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R Jess "Raymond Jess" (Limerick, Ireland.)

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Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits
Price: CDN$ 4.99
59 used & new from CDN$ 3.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It'll do....., Jan. 9 2004
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
This album may have been a big hit back when it was released in 1973 but time and a growing appreciation of Janis Joplin's talent hasn't been kind to it's choice of tracks. Nearly half the tracks chosen here are from the 'Pearl' album and indeed it was with the Full Tilt Boogie Band that Janis's voice could come to the fore, not having to compete with the spaced out acid rock of Big Brother & The Holding Company and the soul-influenced horns of the Kozmic Blues Band. Her seminal live performance of 'Ball & Chain' from the 1967 Monterey Festival was ignored for the lacklustre performance featured here. Ironically this is the best selling and least satisfying of all the Janis compilations out there.
Having said that there are some great Janis moments on this album. Her vocal performances on the Big Brother tracks are powerful and unrelenting. 'Cheap Thrills' was recorded in a way that would capture some essence of their intense live act. Although Janis's live shows with the Kozmic Blues Band never reached the same level of intensity, the album 'I Got Dem 'Ol Kozmic Blues Again Mama' proved she could adapt her vocal style to soul-influenced riffs with veritable ease. 'Move Over' was an indication that she was also a pretty handy songwriter. A talent which unfortunetly never came to full fruition.
An average compilation in the end that needed an inspired compiler brave enough to make some track changes (or at least insightful enough to add 4 or 5 more bonus tracks).

Bird on 52nd Street
Bird on 52nd Street
Price: CDN$ 16.30
37 used & new from CDN$ 4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Impressive despite sound quality., Dec 2 2003
This review is from: Bird on 52nd Street (Audio CD)
Although not a good sound quality recording, 'Bird at 52nd Street does have great historical value giving us some sense of the musical revolutionary times after the war that Parker not only inhabited but helped create.
The record opens with the familiar riff of '52nd Street Theme' and unfortunately the poor sound quality means heavy bass hiss throughout. This is followed by the bebop drumming on 'Shaw Nuff' with added hiss quality making the cymbals crash like a Wagner opera. 'Hot House' sounds like a wonderful synthesis of jazz and bebop. Parker's version of 'A Night In Tunisia' swaggers along nonchalantly, giving us the impression that his performance may have been heroin induced. Parker was such an intricate player that when he was blazae about his performance the contrast could be striking.
As in 'My Old Flame' where Parker sounds flustered over a plodding blues riff. The most impressive track on the record is 'The Way You Look Tonight' which really drives hard, showing an inventive intensity missing from much of the performance here.
As for the rest of the album, the compilers seem to have made a concerted effort to make the 2nd half sound superior to the 1st. The 2nd version of 'Out Of Nowhere' and the third version of '52nd Street Theme' remain the superior ones here. 'How High The Moon' has the most inventive bass playing, while the improvisation on 'Dizzy Atmosphere' is sprite yet formidable. 'This Time The Dream's On Me' doesn't seem to work in either version.

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