James Brown and His Famous Flames: Sings Christmas Songs (1966)


Funk is…a ham hock in your egg nog.

Purchase this album: Amazon

(The following is a repost, in honor of James Brown’s passing on Christmas Day 2006.)

THE SCENE: In 1966 Christmas albums were strictly the domain of pop acts (think Nat “King” Cole) or smoothed-out rock acts (think The Beach Boys). James Brown was the first Black rock’n’roll or R&B artist to release an entire Christmas album, the aptly named Sings Christmas Songs.

One of five albums he released that year, Brown recorded a surprisingly lush assortment of standards with subtle dustings of breakbeats. Even though this coincided with his ascent into his heavy funk many of these tracks are waltzes. Go figure.

Brown tackles Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song” with skittering drums, warm horns and a vocal raspyness that humanizes some of the more trite lyrics. He also serves up a cover of Charles Brown’s “Merry Christmas Baby”, in which he oddly tries to emulate Charles Brown’ buttery flow.

He reclaims his own voice in “Let’s Make Christmas Mean Something This Year” where he stops singing and talks to you, the listener, about what he’s thankful for this holiday season. It should be corny as hell but he pulls it off brilliantly.

Rich romantic violins feature prominently in “Please Come Home For Christmas” and “Christmas In Heaven” where Brown gets his croon on and gently pleads (OK, begs) for his baby.

His ode to Jesus, “Sweet Little Baby Boy”, is a surprisingly orchestrated country & western affair, perfect for drinking hot toddies or slow line dancing.

All in all, the perfect holiday package for, well, no one in 1966.

THE FALLOUT: Stylistically out of character and indifferently packaged, Sings Christmas Songs went over as well as coal in a Christmas stocking. He fared exceeding better with his next Christmas album, 1968’s unabashedly funky Soulful Christmas.

All of Sings Christmas Songs can be found on The Complete James Brown Christmas, available from Amazon, and you can sample tracks here:

A groundbreaker in holiday albums, Sings Christmas Songs opened the door for all musical acts to record Christmas-themed concept records. (So in some strange way, William Hung’s Hung for the Holidays is James Brown’s fault. Thanks, James.)

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: Ornette Coleman goes to London to discover America.

Andre 3000: Class of 3000 Music Volume One (2007)


The antidote to Barney the Dinosaur.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: After the triumphant success of OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below Hollywood rolled out the red carpet to André 3000, giving him the chance to appear in a string of extremely mediocre sequels and remakes (Four Brothers, Be Cool, Charlotte’s Web, yawn). But on the Cartoon Network he scored a bullseye as the lead actor, executive producer, and music director of the Emmy-winning Class of 3000. André created an original song for each episode, all of which are collected on the groovy soundtrack Music Volume One.

On the show André portrays Sunny Bridges, a world-famous but emotionally unfulfilled hip-hop star who returns to his Atlanta high school as a music teacher, sharing his love of music and positivity with a gaggle of gifted young musicians. These students share the mic with André throughout the album, like a Greek chorus of Flavor Flavs injecting mirth into the messages.

In his quest to create the hippest children’s album of time, André invokes the same blueprint he used on The Love Below. There’s the still-surprising effect of his multi-tracked singing voice (in the torchy ballad “Life Without Music), homages to Prince (in the razor sharp funk of “Throwdown”) and a straight-ahead jazz instrumental snuck in at the back (in the swingin’ “My Mentor).”

Class of 3000 weaves in many subtle yet straightforward messages championing music appreciation. It exposed my kids to New Orleans second line (“Fight the Blob”) and Asian melodies (“UFO Ninja”), while they picked up notes on music theory (“Hold the groove tight/Hypnotize ‘em so you can take ‘em where you wanna take ‘em” says the theme song ) and the music industry (witness the devilishly clever James-Brown-meets-Procol-Harum vibe of “We Want Your Soul”).

As large as the kids’ music industry is (I’m talking to you, Hannah Montana), a soundtrack from a hit show should be a hit album, right?

THE FALLOUT: Oh, if it were that simple. Since the album, the show, and the network were all owned by different companies, Class of 3000: Music Volume One had no one entity tasked with its promotion, so there wasn’t any promotion. I never even saw a commercial for it on Cartoon Network itself, and I watch that channel a lot. It also wasn’t serviced to radio, so millions of OutKast fans never knew it existed, charting a measly 23 on Billboard’s Kid Audio Chart before vanishing.

Class of 3000: Music Volume One is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:

Light enough for kids yet dense enough for adults, Class of 3000: Music Volume One is one of the few albums you can enjoy with the entire family. Especially if your family is a little young for Stankonia.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: Black death comes to Living Colour.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: At Home With… (1958)


“Muh-muh muh-muh muh-muh muh-muh muh-muh muh-muh muh-muh.”

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: In the 1950s opera-trained baritone Jalacey Hawkins struggled to make his mark in the music biz, eventually realizing there was no market for Black opera-trained baritones. Realizing that his ability to scream in tune could apply to other genres he remade himself as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the blues-walloping, nose bone-wearing, skull-carrying wildman song terrorizer. After a series of singles he released his twisted debut album At Home With Screamin’ Jay Hawkins in 1958.

The most well known track is “I Put A Spell On You”, a simple love song embellished with enough shouts, hollers, grunts, and demands as to possibly enact supernatural possession. Clearly unafraid of coming across foolish, Hawkins’ unfurls the world’s worst Chinese impression in the ridiculous “Hong Kong”, and equally silly German and French in the AM radio-smooth “I Love Paris”.

Hawkins’ stage act played up his witch doctor affections, which helps explain the swampy bird calls of the moonshine-enhanced “Alligator Wine” and the hideous cuisine of “There’s Something Wrong with You” (Roast baboon salad smothered with bubble gum…/A dish of cow fingers and mosquito pie).

With a voice as powerful as a kick to the throat, Hawkins rides the range like a 20-foot tall cowboy in the spur-kickin’ “Frenzy”, and devolves jump blues into gibberish with the surreal “Little Demon”:

He pushed back night, brought in afternoon
He even made leap year jump over the moon
He took the Fourth of July, and he put it in May
He took this morning and brought back yesterday

“I Put A Spell On You” sold over a million copies but never charted because…

THE FALLOUT: …it was banned from airwaves nationwide due to its cannibalistic nature. Yes, some radio people thought the song could actually cause the listener to eat human flesh. Whatevs. Although Hawkins developed a successful career as a touring musician At Home With… was a colossal failure. He recorded sporadically throughout the rest of his life, never coming close to another hit song but reaching a new audience through the 1984 film “Stranger Than Paradise”, heavily featuring a character haunted by, yes, “I Put A Spell On You”. Cannibalism be damned.

At Home With Screamin’ Jay Hawkins is available from Amazon, and you can sample tracks here:

Boldly silly yet swollen with talent, At Home With Screamin’ Jay Hawkins hollers at your front door, and it’s not leaving until you let it in.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: Shock G, underground environmentalist.

Martin Luther: Rebel Soul Music (2004)


Preaches and verve. (Yes, I’m back. Thanks for hangin’.)

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: When I was playing clubs with my band in San Francisco during the early ’90s, I found the soundchecks fascinating due to the number of soundmen who did not think we played rock music simply because I was the guitarist. After we played a rock song or two the point became moot, but for those first twenty minutes of microphone placement the sound engineers would bark out “blues?” or “folk?” because that’s the music where you see Black guys with guitars at the front of the stage. Blues or Folk.

And performing in the oh-so-diverse city of San Francisco meant that Black rock guitarists were accepted, but much in the way that one would accept a blind housepet: tolerated but not encouraged. Nevertheless this is the musical environment that produced rock guitarist and songwriter Martin Luther, who dropped his first album The Calling in 2000. After several tours as a sideman with The Roots he returned in 2004 with the polished Rebel Soul Music.

A smooth and furious collection of gospel-ish vocals, chill-out beats and metallic riffage, Rebel Soul Music is the lyrical and audio equivalent of a Luther Vandross/Living Colour mash-up. The glimmering and simmering “Daily Bread” twinkles with the comfort of a vintage leather coat, the kind one wears in the mosh pit of “Rebel Soul Music”, the trip-wired call-to-arms exploding with militaristic guitars and gurgling synths.

Luther is transfixed upon maturation, be it his own in the humorously public “Growing Pains” or the cultural lack of it as displayed in the gutter arena rock of “Sleep Walking”:

We know the game is to be sold but who will explain…
If you don’t know, if you don’t know
I’m tired of your drama your game done got old
Thinking that you up on ya game but you don’t know
If you’re ready to unshackle your brain let’s go…
In television prison too scared to let go
Need to put down your remote and gain some control.

At his contradictory best he gives birth to several new musical genres within the same song. The wholesome handclaps and beautiful stacked harmonies of “Liquid Sunshine” happily relay a most ominous weather report. In the classical-meets-metal “The I.R.S.” he separates a bittersweet breakup into “pastry cream sweet” and “unfiltered Camel cigarette bitter”: (“I don’t mean to be so cruel/But I’m so fucking over you”).

Released on his own label, Rebel Soul Music garnered enough momentum to keep him touring the world for years, and the video for “Daily Bread” got some love from BET, but Martin Luther didn’t break through to the level he deserved. He’ll get another shot this spring in the Hollywood Beatles musical Across The Universe. His role? A rock guitarist.

Rebel Soul Music is available worldwide from Amazon, and you can sample tracks here:

An exploration of inner transitions and outsider awareness, Rebel Soul Music offers this simple request in its title song: “In a sea of black music the water is so deep / Won’t you dive in?”

See you next Wednesday. Yes, next Wednesday. (I had a baby during the holidays, and when I woke up five months had passed. But I’m back!)

NEXT WEEK: Jay Hawkins learns how to screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam.

Res: How I Do (2002)


Like peanut butter for chocolate.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: Gnarls Barkley’s success in America gives me hope that one can be an eccentric African-American yet still receive radio play and big album sales like eccentric White rock acts. At least if you’re male. Female Black rock acts with hit singles are rarer finds, like low-carb donuts and Democratic Supreme Court nominees. Newcomer Res (rhymes with peace) threw her ring into the modern rock hat with her debut album, 2002’s haunted How I Do.

Res’ eccentric voice exists out of time; she syncopates to the beat like modern R&B singers but her calm, harmonious tones harken back to 1930s jazz, with the intensity of new wave.

Her music is equally free of boundaries, easily shifting from the gentle hip-hop blues of “I’ve Known the Garden” to the porch banjo pluck of “Tsunami”, which sets up the hidden alt-rock scuzz of “Say It Again”. Unexpected elements peep through like The Cure sample in “Let Love” and the phone-number-as-melody of “The Hustler”.

Res the lyricist is wary of fools, liars and the psychically blind. In the icy march of “They Say Vision” she volunteers to step into The Matrix to avoid these people (I wanna try that pill that people take/Make you believe all the things that people say), although she bluntly calls out a rising star as a massive fake in “Golden Boys”:

But then there’re girls like me who sit appauled by what we’ve seen
We know the truth about you
Now you’re the prince of all the magazines
That is a dangerous thing

But would they love you if they knew all the things that we know
Those Golden Boys
All a fraud don’t believe their show
Would they love you if they knew all the things that we know

Golden Boy life ain’t a video

Unlike many albums on this site, How I Do was blessed with decent promotion from a major label, so what happened?

THE FALLOUT: The single “They Say Vision” scraped into the Top 40 but radio never really embraced Res, and How I Do stiffed as a result. Res is releasing her second album at the end of 2006 but she is current touring as a backup singer for, ironically, Gnarls Barkley.

How I Do is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:

The list of Black female singers heard on alternative rock radio is mighty short. Sade, Dionne Farris, Tracy Chapman, Joan Armatrading, 4 Non-Blondes – none of which are on current playlists. Res’ How I Do is a valiant effort to demolish many, many artistic walls and create a new genre from the rubble, an effort that radio would have you think does not exist.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: More stuff you haven’t heard that’ll knock yer socks off. If you are, in fact, wearing socks. Oh, and memo to Ryan: I am working on a Uppity Music T-shirt. Does anybody else think that’s a cool idea? Let me know. Gracias.

Funkadelic: The Electric Spanking of War Babies (1981)


The funk stops here.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: While Parliament rode high in the charts singing about motherships and star children, Funkadelic dealt with more underground concepts like America eating its young, maggots and slop. At least they did before they moved to Warner Brothers Records, when they jettisoned their guitar-heavy Black-nationalistic raunch’n’roll for synth-happy radio-friendly tunes from George Clinton’s Assembly-Line-O’-Funk.

Their turning point came in 1981 when the band realized Warner Brothers no longer had any interest in them, so they recorded an album solely to please their die-hard fans, the ultra-wacky The Electric Spanking of War Babies.

A shiny but spiny dance treat with a surprising world music edge, War Babies brought back lovely layers of nasty fuzztones and angry coded politics. The title track refers to the media’s eager participation in promoting our governments’ pro-war propaganda machine. A weighty topic for a weighty song, it bounces from a sprightly march to a raging metal singalong.

Along the way Funkadelic performs their take on reggae (the goofy “Shockwaves”) and African polyrhythms (the all-drum tour de force “Brettino’s Bounce”), while adding a major dose of giggles to the major league curse-off “Icka Prick”:

…If you think that’s nasty
Follow me to the men’s room
Watch me write on the wall

(This excerpt is the only clean part of “Icka Prick”. I was going to add more lyrics but the printed page misses how gleefully filthy the song is in context).

“Hmm” said the label. “That’s CLEARLY not single material.”

THE FALLOUT: Warner Brothers rejected the album cover, eventually printing it with a censored flap. Warner Brothers also rejected the length, refusing to release it as a double album. They dumped it in the marketplace, pressing only 90,000 copies even though the previous album, Uncle Jam Wants You, moved half a million units.

The only P-Funk product they did like was the soon-to-be-released debut album from Roger Troutman, who had recorded it for George Clinton’s label Uncle Jam Records. Warner Brothers did the unthinkable and secretly purchased the master tapes from Roger, releasing The Many Facets of Roger in 1981. Clinton promptly sued Warner, rightly claiming that he was the original owner of the tapes since he’d paid for the entire recording.

The courts agreed and George Clinton was awarded a chunk of cash, all the master tapes from the four albums Funkadelic recorded for Warner Brothers and the immediate termination of Funkadelic’s contract. Although this made them free agents the P-Funk army imploded under label stress and financial woes, and neither Funkadelic nor Parliament released another album again.

Well, not under those names anyway. The very next year George Clinton released his first solo album which was chock full of P-Funk alumni and featured a song Warner Brothers deemed unfit to include on War Babies: “Atomic Dog”.

Wow, what visionaries.

The Electric Spanking of War Babies is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:

A kiss to their fans and a kiss-off to their label, The Electric Spanking of War Babies is the best P-Funk album you’ve never heard.

NEXT WEEK: The first birthday of Uppity Music. Who’s bringing the cake?

Los Lobos: Kiko (1992)


A Cinco De Mayo special: unsung Latino uppity music.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: As we last read in the Bobby McFerrin entry, a number one record can get a musician a temporary “autonomy pass “. After scoring a fluke number one single in 1987 with a rock-by-numbers cover of Richie Valens “La Bamba”, Los Angeles roots-rockers Los Lobos essentially refused to record anything that generic ever again. Each album became slightly more eccentric than the last, culminating in 1992’s dreamy experimental Kiko.

Every song calmly shares space with the ghosts of Los Angeles, back when it was known as Mexico. Draped with touches of traditional Mexican instruments the band solidly locks into gritty gray introspection (“Wake up Delores”) and weary pink dirges (“When The Circus Comes”).

Drums shock and rattle like hollow skulls of ancestors in the hypnotic “Angels With Dirty Faces” and transmit secret messages in “Wicked Rain”. The surreal lullaby “Kiko And The Lavender Moon” charmingly mirrors the quixotic aloofness of housecats:

Kiko and the lavender moon
Out dancing making faces at
A big black cat
And then he flies
Up to the wall
Stands on one foot
Doesn’t even fall
Dance and dance
Still dancing till
He goes off to sleep

He always sleeps
Till the sun goes down
He never wakes
Till no one’s around
He never stops
Can’t catch his breath
It’s always there
Scares him to death

This curious waltz became the centerpiece of their greatest work…

THE FALLOUT: …and their poorest seller. Expensively recorded and indifferently promoted Kiko flatlined at retail. Los Lobos recorded only one additional album for their label before being dropped. The album did become a fan favorite, and in 2005 the band responded by playing concerts featuring Kiko in its entirety.

Kiko is available from Amazon, and you can sample tracks here:

A landmark of American music, Kiko seeps into your pores like smoke from fine incense and lingers with distinct pleasure.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: Funkadelic goes out with an electric bang.

Blackalicious: Blazing Arrow (2002)


Fire at will.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: Ever had really awesome French toast? Crunchy yet supple slabs of thick golden brown with steam rising between its buttery layers? So yummy you even bragged to your friends about your unexpected good fortune? French toast is so simple to make yet difficult to make great.

Bay Area natives Blackalicious are the musical equivalent of great French toast. After turning heads in 2000 with their independently released Nia they vaulted to a major label for their next album, the tasty Blazing Arrow.

Filled to the brim with hard hipster soul, producer Chief Xcel tastefully laced the tracks with the shocking sounds of real instruments. Emcee Gift of Gab’s flow is thick like maple syrup yet speedy like a NASCAR driver, easily twice as fast as the usual rapper with four times the internal rhymes.

He bobs and weaves like a sub-atomic helicopter in “Paragraph President” and rides the waves of the lazy seafaring “Blazing Arrow”. Consistently focused on spirituality and community he gets all Armageddoned-out on the mock-classical “Sky is Falling” and promotes the power of positive thinking in the soothing, organ-sprinkled “Green Light: Now Begin” (Hell of intelligent diligent heaven-sent benevolent relevant medicine/Poetry pedestrian peddelin’ mad adrenaline to lyrical gentlemen).

Blackalicious also share quality time with ghostly remains of Gil-Scott Heron in the luminous “First in Flight”, and rock with some of Jurassic 5 over the beef-jerky dry piano of “4000 Miles” as well as the “I can’t believe he rapped the periodic table of elements” stunt rap of “Chemical Calisthenics”:

C-A-O-H-2 wine water solution of calcium hydroxide
Slobbin it, C-A-O lime will make bleach powder
Galvanic metal beats stomp out louder
Dried ice, C-0 squared refrigerant
N-O-2 makes you laugh, it’s laughing gas used by the dentists
I nearly added acid glue, I’m like oil of a toil, the king of chemicals
And the G heat gas waved all your mats
Chemical change, ice point, melt all your raps
Atomic weight, hold shocks, when you call
Refillable gas keep going way beyond
Biotch I’m only ill with buzzin, feel the ambiance
A diabetic process outta calm your ass
After I warm your ass, I’ll give sodium, silicate N-O-2-S-1-O-3, a water glass
Borax flexure full of brimstone sulfur
Boraxic acid, hip-hop preserver
C-O-2 could never put away the fire
Style aroma is scientific; the lyrical fuse would be connected
To teach you chemical calisthenics

Kids, don’t try this rap without adult supervision. You could hurt yourself. Ever had a tongue cramp? Ouch.

THE FALLOUT: With a fistful of glowing reviews but a handful of sales, Blazing Arrow also suffered from the shuttering of its record label, a move which also doomed Common’s Electric Circus. Four years later Blackalicious released their follow-up The Craft. And once again, on an independent label. And so it goes.

Blazing Arrow is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:

Tasty and comforting, Blazing Arrow makes for essential nourishment.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: In honor of Cinco De Mayo, listen to an unsung Latino departure album from Los Lobos.

Garland Jeffreys: Don’t Call Me Buckwheat (1991)


The Un-tragic Mulatto.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: Every black man I know has been hassled by a racist cop. And you know what? We have it easy. Imagine living in America before civil rights legislation, when “colored-only” water fountains were plentiful and legal. Now imagine growing up in the 1950s as the child of black, white and Puerto Rican ancestry.

That is the reality of Brooklyn singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys, and two decades into his recording career he delivered a concept album about surviving racial intolerance, 1992’s vulnerable Don’t Call Me Buckwheat.

Remixing rock, reggae and R&B as rhythms from related recipes, he recants tales of his life and the role racism has rendered. As a boy the light-skinned blue-eyed Jeffreys occasionally passed for white (the flamenco-styled “Spanish Blood) when he wasn’t being stared at like a carnival attraction (in the cocktail jazz of “Racial Repertoire”).

He fully understands the loneliness of being a black man in a white man’s arena (the skanked-up “Color Line”) and the tools one can use to forget the injustice (the skanked-down “Bottle of Love”).

Yet he never matches hate with hate. He bravely reveals his issues with bigotry on the both the black side (in the ripping “I Was Afraid Of Malcolm”) and the white side (in the Southern gospel “Don’t Call Me Buckwheat”):

Don’t call me buckwheat
Don’t call me eightball
Don’t call me jig jig jig…Watch that word
Don’t call me Sambo
‘Cause it hurts
And that ain’t nice
And it sticks like white on rice

Sadly, this song was inspired by a trip he took to Shea Stadium. In the 1990s.

THE FALLOUT: Buckwheat sold nearly half a million copies in Europe, where he’s continually had strong success. Meanwhile back in the U.S.A. his domestic label gave him the moist handshake of indifference and abandoned the album, despite unanimous critical acclaim.

Don’t Call Me Buckwheat is available from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:

Don’t Call Me Buckwheat dramatically draws the humane conclusion that despite the machinations of racism all people are, and will continue to be, equal. And so it shall be.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: Society, decoded.

Cee-Lo: Cee-Lo Green… is the Soul Machine (2004)


Merrie melodies from God’s cog.

Purchase this album: Amazon

THE SCENE: In 2002 ex-Goodie Mob boss Cee-Lo dropped his experimental sonic salvo Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections to majestic acclaim and miniscule sales. Soldiering forward he erupted a new volcano of tunes in 2004’s powerhouse Cee-Lo Green… is the Soul Machine.

The son of Atlanta ministers, Cee-Lo considers his many musical talents to be divinely inspired, and considers his albums to be gospel music. But he’s definitely the Lord of a new church, as he preaches, teaches, sings and blings his sermons.

Blessed with a greasy, nasal, vinyl elastic boom of a voice, he can croon with the best and battle-rap the rest, as he does in the alleyway rumble of “Glockapella”. Smoothly sliding from Cab Calloway class in “Evening News” to spoken word electronica in “I Am Selling Soul”, he’s so excited to show us the depth of his talent.

He rolls us his humble side in the crisp survival tale“Living Again”, and waxes his superego over the slamming cartoon waltz of “Childz Play”:

The young Cee, the one treats everything the sun seek
I’m hollering, can’t help, I’m hungry
I cake rap, bake rap, sack rap, trap rap
Same shoes, same shirt, the same work, the same jerk
Claim hurt, the game hurt, my name work, it ain’t work
I’m fast, time fast, I’m first, I’m last
Psychic, I knew you would like it, like this
I write this, priceless, more then my right wrist
Cock back, block track, the beat bleed, speak read
Men eat weed, bead seed, I speed read, you need me…

Yes I can sing, and I can rap
And I can act, and I can dance
And I can dress, sign of the best

And it’s not bragging if you can pull it off, right? This nearly flawless genre-hopping album even had the support of his label’s president…

THE FALLOUT: …who was fired soon after the albums’ release. Without support from the top Soul Machine fell off the charts like birdshot off an elderly hunter’s face. The next year Cee-Lo co-wrote and produced the Pussycat Dolls international hit song “Don’t Cha”, thereby proving that God works in mysterious ways.

Cee-Lo Green… is the Soul Machine is available worldwide from Amazon and you can sample tracks here:

Southern at the root but branching toward everywhere, Cee-Lo Green… is the Soul Machine is primed and powered to move your soul, your feet and your mind.

See you next Wednesday.

NEXT WEEK: Garland Jeffrey’s bi-racial concept album, and why you haven’t heard it.