The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

Rudy

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I came across this today while tagging the Tamiko Jones album. I downloaded the album from Qobuz, $10-ish, since a sealed LP is well over $20 and the Japan CD is much higher. (And I'm not buying five "near mint" LPs that play like garbage.)

I have to say that this album is a lot more lively and engaging than the Tamiko Jones A&M/CTi album, and was released the year prior. (It's no surprise both Mann and Jones ended up at A&M, having found this album.) The whole thing is good! Especially with Herbie and the band providing a Latin groove to it.

 

JOv2

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I came across this today while tagging the Tamiko Jones album. I downloaded the album from Qobuz, $10-ish, since a sealed LP is well over $20 and the Japan CD is much higher. (And I'm not buying five "near mint" LPs that play like garbage.)

I have to say that this album is a lot more lively and engaging than the Tamiko Jones A&M/CTi album, and was released the year prior. (It's no surprise both Mann and Jones ended up at A&M, having found this album.) The whole thing is good! Especially with Herbie and the band providing a Latin groove to it.
I passed on this many years ago without hearing it principally because Mann made a hard crossover to pop with Atlantic from 1964-ish onward...and his resulting releases were notably patchy from a jazz standpoint. I have nearly all of them and after all these years have only warmed to a few. The first A&M LP he did, on the other hand, was a good jazz/pop compromise. (It also sounds 1000% better than the Atlantics...I never understood what the problem was up at Atlantic, but, man, they had some of the worst engineered jazz LPs of the 1960s.) Within the context of Tamiko's A&M/CTi LP, which is a decent pop LP, I'm inclined to give this one a shot. Thanks, Rudy.
 

Rudy

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I'll admit it's no instant classic, but Tamiko seems more enthusiastic here than on the A&M LP, and I like the arrangements better, since they are more lively and lean towards jazz/Latin or at least better instrumental pop. I agree that Mann's output throughout his career had its ups and downs. For every At The Village Gate, there was a Super Mann.

The album is on YouTube (official Rhino upload) if you want to sample it beforehand. Only "A Man and A Woman" (the opening track) is omitted.

 

JOv2

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(Formal Western Art Music Survey, 1750-1950: Week XLVII -- Debussy)

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JOv2

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Herbie Nichols. Al Lion of Blue Note regarded Nichols as his 2nd greatest discovery (the first being Monk). Becoming a cult figure in the Young Lions jazz world the 1980s (I routinely featured his music on my radio program, 1988-92), Nichols was essentially unknown during his lifetime (he passed away in 1963). As much has been speculated about why his records didn't sell as has been written about the 29 fascinating compositions he recorded, 1952-57. Ever as original as Monk, his music is recommend with the highest esteem.
 

Rudy

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In the grand scheme of things, it seems like Tom Johnston's two recordings from 1979 and 1981 were overlooked once he left the Doobie Brothers. Just discovered these two, and if you like the mid to late 70s rock-based side to the Doobies, these two albums are a good bet. Johnston left the Doobies in 1977 as he didn't like the direction the band was heading in, yet on both of these albums, you'll find various members of the band assisting him.

From the 1979 album Everything You Heard is True, this is "Down Along the River." Like the other tracks on the album, it's rather curious in that it starts off with a dance beat, yet evolves into something closer to the rock that Johnston was more familiar with as the beat fades into the background. This album was loaded with an all-star cast including then-current Doobies members making guest appearances (Michael McDonald, Keith Knudsen), along with David Paich, Jim Keltner, Nicolette Larson, and plenty of others. Ted Templeman produced.



"Madman" leads off his 1981 album Still Feels Good. Patrick Simmons, Cornelius Bumpus and Bobby LaKind make an appearance on this album. Michael Omartian produced this set.

 

AM Matt

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Got both Tom Johnston solo as well as The Doobie Brothers 1991 "Brotherhood" & their latest "Liberte" downloaded on Apple iTunes!!! Also Patrick Simmons 1983 "Arcade" as well!!
 

Rudy

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Between Takin' It to the Streets and Minute by Minute, the low-key Doobies album Livin' On the Fault Line also seemed overlooked since it really didn't have many big hits, although a couple made it to their Best Of, Vol. 2 LP. This Patrick Simmons track was always a favorite.



Tom Johnston laid low on this LP (no compositions, no vocals, no guitar work that stands out as his style), as he left after it was completed. If anything, I hear more of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on this record.
 

Rudy

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Committed some LPs to digital. And got a chance to listen to a few John Klemmer LPs this afternoon while doing so.

This rarity came out nice. It's Klemmer's direct-to-disc record, Straight from the Heart, from 1979. Playing through a couple of tracks again right now.

 

Stevenj

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I'll admit it's no instant classic, but Tamiko seems more enthusiastic here than on the A&M LP, and I like the arrangements better, since they are more lively and lean towards jazz/Latin or at least better instrumental pop. I agree that Mann's output throughout his career had its ups and downs. For every At The Village Gate, there was a Super Mann.

The album is on YouTube (official Rhino upload) if you want to sample it beforehand. Only "A Man and A Woman" (the opening track) is omitted.


Committed some LPs to digital. And got a chance to listen to a few John Klemmer LPs this afternoon while doing so.

This rarity came out nice. It's Klemmer's direct-to-disc record, Straight from the Heart, from 1979. Playing through a couple of tracks again right now.

Some very good sound, Rudy.
 

Rudy

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Did a fresh transfer of this one from vinyl:

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No, you'll never find that jacket publicly. 😁

And uploaded this to the non-A&M channel. This Klemmer LP (another never reissued digitally) features strings on side one, and the quartet on side two. This was his second album, one of five on the Cadet Concept label.

 
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Rudy

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I don't think I linked to this one either. This is another on Cadet Concept and again, never digitally released.

 

Mike Blakesley

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Tom Johnston laid low on this LP (no compositions, no vocals, no guitar work that stands out as his style), as he left after it was completed. If anything, I hear more of Jeff "Skunk" Baxter on this record.

That's an album that has its moments for sure. Michael McDonald gets all of the attention, but to me, Pat Simmons' work provides more highlights. His song "Chinatown" is one of my favorite Doobie tunes. I think he has always been under-rated as a songwriter -- he provided the band with their first #1 hit, but Tom Johnston wrote more of the hits.

There has been a lively debate over the years as to whether Michael McDonald helped or hurt the Doobie Brothers. In my opinion he gave them a new lease on life; although the Fault Line album wasn't huge, the next one, Minute By Minute, was -- although all these years later, I don't think it holds up as well today as their second-through-sixth albums. The Streets album is my favorite of all the Doobie records but there is good stuff on all of them.
 

AM Matt

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Former Wall Of Voodoo lead singer Stan Ridgway almost looks like Lou Reed BUT sings like the late TV actor Don Adams ("Get Smart" fame)!! Ridgway "Mosquitos" (1989) is what I am listening to!!
 

AM Matt

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Also I am listening to former Police drummer Stewart Copeland "Rumble Fish" (1983 movie soundtrack on A&M) (which starred Matt Dillon, Diane Lane & the late Dennis Hopper). The song "Don't Box Me In" (featuring singer Stan Ridgway) is a great song!!
 

AM Matt

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Also listening to Sun Ra & The Blues Project "Batman" album from 1966 (all 12 songs). The album is in MONO. Available on Apple iTunes.
 

Rudy

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There has been a lively debate over the years as to whether Michael McDonald helped or hurt the Doobie Brothers.
His influence changed them for a while (bringing soul into what was essentially a country/rock band), but I like all the phases they went through. It wasn't better or worse--just different.

And who's to complain? Like you say, they got an injection of popularity thanks to "What A Fool Believes" and Minute by Minute both being major hits for the band. They could have drifted into obscurity, releasing the same record year after year, had McDonald not come on board. And it's not like there were warring sides--McDonald appears on Johnston's first solo record, and he also appears with the Doobies every so often even in current times. Sure, there was some animosity after they called it quits after One Step Closer but like any other group, they were all probably tired of working with each other full time (recording and touring non-stop for many years) and tempers flared.

So I like the days of "China Grove" and "Black Water" as much as I do "Depending on You" and "Here To Love You." 👍🏽
 

Harry

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One of those memories that stayed with me is of my waning days at the first station I worked for in 1976. The debate was raging as to whose single of "It Keeps You Runnin'" should be played. Both the Doobie Brothers and Carly Simon put out a version nearly simultaneously of the song - hers from her ANOTHER PASSENGER album and theirs from TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS. Both Michael McDonald and The Doobie Brothers appeared on Carly's version of the song, but I think the Doobie's own version charted higher and won whatever battle there was.
 

Rudy

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"You Belong To Me" is another one they both performed--the Doobies version was on Livin' on the Fault Line, and hers was on Boys in the Trees.
 

rbisherw

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Robbie McIntosh "Seaworld"

Highly recommended. His other albums are absolutely superb.
Tremendous player, highly respected guitarist (McCartney, Pretenders, Meyer) and even better human being.


 

Rudy

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I haven't played through this record in years, but I gave it a spin this afternoon.

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This is no dance record like his prior two albums, which had some very popular hits like "Instant Replay," "Hands Down," "Countdown/This Is It," and "Vertigo/Relight My Fire." On this album, he is more of a pop crooner, even stepping back into the past with tunes like "It Hurts To Be In Love." This was on Blue Sky Records, like his prior two projects. Sadly overlooked and never reissued digitally.
 

Rudy

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Interesting to hear the "Suite of Old American Dances" all these decades later. I remember we played this one, but honestly can't remember more than a few snippets as I listen to this.




Also strange how so many of these old band pieces sound so military, depending on who conducts them. Maybe that's why I lean towards a symphony with strings. Or, why I liked some of the pieces our forward-thinking band director chose--there were certain adaptions of symphonic works that he liked (and he didn't like many), such as "Procession of Nobles (from Mlada)" where I can actually remember almost the entire parts our section played. And he had a more musical way of conducting the pieces that made them not so strict and wooden.

I've heard two versions of "George Washington Bridge" by Schuman. This one is a little more relaxed, which I think this piece needs (and is more like we played it). Another version I heard was too strict and too fast in tempo, and it sounded like an accompaniment for some sort of dated film documentary of NYC in the 50s because of it. Schuman was inspired to write this from his trips over the George Washington Bridge.

 

JOv2

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Duke Pearson. During 1962-68, Duke was the house arranger at Blue Note (where he was the A&R man (1962-67) and later one of their two producers (1967-70). Though a solid pianist and songwriter, he is normally remembered more for his arranging skills -- he was arranging all those memorable charts on the Lee Morgan, Stanley Turrentine and Hank Mobley dates during that time. On his own LPs, he expectedly featured a great deal of memorable original material. Duke is best characterized as a mainstream arranger and songwriter. He's not progressive nor is he pushing the sonic envelope; rather, he delivers solid down-the-middle arrangements. He's probably my favourite overall pianist because he's steady, dependable and possesses a 1960s melodic and harmonic acumen with which I genuinely identify.
 
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