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Sunday, 27 November 2011


Cannonball Adderley Sextet: Nippon Soul live in Japan
Cannonball, Julian Adderley, Yuseef Latif, Joe Zawinov, Ray Brown, Sam Jones. Apologies for any misspellings.

Side two is worth the price of admission with Tengo Tango, Come Sunday from Black, Brown and Beige, and Brother John. I still have my LP from the '60s but it's badly worn. The last time I checked it's out of print on CD.

Herb Alpert: "Whipped Cream And Other Delights"!

The Swedanes, featuring Alice Babs.

(Coincidentally, both of them learned of via my dad.)

Nice OT subject Mike, but - "Treasures of iTunes" - looks like another free ad for the Apple empire, thank goodness the links point to Amazon.
I remember the awe with which I breifly borrowed that Nitty Gritty Dirt Band record, seems to sum up a golden age of music where musical proficiency was fashionable - just before the inevitable backlash of punk.

Looked at my own treasured vinyls and found one that's still hard to get, it looks like this
and is only available second hand at a high price on Amazon UK

Heartily agree on Circle. I remember how much buzz this album created, and I enjoyed the anticipation of buying it almost as much as the album itself.

This album was a revelation for me. I had never gotten into "country" music very much, largely because the stations that played country played a lot of crap.

It was also a revelation sonically ... it just sounds SO good. Fortunately I had also purchased half-decent stereo equipment, so was able to really enjoy the recording.

The opening guitar on Mother Maybelle's rendition of Keep on the Sunny Side is gorgeous. The effect was like the gate opening to audio and musical nirvana for six entire platter sides.

I played this album so many times it may have gotten worn; I say may because I haven't had the turntable set up in ages, so I don't recall its condition. I am very hesitant to purchase the CD, fearing the sonics will not live up to the original.

Maybe it's time to set up the 'table again. Thanks for the reminder.

CAN! (whoot!)...just sayin'

For those wishing to sample in full or just listen for free for ever, both "Will the Circle be Unbroken" and Can Tago Mago are available on Spotify.

For Rhapsody subscribers (or other streaming services)the full "Will The Circle" album is available and it sounds quite good. My kind of music, but it drives my wife and daughter nuts.
For my own recommendation, in the same vein but not rare ever, I'll recommend Greg Brown's Poet Game , or pretty much anything by Greg Brown.

Wow, Holger Czukay is responsible for one of my favorite tracks of all time--"Persian Love," which prefigured the Eno/Byrne masterpiece, "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts." I heard it on a compilation album put together by the World Organization for Music and Dance (WOMAD), but back in the days before you could find out anything all the time, I never managed to find out anything at all about Mr. Czukay. I had actually forgotten his name until now, but I can easily summon up the sound of that track. Thanks for the reminder and the tip.

Thanks for mentioning the Will the Circle Be Unbroken CD. Although I do not yet own it, you inspired me to listen to my O Brother Where Art Thou CD. Excellent bluegrass music from a movie by the same name performed by a collection of artists. My favorites are Man of Constant Sorrow and In the Jailhouse Now performed by The Soggy Bottom Boys.

Leon Russel's "Carny", always a sleeper.

The Byrds' "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" which was the album that opened my ears to country music.

Elvin Jones' "Genesis" an album with no harmonic instruments and doesn't need them.

I got that first album on my guitar teacher's recommendation. What a treasure trove.

Do you know the Doc and Dawg album with Doc Watson and David Grisman?

Fivetonsflax is me, btw.

Oh, man, stop it! How about A Jazz Message by Art Blakey with Sonny Stitt? That first track, "Café"? Unbelievable.

Can you post iTunes store links to these, please? I'm having trouble finding the Richter.

Totally irrelevant (and possibly irreverent also) I am sure but, to a foreigner Richter looks like a young Rudy Giuliani.

Resume normal programming.

Thanks for reminding us all of the NGDB's greatest achievement. You don't overstate what a musical peace conference, a rapproachment, this album was, back when showing long hair was at least a misdemeanor down in the country of Country Music. As a young hippie-type in the South, I felt this divide deeply.

About two years ago, another album came along to bridge a contemporary divide. "Rambling Boy" features an all-star cast of friends and family of jazz bassist Charlie Haden. He's a veteran of Miles Davis' band, but before that he was a child star on his family's radio broadcast, beamed from the Ozarks. What better pedigree for the man who tries to unite old-time country music and jazz? These are two native American musics, but they've flowed separately all these years with very little collaboration (Bill Frisell excepted).

I love both genres, taken separately-- but I've long wondered what Pat Metheny and Bruce Hornsby might accomplish in a band that included Nashville's best Newgrass pickers, such as Jerry Douglas and Sam Bush. In Rambling Boy, we find out. The result is marvelous, covering a vast stylistic range, but always anchored by the genetically tuned vocal talents of Charlie's three daughters and wife (son-in-law Jack Black even makes an appearance, less marvelously).

When Douglas, Hornsby and Metheny trade solos on a soaring, transcendent "Hills of Athenry," it hardly matters that the song is most commonly heard as a cheer sung at European soccer matches. It's just part of the Unified Field Theory of Music, as postulated by a veteran bass player who's woven together a rich quilt of fine fabrics, whatever the source. If you like "Circle" and pure jazz, this sis something you should give a listen...

Here's one: Nippon Soul, Cannonball Adderley Sextet live in Tokyo featuring:

Cannonball Adderley alto
Nat Adderley cornet
Yusef Lateef oboe, tenor & flute
Joe Zawinul piano
Sam Jones bass
Louis Hayes drums

Side two is worth the price of admission with Tengo Tango, Come Sunday from Black, Brown and Beige, and Brother John. I have a worn LP which I bought in the '60s. I found a performance of Brother John on YouTube.

Mike, I remember well the dirt band album. At the time I think I wore out the record playing it over and over again. Thanks for reminding me about the album, my next move is to download the album to my computer.eric

Before the 2003 remastering of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," there was a European compilation called "Dirt, Silver and Gold" that was originally 3 vinyls, and appeared about 1996 (at least I think that's when I got it) as a CD. Same cast of characters, some of the same songs, plus others. Mike, how does it compare in your estimation.

Richter, Prokofieff, hmmmmmm.


I'll add a couple.

801 Live. The story is that Brian Eno was challenged to perform his music live. The opening side, "Lagrima/T.N.K. (Tomorrow Never Knows)/East of Asteroid/Ronwrong/Sombre Reptiles" is unreal.

Tonto's Expanding Headband. You think Can was hard to find...? Analog electronica, little heard but they had a profound influence on many musicians. You wouldn't think electronic music could sound this emotional. Tonto played on almost all of Stevie Wonder's stuff during his golden period.

I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight and Shoot Out the Lights, Richard and Linda Thompson. One beautiful, one beautiful and raw. I looked for these for years, finally found them on vinyl, and about two months later they were available on mp3 download.

What I want to find: early Swimming Pool Qs, early Iron City Houserockers.

As it happens two Sundays ago we had the privilege of hearing the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kansas. Encircled by century-old trees on a golden Autumn afternoon it was such a pleasure to relax into their music -- and enjoy their respect for the music. Rarely have I ever felt that a concert was so perfect.

Don't know if it's on Itunes but I was pleased to see that Betty Davis' eponymous LP is now available on CD. When I bought the original on a whim (search out the cover pic!), from the discount bin 30 something years go I had no idea someone could make music like that. Raunchy was not in the lexicon then in Plymouth (UK)


I wouldn't class Tago Mago as one of Can's most accessible albums: try Future Days or Soon Over Babaluma, or their reunion album with their original vocalist, Malcolm Mooney, Rite Time.


I got excited about Will The Circle Be Unbroken because of Doc Watson. It was and is a treasure from first cut to last. I remember how happy I was when I could get a back up copy on CD.
Around the same time as Circle cam out the Earl Scruggs Revue came along. Their first album along with Live at K State are real treats too. Both can be had for pocket change on Amazon. I may have to retire my vinyl copies.
This thread has me in the mood to go downstairs and fish out my copy of the Flying Burrito Brothers Live and see how it has held up.
Happy Sunday

Gordon Lightfoot's "Gord's Gold" didn't seem to make a smooth transition to CD. Spent many a night driving listening to a tape made from the LP and singing along to keep me awake.

I'm reminded of all the vinyl albums I digitized because they couldn't be found on CD or iTunes — and now as I look around it seems they've all finally appeared.

As The Asylum Choir, Leon Russell and Marc Benno recorded the wonderful psychedelic near-masterpiece "Look Inside" in the late 60s. (Somehow I ended up with two copies of the vinyl. One might belong to my sister.) Unfortunately, you can only find a few tracks from that album on iTunes, as bonus tracks on their less interesting Asylum Choir II. The CD is floating around, however, as an import. I spotted it on Amazon.

Another favorite, for fans of old timey string band music, is "Fire on the Mountain" by the Highwoods String Band. I'm shocked to discover that it's available on iTunes. (Note, old timey string band music is NOT to be confused with bluegrass.)

Robin Dreyer mentioned "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts" by Eno and Byrne — oh my goodness, one of my all-time favorite records. Still fresh. But not hard to find except for the track "Qu'ran" which was only included on the very first CD issue.

(Mike, I can't believe you mentioned Tortoise. Haven't thought of them for years. At one point I listened to Seneca from the "Standards" album over and over until I word a groove in my hard drive.)

Next we have to start a thread listing our favorite out of print and obscure comedy records: I'd start with "The Sound of my Own Voice and Other Noises" by Severn Darden from 1961.

Can is just about the most unclassifiable band that ever was. I was amazed when iTunes picked up their whole catalog. I'd gotten 3 of their albums as CD's (and I had several on vinyl) but I was then able to own their whole collection. I just wish iTunes could get King Crimson back on their service again. I wonder if Fripp has a problem with iTunes.

Fuzzy warbles on iTunes? No angel trumpets and devil trombones then.

Back in the mid seventies, Neil Young was one of the few recording artists we could all listen to without argument. At one party however, I found myself raising my head from near catatonia only to find everyone else around me slumped over and nearing unconsciousness. The culprit- On The Beach. Slapped on the Stones, and the party resumed.

Much as I like the album, it's not a party vehicle- and much prefer Tonight's The Night (his most "liquid" album).

Was going to complement you on your range, Mike, and was especially excited by your willingness to make a nod to some young turks, the recent-comers Tortoise. And then I realized I've been listening to Tortoise's first LP for just a few shy of 20 years.

How did that happen?

Reading Rob Young's Electric Eden about the British folk scene at the moment. Spotify allows me to listen to almost everything he mentions and then I buy the music I like best. The real discoveries so far have been Anne Briggs and The Watersons, all music recorded in the mid-1960s.

John McMillian..
...love your entry, and agree with all...big Hornsby and Metheny fan, and have seen them a number of times, and lucky to have seen them both, at different times of course, at small clubs when they were on the upswing...

Back in the early 1990's, my mother wanted to go to see something she read about in the paper called: Masters of the Steel Guitar, or some such thing that was traveling on an NEA grant around to small venues and theaters. I said I'd take her, and I did, and my reward was seeing an, unknown to me, guitarist named Jerry Douglas! I was floored and immediately bought his CD's! It was one of those times when you can't imagine how someone like this has escaped your notice!

Of course if you live in Hong Kong (which I do) you can't buy anything from iTunes - no music, no videos, no books....... we are regarded, I guess, as a piracy risk. I suppose that doesn't happen outside AsiaPac. Oh but SIngapore is ok. And Australia. So despite my willingness to put money in Apple's coffers, I can't. Sorry Mike, you hit a very raw nerve with this one.

I have to tell you - back when I was a young whippersnapper, in the mid- seventies, my debased friends and I would close the bars in Lowell MA and head to he home of a character from Murfreesboro Tennessee , where we would listen to "Will the circle be unbroken" on into the early hours. You brought me back in time. Thanks.

For aficionados of the obscure ("Can" almost qualify as mainstream, for goodness' sake) The Downliners Sect "The Sect Sing Sick Songs" (originally an EP) can be confidently recommended. Highlight tracks included "I want my baby back" and "Leader of the Sect".
Available on Spotify.
In to maintain transatlantic balance,"The American Metaphysical Circus" by the "United States of America" deserves a mention, although Spotify only offers the title track. Of course this album was even obscure at the time of its availability.


Actually I was specifically trying to find examples that *weren't* obscure....


I've revived the thrill of the hunt and discovery by browseing my local library popular music collection(admittedly large - City of Los Angeles Central Branch). Not since the old days of indie records stores or even megas like Tower have I been able to chase leads. Once again I'm able to let the artwork move me, or "Hey, this is from the same producer as XYZ". This one has the same session guitarist as my favorite from ABC. For me it combines the best of all worlds, I get the free flow of the selection without the inhibitions of a limited shopping budget. I have not yet tried Spotify. Also, personally I still prefer the sound of AIFF files.

"The American Metaphysical Circus" by the "United States of America" deserves a mention, although Spotify only offers the title track."

And what a great track it is — another psychedelic gem I played over and over, way way back when it was first released.

BTW, fans of psychedelic music should check out two EPs from XTC, collected as "Chips from the Chocolate Fireball," their loving tribute to psychedelia and all sort of other 60s and 70s pop music (and all recorded on period instruments and recording equipment).

While the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band were doing their nostalgia thing (now called “roots”), there was vibrant country music being played on the radio -- Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and George Jones, for instance. That said, my country music tastes are stuck in the fifties and sixties to a large extent, which in terms of time, isn’t that much different from their looking back to the thirties. I do listen to contemporary country music from time to time, but there is a very low gloss to dross ratio. One current highlight is the Pistol Annies’ Hell on Heels, which I recently bought on iTunes for $6.99, but which now seems to be going for the usual $9.99.

More varied, I guess a little less consistent, but more challenging is Elizabeth Cook’s Welder, check out "Heroin Addict Sister, priced $7.99, when I looked today: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/welder/id361287740

And way back in the nineties, Lee Ann Womack, was the great hope. In some ways her music hasn’t hasn’t aged that well (or was it that appearance at the Republican convention), but her version of Buddy Miller’s “Does My Ring Burn Your Finger” remains a truly great single. http://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/does-my-ring-burn-your-finger/id6931177?i=6931171
The link goes to the greatest hits album, but, of course, you can buy "Ring" alone.

Excellent choice. I have friends to fit and benefit from each of the references, including myself.
Have you considered a "The Online Musicographer"?
Thanks for the tips.

Seen from the other side of the Atlantic, this is, for me, the American discographic treasure cove:
The entire Folkways Records legacy, courtesy of the Smithsonian.
Full CD quality FLAC downloads, if you please.
Where to start? Try the great warrior Peter La Farge. All his glorious five records are there, for the price of a couple of Big Macs. Get Peter La Farge on the Warpath, and wonder why so little has changed over the past fifty years.

Thanks for that. Just spent a weird and wonderful afternoon listening to Folkways Radio as I worked.


Here's one I struggled to find for a while.
Nic Jones, "Penguin Eggs".
Though reissued on CD in '92, 12 years after the vinyl appeared, it was still 'awkward' to get hold of; the actual record being even more so. And still, I think, the only studio album of the man to be legaly digitised.
It was well known to be a great British folk album, thought one of the best, by many, despite it's elusiveness.
It's heartening to see beautiful music easily available, in a way that it just wasn't not so long ago. There is, I think, more out there than we could hope to listen to!
Thanks for the ever entertaining and enlightening site!

More that were lost, and now you can get them on digital download:

The Hampton Grease Band, Music to Eat. Includes the reading of the side of a can of spray paint.

The Shaggs, Philosophy of the World. My pal's name? Foot-foot.

Barbara Keith. From 1971. This is phenomenal. Keith emerged 30 years later as the hardest rocking grandmother in show business, as lead singer for The Stone Coyotes.

Barbara Dane, Barbara Dane Sings the Blues. Stunning acoustic blues.

Music lovers might also want to check out Wolfgang's Vault for rare live performances.

I always love your musical selections. (I ended up ordering the Neil Young CD.)

As for S. Richter, I remember his performances in the former USSR, as a kid, back in the 70s. He had a strong bold head and his power at the piano was almost scary.

Thanks Mike, CAN is awesome!

Thanks. I instantly got On The Beach, an old-time favorite of mine. It still sounds great. Hadn't listened to that album for 25+ years ...


Here is mine


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