This nice weather really needs some Bob Marley. For me, Bob Marley is an artist that has produced so much great tracks. Whatever you turn on with him as an artist, it surely sounds great. African Herbsman is no exception. Just turn this track on and chill out. I can’t even remember all the days that this track was playing on my stereo and I was just chilling.
The Section is a band from Los Angeles formed in the early seventies. They mostly performed as a backing band for great artists like Crosby & Nash, James Taylor, Carole King, Jackson Browne and ehm… James Blunt. Because of all the artists they played with, you can hear that these guys can play every style of music. In their free time they recorded in total three albums, with mostly instrumental songs. This song was recorded in the time The Section recorded James Taylor’s album One Man Dog in 1972. The theme of this song is so catchy. First it starts with a very smooth guitar lick. When you think that’s it, the rest of band comes in with an even catchier saxophone melody. That groove goes on with a great sax solo. I really like the moment when the band stops and only that first guitar line comes back in. And now I’m listening to the song for the tenth time in a row, listen to that amazing bass guitar. Great song!
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
At our high school, there was a boy who was always walking around, looking and behaving very eerily. Guess what his nickname became…? Not very nice I know. This track always reminds me of him. This one is for you Psycho Killer. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa!
Oh man. I just referred to this song in another post and it just deserves its own post. Sugar On My Tongue by the Talking Heads is a song from their debut album 77 from the year 1977. The song is so groovy and I really like how David Byrne sings in this track. The way he says ‘tongue’ like a crazy man and the way he brings every line is great. I always thought this track was about LSD since one way to consume LSD is to dip a sugar cube in LSD (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas anyone?) or at least about drugs, but after researching the only conclusion is that there are three possible scenarios. The first scenarios says, yes, it is about LSD or some other drug. The second scenario says that it is about sex since, apparently, ‘borrowing sugar from the neighbor’ was a reference to sex in the sixties. But this song was released in 1977 so… who knows? The last scenario is just the possibility that the track is about anything that you personally interpret what it is about. But the thing is, however you interpret the lyrics of the song, it still stays a great song.
Need a smile on your face, damn… listen to this song! I am still at my school at the moment, otherwise I would have danced like crazy. It might be blue monday today, I’m still laughing and I will tomorrow. Yeee-hahhahahhaa!
From Format B’s Piano Man to this Piano Man is a giant leap. But in the realm of good music, it isn’t even that far. The song was released in 1973 and it was a major hit (we can hear why). From the great piano (I love piano music and the part starting at 03:35 is just fantastic!) to the maybe even greater input of the harmonica and the unforgettable lyrics, this tracks has it all to righteously say it is a classic. But what makes it really unforgettable is the construction of the song. What I mean to say is that the song is sung from the perspective of a piano man, that sings about the people he sees at the bar. He tells all kinds of background stories of the people in the bar, but the chorus is sung by the people in the bar. This perspective is something that makes it truly great.