Monday, September 03, 2007

Thrift Store Archives: Herbie Hancock & Wah Wah Watson

I had bought this late last year, briefly talked about it but did not post any audio. Here's the audio.

It's from a promotional 2LP set called Nightbird & Company: Cosmic Connections, one of four different radio series put together in the 70's by the US Army Reserve. The records inside did not match the artists that were listed on the back cover, but I bought it anyway. One record was meant for a show called William B. & Company, which is described as "MOR in style", and featured interviews with jazz legend Buddy Rich.

The other record was Nightbird & Company, but instead of Average White Band, Hubert Laws, Climax Blues Band, and Thin Lizzy, it featured interviews with John Mayall on one side, and Herbie Hancock & Wah Wah Watson on the other.

Nightbird & Company, hosted by Alison Steele, is described as a "rock show", apparently for those 3am eternal heads who have too much weed and Mountain Dew in their system to go to sleep. In this case, Steele interviews Hancock and Watson because both played on each other's album, so it was a nice way to do some cross promotion and have them reveal a few things about their music.

The most interesting comment comes from Hancock, who is asked about disco and its hazards. While Hancock does admit to it being trendy, he says that at least for his and Watson's music, it did have its benefits.

The concept of Nightbird & Company is that each side of the album can be played three ways: play the first 10 minute segment, play the second 15 minute segment, or play the full 25 minute piece as a "show" or something to casually play between other records. The MP3 below consists of both segments.

The first segment features a good amount of Hancock's music before the interview officially begins, but when it does it is an interesting listen. It also features two radio spots from the US Army Reserve. I do find it interesting that considering Hancock's spiritual beliefs, he would agree to do anything with the US Army Reserve, but promotion is promotion and if it meant gaining radio airplay when no other means was possible, he probably went into it for that reason.

Other radio programs done by the US Army Reserve include Country Cookin' (country music) and Rap N' Rhythm With Al Gee (soul).

Nightbird & Company with Alison Steele-Herbie Hancock & Wah Wah Watson (air week of February 27, 1977) (56mb @ 320kbps)


Kurt said...

hey John, I just tried to listen to this but the file seems to have disappeared. Is there any way you could stick it up again? I'm doing some research for a piece about Wah Wah Watson, and would love to hear the interview ... there's so little out there about him, and I had no idea this even existed.

John Book said...

The link has been updated.

michael said...

can you please re up this.thank you.

michael said...

can you please reup?.ill trade you a betty davis interview with al gee.

John Book said...

I haven't updated this blog in three years, if anyone has requests, please go to and I can re-up there.