Merry Christmas …

SriLanka03I wish all readers of this crazy, little blog a wonderful Christmast time !

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!!

I will travel to Sri Lanka for the next weeks … and I´ll be back on January 10th, 2014 … And then I will continue with this blog and I would like to present more items from the world of music …

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Herbert von Karajan – Christmas Adagio (1977)

KarajanChristmasAdagioFCThis is a christmas compilation of maestro Herbert von Karajan recorded betwenn the years 1968 – 1977.
Enjoy these wonderful compositions from the baroque era of classic music.You don´t have to believe in God to feel the spiritual dimensions of this music.


Personnel:
Berliner Symphony Orchestra conducted by Herbert von Karajan

KarajanChristmas Adagio-back
Tracklist:

Guiseppe Torrelli: Christmas concerto op. 8 no. 6 (9.17)
01. Grave – Vivace 3.47
02. Laego 3.40
03. Vivace 1.50

Ottorino Respighi:
04. Siciliana (from Ancient airs and dances for lute) 3.39

Francesco Manfredini: Christmas Concerto op.3 No. 12 (10.57)
05. Pastorale (Largo) 5.01
06. Largo 2.58
07. Allegro 2.58

Georg Friedrich Haendel:
08. Musette (from Concerto grosso op. 6 no. 6) 7.36

Pietro Locatelli: Concerto grosso op. 1 no. 8 (19.44)
09. Largo – Grave 3.44
10. Vivace 1.32
11. Grave 2.09
12. Largo Andante 5.14
13. Andante 2.23
14. Pastoral – Andante 4.42

Arcangello Corelli: Christmas concerto op 8. no. 8 (16.44)
15. Vivace – Grave – Allegro 4.32
16. Adagio – Allegro – Adagio 3.49
17. Vivace 1.26
18. Allegro 1.53
19. Pastorale (Largo) 5.04

Franz Xaver Gruber:
20. Silent Night 2.57

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Alquin – Marks (1972)

AlquinMarksFCAlquin were an innovative Dutch band who released four studio albums during the early to mid-70’s, their first two being of particular interest to progsters. With a mixture of rock, jazz and classical music
they show elements of Soft Machine, Caravan, Pink Floyd, Curved Air with tinges of Roxy Music
“Marks” (1972), their first release, is mostly instrumental with a highly jazzy feel. Quite versatile, it features snippets of calypso, circus music, Dixieland and (of all things!) country music.
The longest track on this album, “I Wish I Would” is one of the first hightlights from manies, which gave us these band as a gift !
AlquinMarks

Personnel:
Ferdinand Bakker (guitar, violin, keyboards, vocals)
Dick Franssen (keyboards)
Hein Mars (bass, vocals)
Ronald Ottenhoff (saxophone, flute)
Job Tarenskeen (saxophone, percussions, vocals)
Paul Westrate (drums, vocals)

AlquinMarksAlternateFCAlternate frontcover

Tracklist:
01. Oriental Journey (Bakker) 2.35
02. The Last You Could Do Is Send Me Flowers (Bakker) 4.09
03. Soft Royce (Bakker/Ottenhoff) 7.00
04. Mr. Barnum´s Jr.´s Magnificent & Fabolous city (Bakker/Franssen/Mars/Ottenhoff/Tarenskeen/Westrate) 5.21
05. I Wish I Coul (Bakker) 11.41
06. You Always Can Change (Tarenskeen) 3.02
07. Marc´s Occasional Showers (Bakker) 3.16)
08. Catherine´s Wig (Bakker) 2.30

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Louis Armstrong & Friends – What A Wonderful Christmas (1997)

FrontCover1Although this Christmas compilation is credited to “Louis Armstrong & Friends,” it’s really more aptly categorized as a various artists anthology, since Armstrong only has six of the fourteen tracks. The disc is filled out with seasonal offerings by Dinah Washington, Mel Torme, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, and Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, mostly from the 1950s. It’s pleasant pop-jazz that doesn’t rate among the highlights of any of these talented artists’ careers. But it makes for an above-average Christmas disc, especially on Lionel Hampton’s “Merry Christmas, Baby,” Louis Armstrong’s “Cool Yule,” and Louis Jordan’s “May Everyday Be Christmas,” which celebrate the holiday with more gutsy hipness than the usual Yuletide fare. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Tracklist:
01. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas In New Orleans (Sherman(/v.Winkle) 2.54
02. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.39
03. Dinah Washington: Silent Night (Gruber/More) 2.23
04. Mel Torme: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 3.07
05. Louis Armstrong/Benny Carter Orchestra: Christmas Time In Harlem (Scott/Paris) 2.39
06. Peggy Lee: It´s Christmas Time Again (Burke/Elliott/Harwood) 3.00
07. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: Cool Yule (Allen) 2.55
08. Lionel Hampton: Merry Christmas, Baby (Moore/Baxter) 3.22
09. Louis Armstrong/The Commanders: ‘Zat You, Santa Claus? (Fox) 2.40
10. Eartha Kitt/Henri Rene Orchestra: Santa Baby (P.Springer/T.Springer/Javils) 3.26
11. Duke Ellington: JIngle Bells (Pierpont) 3.00
12. Lena Horne: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 2.43
13. Louis Jordan: May Everyday Be Christmas (Jordan) 3.11
14. Louis Armstrong/Gordon Jenkins Orchestra: Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) 3.00

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Yuko Gulda – Mellow Sky (1984)

FrontCover1Yuko Gulda – The name stands for that often risky walk down the fine line between classical music and jazz. Pianist Yuko Gulda fascinates audiences with captivating, emotional performances of her intensely melodic compositions. Most impressive of all are Gulda’s interpretations of her own ballads. Her pieces are finely woven and graced by an occasional hint of Japanese musical elements.

Yuko Gulda is not only the wife of mastermind Friedrich Gulda, but a very strong part of

Taken from the original liner notes:

“What I like about Yuko´s music is primarily the fact that she is expressing her own honest feelings. Therefore her music is marked by a special tension, which makes people listen and keep listening to it. One feels she believes in her music, especially because her music is very intense.
I personally like “Ester Mitsuko” and “Locrian” best of all, for it is in these slower tunes where I really feel what Yuko means. I think she could make a record of ballads only, too.” (Benny Bailey)

This rare LP from Austria is a real highlight … everybody should discover this piece of fantastic music !!!

BackCover1Personnel:
Wayne Darling (bass)
Bill Elgart (drums, percussion)
Yuko Gulda (piano, synthesizer)

YukoGuldaTracklist:
01. Mellow Sky (Gulda) 12.38
02. Aus dem Schlamassel (Gulda) 5.59
03. Ida Lupino (Bley) 5.17
04. Ichi Ni No San (Gulda)
05. Ester Mitsuko (Gulda) 5.58
06. Gedicht, gedacht,… (Gulda) 5.23
07. Locrian(Gulda) 5.40

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The Rolling Stones – Got Live If You Want It! (1966)

FrontCover1A live document of the Brian Jones-era Rolling Stones sounds enticing, but the actual product is a letdown, owing to a mixture of factors, some beyond the producers’ control and other very much their doing. The sound on the original LP was lousy — which was par for the course on most mid-’60s live rock albums — and the remasterings have only improved it marginally, and for that matter not all of it’s live; a couple of old studio R&B covers were augmented by screaming fans that had obviously been overdubbed. Still, the album has its virtues as a historical document, with some extremely important caveats for anyone not old enough to recognize the inherent limitations in a live album of this vintage. The first concerns the history of this release — the Got Live if You Want It! album (not to be confused with the superior sounding but much shorter, U.K.-only extended-play single, issued in England in mid-1965) was a U.S.-only release late 1966, intended to feed a seemingly insatiable American market. As a best-of album had been issued in March 1966 and Aftermath in June of the same year, and the Stones had just come off of a major U.S. tour (which proved to be their last for over three years), another album was needed, to bridge the gap in America between the those earlier LPs, the two most recent singles — “Paint It, Black” and “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” — and the Between the Buttons album, which was not going to make it out in time for the Christmas season.

RollingStonesLive01The result was Got Live if You Want It!, which was intended to be recorded at a concert at Royal Albert Hall on September 23, 1966, the Stones’ first live appearance in England in over a year. The problem was, as was memorably stated by a writer in Rolling Stone magazine a few years later, the Stones in those days didn’t play concerts — they played riots, and that was precisely what happened at Royal Albert Hall, as several hundred fans charged the stage, overwhelming the band before they’d gotten through the opening number, “Paint It, Black.” The scene was captured in the footage later used in the promotional film for “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” What was left of the show, once order was restored, was taped, along with at least two other shows on that tour over the next week or so; and it should also be remembered that in those days the group seldom played for more than 30 to 40 minutes, and sometimes less than that, much like the Beatles in concert. And the audience noise, much as it was with the Beatles, was overwhelming in the days before stacks of Marshall amps became routine in a band’s equipment — indeed, at some shows, at certain moments, only the tempo of Charlie Watts’ drumming could tell you which song the group was doing, and the band members couldn’t hear much more than the crowd — matters such as tuning instruments and precise playing, even down to the most routine changes, became exercises in futility. Add to that the limitations of live recording, and the inevitable sound leakages and other problems, and one can see how this album was easier to conceive than to actually bring off successfully. When all of the tapes were assembled, the producers were left with about 28 minutes of material that was usable to varying degrees, and even that was somewhat wishful thinking by the standards of the day. (Apart from the Kinks’ Live at Kelvin Hall [aka The Live Kinks], few groups or record labels in 1967 had the courage to release a concert album that sounded like the real article.) And here, someone — the Stones’ producer, London Records, whoever — started fiddling around, twirling knobs, changing balances, and making the stuff supposedly sound “better,” and bringing in a couple of studio tracks, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “Fortune Teller,” and laying on some crowd noise to bring the show up to an acceptable length for an LP.

RollingStonesLive02

The result is the Rolling Stones album that has undergone more changes than any other in its various incarnations. First, there was the original LP version and the mix it featured, which left out most of the introduction and virtually any between-song talk by Mick Jagger; his voice was brought up and the rest of the band sounds somewhat suppressed; one channel of the stereo version had Jagger’s voice isolated and amplified to ridiculous prominence, while the other channel had a relatively “flat” and realistic balance on the concert material. In fact, if you took the latter channel and bumped it onto both channels of an open-reel tape, the result was a short but pretty good live performance. In the mid-’80s, ABKCO Records took control of the Stones’ library and went back to the original source tapes for the Got Live if You Want It! CD, re-editing the material in consultation with producer Andrew Oldham, improving the mixes on several of the songs, including “The Last Time,” “Time Is on My Side,” and “19th Nervous Breakdown,” and also giving a fuller account of Long John Baldry’s introduction. That was a step in the right direction and improved the record somewhat. Then, in 2002, came the SACD hybrid remastering of the album for a new CD edition, which is likely to be the last word in improvement on this album. The balances are finally realistic, in terms of Jagger’s voice and the rest of the band — Bill Wyman’s bass work and Charlie Watts’ drumming are consistently rewarding, and Keith Richards and Brian Jones have their moments, as well, though not as consistently. The performances were done, after all, under what were, at best, siege conditions, with little opportunity for finesse or nuance.

RollingStonesLive03The one element that does come through consistently is the excitement and sheer kinetic energy generated by the band. The older songs come off the best — though one is glad that they do “Lady Jane,” the dulcimer-dominated piece comes off in this setting a lot like “Yesterday” did when the Beatles did that in concert; audiences shriek and scream over a quiet, reflective song that really doesn’t merit that response, and the result as a live performance is off-kilter; the group’s rendition of their then-current single, “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?” is a bit chaotic, although it does give the band a chance to show what Keith Richards’ critique of the studio version’s burying of the rhythm section was all about — he and Brian Jones do their best to compensate for the lack of overdubbed brass stabs. The only real disappointment is the finale, “Satisfaction,” which comes off as quick, ragged, and chaotic — it was impossible to interlock the guitars the way the group’s sound needed, and it has no real ending, which is why it’s faded down. The album is a lot more uneven than the much shorter EP of the same name (available on Singles 1963-1965), but it is now at least a fairly honest document of what rock & roll concerts in the mid-’60s were like. Ironically, Got Live if You Want It! wasn’t released in England until more than a decade later and, in the interim, in 1971, Decca Records took some of its tracks, jumbled them up with some cuts off the 1969 concert album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!, and combined them under the misleading title Gimme Shelter, as though it were the soundtrack to that movie (despite a disclaimer on the back), and generally infuriated fans on both sides of the Atlantic in the process. (by Ritchie Unterberger)

BackCover1Personnel:
Mick Jagger (vocals, percussion)
Brian Jones (guitar, vocals, harmonica, piano on 05.)
Keith Richards (guitar, vocals)
Charlie Watts (drums)
Bill Wyman (bass)
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Ian Stewart (keyboards)

Tracklist:
01. Under My Thumb (Jagger/Richards) 2.45
02. Get Off Of My Cloud (Jagger/Richards) 2.40
03. Lady Jane (Jagger/Richards) 3.00
04. Not Fade Away (Hardin/Petty) 1.55
05. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) (Redding) 2.50
06. Fortune Teller (Neville) 2.10
07. The Last Time (Jagger/Richards) 3.00
08. 19th Nervous Breakdown (Jagger/Richards) 3.18
09. Time Is On My Side (Jagger/Richards) 2.40
10. I’m Alright (Jagger/Richards) 2.20
11. Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? (Jagger/Richards) 2.50
12. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger/Richards) 3.45

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I dedicate this entry to my brother, who died a few days ago … The cover-scans (a rare German pressing) are from his record collection. Rest In Peace, my brother !

Various Artists – I Got Rhythm, Vol. 1 (Swing Classics) (1999)

FrontCover1Swing music, or simply Swing, is a form of American music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1940. Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar, medium to fast tempos, and a “lilting” swing time rhythm. The name swing came from the phrase ‘swing feel’ where the emphasis is on the off–beat or weaker pulse in the music (unlike classical music). Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement.

The danceable swing style of big bands and bandleaders such as Benny Goodman was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1946, a period known as the Swing Era.

The verb “to swing” is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong rhythmic “groove” or drive. (by wikipedia)

This is Volume 1 of a real fine introduction to this music … one the most important roots of Jazz !

BookletBackCover1Tracklist:
01. Duke Ellington: It Don´t Mean A Thing (Ellington/Mills) 3.08
02. Benny Goodman: Stompin´ At The Savoy (Sampson/Goodman/Parrish) 3.14
03. Glenn Miller: Don´t Sit Under The Apple Tree (Brown/Tobias/Stept) 3.09
04. Lionel Hampton: Muskrat Ramble (Ory/Gilbert) 3.13
05. Cab Calloway: Aw You Dawg (Hoover/Calloway) 2.46
06. Count Basie: Jumpin At The Woodside (Basie) 3.02
07. Bob Crosby: South Rampart Street Patade (Haggart/Baudic/Crosby) 3.30
08. Tommy Dorsey: Song Of India (Korsakoff) 3.05
09. Benny Goodman: King Porter Stomp (Morton) 3.07
10. Cab Calloway: The Scat Song (Parish/Perkins/Calloway) 3.05
11. Teddy Wilson: Don´t Be That Way (Goodman/Sampson/Parish) 3.02
12. Artie Shaw: Lady Be Good (I.Gerschwin/G.Gershwin) 3.01
13. The Andrew Sisters: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Ray/Prince) 2.39
14. Jimmy Dorsey: Tangerine (Mercer/Schertzinger) 3.09

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