Laura Nyro's third Columbia effort is easily the equal of her previous two. The overwhelming strength of her song writing and distinctive arrangements fuel Christmas and the Beads of Sweat. Her unmistakable style of delivery maintains the continual examination of herself as a performer. The results are uniformly interesting and provocative as she continues to draw upon her love of jazz, folk, and R&B – which would inform Nyro's next album ,Gonna Take a Miracle, featuring the soul vocal trio LaBelle. Conceptually, this album is as potent as her previous effort, New York Tendaberry, but in a much different way. Rather than hanging together thematically, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat features two inclusive and distinctive sides of music – with different musicians and producers for each.
This is a 9 episode collection of Japanese horror vignettes, all either directed or supervised by CG/FX guru Masahiro Okano. With stories ranging from psychedelic sci-fi to traditional folk horror, from the sentimental to the macabre, this collections presents a number of entertaining tales with impressive cinematography. In relation to the other Japanese horror anthologies released in the West, this collection stands near the top in terms of cinematic quality and visual polish.
This trio session by Steve Kuhn includes classical works and pieces adapted into pop songs decades ago. He initially studied classical music as a young man with the mother of baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff, so he is well grounded in the music. With bassist Dave Finck and Billy Drummond accompanying him, Kuhn's driving, boppish treatments of "Till the End of Time" (based upon Chopin's Polonaise No. 53) and "Stranger in Paradise" (taken from Borodin's Plovetzian Dance) sizzle with energy.
2008 collection from the undisputed kings of Bubblegum Psych. Love Beads And Meditation combines their two albums, Green Tambourine (1967) and Jungle Marmalade (1968), which mashed up Soft Pop Bubblegum gems with the band's growling Rock tendencies and confused the hell out of everybody. The song 'Green Tambourine' was a massive hit everywhere and remains a dyed-in-the-wool classic. 'Rice Is Nice', 'Jelly Jungle', those sweet and soft hits just kept coming. But behind the grins of Ohio's happy hippie hit makers was a down and dirty Psychedelic Rock band, a caged beast straining to get out. Just listen to the likes of 'Fifty Year Void', 'No Help From Me' and the eardrum-frying 'Through With You' for proof. Rev-Ola.