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jazz

This tag is associated with 8 posts

J.J. Cale – Naturally (1971)

Even in this era of fashionable ageing-rocker-mega-tours, Cale has always remained a kind of mystery man, despite a cult status that could easily be capitalised on. Instead, he has chosen the quiet dignity of going about his bluesy business outside the parameters expected of musicians of his ilk. He has become a timeless enigmatic Mr. Cool that the Claptons and Knopflers can only envy and do covers of…

Miles Davis – In a Silent Way (1969)

Come the late 60s, Miles Davis was set to ignite the jazz world (I should say ‘music world’) by employing electric instruments into his ensembles. Fusion was born. And jazz (I should say ‘music’) would never be the same. When Miles Davis released the double album Bitches Brew in 1970 he was embraced by the psychedelic rock contingent, who enjoyed the funked-up rhythms and his free-flowing explorative style…

The Cure – Disintegration (1989) • Nite Jewel – Good Evening (2009) • Rodriguez – Cold Fact (1970)

This is still hands-down my favourite Cure album. I say ‘still’ because back in my high school days, The Cure were a big fave band for me and my mates. We dug their whole catalogue, but it was great timing that we should witness the release of Disintegration, because after their (partial) dissolution in the wake of Pornography (1982), Robert Smith directed the music toward a more pop-orientated sound, with the hit singles “Lets Go to Bed”, “The Walk” and “The Lovecats”…

Tortoise – Millions Now Living Will Never Die (1996) • Martina Topley-Bird – The Blue God (2008) • Kate Bush – Hounds of Love (1985)

Tortoise deserve a genre named after them. It would at least make things easier for the unimaginative fools (like me) who write about music. Then I could just say: ‘In 1996, Chicago band Tortoise released this landmark album of Tortoise music that took Tortoise in a new direction and changed the way people would think about Tortoise forever. Only Tortoise can play Tortoise the way Tortoise was meant to played.’ It wouldn’t make much sense, but it would be so much easier…

Lush – Spooky (1992) • Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head (2008) • Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Flaunt It (1986)

Remember Lush? Like many bands of the early 90s, Lush became kind of big and also a bit dwarfed by the explosion of the alternate music scene, which gave rise to countless new bands vying for a piece of the booming major-label pre-internet spotlight. Some bands got a bit overlooked in the process. Anyway. Lush produced some damn good music and a couple of really cool albums. This was their first (studio album)…

Sade – The Best of Sade (1994) • Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase (2005) • The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers (1976)

Best Ofs can be strange things. Sometimes they’re a great way of road-testing an artist/band. Sometimes the hits are all you want. Other times you’d be better served avoiding them altogether, and seeking out a particular album. Some bands are defined by their hits (eg: Abba), while others are completely misrepresented by them (eg: Genesis). Whatever the case, this was the first thing I ever got of hers/theirs (Sade is the band, Sade Adu is the singer), so I’m recommending it, because it made me eventually seek out their studio albums…

Marcy Playground – Marcy Playground (1997) • Girl Talk – Feed the Animals (2008) • Jaco Pastorius – Jaco Pastorius (1976)

One band that got lost in the shifting sands of the post-grunge years was New York’s Marcy Playground. They were never gonna be a revolutionary band, but I think they were certainly victims of bad timing, and changing trends within the industry. This, their debut, produced the single “Sex and Candy” which became quite a big hit and propelled them into the spotlight for a while. But it soon faded. And they seemed to disappear from the radar. The thing is, this band wrote some really good songs…

Dire Straits – Communiqué (1979) • Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? (1984) • Amy Winehouse – Back To Black (2006)

Though long considered by critics one of the daggiest groups of all time, Dire Straits produced a kind of post-Dylan soft-cock-rock that is still uniquely their own. (I suspect the tennis sweatbands had as much to do with that cynical designation, than just Mark Knopfler’s proclivity for solos). Despite the success of their first single, “Sultans of Swing”, I always felt they were more a mood band than a chart-storming hit machine…

Langley Parks: Soundscapes, Themes & Noise – free individual track download…

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