What I found on my holiday part 1

June 13, 2012

During my recent holidays I spent some time Op Shopping, some of them at locations a little bit further out of my regular orbit. I confess that I unfairly malign the state of Op Shops today; I go around thinking that the good old days of uncovering that fantastic find in an Op Shop are no more. Upon reflection, that really isn’t true. I still locate fantastic finds in Op Shops. For example last year I came across Cucumber Castle by the Bee Gees. Plus earlier this year I found a Japanese CD of the Jackson Sisters, which even had the Obi Strip. Believe me, that was a wow find. However I think it is fair to say that these fantastic finds are becoming rarer. People just don’t donate that much stuff anymore. Furthermore, I suspect that with the vinyl revival that is taking place, that those people who were going to just give away their records have already done so. But still, there is that occasional fantastic find.

Like this; two Morgana King records from her Reprise years. I found them together in an Op Shop in Belmont. I kept on looking in case there was a third.

Gemini Changes by Morgana KingBoth albums are in great condition and what makes this discovery even more significant is that one of the albums It’s A Quiet Thing is actually on my wish list. Yes, I have a music wish list and it never stops growing but I do get to cross items off it now and then and with this find I crossed off It’s A Quiet Thing by Morgana King. Yay!

Its A Quiet Thing by Morgana King

BTW, as a word of explanation, Morgana King was a jazz vocalist who later did some acting (she was in The Godfather). Her style is sometimes referred to as an acquired taste, but I like her. I first came across her via a fantastic find in an Op Shop a few years back.

In an Op Shop in Vic Park I found this intriguing item.

Your Kind Of Party by Linda and NoelJust from the cover I knew that this was something special. I had no idea who these people were but I could just feel that this was a unique find. Apart from the friendly title, the record features extremely earnest liner notes and no last names of the artists except on the song writing credits of the LP itself. I found a few pages online that refer to this album and to be honest it is good. I am not sure that I would ever play it at a party but I am glad I found it. If you want to know a bit more have a look here (include a better quality shot of the album cover). I have also included a track from the album below. There is a great description of the album on YouTube where the track is from so go have a read here.

More holiday finds still to come…


Christmas top 5 2010: song 4

December 16, 2010

Today is a classic that I look forward to being able to play every year. I suspect that this album and the songs on it are more well known in the US than elsewhere, as I have heard that the television movie that this comes from gets a regular screening at this time of year.

I am referring to the album A Charlie Brown. No, please, relax; this is not a silly song like the Chipmunks were from earlier in the top 5. This work is by one of my favourite jazz pianists, Vince Guaraldi, whose melancholic lilting tones are so haunting.

He composed the tunes on this album and did some reworkings of a few Christmas tunes as well. Some of the original tunes were used again and again on later Peanuts films/soundtracks, such as Linus and Lucy, which is easily one of my favourite pieces by Vince, and you can listen to that at any time of the year.

But to be able to listen to it at Christmas, along with the festive themed tunes is a bonus. And yeah, there is an air of sadness about some tunes, some wistfulness in the playing which is a key feature of Vince, but as this album is a look at Christmas through the eyes of the knowing Peanuts gang, it is appropriate. Christmas is meant to be happy, but you can’t  have the happy without the sad; the joy without the despair; the sweet without a little touch of sour. Otherwise, how would we ever be able to tell the difference?

Anyhow, I expecially love this Christmas album. I hope you enjoy this selection from it.

<disclaimer – you might have to listen to it at YouTube – “Sorry about that Chief”>

Take a Triptych Back in Time

September 18, 2009

(or Ménage a Triptych)

With all of my records and only so much time in the world to play them, I have recently started to display some around the house, as a way of finding another use for them.

I like to display them in a trio and all with a connecting theme.

Up to now, only my partner ever gets to see my hard work, so I thought why not add it to this blog. So here is the inaugural record display from my lounge. The images are bit small, but hopefully you get the idea.