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Interview of the week

Sunflower Bean
  • Amy Heather

7th- 13th January

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

Albums I have listened to this week:

Billie Holiday

Lady In Satin (1958)

What an absolutely beautiful way to start the week. Her voice is one of the greats, so original, so stunning, can you tell I can't get over how talented she is? It was just so easy to listen to, I was never bored, I loved every single song. Spotify even includes unfinished takes! You can hear her singing without any music and telling the producers that the music is too loud! I thought that was amazing, I will be listening to as much of her as I can fit into my hectic music schedule.

BEST SONG: For Heaven's Sake

Jack Elliott

Jack Takes The Floor (1958)

An extreme change in mood, but nevertheless somehow not a dip in quality... as I said before I've hardly listened to country, but this guy is actually really good! I kept seeing him named as 'Rambling Jack Elliott', which at first I thought was weird and probably not the same guy, but upon listening; it makes complete sense. He says some weird stuff in this, but it made me laugh so I guess that's entertainment! I would have liked to see him live.

BEST SONG: Cocaine

Sarah Vaughan

Sarah Vaughan At Mister Kelly's (1958)

This was a fully recorded live show, but I could hardly tell due to the fact that Vaughan's voice was faultless and so, so beautiful. It was obvious that as well as talent, she had impeccable training as I was toying with the thought that she was pitch perfect throughout my listening session. At one point during the first half of the show, I think somebody tripped over as there was a loud stumbling and some laughter from the audience, but this only added to the immersive effect.

BEST SONG: Honeysuckle Rose

Ella Fitzgerald

Sings the Gershwin Song Book (1959)

This selection of songs is a little different to a standard album. For one, its over 3 hours long, but also Ella Fitzgerald is covering the infamous Gershwin works. Her voice is also absolutely stunning, but you probably already knew that. I did enjoy listening to her, however it took me the whole week to get through this album as I didn't want to make the mistake of getting bored an hour in. In my opinion this is an amazing collection of songs, but I think there are better Fitzgerald works you should listen to before this.

BEST SONG: They Can't Take That Away From Me

Ray Charles

The Genius Of Ray Charles (1959)

I mean the accuracy of the title is brilliant, he truly was a genius. I liked the whole vibe of this album, every single song was super good. I don't think I'll end up hearing it again however, he just has so many songs I want to listen to, there just may not be enough time to fit them all in! I liked a few including; It Had To Be You, Deed I do and Don't let the Sun Catch you Crying. I chose the last one purely because of the title, I thought it was rather poetic.

BEST SONG: Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying

Miles Davis

Kind Of Blue (1959)

Surprisingly enough, I wasn't too disheartened to be listening to another Jazz album. Maybe it's because it was Miles Davis, maybe I've listened to enough to be quite into it now, or maybe I enjoy the break from vocals. Whatever the answer; I liked this album probably better than the previous one I had listened to last week. I like how it's called Kind Of Blue; not only are two of the songs using the word blue, but it blurs the lines between blues and Jazz and sets up a half joyous/half sad atmosphere.

BEST SONG: Flamenco Sketches

Marty Robbins

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs (1959)

I was looking forward to hearing this one because my boyfriend has a mildly unhealthy obsession with music from the Wild West and I may have also become slightly interested in it (don't tell him). I can't believe I'm saying this, but I absolutely loved it. I thought every song was amazing and his voice is insane! So easy to listen to and no part of it that I didn't enjoy. I will be listening again 100%. I think if you're going to give something a go, stick this on and you won't be disappointed.

BEST SONG: They're Hanging Me Tonight

The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Time Out (1959)

This is yet another easy listening Jazz album. I wasn't really paying much attention until I heard the start of 'Take Five' and exclaimed "I know this! I know this!" then I paid full attention for those 5 minutes, and went back to whatever I was doing before. Nothing wrong with this album at all, and of course I loved 'Take Five', I could just take or leave the rest of it I think. Did some extra research however, and found out that 'Take Five' was the first Jazz composition to become a pop hit.

BEST SONG: Take Five (surprise!)

Joan Baez

Joan Baez (1960)

Okay let me just tell you flat out that this album caused me literal stress by confusing me as to whether I liked it or I hated it. I heard it during a long car journey and there would be periods of time where I thought, "yeah, okay it's good", then other parts where I was super close to turning it off. Now that's not because it had crazy variety; it was literally the same throughout. I just couldn't decide about her voice. I came to the conclusion that I hated it. She's talented, but I hated it.

BEST SONG: Donna Donna

Elvis Presley

Elvis Is Back! (1960)

Elvis is back? From where? Oh that's right, his manager sent him into the army for two years because he thought it would make Elvis look cooler...anyways this album is, of course, awesome. I'm so glad Elvis came back, and this was a brilliant album to come back with. My favourite song isn't just because it's very fitting with the army theme, but also because I love a good slow love song with backing vocals. His cover of 'Fever' was a close second, but just missed the top spot because he failed to reach for that high "feveeeerrrr".

BEST SONG: Soldier Boy

Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba (1960)

One word: wow. I was not expecting this. To be honest I wasn't really expecting anything, but this was a wake up call for my ears. I would have never, ever listened to something like this by myself, but now I've heard it; I absolutely love it. I have no idea what she is saying, but it's beautiful. Every single song is amazing and every single element in all those songs is amazing. It's just incredible! Although not my favourite, make sure you give Mbube a listen (remind you of something?)

BEST SONG: The Click Song (INSANE!)

The Everly Brothers

A Date With The Everly Brothers (1960)

Half of the tracks on this album were great, the other half weren't so good. That said, I actually had three favourites and it took a while to decide which one was the best. I insisted the help of my mum, who sat through the whole album with me and then listened to those three tracks another two times after- just to be sure which one was the best. I think the harmonies between these two were (mostly) very nice, but it was the guitar that really got me. I loved 'That's Just Too Much' and 'Love Hurts' and I'm still kinda sorry they didn't make the cut.

BEST SONG: Stick With Me Baby

Jimmy Smith

Back At The Chicken Shack (1960)

For some stupid reason, I thought this was going to be a very adventurous hip-hop album. In the...60s? Yes I agree, what a dumb thing to think, I was tired. This caused me to be rather disappointed when I pressed play and was suddenly listening to Jazz. Again. Don't get me wrong, it's very nice Jazz, I guess when I was looking at the cover and reading a title as strange as this one, I was thinking "this is going to be some weird shit!" It was not. It's Jazz. It was okay. Cool title though. No chicken noises.

BEST SONG: On The Sunny Side Of The Street.

Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters At Newport (1960)

He's a brilliant singer and awesome live performer, but although this album was great to listen to, there wasn't much variation. It was blues one after the other and despite the fact that I like a good bit of blues, a whole album full of similar songs wasn't my favourite. This is definitely something to stick on in the background whilst making dinner or when you have company round. Not something I would sit and listen to again.

BEST SONG: I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man

Bill Evans

Sunday At The Village Vanguard (1961)

This album once again caused me great difficulty in choosing my favourite track. I didn't dislike any, but I wasn't in love with any. This is definitely a vibe and is perhaps also best consumed as background music rather than intense listening (I say this a lot). I did like it, but I'm still not a Jazz super-fan and my artist of choice in this genre is currently Miles Davis (is it that obvious?). Also, there's a heavy use of symbols throughout that I'm not quite sure on...

BEST SONG: Jade Visions-Live - (Take 2)

Follow my Spotify playlist to hear my BEST SONG from each album one after the other:

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