There's so much to share today, I almost don't know where to start! Or have I had too much sugar? Let's start with something pink, m'k? So I was reading through a string of blog comments about Henry Mancini the other day and someone wrote that in a hundred years or so Mancini will be looked upon like Mozart or Beethoven, and I thought, "Easy, kid, don't get too excited." But then I thought, in a hundred years or so, who knows what composers we'll still be celebrating? And why shouldn't Mancini be one of them (no, really)?
Think about it, his tunes are permanently lodged in our collective consciousness: "The Pink Panther Theme," "Moon River," "Peter Gunn," "Baby Elephant Walk," "Two For the Road," and the list goes on (and on).
Below, "Henry Mancini: The Days Of Wine And Roses" is a fabulous 3-disc set with virtually every memorable Mancini tune - and the first two discs, especially, are lounge music heaven. Above, one of Mancini's last LPs, 1997's "Martinis With Mancini," which finds him still experimenting with new and swingin' interpretations of his classics (and several new tunes, too). Both of them are total bliss-outs, I swear.
Okay, so I know I'm late to the party, but I ask you (and only you), why did no one tell me about The Stepkids? If you're unfamiliar with them, as I was, they're sort of a cross between Steely Dan and Hot Chip, which, yes, sounds very confusing, but they're kinda diffy to describe.
Let's try this: combining psychedelic rock, jazz and electro (and anything else they can think of) into one ear-popping, day-glo package, they're like the coolest and friendliest-sounding Brooklyn band around (without being twee or pretentious) (which is saying something for Brooklyn) (even though they're from Connecticut) (and mark my word, if Gwyneth moves to Brooklyn. Then. It. Is. All. Over.) (but I digress). I can't think of another group right now that's so wildly experimental - and so much fun.
Meanwhile, do you know who Inez Jones is? I couldn't even find a good picture of her (and I thought the Internets had everything), so this LP picture will have to do for now.
This is Inez' only LP, released in 1957 - sometimes as "Have You Met Miss Jones," and other times as "Have You Met Inez Jones." Whatever it's called, it's an Inez Cheerful Exclusive! and highlights a truly gifted jazz vocalist.
A cult favorite of jazz musicians and local club goers in the 50's and early 60's, Inez lived and primarily performed in San Francisco (whether she ventured beyond the West Coast is unknown, but seems unlikely). Plus, on this LP, she's backed by celebrated jazz pianist Carl Perkins and Nat King Cole's guitarist Oscar Moore. Every single musician here gets a solo or two, making this a special treat for jazz lovers. The LP was recently remastered with extra tracks and an awful, generic-looking new cover, so here's the remastered version with the original cover below (because it's better) (trust me).
Let's talk about Tata. And no, I'm not talking about the bodacious kind (you guys are soooo base!). I'm talking about Miss Tata Vega. Sing, Tata, sing!
I was barely a stye in my mother's eye when Tata was in her heyday, but kids, listen up, "Try My Love," her 1978 disco LP. Is. The. Bomb. Ever-so-subtle song titles include "Get It Up For Love!" and "Whopper Bopper Show Stopper!" so you know you're in for klassy, refined thrills. But really, you can't beat her voice; it growls, it screams, it soars above the disco music goin' thump-thump-thump. Everyone should know Tata.
Check it. When the Secret Song File reclines to read the day's most important news (from "People," "US Weekly," "OK Magazine"), she does not want to be bothered, so don't even think of wandering over to her side of the pool. Really. Not a good idea. And what is she listening to?
Something new. Something trashy. Something iconic-ish, or icona-ish, or...oh, you must know who it is by now. It's their debut LP and it should have been released Stateside this past summer because it's the perfect backdrop for a beach or poolside soiree (with adult beverages) (of course).
I'll have a (very large) Chambord Cocktail, please.
Drink it up in the comments if you like!