Bob Dylan - The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 (the Bootleg Series Vol. 9)Bob Dylan - The Original Mono Recordings
Good times for Dylan fans this week with volume nine of the Bootleg series AND the release of the mono mixes of the first eight albums on Cd! The demos reveal a young Dylan in his early twenties,recording songs for his first two publishers. With just his voice,his guitar and his harmonica,he seems to both arrive fully formed and to grow, artistically. Which is it,then? Perhaps it could be argued that Dyan has been full of contradictions from the start.
With the success of the Beatles mono box set, perhaps the record industry will,at long last,realise the demand for mono mixes! (Hey, whoever is in charge of the endless stream of Beach Boys reissues at Capitol,you're paying attention,right?) With "the Original Mono Recordings",Dylans first eight albums are available in what many fans (including myself) feel are the "real" mixes. Good times,indeed!
More reviews below...
Scott Amendola Trio-Lift
Drummer Amendola is a first call sideman for some of my favorite guitarists,Charlie Hunter and Nels Cline in particular. Here,he takes on a batch of original compositions,with guitarist Jeff Parker and bassist John Shifflett. The tunes are as wide ranging and adventurous as Amendolas impressive discography would suggest.
Elton John and Leon Russell-The Union
Hey,whats this Cd with not just one but two piano players doing in here? The secret is the fine guitar work from Marc Ribot,who is having quite a year between his excellent solo work and several choice backup roles.
Paul Desmond-Take Ten (re-issue)
Desmond will forever be remembered more for his time in Dave Brubecks band and by more knowledgeable jazz fans as the composer of the Brubeck hit "Take Five" than for his solo albums. Well,guitar fans,Desmonds solo work is of particular interest to guitarists. Why,you ask? Due to a peculiar agreement with Brubeck,Desmond was not allowed to record with other pianists. That meant his usual choice for chordal accompaniment was guitarist Jim Hall,whose fine work is all over this 1963 album.
George Harrison and Ravi Shankar-Collaborations
It's no secret who was pulling the artistic weight in these "collaborations" but thank you George Harrison for shedding some well deserved light on this wonderful music. This is a limited edition box set containing three albums,two that Harrison "produced" and one the titular "collaboration" (two making their Cd debut) and a previously unreleased 1974 concert. For myself,as an occasional dabbler in classical Indian music and all around white dude,I found the Dvd the most enlightening,as it shows Ravi Shankar conducting the sometimes odd time signature music. (Oh...THAT"S where the one beat is...huh...)
Baden Powell-The Franfurt Opera Concert 1975
Classically trained Brazilian guitarist Powell, in a set of mostly his own compositions,including the fan favorite "Samba Triste". The band is a bass/drum/percussion format,allowing Powell to stretch a couple of the songs to the nine minute mark!
Joe Bonamassa-Live Frome The Royal Albert Hall
Black County Communion not enough to satiate your Bonamassa fix? How about a whopping two disc set of live music from the blues rock master.
Greg Ruby Quartet-Look Both Ways
After establishing himself as a front runner in the current batch of gypsy jazz musicians on six recordings with Pearl Django and Hot Club Sandwich,Ruby steps out on his own with a bit of help from some of the best string musicians around. Guests include John Jorgenson Quintet's Doug Martin, Turtle Island Quartet's Evan Price and David Grisman veteran Frank Vignola.
Michael Schenker Group-Live in Tokyo: 30th Anniversary Japan Tour
This Two Cd set covers solo,UFO and MSG classics. "Doctor,Doctor", "Armed and Ready" and "Into the Arena" all make their now required appearance,with backup from Simon Phillips,Gary Barden,Wayne Findlay and Neil Murray.
Chris Duarte Group-Infinate Energy
Duarte is still squarely under the spell of his influences but when your influences are Stevie Ray Vaughn,Eric Johnson and Jimi Hendrix,and you deliver them with such killer Strat tone, it doesn't get much better than this.
Mike Marshall-An Adventure 1999-2009
An adventure,indeed,this compilation from mandolinist Marhall covers a staggering array of sounds and styles.