During one of his many tours of Europe, Lionel Hampton assembled a group of all-stars for this 1956 studio session, adding a number of top European players to his regular group. The vibraphonist has the lion's share of solos, dominating the 11-plus-minute interpretation of "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" and showing off a bit with his unique style of playing piano on several selections, including a romp through "Regina's Drag" (which is the same as "12th Street Rag"). "New Saint-Louis Blues" is just an updated version of W.C. Handy's signature tune, with a vocal by Hampton and sassy muted trumpet by Ed Mullens. This date might have been a bit more memorable with more solo features for the vibraphonist's sidemen, but it is hard to overpower one of the greatest jazz showmen of all time.
Completists will be happy to own many of the rarities on this four-disc set, including Stevens's first demo session, an unreleased 1970 duet with Elton John, a cover of Fats Domino's "Blue Monday," and several choice live cuts from the late '70s. And it's nice to have an overview of the artist's entire career–from late '60s pop-star wannabe to '70s folk-rock superstar–in one place. But the difference between early Cat Stevens (despite composing hits for others) and post-Tea for the Tillerman Stevens is substantial. The two follow-up LPs were part of a trilogy of brilliance–both musically and lyrically–and any Stevens collection must start there. Nevertheless, surprises and some gems are to be found throughout all four discs–even his most recent recording (as Yusuf Islam) isn't bad. This box set also offers a choice opportunity to reassess a deserving career. (All royalties go to New York City relief victims and orphans and homeless families in underdeveloped countries.)
A superb introduction to the amazing Alannah Myles catalog on this CD of hits and rarities. That's why it's called " MYLES & MORE ". Alannah has a tremendous gifted voice that can belt out anything from a blues song to full-tilt heavy rock, as well as sing an awesome ballad . This CD has of course the enormous hit " BLACK VELVET " that resonates as a classic today, and won many awards & achieved world-wide hit status. Plus her other hits like " LOVER OF MINE ", " STILL GOT THIS THING ", " SONG INSTEAD OF A KISS ", and great album tracks.
The very thing that made Luther Allison noteworthy became an albatross around his neck. Years after his initial run of records in the '70s, he was known for the same thing he was at the time – he was the only blues artist on Gordy, or any Motown affiliated label. This was true and novel, but many focused on the novelty, not the truth, ignoring Allison's status as a terrific torchbearer of raw Chicago blues. Some of material illustrates some contemporary influence – dig that funky groove and organ on "Raggedy and Dirty," or the rock-oriented slow burn of Mel London's "Cut You A-Loose" – but as his original title track illustrates, he can also deliver a torturous, impassioned slow grind. Still, this isn't an album about originality, it's a record how tradition can remain alive in a contemporary setting. Apart from the slightly cleaner production and the extended running time, this could have been released 15 years earlier, since its heart is in classic Chicago blues, particularly Chess. He draws on Willie Dixon via Howlin' Wolf for the first two tracks, dipping into Elmore James and B.B. King's catalogs later on in the record.
With the first Rammstein album you hear, it's hard not to be slightly amazed by the sheer chutzpah of it all. The German lyrics, the prog rock tendencies, the classic metal guitars, and the ridiculous basso profundo vocals - you either fall for it, spurn it, or are utterly bemused by the extremeness of it all. Unless you're a fanatic, it wears a little thin the second time around. And for most listeners, Mutter, the group's third album and sequel to their inexplicable commercial breakthrough Sehnsucht, will be the second time around since it's their first release since becoming a high profile act. Thing is, if you've heard that record, you've pretty much heard Mutter, since all the trademarks are in place, without much noticeable variation…