Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hooker 'n' Hepburn.

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Happy New Year!

It probably seems funny to see these two covers together, and maybe it'll be funny to you to hear them together too, but, not to me. They're both spare, gorgeous, and authentic. That might not surprise you about the Hooker, but it's just as true about the Hepburn.

The Hooker is cool because he's not really singing. Just playing and moaning. That moaning makes these my favorite John Lee I 've ever heard. And the wacky juxtaposition of having Miles Davis on the track (and Taj Mahal) just complete it. Dennis Hopper put this trio together with his friend arranger Jack Nietze for his not-so-great movie The Hot Spot (itself from a much cooler book, Hell Hath No Fury , renamed The Hot Spot for the movie tie-in--whew!). Dennis told me once (this conversation is another story completely) that Miles and John Lee and Jack Nietze were his dream group and the movie gave him the excuse to get them all together. Well, for me, it works like crazy. All the tracks together are one of my favorite CDs.

There's not too much I can tell you about the Audrey Hepburn. To me, it's just beautiful. (A friend of mine started this now failed record company to put out music from movies - full scores, songs, whatever. This Audrey one contains various cuts by Henry Mancini [obviously], Nelson Riddle, John Williams, and a lot of other great movie composers.)

By the way, my favorite melody of the month is the commercials running from Campbell's Soup called "Possibilities." (I know you don't watch TV and I can't find it on the web, so you'll just have to imagine a neat tune.)

John Lee Hooker >Coming to Town

Audrey Hepburn >Moon River

Monday, December 20, 2004

They say it's your birthday.

happy birthday
The Beatles >Birthday

Johnny Cash

johnny cash sun
I can't say that I ever loved Johnny Cash, even after I briefly worked with him on a commercial in the late 70s. He had everything I loved --a great story, a real voice, good songs, he independently went his own American way-- so maybe it's just my northeastern prejudice against "country" music. And I've been finding more and more tracks I really like over the years, spurred on by the Rick Rubin American series.

But I have to say I love this track. (Strangely enough I discovered it on an NRBQ's Yankee Stadium, a wonderful LP with a great cover of "Get Rhythm" sung by Al Anderson.) It rocks, it rolls, it swings. Who needs more?

Johnny Cash >Get Rhythm