Samstag, 30. August 2014

Phil Ochs - Pleasures Of The Harbor

Phil Ochs - Pleasures Of The Harbor

Going into the studio after Dylan's move into rock accompaniment and Sgt. Pepper's vast expansion of pop music, Ochs wanted to make a record that reflected all these trends, and he hired producer Larry Marks, arranger Ian Freebairn-Smith, and pianist Lincoln Mayorga - all of whom had classical backgrounds - to help him realize his vision.

The result was "Pleasures of the Harbor", his most musically varied and ambitious album, one routinely cited as his greatest accomplishment. Though the lyrics were usually not directly political, they continued to reflect his established points of view. His social criticisms here were complex, and they went largely unnoticed on a long album full of long songs, many of which did not support the literal interpretations they nevertheless received. The album was consistently imbued with images of mortality, and it all came together on the abstract, electronic-tinged final track, "The Crucifixion." Usually taken to be about John F. Kennedy, it concerns the emergence of a hero in a corrupt world and his inevitable downfall through betrayal. Ochs offers no satisfying resolution; the goals cannot be compromised, and they will not be fulfilled. It was anything but easy listening, but it was an effective conclusion to a brilliant album that anticipated the devastating and tragic turn of the late '60s, as well as its maker's own eventual decline and demise.

From the liner notes by Richie Unterberger:
"If ever a record by a major 1960s artist was a "transitional" album, Phil Ochs’ Pleasures of the Harbor was it. The LP was his first recording to use full band arrangements; his first to almost entirely depart from the topical protest folk songs with which he had made his reputation; his first to be recorded for a then-young A&M label; and his first to be recorded in Los Angeles, the city to which he moved from New York in the late 1960s. It is undoubtedly his most sonically ambitious work, and if the almost ludicrously huge scope of his ambitions guaranteed an uneven album, it nevertheless contained some of his most enduring and successful songs and performances."

Phil Ochs - Pleasures Of The Harbor
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Donovan - Summer Day Reflecting Song (EP, Pye, 1965)

Upon his emergence during the mid-'60s, Donovan was anointed "Britain's answer to Bob Dylan," a facile but largely unfounded comparison which compromised the Scottish folk-pop troubadour's own unique vision. Where the thrust of Dylan's music remains its bleak introspection and bitter realism, Donovan fully embraced the wide-eyed optimism of the flower power movement, his ethereal, ornate songs radiating a mystical beauty and childlike wonder; for better or worse, his recordings remain quintessential artifacts of the psychedelic era, capturing the peace and love idealism of their time to perfection. Donovan Leitch was born May 10, 1946 in Glasgow and raised outside of London; at 18 he recorded his first demo, and in 1965 was tapped as a regular on the television pop showcase Ready, Steady, Go! He soon issued his debut single "Catch the Wind," earning the first round of Dylan comparisons with his ramshackle folk sound and ragamuffin look; the single nevertheless reached the U.K. Top Five, with a subsequent meeting between the two singer/songwriters captured in the classic D.A. Pennebaker documentary Don't Look Back.

Donovan's follow-up single, "Colours," was also a hit, and after making his American debut at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, he issued Fairytale, his second and last LP for the Hickory label. Signing with Epic in 1966, he released his breakthrough album, Sunshine Superman, which in its exotic arrangements and pointedly psychedelic lyrical outlook heralded a major shift from his previous work; the title track topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, with the enigmatic "Mellow Yellow" reaching the number two spot a few months later

In 1965, before Donovan's U.S. contract was transferred to Epic, he made 30-plus recordings for Pye in the U.K., all in an acoustic folk mold (with occasional additional instruments and percussion).

Here is the first bunch of these recordings, released on the EP "Summer Day Reflecting Song":

Side A:
01. Summer Day Reflection Song
02. Ballad Of Geraldine

Side B:
03. To Try For The Sun
04. Belated Forgiveness Plea
Donovan - Summer Day Reflecting Song (EP, Pye, 1965)

Donnerstag, 28. August 2014

Donovan - Catch The Wind (EP, Pye, 1965)

Donovan's folky 1965 recordings for Pye Records (they were released in the U.S. by Hickory Records) bear only a superficial resemblance to the more famous pop material he began issuing a year later when he switched to Epic Records. True, the fey gypsy and flower power sensibility was already present in songs like "Turquoise" (which is as gorgeous as it is ridiculous), but the pre-"Sunshine Superman" Donovan had a good deal more Woody Guthrie in him than he did Timothy Leary.

His work from this period has been compared (usually unfavorably) to Bob Dylan, but the strongest influence at play in these songs is probably Bert Jansch. In the end, the Pye tracks form a complete and distinct cycle in Donovan's canon, separate from - but not necessarily lesser than-his more ornate pop material.

Side A:
01. Catch The Wind
02. Every Man Has His Chain

Side B:
03. Josie
04. Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do

All tracks by Donovan P. Leitch.

· Donovan: vocals, acoustic guitar and mouth harp.
· Brian 'Liquorice' Locking: bass.
· Skip Alan: drums.

Donovan - Catch The Wind (EP, Pye, 1965)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Donny Hathaway - Everything Is Everything (1970)

Already a respected arranger and pianist who'd contributed to dozens of records (by artists ranging from the Impressions to Carla Thomas to Woody Herman), with this debut LP Donny Hathaway revealed yet another facet of his genius - his smoky, pleading voice, one of the best to ever grace a soul record.

"Everything Is Everything" sounded like nothing before it, based in smooth uptown soul but boasting a set of excellent, open-ended arrangements gained from Hathaway's background in classical and gospel music. (Before going to Howard University in 1964, his knowledge of popular music was practically non-existent.) After gaining a contract with Atco through King Curtis, Hathaway wrote and recorded during 1969 and 1970 with friends including drummer Ric Powell and guitarist Phil Upchurch, both of whom lent a grooving feel to the album that Hathaway may not have been able to summon on his own (check out Upchurch's unforgettable bassline on the opener, "Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)").

All of the musical brilliance on display, though, is merely the framework for Hathaway's rich, emotive voice, testifying to the power of love and religion with few, if any, concessions to pop music. Like none other, he gets to the raw, churchy emotion underlying Ray Charles' "I Believe to My Soul" and Nina Simone's "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," the former with a call-and-response horn chart and his own glorious vocal, the latter with his own organ lines. "Thank You Master (For My Soul)" brings the Stax horns onto sanctified ground, while Hathaway praises God and sneaks in an excellent piano solo. Everything Is Everything was one of the first soul records to comment directly on an unstable period; "Tryin' Times" speaks to the importance of peace and community with an earthy groove, while the most familiar track here, a swinging jam known as "The Ghetto," places listeners right in the middle of urban America. Donny Hathaway's debut introduced a brilliant talent into the world of soul, one who promised to take R&B farther than it had been taken since Ray Charles debuted on Atlantic.

Donny Hathaway - Everything Is Everything (1970)

Mittwoch, 27. August 2014

Donovan - The Universal Soldier (EP, Pye, 1965)

 "The Universal Soldier" was written by Canadian singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, who released it on her debut album "It's My Way! "in 1964. The song caught the attention of Donovan, who recorded it with a similar arrangement to the original version.

This song meant a great success for Donovan's early career. Donovan's version of "Universal Soldier" was a hit EP in 1965

Side A:
01. Universal Soldier
02. Ballad Of A Crystal Man

Side B:
03. Do You Hear Me Now
04. The War Drags On

Track 1 by Buffy Sainte-Marie, track 2 by Donovan P. Leitch, track 3 by Bert Jansch, track 4 by Mick Softley.

Donovan - The Universal Soldier EP (Pye, 1965)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 26. August 2014

Floh De Cologne - Geyer-Symphonie (Ohr, 1974)

Floh de Cologne were formed in 1966 as a political and anarchic collective of students from the University of Cologne. They disbanded in 1983.

Their albums contain provocative and humorous sketches about political and social facts. Musically their style can be considered as a mixture between avant-folk, sound experimentations, free rock and narratives. Recorded in 1973, "Geier-Symphonie" punctuates Floh de Cologne's original style to demonstrative, semi theatrical and symphonic rock attacks. The album caught the band in great shape, this time merging all their previously known styles into an outrageous rock symphony that has to be heard to be believed! But beware, this is hardly easy listening!
The original speeches were recorded at the funeral service for Friedrich Flick, 28th of July, 1972 at 10:30 a.m. at the Robert-Schumann-Saal, Düsseldorf, Ehrenhof 4a.


01. 1. Satz: La Grande Tristesse (Requiem)  7:10
02. 2. Satz: Danse Macabre (Totentanz)  13:02
03. 3. Satz: Sérénade Des Vautours (Leichenschmaus)  23.:30

Floh De Cologne - Geyer-Symphonie (Ohr, 1974)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 23. August 2014

Pete Seeger - Hootenanny With Pete Seeger

"Hootenanny with Pete Seeger" was released on Folkways Records and on Le Chant Du Monde in France. It features live recordings by Pete Seeger, accompanied by Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin´ Hopkins, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon.


1. Pete Seeger with Big Bill Broonzy - Down By The Riverside (5:14)
2. Pete Seeger with Lightnin' Hopkins - Oh, Mary, Don't You Weep (3:15)
3. Pete Seeger - Michael, Row The Boat Ashore (2:28)
4. Pete Seeger - Mrs McGrath (4:16)
5. Pete Seeger - Risselty Rosselty (2:41)
6. Pete Seeger - Wimoweh (2:40)
7. Pete Seeger - Deep Blue Sea (2:39)
8. Pete Seeger - The Hammer song (2:15)
9. Pete Seeger - Streets Of Laredo - Brandy Leave Me Alone - Didn't Old John (4:08)
10. Pete Seeger with Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon - Hold On (3:44)
11. Pete Seeger - I'm On My Way (4:14)
 Pete Seeger - Hootenanny With Pete Seeger
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 8. August 2014

Gone Fishin!

…so, no blog posts in the next two weeks.  Have a good time, greetings!

Donnerstag, 7. August 2014

Nina Simone - Sings Ellington! (1962)

The album, as the title suggests, showcased 11 songs written by and associated with the great jazz bandleader. The Malcolm Dodds Singers supplied backing vocals to augment Nina and her piano, an unidentified orchestra also present on the 1961 sessions. Her approach was typically unorthodox, ‘Satin Doll’ being tackled as an instrumental and ‘I Got It Bad’ possessing a gospel feel.

The album was released in 1962, and its original sleevenote read in part: ‘It was inevitable that Nina would one day sing Duke Ellington, and that day, much-waited and much-wanted, is happily here… Ellington’s individualistic and timeless music is complemented perfectly by one of the great stylists of our time. Her range, through the Ellington standards and the lesser-known but nonetheless unique creations is nothing short of masterful.’

1. Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me
2. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
3. Hey, Buddy Bolden
4. Merry Mending
5. Something To Live For
6. You Better Know It
7. I Like The Sunrise
8. Solitude
9. The Gal From Joe's
10. Satin Doll
11. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)

Nina Simone - Sings Ellington! (1962)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Nina Simone - Forbidden Fruit (1961)

The remarkable Nina Simone ranks alongside Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald as one of the great voices of black music. Not only that, but she ranks alongside James Brown in the music world as a proponent of civil rights, a cause she espoused from early in her career after being rejected by Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute on, she felt, racial grounds.

Born Eunice Waymon in North Carolina in 1933, she showed an early aptitude for both organ and piano which led to her attending New York’s Juilliard School of Music. She started moonlighting from her classical studies to make a living as a singer. Her stage name combined Nina (‘little one’, a nickname from an Hispanic boyfriend) with Simone (borrowed from French actress Simone Signoret). A night-club date in Atlantic City saw her signed by the Bethlehem label, and the first session yielded the Billie Holiday-inspired US Top 20 hit ‘I Loves You Porgy’.
Forbidden Fruit is an album by Jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone. It was her second studio album for Colpix and was released in 1961.

Recorded in New York with producer Cal Lampley in 1961 and released that same year, ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was an eclectic mix. The ten tracks of the original release include three compositions from the outrageously talented Oscar Brown Jr, including the title track and the opening ‘Rags And Old Iron’. ‘Gin House Blues’ would become a chart item in the hands of Amen Corner in 1967, while Nina herself would revisit the song on 1968’s ‘Nuff Said’ album. She also re-recorded Oscar Brown’s ‘Work Song’ on several occasions and in different musical settings, its tale of an oppressive chain gang clearly resonating.

The instrumental trio of Chris White (bass), Al Schackman (guitar) and Bob Hamilton (drums) provide sympathetic backing to Simone’s voice and piano. Schackman in particular shines on ‘Just Say I Love Him’ and the previously mentioned ‘Rags And Old Iron’.

The original sleeve note of ‘Forbidden Fruit’, when released on vinyl, read as follows: ‘In “Forbidden Fruit”, Nina Simone sings of people in love and the circumstances that sometimes keep them from it. While some of the songs are conventional in the sense that their melodies are haunting and in the love song tradition, others are concerned more with the realities of troubled love… This album, more than ever, proves Nina’s amazing versatility and stamps her again as one of the great talents of our time.’

Music trade journal Billboard was enthusiastic about its sales potential, stating in its 5 June edition: ‘While this excellent album features mostly vocal stylings, there are spots which showcase the gal’s powerful piano technique. The act should go well with her many fans and could make a distinctive pop-jazz item.’

  1. “Rags and Old Iron” (Norman Curtis, Oscar Brown, Jr)
  2. “No Good Man” (Dan Fisher, Irene Higginbotham, Sammy Gallop)
  3. “Gin House Blues” (Fletcher Henderson, Henry Troy)
  4. “I’ll Look Around” (Cross, Cory)
  5. “I Love to Love” (Baker, Hayton)
  6. “Work Song”
  7. “Where Can I Go Without You” (Peggy Lee, Victor Young)
  8. “Just Say I Love Him” (Val, Dale, Kalmanoff, Ward, Enzo Fusco, Rodolfo Falvo)
  9. “Memphis in June” (Paul Francis Webster, Hoagy Carmichael)
  10. “Forbidden Fruit” (Oscar Brown, Jr)

Nina Simone - Forbidden Fruit (1961)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 5. August 2014

Nina Simone And Her Friends (1959)

Nina Simone and Her Friends is an album released by the Bethlehem Records label that compiled songs by Jazz singers Nina Simone, Carmen McRae and Chris Connor.
All three artists had left the label and signed with other companies by the time Bethlehem released this album. The songs of Nina Simone were previously unissued “left overs” from the recording sessions for her debut album Little Girl Blue (1958) and released without her knowing.
The tracks by Chris Connor and Carmen McRae were already issued together this way as Bethlehem's Girlfriends in 1956 accompanied by the debut recording session of Julie London.
01.  He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
02.  Cottage For Sale
03.  Old Devil Moon
04.  I Loves You, Porgy
05.  Try A Little Tenderness
06.  You Made Me Care
07.  For All We Know
08.  What Is There To Say
09.  Too Much In Love To Care
10.  African Mailman
11.  Good Bye
12.  Last Time For Love

Nina Simone And Her Friends (1959)
(320 kbps, front cover inlcuded)

Sonntag, 3. August 2014

Nina Simone - The Amazing Nina Simone (1959)

There is a remarkable amount of variety on this disc, Nina Simone's second recording. Her repertoire ranges from a swinging "Stompin' at the Savoy" and an emotional "It Might as Well Be Spring" to an English folk ballad ("Tomorrow"), spirituals, an R&B song ("You've Been Gone Too Long") and the theme song from the movie "Middle of the Night".
Somehow Simone brings credibility to each of these very different songs. She does not play much piano (just cameos on two songs) and is backed by a subtle orchestra arranged by Bob Mersey that is effective accompanying her vocals. This session finds Nina Simone's voice in top form and with a few exceptions is generally jazz-oriented.                
01 - Blue Prelude
02 - Children Go Where I Send You
03 - Tomorrow (We Will Meet Once More)
04 - Stompin' at the Savoy
05 - It Might as Well Be Spring
06 - You've Been Gone Too Long
07 - That's Him over There
08 - Chilly Winds Don't Blow
09 - Theme from Middle of the Night
10 - Can't Get Out of This Mood
11 - Willow Weep for Me
12 - Solitaire

Nina Simone - The Amazing Nina Simone (1959)
320 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 2. August 2014

Varius Artists - Beat Jazz - Pictures From The Gone World (1995)

"Beat Jazz" is a out-of-print 20 track compilation of cool 50s style jazzy beat numbers. Kind of
Beat era recordings from spoken word, to sung poetry, to bebop, to doo-wop, to R&B, to hipster and jive....
It was released on Pesky Serpent Records in 1994.

From the web:
"this is one beautiful collection of beat music,
spoken word and crazed goofballed lyrics. Way out there selections
of many unknown beat artists at their most primitive level spewing
forth underground sounds and styles of a bygone era. No Zane or kitch
here but straight ahead songs that ooze the beat feel! This is a
fantastic selection of music. For me its the beat of this genre..."


1. FROSTY AND THE DIAMONDS - Destination Mars
2. SLIM GAILLARD - Travelin Blues
3. KENNETH REXROTH - State & 32nd
6. SCOTTY McKAY - Black Cat
8. GIL MELLE - The Gears
9. DOCTOR BOP - Satin & Velvet
10. ANITA ELLIS w/DAVID AMRAM - The Crazy Daisy
11. BOB DOROUGH (by Ferlinghetti) - Dog
12. HARVEY ANDERSON - Monday Night at 8pm
13. JACK KEROUAC - Cockroach
14. THE COSMIC RAYS with SUN RA - Dreaming
15. ROY GLENN - Big High Song For Somebody
16. ADA MOORE - Devil
17. MOONDOG - Up Broadway
18. WOODY LEAFER - Drums In My Typrewriter
19. THE NEW BANGS - Go Go Kitty
20. ELLIE GIRL & THE 7 BEAT SULKS - Let's Make It

VA - Beat Jazz - Pictures From The Gone World