Dienstag, 30. Juni 2020

VA - Klezmer - Yiddish Swing Music

Yiddish swing. Jazz and klezmer. It may sound like an odd combination, but in late 1937 this mix of Old World and New took the music scene here and abroad by storm. The fad got its start when the Andrews Sisters, a young three-sibling act fresh from Minnesota, recorded an irresistible swing version of a forgotten Yiddish stage tune. “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen” (You Are Beautiful to Me) became an instantaneous hit, spawning an unending series of covers and, with them, a musical trend.

Within weeks, executives at New York’s WHN had created "Yiddish Melodies in Swing", a weekly program dedicated to the new musical fusion. The talented pianist/composer Sam Medoff was hired to lead the show’s “Swingtet” and to arrange rollicking versions of traditional Jewish folk and klezmer tunes like “Dayenu,” “Eli Meylakh,” and “Yidl Mitn Fidl.”

Front and center on Medoff’s bandstand were the Barry Sisters (née Bagelman), whose close-as-air harmonies, spunky energy, and seamless transitions from Yiddish to English packed New York’s 600-seat Loews State Theater every Sunday at 1 p.m. But Yiddish Melodies didn’t just mainstream Yiddish culture, it reconnected a younger generation of American Jews to an older musical tradition embodied by the Swingtet’s legendary clarinetist, Dave Tarras, a European-born klezmer musician with almost no equal.

"Yiddish Melodies in Swing" lasted nearly two decades, outliving swing, the golden age of radio, and almost Yiddish culture itself. Small wonder that the 26 surviving episodes of the show are as fresh today as they were on the Sunday afternoons when they aired.


–Bagelman Sisters* With Abe Ellstein Orchestra - A Vaibele A Tsnien
–Dave Tarras, Beresh Katz, Abe Schwartz -  Ch'sidishe Nigunim
–Naftuie Brandwein - Das Teureste In Bukowina
–Alexander Olshanetsky, Aaron Lebedeff - What Can You Mach ? S'is Amarica
–Brandwein - Der Terk In America
–Jacob Hohhman, Kandel's Orchestra - Doina And Hora
–Naftule Brandwein - Freilicher Yontov
–Naftule Brandwein - Freit Sich, Yiddelach
–H. Steiner - Haneros Haluli
–Naftule Brandwein - Heiser Bulgar
–Seymour Rechtzeit, Abe Ellstein Orchestra - Hopkele
–Naftule Brandwein - Kleine Princessin
–Ziganoff - Koilen
–Naftule Brandwein - Naftule Spielt Far Dem Rebin
–Russkyl Orchestra Moskva - Pas D'espan
–Abe Schwartz Orchestra - Sher
–Abe Schwartz Orchestra - Unzer Toirele
–Yiddish Swing Orchestra - Bridegroom Special
–Joseph Cherniasvksy Yiddish American Jazz Band - Yiddisher March
–Abe Ellstein Orchestra - Second Avenue Square Dance

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 29. Juni 2020

Oktober - Die Pariser Commune (1977, vinyl rip)

"DIE PARISER COMMUNE" is a recording by "Oktober" released in 1977. This political rock opera was released on the Antagon label like the "Schmetterlinge"-recordings featured on this blog.

The austrian folk-rock band "Schmetterlinge" dedicated a part of their "Proletenpassion" (1976) to the Paris Commune and inspired the polit-rock band "Oktober" to deal with this topic on an entire double album.

The Paris Commune (French: La Commune de Paris) was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 (more formally, from March 28) to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class in industrial Western Civilization. Debates over the policies and outcome of the Commune contributed to the break between those two political groups.


Seite 1
[1] PROLOG: 1830 - 1851

Seite 2
a) Proklamation des ZK der Nationalgarde
b) Die Maßnahmen der Kommune
c) Lob des Aufbaus
d) Lied vom Verbrechen
e) Janine
f) Dekret über die Zuerkennung einer Pension / Keiner oder alle
g) Die Frauen der Kommune
h) Stadt der Illusionen

Seite 3
a) Die letzte Schlacht
b) Die Rache / Dreißigtausend Tote

Seite 4
[1] Teil 4: UNSER BLUT - UNSERE GESCHICHTE (einschl. Pottier's Lied)

Oktober - Die Pariser Commune (1977, vinyl rip)
(320 kbps, full cover art included)

The Blues Project - The Blues Project Live At Town Hall (1967)

One of the first album-oriented, "underground" groups in the United States, the Blues Project offered an electric brew of rock, blues, folk, pop, and even some jazz, classical, and psychedelia during their brief heyday in the mid-'60s. It's not quite accurate to categorize them as a blues-rock group, although they did plenty of that kind of material; they were more like a Jewish-American equivalent to British bands like the Yardbirds, who used a blues and R&B base to explore any music that interested them. Erratic songwriting talent and a lack of a truly outstanding vocalist prevented them from rising to the front line of '60s bands, but they recorded plenty of interesting material over the course of their first three albums, before the departure of their most creative members took its toll.

Released just after Al Kooper left the band, one imagines that neither he nor the other members of the group were pleased with this LP. According to Kooper, it was a pastiche of studio outtakes and a few live performances, and only one of the songs was actually recorded at New York City's Town Hall. Anyway, this has a meandering, ten-minute "Flute Thing" and decent live versions of "Wake Me, Shake Me" and "I Can't Keep from Crying" which, despite a somewhat rawer feel, are not necessary supplements to the fine studio takes. "Where There's Smoke, There's Fire" and the great "No Time Like the Right Time" had already been released as singles; to hear them without canned applause, you only need to turn to Rhino's first-rate Best of the Blues Project instead. That compilation also contains the other cut of note on this album, an outtake-sounding cover of Patrick Sky's "Love Will Endure."


A1 Introduction / (Electric) Flute Thing 10:25
A2 I Can't Keep From Crying 5:33
A3 Mean Old Southern 2:36
B1 No Time Like The Right Time 2:48
B2 Love Will Endure 2:22
B3 Where There's Smoke, There's Fire 2:27
B4 Wake Me, Shake Me 9:21

(256 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 26. Juni 2020

Sister Rosetta Tharpe ‎– Live In Paris, 1964

The Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a true pioneer. She helped shape modern popular music, was one of the few black female guitarists to ever find commercial success and the first artist to blend gospel with the secular. She inspired legends such as Jonny Cash and Little Richard, yet sadly, she seldom receives the recognition she so richly deserves in musical history.

It’s just over a century since Rosetta Nubin was born in Arkansas, the daughter of cotton pickers. Her mother was heavily involved in the Church of God in Christ as a preacher, gospel singer and mandolin player. She encouraged her little girl’s obvious musical talents and, by the age of six, Rosetta was performing in a travelling evangelical troupe, singing and playing the guitar to audiences all over the American South.

Rosetta and her mother moved to Chicago in the mid-1920s and the duo continued to perform in their local church and also at religious events around the country. Rosetta was soon hailed as a child prodigy, attracting huge followings amongst church and gospel communities. 

Chicago exposed her to the sounds of jazz and blues, and it wasn’t long before Rosetta began to incorporate these styles into her gospel music. In 1938, following a brief marriage to a preacher named Thomas Thorpe, from whose surname she would craft her stage name, she and her mother moved to New York. There she recorded her music for the first time, becoming the first gospel artist to be recorded by Decca Records.

Rock Me, That’s All, My Man and I and The Lonesome Road were huge hits and catapulted Rosetta to stardom, making her one of the first commercially successful gospel artists. The influence of jazz and blues can be heard in these early recordings, especially in Rosetta’s guitar solos, and she was backed by “Lucky” Millinder’s jazz orchestra rather than a traditional gospel band. The mixture of gospel lyrics with such up-tempo, worldly-sounding music, shocked and alienated many of Rosetta’s more orthodox followers. Secular audiences, however, loved it.

1 - Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air - 4:04
2 - Jesus Is Everywhere - 2:50
3 - Precious Memories - 3:40
4 - Go Ahead - 3:24
5 - Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread - 3:02
6 - Down By The Riverside - 2:45
7 - This Train - 4:38
8 - Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air - 3:23
9 - Take My Hand Precious Lord - 4:39
10 - That's All - 2:09
11 - When The Saints Go Marching In - 3:25
12 - How It Rains - 3:35
13 - Just A Closer Walk With Thee - 4:03
14 - Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho - 3:53

Donnerstag, 25. Juni 2020

Robert Johnson - King Of The Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 2

A wonderful follow-up to the first compilation (King of the Delta Blues Singers) of Robert Johnson's small library of recorded work. This album boasts the first album appearance of "Love in Vain," as well as a number of other blues classics penned by the artist.

"Sweet Home Chicago," "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom," "They're Red Hot," and "Malted Milk" are all present (and all covered by a multitude of artists -- the Blues Brothers, Elmore James, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Eric Clapton, respectively). 

As is generally the practice with Robert Johnson albums, a painting stands in for the cover (there are only two known photographs of the artist in the first place, and every other album released uses one of them). The music is certainly impeccable -- the self-accompanying bassline boogie was one of Johnson's greatest contributions to the blues, and it's displayed in all its beauty here. To top this, there's the beauty of his melodic work, and the interplay with his semi-gruff voice that help to make his songs memorable. He is the true legend of the blues, and anyone with even the slightest curiosity in that genre or rock needs to own both this album and its predecessor, or else the box set released in 1990 that covers both of them.


1 Kind Hearted Woman Blues 2:33
2 I Believe I`ll Dust My Broom 3:02
3 Sweet Home Chicago 3:00
4 Ramblin` On My Mind 2:54
5 Phonograph Blues 2:41
6 They`re Red Hot 3:01
7 Dead Shrimp Blues 2:34
8 Preachin` Blues 2:54
9 I`m A Steady Rollin` Man 2:39
10 From Four Until Late 2:26
11 Little Queen Of Spades 2:23
12 Malted Milk 2:24
13 Drunken Hearted Man 2:30
14 Stop Breakin` Down Blues 2:21
15 Honeymoon Blues 2:20
16 Love In Vain 2:24

Robert Johnson - King Of The Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 2
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Chico Buarque - Construção (1971)

Chico Buarque's fifth album for Philips is a classic, where nearly all the songs became hits. Buarque was featured in an acoustic setting, almost completely aloof from the tropicália movement (the courageous orchestration of "Construção" is very reminiscent of the influential work by Rogério Duprat).

He delved into the Brazilian tradition of sambas and romantic or doleful songs, coming up with "Deus Lhe Pague" and "Construção," both having strong lyrics subliminally criticizing the military dictatorship; "Cotidiano," existentially thematic, revolving around the man-woman relationship routine; "Olha Maria" (written with Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes), a sad separation farewell; "Samba de Orly," a reference to the French airport and city that became paradigms of the exiled Brazilians; "Valsinha," a beautiful love story; and other immortal songs in which the genius of the composer meets sensitively and reverently the heart of the Brazilian feel.


Deus Lhe Pague – 3:19
Cotidiano – 2:49
Desalento – 2:48
Construção – 6:24
Cordão – 2:31
Olha Maria – 3:56
Samba de Orly – 2:40
Valsinha – 2:00
Minha História (Gesùbambino) – 3:01
Acalanto – 1:38

Chico Buarque - Construção (1971)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 24. Juni 2020

Nina Simone - With Strings (1966)

Nina Simone had long since departed the Colpix label by the time of the 1966 release of this record. That accounts for its pasted-together contents, which combined some previously unreleased material with tracks with strings. Actually, not all of the selections had strings, which yielded a pretty misleading album title. That technicality isn't really important. 

This is not the Nina Simone record to start with, but if you like Simone enough to seek out a lot of her albums, there's some worthwhile music here, even if the programming isn't so smooth. The production is uneven, sometimes with the kind of strange echo and imbalance that makes the music sound as if it was recorded in a dressing room. Although Simone sings well on every take, the standards are outshone by the earthier tunes, like "Chain Gang (The Work Song)." Certainly the best number is "Blackbird," with its creepy bass and percussive slaps the only accompaniment for Simone's magnificent spiritual vocal.

In the UK, the album's version of "I Loves You Porgy" was used in television commercials in 1997 by the mobile telephone operator Orange.


A1 I Love You Porgy 4:00
A2 Blackbird 2:06
A3 Falling In Love Again (Can't Help It) 2:38
A4 Baubles, Bangles And Beads 2:04
A5 Spring Is Here 2:37
B1 That's All 2:24
B2 Chain Gang 2:40
B3 The Man With A Horn 3:17
B4 Porgy, I Is Your Woman (Bess, You Is My Woman) 3:22
B5 Pigs Foot And A Bottle Of Beer 2:05

Nina Simone - With Strings (1966)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 22. Juni 2020

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Live In 1960

Alongside Willie Mae Ford Smith, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is widely acclaimed among the greatest Sanctified gospel singers of her generation; a flamboyant performer whose music often flirted with the blues and swing, she was also one of the most controversial talents of her day, shocking purists with her leap into the secular market -- by playing nightclubs and theaters, she not only pushed spiritual music into the mainstream, but in the process also helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel. Tharpe was born March 20, 1915 in Cotton Plant, AR; the daughter of Katie Bell Nubin, a traveling missionary and shouter in the classic gospel tradition known throughout the circuit as "Mother Bell," she was a prodigy, mastering the guitar by the age of six. At the same time, she attended Holiness conventions alongside her mother, performing renditions of songs including "The Day Is Past and Gone" and "I Looked Down the Line." 

In time, the family relocated to Chicago, where Tharpe began honing her unique style; blessed with a resonant vibrato, both her vocal phrasing and guitar style drew heavy inspiration from the blues, and she further aligned herself with the secular world with a sense of showmanship and glamour unique among the gospel performers of her era. Signing to Decca in 1938, Tharpe became a virtual overnight sensation; her first records, among them Thomas A. Dorsey's "Rock Me" and "This Train," were smash hits, and quickly she was performing in the company of mainstream superstars including Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman. She led an almost schizophrenic existence, remaining in the good graces of her core audience by recording material like "Precious Lord," "Beams of Heaven," and "End of My Journey" while also appealing to her growing white audience by performing rearranged, uptempo spirituals including "Didn't It Rain" and "Down by the Riverside."

During World War II, Tharpe was so popular that she was one of only two black gospel acts -- the Golden Gate Quartet being the other -- to record V-Discs for American soldiers overseas; she also toured the nation in the company of the Dixie Hummingbirds, among others. In 1944, she began recording with boogie-woogie pianist Sammy Price; their first collaboration, "Strange Things Happening Every Day," even cracked Billboard's race records Top Ten, a rare feat for a gospel act, and one which she repeated several more times during the course of her career. In 1946, she teamed with the Newark-based Sanctified shouter Madame Marie Knight, whose simple, unaffected vocals made her the perfect counterpoint for Tharpe's theatrics; the duo's first single, "Up Above My Head," was a huge hit, and over the next few years they played to tremendous crowds across the church circuit.

However, in the early '50s Tharpe and Knight cut a handful of straight blues sides; their fans were outraged, and although Knight soon made a permanent leap into secular music -- to little success -- Tharpe remained first and foremost a gospel artist, although her credibility and popularity were seriously damaged. Not only did her record sales drop off and her live engagements become fewer and farther between, but many purists took Tharpe's foray into the mainstream as a personal affront; the situation did not improve, and she spent over a year touring clubs in Europe, waiting for the controversy to die down. Tharpe's comeback was slow but steady, and by 1960 she had returned far enough into the audience's good graces to appear at the Apollo Theatre alongside the Caravans and James Cleveland. While not a household name like before, she continued touring even after suffering a major stroke in 1970, dying in Philadelphia on October 9, 1973.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a talented jazz guitarist and vocalist who, although she spent most of her later years finding fame as a gospel singer, never turned her back on her jazz roots. On this 1991 CD taken from a previously unreleased European concert, Tharpe is heard solo, entertaining and uplifting the audience. Although there are a few more ballads than usual, the set has plenty of variety, lots of sincere feeling, and high levels of musicianship from the unique performer. Highlights include "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands," "Didn't It Rain," "The Gospel Train" and "Down By the Riverside."


1 Can't Sit Down
2 He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
3 Vacation In The Sky
4 Didn't It Rain
5 Can't No Grave Hold My Body Down
6 Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves Of Bread
7 The Gospel Train
8 Precious Lord
9 Down By The Riverside
10 Mansion In The Sky
11 Is Everybody Happy?
12 Peace In The Valley

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 21. Juni 2020

Eric Dolphy - Out There (1961)

The follow-up album to "Outward Bound", Eric Dolphy's second effort for the Prestige/New Jazz label (and later remastered by Rudy Van Gelder) was equally praised and vilified for many reasons. At a time when the "anti-jazz" tag was being tossed around, Dolphy's nonlinear, harshly harmonic music gave some critics grist for the grinding mill. A second or third listen to Dolphy's music reveals an unrepentant shadowy side, but also depth and purpose that were unprecedented and remain singularly unique. The usage of bassist George Duvivier and cellist Ron Carter (an idea borrowed from Dolphy's days with Chico Hamilton) gives the music its overcast color base, in many ways equally stunning and uninviting. Dolphy's ideas must be fully embraced, taken to heart, and accepted before listening. The music reveals the depth of his thought processes while also expressing his bare-bones sensitive and kind nature. 

The bluesy "Serene," led by Carter alongside Dolphy's bass clarinet, and the wondrous ballad "Sketch of Melba" provide the sweetest moments, the latter tune identified by the fluttery introspective flute of the leader, clearly indicating where latter-period musicians like James Newton initially heard what would form their concept. Three pieces owe alms to Charles Mingus: his dark, moody, doleful, melodic, and reluctant composition "Eclipse"; the co-written (with Dolphy) craggy and scattered title track featuring Dolphy's emblematic alto held together by the unflappable swing of drummer Roy Haynes; and "The Baron," the leader's dark and dirty, wise and willful tribute to his former boss, accented by a choppy and chatty solo from Carter. "17 West," almost a post-bop standard, is briefly tonal with a patented flute solo and questioning cello inserts, while the unexpected closer written by Hale Smith, "Feathers," is a haunting, soulful ballad of regret where Dolphy's alto is more immediately heard in the foreground. A somber and unusual album by the standards of any style of music, "Out There" explores Dolphy's vision in approaching the concept of tonality in a way few others -- before, concurrent, or after -- have ever envisioned.


A1 Out There
A2 Serene
A3 The Baron
B1 Eclipse
B2 17 West
B3 Sketch Of Melba
B4 Feathers

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 19. Juni 2020

Fela Kuti & Africa 70 - Everything Scatter (1975)

"Everything Scatter", originally released in 1975, is one of several masterpieces from early in Fela’s mid-1970s purple period. In three extraordinarily productive years, Fela released 23 albums of new material (or perhaps 25 such albums, for the historical records are imprecise). The purple period continued up to and immediately beyond the Nigerian army attack of 18 February 1977 which destroyed Fela’s self-governing commune, Kalakuta Republic. By the time "Everything Scatter" was recorded, Fela had put all Afrobeat’s key elements in place: the signature rhythms he had developed with drummer Tony Allen; edgy, jousting tenor and rhythm guitars; call and response vocals; fat horn arrangements and extended, jazz-based horn and keyboard solos; politically confrontational lyrics; and, crucially, the Broken English Fela adopted to take his message beyond Yoruba speakers.

The ten-minute title track posits Kuti and his followers versus the status quo. The 15-minute "Who No Know Go Knows" strikes a more relaxed groove in its call for African unity.


Everything Scatter (Rere Run) 10:48
Who No Know Go Know 14:54

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 17. Juni 2020

Third World War - Third World War II (1972)

Much like their American counterparts MC 5, Third World War were a heavily politicized band from England who made their mark playing heavy rock songs with an overtly left-wing political agenda. They were well known amongst the London Underground scene, playing free concerts with the likes of Arthur Brown, the Pink Fairies, and the wonderfully eccentric Viv Stanshall (before he formed the infamous Bonzo Dog Band).

Their songs focus on the poor, disenfranchised, the uneducated; on rebels, Hells Angels, and semi-skilled laborers fighting for their freedom. The music could at moments be sensitive, but was more often than not a raw, "punk" sound.

This lp, their 2nd (and last), dates from 1972, and musically is a more complete album than their self-titled debut. There are some excellent bluesy numbers, mainly "Coshing Old Lady," (their tribute to Hells Angels), mellow ones such as "Factory Canteen Mews," which offers excellent guitar work by Terry Stamp. Mainly, the lp is heavy rock numbers, such as "Yoko," "Urban Rock," "Rat Crawl," and their classic numbers- "I'd Rather Cut Cane for Castro," and the brilliant "Hammersmith Guerrilla," with very political lyrics such as: "Get yer arse down to Hammersmith town; Join the urban guerrillas Take up arms against the crown; Don't talk about wrong and right, Get out and fight!" Pretty heavy stuff. Their 2 lps are wonderful listening, and fans of the "Kick Out the Jams" era MC 5 will find Third World War (the name says it all) as kindred spirits - and even more political!

Third World War - II (1972)
(320 kbps, cover included)

Floh De Cologne - Tilt (1975)

Floh de Cologne were formed in 1966 as a political and anarchic collective of students from the University of Cologne. The group included Gerd Wollschon (voices, keyboards), Markus Schmidt (violin, bass), Hans-Jorg "Hansi" Frank (drums & keyboards) and Britta Baltruschat (voices).

Musically their style can be considered as a mixture between avant-folk, sound experimentations, free rock and narratives. In 1974, after the split of the "ohr" label, the formation got back to "Pläne" for several recordings until the end of the 70's.

The album "Tilt" was released in 1975 on the Pläne label.

A2Und trittst Du In Das Leben Raus4:29
A3In Dem Arbeitsamt2:59
A4Gräfin Thyssen, Onkel Herbert Und Etwas Zum Abwischen2:24
A6Hey Johnny1:53
B1Es Steht Ein Haus In Schwäbisch-Hall3:06
B3Nachruf Auf Karl3:17
B4Zug Der Zeit7:20

Floh De Cologne - Tilt (1975)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Barbara Dane - I Hate The Capitalist System

"Barbara Dane - I Hate The Capitalist System

I hate the capitalist system
and I´ll tell you the reason why
it has caused me so much suffering
and my dearest friends to die
well I know you all are wondering
what it has done to me
well I am going to tell you
that my husband has tb
brought on by hardworking lowwages
and never enough to eat
from going cold and hungry
with no shoes upon his feet
my husband was a coalminer who worked hard and risked his life
just tryin to support three children
himself, his mother and wife

well I had a blueyedbaby
was a darling of my heart
but from my little darling the mother had to part
why the rich and mighty capitalists
goes to rest in jewels and silk
my darling blueeyed baby has died for the wondermill

well they call this the land of plenty
and for them I guess its true
for the rich and mighty capitalists
not for workers like me and you
well now what can we do about it
to these men of power and might
well I'll tell you mister capitalist
we are going to fight, fight, fight!"

"I Hate The Capitalist System" is an excellent collection of political songs about the plight of the working man and woman originally issued on Barbara's own Paredon label in 1973.

The songs range from the 30s to the 70s and songs from the repertoire of older singers like Sarah Ogan Gunning (the powerful title song) and Woody Guthrie (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos / Deportees / Ludlow Massacre) along with writers from the 60s and 70s like Malvina Reynolds, Jack Warshaw (the fierce Kent State Massacre) and Jane Felczer. There are also a couple of traditional songs, Barbara's rewrite of the 1954 blues by J.B. Hutto Things Are So Slow and her reworking of a song from Vietnamese singer Xuan Hong.

The arrangements are as varied as the selection ranging from an acapella vocal to a small band. Although originally issued nearly 40 years ago much of what is sung about here is just as true today as it was then. 


101 I Hate the Capitalist System  3:16
102 Lonesome Jailhouse Blues  4:12
103 Detroit Medley  2:38
104 Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)  5:47
105 Goodbye to Cold Winter 0:52
106 A Single Girl  2:31
107 Ludlow Massacre 3:58
108 I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister  3:33
201 Things are Slow 4:17
202 Song of My Hands 5:47
203 Bitter Rain 3:37
204 Song of the Coats 2:52
205 The Kent State Massacre 3:43
206 Working Class Woman 6:26

Barbara Dane - I Hate The Capitalist System
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 14. Juni 2020

Nina Simone - High Priestess Of Soul (1967)

"High Priestess of Soul" is a studio album by jazz singer, pianist and songwriter Nina Simone. The songs are accompanied by a large band directed and arranged by Hal Mooney. The album contains pop songs (such as "Don't You Pay Them No Mind") and African American gospel and folk related songs written by Simone herself (such as "Take Me to the Water" and "Come Ye"). After this album title –an attempt to broaden her appeal by management execs– Nina Simone was sometimes titled “the high priestess of soul”, although she completely rejected the title herself because it placed a label on her as an artist. However, according to her daughter, Simone, she never hated that moniker

Perhaps a bit more conscious of contemporary soul trends than her previous Philips albums, this is still very characteristic of her mid-'60s work in its eclectic mix of jazz, pop, soul, and some blues and gospel. Hal Mooney directs some large band arrangements for the material on this LP without submerging Simone's essential strengths. The more serious and introspective material is more memorable than the good-natured pop selections here. The highlights are her energetic vocal rendition of the Oscar Brown/Nat Adderley composition "Work Song" and her spiritual composition "Come Ye," on which Simone's inspirational vocals are backed by nothing other than minimal percussion.


A1 Don't You Pay Them No Mind
A2 I'm Gonna Leave You
A3 Brown Eyed Handsome Man
A4 Keeper Of The Flame
A5 The Gal From Joe's
A6 Take Me To The Water
A7 I'm Going Back Home
B1 I Hold No Grudge
B2 Come Ye
B3 He Ain't Comin' Home No More
B4 Work Song
B5 I Love My Baby

Nina Simone - High Priestess Of Soul (1967)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 12. Juni 2020

Paul Robeson - Ballad For Americans (1940)

"Ballad for Americans" (1939), originally titled "The Ballad for Uncle Sam", is an American patriotic cantata with lyrics by John La Touche and music by Earl Robinson. It was written for the Federal Theatre Project production, "Sing for Your Supper" that opened on April 24, 1939. Congress abolished the Project on June 30, 1939. The “Ballad of Uncle Sam” had been performed 60 times.

Producer Norman Corwin then had Robinson sing “Ballad of Uncle Sam” for the CBS brass. CBS was impressed and hired Paul Robeson to perform the song. Corwin retitled the song “Ballad for Americans.” Robeson and Robinson rehearsed for a week. On Sunday, November 5, 1939, on the 4:30 pm CBS radio show "The Pursuit of Happiness", Robeson sang “Ballad for Americans” (Time, November 20, 1939). Norman Corwin produced and directed, Mark Warnow conducted, Ralph Wilkinson did the orchestration (in Robeson's key), and Lyn Murray handled the chorus. Robeson subsequently began to perform the song, beginning with a repeat on CBS on New Year’s Eve. Robbins Music Corporation published the sheet music.

Victor Records decided to record and release the song. Robinson recommended the American People’s Chorus for the recording and he re-rehearsed them in Robeson’s key. (Robinson had written the song to the key of E.) The song was recorded February 9, 1940 under the direction of Nathaniel Shilkret and issued as record album P-20. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1980. Time Magazine mentioned the album on the May 6, 1940, issue. On May 14, 1940, a full page ad for the records (a four-sided album on 78 rpm records) appeared in the New York Daily News. Each side of the album ended with the lyrics “You know who I am.” By the end of 1940, the album had sold more than 40,000 copies.

Ballad For Americans - Part 1 2:31
Ballad For Americans - Part 2 2:26
Ballad For Americans - Part 3 2:35
Ballad For Americans - Part 4 3:14

Paul Robeson - Ballad For Americans (1940)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 11. Juni 2020

Woody Guthrie - Long Ways To Travel - The Unreleased Folkways Masters, 1944-1949

An odds-and-ends collection spanning 17 unreleased tracks recorded from 1944 to 1949, most being originals and not just alternate takes, 2Long Ways to Travel" is a fine addition to any Guthrie fan's collection. Started as a project in 1991 to wade through Guthrie's unreleased catalogue, this undertaking was no minor feat, seeing that Moses Asch kept sketchy records at best, and it is obvious that considerable work has gone into this collection.

As such, not every track is note-perfect, with Guthrie occasionally stumbling over lines, but it does offer a very well-rounded picture of who Guthrie was as an artist. Though it might not be the best place to start for the uninitiated, there is some seriously interesting music here, from harmonica workouts on "Rain Crow Bill" with Sonny Terry to fiddle tunes like "Girl I Left Behind Me" and the bluesy "Long Ways to Travel."

Many tracks focus on Guthrie's love of riding the rails with train narratives like "Seattle to Chicago" and "Train Ride Medley (part 2)," as well as a dialogue he delivered as an emcee at a concert. A wide variety is represented with "Wiggledy Giggledy," a song of mostly nonsense rhyming, while the strange mock radio show performance of "Rocky Mountain Slim and Desert Rat Shorty," one of the many featuring Cisco Houston, seems to be some sort of off-the-cuff comedy skit. In addition, the haunting autobiographical narrative of "Along in the Sun and the Rain" and the eloquent tribute "Harriet Tubman's Ballad" are tracks that no Guthrie enthusiast should be without. Interesting historical references such as "Warden in the Sky," written while Guthrie was briefly in jail, and the topical "Farmer-Labor Train," which was written for presidential candidate Henry Wallace's rallies, are a few of the more political pieces here, considering that the majority of the tracks are more autobiographical in nature.

An excellent extensive transcription of an interview of Moses Asch, detailing his relationship with Guthrie is also of note. No doubt, when taken in addition to Guthrie's more quintessential work, this is a pretty substantial collection.


1 Hard Travelin' 2:13
2 Talking Centralia 3:24
3 Farmer-Labor Train 2:49
4 Harriet Tubman's Ballad 6:31
5 Warden In The Sky 2:46
6 Train Narration 2:29
7 Seattle To Chicago 3:03
8 Rain Crow Bill 2:38
9 Along In The Sun And The Rain 2:28
10 Budded Roses 3:02
11 Train Ride Medley (Part 1) 6:32
12 Girl I Left Behind Me 2:14
13 Wiggledy Giggledy 1:10
14 Kissin' On 2:58
15 Rocky Mountain Slim And Desert Rat Shorty 3:07
16 Train Ride Medley (Part 2) 4:39
17 Long Ways To Travel 2:35

Woody Guthrie - Long Ways To Travel - The Unreleased Folkways Masters, 1944-1949
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 9. Juni 2020

VA – Paul Oliver – Conversation With The Blues - A Documentary of Fields Recordings (1965)

"Conversation With The Blues" is a documentary selection of recordings made in the field by Paul Oliver during the summer of 1960.

In the summer of 1960 Paul Oliver came to the United States with the aid of a State Department grant and BBC field recorder with the idea, as he writes of “putting on tape the conversation and music of blues artists in the country and the cities, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes. Some of the blues singers were famous, or had been, whilst others were unknown and destined to remain so. … The blues singers of the Mississippi Delta or East Texas Piney woods may have sung and played in different styles from those currently working in Chicago or Detroit but between them was a common bond of feeling and expression which lay at the root of the blues.” Oliver began his trip in the east hitting Detroit, Chicago, Memphis and St. Louis before joining forces with collector Chris Stratwichz who would found Arhoolie records, and researcher Mack McCormick. The trio, and Oliver’s wife Valerie, traveled through Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas where they record the Black Ace, Alex Moore, K.C. Douglas, Buster Pickens, Lil Son Jackson, Mance Lipscomb, Sam Chatmon and others. "Far from inhibiting the speakers the BBC field recorder excited genius interest as a piece of equipment and encouraged many a blues singer to summon his memories and address his observations with clarity and confidence." On his return to England Oliver produced BBC radio-documentaries on his experiences and compiled the conversations he had with blues singers in his groundbreaking book, Conversation with the Blues.

01 So Much Good Feeling (spoken with own piano) – Boogie Woogie Red 03:11
02 A Little Different (spoken) – Willie Thomas 00:27
03 Kill That Nigger Dead – James Butch Cage & Willie Thomas 02:03
04 The Onliest Way (spoken) – Lil’ Son Jackson 00:22
05 My Father’s Style – So It Rocked On (spoken, with guitar) – J.B. Lenoir 01:01
06 Move To Kansas City – J.B. Lenoir 00:27
07 When She Come Back (spoken) – Otis Spann 01:13
08 Poor Country Boy – Otis Spann 02:55
09 Ain’t No Easy Thing (spoken) – Lightnin’ Hopkins 01:10
10 Evil Heart Blues – Mance Lipscomb 02:02
11 A Roughneck (spoken) – Blind Arvella Grey 01:26
12 West Helena Blues – Roosevelt Sykes 01:45
13 Days Of Nineteen-Hundred (spoken) – Will Shade 01:13
14 Newport News Blues – Will Shade 02:30
15 Chock House Days (spoken) – Whistling Alex Moore 01:12
16 Come And Get Me – Whistling Alex Moore 01:05
17 Move Back For What (spoken) – Brother John Sellers 00:51
18 I Been Down So Long – J.B. Lenoir 02:35
19 Santa Fe Blues – Jasper Love 00:00
20 Somewhere Down The Line (spoken) – John Lee Hooker 00:11
21 I Hope One Day My Luck WIll Change – Robert Curtis Smith 01:26
22 Only Places They Can Go (spoken) – Otis Spann 01:00
23 People Calls Me Lucky – Oits Spann 01:42
24 What Have I Committed (spoken) – Henry Townsend 00:46
25 ‘Tween Midnight And Day – James Butch Cage 03:16
26 Walking Basses (spoken) – Little Brother Montgomery 00:29
27 Dud Low Joe (piano solo) – Little Brother Montgomery 01:47
28 It’s A Barrelhouse Blues (spoken) – Little Brother Montgomery 00:37
29 Vicksburg Blues – Little Brother Montgomery 03:12
30 They Beat Me To Chicago (spoken) – Little Brother Montgomery 00:15
31 They All Called Him ‘Pork Chops’ (spoken) – Roosevelt Sykes 00:56
32 Forty-Four Blues – Roosevelt Sykes 02:07
33 Doctor Clayton And Me (spoken) – Robert Junior Lockwood & Sunnyland Slim 00:20
34 Take A Little Walk With Me – Robert Junior Lockwood & Sunnyland Slim 02:20
35 To Have The Blues Within (spoken) – Edwin Buster Pickens 00:58
36 Blues In The Bottle – Mance Lipscomb 03:00

VA – Paul Oliver – Conversation With The Blues A Documentary of Fields Recordings (1965)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Paul Robeson - At Carnegie Hall (1960)

When Paul Robeson took the stage at Carnegie Hall in May of 1958, it had been 11 years since he had previously concertized freely in the United States. Blacklisted from the entertainment industry at home, and with the State Department unwilling to issue him a passport, he had fallen into eclipse as a singer and actor over the previous eight years. The concert recorded here, one of two at Carnegie Hall in May of 1958, marked his return. 

The performances on this record would also be his only stereo recordings -- all were, naturally enough, the work of Vanguard Records, the New York-based record company that was also the home to fellow blacklistees the Weavers. The singing legend is in excellent voice throughout, his rich bass-baritone reveling in performances of a repertory that encompassed Bach, Mussorgsky, Schubert, Dvorák, Beethoven, traditional gospel, Russian and Chinese folk songs, "Old Man River" from "Show Boat", and monologues from Shakespeare and the opera Boris Godunov. 

With a piano accompaniment by Alan Booth, Robeson ranged across a huge part of his own performing history. The 60-year-old singer, despite the decade of artificially imposed inactivity, still had much of his vocal power intact and all his dramatic instincts, and makes every moment count in his performance, investing immense power in every note and nuance. Sadly, his Vanguard performances were to be his only work captured on modern recording equipment -- because of the blacklist, everything else predated the arrival of recording tape and the long-playing record. But the performance captured here, and those represented on Vanguard's "The Essential Paul Robeson", show a man still capable of moving huge numbers of people with his voice -- and equally important, even at this late date, who had not lost the ability to walk a crowd through a vast and difficult range of repertory; his performances, even after ten years of professional exile, were also learning experiences, and consciousness-raising, which is why reactionaries in the United States were so afraid of him in the first place. And none of it has lost any of its power in the six decades since the actual event.


Every Time I Feel The Spirit
Balm In Gilead
Volga Boat Song
Monologue From Shakespeares Othello
O Thou Silent Night
Chinese Children's Song
My Curley Headed Baby
Old Man River
Going Home
Monologue From Boris Gudonov
The Orphan
Christ Lag In Todesbanden
Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel
O No John
Joe Hill
Jacob's Ladder

Paul Robesond - At Carnegie Hall (1960)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 8. Juni 2020

Miriam Makeba - The Magnificent Miriam Makeba

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa.

In the USA, mostly accompanied by her husband Hugh Masekela, she recorded Miriam Makeba (1960), The Many Voices Of (1962), The World Of(1963), The Voice of Africa (1963), Sings (1964),The Magic of (1966), Magnificent (1966), Pata Pata (1967), titled after her 1956 signature song, etc. Among her hits were Tula Ndivile, Westwinds, and Qogothwane/ Click Song.

"The Magnificent Miriam Makeba" is a 1966 album by Miriam Makeba (LP Mercury 134016). It was her first album after moving from RCA to Mercury.


Mr. Man
Imagine Me
La Bushe (Congo Bushe)
Where Are You Going
Charlie (Oh Mama)
West Wind
A Piece Of Ground
That's How It Goes (Ntsizwa)
My Love Is Young
Oh, Tell Me My Mother (Wa Thint'a Madoda)
I'm In Love With Spring
Akana Nkomo

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 7. Juni 2020

The Chambers Brothers ‎– A New Time - A New Day (1968)

The Chambers Brothers are an American psychedelic soul band, best known for their eleven-minute 1968 hit "Time Has Come Today". The group was part of the wave of new music that integrated American blues and gospel traditions with modern psychedelic and rock elements. Their music has been kept alive through heavy use in film soundtracks.

"A New Time - A New Day" was the follow up to their famous "The Time Has Come".

A1 I Can't Turn You Loose
A2 Guess Who
A3 Do Your Thing
A4 Where Have All The Flowers Gone
A5 Love Is All I Have
A6 You Got The Power - To Turn Me On
B1 I Wish It Would Rain
B2 Rock Me Mama
B3 No, No, No, Don't Say Good-By
B4 Satisfy You
B5 A New Time - A New Day

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Peter Tosh - Equal Rights (1977)

Black Lives Matter!

"Equal Rights" was to be the album that propelled Peter Tosh to the top of the reggae world -- the rival to onetime fellow Wailer Bob Marley. Time has shown that this lofty aspiration was not borne out, but "Equal Rights" remains among the handful of best, and most influential, reggae albums ever recorded.

Tosh was always the most militant of the original Wailers and this album reflects that outlook. Whether it is preaching about the unity of the African diaspora ("African"), protesting conditions in South Africa ("Apartheid"), or giving a more general call to arms ("Get Up, Stand Up"), "Equal Rights" is a political album. This is at times crippling, as some tracks are more effective as political statements than they are as songs. This, in fact, is a primary difference between Tosh and Marley -- Marley's political statements never overwhelmed his songs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with Tosh.

That being said, "Downpresser Man" (based on a folk standard), "Stepping Razor," and his definitive version of "Get Up, Stand Up" are as good a trio of songs as you will find on any album, reggae or not. Tosh's singing is angry and forceful and the music is intricate and distinctive. On these three tracks you can see why people thought that Tosh could become a transcendent international star.

Peter Tosh - Equal Rights (1977)
(320 kbps, cover art included)


1 Get Up, Stand Up 3:29
2 Downpressor Man 6:25
3 I Am That I Am 4:28
4 Stepping Razor 5:47
5 Equal Rights 5:58
6 African 3:41
7 Jah Guide 4:29
8 Apartheid 5:31

Bonus Tracks:
9 Pick Myself Up (Live) 7:11
10 African (Live) 4:45

Freitag, 5. Juni 2020

Max Roach - Deeds, Not Words

"Deeds, Not Words" is an album by American jazz drummer Max Roach featuring tracks recorded in 1958 and released on the Riverside label.

This Max Roach Riverside date is notable for featuring the great young trumpeter Booker Little and for utilizing Ray Draper's tuba as a melody instrument; tenor saxophonist George Coleman and bassist Art Davis complete the excellent quintet.

Highlights include "It's You or No One," "You Stepped Out of a Dream," and Roach's unaccompanied drum piece "Conversation." This is fine music from a group that was trying to stretch themselves beyond hard bop.


A1 You Stepped Out Of A Dream 7:46
A2 Filide 7:06
A3 It's You Or No One 4:13
B1 Jodie's Cha-Cha 4:56
B2 Deeds, Not Words 4:34
B3 Larry-Larue 5:13
B4 Conversation 3:48

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2020

Nina Simone - Nina Simone Sings The Blues (1967)

"Nina Simone Sings the Blues", issued in 1967, was her RCA label debut, and was a brave departure from the material she had been recording for Phillips. Indeed, her final album for that label, "High Priestess of Soul", featured the singer, pianist, and songwriter fronting a virtual orchestra. Here, Simone is backed by a pair of guitarists (Eric Gale and Rudy Stevenson), bassist (Bob Bushnell), drummer (Bernard "Pretty" Purdie), organist (Ernie Hayes), and harmonica player who doubled on saxophone (Buddy Lucas). Simone handled the piano chores. The song selection is key here. Because for all intents and purposes this is perhaps the rawest record Simone ever cut.

It opens with the sultry, nocturnal, slow-burning original "Do I Move You," which doesn't beg the question but demands an answer: "Do I move you?/Are you willin'?/Do I groove you?/Is it thrillin'?/Do I soothe you?/Tell the truth now?/Do I move you?/Are you loose now?/The answer better be yeah...It pleases me...." As the guitarists slip and slide around her husky vocal, a harmonica wails in the space between, and Simone's piano is the authority, hard and purposely slow. The other tune in that vein, "In the Dark," is equally tense and unnerving; the band sounds as if it's literally sitting around as she plays and sings. There are a number of Simone signature tunes on this set, including "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl," "Backlash Blues," and her singular, hallmark, definitive reading of "My Man's Gone Now" from "Porgy and Bess". 

Other notable tracks are the raucous, sexual roadhouse blues of "Buck," written by Simone's then husband Andy Stroud, and the woolly gospel blues of "Real Real," with the Hammond B-3 soaring around her vocal. The cover of Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You" literally drips with ache and want. Simone also reprised her earlier performance of "House of the Rising Sun" (released on a 1962 Colpix live platter called "At the Village Gate"). It has more authority in this setting as a barrelhouse blues; it's fast, loud, proud, and wailing with harmonica and B-3 leading the charge. The original set closes with the slow yet sassy "Blues for Mama," ending with the same sexy strut the album began with, giving it the feel of a Möbius strip. "Nina Simone Sings the Blues" is a hallmark recording that endures; it deserves to be called a classic.


A1 Do I Move You 2:41
A2 Day And Night 2:34
A3 In The Dark 2:53
A4 Real Real 2:17
A5 My Man's Gone Now 4:13
A6 Backlash Blues 2:14
B1 I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl 2:27
B2 Buck 2:00
B3 Since I Fell For You 2:44
B4 The House Of The Rising Sun 3:55
B5 Blues For Mama 3:52

Bonus Tracks:
Do I Move You (Second Version)
Whatever I Am

Nina Simone - Nina Simone Sings The Blues (1967)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2020

Eric Dolphy with Booker Little - Far Cry (1962)

"Far Cry" is a jazz album by musician Eric Dolphy with trumpeter Booker Little, originally released in 1962 on New Jazz, a subsidiary of the Prestige label. Featuring their co-led quintet, it is one of the few studio recordings of their partnership. It is also one of the earliest appearances of bassist Ron Carter on record (following Carter's appearance on cello on Dolphy's "Out There" several months earlier). Dolphy took part in Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz" session before recording this album on the same day.

The entire first side presents a suite to Charlie Parker. "Mrs. Parker of K.C. (Bird's Mother)" and "Ode to Charlie Parker," both composed by pianist Jaki Byard, are respectively dedicated to Addie, Charlie Parker's mother, and a tribute to Parker. "Far Cry," composed by Dolphy, is also a tribute to Parker (the melody is identical to "Out There"), while "Miss Ann" is a musical portrait of a girl whom Dolphy knew at the time. Pianist Mal Waldron, who would be in Dolphy's touring band during 1961, composed the tribute to Billie Holiday "Left Alone." The album also includes two standards among the originals, "Tenderly" and "It's Magic." Little only appears on "Miss Ann" during side two, and "Tenderly" is Dolphy unaccompanied on alto saxophone.

Charlie Parker's influence permeates this 1960 session. Beyond the obvious acknowledgment on song titles ("Mrs. Parker of K.C. ['Bird's Mother']" and "Ode to Charlie Parker"), his restless spirit is utilized as a guiding light for breaking bebop molds. "Far Cry" finds multi-reedist Eric Dolphy in a transitional phase, relinquishing Parker's governing universal impact and diving into the next controversial phase that critics began calling "anti-jazz." On this date Booker Little's lyrical trumpet and Jackie Byard's confident grasp of multiple piano styles (though both steeped in hard bop) were sympathetic to the burgeoning "avant-garde" approach that Dolphy displays, albeit sparingly, on this session. "Far Cry" contains the initial performance of Dolphy's future jazz classic "Miss Ann," along with his first recorded solo alto sax performance on "Tenderly," in which Dolphy bridges the gap between the solo saxophone performances of Coleman Hawkins and Anthony Braxton.


Side 1:
"Mrs. Parker of K.C. (Bird's Mother)" (Jaki Byard) – 8:03
"Ode to Charlie Parker" (Byard) – 8:42
"Far Cry" (Eric Dolphy) – 3:55 

Side 2:
"Miss Ann" (Dolphy) – 4:17
"Left Alone" (Billie Holiday, Mal Waldron) – 6:41
"Tenderly" (Walter Gross, Jack Lawrence) – 4:20
"It's Magic" (Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn) – 5:40

(320 kbsp, cover art included)

Dienstag, 2. Juni 2020

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Bass Culture (1980)

I remember at the time of its release that many reviewers considered "Bass Culture" a slight disappointment because it didn't reach the highs of "Forces of Victory". Granted, following up a record as great as "Forces of Victory" is no easy task, but all these years later I wonder what were people thinking. 

"Bass Culture" is tremendous, another successful collaboration between Johnson and Bovell with songs that are, at times, even more confrontational (e.g., "Inglan is a Bitch") than anything he had previously recorded. I will admit that the Dub Band sounds better on "Forces of Victory", but Johnson is hitting his stride at the time of this release and experimenting with song structure and lyrics a little more (i.e., not everything is explicitly political here). Still, I defy anyone to come up with a reason to not own this record. An extra added bonus is John Kpiaye's great guitar playing.


Bass Culture 6:04
Street 66 3:43
Reggae Fi Peach 2:40
Di Black Petty Booshwah 3:34
Inglan Is A Bitch 5:25
Loraine 4:07
Reggae Sounds 3:10
Two Sides Of Silence 2:12

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 1. Juni 2020

The Staple Singers - Be Altitude: Respect Yourself (1972)

One of the most powerful vocal groups of the '60s and '70, the Staple Singers embraced an impressive stylistic diversity while always staying true to their roots in gospel harmonies. 

Led by Roebuck "Pops" Staples, the quartet first rose to stardom in the gospel music community before detouring into folk and a socially conscious gospel and R&B hybrid, then enjoying their greatest success with a handful of soul music hits for Stax Records in the '70s. Throughout their evolution, the constants in their work were the rich blend of their vocals, delivered with a churchy mix of joy and restraint, Roebuck's subtle but emphatic guitar textures, and in the Stax era, the glorious lead vocals of Mavis Staples. 

The compilation "The Best of the Vee-Jay Years" is a superb overview of their early gospel sides, 1965's "Freedom Highway" marks the point where their gospel and folk leanings merged with a growing political consciousness, 1972's "Be Altitude: Respect Yourself" was the high point of their hitmaking years at Stax, and 1984's "Turning Point" was an impressive late-career effort that included an excellent cover of Talking Heads' "Slippery People."

"Be Altitude: Respect Yourself" was The Staples' finest single album, containing three Top Ten R&B hits, "Respect Yourself," "I'll Take You There," and "This World." The first two also were pop Top 20s, "I'll Take You There" going all the way to number one.

This World 3:39
Respect Yourself 4:54
Name The Missing Word 4:03
I'll Take You There 4:47
This Old Town (People In This Town) 4:42
We The People 3:50
Are You Sure 4:27
Who Do You Think You Are? (Jesus Christ The Super Star) 4:10
I'm Just Another Soldier 3:50
Who 3:18

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler - Deutsche Sinfonie (NOVA, 1988)

Deutsche Sinfonie, Op. 50, is a composition for soloists, chorus and orchestra by Hanns Eisler. Despite the title, it is considered to be more in the style of a cantata than a symphony.

Principally composed between 1935 and 1947, but not completed until 1957, it is an eleven-movement setting of poems by Bertolt Brecht, drawn mainly from Brecht's Songs, Poems and Choruses of 1934, and by Ignazio Silone, adapted by Eisler.

It was premiered in its full form at the German State Opera, East Berlin, on 24 April 1959. Brecht had died in 1956.

Eisler's theme was the advance of Nazism in Germany. Yet the composer encountered difficulties in both reception and performance of the work throughout its long period of composition and development. When the first two movements (at this stage subtitled An Anti-Hitler Symphony) won a prize at the 15th Festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music, gaining a promised performance of them at the 1937 Paris World Exhibition, the Nazi regime persuaded the French government to have the performance cancelled.

Here´s the "Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin" recording, conducted by Max Pommer and released in 1988 on the NOVA label.

Hanns Eisler - Deutsche Sinfonie (NOVA, 1988)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Winter In America (1974)

Gil Scott-Heron was at his most righteous and provocative on this album.

The title cut was a moving, angry summation of the social injustices Scott-Heron felt had led the nation to a particularly dangerous period, while "The Bottle" was a great treatise on the dangers of alcohol abuse.

He also offered his thoughts on Nixon's legacy with "The H2O Gate Blues," a classic oral narrative.

Brian Jackson's capable keyboard, acoustic piano and arranging talents helped make this a first-rate release, one of several the duo issued during the 1970s.

The album title Winter in America was intended to represent Scott-Heron's use of the season of winter as a metaphor and concept of his view of the issues facing society during his time. The title was also meant to represent the urban sociological themes featured on the album, which had surfaced on most of Scott-Heron's previous work. Scott-Heron referred to the title as the "overall atmosphere of the album", as well as the metaphor for the overall theme of the album. Winter was conceived amid social, economic and political issues in the United States during the early 1970s, including stagflation, the 1973 oil crisis that had great effect during the winter, the 1973 stock market crash, the Watergate scandal, and urban decay. He further elaborated on the social concept of winter and Afrocentricism, as it relates to living during times such as these and how the title reflects on the time itself, in the original LP liner notes:

01. Peace Go With You, Brother
02. Rivers Of My Fathers
03. A Very Precious Time
04. Back Home
05. The Bottle
06. Song For Bobby Smith
07. Your Daddy Loves You
08. H2Ogate Blues
09. Peace Go With You, Brother
10. Winter In America (Live)
11. Song For Bobby Smith (Alternate)
12. Your Daddy Loves You (Live)
13. The Bottle / Guan Guanco (Live)

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Winter In America (1974)
(192 kbps, front cover included)