The Galaxy – Finding a pleasurable groove

Portishead

Portishead (Photo credit: LittleO2)

Several of our selections this evening defy attempts at categorization.  Such is the case with Portishead.  Superior music, to be sure, but what does one call it?  Rock?  Ambient?  “Trip-hop”?  In the end, it doesn’t really matter what we call it, so long as we listen and enjoy.  We heard:

  • Humming
  • Cowboys
  • All Mine (all three from the Roseland NYC live album from 1998)
  • Machine Gun
  • Small
  • Magic Doors
  • Threads (all from their third album, appropriately titled Third)
  • Glory Box (a request, also from the Roseland NYC album)
The Civil Wars' Barton Hollow cover

The Civil Wars’ Barton Hollow cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We then heard a few songs from the excellent album from The Civil Wars, Barton Hollow.  I am pleased to see the May 1 announcement on their website that their hiatus, announced in November 2012, is apparently over and they have returned to the studio for what is to be a self-titled album.  So, while we patiently await this new recording, we can enjoy songs such as:

  • I’ve Got This Friend
  • To Whom It May Concern
  • Poison & Wine

We then heard some classic jazz recordings:

  • Charles Mingus‘ Haitian Fight Song, from The Clown, recorded 1957, released 1961, with Shafi Hadi, Jimmy Knepper, Wade Legge, and Dannie Richmond
  • Sonny Rollins‘ Decision, recorded and released in 1956 on Sonny Rollins Vol. 1, with Donald Byrd, Wynton Kelly, Gene Ramey, and Max Roach
  • John Coltrane and Don Cherry, with Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell, playing The Blessing.  Recorded in 1960, released in 1967 on The Avant-Garde.  An unusual recording on multiple points:
    • Coltrane and Cherry are co-leaders here.  While this is relatively early in Coltrane’s solo career, he had already recorded Giant Steps by this time, and was well on his way to establishing his reputation with his Quartet.
    • The song, like all of the others on the album here, is not a Coltrane composition, but an Ornette Coleman composition (there was also a Thelonious Monk song on the album).  The album is comprised of then-unreleased recordings, and was issued by Atlantic without Coltrane’s input or control.  Yet the recordings are of great interest to those interested in Coltrane’s development.  While there are a few other examples of Coltrane recording someone else’s compositions, these examples are few and far-between.
    • Part of the interest in this particular song comes with the fact that this was the first time that Coleman recorded a solo on soprano sax.  This predates My Favorite Things by several months.

We also heard a couple songs from the great Chicago album, Chicago Transit Authority: Questions 67 and 68, and Beginnings, before closing the show with Mastodon’s Hearts Alive.

The full, and OFFICIAL (a new thing we are doing here at WDBX), can be found here.

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