Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Nina Simone - Little Girl Blue

Joe writes: My favourite Nina Simone recording, as covered recently by Laura Mvula. It was the title track of Nina's debut album from 1958, released on the seasonal-sounding Bethlehem Records. But there was no room at the inn for Nina - according to Wikipedia, she sold her rights to the album (which also included the much-synched My Baby Just Cares For Me) outright for $3000. I suspect Joni Mitchell might have got the idea for the Jingle Bells piano part in River from Little Girl Blue's similar reference to to Good King Wenceslas.

Anyway, Rodgers & Hart wrote Little Girl Blue; Nina immortalised it.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

One Direction - Midnight Memories

I recently listened to the One Direction album which I think is their best one yet. My two favourite tracks are Diana and Midnight Memories.

I wonder what the London taxi service Addison Lee did in exchange for that lyric and screen grab.

To me the biggest influence on the sound of the album is not Mumford & Sons or Def Leppard but John Mellencamp, so here's his classic Jack & Diane:

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Busta Rhymes Feat Q Tip, Kanye West & Lil Wayne – Thank You

Joe writes: Busta and Q-Tip are both great on this. Kanye and Wayne are hardly on it. But the real star of the piece? Alicia Myers, who is robbed of a credit - it's her soul house classic I Want To Thank You that provides the backing track and the hook. Alicia's track has been sampled before by rappers including DMX and Theophilus London. I don't want to take anything away from Busta and Q-Tip though - they really show their class.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Esbjörn Svensson Trio (EST) - Sipping On The Solid Ground (Live in Hamburg - 2007)

Joe writes: Cerys Matthews, formerly of Catatonia, presents the late Sunday morning slot on 6 Music. She has a lovely voice, a lovely manner, and she plays lots of music I've never heard of, some of it very good, including occasional jazz tracks which are nice to hear on 6 Music. Sipping On The Solid Ground was on this morning's show - perfect Sunday morning music with a really remarkable amount of space in the track.This was recorded live in 2007; Svensson died the following year in a scuba diving accident.