CAF 2022 playlist highlight and music notes

playlist CAF 2022

Imelda May & Jeff Beck – Black Tears from Life. Love. Flesh. Blood 2017

The Irish singer is in fine form, notwithstanding criticism that she sings off key, midrange magic is on display .

Ms May is not well known in N.America, which is a shame, as she has a lovely voice and has interesting songs. On the same album she has a great duet with Jools Holland (Squeeze) .

Jeff Beck has for the past five decades shared his remarkable guitar virtuosity with countless artists, spanning many different genres.  He came to my attention, as one of the guitarists with the Yardbirds ( his band mates went on to form an even more successful English rock band – Led Zeppelin).

Jeff Beck’s cover of Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”  is a 100% original cover of a jazz classic, reimagined from a rock perspective,  clearly tinged with blues. Look for this on Demo XXIV.

Pino Palladino – Ekute from Notes With Attachments 2021

Palladino is a London-based session bass player who has spent forty years touring and/or recording with high-end rock, funk and jazz artists, including The Who, Keith Richards, Erykah Badu, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck,  Elton John, John Mayer and Herbie Hancock.

Notes with Attachments is a fresh musical experience & sonic feast that is worthy of repeated listening. While beautifully recorded, the music compels the listener to open his ears to a sonic world that is truly original.  ‘Ekuté’ delivers tempo shifts as the ‘song’ progresses, the listener is unsure as to the direction of the music and yet it does not feel like challenging music.

Count Basie – Molten Swing from  Me & You 1983

Basie’s big band are on fire on this big band jazz album.  The band are playing a pleasant melody, when BAAM, the brass explode and the listeners are shaken out of of their reverie, the drum kit is also beautifully recorded. I played Molten Swing  as the finale to every demo set. Originally recorded in 1983 on analogue tape, I bought the first pressing of the LP for a reasonable amount of money.

Karen Souza – Paris  from Hotel Souza 2012

What a wonderful introduction to Hotel Souza,  Joel McNeely’s arrangement offers a gorgeous melody on piano, and sets the soundstage for the beautiful voice of Karen Souza.  Ms Souza’s diction is clear & and delivery has a wonderful sultry edge.

Devin Hoff – She Moved Through The Fair from Voices From The Empty Moor 2021

From the opening growling notes of his bowed acoustic bass, you know that you have been sucked through an acoustic portal.  Here is clearly a master at play with his instrument. The music is difficult to pin down to a single genre, the melody itself is clearly a folk song, but this interpretation is more dense & ominous.

Andrew Bird – Proxy War from My Finest Work Yet  2019

Beautiful voice, gliding over an R&B sensibility, tasteful variety of instruments,  from horns to plucked cello,  a gorgeous song, beautifully sung with a tasteful accompaniment.  A pity that the sound quality is not in the same league as the other albums that we are playing from other artists. A listener did share that a later album was better recorded.

New to me, a Tidal  recommendation, I like this song so much that I bought the LP, though I was under-whelmed by the sonics. Caveat Emptor.


Trentenmoller –  Still On Fire    from Lost 2013

Wow, here is a wake up call for your system, with driving bass & drums, this German (?) electronic band, paint a wonderful soundscape with a hard driving rhythm section, guitars.

Elton John & Leon Russell – Jimmie Rodger’s Dream from The Union 2010

Why am I surprised to come across Elton John playing Country on “Jimmie Rodger’s Dream” ?

After all, weren’t we all gob smacked by Tumbleweed Connection, almost fifty years ago.

With exquisite backing musicians, Russ Pahl on pedal steel guitar deserves a shout out for tasty lick’s that swing the song along. Meanwhile John & Russell sing Bernie Taupin’s lyrics and duet on the The Union produced by  T Bone Burnett, which finds Elton John in a rare partnership with the relatively obscure talent of Leon Russell, a maverick who had seemingly faded out of public consciousness.

I was first aware of Leon Russel while watching the film Woodstock.

Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends is arguably the best Beatles cover version ever, certainly one of the greatest live performances.

John Lennon was spot on when he quipped that “I guess it’s HIS song now”

This memorable song’s opening notes are performed by Leon Russell on organ, really tasteful.

Elton John & Leon Russell first met during Elton John’s first American concert at the Troubadour in Los Angles 1970. It took forty years before they collaborated on The Union, this confection of gospel tinged country music, is a true partnership, Russell sings in a strong, elastic growl and matches John’s piano work with low-end rolls and top-note sparkle, Russell nudges the younger man from his routine polished complacency. Russell brings elements of America’s South to John’s finely polished BritPop.

The Union often feels like a conversation between two old friends, trading sober and grateful reflections, in songs like “The Best Part of the Day” and “A Dream Come True”.

I bought the double  LP set  inexpensively recently.  It seems to have slipped the audiophile’s consciousness.

Chris Stapleton – Death Row From A room, vol 1.

While Chris Stapleton is a country singer, his delivery on Death Row, is more akin to a soul singer. A haunting melody with intense vocals; it’s a scorcher of a song.

Grieg / Duke Ellington – Peer Gynt

While growing up in Cork city, Ireland, one of my brothers exposed me to Grieg’s Peer Gynt; truly a much loved suite of classical music.  Imagine my delight, when Dan Meinwald introduced me to Duke Ellington’s  interpretation from a big band jazz perspective.  Beautifully recorded, it ticks all the audiophile boxes.

Ford’s remarkable vocal delivery on this album is so immediate, so palpable, the listener is transported back seventy years to enjoy Ford’s performance right between the speakers; it’s mono, nonetheless, a sonic spectacle to be enjoyed, over & over again.

Tennessee Ernie Ford – Funny How Time Slips Away from Country Hits..

Ford’s remarkable vocal delivery on this album is so immediate, so palpable, the listener is transported back seventy years to enjoy Ford’s performance right between the speakers; it’s mono, nonetheless, a sonic spectacle to be enjoyed, over & over again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *