Joan Chandos Baez is an American folk singer, songwriter, musician, and activist whose contemporary folk music often includes songs of protest or social justice. Baez has performed publicly for over 55 years, releasing over 30 albums. Fluent in Spanish and English, she has recorded songs in at least six other languages. She is regarded as a folk singer, although her music has diversified since the counterculture days of the 1960s and now encompasses everything from folk rock and pop to country and gospel music. Although a songwriter herself, Baez generally interprets other composers' work, having recorded songs by the Allman Brothers Band…
For what it is, this is the best there is. What it is is two discs of encores recorded in the mid-'40s for American Decca by Jascha Heifetz, the man some would say was the greatest violin virtuoso of the twentieth century. Every performance, every phrase, heck, every note is absolutely stunning, full of the kind of flash and brilliance and artistry you just don't hear anymore. This may sound like an absurd exaggeration, but just try any track at random – they're all consistently amazing. Try the extravagant technique of Benjamin's Jamaican Rumba or the hilarious wit of Rossini's Figaro or the sentimental warmth of Berlin's White Christmas or the ingratiating nostalgia of Foster's Old Folks at Home or the deep blues of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess or the insouciant swing of Weill's Mack the Knife or exquisite sensuality of Chopin's Nocturne.
Philadelphia songwriting, production, and performing duo who were prominent at Philadelphia International during the '70s, Gene McFadden and John Whitehead also scored a number one R&B hit as vocalists. Their single "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" was number one R&B in 1979 and peaked at number 13 pop. The two were members of the Epsilons as teens, a band that toured with and were managed by Otis Redding until his death in 1967. They later signed with Stax and had a moderate hit in 1970 with "The Echo." When Lloyd Parkes left, McFadden & Whitehead changed their name to Talk of the Town and began working with Gamble & Huff. Although they were being primed to record for North Bay, when Gamble & Huff discovered the duo's writing talents, they decided instead to employ them in that capacity at their label, Philadelphia International.
Jorma returns with his the twelfth solo studio album on Red House Records, Ain't in No Hurry, a knock out collection of songs that show Jorma remains at the top of his game. Ain't in No Hurry is a blend of American roots, blues, rockers and Jorma originals including a lost Woody Guthrie lyric that Jorma and producer Larry Campbell put to music.
Thomas Wright "Fats" Waller was an American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer. His innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano. His best-known compositions, "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose", were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1984 and 1999.
Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne veteran Jay Ferguson had one of the most enjoyable hits of the '70s with 1977's "Thunder Island." The vocalist/keyboardist was spared one-hit wonder status with one more Top 40 single, the terrific "Shakedown Cruise" from the 1979 follow-up Real Life Ain't This Way. It's a slick, professionally performed album, but except for "Shakedown Cruise," the songs aren't terribly memorable. The high level of craftsmanship is due to the personnel involved.