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Les Baxter primer

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  • Les Baxter primer

    well, come on then, hip me (and others) to the best of Baxter.

    what albums, what tracks, why, and all that sorta thing....

    and please don't just post youtube links with no intro/ text, give a bit of detail if you can.

    EDiT: of course, youtube stuff is great, and should be added, just would prefer more than drive-by clippage, if you know what i mean.

  • #2
    Well....
    I have Round the World with Les Baxter and that is about it, shameful really given the length and breadth of his output:

    http://www.discogs.com/Les-Baxter-Ro.../master/660248

    Anyway the story is I accidently played the opening track at 45 rather than 33 and it sounded rather good. The rest is fun, although not particularly exotic.
    Last edited by medlar; 13-03-2014, 11:03 PM.
    some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture

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    • #3
      I would take it as it's a given that your up on the WOF 95 'Hell's belles' Al mate, if not great place to start!?
      "Hangin' out with you two is like partying with Fugazi"

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      • #4
        I would start here:



        Some might say that this is the record that kicked off the whole Exotica movement and was shamelessly plundered by the sub-Brubeck Martin Denny on his Exotica LP. If you like 'space age pop' you will love this record. If you want funky beats or wild improvisation, look elsewhere. As has been said many times before, its a white American's view of what 'other' places might be like - but on the whole its a very good and inventive ride.



        You might also like this. I prefer it to Jungle Jazz. To be fair its neither African nor really jazz. But if you put those preconceptions to one side its still a great record. Shame about the cover

        I don't seem to have a photo but I really like The Sacred Idol. Composed for a film that apparently was never made it has a slight Latin feel (the film was about the Incas and the LP cover has a close up of an Inca statue).

        And there's always this VG+ charity shop staple:

        "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

        Night of the Living Vinyl

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        • #5
          Originally posted by alanmck View Post
          well, come on then, hip me (and others) to the best of Baxter.

          what albums, what tracks, why, and all that sorta thing....

          and please don't just post youtube links with no intro/ text, give a bit of detail if you can.

          EDiT: of course, youtube stuff is great, and should be added, just would prefer more than drive-by clippage, if you know what i mean.
          A few faves:



          "jungle jazz" - best track to my ears is the wonderful "voodoo dreams" - all about the strings.



          "skins" - two killer tracks on this one "Brazilian bash" and the wonderfully named "poppin' panderos"



          "que mango" - loads of good tracks on here including the bonkers "soolaimon"

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          • #6
            'Taste Of Soul' from the 'Les Baxter Conducts 101 Strings' LP recycles the main recurring theme from 'Hell's Belles' in a lush, easy context. Very good it is too. Plus 'Tomorrow For Sure', which I'm sure was either on a tape from Sie, or Sie and Towny's mix from a decade ago?

            'Bugaloo In Brazil' on KPM, AKA 'African Blue' on Crescendo (cheaper, with a great sleeve) is a very solid set.

            ...And that's the 101 stuff. I'd have thought there must be tons more of merit in his catalogue. 'Black Sabbath' looks intriguing, to say the least. Anyone know it?
            You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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            • #7
              ^'Taste of soul' is also available on a nice handy 7", the LP got a few issues, and doesn't turn up in the wilds as often as you would think it would.
              "Hangin' out with you two is like partying with Fugazi"

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              • #8
                ...

                'Black Sabbath' was OK as I recall, but not particularly notable - had one and got rid ages ago.

                Don't forget there are also a couple of tasty 45s from the 'Hell's Belles' OST.

                I'd also advise checking out the Yma Sumac 'Miracles' LP produced by Baxter - great oddball exotica-funk.

                The B side of the Les Baxter 'Star Wars' 45 - 'Re-Entry' is also a cracking kosmiche disco cheapo.

                The 'Music From The Moon' theremin-aided opus from '47 looks really intriguing ...

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                • #9
                  His three late 60s LPs on Crescendo are great.

                  Very good price for the first of them here - snap it up esp if you have a US link! The best of the three is African Blue (as repped by Rich) but I do like this groovy lounge imagining of bossa.
                  Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Viva Chiba View Post
                    I'd also advise checking out the Yma Sumac 'Miracles' LP produced by Baxter - great oddball exotica-funk.
                    Surely should be in the 1001 VG+ records to hear before you die thread. An absolute animal of a badger.
                    Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eine View Post
                      Surely should be in the 1001 VG+ records to hear before you die thread. An absolute animal of a badger.
                      Make it so....
                      "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

                      Night of the Living Vinyl

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                      • #12
                        For funky beats big cosign on Taste of soul from the 101 Strings album and Yma Sumac's Miracles album, although someone told me the latter was actually ghost-produced by someone else.

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                        • #13
                          I like this one

                          http://www.discogs.com/Les-Baxter-Mo...elease/2487296

                          And some of the ones above
                          "..hole...road...middle thereof"

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                          • #14
                            I can help on Les Barker (which is what I initially misread this thread as)

                            The Downstairs Lounge
                            http://downstairslounge.wordpress.com/
                            http://soundcloud.com/agnes-guano/

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                            • #15
                              I'd add the album he did with Yma Sumac, Miracles - eccentric, octave leaping greatness with far more upbeat/ almost poplike backing if compared to his exotica/ orchestral jazz bent. an instrumental version would likely sound like a groovy library comp. I've only got a reissue though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDkCE...3484E18805A219

                              in a similar vein - in that's it not your usual Baxter - is his Hell's Belles OST. has more than a hint of the KPM sound about it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIA-vQC-k88

                              and a plus one on African Jazz, although Jungle Jazz does boast Jungla Brava and I've always dug the dash of crime in it's groove http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jl6buM3umw

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