Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2016

Orquestra Os Jovens Do Prenda - Berlin Festa! (Angola)

The music of Angola has been shaped both by wider musical trends and by the political history of the country. In the 20th century, Angola has been wracked by violence and political instability. Its musicians have been oppressed by government forces, both during the period of Portuguese colonization and after independence. Angolan music also influenced another Lusophone music in Brazil and Cuban music.

The capital and largest city of Angola is Luanda, home to a diverse group of styles including Angolan merengue (based on Dominican merengue), kilapanda and semba, the last being a genre with roots intertwined with that of Brazilian samba music. Just off the coast of Luanda is Ilha do Cabo, home to an accordion and harmonica-based style of music called rebita.

Compared to many of its neighbors in Southern Africa, as well as other Portuguese colonies (especially Cape Verde), Angola's music has had little international success. The first group to become known outside of Angola was Orquestra os Jovens do Prenda, who were most popular from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, and have continued sporadically performing and recording since. The big band included two trumpets, a saxophone, four guitars and a half-dozen percussion instruments. They played kizomba (a native style based around the marimba xylophone), using the four guitars to approximate the sound of the marimba, and quilapanga.

Sometimes known as the Prenda Boys Band, after the poor neighborhood of Luanada, capital of Angola, from which they emerged, Orquestra os Jovens do Prenda are a big band with a big sound. First formed in the mid-'60s, they enjoyed great success in the early '70s, split in 1975, and regrouped in 1981 around two of the original band members. The numerous Prenda Boys feature four guitars, two trumpets, a saxophone, six percussionists and drummers, and the whole band at times whistling. The Orquestra's music is related to the Brazilian Samba, but richer and more complex. At first a politically oriented band, since reforming the Orquestra has tended to more mainstream lyrics.

Orquestra Os Jovens Do Prenda - Berlin Festa! (192 kbps)

The Salsoul Orchestra - Anthology

The music world's prime disco big band during the late '70s, the Salsoul Orchestra recorded several of the tightest, chunkiest disco themes of the 1970s, both on its own productions and as the backing group for several prime vocalists.

Organized by Vincent Montana, Jr. in 1974, the band was an experiment in fusing funk, Philly soul, and Latin music together in a highly danceable discofied style with plenty of room for solos by individual members. With arrangers, conductors, and whole sections of instruments (including up to 18 violinists) contributing to the sound, the Salsoul Orchestra routinely included up to 50 members. Though the Salsoul sound became passé in the wake of disco music's explosion and rapid commercialization during the late '70s, Salsoul was a heavy influence on house music in the 1980s and even the return of disco-inspired electronica during the following decade.

The beginnings of the Salsoul Orchestra (and Salsoul Records) lie with nominal head Vincent Montana, Jr. A longtime jazz vibraphonist, bandleader, and session man with Philly soul groups like Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, the O'Jays, and the Spinners, Montana dreamed of constructing a large studio orchestra which could fuse polished soul and brassy funk with Latin percussion and live strings. In 1974, he was introduced to local entrepreneurs Joe, Ken, and Stan Cayre (who ran a local Latin music label) by Afro-Cuban pianist Joe Bataan. With their blessing (and financing), Montana spent months recruiting dozens of musicians from the streets and studios of New York — including more than a half-dozen percussionists alone. The collective recorded three tracks, which impressed Bataan and the Cayres so much that they decided to form a new label — named Salsoul for its connotations of salsa and soul — to release a full-length LP.

One of the original Salsoul Orchestra recordings, "The Salsoul Hustle," was released in mid-1975 and it placed well on the charts. Salsoul's second single, "Tangerine" (an unlikely cover of a Jimmy Dorsey tune), hit the Top 20 in early 1976 and pushed the eponymous Salsoul Orchestra LP to number 14 on the album charts. Follow-up singles like "You're Just the Right Size" and "Nice and Nasty" did moderately well on the charts but soon a glut of similar-sounding material began to flood the market, cheap imitations of the amazing instrumentation of Salsoul Orchestra members — guitarist and producer Norman Harris, bassist Ronald Baker, drummer Earl Young, arranger Don Renaldo, percussionist Larry Washington, and vocalists Jocelyn Brown, Phyllis Rhodes, Ronni Tyson, Philip Hurt, and Carl Helm. Many Salsoul contributors played on the biggest and best disco tracks of the era, including Trammps, Grace Jones, the Whispers, Loleatta Holloway, and First Choice.

Though Salsoul records had long been out of print, several were brought back in the mid-'90s, as well as a prescient two-disc retrospective titled "Anthology", a retrospective of The Salsoul Orchestra´s greatest hits and best-known material from "Nice 'n' Nasty," "Don't Beat Around the Bush," "Salsoul Hustle," "Get Happy" and "Tangerine" to "Ooh I Love It (Love Break)."

Salsoul Orchestra - Anthology pt 1
Salsoul Orchestra - Anthology pt 2

Montag, 27. Juni 2016

Josh White - Harlem Blues (Musicraft, 1940)

Joshua Daniel White (February 11, 1914–-September 5, 1969), best known as Josh White, was a legendary American singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist. He was also known by the name "J King".

White's anti-segregationist and international human rights political stance presented in many of his recordings and in his speeches at rallies resulted in the right-wing McCarthyites incorrectly assuming that he must have been a Communist. Accordingly, from 1947 through the mid 1960s, White was caught in the vise grip of the anti-Communist Red Scare, and combined with his resulting attempt to clear his name, his career was harmed immeasurably. However, regardless of the purists' debate over the artistic change in his presentation or from those who opposed his politics, White unarguably inspired several generations of guitarists with his new and unique stylings and techniques, and is cited as a major musical and social influence by dozens of future stars.

"Harlem Blues" was a set of three 78 rpm singles, recorded March 7, 1940 in New York City

Josh White - Harlem Blues (Musicraft, 1940)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 26. Juni 2016

The Slits - Cut (1979)

Its amateurish musicianship, less-than-honed singing, and thick, dubwise rhythms might not be for everyone, but there's little denying the crucial nature of the Slits' first record. Along with more recognized post-punk records like Public Image Limited's "Metal Box", the Pop Group's "Y", and less-recognized fare like the Ruts DC and Mad Professor's "Rhythm Collision Dub", "Cut" displayed a love affair with the style of reggae that honed in on deep throbs, pulses, and disorienting effects, providing little focus on anything other than that and periodic scrapes from guitarist Viv Albertine.

But more importantly, "Cut" placed the Slits along with the Raincoats and Lydia Lunch as major figureheads of unbridled female expression in the post-punk era. Sure, Hole, Sleater-Kinney, and Bikini Kill would have still happened without this record (there were still the Pretenders and Patti Smith, just to mention a few of the less-subversive groundbreakers), but "Cut" placed a rather indelible notch of its own in the "influential" category, providing a spirited level rarely seen since.

Heck, the Slits themselves couldn't match it again. You could call some of these songs a reaction to the Nuggets bands, or the '60s garage acts that would find as many ways as possible to say "women are evil." Songs like "Instant Hit" (about PiL guitarist Keith Levene), "So Tough" (about Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten), "Ping Pong Affair," and "Love Und Romance" point out the shortcomings of the opposite sex and romantic involvements with more precision and sass than the boys were ever able to. "Spend Spend Spend" and "Shoplifting" target consumerism with an equal sense of humor ("We pay f*ck all!"). Despite the less-than-polished nature and street-tough ruggedness, "Cut" is entirely fun and catchy; it's filled with memorable hooks, whether they're courtesy of the piano lick that carries "Typical Girls" or Ari Up's exuberant vocals. (One listen to "Up" will demonstrate that Björk might not be as original as you've been led to believe.)              

1Instant Hit
2So Tough
3Spend, Spend, Spend
7Ping Pong Affair
8Love Und Romance
9Typical Girls
10Adventures Close To Home
11I Heard It Through The Grapevine
12Liebe And Romanze (Slow Version)

The Slits - Cut (1979)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Jazz Around The Krach 1929

From the linernotes:
"It is not without a certain sense of irony that Frémeaux & Associés, 80 years on, renders homage to the 1929 economic crisis that has its echoes in today’s international events. While 1929 saw the birth of Martin Luther King, Milan Kundera and Jacques Brel, each of whom influenced their era and achieved international acclaim, history and people themselves remember 1929 as the year of the Wall Street Crash and the beginning of the Depression.

Such a crisis that reoccurs regularly within capitalist societies is a revolutionary means of changing things, habits and culture etc. Neither are the artsimmune to these “readjustments” but had to adapt to the Depression: not only a need to make sense of it all but also to find financial backing, producers and, of course, listeners! Noël Hervé, Philippe Baudoin and Daniel Nevers return to 1929 in Jazz Around The Crash." - Patrick Frémeaux

Tracklist:1. Duke Ellington : Wall Street Wail
2. Ray Miller orch. : That’ a Plenty
3. Earl Hines orch. : Chicago Rhythm
4. Jabbo Smith : Decatur Street Tutti
5. Sam Wooding : Tiger Rag
6. Paul Howard orch. : Quality shout
7. Fletcher Henderson : Wang Wang Blues
8. Missourians : Market street Stomp
9. Jo Steele orch. : Coal-Yard Shuffle
10. Luis Russel orch. : Jersey Lightnin’
11. Noble Sissle orch. : Kansas City Kitty
12. Bennie Moten : Rumba Negro
13. Casa Loma orch. : Happy Days are here again
14. Six Jolly Jesters : Goin’ Nuts
15. Mc Kinney’s Cot. P. : Wherever there’s a Will, there’s a Way
16. Cecil Scott’s Bright Boys : Lawd, Lawd
17. Lud Gluskin orch. : I Wanna Go Places and Do Things
18. Fess Williams orch. : Hot Mama (#1)
19. Louis Armstrong : Saint Louis Blues
20. Fats Waller : Looking good, but Feelin’ bad
21. Cliff Jackson’s Krazy Kats : The Terror
22. Bessie Smith : Nobody Knows You When…
23. Duke Ellington : A Nite at the Cotton Club

VA - Jazz Around The Krach 1929
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 25. Juni 2016

VA - Need A Shot - The Essential Recordings Of Urban Blues

Featuring two-dozen tracks drawn from commercially released 78s of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, "Need a Shot" is primarily a piano-based selection, although there is a fair amount of guitar and harmonica tossed in, and on occasion even drums, saxes, and clarinets.

Labeled urban blues, these sides are only a little removed from their country blues roots, and pieces like Peetie Wheatstraw's "Working Man (Doing the Best I Can)" (the melody line, a common one in the early blues, was used by Bob Dylan for his "Pledging My Time"), Roosevelt Sykes´ "Night Time Is the Right Time," and Washboard Sam's funky and ragged "Back Door" played just as well in the rural jukes of the Deep South as they did in the bars up north.

In spite of the subtitle, these 24 selections don't exactly add up to an essential survey of the early urban blues, but there's plenty of foot-stomping fun going on here and it's hard to have a serious problem with that.


01. Bumble Bee Slim - Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On
02. Kokomo Arnold - Policy Wheel Blues
03. Georgia White - Trouble In Mind [1936 05 12-Chicago]
04. Harlem Hamfats - Bad Luck Man [1936 10 22-Chicago]
05. Johnnie Temple - Louise Louise Blues [1936 11 12-Chicago]
06. Peetie Wheatstraw - Working Man (Doing The Best I Can)
07. Walter Davis - Think You Need A Shot [1936 04 03-Chicago]
08. Bill Gaither - New Little Pretty Mama
09. Roosevelt Sykes - Night Time Is The Right Time [1937 04 29-Chicago]
10. Curtis Jones - Lonesome Bedroom Blues [1937 09 28-Chicago]
11. Washboard Sam - Back Door [1938 12 16-Aurora IL]
12. Casey Bill Weldon - Way Down In Louisiana [1939 12 07-Chicago]
13. Merline Johnson - Want To Woogie Some More [1938 10 04-Chicago]
14. Big Bill Broonzy - What Is That She Got?
15. Memphis Minnie - Lonesome Shack Blues [1940 06 27-Chicago]
16. Tampa Red - Baby, Take A Chance With Me [1940 05 10-Chicago]
17. Bill "Jazz" Gillum - Key To The Highway
18. Memphis Slim - Beer Drinking Woman [1940 10 30-Chicago]
19. Big Maceo - County Jail Blues [1941 06 24-Chicago]
20. St. Louis Jimmy - Goin' Down Slow [1941 11 11-Chicago]
21. Lonnie Johnson - He's A Jelly-Roll Baker
22. Doctor Clayton - Ain't No Business We Can Do [1942 03 27-Chicago]
23. Champion Jack Dupree - Big Time Mama
24. Sonny Boy Williamson - New Early In The Morning

VA - Need A Shot - The Essential Recording Of Urban Blues
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dinah Washington - Mad About The Boy

Ruth Lee Jones (born August 29, 1924 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; died December 14, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan), better known by her stage name Dinah Washington and also as the Queen of the Blues, was an American Grammy award winning jazz singer best known for singing classic torch songs and her hit single What A Diff'rence A Day Makes. Her penetrating voice, excellent timing, and crystal-clear enunciation added her own distinctive style to every piece she undertook.     

Dinah Washington was at once one of the most beloved and controversial singers of the mid-20th century - beloved to her fans, devotees, and fellow singers; controversial to critics who still accuse her of selling out her art to commerce and bad taste. Her principal sin, apparently, was to cultivate a distinctive vocal style that was at home in all kinds of music, be it R&B, blues, jazz, middle of the road pop - and she probably would have made a fine gospel or country singer had she the time. Hers was a gritty, salty, high-pitched voice, marked by absolute clarity of diction and clipped, bluesy phrasing. Washington's personal life was turbulent, with seven marriages behind her, and her interpretations showed it, for she displayed a tough, totally unsentimental, yet still gripping hold on the universal subject of lost love.               

"Mad About the Boy", the title track of this compilation, is a popular song with words and music by actor and playwright Sir Noël Coward. It was introduced in the 1932 revue Words and Music by Joyce Barbour, Steffi Duna, Norah Howard and Doris Hare. The song deals with the theme of unrequited love for a film star. It was written to be sung by female characters, although Coward also wrote a version, which was never performed, that contained references to the then risqué topic of homosexual love.

Dinah Washington's 1952 recording of "Mad about the Boy" is possibly the most widely known version of the song. The 6/8-time arrangement for voice and jazz orchestra by Quincy Jones omits two verses and was recorded in the singer's native Chicago on the Mercury label.
Washington's version was popularised for a new generation when it was used as a backing track in a 1992 television advertisement for Levi's jeans. In the commercial, which is influenced by the 1968 Burt Lancaster film The Swimmer, a young man runs through an American suburban neighbourhood stripping down to only his jeans, invades private gardens and dives into a series of swimming pools to shrink his jeans.

Dinah Washington - Mad About The Boy
(256 kbps, front cover inlcuded)

Leftfield - Release The Pressure 12 Inch

Paul Daley (a former member of A Man Called Adam and the Brand New Heavies) and programmer Neil Barnes combined the classic soul of early Chicago and New York house with the growing Artificial Intelligence school of album-oriented techno to create classic, intelligent dance music.

When legal hassles over ownership of the Leftfield name prevented the pair from recording their own music after the release of their debut "Not Forgotten," they turned to remixing, establishing their early reputation for reworking tracks by artists ranging from Stereo MC's and David Bowie to Yothu Yindhi and Renegade Soundwave.

Finally, with their courtroom battles successfully behind them, they formed their own Hard Hands label in late 1992 and issued the single "Release the Pressure," featuring reggae vocalist Earl Sixteen.

01 Release the Pressure 3:57
02 Release One 7:23
03 Release Two 7:190
4 Release Three 6:02
05 Release Four 5:03

Leftfield - Release The Pressure, 12 "
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Pressure Drop - My Friend

The London-based disc jockeys Justin Langlands and Dave Henley first met in 1986, at the peak of the house scene.

Under the moniker Blood Brothers they became stalwarts of the genre. Pressure Drop was born with the singles "Feeling Good" (Big World, 1990), "Back To Back" (Big World, 1990) and "Trancefusion" (Big World, 1990).

Here´s the single "My Friend" (from the album "Elusive") with an expertly mix of dub, exotica, bebop and Ennio Morricone. Pure alienation!


1. My Friend (under the wrong sign)
2. Alienation
3. Uncut Anger
4. Dehumanization
5. Beyond Reason

Pressure Drop - My Friend
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 24. Juni 2016

Lotte Lenya - Kurt Weill - Berlin & American Theater Songs (1988)

According to the usual view, Kurt Weill had a double career - first composing provocative theatrical collaborations with Brecht in Weimar Germany, later writing for commercial Broadway stages. The continuities before and after 1935 are equally striking, however. Chief among them was his wife, Lotte Lenya, the foremost interpreter of his music, who single-handedly passed her style down to singers who have championed Weill more recently, notably Ute Lemper. Of course, another continuity is Weill's always-remarkable way with a tune, and this album features Lenya in some of the best-loved songs from their American years - even if you've never heard of Weill, 'September Song' will be familiar - along with some lesser-known gems.
Recorded in the late 1950s, Lenya's voice is actually less gruff and declamatory, more of an actual 'singing voice' in these American songs than in Weill's German songs.
Employing the same Richard Avedon portrait that graced the cover of the 1970 double-LP "The Lotte Lenya Album", this collection is an abbreviated version of that compilation, cut down to fit the length limit of a single CD. "The Lotte Lenya Album" was nothing more or less than a two-fer repackaging of the single LPs "Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs by Kurt Weill" and "September Song and Other American Theatre Songs by Kurt Weill".
For this version, the last four songs from the former ("Was die Herren Matrosen sagen," "Ballade vom ertrunkenen Mädchen," "Lied der Fennimore," and "Cäsars Todd") have been deleted to bring the total running time down to 70 minutes.
Thus, the last eight tracks find Lenya in Germany in 1955, singing mostly in German songs composed by Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht from their stage works "Die Dreigroschenoper! ("The Threepenny Opera"), "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny" ("Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny"), and "Happy End", while the first 12 tracks find her in the U.S. in 1957, singing in English songs from Weill's Broadway musicals "Knickerbocker Holiday", "Lady in the Dark", "One Touch of Venus", "The Firebrand of Florence", "Street Scene", "Love Life", and "Lost in the Stars".
Lenya always disputed the notion that there were two Weills, the Berlin Weill and the Broadway Weill, but she ended up reinforcing that argument with these two LPs, and juxtaposing two-thirds of one with all of the other on this disc does not disprove it. Lenya was the definitive interpreter of the Brecht/Weill catalog, of course, and when she came to make the recordings here she had been singing (and recording) songs like "Seeräuberjenny" ("Pirate Jenny") and "Surabaya-Johnny" for more than a quarter-century. It's no surprise that she sounds assured on the last eight tracks, which use the original orchestrations for small jazz band conducted by Roger Bean. It's a different story with the Broadway tunes that make up tracks 1 - 12, however, as Maurice Levine conducts a string orchestra on songs for which other singers have done memorable treatments, including "September Song," "Saga of Jenny," "Speak Low," and "Lost in the Stars." With her limited range and German-accented English, Lenya is not the best interpreter of this material, and she does better with the less familiar songs, such as "Sing Me Not a Ballad," which actually was written for her to sing in the unsuccessful operetta "The Firebrand of Florence". As such, the decision to excise a third of the Berlin album is all the more questionable.                

Tracklist :

01 - September Song
02 - If You Never Was You
03 - Saga Of Jenny
04 - Foolish Heart
05 - Speak Low
06 - Sing Me Not A Ballad
07 - Lonely House
08 - A Boy Like You
09 - Green-Up Time
10 - Trouble Men
11 - Stay Well
12 - Lost In The Stars
13 - The Ballad Of Mack The Knife (Moritat)
14 - Barbara-Song
15 - Seeräuber-Jenny
16 - Havanna-Lied
17 - Alabama Song
18 - Wie man sich bettet
19 - Bilbao-Song
20 - Surabaya-Johnny

Lotte Lenya - Kurt Weill - Berlin & American Theater Songs (1988)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 22. Juni 2016

The Mekons ‎- Never Been In A Riot (1978)

Formed in the late 1970s as an art collective, The Mekons are one of the longest-running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk rock bands. Through the years, the band's musical style has evolved, incorporating aspects of country music, folk music, alternative rock and even occasional experiments with dub. They are known for their raucous live shows. These days, The Mekons are often described as a post-punk, cowpunk and/or alt country band.

The band was formed in 1977 by a group of University of Leeds art students: Jon Langford, Kevin Lycett, Mark White, Andy Corrigan and Tom Greenhalgh - the Gang of Four and Delta 5 formed from the same group of students. They took the band's name from the Mekon, an evil, super-intelligent Venusian featured in the British 1950s-1960s comic Dan Dare (printed in the Eagle). The band's first single was "Never Been in a Riot", a satirical take on the Clash's White Riot. For several years the loose-knit band played noisy, bare-bones post-punk, releasing singles on a variety of labels. The Mekons' first album, The Quality of Mercy Is Not Strnen, was recorded using the Gang of Four's instruments, and due to an error by the Virgin Records art department, featured pictures of the Gang of Four on the back cover. After 1982's The Mekons Story, a compilation of old recordings, the band ceased activity for a while, with Langford forming The Three Johns.

By the mid-1980s (revitalised by the 1984 miners' strike) the Mekons had returned as an active group. The band was now augmented by vocalist Sally Timms, violinist Susie Honeyman, ex-Damned member Lu Edmonds, accordionist/vocalist Rico Bell (a.k.a. Eric Bellis), and former The Rumour drummer Steve Goulding and Kelvin Weech on lead guitar. They began to experiment with musical styles derived from traditional English folk (tentatively explored on the English Dancing Master EP prior to the hiatus), and American country music. Fear and Whiskey (1985), The Edge of the World (1986) and Honky Tonkin (1987) exemplified the band's new sound, which built on the innovations of Gram Parsons and blended punk ethos and left wing politics with the minimalist country of Hank Williams. Subsequent albums, such as The Mekons Rock'n'Roll, continued to experiment with diverse instrumentation (notably the fiddle and slide guitar).

Here´s their first single “Never Been in a Riot”, an off tune, off time, slacker anthem with the memorable lyric: “I’ve never been in a riot / Never been in a fight / Never been in anything / That turns out right”. As a direct response to the Clash’s suspect “White Riot”, it embodied post punk’s awareness, not to mention its conflict with punk’s original ideals.

ANever Been In A Riot1:45
B132 Weeks1:38
B2Heart And Soul2:38

The Mekons - Never Been In A Riot (1978)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Kurt Weill - Street Scene - Hollywood Bowl, 1949

"Street Scene" is a Broadway musical or, more precisely, an "American opera" by Kurt Weill (music), Langston Hughes (lyrics), and Elmer Rice (book). Written in 1946 and premiered in Philadelphia that year, Street Scene is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Rice.

It was Weill who referred to the piece as an "American opera" (he also called it a "Broadway opera"), intending it as a synthesis of European traditional opera and American musical theater. He received the first Tony Award for Best Original Score for his work, after the Broadway premiere in 1947. Yet Street Scene has never been revived on Broadway; it is fairly regularly produced by opera companies. Musically and culturally, even dramatically, the work inhabits the midground between Weill's Threepenny Opera (1928) and Bernstein's West Side Story (1957).

The score contains operatic arias and ensembles, some of them, such as Anna Maurrant's "Somehow I Never Could Believe" and Frank Maurrant's "Let Things Be Like They Always Was," with links and references to the style of Giacomo Puccini. It also has jazz and blues influences, in "I Got a Marble and a Star" and "Lonely House." Some of the more Broadway-style musical numbers are "Wrapped In a Ribbon and Tied In a Bow", "Wouldn't You Like To Be On Broadway?" and "Moon-faced, Starry-eyed," an extended song-and-dance sequence.

This is a rare recording of Kurt Weill’s musical, Street Scene, taken from a performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 1949, and featuring Polyna Stoska, who created the work’s leading role.

It was intended for overseas broadcast by the Armed Forces Radio, the present disc including just seventeen tracks of vocal music and omits all of the linking narrative. That leaves little more than half of the original that started life as a Broadway musical in 1947, but with so much competition at the time, it enjoyed modest success.

The plot concerns the everyday life of six couples from differing nationalities who live in the close confines of a tenement block in New York. It opens in a workaday atmosphere, the young ones longing for something better, but are unable to break out of their humdrum existence. Anna Maurrant tries to protect her children from a bullying husband, and out of her mundane life emerges her own need for romance which she finds it in Steve. By chance her husband comes home unexpectedly early and finding them together kills them in a jealous rage. The end of the work sees life in the tenement slowly returning to normal. Dorothy Sarnoff sings the part of Rose Maurrant, the smart girl who is capable of escaping from the tenement, and it is with her the performance comes to life. The remainder of the cast is routine, though it probably portrays the work as it sounded on Broadway, and is much different to the two modern complete recordings that use casts of opera singers. This original recording is of haphazard balance and prone to overlading, but the restoration engineer has worked miracles.

This version of Street Scene was part of a two-hour concert broadcast live from the Hollywood Bowl and recorded by the Armed Forces Radio Service, who pressed it on sixteen-inch transcription discs. Program host Jack Little, not heard here, described the proceedings and introduced the performers but said nothing about the plot or characters, and in fact we’ve had to make educated guesses concerning a couple of numbers he did not announce. He also apologized to the radio audience after the opening number because one microphone failed to work, leaving the vocal ensemble almost inaudible.

Kurt Weill - Street Scene - Hollywood Bowl, 1949
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Pete Seeger - Dangerous Songs (1966)

In 1966, when the topical song movement had gained national attention through the newly written material of Bob Dylan and such compatriots as Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger set out to demonstrate that "protest" songs were not a new thing by putting together an album largely made up of traditional material that had its roots in long-since-forgotten political issues, everything from the nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner" to the Civil War march "John Brown's Body."
Further, Seeger suggested that everything is political, whether it's the apparently comic children's song "Beans in My Ears" or that piece of Irish advice "Never Wed an Old Man." ("In the long run, the most truly dangerous songs of all may prove to be love songs and lullabies," he wrote in the liner notes.)

And then there were songs that all would agree are political (though humorous), such as "The Pill" and Ochs' "Draft Dodger Rag." The resulting collection is one of Seeger's funniest, and at the same time most pointed albums. It took Columbia Records 32 years to reissue it on CD, with three bonus tracks from the sessions.

When the era of hootenanny of the fifties and early sixties were gone, and Pete Seeger was no longer one of the Weavers, he challenged the American conscience with these "dangerous songs." And why dangerous? We must not forget that in an age of McCarthy and his witchhunts, people like Pete Seeger were in danger of being labeled communists and being persecuted whenever they gave a wake-up call to common sense, social responsibility and budding eco-awareness. One of the songs,DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI (thoughts are free) an adaptation of a song long used among German-speaking cultures has been around since the 16th or 17thcentury (country or time of origin not entirely clear), needed only to be whistled or hummed to indicate to others that the whistler was a freedom-seeker.What a fine choice of a song to bring to the "silent majority" opposing war in general, and the Vietnam War in particular.

Kurt Weill - Bert Brecht - Der Jasager (The Yes-Sayer, 1954)

"Der Jasager" (literally "The Yes Sayer" also translated as "The Affirmer or He Said Yes") is an opera (specifically a "Schuloper" or "school-opera") by Kurt Weill to a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht (after Elisabeth Hauptmann's translation from Arthur Waley's English version of the Japanese Nō drama.

Its companion piece is "Der Neinsager" ("He Said No") although Brecht's other text was never set by Weill.
Weill also identifies the piece, following Brecht's development of the experimental form, as a "Lehrstück", or "learning-play".

It was first performed in Berlin by students of the Akademie für Kirchen und Schulmusik at the Zentralinstitut für Erziehung und Unterricht on 23 June 1930 and broadcast simultaneously on the radio. It was successful and there were over 300 performances during the following three years.
Brecht subsequently revised the text twice, the final version, including Der Neinsager, being without music.

Here´s a recording from 1954 with Joseph Protschka as the boy and the "Düsseldorfer Kinderchor" and "Kammerorchester", directed by Siegfried Kohler. Protschka was born in Prague on February 5, 1944. He exhibited talent as a child and thus sang in different performances of "Der Jasager".

Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht - Der Jasager
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Pete Seeger - We Shall Overcome (Carnegie Hall 1963)

Recorded at Carnegie Hall on June 8, 1963, this album is one of Pete Seeger's most famous. 1963 was a tumultuous year pivotal in the civil rights movement, and Seeger uses the bully pulpit of his high-profile concert to the fullest, filling the set list with pointed topical songs like "If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus" and Tom Paxton's withering "What Did You Learn in School Today?" as well as the spirituals "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" and, of course, "We Shall Overcome." Unfortunately, Seeger goes, as one says nowadays, off point in the middle of the set, with a three-song stretch of "Little Boxes," "Who Killed Norma Jean?," and one of Bob Dylan's absolute worst songs, "Who Killed Davey Moore?," tunes that sound like petulant little trifles in comparison. (Gee, suburbia is conformist, Hollywood is soul-deadening, and boxing is corrupt and violent? Who knew?) In the surroundings of the highly charged and deeply emotional tunes surrounding them, these songs simply sound trite. Seeger does right things with an impassioned performance of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall," however, and the second half of the concert, climaxing in the definitive version of "Guantanamera," is protest folk at its finest. "Pete Seeger at Carnegie Hall" is a valuable snapshot of its era.  -                        

The concert was described by Ed Vulliamy of The Observer as "a launch event for the entwining of the music and politics of the 1960s".  It was added to the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2006, calling it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Pete Seeger - We Shall Overcome (Carnegie Hall, 1963)
(192 kpbs, cover art included)

Dienstag, 21. Juni 2016

This Is Calypso (1968, vinyl rip)

. "This Is Calypso" was released in 1968 on Trinidad & Tobago, featuring calypso artists like Duke, Canary, Fighter and Lord Blakie.
A 1: Duke - What Is Calypso
A 2: Duke - Woman Baccanal
A 3: Canary - Beatnik Generation
A 4: Canary - Tribute To Luther King
A 5: Fighter - What You Sow You Reap
B 1: Fighter - Pom Pom
B 2: Fighter - Send Me Instead
B 3: Lord Blakie - Monica
B 4: Lord Blakie - We Ain't Going Back Again
B 5: Duke - Send Them Girls By Me

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Telephone Lobi - Telephone Love - More Giants Of Danceband Highlife

Telephone Lobi is a compilation of 1960s Ghanaian danceband highlife released in 1995 by Original Music.

The Lobi, by the way, are an ethnic group who speak a language of the same name in Ghana. They’re known for fiercely resisting French colonialism back in the day… with poisoned arrows.

Ghanaian horn-band highlife of the 1950s and 1960s was one of the great african sounds of the last century. It had all the optimism and bounce of a time when political idependence or the prospect of it was energizing everybody and everything. It was hugely varied.

It was (in West African terms) international. It was mellow. It swung. It was full of fine soloists on say and trumpet and trumbone and guitar. And above all it was danceable to the max.

Telephone Love - Telephone Lobi - More Giants Of Danceband Highlife (192 kbps)

Mascha Kaléko - Weil du nicht da bist

"Ich aß die grünenden Früchte
der Sehnsucht,
Trank von dem Wasser das
dürsten macht.
Ein Fremdling, stumm vor
unerschlossenen Zonen,
Zur Heimat erkor ich mir
die Liebe."

"I ate the greening fruits
of longing,
Drank from the water
that causes thirst.
A stranger, gone mute
before unopened realms,
I chose love to be my
homeland." - Mascha Kaléko

This year saw the 104. birthday of Mascha Kaléko and some years ago I had the chance to experience a lecture by Jutta Rosenkranz from her wonderful biography about this poet.
Mascha Kaléko was born in a Jewish family in 1907 in Galacia. In the 1920's she was involved in the bohemia of literature in Berlin. She had her first break through in 1933 with "Das lyrischen Stenogramheft".

Kaléko knew the feeling of being a homeless outsider from an early age, when her family emigrated to Germany from poverty-stricken Galicia (in Poland), and she successfully assimilated by learning to speak the local Berlin dialect, as her first poems reflect.
Kaléko left school at around 16 and worked as a secretary; she delightfully captured the trials and tribulations of this work in her early poems, published first in newspapers, then by Ernst Rowohlt as "Das lyrische Stenogrammheft" ("The Lyrical Stenobook"; 1933) and "Das kleine Lesebuch für Große" ("The Little Reader for Big Folks"; 1935). Popular for their combination of quick Berlin wit and the melancholy of the Jewish East, Kaléko´s songs and chansons were performed on the radio and in Cabarets by herself and by such performers as Claire Waldoff, Rosa Valetti, Annemarie Hase and Tatjana Sais, and after being forbidden by the Nazis, were handcopied and circulated secretly. Kaléko herself was celebrated as a youthful talent, and like Irmgard Keun, she pretended to be five years younger than she was in reality. She had contact with the literary and artistic avantgarde of Berlin, and spent much time in the Romanisches Café, together with Tucholsky, Lasker-Schüler and others.

In 1928 Mascha had married the Hebrew philologist Saul Kaléko, whom she divorced ten years later in order to marry Chemjo Vinaver, a musicologist and conductor specializing in Chassidic choral music and the father of her son Evjatar. The family emigrated to New York City in 1938; and the long difficult period of exile began. Devoted entirely to the care of her small son and the advancement of her husband’s career, Mascha wrote in her diary: "Meine Welt hat sich ‘verengt’ auf zwei Menschen: Chemjo und Evjatar. Sie hat sich dennoch erweitert" ("My world has ‘narrowed’ to two persons: Chemjo and Evjatar. It has nonetheless expanded.") The joys of watching her child’s growth provided a counterweight to the discouragement of not having the time or linguistic context for her own work and the financial and personal strain of Vinaver’s failure to gain a foothold in the music world. An attempt to make a new start in Hollywood (1940) proved a disaster, and the family returned to New York more hopeless than ever. Mascha earned money writing jingles for commercials, and did public relations and organisational work for her husband’s chorus.

In "Verse für Zeitgenossen" ("Verses for Contemporaries"; Cambridge, Mass., 1945), Kaléko represented her experiences in exile in satirical poems which were reprinted in Germany in 1958. Kaléko’s comeback had begun with the reprinting of "Das lyrische Stenogrammheft" in 1956, again by Ernst Rowohlt; after two weeks it was on the best-seller list, and Kaléko made
successful speaking and reading tours in Europe.
In 1960 she was nominated for the Fontane Prize for literature, but declined it because a former member of the SS was in the jury.
She moved to Jerusalem in 1960 because of her husband’s work, but never felt truly at home there. Besides children’s books and more poems Kaléko wrote epigrams; although she published more volumes during the 60’s and early 70’s she lapsed into relative public neglect. Both Chemjo and Mascha were in increasingly poor health, and in 1968 their son, who had become a successful dramatist and director in the USA, died suddenly. They never recovered from this blow; and after Chemjo´s death in 1973 Mascha’s discouragement and isolation deepened still more. After her death (from stomach cancer) Kaléko’s works again began to be reprinted, in large part due to the efforts of her literary executor and later editor/biographer Gisela Zoch-Westphal.

This album collects 54 poems by Mascha Kaléko, read by Elke Heidenreich:

Mascha Kaléko - Weil du nicht da bis (192 kbps, cover included)

Boogu Yagga Gal - Jamaican Mento

Mento is traditional Jamaican Folk Music, it came about before reggae, dancehall or ska. It's played on simple folk instruments, usually a guitar, a banjo or fiddle, hand drums or shakers and a rumba box (a very large mbira or thumb piano in the low bass register).


The songs are traditionally chock-full of bawdy double entendres and poorly veiled sexual humor, which makes them rowdy and fun. Some people refer to this music as Jamaican Calypso, but its different in rhythm, instrumentation and lyrical content than Trinidadian Calypso.

The songs included in this 22 track compilation are well-chosen and present a really nice picture of the mento sound, feel and, very importantly, the humor of this almost-lost genre of folk music.

Boggu Yagga Gal - Jamaican Mento
(192 kbps, mp3)

Montag, 20. Juni 2016

Grethe Weiser - 20 Rare Chansons

“This small tough person does not need a monument. It already stands,” wrote the critic Friedrich Luft after her death in 1970. Grethe Weiser was a highly talented comedian, whose greatest genius was her verbal eloquence. With her sassy, offhanded quick-wittedness, she was able to elicit thunderous applause from her audiences. Her film and stage partners praised her great discipline in the craft and her helpfulness in general. It was also very important to her personally not to steal anyone else’s show.

Mathilde Ella Dorothea Nowka, the daughter of well-to-do entrepreneurs, was born in Hanover and raised in Dresden, where she attended secondary school for young ladies. At the age of eighteen she engaged in a hunger strike to win her parents’ permission to marry the Jewish-Austrian sugar producer Josef Weiser. He was a wealthy man and was able to rent a mansion for his wife in Dresden, where she gave birth to their son Günther in 1922. In the course of the depression, however, Josef lost his fortune. He then tried to establish a new livelihood in Berlin through various projects, among them the management of the Cabaret Charlott, where Grethe rehearsed for her first performances.

By the time her marriage had deteriorated on account of Josef’s many affairs, she had already found her calling as an actress and cabaret artist. From 1929 on, she played important supporting roles in movies, portraying cooks and other household personnel, and dazzled her fans with her cunningly sharp tongue. She experienced her greatest movie successes in 1937 with her roles in Die Göttliche Jette (The Divine Jette) and Mädchen für Alles (Maid-of-All-Work).

During the second world war, Weiser was not only commissioned for theater duty at the front, but also acted in over thirty movies. For more favorable career opportunities membership in the Theater Guild of the German Reich was required, and for this Grethe Weiser would have had to join the Nazi Party (NSDAP), which, in turn, would have meant renouncing her husband and child. She refused to do this, however, sent her son to boarding school in England (Josef had already fled to the Netherlands), and was miraculously left in peace. Her comedy, evidently, was indispensable in time of war.

In 1948 Grethe met Ida Ehre, proprietor of Hamburg’s Studio Theatre Kammerspiele, who offered her the leading role in Das Kuckucksei (The Cuckoo’s Egg). The premiere brought Weiser tremendous ovations, and she frequently went on tour with this piece. Cooperation with Ida Ehre on Hauptmann’s Der Biberpelz (The Beaver Coat)where she played Mother Wolffen, deepened their contact, which eventually developed into a close friendship.

In the movies made during the era of the “economic miracle” following the war, Grethe embodied the type of the Berlinwoman, known for her big heart and even bigger mouth, who was nobody’s fool and nobody’s victim. In 1968 she was given the Medal of Honour of the Federal Republic of Germany. An Inter-City Express train on the route between Frankfurt and Hanover has also been named after her, as well as a 100-Pfennig postage stamp from the permanent series “Women in German History”, which was dedicated to her in the year 2000.

When Weiser was killed in a car accident together with her second husband, the movie producer Hermann Schwerin, Ida Ehre wrote in an obituary, “You were one of steadfast loyalty. Whomever you locked in your heart was anchored there firmly … you will always be within me, dear Grethe …”.

Grethe Weiser - Perlen der Kleinkunst - 20 rare Chansons
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Classic Blues from Smithsonian Folkways

Starting in the 1940s, Folkways made significant blues recordings, particularly of important artists who might not have had the easiest time getting or keeping contracts with more commercial labels, but still had something to say artistically.
This 26-track compilation assembles material recorded between the 1940s and 1990s that showed up on various Folkways releases. Unfortunately, the liner notes don't name the exact dates of all the recordings, but certainly the substantial majority of them predate 1970. These recordings were targeted toward a somewhat scholarly folk revival audience, and some might find them a little folky and gentle. Electric instruments barely appear at all (with the notable exception of the early Chambers Brothers cut "Oh Baby, You Don't Have to Go"), and there's little that's as rough as the average prewar Delta blues track.

Yet overall, it's a good compilation of many major and minor mid-20th century blues performers and styles. The bigger names include Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (whose "Old Jabo," with drums, almost verges on Bo Diddley-styled rock & roll), Reverend Gary Davis (represented by a 1957 version of his famous "Candy Man"), Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon (performing together), Lightnin' Hopkins, Leadbelly, Roosevelt Sykes, Son House, Champion Jack Dupree, Elizabeth Cotten, Lonnie Johnson, and Josh White. While acoustic guitar blues (including a field recording of K.C. Douglas' "Mercury Blues," later covered by Steve Miller) gets a fair amount of airtime, so do boogie piano, a cappella singing (Vera Hall), and some actual Delta blues (Son House, from a 1942 field recording).

VA  - Classic Blues From Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Nico - Do Or Die!

Image du Blog
Nico, the punk princess of the mid '60's Warhol entourage, joined the Velvet Underground as a singer in 1965 after a brilliant European career as a top model and actress.
This began a new career for one of the truly unique vocalists and rock personalities of our times. Noted for her Teutonic inflections, amazing beauty and heartbreaking baritone, she exuded a deep-seated sense of European worldliness and angst. She in many ways set the stage for the "gloom and doom" English romanticism and the Goth movement so popular today.

Truly an individualist, in style, presentation and her approach to material, Nico created a unique vision that in time became her own personal reality.

Nico´s "Do or Die" was originally released by ROIR as a cassette-only in November 1982. It is a collection of live performances, both solo and with her band, from her 1982 European tour that garnered considerable interest from collectors, press, her fans and also the followers of The Velvet Underground. It has now been 24-bit digitally remastered and re-edited for CD release by Doug Pomeroy.

"Drawn from five European gigs and featuring the best of Nico's many bands, The Blue Orchids, 'Do or Die' is the greatest hits package Nico never got. The power she unleashes dismisses any doubts regarding her role in rock and roll. Skillful beauty - spine-chilling isolation" - Alternative Press

Nico - Do Or Die!
(192 kbps, front cover included, ca. 83 MB

Richie Havens - Cuts To The Chase

Here´s anther Richie Havens album, called "Cuts To The Chase". Although this recording from the 90s doesn´t have the same resonance as his great 1960s LPs, Guitarist and composer Richie Havens keeps making thought-provoking, poignant and intensely personal music, with few (if any) romantic songs and frank discussions of issues without violent or sexist rhetoric.

This was Havens' first solo release after some years of rest, and it contains only one original. But his covers of songs by Sting, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Lind and Marty Balin become his own memorable statements, while guitarist Billy Perry and guest guitarist Greg Chansky provide three new compositions. This album is a worthy vehicle for the 1990s.

Richie Havens - Cuts To The Chase
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 19. Juni 2016

Mark Stewart & Maffia - Learning To Cope With Cowardice

The Pop Group split in 1981, with Stewart and two other members heading off to London to hook up with the emerging On-U Sound "conspiracy of outsiders" as part of the New Age Steppers.

On-U became a focal point of a diverse set of networks - punks, reggae players from both the UK and Jamaica and free-jazzers. Mark Stewarts first post-Pop Group release was as 'Mouth 2', the 1982 single "Who's Hot". Two releases followed with On-U associates under the name 'Mark Stewart & The Maffia' - the "Jerusalem EP" in 1982, and the 1983 album "Learning to Cope with Cowardice".

While "Learning to Cope with Cowardice" was no less confrontational than some of the Pop Group's work, it left behind the harsh, frenetic avant-funk of the Bristol band to foray into more experimental, dub-oriented territory. The standout track is the cut-up version of "Jerusalem," the English hymn (using William Blake's visionary words) that has come to stand almost as an unofficial national anthem. Stewart's "Jerusalem" embodies the multiple sonic facets of this album, juxtaposing jarring electronics, hectoring vocals, and heavy beats with more expansive layers of melody. Here, Stewart mixes his own strident declamation of Blake's verses with samples of a traditional arrangement of the hymn and with echo-heavy dub textures in such a way as to craft a complex meditation on issues of race, class, and tradition in Thatcher-ite Britain.

Mark Stewart & Maffia - Learning To Cope With Cowardice

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Herbie Goins & The Nighttimers - Soultime

"Herbie Goins, born 21th February, 1939 in Florida, USA, is the son of a Harlem Gospel singer, and after colourful careers as a chef in a New York night club and service in the US Forces, eventually came to England, where he has built and earned the respect of a large following of both jazz and "pop" enthusiasts.

Because of his liking for jazz, Herbie has developed a great "feel" for "pop" music and I hope that this LP exposes the quality and style, which, to my mind, are instantly appreciated and summed up in just two words - Herbie Goins"

- Norman Smith on the original sleevenote from the Herbie Goins LP "No. 1 In Your Heart"

Herbie Goins & The Nightimers - Soultime
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Trinity - African Revolution

The early 1970s produced a strain of Jamaican music called "DJ Toasting" that would eventually influence the course of hip-hop and Dancehall.

DJ's working for top producers would spin the latest hits on traveling sound systems, hosting parties for weekend revelers, and spicing the music with their "toasts": boastful commentaries, chants and half-sung rhymes.

Artists such as Big Youth and U-Roy would play a popular reggae hit with the lead vocals removed, and create their own version filled with fiery wit, melodic poetry and a rhythmic style.

Some of the best albums to come out of this era were Doctor Alimintado's Lee Perry-produced classic "Best Dressed Chicken in Town" and Big Youth's "Screaming Target".

ImageTrinity (born Wade Brammer, 1954, Kingston) worked as a DJ on several local sound systems. He made his recording deubt in March 1976 with "Set Up Yourself" for Joe Joe Hookim. Heavily influenced by Big Youth, he developed a strong and entertaining style of his own -with an edge that helped spark the Dancehall revolution.

A1African Revolution
A2Turn Yu Roll
A3Staff Of Live
A4Not The Worst
A5Tan Tudy
B1Righteous Rock
B2Judgement Day
B3Hard Time Reggae
B4A Nuh So
B5Rain A Fall

Trinity - African Revolution
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 18. Juni 2016

Kalyi Jag - Chants Tziganes - Gypsy Songs (1990)

Kalyi Jag (meaning Black Fire) are one of the few professional gypsy-music groups in Hungary. Traditionally an a cappella form with stick accompaniment, Kalyi Jag have added guitars, and even a watering can, to their instrumental line-up. Their sound, which is more modern music with gypsy influences than gypsy music with modern influences, has proven especially popular at Hungarian tanchazes or dance houses.                

Kalyi Jag was formed in 1978 by a group of young Roma educators and musicians united by a passion to preserve and promote authentic Roma folklore and language through lyrics and music. The Kalyi Jag has formed a unique way of performing, by means of which it can be unmistakably distinguished from the other Gypsy groups. Apart from performing they organize international gipsy music and dance workshops, they collect folk music and folk dances as well as operating a school through a foundation. Over the past three decades Kalyi Jag  has not only become one of the most internationally acknowledged representatives of the original Hungarian Gypsy musical tradition, but has demonstrated, as well, a commitment to fostering Roma social equality through focused patronage of educational and cultural programs. The Kalyi Jag Roma Minority Art High Schools helps to bring Roma into the mainstream educational system.


1. Karingszo Me Phirav 3:23
2. Suki Romnyi Gogyaver 2:38
3. Kon Kamenpe 3:23
4. Kodi Phenen Mange 2:57
5. Jekfar Dikhlyom Sukar Romnya 2:29
6. Vilag-Vilagvetett Agy 2:07
7. O Phivlo Rom 4:11
8. Ketri Ketri 5:07
9. Luma Maj 2:59
10. Lulugyalo Sanco 3:07
11. O Csacso Kamipo 3:04
12. Fitus Pergetose 2:27
13. Tuke Bahh 4:41
14. Mi Musztaca Tejle Bangylo 2:29
15. E Voja 2:51
16. E Szatmarake 4:32

Kalyi Jag - Chants Tziganes - Gypsy Songs (1990)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Julie Wilson - Sings The Kurt Weill Songbook

The day after Julie Wilson recorded her Stephen Sondheim songbook album for DRG Records, she went back into the recording studio and recorded her Kurt Weill songbook album. That may seem like rushing things, but when you're 63 years old and you get your first recording contract in 26 years, why wait?

Certainly, Wilson is at least as familiar with Weill's repertoire as she is with Sondheim's, and certainly Weill (with his lyric collaborators) wrote as many songs well suited to her world-weary, seen-it-all nightclub persona as Sondheim has. From her choices, Wilson clearly is more comfortable with the Broadway Weill than the Berlin Weill, particularly with two of his shows of the '40s, "Lady in the Dark" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin) and "One Touch of Venus" (lyrics by Ogden Nash).

Of the 18 songs in 14 tracks on the disc (three tracks are medleys of two or three songs), seven come from those two shows, among them standards like "Speak Low," "That's Him," and "The Saga of Jenny," but also relative obscurities such as "Foolish Heart" and "This Is New." (It is surprising that Wilson passes over another "One Touch of Venus" evergreen, "I'm a Stranger Here Myself.") Elsewhere, she plucks lesser-known songs from lesser-known Broadway shows like "Street Scene", "Love Life", and "The Firebrand of Florence", giving a sense of Weill as largely a ballad-writing romantic. But she also delves into those songs about age and experience, presenting a female-oriented version of "September Song" from "Knickerbocker Holiday", and the bitter torch song "Surabaya Johnny" from "Happy End". The latter is one of the relatively few songs Weill wrote early in his career in Berlin with Bertolt Brecht that Wilson takes on; there are only four such tunes here. (Another surprising omission is "Pirate Jenny.").

As ever, Wilson renders the lyrics knowingly in her half-spoken singing voice, while William Roy provides simple, lively piano accompaniment and occasionally jumps in to sing with her. She succeeds at presenting Weill in the guise of a nightclub sophisticate, but only by making a narrow selection of his catalog.   

Julie Wilson - Sings The Kurt Weill Songbook
(256 kbps, small front cover included)          

Kalyi Jag - Lungoj O Drom Angla Mande - Gipsy Folk Songs From Hungary

Kalyi Jag (Black Fire) is a group formed in Budapest in 1978 by young Gypsies from Szatmár county. They play authentic Gypsy music, sung in Romany and Hungarian. Kalyi Jag consists of: Gusztáv Varga - voice, guitar Ágnes Künstler - voice József Balogh - voice, tambura, guitar, spoon József Nagy - water can, oral bass.
They are recognised as one of the foremost Gypsy folk ensembles in Eastern Europe today.

This is one of their early LPs released on Hungaroton Records in 1989 and features guitar, jug, whistle, oral bass, water can etc..


1. Parne gada szi pe late (2:07)
2. Lungoj o drom angla mande (2:42)
3. Muri klaca kocsakenca (2:14)
4. Lina (5:09)
5. Aj, Dévale Koj Odi (3:53)
6. Pánzs kolompiri ande tigalya (2:26)
7. Ustyen Opre, Romále (3:05)
8. Le csurara mol na pena (3:26)
9. Kerkoj aba muro jilo (2:50)
10. Anta, romnyej, mure roulya (3:07)
11. Szájbőgő improvizáció (2:04)
12. Szar Csiriklyi (4:37)
13. Beng hhuklyasz ande roulyi (1:38)
14. Sápä szärátä ás mänká (3:01)
15. Kutyka téle, ko lahhikao kopácsi (2:13)
16. Csorro Joka (2:43)
17. Könyörgés (3:10)

01 She has a white dress on
02 I have still a long way to go
03 My trousers are buttoned all along
04 Lina
05 Oh, my God, who is there
06 There are five potatoes in the pot
07 Get up, Gypsies
08 Shieve-makers do not drink wine
09 My Heart Is Heavy
10 Give, woman, my stick to me
11 Oral bass improvisations
12 Like birds
13 The devil has hidden in my stick
14 I would eat salten onions
15 Over there under a little tree
16 Poor Joska
17 Song for Mercy

Kalyi Jag - Lungoj O Drom Angla Mande
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 15. Juni 2016

Tom Rush - The Circle Game (1968)

A candid and charming collection of songs that glisten as beautifully as a clear mountain stream. Singer/songwriter/poet Tom Rush had a wonderful idea in mind for a concept album, working with music business greats Arthur Gorson and Paul Harris to blend the best of the time period's songwriters. The effort results in a splendid achievement of emotionally and lyrically gripping material.

Taking advantage of his resonant tenor voice and the majestic talents of a stirring crew of musicians, Rush performs wistful and ethereal versions of some of his favorite songs. Material selected includes deeply lyrical tunes such as Joni Mitchell's "Tin Angel" and "Urge for Going," and romantic songs like James Taylor's "Something in the Way She Moves." The album, titled "The Circle Game", features Mitchell's radio hit single of the same name.

Certainly during the '70s this album was marketed well and fared with great success among the listening public, inviting Rush into an elite group of solo singer/songwriters of the decade. Just to prove to the world that he is no fluke himself when it comes to arranging and composing, Rush succeeds with two beautifully crafted works of his own, masterfully woven and spun on the acoustic guitar, along with an endearing work of lush production featuring the brilliant efforts of conductor Paul Harris and orchestra. A must-listen for those who are sincerely curious and are seeking a good singer/songwriter talent from this period.                

Tom Rush - The Circle Game (1968)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

On-U Sound Disco Plate Collection Part II

A disproportionate amount of the best modern reggae has emerged from the strange, dark depths of the Berry Street studio in London, home base of Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound label. On-U material has always been notoriously difficult to get in any format, but most elusive of all are the legendary 10" "disco plate" singles Sherwood produced in the early 1980s and 1990s.

This disc is the second volume in an attempt to remedy that situation by reissuing the best of the disco plates on CD. Though fans of the label will already own alternate versions of a number of these tracks (such as "93 Struggle" and Bim Sherman's "Keep You Dancing") and even the exact same versions of a couple of others ("Autobiography" and "Breaking Down the Pressure" have been credited elsewhere to Singers & Players), this disc is more than worth the investment if only for the brilliant obscurities: Undivided Roots deliver a charming lament titled "England Cold," which is followed by a typically over-the-top Sherwood dub mix; "Can't Stop Jumping" is a dub version of "Keep You Dancing" featuring Dr. Pablo on keys.

This is pure reggae & dub gold, and devotees are well advised to snap it up while they can...

VA - On-U Sound Disco Plate Collection Part II
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

Lotte Lenya - Songs von Kurt Weill (Philips Minigroove 45)

The Philips label released in 1955 the album "Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill" (Philips B 07 089) with interpretations of Brecht/Weill songs, recorded in Hamburg on 5 - 7 July, 1955. This album was released in the U.S. in  on Columbia (ML 5056) in November 1955 as "Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theater Songs of Kurt Weill".
Philips released a selection of these recordings on the 45 RPM single "Songs von Kurt Weill" (Philips 429 207 BE) which is featured here.

The complete recordings were later re-released on the CD "Kurt Weill: Berlin & American Theater Songs, CBS MK 42658" in 1988.
Lotte Lenya was accompanied by Roger Bean and his orchestra.
AA1 Seeräuber-Jenny
AA2 Surabaya-Johnny
AB1 Bilbao-Song
AB2 Moritat

Track AA1 taken from "Die Dreigroschenoper".
Track AA2 taken from "Happy-End".
Track AB1 taken from "Happy-End".
Track AB2 taken from "Die Dreigroschenoper".

Lotte Lenya - Songs von Kurt Weill (Philips Minigroove 45)
(320 kbps, vinyl rip, front & back cover included)

Ensemble Modern - Kurt Weill - Berlin im Licht (1990)

The Ensemble Modern performed its first concert on October 30, 1980, in the Deutschlandfunk broadcast hall, Cologne, Germany. Over the years it has consisted of about 20 players and is a fairly typical chamber orchestra in makeup, its members filling the orchestral sections of strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion in traditional proportions.

Founded with the intent of promoting new and unusual compositions, the ensemble's roots actually go back to 1973-1974, when the German Youth Orchestra was formed. From this group there soon emerged offshoot ensembles for strings, woodwinds, and various other instrumental factions. In 1979 percussionist Hans-Peter Gluckner took the initiative to begin assembling yet another group from the orchestra, which would become known as the Ensemble Modern of the German Youth Philharmonic.

The aforementioned 1980 inaugural concert, which featured works by Schönberg, Webern, Spahlinger, Goldmann, and Schnebel, was broadcast over German radio, giving the new group a measure of overnight recognition. The Ensemble soon developed a schedule of about 100 concerts per year and would perform at many of the world's major concert venues, including Lincoln Center, the Salzburg Festival, the Holland Festival (Amsterdam), and the Festival d'Automne (Paris). Since 1985 it has been based in Frankfurt and has regularly performed at the Alte Oper concert hall.

The Ensemble eventually began making recordings for various labels, including RCA, BMG, and Rykodisc. Its 1995 recording of Frank Zappa's Yellow Shark achieved great success, and was followed by another Zappa disc, as well as a highly acclaimed 1999 version of Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera.

In 1998 the Ensemble Modern formed its own offshoot with the founding of the Ensemble Modern Orchestra, a full-sized orchestra created to perform large-scale repertory. It is only a part-time ensemble, however, assembling for specific occasions. In 2003 a second offshoot was born, this one of an educational nature, the International Ensemble Modern Academy. This organization offers scholarships, master classes, and is involved in many other educational endeavors. In 2006 the Ensemble Modern, faithful to its stated mission, introduced much new music at its concerts, including works by Ludger Kisters (In between and further), Annesley Black (LAUF), and Yaeko Asano (Berg, Stern, Stein -- Sonne). To help support itself over the years, the Ensemble has received funding from the city of Frankfurt, other German government agencies, and several cultural foundations.

"Berlin im Licht" was released in 1990 on the Largo label and features Weill interpretations with Rosemary Hardy (soprano) and H. K. Gruber (conductor, singer).

1. Berlin im Licht
2. Slow Fox and Algi-Song
3. Klopslied
4. Ach, wär' mein Lieb ein Brünnlein kalt
5. Frauentanz, op. 10
6. Bastille Musik
7. Öl-Musik
8. Suite Panaméenne
9. Cowboy-Song
10. Captain Valentine's-Song
11. Die stille Stadt

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - The Angry Muse (1968)

“The term ‘protest song’ has a modern ring to it and, indeed, for many people it means a certain type of popular song specifically located in the 1950s and 1960s,” says MacColl in a gallop through the history of the British protest song in the sleeve notes to this album. “The special nature of the protest song lies in the fact that its theme is meant to convey an author’s conscious awareness of important social problems and the position he or she takes in relations to these problems.

“When disc jockeys, pop singers and the executives of the popular music industry use the term, they are referring to a song in which a writer has made a personal comment on a social theme without introducing specific political comment. In other words, they mean protest songs without real protest or (in the words of a recent radio programme) : ‘songs in which the protest is contained’.

“The era of the commercial ‘protest song’ appears to be ending not with a bang but with a whimper, and already the term begins to lie uneasily on the tongues of those who earn their daily bread by simulating enthusiasm and sincerity for the benefit of the radio and television teenage public. But the eventual disappearance of ‘protest songs’ from the commercial scene will probably have no affect whatsoever upon the development and continuation of the genre: protest songs will, presumably, continue to flourish where they have always flourished: in the arena of political struggle.”

01. Ballad Of Accounting
02. Beans, Bacon and Gravy
03. Epithalamium
04. The Farmer Is The Man
05. Grey October
06. The Coal Owner and The Pitman's Wife
07. Come Live With Me
08. Fragments From Slavery Days
09. Sit Down
10. The Klan Song
11. Fourloom Weaver
12. China Rag
13. In Contempt
14. Strike For Better Wages
15. The Warming Pan
16. Rockabye Baby
17. I am a Union Woman
18. The Whig
19. The Whigs Of Fife
20. Brother Did You Weep

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - The Angry Muse (1968)
(256 kbps, front cover included)