Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

May 16, 2020

upcoming Bill Shute reviews for Ugly Things #54

I’ll have four pieces in the new issue of UGLY THINGS, #54, down from my usual number as there have not been a lot of new releases in recent months—-I’d guess the review section of the mag will be a bit shorter and there will be a higher percentage of feature stories in the magazine. And with the passing of Pretty Things main-man PHIL MAY yesterday, I’m sure a piece on this great man (and inspiration for the magazine itself!) will be a cornerstone of issue #54.

Anyway, here are the four albums (two of them multi-disc sets) you can expect from me in the next issue:

serge UT

SERGE GAINSBOURG, “En Studio Avec Serge Gainsbourg” (Mercury, France, 3-cd box), 30 years of fascinating out-takes and obscurities from the master, also including his compositions performed by others, his productions, his film soundtracks, etc.

Template 114 6Panel Wallet with Large Thumb Notches

THE GEMTONES, “Complete Recordings” (Super Oldies, 2-cd set), 52 songs from the early-to-mid 60’s by this wonderful rock-and-roll combo from New Brunswick, Canada, who were also popular in Quebec. Their sound will appeal to fans of, say, The Astronauts or the upper-Midwest bands who recorded on labels like Soma or Cuca.

london american UT

THE LONDON-AMERICAN LABEL, YEAR BY YEAR: 1967 (Ace UK) London-American was the UK outlet for release of American recordings from independent labels who were not part of an international conglomerate that would have its own UK branch, so many of the great rock and roll records from Swan, Jamie, Challenge and the like would come out in the UK on London-American. Surprisingly, they were still at it in 1967, and this mid-blowing assemblage of material from artists as diverse as The Critters, Guy Mitchell, Fantastic Johnny C, The Association, The Knickerbockers, pre-Monkees Micky Dolenz, pre-Atlantic Wilson Pickett, Roy Orbison, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, Charlie Rich, Mel Tillis, and The Fallen Angels will certainly be the most diverse compilation of the year. A unique spin on 1967!

spiritual jazz 11 UT

SPIRITUAL JAZZ 11: STEEPLECHASE RECORDS (Jazzman UK),  I reviewed Volume 10 of this wonderful series, dedicated to Prestige Records, here on the KSE blog (just do a search for it), and I’ll probably review Volume 9, a 2-cd set devoted to Blue Note, later this summer, but Volume 11 was so good and such a surprise that I wanted my review to reach a wider audience, and UT editor Mike Stax kindly allowed me to review it there, where it will reach many more readers than something posted here would. The Danish STEEPLECHASE label is perhaps best-known for its association with Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker (the Chet Baker-Paul Bley duo album on Steeplechase is probably one of my 10 favorite albums of all time), but they gave an outlet to all kinds of American jazz creative-spirits at a time when many other labels weren’t interested, and many of those artists had a foot (or both feet) in the kind of “esoteric, modal and deep jazz” this series is out to document….also, label head Nils Winther, who should get some kind of lifetime achievement award for his amazing commitment to jazz over a 50 year period, ALWAYS gave the artists free rein, welcoming those passion projects the artists had been itching to do for years, but never had the outlet for. Artists include Mary Lou Williams, Billy Gault, Sam Jones, Rene McLean, Jim McNeely, Johnny Dyani with John Tchicai & Dudu Pukwana, Ken McIntyre, Khan Jamal, Michael Carvin, and Jackie McLean.


UGLY THINGS is now in its 37th year under the visionary leadership of editor-publisher MIKE STAX, and I’m proud to say I’ve been onboard as a writer since the early days of the magazine (issue 2 perhaps? if not, somewhere around then). I faded out for some periods as life got in the way, but I would come back again, and now I’ve been there without fail for the last decade or so. Pretty much everyone reading this will know and probably already love UGLY THINGS, but in case it’s new or unfamiliar to you, go to the website and order an issue or two (it’s entirely a print magazine–no online version–although there are usually a few tidbits put online as a sample–presently my review of the biography of BILL HALEY by Bill Haley, Jr. is available on the front page for your reading pleasure:

Bill Shute review of the book CRAZY MAN CRAZY: THE BILL HALEY STORY

Blog at