Mittwoch, 12. Mai 2021

Pete Seeger - Dangerous Songs (1966)

In 1966, when the topical song movement had gained national attention through the newly written material of Bob Dylan and such compatriots as Tom Paxton and Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger set out to demonstrate that "protest" songs were not a new thing by putting together an album largely made up of traditional material that had its roots in long-since-forgotten political issues, everything from the nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner" to the Civil War march "John Brown's Body."
 
Further, Seeger suggested that everything is political, whether it's the apparently comic children's song "Beans in My Ears" or that piece of Irish advice "Never Wed an Old Man." ("In the long run, the most truly dangerous songs of all may prove to be love songs and lullabies," he wrote in the liner notes.)

And then there were songs that all would agree are political (though humorous), such as "The Pill" and Ochs' "Draft Dodger Rag." The resulting collection is one of Seeger's funniest, and at the same time most pointed albums. It took Columbia Records 32 years to reissue it on CD, with three bonus tracks from the sessions.

When the era of hootenanny of the fifties and early sixties were gone, and Pete Seeger was no longer one of the Weavers, he challenged the American conscience with these "dangerous songs." And why dangerous? We must not forget that in an age of McCarthy and his witchhunts, people like Pete Seeger were in danger of being labeled communists and being persecuted whenever they gave a wake-up call to common sense, social responsibility and budding eco-awareness. One of the songs,DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI (thoughts are free) an adaptation of a song long used among German-speaking cultures has been around since the 16th or 17thcentury (country or time of origin not entirely clear), needed only to be whistled or hummed to indicate to others that the whistler was a freedom-seeker.What a fine choice of a song to bring to the "silent majority" opposing war in general, and the Vietnam War in particular.
 

Paul Robeson - Paul Robeson singt (ETERNA)


Paul Leroy Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an American concert singer (bass), recording artist, actor, athlete, and scholar who was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement in the first half of the 20th century.
He gained international attention for his work in the arts and he merged his artistic career with political activism to speak out for the equality of minorities and the rights of workers throughout the world.

His friendship with the Soviet Union USSR and the Soviet peoples plus criticism of the lack of progress in civil rights in the United States (US) at the outset of the Cold War and during the age of McCarthyism brought scrutiny, conflict and retribution from the American government. His public persona became diminished, his income plummeted and he faced isolation from the Civil Rights Movement in the second half of the 20th century.

Robeson endured McCarthyism and briefly returned to the artistic spotlight, but the events in the 1950s combined with ongoing severe health breakdowns well into the 1960s virtually destroyed his health. Robeson lived out the last years of his life privately in Philadelphia.

Here´s a compilation released on ETERNA in 1976:

01 - O Honey Baby Feelin' Mighty Low
02 - Now My Soul Is A Whiteness
03 - Go Down Moses
04 - Yiddish Folk Song
05 - Song of the Warsaw Ghetto
06 - Viva La 5. Brigada
07 - The Four Generals
08 - Russian Folk Song
09 - Volga Boat Song
10 - Ol' Man River
11 - John Brown's Body (Glory Glory Halleluja)
12 - Goin' home
13 - Joe Hill
14 - O Mistress Mine
15 - Baby sleeping in Thy Cradle Swinging (Schlafe, holder süßer Knabe)
16 - O Isis And Osiris
17 - Brother Sing Your Countries Anthem (Freude schöner Götterfunken)

Paul Robeson - Paul Robeson singt (ETERNA)
(320 kbps, cover art included)



Here you can read the lecture "Paul Robeson - schwarzer Zeit- und Kampfgenosse von Ernst Busch (Hans Christian Nørregaard, 20. Mai 2011 bei Helle Panke e.V.).

Jean Ritchie, Oscar Brand & David Sear - A Folk Concert In Town Hall, New York (1959)

A spirited 1959 live set from the ongoing duo of Jean Ritchie and Oscar Brand (with their usual banjo-playing accompanist, Dave Sear, getting equal billing for the first time), "A Folk Concert in Town Hall, New York" sounds downright jubilant most of the time. 

Although Ritchie and Brand had long and successful solo careers, there's something special about their harmonies. Unlike many of the more mannered and academic folksingers of the age -- Pete Seeger comes immediately to mind -- Jean Ritchie grew up singing these songs for fun, and that brand of unfeigned enthusiasm comes through on her freewheeling renditions of familiar tunes like "Shortenin Bread" (sung as a round with Brand and Sear) and "Shady Grove." 

Even less familiar to the casual folk fan, nuggets like "Ennery My Son" and "The Inniskillin Dragoon" sound intimate and lived-in (Brand, who had a sideline in risqué folk ditties, spins the occasional double entendre with dry wit) in comparison to the technically "correct" but often far-too-stiff versions so common in the '50s folk revival. 

"A Folk Concert in Town Hall, New York" is an impressive addition to both Jean Ritchie and Oscar Brand's catalogs.


Tracklist:

Shortnin' Bread
Ha Ha This-A-Way
Shady Grove
The Rolling Of The Stones
Pretty Polly
The Admiral
Dhrinnin Dhu Dhrinnin
My Boy Willy
Jenny Jenkins
Poor Howard
Lord Randall
Ennery My Son
The Inniskillin Dragoon
Trip Trap Robbers In The Sea
The Talking Atom
Aiken Drum
Fair And Tender Ladies
Black-Eyed Susie


Jean Ritchie, Oscar Brand & David Sear - A Folk Concert In Town Hall, New York (1959)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 11. Mai 2021

Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - But Two Came By... (1968)

Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick continue their bold and virtuosic transformation of traditional songs and melodies on this 1968 set, adding a memorable treatment of Sidney Carter’s Lord of the Dance.

Fans of Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span will find the clean, stripped down, spirited performances here a revelation: The beautiful, original "Lord of the Dance" (which transforms the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" into something wonderful in its own right), a delightfully ominous reading of "The White Hare," a lively "Banks of Sweet Primroses" (which, in various forms, became part of the repertories of numerous folk-rock revival bands), and, most impressive of all, a dazzling rendition of "Jack Orion." Carthy's voice (featured acapella on the beautiful "Creeping Jane" and the ominous "Lord Lankin") is a very fine instrument, he gets a surprisingly rich sound from his single guitar, and Swarbrick's violin is all the support he really needs. And lest anyone doubt that this record was done during England's flower-power era, check out the acoustic psychedelic-folk version of Leon Rosselson's "Brass Band Music."        

Tracklist:

Ship In Distress
Banks Of Sweet Primroses
Jack Orion
Matt Hyland
White Hare
Lord Of The Dance
Poor Murdered Woman
Creeping Jane
Streets Of Forbes
Long Lankin
Brass Band Music
 
  
Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - But Two Came By... (1968)  
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Montag, 10. Mai 2021

Anita Lane - Dirty Pearls (1993)

On 28 April 2021, it was announced that Anita Lane had died at age 61. Thanks for the wonderful music and rest in peace!


Nick Cave:
"You think you know grief, you think you’ve worked out its mechanics, you think you’ve become grief-savvy — stronger, wiser, more resilient — you think that there is nothing more that can hurt you in this world, and then Anita dies."
"Everyone wanted to work with her but it was like trying to trap lightning in a bottle. Mick Harvey managed to coral her into the recording studio, but these precious offerings are a fraction of what she was."
"She was the brains behind The Birthday Party, wrote a bunch of their songs, wrote ‘From Her to Eternity’, ‘The World’s a Girl’, ’Sugar in a Hurricane’ and my favourite Bad Seeds song, ‘Stranger Than Kindness’, but was much more than that."



Not so much an album as a collection organized in reverse chronological order, Dirty Pearl takes in just about all the various tracks Lane had recorded by herself or with other groups over a decade's worth of recording. Given her early association with Nick Cave and the Birthday Party, it's little surprise that Cave and various Bad Seeds and associated bands, like Einstürzende Neubaten and Die Haut, crop up as backing performers, while Mick Harvey handles most of the production and instrumentation and Barry Adamson contributes some of his sharp arranging skills here and there. If a bit fragmented as a result, Dirty Pearl still makes for an involving listen, demonstrating clearly that her work is worth taking on its own terms instead of simply being a Cave footnote. Besides having a good if at points girlish voice, albeit one that she's shown more control over with time -- rather like Cave! -- she has a taste for smoky sonic settings for her vocals, sometimes low-key and sly, other times frenetic even as she keeps her cool. Her ear for cover versions, in particular, shows somebody unafraid of taking chances -- besides a gripping revamp of the Sisters Sledge hit "Lost in Music," backed in part by Cave and Adamson that originally appeared on the Dirty Sings EP, there's also a more recent take on Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing." Compared to the near-contemporary Soul Asylum groan through the same song, Lane hits incredible heights, her delivery sensuous even as the familiar melody becomes a beautifully dramatic film noir tearjerker. Her originals, including a slew of excellent numbers co-written with Harvey, like the ruined cowboy/western sorrow of "Jesus Almost Got Me" and the heavy moodout of "Picture of Mary," a collaboration with Blixa Bargeld, are just as fine.


Sleevenotes: "Recorded in Berlin, London, Sydney and Melbourne 1993 - 1982. Presented here in reverse chronological order."
Album includes some previously released tracks: The Dirty Sings EP (tracks 10 to 13), "Blume" (track 4) from Tabula Rasa, "How Long" (track 5) from Head On and "A Prison In The Desert" (track 9) from Ghosts ...Of The Civil Dead.

Tracklist:



1 Jesus Almost Got Me 2:34
2 The Groovy Guru 3:09
3 Sexual Healing 5:39
4 Blume 4:33
5 Subterranean World (How Long...?) 5:51
6 Picture of Mary 4:14
7 The World's a Girl 3:20
8 Stories of Your Dreams 2:50
9 A Prison in the Desert 2:50
10 If I Should Die 3:01
11 I'm a Believer 4:45
12 Lost in Music 4:37
13 Sugar in a Hurricane 4:10
14 The Fullness of His Coming 2:54


Anita Lane - Dirty Pearls (1993)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 8. Mai 2021

Lizzy Mercier Descloux ‎– Suspense (1988)

After swinging from no wave experimentalism to internationalist grooves on her first four albums, Lizzy Mercier Descloux was asked to do something new on LP Number Five: deliver a sure-fire hit. Released in 1984, "Zulu Rock" produced a surprise hit single in Europe, "Mais où Sont Passées les Gazelles?," but EMI Records wanted bigger returns for her fifth album, especially after the critical and commercial disappointment of 1986's "One for the Soul". Mercier Descloux was credited as co-producer on 1988's "Suspense", but the real overseers of the project were Mark Cunningham (who Lizzy knew from her days on New York's no wave scene when he was a member of MARS) and John Brand (who had previously worked with Aztec Camera, the Waterboys, Magazine, and Gene Loves Jezebel), and they delivered Mercier Descloux's most polished work. 

"Suspense" is a work of slick Eurocentric pop that sounds very '80s, from the popping basslines and cracking drum sounds to the jangling guitars and trademark synth patches. The horns and Latin percussion glance to the flavors of Mercier Descloux's previous work, and Kim Burton's accordion work adds a welcome Parisian flair, but despite it all this is Lizzy's least musically interesting album.

However, in spite of this, Mercier Descloux's vocal work is excellent on "Suspense", and she rarely sounded as confident and emphatic as she does on this material, especially on the French-language numbers, where she seems to be truly in her element. It's a shame that "Suspense" proved to be the last album Lizzy Mercier Descloux would release in her lifetime -- for all its flaws, it shows that she continued to grow and mature as a vocalist even in less than inspired surroundings, and if it had been a hit, the success could have earned her the chance to do something more idiosyncratic.


Tracklist:

Gypsy Flame 3:06
Cape Desire 3:44
Salomé 3:48
Lucky Strike Drive 4:06
The Long Goodbye 5:24
Playtime 4:13
Hurricane 4:26
Once Upon A Time Out 3:35
Echec Et Mat 3:19
A Room In New York 4:19

(192 kbps,cover art included)

Freitag, 7. Mai 2021

Belina - Jeder träumt seine eigenen Träume (1963)

Belina was born on February 6, 1925 in Treblinka, Poland as Lea-Nina Rodzynek. As a young woman, Lea-Nina fled to Germany, where she found work in a factory with fake documents and under a false name. When the fraud was discovered she was arrested and deported to a concentration camp, from which she escaped. She managed to be hidden until the end of the Third Reich. Paris was the first station in the freedom. There she traveled as a singer through the many taverns where the people called her "the Black Angel from Montparnasse".

She spoke six languages: Polish, English, Yiddish, Russian and German. Yet, she was also able to express herself and sing in another dozen foreign languages.

Belina performed in 1964/65 in more than 120 countries - a triumphant series of concerts which met with one rave review after another.
During her world tour with guitarist Siegfried Behrend, she was once given the score of a Korean folksong at noon with the request that she sing it the same evening. Belina sang it and the following day the concert reviews spoke of her rendition of the song in Korean as being a natural part of her - so convincing and immediate was the quality of her singing.
In 1981 she made a final, very beautiful, but unfortunately unacknowledged LP recording with guitarist Ladi Geisler. After this project, Belina retired from show business.
She was also an actress, known for "Treffpunkt Baden-Baden" (1964), "Rhythmus der Nationen" (1962) "Das gefällt auch morgen noch" (1963) and "Hoheit liebt nur dufte Puppen" (1965).

Belina died on December 12, 2006 in Hamburg, Germany.

The album "Jeder träumt seine eigenen Träume" features original recordings from a TV show in March 1963 called "Belina - Porträt einer Sängerin".


Tracklist:

A1 Exodus (Ein Land Ist Mein)
A2 Hava Naghila
A3 Dreh' Dich Nicht Um Nach Fremden Schatten (Le Grisbi)
A4 A Yiddische Momme
A5 Le Bonheur
A6 Blue Balalaika
B1 Jeder Träumt Seine Eigenen Träume
B2 Ich Weiß, Es Wird Einmal Ein Wunder Gescheh'n
B3 Tamburine
B4 Man Hat Uns Nicht Gefragt
B5 Einsamkeit (Blue Melody)
B6 Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Nein, Es Tut Mir Nicht Leid)


(192 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 5. Mai 2021

Zulus ‎– Destruction Is The Art Of Creation (1996)

Conscious hip-hop of the mid-1990s from the UK focused on society's ills, reminiscent of Public Enemy, Paris, P.O.W.E.R., or the Brotherhood. 

Check out the bass-banging tracks, such as "Black Power," "Attack the Structure," or the rock-heavy tracks "Ruffneck" or "Instruments of Genocide." A lot of mellow track as well, but sharp and powerful messages throughout.


Tracklist:

Mission Imperative 6:13
Radio Skit 0:32
Black Power 5:13
Zulu Soul 4:36
Ruffneck 4:15
Live N Direk (4 Da Headz) 3:52
Rich Man Poor Man 4:48
Nah Go Slip 3:58
Attack Da Structure 4:28
Fight Da Force 4:29
No Otha Pussy 5:23
Black Britain 4:48
Instruments Of Genocide 5:33
Thoughts Uplifted 4:28
No Change 4:38
Rough Justice 3:37
On Da Phone 0:20

Zulus ‎– Destruction Is The Art Of Creation (1996)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 4. Mai 2021

Maria Bethania - Recital Na Boite Barroco (1968)

Maria Bethânia Viana Teles Veloso (born June 18, 1946) is a Brazilian singer and songwriter. Born in Santo Amaro, Bahia, she started her career in Rio de Janeiro in 1964 with the show "Opinião" ("Opinion"). Due to its popularity, with performances all over the country, and the popularity of her 1965 single "Carcará", the artist became a star in Brazil.

Bethânia is the sister of the singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso and of the writer-songwriter Mabel Velloso, as well as being aunt of the singers Belô Velloso and Jota Velloso

She recorded "Recital Na Boite Barroco" for the Odeon label in 1968 and it was reissued on compact disc in 2007 by EMI. This passionate interpreter of Brazilian popular song was some three years into her recording career when she was taped in live performance with the Tamba Trio (pianist Luiz Eca, bassist Bebeto, and percussionist Helcio Milito). The Maria Bethânia heard on this album was already an adept handler of intimate ballads, jazz samba and bossa nova. Standing as it does among the earliest entries in her discography, "Recital Na Boite Barroco" serves as a pleasant prologue to her major triumphs of the '70s and her subsequent successes over the years.

Tracklist:

Marginália II
Carinhoso
Se Todos Fossem Iguais A Você
Último Desejo
Camisa Listada
Marina
O Que Tinha De Ser
Molambo
Lama
Pano Legal
Café Soçaite
Pé da Roseira
Êle Falava Nisso Todo Dia
Baby
Maria, Maria

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 2. Mai 2021

Mikis Theodorakis, Maria Farantouri, Petros Pandis - Canto General (1975)

An historical recording of the first performance in Athens, of "Canto General", the "Bible of South America" composed by Mikis Theodorakis, on the poetry of the Nobelist Chilean "national poet", Pablo Neruda. Maria Farantouri and Petros Pandis are singing in spanish, the original Neruda lyrics. They are backed by the National Chorus of France, the Percussions of Strasbourg and a Greek Folk Orchestra with two great bouzouki soloists. This live recording is unique, since it immortalized the superb enthousiastic atmosphere created by 75.000 applauding spectators. A collector's item, recorded live on August 13, 1975, at the Karaiskakis-Stadium, Pireus and on August 16, 1975, at the Panathinaikos-Stadium, Athens, by Polysound Studio.
.
The "General Song" or "Canto General" is the ultimate creation of the greatest of "the soul engineers", the Chilean Pablo Neruda. In these burning pages he is poet, revolutionist, soldier, chilean, american, universal. Neruda honors the people and the people honors Neruda. Never again such a deep, close and glorious union between a nation and a poet has been achieved. Canto General is the voice of the people, of all the nations of the World. Mikis Theodorakis was touched and impressed and added his own magic touch. And the result was a masterpiece, by all means.

Tracklist:

01. Manos Katrakis - Prologue
02. Maria Farantouri - Algunas bestias
03. Petros Pandis - Voy a vivir 1949
04. Maria Farantouri - Los libertadores
05. Petros Pandis - La United Fruit Co.
06. Maria Farantouri - Vienen los pajaros
07. Maria Farantouri - Vegetaciones
08. Petros Pandis - America insurrecta 1800

Mikis Theodorakis, Maria Farantouri, Petros Pandis - Canto General (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Ex & Tom Cora - And The Weathermen Shrug Their Shoulders

The second album of this winning collaboration between the legendary independent post-punk group and avant garde cellist Tom Cora sees the group continue to indulge their collective love for European folk themes and free improvisation.

At moments, the stuttering, angular Gang of Four sound rises up, and the group carries a stilted groove through the extended pieces, when their trademark skittering guitars walk a line between artful control and willful chaos, recalling their explosive Crass-like '80s sound. While the delicate melodious folk patters, curious improvised sound-searching marked a new tangent the group followed into a total free-form improvisation inspired by the likes of avant-garde jazz associates Han Bennink and Misha Mengelberg.

They never left their punk roots behind ,however. The Ex is one of the genre's most interesting and inventive groups.               

Tracklist:
  1. "Dere Geliyor Dere" - 4:20
  2. "The Big Black" - 5:33
  3. "What's the Story" - 2:19
  4. "Lamp Lady" - 3:48
  5. "One-Liner from China" - 1:32
  6. "Everything and Me" - 3:59
  7. "New Clear Daze" - 4:41
  8. "Oh Puckerlips Now" - 4:04
  9. "Empty V" - 2:25
  10. "Okinawa Mon Amour" - 2:26
  11. "Dear House" - 4:41
  12. "Conviction Going Gaga" - 1:36
  13. "Stupid Competitions" - 4:15
  14. "Hickwall" - 3:11
  15. "War OD" - 6:12
  16. "Untitled" - 2:01
The Ex & Tom Cora - And The Weathermen Shrug Their Shoulders
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 1. Mai 2021

Patricio Manns, Karaxu, Angel Parra – Chile: Songs For The Resistance (1975)

"In every epoch, certain struggles against oppression have come down through history and sum up for us in a single heroic shout the great reservoir of courage and humanity which is the common birthright of all people. France of 1789, Russia of 1917, China of 1949, Cuba of 1959; these are both milestones and symbols, the tradition of revolution which demonstrates that historically all reactionaries have been, in essence, paper tigers. That a people united can never be defeated. But not every symbol is a victorious one. The world has borne to witness to the bloody coup of September 1973 which swallowed and destroyed the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende..."




Tracklist:

A1 Patricio Manns– La Cancion De Luciano 5:40
A2 Patricio Manns– La Ventana 5:25
A3 Patricio Manns– La Resistencia Se Organiza 4:56
A4 Patricio Manns– Bolivariana 3:30
B1 Daniel Viglietti– Solo Digo Compañeros 2:22
B2 Patricio Manns– Los Libertadores 4:30
B3 Patricio Manns– La Dignidad Se Hace Costumbre 3:55
B4 Patricio Manns– Ya No Somos Nosotros 2:40
B5 José Durán– Carta A Mi Compañero 5:36
B6 José Durán– Trabajadores Al Poder 2:50

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 30. April 2021

Atahualpa Yupanqui - Basta Ya (1977)

Argentinean folk icon Atahualpa Yupanqui became one of the most valuable treasures for the local culture. As a child living in the small town of Roca, province of Buenos Aires, Héctor Roberto Chaverowas seduced by traditional music, especially by the touching sound of the acoustic guitar. After taking violin lessons, the young man began learning how to play guitar, having musician Bautista Almirón as his teacher. 

For many years, Atahualpa Yupanqui traveled around his native country, singing folk tunes and working as muleteer, delivering telegrams, and even working as a journalist for a Rosario newspaper. In the late '30s, the artist started recording songs, making his debut as a writer in 1941 with Piedra Sola, later writing a famous novel called Cerro Bajo. 

In 1949, the singer/songwriter went on tour around Europe for the first time, including performances with France's Edith Piaf. During the following decades Atahualpa Yupanqui achieved an impressive amount of national and international recognition, becoming an essential artist, a distinguished Latin American troubadour, and influencing many prominent musicians and Argentinean folk groups. Atahualpa Yupanqui passed away in France in May, 1992.


Tracklist:

A1 Basta Ya! - Basta 5:35
A2 La Pobrecita - Die Arme Kleine 2:57
A3 El Pampino - Der Pampino 2:50
A4 El Alazan - Der Fuchs 5:00
A5 Chilca Juliana - Chilca Juliana 2:00
A6 Lo Miro Al Viento Y Me Rio - Ich Sehe Ihn Im Wind, Und Ich Lache 3:00
B1 Baguala Del Minero - Baguala Des Bergmanns 4:15
B2 La Flecha - Der Pfeil 2:55
B3 Vidala Del Yanarca - Vidala Des Yanarca 3:30
B4 Yo Quiero Un Caballo Negro - Ich Wünsche Mir Ein Schwarzes Pferd 2:20
B5 De Aquellos Cerros Vengo - Ich Komme Aus Diesen Bergen 2:00
B6 Salmo A La Guitarra - Psalm An Die Gitarre 5:20


Atahualpa Yupanqui - Basta Ya (1977)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Oliver Nelson with Eric Dolphy - Straight Ahead (1961)

A very interesting quintet set, "Straight Ahead" matches together Oliver Nelson (on alto and tenor) and Eric Dolphy (tripling on alto, flute, and bass clarinet). With the assistance of pianist Richard Wyands, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Roy Haynes, the two reedmen battle it out on six compositions (five of Nelson's originals plus Milt Jackson's "Ralph's New Blues." Although none of Nelson's tunes caught on, this is a pretty memorable date. It certainly took a lot of courage for Oliver Nelson to share the front line with the colorful Eric Dolphy, but his own strong musical personality holds its own on this straight-ahead date.

Joe Goldberg recalls: "The session was scheduled for one in the afternoon and I arrived at 3:30, thinking that by then the music would have been rehearsed and the men would be starting to play. What I found was a studio empty of everyone but A&R man Esmond Edwards", the supervisor, "and engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who were packing up to leave and looking very satisfied." Released in 1961 for the Prestige/New Jazz label (as NJ 8255) and remastered in 1989, the album is notable for its long and thoughtful horn duets by Dolphy and Nelson. Don DeMicheal described the album "All in all, a warm, very human record".

In the original liner notes, Joe Goldberg talks about some of the tracks in the album: "Six and Four" is so named because the piece shifts from 6/4 to 4/4. "Mama Lou" is named for Nelson's older sister, a teacher in St. Louis. Nelson stated that his sister was "one of those people who displays two different moods" and that he "tried to capture them both." Last but not least, "111-44" was so named because of an address number, the one from which Nelson had just moved.

Tracklist:

Images
Six And Four
Mama Lou
Ralph's New Blues
Straight Ahead
111-44

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 29. April 2021

Gal Costa - Gal Costa (1969)

A lot changed between Gal Costa's pleasantly straightforward 1967 debut "Domingo" and her eponymous follow-up two years later. "Domingo", also a debut for young Brazilian songwriter Caetano Veloso, featured a set of airy, somewhat standard bossa nova tunes, sung ably by Costa. 

Mere months after the release of this relatively safe debut, however, Costa and Veloso found themselves alongside Os Mutantes, Tom Zé, and Gilberto Gil, recording contributions to "Tropicália: Ou Panis et Circencis", the unofficial manifesto of the Tropicalismo movement. The compilation dove headfirst into avant-garde experimentalism, embracing the psychedelic tendencies happening in American underground circles, and the politically charged energy of radical dissent to Brazil's ongoing military dictatorship. 
This wild new hybrid of Brazilian pop and far-reaching outside influences resulted in something instantly miles away from everything that came before it, and Costa's self-titled Tropicalismo debut is no exception.

The album begins with a flutter of psychedelic echo effects, dissolving into gloriously lush string arrangements and lighthearted organ on "Nao Identificado," a brilliant opening track that introduces Costa's velvety voice, gently at first, as if to ease the listener into the new sounds about to be revealed. Softly glowing chamber pop arrangements like "Lost in Paradise" melt into unchained grooves and buzzing fuzz guitar bug-outs like the Gilberto Gil-aided "Namorinho de Portão" and the child-like singsonginess of "Divino Maravilhoso." The echo-heavy productions, patient strings, and gorgeously floating melody of "Baby" drive the album to its brilliant summit, offering a perfect articulation of the pensive, sexy, strange, and above all else, sunny blur that Tropicalismo was, even in its very beginnings.


Tracklist:

Side 1:
1. "Não Identificado" Caetano Veloso 3:12
2. "Sebastiana" Rosil Cavalcanti 2:23
3. "Lost in the Paradise" Caetano Veloso 2:52
4. "Namorinho de Portão" Tom Zé 2:34
5. "Saudosismo" Caetano Veloso 3:10
6. "Se Você Pensa" Roberto Carlos, Erasmo Carlos 3:15

Side 2:
7. "Vou Recomeçar" Roberto Carlos, Erasmo Carlos 3:25
8. "Divino, Maravilhoso" Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil 4:13
9. "Que Pena (Ele Já Não Gosta Mais de Mim)" Jorge Ben 3:33
10. "Baby" Caetano Veloso 3:33
11. "A Coisa Mais Linda Que Existe" Gilberto Gil, Torquato Neto 4:00
12. "Deus é o Amor" Jorge Ben 3:05

(182 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 27. April 2021

Nara Leão – Dez Anos Depois (1971)

Nara Leão, the "Musa da Bossa Nova "("Bossa Nova's Muse", as she is affectionately known), was a prominent figure in bossa nova. She didn't restrict herself as a bossa nova singer, though, and was one of the first artists to engage in the movement later known as "canção de protesto" (protest song), an artistic movement which denounced military dictatorship in Brazil. She launched the careers of such composers/interpreters as Chico Buarque, Zé Keti, Martinho da Vila, Edu Lobo, Paulinho da Viola, and Fagner. An international performer in spite of her short, uneducated voice, she left an expressive discography even though death caught her by surprise at such a precocious age.

"Dez Anos Depois" is a 1971 double album of bossa nova standards.

The first LP is entirely acoustic. The arrangements and accompaniment, made by Brazilian guitarist Tuca, with occasional piano lines, were recorded in France; Nara was living in Paris at the time. The second LP was recorded in Rio; Nara's guitar and vocal were tracked separately from the accompaniment and orchestration, which were done at a studio with arrangers Roberto Menescal, Luiz Eça, and Rogério Duprat.


Disc 1:

Side A
"Insensatez" (Tom Jobim, Vinícius de Moraes)
"Samba de uma nota só" (Jobim, Newton Mendonça)
"Retrato em branco e preto" (Jobim, Chico Buarque)
"Corcovado" (Jobim)
"Garota de Ipanema" (Jobim, de Moraes)
"Pois é" (Jobim, Buarque)

Side B
"Chega de Saudade" (Jobim, de Moraes)
"Bonita" (Jobim, Gene Lees, Ray Gilbert)
"Você e eu" (Carlos Lyra, de Moraes)
"Fotografia" (Jobim)
"O grande amor" (Jobim, de Moraes)
"Estrada do sol" (Jobim, Dolores Duran)

Disc 2:

Side A
"Por toda minha vida" (Jobim, de Moraes)
"Desafinado" (Jobim, Mendonça)
"Minha namorada" (Lyra, de Moraes)
"Rapaz de bem" (Johnny Alf)
"Vou por aí" (Baden Powell, Aloysio de Oliveira)
"O amor em paz" (Jobim, de Moraes)

Side B
"Sabiá" (Jobim, Buarque)
"Meditação" (Jobim, Mendonça)
"Primavera" (Lyra, de Moraes)
"Este seu olhar" (Jobim)
"Outra vez" (Jobim)
"Demais" (Jobim, de Oliveira)

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 25. April 2021

Jackie Mittoo And The Soul Vendors ‎– Evening Time

Featuring a particularly natty cover photo of Mittoo set off by a very mod-looking standup organ, palm trees, and a trio of island lovelies, "Evening Time" further plies its groove exotica theme with bounce-and-grind gems from the rocksteady and early reggae days. The year was 1968, and Mittoo had already risen to the top of the competitive Kingston music scene, first as a member of the Skatalites and then as a the session leader of Clement Dodd's venerable Studio One label. This collection includes 12 tasty instrumentals culled from the slew of material he cut with such Studio One bands as the Soul Syndicate, Sound Dimension, and the Soul Defenders. The top-notch solos and infectious grooves make it clear why Mittoo -- both as an organist and arranger -- helped make Studio One rhythms the most heavily versioned in reggae's long history. And with such highlights as the noirish "Drum Song" and a fine take on the Prince Buster hit "One Step Beyond" topping things off, "Evening Time" qualifies as the perfect record for Mittoo fans in need of something beyond the handful of retrospectives currently available.

Jackie Mittoo's second album for Studio One (credited to Jackie Mittoo and the Soul Vendors) following "JACKIE MTOO IN LONDON", released the previous year is an absolute killer funky Reggae album!

Tracklist:
A1 Evening Time
A2 One Step Beyond
A3 Napoleon Solo
A4 Best By Request
A5 Love Is Blue
A6 Hip Hug
B1 Hot Milk
B2 Autumn Sounds
B3 Full Charge
B4 Hot Shot
B5 Rock Steady Wedding
B6 Drum Song


Jackie Mittoo And The Soul Vendors ‎– Evening Time
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 24. April 2021

Milva - Milva Canta Brecht (1971)

Today, 24 April 2021, Milva died in her Milanese house - rest in peace!

Singer and actress Milva reigned for decades among the most popular and far-ranging performers in her native Italy.

Born Maria Ilva Biolcati in Goro on July 17, 1939, at 20 she beat out more than 7,000 rivals to claim top honors in an influential talent showcase, and in 1960 cut her debut single, a cover of Édith Piaf´s "Milord."

In 1961 Milva earned third place at the influential San Remo Music Festival. A year later she came in second and returned to the competition often in the years to follow despite never earning first prize. In 1962 Milva headlined Paris' legendary Olympia Theatre, performing a set of Piaf songs to rapturous reception.

Soon after, she befriended actor and director Giorgo Strehler, who nurtured her interest in musical theater and encouraged the expansion of her repertoire, recommending works spanning from the Italian resistance movement to Bertold Brecht. Milva would become the first actress outside of Germany to prove successful in Brecht adaptations.

Tracks:
1. Ballata Per una Ragazza Annegata
2. Ballata Delle Donna del Soldato Nazista
3. Ballata di Maria Sanders
4. Nel Letto in Cui Siamo Staremo
5. Jenny Dei Pirati
6. Barbara Song
7. Ballata Della Schiavitu' Sessuale
8. Surabaya Jonny
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Milva‎ - Canta Un Nuovo Brecht

Today, 24 April 2021, Milva died in her Milanese house. Thanks for all the wonderful music!

Singer and actress Milva reigned for decades among the most popular and far-ranging performers in her native Italy. Born Maria Ilva Biolcati in Goro on July 17, 1939, at 20 she beat out more than 7,000 rivals to claim top honors in an influential talent showcase, and in 1960 cut her debut single, a cover of Édith Piaf's "Milord." In 1961 Milva earned third place at the influential San Remo Music Festival. A year later she came in second and returned to the competition often in the years to follow despite never earning first prize. In 1962 Milva headlined Paris' legendary Olympia Theatre, performing a set of Piaf songs to rapturous reception. Soon after, she befriended actor and director Giorgo Strehler, who nurtured her interest in musical theater and encouraged the expansion of her repertoire, recommending works spanning from the Italian resistance movement to Bertold Brecht.

Milva would become the first actress outside of Germany to prove successful in Brecht adaptations, in addition moving into film, appearing in Mario Mattoli's musical comedy "Appuntamento in Riviera". She remained a remarkably eclectic and adventurous performer in the years to follow, collaborating with composers including Luciano Berio, Ennio Morricone, Mikis Theodorakis, and Ástor Piazzolla and performing at venues including Milan's La Scala, Berlin's Deutsche Oper, London's Royal Albert Hall, and even the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

With 1981's "Ich Hab' Keine Angst" Milva inaugurated a long-running collaboration with electronic composer Vangelis. In the years to follow, she also worked on a recurring basis with composer Franco Battiato. With the death of Strehler, Milva curtailed her theatrical pursuits, although she continued exploring new musical directions via collaborations with Thanos Mikroutsikos, James Last, and Giorgio Faletti.                

This is an album with 22 Brecht interpretations, with the music of Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler and Paul Dessau.


Tracklist:
01: Un'amora d'amore
02: Sette rose sono
03: Quando venni via do te
04: La ballata di Hanna Cash
05: Von der Freundlichkeit der Welt
06: Jakob Apfelböck o il giglio dei Campi
07: La ballata di chi vuole star bene al mondo
08: Ricordo di Maria A.
09: Sul suicidio
10: Bilbao-Song
11: Das Lied von Surabaya Johnny
12: Corale
13: La ballata di Lilly all'inferno
14: La ballata della vivificante potenza del denaro
15: Il filo stroppato
16: Portami un fiore
17: Mandelay-Song
18: La ballate di Marie Sanders
19: La canzone del marinai
20: La canzone dei pendagli da forca
21: La canzone di una ragazza di piacere
22: Grabschrift 1919

Milva - Canta Un Nuovo Brecht
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Freitag, 23. April 2021

Malvina Reynolds - Selftitled (1970)

Malvina Reynolds (August 23, 1900 – March 17, 1978) was an American folk/blues singer-songwriter and political activist, best known for her song writing, particularly the song "Little Boxes."

Though she played violin in a dance band in her twenties, she began her songwriting career late in life. She was in her late 40s when she met Earl Robinson, Pete Seeger, and other folk singers and songwriters. She returned to school at UC Berkeley, where she studied music theory. She went on to write several popular songs, including "Little Boxes," "What Have They Done to the Rain," recorded by The Searchers and Joan Baez (about nuclear fallout), "It Isn't Nice" (a civil rights anthem), "Turn Around" (about children growing up, later sung by Harry Belafonte), and "There's a Bottom Below" (about depression). Reynolds was also a noted composer of children's songs, including "Magic Penny" and "Morningtown Ride," a top five UK single (December 1966) recorded by The Seekers.
Malvina Reynolds was the grooviest grandma to ever strut across the folk singer stage.

The self-titeld 1970 is a treasure trove for fans of folk legend Malvina Reynolds. It found the 70-year-old singer/guitarist jamming with members of the Byrds and the Dillards, in fine jangle-psych fashion.

Tracklist:
1. The World's Gone Beautiful
2. Daddy's In The Jail
3. It Isn't Nice
4. Boraxo
5. We Hate To See Them Go
6. There'll Come A Time
7. From Way Up Here
8. The Desert
9. D.D.T.
10. Let It Be
11. Morningtown Ride
12. No Hole In My Head

Malvina Reynolds - Selftitled (1970)
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Jean Ritchie - Ballads from her Appalachian Family Tradition (1961)

A crystalline-clear voice and a tireless preservation of traditional music are two of the contibutions to folk music that Jean Ritchie is most respected for, and both shine on the Smithsonian/Folkways release "Ballads from Her Appalachian Family Tradition". Mostly a cappella, with a few songs accompanied by dulcimer, these children's ballads are alternately warm and chilling, achingly beautiful and as stark as the bones of the balladeers who wrote the songs hundreds of years ago. The bright melody of "Barbary Allen" could be chanted as a playground rhyme or sung as a funeral hymn, and the brutal love triangle in "Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender" resolves with a higher body count than a Sam Peckinpah film, but with the heartbreaking romance of a Merchant Ivory production. The extensive liner notes stray toward the academic, but certainly drive home the point that these songs are older than the original 1961 release date, older than recorded music, and the sentiments found in all of the songs date back to the dawn of language and beyond. Despite all of the long-carved gravestones and lovelorn bloodshed, these recordings still manage to sound warm and familiar as a mother's lullaby, and pull off the remarkable feat of being a historically important document and wonderful to listen to. - Zac Johnson.

Jean Ritchie was born into a large and musical family in Viper, Kentucky in 1922. The Ritchie family was very much a part of the Appalachian folk tradition, and had committed over 300 songs (including hymns, traditional love songs, ballads, children's game songs, etc.) to its collective memory, a tradition that Ritchie has drawn on (as well as preserved and maintained) for the entire length of her performing career. She grew up in a home where singing was intertwined with nearly every task, and the beautiful, ephemeral nature of these mountain songs and fragments was not lost on her. After graduating from high school, Ritchie attended Cumberland Junior College in Williamsburg, Ky., moving on to the University of Kentucky, where she graduated in 1946. She accepted a position at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City and soon found her family's songs useful in reaching out to the children in her care. Her singing, although she never had a strong pop sort of voice, was perfect for the old ballads, especially when she accompanied herself on lap dulcimer, and the ancient modal melodies of her family felt fresh and airy in her hands. Ritchie soon found herself in demand in the New York coffeehouses, and her official career in music began. After hearing some casually recorded songs by Ritchie, Jac Holzman, who was just starting up Elektra Records, signed her to the label, eventually releasing three albums, Jean Ritchie Sings (1952), Songs of Her Kentucky Mountain Family (1957) and A Time for Singing (1962) at the height of the folk revival. Although she never reached the household name status of Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez, Judy Collins or the Kingston Trio, Ritchie maintained her Appalachian authenticity, and her subsequent albums worked to preserve the rich folk tradition of the Southern Appalachians. Among her many releases are two from Smithsonian Folkways, Ballads From Her Appalachian Family Tradition and Child Ballads in America, None but One (which won a Rolling Stone Critics Award in 1977), High Hills and Mountains, Kentucky Christmas, and The Most Dulcimer. Married to the photographer George Pickow, the couple has re-released many of her albums on their own Greenhays Recordings imprint. - Steve Leggett

Jean Ritchie is a national treasure, one of America's finest and best known traditional singers. She grew up in Viper, Kentucky, and is part of a large family, the famous "Singing Ritchies of Kentucky." The ballads on this recording are outstanding Appalachian versions of the "Child ballads," English and Scottish narrative songs collected and published by scholar Francis James Child in the late 19th century. The songs tell of true and lost love, jealousy, treachery, grief, death, and the supernatural. This reissue of her landmark Folkways recordings of British traditional ballads in Appalachia brings her clear, pure voice and timeless songs to new generations of listeners. : ~ Smithsonian Folkways

Issued originally on two Folkways LPs, "Jean Ritchie - Ballads from her Appalachian Family Tradition" is a stunning collection of sixteen Child ballads sung by one of the most outstanding singers ever to emerge from the Appalachian singing tradition. Three of the ballads have dulcimer accompaniment, the rest are sung unaccompanied.

Tracklist:
01.Gypsy Laddie
02.False Sir John
03.Hangman
04.Lord Bateman
05.House Carpenter, The
06.Lord Thomas And Fair Ellender
07.Merry Golden Tree, The
08.Old Bangum
09.Barbary Allen
10.Unquiet Grave, The
11.Sweet William And Lady Margret
12.There Lived An Old Lord
13.Cherry Tree Carol
14.Edward
15.Lord Randall
16.Little Musgrave


Jean Ritchie - Ballads from her Appalachian Family Tradition (1961)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Joan Baez - In San Francisco (1964, Fantasy)

Its lowly budget status notwithstanding, Joan Baez "In San Francisco" is, in fact, a crucial addition to any collection - albeit one that even completists are unlikely to play more than once or twice.
It comprises the album-length session that the then unknown teenager recorded in June 1958, as she later recalled. "I… was still in high school [when] two guys approached me and said ‘hey little girl, would you like to make a record?' They were rogues, but I didn't know that. [So] off we went to San Francisco [where] I recorded everything I knew on a gigantic borrowed Gibson guitar."

A dozen songs ranged from recent hit songs like "La Bamba", "Young Blood" and Harry Belafonte's "Island In The Sun", to folk club standards "Oh Freedom" and "I Gave My Love A Cherry", and it must be confessed, no matter how beautiful Baez's voice was, the material lets it down almost every time. True, her version of "Dark As A Dungeon" was fine, and she obviously retained enough affection for "Scarlet Ribbons" to include it aboard her "Rare, Live and Classic" box set. Otherwise, however, "Joan Baez in San Francisco" is little more than a curio from the very dawn of her career, a demo tape that failed in its stated purpose of landing her a record deal, and which should have been archived accordingly. But it resurfaced in 1964, once Baez's fame was assured and, while she did succeed in getting an injunction against it at the time, it has continued resurfacing ever since.
 
Joan Baez - In San Francisco (1964)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Ella And Louis Again (1957)


Recorded in 1957, "Ella & Louis Again" re-teams Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong after the success of their first album and a popular series of concerts at the Hollywood Bowl the previous year.

Stylistically, Fitzgerald and Armstrong had very different histories; he started out in Dixieland before branching out into classic jazz and swing, whereas Fitzgerald started out as a swing-oriented big-band vocalist before becoming an expert bebopper.

But the two of them have no problem finding common ground on "Ella & Louis Again", which is primarily a collection of vocal duets (with the backing of a solid rhythm section led by pianist Oscar Peterson). One could nitpick about the fact that Satchmo doesn't take more trumpet solos, but the artists have such a strong rapport as vocalists that the trumpet shortage is only a minor point. Some selections find either Fitzgerald or Armstrong singing without the other, although they're together more often than not on this fine set.        

Tracklist:

A1 Don't Be That Way 4:56
A2 They All Laughed 3:47
A3 Autumn In New York 5:57
A4 Stompin' At The Savoy 5:14
A5 I Won't Dance 4:46
A6 I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm 3:08
B1 Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good To You? 4:13
B2 Let's Call The Whole Thing Off 4:12
B3 I'm Puttin' All My Eggs In One Basket 3:28
B4 A Fine Romance 3:50
B5 Love Is Here To Stay 3:58
B6 Learnin' The Blues 7:12


Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Ella And Louis Again (1957)
(256 kbps, front cover included)     

Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson - At Folk City (Folkways, 1963)



Jean Ritchie was born into a large and musical family in Viper, Kentucky in 1922. The Ritchie family was very much a part of the Appalachian folk tradition, and had committed over 300 songs (including hymns, traditional love songs, ballads, children's game songs, etc.) to its collective memory, a tradition that Ritchie has drawn on (as well as preserved and maintained) for the entire length of her performing career. She grew up in a home where singing was intertwined with nearly every task, and the beautiful, ephemeral nature of these mountain songs and fragments was not lost on her. After graduating from high school, Ritchie attended Cumberland Junior College in Williamsburg, Ky., moving on to the University of Kentucky, where she graduated in 1946. She accepted a position at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City and soon found her family's songs useful in reaching out to the children in her care. Her singing, although she never had a strong pop sort of voice, was perfect for the old ballads, especially when she accompanied herself on lap dulcimer, and the ancient modal melodies of her family felt fresh and airy in her hands. Ritchie soon found herself in demand in the New York coffeehouses, and her official career in music began. After hearing some casually recorded songs by Ritchie, Jac Holzman, who was just starting up Elektra Records, signed her to the label, eventually releasing three albums, "Jean Ritchie Sings" (1952), "Songs of Her Kentucky Mountain Family" (1957) and "A Time for Singing" (1962) at the height of the folk revival. Although she never reached the household name status of Peter, Paul & Mary, Joan Baez, Judy Collins or the Kingston Trio, Ritchie maintained her Appalachian authenticity, and her subsequent albums worked to preserve the rich folk tradition of the Southern Appalachians.

Tracklist                                                       
A1Storms Are On The Ocean
A2So Dig My Grave
A3Spike-Driver Blues
A4Soldiers Joy
A5Don't Mind The Weather
A6Hiram Hubbard
A7Sugar On The Floor
B1Where Are You Goin'
B2Pretty Polly
B3Willie Moore
B4What'll I Do With The Baby-O?
B5Cripple Creek
B6Wabash Cannonball
B7The House Carpenter
B8Amazing Grace

Jean Ritchie & Doc Watson - At Folk City (1963)
(320 kbps, cover art inlcuded)

"Don´t Mourn - Organize!" - Songs Of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill

The inclusion of Joan Baez's version of "Joe Hill" on the Woodstock album has been single-handedly responsible for keeping Joe Hill in the public consciousness.

Sad but true, for Joe Hill, poet, songwriter, and organizer, was the most popular intentionally proletarian artist in American culture. Not an easy feat, especially considering how many people have tried to be popular proletarian artists.

This album, named after Joe Hill's famous last words before he was executed by the State of Utah, is a testament to Hill's power as a musical and cultural figure. It also attempts to secure his place in our memory.

The album consists of two elements, Hill songs performed by important interpreters and songs about Hill, again in historically important performances.

Among the former, number Harry McClintock singing "The Preacher and the Slave," Pete Seeger doing "Casey Jones (The Union Scab)," and Cisco Houston's version of "The Tramp."

The latter category contains the more varied and more interesting contributions. Among these are poet Kenneth Patchen's spoken word piece "Joe Hill Listens to the Praying," Billy Bragg singing Phil Ochs' "Joe Hill," and both Paul Robeson and Earl Robinson performing the Robinson-penned number Baez made her own, "Joe Hill," with its classic line, "I never died said he."

Excellent as an album and as a cultural document, hopefully this album will not let us forget the important legacy, a sense of purpose, Joe Hill bequeathed to our culture.


Biography of Joe Hill:

Joe Hill was born Joel Emmanuel Haggland in Sweden, the ninth son of a railroad worker. His father died when Hill was eight years old, and he went to work in order to help support his mother and six siblings. When Hill's mother died in 1902, he emigrated to the United States. Until 1910 practically nothing is known of where Hill lived or what he did. It is known that he was in San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake, as Hill sent back an eyewitness account of the horror and devastation caused by this disaster to Sweden, where it was published in a local newspaper. Somewhere along the line he changed his name to "Joseph Hillstrom," possibly to avoid arrest. By the time Joe Hill finally surfaces in San Pedro, CA, in 1910, it is clear that he had been working a long time as a migrant laborer, and was on intimate terms with the suffering and misery experienced by the families of his fellow workers under the conditions of this era.

In San Pedro, Hill joined the I.W.W. (International Workers of the World, or as popular slang had it, "the Wobblies"), a Chicago-based labor organization which set itself up as a worldwide advocate and agitator for the cause of worker's rights and the unionization of industries. Towards the end of 1910, Hill published a letter in the I.W.W.'s in-house publication International Worker, identifying himself as a member of the Portland, OR, chapter of the I.W.W. and signing off as "Joe Hill" for the first known time. At the beginning of 1911, Hill is found in Tijuana, attempting to mobilize an I.W.W. offensive to assist the overthrow of the Mexican government. From then until January 1914, Hill's trail once again runs cold, this time not due to a lack of information, but to an impossible wealth of Joe Hill sightings; Hill became such a legendary "wobbly" that he is accredited as being present at practically all I.W.W. functions nationwide.

It was during this time that Hill established himself as the main event of I.W.W. rallies, singing songs he had written that pilloried capitalist bosses, "scabs," glorified the ordinary American worker, and urged on the creation of unions. The lyrics to these songs were published in the I.W.W.'s Little Red Song Book and achieved wide distribution therein, but most of the thousands who got to know such songs as "Union Maid," "The Preacher and the Slave," "There is a Power in the Union," and "Workers of the World, Awaken!" heard them sung by Joe Hill in person. The lyrics were usually simple, easily memorized, and set to tunes that were already known to the assembly at the I.W.W. meetings. "A song is learned by heart and repeated over and over," Hill once wrote, "and if a person can put a few common sense facts into a song and dress them up in a cloak of humor, he will succeed in reaching a great number of workers who are too unintelligent or too indifferent to read."

In January 1914, Joe Hill was apprehended in Salt Lake City, UT, on a still controversial, but seemingly entirely circumstantial, charge of murdering a local grocer who also happened to be a retired law enforcement officer. During Hill's trial he offered little to no evidence in his own defense, and was more openly hostile to the volunteer attorneys representing him than he was to the prosecution, who sought the death penalty. Hill was convicted and executed by a firing squad on November 19, 1915, over the protestations of the Swedish Ambassador to the United States, Helen Keller, and President Woodrow Wilson himself, all of whom had pleaded with the governor of Utah for a new trial for Hill. Hill's own unexplainable behavior under these dire circumstances suggests that, though innocent of the charge, he had resigned himself to the notion of becoming a martyr for the cause of the unions. To be fair, it should be stated that Hill's fellow inmates at the Utah State Penitentiary believed that he was, in actuality, guilty of the charges against him. After his execution, the coffin containing Hill's body was hastily transported to Chicago, where it was joined by a crowd of 30,000 mourners in a massive I.W.W. funeral procession through the city streets.

Joe Hill's 30 or so songs were once thought so dangerous that many would dare not sing them in public or risk arrest. To this repertoire was added an additional powerful anthem of the left, entitled "Joe Hill" and written in 1925 by poet Alfred Hayes and set to music by Earl Robinson. This was sung at workers' rallies in the 1930s and 1940s, when millions were in attendance and the I.W.W. itself was no longer even a factor. Although the red-baiting of the 1950s put a damper on the American left, by this time, the work of Hill had already left its mark on such singers as Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, and Pete Seeger and other left-leaning folksingers who would further influence Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and those who would become leading voices in the 1960s protests against the Vietnam War. Baez sang the song "Joe Hill" as the first number in her appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

Joe Hill never found himself in a situation where he could be recorded, and his influence was mainly spread from singer to singer. Only in the late '90s did historians take much interest in Joe Hill as a performer and artist, and the study has already revealed much about the origins of politically oriented folk songs in America. It appears that Joe Hill, whether guilty or innocent of murder, was truly the first protest singer in America, and certain of his specific metaphors, such as his notion of "pie in the sky when you die," are encountered repeatedly in subsequent generations of folk songs that deal with social and political change.

"Don´t Mourn - Organize!" - Songs Of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill
(256 kbps, front cover included, all tracks included!)
 

Donnerstag, 22. April 2021

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Ella And Louis (1956)


"Ella and Louis" is an inspired collaboration, masterminded by producer Norman Granz.

Both artists were riding high at this stage in their careers, and Granz assembled a stellar quartet of Oscar Peterson (piano), Buddy Rich (drums), Herb Ellis (guitar) and Ray Brown (bass). Equally inspired was the choice of material, with the gruffness of Armstrong's voice blending like magic with Fitzgerald's stunningly silky delivery.

Outstanding are Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek" and "Isn't This a Lovely Day," and everything else works like a dream, with the golden star going to the Gershwin brothers' "They Can't Take That Away from Me." Gentle and sincere, this is deserving of a place in every home.            

Tracklist:
Can't We Be Friends
Isn't This A Lovely Day
Moonlight In Vermont
They Can't Take That Away From Me
Under A Blanket Of Blue
Tenderly
A Foggy Day
Stars Fell On Alabama
Cheek To Cheek
The Nearness Of You
April In Paris


Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Ella And Louis (1956)
(256 kbps, cover art included)