Mittwoch, 13. Dezember 2017

Silvio Rodriguez - Antologia (1978)

Silvio Rodríguez Domínguez is a Cuban musician, and leader of the nueva trova movement.
He is considered Cuba's best folk singer and known for his highly eloquent and symbolic lyrics. Many of his songs have become classics in Latin American music, such as "Ojalá", "Playa Girón", "Unicornio" and "La maza". Among his other well-known songs are "Fusil contra fusil" and "Canción del Elegido". He has released nearly 20 albums.
Rodríguez, musically and politically, is a symbol of the Latin American Left. His lyrics are notably introspective, while his songs combine romanticism, eroticism, revolutionary politics and idealism. He has been referred to as "Cuba's John Lennon."

Rodríguez was born on November 29, 1946 in San Antonio de los Baños, a fertile valley in Havana Province known for its tobacco crop. He was raised in a family of poor farmers. His father, Víctor Dagoberto Rodríguez Ortega, was a farmer and amateur poet who supported socialist causes. His mother, Argelia Domínguez León, was a housewife. On many occasions Rodríguez has spoken how his love of music was developed by his mother, who would pass time singing boleros and songs from Santiago. Although Rodríguez had an uncle who played the bass, his mother had a far greater influence. Later, she also collaborated with him on a few musical works.

When the Revolution led by Fidel Castro triumphed in January 1959, Rodríguez was only 13 years old, and, like most Cubans of his generation, became involved in the new Revolutionary enthusiasm. He participated in the Literacy Campaign held in 1961, and then started working as a comics designer in a magazine. During this period a friend of his, Lázaro Fundora, taught him how to play the guitar.
Guitar playing took a major role in his life while he was doing his military service in the army, during 1964, but it wasn't until 1967, with his first television experience, that he started to become well known and influential among Cuban revolutionary youth. With pro-revolution yet very independent lyrics (together with his very informal dress code), Rodríguez soon attracted the animosity of some members of the new Culture Ministry, which was devoted to the eradication of the United States' influence in Cuban culture. In this context, a very important role was played by the cultural institution Casa de las Américas and its then director Haydée Santamaría, the former a respected revolutionary who participated in the Moncada barracks assault of 1953 and sister of Abel Santamaría, who was tortured and killed after the failure of the assault. Haydée Santamaría became a protective mother-figure of the young composers and of several of his colleagues at the time. Casa de las Américas became the home not only for the new Cuban trovadores but also for many other Latin Americans on the left. It was in this institution that Rodríguez met Pablo Milanés, and Noel Nicola, who along with Rodríguez would become the most famous nueva trova singers and composers.

In 1969, for almost five months, he worked as part of the crew on the fishing boat Playa Girón, and during this fertile episode he wrote 62 songs, among which are the famous "Ojalá" and "Playa Girón." The lyrics and music of these songs became a book named Canciones del Mar. In 1976, he decided to join Cuban troops in Angola, playing for the soldiers.

After more than 40 years of artistic work, Rodríguez has now written a vast number of songs and poems (said to be between 500 and more than one thousand), many of which have never been set to music and probably never will be. Although his musical knowledge has been continuously increasing (counting among his teachers the famous Cuban composer Leo Brouwer), he is more widely praised for the poetry in his songs than for the accompanying music. His lyrics are a staple of leftist culture throughout the whole Spanish-speaking world, and he has been banned from the media during several of the dictatorial regimes that ruled Latin America in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

His debut album was Días y flores, launched in 1975. Al final de este viaje and Cuando digo futuro feature songs he composed before Días y flores. He reached international popularity in the early 1980s with Rabo de nube and, in particular, Unicornio. In the early part of his career his work displayed a fair amount of revolutionary optimism. Mujeres, released in 1979, is in contrast a romantic and highly intimist album. In the middle of his career, Silvio Rodríguez experimented with sounds and rhythms departing from his trademark acoustic guitar, accompanied by the group Afrocuba (e.g. in Causas y azares). At maturity, Silvio Rodríguez thoroughly purified his sound through a return to acoustic guitar, great care and sophistication in the voice, and exclusive control of the production process from beginning to end. His lyrics became more introspective, at times even self-absorbed or self-justifying, expressing melancholic longings about the shortcomings of real-life socialism in Cuba while vindicating idealism and revolutionary hope amongst the youth. The trilogy, called Silvio, Rodríguez, and Domínguez (his first name, his father's last name, his mother's last name) displays sound artistic talent. The doubts, absent in the early part of his career, also correspond to the fall of communism worldwide and the so-called Special Period in Cuba. An unnoticed recurrent theme in the lyrics of the early part of his career is that of death, particularly although not only as associated with guerrilla warfare. In contrast to the explicitness of his early songs and political positions, there was a displacement of emphasis in his later years toward fantasy and dreams. Both, however, are about an alternative that is not present but is called for, or what Laclau would call a longing for a "missing fullness". This is true politically, romantically, and existentially. In a similar way, the unusual confessional tone of many of his songs allows for an unorthodox combination of transgression, eroticism, longing, and at times (probably accurate) self-deprecation in many of his lyrics.

The entire work of Silvio Rodríguez offers an intimate and introspective window into the life cycle of the artist. If the lyrics of the early part of his career are about revolutionary enthusiasm, love encounters and disappointments, as well as sensual desire, and if the middle-aged Silvio is more self-questioning, often looking backward; his most recent albums, such as Cita con ángeles, talk in part about his life as a grandfather and has a certain focus on children, while Érase que se era is the release (with all the means that come with being an established artist) of songs written early in his youth but never previously recorded. Mariposas also featured two classics composed in his youth.
Silvio Rodríguez stands out in the Spanish-speaking world for the intimacy and subtlety of his lyrics, as well as for his acoustic melodies and "chord picking." He is particularly popular amongst intellectual circles of the left in Latin America and Spain. He has also often served as Cuban cultural emissary in events of solidarity, whether in Chile (Silvio Rodríguez in Chile, 1991) or Argentina (En vivo en Argentina, recorded in 1984), both massive concerts given shortly after the fall of the right-wing dictatorships. Cuban flags are always conspicuous in the crowd during his concerts.
In 2007, he received a doctorate honoris causa from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Peru.

Tracks:

01. Canción del Elegido (3:01)
02. Te doy una canción (3:09)
03. Madre (2:16)
04. Pequeña serenata diurna (2:53)
05. Mariposas (6:08)
06. El papalote (5:27)
07. Fusil contra fusil (3:15)
08. La era esta pariendo un corazón (2:57)
09. El rey de las flores (2:17)
10. Esto no es una elegía (3:25)

Silvio Rodriguez - Antologia (1978)
(256 kbsp, cover art included)

Dienstag, 12. Dezember 2017

Hai & Topsy Frankl - Lieder von Werner Helwig

Heinrich and Gunnel Frankl are a German/Swedish husband-and-wife team of harmonizing, guitar-strumming, song-collecting folksingers.  

This album is devoted to the songs of Werner Helwig (with some lyrics by Bertolt Brecht), a german author and memeber of the "Nerother Wandervogel". Helwig fled germany in 1939 and went to exile in Swizerland and Liechtenstein.

Tracklist:
01. Gesang des Soldaten der roten Armee
02. Ballade von den Selbsthelfern
03. Mahagonnygesang Nr. 3
04. Legende vom toten Soldaten
05. Gegen Verführung
06. Von der Freundlichkeit der Welt
07. Mahagonnygesang Nr. 2
08. Das geflickte Segel
09. Wo tausend Krieger fielen
10. Die silberne Stunde
11. Das Gaukler-Lied
12. Von Nacht gebeugt
13. Schweigen
14. Porto kufò
15. Baybach-Lied
16. Das kleine Schlaflied

Hai & Topsy Frankl - Lieder von Werner Helwig 
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 11. Dezember 2017

Rip Rig + Panic ‎– I Am Cold (1982)

Named after a terrific '60s jazz album by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, "Rip Rig + Panic" answered the question: what happens when avant-garde post-punks collide head-long with a pop/soul singer and play a mutated form of jazz? A loosely knit collection of ex-Pop Group members (Gareth Sager and Bruce Smith) and young stars-to-be (Neneh Cherry), Rip, Rig & Panic formed in 1980 as quintessential avant-garde bohemians. They eschewed pop for a more primal, percussive foundation (slightly reggae, slightly Afro-pop) upon which was layered free jazz blowing and honking, soulful singing, and Cecil Taylor-inspired piano mania. But, as intense as this music was, it wasn't played with a dry academic seriousness; quite the contrary, Rip Rig + Panic were all about fun and playfulness. Even the song titles ("Constant Drudgery Is Harmful to Soul, Spirit & Health" and "Those Eskimo Women Speak Frankly") sounded more like surreal announcements than they did traditional, catchy song titles.

Arguably the most likable bunch of avant-garde types ever to record music, Rip Rig + Panic called it a day after three mostly wonderful, if somewhat inconsistent records. If your taste in music, even fringe music, is such that a strong melodic focus is necessary, than perhaps this won't be your cup of tea. However, if you don't mind a little chaos with your funk, then give this heady mix a chance; it will work its way into your heart, head, and feet. As for the members, Bruce Smith joined Public Image Ltd. for a spell, and Neneh Cherry became a huge pop star (deservedly so) with her first solo record.       

"I Am Cold" is the second studio album by Rip Rig + Panic, released in 18 June 1982. With additional help from ex-Slits singer Ari Upp and Cherry's stepfather, noted jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, "I Am Cold" is a slightly more mature work, but the exuberance and all-out craziness that marked their debut is here in full force. A little rambling, but an approach to music unlike one you've heard before.

Tracklist:
North Side:
Hunger (The Ocean Roars It Bites)3:00
Epi Epi Arp Woosh!4:00
Another Tampon Up The Arse Of Humanity4:00
Misa Luba Lone Wolf3:06
East Side:
Storm The Reality Asylum4:00
Here Gathers Nameless Energy (Volcanoes Covered By Snow)4:20
A Dog's Secret1:30
Liars Shape Up Or Ship Out2:00
South Side:
Warm; To The If In Life4:30
Nurse Increase The Sedatives (The Torment's No Better)4:15
Take A Don Key To Mystery4:00
West Side:
Tax Sex5:00
Subversive Wisdom5:00
Fire Eyes Joyful Silent Tears4:10

Rip Rig + Panic ‎– I Am Cold (1982)
(192 kbps, cover art included)
     

Sonntag, 10. Dezember 2017

The Sextet Of Orchestra USA - Mack The Knife And Other Berlin Theatre Songs Of Kurt Weill (1964)

Third Stream, Gunther Schuller's well-intentioned but commercially doomed idea of forcing contemporary classical (i.e. serial) composition music to cohabit with hard bop, produced but a handful of fine recordings, most notably the classic 1960 Atlantic Jazz Abstractions and this 1964 sextet outing under the stewardship of trombonist Michael Zwerin.

The choice of Kurt Weill's sleek and elegant compositions was astute: the bittersweet harmonies of Weill (who ultimately emigrated to the U.S. from Germany) lend themselves particularly well to jazz soloing, and accordingly, an outstanding rhythm section featuring the Modern Jazz Quartet's John Lewis (an enthusiastic advocate of Third Stream from its inception) and Connie Kay. Bassist Richard Davis is on hand to support some splendid horn work from Thad Jones, Nick Travis, Jerome Richardson, and most notably Eric Dolphy, whose wild bass clarinet leaps on "Alabama Song" are a pure joy to hear, and proof that the saxophonist's harmonic concept, while undeniably "out" for the standard-based harmonic repertoire of bop, was most definitely "in" the wider scheme of musical thought that Third Stream aspired to.               

Tracklist:

1 Alabama Song 5:22
2 Havanna Song 6:16
3 As You Make Your Bed 5:26
4 Mack The Knife 5:04
5 Bilbao Song 3:47
6 Barbara Song 5:04
7 Pirate Jenny 3:34
8 Mack The Knife (Alternate Take) 4:50
9 Bilbao Song (Alternate Take) 3:45
10 Pirate Jenny (Alternate Take) 4:23


The Sextet Of Orchestra USA - Mack The Knife And Other Berlin Theatre Songs Of Kurt Weill (1964)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 9. Dezember 2017

Joe Gibbs & The Professionals‎ – African Dub - Chapter 2

The second volume in this vintage four-disc series of instrumental dub from Joe Gibbs' studio finds him still working with members of the Soul Syndicate and We the People bands, and utilizing the formidable mixing talents of Errol Thompson.

What sets this volume somewhat apart from the other three is the number of rhythms it carries over from the rocksteady era: "Chapter Two" is a remix of the Techniques' late-'60s classic "Queen Majesty"; "Peeping Tom" reworks the Melodians' "You Have Caught Me"; and "My Best Dub" is an instrumental and nicely dubbed-up recut of the early Wailers track "Hypocrites." But it also includes some heavyweight rockers and one-drop material, including "Angola Crisis" (based on a familiar rhythm later used for such roots reggae hits as "Uptown Top Ranking" and "Three Piece Suit") and an absolutely brilliant dub mix of Bob Andy's "Chained," here rendered in dark, minimalist tones with drastic dubwise effects and retitled "Third World."

Along with the third volume, this is one of the most impressive of the four discs in the African Dub series.                

Tracklist:
1Chapter Two
2The Marriguna Affair
3Angola Crisis
4Peeping Tom
5Outrage
6Idlers Rest
7My Best Dub
8Third World
9Heavy Duty Dub
10Musical Arena
11Mackarus Serenade
12Jamaican Grass


Joe Gibbs & The Professionals‎ – African Dub - Chapter 2                                   
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 4. Dezember 2017

Heiner Goebbels, Alfred Harth, Dagmar Krause, Ernst Stötzner - Bertolt Brecht: Zeit wird knapp

Experimental composer and director Heiner Goebbels was born in Neustadt, Germany, on August 17, 1952, relocating to the Frankfurt area at age 20 to study music and sociology. He first achieved recognition in 1976 upon premiering a number of works, including "Rote Sonne", "Circa", and "Improvisations on Themes by Hanns Eisler", most performed in conjunction with the "Sogenanntes Linksradikales Blasorchester".

Concurrently, Goebbels also collaborated with Alfred Harth and, beginning in 1982, he served as a member of the longstanding art rock trio Cassiber. He further expanded his growing oeuvre with a series of theatrical, film, and ballet scores, and during the mid-'80s began writing and directing audio plays of his own, seeking his initial inspiration in the texts of Heiner Mueller. His theatrical and musical works have won numerous awards across Europe.

"Bertolt Brecht - Zeit wird knapp" is a collaboration of Heiner Goebbels with Alfred Harth, Dagmar Krause and Ernst Stötzner. It was recorded and mixed between August and October 1981 at "Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik" in Stuttgart.Germany. It came with a 16 page text-booklet and was available only at "2001 mailorder", Frankfurt. The album combines the poetry of Bertolt Brecht with free jazz and free improvisation.

Heiner Goebbels plays piano, cembalo, synthesizer, cello, guitar, bouzuki, bass; Alfred Harth plays saxophone, clarinet and flute; Dagmar Krause and Ernst Stötzner supplied their voices.

Tracklisting:

Side A:
1. Tagesanbruch
2. Ich, Bertolt Brecht
3. Schwächen
4. Morgens und abends zu lesen
5. Liebeslied
6. Abbau des Schiffes Oskawa durch die Mannschaft
7. Es lebt eine Gräfin in schwedischem Land
8. Die Vögel warten im Winter vor dem Fenster

Side B:
1. Apfelböck oder Die Lilie auf dem Felde
2. Der Pflaumenbaum
3. Legende von der Entstehung des Buches Taoteking auf dem Wege des Laotse in die Emigration
4. Liedchen aus alter Zeit
5. Sonett
6. Deutsches Lied
7. 1940 (Ich befinde mich auf dem Inselchen Lidingo)
8. Ich, Bertolt Brecht / An die Nachgeborenen / Wer zuhause bleibt, wenn der Kampf beginnt / Adresse des sterbenden Dichters an die Jugend

Heiner Goebbels, Alfred Harth, Dagmar Krause, Ernst Stötzner - Bertolt Brecht - Zeit wird knapp
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 1. Dezember 2017

Hanns Dieter Hüsch - Carmina Urana: Vier Gesänge gegen die Bombe (1963)

The west german "Verlag Pläne" was found in 1961 by Dieter Süverkrüp and other artist. This was followed in 1963 by the release of "Ostersongs 1962/63" featuring Süverkrüp and Fasia and the Conrads. The same year saw the first 4-track-EP by Hanns Dieter Hüsch, "Carmina Urana: Vier Gesänge gegen die Bombe" - this was the birth of the record label "pläne". "Carmina Urana" was based on a radio feature and inspired by the "Ostermarsch"-movement. It was recorded in 1963 in Düsseldorf.

In 1966 "pläne" released their first LP, a compilation of various artists "Lieder des europäische Widerstands gegen den Faschismus", which you can find here.


Tracklist:

A1 Erster Gesang
A2 Zweiter Gesang
B1 Dritter Gesang
B2 Vierter Gesang

Hanns Dieter Hüsch - Carmina Urana: Vier Gesänge gegen die Bombe (1963)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 28. November 2017

Dmitry Shostakovich - Symphony No. 13 `Babi Yar` (Vasily Petrenko, Naxos)

Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 13, Op. 113 in 1962. The climax of his 'Russian period' and, in its scoring for bass soloist, male chorus and orchestra, among the most Mussorgskian of his works, it attracted controversy through its settings of poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko (the 'Russian Bob Dylan' of his day) not least the first movement, where the poet underlines the plight of Jews in Soviet society. The other movements are no less pertinent in their observations on the relationship between society and the individual. This is the final release in Vasily Petrenko's internationally acclaimed symphonic cycle.

The cycle of Shostakovich symphonies from Britain's Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko has been widely praised, and this version of one of the composer's sharpest-edged works of protest will not disrupt the general trend. Here, as elsewhere, the reading is a sort of combination of British and Russian elements. The Huddersfield Choral Society probably does not have the sound Shostakovich imagined for this Mussorgskian work. But Petrenko catches the suppressed fury that often comes through only in Russian performances of Shostakovich. The work sets poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, a controversial enough move even during the cultural Thaw year of 1962. Each approaches the question of anti-Semitism in Russia through a different lens, and Petrenko is well acquainted with the moods of the work: the sharp satire, gathering anger, of the "Humor" movement (track 2), depicting the death of humor; the exquisite portrayal of Soviet drudgery in "At the Store" (track 3); the commemoration of the Nazi massacre at Babi Yar, Ukraine, aided by locals (track 1). Against the clear choral sound Petrenko sets a classic Russian bass, Alexander Vinogradov, with compelling results. A fine entry in Petrenko's series, worthy of standing beside his recording of the still grimmer Symphony No. 14, Op. 135.               

"Shostakovich's Symphony No 13, setting poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, was given its UK premiere by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1971, so there is something satisfyingly symmetrical that it forms the final chapter in Vasily Petrenko's Naxos cycle of all 15 symphonies with the same orchestra. This performance lives up to the high expectations raised by the previous discs in this series: the orchestra, now invested by Petrenko with a true Russian bite and resonance, lives and breathes the music in brilliance and brooding edginess and energy. Harnessing the men'svoices of the RLP Choir and the Huddersfield Choral Society, the interpretation echoes the music s powerfully expressed protest against Soviet anti-Semitism, and sharply focuses on Shostakovich's subversive, humanitarian stance against the Soviet society of his day, heightened by the intensity of the bass protagonist, Alexander Vinogradov. With Petrenko's ear for detail and his instincts for symphonic shape and dramatic flux, this is a disc that stands comparison with the generally acknowledged classic 1962 recording by Kirill Kondrashin (recently re-released on Praga), and it does so with pungent emotional force. **** "--Telegraph, 10/11/14


Dmitry Shostakovich - Symphony No. 13 `Babi Yar` (Vasily Petrenko, Naxos)
(256 kbps, cover art included)


Montag, 27. November 2017

Maria Farantouri - Wenn die Kraniche ziehen - Live in Düsseldorf

A well-known Greek vocalist and political activist, Maria Farantouri is considered one of the foremost interpreters of Greek music, especially the work of composer Mikis Theodorakis. A contralto singer with a deep, resonant voice, Farantouri is sometimes referred to as the Joan Baez of Greece, and over the years has moved from traditional and folk styles to more jazz, classical, and avant-garde works. Born in Athens in 1947, Farantouri first began singing in her youth as a member of the progressive choir of the Society of Greek Music, which worked to support new music based on Greek traditions. By her teens she caught the ear of Theodorakis, who invited her to join his ensemble. This led to a time of great creative and social awakening for Farantouri, who along with Theodorakis' culturally and politically left-leaning work, helped popularize the writing of many important Greek poets.               

From 1967 to 1974, Farantouri was forced into exile after a right-wing military junta staged a coup in Greece. During this time, she and Theodorakis made several protest recordings in Europe and expanded their work to included the writing of Bertolt Brecht and Spanish composer Carlos Puebla, as well as many Greek composers including Eleni Karaindrou and Mikalis Bourboulis. Also during this period she released the anti-fascist recording "Mauthausen Cycle," a work by Theodorakis featuring the writing of poet Iakovos Kambanellis. Often referred to as a hymn to human rights, the cycle would become one of Farantouri's signature recordings. After returning to Greece in 1974, Farantouri resumed her successful recording career and began to expand her sound in a variety of directions, including jazz.

Never wavering from her political views, she was elected to the Greek Parliament and served from 1989 to 1993, representing the Panhellenic Socialist Movement. She continued to record from the mid-'90s onward and released a cornucopia of albums in various styles, even including a collection of George Gershwin standards in 2007. While she most often performs works by Greek writers and composers, Farantouri continues to expand herself creatively and can interpret nearly any style of music in her own unique way. In 2011, she appeared on the live album "Athens Concert" with jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd and his quartet.

This album is a live recording from a concert in Düsseldorf/Germany in the year 1978. It was released in 1979 on the Pläne label and re-issued in 1996 on CD.

Tracklist:

A1Είμαστε Δυο / Wir Sind Zwei
A2Σε Δρόμους Μακρυνούς - Μια Μέρα Θα Στο Πω / Auf Langen Straßen - Eines Tages Werde Ich Dir's Sagen
A3Ο Γέρο Νέγρο Τζιμ / Der Alte Neger Jim
A4Το Γελαστό Παιδί / Der Lächelnde Junge
A5Όταν Σφίγγουν Το Χέρι / Wenn Sie Die Fäuste Ballen
A6O Klama I Jineka U Emigrantu / Das Klagelied Der Frau Des Arbeitsemigranten
B1Vegetaciones / Vegetationen
B2Bella Ciao / Bella Ciao
B3Οι Γερανοί / Wenn Die Kraniche Ziehen
B4Όταν Τελειώσει Ο Πόλεμος - Άσμα Ασμάτων / Wenn Der Krieg Zu Ende Ist - Das Hohelied Der Liebe
B5Solidaritätslied


Maria Farantouri - Wenn die Kraniche ziehen - Live in Düsseldorf
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 25. November 2017

Jorge Ben - África Brasil (1976)

This 1976 album is undoubtedly one of the greatest classics of Brazilian popular music, with Jorge Ben mixing funky samba, Afro-Brazilian beats, and crunching guitars to create one of the most fascinating sounds ever recorded in Brazil.

The album kicks off with the raw, energetic "Ponta de Lança Africano," and from there on it never slows down, but continues to pile up one fiery, funky gem after the other. The samba soul and samba funk scenes of the '70s in Brazil produced many great artists and many great recordings, fully comparable with the best soul and funk music recorded in the U.S. during the same period. Jorge Ben was the most prominent figure of this scene and "África Brasil" is probably the most famous of his '70s recordings. For any person who is interested in the music of Jorge Ben, or indeed Brazilian funk in general, there is no better sample of it than "África Brasil".

Tracklist:

A1Ponta De Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)3:58
A2Hermes Trismegisto Escreveu3:04
A3O Filósofo3:30
A4Meus Filhos, Meu Tesouro3:53
A5O Plebeu3:18
A6Taj Mahal3:10
B1Xica Da Silva4:00
B2A História De Jorge3:53
B3Camisa 10 Da Gávea4:18
B4Cavaleiro Do Cavalo Imaculado4:43
B5África Brasil (Zumbi)3:48

Jorge Ben - África Brasil (1976)
(320 kbps, cover art included)             

Freitag, 24. November 2017

Buffy Sainte-Marie ‎- It's My Way! (1964)

This is one of the most scathing topical folk albums ever made. Sainte-Marie sings in an emotional, vibrato-laden voice of war ("The Universal Soldier," later a hit for Donovan), drugs ("Cod'ine"), sex ("The Incest Song"), and most telling, the mistreatment of Native Americans, of which Sainte-Marie is one ("Now That the Buffalo's Gone"). Even decades later, the album's power is moving and disturbing.   

Though the album did not chart it proved influential in the folk community. It is most famous for two widely covered folk standards, "Universal Soldier" and "Cod'ine", as well as "Now That the Buffalo's Gone", a lament about the continued confiscation of Indian lands, as evidenced by the building of the Kinzua Dam in about 1964. The cover features a mouthbow, which was to be a trademark of her sound on her first three albums.
Cod'ine was also lyrically altered by Janis Joplin and appears on "This is Janis Joplin".


In 2016, "It's My Way!" was inducted by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry.

Tracklist:

A1 Now That The Buffalo's Gone 2:45
A2 The Old Man's Lament 3:55
A3 Ananias 2:35
A4 Mayoo Sto Hoon 1:19
A5 Cod'ine 5:01
A6 Cripple Creek 1:45
A7 The Universal Soldier 2:15
B1 Babe In Arms 2:30
B2 He Lived Alone In Town 4:35
B3 You're Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond 2:45
B4 The Incest Song 4:11
B5 Eyes Of Amber 2:16
B6 It's My Way 3:29

Buffy Sainte-Marie ‎- It's My Way!  (1964)
(320 kbps, cover art included)         

Donnerstag, 23. November 2017

Teresa Stratas Sings Weill (Y Chamber Symphony, Gerhard Schwarz, 1986)


Teresa Stratas was one of the controversial stars of the latter half of the twentieth century, and one whose personality and life, like that of Callas, another great soprano of Greek descent, are inextricably linked with her performances in the minds of many members of the public. Also like Callas, she had a special magnetism as a performer, due to her dramatic intensity and exceptional physical beauty. Her top range became weak during her middle and late career and she lost some focus in the middle of her voice, which sometimes caused her to force. However, her performances on stage and on film were so riveting that most were willing to forgive those vocal flaws, and even her habit of canceling, usually due to nerves.

She grew up in Toronto and began singing in nightclubs and in her father's restaurant when she was 12. Encouraged by her successes, including radio performances, and after being given a free ticket to La Traviata, an experience which she said overwhelmed her with the concept of what the human voice can do, she auditioned for the Opera School at the Royal College of Music in Toronto in 1954. She had never studied voice, knew opera only from that one performance, and brought Smoke Gets in Your Eyes as her audition piece, but her personality and potential talent were so impressive that she was admitted, and was such a quick learner that she made her debut with the Canadian Opera as Mimì in 1958, and won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air the next year, making her debut as Pousette in Manon the next year. In 1960, she created the title role of Glanville-Hicks' Nausicaa at the Athens Festival. Her Covent Garden debut was again as Mimì in 1961, and in 1962, she made her La Scala debut as Isabella in de Falla's Atlantida. In 1974, she came to international fame with her appearance as Salome on a television production of Salome, considered one of the very few singers in living memory who could convincingly portray Salome's transformation from naive teenager to depraved woman. In 1979, she sang the title role of the first performance of the three-act version of Berg's Lulu at the Paris Opera.

In the 1980s, she almost completely withdrew from the operatic stage, though she made notable recordings of Weill songs, and appeared in films of La Traviata and Amahl and the Night Visitors. She also explored Broadway, earning a Tony nomination for best actress for her performance in Rags in 1986, and recording Julie in Showboat. In 1981, she backpacked through India, where among other activities, she volunteered for Mother Teresa's projects in the poorest areas of the cities. In 1988, she returned to the Met to create the role of Marie Antoinette in Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles.

Revealing an affinity for Weill, Teresa Stratas fulfills her promise to Lotte Lenya on her deathbed to "carry on the torch for Kurt Weill's music." Stratas's glorious soprano has never sounded better as she applies her operatic expertise to deliciously caress this music without losing any of the underlying subtext. Lacking the grittiness of other interpreters, she captures the emotional angles by letting her beautiful voice express the tortured heart beneath it; where others shout at you, Stratas sings at you. She casually bounces off the cheerier selections from One Touch of Venus and Happy End, letting Gerard Schwarz's brilliantly conducted orchestra display their wit. Program notes include a fascinating interview with Stratas.

Tracklist:
01. I'm A Stranger Here Myself
02. Havanna-Lied
03. Surabaya-Johnny
04. Foolish Heart
05. Ich Bin Eine Arme Verwandte (Fennimore's Song)
06. One Life To Live
07. J'attends Un Navire
08. Das Lied Von Der Harten Nuss
09. Lonely House
10. Le Roi D'aquitaine
11. Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet
12. Le Train Du Ciel
13. Das Lied Von Der Unzulanglichkeit Menschlichen Strebens
14. It Never Was You
15. Der Kleine Leutnant Des Lieben Gottes

Teresa Stratas Sings Weill
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 22. November 2017

Völker hört die Signale - Songs of the European Workers´ Movement

"Songs of the European Workers' Movement" is an excellent collection of workers' songs from European countries.

Each song is individual, being performed by singers and musicians from its country of origin. The styles vary from the solo ballad of France's "Les Temps des Cerises" to the brass band and choir of Ireland's "Watchword of Labour".

In addition to songs representing the European countries, "The Internationale" was recorded as a traditional song of the working classes in all countries, as well as the "Arbetslose Marsch" (march of the unemployed), sung in Yiddish in memory of the Jewish workers´movement which perished in the holocaust.

Völker hört die Signale - Songs of the European Workers´ Movement
(192 kbps)

Dienstag, 21. November 2017

Nina Simone - Broadway Blues Ballads (1964)

There's a lot more Broadway and a lot more ballads than blues on this, which ranks as one of her weaker mid-'60s albums. Almost half the record features Broadway tunes on the order of Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hammerstein; most of the rest was composed by Bennie Benjamin, author of her first-rate "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which the Animals covered for a hit shortly afterwards (and which leads off this record).

The other Benjamin tunes are modified uptown soul with string arrangements and backup vocals in the vein of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," but aren't in the same league, although "How Can I?" is an engaging cha cha. Besides "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," the album is most notable for the great "See-Line Woman," a percolating call-and-response number that ranks as one of her best tracks. The CD reissue includes the strange bonus cut "The Monster," an odd attempt at a soul novelty tune.


  1. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus) - 2:48
  2. "Night Song" (Lee Adams, Charles Strouse) - 3:06
  3. "The Laziest Gal in Town" (Cole Porter) - 2:19
  4. "Something Wonderful" (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers) - 2:46
  5. "Don't Take All Night" (Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus) - 2:54
  6. "Nobody" (Alex Rogers, Bert Williams) - 4:18
  7. "I Am Blessed" (Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus) - 2:57
  8. "Of This I'm Sure" (Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus) - 2:37
  9. "See-Line Woman" ([traditional] American folk, George Bass, Nina Simone) - 2:38
  10. "Our Love (Will See Us Through)" (Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus) - 3:01
  11. "How Can I?" (Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus) - 2:05
  12. "The Last Rose of Summer" (Thomas Moore, Richard Alfred Milliken, Nina Simone) - 3:08
  13.  "A Monster" is added as a bonus track. (Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus) - 2:47
Nina Simone - Broadway Blues Ballads (1964)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 17. November 2017

Mercedes Sosa con Leon Gieco y Milton Nascimento - Corazón Americano (1985)

The politics and significance of stadium performances of music artists in Latin America differ from that in Europe and North America: With a participative force comparable to that of fervent football supporters, the response of those present is not merely to join in with the songs, but also to make their own statements about dictators who will fall of have fallen and to offer their own versions of the parts of songs taht are an overt comment on present or near-past situations. The intensity and emotional complexity of performer/audience communication is manifest: what is beeing exchanged is not merely empathy but experiences and feelings - the private made public.

This response emanates as much from immediate considerations of place, as from the fact that in Argentina and Chile, during certain periods, the concert has been the only significant available space for the coming together of a certain political community (one primarily constituted by young people in the case of Argentina). It is also inspired by the performers.  On the album "Corazon Americana", Mercedes Sosa is joined, in Brazil, by fellow Argentine rock nacional singer Leon Gieco and Brazil´s own Milton Nascimento.

One is not surprised, that when Mercedes Sosa stumbles in her translation from Spanish into Brazilian Portuguese, the audience have the words already on their lips. Ultimately, the various strands of this record are fused and loss of life made meaningful in Sosa´s extraordinary rendering of Petrocelli´s "Cuando tenga la tierra" ("When I Have the Land"), which captures the charactersitic properties of so much Latin American music: passionate, powerful, formidable in ites beauty, ecstatic rather than sublimatory in its reaffirmation of the regeneration of the individual within the group.

The recognition of the complexity of what has been lost, even for those who have survived, comes through the emotional "Cancion para Carito", the second track on "Corazon Americano". This response to someone´s death is that of a younger generation aware that they have borne the most intense sacrifice of any generation in Latin America - not merely in terms of unempolyment and lack of education, but also because they suffered the brunt of the waves of repression against "subversivos-marijuaneros-delincuentes", tags applied by military regimes to justify abnegating the rights of anyone who does not conform.The music in these concert does not "preach to the converted", a popular but useless interpretation of why such events are important, but rahter attempts to acknowlede what everyone knows has happende.

If the theme is sharing experience and uniting, it is a mark of her formidable position as one of the world´s major perfomrers that Mercedes Sosa responds to the overwhelming chats that greet her introduction on stage by Brazil´s own Milton nascimento with a reflective and timely new interpretation of Chilean Violeta Parra´s "Volver a los 17" ("To be 17 Again"), the average age of much of her audience.

The best song for me is "Solo le pido a Dios" ("I Only Ask God") - the anthem of the peace movment at the time of the Malvinas War in Argentina, sung by Mercedes Sosa with Leon Giece: the rich, contralto voice of a strong and warm woman contrasts wonderfully with Gieco´s terse, tight-throated, reverberating timbres, while to my (European) ears, the use of the harmonica strangely evokes the uncynical hopes of the youth of a different period - the 1960s and Bob Dylan.

Mercedes Sosa con Leon Gieco y Milton Nascimento - Corazón Americano (1985)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 16. November 2017

Karsten Troyke - Grüne Blätter

Karsten Troyke (born Karsten Bertolt Sellhorn on 14 August 1960 in Berlin) is a German singer of Jewish songs, as well as an actor and speaker.

Troyke was born to a non-Jewish mother and a Jewish father. He worked in various jobs: as a gardener and with cognitively challenged children. He studied singing (with Leonore Gendries) as well as drama and speaking, performing on stage since 1982.

In 1990 he gave up work to dedicate himself full-time to musical performance and theater. Troyke participated in radio plays, worked as a voice actor (dubbing), and appeared in various stage plays.
As a singer, his album Yiddish Anders (1992) received the praise of German record critics. Jidische vergessene Lieder (1997) contained previously unpublished songs of Sara Bialas Tenenberg, who became his mentor for the Yiddish language.

In his performances, Troyke worked with Bettina Wegner, Suzanna and the Trio Scho. His interpretations of the songs of Georg Kreisler received mention in the writer-musician's 2005 biography. In 2006, two documentaries, Yiddish Soul and Concert Yiddish Soul, featured Troyke, Shura Lipovsky, Myriam Fuks, and The KlezRoym.


Troyke holds workshops on interpretating Yiddish songs and teaches rare songs from his collection. He was a guest professor at the Jewish Music Institute of School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, at Carleton College Northfield (Minnesota) and at the summer school of Centre Medem, Paris.


Tracklist:
1Furn Furt Men
2:05
2Dus Kelbl
2:18
3Unter Grattes
3:35
4Grine Bletter
4:02
5Shir Hanoded
3:46
6Yiddisher Tango
4:15
7Di Kurt
3:28
8Hora Für Franka
4:42
9La Casuta Dintre Gârle
3:03
10Di Mesinke Oysgegebn
2:36
11Gehat Hob Ich A Heym
3:53
12Separacíon
2:07
13I'm Crazy Far She
3:13
14Abi Gesint
3:38
15Di Necht Fîn Amul
2:08
16A Retenish
3:57

(320 kbps, front cover included)

Barbara Dane & Lightnin´ Hopkins - Sometimes I Believe She Loves Me (1964)

A spontaneous live recording by blues and folk singer Barbara Dane with Houston, Texas blues icon Lightning Hopkins during an afternoon gathering at Berkeley's legendary coffee house, the Cabale, in the early 60's, with Barbara on acoustic and Lightning on electric guitars.

The first half of this CD is Lightning and Barbara improvising on the spot, while the second half is comprised of Barbara performing classic blues and other songs, with Ray Skjelbred playing piano on most. These selections reflect Barbara's social consciousness at the time, including a superb rendition of Woody Guthrie's moving "Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)."
           
“On a summer afternoon in 1964, East Bay blues and folk singer Barbara Dane and producer Chris Strachwitz met at the Cabale to cut a record. Among the invited guests was Texas blues titan Sam 'Lightnin' Hopkins, who joined Dane for nine songs on which the two engaged in some frequently witty, mostly off-the-cuff musical repartee Now, 32 years after the fact, come the complete sessions; duets have a special charm, her previously unissued solo selections are often transcendent, particularly the blues standards 'Careless Love' and 'Betty and Dupree,' and Malvina Reynolds' slyly political 'Bury Me in My Overalls.' Dane's booming, brilliantly elastic alto voice rings with clarity and uncanny conviction.”
-Lee Hildebrand, East Bay Express

Tracklist:

1. I'm Going Back, Baby
2. I Know You Got Another Man
3. Sometimes I Believe She Loves Me
4. Baby, Shake That Thing
5. It's A Lonesome Old Town
6. Don't Push Me ('Til You Find Out What I Want)
7. Let Me Be Your Rag Doll
8. Mother Earth
9. Mama Told Papa
10. Careless Love
11. Love With A Feeling
12. Betty And Dupree
13. Don't You Push Me Down
14. Bury Me In My Overalls
15. Deportees (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos)
16. Hold On (Keep Your Eyes On The Prize)
17. Jesus Won't You Come By Here (Jesus Will You Come By Here)

Barbara Dane & Lightnin´ Hopkins - Sometimes I Believe She Loves Me (1964)
(224 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 14. November 2017

VA - Wann wir schreiten Seit an Seit - Hymnen & Kampflieder der Arbeiterbewegung


This collections features worker songs from the 20th century and the last half of the 19th century. The recordings were done between 1966 and 1984 at the "Arbeiterfestspiele" and "Nationale Jugendfestival" in the GDR.

The "Solidaritätslied" ("Vorwärts und nicht vergessen") is an interpretation by Ernst Busch, the vocals on "Venceremos" were done by Dean Reed.

Tracks:
01 Wann wir schreiten Seit an Seit
02 Brüder, zur Sonne, zur Freiheit
03 Auf, auf zum Kampf
04 Arbeiter-Marseillaise
05 Brüder, seht die rote Fahne
06 Dem Morgenrot entgegen
07 Warschawjanka
08 Matrosen von Kronstadt
09 Der Rote Wedding
10 Solidaritätslied
11 Die Moorsoldaten
12 Die Thälmann-Kolonne
13 Thälmann-Lied
14 Badiera rossa
15 Venceremos
16 Black and white
17 We shall overcome
18 Die Internationale

VA - Wann wir schreiten Seit an Seit
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Montag, 13. November 2017

Georges Brassens - Don Juan - Vol. 12 (1976)

One of French pop's most poetic songwriters, Georges Brassens was also a highly acclaimed and much-beloved performer in his own right. Not only a brilliant manipulator of language and a feted poet in his own right, Brassens was also renowned for his subversive streak, satirizing religion, class, social conformity, and moral hypocrisy with a wicked glee. Yet beneath that surface was a compassionate concern for his fellow man, particularly the disadvantaged and desperate.

His personal politics were forged during the Nazi occupation, and while his views on freedom bordered on anarchism, his songs expressed those convictions more subtly than those of his contemporary, Léo Ferré.

Though he was a skilled songwriter, Brassens had little formal musical training, and he generally kept things uncomplicated - simple melodies and spare accompaniment from a bass and second guitar.

Along with Jacques Brel, he became one of the most unique voices on the French cabaret circuit, and exerted a tremendous influence on many other singers and songwriters of the postwar era. His poetry and lyrics are still studied as part of France's standard educational curriculum.       

"Don Juan" was officially his final album.

Tracklist:

1 Trompe La Mort
2 Les Ricochets
3 Tempête Dans Un Bénitier
4 Le Boulevard Du Temps Qui Passe
5 Le Modeste
6 Don Juan
7 Les Casseuses
8 Cupidon S'En Fout
9 Montélimar
10 Histoire De Faussaire
11 La Messe Au Pendu
12 Lèche-Cocu
13 Les Patriotes
14 Mélanie
Bonus :
15 Les Copains D'Abord
16 La Visite
17 Élégie À Un Rat De Cave

Georges Brassens - Don Juan - Vol. 12 (1976)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 12. November 2017

Elizabeth Cotten ‎- Freight Train And Other North Carolina Folk Songs And Tunes (1958)

Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten (1895-1987), best known for her timeless song "Freight Train," built her musical legacy on a firm foundation of late 19th- and early 20th-century African-American instrumental traditions. Through her songwriting, her quietly commanding personality, and her unique left-handed guitar and banjo styles, she inspired and influenced generations of younger artists. In 1984 Cotten was declared a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts and was later recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as a "living treasure." She received a Grammy Award in 1985 when she was ninety, almost eighty years after she first began composing her own works.

Recorded in 1957 and early 1958 by Mike Seeger, "Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes" collects the influential debut sides cut by a then-62-year-old Elizabeth Cotten; even decades after their first release, they remain a veritable primer in the art of finger-picked style guitar playing. The quaint, homespun quality of the material - much of it recorded at Cotten's home with her grandchildren looking on in silence - adds immensely to its intimacy and warmth; the sound quality varies wildly from track to track, but the amazing instrumental work shines through regardless on tracks like the opening "Wilson Rag" and the now-standard "Freight Train."               


Tracklist:

1 Wilson Rag 1:35
2 Freight Train 2:42
3 Going Down The Road Feeling Bad 2:09
4 I Don't Love Nobody 1:10
5 Ain't Got No Honey Baby Now 0:53
6 Graduation March 2:29
7 Honey Babe Your Papa Cares For You 2:11
8 Vastopol 2:08
9 Here Old Rattler Here / Sent For My Fiddle Sent For My Bow / George Buck 3:45
10 Run…Run / Mama Your Son Done Gone 2:15
11 Sweet Bye And Bye / What A Friend We Have In Jesus 3:00
12 Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie 4:40
13 Spanish Flang Dang 2:49
14 When I Get Home 2:21

Elizabeth Cotten ‎- Freight Train And Other North Carolina Folk Songs And Tunes (1958)
(320 kbps, cover art included)