Paco de Lucia – Cositas Buenas (2004)

FrontCover1Cositas Buenas is an album featuring Paco de Lucía and directed by Paco de Lucía with the collaboration of Javier Limón.

The album has four bulerías, two rumba tracks, a tangos and a tientos.

On his first outing in five years, and the first of the new century, flamenco guitarist Paco De Lucia has given us one of the most sublime recordings in his long career. This collection of “Good Little Things” (Cositas Buenas) is a step away from Nuevo flamenco, and back to the grain of the source music itself. It is a record full of handclapped rhythms, organic spare percussion, and burning, passionate Booklet02Asongwriting and singing. The various singers — including Paco himself — wail, chant, moan, and ecstatically intone his new songs to the sheer rough-hewn grace of his playing. Most tracks are done in the canonical style of guitar, and voice with handclap accompaniment, but there are two — the smoking, burning black soul of “El Dengue” and “Que Venga el Alba,” on which he is accompanied by another guitarist. On the album’s final cut, “Cassa Bernardo,” a rumba, Jerry Gonzalez adds his mariachi trumpet to the proceedings. Cositas Buenas is an album that careens across the history of flamenco. While rooted in antiquity, it nonetheless points the way to a new music, one that extrapolates rhythm and harmony and adds syncopation, texture, depth, and multi-layered harmonics to the original framework. It is transcendentally beautiful if overwhelming in its passion and the sheer joy of performance. Indeed, Cositas Buenas sets a new standard for modern flamenco music and acts as the true bridge between the ancient and the future. No one but a master who cares nothing for his laurels could have articulated such a work. (by Thom Jurek)


Juan D´Angellyca (guitar)
Jerry González (trumpet)
Paco de Lucía (guitar, vocals, lute, mandolin, bouzouki)
Alain Pérez (bass)
Piraña (percussion)
Alejandro Sanz (chordophone)
Tomatito (guitar)
Guadiana, Antonio el Negro, Diego el Cigala Montse Cortés, Tana, Potito, Ángela Bautista (vocals)

01. Patio Custodio (Bulerías) 4.44
02. Cositas Buenas (Good Little Things) (Tangos) 4.23
03. Antonia (Bulería por Soleá) 6.28
04. El Dengue (Rumba) 4.03
05. Volar (Bulerías) 5.30
06. El Tesorillo” (The Little Treasure) (Tientos) 4.39
07. Que Venga el Alba (Bulerías) 4.11
08. Casa Bernado (Rumba) 4.12

All songs written by Paco de Lucias


Paco de Lucia
(21 December 1947 – 25 February 2014)


Lily – V.C.U (we see you) (1973)

OriginalFrontCover1“A totally unknown entity, that existed, made one album, and just as quickly disappeared! Lily were in fact not unlike label stablemates Nine Days Wonder and Message, almost like a hybrid of the two. But unlike those multi-national bands Lily were entirely German, and more offbeat in a bizarre Krautrocky sort of way, with oddly composed songs, strangely worded lyrics and such like. An unknown gem for the Bacillus collector.” (Crack In The Cosmic Egg)

“In the original The Crack In The Cosmic Egg I wrote that Lily were “A totally unknown entity, that existed, made one album, and just as quickly disappeared!” whereas now, thanks to Garden of Delights informative CD booklet we can now tell you much much more!

Lily were never really “Lily” but were always Monsun (that’s Monsoon in English) originating in the mid-1960’s from a Frankfurt beat band called The Mods (featuring Michael Winzkowski, later of Orange Peel and Epsilon), going through various changes before gelling as Monsun in 1970. Recording a demo tape in Spring 1972, they so impressed Bacillus Records producer Peter Hauke that he promptly signed them up after witnessing them live at the Frankfurt Zoom Club in October. Peter booked them three days at Dierks Studio in January 1973. For some reason the big wigs at Bellaphon decided they wanted to promote them as a “glitter rock” band and with a more international flower-power name, hence they became Lily, all gleefully dolling themselves up for the chintzy cover shot.

ManfredSchmidThe Lily album was distinctly Bacillus Records fare, not unlike label-mates Nine Days Wonder and Message, almost like a hybrid of the two, notable for eccentric lyrics and angular fusion elements all carried by Dieter Dierks superb recording. But unlike those multi-national bands Lily were entirely German, and more offbeat in a bizarre Krautrocky sort of way, with oddly composed songs, strangely worded lyrics and such like, all in a complex jazzy prog. Generally the songs are woven within the structure, with the instrumental focus being led by excellent fuzz/wah saxophone, a Helmut Hattler type lead-bassist, and dual rhythm/solo guitars.

The CD reissue also contains a whole album’s worth of material (from Spring 1974) that amounted to a demo for what would have been a second Bacillus Records album. Excellent as it all is, for some reason Peter Hauke wasn’t impressed, preferring to promote his other more “successful” acts. Without a contract, they struggle and continue with ever changing line-up’s until splitting for good in 1976.” (Crack In The Cosmic Egg)

“Lily is not a name you’d associate with a German, jazz-rock inflected band whose vocalist often sounds a great deal like Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. Seeing it, you might think it were the German answer to the UK’s Lulu (who most know from her “To Sir With Love” song). And in fact, as the liner notes state at the outset, Lily was not the name the band initially used but rather Monsun. Lily was thrust upon them by Bellaphon records, hoping by giving them a “glitter image [to:] increase their chances of success.” This is why on the cover they are wearing make up and women’s clothes. Where Lily a glitter band? No, far from.

KlausLehmannLily were Manfred Schlagmuller on drums and percussion, Wilfried Kirchmeier on bass and vocals, Hans-Werner Steinberg (tenor and soprano saxes), and both Manfred-Josef Schmid and Klaus Lehmann on guitars. Schlagmuller and Kirchmeier play synths on “Eyes Look From The Mount Of Flash,” which puts snappy percussive effects early on and squelchy effects as the song ends. V.C.U. (We See You) was recorded and released in 1973, recording taking place at Deiter Dirks’ studio. The band were given only three days studio time, only two of which were able to be used for recording. Vocals were left for the last day, and were, according to the liner notes, “recorded very quickly.” This hurriedness shows in the unpolished nature of the pieces. Individual performances are good, but on some tracks the band seem out of sync. The one element that worked the least for me were the vocals of Wilfried Kirchmeier, at least at the outset, as they improve as the album moves along. In fact, the more he sounds like Anderson, the better they are. But given the time constraints, there was no time really to redo anything. If you can set that aside and listen to the band’s playing, you’ll find they were really quite good, especially drummer Schlagm?ller (who is showcased on the best track on the album, the bonus track “The Wanderer.” If you love and admire drumming, this is the track to skip to first – in fact, given the bass solo from Kirchmeier and the remaining performances on this instrumental track: you’ll also want to skip to here first).

SteinbergSchlagmüllerOddly, the best tracks on this album overall are the bonus tracks, which were presumably recorded at the same time as the initial tracks – nothing is mentioned in the liner notes (strange coming from the usually very thorough Garden Of Delights). These might have seemed too “commercial” in comparison to the other material (“The Wanderer” aside), but stylistically, they seem to fit right in, though to my ears they seem a little more polished. They are mostly instrumental tracks, though they aren’t solely instrumental. The bonus tracks include the mostly musing blues-jazz piece “Chemical New York,” the highlight being the tenor sax playing of Steinberg. “Adlerbar” has an almost “Whole Lotta Love”/”Cross-Eyed Mary” rhythm to it owing to the fat, throbbing basslines of Kirchmeier and the roughened, ballsy guitar, all with Steinberg blowing tenor sax all over it (sometimes in a harmonica-like fashion) – cool stuff actually. “Catch Me” is a more upbeat, groovy piece with more sax and guitar up front. Kirchmeier sounds a bit like Jim Morrison on this piece.

In broad strokes, their sound is reminiscent of other jazz-rock-psychedelic bands of the period, certainly evident during the middle section of “Which Is This,” which, if it were strictly instrumental, would be excellent – from the guitar solo to the saxes to the drumming. While Lily don’t sound like any one band in particular, there were parts that reminded me of early Jethro Tull, as mentioned — parts of “Which Is This,” and “I’m Lying On My Belly (including ‘Tango Atonale’)” and “Chemical New York” (one of the bonus tracks) all of which suggest Anderson’s gravelly vocal delivery on “Aqualung” : somewhat. Comparatively, “I’m Lying:” is more simply arranged piece, where the band seem to be playing more in sync with each other, putting the guitar in the lead — that is until a solo section, with soprano sax tootling over chiming electric guitars. Other parts that made me think of The Doors, Led Zeppelin, and Santana … but it might be truer to say these bands were all influenced by a single source, which was the American blues. “Doctor Martin” is notable for its treatment of Kirchmeier’s vocals where echoes ripple out and some good instrumental work that immediate follows.

KirchmeierAt least on “Eyes Look:,” it’s Schmid soloing in your right ear, as his tone is said to be rougher than the clearing tone of Lehmann, who will be in your left ear. It is on the track that I first really hear Kirchmeier on bass, who, as I said, really gets to solo on “The Wanderer.”

Lily were a band who given a little more time in the studio, might have produced a real gem of an album : well a glittering gem of an album, rather than a gem in the rough, making them a glitter band of an entirely different sort. As it is, internal problems eventually lead the band’s dissolution. Schmid was booted out of the band in December 1973, though it had been he that had “[produced] enormous amounts of musical ideas and strange lyrics [that were then] sorted, corrected, smoothed out and chronologically arranged by Wilfried Krichmeier:” (later “:Steinberg would add his wind instruments [:] while [Schlagmuller] provided the drum part. They would spend endless nights working on the tracks, rearranging them, until finally that very special Monsun sound emerged.” – this is the genesis of the tracks on this album). After Schmid left, the band had lost their “musical originality.” Other than writing songs “with mad German lyrics mirroring his mental problems” (Schmid had trashed the rehearsal room after having been booted from the band) and died under “mysterious circumstances” in the mid-90s, being “found dead in Frankfurt’s inner-city wood.” The band continued without Schmid, replacing him with guitarist Bjorn Scherer-Mohr, who leaves in August 1974. Schlagmuller leaves in early 1975, replaced by “Rudigger “Rupf” Pfau. By April 1976, the band have added humour to their music to the point where “their music becomes more and more jokey, approaching comedy:” and it is after their show at the Old Bailey in Bayreuth that month that the band dissolves.” (by Stephanie Sollow)

Wilfried Kirchmeier (bass, vocals, percussion, synthesizer)
Klaus Lehmann (guitar)
Manfred Schlagmüller (drums, percussion, synthesizer)
Manfred-Josef Schmid (guitar)
Hans-Werner Steinberg (saxophone)
Armin Bannach (gong)
Dieter Dierks (mellotron)


01. In Those Times 9.12
02. Which Is This  4.25
03. Pinky Pigs 6.35
04. Doctor Martin 4.37
05. ‘m Lying On My Belly (Including “Tango Atonale”) 5.57
06. Eyes Look From The Mount Of Flash 9.42
07. Chemical New York 8.15
08. Adlerbar 5.46
09. Catch Me 8.13
10. The Wanderer 16.30

All songs written by Lily

LabelA1The Music:

The Artwork:

Brainbox -The Last Train (2004)

FrontCover1Before the Brainbox reunion started, some members were since 2001 playing in the Dutch bluesband Flavium. The line-up of that formation was Anne Geert Bonder and Rudy de Queljoe on guitar, Eric Bagchus on bass, Pierre van der Linden on drums and Kaz Lux on vocals. They played an exciting combination of Flavium blues and some of the best Brainbox songs.(A mix between blues, psychedelica and powerpop.) At the end of 2002 Kaz Lux introduced singer/blues harp player Jos Veldhuizen on stage, and told the audience about a complete reunion of both groups. Guitarist John Schuursma was willing to play in Brainbox again and Bonders KazLuxcontinued Flavium with Veldhuizen and Rob Geboers on piano. Bagchus and van der Linden kept playing in both bands and did two shows the same evening, ’cause they did a tour with each other. Easter 2003 was their first concert. Kaz Lux kicked off the show with a solo act of half a hour, followed by Flavium and Brainbox as headliner. The last train is a valuable live recording which shows what a delightful band Brainbox was at that time. The cd opens with the bluesrock of Baby,with as special guest Rob Geboers on piano. To you and Cruel train belong to the best songs they made without Akkerman and are played longer than the original version.It contains fascinating guitarwork from Schuursma and de Queljoe. Another bluessong is Sinner’s prayer, with Jos Veldhuizen on the blues harp. Doomsday train is a faster,more heavy song with Kaz Lux as extra guitarplayer. It’s made a little longer and mostly they played it again at the end of the evening. Sea of delight is called a song about makin’love by Kaz Lux and has a jazzy guitarsection and a short drumsolo by masterdrummer van der Linden. Summertime is less powerful than the version with Akkerman.It sounds tame and is not something to call a highlight. The instrumental Mobilea is very pleasant and a pause for the voice of Kaz Lux. Dark rose is a song the audience likes to hear. A faster song with the second drumsolo from van der Linden. Between Alpha and Omega is a restful one with an extra long psychedelic guitarpart by Rudy de Queljoe. The end of the evening is almost reached. Time for a strong version of the all-time favourite Down man. That song really rocks! The last song Gloria is a favourite of Lux and was written by Van Morrison for his band Them. The last train was recorded in july 2004. In september of that year they did their last show. Brainbox was disbanded because Kaz Lux had hearing damage. Still he has, but armed with special hearing protection he decided to re-form Brainbox again. Since january 2010 they appear on stage again with Kees van der Laarsse on bass. Pierre van der Linden is member of Focus and Brainbox. I saw them in january and it was sold out. (by Rolf Bos)

Pierre van der Linden

Eric Bagchus (bass)
Pierre van der Linden (drums)
Kaz Lux (vocals)
Rudy De Queljoe (guitar)
John Schuursma (guitar)
Rob Geboers (piano)
Jos Veldhuizen (harmonica)

John Schuursma

01. Baby, What You Want Me To Do (Reed)     4:02
02. To You (Lux) 4.20
03. Cruel Train (Lux/De Queljoe) 4.53
04. Sinner’s Prayer (Fulson) 4.06
05. Doomsday Train (Meyer) 3.26
06. Sea Of Delight (Lux/Akkerman/v.d.Linden/Reynen) 5.47
07. Summertime (Gershwin) 5.35
08. Mobilea (De Queljoe/Reynen) 5.47
09. Dark Rose (Lux/Akkerman) 7.37
10. Between Alpha And Omega (Lux/De Queljoe) 5.47
11. Down Man (Lux/Akkerman) 4.02
12. Gloria (Morrisson) 4.45


East Of Eden – Live At The BBC (1970)

FrontCover1When the great Big-O-Magazine offered East Of Eden live in Zurich 1970 as a download last year, it became one of the more popular shows among jazz fans. Perhaps the group’s reputation did preceed them. Also, there aren’t that many East Of Eden shows available, especially fine sounding ones.

Formed in Bristol in 1967, the group had released Mercator Projected in 1969, followed by Snafu in 1970. Knowing that the performances were to be broadcast, East Of Eden played what would have been a set of “greatest hits” – Waterways, In The Snow For A Blow, the oriental-sounding Xhorkham, In The Stable Of The Sphinx (with an energetic surf-punk feel), Nymphenburger and, what would be a regular curtain closer, Jig-A-Jig.

Weaving Middle-Eastern elements into their music, the group had a hit song called Ramadhan. But what made East Of Eden stand out was their use of the violin as a lead instrument and their willingness to play their own blend of rock-fusion jazz. As mentioned on their website: “Their utilisation of jazz in a much purer form than their contemporaries was the prime element which defined their music. Also use of eastern scales, reggae rhythms and influences of classical composers such as Bartok crossed musical boundaries years before the term ‘World Music’ was coined.”

Thanks then to reader John Faulkner who contributed this compilation. John notes: “Uncirculated as far as I know. Excellent for the time – mono; from reel to reel.”

Recorded live at
Radio One In Concert, 1970 (tracks 01. – 04.)
Top Gear, April 18, 1970 (05. – 07)

Jeff Allen (drums)
Dave Arbus (violin, flute, saxophone)
Ron Caines (saxophone)
Andy Sneddon (bass, vocals)
Jim Roche (guitar)

Alternate frontcover

01. Waterways (Caines) 8.25
02. Moth (Caines) 4.22
03. In The Snow For A Blow (Sneddon/Britten/Nicholson/Caines/Arbus) 13.54
04. Xhorkham (Sneddon/Britten/Nicholson/Caines/Arbus) 15.56
05, In The Stable Of The Sphinx (Arbus/Nicholson/Caines/York) 12.50
06. Jig-A-Jig (Traditional) 7.73
07. Nymphenburger (Arbus/Nicholson/Caines/York) 8.02

East Of Eden, live in 1970


Terry Riley – A Rainbow In Curved Air (1969)

FrontCover1After several graph compositions and early pattern pieces with jazz ensembles in the late ’50s and early ’60s (see “Concert for Two Pianists and Tape Recorders” and “Ear Piece” in La Monte Young’s book An Anthology), Riley invented a whole new music which has since gone under many names (minimal music — a category often applied to sustained pieces as well — pattern music, phase music, etc.) which is set forth in its purest form in the famous “In C” (1964) (for saxophone and ensemble, CBS MK 7178). “Rainbow in Curved Air” demonstrates the straightforward pattern technique but also has Riley improvising with the patterns, making gorgeous timbre changes on the synthesizers and organs, and presenting contrasting sections that has become the basic structuring of his works (“Candenza on the Night Plain” and other pieces). Scored for large orchestra with extra percussion and electronics, some of this work’s seven movements are: “Star Night,” “Blue Lotus,” “The Earth Below,” and “Island of the Rhumba King.” (by “Blue” Gene Tyranny)

Terry Riley (all instruments)


Alternate frontcovers

01. A Rainbow In Curved Air (Riley) 18.41
02. Poppy Nogood And The Phantom Band (Riley) 21.22


Johann Georg Albrechtsberger – Concertos For Jew’s Harp, Mandora And Orchestra (1984)

AlbrechtsbergerFCYes, yes, it’s a bizarre choice of instruments. But despite what one reviewer said, these works are sweetly written and very pleasant. Albrechtsberger is obscure as a composer, but well remembered as an influential theorist. He also served as a music teacher to Beethoven when he grew frustrated with Haydn, who had not the time to correct his work. These works are in the galant or rococo style, somewhere between baroque and classical (but closer to classical). These works must be understood in the context of the galant period. At that time, folk instruments had become very fashionable, and some composers became interested in them, such as Leopold Mozart, who wrote for the alp horn, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, and so on. The mandora, a type of lute, has a good sound, and the jew’s harp is surprisingly melodious considering the fact that the fundamental pitch does not vary. All in all, this is very pleasant music, and even the non-musical will be entertained by the sheer quirkiness of it. (by R. Folk)Really, it has to be heard to be believed. Recordings of the Jew’s Harp Concerto have been amusing music students at parties for years. It is one those oddities that one will find it hard to resist adding to one’s collection.I recommend this with many caveats. There is a good reason why Albrechtsberger is a virtual unknown (if not for the Jew’s Harp Concerto, he would be completely off the musical radar), and the novelty of these pieces is really the only thing that can recommend this recording. However, you probably already had guessed that. (by chefdevergue)

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: February 3, 1736 – March 7, 1809

Fritz Mayr (jews harp)
Dieter Kirsch (mandora)
Munich Chamber Orchestra conducted by Hans Stadlmair


Concerto for Jews Harp, Mandora & Orchestra in E major:
01. Tempo moderato (Albrechtsberger) 6.38
02. Adagio (Albrechtsberger) 7.17.
03. Finale – Tempo de menuetto (Albrechtsberger) 6.34

Concerto for Jews Harp,Mandora & Orchestra in F major:
04. Allegro moderato (Albrechtsberger) 4.40
05. Andante (Albrechtsberger) 6.38
06. Menuetto. Moderato (Albrechtsberger) 3.58
07. Finale – Allegro molto (Albrechtsberger) 3.08


Frank Gambale – Raison D’etre (2004)

FrankGambaleRaisonFCOne has to give high marks to guitarist and composer Frank Gambale. While an unabashed jazz-rock fusioneer, Gambale has always made music that was as interested in lyricism and inventive harmonic interplay as complex riffs and arpeggios.Gambale is a composer of the first order and, as he has gotten older, his writing style has become increasingly engaging melodically; his sense of harmonic architecture is full of shapes and colors and is weighted by use of the imagination that indulges flights of whimsy. He also understands on a cellular level the importance of ensemble communication. Accompanied by Billy Cobham on drums and either Ric Fierabracci or Steve Billman on bass, Gambale offers listeners 12 new cuts that range from a near singing quality (“Foreign Country,” “Bittersweet,” “Table for One”) to a harder-edged jazz full of knotty yet emotionally charged and conscious improvisation (“May the Fourths Be With You,” “Smug,” “Complex Emotions”).

Certainly this is a guitar player’s record, but it is one that has its roots in aesthetic beauty rather than in mechanics.

Steve Billman (bass)
Billy Cobham (drums, percussion)
Ric Fierabracci (bass)
Frank Gambale (guitar)

01. Foreign Country (Gambale) 6.56
02. Cachination (Gambale) 5.52
03. Bittersweet (Gambale) 8.17
04. Table For One (Gambale) 6.42
05. Nouveau Vignettes: Debut Solo (Gambale) 1.25
06. Nouveau Vignettes: Melodique (Gambale) 1.10
07. Nouveau Vignettes: Two Minutes B.C. (Gambale) 1.57
08. Ka´anapali (Gambale) 6.37
09. May The Fourths Be With You (Gambale) 7.03
10. Monkey Wrench (Gambale) 5.51
11. Smug (Gambale) 6.25
12. Complex Emotions (Gambale) 10.20