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ASTRAL WEEKS, LIVE AT LAST

Thursday, 15 January 2009 14:26 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ASTRAL WEEKS, LIVE AT LAST

The enigmatic VAN MORRISON is set to release 'Astral Weeks': Live at the Hollywood Bowl' - an in-concert reworking of his historic 1968 gold-certified solo album. Recorded live over two nights at the Hollywood Bowl last November 7th and 8th, the album marks the premiere release on MORRISON'S new EMI-distributed label, Listen To The Lion Records. The concerts marked the first time the singer ever performed 'Astral Weeks' in one complete concert set. Joining him was an orchestral string section and a band composed of world-class musicians, some of whom played with him on the original 'Astral Weeks' sessions 40 years ago. "The Hollywood Bowl concerts gave me a welcome opportunity to perform these songs the way I originally intended them to be," says MORRISON, who, amazingly, held only one rehearsal prior to the concerts. "There are certain dynamics you can get in live recordings that you just cannot get in a studio recording. I love listening to live recordings. You get the whole thing right there, unabridged, raw and in the moment. There was a distinct alchemy happening on that stage in Hollywood. I felt it." Both Bowl shows were filmed in high-definition, and will later be available as a commercial DVD concert film. Due to overwhelming demand, MORRISON will perform 'Astral Weeks' again, in a show at the Theatre at New York's Madison Square Garden, on Friday and Saturday, February 27th & 28th. Accompanied by two different bands, VAN will play two sets per show: one of 'Astral Weeks' cover-to-cover, the other of rarely played Van Morrison classics.

 

NAT KING COLE REGENERATED

Thursday, 15 January 2009 14:25 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

NAT KING COLE REGENERATED

The jury's never been unanimous about the merits of remix albums. You know the kind of thing… hot shot, young Turk producers, artists and mixers are let loose on classic material in an attempt by cash-strapped record companies to make extra royalties out of the back catalogue. The latest "classic artist" to be awarded such a dubious makeover is the wonderful NAT KING COLE. One of COLE'S daughters, CAROLE (curator of her dad's back catalogue) has allowed people like CEE-LO, will-i-am, SALAAM REMI, AMP FIDDLER, JUST BLAZE and THE ROOTS to tweak 13 COLE classics and the result is the brand new collection 'Re:Generations', released on EMI in March. CAROLE says: "As the curators of our father's music, image and likeness, my sisters and I strive to keep dad in the mix and as innovative as he was back in the day. With 'Re:Generations', we want to musically and visually bridge the so-called generation gap and hopefully create mutual admiration and respect between teens, parents and grands of every culture". www.soulandjazzandfunk.com will deliver its verdict via an in-depth review very soon….

 

MAJOR RELEASE

Wednesday, 14 January 2009 13:59 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MAJOR RELEASE

This March, SPV's Blue Label is releasing a real, collectable soul classic … 'Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um' from MAJOR LANCE. The digitally remastered 10-track album offers a small, but perfectly-formed overview of LANCE'S remarkably creative stay at Chicago's Okeh label. The LP's title cut was, of course, written by the singer's school pal CURTIS MAYFIELD and the album boasts five more MAYFIELD compositions including a wistful version of 'Gypsy Woman' and a lively take on 'I'm The One Who Loves You'.' Hopefully the album is a precursor to more LANCE releases from SPV - full review on www.soulandjazzandfunk.com soon.

 

ASHFORD AND SIMPSON BONANZA

Wednesday, 14 January 2009 13:58 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

ASHFORD AND SIMPSON BONANZA

The end of January brings a plethora of goodies for fans of soul duo ASHFORD AND SIMPSON. The couple will release a definitive collection of their Greatest Hits,' Ashford & Simpson: The Real Thing' on CD, DVD and DVD Blu Ray (Burgundy Records / Sony Music). The first-ever live in-concert audio and video recordings are performances by the duo of the hit songs they have written for themselves as well as those made popular by other major music artists. The release date is January 27, 2009. The DVD & Blu Ray contains over 90 minutes of concert performances with 18 of the Greatest Hits filmed in HD video and surround sound digital audio. There is thirty minutes of bonus content which includes a retrospective feature from CBS Sunday Morning, an intimate at-home interview and 2 tracks from a never-before-seen concert of DR. MAYA ANGELOU and ASHFORD & SIMPSON performing together on stage. The DVD also features an exclusive premiere of four songs from ASHFORD & SIMPSON'S upcoming Broadway musical, 'Invisible Life.' The CD features 14 greatest hits with over 65 minutes of live performance and for those who like that sort of things there's a link giving the consumer access to ringtones, audio & video streams, links to purchase recordings of ASHFORD & SIMPSON songs that have been recorded by other artists and never-before seen interviews.

 

COOL MILLION REMIXED

Monday, 12 January 2009 04:26 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

COOL MILLION REMIXED

One of last year's best modern soul albums was COOL MILLION'S 'Going Out Tonight'. The Expansion release was critically acclaimed, and, more importantly, its unashamed retro beats found huge favour in the country's modern soul rooms. Now millionaire duo - FRANK RYLE and ROB HARDT - have brought in no-less-a-legend than TOM MOULTON to remix a couple of the set's tracks - 'Lift Me Up' and 'Give Me My Love'. On both, Mr. M has kept elements of the originals but added zipping strings and lovely, Salsoul-inspired percussive breaks. The longer lengths, too, will increase dance floor appeal. The new mixes will be available from January 29th as a double A side vinyl maxi single… the label is Sweden's Deep Play. And to prove that FRANK and ROB can do contemporary soul too, another of the album's cuts - 'Everything Ain't Everything' - gets a fresh tweak from French chill out maestro IËLO. He comes up with a tasty 'Nu Soul Remix' on the PACE featured song, and the result is an ultra-cool urban cut. That one will only be available as a download and on the forthcoming Japan release on Columbia Records (JP).

 

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