Lovely Recordings Hosted by Umberto Pisoni

If there is a thread among these recordings, it is perhaps that I feel they are by unjustly overlooked artists, who deserve to stand with some of the best and most famous. I am partial to jazz, but am really open to any music genres, so I have included some gems that seem to be forgotten but are in fact quite influential on generations of subsequent musicians.

Mal Waldron Quintet: The Seagulls of Kristiansund (Soul Note, 1987)
Brilliant live recording at the Village Vanguard by one of the most unjustly overlooked jazz pianists, with a unique style and a long career, both as an accompanist (Billie Holiday) and as a leader. Its companion piece Git Go is equally interesting, if not quite reaching the heights of Seagulls.

Available from Qobuz

Old and New Dreams: Old and New Dreams (Black Saint, 1976)
What a quartet! Charlie Haden, Don Cherry, Dewey Redman and Ed Blackwell. Original, innovative, and entirely enjoyable. Only too bad the quartet was so short lived!

Available from Qobuz

Gonzalo Rubalcaba: The Blessing (Blue Note, 1991)
One of the great talents in jazz piano today (together with Mehldau and Vijay Iyer). A fantastic compilation of originals and covers. And with Charlie Haden on bass.

Available from Amazon

Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots (Parlophone/Warner Bros./XL, 2014)
With a phenomenal career as the leader of both Blur and Gorillaz, Damon Albarn shows us his genius once again with this amazing album of unexpected melancholy songs. He and Thom Yorke are just miles ahead of any of their contemporaries – what is with the water in England..?

Available from HDtracks

Lou Harrison: La Koro Sutro - Suite for Violin and American Gamelan (New Albion Records, 2009)
Very original American composer who fuses elements of Asian music into contemporary classical pieces, and introduces the Gamelan in this case to great effect.

Available from Qobuz

New York Counterpoint, Eight Lines, Four Organs (Nonesuch, 2000)
There is something subtly sublime about the slow shifts in this obsessively repetitive pattern (mostly one note actually). Not for everyone. With a nod to Ben Ratliff’s book “Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty”.

Available from Tidal

SQURL: Only Lovers Left Alive (ATP Recordings, 2014)
SQURL, Jim Jarmusch’s electro-metal punk band (for lack of a better definition..), crafts the perfect complement to his meditation on love and death in his movie of the same title.

Available from Qobuz

Devendra Banhart: Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon (XL Recordings, 2007)
What an unexpected gem from this Venezuelan-American singer-songwriter, who uses quirky lyrics, ingenious instrumentation and unexpected tempo changes, to create a wonderfully compelling record.

Available from Tidal

José González: In Our Nature (Mute Records, 2007)
f anybody needs proof of the benefits of globalization, who is better to demonstrate that than Jose Gonzalez - a Swedish singer, of Argentine parents, who sings in English? His music has this strangely hypnotic repetitiveness that never bores you, and transports you to far away places. His live performance is actually entrancing. Oh, and that cover of “Teardrop”…!

Available from Tidal

I guess I have been a music lover (and a budding audiophile) ever since laying my hands on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here in my early teens. The passion for music (and for audio equipment) has really been a constant all my life, and the continual search and discovery of new things to explore in these two related fields keeps giving me great pleasure. I have now been living in Washington DC for almost 25 years, but am lucky enough to travel around the world, which allows me to keep searching and discovering…

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

jrhud's picture

Lots of interesting music for me to explore.

philipjohnwright's picture

Definitely going to check all of those out, thank you Umberto


2_channel_ears's picture

Just working my way through these. Great stuff and new to me