Category Obituaries


A breeze skating a frozen pond.  A face that doesn’t match its name.  Wonder and anguish entwined. The task of capturing the elusive, strangled beauty of Talk Talk. I could try to net these butterfly phrases, compile them, pin them, offer them to you in a month or two as a display-board eulogy for Mark […]


After a breakthrough year in 1967, Aretha Franklin surged into 1968 with Lady Soul, a flat-out classic that hit the shelves in January of that year. Aretha had a way of making a song her own. Didn’t matter who wrote it—male/female, black/white, pop/R&B—made no difference to the Queen of Soul. When Aretha sang a song […]


[Recording: Bright daytime voice over fade of smoky alto sax solo] This is independent station WJAZ, all night jazz and conversation.  Now back to your host, Lester The Nightfly LESTER Hello Baton Rouge. It’s coming up to 2:15 on a drizzly Saturday night… or Sunday morning if you’re that way inclined. Continuing our tribute to […]


Back then, Brothers and Sisters was a notable purchase: a new record, still on the charts. What led to this profligate expenditure? Perhaps the infectious boogie of the radio single “Rambling Man” demanded more frequent playing than AM radio offered; doubtless hearing the instrumental “Jessica” on 3XY’s Sunday night Album Show fanned desire. A late […]


Between 18th and 20th April 1967, while The Beatles were in Abbey Road mixing ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ and ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’, influential young vibraphone player Gary Burton was in RCA Victor’s New York Studio B recording an album with his new quartet. Although only twenty-four years old, Burton was a […]


Japanese synthesiser pioneer Isao Tomita died in the first week of May at the age of eight-four. Inspired by Robert Moog’s electronic instruments and the work of Wendy Carlos, Tomita produced a substantial catalogue of studio albums in addition to several live releases and a significant body of soundtrack work. In a previous post, I wrote briefly about […]


I — Busting Up My Brains For The Words It was the re-release of the 1969 album, now with a Ziggy-era cover photo and an actual name: Space Oddity. Bought second-hand, probably from Bentleigh Sewing and Records. Full of strange folky songs delivered with theatrical flourish. A poet’s voice surely, writhing with angst and intensity, […]