Friday, 29 February 2008

Mavis Staples by Mavis Staples

Produced by Steve Cropper (1969 Volt)

Mavis Staples has a unique voice that is effortlessly beautiful and incredibly soulful. This is her first solo effort apart from her family and she delivers the goods. This is raw soul. My favorite track is "Good To Me" which is just soul encapsulated. I must say Mavis looks dope on the cover!!!

Side I

Until I Met You

Sweet Things You Do

The Choking Kind

You're Driving Me

(To The Arms Of A Stranger)

A House Is Not A Home

Side II


Son Of A Preacher Man

Pick Up The pieces


Good To Me

You Send Me


The Odd Couple by Neal Hefti

Produced by Tom Mack (1968 Dot Records)

Composed, Arranged and Conducted by Neal Hefti

This is quirky 1960s film music interlaced with dialogue from the classic movie. A faux laugh track has been added to these dialogues, I suppose, to let you know it's a comedy. As for the music it's easy and timidly groovy.

Side One

The Odd Couple (Vocal) (Music)

Domestic Quarrel (Dialogue)

Metropole (Music)

Dirty Poker (Dialogue)

Tomatoes (Music)

Down With The Lights

Side Two

The Odd Couple (Main Title) (Music)

Clean Poker (Dialogue)

Man Chases Man (Music)

Curse Of The Cat People (Music)

Oscar Blows Up (Dialogue)

End Title (Music)

                   What are these two up to?


Thursday, 28 February 2008

My Sweet Summer Suite by Love Unlimited Orchestra

Produced by Barry White (1976 20th Century Records)

Arranged by Barry White and Gene Page

Barry White's work with Love Unlimited and Love Unlimited Orchestra are a joy. I first got into Love Unlimited because of  the track "Move Me No Mountain" from the 1974 album "In Heat". Since then there has been no looking back. Barry White formed a 40 piece Orchestra to serve all his production needs and from 1973 they recorded over 6 solo albums under his direction. This album is my favorite because it contains the incredible, and I mean incredible, "Strange Games and Things". This string-laden funk masterpiece was sampled very successfully by EPMD on their 1990 cut "Manslaughter". Love Unlimited Orchestra's biggest hit was "Love's Theme" in 1973. 


My Sweet Summer Suite

Strange Games & Things

Blues Concerto

You, I Adore


Brazilian Love Song

Are You Sure

You've Given Me Something

I'm Falling In Love With You


The Liquidator by Lalo Schifrin

Produced by Jesse Kaye (1966  MGM/E.M.I. Records)

Composed  and Conducted by Lalo Schifrin

Featuring Shirley Bassey

"The Liquidator" is Lalo Schifrin trying to emulate the James Bond Scores of John Barry and failing. The title song sung by Shirley Bassey is a rather sad pastiche of "Goldfinger". What makes this album worth having are the tracks that Lalo Schifrin infuses with his own style. The aptly titled "The Killer" coming in at one minute and a half in length, is easily the best track on this soundtrack. At the same length "Carry On" with its excellent baseline, is the next best track.

Side One

1. The Liquidator

    Vocal: Shirley Bassey

2. Boysie's Bossa (Sax Version)

3. The Killer

4. Bikini Waltz

5. The Bird

6. Casino Rhapsody

Side Two

1. Carry On

2. Iris

3. Riviera Chase

4. Boysie's Bossa (Flute Version)

5. Tilt

6. The Liquidator

      Vocal: Shirley Bassey


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Lenny by Ralph Burns & Bob Fosse

Musical Supervision and Scoring by Ralph Burns
(1974 United Artists Records)

Featuring Miles Davis

Bob Fosse is a Film Director that is up there in the pantheon with Stanley Kubrick and Akira Kurosawa. He directed only 5 movies and each one is a classic. He is also responsible for my leap into Jazz. Here is an expanded version of the 'Lenny' soundtrack. I have included two tracks and extended one to it's original length. These Miles Davis tracks are featured in the film but not included on the original soundtrack. I actually bought the Album in the 1980's for "Well You Needn't" and was disappointed to find it not included. I had to go back to the film credits to find out what that sound was. Who was it by? What was it called? During my search I discovered "Somethin' Else" by Cannonball Adderley, which has since become one of my favorite Jazz albums. All that Jazz and all because of Bob Fosse!

Side 1

1. Opening

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

2. Lament

dialogue by Valerie Perine

3. We're All The Same Schmucks Part I

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

4. Nan's Dream

5. intro by Dustin Hoffman - Valerie

6. Dikes

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

7. Honeycomb

Side 2

1. To Come

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

2. Time Does It Again

3. Niggers

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

4. Aurenthology

vocal by Anne Marie Moss

5. Dirty

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

6. a. Well You Needn't (The Party Begins)

b. Tempus Fugit (Party Rush)

c. It Never Entered My Mind (Party Come Down)

7. We're All The Same Schmucks Part II

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

8. Myrtle's Tune

9. Blah Blah

monologue by Dustin Hoffman

10. Flic-Flac

11. Theme From "Lenny"


Monday, 25 February 2008

Rock Requiem by Lalo Schifrin

Produced, Arranged, Composed  and Conducted by Lalo Schifrin (1971 Verve)

Featuring The Mike Curb Congregation

Lalo Schifrin has a bit of success in 1970 with the single "Burning Bridges" (PXM 19 A) which was sung by the Mike Curb Congregation. "Rock Requiem" is a continuing of that partnership. I'm not sure what audience was in mind when this was recorded but Jesus Christ Superstar was introduced in 1970 so maybe Lalo was influenced some what.  This is a Choral Rock Jazz thing. I'm not sure that all these interpretations work but some certainly do. "Procession" starts with a solo choir but is replaced by a fantastic Organ sound that reminds me of "Summer Madness" by Kool & The Gang. "Tract" is Gospel inspired and is the only track that Lalo actually plays on. "Sanctus Benedictus" is my favorite track on this album and could easily have come from the "Kelly's Heroes" soundtrack. It also contains some seriously funky Drumming by Ronald Tutt. "Agnus Dei" switches to a Latin rhythm and is a groover. I have spun this one at a film party and it actually worked!

Side One

The Procession


Kyrie Eleison



Side Two

Offertory Verse

Sanctus Benedictus

Agnus Dei

Final Prayer


The Symphonic Ellington by Duke Ellington

(1963 Pye Records)

I love Big Band Jazz and this is as big as it gets. Don't get put off because "The Symphonic Ellington" is very soulful Jazz but accompanied by the Paris, Hamburg, Stockholm and Milan Symphony Orchestras.

"Night Creatures" is a Jazz piece in three movements and has shades of Leonard Berstein and Aaron Copland. "Non-Violent Integration" is simply fantastic Jazz with some wonderful Soloing. If you need to get happy slap this on. "La Scala, She Too Pretty To Be Blue" was recorded very quickly as Duke only had two hours with the Milan Orchestra. The result is bluesy and very beautiful. The final track "Harlem" does really invoke what you imagine Harlem to have once been. This is great Ellington.

I purchased this Album in a flea market in Paris and was surprised to see that the Record was printed in England for the concerts he was giving there. It contained a pristine concert programme with notes and photos. I have scanned the programme at the best quality possible so that you can read up on the Musicians and enjoy the great photography.

Side 1

1. Night Creatures in Three Movements

2. Non-Violent Integration

Side 2

1. La Scala, She Too pretty To be Blue

2. Harlem


Download Programme