Esoteric Recordings announce a new release on their recently launched Cocteau Discs imprint, a limited edition reissue of BILL NELSON’s classic 4 disc ambient boxed set "TRIAL BY INTIMACY (The Book of Splendours)”. The set was originally released on Bill’s Cocteau Records label in October 1984 and comprised recordings made by Bill at his Echo Observatory home studio. Comprising some eighty pieces of music, the set was a fine example of Bill Nelson’s grasp of Ambient music and has subsequently been hailed as a ground-breaking work. Long deleted, the set is made available once more with this newly re-mastered Cocteau Discs edition. The new release fully restores the original elements of the "TRIAL BY INTIMACY” box and is an exact facsimile, reproducing a 32 page book and eight art postcards that featured in the original set.
Actor Bill Paxton made his directorial debut with Frailty. The bulk of the story is told through flashbacks, as a mysterious man (Matthew McConaughey) tells a terrible tale to an FBI agent (Powers Boothe) investigating the "God's Hand" serial killer case. The man grew up in a small town in Texas, where he and his brother lived a bucolic life with their kindhearted widower father (Paxton). One night, the father awakens the two boys, Fenton (Matthew O'Leary) and Adam (Jeremy Sumpter), and tells them he's had a vision, and God has chosen him and his sons to help Him slay demons who walk the earth in human form. He tells the boys they can never tell anyone about this task. Before long, he comes home from work with a list of names that he claims an angel has given to him. He then begins abducting people, bringing them home, one by one, and having the boys watch while he lays his hands on them. After having proven, to his mind, that they are demons and not human, he chops them up with an axe while the boys look on.
In many ways a bridge between the late-'50s generation of folksingers like Dave Van Ronk and the early-'60s version posed by innovative songwriters like Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton managed to keep his integrity intact through it all, and if he didn’t exactly break new ground anywhere, he has always been a careful and thoughtful songwriter. This set brings together five of the six LPs Paxton recorded and released with Elektra Records between 1964 and 1972 (the sixth, New Songs Old Friends, released in 1972, was a retrospective live set), 1964’s Ramblin’ Boy, 1966’s Outward Bound, 1968’s Morning Again, 1969’s The Things I Notice Now, and 1970’s Tom Paxton 6. The end result is an almost complete collection from Paxton's peak middle years, the years when he wrote and recorded most of the songs on which his legacy rests.
A magnificent follow up to the Undercurrent album from the team of Bill Evans and Jim Hall – and like that one, a set that features amazing interplay between piano and guitar! Hall's guitar has never sounded better – and in the airy company of Evans, it takes on many of the same qualities as on his famous late 50s recordings in the Jimmy Guiffre trio. Bill's work is great too – almost more tonally focused than before, with perfectly chosen notes that resonate beautifully in this very spare space. Titles include "Jazz Samba", "All Across The City", "Angel Face", and "Turn Out The Stars".
Conventional wisdom, which in this case may be right, holds that Bill Evans' storied career peaked on June 25, 1961, a date that yielded two live records, Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby, the final two documents of Evans' first, and best, trio, with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. In the two years he'd been playing with Evans, LaFaro had opened up new possibilities for the jazz bass, playing with a harmonically oblique, melodically flexible style that was, at the time, unprecedented. Ten days after this record was made he died, just 25 years old.