bb king - live at the regal

B.B. King: Live at the Regal (1965)

There are live albums, and then there are live albums.  Some of simply documents of a band or artist at a point in time; others are a snapshot of a comet, a fragile glimpse of the celestial heavens that will never come again.  Sam Cooke’s Live at the Harlem Square Club.  James Brown’s Live at the Apollo.  Hell, I’m more than happy to throw in Iron Maiden’s Live After Death…”Scream for me Long Beach!” indeed.  When it comes to blues, you can take your pick of classic live documents, but one that has always stood out as a a testament to the form is Live at the Regal, the 1964 recording of the great, the singular, B.B. King. Continue reading “B.B. King: Live at the Regal (1965)”

art blakey and the jazz messengers - caravan

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers: Caravan (1962)

Keeping this one brief…not only because it’s late and I’m slightly drunk, but also because often writing about jazz eludes me.  So…in that vein let’s talk about Caravan, which not only is the first album the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers recorded for Riverside Records, but it was the first jazz album I ever bought on vinyl.  Featuring incredible performances from the likes of Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter, not to mention Blakey’s insane drumming prowess, it was an opportunity for me to discover a new voice I didn’t already know, as opposed to picking something up I was already familiar with. Continue reading “Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers: Caravan (1962)”

aretha franklin - aretha's gold

Aretha Franklin: Aretha’s Gold (1969)

There was Aretha Franklin, the talented jazz singer signed to Columbia who just didn’t know how to harness all that talent. And then there’s Aretha Franklin, the powerhouse signed to Atlantic who wisely set her up with Jerry Wexler, who immediately knew how to take that power and just unleash it (he just stepped aside and let her do her thing).  Between the two of them the legend that was Atlantic Records in the 60s was solidified, and Aretha’s Gold is frankly ridiculous when you consider this is just a sampling of what Franklin brought to music in late 1967-68. Continue reading “Aretha Franklin: Aretha’s Gold (1969)”