Monday, April 18, 2011

Andrés Segovia: The Intimate Guitar (1975)

RCA ARL1-0864

This is one of Andrés Segovia's last recordings. I'm guessing these later records haven't been released on CD because Segovia recorded plenty of material when he was in his prime. Though he was 83 years old when he made this record, his playing is still enjoyable.

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in excellent condition. From the LP: "George Benda was one of the first to use the musical form known as the melodrama - the passage of a drama or a poem that is recited with a musical background. The sonatinas of Benda, therefore, are background music for the spoken word."

[sample tracks have been removed]

More Andrés Segovia.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Merv Griffin & Arthur Treacher In London: 'Alf & 'Alf, Songs of the British Music Hall

MGM Records SE 4381

I picked this up on a whim at the thrift shop (99¢), based mostly on the cover photo (and its great condition). I don't think of Merv Griffin as especially knowledgeable about the British Music Hall, and I picture him meeting Arthur Treacher at a party, and the two of them deciding to make this LP on a lark. During my formative years, there were apparently 800 Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips franchises in the US, though I just heard about it today.

From the album: "Music Hall is irreverent but basically good-natured, brassy, raucous, obvious, sentimental and fun." Merv Griffin only sings on five tracks, which is fine, as Treacher's performance seems more in the spirit of the Music Hall. Maybe it's the English accent?

A couple of tracks use rock-and-roll instrumentation, to disappointing effect.

I'm Shy, Mary Ellen, I'm Shy

Wot Cher! (Knock'd Em In The Old Kent Road)

Who's Got The Suitcase

My Old Dutch

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tumba Cuarta & Ka'i (1982)

OMC 202
(photo courtesy of yoyo at listentoyourears)

Original Music was one of the great record labels for "world music." Here's an excerpt from the New York Times obituary for Original Music's co-founder, John Storm Roberts:

"In choosing what to release on the Original Music label, Mr. Roberts did not disdain modern, popular numbers: by his lights, a song simply had to be good. This distinguished him from musicological purists who, in ceaseless quest for the authentic, recorded only material seemingly untouched by modernity."

In the 1990s, a friend alerted me that Original Music was selling off all its vinyl stock for (I think) $2 a record. There were six titles left in stock on LP, and I bought them all. The CDs are all out of print, and this title appears to be totally unavailable on CD, even used.

I sold all the LPs during my record purge of 2005, but not before transferring my favorite tracks to CD.

Bari (recorded in Rincon, Bonaire)

More tracks from the album are here.

Original Music Discography