Core

After a delightfully lazy and relaxing (aside from Saturday’s routine He-man duties on the bike and in the pool) four day holiday weekend, it’s back to the daily grind today beginning with Day 59 if the “Core Project” and this ‘That Swing Thing!’  album by the Terry Gibbs Quartet.

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This is another of our ¢0.75 album buffet from the Flea Market.

Funny enough, this splurge on 30 or so record has provided me with both a) a healthy collection of both Dixieland and vibraphone-based Jazz albums and, b) a new appreciate for both.

Or (as in the case of the vibraphone) simply an appreciation.

Period.

Anyway, vibraphonist Terry Gibbs (love the name, dude!)  has so much energy here that even the ballads on this obscure 1961 LP on the Verve label seem…hyper.

Oh, and get this:  it was even recorded Live at Shelly’s ManneHole in Los Angeles, California with Gibbs, pianist Pat Moran, bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Gary Frommer, who all romp through such tunes as ‘Let My People Blow’, ‘Moanin‘ (my favorite), ‘Mannehole March’  and even ‘Three Blind Mice’ (my 2nd favorite).

What can I say?

It’s fun music.

What special cosmic force in the world decided that I simply needed more vibraphone music in my life, I’ll never know…

…but, hey, thanks!

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Family Day Vinyl (Part 5)

Onward and forward into our Family Day Vinyl celebration (let it never be said that this family doesn’t have an eclectic taste in music) this evening, this time with a little “New School” reggae with this ‘Killer On a Rampage’  album by Eddy Grant.

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And, boy, is that going to be some kinda rampage given them there stylish short shorts, amiright?

Anyway, this is one of the albums that HRH got in her “Big Box o’ Reggae’ for her birthday.

I figured it was essential listening for a budding reggae fan.

That and my mother absolutely LOVED Eddie Grant…

…I mean, she seriously loved her some Eddy.

This was my mother in the car whenever Eddy came on the radio:

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Truth!

Okay, maybe not us kids in the backseat and even she might have been a bit more reserved about it, but it was exactly the same sentiment in her mind…

But I digress…

This being Eddy’s most popular album released in 1982’s, was an international hit, slaying its way into the Top Ten in the U.S.  The album spun off the smash hit ‘Electric Avenue’, while two further tracks – ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’ and ‘War Party’ – also hit in the U.K. (as well as in my mom’s car stereo), with the former topping the British chart.

Surprising considering its success, the self-composed, performed, and produced album is not far removed from Grant’s previous efforts; it’s just a little slicker, but still as musically adventurous. The mighty ‘Electric Avenue’ is an almost primal slab of funk punctuated by a pumping beat and percolating synthesizer. ‘Funky Rock’n Roll’  headed more toward rock while tossing in a solid dance beat, while the tough ‘War Party’ melded together funk and deep roots.

Generous helpings of pop are lavished across the rest of the record, foamy concoctions of strong synth beats and bright melodies, all spiced with smatterings of rock, funk, and wave.  For a single, shining moment, Grant was at one with the entire music continuum, creating a nigh on perfect hybrid twining together music’s strongest strands. From the hippest discos to the funkiest inner-city clubs, into the rock stadiums and out to the Latin quarter, ‘Killer on the Rampage’ danced on a pinhead where all genres intersected.  It was a magical feat never to be repeated, but brilliant while it lasted…

…much to my mother’s major disappointment I might add.

(Click HERE for the final Part 6 of our big Family Day Vinyl celebration today)

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Family Day Vinyl (Part 4)

(Click HERE for Part 3 of the Family Play record playlist)

It’s getting into the evening now and, so far so good – a state of peace and tranquility has managed to maintain itself over our humble household.

That means no one has killed one another, so we’re moving on then with our next listen on this Family Day holiday, the ‘Book of Taliesyn’ album by Deep Purple.

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This was HRH’s big score from the flea market a few weekends back.  It was more expensive then she was willing to learn but she has learned that batting a few eyelashes will carry her a little favour from the older record dealers and, hey, power  to her too as this is what we inevitably get to being home on occasion.

Of course, it also has a oiseau on the cover.

But even with that aside, the cover is Simply the Tits anyway.

‘The Book of Taliesyn’  is the 2nd studio album by English rock band Deep Purple, recorded only three months after ‘Shades of Deep Purple’ and released by Tetragrammaton Records in October 1968, just before their first US tour.

The name for the album was taken from the 14th-century book of the same name; one of the most famous of Middle Welsh manuscripts, dating from the first half of the 14th century though many of the fifty-six poems it preserves are taken to originate in the 10th century or before*.

The structure of this 1968 album is similar to that of their debut, with four original songs and three rearranged covers, although the tracks are longer, the arrangements more complex and the sound more polished than on ‘Shades of Deep Purple’. The music style is a mix of psychedelic rock, progressive rock and hard rock, with several inserts of classical music arranged by the band’s keyboard player Jon Lord.

Some call it England’s then answer to Vanilla Fudge.

I, however, am choosing to ignore that little tidbit.

First thing that jumps out at me is that this record isn’t very warm sounding, and it backs off the “feel good” energy a little bit, filling that in with a more chilling hint in the music. This certainly isn’t dark by any means, but minor keys are fairly present here and there, and there are no signs of any “surf” influence. More serious lyrics are brought to the table as well, some of it talking about things like struggles, but mostly sticking to medieval stories.

Musically, Lord and Blackmore smear this with calm lead sections, giving it a more laid back feeling, with fewer complex or fast solos. Though this isn’t completely absent, it’s less prevalent. No complaints there, because it really matches everything that the band were clearly trying to go for on this record. What this will bring, however, is less catchy licks as well as fewer hooks to really bring me into it.

Purple’s rendition of ‘Kentucky Woman’ is incredible, quite possibly even better than Neil Diamonds. The only thing that confuses me with this, is that it really doesn’t fit the theme or atmosphere of this record, and is just kinda stuck in the middle there.

The mood is certainly changed when going from ‘Hard Road‘ to this, which doesn’t flow very nicely.

So great cover, but odd placement.

This album also contains their second Beatles cover ‘We Can Work It Out’, a pretty good one as well, and is a solid ending for the first side, especially with the little intro they threw in known as ’Exposition’. Perhaps this “book” is a step towards musical maturity; it’s a great album, another essential one in my vinyl collection, and overall carries a cool atmosphere. It doesn’t drop all the rhythm grooves and bluesy expertise, just takes it back a notch, and it’s absolutely worth buying and hearing.

Good choice, HRH!

*The boys claim to be inspired by the Bard of King Arthur’s court in Camelot, Taliesyn. John Vernon Lord, under the art direction of Les Weisbrich, paints a superb wonderland on the album jacket, equal to the madness of Hieronymous Bosch’s cover painting used for the third album.  Originals ‘The Shield’ and ‘Anthem’ make early Syd Barrett Pink Floyd appear punk in comparison. Novel sounds are aided by Lord’s dominating keyboards, a signature of this group.
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Family Day Vinyl (Part 2)

(Click HERE for Part 1)

Sadly, the long run never happened today.

I pressed my luck after my core workout with an extra coffee and a bonus 45 minutes in front of ‘Shark Tank’ and, fuck…it’s raining.

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My options then were two-fold:

  1. Suck it up buttercup, cinch up the apple sack, and get out there n’ get shit done, or
  2. Fuck that shit altogether.

I chose the latter.

So, part of this “being lazy” plan today is Part Two of our lazy Family Day vinyl listening pleasures, this ‘Three of a Kind’  album featuring Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and Bunny Bergman.

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This is another kind of mystery album seeing as how I can’t find a release date on it, or much information at all apart from what I can see on the album cover and the basic details on the Discogs site (i.e. Design Records); acquired three weeks ago through our Flea Market binge.

Basically, it’s something of a compilation album featuring three of the top band leaders and composers of the time so, really, how can you miss?

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You can’t.

Sure none of the tracks on this album are rare, unreleased or new or unheard of but, together, it serves its terrific intended purpose today of keeping things free and easy-swinging around here on this overcast, drizzly  Family Day holiday.

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Core

I opted out of my long run yesterday in favor of an impromptu recovery day doing errands and whatnot.

That means, of course, that today is the make-up Long Run Day.

(Even more dreaded than the original Long run Day)

Before that, it’s Day 58 of the “Core Project” with this ‘Echoes of Harlem’  album by Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with Ottie Patterson.

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This is another of the ¢0.75 album our previous Flea Market haul which, from the condition of the cover anyway, looks like it has survived being trampled over by a herd of stampeding rhinos.

I give you Exhibit A:

Thankfully, the record itself is actually in terrific condition.

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Score.

As the title indicated, ‘Echoes of Harlem’  (released in 1955) was intended as a tribute to Harlem jazz, specifically offering “eleven songs associated with Harlem in the ‘twenties and early ‘thirties,” (according to the liner notes (what few there are anyway).

The composers Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields received especially heavy tribute, with six of the 11 songs being covers of their tunes, several of them coming from the Broadway show Blackbirds of 1928; other major figures honored with interpretations were Fats Waller and Duke Ellington (the latter represented by the early composition ‘Doin’ the Crazy Walk’).  Ottilie Patterson’s credible blues-jazz vocals are used sparingly, however, making appearances only on ‘New St. Louis Blues’ and ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’.

Here’s the thing though, while it looks like got here by way of wood-chipper, of all the jazz records I have listened to recently…this is my favorite.

Far and away.

It goes without saying that there has been a lot of Dixieland trumpet and trombone going on on the downstairs turntable in the morning lately – and this is no exception -but this sorry state of a record is the sweetest, grooviest, loosest Dixieland jazz of the lot.

No shittin!

So much so, it was hard to hold a steady plank while also bounding along with the brass and bass rhythms.

I have no idea who this Chris Barber is exactly (see below), but dude sure knows how to put together one hell of a Dixieland jazz band!

Okay, I guess I could Wikipedia that shit for you.

Donald Christopher Barber (born 17 April 1930) is an English jazz musician, best known as a bandleader and trombonist. As well as scoring a UK top twenty trad jazz hit, he helped the careers of many musicians, notably the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time his wife, and vocalist/banjoist Lonnie Donegan, whose appearances with Barber triggered the skiffle craze of the mid-1950s and who had his first transatlantic hit, “Rock Island Line”, while with Chris Barber’s band. His providing an audience for Donegan and, later, Alexis Korner makes Barber a significant figure in the British rhythm and blues and “beat boom” of the 1960s.

There.

Happy?

So, yeah, an English trombonist, killer jazz. killer band, killer workout, and so far…killer morning.

…time for a killer steak & egg breakfast.

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Vinyl Sunday (Part 2)

As part of our “errands” today, HRH and I dropped by the St. Catharines Record Fair looking for some inexpensive vinyl and this was the first of a few that I found, the ‘Giants‘  album featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Hackett and Mary Lou Williams.

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This is a live album by trumpeters Gillespie and Bobby Hackett and accompanied by pianist Mary Lou Williams recorded in 1971 and originally released on the Perception label in 1971.

On this live session (not yet issued on CD), the great trumpeter is teamed in an all-star quintet with cornetist (Hackett) and pianist (Williams).  The music (seven standards) is generally quite melodic and swinging but the closer, a classic version of ‘My Man’, steals the show.

Just consider it our post-sub par Montana’s dinner digestion music.

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Vinyl Sunday (Part 1)

Since I’ve decided to blow off my planned long run today in favor of going out tomorrow instead, I know have a little extra non-rushed time to just chill around the house with an extra coffee before we head out on all our intended trials and tribulations (i.e. errands) for the day.

Oh joy.

Anyway, while doing this (i.e. nothing), we’re taking in this ‘Two of a Kind‘  album by Earl Klugh and Bob James.

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Kelly’s first comment upon putting it on (in between incoherent mumblings to Oscar the Cat):

“What’s this cheese we’re  listening to?”

And she’s not wrong.

This was another “shot in the dark” ¢0.75 selection from the flea market a few weeks back.

Here, apparently: “keyboardist Bob James and acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh struck “gold” (yeah, right!) with this session”  and the formula hasn’t changed much in succeeding years.

Sure both Klugh and James are capable musicians; as they demonstrate on this collection of light, innocuous melodies and occasionally interesting backbeats with a high degree of professionalism. Klugh is a first-rate guitarist whose solos are concise and nicely delivered, but frequently sound thin.  James’ piano and electric keyboard playing is a puzzling combination of flawlessness and lifelessness.

Kelly don’t care though.

She still thinks it’s cheesy and while I agree there are definitely those “cheestastic” moments, there are others that still pretty swingin’ too.  After all, the album did receive a nomination for Best Selling Jazz Album at the NARM Awards in 1983, and even peaked at #1 on the Billboard’s Jazz Charts in January of 1983.

So it can’t be all that bad, can it?

No.

So there.

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