Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and 24 bit remastering. Featuring the work of obscure composer/pianist Todd Cochrane, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson's 1971 album Head On is a highly cerebral and atmospheric affair that is somewhat different than his other equally experimental '70s work. Although the album does feature more of the avant-garde jazz that Hutcherson was exploring during this period, Cochrane's material is heavily influenced by contemporary classical music, and accordingly Head On is more of an exercise in reflective, layered jazz than rambunctious freebop – though it does offer some of that, too.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. A surprisingly wonderful album from Artie Shaw – one that takes his older groove and nicely strips it down for the 50s, and which features some especially great guitar work from Tal Farlow! Other players in the group include Hank Jones on piano, Joe Roland on vibes, Tommy Potter on bass, and Irv Kluger on drums – coming together in a loosely swinging mode that has lots of interplay on the longer-than-usual tracks on the set. Titles include the originals "When The Quail Come Back To Town", "Lugubrious", "The Grabtown Grapple", and "Lyric".
Reissue. Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (fully compatible with standard CD player) and the latest remastering (24bit 192kHz). Bobby Hutcherson's second quartet session, Oblique, shares both pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Joe Chambers with his first, Happenings (bassist Albert Stinson is a newcomer). However, the approach is somewhat different this time around. For starters, there's less emphasis on Hutcherson originals; he contributes only three of the six pieces, with one from Hancock and two from the typically free-thinking Chambers. And compared to the relatively simple compositions and reflective soloing on Happenings, Oblique is often more complex in its post-bop style and more emotionally direct (despite what the title may suggest).
The Who's mighty catalog of beautiful, poignant, and often silly pop songs bashed out with Cassius Clay finesse has suffered in the past at the hands of multiple, butcher-shop best-ofs and horrible packaging. But this thrilling band–undeniably one of ye classicke rocke's greatest–gets the career-spanning entry-point compilation it deserves with the double-disc Ultimate Collection. The songs included here are no-brainers, for the most part–if they aren't huge hits like "My Generation," "I Can See for Miles," or "Baba O'Riley," they're long-standing fan favorites such as "Boris the Spider," "Pure and Easy," and "Squeeze Box." And while this reviewer wishes different songs were chosen from Tommy, and more than one tune was gathered from their arguably finest (and definitely silliest) album, The Who Sell Out, this record really isn't for fans (aside from the total trainspotter types) but for newcomers.
The trio Arabesque was created by two Frankfurt-based German producers at the height of the disco era in 1977. After one album and a few singles that found surprising success in Japan, the producers changed the lineup, keeping Michaela Rose and replacing the two other members with Jasmin Vetter and Sandra Lauer. Vetter, a former gymnast, also became the trio's choreographer and Lauer, soon to be billed simply as Sandra, assumed the position of a lead vocalist. The first single of the updated Arabesque, "Hello, Mr. Monkey," went to number one in Japan. The Far East remained the band's biggest market, with numerous albums and compilations released over the years. However, Arabesque's success in their homeland was very modest, with only one single, "Marigot Bay," entering the German charts at number eight in 1981. In 1984, they disbanded and Sandra embarked on a successful solo career with the songs written by future husband Michael Cretu (of Enigma fame). Jasmin Vetter and Michaela Rose formed a duo, Rouge, but after a few obscure singles it ceased to exist.
Like Ten Rapid but with a more awkward name, Mogwai [EP+6] collects some of the experimental rock titans' singles and EPs with such a natural feel that it almost seems like it was designed as an album. In this case, 1997's 4 Satin EP is joined with 1999's self-titled EP and "Xmas Steps," the single version of Come on Die Young's track. The 13-and-a-half-minute "Stereodee" is just as compelling an epic as any of the tracks that wound up on either of those albums, showcasing the band's masterful way with ebbing, flowing, letting a song explode, and pulling it back together again. "Xmas Steps" – which is a minute longer than the album version of the song – also shows how expertly Mogwai can play with time and dynamics as they scale a mountain of sound that turns out to be a volcano when they get to the top.