Greetings fellow soul survivors and welcome to today’s Friday Fitztory. It felt so poignant to share this today with all that is happening and escalating in Minneapolis Minnesota USA with the brutal racist murder of George Floyd. Both Prince and Sound Of Blackness are a big part of the twin city Minneapolis musical and community fabric. Recorded and published 4 years ago in 2016, look at how providential this conversation extract is in relevance of the present moment with the Black Lives Matter movement which as an African Diaspora man, the cause is important, between myself and Gary Hines of SOB. Read and enjoy Fitzroy Anthoney Facey
Greetings fellow soul survivors. Here’s an intro into today’s Friday’s Fitztory. Like many of my then teenage generation of the late 1970s and early 1980s, I grew up listening to Robbie Vincent Saturday morning 11.30am to 2pm in the afternoon, for what would be considered to be an essential listen. Fast forward to 2006 and having started the Soul Survivors Magazine with former co owner Anna Marshall, we mutually agreed at some point interviewing Robbie Vincent was on top of our hit list and was one of the most requested from our readers as a future feature.
Greetings this Flashback Friday. I sincerely hope everyone is safe and healthy in their safe iSOULAtion zones. Todays Friday Fitztory comes courtesy on an interview I did in 2016 for issue 61 with Marc Mac. He was featured on a first for us split screen front cover with singer songwriter Tahisha and the ‘disco messiah’ Patrick Adams. Marc is a west Londoner like me who under various aliases had released a few tiles I had in my collection unbeknown to me. Musically versatile and respected world wide. Here is a segment from our interview read and enjoy Fitzroy
Me: Your second album Parallel Universe is voted album of the year by NME in 1995 and a year later you remix Nu Yorican Soul’s cover of ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’. Louie Vega says it’s on of the best remixes’ he’s ever heard. I’ve got the Rotary Connection original and loved what you did with it as a cross pollinated balanced production of digital and analogue menagerie. What you achieved there is what Charles Stepney and The Mizell Brothers display on their amazing productions. This is why I cited you as one of 6 influential musician producer’s for Sky TV’s Culture Vulture Black History month special last year.
Marc: I’ve never thought of it like that but now I can understand exactly what you’re saying. At the time with Rotary Connection there was this thing of them interlocking soul with psychedelic music, and behind the scenes there was a pending thought of how to merge the two together. The Mizell Brothers were also trying to incorporate the synthesisers with jazz and I’ve read some artists like Johnny Hammond didn’t like what they were trying to achieve. So yes I can relate to having a battle bringing the electronic sound and sampling through intertwining with what people perceived as soul and jazz traditionally and presenting it in a new way.
Me : I loved the production of drum and bass because it reminded me of the Blue Note Prestige and Strata East quality, but on an independent label from the UK. How did you get the gig to remix ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’?
Marc : That was through Gilles being clever with us both being signed to Talking Loud. We did the ‘Le Fleur’ cover because Gilles did an article in a newspaper saying that no on could do that track, apart from maybe 4hero. Using that B Boy mentality we rose to the challenge. It’s an honour for Louie to credit us so highly for doing that mix. When Gus took the final mix of ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’ down to Talking Loud, both Paul Martin and Gilles Peterson had tears in their eyes upon hearing it. The icing on the cake was hearing from Charles Stepney’s daughter who had nothing but high praise on what we did and we are still in touch with them now.
To read the full interview you can purchase via this link
Greetings to you on this Flashback Friday. After having to put the magazine on hold due to the current pandemic situation and recent conversations with a few encouraging friends and fellow soul survivors, I’ve decided to use some of my musical experiences, articulacy and creative gifts and remain active, and create a new weekly Blog ‘Friday’s Fitztory’ to ‘Spread Love’ like Al Hudson & The Soul Partners. I’ve been fortunate to have deejayed for (and in many cases later) interviewed various iconic artists over the last 27 years. One of them is the man I call ‘Mr Vibes’ aka Roy Ayers. When the Jazz Cafe in Camden, London (circa 1993 onwards) started to host some of the musical messengers who shaped my musical mind, I was a resident deejay and often did many, if not all, of the multiple dates for the artists who performed. After the show I would go upstairs with my albums to get them signed and chat with the artists.
I remember meeting Roy Ayers’ then manager Dennis Armstead an old school American gent, who would greet me warmly and make sure I got to speak with Roy. I remember when I showed Roy my ‘He’s Coming’ and ‘Virgo Red’ albums. He would point out who was who, and who he sacked because they were indulging in drugs. At the time, I never thought of having ‘Candid Camera’ moments with him or any of the many artists, I was just happy to be in their presence, listen to stories and get my albums autographed. If I’d have had a Mystic Meg crystal ball and have known that in the next millennium I’d co-found The Soul Survivors Magazine, those experiences would have been priceless material. Fast forward like a TDK C90 tape, I did manage to interview Roy Ayers for our December 2013 – January 2014 edition and here is an extract which relates to a track from this Blue Peter front cover drawing I did earlier in the week. Read and enjoy. Fitzroy
TSSM: “I have 4 versions of ‘Sweet Tears’, one from David Fathead Newman’s ‘Newmanism’, one from ‘Let’s Do It’ 1978, the Nu Yorican Soul version from 1997 (with Louie Vega) and the first I believe was from ‘He’s Coming.’ I remember deejaying at one of your Jazz Cafe dates and you saying it was inspired by your Mother, how so?”
Roy Ayers: “Yeah it was inspired by my Mother and my Son whom I was leaving behind to travel on the road. Even though my Son stayed with my ex-wife, whose now deceased, he’d often stay with my Mother also. It was a heavy period for me so the words say “Baby though I’m leaving don’t you cry, I’m the one whose grieving, you know why, love is like the wild bird you can’t tie free to stay forever or to fly, though my heart will always stay, gotta make my getaway.” My getaway was to go on the road to entertain people. Wow, you’ve got a good memory to remember that.”
If you’d like to order the issue this came from to read the full interview then go to: https://www.thesoulsurvivorsmagazine.co.uk/…/issue-51-dece…/