In his latest weekly music review, Kevin Bryan gives us his thoughts on the latest album reviews.
The Knack,”Time Waits For No One:The Complete Recordings” (Cherry Red/Now Sounds CRNOW38)
Not to be confused with Los Angeles power poppers The Knack of “My Sharona” fame, this long forgotten outfit also hailed from sunny California, but their musical legacy was limited to four unsuccessful singles and an album which sadly never saw the light of day. This all embracing anthology brings together all the material that this superior garage band recorded for Capitol Records during the mid sixties,including fascinating period pieces such as the title tune, “Pretty Daisy” and “Softly,Softly,” the latter boasting a guest appearance from no less a luminary than avant-garde icon Frank Zappa.
Johnny Otis,”That’s Your Last Boogie!
The Best of Johnny Otis 1945-1960 “ (Fantastic Voyage FVTD120)- Fantastic Voyage’s latest 3CD set focusses attention on the work of Johnny Otis,the bandleader,songwriter and talent spotter who passed away earlier this year at the ripe old age of 90. The multi-talented Mr. Otis has been hailed as the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues,” and this archive anthology revives recordings by many of the top notch performers that he worked with over the years,including Etta James, “Big Mama” Thornton and the late great Johnny Ace. Johnny’s vibrant solo output is also well represented here,including his best known song,”Willie and the Hand Jive,”an infectious ditty which soared into the higher reaches of the U.S, singles charts in the summer of 1958.
Milos,”Latino” (D.G. 479 0063)
Montenegro born virtuoso Milos Karadaglic continues his exploration of the delights of the Spanish guitar repertoire with this evocative recital of works from Latin America. Gifted popularisers such as Julian Bream and John Williams were largely responsible for elevating the status of the classical guitar during their creative heyday in the seventies,and the baton now seems to have been passed on to this fluent and graceful young performer,who’s in particularly fine fettle here as he breathes new life into pieces penned by masters of the genre such as Manuel Ponce and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Mungo Jerry, “The Dawn Singles Collection” (Cherry Red GLAM CDD 135)
Taking the inspiration for their name from the title of a poem by T.S. Eliot , this uncomplicated outfit were one of the more unlikely pop sensations of the early seventies,capturing the attention of the masses with their infectious blend of pop ,jug band music and blues. Frontman Ray Dorset has kept the Mungo Jerry name alive throughout the past four decades, but this anthology wisely concentrates on the string of hugely successful singles that the band recorded for Dawn Records long long ago, including “Baby Jump,” “Lady Rose” and their classic 1970 chart-topper,”In The Summertime.”
La Petite Bande/Kuijken,”A Portrait” (Accent ACC 24271)
Belgian period instrumentation specialists La Petite Bande celebrate their 40th anniversary this year,and their record company have decided to mark the event by releasing this excellent 3 CD retrospective of their work.The contents were personally selected by the ensemble’s director Sigiswald Kuijken and reflect the breadth and diversity of their recorded output to date,including Bach Cantatas, pieces by Rameau,Vivaldi and Lully and operatic extracts from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and “Cosi fan tutte” to name but a few.