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The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

Discussion in 'A Small Circle of Friends: The Music Forum' started by Rudy, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I just picked up the 40th anniversary "deluxe edition" of one of my favorite live albums, Neil Diamond's Hot August Night. While I'm not a big fan of live albums in general, this is one of the best in my opinion, right up there with Frampton Comes Alive. I think the versions of many of the hits on this live album blow the studio versions out of the water -- especially "Holly Holy," "Cherry Cherry" and "Solitary Man."

    There has been one previous special editon of this album that added a few extra songs, and this super-deluxe treatment adds yet a few more, plus a 10-minute segment of band introductions, which should be fun to hear. (I haven't gotten that far yet.) The packaging is first-rate, witha bunch of previously-unseen photos, although I wish they'd have reproduced the original multi-page album cover exactly -- it's not quite that good, but what they did do was pretty cool. It's a tri-fold digi-pack type package with a booklet.

    Sound quality is great, as expected.
    Bobberman likes this.
  2. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Dang, I have to agree--Hot August Night is definitely one of the best live recordings out there and IMHO, it really highlights Diamond's strengths as a performer. He knows how to entertain. Not just get up and play at a crowd. Even when he had lackluster albums in the past couple of decades, he could still sell out an auditorium and rock the place hard. (Thing is, my ex's mother was a big fan, and when my ex attended a concert with them, she said there were a lot of "white hairs" in the audience. :laugh: )

    I've actually had this 40th anniversary edition in high-res, but haven't listened to it yet. I'll need to give it a spin later on.

    I've enjoyed most of the concerts I've been to. Never have been to one of Diamond's concerts (largely because they are in arenas), but two of the concerts that I've attended really captured me similarly. Peter Gabriel's just may top the list--it was during the second round from the Up tour where he played smaller venues. He engaged the audience. And for having been at an arena, Earth Wind & Fire (and especially Maurice White) also made that personal connection to the crowd, in addition to having a great stage presentation (like Gabriel's).

    I know that our feelings here are purely subjective, but of all the live albums I've ever purchased, I can truly say that there have been only a few that I really consider worthy of a replay. Diamond's is one of them, especially side one of the original LP. (I have the rare Mobile Fidelity release, and it is excellent.) The Lou Rawls I posted last week is another. Earth Wind & Fire's Gratitude is pretty good but it's still not a frequent listen (aside from the studio tracks). Yet there are others I bought that I would never listen to again.
  3. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator

    I've been playing a couple of new albums that I recently bought. The first is the King Crimson debut, In The Court of the Crimson King, which is a great record:

    I've also been playing Thelonious Monk's Monk's Music, which has my favorite Monk tune "Well You Needn't":

  4. Re: Rachmaninoff's #2 --- I've always liked the 1961 Columbia Masterworks, NY Philharmonic/Bernstein recording of it with Philippe Entremont.
    The pacing seems to be the most "exciting" and "hi-fi-ish" of that early four track mastering. Also, Leonard Bernstein is caught on mic humming the melody of the second movement(!). So, it makes it sound all the more "right there"!
  5. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Another favorite live recording of mine:


    And I have been spinning the debut Earth, Wind & Fire album lately as well:


    I hadn't paid too much attention to it originally, as I had it on LP as a two-fer repackaging of EW&F's first two albums (this one, and The Need of Love) on Warner Brothers, which totally throws off the album sequencing. One thing that impresses me is that Maurice White had a good grasp of his concept on this album--it only took some tweaking and simplifying to get to where he'd top the charts with the single "Shining Star" (from their sixth album, That's The Way of the World).

    This is "Help Somebody."

    Prior to Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice and his songwriting partners Don Whitehead and Wade Flemmons were in a group called The Salty Peppers. They released a couple of regional minor hit singles on Capitol. There is a hard-to-find anthology including these singles, and a handful of unreleased tracks, which I am going to have to order as a lossless download from Qobuz since it has not had a release on CD.

    Enjoy this early track, "Uh Huh Yeah", followed by the b-side "Your Love is Life" (which is an early version of "Love is Live" from their first album, above). On both you can hear some of the early rumblings of EW&F.

    The Pharaohs was another group that Maurice was part of, prior to The Salty Peppers--he played drums, and future EW&F horn section members Louis Satterfield and Don Myrick were part of the group also. The group had two albums.
  6. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Going to try this as a "share" link...

    Fusion Mashup by Rudy™ »

    My "fusion" station on Pandora. Hard to believe I began tweaking it nine years ago!
  7. Mike

    Mike Active Member

    Doing a little end of year/new year house cleaning and I came acroos my old vinyl LP "The Sensational Pete Jolly Gasses Everybody" (Charlie Parker record label). So I gave it a spin and enjoyed the Gershwin tunes immensely. The unique thing about this album is that Pete Jolly plays accordian instead of piano.
  8. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I might have heard him on accordion on one tune on an album of his, but it was surprising to find out the accordion solo on the track "Hucklebuck" from this album was Pete Jolly. But it sort of makes sense, as Jolly was an RCA recording artist.

  9. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I know Pete Jolly also played accordion on several A&M albums too such as The 70s TJB And Lani Hall solo albums.. He Was Very Versatile.
  10. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Spinning tonight:



  11. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Man, I've been looking for a decent Dean Martin album. I'm not seeing much and what I have seen has been beaten to death.
  12. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I picked up the Mobile Fidelity vinyl of that Dean Martin album above at AXPONA last April, and got ahold of an SACD rip (which saved me doing a needle drop) for the music server. It's kind of a neat album since Nelson Riddle did the arrangements, and the bonus track is of course, "Ain't That A Kick in the Head" from Ocean's 11, which Martin featured in the film just about every time he was at a piano. (One scene has him in a combo with Red Norvo...doing the same tune again.) Nelson Riddle arranged the music for the film, so it made sense to throw on this bonus track.

    There is another album called Dream with Dean which has his #1 hit "Everybody Loves Somebody." Got that on a high-res download. :wink: I still remember the word from Stan Cornyn's book Exploding! regarding this song: "triplets." :laugh: (The joke is that since he made a hit on this song that had the "triplet" rhythm, everything from that point on had to be triplets!)

    And I agree--so much of that vinyl from that era was played on console stereos, and not really taken care of. Worse are the early Capitol Sinatra albums, as they were mono, and record players were more crude back then and really tore up the grooves. The only choices these days are to go through numerous clean-looking copies to find a playable version, or get one of the Mobile Fidelity reissues. Sure, the MoFi might be a little pricey, but it probably costs less than trying to find clean, playable original pressings (which can command a lot of money). Dino's albums aren't as popular as Frankie's, but it might take a few stabs at eBay or Discogs to find something suitable.
    Bobberman and DeeInKY like this.
  13. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I've been playing this one again:


    George Duke had some issues perfoming this with the "partially hostile" orchestra (in the spoiler below) but otherwise, it has some nice writing on it.

    This was the hardest thing I've ever done. To think of the amount of music I had to write and orchestrate still gives me a headache.This record is the first in a series of concept records for Warners, which puts in motion the more unorthodox recordings I spoke to Mo Ostin about before I signed with Warners. Matt Pierson, who took over for Mo, at least as far as I am concerned, has taken the same stance. I really appreciate his dedication, honesty, love and support for the music.

    This recording came about as the result of a party at Quincy Jones home. I had three movements in my sequencer. My manager had spoken to Claude Nobs, of the Montreux Festival, about doing a jazz/orchestral evening featuring this piece.

    Quincy Jones was having a birthday party for Claude, so I went to celebrate his birthday and give him the tape to listen to at his leisure. Well, Quincy put it on without my knowledge, and it got very quiet at the party as everyone started to listen intently. After the first movement, Claude and Quincy raved that we had to do this at the Festival that year.

    So, they commissioned me to finish the piece and debut it at the Festival. Matt agreed to release it on Warners. It was really tough dealing with an orchestra that was partially hostile. I won't go into detail because I am very happy to have the Suite documented on CD. However, many, many hours went into fixing these tracks, which should not have happened with musicians of that caliber. I have since performed it with other orchestras with an amazing result.

    The featured musicians are Stanley Clarke on bass, Chester Thompson on drums, and Paulinho Da Costa on percussion.

    Each phase, or movement, represents a different aspect of what Muir Woods means to me. I used to camp there as a young boy, and I remember being frightened and in awe of the giant trees and foliage - the sounds - the smells. I tried to bring all this to the Suite.

    I desired to write music that developed a true symbiotic relationship between orchestra and small jazz band. Though they begin playing separately, they are totally intertwined by the end of the piece. I even have a swing section for the orchestra, and as you musicians know, that is a tall order; but I didn't want my writing to be hampered by the limitations of some men's minds, and the fear of challenging stale attitudes.

    Serious black orchestral writers don't often have the opportunity to have their works performed, so I realize I am blessed to have this chance. Though I don't do this for a living, the challenge along with its rewards make the whole thing worthwhile. Besides, I've always liked breaking down barriers.

    The year is 1993, but we held the release until my next CD, Illusions, had run its' course.
  14. Mike

    Mike Active Member

    I was digging deep into the collection and pulled out Hugh Masekela "The Promise of a Future". Of course this has his best known hit "Grazing in the Grass" but the rest of the album is quite good as well. Now that I'm in the mood I think I'll follow this up with "Hugh Masekela's Next Album"; an LP of '60s pop hits like "Along Comes Mary" and "Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever". Good stuff!

    All the best,
    Rudy likes this.
  15. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I just picked up the new release I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die from George Carlin. It consists mostly of material he recorded for an HBO special that wound up having its title changed and its material being reworked due to the 9/11 attacks. The title of the show (which aired in November 2001) was changed to Complaints and Grievances, which is one of his better latter-day albums.

    I was kind of excited to hear this release, since Complaints was such a good album. I've been a long time Carlin fan and thought it would be interesting to hear what he originally planned to say on that special. Unfortunately, this comes off as a collection of cutting-room-floor material, rather than the "first class Carlin" stuff that's touted on the label. The most disappointing is the title track, which is included twice; first under the title "Uncle Dave," and then in a revised version under the album's title. But the premise of both pieces is the same. The second iteration has horrible sound quality and was obviously recorded from out in the audience, rather than off a sound board.

    The other problem with this material is, it's just not that funny. Carlin was at his best when he did wordplay and observational humor, but this material runs deep into his "angry" persona and a lot of it falls flat. There are a couple of good bits, but it's definitely not ranking with his best material in my book.

    There are a handful of extra bits too... one called "Boston Rant 1957" which is truly disturbing (has a lot of "I hope a lot of cops get killed" sentiments) and a couple of interviews, one from Carlin's friend and manager Jerry Hamza, and the other from his HBO producer Rocco Urbisci. At the end of the day, the two interviews are the best reason to buy this album. I would say this is definitely for "completists" only.
    Rudy likes this.
  16. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    It's Fania Night at Casa Rudy:


    "Songoro Cosongo" is my favorite on that one.

    And some boogaloo:


    I like it like that. :agree: (With some help from Pete Rodriguez, who had a hit with that track back in the day.

    And of course, plenty of Eddie:

  17. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Don't know if anyone has linked to this before, but it kinda made my day... :wink:
    Murray likes this.
  18. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    One of my favorites. :D I can't remember if I have that on any of the DVDs. This one is another favorite, featuring Shorty Rogers:

    It's hard to link Warner Bros cartoons--on YouTube, you can't even upload them without getting a copyright warning. (I tried it.) Yet there are still some up there. :shrug:
    DeeInKY likes this.
  19. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I may have listed this one before?


    The track "Holiday Insane" just came up on Pandora. The music is like a throwback to older jazz fusion. Really like this one.
  20. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Got a new set of tubes for the desktop amp, so I'm playing this via JRiver:


    This definitely needs a 180g LP reissue. :agree:
  21. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I'm currently spinning the new Rick Springfield album, Rocket Science. A lot of people have probably forgotten about him since he hasn't had any huge hits in a long time, but he has consistently put out strong pop/rock albums every year or two over the past decade or so, with most of his music treading a little closer to "hard pop" territory than his most famous hits did. I would say it's a little less hard rock-ish than Cheap Trick.

    The new one is along the same lines -- power pop with extremely catchy melodies and strong performances. Highly recommended if you like good-time rock'n'roll. His previous album from a couple years ago, Songs for the End of the World, was just as outstanding.
    Rudy likes this.
  22. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    It's nice to hear he's still out there and active. I know he was kind of ridiculed for a short time when he was riding the top of the charts ("that soap opera guy"), but that was more of a hiccup along the way.
  23. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Two interesting albums from a group called Monkey House that was recommended to me--streaming them on Tidal at the moment:



    The band was founded by Canadian musician and composer Don Breithaupt, and it is often compared favorably to Steely Dan and Donald Fagen's solo work. In fact, a few Dan alums play on his records: Jay Graydon, Elliot Randall, Drew Zingg and Michael Leonhart. Other guests have included David Blamires (Pat Metheny Group) and Richie Hayward (Little Feat). The first album by Monkey House was Welcome to the Club in 1992, followed by True Winter in 1998. The most recent is Left, from 2016. In some ways it is kind of a nice, melodic throwback to decades past. Nice so far!

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
    AM Matt likes this.
  24. jfiedler17

    jfiedler17 Active Member

    Mike, I wholeheartedly agree with you that Springfield's quietly been in fine form over the last decade. His music definitely has a harder edge now than it did in his commercial heyday (although I do think Working Class Dog is still a pretty rock-solid power-pop album; I like nearly every last song on that disc), but it's just as catchy. Songs for the End of the World definitely deserved much more exposure than it got; that one is jam-packed with great songs. "I Hate Myself" really could have been a massive hit back in the '80s. Same thing with "What's Victoria's Secret?" from Venus in Overdrive; it came out too late in his career to get much attention, but that one is just as catchy as, say, "Jessie's Girl" or "Don't Talk to Strangers."
    Rudy likes this.
  25. AM Matt

    AM Matt Well-Known Member

    I never heard of Monkey House but I am planning on picking up "Headquarters" & "Left" on CD!! Matt Clark Sanford, MI

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