After the passing of Johnny Cash , his son John Carter Cash , while winding down operations at the House of Cash studio and museum, discovered a box of home demo tapes the Man in Black recorded with just his booming voice and an acoustic guitar back in 1973. Thankfully, Steve Berkowitz of Columbia-Legacy was sharp enough to realize they had a major score on their hands and released the material as the double-disc Personal File (Columbia/ Sony) set.
Wonderfully relaxed and at his singing peak, Cash takes us on a guided tour of the songs he sang in his youth and those that inspired him, from A.P. Carter's The Winding Stream and Cindy Walker's Jim, I Wore A Tie Today to more recent material like Rodney Crowell's Wildwood In The Pines and John Prine's Paradise, prefacing most renditions with a personal perspective that makes it sound as though he's performing in your living room. This is perhaps the most intimate performance by Cash you'll ever encounter. An amazing discovery.
In the impressive catalogue of late British jazz saxophonist Tubby Hayes , the just-reissued Costanzo Plus Tubbs: Equation In Rhythm (Universal, UK) album often gets short shrift from jazz snobs largely because the one-off "collaboration" between Hayes and bongo boss Jack Costanzo only features two tracks with Hayes. According to Costanzo, Hayes's manager booked the studio time while Costanzo was in London, but the narcotically challenged Hayes wasn't in any shape to make the gig. Despite Hayes's minimal input, it's still a wonderful percussion-heavy Afro-Cuban-style throwdown, with Costanzo bashing furiously along with some searing flute runs from Harold McNair and tasty trumpet blasts from Shake Keane . Old-school descarga fans will be pleasantly surprised.
The second volume in the Soul Jazz label's Soul Gospel series, which could be subtitled Heavenly Songs More Likely Heard In Dance Clubs Than In Church, suggests that the UK reissue house has corrected Vol. One's problem of the too obvious track selection with a more interesting assortment of lesser-known material typical of their other deeply dug comps. The focus remains funky tracks with novel arrangements that heathens could love, only this time we're treated to more off-the-beaten-path cookers like Since I've Been Born Again by Martha Bass , Where Will It End by the Sensational Cymbals and the largely overlooked We Should All Thank The Lord by the Lovers of God .
There are a couple headscratchers thrown in that stretch the definition of gospel music, like the Staple Singers ' cover of For What It's Worth and, stranger still, Loleatta Holloway 's Casanova. Then again, the club crowd who'll be buying this disc probably couldn't care less about such details.