Κυριακή, 30 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Eric Burdon & War (Beat club 1970)


Σάββατο, 29 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

John Heartsman and Circles - Music Of My Heart [1977]

John Heartsman is known as the guy who played on a thousand R&B hits. From the mid '50s to the late '60s he recorded countless sessions, backing up the likes of Jimmy McCracklin, Lowell Fulson, Sugar Pie DeSanto, and many, many more. Then is the early '70s, exhausted from constant touring and seedy late night gigs, he took up a low-key residency at a small Sacramento jazz club. Here, Heartsman finally got to do his OWN thing. And his thing went down so well with the local audience that he decided to record some material and offer an LP for sale. The album was quickly snapped up by the Basin St West regulars, and very few escaped the local area. A couple of decades later, and sadly a little while after Heartsman himself had passed away, a couple of copies surfaced on the funk collectors scene in LA and whispers and rumours of a set of sustained quality funky soul and jazz began circulating slowly. Very few copies have appeared since, making the LP almost as legendary as the long and hidden career of the man himself...


Πέμπτη, 27 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Itzhak Perlman – Klezmer In The Fiddler's House [1995]

In his introductory note to this CD, Itzhak Perlman informs us that, more than anything else he has recorded, this is truly his own music--"what you might hear if you came to my house and I decided to jam with some friends." And jam he does--with some very talented friends indeed. Klezmer music, which combines the folk and religious music of Yiddish-speaking cultures with various musical traditions of countries such as Russia, Turkey, and Greece, is unusual territory for a major label and a superstar artist, but here the combination works perfectly. Perlman, who normally is the star of his recordings, just blends into the whole celebration. The playing of violin, accordion, mandolin, clarinet, and other instruments is stylish, infectious, and at times virtuosic.Perlman captures the careening, infectious spirit of klezmer with style and grace, making In the Fiddler's House an intoxicating listen. 


Δευτέρα, 24 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Merres Chrisimes!

Σάββατο, 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

V/A - Malaguena all over

Hi folks!I decided to make a selection of songs for you,actually of the same song!It is Malagueña,written by Ernesto Lecuona for his sixth movement of the Suite Andalucia,an old favorite of mine.There are quite numberous versions of this song,so I picked up some of the less known versions,but still interesting enough,across different styles.Hope you like it!


Τετάρτη, 19 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Master Musicians Meeting Club [2002]

Highly successful music from a troupe of African, Greek and Indian players. A Malian kora player meets a Greek clarinettist and a clutch of North Indian musicians. It could be a God-awful mess, but it’s musical poetry. That makes sense. Firstly, these are top artists: Ballake Sissoko is one of West Africa’s top kora (lute-harp) players and a clarinet-playing friend of mine considers veteran Greek player Petroloukas Chalkias one of the greatest in the world. The quartet of Indian musicians includes Rakesh Chaurasia (nephew and disciple of the legendary Hariprasad Chaurasia) on bansuri flute, alongside Rabindra Goswami (sitar), Devashish Dey (vocals) and Subhankar Banerjee (tabla). Secondly, this is a project with history. The Greek Saraswati label has, since 1998, produced five Greeks & Indians recordings, which are quite brilliant in the way they bring styles from the two countries together. This is music of rich and varied textures – the airborne, breathy sound of the bansuri contrasting with the dark Greek clarinet – all underpinned by the muscle of the tabla. The disc opens with short solos on the principal melodic instruments – kora, clarinet, bansuri – each bringing its own distinctive character, before they tumble into a laid-back West African tune with some inspired kora and bansuri duetting. The music is delightfully easy to listen to but always fresh as the players take musical cues from each other. It ends 70 minutes and six tracks later with an ecstatic Indian-style consummation of this extraordinary marriage...


Πέμπτη, 13 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Omar Khorshid and His Magic Guitar - Belly Dance, Vol. 2 [1974]

Movie star and famed guitarist of the Middle east, he composed the music for thirteen films. Khorshid began recording albums under his own name for the prestigious Lebanese record labels Voice Of The Orient and Voice Of Lebanon. Working with visionary engineer Nabil Moumtaz at Polysound studios in Beirut, Khorshid would take his music into some of the most progressive musical terrain of its time.He recorded 9 albums between the years 1973-1977.
Khorshid’s prolific instrumental music enjoyed recognition that transcended class and status during the brief period he shone. It’s a testament to his immense talent and some of the finest guitar music the world has ever heard.

Belly dance series with Omar Khorshid have  various international standards that have nothing to do with the middle eastern title but  the music arrangments  with the Omar signature is what makes the difference. Could be a list of Omar favorites or choosen show how Omar would make the world music obey his talent...


Δευτέρα, 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Wizard – Rare Jazz Fusion Gems From The Czechoslovakian Vaults Vol 2 [2000]

Excellent funky jazz work from Eastern Europe – very much in the spirit of recent compilations on the Jazzanova label, or similar sets on Cosmic Sounds. The album collects sublime material from the vaults of Supraphon, a hip Czech label that cut records so cool they're beyond description. The 8 tunes on the set are a mixture of Latin jazz, big band grooves, and funky electric fusion – but they all share a wonderfully fresh approach to arrangements, with modal bits hitting straighter jazz bits hitting choppy rhythmic grooving, in a blend so cool it'll have you digging through record shops for all things Czech. There's a lot of similar styles to some of the best 70s MPS work on the record – and you can also hear the influence of the music on some of the current European groove scene.



Παρασκευή, 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Nils Petter Molvær - Khmer [1998]

Khmer is surely the most unusual album ever released by ECM -- unusual because the label, which is best known for elevated chamber jazz, presents the solo debut of trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer as a production that plays with modern electronica methods while not eschewing the well-known ECM aesthetic. Molvaer's music is somewhere between scary and majestic, and changes between ominous ambient sounds and hard breakbeats, along which atonal screeching guitars combined with melancholic melodies, create a fascinating mélange. Above all this thrones Molvaer's trumpet: lyrical, hectic, calm and sad, trembling and screaming. Molvaer is one of the most progressive and intelligent voices in jazz today, and with Khmer he's recorded one of the best jazz albums of the '90s.


Δευτέρα, 3 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Tihomir Pop Asanovic - Majko Zemljo [1974]

Having left TIME after their phenomenal first album, Tihomir Pop Asanovic joined them again during the World Youth Festival, held in (East) Berlin 1973, on which occasion he played his rewarded composition "Berlin". The following year he recorded his first solo album "Majko Zemljo" (Eng. "Mother Earth") which is celebrated as the first recorded solo album of a rock keyboardist in former Yugoslavia! Also in 1974 Asanovic formed a super-group called JUGOSLOVENSKA POP SELEKCIJA (Yugoslavian Pop Selection) which gathered a dozen or so prominent rock and jazz musicians of the time, who performed at many concerts in ex-Yugoslavia, including the popular "Boom" Pop Festivals in Ljubljana '74 and Zagreb '75. POP SELECTION would transform into band SEPTEMBER in late 1975, but before that Asanovic invited many of these musicians for his solo LP, which basically consisted of the old material previously worked out with POP SELECTION.

This is a very good jazz-rock album with certain funk and R'n'B influences that does not require close attention or extraordinary jazz knowledge as preconditions for enjoyment. However, the keyboard nerds will have enough time to explore the sounds of Hammond, piano, clavinet and vintage synths played by one of the best ex- Yugoslavian musicians during the "golden" prog era. 


Σάββατο, 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Geraldo Pino and The Heartbeats - Heavy Heavy Heavy [2005]

Geraldo Pino (aka Gerald Pine) is one of the hidden heroes of African popular music. A singer, guitarist and bandleader from Sierra Leone, Geraldo had a major influence on the burgeoning soul/funk/Afrobeat scene in West Africa during the 1960s and 70s. He made a huge impression on the young Fela Kuti who praised him effusively but his music has remained largely unheard for the past 30 years.
Pino's party grooves and the Funk Imperative which underlines his musical philosophy make these dance tracks sound just as vital today as they did back then.


Τετάρτη, 28 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Julian Bahula's Jazz Afrika - Son of the Soil [1983]

South African-born, often UK-based percussionist, band leader, record label owner and concert promoter, Bahula has produced some lovely music over the years.
Julian Bahula, famous throughout the 60's and early 70's in South Africa because of Malombo music, came to Britain, to exile from his home, in 1973, to begin all over again. He came to Europe with the band Jo'burg Hawk at a time when the politics of Apartheid were impacting both life and music making. 
The early 80's brought about the birth of "Julian Bahula's Jazz Afrika", with Denmark's Michael Nielson and Britain's Dave Chambers on saxophones, South Africans Pianist Mervyn Africa on keyboards and Lucky Ranku on guitar, Italian bassist Roberto Bellatalla, bassists Dill Katz and Chucho Merchan, trumpeter Peter Segona and drummer Alan Jackson. The album made was called "Son of the Soil". Jazz Afrika, the name described the accent of the music rather than the ethnic composition or nationalities of the musicians; it brought together musicians from many backgrounds and countries; an exhilarating ensemble of excellence.


Τρίτη, 27 Νοεμβρίου 2012

SJOB Movement - Move In The Right Direction [1974]

Heavy heady funk from the 70s Nigerian scene – a wicked little record that's unlike anything else we've heard before! SJOB is a combo made from ex-members of the group of Sonny Okosuns – all top-shelf players who've clearly got their chops down in the groove department, but are also really willing to experiment with their sound as well! There's some hip spacey elements to the music – cool keyboards that weave in and out of the guitar and tighter rhythms – creating a sense of darkness that's totally great, even when things are still pretty funky. The structure of the tunes is far from familiar Afro Funk too – pretty offbeat and jagged – familiar rhythms one minute, then fresh ones the next! 


Σάββατο, 24 Νοεμβρίου 2012

VA - Jazz & Hijaz 1 & 2 [1998]

‘Ethno-jazz’ tracks,recorded in USA in 60’s and 70’s..The artists are Greeks, Armenians, Hebrews, Americans and others..Released with the Greek magazine ‘Jazz & Tzaz’. Rare stuff!

                                      Enjoy!   Vol.1   &   Vol.2

Παρασκευή, 23 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Otis Redding / The Jimi Hendrix Experience ‎– Historic Performances Recorded At The Monterey International Pop Festival [1970]

Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell, and Noel Redding were the rage of England in that summer of love and psychedelica but they had yet to play the United States and thus were no more than a rumor to most of the Monterey crowd. Their appearance at the festival was magical: the way they looked, the way they performed, and the way they sounded were light years away from anything anyone had seen before.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience owned the future and the audience knew it in an instant. The banks of amplifiers and speakers wailing and groaning as Hendrix's fingers scurried across the strings of his guitar gave the trio's music as much density as other rock groups were getting out of the studio 8-track tape machines. And, of course, Hendrix is a masterful --though seemingly off-hand-- performer. Pete Townshend of The Who had become famous for destroying his guitar. Hendrix carried the ritual a couple of fantasies farther with lighter fluid and dramatic playing positions in "Wild Thing." When Jimi left the stage he had graduated from rumor to legend.

Otis Redding had been performing and recording for five years, but his fame and his following --despite a couple of undeniable hit records-- were largely confined to black rhythm and blues audiences in America and to Europe, where he and the Stax/Volt Revue had a justly fanatic following. The Monterey International Pop Festival was comprised of rock people who were still a year or two away from rediscovering their roots, "the love crowd," as he characterized them.

It's difficult to characterize the extent of his impact Saturday night. He was the last act in a day of music which had left the spectators satiated and pleasantly exhausted. Redding went on around midnight, close to the curfew agreed upon by festival organizers and the local police department and sherrif's office. Booker T. and the MGs and The MarKeys had played a brief instrumental set and played onstage to back Redding. Within moments after Otis Redding hit the stage, the crowd was on its feet, and --for the first and only time in a weekend of five massive concerts-- was impulsively rushing toward the stage to dance in the warmth of his fire.
He rocked and rolled past the curfew with a dazzling performance which no one could think of stopping. That night he gave the Monterey International Pop Festival its high point and he was embraced by the rock crowd as a new-found hero. Six months later he was killed in a place crash, leaving Monterey as perhaps the high point in his performing career.


Τετάρτη, 21 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Manu Dibango - B-Sides [2002]

We had never heard Manu Dibango as melodic as this, and chances are you haven't either unless you have collected all the B-Sides from his singles and vinyl releases between '71 and '83.  Happily, Melodie has done this for us.  "No Sax Here" states the linear notes, and how true they are.  If you thought Manu Dibango was a great sax player, wait until you here him on the marimba,xylophone and vibraphone.  His mastery of melody and composition are all the more evident on the lush and varied songs provided here.  "Miango Ma Tumba (village news)" starts off mellow enough, but builds into quite an orchestration.  Standouts include "Dakar Streets," the Latin flavored "Besoka on salsa" and the solitude of "African Night Blues." 


Κυριακή, 18 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Kalyanji Anandji - Dharmatma [1975] + Apradh [1972] + Anjaan Raahen [1974]

Kalyanji Anandji is a name used by Indian composer duo known for its work on Hindi film soundtracks, particularly action potboilers in the 1970s. The name comes from first names of the Gujarati brothers that formed the duo, Kalyanji Virji Shah and Anandji Virji Shah.


Dharmatama is a 1975 Hindi movie and the first Bollywood film to be shot in Afghanistan. It was produced and directed by Feroz Khan. The movie is the first attempt in India to localise The Godfather. The title character was based on matka (form of Indian gambling) king Ratan Khatri. It is said that Khan sat down with Khatri to learn more about him and understand the nuances of matka.


Apradh is a 1972 Hindi film produced and directed by Feroz Khan. It was Feroz Khans debut as a producer and a director. The film stars Feroz Khan, Mumtaz, Prem Chopra, Iftekhar, Helen, Faryal and Madan Puri. The films music is by Kalyanji Anandji. The film is famous for the song "Ae Nujawan Hai Sub", sung by Asha Bhosle. The song was later imitated by the hit The Black Eyed Peas song "Don't Phunk with My Heart" in 2005.

                                                          Anjaan Raahen
Anand (Feroz Khan) is a London returned teacher who has sought employment in a local school in India. Anand is attracted to Geeta, but Geeta shows no interest in him. Several female students are attracted to Anand. Anand naively is openly friendly with all his students, however, Anand faces trouble when one of his female students becomes pregnant, and he is accused of raping her.


Σάββατο, 17 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Hal Blaine & The Young Cougars - Deuces, T’s, Roadsters, & Drums [1963]

For those who don’t know, Mr. Blaine was a session drummer, and, though you might not recognize his name, many drummers of the early ’60s, considered him their “Chet Atkins!” Well, with his solo LP he gets down on some heavy instrumental, Hot Rod heat. For me, this is one of the better, more inventive, Hot Rod records as DTR&D is royally executed by the top LA session fellas. The list of “Young Cougars” is as long as my right arm, and DTR&D is produced in bright, booming ’60’s “Soundtrack” clarity by Lee Hazelwood. 


Παρασκευή, 16 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Cha Cha Shaw - Kingdom Come [1979]

A super nice LP of some pretty wild styles, oddball grooves and fairly tripped out blowing. Kingdom Come was his second album for Smithsonian Folkways back in 1979, and the opener Melted Soul sets the tone for the LP – a tripped out mixture of funky heavy drums, echoey guitars and modal piano that sounds like some late 70s Sun Ra jam, and is far too short for its own good. Elsewhere though, Charles loosens out into extended tracks, namely Kid Zaro, Right On, and Mr Zip, at times sounding like Phil Cohran or Joe McPhee, but keeping a distinct AEC or Black Renaissance style funk to proceedings. Kingdom Come is Cha Cha Shaw’s search to find the common melodies in different disparate styles, and combines abstract free jazz tones with spiritual gospel modes, while jamming over late 70s funk back beats. Way ahead of his time, and still taking cha-cha-chances!


Πέμπτη, 15 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Marc Ribot Plays Solo Guitar Works of Frantz Casseus [1993]

This gentle, understated album shows NY guitar madman, Marc Ribot, extending his diverse reperatoire into Haitian folk-based compositions. Playing the music of this former Harry Belafonte guitarist--as well as his former guitar teacher--Ribot trades in his patented twangy tones, stylistic collages, and sheets of noise for a more subtle, clean sound. Like Heitor Villa Lobos in Brazil, Casseus was interested in creating a National classical music based on local folk-melodies. Unfortunatley, apart from a few recordings in the fifties and sixties, Casseus' music was never really documented or studied, until now. In spite of the folksy veneer of this recording, "The Works of Frantz Casseus" reveals a lot about Ribot's musical roots, and helps to explain his interest in eccentric musical contexts. Quirky and unpredictable, Casseus' compositions stroll along into strange places; they reveal a quick wit and ironic humour that is much closer to Ribot's own work than may be expected. These are complex compositions that demand a virtuoso like Ribot, someone who can quote a wide range of styles and musical concepts on a dime. This album is a wonderful ode to a little-known composer, and an intersting diversion for those familiar with Ribot's other work. 

Τετάρτη, 14 Νοεμβρίου 2012

The Flamingo Group - This is our Soul [1971]

Fabulously funky sounds from the Czechoslovakia. These tracks are mostly cover versions of songs by American artists but there's enough energy and personality here to make this album a very worthwhile listen with some great party starters.  And both sides end with a mind-melting instrumental freak-out!


Τρίτη, 13 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Screamin Jay Hawkins - Feast of the Mau Mau [1988]

Feast of the Mau Mau combines two Hawkins albums dating from 1969 and 1970. The first half comprises What that is, recorded live at a North Hollywood club with two different ensembles. Hawkins not only made his living performing live, but he also flourished on stage-as these recordings make quite abundantly clear. What that is finds Hawkins in the company of some stellar and sympathetic accompanists, including drummer Earl Palmer, bass player Lyle Ritz, guitarist Herb Ellis, and pianist Grahame Bond.
The second half of this set was originally released as a self-titled album in 1970. It's a bracing mix of swampy grooves, rockabilly carousing, soulful blues, and flat-out screaming. Hawkins' roots include doo-wop and jump blues, but he throws it all into a stew completely of his own making. A bold personality, Hawkins imbues his songs with complete and undeniable commitment.


Δευτέρα, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Aura Urziceanu ‎– Seară De Jazz Cu Aura [1974]

Aura Urziceanu (aka Aura Rully, Aura Borealis) was born in 1946 in Bucharest in a family of musicians. She started studying the violin with her father when she was 5 and singing when she was 16 years old. In 1969, after being awarded the second prize at the National Festival in Mamaia, she left for a long tour in Canada and USA, where she appeared on stage together with Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.


Σάββατο, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2012

The Shades Of Black Lightning - S/T [1968]

It isn’t often that a young musical group discover themselves, and at the same time, discover their music. Such was the case with the Shades Of Black Lightning. When the Shades first came to my attention, the group was in the midst of developing. They had an exciting style in Rhythm and Blues.
Coming into the studio gave them further opportunities for experimentation. Here, the creativity and imagination of the individual members flowered, matched by enthusiasm and the joy found only in people who love what they are doing.
They have come to this happy point in their development. They want to share it with you. I think you’ll agree that the Shades are different. They bring with them sound of today and previews of tomorrow. (Freddie Piro – Album Liner Notes)


Παρασκευή, 9 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Katerina Gogou & Kyriakos Sfetsas - Sto Dromo [1981]

 This is the soundtrack of the movie Paraggelia of Paulos Tassios that was made in 1980.It is a collaboration between the poet Katerina Gogou and composer Kyriako Sfetsa.
Gogou was one of the most important underground poets of that period.On this album she recites poems from her first two poetic works.
Excellent album!


Πέμπτη, 8 Νοεμβρίου 2012

sabu martinez & sahib shihab - Winds & Skins [1978]

Winds & Skins transpired to be the very last set of recordings made by Afro-Cuban percussionist Sabu Martinez, who sadly passed away precisely one month after this December 1978 session was committed to tape. The album draws a line under a career that saw the illustrious musician performing alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Art Blakey as well as releasing a string of out-and-out classic Latin jazz records. Here the noted conguero teams up with the lauded saxophonist/flautist Sahib Shihab, who himself played with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and Quincy Jones among others. Shihab makes great use of electrified sax on pieces such as 'The Distorted Sioux Indian', a strange combination of incredibly organic, multi-layered percussion (beautifully mixed too, it should be said) and jarringly robotic staccato phrasing from the reeds. Elsewhere 'Ghandi's Candies' taps into a surreal kind of Easternised harmony with an off-kilter rhythmic complexity, only for the main set to be closed by an arrangement of traditional tune 'Arroz Con Leche', returning Martinez to his Latin roots. The finale to the disc is a bonus track, capturing Martinez's first ever recording in Sweden, described as a 'jingle' (it's actually around four minutes long) for radio, committed to tape in 1967. Wonderful stuff all round.


Δευτέρα, 5 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Roy Brooks - Ethnic Expressions [1973]

Ethnic Expressions by Roy Brooks & the Artistic Truth is one of two recordings drum master Roy Brooks cut for the tiny Afrocentric New York imprint Im-Hotep. Released in 1973, it has been one of the most sought-after "Holy Grail" recordings on the collector's market, with copies selling at auction for over $1,200. The reason is not merely its rarity, but the stellar quality of its music and the focus of its vision reinventing the unity of African-American self-determination through music. Recording at Small's Paradise in Harlem on the tenth anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, this large collective of musicians created a positive, musically sophisticated, emotionally powerful performance that epitomized 1970s jazz as it incorporated the free, progressive, and spiritual jazz elements of the 1960s in a setting that also included soul and blues expression. The personnel includes Brooks on drums and percussion; Olu Dara and Cecil Bridgewater on trumpets and flügelhorn; Hamiet Bluiett, Sonny Fortune, and John Stubblefield on saxophones, flute, and bass clarinets; pianists Joe Bonner (acoustic) and Hilton Ruiz (Rhodes); bassist Reggie Workman; and Richard Landrum and Lawrence Williams on African percussion. Vocalist Eddie Jefferson also appears on the "The Smart Set" and "Eboness," at his most expressive and soulful. The album's five tracks include two longer pieces in "M'Jumbe" (whose arrangement reflects the time Brooks spent with Charles Mingus a year earlier) and the closing "Eboness (Kwanza)," as well as three middle-length pieces

The 16-minute "M'Jumbe" begins in a free call and response between trumpet, percussion, and bowed bass, gradually adding more instruments until its groove emerges at two minutes and its melody unfolds near the three-minute mark. Even as the horn sections quote the theme, improvisation moves in and out, funky themes are introduced with another melodic statement, and brief moments of free playing slip through before formal solos are taken. The tune is always circular due to its impeccably preeminent rhythmic elements. "The Last Prophet" showcases the band's groove side with stellar piano work from Bonner and a horn section in full swagger. The interplay between Workman and Brooks is magical. Jefferson's hip R&B roots are brought into play on the finger-popping "The Smart Set" and his blues authority on "Eboness," with some deep soul work from Workman and Ruiz as well as a fine flute solo from Fortune. On "Eboness (Kwanza)," the vocalist referred to as "Black Rose" is Dee Dee Bridgewater. This is a bona fide jazz classic; its importance as an example of the best that jazz had to offer in the 1970s cannot be overstated. 


Πέμπτη, 1 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Booker T. & The MG's - And Now! [1966]

More BBQ sauce-smeared Memphis soul classics from organist Booker T. Jones, guitar man Steve Cropper, bassist Duck Dunn and drummer Al Jackson, including "My Sweet Potato," "Soul Jam" and "One Mint Julep." This funky, slow-cooking, instrumental outfit, comprised of two blacks and two whites, set the standard for musical as well as racial harmony while carving out a masterful recording career that landed them in the R&R Hall of Fame.

Τρίτη, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Roy Harper - Return of the sophisticated beggar [1967]

Digitally remastered reissue of the British Folk-Rock singer's 1966 debut album with one bonus track: 'Legend'.

This is where it all began for British folk-rocker Roy Harper: a slim volume of poems and psychedelic ditties set to music, backed by a simple Revox machine, and transformed by instrumental turns that display Harper's deft guitar work. "Girlie," "Big Fat Aeroplane," and "Legend," while steeped in traditional folk idioms, hint at Harper's still-developing songwriting style. His caustic wit and passion are evident in the wordplay. "Forever" is as pretty a love song as you are likely to hear, while the mostly instrumental "Blackpool" displays as much acoustic dexterity as the playing of Leo Kottke and John Fahey. The electrified "Committed" takes a darkly humorous look at Harper's 15-week spell in an institution undergoing electro-convulsive therapy treatment after he faked mental illness to get out of the Royal Air Force. Very much a first album with rough edges and no-frills production, The Sophisticated Beggar nonetheless displays the talent and possibilities Harper would soon command. 

Κυριακή, 28 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Amadou & Mariam - Wati [2003]

If you think Mali is all about the kora or the Super Rail Band, you need to take a listen to Amadou & Mariam, a blind married couple who take Malian music in a whole different direction. They keep to the bluesy, pentatonic root that's the heart of the desert sound of Mali, but bring it toward the West, even letting guitars howl here and there and funking things up with some lovely keyboard work. Amadou & Mariam sing both separately and together (indeed, they're at their strongest together, when the two voices can work off each other on songs like "Chauffeurs"), and they're both strong writers, using rhythm as much as melody for a sound that's remarkably down-home. There's nothing complex about it -- perhaps the Bamako equivalent of a bar band, albeit a very good one. "Sarama," for example, rocks wonderfully and hypnotically, and wouldn't sound out of place in a roadhouse, getting the crowd up and dancing. Perhaps it's because they don't sound especially African in their approach to music -- allowing the roots to be just one part of the whole.


Soul Rebels Brass Band - No More Parades [1998]

As Dirty Dozen and Rebirth were the major players in the transition away from traditional to the modern brass band sounds that dominate the city, Soul Rebels, in a way, are the next step, incorporating more hip-hop into their sound while still staying loyal to the origins.

The perfect pedigree, the band was born when two younger members of Dejean’s Young Olympia Brass Band -- Lumar LeBlanc and Derrick Moss – struck out on their own as they wanted to add the flavors of what they were hearing on the radio into the brass band sound.

The album is a nice mix of hip-hop, Latin influences bringing to table to the up-tempo party sound that the band has honed playing hundreds of shows at the Le Bon Temps Roule, but never lost in the inclusion of so many influences is the large, booming brass band sound from second lines as well as is that strong marching band beat. 


Παρασκευή, 26 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Shake Keane - Dig It! [1969]

A groovy album of short little pop jazz numbers – featuring the sparkling trumpet of West Indian player Shake Keane over the top of arrangements from Ivor Raymonde! Shake's got his roots in the hipper side of the British scene of the late 50s and early 60s – and is particularly well known for his work on some of Joe Harriot's groundbreaking albums. Here, though, Shake also proves that he's got a good vision for an all-around groover – and works with the arranger in a style that nicely circles between mainstream instrumentals and jazz inflections. There's some great groovy covers on the session – including "Honey", "Sunny", "World", "Love Is Blue", "As Tears Go By", "Goin Out Of My Head", and "Bend Me Shape Me".


Τετάρτη, 24 Οκτωβρίου 2012

The Bobby Hamilton Quintet Unlimited - Dream Queen [1972]

 Deep & soulful, this privately pressed 1972 LP, good from start to finish, is an essential testimony from an out of sight band. Unique sound!


Δευτέρα, 22 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Jimmy McGriff - Honey [1968]

Honey is by far Jimmy McGriff’s best Soul stompin album. He really lets go on a series of great covers from the opening (Sweet, Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone to Respect to a really grooving version of We’re A Winner to Tell Mama to the open drums at the beginning of I Thank You and I Got The Feelin. With a set like that and McGriff going off on the organ you really can’t go wrong. 


Σάββατο, 20 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Mukta - Jade [2000]

Here's a unique ensemble--a French Indo-jazz group. None of the players are likely well-known to American listeners, but don't let that stop you from an eminently satisfying listening experience. Traditional jazz instruments--drums, trumpet, guitar, marimba--combine with Indian ones--sitar, tambura, bansuri--to produce a set of tunes that defy easy categorization.
Mukta also makes use of Latin percussion, an additional component that blends seamlessly, thanks to the leader's (Simon Mary's) songwriting skills. The presence of this third culture lets you know these guys are well aware of the environment of world music--but they don't overdo it; they're savvy enough to know how to give their music exactly what it needs to make it glow, scintillate, and throb. 


Τρίτη, 16 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Babis Papadopoulos - From The Draco's Cave [2010]

  Guitarist of the legendary rock group Trypes and Thanassis Papakonstantionou long time collaborator presents his solo work.
  For this  project,Babis Papadopoulos recruits another three important musicians that, judging by the final result, appear to share his idiosyncrasies and obsessions, Dimitris Vlahomitros on bouzouki, Dionisis Makris on double-bass and Giorgos Christianakis on piano. The music retains a strong foundation on greek folk tradition, since Papadopoulos adds seven greek songs from the distant past to his repertoire, as a way to pay his dues to the rebetiko, a genre that inspired him massively. His work is, without a doubt, an attempt to revive and relive the emotions evoked by these songs when they were released back in the 30s (plus one of 1948), through a genuine orchestral and acoustic prism. The songs share more than just the time they were written, they share the common ground where they were conceived, the beautiful harbour of Peiraus. There's also four improvisational pieces that feature Papadopoulos and Christianakis here.



Δευτέρα, 15 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Guy Warren Of Ghana - Afro-Jazz [1969]

Born in Ghana in West Africa, Guy Warren, who is also known as Kofi Ghanaba, was a jazz drumset player and player of traditional Ghanaian percussion. He also played piano, flute, would sing, and was trained in Western style composition. He was fluent in writing and arranging jazz compositions as he composed most of the pieces on his recordings. 
Warren was a big fan of American jazz and eventually made his way to England and finally the USA in 1955. He worked in Chicago and New York having befriended Charlie Parker, Max Roach, and Thelonius Monk among others.
Warren was uncompromising in the kind of music he wished to play. His idea was to combine his traditional Ghanaian percussion and rhythms with the jazz aesthetic. He incorporated the African talking drum in jazz ensembles and played both the drumset and traditional hand drums in unusual ways.
This is one of the hardest records to track down in the Lansdowne Series, the title Afro-Jazz even coined its own sub genre long before the movement arose. Not only that, the backing group is the Ian Carr-Don Rendell Quintet with Amancio D'Silva on guitar!