Montag, 30. April 2018

Quilapayun - DT 64 Single (1975)


Quilapayún is a folk music group from Chile and among the longest lasting and most influential ambassadors of the Nueva Canción Chilena movement.

Formed in Chile during the mid-1960s, the group became inseparable with the revolution that occurred in the popular music of the country under the "Unitad Popular" ("Popular Unity") Government of Salvador Allende. Since its formation and during its forty-year history - both in Chile and during its lengthy period of exile in France - the group has seen modifications to its personnel lineup and the subject and content of its work.

The GDR label Amiga released this single in the "DT 64 Polit-Song" series. This series refers to the last "Deutschlandtreffen der Jugend für Frieden und Völkerfreundschaft" in the year 1964 in East-Berlin.

"Bourgeois society wants art to be another factor contributing to social alienation, we artists should transform it into a revolutionary weapon, until the contradiction that actually exists between art and society finally comes to pass. This surpassing is called revolution and its motor and fundamental agent is the working class. Our group, loyal to the ideals of Luis Emilio Recabarren, sees its work as a continuation of what has already been achieved by many other popular/folk artists. This side of the trenches has been occupied by artists whose names are forever linked to the revolutionary struggle of our people: the first Luis Emilio Recabarren, the latest: Violeta Parra and Pablo Neruda. The example they have given us is the light that guides us."
— Quilapayún (1969)

Tracks:
A: Quilapayun - Tio Caiman (Onkel Krokodil)
B: Quilapayun - El alma Ilena de banderas (Eine Seele voller Fahnen)

Quilapayun - DT 64 Single (1975)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Phil Ochs - Pleasures Of The Harbor

Phil Ochs - Pleasures Of The Harbor
Going into the studio after Dylan's move into rock accompaniment and Sgt. Pepper's vast expansion of pop music, Ochs wanted to make a record that reflected all these trends, and he hired producer Larry Marks, arranger Ian Freebairn-Smith, and pianist Lincoln Mayorga - all of whom had classical backgrounds - to help him realize his vision.


The result was "Pleasures of the Harbor", his most musically varied and ambitious album, one routinely cited as his greatest accomplishment. Though the lyrics were usually not directly political, they continued to reflect his established points of view. His social criticisms here were complex, and they went largely unnoticed on a long album full of long songs, many of which did not support the literal interpretations they nevertheless received. The album was consistently imbued with images of mortality, and it all came together on the abstract, electronic-tinged final track, "The Crucifixion." Usually taken to be about John F. Kennedy, it concerns the emergence of a hero in a corrupt world and his inevitable downfall through betrayal. Ochs offers no satisfying resolution; the goals cannot be compromised, and they will not be fulfilled. It was anything but easy listening, but it was an effective conclusion to a brilliant album that anticipated the devastating and tragic turn of the late '60s, as well as its maker's own eventual decline and demise.

From the liner notes by Richie Unterberger:
"If ever a record by a major 1960s artist was a "transitional" album, Phil Ochs’ Pleasures of the Harbor was it. The LP was his first recording to use full band arrangements; his first to almost entirely depart from the topical protest folk songs with which he had made his reputation; his first to be recorded for a then-young A&M label; and his first to be recorded in Los Angeles, the city to which he moved from New York in the late 1960s. It is undoubtedly his most sonically ambitious work, and if the almost ludicrously huge scope of his ambitions guaranteed an uneven album, it nevertheless contained some of his most enduring and successful songs and performances."

Phil Ochs - Pleasures Of The Harbor
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 29. April 2018

Neil Young - Buffalo Springfield - Down To The Wire (Live 1965)

This bootleg collects some early and rare Neil Young recordings.
The Wichita Falls tracks are solo acoustic (pre-Springfield). Very good sound qualities for the time. There are also two Buffalo Springfield outtakes. As well, there are two 45 single demos with Neil’s Canadian group the Squires.

Tracks 1-7; 10 and 11 were recorded live in Wichita Falls, Texas, 1-12-65

Tracks 8 and 9 are Buffalo Springfield studio outtakes.

Track 12, called "Sultan" and track 13 ("Aurora") are from The Squires' and Neil Young's first single, produced by Bob Bradburn, a DJ at CKRC in Winnipeg in 1963.

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 28. April 2018

Sun Ra - Spaceways

Here´s the third cd from the three-disc box set "Calling Plante Earth", released in 1998 on Freedom.
.
This box is a confusing addition to Sun Ra's discography; while one disc is a straight reissue (of an album already available on compact disc), the other two consist of concert recordings spanning 1966-71, presumably never before released. It may be mostly for collectors, but there are hours of great music on this set in a variety of settings.


The first disc, "Outer Spaceways Incorporated", is Ra's 1968 album for Black Lion which includes as large as a 15-piece band and much chanting as well as playing. The second disc is "Calling Planet Earth", which includes a 1971 show in Denmark.


 The third and final one, called "Spaceways", includes excerpts from New York City live sessions during 1966 and 1968, with at least a dozen players on each.

Fresh link:

Sun Ra - Spaceways (256 kbps, front cover included)

Robert Wyatt - The End Of An Ear (1970)


Of all the projects Robert Wyatt created apart from his tenure with Soft Machine and Matching Mole, "The End of an Ear" has to be the strangest, and among the most beautiful and misunderstood recordings of his career. Recorded near the end of his membership in Soft Machine, "End of an Ear" finds Wyatt experimenting far more with jazz and avant-garde material than in the jazz-rock-structured environment of his band.

The Wyatt on "The End of an Ear" (a play on words for the end of the SM era, and another session called "Ear of the Beholder") is still very much the fiery drummer and percussionist who is interested in electronic effects and out jazz and not the composer and interpretive singer of his post-accident years. Influenced by Miles Davis' electric bands and the fledgling Weather Report who did their first gigs in the U.K., Wyatt opens and closes the album with two readings of Gil Evans' "Las Vegas Tango, Pt. 1." These are the most structured pieces on the recording, and the only ones not dedicated in some way: "To Mark Everywhere," "To Caravan and Brother Jim," "To Nick Everyone," "To the Old World (Thank You for the Use of Your Body, Goodbye)," "To Carla, Marsha, and Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller)," and others. The titles reveal how personal the nature of these sound experiments can be.

Wyatt, because of his association with many in the Canterbury scene, not the least of which is SM mate Elton Dean who prominently appears here, was learning alternate structures and syntax for harmony, as well as the myriad ways rhythm could play counterpoint to them in their own language. The interplay between Wyatt, bassist Neville Whitehead, cornet player Marc Charig, and alto man Dean on "To Nick Everyone" is astonishing. Wyatt creates time from the horn lines and then alters it according to Whitehead's counterpoint both to the formal line and the improvisations. Toward the end of the track, Wyatt's piano is dubbed in and he reveals just how expansive he views this new harmonic approach. The piano becomes a percussion instrument purely, a timekeeper in accordance with the bass, and the drums become counterpoint - in quadruple time - to everyone else in the band. When David Sinclair's organ enters the fray and another piano courtesy of Mark Ellidge, as well as assorted percussion by Cyril Ayers, the entire thing becomes a strange kind of rondo in free jazz syntax.

Elsewhere, on "To Caravan and Brother Jim," a 2/4 time signature opens the track and the organ plays almost a lounge-jazz-type line with drums rumbling in the back of the mix, almost an afterthought, and Ellidge's piano stumbling in with dissonant trills and riffs until he creates a microtonal line against the organ's now carnival chords until certain drums fall out, then back in, and the piano plays an augmented chord solidly in glissandi until the piece just sort of falls apart and ends. If you are Robert Wyatt, this is the way you find something new, you "play" at it. And that's what is so beautiful about "The End of an Ear" - the entire record, unlike the "seriousness" of Soft Machine "Third", is that this is being played with tonalities, harmony, language, and utterance that are all up for grabs in an investigation of freedom both in "music" and "sound."

"The End of an Ear" is the warm and humorous melding of free jazz amplification and musicians' playtime.            

Tracklist:

All tracks composed by Robert Wyatt; except where indicated
Side A
  1. "Las Vegas Tango Part 1 (Repeat)" (Gil Evans)
  2. "To Mark Everywhere"
  3. "To Saintly Bridget"
  4. "To Oz Alien Daevyd and Gilly"
  5. "To Nick Everyone"
Side B
  1. "To Caravan and Brother Jim"
  2. "To the Old World (Thank You For the Use of Your Body, Goodbye)"
  3. "To Carla, Marsha and Caroline (For Making Everything Beautifuller)"
  4. "Las Vegas Tango Part 1" (Gil Evans)
Robert Wyatt - The End Of An Ear (1970)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 27. April 2018

The Black Ark Presents - Rastafari Liveth In The Hearts Of Everyone Itinually

"Rastafari Liveth..." is a very dread collection, with heavy Rasta vibes throughout. Many of these tracks can't be found anywhere else, making this a valuable collection for serious Lee Perry fans. This album follows the pattern of a lot of Lee Perry releases, choosing to chronicle a series of singles and offering first the A, then the B side. The effect is not as mind-numbing and clinical as one might think.

These songs are from the prime of Perry's conscious phase, right during his flirtation with Rastafari. The lyrics are strong and the beats are strident and military, more reminiscent of some of King Tubby's work than a lot of what leaked from The Black Ark. Many of the usual suspects contribute vocals here, including Devon Irons and Watty Burnett.

Highlights include Clive Hylton's meditative "Judgement Day", Devon Irons' heavy duty "When Jah Comes", and the startling "Forward With Jah Orthodox", a menacing nyabinghi number calling for a new order in Jamaica. For those looking for a Lee Perry starting point, there are better records. For the converted, it´s tough to getenough andthis will be a welcome addition to the pile.


Tracklisting:

01. Ethiopian Land - Peter & Paul Lewis
02. Dub Land - The Upsetters
03. Rise And Shine - Watty & Tony
04. Shining Dub - The Upsetters
05. What A War - Watty Burnett
06. What A Dub - The Upsetters
07. 23rd Psalm - Junior Delgado & Big Youth
08. Judgement Day - Clive Hylton
09. Well Judged Dub - The Upsetters
10. Forward With Jah Orthodox - Mystic
11. Orthodox Dub - The Upsetters
12. Come Along - The Bluebells
13. Dub Along - The Upsetters
14. 4 And 20 Dreadlocks - Evan Jones
15. Dreadlocks Dub - The Upsetters
16. When Jah Comes - Devon Irons
17. When Jah Dubs - The Upsetters

The Black Ark Presents - Rastafari Liveth... (192 kbps)

The Revolutionary Dub Warriors - State Of Evolution

Through the late eighties and early nineties new alternative cultures had been steadily expanding which had more in common with the more hard-nosed counter-culture movements of the sixties than the impending explosion of cyber-related lifestyles. Specific within the new counter-cultures was the notion of travelling, being always on the move in order to resist the seemingly pervasive control and therefore the more intrusive features of an increasingly information hungry technocracy.
For a reason that will require the more enquiring mind of a seasoned social anthropologist, new contrasting musics became to be associated with the new travellers, free festivals, eco-warriors etc. These "new" music’s were rave, ambient and dub. Possibly because of the break-neck speed of what was known as rave, chill-out alternatives were a must!

The Revolutionary Dub Warriors were formed in 1991 in the Reading area by some of the originators of the free festival scene whose prime musical interest was reggae. Their contemporaries were the like of the Megadog and Whirl-y-Gig outfits, Zion Train, Dreadzone and the Orb. The interest in bass and space were the only rules, which governed their sounds.

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 26. April 2018

Lee Perry - Black Ark In Dub

Some call him a genius, others claim he's certifiably insane, a madman. Truth is, he's both, but more importantly, Lee Perry is a towering figure in reggae -- a producer, mixer, and songwriter who, along with King Tubby, helped shape the sound of dub and made reggae music such a powerful part of the pop music world. Along with producing some of the most influential acts (Bob Marley & the Wailers and the Congos to name but two) in reggae history, Perry's approach to production and dub mixing was breathtakingly innovative and audacious - no one else sounds like him - and while many claim that King Tubby invented dub, there are just as many who would argue that no one experimented with it or took it further than did Lee Perry.

"Black Ark In Dub" is a fine collection of early Perry dub packaged in what seems to be a semi-legit, bootleg way.

This label seems to be tied in with the French label Lagoon, which has released the Perry-produced Bob Marley session (two CDs, both of them essential). This is a good selection; Perry remixes are typically audacious and crazy, but there's little enclosed information telling you when the tracks were cut. Lack of information is an ongoing problem with Perry releases, since his entire output defies any kind of authoritative historical treatment. Still, this is worthy of your time, even if it doesn't provide the big buzz of some of Perry's other, more far-out experiments.                

Still, this is worthy of your time, even if it doesn't provide the big buzz of some of Perry's other, more far-out experiments.

Lee Perry - Black Ark in Dub
(256 kbps, cover art included)


Woody Guthrie - Columbia River Collection (1988)


In May 1941, Woody Guthrie began working for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a job that required him to write songs to promote development (dams) on the Columbia River. He would later claim that he wrote a song per day during his month-long association with the BPA, making it one of the most productive periods of his life.

Several of his best-loved songs came from this period, including "Ramblin' Round," "Hard Travlin'," and "Pastures of Plenty." "Columbia River Collection" has two strong points to recommend it. First, it collects all of the available material that Guthrie wrote during this time in one place, giving the collection a thematic unity similar to "Dust Bowl Ballads". Next, it includes 11 versions of the songs originally recorded in Portland, OR, in 1941, and never before released.

This latter quality is "Columbia River Collection"'s strongest point, which makes it seem odd that the liner notes aren't more helpful with sorting out which of the 17 tracks are from these early sessions. It is clear, however, that versions of "Roll on Columbia" and "Roll Columbia, Roll," two favorites, are new. It's also clear that Rounder borrowed the other six songs, including "Pastures of Plenty," from Smithsonian Folkways. The important thing, though, is that the listener can now gain a better view of Guthrie's artistic vision at this important juncture in his career. It also doesn't hurt that "Columbia River Collection" is a strong group of songs that capture the Dust Bowl Balladeer in top form.

Woody Guthrie - Columbia River Collection
(ca. 192 kpbs, front cover included)

Mittwoch, 25. April 2018

Art Bears - Hopes And Fears (1978)

The first album from Dagmar Krause, Chris Cutler, and Fred Frith's post-Henry Cow project is one of the art rock masterpieces of the 1970s. It's as politically potent as Henry Cow's more strident work, but couched in more poetic and provocative terms.

Opening with Bertolt Brecht's "On Suicide," with Krause declaiming the playwright's bitter lyrics in her semi-operatic style to the wheezing accompaniment of Frith's harmonium, the album continues in that uncompromising vein.

Although most of the other members of Henry Cow guest, with reeds player Lindsay Cooper and keyboardist Tim Hodgkinson playing on a majority of the 13 songs, "Hopes and Fears" is considerably more focused and powerful than that group's often scattershot albums. The songs are built on Cutler's impressively varied drumming (often on electronically modified instruments), and the amazing variety of sounds Frith is able to coax out of a battery of electric and acoustic guitars, but there's enough space in the music for Krause's unique vocals to shine. Highlights include the epic, multi-part "In Two Minds," parts of which are as close as the Art Bears ever come to conventional rock music (which is to say, not very close at all, but there's an electric guitar solo), and the puckish instrumental, "Moeris Dancing."     

Tracklist:
01. On Suicide
02. The Dividing Line
03. Joan
04. Maze
05. In Two Minds
06. Terrain
07. The Tube
08. The Dance
09. Pirate Song
10. Labyrinth
11. Riddle
12. Moeris Dancing
13. Piers


Art Bears - Hopes And Fears (1978)
(320 kbps, cover art included)         

Dienstag, 24. April 2018

Slapp Happy - Same / Casablanca Moon (Virgin, 1974)

These recordings were originally released in 1974 as the group's eponymously titled Virgin label debut (and are not the same versions of the tunes recorded earlier with Faust, first intended for release by Polydor, and ultimately issued by Recommended Records - and by Cuneiform with bonus tracks - under the title "Acnalbasac Noom").

The group's songwriting had improved since 1972's "Sort of...Slapp Happy", and Dagmar Krause's German chanteuse-influenced vocals were presented in catchier settings, although some prefer the comparatively unsophisticated and rockish Faust-backed versions from "Acnalbasac Noom" to the re-recorded "Casablanca Moon" tracks, which are backed by session musicians and even a string section. In either case, the lyrics are witty and oddball without being pretentious. Tracks like "Mr. Rainbow" recall Yoko Ono's early-'70s song-oriented material, with an important difference: Krause's vocals are much better than Ono's, while just as distinctive. "The Secret" could even be a potential commercial single.

Tracklist:

Casablanca Moon
Me & Paravati
Half-Way There
Michelangelo
Dawn
Mr. Rainbow
The Secret
A Little Something
The Drum
Haiku
Slow Moon's Rose

Slapp Happy -  Same / Casablanca Moon (Virgin, 1974)
(224 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 23. April 2018

Mississippi John Hurt - The Best Of (1968)


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.

This inappropriately titled album is actually a concert recording from a performance at Oberlin College in 1965. Regardless, Hurt's rich, gentle voice and relaxed, flowing guitar lines could soothe the stormiest Monday. Among the hymns and traditional songs heard here are "I Shall Not Be Moved," "Nearer My God to Thee," "Since I've Laid This Burden Down," and "You Are My Sunshine." Complementing those are Hurt folk/blues staples, notably "Monday Morning Blues," "Coffee Blues," and "C.C. Rider." The blues patriarch's warmth and geniality come through here with such emotional intimacy that you can't help being deeply moved. --Genevieve Williams

Tracklist:

Side 1:

1. Here Am I, Oh Lord, Send Me 3:02
2. I Shall Not Be Moved 3:26
3. Nearer My God To Thee 3:04
4. Baby What's Wrong With You 3:35
5. It Ain't Nobody's Business 3:04

Side 2:

1. Salty Dog Blues 2:58
2. Coffee Blues 3:15
3. Avalon, My Home Town 3:41
4. Make Me A Pallet On The Floor 3:45
5. Since I've Laid This Burden Down 3:45

Side 3:

1. Sliding Delta 3:06
2. Monday Morning Blues 3:56
3. Richland Women Blues 4:33
4. Candy Man 3:47
5. Stagolee 4:22

Side 4:

1. My Creole Belle 2:25
2. C.C. Rider 3:59
3. Spanish Fandango 1:05
4. Talking Casey 4:19
5. Chicken 0:54
6. You Are My Sunshine 2:36
.
Mississippi John Hurt - The Best Of (1968)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 22. April 2018

Dizzy Gillespie - Afro (1955)


Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis' emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated. Somehow, Gillespie could make any "wrong" note fit, and harmonically he was ahead of everyone in the 1940s, including Charlie Parker. Unlike Bird, Dizzy was an enthusiastic teacher who wrote down his musical innovations and was eager to explain them to the next generation, thereby insuring that bebop would eventually become the foundation of jazz.

Dizzy Gillespie was also one of the key founders of Afro-Cuban (or Latin) jazz, adding Chano Pozo's conga to his orchestra in 1947, and utilizing complex poly-rhythms early on. The leader of two of the finest big bands in jazz history, Gillespie differed from many in the bop generation by being a masterful showman who could make his music seem both accessible and fun to the audience. With his puffed-out cheeks, bent trumpet (which occurred by accident in the early '50s when a dancer tripped over his horn), and quick wit, Dizzy was a colorful figure to watch. A natural comedian, Gillespie was also a superb scat singer and occasionally played Latin percussion for the fun of it, but it was his trumpet playing and leadership abilities that made him into a jazz giant.

Pairing Dizzy Gillespie with Cuban arranger/composer Chico O'Farrill produced a stunning session which originally made up the first half of a Norgran LP. O'Farrill conducts an expanded orchestra which combines a jazz band with a Latin rhythm section; among the participants in the four-part "Manteca Suite" are trumpeters Quincy Jones and Ernie Royal, trombonist J.J. Johnson, tenor saxophonists Hank Mobley and Lucky Thompson, and conga player Mongo Santamaria.

"Manteca," written during the previous decade, serves as an exciting opening movement, while the next two segments build upon this famous theme, though they are jointly credited to O'Farrill as well. "Rhumba-Finale" is straight-ahead jazz with some delicious solo work by Gillespie. A later small-group session features the trumpeter with an all-Latin rhythm section and flutist Gilberto Valdes, who is heard on "A Night in Tunisia" and "Caravan."


Tracks:01 Manteca Theme
02 Contraste
03 Jungla
04 Rhumba Finale
05 A Night in Tunisisa
06 Con Alma
07 Caravan

Dizzy Gillespie - Afro (1955)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Don Kosaken - Stenka Rasin (1970)


Stepan (Sten'ka) Timofeyevich Razin (1630 – 1671) was a Cossack leader who led a major uprising against the nobility and Tsar's bureaucracy in South Russia.

Razin originally set out to loot villages, but as he became a symbol of peasant unrest, his movement turned political. Razin wanted to protect the independence of the Cossacks and to protest an increasingly centralized government. The Cossacks supported the tsar and autocracy, but they wanted a tsar that responded to the needs of the people and not just those of the upper class. By destroying and pillaging villages, Razin intended to take power from the government officials and give more autonomy to the peasants. However, Razin’s movement failed and the rebellion led to increased government control. The Cossacks lost some of their autonomy, and the tsar bonded more closely with the upper class because both feared more rebellion. On the other hand, as Avrich asserts, “[Razin’s revolt] awakened, however dimly, the social consciousness of the poor, gave them a new sense of power, and made the upper class tremble for their lives and possessions.”
At the time of the Russian Civil War, the famous writer and White emigre Ivan Bunin compared Razin to Bolshevik leaders, writing "Good God! What striking similarity there is between the time of Sten'ka and the pillaging that is going on today in the name of the 'Third International.'"

Don Cossacks were Cossacks who settled along the middle and lower Don.

This album is a best of compilation of the "Don Kosaken Chor", referring to these historical issues, featuring 15 tracks recorded between 1954 and 1970.

Tracklist:

1. Stenka Rasin 5.25
2. Still ruht der See 2.05
3. Zwei Kosakenlieder 2.09
4. Reitermarsch 2.02
5. Hindulied 3.45
6. Der Kuckuck 2.35
7. Ave Maria 2.59
8. Legende von den 12 Räubern 6.38
9. Matrosenlied 2.17
10. Alter Walzer 5.51
11. Lescinka (Kaukasische Melodie) 3.59
12. Russischer Tanz 1.55
13. Lied vom Terek Fluss 4.33
14. Die Wolga entlang 4.09
15. Guten Abend, gut‘ Nacht 2.10
(256 kbps, small front cover included

Samstag, 21. April 2018

Billie Holiday - Lady Sings The Blues (1956)


To accompany her autobiography, Bilie Holiday released an LP in June 1956 entitled "Lady Sings the Blues". The album featured four new tracks, "Lady Sings the Blues" (title track), "Too Marvelous for Words", "Willow Weep for Me", and "I Thought About You", as well as eight new recordings of Holiday's biggest hits to date.

The re-recordings included "Trav'lin' Light" "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless the Child".´On December 22, 1956, Billboard magazine reviewed "Lady Sings the Blues", calling it a worthy musical complement to her autobiography. "Holiday is in good voice now," said the reviewer, "and these new readings will be much appreciated by her following." "Strange Fruit" and "God Bless the Child" were called classics, and "Good Morning Heartache", another reissued track in the LP, was also noted positively.

Taken from sessions taped during 1954-1956, "Lady Sings the Blues" features Holiday backed by tenor saxophonists Budd Johnson and Paul Quinichette, trumpeter Charlie Shavers, pianist Wynton Kelly, and guitarist Billy Bauer. Though Holiday's voice had arguably deteriorated by the 1950s, the album is well-regarded - in a 1956 review, "Down Beat" awarded the album 5 out of 5 stars, and had this to say about the co-current book:
"Lady Sings The Blues is Billie Holiday's autobiography (...) she tries to get the reader on her side of the mirror, so don't expect a three-dimensional view of the subject. The book was written with William Dufty, assistant to the editor of the New York Post (...) Seldom in the book does she talk about her singing (...)"
On Saturday, November 10, 1956, Holiday appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall in front of a sold out crowd. The show was planned to commemorate the edition of her autobiography, some paragraphs being read during the performance.

Tracklist:

A1 Lady Sings The Blues
A2 Trav'lin' Light
A3 I Must Have That Man
A4 Some Other Spring
A5 Strange Fruit
A6 No Good Man
B1 God Bless The Child
B2 Good Morning Heartache
B3 Love Me Or Leave Me
B4 Too Marvelous For Words
B5 Willow Weep For Me
B6 I Thought About You

Billie Holiday - Lady Sings The Blues (1956)
(256 kbps, cover art included)       

Pete Seeger - American Industrial Ballads (1957)


Pete Seeger presents a history of the Industrial Revolution and its impact on working people on "American Industrial Ballads", a collection of 24 songs (over half of them shorter than two minutes each) sequenced in chronological order by date of composition, to the extent that this can be determined, from the early-1800s appearance of "Peg and Awl," in which a worker struggles to keep up with a machine, to songs written by Woody Guthrie and Les Rice in the 1940s.

Only a couple of songs are well known, and those don't fit the concept perfectly. "The Buffalo Skinners," an account of cowboys who kill their overseer after he refuses to pay them, and "Casey Jones," the famous tale of a train wreck, are both somewhat tangential to industrial concerns, though they do fit themes heard throughout the album: first, employers' abuse of workers, who then must fight back (although usually by starting unions and going out on strike); and second, the relationship between an individual worker and the system of machinery he encounters.

As the album goes on, the workers' complaints about ill treatment and low pay become more extreme, and eventually the need for unions to represent them seems overwhelming. Even then, the bosses respond with violence, as Seeger documents in such songs as Jim Garland's "The Death of Harry Simms" and Della Mae Graham's "Ballad of Barney Graham," both true stories of murdered union men. Accompanying himself mostly on banjo and sometimes guitar, Seeger presents the songs straightforwardly with only occasional flourishes, intent on getting the meanings across, although occasionally his desire to lead singalongs comes out, such as in "Raggedy," when he provides cues to sing each verse, even though he's performing alone in a recording studio. Many of these songs are too harrowing to sing along to, though. Taken together, they chronicle a century and a half of the efforts of farmers, textile workers, and miners, primarily, to get what they deserve from increasingly rich and powerful captains of industry.     

Tracklist:

A1 Peg And Awl
A2 The Blind Fiddler
A3 Buffalo Skinners
A4 Eight Hour Day
A5 Hard Times In The Mill
A6 Roll Down The Line
A7 Hayseed Like Me
A8 The Farmer Is The Man
A9 Come All You Hardy Miners
A10 He Lies In The American Land
A11 Casey Jones
A12 Let Them Wear Their Watches Fine
A13 Weave Room Blues
B1 Cotton Mill Colic
B2 7c. Cotton And 40c. Meat
B3 Mill Mother's Lament
B4 Fare Ye Well, Old Ely Branch
B5 Beans, Bacon And Gravy
B6 The Death Of Harry Simms
B7 Winnsboro Cotton Mills Blues
B8 Ballad Of Barney Graham
B9 My Children Are Seven In Number
B10 Raggedy, Raggedy Are We
B11 Pittsburgh Town
B12 60% Parity

Pete Seeger - American Industrial Ballads (1957)
(256 kbps, cover art and booklet included)         

Freitag, 20. April 2018

Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra ‎– Black Myth / Out In Space (1970)

Although portions of the "Black Myth/Out in Space" were previously issued as "It's After the End of the World", this two-disc set is far and away the definitive release of the material in question, compiling two 1970 festival appearances documenting Sun Ra at the peak of his considerable creative powers.

"Black Myth", recorded at the Donaueschingen Music Festival, is the real find here, with a series of compositions and solos written specifically for performance on that evening -- the Arkestra, including John Gilmore and Pat Patrick, is in excellent form throughout, and the music is consistently inventive and galvanizing.

The same sentiments apply to "Out in Space" as well - a set comprised primarily of cosmic journeys like "Walkin' on the Moon," "Outer Space Where I Came From" and "Theme of the Stargazers," it climaxes with a powerful rendition of "We Travel the Spaceways."               

Tracklist:

Disc One:
  1. "Black Forest Myth" - 3:58
  2. "Friendly Galaxy No. 2" - 5:25
  3. "Journey Through the Outer Darkness" - 12:58 
  4. "Strange Worlds/Black Myth/It's After the End of the World" - 15:18
  5. "We'll Wait for You" - 10:13 
  • Recorded at the Stadthalle as part of the Donaueschingen Musik Festival on October 17, 1970
Disc Two:
  1. "Out in Space" - 37:45 
  2. "Discipline Series" - 3:28 
  3. "Walkin' on the Moon..." - 9:02 
  4. "Outer Space Where I Came From" [recitation] - 0:23 
  5. "Watusa" - 2:44
  6. "Myth Versus Reality" - 14:59
  7. "Theme of the Stargazers" - 0:42 
  8. "Space Chants Medley: Second Stop Is Jupiter/Why Go to the Moon/Neptune" - 5:42 
  9. "We Travel the Spaceways" - 3:02 

  • Recorded at the Kongresshalle as part of the Berlin Jazz Festival on November 7, 1970.


Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Research Arkestra ‎– Black Myth / Out In Space (1970)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 16. April 2018

Ruth Brown - Black Is Brown And Brown Is Beautiful (1969)

They called Atlantic Records "the house that Ruth built" during the 1950s, and they weren't referring to the Sultan of Swat. Ruth Brown's regal hitmaking reign from 1949 to the close of the '50s helped tremendously to establish the New York label's predominance in the R&B field. Later, the business all but forgot her — she was forced to toil as domestic help for a time — but she returned to the top, her status as a postwar R&B pioneer (and tireless advocate for the rights and royalties of her peers) recognized worldwide.

Young Ruth Weston was inspired initially by jazz chanteuses Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington. She ran away from her Portsmouth home in 1945 to hit the road with trumpeter Jimmy Brown, whom she soon married. A month with bandleader Lucky Millinder's orchestra in 1947 ended abruptly in Washington, D.C., when she was canned for delivering a round of drinks to members of the band. Cab Calloway's sister Blanche gave Ruth a gig at her Crystal Caverns nightclub and assumed a managerial role in the young singer's life. DJ Willis Conover dug Brown's act and recommended her to Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson, bosses of a fledgling imprint named Atlantic. Unfortunately, Brown's debut session for the firm was delayed by a nine-month hospital stay caused by a serious auto accident en route to New York that badly injured her leg. When she finally made it to her first date in May 1949, she made up for lost time by waxing the torch ballad "So Long" (backed by guitarist Eddie Condon's band), which proved to be her first hit.

Brown's seductive vocal delivery shone incandescently on her Atlantic smashes "Teardrops in My Eyes" (an R&B chart-topper for 11 weeks in 1950), "I'll Wait for You" and "I Know" in 1951, 1952's "5-10-15 Hours" (another number one rocker), the seminal "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" in 1953, and a tender Chuck Willis-penned "Oh What a Dream," and the timely "Mambo Baby" the next year. Along the way, Frankie Laine tagged her "Miss Rhythm" during an engagement in Philly. Brown belted a series of her hits on the groundbreaking TV program Showtime at the Apollo in 1955, exhibiting delicious comic timing while trading sly one-liners with MC Willie Bryant (ironically, ex-husband Jimmy Brown was a member of the show's house band).

After an even two-dozen R&B chart appearances for Atlantic that ended in 1960 with "Don't Deceive Me" (many of them featuring hell-raising tenor sax solos by Willis "Gator" Jackson, who many mistakenly believed to be Brown's husband), Brown faded from view. After raising her two sons and working a nine-to-five job, Brown began to rebuild her musical career in the mid-'70s. Her comedic sense served her well during a TV sitcom stint co-starring with MacLean Stevenson in Hello, Larry, in a meaty role in director John Waters' 1985 sock-hop satire film Hairspray, and her 1989 Broadway starring turn in Black and Blue (which won her a Tony Award).

There were more records for Fantasy in the '80s and '90s (notably 1991's jumping Fine and Mellow), and a lengthy tenure as host of National Public Radio's Harlem Hit Parade and BluesStage. Brown's nine-year ordeal to recoup her share of royalties from all those Atlantic platters led to the formation of the nonprofit Rhythm & Blues Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping others in the same frustrating situation. In 1993 Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and 1995 saw the release of her autobiography, Miss Rhythm. Brown suffered a heart attack and stroke following surgery in October 2006 and never fully recovered, passing on November 17, 2006.

Here´s her 1969 album "Black Is Brown And Brown Is Beautiful".

Tracklist:

A1 Yesterday 4:02
A2 Please Send Me Someone To Love 2:57
A3 Looking Back 4:07
A4 Try Me And See 2:08
B1 Miss Brown's Blues 7:00
B2 My Prayer 3:49
B3 Since I Fell For You 4:57
B4 This Bitter Earth 3:54

Ruth Brown - Black Is Brown And Brown Is Beautiful (1969)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 12. April 2018

Pete Seeger - American Ballads (1957)






The 14 "American ballads" Pete Seeger chose to sing on this album while accompanying himself on the banjo are songs sung in the U.S., but often not originating there. Annotator Norman Studer notes that "some of the ballads in this album have been enjoyed for hundreds of years," and the introduction to "Down in Carlisle (In Castyle There Lived a Lady)" acknowledges that "This story goes back to Roman days, if not earlier." Still, they have been collected from rural American singers whose ancestors brought them across the Atlantic, Seeger noting, for example, that he learned "The Golden Vanity" from a Carter Family recording.

And there are songs that clearly did originate, at least in terms of lyrical content, in the U.S. in the 19th century or even the 20th, albeit in what the notes describe as "horse and buggy days." "Jay Gould's Daughter" references the famous American robber baron (1836-1892); "Jesse James" recounts the murder of the famous American outlaw (1847-1882); and "The Titanic Disaster" looks back only to 1912. Whether or not there is a traceable historical person or event, however, the songs tell stories of love, adventure, and criminality, siding with the poor and disadvantaged over the rich and privileged.

Exemplary among them are John Henry, the steel driver who defeats the automated steel drill, but in so doing breaks his heart and dies, and the cabin boy in "The Golden Vanity" who sinks the rival Turkish Revelee by boring a hole in the ship's hull, but then is betrayed by his own captain and drowns. The main characters of the songs often come to bad ends, but they remain folk heroes, and Seeger sings their stories straightforwardly, preserving their memories long after their deaths.

 Tracklist:
A1 Pretty Polly
A2 The Three Butchers
A3 John Henry
A4 Jay Gould's Daughter
A5 The Titanic Disaster
A6 Fair Margaret & Sweet William
A7 John Hardy
B1 The Golden Vanity
B2 Gypsy Davy
B3 Farmer's Curst Wife
B4 In Castyle There Lived A Lady
B5 St. James Hospital
B6 Jesse James
B7 Barbara Allen
   
Pete Seeger - American Ballads (1957)
(256 kbps, front cover and booklet included)

Dienstag, 10. April 2018

Miriam Makeba - Malaisha



Makeba´s life has consistently been marked by struggle. As the daughter of a sangoma, a mystical traditional healer of the Xhosa tribe, she spent six months of her birth year in jail with her mother. Gifted with a dynamic vocal tone, Makeba recorded her debut single, "Lakutshona Llange," as a member of the Manhattan Brothers in 1953. Although she left to form an all-female group named the Skylarks in 1958, she reunited with members of the Manhattan Brothers when she accepted the lead female role in a musical version of King Kong, which told the tragic tale of Black African boxer, Ezekiel "King Kong" Dlamani, in 1959. The same year, she began an 18-month tour of South Africa with Alf Herbert's musical extravaganza, African Jazz and Variety, and made an appearance in a documentary film, Come Back Africa. These successes led to invitations to perform in Europe and the United States.

Makeba was embraced by the African American community. "Pata Pata," Makeba's signature tune, was written by Dorothy Masuka and recorded in South Africa in 1956 before eventually becoming a major hit in the U.S. in 1967. In late 1959, she performed for four weeks at the Village Vanguard in New York. She later made a guest appearance during Harry Belafonte's groundbreaking concerts at Carnegie Hall. A double-album of the event, released in 1960, received a Grammy award. Makeba has continued to periodically renew her collaboration with Belafonte, releasing an album in 1972 titled "Belafonte & Miriam Makeba". Makeba then made a special guest appearance at the Harry Belafonte Tribute at Madison Square Garden in 1997.

Makeba's successes as a vocalist were also balanced by her outspoken views about apartheid. In 1960, the government of South Africa revoked her citizenship. For the next 30 years, she was forced to be a "citizen of the world." Makeba received the Dag Hammerskjold Peace Prize in 1968. After marrying radical black activist Stokely Carmichael, many of her concerts were canceled, and her recording contract with RCA was dropped, resulting in even more problems for the artist. She eventually relocated to Guinea at the invitation of president Sekou Toure and agreed to serve as Guinea's delegate to the United Nations. In 1964 and 1975, she addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations on the horrors of apartheid.
           
Miriam Makeba - Malaisha
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Freitag, 6. April 2018

Paul Dessau - Songs (1995)

Paul Dessau was born on 19 December 1894. His grandfather was a synagogoue cantor. He first took up violin lessons at the age of 6, and from 1910 to 1912 he attended the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory. However, he chose conducting as his career goal. In 1912 he started at the Hamburg City Theatre as coach, witnessing the prime time of such conductors as Arthur Nikisch and Felix Weingartner. From 1919, he was engaged by Otto Klemperer at the Cologne Opera, and later move to the City Opera in Berlin under Bruno Walter. Meanwhile his composing career also produced an abundance of works. His Concertino for solo violin with flute, clarinet and horn won him a prize in Donaueschingen. The aspiring musician was soon attracted by the new medium, film, and started a prominent career as music director at various film theatres. During this period, he strove to bring new music and sound techniques into film. His first experiment in sound movies, Episode, entered the 1929 Baden-Baden festival, where he had met Bertolt Brecht for the first time two years before. While his major output was film music, there were also concert pieces as well as works for proletarian children's choirs.

In 1933 he emigrated to Paris, earning a living by composing music for other èmigrè film directors from Germany. In 1936, he met René Leibowitz and started to study the 12-tone symtem. As the Spanish Civil War broke out, he composed such political marching songs as "Thälmannkolonne" to the text by his wife Gudrun Kabisch (both under pseudonyms). This exile period also saw his attempts in compositions with Jewish themes as he struggled to find the root of his religious background. In 1938 he composed music for the Paris performance of the Brecht play "Fear and Misery in the Third Reich" which was directed by Slatan Dudow. The next year he moved to New York. The first years in the US was particularly difficult for him, surviving on various odd assignments like teaching music lessons or commisions from synagogues.

In 1943, Dessau met Brecht again on the occassion of an anti-Nazi concert where his 1936 song "Kampflied der schwarzen Strohhüte" was included on the program. The German refugees from California subsequently persuaded Dessau to work in the film industry. In October 1943, he moved to Hollywood. In addition to close contact with Arnold Schönberg, he mainly composed or arranged orchestration for movie studios. A new phase began in his career as he collaborated with Brecht in various projects. He was now more committed to political causes and historical dialecticism, which eventually led to his joining of the US Communist Party in 1946.

Dessau's musical aesthetics shifted in a new direction after his working relationships with Brecht began. Influenced by the latter, Dessau's music can be described as a parallel along the text. Its fuction is to interpret instead of to support. There are many contradictions in his music language that requires the listners to resolve by themselves, thus fostering a heightened political awareness.

In 1948, he returned to Germany. Besides his work for Brecht, he first made acquaintance with Hans Werner Henze in 1949. In 1951 his music for the "Trial of Lucullus" was charged with formalism when socialist realism was held as the official principle. While Brecht, throughout the course, has been changing parts of the scripts and subsequently, the title to avoid misinterpretation, Dessau remained reticent. On Brecht's insistence due to the antiwar message, the newly revised opera received its official premiere in October of the same year. Then, it was not performed until 1960. In 1952 he was elected member of the Academie der Künste and was now enthusiastically involved in music education for school-age children. The next major project in theatre "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" began in 1953 as Brecht finally settled on Dessau as the composer. This score absorbs a variety of folk traditions and its exotic nature fittingly underlines the alienation effect generated through the setting of the play. After the premiere of this latest play in October 1954, he moved to Zeuthen in the suburb of Berlin. There he would live until his death.

The untimely death of Brecht in August 1956 also affected Dessau's career as he sought to find other lyricists who were compatible with his aesthetic views. Dessau now once again turned to the 12-tone system as his major vehicle, attracting young admirers in the avant-garde movement such as Luigi Nono, while he continued to put his ideas of music education in a socialist state into practice as he taught at the Zeuthener Grundschule. The result of the latter effort would be published in Musiarbeit in der Schule. During the new phase, he also completed two operas which were based on Brecht's ideas. "Puntila" was premiered in 1966, and "Einstein", 1974.

Paul Dessau died on 28 June 1979.

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 3. April 2018

Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi - Ndega Zvangu (1997)

Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi (born 22 September 1952 in Highfield, Harare) is a Zimbabwean musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region. Tuku is considered Zimbabwe's most renowned and internationally recognised cultural icon of all time.

Mtukudzi began performing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo. Their single Dzandimomotera went gold and Tuku's first album followed, which was also a major success. Mtukudzi is also a contributor to Mahube, Southern Africa's "supergroup".
With his husky voice, he has become the most recognised voice to emerge from Zimbabwe and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond. A member of Zimbabwe's KoreKore group, with Nzou Samanyanga as his totem, he sings in the nation's dominant Shona language along with Ndebele and English. He also incorporates elements of different musical traditions, giving his music a distinctive style, known to fans as Tuku Music. Mtukudzi has had a number of tours around the world. He has been on several tours in the UK, US and Canada to perform for large audiences.
Unlike Mapfumo, Mtukudzi has refrained from directly criticising the government of President Robert Mugabe.

According to the sleeve notes, "Ndega Zvangu" means "All Alone" and Mutukudzi is all alone, apart from his acoustic guitar, throughout. This gives a sound completely different from the faster, more percussion-based Zimbabwean music I'd heard before.
Instead, the sound is stripped-down, sometimes melancholy, but always beautiful. The album doesn't suffer from over-polished production, which makes it feel as though Mutukudzi is right there in the room with you. A wonderful album!

Tracklist:
1Cheka Ukama
2Mwana Wamambo
3Andinzwi
4Unodada Nei?
5Chirimundari
6Zivai Nemoyo
7Handiende
8Neria
9Kwawakabva
10Ndima Ndasakura
11Ndakuneta


Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi - Ndega Zvangu (1997)
(256 kbps, cover art included)