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April In Paris'
April In ParisCount Basie's band endured because of its leader's uncanny ability to put together fresh arrangements and strong soloists while maintaining the band's unique devotion to swing; this CD is among the most enduring of the big band recordings of the 1950s. The title tune is present in a justifiably famous rendition, a performance of swaggering swing and passion that was arranged by organist Wild Bill Davis. Frank Foster's Shiny Stockings, now a jazz standard, made its debut here, while Joe Newman's Midgets recasts the band as a bop combo. Throughout the recording are terrific solos by trumpeters Thad Jones and Newman and tenor saxophonists Foster and Frank Wess, all basking in the band's glorious swing. --Stuart Broomer
Basie scored a smash in '56 with April in Paris , and this mid-'50s LP (featuring the original Basie band) became an instant big-band classic. A slew of alternate takes join that hit!1. April In Paris
2. Corner Pocket
3. Didn't You?
4. Sweetie Cakes
6. Shiny Stockings
7. What Am I Here For?
9. Dinner With Friends
10. Big Red$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
On My Way and Shoutin' AgainImport
When Count Basie returned to Verve Records in 1962, Neal Hefti was contracted to write the tunes and arrangements, a revival of their partnership from the 1958 Roulette LP Basie Plays Hefti. While none of these selections is as famous as his songs like Cute, Little Pony, Splanky, Li'l Darlin', and Repetition, the substantial originality of this music is hard to deny, not to mention that the expert musicians playing his music bring these tracks fully to life in a livelier fashion than most laid-back Basie studio sessions. In fact, it has the feeling of a concert date that trumps the more clean, controlled environment of a session that was recorded on a three-track reel-to-reel. There's also plenty of room for exceptional solos from most of the participants, as Hefti is mindful of who is in the band and how each musician might sound when given his head.
This is tried and true swing-oriented modern big-band music that actually sounds advanced for its time frame, and is solid as anything Basie has done post-April in Paris. The band is atypically bold and brazen on the opener, I'm Shoutin' Again, with Frank Wess on alto (not tenor) sax for his spirited solo. The great chart of Jump for Johnny is a hard bopper for Johnny Carson, basic Basie with tenor saxophonist Frank Foster and trumpeter Sonny Cohn trading licks. Hefti's best work is showcased during Together Again, as the hopping brass and singing horns take tuneful twists and turns. This set also includes the classic track The Long Night, a famous blues featuring the sly flute of Wess in front of the horn section and a masterful muted solo by trumpeter Thad Jones. There are other tunes that are derivative, as you can clearly hear the borrowed phrases of C Jam Blues/Duke's Place in the low-key then blasted-out Eee Dee, Shiny Stockings sprinkled about during the more typical laid-back Rose Bud, and Groove Merchant or Hallelujah, I Just Love Him So in the easy-swinging soul groove of Ain't That Right. Hefti's movie soundtrack experience comes to the fore on Shanghaied, definite spy music with Cohn's muted trumpet masking phobias and paranoia. There are two cute tunes: Skippin' with Skitch, led by three flutes (Wess, Eric Dixon, and Charlie Fowlkes); and the lightly strutting Ducky Bumps, featuring Henry Coker's trombone, with brief solos from Basie's piano and bassist Buddy Catlett.
A solid and worthwhile album that has been out of print for far too long, this will be a welcome addition to any Basie lover's collection, and comes highly recommended to anyone even mildly interested in excellent large-ensemble mainstream jazz.
- Michael G. Nastos (All Music Guide)1. I'm Shoutin' Again
2. Ducky Bumps
3. The Long Night
4. Jump For Johnny
5. Ain't That Right
6. Together Again
8. Skippin' With Skitch
9. Eee Dee
10. Rose Bud
11. Lester Leaps In$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Live In Paris & TorontoAvailable on vinyl for the first time, Live In Paris And Toronto is a concert recording captured on 1998's The Book Of Secrets Tour and originally released on CD in 1999. This deluxe limited edition set features a three LP 180-gram vinyl set in a gatefold sleeve.
Captured live in April and May of 1998 in the Salle Pleyel in Paris and Massey Hall in Toronto, this three LP set is, says Loreena, simply 'the sound of us doing what we did.' Featuring performances of all of the songs from The Book Of Secrets as well as a generous selection of favorites from previous recordings, Live In Paris And Toronto was originally conceived as a charitable effort in support of The Cook-Rees Memorial Fund For Water Search And Safety. Its proceeds have now raised millions of dollars for the Fund's work in the fields of water safety and education. Recognizing the growing public appetite for the sound only vinyl can deliver, this release is the 13th high-end audiophile reproduction from McKennitt s musical catalog.LP 1
2. The Mummers' Dance
4. Marco Polo
5. The Highwayman
6. La Serenissima
1. Night Ride Across The Caucasus
2. Dante's Prayer
3. The Mystic's Dream
5. Bonny Portmore
6. Between The Shadows
1. The Lady Of Shalott
2. The Bonny Swans
3. The Old Ways
4. All Soul's Night
5. Cymbeline$59.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
In FranceThelonious Monk and his quartet spent a good chunk of 1961 touring Europe including this date, recorded at Olympia in Paris on April 18th of that year. Featuring his long-time quartet saxophonist Charlie Rouse - whose vibrant tone and rhythmic sense are on display here - the group churns through a small handful of Monk classics. A fine live recording from one of the most celebrated jazz quartets of all time.1. Well You Needn't
2. Off Minor
3. Just a Gigolo
4. I Mean You
6. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You$21.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
Monk In FranceThelonious Monk and his quartet spent a good chunk of 1961 touring Europe including this date, recorded at Olympia in Paris on April 18th of that year. Featuring his long-time quartet saxophonist Charlie Rouse - whose vibrant tone and rhythmic sense are on display here - the group churns through a small handful of Monk classics. A fine live recording from one of the most celebrated jazz quartets of all time, reissued on LP by Doxy.1. Well You Needn't
2. Off Minor
3. Just a Gigolo
4. I Mean You
6. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You$32.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Chet Baker Quartet (Out Of Stock)This session was recorded at Studio Pathe-Magellan in Paris, on Monday October 24, 1955 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
On October 24th only Jimmy Bond was still with Chet: Peter littman had returned to America, and his seat was now accupied by Nils-Bertil 'Bert' Dahlander, a Swedish drummer who'd accompanied Lars Gullin. At the keyboard was an almost-unknown pianist named GÉrard Gustin who'd just been signed to a contract by Eddie Barclay. Given the context, they were obliged to fall back on standards. Chet knew how to play these better than anyone. He chose eight: These Foolish Things, which stayed in his quartet's rÉpertoire for a while, and five others, which the trumpeter performs here for the first time: There's a Small Hotel, Autumn In New York, Summertime, You Go To My Head, Tenderly - and two - I'll Remember April and Lover Man - that he'd done less than ten days earlier together with Lars Gullin and Dick Twardzik, whose disappearance was still something Chet refused to accept. Given this state of affairs, the whole session exudes a kind of sadness that's impossible to put down, whatever the choice of tune or tempo.
Never before had Chet been as totally moving as he is throughout You Go To My Head.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Summertime
2. You Go To My Head
4. Lover Man
5. Small Hotel
6. I'll Remember April
7. These Foolish Tings
8. Autumn In New York$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Hug Of Thunder"I don't want to go out there being presumptuous," Kevin Drew says, "because, I've worn those presumptuous shoes before, and you don't want it to feel like, 'Oh, what a let-down.'" That's the fear when you bring back one of music's most beloved names seven years after their last album. But with Hug of Thunder, the fifth Broken Social Scene album, Drew and his bandmates have a right to feel presumptuous.
They have that right because they have created one of 2017's most sparkling, multi-faceted albums. On Hug of Thunder the 15 members of Broken Social Scene - well, the 15 who play on the record, including returnees Leslie Feist and Emily Haines - refract their varying emotions, methods, and techniques into something that doesn't just equal their other albums, but surpasses them. It is righteous but warm, angry but loving, melodic but uncompromising. The title track on its own might just be the best thing you will hear all year - a song that will become as beloved as "Anthems For a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl" from their breakthrough album, You Forgot It In People.
Its title, Drew says, captured what he wanted people to feel about the group's comeback, and how they sound playing together again: "It's just such a wonderful sentiment about us, coming in like a hug of thunder."
Broken Social Scene had reconvened, in varying forms, several times over the past four years - the odd festival show here and there, preferably ones that involved the least possible traveling. But the idea that they might turn their hand to something more than greatest-hits sets had been stirring since November 2014, when producer Joe Chiccarelli told Drew the group needed to make a new album.
"He started showing up at our label, asking if we were going to make an album," Drew recalls. "He just didn't give up; he just kept saying, 'You've got to strike, you've got to do this, the time is now,' and so finally we agreed."
As might be expected to be the case with a many-headed hydra of a group, getting all the principals to agree wasn't easy. Drew's co-founder Brendan Canning was keen, but Drew and fellow BSS lifer Charles Spearin took more persuading. A turning point for Drew came with the Paris terror attacks of November 2015, which made him feel the world needed an injection of positivity: "It just sort of made us want to go out there and play. Because I think we've always been a band that's been a celebration."
Canning picks up the story: "By autumn of 2015 we had started getting together and trying some ideas out, just getting back in that jam space, in Charles' garage. Then we set up shop in my living room and we were starting to come together in a very familiar kind of way, jamming in the living room, eating meals in the kitchen together, because that's what the band is about: 'Hey, let's all get on the same page and get the energies flowing in the same direction.'"
Recording finally began in April 2016 at The Bathouse studio on the shores of Lake Ontario, with later sessions in Toronto and Montreal, before the group went right back to basics. "It was very beautiful the way that it ended in Charlie's little rehearsal garage space," Drew says, "after going to all these studios. We just worked there, doing backup vocals and handclaps and all the shit we used to do when we were younger." And then it was to Los Angeles, where the album was mixed.
The result is a panoramic, expansive album, 53 minutes that manages to be both epic and intimate. In troubled times it offers a serotonin rush of positivity: "Stay Happy" lives up to its title, with huge surges of brass that sound like sunshine bursting through clouds. "Gonna Get Better" makes a promise that the album is determined to deliver. That's not to say it's an escapist record: Broken Social Scene is completely engaged, wholly focussed, and not ignoring the darkness that lurks outside. But there is no hectoring, no lecturing, but a recognition of the confusion and ambiguity of the world. As the title track closes with Leslie Feist murmuring "There was a military base across the street," the listener is caught in the division between the national security provided by national defense, and the menace of the same thing.
The gestation of Hug of Thunder was no idyll. When You Forgot It in People made their name, Broken Social Scene were young men and women. Fifteen years on, they were adults in or on the cusp of middle age, and - as Drew puts it - "all the adult problems in the world were happening around us individually, whether it was divorce or cancer". Three members of the band lost their fathers while the album was being recorded, "and it seemed like the days of going in the studio, getting stoned, drinking five beers and saying, 'Who gives a fuck?' were over".
Then there's the fact of the size of the ensemble, and the number of competing voices. "You don't always get the final say with Broken Social Scene," Canning says, with a certain degree of understatement. He compares the process of getting everyone to agree on a song to party politics: "It's like you're trying to get a bill passed through the House - you have to be really committed to wanting to win."
But, still, if they were to return, it had to be with everybody, no matter if that meant things might get unwieldy. "I'd like to believe that Broken Social Scene can be whatever it can be," Canning says, "but I think the fact we'd gone away for so long meant we really, we really couldn't have done the same thing without everyone involved, you know?" The story of Broken Social Scene, he insists, was built on the involvement of everyone, and so if the story was to be continued, those same people had to return.
"The thing that has changed is that the relationships between us are established," Drew suggests. "And in a family, you ebb and flow and you come and you go and you're in love and then you're annoyed - but it's established now, the relationships aren't going anywhere, you know? And I think through time, because we've been through so much together, personally and professionally, when we're all on stage, everybody knows what they're doing, everybody has a melody to back up someone else, you feel supported, you're a crew, there's nothing but protection all around you."
Canning picks up the theme: "Before we were making this record, I said to everyone: 'We all basically want the same thing, we might just have slightly different roadmaps on how to get there. So how do we stray off on certain country roads but get back onto the main thoroughfare?'"
That Broken Social Scene was a family again, driving along the same main road, became apparent to UK fans in September 2016, when the group - with Ariel Engle the latest woman to assume the role of co-lead vocalist - came over for less than a handful of festival shows, to test the waters. Their Sunday teatime appearance at End Of The Road - an ecstatic hour of maximalist music, physically and emotionally overwhelming - ended up being one of the biggest hits of the festival. It achieved what Drew has always felt music needed to do: it created transcendence, a pocket of time where everyone present was living only in the moment.
"My 11-year-old nephew asked me, 'Uncle Kev, why do adults get drunk?' and I looked at him and thought, 'OK, brilliant question, I'm going to give a brilliant answer,'" Drew recalls. "And I looked at him for about 10 seconds and I said, 'Because they want to feel like you. Because they want to feel like a kid again, they want to forget everything, they want to be innocent.' We are built in a way now where you can't do that because you're walking around with the anti-transcendence box in your pocket, and in your hand, and in your home, and on your bedside table: it's the anti-transcendence. It's called your phone! And we're getting killed, we're getting killed!"
So what do Broken Social Scene want listeners to take from Hug of Thunder? Canning wants it to make them "pause for the cause and maybe just leave things in your life alone for 53 minutes". For Drew, it's about what it's always been about: making the connection. "I just hope they understand that there's others out there, that they're not alone," he says. "I know that's silly! But you'd be surprised how many times I've had to tell people, 'Hey, you're not alone on this, you're not alone thinking these things.' I mean, with the title Hug of Thunder, I want to hold people. I want to fucking hold them. And when we do shows, I'm not: 'Look at me, I'm elevated up on the stage,' It's: 'We're here with you, this is us together.' Broken Social Scene is about the people, and it's always been about the people."1. Sol Luna
2. Halfway Home
3. Protest Song
5. Stay Happy
6. Vanity Pail Kids
7. Hug of Thunder
8. Towers and Masons
9. Victim Lover
10. Please Take Me With You
11. Gonna Get Better
12. Mouth Guards of the Apocalypse$25.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Inner Fire (Out Of Stock)The Souljazz Orchestra return with another essential mystical odyssey in February 2014 as they release their brand new studio album, Inner Fire, on Strut. Recorded using the Orchestra's signature analogue techniques at their studio HQ in their home city of Ottawa, the new set continues their expansive musical journey as they effortlessly fuse intricate Eastern influences, Afro beats, Egyptian jazz, Latin styles and spiritual elements into their unique musical melting pot. The secret to the band's sound remains a true openness to global music of all kinds and the individual experiences of the Orchestra's band members. "We all have very wide tastes, we're always digging for new sounds, and we've had the chance to work with master musicians from all over, from Nigeria to Rwanda, from Cuba to Haiti, so each band member ends up bringing different vibes and ideas to each of our albums," explains keyboardist Pierre ChrÉtien. On Inner Fire, the different vibes come thick and fast. Side One features "Kingdom Come," a fierce afro-jazz stomper influenced by North-East African big band sounds, "One Life To Live," a haunting highlife arrangement on the importance of seizing the day, "As The Crow Flies," a soaring bossa-tinged piece and "Black Orchid," a bumping fusion of cinematic soul-jazz with Cuban bolero sounds. The flip brings us the firing salsa dura party jam "Agoya" before the ritual chant of "East Flows The River," a spiritual jazz hymn using Eastern modes. The tempo ramps up once more on "Sommet En Sommet," a heavy 12/8 afro-jazz piece influenced by Guinean popular music. Percussionist Marielle Rivard then takes the lead on vocals for a scorching personal rendition of Gary Bartz NTU Troop's 1971 classic, "Celestial Blues."The Souljazz Orchestra have become the undisputed leaders in their field since their first album back in 2005, breaking through with the huge international hit "Mista President" on Do Right! in 2007. Since then, the band has remained tight with their original line-up of Pierre ChrÉtien (keyboards), Zakari Frantz (alto sax & flute), Steve Patterson (tenor sax), Ray Murray (baritone sax), Marielle Rivard (percussion) and Philippe Lafrenière (drums). With their on-stage chemistry and stellar musicianship, the Orchestra's live shows have now become the stuff of legend, sparking instant parties wherever they play. 2013 was already a massive year for the band with their heaviest touring schedule to date. Highlights included a chaotic night playing to a sold-out crowd at New Morning in Paris, the band's first full US tours, high profile festival slots alongside Pharoah Sanders, Stevie Wonder and Raphael Saadiq and a 12-minute live "Battle Suite" packed full of classic and original breaks and beats for the B-Boy Battle Finals at Ottawa's annual House Of Paint hip hop festival. The band will be undertaking a Canadian tour to support the new album starting in February 2014, followed by a full European tour in March and April.1. Initiation
2. Kingdom Come
3. One Life To Live
4. As The Crow Flies
5. Black Orchid
7. East Flows The River
8. Sommet En Sommet
9. Celestial Blues
10. Completion$21.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Temporarily out of stock