Tag Archives: Jamaica

Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet – Multani

Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet – Indo-Jazz Fusions

It has not been a good week. First we lose two musical greats, Dave Brubeck & Ravi Shankar. And then we have the killings at Newtown, Connecticut

The world is less of a place today for having lost two “greats” who fulfilled their potentials in long, ground-breaking careers. And it is also less of a place for the loss of twenty six innocents in Newtown, many of them just starting on life’s journey.

I don’t have any Brubeck or Shankar in my collection but the Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet, Indo-Jazz Fusions will serve as a more than adequate tribute.

Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet – Multani

Burning Spear – Estimated Prophet

Various Artists - Deadicated

Various Artists – Deadicated

Lucky thirteen has brought us on to Various Artists. And the album the “Flying, Fickle Finger of Fate” has landed on is Deadicated, a 1991 tribute album of the Grateful Dead songs performed by various artists. According to the sleeve notes, the compilation is a rainforest benefit album, with significant proceeds from its sale being donated to the Rainforest Action Network and Cultural Survival.

The artists who contributed tracks are Los Lobos, Bruce Hornsby & The Range, Harshed Mellows, Elvis Costello, Suzanne Vega, Dwight Yoakam, Warren Zevon with David Lindley, Indigo Girls, Lyle Lovett, Cowboy Junkies, Midnight Oil, Burning Spear, Dr. John and Jane’s Addiction – a good enough and eclectic list, I’m sure you’ll agree.

From the album I’ve chosen Estimated Prophet a song I’ve known from the Dead album Terrapin Station. This version is by Burning Spear and, while it may not be classic Burning Spear, is appealing to me. Enough said.

Burning Spear – Estimated Prophet

Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet – Partita

Joe Harriott - John Mayer Double Quintet – Indo-Jazz Fusions

Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet – Indo-Jazz Fusions

Thanks to the suggestion of my great friend Dill, this weeks sitar-tastic track is from the Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet’s Indo-Jazz Fusions album.

In 1966, at the behest of record producer Denis Preston, Anglo-Indian John Mayer and Jamaican Joe Harriott put together a double quintet, half jazzmen and half traditional Indian musicians. The group, recording under the name of Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet, released three albums: Indo-Jazz Suite, Indo-Jazz Fusions and Indo-Jazz Fusions II.

I heard the music when it first came out. An imaginative teacher of mine (name forgotten) used to open his classroom up one lunchtime a week to play an LP to anyone who cared to attend. The idea was to open ears to sounds beyond the pop music of the day. The music, as I recall, was mainly Jazz and I can vividly remember just 2 albums, one of the Indo-Jazz records and Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation by Ornette Coleman. (The Ornette Coleman album embodied by a Jackson Pollock painting on the front cover).

The track I’ve chosen from the five on the Indo-Jazz Fusions album is Partita. It is the longest but, to my ears, the unhurried development of the tune suits both the Jazz and the Indian aspects of the music

Joe Harriott – John Mayer Double Quintet – Partita

Bob Marley – Positive Vibration

Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration

Bob Marley – Rastaman Vibration

This month I’m going to post tracks from the CDs I’ve acquired recently. Some are new to me and some are repurchases of old, sold, lost or stolen albums. So expect some variety this month.

I’m starting with Positive Vibration from Bob Marley’s Rastaman Vibration. This album is associated strongly in my mind with holidays we used to have in the Scottish and English countryside, most especially to the Torridon area of the Scottish Highlands.

Around the time this album was first released we used to regularly load a couple of cars with bodies, food, and beverages and head off to a rented cottage for a week of walking, cooking and eating and sipping a glass or two of beer or wine.

Despite being loaded to the gunwales, we always managed to find room for a record player (For younger readers; the record player, phonograph or gramophone was the most common device for playing recorded sound from the late 1870s until the late 1980s!) and a pile of LPs. My memory tells me that Rastaman Vibration was taken on each and every one of these expeditions and was played more often than any other LP in the pile. I particularly remember it being played very loudly first thing every morning to rouse the less than eager from their beds. Happy days.

Bob Marley – Positive Vibration

Ernest Ranglin – Fade Away

Ernest Ranglin - Memories of Barber Mack

Ernest Ranglin – Memories of Barber Mack

If I get made redundant in the near future, and that is always possible, given the current state of the UK construction industry, I think that I shall seek work in the public sector. The job I most fancy at the moment is working in the BBC record library, choosing background music for television programmes.

I have often thought that this would be a great job but this thought came back again last week while watching the BBC2 programme “It’s Not Easy Being Green”. In this episode, Lauren Laverne was looking at natural swimming pools, so-called eco-pools. The piece was accompanied, in the background, by music from Ernest Ranglin.

After the show, I replayed the eco-pools section over and over on the BBC iPlayer trying to identify the track played but failed miserably. I think that it is from “Below the Bassline”, a cd that is not (yet) in my collection. As I can’t post the exact track I thought that I would choose “Fade Away” from Ernest Ranglin’s “Memories of Barber Mack” cd. I love this cd – for me it can turn a cold winter’s day into high summer.

Ernest Ranglin – Fade Away