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Reviews of the latest music releases
Kevin Bryan reviews the latest music releases
Woody Guthrie, This Land Is Your Land ****
The founding father of the protest song movement was born in the Oklahoma town of Okemah in 1912, and this anthology marks the centenary of his birth by bringing together many of the Dust Bowl balladeer's finest creations.
Guthrie spoke out on behalf of the poor and dispossessed masses of rural America via classic songs such as Pretty Boy Floyd, Tom Joad and Vigilante Man, and although Woody's musical career would later be curtailed by the debilitating effects of Huntington's Disease these inspiring recordings from the forties would go on to influence a whole host of like-minded acoustic performers in the decades that followed.
Out now (Retrospective RTR 4204 : £9.35)
The Art of Maurizio Pollini ****
The great Italian classical pianist Maurizio Pollini unveils some of his favourite recordings from the four decades that he's spent with Deutsche Grammophon,lavishly packaged inside a 120 page hardcover book containing a whole host of photos and the great man's complete discography.
This singularly open-minded musician tackles works by everyone from Stravinsky and Webern to Chopin and Beethoven during the 3 CD set ,including a particularly fine 1978 rendition of the latter's Emperor concerto featuring Karl Boehm and the Vienna Philharmonic.
Out now (D.G.477 9529 : £22.00)
Jerry Lee Lewis, A Whole Lotta... ****
Salvo's excellent new box set serves up no less than 106 tracks from the Jerry Lee Lewis archives, drawing on the cream of his recorded output from the fifties to the eighties.
Classic rock'n'roll ditties such as High School Confidential and Great Balls of Fire capture The Killer at his youthful peak,hammering the ivories with the power and precision which became his trademark.
Jerry Lee's approach to music-making grew much more restrained as the sixties wore on, with the notorious hell-raiser applying his distinctive musical imprint to tuneful gems such as What's Made Milwaukee Famous, Detroit City and Green Green Grass Of Home as he carved out a lucrative new career for himself as a mainstream country performer.
Out now (SALVOBX 410 : £29.27)
Spanish Guitar Encores ****
This entertaining anthology showcases many of the most appealing and evocative pieces in the classical guitar repertoire, drawing on recordings made between 1968 and 1998 by two of the leading lights of the genre in the shape of Narciso Yepes and Goran Soellscher.
The vast majority of the tracks are rooted firmly in the Spanish tradition, including Gaspar Sanz's Baroque Suite Espanola, Albeniz's Asturias and virtuoso guitarist Francisco Tarrega's ever popular tremolo study, Recuderos de la Alhambra.
Out now (D.G.478 4224 : £5.66)
Ann Peebles, The Original Soul Sister ****
This soulful singer and songwriter assembled a highly impressive body of work for Willie Mitchell's Memphis based Hi Records during the early seventies,although the emergence of the disco phenomenon in the latter stages of the decade put paid to her hopes of continued chart success.
This fine retrospective features the best of Ann's stylishly arranged Hi ouput,including gems such as I've Been There Before, Part Time Love and the classic I Can't Stand The Rain, which no less a luminary than John Lennon hailed as "one of the greatest soul records of all time."
Out now (Music Club Deluxe MCDLX163 : £5.48)