September 29, 2010

A GLIMPSE INTO COLOSSAL THUNDER

He’s not a celebrity but one of the greatest drummers in the world – just ask his wife, Barbara Thompson, an MBE and a jazz pillar, or Andrew Lloyd Webber. But it’s better to talk to Jon Hiseman himself. He’s got a lot of stories to tell, so the book on the man is long overdue. And it’s going to be out soon, titled “Playing The Band – the musical life of Jon Hiseman” by Martyn Hanson who previously delivered tomes on ELP, THE NICE and GROUNDHOGS and in the last years had access to Jon and Barbara’s extensive archive and interviewed most of the musicians who Hiseman played with – or rather who played with him. There are adventures of THE NEW JAZZ ORCHESTRA, John Mayall, Graham Bond, Georgie Fame, COLOSSEUM, TEMPEST, COLOSSEUM II, THE UNITED JAZZ & ROCK ENSEMBLE and Barbara Thompson’s PARAPHERNALIA in the new book but, what’s more important, a story of one tremendous person well-known for his sticks work and now to be known as a human being. Get the 450-pages-thick tome here and you’ll get it signed by Jon and Barbara right in time for packing the Xmas gifts.

LIFE AS AN OPEN BOOK

A song-meister, a faux-classical composer, a writer, a painter: he’s a multi-talented fella, Sir  Paul McCartney, and he’s collected quite a library over the years. Not like that in the U.S. Congress but an impressive pile anyway. And people are curious, you know, and want to have a peek at it all, including videos and masters of some of the most popular songs ever, as Macca owns copyrights to quite a few classic tunes. So now his company MPL joined forces with the IT giant HP aiming to “digitize and deliver the library via a private cloud”. What does that mean, go figure. What’s clear is there’ll be an ultra-modern content management system which will allow the fans to “have a personal and unparalleled glimpse into McCartney’s work”. Enticing, although you still gotta find his fans who likes his paintings.

MEAT OF THE HEAT

Perhaps, it’s a bit taxing for an average fan to have a live album from his favorite artist released after the next studio one, but you can’t go wrong with ASIA in their classic line-up of John Wetton, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer. Their is a sophisticated pop music from the prog dinos and, as proved by the previous concert set, “Fantasia: Live in Tokyo”, there’s no stopping the quartet. So that’s how it’s going to be with “Spirit Of The Night – Live in Cambridge 2009” which is out in Europe on October 15th and in the U.S. early next year. Available as an audio and video versions, it’s highly advisable to get hold of the digipacked CD & DVD combo. All the classics as well as some songs from the band’s then latest work, “Phoenix”, are here, personally selected by the band:

CD:

1. Only Time Will Tell
2. Time Again
3. An Extraordinary Life
4. My Own Time
5. Open Your Eyes
6. Fanfare For The Common Man (CD exclusive)
7. Here Comes The Feeling
8. Never Again
9. The Heat Goes On
10. Sole Survivor
11. Don’t Cry
12. Heat Of The Moment
13. Midnight Sun (bonus track)

DVD:

1. Only Time Will Tell
2. Time Again
3. An Extraordinary Life
4. My Own Time
5. Open Your Eyes
6. Here Comes The Feeling
7. Never Again
8. The Heat Goes On
9. Sole Survivor
10. Don’t Cry
11. Heat Of The Moment
bonus material:
In The Court Of The Crimson King
(feat. Ian McDonald)
EPK incl. John Wetton’s voiceover

IS THIS JUST FANTASY

Over the last years, we’ve seen much preening and a lot of mustache from Sacha Baron Cohen so it’s quite logical the British actor has been chosen to portrayFreddie Mercury in a forthcoming QUEEN film. Written by Peter Morgan, the movie which will focus on the band’s early, up to 1985, period is to start shooting in 2011 and, according to Brian May, Cohen was on the cards since the idea’s birth. Must be a killer – dynamite and laser beam.

TWO PIANOS ARE FORTE

What kind of studio album can corner such giants as Neil Young and Brian Wilson to provide backing vocals, have Booker T. Jones on organ and Mark Ribot on guitar, plus T-Bone Burnett as a producer? It’s “The Union”, a first collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell. While everyone could expect Elton join forces with Billy Joel who he many times toured with, it’s another piano player and a certain inspiration for Reg Dwight who made it to a studio with John to indulge with some blues worded by Bernie Taupin. A depth is guaranteed.

1. If It Wasn’t For Bad
2. Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes
3. Hey Ahab
4. Gone To Shiloh
5. Hearts Have Turned To Stone
6. Jimmie Rodgers’ Dream
7. There’s No Tomorrow
8. Monkey Suit
9. The Best Part Of The Day
10. A Dream Come True
11. I Should Have Sent Roses
12. When Love Is Dying
13. Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
14. In The Hands Of Angels
bonus tracks
on the deluxe edition CD and LP:

15. Mandalay Again
16. My Kind Of Hell

A HOUSE OF THE HOLY

No-one dares to call it a cash-in opportunity, as the plans were laid out and reported before the great Ronnie James Dio passed away in May. Now, his label Niji Entertainment Group set the wheels in motion to finance the cancer fighting fund of the late singer’s name. The enterprise’s first releases will see the light in November, and these will be:
* a double CD “Donnington UK: Live 1983 & 1987” from DIO in a deluxe digipack including backstage passes
* a deluxe limited edition picture disc of DIO’s fdebute “Holy Diver”
“Bitten By The Beast” from David “Rock” Feinstein, Dio’s cousin and colleuage in ELF.
The later album contains “Metal Will Never Die” with lead vocals by Ronnie, one of his last performances ever, as there were a few more to be out one way or another.

But there’ll be more releases in 2011. For one, the veteran finished most of his memoir before he died, so now Dio’s widow and manager Wendy finishes the book and is looking for publisher. Then, two box sets, the 16-volume “For The Record: The Complete Dio Vinyl Collection and “The Complete Bootleg Box”, which, of course hardly can be complete. Yet the bootleggers are to be beaten with the officical DVD release of “Super Rock Japan 1985”, and a DVD compilation of all DIO promotional video and concert footage. The vinyl department is also to take care of the Ronnie-led RAINBOW LPs, plus all the ELF ones. Ah yes, and there will at last be live ELF recordings pressed and taken to the shops.

September 29, 2010

Category(s): News

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