Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tommy Bolin - 1976 [1996] "Live at Ebbets Field"

Due to the success of his back-to-back appearances at Denver's Ebbets Field club in 1974, Tommy Bolin chose to premiere his new Tommy Bolin Band at the venue in May of 1976. Included in this top-notch band were ex-Vanilla Fudge keyboardist/singer Mark Stein and drummer Narada Michael Walden (nowadays a producer), while Norma Jean Bell (saxophone) and Reggie McBride (bass) rounded out the group. Like all Tommy Bolin concerts and albums, the music is extremely varied. Included is one of Bolin's trademark songs, the swaggering "Teaser," which remains sadly overlooked by classic rock radio. You'll also find reggae sounds on "People People," jazz fusion balladry on the Narada Michael Walden-sung "Delightful," and the funky groove of "The Grind." It wouldn't be a Bolin concert without a song for Tommy to show off his guitar talent, and here it's "Marching Powder." A strong album, it's only slightly diminished by a far, far too long drum solo (almost ten minutes!), which is completely unnecessary, since the majority of the people buying Tommy Bolin CDs are doing so to hear his memorable songwriting and guitar skills. Still, it's worthy of any serious Tommy Bolin fan's time.

This recording is taken from the master radio broadcast tape from one of the first performances of The Tommy Bolin Band. This historic first lineup of Tommy’s solo band put on a high energy, unique live performance that not only showcased Tommy, but also Narada Michael Walden on drums and vocals, and original Vanilla Fudge keyboardist and vocalist Mark Stein.

Track listing:

1 Teaser 6:20
2 People People 8:00
3 The Grind 3:21
4 Wild Dogs 9:01
5 Delightful 5:03
6 I Fell In Love 5:40
7 Marching Powder 14:42
8 Lotus 7:06
9 Homeward Strut 9:01


Guitar, Vocals, Producer [Original Live Recording] – Tommy Bolin
Bass – Reggie Mcbride
Drums, Vocals – Michael Walden*
Keyboards, Vocals – Mark Stein
Saxophone, Vocals – Norma Jean Bell

Monday, March 12, 2018

Jörg Kleutgens - 1993 "J.K Special" featuring Dave Weckl

Unlike many drummer-led dates in which percussionists do not establish that it is their session, Weckl's stamp can clearly be detected on any release bearing his name. His blistering beats and phrases occupy a prominent place in the mix, and he is clearly the best player among this session's assembled cast, although speedy electric bassist Jörg (J.K.) Kleutgens provides booming lines and rapid-fire progressions. The songs, like many fusion and instrumental pop pieces, are fragments with light, quickly forgettable melodies and minimal solo space. Other than a forum for Weckl's percussive feats, this qualifies as a pleasant but hardly vigorous workout.

A funky bass sound with Dave Weckl's drum technique.....Wonderful music that you have to listen. Excellent Album. A masterpiece. Definitely one of my favorite all time jazz albums. Even as a guitarist, I have been a long time fan of Weckl and Chick Corea.

Track listing:

1. Crossfire (4:43)
2. S.W.I. (4:11)
3. Bodega (5:06)
4. Shine on Me (7:00)
5. Special (5:47)
6. I Still Love You (5:59)
7. B.A.C. (5:27)
8. Ride Home (5:42)

Total Time: 43:58


Bass Written-By, Producer, Recorded By, Mixed By – Jörg (J. K.) Kleutgens*
Drums – Dave Weckl
Guitar – Dirk K.*
Keyboards – Chris Erbstösser

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Frank Zappa - 1970 [1990] "Weasels Ripped My Flesh"

Weasels Ripped My Flesh is the seventh studio album by the American rock band the Mothers of Invention, released in 1970. It is the second album released after the Mothers' disbanding in 1969, preceded by Burnt Weeny Sandwich. In contrast to its predecessor, which predominately focused on studio recordings of tightly arranged compositions, Weasels Ripped My Flesh largely consists of live recordings and features more improvisation.

Given Zappa's already stated penchant for expressing his music in "phases"—We're Only in It for the Money was written up as "phase one of Lumpy Gravy"— Zappa fans occasionally label this album Phase Two of Burnt Weeny Sandwich. Both albums consist of previously unreleased Mothers tracks released after Frank Zappa disbanded the original group in 1969.

Whereas all but one of the pieces on Burnt Weeny Sandwich have a more planned feel captured by quality studio equipment, five tracks from Weasels Ripped My Flesh capture the Mothers on stage, where they employ frenetic and chaotic improvisation characteristic of avant-garde jazz and free jazz. This is particularly evident on "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue," a tribute to the multi-instrumentalist, who died in 1964 and is cited as a musical influence in the liner notes to the band's Freak Out! album. The song opens with a complex melody over a 3/4 rhythm, breaking into howls and laughter at the three-minute mark, then the theme is repeated and elaborated; after a brief rave-up section, the number concludes in stop-start fashion.

Zappa's classical influences are reflected in characteristically satirical fashion on "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask", a play on Claude Debussy's "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun)". "Oh No" is a vocal version of a theme that originally appeared on Zappa's Lumpy Gravy album, as well as a pointed barb aimed at the Beatles and John Lennon's "All You Need Is Love". "The Orange County Lumber Truck" incorporates the "Riddler's Theme" from the Batman TV show. The album's closer and title track consists of every player on stage producing as much noise and feedback as they can for two minutes. An audience member is heard yelling for more at its conclusion.

In contrast to the experimental jazz material, the album also contains a straightforward interpretation of Little Richard's R&B single "Directly From My Heart to You", featuring violin and lead vocal from Don "Sugarcane" Harris. This song is actually an outtake from the sessions for the Hot Rats album.

The album also documents the brief tenure of Lowell George (guitar and vocals), who went on to found the band Little Feat with Mothers bassist Roy Estrada. On "Didja Get Any Onya?", George affects a German accent to relate a story of being a small boy in Germany and seeing "a lot of people stand around on the corners asking questions, 'Why are you standing on the corner, acting the way you act, looking the way you look, why do you look that way?'"

The Rykodisc CD reissue of the album features different versions of "Didja Get Any Onya?" and "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask", which featured music edited out of the LP versions. The extended version of "Didja Get Any Onya?" features a live performance of the composition "Charles Ives", a studio recording of which had previously been released as the backing track for "The Blimp" on the Captain Beefheart album Trout Mask Replica, produced by Frank Zappa. The 2012 Universal Music reissue reverts to the original LP versions.

A fascinating collection of mostly instrumental live and studio material recorded by the original Mothers of Invention, complete with horn section, from 1967-1969, Weasels Ripped My Flesh segues unpredictably between arty experimentation and traditional song structures. Highlights of the former category include the classical avant-garde elements of "Didja Get Any Onya," which blends odd rhythmic accents and time signatures with dissonance and wordless vocal noises; these pop up again in "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask" and "Toads of the Short Forest." The latter and "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue" also show Frank Zappa's willingness to embrace the avant-garde jazz of the period. Yet, interspersed are straightforward tunes like a cover of Little Richard's "Directly From My Heart to You," with great violin from Don "Sugarcane" Harris; the stinging Zappa-sung rocker "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama," and "Oh No," a familiar Broadway-esque Zappa melody (it turned up on Lumpy Gravy) fitted with lyrics and sung by Ray Collins. Thus, Weasels can make for difficult, incoherent listening, especially at first. But there is a certain logic behind the band's accomplished genre-bending and Zappa's gleefully abrupt veering between musical extremes; without pretension, Zappa blurs the normally sharp line between intellectual concept music and the visceral immediacy of rock and R&B. Zappa's anything-goes approach and the distance between his extremes are what make Weasels Ripped My Flesh ultimately invigorating; they also even make the closing title track -- a minute and a half of squalling feedback, followed by applause -- perfectly logical in the album's context.

Frank Zappa disbanded the Mothers in 1969, with the band mired in financial struggle, personality clashes and creative squabbling. But the bandleader was as crafty as he was prolific: Determined to make the most of unused live and studio recordings, Zappa started tinkering with the archival material, resulting in two 1970 LPs, Burnt Weeny Sandwich and its demented younger brother Weasels Ripped My Flesh.
Zappa's original plan for the post-Mothers era was to release all the material in a massive, 12-record set. But he nixed the idea after considering the financial logistics.

Zappa would explore jazz themes more overtly under his own name, veering into big-band fusion with acclaimed albums like 1973's The Grand Wazoo. But as he explained in a 1970 interview with Sounds, those influences had been there all along.
"One of the reasons why the Mothers have never been associated with jazz is because most reviewers have never listened to jazz," Zappa said. "They wouldn't guess unless it said on an album cover that we were influenced by jazz. If I had stated on an early album that I had been influenced by Eric Dolphy or Archie Shepp, then for the last five years they would have been writing about jazz influences instead of Stravinsky influences. ... The group has always been encouraged in jazz-type improvisation within a framework of atonal music. The trouble is that most of the audience thinks of jazz as going from Louis Armstrong to Blood Sweat and Tears. They don't know about today's self-determination music."
Frank Zappa would revive the Mothers brand later that year, recruiting a hoard of new members – some legendary (keyboardist George Duke), some infamous (three former Turtles, including vocalists "Flo and Eddie"). The band's awkward transitional phase – documented on LPs like 1970's Chunga's Revenge and the 1971 soundtrack 200 Motels – only illustrates the original line-up's charm and potency.

Track listing:

01 Didja Get Any Onya? 3:44
02 Directly From My Heart To You 5:17
03 Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask 3:35
04 Toads Of The Short Forest 4:48
05 Get A Little 2:35
06 The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue 6:53
07 Dwarf Nebula Processional March & Dwarf Nebula 2:12
08 My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama 3:35
09 Oh No 1:46
10 The Orange County Lumber Truck 3:18
11 Weasels Ripped My Flesh 2:05


Frank Zappa – lead guitar, vocals
Jimmy Carl Black – drums
Ray Collins – vocals
Roy Estrada – bass, vocals
Bunk Gardner – tenor saxophone
Lowell George – rhythm guitar, vocals
Don "Sugarcane" Harris – vocals, electric violin
Don Preston – organ, RMI Electra Piano, electronic effects
Buzz Gardner – trumpet and flugel horn
Motorhead Sherwood – baritone saxophone, snorks
Art Tripp – drums
Ian Underwood – alto saxophone

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Pharoah Sanders - 1971 [1987] "Thembi"

Thembi is the seventh album by free-jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, released in 1971.

The album is named after Sanders's wife. Sanders moved away from the long, intense compositions of his solo albums and produced an album of shorter tracks. He and other musicians played a large variety of instruments. Sanders played tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, bailophone (African thumb piano), small percussion instruments, and a cow horn.

Sanders's other major collaborator, pianist and composer Lonnie Liston Smith, performs on Thembi (though this would be the last time they recorded together). Also featured are violinist Michael White, bassist Cecil McBee, and percussionists Chief Bey, Majid Shabbaz, and Nat Bettis. "Thembi", "Astral Travelling' and "Morning Prayer" were included on the two-disc anthology, You've Got to Have Freedom, on Soul Brother Records. ' Lonnie Liston Smith began experimenting with electric keyboards while recording this album.

On Thembi, that was the first time that I ever touched a Fender Rhodes electric piano. We got to the studio in California — Cecil McBee had to unpack his bass, the drummer had to set up his drums, Pharoah had to unpack all of his horns. Everybody had something to do, but the piano was just sitting there waiting. I saw this instrument sitting in the corner and I asked the engineer, 'What is that?' He said, 'That's a Fender Rhodes electric piano.' I didn't have anything to do, so I started messing with it, checking some of the buttons to see what I could do with different sounds. All of a sudden I started writing a song and everybody ran over and said, 'What is that?' And I said, 'I don't know, I'm just messing around.' Pharoah said, 'Man, we gotta record that. Whatcha gonna call it?' I'd been studying astral projections and it sounded like we were floating through space so I said let's call it 'Astral Traveling.' That's how I got introduced to the electric piano.

Thembi has been criticized for its somewhat cut-and-paste feel (it was compiled from two sessions, recorded in 1970 and 1971); the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, written by Richard Cook and Brian Morton, offers a particularly harsh assessment. However, Ashley Kahn, author of The House that Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records, describes it as "a career high-point: [it was] co-produced by Michel and rock producer Bill Szymczyk, who together introduced Sanders's music to advanced studio techniques of the day — close miking, overdubbing, and effects like reverb, echo, and phasing."

Recorded with two different ensembles, Thembi was a departure from the slowly developing, side-long, mantra-like grooves Pharoah Sanders had been pursuing for most of his solo career. It's musically all over the map but, even if it lacks the same consistency of mood as many of Sanders' previous albums, it does offer an intriguingly wide range of relatively concise ideas, making it something of an anomaly in Sanders' prime period. Over the six selections, Sanders romps through a tremendous variety of instruments, including tenor, soprano, alto flute, fifes, the African bailophone, assorted small percussion, and even a cow horn. Perhaps because he's preoccupied elsewhere, there's relatively little of his trademark tenor screaming, limited mostly to the thunderous cacophony of "Red, Black & Green" and portions of "Morning Prayer." The compositions, too, try all sorts of different things. Keyboardist/pianist Lonnie Liston Smith's "Astral Traveling" is a shimmering, pastoral piece centered around his electric piano textures; "Love" is an intense, five-minute bass solo by Cecil McBee; and "Morning Prayer" and "Bailophone Dance" (which are segued together) add an expanded percussion section devoted exclusively to African instruments. If there's a unifying factor, it's the classic title track, which combines the softer lyricism of Sanders' soprano and Michael White's violin with the polyrhythmic grooves of the most Africanized material (not to mention a catchy bass riff). Some fans may gripe that Thembi isn't conceptually unified or intense enough, but it's rare to have this many different sides of Sanders coexisting in one place, and that's what makes the album such an interesting listen.

It is strange that two of the most striking albums made by saxophonist Pharoah Sanders during the first flush of late 1960s/early 1970s astral jazz have been so often overlooked in reissue series. Tauhid (Impulse!, 1967)—the recording which launched astral jazz, the style Sanders fashioned alongside harpist/pianist Alice Coltrane—and Thembi have been available only intermittently during the last 20 years.

Tauhid is unalloyed bliss from start to finish, a sweet and lyrical evocation of Eastern mysticism which established astral's template: prominent African and Asian percussion instruments; velvet-sandpaper saxophone vocalizations and multiphonics; hummable tunes and melody-centric improvisations; rock steady bass ostinatos; piano vamps; chanted vocals; rich collective grooves.

Thembi inhabits this territory over four of its six tracks, but steps out of it on the other two. The album was recorded during two sessions—in Los Angeles in November 1970 (tracks 1-3), and in New York City in January 1971 (tracks 4-6)—with some changes in personnel. Sanders, pianist Lonnie Liston Smith and bassist Cecil McBee were present at both sessions; violinist Michael White was in Los Angeles, though was featured little; traps drummer Roy Haynes and four percussionists replace Los Angeles' drummer Clifford Jarvis and percussionist James Jordan in New York.

The album opens with Smith's "Astral Traveling," a lush, sweeping group workout foursquare in the astral paradigm; in 1973, Smith, too, used it as an opening track, on his solo debut Astral Traveling, on ex-Impulse! producer Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label. The tune is given an exquisite performance on both albums, with Sanders' presence giving his Thembi version the edge.

But on Thembi, "Astral Traveling" proves to be the calm before the perfect storm. "Red, Black & Green," which follows, is as ferocious as is suggested by its title, a reference to the colors made emblematic by black liberation movements in the US and Africa. At 8:56 minutes, it is the second longest track on the album, and Sanders' overdubbed saxophones are foregrounded practically throughout, played in a style closer to the tumultuous one adopted by Sanders when he was a member of saxophonist John Coltrane's groups in 1966-67. Here, Sanders' sole concession is to play within a marginally more lyrical harmonic framework.

"Thembi" returns to the melodic, ostinato-driven palette of "Astral Traveling," before the album once more switches out of the astral comfort zone.

"Love," is an unaccompanied, 5:12 minute bass solo. If you are already reaching for the "skip track" button, don't do it. McBee turns in a corker, starting conventionally enough, albeit with frequent use of percussive, "Africanized" string-on-wood effects, before focusing on cleanly articulated high-harmonics (well recorded by producer Ed Michel and engineer Bill Szymczyk). Given all the tirelessly iterated ostinatos McBee contributed to Sanders' music—here and on Izipho Zam (Strata East, 1969) and Impulse!'s Jewels Of Thought (1970), Summun, Bukmun, Umyun (1970), Black Unity (1972), Wisdom Through Music (1972) and Village Of The Pharoahs (1973)—he was owed this five minutes alone, and he seizes them; "Love" is the sort of track that gives bass solos a good name.

The closing "Morning Prayer" and "Bailophone Dance" return to more familiar, collective astral territory. "Morning Prayer," at 9:11 minutes the longest track, revisits the fierce tenor heard on "Red, Black & Green," but in an amiable, ostinato-driven groove. "Bailophone Dance," built around a traditional West African cross-rhythm, makes good use of hand drummers Chief Bey, Majid Shabass, Anthony Wiles and Nat Bettis.

Delicious, essential listening.

Track listing:

1. Astral Travelling (Lonnie Liston Smith) - 5:48
2. Red, Black & Green (Sanders) - 8:56
3. Thembi (Sanders) - 7:02
4. Love (Cecil McBee) - 5:12
5. Morning Prayer (Sanders/Liston Smith) - 9:11
6. Bailophone Dance (Sanders) - 5:43


Pharoah Sanders – tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute, koto, brass bells, balaphone, maracas, cow horn, fifes
Lonnie Liston Smith – piano, electric piano, claves, percussion, ring cymbal, shouts, balaphone
Michael White – violin, percussion
Cecil McBee – bass, finger cymbal, percussion
Roy Haynes – drums
Clifford Jarvis – drums, maracas, bells, percussion
Nat Bettis, Chief Bey, Majid Shabazz, Anthony Wiles – African percussion
James Jordan – ring cymbal

Leo Kottke - 1981 "Guitar Music"

Guitar Music is an album by American guitarist Leo Kottke, released in 1981. The album is all solo guitar played on a Gibson J-45 and a Lundberg-Martin 12-string.

A classic 1981 release, "Guitar Music" is a self-explanatorily-titled instrumental album by one of the most wide-ranging guitarists of his era. Leo Kottke is influenced by a huge variety of musics, as evidenced by the covers of "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds", "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and a glorious country-blues version of Santo and Johnny's classic "Sleepwalk."
"Part Two" and "Available Space" are watery, jazz-tinged melodies, but the six-part "Some Birds" suite is one of Kottke's most impressive compositions ever. Varied yet subtly linked, these six pieces are small gems. The new age aspects of Kottke's mid-'80s releases have their roots in this extended work, but there's nothing amorphous or muzak-like about this album.

I am a bit of fan of Mr Kottke - ever since hearing 6 & 12 String Guitar way back when. Have a few other albums of his and have even seen him perform when he has visited Australia. Impressive stuff. Haven't bought anything of his for quite some time and stumbled across this one on Amazon - saw the good reviews and bought it. Dont know how I did not know about it - maybe it was never originally released in Australia. Anyway this is what Leo does best - tasty, clever and stylish playing. This album perhaps doesnt have the fire and energy of 6 & 12 String Guitar but in some ways it is the better for it - a bit more mellow and rounded. To be honest its a four and half star album but you cant do that on the rating sytem. If you have other albums by Leo Kottke you will be sure to enjoy this - well worth it.

This is a re-mastered cd from a vinyl press nearly thirty years ago. I wore out my record. Classic Kottke, with some of his own compositions. A good introduction to a genuine American treasure. Kottke has few peers in the history of solo guitar. This is one of his five best albums. If you would like to just sit back, relax and enjoy some beautiful music, than you need to buy this CD. We saw him live and his music will live in my heart forever.

Track listing:

01 Part Two 1:44
02 Available Space 1:35

Side One Suite 10:30
03  Some Birds
04  Sounds Like...
05  Slang
06  My Double
07  Three Walls And Bars
08  Reprise: Some Birds

09 Perforated Sleep 2:42
10 Strange 2:34
11 Little Shoes 1:32
12 Jib's Hat 2:17
13 Tumbling Tumbleweeds 2:42
14 Agile N. 1:45
15 A Song For "The Night Of The Hunter" 3:05
16 All I Have To Do Is Dream 1:42
17 Sleep Walk 2:23


Leo Kottke - Acoustic 6- and 12-String Guitars

Jennifer Batten - 2997 "Momentum"

Jennifer Batten's Tribal Rage: Momentum is the second studio album by guitarist Jennifer Batten, released on August 5, 1997 through East West Records and reissued in June 2008 through Lion Music.

Tribal Rage is Jennifer Batten on guitars, guitar synth, keys, talk box, and dentist drill guitar, Ricky Wolking on bass (fretted and non), talk box, and other bizzare sound manipulations, with Glen Sobel doing drums and percussion. And what is all this fuss over Batten about?

She is amazingly fluid, so many tricks up her sleeve, so many voicings, techniques, and sheer bombast that you are overwhelmed with what torture and delicate touch she lays on a guitar. Slapping, tapping, bending, pulling off, hammer ons, slides — and with both hands! Throwing in a Whammy pedal when all her hands are too busy, she then creates so much wailing, swooping, and mutiple harmonics, that your aural dynamic sense nears overload. The effect is one steady onslaught of unique sounds you thought guitarists could only offer in tidbits, in certain moments, for lead breaks, at song intros or outros. Yet Batten constructs a whole CD’s worth of magical moments of a guitar doing things you rarely hear. She goes beyond Vai’s insane excursions and tops it off by tipping her hat and then running past Satriani’s finer weirdness.

This lady is an artist crafting a whole new dimension of guitar sounds, weaving it all together into song, and best of all it works. Her music is not endless backflips or clowning around — Batten hears another land’s strange echoes and offers a curiously interesting reply. With her Tribal Rage crew at her side a world of wonder unfolds. Seven quality cuts ranging from 7:10 to 9:33 let the whole crew stretch. There is some seriously cool bass work and severely challenging percussion happening here as well.

Batten has toured with big names like Jeff Beck and Michael Jackson. So what does Jeff Beck think of her playing? Beck says, “Incredible stuff, very impressive. She’s very dedicated. I just see her in her little house somewhere, doing nothing else. Because you can’t get that good unless you do.” I have to agree.

As guitar fans would easily recognize Holdsworth’s, Torn’s, or Rypdal’s guitar voice— Batten’s flexible-axe voice is a clear signature. I must say I’ve never heard anyone do anything quite like Batten’s continuous stream of note-bending, tapping, swells, controlled feedback, harmonics, and lightning-fast riffs. Prepare to enter into another dimension of guitar where elasticity is the word.

“Jennifer Batten’s Tribal Rage – Momentum” CD was a labour of love which was developed over a period of several years. “Momentum” is a hybrid of rock and very exotic sounds, including African percussion, Australian didgeridoo, Caribbean steel drums and Scottish bag pipes all wrapped up in a inviting album of diverse influences and sounds.

Looking back on the album’s creation Jennifer comments, “Glen Sobel, Ricky Wolking and I set out to make this a rich sonic journey for ourselves and the listener. We wanted to take them around the globe and included a lot of elements from different cultures. We spent a lot of hours developing, rehearsing and jamming in Glen’s mother’s shoe closet. You couldn’t fit more than the 3 of us and our equipment in there, but the price was right. We set out to be as open minded and creative as possible”.

A really astonishing work from a female guitar slinger who accompanied Jeff Beck and Michael Jackson on world tours back in the day. Her fellow musicians: Ricky Wolking on bass and Glen Sobel on drums and percussion are nothing short of jaw dropping when faced with some demanding roles. If you're into first rate guitar work with plenty of speed, harmonics, fresh, original ideas and the ability to see them to sizzling fruition, this album will be one that you whip out and say to your friends, "Check this out!

Jeff Beck was once quoted as being shocked when he saw Ms. Batten in person for the first time. To wit: "...I expected someone who was introverted and did nothing but practice all the time, because you'd have to do nothing but practice all the time to be that good!!!". Amen to that observation. I have followed with a passion her 2-handed techniques from her days as a GP magazine columnist. I got my 1st taste of what it could sound like from one of her GIT teaching tapes. NEVER could I dream that the amalgamation of her composition skills and technique (i.e., her total artistry) could be so beautifully, powerfully devistating as reflected on this and her other 2 CDs (5-stars for the lot of them). Just stunning stuff. Simply put, if anyone wants to hear a true guitar visionary apply her musical gift and craft in a spellbinding way - buy the CD(s) - be silent - just listen and absorb (sit down if you can - but you'll likely be too energized to allow it)! Who should know brilliance better than the maestro Jeff Beck; he is, he said she is, and the resultant truth is most obvious.

Track listing:

1. "Wodaabe Dancer" 8:30
2. "Elephant Stomp" 7:10
3. "Zulu Wedding" 9:30
4. "Scottsman in the Carribean" 8:57
5. "The Swarm" 9:19
6. "Glow" 8:45
7. "Unplug This" 9:34

Total length: 61:45


Jennifer Batten – guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboard, talk box, background vocals (tracks 1, 4)
Glen Sobel – drums, percussion
Ricky Wolking – bass, banjo, talk box, background vocals (tracks 1, 4)
Chris Tervitt – spoken vocals (track 4)
Sean Wiggins – spoken vocals (track 6), background vocals (tracks 1, 4)
Benny Collins – spoken vocals (track 7)
Bret Helm – background vocals (tracks 1, 4)
Janis Massey – background vocals (tracks 1, 4)
Sylmarian Pygmee choir – background vocals (tracks 1, 4)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Greg Koch - 2001 "The Grip!"

"The Grip!" is a collection of songs from guitarist Greg Koch's five previous independent releases plus three new tracks added from this prolific songwriter/ musician's cachet of twisted tunes. "The Grip!" fuses rock, blues, jazz, and country into one incredible package sure to make new believers and diehard fans of music lovers everywhere. Favored Nations president and noted guitarist Steve Vai states, "Greg Koch is one of those rare guitarists that can blend various styles with a light hearted approach and a tremendous amount of technique. Hearing him play is inspiring to a guitar player to try to achieve greatness on the instrument," while Guitar One chips in with "Koch can't lose with his over-the-top chops, feel for melody, crisp tone, unpredictability, and, above all, unpretentious sense of fun."

It doesn’t take long to figure out why Milwaukee, WI resident, guitarist, Greg Koch resides as a first call session musician for radio and TV advertisements. Hence, the artist displays his multifaceted talents during his debut for guitarist, Steve Vai’s “Favored Nations” record label.
Basically, Koch possesses enviable chops, yet seems adept and undeniably at ease performing from within a variety of contexts. Besides various personnel changes, the leader opts for the guitar, drums, and bass format, although harmonica performer, Steve Cohen lends his talents to the piece titled “Defenstrator.” Meanwhile, the guitarist works his way through a series of blues, rockabilly, surf, and hard rock grooves that generally span three to five minutes in length. Koch also renders a justifiably hard-edged spin on Hendrix’ “Spanish Castle Magic,” where he utilizes his electric guitar equipped whammy bar to great effect. Here, Koch viciously disfigures a series of scathing lead lines while seemingly inflicting pain upon his axe of choice. However, not all of these seventeen works hold up for the long haul, as a sense of invariability permeates the proceedings about mid-way through the set. Otherwise, Koch provides more than enough fireworks via his fancy fretwork and diverse bag of tricks throughout the majority of this rather upbeat production.

Greg Koch is a prolific and ubiquitous guitarist, one heralded by the likes of Steve Vai as a huge talent. He is one fifth progressive, metallic, blues-ridden, bluegrass and rock combined into one harmless assault. The tracks themselves play out like semi-intellectual keystone capers written into interesting beer commercials. The constant highlight of each number, however, is the lead playing of Koch, which is never undermined by the backgrounds of near muzak-like musicians. They are only there to propel and to not merely fulfil without substance. The energy comes out faster and in full force than that of the actual super-quick rotation of a compact disc spinning in its host player.

If you like modern day, edgy, multi genre, guitar music, this is yer kinda CD! You'd get a steamy plate o' blues, country, rock, jazz fusion that sizzles! Greg Koch plays guitar so hot it's like dinkin' a glass of Tabasco and Sriracha sauce! Why the food analogy you ask? Well, it best describes the tunes, which are like complex spices, saffron and curry, sugar and chocolate all rolled into one. Something is bound to satisfy. The whole CD is burnin' with pathos and humor. This is my first foray into the wonderfully twisted musical world of Greg Koch, I'm a believer, and as $ will allow I will snatch up all the Koch I can. My only complaint is I didn't get any info on who the other players, song writers and guest artists etc. were on the CD . .ahh the trouble with downloadable music, but all the morsels were, and are tasty and in the immortal words of Schwarzenegger in "The Terminator" ; "I'll be boch . . . . for more Koch"!!

From the other reviews here you will see that Greg Koch is a phenomenal guitar player. He is able to offer virtuoso compositions of a great variety of musical styles on this disc. Not one to take himself too seriously, (too many great guitar players fall into that mode at some point) Koch plays with fire and a great sense of humor (Albert's Back and has joined a death metal band for revenge, and Blind Lemon Pledge...funny stuff). This is a guy who loves to play guitar. Nice variety, there isn't a weak tune on the whole disc. Kudos on the very cool "Blue Note" records type CD artwork front and back. Great artist, great disc.

Track listing:

01. Zoiks
02. Spank It
03. Holy Grail
04. Carlos Dale
05. Spanish Castle Magic
06. Chief’s Blues
07. Draw My Number
08. Defenestrator
09. Alberts Back
10. Tonus Diabolicus
11. Walking Wounded
12. Steppin’ Out
13. Big Jim
14. Absinthe
15. Dylan the Villian
16. Blind Lemon Pledge
17. The Grip


Greg Koch - Guitar
Tom "Damn" Good - Bass
Kevin Allen - Bass (5,12,15)
John Calarco - Drums
Gary Koehler - Drums (2,5,10,12,15)
Kevin Mushel - Bass (2,10)
Steve Cohen - Harmonica (8)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Jean-Luc Ponty - 1983 "Individual Choice"

Individual Choice is an album by French jazz fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty that was released in 1983. Here is Ponty's radical break with his past, one that further tightened his control over his craft while ironically liberating his muse. In laying out his attractive new music on synthesizers and sequencers, emphasizing revolving ostinato patterns, Ponty rejuvenated his melodic gift, and as a result, even in this controlled setting, his violin solos take on a new freshness and exuberance. Except for two tracks, Ponty does without a formal rhythm section -- and on two other tracks, he goes it completely alone. Indeed, he does best of all when he has no one but himself to play with on "Computer Incantations for World Peace" and the lovely mood piece "Eulogy to Oscar Romero." Guest interloper George Duke (a fellow refugee from Frank Zappa's band) contributes a Minimoog solo to ""In Spiritual Love," where Ponty provides his own percussive backing on rhythm computer. Even if one grumbles on principle about the reduction of spontaneity in Ponty's music over the Atlantic years, the musical end here absolutely justifies the means. Don't miss it.

Recorded in 1983 in Los Angeles, this is JLP's first recording where he plays all the violin, synthesizer and rhythm computer parts, using one of the very first sequencers, except for one piece which was recorded with Allan Holdsworth (guitars) Randy Jackson (bass) and Rayford Griffin (drums). George Duke (synthesizer) and Allan Holdsworth also contribute their solos to two other pieces. The title track was used for a revolutionary promotional video made of time lapse photography by Louis Schwartzberg.

On 1983’s Individual Choice, Ponty begins to abandon the drum-keys-bass-guitar-violin formula that he’s used since Upon The Wings Of Music in favor of experimenting with differing configurations to fit the compositions. The result is an album that creates more mood than sponteniety, a kind of hybrid between fusion and new age.

And while I’m not a big new age guy, Ponty manages to add just enough improvision, clever arrangements and compositional skills to keep me interested. The result is an album that isn’t quite as consistent as Mystical Adventures; however, the peaks reach greater heights, because more often than not, the risk taking pays off.

The opener is probably the most New Age-ish of the whole album. But the sequencer excercise “Computer Incantations for World Peace” gets rescued by Ponty’s five string violin in the second half of the song.

Following is the first appearance of the rhythm section and Rayford Griffin is a major force on the drums. That and a killer chord sequence in the head make “Far from the Beaten Paths” one of Ponty’s best rockers of all time.

Following is Ponty (mostly) solo again, where on “In Spiritual Love” Ponty programs all the synths and percussion, as well as violin, both plucked and bowed. But the addition of a masterful mini Moog solo by old cohort George Duke–who recorded his part remotely in his own studio–gives the whole song a kick in the pants.

The flip side of Individual Choice begins with a brief synthesized mournful tribute to murdered Salvadoran
archbishop Oscar Romero. The next track “Nostalgia”, like “In Spiritual Love”, is Ponty again providing an ideal setup for his guest soloist; an affecting melodic line provides the perfect mood for guitarist Allan Holdsworth’s weeping, legato lines.

The title song that follows is Ponty doing all the work again. However, with no foil this time around, it isn’t quite as interesting. Finally, the full band appears again for only the second time on the closer “In Spite Of All”, highlighted by Ponty trading fours with Holdsworth. Indeed, I wouldn’t have minded at all if Holdsworth had appeared on every track.

Nowadays, Jean-Luc Ponty is still performing and after a long lay over, is finally recording records again. I sometimes wonder what has happened to some of the other musicians on these two records discussed here, as they were all quite talented. But after hearing nothing about him for many years, I know now what the bass player is up to.

If you want to know what he’s doing these days, just tune into American Idol tonight. He’ll be sitting on Paula’s right.

Track listing:

All songs by Jean-Luc Ponty.

1 "Computer Incantations for World Peace" – 5:41
2 "Far from the Beaten Paths" – 5:59
3 "In Spiritual Love" – 7:01
4 "Eulogy to Oscar Romero" – 2:32
5 "Nostalgia" – 5:02
6 "Individual Choice" – 4:56
7 "In Spite of All" – 5:55


Jean-Luc Ponty – violin, organ, synthesizer, keyboards, vocals, keyboard bass, rhythm programming
Allan Holdsworth – guitar
Rayford Griffin – drums, percussion
Randy Jackson – bass
George Duke – synthesizer, Mini-moog

Friday, February 23, 2018

Jennifer Batten - 1992 "Above Below and Beyond"

Above Below and Beyond is the first studio album by guitarist Jennifer Batten, released on February 28, 1992, through Voss Music and reissued in June 2008 through Lion Music.

“Above, Below & Beyond” was Jennifer’s debut solo album and saw her garner major press attention in the worlds leading guitar and rock press. Home to devastating technique, a unique touch and individuality the album is rightly regarded as one of the premier guitar instrumental offerings ever recorded.

The guitar shredder genre of the late '80s was comprised almost entirely of males, but one exception was the fleet-fingered Jennifer Batten. Born in Upstate New York, Batten got her first electric guitar at the age of eight (inspired by her older sister who already owned an instrument, as well as the Beatles and the Monkees), before her family relocated to San Diego, California, a year later. In 1979, Batten began attending G.I.T. (Guitar Institute of Technology), where she befriended such fellow up-and-comers as Steve Lynch (later of Autograph). It was through Lynch's fascination with the then-burgeoning "two-handed tapping" technique that Batten took her friend's lead and perfected the playing style -- eventually writing a book on it years later (Two Hand Rock). After graduation, Batten endured an intense practice regimen while making ends meet by teaching at G.I.T. and playing in a variety of local bands. Her big career break came in 1987, when she received word from a friend that auditions were being held for a guitarist for Michael Jackson's upcoming tour in support of his comeback album, Bad. Instead of trying to secure a tryout right away, Batten took an uncommon approach, securing a tryout on the last possible day -- that way, she would have as much time to learn and perfect the King of Pop's repertoire. The plan worked, and she toured with Jackson for the better part of a year-and-a-half. She prominently appeared in the video for "Another Part of Me" after undergoing an image makeover, which saw her transformed into a peroxide-hairsprayed guitar goddess (she even sported a Mohawk for a spell). With the Jackson tour behind her, interest spread about Batten in the rock guitar community, especially after a track of hers appeared on a compilation CD issued by Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine, her cover of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" on 1989's Guitar's Practicing Musicians. This set the stage perfectly for her full-length solo debut in the spring of 1992, Above Below and Beyond, an album that mixed originals and covers (and was produced by Michael Sembello). Shortly after the release of her debut, Batten found herself out on tour once more with Jackson in support of his Dangerous release (which included a performance at the half-time of the Super Bowl). Afterward, Batten returned to her own recording career, forming a group called the Immigrants and issuing the European-only release, One Planet Under One Groove, before once more agreeing to tour with Jackson, this time in support of his 1997 greatest-hits collection, HIStory. The same year also saw the release of another Batten recording, Momentum (credited to Jennifer Batten's Tribal Rage). 1998 saw Batten receive an invitation to join the backing band of one of her all time-favorite guitarists, Jeff Beck. Since signing on with Beck, Batten has appeared on such studio recordings as 1999's Who Else! and 2001's You Had It Coming, plus numerous tours. She released her third solo LP, the all instrumental Whatever, in 2007, with Battlezone, a collaboration with powerhouse vocalist Marc Scherer, arriving in 2017. Additionally, Batten has guested on recordings by Carmine Appice (Guitar Zeus, Vol. 1) and her old friend Sembello's Lost Years LP, among others.

Track listing:

1. Flight of the Bumble Bee
2. Ya Ain't Nothing Like a Fast Car
3. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
4. Respect
5. Cat Fight
6. Headbangers Hairspray
7. Whammy Damage
8. Secret Lover
9. Voo Doo
10. Cruzin' the Nile
11. Tar-zenz Day Off
12. Giant Steps (Jazz version)
13. Giant Steps (Rock version)
14. Mental Graffiti


Jennifer Batten – vocals (tracks 8, 9), guitar, talk box, vocoder, arrangement, spoken vocals (tracks 2, 12)
Michael Sembello – vocals, vocoder, arrangement, engineering, production
Kali of Medusa – vocals (track 4)
Greg Philingaines – piano, bass
Steve Klong – drums
Shokti – drums
Andre Berry – bass
Robo Jaco – bass (track 13)
Shirley Brewer Garden – background vocals (track 4)
Kathy Collier – background vocals (track 4)
Bret Helm – spoken vocals (track 12)
Cruz Sembello – spoken vocals (track 12)
Sargent Mom – spoken vocals (track 12)
Sylmarian philharmonic
Sylmarian percussion group

Monday, February 19, 2018

Adrian Belew - 1991 "Desire Of The Rhino King"

Desire of the Rhino King is a compilation album released in 1991 by experimental rock musician and guitarist Adrian Belew. It includes songs from Belew's first three solo albums for Island Records: Lone Rhino (1982), Twang Bar King (1983), and Desire Caught By the Tail (1986).

Track 18 is an outtake from the Desire sessions which makes its CD debut here. It was first released on a Flexi disc included with the March 1987 issue of Guitar Player magazine.

Desire of the Rhino King is a compilation of songs from Belew's three albums, Lone Rhino, Twang Bar King, and Desire Caught By the Tail. This generous, 20-track album epitomizes Adrian Belew in all his avant garde glory, complete with information about all three albums written by Belew himself. A good feel for his experimental guitar playing, his work with feedback, and his use of tape loops all converge on this album, creating an excellent overview of this talented artist. Belew's guitar work is at its best on "Big Electric Cat" and "Hot Sun." He shows that he can be compassionate on "The Man in the Moon," a song about the death of his father. The first eight tracks from Lone Rhino include abrupt sax playing from Bill Janssen and numerous other effects, adding to the brightness. Tracks nine to 16 are from Twang Bar King and are the leanest part of the album, since Belew seems to go off on a rip-roaring tangent and the looseness causes the tunes to slightly unravel. The last five tracks are taken from Desire Caught By the Tail, and this is where Belew glistens. Inspired by Pablo Picasso, he paints his music on an invisible canvas creating some unique and imaginative sounds. A great cross section of Adrian Belew is experienced on this album, and is digitally remastered as well.

This disk is actually a "Greatest Hits" for Belew. It has three albums worth of material (but not all of the tracks). It should be noted that the tracks from "Desire of the Rhino King" are actually a different mix than was originally released in Japan. So, if you are a Belew fan, you should get this CD even if you already have the original releases.

Track listing:

All music composed by Adrian Belew except where noted.

01 "The Final Rhino" – 1:25
02 "The Lone Rhinoceros" – 3:59
03 "Big Electric Cat" – 4:52
04 "The Momur" – 3:48
05 "Hot Sun" – 1:30
06 "The Man in the Moon" – 3:47
07 "Swingline" – 3:29
08 "Adidas in Heat" – 2:45
09 "Fish Head" – 4:31
10 "The Ideal Woman" – 4:08
11 "Sexy Rhino" – :37
12 "Twang Bar King" – 1:26
13 "Paint the Road" (Belew, Janssen) – 3:21
14 "She Is Not Dead" – 4:42
15 "The Rail Song" – 5:38
16 "Ballet for a Blue Whale" – 4:45
17 "The Gypsy Zurna" – 3:06
18 "Joan Miro's Procession Through the Insides of a Purple Antelope Across a Sea of Tuna Fish" – 3:05
19 "Portrait of Margaret" – 3:58
20 "Laughing Man" – 5:31
21 "Guernica" – 2:18


Adrian Belew – guitar, percussion, piano, drums, vocals,
Audie Belew – piano
Christy Bley – keyboards, vocals
Larrie Londin – drums
Clif Mayhugh – bass, vocals
Bill Janssen – saxophone, vocals

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sonny Rollins - 1956 [1999] "Saxophone Colossus"

Saxophone Colossus is a studio album by American jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. It was recorded on June 22, 1956, with producers Bob Weinstock and Rudy Van Gelder at the latter's studio in Hackensack, New Jersey. Rollins led a quartet on the album that included pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach. Saxophone Colossus was released later that year by Prestige Records to critical success and helped establish Rollins as a prominent jazz artist.

In 2017, Saxophone Colossus was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant."

There are five tracks on the album, three of which are credited to Rollins. "St. Thomas" is a calypso-inspired piece named after Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands. The tune is traditional and had already been recorded by Randy Weston in 1955 under the title "Fire Down There". (In the booklet provided with the boxed set, The Complete Prestige Recordings, Rollins makes it clear that it was the record company that insisted on his taking credit.) In any case, the piece has since become a jazz standard, and this is its most famous recorded version.

Finally, "Blue 7" is a blues, over eleven minutes long. Its main, rather disjunct melody was spontaneously composed. The performance is among Rollins' most acclaimed, and is the subject of an article by Gunther Schuller entitled "Sonny Rollins and the Challenge of Thematic Improvisation". Schuller praises Rollins on "Blue 7" for the use of motivic development exploring and developing melodic themes throughout his three solos, so that the piece is unified, rather than being composed of unrelated ideas.

Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set. Joined by pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Doug Watkins, and drummer Max Roach, Rollins debuts and performs the definitive version of "St. Thomas," tears into the chord changes of "Mack the Knife" (here called "Moritat"), introduces "Strode Rode," is lyrical on "You Don't Know What Love Is," and constructs a solo on "Blue Seven" that practically defines his style. Essential music that, as with all of Rollins' Prestige recordings, has also been reissued as part of a huge "complete" box set; listeners with a tight budget are advised to pick up this single disc and be amazed.

Rollins remains one of the most popular draws on the international jazz circuit, and the qualities that have led to him being dubbed "the greatest living improviser" are still abundantly audible. Last November, at London's Barbican Hall in the city's annual jazz festival, Rollins played without a break for an hour and three-quarters. He rolled through characteristically rough-hewn ballads, blearily soulful blues, unquenchable uptempo bebop runs in double-time full of mocking, police-siren warbles and boneshaking low notes, and wound up on his signature calypso, Don't Stop The Carnival. It was the kind of tour de force this saxophone colossus has been delivering for half a century.

The phrase "saxophone colossus" regularly comes up when Rollins is discussed – not just because he continues to be one, but because the album of that title was the high point of the astonishing creative breakout he made in 1956. Through a succession of improvisational masterpieces that year, his torrential inventiveness began to inspire sax-players everywhere, including John Coltrane. Though he had been the dominant partner in recordings with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk that had begun several years before, it was from early 1956 that Rollins really took off. The saxophonist's personal merging of tenor-founder Coleman Hawkins's big-toned gravitas and harmonic sophistication, Charlie Parker's uptempo intensity, and Lester Young's lyricism opened a new chapter of jazz soloing possibilities on a saxophone. During this period Rollins had joined trumpeter Clifford Brown, pianist Richie Powell, bassist George Morrow and former Charlie Parker drummer Max Roach in a group that, under Roach's and Brown's joint leadership, became one of the standard-bearers of a pungent new jazz style dubbed "hard bop". In the clip above, you can hear that band in March 1956 on the Rollins original, Valse Hot.

Rollins's powers seemed to be expanding by the week in this period, and in May he made the Tenor Madness album with fellow saxophonist John Coltrane and Miles Davis's rhythm section of the time. Then in June came Saxophone Colossus. The most thematically interesting and improvisationally unfettered Rollins recording of that year, it featured the calypso St Thomas (the saxophonist's parents came from the Virgin Islands, and calypsos remain a feature of his music still), a reworking of Mack the Knife as the drily eloquent Moritat and a long, steadily-building, tonally colourful and intricate improvisation on a mid-tempo blues (Blue Seven) that came to be widely regarded as one of the great recorded jazz solos.

This eruption of spontaneous music didn't come from nowhere. Rollins had immense natural gifts, but he also grew up in Harlem in the 1930s with some of the most famous musicians of the day - including Duke Ellington and Coleman Hawkins - living around the corner, and pianist Thelonious Monk was a childhood friend who opened his ears to unusual melodies and harmony. Rollins led a high school band that included the Charlie Parker-ish alto saxist Jackie McLean, and Miles Davis was a regular playing partner between 1949 and 1954. After that, the saxophonist was ready to run his own show, as he has done ever since - though the tragic deaths of Clifford Brown and Richie Powell in a car crash, just days after Saxophone Colossus was recorded, undoubtedly brought a shattered Rollins's career as an ensemble sideman to an end sooner that he could have imagined.

Track listing:

1 St. Thomas 6:45
2 You Don't Know What Love Is 6:28
3 Strode Rode 5:13
4 Moritat 10:04
5 Blue Seven 11:17


Sonny Rollins — tenor saxophone
Tommy Flanagan — piano
Doug Watkins — bass
Max Roach — drums

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Jeff Coffin Mu'tet - 2008 "mUtoPIA"

A member of roots-fusion mavericks Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, GRAMMY-award winning saxophonist Jeff Coffin is one of the world’s most visible hornmen. As his insightful yet incendiary playing with the Flecktones demonstrates, Coffin possesses the rare ability to fuse the improvisational intensity of modern jazz with a wide range of influences.

Aided by an all-star cast of jazz, jam, bluegrass, and funk musicians, Jeff Coffin explores an impressive variety of textures and styles, gracing each with his peerless energy, musicianship, and technique. On Mutopia, Coffin presents the most complete picture yet of his eclectic musical vision. Two steps beyond an otherworldly fusion of Ornette Coleman, The Meters, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood, Mutopia puts Jeff Coffin at the forefront of a new generation of improvising musicians for whom boundaries are meaningless and everyone is invited to the party.

Jeff Coffin's work with Béla Fleck's Flecktones has only been somewhat reflective of his efforts as a leader. The saxophonist/composer is quite able in a more progressive, accessibly contemporary style to express his personalized music, which is in many ways substantive and cleverly rendered. While recent efforts have veered toward a commercialized approach, this CD with his Mu'tet bears distinct elements of the Jazz Crusaders and the first bands of Derek Trucks. No doubt the addition of a stout horn section on a few selections, and collaboration with the keyboardist and flute player Kofi Burbridge -- well known for his work with the Trucks band -- has a lot to do with how this group reacts and responds. All in all, there's some very hip music here, ranging from the 7/4 funk with dual electric bass guitarists on "Al's Greens" including a banjo solo from boss man Fleck, to "Move Your Rug" with varying beats in six and seven mixing up the complicated and simplistic horns with a New Orleans beat. The outstanding, developed, dramatic, Middle Eastern flavored "L'Esperance" is introduced by Coffin's resplendent, floating mbira, then his tenor sax and flute foreshadowed Burbridge's desert-to-jungle flute solo. "Turiya" is a calm, serene, and beautiful tribute to the late Alice Coltrane with Coffin on soprano sax and Burbridge on acoustic grand piano. The molasses slow "Sweet Magnolias" offers a legitimate blues framework for Coffin's legato tenor, and a bonus track, "Emma Ya," is a soul deep, light reggae tune. Trombonists Barry Green or Roy Agee are added for the funk-with-a twist track "Tag" or the Stax style soul pop cut "One In, One Out" respectively, with Burbridge jammin' on the Hammond B-3 organ. Agee, trumpeter Rod McGaha, and sousaphonist Joe Murphy expand the horizons of "Move Your Rug." Also present is electric bass guitarist Felix Pastorius, one of the twin sons of the legendary Jaco Pastorius, and fellow Flecktone, drummer Roy "Future Man" Wooten. The collective energy, team work, and top-drawer ability of Coffin, not to mention the diversity of the recording, is hard to deny. This might be the best effort yet for the Mu'tet, top to bottom.

When saxophonist Jeff Coffin joined Béla Fleck & the Flecktones in 1997, he righted their ship. That quartet had released three stellar CDs during 1990-1992, but when original keyboardist/harmonica player Howard Levy left, a void was created. The remaining trio of Fleck (banjo), Victor Wooten (bass) and Futureman (drum synthesizer) drifted before Coffin contributed to Grammy-winning comebacks from Outbound (2000) to The Hidden Land (2006).

Like all Flecktones, Coffin is better suited within that ace improvising quartet than on his own, yet two new solo projects point out his versatility. Coffin’s latest self-titled Mu’tet release improves upon his handful of preceding solo CDs, mainly because of his surrounding, interactive cast. Arc of the Circle, with keyboardist Charlie Peacock, is its polar opposite, an improvisational blend of modern classical and ECM-like influences.

On Mutopia, Futureman (Roy Wooten, Victor’s brother) plays acoustic drums throughout, rather than his guitar-shaped electric SynthAxe, and Fleck and Wooten appear on one track each. But it isn’t the Flecktones’ presence that makes Mutopia tick. Fleck’s cameo is on “Bubble Up,” a buoyant number in 7/8 time that’s highlighted by the Hammond organ lines of Kofi Burbridge (who adds piano and flute elsewhere) and Coffin’s two-man horn section with trombonist Roy Agee. On the dreamy “Al’s Greens,” Wooten trades solos with primary bassist Felix Pastorius, the 26-year-old son of late bass great Jaco. Their exchanges are so seamless that it’s difficult to tell them apart-no small feat, considering Wooten’s musical athleticism.

Coffin plays tenor, alto and baritone saxes on the New Orleans-tinged pieces “One In, One Out” and “Move Your Rug.” The saxophonist, who also plays soprano, flute and percussion, must be given additional credit for the coming-out party of Pastorius, the bravest young musician since Ravi Coltrane took up saxophone. Futureman’s dexterity on actual drums, and Burbridge’s all-purpose playing, add to a CD worthy of Flecktones comparisons.

Arc of the Circle merits no such comparisons, but that’s by design. Coffin and Peacock (who plays piano, synthesizer, Wurlitzer and toy piano) completely improvised the basic tracks before Marc Ribot (electric and resonator guitars), Tony Miracle (electronics and laptop computer) and guest players contributed to the derangements. Peacock may be best known as a producer who’s covered a wide spectrum from Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe to Amy Grant. He uses both grand and toy piano on the opening title track, engaging Coffin’s tenor sax into a game of musical tag.

Ribot and drummer Derrek Phillips contribute heavily to the subsequent, nearly accessible “Rice Dice Mice,” but most of the remaining pieces purposely avoid having a rhythmic anchor. Phillips plays on two other abstract pieces, “Downstairs Room of You” and “Redux: Porky, Boots and Floyd.” The remainder is mostly freeform Peacock and Coffin (on tenor, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute and percussion). If your tastes run toward the Flecktones, Mutopia is the choice of these two releases; if you lean toward free jazz and Charles Ives, it’s Arc of the Circle.

Track listing:

1 Tag 3:29
2 Al's Greens 7:25
3 Bubble Up 5:26
4 One In, One Out 6:06
5 Turiya 10:14
6 L'Esperance 7:49
7 Sweet Magnolias 9:19
8 Move Your Rug 7:18
9 Emma Ya (Hidden Track)


Saxophone, Flute – Jeff Coffin
Drum – Roy Wooten
Electric Bass – Felix Pastorius
Piano, Organ, Keyboards, Flute – Kofi Burbridge
Guest – Alana Rocklin, Barry Green, Black Cat Sylvester, Béla Fleck, Chris Walters (5), Doug Belote, Pat Bergeson, R. Scott Bryan, Rod McGaha, Roy Agee, Victor Wooten

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Jethro Tull - 1968 [1987] "This Was"

This Was is the debut album by the British progressive rock band Jethro Tull, released in 1968. Recorded at a cost of £1200, it is the only Jethro Tull album with guitarist Mick Abrahams, who was a major influence for the sound and music style of the band's first songs. When the album was released the band was already performing at the Marquee Club in London, where other successful British groups, such as the Rolling Stones and The Who, had started their careers.

While vocalist Ian Anderson's creative vision largely shaped Jethro Tull's later albums, on This Was Anderson shared songwriting duties with Tull's guitarist Mick Abrahams. In part due to Abrahams' influence, the album incorporates more rhythm and blues and jazz influences than the progressive rock the band later became known for. In particular:

The music to "My Sunday Feeling", "Some Day the Sun Won't Shine for You", "Beggar's Farm" and "It's Breaking Me Up" are based on blues progressions, with "Some Day the Sun Won't Shine for You" arranged similarly to Big Bill Broonzy's blues standard "Key to the Highway".
"Cat's Squirrel" (included in the album "because people like it", according to the liner notes) was written by Doctor Ross and covered as an instrumental by numerous 1960s British blues bands, including the supergroup Cream. Abrahams would later perform the song in his post-Jethro Tull blues band Blodwyn Pig.
The album includes a cover version of Roland Kirk's jazz standard "Serenade to a Cuckoo". According to the liner notes, "Cuckoo" was one of the first tunes Ian Anderson learned to play on the flute.
The coda of "My Sunday Feeling" incorporates quotes from two well-known jazz tunes, Henry Mancini's "Pink Panther Theme" (specifically the song's bass line, played as a short solo by Glenn Cornick) and Nat Adderley's and Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Work Song".
This Was also contains the only Jethro Tull lead vocal not performed by Ian Anderson on a studio album, in "Move on Alone". Mick Abrahams, the song's author, provided vocals on the track; David Palmer provided the horn arrangement.

Abrahams left Jethro Tull following the album's completion in a dispute over "musical differences". Thus, the album's title probably refers to Abraham's' blues influence on the album and how blues weren't the direction Anderson wanted the band to go. As said in the liner notes of the original record, "This was how we were playing then – but things change – don't they?"

The song "Dharma for One", a staple of Tull's early concerts (usually incorporating an extended drum solo by Clive Bunker), was later covered by Ekseption, Pesky Gee! and The Ides of March. This song featured the "claghorn", an instrument invented by Jeffrey Hammond. Anderson also claims to have invented the instrument.

Jethro Tull was very much a blues band on their debut album, vaguely reminiscent of the Graham Bond Organization only more cohesive, and with greater commercial sense. The revelations about the group's roots on This Was -- which was recorded during the summer of 1968 -- can be astonishing, even 30 years after the fact. Original lead guitarist Mick Abrahams contributed to the songwriting and the singing, and his presence as a serious bluesman is felt throughout, often for the better: "Some Day the Sun Won't Shine for You," an Ian Anderson original that could just as easily be credited to Big Bill Broonzy or Robert Johnson; "Cat's Squirrel," Abrahams' big showcase, where he ventures into Eric Clapton territory; and "It's Breaking Me Up," which also features some pretty hot guitar from Abrahams. Roland Kirk's "Serenade to a Cuckoo" (the first song Anderson learned to play on flute), their jazziest track ever, is one of the best parts of the album. The drum solo on "Dharma for One" now seems like a mistake, but is understandable in the context of the time in which it was done. The one number here that everybody knows, "A Song for Jeffrey," almost pales amid these surroundings, but at the time it was a superb example of commercial psychedelic blues. This would be the last album of its kind by the group, as Abrahams' departure and the lure of more fertile inspiration tugged them toward English folk music. Curiously, the audio mix here is better than that on their second album, with a much stronger, harder group sound overall. In late 2001, This Was was reissued in a remastered edition with much crisper sound and three bonus tracks. The jazzy improvisation "One for John Gee" (a reference to the manager of the Marquee Club), the folky "Love Story" (which marked the end of Mick Abrahams' tenure with the group), and the novelty piece "Christmas Song" have all been heard before but, more to the point, they're worth hearing again, especially in the fidelity they have here.

In June 1968, just before this album was recorded, Jethro Tull began a residency at London’s famed Marquee Club (where the ‘Stones and The Who also launched their careers). Band advisers failed to get Ian to give up the flute and let Mick do all the singing. The album was recorded without any record company contract presuming, correctly, that a deal could be made afterwards.

Tull began their first US tour in January 1969, immediately after securing the services of guitarist Martin Barre.

The album had little commercial impact in the US charts (#62) but the U.S. tour did earn the band a strong cult following.

Track listing:

01 My Sunday Feeling 3:38
02 Some Day The Sun Won't Shine For You 2:42
03 Beggar's Farm 4:19
04 Move On Alone 2:00
05 Serenade To A Cuckoo 6:01
06 Dharma For One 4:11
07 It's Breaking Me Up 4:56
08 Cat's Squirrel 5:36
09 A Song For Jeffrey 3:18
10 Round 0:50


Ian Anderson – lead vocals (1–3, 7, 9), flute, mouth organ, "claghorn", piano
Mick Abrahams – guitar, backing and lead (4) vocals, nine-string guitar
Glenn Cornick – bass guitar
Clive Bunker – drums, hooter, charm bracelet

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Oriente Lopez - 2012 "Aguas Profundas"

Oriente López - Aguas Profundas

For those not familiar with the talented Oriente López , as a way of introduction, we had the pleasure of experiencing him play at the Southampton Arts Center  in Southampton, New York with Nilson Matta's Brazilian Voyage  in late March 2017 where he played with Nilson and Mauricio Zottarelli, who plays on Aguas Profundas,  and were impressed with his mastery and style on both piano and flute. In addition to being a musician, he is also a musical director, composer, arranger, producer, and multi-Grammy winner (2004 - Land Of The Sun with Charlie Haden and Gonzolo Rubalcaba, and 2001 - Paquito D'Rivera Quintet Live at The Blue Note with Paquito D'Rivera), he won an ASCAP plus USA award for composing from 2000 - 2011, and received the EGREM award from Cuba for two 1988 recordings, Eclipse de Sol with Afrocuba, and Causas Y Azares with Silvio Rodriguez and Afrocuba.

The 13-track release opens with the lively Centro Habana featuring the legendary 14-Grammy award winner, Paquito D'Rivera on alto sax joining Oriente, Itaiguara Brandão, and Mauricio Zottarelli. Next in the line-up is the title track, Aguas Profundas with special guest, Brazilian Jazz guitarist, Romero Lubambo working his magic, and Oriente playing both piano and flute on this amazing track that flows effortlessly, then segues into the song AEIOU where special guest Henrik Meurkens layers in the harmonica. 

Drum enthusiasts will appreciate Mauricio Zottarelli's long drum solo on Hurry Up, followed by the track, Chase where once again Romero Lubambo joins the trio and blends in his guitar rhythms. The release continues with the track Congoja, a perfect vehicle to highlight Oriente López 's exceptionally fine piano work. Carrusel is just the trio and that is more than enough to create a dynamic piece, and on Midtown Waltz, Henrick Meurkens returns to add harmonica. 

The release continues with Sabor Intelectual, which translates from Spanish to Intellectual Flavor, which indeed it is, with Cuban-born Paquito D'Rivera on clarinet, Cuban-born Oriente López on piano, and Brazilians Romero Lubambo on guitar, Itaiguara Brandão on electric bass, and Mauricio Zottarelli on drums and percussion. The track Wait once again features the core trio.

SOS opens with special guest Luis Felipe Lamoglia layering in the tenor sax, then the trio finishes strongly with the track, Tornado, and the closing track Umbral, which slows the pace, and brings the listener down gently to reflect and catch one's breath on this masterfully crafted release. From start to finish, Aguas Profundas is like a long, cool drink of water on a hot day; completely satisfying.

Rhythmically complex acoustic music ensemble with strong melodies and virtuosic performances.

Oriente López wrote all the music for Aguas Profundas, as well as produced it for OHL Music.

Recorded October 2009 by Michael Brorby - Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn NYC, and February 2010 by Sal Mormando - Kaleidoscope Sound, Union City NJ,

Mixed and Masterized May 2011 by Dave Darlington - Bass Hit Recording Manhattan NYC,

Art Work: "Vision Of Sound" by Yanusz Gilewicz,

Photo by David Zacks

All songs written by Oriente Lopez OHL Music

Track listing:

1. Centro Habana 4:20
2. Aguas Profundas 4:53
3. Aeiou 4:51
4. Hurry Up 5:02
5. Chase 4:35
6. Congoja 3:28
7. Carrusel 4:53
8. Midtwon Waltz 4:52
9. Sabor Intelectual 4:49
10. Wait 3:04
11. Sos 5:03
12. Tornado 5:06
13. Umbral 4:07


Oriente Lopez - Piano, Keyboards, Voice, Flute & Alto Flute
Itaiguara Brandao - Electric Bass
Mauricio Zottarelli - Drums & Percussion
Paquito D'Rivera - Alto Sax, Clarinet
Hendrik Muerkens - Harmonica
Romero Lubambo - Guitar
Luis Felipe Lamoglia - Tenor Sax

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Dave Holland - 2006 "Critical Mass"

Critical Mass is a 2006 album release by the Dave Holland Quintet, and the first to feature drummer Nate Smith. This is the first Dave Holland Quintet album to be released outside the ECM label, through which he had released all of his albums since his 1972 debut as leader, Conference of the Birds.

It's been five years since the last studio record by Dave Holland's quintet. But between touring on its own and as the core of Holland's big band, which was responsible for the outstanding Overtime (Dare2, 2005), the unit shows no sign of slowing down. Critical Mass proves that when the chemistry is right, even longstanding bands can continue to improve by introducing new elements, without forgetting what made them great in the first place.

The quintet has been together for close to a decade with only two changes. Saxophonist Chris Potter, who replaced Steve Wilson after Points of View (ECM, 1998), quickly evolved a virtually telepathic link with trombonist Robin Eubanks that has been one of the quintet's signatures. Despite the concern about drummer Billy Kilson leaving the group over two years ago, newcomer Nate Smith has already proven that while his overall approach is lighter, he's equally capable. Critical Mass is his first recording with the group, and there's been no loss of chemistry or distinct identity.

Always a democratic leader, Holland has once again encouraged everyone to contribute compositionally. The leader wrote half of the album's eight tunes, the other players one tune apiece. The group's sound has always been defined by its unique instrumentation: there isn't a sound like it anywhere else. Steve Nelson's vibes and marimba provide a chordal foundation for a trombone/saxophone front line. But even a unique textural conception can grow tiring after a number of years, and it's to these musicians' credit that this quintet remains as vital as ever.

Holland's "The Eyes Have It opens the disc on a familiar note; the bassist and drummer's inescapable groove makes even the most complicated bar shifts feel natural. Potter gets better with each passing year, employing the perfect combination of melodic invention and passionate energy. But it's after Holland's solo, where Potter empathically solos in tandem with an equally intuitive Eubanks, that we're reminded of this group's real magic.

Holland revisits the Middle Eastern vibe of Points of View's "Bedouin Trail, but "Secret Garden feels more authentic, the result of Smith's rhythmic yet textural approach, while Eubanks' "Full Circle proves that it's possible to swing in any time signature.

But the real surprise is saved for last. Nelson's own records have been decidedly mainstream efforts. On "Amator Silenti he's written an episodic composition that goes from a rubato tone poem to a lyrical ballad to angular free play, and that's something new for the quintet. After building to a fever pitch, it ultimately returns to its more melodic beginning.

Proof that it's possible to retain one's identity while breaking new ground, Critical Mass continues a streak of winning records for Holland that shows no sign of letting up.

Bassist extraordinaire Dave Holland believes that like fine wine, music shouldn't be unbottled before its time. Holland and his highly regarded quintet spent a year and a half honing and retooling the music on their new album until it reached the point he calls "critical mass, where "it has become what it's going to be.

That patience, care and commitment to getting things right is evident throughout Critical Mass. This is the work of a working band, a group with five distinct, creative personalities that's been together almost in its entirety—with the exception of new drummer Nate Smith—for nearly a decade. Under Holland's generous leadership, each member of the quintet gets plenty of room to solo and contribute his own ideas to the mix. Each also contributes an original composition, to go along with four from Holland.

The result is some of the most exciting, serious jazz around, a superbly crafted mix of the mainstream and the avant-garde, the cerebral and the swinging. From Holland's hypnotic, Middle Eastern-influenced "Secret Garden to the exploratory funk of Robin Eubanks' "Full Circle, the group exhibits impressive passion, cohesion and sense of adventure. In a band filled with stars, Chris Potter stands out for his tour de force saxophone work, weaving edgy, serpentine lines above Eubanks' steady, more laid-back trombone. Longtime Holland cohort Steve Nelson again shines on vibes and marimba; Nelson wrote the album's most challenging tune, the evocative "Amator Silenti.

This particular lineup of Dave Holland's longstanding quintet had apparently been working for eighteen months prior to recording this disc, and that simple fact oozes out of every note played. There is a level of cohesion and empathy here that arguably can come only from such longstanding associations.
Holland is anything but despotic in his leadership responsibilities, and every member of the group gets a composer's credit here. The result is a diversity of approaches that makes for rewarding listening, and there is an object lesson in this for countless other groups working in this modern mainstream field.

In addition to Holland's bass, the rhythm section is rounded out by Steve Nelson, principally on vibes, though he makes some telling contributions on marimba, and drummer Nate Smith. They give the music an airy, perhaps understated quality, at times taking in earthy funk in a satisfyingly contradictory way, while Robin Eubanks' trombone takes the music in the same direction. The resulting balance is down entirely to the musical personalities of the players involved.

This is perhaps best exemplified on Holland's "Easy Did It," where for once a title is apt for all the right reasons. Chris Potter plays soprano sax here, and his work on that horn has arguably greater character than his tenor playing. While he doesn't approach the individuality of, say, Steve Lacy on the straight horn, he does have an exceptional grasp of tonal nuance.

There's an awful lot of music in this vein out there at the moment, and whilst it's always faultlessly played, it can be a little wearing having to try and identify soloists through note patterns alone. There is no such concern here, which makes this disc a rarity. The soloists have identities of their own and there's nothing in the way of the usual overstatement here. What emerges instead is the impression of a band mining a rich musical seam with skill and aplomb.

Track listing:

1 "The Eyes Have It" (Dave Holland) - 7:00
2 "Easy Did It" (Dave Holland) - 11:16
3 "Vicissitudes" (Chris Potter) - 9:56
4 "The Leak" (Nate Smith) - 5:42
5 "Secret Garden" (Dave Holland) - 8:42
6 "Lucky Seven" (Dave Holland) - 8:35
7 "Full Circle" (Robin Eubanks) - 12:11
8 "Amator Silenti" (Steve Nelson) - 9:17


Chris Potter - tenor & soprano saxophones
Robin Eubanks - trombone
Steve Nelson - vibraphone, marimba & tambourine
Dave Holland - double bass
Nate Smith - drums

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Gabor Szabo - 1967 [1997] "The Sorcerer"

The Sorcerer is a live album by Hungarian jazz guitarist Gábor Szabó featuring performances recorded in 1967 for the Impulse! label.

Gabor Szabo's quintet featuring Jimmy Stewart was one of the guitarist's very best units. Live performances like this, recorded at Boston's Jazz Workshop, document some of the excitement the group stirred in 1967-1968. Included in the 1997 CD reissue are three excellent tracks ("Los Matadoros," "People," and "Corcovado") recorded at the same concert, which originally appeared on More Sorcery. The playing seems inspired, and the interplay within the group is something to behold -- even when performing lightweight tunes like "The Beat Goes On."

Hungarian guitarist Szabo got his start with drummer Chico Hamilton (who also discovered Eric Dolphy and Charles Lloyd, among others), but was soon off on his own with a unique hybrid of jazz improv and a twang reminiscent of surf guitar. By the 1970s he had descended into Donovan and Carpenters covers (and even those are pretty groovy in a hip-kitsch manner), but this CD combines two LPs that captured him live at his 1967 peak. Well, there is a Sonny and Cher tune, but it's a good one. Also featured is a second guitarist, Jimmy Stewart, and the meshing Eastern-tinged comping of the two is as hypnotic as the title.

My introduction to Gabor Szabo was back in the late 1960s when the older brother of a girlfriend turned me on to his music and the music of a great many others. I was only twelve or thirteen at the time, but even at that age could see that this was something special.
Over the years, I ended up buying this album and a few other early Szabo albums and even had the good fortune to see him perform live at the Boojum Tree in Phoenix in the mid-70s.
I hadn't listened in years, however, until recently a friend I was visiting had it on his CD player.
Ah! The memories it brought back! When I got home, I ordered it here and when it arrived the music instantly transported me back to those halcyon days of long ago. My favorites here are Little Boat, Lou-ise, Space, Mizrab, and the magnificent Spanish-tinged tour de force, Los Matodoros. Szabo's play is redolent of the mysteries of the Old World and with Jimmy Stewart playing in counterpoint to him, your listening pleasure is doubled.
Though I agree with some of the reviewers that The Beat Goes On, People, and Corcovado are cheesy, their inclusion on this CD does not detract from its five-star rating. Those who know the music of Szabo know he had an odd fondness for some songs that have no musical merit but there is less of that kind of pap here than on some of his later recordings.
Anyone who is enjoys jazz or simply great guitar playing should be interested in hearing this. The Sorcerer epitomizes late 60s jazz and that makes it an essential addition to any serious fan's CD library.

The first fusion recordings are atributed to Miles Davis' late sixties quintet with Wayne Shorter, and perhaps this is correct, but the jazz/rock/world music (Brazilian/Spanish/Indian) brew that Gabor Szabo was concocting in this 1960's session cannot be overlooked as something inconsequential. It's not only Szabo's pop/rock leanings but his approach to playing the guitar which should assure his inclusion among the pioneers of the musical genre that was later to be called fusion. He often uses sound effects and drone tones as well as chords and single-note techniques that were quite outside the standard jazz vocabulary of the time. Aside from that the record is thick with the late 60's atmosphere - I can just picture a smoky coffee house filled with smells of coffee, cigarette smoke and incense. It is no surprise that Carlos Santana quotes Szabo as one his earliest influences.

Some songs meander meaninglessly without developing a cohesive solo, but there are some others with some nicely done solos as well. He does a great job on the bossa novas - some people will say they are cheesy, but you have to remember that in the sixties, bossas were absolutely in vogue, and therefore super cool.

A nice album that will definetly appeal more to the fusion fans than jazz purists.

Time is a funny thing. Dig, today a lot of folks don’t know his name, but back in the day, Hungarian gypsy guitarist Gabor Szabo was The Guy. His crystalline, single-note bursts of emotional swing and baroquely romantic effluence made him a latter-day Django. An immensely popular guitarist, Szabo’s music was the soundtrack of choice for the hip ’70s careerist. At first, known only to the jazz world, Szabo was elevated into the larger pop consciousness with his album The Sorcerer. A beguiling blend of eastern motifs, Old World noblesse oblige and ripe drama, The Sorcerer was recorded at Boston’s legendary Jazz Workshop with his working quartet (Jimmy Smith, guitar; Louis Kabok, bass; Marty Morell, drums; Hal Gordon, percussion). Convincing proof that it is high high time for a major reappraisal of Gabor Szabo’s works.

Track listing:

Recorded at The Jazz Workshop in Boston, Massachusetts on April 14 & 15, 1967

"The Beat Goes On" (Sonny Bono) - 4:52
"Little Boat (O Barquinho)" (Ronaldo Bôscoli, Roberto Menescal) - 4:23
"Lou-Ise" (Jimmy Stewart) - 4:17
"What Is This Thing Called Love?" (Cole Porter) - 5:18
"Space" - 6:40
"Stronger Than Us" (Francis Lai, Pierre Barough) - 4:13
"Mizrab" - 6:58
"Comin' Back" (Clyde Otis, Gábor Szabó) 1:56
"Los Matadoros" - 12:09 (Bonus track on CD reissue)
"People" (Jule Styne, Bob Merrill) - 5:18 (Bonus track on CD reissue)
"Corcovado" (Antônio Carlos Jobim) - 3:22 (Bonus track on CD reissue)


Gábor Szabó - guitar
Jimmy Stewart - guitar
Lajos "Louis" Kabok - bass
Marty Morell – drums
Hal Gordon - percussion

Friday, February 2, 2018

Various Artists ‎– 1993 The Rolling Stone Collection - "25 Years Of Essential Rock" [7 CD Box]

Various Artists ‎– The Rolling Stone Collection - 25 Years Of Essential Rock

Not everyone who was a rock music fan during at least part of the 25 years covered by the seven CDs in this collection will agree on what was the most "essential rock" of this era. Since this collection is associated with Rolling Stone magazine, you would be correct if you assumed that some of the magazine's favorite artists would be included here: Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Prince, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Byrds, and Talking Heads. But also here are cuts by Led Zeppelin, a group the magazine generally did not consider to be anything special. The collection includes one #1 hit single, "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner; many non-hits, such as "The Crystal Ship", the B-side of the Doors #1 smash, "Light My Fire" (which is not included in this collection); some well-regarded efforts that were only available as album tracks; and some selections that are unknown singles by unknown artists to most rock fans, such as "See No Evil" by Television. For most potential buyers it will include some selections they already have on a CD and others they've never heard before. It may even introduce them to some artists they will grow to love. By the way, the sound quality of this collection is uniformly excellent.

This collection retailed for $100.00 when first released in 1993.There has never been a better collection of Rock Classics -- probably never will be, what with the difficulties of gaining clearances and gathering the best materials. The seven CDs are divided into the years covered: 1967-69; 1969-70; 1971-73; 1973-77; 1977-82; 1982-86; 1986-92. Enclosed in each CD is a booklet with a capsule history of the music and a complete artist/title list. All of which contain from 15 to 17 tracks, for a total of 110.

A 7 CD, 110 song collection that includes Casey Jones and Touch of Grey by the Grateful Dead. Also includes tracks by Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & The Holding Company, Santana, Moby Grape, Bob Dylan, Sly & The Family Stone and the Steve Miller Band.....and MANY more!

Artists - Tracklist:

CD 1
1967 - 1969
01 Bob Dylan  -  Like A Rolling Stone
02 Buffalo Springfield  -  For What It's Worth 
03 Moby Grape  -  Omaha 
04 Quicksilver Messenger Service  -  Dino's Song 
05 Donovan  -  Season Of The Witch 
06 The Doors  -  Crystal Ship 
07 The Jimi Hendrix Experience  -  Spanish Castle Magic
08 Cream  -  Crossroads 
09 The Who  -  I Can See For Miles 
10 The Jimi Hendrix Experience  -  All Along The Watchtower
11 Jeff Beck Group  -  Beck's Bolero 
12 Big Brother & The Holding Company  -  Piece Of My Heart 
13 The Band  -  The Weight
14 The Byrds -  Wasn't Born To Follow 
15 Johnny Winter  -  Highway 61 Revisited 
16 Jefferson Airplane  -  3/5 Of A Mile In 10 Seconds 
17 Traffic  -  Dear Mr. Fantasy

CD 2
1969 - 1970
01 MC5  -  Kick Out The Jams 
02 Santana  -  Everybody's Everything 
03 The Steve Miller Band  -  My Dark Hour 
04 Neil Young  -  The Loner 
05 Bob Dylan  -  Lay Lady Lay 
06 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young  -  Ohio 
07 Boz Scaggs  -  Loan Me A Dime 
08 The Jackson 5  -  I Want You Back
09 Sly & The Family Stone  -  Thank You (Falletin Me Be Mice Elf Agin) 
10 John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band  -  Working Class Hero 
11 Creedence Clearwater Revival  -  Fortunate Son 
12 Eric Clapton  -  Blues Power 
13 Grateful Dead  -  Casey Jones 
14 The Allman Brothers Band  -  Dreams 
15 Led Zeppelin -  Friends 

CD 3
1971 - 1973
01 Rod Stewart  -  Maggie May 
02 The Who  -  Won't Get Fooled Again 
03 Stevie Wonder  -  Superstition 
04 Marvin Gaye  -  What's Going On 
05 Joni Mitchell  -  California 
06 Paul Simon  -  Mother And Child Reunion 
07 Randy Newman  -  Sail Away 
08 The Eagles  -  Take It Easy 
09 Bonnie Raitt  -  Give It Up (Or Let Me Go) 
10 Little Feat  -  Dixie Chicken 
11 The Allman Brothers Band  -  Ramblin' Man 
12 Derek & The Dominos  -  Bell Bottom Blues 
13 Mott The Hoople  -  All The Young Dudes 
14 Lou Reed  -  Walk On The Wild Side 
15 Bob Dylan  -  Knockin' On Heaven's Door

CD 4
1973 - 1977
01 David Bowie  -  Rebel Rebel 
02 Ry Cooder  -  It's All Over Now 
03 Bob Marley & The Wailers  -  No Woman No Cry 
04 Elton John  -  Daniel 
05 James Taylor  -  Mexico 
06 Bob Dylan  -  Simple Twist Of Fate
07 Neil Young  -  Tonight's The Night 
08 Led Zeppelin  -  Trampled Under Foot 
09 Bruce Springsteen -  Born To Run 
10 Graham Parker  -  Heat Treatment 
11 The Ramones  -  Blitzkrieg Bop 
12 Fleetwood Mac  -  Go Your Own Way 
13 Bonnie Raitt  -  Runaway 
14 Jackson Browne  -  The Pretender 
15 The Eagles  -  Hotel California 
16 Wings  -  Maybe I'm Amazed

CD 5
1977 - 1982
01 The Sex Pistols  -  God Save The Queen 
02 Television  -  See No Evil 
03 Elvis Costello  -  Watching The Detectives 
04 The Patti Smith Group  -  We Three 
05 Ian Dury And The Blockheads  -  Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll 
06 Warren Zevon  -  Werewolves Of London
07 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers  -  Refugee 
08 Ry Cooder  -  Little Sister
09 The Kinks  -  A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy 
10 Dire Straits  -  Sultans Of Swing 
11 The Cars  -  Just What I Needed 
12 The Clash  -  Train In Vain (Stand By Me) 
13 The Pretenders  -  Brass In Pocket 
14 U2 -  I Will Follow 
15 Prince  -  When U Were Mine 
16 Richard And Linda Thompson  -  Wall Of Death 
17 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five  -  The Message

CD 6
1982 - 1986
01 Eurythmics  -  Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) 
02 The J. Geils Band  -  Freeze Frame 
03 Prince  -  Little Red Corvette 
04 Talking Heads  -  Life During Wartime 
05 Sting  -  If You Love Somebody Set Them Free 
06 Don Henley  -  The Boys Of Summer 
07 Prince  -  When Doves Cry 
08 Bruce Springsteen  -  Born In The USA 
09 U2  -  Pride (In The Name Of Love) 
10 Madonna  -  Borderline 
11 Cyndi Lauper  -  She Bop 
12 Paul Simon  -  Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes 
13 John Mellencamp  -  Rain On The Scarecrow 
14 Jackson Browne  -  Lives In The Balance 
15 Foreigner  -  I Want To Know What Love Is

CD 7
1986 - 1992
01 The Bangles  -  Manic Monday 
02 Run D.M.C.  -  Walk This Way 
03 Robert Cray Band, The  -  Smoking Gun 
04 Living Colour  -  Cult Of Personality 
05 The B-52's  -  Love Shack 
06 Grateful Dead  -  Touch Of Grey 
07 Don Henley  -  The End Of The Innocence 
08 Tracy Chapman  -  Talkin' Bout A Revolution 
09 Public Enemy  -  Fight The Power 
10 The Vaughan Brothers  -  White Boots 
11 Bonnie Raitt  -  Thing Called Love 
12 The Black Crowes  -  Hard To Handle 
13 R.E.M.  -  Losing My Religion 
14 Robbie Robertson  -  Shake This Town 
15 Spin Doctors  -  Little Miss Can't Be Wrong