Connie Smith is perhaps the only female singer in the history of country music who can truly claim to be the heiress to Patsy Cline's throne. It's not that there aren't many amazing vocalists in the field, and plenty of legends among them. But in terms of the pure gift of interpretation of taking virtually any song and making it a country song of class and distinction, Smith is it.
Of the compilations released to mark the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy's birth this year, this is the most treasurable. As a survey of the music of perhaps of the greatest 20th-century composer it could hardly be bettered, especially within recordings from a single label, or rather, a single group of labels, for as well as Deutsche Grammophon recordings it also includes material from Philips and Decca, which are all now part of the Universal stable.
Recorded during a 14 show US tour in 2010, the groove on this new studio album is pure T-Model Ford. Backed by his regular touring band GravelRoad, and with stellar guest appearances by Brian Olive and Matthew Smith, ''Taledragger'' is a perfect party album with the feel and honesty of a night at the juke joint. Despite a mild stroke in April 2010, T-Model still plays with an intensity and consistency that belies his age. Now 90-years old, the self proclaimed ''Boss of the Blues'' continues to show his strengths. Playing the blues is his life, he knows no other way. The well-documented Bad Man can be noted to, at times, simply have it bad, man.
More than ten years after the Art of Noise left Trevor Horn's ZTT label to record on their own, original members Anne Dudley and Paul Morley reunited with Horn plus 10cc's Lol Creme to record another LP, organized around the work of French modernist composer Claude Debussy. With a guest list including John Hurt as well as Rakim, the album charts the artistic use of sampled breakbeats – pioneered by the Art of Noise themselves – with nods to '80s hip-hop plus their '90s equivalent, drum'n'bass. Though the Art of Noise doesn't sound quite as brash as they did in their '80s prime, The Seduction of Claude Debussy is an interesting showcase of what made the group great.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Alto sax player, arranger, and composer Buster Smith recorded sparingly during his career and this seven-track set, recorded in a single session on June 7, 1959 and released by Atlantic Records a month or two later, was the only album Smith did as a bandleader. It's a low key, pleasant affair featuring five original Smith compositions, including the lightly swinging "Buster's Tune" and the odd, wonderfully disjointed "King Alcohol," as well as versions of Kurt Weill's "September Song" and Will Hudson's "Organ Grinder's Swing."