From the fanfare of the opening crawl to the abrupt cutaway zing of the closing credits, John Williams' soundtrack to The Force Awakens does not disappoint. Williams has always been an integral part of the Star Wars experience, as familiar as the movies themselves, comforting and nostalgic. The fan anticipation and legacy baggage that came with the seventh film in this iconic series was overwhelming, being the first new film since 2005's Revenge of the Sith and the direct sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi, yet the results are not crushed by outlandish pressure. For The Force Awakens, Williams began work in late 2014, before recording began in Los Angeles in June 2015 (the first time a Star Wars film score was not recorded at Abbey Road). He enlisted a freelance orchestra and, with the help of William Ross and Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, produced a 23-song journey connecting the past and the future of the Star Wars universe. Here, Williams combines the old and the new with expert subtlety, creating a lush experience that rewards repeat listens. Those familiar with his work on other big-budget sagas (Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones) will instantly recognize the blaring horns that propel the action, the stirring strings that intensify the tension, and the bombast that contribute to the excitement as much as the scenes portrayed on the screen.
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 rounds up the handful of singles that weren't included on Elton John's first Greatest Hits collection ("Levon," "Tiny Dancer") and adds the highlights from Caribou, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, and Rock of the Westies ("The Bitch Is Back," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," "Island Girl," "Grow Some Funk of Your Own," "I Feel Like a Bullet [In the Gun of Robert Ford]"), plus two non-LP hit singles ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Philadelphia Freedom") and John's version of "Pinball Wizard," taken from the soundtrack to Tommy…
One of the greatest recordings ever made by John Coltrane in his late years – a spare set of duets with drummer Rashied Ali, recorded in 1967, but never issued until after his death! Trane and Ali play in a free spiritualist mode, with no other accompaniment – making for a very unique album, especially for the time, and setting the tone for years of New York improvisation in the 70s. Titles include "Mars", "Venus", "Jupiter", and "Saturn".
Brilliant work from Coltrane – recorded in the 60s, but not issued until the late 70s, and only then, not properly in print until the release of this great package! The material is classic Coltrane Quartet sessions – with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones working with Trane to craft some long tracks that show the expanding genius of the group at the time. The spirit of the work is in the "new thing" mode of the 60s – more adventurous than even Coltrane's work from a few years before – and titles include "Living Space", "Dusk-Dawn", "The Last Blues", and "Untitled 90314".
Key 60s material from the great John Coltrane – even if the set wasn't ever released until the late 70s! The album's kind of a "prequel" to the later Meditations record, and it stands as a key bridge between Coltrane's modal years and his more spiritual sounds – delivered here by a core quartet, without the larger accompaniment that graced the later version! The classic quartet is at their best – McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums – and the sound is slightly more inside than later, but no less filled with searching and yearning! CD version contains a 12 minute extended alternate take of "Joy", the centerpiece of the composition.
In the late ’70s and early ’80s Zorn presented yearly retrospectives of his game pieces at various Downtown venues. He called these events his Olympiads. This long awaited CD presents three of his classic pre-Cobra game pieces in multiple versions by the fabulous Brooklyn-based guitar quartet Dither. Here you will find the building blocks of Zorn’s trademark musical language—virtuosic extended techniques, surprising contrasts, fast group interaction and razor sharp changes. Featuring the first recording of Zorn’s legendary compositions Fencing and Curling, these fabulous realizations will keep you on the edge of your seat from first note to last!
Abandoned Luncheonette, Hall & Oates' second album, was the first indication of the duo's talent for sleek, soul-inflected pop/rock. It featured the single "She's Gone," which would become a big hit in 1975 when it was re-released following the success of "Sara Smile."
This November 14, 1968, session was recorded in Chicago, co-produced by Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records and Willie Dixon. It's decent, though journeyman, '60s electric Chicago blues augmented by a couple of tenor saxes. Littlejohn has a pleasant voice and is a skilled guitarist, but does not have the fire or individuality that leaps from some of the musicians to whom one might compare him. Those might include figures like Buddy Guy, say, or Elmore James' more fully produced sides, or on something like "Catfish Blues," the Muddy Waters approach. Littlejohn did write most of the dozen tunes, interspersed with covers of songs by James, Dixon, Brook Benton (a refreshingly unusual choice for a mainstream '60s Chicago bluesman), and J.B. Lenoir.