Because the personnel include Louis Armstrong, Lillian Hardin, and Johnny and Baby Dodds, the 1923 recordings of King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, originally made for the Gennett, OKeh, Columbia, and Paramount labels, have been reissued numerous times as formats have changed and technology has improved. Here, the Canadian label Off the Record (distributed in the U.S. by Archeophone Records) puts 37 tracks on two CDs, having made transfers from the most pristine 78-rpm discs available.
The largely unacknowledged open secret lying at the heart of Rick Springfield's career is how, at his core, he's a serious artist. His gift for power pop and his spell as a television actor obscured this essential fact, but on the many albums he's made since his popular peak during the early '80s, he regularly returns to sober subjects, which means most of his fans may not be surprised that he spends the bulk of his 2018 album The Snake King exploring depression, faith, political confusion, and other weighty ideas. Even so, he hits these subjects hard throughout The Snake King, his lyrical explicitness finding a match in a shift his music: He's moved from arena rock toward heavy blues and folk-rock anthems straight from Bob Dylan in 1965. Given that he's a fine guitarist and craftsman, this isn't quite as startling in sound as it is on paper.
Dave King has been lauded as the firebrand drummer and co-composer behind the groundbreaking Bad Plus trio. His interest in various musical styles and situations has found him active in contemporary jazz, rock, electronic music and progressive improvisation based ensembles. But for all his divergent interests, King has remained a student and practitioner in the jazz drumming tradition. On his new Sunnyside record I’ve Been Ringing You, King realized his desire to create a modern jazz recording using straight ahead and avant-garde tendencies built off of the jazz tradition he has held so dear.
'Larks' Tongues In Aspic', from 1973, is widely regarded as one of the truly great King Crimson albums. With its raw tone, inspired improvisations and hard hitting odd-metered rhythms, the album marked a radical departure for this most forward thinking of groups and was the first to include Bill Bruford and John Wetton as band members. This 40th Anniversary edition features new mixes by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Robert Fripp.
"Pictures of a City" seems meant to pick up where "20th Century Schizoid Man" left off, with it's furious ensemble passages, knotty Fripp guitar leads and Greg Lake's authoritative vocal. "Cadence and Cascade" helps fill out the ballad quotient with a beautiful, wispy vocal from transitional singer Gordon Haskell. A valuable note of humor is interjected into the proceedings via the jokey, off-handedly jazzy "Cat Food." Keith Tippet's piano and Mel Collins' sax–both soon to play larger roles–were introduced on POSEIDON as well.
The 1994 return of King Crimson was timed perfectly, matching, in no particular order, one of the peak periods for CD sales, a time of great variety of radio formats in the USA, the growth of a number of bands who pointed eagerly to the influence of King Crimson - especially of the 1972-74 band - a more positive critical reception for the band, following the remasters of the catalogue, Frame by Frame and Great Deceiver boxed sets supervised by Robert Fripp. Such timing not only benefited from the release of the various musicians from their other musical commitments, but in Robert Fripp's case, the ultimately successful battle to regain control of King Crimson's catalogue.