Quite enjoying Kenny Burrell‘s ‘Ode to 52 Street’ on CD today as I work. I admit, I bought it in the (misguided) hope that it would be funky because it’s on Cadet and produced by Richard Evans. But funky isn’t everything, you know. It’s an unusual and varied jazz album. Some of it is a little pedestrian for my taste, but there are some great moments. It’s one of those albums which is best heard all at one time.

I also listened to Da Lata again. This one has never made it home, which generally means I don’t like it. It’s really not bad, actually, just very *adult* somehow. Quite pleasant, but somehow not my thing.

On the topic of ‘quite pleasant’ and not my thing, I listened to the Shuggie Otis – ‘Inspiration Information’ CD yesterday. You’ve probably seen or heard of this CD, which seems to have had more aggressive press and marketing than any other reissue in recent years. Anyway, I gave in and bought it (at the enormous Amoeba records in San Francisco, about the only place I got to visit when I was there), and …………. It honestly doesn’t really do it for me. Why did I buy it? A mixture of the enthusings at Dusty Groove and the fact that Sean O’Hagan or Tim Gane or someone had gone on about how it showcased ‘a whole new direction popular music could have gone in’. It’s not that it’s bad exactly. It’s just a little meandering and soul-ey for my taste. And I don’t exactly love the production on it. There are some really nice sounds (e.g. the sparkly warm sound at the beginning of the track ‘happy house’), but these soon give way to stuff I find cheesy. One track – I think it’s the extra poppy and catchy ‘Strawberry Letter 23′ – contains a riff which was either sampled or borrowed by the group Color me Badd in their early 90s hit ‘I wanna sex you up’. Anyway, the bottom line is this CD leaves me feeling as if I’ve been taken for a ride by the marketing men more than anything else. If you can enlighten me on Mr Otis, please do so

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