Funky, soulful set from jazz vibesman Burton, released on Atlantic in 1969. Not quite fusion, more like a jazz guy playing rock and soul. Highlights are grooving opener Vibrafinger, and versions of Otis's Pain in My Heart and Aretha's I Never Loved a Man. Disappointingly, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys is not attempted. As ever the case with jazz albums I stumble upon by accident and enjoy, jazz critics think it's shit.
A Norwegian equivalent of those '70s Top of the Pops albums, where hit songs were recorded by jobbing session musicians. Contains a version of Knockin' on Heaven's Door with a female vocal which is quite nice, as well as My Way and Yesterday Once More by the Carpenters. Also, notably, a recreation of glam stomp Euro-hit Clap Your Hands and Stomp Your Feet by Bonnie St. Clair.
Orchestral jazz-rock concept piece with atonal elements by neglected composer/arranger McFarland, poisoned in a bar in the early '70s and never rediscovered in the way his contemporary David Axelrod has been. Kind of like Schoenberg, but groovy. In six movements, the third of which is called 'Suburbia: Two Poodles and a Plastic Jesus'.
Von Schmidt was an esteemed folkie name-checked by Dylan on his debut. This album is from '73, and is a mellow affair, with much slide guitar, accordion and harmonica. There is also an absurdist edge to some songs, with kazoo, the International Instrument of Social Satire featured. Highlight is The Letter, a rather lovely song about writing one. A good-humoured entry into the singer-songwriter genre from a performer who actually predates it.
We all think we know what Japanese folk music sounds like, but how many of us ever sit down and properly listen to it? Don't say you do, because you don't. Anyway, here's some, full of space and the occasional stop-start that really throws you. Westerners, listen to it while relaxing in a bath with scented candles, gazing at a dream-catcher. And maybe rubbing one out.