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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Top 5 from December 30, 2013, plus an aside

Heart of Glass by the Bad Plus from These are the Vistas
A rollicking treatment of the Blondie classic played with Lisztian left hand counterpoint from pianist Ethan Iverson (my audience-mate at the Jazz Standard in October) and a florid contribution from drummer Dave King. Points for taking the chorus in seven each time around, rather than just in the bridge as on the original.

The Real Me by the Who from Quadrophenia
Always wanted to be in a band that could play this song. It's a bit frightening how much I still feel this album at 43 as I did at 15. This is one of Moon's best performances (although the whole band if face-ripping good on this), but sadly approaching the time where his mind and body started to fall out of sync.

Northern Sky by Nick Drake from Bryter Layter
The answer to when someone goes “J'ever notice John Cale never produced anyone's second album.?”

The Hard Blues by Julius Hemphill from 'Coon Bid'ness
The classic leftover from the Dogon A.D. sessions of 1972, perhaps Julius' greatest hit, if one can say such things. Also brings to mind the performance from the Big Bands on the Edge concert in 1989 when Julius played this and a few other of this big band charts with the Jazz Composer's Alliance Orchestra augmented with Either/Orchestra and Orange than Blue, and also a trio performance by Oliver Lake, Mark Helias and Andrew Cyrille (plus Nancy Ostrovsky painting live) at the Central Square World's Fair in 2004 that blew my head off right there on Mass Ave. (Checking the date with Mr. Google, there was an amazing line-up that day, of which I don't remember seeing anything else. I'm not so cool after all.)

The Marriage by Billy Bragg, from the mystery live “disc 8” from the emusic download of Billy Bragg, Vol. 1
If only for “I dare you to wear white!”

An aside regarding Bier Bier Bier Downtown by People Like Us (from Abridged Too Far)
I'm amused by the combination of these two songs (the German folk/drinking song and Petula Clark singing her big hit auf Deutsche) since there is in Somerville's Davis Square a liquor store called Downtown Wine and Spirits and we've often amused ourselves as we pass by singing “when you are low and life is making you lonely you can always go ...”

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