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What A Wonderful World'
Lost and FoundWorld Circuit Records is set to release Buena Vista Social Club's Lost and Found. Coming almost two decades after the release of the original Grammy-winning, self-titled LP, the new album is a collection of previously unreleased tracks--some of which were recorded during the original album's sessions in Havana and others from the years that followed.
The studio tracks on Lost and Found were recorded at the 1996 Egrem studio sessions in Havana and during a period of rich and prolific creativity stretching into the early 2000s following the recording of the original album. Lost and Found also features live recordings from the world tours of Buena Vista's legendary veterans.
"Over the years we were often asked what unreleased material was left in the vaults," says World Circuit's Nick Gold. "We knew of some gems, favorites amongst the musicians, but we were always too busy working on the next project to go back and see what else we had. When we eventually found the time, we were astonished at how much wonderful music there was."1. Bruca Manugua
3. Tiene Sabor
4. Bodas De Oro
5. Black Chicken 37
7. Como Fue
8. Guajira En F
9. QuiÉreme Mucho
10. Pedacito De Papel
11. Mami Me Gustó
12. Lágrimas Negras
13. Como Siente Yo
14. RubÉn Sings$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Herman's Hermits: Their Greatest Hits
First Time On 180 Gram Clear Vinyl
Their Greatest Hits gathers some of the Hermits' most memorable moments as part of ABKCO's Clearly
Classic Vinyl Series. Featuring their most popular Top 40 hits, "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat," "Silhouettes," "(What A) Wonderful World," "Just A Little Bit
Better," "Listen People," "Dandy," "There's A Kind Of Hush," and more.
With his thick British accent and schoolboy good looks, singer Peter Noone carried Herman's Hermits through a string of 1960's hits bringing an
undeniable charm to songs like Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter," the swooning romanticism of There's A Kind Of Hush, to the upbeat pop
sound of I'm Into Something Good, to the quirky novelty of I'm Henry VIII, I Am.LP 1
1. Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter
2. No Milk Today
3. End Of The World
4. This Door Swings Both Ways
5. Just A Little Bit Better
6. I'm Henry The VIII, I Am
7. There's A Kind Of Hush All Over The World
1. I'm Into Something Good
2. Can't You Hear My Heartbeat
4. (What A) Wonderful World
5. Hold On
6. Listen People
7. Leaning On A Lamp Post
8. A Must To Avoid$19.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
UNIM-RAZ-9213xDee Dee Bridgewater
Dee Dee's FeathersVocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater's 2015 effort, Dee Dee's Feathers, is a vibrant jazz showcase that pays homage to the history of New Orleans and marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A collaboration between Bridgewater, New Orleans trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), the album finds Bridgewater combining her love of New Orleans' musical past with the Crescent City's vibrant present.
Recorded at Esplanade Studios, a historic 1920s church turned music studio in heart of the Treme neighborhood in New Orleans, Dee Dee's Feathers has a lush, organic sound. Bridgewater is backed here by Mayfield and his band, featuring guitarist/banjo player Don Vappie, drummer Adonis Rose, pianist Victor Atkins, and bassist Khari Allen Lee. Also featured on the album are several guests, including such New Orleans icons as keyboardist Dr. John and percussionist Bill Summers.
These are warm, largely acoustic arrangements that breathe with the energy of a live performance. Cuts like the second-line, Mardi Gras-themed Big Chief, and the similarly percussion-heavy title track sound pleasingly like in-studio jams. In contrast, standards like the romantic What a Wonderful World and the languid Come Sunday, are lush, symphonic big-band productions that juxtapose Bridgewater's crackling, resonant voice against shimmering string and horn sections.
Throughout all of Dee Dee's Feathers is Mayfield's burnished, puckered trumpet, adding a soulful counterpoint to Bridgewater's urbane vocals. Bridgewater has built a career out of combining her love of the tradition with her desire to push the boundaries of jazz style, and Dee Dee's Feathers is no exception.1. One Fine Thing
2. What a Wonderful World
3. Big Chief
4. Saint James Infirmary
5. Dee Dee's Feathers
6. New Orleans
7. Treme Song / Do Whatcha Wanna
8. Come Sunday
9. Congo Square
10. C'est ici que je t'aime
11. Do You Know What it Means
12. Whoopin' Blues$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
ACSO-APO-1145xJimmie Lee Robinson
All My LifeWith All My Life, his second APO Records release, Jimmie Lee is aiming for goose bumps and tears. And if you've got appreciation for acoustic, front porch blues, you'll have a tough time escaping his spell.
No doubt Jimmie Lee Robinson offers a delightful taste of traditional blues. His work through the years with such stalwarts as Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Freddie King, Elmore James and Jimmy Reed have made their impressions on the man called The Lonely Traveler just as he has been credited with inspiring them.
On All My Life you'll hear standby classics like a haunting, slowed-down version of Muddy Waters' Forty Days and Forty Nights with eerie harmonica accompaniment by Madison Slim. And Jimmie Lee even covers a non-blues favorite with What a Wonderful World. His live version of that song at a 1999 concert in Blue Heaven Studios - the converted church that is home to APO Records - brought tears to scores of the 400 in attendance.
But All My Life is also packed with Jimmie Lee originals like the title track, which was once covered by John Mayall, where Jimmie Lee pleads with the woman of his dreams to return all the respect and love he's paid to her. That track is also a perfect showcase for the classic Jimmie Lee growling vocals and the spurs jangling from his boots as the only percussion.
Unlike his first APO release, Remember Me, an almost entirely-solo effort, Jimmie Lee is joined on most of the All My Life tracks by APO artist and noted-guitarist Jimmy D. Lane and journeyman harp player Madison Slim, whose knack for acoustic blues is highlighted on this release.
Jimmie Lee has gained national attention for his protest of the destruction of Chicago's famed Maxwell Street, said to be the birthplace of Chicago blues and the neighborhood where Jimmie Lee grew up. He fasted for 81 straight days, shunning solid food as if it was the wrecking ball he so badly wants to stop. His efforts were even documented on the front page of the New York Times.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Forty Days and Forty Nights
2. I'll Be Around
3. Love My Baby
4. The Sun Is Shining
5. Driftin' Blues
6. The Girl I Love
8. All My Life
9. I'm Ready
10. What A Wonderful World
11. Too Late
12. If I Get Lucky$24.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl 45RPM LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
I Just Wasn't Made For These Times (Awaiting Repress)Along with The Beach Boys, the legendary Brian Wilson, the rock and roll genius and ambassador of time honored classic rock and popular song, invented and helped shape the California sound for the entire world to enjoy for over 50 years. His distinct vision and musical imagery for The Beach Boys truly made them one of the first rock bands in history to sell multi-platinum and gold albums to millions of fans around the globe.
In 1996, Brian Wilson and long-time admirer superstar producer Don Was collaborated on what was to become a much applauded project in Wilsons long time solo career. Pre-dating his own Smile album release by several years, I Just Wasnt Made For These Times was a soundtrack to the critically acclaimed documentary which went on to receive several Emmy and Sundance nominations during the films initial run at the theater and on the Disney Channel.
Organically recorded with its minimalistic approach, Don Was reached for and delivered the soulful side of Brian Wilson. For this masterwork, Brian performs a number of his classic Beach Boys hits like The Warmth Of The Sun, Do It Again (featuring daughters Carnie and Wendy Wilson) and album track treasures like Meant For You from Friends, Til I Die from Surfs Up and of course the Pet Sounds classic Caroline, No.
For this album, Brian Wilson also included some of his later solo hits like Love And Mercy, Melt Away and a very rare home studio demo of Still I Dream Of It, plus even more Beach Boys classics like This Whole World from Sunflower.
In an effort to continually offer the consummate music fan with the greatest recordings of all time, Friday Music proudly presents for the first time ever on 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl, Brian Wilsons classic masterpiece I Just Wasnt Made For These Times.
Impeccably mastered from the original MCA Records tapes by long time Beach Boy friend and associate Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios with Kevin Gray, I Just Wasnt Made For These Times is a brilliant recording for the audiophile vinyl domain.
In addition to the wonderful music contained on this stunning release, to celebrate this limited edition album, Friday Music is also including a wonderful gatefold cover which features the original artwork elements from the compact disc release, rare photographs, as well as Don Was' recollections and Brian Wilsons special notes from the original artwork.1. Meant For You (originally from The Beach Boys Friends)
2. This Whole World (originally from The Beach Boys Sunflower)
3. Caroline, No (originally from The Beach Boys Pet Sounds)
4. Let The Wind Blow (originally from The Beach Boys Wild Honey)
5. Love And Mercy (originally from Brian Wilson)
6. Do It Again (originally from The Beach Boys 20/20)
7. The Warmth Of The Sun (originally from The Beach Boys Shut Down Vol. 2)
8. Wonderful (originally from The Beach Boys Smiley Smile)
9. Still I Dream Of It (unreleased 1976 demo)
10. Melt Away (originally from Brian Wilson)
11. 'Til I Die (originally from Surfs Up)$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Walk The Earth
Europe are pleased to announce the release of a new studio album "Walk The Earth."
If Europe's 2015 album "War Of Kings" was the album that made the rock world realise what a formidable act Europe had become then
"Walk The Earth" is the album that is set to establish the band as one of the most exciting contemporary rock acts of current times.
From the anthemic sound of the opening track "Walk The Earth" - to the heavy vibe that is "Haze", from the instant melody of "Election
Day" to the lyrical content of "Kingdom United", "Walk The Earth" is the album that should see Europe rightly acclaimed as a band at the
height of their powers. The wonderful melodies and depth of Joey Tempest's vocals along with a powerhouse rhythm section and the
guitar playing of John Norum, one of the great underrated guitarists. Norum's guitar playing shines across the record.
This is an album that is big in its scope and sound. Much like previous album "War Of Kings", "Walk The Earth" is an album that has instant appeal but is also an
album that needs to be lived with, in order to uncover it's depth. The album was recorded at famed Abbey Road Studios in London with
Grammy winning producer Dave Cobb (Rival Sons, Shooter Jennings, Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton).1. Walk The Earth
2. The Siege
3. Kingdom United
5. Election Day
9. Whenever You're Ready
10. Turn To Dust$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Truckin' With Albert Collins
The Albert Collins/Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Series Begins!
His Groundbreaking, Earth Shattering Debut, Early 60's Texas Blues Masterpiece!
First Time 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Presentation • Anniversary Edition
Texan Albert Collins was absolutely one of the most prolific and rhythmic pioneers on the American blues scene
ever. Recording his first 45's in the early sixties and rapidly becoming one of the most in demand bluesmen of his
time, Collins was truly an American legend on the worldwide blues circuit.
While recording a plethora of singles on cool blues labels like Kangaroo, Tracie and Hall-Way from 1962 to 1965,
TCF Records released Albert's first album The Cool Sounds Of Albert Collins a/k/a Truckin' With Albert Collins from a
bunch of these wonderful single sessions. The album quickly faded into obscurity until a chance meeting with Canned
Heat. The band convinced the man to make a move to California and the rest is rock and blues history.
Upon his arrival on the L.A. rock and blues market, he soon became one of the country's leading blues guitarist
with a ton of devotees like his fans Canned Heat, John Mayall, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Robert Cray whom were all
diggin' what the bluesman was laying down.
Blue Thumb Records soon re-released his stunning first album Truckin' With Albert Collins, and now thousands
of blues fans the world over were soon discovering the classic early sixties album which boasted his hit blues singles
like Frosty, Tremble and Frost Bite.
The dozen gems that make up this jumping blues event would go on to become some of his most famous tunes
including Frosty which was covered by numerous rock and blues artists over the years, plus even more terrific blues
rockers like of Sno-Cone II, Icy Blue and the rockin' Don't Lose Your Cool.
Friday Music is no stranger to the best in blues music, and it is with much honor to announce the first time 180
Gram Audiophile Vinyl Anniversary release of Albert Collins' debut masterpiece Truckin' With Albert Collins.
Impeccably mastered by Joe "Bluesman" Reagoso (John Lee Hooker/Canned Heat/Johnny Winter) from the
original Blue Thumb Records tapes, Albert Collins' classic Truckin' With Albert Collins will truly be one of the most
anticipated blues releases of this holiday season.
To make your limited edition listening experience all the more entertaining, we are also including the very rare
gatefold album cover graphics for the first time in four decades, including the stunning essay by the legendary Pete
Welding which will truly enhance the wonderful blues within by the late great and sorely missed Albert Collins.
2. Hot 'n Cold
6. Dyin' Flu
7. Don't Lose Your Cool
9. Kool Aide
10. Shiver 'n Shake
11. Icy Blue
12. Sno-Cone II$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
Live Bootleg Series Volume 11
180 Gram Clear Vinyl
When I first heard him (Johnny Winter) I said he's one of the greatest blues players in the business. - Muddy Waters
Legendary rocker and blues statesman Johnny Winter continues to enthrall
audiences the world over. With his unique brand of blues/rock guitar and vocal
prowess, Winter's style is truly unmatched in purity and in star power longevity.
While he tours non-stop, it's no secret that his live performances are legendary. Fortunately for his huge fan base, Johnny has captured a lot of his concerts
on tape over the many decades, which proudly leads us to the eleventh incredible
installment of the chart topping Live Bootleg Series.
For Johnny Winter's Live Bootleg Series Volume 11, the artist surely becomes
his instrument in some incredibly guitar shredding live performances. The blues
wielding axeman steps out with super extended workouts on concert classics like his masterful version of the Taj Mahal's
classic E-Z Rider, Johnny's stellar interpretation of Jimmy Reed's Baby What's Wrong and a super revisit of the blues classic
Always paying homage to his fellow bluesmen, Johnny also dug far back into his archives for three super rare performances of the stellar Muddy Waters classics Long Distance Call, She Moves Me and a hard rockin' masterwork of Rollin'
Friday Music is very pleased to announce Johnny Winter's Live Bootleg Series Volume 11. As with our previous releases, these are totally produced, authorized, owned, controlled by Johnny Winter himself.
In addition to the hard rockin' blues on this wonderful collection, the limited edition recording will be issued on 180 Gram Audiophile CLEAR Vinyl. It will also include the stellar front cover
photo from the lens of Paul Natkin, as well as wonderful appreciations from the pens of legendary artists Charlie Daniels,
Vince Gill and Muddy Waters!
Live Bootleg Series Volume 11 by Johnny Winter Six tracks of pure Texan blues power on CLEAR 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl courtesy of the legendary Johnny Winter and Friday Music. Rock and Roll!!!!1. Opening
2. E-Z Rider
3. Boot Hill
4. Long Distance Call
5. Baby What's Wrong
6. She Moves Me
7. Rollin' and Tumblin'$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
Cosmic ThingFollow Your Bliss: 1989 Favorite Contains Radio Anthems Roam and Love Shack
Party-Starting Band Steps Up the Kitsch, Hooks, and Fun on Dance-Friendly Multi-Platinum Set
Addictive Rhythms, Deep Grooves, Quirky Vibes: LP Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys World-Renowned Mastering System and Pressed at RTI
Mention the phrase Love Shack and anyone youre talking to will immediately know to what youre referencing. Few songs stick in the brain with such lasting power, fond memories, and sing-a-long potential as the B-52s blissful 1989 smash, one of the many moments that make the bands Cosmic Thing such a timeless affair. The groups melodies were never sharper, its vibes never as carefree, and attitude as joyous as on this multi-platinum affair that stayed on the charts for more than a year.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelitys world-renowned mastering system at pressed at RTI, this Sliver Label LP dazzles with glorious textures, deeper low-end frequencies, more pronounced midrange information, and enhanced vocal dynamics absent from prior editions. Especially noticeable is the additional color and sense of rhythmic involvement in the already-persuasive pop-rock tunes, guaranteed to lighten any mood and ignite any celebration.
Urging listeners to roam around the world on one of the two Top 5 singles here, the B-52s follow their own instructions, constructing lively fare assembled from quirky riffs, bizarre albeit smooth harmonies, strident lead vocals, jagged tempos, and infectious choruses. At heart, Cosmic Thing is a dance-your-ass-off soiree. Leader Fred Schneider delights in kitsch, his deliveries combining goofy pronouncements and half-rapped words that speak the co-ed ensembles long tradition of originality, flair, campiness, and irreverence.
Better still is the bands embrace of a shinier, funkier sound established by producers Don Was and Nile Rodgers. The production, exponentially improved on this reissue, complements the upbeat energy, well-crafted songwriting, and emotional exuberance demonstrated on everything ranging from the kick-starting Bushfire to rambunctious Junebug to wild, weird, and wonderful Love Shack. Just try not to smile after spinning this LP. Its impossible.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Cosmic Thing
2. Dry Country
3. Deadbeat Club
4. Love Shack
8. Channel Z
10. Follow Your Bliss$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Prestige Series SR80e Headphones
Have a question about this product? Please email our audio advisor or call 1-877-929-8729 with any questions or concerns regarding your equipment purchase.
The Action Thriller
Whether you're into gaming or jamming, our perfectly proportioned soundstage delivers the midrange you love and the details you crave. The 4-conductor cable and gold-plated mini-plug bring the sparkle back to your audio or gaming system, tablet or phone. Play keyboard or guitar in your own head-space with the comfortable S-Cushions and durable embossed vinyl strap. The only distortion you'll hear will be from your stomp box.
Grado has taken one of the world's most legendary headphones and made it even better. The SR80e has a new driver design, a new polymer to damp resonant distortion in the plastic housing, and a new cable from plug to driver connection. The way the SR80e's new driver and plastic housing move air and react to sound vibrations virtually eliminate transient distortions. This allows the signal flow over the new cable to reproduce sound that has improved tight control of the upper and lower range of the frequency spectrum, while supporting Grado's world renowned midrange. The SR80e will produce a sound that is pure Grado, with warm harmonic colors, rich full bodied vocals, excellent dynamics, and an ultra-smooth top end.
...these are truly wonderful headphones, they've got the bass energy... ripping into heavy tracks with a gusto that eludes lesser rivals. With vocals they intoxicate with a natural feel and beautifully proportioned soundstage: few headphones can transport you as convincingly... The Grado SR80's are special. Buy'em, and Love'em.
- What HiFi
This product is not eligible for discount.$99.00Headphones Buy Now
ADAD-EPI-4917xThe Ghost Inside
Dear YouthLos Angeles hardcore band The Ghost Inside will release their fourth album Dear Youth on Epitaph Records. The album was co-produced by Jeremy McKinnon and Andrew Wade.
Front man Jonathan Vigil explains the album concept in a letter written to his younger self:
I'm writing to you now because it seems I've lost my way. I can't pinpoint exactly when it started, but I know that it's not like it was before. I've realized the more time that passes, the more we lose touch. It's starting to feel like all I ever do now is lose touch with things. But not you, I never wanted to lose you.
I wish I had something to blame it all on, but I don't. One day I was there and the next I was here. As if I was dreaming and suddenly woken up. These days I'm always wondering if what I've done is enough. It's getting harder and harder for me to shake this feeling of stagnance.
So old friend I'm writing to ask you what it feels like to have the whole world in your hand? Where we could set out and do anything that we imagined. Endless possibilities way before complacence set in. To be honest with you, I've forgotten what that all feels like. There was a wonder about us that has long since faded. That sense of excitement, I miss it.
Dear youth, will you show me again? I need to be reminded of those times, back before this began...
- xx1. Avalanche
2. Move Me
3. Out Of Control
4. With The Wolves
6. Phoenix Flame
7. Dear Youth (Day 52)
8. Wide Eyed
9. My Endnote
10. The Other Half
11. Blank Pages$19.99Vinyl LP + CD - Sealed Buy Now
Negrophilia: The AlbumLadd is regarded as one of the urban world's most creative and diverse entities. Charting a strangely macabre, yet familiar territory, he has once again sculpted a truly entrancing record. Much like a strange back alleyway, it beckons you to wonder what lies beyond the shadows and lights. Says Mike, "The goal of this record is to serve as an organic backdrop to a digital landscape." Inspired in part by Petrine Archer-Straw's book, "Negrophilia", Ladd combined his thoughts and visions with renowned drummer Guillermo E. Brown and pianist Vijay Iyer, who return to work with him on the heels of last year's critically acclaimed "In What Language?". Melding natural and synthetic sound, this album engages the listener with the urgency of futurism, while also harkening to a not too distant past.1. Field Work (The Ethnographer's Daughter)
2. The French Dig Latinos, Too
3. In Perspective
4. Shake It
5. Worldwide Shrinkwrap (Contact Zones)
6. Back At Ya
7. Appropriated Metro
8. Blonde Negress
9. Sam And Milli Dine Out
10. Nancy And Carl Go Christmas Shopping
11. Sleep Patterns Of Black Expatriots Circa 1960$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice SoundtrackImport
First Pressing: Numbered Copies On 180 Gram Audiophile Red/Blue/Black Colored Vinyl
Triple Gatefold Sleeve - PVC Protective Sleeve
Includes Insert + Poster
Features Etched F-Side
The story: fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on Superman, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero the world really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, Lex Luthor creates a new threat: Doomsday. It's up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.
The soundtrack is a collaborative effort by film composers Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg). This 3-LP deluxe vinyl set features over 90 minutes of music, five bonus tracks, an exclusive fold-out poster and liner notes from the composers. Additionally, the vinyl set features etched vinyl.LP 1
1. Beautiful Lie
2. Their War Here
3. The Red Caps Are Coming
4. Day Of The Dead
5. Must There Be A Superman?
6. New Rules
7. Do You Bleed?
8. Problems Up Here
1. Black And Blue
3. Is She With You?
4. This Is My World
5. Men Are Still Good (The Batman Suite)
1. Blood Of My Blood
3. May I Help You, Mr. Wayne
4. They Were Hunters
5. Fight Night$58.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Crow Jane AlleyImport
First Time On Vinyl
It's hard to get a handle on what to call Willy DeVille's multi-genre music, though AMG writer Thom Jurek's description of ''Spanish soul-inflected love songs'' comes close. ''Muddy Waters Rose Out of the Mississippi Mud'' would be perfect for Rusty Kershaw, God rest his soul, a nice complement to the laid-back cover of Jay & the Americans' Top Three hit from 1964, ''Come a Little Bit Closer'' -- its presentation a wonderful nod to songwriters Wes Farrell and Bobby Hart. The evolution is startling 28 years after Mink DeVille gave listeners ''Let Me Dream if I Want To'' on the classic punk LP Live at CBGB's, and DeVille emerges as a major interpreter. The four minutes and 31 seconds of Bryan Ferry's ''Slave to Love'' may be one of the most distinct and unique adaptations of a Ferry tune put on record to date. Outside of the covers, the other eight tracks are Willy DeVille originals, ''(Don't Have A) Change of Heart'' liberally borrowing the melody from Kenny Rogers' hit ''Lucille.'' ''Trouble Comin' Every Day in a World'' slinks and lurks around the corner with another stylistic change, sounding a bit like that other Willie from the same era, Bostonian Willie ''Loco'' Alexander. Crow Jane Alley is a very respectable collection from this journeyman, starting off with the single ''Chieva'' and continuing with DeVille's novel exploration of sound and clever merging of styles.1. Chieva
2. Right There, Right Then
3. Downside Of Town
4. My Forever Came Today
5. Crow Jane Alley (for Jack)
6. Muddy Waters Rose Out Of The Mississippi Mud
7. Come A Little Bit Closer
8. Slave To Love
9. (Don't Have A) Change Of Heart
10. Trouble Comin' Everyday In A World Gone Wrong$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
New MorningSublime 1970 Album Among Loosest, Jovial of Dylan's Career
Includes Hit Single If Not for You and The Man In Me, Featured in the Film The Big Lebowski
Dylan's Phrasing and Piano Playing Parallel Efforts of His Crack Backing Band
Stunning Reissue Boasts Phenomenally Open Sound: New Morning Has Never Enjoyed Better Fidelity
The album might have saved Bob Dylan's career. At the least, it proved the icon still relevant, and his wits still in tact. And it immediately followed what remains the artist's biggest disaster, the yet-unexplained and forever puzzling Self Portrait, a nearly unlistenable attempt that caused many to wonder whether Dylan had lost his mind. If intended as a joke, it bombed, making the sublime New Morning all the more important to restore faith in the singer's creativity and songwriting prowess. It did all this and more, and stands as his finest studio effort during a five-year span.
Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this restored analog version spotlights the open, woozy sound that welcomes wholeheartedly Dylan's piano, several eager guitars, female background singers, Al Kooper's organ, and snappy drumming into a world of their own. New Morning remains one of Dylan's loosest and jovial affairs, the instruments retaining an off-the-cuff sensibility relating to a nightclub atmosphere or live stage feel. On this reissue, notes naturally dangle and fade, allowing the playful vibes and humor to come through like never before. Consequently, the album can be experienced with a new perspective. Wider grooves mean more information reaches your ears.
"Many of the songs seem to have been made up on the spot, with confidence in the ability of first-rate musicians to move in any direction at any time," wrote Dylan expert and cultural critic Greil Marcus in his original review for the New York Times. "The riffs, inventions, and studio jams of New Morning have their own personality the full joy of anticipating the right move and the exhilaration of hitting it square and bouncing off a chord into a new lyric."
These observations hold true today, for the 1970 effort claims a daring flair Dylan rarely exhibited on albums before or since. Enthusiasm and excitement surround his singing, and his work on the 88s underlines the liberating arrangements. Offbeat and eclectic, the record frolics and swings, with the Bard and his crack band pursuing jazzy steps ("Sign on the Window"), shuffling spoken-word experiments ("If Dogs Run Free"), and soulful rock ("The Man In Me," used to wonderful and prominent effect in the Coen Brothers film The Big Lebowski).
Throughout, Dylan's phrasing communicates joyousness and simplicity seemingly carried over from the stripped-down John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline. The record's dominant sentiments trace to the lead track, "If Not For You," one of the singer's all-time greatest singles, stitched with country threads and warmth that pervades everything that follows. Yes, New Morning may lack the iconic status of some of Dylan's better-known records. Yet the underdog stature makes repeat listens all the more rewarding.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. If Not for You
2. Day of the Locusts
3. Time Passes Slowly
4. Went to See the Gypsy
6. If Dogs Run Free
7. New Morning
8. Sign on the Window
9. One More Weekend
10. The Man In Me
11. Three Angels
12. Father of Night$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-FRI-8109xTower Of Power
Tower Of Power
Announcing The Tower Of Power/Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series!
First Time 180 Gram Vinyl Presentation Of Their 1973 Smash LP
Featuring The Legendary What Is Hip?
Mastered From The Original Warner Bros. Tapes By Joe "Philly Soul" Reagoso
In 1973, superstar R&B/funk veterans Tower of Power hit the top of their game with their self-titled
smash Tower of Power. Featuring the classic line-up of the Lenny Williams on lead vocals, the TOP horns:
Emilio Castillo, Lenny Pickett, Stephen Kupka, Mic Gillette & Greg Adams, plus the stunning funk masters
Dave Garabaldi (drums), Rocco Prestia (bass), Chester Thompson (keys/vocals), Bruce Conte (guitar) and
Brent Byars on congas, these Bay Area superstars continue to make albums and play stages all over the
world now for over four decades. Featuring a ton of smash hits produced and written by the band, the Tower
of Power album has become one of their most loved works in their stunning gold and platinum career.
With superlative chart topping pop and R&B classics like the beautiful So Very Hard to Go, the soul
power of Get Yo' Feet Back on the Ground, plus one of the definitive funk anthems of all time What Is Hip?,
the Tower of Power album would go on to become one of the best-selling albums in their extensive catalog.
Dig deeper into the San Francisco grooves and there you find even more platinum plus treasures
like the masterful This Time It's Real, the powerful Soul Vaccination, plus the tender ballads Will I Ever
Find a Love and Just Another Day, making Tower of Power one of the finest overviews ever of this stellar
Therefore it is with much excitement to announce the first time 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl release
of the legendary Tower of Power masterpiece Tower of Power. Mastered impeccably by Joe "Philly Soul"
Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and Capitol Mastering, this stunning LP was long overdue for an audiophile
In addition to all the great hits within, this limited edition anniversary collection includes the very hip
original LP artwork, not seen in years in the LP cover format, truly enhancing this album's re-release and forever honoring the act and their five star masterwork achievement. We believe this wonderful new audiophile
release of Tower of Power will become one of the most anticipated classic soul releases of the summer!
What Is Hip?1. What Is Hip?
2. Clever Girl
3. This Time It's Real
4. Will I Ever Find a Love?
5. Get Yo' Feet Back on the Ground
6. So Very Hard to Go
7. Soul Vaccination
8. Both Sorry Over Nothin'
9. Clean Slate
10. Just Another Day$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
Down Side UpOld Man Markley present their sophomore album, Down Side Up, a cohesive, foot tapping, stomping, 13-song album produced by Fat Mike and singer Johnny Carey.
Fiddler Katie Weed says of the album, The songs on "Down Side Up" are the result of a wonderful confluence of things: of touring for years and waking up together in cities across the world, of discovering new worlds while still missing home, of stories that we've wanted to tell for ages, of melodies that permeated our minds and then soundchecks, and of songs that took shape and life truly as a collaboration between band members. Fat Mike and Johnny worked closely with the band to produce what we think is the best album we've ever been a part of. And it happened to be recorded in the same room where we used to burn stove-top popcorn and drink beer and dream about how amazing it would be if we could turn this passion into a life, or even career. We lived, breathed, ate, and slept these songs. Several members literally lived in the studio that we built. Recording in our own studio provided almost unbridled freedom: unlimited opportunity to tweak the songs, and the luxury of being able to take creative risks. Harmonies conceived and recorded at 3 AM or solos re-recorded during lunch became the norm, and allowed us myriad options and creative control. Where else but in the OMM home studio could we lay down a ripping distorted autoharp track and then pop outside to the backyard to record the crickets of Van Nuys?1. Blood on My Hands
3. America's Dreaming
4. Come Around Here
6. So Much More
7. Hard to Understand
8. Beyond the Moon
9. Hand Me Down
10. Up Side Down
12. Train of Thought
13. Too Soon for Goodnight$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
InjusticiaProducer and guitarist Jacob Plasse has united some of his old friends-players from the Daptones, Pedrito Martinez Group, and Los Hacheros-to form Peliroja, a New York collective inspired by the sounds of Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Congo. Injusticia is their debut album.
"Some of the musicians in Peliroja and I would meet up after school on Jane Street in the West Village, at a stoop with some Old English, a spliff, and a tape deck," says Jacob, best known as producer and musician for salsa masters, Los Hacheros. "We were gangly, awkward 15-year-olds and not cool by any means. I'm not sure how we became obsessed with obscure '70s funk and Afrobeat music, but that's what we would listen to: the 3 Sounds, Lyn Collins, Africa 70." Two decades later, his friends have gone on to become key players in the Brooklyn funk scene, and Jacob has spent the last ten years refining his music on the road with salsa and bachata bands.
Produced and cowritten by Plasse, Injusticia was recorded live to tape at his studio in Brooklyn, in the spirit of the music he was raised on. The groove to this music is deep and heard in the way the Daptones' rhythm section-drummer Homer Steinweiss and bassist Nick Movshon-play off the polyrhythms of Carlos Padron's timbales and Jhair Salas's congas, forming a new fusion of old sounds. Jainardo Batista's vocals soar over these rhythms, propelled forward by Mike Eckroth's mercurial arrangements.
"I think the experience of growing up in New York and getting to hear and play with all these wonderful musicians and having them in my life has let me create something that is true to myself, and hopefully them as well," Jacob adds. "This album is for those boys on the stoop who hadn't figured out how to be in this world, but were lucky enough to know what they loved."
- Wax Poetics1. Bohemio
4. Se Equivico
5. Te Wa' Tumblar
6. Honor Enjendrada
7. La Fobia
8. Mal Carrusel
9. Ciudad De Nadie
10. Ingrata Conclusion
11. Epilogue$17.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
South AmericaColored Vinyl!
When it came to writing their sophomore album South America, Thieves And Villains decided to sculpt the album as if they were the only four people on earth to hear it. Looking for a new sense of direction, the band mentally escaped to a beautiful hiding place that they named South America. They found that this venture in their collective minds would allow them to be free, which in-turn, helped create music that excited them, and that they would ultimately fall in love with.
However, the record was still being created under the same confines as many bands today; a spastic sinking ship of a country that has never been as stressed out, paranoid, or misled as it is right now, an America that is truly going "south." The result of this is the album title that came to represent the dichotomy of one location being the place you hate and love the most; the place you escape to, yet the place you despise.
Thieves And Villains took the same indie-rock vibe as Vampire Weekend, combined it with the childlike sense of wonder found in an early Daneil Johnston song, and added the quirkiness implemented in the Pinkerton-era of Weezer. With the help of producer Tim Gilles, the band took an old approach and made it new again. In a world of over-produced and over-auto-tuned songs recorded take after take, they set out to bring music as a whole, back to its roots.
"We recorded the entire album to analog tape on Mr. Gilles' vintage tape machines and used all our own gear and live tones. We didn't do takes of anything to death and approached every section with a real 'what you see is what you get' logic. What you're listening to is not the product of hours of tweaking, its the product of a few friends having fun and making music the old fashioned way." Colored vinyl pressing from Victory Records!1. 16 Hits
2. Song for Dean Moriarty
3. Virgina Woolf
4. I Want A Friend Like You
5. Drunk in Amsterdam
6. Island Waterfall Blues
8. Central Park
9. Some May Call it Rain
10. The Ascetic Life is the Life for Me
11. American Boy
12. South America
13. South Street Hymnal$15.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Bob Dylan's Greatest HitsBob Dylan's Greatest Hits on Numbered Limited Edition 180 Gram 45RPM 2LP from Mobile Fidelity
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes, Five-Times Platinum Collection of Dylan's World-Changing Singles Spanning 1963 Through 1966
Experience These Precedent-Setting Songs in the Best Fidelity Possible: Wider Grooves Translate into More Information, Detail
Includes Anthems Such as Blowin' in the Wind, The Times They Are A-Changin', Like A Rolling Stone, and Mr. Tambourine Man
Ten songs that ultimately changed the world. Ten songs pulled from precedent-establishing albums recorded between 1963 and 1966. More than five-million copies sold. In every way, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits is a fundamental collection for every music lover, and the perfect choice for those seeking an introduction into the legend's vast career. For this is a collection so prized, even the cover photo won a Grammy.
Mastered from the original master tapes on Mobile Fidelity's world-renowned mastering system and pressed at RTI, this restored 45RPM analog version offers listeners of all stripes to hear some of the world's most important music ever recorded in supreme fidelity. While the tracks stem from several different albums, on this release, they share more in common than Bob Dylan-they share rich, sonic traits steeped in astounding dynamics, great balances, tremendous soundstaging, and realistic imaging. Wider grooves mean more information reaches your ears.
Greatest-hits volumes are often hit-and-miss propositions not because of what they contain, but because of what's missing. Filtering the top selections from the six formative, life-altering albums Dylan made between 1963 and 1966 is an arbitrary process but one performed impeccably on this set. Home to his biggest chart successes as well as his most influential songs, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits is a veritable template for any aspiring singer-songwriter, an American history lesson, and a seminal release for anyone new to his work-as well as for audiences that find some of his deeper cuts an acquired taste.
Every signature facet of Dylan is represented, and done so authoritatively. Serious, protest folk anthems ("Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times Are A-Changin'") sit alongside defiant rock statements ("Positively Fourth Street"), landscape-changing epics ("Like a Rolling Stone"), beautiful blues-inspired odes ("I Want You"), and surrealist dreamscapes ("Subterranean Homesick Blues"). Infused with literary poetry, impassioned emotion, and career-making performances, this material doubles as a definitive account of American culture and society, and functions as a soundtrack to the era's social movements.
Gathered in one place, it's no wonder the songs here gave Dylan what remains the biggest-selling album of his career. Accept nothing less than the best version in existence.
This title is not eligible for discount.1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2. Blowin' In The Wind
3. The Times They Are A-Changin'
4. It Ain't Me, Babe
5. Like A Rolling Stone
6. Mr. Tambourine Man
7. Subterranean Homesick Blues
8. I Want You
9. Positively 4th Street
10. Just Like A Woman$49.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP 45 RPM - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Celebrate 35 Years Of Nile Rodgers & Chic!
Impeccably Mastered From The Original Atlantic Records Tapes By Joe Reagoso
First Time 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Release Of This Legendary # 1 Pop, R&B & Dance Album!
In the early seventies, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were playing in rock
and soul bands across New York City and the east coast, meeting up with Tony Thompson along the way and forming the rudiments of what would become one of the most
powerful and successful pop/r&b units ever known as Chic.
By 1977, they sailed into the top rungs of the charts with their smash debut single
Dance, Dance, Dance along with the killer funk of their first album simply titled Chic.
A year later, their fortunes multiplied to the top of the charts with C'est Chic. The
number one LP was chock full of hit singles, funk madness and probably some of the
finest rock/funk/soul beats ever waxed in a studio. Featuring the huge chart toppers
Le Freak and the super soul of I Want Your Love, Chic truly were at the top of their game
around the world. Along with vocalists Alfa Anderson, Norma Jean Wright and future
superstar Luther Vandross , Chic was the band of choice for party people, dance clubs
and radio stations all over with this brilliant album.
With star power tracks like Happy Man and the stellar instrumental fare of Savoir
Faire, C'est Chic would become a staple at retail and sell over six million units during its
first run at retail. Chic's importance is celebrated today as number one bands like Daft
Punk have paid tribute and collaborated with the funk and dance groove master himself
, Mr. Nile Rodgers.
This classic album C'est Chic has been out of print on vinyl for decades .that is
Friday Music is very proud to announce The Chic Original Master Series with the
first time 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl release of C'est Chic. Mastered impeccably by Joe
"Soul Man" Reagoso from the original Atlantic Records tapes, this limited edition masterpiece is a perfect record for the audiophile medium and will be a much anticipated
release for this holiday season.
In addition to the wonderful grooves inside, we are also enclosing the original LP
cover artwork restored faithfully to further enhance your Chic listening experience.
More Chic is on the way too .Look for spectacular Chic 180 Gram Vinyl and
more impeccable compact disc deluxe editions exclusively from your soulful friends at
Ah ..FREAK OUT!1. Chic Cheer
2. Le Freak
3. Savoir Faire
4. Happy Man
5. I Want Your Love
6. At Last I Am Free
7. Sometimes You Win
8. (Funny) Bone$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
The Cars Greatest HitsFirst Time Audiophile Vinyl Release!
Mastered from the Original Elektra Records tapes by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music and Capitol Mastering
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
The legendary alternative rockers The Cars set the music world on fire back in 1977 with their superstar brand of rock and
roll. Augmented with the brilliant musicianship of members Ric Ocasek (Benjamin Orr, Elliot Easton, David Robinson and Greg
Hawkes), their initial offerings would prove to become the huge catalyst for things to come.
For their next sixth smash albums, The Cars, Candy-O, Panorama, Shake It Up, Heartbeat City and Door to Door, the singles and hit album tracks would take the band to the top of all the popular music charts as these masterpiece albums would become classic rock manna for the ages. Their performances were of legendary proportion, which still
makes them one of the most successful live acts of the classic rock era.
With massive radio airplay and of course an amazing
string of number one singles and hit albums, The Cars to this day are still revered and loved by their continual growing legion
of fans worldwide.
After delivering a plethora of hits in rapid succession for Elektra Records, the label honored this hugely popular band with
their incredible greatest hits album simply titled The Cars Greatest Hits.
Filled with a treasure trove of chart topping singles and hit album tracks from their smash albums, this incredible 1985
effort awarded these rock legends with one of the biggest greatest hits albums ever released, with over six million units sold!
No stone is left unturned, as this 12 track masterpiece is loaded with hit after hit with smash singles like Just What I
Needed, Drive, Let's Go, Good Times Roll, Shake It Up and My Best Friend's Girl.
As one of the most enduring albums in their massive career catalog, The Cars Greatest Hits includes even more significant
hit tracks like the power ballad I'm Not the One and more hard rock classic hits like Touch and Go, You Might Think and the
number one rocker made especially for this album Tonight She Comes.
All in all, a collection of songs which took the fans by
storm, forever associating the title superstars to The Cars franchise.
As a another fine installment in The Cars Friday Music Original Recording Master Series, we are pleased to announce for
the very first time ever on audiophile vinyl The Cars Greatest hits. Mastered impeccably from the original Elektra Records tapes
by Joe Reagoso at Friday Music Studios and at Capitol Records, this amazing classic truly shines in the audiophile vinyl domain.
To enhance your limited edition album experience, this first time audiophile vinyl release is also for a very short time being
offered in a wonderful gatefold cover presentation.
Welcome back to the amazing The Cars Greatest Hits an audiophile first time vinyl release, only from your friends at
I Like The Nightlife BabyJust What I Needed
Since You're Gone
You Might Think
Good Times Roll
Touch And Go
Tonight She Comes
My Best Friend's Girl
I'm Not The One
Shake It Up$31.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Buy Now
REDD-FIV-5214xThe Dirty Heads
Swim TeamMusic thrives on freedom. Without boundaries or blueprints, songs not only come to life, but last for a very long time to come.
Dirty Heads' sixth full-length offering, SWIM TEAM [Five Seven Music], finds the group at its most free. The Orange County, CA quintet-Jared "Dirty J" Watson [co-lead vocals], Dustin "Duddy B" Bushnell [co-lead vocals, guitar], Jon Olazabal [percussion], Matt Ochoa [drums], and David Foral [bass]-traffic between alternative, hip-hop, reggae, and rock with the same spirit and spark that's powered them since the beginning.
As a result, the hooks naturally became bigger, the experimentation got bolder, and the smoke blazed brighter
"We've put in so much hard work over the years that we have the freedom to do whatever we want now," affirms Jared. "Making the new record, I re-fell in love with everything about being in this band: writing music, playing shows, having fun, and where we're at. We spent every day not only working on songs, but laughing our asses off. What other people said didn't matter. The rules of being a proper songwriter and all of that bullshit didn't matter. If something felt good, we left it in there. It was so cool to get back to that feeling. Creating music was completely free. It was just fucking fun!"
For the better part of 15 years, Dirty Heads have quietly worked towards this point. In 2008, they emerged with the fan favorite full-length debut, Any Point In A Storm. Signature single "Lay Me Down" achieved an RIAA gold certification and clinched #1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart for 11 weeks-a record run for that year. 2014 saw Sound of Change debut at #8 on the Billboard Top 200, garner acclaim from the likes of Esquire, and vault "My Sweet Summer" to the top of Alternative Radio. Most recently, 2016's self-titled Dirty Heads went Top 15 on the Top 200 and spawned the smash "That's All I Need," which racked up over 10.5 million Spotify streams and counting. Noisey summed up the album best as, "Killer." Simultaneously, they remain one of the world's most engaging and exhilarating live acts, selling out sheds coast to coast.
During early 2017, the group started writing songs with no expectations or plans and soon found themselves working on what would become SWIM TEAM. That boundless environment immediately fostered inspiration.
"We had some time off, and we were like, 'We might as well get in the studio and see what happens'," recalls Duddy. "In doing that, we were able to come up with some really good ideas. We didn't have any pressure to put out new music. It's a lot more ambient and simple. We went heavier on the hip-hop, which I love. After the first song, we agreed to just finish a record. We were all inspired."
In order to capture those moments, Dirty Heads handpicked a team of collaborators-Jonas Jeberg [Demi Lovato, Juicy J, Jason Derulo], "Lay Me Down" partner-in-crime Rome [Enrique Iglesias] of Sublime with Rome, Blueprint [Jay-Z, Kanye West, Timbaland, Eminem, Nas, Prodigy], Oren Yoel [Miley Cyrus, Kanye West], HEAVY [Andrew McMahon], and The Score-and recorded between Los Angeles and Orange County.
"On the last album, it was like a mad speed dating rush with a bunch of producers to see who worked best," says Jared. "We had never done that before, and it was cool. It was a different vibe, studio, and guy every day. There are only a few producers on SWIM TEAM. The only new guys were HEAVY, and we hit it off immediately. We were molding and mutating what Dirty Heads are but with something new. We wanted to create songs we hadn't heard before."
That brings us to the first single "Vacation." Produced by Jeberg, "Vacation" sways from bright sun-soaked piano and booming horns into an unshakable and hashtaggable chant, "Hey, I'm on vacation every single day cuz I love my occupation. Hey, I'm on vacation, if you don't like your life then you should go and change it."
"We spent eight years in a van, worked hard, and now we're here," says Duddy. "It's almost like a vacation now."
"I want 'Vacation' to speak to people out there who have paid their dues and love their jobs," adds Jared. "For those who don't enjoy what they do every day, it sends a message that, 'It's not too late to do something else.' If you're not happy, life is way too fucking short to hang around and do things you don't love. We're blessed to do something we're passionate about. We hope you feel the same!"
Working with HEAVY, the emotional "Celebrate" volleys from vulnerable verses into confessional raps and a heart-wrenching refrain about being away from home. It's a classic pop ballad Dirty Heads-style with the power to resonate amongst listeners everywhere.
"It strikes a chord for those of us who travel a lot and leave friends and families at home," explains Duddy. "We miss so much on the road. We're humans. We have wives. We have kids. We're happy to do what we love, but at the same time we miss our loved ones."
Then there's "High Tea," which tows the line between 1940s-inspired crooning and grimy East Coast rhyme gymnastics like The Ink Spots guesting on Paul's Boutique.
"That's my favorite song we've ever written," beams Jared. "The melody was super catchy, and there's an old school guitar part. We juxtapose those mellow, airy, and ethereal elements with hard-hitting hip-hop. We were drinking these weed kombuchas at the time," he laughs.
In the end, SWIM TEAM represents Dirty Heads at their most dynamic, diverse, and definitive.
"When you hear it, I just want you to walk away thinking, 'Damn, that sounds like Dirty Heads'," concludes Duddy.
Jared leaves off, "I want you to feel the same way I did making it. Join this weird, odd, and wonderful secret society we've created over the past fifteen years. You're part of it now. Welcome to the team."1. Staloney
2. High Tea
3. Mad At It
6. Diamonds And Pearls
7. Get Somewhere
8. So Glad You Made It
9. God Damn Liar
11. West Coast$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Coming Of AgeCall it a generous fluency, an affable virtuosity. Call it a true band spirit. The best bands have all had something that can't be forced: A refined mastery of music and a willingness to converse through music. That's what you hear, above all, on bassist Ben Williams' sophomore recording, Coming of Age: The sound of a musician who's cultivated an authentic rapport with some of the best young players in New York City.
We have these group texts that we send to each other all the time," Williams says of his band, Sound Effect. "We're just as entertaining to each other off stage as on. If there were ever a reality show about jazz, we'd be good candidates for it!"
Coming of Age for the 30-year-old Williams means playing a lively role among his peers and a vital part in the music world at large. After winning the prestigious Monk Institute Competition in 2009, Williams got busy turning his youthful promise into real achievement. "My career as a bandleader and composer started from the moment I won," he says. "I had this opportunity to say something-and an obligation, too." In 2011 Williams delivered a debut album, State Of Art, to great critical acclaim and toured widely as a bandleader with Sound Effect. He became a sought after and beloved sideman, playing so many sets at one year's Winter Jazzfest that he rarely left the stage. Most impressively, he assumed a highly-coveted place in guitarist Pat Metheny's Unity Band. "Ben has a fearless and open-minded approach to what music can be," Metheny has said. "A wonderful combination of skills."
For all his strides in bandleading and performing, on the track Coming of Age Williams shows his greatest growth as a composer. "Composing seems like a nebulous thing," he says. "But the ability to translate a feeling into actual music, takes a lot of doing it, a lot of practice. Which chord is going to invoke this feeling? What's the best key for this idea?" And Williams has some big ideas and feelings to convey, necessitating heavy skill in musical translation and storytelling. On "Toy Soldiers," for example, a martial rhythm and chantlike riff send a message about the sacrifices of war. He wrote the uplifting "Strength And Beauty" on the day of the 2012 Newtown school shooting.
"The tragic news hit me hard, and this tune came to me as a way of feeling my way through the tragedy. The title was inspired later, when I saw how [jazz saxophonist] Jimmy Greene and his family responded to losing their daughter at Newtown. Their pain is something most of us can't even imagine, but the way Jimmy held it together and became a beacon of light and true strength was an inspiration to everyone."
Williams takes a page from the Miles Davis school of bandleading by encouraging his band members to compose in the studio, too. For the R&B tribute anthem "Voice of Freedom (for Mandela)," Williams enlisted the smooth soulfulness of singer-songwriter Goapele-and then headed in to record the song with a characteristically open mind. In the studio, saxophonist Marcus Strickland contributed an on-the-spot horn arrangement with the sunny harmony of a South African choir.
As much as Williams writes in response to politics and current events, his compositions are a respectful celebration of the musical past, too. The driving samba rhythms of "Forecast" are an homage to the jazz fusion group Weather Report, with the tune's melody inspired by Wayne Shorter's "Over Shadow Hill Way." Williams's fluid fretless grooves on "Half Steppin'" recall Jaco Pastorius's "Teen Town."
Williams sees covers of pop tunes as a bestowal to the jazz canon. "I always like to contribute new repertoire to the jazz songbook," says Williams. "For me it's very important to shout out all the young, new songs coming out." His gift on this album is a moving instrumental version of Lianne La Havas' breakup ballad "Lost & Found." Guest trumpeter Christian Scott communicates the contained heartache of La Havas's song lyrics, with a lightly arranged string quartet adding the right amount of solace.
Coming of Age concludes with the sweeping title tune, a showcase for Williams's broad stylistic range. "I wanted 'Coming of Age' to feel big," he says. "I was thinking of it in movements, as a kind of mini-symphony." In the final section of "Coming of Age," Williams picks up a bow for the only time on the record, filtering the sound to other worldly but soulful effect. "The vibe I was going for at the end was Prince," Williams says. "I wanted it to feel sonically transformed, tripped out." It's an auspicious end to an accomplished sophomore recording, with Williams' bowed strings sauntering off into the stars to explore for the next album.
Whatever comes next for Ben Williams, it's sure to be as engaging as it is virtuosic. As an artist who's come of age, Williams' raw talent has evolved into musical grace, conviction, and power. He's a musician in meaningful dialogue with his band Sound Effect, with current events, with musical styles past and present, and finally, with his listeners.
"My favorite thing is when someone comes up to me who's heard my music and they're singing one of my tunes," Williams enthuses. "Humming a melody! That's the best feeling in the world, when one of my tunes has stuck in someone's head."1. Black Villain Music
2. Voice of Freedom (for Mandela) featuring Goapele
3. Toy Soldiers
4. Lost & Found
5. Half Steppin'
6. Smells Like Teen Spirit
7. Toy Soldiers (Reprise)
8. Coming of Age$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now