Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Primitive Sound System at Maxwells - One Big Lounge Scene! Tuesday March 22nd - 9PM - 2AM

Hello Y'all,
There isn't a band playing this week so there will be no competition with the sound coming from the back room for this weeks Mixed Tape Session so for the first half of the night I have decided to keep things Loungy. For me most of the best bits of Lounge have a Latin Tinge and some of these LPs like, Candido in Indigo, are not only Lounge classics but essential LPs for any well rounded collection. Of course like all genres, Lounge Music, can have cliches (practically the definition of Lounge Music), and trappings that can keep them from being regular listens. Ironically one of the cliches that is also a simple trap for Lounge Acts to fall into is actually one of the genres finest songs, Caravan, but luckily for us it is also the one track that is usually the standout on many of these LPs. Let's celebrate the positive and accentuate the repetitive. Kick back and enjoy.

For the rest of the evening I've loaded up on enough 50's instrumentals, 60's Garage and Jazz, 70's Punk, Soul, Funk and Rock to keep everyone happy. For my own listening pleasure during my dinner break I have brought an old favorite, Ray Barretto's "Head Sounds" and Gil Scott Heron's "Pieces Of A Man."

See ya there,

Primitive Sound System and the continuing food stylings of el Diablo Every Tuesday! (9PM - 2AM)
1039 Washington Street
Hoboken New Jersey
(201) 653-1703

The LPs:
Like the 70's Action films the Lounge Music LPs are all about the covers...

Sabu and his Percussion Ensemble- Sorcery! (Columbia cat. WL 101)
I shit you not I bought this for $1 at Kim's in NYC. It is a beautiful "Adventures in Sound" Gold Label pressing. Thanks gang, it is worth ever penny. About the music. This is pure mood produced by exotic sounds...well that is at least what you would be lead to believe. Instead you do get beautiful exotic mood music played by some of the finest musicians to walk into a studio. So much for the primitives. I think I will start off the evening with the beautiful "Milk Weed" as I don't think the fine folks at Maxwell's could handle many of the more percussion driven epics. "Milk Weed" starts off with a lilting flute line which suddenly crashes head on with Sabu and his hulking ensemble. On this particular track things don't ever really get too out of hand and the flute is allowed enough room to express its delicate groove along side the propulsive beats.

Eddie Cano - Eddie Cano at P.J.'s (Reprise cat. R-6030)
OK, this is an actual Lounge recording and it's a winner at that. Cano had backed both Jack Costanzo and Cal Tjader so he obviously has the chops and proves it on this LP. The selections move through many styles of Afro-Cuban but of course at all times keep it in check to not get to aggressive because we wouldn't want you to spill your drink. After al we are lounging. "Watusi Walk" represents the set well. Beautiful piano leads Latin Percussion and Jazzy bass and drums through some nice changes and even kicks up a bit of dust. it is almost impossible to pick a stand out track here but who wants to. "Barkeep another round please."

The Mad-Hatters - At Midnight (20th Century Fox Records cat. TFM 3141 monaural)
This is another Lounge act in a similar vein as Eddie Cano. The Mad Hatters can really cook and of course know how to glide along at a clouds pace when necessary. "Mad-Hatters Stomp" starts this set off and is 2:15 of pure joy and is just a preview of how good things are going to be. Vibes and organ get equal billing through most of the LP. I don't think I'd be out of line to tell you to get down to any Lounge that these cats are playing. Soulful, swinging and always cool. Other originals include "The Sanctified Thing," the powerful "Soul Samba," and the ever groovy "Monkey Children."

(The Exotic Sounds of...) Martin Denny - Hypnotique (Liberty cat. LRP 3102 "Spectra-Sonic-Sound - The Ultimate in Hi-Fi")
Something magical happened that night in the studio... yeah, the late great Denny and his gang got lit. Hey, I'm just guessing. Of all the Martin Denny LPs I have heard this one is the trippiest and weirdest. The lineup isn't different from his other LPs but his mostly percussion group seem to really go the extra mile on this one to put us in the mind of hookah pipes and scantly clad women. The cover is a mix of modern art, Oriental decor, Southern bumpkin, Italianate style all surrounding a beautiful Vampiraesque lovely seducing us with her stare. Thank you Mr. Denny for "Voodoo Dreams."

...performances by Los Admiradores - Bongos/Flutes/Guitars (Command Records cat. RS 812 SD)
Ah, listen to my technically advanced new home stereo. Hear the way the music bounces from speaker to speaker. That is Modern sound baby, and it kicks. This LP contains one of my favorite versions of "Caravan." Ping Pong percussion and all the trimmings. Of course this is produced by Enoch Light and contains more technical information than Rudy Van Gelder would ever need or use. Even Phill Schaap may give pause at the amount of info provided on the liners. By the way, the Bongos in the title of this gem are played by Willie Rodriguez and Ray Barretto. [For some reason the amplifier at Maxwell's more than not REFUSES to play in Stereo. So unfortunately this track just may not be a Ping Pong of sound. Oh well.]

Al Jazzbo Collins And the Bandidos - A Lovely Bunch of... (Impulse cat. A-9150)
There couldn't be a Lounge night without Jazzbo and his crew. This LP contains one of the coolest readings of "The Three Little Pigs." Radio DJ Al Collins is joined here by Terry Gibbs (vibes), Hal Blaine (probably one of the greatest unsung heros of the throne) on drums, Funky Bluesman Mel Brown on guitar, and Steve Allen tickling the ivories. The Pigs swing easy behind Collins crazy voot. The Wolf eventually gets his in the end, as he always does, but never has his story been so cool. I wish I had a Bandidos club card that was offered inside the gate.

Ken Nordine - The Son of Word Jazz (Dot cat. DPL 3096 "Ultra High Fidelity")
"I Used To Think My Right Hand Was Uglier Than My Left." Wow, this is the musings of someone high as a kite or on the verge of killing. The sad character in this revealing tale is torturing his right hand like it was detached and treating it with prejudice. Suddenly there is an epiphany and he embraces both hands as beautiful. Weirdly you can tell this is not his final conflict he will have with his own body. Nordine's voice is so recognizable. Full round and warm as a wool sweater. "Looking At Numbers" trips along as Nordine describes the shapes of numbers and the power they hold. Vibes, flute guitar, sax, piano, cello, piccolo, bass, and percussion skip over the top in abbreviated solos driven by a repetitive drum line. "Down The Drain" is chilling and open. Again sounding a little crazy but oddly in complete control of his factions describing odd behavior as if he was one up on us. In this case, seated showers are the topic du jour. Hmm, maybe I'll try this tomorrow morning. I hope I don't pour down the drain, end up in Indiana and twist my way back again.

Candido - In Indigo (ABC-Paramount cat. ABC-236)
If there could be a monster session amongst the Lounge records this would be it. Candido is joined here by Joe Puma, Dick Hyman, Ernie Royal, George Duvivier, and Charlie Persip. Though the LP starts off with "Caravan" the majority of this session is made up of originals and this band can seemingly do no wrong with this material. Unexpected twists and turns surprise the ears amongst passages that should be familiar if not cliche. The Joe Puma tune "Candido Cocktail" is my personal favorite. His guitar playing is stellar throughout the LP but hear opens in tandum with Ernie Royal's trumpet and sends chills down my spine. Each member grabs a piece of the floor and so should you.

Other favorites along for the ride:
Gary McFarland - The In Sound (Verve cat. V-8632)
Harry "The Hipster" Gibson - Boogie Woogie In Blue (Musicraft Records cat. MVS-2003)
Chef Slim Gaillard - Smorgasbord ...help yourself! (Verve Records cat. MG V-2013)
Jane Birken / Serge Gainsbourg (Fontana cat. 885 545 MY)
Three Martinis & Olive - Slightly Muddled Medley of Dean Martin's Hits Live... At Somebody's Basement (Mira cat. MLP 3015)
Esquivel His piano and His Orchestra - More of other Worlds, Other Sounds (Reprise cat. R9 - 6046 "Dual 35mm/120 CMPS/Stereo")
Frankie Stein and his Ghouls - Ghoul Music (Power Records cat. 340)
Dracula's Greatest Hits (RCA Victor cat. LPM-2977)
Babs Gonzales - Babs (Chiaroscuro Records (a division of Audiofidelity Ent.) cat. CR2032)