Audiophile: Vinyl, August 2021

hfnalbum.pngFrank Sinatra
Sing And Dance With Frank Sinatra
Impex IMP6036 (180g vinyl; mono)

Reviewed on SACD in April, this so deserves to be heard on vinyl that it gains five more points and snags Album Choice: it may be mono, but wow, does it sing! To recap, this expands the 1950 album, initially on 10in 78s, which Impex remastered from the original 15ips tapes (and three tracks from 16in discs), and the rewards are two-fold. First, you hear Sinatra at a transitional period from bobby-soxer idol to suave crooner, and secondly – this is, after all, a hi-fi magazine – you'll be staggered by the sound of 70-year-old recordings. It's worth acquiring, too, for the booklet, a model of liner-note excellence. If you already have the SACD, it's a great way to play 'guess the format' with your friends. KK


The Black Crowes
Shake Your Money Maker
American 025308 80728

In the wake of that benighted, amusical, hate-filled 1970s atrocity called 'punk', backlash arose in the form of a return to blues- or boogie-based rock on both sides of the Atlantic. The mid/late '80s practitioners of what The Rolling Stones kicked off 20 years earlier included Dogs D'Amour, the Georgia Satellites and – one of the best of the lot – The Black Crowes, also via Georgia. This is their debut in remastered-from-the-original-tapes, 30th anniversary glory, a reminder of what The Animals, The Yardbirds and The Faces sired. While the high point is their hit take on Otis Redding's 'Hard To Handle', the whole LP is just as gritty and soul-restoring. KK


John Lee Hooker
Don't Turn Me From Your Door
Speakers Corner/ATCO 33-151 (mono)

While this contains a dozen unadulterated, lean-and-mean blues tracks, 11 of which are originals, the set is unusual in that it comprises two disparate sessions. I don't understand what motivated ATCO to combine them, as half the set was recorded in 1953 as a solo and in '61 with Earl Hooker and Eddie Kirkland on a few tracks. Oddly, the latter are also mono, but that doesn't detract from the experience as the music is so sparse. Anyone who knows Hooker can – with just a couple of musicians augmenting his guitar and raw vocals – conjure up more atmosphere than Alfred Hitchcock. Hear why he helped fuel the British Blues Boom. KK


Lyman Woodard Organization
Live – Don't Stop The Groove
Pure Pleasure/Lyman LW-1353

While Vocalion specialises in 1970s quad mixes on SACD, Pure Pleasure is doing its part to satisfy your cravings for that era's smooth crossover jazz/funk on vinyl. This time it's a sleek live set from 1979 by the late Detroit jazz organist Lyman Woodard, whose impressive CV showed a penchant for Latin-inspired fusion, as well as backing many Motown acts. Here he's on point for that year with danceable numbers with self-explanatory names such as the LP's title track and 'Disco Tease', the shortest running to nearly 6min. Extensive liner notes reveal the pedigree of his band, so the musicianship lifts this above mere groovin'. Ideal for retro 'bachelor pads'. KK