Puka Shells

I can’t rightfully imagine that many sealed copies of Arthur Lyman’s 1975 album, Puka Shells exist these days. Apart from it being the legend’s last studio album, Puka Shells also serves as an introduction to his talented daughter, Kapiolani Lyman. I’m torn between removing this virgin gem from its 42 year old crypt and keeping it preserved while I hunt down another to spin. The weight of this decision is a taxing one, and will take some time to figure out.

Equinox

There’s something striking, and a bit unnerving about the cover of Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66’s 1967 album Equinox. First of all, since their debut album dropped in 1966, and this is their sophomore effort, shouldn’t they have referred to themselves as Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’67? But more importantly, the angle of the cover photo, and the pensive looks across the faces of this great Latin jazz band suggest some hidden, otherworldly connection. When taking the photo for this record, I nonchalantly framed the album on my desk and through my camera saw six, 1967 musicians staring back at me. It was a moment I couldn’t shake, hence the subject of this post. Anyway, the music is great, like I said, Latin jazz, and you should check it out, if you can get past the chilling cover.

Hysteria

It’s been an Hysteria type of week, to say the least. Lucky for me, I’m able to revert to my 7-year-old self with this award winning, childhood favorite collection of (hard and / or arena) rock pop songs. Not only is this iconic (and at the time VERY futuristic) album cover branded into my brain, it’s also a staple of what shit was hot back in summer of 1987. If you’re one of those living-under-a-rock types, then you’ve likely not heard this monumental and critically acclaimed album… and you certainly should. For the rest of us, I pose a question: When was the last time you rocked out in your P-Jams to Pour Some Sugar On Me? Well, it’s about damn time.

Dokken Bay 94

Under Lock and Key, Dokken’s third studio album, is a certified Gold and Platinum heavy metal / big hair 80s rock record. Nifty. It was released in 1985 on Elektra Records and contained two charted singles. Track two’s The Hunter, and track three’s In My Dreams. Back-to-back punch, there. The band would, well, disband in 1989, then returned to the fold after a brief, four year hiatus. Now, you’re (briefly) up to speed on Dokken and their award winning album, Under Lock and Key. Cheers.

35 Mil

So, I’ll admit that I had to look this up, and from what I retained, here goes. (Clears throat) 35mm, when referring to audio / sound recording, was a technique championed (in the music recording world) by Enoch Light and Command Records (Mr. Light’s label). Feature films of the time were using 35mm for their film prints, and when stereophonic and widescreen advances became the popular buzz around Hollywood, Mr. Light utilized this technique to record his Space Age Pop, which, if I’m understanding this correctly, allowed for more instruments / artists to be recorded individually due to the wider, 35mm film. Magnetic sound recording had been the norm at the time, but 35mm offered much more range, which Mr. Light wisely capitalized upon. Anyway, pretty much any Command Record release from the time will diligently detail this unique and groundbreaking recording process, and I encourage you to discover the magnificent (and magnetic) wonders of 35mm sound.

Sextets and Septets

It’s not quite a major award, but grand isn’t too shabby if you ask me, and since you didn’t, here is the acclaimed credit list for this 195? Grand Award Records (Kingsland Ave, Harrison, New Jersey) album titled, The Swingin’ 30s.

The Ray McKinley Sextet: featuring Ray McKinley, drums; Trigger Alpert, bass; Mickey Crane, piano; Lee Caste, trumpet; Dean Kincaide, saxophone; Peanuts Hucko, clarinet.

The Peanuts Hucko Septet: featuring Peanuts Hucko, clarinet; Billy Butterfield, trumpet; Boomie Richman, tenor sax; Hank Jones, piano; Mundell Lowe, guitar; Jack Lesberg, bass; Morey Feld, drums.

Let ’em Roar

One of this past weekend’s goodies was this collection of Roaring 20’s music from Mr. Enoch Light. This particular release doesn’t appear in Discogs yet, so I’ll need to do a bit of work this coming weekend before she can join her friends on the shelf. Anyway, the music isn’t bad, not much IS from Enoch Light, just not something I’d care to listen to every day. Too happy for my taste, but for $0.92, it was well worth the price of admission. Also, happy birthday to my lovely wife. 🙂

DAYO

Calypso, Harry Belafonte’s third album, is an exciting and turbulent ride. It precedes Jump Up Calypso, my personal favorite, by about five years, and is pure, unquestionable, Belafonte gold. Both figuratively and literally, having officially reaching Gold status, and it was the first LP in history to sell over one million copies. Don’t believe me? Check the cover. “One of the Biggest-Selling Albums of All Time… Says it all, mate!

How it Was to be Young Again

Was this how it was to be young again, circa: 1940 or 1941? Time Life Records certainly thought so back in 1970 when this 3x LP comp was released. 30, unoriginal (read: covers… or impostors) tracks span the popular swing sound during this two-year period, highlighting works from Duke Ellington, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Les Brown, Glenn Miller, and the like. If you’re in the mood (see what I did there?) for original swing era recordings, The Swing Era: The Music of 1940-1941; How It Was to be Young Then is NOT for you, but if you’re satisfied with some unobtrusive background instrumental ditties, then this box set may be your bag.