Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Cluster

As my son is trying to slowly erode my life right now through sleep deprivation, I will have to do another group of recordings to catch up (it's amazing how much music you can listen to while holding a baby and walking).

So #228, #231, and #232 are all Brazilian. I knew Brazil made a lot of music, but that's a pretty hefty chunk of the World music in this book (there are 21 Brazilian entries, compared to 1 Chinese, for example)

Artist: Cascabulho
Album: Hunger Gives You a Headache (Fome da Dor de Cabeca)
Recording #231
Stream album here

I like how this one charges out of the gates, with a very trippy sounding latin-fusion thing going on. Not your typical background World music. Track two, "Xodo do sanfooneiro, changes pace again with a weird Cajun sound. Unfortunately, the interesting songs don't continue through the whole album, and eventually it all starts to sound a bit mushy to me again.

Artist: Dorival Caymmi
Album: Caymmi e seu violao
Recording #232
Stream the album here and here

What a difference of sound this is! Still Brazilian folk music, but this guy is a real crooner. His voice reminded me of a Latin Bing Crosby, and the gorgeous acoustic guitar he plays is, in my opinion, too soft, but sounds virtuosic. I don't speak Portuguese, but there is clearly a theme here, which based on the appearance of the word "Mar," is the sea. I highly recommend this one, and I'm going to have to scrounge around and find it to add to my collection

Artist: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Recording: Requiem
Recording #233
Stream the symphony here

With all the awake at night time I am cruising through the IMDB Top 250 movies. I just finished "Amadeus," and it was one of the best yet. According to this movie, Mozart was CRAZY! The actor in the movie was incredible, and the storyline, although considered to be mostly fabricated, really got me interested enough to jump ahead in the book and check out what Wolfy did. Requiem, which was left unfinished due to Mozart's death, is pretty dreary. The voices are so airy, and at the same time eerie. Really, that's the highlight here, those somber, amazing voices. Evidently this was recorded in NYC only weeks after 9/11, and the mood carries over. Of all the recordings I've listened to lately this one really captures the mood around our house, with my son now sleeping for only a half hour at a time. Pretty good music for high-brow wallowing.

Artist: Manu Chao
Album: Clandestino
Recording #234
Stream the album here

This was pretty much as I expected. A french dude doing world music, again it really faded into the background. No high or low points really, just a bit bland.
Artist: Tracy Chapman
Album: Tracy Chapman
Recording #160ish
Stream album here
My wife was excited this one was included in the 1000 Recordings because she loves the song "Fast Car." It really is an incredible song, and I gotta respect Tracy as she is a native of Cleveland. Overall I liked this album, really good folk, and something a little different than other girl and a guitar acts, a different perspective and mood. I need to get this one.
Artist: Ray Charles
Album: The Best of Ray Charles: The Atlantic Years
Recording #235
Stream album here
Well if you haven't heard Ray Charles I'm not sure what rock you've been under. Most people at least knew a few songs before the biopic "Ray" came out, but Jamie Foxx's portrayal and great singing brought these songs to a new audience. This album has a lot of those familiar hits, plus a few you might not know. If you have the movie soundtrack, as I do, this is extraneous, and the soundtrack version of "What'd I Say" is actually better. But this is still a good introduction to the classic Ray Charles stuff you know.
Artist: Ray Charles
Album: Modern Sounds in Country and Western, Vols 1 and 2
Recording #236
Stream the album here
After the rousing Atlantic Recordings, this one is a buzzkill. I'm a little surprised at the popularity of this album, because I found it slow and sappy. It was just boring country, but there are still a few gems here. "Worried Mind" is a really nice version of the song, "Hey Good Lookin'" picks up the pace a little, and "Midnight's" vocal harmonies are hard to resist.
Artist: Louis Armstrong
Album: The Complete Hot Fives and Hot Sevens
Recording #237
Stream the album here
My second box set, and this is a recording I started back when I first got the book, but after 6 songs I really felt like I needed to move on. Well, I went back, and I still feel the same way. There are some very nice jazz pieces here (most of them much more enjoyable to me than most jazz, probably because this sound so classic) but 4 discs worth is a lot of Louis, even if he does play the trumpet like a maniac. I especially like the songs that highlight the trumpet versus the songs with singing. "Oriental Strut" is all trumpet solo and peppy throughout as an example. If you need some jazz in your life, you can't go wrong picking a few tracks off this one.
Wow, that was a lot of recordings. If I keep this pace I'll be done in a couple years!

No comments:

Post a Comment