Some musical musings from the road:
Jimi Hendrix: Both Sides of the Sky–Despite a blazing “Hear My Train a-Comin'” and an interesting “Cherokee Mist,” this is flat-out barrel-scraping. Stephen Stills, anyone? I didn’t think so.
Hamad Kalkaba and the Golden Sounds–I can’t get enough of these rough and ready tracks from mid-Seventies Cameroon. Aside from the rhythmic propulsion, which one might expect…oh the horns ‘n’ guitars! And I love Analog Africa’s album cover.
Etta Jones: Lonely and Blue–Have you met Miss Jones? If you love Dinah Washington (and why shouldn’t you), you must make her acquaintance. She lacks Dinah’s power, humor, and intensity, but like Washington she can sing the blues. Also, Etta’s edges are mellower, which can make this particular album addictive.
Gang Starr: Daily Operation–I always found Guru and Premier’s enterprise underrated (at least here in the Midwest), and here in 2018 I find it has aged very, very well. A uniquely perpetual flow (delivered with equally unique warmth) atop expert beats and jazz-tinged samples and instrumentation.
The Kinks: Face to Face–Hey, if you just know the hits, Something Else, and Village Green, you might be missing their most underrated album. Quirky, funny, rowdy, thieving, eccentric, gender-ambiguous (in a moment), very English: all the things they were, entertainingly performed, in one place. Ok, maybe no power chording. Thank you, Kenny Wright, for enthusing about it all those years ago.