Since the publication of 1000 Recordings, there have been thousands of truly great new releases – and possibly an equal number of reissues of music that was pretty much unavailable during the research. Some of these I’ve noted in the blog, and more will come. Today I’m posting something a bit different – additional Next Stop listening suggestions for a few entries. Happy exploring….
ENTRY: Sly and the Family Stone: Stand! (1000 Recordings, pg. 713).
ALTERNATE NEXT STOP: Tim Maia: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia (Luaka Bop, 2012).
WHY: Singer and bandleader Tim Maia was among a handful of Brazilian artists who became entranced by American funk and R&B in the early ‘70s. Maia melded the utopian vision of Sly and the Family Stone with the deep percussion and chanting of his homeland’s ritual music. The fusion took on many dimensions, sometimes suggesting an urban samba; this new compilation focuses a bit too much on the backbeat funk that’ll be accessible to U.S. listeners. If you like the big, hurtling Maia groove on display here, also check out his eponymous debut, issued in 1970, and Racional Vols. 1 & 2.
ENTRY: My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves (1000 Recordings, pg. 537).
ALTERNATE NEXT STOP: Grizzly Bear: Shields (Warp, 2012).
WHY: The success of My Morning Jacket opened doors for a bunch of rock bands with ears for sonic textures and grooves that are well outside of the indie-rock soundset. On the rousing Shields, the Brooklyn collective tumbles headfirst into unexpectedly gorgeous reverb-drenched portraiture – and at times sounds like it’s trying to emulate the hard-charging fury of Charles Mingus circa Blues & Roots.
ENTRY: Jan Garbarek & Ralph Towner: Dis (1000 Recordings, pg. 299).
ALTERNATE CATALOG CHOICE: Magico: Carta de Amor (ECM, 2012).
WHY: The early 1980s collaboration between saxophonist Jan Garbarek, guitarist (and pianist) Egberto Gismonti and bassist Charlie Haden was known as Magico – a truth-in-labeling description of a wonderfully fluid, evanescent approach to music. The group toured some during its run, and fortunately some of its performances were recorded. Carta de Amor, captured in Munich in April 1981 and released for the first time this fall, shows what can happen when three sensitive souls share a journey toward lyricism. Stunning.
ENTRY: Frank Zappa: The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life (1000 Recordings, pg. 886).
ALTERNATE NEXT STOP: Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino, 2009).
WHY: Though it doesn’t immediately resemble Zappa, Merriweather Post Pavilion bubbles with the guitarist and composer’s delightfully unhinged experimental spirit. Animal Collective is the rare ensemble capable of extreme guitar-rock fury as well as elaborate sample-mangling mashups – at times, these awe-inspiring super-dense orchestrations seem plotted note for note. But, as with Zappa’s work, they could just as easily have been impromptu accidents.
ENTRY: Dr. John: Gris Gris (1000 Recordings, pg. 237).
ALTERNATE CATALOG CHOICE: Locked Down (Nonesuch, 2012).
WHY: As Louis Armstrong once said, “If you have to ask, you’ll never know…..”