Thursday, May 24, 2018

Touchdown (Bob James) (LP 240)

Bob James All Around The Town (Vinyl - CBS, 1981) *****

Genre: Cool Jazz  

Places I remember:  Marbecks Records (Queen's Arcade, Auckland)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: We're All Alone

Gear costume Angela, Stompin' At The Savoy, and the rest!

Active compensatory factors: You'll instantly know at least one track on this album - Angela (Theme From "Taxi"). It's a muscular version on show here.

As are the rest of these songs - recorded with a variety of combos. All of Bob's strengths are on show and none of his weaknesses (polite production I'd call it).

We're All Alone is a peak. I remember Roger Marbeck playing this and I remember the first time I heard it. Those horns rip!!

And, before you yell - what about the lack of continuity between these live cuts?? Why haven't you taken a point off for that huh?? This isn't like a rock album where I really need to feel it's a cohesive live document. This is jazz! Cool jazz.

Where do they all belong? A 'best of' compilation is probably your next safest bet with the prolific Bob.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Right on y'all ( Alphonse Mouzon) (LP 239)

The Eleventh House Introducing The Eleventh House With Larry Coryell (vinyl - Vanguard, 1974) ****

Genre: Jazz Fusion  

Places I remember: Real Groovy Records (Auckland) 

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Yin

Gear costume:  The Funky Waltz

Active compensatory factors: Jazz Fusion is a rich place to live. All sorts of great bands and musicians reside there.

But, it's not for the faint of heart! Try Yin which kicks off side two frinstance (as featured above). Driving intensity from bass, drums, with solo synth, trumpet (Randy Becker wailing man), and main man Larry Coryell's guitar.

It's a fusion version of Chasin' The Trane from the previous post. Glorious!!

It's not all as intense as Yin - there is light and shade along the way. And FUNK - check out Mouzon's Funky Waltz!

The lack of vocals gives this more gravitas too. Just sayin'.

Where do they all belong? More vinyl Eleventh House to come.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spiritual (John Coltrane) (LP 238)

John Coltrane Coltrane "Live" At The Village Vanguard (vinyl - MCA records, 1962) *****

Genre: Jazz

Places I remember: Marbecks Records (Queen's Arcade, Auckland)  

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Chasin' The Trane

Gear costume: Spiritual, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise 

Active compensatory factors: 
My family hated me playing this album. It's not music to use as a background, to let wash over you or to allow the ambience to soak into the atmosphere.

This is music from another dimension. It's called 'jazz' but in many ways John Coltrane is his own genre.

Breath-taking is an over used expression - as in 'it took my breath away' and while it does do that, in this context, it also means controlled breathing - and catch your breath. 

Don't get it? Play Chasin' The Trane. Listening to it can be exhausting unless you breathe properly!

It's intense!

You have to engage with it, control your reaction, live it!

I love this critics description: a torrential and anguished outpouring, delivered with unmistakable power, conviction, and near-demonic ferocity.

That's why my family hated me playing this album!

Where do they all belong? Crescent and A Love Supreme are next up.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Who's bad? (Michael Jackson) (LP 237)

Michael Jackson Bad (Vinyl - Epic, 1987) ***

Genre: Soul 

Places I remember: Marbecks Records (Queen's Arcade, Auckland)  

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Man In The Mirror

Gear costume: Bad

Active compensatory factors: I grew up with Michael (I'm a few months older than him) and he defined the times along the way quite well. The Jackson 5 years, Ben, and the solo albums up to and including Thriller were signposts of our mutual love of music and development as people.

In 1987, the news eventually broke about Thriller's follow up - a long 18 minute video/song called Bad. Huh?

I had the VHS recorder all set to record the debut of Bad (it was an event!) and I did, but, in the end, the whole thing was a little risible to be honest. 

Now it's as easy as a couple of clicks to find:

By 1987 I was a father of two, and the pop of Bad indicated to me that he was stuck in perpetual Peter Pan mode.

I hung in there through to Dangerous but really, I was going through the motions. Hoping for the best. But it turns out he'd already peaked.

Where do they all belong? In many ways Bad was the end of the pop prince. Dangerous is next and the start (and end) of the self-styled King of Pop.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Feel so good (Rick Nelson) (LP 235 - 236)

Rick Nelson Rick Nelson In Concert (Vinyl - Decca, 1970) **
Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band Rudy The Fifth (Vinyl - Decca, 1971) ***

Genre: Rock'n'Roll  

Places I remember: Real Groovy Records (Auckland)  

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: 
Sing Me A Song (a peaceful easy feeling).

Gear costume: Red Balloon and Louisianna Man and a hint of the country vibe that would become more prevalent as Rick went on. 

Active compensatory factors: In Concert is also with the same guys who became The Stone Canyon Band but it lacks atmosphere! Big time.

Curious because Rick Nelson is my go-to for laid back atmosphere. His voice is so damn easy! As in effortless and wonderful. 

Although the album was a success back in 1970 (the concert at the Troubadour was actually in 1969) it seems tentative with only three Nelson originals in the set. Playing it safe seldom works in the music world.

Rudy The Fifth is still Rick in transition - rock'n'roll moves like his own Gypsy Pilot, Feels So Good, a Honky Tonk Women cover and Dylan covers are mixed with some gospel (Thank You Lord) and, my favourite, country rock (Sing Me A Song).

Where do they all belong? Windfall and more Rick Nelson coming on CD.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Blood (Anthrax) (LP 234)

Anthrax Persistence Of Time (Vinyl - Island, 1990) ***

Genre: Heavy Metal 

Places I remember: Mail order record club, delivered to Wakefield, Nelson, NZ

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Got The Time (still love this MTV video)

Gear costume: Blood

Active compensatory factors: Energy and passion get me every time. Whereas I find the guttural vocals of modern metal frankly laughable rather than scary, and the hyper speed drumming of Slayer off putting, I remain a fan of Anthrax style metal.

Okay, having said that I haven't actually played this album at all in the past 28 years. 

So  apart from Got The Time ( because time got the time tick tick tickin' in my head is a memorable hook), playing this again in 2018 was like listening to a new album.

Although, having said that, Blood I remember for some reason - maybe an MTV video at the time? Keep It In The Family is familiar as well. I must have listened to this more than I thought back in the (28-years-ago) day.

Apart from those songs though (and Got The Time of course) the album cruises on in much the same way - coulda used some more hooks and some variety I guess but then this is heavy metal after all, right? Don't mess with the formula!

Must mention the cover before I go with its surreal Salvador Dali style. I'll hang onto the album for that alone.

Where do they all belong? Pre-tattooed golden age nineties metal, file alongside Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Rock and roll, hoochie koo (Rick Derringer) (LP 232-233)

Rick Derringer All American Boy (Vinyl- Epic, 1973) ***
Rick Derringer Derringer Live (Vinyl- CBS, 1977) ***

Genre: Power Pop  

Places I remember: Real Groovy Records (Auckland) 

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Teenage Love Affair (two versions for y'all - studio and live - you choose!)

Gear costume Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo; Jump Jump, Jump (guitar chops galore); Beyond The Universe

Active compensatory factors: Rick seems to have been around forever. In 1965, age 17, he was that voice on The McCoys' Hang On Sloopy, and he's still singing and playing in 2018 (a rarity for Goo Goo artists).

Teenage Love Affair and Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo did the trick for me in 1973. And they still do, although my response isn't as hormone fuelled as it was as a 15 year old male desperate to meet a cute little thing about 15 who liked to make the school boys stare!

Four years on and Derringer Live only has three All American Boy songs. New recruits to the gig list almost hold their own with the others. Almost. 

Best amongst them is the Hendrix-ian Beyond The Universe - sure 'nuff!!

Bottom line: the studio versions are still where things are captured best for Rick (but I hope you had a look at that live version above - Rick TEARS IT UP!!!).

Where do they all belong? Solo debut All American Boy was the best studio album, a few live albums to come on CD that sum up the years since this peak.