« Sur papier, mon parcours professionnel paraît réglé d'avance : ingénieur, pilote de chasse, pilote d'essai, astronaute. Une trajectoire type, droite comme une flèche, pour un professionnel du domaine. Mais cela ne s'est pas tout à fait déroulé ainsi. Ma route a été déviée par des virages en épingle et des impasses. Je n'étais pas destiné à devenir astronaute. J'ai dû me transformer pour y parvenir. »
An album that fuses the influence of African music, jazz-rock, and free improvisation, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath shares affinities with the '70s music of Don Cherry and Miles Davis. Somewhat of a legendary album amongst collectors of British jazz and fusion, the LP was originally released in the '70s and in early 2002 finally became reissued by the Italian label Akarma. Enlisted on the session were the talents of a group of extraordinary musicians from the free jazz, progressive rock, and improvisation scenes. Chris McGregor led the group on piano and African xylophone with Malcolm Griffiths and Nick Evans on trombones, Mongezi Feza on pocket trumpet and Indian flute, Mark Charig on cornet, Harry Beckett on trumpet, and Dudu Pukwana on alto saxophone. Ronnie Beer's tenor saxophone is outstanding, and pitched up against Alan Skidmore's tenor and soprano saxophone, completing a massive horn section, are two bigger names: '70s U.K. jazzman Mike Osborne on alto saxophone and clarinet and John Surman on baritone and soprano saxophone.
WEA International's Platinum Collection features 15 cuts from English singer and guitarist Chris Rea, nearly all of which have seen the light of day on previous compilations such as The Best of Chris Rea, The Very Best of Chris Rea, and Heartbeats: Greatest Hits. All the late-'80s/early-'90s radio hits like "Road to Hell, Pt. 2," "On the Beach," "Auberge," and "Looking for Summer" are here, making it a smart buy for the casual listener.
Chris Smither's Another Way to Find You was the live album that chronicled his career up to 1991. Live As I'll Ever Be takes up where that one left off, featuring songs from the four albums he released in the '90s. It was recorded over several years – beginning in 1996 – and captured performances in California, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Ireland. One mike recorded his large, unmistakable voice; the other was placed on the floor to pick up his steadily tapping and stomping feet. Many audience favorites were included, such as "I Am the Ride," "Slow Surprise," "Small Revelations," and "Up on the Lowdown." Two covers, Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom" and Rolly Sally's "Killin' the Blues," were also recorded. There are entertaining song intros and bits of warm banter with the audience, too. Chris Smither is always at his best when he is performing live. In fact, he often says that he writes songs and records albums just so he can perform live, and not the other way around. Live As I'll Ever Be gives you a great front-row seat, any time you want it.
Reflections is the solo album of the legendary British musician Chris Norman, released in 1995. Known both for his solo hits in the '80s as well as his hits with the band Smokie in the '70s, Chris Norman is a British soft rock singer with an international following whose career spans several decades. A few years after the success of his 1978 Suzi Quatro duet, "Stumblin' In," he parted ways with Smokie and found solo success with his second album, 1986's Some Hearts Are Diamonds. In the decades that followed, Norman proved himself to be surprisingly prolific, delivering a new studio album every two or three years and maintaining a large fan base in Germany, where his chart success continued into the 2000s.
Known for his solo hits in the 1980s as well as his hits with the band Smokie in the '70s, Chris Norman is a British soft rock singer with an international following whose career spans several decades. As Smokie's popularity trailed off around the turn of the decade, Norman split from the band and made his solo album debut in 1982 with Rock Away Your Teardrops. While his debut album was fairly unsuccessful, his second full-length effort, Some Hearts Are Diamonds (1986), was another story, spawning the international Top Ten smash hit single "Midnight Lady." Norman's popularity was greatest in Germany, where he racked up several additional hits during the late '80s, among them "No Arms Can Ever Hold You," "Sarah (You Take My Breath Away)," and "Broken Heroes."
Vintage-inspired singer/songwriter Chris Isaak has periodically attempted to update his '50s and '60s-influenced sound. Albums like 2002's Always Got Tonight and 2009's Mr. Lucky found the California native incorporating funk grooves, modern rock guitars, and the occasional synthesizer. Despite these moves toward contemporizing his pompadour-accented approach however, Isaak's best work, even on those albums, is always on the tracks where he embraces his old-school aesthetics and delivers melodic, twangy songs in his signature goosebump-inducing croon. This is the approach Isaak takes on his 13th studio album, 2015's First Comes the Night.
Two of singer Chris Connor's finest Atlantic albums are reissued in full on this single CD. The laid-back yet coolly emotional jazz singer is heard backed by top-notch rhythm sections (with either Ralph Sharon or Stan Free being the pianist/arranger) and occasional horns (trumpeter Joe Wilder, flutist Sam Most, tenors Al Cohn and Lucky Thompson, flutist Bobby Jaspar and Al Epstein on English horn and bass clarinet) adding some short solos. Connor (then around 30) was in her prime, and her renditions of such songs as "Poor Little Rich Girl," "Lonely Town," "I'm Shooting High," "Moonlight in Vermont," and even "Johnny One Note" are memorable and sometimes haunting.