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Baker's Dozen

Arcane Lore: Alasdair Roberts' Favourite Albums
Neil Macdonald , April 2nd, 2013 07:59

The Scottish folk artist picks out his top LPs, going from Bach to Kraftwerk by way of Bahamian field recordings and 14th-century French polyphonic classical music


Pharoah Sanders - Thembi
I listen to a bit of jazz, but it's not really my musical background. I try and listen to a lot of different things, and this is probably one of the jazz albums I listen to most. I saw him live at the Fruitmarket Gallery [Edinburgh venue] about ten years ago, but of his records, I only know two or three of his albums. This one and one called Tauhid are the only two I'm really familiar with. I like jazz from that period, like the Impulse! records of the late sixties and early seventies where it's not quite fusion, but incorporating other elements. A lot of it's - and it's a bad word - but 'tribal'. Going back to the music's African roots, but there's vibraphone, and really good group interplay with the band playing really well together. There's a looseness and a rawness that I always found really appealing about music. I find a lot of the rock music from that time is a lot more rigid than a lot of the jazz from that time. There's a similar 'fusion' aspect to Yusef Lateef and Alice Coltrane, and I might well have chosen something by Charles Mingus, but this is the jazz record that I listen to most. It's joyous, it's quite a cheerful sounding record. Summery, I think - it's a warm record - and it's beautifully recorded.