For the younger generations, e.g. my generation…, Shirley Bassey is perhaps best known for her James Bond theme songs Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Moonraker (1979).
Turning to the vast amount of songs she recorded well before her 007 days, one easily falls for her charming tango Puh-Leeze! Mister Brown from 1957 which, as far as I know, never appeared on a studio album other than compilations.
Anyone for tango?
Reminding us of Bobby Womack, Al Green and Bill Withers, Anthony Hamilton must be the neo-soul singer with the strongest vocal links to his old heroes.
Having struggled to get his music through for quite some time, Anthony got his big break with the song Comin’ From Where I’m From off the album with the same name in 2003.
Mama Knew Love is the opening track of the very same album. It was co-written by soul legend Al Green.
Ned Doheny was the first artist to sign with David Geffen’s Asylum label and although his own music never quite became as big as he likely intended, several of his compositions were used by contemporary artists, e.g. Average White Band and Chaka Khan.
Hard Candy is Ned Doheny’s second album and quite a nice piece of easy-listening LA 70s music.
When Luciano Ninzatti, Stefano Pulga and Matteo Bonsanto started Kano in Milano they set out the foundations for Italo-Disco, the post-disco genre incorporating many of the disco elements of the 70s, yet adding synthesizers, drum machines and other electronic elements. Much of the more danceable electro of today clearly finds its roots in these neighbourhoods.
Toots, born Frederick Nathanial Hibbert, was one of the first, or perhaps even the absolute first, person to use the word reggae in music when Do The Reggay was released in 1966 and has since been one of the most prominent forces in the reggae and ska developments.
The title Monkey Man from Sweet & Dandy (1968) is allegedly inspired by the band’s Chinese-Jamaican producer Leslie Kong.
Miles Davis has the honour of contributing to the 100th post on melodology.
Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue (1959) is not only often described as his best effort, it is also widely considered the best-selling jazz album of all times and thus an album everyone should give a try at some point.
Kind of Blue is one of the first and most prominent recordings solely done by using modal experimentation, the use of scales rather than keys, originally employed by various churches during the Middle Ages. Davis recruited Bill Evans on piano to follow up on his previous stint of modal experimentation on Milestones (1958) and here chose to create a full record using the approach. Additional to Evans, the sextet featured Jimmy Cobb on drums, long-serving bassist Paul Chambers, John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderly on tenor and alto saxophone respectively.
So What, Freddie Freeloader, Blue In Green, All Blues and Flamenco Sketches have all become loved jazz classics in their own respect since the Kind Of Blue sessions.
For Freddie Freeloader, Davis brought in Wynton Kelly to replace Bill Evans on piano to get the blues feeling going. The name is allegedly inspired by a guy named Freddie who often would sneak in to see Davis perform. Who can really blame him?
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Tagged 1950s, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderly, cool jazz, jazz, Jimmy Cobb, John Coltrane, Kind of Blue, Miles Davis, Milestones, modal experimentation, Paul Chambers, Wynton Kelly
Less than 2 months ago, roughly 50 years after the release of the first Beatles album, Sir Paul McCartney released his 16th solo album, NEW. Produced by, among others, Mark Ronson, the album’s opening track stands out with its energy and almost Elton John-ish arrangements.