Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Various things.

"Angel of Air - Angel of Water" - Alice Coltrane & Carlos Santana
"Angel of Sunlight" - Alice Coltrane & Carlos Santana

Recorded during Carlos Santana's jazz fusion period, Illuminations (1974) is sometimes regarded as the lesser counterpart to Love Devotion Surrender, his 1973 collaboration with John McLaughlin. That's a shame, though, because re-examination reveals Illuminations to be an unusual, intriguing, and occasionally excellent album. Alice Coltrane's string arrangements are particularly striking and function as a smooth complement to the ensemble's (occasionally free) soloing. Eastern motifs occur frequently, particularly on the noisy modal jam "Angel of Sunlight," while "Angel of Air - Angel of Water" embodies the blissful, contemplative tone of much of the record.

"Time" - The Tropics
"You Better Move" - The Tropics

In the mid to late 1960s, the Tropics were supposed to be the next-big-thing, at least according to other Floridians. My dad mentioned this band when I got into garage rock in high school and believe it or not, they're actually pretty good. They kinda devolved into a poor man's Vanilla Fudge by 1969, but their earlier recordings are enjoyable, particularly if you're a Nuggets obsessive like me. "Time" is a Zombies-style minor keyed pop number, while "You Better Move" is a harmonica-laden rave-up.

"Jaws" - Johnny Otis

The best part of this song is the totally unexpected vibraphone solo.

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