The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Musical Indulgence #10

Cake Walking Babies from Home
(Judith Durham and The Hottest Band in Town; 1974)

Judith Durham has unfortunately become better known to posterity as lead vocalist for an Australian Folk-Rock act called The Seekers, but anyone who has sampled her later recordings (in particular her phenomenal 1974 Pye LP, 'Judith Durham and The Hottest Band in Town') knows her for what she truly is: one of the great latter-day Traditional Jazz singers on earth.

Those who might have believed, with some justice, that the defining word on 'Cake Walking Babies from Home' was wrought by Clarence Williams and His Blue Five way way back in their 1925 recording for Gennett Records may want to give a listen to this powerhouse reading from 1974; introduced by the late Benny Hill.


mike said...

excellent stuff. love these ones from right out of the mainstream that get overlooked.

salian said...

Whether she's singing folk, jazz or the Australian national anthem, Judith has one of the purest voices on earth. One of my prized possessions is an early Seekers double album. A joyous record, but the hightlight is Judith's rendition of 'A Closer Walk With Thee'. It's a song she has sung the song a number of times and on other albums, but not like this - it sounds like it was recorded in a tin shed in a side street of Bourbon St on the honkiest tonkiest piano still standing. It's not just gold - it's platinum.