Friday, February 17, 2017

A collective R.I.P.

Feeling sad at the moment.

We have kept rabbits for at least 15 years now. Pets for the children initially, but always family pets in reality; and it is we, not our children who have elected to keep having a couple of rabbits around. Until this week. We have always put them out in a run on the back lawn during the day. On Wednesday Mrs Darce arrived home and found an empty run. At first, it wasn't clear what had happened, we wondered if a person might have taken them. There was evidence something had lifted the wire at one end but the hole there didn't seem big enough to be relevant. But Whisper and Hector were nowhere to be seen. We looked around but found nothing. Later that night I was restless and went out with the torch to have another look around the garden, and it was then I found both of them – buried separately. A fox must have got them (at least we assume it was a fox). It seems foxes will do this, kill and then bury in a cache, possibly to return later. I retrieved them and we gave them a proper burial yesterday. Rabbits do not like to be alone. Whisper was an old lady and after her old partner died last year we got a new mate for her. Hector was only young. Anyway, they are together again now.

It is strange, the rabbits we have kept have never been house rabbits but right now the house seems so empty and quiet . This is the end of an era for us, we have decided there will be no more rabbits.


I learnt this week of the death of two jazz artists – Al Jarreau and Barbara Carroll R.I.P. I originally became aware of them as a result of my love of jazz-funk in the late Seventies . It prompted me to play the albums you see above for the first time in quite a few years, and make me wonder why I've ignored them for so long. The names from our youth continue to fall.




For Whisper and Hector R.I.P.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Something stirs


Hello, I'm still here. Offline for quite a while there.  As well as hello, I suppose I should also wish you belated Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year! 

In case you were wondering, nothing in particular caused the silence, just a number of little things that resulted in me losing my blogging mojo for a while. I think it's coming back now, although not enough yet that I feel moved to unleash any of my extended ramblings on you :)  

But music you shall have, today brought to you by those extra special Moments. 

Sweet, intensely so I think you will agree.

Moments - What's Your Name  1974          

Friday, December 16, 2016

Put It On The Hawg


No great missive today. Sometimes it's enough to let the music speak for itself.

Some great funky blues here from Jimmy Dawkins.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Simon and the amazing dancing drums

So there I was mulling over whether I could really commit to another year of “Advent-ure” here (i.e. a post a day in December up to Christmas) and then I blinked and it was already the 9th! So no then!

Work has continued to be too all consuming lately. Maximum frustration. You have a computer system that, although not perfect, has served you well for many years, then a new one comes along (in the guise of the great common groupwide system)... and despite many months of testing and “support” from our lauded central team is clearly not configured properly in some areas. I expect many of you have been there so I won't bang on. As a result is all I seem to want to do when I get home in the evenings lately is to sit down in front of the tele and vegetate.

I'm telling myself now there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm not sure. Enough of that.

I confess to never paying Joe Simon much attention before. Passed by on the other side of the street. His voice has never grabbed me and I suppose my entry point initially had been 1972 and I maintain his output by then was a bit lame. Anyway I stumbled across this 1970 Sound Stage 7 track of his recently - I Got A Whole Lot Of Lovin' - and was blown away. The track MOVES. Locked down by an insistent bass line and punctuated by some great brass Joe puts in a great performance but it's the drums that really stand out. They are simply amazing. GIVE THE DRUMMER SOME!

I cannot stop playing this – and it's a B-side!



This has caused me to start delving into Joe's catalog and I think I can find some more of his 45s to put on the wantlist. Not long after acquiring this SS7 45 I was at my local little record fair (the mainly R&R) one, more on which anon) and found another Joe Simon 45. When I'm Gone on Vee Jay From earlier in his career and now also in my collection. It's on the Deep side and is also right up my street, and I'm crossing over to the same side of the road as Joe now, it seems.

Swap the drums for some great guitar on this one. 



PS Apologies if you were looking forward to another Feel It Advent-ure (I was and I wasn't), all I can say is “I got a whole lot of lovin' just for you, a whole lot of making up to do” :)


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Mellow magic


It's been pleasant outside today, not cold considering the time of year. The early morning trip to the car boot sale was fruitless on the record front but the drive to it was worth it – the sun came up and made the yellows and oranges on the trees really glow and, with the mist lying on the fields between, it was a beautiful sight. Later in the morning I busied myself around the garden tidying and planting up some winter pots with some cheerful violas. After that Mrs Darce and I went for a stroll and kicked the leaves around. A late lunch (or was it an early dinner?) followed and then before we knew it it was dark outside. All in all I'm feeling very mellow today, and now with the curtains drawn I'm sitting down letting the warm and lovely sound of Blue Magic wrap itself around me like a cosy blanket. 

I have always had a soft spot for Blue Magic. In a way this is odd because I generally had a bit of an aversion to high falsetto singers when I was younger. That didn't stop me buying a few of their singles back in the 70s though, at least a couple of which have featured here at Feel It down the years.
Until last month I had not owned any of their albums. But now I am in possession of a copy of their 1974 album The Magic Of The Blue and I can certainly say it lives up to its name – there is plenty of magic to be heard.

Let these two tracks wrap you up.



Monday, October 31, 2016

A northern dig


Northern as in up towards the Arctic, not Soul.

So we were more than two weeks into our “trip of a lifetime” to Canada and Alaska, and I had not had a sniff of vinyl apart from this, which we stumbled across in a coffee shop in Canmore, Alberta on our first day


Withdrawal symptoms had set in, so I jumped up and down as if I had just spied a grizzly juggling salmon when I saw this in Ketchikan, Alaska...


Yes, a Sally Army thrift store! – and it had some records!! Two boxes of albums to be precise, which included a fair amount of mid 70s jazz-funk of the smooth variety – George Benson, Quincy Jones, Roy Ayers, that sort of thing- something I wouldn't have expected in deepest Alaska to be honest. Quite a few of the albums I already have in the collection, but I happily picked up three that I didn't for the princely sum of $2. For the record they were Bob James One, Material's Memory Serves (which is very good), and some live jazz in the form of Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Live!


Eastman is a highly regarded School of Music founded in 1921, based in Rochester NY, and still going strong. It offers degrees in many forms of music. In the jazz world Steve Gadd and Chuck Mangione are just two of the more well known names I picked out of their alumni list on Wikipedia.

This album collects some live performances made by college students at the Eastman Theatre during their '75 – '76 season. There are a mix of styles represented, although it is basically a big band. The small group Auricle, a jazz-fusion group who went one to have two releases on Chrysalis, is also featured on one track. It is rather good throughout. I was impressed by fidelity of the sound too, the vinyl is quite heavy. Not bad for 66c!

The track featured here is a Chick Corea composition. The sleeve notes tell us: “This chart is the sort of deft group piece that would seem to defy through its very intimacy any big band treatment. But drummer Ron Wagner turns it into a dynamic vehicle for a band that has the technique and time-sense to handle it. Soloists are graduate student Nelson Hinds on trombone, undergraduates Norman Rax on tenor and Rick Braun on trumpet. John Serry on piano and Ron Wagner on drums.”


Friday, October 21, 2016

It's so good for me

I was going to share a track from one of the albums I picked up in Alaska on my recent holiday but that will have to wait a bit.

Instead as it's Friday it is the return of the Friday Double Header - in which I feature a 45 where one side cannot in truth be posted without the other.

The A side (at least I believe it's the A side) of this 45 has nudged Phyllis Hyman's One Thing On My Mind off the turntable to become my latest earworm, and the other side is mighty fine too.

More and more Gene Chandler 45s are finding their way into the collection, this is the latest. Scary to think this one is more than 50 years old. 53 years old this month to be precise.

JohnnyPate gets the arranger credit on this one, and what an arrangement it is.




And here's the other side, which got the play X from the DJ who received this particular advance copy.



Gene Chandler – From Day To Day 1963