Monday, 23 May 2022

Back to Brian Brown with The Planets, 1985

 



Here we are back with another planets concept album, the third after Moe Koffman and Kazumi Watanabe's Beyond the Infinite.  This one is not as well developed as the others unfortunately, with the compositions a little bit too concise and the jazzy improvisation a little too extended.
The other albums are clearly superior, sadly, but I had to purchase this vinyl just to make sure.
The Space Walk track, as an exemplar:


Saturday, 21 May 2022

Peter Finger with the requested Neue Wege, plus a bunch more

 







I'm not so thrilled with this artist as others, I find his albums a bit too repetitious in the material he presents which is acoustic guitar with some extra touches.  His discography is quite long though as you can see here.  An example of a more progressive composition is Ein Blick Zuruck, from the later album Niemandsland (1988):




Nonetheless, the requested record which is Neue Wege from 1984 looked interesting on the basis it borrows Charlie Mariano for flute, sax, and Trilok Gurtu for percussion, both of whom are well known for their progressive bona fides.  It does start off with some interesting dissonant ideas on the guitar but then doesn't quite pull it off for the most part, in four long tracks, the shortest of which I sample here, called Coral:









Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Back to Yoshio Suzuki with 1979's Matsuri

 




I posted his material earlier of course here and here.  As I said at the time I grew to really love his early 80s albums with the gentle synthesizer patterns, not only relaxing but almost entrancing too, with enough oddness in the chords or originality in the ideas to not make it generic new age.

I'm not at all sure why this LP is so hard to find, but here it is, a bit less fusion and more modal jazz than the others I posted.  Note the comment: Recorded at R.P.M. studio NY in 1979.  Odd that they couldn't find a better location in which to shoot his photo with the big-ass headphones for the cover above.

The Little Lady which is the track that closes out the disc has that same entrancing piano sound I love, although sadly only played on the grand piano:



Sunday, 15 May 2022

Steve Kuhn's October Suite (Composed and conducted by Gary McFarland, 1967)

 







Gotta love that cigarette, a la Bill Evans. Info here.

Beautiful composed classical music with jazz, in an earlier style, cf. Gil Evans' work with Miles.

Childhood Dreams:



Thursday, 12 May 2022

Doonesbury's Jimmy Thudpucker etc.

 



I guess if you're old you know what Doonesbury is.  I mean I hated that comic strip when I was a kid and I especially hated people who thought it was hilarious because they represented that special variety of young snob that today you'd refer to as the hipster.  Or maybe that term is also of the past.  And I'd really love to never find out who the hell Jimmy Thudpucker is.

I thought perhaps this would be interesting as an exemplar of 70s songwriting along the lines of the later James Walsh stuff, which is incredible, but in fact it has just a ton of cliches in it, ranging from the bluesy southern stuff like Doobie Bros. to the cooler art rock styles of for ex. Steely Dan. Info here, much like the Hudson Bros LPs.  Especially irritating to me is the reference to "West Indian Rhythm Section" given the extreme white conservative racist attitude of the comic and the reference to Greatest Hits which is supposed to be, of course, a witty joke, but it fails totally in comparison to the School Band's similarly named album (Our Best Songs).

Ginny's Song, the one highlighted on the cover sticker:



The album closes out with a song that I'm sure the composer thought was a masterpiece like Jimmy Webb's McArthur Park, orchestrated and with a bridging progressive instrumental section including violin solo. For sure, it's worth getting this album (for free) just to be blown away like a mild spring breeze by that last track: