Montag, 19. Dezember 2011

Pete Seeger - American Folk, Game and Activity Songs for Children

This hour-long CD combines the entirety of two children's-oriented Seeger LPs, 1953's "American Folk Songs for Children" and 1962's "American Game and Activity Songs for Children", onto one disc.

The eleven songs on "American Folk Songs for Children" were specifically selected from an identically titled book anthology of folk songs for children collected by Seeger's stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger. Pete Seeger renders them plainly and simply, singing and playing and banjo, on a program designed especially (but not solely) for children between three and seven years of age. "Jim Crack Corn," "Frog Went A-Courting," and "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" are some of the better-known tunes on the record, but not all of them are as overly familiar.

"American Game and Activity Songs for Children" focuses especially on songs associated with activities and dancing, sometimes sung a cappella, sometimes sung with accompaniment from Seeger's banjo. "Skip to My Lou," "Ring Around the Rosy," "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush," and "Yankee Doodle" are some of the more well-known songs here - at this point, they're probably more over-familiar than they were when the album was first released - but there are less overdone ones here too, including the spiritual "Liza Jane."

Pete Seeger - American Folk, Game and Activity Songs for Children
(320 kbps, no cover included)

Here you can download the liner notes.

Sonntag, 18. Dezember 2011

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Sorrow, Tears and Blood (1977)

"Sorrow, Tears and Blood" (1977) accurately depicts the trail left in the wake of the February 18, 1977, raid by 1,000 armed Nigerian army men on Fela Kuti and his Kalakuta republic. In keeping with the format upheld on a majority of Kuti's long-players, this disc contains a pair of extended works, featuring one title per LP side.
In contrast to the hard-edged and aggressive Afro-funk that Kuti and his Africa 70 became synonymous with, both the A-side title track and B-side, "Colonial Mentality," are seemingly staid, in light - or perhaps because - of the cruel state-sponsored attacks that he and his extended family suffered.

"Sorrow Tears and Blood" is neither a full-blown, up-tempo funk drone nor a somber dirge. The even-handed, mid-tempo groove trots along at a steady pace and features some comparatively sedate sax work from Kuti. Even the instrumental introduction - which has been known to clock in at over five minutes - is reduced to well under three. His lyrics are starkly direct - "Everybody run, run, run/Everybody scatter, scatter/Some people lost some bread/Some people just die" - yet the emotive center is gone. Perhaps this is the result of fear, shellshock, or a combination of the two. Kuti's words, however, remain as indicting as ever: "Them leave sorrow, tears, and blood/Them regular trademark."

 "Colonial Mentality" returns to a more seething and slinky musicality. The dark and brooding bassline undulates beneath a brass-intensive Africa 70. Rarely has Kuti's musical arrangements so perfectly imaged James Brown's J.B.'s or Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra. The message is delivered as a fable, demonstrating that it is the individuals who live in a stifling "Colonial Mentality" who are the slaves. His preface, stating that the colonial man had released them yet they refuse to release themselves, sets out to prove that slavery is a continual and concurrent state of mind for Africans.

(320 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 8. Dezember 2011

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Kalakuta Show (1976)

By the time of 1976's "Kalakuta Show", Fela Kuti's releases were becoming to seem not so much like records as ongoing installments in one long jam, documenting the state of mind of Nigeria's leading contemporary musician and ideological/political dissenter.

Thus, any one album works better on its own than it does when it has to bear comparison with the rest of his mountainous output. The track "Kalakuta Show" was unexceptional by his own standards, though it was a respectable lock-groove song that followed the usual graph of Kuti's song progressions. The lyrics, at any rate, go far outside the usual funk/pop spectrum, detailing his harassment at the hands of the Nigerian police.

"Don't Make Garan Garan" was musically more effective, particularly in its use of the artist's characteristically eerie, out-of-sync-sounding electric keyboards.

Fela Kut & Africa 70 - Kalakuta Show (1976)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 7. Dezember 2011

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Expensive Shit (1975)

This album is an overt response to the consistent harassment afflicting Fela Kuti's Kalakuta Republic in the early '70s under the oppressive Lagos authorities. The title track is a direct reference to an actual incident that occurred in which the cops planted a marijuana cigarette on Kuti - who promptly swallowed it and therefore destroyed any evidence. He was then held until he could pass the drugs from his system - which miraculously did not occur when his fecal sample was then sent for analysis, thanks to some help from his fellow inmates. Because of the costs incurred during this debacle, Kuti proclaimed his excrement as "Expensive Shit".

Musically, the Afro-funk and tribal rhythms that Kuti and his Africa '70 put down can rightfully be compared to that of James Brown or even a George Clinton-esque vibe. The beats are infectious with a hint of Latin influence, making the music nearly impossible to keep from moving to. Although the band is large, it is also remarkably tight and malleable enough to accompany and punctuate Kuti's vehement and indicting lyrics. The nature of what Kuti says, as well as infers, amounts to much more than simply whining or bad-rapping the law. His witty and thoughtful raps not only relate his side of the incident, but do so with tongue-in-cheek humor - such as the statement that his oppressors must really enjoy his feces because they want to examine it so urgently. Yet, he tries to stay away from it, for somewhat obvious reasons.

The album's B-side contains the metaphysical "Water No Get Enemy", one of my all time Fela favourite. This is a comparatively jazzy piece, with Africa '70 again exploring and stretching out its impulsive beats behind Kuti's singing. The track features some of his finest and most inspired keyboard work as well. He weaves hypnotic and ethereal electric piano lines over the earthy-sounding brass section. The laid-back groove works well in contrast to the manic tempo of "Expensive Shit."

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Expensive Shit (1975)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 23. November 2011

Fela Kuti & The Africa 70 - Gentleman (1973)

"Gentleman" is both an Africa 70 and Afro-beat masterpiece. High marks go to the scathing commentary that Fela Anikulapo Kuti lets loose but also to the instrumentation and the overall arrangements, as they prove to be some of the most interesting and innovative of Fela's '70s material.

When the great tenor saxophone player Igo Chico left the Africa 70 organization in 1973, Fela Kuti declared he would be the replacement. So in addition to bandleader, soothsayer, and organ player, Fela picked up the horn and learned to play it quite quickly - even developing a certain personal voice with it. To show off that fact, "Gentleman" gets rolling with a loose improvisatory solo saxophone performance that Tony Allen eventually pats along with before the entire band drops in with classic Afro-beat magnificence.

"Gentleman" is also a great example of Fela's directed wit at the post-colonial West African sociopolitical state of affairs. His focus is on the Africans that still had a colonial mentality after the Brits were gone and then parallels that life with his own. He wonders why his fellow Africans would wear so much clothing in the African heat: "I know what to wear but my friend don't know" and also points out that "I am not a gentleman like that!/I be Africa man original." To support "Gentleman," the B-side features equally hot jazzy numbers, "Fefe Naa Efe" and "Igbe," making this an absolute must-have release.

Fela Kuti - Gentleman (1973)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 16. November 2011


Next Friday, November, 18, our friends from the Zero G Sound DJ Collective will spin again some records at the club "west germany" in Berlin-Kreuzberg. This time they will select reggae, rocksteady, ska and dancehall tunes.

Their dj-set will be a part of a nice event with live music and djs celebrating the urban gardening project "Prinzessinnengärten".

Nomadisch Grün (Nomadic Green) launched Prinzessinnengärten (Princess gardens) as a pilot project in the summer of 2009 at Moritzplatz in Berlin Kreuzberg, a site which had been a wasteland for over half a century. Along with friends, fans, activists and neighbours, the group cleared away rubbish, built transportable organic vegetable plots and reaped the first fruits of their labour.

For a video about the Prinzessinnengarten with english subtitles click here

Sonntag, 13. November 2011

Odetta - The Tradition Masters (2CD)

While Odetta is usually lumped in with other revival artists, she actually began performing in the late '40s and had recorded her first album by 1956, a couple of years before the folk boom started.
Her stripped-down style and powerful vocals also differed markedly from many revival practitioners, reminding one more of Leadbelly than Joan Baez. This connection is strengthened by the inclusion of pieces like "Midnight Special" and "Take This Hammer" in her repertoire.
"The Tradition Masters" reissues "Sings Ballads and Blues" (1956) and "At the Gate of Horn" (1957) in a two-disc set, providing an excellent overview of Odetta's early work. Both sets are fairly straightforward, with her vocals supported by her persistent guitar strum on "Sings Ballads and Blues" and the addition of Bill Lee's bass on "At the Gate of Horn". The most important element, though, is always Odetta's resonant vocals. Whether singing blues, spirituals, or straight folk, she delivers the lyrics with religious fever, as though she inhabited the words. Her approach also invigorates familiar fare like "Greensleeves" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," reminding the listener how good these songs are. It's also illustrative to compare her deep-interpretive approach to a lullaby like "Pretty Horses" with later, "sweetened" versions of the song by groups like Peter, Paul & Mary. "The Tradition Masters" is a good place to immerse oneself in Odetta's authoritative versions of classic folk material.

Odetta - The Tradition Masters (2 CDs)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 12. November 2011

Etoile de Dakar - Same (International Music, 1980)

Etoile De Dakar was one of the most influential bands to come out of Senegal. Best known for its work with vocalist Yassour N'Dour, a member from 1975 to 1978, the group created a Latin-tinged style of African pop that influenced such western artists as Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon and David Byrne.

The roots of the Etoile De Dakar were planted in 1960 when Ibra Kasse, owner of the Miami Club in Dakar, assembled members of two bands -- Guinea Band De Dakar and Star Band De Senui - and created a supergroup, known initially as The Star Band. Although it reached its apex with the arrival of N'Dour in 1975, The Star Band splintered three years later when several members left with N'Dour to form Etoile De Dakar. Relocating to Paris in 1983, the group changed its name to Super Etoile.
Etoile de Dakar - Same (International Music, 1980)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 6. November 2011

Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky!

Next Friday, November, 11, our friends from the Zero G Sound DJ Collective will spin some groovy and funky records at a nice little bar in Berlin-Kreuzberg, called Tante Horst. Check out their fine mix of soul, funk, jazz, rhythm´n´blues and have fun!

Donnerstag, 3. November 2011

Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa `70 - Open & Close (1971)

Another long-thought-lost gem from the Fela Anikulapo Kuti archives, "Open & Close" was originally released in 1971 and, in the manner of "He Miss Road" and "Fela's London Scene", is a total groove-fest loaded to the gills with raucous horn blowing, ferocious percussion (once again, Tony Allen take a bow), and song lengths over ten minutes.

By this point, Fela could do no wrong when it came to recording; Afro-beat dissenters will claim that there is a trance-inducing similarity to much of Fela's '70s recorded output, that the grooves aren't enough to make the songs distinctive enough on their own. That's true of some of his later recordings (like in the mid- to late '80s), but at this point he was still breathing fire and the band was in top form.

Perhaps the distinguishing factors of records like "Open & Close" and some of Fela's other '70s releases are that as much as he liked to ride a groove, he also liked to disrupt it, twist it and turn it, reshape it, only to bring it back to its original shape. There was less of that later in his career.

(320 kbps, complete cover art included)

Sonntag, 30. Oktober 2011

VA - STUC Centenary Album - If It Wisnae For The Union (1997)

"Words make you think, music makes you feel, a song can make you feel a thought" ~ Pete Seeger

This nice compilation with Union related songs was created to mark the Centenary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress. It shows the close relationship between trade unionism and traditional music in general, and between Scottish singers and musicians and the STUC in particular.

In every country in the world, where working people come together, they organise trade unions to defend an improve their working conditions. In every country in the world, the working people sing and make music about their victories and defeats, their joys and sorrows, laughter and tears.

Please check out  Brian McNeil's "Sell your labour, not your soul" song.

1. Battle of the Somme/Freedom Come All Ye - Dubliners, Luke Kelly
2. Four Stone Walls - Capercaillie
3. Both Sides the Tweed - Dick Gaughan
4. Ravenscraig - Runrig
5. If It Wisnae for the Union - Hamish Imlach
6. Bawbee Birlin' - Gordeanna McCulloch
7. James Connolly - Christy Moore
8. North by North
9. Contract - Eric Bogle
10. Gauteng - Mara Louw
11. I Am the Common Man - The Battlefield Band
12. Blantyre Explosion - Ewan MacColl
13. Farewell Tae the Haven - The McCalmans
14. Sell Your Labour, Not Your Soul - Brian McNeill
15. Three Nights & A Sunday - Matt McGinn
16. Mothers, Daughters, Wives - Judy Small
17. Te Recuerdo Amanda - Victor Jara
18. Stand Together - Ceolbeg

VA - STUC Centenary Album - If It Wisnae For The Union
(320 kbps, cover art and booklet included)

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2011

Fela Kuti & The Africa ´70 - Afrodisiac (1973)

The four (lengthy, as usual) songs occupying this album had been originally recorded in Nigeria as 45 rpm releases.

"Aphrodisiac" consists of re-recordings of these, done in London in the early 1970s. (Confusingly, one part of the liner notes gives the years 1972-1973 as the recording dates, while another section says they were cut in 1971.)
While it's true that Fela Kuti's albums from this period are pretty similar to each other, in their favor they're not boring. These four workouts, all sung in Nigerian, are propulsive mixtures of funk and African music, avoiding the homogeneity of much funk and African records of later vintage, done with nonstop high energy.

The interplay between horns, electric keyboards, drums, and Fela's exuberant vocals gives this a jazz character, without sacrificing the earthiness that makes it danceable as well. "Jeun Ko Ku (Chop'n Quench)" became Fela's first big hit in Nigeria, selling 200,000 copies in its first six months in its initial version.

Fela Kuti - Afrodisiac (1973)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2011

The Almanac Singers - Their Complete General Recordings (1941, reissued 1996)

They were only together for about a year in the early '40s, but the Almanac Singers' repertoire, and individual members, would go on to much later greatness in the decades that followed. Comprised of folk legends Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Pete Hawes, and Millard Lampell, the group performed mostly at left-wing political conventions and labor rallies with a set list that mixed the traditional with the political.

The songs contained on "Complete General Recordings" are some of their finest moments, and many of the tunes would see later life covered by the Weavers (Seeger and Hays's future band) and even - in the case of "House of the Rising Sun" - the Animals.
Produced by another music legend, Alan Lomax, "Their Complete General Recordings" is an essential document of folk music's history and a great chance to these classic numbers in a raw, unadulterated form. The Almanac Singers may not have sold as many records as their contemporaries (blame that on the unpopular pacifism they preached as the United States entered World War II), but their versions of these tunes are simply timeless.

1. Blow Ye Winds Heigh Ho - Pete Seeger
2. Away, Rio - Pete Hawes
3. Blow The Man Down - Woody Guthrie
4. House of the Rising Sun - Woody Guthrie
5. Ground Hog - Pete Seeger
6. State of Arkansas - Lee Hays
7. The Weaver's Song - Ensemble
8. I Ride An Old Paint - Woody Guthrie
9. Hard, Ain't It Hard - Woody Guthrie
10. The Dodger Song - Lee Hays
11. Greenland Fishing - Pete Seeger
12. The Golden Vanity - Pete Seeger
13. The Coast of High Barbary - Pete Seeger
14. Haul Away, Joe - Pete Hawes

(The name of the artist at the end of each track indicates the lead singer)

The Almanac Singers - Their Complete General Recordings (1941)
(320 kbps, booklet fully scanned)

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2011

The Special A.K.A. - Nelson Mandela (extended version)

In this song Jerry Dammers of the Special A.K.A demands the release of the leader of the African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela. He had been imprisoned by the South African government since 1964 on charges of sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government. Unsurprisingly this song couldn't be played freely in South Africa, however it helped install optimism within the black community there. Its success in Britain sparked an increasingly vocal campaign by the rock world to free Mandela, which culminated in the 1988 Mandela 70th birthday concert at Wembley Stadium in London. Prisoner no 46664 was finally released in February 1990 and became State President of South Africa in 1994.
Special A.K.A were fronted by former Specials songwriter and keyboardist Jerry Dammers. They were an offshoot of The Specials, after Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding had left the Ska band to form the Fun Boy Three. This was to be their only UK Top 40 hit.
Jerry Dammers told the Radio Times June 21-27 2008 about this song: "I knew very little about Mandela until I went to an anti-apartheid concert in London in 1983, which gave me the idea for 'Nelson Mandela,' I never knew how much impact the song would have; it was a hit around the world, and it got back into South Africa and was played at sporting events and ANC rallies-it became an anthem."
In the same Radio Times interview Dammers recalled finally meeting Mandela after a 1990 concert, which celebrated his release: "When I was introduced as the writer of 'Nelson Mandela,' he just said, 'Ah yes, very good.'"
Dammers told Uncut magazine January 2010 the story of the song: "It was a bit like the end of The Specials. When 'Nelson Mandela' came along, the band was falling to pieces. But I had this idea that I knew was really important, like 'Ghost Town.' so there was that desperation to get it down on tape, before the thing disintegrated completely. I wrote the tune to 'Nelson Mandela' before the lyrics. By that time, especially in London, rock music was dead. It was all electro-pop, hip hop, jazz or Latin. And also, Joe Hagen had this African club at Gossip's. I was inspired by the spirit and positivity of that African music. I was trying to get in a few Latin rhythms, but also township jazz. It was a very simple melody, three notes: C,A and E. That meant the public could sing it. And then I went to Nelson Mandela's 65th birthday party at Alexandra Palace. I'd never really heard of him, to be honest. Various bands sang about him, particularly Julian Bahula. And that's where I had the idea to put this message into this tune I had hanging around."
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 17. Oktober 2011

Angelic Upstarts - Solidarity (12 Inch, 1983)

Formed in South Shields, England in 1977, the Angelic Upstarts was one of the period's most politically charged and thought-provoking groups; though technically a skinhead band, their records attacked the racism and fascism so prevalent throughout the skinhead community, and while also technically a punk unit, their music quickly evolved beyond the movement's limited scope.

The Angelic Upstarts were led by the rather nasal vocalist Mensi (born Thomas Mensforth), whose impoverished childhood became a frequent lyrical touchstone. Along with a highly fluid lineup which initially comprised guitarist Mond, bassist Ronnie Wooden, and drummer Sticks, the group debuted with the 1979 single "Murder of Liddle Towers," a scabrous attack on police brutality. The record caught the attention of Sham 69's Jimmy Pursey, who produced their debut album "Teenage Warning", which, like its 1980 follow-up, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", roundly ridiculed the oppressive policies of Margaret Thatcher while offering an outpouring of sympathy for the working class.

As the Upstarts' popularity surged, so did the levels of violence at their live shows; they became mortal enemies of National Front fascist supporters, who railed against the band after first misinterpreting their leftist songs as supportive of their cause. At the same time, the band's music was becoming more complex and accomplished; by 1983's "Reason Why?", the strongest Angelic Upstarts record, Mensi's songwriting skills had become tighter and more melodic, even branching out into reggae and folk, while the group's base broadened with the addition of keyboards and saxophones.
The 12 inch single "Solidarity" was releasend on Anagram Records in 1983.
The title track, "Solidarity",  is in reference to the Polish shipyard workers trades union led by Lech Walesa which at the time were being repressed by the Communist regime in Poland.

Angelic Upstarts - Solidarity (12 Inch, 1983)
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Sonntag, 16. Oktober 2011

Fela Kuti & The Africa `70 & Ginger Baker - Live! (1971)

Released in 1971, this LP had Fela Kuti solidifying the format that would take him into international visibility in the years to come: extended tracks with grooves that mixed African and funk rhythms, punctuated by rudimentary lyrics. There are just four songs on the album, none shorter than seven minutes, and all but one going over the ten-minute mark.

More than a dozen strong, his band, the Africa '70, cooks pretty well on tracks that fuse jazz, soul, and African music in a trancelike fashion that avoids becoming stale, despite the length of the arrangements. Ex-Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker's name was given prominence in the billing, probably to attract rock- and pop-oriented listeners who might not ordinarily take a chance on music from the African continent.

However, it's Fela and Africa '70, not Baker, who are the dominant presence on a record that sounded much like a mixture of James Brown, fusion, and Nigerian forms. The reissue adds a comparatively disappointing 16-minute drum solo by Ginger Baker and Africa '70 drummer Tony Allen, recorded live at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival. If Fela had any involvement with that track, it's not noted on the sleeve.

Fela Kuti - Live! (1971)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 15. Oktober 2011

Sammy Walker - Songs From Woody's Pen (1979)

Sammy Walker (born July 7, 1952 near Atlanta, Georgia) is an American singer-songwriter. Influenced by the folk and country sounds of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams, Walker emerged in the mid 1970s with two albums for the Folkways label and two albums for Warner Brothers. While appearing on Bob Fass's radio show in 1975, he caught the ear of Phil Ochs, who was impressed by the young songwriter and agreed to produce his first album with Folkways. Walker recorded two albums for Warner Brothers under the tutelage of producer Nick Venet, and toured Europe in 1978 and again in 1986. After recording an album of Woody Guthrie songs in 1979, he did not record again until 1989. "Misfit Scarecrow" - the first album released by Sammy Walker in over twelve years - was released on July 22, 2008.

Sammy Walker recorded Songs from Woody’s Pen in 1979, twelve years after Woody Guthrie died due to complications from Huntington’s disease. Though the original recordings of these songs date back more than 30 years, Walker sings them in a traditional folk-revivalist manner reminiscent of Guthrie’s social conscience and sense of humor. Speaking of Guthrie, Sammy Walker said, "I can’t think of hardly anyone who has had as much influence on my own singing and songwriting as Woody." This is Walker’s enduring record of that influence.

01. The Grand Coulee Dam
02. Pastures Of Plenty
03. Talking Dust Bowl Blues
04. Deportee
05. Vigilante Man
06. Ramblin' Round
07. Jackhammer John
08. 1913 Massacre
09. Tom Joad
10. Philadelphia Lawer
11. Pretty Boy Floyd

Sammy Walker - Songs From Woody´s Pen (1979)
(ca. 200 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

Montag, 10. Oktober 2011

Aretha Franklin - Soul '69

Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music.

"Soul `69" is one of her most overlooked '60s albums, on which she presented some of her jazziest material, despite the title. None of these cuts were significant hits, and none were Aretha originals; she displayed her characteristically eclectic taste in the choice of cover material, handling compositions by Percy Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, and, at the most pop-oriented end of her spectrum, John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" and Bob Lind's "Elusive Butterfly."

Her vocals are consistently passionate and first-rate, though, as is the musicianship; besides contributions from the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, session players include respected jazzmen Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Grady Tate, David Newman, and Joe Zawinul.

Aretha Franklin - Soul`69
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Woody Guthrie - BBC "Children's Hour", London, GB, July 7, 1944

From Guy Logsdon's Woody Guthrie Discography, "Hard Travelin' -- The Life and Legacy of Woody Guthrie", Hanover and London, 1999, p. 196:

"7 JULY 1944. Woody was a Merchant Marine, 'washing dishes on a Liberty Ship,' the troop ship Sea Porpoise which carried troops to the Normandy beach in early July 1944. After the troops were sent ashore, the ship hit a mine but made its way back to England; Woody was routed through London toward Glasgow, Scotland, toward the United States.
On a song manuscript dated 'July 13th, 1944', Woody wrote, 'this train is carrying me outside from London now; on up towards Belfast, and Glasgow.'

While in London, he went to the offices of the BBC where he introduced himself as a member of The Martins and the Coys [produced by Alan Lomax for the BBC in late March 1944, broadcast by the BBC on 26 June 1944] and was given the opportunity to sing on the Children's Hour. After an autobiographical statement, he was recorded singing with his guitar accompaniment two railroad songs."

Tracklist (2 tracks in one part):

01: Wabash Cannonball
02: 900 Miles (this is the minor-key melody that Cisco made popular)
Woody Guthrie - BBC "Children´s Hour", London, July 7, 1944
(Low bitrate, but I think a good quality for 1944.)

Sonntag, 9. Oktober 2011

VA - Ballads and Songs of the Blue Ridge Mountains - Persistence and Change (1968)

Stemming from a want to preserve the dwindling unique oral traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountain back-country region, Eric Davidson, Paul Newman and Caleb Finch performed field recordings of songs that exemplified the evolution of ballads in the region, creating an anthology of music that characterized the musical mountain traditions. Originating from folk music of the British Isles, many of the songs are performed with little or no instrumental accompaniment. These beautiful archaic folk melodies have retained their roots in the ballad and lament tradition, sung here by both men and women (traditionally ballads were sung only by women) with occasional lively banjo accompaniments.


1. Paul Jones - Hanging Of Georgie [01:32]
2. Sarah Hawkes - Returning Sweetheart [01:55]
3. Granny Porter and Wade Ward - Barbry Allen [02:41]
4. Paul Jones - Young Men And Maids [02:18]
5. Paul Jones - Green Willow Tree [04:18]
6. Sarah Hawkes - Ho Lilly Ho [02:13]
7. Kilby Reeves - Walkin' In The Parlor [01:21]
8. Sarah Hawkes - Little Sparrow [01:49]
9. Kilby Reeves - County Jail [01:47]
10. Aunt Polly Jones - The War Is A Raging [01:21]
11. Glen Smith - Pig In A Pen [02:27]
12. Paul Jones - Roving Gambler [02:47]
13. Ivor Melton and Glen Neaves - Pretty Polly [02:07]
14. Spud Gravely - George Allen [01:15]
15. Hobart Delp - Roving Gambler [02:26]
16. Russ Vass - Ten Thousand Miles [03:19]
17. Glen Neaves - 1809 [03:09]
18. Ivor Melton and Glen Neaves - Little Maggie [03:34]
19. Glen Neaves - Death Of The Lawson Family [01:52]
20. Ruby Vass - Lonesome Day [02:11]
21. Paul Jones and Cliff Evans - Budded Roses [02:29]
VA - Ballads and Songs of the Blue Ridge Mountains
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 8. Oktober 2011

Heidi Berry - Firefly (1987)

Heidi Berry cut a stark contrast to the prevailing musical mentality of the early '90s - despite releasing records on both Creation and 4AD, together the leading lights of the shoegazing and dream pop movements, her haunting, luminous folk-inspired sound instead harked back to the work of Sandy Denny and Nick Drake, complete with an earnestness and raw honesty far removed from her irony drenched times.

Heidi Berry's debut release, originally on Creation, sounds rather jauntier than her later efforts.
Firefly's folk/rock/pop confection, in its own way, anticipates the huge popularity of that combination in the 1990s among female vocalists - and grows out of similar roots of the past, as well. Berry's calm but not remotely cool singing is the most relaxed thing about the midpaced songs, which all have good energetic performances from her studio band. The songs all tend to resemble each other a touch - the waltz-time swing of "Houses Made of Wood" and the piano-led "Hasten the Buds to Bloom" are fine exceptions to this - but the overall pleasantness can't be faulted, and Berry's voice is simply quite enjoyable.

Standouts include the title track (with notable piano accompaniment) and "Nobody Tells on You," with an understated romantic wryness. Credit for the solid sound on the EP goes to both Berry as producer and her engineer

A1 Out Of My Hands 3:05
A2 Firefly 2:59
A3 Nobody Tells On You 3:35
B1 Will It All Change 3:25
B2 Houses Made Of Wood 3:01
B3 Hasten The Buds To Bloom 1:56
Heidi Berry - Firefly (1987)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 29. September 2011

Fela Kuti - Black President (1981)

It was during the early '80s that Fela Anikulapo Kuti's profile was high enough to warrant releasing his records in the U.S.

So for the first time, one did not have to scour the import bins or pay import prices to get a dose of Afro-beat. On "Black President", the politics are at the forefront as Fela rails against colonialism and the military government growing rich at the expense of Nigeria's poor.

The grooves are dense and supple and in many ways this is classic Fela, it just doesn't kick quite as hard as "Expensive Shit" or "He Miss Road".

Fela Kuti - Black President (1981)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 28. September 2011

Fela Kuti - I Go Shout Plenty (1977)

A press release from the United Democratic Front of Nigeria on the occasion of Fela's death noted: "Those who knew you well were insistent that you could never compromise with the evil you had fought all your life. Even though made weak by time and fate, you remained strong in will and never abandoned your goal of a free, democratic, socialist Africa."

The album "I Go Shout Plenty" on the Afrodisia label was released in 1986 but apparently recorded earlier.


1. I Go Shout Plenty
2. Why Black Man Dey Suffer

Fela Kuti - I Go Shout Plenty (1977)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 26. September 2011

VA - Calypso Calaloo, Early Carnival Music In Trinidad (Rounder)

Rounder Records deserves much praise for brightening up the often dull and familiar American pop musicscape with a flurry of releases that challenge our stereotypical view of "island music." This is particularly true of the music of Trinidad and Tobago, identified in the American popular mind with the synthetic Calypso-meets-disco sound of soca. While soca is a more complex and worthy genre than some opine, it's associated less with Calypso's social protest and hilariously witty innuendo than with less-graceful expressions like popular soca artist Arrow's sexual request in "Winey Winey" to "winey winey 'pon your pum-pum."

This fascinating CD puts the gleam on the fine old wood of the earliest Calypso songs, featuring wonderfully baroque orchestrations from the finest T&T Calypso orchestras from 1914 to the '50s, with elegant keyboard passages, swooning strings, snaking horns, exotic male choruses with African overtones, and the sublime vocals of seminal Calypsonians such as Lionel Belasco, Roaring Lion, Babb and Williams, Houdini, Lord Executor, and Lord Invader. This collection of treasures from the Smithsonian, other archives, and commercial studios transformed a series of tracks by the set's producers into a heady taste of carnival through the decades.

Calypso Calaloo is actually the aural accompaniment to Donald R. Hill's written volume Calypso Calaloo: Early Carnival Music in Trinidad, a fascinating account of that island's music pioneers, its world-famous annual carnival, and the culture that spawned it.
VA - Calypso Calaloo - Early Carnival Music In Trinidad
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 19. September 2011

Fela Kuti – Fela’s London Scene (1971)

To understand where Fela’s musical quest began, you have to start with his education at London’s Trinity College School of Music. While his family had sent him to England to study medicine, Fela had more musical aspirations.

After finishing school, Fela returned to Nigeria and with his band Koola Lobitios and his star status began to flourish in his native land, fusing the sounds of Jazz and Funk with the traditional African music he had been raise on. EMI, his label at the time, saw the true power of his musical creation, which he termed “afro-beat”, and brought Fela and his band back to London.

The result was "London Scene", recorded at Abby Road. While recording this album, Fela began his friendship with Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who plays uncredited on the track “Egbe Mio”. "London Scene" is the beginning of what would become Fela’s signature “Afrobeat” style and a great introduction to the man and his music.

1. J’ehin J’ehin – 7:26
2 Egbe Mi O – 13:13
3. Who’re You – 9:28
4. Buy Africa – 5:49
5. Fight To Finish – 7:26

Fela Kuti - Fela´s London Scene (1971)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 18. September 2011

Fela Kuti - Fela Fela Fela (1969)

It's almost impossible to overstate the impact and importance of Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti (or just Fela as he's more commonly known) to the global musical village: producer, arranger, musician, political radical, outlaw. He was all that, as well as showman par excellence, inventor of Afro-beat, an unredeemable sexist, and a moody megalomaniac.

The album "Fela Fela Fela", a Duke Lumumba recording, is is the original LA Session album released in Nigeria on EMI Nigeria. Lonnie Bolden plays tenor sax, jacket design by Ebele and Chinye.

1. My Lady Frustration
2. Viva Nigeria
3. Obe
4. Ako
5. Witchcraft
6. Wayo
7. Lover
8. Funky Horn
9. Eko
10. This is Sad

Fela Kuti - Fela Fela Fela (1969, EMI Nigeria)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 14. September 2011

Ras Michael: Dadawah - Peace and Love (1974)

Nyahbingi music in its purest form ist the music played at Rastafarian meetings or "grounations", and is based around a style of relentless drumming and chanting. Sometimes a guitar or horns are used, but no amplification at all is employed.

Though serious musicologists had made occasional field recordings of nyahbingi sessions, the first album to give the music the studio time it deserved, while remaining as true to its original forms are possible, was the triple LP set "Grounation" from Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari. This historic set has never been superseded, but the establishment of Rastafari as the dominant reggae ideology in the mid-1970s, plus the emergence of an audience for reggae albums that were more than collections of hit singles, created a climate in which more sets of nyabingi-based music could be produced.

The most noteworthy of these were by Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus. In 1975, Ras Michael´s group were joined by some of Kingston´s top studio musicians for the retrieving album "Dadawah - Peace & Love". Unique in its synthesis of musical forms and the length of its tracks, it uses traditional Rasta chants as its basic material, but subjects it to elements from the reggae mainstream, US funk and even rock.

"Dadawah" was a revelation, a stunning album that, across a mere four numbers, wove together a grounation feel, thick roots atmospheres, blues, rock, psychedelia, and deep Rastafarian devotion. Brilliantly produced by Lloyd Charmers, who also provided keyboards, with stunning work from guitarist Willie Lindo and the rhythm section of Paul Williams and Lloyd Parks, "Dadawah" remains one of the most exceptional albums of its, or any other, day. It is one of our favourite albums for the more quiet and thoughtful hours of the day:

1. Run Come Rally
2. Seventy-Two Nations
3. Zion Land
4. Know How You Stand

Ras Michael - Dadawah - Peace And Love (1974)
(200 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 8. September 2011

Tom Ashley & Tex Isley - Play and Sing American Folk Music (Folkways, 1966)

"A medicine show performer in the 1910s and 1920s, Clarence (Tom) Ashley influenced the urban folk revival when his early recordings were included on the Folkways album Anthology of American Folk Music in 1952. Although he had retired from the medicine show circuit in 1943, he made a successful comeback in the early '60s when he recorded a pair of albums that introduced influential flatpicking guitarist Arthel "Doc" Watson.

Ashley, who took his last name from the maternal grandfather who raised him, was inspired by the jokes and songs that he heard played by transients who boarded in his family home. His mother's two older sister taught him songs and instructed him on the banjo. Joining his first medicine show in 1913, Ashley traveled by horse and buggy through the southern Appalachian region, playing songs while "the doc" sold his elixirs. In 1914, he married Hettie Osborne and settled in Shouns, TN.

Although he supplemented his income as a musician by farming and working at a sawmill, Ashley continued to perform. By 1927, Ashley was performing with numerous string bands, including the Blue Ridge Entertainers. He recorded as a member of Byrd Moore & His Hot Shots and the Carolina Tar Heels. His solo debut came in 1929 when he recorded "The Cuckoo Bird" and "The House Carpenter" for Columbia. Signed to a solo contract by both Columbia (as Clarence Ashley) and Victor (as Tom Ashley), he recorded for both labels until 1933.

Retiring from the medicine shows in 1943, Ashley bought a truck and, with his son J.D., hauled coal, furniture, and lumber. His performances were limited to working as a comedian with Charlie Monroe's Kentucky Partners and the Stanley Brothers.

While his songs were revived by string band instrumentalists in the 1950s, Ashley disappeared almost completely from the music scene. Attending the Union Grove Old Time Fiddlers Convention in 1960, he met folklorist Ralph Rinzler, who, with folk song collector Eugene Earle, set up a recording session at Ashley's daughter's home in Saltville, VA. Ashley invited Watson to accompany him on guitar. The session marked the acoustic guitar debut for Watson, who had previously played electric guitar in rockabilly and country bands. Beginning in 1961, Ashley and Watson, joined by fiddler Fred Price, performed at northern folk festivals, coffeehouses, and clubs. Their concert at New York'sTown Hall was recorded and released as their second album. Ashley recorded an additional album with fiddler Tex Isley."


May I Sleep In Your Barn Tonite Mister?
Rude and Rambling Man
Whoa, Mule
Faded Roses
Shout Little Lulu
The House Carpenter
I'm The Man That Rode The Mule Around The World
Wild Bill Jones
The Little Log Cabin in The Lane
Cluck, Old Hen
Frankie Silvers
The Prisoner's Song
Hard Luck Blues
Little Hillside

Tom Ashley & Tex Isley - Play And Sing American Folk Music (1966)
(224 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 6. September 2011

Rex Jim Lawson - The Highlife King In London (vinyl rip, 1970)

Until his untimely death in the 1970s, Erekosima (Rex Jim) Lawson was a standard-bearer of the Nigerian highlife scene whose tunes achieved popularity across Africa. Of mixed Kalabari and Igbo parentage, he was born in the town of New Kalabar in present-day Rivers State, and got his start in Port Harcourt's Starlite Melody Orchestra, led by "Lord" Eddyson.

By 1960 he was leading his own group, the Nigeraphone Studio Orchestra of Onitsha and had played with the "big names" of Nigerian highlife - Bobby Benson, Roy Chicago, Victor Olaiya and others.

With his second group, the Majors Band of Nigeria (variously called the "Mayors Band," and in later years the "Rivers Men"), he scored innumerable hits over the sixties and early seventies, notably "Jolly Papa," "Adure," "Ibi na Bo," and many others. Of these, the biggest was "Sawale," in pidgen English, which has become an African music standard and been remade numerous times by various artists. Lawson's fluency in various languages and dialects has only enhanced his appeal across class and ethnic lines in West Africa.

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 2. September 2011

Super Ensemble Webert Sicot – La Flèche D'or D'Haiti (1967)

Webert Sicot (1930 – February 1985) was an Haïtian sax player, composer and band leader. He is recognized as one of the creators of konpa dirèk, a style of Haïtian dance music born in the 1950s.

Sicot was born in Port-au-Prince, Haití, in 1930. He took his first musical lessons from Augustin Bruno. He made his debut as professional with Claudin Toussaint's Jazz Capois. He also worked with the groups Jazz des Jeunes and the Saieh orchestra, in the second half or the 1950s.

He founded with Nemours Jean-Baptiste the Conjunto Internacional and took part in the Citadelle orchestra and Casino Internacional Band. With Jean Baptiste, he created the konpa dirék, a variation of the Haïtian merengue. In 1961 he commenced a solo career and became one of the pioneers of cadence rampa. He played several instruments as trumpet, bass, piano and drums.

Sicot died in February 1985 and is considered as one of the most influentials band leaders in Haïtian popular music.
Super Ensemble Webert Sicot - La Fleche D´Or D´Haiti (1967)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 30. August 2011

The Mighty Duke, Canary, Fighter, Blakie - This Is Calypso!

Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music that originated in Trinidad and Tobago from African and European roots. The roots of the genre lay in the arrival of enslaved Africans, who, not being allowed to speak with each other, communicated through song. This forged a sense of community among the Africans, who saw their colonial masters change rapidly, bringing French, Spanish and British music styles to the island of Trinidad. The French brought Carnival to Trinidad, and calypso competitions at Carnival grew in popularity, especially after the abolition of slavery in 1834. While most authorities stress the African roots of calypso, in his 1986 book "Calypso from France to Trinidad, 800 Years of History" veteran calypsonian The Roaring Lion (Rafael de Leon) asserted that calypso descends from the music of the medieval French troubadours.
Kelvin Pope, known in the Calypso world as 'The Mighty Duke', is a legendary Calypsonian whose work spans a period of over fifty years.

Born in 1930 in Point Fortin, south Trinidad, 'Duke' grew up in a period that was marked by striking workers who challenged the colonial authorities by protesting against working conditions, wages, racism and exploitation in the oilfields.

Growing up in this turbulent period would have a lasting impact on Kelvin Pope and the music that he would create in years to come.
He started his calypso career at a calypso tent in Point Fortin but moved to the Southern Brigade Tent in San Fernando in the early 1960s. He then joined the Original Young Brigade Tent in Port-of-Spain where he performed from 1964 to 1967. He won the National Calypso Crown four times: 1968 ("What Is Calypso" and "Social Bacchanal"); 1969 ("Black Is Beautiful" and "One Foot Visina"); 1970 ("Brotherhood of Man" and See Through"); and 1971 ("Mathematical Formula" and "Melvine & Yvonne"). He also won the Road March title in 1987 with "Thunder." He died in 2009.

1 The Mighty Duke - What is Calypso ?
2 The Mighty Duke - Woman baccanal
3 Canary - Beatnik generation
4 Canary - Tribute to Luther King
5 Fighter - What you sow you reap
6 Fighter - Pom pom
7 Fighter - Send me instead
8 Blakie - Monica
9 Blakie - We ain't going back again
10 The Mighty Duke - Send them girls by me

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 28. August 2011

Lee "Scratch" Perry & The Upsetters - Scratch and Company - The Upsetters, Chapter 1 (1982)

Making sense of the Lee "Scratch" Perry oeuvre has long been a troubling affair. Though the advent of reissued material and printed retrospectives in The Wire and Grand Royal answered many questions, the occasional release still slips through the cracks. Enter "Scratch & Company: The Upsetters, Chapter One", a 1982 collection from Jam Clockwork. Both the origins of the music and its place in Perry's catalog are something of a mystery.

It matches a handful of the producer's known collaborators and a series of more obscure figures, creating an assemblage of pulsating organs, distorted guitar scratches, and deep bass. Vocals come in the form of the standard dub production fragments ("Curly Dub") and occasional Rasta philosophizing ("Who You Gonna Run To," "When Jah Come").

The most striking moment is "Tighten Up." Here, an infectious tune with banal lyrics and fine groove is transformed through Perry's absurd production methods. Warped beyond belief (and anything resembling conventional logic), it's as if Perry placed the entire track underwater just to see what it sounded like, then sat back, satisfied with his creation. Only the saxophone escapes. The vocalists sound like alien versions of Alvin & the Chipmunks have landed on the island of Jamaica. Nothing else on "Scratch & Company" quite matches it. The rest of the collection, while inconsistent, has its merits. "A Serious Joke," with its deceptive aural balance, takes second place. "Scratch the Dub Organizer" offers little surprise, but it's a fine dub moment nonetheless with great horn harmony, smooth soloing, and chest-rattling bass. The cool and calm instrumental "Scratch Walking" would indeed be the perfect soundtrack for Perry himself, strolling through town. Though it's not of the caliber of the Upsetters' finest releases, "Scratch & Company" contains some fine music for those looking deeper into the producer's catalog.

Lee Perry & The Upsetters - Scratch And Company - The Upsetters, Chapter 1 (1982)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 16. August 2011

VA - Independence Jump Up Calypso (1966)

"Independence Jump Up Calypso" is a wonderful album with calypso tunes released on Treasure Isle in 1966.

Before the rise of ska in the late '50s/early '60s, calypso was the music of choice in Jamaica. Calypso originated in Trinidad, but it had no problem spreading to Jamaica. One Jamaican who easily made the transition from calypso to ska and reggae was a DJ/label owner, Duke Reid, who put out some calypso singles in the '50s before focusing mainly on ska and reggae in the '60s. Reid revisited calypso in 1966, when he celebrated Jamaica's independence from Britain with "Independence Jump Up Calypso". (Jamaica had become independent in 1962). Most of the songs on this enjoyable album feature Count Lasher, a talented but little known calypso singer, and other noteworthy contributors to the project include trumpeter Baba Brooks, and singer Count Alert. Lasher's noteworthy contributions to the date range from the exuberant "Jump Independently" and the troubling "Hooligans," to the humorously risque "Mufridite" (which warns against marrying a hermaphrodite).
1 - Count Lasher - Jump Independently
2 - Count Lasher - The Weed
3 - Count Alert - Old Man's Drive
4 - Count Lasher - Hooligans
5 - Lynn Taitt With Baba Brooks Band - Dog War Jumpup
6 - Count Lasher And Williams - Bam Bam
7 - Count Lasher And Williams - Mufridite
8 - Count Alert - In The Park
9 - Count Alert - Hard Times
10 - Lynn Taitt With Baba Brooks Band - Seven Guns Alive Instrumental

VA - Independence Jump Up Calypso (1966)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 14. August 2011

Barbara Dane - Barbara Dane Sings The Blues (Folkways 1964)

During all her years singing blues and jazz, Barbara continued to weave in appearances as a solo performer on the coffeehouse circuit with her folk-style guitar. She also stepped up her work in the movements for peace and justice as the struggle for civil rights spread and the war in Vietnam escalated. She sang at every big peace demonstration in Washington and many of those in small towns and byways all over America, taking her songs to the Freedom Schools of rural Mississippi and right up to the gates of military bases from Japan to Europe as well as all over the USA.

Link removed to support Folkways. Check out the comment section.

Donnerstag, 11. August 2011

Amiri Baraka - New Music New Poetry (1980)

Poet, playwright, critic, and novelist Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones) is best known to the jazz community for his two books, "Blues People: Negro Music in White America", published in 1964, and "Black Music" in 1967, both as LeRoi Jones.

Long before this, however, Baraka was identified with the New York School of poets and the Beats (he was included in Donald Allen's seminal anthology "The New American Poetry"). His first book of poetry, "Preface to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note" was published in 1961. With Diane Di Prima he founded and edited the legendary "Floating Bear" newsletter. Baraka founded the Black Arts Repertory Theater/School and won an Obie award for his play "Dutchman" in 1964. He was an outspoken leader in the Black Nationalist movement in the late '60s and was a close associate - as well as spiritual godfather - to the Black Panther Party.
He changed his name to Imamu Amiri Baraka, and later dropped "Imamu" (a Muslim word for "spiritual leader") in 1970. Remaining an activist, Baraka dropped his nationalist stance in 1974 and adopted a Marxist/Leninist one and is regarded as one of the most influential African-American writers of the 20th century.

With influences on his work ranging from artists as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane,
Thelonius Monk, and Sun Ra to the Cuban Revolution, Malcolm X and world revolutionary movements,
Baraka is renown as the founder of the Black Arts Movement in Harlem in the 1960s that became,
though short-lived, the virtual blueprint for a new American theater aesthetics.

He recorded the wildly controversial play "Black Mass" with Sun Ra & His Arkestra in 1968 (issued on the Jihad label) and the amazing "New Music New Poetry" with saxophonist David Murray in 1980 on India Navigation. Baraka has added one more volume to his shelf of music criticism, "The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues", which he and Amina Baraka, his wife, published in 1987. Baraka has taught at SUNY Buffalo and Columbia University, and he is currently a professor of Africana studies at SUNY, Stony Brook. He lives in Newark, NJ.

Amiri Baraka - New Music New Poetry (1980)
(230 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 8. August 2011

Miles Davis - At Newport 1958

This is a different Miles Davis. He's playing much better than he had when bebop was in its infancy. Accuracy and tone had always meant a lot to the trumpeter, and he worked hard to get it done just right. During the fifties, he kept getting better and better. Here, he's using both Harmon mute and a natural, open tone to get his message across.

This is also a far cry from the Miles Davis who later took his trademark Harmon into the electronic studio to add echoes and reverberation. It's natural, acoustic jazz. This was shortly after Bill Evans and Jimmy Cobb had joined the band. It's interesting to note the audience reception given each band member, as Willis Conover introduces them at the start of the album. Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers are met with enthusiastic applause. Then, Bill Evans and John Coltrane receive only polite, token handclaps. They were relatively unknown at that time. Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and Davis, of course, are recognized with wild cheers.

This was just eight months before they would record "Kind Of Blue". "Bye Bye Blackbird" serves to introduce the talents of Coltrane to the public. His solo runs for nearly four minutes and demonstrates his desire to get all the notes in. This contrasts with Evans' ensuing minimalist solo. Originally issued on "Miles And Monk At Newport", and "Newport Jazz Festival Live", these seven selections were recorded on one July night in 1958 at Newport, Rhode Island. They're something special in the history of jazz.

1. Introduction
2. Ah-Leu-Cha
3. Straight, No Chaser
4. Fran-Dance
5. Two Bass Hit
6. Bye Bye Blackbird
7. The Theme

Miles Davis - At Newport 1958
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 22. Juli 2011

Holiday break

It´s time for summer holidays - so there will be no new posts in the next two weeks. Have a nice time and enojoy yourself!

Sonntag, 10. Juli 2011

Tyrone Taylor - Move Up Blackman (1976, Wolf)

Although Jamaican singer Tyrone Taylor recorded in a series of styles and genres rooted in the Caribbean tradition, he remains best known for 1983's soulful lovers rock ballad "Cottage in Negril."

Born in rural St. Elizabeth in 1957, Taylor cut his first record at just 12, lending his rich, emotive voice to the Joe Gibbs-produced "Delilah." Although the song was later issued overseas as the flip side of the Dennis Walks hit "Having a Party," Taylor was less than pleased with the end result and briefly teamed with singer Vince Brown in the Soul Menders.

His initial struggles forced him to question the realities of a career in music, and he spent the next several years learning a series of instruments under local session players, chief among them the legendary guitarist Willie Lindo, who encouraged Taylor to return to singing. In 1972 he resurfaced in the Soul Twins, cutting the anthems "Don't Call Me Nigga" and "Rastafari Ruler" for producer Clancy Eccles before resuming his solo career with a series of little-noticed singles including "Fight It Blackman."

Taylor first earned significant attention and airplay in 1975 under the wing of producer Jack Ruby, scoring a series of well-received hits including "Life Table" and "I'd Like to Know." With 1977's Niney the Observer-produced "Sufferation," he scored his biggest and most memorable single to date, earning a special King Tubby remix in the process. After a series of middling follow-ups, including "Can't Stop Rastaman Now," a reggae rewrite of the McFadden & Whitehead disco classic "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," Taylor self-produced "Cottage in Negril" in 1981.

Inspired by both a failed romance and the recent rise to power of the conservative Labor party, complete with the sounds of cocaine snorts between verses, the single slowly but surely emerged as a chart blockbuster, and two years later was picked up for international distribution by MCA. However, the follow-up single, "Pledge to the Sun," bombed, and MCA shelved a proposed LP. In the meantime, Taylor's struggles with drug addiction grew even more serious, and in the decade to follow he recorded only sporadically, generating some notice in 1987 via "Members Only" and "Be for Real." Lindo stepped in to produce 1993's full-length The Way to Paradise, widely celebrated as a return to creative form, and a year later Taylor teamed with producer Clive Hunt for the hit "Rainy Sunset." But Taylor never conquered his personal demons, eventually suffering a handful of strokes and spending the remainder of his life confined to a wheelchair; he died of prostate cancer in Kingston on December 1, 2007.
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 9. Juli 2011

VA - La Revolución Mexicana (Orfeón, 2 CDs)

The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution changed from a revolt against the established order to a multi-sided civil war.

After prolonged struggles, its representatives produced the Mexican Constitution of 1917. The Revolution is generally considered to have lasted until 1920, although the country continued to have sporadic, but comparatively minor, outbreaks of warfare well into the 1920s.
This record needs no explanation ..

Disc 1:
Silvestre Vargas - La Adelita
Jorge Negrete - El Desterrado
Lucha Moreno - Corrido del Norte
Chavela Vargas - Corrido de Cananea
Alejandro Rivera - La Cama de Piedra
Charro Avitia - Maria la Bandida
Trío Tariácuri - Soldado de Levita
Chavela Vargas- Heraclio Bernal
Trío Calaveras - Alla en el Rancho Grande
Banda Sinaloense - La Rielera
Luis Aguilar - El Adios del Soldado
Alejandro Algara - Pajarillo Barranqueño
Conjunto Durango - Polka Revolucionaria
Los Llaneros de San Felipe - La Toma de Torreón
Silvestre Vargas - Lamarieta

Disc 2:
Jorge Negrete - La Valentina
Antonio Bribiesca - La Cucaracha
Francisco Avita - El Siete Leguas
Los Tejones - La Escondida
Luis Aguilar - Carabina 30-30
Chavela Vargas - Benjamin Argumedo
Lucha Moreno - Bala Perdida
Silvestre Vargas - Jesusita en Chihuahua
Jorge Fernández - Cuatro Milpas
Jorge Negrete - Me He de Comer Esa Tuna
El Auténtico Tamborazo Zacatecano - La Toma de Zacatecas
Los Pantoja y Sus Villistas - Gabino Barrera
Dueto Azteca - Rosita Alvirez
Emmanuel Gomez - La Tumba de Villa
Silvestre Vargas - La Marcha de Zacatecas
VA - La Revolucion Mexicana (2 CDs)
(128 kbps)

Dienstag, 5. Juli 2011

The Ex - Dead Fish (1990)

The Ex are an anarchist band from Amsterdam, Netherlands.

"Dead Fish" is a suite of songs about surviving in the rock'n'roll jungle, coughed up with an amount of bile only The Ex could summon. A direct attack on the commercialisation of indie music and the creaky industries that support its mass market consumption. The Ex are still committed naturals in an over exposed and hyped arena.

"Dead Fish" was recorded at KGM Studio, Wakefield, England, and was released as a 10" EP in June 1990. It was produced by Jon Langford with Terrie (guitar), G.W. Sok (vocals), Luc (bass) and Katrin (drums).


01. Dead Fish
02. Blah Blah
03. White Liberals
04. Elvis + I
05. No More Cigars
06. Mousetrap
07. Get Your Share

The Ex - Dead Fish (1990)
(192 kbps, no cover art included)

Montag, 4. Juli 2011

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - It's Your World (1976)

This Gil Scott-Heron double album, roughly two thirds of which was recorded live in Boston on July 2-4, 1976, makes the most of its Centennial-centric time frame. Between the American flag striped cover art and Heron's spoken word spiel on an 8-and-a-half minute poem/rant "Bicentennial Blues," the album loses little of its impact, regardless of how the years have mildewed once fresh political topics like Nixon, Agnew, and Watergate.

Four of its songs are studio recordings ("It's Your World," "Possum Slim," "New York City," and "Sharing"), and even though they're up to Heron's usual jazz/blues/pop standards, the disc is most effective on the concert tracks. As he explains in the 2000 penned liner notes, The Midnight Band was a compelling live unit and one listen to the brisk, electrifying, 13-minute rendition of "The Bottle," one of Heron's most penetrating tracks, is all you'll need to understand why. More importantly, like the best protest music, these tunes have lost none of their lyrical edge or incisiveness throughout the years. Musically the band is taut and rehearsed down to the finest time change, yet loose enough to open up on the jams. The heavy Latin percussion/flute/piano -- but remarkably guitar-less -- sound is equal parts Santana and Mongo Santamaria with a strong jazz current throughout, especially on the John Coltrane tribute "Trane," featuring tenor hornman Bilal Sunni-Ali's fiery lead. Scott-Heron's deep, mellifluous voice is alternately soothing and cutting, infusing the music with heart and soul, while keeping the sound focused even during the longer improvisations. Only a dated '70s drum solo belies the year this was recorded. Chestnuts like "Home Is Where the Hatred Is" explode in extended live versions that become definitive readings of the tunes. Remastered for its reissue, It's Your World crackles with energy, presenting an accomplished band at their peak and placing the listener practically on stage for the live tracks with acoustics that are full, yet airy and spacious. One of Gil Scott-Heron's best albums as well as a compelling musical time capsule, the disc is proof of the artist's musical and lyrical acuity and is a moving listening experience.

Say our friends at Dustygroove: "A standout set from Gil Scott-Heron -- and that's saying a lot, given the strength of his other 70s work! This album's a double-length live set -- one that has Gil taking on the familiar format of the 70s, and using it to really push the boundaries of his own music too! Most tracks are quite long, and filled with spontaneous energy -- a moment in Gil's music to compare to that of Curtis Live for Curtis Mayfield -- proof that soul music could be made even better live than in the studio, as long as the setting was right. The record features a very extended version of "The Bottle" which runs for 13 minutes long, and which is a jammer all the way through -- and other titles include the great jazzy groover "New York City", plus "Trane", "Must Be Something", "Sharing", and "Home Is Where The Hatred Is". One of the few truly fantastic live soul albums!"


01. It's Your World
02. Possum Slim
03. New York City
04. 17th Street
05. Trane
06. Must Be Something
07. Home Is Where the Hatred Is
08. Bicentennial Blues
09. Bottle
10. Sharing

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - It´s Your World (1976)
(320 kbps, no cover included)

Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2011

Gil Scott-Heron - The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron - A Collection of Poetry and Music

"The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron" (subtitled "A Collection of Poetry and Music") is a 1978 album by spoken word and rap pioneer Gil Scott-Heron. Like many of Scott-Heron's albums, the album's content primarily addresses political and social issues; however, The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron relies far more on his spoken word delivery than his other albums.

Whereas much of the artist's earlier albums contained backup jazz-funk music from Brian Jackson, many of these tracks, which address contemporary issues such as Watergate, the pardon of Richard Nixon and the Attica Prison riot, are either live recordings or studio-recorded songs with little more than sparse drum backing or occasional instrumentation.

But what makes Gil Scott-Heron’s poems so powerful is that they don’t serve just as snapshots of a time past, put seem as pertinent today as ever. For the basic issues he’s taking about - our country’s military presence abroad, the rising prison population, political corruption, the growing influence of the wealthiest corporations on governmental policy, police brutality, etc. - have not disappeared in the last 30 years, and in some cases are continually growing worse. It’s hard to hear Scott-Heron say “Ask them what we’re fighting for and they never mention the economics of war” and not see the relevance still today.

Gil Scott Heron’s poetry is so powerful in part because of the issues he raises, but his delivery, style and articulateness can’t go unmentioned. A few of the tracks here are live, and the audience’s reactions drive home the humor and general friendly tone that Scott-Heron exudes, even while ripping our government to shreds (and rightfully so). He also uses repetition and verbal devices, taking a phrase and building a poem around the permutations of it. “The Ghetto Code” uses the letter ‘C’ to jump into all sorts of issues, while the first track on the album leads off with a faux phone call (famously used by Boogie Down Productions on their classic “Why Is That?”): “Click! Whirr…Click! ‘I’m sorry, the government you have elected is inoperative’.”

Gil Scott-Heron - The Mind Of Gil Scott-Heron
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 27. Juni 2011

Guy Debord - Society Of The Spectacle

Guy Debord's "THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE", originally published in 1967,
is easily the most important radical book of the twentieth century.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, Debord's book is neither an ivory tower of
"philosophical discourse" nor an impulsive "rant" or "protest." It is an
effort to clarify the nature of the situation in which we find ourselves and
the advantages and drawbacks of various methods for changing it. It examines
the most fundamental tendencies and contradictions of the present society --
what is really going on behind the spectacular surface phenomena that we are
conditioned to perceive as the only reality.

Guy Debord, the self-proclaimed leader of the Situationist International, was certainly responsible for the longevity and high profile of Situationist ideas, although the equation of the SI with Guy Debord would be misleading.
Brilliant but autocratic, Debord helped both unify situationist praxis and destroy its expansion into areas not explicitly in line with his own ideas.

His text "The Society of the Spectacle" remains today one of the great theoretical works on modern-day capital, cultural imperialism, and the role of mediation in social relationships.

You can read it here:

...or here:

Sonntag, 26. Juni 2011

VA - Funeral Songs - Dead Man Blues

"We weep when a child is born into this world.
We sing and dance when the good Lord takes someone home." - Mourmer at a Jazz Funeral

The traditional New Orleans Jazz Funeral is as much a part of New Orleans culture as is traditonal jazz itself. If could almost be said, the jazz grew out of the funeral music of the New Orleans of the late nineteenth century. The roots of the tradition are believed to be hundreds of years old, and to be connected to the culture of the people who occupy the are of West Africa that is now called Benin and Nigeria; this region of Africa was known as the "Slave Coast" to the Europeans of the seventeenth century. The captured people of that area took with them to the New World a sophisticated social structure that included two aspects important to the traditional New Orleans Jazz Funeral. Firstly, societies, often secret, were formed to ensure that their members received a proper burial at the time of death, and secondly, a funeral was seen as a major celebration. With the "Christianisation" of the African-Americans that occured over the ensuing centuries and with the growth of the Baptist and Methodist Churches in particualr, another factor came into play that surely strenghtened this notion of a funeral as a celebration. This was the commonly held belief that a birth, an arrival in the secualr world, was a time for tears, and a death, an end to earthly sorrows, was a time for rejoicing.

So, it would be unusual for a New Orleans inhabitant not to be a member of some organisation or other. On their death, that individuals would be accompanied to their final resting-place by the brass band of the society of which he or she was a member. The traditional New Orleans Funeral had two stages accompanied by music. The first was a procession of mourners journeying slowly to the cemetery accompanied by a brass band playing a slow, mournful dirge or spiritual. This was followed after the burial itself by a lively return from the cemetery to the sound of rousing music. And what better rosing music could there be than that played by a couple of "hot" jazz musicians?

Wonderful compilation with songs by Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Kid Ory, Jelly roll Morton, Clarence Williams, the Eureka Brass Band and many more:

Funeral Songs - Dead Man Blues CD 1
Funeral Songs - Dead Man Blues CD 2