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Category:    Home > Reviews > Biography > Biopic > Drama > Rock > Alternative > British > Pop > Folk > Counterculture > Jazz > Standards > Cla > England Is Mine (On Becoming Morrissey) (2017/MVD Visual/Cleopatra Blu-ray)/Herbie Hancock: River - The Joni Letters (2007/2017 Expanded Edition/Universal/Verve CD Set)/Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Foo

England Is Mine (On Becoming Morrissey) (2017/MVD Visual/Cleopatra Blu-ray)/Herbie Hancock: River - The Joni Letters (2007/2017 Expanded Edition/Universal/Verve CD Set)/Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! (2017/Pintch Hard CD)/Rozsa Conducts Rozsa (1965/RCA/Sony/Vocalion Quadraphonic SA-CD/SACD/Super Audio CD)



Blu-ray Picture: B Sound: B/B/B/B- & B & B+ Extras: C+/C/C-/C- Main Programs: C+/B/B/B



PLEASE NOTE: The Rozsa Conducts Rozsa Super Audio CD is now only available from our friends at the fine Vocalion label and can be ordered from the link below.



Here's more music, a biopic and three albums you should know about, including two vital reissues...



If you're a fan of musician Morrissey and/or The Smiths, then you'll be interested to see this well made biopic on the early years of his life... England Is Mine (On Becoming Morrissey) (2017).


Directed by Mark Gill (London Has Fallen films, The Rebound) and starring Jack Lowden (Dunkirk) as Steven aka Morrissey, the portrayal and overall bleak tone is appropriate considering the character and paints an accurate picture of the time period, tone, and setting.


England is Mine also stars Jessica Brown Findlay, Jodie Comer, Peter McDonald, Finney Cassidy, Simone Kirby, and Laurie Kynaston.


Set in Thatcher's Britain in the '70s and '80s, a struggling 17 year old aspiring writer named Steven Morrissey (Lowden) has started out like a simple starving artist like the rest of us, writing about the struggling music scene and low employment opportunities, but when he catches the attention of Linder Sterling (Findlay), a painter, he soon gets a break and starts getting some wide recognition for his work... soon finding his destiny on stage with a band and live audience.


What's interesting about the film its the portrayal of Morrissey, a loner whose appropriately intelligent, grim, and somewhat charming. It's also fun to see a 'rags to recognition story' of an accomplished artist and while this one isn't too grand in scale or Hollywood-ized like Walk The Line was to Johnny Cash, this is a pretty down to earth period piece.


Special Features include...


Sad Facts Widely Known


Smoke and Mirrors - Cinematography Spot


Director and Actor Commentary


and a Still Gallery



The rest of our coverage are of audio-only releases, so none have picture of course and we'll take on their technical playback at the end of the coverage...



Herbie Hancock: River - The Joni Letters (2007) won the Album Of The Year Grammy and its hard to believe its already 10 years, but it is that long and now, the unexpected critical and commercial success has been issued as an Expanded Edition. A mix of instrumental and vocal remakes, the tracks are as follows...


Disc 1


  1. Court and Spark (featuring Norah Jones)

  2. Edith And The Kingpin (featuring Tina Turner)

  3. Both Sides Now

  4. River (featuring Corinne Bailey Rae)

  5. Sweet Bird

  6. Tea Leaf Prophecy (featuring Joni Mitchell)

  7. Solitude

  8. Amelia (featuring Luciana Souza)

  9. Nefertiti

  10. The Jungle Line (featuring Leonard Cohen)


Disc 2/all Bonus Tracks


  1. A Case Of You

  2. All I Want (featuring Sonya Kitchell)

  1. Harlem In Havana

  2. I Had A King


It is an amazing tribute form one great artist to another, Mitchell one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time by a musician extraordinaire as innovative, groundbreaking and important as the other. The guest vocals are a plus and great choices and like the Trio albums with Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, a special music event we see too little of, but one born of love of music, art and the great resulting community and the music industry at its best, a best that needs a renaissance. Some covers are better than others and some purists might not like some or all of the songs here. That's fine. It still stands on its own as a special release and its nice to see it got the respect and success it deserved. This is a great way to remember and reissue it.



Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! (2017) has the underrated Jazz Pianist back with another solid album of mostly new songs, though she can cover a classic as well as anyone. The Jazz genre never went away, has always been alive since its debut and is more than kept alive by talents like herself who love the music. Good thing she plays it so well. The songs this songs this time out are...


  1. You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!

  2. I'm Glad There Is You (J. Dorsey, P. Madeira)

  3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (J. Kern, O. Harbach)

  4. Mortal

  5. Your call will be answered by our next available representative, in the order it was received. Please stay on the line; your call is important to us.

  6. Hopperesque

  7. Happy Dog

  8. A Simpler Time


it is always a pleasure like a special event not enough people know about when a new album is issued by Miss Pintchik, so intimate are the songs, so consistent is the quality and so palpable is its musicalness. Not that she is alone. She has a longtime band and most of the members are still with her, plus a new member, including Steve Wilson, Ron Horton, Shoko Nagai, Scott Hardy, Michael Sarin, and Satoshi Takeishi. If I never got to acknowledge, recognize or thank them for their work, let me do so now. It is not easy to meld as a musical unit so often and sound so good and authentic as they do, but their chemistry is undeniable and the density of the resulting world is as good as any Jazz recoding going on today.


I also like the occasional sly irony and even humor (love the title for the fifth track) we get, making each album a special experience and somehow taking what is impressive talent live and keeping the life in the studio recordings. The superior recording we get in every single release does not hurt and even non-Jazz fans will be impressed by the level of talent and professional presentation, the kind that drive audiophiles to splurge on their systems.


She just cannot record a bad song or album, so we highly recommend this one too!



Finally, works not heard enough by one of the greatest film music composers of all time, Miklos Rozsa. Despite the commercial success of so many of the films he scored and even the hit soundtracks some resulted in, the composer of music for all-time cinema classics like Double Indemnity, the innovative & suspenseful work on Hitchcock's Spellbound, The Naked City, The Lost Weekend, Adam's Rib, The Asphalt Jungle, Ivanhoe, Quo Vadis, Knights Of The Round Table, Moonfleet, Lust For Life, Ben-Hur with Charlton Heston, King Of Kings, El Cid, The V.I.P.s, The Power, the underrated Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes, The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad, Providence, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Eye Of The Needle and Time After Time.


Those films are not even all the films he made music for, plus he did tons of work on even more films he as not credited for, so you can see why he lasted in the business for his lifetime and why he was chosen for so very many big, major, key feature film releases. He could deliver the music, the goods and in ways most composers then and now could and would not think to. But that is still not all of his work. He also made music that was of his own unconnected to film, television or any other medium, just music for the sake of music. His own private ideas of music unto itself.


Rozsa Conducts Rozsa (1965) is a compilation of his works from the golden days of such music being more respected and recorded. When RCA was still on its own as a major in its prime, they had a very active classical music arm and this is the album that resulted. Best of all, it has now been reissued by the underrated Vocalion record label and not just as a mere compact disc, but a Super Audio CD with regular PCM CD stereo tracks, ultra high definition 2-track stereo and best of all, Quadraphonic 4.0 sound in the Direct Stream Digital, ultra high definition all-audio format. This is a real treat and for film fans, music fans, Rozsa fans and audiophiles, a serious sonic event. The tracks here include...


  1. Overture to a Symphony Concert, Op. 26/a (1956)

  2. Three Hungarian Sketches, Op. 14 (1938): Capriccio - Pastorale – Danza

  3. Notturno Ungherese, Op. 28 (1962)

  4. Theme, Variations and Finale, Op. 13 (1933): Theme - Variation 1 - Variation 2 - Variation 3 - Variation 4 - Variation 5 - Variation 6 - Variation 7 - Variation 8 - Finale


Though the age of the recordings can be heard to some extent, the transfer is impressive throughout, you can hear the detail, depth and richness of the recordings as well as you would ever expect and it just adds to the legend and legacy that Rozsa left behind. That this is the only way (and this new edition, the best way) to hear this music is something special and I hope this encourages more record labels and composer estates to issue music by composers most associated with motion pictures to issue their non-motion picture music. It just shows how smart, clever and incredible Rozsa really was, if there was still no doubt.


The 4.0 DSD (Direct Stream Digital) mixes may be of the oldest recordings in this whole review, but they still tend to have some great sonic moments and are the best performers here, followed by the 2.0 DSD. The regular PCM CD 16/44.1 2.0 sound is passable, but holds back the soundmasters and they cannot compete with the DSD tracks.


England Is Mine is presented nicely in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 track. Slight yellow tones are predominated throughout the nicely shot film with high class editing and a look that feels bigger than it likely was. Aiding the picture is, of course, an interesting soundtrack. No digital copy.


That leaves the PCM CD 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo on the Hancock/Joni CDs and Pintchik CD, which sound fine for the format, both better than the CD Rozsa tracks and reflect as best they can the impressive soundmasters obviously recorded at a high level of excellence in both cases. It is CD releases like these that are keeping the old format alive, though I bet SA-CDs or lossless audio-only Blu-rays of both would be more stunning still.


That still means great music all around here!



You can order the Miklos Rozsa Super Audio CD, compatible with all CD, DVD and Blu-ray players, at this link...


https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=CDLK4590



- Nicholas Sheffo & and James Lockhart (England Is Mine)

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/




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