2013 Autumn Cocktail Album Reviews

Pulp And Culture Box Set, VI – Not the cheapest collection I’ve reviewed, but worth every penny, this is an excellent exploration into themed music of the 50’s & 60’s. Four discs broken into four far-fetched categories that collectively are perfect for a themed gathering be it Halloween, retro-rockabilly, retro, or just plain fun. Rock & roll invasion, voodoo dolls, teenage rebels, and wild, wild guitar instrumentals are the four themes, and I promise you’ll never find such an eclectic collection of solid odd songs anywhere. It can’t always be The Rat Pack or strong jazz with that cocktail, so why not, on occasion, stir the party pot with some classic counter-culture sounds. Each themed disc plays exactly what’s promised with songs like Blood Beast From Outer Space, Voodoo Kiss, Betty Lou’s Got A New Tattoo, and Little Betty Twist. A weird collection, yes … but a fun one which will compliment your next weird party.

The Best of Screaming Jay Hawkins, Voodoo Jive – Pretty darned difficult to find now, I urge you to dig around in second-hand shops or ebay and try to score a copy while it’s still possible. To sound a bit like every other reviewer, Screaming Jay was crazy, or at least he sang that way. This album is a wonderful one to play during your Halloween party. Spanish moss dripping from tall trees standing tall alongside lamp lit back alleys beckoning you into dimly lit bars where this record plays on the jukebox would be the perfect scenario … but, that’s a tall-order. Still, if you’re looking for a serious jazzy-voodoo vibe & want to create a similar scene in your candlelit kitchen late in October, here’s what you need. Try and find some Screaming Jay, you’ll thank me. With songs like I Put A Spell On You, Alligator Wine, and Do You Really Love Me?, this album is simply unforgettable and has its place at any autumnal gathering. –

Bennett & Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962 – This sure is a cool, new addition to the Bennett library. No duets with Cindy Laupner, no takes on modern country, this is just two jazz giants meeting under a starry DC skyback when both were at the top of their game. I bought this disc the day it was released and have never looked back. I love when these old gems are unearthed and presented to fans who so appreciate the older stuff. With this record, one can actually hear nervousness on Bennett’s part, after all Bennett was just a decade into his popularity, and Brubeck was just three years out from Time Out. The disc is basically broken down into three parts – kicks off with a Brubeck set which leads into a Bennett one, both doing recognizable and classic hits, concluding with a team-up on a few songs which are cool enough to re-chill the martini you’re sipping. Recorded in the White House Rose Garden as a concert intended to thank government interns, both President and First Lady Kennedy were there. You know darned well, with that kind of audience, all three sessions were played at the top of their game. –

To Top