My Funky (In)Disposition

The LF soul music blog run by music-mad Imran Mirza, in conjunction
with his Starpoint Radio show, 'The Blue-in-Green Sessions'.


concert PSAs

Y'know, one of the reasons I love living in London is the gigs!  Genuinelly, I'm amazed that I've managed to see practically every single one of my heroes grace a London stage - I've seen Prince perform with Maceo Parker, I've seen Raphael Saadiq forget the words to 'Detroit Girl', I saw Jay-Z bring Nas out on stage to perform 'Dead Presidents', I saw Bilal stuff his hand down his trousers at the Jazz Cafe and practically m#sterb#te on stage while he ate a peach. 

Bar a couple of acts, I'm on the verge of being able to die a happy man... (as soon as I erase the peach incident from my memory banks).

One of the names that has always managed to escape me though - through rescheduled gigs, cancelled gigs, gigs I didn't even know they were here for - is Soulive.  They're an independent American jazz/funk trio that have released albums on Blue Note Records as well as Stax, and finally I have a ticket to see them 23rd October at the Jazz Cafe.  They're here for 2 nights friends so make sure you secure your ticket, and if you are going on the 23rd, don't forget to bring your autograph book, because I'll be there too (haha, sorry, couldn't resist!)

Jazzanova have also announced a date on 17th November in Scala.  It's their very first concert ever here and they're bringing over vocalist Paul Randolph with them, who contributed 3 songs to the group's 2008 incredible album, 'Of All The Things'.  The fact that they're bringing Randolph over does have me excited that they'll be an album from him soon, and that hopefully our favourite German collective will lend a huge hand in putting it together.

So many gigs, so little time!


James Brown

I'm currently reading an autobiography by James Brown, which was the incredibly thoughtful Christmas gift from my brother-in-law who knows I'm a big fan.  As keen as I am though, I have to admit it's a tough read - I can't think of any biography I've read that bombards you with as many dates, names and places as this one does, and it must be a result of an incredible memory or a helluva lot of research.

It genuinelly is fascinating though - his stories about growing up in a brothel, his time in juvenile prison, his early interactions with up and coming stars like Little Richard and Tina Turner; but out of all these stories, there was one that I really wanted to share with you guys.  The following is an extract from the book and it details his very first recording session for King Records, 4th February 1956:

They rolled the tape and we ripped into "Please" in our style. When we were halway through, Mr Nathan [Syd Nathan, who started the record label] suddenly jumped up from the board.

"What's that? What in the hell are they doing? Stop the tape," he yelled. "That doesn't sound right to my ears." He was in a rage. "What's going on here?" He turned on Gene Redd, who just shrugged because he didn't understand it, either. Then he turned to Ralph Bass. "I sent you out to bring back some talent, and this is what I hear. The demo was awful, and this is worse. I don't know why I have you working here. Nobody wants to hear that noise."

"It's a good song, Syd," Ralph said. "Give them a chance."

"A good song?" He looked at Ralph like Ralph was crazy. "It's a stupid song. It's got only one word in it. I've heard enough." He stormed out of the room and up the stairs to his office.

We were frozen in the studio. We had made it through only half a track of our first professionalrecording session, and the owner of the company had walked out in the middle saying we were so bad he couldn't use us. We were thinking, "Oh, Lord, we're fixing to get sent away, and we just got here." Gene came from behind the glass to talk to us.

"Can't you do it some other way?" he asked.

"That's the way we've always done it," I said.

"But Mr Nathan doesn't like it," he said.

"Mr Nathan doesn't understand it," I said. He looked disturbed at that. "Everybody's music can't be alike, Mr Redd. If everybody comes up here and goes to cutting alike, then nobody's going to do anything."

I showed him the chord changes on the piano and explained to him what we were doing. Once he understood, and it made sense to him, he said he would go and tell Mr Nathan that they should try it, even if it sounded funny. He was gone a long time. While we were waiting, hanging out in the hall, we could hear them yelling upstairs behind closed doors. When Gene came back, all he said was, "Okay, we're going to cut it." When Mr Nathan never showed up again, we couldn't help feeling that the session wasn't legit, but we went ahead with it anyway.  [...]

Before we left Cincinnati we saw a handful of 78 RPM pressings of "Please," but as soon as we got back to Macon we got worried. We heard that Ralph Bass had been fired and King wasn't going to release the record. Mr Nathan hated the master as much as he hated the demo. Mr Brantly was on the phone to him every day for nearly a month. At the end of February, Mr Nathan told him against his better judgment he was going to put the record out on his Federal label. So on March 3, 1956, "Please Please Please" was released. Eventually, it sold a million copies.

James Brown 'The Godfather of Soul', James Brown and Bruce Tucker, 1986, Aurum Press.


Birthday playlist

Thanks to anyone who tuned in to the show marking our 1 year anniversary on Starpoint - we had people listening from London, Dubai and South Africa, so how unbelievably cool is that?!

The show was really to sum up our year on the station and play some of the tracks we love the most by our heroes so hope you all enjoyed it.  We had some requests for the playlist so here it is below:

12th September 2010

'Send It On' - D'angelo [This is the song we opened our debut Starpoint show with!]
'I Hate U' - Prince
'Dust' - Van Hunt
'Jazzy Joint' - J.A.M. f/t Jose James
'Pretty Man' [Extended version] - Prince f/t Maceo Parker
'It's A New Day' - James Brown
'My Man In A Mean Man' - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
'Come On Train' [Ian Parton Remix] - Don Thomas
'Don't Take My Shadow' - Kings Go Forth [I don't think we can big these guys up any more than we already do]
'Boondigga' - Fat Freddy's Drop
'New Morning' [Nicola Conte Remix] - Sabrina Malheiros [Playing this one for Nicola Conte as much as Sabrina Malheiros]
'We're Almost There' [DJ Spinna Remix] - The Jacksons [Have to name check and thank Curly CJ from The Sunday Soul Affair for this gem]
'Skyy, Can You Feel Me' - Raphael Saadiq f/t Rosie Kaye
'Don't You Understand' - Saunders Sermons
'When She Smiles She Lights The Sky' - Plantlife
'Be Still My Beating Heart' - The Randy Watson Experience f/t Nikki Jean
'Soon I'll Be Loving You Again' - Marvin Gaye
'All I Do Is Think About You' - Tammi Terrell
'Ascension' - Maxwell
'Prototype' - Soulive f/t Nigel Hall


1 year old... (well, actually we're 4!)

This Sunday's episode of The Blue-in-Green Sessions marks our 1 year anniversary at Starpoint Radio.

How frickin cool!?

Starpoint is actually the third station that I've presented the show from, and back in 2006, the very first show from the very first station was initially supposed to air on the Friday 6th January, but due to technical issues, the debut show was postponed til the following week, so started Friday 13th January.

The following station that I took the show to was in 2007, and the initial start date was supposed to be Friday 6th April, but again, due to technical difficulties, the show was postponed til the following week, so started Friday 13th April.

It's a bit coincidental, right...?

So then we come to Starpoint in 2009.  Although the show moves from a Friday to a Sunday, guess what the start date is ...? that's right - 6th September.  Guess what happens...? that's right - technical difficulties.  Guess what date is gets moved to...? that's right - 13th September.

I'm hoping that Starpoint is the show's home for life now so hopefully we won't have to test this pattern any more, but it's still kinda cool.

In celebration of the show's first of (hopefully) many years at Starpoint, we're going to pick a few songs/artists that we've discovered over the past year, so let us know if you want to make any requests, or there's a dedication or 'howdy' we can throw your way.

Current songs on the playlist are:

Sabrina Malheiros - 'New Morning' [Nicola Conte Remix]

The Jacksons - 'We're Almost There' [DJ Spinna Remix]

Kings Go Forth - 'Don't Take My Shadow'

The Blue in Green Sessions
LIVE every Sunday 8-10am GMT
(re-broadcast Wednesday 11-1pm GMT)
Exclusively on Starpoint Radio


"3...2...1... Smile"

In the best music news I've heard - probably this year - the new album artwork + title by US rock band Weezer has been dedicated to everyone's favourite TV mental patient and plane-crashed-on-an-island survivor ... Hurley!!

I can't imagine anyone could have watched an episode of L O S T and not warmed to the awesomeness that is Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes - seriously, look at that face ... it's beautiful man!  That's the face of a man you go to for a hug when you're feeling down, that's the face of a man that would give you his last Rolo, that's the face of a man, who'd say "Put your money away dude, I got this round".

This is clearly an act of genius on Weezer's part, but apparently their last album featured a flying dog on the cover so ... (?)