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Archive for October 22nd, 2013

I Hear A Knockin’: Legacy Explores “The Spiritual Side of Wynton Marsalis”

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Spiritual Side of Wynton MarsalisThough he’s just 52 years of age, there’s precious little that Wynton Marsalis hasn’t accomplished in music.  The New Orleans-born trumpeter has won nine Grammy Awards and a Pulitzer Prize, performed with the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hancock, not to mention Eric Clapton and Crosby, Stills and Nash.  He’s tirelessly promoted jazz to young audiences, and programmed the esteemed hall of Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he currently resides as Artistic Director.  It’s a busy month for Marsalis.  He’s overseeing the Broadway opening of After Midnight, a new musical revue produced under the aegis of JALC.   He’s also the creator of the sprawling Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration Tour which opened in North Carolina on October 3 and arrives in New York City on October 24 for a three-night stint before wrapping up in Boston on the 27th.  To coincide with the NYC homecoming of Marsalis’ two-and-a-half-hour-long jazz-gospel mass, Legacy Recordings has issued The Spiritual Side of Wynton Marsalis.

This new 15-track compendium features recordings handpicked by Marsalis from his Columbia and Sony Classical label catalogues.  All were recorded between 1991 and 2002, including one previously unreleased track.  With selections ranging from duets and trios to full orchestral settings, The Spiritual Side is eclectic but preserves the spirit of a New Orleans funeral – rollicking one minute, mournful the very next.  Marsalis touches on any number of jazz styles here, with the tracks united by the subject matter that inspired them.  A number of vocal greats are featured alongside Marsalis, including Shirley Caesar (“I Hear a Knockin’,” “If I Hold On”), Cassandra Wilson (“Oh We Have a Friend in Jesus”) and Marion Williams (the previously unreleased “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” an outtake from 1994’s In the House, On This Morning).  Marsalis’ rhythm section of Reginald Veal (bass) and Herlin Riley (drums) are also heard alongside other key players like Eric Reed and Marcus Roberts (piano), Ted Nash (reeds), Dr. Michael White (clarinet), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Wessell Anderson (alto saxophone) and Victor Goines (tenor saxophone).

Seven albums, overall, are represented on this gospel-tinged journey.  The earliest, Uptown Ruler – Soul Gesture (1991), musically reflected on the mythical Mardi Gras character who, in Marsalis’ words, is “accepted without question in the houses of worship, institutions of higher discourse and intellectual engagement, as well as places of ill repute and lower levels of social intercourse.”  1994’s In This House, On This Morning was Marsalis’ first commission from Jazz at Lincoln Center; a full six tracks have been reprised from the recording sessions including the smoky “Benediction.”  Cassandra Wilson’s “Oh What a Friend We Have in Jesus” has been excerpted from Blood on the Fields (1997), Marsalis’ oratorio on slavery.  Three 1999 releases are also represented.  Sweet Release and Ghost Story combined recordings of the two titular ballets, from 1996 and 1999 respectively.  The Spiritual Side draws on Ghost Story for the Buddhist-inspired “Awakening.”

Reeltime, recorded in 1996 but released in 1999, was originally intended as the soundtrack to John Singleton’s film Rosewood about the 1923 massacre of a largely-black Florida town by white racists.  For his score, Marsalis touched on influences including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and pure New Orleans “street music.”  The joyous “Sing On” and spirited big-band-and-choir “To Higher Ground” plus Caesar’s performances of “If I Hold On” and “I Hear a Knockin’” have been lifted from Reeltime.  1999’s Live at the Village Vanguard (recorded 1990-1994) has yielded the dark, brassy “Flee as a Bird to the Mountain.”  An edit of “All Rise: XII: I Am (Don’t You Run From Me)” represents the most recent album here, 2002’s All Rise.

After the jump, we have more details plus the full track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 22, 2013 at 14:03

Neil Young Opens The “Cellar Door” With Vintage 1970 Concerts

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Neil Young - Cellar Door

No, there’s still not a date on the calendar for the much-talked-about release of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 1974 concert tapes last scheduled for August 27 and currently anticipating release next year.  (Or so it’s been reported.)  But Neil Young has a solo live release scheduled for December 10 that should whet appetites for that CSNY project and excite fans and collectors in its own right, too.  Young’s camp has confirmed Live at the Cellar Door, the latest installment of Young’s Archive Performance Series.  The new release has been culled from a six-concert solo acoustic stand at Washington, DC’s tiny Cellar Door club between November 30 and December 2, 1970.  The 13-song Live at the Cellar Door will be released digitally as well as on CD and as a 2-LP 180-gram vinyl set from Reprise Records.

At the time of the Cellar Door shows, Young was riding the wave of success from 1970’s CSNY chart-topper Déjà vu as well as his third solo album, After the Gold RushGold Rush had been released on August 31, 1970 and achieved gold status by November 2, 1970.  (In 2004, it was certified twice-platinum.)  It  peaked in the U.S. Top 10 and introduced Young’s future standard (and Top 40 hit) “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” as well as the caustic “Southern Man” and a number of songs also destined for multiple cover versions like the atmospheric title track and “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”

The six concerts at the Cellar Door were held twice-nightly, and marked Young’s return to the stage after a break of roughly five months.  They were also essentially rehearsals for his solo Carnegie Hall stint of December 4 and 5, 1970.  During the gigs, he played Gold Rush material (“After the Gold Rush,” “Don’t Let It Bring You Down,” “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” “Birds,” “Tell Me Why”), songs from his second album, 1969’s Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (“Cinnamon Girl” in a rare piano-and-voice rendition and “Down by the River”) and even Buffalo Springfield material (“Expecting to Fly,” “Flying on the Ground is Wrong,” “I Am a Child”).  In addition, Young premiered new songs at the Cellar Door including “Old Man,” “Bad Fog of Loneliness” and “See the Sky About to Rain.”  “Old Man” was destined to appear on Young’s next, chart-topping LP Harvest (1972), while “See the Sky About to Rain” found a home on 1974’s On the Beach.  “Bad Fog” didn’t officially surface on CD until a live version appeared on 2007’s Live at Massey Hall 1971; a studio version likely recorded circa Harvest subsequently was released on 2009’s Archives, Volume 1.

After the jump, we have more details plus the complete track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 22, 2013 at 10:29

Posted in Neil Young, News, Vinyl

Release Round-Up: Week of October 22

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TFF The Hurting boxTears for Fears, The Hurting: Deluxe Edition (Mercury/UMe)

The landmark debut album from the U.K. hitmakers celebrates its 30th anniversary with a new double-disc deluxe edition stocked with rare single-only material and a deluxe box set version with a bonus disc of John Peel sessions and the In My Mind’s Eye live concert film on DVD.

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD/1DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Van Morrison - Moondance BoxVan Morrison, Moondance: Expanded Edition (Warner Bros./Rhino)

Though Van would rather you not buy this box, it features his classic 1970 album (newly remastered and in a new 5.1 surround sound mix on the Blu-Ray) plus three discs of session outtakes.

1CD remaster: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD/1BD:  Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Fisherman's BoxThe Waterboys, Fisherman’s Box: The Complete Fisherman’s Blues Sessions 1986-1988 (Parlophone)

This six-disc set features every take from the making of this celebrated album from Mike Scott’s band. A deluxe version features the original album on vinyl and a further bonus disc of songs that influenced the album – all of which will be broken down in full in a post later today!

6CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
7CD/1LP: Amazon U.K.

Chrysalis FB bannerTen Years After, Recorded Live: Expanded Edition / Robin Trower, State to State: Live Across America 1974-1980 / UFO, “Hot ‘N’ Live”: The Chrysalis Live Anthology 1974-1983 (Chrysalis/Rhino)

These three hard-rockin’ releases from the Chrysalis vaults are ready to purchase this week – or you can win them from us!

Ten Years After: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Robin Trower: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
UFO: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

XTC - NonsuchXTC, Nonsuch: Expanded Edition (Panegyric)

The band’s 1992 album, featuring modern rock hit “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead,” features a new stereo and surround mix by Steven Wilson, plus a host of audiovisual extras.

CD/DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
CD/BD: Amazon U.K.

Sparks BoxSparks, New Music for Amnesiacs: The Ultimate Collection (Universal U.K.)

One of the pioneering acts in quirk rock have a swag-filled five-disc career-spanning box set tangible object in the market. (Amazon U.K.)

Woody Guthrie American Radical PatriotWoody Guthrie, American Radical Patriot (Rounder)

A stunning 6CD/1DVD/1LP box set includes, for the first time, all of Guthrie’s historic recordings for Alan Lomax, plus scores of rarities – including a rare early Bob Dylan recording, too. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Freddie Tribute BDQueen, The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert: Deluxe Edition (Eagle Rock)

The life of the late Queen frontman was celebrated in one of the greatest benefit concerts of all time – and this expanded version features, for the first time on DVD or Blu-Ray, tribute performances from the first half of the concert.

3DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Monro RaritiesMatt Monro, The Rarities Collection (Parlophone)

Three discs of rarities from the legendary crooner; most were originally released on The Rare Monro and/or Matt Uncovered: The Rarer Monro, but many have been sonically upgraded, with more rarities included herein! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Laura Nyro - SmileLaura Nyro, Smile: Expanded Edition (Iconoclassic)

Nyro’s 1976 release, issued after a four-year absence, is expanded with three rare demos. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Love to Love You DonnaDonna Summer, Love to Love You Donna (Verve)

Classic Donna Summer tracks, newly remixed by modern dance acts and producers, plus an unreleased collaboration between Summer and longtime producer Giorgio Moroder.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

TLC 20TLC, 20 (Epic)

A new compilation from the acclaimed ’90s R&B girl group features a new track, “Meant to Be,” penned by R&B singer Ne-Yo. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)