The only recording Ella Fitzgerald made as a duo with a pianist is re-created with this new and exciting duo. Very intimate, moving, grooving, a feast of the senses, this tribute CD to Ella Fitzgerald will make you remember the Great American Songbook!
Gary Numan is known for robotic, stylized singing. His primitive electronics and pre-"new romantic" sound did nothing for me. A myriad, zealous voices will tell you that Numan was sings "good songs." Now, in this 2-CD collection of Numan interpretations you can hear those good songs without Numan's idiosyncratic delivery. The known and the unknown join to make proto-dance music out of mechanical master's material. Matt Sharp (Weezer) and Damon Albarn (Blur) cover "We Have a Technical." Also on the compilation are Gravity Kills, EMF, The Magnetic Fields, Jesus Jones, the out-of-place hip hop group Underdog (but, there's only one of them), Sukia, The Orb, Pop Will Eat Itself. One of my favorite cuts is "Metal" by Towering Inferno. Brian Eno described their Kaddish album as "frightening" and they are here joined by Eddie Reader. I also am very fond of the two versions of "Are 'Friends' Electric?" Techno rockers Republicaare joined by Numan himself for one version and Belgian discovery An Pierle offers another.
Bessie Smith cut 160 sides for the Columbia and OKeh labels between 1923 and 1933, and the four previous two-CD/cassette box sets of her complete recordings released in the 1990s covered 154 of them, which introduces the question, what can a fifth two-CD/cassette box set contain in addition to the remaining six cuts? First, there are five previously unreleased alternate takes; second, there is the 15-minute low-fi soundtrack to the two-reel short St. Louis Blues, which constitutes the only film of Smith; and third, taking up all of the second CD/cassette, there are 72 minutes of interview tapes of Ruby Smith, Bessie Smith's niece, who traveled as part of her show. The box contains a "Parental Advisory – Explicit Lyrics" warning because of the nature of Ruby Smith's reminiscences. You won't learn much about Bessie Smith's music from her niece's remarks, but you will learn a lot about her sexual preferences.