Louisiana journeyman swamp rocker Tab Benoit has been churning out an album a year since at least 2002, and between them he stays on the road playing every festival, club, and bar that'll have him. It would seem inevitable that the quality of these studio recordings would decline. But, at least as of 2007's Power of the Pontchartrain, that isn't the case. If anything, this might be the best of a very good lot, as Benoit again teams with Louisiana's Le Roux group (who once backed legend Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and helped on Benoit's previous release) for another 52-minute wade through muggy yet taut bayou blues. Part of the reason Benoit's recent albums are so strong is that he doesn't insist on playing original material, instead cherry-picking nuggets rearranged to suit his approach. This works particularly well here since he unearths terrific, often obscure material from writers such as Julie Miller (two tracks), David Egan (two others), and even Stephen Stills (a not entirely necessary "For What It's Worth").
With her marriage on the rocks and looking for a fresh start, Carole King moved to Los Angeles in 1967. More specifically, Laurel Canyon, where she fell in with the nascent singer/songwriter crowd. She and bassist/boyfriend Charles Larkey (formerly of the Myddle Class, a band she and then-husband Gerry Goffin had signed to their record label) soon formed a band, adding old friend from NYC, guitarist Danny Kortchmar. The trio spent time at King's house working on a batch of songs she had written with Goffin (some previously released by other acts, some not), plus some co-written by another member of Myddle Class, Don Palmer, and fellow Brill Building refugee Toni Stern. Thanks to their industry connections it wasn't long before they had a record deal. Adding drummer Jim Gordon and naming themselves the City, they hit the studio with Lou Adler producing. The outcome of the sessions was the thoroughly charming Now That Everything's Been Said LP. Released in 1968 on Ode Records, the album had one foot in the kind of radio pop bands like the Monkees and the Mamas & the Papas were cranking out and another in the earthy, homegrown realm of singer/songwriters like Joni Mitchell and, a few years later, King herself.
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. Nicely sharp sounds from the great JJ Johnson – a set that has the trombonist really honing his edge on a host of tight, short tracks – with a vibe that almost recalls his initial bop recordings on Blue Note and Prestige! The style here is a bit more sophisticated – definitely with an ear towards the modern directions that JJ was exploring in the 50s – but the sound is also nicely spontaneous, with more focus on improvisation between group members than larger arrangements – quite nice, given that the group features excellent tenor from Bobby Jaspar on tenor – and either Tommy Flanagan or Hank Jones on piano, Percy Heath or Wilbur Little on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Tracks are short, and titles include "Overdrive", "Cube Steak", "Chasin The Bird", and "Solar".
Reissue with the latest 2015 remastering. Comes with liner notes. One of the hippest, hardest albums that trombonist JJ Johnson ever cut for Columbia – a session we'd rank right up there with his amazing JJ Inc record, and like that one a really cooking hardbop record that maybe even rivals the best on Blue Note and Prestige at the time! As with that gem, the strength here is really the group – not just tremendous trombone from JJ, but great work from Nat Adderley on trumpet, Bobby Jaspar on tenor and flute, Cedar Walton on piano, Spanky DeBrest on bass, and Albert Heath on drums – all working with a soaring, soulful energy that's a lot more hardbop heavy than you might expect from JJ Johnson on some of his other projects for the label.