Phenomenal saxophonist Sam Butera and his band The Witnesses backed Louis Prima for almost 20 years. He also made recordings in his own right and two albums from 1960/61 are coupled here. All the excitement and good humour generated on Prima recordings is present with the music becoming even more intensified with Butera in the forefront. Many of these tracks have long been unavailable. Special re-mastered CD edition includes six bonus tracks plus detailed illustrated booklet.
Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging '50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues, and (in the '60s) country. Then there was his singing; his style was among the most emotional and easily identifiable of any 20th century performer, up there with the likes of Elvis and Billie Holiday. He was also a superb keyboard player, arranger, and bandleader. The brilliance of his 1950s and '60s work, however, can't obscure the fact that he made few classic tracks after the mid-'60s, though he recorded often and performed until the year before his death.
An entry within Metro Doubles series, One, Two, Three & BJ4: The Legendary Albums is a two-CD set containing Bob James' first four albums, presented in chronological order. The set is a good way to pick up these four James' discs – not only is it a convenient, concise way to get the records, but they're presented well with good liner notes, including track-by-track commentary by Chris Ingham.
Jardine’s album was recorded in three glorious weeks in June 1969, at Sounds Aquarian Studios, a stone’s throw from that justifiably famous fashion hub, Carnaby Street. The sessions were fun. Polydor was supposed to release the album. Musicians dropped in to say "hello" and ended up on the record (uncredited) - among them Peter Frampton, Andrew "Andy" Bown (Herd and Status Quo), and Brian Appleyard (drummer from East of Eden). Singer Mickey Cox had been in Robert Plant’s pre-Led Zeppelin group The Band of Joy - it was Cox, in fact, who became their singer when Plant left the band. But suddenly, thanks to band management problems, the LP was shelved…