Record Label and Music Spotlight 

November 2002




Carl Filipiak on Geometric Records

John Barry on EMI Records

Mitch Friedman on Meech Music

Chris Rock on
Dreamworks Records

Lou Reed on Eagle Vision

The Legacy Of Sun Records on Image Entertainment




BACKBEAT BOOKS - Before Hendrix, Clapton and Beck there were the masters of classical guitar. In fact, centuries before “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Whole Lotta Love”, the classical guitar was the only instrument for anyone seeking to learn the guitar. San Francisco-based Backbeat Books have done a great job on their 132 page book The Classical Guitar: A Complete History. Edited by John Morrish, the book—adorned with hundreds of classical guitar record album covers—is one of the most comprehensive pictorials to date on the history of classical guitar and the players and guitar makers whose names are now legends of the guitar world. From the more than 350 striking color photos and ten fold out spreads—featuring the finest European and American guitars—to detailed essays on legends like Segovia, Bream, Williams and Parkening and topics such as technique and playing styles, wood analysis, amplification, flamenco, and the contemporary classical guitar scene, The Classical Guitar: A Complete History covers it all.

CALLISTO RECORDS - On his latest CD, 3 Guitars: Solos For Vihuela, Baroque And Classic Guitar, Oregon-based guitarist David Rogers skillfully performs a variety of elegant solo Renaissance and Baroque guitar music originally written between 1516-1944. The earliest music, written by 16th Century composer Luis Milan and performed by Rogers on the Vihuela, fits in well with manifold guitar music here written by various composers such as Fernando Sor (1778-1839) and Agustin Barrios Mangore (1885-1944). Rogers—classical guitarist and lutanist with The Terra Nova Consort—brings a wealth of guitar-based knowledge and expertise to these venerable compositions. In addition to his liner notes, the 70+ minute CD release on the Italian-based Callisto Records incorporates a enhanced computer tracks featuring all the scores plus insights on the music and pictures. A master of the classical guitar, David Rogers has a remarkable grasp of 16th Century Baroque guitar music.

DREAMWORKS - Funnyman and Brooklyn native Chris Rock amazed the comedy world with his 1996 HBO special Bring The Pain which was released for the first time in 2002 on DVD by L.A.-based Dreamworks Records. The show made Rock a major hit in the comedy world and he adds, “I’m shocked to this day that Bring The Pain did what it did.” Looking at it now, the show is one hell of a comic roller coaster andfollowing in the footsteps comic legends like Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx—the DVD confirms Rock as the funniest man in America today. Recorded live in Washington D.C. in 1996, the 80 minute DVD finds Rock blowing away the crowd with a number of hysterical diatribes with titles like “Marion Barry”, “Colin Powell” and “O.J., I Understand”. The set also adds in an interview with Rock and some truly funny Rock music videos like “No Sex” and “Bad Phone Sex”. Not for the faint of heart and filled with some of the most startling topics imaginable, Bring The Pain is prime-time Rock.

- Best known for writing those great songs for the early James Bond films as well as his all time classic “Midnight Cowboy”, the early music of U.K. music titan John Barry is reexplored on a pair of recent compilations from EMI Records in England. The 2001 release of The Ultimate John Barry features 24 instrumental and vocal tracks including early Barry group versions of “Walk Don’t Run” (from 1960), “Beat For Beatniks”, “The James Bond Theme”, “The Magnificent Seven” and of course “Midnight Cowboy”. Another fine Barry collection on EMI is the 1999 25 track CD John Barry - The Best Of The EMI Years. With extensive liner notes and color photos, ‘99 EMI CD is even more detailed then the 2001 release but both CDs sound amazing and put Barry’s ‘60s music into a fitting perspective. As is well documented on both CDs, Barry’s early group, The John Barry Seven featured the outstanding guitar work of Vic Flick—sometimes referred to as the Sean Connery of the electric guitar—who has recently released his own CD entitled James Bond Now. Flick, like fellow U.K. guitar hero Hank Marvin, was a major influence on so many "budding" English musicians at the dawn of the ‘60s. While Barry would go on to become one of the greatest film music composers of the 20th Century, his early work with guitarist Vic Flick and the John Barry 7 featured on the EMI CDs, is still the stuff of legends. /

EAGLE EYE MEDIA - NYC-based Eaglevision / Eagle Eye has a critically acclaimed DVD series called Classic Albums which has already released rockumentaries on album classics like Electric Ladyland and The Band. Recent Classic Album DVDs on Eaglevision shine a light on titles from Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley, Lou Reed - Transformer and Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. With hits like “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Heartbreak Hotel”, the first Elvis Presley album on RCA Record was an incredible success. The link to Presley’s groundbreaking recordings on Sun Records, his self-titled Elvis Presley album almost single-handedly introduced rock and roll to mainstream America. The 100 minute DVD recasts the vital facts behind the making of the Elvis Presley album with rare footage from the mid ‘50s as well as fairly recent interviews with Presley band members Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana along with insights from the man who discovered Elvis, Sun Records founder Sam Philips.
Another great Classic Albums DVD on Eagle Eye depicts the making of Lou Reed’s 1972 album Transformer. From his early days as the leader of the NYC band Velvet Underground, Lou Reed was at the cutting edge of the NYC rock and roll scene. The DVD spotlights detailed performances and recollections from Reed and Transformer co-producers David Bowie, the late, great guitarist Mick Ronson and engineer Ken Scott. Transformer still rates among Reed’s most popular albums and the 80 minute DVD is filled with historic interviews as well as abundant bonus segments. Yet another Classic Albums DVD on Eagle Eye is the making of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road from U.K. singer-songwriter Elton John. Retelling the story behind the making of one of rock’s most popular albums, the 90 minute DVD features interviews from Elton, songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, guitarist Davey Johnston along with other Elton cohorts like the late, great producer Gus Dudgeon and engineer David Hentschel.
In addition to their Classic Albums series Eagle Vision also have numerous music DVDs in their catalog including No One Here Gets Out Alive - The Doors’ Tribute To Jim Morrison. It’s been over thirty years since the untimely passing of Jim Morrison, yet his legend burns brighter than ever, no doubt thanks to the great Doors albums he made during his short but intense life. The 60 minute DVD features a wealth of vintage film footage relating to The Doors including interviews with group keyboardist Ray Manzarek and the band’s long time producer Paul Rothchild. In addition to the interview and historic backdrops, the DVD features some fine Doors’ music videos including the group’s superb big band version of their Soft Parade classic “Touch Me” and their famous version of “Light My Fire” shown on the Ed Sullivan show.

- In the liner notes of his 2002 album Looking Forward Looking Back, guitarist Carl Filipiak writes, “I have been on a lifelong journey in music that started the moment a friend played George Benson’s Cookbook album for me.” Kicking off with the driving, bouncy Montgomery-flavored “One For Wes”, Filipiak and his group—featuring drummer Dennis Chambers and keyboardist Paul Soronka—pull out the stops on nine, jazzy, guitar-based instrumentals including classic covers of John Coltrane (“Giant Steps”), Milton Nascimento, Charlie Parker and Charles Mingus. Drawing inspiration from his guitar heroes of the past, Filipiak has also written some excellent originals that are right in sync with his choice of covers giving Looking Forward Looking Back a tuneful elegance and solid sound. On his earlier albums like Peripheral Vision—a compilation of his best recordings—Filipiak confirmed his knack for covering guitar greats like Jeff Beck (a cover of Beck’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers) and Jimi Hendrix (“Little Wing”) while also proving his worth as a composer of smooth jazz and jazz-rock. Filipiak’s impressive electric guitar and compositional skills once again rise to the top on Looking Forward Looking Back.

- 1969 remains the turning point year for 20th Century music. Perhaps the biggest event of ‘69 was the breakup of The Beatles and release of the first album from John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, Live Peace In Toronto. The events unfolding around Lennon’s amazing concert in Toronto and his anti Vietnam war happenings that partly inspired it are captured in sharp detail on John & Yoko’s Year Of Peace, a 2002 DVD release on Image Entertainment. It’s such a shame Lennon is no longer with us to enjoy this nearly one hour documentary, but Yoko Ono offers her own fresh perspectives from that crazy time in music and world history. Filled with vintage color and b&w film footage from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the DVD is quite well done and very moving. Featuring fifteen scene selections like “The Montreal Bed-In”, “The Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival 1969” and “Hangin’ With Hawkins” (a touching glimpse into Lennon’s friendship with rock and roll legend Ronnie Hawkins), the DVD offers some stunning insights into the late, great Beatles legend.

Amazing to think it’s been 48 years since Elvis Presley recorded “That’s All Right” at Sun Studios in Memphis back in July 1954. That historic pairing of Elvis Presley and Sun Records producer Sam Phillips remains among the most magical of musical moments. Although Phillips started Sun Records in the early ‘50s with the intent of recording of early R&B and blues pioneers like B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf and Rufus Thomas, the recordings he started making in 1954 with Elvis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins still remains his calling card. A nearly two hour rockumentary that pays tribute to much of the great music Phillips recorded with his legendary Sun Records roster of artists, Good Rockin’ Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records brings together surviving Sun Records legends like Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana (from Elvis’ group), Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis performing their music classics alongside rock legends and major Sun Records fans like Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and more. Produced in 2000 and released on DVD in 2002 by the L.A.-based music video experts at Image Entertainment, Good Rockin’ Tonight is an eye-opening, quite entertaining, made in the studio film that succeeds as a tribute to Sam Phillips and his Sun Records roster.

- Described by the artist as being “a little bit less silly and quite a bit more polished” than it’s predecessor, Sauce, the 2002 release of Fred is the latest CD from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Mitch Friedman. On his latest outing Friedman is assisted by legendary New Jersey rocker R. Stevie Moore and XTC guitar great Dave Gregory. In the credits Friedman thanks the Kinks mentor Ray Davies who obviously influenced Friedman’s muse alot over the years. Like Davies, Friedman excels at writing and singing whimsicle, off-center, catchy, progressive pop ditties that sometimes sound inspired by cabaret pop singer-songwriters like Biff Rose and even some of Bowie’s quirkier moments. With several of his musician buddies in tow, Friedman performs much of Fred himself, yet the home-grown, spunky little album never sounds labored or mundane. Topped off by bizarre cover art, Fred is guaranteed to make you crack a smile and get your toes tapping.

- The spirit of surf-rock instrumental music is alive and well in Boston on the 14 track 2002 from The Nebulas entitled Nebula One. The quartet are powered by the driving guitar sounds of Mike “Rudy” Dominguez and Dan-O Ware, who perform their high octane guitar chores on vintage Mosrite and Fender equipment. The pair are superbly backed up by the rhythm section of “Too Fast” Jim Nichols (drums) and Eric Grammer (bass). Transporting their vintage ‘60s surf-rock sound from the West Coast to the East Coast, The Nebulas hit hard and hit fast and their latest all instrumental surf-rock extravaganza.

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