"Berlin 1927" is an ambitious project started in early 2012 by the four young Belgian musicians of Belgian post-rock band We Stood Like Kings. They were offered the opportunity to write an original soundtrack for Ruttmann’s 1927 silent movie “Berlin, die Sinfonie der Großstadt”. Their evocative music, ranging from the very soft to the very loud, suits the atmosphere of the movie particularly well. Both music and film blend into a unique experience for the audience.
We Stood Like Kings stand where instrumental rock meets classical music. Expect complex post-rock with strong progressive influences, in which several entangled melodies are combined in such a way that you will feel inclined to let it slowly ripen in your ear…
For those who wish to develop a strong relationship with early jazz, there are certain records that may help the listener to cultivate an inner understanding, the kind of vital personal connection that reams of critical description can only hint at. Once you become accustomed to the sound of Johnny Dodds' clarinet, for example, the old-fashioned funkiness of South Side Chicago jazz from the 1920s might well become an essential element in your personal musical universe. Put everything post-modern aside for a few minutes and surrender to these remarkable historic recordings. It is January 1927, and the band, fortified with Freddie Keppard and Tiny Parham, is calling itself Jasper Taylor & His State Street Boys…
Although one may think of the blues harp beginning with Little Walter, the first Sonny Boy Williamson, or Sonny Terry, a variety of harmonica players did record in the '20s. Some of their recordings were technical displays that featured them imitating everything from animals to trains, while other players were more blues-oriented. This valuable CD has two selections from the guitar-harmonica team of William Francis and Richard Sowell; Ollis Martin's "Police and High Sheriff Come Ridin' Down"; six pieces by Eli Watson (including "El Watson's Fox Chase"); two cuts apiece by Palmer McAbee, Ellis Williams, Alfred Lewis, and the team of Smith & Harper (which is the only music on this CD recorded after 1930); plus four songs/displays from Blues Birdhead (including "Get up off That Jazzophone") and George "Bullet" Williams (highlighted by "Frisco Leaving Birmingham" and "The Escaped Convict"). Fascinating music.
During the period covered by this second of four Classics CDs, Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra was at the peak of its powers, dominating the jazz scene of the Midwest. There were not a lot of famous names in the group yet, but the soloists were colorful, and the band's ensembles could really rock in a pre-swing manner. The main players at the time included cornetist Ed Lewis, Harlan Leonard on various reeds, baritonist Jack Washington and Moten himself on piano. Highlights include "Moten Stomp," "Kansas City Breakdown," "Get Low-Down Blues," "Terrific Blues" and the remake of the band's hit "South."
Pianist Bennie Moten led one of the finest jazz bands on record in the 1920s, a group that included many of the top musicians of the Midwest. On the first of four Classics CDs - all of which are recommended to vintage jazz collectors - that reissue the master takes of all of Moten's recordings, the band quickly evolves from a sextet in 1923 to a solid 11-piece orchestra. Despite a few novelty effects (including clarinetist Woody Walder occasionally getting weird sounds by playing only the mouthpiece of his horn), even the most primitive numbers on this set are quite enjoyable. Highlights include the original version of "South" (Moten's big hit), "Goofy Dust," "Thick Lip Blues" and "Sugar."
Memphis was the town blues musicians passed through on their way to Chicago. But some of them stayed and the record companies sent their mobile units to record them. Over a three-year period from 1927, an astonishing amount of talent was recorded: local stars like the Memphis Jug Band, Frank Stokes, Cannon’s Jug Stompers, Jim Jackson, Furry Lewis, Robert Wilkins, Bukka White, Memphis Minnie, Joe Callicott and Sleepy John Estes.
This album of vintage recordings of Cole Porter songs mixes eight of Porter's own performances of his compositions with renditions that were hits when the songs were new. The basic selection criterion is revealed in the album's title; there is an emphasis placed here on Porter's more risqué and provocative numbers. Songs like "Let's Misbehave" (in a version by Irving Aaronson & His Commanders that was the equivalent of a Top Ten hit in 1928) and "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)" (even in this prim rendering by Rudy Vallée) leave nothing to the imagination, of course. "Love for Sale" (by Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians) is clearly about prostitution, "Miss Otis Regrets" (by Ethel Waters) is a tale of jealousy and murder, and "Find Me a Primitive Man" (by Lee Wiley) is about the attraction of animal lust.