Jimi Hendrix Experience – Live At Winterland (1987)

FrontCover1Live at Winterland is a live album by English-American rock band The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It compiles select performances from the band’s three concerts at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, where they played two shows each night on October 10, 11 and 12, 1968. The album was released posthumously by Rykodisc in 1987.

Live at Winterland was released by Rykodisc in 1987 and became the best-selling album from an independent label that year. With sales of over 200,000 copies, it sold more than any other Jimi Hendrix recording had in years. In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, music critic Robert Christgau was highly impressed by the performances compiled for the album, which he said is ideal for the emerging CD format and surpasses previous live recordings of Hendrix: “The sound is bigger and better in every way for an artist whose sound was his music”. He named Live at Winterland the tenth best album of 1987 in his year-end list for The Village Voice.Christgau remarked on its significance to Hendrix’s discography in a retrospective review for Blender magazine:
“ It’s been eclipsed sonically (Berkeley) and conceptually (Woodstock). But this pioneering digitalization, piecing together songs from three San Francisco nights in October 1968 to simulate one uninterrupted concert, redefined posthumous Hendrix and remains a surpassingly realistic live keepsake.” (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Jimi Hendrix (guitar, vocals)
Mitch Mitchell (drums)
Noel Redding (bass, background vocals)
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Jack Casady (bass on 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Prologue 0.57
02. Fire (Hendrix) 3.12
03. Manic Depression (October 12, 1968, 2nd show) – 4:46
04. Sunshine Of Your Love (Clapton/Bruce/Brown) 6.25
05. Spanish Castle Magic (Hendrix) 5.32
06. Red House (Hendrix) 11.32
07. Killing Floor (Burnett) 8.05
08. Tax Free (Hansson/Carlsson) 8.00
09. Foxy Lady (Hendrix) 4.50
10. Hey Joe (Roberts) 6.44
11. Purple Haze (Hendrix) 4.34
12. Wild Thing (Taylor) 3.05
13. Epilogue 0.30

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Eddie Hardin – Survival (1988)

FrontCover1Eddie Hardin (19 February 1949 – 22 July 2015) was not only the keyboard player for The Spencer Davis Group and Hardin & York, but he was a musician, who recorded many (more or less unsuccessful( solo albums.

This is one of his finest solo albums he ever recorded.

This album was a part of the “Landscape Series”, the “new age” label from  Coda Records:

The Coda record label was a subsidiary of the successful English independent record label Beggars Banquet from 1986 to 1992. Nick Austin, one of the company’s directors until 1992, suggested the idea after returning from America and being excited by an emerging new music genre called “New Age”. Coda served as an early UK outlet for the New Age genre.(by http://www.discogs.com)

Call this music new age or call it good music … These Eddie Hardin melodies are so peaceful, calm and quiet …

Most of the tracks (but not all !) were played by Eddie Hardin on the piano …

“We have become survivors in a world that´s sometimes lost its charms and I feel the titel “Survivors” apt for us all” (Eddie Hardin)

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Personnel:
Eddie Hardin (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Innocent Victims 3.59
02. Lost Chilhood 4.57
03. Seeds Of Suspicion 3.54
04. Schools Of Thought 4.19
05. Perfect Survivor 4.45
06. Lessons To Learn 4.00
07. Where Do We Go From Here 4.20
08. A Slice Of Paradise 3.39
09. Never Again 3.53
10. Rules We Can’t Ignore 4.26

Music composed by Eddie Hardin

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Sandi Thom – Smile … It Confuses People (2006)

FrontCover1Smile… It Confuses People is the debut studio album by Scottish singer Sandi Thom. It was released in both Ireland and the United Kingdom on 5 June 2005 by RCA Records (although the back of the album bears the RCA Music Group logo instead). The album is a mix of pop and folk, predominantly written by Thom herself alongside Tom Gilbert.

The album produced Thom’s first number-one single on the UK Singles Chart, Ireland Singles Chart and in Australia, giving her song the record of longest period at number-one in Australia for 2006 and becoming the highest selling single for 2006. The album also generated another two singles but failed to chart successfully. Smile… It Confuses People was certified platinum by BPI selling three hundred thousand copies around the UK.

The album went straight to number one in its week of release in the UK. It spent a total of eighteen weeks in the UK top forty. It has since gone platinum in the UK and has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

In Australia the album reached its peak at #11. On its ninth week in the chart at number fifteen the album was certified gold by ARIA selling thirty-five thousand copies around Australia. It was the seventy-eighth highest selling album for 2006.

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Single cover “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)”

I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) was the first song released from the album and topped the UK, Ireland Singles Chart for two weeks the Australian ARIA Singles Chart for ten weeks making it the highest selling single for 2006. It was accredited Double Platinum (140,000 units) by ARIA. “What If I’m Right” was the second song released from the album and reached 22 in the UK and 30 in the Irish chart and top forty in Australia and New Zealand. “Lonely Girl” was the third song released from the album available for digital download only released in the UK on 4 December 2006 and did not chart.

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Whether or not one wants to believe the hype surrounding Sandi Thom’s supposedly grassroots method of getting herself a record deal — there’s plenty of controversy and conspiracy theory surrounding it (read her bio for details) — or not, is immaterial. The intensity and arrogance of the hype from her American label which issued weekly press releases to let us know we were ignorant and lived under a rock if we didn’t know about her or her alleged miracle of world- and chart- conquering method of arriving at her deal hasn’t helped. (After all, Ani DiFranco did the whole thing herself and still hasn’t needed a major — she’s turned every one of them down repeatedly — to make herself a career and inspired thousands to do so themselves.)

Ultimately then, it all comes down to the music. Does Thom have it on her debut, Smile…It Confuses People, or doesn’t she? As for the single, it’s a hopelessly naïve, cleverly worded musical ditty that is reminiscent of something used to sell European automobiles. After all, one of the things Thom chooses to forget, or perhaps really doesn’t know, is that her prime minister and our president, the very people who plunged the world into crisis, are members of that baby boom generation she so romanticizes. This song may have topped the charts in the fickle and music-tabloid driven U.K., but it won’t here. It’s forgettable in a way that any tune by Gnarls Barkley isn’t. Far more interesting are the big, slick pop melodies of “Lonely Girl” and the utterly stunning “Sunset Borderline,” which begin as simple acoustic songs and become big, swirling numbers that touch on ’70s female singer/songwriter empathy and insight, and touch upon the Lou Adler- and Arif Mardin-produced pop records that jumped to the top of the charts. In other words, the production — by the Mighty Vibrations, Rick Parkhouse, and her oh-so-savvy manager Ian Brown — is very slick, calculated to make every one of theses tunes a single.

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There’s nothing naïve in Thom’s voice; she’s a studied singer who understands the kinds of emotions that are carried by dynamic and timbre; in other words, she’s a top-notch vocalist. Other tracks that stand out here are the jaunty “Little Remedy,” the moving “Castles,” and the rootsy “What If I’m Right” which is reminiscent of both Michelle Branch and Meredith Brooks. We only get a real taste of Thom somewhat unadorned on “Superman” and the album’s closer “Time.” What these two tracks prove is that while her songs don’t begin to touch those of the very writers she so idolizes, Smile is a first record nonetheless and it will take time to develop her writing — three or four albums most likely — and to establish herself as a writer as well as a singer (and let’s hope her label, so quick to crown her the “next big thing,” believes in her enough to nurture what is most certainly a real talent). A lot depends on how strong-willed she is and how well-intentioned her management is. If managed properly, she will grow and become the artist she seems so badly to want to be. If not, she will be as forgotten as those two female singer/songwriters mentioned above. Smile…It Confuses People is an auspicious if not completely realized debut by a real — if raw — talent with some truly fine music on it. Don’t believe the hype, believe the music, it tells the real story. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Paul Beavis (percussion)
Jake Field (keyboards, harmonica, percussion)
Rick Parkhouse (guitar)
Tim Parkhouse (drums)
Hannah Peel (trombone, violin)
Tim Pike (saxophone)
Sandi Thom (guitar, vocals, piano, percussion)
Duncan Thompson (cajon, drums, guitar, bass, percussion)
Emma Welsby (marimba)

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Tracklist:
01. When Horsepower Meant What It Said (Thom/Gilbert) 3.05
02. I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair) (Thom/Gilbert) 2.31
03. Lonely Girl (Thom) 3.10
04. Sunset Borderline (Thompson/Field/Thom) 3.36
05. Little Remedy (Thompson/Field/Thom) 2.53
06. Castles (Field/Thom/Gilbert) 4.25
07. What If I’m Right (Thom/Gilbert) 2.58
08. Superman (Thom/Tom Gilbert) 2.43
09. Human Jukebox (Thom/Gilbert) 3.19
10. Time (Perry/Thom) 3.20

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Smile

Oh I wish I was a punk rock girl with flowers in my hair,
In 77 and 69 revolution was in the air,
I was born too late to a world that doesn’t care,
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair.

When the head of state didn’t play guitar,
Not everybody drove a car,
When music really mattered and when radio was king,
When accountants didn’t have control,
And the media couldn’t buy your soul,
And computers were still scary and we didn’t know everything.

When popstars still remained a myth,
And ignorance could still be bliss,
And when God Save the Queen she turned a whiter shade of pale,
When my mom and dad were in their teens,
And anarchy was still a dream,
And the only way to stay in touch was a letter in the mail.

When record shops were still on top,
and vinyl was all that they stocked,
and the super info-highway was still drifting out in space,
kids were wearing hand-me-downs,
And playing games meant kick arounds,
And footballers who had long hair and dirt across their face.

Oh I wish I was a punk rock girl with flowers in my hair,
In 77 and 69 revolution was in the air,
I was born too late to a world that doesn’t care,
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair.

Bajro Ajkic – Memory (2000)

FrontCover1I don´t know very much about Bajro Ajkic, … but I know that this album is a very beautiful one.

And I found a very nice story about this great celo player in the internet:

Three years ago (February 2008) I was wondering through the gardens of the Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, when I came across a gentleman playing his cello and a small crowd had gathered around him. As I was undertaking one of the many online photography courses (www.ppsop.com ), I spent quite some time shooting images as this solitary figure as he played for the gathered crowd.

I had been back to the gardens many times in the past several years and finally this past June, there he was again playing for all the passers-by who would stop and listen to his soothing tones from his cello.

Bajro01During a break I introduced myself and mentioned I had taken photographs in the past and luckily I had my IPad with me to show him the images. He introduced himself as Bajro Ajkic and we had a great chat about his travels to North America and about his fondness for his music and playing for the people.

If you are ever in Munich I suggest you stop-by the gardens, this section is located right outside the Odeansplatz subway (U-Bahn) station and spend a few tranquil moments listening to Bajro and his wonderful music, I know I will whenever I return to Munich. (by davidmuldoonphotography.wordpress.com)

All I know, is that Bajro Ajkic lived for a short while in the USA … today he lives in Munich, but this album was recorded in Spain !

And it´s one of the findest private edition albums I´have ever heard … what a great sound, what a great cello player …

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Personnel:
Bajro Ajkic (cello)
Chiara (piano)
Luka (guitar)
Samira (violin)

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Tracklist:
01. Canon In D (Pachlbel) 4,01
02. Memory (Webber) 4.05
03. The Swan (Saint-Saens )3.10
04. Evocation (Merlin) 1.35
05. Arioso (Bach) 3.38
06. Nostalgy (Samira) 3.17
07. Meditation From Thais (Massenet) 4.33
08. The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (Legrand) 2.16
09. The Love Story (Lai) 2.31
10. Only You (Clark) 2.34
11. The Godfather (Rota/Kusik) 2.23

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Patti Smith Group – Easter (1978)

FrontCover1Easter is the third studio album by the Patti Smith Group, released in March 1978 on Arista Records (see 1978 in music). Produced by Jimmy Iovine, it is regarded as the group’s commercial breakthrough, owing to the success of the single, “Because the Night” (co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Smith), which reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #5 in the UK.

The first album released since Smith had suffered a neck injury while touring for Radio Ethiopia, Easter has been called the most commercially accessible of the Patti Smith Group’s catalogue. Unlike its two predecessors, Easter incorporated a diversity of musical styles, though still including classic rock and roll (“25th Floor/High on Rebellion”, “Rock N Roll Nigger”), folk (“Ghost Dance”), spoken word (“Babelogue”) and pop music (“Because the Night”). Easter is the only 1970s album of Smith’s that does not feature Richard Sohl as part of the Patti Smith Group; in one interview at the time, Smith stated that Sohl was sick and this prevented him from participating in recording the album. Bruce Brody is credited as the keyboard player, Richard Sohl makes a guest appearance contributing keyboards to “Space Monkey”, along with Blue Öyster Cult keyboardist Allen Lanier. The cover photograph is by Lynn Goldsmith and liner notes photography by Cindy Black and Robert Mapplethorpe.

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In addition to the religious allusion of its title, the album is replete with biblical and specifically Christian imagery. “Privilege (Set Me Free)” is taken from the British fame- and authoritarianism-satirizing film Privilege; its lyrics are adapted from Psalm 23. The LP insert reproduces a First Communion portrait of Frederic and Arthur Rimbaud, and Smith’s notes for the song “Easter” invoke Catholic imagery of baptism, communion and the blood of Christ. A solitary hand-drawn cross is placed below the group member credits on the sleeve insert, and the last sentence of the liner notes is a quote from Second Epistle to Timothy 4:7 — “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course…”

The album was highly acclaimed upon its release. Writing in Rolling Stone, Dave Marsh called the album “transcendent and fulfilled.” In Creem, Nick Tosches described it as “an album of Christian obsessions, especially those of death and resurrection”, and called it Smith’s “best work.” Lester Bangs, on the other hand, began his pan of the album, “Dear Patti, start the revolution without me.” Bangs contended that while Horses had changed his life, Easter “is just a very good album.” It listed number 14 in The Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop critics’ poll of the best albums of 1978, while NME magazine ranked the album 46th best of the year . (by wikipedia)

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Patti Smith came back from the year-and-a-half break caused by her fall from a stage in January 1977 without having resolved the art-versus-commerce argument that had marred her second album, Radio Ethiopia. In fact, that argument was in some ways the theme of her third. Easter, produced by Bruce Springsteen associate Jimmy Iovine, was Smith’s most commercial-sounding effort yet and, due to the inclusion of Springsteen’s “Because the Night” (with Smith’s revised lyrics), a Top Ten hit, it became her biggest seller, staying in the charts more than five months and getting into the Top 20 LPs. But Smith hadn’t so much sold out as she had learned to use her poetic gifts within an album rock context. Certainly, a song that proclaimed, “Love is an angel disguised as lust/Here in our bed until the morning comes,” was pushing the limits of pop radio, and on “Babelogue,” Smith returned to her days of declaiming poetry on New York’s Lower East Side. That rant (significantly ending, “I have not sold my soul to God”) led into the provocative “Rock n Roll Nigger,” a charged rocker with a chorus that went, “Outside of society/Is where I want to be.” Smith made the theme from the ’60s British rock movie Privilege her own and even got into the U.K. charts with it. And on songs like “25th Floor,” Iovine, Smith, and her group were able to accommodate both the urge to rock out and the need to expound. So, Easter turned out to be the best compromise Smith achieved between her artistic and commercial aspirations. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Bruce Brody (keyboards, synthesizer)
Jay Dee Daugherty (drums, percussion)
Lenny Kaye (guitar, bass, vocals)
Ivan Kral (bass, vocals, guitar)
Patti Smith – vocals, guitar
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John Paul Fetta (bass on 01. + 07.)
Allen Lanier (keyboards on 02.)
Jim Maxwell (bagpipes on 11.)
Andi Ostrowe (percussion on o4.)
Richard Sohl (keyboards on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Till Victory (Smith/Kaye)  2.45
02. Space Monkey (Smith/Kral/Verlaine) 4.04
03. Because The Night (Smith/Springsteen) 3.32
04. Ghost Dance (Smith/Kaye) 4.40
05. Babelogue (Smith) 1.25
06. Rock N Roll Nigger (Smith/Kaye) 3.13
07. Privilege (Set Me Free) (London/Leander) 3.27
08. We Three (Smith) 4.19
09. 25th Floor (Smith/Kral) 4.01
10. High On Rebellion (Smith) 2.37
11. Easter (Smith/Daugherty) 6.15
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12. Godspeed  (Smith/Kral)  6.09

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Harry Chapin – Sniper & Other Love Songs (1972)

FrontCover1Sniper and Other Love Songs is the second studio album by the American singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, released in 1972. The album’s title song is a vaguely fictionalised account of Charles Whitman’s shootings from the clocktower of the Main Building of the University of Texas at Austin in August 1966. In 2004 it was released as a double CD package with “Heads and Tales” featuring several previously unreleased out-takes.

The song “Circle” was a major hit for The New Seekers (released as “Circles”) and became known as the Chapin Anthem. “Sunday Morning Sunshine” cracked the Billboard Hot 100. A live version of “Better Place To Be” charted in 1976. (by wikipedia)

Sniper & Other Love Songs never sold remotely as well as its predecessor, Heads & Tales, mostly because it never had a hit single like “Taxi” to help lift it high on the charts, but it is actually a bolder and better album and a much more balanced record; the lack of an elaborately produced number like “Taxi” may have hurt sales, but it meant that no one song dominated the proceedings. Chapin sings better here than on his first album, with improved range and a lot more confidence, which extends to his songwriting as well — “Sunday Morning Sunshine” is a fine folk-based number that opens the album in achingly beautiful, genial fashion, but it’s on the second song, “Sniper,” that Chapin shows his real range.

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A ten-minute conceptual work, the latter has all the complexity and drama of a screenplay and a movie soundtrack woven into one, and is brilliantly performed/acted by Chapin; listening to it, one gets the impression of a real-life, soft rock version of Noel Airman, the composer character from the novel Marjorie Morningstar, who was forever trying out and reworking material from the Broadway show that he was planning for years; even overlooking the fact that Chapin did, of course, get to Broadway, there’s a sense of someone looking for a bigger canvas that records or singing songs on a concert stage can provide. The rest ranges from low-key, elegantly played, but unpretentious singer/songwriter material, built on beautiful melodies (“And the Baby Never Cries”) to fairly hard-rocking electric numbers (“Burning Herself”). Some of it, like “Barefoot Lady,” sounds a decade out of place in the 1970s, while other numbers, such as “Better Place to Be,” are the kind of extended soft-rocking, poetic numbers that collegiate audiences (at least, humanities majors) used to devour in the early ’70s. “Circle” is probably the most popular number ever to come off of the album, but it’s merely the most obvious personal statement here, rather than representative of this engaging and still very rewarding album, which finally showed up on CD in 2002, in time for its 30th anniversary, from the Wounded Bird label. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Harry Chapin (guitar, vocals)
Steve Chapin (keyboards)
Russ Kunkel (drums, percussion)
Ron Palmer (guitar, vocals)
Tim Scott (cello)
John Wallace (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Sunday Morning Sunshine 3.51
02. Sniper 9.58
03. And The Baby Never Cries 5.09
04. Burning Herself 3.30
05. Barefoot Boy 3.29
06. Better Place To Be 8.36
07. Circle 3.24
08. Woman Child 5.24
09. Winter Song 2.31

All songs written by Harry Chapin

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Buck Clayton – Buck Clayton Meets Joe Turner (1992)

FrontCover1An excellent bandleader and accompanist for many vocalists, including Billie Holiday, Buck Clayton was a valued soloist with Count Basie Orchestra during the ’30s and ’40s, and later was a celebrated studio and jam session player, writer, and arranger. His tart, striking tone and melodic dexterity were his trademark, and Clayton provided several charts for Basie’s orchestra and many other groups. Clayton began his career in California, where he organized a big band that had a residency in China in 1934. When he returned, Clayton led a group and played with other local bands. During a 1936 visit to Kansas City, he was invited to join Basie’s orchestra as a replacement for Hot Lips Page. Clayton was also featured on sessions with Lester Young, Teddy Wilson, and Holiday in the late ’30s. He remained in the Basie band until 1943, when he left for army service. After leaving the army, Clayton did arrangements for Basie, Benny Goodman, and Harry James before forming a sextet in the late ’40s. He toured Europe with this group in 1949 and 1950. Clayton continued heading a combo during the ’50s, and worked with Joe Bushkin, Tony Parenti, and Jimmy Rushing, among others. He organized a series of outstanding recordings for Columbia in the mid-’50s under the title Jam Session (compiled and reissued by Mosaic in 1993). There were sessions with Rushing, Ruby Braff, and Nat Pierce. Clayton led a combo with Coleman Hawkins and J.J. Johnson at the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival, then reunited with Goodman in 1957 at the Waldorf Astoria. There was another European tour, this time with Mezz Mezzrow. He appeared in the 1956 film The Benny Goodman Story and played the 1958 Brussels World Fair with Sidney Bechet. Clayton later made another European visit with a Newport Jazz Festival tour.

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He joined Eddie Condon’s band in 1959, a year after appearing in the film Jazz on a Summer’s Day. Clayton toured Japan and Australia with Condon’s group in 1964, and continued to revisit Europe throughout the ’60s, often with Humphrey Lyttelton’s band, while playing festivals across the country. But lip and health problems virtually ended his playing career in the late ’60s. After a period outside of music, Clayton once again became active in music, this time as a non-playing arranger, touring Africa as part of a State Department series in 1977. He provided arrangements and compositions for a 1974 Lyttleton and Buddy Tate album, and did more jam session albums for Chiaroscuro in 1974 and 1975. He also became an educator, teaching at Hunter College in the early ’80s. Clayton led a group of Basie sidemen on a European tour in 1983, then headed his own big band in 1987 that played almost exclusively his compositions and arrangements. That same year Clayton’s extensive autobiography Buck Clayton’s Jazz World, with Nancy Miller-Elliot, was published.(by Ron Wynn)

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Original front+back cover from 1965

Despite its title, trumpeter Buck Clayton and blues singer Big Joe Turner actually perform on three separate songs apiece, only coming together on the concluding “Too Late, Too Late.” Recorded in Yugoslavia, these performances also utilize a four-piece Yugoslavian quartet (Zagrebački Jazz Kvartet), with vibraphonist Bosko Petrovic the only player to receive much fame through the years. Turner sounds fine on a pair of his blues and “I Want a Little Girl,” while Buck jams enthusiastically on “Honeysuckle Rose,” “I Can’t Get Started” and “Perdido.” Nothing all that surprising occurs, but the music is quite satisfying. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Buck Clayton (trumpet)
Silvije Glojnarić (drums)
Davor Kajfeš (piano)
Boško Petrović (vibraphone)
Miljenko Prohaska (bass)
Big Joe Turner (piano, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Honeysuckle Rose (Waller/Razaf) 7.10
02. I’m In A World Of Trouble (Turner) 7.12
03. I Can’t Get Started (Grhswin/Duke) 3.55
04. Feel So Fine (Turner) 3.15
05. Perdido (Tizol/Drake/Leuk) 8.47
06. I Want A Little Girl (Mencher/Moll) 3.11
07. Too Late  (Turner) 9.28

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