Stand Up is the second studio album by the British rock band Jethro Tull, released in 1969. Stand Up represents the first album project on which Anderson was in full control of the music and lyrics. The result was an eclectic album with various styles appearing in its songs, yet an album which remained somewhat in the blues rock mould, which would be the last such album from Jethro Tull. The album quickly went to number 1 in the UK charts. It was released again in November 2016 in a box set with two CDs and one DVD, named Stand Up - The Elevated Edition. The box contains rare and previously unreleased music (such as an alternate take of "Bourée", BBC tracks, radio spots) including new stereo and 5.1 mixes of the album and bonus tracks by Steven WIlson, and a live presentation, from a concert in Sweden in 1969, also remixed by Wilson.
Eddy Clearwater is equally talented as a bluish singer and as an improvising guitarist. On Reservation Blues, he ranges from Chicago blues to rock & roll, throwing in a couple instrumentals too. His repertoire includes both socially relevant lyrics and good-time music, featuring some of the latter when the former gets a bit too somber. Although there are some solid solos from his supporting players (including three guitar spots for Duke Robillard, two fine solos from tenor saxophonist Dennis Taylor, and a guest appearance by Carey Bell on harmonica during "Find Yourself"), Clearwater is the main star throughout. Fortunately, he is heard in prime form, whether happily jamming "I Wouldn't Lay My Guitar Down" and "Blues Cruise" or singing in a more serious mood on "Winds of Change" and "Everything to Gain." A gem.
In the wake of Brian Setzer's success as a retro-swing act, his former Stray Cats partners Lee Rocker (bass) and Slim Jim Phantom (drums) formed their own swing/rockabilly/jump blues combo, the Swing Cats, with another rockabilly revivalist veteran, ex-Polecats guitarist Danny B. Harvey. The Swing Cats released their eponymous debut early in 1999, featuring guest vocal spots from Tim Polecat, Jamie James, and Claudia Cummings, among others. A Special Tribute to Elvis followed a year later. That same year Swing Cat Stomp was released.
A sequel of sorts to his earlier On the Beach, King of the Beach continues the laid-back mood of the earlier album but is (despite the goofy title) a more mature and unified work. It's one of his best albums and is a return to form after the film soundtrack La Passione and the more electronic sounds of The Road to Hell Part 2. Written primarily during a vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands, it's replete with lots of beach and summer imagery in the titles ("King of the Beach," "All Summer Long," "Sandwriting," "Sail Away") as well as the lyrics, which were originally written as poems. A remix of "All Summer Long" was a big dance hit in Ibiza and other Mediterranean hot spots. A good album for a summer day, with a soulful mellowness flowing through the tracks.
George Benson certainly is a good soul vocalist, fervently turning every phrase as if he meant every lovelorn syllable. The bright spots on 20/20 are the tense high-tech title track and an elegant Basie-like treatment of "Beyond the Sea," with several jazz luminaries in the all-star band and Frank Foster and Ralph Burns handling the chart. There is only one instrumental, "Stand Up."
Vibraphonist Jay Hoggard gained his initial recognition for his playing in avant-garde and adventurous settings. By the late 80s, Hoggard had decided to explore hard bop and straight-ahead jazz. On this out of print but worthy CD, the vibraphonist recalls Bobby Hutcherson and Milt Jackson in spots, swinging on a variety of originals, Stevie Wonder's "You And I" and "Sonny's Themes" (which covers Sonny Rollins' "Alfie" and "Sonnymoon for Two"). The young Benny Green is a major asset on piano, bassist Marcus McLaurine and drummer Yoron Israel are excellent in support, and Hoggard's songs are full of variety and color.
Why is this the first and only official live release by The Brecker Brothers Band, you ask? Perhaps surprisingly, it documents a group that rarely played live, much less toured extensively. This is due in part to a 1970 s music world with the constraints of a vital studio scene, wherein virtuoso musicians were kept busy tracking for television, movies, commercials, and all styles of solo spots and horn sections – regardless of musical style. We were making a living in the recording studios, recalls Brecker. The clubs paid next to nothing, as did ‘opening act’ gigs. Clive Davis was always begging us to go out on the road, but we weren’t going to blow the studio work.
The band's fourth studio album "Spots" is a production that should see the band establishing a reach towards a fairly broad sized audience. Their blend of classic hard rock and progressive rock into what I'd describe as a pomp rock sound is often an interesting one, and fairly appealing at that. An album worth investigating by progressive rock fans with a taste for classic hard rock just as much as by those with an affection for classic hard rock who also enjoy occasional forays into progressive rock territories…
Pointedly not a greatest-hits collection, the double-disc compilation Songs from the Trees instead is a soundtrack to Carly Simon's 2015 memoir Boys in the Trees (in that it has a cousin in Elvis Costello's Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, an autobiography with an accompanying aural collection). Surely, there are hits here – not all of them, but "You're So Vain," "Mockingbird," "You Belong to Me," and "Anticipation" are – but there are also some deep cuts, a track from the Simon Sisters ("Winken', Blinkin' and Nod") and other assorted rarities.