Amazing Grace, Aretha!!

K.O.

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Started watching Amazing Grace on Hulu last night. This is a concert film/documentary of Aretha Franklin recording a live album of gospel songs at a church in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. The resulting album was a best seller but the film (shot by big time Hollywood director Sidney Pollock) which was meant to be released in tandem to the record was never completed at that time due to some technical issues. It is, perhaps, not a coincidence that this footage did not surface until after Aretha's passing as she was known to be very particular about such things.

Aretha is backed by a large choir and the vocals are breathtaking. The musical backing, centered around piano and B3 is also wonderful. I only watched about half of it last night but hope to have the time to watch the rest tonight.

Drumming was handled by Bernard Purdie who does a great job playing what appears to be a Ludwig Hollywood set in champagne sparkle. It's my understanding though that later on Arif Mardin, one of the record's producers, had the drum parts wiped and re-recorded by Ringo Starr in order to get the right feel for the actual record release ;) .

If you have access to this and the time it's worth seeking out. I also recently rewatched (for the third time) Searching for Sugarman on Netflix. That is another music documentary with an incredible story that is almost too weird to be true. Either one is a great way to burn up a couple hours.
 
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bonzo60

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It's my understanding though that later on Arif Mardin, one of the record's producers, had the drum parts wiped and re-recorded by Ringo Starr in order to get the right feel for the actual record release ;) .
Really!... Seriously!...I never knew.
Great recording by the way, highly recommended.
 

K.O.

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Really!... Seriously!...I never knew.
Great recording by the way, highly recommended.
Turnabout is fair play...it would be kind of funny if Ringo started to claim that it was he who actually played some of Purdie's better known performances. LOL.
 

studrum

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Started watching Amazing Grace on Hulu last night. This is a concert film/documentary of Aretha Franklin recording a live album of gospel songs at a church in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. The resulting album was a best seller but the film (shot by big time Hollywood director Sidney Pollock) which was meant to be released in tandem to the record was never completed at that time due to some technical issues. It is, perhaps, not a coincidence that this footage did not surface until after Aretha's passing as she was known to be very particular about such things.

Aretha is backed by a large choir and the vocals are breathtaking. The musical backing, centered around piano and B3 is also wonderful. I only watched about half of it last night but hope to have the time to watch the rest tonight.

Drumming was handled by Bernard Purdie who does a great job playing what appears to be a Ludwig Hollywood set in champagne sparkle. It's my understanding though that later on Arif Mardin, one of the record's producers, had the drum parts wiped and re-recorded by Ringo Starr in order to get the right feel for the actual record release ;) .

If you have access to this and the time it's worth seeking out. I also recently rewatched (for the third time) Searching for Sugarman on Netflix. That is another music documentary with an incredible story that is almost too weird to be true. Either one is a great way to burn up a couple hours.
You're watching our Detroit culture, KO. Word around here is that 'Ree didn't like her hair is why the movie didn't come out. She is very quiet, serious, and reserved in the movie, which is something, considering that she was at the height of her powers.

What gets me is that the movie/service takes place over two nights. On the first night, it looks like the church is only about half full (!). There are many more people on the second night. I can't remember which night, but some suspicious-looking rock stars are lurking about.

What also gets me is that the band is basically the guys who are about to start playing on Steely Dan albums: Cornell Dupree, Mr. Purdie, Chuck Rainey, and Richard Tee (maybe?).

Rodriguez has been a neighborhood guy around here for many years. He has lived in the Cass Corridor for a long time. In the early 80's he would be at some of my gigs at Alvin's, just relaxing and enjoying a drink in his Army fatigue jacket, year-round, after a day of doing demolition work. He was not doing that much music at that time. Those first two records are wonderful, highly recommended. He's like a Hispanic Dylan. Beautiful orchestrations. One of my bands plays "You Can't Get Away."
 
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bonzo60

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Turnabout is fair play...it would be kind of funny if Ringo started to claim that it was he who actually played some of Purdie's better known performances. LOL.
I agree Kevin. I was curious if Ringo ever had knowledge of Purdie's claims. I'm sure at some point it was brought to his attention.
That recording is excellent though and I'm going to give it a listen this weekend.
 

bonzo60

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Rodriguez has been a neighborhood guy around here for many years. He has lived in the Cass Corridor for a long time. In the early 80's he would be at some of my gigs at Alvin's, just relaxing and enjoying a drink in his Army fatigue jacket, year-round, after a day of doing demolition work. He was not doing that much music at that time. Those first two records are wonderful, highly recommended. He's like a Hispanic Dylan. Beautiful orchestrations. One of my bands plays "You Can't Get Away."
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Cold Fact and Coming From Reality are really great recordings. Rodriguez has had an interesting career for sure and his popularity outside of the U.S. is quite fascinating. He appears to be a very humble soul from all I've read. The documentary sure brought him significant exposure and well deserved royalties.
Is Dennis Coffey a fixture or still performing in your neck of the woods?
 

studrum

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You can see Dennis Coffey every Tuesday at Northern Lights, in Detroit's New Center area, from 8 till about 11:30. No cover. Yes, he is an important figure in the later Detroit period of Motown Records. He definitely had a hand in the "Psychedelic Soul" stuff, produced a lot of records. For many years, if you ran into a conga player in clubs or playing in the street, people would demand that he "Play "Scorpio," man!"
 

bonzo60

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I remember first hearing "Scorpio and Taurus" on Soul Train in '72. Bought the album and burned a hole in the grooves. My first drum teacher charted out the drum parts in both those songs and I worked hard to get those parts down while I played to the 45. I went to predominately black schools and there was no escaping the Detroit sound...The Funk Bros. ruled! I've often made that same remark to conga players over the years.
What a treat it must be to see Dennis...King of the "Fuzz" guitar! Messina and Ashford are the still living but Dennis is the only remaining member from the later era.
Chuck Berry played for years, once a month in the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, here in STL. All of that soul and funk music from that era is timeless.
Sorry KO, drifted away from original post.
 

K.O.

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I agree Kevin. I was curious if Ringo ever had knowledge of Purdie's claims. I'm sure at some point it was brought to his attention.
Ringo is aware of Purdie's claims. He was asked about it by Max Weinberg way back when in Max's interview for his book "The Big Beat". Ringo basically says it's just a bunch of b.s., which, of course, it is.

Ringo is so much more well known than Purdie, probably by a thousandfold, it would be funny if he went around saying he played drums on those Steely Dan tracks. Given that he is the best known drummer in the world most people would likely believe him.
 

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I had always loved the "Amazing Grace" recording and was thrilled to learn about the film when it was released. It never aired anywhere close to where I live but checked it out when it came available for streaming and have since watched it three more times.

Wow! I rank this as the greatest documented live video performance of any artist past or present and the vibe captured in those two nights at the church is beyond description. The choir arrangements are pure fire, her legendary band cooks throughout, and her singing and delivery is unparalleled. Must see! I just wish the camera caught more of Purdie doing his thing.
 

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I only recently learned Duane Allman worked on some of the things she recorded at Muscle Shoals. Not AG but some other things
 


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