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Archive for the ‘Lena Horne’ Category

Release Round-Up: Week of March 11

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Sid Selvidge - Cold of the MorningSid Selvidge, The Cold of the Morning (Omnivore)

A long out-of-print classic, produced by Big Star producer Jim Dickinson and featuring a killer set of tunes written or arranged by the late Memphis folk master (and father of Steve Selvidge, current guitarist of The Hold Steady, who produced this new reissue) and featuring six unreleased bonus tracks.

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

Todd Cochran - Worlds Around the SunBayeté, Worlds Around the Sun (Omnivore Recordings)

The debut album by jazz keyboardist Todd Cochran, known for his work with names as diverse as Carl Palmer, Peter Gabriel and Joey Scarbury, is released on CD for the first time with two bonus tracks from the vaults. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Songs Our Daddy Taught UsEverly Brothers, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us (Varese Vintage)

Varese expands the classic Everlys collection – recently covered song for song as Foreverly by Norah Jones and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong – with six previously unissued alternate takes of tracks including “Barbara Allen,” “Roving Gambler,” “Down in the Willow Garden” and “Put My Little Shoes Away.”  Expect a review from Joe soon! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Chicago Live in JapanChicago, Live in Japan (Rhino)

A Japan-exclusive live set released in 1972 makes its first appearance on CD in almost 10 years. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Time for Judy CanovaJudy Canova, Time for Judy Canova: The Rare Recordings 1928-1962 (Sepia)

Sepia collects 27 rare sides from singing comedienne and Republic Pictures star Judy Canova beginning with tracks recorded in 1928 and ending with her final recordings made in 1962. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Lena on the Blue SideLena Horne, Lena on the Blue Side Plus Bonus Tracks (Sepia)

This 1962 album by Lena Horne makes its CD debut outside of Japan with eight bonus tracks!   All bonus tracks are rare singles also making their CD debut, including four songs from her Broadway musical Jamaica that were recorded with Neal Hefti in pop arrangements! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Hank Snow Souvenirs Country HitsHank Snow, Souvenirs/Big Country Hits (Sepia)

This two-fer presents two complete LPs from Canadian country singer Hank Snow and adds four bonus tracks Snow recorded with Anita Carter of the Carter Family! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

LoleattaThe Salsoul Orchestra, Street Sense: Expanded Edition / Loleatta Holloway, Loleatta Holloway: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

Salsoul Orchestra: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Loleatta Holloway: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

ICON Blue NoteVarious Artists, ICON: The Best of Blue Note (Blue Note/UMe)

With an ambitious Blue Note vinyl campaign underway, UMe also honors the jazz label with a new two-disc compilation as part of the ICON series. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Starbucks Goes Hip and Jazzy On Venti Release Slate

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Music for Little HipstersIf you’re looking for a little music to go with your grande toffee nut latte, Starbucks has recently unveiled a number of new audio offerings to kick off 2014.  In addition to its annual Sweetheart disc – an anthology of new(ish) artists playing old(ish) love songs including, this year, songs by John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Harry Nilsson – the coffee giant has curated a selection of Music for Little Hipsters, sets dedicated to Women of Jazz and When Jazz Meets Guitar, and an Opus Collection volume for the one and only Dusty Springfield.  Here, you’ll find the scoop on the first three of those releases; watch this space for our all-Dusty special coming soon touching on four new releases from the late soul queen!

Music for Little Hipsters is one set that’s as intriguing as its title.  Its sixteen tracks share in common a childlike sensibility that crosses generational and genre divides; hence, Devo’s upbeat if ironic “Beautiful World” sits alongside The Free Design’s sunshine pop confection “Kites are Fun.”  The Beach Boys’ “Vegetables” (in its Smiley Smile recording) comes a few tracks after Booker T. and the MG’s “Soul Limbo,” appropriate for both adults and children on the dancefloor!  The compilation also showcases lesser-known “hipsters” from France (Franck Monnet’s tasty “Goutez-Les”), The Netherlands (Arling and Cameron’s ode to the “W.E.E.K.E.N.D.”), Florida (The Postmarks’ “Balloons”) and Seattle (Caspar Babypants’ “Stomp the Bear”).  A couple of tracks here have found a following on Nickelodeon’s offbeat Yo Gabba Gabba, including “Balloons” and I’m From Barcelona’s “Just Because It’s Different Doesn’t Mean Scary.”  The loopy, eclectic Music for Little Hipsters isn’t the usual coffeehouse fare.  On the reverse of its track-by-track liner notes you’ll find puzzles and word finds; a set of stickers is also included in the digipak.

When Jazz Meets GuitarWhen Jazz Meets Guitar is a more straightforward set, with thirteen tracks representing undisputed guitar greats such as Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, John McLaughlin and Pat Metheny.  As each of these gentleman’s styles is singular, the disc serves as a Jazz Guitar 101-style primer.  Christian, Reinhardt and Les Paul represent the early practitioners of the art form, with “Solo Flight,” “Anniversary Song” and “Somebody Loves Me,” respectively.  Barney Kessel, a versatile member of the famed L.A. studio “Wrecking Crew,” offers up Henry Mancini’s “Something for Cat” from the score to Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Grant Green and Kenny Burrell also represent the swinging sixties with selections from Blue Note Records outings.  Two of producer Creed Taylor’s trademark pop-jazz amalgams appear via the legendary Wes Montgomery’s “Bumpin’ on Sunset” and Montgomery disciple George Benson’s reinvention of The Mamas and the Papas’ “California Dreamin’.”  The underrated Joe Pass is heard on “How High the Moon” – popularized by Les Paul and Mary Ford – and tracks by modern masters including Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin show how the art form has developed while still building on the foundation laid by heroes of the past.  Steven Stolder provides informative track-by-track notes.

After the jump, we’ll take a peek at Women of Jazz!  Plus, we have track listings and order links for all three titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 17, 2014 at 14:28

The Lady and Her Music: “The Essential Lena Horne” Coming in August

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Thanks to our friends at MusicTAP for the tip that, on August 24, Legacy will celebrate the life of a great lady of song with its release of The Essential Lena Horne: The RCA Years. Like The Essential Henry Mancini (scheduled to be released on the same day), this release is far from definitive, but appears to be a solid introduction to one period of the late Horne’s magnificent career. That career saw the artist rising from her nightclub roots to break racial barriers in Hollywood, becoming one of America’s first African-American stars. Horne made her mark in the political arena, the concert hall and the Broadway stage, as well as on record. She picked up eight Grammy Awards along the way, not to mention a Drama Desk, a Tony and an NAACP Image Award.

The Essential Lena Horne appears to span from some of Horne’s very first recordings in December 1941 through her 1975 album recorded with composer Michel Legrand, Lena and Michel. RCA was her primary recording home from the 1940s through the early 1960s, and she would return to the company from 1970 to 1976.  In between, she had stints at MGM (see Hip-o Select’s excellent overview as reported here), Charter, 20th Century Records, and United Artists Records, the latter of which saw her being refashioned as a Dionne Warwick-styled adult pop diva. Only two tracks on The Essential date past 1963, however, so this isn’t the place to find Lena’s cover recordings of “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Rocky Raccoon,” “Your Song” or “Bein’ Green.” (A compilation for another day, perhaps?)  Nor are Horne’s starmaking performances for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals here, as they have been released by Rhino/Turner Movie Music. What remains, though, is still the backbone of Horne’s recorded output, with stylish readings of standards by Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Duke Ellington and Harold Arlen, among others.

Unlike Legacy’s upcoming Mancini compilation, many of the tracks here can be are difficult to find, with few of Horne’s actual RCA LPs in print on CD, making this a welcome release for collectors. The Essential Lena Horne: The RCA Years is a 2-CD set with 38 tracks.  Pre-order here, and click on the jump for the track listing with select discographical information. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 27, 2010 at 07:55

Lena Horne Soars, The Lion Roars

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As previously mentioned, Hip-O Select had yet another release up their sleeve: Lena Horne Sings: The M-G-M Singles Collection. It’s a set of 16 early Lena Horne classics cut for M-G-M Records in the ’40s and ’50s and largely unavailable on CD until now. There’s a heap of standards, including “‘Deed I Do,” “Where or When,” “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “The Lady is a Tramp,” plus liner notes from Horne biographer James Gavin.

Pre-order it here and hit the jump for some specs (culled together with much effort, as the Internet is not kind to those looking for M-G-M discographical info for Ms. Horne). Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

March 23, 2010 at 23:05

News Round-Up: Disintegrated, Devo and Lena Horne Unearthed

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  • Chain of Flowers reports that the upcoming expansion of Disintegration by The Cure still lacks a release date. In a related story, ARRRRRRRGH.
  • Amazon is taking pre-orders for a reissue of Duty Now for the Future, Devo’s 1979 sophomore album. This title, due on April 13 (presumably with bonus content), follows the deluxe versions of Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Freedom of Choice released last year.
  • Hip-O Select tweeted a tease for an upcoming release: “Lena Horne did 16 singles on MGM – never on CD, until…. Coming soon…” Actual discographical information has been hard to pin down regarding Horne on MGM, but my research indicates this may consist of Lena Horne Sings, a 1951 10-inch LP, and/or The One & Only Lena Horne, a planned 1982 LP that was never issued but likely covered the same material.

Written by Mike Duquette

March 16, 2010 at 16:45

Posted in Devo, Lena Horne, News, The Cure