This is possibly the apex of American Songbook interpretations, at least as far
as the 1950s are concerned. Romantic jazz man and heroin addict Chet
Baker took every single good idea the previous year had offered and
brought them to the next level. Julie is Her Name, Cloud 7 and In the Wee Small Hours were far from perfect but Chet Baker Sings
damn well is. He managed to combine the three elements that London,
Bennett and Sinatra had used separately and by this artful combination,
outdid them all.
The download is the 1956 reissue with 6 extra tracks. Chet led a pretty wild life and is well worth reading up on.
This was Johns first solo album after the break up of the Bluesbreakers . After spending time in 1968 in Laurel Canyon hanging out with the likes of Stephen Stills , Joni Mitchel and the cream of Americas songwriters he returned to England to record this before moving back to Laurel Canyon . This is a sort of concept album with an interesting thing being that there are no visible breaks between the tracks on the Vinyl album . Some songs fade into the next track, others segue while others stop on a chord which is immediately followed by the introduction of the next track. John is still playing now in his 80s
As it is the anniversary of both the opening of the real Maritime Club in april 1964 and the Easter Rising for Irish independence in 1916 I dont think there is a better choice for album of the week than Vans 1988 collaboration with the Chieftains.
An acclaimed and seminal album in the advancement of British
'Folk-Rock', "Liege & Lief" is the fourth album by Fairport
Convention. Released in the UK on Island Records
in December 1969 and supported by a sell-out concert at London's Royal
Festival Hall, it resided in the UK's album charts for 15 weeks.
Prior to recording, the band suffered the tragic loss of drummer Martin Lamble and Richard Thompson's girlfriend, Jeannie Franklyn, when their tour-bus crashed. In addition, Iain Matthews
left, later to create "Matthews' Southern Comfort". The band regrouped
and began rehearsals in a country house in Winchester, with Dave Mattacks filling Lamble's role and with violin virtuoso Dave Swarbrick
joining the band full time, both of whom had appeared on the group's
previous release, "Unhalfbricking". The band was completed by Richard Thompson & Simon Nicol on guitar, Ashley Hutchings on Bass Guitar and Sandy Denny on vocals. The producer was Joe Boyd, with engineering by John Wood at Sound Techniques, London.
Members Hutchings and Denny had departed the band by the time this was released in the USA.
With even more of the Fairport Convention crew helping him out -- including bassist Dave Pegg and drummer Dave Mattacks along with, again, a bit of help from Richard Thompson -- as well as John Cale and a variety of others, Drake tackled another excellent selection of songs on his second album. Demonstrating the abilities shown on Five Leaves Left didn't consist of a fluke, Bryter Layter featured another set of exquisitely arranged and performed tunes, with producer Joe Boyd and orchestrator Robert Kirby
reprising their roles from the earlier release. Starting with the
elegant instrumental "Introduction," as lovely a mood-setting piece as
one would want, Bryter Layter indulges in a more playful sound at many points, showing that Drake
was far from being a constant king of depression. While his
performances remain generally low-key and his voice quietly passionate,
the arrangements and surrounding musicians add a considerable amount of
pep, as on the jazzy groove of the lengthy "Poor Boy." The argument
could be made that this contravenes the spirit of Drake's work, but it feels more like a calmer equivalent to the genre-sliding experiments of Van Morrison
at around the same time. Numbers that retain a softer approach, like
"At the Chime of a City Clock," still possess a gentle drive to them. Cale's
additions unsurprisingly favor the classically trained side of his
personality, with particularly brilliant results on "Northern Sky." As
his performances on keyboards and celeste help set the atmosphere, Drake reaches for a perfectly artful reflection on loss and loneliness and succeeds wonderfully.