Dorando: Didn’t I
From 7″ (Music City, 197?)
Ira Sullivan: The Kingdom Within You
From Strings Attached (PAUSA, 1984)
Both availalbe on Gilles Peterson’s Digs America: Brownswood U.S.A.
Seriously, I don’t get paid a promotional fee for plugging Ubiquity’s albums but lately, they’ve just been rolling out all kinds of goodies and I can’t help but want to ride for ’em. The latest is Gilles Peterson’s Digs America: Brownswood U.S.A. comp…normally, I would have glanced at this anyways since Gilles has pretty damn good taste in music but he really outdoes himself with the selections on here. I can’t even think of the last compilation that was this consistent in both quality and diversity. To put it another way, it’s the kind of compilation I’d want to do. (Sadly, Gilles was actually at the Groove Merchant a few weeks back when I was there but I had no idea it was him until after he left the store. Perhaps the British accent and good taste in obscure jazz vocal albums should have given that away).
Frankly, I could have milked this thing for a dozen posts but I’ll just content myself to plucking two songs off. First is an amazing soul ballad from a local Bay Area artist, Dorando. “Didn’t I” has been a favorite among sweet soul collectors for a minute but he’s far from a household name. As it is, my friend Justin Torres is helping to cut a comp for (guess who?) Ubiquity that will re-release Dorando’s material, including some never-heard-before tunes. “Didn’t I,” from what I’ve heard, is about as good as it ever gets though and really, it’s hard to imagine something that could top this. This is a song you need in your life. For real.
I switched up gears and went with Ira Sullivan’s strange, sublime “The Kingdom Within You” for the other selection. As my Ben Sidran post from a few weeks indicated, I’ve really been feeling songs with good string accompaniments and this Sullivan track has the added bonus of vocals that take the song to that proverbial next level. The singing isn’t the most on-key perfection you’ve ever heard but all the elements work on this track, especially on the chorus.