(Brief sojourn on our venture into the world of audiophile or higher resolution music formats) Experiencing Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East brings a smile to the face.This is sheer listening pleasure, especially as this SACD brings out all the nuances and details of the live act – the Fillmore East shows being hailed as the best concert recording. Fillmore East is also Duane Allman’s last album.
The Allman Brothers are a Southern country rock jamming band with all the blues and jazz structure as you can hear for yourself. The Japanese SHM-SACD includes the original seven tracks from the three nights of the spirited performances. The evening starts with Duane Allman on slide guitar on Statesboro’s Blues. Done Somebody Wrong is a rollicking blues with guitar lead and boogie bass. Stormy Monday is the sad blues. The long trademark jams are the band at its best, long but so good. Dickie Betts’s In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (from Idlewild South) with lead guitar trade-offs and the drum solo parts carry the album to the last and seventh track on the SACD. Whipping Post is a whopping 23 minutes and its tease on the fade out notes can only leave the fan or listener at home yearning more of what is to be delivered, Mountain Jam as heard in its entirety on Eat A Peach).
The Pretty Reckless Light Me Up Interscope Records – UICS-1227, DAS Label – UICS-1227 Japanese Blu-Spec CD 2 (BS CD 2) deluxe edition format
The Pretty Reckless is a hard rock compendium of talent sprouting from the vocals of former Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen.
Gossip Girl Jenny Humphrey is left behind, the good girl gone bad, breaking free from the programme so she could accomplish her rock and roll dream, Taylor dispels the image and goes to the other end of the spectrum, toughing it out a la Joan Jett. Light Me Up when I’m down is the message and title track of the band’s debut album produced by Kato Khandwala (who in the studio also does all the bass and plays guitars with Ben Philips) on Interscope Records.. The musicians behind Momsen’s which can go from whisper to a belt it out vocals definitely back her, they rock with crunchy guitars and hit the bass and drum so strikingly tight. The backup vocals on You Make Want To Die from guitarist Ben Philip are haunting. Nothing Left to Lose is a ballad paean of a couple and she losing the love of her life in the blink of an eye. But Light Me Up rocks and the album issues three hit singles: Make Me Wanna Die, Miss Nothing, and Just Tonight. Zombie, Make Me Wanna Die with the acoustic guitar and Far From Never are the three extra bonus tracks make the blu-spec cd2 collector’s edition worth getting. The production sound quality on this BS CD2 is hard and crunchy emphasizing the lead guitar with bass bottoming out very tightly with the vocals floating while the drums splash and cymbal are precise.
(The Pretty Reckless Light Me Up on compact disc as tested through an OPPO 103D and Audio-GD DAC.)
Simone. Kopmajer. An Austrian chanteuse with a cool style. She reaches the in-crowd that extends internationally from Europe to the UK to the United States to Japan and south east Asia including Thailand. Her SACD are on a Japanese label VENUS alongside other releases on CD on various labels. In her albums such as “My Favorite Songs” (which is her version of her hand picked greatest hits album) to “Christmas” (including Christmas time songs such as “Santa Baby” alongside carols sung in English and German), Simone sings in a boppy Marilyn manner with a Dionne Warwick tinge that would not be out of place alongside the canon of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. On other albums that cover the gamut of rock and popular, she has innovative approaches that can be quiet and intimate, bluesy or very swinging with the with it band. The talent on her discs are high calibre musicians that propel or indulge her as she engages with contemporary covers, classical songs and jazz standards with even a bit of Marvin Gaye. Her catalogue is worth the hunt as many of the titles are scarce or out of print.