Donnerstag, 24. September 2015

VA - Rock Steady Beat - Treasure Isle's Greatest Hits (1967)

Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid (b.1915, Jamaica) had spent ten years as a Kingston policeman when he and his wife Lucille decided to buy The Treasure Isle Liquor Store in Kingston, Jamaica, after winning a substantial Jamaican National lottery. Wanting music to attract customers, the Duke arranged through a sponsorship deal to host his own radio show ‘Treasure Isle Time’. The people would listen to the latest American R&B tunes on 78rpm, interspersed with liquor deals going down at his store. This in time would lead to the starting of his own Sound System, where he could take his liquor to the dances via his Trojan truck. He used a large van to transport this equipment around Jamaica to dance halls and open air events. Due to the nature of the van it became known as the Trojan. With shouts of ‘Here comes the Trojan’, Duke Reid’s now named Trojan Sound System was born. It proved such a success that he was crowned King of Sound and Blues three years in a row 1956, 1957 and 1958. 1958 also saw the store which was out growing itself, move to its legendary premises, 33 Bond Street, as Treasure Isle Recording Studio

Duke Reid was a formidable character in the music business. His guns from his policing days were ever present and always on show, striking a menacing cord. The former champion marksman was notorious for his permanent armament and his 'bad men' who not only attended on his dances but also sabotaged competing sounds. It was also not unheard of for a few rounds to be let off, if the need arose. But it was his extensive knowledge of the R&B tunes,and knowing what the people liked to here that was his real strength. Like Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One he would travel to America to acquire the latest cuts. But this was proving more difficult due to America’s tastes moving on to Rock & Roll, which was not so popular in Jamaica.

His record production career began in 1959 on the "Trojan " record label, these were on 78's, such as Duke's Cookies and Chuck and Dobby "Cool School". On the Duke Reid label due to demand he issued home made recordings of the USA R & B style music. He formed his own backing band, which backed young singers like Derrick Morgan and Jiving Juniors.

1962 - 1966 was a prolific time at Treasure Isle, the Ska hits kept coming. He worked with artists like Stranger Cole, Techniques and the great Alton Ellis & The Flames. Such was the output that the releases were spread over three labels: Duke Reid's (later Duke Reid Greatest Hits), Dutchess (a name he often used to refer to his wife), and Treasure Isle. His work with Skatalites as a group came to an end after August/September 1965. Don Drummond was arrested on New Years Eve 1965, accused of murdering his girl friend Marguerita. He died in Bellevue, a mental institution in 1969. The Skatalites last gig was a Police Dance at the Runaway Bay Hotel.

1968-1969 saw the beat slowing down and reggae was evolving into Rocksteady and again Duke had his finger on the pulse. Working with the great sax player Tommy McCook & The Supersonics, the hits flowed from the studio. Paragons ‘Wear you to the Ball’, Alton Ellis’ ‘Rock Steady’, Melodians ‘Last train to Expo’ and The Techniques’s rendition of the Curtis Mayfield classic ‘Queen Majesty’ were all big hits of the day. Getting released on Reid’s own labels and in the U.K. Trojan Records (named after his Sound System) which he created with Chris Blackwell and Lee Gopthal from Island Records.

The musical style would change again around 1970, but the ever resourceful Reid would apply his tunes and start a new genre, the DJ Sound. By using his classic backing tracks and interspersing the dubbed vocal along side his Sound System DJ’s rants and raves, his tunes became hits once more.

Duke Reid became seriously ill in 1974 and sadly passed away in early 1975. He left behind a treasure chest full of his music, even today, gems are still to be found.                   

"Most of these sides were originally released as singles in 1966 and 1967, on Treasure Isle in Jamaica and on Doctor Bird, Trojan and Treasure Isle in England. Duke Reid selected them in 1967 to make up his first rocksteady compilation LP which he issued on Treasure Isle LP 101/2."

A1A. EllisRock Steady
A2The TechniquesYou Don't Care
A3–The Three TopsIt's Raining
A4The JamaicansThing You Say You Love
A5The TechniquesOh Babe
A6Tommy McCookInez
B1The TechniquesOut Of Many One
B2Justin HindsCarry Go Bring Come
B3Phyllis DillonPerfidia
B4The TechniquesDay O
B5A. EllisGirl Have I Got A Date
B6T. McCookTrain To Ska-thederal

According to liner notes:
Track 2 ("You don't care") started life as "You'll want me back" written by Curtis Mayfield and a hit for Major Lance.
Track 5 ("Oh Babe") started life in New Orleans as "Sick and Tired", composed by Chris Kenner in 1957 (and covered by Fats Domino in 1958).
Track 9 ("Perfidia") is best known as a hit instrumental and dates back to 1941, an Alfredo Dominguez composition.
Track 10 ("Day O") is a traditional West Indian melody.
Track 12 ("Train To Ska-Thedral") started life as "Winchester Cathedral", written by Geoff Stephens and a big hit in 1967.           
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 14. September 2015

Colin Wilkie, Shirley Hart, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund - Wild Goose (1969)

The legendary German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff began his career in the early '50s in the groups of Hans Koller and Joki Freund, making an appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival as part of the "International Youth Band" (at 30!).

On the atypical Wild Goose, his quintet augmented by brother Emil (alto sax and flute) and Freund (tenor and soprano), all backing the British folk duo of Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart on four of the former's originals and three traditional folk songs. This folk jazz LP was released on the cult german jazz label MPS. It includes the nice modalish 'Willow And Rue'!

The album was produced by Joachim E. Berendt & Ulrich Olshausen and recorded Febraury 19th at the Tonstudio in Walldorf. Colin Wilkie (vocals, guitar), Shirley Hart (vocals), Günter Lenz (bass) and Ralf Hübner (drums, darbouka, tambourine) were accompanied by the "Jazzensemble des hessischen Rundfunks" with Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund Emils Mangelsdorff and Heinz Sauer.

A1Icy Acres4:07
A2Fourth Flight7:00
A3Snowy Sunday6:57
B1Willow And Rue4:25
B3Ich Armes Maidlein Klag Mich Sehr6:43
B4Sweet Primroses5:05

Colin Wilkie, Shirley Hart, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund - Wild Goose (1969)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 8. September 2015

The Kingston Trio - Here We Go Again! (1959)

Released in 1959, "Here We Go Again!" would be the last time the original Kingston Trio lineup (Bob Shane, Dave Guard, and Nick Reynolds) would have a hit single. The traditional chain gang tune "A Worried Man" made the Top 20, driving sales of the album to over 900,000 copies and perching the group on the number one chart position for eight weeks.

By December of that year, the Kingston Trio would have four albums in the Billboard Top Ten. Spirited versions of "Haul Away" and "Molly Dee," as well as the gospel-ish "Round About the Mountain" are standout tracks among the songs included. "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey" (which brings to mind the Clancey Brothers) and the stark "San Miguel" help make "Here We Go Again!" a very well-rounded album.          


Side 1:
  1. "Molly Dee" (John Stewart)
  2. "Across the Wide Missouri" (Ervin Drake, Jimmy Shirl)
  3. "Haul Away" (Traditional)
  4. "The Wanderer" (Irving Burgess)
  5. "'Round About the Mountain" (Lou Gottlieb)
  6. "Oleanna" (Harvey Geller, Martin Seligson)
Side 2:
  1. "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey" (Traditional, Gottlieb)
  2. "San Miguel" (Jane Bowers)
  3. "E Inu Tatou E" (George Archer)
  4. "A Rollin' Stone" (Stan Wilson)
  5. "Goober Peas" (Dave Guard, Traditional)
  6. "A Worried Man" (Traditional, Tom Glazer, Dave Guard)

The Kingston Trio - Here We Go Again! (1959)     
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 3. September 2015

Jean Ritchie, Paul Clayton, Richard Chase - American Folk Tales and Songs (1956)

A key figure in the 1950s folk revival, Jean Ritchie was a one-woman treasure trove of near-forgotten American folk songs, most of which she learned as a child growing up in a rural corner of the Appalachian Mountains. Ritchie moved from Kentucky to New York City in the mid-'40s after attending college; there, she became a coffeehouse folksinger at night and a social worker by day. Along with her sporadic but deeply rewarding recording career, Jean Ritchie was best known as a tireless archivist of the Appalachian folk tradition.

Jean Ritchie was born into a large and musical family in Viper, Kentucky in 1922. The Ritchie family was very much a part of the Appalachian folk tradition, and had committed over 300 songs (including hymns, traditional love songs, ballads, children's game songs, etc.) to its collective memory, a tradition that Ritchie drew on (as well as preserved and maintained) during her performing career. She grew up in a home where singing was intertwined with nearly every task, and the beautiful, ephemeral nature of these mountain songs and fragments was not lost on her. After graduating from high school, Ritchie attended Cumberland Junior College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, moving on to the University of Kentucky, where she graduated in 1946. She accepted a position at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City and soon found her family's songs useful in reaching out to the children in her care. Her singing, although she never had a strong pop sort of voice, was perfect for the old ballads, especially when she accompanied herself on lap dulcimer, and the ancient modal melodies of her family felt fresh and airy in her hands.

Ritchie soon found herself in demand in the New York coffeehouses, and her official career in music began. After hearing some casually recorded songs by Ritchie, Jac Holzman, who was just starting up Elektra Records, signed her to the label, eventually releasing three albums, "Jean Ritchie Sings" (1952), "Songs of Her Kentucky Mountain Family" (1957) and "A Time for Singing" (1962) at the height of the folk revival. Although she never reached the household name status of Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez, Judy Collins or the Kingston Trio, Ritchie maintained her Appalachian authenticity, and her subsequent albums worked to preserve the rich folk tradition of the Southern Appalachians. Among her many releases are two from Smithsonian Folkways, "Ballads From Her Appalachian Family Tradition" and "Child Ballads in America", "None but One" (which won a Rolling Stone Critics Award in 1977), "High Hills and Mountains", "Kentucky Christmas", and "The Most Dulcimer". Married to the photographer George Pickow, the couple later re-released many of her albums on their own Greenhays Recordings imprint. Hobbled by a 2009 stroke, she returned to Kentucky and died there on June 1, 2015        

Sleeve Notes:

"The dictionary says that folklore is "Traditional tales, songs, dances, customs, beliefs, sayings, preserved unreflectively among a people … " and that the folk are "A group of kindred people … bound together by ties of race, language, religion, etc., and that great proportion of its number which determines the group character and tends to preserve its civilization."
American civilization stems from Old World sources. Our American uses of the English language literature, music, and folklore come from the North of Europe. Each "group of kindred people" coming across the Atlantic brought its own lore — things of the mind and spirit — and often "unreflectively," sometimes deliberately, have kept the identity of each individual set of folk traditions. The use of the word "American" (especially "native American") can lead to confusion in the field of folklore. The only truly native American folk are the Indians, and individual tribes have to this day kept their own separate group character and civilization.
English-American lore is not confined to any one geographical location — little pockets of Elizabethan culture isolated in remote mountain hollows. Such traditions are loved and remembered wherever tale-telling grandfathers and singing grandmothers are close to their children and grandchildren. For the genuine thing, carried on through generations and acquiring lively local and individual variations, always has strength, beauty, and a sort of quietness that make it convincing. Its power often resides in understatement. It does not flare into sudden "popularity" and then die out. Our folkways are as solid, as lasting, and as adaptable as the language we use. This lore is organic, not static, and changes with each generation of singers and tale-tellers.
This record presents samples of the lore of a kindred people — those of us here in America who, whatever our origins across the Atlantic, are bound together by a common use of the English language."
RICHARD CHASE, sometimes called the American Hans Christian Andersen, was born in Alabama and now lives in Beech Creek, North Carolina. He is a writer, lecturer, entertainer, recreation leader and consultant on folk festivals, and travels through the United States, giving programs of tales, songs and dances to all kinds of groups. He is the author of many adult and juvenile books in the field of folklore, including Old Songs and Singing Games (1938), The Jack Tales (1943), Grandfather Tales (1948), and Hullabaloo and Other Singing Folk Games (1949). He is also the compiler of the Signet Key Book, AMERICAN FOLK TALES AND SONGS (1956), to which this album has been issued as a recorded companion.
PAUL CLAYTON was born in the great whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he early became interested in folksongs through those that were traditional in his family. By the time he was 15, he was presenting a series of radio programs on folkmusic. and has since appeared on radio and television programs in England, Canada and Cuba, as well as in the United States. He has made numerous recording trips through the southern mountains, as well as in other areas of the United States, and in Europe. He has made several commercial recordings of folksongs in addition to having recorded for the archives of the Flanders Ballad Collection, Middlebury College, Vermont, the BBC collection, and the Archive of American Folksong at the Library of Congress. At present, he is editing a volume of folksongs of Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina, for publication by The Folklore Press, N. Y.. in 1957. Previously he recorded an album of "Whaling and Sailing Songs from the Days of Moby Dick" (TLP 1005) for TRADITION RECORDS. Paul Clayton committed suicide on March 30, 1967, at the age of 36.
A1The Gambling Suitor
A2That's Once
A3The Bashful Courtship
A4The Split Dog
A5Locks And Bolts
A6The Snakebit Hoehandle
A7The Old Grey Goose Is Dead
A8The Big Toe
A9The Deaf Women's Courtship
B1Wondrous Love
B2The Devil's Questions
B3The Man In The Kraut Tub
B4The Swapping Song
B5The Hickory Toothpick
B6The Riddle Song

Jean Ritchie, Paul Clayton, Richard Chase - American Folk Tales and Songs (1956)  
(320 kbps, cover art included)