Freitag, 29. September 2017

Sun Ra - Dancing Shadows

"Dancing Shadows" is a mid-'80s German bootleg disc gathering material that had been recorded some two decades earlier for the ESP-Disk indie label. It should also be noted that the same eight sides can be found as both "Nothing Is" (1970) and the somewhat erroneous "Heliocentric Worlds, Vol. 3" (1966). In terms of the contents, the cuts were documented at various stops on the Arkestra's 1966 spring tour of state universities of New York. The instrumental free jazz improvisations surrounding the more discernible melodies from Ra (piano/clavioline) and company serve as the primary impetus for this collection.

From out of the free-for-all introduction "Dancing Shadows," Ra's keyboards are incisive and direct as he rides the band into a swinging and inventive jam sporting the same brand of advanced arrangements and tricky time signatures that are associated with the likes of Pharoah Sanders and Thelonious Monk. Longtime Arkestra stalwarts Marshall Allen (alto sax/flute/piccolo/oboe), John Gilmore (tenor sax), and Pat Patrick (baritone sax/flute) entwine their Eastern-influenced interjections and effuse interaction over the solid rhythm section of Ronnie Boykins (bass/tuba), Clifford Jarvis (drums), Carl Nimrod [aka Carl S. Malone/Nimrod Hunt] (sun horn/gong), and James Jacson (flute/log drums).

While no traditional drum kit performers are credited, they are evident throughout. Sandwiched between "Dancing Shadows" and "Exotic Forest" is the spoken or (perhaps more accurately) chanted chorus of "the second stop is Jupiter." Keen-eared enthusiasts might recall this extract, which hails from "Rocket #9." There is an entrancing and almost intoxicating quality to "Exotic Forest." Allen's oboe solo is bound to some equally heady percussive expressions. This release can be recommended for this track alone, as it exemplifies the unquestionable beauty that the Arkestra created from seeming sonic chaos. After "Sun Ra and His Band from Outer Space" - a brief piano solo interlude - the final extended piece is "Shadow World." Here, Patrick's opening solo is met head-on with a hard-hitting and edgy assault from Allen on oboe. This eventually leads into a full Arkestra meltdown prior to Ra's "Theme of the Stargazers" and a final chorus of "Next Stop Mars" - another spoken/sung chant. The audio quality of this specific incarnation is less than favorable when compared to either of the previously mentioned releases "Nothing Is" or "Heliocentric Worlds, Vol. 3" - both of which are available on CD. All manner of free jazz fans are encouraged to locate "Dancing Shadows", as it provides an unabashed glimpse into what makes this era of the Arkestra so highly lauded among listeners.               


1. Dancing Shadows / Imagination / Exotic Forest (20:15)

2. Sun Ra And His Band From Outer Space / Shadow World / Theme Of The Stargazers / Outer Spaceways Incorporated / Next Stop Mars (17:54)

Sun Ra - Dancing Shadows
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 27. September 2017

Atahualpa Yupanqui - Lo Mejor De

The roots of nueva canción trace to the late 1950s and early ’60s, a notably restive era in Latin American history. Many countries were saddled with ineffective or authoritarian governments, and the gap between the wealthy and the impoverished was widening. Moreover, European and North American cultural influence was becoming increasingly palpable, with musical tastes in particular molded to a significant degree by the commercial-music industry of North America. In that milieu two notable singer-songwriters in neighbouring countries embarked on crusades to reclaim what they perceived as the crumbling social and cultural integrity of their homelands: Violeta Parra in Chile and Atahualpa Yupanqui in Argentina.

Much of the work of Parra and Yupanqui involved collecting old songs from the countryside and reworking - or rejuvenating - them to become “new songs” in a more contemporary, broadly accessible format. Parra commonly cast her song in well-established local poetic forms, and, perhaps most significant, she introduced Andean instruments into the accompanying ensemble. Meanwhile, Yupanqui’s semisung lyrics, intoned atop expressive guitar playing, vividly evoked the hardships of life in the Andes. By developing and promoting a body of popular songs that were grounded in local traditions and that addressed the experiences and concerns of ordinary people, both Parra and Yupanqui helped democratize music in their countries; their songs spoke both to and for the populace.


1Los Ejes De Mi Carreta3:00
2La Copla4:55
3La Olvidada2:10
4La Tarde4:00
5El Poeta3:00
7A La Noche La Hizo Dios3:30
8El Pampino4:10
9Paisaje Con Nieve4:50
10El Aromo4:00
11El Alazán3:19
12El Promesante3:20
13Le Tengo Rabia Al Silencio3:02
14Guitarra Dímelo Tú2:54
15Camino Del Indio3:02
16Trabajo, Quiero Trabajo2:54

Atahualpa Yupanqui - Lo Mejor De
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 23. September 2017

Brother Resistance - When De Riddum Explode

Born in East Dry River, Trinidad, Brother Resistance became, together with Brother Shortman, the lead singer of the Network Riddum Band, a Trinidadian ensemble, in 1979. They developed a hybrid of soca and rap that they called 'rapso', a genre for which they credited Lancelot Layne as originator. Considered subversive by the authorities, the band's rehearsal space and offices were destroyed by the police in June 1983.
The group released their first album, Roots of de Rapso Rhythm, in 1984, which was followed by Rapso Explosion and Rapso Takeover in 1985 and 1986 respectively. International performances brought recognition from overseas, changing the attitude of the T&T government, who selected Brother Resistance as their cultural delegate to the World Festival of Youth and Students in Korea.

He appeared at New York's 'New Music Festival' in 1992 and in 1993 at the International Dub Poetry Festival in Toronto.

Brother Resistance - When De Riddum Explode
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 22. September 2017

Joe Zawinul ‎– Mauthausen ... Vom großen Sterben hören

Joe Zawinul’s Mauthausen is a work inspired by the plight of prisoners at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp during World War II.

A little-known anomaly in the Joe Zawinul discography, "Mauthausen" was a multimedia event in which the Austrian-born composer/keyboardist tried to come to terms with some of the darkest hours in his country's history. It is a troubling, at times eloquent electronic tone poem that depicts life within the concentration camp near the small Austrian town of Mauthausen, where approximately 120,000 people lost their lives between the years 1938 and 1945.

Anticipating limited appeal for such a project, ESC released the album only in Austria and a handful of other Central European countries. Originally presented in the camp itself in 1998 with holograms, lighting effects, and 50 speakers placed around the audience, "Mauthausen" is mostly a one-man show on CD; Zawinul commanding his symphonic arsenal of keyboards, with occasional narrations in German by actor Frank Hoffmann. As have a number of recent Zawinul albums, this one opens with a deep, moody pedal point in the bass, but the mood stays dark and threatening most of the way through - a stark contrast to the bubbly, life-affirming rhythms that Zawinul had been pumping out on his jazz/world music recordings of this time. Once in a great while, a semblance of the Zawinul groove breaks out, but always in a subdued way. Mixed in are collages of storm-troopers, trains carrying the prisoners to the camp, prison doors slamming, commands of the guards, and other sound effects from wartime.

As in Zawinul's symphonic poem "Stories of the Danube", echoes from his jazz past turn up; this time, we hear spliced-in recordings of "Walking on a Nile" from Zawinul's "Dialects" and "The Orphan" from Weather Report's "8:30" album. The latter insert is particularly appropriate, with Wayne Shorter's tenor sax and a children's chorus shouting "No More! No More!" contributing beacons of hope before Zawinul's final hymn of benediction. Obviously, for non-German speakers, some of the meaning of the piece will be lost; the booklet contains no English translations other than a brief history of the camp and the titles of the selections. But the inhumane, brooding atmosphere of the camp comes through powerfully enough in the music via a stereo CD - the album deserves a wider release.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Einleitung zu einer wahren Geschichte (Introduction to a True Story) (1:06)
2. Die Orgel der Barbarei (Organ of Barbarism)
a. Der Weg nach Mauthausen (The Tragedy) (16:03)
b. Das Lagerleben (Life in the Concentration Camp) 2:25
c. Das Orchester (The Orchestra) (3:08)
d. Interludium (Interlude) (0:54)
e. Die Folter (Torture) (4:10)
f. Die Nacht (The Night) (1:15)
g. Die Vollstrecker (The Executioners) (3:40)
h. Das Gebet (The Prayer) (1:04)
i. Samstagnacht im Lager (Saturday Night in The Camp) (3:40)
j. Wey Doo (1:49)
k. Sonntags im Lager (Sunday in The Camp) (6:24)
l. Weinachten 1944 (Christmas 1944) (3:07)
m. Der Fluchtversuch (Break Out) (3:25)
3. No More. No More.
a. No More. No More. (3:49)
b. Mauthausen: In Memoriam (5:52)

Joe Zawinul - Mauthausen... Vom großen Sterben hören
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 19. September 2017

Dinah Washington - Dinah Jams (1954)

Recorded at the start of Dinah Washington's climb to fame, 1954's "Dinah Jams" was taped live in front of a studio audience in Los Angeles.

While Washington is in top form throughout, effortlessly working her powerful, blues-based voice on both ballads and swingers, the cast of star soloists almost steals the show. In addition to drummer Max Roach, trumpeter Clifford Brown, and other members of Brown and Roach's band at the time - tenor saxophonist Harold Land, pianist Richie Powell, and bassist George Morrow - trumpeters Maynard Ferguson and Clark Terry, alto saxophonist Herb Geller, and pianist Junior Mance also contribute to the session.

Along with extended jams like "Lover Come Back to Me," "You Go to My Head," and "I'll Remember April" - all including a round of solos - there are shorter ballad numbers such as "There Is No Greater Love" and "No More," the last of which features excellent muted, obbligato work by Brown.

And even though she's in the midst of these stellar soloists, Washington expertly works her supple voice throughout to remain the star attraction, even matching the insane, high-note solo blasts trumpeter Ferguson expectedly delivers. A fine disc. Newcomers, though, should start with more accessible and more vocal-centered Washington titles like "The Swingin' Miss D" or "The Fats Waller Songbook", both of which feature top arrangements by Quincy Jones.

Dinah Washington - Dinah Jams (1954) 
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 18. September 2017

Miriam Makeba - Welela (1989)

A child of apartheid, and an artist who was forced to live in exile, Miriam Makeba has endured decades of struggle, witnessing the ravages of racism and intolerance all her life. However, her music is uplifting and celebratory. Makeba was once quoted as saying, "I'm only happy when I sing."

Clearly, this joy comes across on WELELA, which is influenced by the popular music of Makeba's homeland. "Pata Pata (Touch Touch)" is an exultant tune about dancing, while "A Luta Continua" is a song of resilience that is dedicated to the people of Mozambique.

However, the most moving song here is "Soweto Blues," which recounts the events of June 16th, 1976, when children in the eponymous township decided to protest oppression and apartheid. Their opposition was called a riot, and sparked a government massacre that killed 600. A funky groove complements Makeba's strong, passionate voice on this song, and the lyric, incredibly, retains an air of hope despite the distressing subject matter.                

The album was mixed at Condulmer Recording Studios in Venice, Italy by Allan Goldberg of Phonocomp in 1989, except for "Pata Pata" which was mixed at Psycho Studio in Milan.


A1 Amampondo
A2 African Sunset
A3 Djiu De Galinha
A4 A Luta Continua
A5 Soweto Blues
B1 Welela
B2 Hapo Zamini
B3 Pata Pata
B4 Saduva
B5 Africa

Miriam Makeba - Welela (1989)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 12. September 2017

Inti-Illimani - Chile Resistencia (1977)

The power and resiliency of artists committed to profound social change resound over time and across natural and human-created borders. The music of the Nueva Canción is a testament to how the musical expressions of that commitment can bridge decades and span a hemisphere.

"Chile Resistencia" is the sixths album by Inti-Illimani. It was recorded at Sciascia Sound Studios in December 1976 - January 1977.        


A1Chile Resistencia2:17
A3Creemos El Hombre Nuevo2:35
A4Naciste De Los Leñadores5:23
A5Todas Las Lluvias2:49
B1America Novia Mia3:25
B2A Luis Emilio Recabarren2:32
B3No Nos Someteran2:28
B4Juanito Laguna Remonta El Barrilete4:55
B5Alborada Vendrà2:42

Inti-Illimani - Chile Resistencia (1977)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 11. September 2017

Inti-Illimani - La Nueva Cancion Chilena (1973)

Originally posted four years ago:

Last night I had the chance to experience a concert by the wonderful group Inti-Illimani Classico from Chile.

September 11, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the military coup by General Pinochet against the democratically elected President Salvador Allende. The group dedicated their concert to the rememberance of these events.

Inti-Illimani is an instrumental and vocal Latin American folk music ensemble from Chile. The group was formed in 1967 by a group of university students and it acquired widespread popularity in Chile for their song Venceremos (We shall win!) which became the anthem of the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende. At the moment of the September 11, 1973 Chilean coup they were on tour in Europe and were unable to return to their country where their music was proscribed by the ruling military junta.
Having heard of the numerous extra-judicial killings of many fellow artists by Chile's army, they took up residence in Italy, resulting in "the longest tour in history" for Inti-Illimani as they lived in de facto exile. They continued their efforts supporting Chilean democracy internationally; magnitizdat copies of their work continued to be widely distributed in Chile. In September 1988, days after they were no longer banned from Chile, they began touring Chile again. They helped organize the voting down of the referendum that would have re-elected Pinochet. Recently, they were actually supported by Chile as representatives of Chilean culture.

In Europe their music took on a multifarious character, incorporating elements of European baroque and other traditional music forms to their rich and colourful Latin American rhythms - creating a distinctive fusion of modern world music. They are perhaps the best internationally known members of the nueva canción movement.

"La Nueva Canción Chilena" (New Chilean Song) is the musical voice of a social/political movement that lived in Chile in the 1960s and early 70s. Musically, it revived the sounds of native Andean music and blended them with American folk and popular music. Politically, the movement championed labor organization, land reform, anti-racism, and anti-imperialism. It supported the Vietnamese in their struggle against the U.S. Pinochet and the Fascist military junta seized power in Chile on Sept. 11, 1973. The New Chilean Song movement (along with most leftist political and social organizations) was destroyed, and its leaders murdered or exiled. The CIA and other U.S. agencies were heavily involved in installing Pinochet and keeping him in power.

Inti-Illimani - La Nueva Cancion Chilena (1973)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 7. September 2017

Lonnie Smith - Move Your Hand

Lonnie Smith (born July 3, 1942), styled Dr. Lonnie Smith, is an American jazz Hammond B3 organist.

"Move Your Hand" was recorded live at Club Harlem in Atlantic City on August 9, 1969. Organist Lonnie Smith led a small combo - featuring guitarist Larry McGee, tenor saxist Rudy Jones, bari saxist Ronnie Cuber, and drummer Sylvester Goshay - through a set that alternated originals with two pop covers, the Coasters' "Charlie Brown" and Donovan's "Sunshine Superman."

Throughout, the band works a relaxed, bluesy, and, above all, funky rhythm; they abandon improvisation and melody for a steady groove, so much that the hooks of the two pop hits aren't recognizable until a few minutes into the track. No one player stands out, but "Move Your Hand" is thoroughly enjoyable, primarily because the group never lets their momentum sag throughout the session. Though the sound of the record might be somewhat dated, the essential funk of the album remains vital.                


  1. "Charlie Brown" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) - 8:26
  2. "Layin' in the Cut" - 10:11
  3. "Move Your Hand" - 9:01
  4. "Sunshine Superman" (Donovan Leitch) - 10:16
  5. "Dancin' in an Easy Groove" - 11:56

Lonnie Smith - Move Your Hand
(320 kbps, cover art included)