It's both significant and troubling that Billy Bragg's best albums since releasing Talking with the Taxman About Poetry in 1986 were the two Mermaid Avenue volumes, in which Bragg set Woody Guthrie's unpublished lyrics to new music with Wilco serving as his collaborators and backing band, suggesting that this former one-man band suddenly needed plenty of help to communicate with his audience. Bragg sounded confident and all but unbeatable on his first few albums in the '80s, but political and creative uncertainty have dominated much of his work since then. Which is why Mr. Love & Justice is a pleasant and encouraging surprise – while hardly perfect, it's easily Bragg's best and most consistent solo effort since Don't Try This at Home, and finds him coming to terms with maturity and the changing face of the world, two bugaboos that have been dogging his muse for some time.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Trumpeter Steve Gut's on the frontline here alongside the legendary Clark Terry and the great Dusko Goykovich – and the younger musician really manages to hold his own, and work well with the two master trumpeters! The setting is a larger group – the RTB Big Band – and all three players get a chance to solo – and the mighty Alvin Queen is in the group on drums, providing a soulful kick that maybe makes the album sparkle a bit more than usual for the RTB – although they've always had a great legacy of work with bigger name players, especially American ones. Titles include "Mr CT", "Black Triangle", "Stemi", "Summer Afternoon", "On The Road", "Some Memories", and "Blues To Clark".
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Ben Webster plays live in Harlem – not the uptown scene in New York, but the Dutch city that became a surprisingly strong showcase for American players overseas! The date's got that easygoing style of some of Webster's best late live performances – a laidback rhythm trio, and Ben himself blowing these raspy, blue-tinged notes that are full of feeling – even when in a familiar setting – that quality that can make even subtle handling of a standard pop out with such Webster-like charm! The group features Tete Montoliu on piano, Rob Langereis on bass, and Tony Inzalaco on drums – and titles include "Stardust", "How Long Has This Been Going On", "Sunday", "For All We Know", and "Perdido".