Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
So many insanely great recordings have been Motherloded over the last year that it would take a month or two just to compile a BEST OF post heralding the best of the lot. Good thing I took stock last July to post my Mid-Year Favorites! Blessedly, this left me only half the calender to parse in order to select my Most Pleasurable Platters for the second half of 2011.
See if you agree with my selections, and please do exalt your faves in the comments. Here's to bounteous insanity in 2012!
Joe Harriott ~ "Free Jazz"
"This is rare music, and great music. Joe Harriott and his group were making confident steps in the area called "free jazz" at a time when that was a daring, even a dangerous undertaking. As with the almost contemporary music of Ornette Coleman, however, these many years later it is the beauty and the lyrical invention of their playing which is most striking. The group has long since passed into legend; the records, in their original vinyl form, have become almost impossibly rare; and with both Harriott and his front-line partner Shake Keane now both gone, there is also a poignancy in rediscovering this wonderful jazz." (Richard Cook, from the liner notes)
Jack Wilcox Sowards ~ "A Marriage of Clocks and Highways"
(Blog: Out of the Bubbling Dusk)
Quiet, a Masterpiece
"Jack Wilcox was introduced to me by a good friend as a buried regional LP from my neck of the woods, maybe 3 years ago... a lost loner folk record that sounded like it was recorded by the angry son of a logger, trapped in Northern Idaho, a wayward intellectual youth washed out into the resignation of beer-can spray and icy roads of the soul... I liked the LP then, and still find something very appealing about it now. Allegedly recorded in an empty bar, Wilcox's voice is fragile but coarse, and his songs exude the dull ache of blue collar America's trappings and smoke filled particle board interiors. The whole trip may seem a little flat at first but I found a subtle edge to it all that only grew on me over time. For folk fans, it is most certainly something worth checking out." (Description by J.D.F., at Out of the Bubbling Dusk)
Benin There, Done That
"Alokpon is the the greatest singer and the king of traditional Tchinckoume rhythm, a rhythm from the center of Benin, known for its water drums and Gotta drum which are made out of calabash. The Gotta is the biggest calabash that is commonly beaten with a shoe sole. Its sound is heavy and deep." (Description by Oro )
Shankar Jaikishan ~ "Raga Jazz Style"
(Blog: Holy Warbles)
Øשlqæda for President
Shankar Jaikishan, also known as S/J, were a duo of composers in the Hindi film industry who collaborated from 1949–1971. Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi was a native of Rajasthan, while Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal belonged to Bansda, Gujarat. Shankar Jaikishan, along with other artists, wrote 'everlasting' & 'immortal melodies' in the '50s & '60s. Their best melodies are noted for being raga-based & having both lilt and sonority. Shankar Jaikishan made a major contribution toward the development of jazz music in India and the new genre Indo Jazz. Their 1968 album Raga Jazz Style is the earliest Indo Jazz recording in India and the first to be released in stereo. On this album, considered to be one of the most innovative, S/J created 11 songs based on Indian ragas with sitar by Rais Khan. (From Wikipedia)
Norma Jean & Ray J
(Blog: Funk My Soul)
Hell Is for Hoagies
"Norma Jean & Ray J’s “Raising Hell” is one helluva rare nugget. Released on the Hep-Me label in 1974, this has a remarkably polished sound and sophistication in the music to have warranted bigger names on the front of the album cover. And while Norma Jean and Ray J would never topple the likes of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, they have a crude chemistry that has a magic all of its very own. A wonderful wonderful left-fielder that I urge you to give a few plays for it to reel you in and in love." (By Trakbuv, at Funk My Soul)
Hackamore Brick ~ "One Kiss Leads to Another"
(Blog: Creep Scanner)
Princes of Park Slope
"Hackamore Brick got their sound together by playing their music all day almost every day in a 4th floor apartment on Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn near the corner of 4th street. The people who lived on the 2nd and 3rd floors had steady jobs so there were relatively few complaints to the landlord. The band took breaks now and then to play stickball in the schoolyard on 2nd street and every once in a while went up to Prospect Park to do the things that people did there. When they were almost ready, they went to Manhattan to record an album of ten songs that were truer than fiction. While doing this, the band met Paul Anka who offered to buy them lunch. The boys thanked him but refused. Then they went back to Brooklyn." (Bio, from the band's website)
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