Tito Simon – Love It Up (PMLP 3232) (1980?)

SAM_0335A mixture of soul covers, originals and unlikely re-imagined country hits was the formula of choice for commercial reggae produced by Pama, Trojan, etc. in the 1970s and set the stage for UB40′s ubiquity the following decade.  On this early 80s Lp, Simon’s tremulous, yet powerful tenor strongly recalls international reggae star Jimmy Cliff. No strings here, but it’s still a fairly backward looking (i.e. no Dancehall stylee vibes, which would have been the contemporary thing), professional pop-roots album.

Another pound record from yesterday in almost mint condition, featuring a textured sleeve.
SAM_0336For the immature amongst the Thrifty V readership, Simon’s original songs are published by TIT music. Fnarr, fnarr.

Published in: on April 16, 2014 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  

The Only Recorded Performance of Paul Desmond with The Modern Jazz Quartet (FINLP 6050) (1981)

SAM_0338Dave Brubeck Quartet cornerstone Desmond, a man for whose tone the word ‘mellifluous’ could have been invented, takes turns smoothly vamping with John Lewis et. al. on a programme of standards and, in peculiar deference to the season and then-contemporary tastes, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Recorded on Xmas Day 1971, but not released until a decade later as a tribute to the recently deceased saxophonist.

It’s a wonderful show and an interesting recording: the mixture of close and ambient room mic-ing produces a magical 3D sound picture of startling depth, quite unlike any other I’ve heard. More than worth a pound I’d say.

Published in: on April 16, 2014 at 8:32 am  Leave a Comment  

American Festival Folk Blues (ALB 125)

SAM_0333LOCAL MAN ATTRIBUTES MYSTERIOUS MALADY TO “BLUES”                                                                                                Claims It’s The “Mos’ Powerful Bad Feeling I Done Ever Had”

(Columbus, Ohio) — His voice quavery and raw, local man Lightfoot McGee blamed his world of hurt on the nebulous psychological condition known as the Blues, which he claims were “fallin’ down like hail”. The itinerate musician says he noticed the symptoms when he woke up this mornin’ at which point, having rolled and tumbled the whole night long, he began a-weepin’ an’ a-moaning but still couldn’t get no relief.

The Blues, which area psychologist Becky Crane likened to “having a Hellhound on your tail”, presented itself with several physical manifestations, including McGee’s biscuit roller being going, compulsive broom dusting and stones in his passway. Having tried hot foot powder all around his door and squeezing his lemon till the juice ran down his leg, McGee still has “mean things all on my mind.”

Crane says she believes that McGee is going to have to beat his woman till he gets satisfied.

SAM_0334Editor’s Notes: This French 2 x Lp anthology more than lives up to its subtitle “A collection of authentic Blues By America’s Greatest Blues Artists”. Actually, one could argue that “authentic” is a somewhat problematic word in this context. While there’s no doubting the skill and sincerity of these performances, most are on electric instruments; not sure whether Messers Patton and Johnson would recognise them as “authentic”. I won’t split hairs though, this is stirring stuff.

Despite being an ex-library copy American Festival Folk Blues is in great shape–contrary to whatever you teenage boys might say, “FML” stands for “Fulham Metropolitan Library.” The chap who bought this record paid 40p less for it than I did some three decades later when I picked up last week.


Published in: on April 13, 2014 at 9:01 am  Comments (6)  

Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home (BPG 62515) (1965)


(New York City, New York) – The release date, April Fool’s Day 1969, should have been a clue, but today Bob Dylan revealed what some had long suspected since the album’s release: Nashville Skyline was a prank.

The singer-songwriter called Nashville Skyline a ‘major league goof’ that ‘suckered most critics and record buyers alike.’

‘I sounded that way because I sung it from the back of my throat,’ smiled Dylan. ‘And not because I’d quit smoking!”

Speaking on the eve of the hoax country-rock Lp’s re-release as part of Dylan’s lauded Bootleg Series, the veteran rocker further disclosed that the ‘Kermit the Frog’ voice utilised on the album was one of several attempted for the project. Accordingly, The Bootleg Series Volume 11 – Nashville Skylarking will feature entire discs of Dylan trying to perform ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’ etc. in a faux operatic style, a heavy metal shriek, a Jamaican patois, a Sinatra-esque croon and a series of James Brown grunts as well as a normal version unreleased until now because Dylan felt it was ‘too straight’.

SAM_0332Editor’s Note: Nice original mono edition of  one of Bob’s best albums in VG condish, cost me a pound; was part of the same collection as Oh Mercy below along with an interesting bootleg called Bob Dylan Vol. 2 – Little White Wonder

Published in: on April 10, 2014 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bob Dylan – Oh Mercy (465800 1) (1989)

SAM_0330Despite its reputation as Dylan’s return-to-form after a rum run of albums, I remembered Oh Mercy as sounding a trifle cold and undercooked. What a pleasant surprise then to now find the Daniel Lanois-produced album so warm and well thought out, the producer updating the notoriously slapdash record maker’s sound without sounding dated, a feat made all the more remarkable given its vintage.

By 1989, cds sold approximately 10 times more than vinyl record (though specifically how Dylan releases reflect this ratio, I don’t know), so scoring a worthwhile Lp from the time for a pound the day before yesterday represents a minor coup of sorts.

Published in: on April 10, 2014 at 7:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Ahmad Jamal – Macanudo (NJL 50) (1963)

SAM_0329UK Pye Jazz issue of US Chess/Argo exotica Lp by then-Chicago based pianist. In fact, the record is more accurately described as a collaboration with bassist/composer/arranger Richard Evans, who did much excellent work with the progressive wing of the Chess stable. A song-cycle of sorts, Evans wrote all eight pieces after visiting several South American countries on a JFK-sponsored cultural exchange program. My impression from other liner notes is that this was one cultural exchange that really culturally benefitted all concerned. Whether CIA operatives also gained a destabilising foothold is another matter upon which I couldn’t possibly comment.SAM_0328The music is richly orchestrated, sparkling, particularly “Haitian Market Place“; and sounds like a genuine hybrid of Latin American styles and the jazz, rather than mere pastiche.

Published in: on April 7, 2014 at 10:16 am  Comments (2)  

Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes – Welcome Home (ST-20147) (1969)

SAM_0325Inevitably groovy Lp by the Jimmy Smith-influenced Hammondist. The repertoire veers into EZ Listening, so, despite a funky backbeat, background or pruned enjoyment is recommended. Several jazzbos who went on to work with Steely Dan feature. Only £1.50 from the lady on the same stall as the Basie below.

When I saw this same seller in Etchinghill this weekend, she wanted to charge £5 a piece for albums that, while in EX+ condition, weren’t as interesting, saying she’d done a bunch of research in the meantime and was now basing her prices on eBay’s Buy-It-Now figures. I didn’t bother explaining that a quantification based on Discogs’  highest/lowest actually paid represents a more sensible option, I simply put those records back.

SAM_0326Half of the inner gatefold on Heinz Edelmann-style illustration typical of the day.

Published in: on April 7, 2014 at 9:55 am  Comments (6)  

Count Basie and the Kansas City 7 (IMPL 8017) (1962)

SAM_0320One of my recurring crate-digger fantasies involves me finding a box of Impulse! Lps. In my greedy reverie, all manner of glorious John Coltrane, Archie Shepp, Michael White, Gabor Szabo, &tc gatefold albums present themselves easily identified by their orange and black spines, along with the offer of ten quid for the box from the seller. Well, last Sunday a titchy piece of that dream came true when I found this l’il number at a bootfair in Wincheap.
SAM_0321True, it’s only one album and a 1977 re-issue. And it’s not as far out as I usually like my 60s jazz. But it is a heavy cardstock, gatefold in almost mint condish and it sounds absolutely fantastic. At £1.50 it was well worth it.

Published in: on April 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shoreline – From Eden, Home & In Between (YES001) (2006)

SAM_032310″ worth of quirky butterfly’s kiss folk on short-lived Yesternow Recording Co. An unlikely charity shop find, but there we are. Several things caught the eye here: the size, date, distributor (Baked Goods, who also work with Tectonic) and location (Ducie House in Manchester, late [and future?] home of Blood & Fire). 50p at the Cheriton Mind store this afternoon when I was dealing with tiresome mobile phone issues.SAM_0324

Published in: on April 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chuck Berry On Stage (NPL 28027) (1963)


  • You never know when Montovani records are going to come back in fashion–they were popular once, why not again? So buy, buy, buy every time you see one and then, when they’re going for silly money on the eBay, you’ll be laughing with the market cornered.
  • All Beatles vinyl is very valuable. If you see a used Beatles record, band or solo, no matter the condition, buy it, then sell it for at least £100 if it’s a single or £400 if full-length Lp.
  • Ruminate bitterly on all the records that you were too ignorant to know the value of when you used to go to thrift stores and yard sales as a kid. Those ones that have slipped through your hands like so much gold dust. Yeah, think about it.
  • If you like a record, chances are it’s worth big money; especially if you like rare, expensive mint condition singles that are highly sought.
  • There’s always a “bump” in market value of his or her music when an artist dies. Consider “arranging an accident” for a singer whose records you own, then watch their value soar.
  • Don’t be shy about bargaining with the Oxfam sales clerk. Charity shops expect you to haggle, it’s part of their culture, and they’ll respect you more for it.
  • Remember that one record you had as a kid? By what’s-his-name on that one label with the picture of the thing on it and the sleeve with that design on. If you still had that, I bet you could sell it and retire. Probably.
  • If you see them going cheap at a boot fair, buy the publishing rights of a popular 70s singer-songwriter. Afterwards, compose a preposterous “libretto” utilising those songs with Ben Elton. Of course then you’ll have get yourself a new calculator to count all the money rolling in as your musical sets attendance records in London’s glamorous West End.
  • Make sure to provide the volunteer behind the counter at your local chazza with an estimate of how much you will be expecting to receive at online auction for that impossibly rare Northern Soul 7″ you just paid them 50p for so they know how much to charge next time they have that exact same single.
  • Charity shops always need more Mat Munro and Andy Williams Lps. You can canvas older relatives for their’s or, if you see one at a boot fair, pick it up, never mind the price, and donate it to the next thrift store you go to.
  • There’s no-one friendlier, less territorial or more happy to share than a crate-digger at a boot fair, so go ahead and start flipping through the back of the box of records he’s looking at. He won’t mind as you start pulling records out to look over. Fair’s fair, you got to them first!SAM_0319This week’s find in Hythe. Despite the odd, near-bootleg sound quality of noted scatologist’s Chuck Berry On Stage, I thought, as I half-listened while doing chores, that Chuck had hired a proper band for this date. Turns out the thing’s bogus–studio recordings with added audience racket. Interesting song choice though.
Published in: on March 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm  Comments (2)  

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