Journal » Trout 13 » Good Tom, Dead Then? [Stephen Oliver]
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Good Tom, Dead Then?

Stephen Oliver

Ages pass into immediacy.
               Good Tom Dowd – dead now,

sound engineer, arranger, producer, physicist

who drove the cyclotron, charged atomic particles
to collide with the Manhattan Project

in the early 40s and Los Alamos, New Mexico
               atomic research facility –

switched to sound engineering to draw in all that
fragmentation, sound bits / bites,
               multi-tracked from

the music of the spheres at Atlantic Records –
who did it by the greats,
               did it right by the 50s/60s artists;

"Dusty in Memphis" Son of a Preacher Man
along with Wilson Picket, James Brown,

Diana Ross, Clapton
        I Shot The Sheriff up the charts,

John Coltrane, Giant Steps, My Favourite Things,

               'bye bye blackbird'

trumpets blurring into waterfall scales,
did what the best did by creating it on tape

one of the first to do so where vinyl ruled;
technical wizard, heard the molecules and atoms

musically collide through Otis Redding, Ray Charles,
played pick-up sticks with Aretha Franklin's

Do Right Woman – ranged the diatronic/chromatic
galaxy with Lynard Skynyrd, Dizzy Gillespie,

Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus.

Dowd himself served as 'particle accelerator' he
combined elements that moved through
               glissando in 'Deep Southern Boogie'.

Tom Dowd, a life played, 1925–2002.


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© Copyright 2006 Stephen Oliver & Trout.