Joan Baez – Joan Baez
Keith Tippet Octet – From Granite to Wind
OK, so I’m cheating a little here and these weren’t purchased at a record shop. Rather I picked these up at Newcastle Record Fair, an event which happens every 2-3 months at Northumbria University in its current guise. I’ve been going to these things for as many years as I can remember and always find something to tempt me. Today was no exception.
Joan Baez first came to my attention via a rather unusual route. Like many people in the mid 80s I was hooked on the TV show Fame. I had a crush on Lori Singer and although she had left the show by then I still watched it, so sue me. Joan played herself in the episode Tomorrow’s Children which was a moralistic tale of standing up for what you believe to be right. Towards the close of the episode she sang Blowin’ in the Wind surrounded by the cast sitting, holding candles. Twee and heavy handed, sure, but what a voice!
Since then I’ve come to admire her work both as a musician and an activist. Her Diamonds and Rust remains to this day one of my all time favourite songs and regularly takes pride of place on my ‘misery’ mix tapes. Whilst I haven’t picked up a huge collection of her work in the intervening years I’ll always snaffle up a good copy an LP if I see it. This is the first UK pressing of her debut on Fontana. Both the sleeve and disc are in great condition so this was a no brainer.
Keith Tippett is someone who’s work I’m only really beginning to explore. I of course knew him from his work on three King Crimson albums in the early 70s; In the Wake of Poseidon, Lizard and Islands. His other work though had remained something of a mystery. I picked up his 1972 disc, Blueprint, on CD from the same record fair a couple of years ago. A challenging but enthralling listen. This CD is less of a challenge but no less enthralling. Highly recommended if you fancy a bit of contemporary, improvisational Jazz in your life.