New Music for Old People: Lieutenant, Bill Frisell & Yours Truly

Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the “play” icon at the top. It’s free and it’s the entire song. We’re not selling anything. We’re just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.

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We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can’t; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.

1. “Prepared Remarks” — Lieutenant (2:29)

Everything but the vocal kinda took me back to vinatge Cobain … and I liked that. I couldn’t make out the lyrics here, however … and I didn’t like THAT. This was just released; it’s a solo project by Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel. I do really like the musical flavor and the guitars and bass; it’s very back-then Seattle. By the way, I thought the Foo Fighters set at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was GREAT last year (saw it on cable)!

2. “Goin’ Out of My Head” — Bill Frisell (2:42)

This is a very clever arrangement for guitar trio (bass and drums) with the bass playing the melody quite a bit. Bill’s playing is wonderful and his tone control is perfect. It was originally recorded by Little Anthony and The Imperials in the mid-‘60s and has won songwriters’ awards for being one of the most played songs in history. But I’m kinda diggin’ Bill’s version here myself lately and hope you’ll join me.

3. “My Days Are Numbered” (Live, 1994) — Al Kooper (4:26)

This begins a trilogy of tracks that are oddly connected. This was from my 50th birthday celebration that consisted of three nights at The Bottom Line, where I played three sets — one with The Blues Project (all original members but Steve Katz wouldn’t allow his performances to be used which worked out well for the album with Jimmy Vivino in his place), a band to play my BS&T tracks featuring Fred Lipsius, Katz/Vivino again, myself, Will Lee on bass, Anton Fig on drums, and a horn section that highlighted trumpeteers Lew Soloff and Randy Becker. I wrote a special trumpet battle at the end of the arrangement where the two consummate musicians jammed masterfully in each other’s faces. As you can hear, the crowd went nuts! So this track is now my tribute to Lew Soloff who we sadly lost last week to a heart attack. This is the way I like to remember him.

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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