What's Playing in Cat Power's Ear?
Boubacar Traoré, Kar Kar (Sterns): "He's from Mali, and he's in his 60s. He sings in his tribal language and a French crossover language. A lot of the songs are about women, community, families, God, and survival. It's like the blues—very repetitive and very gospel-y in its cadence."
Miles Davis, Ascenseur Pour L'éChafaud (Verve): "This is the soundtrack to the Louis Malle film Elevator to the Gallows. I hear a bit of Coltrane and other people's riffs, too. It has a lot of emotional ups and downs, it's elegant, and it's lyrical."
Bob Dylan, Live at the Gaslight (Columbia): "This was only recently released. It's mellow; I'm really into the mellow thing. He does 'Barbara Allen' and a version of 'Moonshiner' that's so different from the one I'd first heard. It's a peaceful record."
The Rolling Stones, England's Newest Hitmakers (Abkco): "This was their first, with songs like 'Walking the Dog' and 'I'm a King Bee.' You hear in their sound how much they admire people like Chuck Berry. I've always loved this record; it was my stepdad's, and it stuck."