domingo, 25 de fevereiro de 2018

Roscoe Mitchell - Nonaah 1977

1976-1977. This is one of Mitchell's best solo statements. It includes a full-side treatment of the title cut, solo works, duos, and an incredible alto number with MitchellHenry Threadgill (as), Joseph Jarman(reeds), and the undervalued Wallace McMillan (b). AMG

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Phoebe Snow - Second Childhood 1976

Although it lacked a hit single to match "Poetry Man," Phoebe Snow's second album was another folk-pop-jazz confection that effectively showcased her one-of-a-kind voice in musical settings featuring the cream of New York's session musicians, and produced by Phil Ramone. It was a classy job on which Snow contributed seven originals and displayed her versatility on covers ranging from Motown to Gershwin. AMG.

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Baker Gurvitz Army - Elysian Encounter 1975

The Baker Gurvitz Army was a British rock group formed in late 1974 by drummer Ginger Baker, formerly of Cream, and brothers Adrian (guitar) and Paul Gurvitz (bass), formerly of Gun. The band was filled out by vocalist Snips and keyboard player Peter Lemer. They released three albums between 1974 and 1976, the most successful of which was their self-titled debut, which charted in the U.K. and the U.S. AMG. 

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Jack Traylor & Steelwind - Child of Nature [1973]

A basic desire of any species is reproduction, and occasionally the urge strikes bands as well.  Paul McCartney became the surrogate father of Badfinger and helped kick off the nostalgia influenced power-pop of the 70s, while Jefferson Airplane step-parented Steelwind.  It is almost simple one-to-one substitution - Jack Traylor was the main songwriter and vocalist, and sticks to unvarnished acoustic rhythm guitar (Kantner).  The have a female vocalist, Diana Harris, who also happens to play some piano (Slick), a lead guitarist who mainly sticks to electric (Kaukonen), a third guitar player, Skip Morairty (Balin), and a bassist (Casady).  Plus, longtime Airplane producer Al Schmitt produced their debut, Child of Nature.   Sure, it is not quite that simple, and this comparison is far more interesting than Steelwind's music.  I wish I would stop running across these albums from the Airplane's vanity label, Grunt.  Traylor's an okay singer/songwriter (the title track is catchy) but outside of Chaquico, who later hald the same position in Jefferson Starship, the group's backing is vanilla folk/soft rock stuff (plenty of lame 70s flute courtesy of Skip Morairty).  When they did pick things up a bit, Steelwind sounds like an Airplane knockoff (the politically themed "Smile", "Gone to Canada").  The young Chaquito gets in some nice work , and has one extended solo which owes a lot more to flashy rock than folk ("Time to be Happy"), but beyond that your pulse will not rise too much.  Child of Nauture is instantly forgettable, pleasant 70s music, but its dated political content insures that it will not be played in a bank lobby near you anytime soon.  Besides Traylor and Chaquico, the other members of Steelwind dropped off the face of the planet.  The drummer is Malo member Rick Quintanal, and Freiberg plays faint mellotron on one track.  "Caveat Emptor" indeed. 

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Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsys 1970

Band of Gypsys was the only live recording authorized by Jimi Hendrix before his death. It was recorded and released in order to get Hendrix out from under a contractual obligation that had been hanging over his head for a couple years. Helping him out were longtime friends Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on the drums because the Experience had broken up in June of 1969, following a show in Denver. This rhythm section was vastly different from the ExperienceBuddy Miles was an earthy, funky drummer in direct contrast to the busy, jazzy leanings of Mitch MitchellNoel Redding was not really a bass player at all but a converted guitar player who was hired in large part because Hendrixliked his hair! These new surroundings pushed Hendrix to new creative heights. Along with this new rhythm section, Hendrix took these shows as an opportunity to showcase much of the new material he had been working on. The music was a seamless melding of rock, funk, and R&B, and tunes like "Message to Love" and "Power to Love" showed a new lyrical direction as well. Although he could be an erratic live performer, for these shows, Hendrix was on -- perhaps his finest performances. His playing was focused and precise. In fact, for most of the set, Hendrix stood motionless, a far cry from the stage antics that helped establish his reputation as a performer. Equipment problems had plagued him in past live shows as well, but everything was perfect for the Fillmore shows. His absolute mastery of his guitar and effects is even more amazing considering that this was the first time he used the Fuzz Face, wah-wah pedal, Univibe, and Octavia pedals on-stage together. The guitar tones he gets on "Who Knows" and "Power to Love" are powerful and intense, but nowhere is his absolute control more evident than on "Machine Gun," where Hendrix conjures bombs, guns, and other sounds of war from his guitar, all within the context of a coherent musical statement. The solo on "Machine Gun" totally rewrote the book on what a man could do with an electric guitar and is arguably the most groundbreaking and devastating guitar solo ever. These live versions of "Message to Love" and "Power to Love" are far better than the jigsaw puzzle studio versions that were released posthumously. Two Buddy Miles compositions are also included, but the show belongs to Jimi all the way. Band of Gypsys is not only an important part of the Hendrix legacy, but one of the greatest live albums ever. AMG

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Muddy Waters - Can't Get No Grindin' 1973

Muddy's next-to-last Chess album, Can't Get No Grindin' marked a return to working with a band of his own after several experimental line-ups and recordings -- Pinetop Perkins took over the piano spot from the late Otis Spann, with Chess veteran harpist James Cotton aboard, and PeeWee Madison, and Sammy Lawhorn handling the guitars (apart from Muddy's axe, natch). The music is raw, hard-edged, and sharp (the guitars slash and cut), more like a successor to Muddy's classic 1950's sides (he rethinks a bunch '50s numbers here) than to the London Sessions, Super Blues, brass blow-outs, and psychedelic albums that he'd been doing. It's also easy to hear Muddy's heart in this release -- he fairly oozes soul out of every note he sings. The title track, "Sad Letter," and "Mother's Bad Luck Child" are all killer tracks, and most of the rest isn't far behind, though "Garbage Man" is the best known of the newer tracks, thanks to subsequent covers. AMG.

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Wes Montgomery - A Day In The Life 1967

By the time Wes Montgomery recorded this album (his debut for A&M), he was a major name in the pop world. Montgomery's melodic renditions of current pop hits caught on and were played regularly on Top 40 radio. In most cases the guitarist did little more than play the melody, using his distinctive octaves, and it was enough to make him saleable. Of his three A&M recordings, A Day in the Life (the first one) was by far the best and, although the jazz content is almost nil, the results are pleasing as background music. "Windy" was a bit of a hit; the other selections (which find Montgomery backed by muzaky strings arranged by Don Sebesky) include "Watch What Happens," "California Nights," "Eleanor Rigby" and the title cut. AMG.

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Otis Rush - Right Place, Wrong Time 1976

This recording session was not released until five years after it was done. One can imagine the tapes practically smoldering in their cases, the music is so hot. Sorry, there is nothing "wrong" about this blues album at all. Otis Rush was a great blues expander, a man whose guitar playing was in every molecule pure blues. On his solos on this album he strips the idea of the blues down to very simple gestures (i.e., a bent string, but bent in such a subtle way that the seasoned blues listener will be surprised). As a performer he opens up the blues form with his chord progressions and use of horn sections, the latter instrumentation again added in a wonderfully spare manner, bringing to mind a master painter working certain parts of a canvas in order to bring in more light. Blues fans who get tired of the same old song structures, riff, and rhythms should be delighted with most of Rush's output, and this one is among his best. Sometimes all he does to make a song sound unlike any blues one has ever heard is just a small thing -- a chord moving up when one expects it go down, for example. The production is particularly skilled, and the fact that Capitol Records turned this session down after originally producing it can only be reasonably accepted when combined with other decisions this label has made, such as turning down the Doors because singer Jim Morrison had "no charisma." This record doesn't mess around at all. The first track takes off like the man they fire out of a cannon at the end of a circus, a perceived climax swaggeringly representing just the beginning, after all. Some of the finest tracks are the ones that go longer than five minutes, allowing the players room to stretch. And that means more of Rush's great guitar playing, of course. For the final track he leaves the blues behind completely for a moving cover version of "Rainy Night in Georgia" by Tony Joe White. AMG.

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Moonstone - Moonstone 1973

Moonstone members lived in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada and released a completely left unnoticed LP on the private Canadian label Kot’Ai, recorded in Montreal somewhere in the early ‘70’s, and, like the label says, what a great discovery this is indeed. On the first track, female singer Carolyn MacLeod sounds like a cross between Vasthi Bunyan and perhaps Linda Perhacs.
All tracks have delicate and gentle fingerpicking guitar. There’s one short instrumental based upon guitars only, “Fina’s Birthday Song”. Often the male vocals lead and there are nicely worked out vocal harmonies. “In Case”, “Cointreau” and “Relative Hoak” and the melancholic “Said Gently” (with piano only) does this with a definite West Coast feeling and harmony, at times close to Crosby,Stills, Nash & Young, performed with a similar gentleness as the other tracks. “Black Blind Light” is a bit more psychedelic, with flute and guitars improvisations.
Last track, “Hope you can see” is the most melancholic song of the album, a track which can stand well against another favourite folkpsych track favourite of mine which I mentioned before in another review (of The Search Party, mentioning the similar track "All but this”), namely Jefferson Airplain’s "Coming back to me".

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Keef Hartley Band - Overdog 1971

They forged jazz and rock sympathetically in the late '60s to appeal to the progressive rock scene. This is their fourth album.

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John Kongos - Confusions Gold Fish 1969

In the late '60s, a school of performers was emerging in Britain that combined early singer/songwriter rock with pop, and weren't rooted much in the folk-rock that many early singer/songwriters claimed as their early inspiration. Some of the best-known of those artists were Elton JohnDavid Bowie, and Cat Stevens; there were others who weren't nearly as famous, such as John Kongos (who would in fact shortly go on to work with Gus Dudgeon, who also produced early records by John and Bowie). And there's some reason for that: as heard on Confusions About a Goldfish (the South African native's first album after his move to Britain), he wasn't nearly as distinctive as the aforementioned names. He essays mild, introspective singer/songwriter stuff just this side of wimpy, and sometimes prone to the more excessively over-straining lyricism of the late '60s, as in the title song, where he wonders where the goldfish in a bowl celebrates Thanksgiving. Heavy musings indeed! It's actually one of the gutsier tracks, as others are prone to dainty, dated orchestrations that can put this as close to sentimental pop as serious singer/songwriting. It's closer to early John than early Bowie, though the wordy and winding earnestness of songs like "Go Home" and "Flim, Flam Pharisee," which both combine strummed acoustic guitars with strings, aren't a million miles away from Bowie's earliest solo efforts. Kongos would do better on his next album, Kongos, recorded with Dudgeon as producer and many of the same musicians John used on his early outings, and including a remake of one of this LP's songs, "Tomorrow I'll Go." (All of the tracks from Confusions About a Goldfish are included on the Kongos anthology Lavender Popcorn, which also includes 1966-1969 singles he recorded on his own or as part of Floribunda Roseand Scrugg, as well as a few unreleased songs from the same period.) AMG.

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Lal & Mike Waterson - Bright Phoebus 1972

When the Watersons, exhausted from touring, decided to take an "undefined" break in the early 1970s, siblings Lal and Mike went into the famed Cecil Sharp House with some of British folk's most revered players and cut the folk-noir classic Bright Phoebus. Not content to stay true to their penchant for largely a cappella reinterpretations of traditional tunes, the pair unleashed what would become their only collection of original material, and one of the most sought-after recordings in the history of the genre. Beginning with the Beatlesque "Rubber Band," a twisty tall tale that pairs jug band histrionics with eccentric lyrics like "Just like margarine our fame is spreading," Bright Phoebus declares its intentions as the English folk equivalent of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. However, it's not all "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," as evidenced by Lal's devastating -- and oft-covered -- tale of loneliness, drink, and regret, "Red Wine Promises," featuring a beautiful guest vocal by sister Norma Waterson. All of the players, Tim HartMaddy PriorAshley HutchingsDave Mattacks, producer Bill Leader, and the ever-present dual acoustic guitar assault of Richard Thompson and Martin Carthy, work as a single organism to bring these idiosyncratic songs to life. There are psych-rock confections ("Magical Man"), country-folk romps ("Danny Rose"), and haunting ballads ("The Scarecrow"), but it's the singularly perfect title track, a bucolic, pagan campfire singalong, that provides the biggest thrills. While its dark charms were quelled for years due to licensing agreements and general mismanagement, the songs themselves have only grown in strength, waiting patiently for their inevitable day in the sun, and the well-deserved accolades of the masses. [In 2017 Domino reissued a remastered version of Bright Phoebus, as well as a deluxe version that included 12 previously unreleased demos.] AMG.

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John Gary Williams - John Gary Williams 1973

John Gary Williams had been a longtime member of the Stax soul vocal group the Mad Lads before starting a solo career after the group broke up in the early '70s. His self-titled 1973 album is one of the most obscure Stax LPs, in part because it was issued as the company started to cease operations. He wrote five of the eight tracks on the record, producing five of them as well (and co-producing the others). Though not a major effort in the scheme of either early-'70s soul or the Stax catalog, it's a pleasant assortment of sweet soul tracks, with a slightly earthier edge than many recordings in the genre boasted. Most of the songs are upbeat romantic numbers highlighting Williams' smooth, high vocals, inserting covers of songs by the Four Topsthe Spinners, and (more unexpectedly) Bobby Goldsboro. The most impressive cuts, by a long shot, are the ones that steer away from the usual romantic themes to make general social observations. The opener "I See Hope" is a lively, dramatic expression of optimism; the closing "The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy," in contrast, reflects the pessimism infiltrating much early-'70s soul, the gently percolating grooves and soaring strings offsetting lyrics of confusion at the backstabbing state of the modern world. [The 2010 CD reissue on BGP adds historical liner notes and both sides of the subsequent single "Come What May"/"Just Ain't No Love Without You Here," two midtempo tunes with a similar vibe to those on the album.] AMG.

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Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane - The Elements 1973

This is one of the odder Joe Henderson recordings. The four lengthy selections not only feature the great tenor-saxophonist but the piano and harp of Alice Coltrane (during one of her rare appearances as a sideman), violinist Michael White, bassist Charlie Haden, percussionist Kenneth Nash and Baba Duru Oshun on tablas. The somewhat spiritual nature of the music (Henderson's compositions are titled "Fire," "Air," "Water" and "Earth") and the presence of Alice Coltrane makes these Eastern-flavored performances rather unique if not all that essential: an early example of world music in jazz. This recording has been reissued as part of Henderson's eight-CD Milestone box set. AMG.

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domingo, 31 de dezembro de 2017

Happy New Year!

One more year is gone, and more to come yes!!! Thanks to B., Bertrand (the MFP AKA LRR)Adriana, Mauro Filipe, Vasily, Edgar Puddings, Patrick, George, Gkapageridis, Bill (24hrDejaVu), Bob (bamabob), Lawrence David, Roldo, Pedro RochaCrimson, Chuntao (RareMP3), Entremimente, Las Marias , Marcelo, Lágrima Psycadelica, Mr. JJ, Baby GrandPa, Simon, Justin Thyme, Jason, Frank, Pascal Georges, Chico ,Steve , Zapata, Caixo, Carioca Brasil, OldRockerBr, and so many more, and to all this blog followers,....thanks for sharing life around!!! Happy New Year 2018! Take care and enjoy life!!!!