Thursday, May 31, 2012

TRACK OF THE DAY - Graveyard Train


Friday, May 25, 2012

Akira Tana (2002) -Secret Agent Man

Artist:  Akira Tana
Album: Secret Agent Man
Released:  2002
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size: 148 MB
”Akira Tana and his musicians were definitely out to have some fun making this release, which draws heavily from works written for spy-themed movies and television series. "Secret Agent Man" is given a funky treatment with a slight Latin tinge, showcasing guitarist Rodney Jones, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and tenor saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu. The rendition of the "Alfred Hitchcock Theme (March of the Marionettes)" at first seems like it will be low-key, but the brisk arrangement quickly discards Kenmotsu's flute for his blistering tenor in a smoking performance. They even have a bit of fun with the unlikely inclusion of a Sting composition (the normally monotonous "It's Probably Me"), but this version has more spirit and eliminates the mundane lyrics. The band relaxes a bit with a loungy but effective take of "From Russia with Love." The CD concludes with five songs written by the band's members to make up a fictitious soundtrack for a film. A nice added touch is the campy cover photo, with each of the players photographed in standard spy gear (hat, trench coat, and sunglasses), though Smith's huge Afro covered by a turban would likely make it hard for him to tail a subject!” ~ Ken Dryden,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Paul Desmond (1968) -Summertime

Artist:  Paul Desmond
Album: Summertime
Released:  1968
Quality: FLAC (tracks)
Size: 232 MB

”In the midst of lolling away his time in semi-retirement after the Dave Brubeck Quartet broke up in 1967, Paul Desmond allowed himself to be lured back into the recording studio by producer Creed Taylor, who knew exactly what to do with his idle, but by no means spent, alto player. The result is a beautifully produced, eclectic album of music that revives Desmond's "bossa antigua" idea and sends it in different directions, directly toward Brazil and various Caribbean regions, as well as back to the jazzy States. "Samba With Some Barbecue" is a marvelous bossa nova treatment of Louis Armstrong's New Orleans rouser "Struttin' With Some Barbecue," whose opening bars bear an uncanny resemblance to those of "Samba de Orpheus" (which the erudite Desmond was no doubt aware of). No matter how many times you've heard "Autumn Leaves," Desmond's bossa nova treatment will give you a fresh jolt as he offhandedly tosses off the most exquisitely swinging ruminations; too bad it fades after only three minutes. In a pliable mood, Desmond even consents to record a then-new Beatles tune, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," samba-style, quoting "Hey Jude" along the way (it's very possible that he was attracted by the main character of the lyric, a fellow named Desmond), and he makes potent music out of movie tunes like "Emily" and even the snazzy "Lady in Cement." Don Sebesky brings in some intelligently crafted arrangements for big band augmented by French horns, Herbie Hancock turns in some often brilliant solo work in several featured spots, Ron Carter is on bass, and Leo Morris and Airto Moreira alternate on drums. Never before had Desmond's alto been recorded so ravishingly -- Rudy Van Gelder's engineering gives it a new golden-mellow glow -- and the original LP had a great, sarcastic cover: gleaming icicles.” ~ Richard S. Ginell,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers (1962) -The Original Monster Mash

Artist:   Bobby Pickett
Album: The Original Monster Mash
Released: 1962
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size: 82 MB

”Pickett co-wrote "Monster Mash" with Leonard Capizzi in May 1962. The song was a spoof on the dance crazes popular at the time, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato, which inspired the title. The song featured Pickett's impersonations of veteran horror stars Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (the latter with the line "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?"). It was passed on by every major record label, but after hearing the song, Gary S. Paxton agreed to produce and engineer it; among the musicians who played on it was pianist Leon Russell. Issued on Paxton's Garpax Records, the single became a million seller, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two weeks before Halloween in 1962.[3] It was styled as being by "Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers". The track re-entered the U.S. charts twice, in August 1970, and again in May 1973, when it reached the #10 spot. In Britain it took until October 1973 for the tune to become popular, peaking at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.[4] For the second time, the record sold over one million copies.[5] The tune remains a Halloween perennial on radio and on iTunes. A Christmas-themed follow-up, "Monster's Holiday," was also released in 1962 and reached #30 in December that year. This was followed by further monster-themed recordings such as the album The Original Monster Mash and such singles as "Werewolf Watusi" and "The Monster Swim". Another of Pickett's songs, "Graduation Day", made #80 in June 1963. WIKI

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Track Of The Day - The Hillbilly Moon Explosion


The Magic Mixture (1968) -This Is The Magic Mixture

Artist: The Magic Mixture
Album: This Is The Magic Mixture
Released: 1968
Quality: mp3 CBR 320
Size: 86 MB

”The Magic Mixture were one of dozens of psychedelic bands making the rounds of London's rock clubs in 1968, though they were the only ones who recorded an album for Saga Records, a cut-rate classical label who were making a brief foray into pop music. The group's first and only album, This Is the Magic Mixture, is prized by collectors for its rarity, but as music it's fun and interesting without being especially remarkable. The liner notes to Sunbeam Records' reissue of This Is the Magic Mixture reproduces a promotional flyer in which the band describes their music as "Cream-Hendrix Style," and while that formula isn't terribly far off, the comparisons don't quite flatter the Magic Mixture; lead guitarist Terry Thomas (later a member of Charlie) was a fine player, but he lacked Jimi's flash and vision, while the band couldn't muster the same sort of blues power that Cream generated on an off night. However, the group sounds admirably tight and well-focused, especially given the circumstances behind the recording of their sole album, which was essentially cut live in the studio in a single day. The songs are good if not great, especially the hard rock workout "You," the atmospheric "Moonbeams," and the trippy but propulsive "When I Was Young" (not the Animals hit, though not dissimilar). As castoffs of the British psychedelic era go, This Is the Magic Mixture is better than most and the album has its pearly moments, but those not already enamored of such things will probably find themselves immune to its charms”. © Mark Deming,