Audiophile: Digital, April 2021

hfnalbum.pngThe Doors
Morrison Hotel
Rhino R2 627602 (2CDs + LP)

An album which continually surprises me, The Doors' fifth studio effort just grows better with age. Here for the 50th anniversary is a remastering of the original 1970 stereo mix, included on both CD1 and vinyl, while CD2 provides a generous 70 minutes' worth of previously unreleased material. The legendary Bruce Botnick did the remastering – he was The Doors' original engineer and mixer – so veracity is maintained. As for the unreleased material, this is incredible stuff targeted at the devotee because it consists of multiple takes and false starts that show how the band worked in the studio. While CD2 might provide just one listening, the main album is a killer, especially the opener, 'Roadhouse Blues'. KK


Donald Byrd
Street Lady
Vocalion CDSML8576

Another pleasant surprise in its original quad mix, this gem from 1974 probably didn't do much for jazz purists, but it stands up as a fine example of the African-American mainstream of the era. Wittily described by AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine as 'like the soundtrack to a forgotten blaxploitation film', the playing is uniformly excellent – it owes a lot to the sounds both Stax and Miles were achieving, and you can't help but smile at the political incorrectness of a concept album about a hooker with a heart of gold. OK, so it's one long cliché, but it's certainly a fantastic mood setter if you fantasise about living in the world of Superfly or Shaft. KK


John Lennon
Gimme Some Truth
Universal 02435 00208 (2CDs, high-res + 5.1 Blu-ray)

Pedants posit that music remixed after a performer has died is music not endorsed by that artist – applicable to many of this month's titles. This 36-track set is Yoko's newest milking of her late husband's solo work: it sounds fresh and punchy, but it ain't what Lennon signed off, eg, the Blu-ray's 5.1 and high-res versions. Judged without purism or sentiment, one can't fault the track selection, with all the faves – 'Woman', 'Imagine', 'Isolation', etc – present. The new mixes offer clarity, bass kick and more prominent vocals, but only you can decide if one should leave well enough alone. Sadly, the 4LP set [02435 00198] lacks the 124pp hardback book. KK


Frank Sinatra
Sing And Dance With Frank Sinatra
Impex IMP8319 (mono)

This material has been repackaged more times than one can count because of its importance: Ol' Blue Eyes' 10in record from 1950 is a milestone in his career. It was his first for the LP format, it showed a new maturity, and it still sounds wonderful. The original eight tracks included a fabulous run of standards such as 'It's Only A Paper Moon', 'You Do Something To Me' and 'My Blue Heaven', while the bonuses feature alternate takes and unreleased recordings. As this SACD has a completely different set of extra tracks from the 1990s Columbia CD's selection, even if you have that, this is a worthy purchase. More to the point, it's even better-sounding. KK