Friday, July 26, 2013


This was always going to be a tough assignment. I mean, let's be honest, we could all do "Hallelujah" or "Angel", and some may curse me as I write that, but SMM is all about digging a tad deeper. (Crosses fingers that the Boss won't take umbrage at my new boy, relative, gaucheness.) So, rather than "All or Nothing", cos you all know that, how's a bit of classic jazz and a bit of classic rock'n'roll, 80s style, and add the "At All."

John Coltrane: All or Nothing at All
Purchase (single track)

No introduction for the 'Trane. Bit of a latecomer to bebop me, as it all seemed atonal yet samey to my rockist ears, until I came to an epiphany. Stuff all this earnest head nodding, fingers a clicking in eyes-shut reverie. Jazz. Is. Dance. Music. That's right. Throw your head back and your arms out. Smile. Daaaance. (I'm struggling to convince my girlfriend of this, but bear with me. Try it!) When it suddenly kicks in, it will all be understood. Problem solved. I love it. This, from 1962, is wonderful, from the drum intro, percussive piano, then suddenly, marvelously, the horn. I'm weaving in my seat, on my chair, as this glides all over and around me.Join me? Of course there are lashings of other versions, with vocals, of this tune, with both Frank Sinatra and Diana Krall coming closest to mind, with my bestest singer, Mr Chet Baker, not far behind.. They're good, but why embellish the unnecessary?

Marshall Crenshaw: All Or Nothin' At All
Purchase (whole Lp, but well worth the investment!!)

You couldn't get much different than with Mr Crenshaw, an out and out classic rock 'n' roller with hints of Buddy Holly about his stylisations. Always tastefully tunesome, somehow a shame he has always seemed somewhat of an also run, at least perhaps thus avoiding the overkill of mass acclaim. I like him and this is a good example of his style. However, in just the same way that the Coltrane is a cover, or "standard" as that genre will have it, so too this is not of Crenshaw's pen, but being a mid period, E Street Band on leave, Springsteen, from "Human Touch" (And pedants will cite there is no g at the end of "Nothin", but I am nothin' if not too well brought up to ignore such a criticism, not least as I have only realised this point at this stage, 3 paras down. Live with it. Sue me. Either way, it's great.)

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