Aretha arrives... again
Long before Aretha Franklin hooked up with Atlantic, everyone knew she had pipes. It just took a shrewd operator with ears like Jerry Wexler to sit her down at the keyboard and let her rip. As a result, Franklin cut her finest work for the label and earned her Queen of Soul title. Judging by the outtakes and demos from the period collected on the amazing two-disc Rhino set Rare & Unreleased Recordings From The Golden Reign Of The Queen Of Soul, the stuff that never made it onto albums was better than many of her contemporaries' career best.
These astonishingly great throwaway takes offer a rare glimpse of Franklin at her creative peak, stretching out, trying unlikely covers- Fool On The Hill, My Way and Leonard Cohen's Suzanne - and reaching for crazy notes that she hits with a shrug. Yes, you definitely need to hear this. www.rhino.com .
From the moment Guinea became independent in 1958, the Syliphone label was there documenting all the music associated with the authenticité movement to preserve traditional Guinean folkloric elements while incorporating modern instruments and recording techniques. Sterns ' dazzling double-disc Authenticité compendium of recordings by Guinea's numerous orchestras - focusing on the West African republic's hugely productive 15-year golden era between 1965 and 1980 - reveals that the celebrated Bembeya Jazz National is just one of many incredible large bands from some 34 regions, each with its own sound and attitude.
Those who pick up Authenticité for the four stellar Bembeya joints will be no less impressed by the funkySuper Boiro Band , Pivi et les Balladins , Horoya Band , Keletigui et ses Tambourins and Kebendo Jazz , who chime in with the unreleased cooker Information. Enlightening accompanying notes and original sleeve photos complete a fabulous package that will thrill anyone tired of the same old Afrobeat bump. www.sternsmusic.com .
Ellusive Bob Lind
If Bob Lind 's name rings any bells, it's probably because he was the promising folk singer (one of the many "next-Dylans") behind the left-field chart hit Elusive Butterfly, recorded in 1965 with Jack Nitzsche,who had the good sense to trim down the original five-verse version to fit on the B-side of a single.
Since then, Lind hasn't seen much chart action, but he did find gainful employment coming up with ridiculous stories about alien babies and such for the Weekly World News. With the recent Big Beat/Ace reissue of his two Nitzsche-produced albums for World Pacific and his overlooked 1971 classic Since There Were Circles (RPM), there's been a sudden resurgence of interest in the masterful singer/songwriter. A new self-released coffee-house recording, Live At The Luna Star Café, shows Lind miraculously sounding better than he did 40 years ago. See for yourself when he plays his first Canadian gig in more than three decades at Hugh's Room Sunday (October 28). www.boblind.com .