Friday, October 22, 2010

Michael Fremer Album Review

Essential Blue Note? Somewhere over the rainbow...

John Jenkins

John Jenkins
Blue Note/Music Matters 1573 2 180g 45rpm LPs
Produced by: Alfred Lion
Engineered by: Rudy Van Gelder
Mixed by: Rudy Van Gelder
Mastered by: Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman at AcousTech Mastering



Jenkins and Kenny Burrell Backed By Stellar Rhythm Section

by Michael Fremer
October 01, 2010

This 1957 set spotlights the obscure Chicago alto sax hard bop player John Jenkins who led but one Blue Note session and three altogether in his short recording career, which he ended in the early '60s.

But during that short burst he played with Mingus, Art Farmer and many other greats. He's backed here, (shadowed would be a better word for it) by guitarist Kenny Burrell and a stellar rhythm section of Sonny Clark, Paul Chambers and Mingus drummer Dannie Richmond.

Less bluesy and more high speed bop than Blue Notes to come, this six tune set ignites upon take off and doesn't come down for a moment. Even the ballad "Everything I Have is Your" has an electric elegance going for it, with Jenkins managing to cast long, pleasing lead lines, while following up with staccato stabs that give the piece lift.

Jenkins plays hard and fast with a wonderfully clear and bracing tone and the backing trio is on fire throughout the set of two standards ("From This Moment On," "Everything I Have is Yours") and four originals, three by Jenkins and one by Burrell, whose crisp, bracing tone is well captured by Van Gelder. In fact, everyone's well-recorded, even Clark on piano.

Jenkins' "Motif" is based on a straight ahead propulsive riff that everyone has fun swinging withThese guys sound as if they've been playing for years instead of in a pick-up session.

Perhaps because this was late in the day for bop, these youngsters are able to revel in the form and so produce great weight and elegance along with the swift movement that characterizes the genre.

Jenkins left the music scene a few years after this was recorded and later worked as a messenger and made jewelry in New York. He picked up the horn again in the 1980s and played street corners. In 1990 he played with the Clifford Jordan Big Band.

A live session recorded analog at Condon's by Pierre Sprey and released on his Mapleshade Records on CD (Mapleshade 03232 CD) is probably his final recorded session.

Jenkins died July, 12, 1993 but this gem lives on, beautifully packaged as usual by Music Matters. The inside photos by Francis Wolff show just how young they all were. Oh my.

Okay, it's not an essential Blue Note but it's a minor gem will worth owning.

Thanks to Michael over at  for the exclusive rights to reprint this material.  Stop by for more reviews and features.

Copyright © 2008 & Michael Fremer - All rights reserved Reprinted by Permission

Bad Religion Box Set Announced

Bad Religion is set to release 15 Album Vinyl Box Set to celebrate 30 Years of Rock & Roll!

Southern California semianl punk-rockers Bad Religion is celebrating their monumental 30th anniversary by announcing the release of a limited edition 30 Years LP Box Set on November 9. The collection will be available exclusively at  where fans are invited to pre-order the Box Set for the sale price of $199.99 until October 25 - the price will increase to $224.99 after that.

This must-have collection will include all fifteen of Bad Religion's studio albums, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, Into The Unknown, Suffer, No Control, Against The Grain, Generator, Recipe For Hate, Stranger Than Fiction, The Gray Race, No Substance, New America, The Process Of Belief, The Empire Strikes First, New Maps Of Hell and their latest release The Dissent Of Man, on red vinyl and packaged in a beautiful black anniversary box.

The perfect holiday gift for vinyl fans, collectors and Bad Religion fanatics alike, 30 Years LP Box Set is a limited edition and will undoubtedly sell out fast. This also marks the first time Into the Unknown has been available on vinyl LP since 1983.

The 30 Years LP Box Set marks the end of the 30th anniversary celebration of one of punk rock's greatest bands.

New Album Cover Art

Kanye West Reveals New Album Cover

Earlier this week Kanye West generated a viral-buzz when he released the album cover art for his new album. The art featured a topless, armless phoenix straddling a demon meant to represent 'Ye,' and apparently he's got more cover art on the way.

On Thursday posted different art of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and it's the same red border but this time with a painting of a ballerina holding a wine glass. The artist of both paintings is frequent Kanye collaborator George Condo, and Kanye revealed Tuesday that the two have more work in store for fans.

"Well, actually, it's five covers," he told MTV News. "And you get all five of them when you buy the album."

No word on what the other covers might look like....but enough already, pick a cover and go with it, quit milking it!


METALLICA: 'Live At Grimey's' Cover Artwork Unveiled

Metallica is set to release a new live album 'Live At Grimey's' on November 26.  The music was recorded on June 12, 2008 at the tiny 150-capacity venue The Basement, located below the Grimey's New & Preloved Music record store in Nashville.

"Live At Grimey's" will be sold as a standard CD and as a limited edition two-disc vinyl set in a gatefold sleeve.  Additionally, the album will be sold only at the approximately 700 independent record stores that support the annual Record Store Day, which is held each year in April.

In announcing the album, Metallica had this to say on their web site:

 "We were honored to be part of the first-ever annual event celebrating independently owned records stores, a.k.a. Record Store Day, with an in-store at Rasputin Music in Mountain View, California on April 19, 2008 and we're very proud to be a part of another special event with our friends at independent retail."


The Damned Things 'Ironiclast' Cover Artwork Unveiled

The Damned Things, a new band featuring members of Fall Out Boy (Joe Trohman, Andy Hurley), Anthrax (Scott Ian, Rob Caggiano) and Every Time I Die (Keith Buckley, Josh Newton), are set to release their debut album, 'Ironiclast,' on December 14th via Island/Def Jam.

Says Trohman about the artwork: "This art is meant to represent a example of an 'ironiclast.' The $1 bill is one of the most iconoclastic images we, as a band, could think of. Every time we kept musing on other widely recognized bits of imagery, we always came back to this bank note for some reason. It felt relevant, regardless of the meaning one decides to attach. It can that represent everything from the American dream and total independence, to capitalism and a loss in sight of what's really important in this world. It could be representative of not just the current American economy, but also of the world economy and its piss-poor state of being. This could also conjure up the old 'money-is-the-root-of-all-evil' adage. Maybe you just hate George Washington and you feel like this is really sticking it to him...FINALLY! Or maybe you love George Washington and have been dying to give him a cool makeover. This is all left up to you. Many meanings can be attached to this imagery. It's all in how you choose to interpret it."

The Damned Things made its live debut on June 1, 2010 at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York.

This Date In Music History - October 22


Annette Funicello (1942)

Leslie West - Mountain (1945)

Eddie Brigati - Young Rascals (1946)

Cris Kirkwood - Meat Puppets (1960)

John Wesley Harding (1965)

Shaggy (Orville Richard Burrell) (1968)

Shelby Lynne (1968)

Nick Oliveri - Queens Of The Stone Age (1971)

Zachary Walker Hanson - Hanson (1985)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1942, Bobby Fuller, singer, The Bobby Fuller Four. (1966 US #9 single "I Fought The Law" written by Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly's Crickets). Fuller died on July 18,1966 mysteriously from gasoline asphyxiation, while parked in a car outside his apartment.

Singer Tommy Edwards died in 1969 after suffering a brain aneurysm in Henrico County, Virginia (age 47). Had the 1958 US & UK #1 single "It's All In The Game."

In 1986, Jane Dornacker was killed in a helicopter crash during a live traffic report for WNBC radio in New York. Listeners heard the terrified voice of Dornacker screaming "Hit the water, hit the water” as the helicopter from which she and pilot Bill Pate were reporting, fell from the sky and crashed into the Hudson River. Dornacker had been a member of The Tubes and Leila And The Snakes.

English folk singer, songwriter, poet, and record producer Ewan MacColl died in 1989 (age 74). He wrote "Dirty Old Town" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," (became a #1 hit for Roberta Flack in 1972). Acts including Planxty, The Dubliners, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash recorded his songs. He was the father of singer, songwriter Kirsty MacColl.

Born on this day in 1939, Ray Jones, bass, Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas. He died on January 20, 2000.

Elliot Smith, singer/songwriter, committed suicide in 2003 (age 34). One time member of Stranger Than Fiction, solo 1997 album 'Either/Or.'


The Metropolitan Opera House held its grand opening in New York in 1883.

Dick Clark did a telephone interview with Ricky Nelson on American Bandstand in 1957.

In 1961, Chubby Checker appeared on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and performed "The Twist."

In 1964, the Who, then known as The High Numbers, received a letter from EMI Records, asking them for original material after their recent audition for the company.

"Get Off My Cloud" was released in the UK by the Rolling Stones in 1965.

The Supremes had their first US #1 album in 1966 with 'The Supremes a Go Go,' knocking The Beatles 'Revolver,' from the top of the charts.

In 1966, the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" made its debut on the US singles chart. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, the track was recorded over 6 weeks in four different Los Angeles studios, at a cost of over $16,000. The recording engineer would later say that the last take sounded exactly like the first, six months earlier. The record would reach number one on December 10,1966 and was nominated for Song Of The Year at The Grammy Awards, but lost to "Winchester Cathedral" by The New Vaudeville Band.

Also in 1966, according to Cashbox Magazine, ? And The Mysterians had the best selling tune in America with "96 Tears." The song has since been ranked #210 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Paul McCartney officially denied that he was dead in 1969. The most recent of many "clues" of this 'Death Hoax' was the fact that he was the only barefoot Beatle on the newly released 'Abby Road' LP cover. And, that was news back then!

Building on their debut earlier in the year, 'Led Zeppelin II' was released in 1969.

Joan Baez received a Gold record in 1971 for "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." It turned out to be her biggest hit, peaking at #3 in the US and #6 in the UK.

'Hotter Than Hell' was released by KISS in 1974. It was the second album to be released by the band.

In 1976, drummer Keith Moon played his last North American show with The Who in Toronto

The Pretenders started a run of four consecutive Monday nights at the Marquee Club in London in 1979.

Van Halen played Worchester, MA in 1982 after 25,000 signed a petition asking the band to add their city to its tour schedule.

Phil Collins started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1988 with "Groovy Kind Of Love," his 6th US #1.

Also in 1988 - Elton John sold out Madison Square Garden for a record 26th time.

Pearl Jam played their first show in 1990. It’s at the Off-Ramp in Seattle.

In 1992, members of Boyz II Men received awards for having the longest running #1 song of the Rock era. "End Of the Road" broke Elvis' record of 11 weeks, previously held by "Don't Be Cruel / Hound Dog."

In 1996, it was announced that, "The Beatles were now bigger than The Beatles!" The statement was based on sales so far this year, having sold 6,000,000 albums from their back catalog and a combined total of 13,000,000 copies of ‘The Beatles Anthology 1’ and ‘The Beatles Anthology 2.' With the release of ‘The Beatles Anthology 3’ a week away, it was anticipated that total Beatles album sales for 1996 would exceed 20 million. A poll showed 41 percent of sales were to teenagers who were not born when The Beatles officially called it quits in 1970.

In 1998, Bob Dylan played in his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota for the first time since the '60s. The show sold out in just five hours.

MTV Italy launched its first domestically planned and produced Italian-language show, "Sonic" in 1997.

In 1999, it was reported that Sinead O'Connor was attempting to buy the church where she was ordained into the Catholic sisterhood. The church was on the market for over $100,000. Bald chicks church?

In 2000, George Michael paid over 2 million dollars for the Steinway piano on which John Lennon wrote "Imagine." George said, "I know that when my fingers touch the keys of that Steinway, I will feel truly blessed. And parting with my money has never been much of a problem, just ask my accountant." The singer outbid Robbie Williams and The Oasis brothers.

Ja Rule went to #1 on the US album chart in 2000 with 'Rule 3:36.'

In 2005, "Waterloo," by Abba was voted the best song in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Viewers in 31 countries across Europe voted during a special show in Copenhagen to celebrate the annual event's 50th birthday.

John Mellencamp played "Our Country" prior to game two of the World Series in Detroit in 2006. The song, from Mellencamp’s 'Freedom’s Road' CD, was also featured in ads for Chevrolet's 2007 Silverado pickup truck.

In 2008, a homeless man claimed a $3,000 reward by returning a waxwork head of ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, which had been left on a train. Anthony Silva found the item in a bin at Reading station after auctioneer Joby Carter left it under a seat at Maidenhead station. The homeless man thought it was a Halloween mask and had been using it as a pillow before realising what it was. The wax model sold the following week for $8,675 at auction.

"Rock N Roll Train," the first single from AC/DC's album "Black Ice," was heard in an episode of the CBS show Criminal Minds in 2008.

A collection of photography titled Who Shot Rock And Roll? was in bookstores in 2009. The collection features snaps of The Beatles, Sonic Youth, Mick Jagger, Chuck Berry, Blondie, James Brown, Johnny Cash, U2, the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa.