Sonntag, 25. August 2013

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley (1986, Chess)

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"I was the first son-of-a-gun out there. Me and Chuck Berry. And I'm very sick of the lie. You know, we're over that black-and-white crap, and that was all the reason Elvis got the appreciation that he did. I'm the dude that he copied, and I'm not even mentioned."
- Bo Diddley, 2005


"Bo Diddley" is the debut album by rock and roll pioneer and blues icon Bo Diddley. It is a compilation of his singles since 1955 and collects several of his most influential and enduring songs. An innovative guitarist, prolific songwriter, and sensational vocalist (check out "Dearest Darling"), Diddley had an influence on rock music from Buddy Holly to U2 that was all pervasive.

For anyone who wants to play rock & roll, real rock & roll, this is one of the few records that you really need. Along with Chuck Berry, Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and a few select others, Bo Diddley was one of the founders of the form & he did it like no other. Diddley had only one real style, that being the Bo Diddley beat: a syncopated, rhythmic drive, loaded with tremolo. There are many examples of it on this record, and that is about all you need. It's one of those records that, after listening to just a few cuts, will find you tapping the beats on every available surface. Diddley's guitar and vocals have a gruff feeling that recalls bluesmen such as Waters, yet he has his own style. Buttressed by drums, funky piano, and usually maracas, it's absolutely infectious.

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley (1986)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 23. August 2013

VA – El Canto de un Pueblo (1977)


The music on this album was recorded live in August 1977 in Mexico City, during the festival "Jornadas de Solidaridad con la Cultura Uruguaya en el Exilio" (" Days of Solidarity with the Uruguayan Culture in Exil"). The featured artist are Roberto Darwin, Alfredo Zitarrosa, Daniel Vigletty and Camerata Punta del Este from Uruguay, Silvio Rodriguez, Pablo Milanés and Miriam Ramos from Cuba, Los Folkloristas and Amparo Ochoa from Mexico an Tania Libertad from Peru.
 
In the late 1950s, partly because of a world-wide decrease in demand for agricultural products, Uruguayans suffered from a steep drop in their standard of living, which led to student militancy and labor unrest. An urban guerrilla movement known as the Tupamaros emerged, engaging in activities such as bank robbery and distributing the proceeds to the poor, in addition to attempting political dialogue. As the government banned their political activities and the police became more oppressive, the Tupamaros took up an overtly armed struggle.
President Jorge Pacheco declared a state of emergency in 1968, followed by a further suspension of civil liberties in 1972. In 1973, amid increasing economic and political turmoil, the armed forces closed the Congress and established a civilian-military regime.  Around 180 Uruguayans are known to have been killed during the 12-year military rule of 1973 to 1985. Most were killed in Argentina and other neighbouring countries, with 36 of them having been killed in Uruguay.
A new constitution, drafted by the military, was rejected in a November 1980 referendum.
Following the referendum, the armed forces announced a plan for the return to civilian rule, and national elections were held in 1984.


Tracklist:

01. Adagio en mi país (Alfredo Zitarrosa)
02. Tierra mestiza (Los Folkloristas)
03. Mariposas (Silvio Rodríguez)
04. Soy latinoamericano (Roberto Darwin)
05. Gris tango (Camerata Punta del Este)
06. Tengo (Pablo Milanés)
07. Andes lo que andes (Tania Libertad)
08. Masa (Pablo Milanés, Silvio Rodríguez y Miriam Ramos)
09. Te quiero (Amparo Ochoa)
10. Sólo digo compañeros (Daniel Viglietti)

VA - El Canto de un Pueblo (1977)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 21. August 2013

Dizzy Gillespie - Afro (1955)


Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis' emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated. Somehow, Gillespie could make any "wrong" note fit, and harmonically he was ahead of everyone in the 1940s, including Charlie Parker. Unlike Bird, Dizzy was an enthusiastic teacher who wrote down his musical innovations and was eager to explain them to the next generation, thereby insuring that bebop would eventually become the foundation of jazz.

Dizzy Gillespie was also one of the key founders of Afro-Cuban (or Latin) jazz, adding Chano Pozo's conga to his orchestra in 1947, and utilizing complex poly-rhythms early on. The leader of two of the finest big bands in jazz history, Gillespie differed from many in the bop generation by being a masterful showman who could make his music seem both accessible and fun to the audience. With his puffed-out cheeks, bent trumpet (which occurred by accident in the early '50s when a dancer tripped over his horn), and quick wit, Dizzy was a colorful figure to watch. A natural comedian, Gillespie was also a superb scat singer and occasionally played Latin percussion for the fun of it, but it was his trumpet playing and leadership abilities that made him into a jazz giant.

Pairing Dizzy Gillespie with Cuban arranger/composer Chico O'Farrill produced a stunning session which originally made up the first half of a Norgran LP. O'Farrill conducts an expanded orchestra which combines a jazz band with a Latin rhythm section; among the participants in the four-part "Manteca Suite" are trumpeters Quincy Jones and Ernie Royal, trombonist J.J. Johnson, tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and Lucky Thompson, and conga player Mongo Santamaria.

"Manteca," written during the previous decade, serves as an exciting opening movement, while the next two segments build upon this famous theme, though they are jointly credited to O'Farrill as well. "Rhumba-Finale" is straight-ahead jazz with some delicious solo work by Gillespie. A later small-group session features the trumpeter with an all-Latin rhythm section and flutist Gilberto Valdes, who is heard on "A Night in Tunisia" and "Caravan."


Tracks:01 Manteca Theme
02 Contraste
03 Jungla
04 Rhumba Finale
05 A Night in Tunisisa
06 Con Alma
07 Caravan

Dizzy Gillespie - Afro (1955)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 14. August 2013

Miriam Makeba - Malaisha



Makeba´s life has consistently been marked by struggle. As the daughter of a sangoma, a mystical traditional healer of the Xhosa tribe, she spent six months of her birth year in jail with her mother. Gifted with a dynamic vocal tone, Makeba recorded her debut single, "Lakutshona Llange," as a member of the Manhattan Brothers in 1953. Although she left to form an all-female group named the Skylarks in 1958, she reunited with members of the Manhattan Brothers when she accepted the lead female role in a musical version of King Kong, which told the tragic tale of Black African boxer, Ezekiel "King Kong" Dlamani, in 1959. The same year, she began an 18-month tour of South Africa with Alf Herbert's musical extravaganza, African Jazz and Variety, and made an appearance in a documentary film, Come Back Africa. These successes led to invitations to perform in Europe and the United States.
 
Makeba was embraced by the African American community. "Pata Pata," Makeba's signature tune, was written by Dorothy Masuka and recorded in South Africa in 1956 before eventually becoming a major hit in the U.S. in 1967. In late 1959, she performed for four weeks at the Village Vanguard in New York. She later made a guest appearance during Harry Belafonte's groundbreaking concerts at Carnegie Hall. A double-album of the event, released in 1960, received a Grammy award. Makeba has continued to periodically renew her collaboration with Belafonte, releasing an album in 1972 titled "Belafonte & Miriam Makeba". Makeba then made a special guest appearance at the Harry Belafonte Tribute at Madison Square Garden in 1997.

Makeba's successes as a vocalist were also balanced by her outspoken views about apartheid. In 1960, the government of South Africa revoked her citizenship. For the next 30 years, she was forced to be a "citizen of the world." Makeba received the Dag Hammerskjold Peace Prize in 1968. After marrying radical black activist Stokely Carmichael, many of her concerts were canceled, and her recording contract with RCA was dropped, resulting in even more problems for the artist. She eventually relocated to Guinea at the invitation of president Sekou Toure and agreed to serve as Guinea's delegate to the United Nations. In 1964 and 1975, she addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations on the horrors of apartheid.
           
Miriam Makeba - Malaisha
(256 kbps, front cover included)