Samstag, 30. März 2019

Clifton Chenier, Mance Lipscomb, Lightning Hopkins - Live! At The 1966 Berkeley Blues Festival (1966)

In 1966, Chris Strachwitz, the force behind Arhoolie Records, brought these amazing Texas-Louisiana legends to an appreciative West Coast audience. Chenier, the father of modern zydeco, plays red-hot accordion with some drum support, while bluesman Hopkins is cool and witty, twanging and sliding on his electric guitar. But the most amazing performance is by the transcendent Texas songster Mance Lipscomb, the oldest musician of the three. His thumb thumps the bass line on his acoustic guitar, while his index and middle fingers pick out syncopated phrases. On "Take Your Arms From Around My Neck, Sugar Babe," he seethes with irony and veiled malice.

Recorded live on KAL radio in Berkeley, CA on April 15, 1966, this presents roughly equal shares of material from Mance Lipscomb, Clifton Chenier, and Lightnin' Hopkins, performing at the 1966 Berkeley Blues Festival. The sound is not state-of-the-art, but decent considering the vintage. The material is not going to surprise anyone familiar with the artists, which is good news if you're in love with their music and want typical excerpts of their sets, but bad news if you think you might have enough of them and you're considering whether to investigate further. Lipscomb does good-natured, rhythmic country blues, both of his own composition and otherwise, covering "When the Saints Go Marching In," "I Ain't Got Nobody," and "The Sinking of the Titanic," which has slide guitar and is perhaps the most interesting of his songs on the CD. Chenier's performance might be of the greatest historical interest of the three artists on this disc, since it was his first appearance before a "a mostly young, white, relatively sophisticated concert audience," as Chris Strachwitz writes in the liner notes. It's just him, his accordion, and drummer Francis Clay, mostly on original tunes, as well as zydeco arrangements of Slim Harpo's "Baby Scratch My Back" and Ray Charles' "What'd I Say?." Clay also plays drums as the sole other musician on Lightnin' Hopkins' portion which, with its electric guitar, has a nice, mild electric R&B-rock feel.  Half of this album was previously available on Arhoolie LP 1030, but 11 of the 23 songs on the CD were previously unreleased.

Tracklist:

       1. Stop Time - Mance Lipscomb
2. I Ain't Got Nobody - Mance Lipscomb
3. Downtown Blues - Mance Lipscomb
4. Shake, Shake, Mama - Mance Lipscomb
5. The Sinking Of The Titanic (God Moves On The Water) - Mance Lipscomb
6. Take Your Arms From Around My Neck, Sugar Babe - Mance Lipscomb
7. When The Saints Go Marching In - Mance Lipscomb
8. Intro & Louisiana Shuffle - Clifton Chenier
9. French Zydeco - Clifton Chenier
10. Clifton's After Hours - Clifton Chenier
11. Scratch My Back - Clifton Chenier
12. Everybody Calls Me Crazy - Clifton Chenier
13. What'd I Say? - Clifton Chenier
14. Old Country Waltz - Clifton Chenier
15. Louisiana Rock - Clifton Chenier
16. Clifton's Boogie Woogie - Clifton Chenier
17. If You Don't Want Me - Lightning Hopkins
18. I Feel So Good - Lightning Hopkins
19. Last Night - Lightning Hopkins
20. Goin' To Louisiana (Mojo Hand) - Lightning Hopkins
21. Black Cadillac - Lightning Hopkins
22. Short Haired Woman - Lightning Hopkins
23. Lightning's Boogie - Lightning Hopkins

   
(320 kbps, cover art included) 

Lightnin Hopkins - Mojo Hand (1960)






























Sam John "Lightnin'" Hopkins (March 15, 1912 – January 30, 1982) was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist, and occasional pianist, from Centerville, Texas. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 71 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
The musicologist Robert "Mack" McCormick opined that Hopkins is "the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit, representing its ancient form in the single creator whose words and music are one act".

This album, recorded for Fire Records, is especially interesting because it casts Hopkins in a more R&B-flavored environment. This obvious effort to get a hit makes for some excellent blues; moody and powerful performances play throughout. There's even a charming novelty Christmas blues, "Santa."                

Tracklist:

1Mojo Hand
2Coffee For Mama
3Awful Dreams
4Black Mare Trot
5Have You Ever Loved A Woman
6Glory Be
7Sometimes She Will
8Santa
9Shine On, Moon!
10Shake That Thing
11Walk A Long Time
12Last Night
13Just Pickin'
14Bring Me My Shotgun
15Mojo Hand (Live At 1965 Newport Folk Festival)


Lightnin Hopkins - Mojo Hand (1960)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Floh De Cologne - Fließbandbabys Beat-Show (1970)

Floh de Cologne were formed in 1966 as a political and anarchic collective of students from the University of Cologne. The group is composed by Gerd Wollschon (voices, keyboards), Markus Schmidt (violin, bass), Hans-Jorg "Hansi" Frank (drums & keyboards) and Britta Baltruschat (voices). They recorded their first album "Vietnam" (Pläne) in 1968 - a fierce criticism of the war in Vietnam.

The famous, but very controversial, Rolf Ulrich Kaiser, impressed by their music and especially their lyrics, decided to produce their next two albums: "Rockoper Profitgeier" (1971) and "Lucky Streik" (1972). All albums contain provocative and humorous sketches about political and social facts. Musically their style can be considered as a mixture between avant-folk, sound experimentations, free rock and narratives. Recorded in 1973, "Geier Symphonie" punctuates Floh de Cologne's original style to demonstrative, semi theatrical and symphonic rock attacks. In 1974, after the split of ohr label, the formation go back to "Pläne" for several recordings until the end of the 70's.
The band separated in 1983.

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dakar Sound Volume 6 - Number One de Dakar - No. 1 de No. 1

In 1976, Yakhya Fall, who had joined Star Band (Star Band de Dakar) in 1970 but had a falling out with founder Ibra Kassé, started the group Starbund Numero Un along with other disgruntled former Star Band members. The new group was forced to drop the Star Band reference from its name. They kept the Numero Un, but changed it to English, initially releasing albums as Star Number One. Subsequent albums brought slight name changes to the group: Orchesta Number One de Dakar, Number One du Senegal, Number One, No. 1 De Dakar, and Starband Number One. Each of these variations may appear with abbreviated forms of "Number One" on different releases.

Founding members include Pape Seck, trumpeter Ali Penda N'Doye, and vocalists Mar Seck and Nicolas Menheim. The group's sound is heavily influenced by Cuban music.

This album contains six songs of the orchestra in full bloom recorded in yet another Dakar night-club The Sahel (tracks 1,2, 3) and in the Barclay Studio in Paris (tracks 4,5,6). The rest (7,8 & 9) were taped during an unknown session. Included is the original "Maccaki", which was a dance-samsh and was later recorded on the Stern´s production "Africando". The lanst song on this album is "Walo". Despite the poor sound quality, it´s on the album, because it was Papa Seck´s favorite. Papa Seck died in the winter of 1994/95 in a middle-class quarter of Dakar.


Tracklist:

(1) YORO 6:33
(2) MEDOUNE XULE 5:33
(3) NAFISSATU N'YAYE 4:17
(4) GUAJIRA VEN 5:13
(5) YAYE BOYE 5:12
(6) FARAN TAMBA 4:38
(7) MACAKKI 5:16
(8) YANGAAKE 5:38
(9) PARA VILLAS 5:44
(10) WALO 5:46

Dakar Sound Volume 6 - No. 1 de No. 1
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Gary Clail - Another Hard Man EP


Gary Clail began his career in Bristol where he worked improvising raps on tapes released by On-U artists.

He was taken in by the label to work with Tackhead and the On U Sound System in the late '80s, resulting in a series of 12" releases from 1985-87 before his first full-length split release for Nettwerk, "Tackhead Tape Time" by Gary Clail & Tackhead.

In 1989, he had his true debut album in "Gary Clail & On-U Sound System", released by the On U Sound label. The album helped forge him a place in the Bristol electronic underground, and paved the way for his later releases on RCA, which feature a number of singles and EPs as well as one full-length, 1991's "Emotional Hooligan". He also released another full-length for Yelen Records in 1996, "Keep the Faith".
Here´s the "Another Hard Man EP", released  in 1996, produced by Adrian Sherwood. It was the first single from the "Keep The Faith" Album.

Tracklist:
1. another hard man (radio version)
2. another hard man (album version)
3. another hard dub
4. sparse mix
5. what's that sound mix
6. what's that sound dub mix

Tracks 3 & 4 were remixed by Adrian Sherwood, tracks 5 & 6 were remixed by Gary Clail and Andy Montgomery.

Gary Clail - Another Hard Man EP
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Donnerstag, 28. März 2019

Lightnin Hopkins - How Many More Years I Got

Though he had been performing since the 1920s, Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins was a fresh face to the majority of the young folk audiences of the 1960s.

On the verge of drifting into obscurity, the singer had been rediscovered by enthusiast Mack McCormick and promoted to college crowds as a singer/guitarist in the folk-blues mold. What followed was a series of albums cut both solo and with session musicians for a variety of labels. "How Many More Years I Got" was one of the earliest. The players here are extremely loose, betraying a casual interest in the task at hand. They sound like a group of borrowed session men, but were in fact a small combo familiar both with each other and Hopkins himself. Bassist Donald Cooks, pianist Buster Pickens, drummer "Spider" Kilpatrick, and Hopkins' harp-playing cousin, Billy Bizor, all played on a number of the guitarist's dates during the early '60s. Hopkins was apparently reluctant to do second takes, however, and these recordings show it. The singer leads the group with his relaxed lines and Kilpatrick follows, further defining the tempo with the light, stiff patter of his drums. Bizor occasionally plays the role of catalyst, though his moans, hollers, and vocal/harmonica dialogues do little to increase the interest of his partners. Things pick up slightly during the album's second half, though even then the performances hardly approach the level of Hopkins' solo sides from the period, let alone his best work.        

Tracklist:
A1How Many More Years I Got2:58
A2Walkin' This Road By Myself4:48
A3The Devil Jumped The Black Man4:09
A4My Baby Don't Stand No Cheatin'2:05
A5Black Cadillac3:37
B1You Is One Black Rat2:29
B2The Fox Chase3:18
B3Mojo Hand3:30
B4Mama Blues5:16
B5My Black Name3:59
C1Prison Farm Blues4:35
C2Ida Mae5:25
C3I Got A Leak In This Old Building5:19
C4Happy Blues For John Glenn5:20
D1Worried Life Blues2:53
D2Sinner's Prayer3:45
D3Angel Child3:30
D4Pneumonia Blues3:30
D5Have You Ever Been Mistreated4:04
      

Lightnin Hopkins - How Many More Years I Got
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby's - Dub Conference Volume 2 (1977)

Here´s the second volume of sweet, soulful dubs, with Harry Mudie turning over the choicest pieces from his catalog of rhythms to the great King Tubby to dub up, and he does so in fine, fine form.

Tubby's respectful but still radical reworking of these numbers is one of our favorite, though lesser known dub sets. 


Tracklist:
1World Dub Conference3:18
2Marijuana Dub2:50
3Heart Leap Dub3:43
4Dub Inside Out2:46
5Melody In Dub2:37
6Jungle Walk Dub2:57
7Maga Back Dub2:43
8Don't Play With Dub3:21
9Planet Dub3:29
10Drifting Dub3:07


Harry Mudie Meet King Tubby's - Dub Conference Volume 2 (1977)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Hopkins Brothers - Joel, Lightning & John Henry (1964)

A once-in-a-lifetime meeting of the three Hopkins brothers in Waxahatchie, TX in 1964 produced this marvelous brace of field recordings. The oldest brother was considered the best songster in the family, and certainly his performances here are throwbacks to a more archaic style, although he's an amazingly energetic performer. Middle brother Joel is the crudest of the three, surprising since he's the one of the three who spent the most time around mentor Blind Lemon Jefferson. These are loose, conversational recordings made with a single microphone. They capture three brothers enjoying each other's company immensely.

Sam Hopkins was a Texas country bluesman of the highest caliber whose career began in the 1920s and stretched all the way into the 1980s. Along the way, Hopkins watched the genre change remarkably, but he never appreciably altered his mournful Lone Star sound, which translated onto both acoustic and electric guitar. Hopkins' nimble dexterity made intricate boogie riffs seem easy, and his fascinating penchant for improvising lyrics to fit whatever situation might arise made him a beloved blues troubadour.

Hopkins' brothers John Henry and Joel were also talented bluesmen, but it was Sam who became a star. In 1920, he met the legendary Blind Lemon Jefferson at a social function, and even got a chance to play with him. Later, Hopkins served as Jefferson's guide. In his teens, Hopkins began working with another pre-war great, singer Texas Alexander, who was his cousin. A mid-'30s stretch in Houston's County Prison Farm for the young guitarist interrupted their partnership for a time, but when he was freed, Hopkins hooked back up with the older bluesman.

The pair was dishing out their lowdown brand of blues in Houston's Third Ward in 1946 when talent scout Lola Anne Cullum came across them. She had already engineered a pact with Los Angeles-based Aladdin Records for another of her charges, pianist Amos Milburn, and Cullum saw the same sort of opportunity within Hopkins' dusty country blues. Alexander wasn't part of the deal; instead, Cullum paired Hopkins with pianist Wilson "Thunder" Smith, sensibly re-christened the guitarist "Lightnin'," and presto! Hopkins was very soon an Aladdin recording artist.

"Katie May," cut on November 9, 1946, in L.A. with Smith lending a hand on the 88s, was Lightnin' Hopkins' first regional seller of note. He recorded prolifically for Aladdin in both L.A. and Houston into 1948, scoring a national R&B hit for the firm with his "Shotgun Blues." "Short Haired Woman," "Abilene," and "Big Mama Jump," among many Aladdin gems, were evocative Texas blues rooted in an earlier era.

A load of other labels recorded the wily Hopkins after that, both in a solo context and with a small rhythm section: Modern/RPM (his uncompromising "Tim Moore's Farm" was an R&B hit in 1949); Gold Star (where he hit with "T-Model Blues" that same year); Sittin' in With ("Give Me Central 209" and "Coffee Blues" were national chart entries in 1952) and its Jax subsidiary; the major labels Mercury and Decca; and, in 1954, a remarkable batch of sides for Herald where Hopkins played blistering electric guitar on a series of blasting rockers ("Lightnin's Boogie," "Lightnin's Special," and the amazing "Hopkins' Sky Hop") in front of drummer Ben Turner and bassist Donald Cooks (who must have had bleeding fingers, so torrid were some of the tempos).

But Hopkins' style was apparently too rustic and old-fashioned for the new generation of rock & roll enthusiasts (they should have checked out "Hopkins' Sky Hop"). He was back on the Houston scene by 1959, largely forgotten. Fortunately, folklorist Mack McCormick rediscovered the guitarist, who was dusted off and presented as a folk-blues artist; a role that Hopkins was born to play. Pioneering musicologist Sam Charters produced Hopkins in a solo context for Folkways Records that same year, cutting an entire LP in Hopkins' tiny apartment (on a borrowed guitar). The results helped introduced his music to an entirely new audience.

Lightnin' Hopkins went from gigging at back-alley gin joints to starring at collegiate coffeehouses, appearing on TV programs, and touring Europe to boot. His once-flagging recording career went right through the roof, with albums for World Pacific; Vee-Jay; Bluesville; Bobby Robinson's Fire label (where he cut his classic "Mojo Hand" in 1960); Candid; Arhoolie; Prestige; Verve; and, in 1965, the first of several LPs for Stan Lewis' Shreveport-based Jewel logo.
Hopkins generally demanded full payment before he'd deign to sit down and record, and seldom indulged a producer's desire for more than one take of any song. His singular sense of country time befuddled more than a few unseasoned musicians; from the 1960s on, his solo work is usually preferable to band-backed material.

Filmmaker Les Blank captured the Texas troubadour's informal lifestyle most vividly in his acclaimed 1967 documentary, "The Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins". As one of the last great country bluesmen, Hopkins was a fascinating figure who bridged the gap between rural and urban styles. - AMG

Tracklist:

1. See About My Brother John Henry
2. Hot Blooded Woman
3. Black Hannah
4. I Want To Go Fishing
5. Doin' Little Heiffer
6. Hey, Baby Hey
7. Saddle Up My Grey Mare
8. Tell Me, Tell Me
9. Little Girl
10. I Got A Brother in Waxahachie
11. Matchbox Blues
12. Home With Mama
13. Come Down To My House
14. Grosebeck Blues
15. The Dice Game
16. I Walked From Dallas
17. Two Brothers Playing (Going Back To Baden-Baden)

The Hopkins Brothers - Joel, Lightning & John Henry (1964)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Lightnin Hopkins - Got To Move Your Baby (1965)

Outside of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lightnin' Hopkins may be Texas's most distinctive and influential blues export. His easy, fluid fingerpicking and witty, extemporaneous storytelling are always a delight, and his performances on "Got To Move Your Baby" (aka LAST NIGHT BLUES) are no exception. The album is spare and acoustic, with Hopkins's voice and guitar accompanied by minimal percussion and Sonny Terry's harmonica.

Terry's contributions really add a lot to these tunes, threading a high, lonesome whine on the downtempo tunes and a chugging, propulsive shuffle on the faster ones. Hopkins is, of course, one of the kings of the blues boogie, but he's equally compelling on the slow blues, and he never missteps throughout this fine set. All told, this dynamite disc represents what the blues should be: stripped-down, soulful, and full of truth.

Tracklist:                                                     
A1Rocky Mountain
A2Got To Move Your Baby
A3So Sorry To Leave You
A4Take A Trip With Me
B1Last Night Blues
B2Lightnin's Stroke
B3Hard To Love A Woman
B4Conversation Blues

Lightnin Hopkins - Got To Move Your Baby (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Lightnin Hopkins - Live At Newport 1965

There's something affecting about Lightnin' Hopkins' off-the-cuff approach. Whether he's in the studio or before an audience, he gives the impression of a guitar player and singer who's just doing his own thing. When he breaks out a signature piece like "Mojo Hand," he isn't really trying to impress the listener as much as do what he does best: just play a little blues.

Recorded in 1965, "Live at Newport" captures Hopkins in a loose mood communing with an appreciative audience. The mostly solo electric set apparently didn't cause any controversy (as Dylan's electric set with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band would in 1965). The nice thing about the album is that all the material seems to have come from the same set, giving the listener a taste of what seeing Hopkins at Newport might have been like.

Good versions of "Baby Please Don't Go," "Trouble in Mind," and "Where Can I Find My Baby?" show up early in the set, and feature an intimate interplay between Hopkins and the audience. The latter part of the set rocks a bit harder by adding drums. The percussion pushes the energy level up a notch on "Jealous of My Wife" and "Shake That Thing," pieces that probably had old-timers boogying in the aisles. "Live at Newport" also includes several unreleased versions, making it a good album to add to one's Hopkins collection.

Lightnin Hopkins - Live At Newport 1965
(320 kbps, cover art included)

 Tracklist
1Introduction By Michael Bloomfield
2Where Can I Find My Baby?
3Baby Please Don't Go
4Mojo Hand
5Trouble In Mind
6The Woman I'm Loving, She's Taken My Appetite
7Come On Baby
8Cotton Patch Blues
9Instrumental
10Jealous Of My Wife
11Every Day About This Time (Instrumental)
12Shake That Thing

Bertolt Brecht - Before the House Un-American Activities Committee (1947)

"I have written a number of poems, songs, and plays, in the fight against Hitler, and, of course, they can be considered, therefore, as revolutionary, cause, I, of course, was for the overthrow, of that government."

Bertolt Brecht, at the HUAC, 30. Oktober 1947

A historical document, presented by Eric Bentley: Like Gerhart and Hanns Eisler, also Bertolt Brecht had to answer the questions of the Members of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HCUA), that was built to opress communist tendencies, which apparently infiltred the american society. After the Second World War and in aftermath of the first big wave of pursuit against communists, the HUAC get propagandistic importance and prepared some legal proceedings against communist expatriates. Hereafter we offer the recording of the interrogation of Bertolt Brecht in octobre 1947. The listeners get an impression of Bertolt Brechts bad, but self-confident spoken English (the exile-friends of Brecht laugh about and learned to like that pronunciation) and also of the trick of Brecht’s answers. The most interesting and surely absurd part of the questioning begins, when Brecht and the questioners quarrel about the interpretation of Brecht’s play »Die Maßnahme« (The Decision). The original recordings are introduced and commented by Eric Bentley. An important and interesting document of communist and anti-communist history.
The liner notes include an introduction by Bentley and complete transcript of the recording.

(128 kbps, cover included)

Lightnin Hopkins - Blues Train

Image
Sam "Lightnin" Hopkins was a Texas country bluesman of the highest caliber whose career began in the 1920s and stretched all the way into the 1980s. Along the way, Hopkins watched the genre change remarkably, but he never appreciably altered his mournful Lone Star sound, which translated onto both acoustic and electric guitar. Hopkins' nimble dexterity made intricate boogie riffs seem easy, and his fascinating penchant for improvising lyrics to fit whatever situation might arise made him a beloved blues troubadour.

This album collects classic sides from Hopkins’ 1950-1951 stint with Bobby Shad’s "Sittin’-in-With" logo. The disc’s 15 selections include two of his biggest hits, “Hello Central” and “Coffee Blues.”

Lightnin Hopkins - Blues Train
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Hans-A-Plast - Hans-A-Plast (1979)

Let´s go one more step back in the Hans-A-Plast history:
Here´s their self-released debut "Hans-a-plast", which appeared 1979 and was very successful. Great lyrics, great female voice!

Hans-A-Plast - same (1979)

(128 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 27. März 2019

The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goin´ Billy? (1969)


The Poppy Family was a late 1960s and early 1970s Canadian pop music group, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Susan Pesklevits and Terry Jacks met in the band Powerline. They later married and formed the Poppy Family in 1968.
"In the late summer of 1969 the Canadian record buying public chose to endorse The Poppy Family by establishing "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" as the biggest Canadian hit ever. 'Billy' successfully climbed to the No.1 spot on all radio stations across Canada. Having watched The Poppy Family from Vancouver, British Columbia, evolve as a recording group has been a satisfying and rewarding experience. The constant creative growth, both musically and lyrically, within the group is evident in the album "Which Way You Goin' Billy?".
The versatility of the group, from Terry Jacks' meaningful writing, to his wife Susan's beautiful and emotion-packed voice allow them to explore avenues of musical expression hitherto uncharted. All the while The Poppy Family retain their own sound so unique to themselves". (Fraser Jamieson, President London Records, Canada - November 17 1969).
Managed and produced by Terry Jacks, with featured vocalist Susan Jacks (tambourine/bean pod) and musicians Craig McCaw (guitar/sitar) and Satwant Singh (tablas/drums), the group recorded two albums.
At their career peak, Terry and Susan Jacks performed "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" on Bobby Darin's 1970 television variety special, "The Darin Invasion". The special also featured a young Linda Ronstadt performing her first solo hit, "Long Long Time". They also appeared on numerous other variety shows including "Rollin' On The River" with Kenny Rogers, the Bobby Vinton Show and The George Kirby Special.

The Poppy Family disbanded in 1973 when Susan ended their five and a half year marriage, the same year their solo albums were released - Terry's "Seasons in the Sun" and Susan's "I Thought of You Again". Terry Jacks scored an international No. 1 hit with Jacques Brel's "Seasons in the Sun". which earned him Juno awards for Male Vocalist of the year 1973 and 1974 and top selling single in 1973 and 1974. It still remains the best selling single ever released by a Canadian artist with sales of over 13 million worldwide. He was also charted with the singles "If You Go Away" (#45 1974) (another Brel cover, previously a minor hit for Damita Jo), "Concrete Sea" (#16 1972), "Christina" (#9 1975), "Rock'N Roll (I Gave You The Best Years Of My Life)" (#22 1975) (a bigger American hit by Mac Davis), and the Buddy Holly cover "I'm Gonna Love You Too" (#7 1973). He has since faded from the recording scene.

Susan Jacks went on to release three more solo albums and had a series of Juno nominated hits in Canada including "Anna Marie" (#20 1976), "All The Tea in China" (#93 1980), and "Tall Dark Stranger" as well as other hits such as "I Thought of You Again "(#7 1974), "You Don't Know What Love Is" (#3 1973) and "You're a Part of Me" (#41 1975) (later a Top 40 hit for Kim Carnes and Gene Cotton). In 1982, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee and, in addition to recording, became a staff songwriter for a Nashville publishing company. Several of her compositions have been recorded by Canadian artists, one of her songs being recorded on a Grammy nominated children's album. She recently returned to the Pacific Northwest and has resumed recording and live performances.

Album review:
While in recent years dozens of would-be hipsters have written about the dark undercurrents to be found in the music of the Carpenters, anyone looking for a truly great bummed-out soft rock experience needs to dig up the long out of print debut LP from Vancouver's Poppy Family. While producer, arranger, songwriter, and general straw boss Terry Jacks later found fame for his hit adaptation of Jacques Brel's "Seasons in the Sun," his greatest work was with his then-wife Susan Jacks and their group, the Poppy Family. Blending moody soft pop with light psychedelia, the group hit a rich vein of gorgeous melancholy that made sadness sound positively sensual (the album's token "upbeat" tune, "Happy Island," is significantly also one of the set's weakest moments). The album's two international hit singles, "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" and "That's Where I Went Wrong," are both tales of lovers on the run that sound as desperate as Del Shannon and as lonesome as Brian Wilson's worst nightmare, and such lost classics as "You Took My Moonlight Away" and "Beyond the Clouds" are every bit as strong, boasting clear but emotive vocals from Susan Jacks, brilliant if oddball Indian percussion from Satwan Singh, and melodramatic string arrangements from Graeme Hall. And the two side-closing "freakouts," "There's No Blood in Bone" and "Of Cities and Escapes," manage to be cheesy and powerfully effective at the same time. If the '70s were supposed to be about having a nice day, "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" shows the Poppy Family were one band waiting for a cloud to blot out all that annoying sunshine; at once kitschy and marvelously sincere, it's a great record worthy of rediscovery. (by Mark Deming, http://www.allmusic.com)

Track listing:
1. "That's Where I Went Wrong" – 2:28
2. "Free From The City" – 2:15
3. "Beyond The Clouds" – 2:30
4. "A Good Thing Lost" – 2:00
5. "You Took My Moonlight Away" – 2:40
6. "There's No Blood In Bone" – 2:55
7. "Happy Island" – 2:45
8. "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" - 3:18
9. "Shadows On My Wall" - 2:25
10. "What Can The Matter Be?" - 2:17
11. "For Running Wild" - 2:14
12. "Of Cities And Escapes" - 3:45

Musicians:
Susan Jacks: vocals, percussion
Terry Jacks: guitar
Craig McCaw: guitar, sitar
Satwant Singh: tablas, bongos, percussion

The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goin´ Billy? (1969)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Heiner Goebbels & Heiner Müller - Der Mann im Fahrstuhl (1988)

This legendary staged concert was originally created for the first Frankfurt Art-Rock-Festival in 1987; between its premiere and 1990 it has been performed in Kassel - Opera, Strasbourg - Festival Musica, Zurich - Taktlos Festival, Vienna - Wiener Festwochen, Brussel - Kaaitheater, Leipzig - Jazz Festival, Berlin - Tempodrom, New York - Next Wave Festival, Frankfurt - Experimenta.

Using the texts of playwright Heiner Muller and collecting a wide range of imaginative musicians, Heiner Goebbels constructed a fascinating music-theater piece that mixes languages and musical styles. The text, read and sung by Arto Lindsay, concerns the thoughts and fears of an employee summoned to his boss' office and has something of a Brazil-like aura about it. Perhaps coincidentally, Lindsay interjects some Brazilian songs into the proceedings. But the highlight is the performance by this stellar ensemble, ranging from free to punkishly tinged jazz-rock to quasi-African. There are outstanding contributions from guitarist Fred Frith, trombonist George Lewis, and the late Don Cherry on trumpet, voice, and the African hunter's guitar known as the doussn'gouni. Goebbels brews a rich stew of overlapping languages and styles in a dense matrix that creates an appropriate feeling of angst, but never loses a sly sense of humor. If anything, some of "The Man in the Elevator" is reminiscent of Carla Bley's better known work and fans of hers as well as curious rock listeners should have no problem enjoying this one.
Brian Olewnick

Tracklist:


1 In einem alten Fahrstuhl / In An Old Elevator 2:08
2 Es geht um einen Auftrag / It Concerns A Task 2:31
3 Fünf Minuten vor der Zeit / Five Minutes Too Early 1:49
4 Drei Stufen auf einmal / Three Steps At A Time 1:58
5 No Taboleiro De Baiana 0:56
6 Ein schneller Blick auf die Uhr / Quick Glance At My Watch 1:56
7 Allein im Fahrstuhl / Alone In The Elevator 2:14
8 Wilde Spekulationen / WIld Speculations 4:32
9 Der Chef / The Boss 0:40
10 Sein Selbstmord / His Suicide 2:32
11 Fita Nos Meus Olhos 2:38
12 Ich verlasse den Fahrstuhl / I Step From The Elevator 0:24
13 Ohne Auftrag / Without Any Task 1:36
14 Mitleid in Peru / Compassion In Peru 4:58
15 Trockener Schlamm mit Fahrspuren / Caked Mud With Vehicle Tracks 1:36
16 Heimweh nach dem Fahrstuhl / Homesick For The Elevator 1:24
17 Kalter Schweiß / Cold Sweat 1:32
18 Etwas wie Heiterkeit / Something Like Serenity 1:14
19 Diese Frau ist die Frau eines Mannes / This Woman Is The Wife Of A Man 0:47
20 Auf einem grasüberwachsenen Bahndamm / On A Railway Embankment 1:36
21 Worin besteht mein Verbrechen / What Is My Crime 3:33

Charles Hayward - drums, percussion
Fred Frith - guitar, bass
Heiner Goebbels - piano, synthesizer
Ned Rothenberg - saxophone, bass clarinet
George Lewis - trombone
Ernst Stötzner - voice
Arto Lindsay - voice, guitar
Don Cherry - voice, trumpet, strings [doussn' gouni]

Written By Heiner Müller


Heiner Goebbels & Heiner Müller - Der Mann im Fahrstuhl (1988)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler - Kammermusik - Chamber Music (Berlin Classics)


Berlin Classics' "Hanns Eisler: Kammermusik" represents a gathering of chamber music from 1920 to 1947, recorded between 1965 and 1973 as part of a comprehensive recording of all of Eisler's music as undertaken by the East German Eterna label.

It ranges from the pithy, discordant but tonally concluded Scherzo for string trio of 1920 to the elegant and witty music Eisler composed for Charlie Chaplin's film "The Circus", a commission interrupted by Eisler's enforced departure from the United States courtesy of the House of Un-American Activities Committee. It also includes some lieder; Eisler's deliciously funny cycle "Newspaper Clippings" (1925-1927), sung with character and an innate understanding of Second Vienna School songcraft by soprano Roswitha Trexler. Eisler deliberately picked texts out of the daily newspaper in direct retaliation to the conservative, symbolist poets - such as Stefan George - favored by Eisler's colleagues in the Second Vienna School. As these texts are drawn from non-standard literary sources, it would have been wonderful if Berlin Classics could have included them -- even in German only - in the booklet, but they do not. Ditto for the deliberately silly Christian Morgenstern text used in Eisler's "Palmström", really not so much a formal song setting as an experimental twelve-tone composition with an added part for voice.

Among the purely instrumental pieces heard here are another string trio; a sonata for flute, oboe, and harp; a violin and piano sonata; a nonet; and the aforementioned Circus. Of these, the last-named work is decidedly the most ingratiating and immediate, but the others begin to grow on one as well. Even though Eisler's language in some of these pieces is technically atonal, he utilizes gestures and sequences that sound familiar and some passages can even be described as "catchy." The Eterna Eisler recording project had the support of the East German government - Eisler was considered a cultural figurehead in that regime, even though when he lived there, they provided Eisler little opportunity to work - and no expenses were spared in this project. The performances here are all top-drawer and the 1960s- and '70s-era recordings don't sound in the least dated.

All of these pieces included here also appear on the Hanns Eisler six-CD box set on Berlin Classics of his instrumental music, though not on the same disc, nor in the same sequence. If six CDs are simply too much and one only desires a sample of Eisler's chamber music, this is an excellent choice.

 Hanns Eisler - Kammermusik - Chamber Music (Berlin Classics)
(192 kbps, cover art included)
       

Giora Feidman - In Jerusalem

Argentine-born and Israeli-based, Giora Feidman has become the leading interpreter and performer of Eastern European klezmer. Despite his classical training with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Feidman's clarinet playing is unrestrainedly and emphatically eclectic.
Here´s his album "Feidman in Jerusalem" from 1994 with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Shallon.

Giora Feidman - In Jerusalem 
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 25. März 2019

Nina Simone - In Concert (1964)

"Nina Simone in Concert"  was her first album for the record label Philips and was made up of three live recordings in Carnegie Hall, New York City in March and April 1964 (previously, she had recorded "Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall" in 1963 for Colpix Records). This album marks the beginning of "Nina Simone, the Civil Rights singer" in her recording career (she had already incorporated the civil rights message in her performances). Included on the album are politically laden songs, most notably the self-written "Mississippi Goddam".

This is probably the most personal album that Simone issued during her stay on Philips in the mid-'60s. On most of her studio sessions, she worked with orchestration that either enhanced her material tastefully or smothered her, and she tackled an astonishingly wide range of material that, while admirably eclectic, made for uneven listening. Here, the singer and pianist is backed by a spare, jazzy quartet, and some of the songs rank among her most socially conscious declarations of African-American pride: "Old Jim Crow," "Pirate Jenny," "Go Limp," and, especially, "Mississippi Goddam" were some of the most forthright musical reflections of the Civil Rights movement to be found at the time. In a more traditional vein, she also reprises her hit "I Loves You, Porgy" and the jazz ballad "Don't Smoke in Bed."



Tracklist:

A1 I Loves You, Porgy
A2 Plain Gold Ring
A3 Pirate Jenny
A4 Old Jim Crow

B1 Don't Smoke In Bed
B2 Go Limp
B3 Mississippi Goddam

Nina Simone - In Concert (1964)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Lightnin Hopkins - Double Blues (1973)

Lightnin' Hopkins' plaintive, soft-rolling blues style is exemplified on "Let's Go Sit on the Lawn," "Just a Wristwatch on My Arm," "I'm a Crawling Black Snake," Willie Dixon's "My Babe," and others.

Accompanied only by himself on guitar (and oh what a guitar he plays), Leonard Gaskin (bass), and Herb Lovelle (drums), Hopkins' seductive, intricate guitar picks and strums will dance around in your head long after this album has played.

His voice, which sounds like it's aged in Camels and Jim Beam, conveys his heartfelt sagas to the fullest. A prolific songwriter, Hopkins wrote every song except the Dixon tune.

All tracks were recorded May 4 - 5, 1964. Tracks 1 - 7 were originally released on the "Down Home Blues" album, tracks 8 - 17 on the "Soul Blues" album.

Tracklist:
  1. Let's Go Sit On The Lawn
  2. I'm Taking A Devil Of A Chance
  3. I Got Tired
  4. I Asked The Bossman
  5. Just A Wristwatch On My Arm
  6. I Woke Up This Morning
  7. I Was Standing On 75 Highway
  8. I'm Going To Build Me A Heaven Of My Own
  9. My Babe
  10. Too Many Drivers
  11. I'm A Crawling Black Snake
  12. Rocky Mountain Blues
  13. I Mean Goodbye
  14. Howling Wolf
  15. Black Ghost Blues
  16. Darling, Do You Remember Me?
  17. Lonesome Graveyard

Lightnin Hopkins - Double Blues
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler - Kleine Sinfonie - Niemandsland - Kuhle Wampe - Die Jugend hat das Wort (Nova)

"I try to use the menas of music to bring some political intelligence into the people." - This quote by Hanns Eisler can be understood as a leitmotif for his entire work. There are few in his field who have regarded their compositional work as essentially political as he did.

This album features the  music Hanns Eisler composed for the movies "Niemandsland", "Kuhle Wampe", "Die Jugend hat das Wort / Magnitogorsk", recorded in October and November 1972.


Tracklist:

Kleine Sinfonie op. 29
Suite Nr. 2 "Niemandsland"
Suite Nr. 3 "Kuhle Wampe
Suite Nr. 4 "Die Jugend hat das Wort"


Hanns Eisler - Kleine Sinfonie - Niemandsland - Kuhle Wampe - Die Jugend hat das Wort (Nova)
(ca. 240 kbps, cover art included)

Nina Simone - Black Gold (1970)


"Black Gold" is a live album by Jazz singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone recorded in 1969 at the Philharmonic Hall, New York.
The album is especially notable because it features the civil rights anthem song "To Be Young Gifted And Black". The performance that night also included a calypso version of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" (which Simone had recorded on To Love Somebody), but there was no room for it on the album.

The album features two versions of the "Black Is The Color Of My True Love´s Hair", the first sung by Nina, the second sung in a modified version by her guitarist, Emile Latimer.
"Ain't Got No-I Got Life" is a live reprise of the hit single from "Nuff Said" (1969). "Westwind" is a song Simone learned from her friend, the African singer Miriam Makeba.
"To Be Young Gifted And Black" became a Civil Rights anthem. Nina is joined by the singing male duo The Swordsmen. Simone introduces the song by saying:
"It is not addressed to white people primarily. Though it doesn't put you down in any way...it simply ignores you. For my people need all the inspiration and love that they can get."
With the release of the album also came an LP called A"n Evening with Nina Simone". It was a recorded interview about the album. The questions were provided in written form, so that radio DJ's could ask the questions and play Simone's recorded answers, as if she were in the studio.

Maybe not the album to start your Nina journey with, but if you want one of her most compelling RCA titles, and one of her most compelling live albums, this is the one to get when you're exploring that part of her catalog.

Tracklist:
A1 Black Is The Colour...                                                                                    5:58
A2 Black Is The Colour Of My True Love's Hair 4:00
A3 Ain't Got No - I Got No Life 5:30
A4 Westwind 9:30
B1 Who Knows Where The Time Goes 8:08
B2 The Assignment Sequence 6:57
B3 To Be Young, Gifted And Black 9:34

Nina Simone - Black Gold (1970)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 23. März 2019

Paul Dessau - Orchesterwerke - Works For Orchestra (P. Dessau, H. Kegel, G. Herbig)

"This disc of orchestral works does in many ways display the more than slight tension between Dessau's commitment to social realism and his avant-garde inclinations - a tension between conformity and defiance to the highly politicized art of Eastern Germany (conformity through the choice of themes, defiance in terms of musical voice); "Meer der Stürme", for instance, strongly suggests that Dessau sought an excuse in purported pictorialism for deploying radical compositional techniques.

Keeping the biographical and political background in mind certainly helps in appreciating the four orchestral works on this disc. Im Memoriam Bertold Brecht was written in 1956-57 and uses themes from their previous collaborations. The outer movements contain grief-laden funeral music based on a minor second played as a descending motif. The middle movement, on the other hand - with the subtitle "War shall be damned" is a cantus firmus stridently asserted by the brass gradually choked by almost scarily calculated contrapuntal patterns. It is overall an interesting and emotionally striking work.

The Bach-variations was the most performed orchestral work by the composer in his lifetime, built on a respectful but casual treatment of themes by CPE and JS Bach incorporating the often-used B-A-C-H theme intervowen with the musical letters of Arnold Schönberg's name (A-D-E flat-C-B-B flat-E-G). While immediately appealing on the surface, the work is also contrapuntally ingenious fascinatingly combining and recombining various themes and figures. Two of the variations were also, in fact, not composed by Dessau, but by Goldmann (no. 7) and Wagner-Régeny (no.9). It is probably the most immediately attractive work on the disc, and if not quite a masterpiece at least quite enjoyable and fascinatingly rich.

The last two works are in many ways more difficult nuts to crack. The Meer der Stürme is a hugely dramatic work inspired by the landing of the second Russian moon probe and the 50 years anniversary of the revolution; it is a cataclysmic sounding work incorporating and heavily transforming the revolutionary work `Warszawianka', culminating in a high E maintained by 30 violins in an intensive crescendo. The Orchestral Music no. 4 is perhaps a little more traditional, a solemn work based on a Bach theme and, in some sense, seeming to try to underline the importance of Bach to the modern world while at the same time transforming those influences into a thoroughly contemporary statement.

The first two works are conducted by the composer himself; the Meer der Stürme by the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra under Herbert Kegel and the Orchestral Music no. 4 by the Berlin Staatskapelle under Günther Herbig. All performances are good, although sometimes a little rough, and the sound quality is decent if not exactly spacious and brilliant (it might be interesting to hear the Meer der Stürme in a modern, more dynamic recording). All in all, this is a rewarding and rather fascinating disc, well worth your acquaintance."
- G.D @ amazon.com


Tracks:

01. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / In memoriam Bertolt Brecht: I. Lamento [0:03:21.67]
02. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / II. Marcia [0:07:14.58]
03. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / III. Epitaph [0:03:16.17]
04. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / Bach-Variationen: I. Einleitung [0:02:38.63]
05. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / II. Thema [0:01:12.57]
06. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / III. Veränderung 1 [0:01:06.35]
07. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / IV. Veränderung 2 [0:01:23.03]
08. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / V. Veränderung 3 [0:00:52.20]
09. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / VI. Veränderung 4 [0:02:25.07]
10. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / VII. Veränderung 5 [0:01:36.23]
11. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / VIII. Veränderung 6 [0:01:33.07]
12. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / IX. Veränderung 7 [0:01:35.55]
13. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / X. Veränderung 8 [0:01:18.20]
14. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / XI. Veränderung 9 [0:01:40.15]
15. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / XII. Veränderung 10 [0:01:22.45]
16. Gewandhausorchester Leipzig - Paul Dessau / XIII. Veränderung 11 [0:01:06.10]
17. Rundfunk-Sinfonie Orchester Leipzig - Herbert Kegel / Meer der Stürme (Orchestermusik Nr. 2) [0:14:46.63]
18. Staatskapelle Berlin - Gunther Herbig / Orchestermusik Nr. 4 [0:16:36.17]

Paul Dessau - Orchesterwerke - Works For Orchestra (P. Dessau, H. Kegel, G. Herbig)
(320 kbps, cover art included)