Flora Macneil: Craobh Un Ubhal (Tangent, 1977)
I found this bag of LPs I used to DJ with downstairs. When I say "DJ", I think it's clear from the records themselves that I was never going to get a gig at, well, anywhere really. Perhaps a very lenient pub on a particularly quiet Tuesday lunchtime, but that's about it. I mean, there's some Herbie Mann in there, there's Jimmy Ponder's Mean Streets, No Bridges for the breakbeat afficionados, there's some swinging Jimmy Smith soundtracks, but other than that it's Scottish folk song, English madrigals and a groovily toothsome Tom Jones Live LP from 1971 that I remember buying in a charity shop in Dortmund. Anyway, this is lovely, an unaccompanied piece (it translates as The Apple Tree) that is, and I quote from the extensive sleevenotes, "a journey to an ancient pagan world where the cult of the tree held a central position." So now you know. I am available for hire, btw.
Red Garland: Please Send Me Someone To Love (Prestige, 1956)
I don't think I've listened to this album in 15 years, but I used to play this track - a version of the Percy Mayfield belter - every single day without fail. No one plays the joanna like Red, there's something about the way his fingers seem to sort of brush the chords rather than actually play them (hark at the twot from Downbeat) that's always made my hair stand on end. And 15 years ago I had a lot of hair. Now you'd barely notice, but it is right on end, trust me.
St Etienne feat Q-Tee: Studio Kinda Filthy (Heavenly, 1991)
This reminds me of a pub in Kingston that I can't remember the name of. We would stand outside in the sunshine on Thursday nights and listen to Shuff and Tarby play Expansions and Talkin' All That Jazz and Donald Byrd's Flight Time and Tribe and Moody Boys and Palm Skin Productions and C.R.E.A.M. and Photek and all that sort of thing. Strangely - though entirely naturally for the time - bowl-headed indie-pop overlords St Etienne fitted right in. This is exemplary summer-time dub-pop.
PS: Yes, you're right, the pictures do look horrible in the middle. I won't be doing that again, I can assure you...