Only John Mellencamp, whose career began with a series of wrong turns, raw determination, and the audaciousness to demand he be taken seriously could create a box set as strange, representative, and labyrinthine as On the Rural Route 7609. In the era of the “track,” Mellencamp has issued a massive, beautifully packaged, and exhaustively annotated four-disc career retrospective that doesn’t lean on his hits (many aren’t here), but rather on more obscure album cuts, outtakes, rarities (17 selections make their debuts here), and more recent material – numerous selections come from 2007’s Freedom’s Road and 2008’s Life Love Death and Freedom…
Digitally re-mastered edition of this 1973 album. Saxophonist Bartz is one of the great post-Coltrane saxophonists. He made his professional name in New York in the early '60s before hooking up with McCoy Tyner later in the decade, and played with Miles Davis in the period immediately after the release of Bitches Brew. He formed his band the NTU Troop at the same time and began to experiment with Funk rhythms, lyrics and Jazz improvisations.
An alternative country band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band is known for its resistance to easy genre classification and its ever changing line up, which revolves around front man - Kurt Wagner, who's distinctive song writing evokes the characteristic moods of the bands style.
King Sunny Adé had been making his own music since 1974 with his group the Green Spots before creating his large African Beats group. This band, despite making literally over 100 records in Nigeria, failed to stir much Western interest until Mango Records, a subsidiary of Island, took a chance and issued the breakthrough album Juju Music in 1982. With its seven extended cuts, it introduced King Sunny Adé & His African Beats to the U.S. as well as England and most of the rest of Europe – save for France, where the band had previously been able to tour. This U.K. two-fer reissue of 1983's Synchro System and Aura (on Cherry Red's T-Bird imprint) is comprised of the other two recordings in the band's Mango catalog (the band was dropped after sales of these two recordings proved disappointing to label bosses who tried to market Adé as "the new Bob Marley").
Marc Cerrone is a French disco drummer, composer, record producer and creator of major concert shows. Cerrone is considered as one of the most influential disco producers of the 70s and 80s in Europe. He has sold over 30 million records worldwide, including over four million copies in France alone and eight million copies of Supernature, which is considered his magnum opus…
This edition celebrates and marks the 50th anniversary (December 6, 1960) of the death of the great Romanian-born pianist.
Paolo Fresu's Songlines/Night & Blue is a beautiful performance by a musician who does not feel compelled to prove himself with pyrotechnics. Instead, on this two-disc set, the Italian trumpeter prefers speaking his piece with lush melodies and a rich full horn sound, supported by an exceptional quartet. Being an Italian album, it seems appropriate to use a few musical terms. The entire affair, around 140 minutes in length, is taken sostenuto (smoothly), with a pace that slides between adagio (slowly) and andante (walking), but never goes much faster than that. But this down-tempo consistency should not be confused with sloth. Everything here is tightly played, with some real intensity from the musicians; it's just not going to wake the neighbors with frenetic thunder.
There was never any disputing the strong country influence Eilen Jewell brought to her retro-pop-folk, so it's no surprise that she detours into this short but extremely sweet tribute to one of her obvious influences, Loretta Lynn. It's a natural side road, especially since Jewell's sumptuous voice is similar to Lynn's, as is her delivery. Jewell already recorded Lynn's "The Darkest Day" on her previous album, but the dozen selections here are not the coal miner's daughter's best-known tunes, despite the obvious resemblance of the cover art to 1968's iconic Loretta Lynn's Greatest Hits. Rather, the tracks are carefully chosen to reflect only Lynn's original compositions that highlight her often defiant, genre-expanding lyrics and diverse topics, which range from offbeat gospel ("Who Says God Is Dead") to brazen infidelity ("Another Man Loved Me Last Night.").
Now known as “Queen” Esther Marrow, her gospel and stage performances have made her a worldwide concert draw. She recorded two sought-after funk albums early in her career, marked by some excellent songs and fantastic musicianship. “Sister Woman” was her second LP and has the great combination of a killer band, that included Bernard Purdie, Cornell Dupree and Richard Tee and choice songs. ‘Things Ain’t Right’ and ‘And When I Die’ are funk-fuelled floorfillers, and her cover of ‘The Ghetto’ is simply amazing.
Erik Satie's music is timeless and beautiful, but can it stand up to interpretation by downtown New York jazzbos? In the hands of Dan Willis & Velvet Gentlemen the answer is a resounding "YES!" Willis' arrangements are as brilliant as they are varied. There are some straightforward readings (as on most of the Nocturnes) right alongside some pretty inventive and even daring ones. Second Gymnopedie starts as an accordion-sax-drums trio, then slides almost imperceptibly to a guitar-trumpet-drums trio. John Hollenbeck's alway engaging drumwork ties it all together, but the really amazing thing is how much the tune now resembles Miles Davis' "All Blues!"