Bert Jansch – Jack Orion (1966)

LPFrontCover1Jack Orion is the third album by Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch, released in 1966. It contains a number of traditional songs, including the epic “Jack Orion”: a ten-minute adaptation of the Child ballad “Glasgerion” which tells of a court fiddler’s attempt to seduce a countess and his servant’s treachery in successfully impersonating him. A number of songs are performed with friend and fellow guitarist John Renbourn, who would later join him in the group Pentangle. “The Waggoner’s Lad” has Jansch unusually playing the banjo with Renbourn supplying the guitar part. (by wikipedia)

Jack Orion, Bert Jansch’s third album, may have surprised some fans upon its 1966 release, as it features no original compositions by Jansch. While nearly all of the eight tracks (four of which include guitarist John Renbourn) are interpretations of traditional folk songs, Jansch’s experimental approach breathes new life into this repertoire through his exploratory use of open tunings and passionate, gritty vocals.

According to Melody Maker, “his interpretations illuminate the songs from a completely new angle. As sung by him, with brilliant accompaniments, the brutal world that created the old ballads doesn’t seem so very far off.”

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The ten-minute title song foreshadows the future through the past: with his sublime retelling of this dark tale of desire and revenge, Jansch embarks on a musical trajectory he would further develop with his group Pentangle. In “Black Water Slide,” a haunting ballad he first heard from Anne Briggs, Jansch plants the seeds for future versions by Led Zeppelin and Sandy Denny. Jack Orion’s unique combination of medieval themes and progressive arrangements would pave the way for the next wave of the British folk revival and beyond. (by superiorviaduct.com)

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Personnel:
Bert Jansch (guitar, vocals, banjo)
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John Renbourn (guitar on 01, 03., 06. + 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. The Waggoner’s Lad (Traditional 3.23
02. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (McColl) 1.41
03. Jack Orion (Traditional) 9.46
04. The Gardener (Traditional) 1.43
5. “Nottamun Town” traditional 4:30
6. “Henry Martin” traditional 3:17
7. “Blackwaterside” traditional 3:49
8. “Pretty Polly” traditional 4:07

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Monica Zetterlund & Steve Kuhn – Chicken Feathers (1972)

LPFrontCover1Monica Zetterlund (born Eva Monica Nilsson; 20 September 1937 – 12 May 2005) was a Swedish singer and actress.

Zetterlund began by learning the classic jazz songs from radio and records, initially not knowing the language and what they sang about in English. Her hit songs included “Sakta vi gå genom stan” (Swedish cover of “Walking My Baby Back Home”; in Swedish a tribute to Stockholm town), “Visa från Utanmyra”, “Sista jäntan”, “Trubbel”, “Gröna små äpplen” (“Little Green Apples”), “Monicas vals” (“Waltz for Debby”), “Stick iväg, Jack!” (“Hit the Road Jack”), “Att angöra en brygga”, “Var blev ni av”, “Måne över Stureplan” (cover of Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street”) and “Under vinrankan!”, among many, many others.

She also interpreted the works of such Swedish singer-songwriters as Evert Taube, Olle Adolphson and Povel Ramel, and all through her life interpreted the works of international and American jazz musicians/songwriters. She worked with some of the greatest international jazz names including Louis Armstrong, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Steve Kuhn and Quincy Jones, and in the Scandinavian jazz world with people like Georg Riedel, Egil Johansen, Arne Domnérus, Svend Asmussen and Jan Johansson.

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In 1964, she recorded the critically acclaimed jazz album Waltz for Debby with Bill Evans, a record she herself described as “the best I’ve done”[citation needed] and was the most proud of. Her professional skill was amply demonstrated in this album in performing the challenging Harold Arlen song, “So Long, Big Time”.

Her long career also included the song “En gång i Stockholm” (“Winter City”); a jazz ballad with which she represented Sweden in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest. She finished last, however (mainly because the song genre was not suitable for the competition)[citation needed] and scored the infamous nul points, but still managed to remain successful in Sweden. Her collaboration with the comic duo Hasse & Tage (in the 1960s and 1970s) eventually led to a stage career in revues and films. Memorable are her parts in films Att angöra en brygga and Äppelkriget, with her most memorable role being in Jan Troell’s Utvandrarna (aka The Emigrants; with Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow in the leads) as Ulrika, a former prostitute who together with her teenage daughter Elin (portrayed by Zetterlund’s daughter, Eva Lena Zetterlund) join the main characters in their emigration to America in the 1850s, a role for which Zetterlund received a Guldbagge Award for Best Supporting Actress. She appeared in more than 20 films and television series throughout her life.

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She suffered from severe scoliosis which began after a childhood accident, and as a result was forced to retire from performing in 1999.

On 12 May 2005, she died following an accidental fire in her apartment in Stockholm, probably due to her habit of smoking in bed. (by wikipedia)
Originally released in 1972 on vinyl in Sweden (Sveriges Radio SR-1151), composed by jazz pianist Steve Kuhn,and sung by Swedish vocalist Monica Zetterlund, this is pure HEAVEN. Backed by the thirteen member Swedish Radio JazzGroup Big Band, which was made up of a who’s who of Sweden’s jazz stars at that time, it’s a stellar
performance by all involved.

Zetterlund03There are eleven tunes on the recording and superbly display Kuhn’s unique, sharp
writing skills. Many of them went on to become signature tunes for Kuhn on his later classic dates on the ECM label. The stunning and gorgeous “Silver”, in particular, (which was his nickname for Zetterlund), first appeared on Kuhn’s 1968 MPS trio album, “Watch What Happens”, and would become one of his most recorded pieces on his future releases. Zetterlund and the band are in magnificent form on the entire session, which was produced by Bosse Broberg, who also plays trumpet on it. Kuhn, himself, is not the pianist on this date — Bengt Hallberg fills that role in marvelous fashion.

Along with “Silver”, three other Kuhn pieces on the cd – “Ulla”, “Thoughts Of
A Gentleman”, and “The Saga Of Harrison Crabfeathers”, later appeared on Kuhn’s classic 1974 ECM solo piano album, “Ecstacy” (his second ECM release). “Ulla” is also known as “Remembering Tomorrow”, the title tune of a 1996 ECM Kuhn trio cd, while “Pearlie’s Swine”, another Kuhn piece on Zetterlund’s album, also goes by the title “The Zoo”, which is given a great, funky treatment on “Chicken Feathers”. (“Thoughts Of A Gentleman” changed later, as well, to “Gentle thoughts” on his 1979 ECM album “Playground,” with vocalist Sheila Jordan, which also included “The Zoo”).

Monica and Steve were involved together in the late 60’s, after he had moved to Sweden
from the States to further broaden himself musically. When their love affair ended, Kuhn started writing – in a later interview, he stated, “I can remember sitting in her yard in that period, with tunes just flowing out of me – some with lyrics in pure stream of consciousness, like “The Zoo”. Then after we broke up and I returned home, I was a very unhappy young man, and the things I was writing – “Tomorrow’s Son”, “Thoughts Of A Gentleman” – show it.”

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Two more Kuhn compositions on the Zetterlund cd, “The Baby” (a.k.a. “Saharan”), and “Raindrops, Raindrops”, are also given superb treatment by her and the band. Bengt Hallberg, the pianist, contributes two poignant tunes dedicated to Monica and Steve – “Till Monica” (co-written with trumpeter Jan Allan and guitarist
Rune Gustafsson), and “Till Steve”.

Monica Zetterlund tragically left us at the age of 67 (1937-2005). She was not only a fabulous singer, but also a talented actress in Sweden (over twenty films and TV shows). “Chicken Feathers” is a wonderful jazz collage of writing and performance.

It’s definitely worth seeking out, especially if you’re a Steve Kuhn fan. It was also beautifully recorded. A treasure. (by James K. Stewart)

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Personnel:
Lennart Åberg (saxophone, flute)
Jan Allan (trumpet)
Bosse Broberg (trumpet)
Arne Domnérus (saxophone, clarinet)
Rune Gustafsson (guitar)
Bengt Hallberg (piano)
Sven Larsson (trombone)
Bertil Lövgren (trumpet)
Erik Nilsson (saxophone, clarinet)
Håkan Nyqvist (french horn)
Georg Riedel (bass)
Alex Riel (drums)
Claes Rosendahl (saxophone, flute)
Monica Zetterlund (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Chicken Feathers (Kuhn) 2.23
02. The Baby (Kuhn) 2.19
03. The Saga Of Harrison Crabfeathers (Kuhn) 2.49
04. Raindrops Raindrops (Kuhn) 2.45
05. Silver (Kuhn) 2.16
06. Till Monica (Hallberg/Allan/Gustafsson) 3.08
07. The Thoughts Of A Gentleman (Kuhn) 2.44
08. The Real Guitarist Is In The House (Kuhn) 3.33
09. Pearlie’s Swine (Kuhn) 3.22
10. Ulla (Kuhn) 3.43
11. Till Steve (Hallberg/Kuhn) 2.18

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Jacques Loussier Trio – Play Bach 2 (1960)

FrontCover1.jpgLoussier was born on 26 October 1934 in Angers, France.[2][3] He started piano lessons there aged ten. When he was eleven, he heard a piece from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. In a 2003 interview, he said “I was studying this piece and I just fell in love with it. Then I found I loved to play the music, but add my own notes, expanding the harmonies and playing around with that music.” At 13, he met the pianist Yves Nat in Paris, who regularly gave him projects for three months, after which he returned for another lesson.

Loussier began composing music while studying at the Conservatoire National Musique, having moved by then to Paris, with Nat, from the age of 16. At a competition at the conservatory, he played a prelude by Bach, and when his memory failed, improvised. He later said that he only followed a tradition, because musicians of the 18th century were great improvisers, Bach among them. Loussier played jazz in Paris bars to finance his studies. Fusing Bach and jazz was unique at the time. After six years of studies, Loussier traveled to the Middle East and Latin America, where he was inspired by different sounds. He stayed in Cuba for a year. Loussier’s style is described as third stream, a synthesis of jazz and classical music, with emphasis on improvisation.

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Early in his career, Loussier was an accompanist for the singers Frank Alamo, Charles Aznavour, Léo Ferré and Catherine Sauvage. In 1959, he formed the Jacques Loussier Trio with string bass player Pierre Michelot—who had played with Django Reinhardt and the Quintette du Hot Club de France—and percussionist Christian Garros. They used Bach’s compositions as a base for jazz improvisation and made many live appearances, tours, and concerts, as well as a number of recordings. The trio began with Decca Records but changed to Philips/Phonogram in 1973. They sold over six million albums in 15 years.[8] Their best known recording is “Air on the G String”, which was used to advertise the Hamlet brand of cigar in the UK for over 30 years. The trio played more than 3,000 concerts (by wikipedia)

This album (and his first Play Bach 1 album) caught the publics imagination and quickly brought Jacques Loussier and his Play Bach Trio commercial success enjoyed by only a select few jazz musicians. Take advantage to become reacquainted with the incomparable music of J.S. Bach as interpreted by Jacques Loussiers Play Bach Trio.

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Personnel:
Christian Garros (drums)
Jacques Loussier (piano)
Pierre Michelot (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Partita N°1 (En Si Bémol):
01.1 Allemande 6.17
02.2 Courante 2.29
01.3 Sarabande 2.57
01.4 Menuet I – Menuet II 1.59
01.5 Gigue 3.10
02. Choral 3.09
03. Prélude 6 4.10
04. Aria 2.08
05. Prélude 16 3.27
06. Fugue 16 2.56
07. Prélude 21 2.45

Music compsed by Johann Sabastian Bach, arranged by Jacques Loussier

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Leonard Cohen – Live In London (2009)

FrontCover1.jpgLeonard Cohen’s first UK tour in 15 years has been captured on this album and was recorded at one of his London O2 Arena shows, on July 17, 2008.

Part of the reason Cohen, who was 73 at the time, went on tour in 2008 was to rebuild his finances after being swindled by his manager Kelley Lynch. Sylvie Simmons explains in her 2012 biography on Cohen that Lynch “took care of Leonard’s business affairs…[and was] not simply his manager but a close friend, almost part of the family.” However, Simmons notes that in late 2004, Cohen’s daughter Lorca began to suspect Lynch of financial impropriety, and when Cohen checked his bank accounts, he noticed that he had unknowingly paid a credit card bill of Lynch’s for $75,000 and also found that most of the money in his accounts was gone (including money from his retirement accounts and charitable trust funds). Cohen would discover that this theft had actually begun as early as 1996 when Lynch started selling Cohen’s music publishing rights despite the fact that Cohen had no financial incentive to do so at the time. Cohen, who was on a five-year retreat at the Zen center Mount Baldy near Los Angeles at the time, remained oblivious.

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On 8 October 2005, Cohen sued Kelley Lynch, alleging that she had misappropriated over US $5 million from Cohen’s retirement fund leaving only $150,000. Cohen was sued in turn by other former business associates. These events placed him in the public spotlight, including a cover feature on him with the headline “Devastated!” in Canada’s Maclean’s magazine. In March 2006, Cohen won a civil suit and was awarded US$9 million by a Los Angeles County superior court. Lynch, however, ignored the suit and did not respond to a subpoena issued for her financial records. As a result, it has been widely reported that Cohen may never be able to collect the awarded amount.

In the meantime, Cohen published a book of poetry, prose and drawings called Book of Longing in 2006 and produced Anjani’s 2006 album Blue Alert (he also provided lyrics for the songs). Cohen was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Lou Reed in 2008. In his book Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life, biographer Anthony Reynolds observes that throughout the ordeal, Cohen remained calm: “In public, at least, Cohen did seem remarkably sanguine about the loss. He was never angry or accusatory, and his stock answer to the calamity was the dry one-liner, ‘It’s enough to put a dent in your mood’ but when pushed he admitted, ‘I don’t know what helped me deal with it…I guess it just hasn’t hit me yet.'”

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Cohen, who had always professed to interviewers how much he enjoyed the discipline imposed by hard work, recognized the economic necessity of getting back on the road and announced a tour in January 2008. The first show took place at the Fredericton Playhouse in New Brunswick. Cohen played dates in Canada and Europe to enthusiastic crowds who were delighted to see him on stage again.

The album was long listed for the Polaris Music Prize.[8] Cohen’s humility and self-deprecating sense of humor is evident in the between-song banter throughout the London performance, with him telling the audience, “It’s been a long time since I stood on a stage in London. It was about 14 or 15 years ago. I was 60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream. Since then I’ve taken a lot of Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Ritalin, Focalin. I’ve also studied deeply in the philosophies of the religions but cheerfulness kept breaking through.” (by wikipedia)

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As more than one writer has pointed out, in 2008 and 2009 Leonard Cohen’s loss became his audience’s gain. After spending five years living as a monk in a Buddhist monastery during a sabbatical from music, Cohen discovered in 2005 that his former business manager had embezzled nearly all his savings, and two years later, in order to put his finances back in order, he warily agreed to an international concert tour, his first in nearly a decade and a half. Given the circumstances that prompted Cohen’s return to the stage as well as his age — 73 when the tour began — one would have the right to wonder just how enthusiastic the great songwriter would be about meeting his audience again. But judging from Live in London — a two-disc set recorded during a rapturously received appearance at London’s O2 Arena on July 17, 2008 — these concerts have unexpectedly given Cohen a chance to remind the world of his strengths as a musician and a performer, and he’s embraced the opportunity with joy.

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The notion of Leonard Cohen playing a 20,000-seat arena may seem a bit surprising (at least in America), but Cohen and his nine-member supporting ensemble give 25 songs from his catalog a treatment that fills them out enough to work in a massive room (at least compared to the intimate arrangements of his early work) without crushing the nuances of gentler numbers like “Who by Fire” and “Suzanne,” while “The Future” and “Democracy” sound just as big as they need to be. There’s sometimes a bit too much David Sanborn in Dino Soldo’s horn solos, but otherwise the band is superb — especially Javier Mas on banduria, laud, archilaud, and guitar, and the vocal ensemble of Sharon Robinson, Charley Webb, and Hattie Webb — and despite the craggy, weathered state of Cohen’s voice, he sounds sure and committed from the first moment to the last, often finding notes that seem elusive at first, and his performance here is genuinely engrossing. It’s also surprisingly witty; Cohen may have a reputation as one of the most dour performers in contemporary music, but his between-song patter is charmingly droll, and he finds a passion and a humanity in his songs that sets them apart from their studio counterparts.

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Cohen sounds genuinely moved by the affectionate reception he receives from his audience, and he seems determined to give them a show to match their loyalty, and with his band (who he frequently lauds during the performance) he truly gives of himself; if this isn’t quite the strongest live performance Cohen has released for public consumption, it’s certainly the warmest and the most emotionally resonant. Perhaps fate forced Leonard Cohen’s hand to stage the tour documented in part on Live in London, but it seems that fate knows just what it’s doing, and this album eloquently demonstrates how much Cohen still has to offer, and how clearly his music still speaks to him (and us). (by Mark Deming)

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For over four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. sex, spirituality, religion, power – he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human lives, always with a full appreciation of how elusive answers can be to the vexing questions he raises. But those questions, and the journey he has traveled in seeking to address them, are the ever-shifting substance of his work, as well as the reasons why his songs never lose their overwhelming emotional force. documentaries, awards, tribute albums and the ongoing march of artists eager to record his songs all acknowledge the peerless contribution Cohen has made to what one of his titles aptly calls The Tower of Song.

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In 2008 Leonard Cohen embarked on his first tour in 15 years. quickly recognized as musical folklore in the making, 29 of the original dates sold out almost immediately, leaving fans and critics alike hailing the show as a once in a lifetime experience. The Live in London release fully captures and recreates the extraordinary show from that tour that earned Cohen more than 80 five-star reviews for his performances. (by roughtrade.com)

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Personnel:
Roscoe Beck (bass, background vocals)
Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Rafael Bernardo Gayol (drums, percussion)
Neil Larsen (keyboards, accordion)
Javier Mas (banduria, laud, archilaud, guitar)
Bob Metzger (lead guitar, pedal steel guitar, background vocals)
Sharon Robinson (vocals)
Dino Soldo (saxophone, clarinet, harmonica, keyboards, background vocals)
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The Webb Sisters:

Charley Webb (guitar, background  vocals)
Hattie Webb (harp, background vocals)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Dance Me To The End Of Love (Cohen) 6.20
02. The Future (Cohen)) 7.20
03. Ain’t No Cure For Love (Cohen) 6.17
04. Bird On The Wire (Cohen) 6.15
05. Everybody Knows (Cohen/Robinson) 5.53
06. In My Secret Life (Cohen/Robinson) 5.03
07. Who By Fire (Cohen) 6.35
08. Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye (Cohen) 3.48
09. Anthem (Cohen) 7.21
10. Introduction 1.30
11. Tower Of Song (Cohen) 7.07
12. Suzanne (Cohen) 3.47
13. The Gypsy’s Wife (Cohen) 6.43

CD 2:
01. Boogie Street (Cohen/Robinson) 6.57
02. Hallelujah (Cohen) 7.20
03. Democracy (Cohen) 7.09
04. I’m Your Man (Cohen) 5.41
05. Recitation (Cohen/Larsen 3.54
06. Take This Waltz (Cohen/Lorca) 8.38
07. So Long, Marianne (Cohen) 5.25
08. First We Take Manhattan (Cohen) 6.16
09. Sisters Of Mercy (Cohen) 4.56
10. If It Be Your Will (featuring The Webb Sisters) (Cohen) 5.23
11. Closing Time (Cohen) 6.15
12. I Tried To Leave You (Cohen) 8.34
13. Whither Thou Goest (Singer) 1.27

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Leonard Norman Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)

Nicolò Paganini – Trios For Strings And Guitar (1995)

FrontCover1.jpgPaganini holds an esteemed status as probably the world’s finest ever virtuoso violinist but his chamber music compositions are, with minor exceptions, almost totally ignored. It is often forgotten that Paganini also played and composed for the guitar. In fact, of the five opus numbers published during his lifetime only the op. 1 set of 24 Caprices for Solo Violin did not include the guitar. It may come as a surprise that Paganini also wrote a sacred choral score entitled Le couvent du mont St. Bernard for violin, chorus and orchestra. I have yet to hear it but it was given its first recording by the Dynamic label.

Dynamic, the independent Italian record label, based close to Paganini’s birthplace in Genoa, has compiled this ten disc set of their previously issued Paganini recordings. It seems that several of these recordings were receiving their first recording. Although this box includes the complete edition of Paganini’s fifteen quartets for strings and guitar; the three string quartets and a number of other chamber works there is certainly much of Paganini’s chamber music not included here. It omits the large amount of chamber music that Paganini wrote for guitar and violin, solo guitar and for solo violin. There are seventy or so duets for violin and guitar, including the familiar Sonata concertata, MS2, Grand Sonata, MS3 and the Cantabile, MS109. In addition Paganini wrote over a hundred scores for solo guitar. Dynamic have issued discs of a sizeable number of Paganini’s works for violin and guitar and a disc of some of his solo guitar scores.

Paganini holds an esteemed status as probably the world’s finest ever virtuoso violinist but his chamber music compositions are, with minor exceptions, almost totally ignored. It is often forgotten that Paganini also played and composed for the guitar. In fact, of the five opus numbers published during his lifetime only the op. 1 set of 24 Caprices for Solo Violin did not include the guitar. It may come as a surprise that Paganini also wrote a sacred choral score entitled Le couvent du mont St. Bernard for violin, chorus and orchestra. I have yet to hear it but it was given its first recording by the Dynamic label.

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It seems that Paganini wrote chamber music from an early age and continued to do so regularly throughout his life. Often he would compose whilst on tour as a virtuoso performer during the long and arduous coach journeys. Biographer Danilo Prefumo has written that, “Paganini’s chamber music is the genuine expression of the more private side of this composer’s musicality …” The general neglect of Paganini’s chamber music is highlighted by the fact that for many decades a large number of the scores have not been generally available for performance. For example his three string quartets MS20 were published as recently as 1976 with a performing edition in 1991; some hundred and fifty years after their composition.

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In addition to his fame for composing for the violin Paganini also wrote a substantial amount of music for the guitar. The majority of the scores on this Dynamic release include the guitar. Swiss composer Franz von Wartensee, an associate of Paganini, wrote in his memoirs, “Not everyone knows that Paganini was a first-rate guitarist, since he did not consider it worth the effort to present himself publicly as such.” The sources of information that I have checked are rather vague on the origins and dates of Paganini’s attraction to the guitar. I understand that the main influence was his father Antonio who was himself a mandolin player and it is likely that from an early age Paganini would have received instruction from Antonio. It seems that from around 1801, during the few years that Paganini lived with a wealthy lady on her country estate in Tuscany, his energies were principally channelled into guitar study and composition.

These rarely encountered chamber music scores from the Genoese Maestro are certainly worthy of investigation. (by Michael Cookson)

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Personnel:
Dora Bratchkova (violin)
Antonello Farulli (viola)
Götz Hartmann (violin)
Andrea Noferini (cello)
Adriano Sebastiani (guitar)

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Tracklist:

Serenata in C major for viola, cello and guitar, M.S. 17:
01. Allegretto spiritoso 5.06
02. Minuetto (Andantino – Amorosamente) 1.39
03. Adagio non tanto (Unione con anima) 2.10
04. Rondò con maestria e grazia (Canzonetta genovese) 1.57
05. Andantino alla polacca 4.20

Terzetto Concertante in D major for viola, cello and guitar, M.S. 114:
06. Allegro 8.12
07. Minuetto 4.11
08. Adagio cantabile 3.18
09. Waltz a rondò (Allegretto con energia) 7.15

Terzetto in D major for violin, cello and guitar, M.S. 69:
10. Allegro con brio 6.53
11. Minuetto (Allegro vivace) 3.58
12. Andante, Larghetto (Cavate) 3.29
13. Rondò (Allegretto) 5.56

Terzetto in A minor for 2 violins and guitar, M.S. 116:
14. Andante sostenuto 0.29
15. Tempo di minuetto 1.26
16. Andantino – Allegro 1.19

Serenata in F major for 2 violins and guitar, M.S. 115:
17. Introduzione, Largo 0.39
18. Tempo di minuetto – Amoroso 1.39
19. Andantino scherzando 1.52

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Paul Raymond – Rewind 50 (2015)

FrontCover1.jpgUFO guitarist/keyboard player Paul Raymond has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 73 years old.

The news of Raymond’s passing was broken by his “life partner,” Sandra, who wrote on Facebook: “With a desperate and broken heart, fully in tears and pains that feel like they will kill me, I have to tell you that my most beautiful and beloved darling Paul Raymond has passed away today. The doctors we’re trying to reanimate him and with success at first but then his system shot down again and there was nothing more they could do for him, he died of a heart attack.

“He absolutely enjoyed the last couple of weeks touring with UFO in the UK & Ireland and he was looking forward to the rest of this year’s tour.

“This photo was taken last Wednesday when we checked out of our last hotel before coming back to Germany!

“I will always love him and I hope he will rest in piece until I’ll see him again on the other side!!!

“I love you so much Paul”

Paul’s professional career began in January 1964. He started out as a jazz musician but went on to become best known as a member of legendary British rock band UFO’s classic lineup alongside Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Andy Parker and Pete Way. Raymond is also featured on classic records by CHICKEN SHACK and SAVOY BROWN as well as solo albums, plus those credited to PAUL RAYMOND PROJECT.

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Raymond was recruited by UFO in 1976 to replace the band’s first keyboardist, Danny Peyronel. When Michael Schenker left UFO, Raymond joined Schenker’s MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and later hooked up with Pete Way in WAYSTED.

Raymond appeared on more than a dozen of UFO’s albums, including “Lights Out” and the live classic “Strangers In The Night”.

Way posted on Facebook: “I’ve just heard the sad news of Paul Raymond’s passing. I won’t pretend that we were always the best of friends but I am completely shattered to hear this.

“My sincere condolences go out to his family, particularly Sandra.

“I’m gonna miss you mate! Sleep tight.”

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Schenker wrote: “It is unbelievable. Paul Raymond was a great musician and loved rock and roll. My condolences to his loved ones. Rest in peace, my friend.”

British heavy metal legends SAXON tweeted: “We are shocked & saddened to hear the news of our friend and touring mate Paul Raymond of UFO’s sudden passing today. RIP Paul.” (by blabbermouth.net)

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And here´s a very special solo album by Paul Raymond … I guess this a real legacy of his musical career:

Paul Raymond in his own words:

My latest offering – the clue is in the title! It’s a retrospective of my recording and songwriting as a professional musician which began way back in 1964 with Tony Jackson and the Vibrations. We got into the UK Top 20 with a cover of the Mary Wells song “Bye Bye Baby” (not to be confused with the Bay City Rollers song of the same name!) That was my first taste of success and it has continued with varying degrees of success to this day. The album goes through a wide range of genres, following the path of my musical career, from psychedelic pop with my band Plastic Penny through blues with Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown to hard rock or what is now referred to as “Classic Rock” with UFO, MSG, Waysted and my own solo work with PRP.

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A fascinating and personal retrospective from long-time UFO man Paul Raymond celebrating his remarkable 50 years in the rock music business. Featuring re-workings of some of the best songs he’s written over the decades with the likes of Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Michael Schenker Group, his own solo career and of course UFO. On top of that there is some previously unreleased stuff from a project with terry Reid which didn’t get off the ground.

You may have trouble getting your hands on it. Paul financed the project via a Pledge Music crowdfunding campaign which is where I obtained my copy from. I understand there are plans for a conventional release in the future perhaps.

Paul is an unheralded songwriter. Never the frontman over the last 50 years, if you are familiar with his UFO work you’ll know he’s the guy stage right usually bigging up the sound with essential keys and a chugging rhythm guitar. An essential part of the mix. He can and does write top notch stuff too as ably demonstrated here with this collection.

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You’ll love it if you’re a fan. If you’re not it’ll turn you in to one and show you the long-lived talents of a geezer who has been there, done it then come back to do it all again with some of the biggest names in rock.

A couple of his UFO tunes start us off. Revamped versions of The Fear (titled here as Unfinished Business) and then Sympathy from You Are Here. Nice and bluesy, rocking along too quite deftly.

Scream Blue Murder from his solo Paul Raymond Project Man on a Mission is next to get a revamp before we have a previously unpublished song which Paul wrote for the same album but not using it. It rocks too. Not a million miles from classic UFO/MSG and one hopes if Paul has more stashed away somewhere they might see the light as another PRP album. How about it Mr Raymond?

Next we go back in time to his brief period with Waysted (All Belongs to You) then another great surprise with The Sky and You – a quit magical collaboration with the great Terry Reid showing more virtuosity and class to the Raymond song writing craft.

My favourite MSG album is their self-titled second one. My favourite song on that album is Never Trust a Stranger. Bit of an epic. Well, Paul wrote that too and here it is given the treatment. A more bluesy soulful arrangement then anyone who owns Obsession with instantly recognise Looking’ Out for Number 1.

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Twice Nightly is another previously unpublished. A little bit pub rock and a lot of fun. I’d say it’s Cherry-esque sort of. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll see…..single material even.

The closing three to get the works take us all the way back to the 1960s and it’s all top, top stuff given a fresh sound.

A remarkable retrospective from a remarkable (and often unheralded) musician/songwriter. Such a long and varied career which, since the early 1970s has always seen Paul get drawn back to UFO time again.

Top marks Mr. Raymond, top marks indeed.

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Personnel:
Dave Burn (guitar)
Mark Coles (bass)
Andy Dodds (vocals)
Paul Raymond (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
Tony Steel (drums)
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Tracklist:
01. Unfinished Business (Raymond) 3.4302. Sympathy (Raymond) 4.37
03. Scream Blue Murder (Raymond) 5.14
04. Welcome To The Real World (Raymond) 4.46
05. All Belongs To You (Raymond) 4.03
06. The Sky And You (Reid) 4.14
07. Never Trust A Stranger (Raymond) 4.27
08. Lookin’ Out For No. 1 (Raymond/Mogg) 3.51
09. Twice Nightly (Raymond) 3.48
10. Reconsider Baby (Fulson) 3.30
11. Waiting (Raymond/Murray) 3.41
12. Bye Bye Baby (Wells) 4.29

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Paul Martin Raymond (16 November 1945 – 13 April 2019)

 

John Barry – From Russia With Love (OST)(1963)

LPFrontCover1From Russia with Love is a 1963 British spy film and the second in the James Bond film series produced by Eon Productions, as well as Sean Connery’s second role as MI6 agent James Bond. It was directed by Terence Young, produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and written by Richard Maibaum and Johanna Harwood, based on Ian Fleming’s similarly named 1957 novel. In the film, Bond is sent to assist in the defection of Soviet consulate clerk Tatiana Romanova in Turkey, where SPECTRE plans to avenge Bond’s killing of Dr. No.

Following the success of Dr. No, United Artists greenlit a sequel and doubled the budget available for the producers. In addition to filming on location in Turkey, the action scenes were shot at Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, and in Scotland. Production ran over budget and schedule, and was rushed to finish by its scheduled October 1963 release date.

From Russia with Love was a critical and commercial success. It took in more than $78 million in worldwide box-office receipts, far more than its $2 million budget and more than its predecessor Dr. No, thereby becoming a blockbuster in 1960s cinema.

This film also marked the debut of Desmond Llewelyn as Q, a role he would play for 36 years until The World Is Not Enough in 1999.

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Seeking to exact revenge on James Bond (007) for killing its agent Dr. No and destroying the organisation’s assets in the Caribbean, the international criminal organisation SPECTRE begins training agents to kill Bond. Their star pupil is Donald “Red” Grant, an Irish assassin who proves his mettle by killing a Bond impostor in 1 minute and 52 seconds on a training course with a garrote wire concealed in his wristwatch.

Meanwhile, the organisation’s chief planner, a Czech chess grandmaster named Kronsteen (Number 5), devises a plan to play British and Soviet intelligence against each other to procure a Lektor cryptographic device from the Soviets. SPECTRE’s chief executive, Number 1, puts Rosa Klebb (Number 3), a former colonel of SMERSH (the counter-intelligence branch of Soviet Intelligence) who has defected to SPECTRE in the West, in charge of the mission as chief of operations. Klebb chooses Grant to protect Bond until he acquires the Lektor and then to eliminate 007 and steal the cipher machine for SPECTRE. As part of the scheme, Klebb recruits the beautiful Tatiana Romanova, a cipher clerk at the Soviet consulate in Istanbul, who believes the ex-colonel is still working for SMERSH.

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In London, M informs Bond that Romanova has contacted their “Station ‘T'” in Turkey, claiming to have fallen in love with Bond from his file photo. She offers to defect to the West, and will bring a top-secret Lektor with her to sweeten the deal, but only on the condition that Bond handle her case, personally. Prior to his departure, Bond is supplied by Q with an attaché case containing a concealed throwing knife, gold sovereigns, a special tear gas booby trap connected to the lock mechanism, and ammunition for an included ArmaLite AR-7 folding sniper rifle with an infrared night scope.

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After travelling to Istanbul, Bond heads into the city to meet with station head Ali Kerim Bey, tailed by Bulgarian secret agents working for the Russians. They are in turn tailed by Grant, who kills one of them after Bond is taken back to his hotel, stealing their car and dumping it outside the Soviet Consulate to provoke hostilities between British and Soviet Intelligence. In response, the Soviets bomb Kerim’s office with a limpet mine; Kerim, however, is away from his desk for a tryst with his mistress. Bond and he then investigate the attack by spying on a Soviet consulate meeting through a periscope installed in the underground aqueducts beneath Istanbul. Thus, they learn that the Soviet agent Krilencu is responsible for the bombing. Kerim Bey declares it unwise to stay in the city under such circumstances and takes Bond to a rural gypsy settlement. However, Krilencu learns of this and promptly attacks a gypsy feast, where Bond and Kerim are honoured guests, with a band of hired Bulgarian fighters. Much to Bond’s confusion, he is saved from an enemy fighter during the attack by a distant sniper shot from Grant. The following night, Bond and Kerim Bey track Krilencu to his hideout, where Kerim Bey kills him with Bond’s rifle.

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Upon returning to his hotel suite that night, Bond finds Romanova waiting for him in his bed and has sex with her; neither is aware that SPECTRE is filming them. The next day, Romanova heads off for a prearranged rendezvous at Hagia Sophia to drop off the floor plans for the consulate, with Grant ensuring Bond receives the plans by killing the other Bulgarian tail who attempts to intercept the drop. Using the plans, Bond and Kerim Bey successfully steal the Lektor, and together with Romanova, escape with the device onto the Orient Express. On the train, Kerim Bey quickly notices a Soviet security officer named Benz tailing them, prompting him and Bond to subdue him. When Bond leaves Benz and Kerim Bey alone together, Grant kills them and makes it appear as though they killed each other, preventing Bond from leaving the train with Romanova to rendezvous with one of Kerim’s men.

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At the railway station in Belgrade, Bond passes on word of Kerim Bey’s death to one of his sons, and asks for an agent from Station Y to meet him at Zagreb. However, when the train arrives at the station, Grant intercepts Nash, sent from Station Y, killing the agent before posing as him. After drugging Romanova at dinner, Grant overpowers Bond before taunting him about SPECTRE’s involvement in the theft. After disclosing that Romanova was unaware of what was truly going on, believing she was working for Russia, Grant reveals to Bond his plans to leave behind the film SPECTRE took of him and Romanova at the hotel, along with a forged blackmail letter, to make it appear that their deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, to scandalise the British intelligence community. Bond quickly convinces him to accept a bribe of gold sovereigns in exchange for a final cigarette, tricking Grant into setting off the booby trap in his attaché case. This distracts Grant enough for Bond to attack him in a brutal brawl. In the ensuing fight, Bond narrowly gains the upper hand, stabbing Grant with the case’s concealed knife before strangling him with his own garrotte. Bond then drags the barely conscious Romanova from the train, which has been stopped by a SPECTRE accomplice, where he hijacks Grant’s getaway truck and flees the scene with Romanova.

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Upon hearing the news of Grant’s death, Number 1 calls Klebb and Kronsteen onto the carpet to explain what went wrong and remind them that SPECTRE does not tolerate failure. Kronsteen is executed by the henchman Morzeny with a kick from the poison-tipped switchblade in his shoe. Klebb, however, is given one last chance to make good on the mission and acquire the Lektor (which has already been promised to the Russians in a sell-back scheme).

The next morning, Bond’s stolen truck is intercepted along its escape route by a SPECTRE helicopter, but 007 destroys the attacking aircraft by shooting its co-pilot with his sniper rifle, causing the man to drop a live hand grenade in the cockpit. Thus, Bond and Romanova make it to Grant’s escape boat on the Dalmatian coast and steal that, too, only to be pursued by Morzeny, who leads a squadron of SPECTRE powerboats. Bond, however, escapes by dumping his own powerboat’s fuel drums overboard and detonating them with a Very flare to engulf all the chase boats in a sea of flames.

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Eventually, Romanova and he reach a hotel in Venice, where they believe themselves to be safe. Klebb, however, disguised as a maid, makes one final attempt on Bond and the Lektor. Klebb tries to kick him with a poisoned switchblade shoe, but Romanova shoots her with her own dropped gun. With the mission accomplished, Bond and Romanova leave Venice on a romantic boat ride, in which course Bond throws Grant’s blackmail film into the canal.

From Russia with Love is the soundtrack for the second James Bond film of the same name. This is the first series film with John Barry as the primary soundtrack composer.

John Barry, arranger of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme” for Dr. No, would be the dominant Bond series composer for most of its history and the inspiration for fellow series composer, David Arnold (who uses cues from this soundtrack in his own for Tomorrow Never Dies). The theme song was composed by Lionel Bart of Oliver! fame and sung by Matt Monro.

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Following the decision of the producers not to use Monty Norman, though keeping his “James Bond Theme”, Harry Saltzman decided on using the then popular Lionel Bart of Oliver! fame. Bart was unable to read or write music, but he offered to compose the music and lyrics for a title song to the film.

The producers chose John Barry to score the film. Barry had not only arranged and conducted the “James Bond Theme” from the previous film, but had already scored some films such as Beat Girl and Never Let Go. Barry’s group also charted at No. 13 in the November 1962 UK charts with a different arrangement of the Bond theme from that heard in the film.

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The title song was sung by Matt Monro. Monro’s vocal version is played during the film (as source music on a radio) and properly over the film’s end titles. The title credit music is a lively instrumental version of the tune preceded by a brief Barry-composed “James Bond is Back” then segueing into the “James Bond Theme”. On the original film soundtrack, Alan Haven played a jazzy organ over the theme but this version was not released on the soundtrack album. The tune also appears in a soft string arrangement as a theme for Tania. In Germany, the original release featured an end title track cover version called Die Wolga ist Weit sung by Ruthe Berlé.

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Originally planning to use local Turkish music as Norman had used Jamaican music on Dr No, Barry accompanied the film crew to Istanbul, however he found nothing suitable for the film.

Recalling his visit to Istanbul, John Barry said, “It was like no place I’d ever been in my life. [The Trip] was supposedly to seep up the music, so Noel Rogers and I used to go ’round to these nightclubs and listen to all this stuff. We had the strangest week, and really came away with nothing, except a lot of ridiculous stories. We went back, talked to Lionel, and then he wrote ‘From Russia with Love.”

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The soundtrack’s original recordings are thought to be lost and did not appear when the Bond soundtrack albums were issued in remastered form on CD. The album is different from the film with the album’s recording of the main titles sounding slower and not featuring the organ played by Alan Haven. Several tracks on the album do not appear in the completed film. The album was the last of the Bond soundtrack albums to feature more than the usual six tracks per record side.

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The soundtrack album reached No. 28 on the Variety charts in March 1964 with the title song becoming Unart Music’s most recorded song. Other cover versions of the “James Bond Theme” were also released to coincide with the film. Barry also released different cover versions of the title song and “007” on his Ember records for the pop charts. The Roland Shaw Orchestra performed cover versions of most of the music of Barry’s soundtrack on several albums. (by wikipedia)

The cover images include Sean Connery as James Bond, and Daniela Bianchi.

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Personnel:
Unknown orchestra conducted by John Barry
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Matt Monro (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. James Bond Is Back – From Russia With Love – James Bond Theme (Bart/Norman) 2.26
02. Tania Meets Klebb (Barry) 1.31
03. Meeting In St. Sophia (Barry) 1.09
04. The Golden Horn (Barry) 2.25
05. Girl Trouble (Barry) 2.27
06. Bond Meets Tania (Bart) 1.20
07. 007 (Barry) 2.47
08. Gypsy Camp (Barry) 1.17
09. Death Of Grant (Barry)
10. From Russia With Love (Bart) 2.35
11. Spectre Island (Barry) 1.19
12. Guitar Lament (Barry) 1.12
13. Man Overboard – Smersh In Action (Barry) 2.19
14. James Bond With Bongos (Norman) 2.33
15. Stalking (Barry) 2.05
16. Leila Dances (Barry) 1.57
17. Death Of Kerim (Bart/Barry) 2.31
18. 007 Takes The Lektor (Barry) 3.03
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19. Die Wolga ist weit (German version of “From Russia With Love” (Bart/Hertha) 2.27

 

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