Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2016

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

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

Montag, 13. Juni 2016

Phil Ochs - A Toast to Those Who Are Gone

"A Toast to Those Who Are Gone" was a 1986 compilation of recordings that Phil Ochs made in the early-to-mid 1960s, mostly between his contracts with Elektra Records and A&M Records. In line with recordings made on the former, Ochs espouses his left-leaning views on civil rights on songs like "Ballad of Oxford", "Going Down To Mississippi" and "Colored Town", his views on worker's rights on "No Christmas in Kentucky", his attack on the Ameri can Medical Association on "A.M.A. Song", and the unwilling hero (perhaps Ochs himself) on the title track.
The family of Phil Ochs sanctioned this scavenger attack into his collection of early, unreleased demos. An unusual aspect of the mid-'80s vinyl release was liner notes by actor Sean Penn, who Ochs fans can hope and pray has abandoned his vision of playing the role of Ochs in a Hollywood film biopic. Perhaps playing a jazz guitarist in Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown burned Penn out on musician roles. How much this collection will appeal to Ochs fans will depend on what camp they belong to, i.e., is his best material the early, strictly topical and journalistic-style stuff, or did he improve with age and the influence of competing spinners of "high art" such as Bob Dylan and the Beatles as they strove to create the most complex and pretentious lyrics this side of Ezra Pound? This set of concise and often hard-hitting songs would make a case for the former, and certainly there is no better "folk singer armed with guitar" than Ochs, his commitment to various social causes always seeming much more honest than the more famous Dylan, most likely because it was. "Christmas in Kentucky" is one of the few protest songs written about this part of the world that really holds its own with the repertoire of performers, such as Aunt Molly Jackson, who actually came from mining families. "Colored Town" and "Going Down to Mississippi" are solid reflections of the civil rights movement that hold their own with more well-known songs such as "Oxford Town." Two pieces in some ways preview the more reflective, personal probing of the psyche Ochs would move his fans with later on, although both "A Toast to Those Who Are Gone" and "Song of My Returning" are simpler and more sentimental. Of course, there is plenty of evidence here that these recordings were made when the artist was still forming an identity and was far from the master of the songwriting craft that he would become. Yet the relative small size of his discography and collection of songs are factors that contribute to the warm welcome this set has received.

Phil Ochs - A Toast To Those Who Are Gone
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Muddy Waters - You´re Gona Miss Me When I´m Gone

The American blues musician Muddy Waters was born McKinley Morganfield in Mississippi in 1913. His first recording was made for the Library of Congress who had sent famed folk music archivist Alan Lomax to the Southern States to record examples of blues songs. On hearing the record Waters realised that being a musician was an achievable dream and set his sights on a career in music. Waters moved to Chicago in 1943 to pursue his dream.

Waters began to establish himself with a series of recordings including "I Can't be Satisfied" and "I Feel Like Going Home", building his reputation by playing in local clubs. Waters hit an early high point with the tune, "Rollin' Stone", which went on to provide The Rolling Stones with their name.

Waters domination of the Chicago blues scene saw him be credited with the development of the Chicago sound and launching the careers of many of his contemporaries. By 1952, Waters band included blues men Little Walter Jacobs and Otis Span performing tracks such as "Hoochie Coochie Man", written by Willie Dixon. As their success grew, his band, keen to develop their own careers, began to leave and Waters found it difficult to replicate his sound with replacement performers. On a trip to the UK in 1972 to record with UK stars Steve Winwood, Rory Gallagher, Mitch Mitchell and Rick Grech, he is reported as saying "these boys are top musicians …but it ain't the Muddy Waters sound."

By 1977, Waters had gathered around him other top names from the blues field for his album Hard Again, which featured the Grammy award winning track, "Mannish Boy". The success of the album, and its follow-ups, including I'm Ready and Muddy Mississippi Water Live put Waters back in the limelight and saw his best record sales.

In April 1983 Waters died in his sleep as a result of cancer, leaving behind him a legacy of influence on a long list of performers including Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. A new generation of fans were introduced to his music when Waters performance of "Mannish Boy" was used in a Levi Jeans ad and appeared on the soundtrack for the film Risky Business.

Waters' career was recognised in 1992 with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2004 he was ranked No.17 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.


1. Steamline Woman
2. Mean Red Spider
3. Rollin' And Tumblin'
4. Country Blues
5. You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone
6. I Be Bound To Write To You
7. I Feel Like Going Home
8. I Can't Be Satisfied
9. Little Anna Mea
10. Little Geneva
11. Walkin' Blues
12. Why Don't You Live So God Can Use You
13. 32-20 Blues
14. I Be's Troubled
15. Train Fare Home Blues
16. Gypsy Woman

Muddy Waters - You´re Gonna Miss Me When I´m Gone
(192 kbps, small front cover included)

Sonntag, 12. Juni 2016

Mississippi John Hurt - The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt (1967)

One of the best albums of country and folk blues ever recorded. The fingerpicking is delicate, the vocals mellow and sweet. Many tunes that remain associated with Hurt are included here in versions that rival his legendary recordings from the late '20s. "Richland Woman Blues," "Stagolee," "The Chicken," and "Since I've Laid My Burden Down" sound as fresh as ever in these '60s versions. This album leaves little doubt as to why Hurt was so beloved after his rediscovery. If your not hooked after "Richland Women Blues" there's truly a hole in your soul.

Released posthumously, "The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt" and the equally revelatory "Last Sessions" represent a final testament to a once-in-a-lifetime talent the twentieth century very nearly missed altogether. John Hurt worked as a farm laborer for most of his life. He'd play for parties and gatherings of friends and family, but he never thought seriously about a career as a bluesman. Even after impressing a talent scout for Okeh Records and releasing a set of songs for that label in 1928, he was dismissed as "not commercially viable" or whatever the equivalent jackassery was at the time. Then along came the Depression and Hurt forgot about professional music almost as quickly as it forgot about him. Fast forward to the folk revival of the 1950's and 60's. Those who relished the songs immortalized on Harry Smith's legendary "Anthology of American Folk Music" heard the two cuts attributed to some unknown named "Mississippi John Hurt" and one of them - Tom Hoskins - tracked him down by using geographical clues embedded in the song, "Avalon Blues." What followed was a groundswell of youth-driven popularity, buoyed by college performances, new recordings, and a stint at the Newport Folk Festival. Thank God for small miracles.

1. “Since I’ve Laid My Burden Down”
2. “Moaning The Blues”
3. “Stocktime (Buck Dance)”
4. “Lazy Blues”
5. “Richland Woman Blues”
6. “Wise and Foolish Virgins (Tender Virgins)”
7. “Hop Joint”
8. “Monday Morning Blues”
9. “I’ve Got The Blues and I Can’t Be Satisfied”
10. “Keep On Knocking”
11. “The Chicken”
12. “Stagolee”
13. “Nearer My God To Thee”

Mississippi John Hurt - The Immortal Mississippi John Hurt
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mississippi John Hurt - Friends Of Old Time Music Concert, December 13, 1963

No blues singer ever presented a more gentle, genial image than Mississippi John Hurt.

A guitarist with an extraordinarily lyrical and refined fingerpicking style, he also sang with a warmth unique in the field of blues, and the gospel influence in his music gave it a depth and reflective quality unusual in the field. Coupled with the sheer gratitude and amazement that he felt over having found a mass audience so late in life, and playing concerts in front of thousands of people -- for fees that seemed astronomical to a man who had always made music a sideline to his life as a farm laborer -- these qualities make Hurt's recordings into a very special listening experience.
Here´s the soundboard recording of the "friends of old time music concert", School of Medicine, Alumni Hall
New York, N.Y., December 13, 1963.

1.Do Lord intro
2.Do Lord Remember Me
3.Since Ive Laid My Burden Down
4.C.C. Rider
5.Casey Jones
6.Nobody's Dirty Business
7.Richmond Woman Intro
8.Richmond Woman Blues
9.Let The Mermaids Flirt W Me
10.Spike drivers Blues
11.Stagger Lee
12.Pallet On Your Floor
13.Coffee Blues Intro
14.Coffee Blues
15.My Creole Blues
16.Franky and Jonnie
17.Talking Casey

Filler tracks from 1964:
18.Monday Morning Blues
19.Pallet on Your Floor

Thanks to!
Mississippi John Hurt - December 13, 1963
(320 kbps, no cover art included)

Samstag, 11. Juni 2016

Mombasa - African Rhythm & Blues 2 (1976) [224kbps]

The second album from Mombasa – and possibly even better than the first! The group have really come into their own by the time of this date – mixing together jazz and African roots with a sound that's unlike anyone else we can think of – quite unique in its approach to rhythms, sounds, and solos! The grooves aren't really the Afro Funk you might expect – and instead, they're based on a headier brew of basslines and percussion, one that's somewhere in a space between Boscoe, The Pharoahs, and Demon Fuzz – but with a sound that's ultimately different than both. The trombone of Lou Blackburn carries the lead on most tracks – snaking out wonderfully over the grooves, with a quality that's amazingly soulful, and which almost has him standing head to head with Fred Wesley as a 70s innovator on his instrument. Other members of the group include Doug Lucas on trumpet, Bob Reed on percussion, Alan Tatham on drums, and Don Ridgeway on electric bass – the last of whom really does a great job shaping the sound of the tunes.
1. Yenyeri
2. Holz II
3. Shango II
4. Nomoli
5. African Hustle
6. Al Rahman

Mombasa - African Rhythm & Blues 2 (1976)
(224 kbps, front cover included)

Mombasa - African Rhythms & Blues (1975)

Original first LP release by legendary Mombasa band: Deep Afro Funk & Jazz by Lou Blackburn and his group recorded 1975 in Germany original release on the rare german Spiegelei label, contains the most wanted DJ-spins "Nairobi", "Kenia" and "Shango". This is a classic and sought after afro funk LP. One of the best recordings in the genre: Pulsating african rhythms with funk bass and heavy brass sounds: Essential and ultra hard to find album with tons of true killer afro funk breaks. Some also call it a stripped down Fela Kuti sound ...

From the original liner notes, 1975:

"In describing the music of Mombasa which is a mixture of rhythm, jazz, folklore, blues, spirituals and worksongs, Lou Blackburn would prefer not to use the word jazz. Many people ask us, he says, how one describes our type of music. To this I can only answer that I leave it to the audience because i don`t want to give it a label, for me it is simply ours, Mombasa`s music."

Mombasa - African Rhythms & Blues (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Frank Proffitt - Frank Proffitt sings Folk Songs (Folkways, 1962)

A native of Beech Mountain in the northwest corner of North Carolina, singer and banjo player Frank Proffitt's tremendous repertoire inspired musicians interested in old time music.

This great North Carolina old-time music artist and clawhammer banjo specialist was the source of the folk chestnut "Tom Dooley" as well as some 50 other traditional songs and banjo numbers. Listeners who cringe at the mention of "Tom Dooley" might want to toss their Kingston Trio discs on the fire and check out the Frank Proffitt version, known as "Tom Dula" in an attempt to spellcheck the evocative accent of the Northwest Carolinian. This artist is clearly in another universe than the ultra-clean folky scene of the '60s revival groups; anyone who has heard Proffitt sing about maggots "like a bowlful of rice moving," crawling through the skull of the "Missing Bride" will nod their heads in shocked, and perhaps slightly disgusted, agreement. Few fans of traditional music would be disgusted by the fact that the Kingston Trio and the big labels behind the group lost an expensive lawsuit because Proffitt's family had established a claim to the Dooley/Dula song copyright. Assuming it was "just" a traditional number, various music business birds - some vultures, some perhaps well-meaning little sparrows - claimed authorship for this ditty prior to the final legal reckoning, or "reck'nung" as Proffitt would have put it. This includes several giant record labels, several obscure European arrangers who included the song in Muzak collections, and the not-so-obscure musicologist Alan Lomax, who didn't confine his collections to the limited traditional folk music market. Even though Lomax never came within a mile of having anything to do with writing this song, it appears credited to him on piles of greatest-hits compilations. Speaking of which, good old Frank Proffitt would have felt like he had conquered the music world just to judge by the territory this song has nabbed. It shows up on collections of Irish folk, songs of the American West, hit parade rock, country & western, and love songs. It has been covered by the Nashville Brass, the Nashville Guitars, the Nashville Dobros, and the Nashville Harmonicas, just to demonstrate that with this song, it is possible to create a list without even leaving one locality. Sure, the song could have also made lists of the most scorned pieces of music of all time by the time the public got completely sick of it, yet several new cover versions were recorded in the late '90s. It all adds up to Dula doolah that wound up as a well-deserved Proffitt profit. One can just imagine all the money changing hands, an image that was perhaps in this great traditional performer's mind when he chose the hymn "Palms of Victory" to be played to him on his deathbed.

For better or worse, however, it was "Tom Dooley" that had the biggest impact on the life of an Appalachian who had had his share of hard knocks. When the song was hitting the pop music charts, he had left the area to find work and had ditched his guitar and music entirely. Due to the hit record, he resumed singing at the urging of his father, Wiley Proffitt, and his aunt, Nancy Prather. He traveled to festivals across the country, singing at the 1964 World's Fair.

Like some of his mountain music peers, Proffitt was also a skilled banjo maker and traditional players are particularly fond of his fretless model. Spurning the innovations of modern banjo-making, Proffitt carried on the early American traditions of utilizing materials such as walnut and groundhog hide, the latter surely adding authenticity to performances of ditties such as "Groundhog." He remained committed to the ideals of old-time banjo music until the end, at one point voicing this wonderful opinion about the flashy technical playing of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs: "I'd like to learn to play like that, and then not do it." His banjo business, the family farm purchased with the Kingston Trio's money, and the art of performing old-time music itself was passed down the line to one of his sons, Frank Proffitt Jr., who released the album Kickin' Up Dust on the Cloudlands label.

This collection features local ballads, and its liner notes contain copious quotations and anecdotes from Proffitt.

Beaver Dam Road
Bo Lamkin
Julie Jenkins
George Collins
Ninety and Nine
Down in the Valley
Old Abe
Poor Ellen Smith
Dan Doo
John Hardy
Johnson Boys

Frank Proffitt - Sings Folk Songs (1962)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 10. Juni 2016

Jewish Songs - Traditionals 1911 - 1950

Klezmer is a traditional style of Jewish ensemble music with roots in Eastern Europe that features vocals and various instruments, especially the violin and the clarinet. It has had an big influence on American popular music.

Klezmer is dance music that is both happy and sad at the same time. A music that comes from the heart but which also moves the heart, which in spite of its refreshing drive, in spite of the infectious rhythms and catchy melodies, always illuminates the more tragic aspects of life.

This music has developed over centuries and contains many elements of Eastern Europe folk music. The slow "hora", the yearning "dojna", the passionate "bulgar" and the fast "sirba" all come together in a festive music that does justice to all of the emotions. Klezmer was originally played by travelling musicians who went from village to village. This music was - and still ist - to be heard first and foremost at weddings, festivities and religious holidays outside of the synagogue.

Alongside Yiddish literature there are a huge number of Yiddish folk songs - and each of these songs is a declaration of love for the language that survived the camps and ghettos.

Jewish Songs - Traditionals 1911 - 1950 - cd 1
Jewish Songs - Traditionals 1911 - 1950 - cd 2

(192 kbps)

Ernst Busch - Solidarität mit Chile (Eterna, 1975)

This single was released in 1975 in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) as a special production to support the chilean communist leader Luis Corvalán.

Luis Alberto Corvalán Lepe (September 14, 1916, – July 21, 2010) was a Chilean politician. He served as the general secretary of the Communist Party of Chile (PCCh).
Corvalán joined the Communist Party of Chile at the age of fifteen in the city of Chillán shortly after the fall of the repressive dictatorship of Carlos Ibáñez del Campo in 1932. Trained as a teacher, after 1952 he became an elected member of the PCCh's Central Committee, and after 1958 served as the Secretary-General. The party was outlawed from 1948 until 1958. In this period Corvalán was interned in the concentration camps of Pitrufquén and later in Pisagua.

On September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet lead a military coup and Corvalán was among the many arrested. After the murder of Victor Jara, he was the most prominent political prisoner in Chile. While in prison, Luis Corvalán was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize (for 1973-74). The Soviet Union launched an international campaign for his release and on December 18, 1976 Corvalán was exchanged for a notable Soviet political prisoner, dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, and received asylum in the USSR.

Corvalán headed the Communist Party of Chile - both within Chile and whilst in exile - for over three decades, which covered the whole period of the Pinochet military dictatorship. Corvalán returned to Chile in 1988.

A1. Rettet Luis Corvalán 1:54 
A2. Gegen Die Objektiven 1:23 
B1. Bandiera Rossa 1:42 

Ernst Busch - Solidarität mit Chile (Eterna, 1960)
(160 kbps, cover art included, vinyl rip)

Gegen die Objektiven

Wenn die Bekämpfer des Unrechts
Ihre verwundeten Gesichter zeigen
Ist die Ungeduld derer, die in Sicherheit waren

Warum beschwert ihr euch, fragen sie
Ihr habt das Unrecht bekämpft! Jetzt
Hat es euch besiegt: schweigt also!

Wer kämpft, sagen sie, muß verlieren können
Wer Streit sucht, begibt sich in Gefahr
Wer mit Gewalt vorgeht
Darf die Gewalt nicht beschuldigen.

Ach, Freunde, die ihr gesichert seid
Warum so feindlich? Sind wir
Eure Feinde, die wir Feinde des Unrechts sind?
Wenn die Kämpfer gegen das Unrecht besiegt sind
Hat das Unrecht doch nicht recht!

Unsere Niederlagen nämlich
Beweisen nichts, als daß wir zu
Wenige sind
Die gegen die Gemeinheit kämpfen
Und von den Zuschauern erwarten wir
Daß sie wenigstens beschämt sind!

(Bertolt Brecht)

Neville Marcano - The Growling Tiger Of Calypso (Rounder, 1998)

Known as the "Growling Tiger of Calypso," Neville Marcano was noted for his skill at both political/current events-inspired songs and tunes with more conventional folk/romantic themes. A teenage flyweight champion boxer, he became a calypso singer by profession after placing high in local calypso competitions in the mid-1930s. Marcano recorded nearly 50 tracks for Decca, favoring minor-keyed melodies and a delivery influenced by the French patois he had spoken as a child; his first calypso composition was about a labor dispute, though he would write about all kinds of subjects throughout his career. He enjoyed some degree of international recognition after being recorded by folklorist Alan Lomax in the early 1960s, and appeared at the Newport Folk Festival; he also recorded an album for Rounder in the late 1970s. Much of his early work can be found on several anthologies, most of which are on the Rounder label.

Most of this  album was recorded by Alan Lomax in Trinidad in 1962, with a traditional-styled band backing with flute, fiddle, guitar, bass, and percussion. It's pretty well-recorded, Marcano is in good vocal form, and the band has a fine loose, informal vibe. This largely sticks to songs about romance and gently moralistic tales, getting into more serious territory with "War" (sung with Lord Iere and Indian Prince), with its references to the atomic bomb. The tunes have Marcano's trademark minor-key melodies, yet they're sung and played in a jovial style that makes them rather uplifting. Two tracks recorded at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival - Marcano talking at length about calypso music, and an a cappella "Atomic Energy Calypso" - are tough to enjoy because of the mediocre fidelity and dry unaccompanied vocals.
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 9. Juni 2016

Alice Coltrane - Universal Consciousness (1971)

Recorded between April and June of 1971, Alice Coltrane's "Universal Consciousness" stands as her classic work. As a testament to the articulation of her spiritual principles, "Universal Consciousness" stands even above "World Galaxy" as a recording where the medium of music, both composed and improvised, perfectly united the realms of body (in performance), speech (in the utterance of individual instrumentalists and group interplay), and mind (absolute focus) for the listener to take into her or his own experience. While many regard "Universal Consciousness" as a "jazz" album, it transcends even free jazz by its reliance on deeply thematic harmonic material and the closely controlled sonic dynamics in its richly hued chromatic palette.

The set opens with the title track, where strings engage large washes of Coltrane's harp as Jack DeJohnette's drums careen in a spirit dance around the outer edge of the maelstrom. On first listen, the string section and the harp are in counter-dictum, moving against each other in a modal cascade of sounds, but this soon proves erroneous as Coltrane's harp actually embellishes the timbral glissandos pouring forth. Likewise, Jimmy Garrison's bass seeks to ground the proceedings to DeJohnette's singing rhythms, and finally Coltrane moves the entire engagement to another dimension with her organ. Leroy Jenkins' violin and Garrison's bottom two strings entwine one another in Ornette Coleman's transcription as Coltrane and the other strings offer a middling bridge for exploration. It's breathtaking. On "Battle at Armageddon," the violence depicted is internal; contrapuntal rhythmic impulses whirl around each other as Coltrane's organ and harp go head to head with Rashied Ali's drums. "Oh Allah" rounds out side one with a gorgeously droning, awe-inspiring modal approach to whole-tone music that enfolds itself into the lines of organic polyphony as the strings color each present theme intervalically. DeJohnette's brushwork lisps the edges and Garrison's bass underscores each chord and key change in Coltrane's constant flow of thought.

On side two, "Hare Krishna" is a chant-like piece that is birthed from minor-key ascendancy with a loping string figure transcribed by Coleman from Coltrane's composition on the organ. She lays deep in the cut, offering large shimmering chords that twirl - eventually - around high-register ostinatos and pedal work. It's easily the most beautiful and accessible track in the set, in that it sings with a devotion that has at its base the full complement of Coltrane's compositional palette. "Sita Ram" is a piece that echoes "Hare Krishna" in that it employs Garrison and drummer Clifford Jarvis, but replaces the strings with a tamboura player. Everything here moves very slowly, harp and organ drift into and out of one another like breath, and the rhythm section - informed by the tamboura's drone - lilts on Coltrane's every line. As the single-fingered lines engage the rhythm section more fully toward the end of the tune, it feels like a soloist improvising over a chanting choir. Finally, the album ends with another duet between Ali and Coltrane. Ali uses wind chimes as well as his trap kit, and what transpires between the two is an organically erected modal architecture, where texture and timbre offer the faces of varying intervals: Dynamic, improvisational logic and tonal exploration become elemental figures in an intimate yet universal conversation that has the search itself and the uncertain nature of arrival, either musically or spiritually, at its root. This ambiguity is the only way a recording like this could possibly end, with spiritual questioning and yearning in such a musically sophisticated and unpretentious way. The answers to those questions can perhaps be found in the heart of the music itself, but more than likely they can, just as they are articulated here, only be found in the recesses of the human heart. This is art of the highest order, conceived by a brilliant mind, poetically presented in exquisite collaboration by divinely inspired musicians and humbly offered as a gift to listeners. It is a true masterpiece.

Alice Coltrane - Universal Consciousness (1971)
(192 kbps, no cover art included)