Though more often associated with the formation of the funky 70s, the Rifkind brothers (Roy & Julie) started Spring Records in the soulful 60s, cutting great soul music through to the early 80s. Evidenced here 23 times.
This release presents one of John Lee Hooker's finest albums, The Big Soul of John Lee Hooker. It was recorded in 1962 and released by Vee-Jay Records. Here the bluesman explores the soul and R&B sounds of the early ‘60s, while maintaining the essence of his own boogieblues style. His gritty voice is as heavily emotive and unshakable as ever on these recordings. Hooker is backed by the seed of one of the most successful studio bands of all time, which would later be known as The Funk Brothers (the Motown studio band), as well as by a wonderful female backing vocal group. In addition to the original masterpiece, this remastered collector's edition also contains 10 bonus tracks from the same period, and constitutes one of the peaks of John Lee Hooker's incomparable musical legacy.
Not many European-born musicians have been admitted to the select inner circle of jazz innovators. One of them, of course, is the Belgian Jean Toots Thielemans. His amazing capacity to coax real music from a harmonica made of him a true virtuoso. And, as a guitarist, Toots also proved to be more than proficient at playing simple and eloquent, as we can appreciate in this charming program of nice music carried forth with taste, creativity and restrain.
This is a collection of mostly re-recordings and live versions. Some of tracks are familiar but there are quite a few less common tracks and that is what makes it interesting to me. I believe there are 20 VA collections in this series.
This stylishly devised programme juxtaposes cantatas by Rosenmüller, Krieger and Buxtehude with instrumental chorales and sonatas by Scheidemann, Praetorius, Tunder and Weckmann; most of these now known, if at all widely, as forerunners to Bach rather than as fine musicians in their own right as they deserve to be. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Hamburg became a leading commercial port where material and cultural goods circulated freely. Ensemble Méridien has chosen this city as the focal point of a fascinating musical journey through northern Germany, a journey that reveals different aspects of this artistic power. The port of Hamburg was also the driving force behind the north German organ school of the time. Churches were overflowing with magnificent organs, and their building and playing techniques reached extremely high standards, as is evident from the organ music included here. Though most of the music in this recital has been recorded before, it has only appeared on relatively obscure labels, and not in this imaginative context where one may more fully appreciate its dramatic as well as musical merits.