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JULY 2008



Archived recommendations go back to Spring 2000.

Recently a most unusual jazz collection arrived in London. The whole collection had been bought down in Cornwall (from the deceased collector's quite difficult wife apparently) and was brought back to a small record shop in olde London Town. A feeding frenzy of sorts began and continued over about two maybe thee weeks, with word of the collection reaching all levels of jazz heads, dealers and collectors across the capital and beyond. I don't have the money or extreme jazz knowledge of some of these characters, and so over four different visits to the shop, managed to buy some really great records for £3 or £4, and some not so great for about £15, and something quite superb for a bit more. The pricing policy of the shop was interesting; if it was a repress, a mid 70s LP or later, £3, £4 or £5 was the ticket price. Everything else was marked up according to American Goldmine guides and / or a bit of imagination. So no ebay, no popsike, the shops's good old fashioned philosophy was and very much is still to buy it in, sell it quickly, move on. Many of the under priced period pieces (like rare Tempo LPs) bought by heavyweight dealers ended up on ebay, fetching in many cases four figure sums. Madness. And it started me thinking. But not for long. And it also started me really listening to jazz almost non-stop. I got strangely addicted. And I also began heavily researching ears in dead wax, and phrases like "no Inc no R". All very interesting. Some of the records I bought from that collection now feature in this list. like this first one. That's because I'm still listening to it. And it was three quid. Which is the best three quid I have spent in a while. That's if you don't count the Walnut Whips in M&S, which are currently at 1.99, reduced from 2.99.

WAYNE SHORTER - ETCETERA:
Throughout the mid 70s and early 1980s, Blue Note set about issuing lost sessions by classic artists. Yes, I'm sure you already know that. Anyway, this is one of those. My first question is what the devil are a load of old TVs doing on the front cover. Rubbish idea that one. Musically though, there is no rubbish here at all. I'm still in a state of shock as to exactly how good this is. It's the track called Penelope I can't stop playing. From 1965. Never issued until 1981. Unbelievable really.

WAYNE SHORTER

 

THE NEW TINDERSTICKS ALBUM:
This reminds me of the soundtrack to Klute in some ways. I like this band. They are always interesting.

TINDERSTICKS

MISTER LONELY - J SPACEMAN:
This is not jazz, just a great modern soundtrack album. Not too dissimilar to the ambient oddness of Cliff Martinez, but this seems to go on a step, and without all the marimbas. This also includes a truly superb version of Mr Lonely, like hearing the original track through a haze of morning glory seeds. You might not understand this reference, but it's all to do with sodding around with herbal psychedelics as a feckless, reckless teenager.

MISTER LONELY

 

SUNDAY RIDE:
Killer vocal album this one. Like really good. Like really really good, and only a bit bad in parts. Yeah, people singing, altogether. Brilliant. I have a bitter feeling everytime I listen to this, but that's because of something that happened in the past, and it's not really got anything to do with the singers or the songs or anything. I'll leave out the jokes about Sunday Rides this time.

SUNDAY RIDE

 

SWINGING SUMMER:
This soundtrack was bought for me by Derek on a trip he made to America. Summer is the most perfect time to listen to this as it's all groovy and wiggy and goes really well with girls in bikins, which must be one of my favourite things. I was in the local park a few weeks ago, unusually the sun was out, loads of people were having a lovely time, and about 10 yards away a woman stripped down to her bikini to catch some rays. It was only then that I realised that bikinis are just the same as bras and panties, but with a different name. I'll move swiftly on.

SWINGING SUMMER

 

THE GROOVY SOUND OF MUSIC:
Talking of favourite things, this is a fine LP of instrumental covers. Yes, the entire Sound Of Music soundtrack has been given the Gary Burton vibey makeover. I speak as if it's just happened, but this is from about 1965. A couple of the arrangements are by Gary Mcfarland, which is nice. Only a few weeks ago I was considering doing this whole recommendations page as a Sound Of Music covers page as I have masses of them.

THE GROOVY SOUND OF MUSIC

 

ANOTHER SOUND OF MUSIC COVER RECORD:
Yes, like this one. Very much the lower end of cover versions musically. If anyone knows of a good folky cover version of anything from the Sound Of Music I'd like to know about it. Or like kids singing it or something.

ANOTHER SOUND OF MUSIC COVER RECORD

 

HEAVY SOUL - IKE QUEBEC:
This is one of a pair of Ike Quebec LPs I bought from that collection, and I think the words heavy and soul have never been put together with more relevance than here. I remember when this was available as a Japanese import in the early 1990s, and it was really expensive. The other Ike LP is the Soul Samba one which I reckon goes really well with early evening alcohol and ladies in dresses.

IKE QUEBEC

 

 

DRUM SUITE - ART BLAKEY:
One of the first jazz albums I ever heard. This is going back to Electric Ballroom days. It's fast and a touch furious with killer drums and very good piano too. It's a total classic, even more classic for me as this copy was pressed on Phillips in the UK. Yes, it's a UK pressing of one of the great afro jazz LPs of all time and it's from 1957, and with a slightly different sleeve to its distant relations. Incidentally, there are some very rare Britsh pressings of classic soundtracks for sale in the Tressle Table section of this site. Well there were last time I looked.

ART BLAKEY

 

LA NOTTE:
This is Italian. And Gaslini hits the Trunk turntable again with this rare soundtrack. I must try and work out why I like George so much. His tinkly phrasing I find fascinating. Yes, that may be it.

LA NOTTE

 

HELEN MERRIL:
Super duper, an old Japanese copy of one of the most desirable Merrill LPs out there. I love record collections from Cornwall. As you listen you realise that the lines between Helen as vocalist and Helen the unusual instrument are totally blurred. She sounds like a fluty sax wind thing, but a miserable one here, and it really is quite something, especially when you don't realise she's singing and she really is.

HELEN MERRIL

 

TIREZ SUR LA PIANIST:
A Truffaut classic that I drifted asleep watching. But I woke up and it was still on. Anyway, if you're going to make a classic film, it does help to have a classic theme. And here it is. No prizes for guessing it's a piano based tune. This was given to me by a bloke called Simon, what I did a favour for.

TIREZ SUR LA PIANIST

 

WHO DARES WINS:
The great and nearly forgotten Roy Budd work. It's musically evil, throbbing and very funky all at the same time. If I remember it's quite a good film too, with Lewis Collins coming out of military retirement or something and being all pouty and butch and undercover. Can't remember if there is any nudity in the film, but there sure is a lot of shooting. And gas canisters. And possibly a cake. Or a meringue.

WHO DARES WINS

 

A BARRINGTON LEVY RECORD:
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to DJ at a dub nite. This was interesting because all forms of dub were present - from classic mid 70s Jamaican styles to contemporary and often quite scary, wobbly dubstep. This is one of the tracks I heard that night, played by an unusual character called Earl Gateshead, who apparently is the Trojan Sound System. He dances slightly out of time. I'd not heard anything as simple but as addictive for a while. And I think that is the key with this sound. Sometimes I wish still smoked grass.

BARRINGTON LEVY

 

SILHOUETTE SEGMENTS:
An LP that came to brief prominence when the Incredibly Strange vibe was running through record collectors, and I was put onto this a few years ago by DJ Food. And it's taken me a few years to find a cheapish one, and to be honest I really don't mind the fact there is a slight sticker removal mark on the front. This LP is like Ken Nordine meets God - very groovy, hip, and kind of happening. Rydgren uses pop backgrounds and narrates various religious, druggy, or anti-war skits and sketches over the top. Sounds odd, is odd, especially when he talks about electric cars, creepy crawlies and moo-cows.

SILHOUETTE SEGMENTS

 

NAUGHTY:
Charlie Drake was a great, smallish person. Very charismatic, a bit sweaty and very successful. He made a few records, all darn hard to get hold of as I think the old Rock and Roll crowd like his eps. I bought this at a market, and it has to have one of the great picture sleeves of all time. This very sleeve is now on my bathroom wall.

ALLO MY DARLIN

 

WHAT'S NEW:
Another one I chanced from the jazz collection. I think it was the big bongo sticker on the side and the words Bossa Nova that pushed me over the edge. And yes, there are two very long bossas here, but also this ten minute hypnotic "Jungoso" track on it, just bass, congas and sax. Heavy baby, and it's only 1962.

WHAT'S NEW

 

THE CHITINOUS ENSEMBLE:
Always wanted to hear this LP but any time I've seen it for sale it's had a nasty proggy price tag. That's until I stumbled across it recently in a shop, in a plastic Sainsbury's bag, in amongst a collection of slightly camp soundtracks (between Victor Victoria and Scrooged) and priced accordingly. It's like electric Miles really, weirdly funky, and track two side one is all filmic strings, and seems to be about aliens or something. I'm still in two minds whether to keep it or not. I spoke to my mate John about it, and all he kept going on about was this Chitinous stuff, which is the natural cellulose substance that insects harden their shell with. Like I really care. Well I googled it so I must care a bit. And it's pronounced with a hard "K" (like Kite) and not a "C". Well we've all learned something today haven't we

CHITINOUS

 

POPEYE:
On this album is the track "She Needs Me". Over the last few months it has become a track that lots of people bring to play on my soundtrack radio show. It's sung by Shelly Duval, and has everything wrong and everything right with it at the same time. It was written by Nilsson just for this odd film, and the track later appeared in Punch Drunk Love. I was first put onto it by Steven from The real Tuesday Weld. He also put me onto this chap...

POPEYE

 

AL BOWLLY SINGS:
Apparently this is the man responsible for what we now know as "crooning". He's a fascinating character, and pops up all over the place - like in The Shining, and Withnail and I. He had an interesting life, an interesting death (killed by a flying door), a prolific recording output, and he's one of those people who will not go away. So I thought I might as well make friends with him, you know, get to know him a bit. Apparently there's a 13 LP box set out there somewhere but I think that might be taking it a bit far, and I'd have to have an entire wardrobe rethink too. I've just read that there's an Al Bowlly related film on it's way. This could be a good thing. Or not.

AL BOWLLY

 

A FRENCH SOUNDTRACK COVERS ALBUM:
Musically this is tripe. It's really just here because it's quite a good drawing of a woman with tiny knickers on. I think they're just too small really, but some people like that I'm told.

 FRENCH SOUNDTRACK COVERS

 

DARKSIDE OF THE GOON:
Every now and again a record comes along that is just too daft to leave behind. Here is one such example.

DARKSIDE OF THE GOON

 



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