The annual mass Black Friday releases has this year culled some of the very best works from a number of artists with Craft Recordings heading the chasing pack with some mighty fine work. Each of the releases come in limited spectacular coloured vinyl. First up is Jazz Dispensary The Dank D-Funk Blend. Featuring a myriad of funk and jazz numbers the best of which featuring Message From The Meters by Funk Inc hitting a sweet groove, Sing a Simple Song by Charles Earland which smooths out the groove with a nice warmth of jazz and the blissed out Song For My Father by Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes.
Buffy Sainte-Marie’s pioneering Illuminations originally released in 1969 features the multi instrumental talents of Marie, she features almost exclusively across the records as a solo artist on a mini mission. Psycheldelic with hints of Dr John and Can, the records drips of a classic record of it period. Mary and Better to Find Out for Yourself feature a distorted vocal that sounds like it’s been beamed from Mars. The blues magoo of Suffer The Children or the love drenched The Angel delve the listening into some magical workings that still stand the test of time 50 years later.
Chet Baker It Could Happen To You is a cool dip into the famed vocalist/trumpet players 1958 period. The record was originally released from his work with Riverside Label with his quartet featuring Kenny Drew (piano), Sam Jones (bass) and Philly Joe Jones on the drums. The collection of songs features a numbers of outstanding tight swaying instrumentation as vividly displayed on Do It The Hard Way and Old Devil Moon. I’m Old Fashioned features a Chet on vocals with his distinctive charm engaging the listener with a lovable charm which makes this an essential title in the Chet Baker back catalogue.
Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe’s Asalto Navideño is a salsa explosion from the dynamic duo. They collaborated for 7 years in total tirelessly releasing 10 albums in total, including this long player from 1970. The album here will not disappoint with wave after wave of exciting dancefloor driven numbers the mass of music of show is breath-taking. La Murga is a fan favourite with it deep, dark brass rippling to the tune of a band on form, if you’re looking to lighten up your Christmas play list with something that won’t send you to sleep, this selection is for you.
If you didn’t know otherwise John Linnells’s State Songs looks like a long lost library album. This is infact one half of They Might Be Giants whose take on singing about 15 states of U.S.A is both hilarious and absurd. Idaho is a slow pop groover whilst Michigan is a manic toe taper. Lyrically you’d struggle to find much meaning to what’s being said here, imagine mixing Captain Beefheart with The Fall and you can imagine the hazy maze of the unknown you’re entering into. Overall a crazed release of it’s time that maybe should be listened to whilst wearing a straight jacket in a padded cell.
The Wrens Silver hits the 25 year anniversary mark this year, to celebrate it is released on vinyl for the first time. Harking back to the days of Ride, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, the music featured here is a combination of dream pop and some spaced out guitar workings. Opening track Propane is wonderfully straightforward rock, Adonoi doesn’t waste any time with it’s harder rock edge whilst Dakota is the absolute opposite to what The Stereophonics where trying to achieve. There are also hints of blues and softer rock featured across this release which makes it an intriguingly interesting rebirth.
Finally we have the enchanting re-release of Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s jug Band soundtrack. First aired in 1977 for a Christmas TV special the soundtrack has gone onto achieve cult status for its charming lullabies and fun choruses, the previous release sold out in 2018. With a songs written by Paul Williams, who is famed for writing Rainbow Connection sung by Kermit the Frog, as you can imagine this combination is dynamite listening for anyone that likes their children’s TV. As previously mentioned all of these releases are strictly limited to their vinyl releases so be quick if you want to grab a piece of the action.
To purchase any of the aforementioned releases please visit the Craft Recordings website.