Welcome to this week’s Release Round-Up!
Zappa Records and UMe repackage this 2011 website-exclusive 4-CD set in more compact 3-CD fashion for general release. Carnegie Hall chronicles Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s October 11, 1971 shows at the famed New York venue from the original mono tapes. This version drops the opening set by The Persuasions but includes all of Zappa and the Mothers’ material from both shows. The Mothers’ lineup includes three alumni of The Turtles – bassist Jim Pons and vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, a.k.a. Flo and Eddie – plus Ian Underwood, Don Preston, and Aynsley Dunbar. Read more here!
May 26, 2020 would have marked Peggy Lee’s 100th birthday. A new celebration of her timeless art, Ultimate Peggy Lee arrives today on digital platforms only. Physical 1-CD and 2-LP editions will follow on June 19. This release collects 22 indelible performances from the legendary singer including classic hits, five of her own compositions, and one previously unissued track, “Try a Little Tenderness,” from 1963. Drawing on her original Decca and Capitol recordings, the anthology boasts such timeless favorites as “Fever” (reinvented by Lee from Little Willie John’s original), the alluring “Big Spender,” “Black Coffee,” “Why Don’t You Do Right,” “The Folks Who Live on the Hill,” and two powerful anthems from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller: “I’m a Woman” and “Is That All There Is?,” the latter with a Randy Newman arrangement. Peggy’s own songs here include “It’s a Good Day,” “I Love Being Here with You,” and “He’s a Tramp.” [Note that Amazon Canada does not carry digital downloads; the above link is for the physical editions only.] Read more here.
Peggy Lee, Decca Rarities (Decca/UMe) (Amazon U.S.)
Also available now is a new digital-only collection. Decca Rarities rounds up 31 tracks from Peggy’s creatively fertile period at Decca Records (1952-1956, though material continued to be released long after) including eleven songs co-written by Lee. Among these are seven songs she composed with Sonny Burke for Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, some of which weren’t heard in the final film. Also features duets with The Mills Brothers, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Jimmy Rowles.
Octave Music continues its reissue series for late jazz pianist Errol Garner with this 10th volume: an expanded edition of his 1972 album Gemini on which he led a four-piece group on such standards as “How High the Moon,” “Tea for Two,” “These Foolish Things,” and in a more contemporary vein, George Harrison’s “Something.” One bonus track, “Misty,” has been added. Available on CD, download, and streaming.
Hitmaker-composer-producer David Foster returns with a new instrumental album of melodies based on eleven words – the first letters of which spell out ELEVEN WORDS. His new songs, played on solo piano sans lyrics, musically evoke such themes as Love, Wonderment, Romance, and Serenity. Available on CD and digital platforms.
“Losing My Mind” was, of course, the Stephen Sondheim composition transformed by Liza Minnelli and The Pet Shop Boys from torch-song showstopper to throbbing floor-filler. Now the showtune lends it title to a new exploration of Sondheim music, disco-style. Based on a 2018 concert, this album (conceived by Joshua Hinck and Scott Wasserman) finds a company of singers and a 13-piece orchestra placing his melodies into a ’70s/’80s-influenced dance style in various medleys and mash-ups. Available on CD and digital platforms.
From The Second Disc family to all of you, we wish you health, comfort, and safety during these difficult times. – Joe, Mike, Sam, and Randy