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!
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
telling myself now there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm
not sure. Enough of that.
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!
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.
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.
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
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...
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!
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
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!
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
the last couple of months have been full on is something of an
started with our trip to Canada and Alaska which is now already
starting to feel like a distant memory. Mrs Darce and I, together
with eight other friends, took in Calgary-Banff-Jasper by road,
boarded the Rocky Mountaineer to Vancouver, spent a few days in
Victoria, then cruised into Alaska, and finished off in Vancouver.
Fantastic scenery, bears, whales, glaciers, and almost uninterrupted
sunshine – we were so lucky with that. “Just wow” was an often
used expression. A trip of a lifetime... but maybe we will do New
returned to an intense three weeks at work as a new computer system
was implemented. A lost weekend, and plenty of late evenings. Still
the new system shenanigans I managed to get way with Mrs Darce for a
day as we celebrated our 30th(!) wedding anniversary.
Then, last weekend, we drove our daughter and a car full of her
belongings over to Germany.
world! I want to blog!
were in Vancouver I managed to slip away for an hour or two and dip
into a couple of record shops – I was lucky that they happened to
be only 10 minutes walk from our hotel. Vinyl and Beat Street are
both on West Hastings. Vinyl was, frankly, overwhelming. Crammed with
record bins crammed with records and seemingly every available floor
space also covered in more stacks of records. Much of it was actually
filed by genre – and micro genre – but in the end I still didn't
really know where to start. It needed more time than I had so I
decided to withdraw gracefully. A block up was Beat Street which had
a good selection. It was there I found an album in the right
condition and price I had been on the look out for a while –
Phyllis Hyman's debut album from 1977. I have waxed lyrical about
Phyllis before, and have been a fan for many years. I had overlooked
her debut album until recently though. It has plenty of strong
tracks, One Thing On My Mind
is the one that initially drew my attention though, it was written
and originally performed by Evie Sands. I featured Evie's version
here some time ago... just a minute, when was that? Exactly one year
ago to the day! Spooky!
life story is a sad one, she was diagnosed bi-polar, and ultimately
took her own life in 1995.
a beautiful woman blessed with an equally beautiful voice, in fact
I'm sure she would have matured into a superb jazz singer. But you
could hear her pain, there was a deep melancholy in her voice I
think, and I am often moved to tears when I listen to her. (Looking into her eyes there is a sadness there too isn't there?)
Friday it must be a double header 45. At least for a while here, and now
and then, that holds true.
time for another one.
long time I was only aware of Thelma Jones through her tortured and superb 1976
single Salty Tears, which has
featured here before. I have since familiarised myself to a degree
with her earlier output. The House That Jack Built
for example is a favourite on the mod/scooter/Northern scene and is a
recently I didn't have any other records of hers, but now this, a
copy of her first 45, is safely tucked away in the collection.
Stronger I knew, it's
a good driving dancer, although a little repetitive. The attraction
for me is Never Leave Me. I
had not heard this track until a few months ago. Something of a deep
soul gem, it is right up my alley. Thelma takes it to church, although
to be more precise I am sure she took it straight from church where I
just know she must have been singing just before she recorded this in
late 1966. A time when the slow, deep side would still take
the A, with the dancer relegated to the B. That would soon change,
and the trend continued to the extent that the dancer always seems to get the push now whether it was an A or a B side – as I said I knew Stronger
but it has taken nearly 50 years to hear Never Leave Me,
and now it will live up to its title. Thelma Jones is one helluva
singer who deserves to have a deeper catalog.
Mostly vinyl, mostly a private pleasure - until now.
Music posted here I have bought and gained much pleasure from listening to down the years (or months, or days!). So in the spirit of an 'all back to mine' it's time to share it.
DISCLAIMER: If you hear something you like I urge you to seek it out and purchase it in your format of choice. Mp3s found here are posted for a limited time and are for illustrative and previewing purposes only. If you are the creator or copyright holder of any material posted and object to it's appearance on this blog then please email me at darcyfeelit (at) blueyonder.co.uk and it will be removed forthwith.