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Some Eclectic Music Recommendations

After chatting with my friend Ron, I went through some of my faves and made a list of music suggestions for him. It actually turned into a little bit of a project! I so enjoyed looking through everything and remembering what drew me to them in the first place that I decided to post it here in case anyone else is looking for some ideas.

I only bothered to list things that you might not be familiar with, so you won't find things like Beethoven, Black Sabbath, or Bob Marley. If you have some music recommendations for me, I'd love to hear them!

Cheers, «dave»

SYMPHONIC AND CHAMBER MUSIC - As you can see, I have a weakness for 
   20th century composers, from early (Holst) to late (Adams).

John Adams / The Chairman Dances
 - One of my faves, he and Stephen Reich are of the minimalist school,
   so the music is subtle but wonderful.

Aaron Copland / Symphony No.3 - Levi, Atlanta Symphony
 - There are probably dozens of good recordings, but this is just the one 
   that I have.  It's a telarc and pretty nice.

Gustav Holst / The Planets, Dutoit
 - Listening to this, you can see that John Williams is just a cheap
   rip-off artist who stole all of this guys moves :-)

Apocalyptica / Metallica By Four Cellos
Apocalyptica / Inquisition Symphony
 - These guys are great, they really do some wonderful arrangements
   of stuff that most people wouldn't think of.  If you like this, you
   would probably also enjoy the Kronos Quartet.


Stan Kenton / 7.5 On The Richter Scale
Stan Kenton / Journey Into Capricorn
Stan Kenton / Kenton '76
Stan Kenton / Stan Kenton Plays Chicago
 - I grew up with Kenton from my dad and it is amazing how many guys
   played or arranged with him.  These albums are from the 70s when he
   was doings some neat things with smaller, but still powerful bands.
   His large bands in the 50s had horn sections that could do 2-12hp
   of stun damage per song!  "Chicago" above is the band, not the city.

   There is a great Kenton site at kenton.crispen.org.

Buddy Rich / Mercy, Mercy (Live At Caesars Palace)
Buddy Rich / Big Swing Face
 - I've been really getting into Buddy Rich lately.  These were
   recorded around 67 or so and were tight sets!  Buddy Rich is like
   James Brown in the precision and groove he gets from the band.

Williams Fairey Brass Band / Acid Brass
 - This might be tough to find but is pretty sweet.  An English marching
   band that does arrangements of dance club, acid jazz songs.


Stan Getz / Getz, Gilberto
 - This is the album that basically defined bossa-nova.  

Bobby Hutcherson / San Francisco
 - Vibraphone and cool jazz

Trudy Pitts / Legends Of Acid Jazz
 - Mistress of the Hammond Organ

Dizzy Gillespie - Stan Getz / Diz and Getz
Dizzy Gillespie - Stan Getz - Sonny Stitt / For Musicians Only
 - No challenge here, all great stuff and very easy on the ears.

Jimmy McGriff / Electric Funk
Jimmy McGriff / Let's Stay Together
Herbie Hancock / Head Hunters
Herbie Hancock / Thrust
 - These albums from McGriff and Hancock are super funky 1970s jazz,
   or maybe some folks would call it fusion.   Prime work.
Gil Scott-Heron / Pieces of a Man
 - The music on this is nice, but it's all about his lyrics.  This
   album has "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" while others have
   such gems as "Whitey on the Moon".

   See www.gilscottheron.com for a great tribute page with a discography
   and other info.

Lalo Schifrin / Black Widow
Lalo Schifrin / Mission_ Anthology
 - This Argentinian has done everything from play with Dizzy Gillespie
   to masses and concertos to hundreds of film scores, including music
   from Mission Imppossible.  My favorite period was around 75-76, when
   he was doing Jazz/Disco on CTI records (Black Widow, Towering Toccata).
   Mission: Anthology is a collection of the music he did for the tv show
   and there are some great swanky bits in there.

   Check out the playlist for Lalo-themed show we did on WRPI for more
   listings and some web links.

FUNK / SOUL - In the previous section Jimmy McGriff and Herbie 
  Hancock are funk, but from the jazz side.  This is pure funk
  and Soul.

James Brown / Hell
James Brown / Reality
James Brown / The CD of JB
 - The CD of JB has got all the main things you want, but Hell and
   Reality are both just so tied to the early mid-70s that you gotta
   love em.
Curtis Mayfield / The Very Best of Curtis Mayfield
 - Curtis could groove with the best of them.

VA / Funk Original Masters (vol 1&2)
 - Get it at walmart.  It has everything you ever want.

VA / Pimps, Players & Private Eyes
 - All songs from various 1970s movies.

Sex-O-Rama 2 (Oglio Records)
 - A modern studio band playing newly written funk music in the style
   of porn-film music.  There originally was a Sex-O-Rama 1, but they 
   were playing songs that were actually from porn films, but they had 
   not cleared the rights and were forced to pull it from the market.

Parliament Funkadelic / Parliament's Greatest Hits
 - P-Funk is required listening ...

Kool & The Gang / Spirit Of The Boogie
Kool & The Gang / The Best Of Kool & The Gang (1969-1976)
 - As is Kool & The Gang, and no, neither album has "Celebrate" :-)


Cal Tjader / El Sonido Nuevo
Cal Tjader / Soul Sauce
Cal Tjader / Several Shades of Jade & Breeze from the East
 - Cal is great!  He is a Swede that totally understood what the 60s
   wanted in swanky Latin sounds.  I really like the "Several Shades"
   album because he goes nuts in a bunch of musical styles.

Henry Mancini / Mancini '67
 - Nobody is smoother ...

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass / Classics Vol. 1
 - C'mon, you know you listened to it.  Everyone did.

Yma Sumac / Mambo!
 - You'll find her on many of the Ultra-lounges.  Her five octave
   range can kill the weak.

Crime Jazz - Music In The First Degree
Crime Jazz - Music In The Second Degree
 - Nice collections of crime jazz, also see the Crime Scene below.
   The recent Pixar movie The Incredibles had a nice sampling of the
   crime jazz style in it's music ...

Ultra-Lounge - On The Rocks - Part One
Ultra-Lounge - On The Rocks - Part Two
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 01 - Mondo Exotica
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 02 - Mambo Fever
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 03 - Space Capades
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 04 - Bachelor Pad Royale
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 05 - Wild, Cool & Swingin'
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 07 - The Crime Scene
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 08 - Cocktail Capers
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 09 - Cha-Cha De Amor
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 11 - Organs In Orbit
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 13 - TV Town
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 14 - Bossa Novaville
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 15 - Wild, Cool & Swingin' Too!
Ultra-Lounge Vol. 17 - Bongo Land
 - The best lounge collections ever made.  Capitol just kept raiding
   their vaults.  All are good, but my personal faves are Crime Scene,
   Wild, Cool & Swingin Too!, and Mambo Fever.  If you are looking for
   a swinging Christmas, don't miss Christmas Cocktails vols 1-3!
   They have a very retro website at www.ultralounge.com.

Cocktail Mix Vol. 2 - Martini Madness
Cocktail Mix Vol. 4 - Soundtracks With A Twist!
 - These are also very excellent collections.  

VA / In A Cocktail Mood
VA / Shaken Not Stirred
 - These are big faves because they contain some great Bongo tracks by
   Jack Burger, versions of Sunny and Good Morning Starshine by Arthur
   Lyman and some spectacular arrangements of the James Bond Theme,
   Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice by a group calling themselves
   James Bond and His Sextet.

VA / Fun & Lounging in Las Vegas
 - Lots of goofy singing stuff.

FAUX LOUNGE - For when you just couldn't get enough.

Star Wars: Cocktails In The Cantina  (Oglio Records)
 - Simply the finest disk ever.  Star Wars theme music done in a
   variety of lounge styles, like the Princess Leia Bossa Nova or
   the Darth Vader Imperial March done in a zoot suit "Big Bad Voodoo 
   Daddies" style. This was a zen find in a used bin because obviously
   it was originally purchased by someone who liked either Lounge or
   the Star Wars theme music but not both.

Cocktail - Shakin' and Stirred  (Oglio Records)
 - The second finest disk.   Various 90's songs done in Lounge style.
   My personal fave is Alanis Morissete's "You Oughta Know" done in a
   perfect Esquivel style :-)

Montefiori Cocktail / Raccolta No. 1
Montefiori Cocktail / Raccolta No. 2
 - A pair of italian brothers who play in a loungy style with a slight
   electronica influence.

Easy Tempo
Easy Tempo Vol. 2 - The Psycho Beat
Easy Tempo Vol. 5 - A Slammin' Cinematic Experience
Easy Tempo Vol. 7 - Bikini Beat
 - Music from 60-70s italian films, with a touch of modern stuff 
   thrown in here and there.  


Mel Torme / Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley
 - The Velvet Fog doing showtunes.  Can't be beat.

Nancy Wilson / The Jazz And Blues Sessions
 - I still hear her hosting on some NPR jazz show and after 40 years
   her voice is still smooth as silk.

Michelle Shocked / Short Sharp Shocked
Michelle Shocked / The Texas Campfire Tapes
 - After these two albums she went off in different directions, but 
   these capture the folky honest songwriting that really set her apart 
   from the crowd.

Bobs / Cover the Songs of
Bobs / Shut Up and Sing!
Bobs / Sing the Songs of
 - Acapella group.  Super witty and fun.  They have put out quite a
   few albums, but I would start with the two "cover the songs of" ones
   to fully appreciate how they work their mojo.  See www.bobs.com

Kate Bush / Hounds of Love
Kate Bush / The Dreaming
 - The Hounds of Love has been one of my favorite albums since it first
   came out in 1985, and The Dreaming is quite nice too.  Perfect for when
   you are in a quiet thoughtful mood.


Alice In Chains / Alice In Chains
Alice In Chains / Dirt
 - Both are angry, griding rock that demands to be played loud.

The Stooges (Iggy Pop) / Fun House
The Stooges (Iggy Pop) / The Stooges
 - Detroit power rock from 69-70.  Fun House is on my short list
   for desert island albums.

Rob Zombie / American Made Music To Strip By
 - Some heavy rocking, a bit of remixing, some found sounds and you
   have serious slamming stuff.  If you like, be sure to also check
   out the White Zombie albums "Astro Creep 2000" and "La Sexorcisto:
   Devil Music Volume 1"

KMFDM / Attak
KMFDM / Nihil
 - Industrial, but still dancey, not batshit crazy like
   Einstuerzende Neubauten can be.  Apply in small doses.


Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet / Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet / Savvy Show Stoppers
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet / Sport Fishin' -- The Lure Of 
   The Bait, The Luck Of The Hook
 - These guys have a real fresh style.  They are from Toronto and 
   provided music for the Kids in the Hall.  They broke up a number of
   years back, but that hasn't stopped Taco Bell from using one of their
   songs ("The Zombie Compromise") recently.

Dread Zeppelin / 5,000,000_
Dread Zeppelin / It's Not Unusual
Dread Zeppelin / Un-led-ed
 - Dread Zeppelin does Zepplin covers in a reggae style led by an
   Elvis impersonator.  It may sound strange, but it works real well!
   When the Levee Breaks is a thing of beauty.  They also do some of
   their own.

Living In Oblivion / The 80's Greatest Hits Vols. 1-5
 - An excellent collection of all the one-hit wonders of the 80s

New Order / (The Best Of) New Order
New Order / Republic
 - These guys also came out of a reconstitution of a number of 80s
   bands (like Joy Division) but have remained quite fresh.

Blake Babies / Earwig
Blake Babies / Sunburn
 - Fun fresh college pop.  Julliana Hatfield later went on to do solo
   albums, but never matched the bright cheeriness of these.  Check out
   odd little cover of Iggy's "Loose" on Earwig 

Pizzicato Five / Made in USA
 - Not really rock, this threesome is what Japanese pop is all about!


Public Enemy / Fear Of A Black Planet
 - If you are going to go for rap, Chuck-D is required, and this
   album, while a bit old, is one of the must haves.
   Check out the latest at www.publicenemy.com

Beastie Boys / Hello Nasty
Beastie Boys / Ill Communication
Beastie Boys / The In Sound From Way Out
 - If you are still thinking of "Fight for Your Right to Party", just
   put it out of your head.  These guys have moved light-years beyond
   that musically.   They still do a bit of rapping, but it is backed
   up by some really varied and interesting stuff.   The "In Sound .."
   is a completely instrumental album, in fact.

ELECTRONICA AND DANCEY THINGS - Sometimes a bit trancy, sometime
rocking, these are things that have a real nice flow to them.  When I
am doing some hard core coding, deep in the Plak Tao (the code fever)
you are likely to find one of these playing.

Air (french band) / Moon Safari
 - A couple of french guys that put out some of the smoothest stuff
   you have ever heard.  A little jazzy, a little electronic, some
   very velvety vocals.  Be aware that there is also an american band
   called Air so you will usually see these guys listed as (french) or
   something like that.

VA / Chill Out Lounge Vol. 1
 - Various artists, but the same sort of smooth beats as Air.  There 
   are other volumes, but I haven't checked them out yet.

Supreme Beings Of Leisure 
 - Very trancy vocals with a mix of slow to mid-speed grooves.  The
   cut "Never the Same" has been showing up here and there.  More recent
   than Portishead below, and more upbeat, but similarly contemplative.

Portishead / Dummy
 - Very trancy vocals, big hit was Sour Times which remixed Lalo
   Schifrins Danube Incident.  If electronica went a bit goth, you
   might get something like this.

Lords of Acid / Our Little Secret
Lords of Acid / Farstucker...Stript
Lords of Acid / Voodoo-U
 - Raw, raunchy and rocking. Lately they have been releasing "Stript"
   versions of albums with just music -- no lyrics.  I enjoy that too,
   but the lyrics are part of the fun.

MC Honky / I Am The Messiah
 - I think I first heard this guy on NPR and checked him out.  Some 
   real oddball things on here but fun to listen to.

Skeewiff / It's All Gone ... Skeewiff
 - I found this in Japan, although they are a British duo.  A very
   diverse mix of Starsky and Hutch type rock with found sounds, funk
   and generally groovy stuff.  See www.skeewiff.com

Propellerheads / Decksandrumsandrockandroll
 - These guys have only produced one album, but if they ever kick out
   another one, I would buy it sight unseen.  I was walking through
   the town of Whistler on a ski trip and heard a remix of "On Her
   Majestys Secret Service".  I had no choice but to buy it.  They had
   also managed to convince Shirley Bassey to record new material with
   them and came up with "History Repeating", and another track called
   "Spybreak!" that was later used for the massive assault scene in the
   original Matrix film.

Shirley Bassey / Diamonds Are Forever_ The Remix Album
 - The success of the "History Repeating" in the previous album spawned
   an interest in all of the great songs Shirley Bassey had done, which
   then led to this album.   She didn't record anything new for this, but
   it has a few nice remixes by various groups.

VA / Verve Remixed 2
VA / Bond, Beat & Bass
 - Like the previous album, remixes of various lounge classics and
   Bond film music.  Many are really well done, others are just paying
   the bills. If you liked the original songs, think about these too.

Prodigy / The Fat of the Land
 - This was a must have in the late 90s and songs from it are *still*
   showing up here and there.  For example, "Smack My Bitch Up" was in 
   the original Charlies Angels movie.
Crystal Method / Vegas
 - Another must have from the late 90's (1997).  I used to just leave
   this on repeat play and crank out code all night.

Technotronic / Pump Up The Jam
 - After fifteen years, the beats may not be that complex, but they
   still get the job done with room to spare :-)

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook / Night Song
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook / Star Rise
 - Nusrat is basically the Elvis of Sufi gospel music and Michael
   Brook is a DJ that got him to collaborate on some mixes of his
   singing with Brook providing the base music.  Night Song is just
   the two of them and more mellow, while Star Rise has other DJs 
   come in and do more uptempo remixes of things.   This is what 
   you would call "World Beat"

Tabla Beat Science / Tala Matrix
 - More world beat type of stuff.   Mostly indian tabla with a
   light bit of electronica mixed in.  Extremely trancy.

Cubanismo! with Jesús Alemańy
VA / New York Latin Sounds of the 60's
 - Being in Florida, you probably have a direct line into the latest
   Cuban grooves, but if not, these will make you close the curtains and 
   dance around the living room.

If you want like to try some Javanese Gamelan music, let me know and I
can recommend a couple of good disks.


Charles Bogert / Sounds of North American Frogs
 - A Smithsonian Institute scientific record from the 50s, recently
   re-released on CD.  It has ~70 tracks of frog calls and explanation.
   The largest frog is the American Bullfrog, Rana Catesbiana. It's
   bass voice can be heard in ponds and streams ranging from northern
   Canada to the Quazocoalcos river at the Isthmus of Tehuantipec.

   Check out Smithsonian Folkways for this and other great stuff!

Ken Nordine / Colors
Ken Nordine / The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
 - Before he sold you Tasters Choice coffee, he did some real oddball
   spoken word jazz.

William S. Burroughs / Spare Ass Annie
 - This is a collaboration with spoken word from Burroughs and remixing
   and loops from guy from the Disposable Heros of Hiphopracy.

Negativland / Escape from Noise
Negativland / Helter Stupid
 - Not so much voice as found sounds, tape loops, finding the limits of 
   "fair use" and other such creative prankstering.  
    All is revealed on Negativworldwidewebland