2017/10/19

Fujio Yamaguchi/Himatsubushi (Killing Time) (1974)

An important figure in the early days of Japanese rock, who had worked in the GS band the Dynamites and the rock band Murahachibu in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, Fujio Yamaguchi's first solo album. Released after Murahachibu disbanded. Lots of good songs featuring Yamaguchi's guitar and vocals, such as rock and roll strongly influenced by the Rolling Stones, blues, and songs in the folk style. The lyrics are Japanese except "Can Not Wait" with English lyrics. "Osaraba (Goodbye)" is an impressive song in the country folk style, filled with dry lyricism. The remastered edition, including live recordings (three tracks) and previously unreleased demos (three tracks), was released in 2014.

Himatsubushi

2017/10/13

Vince Guaraldi Trio/A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1964)

Vince Guaraldi is an American jazz pianist noted for his composing music for the animated TV specials "Peanuts" based on Charles M. Schulz's comic strip. The soundtrack recorded by Vince Guaraldi's piano trio for "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" (1963), an unreleased TV documentary film about Charles M. Schulz and "Peanuts", including animated parts. Guaraldi's first soundtrack for "Peanuts". Originally titled "Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown". Pop-oriented jazz album descended from the 1950s West Coast jazz, including lightly swinging rhythms and catchy compositions with simple and lyrical melodies. "Linus and Lucy" is one of Guaraldi's most famous pieces. It was used many times in the animated TV specials of "Peanuts" and become the de facto theme song of "Peanuts". Guaraldi's music for "Peanuts" introduced jazz to lots of kids and their parents since the mid-1960s, and contributed to popularizing jazz.

A Boy Named Charlie Brown

2017/10/05

The Band/The Band (1969)

A rock band formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1968, The Band's second album (#9 on the US album charts). Also called as "The Brown Album". A masterpiece of roots rock, which established their establish style as a rock band based on American roots music (folk, blues and country). A concept album on the American South of 19th-century. All the songs are originals, mainly composed by Robbie Robertson (guitar). Includes singles, "Up on Cripple Creek"/"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Rag Mama Rag". Lots of excellent songs, such as a beautiful ballad "Whispering Pines" and soulful "The Unfaithful Servant". Produced by John Simon.

The Band

| Music: B |

2017/09/29

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (1957/2005) *

A live album by The Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane (Blue Note). Recorded on November 29, 1957, at Carnegie Hall. The tape, which was recorded by Voice of America(the US shortwave broadcasting), was found at the Library of Congress and released on CD in 2005. It's monaural, but its sound quality is pretty good. A precious live recording and historic document which cannot be listened to in other recordings. You can listen to the interplay between Monk (piano) in his prime, who established his unique off-center style, and Trane (tenor saxophone), who was moving into his unique high speed improvisational style called as "sheets of sound", in clear sound. The tracks are mainly Monk's original compositions, such as "Monk's Mood", "Evidence", "Epistrophy" and "Blue Monk".

Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall

2017/09/20

B12/Electro-Soma (1993) *

A British electronic music duo of Mike Golding (mixing) and Steve Rutter (mixing), B12's first album released from Warp Records as a part of the "Artificial Intelligence" series. A compilation including their previously released tracks with their pseudonyms, Musicology, Redcell, and Cmetric, in 1991-1993. A classic of intelligent dance music and ambient techno influenced by Detroit techno. Techno with using synths such as Roland's digital synthesizer JD-800, and its rhythm tracks are in the Detroit techno style, but it has emotional and melodic compositions featuring beautiful synths strings. Suitable for home listening rather than club listening. Imaginative world-view inspired by science fiction and associated with space and future. The 2-CD remastered edition with "Electro-Soma II", a compilation of rare tracks, was released from Warp in 2017.

Electro-Soma

| Music: B |

2017/09/15

Led Zeppelin/Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

An English rock band formed in London in 1968, Led Zeppelin's fourth studio album (#1 on the UK album charts. #2 on the US). Its album jacket had no title and artist name, so it is generally called as "Led Zeppelin IV" for convenience. The biggest-selling Led Zeppelin album. An album which fused acoustic sound like British traditional folk with heavy metal, and had a great influence on the 1970s hard rock. Produced by Jimmy Page. "Black Dog" (#15 on the US charts) is a heavy metal song with a complex guitar riff. "The Battle of Evermore" is a folk ballad featuring mandolin and folk singer and ex-Fairport Convention member Sandy Denny on vocals. "Stairway to Heaven" is a famous song. it has a construction like the variation form, gradually escalating from its quiet part with acoustic guitar and recorder to its stormy part including Jimmy Page's impressive guitar solo and Robert Plant's shouting vocals. The remastered version was reissued in 2014.

Led Zeppelin IV

| Music: L |

2017/09/08

Moonriders/Nouvelles Vagues (1978)

The third album by Moonriders, the rock band led by Keiichi Suzuki (vocals, guitar, keyboards) formed in 1975. A dreamy, modern and European style pop album based on fusion/adult contemporary style, and influenced by prog-rock and British pop, such as Sailor and Cafe Jacques among others. Regarded as a masterpiece of the early days before the band moved into the new wave style totally. "Itoko Doushi (Les Cousins)" is a pioneering song of the early days of techno, consisting of only Keiichi Suzuki's vocals, steal drums by Haruomi Hosono and synthesizer (Roland MC-8) programmed by Hideki Matsutake. "My Name is Jack" is a cover with Japanese lyrics of the song written by John Simon. "Travessia" is a cover with Japanese lyrics of the song by Milton Nascimento.

Nouvelles Vagues

2017/09/01

Brian Eno/Ambient 1: Music for Airports (1978) *

An English musician, composer and record producer known as a pioneer of ambient music, Brian Eno's sixth album. The first of Eno's "Ambient" series pioneering ambient music under the influence of Erik Satie's "furniture music". A tranquil and comfortable electroacoustic work created by the methods of minimal music (repetition and gradation). It was created for actual use as background music in airports. Can be piped as background music, and can be appreciated as pure music, and can be experienced as a sound installation. It consists of four tracks created by layering tape loops of differing lengths: "1/1" (piano, electric piano, synthesizer), "2/1" (female vocals, synthesizer), "1/2" (female vocals, piano) and "2/2" (synthesizer only). The personnel are the former Soft Machine member Robert Wyatt (piano, composition). Rhett Davies (composition, engineering), Conny Plank (engineering) and others.

Ambient 1: Music for Airports

| Music: E |

2017/08/25

Chopin/Nocturnes No.1-16 & 19 (Pollini, 2005)

A Polish composer/pianist of the Romantic era, Frédéric Chopin's nocturnes (Deutsche Grammophon). The excerpted version which includes 17 pieces (Nos.1-16 and No.19) except Nos.17 and 18, selected from the complete recording (19 pieces) by Maurizio Pollini. Piano solo pieces filled with mellow and sentimental melodies. In this pieces, Chopin succeeded the style (song-like melodies with accompaniment in an arpeggio) of Irish composer John Field, considered as the founder of nocturne, and created his distinctive poetic world of piano music with wide range of emotional expressions. The No.2 (Op.9-2) is his best-known nocturne. The No.13 (Op.48-1) is a sublime and gorgeous piece regarded as one of Chopin's greatest works.

Nocturnes No.1-16 & 19

2017/08/18

Etta James/At Last! (1960)

An American blues and R&B singer born in 1938 in Los Angeles, California, Etta James's debut album. Released from Argo, the label under the Chess Records. Pop-oriented album with orchestra arrangements. You can enjoy the variety of songs, from blues to pop R&B ballads and jazz standards, featuring her powerful and shouting vocals. Includes four hit singles on the US R&B and pop charts, "All I Could Do Was Cry" (#2 on the US R&B charts), "My Dearest Darling" (#5 on the US R&B charts), "At Last" (#2 on the US R&B charts. Her famous song covering Glenn Miller and His Orchestra's 1942 hit), and "Trust in Me" (#4 on the US R&B charts. A cover of Mildred Bailey's 1937 hit). "I Just Want to Make Love to You" is a cover of Muddy Waters's blues song (written by Willie Dixon). The original 12-inch LP includes ten tracks. The digitally remastered CD was released in 1999 with four additional bonus tracks (duets with Harvey Fuqua).

At Last!

| Music: J |