The Mississippi Delta has some of the most fertile soil in the world and became one of the richest cotton growing areas in the world which, before the American Civil War, was worker exclusively by black slaves brought over from Africa. The blues was forged on the anvil of poverty and hardship the black sharecroppers and tenant farmers had to endure. Born of the harsh, brutal conditions of life in the South, and full of pain, frustration and anger, the passionate, soulful sounds of the Delta revolutionised the sound of 20th-century music. This compilation celebrates some of its greatest exponents.
Lee Morgan’s first meeting on record with Clifford Jordan was in June 1957, when Morgan was about to turn nineteen and Jordan had just begun making a name for himself. After their first collaboration, the precocious Morgan occasionally called Jordan to play tenor on his recordings; thus they recorded together twice in 1960 and once in January 1962.
Based on Shakespeare’s most famous romantic play, Prokofiev’s realisation of Romeo and Juliet as a full-length narrative ballet was audacious in its day. It was written during a period of artistic turmoil under a Soviet regime in which arguments raged over such fundamental aspects as the choice between a happy or a tragic ending. Famous movements such as the Dance of the Knights have helped maintain Romeo and Juliet as Prokofiev’s bestloved stage work. Marin Alsop’s acclaimed cycle of Prokofiev’s Symphonies has been described as ‘an outstanding achievement’ by BBC Music Magazine.
Taj's Blues is an entertainingly diverse record, featuring a variety of blues and roots-music styles, all fused together into a distinctive sound of its own. Half of the album is played on acoustic, the other with an electric band (which includes guitarists Ry Cooder and Jesse Davis on a handful of tracks), which gives a pretty good impression of the range of Mahal's talents. It's a good collection, featuring many of his best performances for Columbia, including "Statesboro Blues" and "Leaving Trunk," as well as the unreleased "East Bay Woman".
This 1996 album picks up where Dancing the Blues left off three years earlier, with producer John Porter and most of the same studio cast. There's more of a New Orleans flavor this time, with barrelhouse pianist Jon Cleary contributing a couple of originals to go with such classics as Jesse Hill's "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" and Fats Domino's "Let the Four Winds Blow." Bonnie Raitt and a full vocal chorus help kick "I Need Your Loving" into overdrive. Mahal's one original is the tender, acoustic country-sounding "Lovin' in My Baby's Eyes".
Ambientsketchbook is Northern Irish guitarist and producer Lee Gorman. Begun in 2012 as an instrumental guitar project, ASb has gradually evolved into a vehicle for exploring numerous genres, including ambient, post-rock, electronic and shoegaze. Each release has a distinct style, but share common ground in the love of melody, texture and resonance.
On British Blues Explosion Live, Joe Bonamassa pays homage to legendary British guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page with his stunning performance of their blues-rock classics. Recorded at Greenwich Music Time at The Old Royal Naval College in London in July, 2016…