Friday, July 3, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

Chrissie Hynde Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing - Live

Michael Fremer Review

I am very proud to continue our new feature (look for this every Friday), music reviews that are written by the senior contributing editor of Stereophile magazine- Michael Fremer. It has been a pleasure to speak with Michael and learn more about audio sound and equipment. In fact, his new DVD, "It's A Vinyl World, After All" has hit the shelves and is selling out very quickly. This is a must have for anybody who loves vinyl, it is a true masterpiece.

Additionally, make sure to stop by his site, and bookmark it for further exploration. I certainly want to thank Michael for the exclusive rights to reprint his fantastic material.

Gil Melle (reissue)
Patterns In Jazz

Blue Note/Music Matters MMBNLP 1517 2 180g 45 rpm mono LPs

Produced by: Alfred Lion
Engineered by: Rudy Van Gelder
Mixed by: Rudy Van Gelder
Mastered by: Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at AcousTech

Review by: Michael Fremer

The Modern Jazz Quartet would never have been signed to Blue Note. The group’s Bach-influenced button-down counterpoint was a bad fit with Blue Note’s gospel and blues influenced soul-jazz.

This unusually cool, reserved, Blue Note odd-lot created by the late musician, artist and electronic instrument builder Gil Mellé, has more in common with The MJQ, something Bill Evans and Jim Hall might have conjured up, or a dry martini ala Paul Desmond than a wailing Blue Note.

The deliberate, mathematical arrangements built around mellow, introspective but swinging duets mostly for the upper registers of the baritone sax and a hollow bodied electric guitar exude ‘60s intellectual cool and the smug self-satisfaction espoused by Playboy in its newness, which not coincidentally, was its status when this album was recorded in 1956.

Mellé on baritone sax, chases Joe Cinderella’s guitar, backed by drummer Ed Thigpen and bassist Oscar Pettiford, plus occasional trombone interludes from Eddie Bert on what is easily one of the most appropriately named albums you’ll ever hear.

The vibe sometimes veers beyond the boundary of accessibility and into game show theme territory but that’s part of the charm, and mostly it’s a charmingly ‘50’s-hip affair.

Van Gelder’s mono production is easily among his best, especially his capture of Mellé’s big, wet, sax and Cinderella’s guitar. Drummer Thigpen, three years away from joining the Oscar Peterson Trio. is miked distantly and mixed well back in space. Both Mellé and Cinderella get forward, three dimensional and superbly well-textured billing as do Bert’s infrequent but welcome trombone parts. You’ll feel the guitar strings being struck.

Joe Harley told me he and Ron Rambach had found this “oddball” Blue Note and fallen for it. I have fallen as well, but I’d say calling it “oddball” is kind of misleading. For a Blue Note it’s an “oddball,” but in the context of the MJQ, Paul Desmond and Bill Evans and Jim Hall, it’s familiar, almost easy listening.

If you have a good mono setup, especially a mono cartridge, this is a no-brainer. If you don’t, it’s a no-brainer.

Music News & Notes

AEG Live has released this short clip of Michael Jackson's final rehearsal for the This Is It tour.Michael Jackson "This is It" Rehearsals June 23- "They Don't Care About Us." What a very sad ending to a very talented human being.


RAVENS CREED: Debut Album Release Date Announced

RAVENS CREED, the "VENOM-worshipping scumbags" featuring ORANGE GOBLIN's Ben Ward, as well as Steve Watson (ex-IRON MONKEY), Jason Graham, and former SABBAT bassist Frazer Craske, will release their debut album, "Albion Thunder", on July 15 via Doomentia Records.

RAVENS CREED last year posted four new songs on its MySpace page. The tracks "Five Witches of Nine" and "Hearse Fokker" appeared on the band's EP on Land o'Smiles Records as part of the label's "Black Lodge" series, a collection of one-sided 12-inch vinyl EPs, each one unique and limited to only 100 copies and intended to represent no more that 11 minutes of material that is exclusive to this format; "Neon Parasite" and "Diabolical Genesis Reduction" are on the seven-inch picture disc that was released on Doomentia Records.


MERCYFUL FATE To Release New Versions Of 'Evil' And 'Curse Of The Pharaohs' On iTunes

As many fans already know, MERCYFUL FATE's "Evil" is featured as a playable track on "Guitar Hero: Metallica". The band re-recorded "Evil" and "Curse Of The Pharaohs" specifically for the game because the original masters no longer exist. Now the group is making both cuts available to fans to purchase on iTunes!

These versions feature four of the five original MERCYFUL FATE members (vocalist King Diamond, guitarist Hank Shermann, guitarist Michael Denner and bassist Timi Hansen) along with the band's current drummer, Bjarne T. Holm. The recording session was overseen by Hank Shermann at Earplug Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark; after which King Diamond laid down his vocals at Nomad Recording Studio in Dallas, Texas, and mixed the song with J.T. Longoria.

"Evil" and "Curse Of The Pharaohs" will be available for fans to purchase digitally on July 14. A special edition picture disc vinyl single will be available on September 1.


Skindred Reveals Release Date For New Album, "Shark Bites and Dog Fights"

Skindred has announced a September 1, 2009 street date for their upcoming new release, "Shark Bites and Dog Fights." The album was produced by Matt LaPlant (Sikth) at Bieler Bros. Studios in Pompano Beach, Florida.

The cover art for the record can be found here. More information as well as the first taste of the new material will be released soon.



Canadian power metal warriors SAVAGE BLADE have inked a deal with Germany's Pure Steel Records for the worldwide release of their critically acclaimed debut album, "We Are The Hammer".

"SAVAGE BLADE have kicked out a massive debut album", says Andreas Lorenz of Pure Steel Records. "From first note to last, this album breathes the true spirit of classic heavy metal, with playing and songwriting skills that stand on the same level as many legendary '80s metal bands. We see a bright future with SAVAGE BLADE, and look forward to forging a successful partnership, and delivering their premium brand of vintage-style metal to the masses".

Although Pure Steel have yet to announce an official date for the CD, a mid-summer release is expected.


Nikko Forsberg - Lead Vocals
Eric Hoodicoff - Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Drums, Bass, Background Vocals
Chris Rand - Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals

This Date In Music History-July 3


Kevin Hearn - Barenaked Ladies (1969)

Martyn Walsh - Inspiral Carpets (1968)

Taylor Dayne (1962)

Vince Clarke - Depeche Mode (1960)

Stephen Pearcy – Ratt (1956)

Mike Corby – Babys (1955)

Damon Harris – Temptations (1950)

Paul Barrere - Little Feat (1948)

Country singer Johnny Lee (1946)

Judith Durham – Seekers (1943)

Fontella Bass (1940)

Clarinetist Pete Fountain was born in 1930.

They Are Missed:

In 1969, Brian Jones drowned while under the influence of drugs and alcohol after taking a midnight swim in his pool (age 27). The coroner's report stated "Death by misadventure,” and noted his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse. Jones was one of the founding members of The Rolling Stones.

Born on this day in 1930, Tommy Tedesco, American session guitarist. Described by "Guitar Player" magazine as the most recorded guitarist in history recording with The Beach Boys, Everly Brothers, The Supremes, The Monkees, The Association, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Zappa, Sam Cooke, Cher, and Nancy and Frank Sinatra. Died on Nov 10, 1997.

Singer, songwriter and poet, Jim Morrison of The Doors was found dead in a bathtub in Paris, France in 1971, the cause of death was given as a heart attack. He co-wrote some of the group's biggest hits, including “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” and “Love Her Madly.”

Blues singer, guitarist Mississippi Fred McDowell died of cancer in 1972 (age 68). He coached Bonnie Raitt on slide guitar technique.

Born today in 1929, David Lynch, The Platters (died of cancer on January 2, 1981).

Singer, songwriter Johnny Russell died in 2001 (age 61). Wrote “Act Naturally” covered by The Beatles and Buck Owens. Jim Reeves, Jerry Garcia, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt all covered his songs.

Born on this day in 1957, Laura Branigan, US singer, died of a brain aneurysm Aug 26, 2004.

Boots Randolph ("Yakety Sax") died in 2007.

Colin Cooper, lead singer of the Climax Blues Band, died of cancer in 2008.


In 1952, The Flamingos formed in Chicago as a quintet comprising cousins Jake and Zeke Carey (who sing bass and tenor, respectively), Paul Wilson (baritone), Johnny Carter (tenor) and lead singer Earl Lewis (who was quickly replaced by Sollie McElroy).

In 1955, Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" reached #1 on the Billboard charts and the rock era began in earnest.

A private party was held at the Speakeasy Club in London in 1967 for the Monkees. Guests included: John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Dusty Springfield, Eric Clapton, Lulu and all the members from Manfred Mann, The Who and Procol Harum.

In 1969, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Sly and the Family Stone, Jeff Beck, Savoy Brown, Johnny Winter, Jethro Tull, Buddy Guy Blues Band, Mothers Of Invention and Ten Years After all appeared at the four day US Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island.

The three-day Atlanta Pop Festival took place in 1970, featuring The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, Jethro Tull, Johnny Winter, Mountain, Procol Harum and Rare Earth. The crowd of 200,000 heard Jimi Hendrix play his version of "The Star Spangled Banner." Two days later, Georgia Governor Lester Maddox said he would seek legislation banning rock festivals in the state.

Wrapping up a sixty-show tour at London’s Hammersmith Odeon Theater in 1973, David Bowie announced his retirement. Later he amends that saying the Ziggy Stardust persona has been retired, not Bowie. He’s back in action in less than a year.

Brian Wilson played his first live show with The Beach Boys in seven years when they appeared at the Anaheim Stadium, California in 1976.

The Human League started a three week run at #1 on the US singles charts in 1982 with “Don't You Want Me,” also a UK #1.

The Stray Cats “Built for Speed” and Men at Work's “Business as Usual” entered the album charts in 1982. The albums became two of the biggest selling albums of that year. The Stray Cats have 2 big hits, "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut" while Men at Work hit with "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under."

In 1995, Courtney Love's request to spread the ashes of late husband Kurt Cobain was rejected by Seattle's Lake View Cemetery, who say they've already got their hands full with people wanting to see Bruce and Brandon Lee's gravesites.