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Baker's Dozen

Psychedelic Meditation: Kurt Vile's Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , November 11th, 2015 13:13

As he starts the UK leg of touring b'lieve i'm goin down…, the Philadelphian singer-songwriter goes from live free jazz to dry-humoured piano sketches in picking 13 albums that steered the sound of his sixth album


John Coltrane - Interstellar Space
Well, that was another one I burned on my way. At first, I was into the earlier John Coltrane, and then when he went into more free jazz, at first I didn't like it as much because I was so into his early tone and the swing and the melody of this more classic jazz, but the next one's more like that.

Jesse [Trbovich, bandmate in the Violators] turned me on to it. We got stuck on the way home from an LA show or somewhere, we got dumped off in Phoenix, Arizona, and we had to stay for the night. We knew a really good record store there, Revolver Records, there was just a ton of jazz. I was wanting to stock up so I got Interstellar Space as a recommendation. When I first listened, I was like, [shrugs] yeah, 'cause he's just freaking out, just him and a drummer, Rashied Ali, then I burned it anyway. Usually what happens is that it sounds so good 'cause it's burned from those original vinyls and then you crank it in your headphones and it just sounds unreal, so that's what happened with that one on the way to Joshua Tree. My mind was blown and it's just so open and such raw emotion and so psychedelic without any of the pretensions that 'psychedelic' eventually became - he's just the real thing. It's just wide open and sprawling.

'Lost My Head' for sure has that jazz influence... obviously it's a white man's, with limited skill. The convenience of the key of C, for instance - you play all those sevenths with the same formation all over the place, so that's why the piano's beautiful, but that's got the McCoy Tyner or whatever thing in it.

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