The rips just keep on comin’.

The unseen but kindly souls who run the Internet Archive’s Unlocked Recordings section just keep resurfacing old vinyl. They’re doing the Lord’s work, truly.

I’m getting to think this might become an every-Sunday-night thing around here … though I’m leery of committing to any recurring features because mine always tend not to recur after a while.

Anyway, here’s a look at some of the latest oddments the Archive has coughed up. If you like what you hear, feel free to download.

Calypso Soul: The Guitar of Tom Tedesco: Tommy Tedesco was a fixture in the Guitar Player magazines I devoured in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

He’d been a mainstay of the Hollywood session scene for something like 30 years at that point, cutting tracks with everyone from Sarah Vaughan to Frank Zappa. Every month he wrote a column in which he’d review the guitar part from a recording session and talk about what he did to make it successful.

He came across as the genial, sometimes blunt Italian-uncle type, modest about his own (considerable) gifts, and his column was always worth checking out.

Unfortunately, this 1966 smooth-Latin instrumental LP doesn’t do much to convey either Tedesco’s personal warmth or musical talent. He plays what sounds like gut-string acoustic guitar throughout, and he stays in his lane; it’s not much of a blowing session. At this juncture, it’s mainly of interest to those who enjoy effortless easy-listening music, and/or people like me who remember Tedesco’s name and might be interested to hear something that had his name on it.


The French Touch, L’Orchestre de Franck Pourcel: Somebody at the Internet Archive apparently just reached the “Miscellaneous P” bin, because a couple of albums by French orchestra leader Franck Pourcel have recently made an appearance.

What did Monsieur Pourcel do that was fantastic? Well, according to Wiki, he was the conductor at the legendary Eurovision international song contest for a couple of years. He co-wrote Little Peggy March’s “I Will Follow Him,” which was a big hit in those slow beige years after Chuck Berry but before the Beatles.

And, he cut a whole bunch of orchestral-pop records, some of which earned gold records in nations other than the U.S. I’m guessing wildly that this one is probably as good as any of the others; among other things, it includes a stiff-legged take on “Penny Lane,” for those who found the original just too wild and swingin’.


Where Soul Lives, Baby Ray: If the thread on this page is to be believed, Ray Eddlemon was something of a rambler — and also a murderer who died in state prison in Nevada.

He was also white, which is not readily graspable from listening to Where Soul Lives, a steaming 1967 slab o’ soul that’s well worth checking out.

It’s cut from the same cloth as other soul LPs of the period, which is to say it’s longer on energy than originality or distinction. That’s hardly a fatal flaw in pop music, though, especially when the songs blow past in two minutes each.

Pick hits include “Harpoon Man,” which will make you frug until curfew comes … the triplet-laden ballad “Just Because,” which is sort of a distant cousin to “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” and reminds you how glorious that kind of ballad is … and the closing cover of Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land,” which ends with Baby Ray joyously ad-libbing about arriving in the golden land of swimming pools and movie stars.


Missa Ave Regina Caelorum, Guillaume Du Fay, and Missa Caput, Johannes Ockeghem: Du Fay was apparently considered among the top composers of the mid-15th century, while Ockeghem was among the most influential of those who immediately followed. (The two men met, also.)

If you want to decide which one you prefer, the Internet Archive now allows you to compare their two settings of Mass in the comfort of your own basement. (For maximum ease of comparison, both recordings feature the same performers.)

I like the Du Fay so far; I haven’t had a chance to listen to the Ockeghem, but I will make the time.

If you really want to take matters to absurd lengths, the Archive has also recently posted a recording of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and various vocalists performing Joseph Haydn’s Missa St. Nicolai, a comparatively modern piece … which is to say, written in 1772. Play that one as well and decide which Missa you like best. Or play all three at once in different browsers while eating half a bottle of Flintstones Chewable Vitamins. You can do that if you want too — thanks to the Internet Archive.

Folk Music of Afghanistan, Vol. 1: Repetitive, inexpensively recorded (check out how the emphatic voice on “Pashtu Ghazal” pushes the needles just short of red) and mesmeric. Are there people still in Afghanistan who still play this music, or have they fled or been killed? Check out the almost soulful vocal on “Song From Nangarhar,” too. And the Coltrane-ish reed and drum duet on “Sorna and Dhol.” I take back what I said a week or two ago: Maybe the 2020s are the decade I jump headlong into world folk music, cocking a snook at mass popular culture as I sit on a big solitary mountain of prehistoric reed solos.



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