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The Valentines




NOTE: Unless otherwise noted all DVDs offered are in NTSC format which means that they will not play on a European DVD players unless you have a multiple format player.
RAY CHARLES Eagle Eye 39070 Live In Concert With The Edmonton Symphony ● DVD $10.98
Color, 12 tracks, 48 min., highly recommended
Recorded live at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada, for ITV in 1981, this short set (is 48 minutes a teevee hour?) finds the late genius moving through familiar territory (Hit The Road Jack, Georgia On My Mind, I Can't Stop Loving You, What'd I Say, America The Beautiful) with the unfamiliar Edmonton Symphony sympathetically accompanying but by no means overpowering him. About half way through (right after Some Enchanted Evening), Mr. Charles calls five Raelettes out to share one microphone in a pleasing if occasionally superfluous series of accompanying performances. But most of the time the camera is pointed straight at Brother Ray, and that's as it should be. What good are flashlights next to a supernova? With every song Charles convinces his audience all over again that he's not just deserving of the high praise heaped on him over the years, he's better. This is what real charisma means, the look and sound of true talent. (JC)

RAY CHARLES Rhino 70389 O-Genio - Live In Brazil, 1963 ● DVD $14.98
Amazing, recently discovered, TV broadcast of Ray recorded live in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1963 when he was at his peak. He is featured with his Orchestra and The Raelettes on two complete shows, filmed in black and white, which are shown complete with Brazilian commercials. Songs include What'd I Say/ Don't Set Me Free/ In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)/ Margie/ Hallelujah I Love Her So/ Moanin'/ Take These Chains From My Heart/ You Are My Sunshine, etc. A number of the songs are repeated in both sets.



RAY CHARLES Rhino Handmade 7826 In Concert ● CD $45.98
2 CDs, 29 tracks, 121 min., highly recommended
Part of Rhino Records' Handmade series with a limited numbered release of 5000 copies. The concept here it to collect the best moments from a handful of Ray's live releases in order to represent the prolific period between 1958-75. So tracks are drawn from At Newport (1958), In Person (1959), Berlin, 1962, Live In Concert (on ABC-Paramount from 1964), and Live In Japan (1975). The songs, presented chronologically, boast generally wonderful sound quality, and, sensibly, no title duplication. Annoyingly, the notes are printed on a multi-fold sheet rather than a true booklet, but otherwise "In Concert" is a worthwhile addition to the massive Charles catalog, especially for those who don't already have a lot of live Ray. (Many of the selections are currently out of print in any other form.) Songs include (Night Time) Is The Right Time, A Fool For You, Yes, Indeed, What'd I Say, Hit The Road Jack, Georgia On My Mind, Hallelujah I Lover Her So, I've Got A Woman, I Can't Stop Loving You, Feel So Bad, Living For The City, and more. (JC)

DON COVAY RPM 292 Superdude : The Mercury Years, Vol. 1 .. Plus ● CD $16.98
The first 12 tracks on this CD reissues Covay's acclaimed 1973 "Superdude" album which includes his top ten R&B hit I Was Checkin' Out She Was Checkin' In. The remaining six tracks are drawn from his 1971 Janus LP "Different Strokes".

JAMES "SUGAR BOY" CRAWFORD Classics 5143 The Chronological "Sugar Boy" Crawford : 1953-1954 ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, 65 mins, highly recommended
24 cuts featuring all the sides Crawford cut for Checker in 1953 and '54 except for a few unissued titles. Crawford was more of a purist than the other Chess New Orleans artists, giving these tracks (many of which were unissued for years) a classic horn and piano-driven sound. Includes one of the earliest "Iko-Iko" variations Jock-O Mo, plus Overboard/ I Bowed On My Knees/ No More Heartaches/ Please Believe Me/ Night Rider/ Honey/ Stop/ Troubled In Mind/ If I Loved You Darling. He is accompanied by top notch New Orleans bands including Alfred Bernard & David Lastie on saxes, Snooks Eaglin/ guitar, Frank Fields/ bass and others. Includes a couple of vocals by Snooks and a couple by Slim Saunders.

SCATMAN CROTHERS Hydra 27126 I Want To Rock 'n' Roll ● CD $22.98
Best known for his movie acting Benjamin "Scatman" Crothers also had a lengthy musical career cutting over 100 sides between 1938 and 1983. This set features 30 of those tracks including scatting jazz, R&B, covers of rock 'n' roll hits, pop ballads and more. Includes 24 page booklet with extensive notes, vintage illustrations and a (rather confusing) discography.

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND Shout Factory 31782 This Is The Dirty Dozen Brass Band Collection ● CD $18.98
15 tracks, 79 min., highly recommended
An untraditional traditional-style New Orleans brass band that was as much about tomorrow as yesterday. The Dozen punch out Just A Closer Walk With Thee and Jelly Roll Morton's Freakish as easily as the Meter's Cissy Strut or tenor sax man Kevin Harris' own Unclean Waters. They accept all musical traditions that come their way and polish them until you can see yourself. This disc compiles some of the Dozen's brightest notes between 1984-2004. One prize is their cover of Dizzy Gillespie's Oop Pop A Dah, which features scat vocals and trumpet from Mr. Gillespie himself. Eddie Bo adds guest piano on Don't You Feel My Leg, while Danny Barker sits in on guitar and sings. Not that the DDBB need guest musicians. They don't. Every song here cooks. (JC)

DR. JOHN Master Classics 8034 The Anthology ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 71 min., good
The presumptuous definite article in the title, the undeserved subtitle "Deluxe Edition," (perhaps it refers to the imitation leather cardboard case), and the worse than useless booklet notes are enough to make a man lose faith in capitalism. The notes give the impression that this anthology samples the many Dr. John LPs from the late 1960s through the 1970s. It doesn't. What is left unsaid is that all but six cuts would seem to come from one out-of-print import CD from 1995 called "Cut Me While I'm Hot", which apparently collects its tracks from various '60s sessions that never saw release. This set also carefully avoids any hits. That said, it's actually quite an enjoyable set with solid songs and spirited performances. But why not just reissue the "Cut Me" album? (JC)

JIMMY BO HORNE Henry Stone Music 25010 The Legendary Henry Stone Presents Jimmy Bo Horne ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 50 min, recommended
Cross section of long time singer for Henry Stone's various TK labels (Dade, Sunshine, TK), starting with his first single from '67, I Can't Speak, & his first hit Clean Up Man, his first big hit from '72 on Alston, as well as cuts from the LP he made where he was backed by KC & The Sunshine Band - Get Happy/ Gimme Some, etc.. Much of the material written by KC (Howie Kacy) or Clarence Reid (AKA Blowfly). (GM)

JOE HUNTER Soul-Tay-Shus 6355 The Hawk ● CD $15.98
A collection of 18 tracks of Detroit R&B featuring or produced by Joe Hunter who later went on to become leader of the MOtown session band now known as The Funk Brothers. Includes sides by J.J. Barnes, The Del_Phi's (later to become Martha Reeves & The Vandellas), The Magnificent Seven, The Checkers, Renaldo Jackson and others. Includes several previously unreleased demos and has 8 page fold-out booklet with extensive notes by Kevin Goins.

BENNY LATIMORE Henry Stone Music 25001 The Early Years ● CD $11.98
16 tracks, 44 min., highly recommended
Best known for his 1970s recordings on the Henry Stone's Glades label (where he recorded only as Latimore), including a baker's dozen of R&B charted hits, Benjamin Latimore cut his teeth at Henry Stone's Dade label in the mid-1960s. In 1964 he was the opening act for Steve Alaimo and by 1967 Alaimo was producing his singles. But his handful of horn-charged 45s, including the razor-sharp It Was So Nice While It Lasted b/w There She Is, was not enough, and despite a compelling voice that lives somewhere between Bobby "Blue" Bland and a deeper version of Jerry "Swamp Dogg" Williams, Jr., Mr. Latimore failed to convince the record buying public to part with their hard-earned money. Bet they're kicking themselves now. Nice to see this early rare material in print. (JC)
BENNY LATIMORE: Ain't Gonna Cry No More/ Girl I Got News For You/ Have A Little Faith/ I Can't Go On/ I Pity The Fool/ I'm A Believer/ I'm Just An Ordinary Man/ It Was So Nice While It Lasted/ It's Just A Matter Of Time/ IŽll Be Good To You/ Life's Little Ups And Downs/ Love Don't Love Me/ Moove And Groove Together/ Rain From The Sky/ The Power And The Glory/ There She Is

CLYDE MCPHATTER & THE DRIFTERS Classics 5142 The Chronological Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters ● CD $14.98
This CD reissues the complete issued recordings of Clyde McPhatter's original Drifters, from the group's inception in mid-1953 until McPhatter's involvement ended in late 1954. Includes Lucille/ Money Honey/ Let The Boogie Woogie Roll/ Such A Night/ The Bells Of St. Mary's/ Honey Love/ There You Go/ Hot Ziggity, etc.

ELLA MAE MORSE Jasmine 418 The Morse Code ● CD $15.98
Two CD set with 50 sides recorded between 1942 and 1954 by this popular vocalist who combined country, pop, and R&B influences into a pleasing conglomeration that, at times, sounds like the beginnings of rock 'n' roll. It features in a variety of settings including tracks with a small group led by fine boogie pianist Freddie Slack as well as larger orchestras and includes a duet with Tennessee Ernie Ford on False Hearted Girl.

THE OVATIONS Kent CDKEND 246 Featuring Louis Williams - The Goldwax Recordings ● CD $18.98
26 tracks, 68 mins, essential
The Ovations trio came together in the early 60's around the delicate soulful lead of Louis Williams, who still comes closest to matching the yodeling acrobatics of the late Sam Cooke. Right up to 1972, when they switched from Goldwax (under the firm direction of Quinton M. Claunch and Rudy Russell) to The Sounds Of Memphis label, this oufit cut some fine Southern soul drippings like I'm Living Good/ Don't Cry/ Me And My Imagination/ Peace Of Mind in a style one thinks Sam would have been pleased with. This new CD features almost their entire Goldwax output - all the singles, one previously unreleased tracks and eight tracks that were only available on long out print Japanese releases. Includesd 16 page, ful color booklet with extensive notes by Martin Goggin, rare photos and their Goldwax discography. Essential 60s soul. (OLN/ FS)

J.P. ROBINSON Henry Stone Music 25008 Classic R&B From The 60s ● CD $11.98
11 tracks, 30 min, recommended
The subtitle of the LP says it all - First Full Length Album Ever!" Between '68 & '70 Robinson released seven singles for Henry Stone's Alston label, but never got around to an LP. This set has 11 of his 14 released tracks (why not all? there's plenty of room left!) with most of the tunes written by the crack team of Clarence Reid (AKA Blowfly) & Willie Clarke. Includes such fine soul & funk tunes as I Got Your Thing On A String/ Keep On Holding On/ Please Accept My Call., etc. (GM)

THE ROYALS Ace CDCHD 1054 Featuring Charles Sutton & Hank Ballard - The Federal S ● CD $18.98
Before they were Hank Ballard & The Midnighters they were just The Midnighters and, before that, The Royals. This set features 25 tracks recorded between 1952 and 1954 including two from their first session before Ballard joined them including the original recording of Every Beat Of My Heart (here without the usual overdubbed rhythm section) which was a big hit for Gladys Knight & The Pips nine years later. Includes the hits Get It and Work With Me Annie as well as fine lesser known tracks like All Night Long/ Starting From Tonight/ A Love In My Heart/ Are You Forgetting/ No, It Aint and others. Includes previously unissued alternate takes of Work With Me Annie and Shrine Of St. Cecilia

CHUCK SIMMONS Funky Delicacies 050 Hustler's Strut ● CD $16.98
16 tracks, 58 min, recommended
A 15-year association with producer-arranger Wardell Quezerque left Chuck Simmons hitless but with an impressive catalog of soul and funk sides. Former member of the obscure The Unemployed (w/ Quezerque), who cut sides for Atlantic's Cotillion logo, Simmons (who had a rather limited voice that was pushed to its limits and beyond regularly) spent most of his time focussed on his solo careeer -- that is, when he wasn't working his day job as a mechanic. His contributions to the funk dynasty include Funky Broom, Hustler's Strut Parts 1 & 2, Lay It On Me Parts 1 & 2 (which is Hustler's Strut with different vocals), and Doin' The Sissy, cut as Charlie Simmons and the Imperials. His more soulful side is featured on Don't Send Me No Doctor, recorded with Allen Toussaint at his Sea-Saint Recording Studio, Run Away and You're Not The One For Me (both ballads!) and I'm Wondering, a should-have-been hit and the finest cut here. Contains informative booklet notes and four songs previously unavailable on CD. (JC)

THE VALENTINES Rama 171 The Complete Valentines Featuring Richard Barrett ● CD $17.98
27 tracks by this fine Harlem group featuring the lead vocals of Richard Barrett. It features all their issued recordings cut between 1954 and '57 - most with accompaniment by the fine Jimmy Wright Combo. It also includes four originally unissued songs, five alternate takes (some with false starts) and two live performances from the Alan Freed Show. Their greatest claim to fame is that their song the Woo Woo Train was adopted as the theme song of beloved Boston D.J. Arnie Ginsburg but they perform a fine selection of ballads and uptempo numbers including Tonight Kathleen/ Falling For You/ Christmas Prayer/ Why/ Nature's Creation/ I Cried Oh Oh/ If You Love Me Pretty Baby/ Rock With Joe Smith, etc.


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