Audiophile: Vinyl, August 2022

hfnalbum.pngJoe Jackson
Body And Soul
Intervention IR-030 (two 45rpm 180g vinyl LPs)

Don't be put off by the disclosure on the cover sticker: this LP was mastered from the original PCM digital files, and – like Donald Fagen's Nightfly in MoFi One-Step form – it begs a reassessment not just of the first-ever CDs, but of the pioneering PCM recordings of the early 1980s. The conundrum for those who prefer analogue playback was always going to be, 'What do we do with albums that were recorded digitally?'. This was always a fine-sounding release, but the Kevin Gray remastering, with the tracks spread over two 45rpm LPs, turn its into another wake-up call. As for the material, Jackson (like Fagen) was among the first to marry rock and pop with a cool bebop feel, and it truly swings. KK


Jackson Browne
Downhill From Everywhere
Inside Recordings INR1126 (two LPs)

We deserve this, like the Keb' Mo' CD. Browne has had dry periods, and he's never gonna escape the Left Coast/covered-by-The-Eagles/sullen boomer image, but everything has fallen into place for his first set of originals in six or seven years. Recorded pre-pandemic, it's just moody, elegiac, and introspective enough to have been plucked from any period since 1970. But we're here for the sound, and it's terrific, especially the percussion – intriguing because he used a few guest drummers. This LP is just what his long-term audience needs, with enough added wisdom to contrast with the albums that established his California hipnes. KK


Quincy Jones
The Dude
A&M 00602435261164 LP

It never fails to amuse me that Jones even bothers to release albums as a solo performer because his achievements as a band leader, soundtrack composer, and arranger are enough to fill life-long careers for three or more individuals. Here we have the 40th Anniversary edition of his Grammy-winning, star-filled take on the smooth soul/funk of the period, which shows that over 70 years in the music biz, Jones made the transitions from Sinatra to Lesley Gore to Michael Jackson to this with embarrassing ease. The Dude has aged well, especially as music which makes you wonder for a second if it's George Benson or Philly Soul that has no sell-by date. It's pure class. KK


Fred Wesley and the Horny Horns
A Blow For Me, A Toot To You
Speakers Corner/Atlantic SD18214 LP

I do miss the amazing family trees drawn by Pete Frame for various rock mags. This milestone funk-fest from 1977 would challenge even his skills: with special guest Maceo Parker, the affair has its roots embedded in James Brown, with whom they paid their dues. Adding to the album's DNA is the other strand, that of the spacey Parliament Funkadelic/P-Funk community, this LP produced by George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, with hands in the compositions. If the jazz-funk-soul grafting from either parent appeals to you, then you know what to expect, and you won't be disappointed. Thirty-five years on it embodies the depth of the genre. KK