Right Stuff, The (72438-597822-7)
Release Date: 1999
|1.||Up From The Skies|
|2.||1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be)|
|3.||Are You Experienced?|
|5.||Free At TheEdge Of An Answer|
|7.||The Wind Cries Mary|
|10.||Here My Train A' Comin'|
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|by David A. Koran
on January 27th, 2000
Sprinkled throughout the album are tracks from "new-industr-ockalist" (is that a word?), Laurie Anderson, doing a spacey "1983", to Rosanne Cash's faithful rendition of "Manic Depression" sans her usual country flair. When viewed with the film we also get to see the workings of the music industry when trying to grab artists for a tribute album. We have our heavily, and sometimes overproduced songs by reggae artists Neville & Sheena Staples, and rapper Chuck D. to the thinly produced stylings of blues guitarist Charlie Musselwhite and gospel singers the Five Blind Boys Of Alabama. I personally enjoyed the raw rendition of "Here My Train A' Comin'" by Mr. Musselwhite contained in the film as portrayed by a Chicago and Memphis blues outcast residing in the picturesque hills of Marin Country, California. The jazz renditions by Mark Isham and his crew as well as Cassandra Wilson's were the most interesting to watch being put together and hearing the final versions on the album. These, in my honest opinion, were the best "whole" pieces with an amazing amount of orchestration and true feeling on the album. They seem to really understand the music. Los Lobos, after being a fan for years, feel that they could cover anyone's song and do it better than their original recording. I heard this on another tribute album to the Grateful Dead, where Los Lobos covered "Bertha" with such perfection, feeling, and just plain raw talent on their instruments, that it made me feel that the song was originally written for them and not the artist that first recorded it.
For a fifty-eight minute film, I wouldn't say it's an excellent investment for a $20 DVD release (but I'm sure it would sound and look great), but for those interested in Jimi and how musicians from "different walks of styles" interpret other people's works, I would highly recommend it. I'm sure this will become a regular staple on VH-1, and hopefully will be in the running in folks minds for the year end awards. Just realize, that you're watching these musicians truly create musical works, not usually seen in any music based documentary, a unique experience for any viewer.
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