Returning to the Motown and Northern soul that provided the basis of their debut album, ABC turned to the pop songcraft on their fifth album, Alphabet City. The increased songcraft is certainly engaging, particularly on the hit "When Smokey Sings," but the songs are usually indistinguishable from each other, resulting in a sleek, stylish, and thoroughly entertaining album that leaves no lasting memory.
At the age of 71, Johnny Frigo finally had his debut as a leader on record, with the exception of an obscure effort in 1957. Although he had spent much of his career as a studio bassist, Frigo successfully switched full-time to his first love, the violin, and was immediately considered one of the top swing-based violinists. Joined by both Bucky and John Pizzarelli on guitars, either Ron Carter or Michael Moore on bass, and drummer Butch Miles, Frigo is in wonderful form on 14 standards, including "Pick Yourself Up," "Detour Ahead" (which he had co-written while with the Soft Winds in the late '40s), "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "The Song Is You." This recommended CD launched the Chesky label.
John Lennon's concert appearances during his solo years were rare and scattered about, so any live document is worth hearing. Yet this one, the fabled One to One concert at Madison Square Garden, doesn't live up to its legend, however noble the cause (a benefit for the Willowbrook School for Children). Much of the problem, one suspects, is that Lennon concerts tended to be quick, casual one-offs; this material might have really rocked if John had broken the tunes in on the road first. Also, the Plastic Ono Elephants Memory Band is a fairly crude bunch of bashers, with Stan Bronstein's flailing sax and surprisingly poor drumming, despite the support of Jim Keltner…
Silva Screen Records has announced The Game of Thrones Symphony album, which features new recordings of the show’s original music from the HBO hit series composed by Ramin Djawadi (Westworld, Iron Man, Pacific Rim, Warcraft, Clash of the Titans). The symphony was recorded with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Check out a video from the recording of one of tracks after the jump.