Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Vinyl

On 1974's Court and Spark Joni Mitchell cautiously dipped her musical toes into the jazz pool, adding some studio players like Milt Holland, Wilton Felder and Tom Scott to the arranging mix and capping the record with a sly, startling cover of Wardell Gray and Annie Ross's "Twisted" found originally on Lambert, Hendricks & Ross!: The Hottest New Group in Jazz (Columbia CS 8198). Cheech and Chong added some of their zany comic commentary to the... Read More

genre Jazz Vocal Jazz format Vinyl

Series curator Scott Billington says it all in his obi strip annotation: "In the 1960s James may have startled listeners the most, because the haunting quality of his music had only deepened with time". Scott was referring to James's eerie, almost ghostly falsetto vocals that first appeared on record back in 1931 on the Paramount label.This outing recorded January 9 and 10 1966 at Vanguard's 214 West 23rd Street New York City studio, is... Read More

genre Blues format Vinyl

It may seem odd for Blue Note to reissue Jason Moran’s Ten on two LPs as part of its Classic Vinyl series. For one thing, it was recorded in 2010, a bit recent to be deemed a classic. For another, contrary to the “hype sticker” (and unlike most titles in the series), it was not “mastered from the original analog tapes,” as the album was recorded digitally. (Blue Note has since acknowledged the error.) Nonetheless, the album fits the category. The sound quality, though... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

The sum - it’s said - is always greater than the parts. Rockpile may have only released one album, but 1980’s Seconds of Pleasure stands as a prime example of that adage. Nick Lowe (guitar, vocals) and Dave Edmunds (guitar, vocals) were the band's star power, but they brought more than just their entertainment acumen to the table; with them came their longtime musical cohorts Billy Bremner (vocals, guitar) and Terry Williams on “drums, drums, drums” (as the liner... Read More

genre Rock Rockabilly format Vinyl

Hi-Fi has long been very good to Duke Ellington, beginning in 1950 when long playing records and tape recording allowed him to finally deliver Masterpieces by Ellington an album of previously impossible to release to the home listening public, live concert length arrangements of his most popular and enduring compositions. Until then only attendees of his live concerts got to hear them.Finally Ellington was freed from the constraints of the three minute 78rpm... Read More

genre Jazz Big Band format Vinyl

The mystery is why this 1959 Riverside recording wasn't released until 1964, and even then, according to Craft Recordings, only in the U.K. True, Riverside was essentially a jazz label, but then why record Hooker in the first place unadorned if not to release it? Hooker had been recording electric blues for Vee-Jay but Riverside wanted acoustic and in fact released in 1960 The Country Blues of John Lee Hooker recorded at the same sessions that produced this... Read More

genre Blues format Vinyl

For the initiated this project has mostly existed as a collection of poorly bootlegged video clips on YouTube. That is, unless, you ponied up for the 2010 archive release of Band On The Run, which included a polished DVD version of this 1974 documentary. But now Macca, ready to embark on yet another age-defying batch of live dates, has made these sessions official.So across two LPs (or two CDs), One Hand Clapping finally comes out of the bootleg protection program... Read More

genre Rock Pop Rock format Vinyl

Musicians from Handel to Jackson Browne to Philip Glass to The Beach Boys, to name but a few, have had water on their minds, which is not the same as having water on the brain. True, Glass only got as far as the beach, but that's close enough. Add bassist/composer Stephan Crump to the list. He's recorded two albums with the Rosetta Trio, an unusual grouping of bass and two guitars. Here, he's composed a sixty seven minute long suite for an... Read More

David Bowie’s self-produced 1974 album Diamond Dogs is undoubtedly the worst of his run from Hunky Dory through Scary Monsters (Pin Ups doesn’t count). As a messy exit from his glam period, it compiles ambitious ideas with less than ideal execution, yet in a sense, it still seems unfairly maligned.Everyone knows the story by now: Bowie, on stage at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1973, “killed” Ziggy Stardust and thus freed himself for whatever came next. Ready for even... Read More

genre Rock Glam Rock Art Rock format Vinyl

If you’re looking for 35 minutes of riveting calm, this is the album for you. And if “riveting calm” strikes you as oxymoronic, well, the album fits that in several ways. It consists of duets between trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Amina Claudine Myers, both 82 years old but as youthful in spirit as anyone around. They’re veterans of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), known for its avant-garde jazz artists, but Myers has long... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

Bill Minkowski's excellent annotation sets the stage. For various reasons both musical and otherwise Jaco and Joe Zawinul had a falling out and Jaco chose to devote more time to his Word of Mouth big band project (referred to a few times in the notes here as the "World of Mouth" big band). There's more detail in the annotation but the main result of the falling out was that Weather Report went one way and Pastorious (and drummer Peter Erskine) went... Read More

genre Jazz Big Band format Vinyl

The "Ben Webster Quintet" was really Webster plus the Oscar Peterson Trio of Peterson, Herb Ellis and Ray Brown—a grouping Peterson once said was "the most stimulating"—plus Stan Levey on drums. It was a busy time for the Peterson Trio, which had played the previous day with Louis Armstrong in a session that probably resulted in Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson, though for some reason that wasn't released until 1959. The next day the trio... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

Let’s get it out of the way: Dhani Harrison sounds a lot like his father George, except that he doesn’t sound like him at all. That’s a very "Beatley" way to begin the conversation, which lives within Dhani Harrison’s musicianship: the musical roots of his father are everywhere to be found, however Dhani has his own voice and musical vision.Though Dhani has a new album and project coming, his last solo release - Innerstanding (Hot Records/BMG) - released in... Read More

genre Electronic Alt-Pop format Vinyl

Within a marathon 12-hour recording session at London’s Regent Sound on October 16, 1969, four young men from Birmingham recorded one of the most influential debut albums ever. There were barely any overdubs and not an abundance of takes, just four guys playing their live set together in a room with enough time to make it to the pub for last orders and head to Switzerland to play a gig (true story!). Black Sabbath figured they were adding an edgier twist to the... Read More

genre Rock Metal format Vinyl

One would think The Lemon Twigs were captured in a time capsule from the ‘60s and brought into the 21st century. Consisting of brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, the duo craft retro-sounding rock with influences derivative of baroque, indie, glam, and power pop. It is ludicrous for any modern artist with an obvious trace of influence from decades past to be dubbed as “passé.” The Lemon Twigs manage to take every cliche of the genres they explore into one giant... Read More

In September 1968, The Doors embarked on a European tour, performing two sets per night (twelve shows total) over fourteen days across five countries. Things were off to a solid start with two consecutive nights at London’s legendary Roundhouse, followed by a stop in Frankfurt. Matters got hairy in Amsterdam when Jim Morrison went on a drug binge and was hospitalized, leaving the group to carry the shows out as a trio. Morrison recouped well enough for Copenhagen two... Read More

genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl