Friday, September 25, 2015


I’m still here. Life has been full of stuff recently which has, coincidentally, included tidying up two houses and gardens in readiness for estate agents’ pictures.  

One of those houses is my late mother’s, and that has been difficult. Every ornament, piece of china, book etc is a memory; they can’t all be kept so sorting and sifting has to take place- keep, sell, charity shop, tip. A life reduced to a military disposal operation. It’s hard. In this process it has become apparent my daughter has a liking for brown furniture and has evidently been secretly coveting some of my parents’ furniture. A bureau has already been installed in her bedroom, and given half the chance more items would go into storage for the time she may be able to afford her own place!

The other house is a friend’s mum’s villa in Turkey. After nine years Wendy has decided to move back to the UK, so our holiday this year involved more tidying and sorting. For me that meant tidying up in the garden mostly – in 32C+ heat. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable, and most of the time we were doing holiday things – i.e. not very much. Mrs Darce and her friend have been visiting Wendy for quite a few years now, and the husbands have been allowed the last couple of years too! The villa is in a little village called Uzumlu, it is a charming place, and we will all miss it.    

What about some music then? In the last few weeks I have still managed to find some time for a bit of charity shop trawling, car booting, and on-line buying. The vinyl has been mounting up, but with no time to listen to any of my recent purchases. There is quite a stack to get through. Tonight I have made a start, nd here is one of the first 45s to finally get some turntable time.

Tamiko Jones I knew only from a couple of late Seventies disco outings. I didn’t know she had been recording since the early Sixties and has had an interesting and “connected” life. On this 45 from 1967 she teams up with Herbie Mann and delivers some groovy goodness in a Latin vein.  Both tracks were taken from a 1967 album A Mann And A Woman and were two of three tracks on that album arranged by Joe Zawinul, who would soon after first join Miles Davis’ band and later form Weather Report and be instrumental in the birth of jazz fusion.     

Friday, September 04, 2015

Let's Play Checkers

What separates these two Checker 45s?

As far as recording studios are concerned it’s about 565 miles for that is the driving distance from Chicago, IL to Florence, AL.  

Considering the 1000 series Checker 45 releases it’s 6, and about 4 months was all there was between them when they were released in 1968.

Recently when they dropped through my letterbox nothing at all separated them because they were nestling snugly together in the same package.

You will all know by now I love the Chicago sound, and I also love the sounds that were coming out of Rick Hall’s Fame studio in the late Sixties. So how could I choose between them? I can’t, so you get both. Furthermore, I find it difficult to choose between the two sides of each of these records so, again, you get both.