CDs worth owning in the age of Itunes! 15 Favorite obscure CDs!


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ALAN MOORE : THE MOON AND SERPENT GRAND EGYPTIAN THEATRE OF MARVELS -A fantastic CD, oral dissection and tour of London of the Id. Alan Moore is analogous to Shakespeare in that like Shakespeare he is one of the greatest writers of a castigated medium (Shakespeare worked in the, during his life, little respected medium of plays, mass entertainment for the mobs; and Moore works in the medium of comic books/graphic novels), and arguably is not fully understood or appreciated out of that medium in his lifetime. His spoken word CDs are some of the most amazing and compelling, combining his love of topics but strange and obscure, married to his voice, which is one of the greatest and most haunting voices of our age. Moon & Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels

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DEATH : FOR THE WHOLE WORLD TO SEE – Rock/Proto-Punk – Turned on to this CD by the wonderful documentary A BAND CALLED DEATH. A great documentary and a great CD. For the Whole World to See

ABRAHAM BURTON QUARTET : CAUSE AND EFFECT – Was turned onto this CD by Amiri Baraka when I met him a few years back and bought his excellent hardcover book DIGGING THE AFRO AMERICAN SOUL OF CLASSICAL AMERICAN MUSIC. Cause and EffectDigging: The Afro-American Soul of American Classical Music

CHE : NOT LIKE THEM – Caught this artist live performance years ago, and got this CD direct from him. It still remains one of the best CDs I own. An amazing performer who brings together Neo-soul, R&B, Rock, and some genres not invented yet, in a fun, head bobbing package.

TAALAM ACEY : BLUES RESURGENCE – Another artist I caught live, and got this CD direct from him. One of the greatest spoken word CDs. Blues Resurgence

MARK GROSS : RIDDLE OF THE SPHINX – I heard him play his title track in a dive bar, somewhere on the edge of the world, and purchased. A great purchase as it is one of the best Jazz Cds I’ve ever heard. Riddle of the Sphinx

AWADAGIN PRATT : A LONG WAY FROM NORMAL- My gold standard for classical piano CDs are the great Glenn Gould’s BACH THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS released by CBS Records and this lesser known, but no less great, album by Awadagin Pratt. A must own. Plays Liszt/Franck/Brahms/Bach

PARIS : THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT/SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY – I added these two CDs as one, because even though they are separated by decades, they are linked at the hip, by a fervor that is both mired in specific times, yet oddly time resistant. And a delivery… unequaled. The Devil Made Me Do It

TERRY CALLIER : SPEAK YOUR PEACE – Speak Your Peace

QUINCY JONES : IN COLD BLOOD – Soundtrack. Why on earth would anyone ever want the sound track to a movie? When I was young it made no sense to me. And to be truthful, for most movies and soundtracks I still feel that way. I’ve listened to a lot of not especially interesting soundtrack Records and CDs. And then one day I put on the LP to Cold Blood by Quincy Jones, a young Quincy Jones before he became the manager for the King of Pop, and settled into making pop and r&b albums. This young Quincy Jones was pushing how music could be used to elicit feelings and tell stories, and during the late 60s early 70s created some of the most experimental and haunting music ever conceived. IN COLD BLOOD remains the seminal instrumental work done not just by Quincy Jones, but by anyone. It was the first soundtrack album to open my eyes to the fact that the soundtrack can be a work of art onto itself. IN COLD BLOOD (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK LP, 1968)

JERRY GOLDSMITH : PLANET OF THE APES – Jerry Goldsmith has created mountains of Sound tracks, I don’t know if he has ever been more experimental or better than here. Planet Of The Apes: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Also Featuring Music From Escape From The Planet Of The Apes

JIMMY WILSON : FUTURE HISTORY – Future History

DON PEYOTE : BETWEEN WORLDS – A lot of people turn up their nose at the term New Age, rightly or wrongly I don’t know. What I do know is I’m in love with binaural effects, and CDs that, using just a headphone, can recreate a 360 degree environment. BETWEEN WORLDS does that brilliantly. A great CD to read or drift off to. Between Worlds with Hemi-Sync

STEVE USCHER : LA GUITARRA TROPICAL –

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IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE : REVOLUTIONARY VOL 2 – I have oft praised this CD. It should be required listening by people who want to hear what rap can be like… when it is about more than self grandizement and debasement.

Well hope you enjoyed that list of essential obscure CDs. Now I’m sure most of you in this age of Itunes have ditched your walkman, so how, you ask, do you play these cds? Well thankfully there are nice, compact, cost effective devices that allow you to take not only your cds but your dvds and other media with you when on the move. Here’s a link to one:

Sylvania Portable DVD Player SDVD7027-C, 7-Inch, Swivel Screen, Black

Enjoy!


BEST OF 2015: Album/CD of the Day… Oddisee’s THE GOOD FIGHT


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Oddisee’s THE GOOD FIGHT- After seeing numerous best of list in 2015 extolling Kendrick Lamar’s TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY I offer up THE GOOD FIGHT as a dissenting opinion. Good on any musician who can get accolades, but I’m of the mindset that the only thing good and creative about TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY is the title and that the actual album is juvenile and perhaps unnecessarily ignorant… to the point of stupidity.

There may be a positive message somewhere in TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY, but somewhere in the 15th N word this and F that, I became extremely bored. It was almost laughable, in that it seemed I was listening to a 14 year old that had just learned how to cuss and was doing it all the time, rather than an adult who should be able to put together a lyric or perhaps an entire song without the crutch of expletives.

And I know he is doing it because that is what his label wants him to do, what they want to sell to urban children as the extent of music, but it does a grand disservice to everyone.

It’s analogous to the comedian who goes on stage and does fart jokes, it may get a laugh or a chuckle when you’re a kid, just hearing it, but somewhere along the way you want more out of your humor than the lowest common denominator, You want wit, and perhaps a bit of wisdom. And the same for music, you get to the point where you want of your music, a bit of wit and wisdom.

THE GOOD FIGHT offers that bit of wisdom, delivered by a rapper with real skills and a social conscience, and the ability to sell his message without the crutch of constant cursing.

In any sane world you can not listen to the flow, the lyrics, the speed, the melody, the entire package that is Oddisee’s THE GOOD FIGHT and not rate it as not just the superior album by miles, but the superior performer. One is the work of an adult talking about you and me and the world striving toward better, and one is the petty ramblings about bitches and hos, not done particularly well.

The praise for TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY and the relative obscurity of THE GOOD FIGHT, perhaps indicative of a generation of children raised and sold on profanity over performance and mendacity over musicality. Well THE GOOD FIGHT is an excellent album for people raised on awful rap/gangsta ‘music’ to see what great Rap actually sounds like. Grade: B+.

Get your copy at the link below:
The Good Fight

Deals of the Day: Let The Good Times Roll: The Complete Decca Recordings 1938-1954 [Box set, Import] !

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Let The Good Times Roll: The Complete Decca Recordings 1938-1954 Nearly Sold Out CD Boxed Set!!

Editorial Reviews
“(9-CD LP-sized box set with 48-page book) Look out! as the man himself said, ”This is it!” Throw away those old bootlegs, sell the other albums and pick up these nine little boogie woogie blue plates. This is everything Louis recorded for Decca – in other words nine CDs of the most influential, and purely enjoyable R&B ever cut. Truly Reet Petite And Gone! Here are just a few of the memorable jump ‘n’ jive hits: Outskirts Of Town, What’s The Use Of Gettin’ Sober, Five Guys Named Moe, GI Jive, Caldonia, Buzz Me, Salt Pork West Virginia, Beware, Stone Cold Dead In The Market (with Ella Fitzgerald), Choo-Choo Ch’Boogie, Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens, Open The Door Richard, Boogie Woogie Blue Plate, Run Joe, Baby It’s Cold Outside (with Ella Fitzgerald), Beans And Cornbread, Saturday Night Fish Fry and Blue Light Boogie.It’s no exaggeration to say that R&B starts here. This is also the only set carefully re-engineered from the original metal parts!”— Amazon Reviews

“Let The Good Times Roll…” is old. It was originally issued in 1992 as an 8CD/1LP box set and then when Bear Family finally got the CD licensing rights for the Ella Fitzgerald LP, they reissued it in 1994 as this 9CD set which has remained on catalogue ever since.

It’s a 12″ x 12″ box with a 46-page album-sized booklet featuring a stunning and detailed life story and discography by PETER GRENDYSA – which in itself is peppered with movie stills, newspaper clippings, Harlem Hit Parade charts, Sheet Music etc… There are 215 tracks (32 unreleased) with expert tape and 78″ transfers by the legendary BEAR FAMILY experts in Germany – great sound throughout despite the vintage [age]. Other vocalists and players featured throughout include RODNEY STURGESS (Jordan’s first ever credit in 1939), YACK TAYLOR, DAISY WINCHESTER, MABEL ROBINSON, KENNETH HOLLON, BING CROSBY, ELLA FITZGERALD, MARTHA DAVIS, VALLI FORD, LOUIS ARMSTRONG and BILL DOGGETT.”— Amazon Reviews

“Absolutely Stunning. This is the second collection I’ve bought that was produced by the Bear family (the first was Lesley Gore – It’s My Party), and I’m here to tell you, it’s a stunner. Packaged in a sturdy large box containing nine individually cased discs (discs eight and nine are in one jewel case), a printed booklet, and the CDs themselves even resemble miniature vinyl records with grooves on the label side.” –Amazon Reviews

100 Reasons CDs still rock! Reason #42: NOISY LOVE SONGS by Okkyung Lee

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NOISY LOVE SONGS by Okkyung Lee – Is undeniably noisy and I’m almost positive that portions of its scathing sound stage begins to liquefy my frontal lobe, but that’s a negotiable price to pay for cellist Okkyung Lee and her eight part ensemble’s ability to take sound and music far past normal.

A challenging but revelatory listening experience that you need the full sonic range that a good CD will provide, to adequately hear and experience. Grade: B+. Strongly Recommended!

Noisy Love Songs… price your cd here!

And take your CDs and DVDs with you, with this 21st century walkman: Coby TFDVD7011 7-Inches Portable DVD Player

Today’s Recommended Deals!

Documentary Review: A BAND CALLED DEATH

“Try your best in life, to keep your promise to God; and give God time enough to keep His promise to you.” Bobby Hackney, quoting his Dad

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I am that most horrible of things. I am a collector and a romantic, and those two things together tend to make me… sentimental about certain things.

Those two things tend to make me extremely emotional about certain things.

And I try to avoid things that will make me either emotional or sentimental. But sometimes that’s not for you to say. Sometimes there comes along something worthy of both sentimentality and emotion.

The documentary A BAND CALLED DEATH is one of those things. The phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ is oft heard, but little acknowledged; you’ll acknowledge it in the watching of this film, about three Black Brothers in a thriving early 70s Detroit, creating a hyper brand of rock, a punk music, years before punk; and the winding road that winding music… takes them on.

Just a brilliant, wrenching film, the feature film debut of Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett makes you want to scream, and create, and believe in family and generations, and believe in being a better man… and that confluence of feelings, is a rare and rarefied thing. A gift.

A highly recommended documentary, viewable free via streaming, that will spur you for posterity and for joy… to buy not just the documentary, but the cds associated with it.

A Band Called Death (+ Digital Copy) –

For the Whole World to See – Here is the long awaited CD/Album referenced in the documentary. Here music that was almost lost for all time, but for a man’s faith… that the world would come

Maximum Soul Power – And here the next generation, inspired and building upon what came before

Just riveting all around. Click the links, and for little, own much.

CD of the Day (and strong contender for CD of the Year) Gregory Porter’s LIQUID SPIRIT


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I’ve been listening to a lot of music recently. Actual cds not mp3s, not rough compressions or rough approximations of the song, but the full CD sound spectrum of the song.

MP3s were never designed as a replacement for musical CDs, it is a sampling medium, great for helping you decide what is worth buying (or even audio books where for the most part all you are reproducing is a person’s limited conversational speaking range) but not suitable as a replacement for a full range music recording. MP3s get rid of extraneous info, the highs and the lows, the extremes, but oft I’ve found it’s those very pauses and extremes… that compression schemes such as MP3 would lose, wherein we are best found.

I’ve listened to everything from Rock to Rap, sampling all those voices from the near and far. And some of those CDs are very good, but only one recently has been inspired, has been revelatory. Revelatory as in revelation. Gregory Porter’s LIQUID SPIRIT is that cd. Not since stumbling upon the works of Terry Callier or Solomon Burke have I been so impressed with a new discovery. It’s not just his voice, or even the lyrics, which as stated are inspired, it is his phrasing, his delivery. Smooth and easy crooning, holding at bay… a night falling into day. It’s a very relaxed delivery, crooning to you, as the stars… dim.

Melancholy. That’s the word, there is a vein of melancholy in Gregory Porter’s Grammy acclaimed vocals, but melancholy that is tempered by a fervent romanticism. This is timeless music, as valid for an audience of 1920 as it will be for an audience of 2020.

This is today’s MUST BUY, not just the CD of the day, but a CD to enjoy from first song to last for far longer than a day. An essential CD.

In an age of Itunes when everyone is satisfied with listening to the distant echoes of music (mp3s) this is a CD that will prompt you to invest in, that nearly extinct device, a portable CD player.

However, it is the 21st century so thankfully we have alternatives to just having a portable CD player. You can, for a little more, buy a simple media tablet about the same size and weight as a portable CD player, but that allows you to play your MP3 cd-rs and cd-rws (as much as I rail against MP3 for music, for audio books or Old Time Radio it works just fine) as well as view DVDs! That folks is what we call… a win/win!

Price both the CD and a good portable media player-tablet, at the links below. You’ll be glad… for both.

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Liquid Spirit CD

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Coby TFDVD7009 7-Inch Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Player, Black – nifty portable media tablet… now it appears Coby Electronics has gone the way of the dodo, so you may want to pick up these low cost DVD/CD/media tablets while you can.

Enjoy the links. And if you purchase through the links, I want to let you know it is always appreciated, and helps keep this Blog going. Thanks and enjoy the items!!!

And for those looking to catch Gregory Porter in concert, he has a pretty lively 2014 touring schedule, He’s currently tearing through Europe, but has a few stateside stops as well, to include, PA, New orleans, Colorado, DC, and a few more. View the whole schedule here!