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David Brackett

(b Toronto, Nov 12, 1945). Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He emerged in the late 1960s as a member of the critically acclaimed, Los Angeles-based rock band Buffalo Springfield. He subsequently gained mass exposure in the ‘supergroup’ Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. This widespread fame co-existed in the late 1960s and early 70s with his growing reputation as a singer-songwriter and collaborator with bands such as Crazy Horse and the Stray Gators. His early solo work with Crazy Horse – including the albums Everybody knows this is Nowhere (1969) and After the Gold Rush (1970) – has proved particularly enduring. On these albums his fragile, expressive tenor, and jagged, lyrical lead guitar grace an eclectic mixture of styles, including acoustic ballads, driving rock and lighter country-rock. He coupled these gifts with a melodic songwriting style and with pessimistic and occasionally enigmatic lyrics in such early songs as ...


Roger Steffens

[Buchanan, Manley Augustus]

(b Kingston, April 19, 1949). Jamaican DJ and rapper. Born into poverty, his career began in the early 1970s as the resident toaster for the Emperor Lord Tippertone sound system in Kingston. However, it was through his alliance with the producer Keith Hudson that he achieved success. Between 1971 and 1973 in Jamaica he had seven songs in the charts, five of them in the top ten, including his sound-effect driven S.90 Skank, named after a Japanese motorcycle. In 1973 he appeared in New York at one of the first major reggae events in America, performing Every Nigger is a Star, co-written with the American actor Calvin Lockhart and recorded with Bob Marley’s female vocal backing trio, the I Three. In the mid-70s he caused controversy when he attacked Michael Manley’s socialist government in the song Green Killing Bay (1978).

Big Youth became one of the most influential and emulated DJs. His style was often alive with calls to consciousness and rebellion and was simultaneously humorous and intimidating. Over familiar roots rhythms and foreign pop tunes, his vocal style included shrieks, squeals, shouts and growls, as can be heard on the albums ...


Leah G. Weinberg

(b Exeter, NH, Nov 8, 1961). American Musician, songwriter, record company founder, and author. Zanes was raised near Concord, New Hampshire, and after attending Oberlin College for one year, moved to Boston. There, Zanes, his brother Warren, the bass player Tom Lloyd, and the drummer Steve Morrell formed the Del Fuegos. The roots-rock band produced five albums between 1984 and 1989, with singles “Don’t Run Wild,” “I still want you,” “Name Names,” and “Move with me Sister.” After the Del Fuegos disbanded and Zanes’s solo album Cool Down Time failed to sell, he began to listen to banjo songs, cowboy tunes, and traditional songs that he remembered from childhood. After his daughter Anna was born, Zanes’s dissatisfaction with the American children’s music market led him to form a family-oriented band that merged folk and rock styles and instrumentation. Initially known as the Wonderland String Band, the New York based-group underwent changes in title and personnel, first to the Rocket Ship Revue, and then to Dan Zanes & Friends. The seven-member band has produced nine albums on Zanes’s label, Festival Five Records, which include original songs as well as folk, traditional, and gospel songs from the United States, Jamaica, Africa, and Mexico. ...


Max Paddison


(b Baltimore, Dec 21, 1940; d Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, Dec 4, 1993). American composer, rock musician and guitarist. His family moved to California in 1950, where Zappa played the drums and guitar in high-school bands with, among others, Don Van Vliet (later to become Captain Beefheart). He studied briefly at Chaffey College, Alta Loma, but left to write music for B-movies. In 1964 he formed his band the Mothers of Invention (originally the Soul Giants); the personnel changed frequently and Zappa disbanded the group in the 1970s to work with musicians selected for particular projects, including Ian Underwood (keyboards, saxophones, brass, guitar etc.), Ruth Underwood (percussion), George Duke (keyboards and trombone), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Sugar Cane Harris (organ, electric violin and vocals) and Jean-Luc Ponty (violin).

The Mothers of Invention’s first release was Freak Out! (Verve, 1966), which savagely parodied both corporate America and hippy counter-culture in such songs as ‘Hungry Freaks, Daddy’ and ‘Who are the Brain Police?’, culminating in ‘The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet’, an extended improvisation using avant-garde techniques. It was followed by ...


Kenneth S. Habib

(b Chicago, IL, Jan 24, 1947; d Los Angeles, CA, Sept 7, 2003). American Rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist. He began studying classical piano after moving to California as a child, and following the divorce of his parents, he dropped out of high school and left home to pursue popular music. A witty and characteristically dark satirical artist, he was associated with the Los Angeles–based singer-songwriters emerging from the mid-1960s to early 1970s. His recording career began in the duo Lyme & Cybelle in 1966. He continued composing and session work until the 1969 recording of his first solo album, Wanted Dead or Alive, which met with lackluster reception. His 1976 eponymous album, which was produced by Jackson Browne, featured a host of solid supporting artists and met with critical acclaim and commercial success. Excitable Boy was released in 1978 and certified platinum. Co-produced by Jackson Browne and Waddy Wachtel, it featured Zevon’s biggest hit, “Werewolves of London,” along with the successful title track, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” and “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” which he had co-written with a former mercenary in Spain during the summer of ...


Gary W. Kennedy

(b New York, April 14, 1945). American drummer. He began playing drums while at school and later studied theory at the Mannes College of Music. After graduation from CCNY in 1969 he moved to California, where from 1970 he appeared as a freelance with, among others, Ron McClure, Steve Swallow, Art Lande, Mike Nock, and Mel Martin, and worked regularly with Vince Guaraldi. In 1974 he returned to New York and performed in the Persian Room at the Plaza Hotel. Zigmund played drums with Bill Evans (ii) from January 1975 through 1977, and occasionally afterwards until November 1978. During his tenure with Evans he worked in a short-lived trio with Eddie Gomez and Bennie Wallace and recorded under Gomez’s leadership (1976). He then joined Richard Beirach’s trio Eon and worked as a freelance in Jim Hall’s trio (alongside Harvie Swartz), as well as with Chet Baker, Stan Getz, and others. He toured Japan in Fred Hersch’s trio with Red Mitchell in ...



Jan Fairley

A popular music genre of the Creole-speaking Caribbean, particularly Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Lucia and Dominica, but also Haiti and French Guiana. These regions share a similar French and British colonial past and are populated mainly by the descendants of African slaves. The term ‘zouk’ originated in Martinique where it was the common expression initially for a party, and later for dance parties. In the 1980s it became associated with the music of the group Kassav, whose members, from Guadeloupe and Martinique, now mostly live in Paris.

In zouk, musical influences can be so intermingled and disguised in complex arrangements that they are difficult to isolate. A music in perpetual transformation, it is a product of what Guilbault has described as the inter-island cross-fertilization of popular and traditional musics over a long period, part of a network of traditions (including African) with the imprint of many foreign influences. It has absorbed elements from Haitian ...


Pavla Jonssonová

(‘Tooth and Nail’)

Czech rock group. Formed by university students in Prague in 1980 as Plyn (‘Gas’), with Marka Horáková (Míková; b 1959; piano, bass, vocals), Pavla Fediuková (Slabá, Jonssonová; b 1961; guitar, vocals), and Hana Kubíčková (Řepová; b 1961; drums, vocals). All of the members contributed songs in a punk, girl-band, dadaist fashion, playing college clubs and alternative music festivals. After Plyn was blacklisted, they re-formed under a new name as Dybbuk, and were joined by Kateřina Nejepsová (Jirčíková; b 1963) on the flute and saxophone, and Eva Trnková (b 1963) on the lead guitar. Their eponymous EP (Panton, 1987) was released during the communist era. Dybbuk disbanded in 1987.

In 1988 Míková started Zuby nehty with Slabá on the bass, Naďa Bilincová (1959−2011) on the guitar, and Tomáš Míka (b 1960) on the saxophone. In 1991 Dybbuk reunited to record their 1980s material on the album ...