Wednesday, May 16, 2012



A great one from Mike Reed and his People Places & Things group – a clear, crisp statement of Chicago modernism at its best – not just modes from Reed's own generation, but from the 50s and 60s as well! Reed's an amazing player on his own – but we especially love the way that he's gone back into Windy City tradition, and found a way to re-introduce a special blend of Chicago jazz – that crucial pre-AACM, post-bop style that would often swing, but have really freewheeling solos too – a mode that really went onto influence American jazz in general once Chicagoans moved onto the New York scene in the 60s. The horns here are key to the approach – really deft work on alto from Greg Ward and tenor from Tim Haldeman – plus some great guest cornet from Josh Berman. Most tracks are piano-less, which allows for even freer reed work – but Craig Taborn guests on piano on two numbers – and the great bass of Jason Roebke holds the set together solidly throughout. Titles include versions of Roscoe Mitchell's "Old" and John Jenkins' "Sharon" – plus the tracks "Warming Down", "The Ephemeral Words Of Ruth", "House Of Three Smiles", and "The Lady Has A Bomb". ~ Dusty Groove


The first solo set from funky soul songbird Fanny Franklin – and it's a great one! Fanny was the original singer for Orgone and she's been an in-demand voice for a few years now – collaborating with contemporary and legendary figures from Shawn Lee to Dennis Coffey – so it was about time she stepped out front, right? Right! The best part is that she's doing it on her own terms. Classic funk & soul-inspired songcraft, played with a youthful and modern spirit, by excellent musicians. We've loved her voice since we first heard her with Orgone, so to find out now that she also has the goods as a songwriter and primary creative engine, that feels like a total win! Tracks include "Rivers", "Get Wet", "Gasoline", "Good Stuff", "Pushin", "My World", "Open Your Eyes", "All The Pretty Girls", "Dug Up", "Yes You Do" and "Keep On Runnin". ~ Dusty Groove


A smashing collection of work from one of our favorite British girl singers ever – the amazing Cilla Black, whose 60s recordings for EMI are the stuff of genius! The legendary George Martin produced these tracks – and while they don't exactly sound like his work with The Beatles, they are filled with some amazing arrangements, odd little twists and turns, and all these other cool little bits that really work perfectly with Black's enormous vocal range – a brilliant blend of all the right elements together in the studio, to make recordings that have held up beautifully over the years! This massive package brings together everything that Cilla recorded for EMI over the course of a decade – 139 tracks in all – from hits, to album tracks, to b-sides and other rarities – all wrapped up in a great box, with a hefty booklet too. Plus, you also get a bonus DVD – with BBC performances, interviews, and other TV appearances – a heck of a deal at this price! (DVD is NTSC format, but has no region information.) ~ Dusty Groove

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