I've been playing Jimmy Smith's "Dot.Com Blues" a lot lately. Man, that Hammond B3 Organ just fills up the room with sound!!! Also, great guest artist on this one, including Etta James, Dr. John, Keb' Mo, Taj Mahal and BB King. This is a great Jazz/Blues record and the recording is very good.
Also just got Karrin Allyson's "In Blue" and think it is great. The first track "Moanin'" is AWESOME!!
So many great recordings, so little time...............
Dave Brubeck Quartet "Park Avenue South" recorded live on July 2002 at the Park Avenue NY Starbucks. Boy I wish the local Starbucks in my area could afford acts like that!! :-)
I bought a cd called "Umbrellas" by a 60's group called THE FREE DESIGN. Kind of psychedelic folk pop. At times very trippy, other time kind of corny but in a sincere kind of way. They do a lot of covers like "Happy Together,
"Feelin' Groovy" and "Eleanor Rigby" and a lot of original songs. This recording is ok. I have two of their other albums titled "Bubbles" and "Raindrops". Of the three "Raindrops" has the best sound quality, but the other too arent far behind. They were produced by Enoch Light and the sound is marvelous. Check them out if you can. Check these links out for a little background:
http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~rcb/light/gn/index.htm" and "
A 1978 reissue of "The Astaire Story" on DRG Records.
The band is:
The "original" 3 LP set was released in 1953 on Mercury Records. The 3 LP set that that I recently found looks to have never been played (fear of Pink by the previous owner I fear:-).
In contrast our dinner this evening, while listening to such debonair music, consisted of chicken fried steak sandwiches on leftover hamburger buns and freshly made horseradish/sour cream coleslaw.
My wife has been reading/watching Indian novels/movies for the past 6 months and in the event of this she has picked up:
"Such a Long Journey", music soundtrack/Jonathan Goldsmith
"Monsoon Wedding", music soundtrack/Mychael Danna
Probably old hat for most, but a friend recently gave me the soundtrack to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", music by Tan Dun -w- Yo-Yo Ma (I like all of it except one song).
The disc that has gotten the most spin-time in the last few days has been Johnny Cash's most recent disc entitled "American IV: The Man Comes Around". This is a pretty interesting disc as it sounds like the voice that we've always recognized but he's covering "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon & Garfunkel, "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" as popularized by Roberta Flack, "I Hung My Head" by Sting ( or is it "Stink" ??? ), "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode, "In My Life" by Lennon & McCartney, "Desperado" by the Eagles, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams, etc... along with a handful of Cash originals.
The funny thing is, Johnny has a way of taking such diverse songs as those listed above and making them sound like they were all his to begin with. The familiarity of each song with the familiarity of his voice makes them all seem like he's sung them all along. It is both an interesting and enjoyable disc from a truly classic "old timer". Check it out. Sean
Recently I decided to pig out and get every Walker Brothers/Scott Walker (solo through early 70's) import reissue CD that I didn't already own on original vinyl, rendering my compilation CD redundant and filling in all the previously missing album cuts and bonus-track single-only sides. An acquired taste maybe, and perhaps a little excessive indulgence even for those who have it, but like eating potato chips once you've gotten hooked. If you can tolerate deep and exagerated male vocal stylings, and enjoy overblown Spector-ish pop consisting mainly of heavily orchestrated ballads, lyrics that wallow in pathos, and that big British studio 60's sound - and think every time you happen to catch "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" on oldies radio that it beats the hell out any Righteous Brothers you've ever heard - there's lots available now.
Old "Pre-Stax" Staple Singers.
Dorothy Love Coates.
Chess' Boxed set of Muddy Waters.
Big Maybelle Smith, "The Complete Okeh Sessions."
Bill Charlap trio "Stardust", playing the music of Hoagy Carmichael. The CD also features special guests Tony Bennett, Shirley Horn, Jim Hall, and Frank Wess. Tracks 1, 2 (Bennett), and 10 (Horn), have now made this a test CD for me. An aside... has anyone else has ever noticed how well Shirley Horn's voice, on any of her own albums too, reveals the strengths and weaknesses of a system.
I've been listening to The Cottars-"Made in Cape Breton" a lot and am getting into Ami DiFranco-"Evolve". She is an acquired taste but this cd is growing on me. Sean, thanks for the heads up on the New Jonny Cash. I'll have to check that out.
My niece's husband just bought a Jazz trio CD for me called Meanwhile by John Fremgen. It is a great performance and the recording quality is first rate also. Fremgen plays upright bass, with Peter Erskine on Drums and Mitch Watkins on guitar. This is on Viewpoint records. You will probably have to get it off viewpointrecords.com but it is well worth it. John Fremgen is a student of Brian Bromberg (also a great bassist), Mitch Watkins guitar tone is sooo pure it is erie, and you all know how great Peter Erskine's drumming is. It is recorded by Jack Rock at a small studio in Austin, TX. and he really did a great job with it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! I am going to check out more recordings on this label, as they seem to really be into recording quality artists,and taking the time to do it right.
Recently bought, often spinning:
Rediscovery: "Herb Alpert presents Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66"; for old time sake.
Hard to get tune leads to discovery of whole cd: Hugh Masekela, "Hope"; for the track used in a Burmester sampler CD. "Stimela"; turns out the whole album is great;
Genuine discovery for me: The Bill Holman Band, "A View From The Side", JVC XRCD, great music, great recording. Who says Redbook doesn't sound great?
Genuine discovery that Wes had a wonderful family: The Montgomery Brothers, "Groove Yard"; again a JVC XRCD, again, great music, great sonics.
Late discovery by me: Blossom Dearie, "Blossom Dearie"; in my jazz vocal blind spot until now. Makes the newer piano playing, lady (oh sexist pig!) singers sound like they should go back to the locker room.
Always a discovery: Frank Sinatra "Come Swing With Me"; not the nicest guy in the world (oh don't you speak ill of the dead now!), but that bastard could sing.
Discovery of another side of a well-known musical icon: The latest by Johnny Cash; a very dark, bleak, forlorn landscape. An older person looking at the inevitable; not to be listened to by older persons living in a dark, bleak, forlorn landscape. Seems like Tom Waits' muse has visited Mr. Cash's home.
Nice to hear that people do listen to music and talk about it instead of how many angels can pass through the Teflon dielectric material so that the emotion can be revealed.
Unam Ceylum - Biber violin sonatas by John Holloway. Absolutely outstanding virtuosity and well recorded. Hard to imagine that these pieces date to 1681.
The White Stripes' new record, "Elephant." It took a little while for their previous LPs to really grab me, but this one did right away. If there is going to a better record this year, I can't wait to hear it.
Great to see such a variety of music here, both new and old. Sean
jack johnson 'brushfire fairytales',
very chill, really let me unwind and come down after an extremely busy year thus far while on easter holiday from my teaching duties, more than reminiscent of ben harper, but i could care less, it sounds and feels as honest and natural as a sunset or sunrise with your better half
The Shins "Oh, Inverted World". Its indie pop/rock, but it is well recorded, so maybe audiophiles might like too. Great album, cool lyrics.
I also got the American IV album. Despite the album's total fragmentation, and the "Personal Jesus" cover, it is worth stealing.
Paul Curreri, "From Long Gones to Hawkmoth", on City Salvage Records (limited availability--I bought from a cool online record store in Oregon). I first heard him when he opened for Kelly Joe Phelps at a show I saw last year, and I was mighty impressed. A young singer-songwriter of considerable talent and traditional sensibilities. His singing voice reminds me a little of Ramblin' Jack Elliot, but his songwriting is surely his own. I doubt he'll ever be big (no catchy hooks), but he sure is good.
I'm taking some good notes here too...thanks folks! I've got some great recommendations from this list over many threads like this! I'll second the recommendation for Biber's Unam Ceylum: Wonderful Disc which I got a while back and couldn't stop playing. In that same purchase (I usually tend to get three or four at once) I also enjoyed Silencio, which is I think is a Nonesuch disc with Gidon Kremer and his ensemble playing some more modern compositions by the likes of Arvo Part.
I had some friends stop by yesterday who wanted to hear my home system, and I always ask when people come by that they bring some of their current favorite disks with them. Great way to share the music and the passion. Here's two notes I took down after yesterday's session having only heard a few cuts of these discs (hence not detailed comments other than that I enjoyed what I heard). I'll certainly get both of these discs:
Roger Waters, Amused to Death (carrying on in the tradition of Pink Floyd...the sound and engineering is unmistakable)
Axiom of Choice, Beyond Denial (both cuts were very powerful, East meets West fusion...reminded me a little bit of Dead can Dance)
Kari Bremnes, a Norwegian singer/songwriter. I first heard her on Tom Russell's "The Man From God Knows Where" (also on that cd are Iris Dement and Dolores Keane). Hard to describe Ms. Bremnes music, and only one of her cds is in English. I'd recommend the Tom Russell cd, and then if you are as taken with her voice as I am, try some of her own cds from
or, another discovery of sorts, Harmony Ridge Music, www.hrmusic.com, specializing in women singer-songwriters, with a large and interesting catalog.
George Thorogood's new CD "Ride 'Til I Die". GT and the Destroyers Rock! I also like Lucinda William's latest CD "World Without Tears". One reviewer called it much too "dark" and generally bad mouthed it, but if you delete 2-3 songs, the rest of the music is excellent. Well recorded in HDCD too. Cheers. Craig
The Asylum Street Spankers, "My Favorite Record". If you guys don't know the Spankers check them out, they are fabulous!
Afro Celt Sound System. Excellent recording quality. This is really worth checking out for something different.
I like Pbb's format so I'll copy it... (all on CD or SACD)
New discovery #1: Mariza, a fado singer with an absolutely beautiful voice who arrived on the fado scene a couple of years ago (the Portuguese Norah Jones?). I have recently been listening to her albums called "Fado curvo" and "Fado em mim" (my copy is a double CD where the 2nd CD is from a performance at WOMAD 2002 UK). The CD liner notes have the lyrics in English as well so those of us who are Portuguese-challenged may understand if it strikes us - though it is utterly unnecessary to have them in order to appreciate the music. Beautifully-sung music, and very well-recorded to boot.
New discovery #2: Eminem. May be a shocker to some but I'd heard enough snippets to be impressed with his artistry so recently bought the Slim Shady LP, Marshal Mathers LP, and The Eminem Show. So far, I've stuck to Slim Shady. I'll probably start in on Marshall Mathers this week. (May be time to think about getting headphones....)
Re-discovery #1 (not new but recent and still on heavy rotation): Dire Straits remasters. Especially "Love Over Gold", which sounds SOOOO much better remastered.
Rediscovery #2 (not new but recent purchase in new format): Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus on SACD. Wonderful.
Interesting discovered "covers": "Basie Meets Bond". In 1965, Count Basie got together and covered about a dozen tunes from the first four James Bond films. The 24-bit remastered CD sounds surprisingly good and above all, it is a lot of fun (though is probably a pass if you hate James Bond films/music).
Can't recommend Mariza's live cuts from WOMAD enough so will plug them again :-)
T bone- If you enjoy a modern twist on Fado singing, and you haven't yet heard them, DEFINITELY check out Madredeus. I have too many of their albums, and enjoy all of them so it would be difficult to list a favorite, but there is a good compilation disc called "Antologia". Teresa Salgueiro's vocals are so beautiful at times they will make you weep. "Ainda" is also a favorite album of theirs.
For more traditional Fado singing, but still from a contemporary style, check out the discs by Misia. I love Fado music and had the great pleasure of spending a couple of weeks in Portugal back in 97' where you can still go out any night of the week and listen to traditional Fado. Beautiful country. Very warm and friendly people who live life at a much slower pace than most Western countries I've ever been too. Some of the craziest drivers I've ever encountered though, which is so ironic as everything else about Portugal is so laid back, slow and traditional. Gorgeous music though...you certainly don't need to understand the language to appreciate how beautiful Fado sounds.
Yes, Misia "Ritual" is very nice.
Gabbro - If you like that Biber disc also try "The Seven Words" (Haydn), performed by Rosamunde Quartett on ECM New Series. It is a contemporary take on that piece with no ominous vocals that are usually a part of the piece. It is purely instrumental. Really great performance and recording...another in the same vein of the Biber that stayed on my system(s) for a long time!
Dekay - Some of the older Fado singers (in the traditional realms of Fado) are quite remarkable as well. While in Portugal I got a disc by Maria Teresa de Noronha: WOW! Hard to find here, but worth looking for. She is considered one of the best ever. It's an interesting to hear the older performances of the same traditional songs, in contrast with the same songs by Misia and other contemporaries. I agree, "Ritual" is great! Fado is very emotionally charged and spiritually pure music! Just goes right to the heart!
Thanks for the tip, Jax2. Have you heard any of the Biber Mystery Sonatas? I am wondering if they are similar as well.
Here's another one that listening to "Misia" brought to mind.
Azam Ali "Portals of Grace" on the Narada/World label.
It's a contemporary collection based on medieval Europe/other music.
Azam (the female vocalist) was born in Iran and raised in India.
Another interesting CD is the "Klezmer Nutcracker Suite" on the Newport Classic, Ltd. label. Eastern European jazz meets "The Nutcracker Suite".
I just found Jean-Luc Ponte in used bins.The discovery really is several used CD's for $2 or less.A real bargain.I remember JLP from the 70's and just rediscoverd through used Bins at the local CD store in Maine!
Seether's latest CD "Disclaimer". If I remember correctly, I purchased it at Target.
Jorma Kaukonen - Blue Country Heart
Hadn't heard of Sonny Stitt until I was browsing in Reckless Records (Chicago). Picked up a near mint copy of "Kaleidoscope" and have been looking for more of his LPs ever since.
Jayhawks, "Rainy day music", most excellent even w/out Mark Olsen.
I would never have discovered these two New Orleans traditional style jazz CDs except I was there recently and and wandered into a music store.
New Discovery #1: Leroy Jones "Back To My Roots"
This trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and drums combination is well recorded and uniquely origional. "Tea for Two" is a great test track.
New Discovery #2: Bonerama "Live at the Old Point"
If you like live recordings with great power and excitement, this combination of 5 trombones interlaced with a sousaphone and backed up by drums will really get you going. These guys are really fun. This will test your sub woofer!
White Stripes: Elephant (nt)
Ditto on The Jayhawks "Rainy Day Music". Decent sounding in CD format. I just got the vinyl version, but I haven't had the chnce to play it yet.
TINDERSTICKS II I bought about 200 cd in last few months and this cd stoned me.For me much better then any Nick Cave's work.Get it NOW!!!!!There is something for anyone.
second Jorma Kaukonen's "Blue Country Heart" - stunning
I have been listening a little bit of disc one of Aretha Franklin Queen in Waiting. I had no idea she recorded with jazz musicians at the start of her career at columbia.
Someone threw a track called "Silver Bell" by Patty Griffin on a compilation that got send to me. I immediately went out an bought Flaming Red, which is an awesome record--she shows incredible versatility, going from slow cynical songs to upbeat cynical songs. Er, maybe she's a bit cynical, but musically its a nice variety. I had never heard of her.
I'll also throw Down with Wilco by the Minus 5. If you liked Wilco's YHF, this one is in the same vein. It ought to be, I think all of Wilco shows up on the album. Kinda of like YHF-lite.
David Knopfler (of Dire Straits) "Wishbones". All original music with some haunting melodies. Guitar and piano are well recorded, and his voice is as capturing now as it was with Dire Straits.
Edesilva - If you like Flaming Red then you owe it to yourself to see just how versatile Patty Griffin really is. I am a big fan of hers and have seen her live in a wonderful accoustic performance here in Seattle. One of the best live concerts I've heard in a long while. Anyway, I'd be interested to hear whether you like either of her other two albums as they are MUCH more acoustic-oriented and highlight her vocal range and songwriting even more than Flaming Red does. Those other two are "Living With Ghosts" and "1000 Kisses". IMO both are much 'easier' to listen to than Flaming Red (which took me a while to enjoy as much as I do the other two). I have not tired of any of her albums. A warning to others who may be considering her; Flaming Red is her only 'hard-hitting' "plugged-in" album whereas the other two are accoustic and easily accessable. Outstanding artist and songwriter! Great poetic lyrics! Others in her genre that I also enjoy, though none puts it all together as Patty Griffin does: Patty Larkin (If you like Flaming Red you'd probably like "A-go-go"), Deb Talan, and Dar Williams.
Thanks Marco, I actually have gone out and bought both the other two. Its strange, with the intro to PG being "Silver Bell," and then Flaming Red, its harder for me to get into 1000 Kisses or Living With Ghosts. The oddities of expectations, I guess. What I really don't understand is why the song "Silver Bell" isn't on any of her albums...
I had the opposite experience Edesilva; I was introduced to Patti Griffin through her two accoustic albums, and her largely accoustic performance. Consequently Flaming Red was really hard for me to listen to, but I did come to like it very much. Love the third cut, "Tony" and then the only cut that seems to harken to her accoustic side, "Mary", a song about her grandmother. I haven't heard the song "Silver Bell" but would love to. Is that on an available compilation, or is it something someone put together for you? Anyway, hope you come to enjoy the other two as much as you like Flaming Red.
Sean 'Hurt' by NIN?? OMG! I have to hear that!
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones ----- Live Art.
Alex Skolnick Trio "Goodbye to Romance". Yes, the title and the song are originaly Ozzie Osbourne; but who would ever think of putting this up as a jazz trio. Alex Skolnick, guitarist of the former heavy metal group Testament new release "Goodbye to Romance" The cd contains tunes by the Scorpians, Kiss, Aerosmith and others with a couple originals. The trio consist of guitar, double bass and drums. If you know the original songs, then this cd will really "click" if you know what I mean. They are touring in New York state right now, check them out.
Butch Walker: Left of Self-Centered. Former bassist for Southgang...yes, the hair-metal band from the late 80's/early 90's, but forget all about that. Totally different sound as Butch is frontman now. Unique and surprisingly good voice, wry wit and parody of today's rock singers (and not just on "Rock Vocal Power"). If you like to laugh, get this album and you will get some really good original music as a bonus...especially "My Way" and "Suburbia".
Crowded House -- Woodface.
Autechre. Classical Electronic music, if there is a category. Extermely Intelligent avante garde music. No Comparision out there. After I bought their latest 'Draft 7.30', in two weeks I bought their all past CDs-full length and singles. Every track is a trasure. Have been listening to this kind of music for last 15+ years and never occured to but one of their Cds!! Well I made up for it in two weeks!!