Thursday, 29 October 2009

“Coraline” – A Review of the 2009 Animated Film Now Issued on BLU RAY in Both 2D and 3D.

"…No Coraline!” said the Evil Spider. “I’m Your “Other” Mother…"

I would echo other reviews of "Coraline" - an absolute wow on the 2D BLU RAY image - but gimmicky, dark and blurry on the 3D version.

This is aimed at both the kids and their accompanying parents - childlike enough to capture the wee ones for two hours, but adult enough in other ways to keep us old-folk glued. My 11 and 15 year olds loved it, though I would say it might be a bit 'too' scary for children younger than that (it's quite sinister in parts - this is not saccharine Disney, but Tim Burton territory - and he rarely panders nor holds back).

Four flimsy card glasses are provided for the 3D version (you choose either 2D or 3D from the main menu), but as you watch it, they irritate and you're far too aware of them. Pixar’s “Up” had proper 3D glasses when we went to see it at the cinema and they made a huge difference to both the quality of the 3D effect and the comfort (too busy enjoying the film to notice).

The 2D version couldn’t be more different. The BLU RAY image is awesome – really bringing out the workmanship that went into each shot. The richness of the animation and the hugely imaginative way all the characters look in every single scene – it’s all an absolute blast. The vocal work is typically ace too (Dakota Fanning shines) and the story of parents and their children straying apart is like a dark Brothers Grimm tale that will unfortunately ring too true for many. The extras are superb too. Shame the whole thing is let down by the 3D side of things.

To sum up - and despite some niggles - the gobsmacking beauty of the print, the great voice talent and the dead clever grown-up story make it all worthwhile.

This is one you'll watch again and again – and your kids will impress their friends with it.


Tuesday, 27 October 2009

"From The Roots" by THE MAYTALS (December 2003 Sanctuary/Trojan 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...

This review and hundreds more like it can also be found in my 
SOUNDS GOOD Music Book: 1960s and 1970s MUSIC Volume 2 
- Exceptional CD Remasters 
It contains over 210 in-depth reviews (a whopping 2400+ e-Pages) 
And is available to buy/download at Amazon at the following link...

"…All Over The World…Share Out The Gold And Silver…"

Jamaican born Frederick "Toots" Hibbert was just 18 when he formed the earliest version of The Maytals in 1961 with his two friends Nathaniel "Jerry" Mathias and Henry "Raleigh" Gordon (the three are pictured on the cover). A couple of albums (and a Sixties jail-sentence for their leader later) and you jump forward to the 1970s - and the same wiser trio made this wonderful but now largely forgotten Reggae LP “From The Roots”. Sanctuary in the UK acquired the entire Trojan Records Reggae catalogue in 2001 for over £10 million and in a slew of superb CD reissues - this nifty little piece is a genuine star propping up the bar. Here are the precious metals...

UK issued in December 2003 – "From The Roots" by THE MAYTALS on Sanctuary/Trojan TJCCD091 (Barcode 5050159909124) is an 'Expanded Edition' CD version of that rare 1973 UK album and breaks down as follows (62:56 minutes):

1. Pee Pee Cluck Cluck
2. Loving Spirit
3. Doctor Lester (Aka African Doctor)
4. Gold & Silver 
5. Koo Koo
6. Revival Reggae
7. Thy Kingdom Come
8. One Eye Ends
9. A Time To Love
10. 9 O’Clock
11. Know Me Good
12. Got To Feel (It)
13. Feel So Good
14. Give Peace A Chance 
Tracks 1 to 14 are the album "From The Roots" issued in 1973 in the UK on Trojan TRLS 65 (recorded in/copyright date 1969)

15. Israel (a 1970 Jamaican 7" single)
16. Your Troubles Are Over (an album outtake)
17. Doctor Lester [aka African Doctor] (Alternate Take)
18. Know Me Good (Alternate Take) 
19. Feel So Good (Alternate Take)
20. I Alone (a 1971 single issued is Jamaica on Starapple Records)
21. One Eye Enos (a different version to the album cut; it was issued in the UK in 1971 on a 7" single Summit SUM 8520) 
22. Funky Funky (a 1971 Jamaican 7" single issued on Beverley's Records)

The album was produced by the legendary but short-lived LESLIE KONG (he died in 1971 aged only 37) - a young Chinese immigrant who was instrumental in the recording and acceptance of Jamaican music in its formative years (he did Bob Marley's 1st single in 1962).  The 12-page foldout insert has affectionate liner notes by HARRY HORNBY while the whole project was coordinated and compiled by LAURENCE CANE-HONEYSETT and JOHN REED - both of whom have extensive writing and compiling experience across a huge range of Trojan releases. Excepting the cover of John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance", all tracks are Hibbert originals - and there's even a card wrap on the outside depicting the original album sleeve that gives the whole release a classy feel...

Given the less-than-stellar quality of the original recordings (reggae is notoriously non-audiophile), the sound quality on these Cedar-improved remasters is superb - muscular and clear. Personal favourites include the sharing-out-our-wealth song "Gold And Silver" (lyrics above) and the superb "Loving Spirit" which is imbibed with Hibbert's strong belief in love channeled through God and music. The extras are ace too - personally I feel the 'Alternate Take' of "Know Me Good" is better than the released album version and "Funky Funky" is a wicked little groover of a record that must be impossible to find on original vinyl...and a cool rediscovery.

"From The Roots" is a sweetheart of an album and it's listed value at £30 in the Record Collector Price Guide of 2010 doesn't in any way reflect the difficulty you would have in locating an original copy on vinyl. For a lot less, you can now easily get this expanded CD instead. It's a journey you should take...and well done to all the good people involved in keeping this particular reggae flame alive…

PS: if you're looking for more music in the same vein, see my reviews for the 2CD DELUXE EDITIONS of the following 4 iconic British LP releases all of which were also on the Trojan Records label - "Tighten Up Volume 1" and "Tighten Up Volume 2" by VARIOUS ARTISTS, "1000 Volts Of Holt" by JOHN HOLT and "Skinhead Moonstomp" by SYMARIP. And for Island Records UK - see also my review of the 2009 3CD mini box set "War Ina Babylon"...

Sunday, 25 October 2009

"So What" by JOE WALSH (2009 and 2011 Japan-Only Universal SHM-CD Remaster in 5" Mini LP Repro Artwork) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...Open My Eyes Again..."

There are now 3 Japanese variants of Joe Walsh's "So What" album on CD and I'd like to clear up what's what...

1st - on the 21st of October 2004 - Joe Walsh's first three solo LPs were finally reissued in remastered CD form but only in Japan. "Barnstorm" (his 1972 debut) on Universal UICY-9477, "The Smoker You Drink, The Player You Get" (1973) on UICY-9478 and "So What" on UICY-9479. In detailed mini-LP repro sleeves (complete with hard-card gatefolds for the first two and "So What's embossed inner sleeve) - they were 24-bit remastered by HITOSHI TAKIGUCHI in Universal's Mastering Studios. Not surprisingly, they sold out almost immediately and across the next few years (with no equivalent domestic releases), they quickly became very expensive collector's items - these are 'not' SHM-CD reissues. 

2nd - on 22 April 2009 all 3 of the above were reissued on the SUPER HIGH MATERIALS format (SHM-CD) - "Barnstorm" on Universal UICY-94062, "The Smoker You Get, The Player You Get." on UICY-94063 and "So What" on UICY-94064. There is also an additional title not in the original list - his 4th album - the 1976 live set "You Can't Always Argue With A Sick Mind" which is on UICY-94065 (with 2009 Remastering and Card Outer/Inner Sleeves). The repro artwork (including lyric booklets) for each of the original three is exactly the same as the 2004 issues - as is the mastering - the ONLY difference is that the CD itself is a higher spec SHM-CD. 

3rd issue is the first 3 of the above 2009 SHM-CDs reissued on 23 February 2011 (again in Japan only - same artwork - limited editions) with a different catalogue number (Universal/Geffen UICY-75007 for "So What" - Barcode 4988005644930). I've bought one and it's exactly the same as the 2009 issue. The sound quality is fantastic. ("Barnstorm" and "Smoker" are newly reissued also). But what does this new SHM-CD offer (36:23 minutes)? 

1. Welcome To The Club 
2. Falling Down
3. Pavane Of The Sleeping Beauty
4. Time Out
5. All Night Laundromat Blues 
6. Turn To Stone [Side 2]
7. Help Me Through The Night
8. County Fair
9. Song For Emma

The blurb surrounding SHM tells us that the manufacturing process is of the very highest quality and therefore in playback this somehow allows more nuances of the music to come out. Remember - SHM is NOT a new format that requires an encoded specialist player - it's just a better form of CD - and it therefore plays on ALL players. So is "So What" any better on this new format - the infuriating answer is yes and no...

I thought the 2004 remasters were very good - not exactly blistering - but far better than what we'd had before. Now - on this SHM issue - I can hear bass and drum parts more - particularly on "Help Me Through The Night" (lyrics above) and "County Fair" - they're far better. "Turn To Stone" has more muscle in it too, which is fabulous news. The synths on the Maurice Ravel excerpt "Pavane Of The Sleeping Beauty" are razor-sharp too. But the rocking "Time Out" and the Don Henley penned "Falling Down" however, sound pretty much the same to me. 

If I was to sum up the good points of this SHM release, it would be that like a quality DVD or a great BLU RAY player - it holds the picture better - steadier - and that's what this new CD format does. Somehow, it does sound clearer and more defined on many of the tracks. The bad news is that you'd be hard pressed to spot any difference on some of the others. If anything - on "Welcome To The Club" and the messily recorded but lovely album-closer "Song For Emma" - the hiss levels are amplified and not lessened. Such a shame, because in my opinion, it does get in the way of enjoying this beautiful song.  

I would have to admit that a person's judgement can easily be coloured. After 40 years of listening to this album that I love so much, I'm consciously aware of wanting to hear stuff on this rather pricey little import - I am. But my honest appraisal is that it does sound better. Unfortunately for a rabid nutjob like me (and I bet the buggers who make these things know this) - if it sounds in any way better - I'm going to have to own it.  

Summing up - as it stands - I’d still say that the 2004 remaster of Joe Walsh’s wonderful “So What” on this 2009/2011 SHM-CD format is worth the purchase…and aesthetically its truly gorgeous to look at too.

I'm off to stroke the embossed inner sleeve again - and concede that I may need to get out more...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Nellie Lutcher Discography - Referencing The Bear Family 4CD Box set of 1995.

USA Discography with reference to the track placing on the Bear Family Box set – this discography locates all 85 tracks issued during her career (the 20 previously unreleased tracks on the box set are documented in the review itself)

78’s and 45’s – NELLIE LUTCHER and HER RHYTHM

1. Hurry On Down [2/1] b/w The Lady’s In Love With You [3/1]
June 1947 USA 78” on Capitol Americana 40002

2. He’s A Real Gone Guy [7/1] b/w Let Me Love You Tonight [8/1]
July 1947 USA 78” on Capitol Americana 40017

3. You Better Watch Yourself, Bub [4/1] b/w My Mother’s Eyes [6/1]
September 1947 USA 78” on Capitol Americana 40042

4. Do You Or Don’t You Love [10/1] b/w The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On) [18/1]
January 1948 USA 78” On Capitol Americana 40063

5. Fine Brown Frame [21/1] b/w The Pig-Latin Song [9/1]
March 1948 USA 78” on Capitol 15032

6. Come And Get It, Honey [17/2] b/w He Sends Me [14/2]
May 1948 USA 78” on Capitol 15064

7. Imagine You Having Eyes For Me [23/1] b/w (I Took A Trip On The Train And) I Thought About You [15/1]
June 1948 USA 78” on Capitol 15112

8. Cool Water [11/2] b/w Lake Charles Boogie [20/1]
July 1948 USA 78” on Capitol 15148

9. Alexander’s Ragtime Band [24/1] b/w My Little Boy [15/2]
September 1948 USA 78” on Capitol 15180

10. Wish I Was In Walla Walla [2/2] b/w A Maid’s Prayer [4/2]
December 1948 USA 78” on Capitol 15279

11. My New Papa’s Got To Have Everything [16/2] b/w Say A Little Prayer For Me [10/1]
January 1949 USA 78” on Capitol 15352

12. A Chicken Ain’t Nothin But A Bird [12/2] b/w Ditto From Me To You [5/2]
March 1949 USA 78” on Capitol 57-70001

13. Baby, Please Stop And Think About Me [26/2] b/w Kiss Me Sweet [25/2]
August 1949 USA 78” on Capitol 57-70009

14. Princess Poo-Poo-Ly Has Plenty Papaya [13/2] b/w Fine And Mellow Blues [13/1]
August 1949 USA 78” on Capitol 57-70026

15. Glad Rag Doll [22/2] b/w Lutcher’s Leap [9/2]
November 1949 USA 78” on Capitol 57-70044

16. Only You [24/2] b/w Little Sally Walker [18/2]
January 1950 USA 7” single on Capitol F 798

17. For You My Love [4/3] b/w Can I Come In For A Second [5/3]
February 1950 7” single on Capitol F 847
[A&B with NAT KING COLE - A-side written by PAUL GAYTEN]

18. That’s A Plenty [1/3] b/w I’ll Never Get Tired [3/3]
1950 USA 7” single on Capitol F 878

19. Loveable [12/1] b/w Kinda Blue & Low [16/1]
1950 USA 7” single on Capitol F 1026

20. To Be Forgotten [19/2] b/w That Will Just About Knock Me Out [21/2]
1950 USA 7” single on Capitol F 1217

21. I Really Couldn’t Love You [7/3] b/w Pa’s Not Home – Ma’s Upstairs [6/3]
May 1951 USA 78” single on Capitol F 1420

22. Hurry On Down b/w Fine Brown Frame
1951 USA 7” single on Capitol F 1604 [REISSUE of her 1947 Classics]

23. The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On) [18/1] b/w Humoresque (Opus No.7) [22/1]
1951 USA 7” single on Capitol F 1728

24. The Birth Of The Blues [13/3] b/w I Want To Be Near You [12/3]
1951 USA 7” single on Capitol F 1789

25. What A Difference A Day Made [15/3] b/w The Heart Of A Clown [17/3]
February 1952 USA 7” single on Capitol F 1978

26. Mean To Me [11/3] b/w Let The Worry Bird Worry For You [14/3]
1952 USA 7” single on Capitol F 1829
[Note: A-side with Orchestra Conducted by BILLY MAY]

27. That’s How It Goes [16/3] b/w Keepin’ Out Of Mischief Now [18/3]
1952 USA 7” single on Capitol F 2038

28. The Heart Of A Clown [17/3] b/w My Mother’s Eyes [6/1]
1952 USA 7” single on Capitol 4319
(Note: B-side is the 1947 original)

29. Muchly Verily [23/3] b/w How Many More [20/3]
January 1953 USA 78” single on Okeh 6935

30. St. Louis Blues [24/3] b/w Takin’ A Chance On Love [23/3]
1953 USA 7” single on Okeh 7030

31. Whee Baby [22/3] b/w Blues For Bill Bailey (aka Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home) [25/3]
1953 USA 7” single on Epic 9005

32. Blues In The Night [3/4] b/w Breezin’ Along With The Breeze [4/4]
1954 USA 7” single on Decca 9-29284

33. Please Come Back [7/4] b/w It’s Been Said [5/4]
1955 USA 7” single on Decca 9-29494

34. If I Didn’t Love Like I Do [8/4] b/w Whose Honey Are You? [6/4]
1955 USA 7” single on Decca 9-29642

35. Blue Skies [9/4] b/w You Made Me Love You [11/4]
February 1956 USA 7” single on Liberty 55018

36. (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings [17/4] b/w Have You Ever Been Lonely [20/4]
1956 USA 7” single on Liberty 55027

37. Hurry On Down [21/4] b/w I Never Get Tired [26/4]
1957 USA 7” single on Imperial 5436
(Note: the A-side is a Re-recording of her 1947 hit on Capitol)

38. Heart Of A Clown [27/4] b/w Reaching For The Moon [28/4]
1963 USA 7” single on Melic 4131

**** LPs ****

“Nellie Lutcher” – Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm
3 x 78” LP Package issued March 1948 as an ‘Album” on Capitol CC-70 (Mono)
(The individual catalogue numbers for each 78” follow the A and B sides listed below)
1. The One I Love (Belongs To Somebody Else) [1/1] b/w Chi-Chi-Chi-Chicago [11/1]
(Capitol 10108)
2. Reaching For The Moon [17/1] b/w There’s Another Mule In Your Stall [14/1]
(Capitol 10109)
3. Sleepy Lagoon [5/1] b/w Lake Charles Boogie [20/1]
(Capitol 10110)

“Real Gone!”
1950 USA 8-Track 10” LP on Capitol H-232 (Mono)
Side 1:
He’s A Real Gone Guy [7/1]; Fine Brown Frame [21/1]; Hurry On Down [2/1]; Come And Get It, Honey [17/2]
Side 2: Do You Or Don’t You Love Me 10/1]; Let Me Love You Tonight [8/1]; The Lady’s In Love With You [3/1]; My Mother’s Eyes [6/1]

(Note: the 10” LP listed above was then extended to a 12” LP in 1955 adding 4 extra tracks (denoted as **) and issued on Capitol T 232 – see next entry)

“Real Gone!”
1955 USA 12-Track 12” LP on Capitol T-232 (Mono) [Differing Artwork to the 10” LP]
Side 1:
He’s A Real Gone Guy [7/1]; Fine Brown Frame [21/1]; Hurry On Down [2/1]; Do You Or Don’t You Love Me [10/1]; Let Me Love You Tonight [8/1] The Lady’s In Love With You [3/1]
Side 2:
So Nice To See You Baby ** [19/1]; That’s A Plenty ** [3/1]; My Little Boy ** [15/2]; Alexander’s Ragtime Band ** [24/1]; Come And Get It, Honey [17/2]; My Mother’s Eyes [6/1]

“Whee! Nellie!”
1955 USA 6-Track 10” LP on Epic LN 1108 (Mono)
Side 1:
Whee, Baby! [22/3]; Taking A Chance On Love [23/3/]; Muchly Verily [23/3]
Side 2:
St. Louis Blues [24/3]; How Many More [20/3]; Blues For Bill Bailey [aka Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home] [25/3]

“Our New Nellie” [with Russ Garcia and His Orchestra]
1956 USA 12-Track 12” LP on Liberty LRP 3104 (Mono)
Side 1:
Have You Ever Been Lonely [20/4]; You Made Me Love You [11/4]; (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings [17/4]; Someone To Watch Over Me [16/4]; This Can't Be Love [12/4]; Blue Skies [9/4]
Side 2:
Rose Colored Glasses [18/4]; It Had To Be You [14/4]; The Nearness Of You [13/4]; On The Sunny Side Of The Street [15/4]; Ole Buttermilk Sky [19/4]; Three Little Words [10/4]

“Delightfully Yours”
1966 USA 10-track 12” LP on Sunset SUM-1124 [Mono]/SUS-5124 [Stereo]
Side 1: (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings [17/4]; The Nearness Of You [13/4]; Have You Ever Been Lonely [20/4]; On The Sunny Side Of The Street [15/4]; You Made Me Love You [11/4]
Side 2:
Rose Colored Glasses [18/4]; This Can’t Be Love [12/4]; Someone To Watch Over Me [16/4]; Blue Skies [9/4]; Three Little Words [10/4]

[The 10-tracks used on “Delightfully Yours” are culled from the “Our New Nellie” album sessions which were only ever recorded in MONO – however, as you can see above, this Sunset LP was issued in both MONO and STEREO – the Bear Family box doesn’t reference EITHER - probably because this was false re-channelled stereo and the MONO tracks are already referenced on the Liberty LRP 3104 LP]

“The Best Of”
1995 USA Capitol Compilation on CD – Capitol CDP 7243 8 35039
(Track 15 and 22 are referenced on the Box set because they were previously unreleased at the time)
1. Hurry On Down
2. One I Love (Belongs To Somebody Else)
3. You Better Watch Yourself, Bub
5. My Mother's Eyes
6. He's A Real Gone Guy
7. Let Me Love You Tonight
8. Chi Chi Chi Chicago
9. Fine And Mellow
10. I Thought About You
11. Kinda Blue And Low
12. The Song Is Ended (But The Melody Lingers On)
13. Lake Charles Boogie
14. Fine Brown Frame
15. My Man (Mon Homme) [6/2]
16. Chicken Ain't Nothin' But A Bird
17. He Sends Me
18. My New Papa's Got To Have Everything
19. Come And Get It
20. Honey Honey
21. That Will Just About Knock Me Out Baby
22. Baby What's Your Alibi [2/3]
23. Pa's Not Home

“Images” by THE CRUSADERS. A Review of Their 1978 LP now reissued on a 2009 Verve “Originals” CD Remaster.

The Crusaders are part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:


THE CRUSADERS line-up for "Images" was:
JOE SAMPLE - Keyboards
WILTON FELDER - Saxophones
NESBERT "STIX" HOOPER - Drums & Percussion

Additional Guests were:
DEAN PARKS - Guitar (All Selections)
ROLAND BAUTISTA - Guitar (On "Fairy Tales", "Bayou Bottoms" and "Covert Action")
PAULINHO DaCOSTA - Percussion (All Selections)

"Images" was first issued in a single sleeve LP in July 1978 in the USA on Blue Thumb BA-6030 and on ABC Records ABCL 5250 in the UK. This CD reissue (June 2009 in the USA - September 2009 in the UK - Verve 0602517995710) is part of Universal's "Originals" series and is issued in a card digipak (no booklet unfortunately) at mid-price.

It breakdowns like this (39:46 minutes)

1. Fairy Tales (Joe Sample song)
2. Marcella's Dream (Nesbert "Stix" Hooper song)
3. Bayou Bottoms (Wilton Felder song)
4. Merry Go Round (Joe sample song)
[Tracks 1 to 4 made up Side 1 of the original LP]
5. Cosmic Reign (Robert "Pops" Popwell song)
6. Covert Action (Wilton Felder song)
7. Snowflake (Joe Sample song)
[Tracks 5 to 7 made up Side 2 of the original LP]

Possessing not the greatest album sleeve in history, "Images" was nonetheless a bit a of jazz-funk peach. Produced by "Stix" Hooper, Wilton Felder & Joe Sample for "Crusader Productions, Inc." and mastered by long-standing expert Bernie Grundman, it followed so much of their Seventies output - really well-produced instrumental funky tracks followed by mellow ones that filled both the floor and the heart at one and the same time.

Remastered from the original tapes by KEVIN REEVES at Universal Mastering in the States, it now sounds FABULOUS - really clear and defined - and virtually hiss-free.

With juts a poor-sounding 1990 US CD to go on - and only "Snowflake" and "Fairy Tales" on the superior sounding "Gold" 2CD set from 2007 (see separate review) - that means that 5 of these 7 tracks are only now getting the sonic upgrade they've deserved for so long. The funk bliss that is "Bayou Bottoms" now sounds stupendous and had me throwing some very embarrassing shapes on our living room carpet. Other tracks like "Cosmic Reign" and “Merry Go Round” are so "Aja" in their arrangements too - and to be compared with Steely Dan's 1977 masterpiece is the highest compliment really.

After a whole decade and umpteen albums of their particular type of funk & jazz, the same team that handled "Images" would finally hit paydirt a year later in 1979 with the global smash of "Street Life" and make Randy Crawford a star.

"Images" is a forgotten Crusaders album and one that now sounds as fresh as it did over 31 years ago - recommended.

PS: For those interested in delving a little deeper - I've posted a full list to October 2009 of the 120+ titles in the "ORIGINALS" CD series below

**** Universal's "ORIGINALS" CD Series ****
Reissue CDs in Gatefold Digipaks of Classic Albums covering the 1950's through to the 1990's
They cover many labels - Verve, Mercury, Fontana, A&M, Chisa, Blue Thumb, Kudu, ABC, Philips, Impulse etc
These titles started in 2007 and are on-going into 2009
This List is in Artist and Title Alphabetical Order (with Release Date)

Laurindo Almeida – see STAN GETZ
1. New Orleans Nights - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1950)
2. Satchmo At Pasadena - LOUIS ARMSTRONG and the ALL STARS (1951)
Louis Armstrong – see also ELLA FITZGERALD
3. A Tear To A Smile - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1975)
4. Change Up The Groove - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1974)
5. He's Coming - ROY AYERS UBIQUITY (1971)
6. Lifeline - ROY AYERS (1977)
7. Ubiquity - ROY AYERS (1971)
8. Vibrations - ROY AYERS (1977)
9. Virgo Red - ROY AYERS (1973)
10. You Send Me - ROY AYERS (1978)
11. Chapter One: Latin America - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
12. Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata - GATO BARBIERI (1974)
13. Chapter Two: Hasta Siempre - GATO BARBIERI (1973)
14. Ruby. Ruby - GATO BARBIERI (1977)
15. Tropico - GATO BARBIERI (1978)
16. Basie Land - COUNT BASIE (1963)
17. On My Way & Shoutin' Again - COUNT BASIE (1963)
18. Intimacy - WALTER BEASLEY (21 October 2008)
19. Just Kickin' It - WALTER BEASLEY (1989)
20. Walter Beasley - WALTER BEASLEY (1987)
Louis Belson – see STAN GETZ
21. I Got A Woman And Some Blues - GEORGE BENSON (1970’s material, 1984)
22. Shape Of Things To Come - GEORGE BENSON (1969)
23. Soul Finger - ART BLAKEY and the JAZZ MESSENGERS (1965)
24. Bobo Motion - WILLIE BOBO (1967)
25. The Brazilian Scene - LUIZ BONFA (1965)
26. Braziliana - LUIZ BONFA and MARIA TOLEDO (1965)
27. Return Of The Brecker Brothers - THE BRECKER BROTHERS [Randy and Michael] (1992)
28. Just Between us - NORMAN BROWN (1992)
29. Jazz Samba – CHARLIE BYRD (1962)
30. Occasional Rain - TERRY CALLIER (1972)
31. What Color Is Love - TERRY CALLIER (1973)
Paul Chambers – see OLIVER NELSON
32. Children Of Forever - STANLEY CLARKE (1973)
Rudy Collins – see DIZZY GILLESPIE
33. A Love Supreme - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
34. Ascension - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
35. Crescent - JOHN COLTRANE (1964)
36. Impressions - JOHN COLTRANE (1961)
37. John Coltrane And Johnny Hartman - JOHN COLTRANE and JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
38. The John Coltrane Quartet Plays... - JOHN COLTRANE QUARTET (1965)
39. Kulu Se Mama - JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
40. Live At Birdland - JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
41. Meditations – JOHN COLTRANE (1965)
42. New Thing At Newport - JOHN COLTRANE and ARCHIE SHEPP (1965)
John Coltrane - see also DUKE ELLINGTON
43. Images - THE CRUSADERS (1978)
44. Old Socks, New Shoes...New Socks, Old Shoes - THE CRUSADERS (1970)
45. Pass The Plate - THE CRUSADERS (1971)
The Crusaders - see also JOE SAMPLE and DAVID T. WALKER
46. Ascenseur Pour L'echafaud - MILES DAVIS (1957)
Paul Desmond Quartet - see GERRY MULLIGAN
Eric Dolphy – See OLIVER NELSON
47. A Dream Fulfilled – WILL DOWNING (1991)
48. Come Together As One – WILL DOWNING (1989)
49. Faces In Reflection – GEORGE DUKE (1974)
50. I Love The Blues, She Heard My Cry - GEORGE DUKE (1975)
Harry Edison – see STAN GETZ
51. Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins - DUKE ELLINGTON and COLEMAN HAWKINS (1962)
52. Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - DUKE ELLINGTON and JOHN COLTRANE (1963)
53. Plays The Theme From V.I.P. & Others – BILL EVANS (1963)
Bill Evans – see also OLIVER NELSON
54. Out Of The Cool - GIL EVANS ORCHESTRA (1961)
55. Octet - MAYNARD FERGUSON (1955)
56. Ella In Hamburg (Live) - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
57. Ella In Hollywood - ELLA FITZGERALD (1961)
58. Porgy & Bess - ELLA FITZGERALD and LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1957)
59. At The Shrine – STAN GETZ (1954)
60. Big Band Bossa Nova - STAN GETZ and GARY McFARLAND (1962)
61. Dynasty – STAN GETZ (1971)
62. Getz/Gilberto – STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (also features Astrud Gilberto) (1963)
63. Getz/Gilberto No.2 – STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO (1964)
64. In Stockholm (Live) - STAN GETZ (1956)
65. Jazz Samba Encore! – STAN GETZ (1963)
66. Sweet Rain - STAN GETZ (1967)
67. Stan Getz With Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida – STAN GETZ and LAURINDO ALMEIDA (1963)
69. Swing Is Here - TERRY GIBBS (1960)
70. A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness - ASTRUD GILBERTO and WALTER WANDERLEY (1966)
71. The Astrud Gilberto Album - ASTRUD GILBERTO (1965)
72. Look To The Rainbow - ASTRUD GILBERTO and GIL EVANS (1966)
Astrud Gilberto – see also STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBERTO
Joao Gilberto – see also STAN GETZ and JOAO GILBETO
73. The Cool World - DIZZY GILLESPIE (1964)
74. Dizzy Gillespie Goes Hollywood – DIZZY GILLESPIE (1963)
76. I Just Dropped By To Say Hello - JOHNNY HARTMAN (1963)
Johnny Hartman – see also JOHN COLTRANE
Coleman Hawkins – see DUKE ELLINGTON
Roy Haynes – see OLIVER NELSON
77. Used To Be Duke - JOHNNY HODGES and his ORCHESTRA (1954)
78. Lady Sings The Blues - BILLIE HOLIDAY (1956)
79. The Artistry Of Freddie Hubbard – FREDDIE HUBBARD (1962)
Freddie Hubbard – see also OLIVER NELSON
80. At The Museum Of Modern Art – MILT JACKSON (1970s)
81. Treasure Island - KEITH JARRETT (1974)
Jazz Messengers – see ART BLAKEY
82. Rio Revisited - ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM and GAL COSTA (1989)
Antonio Carlos Jobim – see also Elis Regina
83. Quincy Jones Explores The Music Of Henry Mancini - QUINCY JONES (1964)
84. The Quintessence - QUINCY JONES ORCHESTRA (1962)
85. You've Got It Bad Girl - QUINCY JONES (1973)
86. Live At The Apollo – B.B. KING (1990)
87. Arabesque - JOHN KLEMMER (1977)
88. Barefoot Ballet - JOHN KLEMMER (1976)
89. Goin' Latin - RAMSEY LEWIS (1966)
90. The In Crowd - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1965)
91. Live At The Bohemian Caverns - RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO (1962)
92. Home Is Where The Music Is - HUGH MASEKELA (2LP set on 1CD) (1972)
Gary McFarland – see STAN GETZ
93. Down Here On The Ground - WES MONTGOMERY (1967)
94. Goin' Out Of My Head - WES MONTGOMERY (1965)
96. Lonesome Boulevard – GERRY MULLIGAN (1990)
Gerry Mulligan – see also STAN GETZ
98. In A Romantic Mood - OSCAR PETERSON (1955)
99. Oscar Peterson Plays The Jerome Kern Songbook - OSCAR PETERSON (1952)
100. Oscar Peterson and Nelson Riddle - OSCAR PETERSON and NELSON RIDDLE (1963)
101. Oscar Peterson Trio + One - OSCAR PETERSON TRIO and CLARK TERRY (1964)
Oscar Peterson Trio - see also STAN GETZ, SONNY STITT
102. Blues In the Closet – BUD POWELL TRIO (1956)
103. Come Into Knowledge - RAMP (1977)
104. Elis & Tom - ELIS REGINA and ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM (1974)
Nelson Riddle – see OSCAR PETERSON
105. Quiet As It's Kept - MAX ROACH (1960)
106. On Impulse! - SONNY ROLLINS (1965)
107. Swing Street Café - JOE SAMPLE and DAVID T. WALKER (1981) [Keyboardist and Guitarist with The Crusaders]
108. Piano, Strings And Bossa Nova - LALO SCHIFRIN (1962)
Lalo Schifrin – see also DIZZY GILLESPIE
109. Everybody's Somebody's Fool - LITTLE JIMMY SCOTT (1950s Material)
Archie Shepp - see JOHN COLTRANE
110. Let It Be Me (Live) - NINA SIMONE (1987)
111. Hobo Flats - JIMMY SMITH (1963)
112. Live At The Village Gate - JIMMY SMITH TRIO (1963)
113. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? - JIMMY SMITH (1964)
114. Sonny Stitt Sits In With The Oscar Peterson Trio - SONNY STITT and OSCAR PETERSON (1957)
Clark Terry - see OSCAR PETERSON
115. ...Plays The Contemporary Music Of Mexico And Brazil - CAL TJADER (1962)
Maria Toledo – see LUIZ BONFA
David T Walker - see JOE SAMPLE
116. At Mister Kelly’s – SARAH VAUGHAN and HER TRIO (1957)
117. All The King's Horses - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1972)
118. A Secret Place - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1976)
119. Feels So Good - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1975)
120. Inner City Blues - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1971)
121. Reed Seed - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1978)
122. Soul Box - GROVER WASHINGTON, Jr. (1973)
Chris White – see DIZZY GILLESPIE
Leo Wright – see DIZZY GILLESPIE

Thursday, 15 October 2009

"Past Masters" by THE BEATLES (September 2009 EMI/Apple 2CD Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

2009 EMI/Apple 2CD Reissue and Remasters


"...Arrive Without Travelling...See All Without Looking..."

After the 13 official British albums by The Beatles were first reissued on CD (February to October of 1987), all the non-album tracks on UK 7" singles, the exclusive 4-songs on the "Long Tall Sally" EP and any other stragglers were then gathered up onto two separate CD compilations called "Past Masters" (Vol. 1 & 2) and issued globally on 8 March 1988 to compliment the main catalogue.

This UK released 9 September 2009 reissue of "Past Masters" by THE BEATLES on EMI 50999 2 43807 2 0 (Barcode is the same number) combines both of those 1988 Volumes into one 2CD set. 

They've been taken out of their clunky jewel cases and given a tri-gatefold card sleeve (black in colour) - new 2009 remastering and a vastly upgraded booklet. 

Of the 33 tracks - 29 are in STEREO with 4 being in MONO - "Love Me Do", "She Loves You", "I'll Get You" on Disc 1 - and "You Know My Name (Look Up My Number)" on Disc 2.

However - there are differences between the old and new issues. The 1988 version of Disc 1 had 7 MONO tracks and not 3 (Disc 2 has remained the same) - the 4 now replaced with STEREO versions are "From Me To You", "Thank You Girl", and the two singles sung in German. But therein lies a further anomaly...

Beatles chroniclers will know that prior to the issue of "The Ballad Of John & Yoko" in May 1969 - ALL of their UK 7" singles were issued in MONO-ONLY ("The Ballad Of John & Yoko" was their first STEREO single in the UK, while their first STEREO 7" in the US was as late as "Get Back"). So while the vastly improved liner notes talk knowledgably about each British single - this set is in STEREO when they were only ever issued in MONO! Some would therefore say that this whole compilation only compounds the mistake of the 1988 issues and is a further historical travesty. But I'd argue that accuracy's loss is the listener's gain - because these NEW STEREO REMASTERS are simply astonishing soundwise - they really are.

GUY MASSEY, STEVE ROOKE, PAUL HICKS and SEAN MAGEE remastered the original masters tapes with the whole project overseen by ALLAN ROUSE - and they've all done a stunning job. Here are the intimate track-by-track details...

Disc 1 (42:31 minutes):
1. Love Me Do
5 October 1962 debut UK 7" single on Parlophone R 4949
1 is the A-side - the mix has Ringo on the drums - the album version has sessionman Andy White - it's sometimes referred to as the "Original Single Version"

2. From Me To You
3. Thank You Girl
11 April 1963 3rd UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5015
2 and 3 are the A & B - both tracks were non-album

4. She Loves You
5. I'll Get You
23 August 1963 4th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5055
4 and 5 are the A & B - both tracks were non-album

6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
7. This Boy
23 November 1963 5th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5084
6 and 7 are the A & B - both tracks were non-album

8. Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand
9. Sie Liebt Dich
March 1964 German 7" single on Odeon 0 22 671
8 and 9 are German sung versions of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" [A & B]. "I Want To..." is the UK backing track with German vocals simply overdubbed on top, but the "She Loves You" version is an entirely different take. It was recorded in EMI's Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris in late January 1964 - both tracks were then issued in a picture sleeve in March 1964 in Germany on Odeon credited as Die Beatles. "Komm..." later turned up as an album track on the US and German Stereo versions of the "Something New" LP in August and September of 1964 (Capitol ST-2108 and Odeon STO/SMO 83756). "Sie Liebt Dich" was later issued on the October 1979 UK compilation LP "Rarities" on Parlophone PSLP 261.

10. Long Tall Sally
11. I Call Your Name
12. Slow Down
13. Matchbox
10 to 13 are the 4-track British EP "Long Tall Sally" issued 19 June 1964 on Parlophone GEP 8913. "Long Tall Sally: is a Little Richard cover, "I Call Your Name" a Lennon/McCartney original while "Slow Down" and "Matchbox" are Larry Williams and Carl Perkins cover versions. All tracks were non-album at the time.

14. I Feel Fine
15. She's A Woman
27 November 1964 8th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5200
14 and 15 are the A & B - both tracks were non-album

16. Bad Boy
16 is another Larry Williams cover version; this stereo version first appeared in the USA on "Beatles VI" in May 1965 on Capitol ST-2358; it's UK debut was on the December 1966 compilation LP "A Collection Of Beatles Oldies" on Parlophone PCS 7016.

17. Yes It Is
9 April 1965 9th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5265
17 is the non-album B-side to the UK single "Ticket To Ride"

18. I'm Down
23 July 1965 10th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5305
18 is the non-album B-side to the UK single "Help!"

Disc 2 (51:00 minutes):
1. Day Tripper
2. We Can Work It Out
2 December 1965 11th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5389
1 and 2 were a Double A-side; both tracks were non-album

3. Paperback Writer
4. Rain
10 June 1966 12th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5452
3 and 4 are the A&B - both tracks were non-album

5. Lady Madonna
6. The Inner Light
15 March 1968 17th UK 7" single on Parlophone R 5675
5 and 6 are the A&B - both tracks were non-album

7. Hey Jude
8. Revolution
30 August 1968 18th UK 7" single on Apple R 5722 (1st on Apple)
7 and 8 are the A & B - both were non-album
(The tracks "Revolution 1" and "Revolution 9" on "The Beatles" double-album (The White Album) are different versions)

9. Get Back [with Billy Preston]
10. Don't Let Me Down [with Billy Preston]
11 April 1969 19th UK single on Apple R 5777
9 and 10 are the A&B - A is a different version to the LP cut; B is non-album

11. The Ballad Of John And Yoko
12. Old Brown Shoe
30 May 1969 20th UK 7" single on Apple R 5786 [1st UK 7" in STEREO]
11 and 12 are the A&B - A features vocal lead by John Lennon with backup from Paul; B-side is a George Harrison song with him on Lead vocals; both tracks were non-album

13. Across The Universe
This is the version that preceded the more famous "Let It Be" LP cut (released May 1970); this "birds & nature" version was given to a charity album for the World Wildlife Fund called "No One's Gonna Change Our World" released 12 December 1969 in the UK on one of EMI's budget labels - Regal Starline SRS 5018. It has none of the strings or choir added by Phil Spector to the LP cut...and was said to be the take favoured by John Lennon who wrote the song

14. Let It Be
15. You Know My Name (Look Up My Number)
6 March 1970 22nd UK 7" single on Apple R5833 (Last Release as a Band)
14 and 15 are the A&B - A is in STEREO; B is in MONO; A-side is credited to THE BEATLES with Billy Preston and features a different guitar solo by George Harrison than the album cut - both tracks were non-album

Regarding the astonishing Audio. George Harrison's B-side "The Inner Light" ("Lady Madonna" was the A) is a good example of the sound improvement - it's just beautifully clear. It's loud yes, but not amplified to a point where hiss drowns out the song (there's none). And listening to Disc 2 especially - you're struck with awe at how good they were. Most of these tracks were only SINGLES back in the day yet most bands these days would kill a beloved granny for 10% of such craft and talent. Double whammies like "Hey Jude" and "Revolution", "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down", "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out" are just amazing.

Of the earlier stuff - the three part harmonies of "This Boy" and "Yes It Is" sound so young and fresh - while the Rock 'n' Roll stuff exudes their passion for the music. And that guitar on "Paperback Writer" packs a mean left hook. By the time you get to "Let It Be" and "Across The Universe" - the 'best band ever in the history of the world' doesn't seem like an accolade too far. Soundwise literally everything seems up for grabs here - and in a thrilling new way...

For me this rather dull looking double "Past Masters" is one of the best 09/09/09 releases. The song quality is incredible from start to finish and it also rather eloquently shows The Beatles extraordinary development from pop ditty songsters in 1963 to pure rock genius by 1969. 

OK - so "Past Masters" is not historically accurate - but I suspect for the average listener this will not matter - they'll be too busy enjoying the brilliance coming out of their speakers to care about chronology...and isn't that exactly how the boys would have wanted it...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

“Ask Me No Questions” by BRIDGET ST. JOHN [feat John Martyn, Ric Sanders of Fairport Convention and John Peel] (2005 Cherry Red 'Expanded Edition' CD Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...

This Review Along With 100s Of Others Is Available in my
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CLASSIC 1960s MUSIC On CD - Exception Remasters  
Just Click Below To Purchase for £3.95
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"…There Are So Many Things That We Have Shared…"

If Nick Drake had a sister or Nico recorded a Folk-Rock album in 1969 - then the lovely "Ask Me No Questions" by Britain's Bridget St. John would be the result.

Signed to John Peel's fledgling Dandelion Records label - Londoner Bridget St. John was just 22 when she recorded this beautiful but criminally forgotten debut LP. St. John was one of the first three acts released by the BBC's most famous DJ on his 'it's all about the artists' record label.

1. To B Without A Hitch [Side 1]
2. Autumn Lullaby
3. Curl Your Toes
4. Like Never Before
5. The Curious Crystals Of Unusual Purity
6. Barefeet And Hot Pavements
7. I Like To Be With You In The Sun [Side 2]
8. Lizard-Long-Tongue Boy
9. Hello Again (Of Course)
10. Many Happy Returns
11. Broken Faith
12. Ask Me No Questions

13. Suzanne
14. The Road Was Lonely

Produced by JOHN PEEL - the album "Ask Me No Questions" was released in July 1969 on Dandelion S 63750 in a fetching gatefold sleeve (distributed by CBS at the time). Although it received many favourable music press reviews, it sold poorly. It's now a £70-plus listed vinyl rarity but can easily sell for three figures in tip-top condition.

UK released November 2005 - "Ask Me No Questions" by BRIDGET ST. JOHN on Cherry Red CDM RED 282 (Barcode 5013929128224) – this beautifully remastered CD gives us the album's original self-penned tracks (1 to 12 above) with 2 fantastic rarities as extras. The 20-page booklet also has informative and affectionate liner notes by NIGEL CROSS that include an interview with the great lady in 2005 - colour pictures of her in 1969, lyrics to the songs, a trade paper review, reminiscences on John Peel and John Martyn and much more.

Musically - her gut-string guitar picking sounds like Nick Drake on his debut "Five Leaves Left" and her voice is deep and dark like a more somber version of Sandy Denny. Most of the arrangements are just St. John and her guitar - very quiet, pretty folk songs. The mood isn't dark either, more reflective than that - the songs often sound like the countryside although she's from a capitol city. If I were to nitpick, I'd say the lyrics are sometimes weighed down with too many hippy-dippy ponderings about nature and ‘buttercup sandwiches' that may sound twee to some ears now...others, however, will feel they are very much part of the music's charm.

Two notable contributors are JOHN MARTYN on "Curl Your Toes" and the stunning album title track "Ask Me No Questions" where he plays second guitar on both (no vocals unfortunately). There's also second guitar from RIC SANDERS (of Fairport Convention) on "Lizard-Long-Tongue Boy" and "Many Happy Returns" (on which he also plays some wonderful Bottleneck Guitar). 

Highlights include the forgiving relationship song "Broken Faith" (lyrics are the title of this review), the sweet "Barefeet And Hot Pavements" and Martyn's subtle backing on "Curl Your Toes". But the best is kept until last - the near eight-minute folk work out that is the album's title track - "Ask Me No Questions". The song's lovely guitar refrain fades into bird song and bells about three minutes in - only to come back again to the lilting music to great effect. It's still moving - 40 years after the event.

The bonus tracks are genuinely that - bonuses. "Suzanne" (a Leonard Cohen cover) appeared as a rare non-album B-side on "Fly High", a 3-track maxi 7" single in a picture sleeve issued in 1972 on Dandelion/Polydor 2001 280. "The Road Was Lonely" turned as a non-album B-side to the 7" UK single "Passin' Thru" on MCA Records MUS 1203 in 1973. She went on to make two more albums for the Dandelion label "Songs For The Gentle Man" in 1971 and "Thank You For" in 1972 (they're available elsewhere) and has recorded into the 1990s.

So there you have it - if you like Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" (just him and his guitar) or Sandy Denny's more plaintive songs - then this little folk/rock gem is for you. A lovely thing indeed…




SOUL, FUNK and JAZZ FUSION - Exceptional CD Remasters

GROOVIEST SOUNDS AROUND! 1960s MUSIC ON CD (All-Genres) - April 2019 Update

PROG ROCK, PSYCH, AVANT GARDE - Exceptional CD Remasters...


I GOT THE NEWS - 1975 to 1979 Exceptional CD Remasters


MY BROKEN HEART (75 Days In The NHS) - Poem of Poems

1969 - WHOLE LOTTA LOVE - Your All-Genres Guide To Exceptional CD Remasters and Reissues...



TUMBLING DICE - 1972 - Exceptional CD Remasters

ELOQUENT PROFANITY - 1973 - Exceptional CD Remasters







INDEX - Entries and Artist Posts in Alphabetical Order