The soundtrack to Maleficent, a reimagining of Disney's Sleeping Beauty from the villain's perspective, puts the focus on James Newton Howard's foreboding yet witty score. Stormy brass and percussion duke it out with sparkling strings and woodwinds on pieces that range from the tumultuous ("Maleficent Suite," "Battle of the Moors," "Path of Destruction") to the light-hearted ("Welcome to the Moors," "Aurora and the Fawn"). Lana Del Rey rounds out the album with an equally eerie and alluring version of "Once Upon a Dream," which serves as a reminder as to why she's become one of the most in-demand soundtrack contributors of the 2010s.
For a man of such talent and influence, New Orleans piano legend James Booker is amazingly under-recorded. This disc and its partner (Spiders on the Keys) offer up some measure of what the folks of the Big Easy might have heard if they caught Booker on one of his "on" nights (he was a known drug user and inconsistent in his playing). He is at his best here (recorded at the Maple Leaf between 1972-1982), focused and intense in his playing, wildly passionate on both keyboards and vocals.
In 1966 two R & B bands local to Oldham (UK) merged to form a blues outfit THE BLUES KEEPERS. With sponsorship from a local businessman (also their manager) they rented an 18th century farmhouse where they practised extensively, gradually moving towards a progressive rock style then beginning to emerge…
This aptly named disc showcases James Booker's piano playing; his stretches and runs are breathtaking in their fluidity. This disc (along with its Rounder partner, Resurrection of the Bayou Maharajah) was culled from some 60 or so hours of tapes that John Parsons recorded at the Maple Leaf Bar from 1977 to 1982. The main difference in the music on the two discs is that this one is purely instrumental.