Friday, December 11, 2009

Vince Guaraldi Trio - "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965)

One of the greatest Christmas albums of all time. I don't know how Charles Schulz came up with the idea to pair his Peanuts Gang with a piano jazz score but it was a brilliant move. The music of Vince Guaraldi perfectly represents the humor, innocents, and charm of the comic strip, and on this album, immediately puts you in the Winter season and the holiday spirit. -- Chris Baginski

1. "O Tannenbaum" 5:08
2. "What Child Is This?" 2:25
3. "My Little Drum" 3:12
4. "Linus and Lucy" 3:06
5. "Christmas Time Is Here" (Instrumental) 6:05
6. "Christmas Time Is Here" (Vocal Version) 2:47
7. "Skating" 2:27
8. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" 1:55
9. "Christmas Is Coming" 3:25
10. "Für Elise" 1:06
11. "The Christmas Song" 3:17
12. "Greensleeves" 5:26

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Skafish - "Tidings of Comfort and Joy" (2005)

Don't let their band name throw you off, these are lounge lizard jazz instrumentals of Christmas classics. Skafish is actually the surname of bandleader Jimmy Skafish, a Chicago pioneer of the American punk and new wave sound. Here he shows off his classical and jazz training with cool and melodic runs that's a must for this year's Christmas parties. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Joy to the World" (4:07)
2. "Deck the Hall" (3:33)
3. "The First Noel" (3:39)
4. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" (5:14)
5. "Silent Night" (5:09)
6. "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" (4:54)
7. "O Come O Come Emmanuel" (5:37)
8. "What Child Is This?" (4:27)
9. "Angels We Have Heard On High" (4:58)
10. "Away in a Manger" (4:54)
11. "We Three Kings Fusion" (10:27)
12. "God Rest Ye Merry Gents" (5:57)
13. "Jingle Bells" (5:02)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jimmy Smith - "The Definitive Jimmy Smith" (2002)

Cooking with music spinning is always fun and for me this is a go-to-album in the kitchen category. Jimmy Smith was one of the first musicians to use the Hammond B-3 Organ in jazz and blues, revolutionizing the instrument past its intended home of church choir lofts. This Verve label release is a nice sampling of the unique fusing Smith did through his career with funk, soul, and swing and it's worth it just for the remastered versions of The Sermon and Midnight Special. It also finishes up nicely with Night Train, the funky jam George McFly grooves to at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. Something that really cooks? This album cooks for sure. -- Chris Baginski

1. "The Champ" (8:38)
2. "The Sermon" (20:10)
3. "Midnight Special" (9:56)
4. "Walk On The Wild Side" (5:57)
5. "The Cat" (3:25)
6. "Got My Mojo Workin'" (8:02)
7. "Night Train" (6:46)

Back At the Chicken Shack (video)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waylon Jennings - "Waylon Live" (1976)

When country music started become too sugarcoated in the late 60's and early 70's, Waylon Jennings was among the first musicians to push for a rawer, back-roads style that became known as Outlaw Country. The gritty, answer-to-no-one back bone of the outlaw movement is personified by Jennings, along with other giants like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Merle Haggard. This recently remastered and expanded live album jumps from 9 tracks to 42, and captures Jennings and his band at the top of their collective game during the course of three Texas concerts in 1974. -- Chris Baginski

Disc One

1. "T For Texas (Blue Yodel #1)"
2. "Stop The World (And Let Me Off)"
3. "Lonesome On'ry And Mean"
4. "You Ask Me To"
5. "Louisiana Women"
6. "I'm A Ramblin' Man"
7. "Me An Paul"
8. "It's Not Supposed To Be That Way"
9. "Slow Rollin' Low"
10. "Rainy Day Woman"
11. "Good Hearted Woman"
12. "Mental Revenge"
13. "Amanda"
14. "This Time"
15. "Laid Back Country Picker"
16. "The Last Letter"
17. "Honky Tonk Heroes"
18. "Willie The Wandering Gypsy And Me"
19. "Donna On My Mind"
20. "We Had It All"

Disc Two

1. "Ladies Love Outlaws"
2. "Big Ball In Cowtown"
3. "Just To Satisfy You"
4. "Anita You're Dreaming"
5. "Big Big Love"
6. "Me And Bobby McGee"
7. "If You Could Touch Her At All"
8. "Bob Wills Is Still The King"
9. "Look Into My Teardrops"
10. "Long Way From Home"
11. "The Taker"
12. "Mississippi Woman"
13. "Mona"
14. "Never Been To Spain"
15. "Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line"
16. "Freedom To Stay"
17. "Lovin' Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again)"
18. "Pick Up The Tempo"
19. "Ain't No God In Mexico"
20. "House Of The Rising Sun"
21. "Band Intros"
22. "You Can Have Her"

Luckenback, Texas Video

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Steve Young - "Seven Bridges Road" (1972)

It's funny how hard certain albums can be to track down these days. There are plenty of methods for acquiring music in the 21st Century but a decent amount of older music still remains out of print, having never moving past the age of vinyl, tapes, etc. But when you do eventually find a copy, it makes it that much sweeter to listen to. I came across Steve Young after noticing one of my favorite Waylon Jennings songs, Lonesome On'ry & Mean, was written by Young. I had no luck tracking the original Seven Bridges Road album down, but eventually found a limited edition (1000 copies issued) remastered version that was only released in South Korea. The songs are shuffled and it was put out with different album art, but it also contains eight previous unreleased songs not included on the 1972 version. Give this great album a listen to hear what was a major influence on the outlaw and alternative country movements that followed. -- Chris Baginski

1. Seven Bridges Road (3:37)
2. Montgomery In The Rain (4:08)
3. Ragtime Blue Guitar (2:45)
4. Long Way To Hollywood (3:49)
5. Down In The Flood (3:59)
6. Ballad Of William Sycamore (4:16)
7. My Oklahoma (3:00)
8. Wild Goose (3:43)
9. Days Of 49 (3:35)
10. Lonesome On'ry & Mean (3:37)
11. I Begin To See Design (2:57)
12. One Car Funeral Procession (3:06)
13. Many Rivers (2:59)
14. Come Sit By My Side (3:01)
15. True Note (2:56)
16. I Can't Hold Myself In Line (2:18)
17. Crash On The Levy (2:34)
18. White Trash Song (3:03)

See Steve Young on Tour

Monday, September 28, 2009

Elliott Smith - "XO" (1998)

The mark of a artist is when, instead of trying to reproduce an emotion, they completely display the feeling in its present form. It's not just a memory, it's happening this very moment. That ability to immediately sway the listener's state is displayed by Elliott Smith with raw truth and uncompromising honesty. As meek and battered as he appeared, he mastered a portrayal of sadness that crisscrossed sorrow and anguish with acceptance and defiance. And while his music may be understated, his death certainly wasn't. Still not officially ruled a suicide, Smith most likely took his own life in 2003 with two stab wounds to his chest. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Sweet Adeline" (3:15)
2. "Tomorrow Tomorrow" (3:07)
3. "Waltz #2 (XO)" (4:40)
4. "Baby Britain" (3:13)
5. "Pitseleh" (3:22)
6. "Independence Day" (3:04)
7. "Bled White" (3:22)
8. "Waltz #1" (3:22)
9. "Amity" (2:20)
10. "Oh Well, Okay" (2:33)
11. "Bottle Up and Explode!" (2:58)
12. "A Question Mark" (2:41)
13. "Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands" (4:25)
14. "I Didn't Understand" (2:17)

Thirteen (Video)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sam Cooke - "Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964" (2003)

This collection of music is so appropriately named Portrait of a Legend in that Sam Cooke completely deserves that title. Not only is he one of the most influential Soul singers, he's one of the founders and pioneers of the genre. And like so many other legends, his life was brief, surviving only to the age of 33 after being shot in a Los Angeles hotel in 1964. But his heavenly voice lives well beyond that day and pure emotion remains wrapped in every note he sang . -- Chris Baginski

1. "Touch the Hem of His Garment"
2. "Lovable"
3. "You Send Me"
4. "Only Sixteen"
5. "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons"
6. "Just for You"
7. "Win Your Love (For Me)"
8. "Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha"
9. "I'll Come Running Back to You"
10. "You Were Made for Me"
11. "Sad Mood"
12. "Cupid"
13. "Wonderful World"
14. "Chain Gang"
15. "Summertime"
16. "Little Red Rooster"
17. "Bring It on Home to Me" *
18. "Nothing Can Change This Love"
19. "Sugar Dumpling"
20. "(Ain't That) Good News"
21. "Meet Me at Mary's Place"
22. "Twistin' the Night Away"
23. "Shake"
24. "Tennessee Waltz"
25. "Another Saturday Night"
26. "Good Times"
27. "Having a Party"
28. "That's Where It's At"
29. "A Change Is Gonna Come"
30. "Jesus Gave Me Water"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Belle & Sebastian - "Dear Castastrophe Waitress" (2003)

Scottish Indie Poppers Belle & Sebastian took their name from a children's book which was later turned into a 1980's Nickelodeon cartoon and when you hear their music, you'll see the Saturday morning connection. There's an innocence to Dear Catastrophe Waitress that's pretty bubblegum and the seven members of Belle & Sebastian have no problem embracing that. The music has an airy quality to it that's delicate and breezy and comes from the band in soft effortless breathes. Makes for a nice audio addition to your coffee and paper on a weekend morning. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Step into My Office, Baby" (4:12)
2. "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" (2:22)
3. "If She Wants Me" (5:05)
4. "Piazza, New York Catcher" (3:03)
5. "Asleep on a Sunbeam" (3:22)
6. "I'm a Cuckoo" (5:26)
7. "You Don't Send Me" (3:08)
8. "Wrapped Up in Books" (3:34)
9. "Lord Anthony" (4:14)
10. "If You Find Yourself Caught in Love" (4:15)
11. "Roy Walker" (2:57)
12. "Stay Loose" (6:41)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ween - "The Mollusk" (1997)

Ween's 1997 underwater odyssey brings you down into the abyss complete with sea monsters, pirates, barnacles and urchins. Written by the sandy shores of New Jersey's Long Beach Island, The Mollusk paints you into a waterworld of stormy oceans and gray-skied harbor towns. Sea captains singing shanties and an orchestra of nautical noise will have you swimming out in darkened waters with the flotsam and jetsam before you know it. -- Chris Baginski

1, "I'm Dancing in the Show Tonight" (1:55)
2. "The Mollusk" (2:36)
3. "Polka Dot Tail" (3:19)
4. "I'll Be Your Jonny On the Spot" (2:00)
5. "Mutilated Lips" (3:48)
6. "The Blarney Stone" (3:14)
7. "It's Gonna Be (Alright)" (3:18)
8. "The Golden Eel" (4:03)
9. "Cold Blows the Wind" (4:27)
10. "Pink Eye (On My Leg)" (3:12)
11. "Waving My Dick in the Wind" (2:11)
12. "Buckingham Green" (3:18)
13. "Ocean Man" (2:07)
14. "She Wanted to Leave (Reprise)" (4:25)

See Ween On Tour

Tito Puente - "Puente Goes Jazz" (1956)

Born in New York City's Spanish Harlem in 1923, Tito Peunte was impressing the neighborhood with his ferocious percussion skills by age 10. Recording over 100 albums in his career, Puente fused Afro-Cuban beats with everything from Big Band compositions and Mambos, to Bossa Nova and Jazz. Here on Puente Goes Jazz, every listener is transformed by the swinging rhythms into a sharp dressed cat from the 1950's. -- Chris Baginski

1. "What Is This Thing Called Love" (3:22)
2. "Tiny-Not Ghengis" (2:49)
3. "What Are You Doin' Honey" (2:45)
4. "Lotus Land" (4:52)
5. "Lucky Dog" (3:21)
6. "Birdland After Dark" (4:36)
7. "That's A Puente" (2:32)
8. "Yesterdays" (4:35)
9. "Terry Cloth" (4:56)
10. "Tito 'In" (2:56)

Tito Puente on Sesame Street

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ray Charles - "Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music" (1962)

This seminal album in American music history blended soul with country & western music at a time when racial tension was swelling. Studio execs thought it was a mistake when Ray Charles decided to cover country and folk standards for his upcoming album, but it became a critical and commercial success that some consider his finest studio outing. Just as he seamlessly combined Gospel and R&B to create Soul, he again shows here how interwoven American music is. Almost five decades later, the strings and backing vocals may sound a bit syrupy, but Brother Ray's voice is always there to save the day. It all combines to sit you down on a wrap around porch with lemonade and a rocking chair on a Southern summer afternoon. As lovelorn as the songs may be (these are country standards after all), I hope I'm dancing with my wife to this record when we're 80. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Bye Bye Love" 2:12
2. "You Don't Know Me" 3:16
3. "Half as Much" 3:28
4. "I Love You So Much It Hurts" 3:35
5. "Just a Little Lovin' (Will Go a Long Way)" 3:29
6. "Born to Lose" 3:18
7. "Worried Mind" 2:57
8. "It Makes No Difference Now" 3:36
9. "You Win Again" 3:31
10. "Careless Love" 4:01
11. "I Can't Stop Loving You" 4:14
12. "Hey, Good Lookin'" 2:14
13. "You Are My Sunshine" 3:01
14. "Here We Go Again" 3:18
15. "That Lucky Old Sun" 4:21

Friday, September 4, 2009

Miles Davis - "In A Silent Way" (1969)

In A Silent Way is an epic journey through seemingly disconnected music that pulls you in immediately and gradually reveals a hidden story and cohesion. In the late 1960's Jazz and Rock began inching their paths towards each other to create Jazz Fusion. Miles Davis, who helped develop the genre on two previous albums, released the masterpiece In A Silent Way as his first full on Jazz Fusion record. As Thom Jurek put it, "There is no melody, not even a melodic frame. There are only vamps and solos, grooves layered on top of other grooves spiraling toward space but ending in silence." I first listened to this album lying in bed one night with the sounds of a rainstorm outside my window. I suggest you do the same! -- Chris Baginski

1. "Shhh/Peaceful" - 18:16

2. "In a Silent Way/It's About That Time" - 19:52

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dire Straits - "Dire Straits" (1978)

British pub rockers Dire Straits, named for the poor financial status the band was in when they formed in 1977, would find themselves with a hit record and opening for the Talking Heads just one year later. Their debut album, Dire Straits, showcases how locked in the band was from the get-go as well as the talents of lead singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler. His bluesy guitar playing is smooth, quick and precise without being rushed and cluttered. This laid back, clean tone hints at jazz and world music that when matched with the image driven pop lyrics of Knopfler make Dire Straits a must have. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Down to the Waterline" (3:55)
2. "Water of Love" (5:23)
3. "Setting Me Up" (3:18)
4. "Six Blade Knife" (4:10)
5. "Southbound Again" (2:58)
6. "Sultans of Swing" (5:47)
7. "In the Gallery" 6:16)
8. "Wild West End" (4:42)
9. "Lions" (5:05)

See Mark Knopfler On Tour

Monday, August 24, 2009

Brother Jack McDuff "Live!" (1963)

Master of the Hammond B3 Organ, Brother Jack McDuff helped make the blues infused "soul jazz" the bridge between the hard-bop of the 50's and the jazz funk of the 70's. If some of the grooves sound familiar, it's because McDuff's style beacame a major influence on the B3 players that followed him. Look no further than the tribute album "Boogaloo To Jack McDuff" where modern day players pay homage to the man himself. But "Live!" brings you back to the beginning of all it with some of Jack's earliest material being preformed in a club setting. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Rock Candy" (6:39)
2. "It Ain't Necessarily So" (6:37)
3. "Sanctified Samba" (4:48)
4. "Whistle While You Work" (5:11)
5. "A Real Goodun'" (7:42)
6. "Undecided" (8:15)
7. "Blues 1 And 8" (7:06)
8. "Passing Through" (2:39)
9. "Dink's Blues" (6:19)
10. "Grease Monkey" (2:31)
11. "Vas Dis" (8:09)
12. "Somewhere In The Night" (3:55)
13. "Jive Samba" (6:50)

Grooveshark Stream

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Shins - "Oh, Inverted World" (2001)

One of my favorite records from the past decade, The Shins debut album is a pillowy white cloud that combines 60's sunshine pop with hypnotic melancholy. The dreamland created gives the music a lucid feel that streams by you at a sweet tempered pace, spins you around and sings you a lullaby. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Caring Is Creepy" (3:20)
2. "One By One All Day" (4:09)
3. "Weird Divide" (1:58)
4. "Know Your Onion!" (2:29)
5. "Girl Inform Me" (2:21)
6. "New Slang" (3:51)
7. "The Celibate Life" (1:51)
8. "Girl on the Wing" (2:50)
9. "Your Algebra" (2:23)
10. "Pressed in a Book" (2:55)
11. "The Past and Pending" (5:22)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Jimmy Buffett - "A1A" (1974)

Before Jimmy Buffett was a gun-slinging parrot, he was a country singer in Nashville, TN. But one trip to Key West with Jerry Jeff Walker to play the boardwalks for money changed all of that. It's here that Buffett began this shift from country to the beach bum tropical pop that made him famous. On A1A (named for the Atlantic Coast road that runs along Florida's beachfront towns) Buffett is mid way between his country past and margarita future and chronicles the shift in several of the tunes. You can hear him falling in love with oceanside life as his tumbleweeds blow closers to the seas. So take in the sweet smell of saltwater on this one as the country palm tress gently sway. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Making Music for Money" 4:01
2. "Door Number Three" 3:03
3. "Dallas" 3:25
4. "Presents to Send You" 2:40
5. "Stories We Could Tell" 3:18
6. "Life Is Just a Tire Swing" 3:04
7. "A Pirates Look At Forty" 3:57
8. "Migration" 4:13
9. "Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season" 4:21
10. "Nautical Wheelers" 3:35
11. "Tin Cup Chalice" 3:38

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

John Scofield w/ MMW - "A Go Go" (1998)

Some albums pull you right back to where you listened to them over and over. This one forever floats me to the basement of Townhouse 13 in Fairfield, CT. On A Go Go, four of the coolest cats in modern jazz get together for the first of two collaborative albums and the chemistry immediately sizzles. Jazz guitar master John Scofield teams with acid jam trio Medeski, Martin & Wood for a funky new take on retro jazz jive that's super cool and super styling. -- Chris Baginski

1. "A Go Go" (6:36)
2. "Chank" (6:46)
3. "Boozer" (5:27)
4. "Southern Pacific" (5:13)
5. "Jeep on 35" (4:31)
6. "Kubrick" (2:13)
7. "Green Tea" (5:11)
8. "Hottentot" (6:46)
9. "Chicken Dog" (6:22)
10. "Deadzy" (2:41)

See John Scofield on Tour

See Medeski, Martin & Wood on Tour

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Flamin' Groovies - "Teenage Head" (1971)

San Fransisco's Flamin' Groovies stick to the basics of Rock n Roll with an early 70's Garage Rock sound that curled lips as the dawning of Punk approached. Influences abound upon listening - The Stones, The Byrds, The Doors, Elvis and a dose of Chuck Berry to name a few. Their derivative sound though perfectly suits their raw style and penchant for good times and good parties. -- Chris Baginski

1. "High Flyin' Baby" (3:32)
2. "City Lights" (4:25)
3. "Have You Seen My Baby?" (2:52)
4. "Yesterday's Numbers" (3:59)
5. "Teenage Head" (2:52)
6. "32-20" (2:05)
7. "Evil Hearted Ada" (3:20)
8. "Doctor Boogie" (2:34)
9. "Whiskey Woman" (4:47)

bonus tracks

10. "Shakin' All Over" (6:06)
11. "That'll Be the Day" (2:22)
12. "Louie Louie" (6:48)
13. "Walkin' The Dog" (3:42)
14. "Scratch My Back" (4:50)
15. "Carol" (3:16)
16. "Going Out Theme" (3:05)

Meirelles e Os Copa 5 - "O Som" (1964)

A landmark album in Brazilian Jazz, O Som marked the shift from the fast paced bossa nova period of the late 50's and early 60's to a cool jazz style while still staying true to Brazil's samba roots. Lead by Tenor Saxophonist J.T. Meirelles, this album will drop you in a Rio de Janeiro café complete with a cerveja in no time. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Quintessência" 4:14
2. "Solitude" 5:36
3. "Blue Bottle's" 5:03
4. "Nordeste" 3:41
5. "Contemplação" 6:02
6. "Tânia" 6:45
7. "O Novo Som" 1:55
8. "Solo" 6:21
9. "Serelepe" 1:37

"Bossa Nova Breakfast" Radio Stream

Saturday, August 15, 2009

James Brown's Funky People - Part 2 (1988)

The second album in the Funky People Trilogy, Part 2 is a 100% guaranteed dance party. The compilation showcases all the talented musicians in the James Brown music family who toured and recorded with the legend. Brown wrote and produced most of the material and provides vocals throughout, but the focus is on the skilled team who backed the Soul Man through the first half of the 70's. Funky People indeed. -- Chris Baginski

1. "I Know You Got Soul" - Bobby Byrd
2. "From The Love Side" - Hank Ballard & The Midnight Lighters
3. "What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You?" - Marva Whitney
4. "Soul Power '74" - Maceo & The Macks
5. "Put It On The Line" - Lyn Collins
6. "You Can Have Watergate But Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight" - Fred Wesley& The JB's
7. "Cross The Track" - Maceo & The Macks
8. "The Message From The Soul Sisters" - Myra Barnes & Vicki Anderson
9. "Hot Pants... I'm Coming, Coming, I'm Coming" - Bobby Byrd
10. "Do Your Thing" - Lyn Collins
11. "I'm Paying Taxes, What Am I Buying" - Fred Wesley & The JB's
12. "Super Good" - Myra Barnes & Vicki Anderson
13. "Blow Your Head" - Fred Wesley & The JB's

Buy Part 1

Buy Part 3

Monday, August 10, 2009

Southern Culture On the Skids - "Dirt Track Date" (1995)

One of the coolest perks former Phish soundman Paul Languedoc had was spinning the setbreak music. He DJed the "15 minutes" between sets for a couple thousand attentive ears playing different albums each night from a variety of genres. Southern Culture on the Skids got some PA play in the late 90's and it definitely kept people smiling in their seats. Their rockabilly style mashes surf rock and southern dance grooves with a punky sort of country. No backyard beerfest is complete without this throw-someone-in-the-pool soundtrack. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Voodoo Cadillac" 4:40
2. "Soul City" 2:36
3. "Greenback Fly" 3:47
4. "Skullbucket" 2:40
5. "Camel Walk" 2:37
6. "White Trash" 2:03
7. "Firefly" 3:24
8. "Make Mayan A Hawaiian" 2:24
9. "Fried Chicken And Gasoline" 4:17
10. "Nitty Gritty" 2:30
11. "8 Piece Box" 4:02
12. "Galley Slave" 3:00
13. "Whole Lotta Things" 2:29
14. "Dirt Track Date" 8:39

Banana Pudding

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Charlie Hunter Quintet - "Right Now Move" (2003)

Here's a summertime jazz album I'd like to thank Rob Adamski for turning me on to. Its breezy and boppy flavors perfectly garnish your patio party and the mediterranean salad you'll be serving. Following a summer tour in 2002, eight-string guitar master Charlie Hunter took his touring band into the studio to lay down the tracks they perfected in the previous months. The quintet was in such top form it only took one evening, and in most cases one take, to record the whole album. With a break in there for dinner of course. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Mestre Tata" (4:36)
2. "Oakland" (6:10)
3. "Changui" (3:46)
4. "Try" (7:12)
5. "Whoop-Ass" (4:23)
6. "Interlude 1" (0:55)
7. "Wade in the Water" (5:02)
8. "20th Century" (5:46)
9. "Interlude 5" (0:53)
10. "Winky" (6:02)
11. "Freak Fest" (4:40)
12. "Mali" (6:58)
13. "Le Bateau Lvre" (5:50)

Charlie Hunter Tour Dates

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Taj Mahal - "Taj Mahal" (1968)

Over the course of his 20something studio albums, Taj Mahal broadened the scope of blues music by blending it with a variety of world sounds and rhythms. (Check out his Hawaiian/Calypso Blues album, Sacred Island). This mixing of styles ultimately began with his debut album, Taj Mahal, where he brought the current day form of blues together with it's mighty origins. The music is fierce and precise making for essential blues listening. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Leaving Trunk" 4:51
2. "Statesboro Bules" 2:59
3. "Checkin' up on My Baby" 4:55
4. "Everybody's Got to Change Sometime" 2:57
5. "EZ Rider" 3:04
6. "Dust My Broom" 2:39
7. "Diving Duck Blues" 2:42
8. "The Celebrated Walkin' Blues" 8:52

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Funky Kingston - Reggae Dance Floor Grooves 1968-74 (2002)

Here are some fun, funky reggae grooves for ya. This compilation is comprised of remastered originals and covers from the vaults of Island Records' sister label, Trojan Records. It's a nice snapshot of the funk that was always present in reggae and its ska and rocksteady predecessors, and how hard hitting American R&B from the era was eventually infused. Enjoy these jams at your next backyard punky reggae BBQ. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Funky Kingston" - Toots & The Maytals

2. "Soul Revival" - Zap Pow
3. "Sister Big Stuff" - Tomorrow's Children
4. "Reggae Stuff (Funky Stuff)" - The Chosen Few

5. "Look-Ka-Py-Py" - Lloyd Charmers & The Hippy Boys

6. "Splendour Splash" - The Jay Boys
7. "Na Na, Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)" - The Pioneers
8. "Is It Because I'm Black?" - Ken Boothe

9. "Woman Of The Ghetto" - Phyllis Dillon
10. "Jungle Lion" - Lee Perry & The Upsetters
11. "Ball Of Confusion" - A Darker Shade Of Black

12. "Cloud Nine" - Carl Dawkins & The Wailers

13. "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" - The Pioneers
14. "War" - Tomorrow's Children
15. "Stop The War Now" - Lloyd Parks
16. "Soul Almighty" - Bob Marley & The Wailers
17. "Shaft" - Lloyd Charmers
18. "Funky Beat" - Lloyd Williams
19. "Do Your Thing" - The Chosen Few
20. "Funky Funky" - Toots & The Maytals

Monday, July 27, 2009

Paul Simon - "Hearts & Bones" (1983)

So many great Paul Simon albums to pick from. There Goes Rhymin' Simon, Concert in the Park, Graceland, to name a few. Those are all must haves, but here's a lesser known gem largely ignored when it first came out. Written after his divorce from Carrie "Princess Leia" Fischer, Hearts & Bones has Paul Simon's usual playfulness mixed in with his most naked lyrics. The title track is one of my favorite break-up songs but the album isn't all dipped in anguish and isn't even all about them. The closing track is a tribute to the late John Lennon and René & Georgette paints a lovely picture of a happy couple in the twilight of their years we all want to be. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Allergies" 4:37
2. "Hearts and Bones" 5:37
3. "When Numbers Get Serious" 3:25
4. "Think Too Much (b)" 2:44
5. "Song About the Moon" 4:07
6. "Think Too Much (a)" 3:05
7. "Train in the Distance" 5:11
8. "René and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War" 3:44
9. "Cars are Cars" 3:15
10. "The Late Great Johnny Ace" 4:45

bonus tracks

11. "Shelter of Your Arms" (demo) 3:11
12. "Train in the Distance" (demo) 3:13
13. "Rene and Georgette Magritte" (demo) 3:47
14. "The Late Great Johnny Ace" (demo) 3:22

YouTube: Paul Simon Live 1975 - American Tune

She & Him - "Volume One" (2007)

In between the Christmas laughs of Elf, everyone took notice of Zooey Deschanel's lovely Ella Fitzgerarld take on Baby It's Cold Outside. M Ward took notice too and after hearing she had written many of her own songs, but had done nothing with them, She & Him were formed. Her selection of golden era American covers and her adorable personality help vault her past the line of celebrity-turned-musician acts laughed off review pages, but her sweet and genuine vocals is what makes this album a worthy addition. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Sentimental Heart" 2:36
2. "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" 2:31
3. "This Is Not a Test" 3:31
4. "Change Is Hard" 3:03
5. "I Thought I Saw Your Face Today" 2:50
6. "Take It Back" 2:37
7. "I Was Made for You" 2:31
8. "You Really Got a Hold on Me" 3:59
9. "Black Hole" 2:12 *
10. "Got Me" 2:46
11. "I Should Have Known Better" 3:39
12. "Sweet Darlin'" 2:41
13. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" 1:37

Zooey Interviews Brian Wilson

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - "Howl" (2005)

This album is fantastic. A departure for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's usual rip roaring rock and I love it. It's The Blues, The Band, The Beatles, and The White Stripes. Like any of them? You'll like this. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Shuffle Your Feet" 2:53
2. "Howl" 4:20
3. "Devil's Waitin'" 3:50
4. "Ain't No Easy Way" 2:36
5. "Still Suspicion Holds You Tight" 4:24
6. "Fault Line" 2:57
7. "Promise" 4:46
8. "Weight of the World" 3:41
9. "Restless Sinner" 3:11
10. "Gospel Song" 4:31
11. "Complicated Situation" 2:37
12. "Sympathetic Noose" 4:17
13. "The Line" 5:09

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Beta Band - "The Three E.P.'s" (1998)

The Beta Band's first "album" is actually a collection of the 3 original E.P.'s the band put out in England. Thom Yorke said that once he heard it, he wanted Radiohead's next record to be "a Beta Band album" so that speaks for itself on influence. Their music runs a cerebral blend of genres from Indie Jam to Brit Poptronica with a rollercoaster layer of sound effects and samples. And it no where near stops there. There's hip hop drum loops, funked out ambient bass waves, hippie melodies, garage rock grooves and on and on and on. So enjoy John Cusack's easy sale in High Fidelity and don't forget the headphones! -- Chris Baginski

Champion Versions

1. "Dry the Rain" 6:05
2. "I Know" 3:58
3. "B + A" 6:35
4. "Dogs Got a Bone" 5:58

The Patty Patty Sound

5. "Inner Meet Me" 6:20
6. "The House Song" 7:15
7. "Monolith" 15:48
8. "She's the One" 8:21

Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos

9. "Push It Out" 5:22
10. "It's Over" 3:50
11. "Dr. Baker" 4:08
12. "Needles in My Eyes" 4:32

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Harry Nilsson - "Nilsson Schmilsson" (1971)

The late Harry Nilsson's creative and commercial peak, this album showcases the singer-songwriter's lighthearted worldview to best advantage. It remains one of the best, most consistent, and least dated albums from an early-'70s era not known for underplayed, unpretentious subtlety. Here you get strong interpretive singing, inventive arranging, and distinctive melodicism. In keeping with the domesticated figure on the cover--complete with housecoat, cigarette, and waiting refrigerator--the mood is laidback and homey, and there's a palpable feeling of comfort in both the production and the material. Nilsson's multi-octave voice was never so full of life. Other albums John Lennon produced Pussy Cats and the essential Nilsson Sings Newman) have their moments, but this is where to begin any Nilsson collection. -- Don Harrison

1. "Gotta Get Up" 2:24
2. "Driving Along" 2:02
3. "Early in the Morning" 2:48
4. "The Moonbeam Song" 3:18
5. "Down" 3:24
6. "Without You" 3:17
7. "Coconut" 3:48
8. "Let the Good Times Roll" 2:42
9. "Jump into the Fire" 6:54
10. "I'll Never Leave You" 4:11

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Diplomats of Solid Sound - "Destination Get Down!" (2004)

Steeped in the sizzling, funky gumbo of Booker T & The MG's, The Meters, James Brown, and the backyard barbecue jams of Jimmy Smith, Lou Donaldson, Jimmy McGriff, Lonnie Smith, and Jack McDuff. The Diplomats' third full-length is jam-packed with a dozen original songs guaranteed to lubricate and agitate every bone in your body. An enviable arsenal of dance floor dynamite that intermingles the boogaloo magic of their time-honored influences with the sounds of such contemporaries as Sugarman 3, The Nick Rossi Set, and The James Taylor Quartet. -- Estrus Records

1. "Smash Up" 3:08
2. "Knock a Piece Off" 2:53
3. "Holdin' the Money" 3:54
4. "Wicked P" 2:26
5. "Intercontinental Git" 3:06
6. "Ladies' Choice" 2:49
7. "Dealer Cheater" 2:32
8. "Loaf and Jug" 2:16
9. "Sizzler" 2:22
10. "Mohair Momma" 3:26
11. "Triple Starch" 2:59
12. "Growin' in It" 4:01

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby "The Original Jam Sessions 1969" (2004)

I'm pretty sure the Cos just smokes cigars on this album aside from his mumbling scat contribution to one of the "Hikky Burr" takes. These loose jam sessions were put together to create the music for Bill Cosby's first sitcom and were only recently unearthed from Quincy Jones' recording archives. The relaxed yet lively tracks run the range of funky and bluesy hard bop to cocktail lounge soul-jazz. Lounging around on a Sunday? Then pick this one up. --Chris Baginski

1. Hikky-Burr 5:56
2. Groovy Gravy 8:10
3. Oh Happy Day 4:18
4. Jimmy Cookin' On Top 1:42
5. Toe Jam 7:49
6. Jive Den 3:13
7. Eubie Walkin' 7:00
8. Monty, Is That You? 6:42
9. The Drawing Room 0:59
10. Hikky-Burr (Feat. Bill Cosby) 3:35
11. Hikky-Burr (Mix Master Mike Remix) 3:01

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wes Montgomery - "Smokin' At the Half Note" (1965)

Smokin' at the Half Note is essential listening for anyone who wants to hear why Montgomery's dynamic live shows were considered the pinnacle of his brilliant and incredibly influential guitar playing. Pat Metheny calls this "the absolute greatest jazz guitar album ever made," and with performances of this caliber ("Unit 7" boasts one of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded) his statement is easily validated. Montgomery never played with more drive and confidence, and he's supported every step of the way by a genuinely smokin' Wynton Kelly Trio. -- Jim Smith

1. "No Blues" 13:00
2. "If You Could See Me Now" 6:45
3. "Unit 7" 7:30
4. "Four on Six" 6:45
5. "What's New" 6:00

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon - "Sixty Six Steps" (2005)

The second collaboration of Leo Kottke with Phish bassist Mike Gordon finds the duo exploring breezy Caribbean sounds, with a few surprise covers. The musicians work wonderfully together, with Gordon's meaty yet malleable bass grounding and darting around Kottke's distinctive and agile fingerpicked lines. Percussion reinforces the island sound (the album was recorded at the famous Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas) and provides a terrific backbone for the album's tropical approach. Neither Gordon nor Kottke have great voices, but they admirably dig into the songs, singing on about half of the tracks with a charming, easygoing quality that suits the material and shows they are enjoying this ride. -- Hal Horowitz

1. "Living In The Country" 3:51
2. "The Grid" 3:17
3. "Oh Well" 3:22
4. "Rings" 4:30
5. "Cherry County" 2:30
6. "Sweet Emotion" 5:32
7. "The Stolen Quiet" 3:06
8. "Balloon" 3:26 *
9. "Over The Dam" 3:40
10. "Can't Hang" 1:54
11. "From Spink to Correctionville" 2:28
12. "Ya Mar" 5:01
13. "Twice" 4:10
14. "Invisible" 6:35

Saturday, May 9, 2009

J.J. Cale - "Naturally" (1971)

When Eric Clapton cites you as a major influence, covers your songs, and finally, records an album with you, you've probably done something right. J.J. Cale has flown under the radar for the better part of 40 years and that just the way he wants it. The epitome of laid-back, J.J.'s music and breezy guitar style comes of so effortlessly it's clear to see why Clapton, and others from the ranks of Neil Young and Mark Knopfler, have sought to emulate his groove. This combination of the blues, rockabilly, country, and jazz came to be know as the Tulsa Sound and is recognized as one of the most chilled of vibes. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Call Me the Breeze" 2:35
2. "Call the Doctor" 2:26
3. "Don't Go to Strangers" 2:22
4. "Woman I Love" 2:36
5. "Magnolia" 3:23
6. "Clyde" 2:29
7. "Crazy Mama" 2:22
8. "Nowhere to Run" 2:26
9. "After Midnight" 2:23
10. "River Runs Deep" 2:42
11. "Bringing It Back" 2:44
12. "Crying Eyes" 3:13

Miles Davis - "Bags' Groove" (1954)

Ok I may be alittle biased towards this album but even the pros admit it's a cornerstone of post bop jazz. Recorded on Christmas Eve in 1954, most of the tracks laid down that winter night went on to become jazz standards. And while Miles Davis receives top billing, most tracks are compositions by the other members of this session. The title track is the creation of Milt 'Bags' Johnson, while tracks 3, 4, and 6 are all originals by the young Sonny Rollins. Never hurts having Thelonious Monk on piano too. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Bags' Groove" (take 1) 11:12
2. "Bags' Groove" (take 2) 9:20
3. "Airegin" 4:57
4. "Oleo" 5:10
5. "But Not for Me" (take 2) 4:34
6. "Doxy" 4:51
7. "But Not for Me" (take 1) 5:42

The Velvet Underground - "Loaded" (1970)

The final Velvet Underground album with Lou Reed is without a doubt their poppiest studio outing and there's oh sweet nothing wrong with that. Pushed by their label to make an album 'loaded with hits' Lou Reed did just that and then left the band. The songs show a cheery side to Lou Reed without losing the jangly grit making these simple tunes instant rocking classics. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Who Loves the Sun" 2:50
2. "Sweet Jane" 3:15
3. "Rock & Roll" 4:47
4. "Cool It Down" 3:05
5. "New Age" 4:39
6. "Head Held High" 2:52
7. "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" 2:48
8. "I Found a Reason" 4:15
9. "Train Round the Bend" 3:20
10."Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" 7:23

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Beck - "Mutations" (1998)

For the follow up to his hit album Odelay, Beck put aside his two turntables and a microphone and picked up an acoustic guitar. This would be the first time teaming with long time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich and it's easy to hear why Beck returned to work with him on three albums after Mutations. What started with some folky acoustic riffs turned into a laid back psychedelic, bossa nova journey through the blues and country. There's no sampling to be found and no lyrics about beefcake pantyhose (as fun as all that is), just a sweet vibe that will melt you into your pillow. This just may be Beck's true Mellow Gold. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Cold Brains" 3:41
2. "Nobody's Fault but My Own" 5:02
3. "Lazy Flies" 3:44
4. "Canceled Check" 3:14
5. "We Live Again" 3:05
6. "Tropicalia" 3:20
7. "Dead Melodies" 2:36
8. "Bottle of Blues" 4:56
9. "O Maria" 3:59
10. "Sing It Again" 4:19
11. "Static / Diamond Bollocks" 11:20

Beck's Record Club

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Rolling Stones - "Emotional Rescue" (1980)

Most critics of this disco dipped Stones album slight it for not living up to the band's own monstering history that proceeds them. Sure this isn't studio gold like Exile on Main Street or packed with all the hits like Hot Rocks. What it is though is a good times booze fueled party album that will keep you smiling in the summer sun from front to back. OK, except for All About You. Sorry Keith. -- Chris Baginski

1. "Dance (Pt. 1)" 4:23
2. "Summer Romance" 3:16
3. "Send It to Me" 3:43
4. "Let Me Go" 3:50
5. "Indian Girl" 4:23
6. "Where the Boys Go" 3:29
7. "Down in the Hole" 3:58
8. "Emotional Rescue" 5:39
9. "She's So Cold" 4:14
10. "All About You" 4:18

Monday, May 4, 2009

The New Mastersounds - "Live at La Cova" (2006)

This funky dance party was recorded over two nights during the Summer of 2005 in Menorca, Spain inside the intimate La Cova, a club situated inside a cave overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. UK favorites The New Mastersounds serve up a heavy dose of original funk and soul jazz numbers from each of their prior albums as well as some of the band’s favorite cover tunes, including Grant Green's "Jan Jan," the Meter's "Funky Miracle," and other jazz funk classics like "Spooky," "FireEater," and "Duffin' 'Round" with plenty of Hammond B3 grooves. Led by guitar virtuoso Eddie Roberts, this telepathically tight quintet stretches out plenty. Featuring frequent guest Sam Bell on percussion, the album highlights their broad spectrum of pure vintage sounds and the energy they bring to their live shows, no matter what corner of the globe their danceable grooves take them. -- One Note Records

1. "Miracles" 2:30
2. "Duffin Around" 5:55
3. "You Got it All" 5:03
4. "3 on the B" 6:50
5. "Funky Miracle" 3:41
6. "Land of Nod" 8:03
7. "The Tin Drum" 6:03
8. "La Cova" 2:08
9. "The Minx" 5:12
10. "Spooky" 7:07
11. "Fire Eater" 4:45
12. "Jan Jan" 4:30
13. "One Note Brown" 3:42

Lee Dorsey - "Freedom for the Funk" (1994)

New Orleans' Lee Dorsey is one of pop and soul's best-kept secrets, and he never sounded better than when he was teamed with pianist/songwriter/arranger/producer Allen Toussaint. This delightful anthology brings together key tracks from Dorsey and Toussaint's late-'60s and early-'70s albums, including the immortal "Working in the Coal Mine," "Ride Your Pony," "Can You Hear Me," "Occapella", and "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley." With wonderfully loose but exact arrangements and horn charts, backup vocals by The Meters, dosed with early New Orleans funk rhythms, all topped off by Dorsey's warm, engaging vocals, these are classic tracks that deserve to be better known. -- Steve Leggett

1. "Yes We Can- Part 1" 3:34
2. "Work Work Work" 2:50
3. "Can You Hear Me?" 2:39
4. "Occapella" 2:44
5. "Games People Play" 3:07
6. "When the Bill Gets Paid" 2:22
7. "Ride Your Pony" 2:48
8. "Wonder Woman" 2:39
9. "Love Lots of Lovin" 2:58
10. "Little Ba-by" 2:48
11. "Take Care of Our Love" 3:15
12. "Neighbors Daughter" 2:39
13. "Confusion" 2:37
14. "O Me-O, My-O" 2:45
15. "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley" 2:52
16. "Freedom For the Stallion" 2:57
17. "If She Won't (Find Someone Who Will)" 2:29
18. "Get Out of My Life, Woman" 2:24
19. "Working In a Coal Mine" 2:44
20. "Yes We Can - Part 2" 3:19