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Bits & Pieces: Ayatollah here

From our colleague Rob Cullivan at the Gresham Outlook:

Known as Colossus, a Gresham hip-hop trio consists of Vengeful Ghost (Pamplin Media employee Jeff McCall), Blue Healer (Grant Burgess) and Ayatollah (Lamont Dorrell).

And, of the three, Ayatollah — or Tollah, as he’s now known — is by far the best known, having produced records, including gold and platinum sellers, for Mos Def, Styles P, Pharoahe Monch, R.A. The Rugged Man, Talib Kweli and many others.

“When it comes to hip-hop beats, Ayatollah has been there and done that, and largely received acclaim for his production everywhere that he goes,” states one writer on www.rapreviews.com.

Having moved to Gresham recently after falling in love with an Oregon woman, Tollah met the Ghost and the Healer at Café Delirium after being introduced by a mutual acquaintance. Vengeful and Blue were aspiring hip-hop producers themselves, and hit it off with the New York City native, all three men noted.

“I’ve been listening to Tollah’s music for 10 years,” Ghost says. “There’s a lot of people making real synthy beats with technology in the studio. But what I like about his beats is he’s using samples mostly from vinyl records, movies, other found sounds, just like classic hip-hop.”

Tollah, who grew up in Jamaica, Queens New York, adds that he’s glad he connected with his Gresham compatriots.

“We just feel each other’s ideas, we appreciate each other’s work,” he says. “It’s not competitive — it’s a meeting of the minds. And I’m looking forward to completing (our record) and putting it out there for people to listen to, and maybe doing some shows together, too.”

More Rose Fest

An addendum to our Rose Festival coverage:

• Two situations have been handled at CityFair in recent years.

Portland Parks & Recreation crews, with financial assistance from the Rose Festival and other groups that use Waterfront Park, removed four to six inches of organic muck, allowing for more stable grounds for equipment, people and weather. Translation: It’s supposed to not be as muddy, should it rain, says Jeff Curtis, chief executive officer. Last year, “we didn’t have to activate what we call our ‘mud alleviation team protocol,’” he says, with a bit of levity.

And reliance on Portland Police Bureau personnel has really been curbed, Curtis says, to where as few as one officer could be on duty — along with scores of private security, “our eyes and ears on the ground,” Curtis says.

• This and that: Save $15 on the purchase of unlimited CityFair ride wristbands at rosefestival.org, an offer good through May 22. ... Coliseum tickets for the Queen’s Coronation and Grand Floral Parade start at $15 at rosefestival.org. ... The Starlight Parade, Junior Parade and Grand Floral Parade can all be seen on Fox 12. ... The One More Time Around Again Marching Band, celebrating 30 years, will serve as Grand Floral Parade grand marshal.

New website

The new Portland community radio station, XRAY.fm, has revamped its website and pronounces it “alive and well.”

The online station promotes a diverse lineup, including: talk show Carl in the Morning, rhythm and blues music during Drive at Five with Beyonadoubt on Mondays, local music with PDX Pop Now on Saturday mornings, gospel music on Buked and Scorned on Sundays, and death metal on Strike of Death with DJ Skull and DJ Bones any day.