The blues recording industry began in New York City and for most of the 1920s, musicians travelled from all parts of the country to make their mark in the recording studio. Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey were amongst the most popular female singers but they were soon rivaled by the likes of Lonnie Johnson, Robert ‘Barbecue Bob’ Hicks, Texas Alexander and Mississippi John Hurt. Kansas Joe McCoy cut ‘When The Levee Breaks’, justly famous in its Led Zeppelin incarnation, in the city.
The revival of Spanish music of the Baroque period continues moving forward into the Classical era with this premiere recording of sonatas for "violin y bajo" – violin and bass – by Juan de Ledesma. The sonatas were rediscovered only in the late 1980s, and they're very elegantly presented here in a package adorned by a reproduction of a marvelous French fan of the period. There isn't anything of earthshaking importance among the five sonatas on the disc, but they're attractive pieces with some challenges for the violinist, and both players of the instruments and those with collections of Spanish music will find the release of interest. The booklet notes by violinist Blai Justo (in English, French, and German, with Spanish and Catalan additionally available online) point to Corelli's influence, but also note the presence of the galant style of the period, and it is the latter sound, with its atmosphere of charm and its relaxed procession of contrasting two-measure phrases, that predominates. The players do well to avoid a harpsichord accompaniment, using either a combination of cello and guitar or one or the other instrument alone.
The frustrating thing about smooth jazz isn't an absence of talent or chops; actually, there are plenty of smooth jazz musicians who have chops galore even though their studio recordings don't reflect that. At smooth jazz concerts, it isn't hard to find artists who take a lot more chances on-stage than they do in the studio. But taking chances in the studio isn't conducive to airplay on commercial smooth jazz/NAC radio stations, which is why so many generic, unimaginative smooth jazz recordings have been flooding the market since the 1980s. Walter Beasley has certainly given listeners plenty of generic, unimaginative recordings over the years, but not everything he records is without merit – and Free Your Mind does have its moments.
Recorded during Marc Bolan's U.S. visits during 1971 and 1972, Spaceball is the first full re-counting of four American radio sessions previously made partially available as a bonus LP within the Marc label's Till Dawn compilation in 1985. Eight songs, taped in L.A. in 1972, are reprised from that set; 11 more are collected here. The overall mood of the two CDs is sparse, but astonishingly dynamic, with the earliest session – taped for WBAI, New York, in June 1971 – especially remarkable. It opens with a pair of unaccompanied Bolan performances, previewing the as-yet-unreleased "Cosmic Dancer" and "Planet Queen." The guitar heavy "Elemental Child" follows, a surprising inclusion given the song's freak-out dynamics, but it's an effective piece, all the more so after bandmates Mickey Finn and bassist Steve Currie join in a few minutes into the song.
Memphis was the town blues musicians passed through on their way to Chicago. But some of them stayed and the record companies sent their mobile units to record them. Over a three-year period from 1927, an astonishing amount of talent was recorded: local stars like the Memphis Jug Band, Frank Stokes, Cannon’s Jug Stompers, Jim Jackson, Furry Lewis, Robert Wilkins, Bukka White, Memphis Minnie, Joe Callicott and Sleepy John Estes.
Erik Söderlind is a young man in no particular hurry. Not yet 30, he plays jazz guitar with supreme assurance, and on his debut album Twist For Jimmy Smith, he has put together a lovely, leisurely paced, always swinging collection of standards and originals that deserves worldwide recognition. Of course, he's unlikely to get it. We live in a world obsessed with image, a world that all too often mistakes image for the real thing. Should Sweden's Söderlind be passed over, it's the world's loss. Here he teams up with two other extremely talented local musicians, organist Kjell Öhman and reed man Magnus Lindgren to make an album that brooks repeated listening. Söderlind plays in a line stemming from Charlie Christian and continuing through Wes Montgomery and George Benson—and that's George Benson when John Hammond billed him "The Most Exciting New Guitarist On The Jazz Scene Today." Before someone discovered he could sing, dressed him in glittery suits and stuck him on the cabaret circuit. Twist For Jimmy Smith provides a glimpse of what jazz was all about in those far off days; though this album is not about nostalgia. It's about the real thing, what Söderlind, on the sleeve calls "the joy of making music" and communicating that joy.
A massive collection with faszinating sounds from Asia and Orient. "Buddha Deluxe Lounge" with his 50 trax slides you in a fazinating mystic mood. Exotic instruments mystic vocals phrases a journey into another world. Special Highlights at this compilation are from: The Man Behind C. Dragon Lounge In Credo Zina Rao Sofa Sweeper und Jazz Connection. Enjoy "Buddha Deluxe Lounge"…. 50 mystic bar sounds!
Mirrorball is a melodically affecting exercise in ethereal ambience – precisely what you might expect from two artists whose CVs list collaborations with Harold Budd. That's not to set Budd up as an overarching influence, though: Foxx and Guthrie come to this album with their own long-established and distinctive pedigrees, the former as an electronic pioneer and the latter as chief architect of the Cocteau Twins' unique dream pop lullabies. Mirrorball bears the musical fingerprints of both, combining Guthrie's trademark hypnotic, echo-laden melodies with the kind of otherworldly, cavernous spaces that Foxx mapped on Cathedral Oceans.