Categories :

Albums

HI-RES$1.99
CD$1.49

Soul - Released December 13, 2019 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res
HI-RES$1.99
CD$1.49

Soul - Released November 29, 2019 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res
HI-RES$1.99
CD$1.49

Soul - Released November 22, 2019 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res
HI-RES$1.99
CD$1.49

Soul - Released October 30, 2019 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res
HI-RES$5.99
CD$4.99

R&B - Released August 9, 2019 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res
CD$8.99

R&B - Released January 29, 2019 | Parlophone UK

CD$1.49

Soul - Released October 5, 2018 | Parlophone UK

CD$12.99

R&B - Released August 19, 2011 | Parlophone UK

In 1975 Dr. John took his well-honed New Orleans musical revue on the road and made a stop in Hollywood, with the recorded highlights released as Hollywood Be Thy Name. This is an enjoyable combination of live New Orleans soul and barrelhouse piano mixed with studio tracks including a reworking of his psychedelic anthem "Babylon." The live cover versions range from a soulful "Yesterday," a medley of "Its All Right With Me," "Blue Skies," and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," plus the Roy Montrell New Orleans jump classic "Mellow Saxophone" retitled here as "I Wanna Rock." The only wrong turn taken is on the title track, which dips into a flashy Las Vegas routine complete with cheesy disco beat, that needless to say didn't suit Dr. John. © Al Campbell /TiVo
CD$12.99

Acid Jazz - Released March 15, 2010 | Parlophone UK

R&B - Released January 23, 2009 | Parlophone UK

Download not available
CD$15.49

Disco - Released January 9, 2009 | Parlophone UK

CD$12.99

R&B - Released July 18, 2008 | Parlophone UK

CD$16.49

R&B - Released April 25, 2008 | Parlophone UK

CD$12.99

R&B - Released April 25, 2008 | Parlophone UK

CD$12.99

R&B - Released August 28, 2006 | Parlophone UK

In what might be the least inspired album of her career, iconic diva Diana Ross sleepwalks through a mishmash of seemingly randomly chosen love songs, all covers save for one new composition, adding nothing to them and forcing one to wonder just why she bothered. It's been standard music industry practice for years for artists to record (or for their labels to release compilations of) romantic tunes in time for Valentine's Day, and the January 2007 arrival of this set couldn't have been better timed as it also coincided with the release of the film version of Dreamgirls, based on the career of the Supremes. But Ross doesn't seize the moment: she puts little emotion or enthusiasm into her recitations here, and seems to have little familiarity with, or understanding of, the songs she and producers Peter Asher and Steve Tyrell have chosen for the album. Her vocals are largely nondescript and at times barely hint at the qualities that made her such a distinctive force for decades, and the arrangements and production are whitewashed and lacking in originality. The material is all over the place, including songs from the '50s to those of more recent vintage, from the Platters' "Only You" through Berlin's "Take My Breath Away," and from fellow Motown great Marvin Gaye's "I Want You" to the ubiquitous (and, at this point, plain annoying) "You Are So Beautiful." Ross takes Jackie Wilson's "To Be Loved" and bleeds the soul from it, and she drains the magic from the Drifters' classic "This Magic Moment." Harry Nilsson's "Remember" not only opens the album but closes it in a brief reprise version, but Ross seems unsure what to do with it either time. The Beatles' "I Will" might be an excellent cover choice in more sympathetic hands, but Ross sounds uncomfortable with its simplicity and quietness, while her reading of Burt Bacharach-Hal David's sultry masterpiece "The Look of Love" is embarrassingly lifeless, especially if compared with Dusty Springfield's definitive '60s version. Whoever came up with the idea of Ross covering the Spiral Starecase's 1969 hit "More Today Than Yesterday" at least gets a few points for digging a bit deeper into the covers well, but Ross puts no fire into the up-tempo/upbeat song. Interestingly, the one new track here (other than a piece from the current Broadway production of The Color Purple), the Fred White-penned ballad "I Love You (That's All That Really Matters)," makes the most of Ross' vocal capabilities and range, begging the question of why she didn't just record an album of new material custom-fitted to her talents. Had the singer on this album been an unknown trying out for American Idol with these performances, no doubt Simon Cowell would have found her appalling. This has to be chalked up as an anomaly and a mistake, because an artist as singular as Diana Ross doesn't just forget who she is and what she does best. ~ Jeff Tamarkin
CD$12.99

R&B - Released April 25, 2006 | Parlophone UK

Dr. John's been on a roll since he signed with Blue Note. Each title he's released on the label has been solid, full of New Orleans funk, hot R&B, and swinging, finger-poppin' jazz. Since the Hurricane Katrina disaster, dozens of Crescent City players have been active, and trying to bring the message of the music to the masses like never before. Mercernary is a program almost entirely made up of tunes by the legendary Johnny Mercer. There is no explanation for this, other than Mac Rebennack has always admired his lyricism and the striking rhythmic originality of the rhythmic possibilities in his music. Other than a few guests to fill out the proceedings here and there, the band on all tracks is Dr. John with his fine Lower 911. The music here is joyful, gritty, and slippery -- check out the opener "Blues in the Night" that just roars with backline funk, or the spit and polish on "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," both written with Harold Arlen. The switch-up is from the Mercer period, in the blues stroll of Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen's "Personality." "Hit the Road to Dreamland" is another blues, with gorgeous piano work by Rebennack. Herbert Hardesty's saxophone adds so much smoke and steam to the leisurely walk that the tune threatens at any moment to erupt into a full-on New Orleans jam, but never does. The reading of "I'm an Old Cow Hand" is a complete reworking of the tune, with killer second-line funky drumming courtesy of Herman V. Ernest III, and the middle-register piano magic by Dr. John struts the tune into the street effortlessly. Some may raise eyebrows at the big horns of Charlie Miller, and John Fohl's electric guitar on "Old Black Magic," but to hell with 'em. This old nugget is given new life, breadth, and an entirely new feel here. Likewise "Moon River," given a soul-jazz strut, will make some cry heresy, but they'll be drowned out by the joyous resonance of the performance itself because it has never been heard this way. Dr. John's interpretive singing is as fine as can be on Mercernary, and on this performance in particular. As if to address his critics, the good doctor lays down his own "I Ain't No Johnny Mercer," a nocturnal, B-3 driven groover that is full of hoodoo sass and greasy funk. Mercernary gives Johnny Mercer's age-old pop songs a new soul twist. And if the man is turning in his grave, he's probably shaking his skeleton, baby! One is struck at just how easy the Lower 911 and Dr. John make this material seem. They virtually write a manual on how standards should be interpreted in the 21st century: with reverence for the creativity and sophistication of the originals, but bringing some of the blessed nightclub vulgarity back into the music, taking it out of the sky and the hallowed hall and putting into back into the barroom where the ears and asses of the people can take it in and shake it. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
CD$11.49

R&B - Released November 18, 2005 | Parlophone UK

Dr. John and the Lower 911 lay out this short (25:25), hastily recorded benefit for the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, the Jazz Foundation of America and the Voice of the Wetlands. Musically, it's Mac in his laid-back mode, but the band crackles a fair bit throughout. The centerpiece of this seven-track set is the "Wade: Hurricane Suite" consisting of the old spiritual "Wade in the Water," improvised and extrapolated into four parts revisiting the levee breaks, storms, and catastrophes that have visited the Crescent City since history has been written. Mac plays his best jazz piano and organ as it has been influenced by deep blues, second line and old-school gospel and funk. The band, which includes John Fohl on guitar, bassist David Barard, and drummer Herman Everest II, sits tights with Mac's strolling and sometimes dramatic groove. The tunes are fine though the production feels sterile, too clean for the music, and that's a drawback. One would have liked to hear this band stretch out more and really click in a rawer setting on the suite because the blues are so prevalent in its construction and ripe for improvisation. But this mini album was recorded in New York and not at home, as has been his wont for a few years now. That's not to say that Sippiana Hericane is a disappointment, but it's not fully satisfactory either. The heartbreak and desperation are pervasive, but the rave-up sections don't quite climb out on the limb or out of the emotional basement either. The dissonance on "Storm Surge," is wonderful, as each player follows Mac's lead into some angular yet no less vamp-based playing. The record feels ambivalent throughout, and perhaps it should, because the grief is genuine, but the rage that is touched on here, as well as the hope for a New Orleans that will be back "twice as strong," feels reined in, and not allowed its full expression. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
CD$15.49

R&B - Released September 30, 2005 | Parlophone UK

Capitol's 2005 collection All the Best weighs in at only 18 tracks, which is a little bit light to truly contain all of the best songs Tina Turner has recorded over her lengthy career. And, truth be told, it doesn't come close to containing all of her best -- it concentrates on material she recorded from her '80s comeback, Private Dancer, on, stretching all the way into the '90s but focusing on such '80s hits as "What's Love Got to Do with It," "Private Dancer," "The Best," "Better Be Good to Me," "Typical Male," and "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)," adding her biggest '90s hit, "I Don't Wanna Fight," plus a couple of OK but forgettable new songs. The classic 1973 version of "Nutbush City Limits" is here, but it's the only Ike & Tina cut; the version of "Proud Mary" is taken from the soundtrack of her 1993 biopic What's Love Got to Do with It. That highlights the problem with All the Best -- it has many of the big hits, but for one reason or another ignores the music on which her legend is built. Still, as a summation of her comeback and beyond, it's good, and for fans who favor this sound, it's a good disc to have. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
CD$17.99

R&B - Released March 25, 2005 | Parlophone UK

The four albums Dr. John recorded for Parlophone leading up to this compilation were very distinct projects. The first, 1998's Anutha Zone, functioned as the New Orleans legend's return to trans-Atlantic critical respectability, thanks to a parade of British admirers (Paul Weller, J Spaceman of Spiritualized, and Gaz Coombes of Supergrass among others). One year later, he recorded a deliciously dripping tribute to Duke Ellington titled Duke Elegant, and he followed after the end of the millennium with an old-fashioned New Orleans R&B records (2001's Creole Moon) and a heavily collaborational record (N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or d'udda) including B.B. King, Randy Newman, and Willie Nelson. Best of the Parlophone Years recycles 15 tracks from those sessions and adds a pair of bonus tracks: the unreleased "Careless Love" featuring Willie Tee (circa N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or d'udda) and "Look Out" (added to a Japanese version of Anutha Zone). Grabbing tracks from such a tight time frame produces a very unified compilation, although Dr. John's syrupy growl and laid-back swing aren't flattered by the first half of this compilation, where the tempos rarely vary. © John Bush /TiVo
CD$12.99

R&B - Released June 11, 2004 | Parlophone UK

N'Awlinz: Dis Dat or d'Udda is a very good record, but it could have been a great one. One has to wonder if the idea of having all these high-profile guest vocalists was Dr. John's, Blue Note's, or producer Stewart Levine's, in order to follow the 21st century trendiness of having "celebrity" guests on a session. This is Mac Rebennack's homeboy album, a tribute to his city and its players. He's recorded some in New Orleans, to be sure, but never has he been able to make use of the Crescent City's greatest arranger, Wardell Quezergue, to such an extent. In addition, the great Doctor was able to enlist Earl Palmer, Smokey Johnson, Nicholas Payton, Dave Bartholemew, Eddie Bo, Walter Wolfman Washington, Snooks Eaglin, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Alfred "Uganda" Roberts, Willie Tee, and a huge slew of players to help him out on canonical N.O. repertoire. The sheer number of percussionists on this set is staggering and welcome. On nuggets like "When the Saints Go Marching In," sung funeral style, the Davell Crawford Singers and the Quezergue horns kick it with the rhythm section and front line. "St. James Infirmary" has Bo second-lining the band as he duets with Mac. The Cousin Joe (Pleasant Joseph) tunes like "Life's a One Way Ticket," Bartholomew's "The Monkey," and Mac's own brilliant "Shango Tango" smolder with that strutting, finger-poppin' R&B. So what's the problem? The lame, completely lifeless vocals of Randy Newman, a track with B.B. King and Willie Nelson, and Nelson on his own on three tracks that will remain nameless mar something so beautifully done that it otherwise might have been one of the finest New Orleans records since the early '60s. There are other guest vocalists who bring home the bacon on duets with Dr. John -- Mavis Staples on "Lay My Burden Down," Cyril Neville on the amazing read of Robert Gurley's "Marie Laveau," and Rebbenack's closer, "I'm Goin" Home," are stellar. And King even rises to the occasion on his duet with Mac on "Hen Layin' Rooster." Dr. John is in amazing voice here, his piano playing is knife-edge tough and funky, and his performances are so inspired that they are perhaps career-defining. Three out of 18 cuts is minuscule after all, and the rest of this set is so badass that it should be purchased regardless. After all, what is the remote control for? It's a contender to be sure, but it could have been a champion. © Thom Jurek /TiVo