Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Jamaaladeen Tacuma - Show Stopper (1983)


Note: this release was received as a gift as an LP, later replaced by a CD.

Virtuoso bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma got his start with Ornette Coleman's free jazz band, Prime Time.  This was his first solo effort and the only full Tacuma album I've ever heard.  It's more free funk than free jazz, although Coleman's influence is apparent.  I couldn't handle a daily dose of this music, but every now and then, it's a fun ride.

Love the cover.  With the '80s fashions, pastiche layout, and the famous L-series headless Steinberger bass, it's one of my cheesy favorites.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart
Peak on the Billboard jazz chart: #25

Tracks:  I've always been partial to the lead track, Sunk In The Funk, but there's much more to this album than that.  Side 1 (tracks 1-4) of the album was recorded with his quintet, Jamaal.  Side 2 (tracks 5-9) mixes it up quite a bit, with everything from solo bass, to bass & percussion quintets, to a harp & string quartet accompaniment.  That's a lot of different settings and something for everyone. I think Tacuma's best bass solo is (appropriately) on the title cut.  Don't skip any tracks, just throw up your hands and yell, "Wheeee!" or dance or whatever.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: When I was a senior in high school, Craig, a family friend, upon hearing that I wanted to study music in college, sent me two LPs: this one and Musique Mecanique by The Carla Bley Band.  These albums were accompanied by a hand-written note telling me that I should listen to as many different kinds of music as possible (he was right, of course).  Being a typical high school senior, I though I was already an expert on everything, so I didn't know what these odd albums could possibly offer me.  After all, I was already listening to all kinds of music, wasn't I?  I had a subscription to Rolling Stone, didn't I?  Talk about na├»ve. I wasn't quite ready for this stuff then, but I always looked up to Craig, so I never gave up on these albums and, years later, finally understood why he gave them to me.

In the late '90s, I found a rare copy of the original 1983 CD for sale online for under $10.  The jewel case is showing some wear, but it's one of the few I own that is engraved on the back with the words "patent pending," so I can't get rid of it.

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