Duke Ellington is featured in a complete performance at Basin Street East in New York City on this CD, as it was originally broadcast on WNEW, complete with his verbal exchanges with host William B. Williams. Unlike many of his concerts, there is no long medley of hits; instead, Ellington offers an interesting mix of old and new songs. The newer material includes his "gutbucket bolero," known as "Afro Bossa" (also titled "Bula"), featuring the gruff, muted trumpet of Cootie Williams, and the high-note theatrics of Cat Anderson. "Silk Lace" is a brisk rhumba featuring clarinetist Jimmy Hamilton, while the band (except for the rhythm section) sits out Ellington's masterful ballad "A Single Petal of a Rose."
In the late 1970s, Gary Bartz's work became quite commercial. But earlier in the decade – when the alto and soprano saxophonist led his Ntu Troop – he was more ambitious. Recorded in 1972, Juju Street Songs is among the risk-taking efforts that came from the Ntu Troop. This ambitious LP finds Bartz drawing on a variety of influences – everything from John Coltrane's modal post-bop to world music to the electric fusion that Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock were providing at the time. The term world music, of course, can mean a lot of different things; for the Ntu Troop, it means a strong Middle Eastern/Arabic influence on the moody "Teheran" and more of an Afro-Caribbean outlook on the exuberant "Africans Unite.".
Although the Crusaders could not have known it at the time, their recording of "Street Life" (which features a memorable vocal by Randy Crawford) was a last hurrah for the 20-year old group. Their recordings of the next few years would decline in interest until the band gradually faded away in the '80s. However this particular set is well worth picking up for the 11-minute title cut and there is good playing by the three original members (Wilton Felder on tenor, soprano and electric bass, keyboardist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper) along with guitarist Barry Finnerty; horn and string sections, plus additional guitarists are utilized on Sample's commercial but listenable arrangements.
Street of Dreams was designed as a project for Patti Austin to sing her favorite songs, regardless of genre. True, there are a couple of later songs here, usually including two co-written by Vaneese Thomas, but the heart of the album is in interpretations of "The Look of Love," "Street of Dreams," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "'Till There Was You," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "For Once in My Life," and "IGY (What a Beautiful World)." Although the arrangements can get a little too clean and synthesized (much of the album sounds as if it was recorded with DX-7s), Austin is in terrific form throughout, breathing life into songs that have been recorded numerous times. It's a fine latter-day effort from a fine singer.
The new and second album of the Australian Traditional Metal band Elm Street! True metal in the vein of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Savatage, Manowar, Megadeth & Grim Reaper. Co-produced, mixed & mastered by Ermin Hamidovic at Systematic Productions in Melbourne, Australia. Artwork by the legendary Ken Kelly (KISS, Manowar). Recorded at Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne, Australia. Having been an active band since 2003 and taking worldwide stages by storm after their Massacre Records debut Barbed Wire Metal in 2011, Elm Street return with their 2nd full-length album and this time their music packs a Metal punch…