By the closing months of 1981 Frank Zappa had already released five albums during that productive year. Three of these records were his instrumental guitar collections - Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar Some More, and The Return of the Son of Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar - initially sold via mail order but later released through CBS. There was also the live double Tinseltown Rebellion and the 2-LP studio set You Are What You Is, released in September. Zappa also hit the road in September 81, performing a largely domestic tour that criss-crossed the US and took in a couple of shows in Canada between September and Christmas. On board for the tour were Frank s latest touring band, comprising Chad Wackerman on drums, Ed Mann on percussion, Tommy Mars on keyboards, Scott Thunes on bass, with Steve Vai and Ray White on guitar.
Jazz and flamenco first crossed paths not in Spain, but in the USA when Miles Davis and arranger/composer Gil Evans recorded “Sketches of Spain” in November 1959 and March 1960. It became one of the most successful jazz albums of all time. And the jazz musicians in Spain? They attempted to emulate – as did their colleagues world-wide – the American model. Jazz stood for open-mindedness; national folklore was thought of as too parochial. Spanish saxophonist Pedro Iturralde was the only musician who, under the influence of “Sketches of Spain”, added a couple of flamenco melodies to his repertoire as he toured Europe accompanied by two Germans and a Swiss. That’s why Joachim-Ernst Berendt sought him out to play at the 1967 Berlin Jazz Festival. With the festival’s motto “Jazz Meets the World”, Berendt was looking…
Midge Ure, mastermind of Ultravox, founder of Band Aid & Live 8, Grammy Award Winner & Brit Award Winner presents his new studio album 'Fragile'. 'Fragile' is the first collection of new, original music from Grammy and Brit award winning musician Midge Ure in over a decade. "I have recorded various things over that period" Ure states "a covers album of favourite songs, a few live CD's and of course the latest Ultravox album Brilliant, so I haven't been slacking. I just never felt the need to write and release an album just for the sake of it". 'Fragile' is a culmination of influences garnered from a lifetime in the music business and shows elements of Ure's musical journey displaying his accomplished guitar work (Rich Kids, Thin Lizzy) and the electronics and technology he has utilised since the late 1970's (Visage, Ultravox).
Sean Costello was one of the most brilliant blues-based artists of his generation. His deeply soulful singing, songwriting and guitar playing crossed effortlessly between genres. Sean entered the scene as a child prodigy, and soon became regarded as a torchbearer, one of the leading lights of the new century. He had already gained international recognition when he died tragically in 2008, on the eve of his 29th birthday. IN THE MAGIC SHOP is Sean Costello’s previously unreleased 2005 studio album, produced in New York City by his longtime friend, collaborator and advocate, four-time Grammy Award winner Steve Rosenthal, in his recording studio, The Magic Shop. This is Sean Costello at his best, performing his stunning original compositions and well-chosen covers with band mates Paul Linden, Melvin Zachery and Ray Hangen, along with a few guests. This should have been Sean’s breakthrough record — but it remained unmixed and unheard for almost ten years. We’re proud to bring it to you now.
Matthew Evans once trained as a chef before he crossed to the dark side of the industry and became a restaurant reviewer. After five years and 2,000 restaurant meals as the chief reviewer for The Sydney Morning Herald, he came to the slow realisation that chefs don’t have the best produce in the land, normal people who live close to the land do. So he moved to Tasmania, to a small patch of earth, where he’s raising pigs and sheep, milking a cow and waiting for his chickens to start laying.