Unitopia hailing from Canberra, Australia originally released their debut album More Than A Dream in 2005, and now in 2007 Unicorn Digital has re-released it. It’s getting to be almost impossible to tell one neo-prog band from another, and Unitopia’s More Than a Dream vividly illustrates why. This Australian duo, with a mammoth supporting cast that includes brass, strings and orchestral arrangements, seemingly borrows its licks and vaguely apocalyptic lyrics from just about any and every prog rock outfit extant from the 70’s onward—and this doesn’t include what appears to be the group’s fervent desire to be the next Moody Blues, complete with the London Philharmonic in tow. As a consequence, one can hear fragments of Todd Rundgren and Rush, Peter Gabriel and Renaissance, Steve Hillage and The Alan Parsons Project, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree in virtually every song on More Than a Dream.
This instrumental electronic work is an one-man project, created by Frédy Guye who had lived in Switzerland. The original ultra-rare LP has been released in 1975 in a limited edition of 100 copies and was only available at concerts. "Journey Into A Dream" is still a very unknown gem, but should be interesting for everyone who owns records from early Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze or Ashra.
Here are the first two albums from pioneer smooth jazz unit Pieces of a Dream on a single disc. Produced and mixed by the late Grover Washington, Jr., Pieces of a Dream/We Are One combine soulful, tight arrangements, spirited and inspired playing, and a canny knack for grooves, Pieces of a Dream and We Are One endure as gems of the genre.
Blues With a Message isn't just about lost love and the toils of specific lives, the blues (particularly within the folk-blues traditions) spent some time dealing with sociopolitical issues on the side, primarily before the rise of electric blues. Here, Arhoolie has compiled a set of pieces related to a surprisingly large number of issues. Among them: Minstrel shows, the mechanization of cotton farming, and its related exodus to the North, sharecropping, segregation, the Korean War, the influenza epidemic, the New Deal, civil rights movements, Chicago employment opportunities – all are given a song or two here. The music quality is roughly equivalent to many of the folk-blues recordings available, though the "big name" artists are largely absent from this one (Lightnin Hopkins does make an appearance singing about sharecropping, however). The songs are deliberately focused on the issues more than the music, but the music can still carry its soul. This one probably won't be on many highest-sales lists in the blues, but it's both historically important and musically enjoyable.
Sarah Vaughan was an American jazz singer, described by music critic Scott Yanow as having "one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century." Nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine One", Sarah Vaughan was a Grammy Award winner. The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989. Recordings of Sarah Vaughan were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have "qualitative or historical significance."