It’s been almost seven years since Anthony Phillips released his last album – the twelfth chapter of his “Private Parts & Pieces” series – and while the veteran’s reissue programme on Esoteric was on for some time, one could only hope he’d record new music. And he did. October 25th will see the appearance of “Strings Of Light”: a 2 CD/1 DVD package which contains 24 fresh compositions – in stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound.
“It’s all new material, mainly solo pieces, the result of over a thousand hours of work, so think of it as a leaner, meaner ‘Field Day,'” Ant says. “Recorded mainly in my lovely new living room, there was no specific “concept” or theme, nor inspiration – just lots of lovely guitars that help composing! Lots of different guitars: 6-, 8-, 12-, 16-string… And different tunings, including Nashville tuning. My classical guitars sound better and strong as nails due to a tip-off: dip them in olive oil every day. By the way, the album’s title was inspired by cover photo, so a prize for guessing what the actual subject of the photo was!”
Alexis Korner passed away on January 1st, 1984, and June 5th of that year saw a small fraction of his friends and his band’s alumni pay homage to the godfather of British blues by staging a stellar performance in, of all places, Nottingham. Calling themselves ALEXIS LIGHT ORCHESTRA and led by Jimmy Page, the supergroup also featured such luminaries as Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts and Paul Jones whose mix of rhythm-and-blues and rock numbers was recorded for radio broadcast and well-bootlegged, yet never officially released. This September, though, will the the concert issued on CD, with the artists’ royalties said to be benefit cancer research.
It’s been a long time since Gregg Rolie last released a studio album, and even though 2001’s “Roots” was followed by a concert set “Rain Dance” in 2007 and the “Five Days” EP in 2011, the veteran’s aficionados wanted a full-length offering from him. Finally, Rolie’s ready to roll it out: October 11th will see the issue of “Sonic Ranch” – named after a Texas recording facility where Gregg laid down half of the songs. The pieces on display include both fresh and already familiar numbers – cut anew as well.
Among the latter are the covers of Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel” and what looks like Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” – a fun for every keyboard player – as well as an update of JOURNEY’s “Look Into The Future” which Rolie co-wrote with Neal Schon who plays on a couple of the album’s tracks. So does Steve Lukather, Gregg’s colleague in Ringo Starr’s band; and it was the Fabs’ drummer who inspired the record’s first single “What About Love” that’s available for streaming now. Other musicians on “Ranch” include SANTANA rhythm section, Rolie’s former bandmates Alphonso Johnson and Michael Shrieve.
1975 saw BAKER GURVITZ ARMY reach the peak of their flight, with "Elysian Encounter" – featuring, alongside Adrian and Paul Gurvitz and Ginger Baker, singer Snips and keyboardist Peter Lemer – blending art-rock and blues into a new concept. But it’s on-stage that the British ensemble conjured genuine magic and delivered unrecorded material, even though there was enough previously issued pieces in their repertoire for quite a long performance. Documenting the point is “On The Road Again”: a report from London’s “New Victoria Theatre” – scheduled for a September 13th release.
For all their powerful potential and mythology, involving the musicians’ conversion to Islam, MIGHTY BABY were destined to remain underground denizens, yet what the quintet laid down over the course of three years of existence is truly mesmeric. The band’s two albums mixed space rock with folk, Western and Eastern, and there were many other elements that can still keep the listener transfixed for a long time. And that’s what “At A Point Between Fate And Destiny” – a six-disc box set, scheduled for an October 25th issue – will undoubtedly do.
Subtitled “The Complete Recordings” and comprising 60 tracks, the collection features not only the aforementioned studio records – the ensemble’s self-titled debut from 1969 and its 1971 follow-up “A Jug Of Love” – but also demos, alternative version of the first LP which was preserved on an acetate, rehearsal tapes and concert material, including a 36-minute take on “A Blanket In My Muesli” which everyone considered lost. More so, there’s “Day Of The Soup”: the album the group worked on in 1970 only to abandon the project, even though they played it on-stage. Unfortunately, such a document – released in 2009 as “Live In The Attic” – didn’t make it to the box. Yet this would be the only gripу with regards to the otherwise essential set.