Category Archives: Vinyl

“The Very Best of Diana Krall” reminds us just how brilliant she is

Verve Records/UMe are celebrating the legacy of the incomparable multi-platinum Grammy-winning singer and pianist Diana Krall by releasing The Very Best of Diana Krall on vinyl for the first time in the U.S., as the greatest hits collection nears its 10th anniversary. The album is available as a two-LP set on audiophile-favorite 180-gram vinyl and follows last year’s release of eight essential Diana Krall albums on vinyl as part of Verve’s 60th anniversary celebration.

Covering the years 1996-2006, this 15-track collection compiled by Krall in collaboration with her longtime producer, the late Tommy LiPuma, features highlights from her first decade as a recording artist, during which time the Grammy winning singer/pianist’s expressive vocals and delicate, soulful piano work gained her international stardom.

Krall has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, making the Berklee College of Music graduate one of the best-selling jazz artists of all time. The Very Best on vinyl arrives as Krall celebrates the May release of her acclaimed new album, Turn Up the Quiet, and current tour that will last more than two years, and take her around the world.

The selections on The Very Best range from intimate trio work to pieces recorded live with a full symphony orchestra. Krall delivers some deeply personal moments and reimagines timeless vintage standards by some of her favorite composers as George and Ira Gershwin; Cole Porter; Irving Berlin; Rodgers and Hart; Van Heusen and Cahn; and Bacharach and David.

Overflowing with career highlights, the album includes several tracks from Krall’s towering 1999 international breakthrough,When I Look in Your Eyes: her mesmerizing interpretations of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Let’s Fall in Love,” and “Pick Yourself Up.” That album, her Verve Records debut, was nominated for Album of the Year at the 42 Annual Grammy Awards, the first time in 25 years a jazz singer was nominated in that major category. It won for Best Jazz Vocal and Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical).

Throughout the album, Krall’s artistry is highlighted on the Gershwin standard “’S Wonderful” and the Bacharach and David-penned title track from her 2001 Grammy-winning album, The Look of Love.  This album put her atop her native Canada’s all-genre albums chart for the first time and gave her the Artist and Album of the Year trophies at the Juno Awards in her home country.

The collection is also notable for Krall’s imaginative take on Tom Waits’ “The Heart of Saturday Night” and the dark and seductive “You Go to My Head” taken from The Look of Love sessions, both previously unreleased. It also features beautiful live renditions of “East of the Sun (West of the Moon)” and “Fly Me To The Moon,” recorded with a symphony orchestra at Krall’s sold-out concerts at Paris’ Olympia Theatre for her remarkable live album, Live In Paris.

Included on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums of the Decade list, The Very Best of Diana Krall is both the perfect sampler for the new listener and a reminder for her most passionate fans all the reasons Diana Krall is regarded as one of the greatest Jazz artists of her time.

 

Skip the New Year’s bubbly. Head straight for the “Fresh Cream.”

A most musically way to begin the New Year: The deluxe edition UMe release of Fresh Cream, the debut album by the British, blues boom power trio, Cream.

The 3-CD + 1 Blu-Ray audio disc come housed in a gatefold sleeve within a rigid slipcase and includes a 64-page hardback book, featuring new sleeve notes by respected Rolling Stone writer David Fricke. The set comprises various alternate and new stereo mixes plus several, previously unreleased BBC sessions. A special six-album 180g vinyl edition of Fresh Cream will also be released in April.

Can you name who was who?

Originally released in 1966, at the height of the UK blues bloom, Fresh Cream showcased the not inconsiderable talents of three of the then music scene’s brightest lights: Eric Clapton, fresh from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers; drummer, Ginger Baker, straight from the Graham Bond Organisation; Jack Bruce who, at the time, had just left Manfred Mann. Collectively the three had decided to give up their roles as much sought after sidemen to form their own super group.

Coming together as Cream in the early summer of 1966, the trio moved at impressive speed to make the release of Fresh Cream in December of the same year. Highlights include the racing harmonica work-out and the call and response excitements on Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”; a spine-tingling vocal on the Willie Dixon classic, “Spoonful”; as well as the self-penned “Sleepy Time Time”, which gave Clapton a free hand to wake up all and sundry. Their rousing treatment of the traditional standard, “Cat’s Squirrel” alerted listeners to just how well Clapton, Baker and Bruce musically complemented each other.

 

Diana Ross self-titled album returns on vinyl. Shall we and she have a drink?

Tesla fans can feast, again, on ‘Psychotic Supper,’ hitting vinyl in July

It’s more than a supper. Think of it as a feast. Tesla’s third album, “Psychotic Supper”, the band’s third studio album (it was released on August 30, 1991), was the follow-up to the live “Five Man Acoustical Jam”. The album peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard 200, featuring an aggressive change in direction from the previous disc, landing an impressive five songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, including “What You Give” (which went to No. 7 and even cracked the Billboard Hot 100 at No. #86. Other memorable songs include “Edison’s Medicine,” which spotlights how its subject received credit for harnessing electricity over the band’s own namesake, Nikola Tesla, which climbed to No. 20 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks, along with “Call It What You Want” (No. 19), “Song & Emotion” (No. 13) and “Stir It Up” (No. 35).

Produced by Michael Barbiero–who also helmed the band’s first two studio efforts–the album was eventually certified platinum in 1993 by the RIAA, and was included in Germany’s Rock Hard’s book of “The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.” The band themselves have been quoted as considering “Psychotic Supper” their best record. To help mark the album’s 25th anniversary in August, UMe is reissuing the album for the first time as a two-LP standard issue vinyl set on July 22.

 TESLA

Tesla was formed in Sacramento in late 1981 by bassist Brian Wheat and Frank Hannon, with lead vocalist Jeff Keith, drummer Troy Luccketta and guitarist Tommy Skeoch joining them by 1984, settling on the name Tesla two years later. Their debut album, “Mechanical Resonance”, came out in 1986, with many of the band’s themes and song titles inspired by the electrical engineer who gave them their name. In the early days of their career, the band toured extensively, opening for David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Def Leppard and Poison.

On “Psychotic Supper”, the band largely eschewed the live album’s acoustic bent and let loose with a stripped-down production that enhanced the band’s bluesy take on rock and roll. “Edison’s Medicine” is highlighted by Jeff Keith’s frenetic, yet soulful vocals and some scorching guitar solos by Tommy Skeoch and Frank Hannon. Skeoch also rocks out on theremin, while Hannon straps on a bass for a memorable solo.

A quarter of a century after its release, “Psychotic Supper” still holds up for its impressive musicianship by the band and its mix of hard rock and anthemic ballads.