Alex Greene & The Rolling Head Orchestra
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The Rolling Head Orchestra's hometown – Memphis, Tennessee – inspires composer Alex Greene (Reigning Sound, Big Ass Truck, the Kropotkins) to interpret a wide swath of its music over the 20th Century.
The history of The Rolling Head Orchestra's hometown – Memphis, Tennessee – inspires Depression Jubilee. In creating a soundtrack about Boss Crump's grip on the city for over four decades, composer Alex Greene (the Reigning Sound, Big Ass Truck, the Kropotkins) interprets musical stylings from a wide swath of the 20th century. The film, "Citizens Not Subjects: Reawakening Democracy in Memphis" (Verissima Productions, 2010), traces the growth of machine politics, Crump-style. From speakeasies to swing to soul, Greene's music, powered by some of the city's finest players, progresses through Prohibition, war, prejudice, and prosperity that Memphis weathered under Crump. The album has the warp and the woof of a vintage band jamming into the wee hours. “How could you get the blues about old Memphis?” asks Greene in the album's only vocal track, but the band finds plenty of ways to wail. The album culminates with an irreverent, out-there take on Duke Ellington's classic “Caravan.”