Montag, 27. Juli 2020

Franz Josef Degenhardt - Junge Paare auf Bänken - Franz Josef Degenhardt singt Georges Brassens (1986)

The songs on Degenhardt's 1986 album "Junge Paare Auf Den Bänken" ("Young Couples on the Benches") are his translations into German of chansons by the French singer-songwriter Georges Brassens, spiritually perhaps one of Degenhardts closest musical allies.

Georges Brassens ( 22 October 1921 – 29 October 1981), was a French singer-songwriter and poet.
Brassens was born in Sète, a town in southern France near Montpellier.
Now an iconic figure in France, he achieved fame through his elegant songs with their harmonically complex music for voice and guitar and articulate, diverse lyrics; indeed, he is considered one of France's most accomplished postwar poets.
He has also set to music poems by both well-known and relatively obscure poets, including Louis Aragon (Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux), Victor Hugo (La Légende de la Nonne, Gastibelza), Jean Richepin, François Villon (La Ballade des Dames du Temps Jadis), and Guillaume Apollinaire, Antoine Pol (Les Passantes).

During World War II, he was forced by the Germans to work in a labor camp at a BMW aircraft engine plant in Basdorf near Berlin in Germany (March 1943). Here Brassens met some of his future friends, such as Pierre Onténiente, whom he called Gibraltar because he was "steady as a rock." They would later become close friends.
After being given ten days' leave in France, he decided not to return to the labour camp. Brassens took refuge in a slum called "Impasse Florimont," in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, where he lived for several years with Jeanne Planche, a friend of his aunt. Planche lived with her husband Marcel in relative poverty: without gas, running water, or electricity. Brassens remained hidden there until the end of the war five months later, but ended up staying for 22 years.

This album was recorded january 1986 in 'Musikstudio M 1, Studio Hamburg', Germany, with
Franz Josef Degenhardt (translation of the George Brassens lyrics, lyrics track 10, vocals,guitar), Lech Wieleba (bass), Jan Reimer (guitar), Steve Baker (harp), produced by Jimmy Bowien, engineered by Gert Hauke.


1. Junge Paare auf Bänken (Les amoureux des bancs publics)
2. Marinette
3. Ich mach mich ganz klein (Je me suis fait tout petit)
4. Mit einer Hacke auf der Schulter (Pauvre Martin)
5. Das Testament (Le Testament)
6. Margot (Brave Margot)
7. Vorsicht Gorilla (Le Gorille)
8. König Großkotz (Le Roi)
9. Weltkrieg Nr. 1 (La guerre de 14 - 18)
10. Au pere eternel (für George Brassens)

Franz Josef Degenhardt - Paar auf Bänken  
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Ernst Busch - The Moscow Recordings - Four Shellacs (1936, Gramplasttrest)

Originally posted in July 2014:

Today we had a very informative event: Jürgen Schebera, who wrote wonderful biographies about Hanns Eisler and Kurt Weill, gave a lecture about Ernst Busch´s exile in Moscow, his cooperation with Hans Hauska and the German exile music scene in these days. He played these recordings which will be officially released in 2015 together with other Ernst Busch recordings from his exile years.

The following text is from April, 2012:

A few weeks ago a friendly reader of this blog shared some rare Ernst Busch recordings with us. He saved the recordings from some russian sites and put them together in one file. Thanks a lot for your work!!!

Ernst Busch recorded these songs between 1935 and 1936 during his exile in Moscow. They were released on four shellac singles on the Gramplasttrest label.


1. Einheitsfrontlied - Die Moorsoldaten

2. Kominternlied - Thälmann-Lied (Für den Kameraden Thälmann: Hoch die Faust!) (1934)

3. Bandera roja - UHP

4. Alabama-Song - Ballade von den Säckeschmeißern

Ernst Busch - Four Shellacs (1936, Gramplasttrest)
(320 kbps, scans of the labels included)

Sonntag, 26. Juli 2020

Max Romeo - Let The Power Fall (1971)

The singer who put the rude in rude boy, Max Romeo was responsible for launching an entirely new sub-genre of reggae, whose overtly suggestive lyrics caused an outcry but took a massive hold of the music scene regardless. Yet innuendo was the least of the singer's stylings, previous to the release of his infamous "Wet Dream," Romeo had garnered a string of sweet hits with the vocal trio the Emotions. And once the nocturnal naughtiness faded, the singer established himself as one of the most important figures in the roots scene.

Romeo was born Max Smith on November 22, 1947, in St D'Acre, Jamaica. His prospects initially seemed dim; at 14 he left home and found a menial job cleaning out irrigation ditches on a sugar plantation. And there he might have stayed, if he hadn't won a local talent contest. With all the wide-eyed optimism of youth, the 18-year-old now made his way to Kingston, determined to become a star. Once in the capital, he hooked up with two other hopefuls, Kenneth Knight and Lloyd Shakespeare, and the Emotions were born. Their 1966 debut, "(Buy You) A Rainbow," produced by Ken Lack, was an immediate hit and over the next two years, the trio amassed an impressive list of successful singles.

In 1968, the singer, now dubbed Max Romeo, was confident enough to launch a solo career. Working with producer Bunny Lee, the young star recorded a number of love ballads and sweet singles, but none made much of an impression on the charts. The singer admitted defeat and returned to the Emotions. Simultaneously, he formed the Hippy Boys, with whom he did some recording (the band eventually evolved into the Upsetters), while also working as a sales rep for Lee Perry. Later that year, Romeo penned new lyrics to the rhythm track of Derrick Morgan's "Hold You Jack" and handed them over to Lee Perry. Morgan was penciled in for the recording but opted to give it a miss, as did a couple of other vocalists, until finally the exasperated producer bullied Romeo into taking the mic.

The result was "Wet Dream," an instant smash in Jamaica, although it was far from the first island single to feature suggestive lyrics. It was, however, a bit more obvious than most, so much so that even the British had no difficulty discerning its real meaning. Across the Atlantic, the single was heating up the charts, although not the airwaves. The British censors, not known for their stupidity, gave short shrift to Romeo's rather lame explanation that the song was actually about a leaky roof and immediately banned it. This had the reverse effect and helped push the single up the chart into the Top Ten.
A bucketload of less-than-furtive follow-up singles now ran rampant across the chart, both from Romeo himself and other equally lasciviously minded artists, with 1970's "A Dream" boasting an entire album's worth of Romeo's own offerings. In the U.K., this mini-movement took on a life of its own, culminating with the phenomenal success of the homegrown talent Judge Dread and his string of naughty nursery rhyme hits. Back in Jamaica, Romeo attempted to launch his own label (Romax) and sound system in 1970, but unfortunately the venture was a failure. The following year, he hooked back up with Bunny Lee and began recording a clutch of singles based on the producer's own rocksteady classic rhythms. One of the most intriguing was "Watch This Sound," which combined a rocksteady backing with the lyrics to the Buffalo Springfield classic "For What It's Worth." Branching out, Romeo also cut numerous singles with a number of other producers, including Winston Riley, Sonia Pottinger, and Alvin Ranglin. Many of these releases were culturally themed, as the singer shifted into a more roots-fired mode. Some of the most striking were recorded with the young Niney Holness, including "Beardman Feast," "The Coming of Jah," and the apocalyptic "Babylon Burning," which was co-written by Lee Perry.
A sense of an impending apocalypse was inherent to Rastafarianism as all of Jamaica was caught in its grip in the run-up to the 1972 election. Democracy has always carried a price tag of political violence on the island, but this year was particularly expensive. The conservative JLP party, which had run the country since independence a decade earlier, now for the first time faced serious opposition from the socialist PNP party. The result was an outbreak of violence across the island, as the opposing party supporters squared off on the streets. Both the urban poor and Rastafarians flocked to the PNP banner, while artists, too, made their preferences plain, although it may not seem that way to the uninitiated. Virtually all Old Testament references alluded to politics, with PNP leader Michael Manley personified by biblical heroes (normally Joshua, the nickname he was given by supporters), while JLP Prime Minister Harry Shearer was consigned to the role of villain.               

Let the Power Fall is the second studio album by Max Romeo, released in 1971. The album, in contrast to Romeo's debut A Dream, included politically charged material. It was engineered by Carlton Lee and Sid Bucknor.


Side A

  1. "Let the Power Fall"
  2. "Bachelor Boy"
  3. "Cracklin' Rosie"
  4. "Chatter Box "
  5. "Missing You"
Side B
  1. "Puppet on a String"
  2. "My Special Prayer"
  3. "Fowl Thief"
  4. "Hola Zion"
  5. "Macabee Version"

Max Romeo - Let The Power Fall (1971)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 19. Juli 2020

Eddie Gale ‎– Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music (1968) - Rest in peace!

Eddie Gale died July 10, 2020 - rest in peace!
The aesthetic and cultural merits of Eddie Gale's "Ghetto Music" cannot be overstated. That it is one of the most obscure recordings in Blue Note's catalog - paid for out of label co-founder Francis Wolff's own pocket - should tell us something.

This is an apocryphal album, one that seamlessly blends the new jazz of the '60s - Gale was a member of the Sun Ra Arkestra before and after these sides, and played on Cecil Taylor's Blue Note debut, "Unit Structures" - with gospel, soul, and the blues. Gale's sextet included two bass players and two drummers - in 1968 - as well as a chorus of 11 voices, male and female. Sound like a mess? Far from it. This is some of the most spiritually engaged, forward-thinking, and finely wrought music of 1968.

What's more is that, unlike lots of post-Coltrane free jazz, it's ultimately very listenable. Soloists come and go, but modes, melodies, and harmonies remain firmly intact. The beautiful strains of African folk music and Latin jazz sounds in "Fulton Street," for example, create a veritable chromatic rainbow. "A Walk with Thee" is a spiritual written to a march tempo with drummers playing counterpoint to one another and the front line creating elongated melodic lines via an Eastern harmonic sensibility. The final cut, "The Coming of Gwilu," moves from the tribal to the urban and everywhere in between using Jamaican thumb piano's, soaring vocals à la the Arkestra, polyrhythmic invention, and good, old-fashioned groove jazz, making something entirely new in the process. While Albert Ayler's "New Grass" was a failure for all its adventurousness, Eddie Gale's "Ghetto Music", while a bit narrower in scope, succeeds because it concentrates on creating a space for the myriad voices of an emerging African-American cultural force to be heard in a single architecture. This is militant music posessed by soul and spirit.     

  1. "The Rain" - 6:30
  2. "Fulton Street" - 6:51
  3. "A Understanding" - 7:41
  4. "A Walk With Thee" - 6:09
  5. "The Coming of Gwilu" - 13:37

Eddie Gale ‎– Eddie Gale's Ghetto Music  (1968)
(192 kbps, cover art included)   

Freitag, 17. Juli 2020

Nico - Live Heroes (1986)

This album is a compilation of live recordings by Nico with the Blue Orchids partially at the København Saltlagertet, Rotterdam, Netherlands, on October 5, 1982. Nico & The Invisible Girls "Procession / All Tomorrow Parties" 1982 single.

Originally released as an LP on yellow vinyl, "(Live) Heroes" is one of many collections of live and studio tracks by Nico released in her last years and after her death. She begins her cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" by asking the crowd, "Why do you give me so much gratitude?" Her own "Procession" and a cover of the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" are arranged by and performed with "the Invisible Girls," while the version of another Velvet Underground & Nico number, "Femme Fatale," features the Blue Orchids. "My Funny Valentine" proves to be an excellent choice for a cover song, as it was on Camera Obscura, and Nico has long since made the Doors' "The End" her own. This is a relatively brief, not particularly outstanding collection of familiar songs that will be of interest largely to confirmed Nico fans. One of the highlight is her version of 'My Funny Valentine' which is the most heartbreakingly beautiful rendition of that song I've ever heard


"Heroes" – 8:19 (David Bowie, Brian Eno)
"Procession" – 4:45 (Nico)
"My Funny Valentine" – 4:07 (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)
"All Tomorrow's Parties" – 5:28 (Lou Reed)
"Valley of the Kings" – 3:10 (Nico)
"Femme Fatale" – 3:07 (Lou Reed)
"The End" – 9:51 (The Doors)

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2020

Yusef Lateef ‎– The Three Faces Of Yusef Lateef (1960)

On "The Three Faces of Yusef Lateef", Riverside seems eager to present Yusef Lateef, technical virtuoso, on a series of songs that step closer to jazz tradition than any of his work in the recent past. Largely absent are Lateef's experiments with Eastern modes, rhythms, and instrumentation, and in their place is a collection of largely upbeat, accessible songs, with a balanced mix of standards and originals. 

Much of the introspective, personal quality of his previo us albums seems lost in the effort, but Lateef's playing still remains stellar, especially on oboe. That instrument, which is by nature soft and muted, is given enough power by Lateef to lead on several songs, most beautifully on "Salt Water Blues," where its naturally melancholy sound seems perfectly matched with the low, rounded tones of Lateef's rhythm section, especially Ron Carter's bowed cello. The quintet also shines on the following track, Joe Zawinul's "Lateef Minor 7th," where they provide a gentle counterpoint to Lateef's sweet flute line. Not quite as expansive or daring as much of Lateef's other recordings, "The Three Faces of Yusef Lateef" still documents a fine musician at work during the peak of his career.


Goin' Home 4:59
I'm Just A Lucky So And So 4:33
Quarantine 6:56
From Within 4:07
Salt Water Blues 6:44
Lateef Minor 7th 4:56
Adoration 4:28
Ma - He's Makin' Eyes At Me 5:50

Yusef Lateef ‎– The Three Faces Of Yusef Lateef (1960)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 15. Juli 2020

Gary Bartz ‎– Libra / Another Earth

Altoist Gary Bartz's first two recordings as a leader are reissued in full (except for one selection, "Disjunction," left off due to lack of space) on this 1998 CD. 

1967's "Libra" matches Bartz (then 26) with trumpeter Jimmy Owens, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Billy Higgins for four diverse originals including "Eastern Blues," a lyrical "Cabin in the Sky," the old hymn "Deep River," and Charlie Parker's "Bloomdido." 

"Another Earth" features Bartz dueting with bassist Reggie Workmanon "Lost in the Stars," performing three trio quartet numbers with Workman, pianist Stanley Cowell, and drummer Freddie Waits, and welcoming trumpeter Charles Tolliver and tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders (who is a little more restrained than usual) to the 23-and-a-half-minute, three-part "Another Earth." 

The music is advanced but not avant-garde, essentially falling into the genre of modern mainstream for the period. Even at this early stage, Bartz had a fairly distinctive sound and a strong musical style. Recommended.


1 Eastern Blues 3:59
2 Cabin In The Sky 3:59
3 Air And Fire 5:33
4 Libra 6:22
5 Bloomdido 4:46
6 Deep River 4:51
7 Freedom One Day 5:08
8 Another Earth 23:46
9 Dark Nebula 5:04
10 Ufo 4:49
11 Lost In The Stars 4:04
12 Perihelion And Aphelion 3:47

Gary Bartz ‎– Libra / Another Earth
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 14. Juli 2020

Mythen in Tüten - Die neue Kollektion! (1981)

Mythen in Tüten came from Hannover, where the band around the charismatic singer Emilio Winschetti was established in 1979. Also Lutz Worat (keyboards), Ingo Erlhoff (saxophone) and Rüdiger Klose (drums) formed the core of the band. 

The group operated music with the term Meta-Schlager and thus became one of the pioneers of commercial NDW. The debut single "Lady Di" was released on NO FUN Records in 1981. A short time later followed the debut album "DIE NEUE KOLLEKTION" (released on No Fun Records, too). A collection of fine popsongs, the group plays carefree at great ease and offers some amazing arrangements.


A1 Die Neue Kollektion 2:02
A2 Hochkant 4:39
A3 Südstadt-Spatz 2:17
A4 Fotoapparat 2:39
A5 Schöne Schuhe 3:17
A6 Mäzen 3:12
A7 Sansibar 2:17
B1 Herbst 3:43
B2 Tortellini 3:10
B3 Geruchssinn 1:50
B4 12 Finger 2:08
B5 Doppelgänger 2:46
B6 Digital 1:11
B7 Zeitsprung 3:05
B8 Ich Glaub' Dir Alles 1:49

Mythen in Tüten - Die neue Kollektion! (1981)(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 12. Juli 2020

Bhundu Boys ‎– Muchiyedza (Out Of The Dark)

The most commercially and creatively successful act ever to emerge from Zimbabwe, the Bhundu Boys embodied the world music zeitgeist of the mid-'80s. Creators of a frenetic, guitar-dominated style they dubbed "jit," they fused airy melodies, shimmering harmonies, and pulsating rhythms drawn from across the African continent to make music that was both alien and accessible. Taking their name from the guerrillas who backed Robert Mugabe in his successful war to win Zimbabwe's independence from Britain, the Bhundu Boys formed in April 1980 in the city of Harare, which translates literally (and, sadly, prophetically) as "death everywhere."

Lead guitarist Rise Kagona assembled the original lineup, which also included singer/guitarist Biggie Tembo, bassist David Mankaba, keyboardist Shakie Kangwena, and drummer Kenny Chitsvatsva. Making do with homemade instruments, the Bhundu Boys cut their teeth playing Western pop covers in township beer halls, and were a local phenomenon by the time they were discovered by erstwhile property developer Steve Roskilly, who cut their earliest sessions in his home studio, Shed. Their 1981 debut single, "Hatisitose," topped the Zimbabwean charts for three months straight, and in the years to follow the band scored three more national number ones with "Baba Munini Francis," "Wenhamo Haaneti," and "Ndimboze."


1 Kachembere
2 Hazviskanwe
3 Dorica
4 Mhunza Musha
5 Satan Ngaaparadzwe
6 Mumhanzi We Jit
7 Tamba Wega
8 Pafunge
9 Misodzi Pamatama

Bhundu Boys ‎– Muchiyedza (Out Of The Dark)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 11. Juli 2020

Sun Ra And His Arkestra - Jazz In Silhouette (1959)

Throughout their mid-to-late-'50s stay in Chicago, Sun Ra (piano) and his Arkestra established themselves as formidable purveyors of a new strain or sub-genre of jazz. Having evolved from elaborate reworkings of familiar standards, "Jazz in Silhouette" (1959) presents a collection of originals, building upon Ra's abilities as a consummate multi-tasker - writing, arranging, scoring parts for his band, in addition to performing.

He stretches the boundaries of the music to suit the Arkestra, simultaneously progressing his distinct sound. Seminal readings of the quick and complex "Saturn" and "Velvet" are offered with unmatchable dexterity and precision. The latter title comes off like a confused version of "Jeepers Creepers" as Hobart Dotson (trumpet) prominently displays his unquestionable tonality. "Ancient Aiethopia" is one of the more involved works, both in terms of length - running over nine minutes - and the Arkestra's capacity for Ra's compositions. "Blues at Midnight" is another expansive (nearly 12 minutes) outing that, by contrast, is for the soloists rather than full ensemble. John Gilmore (tenor sax), Ronnie Boykins (bass), Pat Patrick (baritone sax), and Marshall Allen (alto sax) all shine behind William Cochran's (drums) solid contributions.

Equally significant is the running dialogue Ra maintains during other musicians' leads, directing the ebb and flow with an uncanny fusion of melody and rhythm. Undoubtedly, this is a factor in the freshness the material retains. It is also a prime example of Ra and company in a transitional phase, prior to their full-fledged explorations into the avant-garde.

Recorded in 1959 at El Saturn Studio, Chicago, the album is one of three records that the Arkestra released in the 1950s - the other two being Jazz by Sun Ra and Super-Sonic Jazz. Originally released in a simple silk-screened cover credited to HP Corbissero, the album had gained its sci-fi cover, 'of half-naked women teleporting themselves over one of the moons of Saturn', credited to 'Evans'  by the early 1960s. The album was reissued by Impulse in 1974, and released on CD by Evidence in 1992.

When originally released, the album's sides were reversed, starting with Hours After at the beginning of side one, and ending side two with Ancient Aiethopia. Enlightenment in particular was to become a staple of the Arkestra's concerts, often featuring chanted lyrics. 


Ancient Aiethopia
Hours After
Blues at Midnight

Sun Ra And His Arkestra - Jazz In Silhouette (1959)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Janis Joplin & Full Tilt Boogie ‎– Honolulu 1970

Spinning in the 'rock room' today is a true original. Released after Joplin's death in 1970 by legendary bootleg producers Trademark of Quality, a yellow colored vinyl Get It While You Can immortalized Janis Joplin and the Full Tilt Boogie Band's 1970 performance at the Honolulu International Center Arena for an assembled crowd of 7,000+. The direct and very raw soundboard recording captures the entirety of Joplin's hour long set in surprisingly good sonic quality. The recording also captures a crazed crowd and much of the onstage discussions and song choice decisions that are called out by Joplin.

The recording I am enjoying is a transfer from the aforementioned original LP release. There are a few minor mix issues and anomalies but nothing that detracts from this special capture. Janis is feeling no pain and is obviously a bit fuzzy around the edges but performs admirably and is laid way back and not looking at the clock in any way. She chats with the crowd, kids with band members and puts on a wonderful late era performance. This recording a classic in every way, from the performance to pirated production.

The concert begins after the MC's introduction with a typical for the era, which means an excitable and sensual reading of 'Tell Mama'. The 'Full Tilt Boogie Band' which Janis referred to as her band opens it up with a mid song John Till guitar solo that pours out of the PA like molten lava racing for the sea. Janis brings down the groove and while squinting through the steam enters into her 'rap'. Beginning a sweet call and response section Janis reminds the 'rock room' of Presley during the same era. She is in complete control of the band and acts as a baton swinging R and B princess directing the groove.

After the conclusion of 'Tell Mama' some banging from the stage can be heard on the tape as Joplin tells the crowd that she and the band came for one reason and that is to rock. Joplin calls out for 'Half Moon' a song that would appear on Joplin's posthumous release, Pearl. A musical hero of the performance, Richard Bell on piano is stunning during this rendition. Bell, for those not aware was a the 'Revols' from Stratford, Ontario which also featured Richard Manuel of 'The Band'. The quivering guitar now gets funky and follows the big splashing cymbals in to the song proper. Classic big band Joplin. Janis pushes off from the safety of shore and gets it on. Till's first solo flies low almost banging tree tops setting the stage for the plethora of string acrobatics to follow. Joplin responds with hearty wines that syncopate with the high tempo rim shots. The song starts to dissolve into dusk with Joplin wailing to the sky before reaching a starry silence and concluding in a big way.

The concert continues in this breathless fashion as the Joplin penned 'Move Over' follows. The track would later appear on Janis's last album Pearl as the opening song. Beginning a gunshot snare from drummer Clark Pierson with a Joplin cry of 'Get it on' the song slams into the venue's shared seating bumping anyone close by to the floor. Till's steel wool guitar duets with Joplin through the verses. Joplin encourages the increasingly rowdy crowd to singalong. Relentlessly 'Move Over' churns from the stage while Joplin plaintively pleads for her man to stop playing with her and to just move on with it. The band shifts for the solo segment and digs in for the most intense musical movement of the evening thus far. While not breaking down the barriers of the song Janis shows great control, patience and presence while touching the edges of orgasm. She howls with eyes closed ecstasy' while still keeping the tension from breaching the musical framework. Stunning.

Following the accelerated R and B and euphoric vibe that has just occurred since the opener, the band takes some time to deal with some guitar issues and technical problems. The tape revels some classic stage banter that I will leave for you my treasured listener to discover. The band tosses out various tuning quotes including 'Tequila' before the thick breaking into the gooey sweet center of the concert.

The 'soul' set of the concert begins here.The band enters into a cover of 'Maybe' originally performed by the 'Chantels' in 1958. Highlighted by dramatic organ flourishes by Ken Pearson the song is stamped with stuttering drums and well times caesura's. Joplin's vocals are sweet Southern Comfort and swirl around the arrangement like the last thick swig in a bar glass.

'Summertime' starts in the same tractor tracks of 'Maybe', except its arrangement is floral and as vibrant as diffused sunlight. The song though only two years removed seems like ages because of Joplin's brisk maturity and constant artistic flux. Full Tilt channels Big Brother but in a tighter wrapping here as 'Summertime' plays from a psychedelic music box. Joplin is again in fine form directing the band up and over and under and around as 'Summertime' gets a heavy response from the crowd.

Joplin then takes the opportunity to introduce her band of 'Canadians'. The only American in the band being drummer Clark Pierson.There again follows some prime dialog from the stage here as Janis invites someone in the crowd to 'Pearl's House' for drinks if they can make it. Again, I'll leave it to the listener to enjoy these audio verite' moments of Joplin. There is no doubt that Joplin is nipping good as the show continues into the evening.

Introduced as a 'kind of a new song', One of Joplin's signature cuts, 'Get It While You Can' becomes the centerpiece of the elegant place setting of music developed by the performance. The track illustrates Joplin's range and soul in a sympathetic arrangement. While not an 'all time' reading, this version stays true to the good time, easy vibe of the show. Bell's saloon piano and the slow steady rhythmic sway support Joplin's breathy verses. Prime Janis.

Closing the main set is a dynamic version of 'Kozmic Blues', a song from the 1969 LP I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!. The song starts low and ends high becoming a triumphant detonation of sound by its conclusion. The band corners with Joplin for every tight turn. Janis initiates a sing along throughout her series of falsetto exclamations, the whips the crowd into a frenzy documented by the recording. Perfectly placed and paced the performance ends confidently and stunningly.

The MC returns and tries to contain the crowd while controlling his own excitement. You can tell that something is going down in the auditorium from the audio evidence, but I cannot confirm what. Joplin and the band return in response to the crowds calls and unidentified chaos to which Janis says, 'Figure out what it costs and I'll pay for it'. She then calls for 'Piece of My Heart' which is played in a uptempo but somewhat tired fashion. I think Janis is feeling really good at this point of the show. The oft played but mega popular song gives the crowd even greater reason to celebrate and at its conclusion the response is tangible. The MC explains Janis and the band have left as the crowd screams for more.

Janis Joplin's classic performance and bootleg recording from Honolulu 1970 has made the rounds for years and rightfully so. While arguably not the 'best' Joplin performance available, its charm is in the edgy vibe, the honest unadorned soundboard mix, the insane crowd and Janis's awesome vocals and raps. The recording is a rock time capsule trapped in the grooves of the original yellow vinyl release, released by enterprising collectors and passed on for eternity for rock fans like all of us. Janis would not be long for the earth after these Summer 1970 concerts, throw this recording on to find her performing like there is no tomorrow. -


1 Tell Mama
2 Half Moon
3 Mover Over
4 Stage Problems
5 Maybe
6 Summertime
7 Band Introduction
8 Get It While You Can
9 Kozmic Blues
10 Encore Break
11 Piece Of My Heart

Janis Joplin & Full Tilt Boogie ‎– Honolulu 1970
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 9. Juli 2020

Sun Ra - Nuits De La Fondation Maeght, Vol. 2 (1971)

This is the second of two 7" EPs derived from Sun Ra and his Arkestra's August 1970 run at the Nuits de la Fondation Maeght (1970). Historically noteworthy is that the Saint Paul de Vence, Côte d'Azur, France, shows marked the first time the extended aggregate would play for a European audience.

Their excitement translates into what is unquestionably one of the strongest live documents to exist from this period. Many potential listeners may be initially dismayed at the seeming discord that is inherent in the free and avant-garde subgenres. For them, Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Vol. 2 might be a good starting place as it offers up a variety of styles from within the open-ended framework.

"Friendly Galaxy Number 2" is a brooding and edgy mid-tempo affair, highlighted by the rhythm section's smouldering restraint beneath the alternately plaintive and sinuous wails from Alan Silva (violin). This segues into the entire Arkestra as it joins in on a carefree and buoyant "Spontaneous Simplicity." Once again, Silva shines, albeit this time on electric bass guitar. His syncopated pulsations are viscous enough to ably swaddle the aggressive percussive ensemble. On this piece, Ra's electric piano runs are among his most melodic, as he gently weaves around the well-placed chord progressions. The brass section also reasserts itself for some stellar interaction at the song's conclusion. "The World of Lightning" may have been the Arkestra's encore, judging by the rhythmic applause from the audience at the beginning of the song. After preliminary disjointed inflections from Ra's Mini Moog and John Goldsmith's percussive gong and tympani interjections, Marshall Allen (sax) provides blistering leads atop of what evolves into a full-blown and substantial Arkestra assault. This somewhat abruptly resolves into a profound, if not definitive reading of the epic "Black Myth," commencing with June Tyson's spoken "The Shadows Took Shape" and "The Strange World" recitations. The band counters with incisive precision, which trails into a ferocious bout of the Moog from Ra during the "Journey Through the Outer Darkness" movement. "Sky" is a brief concluding solo from Allen on haubois -- a predecessor to the modern-day oboe -- that cuts off mid-stream.


Friendly Galaxy Number 2 8:46
Spontaneous Simplicity 10:50
The World Of The Lightening 5:54
Black Myth 8:32
  a) The Shadows Took Shape
  b) This Strange World
  c) Journey Through The Outer Darkness
Sky 2:01

Sun Ra - Nuits De La Fondation Maeght, Vol. 2
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 8. Juli 2020

Sun Ra - Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Vol. 1 (1970)

Nuits de la Fondation Maeght, Vol. 1 (1970) is the first of two releases capturing Sun Ra and the Arkestra at Saint Paul de Vence, Côte d'Azur, France, in August of 1970, on what was their first European excursion. As a rule, free and avant-garde jazz are a decidedly acquired taste. However, for discerning palettes, these installments present the aggregate at their absolute pinnacle in terms of performance and inspiration. 

The four works included here offer a wide variety of styles and approaches, proving that the combo were far more multifaceted and involved than often given credit for. "Enlightenment" is a suitable opener, featuring a vocal duet between June Tyson (vocals) and John Gilmore (tenor sax/drums/vocals). This ambles subtly into another brief lyric on "The Star Gazers," followed by an inventive and elaborate piano solo from Ra. The bandleader is clearly enthused throughout, translating in what is perceived as even quicker and more potent inflections. These continue during a full-ensemble reading of "Shadow World," which is given a worthy workout. The flurry and fury in Marshall Allen's alto sax are countered with more of Ra's highly intricate assertions. 

One of the most inspired keyboard performances from Ra is the appropriately titled "Cosmic Explorer." There are moments that vacillate from terrifying to sublime as the artist methodically investigates the sounds, carefully constructing his progressive arrangements. Much like the Arkestra presentation, Ra's solos are complex, more than making up for any lack of structure with a motivated performance. Enthusiasts should note that both volumes of Nuits de la Fondation Maeght were issued on CD from an excellent quality tape (read: non-vinyl) source on Comet Records in 2003.


Enlightment 2:56
The Star Gazers 3:08
Shadow World 13:20
The Cosmic Explorer 19:45

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 3. Juli 2020

Eric Dolphy - Outward Bound (1960)

The late multi-reed player/composer Eric Dolphy, one of the most pivotal figures in jazz, was a fiercely lyrical, imaginative musician at the forefront of the changes the music underwent in the 1960s. Dolphy, unlike some of his contemporaries, never totally abandoned the bebop approach of soloing over chord changes, but instead took his solos to fresh, expressive heights. 

"Outward Bound", a quintet session from 1960, shows Dolphy in a somewhat transitional phase, his music closer to the hard bop of the late '50s than the free jazz of the '60s. "245" is a late-night blues on which Dolphy, on alto, testifies his feeling and loyalty to the form. The standard "Glad to Be Unhappy" is given a lovely, lively reading on flute, with the band providing appropriately spare, sympathetic accompaniment. "Miss Ann" features Dolphy swinging the bass clarinet with joyous abandon, as well as some crackling Freddie Hubbard trumpet. A highlight of this session is the imaginative, tasteful drumming of Roy Haynes, who has played with everyone from Charlie Parker to Pat Metheny.

Jazz critic Martin Williams wrote the following about the album: "From the first selection on Dolphy's first album under his own name... it was obvious that fresh and important talent had arrived."

Reviewer J. Hunter wrote the following about "G.W.": "While the rest of the band lays down beats and fills that would not be out of place on any bop date, Dolphy steps out of the head to blister us with a mind-boggling, lightning-fingered alto solo that threatens to go over a cliff at any moment. Dolphy and his partners maintain this unorthodox balancing act throughout the 1960 session."


A1 G.W.  8:00
A2 Green Dolphin Street  5:51
A3 Les  5:13
B1 245  6:56
B2 Glad To Be Unhappy  5:27
B3 Miss Toni  5:47

(320 kbps, cover art included)