Category Jazz & Jazz-Rock

1971 COUNTDOWN: #29 — #26

#29  FOCUS — Moving Waves The second album from the Dutch progressive rock band contained their surprise hit “Hocus Pocus”. Who knew yodelling could be cool? The side-long “Eruption” suite is a highlight in the Focus catalogue and the album is consistently inventive and entertaining as the music dances between Jan Ackerman’s mercurial guitar and […]

COVER ART | ALBUMS AL FRESCO

It’s Spring in Melbourne. The weather tends to be varied—drizzle, downpours, showers, storms, occasional sun—but when time and inclemency allow, I’ve been taking some records for walks. They need a change of scenery after the long lockdowns. * The adventure began in the back garden, celebrating Joni Mitchell’s 78th birthday (7 November) during a break […]

1971 COUNTDOWN: #34 — #30

34 TANGERINE DREAM — Alpha Centauri In some ways the most psychedelic of the early Tangerine Dream albums, Alpha Centauri is as powerful as a neural freight train and as spacey as a black hole. This is powerful cosmic music. It starts with a brief preamble, “Sunrise in the third system” before launching into the […]

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 […]

1971 LIVE [PART ONE]

By the close of the 1960s the technology and knowhow for recording live music had improved substantially. Sure, the results were patchy on many occasions, but overall live albums had become much more listenable. Here (and in the forthcoming Part Two) we trawl through Vinyl Connection’s 1971 “Live” holding, counting ‘up’ to my favourites. 13 […]

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 […]

FEBRUARY 1971 — PART TWO

Continuing our trawl through Vinyl Connections holding from February 1971, and beginning with an absolute classic. [Part One here] Pretty much everyone agrees that Carole King’s second LP is a flawless album that boosted singer-songwriter artists towards the top of the first division. And not just in the US and Canada where the LP was […]

FEBRUARY 1971 — PART ONE

We’re running late, by about two months, so let’s get into it. * FEBRUARY 1971 ALBUM RELEASES Simply the most infectious collection of straight-ahead electric boogie that you’ll ever hear. John Lee was a savvy veteran by the early 1970s, he’d witnessed the surge in interest following the British blues boom of the early 1960s […]