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Baker's Dozen

Beautiful & Sad: Ben Watt's Favourite Albums
Jude Rogers , January 29th, 2020 09:48

As he releases a new solo record, Ben Watt of Everything But The Girl guides Jude Rogers through his Baker's Dozen, from Frank Ocean to Paul Simon and Bobby Womack to why male music critics were afraid of Joni Mitchell


John Coltrane – Blue Train
I bought this at university, mainly because of the cover art, I admit. I had a very small record collection then. You did in those days, and because you didn't have a lot, you'd play every record again and again. My dad, Tom, was a bandleader, so there was a lot of jazz in the house. He liked people like Count Basie and Woody Herman, but he stopped at Coltrane. He found the modernism of it difficult, but I loved it. It felt like a big thing for me, when I was a precocious teenager. The first jazz I had found for myself!

This is a real fork-in-the-road album for jazz, too, from 1958, a proper boundary between hard bop and the future. The three-part horn arrangements are something I tried to emulate on the first track of [Everything But The Girl's 1984 album] Each And Every One, too – in my own way of course. The album was only his second, and him early on as a session leader. There's so much life in it, and so many ideas.