HAPPY NEW YEAR !

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Rick Sanders – String Time (1983)

frontcover1Richard ‘Ric’ Sanders (born 8 December 1952, in Birmingham, West Midlands) is an English violinist who has played in jazz-rock, folk rock, electric folk and folk groups, including Soft Machine and Fairport Convention.

Sanders’ first experience with a professional band was in the summer of 1972, touring Europe with classical/rock percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta’s Red Buddha Theatre. He later went on to play with jazz pianists Johnny Patrick and Michael Garrick. In the late 1970s he briefly toured as a member of the jazz-rock group Soft Machine and followed with a stint in The Albion Band. In 1981 he co-founded a recording studio, Morgreen Studios, with which he remained active for a few years. In 1984 he joined Fairport Convention and recorded his first album with them, Gladys’ Leap, the following year. Since 2002, in addition to his work with Fairport, he has also been working regularly with his trio, known as the Ric Sanders Trio, which features Vo Fletcher on guitar and Michael Gregory on drums and percussion.

Over the years Sanders has worked with a diverse roster of artists, including: Rick Wakeman, Dave Cousins of Strawbs, Jethro Tull, Robert Plant, Roy Harper, Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, Pentangle, Gordon Giltrap, Andrew Cronshaw, June Tabor, Martin Simpson, Charlie Landsborough, All About Eve, The Mission, Fred Thelonious Baker, Catherine Howe and John Etheridge (guitarist with Soft Machine and Stéphane Grappelli) with whom he co-led the group 2nd Vision, whose record has been re-released on Blueprint Records (Voiceprint Records Group).(by wikipedia)

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This is his first soloalbum, recorded for a small German independent label calles “Jeton Records” (so the liner notes are in German only). Together with Steve Richardson and Pete York (from “Pete York´s New York”) he recorded a very unique and exciting album with great instrumentals … sometimes he reminds me to the great Sugar Cane Harris.

This is not only a very rare record … this is highclass Jazz-rock, recorded in direct to disc procedure  (Direct-to-disc recording refers to sound recording methods that bypass the use of magnetic tape recording and record audio directly onto analog disc masters.)

In other words: This is a masterpiece !

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Personnel:
Steve Richardson (bass)
Rick Sanders (violin)
Pete York (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. New Years Day Celebration (Sanders/Jiving Broth.) 7.09
02. Something (Harrison) 5.04
03. Every Little Thing She Does (Sting) 4.26
04. Ebony Slide (Richardson/Jiving Broth.) 4.52
05. Mother Nature’s Son (Lennon/McCartney) 2.37
06. Allois Manius Syneda + Don’t Fret (Sanders/Baker/Jiving Broth.) 9.43

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Cathy Lemons Blues Band – Dark Road (1998)

frontcover1Cathy Lemons’ critically acclaimed CD “Dark Road” has won her some hard fought for recognition both as a songwriter and as soulful and expressive blues talent. Bkues Revue hailed “Dark Road” as “a burnished, scintillating disc and certainly one of the finest debuts from a contemporary female blues singer this year.” Vintage Guitar says this of Lemons’ vocal style: “She presents an almost classical quality to her voice. A dangerous approach to a tradition? You bet! But Lemons makes it work. The more you listen to this self-produced effort, the more you realize that it is a very individualistic emotional approach.” And Living Blues calls Lemons “a skillful and expressive singer” delivering blues “in a wide range of styles” from “dance-floor soul grooves” to “the occasional ballad.”

The quality of this CD is strengthened by an all-star line up. Tommy Castro  delivers his own fiery brand of guitar licks on the Lemons penned funk “Let Me Be Good,” and his wailing solo work on the slow blues “Takin’ a Train” (another original) can only be described as electrifying.

Rusty Zinn plays some raw Elmore James-style licks on another Lemons original “Hard Headed Man” and his “nasty tone and wild note bending” guitar work on the Junior Wells classic “Little By Little” leaves the listener wondering if this young “golden boy” might be from another generation of players.

cathylemonsbluesbandBut is it Steve Freund who is the guitar star on this CD. Kisliuk writes that Freund “fills in the edges around the snowmelt slow ‘Dirty Man’ with restraint and aching beauty.” DH of Vintage Guitar says that Freund’s “Lockwood-style finesse in tone and articulation work perfectly” with Lemons’ “delicate style.” Freund plays with beauty and intensity on the title cut “Dark Road,” creating a melancholic undertone, which builds as the song progresses. Freund’s 30 years in the blues business has indeed made him an exquisite accompanist.

David Maxwell is the pleasant surprise of this CD. His brilliant, jazz-influenced riffs on the Magic Sam classic “I Need You So Bad” create a richly textured rhythmic flow and his sinuous, Spann-like scales during his solo on the haunting “Worry, Worry” are rendered with magnificent feeling and precision.

Johnny Ace, Lemons’ partner and session leader, makes contributions with both bass and back up vocals. Ace’s style is simple and direct. He has an uncanny ability to follow Lemons in all her subtlety and zone in on just the right bass line to create a sexy, low-down groove. Ace becomes the very pulse, the very heart beat of the music. Nobody can play blues bass better than Johnny Ace.

So, as Mark A. Cole says of “Dark Road” in his Big City Blues review, “This is an excellent CD in that it combines Texas-rhythm influences with Chicago lead configurations. Lemons vocal work is top of the line … Definitely a winner! This CD has more talent and depth than you can imagine!” (by cdbaby.com)

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In 2000 when it was released, “All Music” critic Hal Horowitz hailed the album as “the finest debut from a female singer this year.” Six time Blues Music Award winner Tommy Castro plays guitar on two tracks, another BMA award winner Rusty Zinn plays on two, and Grammy award winning guitarist Steve Freund rounds out the rest of the fourteen cuts, plus David Maxwell plays some brilliant keys. Chicago blues gems plus originals with fabulous singing from Cathy Lemons. (by allmusic.com)

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Personnel:
Johnny Ace (bass, background vocals)
Kevin Coggins (drums)
Steve Freund (guitar)
Cathy Lemons (Vocals)
David Maxwell (Piano)
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Tommy Castro (guitar on 04. + 10.)
Rusty Zinn (guitar on 02. + 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Rolling And Tumbling (Morganfield) 4.18
02. Hard Headed Man (Lemons) 3.48
03. Dirty Man (Miller) 4.04
04. Let Me Be Good (Ace/Lemons) 4.40
05. Worry Worry (Davis/Taub) 5.26
06. Sayin It Plain feat. Steve Freund 03:07
07. Good Morning Little Schoolboy (Williamson) 5.55
08. Dark Road (Lemons) 6.08
09. Lonesome Whistle Blues (Toombs/Teat/Moore) 3.26
10. Takin A Train (Lemons) 5.56
11. I Need You So Bad (Maghett) 3.48
12. Just Got To Know (McCracklin) 3.46
13. Little By Little (unknown) 4.17
14. You Belong To Me (Magic Sam) 4.09

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Johnny Ace + Cathy Lemons

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Still alive and well: Cathy Lemons in 2014

Marianne Faithful – Broken English (1979)

faithfullfrontcover1Broken English is the seventh studio album by English singer Marianne Faithfull (born December 29, 1946). It was released on 2 November 1979 by Island Records. The album marked a major comeback for Faithfull after years of drug abuse, homelessness, and suffering from anorexia. It is often regarded as her “definitive recording” and Faithfull herself described it as her “masterpiece”.

Broken English was Faithfull’s first major release since her album Love in a Mist (1967). After ending her relationship with Mick Jagger in 1970 and losing custody of her son, Faithfull’s career went into a tailspin as she suffered from heroin addiction and lived on the streets of London. Severe laryngitis, coupled with persistent drug abuse during this period, permanently altered Faithfull’s voice, leaving it cracked and lower in pitch. She attempted to make a comeback in 1976 with the release of Dreamin’ My Dreams, which noted only a small success. Shortly afterwards, Faithfull began working with musician Barry Reynolds who initially produced the songs “Broken English” and “Why D’Ya Do It?”. The demos attracted the attention of Chris Blackwell who signed Faithfull to his record label Island Records.

The album was recorded at Matrix Studios in London. Faithfull collaborated with producer Mark Miller Mundy with whom she recorded all songs for the album. After having the whole album recorded, he suggested that the music should be “more modern and electronic” and brought in Steve Winwood on keyboards. Musically, Broken English is a new wave rock album with elements of other genres, such as punk, blues and reggae.

mariannefaithful01After its release, Broken English received critical acclaim. It peaked at number eighty-two on the Billboard 200, becoming her first album to chart in the United States since Go Away from My World (1965) and giving Marianne Faithfull a first nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In the United Kingdom, it reached number fifty-seven and was also successful worldwide peaking into the top five in countries, such in Germany, France and New Zealand. Broken English was certified platinum in Germany and France and sold over one million copies worldwide. Two singles were released from the album, with “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” peaking at number forty-eight on the UK Singles Chart. The album was included on NME magazine’s list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Faithfull’s immediately preceding albums, Dreamin’ My Dreams and Faithless, had been in a relatively gentle folk or country and western style. Broken English was a radical departure, featuring a contemporary fusion of rock, punk, new wave and dance, with liberal use of synthesizers. After years of cigarette smoking, Faithfull’s voice was in a lower register, far raspier, and had a more world-weary quality than in the past that matched the often raw emotions expressed in the newer songs.

The backing band of Barry Reynolds, Joe Mavety (guitars), Steve York (bass) and Terry Stannard (drums) had been formed in 1977 to tour Ireland with Faithfull promoting Dreamin’ My Dreams.

Marianne Faithfull recounted how Mark Mundy was brought on as the album’s producer: “I don’t think I could have handled Broken English without a producer. You can’t imagine what it was like. There I am with no respect at all within the music business. … So I found somebody who wanted the break, and that was Mark Mundy. He wanted to be a record producer, and he had some great ideas.”

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The album’s title track took inspiration from terrorist figures of the time, particularly Ulrike Meinhof of the Baader-Meinhof group. “Guilt” was informed by the Catholic upbringing of the singer and her composer Barry Reynolds. “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan”, originally performed by Dr Hook, is a melancholy tale of middle class housewife’s disillusionment; Faithfull’s version became something of an anthem[citation needed] and was used on the soundtracks to the films Montenegro (1981) and Thelma & Louise (1991). “What’s the Hurry?” was described by Faithfull as reflecting the everyday desperation of the habitual drug user. Her cover of John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” was recorded as a tribute to her own heroes such as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, David Bowie and Iggy Pop, and Lennon himself.

The last track, the six-and-a-half-minute “Why’d Ya Do It?”, is a caustic, graphic rant of a woman reacting to her lover’s infidelity. The lyrics began with the man’s point of view, relating the bitter tirade of his cheated-on lover. It was set to a grinding tune inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s recording of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”. Poet and writer Heathcote Williams had originally conceived the lyrics as a piece for Tina Turner to record, but Faithfull succeeded in convincing him that Turner would never record such a number. Its plethora of four-letter words and explicit references to oral sex caused controversy and led to a ban in Australia. (by wikipedia)

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Although the boundaries have shifted in the decades since this album’s release, Broken English has lost none of its trenchant appeal. And despite Courtney Love and many angry grrrl groups using explicit lyrics, Why d’Ya Do It? still sounds fresh, perhaps because it originally was written as a poem by Heathcote Williams. Her version of Lennon’s Working Class Hero sounds as sharp as ever, while the brooding title track is still relevant today. On the melodic side, Lucy Jordan has become quite a standard and could easily be considered a country weepie, while Witches Song remains eerie and anthemic. The sound is typical 80’s rock with tight musicianship supporting this classic monument to decadence and despair. This is probably her best selling album of all time for all the wrong reasons! The other two works from the same period, A Child’s Adventure and Dangerous Acquaintances, are equally excellent and will richly reward the listener. Nevertheless, Broken English stands tall as a masterpiece of broken taboos, subversive poetics and timeless songs. (Peter Uys )

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Personnel:
Jim Cuomo (saxophone)
Marianne Faithfull (vocals)
Guy Humphries (guitar)
Joe Mavety (guitar)
Barry Reynolds (guitar)
Morris Pert (percussion)
Terry Stannard (drums)
Steve York (bass)
Darryl Way (violin)
Steve Winwood (keyboards)
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background vocals:
Dyan Birch – Frankie Collins – Isabella Dulaney

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Tracklist:
01. Broken English (Faithfull/Reynold/Mavety/York/Stannard) 3.45
02. Witches’ Song (Faithfull/Reynold/Mavety/York/Stannard) 4.43
03. Brain Drain (Brierley) 4.13
04. Guilt (Reynolds) 5.05
05. The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan (Silverstein) 4.09
06. What’s The Hurry (Mavety) 3.05
07. Working Class Hero (Lennon) 4.40
08. Why D’Ya Do It (William/Reynold/Mavety/York/Stannard/Faithfull) 6.45

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIANNE FAITHFUL !

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John Du Cann – The World’s Not Big Enough (1977)

frontcover1John William Cann (5 June 1946 – 21 September 2011), later known by his stage name John Du Cann, was an English guitarist primarily known through his work in the 1970s band Atomic Rooster. His early bands included the Wiltshire-based The Sonics (not to be confused with the 1960s US band of the same name) and London-based The Attack, which released “Hi Ho Silver Lining” a few days prior to Jeff Beck. He went on to lead a psychedelic, progressive, hard rock band called Andromeda, before being asked to join Atomic Rooster, featuring re-recorded guitar parts and vocals for their 1970 self-titled debut album, and the albums Death Walks Behind You (1970) and In Hearing of Atomic Rooster (1971).

Upon departing Atomic Rooster in 1971 he formed Daemon, later renamed Bullet, then Hard Stuff, releasing two albums based more heavily on aggressive guitar work. In 1974 he was a temporary guitarist in Thin Lizzy for a tour of Germany. Sometime following this, his manager suggested a name change for him from John Cann to John Du Cann.

As a result of being signed to the same management company, 1977 saw the pairing of Du Cann with Francis Rossi of the British rock band Status Quo. Rossi was invited to produce Du Cann’s proposed new album, The World’s Not Big Enough, which remained unreleased until 1992. The session musicians for this album included Rossi on guitar, Andy Bown on keyboards, future Quo drummer Pete Kircher and bassist John McCoy. The album was described in Record Collector magazine at the time as sounding like “Quo mixed with the Sex Pistols”.

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Atomic Rooster in 1969: John Du Cann, Vincent Crane & Carl Palmer

In September 1979 Du Cann had a hit on the UK Singles Chart with “Don’t Be A Dummy”, an unreleased version of which (featuring vocals by Gary Numan) had featured in a Lee Cooper Jeans television advertisement in 1978. The single reached number 33 in the UK Singles Chart.

In 1979, Cann and Crane re-formed Atomic Rooster with Preston Heyman on drums (with whom they recorded their 1980 self-titled album). Following this, after a brief spell with former Cream drummer Ginger Baker (who was released after only three weeks), Paul Hammond returned to his place on the drums, and the band released two more singles on Polydor with minimal success. In 1981, the band were booked at the last minute at the Reading Festival, but Cann was unable to make it, and Mick Hawksworth sat in with the band on bass guitar, while Crane took over on lead vocals. In late 1982, Cann had had enough of the non-success of the band, and left for the final time.

In the late 1990s he was introduced to the Angel Air record label by John McCoy. He was later active cataloguing and remastering his personal tape archive and compiling reissues for the label, for which he received full credit and royalties.

johndu-cann01Du Cann died on 21 September 2011 after a heart attack. As he died without heirs the bulk of his personal collection of 75 guitars, 30 amplifiers, records and CDs was auctioned in January 2012. An original copy of the Andromeda LP made £800, whilst his well used 1963 Fender Strat sold for £6500.

he World’s Not Big Enough is the only solo album by John Du Cann, who was best known as guitarist and vocalist with Atomic Rooster and Hard Stuff in the 1970s. The album was recorded in 1977, but remained unreleased until 1992, and was remastered in 1999.

During the mid-1970s, Du Cann was signed to Quarry Management, who also handled Status Quo. When Du Cann presented some demo tracks to Arista Records, it was suggested that he record them in a studio with Status Quo guitarist Francis Rossi acting as producer. A group was assembled to record the album, including bass guitarist John McCoy, who later played with Ian Gillan; Liverpool Express and Original Mirrors drummer Pete Kircher, and keyboard player Andy Bown who was also a member of Status Quo. Ex-Atomic Rooster drummer Paul Hammond also played on several tracks. The band subsequently performed concerts in London, but Arista ultimately decided not to release the album.

The album was eventually released in 1992, and featured Du Cann’s 1979 UK hit single “Don’t Be a Dummy”, which he performed on Top of the Pops. The 1999 CD version also featured a number of bonus tracks, mostly demos and rough versions of songs not featured on the original album.

“She’s My Woman” and “Where’s the Show!” were re-recorded when Du Cann rejoined Atomic Rooster, and were released on the band’s 1980 album Atomic Rooster. ((by wikipedia)

Du Cann’s shelved 1977 album includes the singles “Don’t Be a Dummy,” “Throw Him in Jail,” and “Where’s the Show!” It’s peculiar, though not half-bad, power pop/new wave with a mainstream slant. Sometimes it exhibits a glammish, cheerfully snide attitude that isn’t too far removed from an early-’70s Bowie influence. No doubt it’s the kind of thing that will have the experts sniffing out whiffs of inauthenticity immediately (especially when they become aware of Du Cann’s hard rock past), but it’s not as ridiculous as might have been anticipated. Let it not be said that Angel Air is unwilling to pull out all the stops for such a not-in-demand project; it’s added a dozen bonus tracks of undocumented source and vintage material that is generally less impressive than the material from the unreleased LP. These are closer to hard rock in mood, with Du Cann handling all the vocals, guitars, and bass on most of them, and ex-Atomic Rooster bandmate Paul Hammond doing most of the drums. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Andy Bown (keyboards on 01. + 15. + 26.)
John Du Cann (guitar, vocals; bass 16. – 25.)
Paul Hammond (drums, percussion on 13. + 16. – 25.)
Pete Kircher (drums, percussion on on 01. + 15. + 26.)
John McCoy (bass  on 01. + 15. + 26.)
Francis Rossi (guitar on 01. + 15. + 26.)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Be A Dummy (Bond) 3.05
02. You Didn’t Know Any Better (Cann) 3.23
03. Fashion Fantasy  (Cann) 2.34
04. When I Was Old (Cann) 2.35
05. Only One Night (Cann) 3.00
06. Where’s The Show! (Cann) 2.25
07. She’s My Woman 2.30
08. Throw Him In Jail (Cann) 2.28
09. Evil You (Part 1) (Cann) 2.42
10. Don’t Talk (Cann) 2.25
11. Your Application Failed (Cann) 2.52
12. If I’m Makin’ (Cann) 2.58
13. Street Strutter (Cann) 2.22
14. Evil You (Part 2) (Cann) 2.42
15. Hesitation (Cann) 2.26
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16. Exodus (Johnny and His Epic Guitars) (Gold) 2.41
17. Moody Child (Cann) 3.24
18. Truck Stop (Cann) 2.48
19. Well Let’s Go (Cann) 3.56
20. Paradise (Cann) 2.47
21. I Want To Be Alone (Cann) 2.28
22. Ode To Mai West (Cann) 2.30
23. Wise Man (Cann) 2.56
24. Ooh Be Doo (Cann) 3.39
25. Thanx For Nothing (Cann) 3.59
26. Who Cares? (Cann) 2.07
27. The Door (Cann) 0.21

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Single from 1977

 

Orchestre Sassoun – Folklore Armenien (70´s)

frontcover1Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia , is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia,[20][21] on the Armenian Highland, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan’s exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. The Republic of Armenia constitutes only one-tenth of historical Armenia.

Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia which was one of Satrapies of Persian Empire . In the 1st century BC the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great. Armenia became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion.[23] In between the late 3rd century to early years of the 4th century, the state became the first Christian nation.[24][25][26] The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301 AD.[27] The ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks. An Armenian principality and later a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries.

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Between the 16th century and 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires, repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, and in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Armenians have had a long tradition of folk music from the antiquity. Under Soviet domination, Armenian folk music was taught in state-sponsored conservatoires. Instruments played include qamancha (similar to violin), kanun (dulcimer), dhol (double-headed hand drum, see davul), oud (lute), duduk, zurna, blul (ney), shvi and to a lesser degree saz. Other instruments are often used such as violin and clarinet. The duduk is Armenia’s national instrument, and among its well-known performers are Margar Margarian, Levon Madoyan, Saro Danielian, Vatche Hovsepian, Gevorg Dabaghyan and Yeghish Manoukian, as well as Armenia’s most famous duduk player, Djivan Gasparyan.
Armenian folk musicians

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Earlier in Armenian history, instruments like the kamancha were played by popular, travelling musicians called ashoughs. Sayat Nova, an 18th-century Ashough, is revered in Armenia. Performers such as Armenak Shahmuradian, Vagharshak Sahakian, Norayr Mnatsakanyan, Hovhannes Badalyan, Hayrik Muradyan, Raffi Hovhannisyan, Papin Poghosian, and Hamlet Gevorgyan have been famous in Armenia and are still acclaimed. The most notable female vocalists in the Armenian folk genre have been Araksia Gyulzadyan, Ophelia Hambardzumyan, Varduhi Khachatrian, Valya Samvelyan, Rima Saribekyan, Susanna Safarian, Manik Grigoryan, and Flora Martirosian.

Armenian emigrants from other parts of the Middle East settled in various countries, especially in the California Central Valley, and the second- and third-generation have kept their folk traditions alive, such as Richard Hagopian, a famous oud-player. Another oud player, John Berberian, is noted in particular for his fusions of traditional music with jazz and rock in the 1960s. From Lebanon and Syria, George Tutunjian, Karnig Sarkissian and others performed Armenian Revolutionary Songs which quickly became popular among the Armenian Diaspora, notably ARF supporters. In Tehran Iran the folk music of the Armenian community is characterized by the work of Nikol Galanderian (1881–1946) and the Goghtan choir. (by wikipeda)

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And this is a very rare album with music from Armenia, recorded in France during the  70`s.

It´s maybe a music we never heard before, but it´s an unique piece of music … and you know I call my blog “many fantastic colors” (of music) … so enjoy this beautiful trip to Armenia … it´s a magic trip !

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Personnel:
Samvel Adiarian (guitar)
Michael Boyadjian (tenpouk)
Yervant Harounian (mandoline)
Levon Minassian (mandoline)
Gilbert Kulbastian (guitar)
Jean-Pierre Mazloumian (guitar)
Antranik Minassian (vocals)
Helene Ohanian (vocals)
Nelly Vemian (piano)
Hovcep Yeghiazariab (mandoline)

Orchestra conducted by Philippe Boyadjian

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Tracklist:
01. Tek Daneïn (Traditional) 2.42
02. Odar Amaï (Meserlian/Issahakian) 3.50
03. Ain Kicher (Manassarian)
04. Sirounik et danses des chevaliers (Traditional) 7.33
05. Haïastani Dzov Ginin (Haroutyounian) 3.19
06. Mama (Amirghanian/Ohanian) 3.01
07. Tou Im Hebard Haï Artchik (Porian/Arménian) 2.48
08. Im Anouch Davir (Avedissian/Haroutyounian) 4.26
09. Enzeli (Spendiarian) 2.13

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Lee Michaels – Recital (1968)

frontcover1After a somewhat uneven debut album, Lee Michaels found his footing on this record. Michaels, a keen student of R&B as well as classical music, was obviously able to wrangle a bit more artistic control at A&M, and it shows. Overdubs of piano, harpsichord, and organ by Michaels created a wonderful sonic depth, and along with John Barbata’s solid drumming, the result is staggering. Michaels was not exactly a singer/songwriter, but on this record, songs such as “Blind” and “Fell in Love Today” find a real voice for his R&B leanings. The record also contains the fabulous single “If I Lose You,” which should have been a Top 40 hit. In the end, Recital is a very funky pop album that was ahead of its time. (by Matthew Greenwald)

RECITAL is Lee Michaels second album, released on vinyl as A&M SP 4152. There are still some guitar solos, but this time out Lee is in the foreground playing harpsichord, organ and piano while belting out blues vocals with uptempo percussion. “Spare Change” is an instrumental experiment which is fascinating. Other great cuts are “The War,” “Grocery Soldier” and “If I Lose You.” This one was more of a critical than commercial success, but definitely worthwhile.(by an amazon customer)

Truth be told, this isn’t my favorite Lee Michaels production. In fact, it’s not even in second or third place. I’d rank Lee’s best to be ‘Fifth’, followed by his self-titled third album, followed by ‘Live’, a two disc vinyl release. That being said, how many 1960’s lee-michaelsartists made effective, prolific use of the harpsichord? Only an odd guy named Lurch who sat behind the pearly whites once a week comes to mind. Still, it’s the presence of the harpsichord and occasional piano displacing Lee’s compelling Hammond B3 organ runs that lowers my opinion of this, Lee’s sophomore effort from 1968. When I’m in the mood for some Lee Michaels, I’m in the mood for some thick, solid, boisterous organ propping up Lee’s wailing, bluesy vocals.

On the upside, Lee probably hits deeper notes with his lyrics on this release than he typically does. In fact, the flaming anti-Vietnam War rhetoric from ‘The War’ is some of the most scathing and provoking imagery of the era. Consider “How would you like to spend five years in jail for refusing to fight the war… How would you like to watch a baby burn, could you march on and kill one more?” The second track, ‘Time Is Over’ presents an appealing chorus of “Look at your wishes, remember they’re all that remain, and you will learn to love all of your fantasies”. Lee’s soulful, overdubbed wails accompany the lyrics over light and fragile harpsichord runs. Another lyrical coup is scored, oddly enough, on the 42 second blip known as ‘What Can He Do?’, which questions how a plain clothes cop can cope when “the whole world’s out on bail”? (Don Schmittdiel)

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Lee Michaels in 1971

Personnel:
John Barbata (drums)
Frank Davis (drums)
Larry Knechtel (bass)
Drake Levin (guitar)
Lee Michaels (keyboards, vocals, bass)

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Tracklist:
01. If I Lose You (Marks/Michaels) 2.21
02. Time Is Over (Michaels) 3.34
03. No Part Of It (Michaels) 2.11
04. Fell In Love Today (Michaels) 1.54
05. Blind (Michaels) 2.53
06. Grocery Soldier (Michaels) 2.32
07. What Can He Do (Michaels) 0.42
08. Basic Knowledge (Michaels) 3.29
09. Gonna Leave (Michaels) 2.24
10. The War (Michaels) 3.15
11. Spare Change (Michaels) 7.25

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