There's a big box set round-up running in Sunday's Inquirer A & E, bringing you the low down on oversized musical packages from Bob Dylan, The Band, Herbie Hancock, Donny Hathaway, Woody Gurthie, Giuseppe Verdi, Paramount Records, and more.
Because the boxes are big, and plentiful, not every selection made the cut of the inky print edition that you no doubt will be holding in your hands come Sunday mornig. So here's a sampling of three that were excised that are now online extras.
Miles Davis, The Original Mono Recordings (Legacy *** 1/2) Is reissuing classic recordings in mono an easy way for record labels to cash in on back catalog by reselling music to people who have already bought it before (at least once)? Sure it is. But do these pristine mixes of the nine albums Miles Davis recorded for Columbia 1955-1961 capture a remarkable period in which the genius trumpeter was leading the way from bebop to modal jazz on routinely brilliant collections like Round Midnight, Kind of Blue, and Someday My Prince Will Come? Yes, they do. (9 CDs, $93.53)
It's A Scream How Levine Does The Rhumba: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story, 1940s-1980s (Idlesohn Society ***) "Matzoh Ball Merengue," anyone? First there was Black Sabbath, the Idlesohn's compilation of African American artists doing Jewish songs. This sequel of sorts
explores the dynamic relationship between Yiddish and Latino culture, and takes its name from a 1953 Ruth Wallis song about a Jewish girl who can't get enough of that rhumba rhythm. A winning concept that features contributions from Tito Puente, Herb Alpert and Slim Gaillard (on "Meshuganah Mambo") as well as liner notes from Arturo O'Farrell and Los Lobos' Cheltenham-raised sax man Steve Berlin. (2 CDs, $17.99)
Los Nuggetz, ’60s Garage & Psych from Latin America (Rock Beat *** ) When the British Invasion and garage-rock explosions hit in the 1960s, many Spanish-speaking rockers either recorded cover versions in translation ([TEXT]Los Streaks, from Colombia, did “Diablo Con Vestido Azul”[/TEXT]) or were inspired to follow their own psychedelic rock path (as did Peru’s Los Holys in its instrumental “Sueno Sicodelico”). An infectiously fun set that refreshes a familiar sound with an exotic kick. (4 CDs, $49.98)