Thursday, 7 January 2010

Del Richardson - Pieces Of A Jigsaw

Being snowed in and with no work yesterday finally gave me the opportunity to record this here album which I'd been meaning to for ages.

I picked it up in the summer and on reflection probably turned out to be my best bootsale find of 2009. Initially I slept on it after briefly skipping through the grooves but after repeat listens it's grown on me hugely. A quite unique melting pot of Soul, Jazz, Folk, Rock and in places Funk make this album hard to slot comfortably into a particular genre but one word that does spring to mind is when trying to describe it is - 'beautiful'.

There's not much I can tell you about Del Richardson that isn't already written somewhere on the internet. Popsike reveals that this album is highly in demand and various other online sources suggest it's a very hard record to turn up (as far as I can tell, it was only released in the U.K.). I imagine the fact that the L.P. is pretty tricky to categorise caused a marketing nightmare at the time and therefore probably didn't shift too many units on release.

As I mentioned above, the styles of music vary from track to track but the album retains a great consistency in sound and feel with well thought out track sequencing, making this an easy and engaging listen from beginning to end. Side-A kicks off with the funkiest cut on the album "Do What You Can" which, if I'm honest, is one of my least favourites. It has a very similar vibe to Tower Of Power's trademark Jazz-Funk sound or even vintage Average White Band which I've never been overly keen on. Don't get me wrong, both groups have turned out some fantastic material and I have a good amount of records by both but there's something, I can't place my finger on, that grates on me after a while. I'm sure a lot of people will love "Do What You Can" but it just doesn't do it for me as much as some of the others tracks on here. My personal highlights come in the shape of Jazz-Folk tinged cuts "Gypsy Girl", "Jigsaw", "Good Morning World", "Mama Jane" and "A Song For Two". All possess an ethereal beauty that touches the soul and are so warming to the ear I can't imagine a single person not liking them.

The package comes complete with 'icing on the cake' - sleeve artwork deigned by revered illustrator Roger Dean who produced a heap of classic album covers from the late '60s through to the late '90s. Breaks collectors will be familiar with his work on staple pieces like Babe Ruth's "First Base" ("The Mexican") and Atomic Rooster's "In Hearing Of..." ("The Rock") plus some harder-to-find gems such as Nucleus' "Elastic Rock" or Lighthouse's "One Fine Morning" (the U.K. release on Vertigo). Strangely the actual labels on the record credit the artist as Dell (instead of Del) Richardson and the album title as "Pieces Of THE Jigsaw". The labels are standard company design so I can only assume that someone at M.C.A. supplied the wrong details to either Roger Dean for the sleeve, or the person working at the pressing plant for the labels. Which one is correct I don't know but it does amaze me when big corporations like M.C.A. (who were manufactured by Decca in the U.K.) make f*ck-ups like this!

Enjoy the complete album below - I don't usually do this. The rip was really only intended for digging buddy Nic Bossa who passed by it whilst suffering from a severe hangover one early Sunday morning. After plodding round the rain soaked booty for an hour or so we decided to call it a day. Just as we were leaving I spotted a car with records still in the boot. Nic half-heartedly flicked through a couple of boxes and, I think, pulled out "Troubleman" before giving up. It was in one of those boxes that "Pieces Of A Jigsaw" turned up and was amongst a handful of about eight other L.P.'s I eventually bought, averaging out at around £2.00 each after a 'bulk-buy' discount.

If Nic had been clear headed that morning I'm sure he would have bought it without hesitation and I do feel a bit guilty so don't mind sharing something that, on another day perhaps, I would have missed out on...

"Do What You Can"

"Gypsy Girl"



"Road Song"

"Good Morning World"

"Mama Jane"

"A Song For Two"


Anonymous said...

hi i would really like to hear this lp, i had it when it came out and for some reason it went walkies, i remeber it was really good ,i tried to buy one from ebay ,but pulled out at 60 pounds i think it almost doubled that so you have a nice gem there , anyways how would i go about listening to it or downloading it from you ,i have a lot of rare lps etc so i can post something back to you

Anonymous said...

hi thanks for the upload of the tracks i was able to listen to 4 of them ,i wonder how i could listen to the others especially track 1 and 3 i have clicked on them in the post several times but to no avail,if not i am happy to hear the tracks i can ,its an underatted lp ,that should have a reissue on cd which i would definately buy it!!

cheers ricky

MR KRUM said...


Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Don't know why they're not playing. Gonna try and fix the problem now.

Hopefully by the time you read this it will be sorted.

cheers - D

Anonymous said...

thanxxx d ,what a great lp i remembered the tracks especially jigsaw ,all i can say ,this album is an undiscovered gem , great songs simply recorded ,brilliantly played and recorded
cheers mate

marc rey said...

mr krum-

you really made my day with this, I am a huge Osibisa fan, and have been searching for this record for YEARS!!! and to hear that you found the way you did is a trip. I have searched stores and collectors ad nauseum looking for this. I am grateful just to finally hear the tunes, but would give my right arm if you were to make them downloadable via divshare. I was able to download jigsaw and good morning world, but not the rest of the cuts. Thanks Again. Marc

The Scenery Within said...

Mr Krum.

Would you be so kind & post this lp as one file??

We await in hope :)

Jeffpop77 said...

Thank you so much Mr. Krum. Wonderful album.
Please would you be so kind to fix tracks 2, 5, 6 and 8?
Best regards,

Bob said...

I discovered "Jigsaw" and then "Gypsy Girl" on You Tube & have been dying to hear more of this LP.
It's good to find some more tracks at last. Just sorry that four of the tracks don't play, particularly 5,6 & 8 as they are not available anywhere else.
If you can't get them to work, would you load them on You Tube?

Many thanks for what you've given us... Bob

Anonymous said...


What great music.

I would really like to hear the other tracks that don't work. The LP seems so expensive when it comes up for sale. This is the only way I'm likely to ever hear it. Please can you try and fix the tracks that don't work?
Regards, Megatherobster

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