Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Some CD's Reviewed

As promised in the last edition, a couple of CD buys for you to hunt down. I say “hunt down” because according to some reading I did recently, apparently there are only 32 independent record shops left in the UK. OK, you do still have the big chains, but even they are shrinking as we purchase more and more of our listening material from the net. And some sites even let you preview the music before you buy. So, a good thing maybe. You don’t have to go out in the rain to purchase, you don’t have to wait until Saturday either. But you do miss the opportunity to talk with the shop owner, who may well have a greater understanding of the genre of music you are interested in, and will be able to advise you on someone you don’t know, but he thinks you will enjoy. I haven’t forgotten the record shop in the Chiswick High Road that sold second hand as well as new, and purchased them back (at a slight loss to yourself of course) if you didn’t get on with the latest purchase. I well remember, in the days when I was buying Ken Collier on 78’s, being “told” by the proprietor to listen to a recording by the “Lighthouse All Stars”. Definitely new experiences to explore!

So, what have I got out today? Both were published 2 to 4 years ago, but I would expect them to still be around.

First a compilation of Blue Note Records called “Sharp Shades and Fingersnaps” of music mostly recorded in the 1960’s. Tunes that if you come to Hedsor, are sometimes played there by our own Allstars, “Sister Sadie”, “Nite Flite”, “The African Queen”, for example. This is a double album containing the original recordings of some of modern jazz’s “second generation” fathers. Lee Morgan (now didn’t he get shot by his girlfriend, or even wife?), Art Blakey, Horace Silver. Tunes that did become popular (Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” for example, as well as said “ Sister Sadie”). Not only is the music reproduced, but the excellent booklet contains miniature versions of the original LP album artwork. So, go looking for BlueNote (on EMI now), 00946-355221-2-9. I am again made to think that they really do want to get you to buy, by the slip of a digit, “The Best of Victor Sylvester”. OR is that really BlueNote’s telephone number?

The second album is on the Candid label, and is by Stacey Kent. I haven’t always been a fan of hers, but this album “The Boy Next Door” is a beautifully recorded and executed reminiscence of the songs that brought her to singing. As the sleeve says “songs associated with some of Stacey’s musical heroes, from Tony Bennett to Paul Simon”. As well as her English husband, saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, the band also includes David Newton on piano and Colin Oxley on guitar. The songs are well known, and we will all have heard different (the original) versions. “The Best is Yet to Come”, “Too Darn Hot”, “People Will Say We’re In Love” and similar. These new versions are beautifully sung and worth buy for that reason alone, but it really is a worthwhile purchase for another reason as well, it will do very well to demonstrate your Hi Fi. Playing it on your car CD player (as I did to start with) does it no favours at all, because it is a terrific recording. Candid CCD 79993.

Don't forget that Live Jazz is STILL a must. Thursday's at Hedsor is always a joy (don't believe me? Ask the audience!).

And there is a chance for pure indulgance on October 23rd, when we are holding our Marlow Jazz Festival in that towns Crowne Plaza hotel. 12 hours of top quality music, and all for £20, which is all going to Cancer Research UK anyway. Tickets are still available fro me at Hedsor, or from Helen Rathbone on 07515 287823

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