timely."
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Joanie Pallatto "My Original Plan" (S-SSD 0150)
"Joanie's engaging warmth, easy precision and sweet sense of rhythm..."
Howard Mandel - journalist, author and jazz critic
Singer/Songwriter and label co-owner Joanie Pallatto returns to the Southport Records catalog with her brand new creation "My Original Plan."
"My Original Plan" will be Joanie Pallatto's third recording of all original songs! Master Guitarist Fareed Haque will add the credit of Music Producer to this project.Pallatto and Haque continue to fine-tune the arrangements and production. Haque is featured on "As You Spend Your Life" (Southport 2011) and "It's Not Easy" (Southport 2008).
"My Original Plan" features the Southport session rhythm section of Fareed Haque on guitar, John Devlin on electric bass and Luiz Ewerling on drums. Together, they tracked 14 new original songs in 3 session days, engineered by Todd A. Carter (TV POW) and Sparrow, her partner in sound and life. On select tracks, Harp Master Howard Levy is along for the ride, plus creations from pianist/composer Bradley Parker-Sparrow. Sessions were tracked at Sparrow Sound Design (The Library) in the winter of 2019 (December 6, 7 & 8). JP wrote all the songs (music and lyrics) with a couple of cuts co-composed by Sparrow.
Joanie Pallatto has performed over the years at Pangea and The Iridium in New York City, City Winery, The Green Mill, Andy's, and Katerina's in Chicago and at The Chicago Jazz Festival in 2019. This is her third CD of all original music, and she has released a total of 15 recordings, including CDs with Bradley Parker-Sparrow.
Since we are all stuck at home/studio now... JP is polishing the creation! Lock-ins, keep your digital eyes open for the CD's first video "Do Butterflies Cry."
Due out, as soon as we can finish the mix!
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Josie Falbo "You Must Believe In Spring" (S-SSD 0151)
Chicago Writer and WGN-AM host Rick Kogan says of Josie Falbo: "Stunning...astonishing...a revelation"
Following Chicago vocalist Josie Falbo's first Southport CD "Taylor Street" (Southport 2010) she returns with a new opus, "You Must Believe In Spring." You'll hear new recordings of classic material from The Great American Songbook, including Billy Strayhorn's "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing", Harold Arlen/Truman Capote's mesmerizing "A Sleepin' Bee" and the title track, "You Must Believe In Spring" where Falbo soars with complete authenticity (Michel Legrand/Jacques Demy/Marilyn & Alan Bergman).
Arranger and Co-Producer Carey Deadman arranged and conducted tracks for an 18-piece string orchestra, and multi horns to splendid effect! Veteran Jim Massoth is the main recording and mixing engineer at Crystall Recorders, and he swings the tenor sax solo on "Just You, Just Me." Musicians include Jeremy Kahn on piano, Mark Colby, Jim Gailloreto, Dave Onderdonk, Mike Smith, Ernie Denov, Andy Baker, Roger Ingram, and Rob Parton.
Josie is a true Italian American soprano that works in many forms of music- jazz, pop, R&B and classical. Signed to Vee-Jay Records in 1963, she released a '45 "Leave Me Alone/Easy To Love" which was an early catalyst for her life in music and recording. Over the years you have heard her sing on countless radio and TV commercials, including McDonalds, United Airlines, Sara Lee, Green Giant... the list goes on and on. Josie Falbo has also been featured in conductor and singer Bob Bowker's critically acclaimed "Lakeside Singers", touring the Chicago area with concerts.
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THE THING! (1951/1982/2011)
James Arness plays "The Thing" in the 1951 version of this RKO film. Fame came to Arness when he landed the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke. The black and white horror movie was directed by Christian Nyby. John Carpenter directed the 2nd version in 1982 starring Kurt Russell as a helicopter pilot. JP and I actually saw this outside of Cincinnati, Ohio at a shopping mall complex... it was a very bloody epic with a walking head with it's own legs!
The third version of "The Thing" I had not heard of (2011) was directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. It came on late night cable and was actually pretty good. In that film one of the lead actors barked to the group: "This is a monster, a virus! And what do you do when there is a virus?" Her fellow actor answered: "Quarantine! We can't let it get out into the world, it is the only way."
And sadly that is the way of the world with the new Covid 19 virus, or The Thing is what they called it in Hollywood... as we quarantine.... away, from "The Thing."
-b. p. sparrow (April 2020)
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Real Jazz Made In Chicago
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Southport Records was founded in Chicago in 1977 as an independent voice for new music from Chicago to a world audience. There are over 148 projects in print.
Real Jazz Made In Chicago – Real Music Made In Chicago
Southport Records celebrates the documentation of recording Chicago artists for the past forty-three years!
Sparrow Sound Design (1977 - 2020)
See and hear Joanie & Sparrow on youtube!
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