The Jazz Crusaders – Live At The Lighthouse ’66 (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgLive at the Lighthouse ’66 is a live album by The Jazz Crusaders recorded in 1966 and released on the Pacific Jazz label.

Because the Jazz Crusaders in the early ’70s dropped the “Jazz” from their name and later in the decade veered much closer to R&B and pop music than they had earlier, it is easy to forget just how strong a jazz group they were in the 1960s. This CD reissues one of their rarer sessions, augmenting the original seven-song LP program (highlighted by “Blues Up Tight,” “Doin’ That Thing,” and “Milestones”) with previously unissued versions of “‘Round Midnight” and John Coltrane’s “Some Other Blues.” The Jazz Crusaders (comprised of tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder, trombonist Wayne Henderson, pianist Joe Sample, drummer Stix Hooper, and, during this period, bassist Leroy Vinnegar) are heard in prime form. Felder shows the strong influence of Coltrane, Henderson recalls J.J. Johnson, Sample displays the most originality and the quintet on a whole (with its tenor-trombone frontline) sounds quite distinctive. An excellent set of primarily straight-ahead (but soulful) jazz. (by Scott Yanow)

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One of the most outstanding hard-bop albums ever recorded, by a group of relative unknowns outside the west coast (and, because of location, NOT recorded by Rudy Van Gelder!). Some of the solos are still jaw-dropping after hundreds of listens. What a shame this band changed musical directions. Even the Live at the Lighthouse ’68 is nowhere as good as this record. (by Philip Abromats)

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Personnel:
Wilton Felder (saxophone)
Wayne Henderson (trombone)
Stix Hooper (drums)
Joe Sample (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Aleluia (Guerra/Lobo) 6.05
02. Blues Up Tight (Sample) 6.43
03,. You Don’t Know What Love Is (de Paul/Raye) 5.11
04. Miss It (Felder) 6.07
05. Scratch (Henderson) 8.13
06. Doin’ That Thing (Vinnegar) 7.22
07. Milestones (Davis) 7.05

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Blonde On Blonde – Contrasts (1969)

FrontCover1.jpgBlonde on Blonde, taking their name from the then-new Bob Dylan album of that title, were spawned in 1967 out of a Welsh blues-rock band called the Cellar Set. Gareth Johnson played the guitar, sitar, and lute, while Richard Hopkins handled the bass, piano, harpsichord, cornet, celeste, and whistle, and Les Hicks played the drums. The addition of Ralph Denyer made them into a quartet with vocals; and Simon Lawrence, an alumnus of Roy Harper’s and Al Stewart’s early recordings, was with them briefly, as well, on 12-string guitar. The group took part in the Middle Earth Club’s Magical Mystery Tour, which brought them an initial splash of press exposure. They were also fortunate enough to open for the Jefferson Airplane on the latter group’s British tour. All of this activity led to an approach by Pye Records producer Barry Murray, who got them signed to the label, and through whom they released their debut single “All Day, All Night” b/w “Country Life.” Though decidedly guitar-based in their sound, the band’s music also used psychedelic pop arrangements that gave it an almost orchestral majesty which, when coupled with Johnson’s sitar and lute embellishments and Hopkins’ harpsichord and other unusual keyboards — with Hicks getting into the act on the tabla — gave them an appealingly exotic sound. Their live performances were frequently divided, à la Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, into acoustic and electric sets, in order to show off their full range.

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The group issued their first album, Contrasts, in 1969, on the Janus label — that record showed more of the early but burgeoning influence of progressive rock, while retaining their early psychedelic coloration. That same year, the band played to the largest single audience of its entire history when they appeared at the first Isle of Wight Festival. They also issued their second single “Castles in the Sky” b/w “Circles'” and the LP Rebirth, both on the Ember label, which featured a new lineup — Denyer had exited the band to form Aquila, ceding his spot in Blonde on Blonde to singer-guitarist David Thomas. Richard Hopkins was replaced in mid-1971 by bassist-guitarist-banjo player Graham Davis, and it was this lineup that recorded their third LP, Reflections on a Life, at Rockfield Studios. It failed to sell any better than their prior releases, however, and the group broke up in 1972, shortly after that album’s release. The group’s albums are recognized as collector’s items on vinyl, and their first album, in particular, is a beguiling mix of psychedelia and progressive rock. But their debut single, “All Day, All Night,” is regarded in many quarters as their most significant release, a classic of late-’60s psychedelic pop/rock. (by Bruce Eder)

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A popular support act for some of the biggest names in the underground music scene of the late 1960s, Blonde on Blonde were no shrinking violets when it came to holding their own beneath the staccato glare of the polychromatic liquid lights.

Signed to Pye Records, they released their debut Contrasts in 1969 – a collection of psychedelic proto-prog songs, with a couple of souped up cover versions thrown in for good measure.In doing so, they perfected a blend of guitars, sitars, abstract percussion, Front+BackCover.jpgflute and the ever-faithful keyboard contingent.

‘Ride with Captain Max’ is a powerful start to Contrasts with breakneck guitars and a rhythm section playing as though the devil’s at its heels; giving way to mellow lyrical passages of acid-infused ponderings on “flying high”. This is quickly followed by the flute and sitar-charged, kaleidoscopic playground that is ‘Spinning Wheel’, a lysergic single malt distilled into a bottle of less than three minutes. And that’s just for starters.

Want more? Then the third track is a bracing version of the Incredible String Band’s ‘No Sleep Blues’. Yes, you read that right, the dreaded ISB. It seems that if you remove their tuneless whine and slapdash playing from the equation, there’s a half-decent song just screaming to be set free. But this is neither the time nor place for Incredible String Band bashing, there’s plenty of that elsewhere on HFoS. Blonde on Blonde’s rendering is hearty stuff and one of the highlights of Contrasts.

There’s also a cover version of The Beatles’ hymn of loneliness, ‘Eleanor Rigby’, on hand, substituting the orchestral accompaniment of the original for a stirring horn section. The Elizabethan-style olde-worlde psych of ‘Island on an Island’ is another notable example of the many pleasures that Contrasts has to offer.

Blonde on Blonde would jump ship to the Ember label and released two more albums of a more progressive nature, but it’s their debut that offers the most memorable moments and as such is a fine addition to the psych/proto-prog stylings that were doing the rounds as the 60s conceded defeat to the 70s.

Oh, and did I mention that the band took their name from the 1966 album of the same name by Bob Dylan? No? Ah well. (by Nick James)

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Personnel:
Ralph Denyer (vocals, guitar)
Les Hicks (drums, percussion)
Richard Hopkins (bass, keyboards, harpsichord, cornet, celesta, whistle)
Gareth Johnson (guitar, sitar, lute)

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Tracklist:
01. Ride With Captain Max (Johnson/Hicks/Denyer/Hopkins) 4.57
02. Spinning Wheel (Johnson) 2.39
03. No Sleep Blues (Williamson) 3.17
04. Goodbye (Murray) 2.08
05. I Need My Friend (Denyer) 3.04
06. Mother Earth (Johnson) 4.50
07. Country Life (Single B-Side 1968) (Godfrey/Murray) 3.29
08. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3.15
09. Conversationally Making The Grade (Denyer) 4.03
10. Regency (Johnson/Hopkins) 1.52
11. Island On An Island (Johnson) 2.54
12. Don’t Be Too Long (Denyer) 2.30
13. Jeanette Isabella (Denyer) 3.43
14. All Day, All Night (Single A-Side 1968) (Lawrence) 3.26

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Les Petits Chanteurs De Versailles – Christmas In France (1957)

FrontCover1.jpgMany people still know this rare Christmas album from the  Fifties:

How delighted we were to be able to hear the very album we had listened to in the 1950’s while living in France. All the songs are beautifully sung in pure young voices. Sets the mood for the Winter holidays. (by J. Easterwood)

The best Christmas music ever!!! I first bought this record in about 1961 and thought I would never find it again. I am so happy! (Kathy Coletta)

A friend remembered this music from his childhood, and he has always wanted to hear it again. It was the perfect gift for him. (by jj)
I’ve enjoyed the music of Les Petits Chanteurs de Versailles since the late 1960’s. Their clear, young voices add to my Christmas memories. Fabulous album! (C.J. Evans)

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And yes, this is a very moving Christmas album … maybe one of the best Christmas albums ever with a wonderful Annie Beaumont on vocals.

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Personnel:
Les Petits Chanteurs De Versailles conducted by Pierre Beguigne
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Annie Beaumont (vocals)
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unknown orchestra conducted by Jacques Metehen*

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Tracklist:
01. Dans Cette Etable (In That Stable) (Traditional) 2.07
02. Vive Le Vent (Jingle Bells) (Blanche/Marbot) 2.39
03. Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes (The Angels of Oure Fields) (Traditional) 4.38
04. Venez Divin Messie (Come Divine Messiah)  (Traditional) 3.42
05. Le Noël Des Petits Santons (The Christmas of Little Saints) (Sarvil/Ackermans) 3.13
06. Noël – Trois Anges Sont Venus (Christmas – Three Angels Have Come) (Holmes) 3.42′
07. Noël D’Adam – Minuit Chrétiens (Adam’s Christmas – Christian Midnight) (Cappeau/Adam) 4.08
08. Noël Blanc (White Christmas) (Berlin/Blanche) 3.12
09. Noël Nouvelet (Christmas Novelty) (Traditional) 3.36
10. Les Rois Mages (The Three Kings) (Traditional) 2.18
11. Il Est Né Le Divin Enfant (The Divine Child Has Been Born) (Traditional) 3.14
12. La Légende De Saint-Nicolas (The Legend of Saint Nicholas) (de Nerval/Gouvien) 4.04

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Rob Tognoni – Energy Red (2012)

FrontCover1Rob Tognoni and his guitar have been treading the stages worldwide for the past 35 years.

He has opened for the greats – Roy Buchanan, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s mentor Lonnie Mack, Joe Walsh from the Eagles, shared stages with Sting, ZZ Top, Bo Diddley. He has represented Australia at the Royal Wedding celebrations of Prince Frederik & Princess Mary of Denmark, performed for FIFA World Cup Football in Kaiserslautern, played from maximum security prisons in Australia to Mozart’s House in Vienna plus countless other experiences that have honed his skills.

Rob is originally from Tasmania, Australia and goes under the pseudonym of “The Tasmanian Devil”.

His style is fiery, energetic, inventive and explosive. His roots are from blues, blues rock & classic rock but also adding many other colours to the palate to give him his sound & uniqueness.

Rob is also energetic & physical on stage, a performer & not just a musician. Echos of Cream, Hendrix, BB King, AC/DC can be heard woven through his musical fabric.

20 albums over the past 22 years are to his credit through labels such as Provogue, Dixiefrog, Blues Boulevard coupled with countless, tireless tours.

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His shows are a true experience not to be missed. As written by a British journalist: “You have to admire Rob Tognoni’s stamina. He is able to sustain a ferocious pace, few could manage it…Perhaps his stamina is the consequence of 30 years conditioning. Perhaps it’s natural selection…” (Blues In Britian Magazine)

From Tasmania, Australia, Rob Tognoni delivers a 100% powerfully charged experience with every performance. After 30 years his explosive guitar playing and unique songs are now being compared with the greats of his genre and have firmly established him in the European venues & festivals as well as gaining many fans of hard blues rock worldwide. Her is the Rob’s new studio CD : “Energy Red” which contains 9 original tracks, as well as 4 covers from The Marshall Tucker Band, Crowded House, Rolling Stones & Australian bluesrock legends, Chain. A real boogie-rock oriented record, full of ideas and inventiveness! -(bluesweb.com)

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Personnel:
Mirko Kirch (drums)
Frank Lennartz (bass)
Rob Tognoni (guitar, vocals, percussion)
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Kel Robertson (keyboards)
Leigh Robertson (didgeridoo, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Take You Home Now (Tognoni) 5.41
02. Boogie Don’t Need No Rest (Tognoni) 4.05
03. Fire From Hell (Tognoni) 3.32
04. Someone To Love Me (Tognoni) 5.24
05. Don’t Love (Tognoni) 5.03
06. Queensland Heat (Tognoni) 4.04
07. Blue Butterfly (Seven Reasons) (Tognoni) 4.51
08. Can’t You See (Caldwell) 6.03
09. I Remember When I Was Young (Taylor) 4.47
10. As Tears Go By (Jagger/Richards/Oldham) 2.36
11. Better Be Home Soon (Finn) 2.41
12. So Fuckin’ Bored (Tognoni) 2.59
13. I Wanna Play An Iggy Pop Record Today (Tognoni) 2.31

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Lennie Niehaus – Plays The Blues (1989)

FrontCover1.jpgLenny Niehaus (born June 1, 1929) is an excellent altoist and jazz arranger in the 1950s (most notably for Stan Kenton), Lennie Niehaus in more recent times won fame for his work scoring the music for Clint Eastwood films. After graduating from college, Niehaus played alto and occasionally wrote for Kenton (1951-1952) before being drafted for the Army (1952-1954). Upon his discharge, Kenton welcomed Niehaus back and he worked for the bandleader on and off for the rest of the decade. Niehaus, who led and played alto on six albums between 1954-1957 (five for Contemporary), had a cool tone a bit reminiscent of Lee Konitz. By the 1960s, his playing had gone by the wayside as Niehaus concentrated on writing for films. Although he largely left jazz at that time, his work on Play Misty for Me, and particularly Bird for Clint Eastwood, allowed one to once again admire his jazz writing. (by Scott Yanow)

And here´s a very rare and very speical album by Lennie Niehaus:

These hip, swinging etudes in the swing/bop style are a great source for blues and bebop licks and fun to play! Lennie wrote these specifically to be played with the tracks from Jamey’s Vol.42 “”Blues In All Keys.”” There is one complete solo (etude) for each of the 12 keys and 12 tracks.

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This book of solos is also great jazz sight reading material, since it contains all of the most-used jazz rhythms and syncopation you’ll ever encounter. Perfect for Learning your way around The Blues – even in the tough keys! Students and teachers alike will enjoy playing these musical, lyrical jazz solos with or without the exhilarating accompaniment of the Vol. 42 Play-A-Long. The CD incudes complete performances of each solo by Lennie with a piano, bass, drum rhythm section (from the Volume 42 “”Blues In All Keys”” Play-a-long)so that you can absorb and internalize proper jazz sound and feel. (by abebooks.co.uk)

Unfortunately I don´t have the book … but the CD … and if you like the bluesy sound of a saxophone (like I do) … you´ll find on this album excellent music, recorded by a master of his own !

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Personnel:
Bob Cranshaw (bass)
Lennie Niehaus (saxophone)
Mickey Roker (drums)
James Williams (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Tuning notes 0.55
02. B♭ blues : Blues ‘n Bossa 3.52
03. B blues : Blue funk 4.27
04. C blues : By The Book 4.18
05. D♭ blues : Blue blood 3.35
06. D blues : Head Over Heels 4.09
07. E♭ blues : True Blue 3.53
08. E blues : Sixth Sense 4.46
09. F blues : The Time Of Your Life 3.59
10. F♯ blues : Nouveau nova 3.51
11. G blues : Well And Good 4.07
12. A♭ blues : Easy Come, Easy Go 3.55
13. A blues : Slow But Sure 3.28

Music composed by Lennie Niehaus

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Sidney Bechet – Joue Noel (1958)

FrontCover1.jpgSidney Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer. He was one of the first important soloists in jazz, beating trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months. His erratic temperament hampered his career, and not until the late 1940s did he earn wide acclaim.

With jobs in music difficult to find, he opened a tailor shop with Ladnier. They were visited by musicians and played in the back of the shop. In the 1940s, Bechet played in several bands, but his financial situation did not improve until the end of that decade. By the end of the 1940s, Bechet had tired of struggling to make music in the United States. His contract with Jazz Limited, a Chicago-based record label, was limiting the events at which he could perform (for instance, the label would not permit him to perform at the 1948 Festival of Europe in Nice). He believed that the jazz scene in the United States had little left to offer him and was getting stale.[8] In 1950 he moved to France, after his performance as a soloist at the Paris Jazz Fair caused a surge in his popularity in that country, where he easily found well-paid work. In 1951, he married Elisabeth Ziegler in Antibes.

In 1953, he signed a recording contract with Disques Vogue that lasted for the rest of his life. He recorded many hit tunes, including “Les Oignons”, “Promenade aux Champs-Elysees”, and the international hit “Petite Fleur”. He also composed a classical ballet SidneyBechet02.jpgscore in the late Romantic style of Tchaikovsky called La Nuit est sorcière (“The Night Is a Witch”). Some existentialists in France took to calling him le dieu (“the god”).

Shortly before his death, Bechet dictated his autobiography, Treat It Gentle, to Al Rose, a record producer and radio host. He had worked with Rose several times in concert promotions and had a fractious relationship with him. Bechet’s view of himself in his autobiography was starkly different from the one Rose knew. “The kindly old gentleman in his book was filled with charity and compassion. The one I knew was self-centered, cold, and capable of the most atrocious cruelty, especially toward women.”

Bechet died in Garches, near Paris, of lung cancer on May 14, 1959, his 62nd birthday, and is buried in a local cemetery. (by wikipedia)

Sidney Bechet recorded these four Christmas songs on December 10 and 12, 1958, Less than six month later, Sidney Bechet died in Paris from lung cancer on May 14, 1959, on his 62nd birthday.

While these Holiday tunes might not be considered cream of the crop by some jazz fans, Sidney Bechet did not record a bad song in his lifetime. He even pulled off a spirited version of White Christmas…. (by mischalke04.wordpress.com)

Such a nice EP … emnjoy mthese swinging Christmas tunes !

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Personnel:
Sidney Bechet (saxophone)
Alix Bret (bass)
Kansas Fields (drums)
Claude Gousset (trombone)
Jean-Claude Pelletier (organ)

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Tracklist:
01. Silent Night (Gruber) 3.05
02. Blues du Papa Noel (Bechet) 3.30
03. Spirit Holiday (Bechet) 2.46
04. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.39

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Buddy Miles Regiment – Sneak Attack (1981)

FrontCover1.JPGSneak Attack is an album released in 1981 by the Buddy Miles Regiment, a band headed by American rock guitarist and drummer Buddy Miles. The album was released as an 11-track two-LP vinyl set, and includes tracks that were recorded live at the CIM prison facility in Chino, California. It was co-produced by Jim Paris and recorded and mastered at three different recording studios in Los Angeles, California, including the live show at Chino State Prison where Miles formed an all-inmate band while serving time there. (by wikipedia)

Even this album was released by a major label (Atlantic Records), it´s a more or less unknown album.

But you can hear the power of Buddy Miles … with great tunes like “Latin Rock Fusion” (the organ reminds me to the early Santana music).

And we here a reál strong horn section … and two cover versions:

“Sunshine Of Your Love” (yes, the Cream monster song – listen to the guitar solo !)” and “Dust In TheWind” (yes, the Kansas top hit !)

And if you like a fine mixture between Rock, Soul, Funk & Blues … than you have to listen to this exciting album ! And Dolly Durante did a real good job as the female lead singer.

And on the three live recordings we hear the great Sugarcane Harris on elecric violin !

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Personnel:
J.P. Cevoni (guitar)
L.D. Dixon (keyboards)
Dolly Durante (vocals)
Bary McLaughlin (percussion)
Buddy Miles (drums, guitar, bass, vocals)
John Murray (keyboards)
Monty Lee Stark (vibraphone)
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Wayne Bergoron (trumpet)
Lory Cole (trombone)

Brandon Fields (saxophone)
Richard Griffith (trumpet)
Jeff Jorgenson (saxophone)
Tobie Wynn (saxophone, tambourine)
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violin:
Harry Bluestone – Mari Tsmura Botnick – Marshall  Sosson – Sheldon Sanov – Marvin Limonick – Endre Granat – Hack Shulman – Erno Neufeld
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viola:
Gary Nuttycombe – David Schwartz – Alan Harshman – Linn Subotnick
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cello:
Jesse Ehrlich – Armand Kproff
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harp:
Anthony Ashby

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Live at the CIM prison facility Chino, California (on 09. – 11.)
Alton Crook Harris (drums)
Don Sugarcane Harris (violin)
Jack Gill (guitar)
Buddy Miles (vocals, bass)
Gabe Osroscoe (voals)
L.B. Wisedal (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Latin Rock Fusion (Miles) 6.49
02. Can You Hold Me (Miles) 5.27
03. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 5.36
04. I’ve Made My Mind Up (Miles) 7.32
05. Working Hard Every Day (Miles)10.27
06. Colossus (Miles) 4.54
07. Let’s Make It Together (Miles) 8.01
08. Jazz Fusion (Miles) 4.23
09. Hold Her Tight (Miles) 4.48
10. Dust In The Wind (Livgren) 5.36
11. For Your Precious Love (A.Brooks/Butler/R.Brooks) 7.47

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George Allen “Buddy” Miles Jr. (September 5, 1947 – February 26, 2008)