Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Heritage of Folk Song from Old Russia

Nonesuch H-2010

This record is from the Nonesuch International Series. Some recordings from this series, such as Music of Bulgaria, were re-released on CD, but not this one.

I used to own this record, but I sold it in my LP purge of 2005. This copy, which is in good shape, was a thrift shop find (99¢).

This LP contains some very old Russian songs, from as early as the 11th century, as well as two Bashkir melodies that "only exist in oral form and are textually untranslatable." From the LP notes for the Bashkir melody Konï-Liap: "Its poetry is of an exotic nature; no story is related - only brief thoughts and sayings reflecting Oriental philosophy, symbols representing the swift passage of time and the futility of earthly things."

Oh My Green Willow

Konï-Liap (Bashkir melody)

For My Sins I've Got a Man

On the Edge of the Lake

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greek Folk Songs and Dances (1962)

Counterpoint/Esoteric CPST 5527

This was another 99¢ thrift store find. The record is a little beat up, and fairly noisy, but the recording of traditional Greek folk music is very good. It is not on CD.

From Gramophone: "...a record both for the connoisseur and the layman."



Zervos Karpathou

Monday, March 21, 2011

The George Sanders Touch (1958)

ABC-Paramount 231

Normally I abhor kitsch in all its forms, but George Sanders is such a compelling figure that, when I saw this LP in the dollar bin of an otherwise unremarkable record store in Austin, Texas, I picked it up.

Sanders is one of my favorite actors (Foreign Correspondent, All About Eve), and on this LP he showed that he had the pleasant voice of someone who might entertain friends at a dinner party (when people had dinner parties and made their own music). The orchestra direction by Don Costa, who was the arranger on Sinatra with Strings (among many others), makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

The LP is in good condition. It is not on CD.

Update: This album is now available as mp3s from Amazon UK.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monty Python: Matching Tie and Handkerchief (1973)

Arista AL-4039 (1975)

This recording is on CD, but the CD can't capture one aspect of the experience of listening to the record.

My father bought this record new in 1975 and, over the next few days, we listened to it several times. About the third time we heard it, we both had the impression that we were hearing some bits we hadn't heard the first time and that some of the bits we'd heard before were now missing from the record. We knew that was impossible, but something still seemed strange.

Upon investigation, we found that one side of the record (both sides are labeled Side 2) contained two completely different sets of tracks, and depending on where the needle landed, you heard either one set or the other. That side of the record was cut with two concentric grooves, effectively giving the record three sides. It was a great trick, something you'd expect from Monty Python.

The CD release handles this with two tracks called "Side 2" and "Side 3." What fun.

I got this copy at the thrift store for 99 cents. It is a bit worn, but it's a comedy album, so the sound quality isn't that important to me.


Novel Writing

Monday, March 14, 2011

Andrés Segovia: My Favorite Spanish Encores (1974)

RCA ARL1-0485

Recorded in 1974 when Segovia was 80 years old, this LP contains many compositions that Segovia had recorded before. His playing is still very good. From the LP: "The short selections on this record are among those with which I choose to reward the audience when ... they ask for encores"

This was a thrift store find (99¢). It is in very good condition. The original recording was excellent. It is not on CD.

Tarrega: Capricho Arabe

Torroba: Nocturno (Dedicated to Segovia)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Folk Songs of England, Scotland and Wales (1958)

Delyse ECB 3144

This LP has an interesting history. I bought it used in the 1990's, and I liked it a lot, but it was pretty noisy, so I returned it to the record store (the great, but now defunct, Flat Plastic Sound in San Francisco). I guess I thought I'd find another copy, but I never did. The mp3s below come from a tape I made of the original record. The image of the cover is courtesy of Jacob Whittaker. I was lucky to find it.

The LP features folk songs in English and Welsh. It is not on CD.

From Gramophone, August 1958, Page 71: "Freshness of voice is one of the many attractions of "Folk Songs of England, Scotland and Wales." This choir, made up of girls from the local schools, shops and works of Llanelly, has made a name for itself in several European countries. The famous lament Dafydd Garreg Wan, All through the Night, and Under the Greenwood Tree are among the plums of this enormously enjoyable collection."

Suo Gan

Morag's Cradle Song

Y Bore Glas

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop Album (1977)

Kicking Mule KM-128

This LP was a gift from a friend who was getting rid of his records.

From the LP: "The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop was started in the spring of 1974 by Larry Squire, Flip Breskin, and...David Auer. The idea was to have a week long session of teaching, learning and sharing guitar at a camp facility."

Eric Schoenberg, Eric Park, Flip Breskin and Rick Maedler all contribute multiple tracks. It is not on CD.

The LP is in good shape. Many of the tracks were recorded in the field, and the sound quality varies.

Eric Schoenberg: Fishing Blues

Flip Breskin: The Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song

Eric Schoenberg: Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out

Additional Eric Schoenberg tracks (by request):

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Then Came the Children