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Thread: T. Moon's 1,000 recordings to hear before you die

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    6. John Adams, Harmonium (1980 composed, classical, modern era) C

    This is a bunch of people singing, opera/choir style, and a bunch of musical instruments, called an orchestra. It is apparently based on poetry of John Donne and Emily Dickinson, but that should become quickly obvious after you hear the unintelligible (latin? idk) singing of the singers...or not.

    Have you ever turned off all the lights, laid down, and put two speakers on either side of your head, and just allowed the sound to fill you? I used to do that with Dark Side of the Moon. Later with The Downward Spiral. Harmonium might be a good fit for that method.



    Harmonium has a quality that I don't find too often in modern-era classical music--strong progression tied to traditional chord changes meant to evoke powerful emotion. The second half of Harmonium is amazing.
    Last edited by Hawgdriver; 03-06-2017 at 12:29 AM.
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    7. John Adams, The Death of Klinghoffer (Opera, 1991) C+

    I'm impressed with John Adams. Sometimes I go to symphony or chamber concerts for the classical stuff, and they throw in some modern stuff that seems atonal and bizarre. Not the case with Adams.

    Klinghoffer [was and is controversial because it] . . . reflected ongoing tensions between Israel and Palestine. Leon Klinghoffer was a wheelchair-bound Jew killed during the hijacking. His murderers were Palestinians. The opera begins with two "prologues" contrasting the plight of impoverished Palestinians ("Chorus of the Exiled Palestinians") with the middle-class comfort of American Jews ("Chorus of the Exiled Jews").
    The opera has generated controversy, including allegations by Klinghoffer's two daughters and others that the opera is antisemitic and glorifies terrorism. The work's creators and others have disputed these criticisms.
    I'm not an opera guy, but it's surprisingly listenable.
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    8. Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (2000, Rock) B-

    I guess I missed this guy somehow, because he's normally close to my wheelhouse. It's more folk or Americana than rock, in the same constellation as The Jayhawks, and maybe even Wilco...but more like a Jackson Browne displaced in time and space. Maybe Lucinda Williams is a good comp.

    Anyway, these are honest and soulful songs that aren't quite country and aren't quite folk...but they are quite good. This is a tremendous recording.

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    9. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, At the Lighthouse (Jazz, 1960) C

    This recording asks little of the listener, which can be a hang-up for the jazz initiate. Exquisite, smooth, tasteful. I really enjoy this one.
    At least part of the exuberance originates with Adderley's tone, which many regard as the "quintessential" sound of the alto saxophone. It's bright and lively, tart, and at the same time thoroughly warm. There's puppy-dog playfulness in it; at times gregarious laughter comes tumbling between the lines. When, on the opening jump "Sack o' Woe," Adderley dishes out a blue moan, he slips and slides around, creating unbroken curves of deliciously slurred pitches. Later, on a blazing fast "Our Delight," he sounds like he's bursting at the seams, alive with energy he can barely handle.
    Last edited by Hawgdriver; 03-06-2017 at 02:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    6. John Adams, Harmonium (1980 composed, classical, modern era) C

    This is a bunch of people singing, opera/choir style, and a bunch of musical instruments, called an orchestra. It is apparently based on poetry of John Donne and Emily Dickinson, but that should become quickly obvious after you hear the unintelligible (latin? idk) singing of the singers...or not.

    Have you ever turned off all the lights, laid down, and put two speakers on either side of your head, and just allowed the sound to fill you? I used to do that with Dark Side of the Moon. Later with The Downward Spiral. Harmonium might be a good fit for that method.



    grade, commentary to follow
    I use to do that in college, but not since then. It was wonderful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canmore View Post
    I use to do that in college, but not since then. It was wonderful.
    Same, although I did it once last summer while drifting in and out of sleep, listening to some Nick Drake and Van Morrison. Spiritual.
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    Canmore, as a jazz enthusiast, do you think Tom Moon did justice to the genre of jazz with his selection of these 140 or so recordings?

    I'm increasingly excited about going through his list...the first two jazz cuts are stellar. (Muhal Richard Abrams and Cannonball Adderley)

    http://www.1000recordings.com/the-list/category/jazz/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    Canmore, as a jazz enthusiast, do you think Tom Moon did justice to the genre of jazz with his selection of these 140 or so recordings?

    I'm increasingly excited about going through his list...the first two jazz cuts are stellar. (Muhal Richard Abrams and Cannonball Adderley)

    http://www.1000recordings.com/the-list/category/jazz/
    I've only looked ahead through about e. So far I'm really excited. I listen to a lot of Cannonball Adderly. I love him and his brother Nat who plays coronet (not trumpet) is really under rated. Sack o Woe is an absolutely fabulous cut. I feel it is even better on the album Cannonball Adderly Mercy, Mercy, Mercy Live at the Club. If you have never heard this album, you are really missing out.
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    I can't be objective. I can only measure the quality of personal experience as occurs inside my mind. My mind is a complicated thing, and different than other minds.

    There is no such thing as a top 1000--there is only a collection of top 1000s that could be averaged. But to even have a personal top 1000 is ridiculous. How do you measure these things? Number of listens?

    My grades can only reflect my best effort to draw a worthwhile experience out of a recording. Effort is the key word--some recordings require an exertion of will to attempt to meet them on their terms.

    So a "C" has nothing to do with a mythical top 1000 list. A "C" is a statement that "I am absolutely satisfied with my decision to [spend / waste / invest] time getting to know this recording, because the payoff is something that I will return to and enjoy in the future." A "D" means "That was ok." An "F" means I want that time back. B and higher are exclamation marks.
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    10. Johnny Adams, The Real Me: Johnny Adams Sings Doc Pomus (Blues, 1991) D

    I accidentally skipped over this recording. Guy has a great voice and it's soulful, but just kind of boring to me. Honestly, I didn't listen to it more than once, and I owe it to the truth to be more thorough.

    After I get through all of the A's, I'll do a kind of review of my grades and see if there is anything I would change after further listening.
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    11. Sunny King Ade, The Best of the Classic Years (World/Nigeria, early 1970's) C+

    Juju is music of extraordinary liquidity, propelled by precisely pitched talking drums and intertwined electric guitar conversations, sometimes four at once. There are vocals, and Ade's band, which during this period contained up to sixteen instrumentalists and singers, often gathers itself into a church choir. The prayerful themes float over isolated, sometimes hyperactive strands of guitar counterpoint, with rhythmic repetitions that lead, slowly but surely, to illumination.

    These songs established Ade and his band . . . as preeminent masters of what musicologists consider "classic" juju. They're also the recordings that inspired Island Records founder Chris Blackwell to sign Ade and, using techniques that made Bob Marley a star, launch him as another global icon.
    I had never heard Juju. It's sunshiny dope. Check it out.

    The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.

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    12. Aerosmith, Toys in the Attic (Rock, 1975) C+

    I wasn't the Aerosmith kid. That was my friend, the one who was all up in Oasis and Blind Melon. Aerosmith's music seemed insipid to me.

    Well, except Sweet Emotion. I mean, that song is a true mother******. That has to be one of the best rock songs ever created, I don't care who you are.
    Toys is thirty-seven minutes of teenage-boy air-guitar bliss—all double-time peel-outs and leering talk of fast girls, with a hit of rebellion on the side. Its pulverizing backbeats and tightly wound riff boogie ooze horniness . . .
    Yep.

    The songs are great, that's what I enjoy about this recording the most...there aren't any clunkers. Sometimes 37 minutes is the right length for a recording--don't subtract by adding. There are the popular songs I knew about already (sweet emotion, walk this way, toys in the attic), but it's the rest of the album that makes this a stellar recording.
    The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.

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    13. Mahmoud Ahmed, Ethiopiques, Vol. 7: Ere Mela Mela (World/Ethiopian, 1975) B-

    The rhythms on this record are unlike anything else you're likely to hear from Africa—or anywhere else. Moving with a snakelike grace, the Ibex band layers tightly fitted guitar parts over tumbling ritual-ceremony drum pulses. Ahmed gets inside the bubbly flow of the music and dispenses wriggling, athletic, off-the-cuff-sounding vocals. Like other vocalists from his homeland, he seeks a speaking-in-tongues type of ecstatic state. His voice often trembles, kept aloft by the gentle but steady propulsion. Drawing on the psychedelic side of Jamaican dub, the traditional Amharic five-note scale, and traces of jazz and R&B phrasing, Ahmed describes love as a deep and unending devotion.
    Hell yeah. Then you hit things like this that make this project obviously worthwhile. Wouldn't ever come across this in the normal course of things, but now that I have, I'm better for it.

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    14. Air, Air Lore (Jazz, 1979) D+
    This head-swiveling assault on jazz history was recorded in May 1979, not exactly a high time for jazz. Yet it documents a creative peak: Here are three wise and accomplished members of the free-jazz community discovering the tremendous symmetry at work inside Scott Joplin's ragtime follies and the early blues of Jelly Roll Morton. Then, having observed and celebrated those qualities, the three—saxophonist Henry Threadgill, bassist Fred Hopkins, and drummer Steve McCall—go toddling around like cartoon characters in a chase scene. They bash the tunes with billowing gales and squawks, short detours into thundering funk, sudden stop-time breaks, and expansive solos.
    Cool story bro.

    I mean, I like it ok. It's ok. It might grow on me, but the cartoonish aspect of it is a touch off-putting. It is highly musical though. Watch for the grade to change after it grows on me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawgdriver View Post
    14. Air, Air Lore (Jazz, 1979) D+


    Cool story bro.

    I mean, I like it ok. It's ok. It might grow on me, but the cartoonish aspect of it is a touch off-putting. It is highly musical though. Watch for the grade to change after it grows on me.
    Liked this album. I'm not going to try and grade it. Nor will I probably with future albums. Still, I found this really interesting. Really liked track 2 the blues.
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