The Sharp Five – The Sidewinder (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgIn 1962, The Ventures made the first of what would be many tours of Japan and the Far East. While the shows attracted very little media attention, many had already been exposed to this new reverb-drenched instrumental music through imported records and overseas radio broadcasts, and some of these fans formed their own bands that would become the genesis for a new trend in music. Progenitors of this new sound were tossing out their acoustic guitars in favor of more powerful electric ones, which prompted the name “eleki”, taken from the Japanese for “electric guitar”.

When The Ventures returned back to Japan in 1965, a far different scene awaited them. By this time “eleki” was all the rage. Many established groups had by this time given up playing rockabilly, country, and even jazz to switch over to “eleki”, and high school kids across the nation were rushing out to buy electric guitars and jump on the “eleki” bandwagon, demand for these guitars far outstripping domestic supply for several years running.

In addition to the radio and concerts, there were at least four television programs dedicated exclusively to “eleki” music including Eleki Tournament, Exciting Show, Eleki Tournament Show, and New Eleki Sounds Jumping into the World, and the establishment had begun to cast a wary eye on the “disturbing” trend. This had happened in the past with the rockabilly boom of the 50s, and would happen again with the Group Sounds bands later in the 60s, but regardless of the pressure, “eleki” continued to flourish. (by


One of these eleki gtoups from Japan was The Sharp Five:

“Sharp Five were an instrumental eleki / psychedelic garage combo from japan. Wicked guitar licks and Ventures-esque surf wah-wah fuzzed-out and psyched-up with an oriental sonic garage back bass. Overall a slightly trippier flavour of eleki . This is generally regarded as their best albums…” (by musicofsixties.blogspot)


Osamu Furuya (organ)
Munetaka Inoue (drums)
Nobuhiro Mine (lead guitar)
Akiyama Tsutomu (bass)
Hidemasa Yamauchi (guitar),


01. Paperback Writer (Lennon/McCartney) 2.22
02. What How My Love (Delanoe/Becaud) 2.19
03. Batman Theme (Hefti) 2.53
04. Secret Agentman (Sloan/Barri) 2.32
05. Theme From The “Man From U.N.C.L.E.” (Goldsmith) 1.48
06. Theme From “Our Man Flint” (Goldsmith) 4.23
07. Blue Eyes (Hashimoto/Inoue) 2.58
08. The Cat (Schifrin) 2.46
09. The “In” Crowd (Page) 3.36
10. The Sidewinder (Morgan) 3.14
11. Comin’ Home Baby (Tucher) 2.56
12. In Un Fiore (Mogol/Donida) 2.39
13. Paint It Black (Jagger/Richards) 3.30




Electric Flag – A Long Time Comin’ (1968)

LPFrontCover1A Long Time Comin’ is the first album by American rock band the Electric Flag, released in 1968. The album has a mix of musical styles, including soul along with blues and rock, with a horn section.

It opens with an updated take on the Howlin’ Wolf blues classic “Killing Floor” and includes an adaptation of Sticks McGhee’s “Drinkin’ Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee” titled “Wine”. The album also contains “Groovin’ Is Easy” and “Over-Lovin’ You”, which had been released as a single in 1967.


It is widely seen as an ambitious debut album by music critics. The album was somewhat of a failure in the charts, much to the disappointment of Bloomfield, who had worked hard on the album.[citation needed] His disappointment was worsened by the success of the Al Kooper directed Super Session, which, featuring Bloomfield, charted much higher than A Long Time Comin’ despite only being recorded over a period of two days.


Writer Jeff Tamarkin says “ex Butterfield Band guitarist Mike Bloomfield, drummer Buddy Miles, and others put this soul-rock band together in 1967. This debut is a testament to their ability to catch fire and keep on burnin’.” That The Electric Flag do so well — they appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival with the Blues Project, Paul Butterfield, and Janis Joplin, and all these groups had some musical connection to each other beyond that pivotal festival. A Long Time Comin’ is the “new soul” described appropriately enough by the late critic Lillian Roxon, and tunes like “She Should Have Just” and “Over-Lovin’ You” lean more towards the soul side than the pop so many radio listeners were attuned to back then. Nick Gravenites was too much of a purist to ride his blues on the Top 40 the way Felix Cavaliere gave us “Groovin’,” so Janis Joplin’s eventual replacement in Big Brother & the Holding Company, Gravenites, and this crew pour out “Groovin’ Is Easy” on this disc. It’s a classy production, intellectual ideas with lots of musical changes, a subdued version of what Joplin herself would give us on I Got Dem Ole Kozmic Blues Again, Mama two years later, with some of that album written by vocalist Gravenites.


Though launched after Al Kooper’s the Blues Project, A Long Time Comin’ itself influenced bands who would go on to sell more records. In the traditional “Wine,” it is proclaimed “you know Janis Joplin, she’ll tell you all about that wine, baby.” As good as the album is, though, the material is pretty much composed by Mike Bloomfield and Barry Goldberg, when they’re not covering Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” and adding spoken-word news broadcasts to the mix. More contributions by Buddy Miles and Gravenites in the songwriting department would have been welcome here. The extended CD version has four additional tracks, Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” and “Mystery,” both which appear on the self-titled Electric Flag outing which followed this LP, as well as other material which shows up on Old Glory: The Best of Electric Flag, released in 2000. “Sittin’ in Circles” opens like the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm,” the keyboards as well as the sound effects, and a hook of “hey little girl” which would resurface as the title of a Nick Gravenites tune on the aforementioned follow-up disc, where Gravenites and Miles did pick up the songwriting slack, Bloomfield having wandered off to Super Session with the Blues Project’s Al Kooper. Amazing stuff all in all, which could eventually comprise a boxed set of experimental blues rock from the mid- to late sixties. Either version of this recording, original vinyl or extended CD, is fun listening and a revelation. (by Joe Viglione)


Mike Bloomfield (guitar, vocals)
Barry Goldberg (keyboards)
Harvey Brooks (bass)
Marcus Doubleday (trumpet)
Michael Fonfara (keyboards)
Stemsy Hunter (saxophone)
Nick Gravenites (vocals, guitar)

Buddy Miles (drums, vocals)
Herb Rich (organ, vocals, saxophone, guitar)
Peter Strazza (saxophone)
Paul Beaver (keyboards, synthesizer)
John Court (percussion, vocals)
Joe Church (Percussion)
Cass Elliot (vocals on 02.)
Richie Havens (percussion, sitar)
Sivuca – guitar, percussion
Leo Daruczek – Charles McCracken – Bobby Notkoff – Julius Held

01. Killing Floor (Burnett) 4.11
02. Groovin’ Is Easy (Gravenites) 3.06
03. Over-Lovin’ You (Bloomfield/Goldberg) 2.21
04. Should Have Just (Polte) 5.03
05. Wine (Traditional) 3.15
06. Texas (Bloomfield/Miles) 4.49
07. Sittin´ In Circles (Goldberg) 3.54
08. You Don’t Realize (Bloomfield) 4.56
09. Another Country (Polte) 8.47
10. Easy Rider (Bloomfield) 0.53
11. Sunny (Hebb) 4.02
12. Mystery (Miles) 2.56
13. Look Into My Eyes (Brooks/Miles) 3.07





Various Artists (Putumayo World Music) – Italian Cafe (2005)

FrontCover1Putumayo World Music is a New York City-based record label, now specializing in compilations of music from various nations, regions, or musical styles which may be classified as world music.

In 1991, on his way home from Bali, Dan Storper stopped in San Francisco, California. In Golden Gate Park, he heard the Nigerian band Kotoja. He was impressed by the music and the way it gathered many different people. He made a compilation of music he had gathered on his journeys and gathered a positive response. This led him to give out his first release in 1993. Storper took the name of his record label, Putumayo, from Colombia’s Putumayo Department where he travelled in 1974, which subsequently came from the name of Putumayo River. The word is said to be the name of a bird (heron).

Every release features the art of Nicola Heindl. Her art is both folky and modern, and, according to the Putumayo website, “represents one of Putumayo’s goals: to connect the traditional to the contemporary.”

Typically a Putumayo World Music compilation is presented as a theme under the title “Putumayo Presents:” The themes can be regional (South Africa, Caribbean, Asia), music types (reggae, folk, Latin, jazz) and other themes (lounge, groove, party).

The Putumayo Kids division was created in 2002. Since the release of the World Playground CD in 1999, Putumayo Kids has achieved honors from Parents’ Choice Awards and the National Parenting Publications Association, and has grown to be one of the more important children’s record labels.

Putumayo launched the Putumayo World Music Hour in 2000, a commercially-syndicated world music radio show. Rosalie Howarth of KFOG hosts the Music Hour. The weekly show is heard internationally on over 150 commercial and non-commercial stations.

Putumayo has ten offices worldwide. Their products are sold at a network of more than 3,000 book, gift, clothing, coffee and other specialty retailers in the US. The label claims to distribute their CDs in more than 80 countries around the world. (by wikipedia)


This is a charming, if ultimately fairly inconsequential, collection of recordings from 1950s and 1960s Italy, along with a handful of songs by a few modern artists whose stylistic roots go back to the postwar era as well. The overall sound may come across as a bit kitschy to American ears — there are lots of accordions and crooning, emotive vocals — but if you spend some time with these recordings most of them will grow on you. Highlights include the quirky Vinicio Capossela’s “Che Cossè l’Amor,” Quadro Nuevo’s jazzy instrumental “Tu Vuo’ Fa’ l’Americano,” and Quartetto Cetra’s slightly cute but really very engaging “Un Bacio a Mezzanotte.” On the slightly less compelling side are Gianmaria Testa’s contributions, the willfully goofy “Dentro al Cinema” and the self-consciously intense (and ultimately self-parodying) “La Traiettorie delle Mongolfiere,” but the high points outweigh the low ones on this ultimately charming collection. Recommended. (by Rick Anderson)

This review is not correct: Most of the recordings are NOT from the 50´s, … and in the reat booklet you can read, that Quadro Nuevo are from Austria … this is wrong .. Quadro Nueva are from Bavaria (Southern Germany) … but … much more important …

… more recordings from this great label will come !


01. Fred Buscaglione: Juke Box (1958) (Beretta/Malgoni) 2.23
02. Quartetto Cetra: Un Bacio A Mezzanotte (1952) (Kramer/Garinei) 2.14
03. Giorgio Conte: Cannelloni (2003) (Conte) 2.55
04. Vinicio Capossela: Che Cossè L’Amor (1994) (Capossela) 4.14
05. Maria Pierantoni Giua: Petali e Mirto (2004) (Martinell/Giua) 3.25
06. Giorgio Conte: Gnè Gnè (2003) (Conte) 3.28
07. Renato Carosone: Piccolissima Serenata (2001) (Carosone/Nisa) 3.23
08. Gianmaria Testa: Dentro Al Cinema (2003) (Testa) 3.43
09. Daniele Silvestri: Le Cose In Camune (1995) (Micelli/Silvestri) 4.16
10. Quadro Nuevo: Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano (2002) (Carosone) 3.57
11. Gianmaria Testa: La Traiettorie Delle Mongolfiere (1995) (Testa/Bertone) 3.29
12. Nicola Arigliano: Carina (2001) (Testa/Poes) 3.17



Glenn Miller – In The Mood (2000)

FrontCover1.jpgBandleader Glenn Miller inspired the World War II generation and boosted morale with many popular songs.

Born in 1904 in Iowa, bandleader and musician Glenn Miller inspired the World War II generation. He was one of the most popular bandleaders in the late 1930s and early 1940s with such songs as “Moonlight Serenade” and “Tuxedo Junction.” In 1942, Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to lead the Army Air Force Band. He boosted the morale of the troops with his many popular songs before mysteriously disappearing on a flight from England to Paris, France. Miller’s original recordings continue to sell millions of copies. He died on December 15, 1944.

Born in Clarinda, Iowa, on March 1, 1904, bandleader and musician Glenn Miller started out playing the mandolin as a child, but quickly switched to the horn. His family moved several times in his youth—to Missouri, then to Nebraska, and finally to Colorado in 1918. In high school in Fort Morgan, Colorado, Miller played in the school band. He turned professional after graduating in 1921, becoming a member of Boyd Senter’s orchestra.


In 1923, Miller quit the orchestra to go to college. He spent a year at the University of Colorado before dropping out to return to the music business. Moving to Los Angeles, California, Miller worked with Ben Pollack’s band for a time. He then headed to New York City, where he freelanced as a trombonist and an arranger. In 1934, Miller became the musical director for Tommy Dorsey’s band with brother Jimmy Dorsey. He then formed an American orchestra for British bandleader Ray Noble.

While he first recorded under his own name in 1935, Glenn Miller struggled for several years before establishing himself as a musician and bandleader. He formed his own orchestra and then reconfigured it several times until he found the winning combination. It was his band’s gig at the famed Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York, in 1939 that helped put Miller on the map. Their performances there were broadcast on the radio, giving them great public exposure.

Miller scored his first hit with “Wishing (Will Make It So)” that same year. He penned his even bigger successful single, “Moonlight Serenade,” which climbed the charts in 1939 as well. With their distinctive swing jazz style, Miller and his orchestra became the country’s top dance band. They dominated the music charts with such tracks as “In the Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction” and “Pennsylvania 6-5000” in 1940.

GlennMiller03In 1941, Miller made his first film, Sun Valley Serenade, with Sonja Henie. The film featured another one of his signature songs “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” The following year, he appeared in Orchestra Wives (1942). That same year, Miller had to put his successful music career aside to serve his country. He was inducted into the U.S. Army, later transferring to the Army Air Force.

Miller headed up the U.S. Army Air Force Band, which gave numerous performances to entertain the troops during World War II. He was stationed in England in 1944 when he learned that his band was to go to Paris. On December 15, Miller boarded a transport plane headed to the newly liberated French capital. He intended to make preparations for his group’s new series of concerts there, but he never arrived.

What happened to Miller’s plane remains a mystery. Neither the plane nor Miller’s body was ever recovered. He left his wife Helen and their two children. Miller’s military band continued to play for months after his death, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra was revived after the war to honor his legacy. Collections of his greatest hits did well on the charts for several years after his passing as well. Jimmy Stewart later starred in the popular film The Glenn Miller Story (1954), which was loosely based on Miller’s life. (by

And here´s another nice sampler with 20 classic Glenn Miller tunes ..

Enjoy the era of Big Band Jazz … but you should be in a sentimental mood …


Glenn Miller And His Orchestra


01. In The Mood (Garland/Razaf) 3.34
02. Pennsylvania 6-5000 (Sigman/Gray) 3.14
03. Moonlight Becomes You (Burke/v.Heussen) 3.18
04. Sunrise Serenade (Lawrence/Carle) 3.25
05. Moonlight Serenade (Parish/Miller) 3.22
06. Elmer´s Tune (Albrecht/Gallop/Jürgens) 3.06
07. Juke Box Saturday Night (Stillman/McGrane) 3.05
08. Tuxedo Junction (Johnson/Dash/Feyne/Hawkins) 3.26
09. Chattanooga Choo Choo (Gordon/Warren) 3.24
10. Caribbean Clipper (Gray) 2.28
11. Moonlight Cocktail (Gannon/Roberts) 3.17
12. Amrican Patrol (Meacham) 3.18
13. (I Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo (Gordon/Warren) 3.14
14. Danny Boy (Weatherly) 2.15
15. Serenade In Blue (Gordon/Warren) 3.26
16. A String Of Pearls (Gray) 3.13
17. At Last (Gordon/Warren) 3.05
18. Going Home (Traditional) 2.19
19. I Know Why (Gordon/Warren) 2.59
20. Don´t Sit Under The Apple Tree (Brown/Tobias/Stepf) 3.09



Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – December 15, 1944)

Harry Chapin – Greatest Stories Live (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGGreatest Stories Live is the first live album by the American singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, recorded over three nights at three California venues, and released in 1976. Certain elements had to be re-recorded in the studio due to technical problems with the live recordings. The original LP release featured three new studio tracks, two of which (“She Is Always Seventeen” and “Love Is Just Another Word”) were excluded from the CD release. “A Better Place to Be” was released as a single, and did manage to crack the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The album is popular for its extended cut of “30,000 Pounds of Bananas”, infamous for Chapin’s recounting of his brothers’ remarks after hearing the original ending: “Harry…it sucks.” The quote became so popular with Harry Chapin fans that concert shirts were sold with the quotation on it. (by wikipedia)


Recorded in November 1975, Greatest Stories Live showcases the legendary live performance styles of acoustic troubadour and noted activist Harry Chapin. Recorded over three nights on-stage in California, the double-LP set features all the hits as well as a few notable album cuts that put the musician’s musical and personal skills out on the line for all to see. There are the obvious inclusions of touching hits, like “W*O*L*D,” “Taxi,” and of course the father-son anthem “Cats in the Cradle.” “Mr. Tanner” and the heartfelt “I Wanna Learn a Love Song” also come across great in the live environment, a setting that was clearly the singer/songwriter’s forte. Chapin has a fantastic rapport with the audience throughout the set, and it comes through with incredible results on his humorous banter before and during the rousing and set-highlighting “30,000 Pounds of Bananas,” a great track about Scranton, PA, and a runaway fruit truck. Sure it may sound a little hokey, but Chapin is a true showman and the fun he has on-stage transfers directly into the joy of listening to the record. A fine musician and individual, Chapin’s Greatest Stories Live comes close to living up to its name and is a fitting document of a man whose boundless joy and insight shined through in his music. (by Peter J. D’Angelo)


Ed Bednarski (carinet)
Ron Bacchiocchi (snthesizer, percussion, clavinet)
Harry Chapin (uhtar, vocals)
Stephen Chapin (ynthesizer, piano, vocals)
Tom Chapin (guitar, banjo, vocals)
Howie Fields (drums)
Paul Leka -(piano, clavinet)
Michael Masters (cello)
Tim Moore (piano)
Ronald Palmer (guitar, vocals)
Don Payne (bass)
Tim Scott (cello)
Ken Smith (percussion)
Bob Springer (percussion)
Allan Schwartzberg (drums)
John Tropea (guitar)
Doug Walker (bass, guitar, vocals)
Doug Walker (bass, guitar, vocals)
John Wallace (bass, vocals)
ackground vocals:
Christine Faith – Cheryl Ferrio – David Kondziela – Mark Mundy – Kathy Ramos – Frank Simms – George Simms – Betsy Wager – Sue White 


01. Dreams Go By (H.Chapin) 4.54
02. W·O·L·D (H.Chapin) 5.01
03. Saturday Morning (T.Chapin) 3.05
04. I Wanna Learn A Love Song (H.Chapin) 5.04
05. Mr. Tanner (H.Chapin) 5.17
06. A Better Place To Be (Chapin) 9.58
07. Let Time Go Lightly (S.Chapin) 4.56
08. Cat´s In The Craddle (H.Chapin) 4.04
09. Taxi (H.Chapin) 6.52
10. Circle (H.Chapin) 7.21
11. 30,000 Pounds of Bananas (H.Chapin) 11.27
12. The Shortest Story (Studio track) (H.Chapin) 2.25


Two different Labels

Harry Chapin (December 7, 1942 – July 16, 1981)

Herman’s Hermits – Same (1965)

FrontCover1.jpgHerman’s Hermits (sometimes called Introducing Herman’s Hermits) is the debut album of the band Herman’s Hermits, first issued in 1965. As was typical of the time, the album’s contents were different on the UK and US releases. UK albums did not have any singles included.

The success of Herman’s Hermits first single, “I’m Into Something Good”, #1 in the UK and #13 on the US Billboard Hot 100, led to a US release of their first album in February, 1965. After two other single releases which were eventually issued on their second US album Herman’s Hermits on Tour, MGM released “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” in April, 1965. It immediately went to #1 on the US Billboard Chart. The album itself peaked on the Billboard 200 chart at #2, and remained on the chart for 40 weeks.

The album was not released in the UK until September, 1965. As was customary at the time, UK album releases did not have any singles on them. The UK version peaked at #16, and was only on the charts for two weeks.

In his retrospective review of the album’s release, Richie Unterberger for AllMusic gave the album a modest response by saying, “Since those are the first songs on the album, it’s a letdown thereafter, since the oldies aren’t very creative or (in comparison to the better British Invasion groups) forcefully performed, and the pop numbers sound like filler Merseybeat.” (by wikipedia)

Herman´s Hermits01

In his retrospective review of the album’s release, Richie Unterberger for AllMusic gave the album a modest response by saying, “Since those are the first songs on the album, it’s a letdown thereafter, since the oldies aren’t very creative or (in comparison to the better British Invasion groups) forcefully performed, and the pop numbers sound like filler Merseybeat.”

This is the UK Version of the Album including The Yardbird hit “For Your Love” … most of the material is part of the innocent side of Beat Music !

Herman's Hermits, Barry Whitwam, Keith Hopwood, Peter Noone, Karl Green, Derek Leckenby, circa early

Karl Green (bass)
Keith Hopwood (guitar)
Derek Leckenby (guitar)
Peter Noone (vocals)
Barry Whitwam (drums)

01. Heartbeat (Montgomery/Petty) 2.51
02. Travellin’ Light (Tepper/Bennett) 2.35
03. I’ll Never Dance Again (Mann/Anthony) 3.29
04. Walkin’ With My Angel (Goffin/King) 2.22
05. Dream On (Gordon) 2.05
06. I Wonder (Pearson) 2.10
07. For Your Love (Gouldman) 2.27
08. Don’t Try To Hurt Me (Hopwood) 2.07
09. Tell Me Baby (Leckenby/Hopwood) 2.15
10. I’m Henery VIII, I Am (Murray/Weston) 1.52
11. The End Of The World (Kent/Dee) 2.59
12. Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter (Peacock) 2.48



Paul Brett – Clocks (1974)

FrontCover1.JPGHere´s another rarity from my Paul Brett record collection:

By the time I acquired “Clocks” in one of those glorious used LP shops in the 80s, I was utterly smitten by his late 70s unheralded classics “Interlife” and “Eclipse”. Given that “Clocks” originated in the progressive fires of 1974, I expected to herein find his most compelling work. I was roundly disappointed and have only recently accepted that, while this LP cannot compare to Brett’s best work, it is actually pretty decent in its own right.

One must remember that many styles other than prog were big in the early to mid 70s, among them a British take on American country rock, popularized by LINDISFARNE among others. Brett doesn’t embrace this wholeheartedly on “Clocks”, but it’s certainly one of the main focuses of this eclectic work that I had unfairly branded as MOR and relegated to the shelf accessible only by ladder. One need only listen to “Soho Jack” and “One Sunday Morning” to get the gist. Mike Piggott’s fiddles and Dave Griffiths’ mandolin and fretless bass play an equal role to Brett’s guitars on many of the tracks, among these “Explanation Blues”. While Brett focuses on his acoustic playing, “Circles” boasts some fine lead guitar licks. Among the mellower tunes are “Captain Dan” and “What you mean to me”. Nick Sterling’s cello and tasteful orchestral arrangements envelope these tunes with a sweet wistfulness.

“Clocks” has minimal progressive qualifications but it is a perfectly pleasant if somewhat dated set of mid 70s soft rock with Country and folk accents. (by Keneth Levine)


Paul Brett (guitar, vocals)
Dave Griffiths (mandolin, bass)
Mike Piggott (violin, guitar, drums)
Charlie Charles (percussion)
Pat Donaldson (bass)
Lyle Harper (bass)
Terry Poole (bass)
John Richardson (percussion)
Nick Sterling (cello)

Jim Toomey (percussion)
Rob Young (piano)


01. Clocks (Brett/Piggott) 1.38
02. Soho Jack (Brett/Piggott(Griffiths) 3.25
03. Captain Dan (Brett) 3.36
04. Duellin’ Banjo (from “Deliverance”) (Jayne/R.Dillard/D.Dillard/Webb) 2.53
05. Empty Dreams/Flying Machines (Brett) 3.21
06. Rain From A Clear Sky (Brett/Stirling) 3.07
07. One Sunday Morning (Brett) 3.25
08. Explanation Blues (Brett) 2.28
09. Circles (Brett) 2.47
10. Hunter Of Angels (Brett) 3.05
11. What You Mean To Me (Brett) 2.53
12. Summer Driftin’ (Brett) 4.19
13. Snowbird (Brett) 3.24




More Paul Brett:

More Paul Brett