Mittwoch, 30. November 2016

Mikis Theodorakis - Z (Soundtrack, 1969)

Directed and produced by Greek director Costa Gavras, starring Yves Montand and Irene Papas, Z is a real masterpiece of a movie. While the film is set in an unspecified country (and filmed in Algeria) it is clear it refers to the 1963 murder of the Greek left-wing parliamentary deputy Grigoris Lambrakis. Costas Gavras tells this story with great mastery in a film adapted from the book by Greek writer Vasilis Vasilikos. Released in 1969, Z immediately became a kind of a cult hit among cinema lovers.

The music is by Mikis Theodorakis, and FM Records provides us here with the fifth cd of their recent six disc tribute to the composer. It's a very good package with digitally remastered sound and quality standards equal to that of the Serpico soundtrack (again by Mikis Theodorakis through FM Records). There are some rare photos from the movie (and one of the composer) along with interesting information about the film and the soundtrack, provided by the composer himself and Ninos Fenek Mikelidis.

Costas Gavras wanted Theodorakis to score this film from the very beginning, but it was impossible for him to have his scenario sent to the composer, as the latter was at that time in internal exile in Zatouna. So the director choose music from Theodorakis' other works A Hostage and Mauthausen, from which they compiled the Z soundtrack.

'Main Title' recalls a military parade performed by bouzouki, harpsichord, trombones and 'busy' percussion instruments which introduce the audience immediately to the politically charged atmosphere and mood of the movie. 'To yelasto pedi' offers the marvelous main theme by the bouzouki, guitar and the symphony orchestra. It's an outstanding piece which may take a little effort to appreciate initially, but soon grows compellingly; fortuitously given the theme is given may repetitions in asorted variations throughout the whole movie.

Tension rises with 'La course de Manuel', music used for a chase scene. This is very late 60's style music, with overdriven, reverb soaked electric guitar, electric bass, organ, strings, an intense beating of the snare drum and nice percussion work. ' To palicari echei kaimo' is a very different in mood, a song with vocals by well known Greek female singer Maria Farandouri; a very Greek-sounding song with bouzouki, drums and percussion that reminds us of another very well-known work by Mikis Theodorakis Zorba The Greek. It has a very uplifting mood that may really make you want to get up and dance!

'Café Rock' is a fast dance piece, pure 60's in style with drums, groovy bass, the overdrive guitar again and bells that is little odd and strange for our musical tastes today. 'Arrival of Helen' offers a slow and sad rendition of the beautiful main theme, with the bouzouki, strings and a lovely, melancholic melody by the violin at the end.

'Batucada' is an odd percussion piece, evocative of the African jungle. 'To Yelasto Pedi (Bouzouki version)' is a faster and more uplifting version of the main theme with bouzouki and marching snare drum in the background. 'To yelasto pedi' despite it's title, is a really dark and weird musical piece for cello, percussion instruments and keyboard sounds which induces a real sense of discomfort, while 'Pios den mila yia ti Labri ' is a fast militaristic piece with loud marching snare drum, bouzouki, harpsichord, guitar and trombones, similar in style to the 'Main Title'.


The 'Finale' is a sad and very beautiful piece for full symphony orchestra, guitar, bouzouki and harpsichord, built around almost unrecognizable renditions of melodies heard in the 'Main Title'. 'To palikari echi kaimo' is the same song we previously heard by Maria Farandouri, only this time the composer himself plays the piano and sings. The cd ends with 'Safti ti gitonia' which is another song, similar in style with piano and vocals by Mikis Theodorakis again.

Z may make for a very short album and is not for everyone's taste, but it is a really compelling and interesting collection with a fabulous main theme that perfectly matches the movie's powerful, intense and politically - charged atmosphere and mood.

Demetris Christodouides

Tracklist:
A1Main Title (O Andonis)
A2To Yelasto Pedi (Life Goes On) (Orchestral Version)
A3La Course De Manuel (Chase)
A4To Palikari Echi Kaimo (Free World)
A5Cafe Rock
A6Arrivee D'Irene (Arrival)
A7Batucada
B1To Yelasto Pedi (Life Goes On) (Bouzouki Version)
B2Idep Otsaley Ot
B3Pios Den Mila Yia Ti Lambri (Hidden Truth)
B4Finale (To Yelasto Pedi) (Life Goes On)
B5To Palikari Echi Kaimo
B6Safti Gitonia


Mikis Theodorakis - Z (Soundtrack, 1969)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 29. November 2016

Pablo Milanés‎ – Versos José Marti Cantados Por Pablo Milanés

On this 1973 record, Pablo Milanés sings selections by 19th century Cuban poet and revolutionary José Martí, drawing primarily on Versos Sencillos (1891) and the posthumously published Versos Libres (1913).

Although this was Milanés' first album, by the time of its release he was already an accomplished artist. Following early-'60s stints with El Cuarteto del Rey and los Bucaneros, Milanés pursued a solo career; by the end of the decade he was collaborating with Silvio Rodríguez and others, first at El Centro de la Canción Protesta de la Casa de las Américas and then as a member of El Grupo de Experimentación Sonora. Milanés began developing these arrangements for Martí's work while he was in El Grupo de Experimentación Sonora and the resulting solo debut remains a foundational recording of the nueva trova Cubana.

Milanés' simple acoustic guitar accompaniment offers an evocative setting for Martí's words, but his voice is the crucial instrument; his smooth tenor captures the cadences, tone, and emotional power of Martí's writing, from its quiet, contemplative passages to its spirited, passionate flourishes. Milanés' adaptation of section one of Versos Sencillos and his stirring versions of "Amor de Ciudad Grande" and "Banquete de Tiranos" are breathtaking. Particularly noteworthy is the brief "Eramos," a rendering of a passage from Martí's famous essay "Nuestra América" which masterfully conveys the musicality of his prose.

It's impossible to divorce the nueva trova from its ideological context and to separate Milanés' art from his role in Castro's Cuba. But while that political backdrop is divisive, Cubans on opposite sides of the debate, at home and in exile, embrace José Martí as a hero; likewise, whatever your allegiances, it's hard not to concede that this album is a stunning musical achievement. Pop music lyrics seldom qualify as poetry, but Milanés shows how poetry can inspire phenomenally powerful popular music.                


Tracklist:

Yo Soy Un Hombre Sincero
Mi Verso Es Como Un Puñal
Banquete De Tiranos
Al Buen Pedro
Si Ves Un Monte De Espumas
Vierte, Corazón, Tu Pena
Eramos... De Nuestra America
Amor De Ciudad Grande
Poetica
El Principe Enano
El Enemigo Brutal
Es Rubia: El Cabello Suelto


Pablo Milanés ‎– Versos José Marti Cantados Por Pablo Milanés            
(320 kbps, cover art included)                       

Montag, 28. November 2016

VA - Album De La Revolucion Cubana

Wiki says about this album:


Album de la Revolución Cubana is a publication on the history of the Cuban Revolution. It consists of two parts: comic book and music CD. The comic book was released circa 1960s. The music compilation "Album de la Revolucion Cubana" was released in 2000 by Cuba Soul. It consists of fifteen Cuban propaganda songs in a danceable Latin rhythm, including the famous song from Carlos Puebla, "Hasta siempre", written after Che Guevara's death.

Tracklist:
  1. Celeste Mendoza – Cuba corazón de nuestra América
  2. Celina González y Reutilio – Décimas de la Revolución
  3. Esther Borja – Despertar
  4. Merceditas Valdés – A coger la guampara
  5. Celina González y Reutilio – Que viva Fidel
  6. Las D'aida – El cohete americano
  7. Pío Leyva – Rumba de mi patria
  8. Carlos Puebla – Hasta siempre
  9. Amelita Frades – Pensamiento
  10. Ramón Veloz – Nueva vida
  11. Esther Borja – Dejame estrechar tu mano
  12. Ojedita Y Coro – La canción de los niños
  13. Niño Rivera – Nuevo son
  14. Omara Portuondo – Junto a mi fusil mi son
  15. Ela Calvo y Orquesta Aragón with Los Papines – Cuba, qué linda es Cuba

 VA - Album De La Revolucion Cubana
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 27. November 2016

Rainer Lemke - Daffke - Jiddische Lieder

This is a fine album with recordings of "Jiddische Lieder" with Enrique Ugarte (accordion), Claudio Puntin (clarinet), Dimitry Reznik (violin), Bettina Kahl (recorder), Werner Hucks (guitar), Helmut Kandert (percussion), Karl-Friedrich Wahler (double bass), Katarina Malzew (cello), Rainer Lemke (vocals), Johannes Nitsch (piano), Peter Schneider (guitar), Johannes Nitsch (accordion).
 
The subtitle is an important comment: "dennoch, trotzdem, jetzt erst recht".
 
The album was released in 1995 on Hänssler.


Tracklist:


Rainer Lemke - Daffke - Jiddische Lieder
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Samstag, 26. November 2016

VA - 1962 - Chants De La Revolution Cubaine

Fidel Castro, Cuba's leader of revolution, died today at 90. More than half a century ago, his guerrilla army of “bearded ones” replaced Fulgencio Batista’s corrupt dictatorship with communist rule which challenged the US and turned the island into a cold-war crucible.
He fended off a CIA-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 as well as many assassination attempts. His alliance with Moscow helped trigger the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, a 13-day showdown with the US that brought the world closer to the brink of nuclear war than it has ever been.

He first tried to overthrow General Batista in 1953, was imprisoned, exiled to Mexico, and then returned in 1956. He succeeded on January 1, 1959 and has dominated Cuba ever since – surviving 638 documented attempts by the CIA to kill him, and living through ten US presidencies.

Resigning due to ill health in February 2008, Castro handed over to his brother Raul and is now rarely seen in public. But he continues to loom large in Cuba - writing regular columns for Granma, the Communist Party newspaper, and meet visiting dignitaries.



"Chants De La Revolution Cubaine" collects some historic recordings relatetd to the revolution in Cuba in 1959.

Tracklist:

  • 1. - Fidel Est Arrivé [Rolando La Serie Y Et Son Orchestre] - 2:57"
  • 2. - Partisans [Choeurs De Révolutionnaires Cubains] - 2:10"
  • 3. - Vive La Revolution [Raúl Luzardo Et Le Trio Los Titanes] - 3:11"
  • 4. - Sierra Maestra [Daniel Santos Et Son Ensemble] - 3:37"
  • 5. - Parlons De La Revolution [Celina Et Reutillo] - 3:08"
  • 6. - Les "Barbudos" [Orchestre Fajardos] - 2:30"
  • 7. - Au Commandant Camacho [Los Yayaberos] - 3:07"
  • 8. - Hymne De La Milice [Fanfarre De L'armée Rebelle] - 2:30"

VA - 1962 - Chants De La Revolution Cubaine
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 25. November 2016

Martin Carthy - Martin Carthy (1965)

If the English folk revival of the 1960s had a single "father" and guiding spirit, then Martin Carthy was it. Carthy's influence transcends his abilities, formidable though those are - apart from being one of the most talented acoustic guitarists, mandolinists, and general multi-instrumentalists working the folk clubs in the 1960s, he was also a powerful singer with no pretensions or affectations, and was an even more prodigious arranger and editor, with an excellent ear for traditional compositions. In particular, he was as much a scholar as a performer, and frequently went back to the notes and notebooks of folk song collectors such as Percy Grainger, scouring them for fragments that could be made whole in performance - no "second hander," he used the earliest known transcriptions and recordings of many of the oldest folk songs known in England as his source, and worked from there. By 1966, at the time he was cutting his first two albums, Carthy was already an influence on Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and by the end of the 1960s was de facto mentor to virtually every serious aspiring folk musician in England. At least three major English folk-rock bands, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and the Albion Band, were formed either directly or indirectly with his help and influence.               

Carthy's debut album rates a place alongside the album by Bob Dylan, as the debut work of a man who ultimately revolutionized folk music performance in England (Carthy is mentioned as an influence on the notes to Dylan's Freewheelin' album). This is Carthy's purest and simplest folk effort, an all-acoustic recording done in barely an afternoon that includes his version of "Scarborough Fair," awhich Paul Simon learned from Carthy (including the chords and changes from Carthy's arrangement) and transformed into a hit of his own. Also here is "Two Magicians," a song that later entered the repertory Steeleye Span, and "Lovely Joan," a folk song that is most familiar to classical listeners as the source of the counter-melody to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on Greensleeves." The playing and the interpretations are somewhat less ambitious and rather rougher than subsequent efforts, with Dave Swarbrick guesting on fiddle on about half the tracks, and Carthy's guitar covering all but the acapella tracks.      


Tracklist:                           
High Germany2:31
The Trees They Do Grow High3:31
Sovay2:09
Ye Mariners All1:47
The Queen Of Hearts2:21
Broomfield Hill2:51
Springhill Mine Disaster4:21
Scarborough Fair3:25
Lovely Joan1:49
The Barley And The Rye1:39
The Wind That Shakes The Barley4:26
The Two Magicians3:23
The Handsome Cabin Boy3:24
And A-Begging I Will Go2:54

    
Martin Carthy - Martin Carthy (1965)    
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 24. November 2016

Slapp Happy & Dagmar Krause - Ultra Rare Trax

Slapp Happy was formed in 1972 when British keyboardist and avant-garde composer Anthony Moore met New York guitarist/artist/cartoonist/poet Peter Blegvad. The two were living in Hamburg at the time, and Moore had already released several albums of “new music” for Polydor. When Polydor rejected one of his albums outright, he proposed a pop-oriented project instead. Local girl Dagmar Krause, a former member of the folk-rock group The City Preachers, was recruited as vocalist and Slapp Happy was born.

This terrific collection was released in 1996.


Tracklist:

          Casablanca Moon EP:
                Casablanca Moon (single edit)
                Me and Pavarti (single edit)
          City Preachers:
                Hey, La La La
                Who are you
                Any Day in Wonderland
                Sometimes the Sky is filled with Rain
                Canada
                On a Train Ride
                Betty Dupree
                Wenn Abendlichter Glanzen
                Penelope
                Golden Yesterdays
                Come Back
                Franky and Johnny
                Old Shanty Town
          Commuters:
                The Ventriloquist
                The Young Lieutenant
                The Architect
                The Poet
                The Man on the Island
                The Acrobat
                The Organist
                The Philosopher
                The Gentlemen on the Stairs
                The Priest
          Sort Of EP:
                Alcohol
          Anthony Moore EP:
                Judy (single edit)
                Lucia (single edit)
          Slapp Happy Including Anthony Moore EP:
                Johnny's Dead
                Mr. Rainbow


Slapp Happy & Dagmar Krause - Ultra Rare Trax
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 23. November 2016

Newport Folk Festival 1963 - The Evening Concerts Vol. 2

This is an album of exceptional vintage folk performances from the Newport Folk Festival in 1963 called "The Evening Concerts: Volume 2" on the Vanguard label

Here's what the notes have to say: "No one who attended the Newport Folk Festival of 1963 would soon forget the three memorable nights and days of music-making. At the end, Seeger called to the stage all the festival singers he could find and led them in the singing of a song by another great contributor to American Folk Music, Woodrow Wilson Guthrie; the song? "This Land is Your Land" - known by many as the "American Folk National Anthem." 

Some of the artists include: Bessie Jones, Jackie Washington, Bob Davenport, Judy Collins, Theodore Bikel, Dave Van Ronk, Jean Redpath, Jean Carignan, and Pete Seeger.

Tracklist:
Bessie Jones
- My God Is A Rock In The Weary Land
- The Buzzard Lope
Jackie Washington
- One Man's Hands
- Bill Bailey
Bob Davenport
- With My Pit Boots On
Judy Collins & Theodore Bikel
- Greenland Whale Fisheries
Theodore Bikel
- Little Star
- Coplas

Dave Van Ronk
- Candy Man
- Hold On
Jean Redpath
- The Muckin' O' Geordie's Byre
- Song Of The Seals
Jean Carignan
- Le Violon Monte En Viele
- Le Reel Du Diable
- Le Reel De Rimouski
Pete Seeger
- Cripple Creek; Old Joe Clark; Leather Britches
Festival Finale
- This Land

Recorded live at the Newport Folk Festival, July 26-28, 1963.

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Newport Folk Festival 1963 - The Evening Concert Vol. 1

PhotobucketFrom the liner notes:

"Freebody Park in Newport, R. I., is a vast, rambling, open piece of real estate bounded on one side by a large stage which is surrounded on all sides by music lovers.
There, under the stars, have been held the evening concerts of the three Newport Folk Festivals in the summers of 1959, 1960 and 1963.
The peninsula on which this historic city is situated - it was a center of trade and smuggling in colonial days, and then a famous resort - just out into Narragansett Bay, and fogs are frequent. The sight of a performer on the stage as the fog billows and eddies around him beneath the colored lights, often adds to the impact of the performance.
But foggy weather or clear, the relaxed atmosphere and open-air sourroundings at the park lend themselves well to a folk concert.
"Contrast" and "variety" are the first words which come to mind in describing the performers on this disk. Their backgrounds are as diverse as the United States population. This is true of the entire roster of singers at these festival concerts, which included intellectuals, primitives, students, teachers, farmers and professional musicinans."

The album presents live recordings by Mississippi John Hurt, Jack Elliott, Ian & Sylvia, The Freedom Singers, Sam Hinton and Bob Dylan.

Newport Folk Festival 1963 - The Evening Concert Vol. 1
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 22. November 2016

VA - La Nueva Canción Chilena (1972)


"La Nueva Canción Chilena" is a compilation album featuring various artist of the Nueva Canción Chilena movement, originally released in 1972 by the label DICAP ("Discoteca del Cantar Popular"). The compilation consists of songs performed by Violeta Parra, Victor Jara, Quilapayún, Isabel and Angel Parra (children of Violeta), Tiemponuevo and Inti-Illimani.

The Nueva canción ("new song") movement was originally developed in Latin America during the 1960s. It has been associated with the rise of leftist social movements in this region and influenced by historical events such as the Cuban Revolution. Lyrically, nueva canción artists gave special attention to politically-charged messages that had a strong relationship with these series of events, while musically, it strove for a renewal of traditional Latin and South American Folk Music expressions (such as Andean Folk Music).

Chile has been commonly named as the birthplace of nueva canción, with artists such as Inti-Illimani, Víctor Jara, Violeta Parra, and Quilapayún leading the movement during the 1960s. The success of nueva canción in Chile helped propagating the movement to other Latin American countries, such as Argentina (where it was known as nuevo cancionero and was notoriously represented by Mercedes Sosa), Uruguay (led by artists such as Alfredo Zitarrosa and Daniel Viglietti) and Cuba (known as Nueva trova and including artists such as Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés and Noel Nicola) among other South and Central American countries, as well as spreading to Spain.

The Latin American nueva canción trend, along with its popular acclaim in the region, saw a notable decline during the 1970s, with the rise to power of increasingly oppressive military juntas in Chile and Argentina, which would be responsible for the death or long-term forced exile of several musicians connected to the movement. Many nueva canción artists who took refuge for several years in other countries would nevertheless continue their work for the following decades, while doing so at a more diminished pace and relatively lower popular reception.                          

"La Nueva Canción Chilena constituye la expresión de la influendia Ideológica y Política de los sectores progresistas de la música popular (...) La Nueva Canción Chilena, como movimiento musical, nace vinculada a las expresiones folklóricas y es su tarea primordial la rehabilitación de los valores autóctonos de la cultura Latinoamericana, poniendo sus contenidos al servicio de la lucha popular..."
Juan Carvajal, Director Artístico / DICAP.
Santiago / Julio / 72.

Tracklist:
01 - La carta - Violeta Parra
02 - Plegaria a un labrador - Víctor Jara
03 - ¿Qué dirá el Santo Padre? - Quilapayún
04 - Al centro de la injusticia - Isabel Parra
05 - La democracia - Angel Parra
06 - No nos moverán - Tiemponuevo
07 - Gracias a la vida - Isabel Parra
08 - Te recuerdo, Amanda - Víctor Jara
09 - Canción del Poder Popular - Inti-Illimani
10 - La muralla - Quilapayún
11 - Rin del angelito - Inti-Illimani
12 - Los pueblos americanos - Quilapayún

VA - La Neuva Cancion Chilena (1972)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Yabby You - Conquering Lion (1975)

Making his first recordings at the dawn of reggae's roots era, singer/producer Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson represented one of the new music's most important young voices. This self-produced album for the singer's Prophets label stands as his most powerful statement.

Along with singles like the Abyssinians' "Satta Massa Gana" and Burning Spear's "Door Peeper," Yabby's "Conquering Lion," "Warn the Nation," and "Run Come Rally" hailed a new sound (deep roots) and a new sensibility (Rastafarian). All are collected here along with lesser-known material that is just as essential.

Though a devout Rasta, Yabby's belief system replaced the faith's savior, Haile Selassie, with Jesus Christ, taking to heart the biblical psalms as well as the apocalyptic Revelation of St. John the Divine. From "Conquering Lion's" opening portent "Run Come Rally" to its closing adage "time longer than rope/and time gonna catch up on you," Yabby refuses to dilute his message. There's no lover's rock here, just Jah truth and wisdom Prophets style. The singer delivers the god-fearing warning of "Jah Vengeance" like he's seen the future himself. Likewise, everything from his attacks on the greed and sin that prevail in Babylon to praises of Jah and cries for justice speak of an unwavering conviction. Propelling his lyrics are the finest rhythms of his career. "Conquering Lion" and "Jah Vengeance" in particular would spawn numerous re-cuts over the years, including multiple dubs by the great King Tubby, sax versions by Tommy McCook, and DJ sides by Trinity, Dillinger, and Big Youth. Along with "Run Come Rally," "Anti-Christ," and "Warn the Nation," they would form the foundation of the dub classic "King Tubby's Prophecy of Dub". "Conquering Lion" is essential roots and one of the finest reggae albums from any era.     

Tracklist:
Run Come Rally
Jah Vengeance
Conquering Lion
Covetious Men
Anti Christ
Carnal Mind
Jah Love
Love Thy Neighbour
Love Of Jah
The Man Who Does The Work

Yabby You - Conquering Lion (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 21. November 2016

Fela Kuti - Why Black Man Dey Suffer (1971)

"Why Black Man Dey Suffer", recorded in 1971, was originally deemed too controversial for release by EMI, Fela Kutis label at the time. Having recently been schooled in the American black power movement and having taken on a new Pan-African worldview, this album served as one of Fela’s first musical soapboxes on which he challenged the colonial injustices and corruption of the ruling elites of his time.

The title track “Why Black Man Dey Suffer” is a history lesson on the oppression of the African man. It details the litany of abuses the black man has suffered - from being taken as slaves, to having an alien people impose a new culture upon them, take their land, fight them, and set them against one another. The following track, “Ikoyi Mentality”, firmly expresses Fela’s identification with the downtrodden masses and his rejection of the ways of the ruling class inhabitants of the Ikoyi neighborhood in Lagos.
 
Tracklist:
AWhy Black Man Dey Suffer
BIkoyi Mentality Versus Mushin Mentality

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 20. November 2016

Charlie Parker - The Charlie Parker Story (Savoy)

The Charlie Parker Story is an LP record by Charlie Parker, released posthumously by Savoy Records. While many of the tracks on this album had been previously released on other formats (78 rpm records, 7-inch EPs and singles, and 10- and 12-inch LPs), this is the first album that chronicles the entire session, recorded November 26, 1945, including all takes of all pieces.
This session is famous in that it is the first recorded under Parker's name. It is also controversial, in that to this day it is unclear who the pianist and trumpet player are on all of the tracks.




Charlie Parker - The Charlie Parker Story (Savoy)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 19. November 2016

The New Lost City Ramblers ‎– Moonshine & Prohibition

Longtime Folkways recording artists The New Lost City Ramblers perform 17 period songs about liquor, bootlegging, and Prohibition (1917-1933) in the traditional style of southern mountain string bands. As Rambler member Mike Seeger observes in the liner notes, many of the songs appear to have been written by people who knew drink well and were familiar with it's effects. Several of the songs consist of new lyrics commemorating the virtues or evils of alcohol set to familiar melodies of the time. Rambler member John Cohen also contributed to the liner notes, which include an informal history of prohibition in America as well as song lyrics and photos.        

These 1960's versions of songs from the prohibition era will please the musical palette of any old-style country/bluegrass enthusiast. In addition to the skillful performances by The New Lost City Ramblers, these songs have much to say about the attitudes and behavior of folks during this fascinating period of American history.

Tracklist:

A1Virginia Bootlegger
A2Kentucky Bootlegger
A3Bootlegger's Story
A4Drunken Driver
A5Moonshiner
A6Drunkard's Hiccups
A7I Saw A Man At The Close Of Day
A8Goodbye Old Booze
B1Prohibition Is A Failure
B2Old Home Brew
B3I've Still Got 99
B4Whiskey Seller
B5Teetotals
B6Al Smith For President
B7Intoxicated Rat
B8Wreck On The Highway
B9Down To The Stillhouse To Get A Little Cider


The New Lost City Ramblers ‎– Moonshine & Prohibition
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 18. November 2016

Karol Rathaus - Der letzte Pierrot - Sinfonie Nr. 1 (Decca Entartete Musik)

Karol Rathaus was one of those indirect victims of Nazism that Decca’s Entartete Musik series has been so indispensable in rediscovering. Polish-born, he was briefly very successful in pre-war Germany (an opera was premiered by Bruno Walter; Furtwangler and Horenstein also took him up). Seeing the way the wind was blowing he left Germany the year before Hitler came to power, wrote film music and a ballet in Paris and London but found few openings and fewer performances in America, where he eventually settled.

The First Symphony (there are two others) was roundly abused at its premiere in 1926; this recording is its first performance since then, and the composer – not yet 60 – went to his early grave believing the score to be
lost. It is a prodigiously inventive work, 40 minutes long though in only two movements, in a frowning, sinewy post-romantic style that might remind you just a little of the symphonies of Honegger or of the more austere pages of Martinu. The thematic language, though, is much closer to the Viennese tradition and its roots in Mahler, Reger and (Rathaus’s teacher) Schreker are clearly perceptible. But it has an individual emotional vein, often grim, sombre or shadowed, rising at times to a bitter eloquence that is very striking; orchestrally, too, it is highly accomplished. According to an accompanying note Rathaus was frightened by the reaction to the work and by the anti-Semitism of some of his critics; it is hard not to hear some such prejudice in dismissals of the symphony as ‘atonal’. It is no such thing, and although many of its melodies are angular and some of its dissonances harsh, it is by no means especially innovative for its period.

Even so, Rathaus apparently changed his style soon afterwards. Not radically, if his ballet The last Pierrot is anything to go by. Its melodies are sometimes smoother; no doubt association with dance added an element of grace to his manner, but the music is evidently by the same composer as the symphony. Jazz elements are introduced (and adroitly used to convey real menace at one point) and there is a violent forcefulness that aptly reflects the plot – this is a Pierrot in modern times, seeking his Columbine among factories and dance halls. It is effective and was for a while very popular. But it is the Symphony that whets one’s appetite for more of this impressively gifted composer’s music, especially in such eloquent performances as these. The Symphony is a tough piece to bring off – it had to wait five years for its premiere, because conductors were scared of it – but Israel Yinon has its full measure. I look forward to future recordings by him as eagerly as I do to more music by Karol Rathaus.

-- Michael Oliver, Gramophone [9/1998]

Tracklist:

Sinfonie Nr. 1
01. Erster Satz
02. Zweiter Satz

Der letzte Pierrot
03. Erster Akt
04. Zweiter Akt
05. Dritter Akt

Karol Rathaus - Der letzte Pierrot - Sinfonie Nr. 1 (Decca Entartete Musik)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 17. November 2016

Hanns Eisler - Lieder (Orfeo)

Songs form the greatest part of Hanns Eisler´s work. They range from songs with piano in the late Romantic tradtion to political songs for the masses. For all their stylistic differences, Eisler´s songs have two things in common: for one, they are distinguished by a sovereign mastery of a very rich musical palette of colours, and for the orther, the relationship between text and music is very deliberately organized, at times in mutual conflict.

This album offers songs from two phases in Eisler´s output. The first group comprises works written between 1917 and 1926. They are unpublished songs from Eisler´s apprenticeship plus the first published "Six songs op. 2", which are still indebted to the Viennese School. With the "Zeitungsausschnitte op. 11" and the "Lustige Ecke" Eisler finally distanced himself from his teacher Schönberg.

After an interval of about a decade in which the composer wrote mainly political music, he again turned, after his emigration, to the genre of songs with piano. The songs of this second phase are introverted, diary-like elegies that have as their subjects the situation of alienation in exile and reflections on Germany.

This album was recorded in April and June 1998 at Kleiner Sendesaal in Berlin, with Michaela Kaune (soprano), Dietrich Henschel (baritone) and Axel Bauni (piano).

Tracklist:
1 - 4     Frühe Lieder (Rilke, Trakl, Klabund, Kramer)
5 - 10 Galgenlieder
11 - 12 Zwei Lieder (Bethge, Trakl)
13 - 18 Sechs Lieder op. 12 (Claudius, Bethge, Klabund)
19 - 28 Zeitungsausschnitte op. 11
29 - 30 Lustige Ecke
31 - 36 Hölderlin-Fragmente
37 - 41 Anakreontische Fragmente

Hanns Eisler - Lieder (Orfeo)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 16. November 2016

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Blessed Assurance (1951)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe became gospel music's first crossover artist and its first great recording star. Her vocals and electric guitar playing influenced future greats such as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin and many others. Her 1944 hit "Down By The Riverside" was selected for the American Library of Congress National Recording Registry in 2004. Her accomplishments were cut short in 1973 when she died from a stroke. After listening to this powerhouse singer you'll agree, Sister Rosetta Tharpe truly deserves the title of "the original soul sister".

"Blessed Assurance" is an album with slow Gospel songs, accompanied by organ. It was also released in France as "Spirituals".

Tracklist:
A1Blessed Assurance
A2Amazing Grace
A3Rock Of Ages
A4Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
B1In The Garden
B2There's A Fountain Filled With Blood
B3Throw Out The Life Line
B4What A Friend We Have In Jesus

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Blessed Assurance (1951)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 15. November 2016

VA - Beyond the Wildwood – A Tribute to Syd Barrett (1987)

Like a supernova, Roger "Syd" Barrett burned briefly and brightly, leaving an indelible mark upon psychedelic and progressive rock as the founder and original singer, songwriter, and lead guitarist of Pink Floyd. Barrett was responsible for most of their brilliant first album, 1967's "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn", but left and/or was fired from the band in early 1968 after his erratic behavior had made him too difficult to deal with (he appears on a couple tracks on their second album, "A Saucerful of Secrets"). Such was his stature within the original lineup that few observers thought the band could survive his departure; in fact, the original group's management decided to keep Syd on and leave the rest of the band to their own devices. Pink Floyd never recaptured the playful humor and mad energy of their work with Barrett.               

Beyond the Wildwood – A Tribute to Syd Barrett is a tribute album consisting of music written by Syd Barrett. The musicians performing on the album are British and American indie rock artists. The songs featured come from Pink Floyd's singles; the albums The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets; and Barrett's two solo albums: The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. Although Barrett's productive recording career had only lasted from 1967 though 1970, his music had a great influence on the development of psychedelic rock, alternative rock and indie rock music.

"Beyond the Wildwood" is a must have for any serious Syd fan. This album of covers is a fine tribute, the songs are not at all "replicas"; they are all fresh and re-worked, some of them quite radically. 


1. The Mock Turtles - No Good Trying
2. Plasticland - Octopus
3. SS-20 - Arnold Layne
4. Paul Roland - Matilda Mother
5. Fit And Limo - Long Cold Look
6. The Shamen - Long Gone
7. Opal - If The Sun Don't Shine (Adaptation Of Jugband Blues)
8. The Ashes In The Morning - Baby Lemonade
9. The Lobster Quadrille - Wolfpack
10. The Paint Set - Golden Hair
11. Tropicana Fishtank - No Man's Land
12. The T.V. Personalities - Apples And Oranges
13. The Soup Dragons - Two Of A Kind
14. The Green Telescope - Scream Thy Last Scream
15. The Chemistry Set - See Emily Play
16. What Noise - Rats
17. Death Of Samantha - Gigolo Aunt

VA - Beyond the Wildwood – A Tribute to Syd Barrett (1987)
(256 kbps, cover art incuded)

Miriam Makeba - The Guinea Years

Like many politically-minded black South Africans, Miriam Makeba spent several decades in exile during the apartheid era. Following the 1961 Sharpville Massacre, where dozens of people - including several of her relatives - were shot to death while protesting the new pass laws, Makeba broke her silence on the evils of apartheid rule. The South African government responded by revoking her citizenship and permanently refusing to let her return to her homeland.
 
After ten years of securing her fame in Europe and North America, singer Miriam Makeba returned home to Africa in 1968; sadly, though, Makeba couldn't return to her native South Africa because of her outspoken views on apartheid. So instead she temporarily lived in Guinea and recorded and performed with some of the top local musicians.
 
This excellent disc reveals the riches with 16 varied tracks, including four live cuts which end the program. While ranging from traditional Guinean cuts ("Milele") to bossa nova ("Le Enfant et la Gazelle"), Makeba further shows her flexibility by incorporating some rock and soul into the Afro-pop mix ("Lovely Lies") and even by offering a fine bit of torch singing à la Shirley Bassey ("Jeux Interdits [Forbidden Games]"). Taking in the raw soukous sound of Franco and his peers and expanding it with her own international touch and incredible voice, Makeba delivers a stunning batch of songs that can be counted as some of her best.    

 Tracklist:
1Teya Teya
2L´Enfant Et la Gazelle
3Milele
4Amampondo
5Toure Barika
6Lovely Lies
7Africa
8Maobhe Guinee
9Jeux Interdits (Forbidden Games)
10West Wind Unifications
11Dakhla Yunik
12Teya Teya (alternate Version)
13Djuiginira
14Malouyame
15Kadeya Deya
16Sekou Famake
     
Miriam Makeba - The Guinea Years
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mikis Theodorakis, Maria Farantouri, Petros Pandis - Canto General (1975)

An historical recording of the first performance in Athens, of "Canto General", the "Bible of South America" composed by Mikis Theodorakis, on the poetry of the Nobelist Chilean "national poet", Pablo Neruda. Maria Farantouri and Petros Pandis are singing in spanish, the original Neruda lyrics. They are backed by the National Chorus of France, the Percussions of Strasbourg and a Greek Folk Orchestra with two great bouzouki soloists. This live recording is unique, since it immortalized the superb enthousiastic atmosphere created by 75.000 applauding spectators. A collector's item, recorded live on August 13, 1975, at the Karaiskakis-Stadium, Pireus and on August 16, 1975, at the Panathinaikos-Stadium, Athens, by Polysound Studio.
.
The "General Song" or "Canto General" is the ultimate creation of the greatest of "the soul engineers", the Chilean Pablo Neruda. In these burning pages he is poet, revolutionist, soldier, chilean, american, universal. Neruda honors the people and the people honors Neruda. Never again such a deep, close and glorious union between a nation and a poet has been achieved. Canto General is the voice of the people, of all the nations of the World. Mikis Theodorakis was touched and impressed and added his own magic touch. And the result was a masterpiece, by all means.

 
Tracklist:

01. Manos Katrakis - Prologue
02. Maria Farantouri - Algunas bestias
03. Petros Pandis - Voy a vivir 1949
04. Maria Farantouri - Los libertadores
05. Petros Pandis - La United Fruit Co.
06. Maria Farantouri - Vienen los pajaros
07. Maria Farantouri - Vegetaciones
08. Petros Pandis - America insurrecta 1800

Mikis Theodorakis, Maria Farantouri, Petros Pandis - Canto General (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 14. November 2016

Dizzy Gillespie - The Champ (1956)

An early LP on Savoy that gathers Dizzy Gillespie's small-group recordings from 1951-52, "The Champ" has a lot to recommend it - songs, sidemen, and performances. With just one exception, each of the selections are drawn from quintet or sextet dates, boasting work by Art Blakey, Milt Jackson, J.J. Johnson, Percy Heath, and Stuff Smith in addition to an early appearance from John Coltrane (he made his debut with Diz, though not here).

On the title track, a six-minute jam released as a two-part single, Gillespie plays furiously and tenor Budd Johnson contributes a great squawking solo. "Birk's Works," one of Dizzy's finest compositions, gets its first commercial recording, while Stuff Smith's violin solo gives "Caravan" exactly the exotic touch it needs to lift it above competing versions. Diz and Joe Carroll trade vocals on "On the Sunny Side of the Street," and bop culture meets gospel for "Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac."                

Tracklist:

The Champ
Birk's Work
Caravan
Time On My Hands
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Tin Tin Deo
Stardust
They Can't Take That Away From Me
The Bluest Blues
Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac
Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee
 Bopsies Blues (alt. take, bonus track)
 Blue Skies (bonus track)

Dizzy Gillespie - The Champ (1956)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 13. November 2016

The Kingston Trio - Live At Newport 1959


"Live at Newport" is a live album by the American folk music group The Kingston Trio. It contains a performance by the trio at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. At the time of the performance, the group consisted of Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds.

The Kingston Trio had just become superstars when they performed this 12-song set at the Newport Folk Festival. Including well-known features of their repertoire such as "M.T.A.," "Scotch and Soda," and "All My Sorrows," it's a good-sounding and well-executed performance.   

It's been half a century since The Kingston Trio set the pop world afire with "Tom Dooley" and "(Charlie on the) MTA," and, in the process, turned "folk" music mainstream. College kids with energy, talent, and lively humor to burn, the Trio avoided the protest songs and controversy which led to the blacklisting of The Weavers during the McCarthy era. Featured at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958, they became star attractions the following year when the Newport Folk Festival was inaugurated.

This album, recorded at that 1959 Festival but not released until 1994, highlights the youth, high spirits, and just plain good fun of a Kingston Trio concert, long before rock concerts became the norm. Only thirty-seven minutes long, this album contains mostly songs that were already big hits (and had already been recorded), but for those newbies wanting a short sample of their music and performing style, or long-time fans wanting a historic live recording, this does the job nicely.

"Saro Jane," "Hard Ain't It Hard," "When the Saints Go Marching In," and "Three Jolly Coachmen" have the insistent rhythms of guitar and banjo, the unrelenting energy, and the easy harmonies that typify Kingston Trio albums. "All My Sorrows," "South Coast," and "Scotch and Soda" add some quieter, minor-keyed variety to the selection. Their wild, irreverent humor, as close as the Trio gets to a protest, is seen in "Merry Minuet," in which the "rioting in Africa" and "starving in Spain," become a comment on politics and the environment, which may someday be solved by the "mushroom-shaped cloud."

Filled with the high-pitched screams and cheers of their young audience, to which the group plays with asides and seemingly off-the-cuff remarks, this album is classic Kingston Trio - loads of fun and loads of now-familiar songs.

The Kingston Trio - Live At Newport
(256 kbps, front cover included)