Firstly, a very warm welcome to Brendan. Secondly, there is such a mix this week that I am at a loss as to what picture to head it with – so we have a sunrise, in honour of the longest day on the 21st June. And thirdly, as always, please send any spare worms to email@example.com. Thank you!
Phil Ochs – Rehearsals for Retirement – Brendan: Phil Ochs wrote songs of variable quality, but I think this special. Written when he was disillusioned with politics, depressed about the comparative failure of his career, and possibly running out of enthusiasm for life, I find this kind of bare testimony endlessly moving. http://grooveshark.com/#!/search?q=phil+ochs+rehearsals+for+retirement
Neneh Cherry and The Thing – Accordion – abahachi: Still on my Neneh kick; this one is not from her brilliant current album but from the equally brilliant previous album with Swedish free jazz trio The Thing doing left-field covers – here, turning a two-minute Madvillain track into a six-minute epic.
Come Sunday – Mahalia Jackson and Duke Ellington – goneforeign: In 1943 Duke Ellington wrote a suite titled ‘Black, Brown and Beige’, music dedicated to the struggles of blacks in America. It was performed at Carnegie Hall, fulfilling a lifetime’s aspiration for Duke. Part of the first movement was a gospel piece that Duke wrote specifically for Mahalia Jackson, it’s titled ‘Come Sunday’, here ’tis. For brevity I’ve edited out the orchestral segment.
Otis Rush – Your Turn To Cry – tincanman: Similar to prose, a musical phrase is a group of notes which stands on its own and cannot be changed without affecting a greater whole; a sentence or melody, verse or pararaph, chapter or song. Otis Rush’s phrasing here is about as good as it gets.
Louvin Brothers – Plenty of Everything – pairubu: There are a lot of bargains around at the moment, notably multi-disc box sets of older material. One such being a Louvin Brothers selection box that consists of 8 of their albums (for about a tenner!) Country harmonies at their best.
Givers – Up Up Up – Fuel: Afropop from New Orleans via Talking Heads and Dirty Projectors.