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SoundGround >> Vernon Reid's Masque - Live in Poland

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2/25/13 1:42 AM
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hugomma
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Edited: 02/25/13 1:46 AM
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Another great fusion show on European TV. This time it's Vernon Reid's band Masque Just heard the 1st track. Besides Vernon himself, check out the keyboardist's solo on...whatever that thing is (it looks like a kid's toy). Ali, thanks again for the heads up. What's the name of that first tune?

2/25/13 1:46 AM
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hugomma
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I remember the "Cult of Personality" solo being controversial at the time.  Vernon wassloppy, he was a great rhythm player but a shitty lead player, etc...he sounds pretty damn clean here.

2/25/13 6:38 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/25/13 6:48 AM
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That first tune in the Warsaw show is called "Lightnin'". What a way to start!

There's a great show from NYC's Iridium which you need to know about. It's in several parts. (No "weird keyboard" guy on that show, but it's outstanding Reid! More on that in a second). Part 2 starts with "Lightnin'" on that one:



And Vernon was never sloppy. That was the ears of jealousy, or else people who had never heard any outside playing. Or both.

Speaking of "outside" there is some really sick slide stuff he does in that Iridium show. About 3 minutes into Part 3 I'm thinking. There's a perfect version of "Uptown Drifter" in that show, somewhere, too. I have to re-visit. It's just a really good night (as is the Warsaw thing! That's great, too, and also pretty different!)



The weird keyboard "thing" is just one side of the genius that is Leon Gruenbaum, and it's called a Samchillian Tip Tip Cheeepee. (I'm not sure how many times to repeat the e. "Cheapie" is the idea). There is a demo of it on youtube, and there are a couple websites explaining it. Masque was (or is?) a killer band. Gruenbaum is a big part of it.
2/25/13 6:52 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/25/13 6:58 AM
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I left out a "tip". Here's a very early video of Gruenbaum explaining the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip CheeePeee.



And there's lots more on Samchillian.com

There's more Vernon/Masque on youtube, too. (And when we were visiting Matthew Shipp with William Parker, we got into a discussion of DJ Logic and his use in "jazz" -- he's also really something special on that Masque record, "Mistkaen Identity").
2/25/13 11:20 AM
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hugomma
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When I was a high school meatheaded shred fan, I remember thinking Vernon was sloppy on "Cult...", but that it was cool the way Greg Ginn was cool.  IMHO,  a big part of it was his harsh, processed tone.  I remember there was an interview in Guitar World where he got GRILLED for playing faster than his technique allowed, etc.  As I got more into jazz, I got a better understanding of what he actually did, & grew to love that solo.  I can't think of another hit single with an outside solo like that.

I'm loving this Masque stuff, & look forward to checking out more.  And this Leon Gruenbaum character...

2/25/13 11:38 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 02/27/13 12:45 PM
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Maybe it was Guitar World that started the whole "Vernon plays sloppy" lie. I certainly heard it repeated a lot. I'd seen Vernon something like two dozen times before "Vivid" came out... he was never, ever a sloppy player by the time we got to hear him. I think it's just he was an outside player. Guy was an avant-garde jazzer from the start. His first professional experience was with The Decoding Society. Wait... that was second. His first professional experience was with Joe Bowie's Defunkt. "Thermonuclear Sweat" album. Yeah... that was already "new sheriff in town" sort of stuff. The teen-aged Vernon. But I didn't hear that until after The Decoding Society).
2/27/13 10:17 AM
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DasBeaver
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That guy just keeps getting better, and Vivid kicked my ass right from the start.
3/23/13 1:04 AM
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Mihow
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holy shit black people in my country ... SUB

also, the seven black woman in Poland are drop dead
3/25/13 9:54 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/25/13 9:55 PM
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Mihow - holy shit black people in my country ... SUB
So... you dug the Warsaw performance of Vernon Reid's band?
3/26/13 4:12 PM
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hugomma
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Mihow - holy shit black people in my country ... SUB

also, the seven black woman in Poland are drop dead

For what it's worth, the white guys in Masque, particularly Leon Gruenbaum on keyboards, slay it as much as the brothers do. Not that it should matter....
3/28/13 5:33 PM
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hugomma
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Posting deaf: Vernon's current rig.

3/28/13 5:40 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/28/13 5:50 PM
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He sure uses a lot of stuff. The Mac he describes in terms of domestic abuse of all the other equipment. Makes it all its bitch. Which has been smacked around by it for years and is in recovery.

Seriously, he says that.
3/28/13 6:27 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - He sure uses a lot of stuff. The Mac he describes in terms of domestic abuse of all the other equipment. Makes it all its bitch. Which has been smacked around by it for years and is in recovery.

Seriously, he says that.

That's pretty fucked up, but hilarious at the same time.
3/28/13 6:35 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/28/13 6:44 PM
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Deadpan, hilarious. He's a master.
3/28/13 6:38 PM
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Mihow
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it doesn't matter

just humor

last time I went (10 years ago) the best looking Pole women were black

and yes this was fun, have it bookmarked to check more out from them
3/28/13 6:46 PM
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Ali
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Oh you're not there now! I assumed you were. (And I thought your post was very funny the first time! I just also wanted to know if you checked out the music).
3/28/13 6:52 PM
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hugomma
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Mihow - it doesn't matter

just humor

last time I went (10 years ago) the best looking Pole women were black

and yes this was fun, have it bookmarked to check more out from them

Right on Mihow.  Sometimes tone & humor don't come through online.

Glad you dug Masque.  Vernon Reid's a bad mutherfucker, & Polish women are hot.

4/1/13 12:27 AM
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Majic Sam
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Sounds like Vernon has finally returned to his senses.Was never much of a Living Color fan,mostly due to Danny Glover's bodysuit,and heard some solo Vernon over 10 years ago that seemed pretty muddled,vauguely funk hip hop dance ersatz.Again,I wanted to like it...

This is much more interesting and focused.
4/1/13 12:38 AM
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Ali
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Edited: 04/01/13 3:01 AM
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The records are uneven. "Mistaken Identity" is generally good, and there are gems on the others. Masque, live, has been mindblowing each of the few times I saw them. Really mindblowing.
4/28/13 2:11 AM
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Ali
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Sort of ramshackle, but still pretty cool. This was gig by The Bombastic Meatbats -- Chad Smith's (yes, RHCP) fusion project, with Jeff Kollman on guitar. Here with some guests -- Vernon Reid and Clifford "Moonie" Pusey (from Steel Pulse). Doing Billy Cobham's "Stratus".

4/29/13 10:32 AM
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hugomma
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Edited: 04/29/13 11:31 AM
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ttt for later, thanks Holmes.

I really wish there was more Encryption, with Vernon, Shannon, & Melvin.  The stuff we found on YouTube ranged from very cool (that dirty roadhouse blues thing) to mindblowing ("Warren", that tribute to Sonny Sharrock).

4/29/13 9:51 PM
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pheonix5
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Ali - That first tune in the Warsaw show is called "Lightnin'". What a way to start!

There's a great show from NYC's Iridium which you need to know about. It's in several parts. (No "weird keyboard" guy on that show, but it's outstanding Reid! More on that in a second). Part 2 starts with "Lightnin'" on that one:



And Vernon was never sloppy. That was the ears of jealousy, or else people who had never heard any outside playing. Or both.

Speaking of "outside" there is some really sick slide stuff he does in that Iridium show. About 3 minutes into Part 3 I'm thinking. There's a perfect version of "Uptown Drifter" in that show, somewhere, too. I have to re-visit. It's just a really good night (as is the Warsaw thing! That's great, too, and also pretty different!)



The weird keyboard "thing" is just one side of the genius that is Leon Gruenbaum, and it's called a Samchillian Tip Tip Cheeepee. (I'm not sure how many times to repeat the e. "Cheapie" is the idea). There is a demo of it on youtube, and there are a couple websites explaining it. Masque was (or is?) a killer band. Gruenbaum is a big part of it.

Man, that is some sick playing right there. Thanks for the upload.
4/29/13 11:31 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 04/30/13 9:45 PM
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One of the most musically shocking things for me was finding out that Vernon Reid's best work was before and after Living Colour.  And this is coming from someone who loves Living Colour.  The stuff he's done with Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society, Encryption, & Masque is just stunning.

This is buried in the Ronald Shannon Jackson thread, but I really think you'd dig it, pheonix5.  Although they didn't call themselves Encryption for this gig, it's essentially Encryption: Shannon, Vernon, & Melvin Gibbs on bass.  The three of them played together in the Decoding Society.  Pretty sure Melvin wrote this, it's called "Warren", a tribute to another great player, Sonny Sharrock.  It's beautiful & moving & showcases what these mosters are capable of when they play together.

I'm jonesing for more Encryption.  Like, in a bad way.  Hopefully Shannon has more of this kind of stuff in the vaults & releases it in the not so distant future.

4/30/13 9:44 PM
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hugomma
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ttt, for pheonix5.

4/30/13 10:17 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 04/30/13 10:30 PM
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You'd think Encryption could be another iteration of Power Tools. But I suppose Vernon was "there first" and wouldn't step in so officially for another guitarist who worked with Shannon after him? Maybe if there were a studio record with Cosey... Or I dunno, maybe it's just about needing to be a bandleader most of the time. Still, I'd rather that than, say, the Yohimbe Brothers or Free Form Funky Freqs or the Reid/Sharp/Torn record. Oh well. He won't do what I suggest.... we're just not that close any more ;-)

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