Publisher Profile

Paul McCartney, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Di Meola/McLaughlin/de Lucia, Billie Holiday, Bob Dyland and The Band

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Paul McCartney “Kisses on the Bottom”

Paul McCartney “Kisses on the Bottom”'
MPL/Hear Music 2 180g LPs
Produced by: Tommy LiPuma
Engineered by: Al Shmitt, others
Mixed by: Al Shmitt
Mastered by: Doug Sax and Sangwook “Sunny” Nam at The Mastering Lab, Ojai, CA

Musicians: Paul McCartney, vocals
Diana Krall & band
Special Guests: Eric Clapton
guitar Stevie Wonder
harmonica Anthony Wilson
guitar John Pizzarelli
guitar Bucky Pizzarelli
guitar Jeff Hamilton
drums John Clayton
bass Johnny Mandel
Orchestra Arrangement London Symphony Orchestra Alan Broadbent, conductor
Selections:
LP 1 – Side A
1. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
2. Home (When Shadows Fall)
3. It’s Only A Paper Moon
4. More I Cannot Wish You, Capitol Studios LA)
3. Stompin’ At the Savoy (MG36008 – Aug. 5, 1954, Capitol Studios LA)
LP 1 – Side B
1. The Glory of Love
2. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)
3. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
4. My Valentine
LP 2 – Side C
1. Always
2. My Very Good Friend the Milkman
3. Bye Bye Blackbird
LP 1 – Side D
1. Get Yourself Another Fool
2. The Inch Worm
3. Only Our Hearts

I watched Sir Paul perform at the Queens Diamond Jubilee concert the other night. At 70, I have to say he has aged better than any rock star I’ve seen. He also put on a heck of a show for the Queen and thousands at the concert.

With Kisses on the Bottom, Paul McCartney has given us a very unique sounding collection of romantic ballads and standards. In addition to the standards, the album includes two new McCartney originals. He is accompanied by Diana Krall on piano, her band and Eric Clapton on guitar, as well as Stevie Wonder playing harmonica.

Kisses on the Bottom is a beautiful journey through classic American compositions, many that Paul says he first heard his father perform on piano in their home. He says he has been thinking about recording these songs for more than 20 years. He says, “When I kind of got into songwriting, I realized how well structured these songs were and I think I took a lot of my lessons from them. I always thought artists like Fred Astaire were very cool. Writers like Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, all of those guys – I just thought the songs were magical. And then, as I got to be a songwriter I thought it’s beautiful, the way they made those song.” I think this recording was somewhat of a risk for McCartney. It surely is not like anything he has done before and he sings these beautiful songs in a way that is quite different from the way lovers of the American Songbook are used to hearing them by modern performers; they have a rather old fashion sound. Still, I think if you give this album a chance you will appreciate it for its beauty and the exceptional vocals of McCartney.

The vinyl is quiet and the sound is rich, textured and transparent. The soundstage is nicely three-dimensional and detailed. The music flows well and is emotionally involving.

I can’t say that everyone will love this LP, but you should give it a listen. For me, it’s a keeper that I will enjoy for years to come.

The Hot Club Of San Francisco / Yerba Buena Bounce

The Hot Club Of San Francisco / Yerba Buena Bounce
45rpm 200g Virgin Vinyl Double LP Half-speed
Mastered by Paul Stubblebine
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings Deluxe Stoughton gatefold jacket

Musicians: Ari Munkres, cello
Jason Vanderford, guitar
Evan Price, violin
Jeff Magidson, guitar
Paul Mehling, vocals(16,17), guitar
Bill Carter, clarinet
Marc Caprone, trumpet
Clint Baker, trombone, tuba
Selections:
LP 1 – Side A
1. Mystery Pacific (Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli)
2. Hot Lips (Henry Busse/Lon Davis/H.W. Lange)
3. I’m Happy Just To Dance With You (John Lennon/Paul McCartney with Seth Asarno, bandoneon)
4. Sway (Norman Gimbel/R.P. Rosas with David Grisman, mandolin)
LP 1 – Side B
1. Number Two (Paul Mehling)
2. Souvenir de Villingen (Stéphane Grappelli)
3. Tickle Toe (Lester Young)
4. Black and White (Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli)
LP 2 – Side C
1. Rythme Futur (Django Reinhardt)
2. Lullabye (Paul Mehling with David Grisman, mandolin; Seth Asarno, bandoneon)
3. Yerba Buena Bounce (Paul Mehling)
4. Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael/Mitchell Parish)
LP 1 – Side D
1. Borneo (Walter Donaldson)
2. Georgia Cabin (Sidney Bechet)
3. Improvisation #2 (Django Reinhardt)
4. Jam: Some Of These Days (Brooks Shelton)

The Hot Club of San Francisco is one of my favorite groups to hear live. I’ve heard them at Yoshi’s, at small restaurants, at Downtown Berkeley, and several other places. Let me start by saying that Yerba Buena Bounce is not my personal favorite of their recordings, but it is far and away the best quality recording and it’s the only one on vinyl. I want to personally thank the people at Reference Recordings for getting back to vinyl and especially for this LP.

Their music is some of the best Gypsy Jazz you are going to find being played today. RR did an excellent job of capturing the life and joy of this band. There’s lots of Django and Grappelli music on the recording and you won’t find it done better unless it’s by Django and Grappelli. Cut three on side one is sort of surprise. It’s “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The Hot Club does something really special with this number.

The recording quality is what we have come to expect from high quality, audiophile labels. The music is anything but audiophile music, thank goodness. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Friday Night In San Francisco

Friday Night In San Francisco
Numbered Deluxe Laminated Double Gatefold Jackets Only 2500 Numbered Limited Edition Copies Worldwide! Audiophile 180g, 45rpm Vinyl Double LP Pressed at RTI Mastered by Bernie Grundman from the Original Analog Master Tapes!

Musicians:
Al Di Meola, guitar
John McLaughlin, guitar
Paco de Lucía, guitar
Selections:
LP 1 – Side A
1. Mediterranean Sundance/Rio Ancho Composers: Al Di Meola and Paco DeLucia Performed by: Paco DeLucia (Left Channel) and Al Di Meola (Right Channel)
LP 1 – Side B
1. Short Tales of the Black Forest Composer: Chick Corea Performed by John McLaughlin (Left Channel) and Al Di Meola (Right Channel)
LP 2 – Side C
1. Frevo Rasgado Composer: Egberto Gismonti Performed by John McLaughlin (Left Channel) and Paco DeLucia (Right Channel)
LP 1 – Side D
1. Fantasia Suite Composer: Al Di Meola Performed by Paco DeLucia (Left Channel), John McLaughlin (Middle Channel), and Al Di Meola (Right Channel)
2. Guardian Angel Composer: John McLaughlin Performed by Paco DeLucia (Left Channel), John McLaughlin (Middle Channel), and Al Di Meola (Right Channel)

This legendary 1981 guitar album by Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia was recorded at The Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on December 5, 1980. All the tracks are live except for the last track, “Guardian Angel”, which is the opening theme from a song that appears on McLaughlin’s 1978 Electric Dreams album.

I don’t know much else to say about this LP except, YIPEE! To final have a vinyl version that is the match or maybe better that the SACD of this incredible recording. If you like acoustic guitar music played all out by three of the best guitarists, than you’ll love this album. Chances are that most of you already know this recording, and all I have to say is: Here it is on vinyl. If you don’t know it, you need to.

Bille Holiday Solitude: Songs By Bille Holiday

Bille Holiday Solitude: Songs By Bille Holiday
180 Gram Virgin Vinyl High Quality Pressing Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering

Musicians: Billie Holiday, vocals
Flip Phillips, tenor saxophone
Charlie Shavers, trumpet
Oscar Peterson, piano
Barney Kessel, guitar
Ray Brown, bass
Alvin Stoller, drums
Selections:
LP 1 – Side A
1. East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)
2. Blue Moon
3. You Go To My Head
4. You Turned the Tables On Me
5. Easy To Love
6. These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)
LP 1 – Side B
Side 2:
1. I Only Have Eyes For You
2. Solitude
3. Everything I Have Is Yours
4. Love For Sale
5. Moonglow
6. Tenderly

The people at Speakers Corner should be commended for releasing this beautiful mono recording. So often, the only way to get recordings like this is through the used market. This means you either pick one up at some place like Half Price Books for very cheap or you pay through the nose at a used record store. My used copy came from Half Price and is a little worn, but not too bad. Still, it does not compare in quality to this Speakers Corner reissue. I have had great results with all the Speaker Corner reissues I own.

As far as the music goes, there’s not much you can do to improve on this LP, not with Billie Holiday singing and accompanied by a very, very all-star cast. This is the kind of music that you don’t think of getting on a modern-sounding production, but here it is. Don’t miss this one, jazz lovers.

Bob Dylan and The Band “The Basement Tapes”

Bob Dylan and The Band - The Basement Tapes
Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-382
Produced by: Bob Dylan and The Band
Engineered by: Garth Hudson
Mixed by: Rob Fraboni, Nat Jeffery, Ed Anderson and Mark Aglietti
Mastered by: Krieg Wunderlich
Selections:
1. Odds and Ends
2. Orange Juice Blues (Blues for Breakfast)
3. Million Dollar Bash
4. Yazoo Street Scandal
5. Goin’ to Acapulco
6. Katie’s Been Gone
7. Lo and Behold
8. Bessie Smith
9. Clothes Line Saga
10. Apple Suckling Tree
11. Please Mrs. Henry
12. Tears of Rage
13. Too Much of Nothing
14. Yea! Heavy and a Bottle of Bread
15. Ain’t No More Cane
16. Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood)
17. Ruben Remus
18. Tiny Montgomery
19. You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
20. Don’t Ya Tell Henry
21. Nothing Was Delivered
22. Open the Door, Homer
23. Long Distance Operator
24. This Wheel’s on Fire

My, how things have changed, to be able to find everything on the internet. To the teenage generation, it may be hard to believe there was a time when music became legendary because it existed only in whispers and rumors. Still, that’s how it was for most of the early years of rock music. It was these very conditions that brought about what was known as bootleg recordings; those the studios didn’t think were good enough or didn’t want us to have.

Bob Dylan and the Band’s so called “basement tapes” were exactly that kind of recording. I heard rumors of them as a teenager, but never actually knew if they even really existed. Turns out they did in the fall of 1967 and they were private recordings of Dylan and a group of musicians later to be known as The Band. It was made in the basement of their headquarters in a big pink house in West Saugerties, New York and was released much later, but on a very poor vinyl recording.

I’ve never heard any other version of these recordings so I can tell you how the Mobile Fidelity’s reissues compare. I can tell you they have great music, they are fun, and while they don’t sound bad you will never mistake them for a well-made studio or live recording. Don’t let that bother you though, there is something so honest, so alive, and just plain fun here that you wouldn’t won’t to miss. If you like Dylan or the Band, or both like me, this is an LP not to miss.

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