Friday, June 16, 2017


For the next two weeks I'll not be putting up any new
posts. My girlfriend and I are headed to Big Bend
National Park, in far mountainous west Texas. We
plan to camp, rock hunt, and check out some of the
oddball towns like Terlingua and Marfa. Once I re-
turn, I should be refreshed and ready to share some
more music with you all.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dry Your Eyes !!

As was the custom of the day, Brenda & the Tabulations' debut album
was overstuffed with familiar cover versions, which were done respect-
ably; actually, the sultry, drawn-out reading of "Summertime" is really
good, as is the calypso-ish take of the Marvelettes' "Forever." There are
also a few more originals by the Brenda Payton-Maurice Coates team
responsible for "Dry Your Eyes," including the low-charting single "Just
Once in a Lifetime"; this has a similar marriage of doo wop-type vocals
with the lush orchestration for which Philadelphia soul was famous.
The album had yet two more small soul hits in "Stay Together Young
Lovers" and Smokey Robinson's "Who's Loving You?"

This is yet another album which I scored this week,
while on the hunt in Montrose, Houston, TX.

Brenda & The Tabulations

Friday, June 9, 2017

I'm A Loser !!

I'm a Loser is the standout recording from Southern soul singer Doris Duke;
problem is, it's nearly impossible to find. Originally released on the Canyon
label in 1970, I'm a Loser found only intermittent life on small domestic and
Japanese labels. For fans of the gritty soul style of early Millie Jackson and
Denise La Salle recordings, this title is worth searching for. The 12 medium-
tempo tracks were mostly penned by fellow Southern singer Gary "U.S."
Bonds and producer Jerry Williams Jr. and are executed nicely by a crack
Capricorn Studio band. There's nothing here on the level of Aretha Franklin's
contemporary triumphs for Atlantic either in the quality of the vocals or
material, but Duke's own gospel-imbued voice, with its slightly hoarse
and urgent tone, finds its own niche. The lean, Stax-inspired numbers
also are very decent and even contain Duke's big hit "To the Other
Woman (I'm the Other Woman)." The fate of the love weary is the
main subject matter here and all its attendant drama is not only
captured well by Duke's pleading vocal delivery, but it is unobtru-
sively underscored by the minimal and tasteful string arrangements.
I'm a Loser may be a somewhat obscure title, but it is one that
would fit into any good soul collection.

Yesterday, I ran across a copy of this while on the search for
other records on my bucket-list. And so, here we are. As a
side note, I also found an original pressing of Out of Gas
"But Still Burning by Kashmere Stage Band, for a measly
$10! That's an ultra rare find of Houston funk. Yeesh!

Jesse Carr - Guitar
Doris Duke - Primary Artist (Vocals)
Paul Hornsby - Organ, Piano
Robert "Pops" Popwell - Bass
Richard Rome - String Arrangements
Johnny Sandlin - Drums
Jerry Williams, Jr. - Arranger, Composer, Piano, Producer

Doris Duke
1969 or 70

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Marvin Gaye and His Girls !!

Need I say anything about Marvin Gaye? There's much to read about this
veraciously talented man, so have at it, if you aren't familiar. The saddest
fact of his life is that he was murdered by his father:

At around 12:38 p.m. (PST) on April 1, 1984, while Gaye was in his
bedroom, his father Marvin Gay Sr. shot Gaye in the heart and then in
his left shoulder, the latter shot taken at point-blank range. Minutes
earlier, the two men had been involved in a physical altercation when
Gaye intervened in a fight between his parents. The first shot proved
to be fatal. Gaye was pronounced dead at 1:01 p.m. after his body
arrived at California Hospital Medical Center. -from Wikipedia

Marvin Gaye

Private Hell 36 & The Sweet Smell Of Success OST !!

Two more 1950's era soundtracks to complete my recent theme of posts.

Leith Stevens

The Chico Hamilton Quintet

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Man with the Golden Arm OST !!

One of the finest jazz soundtracks to come out of the '50s, The Man
with the Golden Arm is taken from the Otto Preminger film of the same
name. Preminger was always very jazz influenced, and on this film he
took his chances with Elmer Bernstein. Although the entire film is not
strictly jazz, the awesome dynamics and oddball structure of the music
is very based in the genre. Admittedly, the soundtrack works a little better
with knowledge of the film, but on its own it still shines as an excellent
example of how good film music can get. Bernstein's control over the
smallest details of the music is what gives it the energy it contains; his
blustery horns and deep percussion are only the front while some gorge-
ous orchestration happens almost unnoticed behind the music. Fans of
Bernstein should definitely give this a listen, as should any fans of
mainstream musicians' reaction to the post-bop era of jazz. This
is on par with Henry Mancini's brilliant Touch of Evil score and
Duke Ellington's strikingly similar Anatomy 
of a Murder soundtrack.

Elmer Bernstein

Anatomy of a Murder OST !!

This was Duke Ellington's first film score, undertaken at the urging
of Anatomy of a Murder's director, Otto Preminger. The full range of
the composer's previous work was brought to bear on this 1959 work.
Ellington was a natural choice to convey the rich and varied emotional
moods of this drama. Tension and release, danger and safety, movement
and stillness, darkness and light; the textural palette that was
Ellington's signature was always compellingly cinematic.

In these orchestral settings, Duke's soloists (Cat Anderson, Clark Terry,
Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, and others) shine, as their playing reflects
true variations on a theme in a classical sense. That's not to say that this
set doesn't swing, too -- "Happy Anatomy" is a short but fully cranked
gallop. This is an album of rich variety and evocative writing.

Duke Ellington

Friday, June 2, 2017

Touch Of Evil OST !!

Continuing with a 50's era movie soundtrack theme:
Unquestionably one of Mancini's greatest achievements, this score
to the classic 1958 Orson Welles film of scandal and intrigue along
the Mexican border used a lot of appropriate Latin accents: Afro-
Cuban percussion, smoky Tijuana jazz jive, and honky tonking
instrumental jump blues with a strong rock & roll flavor. Both
ominous and exuberant in its evocation of temptation and
deceit, it attracted the specific praise of no less a critic

Henry Mancini

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Odds Against Tomorrow OST !!

Music from Odds Against Tomorrow (also released as Patterns) is an
album by American jazz group the Modern Jazz Quartet featuring
interpretations of the soundtrack score for the 1959 motion picture.
It was released on United Artists Records, the label that the films'
production company United Artists just founded two years earlier
for its film soundtracks. The album was recorded with the
Modern Jazz Quartet and a 22-piece orchestra.

Pianist John Lewis wrote and arranged the original score. Although
he had already written music for No Sun in Venice, this was the first
time Lewis—given early 16 mm film proofs—composed along the
story-line rather than delivering “a set of isolated pieces”. Gunther
Schuller, who organized the orchestra for the original soundtrack
recordings, noticed that “it can serve its purpose in the film. But
it can also stand as absolute music apart from the
 original situation.” from Wikipedia

Modern Jazz Quartet