Little Feat – Sailin Shoes (1972)

LPFrontCover1Little Feat is an American rock band formed by singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in 1969 in Los Angeles. George disbanded the group due to creative differences in 1979, shortly before his death. Surviving members re-formed Little Feat in 1987 and the band has remained active to the present.

Over its 50-year history, the band’s music has remained an eclectic blend of swamp pop, rock and roll, blues, boogie, country, folk, blues rock, soul, New Orleans R&B and swamp rock influences..

Guitarist Jimmy Page stated Little Feat was his favorite American band in a 1975 Rolling Stone interview.

Sailin’ Shoes is the second studio album by the American rock band Little Feat, released in 1972.

Little Feat’s sophomore effort, the Ted Templeman produced Sailin’ Shoes marked a shift from the sound of the band’s first album, Little Feat, to that of their next album, Dixie Chicken. It also introduced the cover artwork of Neon Park to the group, and was the last album appearance of original bassist Roy Estrada.

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Highlighted by a reworked group version of “Willin'”, it also featured such enduring tracks as “A Apolitical Blues,” “Easy to Slip” and the title track, all by guitarist and lead vocalist Lowell George, the second co-written with Martin Kibbee, credited as “Fred Martin”, a former bandmate from The Factory, and the first appearance of the “George/Martin” credit on a Little Feat record.

The track “Texas Rose Cafe” is a tribute to a post-Houston concert visit by Lowell George and others to the hippie restaurant/club/beer garden. During refreshments upstairs George had said that he liked the place so much that he was going to write a song about it and it would be on their next album. It turned out to be true and not just so much “beer talk”.

It was the last full Little Feat record to be produced by an outsider until 1977’s Time Loves a Hero, with each of the three interim albums being produced almost entirely by Lowell George.

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Noted Los Angeles-based session percussionist Milt Holland played percussion on “Easy to Slip” and “Trouble” and he also played tabla on the follow-up album Dixie Chicken. Ron Elliott of the Beau Brummels played rhythm guitar on “A Apolitical Blues” and Debbie Lindsey provided the female vocals on “Cold, Cold, Cold” and the title track.

In 1972 Van Dyke Parks covered “Sailin’ Shoes” on his album Discover America, while in 1973, the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth covered “Teenage Nervous Breakdown” on their album Loud ‘n’ Proud.

In 1974 backed by The Meters and Lowell George, Robert Palmer covered “Sailin’ Shoes” on his debut solo album Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley.

In 1988 Van Halen recorded a cover of “A Apolitical Blues” on their album, OU812, although the song is not included on some cassette and some original vinyl copies of the album.

It was voted number 469 in the third edition of Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).

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With his design for a “sailing shoe” of a cake swinging on a tree swing, the album’s front cover by Neon Park seems to be an allusion to The Swing by painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Park himself said of the cover: “The Sailin’ Shoes cover was inspired by Louis XIV. I’d just seen Rossellini’s film about Louis XIV. And it seemed to relate a lot to Hollywood. A situation ruled by someone who kept everybody under his thumb by keeping them in hock from buying fancy clothes seemed to relate to Hollywood somehow. Actually, the only thing that was missing was the Hollywood sign, which I was going to put in the background. I thought that would be gauche. But I had a chance to pick up on that later with The Last Record Album.”

The cover design also includes a giant snail and Mick Jagger dressed as Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy – Park had been inspired by the film Performance. (wikipedia)

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Little Feat’s debut may have been a great album but it sold so poorly, they had to either broaden their audience or, in all likelihood, they’d be dropped from Warner. So, Sailin’ Shoes is a consciously different record from its predecessor – less raw and bluesy, blessed with a varied production and catchier songs. That still doesn’t make it a pop record, since Little Feat, particularly in its first incarnation, was simply too idiosyncratic, earthy and strange for that. It is, however, an utterly thrilling, individual blend of pop, rock, blues and country, due in no small part to a stellar set of songs from Lowell George. If anything, his quirks are all the more apparent here than they were on the debut, since Ted Templeman’s production lends each song its own character, plus his pen was getting sharper.

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George truly finds his voice on this record, with each of his contributions sparkling with off-kilter humor, friendly surreal imagery and humanity, and he demonstrates he can authoritatively write anything from full-throttle rock & roll (“Teenage Nervous Breakdown”), sweet ballads (“Trouble,” a sublimely reworked “Willin'”), skewered folk (“Sailin’ Shoes”), paranoid rock (“Cold, Cold, Cold”) and blues (“A Apolitical Blues”) and, yes, even hooky mainstream rock (“Easy to Slip,” which should have been the hit the band intended it to be). That’s not to discount the contributions of the other members, particularly Bill Payne and Richie Hayward’s “Tripe Face Boogie,” which is justifiably one of the band’s standards, but the thing that truly stuns on Sailin’ Shoes is George’s songwriting and how the band brings it to a full, colorful life. Nobody could master the twists and turns within George’s songs better than Little Feat, and both the songwriter and his band are in prime form here. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Roy Estrada (bass, background vocals)
Lowell George – guitar, vocals, harmonica, saxophone, drum machine)
Richie Hayward (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Bill Payne (keyboards, accordion, vocals on 10., background vocals)
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Ron Elliott (guitar on 06.)
Milt Holland (percussion on 01. + 03.)
Sneaky Pete Kleinow (pedal steel guitar on 05. + 11.)
Debbie Lindsey (background vocals on 02. + 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Easy To Slip (George/Martin) 3.23
02. Cold, Cold, Cold (George) 4.01
03. Trouble (George) 2.19
04. Tripe Face Boogie (Hayward/Payne) 3.16
05. Willin’ (George) 2.58
06. A Apolitical Blues (George) 3.28
07. Sailin’ Shoes (George) 2.53
08. Teenage Nervous Breakdown (George) 2.14
09. Got No Shadow (Payne) 5.09
10. Cat Fever (Payne) 4.37
11. Texas Rose Café (George) 3.43

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Chuck Berry – Is On Top (1959)

LPFrontCover1Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the “Father of Rock and Roll”, Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive with songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958). Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. With Chess, he recorded “Maybellene”—Berry’s adaptation of the country song “Ida Red”—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine’s rhythm and blues chart.

Chuck Berry01By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star, with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Club Bandstand. He was sentenced to three years in prison in January 1962 for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines. After his release in 1963, Berry had several more hits, including “No Particular Place to Go”, “You Never Can Tell”, and “Nadine”. But these did not achieve the same success, or lasting impact, of his 1950s songs, and by the 1970s he was more in demand as a nostalgic performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality. In 1972 he reached a new level of achievement when a rendition of “My Ding-a-Ling” became his only record to top the charts. His insistence on being paid in cash led in 1979 to a four-month jail sentence and community service, for tax evasion.

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having “laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance.” Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine’s “greatest of all time” lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 and 2011 lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry’s: “Johnny B. Goode”, “Maybellene”, and “Rock and Roll Music”. Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record.

Chuck Berry Is on Top is the third studio album by rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry, released in July 1959 on Chess Records, catalogue LP 1435. With the exception of one track, “Blues for Hawaiians,” all selections had been previously released on 45 rpm singles, several of which were double-sided and charted twice. (wikipedia)

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If you had to sweat all of Chuck Berry’s early albums on Chess (and some, but not all, of his subsequent greatest-hits packages), this would be the one to own. The song lineup is exemplary, cobbling together classics like “Maybellene,” “Carol,” “Sweet Little Rock & Roller,” “Little Queenie,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Around and Around,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “Almost Grown.” With the addition of the Latin-flavored “Hey Pedro,” the steel guitar workout “Blues for Hawaiians,” “Anthony Boy,” and “Jo Jo Gunne,” this serves as almost a mini-greatest-hits package in and of itself. While this may be merely a collection of singles and album ballast (as were most rock & roll LPs of the 1950s and early ’60s), it ends up being the most perfectly realized of Chuck Berry’s career. (by Cub Koda)

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Personnel:
Fred Below (drums)
Chuck Berry (vocals, guitar)
Bo Diddley (guitar)
Willie Dixon (bass)
Jerome Green (maracas)
Ebbie Hardy (drums)
Johnnie Johnson (piano)
Lafayette Leake (piano)
George Smith (bass)
Jaspar Thomas (drums)
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The Moonglows (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Almost Grown 2.23
02. Carol 2.49
03. Maybellene 2.23
04. Sweet Little Rock & Roller 2.23
05. Anthony Boy 1.54
06. Johnny B. Goode 2.42
07. Little Queenie 2.44
08. Jo Jo Gunne 2.48
09. Roll Over Beethoven 2.25
10. Around And Around 2.42
11. Hey Pedro 1.57
12. Blues For Hawaiians 3.25

All songs written by Chuck Berry

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Horslips – The Book Of Invasions (A Celtic Symphony) (1976)

FrontCover1Horslips are an Irish Celtic rock band that compose, arrange and perform songs frequently inspired by traditional Irish airs, jigs and reels. The group are regarded as ‘founding fathers of Celtic rock’ for their fusion of traditional Irish music with rock music and went on to inspire many local and international acts. They formed in 1970 and ‘retired’ in 1980 for an extended period. The name originated from a spoonerism on The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse which became “The Four Poxmen of The Horslypse”.

Although Horslips had limited commercial success when the band was playing in the 70s, there was a revival of interest in their music in the late 1990s and they came to be regarded as one of the defining bands of the Celtic rock genre. There have since been small scale reunions including appearances on The Late Late Show and RTÉ’s Other Voices. The band reformed for two Irish shows in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and the 3Arena in Dublin at the end of 2009, and have continued to play shows since then.

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The Book of Invasions: A Celtic Symphony is the sixth album by the Irish Celtic rock band Horslips. It was a concept album based on an adaptation of Irish legends built into a complex story. It is named for the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a book of Irish mythology known as The Book of Invasions in English. Released in 1976, it is usually considered their best work.[citation needed] It was their only UK top-40 album, peaking at #39. “Trouble (With a Capital T)” and “The Power and the Glory” were released as singles.

The 30th anniversary of this album was celebrated at a small gathering in Dublin organised by Horslips fans and was attended by some band members. (wikipedia)

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The Book of Invasions is a twelfth century chronicle of the various pre-Christian colonisations of Ireland.
The race who occupied the country before our Gaelic ancestors were the Tuatha De Danann
-the Peoples of the Goddess Danann.
While their origins are unclear we do know that the Tuatha were a mystical race,
handsome and learned, elegantly dressed, expert in every art and science and supreme masters of wizardry.

In the Mythological Cycle their place is among the traditions of Immortals. In fact the Tuatha were so magnificent their existence embarrassed scholars who, when transcribing the legends centuries later did not know whether to regard them as men, demons or fallen angels.

Bravest of all peoples their leaders were wizards first and warriors second whose victories were gained more by superior
knowledge and magic than by warfare. The Agatha De Danann occupied the country and lived in relative peace from 3303 Age of the World until the coming of the Milesian warriors in 3500 Age of the World.

After their defeat at the Battle of Tailteann the Tuatha simply vanished from these islands. Tradition and popular belief has it that the Tuatha, through their esoteric powers, became the Sluagh Sidhe (Thc Fairy Host) and, taking their secrets and mysterious arts with them, entered an occult realm where they remain till this day. (taken from the original liner notes)

Horslips02Centering around the three strains of old Irish song; Geantrai, Goltrai and Suantrai, Horslips take on the task of recording a concept album around them. Each is given its own movement. Its a very ambitious work, with riffs and melodies that reappear at various points in each movement and incorporating elements from actual Celtic songs. For authenticity’s sake, they throw in mandolins, fiddles, flutes and an instrument called the concertina, which I’d never heard of prior to buying this record. Turns out its a basically an accordion. Its quite a feat, but not without its share of missteps.

That opening riff will stick in your mind well after hearing the album. Its fantastic, and makes a comeback a couple other times throughout side one. This thematic feel is in full effect throughout the LP, but there’s one thing I find rather detrimental to the overall experience; the vocal tracks, which at times can be downright silly.

After such an amazing and dramatic start to the album, the listener is met with “Trouble (With a Capital T).” Just by looking at that song title I expected it to be a goofy number long before the needle ever hit the vinyl. When the vocalist sings the song title, I find it hard to take the man seriously. Then there’s “The Power and the Glory.” Excellent instrumental work, ensuing silliness in the lyrics department: “see them bumping and grinding bareback on the wheels of the world,” and that chorus: “We’ve got the power and the glory, we’re gonna take it from here.” The man has a fine voice, but the delivery is very unconvincing. Which is a shame because that organ riff has this great medieval tone and the guitars truly are loaded with power and glory.

On side two, things get even cheesier with “The Warm Sweet Breath of Love” and “King of Morning, Queen of Day” which are two very corny love songs. Probably the weakest tracks on the LP. Between these two songs, my favorite instrumental passage makes its appearance, another awesome display of melodic guitar work. These guys are truly talented musicians. After “King of Morning, Queen of Day” another great instrumental appears, this moody atmospheric piece where the guitar, fiddle and electric piano coalesce to create the most beautiful moment on the entire album. Thankfully, the vocal number it leads into, “Sideways to the Sun” isn’t half bad.

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This is truly a strange record. I can’t recall any other concept LP that has such an odd juxtaposition between serious, accomplished music and the goofy. You know that goofy is not what the band was after, that their intentions were anything but. Still, this gives the album a certain charm that few others possess, which is commendable. (FjordCity)

Their best fusion of rock and celtic music. Many Horslips albums are unbalanced either too much rock or too much Celtic Music. However this one is the best in terms of balance. A concept album of sorts , it really doesn’t have standout tracks, the whole album just stands out as a cohesive piece of music mixing wonderful Celtic music with energetic rock. Fantastic! (by hawkfanatic)

The album is divided into three movements: “Geantraí” (tracks 1–8), “Goltraí” (tracks 9–11) and “Suantraí” (tracks 12–14).

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Personnel:
Eamon Carr (drums, percussion)
Barry Devlin (bass, vocals)
John Fean (guitar, vocals)
Jim Lockhart (keyboards, flute, whistles)
Charles O’Connor (fiddle, mandolin, concertina, vocals)

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Tracklist:

Geantraí:
01. Daybreak 2.31
02. March Into Trouble 0.51
03. Trouble (With a Capital T) 3.24
04. The Power And The Glory 3.57
05. The Rocks Remain 2.49
06. Dusk 0.38
07. Sword Of Light 4.56
08. Dark 1.38

Goltraí:
09. Warm Sweet Breath Of Love 3.26
10. Fantasia (My Lagan Love) 2.55
11. King Of Morning, Queen Of Day 4.33

Suantraí:
12. Sideways To The Sun 4.46
13. Drive The Cold Winter Away 0.36
14. Ride To Hell 4.08

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Graham Bond Organisation – There´s A Bond Between Us (1965)

FrontCover1The Graham Bond Organisation were a British jazz/rhythm and blues group of the early 1960s consisting of Graham Bond (vocals, keyboards, alto-saxophone), Jack Bruce (bass), Ginger Baker (drums), Dick Heckstall-Smith (tenor/soprano saxophone) and John McLaughlin (guitar). They recorded several albums and further recordings were issued when the group’s members achieved fame in progressive rock and jazz fusion. The spelling of the band’s original name varied between releases, often depending on the intended audience. The British English spelled as “Organisation” or “ORGANisation” (Bond’s original plan), while in some other countries outside the UK spelled “Organization”.

At the start of the British rhythm and blues boom the Graham Bond Organisation earned a reputation for playing aggressive R & B with prominent jazz and blues. Bond was the primary songwriter but encouraged the other musicians to contribute material, including Dick Heckstall-Smith’s “Dick’s Instrumental” and Ginger Baker’s “Camels and Elephants”, in which the drummer explored ideas he eventually developed into his signature piece “Toad”. Jack Bruce’s harmonica-driven version of Peter Chatman’s “Train Time” would become a staple in Cream’s live performances.

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The first commercial recording by the original lineup of the Graham Bond Organisation was released under the name of singer Winston G. (real name Winston Gork). A protégé of expatriate Australian impresario Robert Stigwood, Winston had launched his career under the pseudonym “Johnny Apollo”. In early 1965 both Winston and the Graham Bond Organisation were part of Stigwood-promoted UK package tour headlined by Chuck Berry (on which Stigwood incurred heavy losses). Since they shared management, the Graham Bond Organisation backed Winston on the Parlophone single “Please Don’t Say” / “Like A Baby”; the A-side was credited “Arrangement directed by Graham Bond” and the B-side “Arrangement directed by Ginger Baker”. The band signed for Decca Records who released their dynamic version of the Don Covay composition “Long Tall Shorty” in 1964, backed with “Long Legged Girl” (“Long Tall Shorty” had been popularised by US singer/organist Tommy Tucker). Their best-known single, and the second released under their own name, was “Tammy” (Jay Livingston/Ray Evans) / “Wade in the Water” (trad. arr. group), recorded on 4 January 1965 at Olympic Sound Studios, London (EMI Columbia DB 7471, 29 January 1965). The track also appeared on their debut album The Sound of 65 (EMI Columbia, March 1965).

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In 1965 the band appeared as themselves in the film Gonks Go Beat, where they played two songs including “Harmonica”.

The band’s fourth 45 featured the single-only tracks “Lease on Love” / “My Heart’s in Little Pieces” (July 1965). The A-side is noteworthy for its pioneering use of the Mellotron, which Bond also played on several tracks on their second LP There’s A Bond Between Us (November 1965); the album also included studio versions of the two aforementioned instrumentals. The single and the album tracks are believed to be the first ‘popular’ recordings to feature the instrument, since “Lease on Love” appeared more than a year before the first UK chart hit to feature a Mellotron—Manfred Mann’s “Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James” (October 1966)[2]—and at least 18 months before The Beatles made the Mellotron world-famous with “Strawberry Fields Forever” (January 1967).[3] The tracks recorded for the second album were also the last cut by the original Graham Bond Organisation lineup before Jack Bruce was fired in August 1965. On 7 August 1965 they played at the Richmond-on-Thames Jazz and Blues Festival which was televised on the Shindig TV show.

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The band gained minor attention after their ‘Waltz For a Pig’ (originally titled ‘Ode to a Toad’) was issued as the B-side of the Who’s 1966 single ‘Substitute’, which reached number 5 on the UK Singles Chart. The band was billed as ‘the Who Orchestra’ for this release and the track was written by Baker.

The group was plagued with problems because of substance abuse and Baker’s ongoing feud with Bruce. Retrospectives of Cream indicate that Bond deputised Baker to fire Bruce, who joined Manfred Mann for a short time until July 1966 when Baker formed Cream with Bruce and Eric Clapton. The group recorded “St. James’ Infirmary” without Bruce on 10 January 1966, which was released in the United States on the Ascot label and received indifferently. Another sideman was Mike Falana on trumpet.

Bond reformed the Organisation with Jon Hiseman on drums. As a trio, Bond, Heckstall-Smith and Hiseman recorded the single “You’ve Gotta Have Love Babe” / “I Love You” (both by Graham Bond) on 18 January 1967 for Page One records.[5] Bond left for the USA, releasing two albums there in 1969 with well-known session players.[5] Hiseman and Heckstall-Smith would leave to join John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers for Bare Wires (recorded April 1968)[6] before forming Colosseum in the summer of 1968, with Tony Reeves on bass and Dave Greenslade keyboards.

Jon Hiseman, Graham Bond, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Mike Falana:
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The Graham Bond Organisation’s lack of commercial success, internal struggles and drug problems brought the band to an end in 1967, but its importance was soon recognised with the vogue for blues and progressive rock and the increased sales of albums. The double album Solid Bond, released by Warner Bros. Records in 1970, compiled live tracks recorded in 1963 by the Graham Bond Quartet (Bond, McLaughlin, Bruce and Baker) and a studio session from 1966 by the final trio version of the Graham Bond Organisation (Bond, Heckstall-Smith and Hiseman).

Graham Bond reunited with his former bandmates in the early 1970s, playing with Ginger Baker’s Air Force and also spending a short time touring with Jack Bruce’s band. He subsequently signed a contract with Vertigo Records and was reportedly off drugs by this time, although he was becoming increasingly obsessed with black magic. Bond died in May 1974, when he was hit by a train at London’s Finsbury Park underground station. (wikipedia)

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Their second album for Columbia in less than a year features more of the same, but with less impressive material.

Graham and the band returned to the studio quickly to record a second album. Too quickly, apparently, since There’s A Bond Between Us is a pale imitation of the first. Where the The Sound of 65 was downright sinister-sounding in spots, a good half of TABBU is merely competent R&B played with no more and no less passion than Them or any other R-and-wanna-B act at the time.

The record does include two really interesting “pop” songs: Jack Bruce’s “Hear Me Calling Your Name” and Bond’s “Baby Can It Be True?,” a cross between Tom Jones and Dracula that features one of the earliest appearances of the mellotron. An exciting version of Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say?” and Ginger Baker’s exotic-sounding “Camels And Elephants” (which anticipates his Air Force by several years) are also highlights. But there was something about hearing Bond sing “Hoochie Coochie Man” that set your hairs on end, while I’m pretty sure I actually yawned during the opening instrumental, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

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This would be the last official album from The Graham Bond ORGANisation, with a few singles following. (Those singles are appended to the 2009 remaster, and “You’ve Gotta Have Love Baby” from 1967 is an ear-opening experience.) The organization had a world of talent (Dick Heckstall-Smith might have been the best horn player in a rock band at the time), they just didn’t have a clear roadmap. There’s A Bond Between Us will appeal to completists and Cream aficionados I suppose (who share a similar supply chain problem), but I’d definitely start out with their first. (

But … it´s still  a great album !

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Personnel:
Ginger Baker (drums)
Graham Bond (organ, mellotron, saxophone, vocals)
Jack Bruce (bass, harmonica, vocals)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Kirkpatrick/Knox) 2.03
02. Hear Me Calling Your Name (Bruce) 2.35
03. The Night Time Is The Right Time (Herman) 2.59
04. Walkin’ In The Park (Bond) 3.28
05. Last Night (Axton/Smith/Newman/Moman/Caple) 2.58
06. Baby Can It Be True? (Bond) 5.02
07. What’d I Say? (Charles) 4.13
08. Dick’s Instrumental (Heckstall-Smith) 2.31
09. Don’t Let Go (Stone) 2.42
10. Keep A’Drivin’ (Willis) 2.03
11. Have You Ever Loved A Woman? (Bond) 4.51
12. Camels And Elephants (Baker) 3.04

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Graham Bond (28 October 1937 – 8 May 1974)

John Coltrane – Standard Coltrane (1962)

LPFrontCover1John William Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes and was at the forefront of free jazz. He led at least fifty recording sessions and appeared on many albums by other musicians, including trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. Over the course of his career, Coltrane’s music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. He remains one of the most influential saxophonists in music history. He received many posthumous awards, including canonization by the African Orthodox Church and a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. His second wife was pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane. The couple had three children: John Jr. (1964–1982), a bassist; Ravi (born 1965), a saxophonist; and Oran (born 1967), also a saxophonist

Standard Coltrane is an album credited to jazz musician John Coltrane, released in 1962 on Prestige Records, catalogue 7243. It is assembled from unissued results of a single recording session at the studio of Rudy Van Gelder in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1958. As Coltrane’s fame grew during the 1960s long after he had stopped recording for the label, Prestige used unissued recordings to create new marketable albums without Coltrane’s input or approval. This album was rereleased in 1970 as The Master (PR 7825) with that version rereleased on CD to include the other four tunes recorded at the same 11th July session. Those other tunes had previously been released on two other albums assembled from spare recording (Stardust and Bahia).

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John Coltrane had yet to move into his modal post-bop phase in 1958 when he recorded a session for Prestige Records on July 11 with trumpeter/flügelhornist Wilbur Harden, pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb, the results of which were issued in 1962 as Standard Coltrane. His groundbreaking modal work with Miles Davis on Kind of Blue was still a few months into the future, which makes this set more historical than vital or transitional, although it’s pleasant enough, featuring Coltrane on several standards, including a ten-plus-minute version of “Invitation.” Other Coltrane material from this 1958 Prestige era ended up on the albums Stardust (1963) and Bahia (1965), and all of it, including these four tracks, has been collected on The Stardust Session from Prestige Records, which is probably the way to go. (by Steve Leggett)

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Personnel:
Paul Chambers (bass)
Jimmy Cobb (drums)
John Coltrane (saxophone)
Red Garland (piano)
Wilbur Harden (trumpet, flugelhorn)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Take Your Love From Me (Nemo) 9.17
02. I’ll Get By (Ahlert/Turk) 8.13
03. Spring Is Here (Hart/Rodgers) 6.57
04. Invitation (Kaper/Webster) 10-21

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Sarah Brightman – The Harem World Tour – Live From Las Vegeas (2004)

FrontCover1Sarah Brightman (born 14 August 1960) is an English classical crossover soprano, singer, songwriter, actress, dancer and musician.

Brightman began her career as a member of the dance troupe Hot Gossip and released several disco singles as a solo performer. In 1981, she made her West End musical theatre debut in Cats and met composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom she later married. She went on to star in several West End and Broadway musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, where she originated the role of Christine Daaé. Her original London cast album of Phantom was released in CD format in 1987 and sold 40 million copies worldwide, making it the biggest-selling cast album ever.

After retiring from the stage and divorcing Lloyd Webber, Brightman resumed her music career with former Enigma producer Frank Peterson, this time as a classical crossover artist. She has been credited as the creator and remains among the most prominent performers of this genre, with worldwide sales of more than 35 million albums and two million DVDs, establishing herself as the world’s best-selling soprano.

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Brightman’s 1996 duet with the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, “Time to Say Goodbye”, topped the charts all over Europe and became the highest and fastest-selling single of all-time in Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for 14 consecutive weeks and sold over three million copies. It subsequently became an international success, selling 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all-time. She has collected over 200 gold and platinum record awards in 38 different countries. In 2010, she was named by Billboard the fifth most influential and best-selling classical artist of the 2000s decade in the US and according to Nielsen SoundScan, she has sold 6.5 million albums in the country.

Brightman is the first artist to have been invited twice to perform the theme song at the Olympic Games, first at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games where she sang “Amigos Para Sarah_Brightman02Siempre” with the Spanish tenor José Carreras with an estimated global audience of a billion people, and 16 years later in 2008 in Beijing, this time with Chinese singer Liu Huan, performing the song “You and Me” to an estimated four billion people worldwide.

In 2012, Brightman was appointed as the UNESCO Artist for Peace for the period 2012–2014, for her “commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution, throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchanges among cultures, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization”. Since 2010, Brightman has been Panasonic’s global brand ambassador.

In 2014, she began training for a journey to the International Space Station, later postponed until further notice, citing personal reasons. Brightman was awarded the decoration ‘Cavaliere’ in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic on 2 June 2016[19] and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in 2018, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to music and theater.

The Harem World Tour: Live From Las Vegas is a live album by classical crossover soprano Sarah Brightman released to coincide with the DVD. The album was released on 28 September 2004. It features a cover version of Indonesian singer Anggun’s “Snow on the Sahara”. (wikipedia)

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Recorded in March 2004 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during Sarah Brightman’s Harem World Tour, this live CD demonstrates the musical seductress’s penchant for fusing musical genres – musical theater, classical, rock, & world music – & plays like a collection of greatest hits performed live.

While the sales of Sarah Brightman’s ambitious, Middle Eastern-themed 2003 album Harem may have fallen short of its predecessor, the veteran UK chanteuse’s popularity as a live performer has only mushroomed. This live recording of her ambitious, sold-out Harem World Tour engagement at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena is testament to that appeal, begging the question: Will Brightman become the Grateful Dead of classical crossover? Indeed, abetted by the rich sonic textures of longtime producer/collaborator Frank Peterson, the worldbeat conceits of her recent studio recordings are folded into a larger, even more expansive live vision here.

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Brightman’s overt dramatic instincts and oft-chaemeleonic vocal abilities drive a slate of material that stretches from the Arabian Nights/Madame Butterflypastiche of Harem’s seductive “It’s A Beautiful Day” through surprisingly effective classical/rock reinventions of Kansas’ “Dust in the Wind” and The Moody Blues’ chestnut “Nights in White Satin” to expected classical bowings “Nessun Dorma” and the obligatory nod to “Phantom of the Opera”Harem’s East-meets-Eurodisco sensibility will also welcome the melodic new studio bonus cut, “Snow in the Sahara.” (by Jerry McCulley)

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Personnel:
Sarah Brightman (vocals)
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unknown live band

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Tracklist:
01. Kama Sutra (Danna) 2.01
02. Harem Overture (Cançao do Mar) (Seeman/DeBrito/Brightman/Peterson) 3.10
03. It’s A Beautiful Day (Brightman/Puccini/von Deylen/Peterson) 4.27
04. Dust In The Wind (Livgren) 4.02
05. Who Wants To Live Forever (May) 4.02
06. Anytime, Anywhere (Brightman/Peterson/Soltau) 3.17
07. La Luna (Ferrau/Dvorák) 5.16
08. Nessun Dorma (Puccini/Adami/Simoni) 4.11
09. The War Is Over (Benzer/Draude/Brightman/Peterson) 5.24
10. Free (Brightman/Hawkins/Meissner/Schwartz) 3.49
11. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 3.16
12. Phantom Of The Opera Suite: Twisted Every Way/Phantom Overture/Little Lottie (Hart/Stilgoe/Webber) 4.27
13. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again (Hart/Stilgoe/Webber) 4.36
14. Time To Say Goodbye (Sartori/Quarantotto) 4.14
15. A Question Of Honour (Peterson) 5.43
16. Snow On The Sahara (Bonus studio track) (Benzi/Matheson) 4.46

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Charlie Daniels Band – High Lonesome (1976)

LPFrontCover1Charles Edward Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock, country, and bluegrass music. He was best known for his number-one country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Daniels was active as a singer and musician from the 1950s. He was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Daniels died on July 6, 2020, at the age of 83 of a hemorrhagic stroke at Summit Medical Center in Nashville.

High Lonesome is the eighth studio album by Charlie Daniels and the fourth as The Charlie Daniels Band, released on November 5, 1976. Many of the tracks pay homage to pulp Western fiction and, with permission, the album’s title was named after the 1962 Western novel by Louis L’Amour. (wikipedia)

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Following Saddle Tramp by a matter of months, High Lonesome finds the Charlie Daniels Band retaining their focus on jamming — meaning not just long solos and improvisations, but a loose feel that brings in elements of a number of different Southern styles, blurring the line between country, rock, blues, and bluegrass. Compared to Saddle Tramp, which felt as wide-open and sunny as the plains or desert, High Lonesome is a little darker and denser, a byproduct of the Charlie Daniels Band playing harder as they up the rock quotient while simultaneously playing up cowboy myths. There are strong elements of the Allmans throughout the record, particularly when Charlie Daniels and Tom Crain trade off electric guitar leads and double-up on harmonies, and there’s a harder backbeat. Even better, there’s more of an emphasis on songwriting and tighter arrangements, which means that the Band’s improvistory fire is distilled into tight, concise four-minute bursts, which makes the record as a whole a more infectious, invigorating listen. Also, with Crain singing on “Tennessee” and a pianist taking lead on “Roll Mississippi,” this not only feels more like a band album, it has a welcome, loose, anything-goes feel, actually sounding like the work of a bunch of Southern renegades. If there are no true CDB classics outside of the title track and arguably “Carolina,” there are no bum songs, either, and the whole thing holds together well, perhaps because, unlike its predecessor, it plays as if it has a theme, thanks to the songs about cowboys and the Southern mythology, not to mention its focused arrangements and the muscular blues-rock guitar that ties it all together. All this makes High Lonesome a highlight in Charlie Daniels’ discography. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tom Crain (guitar, vocals on 08., slide guitar)
Charlie Daniels (guitar, vocals banjo, fiddle, slide guitar)
Fred Edwards (drums, percussion)
Taz DiGregorio (keyboards, vocals on 06.)
Charlie Hayward (bass)
Don Murray (drums, percussion)
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Toy Caldwell (steel guitar on 07. + 08.)
George McCorkle (guitar on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Billy the Kid” (Daniels) 5.50
02. Carolina (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.55
03. High Lonesome (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) – 5:03
04. Running With the Crowd (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 4.02
05. Right Now Tennessee Blues (Daniels) 3.37
06. Roll Mississippi (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.13
07. Slow Song (Daniels) 3.56
08. Tennessee (Crain) 4.43
09. Turned My Head Around (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.52

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CharlieDaniels02Charlie Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020)

Ennio Morricone – Once Upon A Time In The West (Extended Version) (OST) (1972)

FrontCover1Ennio Morricone (10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpet player who wrote music in a wide range of styles. Morricone composed over 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as over 100 classical works. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is considered one of the most influential soundtracks in history[2] and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[3] His filmography includes over 70 award-winning films, all Sergio Leone’s films since A Fistful of Dollars, all Giuseppe Tornatore’s films since Cinema Paradiso, The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento’s Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, as well as The Thing, Once Upon A Time In America, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley’s Game and The Hateful Eight.

After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger for RCA Victor and in 1955 started ghost writing for film and theatre. Throughout his career, he composed music for artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero and Andrea Bocelli. From 1960 to 1975, Morricone gained international fame for composing music for Westerns and—with an estimated 10 million copies sold—Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best-selling scores worldwide. From 1966 to 1980, he was a main member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composers collectives, and in 1969 he co-founded Forum Music Village, a prestigious recording studio.

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From the 1970s, Morricone excelled in Hollywood, composing for prolific American directors such as Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino. In 1977, he composed the official theme for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. He continued to compose music for European productions, such as Marco Polo, La piovra, Nostromo, Fateless, Karol and En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait. Morricone’s music has been reused in television series, including The Simpsons and The Sopranos, and in many films, including Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. He also scored seven Westerns for Sergio Corbucci, Duccio Tessari’s Ringo duology and Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown and Face to Face. Morricone worked extensively for other film genres with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Mauro Bolognini, Giuliano Montaldo, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski and Henri Verneuil. His acclaimed soundtrack for The Mission (1986) was certified gold in the United States. The album Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone stayed 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums.

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Morricone’s best-known compositions include “The Ecstasy of Gold”, “Se Telefonando”, “Man with a Harmonica”, “Here’s to You”, the UK No. 2 single “Chi Mai”, “Gabriel’s Oboe” and “E Più Ti Penso”. In 1971, he received a “Targa d’Oro” for worldwide sales of 22 million,[8] and by 2016 Morricone had sold over 70 million records worldwide.[9] In 2007, he received the Academy Honorary Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music.” He was nominated for a further six Oscars. In 2016, Morricone received his first competitive Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight, at the time becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. His other achievements include three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatello, eleven Nastro d’Argento, two European Film Awards, the Golden Lion Honorary Award and the Polar Music Prize in 2010. Morricone has influenced many artists from film scoring to other styles and genres, including Hans Zimmer, Danger Mouse, Dire Straits, Muse, Metallica, and Radiohead.

Once Upon a Time in the West is a soundtrack composed by Ennio Morricone, from the 1968 western film of the same name directed by Sergio Leone, released in 1972. The film score sold about 10 million copies worldwide.

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The soundtrack features leitmotifs that relate to each of the main characters of the movie (each with their own theme music), as well as to the spirit of the American West.[6] The theme music for the Claudia Cardinale character has wordless vocals by Italian singer Edda Dell’Orso.

It was Leone’s desire to have the music available and played during filming. Leone had Morricone composed the score before shooting started and would play the music in the background for the actors on set.

In 2018, for the 50th anniversary of the film, the Italian records company “Beat Records” released a limited 500 copies edition. (wikipedia)

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And here´s one of his greatest sountracks:

Arguably a milestone for both director Sergio Leone and his musical cohort Ennio Morricone. After deconstructing the classic American western by way of The Good, the Bad & the Ugly and A Fistful of Dollars, Leone distilled his intentions with 1968’s Once Upon a Time in the West. For his part, Morricone framed Leone’s meditative camerawork and mythic narrative with a mix of hauntingly spacious pieces and reconfigured snatches of old-timey tunes. Just within the stretch of the first four pieces here, Morricone evokes the endless expanse of the West with a Copland-esque aria (the main title theme), weaves some twisted grit into the showdown theme with loads of guitar fuzz (“As a Judgment”), ingeniously combines whistling and a clippity-clop rhythm for a respite piece (“Farewell to Cheyenne”), and conjures the surreal end of the cowboy mythos via a wonderfully disjointed serial-style number (“The Transgression”). And whether sounding upbeat or stark, Morricone informs it all with the dry and windswept vacancy of the West. Beautiful and stunning. (by Stephen Cook)

Oh yes, he was a real master !

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Personnel:
Alessandro Alessandroni (whistle on 03.)
Edda (vocals on 01.
Franco de Gemini (harmonica)
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The Modern Singers Of Alessandroni (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Once Upon A Time In The West 3.421
02. The Man 103
03. The Grand Massacre 2.41
04. Arrival At The Station 0.54
05. Bad Orchestra 2.21
06. Jill’s America 2.46
07. Harmonica 2.27
08. The First Tavern 1.41
09. A Bed Too Large 1.31
10. Jill 1.46
11. Frank 1.53
12. Cheyenne 1.16
13. The Second Tavern 1.34
14. The Third Tavern 1.18
15. Epilogue 1.14
16. On The Roof Of The Train 1.20
17. Man With A Harmonica 3.24
18. A Dimly Lit Room 5.09
19. The Transgression 4.40
20. Return To The Train 0.56
21. Morton 1.36
22. As A Judgment 3.08
23. Final Duel 3.33
24. Death Rattle 1.44
25. Birth Of A City 4.24
26. Farewell To Cheyenne 2.39
27. Finale 4.11

Music composed by Ennio Morricone

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EnnioMorricone01Ennio Morricone (10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020)

Harvey Mason – With All My Heart (2004)

FrontCover1Throughout his career, Harvey Mason has been a busy studio musician and a highly versatile drummer able to excel in many different situations. Mason attended Berklee and graduated from the New England Conservatory. Early gigs included four months with Erroll Garner in 1970 and a year with George Shearing from 1970-1971. Soon after leaving Shearing, Mason moved to Los Angeles and quickly became established in the studios, working in films and television. In addition to his anonymous work through the years, Mason has often been part of the jazz world. He played with Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters in 1973, Gerry Mulligan for a 1974 Carnegie Hall concert, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington, Jr. (appearing on Mister Magic), Lee Ritenour, Victor Feldman, George Benson (playing drums on “This Masquerade”), and Bob James, among many others. In 1998, Mason paid tribute to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in some local Los Angeles club gigs. The early 2000s found Mason continuing with his steady session work, as well as releasing two solo albums with 2003’s Trios and 2004’s With All My Heart. In 2014, Mason revisited his ’70s Headhunters roots with Chameleon on Concord. (by Scott Yanow)

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Because Harvey Mason has appeared so frequently as a sideman on lots of smooth jazz dates, one tends to think of him solely within that genre, even though his roots are in straight-ahead jazz. This rare date as a leader features the drummer leading a series of 11 different piano-bass-drums trios, primarily in post-bop, bop or hard bop settings. His arrangement of “Bernie’s Tune” is very refreshing, utilizing reoccurring displaced rhythm behind Kenny Barron and Ron Carter. The magic continues with Chick Corea and Dave Carpenter in their creative rendition of “If I Should Lose You.” Victor Feldman’s less familiar “So Near, So Far” features Fred Hersch and Eddie Gomez, though the expected influence of the late Bill Evans is minimal. But elder statesman Hank Jones steals the spotlight with his elegant interpretation of “Tess,” a tune that was brand new to him; Mason and Jones’ longtime bassist George Mraz joins him. Some of the other participating musicians for this project include Monty Alexander, Charlie Haden, Cedar Walton, Mulgrew Miller, Herbie Hancock, Brad Mehldau, Bob James and Dave Grusin. Mason’s informative liner notes not only describe how each take came together in the studio but add background about his relationship to each musician or what appealed to him about each individual’s playing. The only oversight on this terrific release is the inadvertent omission of track-by-track composer credits, though a few of them are included within Mason’s commentary. (by Ken Dryden)

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Harvey Mason’s motto on With All My Heart seems to be “The one who plays drums in a jazz trio with the most bad-ass pianists and bassists wins. Arguably, that can be also stated of his entire career, as he has played and recorded with a mind-numbing amount of artists through various historical periods and musical styles. The lengthy and illustrious development of the quintessential small jazz group is definitely boosted by this recording.

The premise of the production was quite simple: Mason endeavoring to pair several of his favorite pianists and bassists to record material that is largely familiar to both musicians and the average jazz audience, as well as suited to the respective instrumentalists involved. With the exception of bassists Dave Carpenter, who performs on “If I Should Lose You and “Speak Like a Child, and Ron Carter, who executes on three compositions, the only common thread of the recording is the dexterous and versatile drumming of the leader. Blessedly, Mason also decided to write the liner notes—hence the prospect of knowing what he had in mind for each super-trio, their respective interpretations, and their raison d’être.

“If I Should Lose You, interpreted by Chick Corea, Carpenter, and Mason, is a first and only take. It’s emblematic of the best this project, the traditional jazz trio, and this type of music has to offer. Herein the devil isn’t only in the details, even though they tell a story by themselves. The cymbal ride, Carpenter’s in-and-out march (he seems to vanish while being ever more present), and Corea’s elegant and robust lyricism are some particulars worth mentioning. But those are minutiae within a dreamily tight and expressive cohesiveness that closes with an understated driven coda.

Hank Jones and George Mraz join the leader in “Tess. Jones opens by himself and takes immediate ownership of this number. Mason does quite a bit with it, without intruding one bit as Mraz lays it heavy yet unruffled before following Jones for a couple of bars. It is finger lickin’ good! (Javier Aq Ortiz)

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Personnel:
Monty Alexander (piano on 04.
Kenny Barron (piano on 01.
Dave Carpenter (bass on 02., 10.
Ron Carter (bass on 01., 06., 08.
Chick Corea (piano on 02.
Eddie Gomez (bass on 03.
Larry Grenadier (bass on 07.
Dave Grusin (piano on 09.
Charlie Haden (bass on 05.
Herbie Hancock (piano on 10.
Fred Hersch (piano on 03.
Bob James (piano on 05.
Hank Jones (piano on 11.)
Harvey Mason (drums)
Brad Mehldau (piano on 07.
Mulgrew Miller (piano on 08.
Charnett Moffett (bass on 04.
George Mraz (bass on 11.)
Cedar Walton (piano on 06.
Mike Valerio (bass on 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Bernie’s Tune (Barron/Leiber/Miller/Stoller) 3.41
02. If I Should Lose You (Carpenter/Corea/Rainger) 7.27
03. So Near, So Far (Gomez/Hersch) 4.42
04. Swamp Fire (Alexander/Moffett) 4.18
05. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Harbach/Kern) 6.13
06. Hindsight (Walton) 5.26
07. Dindi (Grenadier/Jobim/Mehldau) 7.48
08. Without A Song (Miller/Youmans) 6.40
09. One Morning In May (Grusin) 4.42
10. Speak Like A Child (Carpenter/Hancock) 5.18
11. Tess (Jones/Mraz/Surman) 4.50

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