Virgin's fourth Ambient volume is the first of all-new material from contemporary artists, and it provides the most highlights of any in the series. Tracks from a score of crucial new-ambient producers, including Aphex Twin, Seefeel, O'Rang, EAR, Main, Final, Lull, Labradford, Techno Animal, Scorn and Paul Schütze. Seeing as each track is available only on this collection, it became the hardest-to-find of the entire series soon after its release.
Nice 16 track japan only compilation featuring the best in female contemporary jazz.
This is a collection of mostly re-recordings and live versions. Some of tracks are familiar but there are quite a few less common tracks and that is what makes it interesting to me. I believe there are 20 VA collections in this series.
34 track Japan compilation album featuring songs penned by Babyface for artists featuring Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, Lionel Richie & many more.
Blues With a Message isn't just about lost love and the toils of specific lives, the blues (particularly within the folk-blues traditions) spent some time dealing with sociopolitical issues on the side, primarily before the rise of electric blues. Here, Arhoolie has compiled a set of pieces related to a surprisingly large number of issues. Among them: Minstrel shows, the mechanization of cotton farming, and its related exodus to the North, sharecropping, segregation, the Korean War, the influenza epidemic, the New Deal, civil rights movements, Chicago employment opportunities – all are given a song or two here. The music quality is roughly equivalent to many of the folk-blues recordings available, though the "big name" artists are largely absent from this one (Lightnin Hopkins does make an appearance singing about sharecropping, however). The songs are deliberately focused on the issues more than the music, but the music can still carry its soul. This one probably won't be on many highest-sales lists in the blues, but it's both historically important and musically enjoyable.
This is a good collection of piano-accompanied vocals sporting bluesmen who worked the lumber camps and oil fields of rural Texas, as well as the red-light districts of cities like Galveston and Houston. Big Boy Knox shows a strong city influence in his decorative right-hand work, as does Robert Cooper, whose playing points to the influence of Fats Waller. Joe Pullem is on board with his hit, "Black Gal," which is perhaps overstated by three takes and a variation. The vocals are good, however, and the piano playing is uniformly excellent. Stylistically, this music falls somewhere between ragtime, blues, and vaudeville.
Jazz Sampler from Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. Established in 1977 by Brad Miller, MFSL specializes in remastering major-label music for the "audiophile" market. CD releases began in 1984.