July 31, 2013

I've Found a New Baby - Sidney Bechet

Best Song You (N)ever Heard

SIdney Bechet
If pressed to name the most astonishing single jazz side ever, some might point to Sidney Bechet’s September 1932 recording of “I’ve Found a New Baby” with the New Orleans Feetwarmers, featuring  Tommy Ladnier on trumpet.  A supreme example of Hot Jazz, this caffeinated, Dixieland romp sports one of the most astonishingly tight interweaving of serpentine, contrapuntal lines ever captured before Bechet breaks into one of the greatest solos in the history of jazz, approaching that of Louis Armstrong on West End Blues or the other Hot Five sessions.

Françoise Hardy - Ma jeunesse fout le camp

Françoise Hardy - Ma jeunesse fout le camp cover
Françoise Hardy’s 1967 release, Ma jeunesse fout le camp, was the first under her own production company, Asparagus, though still released on Vogue, her initial record label which, though she composed most of her own songs, generally retained artistic control, and had whisked the French pop star off to England to work with noted orchestrator Charles Blackwell for most of the album’s sessions.

In many ways the album title, which loosely translated from colloquial French laments “my youth is leaving me,” marked a turning point for Hardy, who had

Between the Bars

Cover vs. Original

Elliot Smith
”Between the Bars,” first appearing on Elliott Smith’s 1997 Either/Or album – a record presumably named for Kierkegaard’s philosophic work, contrasting the aesthetic with ethical approaches to life – is also available in a remarkable cover by jazz vocalist Madeleine Peyroux on Careless Love (2004).  Not ironically, the original starts with chords similar to the Stones’ “Sister Morphine,” both tunes personifying, at least to a degree, addiction

July 30, 2013

I'm Not In Love - 10cc

10cc 'I'm Not In Love" single cover art
With a 256-part choir painstakingly constructed before the age of the Mellotron from individually-held notes dubbed and mixed to 16-track, “I’m Not In Love” stands as one of the Seventies’ (and the 20th Century’s) most memorable singles, a tune that completely surpassed and enveloped all that 10cc was and would ever be.

The National - High Violet

The National - High Violet cover art
Together for nearly a decade, by 2010 The National had reached the point in their career where the creative choices and critical expectations were high enough to either open up new avenues, act as a millstone, or both. With the release of High Violet, the evidence, though mixed, pointed to a successful move toward a broader, artful approach that, while diminishing somewhat the importance (and impact) of individual tracks, produced a wider, if modestly blunter, wake in the aftermath, like a cargo barge crawling through a system of lochs – you see it coming for miles, it’s no surprise where it’s going, but you have no real hope of getting out of the way.

Chris Connor

Artist Profile

Chris Connor
Born as Mary Loutsenhizer in 1927 Kansas City, MO, Chris Connor began her musical studies in adolescence with the clarinet, but after an impressive vocal performance at a junior high school recital her chosen career became quite clear, transitioning quickly from local gigs to a move to New York, often supporting herself as a stenographer while singing on the side, eventually joining Claude Thornhill’s group in the late Forties.  Her big break came when June Christy recommended Connor as a

July 29, 2013

Television Personalities-And Don't The Kids Just Love It

Cover Image:  And Don't The Kids Just Love It - TV Personalities
Weaned on The Who and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, inspired by the Seventies punk movement and comforted by nostalgia for Carnaby Street flower power and Sixties pop culture, Television Personalities burst onto the scene in Britain, after initial scrappy demos that found favor with the always influential John Peel, with a debut album as endearing and influential to a host of movements that persist to this day (twee, c-86, psych-pop, low-fi) as the Velvet Underground’s banana-clad record was for the prior generation and, clearly with hindsight, is one of the more important indie records of the latter half of the 20th century.

July 27, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Q – What’s your mission?   How is this site different?

Eclectic Parrot was founded on the assumption that the rise of digital media has increased the breadth of  musical exposure – even for casual fans –  through three factors:  a) the ability to cherry-pick album tracks for a dollar; b) the convenience of digital vs. physical storage; and c) the ease of illegal file-sharing and free listening via YouTube and other sources.

With the greater fluidity in personal collections the definition of “new music” has little to do with release date, but is instead an individual measure; thus, articles will be tagged by musical decade, with no qualms in reviewing older releases with a sense of discovery. As the tagline suggests, readers may find a folk review nestled comfortably near a classical recommendation.

The goal is to serve two broad constituencies:  1) those seeking a trusted review site covering disparate genres;  2) those who enjoy music criticism-as-literature.

Welcome to Eclectic Parrot

Welcome to Eclectic Parrot, a music site covering a diverse set of genres, including twee, indie, classical, jazz, alt country, vocal, rock and older Top 40.  Please be patient as design and other logistics are worked through, with publishing to begin very shortly.  The first post will be a FAQ describing the site's mission, to be quickly followed by reviews and articles.

(Note:  the site existed at the present URL for a short time back in 1Q of 2010, but was put on hold.  Plans are for some of the original content to be republished, with new articles to soon follow.)

Thanks for stopping by.