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Release Round-Up: Week of September 23

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Harrison Box Contents

George Harrison, The Apple Years 1968-1975 (Apple/Universal, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Here, at last, are George Harrison’s complete albums for Apple Records, all beautifully remastered and featuring select bonus material.  These six albums are available in a deluxe box set with a bonus DVD or as individual reissues:

Wonderwall Music (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Electronic Music (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

All Things Must Pass  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Living in the Material World  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Dark Horse (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Extra Texture (Read All About It)  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Bowie - Sound and Vision Contents

David Bowie, Sound + Vision  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

In case you missed it the last time around, here’s a slimmed-down reissue of the 2003 iteration of Bowie’s box set covering the chameleonic rock star’s career through 1997 on four CDs.

John Coltrane - Offering

John Coltrane, Offering: Live at Temple University (Impulse!/Resonance) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.)

Here, at last, is the famous concert in which John Coltrane put down his saxophone and sang – or at least vocalized in an intense, some might say inexplicable, manner.  Ashley Kahn puts this remarkable, and remarkably inscrutable, 1966 Philadelphia performance in perspective in the deluxe 24-page booklet that accompanies this 2-CD release.

Hollies - 50 at Fifty

Hollies, Fifty at 50 (Parlophone/Rhino) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

This new 3-CD Hollies anthology, marking the harmony purveyors’ 50th year of recording, arrives in the U.K. today with a U.S. edition to follow next month.


Jerry Lee Lewis, The Knox Phillips Sessions: The Unreleased Recordings (Saguaro Road) (Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K. )

In the mid-1970s, Jerry Lee Lewis returned to Sun Studios with Sam Phillips’ son Knox now running the show; Knox recorded the piano pounder on country, pop and gospel classics from “Beautiful Dreamer” to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”  Ten tracks from the Knox Phillips sessions are included on this single-disc release.


Pugwash, A Rose in a Garden of Weeds (Omnivore) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. )

Omnivore has a “preamble through the history of Pugwash,” the Irish band described by the label as a “mix of The Beach Boys meets ELO meets XTC.”  This 17-track collection spans the period between 1999’s Almond Tea As Served By… through 2011’s The Olympus Sound and should serve as a perfect introduction to an underrated group.

Edwin Starr - Involved

Edwin Starr, Soul Master: Expanded Edition / Involved: Expanded Edition (Big Break)

Big Break dips back into the Motown vault for two generously expanded editions of albums from “War” hero Edwin Starr including his 1968 Motown LP debut Soul Master with a whopping 17 bonus tracks, and 1971’s Involved (featuring “War’) with 13 bonuses!

Soul Master: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Involved: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.


Leonard Cohen, Popular Problems (Columbia) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

The poet and troubadour celebrates his 80th birthday with the release of a new album featuring nine new songs.


Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Cheek to Cheek (Interscope/Columbia) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Also not a reissue, but certainly of interest – the 88-years young jazz vocal great teams with the audacious pop superstar for a set of swinging standards.  Available in standard and deluxe editions, as well as Target, iTunes and HSN exclusives with extra material.

Written by Joe Marchese

September 23, 2014 at 08:19

Release Round-Up: Week of January 28

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Uncle Tupelo - No Depression Legacy EditionUncle Tupelo, No Depression: Legacy Edition (Legacy)

After at least two teasers in the form of Record Store Day releases, one of the most beloved alt-country albums is greatly expanded as a double-disc set with a host of rare and unreleased demos. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Tony Bennett - The ClassicsTony Bennett, The Classics (RPM/Columbia/Legacy)

One of the most beloved singers of the 20th century is the subject of a new career-spanning compilation, available in single and double-disc iterations.

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

Sinatra with LoveFrank Sinatra, Sinatra, with Love (Capitol/UMe)

The first in a new Sinatra series (now distributed by Universal) explores the Chairman’s romantic side, with an unreleased alternate take on “My Foolish Heart” from Sinatra’s last studio session for Reprise. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Gaslight Anthem B-SidesThe Gaslight Anthem, The B-Sides (SideOneDummy)

The New Jersey rockers compile their rarer tracks on a new single-disc compilation.

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

Presenting Dionne EdselDionne Warwick, Presenting Dionne Warwick/Anyone Who Had a Heart/Make Way for Dionne Warwick/The Sensitive Sound of Dionne WarwickHere I Am/Live in Paris/Here Where There is Love/On Stage and In the MoviesThe Windows of the World/Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls/Promises, Promises/Soulful…PlusI’ll Never Fall in Love Again/Very Dionne/Dionne/Just Being Myself (Edsel)

Sixteen Dionne Warwick albums (plus some bonus tracks) combined on four new sets from Edsel.

Presenting…Amazon U.S. /Amazon U.K.
Here I Am…Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Windows…Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
I’ll Never Fall in Love Again…Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Everybody's Dancin'Kool & The Gang, The Force / Kool & The Gang, Everybody’s Dancin’ / Leon Haywood, Naturally (Big Break Records)

The latest from BBR includes two semi-obscure Kool & The Gang LPs (released between their biggest hit periods of the early-mid ’70s and early-mid ’80s) and a funky classic from Leon Haywood.

The Force: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Everybody’s Dancin’: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Naturally: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Hazell Dean - BacharachHazell Dean, The Sound of Bacharach and David (Cherry Pop)

An ultra-rare promotional LP from the Hi-NRG queen, making its debut on CD. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

DORY LANGDONDory Previn (Langdon), My Heart is a Hunter (Croydon Municipal)

The debut LP from the Oscar-winning singer/songwriter (otherwise known as The Leprechauns Are Upon Me). Features new sleeve notes by Bob Stanley, author of the recent Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Privates on ParadePrivates on Parade: Original London Cast Recording (Stage Door Records)

The original cast recording to this U.K. farce (later made into a film with John Cleese) gets a CD release. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Tony Bennett’s “The Classics” Features Solo Hits Plus Streisand, Winehouse, Sinatra Duets

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Tony Bennett - The ClassicsFollowing the success of 2013’s Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962 and Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas 1964, Columbia Records, RPM Records and Legacy Recordings are starting off 2014 with a newly-assembled collection from Tony Bennett due on January 28.

The Classics, available in a 20-track standard edition or a 30-track deluxe configuration, features material personally selected by the 87-year old living legend.  In a statement provided by Legacy, Bennett confirmed that he kept two things in mind while compiling this celebratory project: “choosing songs that exemplify to the highest degree a timeless quality, while selecting a performance of those songs that present them in a very immediate and ‘live’ approach. I feel that songs I selected for The Classics absolutely meet both of these criteria.”

Both editions of The Classics open with “Because of You,” the artist’s first Columbia Records single and first chart-topping record.  It goes on to include the “solo tracks that I felt most closely represented the highest level of musical craftsmanship that has been my mandate as I have built my recording catalogue” and includes a number of recent duets, sung “with artists who I admire and have loved working with over the years.”  No rare or new-to-CD material is present.

After the jump, we have full details including the track listing for both versions! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 16, 2013 at 16:29

Review: Tony Bennett, “Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas 1964”

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Tony Bennett - Live at the SaharaIt’s been a busy week for Tony Bennett, one of the few artists today for whom “legendary” truly applies.  Bennett, 87, supported the release of Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas, 1964 as well as the digital release of his entire Columbia Records catalogue with a “digital day” for the books.  Bennett engaged in a HuffPost Live Chat, took questions on Twitter via the hashtag #AskTony, shared videos on Facebook, and even participated in a reddit AMA.  Here’s to the next 87, Tony!

Though named for one of the driest places on earth, the Sahara was where Tony Bennett made quite a splash in his first-ever Las Vegas headlining performance on April 8, 1964.  Standing on the northern end of the Strip, the Sahara was a true remnant of Rat Pack style until it closed its doors for the final time in 2011, 59 years old and fated to become a trendy Beverly Hills-style resort.  That same year, Tony Bennett turned 85 years young, showing far more resilience and longevity than the Sahara.  To celebrate, Columbia Records, RPM and Legacy Recordings issued the career-spanning Complete Collection box set, and among its bonus material was the first-ever release of Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas 1964.  Now, almost two years after that initial release, this vintage live album recorded by Columbia’s Frank Laico is available for the first time as a stand-alone purchase…and it’s one helluva swingin’ affair.

Though 1964 is destined to be remembered as the Year of the British Invasion, Bennett was at the top of his game (a position he hasn’t ceded at all in the ensuing almost-50 years!) plucking songs from the Hollywood, Broadway and pop songbooks in an era when it was still possible for an adult vocalist to create standards.  In ’64 alone, the busy Bennett released three studio albums on Columbia, immortalizing such songs as “When Joanna Loved Me,” “The Rules of the Road,” and “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me).”

Accompanied by longtime musical director Ralph Sharon and his trio (with Billy Exiner on drums and Hal Gaylord on bass) as well as Louis Basil’s orchestra at The Sahara’s Congo Room, Bennett delivered a diverse set drawing in large part on his albums released in 1963 and 1964.  One of the major pleasures of Live at the Sahara is hearing Bennett tackle less-familiar material in a live setting.  Although his signature songs “I Wanna Be Around” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” occupied places of honor in 1964, as they do at his concerts today, the set is filled with treats you might not be so likely to hear in 2013.  Among them is Tex Satterwhite and Frank Scott’s “The Moment of Truth” (from 1963’s This is All I Ask LP) which opens the show in a brassy one-two punch with Steve Allen’s scene-setting  “This Could Be the Start of Something Big.”  More often than not over the course of the performance, though, Bennett made the 1,000-capacity showroom feel like a small jazz club.

There’s more Tony after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 11, 2013 at 09:48

Posted in News, Reissues, Reviews, Tony Bennett

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Release Round-Up: Week of October 8

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Tony Bennett - Live at the SaharaTony Bennett, Live At The Sahara: Las Vegas 1964 (RPM/Columbia/Legacy)

Previously exclusive to The Complete Collection box set, Bennett’s first headlining act in Sin City is now available for standalone purchase. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Electricity by Candlelight_ NYC 2_13_97Alex Chilton, Electricity by Candlelight: NYC 2/13/97 (Bar None)

The late Big Star frontman had a talent that not even a power outage at New York’s Knitting Factory could blot out, as this spontaneous, covers-heavy release showcases. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies DeluxeThe Kinks, Muswell Hillbillies: Deluxe Edition (Sanctuary)

The Kinks’ ninth album (and first originally recorded for RCA) gets a two-disc reissue worthy of any 20th century man you might know. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Barbra Streisand - Classic ChristmasAlabama/Johnny Cash/Neil Diamond/George Jones & Tammy Wynette/Gladys Knight & The Pips/Martina McBride/Barbra Streisand/Andy Williams, The Classic Christmas Album (Legacy)

Following the success of last year’s wave of mid-priced holiday compilations, another eight are coming to fill your stockings with Christmas cheer.

Alabama: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Johnny Cash: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Neil Diamond: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Gladys Knight & The Pips: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Martina McBride: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Barbra Streisand: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Andy Williams: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CBGB SoundtrackVarious Artists, CBGB: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Omnivore)

This 20-track compilation for the new film about the legendary New York club features some of the biggest bands who played that stage, plus a recording by founder Hilly Krystal and a new version of Blondie’s “Sunday Girl.” (Rhino will distribute a digital version in the future with exclusive tracks.)

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

He Left His Heart In Las Vegas: Tony Bennett’s “Live at the Sahara: 1964” Arrives In October

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Tony Bennett - Live at the SaharaWhen Tony Bennett took the stage at Las Vegas’ Sahara on April 8, 1964 he was riding high.  Bennett was in the business of creating standards, after all.  During that seminal year, he released three studio albums immortalizing such songs as “When Joanna Loved Me,” “The Rules of the Road,” and “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me).”  Columbia Records recorded Bennett’s show live from the Sahara’s Congo Room, but the recording sat on the shelf until 2011 when it was included in Bennett’s Complete Collection box set.  Now, roughly two years after the release of that box, Columbia, RPM and Legacy Recordings are granting Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas 1964 a standalone release in CD and digital formats, due October 8.  It follows the recent release of Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962, which preserves for posterity a remarkable 1962 performance from Bennett and jazz great Dave Brubeck.

Accompanied by longtime musical director Ralph Sharon and his trio as well as Louis Basil’s orchestra, Bennett delivered a diverse set.  Three songs appropriately came from 1964’s Bennett/Sharon Trio collaborative LP When Lights are Low: Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh’s “The Rules of the Road” (previously recorded by the singer in 1961), Billy Mayhew’s “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie,” and Fats Waller’s classic “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”  Robert Emmett Dolan and Johnny Mercer’s showtune “I’m Way Ahead of the Game” from their short-lived musical Foxy was recorded for When Lights are Low but left unreleased until 2011.  Other selections were still fresh from Bennett’s two albums released in 1963.  From I Wanna Be Around…, Tony performed its title song by Johnny Mercer and Sadie Vimmerstedt – still one of his signatures today – as well as Antonio Carlos Jobim’s bossa nova “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado).”  From This Is All I Ask, the Sahara audience heard the Al Jolson chestnut “Keep Smiling at Trouble (Trouble’s a Bubble)” and Tex Satterwhite and Frank Scott’s “The Moment of Truth.”  The latter song’s title was also featured on the Sahara’s marquee which proudly read, “The Moment of Truth – Tony Bennett” to trumpet the singer’s engagement.

After the jump: more about Live at the Sahara, including the full track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 17, 2013 at 10:06

Posted in News, Reissues, Tony Bennett

The Art of Excellence: Tony Bennett’s Columbia Catalogue Reissued On CD and Digital Formats

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Tony Bennett - Yesterday I Heard the Rain“My ambition has always been to create a hit catalogue rather than hit records,” wrote Tony Bennett in 2011.  Of course, the modest Mr. Bennett has managed to do both.  He’s charted successful singles and continues to chart albums, but has also crafted a catalogue distinguished by its sustained excellence.

On the same day as the release of Bennett/Brubeck, the landmark 1962 concert performance of Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck, Sony’s Legacy Recordings also made good on a couple of other catalogue initiatives for the legendary entertainer.  His original Columbia Records albums – plus eight discs of singles and bonus material first released on 2011’s The Complete Collection box set – can now be purchased as digital downloads via iTunes and, while Amazon and Barnes and Noble will be offering all titles as CD-Rs as part of their “Made on Demand” programs.  (At the time of this writing, Amazon links are only available for some of the albums, but each is expected to be “released” soon.)

Alongside the digital/MOD initiative, ten selections from the recently-remastered Bennett catalogue were released on Tuesday to Barnes and Noble stores and as exclusive (pressed) CDs.  As these are currently listed on the retailer’s website for five bucks and change each, these discs are quite a bargain.  (In stores, the $6.99 retail price is currently discounted to just $4.99 for each title!)

Tony’s titles returning to print via Barnes and Noble as physical CDs include:

  1. Cloud 7 (1955)
  2. In Person! (with Count Basie and His Orchestra) (1959)
  3. Sings a String of Harold Arlen (1960)
  4. I Wanna Be Around (1963) (*)
  5. When Lights Are Low (1964)
  6. If I Ruled The World – Songs For The Jet Set (1965) (*)
  7. Yesterday I Heard the Rain (1968)
  8. The Art of Excellence (1986)
  9. Bennett/Berlin (1987)
  10. Bennett Sings Ellington – Hot & Cool (1999)

(*) contains bonus tracks

Hit the jump for a closer look at these titles plus a list of the complete Bennett catalogue as released to iTunes, and as digital downloads and/or MOD CDs!                               Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 31, 2013 at 10:12

Review: Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck, “Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962”

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Bennett Brubeck - LiveIt was a Tuesday afternoon in Camelot when giants met.

These giants weren’t the types who resided in the clouds atop beanstalks, of course.  These were giants of a decidedly more earthy variety.  It was at the behest of John F. Kennedy’s White House that Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck came together.  On August 28, 1962, they shared a bill at the base of the Washington Monument as a parting gift to an audience of college-age interns who had served that summer in the nation’s capital.  Following two individual sets – Brubeck’s as a member of his storied Quartet, and Bennett’s fronting Ralph Sharon’s trio – the singer and the pianist teamed up for the first time.  (Their second and final performance together didn’t arrive until 47 years later, in 2009.) Though the concert was recorded by a prescient Columbia Records, only one song – Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer’s “That Old Black Magic” – had ever been released.  The tapes were thought lost.  And then, late in 2012, they surfaced.  And now, Columbia, Legacy and RPM Records have released this titanic summit as Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962 (88883 71804 2).  It doesn’t disappoint.

The pairing might have sounded odd on paper.  Brubeck, who hailed from California, studied with Darius Milhaud, who also counted Burt Bacharach among his students, and established himself as one of the most original voices in jazz.  The avuncular Brubeck could make the most experimental time signatures seem accessible, and his Quartet – with Joe Morello on drums, Eugene Wright on bass and Paul Desmond on alto saxophone – wedded commercial and artistic success.  Bennett, on the other hand, was an Astoria boy who, as he’s fond of joking, was one of the original American idols.  An amateur contest winner and onetime singing waiter, Bennett worked his way up the ladder of showbiz to secure a contract with Columbia Records.  There, he scored pop smashes with tunes from Broadway’s Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (“Rags to Riches”) and Hank Williams (“Cold, Cold Heart”) Bennett’s hit singles seemed far removed from Brubeck’s jazz world.  Bennett was keeping a secret, though.  He was a jazz singer at heart.  “[Columbia honcho] Mitch [Miller] really didn’t like jazz,” the 86 years young crooner wrote in his 2012 memoir Life is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett.  “He didn’t care for Duke or Count Basie – and when I came to the label, I was a jazz singer.”  That identification served Bennett well when sharing the stage with Dave Brubeck and in the studio with the likes of Count Basie, Bill Evans, Stan Getz and Herbie Hancock.  Yet their ties to each other ran even deeper.  Both men were veterans of World War II and passionate Civil Rights supporters, and at Columbia Records, both evinced a gift of making art commercial.

We’re giving Bennett/Brubeck a spin after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 29, 2013 at 09:57

Posted in Dave Brubeck, News, Reviews, Tony Bennett

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Release Round-Up: Week of May 28

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Wings Over America BoxWings, Wings Over America: The Paul McCartney Archive Collection (MPL/Hear Music/Concord)

Paul McCartney’s first great U.S. tour was chronicled brilliantly on this 1977 live album, and it’s been greatly expanded herein for McCartney’s ongoing reissue campaign.

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD (Best Buy exclusive)
4CD/1DVD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Bennett Brubeck - LiveTony Bennett & Dave Brubeck, The White House Sessions: Live 1962 (Columbia/RPM/Legacy)

A once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between the legendary singer and the acclaimed jazz pianist bows in full on CD for the first time. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Burt - Anyone Who Had a HeartBurt Bacharach, Anyone Who Had a Heart: The Art of the Songwriter – The Best of Burt Bacharach (U.S. Edition) (Hip-O/UMe)

What was a six-disc box or two-disc set internationally is a different two-disc anthology of the acclaimed songwriter’s greatest works, as performed by Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin and more. (Amazon U.S.)

Monkees - JustusThe Monkees, Justus: The Deluxe Edition (Friday Music)

The Monkees’ final album, expanded to include an original behind-the-scenes promo film on DVD.  (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Basia Time and TideBasia, Time and Tide: Deluxe Edition (Cherry Pop)

The solo debut of the Polish singer/songwriter expanded with a heap of bonus material – all produced by TSD pal Vinny Vero! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Finding the Sacred HeartDio, Finding the Sacred Heart: Live in Philly 1986 (Eagle Rock)

A long sought-after Dio live video is remastered and reissued across several different formats!

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
DVD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Blu-Ray: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

MFSBEnchantment, Utopia: Expanded Edition / Kleeer, Winners: Expanded Edition / Gwen McCrae, Melody of Life: Expanded Edition / MFSB, MFSB: Expanded Edition / The O’Jays, Live in Philadelphia (Big Break Records)

The BBR slate for this week includes some rare early records from The O’Jays and MFSB and much more! Watch this space for a full breakdown of every title plus Amazon pre-order links!

Now 30 YearsVarious Artists, NOW That’s What I Call 30 Years (Universal U.K.)

Three discs celebrating three decades of the long-running U.K. compilation. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Written by Mike Duquette

May 28, 2013 at 10:13

That Old Black Magic: Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck Cast a Spell on “Live 1962”

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Bennett Brubeck

What happens when two legends collide?

Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings will have the answer for you with the May 28 premiere release of Bennett and Brubeck – The White House Sessions: Live 1962 from Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck.  In the true spirit of jazz, the performance by these two titans on August 28, 1962 was largely unplanned.  Both men – Brubeck with his Quartet and Bennett with his Ralph Sharon-led ensemble – were appearing at the behest of President John F. Kennedy’s White House.  The occasion was an end-of-summer concert at Washington DC’s Sylvan Theatre to thank college-age interns who had served that summer in the nation’s capital.  Following solo sets, they agreed to a once-in-a-lifetime summit, included in full on this historic new release.

Disc jockey William B. Williams, of radio’s Make Believe Ballroom fame, first introduced Brubeck, Eugene Wright, Joe Morello and Paul Desmond for a four-song set that kicked off with “Take Five” from 1959’s seminal Time Out.  Brubeck was still riding the crest of the album’s success at the time of the Washington performance.  Tony Bennett could also be said to have been on top of the world.  Bennett’s now-signature song “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was capturing hearts here, there and everywhere as it first appeared on the Billboard charts a scant seventeen days prior to the performance.  Williams returned to introduce Bennett, accompanied by Ralph Sharon on piano, Hal Gaylord on bass and Billy Exner on drums.  “San Francisco” had already earned the coveted closing spot in Bennett’s six-song set, and many of the standards surveyed by Bennett are still songs he performs today.  The singer opened with three Jule Styne compositions from Broadway – “Just in Time” from Bells Are Ringing, “Small World” from Gypsy and “Make Someone Happy” from Do Re Mi, and also surveyed songs by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross (“Rags to Riches”) and Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer (“One for My Baby”).

After the jump: details on the Bennett/Brubeck summit including the full track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 1, 2013 at 15:27