CDs

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    An exemplary tribute to an unjustly neglected figure - Richard Williams A perfect potted history of the period - Dave Gelly, The Observer An overdue recognition of the genius of Harry South and the world class calibre of the musicians he worked with. An important landmark in British Jazz and indispensable to any collection. – Eddie Little Superb tribute to a stalwart jazz pianist,composer and arranger. Excellent booklet notes by saxophonist Simon Spillett. Highly recommended – Amazon Superbly annotated, this is a reissue of exemplary quality – Peter Vacher, Jazz Rag The Songbook is the definitive Harry South release…makes a strong case for South’s musical contributions to jazz…Lovers of modern big band jazz will find much to discover in this well-conceived set.  Scott Yanow - The New York City Jazz Record RANDB040
  • British record buyers had to wait until 1960 to hear the great American albums of 1959; John Coltrane's debut LP, Charles Mingus's Ah Um and Horace Silver’s Blowin' the Blues Away. On the home front, in December 1959, Tubby Hayes was already absorbing influences from these albums while cutting his latest LP, Tubby's Groove. This 4CD set pits Britain’s finest jazz tracks of 1959-1960 up against the very best music coming out of the States at the same time, showing that British modernists could at last stand tall among jazz music’s giants. Compilation Nick Duckett Sleeve Notes Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson and Simon Spillett RANDB049 …the British choices are more exciting. They include not only some fabulous rarities, but items culled from BBC broadcasts of the time, whose very existence came as a complete surprise to me: Dizzy Reece guesting with the Jazz Couriers, for instance. Even the most demanding mod would have approved. Dave Gelly The Observer Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered.
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    THE HARRY SOUTH BIG BAND WITH GEORGIE FAME AND THE DICK MORRISSEY QUARTET When the BBC invited pianist/composer and arranger Harry South to front his own big band for a special edition of its flagship radio programme Jazz Club in 1960, few could have predicted the broadcast’s fall-out. Although the Beeb would offer a similar helping hand to other British jazzmen in the decade ahead – making big band leaders of a range of leading figures from Humphrey Lyttelton to Stan Tracey – none of these other bands evolved quite like South's. Beginning as a showcase for his distinctive, often darkly dramatic, original material, and operating as a 'jobs for the boys' forum for those British modernists he felt closest too (among them Tubby Hayes, Dick Morrissey and Joe Harriott) the sheer clout of South's star-packed aggregation ensured it soon attracted interest from outside the normally closed borders of jazz purism. Indeed, when Yeh Yeh hitmaker Georgie Fame decided to pursue his wider musical ambitions, he chose South and his big band as his collaborators, creating the album Sound Venture, a cross-over classic that has become one of the iconic LPs of the decade. Assembled from South's own tape archive, and featuring a wealth of PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED material, including NINE killer Georgie Fame tracks, Further South is both a prequel and sequel to that landmark achievement, a four-disc document of one of the most vibrant times in British music, a souvenir from the days when Swinging London created its very own sound from a heady amalgam of small band Hard Bop, Big Band Swing, R&B and Soul. Containing no fewer than ten complete radio sessions by South's big band (and two by the Dick Morrissey Quartet) and packaged with rare period photographs and an extensive booklet essay by award-winning saxophonist and author Simon Spillett, this set is a must-have for all fans of British modernism. RANDB051 These Harry South Big Band broadcast recordings contain modern big band jazz of quite extraordinary power and dynamism - rarely, if ever, equalled since. The Band - led by conductor/arranger/composer South- has just about every modern jazz star of the 1960's including such luminaries as Tubby Hayes,Ronnie Scott and Dick Morrissey in the sax sections on offer. The Band rips it up on just about every track and culminates - in CD 4 - with Georgie Fame at the microphone with the band in full swing behind him. All in all, a truly remarkable catalogue of music making. But, a word of warning, these recordings are of BBC broadcasts of "Jazz Club" and (I believe) are taken from tapes made of the various transmissions by Harry South himself and are definitely not "Hi-Fi" or anything approaching it - but they are nevertheless priceless in their rarity and musical excellence. In addition to the Big Band broadcasts there are some wonderful sessions recorded by the Dick Morrissey Quartet with no less than Harry South himself on piano and the titanic drumming of Phil Seaman on offer. All in all a fitting tribute to a marvellous set of musicians playing at the peak of their powers in the 1960's - with the caveat for the audiophiles alongst us as to the far less then perfect sound reproduction! Jonny Dee
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    Johnny Burch is probably best-known for songs he wrote in 1963 for Georgie Fame such as “In The Meantime” and “Preach and Teach”. This was at a time when the boundaries between modern jazz, rhythm and blues and beat music were being broken down at such places as the Flamingo and the Marquee. For a few months, Burch was leader of a group that included several musicians who found fame in the blues and rock scene of the late 60s such as Graham Bond, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. This CD features the earliest-known recordings of Bruce and Baker together in a live broadcast for the BBC from March 1963. It also contains five tracks from a session that Burch’s 1965 line-up recorded for BBC’s Band Beat. Burch was never a major figure in the London jazz scene but this collection highlights his group’s unique role which acted as a bridge between modern jazz and the nascent British R&B movement. RANDB055 Overall, an amazing collection of pieces, many obscure, some best described as period pieces but much to enjoy. Peter Vacher Jazzrag When one thinks of bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker, the name of Eric Clapton immediately comes to mind since the three masterful musicians formed Cream. However the first time that Bruce and Baker played together was not in a rock group but back in 1963 as members of the Johnny Burch Octet.     Pianist Johnny Burch (1932-2006) was part of the British jazz scene starting in 1959. After a period as a member of Allan Ganley’s Jazzmakers and with Don Rendell’s group, he evolved to become a leader in modern jazz without achieving much fame. He did get to accompany such visiting American greats as Freddie Hubbard, Red Rodney and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and wrote a few songs for the popular singer Georgie Fame. Jazzbeat has Burch at the head of two different octets, playing live in 1963 and 1965. These seven selections have so-so recording quality but are full of plenty of excitement with the numbers including “Moanin’,” “Del Sasser,” and Burch’s “Nightwalk.” On both broadcasts, the playing is top-notch and at the level of their American counterparts. The music is very much in the modern mainstream of the mid-1960s, forward-looking while never hinting at the music of Cream. Scott Yanow Los Angeles Jazz Scene
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    The mambo was born in Cuba in 1938, of African and European parentage. It arrived in New York ten years later via Havana and Mexico City. 1954 was the year of the mambo in America as dancers flocked to the ballrooms to see exciting new bands led by Machito, Tito Puente, Perez Prado and Tito Rodriguez. To cash in on the craze, record companies encouraged their R&B artists to come up with songs in a Latin vein and to include the word mambo in the title. Latin rhythms have infiltrated every branch of popular music, but none has had such a wide ranging influence as the rumba. Its 3-3-2 rhythm, combined with the New Orleans second line beat, formed the basis of the Stax and Motown sound and the more complex rhythms of funk in the 1960s. RANDB041
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    'This compilation shows how Latin music's irresistible rhythms first took hold of the blues and brought teenagers black and white on to the dance floor'. RANDB026
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    This is a delicious 2CD production with a 28-page booklet choked with information, pictures (the Earl Palmer one is terrific) and a discography that indicates the rhythm pattern associated with the song. The appendix gives instruction on how to speak aloud the rhythm of the beats and tap out the accented beats with your hands (difficult or what?)...Let me assure you on the majority of tracks my foot jumps and I want to dance...The tracks do not appear to be common to the vast amount of PD releases...CD 2 is very interesting with a different feel to your normal run of the mill PD...due to their late 50s/early 60s recording dates...It’s the more obscure tracks...that grab you...The number one and most essential is the quality of the recordings. They are first class and on a personal note, I now have the best copy in my collection of ‘The Freeze’ by Albert Collins. There is a lot to discover and long established collectors will have the opportunity to refresh their musical diet by checking this compilation out. Highly recommended to all. Keith Scoffham Blues & Rhythm R012
  • This is slippery and seductive music with that tricky undercurrrent that rumba beats bring, and to hear how these diverse musicians adapted and bent it to their own styles is just a whole heap of fun. More than that though, if you take the time to read the liner note essay, this collection is instructive history. But history that will put a smile on your face and dip in your step. Elsewhere.co.nz I thoroughly recommend this one…all tracks are pretty great…a really excellent compilation…contains tracks you wouldn’t necessarily associate with latin music…it messes together very, very well. Mark Lamarr BBC Radio 2 RANDB010
  • This little gem… the extensive, well-written accompanying notes could usefully be used by anyone lecturing on the subjects. Brian Smith R2 If this collection doesn’t put an umbrella in your pina colada then you should see a doctor. There’s the genuinely hard-core instrumental Latin gems bristling with brass such as the Griffin Brothers with Griff’s Mambo, and Illinois Jacquet’s terrific sexy sax on Mambocito Mio. And if you’re thinking this might be all snake hips and exotic women’s hats piled with fruit, there are even Latin tracks from Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf and Elmore James. As a collection to dance to, this is a brilliant idea. Olé! Git down and boogie…er…mambo. Blues Matters 24-page booklet included RANDB012 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered.  
  • Africa and Latin America together have moulded American popular music since the beginning of the twentieth century. African influences have led to the development of jazz, gospel and blues while successive waves of dance music from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Jamaica have largely determined its rhythm. Dance forms and musical stylings such as habanera, bolero, tango, rumba, conga, samba, baion, calypso, mambo, charleston, cha-cha-cha, bossa nova and twistall have their origins outside the USA. This compilation aims to demonstrate just how far back the roots of Latin jazz stretch, well beyond the partnership that Dizzy Gillespie forged with Chano Pozo in founding cubop, the post-war marriage of bebop with Cuban music. 8 PAGE BOOKLET INCLUDED RANDB009 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered.
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    This little gem… the extensive, well-written accompanying notes could usefully be used by anyone lecturing on the subjects. Brian Smith R2 If this collection doesn’t put an umbrella in your pina colada then you should see a doctor. There’s the genuinely hard-core instrumental Latin gems bristling with brass such as the Griffin Brothers with Griff’s Mambo, and Illinois Jacquet’s terrific sexy sax on Mambocito Mio. And if you’re thinking this might be all snake hips and exotic women’s hats piled with fruit, there are even Latin tracks from Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf and Elmore James. As a collection to dance to, this is a brilliant idea. Olé! Git down and boogie…er…mambo. Blues Matters RANDB012 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered. 24-page booklet included
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    Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered. 24-page booklet included
  • From the Grosvenor to the Top Ten Club Summer 1960 to Summer 1961 300 Shows in 365 days and nights The Beatles Early Repertoire’s 123 tracks includes 78 songs previously unpublished in the series along with 44 tracks that have appeared on other discs. This set brings together all the songs that were introduced into the newly-named Beatles repertoire during the period when they were a five-piece band with Pete Best on drums and Stuart Sutcliffe on bass. With fully illustrated 24-page booklet. The sound is very good - clean with a period feel for music from this era--typical of releases from this label. The 24 page booklet is stuffed with information on the music, plus period photos, album covers, record labels, and other ephemera which help put the music in better perspective. This is a cool little set of music in one nice, neat box set, for deep Beatles fans interested in what influenced them way back in 1960-61. Even as a collection of different music styles and performers, this is a pretty nice look at music from this era. Stuart Jefferson Amazon RANDB039
  • DISC ONE 1950-1957 DISC TWO THE VILLAGE FETE DISC THREE 1958 DISC FOUR THE END OF THE QUARRYMEN Here are the 100 or so songs they are documented as having performed along with a few of their teenage party pieces with which they would entertain family and friends. It is no exaggeration to say that the entire "Beatles Beginnings”series is an important set of historical documents. Even without regard to the Beatles, this is a collection of "Singles of Significance"...The producers of this series pored over Beatles biographies to compile a list of the songs and musicians the Beatles cited and performed. The work behind this set is scholarly...provides an opportunity to get right to the core of the Beatles influences immediately and effortlessly... Buy it, hear it, and appreciate it forever. Malachi Beale With fully illustrated 24-page booklet RANDB022
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    No artist works in a vacuum. Young men of their time, passionate music lovers who in their formative years had access to an unprecedented range of pop music thanks to Brian Epstein's NEMS record shop, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison listened, borrowed and reshaped quite an array of tracks, processing these borrowings into their own unmistakable sound. Named after their first publishing company, this CD, with accompanying booklet, sheds light on the Beatles' creative process. Listen to these tracks and see how some of the best loved songs in pop music were formed. R015
  • With fully illustrated 24-page booklet Late ‘62 through to mid ‘63, the Beatles’ live set and their recordings consisted mainly of cover versions of contemporary black American pop. I Saw Her Standing There and Ask Me Why were the only two band originals played at the Star Club in December 1962, and a set list from a ten-song show in April ‘63 contained only four of their own songs. Yet by the end of the year, the Fab Four were making history with their own unmistakable sound. This CD contains a mixture of songs taken from their 1963 live set and songs they recorded same year, along with other music that influenced their own compositions at this crucial time. A must for Beatles devotees and for any fan of early sixties pop. The "Beginnings”series strikes again with another spectacular collection of original recordings that in this case inspired or influenced The Beatles... the accompanying booklet has extremely thorough and welcome annotation. I applaud whomever performed the extensive research that resulted in these fascinating choices. Their other series, "How Britain Got the Blues", is every bit as good (if not better, as each set of this 4-part series is a 2-CD extravaganza of great cuts). Bravo to History of RnB Records for these releases and the outstanding music scholarship that accompanies them. William Stout R011
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    Part of a series investigating the Beatles’ early influences and the cover songs they loved to perform, this CD covers the period between Ringo Starr joining the group and the start of Beatlemania in early 1963. It brings together pop, R&B and early soul records that the Beatles had in their live set in 1962. A must for any fans who are interested in finding out more about what inspired the Fab Four, Star Club gives us an accurate picture of what they would have sounded like if we’d been there at the time. With fully illustrated 32-page booklet. R004
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    At the start of their career, the Beatles were essentially a covers band. By 1963, they had established an impressive repertoire of over 600 songs; their enthusiasm for popular music of all genres enabled them to play to a wide range of audiences, but in 1961-1962 they were mainly performing at the famous Cavern Club. Part four of the Beatles Beginnings series of CDs, The Cavern Club finds the Fab Four broadening out to include Latin-influenced songs, uptown R&B and dance craze numbers along with more rock’n’roll, rockabilly and easy listening items. A must for any Beatles fans who are interested in finding out more about what inspired them and what shaped their musical sensibility. With fully illustrated 28-page booklet. R003
  • Liverpool To Hamburg 1960-1961 For the first six years of their career, the Beatles were essentially a covers band. When they were captured live on tape in two sets at the Star Club in Hamburg in December 1962, they played thirty-two songs, only two of which were their own compositions. Going into 1961, Silver Beatles sees the group broadening out their repertoire to include some of the Latin-influenced ‘uptown R&B’ numbers currently in vogue, along with more rock’n’roll, rockabilly and some gospel-style numbers. This is an excellent compilation of songs...if you have volumes one and two and enjoyed them, this one is even better. Ernie Sutton British Beatles Fan Club Magazine RANDB007
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    The Beatles established a repertoire of over 600 tunes, allowing them to tailor their set to the occasion for jazz clubs, strip clubs, folk clubs, working men’s clubs, church dances and rock’n’roll joints. Almost all of the songs they learned were released in the UK and from 1957 onwards, they avidly followed the weekly music charts and kept up to date with the records that did not make the hit parade. Before naming the Beatles in the summer of 1960, they were the Quarrymen. Quarrymen Two looks at the band’s rock’n’roll influences. RANDB006
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    Jazz; rock’n’roll; blues; music hall; guitar instrumentals; tin pan alley; rockabilly; dance band; soul; bolero; skiffle; trad; R&B; country; old-time; Broadway; doo-wop; folk; high school pop; Motown - the Beatles’ early influences are so wide-ranging that the Beatles Beginnings series of discs could quite easily pass for an introduction to the history of twentieth century popular music. Covering the period 1957-60, the first disc in the series Quarrymen One investigates skiffle and the other music that the individual members of the group grew up listening to before rock’n’roll burst on to the scene. Alerting all Beatles fans! In fact, alerting anyone with even just a passing interest in music of Twentieth century popular music, for here’s a terrific series of albums they may well want to check out... superbly researched booklets, each volume will delve into the music that inspired, influenced and shaped the Beatles individually and collectively...here’s the very stuff that changed the world and forged the greatest band of all time. As the music rings out ... you can almost hear the Beatles metamorphosing inside your ears as they listened, learned and immersed themselves, letting these songs open doors and fire their imagination: there was to be no looking back - an absolute gas. Colin Hall R2 Every baby-boomer whose life has been soundtracked by pop will be more than merely familiar with most of the items here, whether ‘Long Tall Sally', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Matchbox', 'Honey Don't' and 'Words Of Love', all revived on disc by The Beatles after they'd left the runway. Almost as potent a selling point is Nick Duckett's entertaining and informative thirty-page essay within a package that is as likely to engross the general cultural historian as much as fans of this particular act. Alan Clayson - The Beat RANDB004
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    FROM ROCK'N'ROLL TO THE END OF THE CARNIVAL More than any other city in the world, New Orleans has been responsible for shaping the sound of twentieth century popular music. Sweeping statement that may be, but as the birthplace of jazz, funk and arguably rock’n’roll, it really has no other contenders. At the heart of these three widely different varieties of music lies the rhythmic complexity of second line parade drumming. Its two-beat patterns combining military band and Caribbean rhythms underpin the early recordings of Louis Armstrong as much as they do those of Little Richard and James Brown. Discs One & Two of this set cover the classic period the New Orleans r&b and rock’n’roll and feature records which most people would now identify as quintessentially New Orleans. On discs Three & Four, we find the music on the cusp between the end of the rock’n’roll era and the birth of soul music. The tracks on discs Five and Six reflects the final move towards more soulful productions and present the best music produced in the city before the entire scene finally scattered and the musicians dispersed in 1963-64. After spending the last couple of months basking in the aural joy of this label's Rhythm & Blues Chronology series covering the 1940s, I've reached the conclusion that anything which comes off the Rhythm and Blues Records production line is bound for 'top of the stack' status. This exquisitely packaged 6 CD set, presented in a handy hard-back book format, pushes every button a fan of Blues, R&B or Rock “n' Roll might have. Here's 160 - yes, 160(!) tracks starting with Rip It Up by Little Richard in 1955 all the way to Huey 'Piano' Smith and his Clowns Talk To Me Baby in 1962. The journey from disk 1 to disk 6 is an education, made more so by Nick Duckett's 24 pages of comprehensive notes which forms the central section of the package. A fine collection like this will always remind us that, no matter how long you've been around and listening to R&B, there's still a helluva lot we've missed. Names which represent true rarity, often by long-vanished single record artists whose fine work may well have been buried by time but for the forensic research and digging by true aficionados like Mr. Duckett. There are some terrific items which have been hitherto unreleased, such as Leonard Carbo's I Don't Want To Lose Her, Larry Williams' Oh Baby, Tommy Ridgley's dynamic Real Gone Jam or the quirky Tell Me The Truth by the Turquinettes. In fact up to 50% of these records feature names a great many of us, R&B devotees or not, may well never have heard of, yet everything on this glorious hours-long listening spree will serve to remind us all that Chicago, New York, Memphis and L.A. may have been important spokes on the blues and rock wheel, but New Orleans was the hub. There is a unique, joyous bounce to the Louisiana sound. It emanates from the small, passion-packed studios which echoed to the rolling rhythms of Professor Longhair and the cheeky thrust of Fats Domino, both of whom feature here, as well as dozens of other luminaries such as Art Neville, Frankie Ford and TV Slim. If you can't afford the fare to New Orleans, then this is a highly economical alternative. I've been firing up my gumbo and stirring my jambalaya to these records. We could all do with a touch of Mardi Gras in our dour British winter - and these six platters will turn anyone's front room into North Rampart Street. I suppose by now youve reached the conclusion I like this. Damn right - highly recommended. ROY BAINTON RANDB032
  • More than any other city in the world, New Orleans has been responsible for shaping the sound of twentieth century popular music. Sweeping statement that may be, but as the birthplace of jazz, funk and arguably rock’n’roll, it really has no other contenders. At the heart of these three widely different varieties of music lies the rhythmic complexity of second line parade drumming. Its two-beat patterns combining military band and Caribbean rhythms underpin the early recordings of Louis Armstrong as much as they do those of Little Richard and James Brown. This compilation highlights some of the distinguishing characteristics found in early New Orleans recordings, not with the intention of picking out the city’s finest jazz and blues recordings but in order to pinpoint styles that would foreshadow later developments in the rhythm and blues field. 28 page booklet RANDB013 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered. 12 page booklet
  • More than any other city in the world, New Orleans has been responsible for shaping the sound of twentieth century popular music. Sweeping statement that may be, but as the birthplace of jazz, funk and arguably rock’n’roll, it really has no other contenders. At the heart of these three widely different varieties of music lies the rhythmic complexity of second line parade drumming. Its two-beat patterns combining military band and Caribbean rhythms underpin the early recordings of Louis Armstrong as much as they do those of Little Richard and James Brown. This compilation highlights some of the distinguishing characteristics found in early New Orleans recordings, not with the intention of picking out the city’s finest jazz and blues recordings but in order to pinpoint styles that would foreshadow later developments in the rhythm and blues field. 12 page booklet RANDB014 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered.