Sheik Yer Zappa represents Stefano Bollani’s hommage to an authentic rock icon. Recorded live during a tour, this cd includes songs of Frank Zappa’s, plus three pieces composed by Bollani’s himself and inspired by the rock star. Bollani is a jazz artist, and this means that Zappa’s songs are reworked and elaborated with his personal touch: he is producing a musical cocktail with his personal shaker (from this comes the title, which also plays on Zappa’s own words). So the results can be in some cases different from the original, but the attitude remains: the typical attitude, and the artistry with which Frank Zappa was able to capture and blend music from all over the world.
Their Satanic Majesties Request is the sixth studio album by The Rolling Stones and was released on 8 December 1967 by Decca Records/ABKCO Records in the United Kingdom and the following day in the United States by London Records/ABKCO. Its title is a play on the "Her Britannic Majesty requests and requires…" text that appears inside a British passport.
Richie Unterberger of Allmusic wrote:
Without a doubt, no Rolling Stones album — and, indeed, very few rock albums from any era — split critical opinion as much as the Rolling Stones' psychedelic outing. Many dismiss the record as sub-Sgt. Pepper posturing; others confess, if only in private, to a fascination with the album's inventive arrangements, which incorporated some African rhythms, Mellotrons, and full orchestration. Never before or since did the Stones take so many chances in the studio. In 1968, the Stones would go back to the basics, and never wander down these paths again, making this all the more of a fascinating anomaly in the group's discography.
The four-CD retrospective The Legendary Decca Recordings represented both an attempt to present the essence of Ella Fitzgerald's two-decade tenure at Decca Records and to defend that period against the conventional wisdom that not until she moved to Verve Records in the mid-'50s was her talent given full rein. Divided into four sections, the collection began with "The Very Best of Ella," not exactly a greatest-hits set, though it started with her first big hit, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," and included such chart successes as "Undecided," "Cow-Cow Boogie," and "Stone Cold Dead in the Market."
"The First Lady of Song," Ella Fitzgerald was arguably the finest female jazz singer of all time (although some may vote for Sarah Vaughan or Billie Holiday). Blessed with a beautiful voice and a wide range, Fitzgerald could outswing anyone, was a brilliant scat singer, and had near-perfect elocution; one could always understand the words she sang…
Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. With the exception of a brief period in the early '50s, he led a big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later, and the band continued to perform after he died…
This is a superb collection comprised of Billie Davis' singles for England's Decca Records, most of them dating between 1967 and 1970 (with four tracks from her 1963 stint with the label), and augmented with a handful of tracks from her self-titled 1970 album. It's all superb girl group-style pop, with a distinctly American, soulful edge and even an occasional psychedelic intrusion, highlighted by her spirited rendition of "I Want You to Be My Baby" and her impassioned version of "Wasn't It You," among other tracks. There's not a loser in the bunch and, in fact, the songs all show an amazing consistency despite origins as different as Joe Cocker, Carole King, Ian Anderson (yes, she covered "Living in the Past"), and Neil Diamond. Strangely enough, the appending of the four early Decca sides at the end of the CD is sort of jarring, throwing listeners back to an earlier (though still eminently enjoyable) era of British pop/rock. The sound is excellent throughout and the CD comes with an excellent career overview on Davis.
Although Ute Lemper is best known to her devoted cult following as one of the great cabaret singers of all time, the German-born singer began as a stage actress, and has continued this career in tandem with her cabaret work. 1995's CITY OF STRANGERS combines the two sides of Lemper's musical persona, putting songs by the idiosyncratically brilliant Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim next to chansons by the equally unique French composer Jacques Prevert.