Category a) Sixties and earlier [0 – 1969]

HITSVILLE

The 2019 documentary Hitsville: The Making of Motown has the slug-line “The soul of a city, the rhythm of a nation”. Very catchy and with some truth, no doubt, though an equally valid subtitle might have been “The house that Berry built”. Berry Gordy cheerfully admits—several times, in fact—that his reason for getting into music […]

A YEAR OF GOOD VIBES — PART 2

JULY Gary Burton — Lofty Fake Anagram (1967) Gary Burton is an absolute giant of the instrument, having taken the four-mallet technique to the next level. This LP and Duster (also 1967) are super examples of his skill as a jazz composer, improviser and arranger. Larry Coryell’s guitar plays an excellent supporting role as part […]

A YEAR OF GOOD VIBES — PART 1

I was asked to recommend some good vibes albums. I swallowed the bait, though it has taken a while to haul in the net. So here is a year’s worth of music featuring that unusual member of the percussion family, the vibraphone.  For those unfamiliar with the instrument that Australian jazz legend John Sangster called […]

RAINBOW VINYL — GREEN

These greens were grown in the USA. Dig in. * Like a swampy Booker T. and the M.G.s, The Meters played their funk with honest, no frills competence, part of the reason they backed up so many other artists (including recordings by Robert Palmer and Sir Paul McCartney). This LP, from 1972, is well-played but […]

MILES AWAY

It’s the biggest single slab of music by a single artist in the entire Vinyl Connection collection. More titles than anyone needs, I suspect, and certainly more than I care to admit to. Why do I always come back to Miles? Perhaps the answer is simple. Miles Davis was an innovator, talent spotter, restless musical […]

SIXTIES INDIGESTION

Is it simply a hangover from yesterday’s indulgence? For some reason, Beggar’s Banquet by the Rolling Stones found its way onto the turntable while I found my way to the Boxing Day couch. Here is the piece I penned for Discrepancy Records. After the kaleidoscope swirls of Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Rolling Stones entered […]

007

The first film featuring Ian Fleming’s suave anti-hero was Dr No, directed by Terrence Young and released in 1962. The producers thought the plot of an Asian villain interfering with the US space program would resonate with escalating Cold War tensions and set about finding the right actor to portray the British spy. Albert R. […]

ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD #5 — BRITAIN

The Rockin’ All Over The World series arose from the bar charts and little maps WordPress kindly provides to demonstrate how our blogs are far less popular than we dreamed. Yet they make fascinating reading when one disengages ego and enjoys the geographical variety. A while ago I decided to launch a project wherein an […]

ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD #4 — USA

There will be a globe-straddling spread of ROCKIN’ ALL OVER THE WORLD posts, as promised. But right now, with the USA teetering on the brink of collapse into a terrifying Idiocracy, I’m thinking of my US friends. So Edition 4 of the series inspired by the WordPress Map Statistics (WorMS) is dedicated to anyone, anywhere, […]

JAZZ DAY

Although quite a lot of jazz is played at Vinyl Connection headquarters, I rarely write about it. There are a couple of reasons. Firstly, I am less confident writing about America’s contribution to world music; it somehow seems harder to capture in words than rock. Perhaps the language of jazz is less comfortable, less familiar. […]