Saturday, January 23, 2010

Music Library: John Hammond Jr, John Lee Hooker, John Lennon, John Martyn, John Prine, John Scofield, John Williams, John Zorn, Johnny Burnette

John Hammond Jr. - "Get Behind The Mule." This is from a comp that my buddy David Smay made of other people covering Tom Waits.  I like it okay, but the Waits version blows it out of the water.  Which is true of every Hammond Jr song I've ever heard: he's a fine interpreter, but his taste is better than his skill, and his song choices are almost always better in the original.

John Lee Hooker - The Best of John Lee Hooker: 1965 - 1974.  Taken from a later period in Hooker's career where his producers tried to jazz up his lean blues with some then-modern touches like wah-wah pedals.  And I actually like this okay, but it doesn't hold a candle to the leaner early stuff.

John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band (1970), "How Do You Sleep?," and Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon (1969 - 1984). When I reviewed the Beatles way back in the late Mesolithic age, I got some slack from a bravely anonymous commenter who was offended that I didn't validate his love of the Beatles more.  I will say that I've been having a blast playing Beatles Rock Band since Christmas and a recently got a copy of the Beatles Mono Box Set, which rules most mightily.  But, y'know, you listen to a lot of music and you end up going through phases and stages.  As people do.  Anyway, at the moment I am Beatles-positive and generally Lennon-positive.  Plastic Ono Band is top-notch stuff, raw in just the right ways.  The collection, though, shows how Lennon could vacillate wildly between great singles and banal ones.

John Martyn - Solid Air (1973). I'm not a huge fan of John Martyn's.  I mean, I think he's a fantastic Brit-folk guitarist with a great ear.  But, on the other hand, I've never felt like I needed more than this album, which is one of those folk-rock-jazz-lite albums from the 70s, sort of like Bryter Layter, my least favorite Nick Drake album.  Still, this one is good, even if it hasn't led me to pursue more of the man's work.

John Prine - Prime Prine (1971 - 1975) and "Everything Is Cool." Prine's another guy where I've run hot and cold.  Once upon a time, I couldn't even consider not having access to his first four albums at least, let alone his box set Great Days.  But I have those albums on vinyl - never ripped. And I foolishly bought Great Days on cassette (what can I say, I was 20). But while I miss a few of the songs that aren't on Prime Prine, a best-of of sorts pulled from his first four albums, I've never felt the need to go out and buy copies, either.  Someday I will.  The single is a Christmas song that I reviewed last month.

John Scofield - A Go Go (1997). Scofield is the classic Berklee College of Music grad, a technically amazing guitar player who utterly fails to move me.  Here he teams up with Medeski Martin & Wood, a funk-jazz band that can be fun, but the results are a little snoozeworthy.

John Williams - "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981). This is the main theme from the movie.  No idea where I got it.

John Zorn - The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays The Music of Ennio Morricone (1984). More movie music!  In this case, though, Zorn's ripping it up with his typical crackerjack group of sidemen: Anton Fier, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Jody Harris, Arto Lindsay, Bob Quine, Vernon Reid, and Toots Thielemans, to name just a few.  Quine's guitarwork on "Once Upon A Time In The West" is particularly revelatory.  Recommended for fans of Morricone, Zorn, or Quine.

Johnny Burnette Trio - "Butterfingers".  No idea how I ended up with this, but it's a kickin' little rockabilly tune.


Radio Schmaydio 9:42 PM, January 23, 2010  

If that's all you have of the Johnny Burnett Trio, that's not enough! - David

Hayden Childs 10:41 PM, January 23, 2010  

Man, it's true!

My photo
Cary, NC, United States
reachable at firstname lastname (all run together) at gmail dot com

About This Blog

From Here To Obscurity, founded ca. 2003, population 1. The management wishes to emphasize that no promises vis-a-vis your entertainment have been guaranteed and for all intents and purposes, intimations of enlightenment fall under the legal definition of entertainment. No refunds shall be given nor will requests be honored. Although some may ask, we have no intention of beginning again.

  © Blogger templates Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP