Recommendations - NOVEMBER 2009


This album dates from I don’t know when, and the music is difficult to date because this Mingus bloke manages to sound very up to date and really out of touch all at the same time. Surely these are the signs of a genius.


It has been a while since I had a Charity shop score. I’m not sure if this is actually one, but I was in little olde Ongar with a few minutes to spare, walked into Scope or whatever it is, and found both Brian Maxine albums in pristine condition. Brian was a wrestler, quite a good one I’m told. He wasn’t that good at singing but still managed to get a pair of albums made on EMI, both with backing by the members of Fairport Convention. I wouldn’t have believed it myself except for on the sleeve of Ring Of Stainless Steel, there they all are, listed. And you can clearly make out Sandy Denny singing once someone tells you it’s her. So Brian, you did well. Apparently these are nearly the hardest Fairport related albums to find. As are those silky pants Brian wears.


It’s hard to resist the charisma and cheerful ivory tickling of Monty Alexander. I have loved him since I heard Jooga Booga on a pirate radio station back in about 1990. This is one I haven’t seen too often and bought it because I thought his version of the Magnificent Seven might be a lark. It’s OK but the title tune is more super. Not too sure about that bow tie though Monty.


There’s something really quite peculiar about this library record. It sounds like all the things I wanted to hear and then all of a sudden it doesn’t. Great cover too, and I feel a bit sorry for the artist who had to draw all the little lines all close together on the front cover.


I vividly recall seeing this on the wall in an old record shop in Hanway Street on one of my first record trips in London. It was expensive and looked great. I never really saw another copy until a few weeks ago at Spitalfields market. It was in amongst a load of old blues record including that weird album by Dr Isaiah Ross that’s worth about two grand with a crap white cover. Anyway, I pulled this out and the small group of blues collectors expressed their opinions on Preston Love’s work. It’s funky they said. I bought it and it is quite funky but it gets more interesting when it isn’t. It has a sublime cover - that hat is superb Preston – did you buy it in Norwich? And Shuggie Otis wrote most of the songs. Not bad for someone who was about six years old at the time. The same day I bought a single by Diana Doors from the late 70s that I was less happy with.


Sometimes you can find interesting things in classical music stores. Like this. I picked it up because it looked a bit out of place, and then I realised the line up was a hot one all the way from Finland. I said “Hey baby” in Finnish to the woman behind the counter, and she offered me one of Lasse Viren’s four Olympic gold medals if I bought the record then and there.


Difficult to find fault with the work of Legrand and Demy. What a team. All their music has this loud excited tragedy running through it, and I really like this ep because it looks stunning and the music matches that. There’s even a jazz number on here which made me click my fingers together in a cool black and white fashion.


Yes, this is one of those albums that improves with listening, and every time I do hear it I manage to hear lots of things I missed the last time I listened. It really is a multi dimensional listen in many ways. I hope people like it as much as I do when it comes out. Track 6 is a current favourite.


This is an Italian one, with a brilliant Jellyfish on the cover. This is one of the more dramatic sub aqua LPs I have come across. More listening is required before I can gush enthusiastically about it, but the initial listens have not disappointed. I’ll be buying a frogman suit next.


On this album there’s a good mambo track which is why I bought it, and now I’m listening to the other songs she sung too, many of which are excellent. She’s a good singer, but I’m not going to start collecting everything she’s done or anything. She’s popular in Japan apparently. Or used to be.


Some of the time I think Ethel is wearing a wig, Others I don’t think that way at all. I found a pair of her albums at the same time, and it was possibly a mistake buying them both. Most of the music had this quite relentless cheerful streak going through it which can be hard to stomach if you’re in the wrong mood. Torture would be another way of putting it. Unusually for a musician, she has two heads, which I find quite attractive.


Every now and again I will dip into classic 80s dub. It reminds me of Aldershot. Anyway, this album’s cover has been burned into my mind every since I saw it in the 80s, and it appeared magically to me a few weeks ago in a reggae crate, saying buy me right now. So I did. I’ve been told that the chap sitting at the spaceship controls on the front of the album is not an astronaut, but a Rastanaut. Well he would be wouldn’t he.


Never been able to find a copy of Stan Tracy’s jazz suite in good condition until recently, when I bagged a near pristine copy for far less than I was hoping to pay. But I think the stallholder was mental. Anyway, what a complete treat this album is – like a sort of depressing cheerful thing which is possibly the way Tracey was feeling at time, bearing in mind his enormous and slightly odd habit at the time.


This soundtrack single is total trash. I mean it’s rubbish. Really bad, However the single has been hanging around my deck for somewhile as I believe the cover art is worthy of further studying. I mean just look at that lovely horse.


Yes, been listening to this quite a lot. It has to be the first example of a film where all the cast and crew credits are sung in a song and then put on the album, which is a really great idea. There’s also a most interesting spooky track on here, which kind of fits in with small parts of our current musical times. Well that’s what I’m told, and now I can’t remember who told me. Talking of spooky, my wife reckons we’ve got a smoking ghost in the bathroom.