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Product: Audio CD
Title: Sometime in New York City/Live Jam
Label: Capitol
Artist: John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Rating: 1/5
Customer rating - 1 out of 5
John's & Yoko's Butchery


Jamrag? What the heck is Jamrag? That's really Frank Zappa's King Kong, but Lennon stole the writing credits. Lennon and Ono jammed with the Mothers that night at the Filmore, and they agreed with Zappa that the show would be taped and they would mix it together so they could release it. John and Phil Spector, behind Zappa's back, set out to release it without Frank's permission. They mixed out the vocals on Scumbag ... the only vocals, and did a host of other baffling, stupid things. A horrible injustice and a mess of a record. No wonder Frank hated collaborating as much as he did.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Dangerously in Love
Label: Sony
Artist: Beyoncé
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
It's about time!


The album is hot! The song, "Me, Myself and I" is incredible! It has helped me through a tough time in my life. Each time I hear it, it feels like the first. It reminded me of the first time I heard ""Survivor", I mean the lyrics, made me aware of inner strength I didn't realize I had. For that, I thank Ms Beyonce, you go girl...you put it down, once again. I wish her continued success, after all it's warranted, she's talented. And to think, people were comparing this chic to Ashanti! Pahleeeeessse!!!!!!!!!



Product: Audio CD
Title: Live in Seattle
Label: Grp Records
Artist: John Coltrane
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
As extreme as it gets


Whew. Even by the standards of 1965 Coltrane, this is an extreme recording. The Classic Quartet is augmented by two individuals here; tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and bassist/bass clarinetist Donald Garrett. That means that if you don't like the horn conversations of Ascension and Meditations, you should steer far away from Live in Seattle. But if you do, this 2 CD set may be to your liking. "Cosmos" starts out like something from the Sun Ship sessions, but once the other horns join to comment behind Coltrane's burning solo, the music builds to an almost excruciating intensity. Another highlight is the completely over-the-top "Evolution", which in its 36 minutes encompasses everything from a dissonant tri-horn collective improv to a fiery Pharoah Sanders solo to chants (OHM! OHM! OHM!) to a great McCoy Tyner solo. It's also interesting to hear the sextet tackle three standards Coltrane did earlier in the decade ("Afro Blue", "Body and Soul", "Out of This World"), though none of the renditions is a classic. Perhaps the biggest complaint with this release is that the relative lack of Coltrane's playing (Sanders actually solos more than Trane does). At any rate, if you like Ascension and Meditations and are willing to tread into even more turbulent waters, Live in Seattle awaits.



Product: Audio CD
Title: Into the Woods (2002 Broadway Revival Cast)
Label: Nonesuch
Artist:
Rating: 3/5
Customer rating - 3 out of 5
Not Quite the Same


This recording of Into the Woods is... okay. Vanessa Williams just doesn't have the power and oomph that Bernadette Peters had in the same role. I think it would have been wiser to wait another 10 years before reviving this show. The original production is still fresh in people's minds. And I'm sorry, but the ultimate Baker's Wife will always be Joanna Gleason. The wife in revival, (I don't even know her name) doesn't play the part with enough emotion. Now, I realize that all I have done is put down the recording, yet I gave it three stars. Well it looses all the stars for having a mediocre cast, but gains back three of them for being one of Stephen Sondhiem's best scores ever. So, if you want the best recording of Into the Woods, you'd be better off with the 1988 cast recording, but if you're a big fan of Sondhiem, then you just might get a kick out of it.