Jackie in Memphis
For years there's been speculation about an unreleased album that singer/songwriter Jackie DeShannon is thought to have recorded with Chips Moman at American Studios in Memphis circa 1971, following the career-invigorating successes of Elvis Presley and Dusty Springfield. But other than a lone Moman-produced Stone Cold Soul single for Capitol, no other music has surfaced - until now.
The RPM label CD reissue of DeShannon's transitional Songs (Capitol) album from 71 includes 10 previously unreleased tracks shelved from the Moman sessions. While the material isn't quite on a par with Dusty In Memphis, the performances are among the most soulful of DeShannon's career -- right up there with anything on 72's Jackie (Atlantic) album. Her spirited versions of Van Morrison's And It Stoned Me, Dan Penn's Sweet Inspiration and Emitt Rhodes's Live Till You Die now sound far less dated than the stuff recorded at her makeup session in Hollywood three months later that became Songs.
Back in 1960, folk music enthusiasts Ralph Rinzler, John Cohen, Jean Ritchie and some pals got together with Izzy Young at his Folklore Centre in NYC and planned a series of non-profit concerts to present authentic rural blues, bluegrass and mountain music to Manhattan audiences. Thankfully, someone had the foresight to record those shows, and Smithsonian Folkways has just issued a fab three-disc box of the highlights called Friends Of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival 1961-1965 .
This isn't just some lame repackaging of back-catalogue stuff collecting dust. Fifty-three of the 56 tracks here have never been released before, and stunning contributions by Bill Monroe , Jesse Fuller , Dock Boggs , Mississippi John Hurt , the Stanley Brothers , Joseph Spence , Mother Maybelle Carter , Roscoe Holcomb , Fred McDowell and 15 other artists of equally high calibre make this an awesome uncovering. The long box comes with a 60-page book documenting the events with numerous snapshots, flyers, performance info and insightful essays. A classy job all round.
At the same time traditional folk music was all the rage in Greenwich Village coffee houses, over in Scandinavia jazz was taking over. Small combos of black-suited modernists were popping up all over Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, starting to swing with their own chilled sound that never really caught on internationally.
To help bring the rest of the world up to speed with what was happening 40 years back, Helsinki's Ricky-Tick label -- best known for its association with the Five Corners Quintet -- has compiled On The Spot , a snazzy little introductory disc offering a balanced selection of modal and uptempo dance tracks recorded in the early 60s by Jazz Quintet '60 , Lars Lystedt Sextet , Esa Pethman and Staffan Abeleen Quintet , Kjell Karlsen and his Orchestra along with some cookers by bands led by celebrated American expats Dexter Gordon , Slide Hampton , Sahib Shihab and Brew Moore , who were all living in Nordic style at the time. Hopefully, Ricky-Tick is already working on a second volume, because one 11-song CD just won't cover it. www.jukeboxshop.net.