August 14, 2016 Blame It On Paul Winter

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The Paul Winter Sextet, Jazz Meets The Bossa Nova, Columbia CL-1925, 1962

Paul Winter won a collegiate Jazz competition in 1961.  First prize included an invitation to perform the first Jazz concert at The White House, a Columbia Records contract, and a goodwill tour of Latin America.  The timing was spectacular, as the band reached Brazil just as a “new wave” of Bossa Nova was becoming a really big deal on the world’s music scene.  This was their second, and probably best selling album.

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The lengthy liner notes (I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a longer set) detail the tour.  The band met and played with all the greats of the genre like  Joao Gilberto and covered songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim.  It’s not the most authentic or impressive bossa nova album I have, but for a young American combo, it’s pretty darned good.  The fact that they were integrated also leads to its aura.

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At $2, I’m happy I got it.  I always get great finds in Jazz bins, International bins, Vocal bins, or Soundtrack bins.  Records like this are why I love records.  As for Paul Winter, he’s still out there in his late 70s, with 50 albums to his credit.  I had never heard of him before now, but call me a fan.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $841 Remaining

 

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August 2, 2016 It Is Not A Mistake!

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Men At Work, Cargo, Columbia 38660, 1983

At the risk of dating myself, this is an album I wish I had bought 36 years ago when I first heard it.  I was a huge Men At Work fan, to the point of not buying Men Without Hats Safety Dance because I thought they were riding on Men At Work’s coattails.  Of course, I now wish I had that record too.

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Their first album (in the United States anyway), Business As Usual, introduced me to Vegemite (by way of Casey Kasem).  Their follow-up, Cargo, introduced me to the dreaded “second album letdown” that most bands fall into.  Meaning you work hard for years to build a following for your band and perfect one album’s worth of material that succeeds beyond your wildest dreams.  And then you have four months to come up with a follow up that no matter how hard you try just can’t compare.

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Men At Work did themselves no favors by having the lead-off single from their second US album be Overkill, a pean to over-exposure and unworthiness.  Still, I was a Junior in High School and Australia may as well have been Saturn for how alien it was to me in New Jersey.  And for 18 months, Men At Work were my band!

Today’s Summary:

 Cost: $3, $863 Remaining