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Archive for November 12th, 2013

Black Oak Arkansas Rarities Sail Under the Radar

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Black Oak ArkansasSurprise! While we were focusing on the biggest of box sets over at The Second Disc, Atlantic quietly released a disc of unreleased vintage material from Southern rockers Black Oak Arkansas.

One of the top touring acts of the early 1970s, Black Oak Arkansas – with its triple-guitar lineup and idiosyncratic vocal style of Jim “Dandy” Mangrum – earned a great deal of acclaim in studio and on the road. Earlier this year, Mangrum reunited with original members Rickie Lee “Risky” Reynolds (rhythm guitar), Jimmy Henderson (guitar) and Pat “Dirty” Daugherty (bass) and returning latter-day members Johnnie Bolin (drums since 1985), George Hughen (bass since 1985) and guitarists Hal McCormack (since 2003) and Buddy Church (since 1989) to record five new tracks for Atlantic (their first major label home), including lead single “Plugged In and Wired” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.”


But Back Thar N’ Over Yonder is only a third new; the remaining tracks are drawn from three years of sessions with legendary producer Tom Dowd at the famed Criteria Studios in Miami – all never before released. It’s a new chance to discover the oft-underrated power of Black Oak Arkansas – who, in frontman Mangrum, many have seen a prime influence for some of the biggest frontmen in rock in the ’80s, including David Lee Roth and Axl Rose.

In addition to Back Thar N’ Over Yonder, Atlantic has also digitally released The Complete Raunch N’ Roll Live, a 2007 title from Rhino Handmade that expanded the original 1973 live album Raunch N’ Roll to two discs featuring two shows from 1972. Taken together, there’s a lot of boogie rock to get you going, even a month after its release.

Check out the specs for both and place your orders after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

November 12, 2013 at 12:25

Review: Miles Davis, “The Original Mono Recordings”

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Miles Davis - Original Mono Recordings“Mono featured less audio trickery and fewer audio distractions, so you can actually hear the musical conversation between Miles and the other musicians as it occurred in the studio.”  That’s producer George Avakian as quoted in the liner notes for Columbia and Legacy’s new nine-album box set Miles Davis: The Original Mono Recordings.  And that purity of sound – further described by the producer of Davis’ first two Columbia albums as “truer to the studio sound and the original intent” – is raison d’etre enough for this compact but substantial box set honoring a fertile, popular and accessible period in Miles Davis’ long and remarkable career.

Its nine albums, recorded between 1956 and 1961 (and released between 1957 and 1964), encompass a number of cornerstones of any jazz library plus two original albums not previously included in Legacy’s comprehensive Davis reissue program, Jazz Track (1959) and Miles and Monk at Newport (1964).  Taken together, these nine albums are the foundation on which the legend of Miles Davis was built.  Though the trumpeter had served as a leader since 1947, it wasn’t until his long tenure at Columbia that he fully blossomed as an ever-evolving artist, composer and interpreter.  In his early Columbia period, Davis frequently alternated small group sessions with orchestra dates arranged and conducted by Gil Evans; this box contains three of those acclaimed Davis/Evans collaborations.  The Original Mono Recordings also succeeds as a primer on Davis’ transition from hard bop to modal jazz, not to mention his fusion of pure jazz and orchestral sophistication with Gil Evans.  (John Coltrane fans take note, too: the saxophone icon appears on six of the nine albums here.)

After the jump, we’ll take an album-by-album look at these nine discs! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

November 12, 2013 at 10:14

Posted in Box Sets, Miles Davis, News, Reissues, Reviews

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