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The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

I like Gil's influence (scoring from the bottom up -- with all that moving low brass and reeds) more than his actual recordings. Sketches Of Spain (1960) is, nevertheless, quite distinctive and my fave of his collaborations with Miles.
I feel the same. And I concur that Sketches is so unique that it defies explanation. I don't listen to it often but it's always a rare treat when I do. I don't even understand why I don't really care for his recordings, as I do appreciate unique arranging styles.
Time for Apocalypse again...


It sort of fits a mood when one isn't sure whether to play jazz fusion or classical. The only track I skip is "Smile of the Beyond" due to the (ugh) vocals. A bit annoying when I want to play the vinyl but at least it is at the end of side one and I can do an early flip.
Stroke of luck today! Found this:


Soul Box Vol. 2. I got a really clean Vol. 1 in my CO Springs record haul, and out of twelve boxes in the basement, I found Vol. 2 in the third one. It's in the cleaner right now. It was in a box with some other records that had slight water damage, so I have to mitigate the mildew before I put this one with the rest of the collection. For now I'll have it in a rice paper sleeve post-cleaning and will keep it alongside Vol. 1 in the rack. I remember playing this record maybe once all the way through, so it is essentially like new. 🥳 Well, except for the cover. It had a little of the lamination lifting on the jacket but otherwise there's no damage. Still, need to make sure there's no mildew left over.

Found a couple others. But this was the one I really wanted to find. Soul Box was released as a double-LP set as all the tracks are from the same sessions, but oddly, Kudu (CTI) decided to release them as two separate volumes. More about this record here:

Today I am playing The Best of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I picked it up at a used book and record store a few weeks ago. It is a release on Victory and has selections I have heard on the radio plus some from albums that I had never heard. It also has Greg Lake's solo I Believe In Father Christmas and I have always liked that selection.
Rescued a couple other records yesterday, including an odd Perez Prado record on the Orfeon label where he tears through a dozen of his oft-played hits. The casualty here was the jacket--it's still mostly intact but the bottom is now a little ragged, and I'm storing the jacket (well dried out after a cursory cleaning) in a separate sleeve from the record. Found two Bacharach Make It Easy LPs as well--one I believe was my mothers, and the other was a $3.99 find from the mid 90s. Cleaned both for comparison and so far they sound OK (in terms of wear). The purchased version was damaged and mildewed, but the other copy only had some mildew dust which I thoroughly cleaned off. For now, I stuck both cleaned records into the same jacket--they fit.

But the highlight of yesterday, amidst the cleaning, was receiving my latest Discogs order. Three rekkids.

Horace Silver: The Stylings of Silver. This is on the 70s Blue Note reissue label (dark blue with black "B"). After running it through the cleaner, it plays flawless with no groove burn at all, and a nicely silent background. It's not an original pressing but I'm not about to pay $80 for the privilege. This was VG+ but looks much better. The jacket has some ring wear but it's good enough for me. This was ~$25. A steal, actually, especially since there's no indication yet as to whether Blue Note will reissues it in either the Classic Vinyl or Tone Poet series. (One oddity is that it has bit of a sharp lip on the edge, making it slightly out of spec to where the periphery weight won't fit on it.)

Lyle Mays: Street Dreams. I'd wanted this on vinyl for a while. Had the CD since it was first released, as local jazz radio was playing "Before You Go" and "Possible Straight" in heavy rotation back in late 1987. This was in the neighborhood of $5. I haven't played it yet to check condition though.

Bobby Troup: Bobby Troup and his Stars of Jazz. This was a TV series which Bobby Troup hosted back in the 1950s. I've owned the CD of this for a while, and got this copy (either VG+ or NM) for only $3.99. For an RCA, that's a bargain...although when it arrived and I saw the jacket, I could tell it wasn't a US pressing. The sound is a little muted compared to a typical US RCA Living Stereo version, but this cost way less. This album is a fun listen, and the musicians are a who's who of west coast jazz--it's one of those that bills itself as "jazz" but with Troup's vocals, it's more of a pop vocal album with a killer big band, playing killer arrangements (four by Shorty Rogers, eight by ace pianist Jimmy Rowles), behind him.
Stars of Jazz isn't so good. Looking closer at the jacket, it was a Fresh Sound (RCA Spain) release, and like the later CDs in the 90s, the sound is lacking. And despite the cover's Living Stereo banner, the record is...mono. And yep, even some of the 90s CDs by that same Fresh Sound label did the same--CD booklet said stereo, and the disc was mono.

And it's worn. 🙄 Bobby Troup thingth with a lithp throughout. At leatht it wath cheap. Now I have to theek out another Tharth of Jaththth.

Didn't notice this until I was able to sit down and give it a proper listen this evening. The Lyle Mays seems OK. The most important was the Horace Silver and yesterday's listen was flawless.
I've been listening to some of my Chuck Mangione collection as yesterday was his birthday I know he is fully retired now and not performing anymore but my oh my there is so much He recorded that will outlive him not Just his Feels so Good Era but his whole output the whole is greater than the sum. In my opinion
I found two double LPs of his I had purchased used a few decades ago, in the box with the water-damaged LPs. Both were from the Mercury era. The records would be OK but the covers probably are not worth saving as they were quite crunchy. (Our AC evaporator coil in the house had frozen and thawed, which leaked out all around the furnace.)

I'm almost thinking of looking for horrible condition LPs on Discogs and ordering them just for the jackets, as long as they are in readable condition.
I've been trying to do that with Tamba 4's SAMBA BLIM. I lucked into a copy of the mono promo of the album, but it was housed in a plain white jacket. The problem is there just aren't very many copies of SAMBA BLIM on LP that anyone is selling for a cheap price.
I played through Fleetwood Mac's new release Rumours Live today. It was recorded at one concert in Los Angeles in August 1977. What makes this release interesting to me is, the band was in Billings, MT on that same tour, so I got to see the same show performed live. I think the Billings show was before the L.A. one, but I'm not sure. So listening to this recording put me right back in that arena in 1977.

The title is a bit misleading: Two songs from Rumours are missing ("I Don't Want to Know" and surprisingly, "Don't Stop"), and the show includes all but three songs from the previous self-titled album that put the group on top of the charts. In a nod to their pre-Buckingham/Nicks history, "Oh Well (Part One)" is included.

The band was truly at the peak of its strength at this concert. The sound of the recordings is excellent. Lindsey Buckingham sounds great, because this show captures him before he started doing the wild-n-crazy vocal gymnastics that marked his more recent performances. Stevie Nicks is able to hit most of the correct high notes, as opposed to compromising them like she has done for the past 30 years or so. Her performance on "Rhiannon" is electrifying. And Christine McVie, well, she's Christine McVie, what else do you need to know? The only ripoff is the exclusion of her great song "Don't Stop," which I was expecting to hear as part of the encore (they did "Second Hand News" instead).

An interesting inclusion was "Never Going Back Again," which on the original album is played solo by Buckingham on guitars. In more recent concerts, he slowed it way down and made it more dramatic, with way-over-the-top vocals. Here, the song is played at its usual jaunty tempo, with Mick Fleetwood playing drums (with brushes), and John McVie on acoustic bass.

Best of all, the song lineup is refreshingly free from the overproduced "yacht rock" pop tunes that (for me) marred some of their later work. On this recording they are a tight five-piece rock and roll band that has all its gears meshing perfectly. Truly a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Was there much in the way of overdubs on Rumours Live?

I have two recordings that reflect the same tour I attended. The special edition of Prince's 1999 reissue has one of the six Masonic Temple shows (November 1982). I attended one of those nights, but I guess the setlist was the same for all, so I wouldn't remember which of the six I saw. This one claims to be a "late show" but while I don't remember early and late shows, I bought two tickets when there were originally only three gigs and not six. He returned later in early 1983 but played at a much larger venue. Anyhow, the sound is a bit rough, and it's interesting how in all the excitement of being at a live gig, we don't hear a lot of what really went on musically. It's far from perfect.

Likewise, the Peter Gabriel 2-CD set I own is from a series of official releases that were captured right from the mixing board, and could be preordered after the show (to arrive 6+ weeks later IIRC).


So this one even has the power outage that shut down half the stage during the beginning of "Solsbury Hill." It is also slightly rough around the edges but nothing really sticks out. The band had already toured large arenas in 2002 and this June gig was their tour of smaller venues which was a lot more intimate.

Ironically just three years prior, during a Steely Dan gig, there was a power outage onstage as well, same venue. Makes me wonder how often that happened.
I played through Fleetwood Mac's new release Rumours Live today.
RUMOURS. The studio album everyone owns except me. I guess I never felt the desire to go out and buy it - the songs were all over radio, all the time, and still are to this day. It's one of those albums that you know, but don't have to own or play for yourself. And coming from a radio background in both Adult Contemporary and Classic Rock, I've heard some of these songs hundreds to maybe thousands of times.

I DO own a bunch of promo 45s of some of the singles, and a GREATEST HITS CD helped fill in some more of the album's tracks. Over the years, I've been presented with two different masterings of the album. One, I think was a vinyl rip from a 45 RPM pressing, the other was a digital 'straight off the master tapes' version. That one has a nice flat sound with no extra reverb or EQ that had been added over the years.

It appears that there are many, many versions and masterings of this album, and I wouldn't know which one to buy at this point. I think I'll stick with what I've got.
Vinyl-wise, the 45 RPM Hoffman/Gray mastering makes every other release sound pathetic. Don't know if it's available anymore or not, though. Digital, the last version I bought is the DVD-Audio, and that was over 15 years ago.

I maybe play it once a year, though--way too burned out on hearing classic rock radio beat it to death. (Prior to that, though, I never listened to rock radio and only knew it via my LP purchase not too long before Tusk came out.)

I meant to thank you for giving me such a detailed response about your turn table and about the unusual vinyl.

I have an Audio Technica turntable. I have to say it is great improvement over the Sony turntable it replaced. I can hear things I never heard with the Sony. Dramatic difference.
Was there much in the way of overdubs on Rumours Live?

I don't really think so -- at least it didn't sound like it to me. I think this recording was never really intended for release so they didn't go in and do a lot of tinkering with it. It seems pretty pure. (But don't take my word for it!)

I guess I never felt the desire to go out and buy it - the songs were all over radio, all the time, and still are to this day. It's one of those albums that you know, but don't have to own or play for yourself.

That's true, there isn't a song on it that doesn't get played on classic rock radio. However, some years ago on a plane flight I decided to listen to it on headphones, and that was a revelation. It's one of the better-recorded albums in history, in my opinion. And of course if you pay attention to the lyrics, since they were all famously singing about one another for the most part, it makes it a more fun listen. Christine's "Songbird" still gets to me every time.
Ken Callait engineered Rumours (as well as Tusk and Mirage) and there are few versions out there that fully reveal how good the recording can sound. The really jarring comparison between my old vinyl copy and the 45 RPM makes you realize how differently records could be mastered back in the day (so they would play on even the cheapest record players). Comparing just those two versions, the old LP sounds muffled and boxy. I haven't wanted to listen to the album enough to compare all the versions I own or have access to.

The documentary on the DVD-Audio version (which is playable on any DVD player) is interesting in how they made the record. And how the Stevie Nicks song "Silver Springs" was cut from the album.
My latest find and spin is Basia's London Warsaw New York. A very fun listen that still sounds fresh.
One that's been overlooked was the Matt Bianco album Matt's Mood from 2004, where Basia and Danny White rejoined with Mark Reilly and made a one-off album (their last time working together was on the Matt Bianco debut Whose Side Are You On?). I like the vocal tradeoffs between Reilly and Basia--it's a nice contrast.


(Same album but with the obnoxiously blatant US cover art...)
...and since I'm moving in alphabetical order this morning, it's straight into another saxophone album---this one jazz:


Ms. Edkins is from Los Angeles, and this album, from 2015, is her debut.

Not sure where I heard about her in order to add it to my Apple Music library, but if it was anyone here, thanks!
I may have mentioned another of her recordings here in the recent past. Kirsten Edkins recorded an all-analog/tube session at Kevin Gray's Cohearant Studios and his label released it as Shapes & Sounds. Can't say the music does much for me (it's competent and well-played, although not very engaging to me) but it is very well recorded.
It's a shame Phil Collins didn't do more of these Big Band recordings.

This is a live set from the 1996 Montreux Jazz Festival.

A few familiar names. Collins, of course, on drums. Percussion is Luis Conte. David Sanborn pops in just past the 11:00 mark with a blazing solo during the final part of the suite. Nathan East is on bass, Daryl Stuermer on guitar, Brad Cole on keys, and Harry Kim as lead trumpet and soloist (and apparently arranger of this chart).

The icing on the cake is Quincy Jones as the conductor.

It makes me wonder how some of the other Genesis suites would have made for big band charts like this one.
I've posted this one before. Two years later, from the 1998 Montreux Jazz Festival. This one features George Duke on piano, and Gerald Albright, Sadao Watanabe, James Carter, Klaus Doldinger and Pee Wee Ellis in the horn section taking solos. Arif Mardin conducts, and arranged this piece.

My latest find and spin is Basia's London Warsaw New York. A very fun listen that still sounds fresh.
One of my favorites. I love any kind of sophisti-pop or jazz-tinged adult-contemporary from the late '80s, and Basia is truly a master of the form. London Warsaw New York is a great listen from start to finish (my favorites are "Baby You're Mine" and "Cruising for Bruising," but I can't say that there's any track on there I ever skip past), and it's aged surprisingly well - it's not so dependent on production trends of the time that it sounds too dated, for starters, and is just organic enough to still have a real warmth to it. There also haven't been a whole heck of a lot of artists since then who have made anything that sounds even remotely like it, so it still sounds extraordinarily unique.

I've posted this one before. Two years later, from the 1998 Montreux Jazz Festival. This one features George Duke on piano, and Gerald Albright, Sadao Watanabe, James Carter, Klaus Doldinger and Pee Wee Ellis in the horn section taking solos. Arif Mardin conducts, and arranged this piece.
Amazing rendition! Tremendous cast of players, and so, so much more entertaining than I typically find such lengthy jams to be. I never picked up that Big Band album of Phil's, but now I'm curious to check that one out. If it's even half as good as this clip, that should be a fun listen. Does George Duke appear on the album? I'm not sure I was aware he had any connection to the Collins Big Band, but I'm a great admirer of his playing (especially anything he did in tandem with Stanley Clarke; seeing clips of the two of them jamming together always knocks me out, especially since their facial expressions and body language always seemed to radiate such utter happiness over the magic they were creating), so seeing him on piano in that clip made it even more fun for me to watch, on top of all those breathtaking sax solos.
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