The first true ensemble album in the Windham Hill style – Clockwork really defined the label’s sound for the next several years. Alex de Grassi proves that not only is he one of his generations finest guitarists, he has a larger musical vision, ambition and extraordinary taste in collaborators.
Official Release #100. The LAST album by Frank Zappa. The last album that guitarist Frank Zappa worked on prior to his death in December 1993 will finally be released this June. Titled Dance Me This, the LP is considered the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's 100th and final official release, ending a legacy that began with the Mothers of Invention's landmark 1966 album Freak Out! In talking to Guitar Magazine prior to his death at the age of 52, Zappa described his final LP as "a Synclavier album called Dance Me This, which is designed to be used by modern dance groups. It's probably not going to come out until next year," the Guardian reports. The album was ultimately shelved indefinitely, and while a steady stream of posthumous releases and reissues have satisfied Zappa fans in the following decades, Dance Me This was all but forgotten until Zappa's widow Gail Zappa began hinting at the final album's eventual arrival in 2011.
One of the greatest albums ever recorded by pianist Hal Galper – and that's saying a lot, given his huge legacy of records! This set has Hal working in a strongly electric mode – using an electric piano with the same sort of spacious qualities he could bring to acoustic – never jamming as hard as some of his more dynamic 70s contemporaries, but in a really great way that creates a special energy on the record – not just for Galper, but also for the groupmates, who really seem to bring out their best. The lineup includes Randy Brecker on trumpet and Michael Brecker on tenor and soprano sax – both playing in the darker edges of their sound – and the record also features guitar, bass, and drums. Some moments are funky, but the real stand out tracks have an even more special electric vibe – and titles include "This Moment", "Whatever", "Wild Bird", and "Change Up".
Esoteric Recordings are proud to announce the release of a new deluxe 3CD which tells the story of the so- called “underground” era of one of Britain’s great independent record labels of the 1960s & 1970s, Transatlantic Records. In the heady atmosphere of the late 1960s, the sea change in British popular music spearheaded by the Beatles experimentation on the Sergeant Pepper album and swiftly followed by the likes of Cream, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Family, Procol Harum, Jethro Tull and a host of groups and musicians who followed in their footsteps led to the album being seen as the medium in which “serious” musicians would explore and develop their craft. The apparently disparate genres of blues, jazz, rock, folk and even world music were fused together by many diverse acts all of whom were eager to be regarded as “progressive” in their musical approach. The so-called “underground” audience eagerly consumed this music, which sat alongside the social changes that were also taking place.
This reissue is unrelated to another V.S.O.P. set simply titled A Jazz Band Ball. Terry Gibbs on vibes and marimba matches wits and creativity with Victor Feldman and Larry Bunker, both of whom double on vibes and xylophone. Assisted by pianist Lou Levy, bassist Max Bennett and drummer Mel Lewis, the intriguing frontline essentially plays bop, but with a great deal of color. The interaction between the vibraphonists, who are all featured and occasionally trade off, is the main reason to acquire this very interesting set.
A long-lost Captain Beefheart album is to finally be released, on what would have been Don Van Vliet's 71st birthday. Bat Chain Puller was recorded in 1976 but shelved later that year, due to a dispute between Frank Zappa and his former manager, Herb Cohen. Bat Chain Puller was originally intended to be the follow-up to 1974's maligned Bluejeans & Moonbeams, after Vliet recruited a new band. Zappa produced the sessions, and tracks like Owed t'Alex and The Floppy Boot Stomp made it all the way to Beefheart's label, Virgin, as well as several journalists. Unfortunately that's as far as things got. When Zappa sued Cohen, Bat Chain Puller was caught in the litigation and the album was shelved. Although many of Bat Chain Puller's songs were re-recorded for subsequent Beefheart releases, the original record has only been available among fans, as a popular bootleg.
ASHFORD & SIMPSON are quite simply one of the best song writing duos the world has ever known. Being former Motown hit writers and having written a string of hits for greats like Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross, its little wonder that they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2002. 1982’s STREET OPERA was the first album to be recorded by ASHFORD & SIMPSON on Capitol after nine years with Warner Records and is considered by many fans to be their best offering from the 80s. Written and produced by ASHFORD & SIMPSON, the album gained a top 50 Pop chart position reaching #45 and a top ten R&B spot getting all the way to #5 and served as a warm up to the massive success they later enjoyed with SOLID? in 1984.