Sonntag, 22. Oktober 2017

Mahalia Jackson - In The Upper Room

Supported by Mildred Falls, the Southern Harmonaires and the Melody Echoes (the two vocal groups are on different tracks), Mahalia Jackson turns in a typically rousing effort with "In the Upper Room".

All of the songs are classic spirituals and sacred songs, and while this was recorded a little later in her career, Jackson nonetheless sings with an incendiary passion that rivals her classic '40s recordings. Anyone looking to round out their Mahalia Jackson collection should look here, as "In the Upper Room" is one of her finest latter-day efforts.     

Mahalia Jackson - In The Upper Room
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 19. Oktober 2017

Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - African Dub All-Mighty - Chapter 3

The third (and most impressive) of four volumes of dub mixes from the studio of producer Joe Gibbs, "African Dub, Chapter 3" finds engineer Errol Thompson getting a bit more adventurous than he had on the earlier installments. More of these dub versions keep shreds and snatches of the original vocal tracks in the mix, which is almost always a plus in a dub context - little snippets of disembodied vocals float through the otherworldly musical atmosphere, lending a sometimes spooky human element to the sound and often casting new and refracted light on the meaning of the original lyrics.

And on this volume, Thompson seems to be taking a few cues from his competitor Lee "Scratch" Perry, throwing such extramusical elements as water sounds (on "Freedom Call") and ringing telephones (on "Jubilation Dub") into the mix along with the usual gossamer shreds of guitar, horn, and keyboard. Highly recommended.               


Tracklist:

Chapter Three
Rema Dub
Tribesman Rockers
Freedom Call
Jubilation Dub
The Entebbe Affair
Angolian Chant
Zion Gate
Jungle Dub
Dub Three

Joe Gibbs & The Professionals - African Dub All-Mighty - Chapter 3
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 18. Oktober 2017

Lokomotive Kreuzberg - Kollege Klatt (1972)

Lokomotive Kreuzberg was a Berlin polit-rock band founded in early 1972. The group performed in various formations touring extensively through Germany until 1977 at the dissolution of the group when finances became an issue.

The group consisted of founding member Andreas Brauer (vocals, keyboards, violin, flute, guitar, percussion), lyricist Kalle Scherfling (vocals), Volker Hiemann (vocals, guitar) and Uwe Holz (drums, vocals, harmonica, percussion). Later they were joined by Uve Müllrich (Guitars, Bass) and he also played bass in Embryo, and was founder of the Dissidenten. He was replaced from 1973 by Bernhard Potschka, Manfred Praeker and Herwig Mitteregger from 1976. Members later played in the Nina Hagen Band and later founded German rockers Spliff.

The band released a number of albums; "Kollege Klatt" (1972), "James Blond - Den Lohnräubern auf der Spur" (1973), "Fette Jahre" (1975), "Mountain Town" (1977).

Lokomotive Kreuzberg played funky krautrock, with some folk rock, sounding similar to Gong and Mother Gong. The lyrics are left wing with a direct political message. Here´s their debut "Kollege Klatt" from 1972.

Tracklist:

A1Abfahrt2:45
A2Ein Mann geht die Straße lang I4:56
A3Was glaubst du was du bist5:02
A4Wenn ick nach de Arbeit5:08
B1Ich könnt' ein Kommunist wohl sein5:12
B2Ein Mann geht die Straße lang II2:52
B3Lohnpredigt5:04
B4Geldsack5:26
B5Solidaritätslied3:00

Lokomotive Kreuzberg - Kollege Klatt (1972)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2017

Nico - Desertshore (1970)

While Nico was the member of the Velvet Underground who had had the least experience in music prior to joining the group (while she had recorded a pop single in England, she'd never been a member of a working band before Andy Warhol introduced her to the Velvets), she was also the one who strayed farthest from traditional rock & roll after her brief tenure with the band, and by the time she recorded "Desertshore", her work had little (if anything) to do with traditional Western pop.

John Cale, who produced and arranged "Desertshore", once described the music as having more to do with 20th century classical music than anything else, and while that may be going a bit far to make a point, even compared to the avant-rock frenzy of the Velvet Underground's early material, "Desertshore" is challenging stuff. Nico's dour Teutonic monotone is a compelling but hardly welcoming vocal presence, and the songs, centered around the steady drone of her harmonium, are often grim meditations on fate that are crafted and performed with inarguable skill and intelligence, but are also a bit samey, and the album's downbeat tone gets to be rough sledding by the end of side two. Cale's arrangements are superb throughout, and "My Only Child," "Afraid," and "The Falconer" are quite beautiful in their own ascetic way, but like the bulk of Nico's repertoire, "Desertshore" is an album practically designed to polarize its listeners; you'll either embrace it's darkness or give up on it before the end of side one. Then again, given the thoroughly uncompromising nature of her career as a musician, that's probably just what Nico had in mind. 

Tracklist:

Janitor Of Lunacy 4:01
The Falconer 5:39
My Only Child 3:27
Le Petit Chevalier 1:12
Abschied 3:02
Afraid 3:27
Mütterlein 4:38
All That Is My Own 3:54


Nico - Desertshore (1970)
(320 kbps, cover art included)             

Montag, 16. Oktober 2017

Milva - Auf den Flügeln bunter Träume (1977)

Maria Ilva Biolcati (born 17 July 1939), known as Milva, is an Italian singer, stage and film actress, and television personality. She is also known as La Rossa (Italian for "The Redhead"), due to the characteristic colour of her hair, and additionally as La Pantera di Goro ("The Panther of Goro"), which stems from the Italian press having nicknamed the three most popular Italian female singers of the 1960s, combining the names of animals and the singers' birth places. Popular in Italy and abroad, she has performed on musical and theatrical stages the world over, and has received popular acclaim in her native Italy, and particularly in Germany where she has often participated in musical events and televised musical programmes. She has also released numerous albums in France, Japan, Korea, Greece, Spain and South America.

In 1977, Milva released the studio album "Auf den Flügeln bunter Träume", an album composed of popular German film and cabaret standards, including a version of Lili Marleen and Tango notturno. The album was released in America, Canada and Germany and in 1998 was reissued in Japan.

Tracklist:

Auf den Flügeln bunter Träume2:42
Johnny, wenn du Geburtstag hast2:59
Ich steh' im Regen4:16
Tango Notturno3:46
Zwischen heute und morgen2:59
Liebe ist ein Geheimnis3:07
Sing, Nachtigall, sing2:26
Auch du wirst mich einmal betrügen3:48
Tiefe Sehnsucht3:40
Die Worte, die aus Liebe man spricht3:44
Good Night (Reich mir zum Abschied noch einmal die Hände)3:22
Lili Marleen2:56


Milva - Auf den Flügeln bunter Träume (1977)
(ca. 256 kbsp, cover art included)

Sonntag, 15. Oktober 2017

Werkstattwoche der FDJ-Singeclubs (1968, Amiga)

"Singe-Bewegung" and "Oktoberklub" in East Germany, part 7.

Until the 1960s, Anglo-American dance music is regarded in the GDR as valueless "Western Arts". As a Socialist alternative to the rock ' n' roll, 1959 even a private dance, the "Lipsi", is being developed. As a result of the cultural and political opening in 1963, many beat groups were formed and a GDR's own "Liedermacher" and singer-songwriter scene emerges.
The "Free German Youth" (FDJ) tried to instrumentalize this music movement. The FDJ organized "Deutschlandtreffen 1964" presented for the first time music in English language. In the context of poetry events of the FDJ, Manfred Krug and Wolf Biermann present critical lyrics. In 1965 the SED gave order to dismiss a guitar competition organized by the FDJ. After the end of the political thaw period, the FDJ tried to integrate the singer-songwriter and the beat groups in the FDJ and SED influenced "Singebewegung"
With several thousand Singeklubs, in which mainly folk music is made, the FDJ tried to bring their ideological and political work into everyday life of young people. The "Vorzeigesingeklub" was the Berlin based "Oktoberklub", which established in 1969 also the first discotheque in the GDR. Although not without success, the Singebewegung couldn´t replace the beat music. In the following years the unbroken beat enthusiasm of young people forced the GDR leadership to an offensive strategy: The development of an own DDR-specific rock music scene since the 1970's, as well to use this media for ideological and political messages.


The GDR radio programm "Jugendsender DT 64" organised between September, 24 and October, 1, 1967 in Hally the "1. Werkstattwoche der FDJ-Singeclubs". This albums features recordings from this workshop with 300 artist and 16 "Singeclubs".

Tracks:
(01) Bernd Walther & Folkloregruppe der TU Dresden - Carpe Diem
(02) Wolfgang Grahl & FDJ-Singestudio Müritz - Spottlied auf einen Moskaubesucher
(03) Antje Kankel - Das ist unser Tag
(04) Folkloregruppe der TU Dresden - Zygan Chodit
(05) Panajota Ruli & Klaus-Georg Eulitz - Kathe Mera
(06) Kurt Demmler - Zart soll es bleiben
(07) Kurt Demmler - Kastanie, Kastanie
(08) Antje Thümmler & Ulrich Stephan & Folkloregruppe der TU Dresden - O lenke durch die Welle
(09) Singklub Leipzig - Abendgedanken
(10) Herbert Lappe & Folkloregruppe der TU Dresden - Und darum trägt unsere Welt heut ein neues Gesicht
----
(11) Nora Löhr & Wolfgang Gregor - Venezolanisches Marktlied
(12) Jörn Fechner & Oktober-Klub Berlin - Mamita Mia
(13) Henry Jäger - Musja Pikinson
(14) Barbara Kellerbauer & Folkloregruppe der TU Dresden - Lied von der unruhvollen Jugend
(15) Frank Obermann & Sing-Klub 67, Karl-Marx-Stadt - Unsere Welt hat ein Millionengesicht
(16) Hartmut König & Oktober-Klub Berlin - Die Front der Patrioten ruft
(17) Panajota Ruli & Folkloregruppe der TU Dresden - Drapetis
(18) Nora Löhr & Wolfgang Gregor - Auseinandergehen
(19) Dorit Gäbler - Icke
(20) FDJ-Singestudio Müritz - Wir singen, weil wir jung sind

Werkstattwoche der FDJ-Singeclubs (1968)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 14. Oktober 2017

Paulinho da Viola - Paulinho da Viola (1971)

This album, originally from 1971, was reissued in CD format in 1996 with the original cover and was digitally remastered at the Abbey Road studios in London. While Brazil was still dominated by the frenetic sounds and images of the declining Tropicália, it is surprising that this subtle release could met such success.

The vigorous anti-commercialism branded in his previous album, centered in his somewhat melancholic and discrete personality, was even enhanced in this one, which was his fourth solo release. "Dona Santina e Seu Antenor" is a humorous chronicle of the life in the hills. "Para Um Amor No Recife" is a delicate bossa that was re-recorded by Fafá de Belém, Zé Ramalho, and Marina Lima. The re-recording of forgotten classics by important sambistas like Monarco, Francisco Santana, Elton Medeiros, Otávio de Moraes, Raul Sampaio, Benil Santos, Valzinho, Orestes Barbosa, Mauro Duarte, Walter Nunes, and others evidence his generosity in sharing his opportunities with his brothers. "Depois da Vida" (Nelson Cavaquinho/Guilherme de Brito/Paulo Gesta) aroused considerable polemics with its morbidity.               


Tracklist:

A1Num Samba Curto2:48
A2Pressentimento2:47
A3Para Ver As Meninas2:47
A4Nas Ondas Da Noite2:06
A5Filosofia Do Samba2:10
A6Consumir E Viver2:42
B1Lapa Em Três Tempos (Musica Incidental: Abre A Janela)2:48
B2Coração2:05
B3Minha Vez De Sorrir2:47
B4Reclamação2:50
B5Abraçando Chico Soares2:00
B6Vinhos Finos... Cristais2:23

Paulinho da Viola -  Paulinho da Viola (1971)
(128 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 13. Oktober 2017

VA - Bob Dylan & The Band´s Basement Tapes Influences - Original Versions Of The Big Pink Recordings

The recordings that took place during 1967 in the quiet backwaters of upstate New York, near the town of Woodstock, probably represent Bob Dylan's most productive song writing period to date. In March of 1967, almost nine months after falling from his motorcycle, Dylan recommenced music-making and in May/June he began recording informal sessions with the Hawks - soon to become The Band - in the Red Room at his Byrdcliffe home. The distractions of family life soon became too much however and the musicians relocated to the unremarkable pink painted property that would come to be known as The Big Pink . Dylan would later tell Rolling Stone, That's really the way to do a recording, in a peaceful, relaxed setting in somebody's basement. With the windows open... and a dog lying on the floor. Working in their makeshift studio became a daily ritual and between June and late October 67, the musicians committed well over a 100 songs to tape. The sessions, which would become known as The Basement Tapes, produced a kaleidoscope of American music and more. Alongside the tracks composed by Dylan, the musicians summoned up cowboy songs ( Cool Water ); sea shanties ( Bonnie Ship The Diamond ); blues (John Lee Hooker s I m In The Mood ), country (Hank Williams and lots of Johnny Cash) and several traditional songs ( The Trees They Do Grow High , Hills Of Mexico ). Guitarist Robbie Robertson told Greil Marcus: [Dylan] would pull these songs out of nowhere. We didn't know if he wrote them or if he remembered them. When he sang them you couldn't tell. This compilation collects together the originals - or the version that Dylan likely knew - of 26 of the tracks recorded during this sublime period of creativity, undertaken while the majority of American and British act were dabbling in acid fuelled psychedelia, the majority of which today sounds nothing but dated.           

Tracklist:

- Joan BaezThe Trees They Do Grow High2:57
Roscoe HolcombThe Hills Of Mexico2:32
Luke The DrifterBe Careful Of Stones That You Throw2:59
Hank SnowA Fool Such As I2:29
The Rays Silhouettes2:45
Judy CollinsBonnie Ship The Diamond2:19
Dinah WashingtonI Don't Hurt Anymore3:13
Glenn YarbroughSpanish Is The Loving Tongue3:13
Clancy BrothersRosin Le Beau3:23
Barbara Dane900 Miles2:18
Bob NolanCool Water2:42
Elizabeth CottenGoin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad2:11
James Carter Po' Lazarus4:32
Elvis PresleyI Forgot To Remember To Forget2:28
Ronnie HawkinsYou Win Again2:08
Sonny BurnsWaltzin' With Sin2:38
Johnny CashBig River2:32
Johnny CashFolsom Prison Blues2:42
Pete SeegerThe Bells Of Rhymney5:22
John Lee HookerTupelo Blues3:25
John Lee HookerI'm In The Mood2:44
Gid TannerYa Gotta Quit Kickin' My Dog Aroun'3:06
Bobby BareThe All American Boy3:09
Carter FamilyWildwood Flower3:11
Sonny KnightConfidential2:33
Blind Lemon JeffersonSee That My Grave Is Kept Clean2:55

VA - Bob Dylan & The Band´s Basement Tapes Influences - Original Versions Of The Big Pink Recordings
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 11. Oktober 2017

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Secrets (1978)

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson made a lot of incredible music together and "Secrets" is no exception. Soul and Jazz come together with the brilliance that is Gil Scott-Heron's mind and the result is truly inspiring. This 1978 album from the poet/musician, an album that continues the journey started on the 1977 album, "Bridges".

"Angel Dust" warns of the dangers of drug abuse. "Show Bizness" is a hilarious look at the perils of the music business ('they'll take care of everything for only 95%'), whilst "Madison Avenue" talks of the over commercialization of western society ("buying is all that's asked of you..."). "Better Days Ahead" and "Prayer For Everybody" see Gil in a more optimistic light hoping for a better future.

Gil Scott Heron was rapping and telling it like it is long before hip hop even thought about running its course. This album was a good example of Gil's finest works.

Tracklist:
1. Angel Dust
2. Madison Avenue
3. Cane
4. Third World Revolution
5. Better Days Ahead
6. 3 Miles Down
7. Angola Louisiana
8. Show Bizness
9. A Prayer For Everybody To Be Free


Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Secrets
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Miriam Makeba - Sangoma (1988)

"Sangoma" was Miriam Makeba's comeback album, her first U.S. release in almost a decade. It is a beautiful collection of traditional South African songs with spare production values that highlight the power of Makeba's vocals. This is an excellent set of Xhosa folk songs she learned as a child.     

"It is said that a person can learn a lot about a society from their music. I invite you, my friend, to listen to these cries from the heart that are the songs of my people." - Miriam Makeba in the liner notes.           

Tracklist:

1. Emabhaceni
2. Baxabene oxamu
3. Ngalala phantsi
4. Ihoyiya
5. Kulo nyaka
6. Baya jabula
7. Mabhongo
8. Ingwemabala
9. Mosadi ku rima
10. Angilalanga
11. Ungakanani
12. Ngiya khuyeka
13. Nyankwabe
14. Sabumoya
15. Congo
16. Nginani na
17. Umam' uyajabula
18. Nyamuthla
19. Icala

Miriam Makeba - Sangoma (1988)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Harry Belafonte - Belafonte Returns To Carnegie Hall (1969)

On May 2, 1960, Harry Belafonte returned to Carnegie Hall for what was supposed to be one of the last concerts in the venerable hall's last season.
Carnegie was scheduled to be torn down, although this was an edict that was thankfully short-lived. The hall was instead renovated and remains one of New York's premier showplaces.

The first Carnegie Hall recording from the previous year had had such an impact on the recording industry that it opened up new vistas for live recordings. Belafonte faced the challenge of living up to his own legend.

For this concert, he began what would be a concert tradition for him: sharing the spotlight with up-and-coming folk performers. Representing the new collegiate folk singing group trend was the Chad Mitchell Trio, currently appearing at New York's Blue Angel, where Belafonte had seen them perform. South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba, another Belafonte discovery, also performed, as did folk and blues singer Odetta, and the Belafonte Folk Singers.

The guest stars nearly upstaged Belafonte, but this turned out to be de rigueur for his concerts. Highlights include Odetta's powerhouse medley of the work songs "I've Been Driving on Bald Mountain" and "Water Boy," the Folk Singers' exciting "Ox Drivers Song," Makeba and Belafonte's charming duet on "One More Dance," and the Mitchell Trio's exuberant Israeli song "Vaichazkem."
For a finale, Belafonte turned to the Mexican folk dance "La Bamba," treating it to an eight-minute-long heels-flying festive romp.

  1. "Jump Down Spin Around" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 2:14
  2. "Suzanne" - Harry Belafonte - 5:50
  3. "A Little Lyric of Great Importance" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 1:29
  4. "Chickens" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:10
  5. "Vaichazkem" - The Chad Mitchell Trio - 1:34
  6. "I Do Adore Her" - The Chad Mitchell Trio - 3:18
  7. "The Ballad of Sigmund Freud" - The Chad Mitchell Trio - 3:28
  8. "I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain / Water Boy" - Odetta - 2:20 & 4:35
  9. "A Hole In the Bucket" - Harry Belafonte and Odetta - 5:19
  10. "The Click Song" - Miriam Makeba and The Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:46
  11. "One More Dance" - Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba - 3:43
  12. "The Ox Drivers" - Belafonte Folk Singers - 2:59
  13. "The Red Rosy Bush" - Belafonte Folk Singers - 2:51
  14. "Didn't It Rain" - Belafonte Folk Singers - 5:27
  15. "Hene Ma Tov" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:46
  16. "I Know Where I'm Going" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:27
  17. "Old King Cole" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 4:59
  18. "La Bamba" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 8:04
Harry Belafonte - Belafonte Returns To Carnegie Hall (1960)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 10. Oktober 2017

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - The Wanton Muse

Ewan MacColl’s sleeve notes:

All the songs recorded for this album have in common the theme of sexual encounter and desire, a theme which is shared in some measure by the overwhelming majority of English and Scots folksongs. The amatory pieces presented here, however, differ in some respects from the general run of traditional love songs.

For one thing, they are all more concerned with the act of love than with an abstract idealisation of it; indeed, they are scarcely concerned at all with romantic love, with its sighs and protestations of fidelity, its frustrations and betrayals instead they deal with physical desire and the joys and pleasures attendant on the consummation of the body’s appetite. They are, in short, erotic folksongs.

‘Euphemistic’
They differ, too, in the manner of their treatment of the subject. All of them may be broadly described as euphemistic. In some of them, the action flows, so to speak, from a single extended metaphor; in others, a series of analogies are skilfully combined like a set of variations on a musical theme. In one or two cases a single phrase or even a single word embedded in the text informs us that the song is in code and at the same time serves as a key to unlock the code.
The metaphors may be as delicately oblique as in ‘The Bird in the Bush’, ‘The Gairdener’s Chylde’ and the ‘Furze Field’- or as obvious as those used in ‘The Cobbler’ or the Thrashing Machine’. They can be tender, boastful, sly, lusty – but they are never coy.

‘Unexpurgated’
A third point of difference between the songs in this collection and the main corpus of traditional love songs is that most of the pieces here remained unpublished until comparatively recently, or were printed in versions from which erotic detail was almost entirely expurgated.
Allowing for the fact that some collectors bowdlerized folksong texts with an eye to popular publication, and in particular to school publication, it is still odd that these revised versions can also occasionally be found in the pages of folk society journals.
Equally strange and irritating are those isolated single verses followed by a note informing the reader that the remainder of the text ‘is of a character unsuitable for the pages of this journal’. One asks oneself why it is suitable to print John Donne’s rapturous climactic line ‘0 my America, my Newfoundland !’ and why a Norfolk farm labourer’s enormously satisfying cry of ‘Then I entered the bush of Australia’ is unsuitable.

‘Unsuitable for publication
Aristophanes, in The Lysistrata, has the magistrate say: ‘Another (husband) will go to the cobbler, a great strong fellow with a great long tool, and tell him: “The strap of one of my wife’s sandals presses her little toe, which is extremely sensitive; come in about mid-day to supple the thing and stretch it.” ‘ Balzac, in the opening sentence of the short story, entitled Innocence, swears: ‘By the double red crest of my chanticleer and by the pink lining of my love’s black slipper!’ Publishers, even in Victorian times, did not consider Aristophanes or Balzac to be unsuitable for publication; why then, is a traditional song like ‘The Cobbler’ who ‘to the bedroom goes mending ladies’ shoes’ confined to manuscript collections?
Again, why is it necessary when commenting on traditional songs such as ‘The Molecatcher’ or The Furze Field’ to describe their affectionate euphemisms for male and female genitals as ‘the lingua franca of the folk’? It is also the ‘lingua franca’ of Shakespeare, Jonson, and the whole tribe of Elizabethan poets and dramatists, not to mention Plautus, Terence, Sappho, Virgil, Ovid, Chaucer, Burns and indeed almost every poet who has ever concerned himself with the most absorbing of all themes.

‘Sex makes it interesting’
Gershon Legman, in his magnificent work on erotic folklore and bibliography (wittily entitled THE HORN BOOK), writes:’Erotic folklore is to be collected for the same reason that it is proliferated : because it is about sex. That is what makes it interesting both to the “oral source” and to the collector – who is supposed to be a human being, with all the organs and impulses of a human being – that is what makes it socially valuable and historically important.
‘Sex, and its folklore, are far more interesting, more valuable, and more important in every social and historical sense, than, for instance, the balladry of murder, cruelty, torture, treachery, baby-killing, etc., which are the principal contents, to give only one familiar example, of the Child ballads.’
An emphatic statement, but no more emphatic than the one made by Beatrice in John Marston’s Dutch Courtesan: ‘We pronounce boldly robbery, murder, treason, which needs be far more loathsome than an act which is so natural, just and necessary as that of procreation. You shall have an hypocritical vestal virgin speak that with close teeth publicly which she will receive with open mouth privately … I love no prohibited things, and yet I would have nothing prohibited by policy but by virtue, for as in the fashion of time, those books that are called in, are most for sale and request, so in nature those actions which are most prohibited are most desired.” ‘

Ewan MacColl’s liner notes to the songs:

Ballad of the Trades
This comprehensive catalogue of the tools of the trades might be said to sum up the contents of this album. Each of the songs has been conceived in the terminology of the trade of its maker, each process of work honed down to fine shades of description, each symbol exactly mirroring or extending the tool(s) used, or the medium in which the trade is carried on.
Such a song could well be extended into modern life, what with the myriad of new professions, trades and skills daily being developed – as long as the eye remains receptive to impressions of shape, the hand to impressions of texture and the mind open to analogous sensation and creation, ‘The Ballad of the Trades’ could well have thousands of verses ! (Source : a collation of several broadside texts, with tune by the singer.)

The Shepherd Lad
‘The Baffled Knight’, the title by which Professor Child designates this ballad type (No 112 in his collection), was first printed in the Deuteromelia of Thomas Ravenscroft, in 1609. It was henceforth a favourite with broadside printers. A second, third and fourth part of the ballad was written towards the end of the 17th century and were later combined into the version found in the Pepys ballads. A similar story is found in ballads from Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Germany and Denmark. (Source: from the singer’s father, William Miller, with some verses collated from Greig’s LOST LEAVES.)

The Wanton Seed
Gershon Legman : ‘The folklore, the science, the religion and the songs of people living this (agricultural) are filled, in a sincerely accepted way, with the profound sexual tonality, both open and symbolized, that is basic to its fabric. The sexuality and fertility of the human being becomes his or her principle feature, as it is in biological fact, and the prime concern of the husbandman. He sees it, he accepts it, and he celebrates it in his folklore and song, precisely as he accepts the same immanent sexuality of every other part of his life, with the superb simplicity of Shakespeare’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA II, ii. 242 : “He plough’d her, and she cropt.” ‘ (Source: text: Reeves, p. 276; tune: from the Hammond Collection in the Cecil Sharp House, London, D.404.)

The Wind Blew The Bonnie Lassie’s Plaidie Awa’
Robert Ford printed a version of this spirited song in VAGABOND SONGS AND BALLADS and, in a note, writes: My friend, Mr. D. Kippen of Crieff, has it that the song was composed by an Irishman who lived in Crieff near to the cross in the early years of the present century (early 1800’s) and who was known by the name of “Blind Bob”.’ Ford describes the version in his book as ‘a little high-kilted”, though ‘by no means rudely indelicate.’ In actual fact the kilt stops short at the ankle and only the most bigoted Presbyterian might be expected to register shock at the sight of a mere inch or two of bare leg. Our version on the other hand, has abandoned the kilt completely and goes tripping by with bare hurdies, unabashed and unrepentant. (Source: Hughie Graeme, Galloway singer.)

The Coachman and his Whip
A somewhat longer version of this can be seen in the collection of Original Broadsides in the Nottingham University Library. This particular version was learned from Sam Larner of Winterton, Norfolk, in 1961.

The Thrashing Machine
It is easy to place a time-limit at which this song could have been started, for the threshing machine came of age in the late 1780’s. The song is delicately balanced, not only in its use of the machine analogy, but the fact that threshing is a harvesting process, closely tied up with the concepts of fruition. The adopting of such a machine as a symbol is but an extension of the older type of song which glorified the ‘tearing scythe’ or the reaper’s hook, and so on. And, for people who lived close to the land and depended upon it for their sustenance, they themselves might often have seemed but extensions of the same natural sequence of events which provided them with their living. (From the singing of Anne O’Neil, Belfast tinker woman, N. Ireland.)

Maid of Australia
This is a great favourite among country singers in Norfolk, although it appears to be unknown elsewhere. Learned from the singing of Sam Larner, of Winterton, Norfolk.

The Cuckoo’s Nest
Like ‘The Bird in the Bush’, this fragment is the terse versification of a good sexual analogy. (Source: learned from Jeannie Robertson, Aberdeen.)

The Gairdener Chylde
No. 219 in Child’s definite collection, this ballad seems to have been collected only from northern sources and even then but rarely. Its first appearance in print was in a rather corrupt form in an Edinburgh chapbook dated 1776, The floral codes for desire, love, rejection, etc., are common in country songs, but rarely is the code as elaborate as it is here. (Source: from the singer’s mother, with verses collated from Greig’s LOST LEAVES,)

The Vintner
Broadside versions of this piquant story can be found in both the Roxburghe and the Bagford collections under the title of ‘The Fair Maid of Islington’, or The London Vintner Over-reached’. The version given here was collected by Peter Hall, of Aberdeen, from Jessie MacDonald, a 97-year-old MacDuff (Banffshire) woman.

Andrew and his Cutty Gun
The earliest published song under this title appeared in Alan Ramsay’s TEA-TABLE MISCELLANY (1740). Robert Burns, in a letter to George Thompson in 1794, described the version given here as ‘the work of a master’. (Source: Merry Muses of Caledonia, p. 1 20.)
The Game of ‘All Fours’
All Fours (or High Low Jack and the Game) was still a popular card game as late as the mid-1930’s. The song to which the game gave its title has, apparently, been collected in many parts of England but, until Frank Purslow published Gardiner’s version in MARROWBONES, appears never to have got into print. The version here is from the singing of Sam Larner of Winterton, Norfolk.

The Cobbler
From the singing of George Spicer, Copthorne, Sussex. An almost identical text can be seen in the collection of Original Broadsides in Nottingham University Library.

The Modiewark
Of all the creatures abounding in field, river, forest and mountain, the most celebrated is neither deer nor dog, fish nor fowl, It is the modiewark, or mole, which enjoys the most popularity as an erotic symbol in Scots and English country songs. This witty example of the gype was collected by Burns. (Source: text, Merry Muses of Caledonia, tune from Johnson. No. 354.)

The Furze Field
This is a curious and unique song – it is obviously passionate, obviously directed at one person (a man), hence meant to be sung by a woman. Yet it is the kind of song one almost never hears sung by a woman! It was collected from Mr. Moses Mills at Preston Candover, Alresford, Hants, in 1907 by George Gardiner. It is the kind of song which was the staple fare of the chapbooks, the cheap, popular collections of songs sold on the streets from the early 1700’s onwards. Its circular, almost fugue-like melody, its incremental repetition, the tenderness and gentleness of conception and utterance, set it quite aside in atmosphere from the rest of the songs on this album.

The Long Peg and Awl
Nearly every male country singer in southern England has such songs as this in his repertoire, although hardly ever do such songs as this appear in print or get sung in mixed company. The symbol is, of course, too obvious to ignore, too common in communities where the small craftsman plying the tools of his trade is a commonplace. This particular piece has chiefly been collected in southern England, in eastern Canada and northern United States. (Source: from the singing of Harry Cox, Catfield, Norfolk.)

The Maid Gaed to the Mill
This defiant assertion of the right to be wanton is a central theme in Scots literature and a constantly recurring one in traditional Scots songs. An English version The Miller and the Lass’ can be found in the Cecil Sharp manuscripts. (Source: from the singer’s father, collated with verses from David Herd.)

The Bird in the Bush
This is one of the most intensely amorous songs in the entire English repertory. The quiet, leisurely action and the disarmingly simple language succeed in producing an atmosphere compounded equally of sensuousness and mystery. The Scots air which accompanies the text is from Christie’s TRADITIONAL BALLAD AIRS.

She was a Rum One
For the north-east Scots ploughman, the horse was a sacred beast, and women were often described in horsey terms, compared to horses in build, stride and character. The final verse, although very direct, is typical of the bothy songs made by these plowmen. As Rob Donald, the Gamrie shepherd, commented after hearing this song for the first time, ‘That a gey rough sang, but it gets richt to the hairt o’ the maitter.’ And that is an understatement, (Source: from the singing of Jeannie Robertson, Aberdeen.)


Tracklist:

A1Ballad Of The Trades
A2The Shepherd Lad
A3The Wanton Seed
A4The Wind Blew The Bonnie Lassie's Plaidie Awa'
A5The Coachman And His Whip
A6The Thrashing Machine
A7Maid Of Australia
A8The Cuckoo's Nest
A9The Gairdener Chylde
B1The Vintner
B2Andrew And His Cutty Gun
B3The Game Of 'All Fours'
B4The Cobbler
B5The Modiework
B6The Furze Field
B7The Long Peg And Awl
B8The Maid Gaed To The Mill
B9The Bird In The Bush
B10She Was A Rum One

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - The Wanton Muse
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 9. Oktober 2017

Hanns Eisler - Klingende Dokumente IV (1982)

Hanns Eisler´s reflections "On the task of music in our time" ("Über die Aufgabe der Musik in unserer Zeit") suggest that music, by exerting a cathartic effect on human feelings, should help produce people who are "better equipped" for socialism. Such views strike us as antiquated today. But the words he then added appear to have gained a new relevance in the complex world situation we are facing at the beginning of the 21th century in the light of the near-total collapse of the socialist world and the worldwide triumph of capitalism, but also in view of an incresingly widespread sense of apocalyptic resignation: "There exists a facile cynicism, a facile objectivism, a facile tendency to look at our weakneses and denying our merits and virtues which fills me with gloom and anger."

The "White Bread Cantata " ("Weißbrot-Kantate", after an Italian peasant legend) belongs to a group of small cantatas for vocalists and several instruments composed in 1934.

The "Peace Song" ("Friedenslied") figures among a group of children´s songs which were written around 1950 while Eisler was composing the "New German Folk Songs " based on texts by Johannes R. Becher.

The "Lenin Requiem" (words by Brecht) was finished in exile as early as 5 August 1937, but it was not until 22 November 1958 that it received its first perfomance in Berlin. The cantata "The Carpet-Weavers of Kuyan-Bulak" ("Die Teppichweber von Kujan Bulak", Brecht) was composed in 1957 and had its premiere on 17 February 1958.

Tracklist:

(01) Vom Sprengen des Gartens
(02) Haltung zum Lehrer Schönberg - Treue des Schülers zum Lehrer (Bunge-Gespräch, 1958)
(03) Lenin - Requiem für Alt- und Baritonsolo, Chor und Orchester
(04) Eisler - ein politischer Komponist?
(Herrmann-Gespräch, 1961)
(05) Aus ,,Die Weissbrotkantate"
Nr.3 Abschließende Bemerkung
(06) Die Weißbrotkantate
(07) Friedenslied
(08) Die Tage der Kommune
Aus der Bühnenmusik Nr.1-3
(09) Brecht, Eisler und Chaplin
(Bunge-Gespräch, 1958)
(10) Galileo Galilei
Ballade Nr.9 aus der Bühnenmusik
(11) Lebensfreude - ohne Konformismus zur Vergangenheit hin (Bunge-Gespräch, 1958)
(12) Der Held der westlichen Welt
Vier Lieder aus der Bühnenmusik
(13) Über die Aufgabe der Musik unserer Zeit
(Herrmann-Gespräch, 1960)
(14) Die Teppichweber von Kujan-Bulak
Kantate für Sopran und Orchester

Hanns Eisler - Klingende Dokumente IV (1982)
(320 kbps, no cover art)

Samstag, 7. Oktober 2017

VA - Amerika - Exil und Heimat 1930 - 1950

It is hard to imagine where American culture would be today without the contributions of Hitler and his nazi dictatorship — that is, without the thousands of creatively gifted refugees who fled these murderers.
A good many cultural historians and writers have explored this meaty subject from different angles since Anthony Heilbut’s 1983 landmark, “Exiled in Paradise” (still a good book on the topic).

This compilation features the work of European composers forced to the USA because of the expanding Nazi dictatorship and the work of their american collegues in these times. It´s an introduction into the work of emigre composers of the 1930s and 1940s like Hanns Eisler, Paul Hindemith, Bela Bartok and Kurt Weill and american artists like George Gershwin and John Cage.

Amerika - Exil und Heimat (1930 - 1950)
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

Freitag, 6. Oktober 2017

Jorge Ben‎ - Fôrça Bruta (1970)

The combination of Jorge Ben and Trio Mocotó had already produced great things when "Força Bruta" first appeared in 1970. Ben's self-titled album of the year before had reeled off a succession of Brazilian hits, including "País Tropical" and "Cadê Teresa," and made the four musicians very busy as a result.

"Força Bruta" was a slightly different album, a slice of mellow samba soul that may perhaps have been the result of such a hectic schedule during 1969. One of the hidden gems in Jorge Ben's discography, it's a wonderful album because it kept everyone's plentiful musical skills intact while simply sailing along on a wonderful acoustic groove that may have varied little but was all the better for its agreeable evenness. The songs may have been more difficult to distinguish - virtually every one began with acoustic guitar, similar instrumentation, and Ben's caressing vocals over the top - but it made the record one of the best in Ben's hearty career.   

Tracklist:

A1Oba, Lá Vem Ela
A2Zé Canjica
A3Domenica Domingava Num Domingo Linda Tôda De Branco
A4Charles Jr.
A5Pulo, Pulo
B1Apareceu Aparecida
B2O Telefone Tocou Novamente
B3Mulher Brasileira
B4Terezinha
B5Fôrça Bruta

Jorge Ben‎ - Fôrça Bruta (1970) 
(192 kbps, cover art included)         

Donnerstag, 5. Oktober 2017

Heiner Müller liest Heiner Müller

"Wenn die Diskotheken verlassen und die Akademien verödet sind, wird das Schweigen des Theaters wieder gehört werden, das der Grund seiner Sprache ist." - Heiner Müller


The german dramatist and playwright Heiner Müller was born in 1929 and died in 1995. Living in East Germany (GDR), he worked as managing, literary and artistic director at the Maxim-Gorki-Theatre (from 1958 on) and the Berliner Ensemble (from 1970 on), often staging his own productions.

Müller showed strong socialist leanings and worked in the tradition of Brechtian theatre. His initial agreement with the East German regime began to dwindle in 1960s when severals plays of his were censored and banned. He then began to work with West German theatres and ensembles and succeeded with pieces such as "Hamletmaschine" (1979), earning him worldwide fame. Müller was also renowned for his prose and poetry ("Das Ende der Handschrift. Gedichte") and publications on the theory of drama.

Before the collapse of the German Democratic Republic, Heiner Müller was widely regarded, internationally and in both German states, as “the most important German dramatist since Brecht”. Subsequently, like other “heroes” of the GDR semi-dissident scene, he was the target of a concerted campaign accusing him, among other things, of collaboration with the Stasi (Staats-Sicherheitsdienst, the GDR political police) and crypto-Stalinist tendencies. His reputation, despite a short-term eclipse, will survive these inanities; the extended public wake held upon his death on 30 December 1995 gave expression to a deep sense of loss in the vibrant East Berlin cultural scene of which he was the most brilliant protagonist.

Born in Eppendorf, Saxony, on 9 January 1929, his conscious life-span mirrors that of the GDR – from the bloody end of World War II through the difficult years of socialist reconstruction to the profound disillusionment of the “years of stagnation” and the ultimate implosion of the GDR, which he survived by only five depressive years of black clownery.

After the fall of the Wall, Müller became president of the East German Academy of the Arts for a short time in 1990 before its inclusion in the West German Akademie. In 1992, he was invited to join the directorate of the Berliner Ensemble, Brecht's former company at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, as one of its five members along with Peter Zadek, Peter Palitzsch, Fritz Marquardt and Matthias Langhoff. In 1995, shortly before his death, Müller was appointed as the theatre’s sole artistic director.
During the last five years of his life, Müller continued to live in Berlin and work all over Germany and Europe, mostly directing productions of his own works. He wrote few new dramatic texts in this time, though, like Brecht, he did produce much poetry in his final years.

Müller died in Berlin of cancer in 1995, acknowledged as one of the greatest living German authors and the most important German language dramatists since Bertolt Brecht.

Here´s his reading of some poems and prose at his 60s birthday, January 9, 1989, at the "Academy Of The Arts" in Berlin.
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(192 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 4. Oktober 2017

Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht - Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Lotte Lenya, Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, 1956)

In the mid-'50s, Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill's widow, contracted with Columbia Records to participate in a series of new recordings of her late husband's major German works.

Here, she is featured as Jenny Hill in a 1956 studio cast album of "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny" ("Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny"), Weill's 1930 musical written with lyricist Bertolt Brecht. That allows her to sing the show's most famous number, "Alabama-Song." (Although Mahagonny is presented in the original German, "Alabama-Song" was written and is sung in English.). It is an ensemble work, not a star vehicle, with the other principal parts handled by Heinz Sauerbaum (as Jimmy Mahoney) and Gisela Litz (as Leokadja Begbick). The orchestra is conducted by Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg.

As its title suggests, Mahagonny traces the founding of a fictional American city and its evolution into a sort of modern Sodom and Gomorrah with the characters being lowlife types such as gamblers and prostitutes. It is similar in many ways to its predecessor, "The Threepenny Opera". But where that song-based work was more of a conventional Broadway-style musical, Mahagonny is more of an operetta, with extended recitatives and a larger orchestra playing more elaborate music. It is at once more ambitious and less accessible than "The Threepenny Opera" and consequently has been less often performed. This recording aims to be definitive and, with a talented cast and musicians, plus excellent sound courtesy of a Hamburg studio, it arguably achieves that goal.               

Tracklist:

Akt I
Nr. 1
1-1 Gesucht werden Leokadja Begbick 3:41
1-2 Sie soll sein wie ein Netz 3:52
Nr. 2
1-3 Rasch wuchs / Oh, show us the way 4:13
Nr. 3
1-4 Die Nachricht 4:26
Nr. 4
1-5 In den nächsten Tagen 2:04
Nr. 5
1-6 Damals kam unter anderen 2:14
1-7 Heraus, ihr Schönen von Mahagonny 0:55
1-8 Ach, bedenken sie 2:00
Nr. 6
1-9 Ich habe gelernt 1:55
Nr. 7
1-10 Alle grosse Unternehmungen 1:23
1-11 Auch ich bin einmal 3:34
Nr. 8
1-12 Alle wahrhaft Suchenden 2:44
1-13 Aber etwas fehlt 3:47
Nr. 9
1-14 Klaviersolo / Das ist die ewige Kunst 4:16
1-15 Sieben Jahre 2:28
Nr. 10
1-16 Ein Taifun! 2:21
Nr. 11
1-17 In dieser Nacht des Entsetzens 5:30
1-18 Nein, jetzt sage ich 1:50
1-19 So tuet nur, was euch beliebt 3:28
Akt II
Nr. 12
1-20 Hurrikan bewegt 3:26
1-21 O wunderbare Lösung 1:19

 Nr. 13
2-1 Von nun an war der Leitspruch 1:08
2-2 Jetzt habe ich gegessen zwei Kalber 4:00
Nr. 14
2-3 Zweitens kommt die Liebe dran! 6:18
2-4 Sieh jene Kraniche 5:02
2-5 Erstens, vergesst nicht, kommt das Fressen 0:37
Nr. 15
2-6 Wir, meine Herren 4:28
2-7 Dreimal hoch Dreieinigkeitsmoses! 2:30
Nr. 16
2-8 Freunde kommt, ich lade euch ein 7:37
2-9 Meine Herren, meine Mutter prägte 5:58
Nr. 17
2-10 Wenn der Himmel hell wird 4:09
Akt III
Nr. 18
2-11 Haben alle Zuschauer Billette? 2:01
2-12 Zweitens der Fall des Jimmy Mahoney 8:37
Nr. 19
2-13 In dieser Zeit gab es in Mahagonny 4:04
Nr. 20
2-14 Hinrichtung und Tod des Jimmy Mahoney 3:30
2-15 Erstens, vergesst nicht, kommt das Fressen 3:25
Nr. 21
2-16 Wohlt ihr mich denn wirklich hinrichten? 4:08
2-17 In diesen Tagen fanden in Mahagonny 6:29

Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht - Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Lotte Lenya, Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, 1956) CD 1
Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht - Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Lotte Lenya, Wilhelm Brückner-Rüggeberg, 1956) CD 2
(256 kbps, cover art included)