Spock's Beard never ceases to amaze me. The Oblivion Particle has so much prog goodness to love, that it will just draw you in Bennett Built a Time Machine to take this release back to the 70s, because it is loaded with classic material. The band has built such a huge catalog of excellent albums, so it would be hard to call any of them the best. However, I would put The Oblivion Particle up there with the top releases as it could be their best. If you are looking for a new prog gem to add to your collection, then look no further. If you love Spock's Beard, then you will definitely love this album. I can see this release lasting with it's homage to the 70s, and that ooh so good feeling that you will get when you hear it.
Waters' The Real Folk Blues and More Real Folk Blues, combined here onto one CD, were not exactly random collections of tracks – the quality was too consistently high for them to just have been picked out of a hat. Still, it was a pretty arbitrary grouping of items that he recorded between 1947 and 1964. In fact, they hail from throughout his whole stint at Chess, virtually; at the time these albums were first issued, though, all of the material on More Real Folk Blues was from the late '40s and early '50s. They didn't exactly concentrate on his most well-known songs, but they didn't entirely neglect them either, including "Mannish Boy," "Walking Thru the Park," "The Same Thing," "Rollin' & Tumblin' Part One," "She's Alright," and "Honey Bee," amongst somewhat more obscure selections. So ultimately, this disc's usefulness depends on your fussiness as a collector – if it's the only Waters you ever pick up, you'll still have a good idea of his greatness, and if you don't mind getting some tracks you might already have on more avowedly best-of sets, you'll probably hear some stuff you don't already have in your collection.
Pretty much exactly what it says it is – a combination of the two releases, the Bloodied But Unbowed compilation and the War On 45 EP, on one compact disc. The remastering job is fine, the cover art is all reproduced, and there are even complete lyrics, with one or two exceptions. Anyone wanting to give these guys a listen should start right here.
French trumpeter Erik Truffaz has been a mover and shaker on the European creative improvisational scene since the mid-'90s. With the release of The Mask (a compilation of three previously released recordings: Out of a Dream, The Dawn, and Bending New Corners), Revisité (a DJ dance remix of The Mask), and 2002's forward-sounding Mantis, Truffaz became one of the most popular electronic jazz trumpeters to hit North America since Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer charged forth with Khmer and Solid Ether…