Good music! As the owner of Glitter Records in Brisbane, the best part of my day arrives when I encounter undiscovered gems. In a world saturated with dogmatic musical opinions and trend-chasing, I believe in the power of simply listening. Rather than following popular consensus, I put my trust in the magic that happens when my needle drops onto a record.

For this reason, I’m thrilled to introduce you to these eight recordings. They may not be on everyone’s radar but they are a joy to listen to. I’m eager to share them with you and give them a moment in the spotlight where their brilliance can shine through.

Good Music Recommendation 1. Masayoshi Takanaka ‎– T-Wave (1980)

Masayoshi Takanaka is a celebrated figure in Japanese music. Renowned for his virtuosity as a guitarist his music is an innovative blend of jazz and pop. T-Wave was released during the height of Japan’s jazz fusion era in 1980. The record stands as a testament to his creativity. Here his music is characterized by intricate guitar work, smooth melodies, and rhythmic sophistication, reflecting influences from American jazz fusion as well as traditional Japanese music.

T-Wave exemplifies Takanaka’s ability to blend genres, creating a sound that is both eclectic and accessible. Beyond his instrumental skill, Takanaka’s compositions often evoke a sense of wanderlust and introspection, capturing the spirit of his time while remaining timeless in their appeal. Masayoshi Takanaka’s music resonates deeply with contemporary listeners, evident in his influence on artists like Run the Jewels who have sampled his work.

For me, T-Wave finds a kinship with current popular indie pop styles embodied in the work of Tame Impala and Mac DeMarco. Like these genre-defying artists of modern times, Takanaka’s ability to blend intricate guitar work with smooth melodies reflects a timeless approach to music creation. His exploration of diverse elements crafts something both innovative and compelling.

Good Music Recommendation 2. Woody Herman & His Orchestra ‎– Jazz, The Utmost (1959)

Woody Herman’s album Jazz, The Utmost exemplifies the exceptional quality of Verve Records, known for their meticulous production. As a connoisseur of vinyl, I am particularly drawn to the clarity and richness of their pressings, which elevate the nuances of an artist’s music. In his time, Woody Herman himself was a pivotal figure in jazz. He carved out a distinct place with his orchestra, blending swing, bebop, and big band styles into a dynamic and innovative sound.

Good Music Recommendation 3. Nancy Sinatra ‎– This Is Nancy Sinatra (1972)

Nancy Sinatra’s work holds a special place in my record shop. Particularly her collaboration with Lee Hazlewood Nancy & Lee, which is on my best-seller list for vintage records. This double compilation captures Nancy’s hits. Including ‘Boots’, which even Nick Cave confesses he wishes he wrote, ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)‘ and many more beloved songs.

What is magical for me is how these songs speak to new vinyl record collectors and old crate diggers alike. As the daughter of Frank Sinatra, Nancy’s lineage no doubt adds an extra layer of intrigue to her story. Further making her music a fascinating figure in music history.

Nancy Sinatra - This Is Nancy Sinatra (2xLP, Comp, Gat) (Very Good Plus (VG+))
Nancy Sinatra – This Is Nancy Sinatra

Recommendation 4. Various ‎– “Out Of Nowhere” Auckland Jazz Concert 7/8/1950 (1950)

The preservation of historical recordings is part of what I do here at Glitter Records. And it was my pleasure to stumble across this treasure. Auckland Jazz Concert 7/8/1950. This is New Zealand’s first recorded jazz concert. And, my good reader, the performance is documented on a twelve-inch shellac disc.

An older and more fragile format than vinyl records, shellacs arrived before the plastic era. They were made in part from the excretions of an Indian beetle known as the lac.  These old shellacs play at 78 revolutions per minute. This is more than twice the rotations of the 33 revolutions per minute vinyl album. The result is a rawer and more immediate listening experience. I digress!

These performances were cut directly to a master disc live. (This recording is of a concert sent over the telephone to the Astor Records studio!) I think the fact shellac recordings were often created with little studio wizardry and no overdubs makes them special. In fact, there are collectors living who only listen to music on shellac. I can see where they are coming from! This is a format that helps you faithfully relive music performances from past eras.

"Out Of Nowhere" Auckland Jazz Concert 7/8/1950
“Out Of Nowhere” Auckland Jazz Concert 7/8/1950

Recommendation 5. Various ‎– Something Blue Sampler (1995)

There’s been a noticeable surge of interest in preloved CDs here at Glitter Records this year. And can I just say, forget those eye-rolling articles with titles like “CDs or Vinyl Which is Better?” Both have distinct benefits that can help you enjoy recorded music! CDs more clearly capture high-fidelity sound, making them ideal for exploring the nuanced recordings of 1990s.

Take for example iconic jazz lable Blue Note’s material during this period. Such as this Something Blue Sampler double CD compilation. This was a pleasure to listen to. The pristine audio captures these ’90s jazz recordings, offering audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike a rich listening experience.

https://www.discogs.com/sell/item/3147318341
Something Blue

Recommendation 6. Yuko Ishikawa – Cinderella Summer (1981)

City pop is a genre of popular music that emerged in Japan in the late 1970s and 1980s. It blends elements of pop, jazz, funk, and disco with a distinctly upbeat urban flair, reflecting the vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere of Japanese cities at the time. YouTube now plays a pivotal role in the resurgence of city pop, bringing these songs to a global audience and igniting interest among new generations.

Such newfound popularity has contributed to city pop’s resurgence within the vinyl collecting community, where enthusiasts all over the world seek out original pressings and rare releases from the genre’s heyday. Of course, like any genre, there has been a lot of attention on the leading acts. Anri, Eiichi Ohtaki (whose A Long Vacation album cover graces this article) and Tatsuro Yamashita are big names when it comes to ’80s Japanese pop on vinyl. But if you are an obscurist at heart like me you will know these three alone do not do justice to the breadth and depth of music from this period. This is after all the music of Japan’s exuberant economic boom times! As a consquence, there is a lot to explore!

Take Yuko Ishikawa‘s Cinderella Summer for example. Her recordings show the genre’s blend of upbeat rhythms, smooth vocals, and urban sophistication. A city pop gem for vinyl collectors and music enthusiasts alike.

Recommendation 7. Sune ‎– 8 Till Late EP (2007)

Sune playfully blends deep house with what I feel are vibrant nu-disco elements. Released in 2017, the EP delivers infectious rhythms and a disco and funk flair. I have to share that the digital version of these tracks does not pop for me even half as well as it does on my record player! The EP epitomizes the musical variety of what has been happening these last few years Melbourne’s vibrant electronic scene.

Recommendation 8. Chivalry – Sugar Boy EP (2021)

As someone deeply involved in the music scene, I appreciate the diversity and innovation that emerges from small venues and independent spaces across Australia. Andrew Boyd, who records as Chivlary, is a notable figure who comes from this vibrant community of Queensland’s D.I.Y. artists. This EP reflects Boyd’s exploration of themes like happiness and nostalgia, with subtle nods to the concept of virtue and romantic love.

In addition to curating vinyl, CDs, shellac, and cassette tapes, I’m also passionate about digital music. While streaming may not offer the warm sound of vinyl or the high fidelity of CD, the humble MP3 has allowed millions of musicians to share their music with us. Something I am deeply grateful for! A number of years after its release this EP still sits well with me. Its emotional depth and lyrical enthusiasm have only grown with me in time. I hope it does the same for you.

Thank you for exploring these songs with me! If you’re interested in discovering more, I extend a warm invitation for you to visit my store online or visit Glitter Records in person at 22 McLachlan St, G4, California Lan,e Fortitude Valley Queensland.

GlitterRecordsArtwork
Glitter Records artwork by Jeremy Gdalia

 

 

Riley Fitzgerald

Creative Director

Riley Fitzgerald is Managing Editor and Creative Director of The Glitter & Gold.

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The Glitter and Gold
The Glitter and Gold is a digital magazine and record store in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
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