Shop now Shop now Shop now Up to 70% off Fashion Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Amazon Fire TV Subscribe and Save Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Profile for freewheeling frankie > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by freewheeling f...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 501
Helpful Votes: 2870

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
freewheeling frankie (north London, England)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Live Adventures Of (7 CD Set) by Man (2011) Audio CD
The Live Adventures Of (7 CD Set) by Man (2011) Audio CD

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars shoddy presentation and mastering but some great music, 4 Aug. 2015
This rather random and shoddily presented and mastered collection of live recordings of Merthyr's finest features four gigs spread across 7 CDs, including two recorded within 4 days of each other in August 1976. With correct track listings (Out Of Your Head appears under 3 different titles; other "gems" include "Ride And View" and "Come On Medle"), a bit of proper audio restoration (there has clearly been none) and some halfway decent packaging design, it might have been a very tempting item for Man fans - there's certainly a lot of very good music on here. If you're prepared to overlook the fact that it's basically a bunch of bootlegs varying from tolerable to pretty iffy quality, some of which are available in better quality elsewhere, then look for a cheap price because it certainly isn't worth the £35 being asked in some quarters, let alone the ludicrous £49 for the download version. If you can get it for under £15 then I guess it merits about 2.5 stars, averaged across the whole box. The contents are as follows:

The Hard Rock, Manchester, 20th May 1975 (CD 1)
It seems Man actually played at the Free Trade Hall on that date (mistake #1 of many). This is the Maximum Darkness line-up (including John Cipollina on most of the set) a few days before that album was recorded. Almost certainly a soundboard cassette recording, the sound quality is very listenable if far from perfect but the mix isn't too hot at times. Two tracks are truncated - 7171 551 starts several minutes in (when the sound mixer remembered to turn on the tape?) and The Storm cuts before the end (when the tape it was recorded on ran out?). There are also a couple of less drastic cuts in Many Are Called But Few Get Up. There are more than enough differences from Maximum Darkness and additional material to make it worth hearing, including a rare Man performance of Deke's solo number Razorblade And Rattlesnake, though Cippo's excellent solo is sadly very low in the mix.

Savoy Tivoli, San Francisco, 5th August 1976 (CDs 2 & 3)
This gig seemingly comes from a KSAN-FM radio broadcast but the sound on the first CD is terrible (it sounds like it's been subject to some very ham-fisted de-hissing) and not that much better on the second, which also isn't divided into individual tracks. All this is a shame as this line-up appears to have been in peak form during their stay in the Bay Area and as far can be discerned through the muffled haze this is a fine gig, as is the next one.

The Keystone, Berkeley, 9th August 1976 (CDs 4 & 5)
This gig differs from the above in featuring another guest appearance by John Cipollina, though only on the last 4 songs this time. It's arguably the best available live performance by the 1976 line-up. While the sound quality is far clearer than on the above, it has been rendered totally redundant by the properly restored and greatly superior version that appeared on Esoteric Recordings' deluxe reissue of The Welsh Connection and sounds shrill and slightly distorted by comparison. And this time both CDs aren't divided into individual tracks - not that that matters if you have the Welsh Connection reissue because you'll never be playing it.

The Sir James club 14th May 1984 (CDs 6 & 7)
The correct name of the venue is the St. James Club, which is in Birkenhead, though you wouldn't know that from the total lack of details here. I personally find much of the new material played by latterday line-ups of Man a bit clunky but the songs are individually tracked and there are some good performances; fans of their earlier material will prefer the second CD but there's a big chunk of the newer stuff on the first CD for those who like it. Again, this would appear to be from a soundboard cassette (it sounds like it ran out in Talk About A Morning but at least it got turned over quickly!) and is reasonably tolerable quality.


The Live Adventures Of (7 CD Set)
The Live Adventures Of (7 CD Set)
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars shoddy presentation and mastering but some great music, 4 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This rather random and shoddily presented and mastered collection of live recordings of Merthyr's finest features four gigs spread across 7 CDs, including two recorded within 4 days of each other in August 1976. With correct track listings (Out Of Your Head appears under 3 different titles; other "gems" include "Ride And View" and "Come On Medle"), a bit of proper audio restoration (there has clearly been none) and some halfway decent packaging design, it might have been a very tempting item for Man fans - there's certainly a lot of very good music on here. If you're prepared to overlook the fact that it's basically a bunch of bootlegs varying from tolerable to pretty iffy quality, some of which are available in better quality elsewhere, then look for a cheap price because it certainly isn't worth the £35 being asked in some quarters, let alone the ludicrous £49 for the download version. If you can get it for under £15 then I guess it merits about 2.5 stars, averaged across the whole box. The contents are as follows:

The Hard Rock, Manchester, 20th May 1975 (CD 1)
It seems Man actually played at the Free Trade Hall on that date (mistake #1 of many). This is the Maximum Darkness line-up (including John Cipollina on most of the set) a few days before that album was recorded. Almost certainly a soundboard cassette recording, the sound quality is very listenable if far from perfect but the mix isn't too hot at times. Two tracks are truncated - 7171 551 starts several minutes in (when the sound mixer remembered to turn on the tape?) and The Storm cuts before the end (when the tape it was recorded on ran out?). There are also a couple of less drastic cuts in Many Are Called But Few Get Up. There are more than enough differences from Maximum Darkness and additional material to make it worth hearing, including a rare Man performance of Deke's solo number Razorblade And Rattlesnake, though Cippo's excellent solo is sadly very low in the mix.

Savoy Tivoli, San Francisco, 5th August 1976 (CDs 2 & 3)
This gig seemingly comes from a KSAN-FM radio broadcast but the sound on the first CD is terrible (it sounds like it's been subject to some very ham-fisted de-hissing) and not that much better on the second, which also isn't divided into individual tracks. All this is a shame as this line-up appears to have been in peak form during their stay in the Bay Area and as far can be discerned through the muffled haze this is a fine gig, as is the next one.

The Keystone, Berkeley, 9th August 1976 (CDs 4 & 5)
This gig differs from the above in featuring another guest appearance by John Cipollina, though only on the last 4 songs this time. It's arguably the best available live performance by the 1976 line-up. While the sound quality is far clearer than on the above, it has been rendered totally redundant by the properly restored and greatly superior version that appeared on Esoteric Recordings' deluxe reissue of The Welsh Connection and sounds shrill and slightly distorted by comparison. And this time both CDs aren't divided into individual tracks - not that that matters if you have the Welsh Connection reissue because you'll never be playing it.

The Sir James club 14th May 1984 (CDs 6 & 7)
The correct name of the venue is the St. James Club, which is in Birkenhead, though you wouldn't know that from the total lack of details here. I personally find much of the new material played by latterday line-ups of Man a bit clunky but the songs are individually tracked and there are some good performances; fans of their earlier material will prefer the second CD but there's a big chunk of the newer stuff on the first CD for those who like it. Again, this would appear to be from a soundboard cassette (it sounds like it ran out in Talk About A Morning but at least it got turned over quickly!) and is reasonably tolerable quality.


Canon 16-35 mm f/4 EF L IS USM Lens
Canon 16-35 mm f/4 EF L IS USM Lens
Price: £682.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Versatile and competitively priced, 19 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
While Canon presumably intended this lens to be used as an ultra wide angle zoom for full-frame cameras, it's also an excellent, if slightly large and heavy walkaround lens for cameras with crop-frame sensors, where it produces an effective focal length range of 25.6 to 56 mm, and Canon appear to have priced it accordingly. As that is what I am using it for, I'll review it on that basis - I can't speak for its performance on a full frame camera.

Good things:
- It's quiet
- It's quick to focus and never hunts
- Focusing is very accurate
- The image stabilisation, unusual for such a wide angle lens, at least partly makes up for the relatively slow f/4 maximum aperture (in low light ability if not in depth of field) and I've been able to get decent images on shutter speeds as slow as half a second without recourse to a tripod, though leaning on something helps!
- It's very sharp and there's very little drop-off in the corners (though see below)
- 16mm is quite wide even on APSC sensors
- It isn't light but its weight (615 g) isn't remotely enough to make it a chore to carry around.
- It has a common filter size (77 mm)
- It's very solidly built and (like all L lenses), weather sealed - although the latter isn't too much use unless your camera is weather sealed too ...
- It's cheap for an L series lens, especially when Canon have one of their cashback deals on.

Not so good things:
- Its length (113 mm) is sufficient, combined with its weight, that it will hang down when the camera is on a strap round your neck.
- With the (useful and included) lens hood added, you're carrying around something about 200 mm long including the camera, which becomes a little unwieldy.
- Moderate but not dreadful chromatic aberrations in the corners in subjects with strong contrast e.g. winter trees against a bright sky. At these kind of focal lengths, this is almost unavoidable on a zoom lens and I've seen far worse.
- The relatively slow maximum aperture (f/4) means you won't be able to get very shallow dof with this lens, especially at the wider end of the zoom range, but if it was much faster it would be a lot more expensive

Bad things:
- This isn't a comment on the lens itself, just a warning about Canon's quality control: I had to send back two copies of this lens due to near-identical problems with softness at the sides. Given that this was quite obvious on an APSC camera, I dread to think what those copies would have been like on a full-frame one - the problem was quite pronounced on landscape shots right across the zoom range. So do take a close look at the sides of the first images you take on this lens, especially focused at or near infinity, and if in doubt, send it back - this lens should be pretty sharp right into the corners and I had no problems whatsoever getting a refund from Amazon, even the second time.

Overall:
This is a fantastically versatile lens on APSC cameras and for many purposes you can leave your others at home. It's also excellent value for money. Docked a point for the quality control but once you've got a good one it's definitely a 5 star product.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2016 5:17 PM GMT


Invisible Hits
Invisible Hits

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good archive collection, 9 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Invisible Hits (Audio CD)
While they only issued two albums and a few singles during their 4 years of existence between 1976 and 1980, the Soft Boys left behind a large quantity of unreleased recordings which began to look more attractive to record labels as Robyn Hitchcock's solo career took off, resulting in a string of archive releases. "Invisible Hits", first issued in 1983, was the second of these and contains material recorded between October 1978 and June 1979.

While it isn't quite up to the standard of their second album proper, the superb "Underwater Moonlight", it's still full of fine tunes full of Hitchcock's infectious brand of deadpan, meaningful verbal nonsense. This CD edition contains 5 bonus tracks, however these are, rather disappointingly, different versions (or in 3 cases, different mixes) of songs that were already on the album.

It's recommended to anyone who's caught the bug, particularly as there are a few good songs here that aren't available anywhere else, but those who haven't caught it yet are directed to the excellent 2 CD collection "1976-81" (which contains several tracks from this collection but is sadly deleted) or the aforementioned "Underwater Moonlight".


Live at the Longhorn - April 1, 1978
Live at the Longhorn - April 1, 1978
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £29.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit disappointing, 25 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Some months after this performance was recorded, I had the very considerable pleasure of seeing Pere Ubu live at the Electric Ballroom in London. They were stunning, and when they issued the live album One Man Drives While the Other Man Screams some years later, which contained some (though sadly not all) of the set I witnessed, it confirmed my memory of how good they'd been. I also own 390 Degrees Of Simulated Stereo : Ubu Live Volume One [Vinyl LP], which again includes some superb live material from this period.

So when I spotted this CD, it seemed an absolute no-brainer that it would be a top quality release and I bought it straight away.

And yet I've been quite underwhelmed by Live At The Longhorn. Where I have other live recordings of the same songs from 1978 (there are 7 on the two albums mentioned above, including 2 versions of Street Waves), they are better. All 7 of them. Many of the others are eclipsed by the studio versions, notably the rather plodding version of Final Solution. But Live At The Longhorn isn't bad by any means - it's a decent soundboard recording, the performance is tight, there's some interesting detail, a few songs stand out. It's just a bit ... subdued, even verging on dull in places. A run of the mill gig.

As the only available recording of a whole live set from their glory days (though the absence of Non-Alightment Pact suggests it may not be complete) it's a valuable document. Shame they weren't at their best that night.

If you don't have either of the other live albums I mentioned above, buy them before this one, even though One Man Drives partly features the far less interesting Mayo Thompson line-up.


From The Vault: The Marquee - Live In 1971 [Dvd] [2015] [NTSC]
From The Vault: The Marquee - Live In 1971 [Dvd] [2015] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ The Rolling Stones
Price: £10.99

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great picture, great sound, patchy performance, 24 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
2015 has been a great year for fans of early 1970s Rolling Stones, with an expanded reissue of Sticky Fingers delivering the whole of the mostly superb Leeds concert from 13 March 1971, a choice selection from the Roundhouse the following night and studio out-takes. Now they've issued this Marquee show from a couple of weeks later in both video and audio formats. Being less interested in the latterday recordings issued recently in their archive series, I ordered this back in April and was really looking forward to it.

First things first: it's not a normal gig. It's much shorter (the main film contains 8 songs and runs about 38 minutes) and it was shot in front of an invited audience of just 150 specifically for a TV special. This is why there are alternative takes of two of the songs - they had to get them right for the TV show. Both the audio and picture quality are excellent. Given the lack of room in the Marquee, the film crew do a fine job, inevitably concentrating on Jagger but also, as other reviewers have pointed out, giving a lot of screen time to Bobby Keys, who plays superbly throughout.

They start well with cracking versions of Live With Me and Dead Flowers. The used take of I Got The Blues is good but not great and then it goes downhill somewhat. Possibly the lowest point of the main film is the ramshackle version of Chuck Berry's Let It Rock - not remotely in the same class as the awesome version that they played as an encore at Leeds 13 days earlier and issued on the B-side of the Brown Sugar single the following month, with Keith mainly to blame. Midnight Rambler is better, but pretty average until the slow section - the second half is far better than the first - and even then it isn't as good as the Leeds or Roundhouse versions. Satisfaction is a bit subdued and Jagger seems a tad uninspired, although as ever the rhythm section are cooking, Bitch is ok and Brown Sugar suffers from Keith's out-of-tune guitar.

Of the out-takes, the first version of I Got The Blues starts very strongly with Jagger in fine voice and Keith giving strong vocal support but is sabotaged near the end by a horrendous bum note - it would otherwise be better than the used version. The second version isn't as good as either. Neither the used version nor the two out-takes of Bitch are bad, but again none of them come anywhere near the cooking Leeds version. The DVD ends with a Top Of The Pops performance of Brown Sugar. This features the band miming to the studio version with Jagger singing live, with a black sax player (anyone know who he is?) miming Bobby Keys's parts. This appears to be a rehearsal rather than the broadcast take as there is no audience in the studio.

So it has its moments but it isn't a great Stones gig. This is really thrown into perspective by the recent issue of the Leeds and Roundhouse material - to my ears, only the first two numbers, the second half of Midnight Rambler and most of the first out-take of I Got The Blues come near to those heights. To what degree this is down to the small and rather subdued audience and worries about getting everything right for the cameras is unclear. If you're determined to buy it - the price is pretty attractive and it's not without its plus points - I recommend the DVD only version because it works better as a film than as a live album. 3.5 stars.


Dirty Work At The Crossroads 1947-1953
Dirty Work At The Crossroads 1947-1953
Price: £7.15

3.0 out of 5 stars great blues guitar - will we ever hear it properly?, 1 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown was one of the greats of Texas guitar blues. Inspired and very obviously influenced by T-Bone Walker, Gatemouth's early recordings as collected here are often more supercharged than T-Bone's, and in his later career he showed a far wider musical versatility, playing violin as well as guitar and refusing to be pigeonholed as a blues artist.

There's a lot of fantastic music here, including some mind-boggling uptempo guitar showcases such as the astounding Atomic Energy and Gate Walks To Board, along with some intense slower material such as the title track with its razor sharp intro.

But like all collections of this material that I've encountered, the sound on some of the tracks is quite poor, featuring the unmistakeable hiss, clicks and general fuzziness of worn 78s, and isn't brilliant on any of them. The sound quality on many of the tracks is far worse than one would expect for recordings of this vintage, even dubbed from disc, and at worst is more typical of rare country blues recordings from 20 years earlier.

I've no idea why this is but I don't think it can be primarily blamed on Acrobat - some of these tracks don't seem to be available in good sound anywhere and the worst that can be said about this collection compared to others is that there's little sign of de-clicking or de-hissing - it sounds pretty much like they've just been copied straight from the 78s. This does at least mean, however, that none of it suffers from the awful effects of over-enthusiastic de-noising that are all too prevalent on unsympathetic releases of old recordings dubbed from disc.

The owners of the masters (EMI for the 4 Aladdin tracks, Universal for the Peacock material) don't seem to be in any hurry to release properly mastered versions of this music either themselves or via licensing to a respected reissue label such as Ace. Who knows if good quality masters even exist for all this material? While a very few tracks here actually do sound a bit worse than they do on other releases, in general this is - sadly - pretty typical of what is available of this artist's early recordings.

We're well overdue for a complete, properly annotated and mastered collection of Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown's 40s and 50s recordings for Aladdin and Peacock - so far as I can tell, nothing of the sort has ever been issued.

This collection certainly isn't it - in particular it has none of his later 50s recordings - however it has two things going for it: it contains more of his early material than any other compilation, and it's cheap. As such, if you're looking for a collection of Gatemouth's early recordings - and they are very much worth hearing - you might as well go for this one because to my knowledge there isn't anything much better available and there might never be. My rating is based on a combination of the music (4-5 stars) and the mastering (2 stars).


Previously Unreleased
Previously Unreleased
Offered by Peacock Records
Price: £9.99

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strongly recommended, 10 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Previously Unreleased (Audio CD)
It's great for this unofficial 1964 material to be widely available. No doubt it's been bootlegged for decades - this may be the nearest to a legit release it's ever had but it sure ain't "previously unreleased". But not having been a collector of early Stones bootlegs I've not had the pleasure of hearing it before. And pleasure it undoubtedly is.

The Chess recordings, from November, are the latest material here. They feature an excellent selection of blues and soul covers (mostly the former) with the only real downside being the inferior sound on the otherwise excellent version of Reelin' And Rockin'. But it's the only track on the whole CD that doesn't have good to excellent sound given the age and origin of the recordings, and is far from unlistenable. You have to admire their gall in attempting Chess classics like High Heel Sneakers, Meet Me In The Bottom and Key To The Highway within the hallowed portals of Chess's own studio, and marvel that the results are so good. And it's not just the performances - the SOUND of the production is great, with fantastic reverb. The Stones must have felt likewise as they recorded little in UK studios after this until Satanic Majesties.

The broadcast material comes from two Joe Loss radio shows on the BBC Light Programme from April and July, totalling 9 songs, and two of the Stones' earliest US TV performances for Mike Douglas (June) and Ed Sullivan (October - their first Ed Sullivan appearance in May isn't included here) with two songs each. All of it features the Stones playing live in front of substantial studio audiences, so it's effectively a 1964 Stones live album. If it isn't taken from the master tapes it's certainly not been through many generations of copying - the sound quality really is as good as you could possibly expect for this type of material and none of it remotely sounds like it was recorded off air. The excitement is palpable and their prowess as a live act shows very clearly why they took off so rapidly - they had only completed their classic 60s line-up with the arrival of Charlie Watts 15 months before the earliest performances here and their first single had been issued only 10 months previously.

Really, if you like early Stones, there's very little not to like here - only the packaging lets it down: the cover is a bit perfunctory and what looks like a booklet is blank inside - not even a photo. Apart from that, I'd say it's every bit as essential as their first studio album, and perhaps more revealing of the Stones' capabilities this early in their history. The more I've listened to it, the more I like it, hence I've changed the rating from 4 to 5 stars.

December 2015 update: the CD I reviewed above seems to have been replaced by a CD with the same title and an almost identical cover but with the 8 Chess studio tracks removed. My comments above on the live material stand, but with only 13 tracks instead of the 21 on the CD I originally reviewed, it's now surely worth only 3 or 4 stars. Sadly, of all the Coda CDs that were available 6 months ago, only the ones that stick to broadcast material seem to be available now. I leave you to draw your own conclusions as to why ...
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2015 11:40 PM GMT


Live At Rockpalast (CD & DVD Set)
Live At Rockpalast (CD & DVD Set)
Price: £15.17

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars all good clean fun, 28 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Just when the deleted Voiceprint DVD of this concert was getting expensive and difficult to find, here's a 2 disc DVD + CD version for about what the DVD cost originally. Two bonus factors instantly make this a better deal than the Voiceprint DVD - the CD, obviously, and the excellent sleeve note by Deke Leonard in which he pays heartfelt tribute to Micky Jones and the German audiences without whose loyalty the Manband might have struggled to make a living. In terms of the actual quality of the DVD compared to the Voiceprint version, I'd say the picture quality is indistinguishable (i.e. of its time, no frills but perfectly adequate) and the sound is perhaps a fraction louder. There are still no extras.

It was recorded only about 6 weeks before Maximum Darkness with the same line-up of Micky Jones, Deke Leonard, Martin Ace and Terry Williams but without the guest appearances from John Cippolina that graced most of the latter album. Martin Ace had been back in the band for only 2 or 3 weeks after flying out to the USA when Ken Whaley left without warning in mid-tour, but acquits himself just fine despite not having played half the material before.

The concert starts with an excellent version of Deke's solo classic 7171-551, notably different from the one on Maximum Darkness and featuring a particularly excellent solo by Micky Jones with lots of vicious chord work. The mix is quite dubious at first with the guitars too low and bass and drums too loud on the intro but it soon gets better. On Hard Way To Die, Deke moves to the keyboard to play some basic but - in context - perfectly adequate rhythm piano. I've heard better versions but there's nothing much wrong with it. C'mon starts well and has a scorching finish, but gets a bit dull in places in the middle when Deke moves to the keyboard again - he's no Phil Ryan, though he clearly knows his limitations and makes the best of his capabilities. On the video at one point, you can see Micky clearly soloing but barely hear him; later on you can hear him shout, "guitar solo!" in the hope of alerting the sound mixer to avoid making the same mistake again; this time he's audible, thankfully. Someone Is Calling was apparently recorded during the sessions for Slow Motion but, despite being left off the album, became a regular feature of their live set in 1974-75 and is a welcome inclusion here. Deke finally released a studio version in 1981 on his third solo album, Before Your Very Eyes. A Hard Way To Live is particularly fine, with another killer solo from Micky. And they finish with a very good Many Are Called But Few Get Up, with Micky again on very fine form. He's really on fire through a lot of this set and plays lots of vicious and note-perfect slide.

While it's great to have this mostly excellent performance on CD as well as DVD, the mix does leave a bit to be desired. Apart from the (relatively few) parts where the mix is just plain bad - as in missed guitar solos - overall the main problem is that it was mixed for a TV broadcast, not for a live album. So while it isn't actually mono, it isn't very stereo either and you don't get the separation of guitars into left and right channels that you'd get in a proper Man live album, though it probably sounds more like being at the actual gig. Since it was clearly mixed live as they were playing, it's essentially a soundboard recording with a mike or two to pick up the small studio audience. All that said, most of it is much more than listenable - the guitars are incisive and Terry's drums kick like a mule.

Arguably, despite their three brief periods of existence in 1972, 1975 and 1995-96 totalling little more than a year and the absence of a proper keyboard player or any studio albums, this quartet were the definitive Man line-up, or at least the essential core members. Certainly their live recordings (especially Greasy Truckers Party and Live at the Padget Rooms, Penarth) make that case well, and most of this one is a worthy addition to that illustrious roster, even if one could quibble slightly over the set list and the keyboards.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 14, 2015 1:07 PM BST


Jazz Workshop Boston January 9th 1976
Jazz Workshop Boston January 9th 1976
Offered by CiriusMusic
Price: £6.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great music, rubbish mix, 30 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This double CD contains a concert broadcast on WBCN from what sounds like a very small and intimate club.

Patti and her group put on a fine performance but unfortunately the CDs don't sound very good. The poor sound is nothing whatsoever to do with the recording or mastering - it sounds like Klondike had access to a very low generation tape source. The problem is the mix, which gets worse the louder the band get. The drums are loud but distorted, the guitar is never loud enough but is very distorted and compressed-sounding, Patti sometimes nearly disappears in the mix when they get loud (e.g. in Privilege) and the bass is mostly non-existent. The only instrument that comes over (too) loud and reasonably clear is the electric keyboards.

Patti talks endlessly - often in direct conversation with members of the audience - between songs, and even over them, as in the intro of Birdland where Richard Sohl plays the beautiful piano figure for several minutes before she gets into the song. She spends a lot of this talk complaining about demands to moderate her language, before letting rip with the profanities in Birdland.

As ever there's a fascinating mix of Patti's originals and sometimes unexpected covers - as well as the usual Gloria, My Generation and Land Of A Thousand Dances, they play two Velvet Underground songs plus Time Is On My Side and a rather unrehearsed-sounding version of Lloyd Parks's Mafia - not a well-known song outside of hardcore reggae fans.

The shorter second disc is perhaps better value for money as they hit the home straight with a killer version of Land, though the mix doesn't improve and she pretty much abandons the song and goes into a rant about the sound system in the club and what an ideal club should be like. The following Time Is On My Side is great if ragged, Gloria is even better and the concluding My Generation, with John Cale guesting, is the only time you can clearly hear the bass. Sadly the mix remains dreadful throughout.

This is a fascinating performance massively let down by the mix in all but the quietest sections - I guess perhaps because the venue is a jazz club and their in-house PA just wasn't designed to cope with loud and sometimes chaotic rock of a kind more at home in CBGB. Whatever, it's often a frustrating listen when it's abundantly obvious how great much of the performance is. 4 stars for the performance, 2 for the mix.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20