Saturday, April 17, 2010

"The Harder They Come" Soundtrack (1972) (320)

This stands as the greatest reggae compilation ever put together. The music was selected by director Perry Henzell for his film, which stars Jimmy Cliff as the aspiring musician turned outlaw Ivan. Most of Cliff's tracks reflect the struggle of his character ("Many Rivers to Cross", "The Harder They Come"), but at the same time maintain a feeling of positivity - Cliff sings on "Sitting In Limbo", "They're putting up resistance, but I know my faith will lead me on." This line imitates Ivan's naive attitude in the beginning of the film, before he gets a gun and starts selling weed in Kingston. Toots' "Sweet And Dandy" is an entertaining family drama, and makes me want to try cola wine. The mixing is kind of odd to me in a few places - you can hear some of Cliff's vocals edited out of the verse on "You Can Get It If You Really Want". Just look at Jimmy doing his thing in the studio and wearing this awesome star shirt:


1. Jimmy Cliff - You Can Get It If You Really Want
2. Scotty - Draw Your Brakes
3. The Melodians - Rivers Of Babylon
4. Jimmy Cliff - Many Rivers To Cross
5. Toots & The Maytals - Sweet And Dandy
6. Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come
7. The Slickers - Johnny Too Bad
8. Desmond Dekker - 007 (Shanty Town)
9. Toots & The Maytals - Pressure Drop
10. Jimmy Cliff - Sitting In Limbo
11. Jimmy Cliff - You Can Get It If You Really Want
12. Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come


Thursday, April 15, 2010

João Gilberto - João Gilberto (1961) (320)

This is an early and fantastic self-titled release from Bossa Nova legend João Gilberto. With expert accompaniment and arrangements from the other Father of Bossa, Antônio Carlos Jobim, and Walter Wanderley e Seu Conjunto. The opening rendition is of one of my favorite Brazilian standards ever, "O Samba da Minha Terra". Gilberto employs his signature percussive singing (I would say its scat-like if I didn't know that would scare you all off) and expert syncopation to rethink the song. The rest of the album follows in these footsteps, with Gilberto's casual expertise lacing intricate technique with the expert ad deceptively difficult arrangements of Jobim. Most of these songs, if they hadn't already, quickly entered the Bossa canon after this album's release. "O Amor Em Paz" feels almost like a Bossa manifesto - sad, beautiful, complex, short, and relaxed. Equally appropriate to play at the moment of your next heartbreak or your next picnic in the park, this record is yet another confirmation of Jobim and Gilberto's total mastery and influence over the genre.

1. O Samba da Minha Terra
2. O Barquinho
3. Bolinha de Papel
4. Saudade da Bahia
5. A Primeira Vez
6. O Amore em Paz
7. Você e Eu
8. Trem de Ferro (Trenzinho)
9. Coisa Mais Linda
10. Presente De Natal
11. Insensatez
10. Este Seu Olhar

Odeon Brasil, 1961

Tracks 1, 3, 4, and 8 With Walter Waverley e Seu Conjunto.
Tracks 2, 5-7, 9-12 with Antônio Carlos Jobim (arrangements and piano).


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Édith Piaf - Edith Piaf: 30th Anniversaire (320)

A comprehensive best-of from the Little Sparrow, one of France's most important voices. This collection covers a good part of her body of work.


Disc 1 -

1. La Vie En Rose
2. J'M'En Fous Pas Mal
3. Les Trois Cloches
4. Les Amants De Paris
5. Bal Dans Ma Rue
6. Plus Bleu Que Tes Yeux
7. Hymne A L'Amour
8. Jezebel
9. Padam Padam
10. Hymn To Love (Hymne À L'Amour)
11. Bravo Pour Le Clown
12. Johnny, Tu N'Es Pas Un Ange
13. La Goualante Du Pauvre Jean
14. Le 'Ca Ira'
15. L'Accordeoniste
16. La Vie En Rose (En Anglais)
17. C'Est A Hambourg
18. L'Homme A La Moto
19. Les Amants D'Un Jour
20. Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes)
21. Dans Les Prisons De Nantes
22. Pour Moi Toute Seule
23. Il Y Avait

Disc 2 -

1. La Foule
2. Mon Manege A Moi (Tu Me Fais Tourner La Tete)
3. Fais Comme Si
4. Je Sais Comment
5. Milord
6. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien
7. Les Flonflons Du Bal
8. Le Vieux Piano
9. Mon Vieux Lucien
10. Mon Dieu (En Anglais)
11. Sous Le Ciel De Paris
12. Les Amants
13. A Quoi Ca Sert L'amour
14. Une Valse
15. Emporte-Moi
16. L'homme De Berlin
17. Legende (Inedit)
18. Un Dimanche A Londres (Inedit)
19. A L'enseigne De La Fille Sans Coeur
20. La Valse De L'amour
21. Les Mots De L'amour

Disc 1
Disc 2

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Albert Ayler - Spirits (1964) (320)

"'Trane was the Father...Pharoah was the son...I am the Holy Ghost."

Part 3 of 3. Now we finally hear from the Holy Ghost, and how appropriate with this "Spirits" recording. I don't have too much information on this one, and to be honest this one doesn't grip me as much as the other two have. I prefer the second half of Spirits: contrast the burning drums and demented horn playing on "Holy, Holy" with the last piece, "Saints", which to me is just plain spooky.


1. Spirits
2. Witches And Devils
3. Holy, Holy
4. Saints


Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone
Norman Howard, trumpet
Henry Grimes (1,2,4) & Earle Henderson (1,3), basses
Sonny Murray, drums

All selections composed by Albert Ayler and recorded in New York City, Feb. 24, 1964

Notes by: Ole Vestergaard Jensen
Producers: Jürgen Frigaard & Robert Altshuler
Recording: Phil Iehle, Atlantic Recording Corp.
Cover design: Nina Aae

Breathless 52006