Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Wellington Pt2

This is the lot from both Slow Boat and RPM record stores.

My dad used to take me to Slow Boat Records when I was a kid. He would take aaagggees there. One day I too will bore the shit out of my son at that record store haha. Nah I don’t think I ever minded that much. Such a great record store. When I arrived it was like they were expecting me. Aside from the 45s previous posted about, I got the following there:

Etta James – Tuff Lover.
This record is “Taff Only” (in joke). To me, tuff is how tough should be spelt. Even though the record sleeve spells it both ways and can’t make up its mind. Etta James’ records got snatched up real quick right after she died. This particular record is probably not the most desirable, I don’t know, but it is not the usual Etta James you’d think. This sounds like straight outa tin pan allay, the brill factory or whatever shibb. Very early on, very rock’n’roll. It is good. But you know she got better.

Astrud Gilberto – The Shadow Of Your Smile.
“Nobody needs me” she sings in her cutesy voice. As if! Female singers like this almost have me believe them. And it drives me crazy. Firstly, she did not write these songs, and in most cases it was a male who wrote the song. She is merely a runway model for words. Is that too harsh? What does it matter…  she’s pretty sings pretty probably acts pretty and I find it hard to believe that nobody needed her. I need her!

Irma Thomas – Breakaway
This album was just waiting in the shelves for me. Singing songs of longing for me. And then I came along, and now the hurts all gone. I can’t believe my luck in finding this. It is a compilation with like 18 songs jammed on it but I will take any Irma Thomas I can get. She is amazing. You know she got married at 14!! (Is that even legal?) So she had a head start to heartbreak.

Female singers like this make me believe them. Like she is truly singing about me! Ever listen to that Alicia Keys song ‘You Don’t Know My Name’? Well Alicia knew my name. Irma can you please put a ‘Michael’ in one of your songs.

Favourite tracks: It’s Rainin’ and Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand). They are all really great songs. Ruler of My Heart is the best hands down, but sadly it’s not on this compilation.

Dinah Washington – Tears and Laughter
Yeah I got a thing for lady singers. Dinah is one of the best. And with Quincy Jones as the composer / producer, this album was everything I had hoped and expected. The cover art is pretty cool to. One side is sad songs and the other happy. It is raining heavy outside. It’s lonely. I can’t sleep, and this album is the perfect soundtrack.  I made a cool loop/song out of a track I can't find on the net to play you, but Soundcloud wasn't having it.

Nina Simone – Nuff Said!
Recorded live on the evening following the assassination of Martin Luther King. The song Why? (the king of love is dead) was written by bass player Gene Taylor that very day. Nina Simone is one of the greatest of all times. ‘Nuff Said!

Marcia Griffiths – Steppin’
I used to pretty snobby towards ‘80s Reggae. It was not ‘rootsy’ enough or something. I do kinda feel a little like that towards this 1985 release. Very over produced, not very gritty and raw. But, I love Marcia Griffiths and there are a number of songs on here where she shines over all that. The version of Hurtin’ Inside is perfectly sad.

CTI Summer Jazz - at the Hollywood Bowl, Volume Three.
Side A Track One opens with an aeroplane flying overhead then launches into a nice little break intro for the aptly named song Funkfathers. Most of the CTI ‘players’ (am I saying that right Chris ‘players’ haha) are on this album, unfortunately 5 of them are Saxophonists, and there is only one drummer and one percussionist. Still they do their thing. But in conclusion, too much sax and Esther Phillips who sings on 2 of the 5 songs is a female vocalist whom I am not a fan.  “Bring back the aeroplane!” I would have heckled.

Edwin Star – 25 Miles
25 Miles is his best song (then maybe ‘War’). This is not the best album. But 25 miles is enough. Beat Me To The Punch is also great. Annnnd it has this redeeming break which I looped up and played a lil melodica over it just for the sake of doing something with it:

RPM was cool. A reincarnation of Wellington’s Real Groovy. I’m running out of writing power… ummm there I got the other three records:

Q-Tip – Renaissance
Started at 16 now he all grown up. This is what adults sound like when rapping. The man.

Bumpy Knuckles
With a name like that you gotta say it twice “bumpy knuckles baby! bumpy knuckles baby!” LOVE this song. Abe you probably put me on to this back in the day. I’ve misplaced this record but from memory Pete Rock on the A and Alchemist on the B. Who would want to be on production for the B side of this? Not even Alchemist.
Digable Planets – 9th Wonder
Why among all the resurgence of 90s rap styles can no one pull off the cool jazzy styles like these guys? I’m blaming the internet ;)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Wellington Part One

This may not be the most wordiest update. My attempts at contributing to this blog are pretty funny cause i'm a dummy on a computer and have little patience for them. One day with time and effort i'll make these look pretty, get sizing right, add tags/labels and all the extras. but for now just look and listen.

Don't often browse the 45s, but Slow Boat in Wellington had em sorted real good which made for an easy look. I have a list in my head and two of these songs were on it, the other was just a bonus.

Stevie Wonder - Hey Love


("ahuh ahuh ahuh, I can't be your lovverrrrrrr")

Young-Holt Unlimited  - Soulful Strut

Monk Montgomery - Bump De Bump (Bonus!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Scores from the market last Sunday. Avondale, Auckland…

The Rodger Fox Big Band – Time Piece. 1978 (Ode)
Covers not much to look at, would easily be passed over, and not the biggest fan of the big band. Still something made me pick it out and turn it over. 1978 New Zealand Jazz aye? A Kool & The Gang Arrangement? Hmm... on the pile.

Got it home, and GOT DAMN!! What the hell is this!? New Zealand, Funky!? Jazzy!? Tight as. Unbelievably good. Gets the perplexed head nod like, this is funky, but noo freaking way?
Recorded in the Wellington Studios of Radio New Zealand.
The title track composed by Roger Fox is a fine taste of what this album holds.

Dick Hopp Sextet – A Labour of Love. 1981 (Ode)
Another NZ Jazz release on Ode. Heaps of good info in the liner notes if wanting to research further into NZ Jazz and what else may be out there. But I’d prefer to let that info and those records find me, out of laziness and fear of my ‘like’ of jazz getting real geeky (oh wait I’m writing a blog about records). ‘A labour of love’ is probably a suitable title to any New Zealand album because unless you’re OMC (R.I.P), or draining money from Creative NZ like Shihad, selling gold aint gona feed a Sextet in this country. Let us just hope these guys either won an award they could pawn, or that they got into the wine industry (cover photo taken in Sutton Baron Vineyard, Henderson, Auckland)

I like this Album. Sometimes all a good jazz album needs to be is something you put on, do things and forget its even playing. Dick Hopp’s on flute, a lead instrument I’d prefer over a jazzy saxophone any day, love it when they do that over blown effect. Heaps of good moments on this album, it even ends with a percussion solo! Naming the players just so they can get their internet props if they come looking for it: Chuck Morgan, Larry Mattinez, John Berryman, Don Branch, Allan Quennell.
Dick also used to be in rock outfit Headband.

Dizzie Gillepsie and Arturo Sandoval In Helsinki – To a Finland Station. 1983 (Pablo Records).
From what I hear the 80’s turned its back on a lot of great musicians of the past, and those that attempted to stay relevant produced some garbage trying to do so. Dizzy clearly got love in Finland, check those smiles on the cover! This album sounds like he and Arturo were ballin’ over there. It also sounds timeless. An American and a Cuban backed by a Finnish rhythm section = Goodness.

Woody Shaw – For Sure! 1980 (CBS)
I put this one in the pile to make up numbers when haggling for the price. This is the one you put back if you’re trying to get the price you want, like “Ok, I’ll put this one back, now will you take 20 for the lot?” (Don’t judge me, its part of the game and I always play fair). I’m glad I didn’t have to put this one back though. This is some sophisticated moody shit right here. Some sinister bass lines and Woody can tell story’s with that horn (that’s jazz talk).

Willis Jackson – In The Alley. 1977 (Muse Records)
Sorry Willis, but i’m in it for the organ (Carl Wilson), and I only picked this up because I know Jimmy Ponder plays a dreamy guitar. Your tenor sax is a little too sad and the best parts on your record are when you are not playing (sorry). I’m sure you’re really talented and other people like you. If it is any consolation I’m keeping this record in the collection because ‘Gator’s Groove’ is pretty great.

Eddie Green, Al Johnson, Sherman Ferguson, Odeon Pope – Catalyst. 1981 (Muse Records)
Another recording on Muse like above, and another group from Philadelphia like below. Clearly these records are all from the same collection, but had been dispersed among musicals like Hair, Fiddler on the Roof, soundtracks like Dr Zhyvago and [  ] as well as artists like the Irish Rovers and John Denver. I was almost gonna skip the whole crate but glad I didn’t. This record made my day and made the effort to keep flicking through worthwhile. It was recorded in 1972 and rereleased in 1981 for reasons I can’t be bothered researching. This album is pretty mellow and super humble. No saxy show boating to be had which I’m sure is the result of them all being long time session musicians who were over that.

Reverie – Self Titled. 1979 (Encounter / Philly Jazz Records)
This one had to be picked up. Everything about the cover front and back intrigued.  I only wish the drummer hit the snare harder. Would’ve taken that funky jazz fusion to the next level. Mark Knox kills it on the keys, some nice synth action on the intro to Indian Summer worth jacking (that’s hip hop for sampling and not paying royalties). I feel like there’s gold in here sample wise, but its pretty dense and you’d need to mine for it. Maybe not worth the bother.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Noticeable amount of time has passed since this blog was updated. I don’t know what you guys have been up to? My excuse is that I haven’t had a computer for two years. I will have to do updates that go back in time so we can all catch up with the geeky Dollar Brand style of excitement that is discovering new records.

To start with the names sake:

Dollar Brand - Ode To Duke Ellington.

I don't know how to embed this song but here's the link:

This whole album is as nice as that song. but that song just kills me every time.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Post Record Fair Digging

I took a few days off last week and amongst the things I wanted to get done was record shopping at the local opp shops. I wasn't too enthused about this, I was mainly doing it out of convenience. Do I need more records? No. Do I have an impulse drive to get more records? Not at the moment.

The truth is, the record fair really made me reassess what I'm doing with my records. Fellow Dollar Brander -M has constantly got at me for having records for the sake of having records. What is the point of having something if you never play it? If it just stays in a shelf collecting dust? After the record fair and seeing how much the records I own are being sold for (not bought for), I started to take stock. What couldn't I part with? What would I sell or swap?

With this in mind, I went record shopping. I purposely went to the opp shop that I hadn't been to in months, possibly a year. I played it cool. I circled the box like a shark circling prey. I held a few vintage tavern shirts against my chest; convincing myself I was here to buy pub-wear. Not records. I thumbed through some old books. The records could wait. I looked through the vintage glasses looking for a particular glass I'm always trying to find. No, records and I, we're not talking at the moment.

But the moment someone else walked into that room the thought hit me: They might look through the records before I do! Never mind the fact that all day people might have been rifling through that box and picked up untold gems. But for some reason I felt a slight panic as that person filed into the room. I tried to rush over the old ENZA apple box without looking hurried. Like a stilted shuffle. Like the sugar-water addicted alien off Men In Black. I was awkward.

As I flicked over the titles, the familiar chant in my head, "Got it, got it, got it, James Last, got it, James Last, James Last" - when suddenly...!

Besser & Prosser - Dark Wind/Spring Rain

As far as cover art goes, this is what I'm looking for. Look at that design! David Kent did an incredible job. But what it is? Well, it's basically Jonathan Besser and Chris Prosser going ape shit on the violin and piano. Maybe some of it is over my head but some of it I really mess with. In certain movements they're beating the crap out of the violin, or playing it with paper under the strings or strumming the piano strings inside the piano. It sounds like the sound track to this mental black & white art film my brother took me to when I was about 11 or 12. What the hell was it about? I dunno. But I liked it.

Naganuma's Practical Japanese

I picked up this tidy little 10" strictly for the cover art. Holy shit man, look at thing! Gold.

Jesse Colin Young - Light Shine

I know what you're thinking: Hillbilly Blues. A) you're right B) nope, that's it. But for some reason, nestled in between all the crap house songs and the slightly cross-eyed cover photo there is a beautiful piece of music. Now the question is: Can I keep this just for one song?

Run D.M.C - Walk This Way

If this was made these days it would be titled "Run D.M.C featuring Aerosmith" but it was made back in the day I guess. I debated whether to get this but then I thought about the fact that it had an instrumental on the B side and also the cultural significance of the single. I mean, it was the first ever proper rock/hiphop crossover song. Right? Right? I saw that one BBC documentary, you can't fool me.

Tour Of Duty Soundtrack

Fellow Dollar Branders, answer me this: There were about three or four volumes of the Tour of Duty soundtrack cassette tapes released back in the day. But for some reason I have only been able to find one album on LP. Are there other volumes on vinyl or what? Also, smartypants, was this the first time a TV shows soundtrack was turned into a chart-topping album (ie: Music From Sopranos, Greys Anatomy Soundtrack etc)? I'd love to know. Either way, this record was coverless but features a great Janis Joplin voice break and I'm sure that it's the same sample used on this song (that shit cray).

Laurie Styvers - The Colorado Kid

Truth: I bought this for the cover. Talk about bunnyish. But it turned out to have two great songs on it, very sampleable. Apart from that, it's mighty forgettable. Oh well.

I took them up to the counter and the guy said $1 each. My wife was like "Did the price go up? They used to be 50 cents?". Yup he reckons. Now, here's where things have changed. I really couldn't care less. $1 was a bargain compared to the $55 Richard Clayderman records I'd seen at the record fair the weekend before. Bring it on! So I got them.

Fast forward to the next day and I picked up Steely Dan's Royal Scam and the self-title Rikki Lee Jones album for 25 cents each. That's the karma for not haggling over $1 records I think.

Thanks for reading. Bonus mix:

Run D.M.C
Laurie Styvers
Jesse Colin Young
Besser & Prosser
Tour of Duty

PS: Turns out I was wrong about that Fat Joe sample. Oh well, next time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Four Crates: Episode Eleven

This just in! I found another crate of unlistened to records. I'm debating whether to call the series Five Crates now.

In other news, I went record shopping on my days off in Whakatane and Te Puke and pulled a few good scores. You should read more about it this week.

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Here's a quick bit of a roun dup:

That's my lil cousin diggin in the free box. The only box i really got a look at myself because i was selling and stuck behind a table all day. It was torture not being able to spend all my money haha. Got some free duds, plus a cool Talking Heads, Grace Jones and a Beatnuts 12". But from the free box this was a nice surprise:
I loove finding the breaks. especially when the record sounds like total cheese ball garbage (Bro you gotta bring that MPC up for a holiday). These drums are crisp! though at times it sounds like the drummer is struggling to hold the beat. Ausi cheese rock. I couldn't find a better cover image online, so that must mean its rare, or nobody's fucking with this shit haha.

From the other bargain bins of Auckland came this one:
Awww yeah. This guy's voice is novel as, and some of the funky 80s grooves this record tucks into are stinkin' How good is that cover? flip it over and see all the thanks going to Ohio Palyers, George and P-funk.

From the same "nobody loves me" bin:
Drop the needle anywhere on this album (except the cover of Baker Street, eww yuk) and you'll be grinning! A pot of gold.

And finally from the sales bin of Conch:
On one hand there's singing soulfully from the heart like say.. Al Green. On the other, there's singing soulfully from the heart like Melvin Van Peebles. I'm so excited to have this one in the collection. I will collect em all. I know the snippet here is all about the break, but this guy.. this guy.. i'm telling ya. He can really sing! no question.