September 05, 2008


Many years ago, I heard a very good piece of electronic wizardry from a Japanese artist known as Tomita.  The album, called Snowflakes Are Dancing, captured my imagination enchanting me then and enchanting me today just as much.  As I went from imaginative synthesized adaptations of Debussy classics to the magic of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and on to the majestic Planets Suite as created by Gustav Holst but transformed by this master of the synthesizer, I became a fan awaiting every new Tomita “creation.”

I loved his selective Bermuda Triangle collection, his Firebird (Stravinsky), his Canon of the Three Stars (Pachelbel), and his Grand Canyon Suite (Grofe).  I appreciated his Plasma Symphony Orchestra that took soundwaves of star emissions and turned it into music.  But not too far after this, he quit making new albums.  Perhaps his fans had had enough and they quit buying his brave translations.  Perhaps Tomita himself decided that the time was right to stop and do other things.  But I for one miss his wonderful interpretations of classical works.

Tomita pushed me into exploring the real works that he himself had revered and explored.  And so I went out and bought Holst albums.  I indulged in Grofe, and Debussy.  And I heard more that Tomita could have stamped with his unique sound but eventually he chose, for whatever reasons, to trek a different path.  Now I wonder what we would have had from Tomita these missing 20+ years of little to no albums like he used to produce.

I’m left wondering why that is.

Next week, we'll not only begin a new Best Album poll, but we'll also be producing an ALL-Christmas release post. There is quite a bit on that front and so I felt that it deserved our full attention. Yes, it is a few months from then but we need to prepare for the albums, and there are some good ones in this list. That will be here on Monday.

We have the two winners of the Amy MacDonald contest (you'll love the album, winners). They are Neil Schofield, and Tim Jordan. Congratulations to these two and thanks to all that went the extra mile to get the qualifying answer just to enter. I wish I had something for all of you.

We have three reviews for you today that include a two-fer set from James Hrivnak. He reviews the two 2008 Import releases of Between the Beautifuls and Los Manlicious from Hawksley Workman. In addition, I provide a review of the February '08 release of Numinosum from Ascension of the Watchers.

We'll see you on Monday with a suite of reviews and that Christmas post.

If you have missed the last As The Disc Spins (updated), check it out here.

To access the previous site and catch up, click here.






7 Spin Music will release a self-titled Alternative title from Red Umbrella on October 14Red Umbrella is being touted as being reminiscent of British Rock from the ‘60s.  Hmmm, sounds interesting.

We’re pretty excited about the upcoming The Sound of Philadelphia 4CD Box that is coming from Legacy.  This set will celebrate the Philly soul sound with 71 representative tracks – 30 of them #1 hits – from some of the most important artists of the ‘70s,.  The ‘70s was back when Philly Soul ruled the airwaves with artists like (Billy Paul, The O’Jays, The Stylistics, Jerry Butler; The Spinners, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, The Three Degrees, Leon Huff, and so many others).  The Sound of Philadelphia will contain not only the 4 discs of great Soul music, but also a deluxe 60-page booklet with tons of photos, credits, essays, and other goodies.  This Various Artists package will be available on October 21.

Stax Records will release Pebble to a Pearl from Nikka Costa, who has been compared vocally with Janis Joplin, Chaka Khan, and Sly Stone.  This 12-track album will be released on October 14.

UMG Nashville will release the new one from Country star, Billy Currington.  It is called Little Bit of EVERYTHING and is planned for October 14.

The revitalized The Cure, will release their 13th album on October 14The album is called 4:13 Dream and is coming from Geffen Records.

The super exciting news is the upcoming release of the new Keane album.  They will release their third work, Perfect Symmetry, on October 14.

Phoebe Snow, best known for her pleasant “Poetry Man” tune, is releasing a Live set that includes the historical Top40 hit within its track-listing of 11 songs.  Live is being released by Verve Records on October 14.

Concord Records will reissue the soundtrack for Raiders of the Lost Ark with re-mastered tracks AND adding in three previously unreleased tracks.  This album will update the booklet with more photos.  This new John Williams version will be released on October 14.

Hear Music will follow up the release of the new James Taylor album called Covers with a release of the same album in LP form.  This LP is scheduled for October 14.

Lost Highway Records will release Little Honey from Lucinda Williams on October 14.

Mercury Records is releasing a self-titled debut album by The Urgency on October 14.  You can stop by their MySpace page for a sampling of their style.

The Rudy Van Gelder (RVG) Remaster Series continues with a selection of newly revitalized classics from Jazz greats.  The most recent re-masters include Right On Brother (Boogaloo Joe Jones); At the 5 Spot, Vol 1 (Eric Dolphy w/ Booker Little); Black Pearls (John Coltrane); Bluesy Burrell (Kenny Burrell); and Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants (Miles Davis).  These five are being released by Concord Records on October 7.

On October 7, Varese Sarabande will release three soundtrack titles including Babylon A.D. (Atli Orvarsson); Body of Lies (Marc Streitenfeld); and Nights in Rodanthe (Jeanine Tesori).

Rise Against, from Chicago, will release their new album called Appeal to Reason on October 7.  The album will be released in standard CD form along with a Limited Edition Picture-disc LP, and a Limited Edition LP w/full album digital download card.

David Bowie was asked to kick off a series called iSelect, a point where artists are asked to select 12 of their own favourites of their material to assemble in a ‘best of’ series.  This Bowie set was supplied to a UK newspaper as a Limited Edition giveaway.   Surprisingly, Bowie not only selected some good songs from his catalogue but he also thrilled with three bonus inclusions, two previously unavailable.  The two songs are “Some Are,” an outtake from the Low sessions, and a new version of “Time will Crawl.”  The third is a cut from the Live Santa Monica ’72 album, “Hang On to Yourself.”  Bowie – iSelect is slated for release on October 14 from Astralwerks Records.

Caroline Records will release a 2-disc collection for Gomez called Bring It On: The 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition.  The set will include 12 track selections on the first disc, while the second disc will contain 7 BBC cuts, and 9 sessions tracks and rarities from the band.  This set releases on October 14.

Sometimes I feel as if I’ve fallen into a time-warp headed backwards.  Not that that would be a bad thing (it wouldn’t), it is just disarming in a way.  LP alerts of titles that were originally released decades ago are swarming into my e-mailbox.  This last batch received just had me sitting a bit on the shocked side, seeing all of these classics titles being re-mastered and LP released.  This batch has been re-mastered, with all original packaging, and are being pressed on 180g vinyl: Hotel California (The Eagles); Astral Weeks/His Band and the Street Choir/Moondance (Van Morrison); Purple Rain (Prince); Van Halen I (Van Halen); and Warren Zevon (Warren Zevon).  These LPs will ship on October 21 from Rhino Records.

As if those LPs were not enough, watch for Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols (Sex Pistols) from Rhino Records on October 14Rhino Home Video will also release the DVD, There’ll Always be An England by The Sex Pistols, also on October 14.

Hollywood Records will get into the LP mood by releasing four Queen titles that include A Day at the Races, A Night at the Opera, Sheer Heart Attack, and Queen II.  Those LPs are planned for October 28Hollywood will also release an LP version of Cosmos Rock from Queen and Paul Rodgers, also on October 28.

Lava Records will release a Live set from Skillet called Comatose Live.  It will be issued in a CD/DVD configuration with the DVD containing the live concert and 4 music videos.  Comatose Live is scheduled to be released on October 7.

Justice Records will release Festival Thyme from Trail of Dead in LP format on October 21.

Century Media will release The End of Life from Unsun, planning the album to be issued on October 14.

Rhino will release 2CD Collector’s Edition versions of New Order albums that include Brotherhood, and Movement.  These are slated for October 14.

Watch for Greatest Hits Live from War.  This title is expected on October 14.

Telarc Records will release an SACD of Vintage Cinema from Kunzel and The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra on October 28.




Concert Review - Jethro Tull - Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre - August 09, 2008

Jethro Tull has provided musical entertainment and originality for decades. In their show at the Jones Beach theatre on August 09, 2008, they continue well into their 30+ years of music. Sam Rosenthal attended this show and wrote up his assessment. Read on...



Review - Hawksley Workman - Between the Beautifuls / Los Manlicious - CD

Hawksley Workman was a busy man this year, releasing two albums in the span of 6 months. James Hrivnak does the earwork for you and explores both albums, Between the Beautifuls and Los Manlicious.


Review - Ascension of the Watchers - Numinosum - CD

Ascension of the Watchers is a strange name for an album of this nature, but don;t let it change your mind on what it might provide to your sense of good music. Numinosum is a very good effort.








Copyright 2002-2008 Matthew Rowe.
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212 Frech

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