Baswoods Music

KeskusteluClub Read 2023

Liity LibraryThingin jäseneksi, niin voit kirjoittaa viestin.

Baswoods Music

tammikuu 7, 9:36 am

Reading ursula's thread reminded me that I started a music thread last year. I only made two entries, perhaps I can do better this year with my listening thread.

Elliott Smith - From a Basement on the Hill 2004
It took me some time to get into American singer/songwriter Elliott Smith active (1994-2003) as I grew up with such great singer songwriters as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Donovan etc............. in the 1960's. Smith never achieved the fame of these artists and his untimely death by suicide (probably) in 2003 was at a time when he was expanding his sound palette.

From a Basement on a Hill is a posthumous release and one is struck by the expansion of his sound. He has added electric guitars, drums, psychedelic sounds in some adventurous arrangements. On first hearing I thought it would have to be a pretty big basement to accommodate all those musicians, but much of it was played by Smith who was a multi-instrumentalist. I like the way Smith structures his songs they can vary from the usual refrain/chorus formula and his tunes can take unexpected turns. A singer/songwriter is only as good as the tunes he writes and there are some good ones on this disc. The lyrics are steeped in drugs and depression, but the tunes can be quite upbeat. Good CD

tammikuu 7, 6:27 pm

I know Elliot Smith only from his wonderful contributions to the soundtrack for the movie Good Will Hunting. I'm working through the Rollling Stone top 500 albums, the 2020 version. His album Either/Or is #216. (I'm on #437, Screamadelica by Primal Scream, from 1991. I'm working towards #1)

tammikuu 8, 6:33 pm

>2 dchaikin: Good Hunting Dan let me highlight some albums that are coming your way:

431 Los Lobos - How Will the Wolf Survive
426 Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams
424 Beck! - Odelay
417 Ornette Coleman - The Shape of jazz to Come.

tammikuu 8, 6:44 pm

Dodgy - Free Peace Sweet - 1996
Brit - pop from the 1990s. I grabbed this to accompany my walk this afternoon and after the first four tracks I wondered how It had got into my collection. However I recognised the tune of the fifth song "If Your Thinking of Me and things got a little better after this. Pop music from the 1990's it is, but the songs are driven by a propulsive bass and some interesting drumming. There is a lot of three part harmonies which reminded me of the Beatles and track 7 could have come straight from Sgt Pepper. "Jack the lad" came complete with Pete Townsend guitar chords and after imitating the Who the group seemed to want to be The Hollies. 1960 groups updated to the 1990s? why not if it works and it did sometimes and I added three of the tunes to my playlists.

tammikuu 9, 1:11 am

Looking forward to what shows up here and glad to have inspired you to do it again this year!

Elliott Smith is someone that I've never gotten into. Morgan likes him though, and for a while we were sending each other "homework songs", things we wanted the other one to hear - Elliott Smith "Son of Sam" was one he sent me.

tammikuu 9, 3:43 pm

>3 baswood: oh, I’m really charmed by this post. Noting! I’m moved on to #436 All Eyes on Me by 2Pac - never listened to him before. Primal Fear was entertaining and a lot more mellow than I anticipated. But the one I’ve enjoyed the most recently was James Brown. #439 is Sex Machine, and I loved the album. Of course I knew James Brown, but i had never extensively focused on him for more than a song (or mainly just a snippet of a song. He famously samples well)

tammikuu 9, 6:04 pm

John Surman - Free and Equal 2003
I saw a John Surman group live in 1969 when I was a student at Newcastle. His main instrument then was Baritone Sax, which he used to play in an upper register which was unknown to jazz Baritone Saxophonists like Gerry Mulligan. At the end of an exciting concert, for an encore he brought out a bass clarinet which is an impressive looking instrument. Some people got up to leave and Surman said to them "Don't go you will miss the best bit" Probably he had not played it much before that night, because the people who left made a good choice. He plays a lot of bass clarinet on this 2003 release which is a feature of this concert performance. I Didn't realise it was a live recording until I heard some polite applause at the end.

At this 2001 concert Surman was supported by Jack DeJohnette on drums and London Brass. London Brass is a group that play mainly classical music and it has long been my contention that Jazz and Classical music rarely mix well and I am sorry to say that this was the case here. Despite some imaginative writing and good solos by Surman (baritone and soprano saxophone as well as bass clarinet) I found it hard to warm to this performance. To my ears it lacked a bass player. I found it hard to cope with the dynamics of this group of players. The CD has garnered some good reviews, but it is not really to my taste.

tammikuu 9, 6:14 pm

I've realized lately that I had fallen out of the habit to listen to complete albums... your thread always reminds me that I probably should start again.

tammikuu 11, 6:46 pm

Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain 1960
I find it hard to believe that this CD had passed me by. I listened to it for the first time last night. I believe it was the next official release after the groundbreaking Kind of Blue (no wonder John Coltrane left the group). This is Miles in conjunction with an orchestra arranged and conducted by Gil Evans. Thank goodness there are no violins present: the arrangements are for brass and woodwind with a harp, percussion and double bass. The first track is Rodrigos' Concerto De Aranjuez, actually it is only the adagio extended to 16 minutes and 23 seconds. Miles Davis solos over the orchestral accompaniment playing long melodic lines based on the guitar parts of the original orchestration. Gil Evans goes for coloration producing a palette of sounds to accompany Miles. It works well because Davis trumpet playing has a mournful bluesy sound that fits in with the arrangement. The next longest track is Solea composed and arranged by Evans. It is not so strong melodically, but does have a similar feel to the Concerto and I think Miles plays better on this track. I am not so sure about the marching Spanish drum pattern or about the percussion sound of blocks of wood knocking together at intervals. There are three more shorter tracks that again are strong on melody. There is nothing here to frighten the horses and the LP/CD has stood the test of time and will be in plenty of collections where jazz music is hardly featured. I am glad I finally caught up with it, but cant think I will be playing it that much in the future. I love the LP/CD cover.

tammikuu 11, 7:45 pm

>9 baswood: I really like John Surman and love Sketches of Spain. Al Hirt (yes, that Al Hirt) told me once that he thought Sketches of Spain was the greatest trumpet album ever recorded.

tammikuu 11, 8:00 pm

I'm going through my jazz albums at the moment and making tough decisions about which ones to part with. I decided that I can live without Gil Evans' "Out of the cool" precisely because I've never cottoned to jazz with big orchestral sound (why I make exceptions for limit-cases like Harry James and Xavier Cugat must be because I don't hear them as essentially jazz). Ellington is always a challenge...

Staying with the Evanses, I've also decided I can live without Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debbie".

tammikuu 12, 9:49 am

>9 baswood: I listened to this one today. I don't know anything about jazz, but I liked this one in general. I also wasn't so sure about the marching sounds at the end.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 13, 7:04 pm

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - From Here to Eternity - 1984
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Tender Prey - 1988
These are early Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds releases. From Here to Eternity was the first official release from the group, which emerged from the ashes of the Australian Group Birthday Party. From Here to Eternity was a stunning first release, but it does suffer from the excesses of Birthday Party who were a very noisy band whose lack of decent material made some of their work almost unlistenable. However they did have Nick Cave who proved to be an exceptional vocalist.

From Here to Eternity has two great cuts: a reworking of Leonard Cohen's Avalanche and Nick Cave's original composition: A Box for Black Paul. Both tracks feature doomy/gothic soundscapes: Avalanche works at a slow tempo with an exciting repeated drum pattern and Nick Cave improvises his vocals over the top, adding even more depth to the sound. It is a great song and Cave takes it apart and puts it back together into something new. A box for Black Paul has a similar atmosphere, but Cave's powerful vocals slide off into minor key sounds that became a feature of his later recordings. I am not so enthusiastic about tracks like Cabin Fever and Saint Huck, because there is so little melodic content and the songs seem to be based around drum patterns, where Cave shouts and hollers in sometimes frenzied fashion, his tortured vocals are interrupted by industrial sounds that just add more noise. From Here to Eternity is good with a repeated electric keyboard figure, which gives a basis for Cave's sometimes astonishing vocals and gives the listener a key to hold onto.

Tender Prey has more controlled vocals and the industrial sounds have now all but disappeared. It is a less noisy album, but starts off with the exciting: The Mercy Seat. The tempos are still slow on many of the tracks and the doomy atmosphere prevails. It is generally more melodic and one can get a sense of the excellent ballad singer that Nick cave would become. Up Jumped the Devil is superb and points the way to my favourite Nick Cave album Murder Ballads. Of the two albums I prefer the raw excitement of From Here to Eternity, but it is a close thing.

tammikuu 13, 7:56 pm

I'm not familiar with Nick Cave, but in the right time period, the Pet Shop Boys album Actually from 1987 :)

2Pac's All Eyez on Me was entertaining enough but I don't feel any need to listen to it more.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 18, 8:41 am

Ted Nugent - Ted Nugent - 1975
Ted Nugent - Free For All - 1976
OK its probably not cool these days to listen to Ted Nugent albums. After all he is a gun-totin republican activist and supporter of Donald Trump, but in the mid 70's when these albums came out, he was something different and if you wanted your rock music to have some punch and some guts Nugent was one of the few out there who was delivering. The mid 70's were a period of the so-called dinosaur groups: bands that had released ground breaking albums back in the day, but were now running on empty - the first of these that spring to mind are King Crimson and Yes. In 1975/1976 there was still a year to go before the punks and then the new wave bands hit the scene and until then we were stuck with the dinosaurs.

The 1975 album Ted Nugent starts of with 8 minutes of Stranglehold a slower tempo number than is usual, but one that shows Nugent fully in control of guitar dynamics: there is atmosphere, tension and memorable guitar licks. The next track then sets the tempo with Stormtroopin' as Nugent launches into a trademark guitar riff that is repeated throughout the song: there are changes in tempo and some more thumping chords with more guitar. His vocals are hard edged, perhaps a bit higher in pitch than I remember, but strong enough to carry the tunes. Good drums and some driving bass complete the picture. "Just what the Doctor Ordered" is my favourite track, with Nugent's vocals stretching to hold long notes. Nugent repeats the formula with his next release on the Epic label, more good songs, great guitar riffs and perhaps a little more adventurous. I enjoyed these two albums more than I thought I would. Back in the day I saw Nugent live when he featured a huge sign above the band that said "If its too loud your too old" I note from wiki that he now suffers from hearing problems.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 18, 8:57 am

And other problems. Nice review

I’ve gone through The Pet Show Boys 1987 album Actually and Pavements 1994 album Crooker Rain, Crooked Rain (i didn’t recognize Pavement, even though that was my genre in 1994…and today). I’ve started LCD Sound System- Sound of Silver (2007)

tammikuu 19, 11:26 pm

LCD Sound System- Sound of Silver was forgettable to me. Not bad, just never seemed to come alive. Next I’ll try #432 on the Rolling Stone 500 list, the album Confessions by Usher(2004), who i have probably never listened to before.

tammikuu 20, 10:39 am

Jefferson Starship - Red Octopus, jefferson Starship 1975
Jefferson Starship - Freedom At Point Zero 1979
If I had to pick a favourite band from the American West coast groups of the 1960's-70's it would be Jefferson Airplane and then later Jefferson Starship. I loved the vocal harmonies of Grace Slick, Marty Balin and Paul Kanter, they always had excellent guitar players and wrote interesting songs. The band always sounded like a group project, with plenty of improvisation and sometimes the vocals and the song structure sounded in danger of falling apart, but with commendable brio they always managed to pull through and could be very exciting.

Red Octopus was Jefferson Starship's biggest seller and probably because it contained the Marty Balin song Miracles. The group included Slick, Balin and Kantner with guitarist Craig Chauico and fiddle player Papa John Creach. The rhythm section was good enough to underpin the songs, my only criticism would be that the band had lost a bit of its edge, slowing down maybe. Plenty of variety here and unmistakably Jefferson Starship.

There were personnel changes for Freedom At Point Zero, gone (temporarily) were Grace Slick and Marty Balin and this becomes evident immediately with the opening song Jane, where Mickey Thomas takes the lead vocal. The song although a good one seems to have a more remote sound and would not be out of place on a Van Halen disc. Things were more recognisable in other songs like Things to Come and Awakening, but this is because Paul Kantners distinctive voice was mixed with Mickey Thomas's double tracked vocals that managed to sound like Slick and Balin. I would never have guessed that Marty Balin and Grace Slick were not on the disc. Plenty more good songs on this disc with excellent guitar work from Craig Chaquico.

tammikuu 20, 11:07 am

As part of the RS 500 I listened to Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow. Slick’s voice was so powerful on those two iconic song- Alice and Somebody to Love. It certainly overshadowed everything else on that album.

tammikuu 20, 11:15 am

>2 dchaikin: That's actually not a bad idea for getting through some music one may have missed.

tammikuu 20, 11:32 am

>20 AnnieMod: (re the Rolling Stone 500 list): i’ve been really out of touch with any contemporary music since when i left school in 1998, or when maybe even I left New Orleans in 1995. So i have many many gaps. But actually almost everything on the list is either new to me or an artist I’ve never listened to in any sustained way. So it’s a good fit for me. My main drive is to spend time with some foundational stuff and also with the variety in the list. I don’t listen to R&B and wrap and their extended variations. So all that, new and old, is new to me. But also i like getting some background fill-in with Bo Diddly, Al Green, James Brown, Otis Redding, Diana Ross, or the Ronettes. This is all great stuff that precedes me and wasn’t filled in by my high school classic rock stations. Of course I know them, but I’ve given them much attention.

I do have some issues with what is and isn’t on the list. But I’m not overly worried about that. Just appreciate a guide to some music through time.

tammikuu 20, 11:56 am

>21 dchaikin: I've never been in touch with contemporary music to start with except for a few bands and artists - partially because it was not trivial to find a lot of stuff in my very early teens and partially because after that the catch-up was overwhelming (we got everything available almost overnight). Thus my comment - I had been wondering which of the many best of lists to tackle and looking at that list, it looks as a good idea :) I tend to just tune in on a station (or connect to one these days) and listen in whatever (and then move on and forget about music for awhile).

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 21, 4:15 pm

>21 dchaikin: "i’ve been really out of touch with any contemporary music since when i left school in 1998, or when maybe even I left New Orleans in 1995."

That's funny, but only because my experience was exactly the opposite, in that I mark my arrival in New Orleans in 1979 as the moment when I lost touch with contemporary music because I became instantly obsessed with learning about New Orleans R&B, blues and jazz. The outside pop/rock world pretty much disappeared for me, a situation that was exacerbated when I got a job as a jazz/blues host and producer at the local NPR affiliate. If I hadn't dated a woman for about three years who had a daughter in her early teens who opened the portal for me to the early MTV bands (Oh, how she could belt out "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "My Name is Rio"!) I would have been at sea entirely, other than knowing what was going on in the jazz world, by the time I moved from New Orleans to San Francisco in 1986.

I loved Jefferson Airplane and still do. Volunteers, Surrealistic Pillow and Crown of Creation are all favorites, both musically and for sentimental reasons. As for Jefferson Starship, I loved Blows Against the Empire, a collaborative masterpiece that included members of the Dead, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Quicksilver Messenger Service and many others, the same crowd that also sat in for David Crosby's first solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name. I lost touch with the JS albums after that. I was turned off by the singles, like "Jane" and "We Built This City," but I must admit that I've never explored the full albums.

And speaking of David Crosby, what a loss yesterday. He did go out in a blaze of light, though, having recorded a series of by all accounts (I still haven't explored them all) brilliant albums over the past several years.

tammikuu 21, 3:24 pm

>23 rocketjk: interesting you say that. Tulane and New Orleans pulled me off the radio, because it introduced me to a world of other music. Once i was in Kansas for grad school, I was mostly back on the radio (but I had replaced by high school classic rock radio with "alternative". Lawrence radio loved 311, from Omaha.)

tammikuu 22, 5:15 pm

Miles Davis - Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall - 1962
Miles Davis - Seven Steps to Heaven - 1963
After the break up of Miles Davis's first great quintet the following three years found him searching for new members for his band. These two releases come from that period. They were both released as single LPs, but have since become augmented with other tracks from the recording sessions and in the case of Seven Steps to Heaven it has been stretched to 7 Lp's

Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall finds his group playing with the Gil Evans big band after their successful recordings featured on the Sketches of Spain LP.
It is a live recording in glorious mono. Some numbers featured Miles soloing in front of the big band, others tracks have the band and the quintet playing together and others just feature the Miles Davis Quintet. The audience response at the concert is enthusiastic and is well captured on the recordings. The original LP features all combinations with two standout performances by the quintet on "Oleo" and "No Blues" Oleo in particular is played at a furious tempo much faster than his studio recordings. It is good to have the whole concert on the augmented release, but it shows an initially hesitant Miles playing in front of the big band on the Concerto de Aranjuez. However it is worth looking at the later release for the quintet's version of "Teo" and "Walkin" Miles is superb on these tracks executing high notes on the trumpet with ease, his group are dynamic and Hank Mobley has plenty of space to solo on tenor saxophone.

It was nearly all change for the studio recordings on Seven Steps to Heaven. George Coleman plays tenor sax. Herbie Hancock or Victor Feldman were on piano, but it was the introduction of the 17 year old drummer Tony Williams that brought some of these recordings to life, because they are very much a mixed bag. On the slower tempo numbers where Frank Butler was drumming the group sound as if they are going through the motions, but on "Seven Steps to Heaven", "So Near So Far" and the excellent "Joshua" they really do sound like a different group with Tony Williams in the drum chair. The augmented release stretched to 7 LPs to include live performances and these are again a mixed bag.

tammikuu 22, 5:17 pm

That Carnegie Hall album is one of the first few jazz records I ever bought! I still have a lot of affection for it.

tammikuu 24, 12:49 am

Usher wasn’t memorable for me. I’ve already forgotten what he/they sound like, but >3 baswood: I adored Los Lobos.

tammikuu 24, 4:28 pm

Free - Free Live - 1971
Heartbreaker - 1972
Back in time to the early 1970's and two Lp's from a group that had no pretensions about being anything else, but a blues/rock band. For most of their short career they were a four piece band - vocals, guitar, bass and drums. They hit the big time with their single "All right Now" with a beat which made it perfect for disco's and dance compilations. They also released a clutch of great Lp's and the reason that they were so good was because of the vital connections within the band. Paul Rodgers had a great voice for this genre of music which fitted brilliantly with the guitar playing of Paul Kossoff and the rhythm section of Andy Fraser and Simon Kirk were rock solid.

Free Live is a selection of live recordings from concerts in England and has their best songs from 1969/70. Most of their songs were slow to mid tempo which gave Rodgers every chance to show his vocal skills and gave space to Kossoff's rich guitar sound. I am not a fan of live music releases of rock music, being of the opinion that studio recordings are usually much better, but this one is an exception. There is a good version of All Right Now, but better than studio versions of Fire and Water and Mr Big. The recordings are good and the band sound in top form. Essential

Heartbreaker was the final studio album but the band were falling apart. The empathy between Fraser and Kossoff was not so evident and bass guitarist Andy Fraser had left. Two new recruits Tetsu Yamauchi on bass guitar and John 'Rabbit' Bundrick on keyboards. Bundrick had a hand in the songwriting and I think this batch of songs were the best that they produced. There is more variety and their sound has expanded a little. Essential.

tammikuu 24, 7:39 pm

>28 baswood: Oh, I so love this band. A good friend turned me on to their first (pre-All Right Now) album, Tons of Sobs, in junior high school days. For my money, Paul Rogers has one of the greatest voices of any male rock singers of any era. I have both of these albums in LP form but I'm not as familiar with them as with Tons of Sobs, which I pretty much wore the grooves off of during high school.

tammikuu 25, 7:35 am

>29 rocketjk: Tons ofd Sobs is excellent as is their second album Free. I still have the original vinyl of Free and it is well worn. Paul Rodgers has a great voice, but it never sounded so good as on those Free albums.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 25, 11:24 am

>30 baswood: "Paul Rodgers has a great voice, but it never sounded so good as on those Free albums."

I agree 100%. Somewhere I found a solo album of his and bought it. I just listened to it again recently and ended up putting it in the Goodwill stack. It was mostly mid-80s hard rock clatter, with mediocre song writing and his voice buried under useless synthesizers and over-production. Also, it was one of those ego projects where the singer also plays all the instruments. Unless you're Paul McCartney or Pete Townsend, that's not going to go well.

I think, in general, that the over-production issue was at the root of his voice not sounding as good in his post-Free bands, too. To me, his singing is heard to best effect when the production is spare.

tammikuu 26, 4:38 pm

More Miles Davis

Someday My Prince Will Come - 1962
In Person Friday and Saturday Night at the Blackhawk 1961

Someday My Prince Will Come is a studio album with Hank Mobley on tenor saxophone. Miles plays open and muted trumpet on the six tracks on the original LP. More great music of course and this one is noted for the appearance of John Coltrane on two of the tracks. Coltrane was apparently appearing with his quartet down the street from the recording studio and sat in for a take of 'Someday My Prince Will Come' and 'Teo'. Some listeners have said that Hank Mobley was shown to be a much lesser player on the two tracks where they soloed and I think this is unfair. In my opinion Mobley plays excellently all through this album, but Coltrane shows why he had to leave Davis's group. His solo on Teo sounds so far in advance of where Miles was at that time time, he could not have stayed in the confines of the modern jazz that Miles was playing.

Miles Davis quintet at the Blackhawk Friday and Saturday Night. Well I would have loved to have been in that audience on Saturday night because the group were superb with Hank Mobley demonstrating why he deserved to be playing tenor saxophone in the Miles Davis Group. Wynton Kelly has also some great solo space and when he accompany's Miles there are some magic moments. Both albums are of course essential.

tammikuu 29, 4:59 pm

Pedro the Lion - Achilles Heel - 2004
Pedro the Lion - Its Hard to Find a Friend - 1998
David Bazan - Fewer Moving parts - 2006
Pedro the Lion are an indie pop rock group based in Seattle. David Bazan is a multi - instrumentalist and the group coheres around him. It's Hard to Find a Friend is low-fi singer songwriter music which depends on the quality of Bazan's songs. Unfortunately there are not enough good songs on this disc. It was the first album released under the name of Pedro the Lion. Their 2004 effort is much better, some good songs and their sound has expanded. Bazan's voice can sound a bit lugubrious, but the energy levels have been raised enough on this disc to make it worth a listen. Fewer Moving Parts is a Bazan solo project: There are 5 songs on the CD each one being recorded twice; one sounding like a lo-fi demo version and the other with more instruments and better production. A nice idea, but you only get five songs.

helmikuu 3, 6:46 pm

Ornette Coleman - Virgin Beauty - 1988
When I first played this CD I did not like it at all, especially the very first track (3 Wishes), which consisted of a repeated riff played by three guitarists, two electric basses, a drummer with Ornette soloing over the top on alto saxophone. One of the guitarists is Jerry Garcia, but I don't think it was him who was responsible for a repeated note accompanying the riff. Things got a little better by the next track with much more interesting improvisation going on between the guitarists and basses. Ornette plays over the top again, but the music has a more loose feel. There are 11 tracks lasting between 3-5 minutes each, and by track five Ornette is getting to play amongst the group rather than across the top. It is a CD that needs to be given a chance to breathe and by the third play I got really into it, but I still don't like that first track. Ornette takes the vast majority of the solos playing alto, trumpet and violin, but all the other players get plenty of chance to improvise in the skittering patterns which make up these grooves. Well worth a listen as this music definitely grew on me.

helmikuu 3, 7:07 pm

>34 baswood: I don't know this album, but, as I may have mentioned to you before, for me the sound of Ornette in full cry is pretty much the most soulful sound in the universe.

helmikuu 3, 8:24 pm

Bas - I’m hoping you don’t mind my brief Rolling Stone 500 interludes

430 - My Aim Is True - Elvis Costello - 1977 - Costello’s 1st album and the 1st time i’ve listened to an album by him. I liked it, but only so much

429 Reach Out - Four Tops - 1967 - soul with Reach Out, I’ll be there. Glad i listened once. But that’s enough

428 New Day Rising - Hüsker Dü - 1985 - I consistently don’t like them, but they are much better as a full album, where i can sense better what they’re doing, than I’ve found previously with individual songs

427 Call Me - Al Green - 1973 - fantastic! ❤️

426 Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams - 1988 - beautiful voice. But a full album is too much country music for me

- - -

I’m now listening to:
425 Paul Simon - Paul Simon - 1972 - his 1st solo album.

helmikuu 4, 10:02 am

>36 dchaikin: I don't mind at all Dan, enjoying keeping up with you

helmikuu 5, 2:16 am

I'm taking note of things to listen to in the future, when I'm not inundated with other listening projects!

>36 dchaikin: I'm also enjoying the preview of what I'll be hearing soon as I go through that list, and your reactions to stuff I'm already familiar with. I'm a little sad about My Aim Is True, it has some of my absolute favorite songs on it (particularly (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes and Watching the Detectives).

helmikuu 5, 9:05 am

>38 ursula: I think Costello and i need more time together before i can appreciate him. 🙂 He shows up one more time with This Year’s Model, #122. Anyway I haven’t listened to him much, just an occasional song here or there.

helmikuu 6, 3:42 am

Greg Brown - One More Goodnight Kiss 1988
Greg Brown - The poet Game 1994
Greg Brown - Further In 1996
Greg Brown - Covenant 2000

Greg Brown is an American folk singer and songwriter who seems to be at home with country music as well. He has a discography of over 30 CDs starting from 1980. It was Greg Brown week last week with these four CDs. I also have a live recording called The Live One, but I could not get any further than the first couple of tracks. There are good songs on all these CDs and a couple of great ones on Covenant. One More Goodnight Kiss has a country influence in the playing and songwriting that is not to my taste, but The Poet Game puts Greg Brown firmly into singer/songwriter territory. He records and plays with guitarist Bo Ramsey whose electric guitar playing on Covenant really fits the songs and a few of these have got onto my playlists. He has a rich baritone voice which oozes charm. An enjoyable listen.

helmikuu 12, 5:40 pm

Netherlands Wind ensemble - John Adams, David Lang

Classical Music, but modern classical music circa 1980's. Two American composers each have two pieces which makes a varied programme of music which could be described as minimalist plus.

John Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine kicks off the CD with a fanfare performance lasting just over four minutes with the wind ensemble adding instruments and texture as the machine starts slowly and speeds along to its climax. Its the sort of music that impresses immediately, but the listener does not need to spend much time with it. The three longer compositions bear repeated playing and they are all beautiful in their way. David Lang's "Are you experienced" is supposedly inspired by the JImi Hendrix song, but any connection was lost on me. David Lang provides a voice over describing how you the listener suffers a blow to the head and the music accompanies your last thoughts. There is contorted dance music followed by an unnerving tuba solo there are painful surges of sound in Drop and then the voice of God: at one point a beautiful melody interposes and Lang's voice over says thats nice, but we have heard it already.

David Lang's Under Orpheus follows and is a duet of liquid, limpid piano notes. The sound of the fast repeated phrases have a crystalline texture backed by orchestral sounds and choral notes. Beautiful.
The CD ends with John Adams Grand Pianola music and grand it is indeed dance. A musical pulse is backing for a piano and then some dramatic orchestral arrangements raise the tension. In part three of the composition a glorious melody emerges and carries the music into more drama. Wow this is exciting music with no shortage of melodic content.

helmikuu 13, 11:51 am

>41 baswood: That sounds like fun. For a while I was listening to a lot of modern Classical music of this era.

helmikuu 19, 7:18 pm

Some RS 500 updates by a listener who is becoming increasingly aware of how clueless I am.

425 Paul Simon - Paul Simon - his first solo album. I love Me and Julio. It was fun to get the rest of the album

424 Odelay - Beck - I know Beck but didn’t know I would like this album so much. This is a bit of a creative splendor. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

423 I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One - Yo La Tengo - I had never listened to this duo before. I listened to this album over and over for a while.

422 Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye - this was fine, just not my thing. Apologies to any huge fans.

421 - Arular - M.I.A. - dance/electronic - new to me. I liked the energy, but felt at arm’s length.

420 That's the Way of the World- Earth, Wind & Fire - I know very little about EW&F, but I really enjoyed this. I like the way they mixed jazz into their R&B/Soul.

helmikuu 19, 9:35 pm

>43 dchaikin: We have communal threads dedicated to poetry, graphic novels, and food...why not one dedicated to music?

helmikuu 19, 9:41 pm

>44 kidzdoc: I've never posted on music before this year, and never thought about it. Great idea.

helmikuu 20, 3:39 am

>43 dchaikin: I share your enthusiasm for Odelay by Beck its a real creative mixture and some good songs.

helmikuu 20, 6:11 pm

Arcade Fire - Funeral 2004
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible 2007
The first two cd's by this much acclaimed Canadian rock band. Back in 2004 their music would have had an 'indie' sound, but listening today it sounds like well produced pop music. It is full of catchy sing along tunes (anthems) that would no doubt be a big hit at concerts. Some interesting lyrics and has to be said some great tunes make this very listenable. I prefer the Neon Bible cd because the tunes are given an expansive treatment and the whole thing is better recorded. The group seem to have recognised their strengths and improved on their first cd. OK but I can't get excited by this.

helmikuu 21, 6:32 am

>47 baswood: Funeral is album 500 on the RS 500, which I suspect might actually be a coveted spot as I’m probably not the only person exploring from 500, and going down. I didn’t take to the album.

helmikuu 21, 6:11 pm

Greg Osby - Further Ado 1997
Jackie Maclean - New wine in old bottles 1978
Two jazz alto saxophonists making cd's some 21 years apart. Jackie Maclean was making records in the mid fifties and played in the hard bop style. He adapted his playing to take on board some of the ideas from the free jazz movement, but he always continued to sound like Jackie Maclean. He had a trick of leaping into his solos after the theme or the melody of the song had been stated. On New Wine in Old Bottles he is paired with the so called great jazz trio of Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and pianist Hank Jones. The younger more contemporary trio push Maclean into making one of his better records. New Wine in Old Bottles is probably a reference to the choice of material because he records two of his most famous tunes "Appointment in Ghana and "Little Melonay" and does them justice with the trio living up to their billing. They also play a great version of Round Midnight. The recorded sound is very good and so this is a very good record.

Greg Osby is new to me, but I am impressed by his playing. The jazz is more adventurous more modern than Maclean's more straight sounding be-bop, but the two saxophonists are by no means worlds apart. Osby leads a group that includes pianist Jason Moran whose ear is good enough to pick out phrases from Osby's solos and they combine well together. The group also includes Tim Hagans on trumpet and Mark Shim on tenor saxophone. Good original tunes from Osby and a version of another of my favourites 'Tenderly' This is good jazz and I am keen to hear more of Osby.

helmikuu 23, 5:18 pm

>49 baswood: I've always loved Jackie McLean. This old Blue Note album from 1964 is my favorite of his:

With Grachan Moncur III, trombone, Bobby Hutcherson, vibes, Eddie Khan, bass and Anthony Williams, drums.

Also, I remember when Greg Osby was a young, on-the-rise player in the late 80s/early 90s. A really fine musician.

helmikuu 23, 6:29 pm

>50 rocketjk: I love those old LP covers. That is an interesting group. I have always been impressed by Bobby Hutchersons playing and Grachan Moncur III as well - wow.

helmikuu 23, 7:28 pm

Clannad - Fuaim 1982
Clannad - Macalla 1985
I can always find time to listen to a Clannad album. They played a mixture of Irish Celtic influenced music and increasingly more popular music. They were a group that could appeal to traditionalists as well as crossing over into being a popular group. What was always apparent was the excellence of the musicians which started out as three members of the Brennan family in 1970. Typically they sang songs in Gaelic and English and both of there albums are beautifully recorded.

On Fuaim six of the eleven songs are sung in Gaelic a couple being arrangements of traditional songs, the others written by the group. Great vocals from Máire Ni Bhraonáin and on one song from Noel ó Dugáin, their voices blend well. Their traditional instrumentation of guitars, flute and Mandola is enhanced by some sensitive playing by Neil Buckley playing clarinet and saxophones. This is tuneful precisely recorded music that has its roots in traditional songs.

By 1985 the group had an album in the LP charts (Magical Ring 1983) and Macalla was aimed again at the popular music charts. However it opens with two dramatic atmospheric songs Caislean Õir and the Wild Cry. Maire is now the bands featured soloist and she sings lead vocal on much of the music. Synthesisers, electric guitar and saxophones dominate the instrumentation. They achieve a hauntingly sad vibe on some of the better moments. They have moved away from more traditional music, but as I listen to this new sound I am having more difficulty in hearing much variety in the music. They have gone for chord driven drama and it gets a bit too much the same. Both albums are good, but I prefer Fuaim

helmikuu 23, 8:06 pm

>51 baswood: I got to interview Bobby Hutcherson several times. Also, I wrote my only Down Beat Magazine feature story about the first iteration of the San Francisco Jazz Festival's resident supergroup, the SFJAZZ Collective, of which Hutcherson was a member (and most veteran presence). A great musician and a very kind man, as well. He recorded with Ornette Coleman a few times. I asked what it was like for him to play that sort of jazz. He said, "Well, when you play with Ornette, what you have to do is splash the notes. You just splash them." Sadly, he passed away a few years back.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 3, 7:27 am

Can - Future Days 1973
Comets on Fire - Avatar 2006
Babyshambles - Down in Albion 2005

Nothing really connects these Cds, but Can and Comets on Fire were excellent listens while Babyshambles lived up to their name: it was a mess.

Can were active from 1969 to mid seventies and were labelled as Krautrock, because along with other groups from Germany they were pushing the boundaries of rock music moving towards more ambient sounds, but encompassing jazz and minimalist classical music. Future days was one of their best, just four tracks inspired by the drumming of Jaki Liebezeit. The music has an organic feel as drumming patterns change and develop throughout and guitars add to the rhythmic feel and pulsation that drives parts of this music. There are a few vocal passages, but these are way down in the mix. The final track Bel Air which lasts for 20 minutes is modern progressive music circa 1973 - Wonderful

Comets on Fire were an American group and their music can be described as psychedelic, but on this CD the music is very guitar heavy moving into metal territory. Two guitarists clash and meld on these songs which burn out in suitable climax. The vocalist is multi-tracked and rises to the challenge of the driving guitars. Plenty of guitar solos and some noise make this an exciting listen.

It could be said that Babyshambles epitomise the indie movement, because their CD sounds like a practice session where someone has come along to record the best bits when a song emerges.

maaliskuu 2, 2:41 pm

>49 baswood: Thanks for the review of the albums by Jackie McLean and Greg Osby, Barry. "New Wine in Old Bottles" is not an album I'm familiar with, so I'll have to check it out.

>50 rocketjk: I'm also a fan of Jackie McLean's work, both as a leader and as a sideman. I love "One Step Beyond", but I prefer his subsequent album "Destination...Out!", which also features Bobby Hutcherson and Grachan Moncur III, slightly more.

Sad news: Wayne Shorter died earlier today in Los Angeles, at the age of 89.

maaliskuu 2, 3:15 pm

>55 kidzdoc: Yes, the news about Shorter is very sad. Someone else is hosting jazz in the 1 - 3 pm slot this Monday (long story, but something I'm fine with), so my Wayne Shorter tribute will have to wait a week. A (very) minor piece of trivia: Wayne Shorter and I are both Newark natives.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 2, 3:54 pm

>56 rocketjk: Oh, that's right about you and Wayne Shorter both being natives of Newark, although you're considerably younger than him.

As I mentioned on my thread WKCR, Columbia University's radio station, is broadcasting a tribute to Wayne Shorter that will feature all or most of his recorded music, which will likely go on until at least tomorrow. I'm listening to the online live stream now:

ETA: The Wayne Shorter Memorial Broadcast on WKCR will go on through midnight on Friday, roughly 32 hours from now.

maaliskuu 2, 4:33 pm

Sad about Wayne Shorter. I last saw him in a duo with Harbie Hancock at Marciac jazz festival in 2014 and the year before that with his quartet. Another one of the greats gone.

maaliskuu 3, 7:36 am

Bob Dylan - The Basement Tapes
After the release of two magnificent albums Highway 61 revisited and Blonde on Blonde there was a hiatus in the release of any more music from Dylan. This was at a time when his move towards electric music had given his songs a new impetus. In July 1966 Dylan had a motorcycle accident that hospitalised him for some time. Dylan fans and I was one of them, had to wait until early 1968 for the release of John Wesley Harding and Dylan was moving towards country music. The excitement of his live shows with The Band had been replaced by country music specialists in the near acoustic John Wesley Harding; even Dylan's voice seemed to have changed.

This was the era of the bootleg albums. It was claimed that Dylan was the most bootlegged artist and I remember owning a reference book of all Dylan's bootlegs and chasing some of them down. The 1966 Royal Albert hall concert with the band (which wasn't at the Royal Albert hall but recorded in Liverpool) was perhaps the Holy Grail of recordings most of which were fairly dire in quality. During the gap of official releases the bootlegs were king and there were rumours of new material that had been recorded by Dylan and the Band which came to be known as the basement tapes. These basement tape recordings were made in mid 1967 and resulted in a trickle of releases of the best songs by other artists for instance 'I Shall be released' 'This Wheels on Fire' 'The Mighty Quinn' Tears of Rage' and Million Dollar Bash'. Dylan fans had to wait until 1975 for the release of 16 songs on an official release, but half of these only featured the Band.The songs had been tidied up and overdubbed. There were over 100 songs made and slowly some of them started to trickle out on official releases. In the early 1990s a nearly complete bootleg 5 CD collection was released and later in 2014 an official 6 CD collection of 139 songs completed the story.

I listened to 2 of the Cd's from the 1990's bootleg called The genuine Basement Tapes. The first CD gives the impression of what was happening in that basement. There are false starts, direction from Dylan to the musicians, a number of songs are started, some played really well, others sounding like the musicians were stumbling through. Its the sort of Cd that you would only need to listen to once, with the only worthwhile track being "You gotta stop Kicking my Dog Around'. The second CD is much better containing excellent versions of songs like 'Please Mrs Henry' 'This Wheels on Fire' 'Tiny Montgomery' 'You Aint Going Nowhere' 'Crash on the Levee' and many others. All of the songs are worth at least a second listen and you really get an idea of what was going on. The songs have obviously been rehearsed, and Dylan's improvised Lyrics had taken root. Dylan must have had many great tunes buzzing around in his head, but for many of them it would seem that he made up the lyrics almost on the hoof. The whole ambience is a curious mixture of country music and rock and sounds like the early records released by the band. Dylan is generally in good voice. These recordings are essential for Dylan fans, but I am not so sure I want to sit through the 139 songs on the officially released version.

maaliskuu 3, 10:42 am

>55 kidzdoc: Some of my favourite Wayne Shorter solos are on Miles Davis' Sorcerer CD

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 3, 12:53 pm

>60 baswood: I also love that album. My favorite road trip collection, that I play especially when I make the 800+ mile drive from Philadelphia to Atlanta and back, is The Complete Columbia Studio Recordings of The Miles Davis Quintet 1965–'68, a six CD set which includes all the studio records of Miles's second great quartet, with Miles on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums. Sorcerer is included in this set, along with some songs that never made it onto any albums, such as "Thisness":

maaliskuu 3, 12:46 pm

>60 baswood: & >61 kidzdoc: Sorcerer is great. I also love Nefertiti. One year I asked my wife for the complete set of CDs from the famous Plugged Nickel shows. That is a glorious set of music. I think there are eight CDs in that set.

maaliskuu 3, 12:58 pm

>62 rocketjk: Sorcerer, Nefertiti, E.S.P., Miles in the Sky: it's all great!

I haven't listened to the Plugged Nickel recordings in years...

maaliskuu 3, 1:57 pm

My information base tells me I have the Plugged Nickel set somewhere. I must dig it out.

maaliskuu 22, 7:22 pm

Leonard Cohen - The Future - 1992
When Leonard Cohen sings on the title track 'I've seen the future brother and it's murder' I am inclined to believe him.

As on all Cohen's albums it is the quality of the songs that make his releases so wonderful. Lets face it he didn't have much of a singing voice, but croaked, mused, shouted his way through his wistful mostly sad melodies using what he had to emphasise the phrasing of his inspired lyrics. He sounds like a poet who discovered a way of making his words sing, which is exactly what he was with the added bonus of a musicians ear that hardly ever failed him. Strangely enough his vocals sounded better on his live albums. This was his ninth studio album and the great songs kept on coming, by this time any new Cohen songs felt like a bonus after all the delights of his previous releases.

On this 1992 release Cohen is credited for writing seven of the nine songs and there are some gems on this album; The Future, Waiting for the miracle, Closing time and Democracy. He wrote some great love songs and Light of the Breeze is right up there with his best. From his 1971 release "Songs of Love and Hate" when he used strings heavily weighted with cellos and bass to dramatise his melodies most of his songs have carefully considered accompaniments that use the full range of instruments available in the studio. On this album the arrangements enhance the songs beautifully and on the final cut Tacoma Trailer there are no need for lyrics.

maaliskuu 22, 7:44 pm

It's a great album.

maaliskuu 23, 2:49 am

I have to admit I've never really delved into Leonard Cohen's discography. I should rectify that. "Let's face it he didn't have much of a singing voice" is my type of singer a lot of the time.

huhtikuu 2, 6:55 pm

>65 baswood: great post.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 2, 7:33 pm

Some of my RS 500 updates:

419 Chief by Eric Church (2011) - I couldn't listen to this.

418 Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits (1985) - three famous songs and which I listened to several times over again, having not visited them since I stopped listening to classic rock stations.

417 The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman (1959) - all new to me. Terrific. And so early

416 Things Fall Apart by The Roots (1999) - I'm trying to get into this kind of stuff, but didn't. Nothing doing for me.

415 Look-Ka Py Py by The Meters (1969) - They were still playing shows when I was in college (1991-1995). I had never listened to an album. Enjoyed this.

414 Risqué by Chic (1979) - disco, with one famous song - Good Times. fun stuff

413 Cosmo's Factory by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1970)- it's like a partial greatest hits album. I had forgotten or never realized how much I like Lookin' Out My Back Door. CCR had three famous albums, all released in 1969/1970. This and one other (Willy and the Poor Boys, 1969, is #193) are on this list.

412 Going to a Go-Go by Smokey Robinson (1965) - entertaining enough

411 Love and Theft by Bob Dylan (2001) - I'm glad Dylan could still make a good album at this point (release 9/11!), but I don't know why it's on this list.

410 Wild Honey by The Beach Boys (1967) - The first time I've listened to one of their albums. I enjoyed it! It's more dynamic than I might have imagined.

409 Workingman's by Dead Grateful Dead (1970) - has Uncle John's Band and Case Jones. Between that are a bunch of blues or bluegrass songs with Jerry Garcia supplying a voice that is neither. I enjoyed the whole thing.

408 Ace of Spades by Motörhead (1980) - This was so repetitive and boring, the same 3-minute song over and over. I couldn't finish. Weird that this is considered a great album.

407 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969) by Neil Young - has Cinamon Girl, Down by the River, and the pretty awesome (if sexist) Cowgirl in the Sand.

(Side note: My 1st impression listening the title song was that I remember this is a great song.

"I gotta get away
From this day-to-day
Running around,
Everybody knows
This is nowhere."

My second impression was that something was missing. It took me some time to realize the song I had in mind was a cover by Dar Williams! (2005). William's cover, which I didn't realize was a cover before, is terrific and brings out some of the song's dynamics that are lost in this recording here.)

406 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields (1999) - the RS 500 page says that they are impressed the songs remained so complex throughout. I thought they songs very basic and uncreative. The same idea over and over - arrogant voice and simple melody, again and again and again. I gave up about 20 songs in.

405 Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968 by Various artists - I'm listening now to a list someone on Apple Music put together that replicates this collection. So far I love everything about this.

15 albums, and seven date very close to 1969/1970.

huhtikuu 3, 4:32 am

>69 dchaikin: Glad you enjoyed The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman it deserves its classic status. Like you I could not get through 69 love songs by Magnetic fields

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 3, 12:20 pm

>69 dchaikin:, >70 baswood: I completely agree about The Shape of Jazz to Come!

ETA: I'll have to post reviews of three albums I've listened to by the Portuguese fadista Ana Moura, namely Desfado, Moura, and Casa Guilhermina.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 29, 8:57 pm

Big update - 25 albums

- 404 Rapture by Anita Baker (1986) - Very pretty and the first time I had listened to the album (as opposed to released songs). I enjoyed this.

- 403 Supreme Clientele by Ghostface Killah (2000) - not my thing, but it was ok

- 402 Expensive Shit by Fela Kuti and Africa '70 (1975) - I only vaguely remember this Afrobeat album. But I do remember that I liked it.

- 401 Blondie by Blondie (1976) - i think this is mostly a curiosity me, and I mostly enjoyed in that light. Pre-classic 80’s Blondie and, in my opinion, they tried hard to find energy, but they just weren't complex enough, in general, to really create it. The song Rip Her to Shreads, which you probably would recognize by sound of not by name, is an exception and terrific. But if this was their only album it wouldn’t be on any list.

- 400 Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go's (1981) - So. Ok, their lyrics are awful, but the music is great, and so fresh and complex after that plain Blondie album.

- 399 Brian Wilson Presents Smile by Brian Wilson (2004, abandoned 1967) - weird that this was never finished in its time and now we have it. But it’s great stuff.

- 398 The Raincoats by The Raincoats (1979) - A little-known all-girl punk rock band. All new to me. Terrific album. Amazing cover of Lola (pronouns unchanged despite this being an all-girl band)

- 397 When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish (2019) - I’m embarrassed to admit this was my first time listening to Billie Eilish. I found it restrained but really really terrific.

- 396 Something/Anything? by Todd Rundgren (1972) - i always assumed i would like Todd Rundgren. I was wrong.

- 395 Black Messiah by D'Angelo and the Vanguard (2014) - eek. i don’t remember this. I think I liked it ok.

- 394 Diana by Diana Ross (1980) - while the song I’m Coming Out is a nice 80’s classic, the rest of this album should not have been allowed out of the 80’s. yuck.

- 393 1989 by Taylor Swift (2014) - this came out when daughter was the target age. So, we listened to it a lot. My daughter wouldn’t listen now, but I can’t help that I really enjoy every single song.

- 392 Proud Mary: The Best of Ike & Tina Turner by Ike & Tina Turner (1991) - a little disappointing for me. The early stuff works. The latter stuff was just less than I had imagined.

- 391 Kaleidoscope by Kelis (1999) - This was decent. My daughter claims it's dated.

- 390 Surfer Rosa by Pixies (1988) - one of my sacred attachments. But I’ve listened to it so much, it was a little unsatisfying while I am in a state of looking for new stuff.

- 389 The Emancipation of Mimi by Mariah Carey (2005) - i don’t understand the appeal. Blech to me.

- 388 Young, Gifted and Black by Aretha Franklin (1972) - A nice cleanser after Mariah Carey. This is terrific. Aretha Franklin is terrific.

- 387 In Rainbows by Radiohead (2007) - ok, I remember when this came out and it was offered online at the buyers chosen price, including free. I just assumed at the time that if they were giving this away, it must not be that good. So I never checked it out until now. Well, I adored this. When I think of Radiohead I think of Creep, which is such a tightly wound song. But this was all loose and I loved it. It was fantastic to me.

- 386 Donuts by J Dilla (2006) - all samples. 100%. Weird. Listenable but I didn’t find it special.

- 385 Rocket to Russia by Ramones (1977) - so everyone knows the Ramones have basically one song, and it has two chords, and that it somehow makes them a premier and wonderful punk band. So I can’t add to that. And yes, I loved it.

- 384 The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks (1968) - at first I really enjoyed this, but then it got old quick.

- 383 Mezzanine by Massive Attack (1998) - This is fine. It’s like nice early evening bar background mood setting music. Droning, electronic, quietly passionate. But then out of the buzzing ooze comes the song Teardrop, which is such a great song. The it goes back into the ooze.

- 382 Currents by Tame Impala (2015) - At first it didn’t work for me at all. Then I listened again, and it all came together. Ok. I enjoyed it enough.

- 381 (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) by Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973) - the album with Free Bird, a really good overall album, at only 381? The mighty have fallen. Anyway, this was fun revisit. They were definitely not in tune with our contemporary mindset.

- 380 Mingus Ah Um by Charles Mingus (1959) - I’m listening to this classic jazz now. It’s terrific. All new to me. It’s good up close and it’s good in the background (good reading music)

toukokuu 30, 6:15 am

>72 dchaikin: Great listening update and you finished with one of my favourite albums Mingus Ah Um. I can still listen to Lynyrd Skynyrd and I still love the sound of the Kinks. I have never heard any songs by Taylor Swift, but I believe she is quite popular. Yes you only need to hear one song by the Ramones.

Only 379 more albums to go.......................

toukokuu 30, 9:07 am

>72 dchaikin: We are in the same neighborhood. I'm listening to album 375 today.

Yay for enjoying Billie Eilish. It was deservedly insanely popular.

i always assumed i would like Todd Rundgren. I was wrong.
I always assumed I wouldn't. I was right!

I've listened to Tame Impala a bunch for various lists and I still hate them/him.

>73 baswood: The Mingus was new to me too because I have never listened to much jazz, but I liked it a lot.

toukokuu 30, 4:00 pm

>73 baswood: it took me about a year to get to 400 🙂 As far as Taylor Swift, just make sure no one’s around when you listen so you won’t be too embarrassed when you find you enjoy this faux-teen-angst-marketed-to-teens music. Also I’m still listening to Mingus. The more I listen the more i like it

>74 ursula: Tame Impala isn’t worth overcoming hate 🙂

toukokuu 31, 8:51 am

Mingus Ah Um is pure genius.

kesäkuu 3, 10:33 pm

>76 kidzdoc: "Mingus Ah Um is pure genius."

Amen, Darryl.

As for the Kinks, the album of theirs that moves me the most is Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One from 1970.

kesäkuu 27, 5:00 pm

I have not been listening to much music recently and so eased myself back in with two classic jazz albums

John Coltrane - Giant Steps 1959
One talks now about Coltrane taking those Giant Steps back in 1959 and this usually refers to the musical technique that made other jazz artists sit up and listen. Coltrane plays tenor saxophone on an album of original compositions and he had been experimenting with third related chord movements and the title track sounds like a simple descending motif played twice with a slight variation and then Coltrane launches into a solo at blistering pace that sounds like a 4 note theme with countless variations. It transcends being an academic exercise, but is not the most lyrical track on the album. Cousin Mary, Syeeda's Song Flute, Mr. P.C. and Spiral provide all the lyricism that you could wish for, but still played at fast tempos. When he gets to Countdown he is really showing off; the track starts with a drum solo and then Coltrane comes in with an improvisation and the bass and hesitant piano join in later and Coltrane ends with the theme (jazz back to front). There is still space on the original album for Naima a ballad where Coltrane plays the tune letting the pianist do the improvisation.

I listened to the enhanced CD, still on Atlantic which has alternate takes of Giant Steps, Naima (where Coltrane improvises on the tune), Cousin Mary, Countdown and Syeeda's Song flute. It is interesting to hear the different improvisations and all the alternate tracks stand up on their own. Super CD.

Gerry Mulligan meets Ben Webster 1959
Two more saxophonists from an older school. Ben Webster's tenor saxophone first became known in Duke Ellington's big band while Gerry Mulligan playing baritone saxophone epitimised the cool jazz scene of the 1950's. Gerry Mulligan composer and arranger met just about everybody on the jazz scene for record dates in the 1950/60's, some more successful than others. It probably depended on the amount of work/enthusiasm that was put in by the musicians to make the record. Far too often they turned into blowing sessions where musicians would improvise on standard tunes and if they didn't clic then no harm done, but no great music. On this disc the two musicians clicked and the arrangement were exciting and sympathetic as the two saxophones weave around each other to make some beautiful music. Ben Webster particularly is in great form. Seven of the eleven tracks are original compositions. Great music

kesäkuu 29, 9:25 am

>78 baswood: I love both those albums. Great reviews. Thanks!

heinäkuu 22, 11:02 am

Marciac Jazz Festival 2023
Jazz ain't what it used to be. The 45th festival in the 6000 seater chapiteau kicked off with two french rap artists - MC Solaar and Sofiane Pamaart and other highlights of the two week festival are; Joe Bonamassa, Norah Jones, Suzanne Vega, Ben Harper, Tower of Power and Cory Wong. This is a programme of popular music and fairly mainstream popular music at that. OK there is some jazz; Snarky Puppy, Abdullah Ibrahim, Brad Mehldau, Wynton Marsalis, but where are the saxophonist? The cover poster for the festival features an artist playing the saxophone and yet there are no headline saxophone led groups in the programme. I suppose we are lucky to have a festival after 2020 when Covid caused the whole festival to be cancelled. In the few years before 2020 some people were saying the festival was getting too big, stretching to over three weeks and I have to admit I can't party like I used to and so the shortened two weeks of festivities is quite enough for me.

However apart from the headline concerts in the chapiteau there is also "L'Astrada a purpose built concert hall which was built some 12 years ago. It is a 600 seater; state of the art concert hall which has superb acoustics and also runs a programme of concerts during the festival. Last night we went to see the Mark Guiliana Jazz quartet and they made me forget all about the rap artists in the chapiteau. Mark Guiliana is one of the most adventurous jazz percussionists around today and his group features Shai Maestro a lyrical pianist and saxophonist Jason Rigby. There is no fuss no pretensions the group just get on and play wonderfully inventive modern music. They featured songs from their latest CD 'The Sound of Listening' which is an interesting title because it is the sound of the group that is so intriguing. They play to a jazz beat, but this varies throughout the compositions and there are lyrical passages and some driving crescendos with all the artists getting a chance to solo and improvise. I think their sound owes a lot to Shai Maestro; his inventive and lyrical chord progressions with some minimalist influences lifts the group out of any jazz rut that it could fall into and combines with Giuiliana's lively percussion and Orlando Le Flemimg's beautifully rounded double bass. Jason Rigby is an excellent soloist on the tenor saxophone, but can also meld his sound into the group compositions. Standing ovations all round after an hour and a half of excellent music.

heinäkuu 23, 10:08 am

Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa was the featured artist in the chapiteau last night and we had a decision to make. We could pay for the 60-80 euro tickets to sit inside the chapiteau and enjoy the live music occasion and see everything via the large video screens; or we could buy a bottle of champagne for 45 euros and sit outside the chapiteau (a prefabricated tent like structure) and watch the show on the external video screens. We chose the latter option and was amazed at the quality of the sound, not surprising really because the sides of the chapiteau were open because of the warm evening. I have not heard anything by Bonamassa before last night, but I was impressed with his guitar technique. His songs are based on original blues tunes, but they have a steady rock beat and he plays good solos. He generates plenty of pizzaz and he had a good second guitarist in the group. There is a large section of boarded out ground with access to a restaurant and the bars which was perfect for squatting down in front of the video screen, just like I remembered doing in the 1960's (without the video screen of course). Thoroughly enjoyed the concert and the buzz, but I am not sure if that was because of the champagne or the music: hopefully it was a bit of both.

heinäkuu 23, 11:32 am

>80 baswood: I don't think it's that "jazz ain't what is used to be," but more that many jazz festival programmers, for better or worse, are changing the way they think about what audiences are looking for. I do wonder why such events are billed as jazz festivals rather than simply as music festivals, but I guess the marketers have some idea of what they're doing. I just wrote a whole long "captain obvious" post about what I think regarding the how's and why's of it all, but decided to spare you.

I'd never heard of Mark Guiliana, so thanks for that. I will definitely go exploring into his music. I've always tried to like Bonamassa but it doesn't take me long to get bored when I'm listening to him. I've never seen him live, though, which for some artists presents a significantly different paradigm than their recorded music.

Coincidentally, we went up to Katonah, NY, yesterday (about in the middle of Westchester County for anyone keeping score at home) for the Caramoor Jazz Festival (a much smaller event than the one you're describing. I learned about some fine musicians, including trombonist bandleader Mariel Bildstein, vocalist Christie Dashiell, and a terrific "postmodern" (their word) trio (sax, bass, drums) called the New Jazz Underground. The appearance of another singer, 19-year old Anais Reno, was billed as the Anais Reno Duo. When we got to the locale of her performance it turned out that the second half of her duo was guitarist Peter Bernstein. Whoa! The highlight of the event was a powerful performance by the dynamic, otherworldly Cecile McLorin Salvant.

heinäkuu 23, 2:02 pm

>82 rocketjk: The need to put 'bums on seats' is probably the reason why Marciac's Jazz Festival is looking further afield than Jazz artists. Ten years ago there were some big names in the jazz world that would attract an audience, I am thinking of Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Pacco de Lucia, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Ahmed Jamal etc who are either sadly no longer with us or have ceased performing. They all played Marciac more than once. There just does not seem to be many jazz household names among the younger generation of jazz stars.

Therefore the festival has had to rely on names from the popular music world to provide the sell-out events and so in recent years we have had: Sting, Santana, Jeff Beck. Of course these artists were/are in the twilight of their years as performers which fits in with the age of the Marciac Festival goers.

I am not complaining - over the last 18 years I have been able to see some tremendous artists 'on my doorstep' and although I note a slight change in the organisation of the festival, over the years, the essential character of the event has remained constant.

heinäkuu 23, 3:41 pm

>82 rocketjk: Marciac has its favourite artists that seem to be booked most years and Cecile McLorin Salvant is one of them. She may need to get her skates on because she is in Marciac on 3rd August.

heinäkuu 24, 8:47 am

>83 baswood: "The need to put 'bums on seats' is probably the reason why Marciac's Jazz Festival is looking further afield than Jazz artists. Ten years ago there were some big names in the jazz world that would attract an audience, I am thinking of Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Pacco de Lucia, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Ahmed Jamal etc who are either sadly no longer with us or have ceased performing. They all played Marciac more than once. There just does not seem to be many jazz household names among the younger generation of jazz stars."

I'd say there are many younger generation stars with plenty of drawing power, players like Immanuel Wilkins, Camille Thurman, Miguel Zenon, Julian Lage, Jazzmeia Horn, Ravi Coltrane, Allison Miller, Tia Fuller, Christian McBride and Samara Joy, just to name a few who come to mind for me. Even Salvant, right? But they are, possibly, household names for, also, a younger generation of jazz enthusiasts. Perhaps the music fans who can afford to buy top-euro tickets are probably mostly older and not necessarily aware of the younger generation of stars. Hence we get the, maybe, self-fulfilling prophecy of booking acts to attract an older audience. It's an interesting chicken-or-egg question.

Also, I'm aware that I'm looking at the question from an American perspective. I've been learning about some of the exciting young African-English jazz players, but I'm not as conversant about younger musicians across the rest of Europe who might attract French audiences.

Don't get me wrong, I have no beef whatsoever with the idea of music festivals mixing genres. As you say, for audiences in relatively remote areas, away from urban centers, who might depend on such a festival to bring top flight musicians to their locales, the idea is a particular boon. And I have to assume that festival organizers and promoters know what they're about.

It does make me sad, though, if the fact is that a program of interesting, innovative jazz cannot on its own drive a major festival, but, hey, c'est la vie. Also, Sting and Joe Bonamassa don't need help getting tour dates. Personally, I'd rather see those gigs go to jazz players, but that's just an individual perspective that I don't expect festival organizers, or attendees, to care about.

By the way, assuming you live near Marciac, my wife and I had a great drive through your neck of the woods several years ago. We started with a week in Toulouse, then drove through the countryside, over several days. Among other things, we did a bunch of Armagnac tasting, saw the Cathar sites, stopped in small towns along the way, stayed overnight in Pau, and ended up for just short of a week at a wonderful bed and breakfast in the Pyrenees in a small Basque town near the border called Bidarray, about halfway between Espellete and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. The whole journey was wonderful.

heinäkuu 24, 10:27 am

>83 baswood: Thanks for stopping by Jerry interesting to talk to you about music. Of those artists that you mentioned as new top draws Samara Joy is playing Marciac this week and I have a ticket to see her, She is on after a real Marciac favourite Brad Mehldau who is playing solo piano. Ravi Coltrane has played Marciac and it was one of my most memorable nights in the chapiteau as he played with Steve Coleman and they were followed onstage Joshua Redman - enough saxophone music to last a lifetime.

The other artists you mentioned are new to me and so I have got some catching up to do on youtube.

Glad you enjoyed your trip through South West France.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 24, 11:14 am

>86 baswood: You're welcome! And thanks for being tolerant of my ramblings. I'll just add very briefly that if/when you check out drummer Allison Miller, she leads several bands. My favorite (or maybe I should say the one I know best), is a very interesting/fun ensemble called Boom Tic Boom. She is also the drummer for the wonderful, all-female all-star group, Artemis (Salvant sang on the group's first, self-titled album on Blue Note but does not appear to be on their new release, "In Real Time"). Miller was one of two artists in residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival when I was there a couple of years back.

heinäkuu 26, 5:41 pm

Chris Potter
Multi-instrumentalist Chris Potter strode onto the stage of L'Astrada with just one instrument the tenor saxophone. The 600 seater theatre was completely full for the evening concert, which was a bit of an event in itself as most artists appearing there during the festival probably sell about half of the seats. He fronted a trio with James Francis on keyboards and Eric Harland on drums, but the sidemen did not get much of a look-in because Potter spent more than 80% of the concert soloing on the saxophone. I had seen Potter four years ago, just before the Covid intermission when he was a member of Dave Holland's group and had been impressed with his playing. This evening in the relatively small theatre he had everything his own way.

Tonight Potter proved that he was an incredible technical player, using the full range of the instrument and able to play blisteringly fast runs as well as powerfully strong phrases particularly on the low notes. He played loud and hard, without seeming to feel the loss of the pulse of a bass player in the group. I had bemoaned the fact that there were few tenor saxophone led groups at this years festival, but after an hour and a half of Chris Potters playing I had had my fill. I hate to be critical, but perhaps it was all a bit too relentless. I would not call Potter a particularly lyrical player, but I had to admire the phrases and jazz feeling of the notes that came tumbling out of his horn. His playing was passionate and intense. James Francis got a little solo time, playing from his battery of electronic keyboards and the drummer Eric Harland was impressive playing a duet with Potter. For lovers of the tenor saxophone it was an evening to remember and delighted the audience.

elokuu 4, 10:50 am

Two more concerts at the Astrada theatre which is fast becoming my favourite venue of the Marciac jazz festival. Two more groups that show an intelligent programme of modern music that is based on improvisation.

Robinson Khoury led a group playing original compositions that sparkle with life. They were a good mixture of more formal musical composition with improvised passages. Khoury plays the trombone and leads the group consisting of an acoustic guitarist, pianist, bass and drums. He mixes his playing with snatches of vocals which can be taken up by the rest of the group. Some strong melodies that are liable top go off in all sorts of direction, in musical pieces that do not last too long. I particularly liked the sound of the acoustic guitar that added rhythm to the ensemble with some imaginative chordal playing. A lovely way to spend Wednesday afternoon during the festival listening to an inventive, mainly acoustic band exploring new paths in texture and composition, but also melodic enough not to lose the interest of the audience.

On the following Monday night I sat down in the Astrada to hear the music of a trumpet led trio. When the lights went up on the stage I saw an array of foot pedals for the guitarist and then Loustalot plugged in an electrical connection to his trumpet with more foot pedals. This was not going to be an acoustic evening. Swathes of keyboard sounding effects and washes poured out from the stage as Loustalot played short runs on his trumpet, the guitarist provided more motifs and then the drummer kicked in to propel the other musicians. No shortage of melody, but some intense textures over which the trumpeter could improvise. It took me a little time to get into the music, but I was helped by some excellent playing from the percussionist who set down an interesting tattoo of sounds that kept the music flowing. I enjoyed the trumpet solos and some interesting improvisations from the guitarist. As the group played through their programme they seemed to jell and the musical experience was interesting and exciting. Another great set at the Astrada.

elokuu 4, 11:08 am

Two musicians/groups I'm not familiar with, though Khoury's name seems vaguely familiar, so thanks for the reviews.

elokuu 4, 11:23 am

I did get inside the 6000 seater Chapiteau for one concert featuring two quite different artists. The first set was a solo piano recital from Brad Mehldau. No fireworks from Brad just beautifully melodic piano improvisations on themes that are familiar from his CD's. Almost from the first note there was a hush from the audience who seemed to be spellbound by the playing. I was not aware of anybody in the audience which is quite amazing in a 6000 seater auditorium which was nearly full. Concentration was only slightly disturbed by a thunderous rain shower that splattered against the tinny sounding roof. This was the second time I had seen Mehldau give a solo performance and it seemed even more reverent than the previous occasion. He has just released a CD of Beatles music and it was interesting that he chose themes from the early compositions of Lennon and MaCartney on which to spin out his improvisations.

The second Act was the young American singer Samara Joy who has been winning some prestigious awards in the jazz music world. Her backing group were a piano trio and so she was firmly at front of stage for the show. It was quite clear from the first song that her voice had an amazing range and not only that, but also she was strong and note perfect throughout all the registers. Gospel, RnB, blues, pure jazz were idioms that she could sing seemingly without effort. My only criticism was that she tended to bring all those influences to many of the songs that she sang and I got the impression that she was showboating a little too much. She is a young artist with and incredible voice and a real feeling for jazz inspired music and I hope to see her again when she has matured just a bit more. Luther Allison supported her well on piano, sometimes following her improvisations with some inspired phrases. She went down well with the audience and will no doubt sell out the auditorium if she plays the festival again.

elokuu 17, 11:42 am

Contemporary sounds - Contemporary CD covers - its ECM

Dave Holland Big Band - What Goes Around
John Taylor Trio - Rossalyn
Arid Anderso Vassilis Tsabropoulos, John n, Marshall - Achirana and The Triangle
Trygve Seim - Sangam and Different Rivers
Thomas Stanko Quartet - Soul of Things
Susanne Abbuehl - April
Enrico Rava - Easy Living
Trygve Seim, Per Oddar Johansen, Yvind Brkke - The Source and Different Cicadas.
Frode Haitli - Passing images

Chamber Jazz
Words or short phrases that are used to describe various sorts of music, attempt to categorise in the mind of the reader the sounds that he will expect to hear. They can also give a clue to the time and place where the music was made, as well as a feeling or sensation that the listener can expect to experience. I am always intrigued when I come across a new genre and wonder how effective it will be in describing the music. Chamber Jazz is a pretty good fit to the CD's that I have been listening to over the last couple of weeks: a bunch of releases from the ECM label from 2003-2007.

ECM stands for Edition of contemporary music and was founded in Germany in 1969. It has attracted mainly jazz musicians into its studios for example: Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Charlie Haden, John Abercrombie, Dave Liebman, Eberhard Weber, Egberto Gismonti, Dave Holland, Terje Rypdal, and Ralph Towner. It is very much European based, but has attracted some American musicians. The label does have a sound of its own and chamber jazz is as good as a description as anything. The music tends to be thoughtful, the tempos are generally slow, there is little evidence of a driving beat and to some extent the typical rhythm section of bass, drums and piano/guitar; the stalwarts of much modern jazz is not in evidence. However in saying this, there are plenty of releases by piano trios, but they have that ECM sound. The music definitely crosses boundaries between jazz and classical music rather than in the other direction with pop and rock music, this I put down to among other things is the lack of a steady propulsion or rhythm to much of the music. The Cd's that I listened to bear out particularly well that ECM sound.

The first two Cd's on the list from Dave Holland and John Taylor were well within my comfort listening zone: rooted firmly in modern jazz. I have seen various Dave Holland groups live and John Taylor used to be the house pianist at Ronnie Scotts jazz club in London. The ECM sound was not so pervasive in these releases, but in accordance with the labels aims they were beautifully recorded. The two releases from the piano trio featuring Vassilis Tsabropoulos were much more in accordance with ECM's sound; The tempos were mainly slow; Tsabropoulos is a classically trained pianist and his playing only occasionally rises above a whisper, but is tuneful and inventive. The Trygve Seim releases tended towards a more minimalist approach, again tempos so slow that I wondered if the musicians had fallen asleep, but they did produce some colourful sounds. Well worth a listen if you are in that same thoughtful contemplative mood as the musicians seem to be in. Trygve Seim was also involved in the ensemble that made; The Source and different Cicadas and this features a violinist and a more pointillist approach, a release that I found the most inspiring. Susanne Abbuehl is a singer that leans most heavily on the poetry of her words, very much in the tradition of a more European approach: singing jazz in a more contemporary cool style. Enrico Rava a trumpet player, returned to the studios after a long break for this session and his rich sound would have you believe that he was playing a flugelhorn. All of theses Cds were well worth the time spent listening to them, but I could not sit through Frode Haitli's Passing Images, which is all down to me, because the accordion is my least favourite musical instrument and even in the hands of a master player like Haitli it was not for me.

elokuu 17, 11:58 am

I love many of those ECM releases. I have quite a few of them on LP. I believe after a while many (most? all?) of them were recorded in a studio in Oslo. The moving force behind the label was a fellow named Manfred Eicher, who was evidently very precise about the sound he wanted. The duet albums that Gary Burton and Chick Corea made together are outstanding. There is a live double LP recorded in Zurich that I love. I'm with you on the Enrico Rava release. Also, I highly recommend the albums by the trio called Cadona (Don Cherry, Collin Walcott, and Nana Vasconcelos).

elokuu 17, 12:31 pm

>93 rocketjk: Yes I also love those duet albums of Gary Burton and Chick Corea. I saw them live at the Marciac festival in 2007. I will check out those Cadona releases.

syyskuu 1, 12:24 pm

Too Hot: The Best of mainstream British jazz

We went out with some friends for lunch in Le Cochon Bleu in the town of Lectoure. The restaurant is situated in a bookshop, it is not very big and so you eat your lunch surrounded by shelves of books and I can't think of a better way to enjoy a meal. After lunch we took a walk down the high street to the ancient château of the Comtes d'Armagnac which is now home to a huge array of antique and bric-a-brac shops. I don't usually look forward very much to this part of the experience as my interest in antiques is fairly limited, but it was during a heatwave and it is cooler in the château buildings.
One of the shops inside the Château is Sue's Vinyl and there is an impressive display of Lp's which for me is like stepping back through time: sorting through racks of long playing records. I don't buy much vinyl these days, but there were some racks of second hand CD's which kept me occupied through most of the afternoon and I found this boxed set of mainstream British Jazz.

As a teenager in London during the 1960's I got into jazz by going to see jazz rock bands like Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames and Zoot Money's Big Roll Band and it was not much of a step to move onto the jazz club scene. I became a fan of the British jazz groups of that era and got to listen to some of the American Jazz greats at Ronnie Scotts jazz club and the Bulls Head out in Barnes. At that time avant garde or free jazz was starting to elbow its way into the scene which was dominated by modern jazz groups. Mike Westbrook's big band and various splinter groups were the most exciting groups at that time and I collected most of their records. The Best of Mainstream British Jazz is from another era entirely the mid 1950's and as jazz music tends to run in the family I was not to surprised to find that some of the musicians featured on the CD's were the fathers of the young men that I used to listen to.

Mainstream jazz was a new genre in the 1950's; it was the music between swing and Modern Jazz and it overlapped into both. It required inspiration and good musicianship in equal parts and was more deeply satisfying than the banjo driven Trad. jazz that became a feature on British TV at the time. This box set features excellent recordings of groups such as Joe Harriott's quartet, Jimmy Skidmore jazz group, Dick Heckstell-Smith's quintet, Al Fairweather and his band and various splinter groups from Humphrey Lyttleton's Band. There are three CD's in the box, however the third CD which features trumpet player and arranger Kenny Baker shows its age with some corny arrangements of popular songs. However the first two CD's are a revelation and so 4 stars.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 10, 5:27 pm

6/9/2023 weekly listening

Mark Guiliana - The Sound of Listening 2022
Yoann Loustalot Trio - Yeti 2022
A couple of Cd's bought after listening to live performances at this years Marciac jazz festival. The performances were advertised as promotions for the CD's and in both cases the group played all the songs in their programme. Listening to the CDs I recognised most of the themes and tunes. both 4 star discs

Katatonia - The Great Cold Distance - 2006
A Swedish metal group that on this CD show a range of different styles from black metal to Progressive rock. On this CD most of the vocals are clean and are a feature of some good songs. Guitars are supplemented by keyboards to good effect and so 4 stars.

Brian Kennedy - The Great War of Words 1990
This is the first release by the Irish singer Brian Kennedy who made his name as a backing singer on tour with Van Morrison. Apparently Morrison would start off a song and then hand over to Kennedy to sing most of the rest and it is not surprising because Kennedy has a wonderful tenor voice. It is the sort of voice that has a quality that makes you stop what you are doing to listen. It is a mainly acoustic album with many of the tunes written by Kennedy himself. Unfortunately not all the songs are that great, perhaps he should have used a few of Van Morrison's songs. 3 stars for the voice.

This has got to be one of the all time great record covers - here we see Corey Harris with an elaborate Rastafarian hair style standing in a field of greens clutching a battered old acoustic guitar.

Corey Harris - Greens from the garden - 1999
This was picked up from a library withdrawn sale. Corey Harris is a contemporary American blues singer who goes down home to make this disc. Greens from the garden feature heavily as household conversations on eating and cooking Greens are interspersed with the songs. Harris wrote most of the material showing African and french influences and it is his acoustic guitar work and strong vocals that bring his songs to life. It all sounds a bit ramshackle, but works to a treat. A bit of a find this one and 4 stars.

Gram Parsons - GP - 1973 and Grievous Angel - 1974
Theses are the two studio albums that Parson's made before his death, which I had not heard before. It is modern 1970's country music with Parsons backed by an all star band. GP is wonderful: a great collection of songs and a five star listen. Grievous Angel is nearly as good and as both albums fit on one CD it is special.

Alexis Korner - Got My Mojo Working
A legendary British blues artist who performed around the London clubs back in the early sixties. Unfortunately the collection of songs on this CD do not live up to the legend 2 stars.

World Party - Goodbye Jumbo 1990
I must have once got into the groove with these songs, but I found them overproduced and lacking in invention. Noisy enough but did not do much for me and I could not pick out any real highlights 3 stars.

Paul Simon - The Paul Simon Songbook 1965
- Graceland 1986
An old friend of mine thought that Paul Simon's song book was up there with the truly great records of the 1960's. I could never share his enthusiasm. It is an acoustic album and Simon sings and plays well and there are a couple of great songs: The Sound of Silence and April Comes she Will, but it is a 4 star listen for me. Graceland some 21 years later is the real deal as far as Simon is concerned. Excellent songs; some of them taking inspiration from African music. It is full of good things and so 5 stars.

Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power 1992
- The Great Southern Trendkill 1996
Full throated metal music from one of the most popular bands of their era. The music is aggressive certainly, but is enhanced by great vocals by Phil Anselmo and guitar pyrotechnics from Diamond Darrell The only problem with the album is that most of the songs are structured very similarly 4 stars.
The Great Southern Trendkill finds Anselmo's vocals veering over to more histrionic screaming, but the addition of a second vocalist on some of the tracks gives them more depth and more excitement. The formula of Vulgar Display of Power has been broken with more variety and this works well on some of the songs. 4 stars.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 6, 11:07 am

>96 baswood: I, too, love Gram Parsons. The two albums you mention, along the his work on the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo and the first Flying Burrito Brothers album, The Gilded Palace of Sin are all essential listening for me. You might be interested in an excellent Parsons biography I read some years back, Twenty Thousand Roads: the Ballad of Gram Parsons and his Cosmic American Music by David N. Meyer.

Re: Paul Simon. Have you ever seen the documentary about the making of Graceland?* Simon spent a lot of time in South Africa recording with local musicians there at a time when there was supposed to be a boycott of all things South African due to apartheid. He took a lot of heat, including from anti-apartheid activists inside South Africa, at the time. Plus, although I don't think "cultural appropriation" was a term much in use yet at the time, Simon received a lot of criticism along those lines, as well. Graceland is definitely a great album. For my personal taste, his next album The Rhythm of the Saints made in the same manner as Graceland but employing South American rhythms, tunes and musicians, is his real masterpiece. It's a lesser known work in part because the lyrics are fairly cynical and disenchanted but also probably because the media had moved on from Paul Simon's world music experiments. Anyway, that's just me and it's not meant to take anything at all away from Graceland, which I also love.

* Under African Skies

syyskuu 6, 2:06 pm

>97 rocketjk: Thats an excellent video Jerry that encapsulates the troubles at that time. I will have to dig out The Rhythm of the Saints, it is some time since I heard it.

The Flying Burrito Brothers albums and even The Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo did nothing for me back in the late sixties and early seventies. I probably associated them with Country Music which had no appeal back then. Now however I appreciate them much more. Everything comes to he who waits.

syyskuu 6, 2:07 pm

TBL (To Be Listened)
CDpedia is the app I use to track my listening to CD albums and MP3 albums. It tells me that I have 8,900 albums: there are approx. 2,300 actual CD's and 6,600 mp3 albums. I have over the last few years made an attempt to listen to them all. Using the CDpedia app I have so far got through 1,750 albums. I also have shelves full of vinyl Lp's but as most of these have now been duplicated on CD they have not been taken into account.

The idea of listening again through this vast collection is to select songs/tracks/compositions that I can put onto various playlists. I have playlists for different genres of music as my taste in music appears to be extremely broad and wide ranging. I will attempt keep a record of my listening on this thread.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 10, 5:38 pm


Malcolm Arnold - Concerto for two violins and orchestra
Concerto for Clarinet and Strings
Concerto for flute and strings
Concerto no 2 for horn and strings
London Musici conducted by Mark Stephenson

One of my favourite classical music CD's got a spin again this week. Anybody that likes jazz should be able to appreciate these works; especially The Concert for Two Violins with its lively rhythms in the allegro risoluto and the vivace and the slow movement which features some studied dissonance which is just perfect. Malcolm Arnold's melodic gift is well in evidence throughout. Music to never get tired of. 5 stars.

Back to the jazz and three excellent Cd's from the mp3 collection

Andrew Hill - Pax
This was held up for ten years in the vaults before its eventual release in 1975. I can't imagine what the problem was, because it was a super session. Hill on piano building on ideas set out by Thelonious Monk leads a quintet with some fiery cornet playing by Freddie Hubbard and some excellent tenor saxophone by Joe Henderson. The group is powered along by some great bass by Richard Davis. 5 stars.

E. S. P. Miles Davis
Now hailed as the first studio release by Miles Davis second great quintet; the one featuring Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone. No standards on this one, all original compositions and music that has a feel of group improvisation. It is one of the few Miles studio releases that I have not listened to in their entirety and what a thrill it was to hear it this week - 5 stars.

Meet the Jazztet - Benny Golson and Art farmer sextet
These tunes were recorded in early 1960 and may have been an attempt to crossover to a wider audience. The tracks are short and punchy and the style of music is a more simplified Bebop now labelled hard bop. It tends to reach back to jazz roots and on this disc there are blues and marching songs. Freddie Hubbard plays some great trumpet and so this week I have heard three masters of the trumpet. Cutis Fuller is as reliable as ever on trombone and Benny Golson plays some sinuous lines on tenor saxophone. They had a bit of a hit with Killer Joe. 4.5 stars.

Frank Zappa - Buffalo
This is a full recording of one of the great Zappa bands made at the memorial auditorium Buffalo New York in 1980. It was released posthumously in 2007. The music is stunning the group coordination as usual is superb and there are plenty of guitar solos. The problem with Zappa's songs is the misogynistic lyrical content, particularly in a live performance when Zappa uses a powerful but sneery vocal delivery so that there can be no misunderstanding. I saw Zappa live a couple of times and his music is complex and thrilling and this record; beautifully recorded captures it all - 5 stars.

Bebel Gilberto - Momento
Bebel Gilberto has a glorious voice and is one of the most successful artists today singing Brazilian style bossa-nova. This record was released in 2007 and is a mixed bag of songs. She dabbles in electronica and dance beats which are in evidence on a few of the songs. The highlight for me on this release was a wonderful jazzy rendition of Night and Day and the bossanova of Tranquilo. There are probably better CD's from Bebel Gilberto out there, but when she gets inside a song she is very good 4 stars.

syyskuu 11, 11:27 am

>100 baswood: That's a great set of music you've laid out there. In particular, Andrew Hill is a great favorite of mine. Always lots of fire and originality on his albums. Also, the band on E.S.P is my favorite Miles Davis ensemble. That album and Nefertiti are superb. Also Live at the Plugged Nickel. My wife bought me the full set of Plugged Nickel CDs a few years back. The Golson/Farmer sextet recording is the kind of music that makes for great driving music for me. Cheers! it's been too long a time since I listened to Malcolm Arnold's music. I will have to look for that release.

syyskuu 20, 4:58 pm

Beck - Mellow Gold - 1994
- One Foot in the Grave - 1994
- Sea Change - 2002
- Guero - 2005
- Guerolito - 2005

I think of Beck as the great recycler of music and on Mellow Gold this is much in evidence. He blends rock, rap, folk, psychedelia, country and street sounds wrapped up in his own quirky melodies. There is a bit of bad language and he sounds sometimes like an angry young man thrashing about, but it all works to produce some memorable songs. One Foot In the Grave is mainly acoustic and sounds like a home tape recordings with other musicians, but again Beck comes up with some good melodies, but its not a great listen. Sea Change has an entirely different feel, its all about the songs and Beck ditches his mish-mash approach and concentrates on lyrics and some gorgeous orchestral scores to back up the songs. He now sounds like other musicians - I hear Nick Drake on songs like Sunday Sun and Kurt Cobain on Little One. The tempos have been slowed down and there are some excellent songs. On Guero the great re-cycler is back, but this time he is recycling himself, making it less quirky perhaps more simple. It seems to have lost a bit of an edge and it does not grab me like Mellow Gold or Odelay. Guerolito is remixes of most of the songs on Guero by different people and for me it makes them more interesting than the originals.

Archie Shepp - Ballads for Trane 1977
Archie Shepp is one of my favourite jazz tenor saxophonists and I had missed this 1977 release, I found the cd recently in a bargain bin in a vinyl record shop. I love Shepp's sound on the saxophone; a rich throaty outpouring of notes that can sometimes sound like complicated chords. In this dedication to John Coltrane he plays three standards and one original and one of Coltrane's songs 'Wise One'. He changes the tempo on some of the songs and plays wonderfully throughout. Its Archie Shepp all the way there is hardly space for solos from the supporting musicians. This is the album to hear the unique sound of Archie Shepp.

Burhan Ocal's Istanbul Oriental Ensemble - Gypsy Rum
This is an instrumental album featuring two percussionists an oud, violin, clarinet and kanun. The group are internationally well known and play a mixture of traditional songs and some jazz based compositions. All members of the group get some solo space in some of the more fusion based songs. I liked the sound that they make, but I am no expert on Turkish music.

Beirut - Gulag Orkestra
American multi-instrumentalist Zach Condon leads this group, featuring lots of brass. Its an indie collective with a mixture of styles. I quite liked the vocalist, but one spin was enough for me.

Liars - Drums not Dead - 2006
Another multi instrumentalist leads this group and their experimental approach left me cold on this release.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Killer Hits and Then Some.
Back in the day I found his live albums exciting, but listening to these studio recordings this week I realised he only had a few good songs. I won't be putting this on the CD player again for some time.