Saturday, May 13, 2006

All Samples Cleared:

I remember once seeing the eclectic jazz clarinetist Don Byron on MTV. He was performing with rapper Biz Markie at the Knitting Factory, I think. Whoever it was doing the interview made some comment about Byron having recorded the music of Duke Ellington, Raymond Scott, Lester Young, having played klezmer and whatever else, implying that working with Biz was somehow not in keeping with Byron’s past. To which Byron said he put Biz Markie up there with Stravinsky.

You may remember back in the ‘90s that Biz had one of his record I Need A Haircut basically recalled because he had illegally used a sample of English singer Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Along Again, Naturally” in a song that the Biz, perhaps unwisely called “Alone Again.”

I Need A Haircut is my favorite Biz record. The song “Romeo an Juliet,” what I bet is a sample lifted from the Nino Rota soundtrack to the Zeffirelli film, encourages anyone who’s not familiar with the story of the two star-crossed lovers to go see the movie (It’s much better than the Dire Straits version). It also includes “I Told You,” which makes excellent use of a Donovan sample from the song “Get Thy Bearings” off of The Hurdy Gurdy Man.

Biz Markie - “Alone Again”

Biz Markie - “Romeo and Juliet”

Biz Markie - “I Told You”

Donovan - "Get Thy Bearings”

Igor Stravinsky - “Third Tableau” from Les Noce (The Wedding),
performed by Pokrovsky Ensemble

1 comment:

jon manyjars said...

Biz and/or Cold Chillin Records lost a lot of money over that stupid Gilbert O'Sullivan sample. They had to recall the album from stores and reissue it without "Alone Again". My favorite Biz track is "Spring Again". I thought about it all last month, and wished I had it on something other than cassette! There's very little Biz Markie on iTunes. Great blog you got going here!