X marks the spot. Here be treasure from the trove of Johnny Trunk. Ted Heath`s Jungle Drums and Lynn Cornell`s African Waltz. Both bits of “Primitive Pop And Savage Jazz” from the early 1960s that worried the hit parade in the politer days pre-The Beatles and The Stones, and collected on Johnny’s brilliant Britxotica! compilation.
There’s Nanã Imborô – very, very likely the inspiration behind Sergio Mendes` Brazilian jazz dance standard, Mas Que Nada – lifted from the recordings of José Prates` late `50s stage show, Tam… Tam… Tam…!, which were also dusted off and reissued by the marvelous Mr. Trunk. Reverb lending it a slightly spooky, haunted feel, despite the jaunty melody.
Joining them, there’s Dudley Moore`s magical piano playing on The Millionaire – cherry-picked and plucked from Johnny’s repress of Peter Cook & Dud`s score to the movie, Bedazzled.
In a similar vein, sorta, is Moondog`s Dog Trot – part of Honest Jon`s righteous rescuing of the mighty Viking Of 6th Avenue`s back catalogue from obscurity. He called his horns his Honking Geese, and when I listen I see pictures of punch-ups and people getting “plugged”, scenes straight out of a Damon Runyon short story. Prohibition hoodlums. Guys and dolls. Andrew featured all of these tunes on his Music`s Not For Everyone NTS Radio shows.
Granny’s Intentions` Nutmeg, Bitter Sweet is great bit of `60s proto-fusion from a cracking comp put together by Dublin label, Allchival. Catching the Limerick-born beat group morphing, mutating, and incorporating mod organ flashes and folky flute, this was something that Andrew selected for a 1BTN show, co-hosted by Fatcat`s Alex Knight and Chris Galloway.
Monk Montgomery’s fierce feedback intro`d Fuselage II is one of the missives in Chris` own terrific tribute mix, One Horse Shy In A One Horse Town. This is a record that Chris actually sold to Andrew, and that Chris heard him play both at Heavenly`s Social and in the backroom of a Sabresonic Christmas party, that was held in a Wapping warehouse.
Roots, by Ian Carr`s Nucleus, is another precious piece of rare vinyl that Andrew bought from Chris, which comes with a fucking great story attached…
“I went to see him once and took this as a possible purchase – since I thought he might like it. He listened to it for quite a while but eventually passed – I think it was £40/50 at the time. Anyway, I left and about 10 minutes after he called me and said, “Are you still in the area?…can you bring back that Nucleus LP! I was going to buy some new trousers, but they’ll have to wait.”
The track here, Capricorn, moves between a stoned, psychedelic, modality, and electric wah-wah-ed trumpet licks, that kick like a further funk-ti-fied take on Miles Davis` And He Loved Him Madly.
John Coltrane`s ground-breaking, game-changing, 1961 hit, My Favorite Things is taken from a Rotters Golf Club Archive Hour, namely Volume 9 – where the jazz giant moves in two directions at once – experimenting while still remaining accessible – in an especially eclectic assortment, rubbing musical shoulders with Wooden Shjips off-shoot Holy Mountain, Moebius, Conny Plank, and country pin-up, Faron Young.
The fiery freakout that is Billy Cobham`s scorching opus, Stratus, was included in that April 2000 XFM broadcast, made to promote Two Lone Swordsmen`s A Virus With Shoes. Starting with racing, speeding, abstract, keyboard sequences, it`s a big band groove, with a bad bass rumble, but everyone`s really simply attempting to ground guitarist, Tommy Bolin`s 6-string flight. Building from blues-based riffs to superhuman shredding, when he starts bending notes the tune just explodes. Bolin went on to join The James Gang and Deep Purple.
Charles Tolliver`s Plight and Eddie Gale`s A Walk With Thee date back to the Kiss FM Giving It Up sessions. Both men were trumpeters. Tolliver co-founded the legendary New York label, Strata-East. Gale, was an alumni of Sun Ra`s Arkestra, and I guess that shows in his arrangements of gospel-like choir and military marching band snares.
The alto sax on the feather-light, feather-like float of Pharoah Sander`s Astral Traveling famously heavily influenced the final mix of Primal Scream`s I’m Coming Down.
Wilmouth Houdini`s shot of 1930s banjo-backed Trinidadian calypso, Black But Sweet, should need no introduction. I`m sure that its hook is close to every fanboy and fangirl`s heart.
PS. From here, you should stock up on your particular poison and put on a copy of Miles Davis’ Dark Magus…
Lynn Cornell – African Waltz
Ted Heath – Jungle Drums
Charles Tolliver – Plight
John Coltrane – My Favorite Things
Monk Montgomery – Fuselage II
Dudley Moore – The Millionaire
Pharoah Sanders – Astral Traveling
Ian Carr`s Nucleus – Capricorn
Jose Prates – Nana Imboro
Wimouth Houdini – Black But Sweet
Moondog & His Honking Geese – Dog Trot
Eddie Gale – A Walk With Thee
Grannys Intentions – Nutmeg, Bitter Sweet
Billy Cobham – Stratus