Wednesday, December 28, 2016

All in forms (Bonobo) (LP 77)

Bonobo Black Sands (CDR, 2010) *** 

Genre: Chill

Places I remember: One of my sons, Adam, burned this to a CDR for me.

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles/ Gear costume: When I listen to this stuff I never play one song - instead the whole album has to kind of wash over me.

Active compensatory factors: I don't know much about Bonobo. Wikipedia tells me that his real name is Simon Green, that he's British, a producer and a DJ and that he's based in Los Angeles.

This is his fourth studio album.

Adam suggested I take a listen because I really liked Emancipator's trip hop grooves and Adam's own music, as Bambino Beats and now Bluesleep, is not too dissimilar.

Adam was right - it's sinuous beats and trances pull me in to feed my imagination.

Where do they all belong? Emancipator, Bluesleep, Bambino Beats and Phosphene are all worth your time. Bonobo's website has a gig guide for 2017 - take a look!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Rebel music (Bob Marley) (LP 76)

Bob Marley Natty Dread (CD - Tuff Gong, 1996) ****

Genre: Reggae

Places I remember: The Warehouse, Cambridge

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Them Belly Full (But We Hungry). The combination of reggae's joy (forget your troubles and dance) and pointed political message/ warning (a hungry mob is an angry mob) comes through loud and clear.

Gear costume: Lively Up Yourself, No Woman No Cry

Active compensatory factors: I was a relative late comer to the joys of reggae in general and Bob Marley in particular.

Working at Marbeck's Records gave me access to so many sounds I may not have otherwise heard. In this case it was listening to the Live! (at the Lyceum) album, after reading reviews of it in Sounds, that drew me into those joys.

I have had to backtrack to the studio albums over time. I do not have all of them by any means. I am not a Marley completist. But I do have the heavy hitters and Natty Dread is a heavy hitter.

No more Peter Tosh or Bunny Wailer, this was the first Marley album to move away from the Wailers tag and add his own name. 

It's aged well!

Where do they all belong? Next up - Rastaman Vibration.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The B side of love (National Lampoon) (LP 74 - 75)

National Lampoon Radio Dinner (Cassette - MCA, 1972) **
National Lampoon Goodbye Pop (Vinyl - Epic, 1975) ***

Genre: Comedy

Places I remember: Marbeck's (stickers intact)

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Southern California Brings Me Down

Gear costume: Kung Fu Christmas, Art Rock Suite, Those Fabulous Sixties (from Radio Dinner)

Active compensatory factors: National Lampoon is an American spoof outfit that is kinda working the same adsurb side of the street as Monty Python at times.

Goodbye Pop is the more long lasting listen - featuring Bill Murray and other Lampoon stalwarts, it has some cool musical spoofs of musicians like Neil Young and genres like prog rock.

Radio Dinner is worth a listen for the Beatles spoofs, and a dynamite Lennon parody, but it's mainly spoken word stuff that is rooted in the sixties/ early seventies, so it's quite dated in comparison. 

Where do they all belong? File alongside Monty Python, Robin Williams and Cheech and Chong.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A smooth one (Kenny Burrell) (LP 73)

Kenny Burrell A Generation Ago Today (Vinyl - Verve, 1967) *** 

Genre: Jazz

Places I remember: From my father's collection.

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Rose Room (Carter and Tate in sparkling form)

Gear costume: Stompin' at the Savoy.

Active compensatory factors: My dad was a big Benny Goodman fan, less so of jazz guitar (more a piano guy), so I can see the appeal this album had for him as this album features some of the standards associated with Goodman.

I'm also not much of a jazz guitar guy (more piano and sax) so I don't recall playing this album much as I was growing up. Charlie Christian is also the inspiration here for Kenny but I'm not familiar enough with the work of Christian to appreciate the debt owed.

The stellar line up of Ron Carter (bass) and Grady Tate (drums) is augmented by Phil Woods on sax (described hilariously as a 'capable saxophonist' in the liner notes) and for me, it's these three musicians who make this all sound so effortless.

Where do they all belong? File this one under 'cool jazz'.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Play to win (Al Green) (LP 72)

Al Green I Can't Stop (Vinyl - Blue Note, 2003) ****

Genre: Soul

Places I remember: Marbecks Records

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: You

Gear costume: I Can't Stop

Active compensatory factors: Although recorded in 2003 and produced by Willie Mitchell, this all sounds like classic Al Green to my ears.

And classic Al Green is about as good as it gets - horns, Al's distinctive vocals (although a little less prominent in the mix at times), bass and drums locked in - all here! 

Where do they all belong? Brother Al Green is firmly of the Memphis soul family. Next stop would be a compilation like The Very Best Of Al Green.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sketch for summer (The Durutti Column) (LP 69 - 71)

The Durutti Column The Return of the Durutti Column (Vinyl - Factory Records, 1980) ****
The Durutti Column LC (Vinyl - Factory Records, 1981) ****
The Durutti Column Another Setting (Vinyl - Factory Records, 1983) ***

Genre: Alternative

Places I remember: Marbecks Records

Fab, and all the other pimply hyperboles: Sketch For Dawn (1)

Gear costume: Sketch For Summer (first track on The Return of...)

Active compensatory factors: Lazy, dreamy weekend mornings when I was first with my (now) wife in our New Plymouth flat in the mid eighties were often sound tracked by these records. Especially the first one.

Vini Reilly's crisp, fresh guitar lines delivered evocatively via some colourful and inventive instrumentals were a perfect match for sleepy, sunny morning lie ins.

All three have unique moods but the music (and singing) on LC especially holds up some 30 plus years later. 

Another Setting has a darker mood to it which is fine but didn't match my mid eighties bloom of love mood as well.

Where do they all belong? Although this appears on the Factory Records label (famous home for Joy Division), Pat Methany's jazzy guitar on American Garage is a clear link in my mind.