Sunday, 15 December 2013
"The Boss Of The Blues" by JOE TURNER. A Review Of His Fabulous 1956 Album For Atlantic Records Now Remastered Onto CD In Japan in 2012 as part the "Atlantic 1000: R&B Best Collection" Series
This link will bring you to Amazon UK to buy this version:
"...Yes! Yes!..." - A Review Of The 2012 Japan-Only CD Remaster
Since October 2012 going right through to February 2014 and beyond - Warner Brothers Music Japan has been engaged in a massive reissue campaign covering all the labels under the Atlantic Records umbrella. It's called the "Atlantic 1000: R&B Best Collection" series. The 1000 in the title refers to the Yen price - most are about 950 yen and at current exchange rates - that averages about 8 to 10 dollars or 5 to 6 pounds - with P&P - they can cost as little as 8 to 10 pounds per disc - which is cheap for quality like this - and unheard of for Japanese imports.
The genres covered are Blues, Rhythm 'n' Blues, Soul, Funk, Fusion, Gospel and some Jazz. Others labels featured are STAX, ELEKTRA and CURTOM as well as tiny Atlantic subsiduaries like Cat. Each release is in a jewel case - the artwork is reproed in the booklet - there's an Obi strip around the outside and the CD label itself usually mimics the original vinyl album design. The big news however is not just the breath of the titles issued - but that all are 2012 to 2014 DSD REMASTERS from the original tapes. Some of these titles were re-issued by Rhino in the early Nineties but many haven't been issued at all.
And that's where this wonderful JOE TURNER CD reissue comes in...
Released 7 November 2012 on Warner Brothers WPCR-27563 (Barcode 4943674126651) - "The Boss Of The Blues" is an exact repro of his famous 1956 10-track MONO album on Atlantic 1234 (total playing time 44:22 minutes). The front cover of the 12-page booklet repros the front sleeve while the last page is the rear with all the recording details. Inbetween is a Japanese essay and the lyrics in English and naught else. But the big news is the sound...
The remaster is truly fantastic - very clean and full of aural presence - the stunning piano-playing of Pete Johnson jumping out of every track. I've already reviewed Bear Family's superb "Rocks" CD by Joe Turner - and these remasters equal them. As for the LP - this is the kind of album you take to a desert island - grab when the house is burning down. Stuff like the 1940's big-band swing feel "Roll `Em Pete" and "You're Driving Me Crazy" have graced so many period movies. Their joy is infectious - even my teenage kids dig it. And although it's called 'Kansas City Jazz' on the rear sleeve - musically its really more Fifties Rhythm 'n' Blues than Jazz. And by the time you get to the album finisher "Piney Brown Blues" you've a big grin on your face.
Big Joe Turner and his Atlantic sides have been a solid blast in our house for decades and this lovely CD reissue does him proud. A bargain indeed that deserves better exposure...
PS: Here are some of the Blues and R'n'B titles available in this series so far:
1. LaVern Baker [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1957) - LaVERN BAKER
2. The Wildest Guitar (1959) - MICKEY BAKER
3. Ruth Brown [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1957) - RUTH BROWN
4. Late DateWith... (1958) - RUTH BROWN
5. Yes Indeed! (1960) - RAY CHARLES
6. The Coasters (1958) - THE COASTERS
7. The Clovers (1956) - THE CLOVERS
8. Dance Party (1959) - THE CLOVERS
9. Don't Turn Me From Your Door (1963) - JOHN LEE HOOKER
10. Have Tenor Saxophone Will Blow (1959) - KING CURTIS
11. Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1956) - CLYDE McPHATTER & THE DRIFTERS
12 The Boss Of The Blues (1956 Mono) - JOE TURNER
13. Joe Turner [aka "Rock & Roll"] (1957 Mono) - JOE TURNER [see REVIEW]
14. Big Joe Rides Again (1959 Stereo) - JOE TURNER [see REVIEW]
15. T-Bone Blues (1959 - includes 4 Bonus Tracks) - T-BONE WALKER
16. The King Of The Stroll (1958) - CHUCK WILLIS
A list of over 200 + titles in the series are on this/my blog site - search "Atlantic 1000" R&B Best Collection" on Google and you'll find it