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ArtistTitleFormat LabelDate

FAME, GEORGIE
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THE THIRD FACE OF FAME (180 GRAM)
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LP: $24.98 (US) - ($22.48 with *discount) PURE PLEASURE RECORDS
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12/6/2013
JAZZ: Georgie Fame's swinging, surprisingly credible blend of jazz and American R&B earned him a substantial following in his native U.K., where he scored three number one singles during the '60s and a top ten hit with "Bonnie & Clyde" in the States. Fame played piano and organ in addition to singing, and was influenced by the likes of Mose Allison, Ray Charles, Booker T and the MG's and Louis Jordan. Early in his career, he also peppered his repertoire with Jamaican ska and bluebeat tunes, helping to popularize that genre in England; during his later years, he was one of the few jazz singers of any stripe to take an interest in the vanishing art of vocalese, and earned much general respect from jazz critics on both sides of the Atlantic. This set finds him in a suaver, jazzier vein accompanied by a band made up of the cream of jazz musicians on the UK scene at the time. It was at this time, 1967 and 1968, that to much acclaim, he toured as featured vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra throughout the UK & Europe.

FLEETWOOD MAC
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BLUES JAM AT CHESS (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
ROCK: (2-LP set) Produced by Mike Vernon and Marshall Chess recorded in the Chess Tel-Mar Studios, Chicago, January 1969 and no introduction needed for this fabulous release. Arguably one of the greatest blues recordings laid down in the last 40 years. Originally released on Mike Vernon's highly collectable and revered Blue Horizon label in 1969. Featuring many great blues artists, including Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Shakey Horton, J.T. Brown, Guitar Buddy, Honey Boy Edwards, S.P. Leary with the Peter Green/Danny Kirwan version of Fleetwood Mac. 180 gram vinyl.

SPANN, OTIS & FLEETWOOD MAC
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THE BIGGEST THING SINCE COLOSSUS (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
BLUES: During the sixties, there was the British blues boom, containing many blues bands, one of the finest being Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. In January of 1969 Fleetwood Mac were at Chess Studios, Chicago, jamming with the likes of Willie Dixon, S.P. Leary, Honeyboy Edwards, J.T. Brown and longtime Muddy Waters pianist Otis Spann. The end result of those sessions was the classic double album Blues Jam At Chess. The rapport between the Mac and Otis Spann was such that they recorded another whole album together, Colossus. Otis Spann is his usual emotive and exciting self, feeling totally relaxed alongside his regular drummer, S.P.Leary. This coupled with Peter Greens guitar playing, which is probably at its peak on these recordings, makes for a blues album of substance. 180 gram vinyl.

VAUGHAN, STEVIE RAY
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COULDN'T STAND THE WEATHER (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
ROCK: (2-LP set) With his astonishingly accomplished guitar playing, Stevie Ray Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the '80's. Vaughan drew equally from bluesmen like Albert King, Otis Rush, and Muddy Waters and rock & roll players like Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, as well as the stray jazz guitarist like Kenny Burrell, developing a uniquely eclectic and fiery style that sounded like no other guitarist, regardless of genre. Vaughan bridged the gap between blues and rock like no other artist had since the late '60s. 180 gram vinyl.

MINGUS, CHARLES
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CHARLES MINGUS PRESENTS CHARLES MINGUS (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
JAZZ: Charles Mingus has a fascinating way of offering music that is grounded in tradition while remaining startlingly original. The freshness of a piece like Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus, has the effect of rendering much of what passes for jazz as tedious. The band is small for Mingus, and includes Eric Dolphy on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, Ted Curson on trumpet, and Dannie Richmond on drums. The album accomplishes what the best of Mingus accomplishes: the perfect tension between jazz played as an ensemble and jazz played as totally free. 180 gram vinyl.

BLACK, MARY
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BABES IN THE WOOD (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
FOLK/BLUEGRASS: Babes in the Wood is Mary Black's finest, most consistently pleasing album. There is no filler here, and her song selection, culled from new songwriters such as Noel Brazil and classic folkies such as Richard Thompson, is impeccable. The acoustic arrangements (including guitar, piano, mandolin, Dobro, and accordion) are carried out by her longtime backing musicians, although the music has a decidedly more pop than Celtic flavor on this album. 180 gram vinyl.

HOOKER, JOHN LEE
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GET BACK HOME IN THE USA (180 GRAM)
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LP: $64.98 (US) - ($58.48 with *discount) PURE PLEASURE RECORDS
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10/10/2008
BLUES: (2-LP set) Recorded when Hooker was well into his '60s "comeback," Get Back Home features the bluesman in a solo performance (a mode that best reveals the subtleties of his work). 180 gram vinyl.

ARMSTRONG, LOUIS
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LOUIS ARMSTRONG PLAYS W.C. HANDY (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
JAZZ: (2-LP set) The excellence of Louis' band is so high and so consistent that every man deserves commendation for his part in making this remarkably fine record. Trummy Young particularly should be singled out for his driving solos and for the way he "boots" Louis in the final ensembles.

ROACH, MAX
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WE INSIST - FREEDOM SUITE (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
JAZZ: At a time when the civil rights movement was starting to heat up, drummer Max Roach performed and recorded a seven-part suite dealing with black history (particularly slavery) and racism. "Driva' Man" has a powerful statement by veteran tenor Coleman Hawkins and there is valuable solo space elsewhere for trumpeter Booker Little and trombonist Julian Priester, but it is the overall performance of Abbey Lincoln that is most notable. Formerly a nightclub singer, Lincoln really came into her own under Roach's tutelage and she is a strong force throughout this intense set. On "Tryptich: Prayer/Protest/Peace," Lincoln is heard in duets with the drummer and her wrenching screams of rage are quite memorable. 180 gram vinyl.

HALL, JIM
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CONCIERTO (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
JAZZ: (2-LP set) Jim Hall's Concierto was arguably the greatest LP in the history of CTI and possibly a masterpiece. With two legendary players in the frontline, trumpeter Chet Baker and Paul Desmond, Hall interprets standards and engaging originals. A master of melody who never wastes notes, the centerpiece for this release is Hall's interpretation of one movement from Rodrigo's "Guitar Concerto," arranged by Don Sebesky. 180 gram vinyl.

PERFECT, CHRISTINE
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CHRISTINE PERFECT (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
ROCK: Christine Perfect's debut album from 1970 featuring Danny Kirwan and John McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Christine was soon to marry John and join the Mac but this record is her show and spotlights her talent.

ELLINGTON, DUKE
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70TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT (180 GRAM)
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12/6/2013
BIG BAND: (2-LP set) This double LP ranks as one of Duke Ellington's finest recordings of his final decade. The live performance gives listeners a good idea as to just how Duke's ensemble sounded in concert, and it serves as both a retrospective and a display of the strengths of Ellington's mighty band. Among the many highlights are definitive renditions of "Rockin' in Rhythm" and "Take the 'A' Train" (the latter has some wonderful Cootie Williams trumpet), a few features for altoist Johnny Hodges, a tenor battle on "In Triplicate," a few guest spots for organist Wild Bill Davis, and a 16-and-a-half-minute, nine-song medley that really works well. The most memorable chorus of all is an incredible high-note display by Cat Anderson on "Satin Doll" that is arguably his most miraculous solo ever; each note he hits is virtually impossible to play on the trumpet, and is in tune, too. This gem is essential for all serious jazz collections.

LITTLE, BOOKER
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OUT FRONT (180 GRAM)
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LP: $44.98 (US) - ($40.48 with *discount) PURE PLEASURE RECORDS
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10/10/2008
JAZZ: Booker Little was the first trumpet soloist to emerge in jazz after the death of Clifford Brown to have his own sound. His tragically brief life (he died at age 23 later in 1961) cut short what would have certainly been a major career. This is supremely soulful modern jazz and one of his best albums ever as a leader. Featuring: Julian Priester, trombone; Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, flute; Don Friedman, piano; Art Davis, bass; Max Roach, drums, tympani, vibes. 180 gram vinyl.

AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS PRESENT FELIX BALOY
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BAILA MI SON (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
INTERNATIONAL: Rich and rhythmic, sparkling and seductive, Felix Baloy's voice marks him as one of Cuba's very finest someros. This magnificent performance showcases a true artist at the peak of his profession, backed by the thrilling arrangements of Juan de Marcos and the peerless Afro Cuban All Stars. Felix Baloy has been singing for more than 40 years which means he has waited a long time to make his first solo album. 180 gram vinyl.

EVANS, GIL
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NEW BOTTLE OLD WINE (180 GRAM)
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12/6/2013
JAZZ: If you have admired Gil Evans' arrangements on the Miles Davis recordings, you owe it to yourself to check this out. These recordings help make the case that Gil Evans was one of the great jazz arrangers of all time. Gil Evans always manages to communicate with sophistication and nuance, and on these sessions he manages to have fun as well. This is a LP of Gil Evans re-arranging classic jazz standards like "St. Louis Blues", "King Porter Stomp", and "Lester Leaps". It's so interesting to be listening to these records nearly 50 years after they were made. This was a 'modern' take on jazz tunes that even then were considered classics. Hearing them now, it's like listening to one set of Old Masters interpreting an even more distant set of Old Old Masters. It's a LP that you can enjoy as a peek into modern jazz of the late 50's, or as a set of very interesting big band orchestrations. An absolute jazz classic.

KENT, STACEY
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DREAMSVILLE (180 GRAM)
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LP: $44.98 (US) - ($40.48 with *discount) PURE PLEASURE RECORDS
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10/10/2008
VOCALS - JAZZ & POP: Stacey Kent may or may not be "the greatest ballad singer in half a century," as her PR claims, but her straightforward renditions of these by-request ballads are not at all generic. What makes them consistently delightful is her unique sound and delivery. There's a certain brassiness, a trumpet-like pointedness, in her voice, as well as a host of endearing idiosyncrasies. Kent knows how to make every tune fit her own musical persona. 180 gram vinyl.

BAEZ, JOAN
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JOAN BAEZ (180 GRAM)
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LP: $44.98 (US) - ($40.48 with *discount) PURE PLEASURE RECORDS
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10/10/2008
FOLK/BLUEGRASS: At the time of its release, Joan Baez's debut album was something of a revelation. The folk music revival was beginning to gather steam, stoked on the popular side by artists such as the Kingston Trio and the Easy Riders, as well as up-and-coming ensembles such as the Highwaymen, and on the more intense and serious side by the Weavers. And then along comes this album, by a 19-year-old displaying a voice from heaven, a soprano so pure and beguiling that the mere act of listening to her - forget what she was singing - was a pleasure. Baez's first album, made up primarily of traditional songs (including a startling version of "House of the Rising Sun"), was beguiling enough to woo even conservative-leaning listeners. 180 gram vinyl.

LEADBELLY
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HUDDIE LEDBETTER'S BEST...HIS GUITAR - HIS VOICE - HIS PIANO (180 GRAM)
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12/6/2013
BLUES: Leadbelly's last recording sessions for a commercial record label, held in the early fall of 1944, yielded a dazzling 12 songs, embracing virtuoso guitar blues ("Grasshoppers In My Pillow"), pounding piano-driven scatting ("The Eagle Rocks", with Leadbelly himself at the ivories, a talent for which he wasn't usually recognized), and familiar standards done in some startlingly different ways, including "Goodnight, Irene", "Rock Island Line", and "Ella Speed", done with the understated accompaniment of a zither (courtesy of Paul Mason Howard) as well as his own guitar. Leadbelly was in excellent voice and top form on guitar and piano - having gone to California to test the commercial waters, he met Tex Ritter, an old friend, who arranged for Leadbelly to come to his house and, with Merle Travis playing as well and Capitol executive Lee Gillette present, auditioned then and there for the label; he was energized by the experience, and Capitol's recording caught the brightest as well as the deepest tones in his playing, thus making this record one of the very best showcases for acoustic 12-string guitar of the period. Sadly, only a handful of these tracks were issued during the man's own lifetime, thus convincing him that they were another career dead end - in 1956 (and again in 1962) they emerged with an impassioned annotation by Dave Dexter Jr., imploring people to buy these last commercial sides by one of the most celebrated bluesmen of the century.

FAHEY, JOHN
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THE YELLOW PRINCESS (180 GRAM)
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10/10/2008
FOLK/BLUEGRASS: This particular John Fahey LP is a personal favourite of many of his devout fans for several reasons. And although such a judgment is tough, if one were looking to own only one album by this unique guitarist, The Yellow Princess could be the one. The recording sound is among the best of his many releases; at the proper volume, the effect is as if one had taken up residency inside the sound hole of a giant acoustic guitar. The program of pieces is marvellously emotional and varied, with many moments of precisely stated harmonies moving at courageously slow tempos. 180 gram vinyl.

LEWIS, SMILEY
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I HEAR YOU KNOCKING (180 GRAM)
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12/6/2013
BLUES: Born with the unwieldy handle of Overton Lemons, Lewis hit the Big Easy in his mid-teens, armed with a big, booming voice and some guitar skills. He played clubs in the French Quarter, often with pianist Tuts Washington (and sometimes billed as 'Smiling' Lewis). As the New Orleans R&B sound developed rapidly during the early '50s, so did Lewis. He scored his first national hit in 1952 with "The Bells Are Ringing", but enjoyed his biggest sales in 1955 with the exultant "I Hear You Knocking" (its immortal piano solo courtesy of Huey Smith). Here's where that alleged bad luck rears its head - pop chanteuse Gale Storm swiped his thunder for any pop crossover possibilities with her ludicrous whitewashed cover of the plaintive ballad.


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