Lovely Recordings Hosted by Harry Thind

I love discovering new music. My favorite holidays are traveling to music fests. Hope you like the list.

Medeski, Martin & Wood: Combustication (Blue Note Records, 1998)
I remember being introduced to MMW through a performance on late night David Letterman show. I was learning to play drums those days and was mesmerized by Billy Martin's drum accents. I am not sure which genre label should be stickered on this album, but it’s an inventive, exploratory pot pourri of styles and influences. It’s essentially three virtuoso artists at the top of their game in complete sync with each other. I always get the sense that these guys had a great time putting this album together. Combustication is one of many MMW collaborations with DJ Logic. "Church of Logic" is my stand out track on this album. The recording is warm with a lot of bottom end to it. It seems appropriate for this kind of music. An all-time favorite for me!

Available from Tidal

Ray LaMontagne: Ouroboros (RCA Records, 2016)
I had never heard Ray LaMontagne until early this year. This album was recommended on my Tidal account and I only managed to hit play while I was traveling to Sydney on some business. On first listen I thought this was perhaps an old album that I hadn’t been exposed to. Even after one distracted hearing on-the-go, Tracks 4 and 5 stayed with me for that entire travel week.

I came home and did some research on Ray LaMontagne and discovered that this album was completely different from his earlier works (his earlier albums leaned towards folk rock). Ouroboros is a ‘concept’ album and I recommend that it should be listened to in its entirety. All eight tracks seamlessly flow into each other (thus the title, I think). Again the recording, sound and production seem apt for the music style. It is mellow, beefy, psychedelic and extremely enjoyable.

Available from HDtracks

Kings of Convenience: Declaration of Dependence (Virgin, EMI, 2009)
Brings back memories of Simon and Garfunkel. Relaxed, dreamy intimate pop. I heard it playing in Beirut, at a CD store. Hummable harmonies recorded really well. Your audio rig might not get challenged by this record but it will sound really good.

Available from Tidal

Omer Avital: New Song (Motema, 2014)
Omer Avital’s Live at Smalls was recommended by a friend via a youtube link. New Song has become my go-to album for a mood lift. Band leader Omer Avital draws on Afro Cuban rhythms and Middle Eastern melodies to weave a soulful, happy and sometimes festive jazz album. Omer plays the upright bass and is accompanied by the celebrated Avishai Cohen on trumpet. The stand out track for me is "Hafla". The track is based on traditional Jewish music but it’s served with a Jazz twist. I love the natural acoustic sound of Omer Avital’s bass guitar.

Available from HDtracks

Keith Richards: Talk is Cheap (Virgin, 1988)
This one is from 1988 when I was in engineering school. The only source I could afford then was a Toshiba 2-in-1 tape player with a single built in speaker. A friend recently reminded me of the album and I thought it would be good to hear the difference now that I have a better rig!! It’s Keith Richard on his own, without the trappings of the rest of the Stones and in his element. My favorite track on this album is "You don’t move me anymore" (Keith’s surprises with some singing chops…he can get by!!). The guitar riffs are amped-up and purposeful and the snare drum sounds like….well, a snare drum. You will love its raw and real sound and over all musicality. Its available on Tidal but the dynamics on a ripped file from the CD sounds way better.

Available from Tidal

Bugge Wesseltoft & Henrik Schwarz: Duo (Jazzland Recordings, 2011)
I first encountered Norwegian Jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft live in concert with Anour Brahem at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam. However I heard the album Duo while sipping coffee at a café in Tokyo. I had no idea who or what (Jazz improvisation/ electronica/dance) was playing, but I loved it. Inquiries with the café manager revealed nothing because it was playing off a customer’s playlist.

Shazam informed me that it was Bugge Wesseltoft. I was surprised because I had never heard him with such dominant electronic arrangements. This is (one of) Bugge’s collaboration with computer/electronic musician Henrik Shwarz and I think the result is sensational. The first track (also named "First Track") is recorded live in Berlin and it gives you a sense of what’s in store. The third song "Leave my head alone Brain" is the highlight of the album for me and features in all my up-tempo playlists. I often use this album for auditioning new audio equipment because of its interesting electronic transients, blips and blurps. There are hooks and surprises throughout the album and I recommend this for all kinds of audiences.

Available from Gube Music

I am Harry Thind. I live in Hong Kong. I play squash and ride Motorcycles.

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Rusty's picture

You hooked me with the ones I know and love (MMW, Montagne); tonight I'll dig into these others.