Not long after You're Gonna Get It, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' label, Shelter, was sold to MCA Records. Petty struggled to free himself from the major label, eventually sending himself into bankruptcy. He settled with MCA and set to work on his third album, digging out some old Mudcrutch numbers and quickly writing new songs. Amazingly, through all the frustration and anguish, Petty & the Heartbreakers delivered their breakthrough and arguably their masterpiece with Damn the Torpedoes…
In 1984, well-established Chicago folksingers Bob Gibson and Tom Paxton united with newcomer Anne Hills to form a trio called Best of Friends. For the next year and a half, they performed together, then went their separate ways. But they never recorded as a group. Two decades later, Appleseed Recordings unearthed this 1985 concert performance from Holsteins folk club in Chicago, taped for broadcast by WFMT's The Midnight Special radio show by its host, Rich Warren. Paxton explains that, while all three are essentially solo acts, occasionally they wonder what their songs will sound like with harmony, and this is a chance to find out.
A shamelessly contrived effort, Keep This Love Alive is, for the most part, yet another tremendous waste of Tom Scott's talents. There are a few enjoyable moments here, including guest Dianne Schurr's sensuous vocal on "Whenever You Dream of Me" and Scott's gritty jazz-funk blowing on "Mis Thang." But on the whole, this CD is a throwaway by both jazz and pop standards. R&B/pop singer Brenda Russell is anything but memorable on the bloodless adult-contemporary song "If You're Not the One for Me," and most of the instrumentals would sound boring and lackluster even in a dentist's office. Throwing creativity to the wind, Scott leaves no doubt that his only concern is commercial radio airplay. The saxman recorded more than his share of stinkers for GRP in the 1980s and '90s, and Keep This Love Alive is at the top of the list.
Following two albums with a reconstituted L.A. Express, Bluestreak and Smokin' Section, Tom Scott returns to solo frontman duties on his Higher Octave Jazz debut, New Found Freedom, but he does so with a large number of guests. Those guests help broaden the styles of music available on the release, although Scott's own saxophone work remains a touchstone and everything on the disc will be easily programmable on smooth jazz radio. Indeed, the variety gives programmers many choices. Craig Chaquico, a fellow veteran of the 1970s rock scene and now a labelmate, joins Scott with some characteristic acoustic guitar work on the becalmed opener, "Feelin' It," after which adult contemporary singer Ann Nesby croons "You Are My Everything" while Billy Preston joins in on organ.
In the 1970s, Tom Waits combined a lyrical focus on desperate, low-life characters with a persona that seemed to embody the same lifestyle, which he sang about in a raspy, gravelly voice.
For the first time, Michael Franks made an album completely without the production team of Tommy LiPuma, Al Schmitt and Lee Hershberg, employing instead John Simon (the Band, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen). The recording boasts a large number of celebrated horn and string players, as well as jazz luminaries Ron Carter, Bucky Pizzarelli, Kenny Barron, Mike Mainieri and Flora Purim.
As the singer of Keane, Tom Chaplin will be a familiar voice to many, especially as the band's debut album reportedly sold over 5.5 million units. His first solo release sees him step out of the song writing shadow of Tim Rice-Oxley, while the shows announced in support of this record are already sold out…
Tom Waits, raconteur, poet, singer, pianist, writer, genius and one-man revivalist of a bygone world, in a 1978 concert from Austin, Texas. Hear the emerging star, strikingly young and self-assured in his compelling skid-row persona, as he takes us on a series of amazing journeys, at once comic and poignant, and full of the down-at-heels characters only Mr. Waits can bring to life. In songs like "On The Nickel," "I Wish I Was In New Orleans," "Romeo Is Bleeding," "Small Change" and others, Waits conjures up an entire universe all his own. One of the most idiosyncratic writers and performers is captured at an early moment in his amazing and influential career. Recorded Live on December 5, 1978 in Austin, Texas.