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Baker's Dozen

No Borders, No Boundaries: Eugene Robinson On His Favourite Albums
John Doran , January 14th, 2019 07:40

The Oxbow frontman, MMA prize fighter and occasional guest writer for tQ, presents a stunning 13 LPs for your perusal, ranging from baritone vocal jazz and noise rock to ecstatic easy listening. John Doran takes notes


Arthur Prysock - This Is My Beloved

Arthur Prysock is a wonderful bass baritone singer who had hits from the late 50s all the way through to the 80s. He’s cut from the same cloth as Johnny Hartman and Billy Eckstine, if you know those guys. Johnny Hartman was known as a singer’s singer, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would go to his shows, and Billy Eckstine was a bona fide star but Arthur Prysock was never as successful as those guys, things never broke his way. He got into doing really weird narration on his music and he does these long spoken word bits on songs like ‘I Left My Heart In San Francisco’. If I say the words Miami Vice to you, you’ll probably think of Miami, cocaine and pastel clothes. You’re probably not going to think of anything heavy or significant but I remember seeing an interview with Philip Michael Thomas - the black actor who played alongside Don Johnson on the show - and they said to him, ‘What are you doing these holidays?’ And he said, ‘I don’t understand the question.’ And they said, ‘What are you doing at Christmas?’ And he said, ‘I am Christmas.’ I laughed when I heard this but he meant it, there are certain types of cocaine dementia that you can get into but I was sold by this statement. And there’s a similar element to the music of Arthur Prysock - 100% sincerity even when it trundles into an area which is not exactly sane.