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Archive for April 4th, 2014

WE HAVE OUR WINNERS Of An Expanded “Songs Our Daddy Taught Us” From Varese Sarabande!

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Written by Mike Duquette

April 4, 2014 at 17:18

UPDATE – Bring On Your “Wrecking Ball”: Emmylou Harris Classic Revisited By Nonesuch Label As 2-CD/1-DVD Set

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Emmylou - Wrecking Ball DeluxeBefore Bruce Springsteen unleashed his Wrecking Ball or Miley Cyrus her “Wrecking Ball,” Emmylou Harris gave her 1995 studio album, produced by Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan) that title after a Neil Young composition.  Harris’ Wrecking Ball embraced a more explicitly cutting-edge “rock” sound than many of her past traditional country efforts, and earned the artist a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording.  On April 8, Nonesuch Records (sister label to Elektra/Asylum, the original home of Wrecking Ball) will reissue this seminal alt-country effort in a deluxe 2-CD/1-DVD edition including an entire disc of previously unissued music and a new documentary film about the making of the album.  We first filled you in back on February 7 about this release, but we now have additional information including pre-order links!

Harris and Lanois selected a hip array of songs for her eighteenth studio release.   Wrecking Ball included renditions of Young’s title track and compositions by Steve Earle (“Goodbye”), Anna McGarrigle (“Goin’ Back to Harlan”), Bob Dylan (“Every Grain of Sand”), Lucinda Williams (“Sweet Old World”), Gillian Welch (“Orphan Girl”), Julie Miller (“All My Tears”) and even Jimi Hendrix (“May This Be Love”).  Songs by Lanois (“Where Will I Be,” “Blackhawk”) and Harris herself (“Deeper Well” with Lanois and David Olney, and “Waltz Across Texas Tonight” with Rodney Crowell) rounded out the eclectic set.  Tackling these diverse, accomplished songwriters was natural for Harris, who had previously recorded the songs of Lennon and McCartney, Pomus and Shuman, Chuck Berry, Paul Simon and her musical soulmate Gram Parsons alongside those by Hank Williams, Buck Owens, Dolly Parton and The Louvin Brothers.

Steve Earle, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams and Kate and Anna McGarrigle all performed on Wrecking Ball, along with a core band of Harris, Lanois, U2’s Larry Mullen, Jr., Malcolm Burn, Tony Hall and Daryl Johnson.   Following its release in September 1995, the album peaked on the Billboard 200 at No. 94, and received critical acclaim from outlets including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Uncut and The Los Angeles Times.  Today, almost twenty years later, Harris continues to meld both the traditional and alt-country worlds to great effect, most recently on Old Yellow Moon, her Grammy-winning collaboration with Crowell.

What extras will you find on the upcoming reissue?  Hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 4, 2014 at 16:07

Reviews: Bayeté, Sandra Rhodes and Sid Selvidge Arrive from Omnivore

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Bayete - Worlds Around the SunIf you’re looking for a record label to do your deep crate-digging for you, look no further than Omnivore Records. The musical archaeologists there have unearthed three all-but-unknown records from artists on the fringe. But these fresh and vital discoveries from Sid Selvidge, Sandra Rhodes and Todd Cochran a.k.a. Bayeté will likely leave you wondering, “How have I missed this music until now?”

Likely on the strength of his work on Bobby Hutcherson’s 1971 Blue Note LP Head On, composer-pianist Todd Cochran was signed to venerable jazz label Prestige. The very next year, he delivered Worlds Around the Sun, one-half of his shockingly small discography as a leader. Though very much of its time, the album took jazz fusion to another level with nods to John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and even Bill Evans. Producer-writer-performer Cochran’s fresh approach is evident from the very first track, “It Ain’t.” It doesn’t shy away from reinventing the bop idiom for 1972, and you might be snapping your fingers to Cochran’s piano. Hutcherson (playing vibes and marimba throughout the album) adds to the dreamy soundscape, with tightly blended horns and winds creating an alternate-universe cosmic MOR. Solos on bass (James Leary III) and drums (Thabo Vincar, alias Michael Carvin) show off the musicians’ improvisational virtuosity. We know that “It Ain’t” – but what is it? Whatever it is, it’s mesmerizing.

The hypnotic groove of “Bayeté (Between Man and God),” inspired by Herbie Hancock’s African explorations, builds from an almost tribal rhythm of Carvin’s drums. At twelve minutes, it’s by far the longest track on the LP, and one of the funkiest, with Cochran on Rhodes and piano. It also takes in slithering sax and lively trumpet, for a fusion-meets-free jazz free-for-all. Similarly spiritual is “Njeri (Belonging to a Warrior),” featuring Hutcherson’s shimmering vibes and Hadley Callman’s atmospheric flute, with Cochran on piano.

The most famous track on Worlds Around the Sun is doubtless “Free Angela,” thanks to Santana’s 1974 live recording preserved on his Lotus album. Inspired by controversial activist Angela Davis (also the subject of songs from The Rolling Stones and John Lennon and Yoko Ono) the tight and funky track with Cochran on clavinet takes on the shape of a mini-suite. The main theme, with its chanted refrain, melodically and stylistically shifts dramatically at about the three-and-a-half minute mark, and then once more before the song’s close.

After the jump: more on Worlds, plus Sandra Rhodes and Sid Selvidge! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 4, 2014 at 11:41