THE GARDEN OF IZZIE KLINGELS

September 28, 2008

 

       I’ve never met Izzie Klingels but I have a great fondness for Garden. In fact if it wasn’t for dear Izzie I wouldn’t even be aware of Garden. It was she who brought me ‘into the garden’….I’m listening to Agnes Bernelle as I write this , she’s spinning around on my record deck and it seems appropriate that I should be listening to her when writing of Izzie…
      I am , I suppose , what might be best described as a sad old man with no friends….that’s not self pity just simple plain fact. I live on my own and sleep on the floor of a one room flat here in Dublin. I have better things to do with my money than buy a bed and apart from that I have not got the room for one and so I sleep on the floor…..and I sleep like an innocent……

  When I get out of bed every morning , which is to say when I get up off the floor and have my morning coffee I find that I have nothing to do so I wander out my front door and head for the record shops of Dublin.. If it wasn’t for the record shops I would go mad…. I put one foot in front of the other and eventually end up in one of the few vinyl emporiums left in this city. I’m an old time record collector….My hair is grey and as the song has it ,” I ache in the places where I used to play”. My clothes are all worn and shabby as all my spare money goes on vinyl and I am I suppose well known in these shops…..and I’m always on my own. But then again , who needs friends when you’ve got the vinyl ? But who cares about any of this…

  To get to what I wanted to tell you…There is a shop in Dublin called Road Records which specalises in independant (!!) record labels and I was in there one day about a year ago ( I’m in there every day of course ). It’s a small shop which sells a lot of unremarkable modern music. And it sells this to unremarkable people.  People who live in modern apartment blocks on the river. You know the sort I mean. No lost rebels here . No rebels without a cause or otherwise. The economy is doing well (even with the recession) and so are they….they all want to be just like daddy ( and they are , they are ).

  Well , like I say , I was in there one day looking for something special. I was leafing through the shelves of Indie (!!!!!) vinyl as I had done a thousand times when I came acrosss this 12 inch ep by someone called Garden. It was the cover that caught my attention of course. I held it in my hand. I turned it around and looked at it from different angles. I put it down and then picked it up……and then I looked at it again.

   I bought the record needless to say. Four hippy/psych type songs that might have been THE hippy anthem if the record had been made 40 years ago. It’s a gem. A classic of the first order. Four wonderfull songs with titles like , Yew Tree and Dandelions…..
       ” I am the yew tree
         I am the yew tree
         I am the yew tree
                                  yes.”
     I play it over and over. And when I’m not actually playing it I’m holding it in my hand , wondering who that girl is. She has her back to us and yet seems somehow sad…… She’s the child , the brainchild of Izzie Klingels. She came out of Izzie Klingels head. How long was she there ? And how did she get there in the first place ? When Izzie was going about her business , standing in the supermarket checkout , chatting with her facebook friends , was this little girl locked up in her head all the time. And late at night when  Izzie was asleep and all was dark and quiet was the little girl gently tapping , tapping … “Let me out , let me out “
  
  And why Izzie , why do you abandon your children in indie record shops. There is a myspace and web site but these tell us nothing. Why have you sent this sad garden child out into such a cruel cruel world ?

       This LP was originally released on the Tempo Label. This then is a reissue on the Ember Label. There is no date on this reissue but it would have been pressed within a few years of the original probably in the late sixties. I picked this up on Ebay just a few weeks ago but I have forgotten what I paid for it (I buy a lot of LP’s) but I’m sure I handed out a little over 100 euros.
      The music is not quite typical of Hayes. It’s not driving heavy jazz or anything like that.  It’s the sort of music you might have heard on the soundtrack of many British kitchen sink movies of the sixties. If you were not a fan you might brush it aside as library music. All the tracks are arranged by Tony Crombie and as far as I can remember about half are written by him also. The line up is….Tony Crombie , Tubby Hayes , Alan Branscombe and Jack Fallon.
     The music is ‘tight’ and very sixties and distinctly British and as I’ve said it’s not unlike British film music of the period….but it’s quality stuff and if you like classic ‘modern’ jazz you will love this. It’s the sort of album that will grow on you. You might feel it’s rather conservative for sixties jazz and that it’s not particularly exciting but you will find yourself putting it on the turntable more and more…..just to try to make up you mind if you like it or not…and it will grow on you in spite of it not being ‘progressive’……

Check out my other posts on Vinyl HERE.

These two LP records are the latest addition to my record collection.

Record1 Bernadette Greevy .Berlioz “Le nuits D’dte” , Berkeley “Four Poems of St. Teresa of Avilia”.
New Irish Chamber Orchestra. cond. Andre Prieur. Nir 013.                                LP

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Record 2. Brian Boydell , “Symphonic Landscapes”. Gerrard Victory “Inscapes”.
RTE Symphony Orchestra.
NIR 011.           LP

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The New Irish Company ( NIRC) issued a number of LP records in the 1970′s by Irish composers and musicians such as Boydell , Victory , Bodley and Duff. They are long since out of print and are very rare and almost impossible to find. If you have any information about this label please let me know through the comments and the end of this post.

Today a copy of Wynton Kelly’s album “Great” arrived in the post. I got it on Ebay and it’s yet another wonderful piece of jazz vinyl for my collection. For some reason or other his name is misspelled as “Kelley”. This is a UK pressing on the Top Rank label. It features , among others , Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter. It’s a good but rather bland album which does not stand out from the crowd in any way. Morgan is his usual self here and what little merit the album has is due to his presence.

I also picked up a copy of Charlie Parker , “….’plays Cole Porter”(Colombia Clef Series 33cx 10090) which reminded my of his Dial recordings. More MOR than hard bop it’s nevertheless an excellent record.

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Noel Kelehan , self taught as a composer and arranger, received a classical training in piano theory and harmony. In 1962 he worked with Louis Stewart and bassist Jimmy Mckay. He has a special affection for the great Miles Davis quintet of the fifties. Mike Nolan (trumpet and flugelhorn) has worked in Canada and the continent where he has the opportunity to play with Albert Mangelsdorff. Among his idols are Lee Morgan and Clifford Brown. Keith Donald (soprano sax and Yamaha tenor sax) was involved with ‘Jump’, with Mike Nolan in the early seventies. Frank Hess plays bass. John Wadham plays drums. He has performed with Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan.

There is no date on the album but I’m guessing it’s late seventies or early eighties. It’s on the Cargo Label , a very small Irish record label. It’s quite possible that this is the only LP record on that label as I’ve never heard of it before but I’m not sure (anyone with info please let me know). The album is on blue vinyl. The music is marvelous with a quite beautiful version of Castle of Dromore as the first track on side one. If you like Stewart and Wadham then you will just love this LP. If that is you can get your hands on a copy of it. Along with “Louis the First” by Louis Stewart this must be one of the rarest Irish jazz albums ever.
Ozone Noel Kelehan Quartet.

   UPDATE January 2010 Mike Nolan died this month . You may read about HERE.

 

Louis Stewart is probably the greatest jazz guitarist of all time. This album is the first he recorded and is on the Hawk Label and it’s quite collectible. I have had this LP on many different occasions , I have a habit of cleaning out my vinyl collection every so often and starting again from scratch. I have been collecting for almost fifty years and had in my day most of the Irish collectible rare records such as Early One Morning by Mushroom and Swaddling Songs by Mellow Candle but I took a turn against collectors recently as it’s now all to do with the cash value of vinyl and nothing else.

For instance , how many record collectors do you know who would just give away a rare record just for the pleasure of seeing it go to someone who would really love it but perhaps can’t afford to buy it.? People used to do that once upon a time but not any more. The days of record collectors passing along vinyl like that are truly in the past. And of course most don’t even play such records but put them away in a glass case. And when it comes to vinyl that is the ultimate sin.
If you are seeking more information on Louis Stewart try this dedicated site.


I have, in my time been a collector of rare records but
a couple of years ago I sold my collection. I had original
pressings of Mellow Candle’s “Swaddling Songs“, Red Dirt’s
album “Red Dirt” and many others. There were perhaps
a thousand LP’s in all and I sold the lot for 800 euros. The
Mellow Candle was a factory test pressing and it would
cost me anything from £1,000 or more just to buy that
one album again.
I got rid of them because I needed the money and they
were taking up too much space in my flat. I used to
pick up quite scarce LP’s in my travels around charity shops
and car boot sales but the ‘good old days’ of the charity
shops has gone or at least here in Ireland they have gone.
I still do the rounds of those shops but more out of habit
than anything else.
The first ‘find’ I ever had was at a street market. It was
an early morning market which meant going there at
one or two in the morning and rooting around in between
brick-a-brack and general rubbish. The album was “Genesis”
by a group called The Gods. I had never heard of them and
it was so dark I could not even make out the cover beyond
the fact that it was one of the older laminated sort.
I think I paid 50 cents for it. It’s a wonderful record and
worth buying if you are ever offered a copy of it.
But most people now seem to collect them only because the albums
are rare and not because they are in love with the music.
And they never actually play them as that might cause them
to be devalued.

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