Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maceo & All The Kings Men - Funky Music Machine (1972)

Maceo & All The Kings Men - Funky Music Machine
FUNK+SOUL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVER | 206MB | 33:36
Excello 1972


01. Funky Music Machine
02. I Want to Sing
03. Dreams
04. Feeling Alright
05. Something
06. Born to Wander
07. T.S.U.
08. For No One
09. Make It With You
10. A Funky Tale to Tell







A rare gem from Maceo Parker – the second album cut with his King's Men group in the short time he was away from James Brown in the early 70s! The set was done for the Excello southern soul label, and it's got a bit of a different groove than his work for House Of Fox with the same group – a style that's got a bit more conventional southern production overall, and grooves that run towards soul a bit more than funk – although the whole record is still pretty darn funky overall! Players in the group include Charles Sherrell, Melvin Parker, and Jimmy Nolen – and titles include "Funky Music Machine", "Dreams", "TSU (Aristocrat of Bands)", "Funky Tale To Tell", and "Born to Wander".  © 1996-2011, Dusty Groove America, Inc.


Maceo Parker - Saxophones, Flute, Vocals
Melvin Parker - Drums
Jimmy Nolen - Guitar
Charles Sherrell - Bass
Joseph Davis - Trumpet
Garett Tilford - Tenor Saxophone
Richard Griffith - Trumpet, Vocals

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gerald Albright - New Beginnings (2006)

Gerald Albright - New Beginnings
JAZZ+FUNK | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 368MB | 55:17
Peak 2006



01. We Got The Groove
02. New Beginnings
03. Deep into My Soul
04. And the Beat Goes On
05. Georgia on My Mind
06. Take Your Time
07. I Want Somebody
08. You Are My Love
09. Last But Not Least
10. I Need You
11. Big Shoes
12. Georgia on My Mind (reprise)







Make no mistake: Gerald Albright has chops -- serious chops -- not to mention strong improvisational skills (on both tenor and alto sax) and a healthy amount of gritty, down-home soulfulness. But having a lot of positive attributes and actually making the most of them are two different things -- and while the saxman has excelled at times (1991's Live at Birdland West remains his most essential disc), he has also delivered his share of forgettable, knee-jerk fluff (1989's Bermuda Nights and 1990's Dream Come True were among the worst offenders). Drawing on both soul-jazz and smooth jazz, New Beginnings is a mixed bag that isn't in a class with Live at Birdland West but is still one of his more worthwhile commercial outings. There are some weak tracks, to be sure; Albright's note-for-note cover of the Whispers' 1979 hit "And the Beat Goes On" pales in comparison to the original version -- and a few other automatic-pilot tracks are equally boring. But when Albright lets loose, New Beginnings becomes a treat that brings to mind Grover Washington, Jr. and early Ronnie Laws rather than Najee, Kenny G., or George Howard. Albright really soars on a gospel-drenched performance of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia on My Mind," and he has some enjoyably funky moments on "Big Shoes" and "We Got the Groove" (both of which keyboardist Jeff Lorber co-wrote with the saxman) as well as the title track (which features Patrice Rushen on acoustic piano). Is Albright capable of much more than what he does on New Beginnings? No question. Albright is quite capable of providing a five-star masterpiece, which New Beginnings is not. Nonetheless, this 2006 release has more pluses than minuses -- and it is certainly superior to Dream Come True, Bermuda Nights, and some of the other duds he recorded for Atlantic in the '80s and '90s.~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

 
Gerald Albright - Saxophone, Flute, Bass
Tracy Carter - Keyboards
Teddy Campbell - Drums
Darrell Crooks - Guitar
Melvin Davis - Bass
Marlon McClain - Guitar
Paul Jackson - Guitar
Patrice Rushen - Piano
Chris Botti - Trumpet
Wallace Scott - Vocals
Walter Scott - Vocals
Rex Rideout - Keyboards
Luther Hanes - Keyboards
Chuckii Booker - Keyboards
Jeff Lorber - Guitar, Keyboards

Gerald Albright - Sax For Stax (2008)

Gerald Albright - Sax For Stax
SOUL+JAZZ | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 412MB | 51:19
Peak 2008


01. Theme From The Men
02. Knock On Wood
03. Never Can Say Goodbye
04. Memphis Passion
05. Respect Yourself
06. I Stand Accused
07. Cheaper To Keep Her
08. Walkin Down Beale Street
09. What You See Is What You Get
10. Who's Makin Love
11. W.C. Handy Hop






Before Gerald Albright began charming audiences with the sleek saxophone sound of his crossover jazz albums, he honed his chops as a session player for R&B artists. On 2008’s SAX FOR STAX, Albright returns to his personal and professional roots, offering up tasty interpretations of classic Stax/Volt soul sides. Fans of Albright’s light jazz sound needn’t fear, however; SAX FOR STAX has the sweet, languid feel of his output from the last 30 years. Even smoking, up-tempo numbers like “Knock On Wood” and “Respect Yourself” are rendered with sophistication. Laid back and mellow, Albright’s tribute to Stax is designed to go down smooth. ~ Anthony Tognazzini, All Music Guide


Gerald Albright - Saxophone, Flute
Arlington Jones - Keyboards
Teddy Campbell - Drums
Melvin Davis - Bass
Rick Watford - Guitar
Will Downing - Vocals
Ledisi - Vocals
Errol Cooney - Guitar
Darrell Crooks - Guitar
Philip Bailey - Vocals
Tracy Carter - Keyboards
Lenny Castro - Percussion
Kirk Whalum - Tenor Saxophone

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Steely Dan - Katy Lied (1975)

Steely Dan - Katy Lied
ROCK | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 205MB | 35:37
ABC 1975


01. Black Friday
02. Bad Sneakers
03. Rose Darling
04. Daddy Don't Live In That New York City No More
05. Doctor Wu
06. Everyone's Gone To The Movies
07. Your Gold Teeth II
08. Chain Lightning
09. Any World (That I'm Welcome To)
10. Throw Back The Little Ones








Building from the jazz-fusion foundation of Pretzel Logic, Steely Dan created an alluringly sophisticated album of jazzy pop with Katy Lied. With this record, Becker and Fagen began relying solely on studio musicians, which is evident from the immaculate sound of the album. Usually, such a studied recording method would drain the life out of each song, but that's not the case with Katy Lied, which actually benefits from the duo's perfectionist tendencies. Each song is given a glossy sheen, one that accentuates not only the stronger pop hooks, but also the precise technical skill of the professional musicians drafted to play the solos. Essentially, Katy Lied is a smoother version of Pretzel Logic, featuring the same cross section of jazz-pop and blues-rock. The lack of innovations doesn't hurt the record, since the songs are uniformly brilliant. Less overtly cynical than previous Dan albums, the album still has its share of lyrical stingers, but what's really notable are the melodies, from the seductive jazzy soul of "Doctor Wu" and the lazy blues of "Chain Lightning" to the terse "Black Friday" and mock calypso of "Everyone's Gone to the Movies." It's another excellent record in one of the most distinguished rock & roll catalogs of the '70s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


 
Donald Fagen - Piano, Vocals
Walter Becker - Bass
Jeff Porcaro - Drums
Hal Blaine - Drums
David Paich - Piano
Wilton Felder - Bass
Chuck Rainey - Bass
Dean Parks - Guitar
Larry Carlton - Guitar
Denny Dias - Guitar
Rick Derringer - Guitar
Hugh McCracken - Guitar
Elliott Randall - Guitar
Jimmie Haskell - Saxophone
Bill Perkins - Saxophone
Michael Omartian - Piano
Victor Feldman - Percussion
Phil Woods - Alto Saxophone

Friday, September 05, 2014

Ramsey Lewis - Dance of The Soul (1998)

Ramsey Lewis - Dance of The Soul
JAZZ | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 297MB | 51:12
GRP 1998


01. Baile del Alma (Dance of the Soul)
02. Fragile
03. Sub Dude
04. Lullaby
05. Portuguese Love
06. Fire and Rain
07. Cancion
08. Love's Serenade
09. Mercy and Grace
10. Cante Hondo (Deep Song)






One of his more memorable GRP dates of the 1990s, Dance of the Soul finds Ramsey Lewis playing mostly acoustic piano on a variety of material. The CD's main focus is accessible, yet creative, jazz-pop, though Lewis detours into gospel on "Mercy and Grace," classical on the acoustic solo piano piece "Cante Hondo (Deep Song)," and jazzy R&B on a remake of Teena Marie's 1981 gem "Portuguese Love" (which features the big-voiced singer Donica Henderson). The Chicagoan has some nice solos on melodic instrumentals like "Sub Dude," "Cancion," and the Joe Sample-ish "Love's Serenade," all of which demonstrate that commercial jazz-pop can be creative as well as highly accessible. In fact, these are the sorts of instrumentals one should use to turn pop and R&B fans on to jazz -- they're easy to absorb, but have a lot more substance than the type of mindless "elevator Muzak" that many pop instrumentalists favored in the 1990s. Although not a masterpiece, Dance of the Soul is a decent effort that has more ups than downs. ~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide


Ramsey Lewis - Grand Piano, Fender
Charles Webb - Bass
Oscar Seaton - Drums
Fareed Hague - Guitar
Orbert Davis - Fluglehorn
Alejo Poveda - Percussion
Henry Johnson - Guitar
Maurice Fitzgerald - Bass
Michael Logan - Keyboards
Kevin Randolph - Keyboards

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cyrus Chestnut - Dark Before The Dawn (1995)

Cyrus Chestnut - Dark Before The Dawn
JAZZ | WAVPACK | CUE | LOG | ARTWORK | 293MB | 57:19
Atlantic 1995


01. Sentimentalia    
02. Steps of Trane    
03. The Mirrored Window
04. Baroque Impressions    
05. A Rare Gem
06. Call Me Later
07. Wright's Rolls and Butter
08. It Is Well With My Soul    
09. Kattin   
10. Lovers Paradise    
11. My Funny Valentine
12. The Dark Before the Dawn







Cyrus Chestnut's The Dark Before the Dawn is a mature, versatile album. Chestnut and his trio members -- Steve Kirby (bass) and Clarence Penn (drums) -- provide their fortunate listeners with a little bit of everything on this collection. Chestnut pays homage to John Coltrane, and his brilliant "Giant Steps," on the lightning fast "Steps of Trane," and gives J.S. Bach a swinging, 21st century twist on the interesting "Baroque Impressions." "My Funny Valentine" is slow and spacious and represents Chestnut's best ballad playing to date. Mix in originals such as the confident "Sentimentalia," the pretty "The Mirrored Window," the playful "Call Me Later" and the show-stopping "Kattin'." Kirby lays down a rock-solid musical foundation and Penn generates the rhythmic fire, but it is Chestnut who breathes life and soul and meaning into these tunes. He has the unique ability to make complicated music both approachable and enjoyable. The listener won't realize it, but will eventually notice their toes tapping and their fingers snapping to this recommended set.  ~ Brian Bartolini, All Music Guide


Cyrus Chestnut - Piano, Fender Rhodes
Steve Kirby - Bass
Clarence Penn - Drums

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ron Carter - Dear Miles (2006)

Ron Carter - Dear Miles
JAZZ | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 328MB | 52:59
EMI 2006


01. Gone            
02. Seven Steps to Heaven     
03. My Funny Valentine        
04. Bags' Groove    
05. Someday My Prince Will Come    
06. Cut and Paste        
07. Stella by Starlight    
08. As Time Goes By    
09. Bye Bye Blackbird    
10. 595






Although he has participated in a couple of Miles Davis tribute bands and Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P., Ron Carter always resisted leading a CD of Davis tunes, until this project. Actually only seven of the ten songs that are performed by Carter's quartet on Dear Miles were associated with the trumpeter (not the two Carter originals or "As Time Goes By"), and "Bags' Groove" is a bit borderline. In any case, there are no trumpeters emulating Miles and these versions rarely hint at Davis' versions. This project simply served as a good excuse to play a variety of superior songs. Carter has plenty of solo space and sometimes takes the melodic lead. Pianist Stephen Scott gets his solos and occasionally throws in unexpected and offbeat song quotes. Drummer Payton Crossley and percussionist Roger Squitero are very much in the background. Dear Miles is a cheerful and upbeat session, most highly recommended to listeners who enjoy hearing a lot of bass solos. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide


Ron Carter - Upright Bass
Stephen Scott - Piano
Payton Crossley - Drums
Roger Squitero - Percussion

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Kenny Barron - Kenny Barron & The Brazilian Knights (2013)

Kenny Barron - Kenny Barron & The Brazilian Knights
BRAZILIAN JAZZ | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 454MB | 73:31
Sunnyside 2013


01. Rapaz De Bem
02. Ja Era
03. Ilusao A Toa
04. So Por Amor
05. Curta Metragem
06. Nos
07. Triste
08. Sonia Braga
09. Tristeza De Nos Dois
10. Chorinho Carioca
11. Sao Conrado





That pianist Kenny Barron is a lover of Brazilian music is not news. He came up in the ’60s—and with Dizzy Gillespie, for Pete’s sake. Brazilian Knights, featuring Barron and a Brazilian sextet at a 2012 session in Rio das Ostras, is his third full-length recording of that music, a typically masterful effort that shines a light on the pianist’s unimpeachable rhythmic touch. Indeed, from the first moment of his improv on the opening “Rapaz De Bem,” Barron evinces a complete understanding of Brazilian grooves. All he needs is a seven-note motif that recurs throughout, in various rhythmic permutations. That knowledge runs deep: He uses his solo to practically recompose Baden Powell’s “Só Por Amor” (with the empathetic help of bassist Sergio Barrozo and drummer Rafael Barata), and buries himself so thoroughly in the rhythm that he appears to be the one complementing guitarist Lula Galvão on “Triste,” when in fact it’s the other way around.That also speaks to Galvão’s gifts: He could easily share top billing with Barron, with the delicate but richly resonant lines of his acoustic guitar. The quiet joy he brings to “Curta Metragem” brings even more life to the sprightly tune, and the intricate details of his work on “Tristeza de Nós Dois” make it the album’s best tune—not to mention his sensitive but surefooted comping throughout. The album’s two other soloists, saxophonist Idriss Boudrioua and harmonica player Maurício Einhorn, also do fine work; Einhorn’s thickly laid cascades on “Chorinho Carioca” are particularly superb. (Claudio Roditi makes a regrettably brief appearance, playing both trumpet and flugelhorn on “Só Por Amor.”) Brazilian Knights is a high-quality recording from a musician whose high quality is inevitable. --Michael J. West, Jazz Times


Kenny Barron - Leader, Piano
Rafael Barata - Drums
Sérgio Barrozo - Bass
Lula Galvao - Guitar
Claudio Roditi - Flugelhorn
Maurício Einhorn - Harmonica
Idriss Boudrioua - Alto Saxophone

Graham Central Station - Mirror (1976)

Graham Central Station - Mirror
FUNK | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 243MB | 38:09
Warner Brothers 1976


1. Entrow 
2. Love [Covers a Multitude of Sin]
3. Mirror 
4. Do Yah 
5. Save Me
6. I Got a Reason
7. Priscilla 
8. Forever




The irony to this album is that the group's music is funky as always, but its lyrical content has many gospel and religious overtones. Though the title track was not a featured release, its synth-propelled rhythm and stirring vocals blend well on this moderately uptempo number. The Top 20 single "Love" is arranged in a free-flowing, mellow tempo. It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard R&B charts. It was followed by the juiced-up funk track "Entrow." Supported by its unwavering beat, group members take turns on vocals and musical exhibitions. While "Save Me" has an aggressive disco groove, the lyric is religious as the title reflects. "I Got a Reason" and "Forever" have similar religious messages. With Larry Graham being the writer on every song on the album, it is highly likely that he was experiencing a transformation in his personal and professional life. ~ Craig Lytle, All Music Guide


Larry Graham - Bass, Synthesizer, Vocals
David Dynamite - Guitar
Greg Adams - Trumpet
Gaylord Birch - Drums, Vocals
Hershall Happiness - Clavinet
Robert Butch - Organ, Piano, Vocals
Chocolate Banks - Percussion, Vocals

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Graham Central Station - Now Do U Wanta Dance (1977)

Graham Central Station - Now Do U Wanta Dance
FUNK | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 256MB | 40:27
Warner Brothers 1977


01. Happ-E-2-C-U-A-Ginn
02. Now Do-U-Wanta Dance
03. Last Train
04. Love and Happiness
05. Earthquake
06. Crazy Chicken
07. Stomped Beat-Up And Whooped
08. Lead Me On
09. Saving My Love For You
10. Have Faith In Me







The fifth album from the funk aggregate generated a smash hit with the title track, "Now Do-U-Wanta Dance." Paced by Larry Graham's rumbling bass and animated lead vocals, which feature the group leader on the vocorder, the synthesized funk track stayed on the Billboard R&B charts for ten weeks, peaking at number ten. The influence doo wop had on the bassist is revealed on songs like "Stomped Beat-Up and Whooped" and "Happ-E-2-C-U-A-Ginn." The former, paced by a rhythm track and Gail Muldrow's vocals, has a catchy hook phrase; it was the second single from the album to hit the Billboard R&B charts (number 25, 11 weeks). The latter is an upbeat, joyous a cappella number groomed around a melodious arrangement, Graham's streetcorner ad libs, and the group's vocal exchanges. Larry Graham's musical talents are inviting. He gives his own rendition of the Al Green classic "Love and Happiness." Maintaining that soulful appeal, Graham injects his robust riffs and his own dose of funk throughout this album. Even when he tones down the funk, the relish always remains present. ~ Craig Lytle, All Music Guide


Larry Graham - Bass, Synthesizer, Vocals
Hershall Kennedy - Clavinet, Trumpet
Robert Sam - Organ, Piano
David Vega - Guitar
Gaylord Birch - Drums
Gail Muldrow - Guitar
Tina Graham - Vocals
Max Haskett - Trumpet
Mic Gilette - Trombone
Jerry Martini - Saxophone
Dennis Marcellino - Saxophone


Monday, August 11, 2014

Graham Central Station - Release Yourself (1974)

Graham Central Station - Release Yourself
FUNK | FLAC | CUE | LOG | 300DPI | 236MB | 37:32
Warner Brothers 1974


1. G.C.S.
2. Release Yourself
3. Got To Go Through It To Get It   
4. I Believe In You   
5. 'Tis Your Kind Of Music   
6. Hey Mr. Writer   
7. Feel The Need
8. Today




Slicker and less original than their debut album, as Graham runs his formula of superficially engaging riffs (title track) and feel-good catchphrases ("Got To Go Through It To Get To It") into the ground. Even the funkiest tracks ("I Believe In You," recently a concert staple of the Artist Formerly Known As Prince) suffer from the too-smooth production (which is credited to God). But he doesn't have the subtlety or melodicism to really pull off smooth soul, making this a rather disapppointing listen. Still, his lively good humor and virtuosity keep things from getting too terrible. Again, Graham plays many of the tracks, backed by the same basic band as the previous release. --David Bertrand Wilson, WARR.org



Larry Graham - Bass, Guitar, Arp, Vocals
Choclet - Drum Machine, Vocals
Hershall Happiness - Clavinet
Robert Sam - Organ
"Wild" Willie - Drums
Dynamite Vega - Guitar
Greg Adams - Trumpet
Mic Gillette - Trombone
Lenny Pickett - Saxophone
Stephen Kupka - Saxophone
Emilio Castillo - Saxophone

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sun Ra & His Arkestra - Super Sonic-Jazz (1957)

Sun Ra & His Arkestra - Super Sonic-Jazz
JAZZ | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 161MB | 49:30
Saturn 1957


01. India   
02. Sunology
03. Advice To Medics
04. Super Blonde
05. Soft Talk   
06. Sunology Part II
07. Kingdom Of Not
08. Portrait Of The Living Sky
09. Blues At Midnight
10. El Is A Sound Of Joy
11. Springtime In Chicago
12. Medicine For A Nightmare







Sun Ra had only been heading his Arkestra for a couple of years when they recorded the 12 songs featured on this 1956 session. But while the arrangements, ensemble work, and solos are not as ambitious, expansive, or free-wheeling as they became on later outings, the groundwork was laid on such cuts as "India," "Sunology," and one of the first versions of "Blues at Midnight." Ra's band already had the essential swinging quality and first-class soloists, and he had gradually challenged them with compositions that did not rely on conventional hard bop riffs, chord changes, and structure but demanded a personalized approach and understanding of sound and rhythm far beyond standard thinking. You can hear in Ra's solos and those of John Gilmore, Pat Patrick, Charles Davis, and others an emerging freedom and looseness which would explode in the future. [The CD was also released with a bonus track, "Sunology, Pt. 2."] ~ Ron Wynn, All Music Guide


Sun Ra - Piano
Julian Priester - Trombone
Bass – Victor Sproles
Robert Barry - Drums
Art Hoyle - Trumpet
William Cochran - Drums
Wilburn Green - Electric Bass
James Scales - Alto Saxophone
John Gilmore - Tenor Saxophone
Jim Herndon - Timpani, Timbales
Charles Davis - Baritone Saxophone
Pat Patrick - Alto, Baritone Saxophone

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Leela James - Let's Do It Again (2009)

Leela James - Let's Do It Again
SOUL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 394MB | 56:08
Shanachie 2009



01. Clean Up Woman
02. Miss You
03. It's a Man's Man's Man's World
04. Baby I'm Scared of You
05. You Know How to Love Me
06. I Want to Know What Love Is
07. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
08. I Try    
09. I'd Rather Be with You
10. Simply Beautiful    
11. Let's Do It Again






For adult contemporary R&B fans, it was disheartening that a vocalist as talented as Leela James went almost four years before releasing a follow-up to her flawed but promising debut. Coming into her second album with the knowledge that it is part of the Shanachie label's extensive series of all-covers sets, predominantly the province of artists twice James' age who are on album number ten or 20 instead of two, gauging the level of expectations is tricky. On one hand, it is frustrating that James' second album, after all this time, contains no original songs; on the other, it should be a loose, no-fuss affair, less measured than A Change Is Gonna Come and more like James' well-regarded live show. The latter, thankfully, is very much true. James' selections are mostly inspired, containing some natural (if obvious) material -- like the album's bookends, Betty Wright's "Clean Up Woman" and the Staple Singers' "Let's Do It Again" -- and some others that are bound to raise some eyebrows, just from seeing the titles. Womack & Womack's gently swinging "Baby I'm Scared of You" is a highlight, despite the absence of a sparring partner, which lends it a tone that is more serious than the Womacks' typically playful original. Phyllis Hyman's "You Know How to Love Me," perhaps the boldest inclusion (written and recorded when Mtume/Lucas and Hyman were at the peak of their powers), gets a faithful look, proving that James should do free-spirited and uptempo material more often. "I'd Rather Be with You" (Bootsy's Rubber Band) could use more sleaze and Bobby Womack's "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" lacks some necessary unease, and it would have been a nice twist for James to tackle something from the last 25 years, but overall, Let's Do It Again is one of Shanachie's best all-covers discs. May James find a support system that allows her to record albums of new material every other year (or so) from here on out. ~ Andy Kellman, All Music Guide


Leela James - Vocals
Christopher Sabb - Bass
Rudy Bird - Percussion
Steve White - Drums
Ricardo Ramos - Guitar
Roland Barber - Trombone
Teodross Avery - Saxophone
Kenyatta Beasley - Trumpet
Ralph Kearns - Keyboards, Vocals




SUPPORT THE REAL ARTISTS!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Leela James - My Soul (2010)

Leela James - My Soul
SOUL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 315MB | 39:50
Stax 2010


01. I Ain't New to This
02. So Cold
03. The Fact Is
04. I Want It All
05. Party All Night
06. Mr. Incredible Ms. Unforgettable
07. Tell Me You Love Me
08. Let It Roll
09. Supa Luva
10. If It's Wrong
11. It's Over





Let’s Do It Again, a covers album released on an independent label in 2009, fared significantly better on the charts than Leela James' 2005 debut, a major-label release. One could interpret this irony as a case of a major mishandling an artist, but it’s just as likely that it took a few years for word about James to spread. She’s one of those R&B singers whose ‘70s-throwback voice belies her birth year (1983), built more for a steady career and a slowly developing fan base than overnight platinum success. Now on Stax, longtime home of Mavis Staples (one of her most evident inspirations), James finds herself in an ideal setting. My Soul is James' best yet in every way. It does not feature quite as many big-name collaborators or eye-popping elements as her debut, but the material is stronger, more balanced between vintage and contemporary sounds, and James sounds more comfortable in her voice. Just as important is that she is coming into her own as a songwriter; four of the songs were written entirely by her, and they are among the album’s most affecting moments, ranging from the yearning, dropped-guard “So Cold,” to the forceful “I Want It All,” to the carefree “Let It Roll.” Do make sure you stay until the end, through the steamy “Supa Luva” and “If It’s Wrong,” as well as the deadly “It’s Over” (“That’s why I changed the locks on my door, ‘cause love don’t live here no more”). ~ Andy Kellman, All Music Guide


Leela James - Vocals
Spanky McCurdy - Drums
Dwayne Moore - Bass
Smurf Smith - Keyboards
Mark Bowers - Bass, Guitar
Milton Fletcher - Keyboards

The "B-Dub" Horns:
Ben Wendel - Tenor Saxophone
Bud Wales - Tenor Saxophone
Brenda Walkin - Tenor Saxophone
Barry Wilson - Baritone Saxophone




SUPPORT THE REAL ARTIST

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Earth Wind & Fire - The Promise (2003)

Earth Wind & Fire - The Promise
SOUL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 436MB | 56:59
Kalimba 2003



01. All In the Way
02. Betcha
03. Wiggle
04. Why?
05. Wonderland
06. Where Do We Go from Here?
07. Freedom
08. Hold Me
09. Never
10. Prelude
11. All About Love
12. Suppose You Like Me
13. The Promise
14. Love's Patience/She Waits
15. The Promise (Continued)
16. Let Me Love You
17. Dirty








A certain reverence needs to be paid toward a group that can manage to still produce interesting, soulful music well into a third decade. Earth, Wind & Fire has endured practically everything a music group can experience and still remain true to the very essence of what made it popular. However, those expecting a knockout traditional Earth, Wind & Fire record will be slightly disappointed with The Promise. Though the magic of Philip Bailey and Maurice White's instantly recognizable vocals is still potent, there are a few things that Earth, Wind & Fire fanatics will immediately notice are different. The use of drum machines as opposed to a live drummer on the majority of the record takes some of the energy and magic out of the delivery, especially when revisiting classic moments of the group's career. Unnecessary interludes also serve more as distractions than interesting segues, and take away what little cohesiveness The Promise holds. Individually, the songs are still well-produced and hold up on their own -- and all would be considered suitable for a smooth jazz/adult R&B setting. Overall, The Promise still retains many of the qualities that endeared fans to Earth, Wind & Fire so many years ago -- it's extremely soulful and soothing, and the loyalists will eat this release up (especially with the renditions of older songs). ~ Rob Theakston, All Music Guide

 

Maurice White - Vocals, Kalimba
Verdine White - Bass
Philip Bailey - Vocals
Ralph Johnson - Percussion
 Bob Robinson - Piano, Guitar
Tom Mgrdichian - Keyboards
John Paris - Drums
Greg Moore - Guitar
Tim Kelley - Keyboards
Reggie Young - Trombone
Darrell Crooks - Guitar
Gary Grant - Trumpet
Jerry Hey - Trumpet
Andy Martin - Trombone
Wanda Vaughn - Vocals
Wayne Vaughn - Drums
Eric Walls - Guitar
Wayne Linsey - Keyboards
Gregory Curtis - Keyboards
Gary Bias - Flute, Saxophone
Robert Brookins - Keyboards
Tollak Ollestad - Harmonica
Raymond Crossley - Keyboards
Paulinho Da Costa - Percussion
Ray Brown - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Daniel de los Reyes - Percussion
Alexander Dutkewych - Guitar, Harp
Michael Stewart - Trumpet, Flugelhorn

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Muddy Waters - The Anthology: 1947-1972 (2001)

Muddy Waters - The Anthology: 1947-1972
COMPILATION | BLUES | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVER | 641MB | 147:47
MCA 2001



1-01. Gypsy Woman
1-02. I Can't Be Satisfied
1-03. I Feel Like Going Home
1-04. Train Fare Home Blues
1-05. Mean Red Spider
1-06. Standin Here Tremblin
1-07. You Gonna Need My Help
1-08. Little Geneva
1-09. Rollin' & Tumblin' Part 1
1-10. Rollin' Stone
1-11. Walkin' Blues
1-12. Louisiana Blues
1-13. Long Distance Call
1-14. Honey Bee
1-15. Country Boy
1-16. She Moves Me
1-17. Still A Fool
1-18. Stuff You Gotta Watch
1-19. Who's Gonna Be Your Sweet Man When I'm Gone?
1-20. Standin' Around Cryin
1-21. Baby Please Don't Go
1-22. Hoochie Coochie Man
1-23. I Just Want To Make Love To You
1-24. I'm Ready
1-25. Young Fashioned Ways
1-26. I Want To Be Loved

2-01. My Eyes (Keep Me In Trouble)
2-02. Mannish Boy
2-03. Sugar Sweet
2-04. Trouble No More
2-05. Forty Days And Forty Nights
2-06. Just To Be With You
2-07. Don't Go No Farther
2-08. Diamonds At Your Feet
2-09. I Love The Life I Live, I Live The Life I Love
2-10. Got My Mojo Working
2-11. Rock Me
2-12. Look What You've Done
2-13. She's Nineteen Years Old
2-14. Close To You
2-15. Walking Thru The Park
2-16. Take The Bitter With The Sweet
2-17. I Feel So Good (Live)
2-18. You Shook Me
2-19. My Home Is In The Delta
2-20. Good Morning Little School Girl
2-21. The Same Thing
2-22. You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
2-23. All Aboard (Fathers & Sons)
2-24. Can't Get No Grindin






There have been countless collections of Muddy Waters' classic Chess material released over the years, but Chess began to whittle down the domestic catalog toward the late '90s. The triple-disc Chess box remained in print, but they added two single-disc collections that each covered a specific period in Waters' career at Chess. Then, in 2001, MCA/Chess released The Anthology, a double-disc set that essentially contained much of those two single-disc collections, with several extra tracks, remastering and new liner notes. This still didn't correct the lack of a concise, single-disc overview with all the hits -- something that Muddy, Chuck Berry, and Howlin' Wolf all desperately need -- but if you're going to be buying two discs to get the full Muddy Waters story, you should get this instead of two separate discs, since it's simply easier. Besides this, even if it does contain a bunch of familiar material, it also contains some of the greatest music of the 20th century, and if you're not going to get the box but still want a comprehensive Muddy set, this is it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Muddy Waters - Guitar, Vocals
Little Walter - Harmonica
Junior Wells - Harmonica
Otis Spann - Piano
Buddy Guy - Guitar
Willie Dixon - Bass
Sunnyland Slim - Piano
Luther Tucker - Guitar
Phil Upchurch - Bass
Fred Below - Drums
Francis Clay - Drums
Sam Lay - Drums
Elgin Evans - Drums
Leroy Foster - Guitar
Pat Hare - Guitar
Jimmy Rogers - Guitar
Earl Hooker - Guitar
Clifton James - Drums
Fred Robinson - Guitar
Lafayette Leake - Piano
Jeffrey Carp - Harmonica
Andrew Stephenson - Bass
James Cotton - Harmonica
A.C. Reed - Tenor Saxophone

Charlie Wilson - Just Charlie (2010)

Charlie Wilson - Just Charlie
R&B | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 282MB | 38:38
JIVE 2010


01. My Girl Is A Dime
02. You Are
03. I Wanna Be Your Man
04. Never Got Enough
05. Once And Forever
06. Life Of The Party
07. I Can't Let Go
08. Crying For You
09. Where Would I Be
10. Lotto





On Charlie Wilson‘s 2010 release, Just Charlie, the former Gap Band singer sticks with the high-quality “grown folks” R&B material that put his previous two albums in the Top Ten of Billboard 200 album chart. Besides whittling the number of special guests down from three to one, casual fans will have problems telling this one from his previous release, but these ten smooth cuts go down easy and give no sign the formula has stopped working. “My Girl is a Dime” is filled with enough pride and passion, “Lotto” feels like it’s delivered from the center of the romance winner’s circle, and Charlie’s cover of Zapp’s slow funk favorite “I Wanna Be Your Man” is highly desirable and well inspired as it turns into a duet with Fantasia. “You Are” is the grand romance ballad and key track, while everything else is as comfortable, coolly sexy, and warm as fans desire. Maybe the album naming scheme -- Charlie, Last Name Wilson, Uncle Charlie, Just Charlie -- could be reconsidered, but otherwise, this is Wilson the way you want him. ~ David Jeffries, All Music Guide



Charlie Wilson - Vocals
Marlon McClain - Guitar
Insomniax - Musician
 Erick Walls - Guitar
Fantasia - Vocals
Wayne Wallace - Trombone
Curt Ingram - French Horn
Peter Escovedo - Percussion
Brinson Poythress - Guitar
Mary Fettig - Alto Saxophone
Lance Tolbert - Bass, Keyboards
Wirlie Morris - Bass, Keyboards
Louis Fasman - Flugelhorn, Trumpet

Monday, July 14, 2014

Booker T - Sound The Alarm (2013)

Booker T - Sound The Alarm
SOUL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 362MB | 47:32
STAX 2013


01. Sound the Alarm
02. All Over the Place
03. Fun
04. Broken Heart
05. Feel Good
06. Gently
07. Austin City Blues
08. Can't Wait
09. 66 Impala
10. Watch You Sleeping
11. Your Love Is No Love
12. Father Son Blues





Booker T. Jones has certainly put his mark on modern pop music. As part of the legendary group Booker T. & the MG's, Memphis' first integrated band, and the house band at Stax Records in the 1960s, he pretty much was in at the ground floor of the invention of soul, backing classic soul hits by Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, and many others, as well as generating iconic instrumental hits from the era like "Green Onions," "Time Is Tight," and numerous others with the MG's. Jones left Stax as the 1970s hit and the label was essentially falling apart, and he's drifted from label to label ever since, his legacy secure as the dominant Hammond B-3 organ player of his generation (apart from Jimmy Smith, of course). Sound the Alarm is Jones' tenth solo album since leaving Stax, and it returns him to the label, now owned by Concord Records, a dozen years and change into the 21st century. Homecomings are nice, and it makes for a nice press hook for this outing, but anyone expecting some vintage-styled Memphis soul here is going to be disappointed, because there isn't much of it. Jones, who wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, has brought in several guests to help him out, and while it isn't exactly a duets album, it's pretty close, and the focus is hardly on Jones and his playing. There are a couple of nice urban R&B love ballads like "Broken Heart," which features Jay James on vocals, and "Your Love Is No Love," done with the group Vintage Trouble and spotlighting Ty Taylor on vocals, but most of the other tracks with lead vocals have little real impact or presence. The best tracks here by far are the handful of instrumentals, including the soul-jazz-like "Feel Good," the funky and bluesy "Austin City Blues" with Gary Clark, Jr. on guitar, and the set closer, "Father Son Blues," which features Ted Jones on guitar. There's nothing wrong with trying to get a more contemporary sound and feel (the album was co-produced by Jones and brothers Bobby Ross and Issiah "IZ" Avila), of course, but when you're Booker T. Jones, maybe you shouldn't worry about that. After all, the funky soul groove template that Jones helped create in Memphis some 40-plus years ago never really goes out of style. One wishes there were more of that here. ~ Steve Leggett, All Music Guide


Booker T - Hammond, Bass, Piano, Vocals
Richard Danielson - Drums
Gordon Campbell - Drums
Raphael Saadiq - Guitar
Nate Watts - Bass
Nalle Colt - Guitar
Rick Barrio - Bass
Leon Silva - Saxophone
Rashawn Ross - Trumpet
Wesley Smith - Saxophone
Kevin Williams - Trombone

Friday, July 11, 2014

Buddy Guy - Rhythm & Blues (2013)

Buddy Guy - Rhythm & Blues
BLUES | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 591MB | 80:41
RCA 2013


DISC 1: RHYTHM:
01. Best in Town
02. Justifyin'
03. I Go by Feel
04. Messin' with the Kid
05. What's Up with That Woman
06. One Day Away
07. Well I Done Got Over It
08. What You Gonna Do About Me
09. The Devil's Daughter
10. Whiskey Ghost
11. Rhythm Inner Groove

DISC 2: BLUES:
01. Meet Me in Chicago
02. Too Damn Bad
03. Evil Twin
04. I Could Die Happy
05. Never Gonna Change
06. All That Makes Me Happy Is the Blues
07. My Mama Loved Me
08. Jr.) Blues Don't Care
09. I Came Up Hard
10. Poison Ivy






A great open secret of the last act of Buddy Guy's career is that nearly every album he's made in the new millennium is a concept album of sorts, ranging from the gnarled modern Delta blues of Sweet Tea and the acoustic Blues Singer to the pseudo-autobiography of 2010's Living Proof. Rhythm & Blues trumps them all in size and concept: it's a double-disc set divided into one disc of "Rhythm" (aka soul) and one disc of "Blues" (aka blues of the Chicago variety). Several stars come out to help Guy along, top-lined by three-fifths of Aerosmith on "Evil Twin" and Kid Rock on, naturally, "Messin' with the Kid." The former arrives on "Blues" and the latter on "Rhythm," which suggests how fluid the lines are between the two discs. But it's also generally true that the "Rhythm" disc is big, bold, and brassy in a way Buddy rarely is; often, it's much closer to the late, great Bobby "Blue" Bland, albeit a hyper-charged, over-scaled version of soul-blues. Guy has rarely attempted this kind of horn-driven, soulful blues and it's fun to hear him tackle such sounds as he wrestles the rhythms while spitting out gonzo, gnarly guitar runs. Better still, he finds a place to settle down within the slinky grooves of "I Go By Feel" and the Keith Urban duet "One Day Away," which are not only the two greatest surprises in tone, but also the two songs that sink their hooks in deep. That's not always the case here, at least for the originals, particularly on the "Blues" disc which either trades in pastiche ("Meet Me in Chicago," "All That Makes Me Happy Is the Blues") or function as simple showcases for Guy's guitar. If this package can sometimes feel a little too pat, put the blame on producer Tom Hambridge, who also helmed Skin Deep and Living Proof and now has a track record of pushing Guy just enough to form a narrative but not enough to break him out of the box. Buddy himself remains a bit of a live wire, his voice sounding younger than Steven Tyler's and his guitar continuing to be a muscled monster that steamrollers everything surrounding it. That continued potency is reason enough to give Rhythm & Blues a spin. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

 

Buddy Guy - Stratocaster, Guitar, Vocals
Rob McNelley - Slide Guitar
Michael Rhodes - Bass
Tommy Macdonald - Bass
Tom Hambridge - Drums
Beth Hart - Vocals
Joe Perry - Guitar
Kid Rock - Vocals
Charles Rose - Trombone
Steven Tyler - Vocals
David Grissom - Guitar
Steven Herrman - Trumpet
Gary Clark - Guitar, Vocals
Keith Urban - Guitar, Vocals
Jim Horn - Baritone Saxophone
Reese Wynans - Hammond, Wurlitzer
Harvey Thompson - Tenor Saxophone
Kevin McKendree - Hammond, Wurlitzer

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Sandra St. Victor - Mack Diva Saves The World (1996)

Sandra St. Victor - Mack Diva Saves The World
SOUL+FUNK | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 447MB | 60:05
Warner Brothers 1996


01. Intro Skit
02. Mack Diva
03. Chocolate
04. Rise
05. Don't Bring Me Down
06. Knocked Up And Locked Down
07. MPH!
08. MPH!
09. Since You Been Gone
10. Come Over
11. Wet
12. Lonely In A Crowded Room
13. Can't Live Without You







With her debut album Mack Diva Saves the World, Sandra St. Victor covers the same ground that she did with the Family Stand -- her former bandmate V. Jeffrey Smith even appears on three tracks -- but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. St. Victor has a smooth, powerful voice that can enliven even the mediocre tracks, which there are a handful of here. However, there are more than enough songs that cross classic soul with hip-hop sensibilities, and those are the cuts that make Mack Diva Saves the World an album worth returning to. ~ Leo Stanley, All Music Guide



Sandra St. Victor - Vocals
V. Jeffrey Smith - Keyboards
Charles Alexander - Flute
Bob Robinson - Keyboards
Robert Palmer - Guitar
Booker King - Bass
Joe Belmaati - Bass
Freddie Cash - Bass
Michael Ciro - Guitar
Tim Kelly - Keyboards
Tue Roh - Fender Rhodes
William Duvall - Guitar
Fred King - Fender Rhodes
Howard McCrary - Keyboards
Mark Batson - Guitar, Organ, Piano

Monday, July 07, 2014

Abbey Lincoln - Abbey Sings Abbey (2007)

Abbey Lincoln - Abbey Sings Abbey
VOCAL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | 300DPI | 369MB | 59:42
Verve 2007


01. Blue Monk            
02. Throw It Away        
03. And It's Supposed to Be Love    
04. Should've Been    
05. The World Is Falling Down         
06. Bird Alone    
07. Down Here Below        
08. TheMusic Is the Magic    
09. Learning How to Listen    
10. The Merry Dancer    
11. Love Has Gone Away   
12. Being Me






Vocalist Abbey Lincoln's voice is the sound of the earth yearning for your soul. She is lust turned to wisdom. She is diva turned to soothsayer. In her mid-seventies at the time of this recording, Lincoln is the embodiment of a life lived as a performer and lover and now a storyteller through song. Abbey Sings Abbey finds the songstress revisiting a number of her own compositions from past albums. And while she remains a pre-eminent jazz singer, here she has surrounded herself with an eclectic and organic small group that imbues these tracks with a soft country-blues meets klezmer sound that rubs elegantly against Lincoln's burnished vocals. This is a beautifully raw and intimate album full of lament and the faint perfume of romance. As she sings on "Should've Been," "It's the sound of sorry/Looking yonder with regret. Sorry 'cause of what you got/And what you didn't get." These are enigmatic torch songs and playful blues, dark elegies and poignant ballads all featuring Lincoln's own devastatingly precise lyrics and melodies that hint at not just death and regret, but also a lingering passion for life. ~ Matt Collar, All Music Guide



Abbey Lincoln - Vocals
Shawn Pelton - Drums
Dave Eggar - Cello
Scott Colley - Bass
Gil Goldstein - Accordion
Larry Campbell - Guitar, Mandolin

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Earth, Wind & Fire - The Need of Love (1971)

Earth, Wind & Fire - The Need of Love
SOUL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVER | 195MB | 31:49
Warner Brothers 1971


01. Energy
02. Beauty
03. I Can Feel It In My Bones
04. I Think About Lovin You
05. Everything Is Everything






At this point the band was Maurice and Verdine White with Wade Flemons and Sherry Scott (vocals), Don Whitehead (piano), Michael Beal (guitar), Yackov Ben Israel (percussion), Chet Washington (sax) and Alex Thomas (trombone). Like the previous record, there are some atmospheric jams ("Energy," with a spacey spoken invocation), and this time the arrangements are more sophisticated ("Everything Is Everything"; "Beauty," with spiffy vocal harmonies). On the other hand, there's nothing as invigorating as "Fan The Fire," let alone the classic songs the next incarnation of the band would soon come up with. Scott contributes one ordinary soul ballad, "I Think About Lovin' You"; the bulk of the disc is by White, Flemons and Whitehead. Produced by Joe Wissert. --David Bertrand Wilson, WARR.org


Maurice White - Drums, Kalimba, Vocals
Don Whitehead - Piano, Vocals
Oscar Brashear - Trumpet
Wade Flemons - Vocals
Sherry Scott - Vocals
Verdine White - Bass
Alexander Thomas - Trombone
Michael Beal - Guitar, Harmonica
Chet Washington - Tenor Saxophone
Yackov Ben Israel - Congas, Percussion

Friday, June 27, 2014

Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You (1967)

Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved A Man
SOUL | FLAC | CUE | LOG | CUE | PNG | 232MB | 41:26
Atlantic 1967


01. Respect
02. Drown in My Own Tears
03. I Never Loved a Man
04. Soul Serenade
05. Don't Let Me Lose This Dream
06. Baby, Baby, Baby
07. Dr. Feelgood
08. Good Times
09. Do Right Woman
10. Save Me
11. A Change Is Gonna Come
12. Respect [Stereo Version]
13. I Never Loved a Man[Stereo Version]
14. Do Right Woman [Stereo Version]






While the inclusion of "Respect" -- one of the truly seminal singles in pop history -- is in and of itself sufficient to earn I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You classic status, Aretha Franklin's Atlantic label debut is an indisputable masterpiece from start to finish. Much of the credit is due to producer Jerry Wexler, who finally unleashed the soulful intensity so long kept under wraps during her Columbia tenure; assembling a crack Muscle Shoals backing band along with an abundance of impeccable material, Wexler creates the ideal setting to allow Aretha to ascend to the throne of Queen of Soul, and she responds with the strongest performances of her career. While the brilliant title track remains the album's other best-known song, each cut on I Never Loved a Man is touched by greatness; covers of Ray Charles' "Drown in My Own Tears" and Sam Cooke's "Good Times" and "A Change Is Gonna Come" are on par with the original recordings, while Aretha's own contributions -- "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream," "Baby, Baby, Baby," "Save Me," and "Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)" -- are perfectly at home in such lofty company. A soul landmark. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide


 
Aretha Franklin - Piano, Vocals
Carolyn Franklin - Vocals
Jimmy Johnson - Guitar
Gene Chrisman - Drums
Tommy Cogbill - Bass
Chips Moman - Guitar
Dewey Oldham - Keyboards
King Curtis - Tenor Saxophone
Melvin Lastie - Cornet, Trumpet
Charles Chalmers - Tenor Saxophone
Willie Bridges - Baritone Saxophone

Manhattan Transfer - Spirit of St Louis (2000)

Manhattan Transfer - Spirit of St Louis
VOCALESE | FLAC | CUE | LOG | PNG | 368MB | 46:21
Atlantic 2000


01. Stompin at Mahogany Hall
02. The Blues Are Brewin
03. Sugar
04. A Kiss to Build a Dream On
05. Old Man Mose
06. Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
07. Gone Fishin
08. Nothing Could Be Better
09. Blue Again
10. When You Wish upon a Star





You always look for new things from the Manhattan Transfer, and after a couple of releases that weren't too innovative, followed by a three-year gap, suddenly they come out with a really peculiar-sounding, refreshingly weird observance of the Louis Armstrong centennial. It sounds as if they had spent those three years racking their brains trying to come up with a totally different studio sound that's neither nostalgic nor modern. Which is exactly what they've done; the sound is compressed to evoke that of an ancient 78 rpm disc but not any 78 you'll ever encounter, whether by Louis or anyone. You hear all kinds of odd things bumping around in the back like loose parts in a machine, strange electronic treatments of the voices, an accordion wailing through many of the tracks, Delta blues guitar, Cajun, and rock & roll, and even more modern styles (with members of k.d. lang's band and Los Lobos's Steve Berlin joining in). The A&R guys probably would have killed to make this CD an exercise in reverent nostalgia -- "Do You Know What It Means to Miss Orleans" is the closest thing to it -- but a track like "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" with its touch of hip-hop in the rhythm, electronically limited guitar, and strings doesn't sound nostalgic in the least. "Gone Fishin'" is an affectionate, extended Alan Paul/Tim Hauser takeoff on the easygoing rapport between Armstrong and Bing Crosby on their duet version, wisely leaving the funny topical references to the original. "Nothing Could Be Hotter Than That" has some trademark Cheryl Bentyne high-wire vocalese. And to end the album, a normally warm and cozy tune like "When You Wish Upon a Star" opens and closes with a spacy electronic arrangement, with harmonies that thankfully undercut the sweetness, transforming the tune. Louis Armstrong wouldn't have recognized this "tribute," but his younger self probably would have hailed the Transfer's renewed moxie and experimental spirit. ~ Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide


 
Janis Siegel - Vocals
Tim Hauser - Vocals
Alan Paul - Vocals
Corey Allen - Vocals

Abe Laboriel - Drums
Steve Berlin - Saxophone
Plas Johnson - Saxophone
Chris Bruce - Guitar
Jon Hassell - Trumpet
Greg Leisz - Guitar, Pedal Steel
Jon Clarke - Clarinet, Saxophone
Teddy Borowiecki - Accordion, Organ
Patrick Warren - Chamberlin, Marxophone

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Preservation Hall Jazz Band - That's It! (2013)

Preservation Hall Jazz Band - That's It!
ORLEANS JAZZ | FLAC | CUE | LOG | COVERS | 240MB | 37:41
Legacy 2013


01. That's It!
02. Dear Lord
03. Come with Me
04. Sugar Plum
05. Rattlin Bones
06. I Think I Love You
07. August Nights
08. Halfway Right, Halfway Wrong
09. Yellow Moon
10. The Darker it Gets
11. Emmalena's Lullaby






Preservation Hall Jazz Band's 2013 album, That's It!, is the first album of all-original material in their 50-year career. Certainly, the storied ensemble has performed original songs by its various members over the years, but the group has never released an album made up solely of new compositions. In that sense, the album fits in with Preservation Hall Jazz Band's recent creative direction that found them collaborating with artists from other genres, including 2010's Preservation: An Album to Benefit Preservation Hall & the Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program and 2011's jazz-meets-bluegrass experiment American Legacies, featuring the Del McCoury Band. Some of this newfound creativity is surely due in large part to bassist and tuba player Ben Jaffe having taken over as Preservation Hall's director, a legacy passed down to him by his parents, who co-founded the institution. Under his creative direction, Preservation Hall has flourished as a vital part of New Orleans culture. Produced by Jaffe along with My Morning Jacket's Jim James, That's It! celebrates this culture with a batch of brand-new songs that, while hewing closely to the swinging blues and gospel-oriented traditions of New Orleans jazz, never feel stodgy or revivalist. These are freewheeling, organic productions that make the most of the group's mix of older and younger musicians. Along with new songs by Jaffe, clarinetist/vocalist Charlie Gabriel, pianist Rickie Monie, and saxophonist/vocalist Clint Maedgen, the album also features songs co-written by several pop artists, including the legendary Paul Williams and Semisonic's Dan Wilson. All of which helps to make That's It! a vibrant, engaging work and one of Preservation Hall's best albums. ~ Matt Collar, All Music Guide


Ben Jaffe - String Bass, Tuba
Mark Braud - Trumpet
Joe Lastie - Drums
Rickie Monie - Piano
Ronell Johnson - Piano, Tuba
Freddie Lonzo - Trombone, Vocals
Clint Maedgen - Saxophone, Vocals
Charlie Gabriel - Clarinet, Saxophone