mon 11/12/2017

Reissue CDs Weekly: Ian Dury, Tom Moulton, José Feliciano, Archie Shepp | reviews, news & interviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Ian Dury, Tom Moulton, José Feliciano, Archie Shepp

Reissue CDs Weekly: Ian Dury, Tom Moulton, José Feliciano, Archie Shepp

Lord Upminster’s post-Stiff outings, serial music meets the dance floor, a prime influence on Rodriguez and a free jazz holiday

Ian Dury in 1984, contemplating his next move


Ian Dury Lord Upminster Ian Dury: Lord Upminster / Ian Dury & the Music Students: 4,000 Weeks Holiday

As a single, "Spasticus Autisticus" was never going to be an easy sell. Ian Dury's reaction to the United Nation’s declaration of 1981 as the International Year of the Disabled was caustic and confrontational. Witty too. The BBC decided it was in poor taste and gave it no airplay. Yet it featured in the opening ceremony of last year’s Paralympic Games and the BBC broadcast it. Dury would have appreciated the irony.

"Spasticus Autisticus" was the first single released by Dury after he had left Stiff Records. Separated from his Blockheads and the label which had taken him and the band into the charts, he signed with Polydor. The liaison resulted in these two albums. Lord Upminster (which closed with "Spasticus Autisticus") was written in Nassau and recorded there with ubiquitous sidemen Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, and Wailers' keyboard player Tyrone Downie. Although long-time collaborator and Blockhead Chas Jankel was also on hand, the groove-driven album didn’t sit that well with what had come before. The jazz-influenced 4,000 Weeks Holiday, issued in 1984, was more consistent and akin to the Dury of old.

Both albums deserve revisiting and are less challenging than than his Stiff swansong, the dark and fractured Laughter. But 1989’s follow up to 4,000 Weeks Holiday, Apples (issued by WEA), was more focused than its two predecessors. Crammed with extra tracks, many unreleased, these digi-pack reissues include insightful liner notes. The recording of Dury at a press conference added to Lord Upminster is fascinating. So is the over-glossy shelved single "Johnny Funk". As transitional albums, Lord Upminster and 4,000 Weeks Holiday represent Dury trying new approaches. Often overlooked, their reappearance plugs a gap in Dury’s turbulent narrative. He can be seen discussing "Spasticus Autisticus" on the next page.

Philly Regrooved 3 Tom Moulton Remixes

Various Artists: Philly Regrooved 3 - Tom Moulton Remixes

theartsdesk is no stranger to Tom Moulton, the sonic boffin who invented the 12-inch remix. And the reissue world is increasingly familiar with the magic he wrought in the Seventies with what artists and their producers assumed were finished products. This splendidly packaged and annotated double CD is, in a manner of speaking, a form of time travel. Collecting 18 new Moulton remixes of old tracks, it’s an odd concept – is anything to be gained from applying the Seventies-style remix treatment to a bunch of old records in 2013? A run through brings a strong affirmative. Everything is terrific, hinging on melody as well as rhythm. It’s not at all sonically obvious that these are recent remixes. The 10-plus minute reconfiguration of Bettye Swann’s “When the Game is Played on You” is hypnotic, the trademark Philadelphia strings recast as a form of serial music. Best of all is Sons of Robin Stone’s “Got to Get You Back”, which takes Philip Glass on to the dance floor. A triumph.

No Jive The Very Best of José Feliciano 1964-75José Feliciano: No Jive – The Very Best of José Feliciano 1964-75

Feliciano’s version of The Doors' “Light my Fire” and his seasonal hit “Feliz Navidad” tend to overshadow his mammoth discography, the enviable fact that he’s at home singing in Spanish and English, and that he’s an incredible, instantly recognisable vocalist and Django Reinhardt-influenced guitarist. More important than any of this is the music. As more-than-amply demonstrated here, some of his records are great. Really great. The non-chronological sequencing makes for an enlightening listen. Disc Two focuses on more groove-based, funkier performances while Disc One is what might be expected. “Light my Fire” kicks things off. “Feliz Navidad” ends the set. In between, Feliciano is jazzy, subtle, swinging and tasteful. Everything is infectious. His influence on the infinitely cooler Rodriguez is obvious – the version of Dylan’s “Masters of War” sounds like the template for Rodriguez’s entire oeuvre. But Feliciano probably hasn’t received the hipster credibility he obviously deserves because of his ubiquity and reliance on cover versions. The well-annotated and nicely packaged No Jive easily rights that possible wrong.

Archie Shepp and the Full Moon Ensemble Live in AntibesArchie Shepp and the Full Moon Ensemble: Live in Antibes

Back in February 1970, Melody Maker advertised package trips to the Antibes Jazz Festival. “Fly with MM…it will be the holiday of a lifetime! Swim and sunbathe all day. Rave it up at the jazz concerts in the evenings. The cost of this dream holiday? Only 45 guineas.” Sadly, the offer is long out of date and, even if it weren’t, it would cost a lot more nowadays. But thanks to this smart, book-bound 2CD set, it’s possible to relive some of the festival’s evening raves. Recorded live at the Juan les Pins event at two shows, on 18 and 20 July, 1970, this reissue collects two albums originally issued separately. As well as his familiar musical compatriots Clifford Thornton and Alan Shorter (oddly, the otherwise fine liner notes say Thornton hadn't accompanied Shepp to France), Shepp hooked up with French players Joseph Dujean, Beb Guérin and Claude Delcloo. The latter was crucial as he also edited the magazine Actuel, whose offshoot label issued the albums. The music captured is free, but surprisingly rhythmic. Shepp holds back, rationing his contributions on sax, piano and vocal. Despite the billing, these were true ensemble performances – each comprises a single, flowing piece. Just the thing to round off a day of swimming and sunbathing.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Watch Ian Dury discussing "Spasticus Autisticus"

Comments

Jose Feliciano collection "No Jive" is great, one of the best on the market, and I think here writer has spent so little about it and what gems are inside. Light My Fire or Feliz Navidad (or Rodriguez..) for me were not to mentions respect other great thing inside. One for example is to magnify the incredibily ability of Jose on guitar, a genius in any field and the first release on cd of his own funky latin instrumental "Affirmation" released in 1975 was the best example (song become famous on the cover of George Benson in 1976 album Breezin) and the instrumental jazz conversion of "Norvegian Wood" is another. But not only: like master musician and singer his cover are things completly differents by the original like only a genius can do: here cover like "Satisfaction" "SusieQ" "Golden Lady" and "Magnolia" are some examples of this. And PS.. here Jose is composer of been 17 SONGS! so,, He isn't only a" cover man" anyway.. ;)

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