Coltrane’s “Lost Album” Is The Best Find Of 2018’s Jazz, Blues Offerings

Courtesy: Verve Records

Jazz and the blues are among the great genres of music to ever grace the world’s airwaves.  From the days of the “chitlin circuit” that featured so many of the greatest blues musicians of all time, to the fusions sounds of Weather Report, Yellowjackets and others to the more modern jazz and blues of Joe Bonamassa and The Jamie Lawrence Sextet, both genres have produced an infinite number of timeless, influential albums and songs.

That is why as with past years, Phil’s Picks is featuring again, a list of the year’s top new jazz and blues albums.  The two genres are being combined as they are invariably connected to one another.  It has not made crafting this year’s list any easier than in year’s past.  Keeping that in mind, there are no bad albums here.

Taking the top spot in this year’s list is the long lost studio recording from John Coltrane, Both Directions at Once.  Up until this year, the recording had been long thought lost to time, and its “resurrection” of sorts this year is welcome.  The arrangements show a unique side of the famed saxophonist and his fellow musicians featured throughout.

Second Place in this years list goes to Yellowjackets’ new album Raising Our Voice.  This record is everything that the jazz outfit’s fans have come to expect with a little something extra thanks to the record’s guest vocalist.

Third Place belongs this year to The Jamie Lawrence Sextet and its debut album New York Suite.  The record’s arrangements throw back to some very interesting influences while also using those influences to generate an identity of their own in the process.

Also featured in this year’s list are new releases from the likes of Joe Bonamassa, The James Hunter Six, The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite just to name a handful of other acts.

As always, the list features 15 total acts and titles.  The first 10 records are the Top 10, while the five that follow are honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Jazz & Blues Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW JAZZ & BLUES ALBUMS

  1. John Coltrane — Both Directions at Once
  2. Yellowjackets — Raising Our Voice
  3. The Jamie Lawrence Sextet — New York Suite
  4. Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite — No Mercy in This Land
  5. Ry Cooder — The Prodigal Son
  6. Onyx Collective — Lower East Suite Part Three
  7. The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band — Poor Until Payday
  8. Joe Bonamassa — Redemption
  9. Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa — Black Coffee
  10. James Hunter Six — Whatever It Takes
  11. Tony Bennett & Diana Krall — Love Is Here To Stay
  12. Gary Moore — Blues & Beyond
  13. Brian Bromberg — Thicker Than Water
  14. Kamaal Williams — The Return
  15. Victor Wainright & The Train — Victor Wainright & The Train

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‘Blues And Beyond’ Is An Interesting New Musical Moore Profile

Courtesy: BMG

Early this month, BMG Music and Sanctuary Records partnered to pay tribute to the late great blues guitarist Gary Moore with a new compilation of Moore’s music. The collection, Blues and Beyond was released on a two-disc standard edition and a deluxe four-disc collection that also features two discs of live material and a book written by author Harry Shapiro. For the sake of this review, the focus will be on the standard two-disc collection. That collection is an interesting new presentation. That is due in part to the collection’s featured songs. They will be discussed shortly. The songs’ sequencing is just as important to discuss in examining this recording as the collection’s featured songs. The songs’ arrangements round out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to its whole. All things considered, the noted elements make Blues and Beyond a presentation that is certain to interest Moore’s fans as well as blues fans in general.

BMG Music and Sanctuary Records’ new Gary Moore compilation Blues And Beyond is an interesting new collection of Moore’s music. It is a record that gives audiences what can only be described as a small snapshot of the late great guitarist’s extensive and successful career. That snapshot is presented through a 28-song collection that includes Moore’s 2001 album Back to the Blues and his 2004 album Power of the Blues in full along with a small portion of A Different Beat (1999) and almost half of his 2002 album Scars. For those who might be less familiar with Moore’s body of work, it wasn’t until about 2001 that Moore, who was also known early in his career for rock compositions with Thin Lizzy and Skid Row, really started to focus solidly on his blues chops. A Different Beat was an experimental record for Moore that really started his transition back to the blues in more focused fashion. Keeping that in mind, it makes sense why BMG and Sanctuary opted to present two of Moore’s biggest blues records for this collection. In the same vein, the inclusion of songs from A Different Beat also explains the & Beyond portion of the collection’s title. The songs taken from that record, as few as they are, give audiences an interesting look into Moore’s attempts to branch out beyond the standard 12-bar blues, and in turn makes this collection that much more interesting. When those experimental songs are joined with the collection’s more standard blues works, the whole of the collection insures listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment. Keeping this in mind, the collection’s featured songs are themselves only part of what makes this collection of interest. Its sequencing is just as important to note as its songs.

While this compilation focuses only on one specific period in Gary Moore’s career, audiences will note the compilation never once sits too long on one of the featured albums. Over the course of just the collection’s first five songs, the collection switches back and forth constantly between Back to the Blues and Power of the Blues. From there on out, that variety continues, with selections from Scars and A Different Beat thrown in to keep things fresh and to keep audiences engaged. The variety doesn’t end when the collection’s first disc ends, either. Rather, it continues solidly throughout the whole of the compilation’s second disc. The maintained engagement insured through the compilation’s variety also insures listeners’ continued entertainment. Keeping that in mind, it becomes clear why the collection’s sequencing is just as important to its presentation as its songs. Even with all of this in mind, the set’s sequencing is not the last of its most important elements. The arrangements presented throughout the course of this collection play their own key part to its presentation, too.

The arrangements that are presented in this collection’s featured songs are so important to note because of the range of influences that they exhibit. throughout the course of the set’s two discs and 28 songs, audiences are treated to songs that clearly boast influence from the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King, John Mayall and others. The 12-minute-plus ‘Ball and Chain’ is just one of the featured songs that conjures thoughts of Vaughn. That’s thanks not just because of the arrangement itself but also because of Moore’s own vocal delivery here. Moore actually sounds eerily like Vaughn here; so much so that it would be easy to mistake the two for one another. The collection’s opener, ‘Enough of the Blues’ conjures thoughts of King’s work with Eric Clapton on Riding With The King while ‘You Upset Me Baby’ is full on B.b. King style work. ‘Bring My Baby Back’ is more akin to works from John Mayall. ‘Evil,’ on the other hand could just as easily likened to works from Albert King, another of Moore’s contemporaries. Between these songs and the others included in Blues and Beyond, it becomes clear how important each influence and arrangement is to the collection’s whole. They show Moore’s expert ability to emulate the noted musicians while also paying tribute to them with his own works. It is a telling statement, needless to say. When this is kept in mind along with the collection’s featured songs and their sequencing, the whole of those elements makes the recording in whole one that, again, is sure to interest Moore’s fans as well as blues fans in general.

BMG and Sanctuary’s new Gary Moore compilation Blues and Beyond is a collection that is certain to interest Moore’s fans and blues aficionados alike. That is due in part to a set of songs that focuses primarily on a period in which Moore was devoted in his blues compositions. It also adds in a touch of his more experimental material for additional interest. The collection’s sequencing is just as certain to keep listeners engaged as the songs themselves. Much the same can be said of the songs’ arrangements. Each noted element is important in its own right to the whole of the collection’s presentation. All things considered, they make the collection in whole one that is as welcome an introduction to Moore’s work as a continuation for those fans already familiar with the famed guitarist. With that in mind, it is an interesting new collection that any blues fan will appreciate. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Blues and Beyond is available online now along with all of the latest Gary Moore news at:

Website: http://www.gary-moore.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gmooreofficial

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BMG To Release New Gary Moore Compilation Next Month

Courtesy: BMG

Blues legend Gary Moore is getting a new retrospective collection.

BMG will pay tribute to the late, great guitarist Dec. 1 with a new collection titled Blues and Beyond.  The compilation will be released on separate 2CD, 4 LP and deluxe 4 CD platforms. The compilation’s complete track listing is noted below

Blues and Beyond track listing:
CD1
1. Enough Of The Blues
2. Tell Me Woman
3. Stormy Monday
4. That’s Why I Play The Blues
5. Power Of The Blues
6. Ball And Chain
7. Looking Back
8. Surrender
9. Cold Black Night
10. There’s A Hole
11. Getaway Blues
12. We Want Love
13. Memory Pain
14. The Prophet

CD2
1. You Upset Me Baby
2. Bring My Baby Back
3. I Can’t Quit You Baby
4. World Of Confusion
5. Picture Of The Moon
6. Can’t Find My Baby
7. Drowning In Tears
8. Evil
9. My Baby (She’s So Good To Me)
10. Ain’t Got You
11. Just Can’t Let You Go
12. How Many Lies
13. Torn Inside
14. Parisienne Walkways (Live)

CD3 (box set only)
Blues And Beyond Live: (previously unreleased)
1. Walking By Myself
2. Oh Pretty Woman
3. Need Your Love So Bad
4. Since I Met You Baby
5. Surrender
6. Cold Black Night
7. All Your Love
8. Still Got The Blues

CD4 (box set only)
Blues And Beyond Live: (previously unreleased)
1. Too Tired
2. The Sky Is Crying
3. Further On Up The Road
4. Fire
5. The Blues Is Alright
6. Enough Of The Blues (Alternative)
7. The Prophet

The exclusive 4CD set will include two discs of live material and previously unreleased studio material as well as the new book I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow, written by author Harry Shapiro, and reproductions of rare Gary Moore memorabilia including concert ticket, album lunch event invite, VIP wrist band and AAA pass.

Shapiro spent three years writing I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow after being granted exclusive access to Moore’s family, friends and fellow musicians.  The story, which spans Moore’s five-decade-long career, features the highs and lows of Moore’s career, to which Shapiro said he did that intentionally so as to tell the whole story of Moore’s career.

“I would never have written a simpering hagiography,” Shapiro said.  “Hopefully this account will come across as honest as the man himself.”

Among the highs discussed in the new bio are the release of Moore’s 1979 breakthrough single ‘Parisienne Walkways,’ which became the song that really brought him to fame and the release of his most commercially successful album to date, 1990’s Still Got The Blues.  That album went on to sell 3 million copies worldwide.

The lows include his battles with his own demons throughout his career.  It all leads up to his untimely passing in 2011 and the outpouring of grief and admiration for the musical legend.

More information on BMG’s new Gary Moore collection and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.gary-moore.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/gmooreofficial

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Eagle Rock Entertainment Releasing New Archived Gary Moore Concert

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment will release later this month a new archived live performance from guitarist Gary Moore.

Gary Moore: Live at Bush Hall 2007 will be released by Eagle Rock Entertainment Tuesday, September 23rd. The concert was recorded at London’s Bush Hall on May 17th, 2007. It was originally broadcast by Planet Rock Radio and features a number of songs from his then new album Close as You Get (2007). Those songs include the likes of ‘Eyesight to the Blind,’ ‘I Had a Dream.’ Also included in the performance are some of Moore’s older material including: ‘Don’t Believe a Word,’ ‘Walking By Myself,’ and ‘Still Got The Blues’ among a number of others. The concert’s release later this month will mark the first time that it will have been released in its entirety worldwide. Its track listing is noted below.

TRACK LISTING

1) If The Devil Made Whiskey

2) Thirty Days

3) Trouble At Home

4) Hard Times

5) Eyesight To The Blind

6) I Had A Dream

7) Too Tired

8) Gary’s Blues 1

9) Don’t Believe A Word

10) Still Got The Blues

11) Walking By Myself

12) The Blues Is Alright

13) Sundown

 

More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt and http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Utopia Re-Issue Another Hit For Sherinian

Courtesy:  Armoury Records/Eagle RockEntertainment

Courtesy: Armoury Records/Eagle RockEntertainment

Derek Sherinian’s second solo album Black Utopia is an interesting work from this world renowned keyboardist.  There is so much to say about this record and not enough space or time to go into everything.  So instead of rambling, we’ll hit on the main points of what makes this album just as enjoyable for Sherinian’s fans the second time around as it was in its original release.   The first aspect of this album that makes it so enjoyable is its sequencing.  That is to say the order of the songs.  The second factor that listeners will appreciate (especially those that might be hearing the album for the first time) is the A-list guest stars that agreed to be a part of this album.  The third factor in the success of the album’s re-issue is the reworked liner notes.  All three of these factors together make Black Utopia an album that any Derek Sherinian fan will appreciate just as much in its new re-issue as they did in its initial release some ten years ago.

The success of Black Utopia is thanks in large part to its sequencing.  The album’s sequencing greatly exhibits the understanding of and appreciation for music possessed by both Derek Sherinian and co-producer Simon Phillips.  The pair treat Black Utopia as if they were creating a set list for a live show.  The energy of the songs rises and falls just enough throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks to keep listeners fully engaged.  That energy rises and falls just enough within the context of the songs themselves to make the energy in the transitions between songs even more impactful.  It shows on a deeper level, the pair’s understanding of and appreciation for their craft.  The resultant effect is one the makes this album one of those rare albums that listeners will want to take in from start to finish without skipping even one song. It’s just the starting point of the album’s success, too. And that’s saying something.

Black Utopia’s success is thanks in large part to its sequencing.  The sequencing of the songs would be moot without the music crafted by Sherinian and the guest musicians that make appearances on this album.  That is the second factor in this album’s creation that makes it a success.  Sherinian invited some of the biggest names in the business to join him on this record.  And it’s a good thing they accepted his invitation.  Among those major names are the likes of Simon Phillips (The Who, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, etc.), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Al Di Meola (Return To Forever, Chick Corea), Yngwie Malmsteen, Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big) and others.  Their talents are well shared throughout the record.  The whole group teams up on the album’s opener for what is without a doubt one of the album’s absolute best works.  Malmsteen puts on a virtual clinic with his shredding, while Sherinian himself manages somehow to mix in a touch of jazz/fusion at one point, adding even more flare and substance to the song.  And the combination of Zakk Wylde, Simon Phillips, Tony Franklin and Jerry Goodman on ‘Nightmare Cinema’ is incredible.  Sherinian’s etherial keyboard part set against Phillips’ drumming early on perfectly illustrates the song’s title.  It establishes quite the eerie vibe.  The eventual addition of Wylde on guitar adds even more depth to the song as it progresses.  It is simply something that must be heard in order to be fully appreciated.  The same can be noted of the album’s remaining tracks.  Sherinian  and his fellow musicians come together on each song to show just why their addition to Black Utopia is such an important part of the album’s overall success.

The who’s  who of musicians recruited to record Black Utopia alongside Derek Sherinian is just as important to the success of the album as its sequencing.  Without the talent of the musicians in question, the sequencing would not be all that important to discuss.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case here.  And because it wasn’t the case, it leaves only one remaining factor to note of this re-issue.  The factor in question is the updated liner notes included with the album.  This time out, Black Utopia includes an article crafted by journalist Joe Lalaina, of Guitar World magazine.  Lalaina outlines the album in his own words.  Sherinian’s own thoughts on Black Utopia are also included as a follow-up to Lalaina.  Listeners will take special interest in Sherinian’s comment about working with Brian Tichy (Something Unto Nothing, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol).  He notes that it was his friendship and working relationship with Tichy that led the pair to work together on this album.  There’s also mention of his excitement of working with both Yngwie Malmsteen and Al Di Meola.  One of his comments in particular regarding this can’t be repeated here.  But it will most definitely have listeners laughing.  It’s the finishing touch to an album that any hard rock fan should hear at least once now that it has been re-issued by Armoury Records.  More information on this and other albums from Derek Sherinian is available online at http://www.dereksherinian.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Blues For Jimi Is A Fitting Tribute To Hendrix, Moore, & Mitchell

Courtesy: eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

It’s been over four decades since the passing of Jimi Hendrix.  To be precise, it’s been just over forty-two years since his untimely passing.  In the time since this music legend’s death, his legacy has continued to thrive as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.  In honor of this unwitting rock star, the music world has been paying tribute to him throughout 2012, opting to celebrate his life rather than his death.  November 27th will have been seventy years since Hendrix’s birth.  In anticipation of his birthday anniversary, a handful of releases have been put out on DVD, Blu-ray, and CD.  As the big day nears, audiences are being treated with another tribute to Hendrix thank to Eagle Rock Entertainment’s release of Gary Moore: Blues for Jimi.

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Gary Moore: Blues for Jimi is a tribute not just to Hendrix, but also to his former drummer Mitch Mitchell and to Gary Moore.  This concert, recorded at the London Hippodrome in 2007 archives, is a wonderful performance to say the least.  It archives a legend paying homage to a legend along with two other legends.  The way that Moore churns through each song in this near hour and a half long show seems like he’s channeling Hendrix himself.  And were they listening to this show, not knowing, audiences would swear that bassist Bill Cox was Hendrix, too.

The concert runs a grand total of roughly an hour and fourteen minutes.  In that time, audiences are treated to something special.  As already noted, the way in which Moore plays, it’s as if he’s channeling Hendrix himself.  Audiences can tell in watching both the DVD and the Blu-ray presentation of this concert how much fun the late musician was having.  One of the best moments in the show comes as Moore is joined by Billy Cox and the now late Mitch Mitchell on ‘Red House.’  This show would be one of the last that Mitchell would ever perform before his death in 2008.  The jam session that the trio breaks into in this song is well worth the total eleven and a half minute run time.  What Hendrix show would be complete without a rendition of perhaps Hendrix’s greatest songs, ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return)?’  Just watching Moore interact will both Mitchell and Cox shows the respect that he has not just for Hendrix’s legacy, but for both Mitchell and Cox, too.  They looked like three kids just jamming out having fun.  And that fun translated to the audience as well.  Even audiences at home will feel that same energy and joy.  It will make the show feel like it was over just when it began.  That is a sign of a great concert.

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Records

The DVD and Blu-ray presentations of this archived concert are great for home viewers.  The concert looks especially great on blu-ray.  Fans can also take the concert with them anywhere they go as it’s also available on CD.  The CD presentation is exactly the same as the DVD and Blu-ray presentation.  So audiences won’t have to worry about losing anything in translation.  It still has all the same enjoyment as the DVD and Blu-ray.  The CD, DVD and Blu-ray presentation are all available in stores and online now.  Fans can order it direct via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s website, http://www.eagle-rock.com.

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