Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Flying Fish FF-063
(image from wikipedia)
For my money, the two greatest John Hartford records are Aereo-Plain and this LP, which is not on CD. Aereo-Plain got a nice CD reissue a few years back, as did 1976's Mark Twang, which is similar to this record in style and theme.
Two songs from this LP, On Christmas Eve and Natchez Whistle appear on the anthology CD Me Oh My, How the Time Does Fly.
I sold all my John Hartford LPs when I liquidated my LP collection in 2005, but not before I burned a CD of all my favorite tracks. These samples are from that CD.
Headin' Down Into the Mystery Below
Mama Plays the Calliope
Posted by Kurt at 6:43 AM
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Fiesta FLPS 1430
This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good shape. I generally don't buy records that are "electronically re-recorded to simulate stereo" unless they are unique, which I presumed this one was.
From the LP:
"Carpathian Folk Choir and Orchestra
Director: Mikhailo Krechko
Uzhorod, Carpathian Region of Soviet Ukraine"
Hey, In the High Mountain Valley (Hey, Na Visokee Poloniniy)
My Darling Bought Me a Silken Shawl
Posted by Kurt at 5:44 AM
Monday, May 16, 2011
I first heard William Bolcom and Joan Morris on the ubiquitous After the Ball, a great record which turns up at the thrift store a lot. I really enjoy Bolcom's piano playing, so I pick up their records whenever I see them. Joan Morris's "theatrical" singing style is an acquired taste, one that I have acquired for the most part.
This copy of These Charming People was a thrift shop find (99¢). Side 2 is pretty crackly, but who knows if I'll ever see another copy. It is not on CD.
William Bolcom is also a composer of note. His "Graceful Ghost" is a personal favorite.
from the LP:
"Vocal duets by Gershwin, Kern, and Rogers & Hart
Till the Clouds Roll By
The Half of it, Dearie Blues
There's a Small Hotel
Posted by Kurt at 5:15 AM
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Caedmon TC-1558, UNICEF 5045
I picked up four LPs from the Sing Children Sing series at the thrift shop: USA, British Isles, France and Austria. They were either new and sealed, or open and near new. You never know with this kind of record whether it will be tastefully done or not. But I noticed the performers were "The New York Opera Children's Chorus," so I figured it couldn't be too bad.
I was right. Though I would have preferred most of these songs performed by just the chorus, the instrumental arrangements are good, and the banjo and guitar playing are by Eric Weissberg. The singing is just right - it sounds accomplished but not excessively polished. A couple of soloists come from what I call The Annie School of Singing, but most of the tunes get everything just right. One of the singers, Vanessa Williams, went on to be a successful actress.
From the LP:
"The New York Opera Children's Chorus
Mildred Hohner, Director
Arranged and Conducted by Robert DeCormier
Produced by arrangement with the United States Committee for UNICEF
Eric Weissberg (guitar, banjo)"
The Farmer is the Man (written circa 1877)
The Erie Canal
Stars Shining By and By
Additional tracks (by request)
Ol' Dan Tucker
The Singing School
Posted by Kurt at 10:20 AM
Saturday, May 7, 2011
John Hartford is a personal favorite. He is one of the most musical people I've ever heard. Hartford is ostensibly a bluegrass musician, but he does something unique with the genre, and this LP is unique in his oeuvre. It is not on CD.
Vassar Clements: violin
John Hartford: banjo, guitar, voice
Dave Holland: bass
Mark Howard: guitar, mandolin
Memories of Home
Till Something Better Comes Along
Bonus Track, from Hartford's not-on-CD You and Me at Home (Flying Fish 228, 1980):
Imagination Fired by Books
Posted by Kurt at 7:40 AM