The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

rockdoctor

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Right now I am spinning the lp Baja Marimba Band For Animals Only. I found a very clean copy at a thrift store today along with a clean copy of Something Festive. I got Festive to have a second copy. I love the liner notes from Gary Owens.
 
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Rudy

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I've been "rediscovering" Steely Dan on vinyl--I have a decent copy of Aja on an ABC "AB" pressing. It's still a little worn but not obnoxiously so. Playing Royal Scam right now during dinner on an ABC pressing and it's also quite good. The copy of Gaucho I have also sounds pretty good, but I'm not sure which pressings are the ones to get. This seems to be an earlier pressing, so it is quite respectable. I don't have any other albums yet on vinyl, not until I can find out which ones are the earlier, preferred versions.

Side note--I had to adjust the loading on the Dynavector cartridge. Seems it does well at about 240Ω, vs. the 100Ω I was using in the past. Really woke it up. It sounded kind of dead in other times I've used it.
 

Rudy

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This could have been better:

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The version I'm listening to on Qobuz is distorted--it was an Atlantic release from 1964 originally, so that could be the problem (they never had the best-sounding recordings back in the day). It was the first set of recordings from the Bill Evans Trio following the death of bassist Scott LaFaro (which happened just after the Village Vanguard gigs), with Chuck Israels taking over on bass. The co-billing means Evans is kind of buried in the background, and the whole album is kind of low-key. If Mann had recorded with Evans' trio on Riverside, it would have sounded a lot better...
 

Rudy

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This album is interesting:

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Dizzy Gillespie and his big band. "Gillespiana" is a four-part suite composed and arranged by Lalo Schifrin ("Prelude," "Blues," "Panamericana," and "Africana"), and a fifth track not part of the suite, "Tocatta," is also penned by Schifrin. It does sound like other Schifrin works around this time, but also sounds like a mix of Stan Kenton, Gil Evans and just a small touch of Quincy Jones in terms of the big band sound.

I might follow it up with the calypso-themed Jambo Caribe, a great 1964 album I have always liked.

I also have a recording of his on the GRP label, New Faces, that features Kenny Kirkland and Branford Marsalis. Played that one a few days ago. "Fiesta Mojo" from Jambo Caribe is rearranged and included in this album.
 

Rudy

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(This full version of "Do I Do" includes Dizzy's trumpet solo. A highlight to a great Stevie song! This was a non-album track that originally appeared on Original Musiquarium I.)
 

JOv2

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This could have been better:

View attachment 7803

The version I'm listening to on Qobuz is distorted--it was an Atlantic release from 1964 originally, so that could be the problem (they never had the best-sounding recordings back in the day). It was the first set of recordings from the Bill Evans Trio following the death of bassist Scott LaFaro (which happened just after the Village Vanguard gigs), with Chuck Israels taking over on bass. The co-billing means Evans is kind of buried in the background, and the whole album is kind of low-key. If Mann had recorded with Evans' trio on Riverside, it would have sounded a lot better...
This one has suffered from poor CD transfers from the start (I have both a US and Japanese copies; you can tell the Japanese version is from the same "damaged" master given they clearly tried to clean it up...It's an improvement, but still suffers). I agree in that 1960s Atlantic (notably 1962-67) was definitely below par regarding sonics; the original '60s LP, however, is not distorted: I programmed this entire LP at least once many moons ago and the station copy was free from any distortion whatsoever.
 

Rudy

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This one has suffered from poor CD transfers from the start (I have both a US and Japanese copies; you can tell the Japanese version is from the same "damaged" master given they clearly tried to clean it up...It's an improvement, but still suffers). I agree in that 1960s Atlantic (notably 1962-67) was definitely below par regarding sonics; the original '60s LP, however, is not distorted: I programmed this entire LP at least once many moons ago and the station copy was free from any distortion whatsoever.
I may have to seek out an original pressing of it.

There is an Evans trio gig on Verve (A Simple Matter of Conviction, with Eddie Gomez and Shelly Manne) where there are a bunch of dropouts on the first track of the CD. More like mangled tape. I haven't compared any other releases to see if it's ever been corrected, nor do I have an original LP to see if it was similarly damaged. It's the worst I've ever heard on a CD in terms of dropouts.
 

Rudy

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Friday night--I should be out livin' it up, but I'm at home, working. 😐 (Publishing deadline.) I should be jumpin' in the ride...


So I'm playing the Quincy Jones album You've Got It Bad Girl and an Ashford & Simpson anthology which covers their Warner Bros. recordings, along with the track "Stuff Like That," lifted straight from the Quincy Jones album Sounds...and Stuff Like That. (Valerie Simpson also sings on the You've Got It Bad Girl, most notably on "Summer in the City.")

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Bobberman

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(This full version of "Do I Do" includes Dizzy's trumpet solo. A highlight to a great Stevie song! This was a non-album track that originally appeared on Original Musiquarium I.)
I love this one I used to own a 12 inch white label promo version of this full version and with an instrumental version on the flip side I saved the instrumental version to tape and later transferred the same tape to CDr and ripped it into my computer I don't know or remember what happened to the vinyl, source I do have the vocal version on CD but thankfully I still have the instrumental which I saved in some form Motown made many 12 inch singles which offered instrumental versions on the flip side of the original versions and I had a few of those over the years
 

JOv2

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(Formal Western Art Music Survey, 1750-1950: Week LII -- Reger)

reger-1.jpg
 

JOv2

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redd-1.jpg


Freddie Redd. Starting in 1960, Redd should have become a mainstay at Blue Note. As the story goes, during his third LP recording session, he and label owner, Al Lion, got into a major fight: According to Redd, in response Lion said he'd never release the session (and he didn't -- he also didn't release the second date which was already in the can). It's unfortunate that politics clouded opportunity at that time as both then-unreleased sessions, along with the only Blue Note LP that saw release at the time, were a solid trio of LPs featuring piano-centric hard-bop at its melodic best. Redd is clearly a leader: he wrote and arranged all the selections (all are fully developed selections -- no thrown-away 12-bar blues here) -- which is particularly memorable on the 3rd session as he had three horns to arrange. Lion isn't the only significant party Redd butted heads with... I once read a story about Redd when he was playing in one of Mingus' 1950s bands. Mingus had grown so upset with him that he had conspired with a couple of his bandmates to abandon him in the Arizona desert ("Hey, Fred -- can you go out and check the rear right tire?") during their drive back to NYC! It was all in vain, however, given Redd was equally so tired of Mingus that he quit the band before the return trip!
 

Mark-T

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(This full version of "Do I Do" includes Dizzy's trumpet solo. A highlight to a great Stevie song! This was a non-album track that originally appeared on Original Musiquarium I.)
Always loved this song!
Stevie gets little airplay in our home. Why? As a college student, my wife had a 10 hour bus ride home along with a special needs man who played Stevie’s “I Wish” on repeat for 10 solid hours. Now she can’t stand hearing him! 😂
 

Rudy

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As a college student, my wife had a 10 hour bus ride home along with a special needs man who played Stevie’s “I Wish” on repeat for 10 solid hours. Now she can’t stand hearing him! 😂

Yeah, I could see that being an issue... 🤣

Motown made many 12 inch singles which offered instrumental versions on the flip side of the original versions and I had a few of those over the years

That was somewhat common on 12-inch singles through the 70s and early 80s--they would often put the instrumental version (basically, the same mix but minus vocals) on the B-side. In a few cases, the instrumental version would be some variation (like a different mix) for the instrumental version on the B-side, like was the case with Kool & The Gang's "Open Sesame." The instrumental version has some horn parts that were mixed out of the album and 12-inch single versions.

It wasn't until the mid 80s when they started going overboard and (IMHO) ruined 12-inch singles by putting four, five, even six or seven different mixes on one record. Few were any good, and the alternates were just filler. Prior to that, there was usually just one "official" remix and they would put an instrumental version, or the album version, on the flip side. Or occasionally they would include an album cut, or offer a shortened version of the remix from the A-side.

Prince sort of broke the mold for 12-inch singles--starting with the extended version of "Let's Work," his 12-inch single B-sides were always non-album tracks, including some that got almost as much airplay as the A-side. That is why his 12-inchers were always sought after and valuable. Many of us would hit the record stores the day a 12-inch single was released, since there was always built-up excitement when radio would play the newest B-side.

Those are the days I miss...
 

Mike Blakesley

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Sure, I'm a white boy from Montana but I've always liked Stevie Wonder's music. He had a sharp "quality curve" of his best music, at least for me. His first few records were good-not-great, because he was being led around like a puppy by Berry Gordy. Then he won creative control of his music, got out of the "leash" as it were, and came out with Music of My Mind, followed quickly by the Big Four: Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life. Then he took a bit of a nose-dive when he got a little pretentious (Secret Life of Plants) and finally started using too many synths and auto-drums in his music.

I like a lot of the later hits ("Part Time Lover" is a particular favorite) but I pretty much got off the bus after the In Square Circle album.

Of his later works, I'd have to say Hotter Than July is my favorite, but you can't top Innervisions and Fulfilllingness in my book. I know it was a huge hit, but I cannot stand "I Just Called to Say I Love You." I can't listen to any of the compilations either, it's gotta be the albums for me. I think it's because of the way his songs always segue together.

I would love to see him in concert, but the chance of his ever coming anywhere near Montana at this point is probably somewhat less than the chance of ever seeing Sergio Mendes around here.
 

rockdoctor

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Sure, I'm a white boy from Montana but I've always liked Stevie Wonder's music. He had a sharp "quality curve" of his best music, at least for me. His first few records were good-not-great, because he was being led around like a puppy by Berry Gordy. Then he won creative control of his music, got out of the "leash" as it were, and came out with Music of My Mind, followed quickly by the Big Four: Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life. Then he took a bit of a nose-dive when he got a little pretentious (Secret Life of Plants) and finally started using too many synths and auto-drums in his music.

I like a lot of the later hits ("Part Time Lover" is a particular favorite) but I pretty much got off the bus after the In Square Circle album.

Of his later works, I'd have to say Hotter Than July is my favorite, but you can't top Innervisions and Fulfilllingness in my book. I know it was a huge hit, but I cannot stand "I Just Called to Say I Love You." I can't listen to any of the compilations either, it's gotta be the albums for me. I think it's because of the way his songs always segue together.

I would love to see him in concert, but the chance of his ever coming anywhere near Montana at this point is probably somewhat less than the chance of ever seeing Sergio Mendes around here.
I prefer Stevie's earlier work. The first record I heard by him on the radio was his instrumental of Alfie. The Talking Book and later recordings got so overplayed in this area that I still change the station when most of them come on.
For a new spin of an old album, I found Raymond LeFevre La LA LA ( He Gives Me Love) at a thrift store in very good condition. There were two selections played from it back in the day that I regularly heard and they were Delilah and The Days Of Pearly Spencer. The latter is my favorite from the album. The Delilah instrumental I had heard before I heard it from Tom Jones.
 

Rudy

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His first few records were good-not-great, because he was being led around like a puppy by Berry Gordy. Then he won creative control of his music, got out of the "leash" as it were, and came out with Music of My Mind, followed quickly by the Big Four: Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life.
He had quite a run and yes, that was a sweet spot for me as well, up through Hotter Than July or actually, Original Musiquarium Vol. 1, which was the first Stevie album I bought, and has four new studio tracks on it, two of them getting heavy local airplay ("That Girl" and "Do I Do"). This was a case where I had heard some of Stevie's tracks over the years (I wasn't much of a radio listener when his albums were first popular), and Musiquarium opened the floodgates to buying up others in his back catalog.

Secret Life of Plants is a bit weak, but mainly because it's a soundtrack album to a documentary film, with incidental music intended to accompany the visuals on the screen. (Motown probably figured they cash in on Stevie's success with a double album, especially since Key of Life was a blockbuster.)

Anything past July I find to be spotty--In Square Circle and Characters had some good moments, but the Woman in Red soundtrack...the less said about that one, the better. Although I'm a bit hard on that album since it has "that song" (which shall remain nameless) on it. There are still some pleasant tracks on it.

Pre-Music of My Mind, there is one album, Where I'm Coming From, which was the first album he made after voiding his Motown contract, and had no input from the label. It's a bit awkward and too "messagey" in places, but still has a few good tracks on it. I have never been a fan of the Motown sound of the 60s, and while his hits from that era still sound good, that's about all I can handle--the hits. The rest is way too repetitive and generic for me. Even that three-LP Anthology set is overkill for my needs--I rarely play it.

I think I only listened one time each to Jungle Fever, Conversation Peace and A Time to Love, and nothing ever caught my ear. In fact, I ended up buying two copies of Conversation Peace, since apparently it was so forgettable to me, that I forgot I owned it! 😁

Lots of good memories with his music, though!
 

rockdoctor

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He had quite a run and yes, that was a sweet spot for me as well, up through Hotter Than July or actually, Original Musiquarium Vol. 1, which was the first Stevie album I bought, and has four new studio tracks on it, two of them getting heavy local airplay ("That Girl" and "Do I Do"). This was a case where I had heard some of Stevie's tracks over the years (I wasn't much of a radio listener when his albums were first popular), and Musiquarium opened the floodgates to buying up others in his back catalog.

Secret Life of Plants is a bit weak, but mainly because it's a soundtrack album to a documentary film, with incidental music intended to accompany the visuals on the screen. (Motown probably figured they cash in on Stevie's success with a double album, especially since Key of Life was a blockbuster.)

Anything past July I find to be spotty--In Square Circle and Characters had some good moments, but the Woman in Red soundtrack...the less said about that one, the better. Although I'm a bit hard on that album since it has "that song" (which shall remain nameless) on it. There are still some pleasant tracks on it.

Pre-Music of My Mind, there is one album, Where I'm Coming From, which was the first album he made after voiding his Motown contract, and had no input from the label. It's a bit awkward and too "messagey" in places, but still has a few good tracks on it. I have never been a fan of the Motown sound of the 60s, and while his hits from that era still sound good, that's about all I can handle--the hits. The rest is way too repetitive and generic for me. Even that three-LP Anthology set is overkill for my needs--I rarely play it.

I think I only listened one time each to Jungle Fever, Conversation Peace and A Time to Love, and nothing ever caught my ear. In fact, I ended up buying two copies of Conversation Peace, since apparently it was so forgettable to me, that I forgot I owned it! 😁

Lots of good memories with his music, though!
I had picked up the Anthology series for a number of the Motown artists. I would get them free with any album purchase through Columbia House.
I would buy a single album and pick the multi album sets for free. I do not listen to them anymore and will probably take them to a used record store in the near future so someone else can enjoy them. On thing about the Stevie Wonder set- It had a "Limited Edition" sticker on the cover. It was also the first to appear in the cutout bins so it was not a good seller. The one for Commodores also tanked and was in the cutout bins quickly. Of the ones that I have, only two-Supremes and Temptations were certified gold. I never saw any of the other Anthology series for Motown in the cutout bins. I also don't think I have ever seen them at a thrift store either.
 
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jfiedler17

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Sure, I'm a white boy from Montana but I've always liked Stevie Wonder's music. He had a sharp "quality curve" of his best music, at least for me. His first few records were good-not-great, because he was being led around like a puppy by Berry Gordy. Then he won creative control of his music, got out of the "leash" as it were, and came out with Music of My Mind, followed quickly by the Big Four: Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life. Then he took a bit of a nose-dive when he got a little pretentious (Secret Life of Plants) and finally started using too many synths and auto-drums in his music.

I like a lot of the later hits ("Part Time Lover" is a particular favorite) but I pretty much got off the bus after the In Square Circle album.

Of his later works, I'd have to say Hotter Than July is my favorite, but you can't top Innervisions and Fulfilllingness in my book. I know it was a huge hit, but I cannot stand "I Just Called to Say I Love You." I can't listen to any of the compilations either, it's gotta be the albums for me. I think it's because of the way his songs always segue together.

I would love to see him in concert, but the chance of his ever coming anywhere near Montana at this point is probably somewhat less than the chance of ever seeing Sergio Mendes around here.

I tend to consider most of the Motown acts of the '60s as more of singles acts than album acts, if only because the albums either tended to be the latest few singles packaged with a whole bunch of hastily-recorded filler (usually in the form of cover versions of other Top 40 hits) or novelty albums of some kind or another (like entire albums of country-and-western covers or British Invasion covers or show tunes, etc.). If not for Stevie and Marvin Gaye, I'm not sure Motown ever would have really taken albums seriously enough to perfect the art of making them.

I like Stevie's '60s material perfectly okay, although, like I said, like everyone else at the label on the time, he was really more of a singles artist in those days, so those earliest hits compilations suffice for me. It's not until Music of My Mind and onwards that the albums truly start getting fabulous, and everything between then and Hotter Than July (very underrated record; "Lately" may not get much radio play - or at least not as much as "Master Blaster" or "Ain't Gonna Stand for It," but that's got to be one of my top five favorite songs of his) is top-notch in my book and one of the greatest artistic winning streaks to be found in any one artist's catalog. In Square Circle has not aged well production-wise (but most of Stevie's work during the '80s hasn't, either), but the songs themselves are still pretty great, "Overjoyed" being my favorite. [It's a testament to just how long he spent making his records during that time, though, that he performed "Overjoyed" and "Go Home" on SNL two full years before the songs ever got released! They might have been much bigger hits had he and Motown simply rushed those out as standalone singles to capitalize on his SNL appearance.] But, like you, I kinda lose interest after In Square Circle. Nothing he did after that was anywhere near as immediately catchy (or as warm-sounding as any of his '70s work). [Characters was especially disapponting - not only did it sound very cold and sterile, but even the singles on that record lacked especially strong hooks.]
 

JOv2

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Then he won creative control of his music, got out of the "leash" as it were, and came out with Music of My Mind, followed quickly by the Big Four: Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale, and Songs in the Key of Life.
Touche` to that! However, it's the Big Five as I consider Music Of My Mind as the creative equal of the subsequent four. I actually enjoy Secret Life Of Plants a great deal...but it is a soundtrack, so it's expected to be have a different aura.
 

JOv2

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I have never been a fan of the Motown sound of the 60s, and while his hits from that era still sound good, that's about all I can handle--the hits. The rest is way too repetitive and generic for me.
Agreed. Overall, the music is much too simple to garner repeated listening. That said, it was meant for dancing and disposable consumption...no one in 1966 thought that 56 years later anyone would give a hoot about it.
 

Rudy

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Agreed. Overall, the music is much too simple to garner repeated listening. That said, it was meant for dancing and disposable consumption...no one in 1966 thought that 56 years later anyone would give a hoot about it.
I agree--it's music produced for the Top 40 market, and in and of itself it's not bad music by any means, but they had found a formula that worked and built their business model around it. Successful, but too much repetition of the formula will wear itself out with the public.

They may not have realized it at the time, but Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and Wonder's Music of my Mind eventually saved their company and kept them relevant and up to date with what was happening in music. When I was buying Motown/Tamla releases in the late 70s through the 80s, the music they were putting out was the equal (if not sometimes better) than the other major labels at the time.
 

Rudy

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A pretty good album! And from Quincy's look, he was quite pleased with it as well.

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He seemed equally enamored with this as well, with the customized fidelity just as high as the original album. 😁 Although this one was a compilation of assorted rare tracks from his Mercury sessions, not a specific album recording. "Pleasingly Plump" is different from the version on Li'l Ol' Groovemaker...Basie! from the 60s--this one is more uptempo and perhaps not quite as plump.

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Mike Blakesley

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This talk about Stevie Wonder's more recent albums has made me remember album titles I'd long forgotten about. I've heard all the records but don't really remember anything since In Square Circle. (Which is one of the dumbest album titles ever but the cover was cool with the embossing on the original pressings.)

He had a good song on the "Die Hard" movie soundtrack too - "Skeletons," which there's only about 4 seconds of in the movie. It's on the Characters album.
 
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