Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Paisley Park Sets Date for Historic Celebration, Four Days to Honor and Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson

Prince’s Paisley Park in Chanhassen, Minnesota has announced dates for a four-day special event, CELEBRATION 2017, which will honor and celebrate the life and legacy of Prince, as the world marks the first anniversary of his passing. Fans worldwide are expected to attend this exclusive event, which will be held April 20 through 23, 2017 at Paisley Park, Prince’s legendary production complex. Bringing together musicians, creative personnel, special guests and friends who worked closest with Prince and knew him best, these four days will feature live music, panel discussions and presentations on Prince’s tremendous talent, influence and importance as a composer, musician, producer, live performer and filmmaker.

Four-day VIP and General Admission Passes are now available while supply lasts at the Paisley Park website, General Admission Passes include up to five hours of event programming each day on all four days, including access to four exclusive concert events. VIP Passes are bundled with added benefits including VIP concert seating, on-site parking, photo and autograph opportunities with special guests, exclusive merchandise and a meal pass. Individual day passes are not available at this time.

Bands scheduled to perform include The Revolution, Morris Day and The Time, and members of the New Power Generation and 3RDEYEGIRL. Programming details and additional special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. For the latest updates on the event lineup and special guest announcements, visit and sign up for the email updates from Paisley Park.

Celebration 2017 will reflect the spirit of the inaugural Prince: A Celebration event, hosted by Prince and held at Paisley Park between June 7-13, 2000. This event welcomed fans from around the world into an immersive Prince experience that showcased Paisley Park, many of Prince’s rarely seen stage wardrobe and instruments, alongside special events and exclusive music performances. In subsequent years, Prince hosted similar immersive fan experiences, first in 2001 with Prince: A Celebration “The Rainbow Children” and in 2002 with Xenophobia. Celebration 2017 will carry on in this spirit of community and connection, welcoming Prince fans from everywhere into a truly unique and celebratory experience that will highlight the life, unique achievements and enduring legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson.

Paisley Park opened for public tours last month, providing fans worldwide with an unprecedented opportunity to experience first-hand what it was like for Prince to create, produce and perform inside this private sanctuary and remarkable production complex. Visitors can see artifacts from Prince’s personal archives, including iconic concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments, artwork, rare music and video recordings and motorcycles. The reception and reviews from fans and media who took the tour during its opening month have been tremendous, with visitors calling it an incredible, must-see experience.

On December 1, 2016, Paisley Park will expand and enhance its tour of the legendary production complex by offering new, themed fan experience packages, in addition to the current General Admission and VIP tours. These new tour options will offer fans and visitors from around the world an even more in-depth, fully-dimensional Paisley Park experience with dance parties, dining experiences, recording opportunities, concert films and movies – evoking the activities and special events that Prince would often host at Paisley and bring to his fans. For details and to purchase tickets, visit

Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven GRAMMY® Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award® for the film “Purple Rain,” all of which are displayed at Paisley Park. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Prince was born in Minneapolis and resided in the Minneapolis area throughout his life.

Paisley Park is located at 7801 Audubon Road, Chanhassen, Minnesota, approximately 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis. For more information about Paisley Park, visit

Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate and production compound in Chanhassen offers fans of the late music icon the unprecedented opportunity to tour the legendary, 65,000-square-foot complex that served as the center of Prince’s creative universe. Operated by PPark Management, guided tours take visitors throughout the extensive main floor of Paisley Park, including recording and mixing studios where Prince recorded, produced and mixed most of his biggest hits, exhibit spaces that chronicle films such as Purple Rain and Graffiti Bridge, Prince’s private NPG Music Club, and a massive soundstage and concert hall where Prince rehearsed for concert tours and held exclusive, private events and concerts. The tour also features thousands of artifacts from Prince’s personal archives, including iconic concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments and concert memorabilia. Paisley Park is located at 7801 Audubon Road, Chanhassen, Minnesota, approximately 20 minutes from Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport. For more information about Paisley Park, visit

Paisley Park online:

Official website -

Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz collective Club d'Elf releases Live at Club Helsinki

New double album featuring John Medeski, Brahim Fribgane, Duke Levine,
Mister Rourke, Mike Rivard and Dean Johnston available January 10, 2017

Boston-based, Moroccan-dosed dub-jazz collective Club d'Elf celebrates the release of Live At Club Helsinki, an epic double album that showcases the band's genre-leaping improvisational acumen, performing at one of its favorite venues for an ecstatic crowd. Featuring keyboard wizard John Medeski (employing an arsenal of analog instruments including a vintage Mellotron) the music visits touchstones as disparate as Studio One, John Cage, Gnawa and drum'n'bass. The band's association with Club Helsinki dates back to 2001, and a combination of superb sound, intimate environment and an audience tuned into the band's every nuance helped create one of those magical nights. Live At Club Helsinki captures the excitement of two complete continuous sets of no-holds-barred improvisations and classic D'Elf tunes.  Street date: January 10, 2017 on Face Pelt Records.

Disc one starts with the free jazz opening of "Mogador" (featuring a volcanic Medeski solo on grand piano), and segues seamlessly into a cover of The Gaylads "Africa" (driven by Duke Levine's rootsy Telecaster), the music shape-shifting in a way that is free-flowing and never contrived. "The Booloolu" is based around a Moroccan 12/8 cha'abi groove, which the band has absorbed to such a degree that it elicits a rousing response whenever native Moroccans are in the audience. Brahim Fribgane shines on South American cajon, before switching to oud for his composition "Hegaz", based on a traditional Arabic scale. The band's music has been called "the music of dreams" (Boston Globe), and here the dream continues its inevitable flow, as the band moves into the prepared-bass-driven hip-hop of "Secret Atom." This track showcases the wizardry of Mister Rourke, whose rock steady beat-matching and ability to pitch samples into the key of the song, set him apart from ordinary DJs. The band closes the first set with "Berber Song", derived from the Amazigh people of Morocco. Blistering solos from Levine and Medeski on B3 take the band into an Allman Brothers-go-to-North Africa zone, closing with a sample from one of the band's major inspirations, neo-psychedelic avatar Terence McKenna.

Derived from ancient sources, trance forms the central core of the Club d'Elf aesthetic, unifying the various genres the band has absorbed. That influence - notably the Moroccan variety - is evident on disc two, beginning with a tribute to the late Maalem Mahmoud Guinia. On tour in Morocco in 2009, Rivard befriended the maalem, who was one of the most revered of the Gnawa, a mystical brotherhood of trance-healers. He taught Rivard the Gnawa song, "Zeed Al Maal", with the version played here driven by Fribgane's vocals, and Rivard's commanding playing of the Moroccan sintir, a camel-skin-covered bass lute. "Power Plant" follows, with Levine adding a James Bond-esque melody over a sintir-propelled rhythm. Rourke drops another McKenna sample, and the band flows into "Salvia" and "Green Screen", dance-floor-filling electro-jams fueled by Medeski's funky clavinet. Fribgane's oud and vocals are featured on the last tune, "Sidi Rabi", which closes the set on a spiritual note.

Formed in 1998, Club d'Elf's music draws from a startlingly wide spectrum of styles, including jazz, Moroccan Gnawa, hip hop, psychedelia, electronica, avant garde and dub. Circling about bassist/composer Mike Rivard (Morphine/Either-Orchestra/Boston Pops Orchestra) and drummer Dean Johnston, each Club d'Elf performance features a different line-up, drawn from a constellation of some of the most creative improvisors from the jazz, DJ, rock & world music scenes of Boston and NYC, creating a unique experience for audience and musicians alike.

Informed as much by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick's ideas of shifting reality and parallel universes as by Miles Davis & Fela Kuti, the band draws inspiration from many sources, including the avant comedy of Firesign Theater and Mr. Show. Guitars, turntables, Fender Rhodes, laptops, horns, tablas and all manner of exotic instruments flow in and out of the mix, along with guests including Marco Benevento, Billy Martin, Ryan Montbleau, DJ Logic, Mark Sandman (Morphine), Hassan Hakmoun, Marc Ribot and Skerik. The band is equally at home playing late-night festival sets for the rave/Burning Man crowd as it is for a predominately Arabic audience in traditional garb as boundaries melt away and all are drawn into the intoxicating power of the D'Elf groove. The group's bi-weekly residency at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA is the stuff of legend and provided a laboratory for its improvisational style to emerge and develop. Its latest studio CD, Electric Moroccoland/So Below, drew glowing reviews from PRI's The World, Voice Of America, and Afropop Worldwide for its bold synthesis of Moroccan traditional music and electronic, dubbed-out funk, rising to #1 on the Relix chart. The band made its debut in South America this year, performing at Ecuador Jazz 2016.

See Club d'Elf Live:
o Friday, January 13, 2017: Columbus Theater, Providence, RI (w/ John Medeski & Duke Levine)
o Saturday, January 14, 2017: Club Helsinki, Hudson, NY (w/ John Medeski & Duke Levine)
o Friday, January 20, 2017: Roulette, Brooklyn, NY (w/ Hassan Hakmoun & Mat Maneri)
o Friday, January 27, 2017: Red Room at Café 939 (Berklee), Boston, MA (w/ David Tronzo)

Video links:
Club d'Elf w/ John Medeski:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016



A stunner of a solo set from Edna Wright – once the lead singer for Honey Cone, but almost even better on this smooth soul masterpiece from the 70s! The album's got an immediately recognizeable moment in the leadoff cut "Oops Here I Go" – sampled famously by De La Soul and others – but the whole thing's amazing, a killer bit of warm, modern soul put together by the legendary Greg Perry – who makes the whole thing shine every bit as much as his own great Smokin album of the time! Edna's vocals are wonderful – more mature than before, and really stepping out with a proud, sophisticated sort of groove – almost in territory of Jean Carn or Gloria Scott, particularly the latter on some of the album's more grooving cuts. In addition to "Oops Here I Go", other cuts include "Come On Down", "You Can't See the Forest", "Nothing Comes to a Sleeper", "If The Price Is Right", and "Spend the Nights With Me". ~ Dusty Groove


Fantastic funk from Sonny Knight & The Lakers – one of the few cases where an older soul singer can really find a fresh new vibe with a younger group! Knight may well be on his way to hitting the same sort of heights that Lee Fields has reached in recent years – and he definitely works in a Daptone-like groove here with the younger instrumentalists – a sharp combo who give Sonny a perfect blend of deep funk and deeper soul – with more than enough Memphis currents to make things sound a lot more classic than you might expect. Production is right on the money – handled by the same Secret Stash folks who've given us reissues of so much old school soul music – and titles include "Sooner Or Later", "It's Over", "The Cry", "It Had To Change", "Oh Mary", "I Could Never Get Tired", and "Help Me". ~ Dusty Groove


One of the coolest new groups we've heard on Daptone in a long time – an instrumental combo that's definitely funky, but which has some of the exotic touches you might expect from their name! There's a nice current of strings that slide in alongside more familiar funk instrumentation – some violins, cellos, and even a harp – used to give the groove this expansive vibe that's partly blacksploitation soundtrack, but much more than that as well! Both Leon Michels and Neal Sugarman are in the group on tenor sax – but the real brainchild here seems to be Toby Panzer, who produced and arranged, and who plays a range of sublime sounds on organ, clavinet, harpsichord, vibes, and percussion! Titles include "Sirens Of Jupiter", "Saturn", "Pluto's Lament", "Mercury's Odyssey", "Europa & The Bull", "Sagittarius By Moonlight", "Neptune", "Mars", and "Diana By My Side". ~ Dusty Groove

Chick Corea Elektric Band + Béla Fleck & The Flecktones Announce Summer 2017 Tour

There isn't a more elite pairing in music than BÉLA FLECK and CHICK COREA, and the two will join forces for a North American tour with their respective groups - The Flecktones & Elektric Band -  August 5 - 21, 2017.

Booked by The Kurland Agency (, these shows will feature the original lineups of both bands on a co-headline billing that will be a can't-miss for fans all across the country. And rumor has it the show encore will be a jam for the ages.

BÉLA FLECK & THE FLECKTONES have been a household name for over a three decades. Béla has reunited the original lineup of his band: Wooten brothers Victor (Bass) and Roy, aka Furture Man (Drumitar), as well as Howard Levy (harmonica and keyboard). This reunion tour promises to be a major event and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for their fans.

The genre-defying CHICK COREA ELEKTRIC BAND has no bounds regarding musical forms or experimentation. Led by one of the premier jazz keyboardists of all time, the Elektric Band delivers an awe-inspiring stage performance that is simply mind-blowing, reaching transcendent height. The entire classic quintet will be on stage: John Patitucci (Bass), Frank Gambale (Guitar), Eric Marienthal (Saxophone), and Dave Weckl (Drums).

For a short three week period in August 2017, these two titans of American music will be touring their groups together for the first time ever.

Tour dates To Be Announced.

Monday, November 28, 2016

NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston To Release New 2-CD Set, "The African Nubian Suite," On His African Rhythms Label January 20

Randy Weston The African Nubian Suite NEA Jazz Master, iconic pianist and composer, and still-vital jazz elder Randy Weston, at 90, remains a powerful force in jazz. Currently serving as artist-in-residence at Medgar Evers College at the City University of New York; celebrated earlier this month at Harvard University, which has acquired his archive; and named a United States Artists (USA) Fellow last week, Weston is now preparing to release a new recording on his African Rhythms label. The 2-CD set, The African Nubian Suite, captures a concert presented at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts by the Institute of African American Affairs on Easter Sunday 2012 and will be released by African Rhythms on January 20, 2017.

The African Nubian Suite lays out the history of the human race in music and words. Weston and narrator Wayne Chandler trace it back to Ardi, a woman who walked upright 4.4 million years ago in Nubia, a region along the Nile River that straddles parts of what are today Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

"In one single work," Robin D.G. Kelley writes in the booklet notes, "Weston manages to pay tribute to the ancient tombs of Sidi Bilal in Aswan, the sufi tradition, the holy city of Touba in Senegal, China's great Shang Dynasty, African folk music, the timeless history of the blues, and the unity of humankind."

Weston was joined in a circle at the sold-out concert by a remarkably diverse, truly international cast of performers. A few played without accompaniment, others as duos, trios, and larger ensembles. They include trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater, trombonist Robert Trowers, tuba player Howard Johnson, saxophonist-flutist T.K. Blue, tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, bassist Alex Blake, drummer Lewis Nash, conguero Candido (who, at 94, is four years older than Weston), nefer player Ayodele Maakheru, guimbry player Lhoussine Bouhamidy from Morocco, kora player and vocalist Saliou Souso from Gambia, balafon player Martin Kwaku Obeng from Ghana, pipa player and vocalist Min Xiao-Fen from China, singer Tanpani Demda Cissoko from Mali, African-American percussionists Neil Clarke and Ayanda Clarke, and the late poet Jayne Cortez.

"The suite is saying, 'Let's start with our first mama,'" Weston explains. "The whole idea is that we're all so different on this planet, but in reality, we all look alike. If you look at the flowers and look at the insects, Mother Nature paints all the colors of her subjects. One is brown. This one is black. Whatever. We've got one nose, one mouth. The whole idea is we all come from the same place. We all come from Africa. It's scientifically true, culturally true."

Weston adds: "I feel that this is the kind of work that should be in the schools, in the churches, in the cultural centers, the kind of work for all people to listen to and read about, because it will give us a better understanding of Mother Africa."

Today, the Brooklyn resident continues to tour throughout the United States and overseas. He holds honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Colby College, Brooklyn College, and the New England Conservatory of Music; was artist-in-residence at NYU, the New School earlier this year, and currently at Medgar Evers College at the City University of New York. In 2010 Duke University Press published African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston, composed by Randy Weston and arranged by Willard Jenkins. Weston is a Fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and a Grant recipient of the Doris Duke Foundation; he was honored by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and his decades of work -- including scores, correspondence, photographs, and recordings -- are now archived at Harvard University as the Randy Weston Collection. In 2016 Weston was voted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame.

Weston's African Rhythms Trio will perform at Aimé Césaire Performance Hall in Martinique on Friday 11/25. Weston conducts an African Rhythms Masterclass ("A Spiritual Awakening"), featuring Eddie Palmieri, at Medgar Evers College, Brooklyn, NY, 11/29. The Randy Weston African Rhythms Quintet appears at Dizzy's, NYC, Friday through Sunday 12/2-4. A CD release show for The African Nubian Suite in New York City is in the works.

Sweet Honey In The Rock to Kick-Off 5-city West Coast Run of "Celebrating The Holidays" With Debut 4-day Engagement at Seattle's Jazz Alley Dec. 15-18th

Venerable Grammy Award-nominated a cappella ensemble SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK has announced a five-city West Coast run of their annual seasonal show “CELEBRATING THE HOLYDAYS,” which will be kicked-off with a debut four-day engagement at the legendary Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley night club in Seattle, WA, December 15-18th. Jazz Alley is the third longest running supper/jazz club of its kind in the nation. Show time for all four shows is set for 7:30 PM.

Other CELEBRATING THE HOLYDAYS dates on the run will include; 12/20, Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA, 12/21, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA, 12/22, Weil Hall, Ronhert Park, CA, and their final performance of the year will be on 12/23 at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco.

Sweet Honey developed their CELEBRATING THE HOLYDAYS theme show several years ago, and refine and add new material to the presentation every year. The show is a rare fusion of international holiday spiritual songs and hymns from other cultures and religions, ranging from Africa to Israel. It includes songs from their Nativity Suite collection, which the group wrote and produced for the American Bible Association video series, including “Jesus, What A Wonderful Child” and “Children Go Where I Send Thee.” It also features notable Sweet Honey classics such as, “We Are,” “Let There Be Peace,” and “Chinese Proverb.”

CELEBRATING THE HOLYDAYS will feature core vocal members Carol Maillard, Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, special guest vocalist Rochelle Rice and guest bassist Romeir Mendez (acoustic upright and electric bass) and American Sign Language interpreter, Barbara Hunt.

Prime seating options can purchased for their Seattle engagement by clicking here. For more information about show times and to purchase tickets for the other engagements, go to, and click on the ensemble's touring schedule.

December 15-18 / Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, Seattle, WA
December 20 / Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA
December 21 / Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
December 22 / Weil Hall, Ronhert Park, CA
December 23 / Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA

BOBBY PREVITE'S MASS Blends Early Music And Metal

As widely renowned for his unerring, intuitive grooves behind the kit as he is for his inventiveness as a composer and bandleader, Bobby Previte stretches into some totally new musical terrain on Mass, his RareNoise debut as a leader and followup to 2014's cooperative trio project The New Standard with bassist Steve Swallow and keyboardist Jamie Saft. A modernist re-imagining of the choral epic Missa Sancti Jacobi by 15th century composer Guillaume Dufay, Previte's Mass prominently features the imposing sound of cathedral pipe organ along with an acclaimed early music chamber vocal group, the 11-voice Rose Ensemble conducted by Jordan Sramek, and a slamming core group consisting of Previte on drums, Marco Benevento on pipe organ and Rheem organ, Don McGreevy, Stephen O'Malley, Mike Gamble and Jamie Saft on electric guitars and Reed Mathis on electric bass. A kind of heavy metal requiem mass, full of thrashing feedback guitars and grinding power chords, hellacious fuzz bass, thunderous beats and the glorious sound of a Medieval vocal choir, Mass is unlike anything Previte has done before in his extensive discography, which covers recordings by his bands Weather Clear Track Fast, Latin for Travelers, The Coalition of the Willing, Bump and the Beta Popes.
"I've been thinking about this idea for at least 12 or 13 years now," says thed rummer-composer. "In fact, I scored a version of it in the early 2000s that I toured Europe with. Then when when I got home, I decided it wasn't right and threw it all in the trash. It wasn't powerful enough. So I went back to the drawing board."

Previte first encountered composer Guillaume Dufay in his Early Music class in college. "You have to remember, when Dufay wrote his music it was performed at a time in which there were no loud man-made sounds -- no amplifiers, airplanes, bombs, etc. Performed in a hard-walled stone church, the sound racing around the walls and bouncing off the ceiling, it had to have been an overwhelming  experience. Now it feels quiet, meditative, but in the context of its time I believe it was a powerful, soul-shaking, transportive, otherworldly music. And I needed to match that power, so I had to go with Metal -- a reviled music that somehow still keeps coming."
Previte and his wife, the writer and choreographer Andrea Kleine, presented the piece in 2007 as a full-blown theater production at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. "She wrote the book and directed it," he explains. "It was then that I met the Rose Ensemble. They specialize in Early Music, which was essential to me. It's a very different discipline than other vocal music. And for them to have the courage and the openness to do a project like this, where I asked them to sing in a different tempo, key and time signature while the crushing metal band was playing -- that was truly inspiring."
The players involved in Mass are old cohorts of Previte. Organist Benevento and bassist Reed played in his The Coalition of the Willing. Saft played in Previte's Latin for Travelers band and is also a key member of 2014's The New Standard on RareNoise. Guitarist Gamble has been a longstanding collaborator and is also a member of Previte's current working quartet, Bobby Previte and the Visitors. Guitarists O'Malley and McGreevy are members of the Seattle-based drone and doom metal bands Sunn O))) and Earth, respectively. "O'Malley in particular used a gigantic wall of amps in the studio," says Previte. "If you want that sound, you can't use a little stomp box, you have to actually move all that air. It was exhilarating to watch."
Twelve years in the making, Mass is the culmination of a long road for Previte. "I am super happy with how it turned out, as it is extremely difficult music to perform," he says. "Each of the three pillars of the piece -- choir, metal trio, and pipe organ -- are operating within their own algorithms, their own keys, time and tempo. And the piece is written for them to be on parallel tracks but making a different fourth thing, dovetailing together on the cadences. Eventually we all began to be able to hear how it all worked, what notes the choir should be singing when you, as the guitarist, were on your third beat of your bar number 15, a 4/4 bar, at quarter note = 60, as they were in their 33rd bar of 6/8 in a completely different tempo. It sounds crazy. Well, it is crazy! But the design worked eventually, which is a testament to the musicians and their resilience."

Previte adds about his latest opus, "It has probably the greatest cover art I have ever had on any of my records. Astonishing work by, and all respect to, the artist, Hadi Nasiri."


'A Capitol Christmas' Celebrates 75 Years Of Capitol Records With A Collection Of Cherished Holiday Classics From Label's Legendary Artists

In honor of Capitol Records' 75th anniversary, A Capitol Christmas presents some of the most cherished holiday classics from Capitol's vast catalog and legendary artists. Available now digitally, on CD and as a double LP housed in a gatefold package, the 24-track album brings together beloved Christmas songs from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby and many more. Liner notes by compilation producer Jay Landers tell the story of each song in beautiful detail.

The historic Capitol Records Tree will light up tonight at sundown for the 58th time, signifying the start of the holiday season in Hollywood. Designed by Ollsen Lighting and featuring more than 4,373 bulbs, the tree has been a part of the Hollywood skyline each December since 1958.

A timeless collection of some of the biggest songs and artists in the holiday canon, A Capitol Christmas is sure to get listeners in the mood for the holidays and serve as the perfect soundtrack to their yuletide festivities all season long. Fittingly, the album opens with Capitol's first homegrown superstar, Nat King Cole, and his stereophonic version of "The Christmas Song," arranged by Ralph Carmichael in 1961. It is bookended with a splendid rendition of Cole's ubiquitous seasonal standard featuring the 1999 virtual duet with his daughter, Natalie Cole. Cole's jazz combo the Nat King Cole Trio is included with the novelty tune "All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)." It's impossible to overstate the importance of Frank Sinatra to Capitol Records and he is showcased on the album with the exquisite "The Christmas Waltz" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," considered the definitive version of the three he recorded. Both songs were originally released on his 1957 holiday album, A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra. Fellow Rat Packer Dean Martin delivers his trademark croon on evergreens "Winter Wonderland" and "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm." Having recorded a dozen holiday themed albums, Bing Crosby became synonymous with Christmas. His Christmas single for Capitol, "Do You Hear What I Hear," a call and response arrangement with the Ralph Carmichael Singers, became a worldwide hit.

Singer, songwriter and actress Peggy Lee spent an illustrious 30 years on Capitol and the selections of hers span her tenure at the label. The gentle "A Christmas Spell," arranged by her then-husband and frequent collaborator, guitarist Dave Barbour, was originally released as a single in 1949. "Like A Sleighride," Lee's jazzy adaptation of "Jingle Bells," is from her sumptuous 1960 holiday album, Christmas Carousel. No holiday collection would be complete without the seductive duet, "Baby, It's Cold Outside," of which continues to be recorded by scores of artists year after year. The version here features Capitol Records co-founder Johnny Mercer, the world-class songwriter and recording artist, along with Margaret Whiting. Mercer's swinging "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" from 1947 shows off his croon alongside the vocal stylings of the Pied Pipers. Whiting also makes another duet appearance, this time alongside singing cowboy star Jimmy Wakely on the sterling "Silver Bells."

In 1967, The First Lady Of Song Ella Fitzgerald recorded a collection of non-secular standards for Capitol, Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas, arranged and conducted by Ralph Carmichael. Her soaring versions of "The First Noel" and "Away In A Manger" are both included. A Capitol Christmas features many other delightful holiday tunes including Nancy Wilson's symphonic "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?," Lou Rawls' soulful "Merry Christmas, Baby," Jackie Gleason's orchestral instrumentals of "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas," and Bob Atcher's tropical-tinged "Christmas Island," among several others.


1. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole
2. The Christmas Waltz - Frank Sinatra
3. Winter Wonderland - Dean Martin
4. I Like A Sleighride (Jingle Bells) - Peggy Lee
5. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer
6. Christmas Island - The Dinning Sisters with Bob Atcher
7. The First Noel - Ella Fitzgerald
8. White Christmas - Jo Stafford
9. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? - Nancy Wilson
10. Merry Christmas, Baby - Lou Rawls
11. Silver Bells - Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely
12. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Jackie Gleason
13. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Frank Sinatra
14. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm - Dean Martin
15. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Johnny Mercer
16. The Christmas Spell - Peggy Lee
17. (All I Want For Christmas Is) My Two Front Teeth - Nat King Cole and His Trio
18. (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag - Kay Starr
19. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Jackie Gleason
20. I'd Like You For Christmas - Julie London
21. The Merriest - June Christy
22. Away In A Manger - Ella Fitzgerald
23. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Bing Crosby
24. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole


1. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole
2. The Christmas Waltz - Frank Sinatra
3. Winter Wonderland - Dean Martin
4. I Like A Sleighride (Jingle Bells) - Peggy Lee
5. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer
6. Christmas Island - The Dinning Sisters with Bob Atcher

1. The First Noel - Ella Fitzgerald
2. White Christmas - Jo Stafford
3. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? - Nancy Wilson
4. Merry Christmas, Baby - Lou Rawls
5. Silver Bells - Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely
6. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Jackie Gleason

1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Frank Sinatra
2. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm - Dean Martin
3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Johnny Mercer
4. The Christmas Spell - Peggy Lee
5. (All I Want For Christmas Is) My Two Front Teeth - Nat King Cole and His Trio
6. (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag - Kay Starr
1. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Jackie Gleason
2. I'd Like You For Christmas - Julie London
3. The Merriest - June Christy
4. Away In A Manger - Ella Fitzgerald
5. Do You Hear What I Hear? - Bing Crosby
6. The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole

The Three Sounds featuring Gene Harris Groovin' Hard: Live at The Penthouse 1964-1968

Groovin Hard is a collection of previously unreleased live recordings of the legendary jazz trio, The Three Sounds , led by groove-master Gene Harris . Captured live at Seattle's Penthouse Jazz Club from 1964-1968, featuring bassist Andrew Simpkins and drummers Bill Dowdy, Kalil Madi and Carl Burnett, this set contains soulful originals like Blue Genes and standards like "The Shadow Of Your Smile," which was never released on any other Three Sounds' albums. The group's song "Put On Train" was prominently sampled in the Beastie Boys song "What Comes Around" on the album Paul's Boutique. Deluxe package features rare photos and memorabilia including the classic image on the cover of the trio performing at the club taken by photographer Egill Gustafson plus essays by journalist Ted Panken, producer Zev Feldman, Seattle Jazz DJ Jim Wilke and others. The Three Sounds were one of the most popular artists on the iconic Blue Note label during the late 50s and early 60s, and you can hear why on these infectiously swinging recordings from The Penthouse.

Track Listing:
Side A:
1. Girl Talk (6:23)
2. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes (5:49)
3. Blue Genes (3:10)
4. The Shadow Of Your Smile (6:55)
5. Rat Down Front (2:25)

Side B:
1. Yours Is My Heart Alone (7:50)
2. A.M. Blues (4:09)
3. Bluesette (6:48)
4. Caesar and Cleopatra (film theme) (4:57)
5. The Boogaloo (2:44)

Dennis Coffey - Hot Coffey in the D: Burnin' at Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge

Resonance Records is proud to announce the release of Dennis Coffey's Hot Coffey in the D: Burnin' At Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge, previously unreleased live recordings made during the legendary guitarist's residency at Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge in Detroit in 1968 featuring Motor City staples on the scene organist Lyman Woodard and drummer Melvin Davis.

In the late '60s, Dennis Coffey was a fixture in the fertile Detroit soul recording studio scene, where he helped shape the sound of countless hits for Detroit's indie soul labels Golden World, Ric-Tic, Kelmac and Revilot, among others. Jack Montgomerys "Dearly Beloved," The Reflections' "Just Like Romeo and Juliet" and Darrell Banks's "Open the Door to Your Heart" are just a few of the Northern Soul classics of that era that Coffey played on. At the same time, organist Lyman Woodard was the musical director for Martha Reeves and The Vandellas (Heat Wave) and Melvin Davis was busy cutting 45s of his own as a vocalist on the Groovesville, Fortune and Mala labels and landing a number regional hits including This Love Was Meant To Be/Save It (Never Too Late).

As Coffey's renown as a top funk studio guitarist grew among the movers and shakers of the Detroit music scene, on the recommendation of legendary Motown bass player James Jamerson, producer Norman Whitfield recruited Coffey to play on records he was producing for Motown. Thus Coffey became established as a Funk Brother, a member of one of the world's preeminent studio ensembles, which formed the backbone of countless Motown hit records and which was the subject of the celebrated GRAMMY® Award-winning feature-length documentary film, Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002), in which Coffey is featured.

On Norman Whitfield's productions for Motown, Coffey contributed to the evolving soul and funk sound coming out of Detroit by introducing guitar innovations like fuzz-tone distortion, Echoplex tape delay and wah-wah, previously the exclusive province of rock and roll players. This new style developed by Coffey can be heard on such mega-hits as the Temptations' "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)," Edwin Starr's "War," and the Supremes' "Someday We'll be Together," among many others. Coffey's sound was something new and different and lent a modern feel to all the records he played on. Eventually, the demand for Coffey's magic touch led to appearances on recordings by Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and many others.

In addition to the virtuosity he imparted on other artists' records, Coffey, along with his producing partner, Mike Theodore (co-producer with Coffey of the original recordings that make up this album), also produced recordings for a number of successful artists, as well as hit projects of their own. The iconic music executive Clarence Avant engaged Coffey and Theodore, through their production company Theo-Coff, to produce sessions, create arrangements and write songs for projects he released on his labels, Maverick/Venture and Sussex Records.

As producers, writers and talent scouts, Coffey and Theodore looked beyond soul and funk and ventured into new stylistic areas: rock, pop, folk and Latin. Coffey and Theodore discovered and produced albums by Sixto Rodriguez, the subject of the Oscar®-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man (2012). They had a million seller rock hit, "Nice to be With You" by the band Gallery and Coffey had his own million-seller instrumental funk hit "Scorpio," which Theodore produced.

Coffey may have been toiling in the studios making classic funk records during the daylight hours, but by night, he and fellow Detroit soul and studio funk masters organist Lyman Woodard and drummer Melvin Davis were doing their own thing holding forth in local Detroit clubs as a jazz/funk ensemble billed as the Lyman Woodard Trio, fronted by Coffey's distinctive guitar playing and arrangements. Their first gigs were in 1966 at a club called the Frolic Show Bar. In 1967, the trio left the Frolic and began an extended tenure at Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge, where this set was recorded.

Melvin Davis says about Woodard, Lyman Woodard was probably one of the premier organists to come out of the east coast actually. He was a very accomplished musician; he was a person that had a very extensive following in the city of Detroit.

At Morey Baker's, the trio played to a loyal following of discerning listeners who came every night just to listen to them play, rather than simply to dance. Therefore, it was important for the trio to maintain a distinct and compelling musical identity that evolved over time. They couldn't just revisit the same material over and over and expect to hold onto their audience. Coffey says, We played there once a week and always packed the house. Much of our audience was middle to upper class folks who were judges, attorneys, businessmen and women who just loved listening to our brand of funk, jazz, rock and soul. I even hooked up a strobe light to the stage and would hit the switch that shut off the main lights. The strobe would go off while we'd jam on stage. It blew their minds!"

Coffey was always on the lookout for new and interesting repertoire and he would constantly bring in new music from different genres, having worked out all the musical arrangements in advance, as is evidenced by the repertoire on this album, which includes covers of soul classics such as "Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over)" that Coffey played on the original Ruby Andrews studio version of; pop hits of the day such as the rousing version of Jimmy Webbs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" treated in Coffey's signature style; a smoldering version of the Burt Bacharach classic The Look of Love made popular by Dusty Springfield in 1967; a faithful adaptation of the Herbie Hancock classic Maiden Voyage; as well as two Coffey originals the opening distortion-laden funk opus "Fuzz and the infectious and grooving The Big D.

The music on this album, Hot Coffey in the D: Burnin' At Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge, represents the trio in a raw and unfiltered display of their prodigious musical gifts. Indeed the recordings that make up this album served as the springboard for Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore to be picked up by Clarence Avant on his own Sussex Records label, effectively launching their producing career in earnest. Another springboard was the seminal soul-funk instrumental album, Hair and Thangs, which was released on the Maverick label (distributed by Venture Records) in 1969 under Denniss name featuring both Lyman Woodard and Melvin Davis, and included a psychedelic version of the Isley Brothers hit Its Your Thing.

The release of this unique album is the direct result of the long friendship between Resonance producer Zev Feldman and the respected music journalist Kevin Goins, recognized expert on the Detroit music scene. They have been colleagues and friends for years dating back to Goins's days in retail at the HMV store in New York in the '90s when Feldman was rising in the ranks of the PolyGram organization. In early 2016, Goins learned from Coffey that these performances at Morey Baker's had been recorded using studio quality gear and immediately called Feldman to alert him to the availability of this previously unheard session. Feldman recalls, I was so excited when Kevin first told me about the existence of these tapes. Right off the bat I was intrigued and felt compelled to release these recordings and tell the story of Dennis Coffey, who is to me one of the unsung heroes of guitar.

To Feldman, Dennis Coffey was a fascinating figure and an essential member of the guitar pantheon of popular music. Already aware of Coffey's stellar history, it impressed Feldman that Coffey's career as a guitarist/producer/arranger and artist spanned a myriad of styles and that he had a distinctive guitar sound that influenced so many guitarists of the day and many who followed. In 2011, the Fuel 2000 label released Absolutely The Best of Dennis Coffey, a collection of all of Denniss 1970s output on Sussex, and Feldman handled the marketing of the album. This experience solidified Feldman's conviction that this music deserved to be heard; that there was an audience for this music, indeed a loyal audience that would be thrilled that this previously unknown music would be available to them. In my time working as the SVP of Sales and Marketing at Fuel 2000 Records, we released many of the masters from Clarence Avants catalog of albums. I became a big fan of Dennis and Mike Theodore during that time and knew the importance of their legacy and Dennis's artistry.

Once again, consistent with its mission to honor the traditions of great American music in all its glory, Resonance Records has pulled out all the stops in creating this release. The deluxe CD & LP packages feature stunning original cover art by acclaimed cartoonist and Metro Detroit native Bill Morrison, who was one of the original illustrators on The Simpsons, art director of Futurama and one of the co-founders of Bongo Comics with Matt Groening. Feldman was searching for a particular vibe for this project that harkened back to the feeling he would get gazing at psychedelic 60s LP covers like Sgt. Peppers and reading Mad magazine. We struck out trying to get Robert Crumb and Al Jaffee, Feldman explains, so our associate producer Zak Shelby-Szyszko suggested we look into artists that have Detroit roots. When he sent me Bill Morrisons work, I knew right away he was the guy. And working with him was such a treat. Wed provide buzzwords about the characters, look and vibe we were going for and he delivered this masterpiece.

The package also includes extensive liner notes with rare photos by acclaimed Detroit photographers such as Leni Sinclair, essays by Resonance producer Zev Feldman and veteran music journalist Kevin Goins, plus interviews with Dennis Coffey, Melvin Davis and Mike Theodore, along with music industry icon Clarence Avant and Detroit soul singer Bettye LaVette. The LP version, available as a Record Store Day exclusive for their Black Friday Event, is presented in a limited-edition, hand-numbered pressing on 180-gram black vinyl mastered by the legendary Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering and pressed at Record Technology, Inc. (RTI).

Track Listing:
1. Fuzz (8:17)
2. By the Time I Get to Phoenix (7:09)
3. The Look of Love (11:45)
4. Maiden Voyage (7:06)
5. The Big D (4:13)
6. Casanova (Your Playing Days Are Over) (7:04)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

NEA Jazz Master David Baker's big band legacy celebrated on Basically Baker 2, featuring special guests Randy Brecker, Rich Perry, and Dave Stryker with the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra

The music of the late NEA Jazz Master and world-lauded jazz educator David Baker is featured on Basically Baker 2, a new recording out September 23 on Patois Records.  The two-CD set showcases the renowned Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra in Baker's own big band arrangements of his music. Proceeds generated by sales of the recording will go to the David N. Baker Scholarship Fund to benefit students of the Jacobs School of Music Jazz Studies Program.

Basically Baker 2 employs former Baker students and proteges such as trombonist Brent Wallarab, saxophonist Tom Walsh, trumpeters Mark Buselli and Pat Harbison, and pianist Luke Gillespie in music previously heard almost exclusively at Indiana University concert performances.  Another IU alum, trumpeter and multi-Grammy winner Randy Brecker, provides a lovely cameo appearance for "Kirsten's First Song," as does IU jazz faculty guitarist Dave Stryker, whose easy, elegant swing evokes 21st-century echoes of Baker's good friend Wes Montgomery.  Saxophonist Rich Perry of Maria Schneider's award-winning orchestra checks in for solos as well playing on the lyrical "Soft Summer Rain," "Sweet Georgia Peach" (Baker's abstract take on "Sweet Georgia Brown"), and "Shima 13."  Trombonist and Patois Records label founder Wayne Wallace also steps up with a bold contribution to one of Baker's most significant compositions, "Honesty."
The Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, with Baker's blessing, first ventured into the realm of his large ensemble compositions with 2007's Basically Baker.  That recording landed on DownBeat's top-100 list of jazz CDs for the 21st century, and is now being reissued by Patois Records in conjunction with Basically Baker 2.

The idea of Basically Baker 2 had been in the works for some time, but the project gained poignance and momentum after Baker passed away this March at the age of 84. "David and Lida approached me in 2005 to record the first volume, which was a great experience for everyone involved," says Wallarab.  "Since then, we talked a number of times about doing a second volume and especially in recent years, he mentioned it frequently. It was important to David that his music 'live on' as he would say and not languish away in the library at the music school. This project was a way we could all channel our grief into something productive that honored David's wishes to care for his music after he was gone."

The passion and skill of Baker's musical progeny was matched by their dedication and desire to be a part of Basically Baker 2.  "I was amazed by the overwhelming commitment and enthusiasm of everyone I asked," says Wallarab.  "Many musicians cancelled or rescheduled other commitments already on the books to participate."

Basically Baker 2 extends the far-reaching impact of Baker's life and accomplishments. When he was born David Nathaniel Baker in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 21, 1931, the United States was a racially segregated country, either by law or socially enforced custom, and jazz was a young and controversial form of music.  By the time of his departure on March 26, 2016, an African-American was serving as the country's president, and jazz education programs were thriving at various institutions across the land.  Jazz and America had gone through some changes, and Baker made a major contribution, as a jazz education pioneer, a master trombonist and cellist, a prolific composer, a builder of cultural bridges, and an innovator who used the past in service of the future.  George Russell, the jazz composer and theorist who helped shape David's late-1950s Indianapolis hardbop group into one of the most progressive ensembles of the early 1960s, coined an appropriate term for David's compositions, calling them "21st century soul music."

During Baker's formative years in the 1930s and 40s, he listened to the great big band orchestras of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and numerous others, as well as gospel, blues, pop, classical, and country music.  By the late 1940s the bebop revolution had taken hold, and Baker was an enthusiastic convert, sneaking into the clubs along Indianapolis' Indiana Avenue with his teenage friends to hear the exciting new sounds being propagated by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and other musical torchbearers of the times.

Throughout the 1950s Baker continued his studies, worked with orchestras of Fred Dale, Stan Kenton, and Maynard Ferguson, and taught in classrooms and privately.  By the end of the decade he was leading a hard-charging big band at Indiana University, touring with Quincy Jones' orchestra, and being praised in print by Gunther Schuller. In 1966 he took over Indiana University's fledgling jazz studies program and spent close to 50 years there, building the foundation of the modern jazz education movement and codifying the lingua franca of 20th-century jazz for generations to come through his teaching, writings, performances, and recordings.

Significantly, much of the material on Basically Baker 2 comes from Baker's first decade at Indiana University as head of jazz studies, stretching from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.  "I think he was a little more daring as a writer then," says Brent Wallarab. In addition to being a fascinating era for big band music, these were also the years when jazz made its first bold advances into the academy, and in Baker the music found one of its most effective ambassadors. The connections Baker forged in Indiana University's world-renowned classical music program, and his own extensive work in the field of classical composition, played a vital role in jazz's late-20th century cultural elevation, as did his leadership of the repertory-oriented Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Baker never ventured too far afield from the primary colors of his musical palette, though: blues, popular song, and bebop.  It's fitting that the sole non-Baker composition on this CD is Baker's arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie's "Bebop," suggested by Gillespie himself, who encouraged Baker to apply his own masterly touch to the composition's bright, frantic, swirl-and-dash contours. There are other salutes as well, to longtime friend Tillman Buggs ("Terrible T"), and grandchild Kirsten ("Kirsten's First Song," which ends with a celeste solo that Wallarab says "is like a little kiss on his granddaughter's forehead before he tucks her away for the night"). "Black Thursday" summons the sound and spirit of Baker's Indianapolis hardbop era in memory of the friends and loved ones who passed on that particular day of the week.  "Shima 13" invokes Baker's love of puns and wordplay in honor of his sister Shirley, and "25th and Martindale" namechecks the Indianapolis neighborhood where Baker spent much of his youth, attending church, working as a caddy at a nearby golf course, and honing his skills as a musician.  "Harlem Pipes," which began as a small group piece and morphed into a big band arrangement, is dedicated to Baker's friend and cohort, pianist Marian McPartland.

"David's legacy as educator, author, and classical composer is well documented through many publications, recordings, and through thousands of his academic progeny continuing his pedagogy in schools worldwide," says Wallarab.  "As a composer for jazz big band, David has an important and distinct voice that most of the jazz world does not yet know. It is truly an honor to be involved in presenting his music to the global jazz community."

Basically Baker 2 extends its predecessor's contribution to the modern jazz canon and furthers the mission and legacy of David Baker's life in music: to create, to swing, and to teach. At the same time, it offers a deeper portrait of an artist whose place in jazz history is destined to grow ever more significant with the passing of years, and whose music is filled with nuance, humor, melodicism, and the blues-at once earthy and sophisticated.  It is a celebration of a remarkable individual's vision of jazz, expanding that vision's recorded element, just as Baker himself, through his composing, performing, and educational efforts, expanded the consciousness of jazz around the countries and cultures of the world.

The Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, founded by Mark Buselli and Brent Wallarab in 1994, includes many of the top jazz artists in the Midwest.  The group has given over 1,000 public performances, played every Tuesday night over a 12 year tenure at The Jazz Kitchen, recorded seven CDs, and given hundreds of jazz education presentations in dozens of schools.

Jazz fusion guitarist Tyler Reese's new album, “Reminiscence” debuts at No. 5 on the Billboard chart

Guitarist Tyler Reese has been releasing jazz-rock records since he was 15, but the now 23-year-year-old finally reached Billboard’s Top 5, which is where his newly-released “Reminiscence” debuted on the contemporary jazz albums chart. News of the No. 5 chart entry opened a memorable week for the guitar prodigy whose new collection, produced by Jeff Silverman (Rick Springfield, Hiroshima, The Allman Brothers Band, Tim Weisberg) and Reese, is up for two trophies at Thursday’s Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Reese will end the week back home on Sunday night in Fredericksburg, Virginia playing the first of two local concert dates to celebrate the release of the record comprised entirely of his original jazz fusion compositions and showcases his guitar artistry that once scored him an invite to play for and jam with Prince at Paisley Park.       

An abundance of national airplay for the first radio single from “Reminiscence,” the mood-elevating “Moving On,” helped pave the way for the high chart debut. The affable tune collected a nomination in the jazz category from the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Also earning a nod was the scorched earth electric guitar and horn section fire starter “2Funk,” a cut from the disc that competes in the production category.       

A busy first-call, Nashville-based session player and touring guitarist who once studied with 20-time Grammy-winning jazz guitar master Pat Metheny, Reese reignited his passion and imagination for “Reminiscence” by reconnecting with his roots in jazz fusion. The result is a collection swirling various hues of jazz, rock, funk and a hint of blues. On most tracks, the fretman uses an electric guitar to slash and burn through borderless fields of fusion. On gentler numbers, he wields an acoustic guitar to strum reflectively and pick poetically on melodic gypsy jazz wanderings and new age contemplations. Midwest Record was among the first to review the record writing, “He's an old soul that knows which end is up. A super solid tasty treat for anyone that needs a well-guided trip back to the day, fusion ears are sure to enjoy the chops and diversity that power this set. Hot stuff.”

After Reese’s homecoming show this Sunday (Nov. 20) at the Riverside Center, he will take the stage at The Tin Pan in nearby Richmond, Virginia on November 23. To get a taste of Reese’s music live, he lensed a video of the album’s “Emancipation,” which can be viewed at

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


A 50th anniversary celebration calls for some champagne…champagne soul, that is! Back in 1966, Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ron Townson first started making beautiful music together, and the world of pop music has never been the same. Now, in 2016, 50 years later, Real Gone Music is proud to present the most comprehensive 5th Dimension collection ever compiled, a 3-CD set containing their complete singles for the Soul City and Bell labels (plus their first single on the Bronco label as The Versatiles and their lone single release for Arista), 61 tracks of swinging, soulful harmonies, brilliant arrangements, groundbreaking production, and some of the best songwriting to come out of the ‘60s and ‘70s. 

This 3-CD set—which is housed inside a sumptuous, 8-panel digipak mini-album featuring rare photos—not only includes 30 Pop and 15 R&B hits, all in their hard-to-find, mono mixes (only the last four tracks on the set are in stereo), featuring such legendary recordings as “Up—Up and Away,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All,” and “If I Could Reach You,” but also some rare, non-LP single sides and single edits, nearly all making their CD debuts here! 

With production by the great Bones Howe, vocal arrangements by Bob Alcivar, and the instrumental accompaniment of the famed Wrecking Crew, the confluence of talent on these sides is simply staggering. And, of course, The 5th Dimension brought the songwriting genius of Laura Nyro and Jimmy Webb to the masses; their collaborations with Webb in particular remain among the pinnacles of ‘60s pop. Remastered by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, and with notes by Paul Grein featuring quotes from all four living members (Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Florence LaRue and Lamonte McLemore) that trace the historic arc of the group, The Complete Soul City/Bell Singles 1966-1975 isn’t just the definitive look at The 5th Dimension; it’s a collection that defines the whole sunshine pop genre.

Disc : 1
1. You're Good Enough for Me
2. Bye Bye Baby
3. I'll Be Lovin' You Forever
4. Train Keep On Movin'
5. Go Where You Wanna Go
6. Too Poor to Die
7. Another Day, Another Heartache
8. Rosecrans Blvd.
9. Up Up & Away
10. Which Way to Nowhere
11. Paper Cup
12. Poor Side of Town
13. Carpet Man
14. The Magic Garden
15. Stoned Soul Picnic
16. The Sailboat Song
17. Sweet Blindness
18. Bobbie's Blues (Who Do You Think Of?)
19. California Soul
20. It'll Never Be the Same Again

Disc : 2
1. Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures)
2. Don't Cha Hear Me Callin' to Ya
3. Workin' on a Groovy Thing
4. Broken Wing Bird
5. Wedding Bell Blues
6. Lovin' Stew
7. Blowing Away
8. Skinny Man
9. The Declaration
10. A Change Is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free
11. The Girls' Song
12. Puppet Man
13. A Love Like Ours
14. Save the Country
15. Dimension 5ive
16. On the Beach (In the Summertime)
17. This Is Your Life
18. One Less Bell to Answer
19. Feelin' Alright?
20. Love's Lines Angles & Rhymes
21. The Singer

Disc : 3
1. Light Sings
2. Viva Tirado
3. Never My Love
4. Together Let's Find Love
5. I Just Wanta Be Your Friend
6. (Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep at All
7. The River Witch
8. If I Could Reach You
9. Tomorrow Belongs to the Children
10. Living Together Growing Together
11. What Do I Need to Be Me
12. Everything's Been Changed
13. There Never Was a Day
14. Ashes to Ashes
15. Flashback
16. Diggin' for a Livin'
17. Harlem
18. My Song
19. No Love in the Room
20. I Don't Know How to Look for Love



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