A blog post

Music: Wizz Jones: “Right now” (1972) remastered

Posted on the 19 April, 2011 at 7:26 pm Written by in Music

The German record label Speaker’s Corner has remastered and rereleased Wizz Jones 1972 LP Right now.

Why is this a great event? One, because the LP is great. Two, because it sounds better than ever before.

The LP has been an almost unobtainable secret classic, but it is also quite variable. Listen to its best tracks, especially on side one, and ignore the fillers, especially on side two. The best tracks include “Which of them you love the best”, with outstanding ensemble playing, singing, and thoughtful lyrics from Alan Tunbridge; “One grain of sand”, a great song by Pete Seeger brought successfully into a humble, c0ntemplative form; and “City of the angels” (Tunbridge), with exceptionally excellent guitar work from John Renbourn and Wizz Jones, playing duo.

Overall, the guitar work on the album is outstanding, or at least very competent, on the throwaway filler tracks. And the mood on the best tracks is very worthwhile, even today – we are a bit after the “youth revolt”, the 1960s revolution, the music reflects on what happened, what could it be. It is tentative, limited, in the works – and sometimes works all the better because of it.

The album was mainly ignored when it was released in 1972. So much happened at the time, and not many people got to hear it. All the more honour to  Speaker’s Corner, rereleasing it today.

I don’t know how they do it, but this label has served me very well. No sense of digitalis here. For example, their remaster of Santana’s Caravanserai sounds much better than the MoFi remasters of the two first Santana LPs, which appeared around the same time, a couple of years ago. The MoFis are harder and flatter, the SC softer, more dimensional, deeper.  Some of my SC LPs (like Caravanserai, and another goodie, Supersession) are cut a bit below standard volume, but that is not the case with Right now. My friend Bjørn Moe has A-B tested the reissue and the original CBS LP, which he owns, and he confirms that the reissue in many ways sounds better. The sound is more “here”, it pops out, dynamics seems greater. This is the case also with Steely Dan: Cant buy a thrill, another excellent SC reissue.