Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gabor Szabo - Spellbinder

Spellbinder. What an accurate description!

I am honestly not a huge fan of jazz in general. For me, most of the time, I just don't "get it". Yeah, I know, I should be scorned now because I volunteer at a predominately jazz radio station, but there is some that I do really enjoy...about 20%. For me, a lot of times, jazz generally goes on and on and on and I don't really see the point, but this record, for sure, has set me straight in a way.

This album is absolutely amazing. I put it on and right from the start, I wasn't bored in any way. Aside from the couple minutes it took me to scan the album cover and size the pictures, I sat here in the early afternoon sun and just immersed myself in this great instrumentalist.

Side One:
It Was a Very Good Year
Gypsy Queen

Side Two:
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
My Foolish Heart
Autumn Leaves
Speak to Me of Love

While, in my opinion, side one is a lot more interesting than side two, it's all good. The gatefold cover also had some great descriptions of the songs and a little about Gabor Szabo himself, since I pretty much had no idea about him. It is interesting to note that "Cheetah" was inspired by a "new New York discotheque", which I believe I have some pictures of in one of my old Life magazines. Very cool.

All in all, I give "Spellbinder" a 4 out of 5 star rating. I'll absolutely be looking into more of his stuff.

If you are a slight jazz nay-sayer and don't believe me as to how awesome this is, check out the title track here:


Where did you buy this record and when?

"This has to be a very early purchase of mine from Izzy's, so it has to be 1995 or 1996."

Do you own it in any other format?

"I have it on CD"

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"It's great! It's hard to describe. It drifts along and sucks you in, and it's relaxing. Great guitar."

Favorite Track?

"The title track, 'Cheetah', and 'Gypsy Queen'."

How many stars out of five?

"Four and 1/2. I knock it down for 'Autumn Leaves'"

Monday, August 2, 2010

Various Artists - Trans-World Punk Rave-Up: Raving 60's Beat and R&B from All Over, Volume 2

I seemed to have reached the shelves that are mostly compilations lately, but that's not a bad thing. It allows me to hear a lot of different artists that I probably wouldn't have picked up on myself.

This comp is pretty interesting. Since it's bands "from all over", it brings me back to wondering what I've wondered ever since I heard a Japanese group cover, "I Love You" by The Zombies. Why do bands that don't speak English aspire to sing songs in English? Is it just the success factor? Money? Is it due to what's popular at the time? I wonder, because I can't say that I've ever heard an English band try to emulate, say, a band from Denmark. It's a puzzler to me. Granted, there are a lot of languages that are pretty lovely when sung (i.e. French), but I wouldn't think that English would be one of them. It could just be the plain and simple fact that it's were rock 'n roll got to be king.

Anyway, today's album is:

Track Listing:
Side One:
1. T-Boones "King of the Orient: Sounds suspiciously like parts of "Little Green Bag" in my opinion.

2. Blue Stars "I Can Take It"

3. Phantom Brothers "Chicago": Very cool. I love this one. Probably because I do love Chicago, myself. I grew up not too far from there and anything Chicago-ish tends to make me a little nostalgic.

4. I Kings "Trovane Un Altro" The first of a few foreign language tunes on this record. I tend to not flip over things that I can't understand the lyrics to. (This even applies to songs that are in English that just have horrible enunciation.) However, like most of the songs on this comp, the music is really good. I just don't speak Italian...which isn't their fault.

5. Blue Stars "Social End Product" Woo! Great fuzz guitar and angry, yet smart lyrics.

6. Jaguars "It's All Over Now" A live-sounding, diabolical version of The Stones' tune. I lost count at how many lyrics they messed up. lol

7. Les Miserables "Miserablement Votre" Okay, this one sounds really familiar...what does this translate to in English? Cool percussion.

8. Rivals "Got Love If You Want It" Who didn't cover this song in some form or another?

Side Two:

1. Frays "Keep Me Covered"

2. Brand "Zulu Stomp" (Sounds quite familiar...I think John's played this on our show.)

3. Tony Jackson "Fortune Teller" (I think he might have played this one too?) Much more familiar with The Who's version, but this one isn't bad.

4. Bats "Got a Girl"

5. Fab "I Only Gave You Everything" This is pretty fab :-)

6. Teste Dure "Era Un Beatnik" I love the title. lol "Oh yeah!" "Oh si!"

7. David John & the Mood "Pretty Thing

8. Los Slavajes "Soy Asi" No wonder this band is on the cover, this is a great song...and I think I may be able to undertand some of the lyrics...unless I'm way off base (which could be totally possible.) I had Spanish in high school, but that was over ten years ago. However, I think "Soy Asi" means, "That's me"? (I apologise to any Spanish speaking readers. You have my full persmission to totally make fun of me!) He's obviously singing about some of the current popular bands (as evidenced by the riffs interjected throughout the song), and about how he wears his pants and plays a guitar and sings. Yep, that's all I could get out of it, but I still liked it!

So, who are these bands, really? All that is in the liner notes are the locations (countries) these bands are from. I'm sure you (and John) probably all have some trivia about these bands "from all over", so I'll leave all that to you in your comments, if you choose to participate.

Three and a half stars from me.

Y Tu Juan...?

Where did you buy this record and when?
(There's no reciept!)

"I got this with the other volume from Izzy. He ordered it for me. I'm guessing probably between 1999 and 2001."

Do you own it in any other format?

"No, but I have three or five of these songs on CD in other comps."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"I was hearing it in the other room and it's awesome. It's great euro-beat/garage punk. Think I might have to play it again and pick out some tracks for the show."

Favorite Track?

"Tony Jackson's 'Fortune Teller'. That I Kings song 'cause it sounds like The Kinks."

How many stars out of five?