Thursday, October 15, 2020

New vinyl catch up

As I've not been writing too often these recent months, I have not stopped listening. In fact, I've been steadily accumulating batches of new LPs as the releases of interest are coming thick and fast. Consider this a flying mention of the most notables - more to come.

Monk album cover

New Monk, who can resist? I confess, I had my doubts when news surfaced of a recently sourced old tape from a late Monk performance at a school in California, not helped by reports that it was recorded by the janitor. Well, all that might, and indeed likely is, true but this is no barrel scraping excuse to shake a few more shillings from jazz lovers' pockets. Nope, this is a fine production, replete with inner liner notes and copy of the original poster and program revealing the story of a schoolboy producer and a road hardened group who came together to play music one afternoon. The sound is really quite good, better than I expected, but the music is superb. The whole band is on form and it's hard to listen to this and not get swept up in the pleasure. The total production quality of this on LP is high and great value in an age of mega-buck reissues.  Monk, Palo Alto. Just get it. 

Deep Purple are still going, despite the pandemic temporarily (it seems) halting their end of the road world tour, and to the surprise of many they have released perhaps their strongest album in twenty years (and this for a band that's been going for over 50 now).  Bob Ezrin might be to blame, age might have mellowed the personalities, but the songwriting chops are maturing and this album makes a case for old guys continuing to rock on far stronger than anything I can think of from their contemporaries. As always, Paice on drums makes Purple swing where others pound, and the results are catchy, joyous, musical, progressive and yep, still identifiably Purple-esque. The vinyl comes in two thick slabs and sounds great. The highlights for me are Nothing at All, with an ear worm of a riff and a wonderful keyboard solo from Airey that marries Bach to Basie once Paice and Glover drive it along, and a version of the first-ever DP track, And the Address, which opened the Shades of Deep Purple album back in 1968.Are they telling us something?   Whoosh it is

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