Happy midsummer folks!
Hope that the sun is poking out wherever you are and brightening up the place. It's doing good here in Amsterdam, although the forecast for next weekend's Glastonbury is looking a little rainy (quelle surprise), so the pile of waterproofs, boots, sunglasses, sunblock etc is steadily growing in the corner of the room as you'd expect. Many thanks to @JimMcCauley for agreeing to caretaker-manage the place next week whilst I'm away, and compile the 2nd annual #livevortex - Yep, one top-quality live recording please from each of you to whip into a mighty experience. Sure Jim will announce where to send stuff via the Twitter account in due course, so keep an eye out there...
This is a compilation of recordings by one of the great American jazz musicians, a great "have you heard this?" gift that was my first encounter with him. I liked him straight away. He's joyful, fresh, and exuberant, and he really swings.
It's also the record I've been listening to obsessively for weeks, pulled from the stack for more attention after I picked up a biography of the artist on a recent trip to my favourite bookstore, San Francisco's City Lights.
I was surprised to read how derisively music critics treated him for the first ten or more years of his career, only to later praise as innovative the qualities they had mocked. Even by his supporters he was often woefully misread.
Most of the songs here are his compositions, and they're played by some genuinely mind-boggling bands. Of the lot, I think my favourite is the sixth track, which has given me a persistent but delightful earworm.
Hope you enjoy."
Okaydoke! Download is here and the Mixcloud stream (which may reveal the song titles, you have been warned) is here!
See you at 8pm BST (GMT+1)!