Welcome to The Weekend Stream, a relaxing weekly review of notable digital-only catalogue titles. There may be no CD or vinyl, but there's plenty of great new/old music to discover! A short but sweet release week has jazz, soundtracks and a lost pop record from one of the best-loved rock frontmen of the last few decades.
Max Q, Max Q (Golden Rebel) (iTunes)
INXS may have announced some activity around the 40th anniversary of their classic Shabooh Shoobah this fall (more on that as we keep confirming information about the band's plans) - but the real recent surprise for die-hards of the band may have been the digital appearance (outside the U.S., sadly) of the sole 1989 album by Max Q, a side project between late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence and multi-instrumentalist Ollie Olsen. A far more esoteric affair than what the group was doing after Kick made them international superstars, the electro-punk style has earned its share of devoted fans over the years. Perhaps hearing it digitally might make you a fan, too.
A new version of the new closing track from the country legend's recent hits compilation.
After leaving The Manhattans, singer Gerald Alston pursued a solo career with this 1989 self-titled debut. Fitting in nicely among the electronic soul of the day, single "Take Me Where You Want To" hit the Top 10 on Billboard's R&B charts. An extended version of third single "You Laid Your Love on Me" is this digital album's sole bonus track.
This solid 1957 album captured The Velvet Fog in a nightclub setting; in 1992, it received a considerable, hard-to-find expansion only in Japan. Now it's a little more available for the discerning listener.
Buck Clayton, Jams Benny Goodman (Expanded Edition) / All the Cats Join In (Expanded Edition) (Columbia/Legacy)
A trumpeter who'd been part of Count Basie's orchestra, Buck Clayton was well-known by jazz aficionados in the '50s for his "jam" records on Columbia - lengthy sessions that could fill a whole side of vinyl. Jams Benny Goodman, featuring a trio of tunes associated with the esteemed bandleader, arrived in 1955, the same year Clayton co-starred in a biopic about Goodman. A year later, All the Cats Join In lived up to its name with 25 killer players featured across the record, including tenor sax man Coleman Hawkins and trombonist J.C. Higginbotham. Each album is now augmented with rare alternate takes from the same sessions.
In 2002, Matt Damon's electrifying turn as the amnesiac CIA operative from Robert Ludlum's spy novels kickstarted a five-film franchise buzzing with frenetic action sequences. The great John Powell brought his sterling score work to four of those films, and a new expanded edition of the original film's soundtrack - recently released physically by Varese Sarabande - is now digitally available too.
Finally, a little bit of whimsy in the form of two catchy tracks from the recent Disney+ animated special featuring the Star Wars sequel trilogy heroes aboard the Halcyon, a luxe galactic star cruiser (incidentally one you can pay lots of real money to adventure on yourself). James Arnold Taylor (longtime TV voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi) sings a spirited Jabba jam called "Gamorrean Girls," while "Weird Al" Yankovic portrays a cosmic singer named Vic Vankoh singing the summery "Scarif Beach Party."