Judy Collins- Wildflower

Hey, hey, it is another Saturday, the day that I like to keep these brief.  Here is this effort from frequent blog guest Judy Collins.  It was , am I reading this right, $1?  Too cheap.

This 1967 effort was Collins’ seventh and highest charting record, going to #5 on the US Pop chart.  A lot of that was based on the strength of her single, the Joni Mitchell penned “Both Sides Now”, which went to #8.  The album also featured songs by the now dead Leonard Cohen and Jaques Brel along with a 14th century piece by Francesco Landini.  It also featured for the first time on record, three of Collin’s own pieces.

By the time this came out, Collins’ folk career was over and she had moved more into a pop vein.  On this subject, I am mixed as I absolutely adore her folk work. But I understand, you have to evolve  as well as make money so although this is not among my favorite of Collins’ work, I must acknowledge that this is a very good album.  And despite note being folk, Collins would still be able to present a diverse group of work  on it as evidence by the songwriters above (something she did on earlier albums) . Besides, the record would eventually go Gold in 1969.

For a sample, I went with the Brel piece, “La Chanson Des Vieus Amants”.

Great little piece which was the commercial high point of Collins’ career.  Satisfactory.

The George Shearing Quintet- Latin Escapade

Really killing it with the Latin flavored music this week.  I am not sure why.  I just kind of ended up this way.  Well, this was $2.

I have noted on the last post by George Shearing that he a) was blind and b) played at the ultra-elite Bohemian Groove (which attendee Richard Nixon described as the most gayest thing he had ever seen),  I can’t help but think the two points are strongly related.  Well, world conspiracy theories aside, here is this record  from Capitol Records in 1957.  A pretty good mix of Latin numbers as well as standards done in a Latin way.  I was really surprised how much I liked this album as I normally find Shearing’s work pretty middle of the road.  I think it was one of the more exiting records I listened to this month.

Anyway, for a sample, I went with “Anitra’s Nañigo” as well as “Poodle Mambo”.

Good record that really came out of left field.  Satisfactory.

Webb Pierce/T. Texas Tyler/ Patsy Cline- Three of a Kind

This little gem of country music was only $1.  I got it for the Webb Pierce songs since he is my favorite country singer.  That inclusion of Patsy Cline did not hurt either.

This was from the record label I love to hate Pickwick.  In what they call ” a dramatic new concept in entertainment”, putting three people on one record, may be hyperbole, but it makes since for a serial repackager of music like Pickwick.  At the time of this record, they had put out ten of these series records including big bands, folk singers, Hawaiian music, blues, and polkas.  I believe this as well as most of the series, came out in 1964.

Well this was the country version featuring previously recorded tunes by three prominent performers, Webb Pierce, T. Texas Tyler, and Patsy Cline.  The songs (at least Pierce’s ) sound like the come from the 40’s or early 50’s.  Cline’s numbers are a bit later, being the late 50’s.  Pretty good stuff.  Each performer has three songs a piece.

For a sample, surprisingly I did not use one from Pierce.  No reason.  I also did not go with Tyler either, who despite the name, came from Mena, Ar-kansas and has no real ties to the state that is in his moniker.  Nope, I went with good old Patsy Cline.  As a side note, I knew a guy who once locked himself in a room and watched the Pasty Cline move, Sweet Dreams staring Jessica Lange repeatedly for an expanded period of time while getting drunk to mourn the death of his girlfriend.  I guess every body grieves in their own little way. But back to this, here is Patsy Cline with a song off her 1957 debut album and not a Ramones cover, “I Don’t Wanna”.

Most of the time, I am quick to poop on a Pickwick product, but I will look at this one a bit more favorably and call it satisfactory.

Guadalajara Brass- Around The World

This was $1.  The track list was impressive.  The cover suggested a cheap Tijuana Brass knock off, which was popular during the latin explosion of the sixties.

Well, that more or less is what this is.  I could not find much info on the “band” itself but one source suggested that this might have been a legitimate band and not some consortment of studio musicians thrown together by Coronet/Premier Records.

In doing research, I came across a posting of this record from a fellow music blogger, Unearthed In The Atomic Attic.  His review is less than positive some of their previous work stating it was “so bad and not bad good”.   I am going to be honest, this is not a great album.  But in that line of honesty, you kind of had to know what this was going to sound like before purchase and that is exactly what I said above, a cheap Tijuana Brass knock off.

Link to Unearthed in The Atomic Age

That being said, I am sure this came out sometime in the late 60’s.  Other than that, I do not know much else about the subject.  A lot of common instrumentals at the time, including “Moon River”, “Midnight in Moscow”, and what was one of the MORE popular tunes of the era (and keeping the alliteration up), “Mondo Cane” or “More”, which is what I used as a sample. For the record, this song has less of the brass on it and is more string driven.

Eh, meh.  I know.  I kind of knew what this would sound like and it was dirt cheap but I was hoping for more and not just the song.

 

Caterina Valente with Edmundo Ros – Silk ‘N Latin

When I was going thru my records, I was really surprised I had this album because I had no recollection of buying it.  I mean this happens time to time with lessor albums, but for two big names that I have posted on this blog (and whose records I have enjoyed), I found it strange that I would not remember buying this.  But the fact is, I do not.  It seems I would be really stoked to see this album. Somehow I got this for what was $6.  I bought this this year as well which makes my lack of recollection even sadder.

But here we are with this, a joint effort from two international superstars who are (or at least were) pretty famous on the other side of the ocean. Apparently, the two had done some significant work together, prior to this. From London Records in 1969 ( a lot of records this month are from 1969 or 1970- strange), this record features these two in a collection of latin tunes which in reality, sounds more Brazilian like Sergio Mendes or so.  A lot of samba tunes.  Real good album.  I was a bit underwhelmed by the first side, but the second side really hit it out of the park.  

For a sample, I went with the duo’s take on the Beatles “Fool On The Hill” as well as “O Meu Violau”.

Would have been a good album if this was just by one of them.  Together, it is great.  Satisfactory,

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks- Orginal Recordings

Yet another week.  Saints be praised.  Here we are with this little gem by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, who I blogged about a couple months back.  I bought this shortly after his death for what I believe was $1 from Sig’s Lagoon, which I no longer go to because I tend to leave there with 30+ records per trip.  No slight against Sig’s and on the contrary, I highly recommend it for a record shop.  Overall, I did well this year in really limiting my purchases but I still have a ways to go before I can really splurge again.  And as previously noted, shopping for records was my favorite part of this blog.

But here we are with the first record from Mr Hicks and his Licks of Hot.  Released in 1969, it features the first line up of the band with Sid Page, Sherry Snow, Christine Gancher, Jamie Leopold, and Jon Weber.  This line up would break up in 1971.

I did not know this but Hicks got his start playing drums in the psychedelic rock band, The Charlatans.  This is most likely the reason why we have the Charlatans UK.  Anyway, towards the end of his tenure, Hicks moved to front the band.

But back to this record, here is the folk, country, swing, jazz combination that made Hicks and his Hot Licks famous.  Pretty good album and it includes one of his more famous songs, “I Scare Myself”.  Overall, real good effort.

For a sample,  I wanted to use the song above but after hearing “Jukie’s Ball” I was drawn to it for no other reason than they name check a Jimmy in the intro, even if it is a wooden dummy.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Amageddon- ST

Happy Saturday.  This record was $5.  I bought it, despite already having a copy which I bought for $10, because I really wanted to post it and at the time, I was really sticking to my journalistic guns of keeping records at $5 or less.  Such idealism.  Anyway, it was my pal Hugh who first turned me on to this record.  He played the first track and made me guess who the lead singer was.  This is also one of the records I found laying around my apartment on Christmas last year when I had company over the night before and I woke up to a place in massive disarray.

Keith Relf, born in Richmond, Surrey, UK in 1943, had one of the more interesting careers in music, if not one of the more underappreciated.  As the lead singer of the Yardbirds, his efforts were overshadowed by his more famous band mates, namely, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.  After the group’s demise, Relf first took up with his sister and Yardbird Jim McCarty in the acoustic group Renaissance (a version of which has been posted on this blog).  However, after producing other artists, he formed this super group of sorts in 1974 with Martin Pugh and Louis Cennamo of Steamhammer as well as Bobby Caldwell of Captain Beyond.

Armegeddon released on album (this one) and played two shows before disbanding.  Relf, who was working on reforming his version of Renaissance, would die of accidental electrocution in 1976.  He was 33 years old at the time.  This record would be his last recording.

But here we are with this, which is a hard driving rock and roll album that is really comparable to anything his ex-Yardbird band mates were doing at the time.  The album was a critical success, but since there was no tour behind it, it really did not sell.  So, it has been relegated to a special place in the annals  of the history of 70’s rock.

For a sample, I went with one of the shorter songs, “Paths and Planes and Future Gains”.  It should be noted that the opening song posted above, “Buzzard” is my favorite song on the album.

Great album.  Top Rated.

Melanie- Candles In The Rain

This gem of a record was only $1.  One freaking dollar.  Are you crazy people?  Anyway, looking at the cover and listening to this, I had a hard time believing this came out in 1970 (and was in great part, a product of the 60’s).  It looks and sounds like a much more modern record.

But this did come out in 1970 and was Melanie’s third album.  With the lead single “Lay It On Down (Candles In The Rain)” based on her experience performing at Woodstock (in which a bunch of spectators light up candles while see played).  I probably mentioned this on the last post I wrote on her, but you really do not hear much about Melanie’s performance at Woodstock which is probably a shame.  Anyway, this record and that single in particular, brought the artist her first Top Ten hit in the US.  “Ruby Tuesday” as well as “What Have They Done To My Song, Ma” were also hits.  The album sold well in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Overall, I think this is an excellent album and really showcases Melanie’s talent. With the exception of “Ruby Tuesday”, the rest of the songs are written by the artist.  She is also backed up vocally in places by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

For a sample, I decided to go with “Left Over Wine” which was one of the songs I picked from the live album I posted last year or so but did not use. I think because it skipped.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Sandy Nelson- Manhattan Spiritual

This record was all of $1.  It had a bunch of songs I liked on it.  The cover says late 60’s but sound was a bit more 70’s (in actuality, this record came out in 1969).

Sandy Nelson is a drummer from Santa Monica, CA.  Born in 1938, Nelson’s fame grew due to his impressive record of session work in the early days of rock and roll. Nelson cut his teeth recording on such early classics as “To Know Him Is To Love Him” and “Alley Oop”.  In the late 50’s/early 60’s, he would have hits of his own including “Teen Beat” and “Let There Be Drums”.  A motorcycle accident in 1963 cost Nelson his right foot and part of his leg.  However, Nelson continued to release records regularly up into the mid 70’s (including this one).  Today he is sporadically still involved in music I believe.

This record, again released in 1969, is a collection of instrumental standards accented by Nelson’s drum work.  It is ok.  Nelson is a more than competent drummer and his drums do not overpower the songs on the record. Some of the arrangements are not as I would do them, but what can you do?  A lot of songs that I like were on this including one I post all the time, “Caravan”.  On one hand , I did not like this arrangement at all.  On the other hand, though, I respect that Nelson was trying to do something different with this.

For a sample, I went with the song that led me to buy this album, “Big Nose From Winnetka”.  Also, here is the version of “Caravan” which I still have mixed feelings about.

Eh.  I could go either way with this album, but since I paid a dollar for it and I am in a relatively good mood, I will say satisfactory.

Arthur Lyman- Hawaiian Sunset

This record was $1. Lyman’s reputation in the field of exotica makes it hard to pass up his records.  Since I have posted several of his records in the past, there is not much more to say on the subject.  I chose this by design since it made for an easy post to write.

I believe this effort was Lyman’s third album under his own moniker.  Released in 1958, the songs all have a Hawaiian connotation as the title would suggest.  Good stuff.  I mean, it is consistent with Lyman’s other works.

For a sample, I went with what is one of my favorite songs, “Hawaiian War Chant”.  Written by Prince Leleiohoko in the 1860’s, the song has become sort of a jazz standard being covered by jazz bands of the 30’s and 40’s as well as its inclusion in the Tex Avery 1952 cartoon, “Magical Maestro” .  Oddly enough, the original song is not a war chant but a clandestine meeting between two lovers.

Satisfactory Record.