Last week I watched the Quentin Tarantino movie Death Proof (2007) and was really amazed by the absurdity of it’s story, scenes and vibe. It seems like every Tarantino movie I watch, is breaking barriers nobody knew they existed. In this movie, about a stuntman called Mike who likes killing girls with his ‘death proof’ stunt car, everything seemed to fall into place. And so did the music. Tarantino is a master in creating this weird, but oh so cool scenes which feel like a movie within a movie. Maybe that is why I really like this song: after watching this scene, the song becomes a integral part of it. This song from 1956 by R&B group The Coasters was definitely made for this scene, in which stuntman Mike is getting the best lapdance ever. So to understand what I am saying, don’t listen to the song, watch the scene.
Last week I bought a couple of new vinyls for to get back into that old school listening to music. Me and a friend went to Rotterdam, which is a great place to look for records and going through all the boxes full of vinyl. Especially the Nieuwe Binnenweg is the place to be, with stores as the Plaatboef and Demonfuzz Records. Plaatboef has a lot of records, cd and vinyl, ranging from new releases to a lot of second hand vinyl. Demonfuzz is the store for the real vinyl fans. It is a bit more expensive, but the quality of all the records is very good. Plus it has a lot of music that I like, a lot of jazz, soul, hip-hop and world music.
So these are the records that I bought:
Steely Dan – Greatest Hits. This is a band that I did not really know that well, but I heard some quite interesting stuff of them. Reason enough to check more of them. It is hard to say which genre this is, but I can best explain it as complex pop music with a lot of jazz influences. Listen: Reelin’ In The Years
A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory. One of the most inspiring and groundbreaking hip-hop records. Released in 1991, this was one of the records that showed hip-hop was not only about gangsters and ghettos. The Tribe rapped about everyday stuff, like love, their interest in rap music and the racism they had to go through in normal life. All this was done in a quite optimistic way with smooth, jazzy beats. Records like these show the wide variety of subgenres in hip-hop and are perfect for sunny summer days. Listen: Buggin’ Out
Charlie Parker – Immortal Sessions: Volume 6 Bongo Bop. Of course, Charlie Parker is one of the most influential saxophone players ever. I didn’t have any records with his music, so here I go. Probably more to follow. Listen: Cool Blues
Eric Gale – Ginseng Woman. Eric Gale is a guitar player, who did most of his work as a session musician. I got to know him by a friend of mine who let me hear a band called Stuff (check this out). I didn’t know he released solo records, but Wikipedia tells me he has twelve solo records and many, many more albums as session guitarist. I really like this album, it has a very relaxing vibe to it. And it sounds like Gale is really doing his own thing, instead of playing on others’ records. Listen: East End, West End
Nigeria 70 Sweet Times. This record is a collection of ‘Afro-Funk, Highlife & Juju from 1970’s Lagos’. I really like this Afro-Funk and Highlife stuff, because it shows a weird development in history. We all know that Afro-American soul and jazz music was highly influenced by original African music. What happened in the 1960’s and 70’s is that this music came back to Africa and had a big influence over there. The result are funky soulful grooves with typical African sounding vocals. Listen: Unity In Africa by Eji Oyewole.
Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66. Of course we all know Sergio Mendes from the massive hit Mas Que Nada. But this guy has been active for a much longer time, since the 50’s! He was one of the first persons who played bossa nova, together with other legends as Antiono Carlos Jobim. This record is perfect for beautiful summer days. Listen: Upa, Neguinho
The last couple of weeks I am really into this jazz song. Horace Silver is a jazz pianist and is well known for his funky type of playing. This song really shows that, with a strong bossa nova feel. Apart from the theme melody that you may recognize (the horn melody inspired Stevie Wonder for Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing), his solos groove as hell. I really like this kind of jazz. If you know more of it, feel free to comment!
On Dude, What’s My Food? I shared one of my Sinterklaas presents with you, now I’ll show you another one. I also got a box called Best of Blue Note, containing fifteen albums of true jazz legends on the famous record label. Almost all the famous jazz names made albums for Blue Note, like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker and so on. I can tell you, those are not the least names in jazz music. And all of them are in the box. And not only their albums, every cd goes together with a book, telling the story of the artist and the album together with beautiful pictures.
Here some songs of the albums. Listen to it, and you’ll realize what a legendary record label Blue Note was.
I still have to listen closer to all the albums, so there is probably more to follow. But this will keep you excited for the time being.
In this time of mp3’s, iPods and torrent seeds, there are a lot of moments when I am missing listening to music. And I mean listening. Those moments when you buy a new cd and put it in your cd player for the first time and doing nothing but sit in your couch listening. Or those moments when I listened to my parents’ vinyl records over and over, all those Beegees, Zappa and Ry Cooder songs.
That made me decide to buy a turntable myself and start collecting vinyl. As a good beginning, I bought about eight records. Later I was surprised it was all black music. All soul, hiphop and jazz.
These are some of the records I like most. Just listen to some of my favourite songs. Sure you’ll like it.
Candy by Lee Morgan
Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters
The World Is Yours by Nas
Rocket Love by Stevie Wonder
War/No More Trouble by Bob Marley
Doing It To Death by The J.B.’s