Thursday, May 16, 2019

Variety Mariya Takeuchi


Mariya Takeuchi - Variety I really like this 80's Japanese pop album. The title of this album really describes its contents well. Variety is a diverse album. It blends rock n' roll, pop, and the song "One Night Stand" even sounds a bit like country. The winner in this album is the hit Plastic Love. It's about a girl who is just as flighty as her boyfriend. Variety was produced by her husband Tatsuro Yamashita, a huge artist in his own right. The background of the album kind of sounds like The Beach Boys. I know nothing about Asian music but this album told me I'm missing out.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Dolores Hawkins

This Jasmine Records release focuses on Dolores Hawkins' singles throughout the 50's. The songs kind of remind me of rockabilly, not really what Wanda Jackson was doing but more like Ella Mae Morse's attempts. Dolores sounds like a cool school singer which makes sense since she worked with Gene Krupa and Roy Eldridge, two people the legendary jazz singer Anita O'Day worked with. Hawkins later did a standards album which I wasn't surprised to find out. It's been released on Fresh Sound Records. I'll have to listen to that sometime.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Bea Abbott


Bea Abbott - The Too, Too Marvelous Bea I collect 50's female jazz vocal singers who only did an album or two. Most of them turn out to be generic. Bea Abbott doesn't fall into this category. She had a distinctive, unusual voice. It took me a while to get used to it but now I like it. My favorite songs are her renditions of Day in, Day Out and Almost like being in love.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Camino del Sol Antena


Antena - Camino del sol Antena was an experimental bossa nova group from the 80's. I got this years ago from Numero Group and have been listening to it regularly since. I love the first two songs "Camino del sol" and "To Climb a Cliff." For me, the most charming thing about this album was "Les demoiselles de Rochefort", a number in French they took from the Demy movie "The Young Girls of Rochefort". It came out of nowhere, very different from the other numbers. There's also a good cover of "The Boy from Ipamena." One of the girls later became singer Isabelle Antena who I need to look into. Overall this was a neat album.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Marcy Lutes Debut


Marcy Lutes - Debut My record of this got scratched and then the same month I saw that Fresh Sound Records had put it on cd. I was very lucky. Marcy Lutes was a jazz singer from the 50's who had previously worked with Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman. Her phrasing kind of reminds of Doris Day. She only did one album. I love her versions of "Laughing at Life" and "The Gentleman is a Dope."

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Liz Anderson If the Creek don't rise


Liz Anderson - If the Creek Don't Rise This is the second Liz Anderson album I've recommended on my blog. She has no collection on digital or cd. If she's remembered now it's for being Lynn Anderson's mom and that's a shame. She was a marvelous country singer songwriter. She might have had a girly voice but she wrote songs like "My Friends are Gonna Be Strangers", songs that a tough guy like Merle Haggard would use. This album is a mix of originals and covers. I really like her cover of Tom T. Hall's (Margie's at) The Lincoln Park Inn.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Amanda Leigh


Mandy Moore - Amanda Leigh I know this is a modern album. I don't usually focus on albums made in the past 10 years. However, I liked this one. I dismissed Mandy Moore just as a pop singer when I was a teenager. I didn't learn till later that she tried to do something different on her three latest albums. I didn't give her a chance until I learned she was the vocalist behind Tangled. In general, Mandy Moore is better than her material especially her films. Saved was ok. Chasing Liberty and Because I said so are other matters. (I've watched most of her films and I can say most are mediocre.) This album like This is Us shows her potential. I like "Merrimack River" and "Fern Dell." "I could break your heart any day of the week" is pretty catchy. She hasn't made an album in more than nine years. It's time she made another one.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Marlene Cord


Marlene Cord - Marlene Cord I like to search for albums of singers who just recorded a record or two in the 50's. It's something that I've been doing a lot in the past three years. Marlene Cord did this album when she was 19. I really like her version of "I'm through with love." There are some interesting arrangements. The flute is used a lot. Since this album was recorded in 1958 it was around the time that the jazz vocal market was struggling because of the emergence of rock n' roll. It's too bad. I listened to this album this week in rainy weather. It was nice and atmospheric.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Tanya Tucker Tear me apart


Tanya Tucker - Tear Me Apart This was done after TNT but there's no country in this album at all. It's pure rock. It was produced by Mike Chapman, the man behind Suzi Quatro. In fact, she covers Quatro's Tear me Apart and does a terrific job. The highlights are Blind Love and Somebody must have loved you right last night. Her cover of San Francisco (Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair) is ok but it takes out the hippieness of the song. Side two isn't as memorable but this album should be reissued as it is a pretty good album.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Dick Haymes Moondreams


Dick Haymes - Moondreams I remember watching a couple of crooner Dick Haymes movies in the 40's. That was about it. When I heard praise of this album from Will Friedwald's book "Jazz Singing" I bought it. I have to agree this is a great album. It kind of reminds me of Frank Sinatra's depressing albums in the 50's. The back cover actually describes this album well when it says that it is "soft and reflective." It does sound like Dick is being reflective when he sings songs like "The Way you look Tonight" and "If I should lose you" here. There are some uptempo songs which change the mood. Overall this fills the void in my record collection of crooners. I need more male singers in my music collection in general though.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Shelly West Don't let me wait on the moon


Shelly West - Don't Make Me Wait on the Moon This is a slick country album from the 80's. Shelly kind of sounds like her mother and it also reminds of Dottie's albums during this period. Shelly had a deep voice which isn't usual in country music. I guess that's why I like it. The best songs are Don't make me wait on the moon and Now there's you. It's too bad Shelly retired from the music business early on. I think she could have made a large following.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ronnie Deauville Smoke Dreams


Ronnie Deauville - Smoke Dreams Ronnie was a Sinatra like crooner from the '50s. He did two albums. This was the first. Maybe I'll buy the second later. I got it mostly for the fantastic cover art but the music inside was good as well. The album is mostly ballads. I'm not familiar with all the songs on this album which is not normal for a jazz album. So they did a good job selecting songs although there are songs that people will recognize. He does a great job on "Love is here to Stay" and "I concentrate on you."

Friday, January 4, 2019

Teresa Brewer When your lover has gone


Teresa Brewer - When Your Lover Has Gone When people mentioned the worst singers of the 50s Teresa always makes the list. I guess when you're singing songs with titles like "Pickle up a doodle" you're kind of asking for it. I like this vocal album of hers though because you can tell she's trying to be sincere with the material. She does a good job on When your lover has gone, Darn that dream, and I had the craziest dream. It's available digitally on Amazon for only $6.