| Amer­i­can Epic: The Sound­track

Australian HIFI - - CONTENTS -

Bea­tles tragic Jez Ford paid good money for his Sgt Pep­pers an­niver­sary edi­tion. Is he well pleased or not?

This PBS/BBC Arena project spans four films, three au­dio re­leases and a book sur­round­ing the restora­tion of 100 record­ings from the 1920s and 1930s, partly ‘re­verse-en­gi­neered’ through a re­con­structed 1920s record­ing sys­tem, which Jack White and T Bone Bur­nett then used to record var­i­ous mod­ern artists ‘live to disc’. This ‘Sound­track’ has 14 of the re­stored orig­i­nals from a time when the rise of ra­dio sent record companies scut­tling to record re­gional America’s bright­est and best, from Jim­mie Rodgers’ rail­road blues to Big Chief Henry’s In­dian String Band, a Choctaw chant and fid­dle combo. Sur­face noise and record­ing lim­i­ta­tions are still ev­i­dent, but things are im­pres­sively re­stored to allow high level play­back that brings these amaz­ing per­for­mances back to life. Dig that pump­ing jug bass on Hat­tie Hart & The Mem­phis Jug­band’s Co­caine Habit Blues!

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