Freitag, 28. Juni 2024

Lightnin´ Slim - Bell Ringer (1965)

Otis Verries Hicks (March 13, 1913 – July 27, 1974),  known as Lightnin' Slim, was an American blues musician who played Louisiana blues and swamp blues for Excello Records.

One of the two names inextricably linked with the music of Excello Records (the other is Slim Harpo), Lightnin' Slim was born in St Louis but went on to become one of Louisiana's greatest bluesmen. His partnership with harmonica blower Lazy Lester and the Baton Rouge producer Jay Miller defined the Louisiana swamp blues sound. The late Mike Leadbitter said "(Lightnin' Slim)..was, in his own way, one of the truly great unspoiled bluesmen of the post-war era" and, even though that was written some years back, it remains as true today.

In the 1970s, Slim performed on tours in Europe, including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, for which he was often accompanied by Moses "Whispering" Smith on harmonica. He last toured the UK in 1973, with the American Blues Legends package organised by Big Bear Records.

In July 1974, Slim died of stomach cancer in Detroit, Michigan, aged 61. He was interred at 
Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac, Michigan.


01-Love Me Mama [2:30]
02-She's My Crazy Little Baby [2:41]
03-Have Mercy on Me Baby [2:21]
04-Winter Time Blues [2:43]
05-If You Ever Need Me [3:11]
06-Mean Ole Lonesome Train [3:18]
07-Baby Please Come Back [2:32]
08-Love Is Just a Gamble [2:48]
09-Somebody Knockin' [3:08]
10-You Give Me the Blues [2:44]
11-Don't Start Me Talking [2:46]
12-You Move Me Baby [2:29]

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 22. Juni 2024

Clancy Eccles - Freedom (Trojan, 1969)

Though not nearly as well known as Duke Reid or Coxsone Dodd, producer and sometime vocalist Clancy Eccles made a lot of rocksteady in the late '60s and early '70s, much of it on his Clandisc label. As a singer, Eccles had started recording back in the late '50s, when he cut some ska for Dodd. After bouncing around the ska and early reggae scene for a while, he became more active in the studio in the late '60s, overseeing tracks by Alton Ellis, Joe Higgs, Beres Hammond, and several less-famed artists. Not as distinctive as the works of Reid or Dodd, Eccles' oeuvre nonetheless included some solid and enjoyable material that contributed to the peak of the rocksteady movement. The record label he started in 1967, Clandisc Records, helped pave the way for greater recording independence for Jamaican musicians. Perhaps his greatest achievement took place outside of the studio: in the early '70s, he organized a traveling stage show to contribute to the successful campaign of Jamaican socialist politician Michael Manley. Clancy Eccles passed away in 2005 at the age of 64, leaving behind a legacy of fine recordings both as a singer and as a producer.

A socialist militant, Eccles was appointed as an adviser on the music industry to Michael Manley's People's National Party (PNP) and took part in Jamaica's 1972 prime ministerial elections by organising a "Bandwagon" featuring musicians such as Bob Marley & the Wailers, Dennis Brown, Max Romeo, Delroy Wilson and Inner Circle, performing around the island in support of Manley's campaign. Throughout the 1970s, he remained close to Manley and wrote several songs in praise of the PNP program, including his hits "Power for the People", "Rod of Correction" or "Generation Belly".

"Freedom" is Eccles essential LP, classic rocksteady reggae from front to back. Favorites include, "What Will Your Mother Say" and "Dollar Train".


A1 Freedom
A2 What Will Your Mother Say
A3 Two Of A Kind
A4 The World Needs Loving
A5 Dollar Train
A6 Constantinople
B1 Fattie Fattie
B2 Auntie Lulu
B3 Shu Be Du
B4 My Girl
B5 I Need You
B6 Mounzion

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 12. Juni 2024

Charles Mingus - East Coasting (1957)

Bassist, composer, arranger, and bandleader Charles Mingus cut himself a uniquely iconoclastic path through jazz in the middle of the 20th century, creating a musical and cultural legacy that became universally lauded.

"East Coasting" is an album by Charles Mingus, recorded and released in late 1957.
One of Charles Mingus' lesser-known band sessions, this lyrical set of five originals (plus the standard "Memories of You") features his usual sidemen of the period (trombonist Jimmy Knepper, trumpeter Clarence Shaw, Shafi Hadi on tenor and alto, and drummer Dannie Richmond), along with pianist Bill Evans. 

The music stretches the boundaries of bop, is never predictable and, even if this is not one of Mingus' more acclaimed dates, it is well worth acquiring for the playing is quite stimulating.


Memories Of You 4:23
East Coasting 5:10
West Coast Ghost 11:00
Celia 7:50
Conversation 5:25
Fifty-First Street Blues 5:45

Charles Mingus - East Coasting (1957)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

Hanns Eisler - Klingende Dokumente II

The historical recordings featured on the four LPs "Klingende Dokumente" offer valuable clues to the life and work of one of the most versatile and influential composers of the 20th century. Alongside Alban Berg and Anton von Webern, Hanns Eisler was the third of Arnold Schoenberg´s pupils to be acknowledged as a "master" by his mentor. He was the first Marxist-inspired musician of talent and stature to succeed, from the late 1920s onwards, in overcoming the social isolation of bourgeois musical art through politically intelligent and socially relevant music written in an advanced idiom.

The included performance of his "Serious Songs" ("Ernste Gesänge") was not directed by Eisler himself. It has been included in this set because the composer made comments on this work in a conversation taped shortly before his death ("To win the future you must come to terms with the past" / "Wer die Zukunft haben will, muss die Vergangenheit bewältigen", from a conversation with Hans Bunge, 14 August 1962). These songs represent his last compositional effort. He did not live to see them performed. 

"Klingende Dokumente II" was released in 1974 on the NOVA label.


A1Unterricht bei Schönberg
A2Die Tage der Kommune
A3Inhalt und Form
A4Schwejk im Zweiten Weltkrieg
A5Über moderne Musik
B1Bei Prominenten zu Gast
B2Wer die Zukunft haben will, muß die Vergangenheit bewältigen
B3Ernste Gesänge für Bariton und Streichorchester

(320 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Die Zwanziger Jahre - Musik zwischen den Kriegen

"Die Zwanziger Jahre" is a compilation with sinfonic music written between 1924 and 1929 in the time "between the wars". It was released in 1988 on the Thorofon label. "This edition represents an attempt to provide ... an overview of the ... musical scene in Berlin of the 1920's and 1930's",


  1. Franz Schreker : Kleine Suite für Orchester; RSO Berlin / Dirigent: Hans-Georg Ratjen
  2. Grete von Zieritz : Präludium und Fuge für Klavier; Horst Göbel, Klavier
  3. Ernst Krenek : Symphonie für Blasinstrumente und Schlagwerk op. 34; RSO Berlin / Dirigent: Hans-Georg Ratjen
  4. Karol Rathaus : Sonate für Klarinette und Klavier op. 21; Alois Brandhofer Klarinette / Horst Göbel, Klavier
  5. Kurt Weill : "Zu Potsdam unter den Eichen"; Staats- und Domchor, Berlin/ Dirigent: Christian Grube
  6. Hanns Eisler : "Palmström" Studien über Zwölfton-Reihen; Junko Ohtsu-Bormann, Sopran / Orchester Akademie des BPhO
  7. Hans Pfitzner : Sechs Liebeslieder op. 35; Katharina Richter, Sopran / Holger Groschopp, Klavier

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 11. Juni 2024

Nanni Svampa – Nanni Svampa Canta Brassens - Volume Primo (1971)

Nanni Svampa (Milano, February 28, 1938 - Varese, august 26, 2017) was an Italian singer, writer and actor, founder of the musical group I Gufi

I Gufi were a Italian band, singing in Milanese dialect, and cabaret, formed in 1964 and dissolved in 1969, except for a brief reunion in 1981.

This is the firs of three Nanni Svampa albums featuring interpretations of songs by Georges Brassens.

One of French pop's most poetic songwriters, Georges Brassens was also a highly acclaimed and much-beloved performer in his own right. Not only a brilliant manipulator of language and a feted poet in his own right, Brassens was also renowned for his subversive streak, satirizing religion, class, social conformity, and moral hypocrisy with a wicked glee. Yet beneath that surface was a compassionate concern for his fellow man, particularly the disadvantaged and desperate. His personal politics were forged during the Nazi occupation, and while his views on freedom bordered on anarchism, his songs expressed those convictions more subtly than those of his contemporary, Léo Ferré.


A1 I Assassit
A2 Canzon Per El Rotamatt
A3 Poer Martin
A4 L'Erba Matta
A5 Doman Te Porti A Ballà
A6 El Testament
B1 El Bamborin De La Mièe D'On Ghisa
B2 Pelanda Ti
B3 El Gorilla
B4 La Ginetta
B5 La Prima Tosa
B6 Mi Sont On Malnatt

(128 kbps, cover art included)

Prince Buster & The Allstars - Wreck A Pum Pum (1968)

Prince Buster did not invent rude reggae, but he certainly did it a lot better, and a lot more frequently, than most people. 

"Wreck a Pum Pum" collects most of his earlier contributions to the canon, opening with the title track's positively filthy reinvention of "Little Drummer Boy," then continuing on through such distinctly unsubtle offerings as "Pum Pum a Go Will You," "Pussy Cat Bite Me" and that most alluring of Buster productions, "Wreck a Buddy (The Sexy Girls)" - "Wreck a Pum Pum" again, from the other side of the genitals. 

Alongside these, a handful of older numbers slide thematically into the brew - "Ten Commandments of Man," "Rough Rider" and "Whine & Grine" - while "Pharaoh House Crash" adds some political subversion to the proceedings, and even the instrumental "The Abeng" doesn't sound out of place by the time you reach it.


A1 Wreck A Pum Pum
A2 Wreck A Buddy
A3 Rough Rider
A4 Pum Pum A Go Will You
A5 Whine And Grine
A6 Ten Commandments
B1 Beg You Little More
B2 Pussy Cat Bite Me
B3 Pharaoh House Crash
B4 The Abeng
B5 Train To Girls' Town
B6 Stir The Pot

Prince Buster & The Allstars - Wreck A Pum Pum (1968)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Prince Buster - She Was A Rough Rider (1968)

One of Prince Buster's finest albums and, thanks to the presence of both the much-covered title track and the oft-revisited "Whine & Grine," one of his most popular.

As usual, the set itself was made up from then-recent U.K. singles, bolstered by a handful of tracks that had not made it out on Bluebeat 45s, and the scattershot approach does show. 

The clumsy honk-driven "Dreams to Remember," "Walk with Love" and "Bye Bye Baby" are weak fare by Buster's most rampant standards, and "Going to the River" really could have been left on the shelf. But "Scorcher" (the source for one of Madness' most distinctive intros, by the way), "Hypocrites" and "Can't Keep On Running" are the sound of the Prince at his most electrifying, while the caustic "Taxation" strikes a vocal chord that almost every listener will be able to identify with.


Rough Rider
Dreams To Remember
Walk With Love
Bye Bye Baby
Wine Or Grind
Cant Keep On Running
Closer Together
Going To The River

Prince Buster - She Was A Rough Rider (1968)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Donnerstag, 6. Juni 2024

Isabel Parra – Isabel Parra En Cuba (1978)

Violeta Isabel Cereceda Parra (born 29 September 1939), better known as Isabel Parra, is a famous Chilean singer-songwriter and interpreter of Latin American musical folklore.

Parra was born in Chile in 1939 and began her career in music at the age of 13 when she made her first recording with her world-renowned mother, the folklorist Violeta Parra. She has since interpreted and recorded the songs of some of the most famous Latin American folk singers.

After the 11 September 1973 Chilean coup d'état she lived in exile in Argentina and France for many years. She returned to Chile when democracy returned to her country.

Parra has toured extensively during her career and was a distinctive figure in the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement. Isabel Parra is also the sister of the famous folk singer Ángel Parra and the niece of the famous poet Nicanor Parra.

This double album is a compilation of songs by Isabel Parra. It was released in 1978 on Movieplay, the songs were recorded between 1971 and 1973.


A1 Deme su voz, deme su mano 3:17
A2 El rey de las flores 2:05
A3 Solitario solo 3:12
A4 Acerca de los padres 3:46
A5 Póngale el hombro m'hijito 2:22

B1 Son de la loma 2:58
B2 El encuentro 3:45
B3 Generaciones 3:40
B4 Como en Vietnam 1:43
B5 Al final de este viaje en la vida 3:05

C1 Vientos del pueblo 3:41
C2 Perla marina 2:17
C3 Palabras para una canción para Haydee 4:24
C4 Te doy una canción 3:01
C5 En esta tierra que tanto quiero 3:18

D1 Madre 3:05
D2 La hormiga vecina 3:41
D3 Más temprano que tarde 3:32
D4 Canción por la unidad latinoamericana 3:50
D5 Pioneros 1:54

(192 kbps, cover art included)

New Age Steppers - Foundation Steppers (On-U Sound, 1983)

Rallying around the considerable talents of British producer/modern dub mastermind Adrian Sherwood, the New Age Steppers were not so much a band as they were a loosely knit aggregation of musicians from some of Britain's best avant-garde post-punk/funk bands. There was Ari Up from the Slits, Mark Stewart from the Pop Group, and John Waddington and Bruce Smith from Rip, Rig & Panic. Along with the usual gang of suspects employed by Sherwood's dynamically creative On-U Sound (George Oban, Style Scott, Eskimo Fox) studio, the sound ofthe New Age Steppers was that of cut-and-paste dub mixing, psychedelic swirls of found sounds, dissonant aural collages, sinewy reggae riddims, and odd, semi-tuneful vocals. Not for the faint of heart, the music created by Sherwood and his Steppers was among the most exhilarating and consistently challenging to come out of Britain during the early post-punk era. It wasn't always accessible, but it has few peers in terms of ingenuity and daring. Highly recommended to those whose musical tastes occasionally reside on pop's radical, experimental fringes.

The third and final New Age Steppers album (unless one considers the Creation Rebel dub sets), "Foundation Steppers" is dominated by Bim Sherman's magnificent vocals, with the majority of his showcases then segueing into a lengthy dub interlude, to complete one of the finest "traditional" reggae albums in the On-U canon. Assuming, of course, that a traditional album would find space for "Five Dog Race," an earthquake instrumental that Adrian Sherwood would return to on several occasions in the future. Lol Coxhill, Doctor Pablo, and Prince Hammer have all distinguished subsequent versions of this mighty rhythm. Another dub, the sparser "Mandarin," is equally forthright, but the key moments here are the vocal tracks - the buoyant "Memories," the confidential "Misplaced Love," and the pushy "Vice of My Enemies" (reworking the old "Rebel Party" rhythm) all testify to Sherman's mighty presence - to the point where the absence of the Steppers' most familiar vocalist, Ari Up, is scarcely even noticed.


Some Love
5 Dog Race
Misplaced Love
Stormy Weather
Vice Of My Enemies

New Age Steppers - Foundation Steppers (On-U Sound, 1983)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Horace Andy - Skylarking (1972)

"Skylarking" was the debut studio album by Horace Andy. It was released on Studio One in 1972. Not to be confused with his later album, also titled "Skylarking", released in 1996. The backing band was Sound Dimension - Coxsone Dodd's studio band, led by Leroy Sibbles.

In 2012, "Skylarking" was placed at number 16 on the "Top 50 Reggae Albums" list, which was compiled by Jamaican disc jockey Clinton Lindsay and his colleague Marlon Burrell in commemoration of Jamaica's 50th anniversary as an independent nation. In 2014, Mojo placed it at number 43 on its list of the "50 Greatest Reggae Albums". In 2016, GQ named it as one of the "10 Classic LPs from Reggae's Golden Era".


Where Do The Children Play 2:52
Just Say Who 2:28
Love Of A Woman 3:23
Skylarking 3:09
Mammie Blue 4:24
Please Don't Go 2:46
Every Tongue Shall Tell 2:28
Something's On My Mind 2:20
See A Man's Face 2:30
Don't Cry 2:56
I'll Be Gone 2:27
Got To Be Sure 2:18

Bonus tracks:
Oh Youth Man 2:53
Night Owl 4:03

Horace Andy - Skylarking (1972)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 5. Juni 2024

Group 1850 - Paradise Now (1969)

Group 1850 is an interesting, if sometimes exasperating, late-'60s Dutch band who ranks among the most accomplished and original Continental rock acts of the era, though they made little impression in English-speaking territories. Starting as a more or less conventional beat band in the mid-'60s, they had taken a turn for the more psychedelic and bizarre by 1967. Determined to drive into the heart of the psychedelic beast, their songs (performed in English) are quite eclectic for the era, shifting from doom-laden tempos with growling vocals to sunny, utopian passages with breezy harmonies. The group could be roughly labeled as a mixture of the early Mothers of Invention (whom they supported at a Dutch concert in 1967) and Pink Floyd without much of a sense of humor; their songs are intriguing and not without powerful hooks, and the lyrics ambitious (if often inscrutable), but one's attention tends to wander over the course of an album, or even during their lengthier songs. Their late-'60s LPs are highly esteemed by some serious psych/progressive collectors.

The group plays it spacier and lighter on their second album "Paradise Now, with plenty of soaring guitars and keyboards and more diffuse compositions. The attractiveness of the ethereal sound almost obscures the fact that the songwriting lacks grist and cohesion.

Here are some more reviews.


Side A:
1. Paradise Now (5:22)
2. Friday I'm Free (2:54)
3. Hunger (4:54)
4. Circle (1:08)
5. Lonelyness (2:22)

Side B:
6. Martin en Peter (1:55)
7. ?! (7:05)
8. Purple Sky (10:53)

(plus bonus tracks)

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dollar Brand & Johnny Dyani - Good News from Africa (1973)

The extraordinary South African pianist meets his countryman, the late, very great bassist Johnny Dyani, and the result is one of the single most beautiful recordings of the '70s. The duo mix in traditional African and Islamic songs and perform with a fervor and depth of feeling rarely heard in or outside of jazz.

From the opening traditional Xhosa song, "Ntsikana's Bell," the rich, sonorous approach of these two musicians is evident, both singing in stirring fashion, Ibrahim guttural and serious, Dyani as free and light as a swallow. Ibrahim treats the listener to some of his all-too-rarely heard flute work on the following track, using Kirk-ian techniques of sung overtones in a gorgeous original. Dyani's bass playing is simply astonishing, never indulging in mere virtuosic displays but always probing, always deep - what Mingus might have sounded like had he been born in South Africa. His whipsaw arco work on "Good News" provides an incredibly roiling yet solid framework for some inspired piano from Ibrahim.

The Islamic prayer-song "Adhan/Allah-O-Akbar" is sung with such heartfelt intensity so as to melt the heart of the unbeliever and lay waste to countless quasi-spiritual attempts by lesser talents. The final two pieces are a fascinating pair. "The Pilgrim" is an Ibrahim special, based on a slow, irresistible loping groove, one that reaches its end lingering for a second or two before repeating, on and on like a luxurious desert caravan. The musicians embroider it exquisitely before reluctantly letting it go on its way after ten minutes. The next composition, Ibrahim's "Moniebah," begins in a stately manner, proceeding along for a minute or two until, as if drawn in by its ineluctable gravity, they return to "The Pilgrim," unable to resist its pull. It's an amazing, joyful moment that sends chills down one's spine.

"Good News From Africa" was the shining, transcendent release by both of these great musicians and one that should grace every listener's collection.    

This album was recorded December 10, 1973 at Studio Bauer, Ludwigsburg.          


1Ntsikana's Bell6:15
3Good News (Swazi, Waya-Wa-Egoli)7:25
4Adhan & Allah-O-Akbar4:15
5The Pilgrim9:50
6Moniebah (The Pilgrim)12:00

Dollar Brand & Johnny Dyani - Good News from Africa (1973)     null
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Billie Holiday - Lady Sings The Blues (1956)

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

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

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


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

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