Monday, August 31, 2009

10 albums a day #31

John Lennon & Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy (1980, CD)
John Prine - John Prine (1971, CD)
Johnny Cash - Giant Hits (CD)
Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back the Clock (1988, LP)
Johnny Paycheck - Super Hits (CD)
Johnny Van Zant - Brickyard Road (1990, CD)
Joni Mitchell
- Ladies of the Canyon (1970, CD)
- Court and Spark (1974, CD)
- Night Ride Home (1991, CD)
Journey - Escape (1981, LP)

I apologize for that first cover, since I'm sure it will offend someone. I know it offends me. I haven't yet deleted the tracks on which Yoko Ono's voice may be heard, but the first time one of them turns up in the shuffle and I'm in a bad mood, they'll all be gone.

John Prine is another great song writer who you may not have heard of but you've probably heard someone else singing one of his songs and didn't know it. This was his first album and I should have more. I bought this in the early-mid-90s when I was working the swing shift and I had to kill some time before work. I ended up in a CD Exchange and came out with this CD. I first heard of Prine via The Tumbleweed Connection (see below). He might sometimes be heard on KNBT, the Americana station in New Braunfels.

The Cash and Paycheck CDs are similar, in that I think they must be some kind of bootleg and my wife probably found them both at Dollar General. Regarding both: I have seen the exact same list of songs but under different titles (Super Hits, Great Hits, Biggest Hits, Astoundingly-Super-Duper-Colossal Hits, etc.) and with different cover photos at least a half dozen times. Each one is a collection of the songs you would be most likely to hear played on a classic country station, except that the Johnny Cash CD doesn't have "A Boy Named Sue."

Johnny Van Zant is the youngest of THE Van Zant brothers. I bought this album as a new release when he had a minor hit with the title track. I think he is now the lead singer of current lineup of Skynyrd. The music on this album is closer to 38 Special than to Skynyrd.

I like Joni Mitchell. Court and Spark is my favorite of the three, which I bought because I heard some stuff from it on a Sunday-morning radio program that KZEP used to run called The Tumbleweed Connection (this was back in the 80s). Then I bought Night Ride Home as a new release, and the other one later on just to hear some of her earliest stuff. Ladies has her original version of "Woodstock" which later became a big hit for Crosby, Stills & Nash.

Album count: 314.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

10 albums a day #30

Jeff Beck - Blow By Blow (1975, cassette), Wired (1976, cassette)
Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat (1987, LP)
Jerry Reed - Best of (CD)
Jethro Tull - The Broadsword and the Beast (1982, LP)
Jim Croce - Greatest Hits (CD)
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced? (1967, CD), Radio One (1989)
Jimmie Rodgers - The Essential Jimmie Rodgers (CD)
John Cougar Mellencamp - Rain on the Scarecrow (1985, CD)

My only two albums from Jeff Beck start this list as I get back into the general collection. I really like these, found them both in a clearance bin sometime in the 80s and they still sound great. Since converting them to mp3 I have been trying to listen to them more often. I wish that more rock guitarists would have taken his example and recorded more solo/instrumental albums. I recommend both of these for instrumental rock that brings in influences from jazz, blues, funk, electronic music, the works.

You may know Jennifer Warnes as the woman who sang the 70s hit "Right Time of the Night," which I like, or "Up Where We Belong" with Joe Cocker or "I've Had the Time of My Life" with Bill Medley--and those last two songs I hope I never hear again. Nevertheless, she has a great voice, and this album is a collection of songs written by Leonard Cohen. Cohen is a great song writer, but in my opinion he should have stuck with writing and not recorded anything himself. Listening to him sing his own songs is an ordeal, to say the least. Anyhow, "Bird on a Wire" from this album was playing on the radio a lot and I liked it so I bought the album. One song was written by Warnes herself, but it sounds like it could have been written by Cohen. This is one of my favorite albums.

Jerry Reed is another childhood favorite. I never got into Jethro Tull much, I know have another record of theirs, titled A, but that may be it. I bought this one because a cousin of mine recommended it to me way back when. I might have another record or two that I accumulated used long ago but I'm not sure. I do enjoy this album quite a lot. The Jim Croce CD was more filling-in-the-blanks.

Radio One was a show that Hendrix recorded for BBC radio. My copy is a dupe tape made from a co-worker's CD. I'm not really a big fan of his, but I recognize his place in music history. Are You Experienced? was purchased because I felt that I needed to be able to study his music more closely than just casual radio listening. I think I have another one or two records from used sources that I haven't ripped.

I bought the Jimmie Rodgers CD for my own personal musical education. I don't really enjoy listening to the whole thing at one shot, but hearing him turn up in the shuffle now and then is fine.

Mellencamp is another one who I usually like hearing on the radio but I never got into him much. I might hunt down a "best of" compilation sometime. Scarecrow is a very powerful album, however, and it has several songs that I consider among the best (even though if the S ever HTF we're probably going to be on opposite sides of the political divide). I also have Uh-Huh on LP but I haven't ripped it.

Album count: 304.

The day so far...

All times approximate.

12:20 AM - Awakened by wife complaining about the dog barking.
12:25 AM - Shot skunk.*
12:30 AM - Began watching early-morning King of the Hill before falling asleep again.
7:00 AM - Morning coffee w/ a couple donuts and blog-reading.
8:00 AM - Buried skunk.
8:30 AM - Began weekly computer maintenance routine (download updates, run scans).
8:35 AM - Washed water pitchers & tea pitcher. Made fresh tea.
9:00 AM - Put dirty work clothes in washer.
9:10 AM - Started cleaning up bedroom to find missing Boy Scout/Girl Scout patches & badges.
9:30 AM - Moved clothes from washer to drier.
10:30 AM - Found missing patches & badges.
10:35 AM - Folded and hung up work clothes.
10:50 AM - Moved big stack of tapes, records & CDs back to the tape, record & CD shelves.
11:00 AM - Wife and daughter left for Girl Scout recruitment event.
11:30 AM - Finished weekly computer maintenance routine. Began unnecessary defrag just for kicks.
12:00 PM - Sandwiches for lunch.
12:15 PM - Went to sleep during Monster Buster Club.
12:45 PM - Woke up during Spiderman.
1:00 PM - Cleaned out truck.
1:30 PM - Went to town, bought new tie-out for the dog trolley.
2:00 PM - Picked up daughter.
2:15 PM - Dropped off daughter at birthday party.
2:30 PM - Installed new tie-out cable on dog trolley.
2:35 PM - Rebooted after second drive defrag finished.
2:45 PM - Drank several glasses of iced tea.
2:55 PM - Let the demons out of a small (empty) bottle of Stetson cologne.**
3:00 PM - Cleaned & reamed four pipes.
3:20 PM - Began this blog post.

Amazing. I feel like I haven't done much of anything today. And I'll tell ya, if it weren't for the skunks, I'd never shoot anything anymore.

*A .410 loaded with #6 shot has become my standard anti-varmint gun. It would be nice to have some kind of .410 repeater, though.

**Easy to do, to get the last microdrops of cologne out of the bottle. Just sit the bottle upright and hold a match over the opening. PHOOPPHH!!! (Best done outside). If I can get it to not smell so much like cologne anymore, I'm going to use it to hold Everclear for cleaning pipes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"kind of a monster"

From National Review Online:
I don't know if you know this or not, but one of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself. And he would ask people, "have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?" That is just the most amazing thing. It's not that he didn't feel remorse about the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, but that he still always saw the other side of everything and the ridiculous side of things, too.
Yeah, kind of.

via Ride Fast

10 albums a day #29

The Best of the Big Bands (double CD)
Walter Bishop, Jr. - Hot House (1978)*
Willis Jackson
- In the Alley (1977)*
- The Gator Horn (1977)*
- Single Action (1978)*
Yellowjackets - Greenhouse (1991, CD)

*Downloaded from Kathleen Loves Music.

And now we come to the end of the jazz section (for now). The Best of the Big Bands was picked up somewhere by my wife, and the title describes the contents pretty well. 24 pieces that are now timeless classics from Glenn Miller Orchestra, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

Walter Bishop, Jr. is a pianist and on this album he is accompanied by bass, trumpet and tenor sax.

Willis Jackson is a tenor sax player who is accompanied by full bands on these albums (piano/organ, guitar, bass, drums, percussion). Jackson also used a custom-designed saxophone-like horn that he called "The Gator Horn" which can be heard on side B of the album of that name. You can see a bigger picture of it here.

Yellowjackets are another "fusion" group. I bought this album from some music club in '91 when I started trying to expand my jazz collection, but the club had woefully little jazz, or even "jazz." This one's okay, but I never got into it enough to hunt down any more of their stuff.

There are also 10 or 12 random singles that I downloaded from here & there (which include my only Dave Sanborn), and 11 sampler CDs from Jazziz magazine. I subscribed to Jazziz during 1995. Each issue comes with a sampler CD, mostly of modern jazz and newer releases. I had to let it go due to fiscal concerns (the 90s were dark years for me, monetarily). I looked into re-subscribing not long ago but their price is pretty steep, and I put it off. I might get back into it sometime, though. It was really nice getting all that new unknown music once a month.

And in the interest of full disclosure, there are two Kenny G CDs in my house which I have ripped, and my wife bought both of them. However, I have put them in a separate directory with some other odd stuff that I call "Other MP3s." I tried...oh how I tried to keep them in the general collection so that they could turn up in the shuffle, but I got tired to skipping past them so I just moved them to the other directory.

Album count, including the 11 Jazziz and 2 Kenny G CDs: 294.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

This just in...

A brand new CD that I am looking forward to hearing. I have been feeling terrible today--I think I'm catching something. Just had supper, took a shower, and now at 6:30 I am going to take some NyQuil and go to bed.

10 albums a day #28

All various artists.

Classic Jazz Solos (2001, CD) and The Best of Jazz, Rhythm & Blues (1994, CD) were found at Dollar General(!). Modern Jazz (1986) is an out-of-print CD release from Radio Shack that was emailed to me by a reader. The rest are free samplers downloaded from Amazon.

The Ropeadope sampler is a mixture of jazz and other stuff. I put the jazz tracks in this section and the rest elsewhere. The Brazilian music sampler is mostly jazz of the South American/Latin variety.

Album count: 275.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

10 albums a day #27

Passport - Man in the Mirror (1983, LP)
Pat Metheny/Pat Metheny Group
- American Garage (1980, cassette)
- Offramp (1982, CD)
- Still Life (Talking) (1987, CD)
- Question and Answer (1989, CD)
- Secret Story (1992, CD)
Stanley Turrentine - Sugar (1970, CD)
Teresa Brewer and the Dixieland Band (1959, LP)
Thomas Jefferson and His Dixieland All Stars - If I Could Be With You (1974, LP)
Various Artists - First Class Jazz (1984, CD)

Pat Metheny is another of my favorites, although he is sneered at by many jazz fans because he uses those newfangled electronics to produce some sounds. I have everything with him on it grouped together, but these albums aren't technically all the same. The first three are from Pat Metheny Group. Question and Answer is a collaboration with Dave Holland (bass) and Roy Haynes (drums). Metheny himself plays electric guitars and guitar synthesizers, and sometimes plays a thing called the Pikasso guitar which is sort of a harp/guitar hybrid with three necks and 42 strings. Secret Story is a leader album (that is, he composed almost all the music and was in charge of the whole thing). The first one I bought was Still Life (Talking) and I used to listen to it over and over. It's still one of my favorites. I have several more of his albums in my queue.

Stanley Turrentine is a tenor saxophonist and this is the only leader album I have of his. He is accompanied by several other musicians on guitar, trumpet, flute, organ, electric piano, bass and drums. He was also the tenor sax player on Jimmy Smith's Back at the Chicken Shack.

Album count: 264.

40 years too late for some...

Ted Kennedy is finally dead.

I generally don't like to speak ill of the recently deceased, but he was an evil, power-hungry elitist who has damaged this country and the state he allegedly "represented" probably beyond repair. There are too many like him in government. They are not patriots. They do not love this country except so far that they enjoy exploiting the system to gain ever more power and dominance over the great unwashed masses.

Good riddance.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

10 albums a day #26

Joe Chambers - Double Exposure (1977)*
Joe Lee Wilson - Livin' High Off Nickels and Dimes (1974)*
John Coltrane - From the Original Master Tapes (1990s, CD)
John Klemmer
- Arabesque (1978, LP)
- Cry (1978, LP)
- Brazilia (1979, LP)
Junior Cook - Good Cookin' (1979)*
Lee Ritenour - Festival (1988, CD)
Linc Chamberlain - A Place Within (1976)*
Miles Davis - Tutu (1986, LP)

*Downloaded from Kathleen Loves Music.

Joe Chambers plays drums, acoustic & electric piano and tabla. He is accompanied by Larry Young on Hammond organ and synthesizer.

Joe Lee Wilson is a singer. On this album he is accompanied by piano, tenor sax, bass and drums.

John Coltrane...well, what can I say about Coltrane?

John Klemmer. Man. I had such a time clearing all the pops & clicks from these records when I ripped them not long ago. Klemmer plays tenor sax. Now, everything I know about him I've had to go out and hunt down myself, which means I really knew nothing about him before I could look him up on the internet. When I bought these in college, no one--none of the other sax players, none of the teachers--had ever heard of him. He was something of a musical prodigy, and according to his Wikipedia entry, he is the guy who invented "smooth jazz." That might seem like a rotten thing to say about anyone, but if you allow me to elaborate...I bought all three of these records at the ACU bookstore because they were cheap and I was trying to find some jazz saxophone to listen to back when I was in the university jazz band (two bands actually: bari sax in the #1 band and second alto in the #2 band). But as I said before, I didn't really have an ear for jazz back then, and I didn't know how to listen to it. When I bought these in 1982, the one I liked the least--or didn't like, maybe I should say--was Cry. On the other two albums, he is backed up by a full band. On Cry, it's just him and an Echoplex. The Echoplex was an analog delay device that used a tape loop. As you produced sound, it was recorded by the record head and then moments later played by the play head. The depth of the echo was controlled by adjusting the distance between the heads. I suppose it also had some sort of input gain or output volume control as well. It could produce anything from just a slight reverb all the way up to full-blown spaciness. So Cry is just him playing his sax through an Echoplex, with occasional overdubs of vocalise (and he has a good voice, too). While going over and over again through the ripped files, I had the opportunity to really listen to him play, and I must say that now I sit staring at the wall in slack-jawed awe at how he can handle a saxophone. Cry is sometimes now referred to in retrospect as Solo Saxophone 1, because he has since recorded more albums like this, and he has titled them Solo Saxophone with a sequence number. Cry is now my favorite of these three albums.

Junior Cook plays tenor sax. On this album he is accompanied by bass, piano, trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn, baritone sax and drums.

Lee Ritenour is a guitarist who is another in the genre of "fusion" or electronic jazz. He was known for playing a guitar synthesizer instrument called the SynthAxe, but he mostly stuck with more traditional electric guitars. He was another musician whose albums were hard to find at Hastings in the late 80s, and this one--the only one I ever found there--is an acoustic album, so it's not really what I was looking for at the time, but it's still good.

Linc Chamberlain plays electric guitar and on this album is accompanied by tenor & soprano sax, bass and drums.

Tutu is my only Miles Davis album, but I plan on building up my collection of his stuff as time goes by. I bought it when it was released, but at the time I wasn't very much interested in trumpet players and to be honest they still take second place to saxophonists for me, but if I don't get more stuff by him soon I may not be able to show my face in public.*

Album count: 254.

*How did I end up with so many "buts" in that one paragraph?