Desert Island CDs
Black Dub is a relatively new musical collaboration brought together by accomplished producer Daniel Lanois (think Joshua Tree). The result is a Simply Red-esque powerhouse of New Orleans soul, Jamaican charm, and pop-level power.
Click here to learn more. I love the Kimmel vids, but find the KCRW livecast even more impressive. Be sure to listen to the production notes at the beginning of the latter.
As Daniel says: “…there’s an appetite for authenticity.” Indeed.
Edit: Unfortunately, I detect an unnatural sheen and greyness to the CD recording itself. I would say its sound quality is above-average, but by no means reference-quality. Interestingly, the streamed media sounds, in several ways, better. Go figure.
Lots of good music here too.
All listed are on vinyl (LP), my only format. However, some of them have been released on CD, which I have not listened to. Many of these will be available only in used record stores or used online sources. My listening bias is for live performances as they often are more inspiring than studio recordings, even though the studio recordings often have better sonics. I think this is true especially on jazz and rock recordings.
Ltd. Ed. German pressing, Enja ENJ-80781
Dave Brubeck Quartet: The Great Concerts…Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Carnegie Hall Columbia 44215
Miles Davis: Nefertiti Columbia 9594 and Sketches of Spain Columbia 8271
Chico Freeman: The Outside Within India Navigation 1042
Erroll Garner: Concert by the Sea Columbia CL883 (wonderful live recording, get the original Mono “6 eye”, the later digitally re-mastered pressing is a sonic tragedy)
Hawkins! Alive! At the Village Gate: Verve V6-8509 – Classic Records
Dick Hyman: From the Age of Swing Reference RR-59
Ramsey Lewis Trio: At the Bohemian Caverns in Washington DC Cadet 741 and Hang on Ramsey! Cadet 761 (These are early 1960’s live recordings of Ramsey Lewis at his creative best IMHO. Especially memorable is the cut “Billy Boy” on side 2 of Cadet 761…9+ minutes of marvelous improvisation)
Herbie Mann: Impressions of the Middle East Atlantic 1475 and Memphis Underground Atlantic 1522 (these are some of Mann’s best work, I think. I own a lot of his albums)
Incognito. Acid jazz at its best. I own 3 albums, all excellent and I suspect all of Incognito (a British group) releases are comparable.
Oliver Nelson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth Impulse IMP-154 (find the analogue re-mastered release 180 gram)
George Otsuko: “You are my Sunshine” Three Blind Mice TBM-35 (all the Three Blind Mice jazz recordings that I have heard are wonderful Japanese 180 gram pressings) I also have Isao Suzuki: Black Orpheus TBM-63 and Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio: Midnight Sugar TBM-23. I think these were also released in CD.
Vladimir Horowitz–The Last Recording
One of the greatest pianists of all time has chosen a program that takes us on an unforgettable journey, and a lifetime of love and practice culminates in a performance that exhibits wisdom, tenderness, finesse, and humor bordering on perfection.
Led Zeppelin–BBC Sessions
Some great live performances captured in crisp, clean recordings. “Immigrant Song,” “What Is and What Should Never Be,” and “That’s the Way” are some of the highlights.
For me, Mitchell’s voice, lyrics, atmospheric melodies, and the unity of the album come together in a way that none of her other work approaches.
Stan Getz–The Best of Two Worlds
With Joao Gilberto and Heloisa Buarque deHollanda. Sit back under the palm tree, crack open a coconut, and let your troubles melt away…
1. Joni Mitchell, Court and Spark, D.C.C. Compact Classics (LPZ-2044), Mastered by Steve Hoffman
- Great album, great mastering and sound, great performance, etc. I was that free man….. not in Paris in London.
- The album that made me a fan of Union Station, Blue Grass Music, and Alison Kraus
3. Dog Train, Shari Boynton of greeting card fame. Formerly sold by Kohl’s Department Store and may be available through Amazon.
- This album is the proverbial “hoot”. Alleged children’s songs with a “mature spin” to them done by the likes of the Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Alison Kraus, Bill Joe Kramer, and a few unknowns. How can you not like a song called “(Don’t Give Me No) Broccoli” sung by Corporal JohnBot Version 2.1?
Below, Ori describes his Desert Island Disks via track descriptions of a proposed compilation CD:
I included the source information for each track. If you like a track, you’re likely to enjoy the whole CD.
Unlike most compilation CDs, I attempted to put together tracks that are musical rather than “audiophile-approved” ones. The result should be a very listenable collection of songs and tunes. There are good reasons why I chose the specific tracks, as discussed below. In the context of evaluating equipment, try to pay attention to the specific points I mention for each track. In the context of enjoying music on your system, the tunes need no explanations whatsoever!
1. Closer: Joy Division
2. Never Mind the Bullocks: the Sex Pistols
3. Portishead: Dummy
5. The Fat of the Land: the Prodigy
6. Entertainment: the Gang of Four
7. London Calling: the Clash
8. The Mirror Conspiracy: Thievery Corporation
9. Love Box: Groove Armada
10. The K&D Sessions: Kruder & Dorfmeister
Mike has done a great job on listing these on his web site.
Please click here to view.
Beethoven 5&7 – Carlos Kleiber
The Kempler Legacy – Symphony 9 – philharmonic Chorus Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrea Bochelli – Sogno
Pink Floyd – Darkside of the Moon
Patricia Barber – Live A fortnight in Paris; Café Blue
Enya – Watermark
Hank Crawford Jimmy McGriff – Road Tested
Dave Brubeck ( Paul Desmond) – Time Out
Jan Garbarek – Rites
Jim Hall – Concierto
Iron Butterfly – In a Gadda Da Vida
America – History
Weather Report – Sweetnighter
Jazz at the Pawn Shop
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew; Kind of Blue
Level 42 – Level 42
Yes – Fragile
Sting – Bring on the Night
Sadao Watanabe – How’s Everything
Jai Uttal – Monkey – Indian Fusion
Tuatara – Trading with the Enemy, Breaking the Ethers
Michael Wolff – Intoxicate
Wes Montgomery – Compact Jazz
Circ du Soleil – Varekai – Wonderful world sound
Mahler Symphony #2 (Simon Battle version & early Leonard Bernstein version) – exciting, dramatic
Mozart Requiem – Always inspirational, great music
Concerto for Organ – Poulenc – Fantastic ending – very dramatic
Tocatta Festiva – Barber – Very dynamic organ concerto, exciting
El Douje (Santa Cruz Modern Flamenco Guitarist) – fantastic sound
LoCura – Latin Group (last selection is cut off, but love their sound)
Libra – Marc Anthony – Magnificent ballads, great voice, great recording, exciting rhythms
Hans Zimmer – Batman Begins, Crimson Tide, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, King Arthur, The Rock, The DaVinci Code — All of these movie scores exude fantastic drama, and are excellent recordings
I listen to this music more than any other type of music
Kingdom of Heaven – movie score – wondrous music
From Hell – movie score – mysterious and dramatic music
John Mayall – The Turning Point
Ben Webster – Soulville
Neil Young – Greatest Hits
Traffic – Low Spark
Herbie Hancock, – Gershwin’s World
Eva Cassidy – Live at Blues Alley (will this ever be available on LP)?
Joni Mitchell – Miles of Aisles
Roxy Music – Avalon
Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night
Santana – III
Yes – Classics
This is the music that has moved me, in the order that it comes to mind:
- The Blue Coast Collection – Emblematic of the best in acoustical recordings.
- Joni Mitchell: Court & Spark – Who wouldn’t want to be a free man in Paris, unfettered and alive?
- Simon & Garfunkel: Bookends – “America” indeed. Balladeers extraordinaire, smoother than Dylan/Joplin but just as poetic.
- Beatles: White Album – Any one of the Fab Four’s disks would probably do.
- Rodrigo y Gabriela: Rodrigo y Gabriela – Unreal guitar-playing duo. Classically-trained but rockers-at-heart. I’ll let this ‘Stairway’ substitute for ‘Zozo.’
- Concert for Bangladesh – George Harrison and friends (Bob Dylan, et.al.) get together and jam. Dylan is extraordinary.
- Dave Matthews Band: Under the Table and Dreamin’ – I just can’t get enough of this when the mood strikes me. Masterful.
- Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run – The Phil Spector “wall of sound,” revived and modernized. Reminds me of all the summers I spent on the ‘Jersey shore!
- Music@Menlo: The ‘Live’ Disks – I’ve never heard better classical chamber music recordings, 20 or so CD’s made right in our own back yard.
- Shine (Soundtrack) – Piano at its best, from a decent Chopin ‘Polonais’ (my fav piano piece) to the dreaded ‘Rach 3′! Great recording.
- Kendra Shank: Afterglow – One of the many fine Mapleshade CD’s (their ‘Ballads’ compilation is really nice). Kendra’s powerful, resonant voice is both awesome to behold and a great system test.
- Patty Larkin: Regrooving the Dream – Great songs and singing, and a sonic showcase disk for any system. Well engineered.
- Yuri Honing Trio: Alive – How does he do this stuff?
- Counting Crows: August and Everything After – ‘Mr. Jones’ is seminal song-writing and a statement piece for this East Bay group.
- Jennifer Warnes: Famous Blue Raincoat – ‘The Hunter’ may be the current audiophile choice, but it all started for me with ‘Raincoat.’ The Joan of Arc piece is particularly cool (not)!
- David Bowie: Heathen - For me, the pinnacle of a genius’ career (so far).
- Erik Truffaz: The Mask – Sophisticated Jazz fusion recorded superbly. Top notch in both art and engineering.
- Michael Wolf: Intoxicate – Raw, biting jazz captured expertly. ‘Bells’ will show off your system (or not) and then reverb in your head for hours. Stunning.
- Miles Davis: In a Silent Way – As ‘new age’ as masterful Miles goes. Intoxicating genius.
- Dead Can Dance: Into the Labyrinth – Oregon with edge and darkness? For me, their best.
- Traffic: Low Spark of High Heeled Boys – As close to jazz as I came as a teen. Great disk.
- Beck: Sea Change – Can you tell that I like it when artists stretch to “something new”?
- Henryk Gorecki: Symphony #3 (London Sinfonietta) – I love this disk. Simple themes build from silence, and become an emersive sonic feast. Very cool.
- Sidsel Endresen: Undertow – Scandinavian siren with a hypnotic delivery. Sophisticated and alluring. And another good system test.
- Vanilla Sky (Soundtrack) – From REM to The Monkeys, something for everybody on this well-produced disk. Title cut by McCartney.
I’ll quit now, after leaving off so much – from Rilo Kiley to Three Blind Mice to Yes! <g>
If interested, you should have no problem finding these via Amazon (most of them) or Google (the rest).
And let me make special mention of the ‘Oritek Sampler Disk’ – special it certainly is! (You’ve heard much of it at our events….)
Yanni Live at the Acropolis – Private Music – 1994
Jordi Savall / Tous les matins du monde / AliaVox – AV9821
Leon Parker /Awakening / Columbia CK68076 – 1998
The Dave Brubeck Quartet at Carnegie Hall / Columbia C2K 61455 – 2001
Michel Legrand / Legrand Jazz / Philips 830 074-2 – 1986
Miles Davis / Kind of Blue / Columbia/Legacy CK 64935
Sammy Davis Sings and Laurindo Almeida Plays / Sandstone D233081-2 – 1991
The Ahmad Jamal Trio / the Awakening / Impule IMPD-226 – 1997
Julie London / Time for Love / Rhino R2 70737 S2 18810 – 1991
The Best of…Weather Report / Columbia/Legacy CK 85400 – 2002
Sonny Rollins / Saxophone Colossus / DCC Jazz GZS-1082 – 1995
Charlie Haden & Pat Metheny / Beyond the Missouri Sky / Verve 314 537 130-2 – 1997
Karrin Allyson / In Blue / Concord Jazz CCD-2106-2 – 2002
Jazz at the Pawnshop / FIM XRCD 012*013
Ramsey Lewis / With One Voice / NARADA Jazz EMI 72438-60699-2-4 – 2005
Johnny Hartman / Unforgettable / Impulse IMPD-152 – 1995
Diane Schurr / Deedles / GRP-9510 – 1984
Shirley Horn / Here’s to Life / Verve 314 511 879-2 – 1992
Ray Charles / Ray Sings Basie Swings / Concord Records/Hear Music CCD-30026-2 – 2006
Oscar Brown Jr. / Sin & Soul …and then some /Columbia/Legacy CK 64994 – 1996
Bill Frisell / Nashville / Nonesuch 79415-2 – 1997
Dexter Gordon / GO! / Blue Note 7243 4 98794 2 3 – 1999
Dexter Gordon / Our Man in Paris / Blue Note 7243 5 80914 2 7 – 2003
The Great Jazz Trio / Collaboration / 441 Records FFO-0028 – 2004
Bob Marley and the Wailers / Legend / TUFFGONG 422-846 210-2 – 1984
Modern Jazz Quartet / Dedicated to Connie / Atlantic Jazz 82763-2 – 1995
Nina Simone / Anthology The Colpix Years R2 72567 – 1996
Sarah Vaughn & The Count Basie Orchestra / Send in the Clowns / JVC Music VICJ-60246 – 1998
Chucho Valdez / Solo – Live in New York / Blue Note 7243 4 93456 2 1
Glenn Gould Edition / Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 *1955 version / Sony SMK52 594 – 1992
Mozart: Klavierkonzerte #6, 17, & 21 Anda/Camerata Academica des Salzburger Mozarteums Deutsche Gramaphon Gesselshaft 447436-2 1962
1. Music of Bach, Mozart, Scarlatti and Schubert played by Dinu Lipatti (EMI CD CDH 7 69800 2)
2. Glenn Gould playing Rhapsodies, Ballades and Intermezzoi of Brahms ( two CD set) Sony SM2K 52 651
3. Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy playing the three violin and piano sonatas by Brahms. (EMI CDC 7 474032)
4. Joseph Szigeti playing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin (two CD set) Vanguard OVC 8021/22)
5. Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside CAPJ 9376 SA)
Here goes: Not in any order!!!
My List for the Desert Island; Rock/Pop & Jazz
1. Pink Floyd – Wish you were Here or Meddle
2. Peter Gabriel – So or Us
3. Genesis – Selling England by the Pound
4. U2 – Joshua Tree
5. The Beatles – Abbey Road or Sgt. Pepper
6. The Who – Quadrophenia or Live at Leeds
7. Van Morrison – Moondance or No Method, No Guru…
8. Van Morrison – Beautiful Vision
9. Genesis – Trick of the Tail or Lamb Lies Down…
10. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Tarkus or Trilogy
11. Seal – 3 albums, I forgot their names
12. Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry – Avalon & Solo stuff
13. Dire Straits – Communique or On every street
14. Chris Isaak – First two solo albums
15. Jethro Tull – Aqualung
The Clash – London Calling
David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
Simple Minds – New Gold Dream
Yes – Close to the Edge
Queen – Night at the Opera or The Game
We all have our favorite disks – the ones that we pull out to elevate our mood or to test a new system. What are yours? Please share your top 5-10 disks or LP’s. Specify enough information so that our members can find them! Either reply to this post (you must register if you haven’t already) or email me. This should be fun. Thanks in advance! – Bob
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