Sunday, March 30, 2014

19. Marian Anderson - Spirituals

When the first notes of this album began to play, a sense of dread filled me.  Of all the musical styles I love... opera isn't on it.  Having seen the song list, I was looking forward to hearing this.  Many of the songs I knew from versions done by some of my favorite artists, including Jerry Garcia, Pete Seeger, The Wayfaring Strangers and others.

But this was opera - and there were 30 songs on the album!

I gave it a chance, and within a few songs, I was really into it.  Her voice is rich and smokey, like a good porter, and works perfectly with with the subject matter - songs of religion and the pain of slavery.

I'm not sure this is something I'd listen to all the time, but I'm really glad I stuck with it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

18. Albert Ammons and Meade "Lux" Lewis - The First Day

When I first got into jazz via the Columbia Jazz Club (I may not have the name exactly right, but they would send you several jazz CDs each month), one of my favorites was Erroll Garner's "Concert by the Sea."  The boogie-woogie in this 1939 album reminded me a lot of that.

Fun fact I learned from the 1000 Recordings book - this was the first album released on the amazing Blue Note label.  Great rollicking energy in this album...

17. Los Amigos Invisibles - Arepa 3000: A Venezuelan Journey into Space

This album is an absolute blast!  Latin grooves mix with classic disco sounds for one big dance party.  Spacey, weird, funky songs blend together (I'm always a huge fan of songs segueing into each other)

My only quibble with this album?  Too damn long.  There's almost no way to sustain this type of fun for 66 minutes, so by the end, you're feeling "OK, I got it!"

Party on!