Monday, November 27, 2006

And there ain't NOTHING I can do.....

Playing right now: Paul Bley - Copenhagen and Haarlem
I've always wanted to check out more stuff by Paul Bley, because he's always seemed like someone I'd like. This album collects two trio sessions that were released in Europe, and compiled here in the '70s by Arista-Freedom. A number of the songs are written by Annette Peacock, and I have a CD by pianist Marilyn Crispell where she interprets them too.
This album is something that I need to listen to a lot before I'll fully grasp it. So far, it's pretty interesting. Not as harsh as Cecil Taylor but definitely open.


Last night while I was doing dishes, I was listening to the first album by the Vanilla Fudge (I have a thing about reattaching "the" to some bands who jettisoned it: the Sweet, um.......maybe that's it. I don't normally say "the Pink Floyd," or "the Cream.")
Anyhow, side 2 of that album is kind of interesting. mainly because their version of "You Just Keep Me Hangin' On" is on it and it has some great, foundation-rocking moments.
Then I put on Side 1. I forgot how awful it is. REALLY awful. "People Get Ready" is over the top, white boys trying to sound like soulful choir boys (which kind of reveals the implication of their name). "She's Not There" is warbly.
There was a time, in fact right around this time of the year, during 9th grade that I was really into Vanilla Fudge. I had The Beat Goes On on cassette; I found In the Beginning with its side-long jam (in which each member got a solo [ugh] and Tim Bogert played fuzz bass, [yeah!] and they did a slammin' version of "Shotgun," which I wouldn't mind hearing again someday soon; and I got a copy of Renaissance, which includes their 10-minute version of "Season of the Witch" which seems to channel the movie The Fly, with the "help meeeee" plea after each chorus. (Anyone know if there's some bigger reference I'm missing?) Other than that, that record sucked and I started to realize these guys weren't as good as I thought. Surprisingly, I never bought their landmark debut. This copy came from an estate sale over the summer.
So before the Fudge plodded into "Bang Bang" I decided I needed to hear something that was a little more bearable.
Call me crazy, but I threw on Emerson, Lake & Palmer's first album.
True story.
(Someday I'll explain why I still have a soft spot for that album.)

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