Album Reviews: Five from Fantastic Voyage

The hits just keep on coming. Fantastic Voyage is a London-based label that specializes in thematically-oriented archival reissue collections. In the last few months, they seem to have significantly stepped up their release schedule. And all of the latest titles rise to the high standard of previous FV sets. I don’t know the specifics of

Hundred-word Reviews for September, Part 7 of 8

Today features hundred word reviews of archival and reissue releases from American and overseas labels. The Brecker Brothers – The Bottom Line Archive This is the latest from the new series of releases documenting soundboard recordings from one of New York’s most famed nightclubs. The label’s web site claims the archive contains over a thousand

Album Review: It’s Jamaica Jump Blues Time!

For American readers and listeners, this new compilation from Fantastic Voyage requires a bit of background; when I first laid eyes on it, I had no clue as to either its contents or its overall theme. But thanks to the set’s excellent liner notes (courtesy of Phil Etgart), It’s Jamaica Jump Blues Time! Jamaican Sound

Album Review: Various Artists — Right Now

I’ve observed before that Fantastic Voyage makes full advantage of the unique copyright/licensing laws as they exist in the UK; in the United States, putting together a package such as Right Now would be prohibitively expensive, and also certainly a money-losing proposition. As it is, once again we have Fantastic Voyage to than for compiling

November Hundred-word Reviews, Part 3

Once again, it’s time for a run of hundred-word reviews. My inbox has been overflowing of late, and even after removing the material that I deem not worth my time (nor yours), I’m left with far too many discs to cover in my customary manner (500-800 word reviews). So herewith are twenty-five –count ’em, twenty-five

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2014, Part 1

Some familiar names and some true obscurities are highlighted in this, the first of five sets of five capsule reviews. This week I’ll review 25 albums, arbitrarily limiting myself to exactly one hundred words each. Gene Rains – Far Away Lands: The Exotic Music of Gene Rains Exotica – that early 60s genre featuring wide-panned

Album Review: Sun Ra — A Space Odyssey

As Kris Needs notes in his excellent and detailed liner notes for A Space Odyssey: From Birmingham to the Big Apple – The Quest Begins, Sun Ra was a practitioner of “garage jazz.” Today (May 22 2014) would have been the 100th birthday of the man born Herman Blount, though once he rechristened himself Sun

Capsule Reviews: January 2013, Part One

Here’s another installment in my occasional series of capsule reviews, this time covering new reissues and compilations. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150 words on each album. Nektar – Man in the Moon / Evolution Nektar is one of those mildly progressive yet accessible 70s bands that never broke through big time

Album Review: Various Artists – It’s Saturday Night!

Leave it once again to the people at UK-based Fantastic Voyage to put together an interesting compilation of in-danger-of-being-lost American music. Their latest entry is a 3CD set called It’s Saturday Night! Starday-Dixie Rockabilly 1955-1961. Stuffed to the limit, this set includes 103 tracks that originally appeared on Texas-based Starday (a label founded by Lefty

Album Review: A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On

Beginning in the 1990s, a mixtape was a collection of music designed as a background for a rapper. Said rapper would collect his or her favorite beats, and then do their thing live over the sounds of the boombox. Essentially, it was rap karaoke without the TelePrompTer (and usually without music by Journey). Of course