Also, now that I have an actual point of fact job-- first time since '99-- my time is really not my own. One thing about jobs, the hours are murder. But today I can play. So herewith, my random 10. Only, there are 11 of them. Go figure.
Louis Jordan, “GI Jive,” Louis Jordan: The Anthology. If you love American music and you don’t know Louis Jordan, go out and get this comp now. Both Ray Charles and Chuck Berry were heavily influenced by this cat. Totally swingin’ jumpy jive.
Ray Charles, “Worried Life Blues,” The Birth of Soul Anthology. No, I didn’t plan this. You need this too. If Ray Charles isn’t on your short list of greatest American musicians of the 20th century, he will be after you hear this set, comprised of all his recordings for Atlantic from ’52 to ’59. I can’t say enough about Ray, or about this collection.
Van Morrison, “Green Mansions,” Hymns to the Silence. Just your generic earthy rootsy soulful Van track. Filter Louis and Ray through the 60s and 70s and Celtic soul, and you end up here. Neat 1-2-3. My luck, next song will be the Archies.
Miles Davis Quintet, “Tune Up – When the Lights are Low,” Cruisin’ With
the Miles Davis Quintet. That would be the classic '50s quintet, not to be confused with the classic '60s quintet. Love him. Love TGIRF, because it gives you the chance to discover these old songs in new contexts. Cascades of bebop trumpet over a smooth, confident rhythm anchored by the sublime acoustic bass of Paul Chambers, then later some cool piano… just great stuff. And of course you know that Coltrane was in this band too.
Lindsey Buckingham, “Miranda,” Gift of Screws. Change of pace. Not much different from the arrangement that made its way onto the Fleetwood Mac record Say You Will. Screws was a Lindsey solo record that never came out, but most of the songs ended up on that F-Mac record in largely the same form, but with some Stevie Nicks vocals added in (he’d already used McVie and Fleetwood on the solo sessions.) Trivia fact of TGIRF: Lindsey has a nasty song about an ex on Say You Will, called “Come.” Stevie didn’t want to record it because she thought people would think it was about her. It isn’t; it is about Anne Heche.
Indigo Girls, “Power of Two,” Swamp Ophelia. Beautiful song, one of their most popular when they bust it out live. I think Swamp Ophelia may be their best album; a lot of colors and textures, the broadest sonic palate they’ve used.
Jeff Foskett, “Baby its You,” Stars in the Sand. Nice, catchy, likable little power pop ditty, if a bit generic. Foskett is the big guy who plays the white guitar in Brian Wilson’s touring band.
Neil Young, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” After the Gold Rush. Ah, Neil. Has it really been 37 years since the gold rush?
Marshall Crenshaw, “Blues is King,” Downtown. Back when he was still a contendah, off his third record. Downtown will always remind me of this girl I met at the gym right when it came out, and the whirlwind 30-day fling that followed. I was 26, she was 34. But hot for an old broad.
Santana, “Borboletts,” Borboletta. A short percussion piece from one of his great early 70s records, in an early middle period between commercial peaks but for my money some of his most enduring work; records that sound like Jeff Beck or Derek Trucks, mostly instrumental. This was here and gone though, no guitar, just the rhythm section.
Chuck Berry, “Let It Rock,” The Chess Box. ‘nuff said. Hail, hail rock'n'roll.
Labels: The tunes
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