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The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

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The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:41 am

I honestly can't believe I've never yet mentioned this here and driven by my own egomaniacal desire to have a thread of my very own to continually bump far far into the future, I will begin now, albeit already one year in to my project.

I am listening to every one of my CDs in alphabetical order. (All my music is shelved alphabetically by artist, with compilations at the very end, ordered in a variety of ways.) I began last October. I am currently on the last row of my first rack. By my calculations, I should finish sometime around April of 2018.

Oh, and before anyone asks: Yes, I listen to stuff not in alphabetical order too.
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:42 am

Late last night I hit John Coltrane.
This should keep me busy through much of this coming week.

I am already pretty tired of hearing "My Favorite Things", I gotta admit. (It's been on every CD I've listened to thus far.)
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Detritus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:48 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Late last night I hit John Coltrane.
This should keep me busy through much of this coming week.

I am already pretty tired of hearing "My Favorite Things", I gotta admit. (It's been on every CD I've listened to thus far.)

I'm with you there. The live versions are better than the original studio one, but it's pretty lukewarm compared to, say, his versions of "Afro Blue." I'm not sure why he had an interest in such dull material, but I'm sure someone out there has a complicated theory to explain it.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:00 pm

While it's nowhere near the top of my fave Coltrane jams, I don't really mind it -- but 4 times in the course of one evening was really pushing it. As a connoisseur of Christmas music, what bugs me most about it is that for some unknown reason, it's become a holiday standard. What the fuck it has to do with Christmas, I cannot say, but I can assure anyone who cares about such things that it will never, never, ever be included on one of my annual mixes. "Greensleeves" from Africa/Brass is far, far superior.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Detritus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:"Greensleeves" from Africa/Brass is far, far superior.

Absolutely. But part of the reason for that, I think, is that, other than the head, the original melody doesn't intrude. "My Favorite Things" is too close to the original for my tastes, and while that can work with some material, that song is too pedestrian. Also, historically speaking, "Greensleeves" predates common practice harmony, which makes for more interesting modal jazz.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sun Nov 11, 2012 4:50 pm

Oh fer cryin' out loud...

There's TWO versions of "My Favorite Things" on the set I'm currently listening to...

Time for a Coltrane break.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:18 pm

This afternoon I am knee-deep into The Classic Quartet - Complete Impulse! Studio Recordings box set.

I also have The Complete Atlantic box*, and while I often have reservations about these "complete" sets because of the way they break up and rearrange albums (I kept my copy of Giant Steps even though all its tracks are duplicated on the box because... well... it's Giant fucking Steps) I cannot begin to explain how much joy I feel from having a single CD that contains the entirety of A Love Supreme and Coltrane's take on "Chim Chim Cheree". Well done, Impulse! box set. Well done.

*That's coming next -- my CDs are alphabetical by artist on my rack, but there's no attempt to organize beyond that, so yes, I am aware this is chronologically wrong.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby rrnate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:31 pm

As a longtime Coltrane person, I'd have to say his studio "My Favorite Things" is in my top 5 of his recordings - I literally never get tired of it! That being said, it has at least as much to do with his band's playing (it's McCoy Tyner on piano, right?). The whole thing just has a really amazing vibe.

Semi-relevant threadjack - do you have any Alice Coltrane Wags? Her jazz stuff (before going kind of crazy in the mid to late 70's) is pretty amazing!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:38 pm

rrnate wrote:it's McCoy Tyner on piano, right?
Yes, indeed.
And again, I don't dislike "My Favorite Things", I'm just tired of hearing it over and over and over again in such a short time frame. Such repetition is the inherent weakness of this alphabetical project.
rrnate wrote:do you have any Alice Coltrane Wags?
I do not, and I can't say that I've ever heard any. Feel free to burn me a disc, and if you do, please title it Alice Coltrane Wags.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby rrnate » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:48 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Feel free to burn me a disc...


I will do this!

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:and if you do, please title it Alice Coltrane Wags.


I will not do this!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:18 pm

make two of those discs, please.

I recently found an LP of Africa/Brass. Forgot how much I liked that one, since I stupidly traded in that double CD version long ago.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:54 pm

So Coltrane ended up taking me around 8½ days. The back-end of the Impulse! box was every bit the slog I expected it to be -- that kind of free jazz just ain't my cuppa tea (although I did thoroughly enjoy Ornette Coleman's Change Of The Century when I hit that earlier in this survey. Any other stuff in that vein anyone can recommend?) Otherwise, the Coltrane jam was quite a treat -- I just don't listen to very much jazz any more, so this was a nice change of pace.

Then the alphabet threw The Commodores at me.
(And no, I won't be listing every damn CD on my rack -- just some highlights)
All I have is this 2-disc anthology but lemme assure you, it's more than enough. As is often the case with these things, disc one is mostly good-to-great and disc two was essentially just a dreary slog through a garbage dump.

I don't pull out Ry Cooder's Paradise And Lunch much any more, but holy crap do I still love that album. I've also got Chicken Skin Music, which I like, but not nearly as much. I've heard a lot of Ry Cooder over the years, and most of it just kinda bores me, but P&L has remained a fave for over 20 years. Perhaps I should post about Ry in the Musicians Who Flummox thread.

Sam Cooke: Strange case for this project. I have a 4CD box set but it sits on a separate "box set shelf" and thus falls outside the confines of this survey. Which left Sam to be represented with only two entries: 1) A single disc of odds-and-ends, ranging from some great early R&B stuff to some of the shmaltziest garbage he ever graced with his golden pipe, and 2) a 3CD set of The Soul Stirrers, which also has a lot more range than most would expect, only there's no garbage. Fantastic stuff!

The Cookies! One of my favorite girl groups ever! (And I loves me some girl group!) My fave: Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys Do

Anybody else familiar with Ruth Copeland? She did two LPs with the P-Funk gang in '70/'71 that are similar to their Invictus stuff (she co-wrote some of the stuff on Osmium, including "Silent Boatman", also included here.) Nothing spectacular, but all-over-the-map interesting/strange. And yeah, there's also some slinky funk.

And from the Even-More-Obscure file, how about John Cippolina's 1973 hard rock band Copperhead?

Gonna barrel through Elvis Costello tonight and tomorrow.
As strange as it may seem, E.C. never really did much for me. Don't dislike him at all, but I never became slavishly devoted to him, either, so I only own the first 4 albums plus Live At El Mocambo (which is as good as it gets anyway, IMO.)
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby donges » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:05 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Anybody else familiar with Ruth Copeland? She did two LPs with the P-Funk gang in '70/'71 that are similar to their Invictus stuff (she co-wrote some of the stuff on Osmium, including "Silent Boatman", also included here.) Nothing spectacular, but all-over-the-map interesting/strange. And yeah, there's also some slinky funk.


I loves me some Ruth (in fact, I still have to return minicat's vinyl copy of Self Portrait)! Too bad she just disappeared. For more of her history, check here
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:10 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:(although I did thoroughly enjoy Ornette Coleman's Change Of The Century when I hit that earlier in this survey. Any other stuff in that vein anyone can recommend?)


Remind me to play you Byard Lancaster - It's Not Up to Us sometime. (Why pitchfukk was reviewing this I don't know.)

http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/494 ... -up-to-us/

That Copperhead LP has its moments.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:02 pm

I really wish I could put my finger on what exactly I find less-than-thrilling about Elvis Costello. Sometimes I love his voice, sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I love his phrasing and rhymes, sometimes I hate them. Sometimes I think his lyrics are awesome and insightful, sometimes I think they're pretentious and ludicrous. Talk about flummoxing.

I have the Ryko editions of the first 4 albums and was once again struck by how much more I enjoy a lot of the bonus tracks than some of the album-proper songs, especially his acoustic demos. The "Green Shirt" demo has been a particular fave of mine for years and remains so, and then I hear the real version and wonder what the fuck he was thinking.

Also, Truth is just kinda shitty.

I wish I still owned King of America -- I remember really liking that one back in the day...
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