The Second Disc

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Archive for June 10th, 2011

“O Brother!” Burnett’s Expanded Soundtrack Album Due In August

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2000’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? was far from a commercial sure bet.  Joel and Ethan Coen’s film reset Homer’s Odyssey to 1937 Mississippi, set to a score of period folk music.  Yet it defied the odds, garnering critical praise, Oscar nominations for its screenplay and cinematography, and perhaps most surprisingly, the biggest-selling soundtrack of the last decade.  Universal has just announced that a 2-CD expansion of the original soundtrack will be released on August 16 including 13 songs recorded during original sessions for the film which remained unreleased.

O Brother sparked a resurgence in the folk, bluegrass, gospel and Americana genres, and its soundtrack even hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 almost 15 months after its release!  3.46 million copies were sold in 2001 alone, and its current total stands at a whopping 7.6 million albums sold.  Much of this credit goes to producer and soundtrack compiler T Bone Burnett whose selections were so integral to the film itself.  The 17-track second disc of the upcoming expanded edition features both artists who appeared on the original album (John Hartford, Norman Blake, the Fairfield Four, the Cox Family and the Peasall Sisters), plus some new names (Colin Linden, Alan O’Bryant, Ed Lewis and Van Dyke Parks of SMiLE fame). Of these previously unreleased tracks, only Burnett’s “Cow Road,” was actually heard in the film, so the second disc might be thought of as “Music Inspired By O Brother.”  A couple of tracks by jazz legend Duke Ellington (“Mood Indigo” and “Admiration”) add another distinct style still rooted in period flavor to the disc. 

The O Brother soundtrack impressively picked up a Grammy not only for Best Compilation Soundtrack but the top prize, Album of the Year, at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards!  For Album of the Year, it bested Bob Dylan, U2, India.Arie and Outkast; talk about an eclectic line-up! Dan Tyminski, Harley Allen and Pat Enright (Country Collaboration with Vocals) and Dr. Ralph Stanley (Country Vocal Performance,  the soundtrack’s companion album, Down from the Mountain, also took home a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.  That album preserved a Nashville concert and subsequent tour featuring many of the soundtrack’s musicians.

UMe’s expanded 2-disc soundtrack will be available on August 16.  Hit the jump for the track listing for both discs plus a pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 10, 2011 at 11:32

Friday Feature: Indiana Jones

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This Sunday, June 12, marks the 30th anniversary of one of the best films of all time: Raiders of the Lost Ark. For three decades, Harrison Ford’s iconic, fedora-clad hero, Indiana Jones, has become a touchstone of film heroism for the whole world. The brilliant visionaries who created Jones, producer/directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, reinvented blockbuster cinema on their own time; together, they created what may be the perfect Saturday afternoon flick, one that pushes all the right buttons to make you laugh, scream and cheer in the perfect order.

Like so many of Lucas and Spielberg’s own projects, the music of composer John Williams greatly added to the mystique of Raiders and its three sequels. The iconic “Raiders March” can be hummed by kids and adults across the globe, and it’s become musical shorthand for adventure. There’s no better time or place than in this week’s Friday Feature to honor the musical magic of Indiana Jones.

Like so many other Spielberg-Williams collaborations, the march began as a series of piano sketches that the composer played for his director. Interestingly enough, Williams had two separate themes in mind for the character, and proceeded to play them for Spielberg: first, the familiar, melodic march – then, a rollicking, repetitive counterpoint. Intrigued, Spielberg suggested he use both, and they became the “A” and “B” sections of the march.

There’s really only so much anyone can say about the impact of the music that hasn’t already been said. (As always, though, I turn to my friends at Popdose for some great work; Jeff Johnson’s piece on Raiders brings up some excellent points about the film’s music and its presentation both in the film and on disc.) Hit the jump, though, for more musical tales from the Indiana Jones series, including the long, bumpy road to (almost) CD perfection.

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Written by Mike Duquette

June 10, 2011 at 09:59

Ipanema, Again: “Getz/Gilberto” Restored To Original Mix For New SACD and Vinyl LP

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Bossa nova, translated, literally means “new trend.” And as 1964 began, with the British Invasion taking flight, America was also experiencing a Brazilian Invasion thanks to this new trend in popular music and jazz. Identified by gentle acoustic guitar and sometimes piano, and often adorned with subtle string or horn accents, bossa nova was based on the rhythms of the samba. It soon was adapted on stages from the concert hall to Broadway, spawned the “lounge” genre and influenced countless musicians across the genre divide. But the album that started the American bossa nova craze was undisputedly Getz/Gilberto, a Verve LP produced by Creed Taylor and featuring Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto with notable cameos by Gilberto’s young wife Astrud. Getz/Gilberto has remained in print since its initial release and has been issued in nearly every format conceivable, including SACD. Analogue Productions (the label responsible for the amazing Nat “King” Cole multichannel discs) will reissue Getz/Gilberto yet again on SACD on June 14, but with a difference. According to Analogue, “the original master tapes for this title had not been used since 1980 previous to this reissue. Also, for this Analogue Productions reissue the decision was made to master and present this album as it was originally mixed to master tape. With only one exception – the [Kevin Gray-mastered LP] Speakers Corner reissue – all versions of this title to date have had the channels incorrectly reversed.” (This is quickly distinguishable by Astrud Gilberto’s vocal on the seminal “The Girl from Ipanema” coming from the left channel.)

Getz/Gilberto was an instant sensation. Tenor saxophonist Getz was accompanied by Joao Gilberto on guitar and vocals, Sebastiao Neto on bass, Milton Banana on drums and the man most closely associated with bossa nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim, on piano. Born in 1927, Jobim was one of the composers (primarily with Luis Bonfa) of the 1959 film Black Orpheus, credited with introducing bossa nova to a wider audience despite its harsher, more percussion-driven style on the film soundtrack. Jobim’s association with Black Orpheus actually dated back to 1956 when he and Vinicius de Moraes supplied music, including the song “Someone to Light Up My Life,” for the original stage play. Stan Getz had discovered the new sound on a trip to Brazil, and in 1962 released Jazz Samba, a collaboration with Charlie Byrd that is recognized as the first major American album in the style. Creed Taylor was in the producer’s chair for this auspicious collection. Two Jobim songs were heard on Jazz Samba, “Desafinado” and “One Note Samba.” He teamed with Bonfa for Jazz Samba Encore! in 1963 with three Jobim compositions, “I Only Dance Samba,” “How Insensitive” and “O Morro Não Tem Vez.” Getz was poised for a breakthrough when he teamed with Joao Gilberto for Getz/Gilberto.

Hit the jump for more on this jazz classic including the track listing, discographical info and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 10, 2011 at 09:29

Posted in News, Reissues, Stan Getz