My Albums of the Week #4: Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Corea

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.

Chick Corea Elektric Orchestra, The Chick Corea Elektric Orchestra (GRP, 1986)

TRACKLIST (Favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Rumble / 2 – Side Walk / 3 – Cool Weasel Boogie / 4 – Got a Match? / 5 – Elektric City / 6 – No Zone / 7 – Kings Cockroach / 8 – India Town

At some point, we’re just going to have to stop thinking of ’80s FM Synth sounds as outdated cheese and begin to think about them as vintage awesome. If you are interested in taking that leap, you could do much worse than The Chick Corea Elektric Band. I can see where detractors are coming from. However, there’s so much to like about this album, including the talents of this stellar lineup. And, I’m sure, that even the most passionate detractors of this LP will appreciate “Got a Match?” as one of the most important fusion tunes of this period.

Ella Fitzgerald, The Lost Berlin Tapes (Verve, 2020)

TRACKLIST (Favourite tracks underlined): 1 – Cheek To Cheek / 2 – My Kind of Boy / 3 – Cry Me a River / 4 – I Won’t Dance / 5 – Someone to Watch Over Me / 6 – Jersey Bounce / 7 – Angel Eyes / 8 – Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! / 9 – Taking a Chance on Love / 10 – C’est Magnifique / 11 – Good Morning Heartache / 12 – Hallelujah, I Love Him So / 13 – Hallelujah, I Love Him So – Reprise / 14 – Summertime / 15 – Mr. Paganini / 16 – Mack the Knife / 17 – Wee Baby Blues

A real joyful set, with Ella’s vocals right front and centre, backed by trio. I understand why it was not released… she makes quite a few mistakes, lyric-wise. Not that it matters because even when she forget the name of the city she is playing in, she makes a quick recovery. The First Lady of Song truly was one of a kind!

Elton John, Caribou (MCA, 1974)

TRACKLIST (Favourite tracks underlined): 1 – The Bitch Is Back / 2 – Pinky / 3 – Grimsby / 4 – Dixie Lily / 5 – Solar Prestige A Gammon / 6 – You’re So Static / 7 – I’ve Seen the Saucers / 8 – Stinker / 9 – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me / 10 – Ticking

It probably doesn’t deserve the bad rep it gets. Caribou includes a great rocking tune like “The Bitch is Back” and a beloved ballad like “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” Ok, the rest kind of goes right over my heard, with the exception of “Dixie Lily” and “I’ve Seen Saucers.” I see “Solar Prestige a Gammon” gets a lot of hate and I understand why. But to me, it’s positively weird and a cool tribute to The Beatles.