soul kitchen connection

THE BEATLES REVISIT ABBEY ROAD WITH SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY RELEASES SEPTEMBER 27th

Abbey Road Presented with New Mixes in Stereo, 5.1 Surround, and Dolby Atmos; Expanded with Previously Unreleased Session Recordings and Demos 

By Harvey Kubernik © 2019 

It was 50 years ago today, on August 8, 1969, that the world’s most famous band stepped out from London’s EMI Recording Studios to

Courtesy Universal Music Enterprises/ Apple Corp. LTD

stride, single-file, across the black and white stripes of Abbey Road’s nearby zebra crossing. With photographer Iain Macmillan balanced on a stepladder and one policeman stopping the street’s light traffic, The Beatles crossed back and forth three times, led by John Lennon, followed by Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison. Just six photos were taken, with the fifth selected as the cover shot for The Beatles’ penultimate studio album, Abbey Road, named after the tree-lined street in which the studios are located. 

Released September 26, 1969, Abbey Road was not The Beatles’ final album, as Let It Be followed in 1970, but it was the last one John, Paul, George, and Ringo recorded together as a band. The Beatles will celebrate Abbey Road’s anniversary with a suite of beautifully presented packages to be released worldwide on September 27 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. the album’s 17 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo, high res stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos, accompanied by 23 session recordings and demos, most of which are previously unreleased.

This is the first time Abbey Road has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings and demos. The album’s sweeping new edition follows the universally acclaimed remixed and expanded anniversary editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The BEATLES (‘White Album’) released in 2017 and 2018, respectively. To create Abbey Road’s new stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos mixes, Martin and Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios. All the new Abbey Road releases feature the new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes. To produce the mix, Giles was guided by the album’s original stereo mix supervised by his father, George Martin. Continue reading

LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL WORLD TOUR

FIRST ALBUM OF NEW MATERIAL SUMMER OF SORCERY IN 20 YEARS VIA WICKED COOL/UME Label;  

BY HARVEY KUBERNIK © 2019 

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul’s  Summer Of Sorcery was just released during May on CD, digitally and on vinyl as double LP on 180-

Courtesy of UMe Records

gram black vinyl via Wicked Cool/UMe label.  

A wide-ranging world tour began May 16 at Liverpool, UK’s 02 Academy and then made  stops across the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

The first leg of the North American tour started July 2 at the London Music Hall in Ontario, Canada and take Van Zandt and band all across Canada and the Eastern U.S., culminating at Outlaw Jam in Annapolis, Md. 

They will return to Europe in August for more shows and return to the US in September for the second leg of the tour that will culminate at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on November 6th

Each show on the American tour will benefit Van Zandt’s TeachRock education initiative and offer an introduction to the Teachrock.org curriculum. Before the show, the TeachRock staff will host free professional development workshops designed to engage educators with techniques and content through which they can comfortably use music to inspire students, even if they’ve never touched an instrument. 

The free, multimedia K-12 interdisciplinary curriculum meets prevailing standards in English Language Arts, Social Studies/History, the Fine and Performing Arts, and also includes STEAM and advisory material suitable for K-12 teachers of all disciplines, interdisciplinary best practices and group activities.

Summer Of Sorcery – which arrives just two years after Little Steven’s acclaimed 2017’s solo return, Soulfire, and its 2018 live follow-up, Soulfire Live! – was written, arranged, and produced by Van Zandt at his own Renegade Studios in New York City; the album was co-produced and recorded by Geoff Sanoff and co-produced by Disciples of Soul musical director and guitarist Marc Ribler. 

Courtesy of UMe Records

Summer Of Sorcery was mixed and mastered respectively by Van Zandt’s career-long collaborators and friends Bob Clearmountain and Bob Ludwig (. The album – which features an exclusive introduction written by Van Zandt – is adorned with Frank Frazetta-inspired cover art by Steven’s longtime art directorLouis Arzonico.

“I know it sounds a bit silly but I do believe Rock ‘n’ Roll can change the world,” Van Zandt volunteered. “It’s about bands, and that for me suggests brotherhood, family, friendship, and community” 

In addition to his ongoing role as a touring and recording member of The E Street Band, the past two decades have seen the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer expand his personal parameters to include legendary work as an actor on The Sopranos and Lilyhammer as well as host-creator of Sirius XM’s one-and-only Little Steven’s Underground Garage creator of Sirius XM’s long-running Outlaw Country format).  Continue reading

THE ROLLING STONES – BRIDGES TO BREMEN

CONCERT FILM TO BE RELEASED JUNE 21ST 2019

RESTORED, REMIXED AND REMASTERED SHOW LIVE FROM GERMANY

PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED CONCERT PLUS FOUR BONUS TRACKS FROM CHICAGO; 

KEITH RICHARDS 1999 INTERVIEW       

By HARVEY KUBERNIK © 2019

As the Rolling Stones’ No Filter US tour dates are currently being re-scheduled  Bridges To Bremen was announced today by the Rolling

DVD cover Courtesy of Eagle Vision

Stones for release on June 21st.

Presented by Eagle Vision, the previously unreleased concert film has been completely restored, remixed and remastered and will be available on digital, DVD + 2CD, Blu-ray + 2CD, triple vinyl and digital audio formats.

Bridges to Bremen captures a complete September 2, 1998 show at Germany’s Weserstadion venue from the final leg of the Rolling Stones’ year-long trek that supported their Bridges to Babylon album, which achieved Platinum and Gold status in multiple markets upon the album’s original release in 1997.

The Bridges To Babylon tour was the first time the band went on the road with a permanent, and now infamous, B-stage, and also the first time that fans could vote on the band’s website for a track they wanted to hear at the show – “Memory Motel” in the case of the Bremen fans, making each show on the tour unique. Continue reading

FRANK ZAPPA HOLOGRAM SPRING

UNITED STATES AND EUROPE TOUR TO WORLD PREMIERE NEW MUSIC WITH FORMER BANDMATES ON THE BIZARRE WORLD OF FRANK ZAPPA    

FRANK ZAPPA’S BELOVED LIVE DOUBLE ALBUM ZAPPA IN NEW YORK CELEBRATED WITH SUITE OF 40TH ANNIVERSARY RELEASES INCLUDING DELUXE BOX SET, EXPANDED 3LP AND DIGITAL

5-DISC COLLECTION FEATURES OVER THREE HOURS OF UNRELEASED PERFORMANCES FROM THE LEGENDARY 1976 FOUR-NIGHT STAND PLUSEXCLUSIVE MATERIAL FROM ZAPPA’S VAULT  AVAILABLE ON ZAPPA RECORDS/Ume;

By Harvey Kubernik © 2019

In 1976, Frank Zappa played four historic sold-out concerts at The Palladium in New York City the week between Christmas and New Year’s. These thrilling shows – described by band member Ruth Underwood as “theatrical, outrageous and raucously funny, but also filled with startling and gorgeous music, dating from Frank’s 1960s output to literally the moment the curtain went up”— served as the source material for the live double album Zappa In New York which was constructed from the best-played performances with overdubs later recorded in the studio. Originally slated for release in 1977, the album was delayed for a year due to record label censorship issues, mostly over the controversial song Punky’s Whips,” and finally released in 1978.

One of Zappa’s most beloved collections of songs, the now classic album included a live version of “Sofa” alongside nine new compositions, including the complex percussion-based piece The Black Page,” which has become infamous in the drum community as the ultimate challenge, the Devilish comedic sendup Titties & Beer,” and the notorious aforementioned “Punky’s Whips” about Punky Meadows, the guitarist for the band Angel.  

In celebration of its eventual release in 1978Zappa In New York was released on March 29 via Zappa Records/UMe as a suite of expanded anniversary editions to commemorate the album’s recent 40th anniversary.

Overseen by the Zappa Family Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Vaultmeister Joe Travers, the expanded versions are available as a 5CD box set, 3LP on 180-gram audiophile grade vinyl and digitally.

A March 2019 press release describes the product.

“The 5-disc collection is housed in a limited-edition metal tin shaped like a NYC street manhole cover and includes a replica ticket from one of the shows, consists of the main album in its original mix, newly remastered by Bob Ludwig in 2018 and available for the first time since its debut.

The four additional discs are loaded with Vault nuggets and more than three hours of unreleased live performances from the New York City Palladium concerts, representing every composition played during the concerts and the best alternate performances of every tune Zappa picked for the original album, all newly mixed in 2018.

The 3LP set, pressed at Pallas in Germany, features all-analog mastering of the original album mix, unavailable since first issued. Plus, an additional LP of select bonus content from The Vault. The digital release marks the debut of the original mix.
To achieve the highest-level sound quality, the Zappa audio team went back to the original two-inch 24-track multi-track master tapes and transferred every reel at 96kHz 24-bit wavs.”  

 “We are excited to bring you this new Deluxe version of Zappa in New York: an opportunity to re-examine and celebrate the source material of a great album while exploring the events of Frank’s life in late December 1976, Collections like these really show of the work ethic of a musical genius,” suggests the Zappa Family Trust in the album notes. 

The collection showcases some of Zappa’s most masterful guitar playing and electrifying arrangements as he leads an exceptional band featuring Ray White on vocals and guitar, Terry Bozzio on drums and vocals, Eddie Jobson on keyboard, Ruth Underwood on percussion and synthesizer, Patrick O’Hearn on bass and vocals and David Samuels on timpani and vibes. Don Pardo provided “sophisticated narration” and the brass section, featuring jazz duo the Brecker Brothers with Randy Brecker on trumpet and Michael Brecker on tenor saxophone, was rounded out by the SNL players: Lou Marini on alto sax, Ronnie Cuber on baritone sax and Tom Malone on trombone.

Zappa In New York includes expanded packaging which features previously unseen live photos by Gail Zappa alongside extensive liner notes by band members Ruth Underwood and Ray White (who were part of Zappa’s band for these shows) as well as an insightful essay by Joe Travers with Australian writer Jen Jewel Brown.

Underwood also contributes a solo piano version of The Black Page” that has been newly recorded for this special edition. “‘The Black Page’ has proven to be one of Frank Zappa’s most intriguing and enduring compositions. It is performed in many kinds of venues all over the world. It is taught and studied in schools. Perhaps most exciting is that it is adaptable and lends itself to a variety of orchestrations and re-workings, as FZ himself demonstrated. I am proud that after forty years, mine is finally among them. It is my love letter to Frank and Gail,” Underwood writes in the liners.

Zappa In New York capped off a terrific year for the ever-prolific and always-moving musician which included shows around the globe including his second Australian tour and one and only Japanese jaunt, the release of his album Zoot Allures and Grand Funk Railroad’s record Good Singin’ Good Playin, which he produced, a string of Halloween shows and a performance on Saturday Night Live which ended up having a profound impact on the Palladium shows.  

Following an on-air collaboration with SNL’s announcer Don Pardo and the show’s house band, Zappa invited them to be a part of the shows after three of the horn players so loved playing with Zappa that they asked if they could be involved.

As Travers and Brown write in the illuminating liner notes: “Out of nowhere, the concept of adapting horns to the scheduled concerts became a reality. Frank was immediately swept up in the pleasure and challenge of writing and arranging parts for the existing material.”

Live music’s premier hologram production company Eyellusion has announced that a who’s who of Zappa fan favorite musicians will support The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa hologram tour which will make its debut this April in the U.S.  The nine U.S. shows begin Friday, April 19, with seven European shows in May to follow. Additional dates will be announced in the coming months.       

Eyellusion holograms is represented by Steve Martin of APA, who books Eyellusion’s hologram tours, including metal icon Ronnie James Dio and the upcoming Glenn Gould tour.    

In 1974, Frank Zappa, the wizard of Laurel Canyon, transformed his Los Angeles rehearsal space into a sound stage and cranked out some unbelievable performances seen and heard only by the camera operators in the room. The audio from these performances–locked away in the Zappa vaults for 44 years–will serve as the basis for what will be the world’s most ambitious hologram tour to date.  The “can’t miss” concert spectacle is being produced in close cooperation with the Zappa Family Trust.  

The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa hologram tour band is comprised of former ZAPPA bandmates for this monumental series of shows.  The touring unit boasts guitarists Ray White and Mike Keneally, bassist Scott Thunes, multi-instrumentalist Robert Martin, percussionist Ed Mann, and drummer and Zappa archivist Joe “Vaultmeister” Travers.

“As a futurist, and hologram enthusiast, Frank fearlessly broke through boundary after boundary as an artist and in honoring his indomitable spirit, we’re about to do it again, 25 years after his passing,” said Ahmet Zappa, EVP of business development for Eyellusion and co-trustee of the Zappa Family Trust in a press release.    

“We’re excited to world premiere a handful of Frank Zappa compositions; these mind-melting concerts we’re putting together celebrate the music, often surreal imagery and humour synonymous with Frank. We will be pushing the limits of what anyone has seen holographically on stage before in a live venue. Circumstances, objects, places and subject matter from Frank’s songs and imagination will be brought to life for the first time on stage.  We are anthropomorphizing Frank’s music utilizing various visual techniques, art styles, classic imagery from his album artwork and characters from his songs, culminating in one extremely bizarre, live music experience.

“My father and I actively discussed 3D and ‘holography’ and it was a concept he actively engaged in. He actually devoted half a chapter of his The Real Frank Zappa Book to this subject.

“This is a love letter and a journey celebrating the genius artistry of Frank Zappa. On a personal note, I feel like I am finishing something my father started years ago.  And let’s not forget, Frank himself will be rocking his fans, alongside his bandmates like nobody’s business.”

The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa is unlike any other hologram-driven musical event you’ve ever read about or witnessed.     

In 2019 Ahmet gave me a preview viewing at the Zappa offices in Los Angeles.   

It’s a blend of music, technology, video, film, eye-popping animation and sonic explorations.      This isn’t a music and screen show tribute booking at a venue re-creating familiar Top 40 hits and parading catalog. The stage repertoire features plenty of un-released ‘70s footage and unheard Zappa music.      

The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa further demonstrates that Frank was at the forefront of employing studio digital technology and state-of-the art recording now exhibited in this new platform.  

Once again, Frank Zappa and veteran Zappa tour band members have re-defined sound and vision mixture in a theatrical presentation. The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa is a bold landmark multi-media adventure which ushers the hologram-driven experience past the goal posts.

“Machines don’t get loaded, drunk or evicted,” Frank wrote in his 1989 autobiography, The Real Frank Zappa Book.

As a teenager I caught Frank Zappa in The Mothers of Invention during May of 1968 in a dance concert at The Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles, California. And today his work and image after a half a century continue to inform music collectors, fans and cultural creatives.       

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Leonard Cohen: Songs From A Room

By Harvey Kubernik ©  2019

April 7, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Leonard Cohen’s second Columbia Records album, Songs From A Room in 1969. It reached No.

Courtesy of Sony Music

63 on the US Billboard Top LPs and No. 2 on the UK charts. 

Initially, Songs From A Room felt like a trespass,” suggested writer Marina Muhlfriedel. “How dare Leonard Cohen dilute the sacred incursion his first album, forged into my being? For some reason, I never considered the possibility of a follow-up. Songs of Leonard Cohen was so personal, so monolithic, I assumed it to be a singular event.

“It took a friend planting me on a couch, cranking up the speakers and demanding I listen. Before ‘Bird On the Wire’ was over, tears flowed. It was so damn beautiful — a hymn, a confession, a deep bow of humility striking a nearly unbearable nerve. Leonard seemed a bit older, wearier, less embellished, but once again that trickster sunk right into my soul.”

“Leonard wrote songs because he had to, and because he wanted to get laid,” observed author, record producer and deejay Andrew Loog Oldham in a 2014 interview we conducted. “Later he wrote songs because he wanted to get paid. That’s when I decided he had something to say.”

I was on the UCLA campus in Westwood, California when Cohen debuted in 1970 at Royce Hall. Michelle Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas was one of Leonard’s singers that evening. Mama Cass Elliot had already covered “You Know Who I Am” from Cohen’s Songs From A Room on her 1968 album Dream a Little Dream.        Continue reading