Nick Drake – Bryter Layter (1970)

FrontCover1With even more of the Fairport Convention crew helping him out — including bassist Dave Pegg and drummer Dave Mattacks along with, again, a bit of help from Richard Thompson — as well as John Cale and a variety of others, Drake tackled another excellent selection of songs on his second album. Demonstrating the abilities shown on Five Leaves Left didn’t consist of a fluke, Bryter Layter featured another set of exquisitely arranged and performed tunes, with producer Joe Boyd and orchestrator Robert Kirby reprising their roles from the earlier release. Starting with the elegant instrumental “Introduction,” as lovely a mood-setting piece as one would want, Bryter Layter indulges in a more playful sound at many points, showing that Drake was far from being a constant king of depression. While his NickDrakeperformances remain generally low-key and his voice quietly passionate, the arrangements and surrounding musicians add a considerable amount of pep, as on the jazzy groove of the lengthy “Poor Boy.” The argument could be made that this contravenes the spirit of Drake’s work, but it feels more like a calmer equivalent to the genre-sliding experiments of Van Morrison at around the same time. Numbers that retain a softer approach, like “At the Chime of a City Clock,” still possess a gentle drive to them. Cale’s additions unsurprisingly favor the classically trained side of his personality, with particularly brilliant results on “Northern Sky.” As his performances on keyboards and celeste help set the atmosphere, Drake reaches for a perfectly artful reflection on loss and loneliness and succeeds wonderfully. (by Ned Raggett)

Booklet01

Personnel:
Nick Drake (guitar, vocals)
Dave Mattacks (drums)
Dave Pegg (bass)
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P.P. Arnold (background vocals on 08.)
John Cale (keyboards on 07. + 09.)
Ed Carter (bass on 04.)
Lyn Dobson (flute on 06.)
Paul Harris (piano on 04.)
Mike Kowalski (drums on 03., 04., 08. + 09.)
Chris McGregor (piano on 08.)
Richard Thompson (guitar on 02.)
Doris Troy (background vocals on 08.)
Ray Warleigh (saxophone on 03. + 08., flute on 10.)

BackCoverTracklist:
01. Introduction 1.32
02. Hazey Jane II 3.46
03. At The Chime Of A City Clock 4.46
04. One Of These Things First 4.52
05. Hazey Jane I 4.29
06. Bryter Layter 3.22
07. Fly 3.01
08. Poor Boy 6.09
09. Northern Sky 3.46
10. Sunday 3.42

All songs written by Nick Drake

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Rare swedish coloured vinyl edition

 

Art Van Damme ‎– Squeezing Art & Tender Flutes (1973)

FrontCover1Born April 9th 1920 in Norway, Michigan, and brought up in Chicago, Art Van Damme took up the piano accordion in 1929 at the age of nine, and was classically trained before discovering jazz as a teenager – inspired by the recordings of Benny Goodman. In 1941 he joined Ben Bernie’s band as an accordionist, then from 1945 to 1960 he worked for NBC, performing on ‘The Dinah Shore Show’, ‘Tonight’, ‘The Dave Garroway Show’, and other radio and TV shows with Garroway.

He recorded 130 episodes of the 15-minute ‘The Art Van Damme Show’ for NBC Radio, and from the 1940s onwards also enjoyed a successful and extended recording career. Van Damme toured Europe and was also popular with jazz listeners in Japan, and regularly won the US ‘Downbeat’ magazine reader’s poll for his instrument. He also toured in Russia and New Zealand. In 2005, Art Van Damme, Myron Floren and Dick Contino – three all-American accordion legends – were all honoured at the Las Vegas Accordion Convention, and the following year Art was the chief guest at the ‘Accordions International 2006’ festival, held at Caister, UK.

ArtVAnDamme01Art Van Damme in his prime years, played so many gigs in clubs, hotels and concert stages across the USA and Europe that it is said that he never needed to do any practice. He was constantly in action, developing and honing his skills and repertoire, pioneering the use of the accordion as a jazz lead instrument.

So influential was Art’s playing style that he has influenced most of the western world’s jazz accordionists. One musicologist made the following neat comment: “The hippest cat ever to swing an accordion, Art Van Damme dared go where no man had gone before: jazz accordion”.

Art Van Damme died on February 15th 2010. He was 89 years old, and had been ill with pneumonia for several weeks. He had three children and six grandchildren. Although he had retired to Arizona then Scaramento, California, he continued to perform nearly to the age of 90. (by Rob Howard)

And this is one of his excellent albums from his MPS period … Listen and enjoy !

Recorded at MPS-Studio, Villingen/Germany, Black Forest, June 1972
Arranged and conducted by Christian Schmitz-Steinberg

ArtVAnDamme02Personnel:
Art Van Damme (accordion)
Branislav Kovacev (drums)
Kurt Kümpel (flute)
Milan Pilar (bass)
Rudi Risavy (flute)
Siggi Schwab (guitar)
Heribert Thusek (flute)
Hans Wolf (flute)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Cheers (Mancini) 2.58
02. Deep Night (Henderson/Vallee) 3.20
03. Hot Action (Fruth) 2.52
04. Viniette (Arberg) 3.36
05. Patou (Häusser) 2.40
06. I Only Have Eyes For You (Warren/Dubin) 3.08
07. Pick Yourself Up (Shearing) 2.12
08. Paco (Gretsch) 2.39
09. Your Turn (Schmitz/Steinberg) 3.04
10. How Will I Forget? (Ogerman) 4.31
11. A Foggy Day (Gershwin) 3.05
12. Best Things For You (IBerlin) 3.01

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Mental Hippie Blood – Same (1993)

MentalHippieBloodFCA rare example of Swedish-bred grunge, the absurdly named Mental Hippie Blood played an interesting blend of Soundgarden-inspired alternative metal and more traditional metal. 
Featuring vocalist Michael Oran, guitarists Mikael Jansson and Anders Wikstrom, bassist Lake Skoglund, and drummer Jonas Ostman, the band recorded their domestically released self-titled debut in 1992. 
They then signed with Metal Blade records and released 1994’s Pounds worldwide before fading into obscurity.  (by Eduardo Rivadavia)
This is their debut album … and it´s like dynamite, if you like heavy-metal-grunge music !

MentalHippieBlood
Personnel:
Mikael Jansson (guitar, background vocals)
Jonas Petersson (guitar, background vocals)
Anders Odenstrand (drums)
Michael Oran (vocals)
Lake Skoglund (bass, slide-guitar on 08., guitar on 03., background vocals)

MentalHippieBloodBooklet
Tracklist:
01. Law Breaks Law (Jansson/Peterson/Skoglund/Oran) 4.14
02. Wanted Her Head (Jansson/Oran) 4.41
03. Honey Child (Oran/Jansson) 4.54
04. Life Sucks (Oran/Jansson/Peterson) 4.37
05. Don´t Talk (Oran/Jansson) 4.40
06. No Use (Oran/Jansson) 3.02
07. Psychopathic Mind (Oran/Jansson) 4.11
08. I Pray In Silence (Oran/Jansson) 3.38
09. Wheel Of Fortune (Peterson) 4.36
10. 24 Carat Gold (Oran/Jansson) 4.34
11. Life Has Taught Me Oran/Jansson/Skoglund) 4.22

Andrew Lawrence-King – Harp Music of the Italian Renaissance (1986)

FrontCover1I believe that this was Andrew Lawrence-King’s first recording (1986), and this sterling effort is ample proof of why he went on to become a well-established figure in his field. He has appeared on numerous recordings, including many with Jordi Savall’s Hesperian XX, and is currently the director of the Harp Consort. The program is both musically interesting and eminently listenable; given Lawrence-King’s credentials (he won an Organ Scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge and completed his studies at the London Early Music Centre) his understanding of the material is unquestionably comprehensive. His technical execution is equally impressive.

Half of the disc is taken up by six pieces from Trabaci, a harpist, organist and singer who was an important forerunner of Frescobaldi; the remainder comes from a variety of composers all of whom lived between the late sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries. If the music itself sounds like it could just as easily be heard on the lute or keyboard, that’s because it originally was. In fact, all of the pieces here were written for these instruments (or voice), as very little music that was written for harp during this period has survived. The chromatic double harp is an ideal vehicle for these works, which range from love songs and dance music to madrigals. There’s a peaceful simplicity to much of this music that transports the listener to another place and time.

I’m not surprised that in a 1987 review, Gramophone’s critic called this disc “an impressive debut, beautifully recorded, certain to win new friends for the harp as a medium for this music…” I agree. (by jsa)

And here some informations about a real gret musician, called Andrew Lawrence-King:

Born: 1959 – Guernsey, England

The English virtuoso harp-soloist and a uniquely versatile continuo player, Andrew Lawrence-King, is recognised as one of Europe’s leading early music artists, leader of The Harp Consort and the rising new star of the baroque scene as conductor ‘from the continuo’ of orchestras, choirs and staged operas.

Andrew Lawrence-King’s musical career began as Head Chorister at the Cathedral & Parish Church of St Peter Port, Guernsey. At the age of 17 he gained the LRAM diploma and won an Organ Scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge. Having graduated in Mathematics, he completed his musical studies at London Early Music Centre. He studied there Voice and Continuo, and his teachers included Emma Kirkby, Roger Norrington and Nigel Rogers.

Andrew
After finishing his studies, Andrew Lawrence-King pursued a double international career as counter-tenor and continuo-player. He took up the harp quite by chance, and in the absence of a modern school of baroque harp-playing, taught himself to play, using period treatises and iconography. He has a large collection of harps copied from Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque originals, and has made particular study of the original techniques of “striking” the harp. He quickly established himself in London, performing and recording with nearly all the leading specialist ensembles: he has made over 100 recordings of music ranging from Troubadour lyrics (with Paul Hillier for ECM) to new music for early harp (John Paul Jones’ ‘Amores Pasados’ with The Harp Consort for DHM) and including two accounts of the George Frideric Handel Harp Concerto – with The Sixteen, and with Andrew Parrott’s Taverner Players.

After six years as harpist and keyboard player with the Baroque ensemble Tragicomedia, for whom he created many musical arrangements and concert programmes, most recently a recording of Anna Magdalena Bach’s ‘Notenbüchlein’, Andrew Lawrence-King formed his own ensemble, The Harp Consort in 1994. Taking its inspiration from the original 17th century ‘Consorte’ created by Charles I, The Harp Consort is a mixed vocal and instrumental ensemble that brings together world-class soloists in various line-ups, according to the repertoire being performed.

The Harp Consort’s combination of detailed historical research with the dramatic spontaneity of improvised performance won them instant critical acclaim. Their debut recording, Ribayaz’s 17th century collection of dance music from Spain, Italy, South America and Africa, ‘Luz y Norte’ forms the basis of a Baroque stage show of improvised music and dance. Luz y Norte toured America for the first time in 1996, and will be given at Australia’s Brisbane Festival and in the Sydney Opera House in 97.

Andrew Lawrence-King’s schedule for performances – solo, with The Harp Consort and as a guest conductor – takes him this season to Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Scandinavia and Japan. The Harp Consort has two USA tours as well as a busy recording schedule, turning their attention now also to medieval music. DHM has recently released their second CD, Carolan’s Harp: dances, airs and laments by Turlough O’Carolan, “the chief musician of all Ireland”.

BookletBackCover1Personnel:
Andrew Lawrence-King (harp)

Booklet1Tracklist:

Giovanni Maria Trabaci:
01. Toccata Seconda & Ligature 2.57
02. Gagliarda a 4, la Talinella 2.20
03. Ancidetemi pur 7.22 10.58
04. Gagliarda Terza a 5, sopra La Matoana 3.34
05. Partite sopra Zefiro 10.58
06. Gagliarda Quarta, alla Spagnola 4.30

Cesare Negri:
07. La Barriera 4.14

Anonymous:
08. Vergine Bella 2.43

Cesare Negri:
09. Brando per Quattro Pastore e Quattro Ninfe 5.39

Ascanio Mayone:
10. Toccata Prima 5.10

Anonymous:
11. Gagliarda Prima 2.51

Fabrizio Fillimarino:
12. Canzon Cromatica 4.11

Giuliano Caccini:
13. Amarilli mia bella 3.26

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Woody Herman & His Orchestra – Live In Seattle (1989)

FrontCover1After early experience in Chicago with the bands led by Tom Gerun and Harry Sosnik, Woody Herman toured with Gus Arnheim. In 1934, he joined Isham Jones, and when Jones’s group disbanded in 1936 Herman used its leading sidemen as the nucleus for his own orchestra. This band went through a number of changes of personnel, such as the inclusion in 1943 of Chubby Jackson and in 1944 of Neal Hefti, Ralph Burns, Flip Phillips, and Bill Harris (by the mid-1940s, under the name Herman’s Herd, it was internationally famous for the force and originality of its music. Herman reformed the band in 1947, and the distinctive feature of the Second Herd was the group of saxophonists (three tenor and one baritone) who came to be known as the Four Brothers; among the musicians who played in the section were Serge Chaloff, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, and Gene Ammons.

WoodyHerman02After the demise of the Second Herd in 1949, Herman continued to lead bands; these were perhaps less creative, but their consistently high level of musicianship assured his continuing reputation. The Anglo-American Herd, which he organized in 1959, was significant in the history of English Jazz; another of the more distinctive later bands, the Swinging Herd, was formed in 1962 and featured such excellent soloists as Bill Chase, Phil Wilson, and Sal Nistico. Herman broadened his scope in the late 1960s, when he took up soprano saxophone and included young jazz-rock players in his groups. He toured widely in the 1970s, and in the early 1980s held a residency in a club in New Orleans. Thereafter he worked principally on the West Coast, before taking up another residency in the St. Regis Hotel, New York, in 1985. He celebrated his 50th anniversary as bandleader with the formation of a new orchestra in 1986.

Although Herman’s instrumental expertise was considerable, his essential importance was as an organizer. His rare ability to assemble and sustain bands notable for the quality of their musicians grew especially clear in the late years of World War II, when his group consisted of brilliant improvisers whose ensemble playing was exuberant and incisive; Igor Stravinsky was so impressed by its sound that in 1945 he composed his Ebony Concerto for the band. The harmonic procedures of bop influenced Herman’s next orchestra even more deeply, confirming his freedom from the contemporary sectarianism in jazz. The ebullient Lemon Drop (1948) with its succession of exciting improvisations illustrates Herman’s shrewd open-mindedness as a bandleader as do more overtly ambitious recordings like the two-part Lady McGowan’s Dream (1946) and the four-part Summer Sequence (1946-7), both composed by Burns. (by The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Oxford University Press)

WoodyHerman01The 1967 (released for the first time in 1989) edition of Woody Herman’s Orchestra is captured live in concert on this well-recorded European import. With fine playing from tenor saxophonist Sal Nistico, baritonist Ronnie Cuber, pianist John Hicks and high-note trumpeter Bill Chase, this is an excellent all-around showcase for the band. Some tunes are stronger than others, with “Greasy Sack Blues” and “Jumpin’ Blue” being high points, although “Make Someone Happy” and the funky “Hush” are more routine. To Herman’s credit, “Four Brothers” is the only one of his older songs to be reprised on this interesting set; the leader sounds good on clarinet, alto and soprano. (by Scott Yanow)

It´s time to discover Woody Herman; listen to his great version of “Hush” and his exciting version of “Wartermelon Man” and you´ll know what I mean !

Live at the Gezira Sporting Club. Cairo, Egypt, 1966

Live at the Gezira Sporting Club. Cairo, Egypt, 1966

Personnel:
Bob Burgess (trombone)
Bill Chase (trumpet)
Richard Cooper(trumpet)
Ronnie Cuber (saxophone)
Harry Hall (trumpet)
Woody Herman (clarinet, saxophone)
John Hicks (piano)
Steve Lederer (saxophone)
John Madrid (trumpet)
Michael Moore (bass)
Sal Nistico (saxophone)
Vince Prudente (trombone)
Jack Ranelli (drums)
Frank Vicari (saxophone)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Hush (South) 4.46
02. Watermelon Man (Hancock) 7.42
03. Greasy Sack Blues (Traditional) 7.30
04. Jumpin’ Blue (Randolph) 10.18
05. Make Someone Happy (Smith) 6.47
06. Four Brothers (Giuffré) 3.54

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Taj Mahal – An Evening Of Acoustic Music (1994)

FrontCover1Taj Mahal in his own words:

“Here are a number of acoustic selections I am sure you will enjoy coming from my 1993 tour. Surprise is that Howard Johnson shows up to play tuba and penny whistle!

Over the years of touring and recording, special gems, and magic nights happen. These recordings capture one such night. Here are a number of acoustic selections I am sure you will enjoy coming from my 1993 European Tour.”

If you’ve ever caught Taj live solo, this recording, cut during an appearance in Germany, is what you’ve been waiting for. His sublime performances of “Satisfied and Tickled Too” and “Candy Man” are out of this world. While the inclusion of tuba on a few tracks does prove somewhat annoying, for the most part this is an excellent example of what makes Taj a treasure. (by Tim Sheridan)

TajMahal

Personnel:
Taj Mahal (vocals, guitar, piano, banjo)
+
Howard Johnson (tuba, penny whistle on 11. – 15.)

InsideATracklist:
01. Stagger Lee (Traditional) 3.50
02. Dust My Broom (Johnson) 5.08
03. Take This Hammer (Traditional) 3.58
04. Blues With A Feeling (Jacobs) 5.05
05. Big Legged Mamas Are Back In Style Again (Mahal) 4.31
06. Crossing (Hughes/Mahal) 4.59
07. Come On In My Kitchen (Johnson) 6.24
08. Candy Man (Davis) 4.19
09. Satisfied ‘N’ Tickled Too (Hurt) 6.58
10. Sittin’ On Top Of The World (Burnett) 4.22
11. Cake Walk Into Town (Mahal) 2.33
12. Ain’t Gwine To Whistle Dixie Anymo’ (Mahal) 3.57
13. Big Kneed Gal (Mahal) 5.47
14. Texas Woman Blues (Mahal) 3.36
15. Tom & Sally Drake (Mahal) 4.49

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Mischa Maisky – Cellissimo (2012)

FrontCover1Mischa Maisky (Latvian: Miša Maiskis; born January 10, 1948 in Riga) is a Latvian-born Jewish cellist.

Maisky is the younger brother of organist and harpsichordist Valery Maisky (1942-1981).

He began studies at the Leningrad Conservatory and later with Mstislav Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory whilst pursuing a concert career throughout the Soviet Union. In 1966 he won 6th Prize at the Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition. While his debut, at 17, with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra earned him the nickname “Rostropovich [the late, great Russian cellist] of the future”, it was in 1966, as prize-winner of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky Competition, that he really started getting noticed. He entered the famous Moscow Conservatory to study with Rostropovich and was quickly taken under the great musician’s wing. He emigrated to Israel in 1971, where he holds citizenship. He also studied for a time with Gregor Piatigorsky in Los Angeles. He currently lives in Belgium.

Maisky01In his performing and recording career, Maisky has worked in long-standing partnerships with artists such as the pianists Martha Argerich, Radu Lupu, and Sergio Tiempo, the violinists Gidon Kremer and Janine Jansen, and the conductors Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Maisky’s friendship with Argerich has led to many performances together, such as the world premiere of Shchedrin’s double concerto Romantic Offering in 2011 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

As a Deutsche Grammophon artist during the last 25 years, he has made over 50 recordings, including many with such orchestras as the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Mischa Maisky has the distinction of being the only cellist in the world to have studied with both Mstislav Rostropovich and Gregor Piatigorsky. Rostropovich has lauded Mischa Maisky as”… one of the most outstanding talents of the younger generation of cellists. His playing combines poetry and exquisite delicacy with great temperament and brilliant technique.”

In 2003, he performed at the St. Petersburg Symphony Hall with that orchestra during the celebration of 300 years of music at St. Petersburg, was warmly received to much applause, and repeatedly called back for bows with the orchestra.

Maisky’s daughter, Lily Maisky, born in Paris in 1987 and raised in Brussels, is embarking on a career as a concert pianist. Maisky’s son, Sascha Maisky, born in Brussels in 1989, is starting on a career as a concert violinist. Lily and Sascha have performed piano trios in public with their father. Maisky also has three other sons Maxim, Manuel and Mateo. (by wikipedia)

This is a sampler with some of his finest works (recorded between 1990 – 2003) … you should discover the magic of Mischa Maisky !

Maisky02Personnel:
Mischa Maisky (cello)
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Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta (on 01.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (on 02., 04. – 10.)
Orchestre de Paris conducted by Semyon Bychkov (on 03.)
+
Pavel Gililov (piano on 12. + 14.)
Daria Horova (piano on 13.)

Booklet1Tracklist:

Antonin Dvorak: Concerto for violoncello and orchestra, op 104
01. Allegro 14.29

Camille Saint-Saens:
Concert for violoncello and orchestra, op. 33:

02. Allegro non troppo 5.09

Le Carnaval des Animaux:
03 Le cygne 3.57

Robert Schumann: Concert for violoncello and orchestra, op 129
04. Langsam 3.55
05. Etwas lebhafter 8.41

Peter Tschaikowsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme,  op 33:
06 Variazione VI: Andante 3.07
07. Variazione Vii E Coda: Allegro Vivo 1.57

Luigi Boccherini:
String Quintet in E, Op.13, No.5:
08. Minuet 4.05

Cello Concerto No.7 in G major, G 480:
09. Adagio 4.58

Joseph Haydn: Concert for violoncello and orchestra No 2:
10. Rondo Allegro 4.32

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Suite For Cello Solo No.3 In C, Bwv 1009:
11. Bourrée I-II 4.03

Prelude No.1 Bwv 846:
12. Ave Maria 5.28

Franz Schubert: Schwanengesang D 957:
13. Ständchen “Leise flehen meine Lieder” 4.20

Fritz Kreisler:
14. Liebesleid 3.50

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