Mary Lou Williams
Mary Lou Williams was an American jazz pianist and composer. She recorded more than one hundred records. Williams wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, she was friend and teacher to Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie; the second of eleven children, Williams was born in Atlanta and grew up in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A young musical prodigy, at the age of three, she taught herself to play the piano. At the age of six, she supported her ten sisters by playing at parties, she began performing publicly at the age of seven when she became known admiringly in Pittsburgh as "The Little Piano Girl." She became a professional musician in her teens. She married jazz saxophonist John Williams in November 1926. In 1922, at the age of 12, she went on the Orpheum Circuit. During the following year she played with Duke Ellington and his early small band, the Washingtonians. One morning at three o'clock, she was playing with McKinney's Cotton Pickers at Harlem's Rhythm Club.
Louis Armstrong paused to listen to her. Williams shyly told what happened: "Louis picked me up and kissed me."In 1926, Williams married saxophonist John Overton Williams. She met him at a performance in Cleveland where he was leading his group, the Syncopators, moved with him to Memphis, Tennessee, he assembled a band in Memphis. In 1929, 19-year-old Williams assumed leadership of the Memphis band when her husband accepted an invitation to join Andy Kirk's band in Oklahoma City. Williams did not play with the band; the group, Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy, moved to Tulsa, where Williams, when she wasn't working as a musician, was employed transporting bodies for an undertaker. When the Clouds of Joy accepted a longstanding engagement in Kansas City, Williams joined her husband and began sitting in with the band, as well as serving as its arranger and composer, she provided Kirk with such songs as "Walkin' and Swingin'", "Twinklin'", "Cloudy'", "Little Joe from Chicago". Williams was the arranger and pianist for recordings in Kansas City Chicago, New York City.
During a trip to Chicago, she recorded "Drag'Em" and "Night Life" as piano solos. She used the name "Mary Lou" at the suggestion of Jack Kapp at Brunswick Records; the records sold briskly. Soon after the recording session she became Kirk's permanent second pianist, playing solo gigs and working as a freelance arranger for Earl Hines, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey. In 1937, she produced In the Groove, a collaboration with Dick Wilson, Benny Goodman asked her to write a blues song for his band; the result was "Roll'Em", a boogie-woogie piece based on the blues, which followed her successful "Camel Hop", named for Goodman's radio show sponsor, Camel cigarettes. Goodman tried to put Williams under contract to write for him but she refused, preferring to freelance instead. In 1942, who had divorced her husband, left the Twelve Clouds of Joy, returning again to Pittsburgh, she was joined there by bandmate Harold "Shorty" Baker, with whom she formed a six-piece ensemble that included Art Blakey on drums.
After an engagement in Cleveland, Baker left to join Duke Ellington's orchestra. Williams joined the band in New York City traveled to Baltimore, where she and Baker were married, she traveled with Ellington and arranged several tunes for him, including "Trumpet No End", her version of "Blue Skies" by Irving Berlin. She sold Ellington on performing "Walkin' and Swingin'". Within a year she had returned to New York. Williams accepted a job at the Café Society Downtown, started a weekly radio show called Mary Lou Williams's Piano Workshop on WNEW and began mentoring and collaborating with younger bebop musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. In 1945, she composed the bebop hit "In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee" for Gillespie. "During this period Monk and the kids would come to my apartment every morning around four or pick me up at the Café after I'd finished my last show, we'd play and swap ideas until noon or later", Williams recalled in Melody Maker. In 1945, she composed the classically-influenced "Zodiac Suite," in which each of the twelve parts corresponded to a sign of the zodiac, were accordingly dedicated to several of her musical colleagues, including Billie Holiday, Art Tatum.
She recorded the suite with Jack Parker and Al Lucas and performed it December 31, 1945 at Town Hall in New York City with an orchestra and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. In 1952, Williams accepted an offer to perform in England and ended up staying in Europe for two years; when she returned to the United States she took a hiatus from performing, converting in 1956 to Roman Catholicism. Her energies were devoted to the Bel Canto Foundation, an effort she initiated to help addicted musicians return to performing. Two priests and Dizzy Gillespie convinced her to return to playing, which she did at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival with Dizzy's band. Father Peter O'Brien, a Catholic priest, became her close manager in the 1960s, they found new venues for jazz performance at a time when no more than two clubs in Manhattan offered jazz full-time. In addition to club work, she played colleges, formed her own record label and publishing companies, founded the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, made television appearances.
Throughout the 1960s, her composing con
Julie London was an American singer and actress, whose career spanned more than 40 years. Born in Santa Rosa, California to Vaudevillian parents, London was discovered while working as an elevator operator in downtown Los Angeles, began her career as an actress. London's 35-year acting career began in film in 1944, included roles as the female lead in numerous Westerns, co-starring with Rock Hudson in The Fat Man, with Robert Taylor and John Cassavetes in Saddle the Wind, opposite Robert Mitchum in The Wonderful Country. In the mid-1950s, she signed a recording contract with the newly established Liberty Records, released a total of 32 albums of pop and jazz standards during the 1950s and 1960s, with her signature song being "Cry Me a River", which she introduced in 1955. London was noted by critics for languid vocal style, she released her final studio album in 1969, but achieved continuing success playing the female starring role of Nurse Dixie McCall, in the television series Emergency!, in which she appeared opposite her real-life husband, Bobby Troup.
The show was produced by her ex-husband, Jack Webb. A shy and introverted woman, London granted interviews, spent the remainder of her life out of the public sphere. In 1995, she suffered a stroke, which left her with permanent health problems, died five years of a heart attack. Julie London was born Julie Peck on September 26, 1926, in Santa Rosa, the only child of Josephine and Jack Peck, who were a vaudeville song-and-dance team. At one time, her mother worked in a pharmacy. In 1929, when she was three years old, the family moved to San Bernardino, where she made her professional singing debut on her parents' radio program. Throughout her early life, both London and her mother were admirers of Billie Holiday. London was described by friends and family as a shy child "without much self-confidence."In 1941, when she was 14, her family moved to Hollywood. In her teenaged years, she began to sing in local nightclubs in Los Angeles, she graduated from the Hollywood Professional School in 1945, worked as an elevator operator in downtown Los Angeles throughout high school.
In 1943, London met Sue Carol, a talent agent and then-wife of actor Alan Ladd, while operating the elevator at Roos Bros. an upscale clothing store on Hollywood Boulevard. Struck by London's features, Carol facilitated a screen test for the inexperienced actress, London signed a contract with her. London subsequently met Esquire photographer Henry Waxman while working her second job as a clerk at a menswear store, he shot photographs of her that appeared in the magazine's November 1943 issue; these photos helped establish her as a pin-up girl prized by GIs during World War II. She made her film debut while still in high school, appearing under the name Julie London in the exploitation film Nabonga in 1944. After a series of uncredited roles, she signed a contract with Warner Bros. Pictures, appearing in the war film Task Force and the Western Return of the Frontiersman, she was cast in the lead role of Pat Boyd in the William Castle-directed film noir The Fat Man, opposite J. Scott Smart and Rock Hudson.
London completed shooting the film in August 1950. After Warner Bros. dropped her contract, London was offered a contract with Universal Pictures based on the role, but turned it down, opting instead to focus on her marriage to actor Jack Webb. After divorcing Webb in 1954, London resumed her career, appearing in the drama film The Fighting Chance, filmed in May 1955 and released by 20th Century Fox. Earlier in 1955, London was spotted singing at a jazz club in Los Angeles by record producer Simon Waronker, recommended to her by her friend Bobby Troup. Despite her notable stage fright, Waronker was impressed by London's vocals and delivery, recalled that "The lyrics poured out of her like a hurt bird." Waronker convinced London to pursue a recording career, signed her with the then-newly established Liberty Records. London recorded 32 albums in a career that began in 1955 with a live performance at the 881 Club in Los Angeles, her debut album, Julie Is Her Name, was released in December of that year after a self-titled single, Billboard named her the most popular female vocalist for 1955, 1956, 1957.
She was the subject of a 1957 Life cover article in which she was quoted as saying, "It's only a thimbleful of a voice, I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, it automatically sounds intimate."London's debut recordings were completed under the New York-based Bethlehem Records label. Four additional tracks recorded during these sessions were included on the album Bethlehem's Girlfriends, a compilation album released in 1957. Bobby Troup was one of the session musicians on the album. London recorded the standards "Don't Worry About Me", "Motherless Child", "A Foggy Day", "You're Blasé". London's most famous single, "Cry Me a River", was written by her high-school classmate Arthur Hamilton and produced by Troup; the recording became a million-seller after its release on her debut album in 1955. While her music career earned her public notice, London continued to appear in films, with lead roles in the film noir Crime Against Joe, as well as appearing as herself in the Jayne Mansfield musical comedy The Girl Can't Help It, in which London performs three songs, including "Cry Me a River".
The film was a box-office success, became one of the top-30 highest-grossing films of 1956. London subsequently appeared in a television advertisement for Marl
The LP is an analog sound storage medium, a vinyl record format characterized by a speed of 33 1⁄3 rpm, a 12- or 10-inch diameter, use of the "microgroove" groove specification. Introduced by Columbia in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from a few minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums. At the time the LP was introduced, nearly all phonograph records for home use were made of an abrasive shellac compound, employed a much larger groove, played at 78 revolutions per minute, limiting the playing time of a 12-inch diameter record to less than five minutes per side; the new product was a 12- or 10-inch fine-grooved disc made of PVC and played with a smaller-tipped "microgroove" stylus at a speed of 33 1⁄3 rpm. Each side of a 12-inch LP could play for about 22 minutes. Only the microgroove standard was new, as both vinyl and the 33 1⁄3 rpm speed had been used for special purposes for many years, as well as in one unsuccessful earlier attempt to introduce a long-playing record for home use by RCA Victor.
Although the LP was suited to classical music because of its extended continuous playing time, it allowed a collection of ten or more pop music recordings to be put on a single disc. Such collections, as well as longer classical music broken up into several parts, had been sold as sets of 78 rpm records in a specially imprinted "record album" consisting of individual record sleeves bound together in book form; the use of the word "album" persisted for the one-disc LP equivalent. The prototype of the LP was the soundtrack disc used by the Vitaphone motion picture sound system, developed by Western Electric and introduced in 1926. For soundtrack purposes, the less than five minutes of playing time of each side of a conventional 12-inch 78 rpm disc was not acceptable; the sound had to play continuously for at least 11 minutes, long enough to accompany a full 1,000-foot reel of 35 mm film projected at 24 frames per second. The disc diameter was increased to 16 inches and the speed was reduced to 33 1⁄3 revolutions per minute.
Unlike their smaller LP descendants, they were made with the same large "standard groove" used by 78s. Unlike conventional records, the groove started at the inside of the recorded area near the label and proceeded outward toward the edge. Like 78s, early soundtrack discs were pressed in an abrasive shellac compound and played with a single-use steel needle held in a massive electromagnetic pickup with a tracking force of five ounces. By mid-1931, all motion picture studios were recording on optical soundtracks, but sets of soundtrack discs, mastered by dubbing from the optical tracks and scaled down to 12 inches to cut costs, were made as late as 1936 for distribution to theaters still equipped with disc-only sound projectors. Syndicated radio programming was distributed on 78 rpm discs beginning in 1928; the desirability of longer continuous playing time soon led to the adoption of the Vitaphone soundtrack disc format. 16-inch 33 1⁄3 rpm discs playing about 15 minutes per side were used for most of these "electrical transcriptions" beginning about 1930.
Transcriptions were variously recorded inside out with an outside start. Longer programs, which required several disc sides, pioneered the system of recording odd-numbered sides inside-out and even-numbered sides outside-in so that the sound quality would match from the end of one side to the start of the next. Although a pair of turntables was used, to avoid any pauses for disc-flipping, the sides had to be pressed in a hybrid of manual and automatic sequencing, arranged in such a manner that no disc being played had to be turned over to play the next side in the sequence. Instead of a three-disc set having the 1–2, 3–4 and 5–6 manual sequence, or the 1–6, 2–5 and 3–4 automatic sequence for use with a drop-type mechanical record changer, broadcast sequence would couple the sides as 1–4, 2–5 and 3–6; some transcriptions were recorded with a vertically modulated "dale" groove. This was found to allow deeper bass and an extension of the high-end frequency response. Neither of these was a great advantage in practice because of the limitations of AM broadcasting.
Today we can enjoy the benefits of those higher-fidelity recordings if the original radio audiences could not. Transcription discs were pressed only in shellac, but by 1932 pressings in RCA Victor's vinyl-based "Victrolac" were appearing. Other plastics were sometimes used. By the late 1930s, vinyl was standard for nearly all kinds of pressed discs except ordinary commercial 78s, which continued to be made of shellac. Beginning in the mid-1930s, one-off 16-inch 33 1⁄3 rpm lacquer discs were used by radio networks to archive recordings of their live broadcasts, by local stations to delay the broadcast of network programming or to prerecord their own productions. In the late 1940s, magnetic tape recorders were adopted by the networks to pre-record shows or repeat them for airing in different time zones, but 16-inch vinyl pressings continued to be used into the early 1960s for non-network distribution of prerecorded programming. Use of the LP's microgroove standard began in the late 1950s, in the 1960s the discs were reduced to 12 inches, becoming physically indistinguishable from ordinary LPs.
Unless the quantity required was small, pressed discs were a more economica
Kathryn Dawn Lang, known by her stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Lang has won both Juno Grammy Awards for her musical performances, she has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has collaborated with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, Anne Murray, Ann Wilson, Jane Siberry. Lang is known for being an animal rights, gay rights, Tibetan human rights activist, she is a tantric practitioner of the old school of Tibetan Buddhism. She performed Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" live at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, she had performed at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. Lang possesses the vocal range of a mezzo-soprano. Lang was born in Edmonton, the daughter of Audrey Bebee and Adam Frederick Lang, she is of English, Scottish, Russian-Jewish and Sioux ancestry. When Lang was nine months old, her family moved to Consort, where she grew up with two sisters and one brother on the Canadian prairie.
Her father, a drugstore owner, left the family. After secondary school, Lang attended Red Deer College, where she became fascinated with the life and music of Patsy Cline and decided to pursue a career as a professional singer, she moved to Edmonton after her graduation in 1982 and formed a Patsy Cline tribute band called the Reclines in 1983. She and the Reclines recorded Friday Dance Promenade, at Sundown Recorders. Label owner Larry Wanagas became her personal manager; the first band featured Stu Macdougal on keys, Dave Bjarnson on drums, Gary Koligar on guitar and bassist Farley Scott. The Reclines played Edmonton's popular Sidetrack Cafe, a local venue that featured live bands six nights a week. In 1983, Lang presented a performance-art piece, a seven-hour re-enactment of the transplantation of an artificial heart for Barney Clark, a retired American dentist. A Truly Western Experience was released in 1984 and received strong reviews and led to national attention in Canada. In August 1984, Lang was one of three Canadian artists to be selected to perform at the World Science Fair in Tsukuba, Japan.
Singing at country and western venues in Canada, Lang began to establish an appearance and style referred to as "cowboy punk". She would recall the inspiration for her defining look in an interview with The Canadian Press: "I used to sew plastic cowboys and Indians on my clothes - just having fun with it on a budget. I was broke at the time, so I'd find things at Value Village or get my mom to make me a skirt from the curtains she was about to throw out. I loved playing with the clothes as much as the music."Lang made several recordings that received positive reviews and earned a 1985 Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist. She accepted the award wearing a wedding dress borrowed from her male roommate at the time, she made numerous tongue-in-cheek promises about what she would and would not do in the future, thus fulfilling the title of'Most Promising'. She has won a total of eight Juno Awards. In 1986, Lang signed a contract with an American record producer in Nashville and received critical acclaim for her 1987 album, Angel with a Lariat, produced by Dave Edmunds.
Lang first earned international recognition in 1988 when she performed as "The Alberta Rose" at the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Canadian women's magazine Chatelaine selected Lang as its "Woman of the Year" in 1988. Lang's career received a huge boost when Roy Orbison chose her to record a duet of his standard, "Crying", a collaboration that won them the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 1989; the song was used in the Jon Cryer film Hiding Out released in 1987. Due to the success of the song, Lang received the Entertainer of the Year award from the Canadian Country Music Association. Lang would win the same award for the next three years, in addition to two Female Vocalist of the Year awards in 1988 and 1989. 1988 marked the release of Shadowland, an album of torch country produced by Owen Bradley. In late 1988, Shadowland was named Album of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association; that year she performed "Turn Me Round" at the closing ceremonies of the XV Winter Olympics in Calgary and sang background vocals with Jennifer Warnes and Bonnie Raitt for Orbison's acclaimed television special, Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night.
In 1990, Lang contributed the song "So in Love" to the Cole Porter tribute album Red Hot + Blue produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 1998, she contributed "Fado Hilário" to the AIDS benefit compilation album Onda Sonora: Red Hot + Lisbon produced by the same organization. Lang won the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her 1989 album Absolute Torch and Twang; the single "Full Moon Full of Love" that stemmed from that album became a modest hit in the United States in the middle of 1989 and a Number 1 hit on the RPM Country chart in Canada. In 1989, she sang a duet, "Sin City", with Dwight Yoakam on his album Just Lookin' for a Hit; the 1992 album, Ingénue, a set of adult-oriented pop songs that showed comparatively little country influence, contained her most popular song, "Constant Craving". That song brought her multi-million sales, much critical acclaim, the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Another top ten single from the record was "Miss Chatelaine".
The salsa-inspired track was ironic.
Ioanna Mouschouri, known professionally as Nana Mouskouri, is a Greek singer. During the span of her music career she has released over 200 albums and singles in at least twelve different languages, including Greek, English, Dutch, Portuguese, Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese and Corsican. Mouskouri became well-known throughout Europe for the song "The White Rose of Athens", recorded first in German as "Weiße Rosen aus Athen" as an adaptation of her Greek song "Σαν σφυρίξεις τρείς φορές", it became her first record to sell over one million copies. In 1963, she represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "À force de prier", her friendship with the composer Michel Legrand led to the recording by Mouskouri of the theme song of the Oscar-nominated film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. From 1968 to 1976, she hosted her own TV show produced by Presenting Nana Mouskouri, her popularity as a multilingual television personality and distinctive image, owing to the unusual signature black-rimmed glasses, turned Mouskouri into an international star.
"Je chante avec toi Liberté", recorded in 1981, is her biggest hit to date, performed in at least five languages – French, English as "Song for Liberty", German as "Lied der Freiheit", Spanish as "Libertad" and Portuguese as "Liberdade". "Only Love", a song recorded in 1985 as the theme song of tv-series Mistral's Daughter, gained worldwide popularity along with its other versions in French, Italian and German. It became her only UK hit single when it reached number two in February 1986. Mouskouri became a spokesperson for UNICEF in 1993 and was elected to the European Parliament as a Greek deputy from 1994 to 1999. In 2015 she was awarded the Echo Music Prize for Outstanding achievements by the German music association Deutsche Phono-Akademie. Nana Mouskouri's family lived in Chania, where her father, worked as a film projectionist in a local cinema; when Mouskouri was three, her family moved to Athens. Mouskouri's family sent her older sister Eugenía to the Athens Conservatoire. Although Mouskouri had displayed exceptional musical talent from age six, Jenny appeared to be the more gifted sibling.
Financially unable to support both girls' studies, the parents asked their tutor which one should continue. The sister conceded that Jenny had the better voice, but Nana was the one with the true inner need to sing. Mouskouri has said that a medical examination revealed she only has one functioning vocal cord and this could well account for her remarkable singing voice, as opposed to her breathy, raspy speaking voice. Mouskouri's early childhood was marked by the German Nazi occupation of Greece, her father became part of the anti-Nazi resistance movement in Athens. Mouskouri began singing lessons at age 12; as a child, she listened to radio broadcasts of singers including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Édith Piaf. In 1950, she was accepted at the Conservatoire, she studied classical music with an emphasis on singing opera. After eight years at the Conservatoire, Mouskouri was encouraged by her friends to experiment with jazz music, she began singing with her friends' jazz group at night.
However, when Mouskouri's Conservatory professor found out about Mouskouri's involvement with a genre of music, not in keeping with her classical studies, he prevented her from sitting for her end-of-year exams. During an episode of "Joanna Lumley's Greek Odyssey", shown on the UK ITV channel in the autumn of 2011, Mouskouri told the actress Joanna Lumley how she had been scheduled to sing at the amphitheatre at Epidauros with other students of the Conservatoire, when upon arrival at the amphitheatre word came through from the Conservatoire in Athens that she had just been barred from participating in the performance there due to her involvement in light music. Mouskouri subsequently began performing at the Zaki club in Athens, she began singing jazz in nightclubs with a bias towards Ella Fitzgerald repertoire. In 1957, she recorded her first song, "Fascination", in both Greek and English for Odeon/EMI Greece. By 1958 while still performing at the Zaki, she met Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis.
Hadjidakis was offered to write songs for her. In 1959 Mouskouri performed Hadjidakis' "Κάπου υπάρχει η αγάπη μου" at the inaugural Greek Song Festival; the song won first prize, Mouskouri began to be noticed. At the 1960 Greek Song Festival, she performed two more Hadjidakis compositions, "Τιμωρία" and "Κυπαρισσάκι". Both these songs tied for first prize. Mouskouri performed Kostas Yannidis' composition, "Ξύπνα αγάπη μου", at the Mediterranean Song Festival, held in Barcelona that year; the song won first prize, she went on to sign a recording contract with Paris-based Philips-Fontana. In 1961, Mouskouri performed the soundtrack of a German documentary about Greece; this resulted in the German-language single Weiße Rosen aus Athen. The song was adapted by Hadjidakis from a folk melody, it became a success. The song was translated into several languages and it went
Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from "Let No Man Write My Epitaph"
Ella Fitzgerald Sings Songs from "Let No Man Write My Epitaph" is a 1960 album by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, accompanied by the pianist Paul Smith. Let No Man Write My Epitaph was a 1960 Hollywood movie featuring Fitzgerald; until 2014 this album was only available on CD as The Intimate Ella, is considered one of Ella's greatest recordings. Ella's 1950 Decca album Ella Sings Gershwin, is in a similar vein, with Ella accompanied by the pianist Ellis Larkins; the album hints at a depth of emotional understanding that critics complained was missing in Ella's reading of jazz lyrics, once again establishes her as one of the supreme interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Scott Yanow's review of the album declared, "Listeners who Ella Fitzgerald... had trouble giving the proper emotional intensity to lyrics will be surprised by this sensitive and haunting set". For the 1960 Verve LP release. – 3:26 "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" – 2:36 "Reach for Tomorrow" – 2:24 Recorded April 14–19, 1960 at United Western Recorders, Los Angeles: Ella Fitzgerald - Vocals Paul Smith - Piano Template:Paul Smith
Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws, better known by his stage name Tricky, is an English record producer and rapper. Born and raised in Bristol, he began his career as an early collaborator of Massive Attack before embarking on a solo career with his debut album, Maxinquaye, in 1995; the release won Tricky popular acclaim and marked the beginning of a lengthy collaborative partnership with vocalist Martina Topley-Bird. He released four more studio albums before the end of the decade, including Pre-Millennium Tension and the pseudonymous Nearly God, both in 1996, he has gone on to release eight studio albums since 2000, most Ununiform. Tricky is a pioneer of trip hop music, his work is noted for its dark, layered musical style that blends disparate cultural influences and genres, including hip hop, alternative rock and ragga, he has collaborated with a wide range of artists over the course of his career, including Terry Hall, Björk, Grace Jones, PJ Harvey. Tricky was born in the Knowle West neighbourhood of Bristol, to a Jamaican father and a mixed-race Anglo-Guyanese mother.
His mother, Maxine Quaye, either committed suicide or died due to epilepsy complications when Tricky was four. His father, Roy Thaws, who left the family before Tricky was born, operated the Studio 17 sound system with his brother Rupert and father Hector. Bristol musician Bunny Marrett claimed in 2012, "It became the most popular sound system in Bristol at the time."Tricky experienced a difficult childhood in Knowle West, a "white ghetto" in Southern Bristol. He became involved in crime at an early age, joined a gang, involved in car theft, burglary and promiscuity. Tricky spent his youth in the care of his grandmother, who let him watch old horror films instead of going to school. At the age of 15, he began to write lyrics. At 17, he spent some time in prison after he purchased forged £50 notes from a friend, who informed the police. Tricky stated in an interview afterward: "Prison was good. I'm never going back". In the mid-1980s, Tricky met DJ Milo and spent time with a sound system called the Wild Bunch, which by 1987 evolved into Massive Attack.
He received the nickname "Tricky Kid" and at age eighteen became a member of the Fresh 4, a rap group built from the Wild Bunch. He rapped on Massive Attack's acclaimed debut album Blue Lines. In 1991, before the release of Massive Attack's album Blue Lines, he met Martina Topley-Bird in Bristol; some time she came to his house, mentioned to Tricky and Mark Stewart that she could sing. Martina was only fifteen years old, but her "honey-coated vox" impressed them and they recorded a song called "Aftermath". Tricky showed "Aftermath" to Massive Attack. So in 1993 he decided to press a few hundred vinyl copies of the song, he cut it directly off the tape, so that the song is "just bassline and hiss".. In 1995, a white label got him a contract with Island Records and he started to record his first solo album, Maxinquaye, he rapped on former Wild Bunch member Neneh Cherry's song "Sassy" from her 1992 album Homebrew. Tricky left Massive Attack to release his debut album Maxinquaye, co-produced by himself and Mark Saunders and prominently featured singer Martina Topley-Bird.
The album was successful and Tricky attained international fame, something he was notably uncomfortable with. The Maxinquaye album review by Rolling Stone read: "Tricky devoured everything from American hip-hop and soul to reggae and the more melancholic strains of'80s British rock". Authors David Hesmondhalgh and Caspar Melville wrote in the book Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA: "Tricky showed his debt to hip-hop aesthetics by reconstructualising samples and slices of both the most respected black music and the tackiest pop." As the Rolling Stone article further explained, Tricky created "a mercurial style of dance music that finds it own fast feet."Tricky failed to complete a number of lyrics for the Massive Attack album Protection and gave the band some of the lyrics he had written for Maxinquaye instead. Thus, there are songs across the two albums that share the same lyrics —entitled "Overcome" and "Hell is'Round the Corner" on Maxinquaye and "Karmacoma", "Eurochild" on Protection, respectively.
Tricky found it difficult to cope with the huge success of Maxinquaye and subsequently eschewed the laid-back soul sound of the first album to create an edgy and aggressive punk style of music. In 1996, Neneh Cherry and Björk appeared as guests on his second album Nearly God; the opening number was a cover of the Siouxsie and the Banshees pre-trip-hop song "Tattoo" that had inspired Tricky when he forged his style. In 2001, Tricky appeared on the Thirteen Ghosts soundtrack with the song "Excess" which features Alanis Morissette during two of the choruses. In 2002 that song appeared on the Queen of the Damned soundtrack. Tricky's studio album Knowle West Boy was released in the UK and Ireland in July 2008, September 2008 in the US; the first single from the album was "Council Estate" and features the artist as the sole vocalist: "It's the first single I've done with just me on vocals. I couldn't whisper that song. I do a loud, screaming vocal. I wanted to be a proper frontman on that one." In an interview with The Skinny in July 2008, Tricky mentioned that Knowle West Boy was the first album for which he decided to enl