Samstag, 30. Juli 2016

Heinrich Heine - Lyrik und Jazz (Gerd Westphal)

The German student movement of 1968 gave rise to a colorful flock of songsmiths, who early on discovered Heinrich Heine for their purposes. Looking at pieces critical of times past or present, a few verses from "Deutschland. Ein Wintermärchen" became part of the scenery.

Many listeners were introduced to an entirely new Heine at the legendary song festivals at Burg Waldeck. Accompanied by guitar, folk duos sang musically rather unassuming "Erinnerungen aus Kräwinkels Schreckentagen" or songs of the "Wanderratten". "Die schlesischen Weber" without tears in their desperate eyes have been part and parcel of political folklore ever since. It seems as if the new embracing of Heine in this genre follows other societal trends, from agitation to spirituality. Of all the many groups who did so, the Swiss group "Poesie und Musik" (with members Rene Bardet, Andreas Vollenweider, Orlando Valentini) had the greatest success in 1974 with their recorded Heine program "Ich kann nicht mehr die Augen schliessen".
This music and poetry concept, however, was not a novel one; under the title "Lyrik und Jazz", the Attilla Zoller Quartet with Gert Westphal, the famous speaker who died in 2002, had already introduced a jazzed-up Heine.

Heinrich Heine - Lyrik und Jazz (Gerd Westphal)
(192 kbps, ca. 55 MB, front cover included)

Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956)

This is the album that made Harry Belafonte's career. Up to this point, calypso had only been a part of Belafonte's focus in his recordings of folk music styles. But with this landmark album, calypso not only became tattooed to Belafonte permanently; it had a revolutionary effect on folk music in the 1950s and '60s.

The album consists of songs from Trinidad, mostly written by West Indian songwriter Irving Burgie
(aka Lord Burgess). Burgie´s two most successful songs are included -- "Day O" and "Jamaica Farewell" (which were both hit singles for Belafonte) -- as are the evocative ballads "I Do Adore Her" and "Come Back Liza" and what could be the first feminist folk song, "Man Smart (Woman Smarter)."

"Calypso" became the first million-selling album by a single artist, spending an incredible 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard album charts, remaining on the charts for 99 weeks. It triggered a veritable tidal wave of imitators, parodists, and artists wishing to capitalize on its success. Years later, it remains a record of inestimable influence, inspiring many folksingers and groups to perform, most notably the Kingston Trio, which was named for the Jamaican capital. For a decade, just about every folksinger and folk group featured in their repertoire at least one song that was of West Indian origin or one that had a calypso beat. They all can be attributed to this one remarkable album. Despite the success of "Calypso", Belafonte refused to be typecast. Resisting the impulse to record an immediate follow-up album, Belafonte instead spaced his calypso albums apart, releasing them at five-year intervals in 1961, 1966, and 1971.                

Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Trotz alledem - Arbeiterlieder

"Trotz alledem " is a fine compilation of workers' songs and socialist hymns.

It presents classics like "Die Internationale", "Einheitsfrontlied" and "Brüder zur Sonne, zur Freiheit" in german language.

Trotz alledem - Arbeiterlieder (192 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 29. Juli 2016

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra - Secrets of the Sun (1962)

Secrets of the Sun is an album by the American Jazz musician Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra. The album consists of sessions recorded by drummer Tommy "Bugs" Hunter in 1962 at the Choreographer's Workshop in New York City, the Arkestra's regular rehearsal studio. Since they had only recently moved to New York (some decided to stay in Chicago), these are small-group Arkestra recordings. This is an interesting transitional album because you can still hear echoes of the Chicago sound in some of the pieces, but the sound is growing beyond merely "exotic," with percussion playing an increasingly larger role and the pieces starting to sound more amorphous.
"The Friendly Galaxy" has the same sort of mysterious vibe as "Ancient Aetheopia," with nice trumpet and piano work as well as John Gilmore on bass clarinet (which he plays on a couple cuts). "Solar Differentials" has a similar but weirder feel because the horns change to "Space Bird Sounds" and Art Jenkins adds some of his distinctive "Space Voice." "Space Aura" is built on a great horn riff, while both Gilmore (again on bass clarinet) and Sun Ra both shine on a stripped-down version of "Love in Outer Space." Things head a bit more out for the last couple tracks, where percussion and reverb start to dominate the sound, as they would on several of the Choreographer Workshop recordings.
This is an interesting album for Ra fans because it's such a small band and shows how new ideas were taking hold in the music, not to mention Gilmore's use of bass clarinet, which he stopped playing completely sometime in the '60s. In 2008, "Secrets of the Sun" was reissued by Atavistic with an unreleased 17 minute bonus track.             
  1. Friendly Galaxy
  2. Solar Differentials
  3. Space Aura
  4. Love In Outer Space
  5. Reflects Motion
  6. Solar Symbols

     7. Flight to Mars

Sun Ra and his Solar Arkestra - Secrets of the Sun (1962)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Eric Bentley ‎– Bentley On Brecht (1962)

Playwright, poet and lyricist Bertolt Brecht was among the most controversial figures ever to impact musical theatre; an avowed Marxist, he often worked in tandem with composer Kurt Weill to create one of the most provocative bodies of work ever staged. Brecht was born February 10, 1898 in Augsburg, Bavaria; while attending Munich University, he was drafted to serve as a medic in World War I, later forging a career as a writer. His early Expressionist dramas -"Trommeln in der Nacht", "Baal" and "Im Dickicht der Stadte" - reflected his anti-establishment leanings, as well as an obsession with violence; he then spent the majority of the 1920s touring the cabaret circuits of Germany and Scandinavia, often courting further controversy over the outspoken politics and nihilistic edge of his songs.
In 1928 Brecht earned his greatest theatrical success with "Die Dreigroschenoper", a musical adaptation of John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera" featuring music composed by Weill; like the previous year's Mann Ist Mann and 1929's "Mahagonny", it spotlighted the playwright's gift for incisive satire of bourgeois sensibilities. By 1933, Brecht - exiled to Denmark in the wake of the Reichstag fire - had acquired an international reputation on the strength of work like "The Threepenny Opera", which opened in an English-language version on Broadway. An outspoken critic of the Nazis, his plays, poems and radio dramas of the period attacked the Hitler regime with thinly-veiled contempt; finally, in 1941 he was forced to flee to Hollywood to escape the Nazis' wrath, settling there to write works including Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis and Leben des Galilei. In 1947 Brecht was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee for his pro-Communist beliefs; he then moved to East Berlin, where he established his own theater, the Berliner Ensemble. He died on August 14, 1956.

Eric Bentley (born September 14, 1916) is a British-born American critic, playwright, singer, editor and translator.
Beginning in 1953, Bentley taught at Columbia University and simultaneously was a theatre critic for The New Republic. Known for his blunt style of theatre criticism, Bentley incurred the wrath of playwrights Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller, both of whom threatened to sue him for his unfavorable reviews of their work. From 1960-1961, Bentley was the Norton professor at Harvard University.

Bentley is considered one of the preeminent experts on Bertolt Brecht, whom he met at UCLA as a young man and whose works he has translated extensively. He edited the Grove Press issue of Brecht's work, and recorded two albums of Brecht's songs for Folkways Records, most of which had never before been recorded in English.

In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.

Bentley became an American citizen in 1948, and currently lives in New York City.

The album "Bentley on Brecht" was recorded in New York City, 1962 and released on Riverside Records in the same year. It contains songs and poems written by Bertolt Brecht read and sung by Eric Bentley, accompanied on harmonium and piano.

Eric Bentley - Bentley On Brecht (1962)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2016

"We Weren´t Given Anything For Free" - A Film About Women In The Italian Resistance - Crowd-Funding Campaign

The german film-maker Eric Esser started a crowd-funding campaign for the DVD release of his award-winning documentary "We Weren't Given Anything for Free" with bonus film material and a comprehensive booklet about women in the Italian resistance.

Eric Esser writes about the film and the campain:

“We Weren’t Given Anything for Free” follows the dramatic events in the lives of former Italian partisan, Annita Malavasi, and her two comrades, Pierina Bonilauri and Gina Moncigoli.
This film is about the Italian resistance during the Second World War, from the perspective of these women. The 58-minute documentary premiered in Germany at the end of 2014. It had a successful run in a total of 30 film festivals in Germany and abroad. The film was honored or awarded a prize on 13 occasions.
Piera Bonilauri with her medals.
Piera Bonilauri with her medals.

I want to create a DVD box for my documentary, “We Weren’t Given Anything for Free.” The comprehensive booklet will tell the story of the women in the Italian resistance; it will contain biographies of each of the three partisan fighters portrayed in the film, as well as historical information on Reggio Emilia during the Second World War.
The DVD menus will be available in Italian, English and Spanish. Printed materials such as the booklet and the DVD box itself will be available initially only in German and Italian.
Partisans in Reggio Emilia after the liberation
Partisans in Reggio Emilia after the liberation

What Is Being Funded

With this campaign, I would like to finance the following endeavors:
  • Production of bonus material not included in the original film, including color correction, audio processing, as well as translation, editing of translated texts, and subtitles in three languages.
  • Concept and production of a 12-page booklet, including layout, translation, and editing of translated texts.
  • Creation of further printed media such as the DVD box and DVD label, and corresponding translation and editing of the translated texts.
  • Design and production of the DVD menu, as well as its translation and editing of the translated texts.
  • Conceptualization and authoring of the DVD, as well as production of a glass master for DVD pressing.
Because I financed the original film project for the most part by myself, and because the debts which I incurred for the production of that film have not yet been paid off, I am no longer able financially to contribute to the production of a DVD. I have decided to try to mobilize the necessary funds to realize this project through a crowd-funding campaign. I would therefore like to ask you, would you care to support my endeavor with a financial contribution?"

If you are interested, you´ll find detailed information about the crowd-funding campaign via

Sonntag, 24. Juli 2016

VA - Songs For Desert Refugees - A Compilation In Aid Of The Refugees From Northern Mali

Mali is one of the musical power-houses of Africa, but today it's a country in chaos, and its ancient culture is under threat. In the desert north, the rebels of the MNLA have been ousted by Islamist groups, adding to the crisis in which hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to neighbouring states, at a time of acute food shortage across the region. This benefit album aims to raise money for refugee projects, but also provides a rousing new compilation of desert blues, with unreleased or rare tracks from Tuareg musicians from Mali, Niger and Algeria. It starts, appropriately, with a slinky, rhythmic and previous unreleased song from Saharan superstars Tinariwen, and there are contributions from younger Malian bands Tamikrest, Amanar and the hypnotic Tartit. But many of the best tracks are from across the border in Niger, with an engaging, rhythmic contribution from Etran Finatawa, and a remarkable 13-minute live work-out from Bombino, proving why he is the desert's new guitar hero.

For beginners, this album can serve as an introduction to the incredible music of northern Mali, the cultural center of the Tuareg people. For people who already know this music, it's an introduction to new artists you may not have heard of before.

All proceeds from the sale of this album will be donated to TAMOUDR´R and ETAR, two NGOs working with refugees in northern Mali. If you want to support them, please make a donation to the associations via .


Tinariwen - Amous Idraout Assouf d'Alwa   04:27
Tamikrest - Warktifed   03:50
Ibrahim Djo experience - Blues du Désert [part 1]   04:32
Faris & Terakaft - Derhan Alkher   04:13
Nabil Baly Othmani - Teswa Ténéré [desert version]   05:52
Amanar - Ténéré   05:39
Tadalat - Taghdart   04:55
Etran Finatawa - Gourma   06:35
Terakaft - Nak Essanagh   04:34
Toumast - Aïtma   04:14
Bombino - Tigrawahi Tikma [live version]   13:01
Tartit - Tihou Beyatene   05:02

VA - Songs For Desert Refugees - A Compilation In Aid Of The Refugees From Northern Mali
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 23. Juli 2016

Georges Brassens - La Chasse Aux Papillons

George Brassens, (born October 22, 1921, Sète, France - died October 30, 1981, Sète) was a French singer and songwriter. One of the most-celebrated French chansonniers (cabaret singers) of the 20th century, Brassens held a unique place in the affections of the French public and, during a career of nearly 30 years, sold more than 20 million records.
Brassens’s songs, which won the poetry prize of the Académie Française in 1967, belonged to a tradition reaching back to the medieval jongleurs (professional storytellers and entertainers). They combined bawdy humour, tenderness, and contempt for the self-importance of bigots and authority figures.
 After arriving in Paris in 1940, Brassens worked in the Renault car factory and was conscripted for war work in Germany. While off duty back in France, Brassens deserted and was given refuge by his aunt’s neighbour, Jeanne Planche, to whom he dedicated many of his songs. In 1952 Brassens was discovered by Jacques Grello and made his debut in a nightclub owned by the singer Patachou. His warm voice and emphatic guitar accompaniment were heard at the Olympia, the Alhambra, and the Palais de Chaillot, but he was at his best in his regular appearances in the unpretentious surroundings of the Bobino music hall.
Brassens’s only motion picture role was in René Clair’s Porte des lilas (1957; also released as Gates of Paris). He also published poems and a novel, La Tour des miracles (1953; “The Tower of Miracles”).

This album was first published in 1954 as an EP with the title "N° 1 - Georges Brassens Chante Les Chansons Poétiques (... Et Souvent Gaillardes) De... Georges Brassens" and re-released on cd several times in the last years.


1La Chasse Aux Papillons2:01
2La Mauvaise Reputation2:13
3Le Parapluie2:30
4Le Gorille3:18
5Corne D'Auroch2:52
7Le Fossoyeur2:06
8Le Petit Cheval2:17

Georges Brassens - La Chasse Aux Papillons
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 16. Juli 2016

Jacques Brel - Olympia 1961

Although Jacques Brel's modern reputation rests on the seemingly endless stream of future classics he tossed out in his capacity as a songwriter, acclaim during his lifetime was equally granted to his live performances. Onstage, as surviving footage amply shows, he was a dynamo of expression, emotion, and energy, imbibing every lyric with an intensity that such phrases as "body language," "facial expressions," and "stage presence" simply cannot begin to explain.
It was a smart move indeed, then, for him to wrap up his Phillips label deal with a live album, recorded at the fabled Paris Olympia in October 1961, with piano accompaniment from arranger Francois Rauber and occasional songwriter Gerard Jouannest, and an orchestra conducted by Daniel Janin.
The 15 songs include a number with which the audience might not even have been familiar -- new material scheduled for Brel's next few EPs included "Les Bourgeois," "La Statue," "Zangra," and "Madeleine." All, however, are greeted with enthusiasm -- one of Brel's greatest talents, and the concert environment only amplified it, was his ability to turn total strangers into the closest friends, and friends, of course, into lovers -- an exuberant "Les Flamandes," a jovial "Marieke," a whirling "La Valse a Mille Temps."
Effortlessly, Brel holds the audience's emotions in his hand. A playful "Les Paumes Du Petit Matin" is high comedy, as Brel toys with both lyrics and vocal sounds; "Ne Me Quitte Pas," on the other hand, reduces a vast auditorium to the silence of the grave, until even the strings behind it sound like trespassers on the singer's soul. "Le Moribund" jerks the dreamers back to wakefulness, and one cannot help but wonder whether any of the so painfully earnest Anglo-American interpreters of this song could ever even imagine the exuberance with which Brel imbibes it. Joy, fun, seasons in the sun -- as the song speeds toward its conclusion, it almost sounds like Brel has started tap-dancing, so unrestrainedly buoyant is his delivery. The album closes with "Quand on N'a Que L'Amour," of course. It opens slowly, gently, Brel alone with his acoustic guitar and sounding almost uncertain as he stutters out the lyrics. As the band comes in behind him, however, his confidence returns, until the performance explodes with the crowd and, as Brel leaves the stage, the horns play out the refrain. It must have been a marvelous night; it remains a tremendous LP.     

  1. "Les prénoms de Paris" (Brel / Gérard Jouannest)
  2. "Les bourgeois" (Brel / Jean Corti)
  3. "Les paumés du petit matin" (Brel / François Rauber)
  4. "Les Flamandes"
  5. "La statue" (Brel / Rauber)
  6. "Zangra"
  7. "Marieke" (Brel / Jouannest)
  8. "Les biches" (Brel / Jouannest)
  9. "Madeleine" (Brel / Jouannest / Corti)
  10. "Les singes"
  11. "L’Ivrogne" (Brel / Jouannest / Rauber)
  12. "La valse à mille temps"
  13. "Ne me quitte pas"
  14. "Le Moribond"
  15. "Quand on n'a que l'amour"

Jacques Brel - Olympia 1961
(192 kbps, cover art included)         

Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill (Théâtre de l´est Parisien) - L´opéra de Quat´sous (1970)

"L'opéra de Quat'sous" is french for "Dreigroschenoper". This is an album with recordings of the 1970 performance at Theatre de l´Est in Paris, directed by Guy Rétoré.


01. Maxime Casa - Complainte de Mackie
02. Albert Médina - Cantique matinal de Peachum
03. Albert Médina & Rose Thiéry - Au lieu de...
04. Marie-Claude Mestral - Jenny des corsaires
05. Théâtre de l'est Parisien - Le chant des canons
06. Marie-Claude Mestral - Le chant de Barbara
07. Marie-Claude Mestral - Chanson de Polly
08. Rose Thiéry - Ballade de l'esclavage des sens
09. Arlette Théphany & Maurice Barrier - Ballade du souteneur
10. Maurice Barrier - Ballade de la bonne vie
11. Sabine Lods & Marie-Claude Mestral - Duo de la jalousie
12. Albert Médina - L'inanite de l'effort humain
13. Arlette Théphany - Le sage Salomon
14. Maurice Barrier - Épitre
15. Maurice Barrier - Ballade de merci

Brecht & Weill (Théâtre de l'est Parisien) - L'opéra de Quat'sous (1970)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 15. Juli 2016

Georges Brassens - Fernande (1972)

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.    


A2Stances A Un Cambrioleur
A3La Ballade Des Gens Qui Sont Nés Quelque Part
A4La Princesse Et Le Croque-Notes
A5Sauf Le Respect Que Je Vous Dois
A6Le Blason
B1Mourir Pour Des Idées
B2Quatre-Vingt-Quinze Pour Cent
B3Les Passantes
B4Le Roi
B5A L'Ombre Des Maris

Georges Brassens - Fernande (1972)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 14. Juli 2016

John & Alice Coltrane‎ - John & Alice Coltrane (Hörzu Black Label, 1970)

Alice Coltrane was an uncompromising pianist, composer and bandleader, who spent the majority of her life seeking spiritually in both music and her private life. Music ran in Alice Coltrane's family; her older brother was bassist Ernie Farrow, who in the '50s and '60s played in the bands of Barry Harris, Stan Getz, Terry Gibbs, and especially Yusef Lateef. Alice McLeod began studying classical music at the age of seven.
She attended Detroit's Cass Technical High School with pianist Hugh Lawson and drummer Earl Williams. As a young woman she played in church and was a fine bebop pianist in the bands of such local musicians as Lateef and Kenny Burrell. McLeod traveled to Paris in 1959 to study with Bud Powell. She met John Coltrane while touring and recording with Gibbs around 1962-1963; she married the saxophonist in 1965, and joined his band -- replacing McCoy Tyner -- one year later. Alice stayed with John's band until his death in 1967; on his albums "Live at the Village Vanguard Again!" and "Concert in Japan", her playing is characterized by rhythmically ambiguous arpeggios and a pulsing thickness of texture.               

This compilation with tracks featuring John and Alice Coltrane was released in 1970 on the "HÖR ZU Black Label" in Germany.

AMy Favorite Things17:41
B1Reverend King10:55
B2The Sun3:58

"My Favorite Things" was recorded live at Newport Jazz Festival 1963, "Reverend King" on Februara, 02. 1966 in San Francisco and "The Sun" on January, 21, 1968, in New York.

John & Alice Coltrane‎ - John & Alice Coltrane (Hörzu Black Label, 1970)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Floh de Cologne - Profitgeier (Amiga, 1972)

In 1971 the polit rock band Floh de Cologne created the first German-language rock opera called "Profitgeier", an aggressive concept album criticizing exploitation and capitalism. Sometimes Floh de Cologne - an essential part of the left political scene in the BRD in the 1970s - were compared with the wonderful Fugs.

Their rather simple music and their lyrics - strongly influenced by the jargon of the DKP, the german communist party, formed in 1968 by former KPD functionaries in close cooperation with the East Germany's ruling party, the Socialist Unity Party (SED), from which the DKP received both political directives and most of its funds - have an out-dated effect for todays listeners. The theory of Karl Marx and his analysis of the capitalist system were the basis for their reflections about contemporary life. Even if this seems sometimes one-dimensional, the essence of their lyrics is up to date in the present conflicts and the crisis of the capitalist system.

Here´s a fine example of their dialectic lyrics:
"Der Unternehmer heißt Unternehmer, weil er etwas unternimmt.
Der Arbeiter heißt Arbeiter, weil er arbeitet.
Würden die Arbeiter was unternehmen, müssten die Unternehmer arbeiten."

The GDR cultural administration supported Floh de Cologne. They arranged live performances at the "Festival des politischen Liedes" and at the "X. Weltjugendfestspiele" in 1973. The label Amiga released "Profitgeier" in 1972 as a licence album from the Pläne label.

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Sun Ra - Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold (1964)

In 1964, Sun Ra asked the young tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders to join him, while Arkestra mainstay John Gilmore was busy working with Paul Bley, Andrew Hill, and Art Blakey. Before the recording's original release in 1976, Sun Ra stated: "It should be very interesting to the world to show what the pre-Coltrane Pharoah Sanders was like." Also appearing on "Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold" is the little-heard flautist, Black Harold (Harold Murray), who takes the lead on the track "The Voice of Pan," continuing into "Dawn over Israel." Bassist Alan Silva (ESP 1091) also does some fine bass work on the release.

"Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold" is notable not only for its unique lineup, but also for the first known recording of the composition "The Shadow World," here titled "The World Shadow," which was featured on later Arkestra albums.

The music is vital, as much a testament to the times, as it is to Sun Ra's approach. An innovator who was not constricted by form, the music flowed as he and the band saw fit. He not only assimilated various musical genres, he juxtaposed composition and invention to add impact to the development of the music.

Gods on a Safari (Ra)
The World Shadow (Ra)
Rocket Number 9(Ra)
The Voice of Pan (Ra)
Dawn over Israel  (Ra)
Space Mates (Ra)

Sun Ra - Featuring Pharoah Sanders &  Black Harold (1964)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 6. Juli 2016

Kurt Weill - Symphonies 1 & 2, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik - The Gulbenkian Orchestra & Michel Swierczewski

"For years the two Weill symphonies were dominated in the LP catalogue by two conductors: Gary Bertini and Edo de Waart. More recently Marin Alsop successfully took the symphonies into the studio for Naxos. Bertini – well respected for his Mahler cycle on EMI Classics – has kept a tighter grip on the shops having been reissued on CD several times. It began life with BBC Symphony Orchestra sessions at the Kingsway Hall in 1965-67. These emerged as an EMI Classics stereo LP (ASD 2390) and then turned up on Argo (ZRG 755) – or was it the other way around. Its somewhat overshadowed ‘echo’ came out in 1975 when the LP had less than ten years to live. The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig were conducted by de Waart. This initially appeared on East German Eterna as ED1 826673 but may be better known as Philips LP 6500-642; I am not sure whether it was ever re-issued on CD - does anyone know? However in 1996 the Bertini had the CD treatment from EMI Classics (5 65869 2.). It was number 25 in their admirable Matrix series.

There is a link between the Bertini recordings and the present disc. It’s to be found in the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The Foundation – always a champion of fine neglected music - financially supported the Bertini sessions and it is the Gulbenkian Orchestra that plays these two symphonies and the Weill-Klemperer suite.

Fine performances from this conductor and Nimbus’s analytical recording reports a host of details without losing impact or the broad sweep in what is a richly resonant acoustic. The First Symphony is tender, world-weary and salty. Its energy is threaded through with disillusion and a knowing cynicism. This is not sufficient to preclude an ending which has a sense of repose. The music has perhaps a shade of Markevitch’s inhuman exuberance but there are also Bergian passages that evoke a tender Klimtian dream. The Symphony was written in April and June 1921 while Weill was part of Busoni’s class. It was premiered in Berlin in 1957 and only published in 1968. The gritty and acrid tang of Kleine Dreigroschenmusik is not tempered by Swierczewski. Indeed the cigar smoke, diesel and drains miasma mixes well with the pompous and dissolute Weimar-Grosz atmosphere. This is greatly helped by the role played by saxophone, guitar and banjo. The Second Symphony Pariser was written around the time of Weill’s enforced departure from Germany in 1933. It was premiered by Bruno Walter at the Concertgebouw in 1934. An agreeably harsh and grating rhythmic mordancy is coupled with a grunting and waxing undertow. There’s a very catchy finale with sparkling woodwind and a Svejk-like strut. The last few pages offer up a galloping romp." -


1 Symphony No.1 (1921) 25:46

Kleine Dreigroschenmusik Für Blasenorchester. Suite Aus Der "Dreigroschenoper" 21:37
2 1 Ouverture: Maestoso 2:05
3 2 Die Moritat Von Mackie Messer: Moderato Assai 2:21
4 3 Anstatt Daß-Song: Moderato 1:54
5 4 Die Ballade Vom Angenehmen Leben: Foxtrott 2:57
6 5 Pollys Lied: Andante Con Moto 2:50
7 5a Tango-Ballade 2:38
8 6 Kanonen-Song: Charleston-Tempo 2:30
9 7 Dreigroschen-Finale 4:22

Symphony No.2 (1933) 26:31
10 I Sostenuto-Allegro Molto 8:51
11 II Largo 10:51
12 III Allegro Vivace 6:49

Kurt Weill - Symphonies 1 & 2, Kleine Dreigroschenmusik - The Gulbenkian Orchestra
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 5. Juli 2016

Les Ambassadeurs ‎– Dance Music From West Africa

After first breaking into the Malian music scene with the Super Rail Band, Salif Keita left to help form Les Ambassadeurs. The strong Cuban influence in the music (obvious not only in the rhythms, but also in the horn charts) helped bring them local fame in the mid-'70s before Keita embarked on a solo career. With some stunning, but laid-back, guitar work from Kante Manfila, this record moves at a wonderful pace, never straining at the leash, but more danceable than 12 albums of funk. An absolute delight. --Chris Nickson

Though it's billed as "Dance Music From West Africa" (these folkie labels, anything for a buck), what you notice is more for the ears than the feet--the emotional range of Mali tenor Salif Keita, a far more stirring singer than the renowned Rochereau, and the way Kante Manfila's guitar anchors synth here and horns there. Gorgeous. And if you wonder what Keita's emoting about, read the notes. He doesn't much like war, prefers past leaders to present, hopes the poor man's prayers will be answered but que sera sera, praises not just cops but also informers for combating the drug scourge, and passionately opposes the newfangled practice of men marrying women older than themselves. Oh well. - R. Christgau

Had the chance to see them playing live on stage a year ago. It was a wonderful evening...

Les Ambassadeurs ‎– Dance Music From West Africa
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Arkestra - Sleeping Beauty (1979)

This is the great late-night Sun Ra chillout album you never knew about. The band had been working in a more groove-oriented setting off and on for over a year, as evidenced by the albums "Lanquidity" and "On Jupiter", with both featuring prominent electric bass and electric guitar.

"Sleeping Beauty" picks up right where "On Jupiter" left off, with the gentle, swaying "Springtime Again" echoing the same mellow vibe of "Seductive Fantasy" from "On Jupiter". A skittering intro coalesces as different instruments pick up bits of the melody, which is then fully expressed by the horn section and ensemble vocals. It's a simple two-chord vamp, with beautiful solos that seem to embody the reawakening and rebirth of springtime.

"The Door of the Cosmos" starts with a gospel-like chant and handclaps, with comments from Ra's electric piano and electric guitar. A strong bassline enters, very reminiscent of "A Love Supreme, Pt. 1: Acknowledgement," but the accompanying chant celebrates the mysteries of the unknown rather than the universal truth of "A Love Supreme". This track builds in intensity, but never loses its groove or becomes nearly as raucous as the Arkestra is sometimes known for.

"Sleeping Beauty" is the album centerpiece, taking up all of side two. Ra's beautiful electric piano gets things rolling, and the band falls into a peaceful groove before the vocals enter, led by the wonderful June Tyson.

These songs are all built on the simplest of structures, and the playing from everyone is understated and sublime. "Sleeping Beauty" is truly a high point in an unwieldy discography, and something of an anomaly at the same time. There's a good reason copies of this album go for several hundred dollars on the collector's market, but it really deserves a proper release so more people can hear it. Outstanding.

A1 Springtime Again 9:17
A2 Door Of The Cosmos 9:00
B Sleeping Beauty 11:51

(224 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 2. Juli 2016

Caetano Veloso - Transa (1972)

Released in 1972, "Transa" was recorded by Caetano Veloso during his exile in London, England, shortly before his return to Brazil.
The sound of '70s electric rock predominates, fused with Brazilian rhythms and percussion, berimbau sounds, and his own violão playing. Several lyrics in English, and also in Portuguese, carefully avoid direct reference to politics, which may be found disguised in all songs, especially in the melancholic and depressed images of the poem by Gregório de Matos, "Triste Bahia," for which Veloso wrote the music.
"It's a Long Way" also makes ciphered references to the political situation and was broadly played in the '70s. The broad use of pontos de capoeira (music used for accompaniment of capoeira, a martial art developed by Brazilian slaves as a resistance against the whites) can also be understood in that sense. The album also has "Mora na Filosofia," a classic and beautiful samba by Monsueto that scandalized people with its rock rendition - and one of my all-time-favourits, "Nine Out Of Ten".
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Charly Garcia - Parte de la Religión

Charly Garcia is one of the most talented and influential figures of Argentine and Latin rock. He composed many generational hymns and was always obsessed with expanding the boundaries of pop music and the musician's role itself.               

"Parte de la Religión", released in 1987, was an album recorded almost entirely by García himself. An exception can be found in "Rap de las Hormigas," on which the Brazilian group Os Paralams do Succeso took part. The record was clearly a masterpiece and showed Prince's influence. Songs like "No Voy en Tren," "Buscando un Símbolo de Paz," and "En la Ruta del Tentempié" became Top Ten hits.    

Charly Garcia - Parte de la Religión     
(320 kbps, cover art included)