Archive for March, 2011

Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway To Heaven’ beaten by Take That as most uplifting song

March 20, 2011

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Led Zeppelin’s 1971 classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’ has been beaten by Take That’s feel-good song ‘Greatest Day’ as the best tune for giving listeners a morning boost, according to a new study of mood enhancers by US scientists.

Researchers monitored body and brain reactions to 30 different pieces of music and measured which ones made listeners most excited. The Top Five songs most likely to make us smile included ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA (No. 3), CeCe Peniston’s ‘Finally’ (No. 4) and Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ (No. 5).

Dr David Lewis Hodgson, of Mindlab International Laboratory which conducted the research, said: “Music affects people in different ways, and monitoring brain and body activity allowed us to determine the best song to give people the perfect start to the day.”

Scientists have also found that listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting music a day can help the over-50s to keep their immune system in top shape – especially during the health-threatening winter months.

Studies have shown that mood-enhancing music increases the release of feel-good endorphins and antibodies which help to build up the immune system. At the same time, say scientists, uplifting music can lead to a fall in stress hormone levels which can weaken the immune system.

TOP 10 MOST UPLIFTING SONGS:

1. Greatest Day – Take That

2. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin

3. Dancing Queen – ABBA

4. Finally – Ce Ce Peniston

5. Jump – Van Halen

6. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

7. How D’Ya Like Your Eggs – Dean Martin

8. Hey Ya – Outkast

9. Rhapsody In Blue – George Gershwin

10. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley

SOURCE: Mindlab International Laboratory

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Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson added to Original Jazz Classics Remasters series

March 19, 2011

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The classic Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson album, Ella and Oscar, is one of four new titles added to the highly successful Original Jazz Classics Remasters series this month.

Originally launched in March 2010, and enhanced by 24-bit remastering by Joe Tarantino, the series showcases some of the most pivotal recordings of the past several decades by artists whose influence on jazz is beyond measure.

Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson recorded Ella and Oscar in May 1975. Produced by jazz impresario Norman Granz, the album is a series of duets that enlist the aid of bassist Ray Brown on four of the original nine tracks. Brown also appears on two of the four previously unreleased bonus tracks included in the reissue.

In his new liner notes for the reissued album, Tad Hershorn observes: “The selections that make up Ella and Oscar, as well as the casual ambience of the exchange between singer, pianist, and bassist Ray Brown . . . beckons the listener to enjoy this meeting of musical minds that could have taken place in Ella’s living room in Beverly Hills or Oscar’s home in Mississauga, Ontario, rather than in a recording studio.

“The interaction between Fitzgerald, Peterson, and Brown accomplishes two ends. It reveals the creative improvisational process while delivering a finished definitive product destined to linger in the annals of jazz vocals. The spare directness of these recordings lays bare the emotions contained in the songs themselves with few frills.”

The bonus tracks are alternate takes that underscore the fact that both artists were true masters of the art of jazz improvisation. Each take captures the spontaneity and in-the-moment creativity that are hallmarks of the greatest jazz artists and timeless jazz recordings.

The other new titles being added to the Original Jazz Classics Remasters series are: Ugetsu by Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Monk’s Music by Thelonious Monk, and Cal Tjader/Stan Getz Sextet.

“In keeping with the philosophy behind the series, we continue to showcase the best – and in some cases, the most influential — recordings by some of the most legendary artists in jazz,” says Nick Phillips, Vice President of Jazz and Catalogue A&R at Concord Music Group and producer of the Original Jazz Classics Remasters series. “After 14 titles in a span of 12 months, there’s obviously no lack of high calibre artists and excellent material in the Concord vaults to draw from.”

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