John Williams – El Diablo Suelto (Guitar Music Of Venezuela) (2003)

FrontCover1A new album release by guitarist John Williams is always cause for great anticipation, not only for another opportunity to marvel at his virtuosity, but also to experience music from unheralded areas of the repertoire. EL DIABLO SUELTO is a survey of the guitar music of Venezuela, a vibrant mixture of elements from the cultures of the indigenous Indians, Spanish colonists, and the Africans originally brought to the country as slaves.

Williams demonstrates a thorough understanding of the music’s heritage, and his commitment is evident in performances that are dynamic and incisive.

Williams’ remarkable technique allows him to easily negotiate the complexities of these JohnWilliamsintensely rhythmic pieces, but his keen musical intelligence renders these accounts more than exercises of technical expertise.

He skillfully wields a broad palette of tonal colors to express the rich harmonic language and beautiful melodies in works arranged by his mentor, the great Venezuelan guitarist Alirio Diaz. The program includes several duets with Alfonso Montes, a master of Venezuela’s national instrument, the cuatro. Williams has championed the music of Latin America throughout his career, and EL DIABLO SUELTO is another excellent showcase to be added to his illustrious discography. (by allmusiccom)

WilliamsMontes
John Williams & Alfonso Montes

Personnel:
John Williams (guitar)
+
Alfonso Montes (cuatro on 07., 16., 24. + 25.)

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. Los Caujaritos, pasaje (Figueredo) 2.36
02. Totumo de Guarenas (Canonico) 1.37
03. Como llora una estrella, valse-canción (Carillo) 3.58
04. Seis por derecho (Lauro) 3.19
05. No me olvides, canción (Riera) 3.09
06. Las Perdices (López) 2.18
07. Alma llanera (Gutiérrez) 2.50
08. Salve (Sojo) 2.15

Five Pieces (Sojo):
09. Cántico 1.33
10. Cantemos, cantemos (Aguinaldo) 1.21
11. Si de noche ves que brillan (Canción) 1.32
12. Malhaya la cocina (Aire Venezolano) 0.57
13. Ave Maria !Que muchacho! (Galerón) 1.10

14. Quirpa Guatireña (Sojo) 1.56
15. Angostura (Lauro) 1.47
16. El diablo suelto (Fernandez) 2.19
17. Virgilio (Bambuco Tachirense) (Lauro) 2.36
18. Pasaje “Aragueño” (Lauro) 1.50
19. Que no te quiera más (Serenata) (Sojo) 2.25
20. Romanza (Lauro) 2.49
21.Priva Resuello (Pasaje) (Figueredo) 2.16
22. María Carolina (Lauro) 2.33
23. Vals Venezolano (Borges)
24. Nelly (Lauro) 2.21
25. El Marabino (Lauro)
26. Preludio de Adiós (Montes) 3.53

CD1*
**

Paul Desmond – From The Hot Afternoon (1969)

DesmondHotAfternoonFCPaul Desmond’s first genuine all-Brazilian album under the Creed Taylor signature was a beauty, a collection of songs by the then-moderately known Edu Lobo and the emerging giant Milton Nascimento, then only in his early twenties. All Desmond has to do is sit back and ride the Brazilian grooves while lyrically ruminating on whatever pops into his head. It sounds so effortless — until you try it yourself. The swirling, often gorgeous orchestral arrangements are by Don Sebesky (one CD edition mistakenly gives Claus Ogermann credit on the cover), Airto Moreira leads the samba-flavored percussion forces, and Lobo and his wife Wanda de Sah appear on three of Lobo’s four songs. Lobo’s “To Say Goodbye,” “Circles,” and “Martha and Romao” have exactly the brand of wistful sadness that Desmond could communicate so well; on the former, de Sah has to sing well below the register with which she is comfortable, and the strain is painfully obvious. Some of Nascimento’s best early tunes are here, including the tense title track, the popping “Catavento,” and “Canto Latino.” “Catavento” inspires a particularly inventive solo from Desmond where he pulls out one of his age-old tricks, quoting “St. Thomas.” The recent Verve By Request edition adds no less than six alternate takes to the package. (by Richard S. Ginell)

DesmondHotAfternoon


Personnel:
Phil Bodner (saxophone, clarinet, oboe)
Jimmy Buffington (french Horn)
Ron Carter (bass)
Paul Desmond (saxophone)
Patrick Rebillot (piano)
Dorio Ferreira (guitar)
Paul Faulise (trombone)
Don Hammond (flute)
Jack Jennings (percussion)
Margaret Ross (harp)
Hubert Laws (flute)
Edu Lobo (guitar, vocals)
George Marge (saxophone, clarinet, óboe)
Marky Markowitz (trumpet)
Airto Moreira (drums, percussion)
Wanda De Sah (vocals)
Marvin Stamm (Trumpet and Flugelhorn)
Stan Webb Jr. (flute, percussion)

DesmondHotAfternoonBC
Tracklist:
01. Outubro (Brant/Nascimento) 2.55
02. Gira Girou (Nascimento) 4.30
03. Faithful Brother (Nascimento) 3.09
04. To Say Goodbye (Lobo) 3.58
05. From the Afternoon (Nascimento) 3.30
06. Circles (Lobo) 3.42
07. Martha & Romeu (Lobo) 3.03
08. Catavento (Naswcimento) 2.45
09. Canto Latino (Nascimento) 4.21
10. Cyristall Illusions (Lobo/Guanieri/Hall) 4.04
11. Gira Girou (alternative take) (Nascimento) 4.14
12. Faithful Brother (alternative take) (Nascimento) 2.38
13. From The Hot Afternoon (alternative take) (Nascimento) 3.40
14. Catavento (alternative take) (Nascimento) 2.22
15. Canto Latino/alternative take) (Nascimento) 3.52
16. From The Hot Afternoon (alternative take) (Nascimento) 2.38

DesmondHotAfternoonLabel*
**

Carl Perkins – Dance Album Of Carl Perkins (1957)

FrontCover1Among the great early rock & roll albums, Dance Album, Carl Perkins’ first LP for Sun, tends to get the short end of the stick. There’s a reason for that. Sam Phillips rushed the album out after Perkins left Sun for Columbia in 1958, which was two years after “Blue Suede Shoes” was a hit, so Perkins not only didn’t have a big single in the charts — “Pink Pedal Pushers,” his last for Sun, stalled at 91 on the pop charts — but the label released it more as a cash-in than anything, and it never made much of an impact on the charts. These details fade into the past as the years go by, and what stands is the album itself, which is as good as rock & roll gets. First and foremost, the disc is a virtual greatest-hits album, containing most of Perkins’ anthems: “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Movie Magg,” “Gone, Gone, Gone,” “Honey Don’t,” “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby,” “Matchbox,” “Boppin’ the Blues,” and “All Mama’s Children.” That’s over half the album, and that’s almost all of his big tunes, outside of “Put Your Cat Clothes On” and “Pink Pedal Pushers,” which were added to Varese’s superb expanded 2004 reissue, leaving just “Dixie Fried,” “Lend Me Your Comb,” and “Glad All Over” as missing hits. That’s not bad for a greatest-hits album, but Dance Album is a hits album only in retrospect, after those tunes became standards. Combined, these tracks provided some of the toughest, rawest rockabilly, powered by Perkins’ dynamic, gutsy guitar and earnest voice. Much of the rest of the record cruises by at the same speed — the two-step tribute “Tennessee,” the bopping “Your True Love,” the speedy rockabilly blues cover “Right String, Wrong Yo Yo” — slowing down for the pure country of “Sure to Fall” and a version of the Platters’ “Only You” that turns it down-home. These may be the only two changes of pace, either in tempo or in style, but they give the album both range and a little bit of breathing room. But what really makes Dance Album a classic is that pure, hard-charging rockabilly that captures the genius of Perkins and is every bit as raw, energetic, and rocking decades after its release as it was at the time. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

CarlPerkinsLivePersonnel:
Carl Perkins (vocals, guitar)
+
a bunch of unknown studio musicians

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Blue Suede Shoes (Perkins) 2.16
02. Movie Magg (Perkins)
03. Sure To Fall (Cantrell/Claunch/Perkins) 2.34
04. Gone, Gone, Gone (Perkins) 2.41
05. Honey Don’t (Perkins) 2.51
06. Only You (Foster/Pankow/Ram/Rand/Spampinato) 3.23
07. Tennessee (Perkins) 3.05
08. Right String Baby, Wrong Yo-Yo (Perryman) 2.37
09. Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby (Perkins) 2.15
10. Matchbox (Perkins) 2.10
11. Your True Love (Perkins) 2.46
12. Boppin’ The Blues (Griffin/Perkins) 2.51

LabelB1*
**

AlternateFrontCover
Alternate frontcover from 1961

Vangelis – Voices (1995)

FrontCover1Voices is a 1995 album by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis.

Its music was used in the soundtrack for the 1998 documentary Deep Seas, Deep Secrets co-produced by The Learning Channel and Discovery Channel, together with music from Vangelis next album, Oceanic.

The track “Ask the Mountains” was also used as the music for the TV commercial for the Hotpoint/Ariston Aqualtis washing machine. (by wikipedia)

Voices is a deep and engaging album from an e-music legend, Vangelis. This CD predates his regular use of symphony orchestras to augment his synths. His synths are, however, very symphonic. He creates broad atmospheres and dramatic soundscapes with synth hooks, chant vocals, and samples. Vangelis also adds some experimental textures and smooth melodies to cap his soundscapes. This is an exciting CD. Vangelis is in a league with few peers. In terms of stature and emotional response, this disc will appeal to fans of Enya and Yanni. (by Jim Brentholts)

VangelisPersonnel:
Vangelis (all instruments)
+
Caroline Lavelle (vocals, cello)
Stina Nordenstam (vocals)
Paul Young (vocals)
+
Athens Opera Company (vocals on 01.)

Inlay1Tracklist:
01. Voices (Vangelis) 7.01
02. Echoes (Vangelis) 8.23
03. Come To Me (Vangelis/Lavelle) 4.33
04. P.S. (Vangelis) 2.06
05. Ask The Mountains (Vangelis/Nordenstam) 7.53
06. Prelude (Vangelis) 4.25
07. Losing Sleep (Vangelis/Young) 6.41
08. Messages (Vangelis) 7.39
09. Dream In An Open Place (Vangelis) 5.56

CD1*
**

Greg Sage – Straight Ahead (1985)

FrontCover1Finally, the Wipers’ incredible frontman finds a new label to release his records, and in this case, he tries a solo outing instead of convening a fourth Wipers album to go with the three stunning ones they did from 1980-1983. Side one is Wipers-type guitar songs from an uncharacteristic folky approach, and fans will likely lap them up with the same joy that they did the output of Is This Real?, Youth of America, and Over the Edge, which every fan needs. This is what we expect from Sage, in terms of his characteristically involved guitar playing pegged to more simple riffs, a formula that still works so well for him. Side two, though, now that’s a totally different kettle of fish, one no one could have expected. How to describe it? Let’s call it all strange-echo-soundtrack experiences/insights on the human race. There are no GregSagedrums; it’s almost like a soothing but spacey guitar orchestra, the man testing the outer limits of the moods a mere six strings can manage without other sounds’ interference. It all adds up to another interesting look into a true and obvious talent. Get his Wipers LP too, though, you need everything this man does. (by Jack Rabid)

Greg Sage is the driving force behind the Wipers, one of America’s most important underground music bands. Straight ahead, Greg’s first solo album is more acoustic and roots oriented than the Wipers’ raw, hard driving rock ‘n’ roll, yet still maintains his emotional straight-from-the-heart attitude” (by Container)

Inlay02A

Personnel:
Greg Sage (vocals, bass, percussion)
+
Pat Baum (drums)
Dean Johnson (drums)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Straight Ahead 4.12
02. Soul’s Tongue 2.45
03. Blue Cowboy 3.10
04. Your empathy 2.58
05. The Illusion Fades 2.37
06. Seems So Clear 1.35
07. On The Run 2.12
08. Astro Cloud 4.08
09. Lost In Space 3.25
10. Let It Go 3.08
11. World Without Fear 5.05
12. Keep On Keepin’ On 4.22

All selections written by Greg Sage

LabelA1*
**

 

Cowboy – Same (1977)

FrontCover1 One of Southern rock’s best-kept secrets during its golden age in the 1970s, Cowboy was formed by songwriters Tommy Talton and Scott Boyer in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969. Playing a kind of acoustic country-rock similar to contemporaries Pure Prairie League, Cowboy had its own twist on the formula, thanks to Talton and Boyer’s sharp, focused songwriting and a distinguishable Muscle Shoals flair. After hearing the band, Duane Allman passed the word along to Phil Walden at Macon, Georgia’s Capricorn Records, who offered the group a recording contract. The band’s membership was pretty fluid during this time, other than Talton and Boyer, both of whom became de facto members of the Capricorn house band, playing with the Allman Brothers, Gregg Allman, Alex Taylor, and Bonnie Bramlett, among others. In all, four albums were released under the Cowboy name on Capricorn Records, 1970’s Reach for the Sky and 1971’s 5’ll Getcha Ten (combined into the two-disc compilation Why Quit When You’re Losing in 1973), 1974’s Boyer & Talton, and 1977’s Cowboy. Also, the 1976 album Happy to Be Alive, attributed to the trio of Tommy Talton, Bill Stewart, and Johnny Sandlin, was a Cowboy album in all but name. That was it, though, until 30 years later when Talton and Boyer put Cowboy back together in 2007, recording tracks at Sandlin’s Duck Tape Studio in Decatur, Alabama, but none of those tracks has yet been released. (by Steve Leggett)

James Chrispell wrote:
Boyer & Talton got together again in 1977, added three new members to Cowboy, and recorded this self-titled album full of straight pop tunes. “Everyone Knows Your Name” and “Pat’s Song” shine, but each track has something to offer. A bit lightweight, Cowboy still holds its own in the band’s history.

CapricornRecordSleeve1
The famous Capricorn record sleeve from the 70´s

And this is their fine, but their best album, the last in the 70´s. ( Included a very intersting interview with Tommy Talton from 2013

CowboyPersonnel:
Scott Boyer (guitar, vocals)
Chip Condon (keyboards, vocals)
Chip Miller (drums, percussion)
Arch Pearson (bass, vocals)
Tommy Talton (guitar, vocals)
+
Randall Bramblett (saxophone)
Jaimoe (congas)
Topper Price (harmonica)
Harold Williams (saxophone)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Takin It All The Way (Boyer) 3.06
02. Now That I Know (Talton) 3.54
03. Pat’s Song (Boyer) 3.32
04. Straight Into Love (Talton) 4.10
05. Everybody Knows Your Name (Talton/Boyer) 4.44
06. What Can I Call It (Condon) 2.40
07. Nobody Else’s Man (Talton) 4.28
08. Except For Real (Condon) 3.53
09. Satisfy (Boyer) 3.02
10. River To The Sea (Talton) 5.19

LabelB1*
**

Bedlam – Same (1972)

FrontCover1Drummer Cozy Powell, born Colin Flooks on December 29, 1947 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire was a member of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, M.S.G. and Emerson, Lake & Powell.

Cozy started playing drums in the school orchestra before joining his first band called the Corals with whom he played each week at the Youth Club in Cirencester. The nickname ‘Cozy’ derived from the jazz drummer Cozy Cole.

Next Cozy went round the circuit with the pop band, The Sorcerers. During this time, Cozy left school to work in an office in order to finance the purchase of his first set of drums. The Sorcerers performed in the German club scene of the 1960s.

BedlamBy 1968 the band had returned to England, more specifically, Birmingham and this is where Cozy became friends with musicians like Robert Plant, John Bonham, Noddy Holder, Dave Pegg and Tony Iommi. The Sorcerers changed their name to Youngblood released a series of singles in late 1968-69. The group then linked up with The Move bassist/singer Ace Kefford, to form The Ace Kefford Stand. Cozy with fellow Sorcerers Dave and Dennis Ball, formed Big Bertha.

In 1970, Cozy drummed with guitar icon Jeff Beck’s group, but after the recording of two albums, ‘Rough and Ready’ (1971) and ‘Jeff Beck Group‘ (1972), the band dispersed.

In late 1972, Cozy joined up with the Ball brothers again, and with singer Frank Aiello to form Bedlam. One eponymous album was produced for Chrysalis Records and released in 1973. Beck’s studio producer had been Mickie Most and Cozy often found himself drafted in to work with artists signed to Most’s RAK label, including Julie Felix, Hot Chocolate, Donovan and Suzi Quatro.

During this time, Cozy recorded an instrumental solo single, ‘Dance With the Devil’ which reached number three in the UK singles chart during January 1974. A few months later, Cozy Powell’s Hammer was formed. (ny Birmingham music archive)

Fantastic hard rock / blues album from a band that had everything Zeppelin had with the exception of the lucky breaks. Featuring Cozy Powell on drums, this band kicked up a storm – check out opener ‘I Believe In You’ or ‘The Beast’…that’s a hell of a band in there! (by orexis of death)

BookletAPersonnel:
Frank Aiello (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Dennis Ball (bass)
Cozy Powell (drums)
+
Max Middelton (keyboards on 04.)
Felix Pappalardi (keyboards)

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. Believe In You (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello/Collins) 4.01
02. Hot Lips (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello) 4.36
03. Sarah (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello/Collins) 3.46
04. Sweet Sister Mary (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello/Hatchard) 2.51
05. Seven Long Years (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello) 3.46
06. The Beast (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello) 5.29
07. Whisky And Wine (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello) 2.33
08. Looking Through Love’s Eyes (Pappalardi/Collins) 2.57
09. Putting On The Flesh (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello) 3.54
10. Set Me Free (Ball/Powell/Ball/Aiello/Collins) 4.21

LabelA1*
**

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke – The Last Rebel (OST) (1971)

OriginalFrontCover1In 1970, Ashton, Gardner & Dyke somehow ended up supplying the soundtrack music to an obscure Western starring football star Joe Namath. Also important to the soundtrack’s composition and performance was Deep Purple’s Jon Lord, who co-wrote the score with Tony Ashton and shared keyboard parts with Ashton as well. Like many soundtracks, it’s a jumble of pieces that might have served adequately as background music to specific scenes, but doesn’t sustain much interest for a record listener. The musicians tap into a wide variety of styles and moods, mostly instrumental with occasional vocals, from good-time laid-back bar band boogie and dramatic pseudo-spaghetti Western orchestrations to atonal keyboard patterns, tedious hard rock-funk, and Latin cocktail jazz with bizarre scatting. The individual tracks, though, are neither too good on their own, or too similar to each other, failing to create an inviting mood. (by Richie Unterberger)

Screenshot
Screenshot from “The Last Rebel”

Jon Lord was the keyboard player with Deep Purple, and is renowned as one of the best Hammond organists to come out of the UK. While Deep Purple played rock, this album features some unbelievable way-out funk! Really odd prog-influenced, wah guitar horns and massive breaks. Look out for the killer old-school funk cut ‘Hanging’, and the wicked breaks of The Last Rebel. Definitely an oddball LP – there’s a heavy dose of strangeness lurking in the arrangements – but a worthy addition to a funk soundtrack collection, and a producer’s dream. I’m still in shock after listening to it.” (by Ed Griffiths)

OriginalBackCoverPersonnel:
Tony Ashton (keyboards, vocals)
Roy Dyke (drums)
Kim Gardner (bass)
Mick Liber (guitar)
+
Jon Lord (keyboards)
+
The Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra

CDFrontCover1
Alternate frontcover

Tracklist:
01. The Last Rebel (Lord) 2.58
02. Surrender (Unedited) (Lord) 3.04
03. Up The Hill (Lord) 2.52
04. Hanging (Lord) 3.32
05. Stage Coach Ride (Unedited Version) (Ashton) 3.50
06. You Me And A Friend Of Mine (Instrumental) (Lord/Ashton) 1.22
07. Mood Xylophone (Lord) 2.35
08. Oh Matilda (Unedited Version) (Ashton) 3.19
09. Pool Game (Unedited Version) (Lord) 5.41
10. Hollis’ Getaway (Lord)    3:22
11. Mother & Daughter (Lord) 1.18
12. The Meal (Lord) 1.03
13. String Quartet (Unreleased) (Lord) 0.39
14. Ku Klux Klan (Unreleased) (Lord) 1.36
15. The Pit & The Knife Fight (Lord) 3.01
16. You, Me And A Friend Of Mine (Lord/Ashton) 3.39
17. Death Whore (Lord) 1.24
18. Graves To The Graveyard (Lord) 3.39
19. I’m Dying For You (Ashton) 2.22
20. You, Me And A Friend Of Mine (Alternate Instrumental Version) (Lord/Ashton) 1.23
21. Larry’s Theme (Not Used In Film) (Lord/Ashton) 1.10
22. Pool Game (Not Used In Film) (Ashton) 3.30
23. The Last Rebel (Alternate Unedited Take) (Lord) 3.22
24. Hollis’s Getaway (Outtake) (Lord) 2.58
25. Pianola Shot (Unreleased) (Lord) 1.25
26. I’m Dying For You (Outtake) (Ashton) 2.45
27. Hanging (Outtake) (Lord) 3.19
28. The Meal (Studio Chat) (Lord) 1.25
29. Up The Hill (Outtake) (Lord) 5.24

LabelA*
**

Acker Bilk & His Paramount Jazz Band – Beau Jazz/Beau Bilk (1962/1968)

FrontCover1Acker Bilk was part of the boom in traditional jazz that swept the United Kingdom in the late 1950s

Described as ‘Great Master of Clarinet’, Acker Bilk was, and still is just as important as American jazzmen like Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw.

In January 1963, the British music magazine, NME reported that the biggest trad jazz event to be staged in Britain had taken place at Alexandra Palace. The event included George Melly, Diz Disley, Alex Welsh, Chris Barber, Kenny Ball, Ken Colyer, Monty Sunshine, Bob Wallis, Bruce Turner, Mick Mulligan and Bilk.[8] Bilk recorded a series of albums in Britain that were also released successfully in the United States (on the Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco), including a memorable collaboration (Together) with Danish jazz pianist-composer Bent Fabric (“The Alley Cat”). But his success tapered off when British rock and roll made its big international explosion beginning in 1964, and Bilk shifted direction to the cabaret circuit.

This album is a re-release of his brilliant album “Beau Jazz” from 1962 … and it´s a high class recording with this great old Trational Jazz !

OriginalFrontCover1962A
Original frontcover from 1962

Although Acker will always be synonymous with the famous Bowler Hat and Waistcoat, Acker is a serious and dedicated musician, and exceptionally professional. Last word from Acker “I still find it hard to believe I am getting paid for doing what I love most in the World” – This Great Master of the Clarinet has a style which is unique.

BilkBarber1962
Acker Bilk & Chris Barber in 1962

Personnel:
Acker Bilk (clarinet, vocals)
Stanley Greig (piano)
Roy James (banjo)
Ronald McKay (drums, percussion)
Jonathan Mortimer (trombone)
Ernest Price (bass)
Colin Smith (trumpet)
+
Per Hansen (trumpet on 12.)
Roy James (guitar on 04.)

  AlternateFrontCover1
Alternate frontcover

Tracklist:
01. Grandpa’s Spells (Morton) 3.00
02. Creole Love Call (Ellingtin/Miley) 3.26
03. I Found A New Baby (Palmer) 2.59
04. This Town (James) 2.58
05. Bula Bula (Mortimer) 2.58
06. Sentimental Journey (Green/BrownHomer) 2.51
07. Tell ’em About Me (Yancey) 2.26
08. Chattanooga Stomps (Oliver) 3.22
09. Sneak Away (Smith) 2.56
10. Wilbour (Smith) 3.00
11. Oh! Marie (Prima) 3.26
12. Ole Miss Rag (Handy) 3.02

LabelA1*
**

Alton Ellis – Sings Rock And Soul (1967)

FrontCover1Alton Nehemiah Ellis OD (1 September 1938 – 10 October 2008) was a Jamaican vocalist. One of the innovators of rocksteady who was given the informal title “Godfather of Rocksteady”. In 2006, he was inducted into the International Reggae And World Music Awards Hall Of Fame.

Born Alton Nehemiah Ellis in Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica. Ellis was raised within a musical family and learned to play the piano at a young age. He attended Ebeneezer and Boys’ Town schools, where he excelled in both music and sport. While at Boys’ Town Ellis performed as a dancer (in a duo) in the first show that a school director called Mr Bailey had organized for Vere Johns who had been invited down to talent scout. He would later compete on Vere Johns’ Opportunity Hour. After winning some competitions, he switched to singing, starting his career in 1959 as part of the duo Alton & Eddy with Eddy Parkins.

AltonEllis01Ellis and Parkins recorded for Coxsone Dodd at Studio One, initially in the R&B style, having a hit in 1960 with “Muriel” (from Dodd’s first commercially-oriented recording session at Federal studios), a song Ellis had written whilst working as a labourer on a building site. This initial success was followed by the release of “My Heaven” which like “Muriel” was a slow R&B ballad with the instrumental triplets and vocal harmonizing common to the ballads of that period. Further releases in the R&B style followed: “Lullabye Angel”, “I Know It All”, “I’m Never Gonna Cry” and “Yours”. The duo also recorded R&B tracks for Vincent Chin’s Randy’s label including “Let Me Dream”. The duo split after Parkins won a major talent contest and moved to the United States.[10] Ellis remained in Kingston, working as a printer and after losing his job, he restarted his music career, initially forming a new duo with John Holt. When Holt joined The Paragons, Ellis formed a new group, The Flames. Ellis continued to work for Dodd and also recorded for his arch-rival, Duke Reid on his Treasure Isle label. At the start of his career Ellis recorded with his younger sister Hortense; early tracks with Hortense like “Don’t Gamble With Love” (1965) were still in the R&B style.

AltonEllis02
By the mid-1960s, ska was moving on and the beat was slowing down to rocksteady and becoming associated with the violent rude boy subculture in Jamaican dancehalls. Many artists made records referring to the rude boys, including Ellis, although his records were consistently anti-rudie, including “Don’t Trouble People”, “Dance Crasher”, and “Cry Tough”. Releasing records under the name Alton Ellis and The Flames (the varying line-up of which included his brother Leslie Ellis, David “Baby G” Gordon and Winston Jarrett); the group had hits with “Girl I’ve Got a Date” and “Cry Tough”. The release of “Rock Steady” (1967) backed by Tommy McCook and the Supersonics, the first song to refer to the name of the new genre, heralded the new direction Jamaican popular music was taking. Ellis continued to have hits for Treasure Isle; working with artists such as Lloyd Charmers, Phyllis Dillon and The Heptones. His Mr Soul of Jamaica album (with Tommy McCook and the Supersonics) is regarded as one of the definitive rocksteady albums.

Ellis toured the United Kingdom in the 1967 with Ken Boothe and Studio One session band the Soul Vendors and on his return to Jamaica he worked with Dodd, recording the tracks that would be released as his debut album Alton Ellis Sings Rock & Soul.(by wikipedia)

This is a realy strong album: A perfect mix between Soul, Rock, R&B plus Reggae !!! And you´ll nice versions of classics like “Massachusetts” and “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” …

BackCover1Personnel:
Alton Ellis (vocals)
+
The Soul Vendors:
Roland Alphonso (saxophone
Lloyd Brevett (bass)
Ken Boothe (vocals)
Jackie Mittoo (organ)
Johnny Morris (trumpet)
Ernest Ranglin (guitar)
Errol Walters (bass
Hector Williams (drums)

SoulVendors
Alton Ellis & The Soul Vendors

Tracklist:
01. I’m Just A Guy (Ellis/Dodd) 3.06
02. Let Him Try (Ellis) 2.28
03. Ain’t That Loving You (Ellis) 2.54
04. So Much Love (Goffin/King) 3.07
05. Whiter Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 3.07
06  Massachusetts (B.Gibb/M.Gibb) 3.00
07. Get Ready (Ellis) 3.10
08. I’m Still In Love With You (Ellis/Dodd) 3.25
09. Never Love Again (Ellis/Dodd) 3.33
10. Mad Mad Mad (Ellis/Dodd) 4.09
11. Baby Now That I Found You (Ellis) 3.34
12. Why (Ellis) 2.48

Label1*
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