A unique, historic festival! The first edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival took place in 1976 in the Nederlands Congresgebouw in The Hague. Some numbers in those early days: six venues, three hundred artists and about nine thousand visitors. In this very first festival year internationally renowned jazz legends performed, such as Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, as well as most Dutch avant-garde artists.
Medeski, Martin & Wood are among the busiest acts in the music biz. To celebrate their 20-year anniversary in 2011, the group has been releasing its latest album, 20, track by track. Also this year, following the grand Radiolarians series, they decided to issue its DVD portion, Fly in a Bottle, as a separate package; finally, there's MSMW Live: In Case the World Changes Its Mind, an utterly kinetic recording from their 2006 tour with jazz guitar boss John Scofield. In 1997 the trio backed Sco on his stellar A Go Go album. He returned the favor in 2006 by playing on MMW's Out Louder; this tour followed. The double disc collects performances from both recordings and a couple of others.
Medeski Martin & Wood (or MMW) is an American jazz trio formed in 1991, consisting of John Medeski on keyboards and piano, Billy Martin on drums and percussion, and Chris Wood on double bass and bass guitar. The band draws on influences from a number of musical traditions, from funk to Hip Hop, and is known for an unconventional style sometimes described as "avant-groove". MMW has found moderate mainstream success—often working with noted guitarist John Scofield—and touring on the jam band circuit.
Limited edition re-issue of their 2006 album includes a bonus six track live disc featuring 'A Go Go', 'Cachaca', 'The Tube', 'Amazing Grace', 'Deadzy' and 'What Now'.
OUT LOUDER marks the second collaboration between New York's downtown avant-groove trio Medeski, Martin & Wood and guitar giant John Scofield. The band backed Scofield on his 1997 outing A GO GO, but the results here surpass even the scintillating outcome of their first meeting. With musicianship of this caliber, however, and a collective sensibility that favors experimentation, genre-blending, and surprise, it's easy to expect great things.
OUT LOUDER serves up a respectable amount of MMW's much-loved funk-based vibe, especially on tunes like the opener, "Little Walter Rides Again," and "Tootie Ma is a Big Fine Thing," which work bluesy, New Orleans-styled grooves to crackling effect. But the vast range of the artists' taste is also evident, from Miles-inspired rock fusion to Ornette Coleman-tinged free jazz to transformed covers of tunes by the Beatles and Peter Tosh. Adventurous, textured, and accessible, OUT LOUDER is a heady and fun recording that advances the already sterling reputations of its participants.
Though it may seem unlikely that Frank Zappa had much of an influence on the work of Lalo Schifrin, one can detect some cultural crossover on There's a Whole Lalo Schifrin Goin' On. Schifrin was as much a jazz-pop genius as ever, but on this album rock rhythms, musical satire, sound effects, and exotica are all used as camp in a way that is eerily reminiscent of Zappa's more thoughtful efforts. Schifrin being Schifrin, every cut has a distinct and catchy melody, but there are whimsical and satirical themes embedded in the music. Nowhere is this more obvious than in "Hawks Vs. Doves," in which a cheery carnival-like theme is played in counterpoint to a martial air, each interfering with the other.
Though its title track ignited a nationwide fad for go-go music, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' Going to a Go-Go LP certainly wasn't just a cash-in effort. It's one of the best records the group put out, and the first six songs make for the best side of any original Motown LP of the '60s (granted, all but one are also available on dozens of Miracles compilations). The four biggest hits were among the best in a set of Miracles archetypes: the throwback to the aching '50s doo wop ballad ("Ooo Baby, Baby"), the flashy up-tempo dance song ("Going to a Go-Go"), the dancing-with-tears-in-my-eyes jerker ("The Tracks of My Tears"), and the mid-tempo orchestral epic ("My Girl Has Gone"). "Choosey Beggar" is one of the sweetest of all Robinson's lead vocals, with stunning background work by the rest of the Miracles.
The success of the Austin Powers movies rekindled an interest in everything groovy, swinging and mod. The Instro Hipsters a Go-Go responded in kind, serving up fun but mostly forgotten instrumentals from the '60s and early '70s that sound equally good in a bachelor pad or discotheque. Instro Hipsters a Go-Go, Vol. 3 is a Wall of Sound made up of twangy surf guitars, tumbling drums, flourishes of strings and brass, and funky organs, especially on classic instrumentals like "Cherokee" and "Raunchy," which have been given mod makeovers here by the Mitch Murray Clan and the Ray McVay Sound. Harry Stoneham's "Mogul/I Spy/The Avengers" nods to the spy movie and TV show fetish of the time, while Shocking Blue's "Ackla Ragh"'s trippy sitars allude to the '60s and '70s fascination with Indian music. Though it's more eclectic than some other volumes in this series, this collection makes for very entertaining mood music that still conjures up this swinging, stylish era.
After releasing a couple of amazing 7" EP's, The Kanaloas have released their debut full-length release on Double Crown Records. We're extremely proud to have this Spanish group on the label - this foursome truly delivers some of the finest, traditional surf rock on the planet. Fabulous original compositions that you'll absolutely flip for, as well as a couple of obscure covers - "Tally Ho" and "Surfin' Tragedy". Get ready to hit the beach and SURF A GO GO!!!