Pure Pleasure / Go Jazz - PPAN 009 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
Mastering by Sean Magee at Abbey Road London
AAA 100% Analogue - Pressed at Pallas in Germany - Limted Edition
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in Stereophile!
great sounding, everyone’s-playing-and-singing-live-in-the-studio double set offers plenty of rewards both musically and sonically. Thanks to Pure Pleasure for making us aware of it and issuing it on double 180g vinyl cut from the analog tapes! - 8/10
At last! ... British blues legend Georgie Fame finally has his Magnum Opus committed to the stuff we all love.
Contained within is a collection of Blues, Jazz and R&B standards mixed with some originals. This musicians' musician is backed by a world class band including Steve Gadd, Robben Ford, Richard Tee, Will Lee, Ralph MacDonald, Hugh McCracken and an uber horn section. Fame's classy, economic Hammond and great voice inspires superb duets with Bozz Scaggs and Richard Tee. Van Morrison, Fame's erstwhile boss, joins him on "Moondance" and one of his heroes, Jon Hendricks, aids him to fly through "Little Pony". There is a slowed down, super sexy "Yeah,Yeah" and a blistering take on Willie Dixon's "I Love The Life I Live". If you like Brother Ray, Mose Allison, Hoagy Carmichael, Van the Man, Peggy Lee and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross then you'll love this.
On an audiophile note, this studio album from 1990 was recorded 'live' with most tracks done in one or two takes, no overdubs and entirely in the analogue domain. A great album, beautifully recorded, finally done justice on two slabs of 180g by Pure Pleasure.
Georgie Fame has always been a cool cat. His blend of American rhythm and blues and jazz has appealed to a cross section of musicians who have good taste in common. From ultra-hip vocalists Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, and Ben Sidran to jazz musicians such as Ronnie Cuber, and Jon Hendricks, Georgie Fame has provided vocalese accompaniment and Hammond B-3 or piano duties.
Fame is best known for the dual fame brought on by his British band The Flames, as well as for being the musical director and right-hand man for Van Morrison from 1989 throughout most of the 90s. For Morrison, Fame provided a compatriot for Van’s mix of white soul, blues and jazz idioms. For many years, when you heard a Morrison CD, you’d expect to hear Georgie provide co-leader duties, whether it was leading Van’s band or providing background and lead vocal counterpoint to Morrison’s forays into his latest bag of tricks. Fame had the hip quotient to enter Van’s inner circle.
Fame’s ability to not be pigeonholed has enabled him to tackle blues with London’s best when he was only 17. After a series of Top Ten hits in Britain, Georgie explored his interest in jazz with the Harry South Big Band and even toured Europe as the featured vocalist with a late edition of Count Basie’s touring band. He later co-starred on British television with musician, Alan Price, and they recorded together as well.
The 70s and 80s were devoted to jazz and his acceptance in the jazz community was cemented when Blossom Dearie wrote “Sweet Georgie Fame” as a dedication. The later portion of the 80s and much of the 90s were devoted to his Van Morrison phase.
Pure Pleasure, the audiophile LP label out of Great Britain, has done the public a service by remastering Fame’s 1991 Go Jazz release onto 180-gram vinyl. It is apropo as it highlights Fame’s greatest strengths – blues and jazz. The strongest influence I felt listening to this vinyl treasure is Fame’s vocal resemblance to Mose Allison. Mose crossed the blues/jazz frontier as well with hipster élan. Fame’s vocals on Cool Cat Blues cover the gamut from Georgia, It Should Have Been Me, I Love the Life I Live, to Rocking Chair. Supported by top grade accompanists such as the underrated, Robben Ford on guitar, drummer, Steve Gadd, and percussionist, Ralph MacDonald, Fame shows he was a do it all virtuoso.
Georgie has the opportunity to trade vocal hip licks with Boz Scaggs on It Should Have Been Me. His vocalese “cred” passes muster with the scat legend, Jon Hendricks, on Morrison’s classic Moondance. For Morrison fans, it provides a chance to appreciate the vocal prowess that Van so early recognized. Produced by Ben Sidran – no stranger to hip vocals – Pure Pleasure’s remastering is up to their usual high standards. I’ve yet to be disappointed by Pure Pleasure’s taste and choice of material to be given audiophile treatment. Check out Cool Cat Blues to appreciate the many sides of Georgie Fame.
1990 in den Skyline Studios, New York City, von James Farber
Production: Ben Sidran
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the May 2009 Issue of Stereophile!
Not a jazz essential by any means, but this relaxed, great sounding, everyone’s-playing-and-singing-live-in-the-studio double set offers plenty of rewards both musically and sonically. Thanks to Pure Pleasure for making us aware of it and issuing it on double 180g vinyl cut from the analog tapes! - 8/10
On Cool Cat Blues, released in 1991, Ben Sidran assembled some of the coolest jazz cats around to record on an album with the celebrated Georgie Fame. Among these were jazz drumming giant Steve Gadd, percussionist Ralph MacDonald, bassist Will Lee, blues guitarist Robben Ford, legendary jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks, pop icon Boz Scaggs, and Irish soul king Van Morrison. Apart from the great selection of vocal standards, there is a revamp of Fame's "Yeah Yeah" and a dynamic version of Morrison's "Moondance".
1. Cool Cat Blues
2. Every Knock Is a Boost
4. It Should Have Been Me
5. Yeah Yeah
6. I Love the Life I Live
1. Big Brother
3. Cat's Eyes
4. You Came a Long Way from St. Louis
6. Little Pony
7. Rocking Chair