Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Jim Dickinson's Favorite Records

It was at Ardent Studio, Memphis in the late 20th Century. Mudhoney were doing overdubs for the record that would be called TOMORROW HIT TODAY and the legendary Jim Dickinson was behind the board with a bag of gris gris in one hand (aka producer vuggum) and a box of CDs in the other. During a down-moment of the session, Jim called to order what was included in the box: CDs that to him were Muses…music he tries to have at most sessions…the stuff that at this point was had been incorporated into his DNA. Upon the release of the Spectrum Meets Captain Memphis record, I asked Jim if he might remind me of some of the records that were included in his sacred box. He gave me the following list:

• Jam Session Coast to Coast- Eddie Condon- A perfect recording. This started it all for me. Wild Bill Davidson on top.

• Trouble is a Man- Judy Holiday- Document of her marriage to Gerry Mulligan. Sad songs.

• At the Pershing- Ahmad Jamal- Total groove. Chess Records. Poinciana perfect for sex.

• Introducing Vellegas- Richard Villegas- The secret to my piano style. Coolest of the cool.

• Sketches of Spain- Miles Davis- My test for new audio playback environment. World wide.

• Weary Blues- Langston Hughes- Charley Mingus leads the band. Langston Hughes reads like pre-Kerouac

• Blues from the gutter- Champion Jack Dupree- Wexler and Tom Dowd on a humid afternoon in New Orleans.

• Happy All the Time- Joseph Spence- Like a religious salvation experience in Bimini.

• Amazing Grace- Mississippi Fred McDowell- Keith Richards’ vocal model. (The male harmony).

• Moondog- On the Streets of New York- Discovered at a dime store in Little Rock, AR in 1956. My inspiration for the keyboard parts on Paris, Texas.

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