After a five-year hiatus, singer/songwriter Laura Nyro returned with Smile in 1976. On this disc, Nyro's somewhat idiosyncratic writing and performance style is decidedly subdued. In its stead is a light pop and jazz feel similar to that of Maria Muldaur's mid-'70s recordings. Supporting Nyro instrumentally is virtually a who's who of New York and Los Angeles studio stalwarts. While the prowess of folks like Will Lee (bass), brothers Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Michael Brecker (flute/sax), Hugh McCracken (guitar), and Rick Marotta (drums) certainly strengthens Nyro's already laid-back material, it likewise reduces her to sounding like a Joni Mitchell ripoff. The undeniable highlight of Smile is the maturity in the songwriting. It becomes obvious that the half-decade away has done some significant good in revealing a decidedly positive evolution in Nyro's approach to her own life. What's more is that the material on this album seems to come from a place of contentment.
Collection includes: Im Nin 'alu (Played In Full Mix) (1987) Maxi-Single; Shaday (1988); 5 Tracks (1989) Japan Only EP; Desert Wind (1989); Kirya (1992); Ofra Haza (1997); Forever Ofra Haza: Her Greatest Songs Remixed (2008).
Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records "Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and several others earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since.
This is a wonderful collection of all the great composer's known works, and is a must buy for anyone who enjoy's Rachmaninoff. While most of the recordings are not perhaps the absolute best that are out there, they are all still, for the most part, quite good. The only real issues I can find with this set are two rather small ones. On the recording of the symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead, there is an odd static-like sound that starts at about 17 minutes into the piece, which then disappears briefly, before reappearing once more. It is rather irritating, especially considering that the rest of the recording is very nice.
Angel X, also known as: Angel, Angel Hard, Andy Jonas and Andreas Harde, is member of German pop group "Tagträumer". He was also involved in Michael Cretu's project Enigma in 1993 when he sang the lead vocals on "Return To Innocence". Angel X also worked as a backing vocalist for German pop star Sandra in the 90's. In 1993, Michael Cretu and Jens Gad produced Angel X's first and only solo album "Welcome To The Soul Asylum", but without success.
Best known as the frontman for early-'70s hitmakers Christie, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jeff Christie's career long predated that band. In fact, his earlier group, Outer Limits, should have been just as big, if not bigger than Christie themselves. Formed in the dying days of 1963, the band released three singles, gigged incessantly, and took part in the legendary package tour featuring Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, and Amen Corner. Yet they never managed to land a hit or record an album. However the Outer Limits did leave behind a slew of demos before folding in 1968, 22 of which features on the first disc of this two-CD set.
A fine overview of Rory's career as a solo artist (after his short time in the band Taste) with rock and blues highlights…
The Roomates come from England - via Philadelphia and New York. Formed in the mid-1980s, this quintet of young British rock 'n roll fans broke away from their contemporaries, (busy embracing rockabilly as the latest wave of American music culture hit the UK), to form a group who set out to prove there was more to music than slap bass clicks and rim shots. This features Nick Kennedy and brothers Mark and Steve Webb who celebrate 18 years together with the release of this album. Their influences include the Elegants, the Skyliners, the Duprees, the Mystics and the Passions to name just a handful of groups and you'll hear them echoed in many of the songs here.
Anyone who caught Jeff Beck's set at Eric Clapton's 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival (or even the two-song DVD excerpt) was probably salivating at the hope that an entire performance with the same band would appear on CD and DVD. This is it, 72 minutes and 16 tracks compiled from a week of shows at the U.K.'s famed Ronnie Scott's, and it's as impressive as any Beck fan would expect. The guitarist's last official U.S.-released live disc was from his 1976 Wired tour (an authorized "bootleg" of his 2006 tour with bassist Pino Palladino is available at gigs and online; others pop up as expensive imports), making the appearance of this music from just over three decades later a long-awaited, much-anticipated event.