This four-disc box from London's JSP Records collects an astounding 100 songs recorded by John Lee Hooker in Detroit from the years 1948 to 1952, including his first two sides ever, the signature tunes "Boogie Chillen" and "Sally Mae." Most of the tracks here are done solo, with Hooker's ever-present foot-stomping, although a few feature other musicians on loose-limbed blues boogies. Since Hooker never significantly altered his style during his long career, these first recordings set the stage for all that came after, and he arguably never sounded fresher or better. Four discs worth of this throwback Mississippi bluesman will be severe overkill for casual listeners, but diehard Hooker fans will find this box set absolutely essential.
One of his finest '90s recordings, Chill Out balances the guitar-glitz of Carlos Santana's guest shot on the karmic title cut with a handful of profoundly deep Hooker solo performances. Among those are new versions of his standards "Tupelo" and "Annie Mae," and the soulful "If You've Never Been in Love," where expert slide-man Roy Rogers provides subtle accompaniment to Hooker's spontaneous storytelling. The band numbers that bookend the album are weak, relying on Hooker's strong vocal presence to overcome sketchy writing. Van Morrison, pianist Charles Brown, and M.G.'s leader Booker T. Jones also lend a hand. But Hooker doesn't need anybody's help to get to the passionate heart of his blues. One last note: Anton Corbijn's CD-booklet photographs of ol' Johnny Lee are terrific.
John Richard Handy III is an American jazz musician most commonly associated with the alto saxophone, although he also plays tenor and baritone saxophone, saxello, clarinet, oboe, and sings. Handy first came to prominence while working for Charles Mingus in the 1950s. In the 1960s, Handy led several groups, among them a quintet with Michael White, violin, Jerry Hahn, guitar, Don Thompson, bass, and Terry Clarke, drums. This group's performance at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival was recorded and released as an album; Handy received Grammy nominations for "Spanish Lady" (jazz performance) and "If Only We Knew" (jazz composition)…
Get ready for a whole new approach to Masada music! Expressive and passionate, Basya Schecter, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Malika Zarra and Sofia Rei Koutsovitis are four of the most creative vocalists around. Each the leader of a dynamic band of their own, they come together here in an intimate a cappella setting to interpret eleven songs from Zorn's remarkable Book of Angels. With lyrics in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, French and Arabic drawn from Rumi, Fernando Pessoa, The Hebrew Bible and more, the Masada vocal project is perhaps the most hauntingly beautiful installments in the entire Angels series. Dynamic and evocative New Jewish Music from four powerful women vocalists!
John Wetton and Geoff Downes offer an acoustic DVD filmed for a broadcast special at TV studios during October 2005. Stripping bare a selection of their classic songs, John and Geoff demonstrate how they originally sounded around the piano, accompanied by acoustic guitar or acoustic bass. ELO's Hugh McDowell joins them on cello and the three virtuosos clearly enjoy the opportunity to relax while performing in front of the cameras. John and Geoff are subsequently interviewed by BBC stalwart, Big George. John and Geoff are clearly excited about their future plans for a 2nd Icon studio album and they talk candidly about becoming and being the major creative influences behind the world's biggest selling album of 1982. Asia was the last real "supergroup". At the time of recording this broadcast, they were keeping quiet about the plans for a 25th anniversary reunion of the founder members of Asia, including Steve Howe and Carl Palmer, which were publicized in February 2006.