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Archive for the ‘Charles Mingus’ Category

Cherry Red’s él Heads to the Sixties for Pop Art, Bossa Nova, and Singing Celebs

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Pop Goes the Easel

What made the swinging sixties swing?  Cherry Red’s él label continues to explore the various corners of early 1960s pop music with a trio of releases that, in large part, offer answers to that very question.  Pop Goes the Easel: The Start of the Swinging Sixties takes its name from maverick director Ken Russell’s 1962 documentary film, and over two eclectic CDs, boasts 65 tracks from thirteen different films and television programs.  Artists range from Buddy Holly to Anthony Newley.  A fine companion disc is Bowler Hats and Leather Boots: Personalities Go Pop Art.  If Pop Goes the Easel shows how music infiltrated cinema, Bowler Hats shows how silver-screen personalities infiltrated music.  Hence, you’ll hear songs from such offbeat singing stars as Oliver Reed, Anthony Perkins and even Orson Welles.  Lastly, Modernism and Bossa Nova offers a heaping helping of songs with lyrics by the poet Vinicius de Moraes, frequent collaborator of Antonio Carlos Jobim and the co-writer of “The Girl from Ipanema.”  The 29 tracks on this anthology laid the foundation of bossa nova, which set the musical tone for countless swinging bachelor pads!

Ken Russell’s BBC documentary Pop Goes the Easel introduced the British public to four “pop artists” –Peter Philips, Pauline Boty, Derek Boshier and future Sgt. Pepper cover artist Peter Blake.  Pop Goes the Easel: The Start of the Swinging Sixties looks at the musical soundtracks to many of the films and television shows that bade farewell to the 1950s and ushered in the 1960s.  James Darren, Buddy Holly and Clay Cole tunes populated Russell’s film.  For 1959’s Elvis-inspired Idle on Parade (also known as Idol on Parade), Anthony Newley played the titular idol and supplied songs with titles like “Sat’day Night Rock-a-Boogie” and “Idle Rock-a-Boogie.”  1962’s drama All Night Long was a hip jazz take on Shakespeare’s Othello, and its soundtrack (included here in full) featured performances from Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus and John Dankworth.  The same year, Play It Cool starred real-life pop idol Billy Fury; five songs are heard here from its soundtrack including Fury’s hit “Once Upon a Dream.”

Future A Hard Day’s Night director Richard Lester helmed It’s Trad, Dad! from that pivotal year of 1962, a youth-oriented comedy about two teens fighting the local establishment over their right to enjoy the new jazz!  Stars Helen Shapiro and Craig Douglas are heard on the soundtrack here, performing their own songs from the film.  Chubby Checker, Gene McDaniels, Del Shannon and The Paris Sisters are also featured.  On the television side, Pop Goes the Easel features songs heard in The Avengers and The Prisoner.  This slipcased anthology also features early works from composers John Barry (“The Lolly Theme,” from The Amorous Prawn) and Lionel Bart (“Sparrows Can’t Sing,” from Joan Littlewood’s movie of the same name).

After the jump, we’ll dive into Bowler Hat and Leather Boots: Personalities Go Pop Art and Modernism and Bossa Nova.  Plus: full track listings and order links for all three titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 13, 2014 at 13:17

Release Round-Up: Week of August 27

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Beach Boys Made in California BoxThe Beach Boys, Made in California (Capitol/UMe)

Six discs of career-spanning tunes – hits and rarities aplenty – from the best band to come out of Hawthorne, California. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dylan Bootleg 10Bob Dylan, Another Self Portrait (1969-1971): The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 (Columbia)

Revisit one of the most polarizing periods of Dylan’s career with the latest Bootleg Series entry, featuring outtakes from Nashville SkylineSelf Portrait and New Morning. A deluxe version includes Dylan and The Band’s complete Isle of Wight performance and a remastered version of Self Portrait, and a vinyl version also exists.

2CD standard edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD deluxe edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3LP vinyl edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Sly and the Family Stone - HigherSly & The Family Stone, Higher! (Epic/Legacy)

A four-disc box celebrating one of the pioneers of funk and R&B. Intriguing tracks from the vault and little-heard mono mixes are complemented by a really striking visual presentation, and a healthy book of liner notes. Amazon U.S. has got a six-track bonus disc with the box, and there’s also a highlights disc for the less curious.

4CD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
4CD box + bonus disc: Amazon U.S.
8LP box: Amazon U.K.
8LP box + bonus disc: Amazon U.S.
1CD compilation: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Belinda Heaven on Earth DeluxeBelinda Carlisle, Heaven on Earth Runaway Horses Live Your Life Be Free Real: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

When The Go-Go’s leader went full-on pop, the music world was all the better for it. Belinda’s Virgin discography has now been expanded as 2CD/1DVD sets, Edsel-style.

Heaven on Earth: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Runaway HorsesAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Live Your Life Be FreeAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
RealAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Robert Palmer Pride-RiptideRobert Palmer, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley/Pressure DropSome People Can Do What They Like/Double Fun / Secrets/Clues/Maybe It’s LivePride/Riptide (Edsel)

The Robert Palmer Island Records discography is finally remastered and expanded – not as we’d imagine (as two-fers and one three-fer), but at least this late great is getting the attention he so greatly deserves.

Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley/Pressure Drop: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Some People Can Do What They Like/Double Fun: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Secrets/Clues/Maybe It’s LiveAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Pride/RiptideAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mario Lanza - Toast of HollywoodMario Lanza, The Toast of Hollywood (Sony Masterworks)

A new two-disc compilation celebrating MGM’s beloved actor-tenor features six previously unreleased recordings. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dexter Gordon - Daddy Plays the HornOscar Pettiford, Modern Quintet / Chris Connor, Sings Lullabys For Lovers / Dexter Gordon, Daddy Plays The Horn / Charles Mingus, The Jazz Experiments of Charles Mingus / Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue / Booker Ervin, The Book Cooks (Naxos/Bethlehem)

The first of several batches of reissues from the classic Bethlehem label (additional batches are planned through next summer!) are hitting CD, LP and MP3, back in print after too long. (The above link is being updated with full links as they’re available.)

CHIC Vinyl SinglesCHIC, The 12″ Singles Collection (Atlantic/Rhino U.K.)

Ten tracks of disco goodness spanning the entire, immortal partnership of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, on five pieces of vinyl. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Fuel for the FireNaked Eyes, Fuel for the Fire: Expanded Edition (Cherry Pop)

The second and final Naked Eyes LP debuts on CD with rare bonus tracks and unreleased demos for your enjoyment. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Naxos To Reissue Bethlehem Catalogue, Titles Promised From Nina Simone, John Coltrane, Mel Tormé

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Bethlehem LogoAnother chapter is soon to be written in the story of the classic jazz label Bethlehem Records. The label, founded in 1953 by Gus Wildi, will soon be relaunched by classical specialist label Naxos in association with Bethlehem’s current owner, Verse Music Group.  Titles are planned to roll out in six batches, from August 27 of this year through July 29, 2014.

Bethlehem played a major part in establishing the careers of such prime vocalists as Chris Connor, Nina Simone and Julie London, and at one time or another, its roster of both singers and instrumental talents included Mel Tormé, Johnny Hartman, Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Charles Mingus, and Duke Ellington.  The label was notable for affording its artists a measure of creative control they may not have had elsewhere, and flourished under Wildi’s direction until 1962 when it was sold to its then-distributor, Syd Nathan’s King Records (home of James Brown).  Bethlehem’s history from that point on is a tale of sale after sale, and eventually, the label wound up in the hands of the R&B/disco kings at Salsoul Records.  Over the years, CD reissues have arrived from a variety of labels including Rhino and Shout! Factory.  Verse, current owner of the Salsoul catalogue, is teaming up with Naxos for this ambitious Bethlehem campaign.

The current series of remastered reissues – available in both CD and LP formats – kicks off on August 27 with six titles from the Bethlehem catalogue:

  • BCP 1003: Oscar Pettiford, Modern Quintet
  • BCP 1002: Chris Connor, Sings Lullabys For Lovers
  • BCP 36: Dexter Gordon, Daddy Plays The Horn
  • BCP 65: Charles Mingus, The Jazz Experiments of Charles Mingus
  • BCP 6028: Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue
  • BCP 6048: Booker Ervin, The Book Cooks

Twenty titles (including the aforementioned six) will be issued that same day as iTunes digital releases:

  • Art Blakey, Art Blakey Big Band”
  • Bobby Scott, Great Scott”
  • Booker Ervin, The Book Cooks”
  • Booker Little, Booker Little and Friend”
  • Charles Mingus, The Jazz Experiments of Charles Mingus”
  • Chris Connor, Sings Lullabys For Lovers”
  • Donald Byrd & Pepper Adams, Motor City Scene”
  • Dexter Gordon, Daddy Plays The Horn”
  • Mel Tormé & Frances Faye, George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess”
  • Howard McGhee, Dusty Blue”
  • John Coltrane, In The Winners Circle”
  • Johnny Hartman, Songs From The Heart”
  • Mel Tormé, Songs For Any Taste”
  • Nina Simone, Nina Simone And Her Friends”
  • Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue”
  • Oscar Pettiford, Modern Quintet”
  • Paula Castle, Lost Love”
  • Sam Most, Sam Most Plays Bird, Bud, Monk and Miles”
  • Stan Levey, Grand Stan”
  • Zoot Sims, Down Home”

Each album has been remastered from the original analog tapes and will be available with their original LP track line-ups.  Original liner notes and artwork have also been preserved for each reissue.  Verse is promising that limited edition apparel, vinyl bundles and pre-sales will be available at Bethlehem Records’ official webstore in partnership with Backstreet Merch.  You can also follow Bethlehem Jazz on Instagram to view T-shirts based on Burt Goldblatt’s famous Bethlehem album designs.

What albums are still to come from the new Bethlehem imprint?  Hit the jump for a full list and further information! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 26, 2013 at 09:36

Release Round-Up: Week of July 31

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Frank Zappa, Official Reissues #1-13 (Zappa/UMe)

The iconoclastic musician’s catalogue is back in print thanks to a new agreement with Universal, and his first 13 albums (most of them newly remastered from the original analog masters) are available today. Joe gave us a great breakdown of what’s what on these new masters, which also has convenient links to both these new titles and the forthcoming second wave of remasters next month.

Blur, Blur 21 (Virgin/EMI)

21 refers not only to the legendary British band’s lifespan to date, but the amount of discs in this collection: all seven studio albums expanded with bonus discs (which are available separately, if that’s your thing), plus another four discs of rarities and three mostly live DVDs.

Neil Diamond, Hot August Night: 40th Anniversary Edition (Geffen/UMe)

Hard to believe it’s been 40 years since Neil’s second, terrific live LP was issued! This two-disc edition adds four unreleased tracks, offering just about every minute of that fateful night at LA’s Greek Theatre.

Elvis Presley, I Am An Elvis Fan (RCA/Legacy)

The latest Elvis compilation was fan-sourced, leading to some slightly different track choices than your typical Elvis fare, including a nice handful of live cuts from the latter half of the King’s career.

Charles Mingus, The Complete Columbia & RCA Studio Albums Collection / The Thelonious Monk Quartet, The Complete Columbia Studio Albums Collection / Weather Report, The Complete Columbia Albums 1971-1975 (Columbia/Legacy)

PopMarket’s latest complete boxes showcase some of the best jazz/fusion players to ever grace the Columbia label, and there are some great surprises in these boxes, including two rare tracks in the Mingus box and the first-ever domestic release of a Japanese live album in the Weather Report set.

20/20, 2o/20/Look Out! ; Clover, Clover/Fourty Niner ; Jimmy Griffin, Summer Holiday: Expanded Edition ; Sanford & Townsend, Smoke from a Distant Fire/Nail Me to the Wall ; Charles Bukowski, Charles Bukowski Reads His Poetry ; Jackie Gleason, Music for Lovers Only (Real Gone)

A diverse selection of releases from the eclectic reissue label: “The Great One,” the future Bread frontman, an American poet, a future Elvis Costello backing band and more!

Various Artists, Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Songbook (Columbia/Sony Music Japan)

A quirky compilation from Japan (on Blu-Spec CD, no less) featuring some intriguing Beach Boys covers from the likes of Todd Rundgren, The Tokens, Andy Williams and others.

Short Takes: “Meet Glen Campbell” and “Matter of Time” Reissued, A Rare Earth Curio and More From Impulse!

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  • The legendary Glen Campbell has seen a number of his classic albums reissued this year by labels including BGO, Real Gone Music and New Haven.  Our friends at Rockbeat Records have lined up the next Campbell release, revisiting his 1985 LP for the Atlantic label, It’s Just a Matter of Time.  Produced by Harold Shedd, the album found Campbell revisiting some of his past triumphs.  Longtime collaborator and friend Jimmy Webb contributed three songs: the oft-covered “Do What You Gotta Do,” “Shattered,” and “Cowboy Hall of Fame.”  Al DeLory, the producer of Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” was enlisted to conduct the latter.  Bergen White, another familiar face, arranged four songs, and Webb provided the arrangements not only for his own songs but for two others on the LP.  It’s Just a Matter of Time was the third of Campbell’s Atlantic records, following Old Home Town (1982) and Letter to Home (1984).  Rockbeat’s reissue, with the original 10-track lineup, arrives on January 31.  But that’s not all for the legendary guitar-picker.  Hit the jump for news of Glen’s next reissue, plus you’ll also rediscover a Motown lost treasure and peruse the latest jazz reissues from the legendary Impulse! label! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 25, 2012 at 15:01