Friday, February 24, 2006

....even stray dogs find a friend....

Under a heavy musical influence at the moment. A friend suggested checking out http://mixoftheweek.com and after a little browse through the posted mixes I found the Mix #247-Quiet Nights by Alistair J. He has posted a few other mixes and his music taste is impeccable but his Quiet Nights mix is my current favourite.
The mix contains a version of 'Afro Blue' by Abbey Lincoln and this encouraged me to find a copy of the original album 'Abbey Is Blue'.

I wasn't disappointed. Originally released in 1959, 'Abbey is Blue' retains a freshness where many other vocal jazz records become dated, you wouldn't be surprised to hear these songs remixed by the likes of Massive Attack. The opening track 'Afro Blue' is a rare vocal performance of the song, normally performed as instrumental it rolls along at a gently swaying mid tempo, Lincoln's voice handles the difficult rising and falling tones of the song very gently and this makes the song when others might stall the swinging nature of the track.
The album also contains a nice version of the classic 'Brother, Where Are You?' but my pick of the album is 'Lonely House' a slow blues about urban loneliness with very simple but heartbreaking lyrics, great piano by Wynton Kelly with a touch reminiscent of his performance on Miles Davis classic 'Kind Of Blue'. This song should be a must in everyones collection and I am surprised that it hasn't been covered to exhaustion by contemporary singers. A little tip though, if you have been recently dumped and left home alone give the song a miss and go straight to track 3.

The spring edition of 'Straight No Chaser' is now available with a Gilles Peterson interview of Ed Motta and features with Jhelisa, Cheikh Lo and British jazz great Michael Garrick.http://straightnochaser.co.uk

Just a quick mention of my current favourite London street. Earlham Street near Seven Dials has the wonderful clothing brand Fenchurch http://www.fenchurchclothing.com with their well made T shirts with great prints. After blowing your wages on shopping you should check out Covent Gardens best cafe and place to hang out, the Brazilian/Portuguese Canela Cafe. This place is becoming too popular though as it now always seems to be rammed, no doubt once you have found the great Portuguese and Brazilian snacks and nice coffee you'll be squeezing past me to get in too. Good sounds too.
http://canelacafe.com

Right, after all this urban living and wall to wall coverage of the Winter Olympics I am off for a short visit too the Austrian Alps with my board tucked under my arm.

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