Lightnin' Hopkins is the star of this live recording, made at an August 1961 concert at the Ash Grove in Hollywood featuring Hopkins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (with Big Joe Williams sitting in on three numbers…
The Hot Dogs were a Memphis group who recorded for Stax offshoot Ardent Records in the early- to mid-'70s. Ardent was also Big Star's label and studio during this time period, and the Hot Dogs were a similar band in many respects, drawing on the same mix of Beatlesque guitars and harmonies, although without the skewed, edgy deconstructive feel that made Big Star so distinctive and posthumously revered.
Performed by the Shanghai Film Orchestra, conducted by Wang Yongji. Truly celestial and a different feeling than American / European performances of this famous piece. This CD also contains David Mingyue Lang's gorgeous Music of a Thousand Springs and his Zen (Ch'an) of Water. Highly recommended.
The multifarious pulsings of Adams's Phrygian Gates (all 26 minutes of it) are more palatable here than on some rival versions, and the relatively brief China Gates (just five minutes) are well worth visiting. Terry Riley's pieces are more varied in colour and rhythm, less obviously 'minimalist', than you might have expected, with the worlds of jazz remaining well within earshot. Gloria Cheng-Cochran seems fully absorbed in the tasks to hand, and the sound is superb. California-based pianist Gloria Cheng has become a favoured collaborator with some of the most demanding of today's composer/conductors, including Pierre Boulez, Essa-Pekka Salonen and Oliver Knussen, for her renditions of thorny 20th century scores.
Featuring the recording debut of Big Star's Chris Bell, this outrageously enjoyable blend of psychedelic rock, Memphis soul and dirty R&B kicks off with one of the most audacious and successful Beatles covers ever. Terry Manning was a key figure in '60s Memphis music-making – from his experience at Stax (learning from the likes of Isaac Hayes, Ike & Tina Turner, Willie Mitchell, Booker T. Jones, Eddie Floyd, Al Green, Otis Redding, The Boxtops, Percy Sledge, The Staple Singers, Mississippi John Hurt, etc.) he became the Ardent Studios engineer/producer, and co-owner of the Ardent Records label that released the Big Star albums. Originally released on Stax's Enterprise label, this record is Manning's only solo work (he engineered, produced, and played almost all of the instruments) and features a feast of fuzz guitar, sweet vocals and funky rhythms that makes its long overdue CD debut here (complete with full liner notes and three bonus tracks), Home Sweet Home is a tongue-in-cheek blast from start to finish, and guaranteed to thrill fans.