Monday, January 17, 2005


I'm not sure how many people will be reading today, since it's a holiday. I'll try to get to Tin Tin before the week is through.

Meanwhile, here are two songs that I'm listening to a lot these days.

[Quick note for people who don't usually read this blog. I don't really like jazz, so when I post jazz tracks, as I am today, it's unlikely that you'll be hearing a drummer going nuts on the hi-hat while a saxophone bleats endlessly in the distance and a bass plunks hither and thither. Today's track could probably appeal to, oh say, your average Tago Mago fan, not that it sounds like Can or anything. That's my sloppy way of saying, "not necessarily for jazz fans only."]

I think I've posted from the vast majority of jazz fusion pioneer Larry Coryell's sixties albums, but I never did get around to his debut on Chico Hamilton's The Dealer. I held off buying that album for a long time, thinking that since it was Coryell's debut with an established bandleader, his eclectic influences might be held in check. True, it's a much more trad album than what would come later, but it's also a pretty great record, with some strange stuff scuttling around the edges. My favorite track (predictably enough) is A Trip, which is a little more experimental than usual. The end of the track is pretty, um, trippy, with what sounds like guitar feedback swelling over a randomly bowed bass as the drums finally relax after keeping a pretty strict groove for the rest of the song.

For a more "jazz" approach to the album, here's a neat and enthusiastic review of the track For Mods Only. I just don't know enough about jazz to feel comfortable writing in that type of voice, but each time I reread that piece it makes me want to run out and buy another copy of The Dealer.

Totally unrelated to that, here's the somewhat lost 60's group Mortimer with a song called Singing To The Sunshine. If you've heard Cardinal's album (Cardinal being Richard Davies and Eric Matthews, who collaborated on a fairly classic one-off) you've heard a remake of this track. For some reason, the liner notes credit the original writers but don't give the name of the band (I'm referring to the CD issue of Cardinal...not sure if the vinyl is the same) and the liner notes are kind of tiny, so I'll bet a lot of people aren't even aware that this is a cover. Anyway, the original is very nice, as is the rest of the Mortimer album, though I'm not sure it's worth spending big bucks to get the vinyl (I don't think it's yet made it to CD). Pitchfork discovered the album back in 2003, though they didn't bother to mention the Cardinal connection (probably because they're evil) .

If you can read French, here's a recent overview of Richard Davies. Looks like the mp3s are still up too (as I write this). Incidentally, it looks like the Cardinal CD has turned into a bit of a collector's item since last I checked. Wishing Tree was supposedly working on a reissue with bonus tracks, but I haven't seen any news about that in a while, nor have I heard anything about the Richard Davies solo album "Tonight's Music" that was supposed to come out last year. Hmmmm.

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