Sunday, July 29, 2007

Roy Meriwether Trio - cuts from Soul Invader, with Murphy Anderson cover art (1968)

Some sweet and soulful live tracks from a live jazz set, very much reminiscent of The Ramsey Lewis Trio, which sits just fine with me.

It doesn't hurt that some of these tunes are fairly 'bulletproof' jazz standards. Thus far I've yet to hear a version of 'Comin' Home Baby' that I didn't like...

Band Lineup:

Roy Meriwether. piano
Lester Bass, bass
Dave Schierlock, drums

Condensed from an online bio:

"Born in Dayton, Ohio, but living in New York City since 1976, Roy Meriwether started playing piano at age three and had composed two pieces before he was four. Shortly thereafter, he began playing in his fathers church, accompanying the family choir, and performing with gospel singers throughout the Midwest.

"Roy turned professional with his own group at age 18 and has devoted himself to both composing and performing ever since."

There's more info about Roy Meriwether available at his homepage.

From The Roy Meriwether Trio's 'Soul Invader' LP,
(Columbia Records, 1968), Listen to:

It's A Mean World To Live In
Soul Invader
Lonely Man
On Green Dolphin Street
Comin' Home Baby
Lullaby of Birdland
Sweet Sixteen Bars
After Hours

(click for audio)

- - OR download all 8 tracks in one 37.9 Mb zipfile.

(ADDENDUM, 5/22/08: More Meriwether online! The '69 LP 'Preachin'' is posted at 4 Brothers Beats. (Thanks Arkane1!)

The album's cover art is credited to 'Will Eisner Productions/Murphy Anderson'. I suppose it could be Anderson inking Eisner's pencils, but I doubt it.

In 1968, (before his terms 'graphic novel' or 'sequential art' had been coined) comics artist Will Eisner and the artists at his agency were concentrating most of their efforts on producing illustrated instruction materials for the U.S. Government and related agencies and businesses.

Eisner had begun producing a digest-sized magazine for the Army in 1951, 'P*S: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly'. By the late '60's and early '70's he was farming out much of those chores to his assistants, and eventually Murphy Anderson took over 'P*S'.

Click here to take a peek at some of Eisner's artwork for the Army.

I've always loved Murphy Anderson's artwork. I was thinking about it recently, and I believe Anderson may have been one of the first comic book artists whose name I knew, and whose style I could recognize.

I'd read lots of comics as a little kid, but it wasn't until I was about nine or ten that I began reading super-hero comics and became a 'serious' collector.

It probably started when an older cousin gave me a small stack of comics she'd 'outgrown'. In the pile was a copy of Superman #264, 'The Secret of the Phantom Quarterback' (first appearance of Steve Lombard! Exciting, no?), from 1973, smack in the middle of the Curt Swan / Murphy Anderson era of Superman artwork.

I clearly remember reading that issue while walking home from school, and noticing with slight surprise the letters column, and also the writer and artist credits on the splash page. I recall thinking "Wow. It's just a comic book, but some people seem to take it really seriously. They know who the artists are and everything. That's weird. I hope I don't get like that. It IS cool artwork, though..."

It was already too late. I was hooked.

The rest is history, and here we are.


Arkane1 said...

Thank you for posting this! I have never seen this album. I posted an album you may be interested in over at It is Roy Meriwether "Preachin'" Stop by and check us out. We are trying to keep the music alive for generations to come. Peace & blessings

Anonymous said...

Roy Meriwether is a fantastic pianist. I met him here in New York a few weeks ago, and he's simply cool. Soft-spoken, humbly aware of his gift, and extremely kind, talented cat.

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