Earworms 26 August 2013: Bank Holiday Guess Who

Who listens to music like this? That’s for you to guess!  Choose six suspects from the following list and there will be ‘Spill points for the ‘Spiller with the most correct answers. abahachi; albahooky; beltway bandit; bluepeter; daddypig; debbym; fintan; goneforeign; glassarfemptee; severin; tatanka yotanka; tincanman; wilemena; zalamanda.

Booker T Jones – Austin City Blues – ??? : Booker (of MGs fame) on organ with Gary Clark Jr on guitar? Someone fan me – I’m overheating!

John Coltrane – Theme for Ernie – from 1958 – ??? : I offer this piece as a response to DsD’s reaction to a Coltrane suggestion on R&R when playing host recently, it caused him to flee the room screaming and I understand why. In the mid 60’s Coltrane underwent some severe mental disturbances, it was reflected in his music. Prior to that phase he was regarded in the jazz community as one of the leading voices, here’s why.

Louis Armstrong – The Creator Has A Master Plan – ??? : A version of Pharoah Sanders’ signature tune with a veteran Louis teaming up with Leon Thomas under the production of Bob Thiele – gorgeous.

Weather Report – Birdland – ??? : ‘m not a hard core jazzer, but I’m partial to most forms of the genre if the mood grabs me. And a bit of Weather Report rarely fails to tickle my rhythm sticks. Here they are with one of their most well known – and earwomiest – tracks: Birdland.

Zwielicht by the Manfred-Ludwig-Sextet – ??? : From 1964 East Germany, but it grooves as hard as anything from the other side of the Iron Curtain with its cool piano, lifting horn section and bossa-nova flavoured percussion. Zwielicht means Twilight by the way.

Mary Coughlan – Love Will Tear Us Apart (live) – ??? : No secret how I feel about Mary Couglan’s voice. One of the all-time greats in my opinion. Her cover versions have tended to be mostly jazz and blues classics: Billie Holiday songs a speciality. This Joy Division cover is from her second compilation album, The Whole Affair, which contains a lot of live tracks not available elsewhere. She used to spend a lot of time sitting in a darkened room drinking brandy and listening to this track. Now she drinks mineral water and sings it. Like this.

28 thoughts on “Earworms 26 August 2013: Bank Holiday Guess Who

  1. *In the mid 60′s Coltrane underwent some severe mental disturbances, it was reflected in his music.*

    GF- Any evidence for this? Coltrane underwent a spiritual rebirth in the early sixties, he suffered physical problems from previous drug use, and he died of liver cancer or possibly hepatitis. I have never read anything about him having severe mental disturbances and I have read a lot on Coltrane.

    I really hope you aren’t going to argue that only someone with mental problems could have created the music of his late period…

    • It’s not GF, as he hasn’t been near RR for some time.

      Might be getting confused with Dewey Johnson, who also played trumpet on “Supreme” & wasn’t able to play anything after that because of his problems.

      • My apols to GF if someone else was the author of that intro.

        Since you mention it, btw, Dewey Johnson didn’t play on A love Supreme, but on the considerably freer Ascension, which is the piece DsD (without needing to question Coltrane’s mental state) expressed his dislike of on his RR slot.

        In general terms I find it extremely frustrating to read an assertion of “severe mental disturbance” levelled at a man whose life and musical career, in its end phase, was devoted to peace, universal love, and epiphany.

      • Shoey: You’re half right, I haven’t participated with RR for several years but since the advent of the guest guru idea I’ve been popping in on a Monday to see what my mates were choosing/writing. That’s how I saw Richard’s Coltrane comments.

      • My, I hadn’t realised my bewilderment at Coltrane’s Ascension had been such a memorable comment. No, I really couldn’t even begin to comprehend what was going on in the piece, but I certainly intended no offence to anyone as a result.

        Hi, GF.

      • Quarter right – got the wrong album.

        Do like the later Coltrane – not easy listening, but more going on than just good tunes played well (hope Nilp will forgive that horrendous understatement/simplification)

  2. The first must be tincanman due to the mention of Gary Clark Jr’s guitar.

    Tatanka yotanka for the John Coltrane.

    Daddypig is probably Weather Report – Birdland.

    Since my stint as Guru on RRSA Whisky I’ve been listening to Mary Coughlan a lot so I’m pitching severin for that one.

  3. OK, 1 ‘Spill point to nilpferd for guessing GF for John Coltrane, and 1 point to LIAB9 for guessing severin for Mary Coughlan. The other 4 are still up for grabs.

  4. Lovely Jazzy/bluesy set:

    Booker T Jones – What’s not to love on this? Would have bet the farm on Tinny too for this as well, so will suggest BluePeter

    John Coltrane – just beautiful, it wraps you up like a blanket. RE the late era Coltrane, I’d not read of any mental difficulties, but I do find Ascension very hard to listen to, but freely acknowledge that that is my problem and not Coltrane’s – like a lot of music of that ilk (and a lot of contemporary “classical” stuff), it’s music I can admire and find fascinating though not easy to “enjoy”, but then again, shouldn’t the best art challenge us? In some respects I’d rather a record make me feel uneasy and baffled than just bored.

    Louis Armstrong – The Creator has a Master Plan – had only heard the original of this, it’s wonderful to hear Louis cutting loose with this one. I wonder if this is a Gone Foreign double header? Will go for him.

    Weather Report – a long standing favourite of mine, and definitely very earwormy. From the description am wondering if it is Wilemena?

    Manfred-Ludwig-Sextet – A mighty funky tune. German jazz and not Aba and nilpf isn’t in the list? I wonder who it could be? DebbyM?

    Mary Coughlan – Love Will Tear Us Apart. – Sorry, didn’t really like this – some songs survive and indeed flourish with a complete re-invention. This just feels like it’s had the urgency and passion kicked out of it. Technically accomplished but it lacks a centre somehow (sorry Sev!).

  5. LG: I wanted to email you re. that post you did some time ago concerning a better choice for iTunes and some questions about your cataloging music, did you ever resolve those issues and if so, how?
    The Louis is not mine though he’s the one who introduced me to jazz about 60 years ago and I feel an eternal debt to him. Your comment re. late era Coltrane, I agree with most of what you say but I’ve never found an answer to ‘what’s it all about?’ As well as being painful it’s also incomprehensible. I’m going to ask Nilp to explain musically what he thinks is going on, if anything.

  6. Nilp: I don’t think it makes much sense for us to reactivate this argument again, we’ve been through it before and I don’t think that either of us will change the others opinion. Richard’s reaction to a Coltrane piece on RR when he was guru some time back caused me to offer this piece by John Coltrane to show that it wasn’t all as bad as he might think. I have a collection of Coltrane’s albums that I’ve listened to since the 40’s, I long admired him as a major jazz voice, and I lived through the era when what I choose to call insanity and you call spiritual awakening occurred. I recall a mass exodus of Coltrane fans when he started to lose it.
    What I suggest instead of another argument is that we use this opportunity to each present our case, mine is already there on Earworms and I’ll be glad to elaborate on it.
    Here’s ‘OM’ a late piece by Coltrane [from my album collection] that for me is typical of what I prefer to call insanity, would you point out what it is that I’m missing musically and explain why such a competent musician would embark on this path and why would he antagonize most of his fans? I seriously would like to hear your thoughts.

    This is a long piece and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but just for comparative purposes try and endure a couple of minutes starting at about the 2 minute mark.

    You might resent my calling it insanity but I equally resent your continuing to present it as jazz; jazz is an honorable musical form going back over a hundred years with it’s birth in the blues. It is well represented in much of the works of John Coltrane, he was a major voice, but it shares nothing with the ravings of the late era Coltrane. It is no wonder that jazz isn’t generally popular if the public are constantly led to believe that this is jazz.
    For Spill listeners I’d ask are you familiar with the phrase, ‘The ravings of a total lunatic’ – it’s commonly used in the English language, then ask if there is a musical equivalent, if so what would it sound like?
    Listen to these two pieces, both by John Coltrane, and think about it.

    • GF- My only concern here was to set the record straight regarding Coltrane’s mental health, I was a bit taken aback by the assertion of mental disturbance and wanted to question that for the benefit of anyone who reads this and may have taken the statement at face value.

  7. Oh, and I might as well take a punt on the remaining spill points…
    Albahooky, Louis Armstrong
    Beltwaybandit, M-L Sextet
    Fintan, Weather Report.

      • Nilpferd is the main WR ‘Spill fan that I’m aware of.

        With BB on the JD cover – comes across as a bit of a lounge pastiche, somehow? File under risk of covering a classic.

        Still owe Ali some tunes – mucho appreciation for keeping this ‘Spill trad. alive & well. EW has been a bit light on annoying catchy electronica lately……

  8. Hi GF,

    in the end I didn’t find a suitable alternative – I sort of did what I often do which was to rant and rave and shake my fists at the sky, but ultimately I couldn’t find anything that would work as well – think that’s the infuriating thing – when iTunes works well, it’s actually not bad, but when it goes wrong, it’s an infuriating POS that can cause a huge amount of irritation!

    What I have now done is started to keep 2 seperate back ups of my library which I update every couple of weeks and back up of the relevant library files – that way and further hardware changes should be much easier to implement – so it looks like I’m stuck with iTunes for now!

    • Could be worse. I also feel that it when it’s good it’s very good and when it isn’t it’s awful. About the same time as you I experienced both and was only able to resolve it with Time Machine. Had something similar last week with my Aperture library, Time Machine brought it back intact. How big is your library, that was a question I wanted to ask you.

      • Have just had a look – it’s currently running at 27064 items, equating to just over 76 days worth of music, taking up 125GB of storage – when I first started my digitising (over 10 years ago) I ripped everything at 128kbs as storage was at a premium, but I’ve slowly been going back and re-ripping at 256kbs which is about the limit for me to distinguish any drop in quality from lossless versions (apart from some high end classical recordings where I can still just about pick up a slightly metallic quality to the upper registers).

        I’ve still got a lot of vinyl to rip and I’ve barely touched my classical stuff as I still tend to mostly listen to that at home on my big hi-fi speakers and I still like the full CD experience for that (plus catalogueing them is a pain as I prefer to have composer as Artist etc). So the project goes on and goodness knows what a state it will be in when it’s all done, but it is certainly a headache to keep organised!

  9. Far too late to participate in “guess the Spiller”. Oh hang on is Weather Report still not taken? Blue Peter? Anyway, loved all the tracks, not sure if Mary C belonged with the others but can’t agree with Beltway about lacking passion.

  10. LG: I’d love to see what you’ve got on there, you’re past double my collection, I’ve only ever digitised vinyl sporadically, odd albums here and there, much of mine comes from CD’s. Wish there was a way to swap iTunes folders, I always enjoy scrolling through mine and randomly pausing to play something. The most interesting part when it’s playing on shuffle in the kitchen is the diversity, you never know what’s coming up next.

  11. Does everyone give up? Oh, OK. Weather Report was glassarfemptee’s choice.

    And Shoey, yes, please send me some annoyingly catchy electronica, or something … and everyone else, don’t forget to send some music in, variety being the spice of life, and all that.

    27 comments on earworms? I’m off to have a little lie down …

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