The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

Rudy

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I kind of overlooked this Bill Evans album--it's one of many that are forgotten among his other Riverside recordings like Waltz for Debby and Live at the Village Vanguard. It was recorded during the sessions that produced the quiet ballad-based Moonbeams album, but How My Heart Sings! is more uptempo and lighthanded. It's a nice companion album. Notable about both of these is that these are the first sessions following the loss of bassist Scott LoFaro in an automobile crash. Drums are still Paul Motian, and Chuck Israels replaces LoFaro here. Evans wouldn't settle in with another bassist at length until he joined up with Eddie Gomez on many albums that followed during his stint at Verve. Still, Israels sits in nicely and this makes for some great musicmaking.

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I think my admiration of Bill Evans' recordings is due to his very lyrical approach to playing--if you really listen, you can get absorbed into his work on the piano, and admire the telepathy among the trio. Yet as background music, it also works admirably--it's easygoing, relaxing, and still catches your attention with occasional licks.
 

AM Matt

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I do have the original RCA Victor 1977 (reissued in 1989 on CD) copy of "The Best Of Roger Whittaker". The song "Dirty Old Town" is the only song that I do NOT like (which was also done by Rod Stewart on 1969 Mercury "The Rod Stewart Album"). The song "I Don't Believe In If Any More" went to # 26 (Billboard's Adult Contemporary Charts) in August 1970. Then return to the AC Charts (same song) & went to # 10 in October 1975!! Also his second biggest hit behind "The Last Farewell" in 1975. The song "I Don't Believe In If Any More" reminds me of Northern Michigan's wilderness roads as well as the Upper Penisula!! Here is a performance (lip sync):
 

Rudy

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Tonight I had a few hours with the turntable going...

Tamba 4: California Soul (twice through, at different times--working on an official review of it).
The Mavericks: Hey! Merry Christmas!
Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Analogue Productions pressing)
TJB: Christmas Album
Patsy Cline: Greatest Hits (I had to hear "Crazy" today for some reason :wink: )
Rosemary Clooney/Perez Prado: A Touch of Tabasco
Henry Mancini: Pink Panther soundtrack
Antonio Carlos Jobim: Stone Flower
(the above four were the 45 RPM 2-LP versions)
Antonio Carlos Jobim: Wave (AM+ version)
Hugh Masekela: "Don't Go Lose It Baby" from Technobush (best version, original from the album--the remixes all suck!)

For some reason, I'm having trouble remembering if I ever owned Paul Desmond's From The Hot Afternoon in its AM+ version. I swore I did, but I can't find it anywhere. I've had two CD versions of it, but I clearly remember compiling some of my AM+ records on a tape back in the mid 80s. My mother had it in its original A&M/CTi pressing, along with his two other A&Ms. I'm going to have to watch closely for a sealed copy.
 

Michael Hagerty

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Finished up the Christmas playlist for our dinner Christmas night---went out to do some errands in the car and decided to catch up on some music I'd missed when new. There's very little of Van Morrison's catalog that I don't like (speaks to my Irish soul, I guess), and 1999's BACK ON TOP is a new (to me) favorite. Seems like Van re-introduced some blues into what had, for the previous 20 years, been a very smooth sound:

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Michael Hagerty

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Also spent a little time with John Coltrane's BLUE WORLD. I added it to my albums on Apple Music based on a recommendation from Jazz Times. It's a collection of unreleased takes from 1964 that just came out in September. My guess is that Coltrane, at that time on the verge of the A LOVE SUPREME album, thought this was too traditional. But I find that album and what Coltrane did afterward beyond my endurance (I appreciate the genius and the innovation, but I can't sit through half an hour of it at a sitting), so this is more my speed:

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Rudy

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But I find that album and what Coltrane did afterward beyond my endurance (I appreciate the genius and the innovation, but I can't sit through half an hour of it at a sitting) .....
I feel that way about a lot of the jazz out there. I like some creativity and genius, but I can't get into the really noodly stuff, especially much of what Blue Note put out in its "classic" years (as one example). Bores me to tears. I need a more melodic element on which to build solos, not just eight bars of a head arrangement and ten minutes of pointless noodling. What's ironic to me is that this sounds like it could apply to something like Kind of Blue yet I know just about every note on that record. I think the difference is that the soloing sounds more like they are building melodies out of Miles' framework, vs. just going off on wild tangents with no purpose or sense of direction. And Coltrane's earlier albums as well. There was just something so different about his playing early on, it's no surprise he took off in his own direction with A Love Supreme.

I'm similarly split about many of ECM's recordings. Some that incorporate a rich melody will draw me in. Some others are just way too out there for my taste. But I still admire Manfred Eicher's work and the direction he's guided ECM over the years.
 

Rudy

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This has to be one of the best vocal performances I've heard of Marty Robbins' "El Paso"...Raul nails it. His range is incredible.

 

Rudy

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I love The Mavericks new (well a couple months old) version of Did Hank Really Do It This Way.
Aaah yes, this one:


The whole record has a lot of great remakes on it--"Swingin'" (John Anderson) might be my favorite but there are many good ones. There are a lot of country songs on this record, but they do a really nice cover of "Once Upon A Time", with Raul and Martina McBride singing the parts of Marvin Gaye and Mary Wells, and I like the swing treatment of "Don't Be Cruel" (Elvis).

The Mavs didn't do this one on record (yet), but Raul has done it many times in concert, including a gig at The Ryman. This solo version comes with a bonus story involving Willie Nelson and the Library of Congress... :laugh:

 

Mr Bill

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I've been cycling through the TJB Christmas Album and Herb's Christmas Wish. For Christmas my son got me Over The Rainbow, which I've been enjoying thoroughly. Still waiting for my CD of Skafish's debut album, Skafish, which Jim Skafish re-acquired the rights to and has remastered for release on his own label... The NPR interview with him was very interesting.

--Mr Bill
 

Moritat

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Yesterday I listened to the best Tamba 4 lp ever, We And The Sea. Possibly the best jazz offering on A&M / CTI. The day before I listed to Smokin At The Half Note by Wes Montgomery & Wynton Kelly. This morning I'm listening to an lp titled That Paris Mood by Jackie Paris. It's a 10" lp from 1956 on Coral.
 

Michael Hagerty

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Played The Beatles' ABBEY ROAD and Santana's ABRAXAS all the way through for the first time in a long time yesterday. Both great albums that still hold up.
 

Rudy

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I did stream the remixed Abbey Road and honestly hear no difference; I did not directly compare them, though. I normally listen to it maybe once every five years, so that has something to do with it also. 😁

The first Santana album is still my favorite--the sound on the 2-LP 45 RPM set is fantastic. The recording is somewhat sloppy, so there is a lot of leak-through on the instruments at times (mostly during their "jam" tunes) and you can tell how in sync they are musically. It may be a favorite largely due to it feeling the most spontaneous of those I've heard.
 

AM Matt

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Listening to the late Warren Zevon's "The Wind" (2003). The song "Keep Me In Your Heart" (last song on the CD) is a great song. Warren also does the remake of Bob Dylan 1973 song "Knockin' On Heaven's Door". David Letterman was a big fan!!!
 

Harry

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I did stream the remixed Abbey Road and honestly hear no difference; I did not directly compare them, though. I normally listen to it maybe once every five years, so that has something to do with it also. 😁
I made a similar statement elsewhere and was immediately directed to compare "Here Comes The Sun". The original mix had an almost two-room stereo effect with a guitar in the hard left and Harrison's vocals toward the right. The new mix balances that out with the guitar moved to a gentle left, and Harrison's vocals centered. Not a big deal, but it does sound better in headphones.
 

Michael Hagerty

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Just decided to let my album collection (by title) on Spotify play in the car, so yesterday it was Steely Dan's AJA and U2s ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND. AJA is every bit as good as I have ever thought it was. I'm not a massive U2 fan, but I find this album very easy to listen to all the way through.
 

Rudy

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I'm not a huge U2 fan but The Joshua Tree has always been very special to me, and given its "Great American West" theme, it makes for a great road trip album. Especially with the "expanded" version I created. I based it on the idea that they had intended it to be a double album, and the non-album tracks are very strong (, too good to be relegated to bonus tracks. The running order was based on interviews with the band, and occasional mentions of how they felt the songs fit together. The album IMHO works great with both its original running order and the expanded version. The Unforgettable Fire also works nicely, as it introduces the same production and sound, being the prior album to The Joshua Tree. It takes me a bit to get into later albums but I do need to more fully explore All That You Can't Leave Behind.

Aja...yes, such a classic on many fronts, especially the musicianship! I don't play it often--I kind of overplayed it decades ago, so I tend to play it less now so I don't totally burn out on it. Probably one of the top 50 albums I own, if not top 5.
 

Rudy

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This just arrived yesterday. The packaging was so immaculate from Japan that I didn't want to open it! But I opened it, ripped it to the server and I'm giving it a quick spin before heading out.

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This one features a version of "Canto de Ossanha" that is similar to what would appear on We and the Sea. Fans of Lani Hall's rare Brazilian album will recognize "Minha," which opens that album. Tamba Trio's version adds strings that give it a somber mood. The tune "Iemanja" on this album is a different tune than the one that appears on We and the Sea; this one is at a faster tempo and has the Trio's usual twists and turns with tempo.

If you want to hear where Brasil '66 stole "Pra Dizer Adeus" from (including some of the vocal inflections), this arrangement is very similar, and in the same key, with Luiz Eca handling the sole lead vocal, with the others in the trio backing him up during the choruses. It's also at a less dirge-like tempo, with a nice Luiz Eca solo towards the end of it.

"Tristeza/No Carnaval" is an interesting six minute track towards the end of the album--it's the "Tristeza (Goodbye Sadness)" you know from Astrud Gilberto (with Walter Wanderley) and Brasil '66, but done the "Tamba way." Interesting to note that the opening bass notes are the same ones that open "O Morro" on We and the Sea. This tune then drifts into a nice Bossa/jazz groove once the first verse is recited, and it fades into "No Carnaval" halfway through.

The album ends with the well-known tune "Veleiro," in a nice instrumental version led by Bebeto's flute, then Luiz Eca's piano, with the string section intersecting for punctuation.

Overall a really nice little album from 1966! It's one of the better early Tamba Trio albums thanks to its variety, and the flexibility of the Trio's members.
 

Rudy

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You can hear this entire album on YouTube for the time being--my guess it won't last long until it's taken down.

 

DAN BOLTON

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Swing Out Sister "Shapes And Patterns" is a great CD!! Here is the music video for "Somewhere in The World"
Good stuff, light and breezy...Corinne looks better with long hair, IMO; and I really think that she comes into her own when the group does Motown covers like Am I The Same Girl and La La La (Means I Love You).
 

Rudy

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New year, new music!

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Michael Franks: The Music in my Head

I've been a fan of Franks since the mid 1980s and have enjoyed a lot of memorable moments listening to some of his best recordings. A favorite to this day remains his major label debut, The Art of Tea. There is something about its understated elegance that resonates with me, and that style of music is a perfect vehicle for his lyrics. Much like Franks himself, the music is unassuming and works so well on a subtle level that even if you're not listening directly to the lyrics (yet who can resist singing along in their heads?), there is just something so soothing to his approach that belies the intelligent lyrics he always manages to put on record.

He went through an "electric" era in the mid 80s but with the album Blue Pacific, he returned to his original style, yet updated it to reflect current trends in music. His albums like Sleeping Gypsy, Abandoned Garden (a tribute to the recently departed Antonio Carlos Jobim) and Rendezvous in Rio all dig deep into a Brazilian feel, while not explicitly being Bossa Nova records. The Music in my Head stylistically covers a similar ground with the easygoing Brazilian lilt to the rhythms, while staying in that low-key mode that has been his trademark since The Art of Tea. So far, I'm finding the lyrics are every bit as clever as his past work. This is evident in song titles like "Suddenly Sci-Fi," "The Idea of a Tree," "Where You Hid The Truth" and "Bebop Headshop." A former English teacher, Franks does a lot with lyrics that keep his music interesting.

A nice little album! It's one I'll be returning to quite often in these dark winter months.
 

Bobberman

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As I've been programming my newest device ( a higher capacity galaxy tab A 2019 tablet with a higher storage capacity) I recently copied my 58.000 track plus laptop audio playlist to an SD card and I got the device over the holidays and I'm happy to say my complete music and spoken word collection is backed up I been listening to the tamba 4 albums "We and the sea" and "Samba Blim" which I bought as as a download recently along with some of my favorite latin flavored music already existing it's nice to give the computer a well deserved break sometimes
 

Rudy

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I have been playing the first single from this one at least a couple of times per day in my rotation. The pre-release track "America Undefined," which I pointed out earlier from Pat Metheny's upcoming From This Place.

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I guess time will tell if this is Metheny's magnum opus, but the incredibly dense, structured "America Undefined" makes it seem like it could be one of his finest works regardless. He hasn't done such work on a broad scope since his stellar Secret Story album, or perhaps his 67-minute suite, The Way Up, which was the last recording of the Pat Metheny Group. "America Undefined" is much darker than either of these two albums, and pulls together bits and pieces of things from his past works, including similar random background chatter that graced the As Falls Wichita album with Lyle Mays decades ago. It wraps up near the end with a really huge orchestral swell that fills the room, feeling like a massive unleashing of power.

The second pre-release track from this new record, "You Are," is also dark in mood, and built around a simple two-note motif, growing from a solo piano into a full orchestral swell. The odd (?) thing about this track (and "America Undefined" to a lesser extent) is how little Pat's guitar makes an appearance. He composed and arranged all of the tracks, but left the orchestral parts unwritten, letting his two collaborators orchestrate them as they saw fit.

Special thanks to Qobuz for having the hi-res stream of these preview tracks. The sound is amazingly detailed and powerful. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.
 

Rudy

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This was playing last night...in honor of Neil Peart's passing.

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I don't care what the fans or Rush snobs think, but Hold Your Fire is perhaps my favorite album of theirs (especially Peart's lyrics), right up there with Moving Pictures and Signals. I may re-read one of his books soon as well--his travelogues are as easygoing and conversational as his many interviews throughout the years.

I wondered why I'd never heard anything from him in a few years...now I know why. (He used to work on a couple of scattered projects, or a book, in his downtime.) And it makes me wonder if he didn't know something was up when he committed to only 30 tour days for Rush's R40 tour back in 2015, and the others seemed to offer closure to Rush as a touring band in interviews from 2016 onward.

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