I apologize for not revealing the artist from the last "Plain Brown Wrappers" sooner, but I have been utterly consumed with my job lately. There wasn't nearly the amount of feedback\comments on this one, but I guess it was a little too out there for you guys. The artist is ... drum roll please... Henry Jacobs Vortex and the album title is Electronic Kabuki Mambo. For those of you looking for this record, it was released on Folkways Records in 1959, so I imagine that you will be digging into the dusty crates for awhile in order to find this one.
Caustic Resin: Drive #47 and Keep on Truckin'
From: Keep on Truckin' [Up, 2003]
Caustin Resin's record Keep on Truckin' came out in 2003 and was almost instantaneously relegated to the cutout bins in record stores. Sometimes there is no accounting for taste, since this album was an underrated masterpiece of expansive psychedelia with anthemic choruses and guitar pyrotechnics courtesy of head axe-slinger Brett Netson. You might recognize the name and the signature guitar style, since Netson is also a member of the seminal indie-rock band Built to Spill.
The two songs I am featuring here today are lengthy songs for the open-road. This is perfect music for heading down a deserted highway at twilight with the accelerator pushed to the floor. On "Drive #47", the sludgy rhythms and unintelligible vocals give you the feeling that you are lost in the middle of the highway with nowhere to go. The only way to escape is by pushing the pedal to the metal, exiting this desolate town with a fervor. After you reach the other side, the triumphant, almost spiritual chorus of "Keep on Truckin" will lift your spirits and help you carry on through your adventures into the empty night. Rediscovering this album after almost six years is a revelation.
Miles Davis: Moja, Pt.1 and Moja Pt.2
From: Dark Magus [Sony, 1974]
Dark Magus is one of those records that I had tucked away in this little place in the back of my mind. I remember when I came across the record in a used buy at Music Millennium, and one of the jazz aficionados at the store proclaimed it as one of the best live recordings of jazz-fusion. From the opening strains of "Moja, Pt.1", the monster rhythm section of Henderson-Mtume-Foster rides a fantastically funky groove into the ground while the phrasing of Davis's trumpet blasts are perfectly spaced out.
On "Moja, Pt.2," the band lets the track breathe with more space inbetween the notes, and the pace is varied more with the deep, resonating tones of the bass controlling the tempo. Pete Cosey and Dominique Gaumont ably fill the shoes of John Mc Laughlin with insane bursts of cacophonous lead guitar with fuzzy wah-wah and screaming feedback. "Moja, Pt. 1" is an exercise in all-out intensity, whereas "Moja, Pt.2" starts off in a frenzy, only to slow the tempo down in the middle of the track, revealing a head-spinning sense of dynamics.
This album ranks up there as one of the most influential examples of funky, head-tripping jazz fusion in the lexicon of adventurous music. I hope you enjoyed this episode of What's Playing on My Stereo? Please let me know what you think, as my interest in posting is fueled by the energy I get from your comments.