Culled from the deep vaults of Chicago's Chess Records, 'Go Go Power' takes its name from a fantastic slice of gritty Chicago R&B groove by pint-sized soulster Sugar Pie Desanto. The songs here were not chart hits in the U.S., but were popular in the U.K., where clubs devoted to soul music continue to thrive. Marlena Shaw's excellent "Wade in the Water" shows that she wasn't restricted to jazz recordings, and Billy Stewart surprises with the funky rendition of the blues standard "Everyday (I Have the Blues)." As if they weren't potent enough by themselves, Sugar Pie Desanto and Etta James team up for "In the Basement" and ask you to "stop and check yourself" on "Do I Make Myself Clear." It's also nice to see lesser-known names make stellar appearances here, like the Knight Brothers – best known for their 1965 ballad "Temptation 'Bout to Get Me" – turn in a Memphis burner with "That'll Get It," while Chicago staple Bobby McClure proves he knows what he wants with the pulsing "Peak of Love." A thoroughly consistent selection that makes for a fine downtown diversion when the uptown gloss and polish of Motown seems too genteel.
Today we take high fidelity sound quality for granted, but how did it start? When was the moment when compressed and scratchy sound gave way to natural, realistic sound that captured the whole picture of a performance?
Decca Sound ‘Mono Years’ seeks to answer that question and shows how, 70 years ago, amidst war-time privations, a small team at Decca made technological breakthroughs that brought hi-fi to the world. This latest cube explores Decca’s earliest high-fidelity history, and restores some restores critically acclaimed albums from ensembles such as the Trio di Trieste, Quintetto Chigiano and Griller Quartet which have not been available since their original LP release more than sixty years ago. An equally impressive array of soloists includes pianists Clifford Curzon, Julius Katchen, Friedrich Gulda and Moura Lypmany and violinists Ruggiero Ricci and Alfredo Campoli. Several generations of cellists are represented with recordings by Pierre Fournier, Maurice Gendron and Zara Nelsova.