Wednesday Open Thread: Otis Spann

It's Day 114 of the Year 2019 CE (Gregorian), meaning that it's April 24, 2019 (Gregorian), or 13.0.6.7.15 by the long count


Otis Spann, maybe the greatest Blues pianist

Otis Spann died April 24, 1970. His peers know him as one of the masters and legends, but the public less so.

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By the age of 14, he was playing in bands in the Jackson area. He moved to Chicago in 1946, where he was mentored by Big Maceo Merriweather. Spann performed as a solo act and with the guitarist Morris Pejoe, working a regular spot at the Tic Toc Lounge.[3] Spann became known for his distinctive piano style. He replaced Merriweather as Muddy Waters's piano player in late 1952 and participated in his first recording session with the band on September 24, 1953.[9] He continued to record as a solo artist and session player with other musicians, including Bo Diddley and Howlin' Wolf, during his tenure with the group. He stayed with Waters until 1968.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otis_Spann

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If you go to that page, near the bottom you will find a list of albums he did, followed by a partial list of thoe he did with others. Off the top of my head, even I know of one that is missing. The number of people he played with or behind is really something else. My missing Album is "Super Super Blues Band", and the frontmen are Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley. The backing band is Buddy Guy on Bass, Clifton James on Drums, Hubert Sumlin on Guitar, and Otis Spann on Piano. You simply do not sit in on a session like that unless you are truly something special.
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(Looks like Willie Dixon on Base)

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Otis Spann - piano, Robert Lockwood, Jr. - Composer, Guitar, Vocals

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Image is Otis Spann, maybe the greatest Blues pianist by Friends of the Calumet-Sag Trail (and is available via creative commons license summarized here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ and "printed" in full here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode

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Its an open thread so have at it. The floor is yours
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Raggedy Ann's picture

When I was a child in the late 50's, I had a much older brother, already in HS, that played the piano. He would pound out blues when mom wasn't home. If he tried when she was around, she'd make him stop making "that noise on the piano." A classical music lover, Blues were not her cup of tea. Listening to Otis makes me think that's who my brother was listening to back then and mimicking. Thanks for this trip down memory lane.

Have a lovely hump day, folks! Pleasantry

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
you. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

Started with a trip to the Psychologist, who confirmed that I was doing just fine. The fact I'm still hurting a little is a GOOD sign. You don't heal instantly from emotional upheavals, and I get that now.

So, got home, and my neighbor was selling scrap. Got a major haul for cheap (Forty Bucks, due my next paycheck.). Two Propane Burners (Still have to build the forge but I have the burners now!), A professional angle grinder (No disks, but they're cheap), A set of 10" metal files, A brass hammer, some small vices, a couple cheap small crowbars that will make a great set of tongs as soon as I hunt down a properly sized awl and rivet, and a shallow water boat anchor that's really just a three foot long high carbon steel spike. GREAT material for working on a piece.

Daughter gets home, and we discover that she enjoys playing her music upside down and backwards. She's just getting to the point where she's been bored by the same melodies and tunes in music class with NO variation. So I showed her what happens when you turn your sheet music upside down. Then we tried flipping it over and reading it THROUGH the paper. I haven't seen such joy on her face in a long time. Three new songs from every piece of music. Smile

Finally, went to the dentist. I hate getting fillings, but took care of 4 yesterday. Only 2 more visits and I'm DONE. Then got home, and crashed like crazy.

6 more days till I'm medically cleared to start working again. Things to remember before I start... EYE PROTECTION. Hand isn't as vital, but I still need to be careful. Need to also remember to make a stand for the metal on the forge. A three foot piece of steel isn't going to fit in the forge, so I'm going to have to shear it off about halfway. I figure 18 inches of steel is more than enough to work with at a time. (Planned dimensions of the Forge. The two burners are campfire burners, so I need to make sure I separate the elements from the forge itself as much as possible. Last thing I need is my burners melting.)

And some music that I've played before, but I am definitely in Fire up the Metal, and put the Metal in the fire mood today.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

enhydra lutris's picture

@detroitmechworks
re going well, and that is good. Be careful to not over exert, even once you are fully cleared, but congrats on your haul.

Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

Brings me back to my home town and the Ann Arbor Blues fest early 70's. Good times.

Per Wiki ~

The festival has included musicians such as Art Ensemble of Chicago, Count Basie, Booker T. & the MG's, James Brown, Ray Charles, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Dr. John, Al Green, Yusef Lateef, Taj Mahal, Maceo Parker, Sun Ra, Bonnie Raitt, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, and Cecil Taylor.

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Listen to your higher mind.

enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
local blues fest you had there. It is always good to have plenty of live music around.
Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

Another beautiful day here. Mowed most of the big field yesterday. Will finish up today.

Been planting the summer garden. Getting in tomato plants this week. We grow our own heritage plants from seed we've saved...Cherokee purples, Brandywines, German pinks, and so on. I bought some hybrid plants at trade day too...better boys mainly. Supposed to rain Thursday night.

Thanks for the OT and the tunes!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Anja Geitz's picture

@Lookout

We grow our own heritage plants from seed we've saved...Cherokee purples, Brandywines, German pinks, and so on.

I'm thinking they make a striking picture set in a bowl together once harvested. Thoughts?

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
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enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
music. We also have a lot of garden work to do. So far we've only planted one tomator which i opportunistically grabbed at last week's farmers' market. I'm going to be mulching it today with leaves that I'm stripping from the pruned branches of a ribes that I pruned yesterday, along with my raised beds and other stuff. Our "grass" got way too high to mulch with because it was full of seed heads. Happy gardening and such.
Have a great day.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

here all morning. Finally we're getting more than just drizzle. The plants need it.

Thanks for the Otis Spann. That piece; T'Aint Nobody's Business If I Do is awesome. I'm not crazy about the lyrics Smile but wow, what a piece of music.

One more.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx
comments down. Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

Et al...

Thanks for the music. Just read the wiki blurb and an encyclopedia article about Otis. Wow. After he served in ww2 he worked plastering in the day and played at night. Even with all that recognition. Thanks again. Have a good one, all

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma
remember about those days is that the pay wasn't always that great, and, for most music types even today, a side job is often necessary to have a comfortable life.
Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

enhydra lutris's picture

I will be in and out because I will be very busy all week prepping for the next vacation, which includes stockpiling OTs for my absence. Everybody have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

So many wonderful blues artists. Thanks for sharing Otis' story and music.

As a woman, I'm always struck by other woman carving out an artistic niche for themselves within a male dominated industry. Odetta was one of them, and her rendition of The Midnight Special is both emotionally and vocally transcendent.

Have a great day EL and fellow C99'ers!

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

@Anja Geitz
favorite, I started listening to her back in high school and still have some antique and probably non-playable vinyl. I've acquired a couple of CD of her work too. Thanks for midnight special.
Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Anja Geitz's picture

@enhydra lutris

Always enjoy spinning records with other C99'ers Biggrin

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If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

enhydra lutris's picture

lot of blues lyrics are unpleasant by modern standards. It was not only another time, but very much another world in a very real sense. The music and musicianship, however, ws generally fantastic.
Hope you get just the amount of rain you want and need.
Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/05/14/facebook_trust_dumb/

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS

[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How'd you manage that one?

Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don't know why.
Zuck: They "trust me"
Zuck: Dumb fucks

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard
Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

As a left-wing campaigner for 35 years, I’ve been arrested on picket lines, led anti-imperialist demonstrations and spoken at anti-deportation protests outside police stations. I’ve made speeches at street rallies, in prisons and universities and at pubs.

Yet yesterday, in an unexpected twist of events, I found myself sitting next to Nigel Farage, announcing my intention to stand as a candidate for his Brexit Party in the European elections on May 23.

You’d struggle to find a pair of more unlikely political bedfellows than the former Ukip leader and myself, a former Trotskyist who spent her youth agitating for a workers’ revolution.

We disagree on a wide range of issues — from workers’ and women’s rights to immigration and the NHS. But — and this is a crucial ‘but’ — we agree on the one historic issue that today matters more than anything else: Brexit and the future of British democracy.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6952797/CLAIRE-FOX-explains-rea...

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enhydra lutris's picture

@lotlizard
same vote results today, now that some of the scams and lies behind the original vote have been exposed. Of course, maybe those exposes have already been forgotten. Whatever, it's their call, they made it and without a re-vote, should be implementing it.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris is that they have now enshrined neoliberalism in what amounts to a constitution. Much of Labour's platform, for example, would be illegal in the EU. Intentionally or unintentionally, May has screwed up Brexit. Many think it is intentional (and dictated by her corporate lords and masters) so that GB will not, in the end, leave. Certainly, it would be difficult to make more of a mess of it than Theresa has done. I don't have time to elaborate, but her approach to the process and the negotiations was fundamentally flawed.

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QMS's picture

@Roy Blakeley

another bought politician playing the 'face' of the bourgeois. Payed to take the heat. Obfuscate the issues while buying time.

The whole screen just went blue. Wuz zat?

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Listen to your higher mind.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Roy Blakeley
entrenched over there - thought it was just the banksters and politicos. I guess the visible resistance and rebellion like the yellow vests, Catalan and Greece had me thinking they could beat it back.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/24/prince-edward-island-eleva...

And:
Activists are protecting the Venezuelan embassy in D.C. from coup collaborators
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/04/23/activists-protect-dc-venezuelan-...

Plus:
Ron Paul backs Julian Assange, while the Economist parrots the establishment narrative, and doesn’t.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylFatHMosNw

https://amp.economist.com/leaders/2019/04/20/why-julian-assange-should-b...

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Bisbonian's picture

as I was going through a lot of old Fleetwood Mac videos. Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac...the good stuff.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

enhydra lutris's picture

@Bisbonian
stuff, as your said.

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --