The Impossible Gentlemen – Live At The Funkhaus Studio (Munich/Germany) (2016)

FrontCover1This Anglo-American supergroup could be seen as a canny way of raising the international profile of two of Britain’s most inventive jazz musicians.

These gentlemen first assembled in 2009, with pianist Gwilym Simcock and guitarist Mike Walker backed by flashy US drummer Adam Nussbaum and veteran bass legend Steve Swallow. The latter has now been replaced by another American, Steve Rodby, and the lineup has been expanded to feature Iain Dixon, who multitasks on reeds and synth. But the focus remains on the guitar/piano pairing of Simcock and Walker.

The two write most of the material, which often suffers from the curse of so much contemporary jazz in that it is overwritten, packed with tricksy chord changes and byzantine, unnavigable melodies. Where this is sometimes a problem on record, it becomes less of an issue tonight, as so many songs become vehicles for melodic and textural improvisation. (by www.theguardian.com)

Gwylim Simcock
And here´s a superb and excellent FM broadcast recording … The Impossible Gentlemen on tour through Germany to promote their third album called “Let’s Get Deluxe” from 2016.

A guitar and piano frontline is not the easiest line-up to manage. Those of us who saw the Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau band in Symphony Hall a few years ago will know that even for two musicians of such standing, it is by no means plain sailing. There are icebergs lurking dangerously out there. Pat and Brad could learn a lot from Gwil and Mike. They never got in each other’s way, neither did they inhibit each others’ natural style.

And, in a world where some jazz musicians can still be a little too cool, what a joy to be witness to the clear warmth and mutual respect of all the musicians on the stage. (by thejazzbreakfast.com)

That´s what I call a supergroup !

In other words: Let´s hear Jazz deluxe !

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Personnel:
Iain Dixon (saxophone, keyboards)
Adam Nussbaum (drums)
Steve Rodby (bass)
Gwylim Simcock (keyboards)
Mike Walker (guitar)

Mike Walker
Tracklist:
01. Let´s Get Deluxe (Simcock/Walker) 5.52
02. You Won´t Be Around To See It (Simcock) 9.28
03. Announcement by Gwylim Simcock 0.26
04. It Could Have Been A Simple Goodbye (Simcock/Walker) 10.37
05. Clockmaker (Walker) 9.50
06. Dogtime (Simcock/Walker) 10.07

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Iain Dixon

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Gong – Flying Teapot (1973)

FrontCover1Flying Teapot is the third studio album by the progressive rock band Gong, originally released by Virgin Records in May 1973. It was the second entry in the Virgin catalogue (V2002) and was released on the same day as the first, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells (V2001). It was re-issued later in the year, with different cover art, by BYG Actuel in France and Japan. Recorded at Virgin’s Manor Studios, in Oxfordshire, England, it was produced by Giorgio Gomelsky and engineered by “Simon Sandwitch 2 aided by Tom Zen” (Simon Heyworth and Tom Newman).

Subtitled Radio Gnome Invisible, Part 1, it is the first of the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy of albums, followed by Angel’s Egg in December and You the following October. This trilogy forms a central part of the Gong mythology. The Flying Teapot idea itself was influenced by Russell’s teapot. It was the first Gong album to feature English guitarist Steve Hillage, although he contributed relatively little as he arrived late in the recording process. According to Daevid Allen, “Steve Hillage arrived eventually, but there wasn’t a lot of space left. He played some rhythmick wa wa [sic], some jazzy chords and a spacey solo on ‘Flying Teapot’.” (by wikipedia)

DaevidAllen1974AProduced by Giorgio Gomelsky, notable for his work with the Yardbirds, Brian Auger, and Magma, this relatively early Gong project is a great representation of the Daevid Allen-era Gong. Though not as intricate as its follow-up companion piece, Angel’s Egg, The Flying Teapot is more of a true prog/space rock outing, where hippie-trippy lyrics and space whispering abound, as evidenced in the opening track, “Radio Gnome Invisible.” The following cut, “Flying Teapot,” is the sprawling highlight of the album. At times reminiscent of some early Weather Report jams, though not as jazzy, the tune features prominent bass, standout percussion/drums, and space whispering courtesy of Smyth. Improvisational groaning and percussion bring this jam to a close. “Pothead Pixies” is a fun pop (pot?) tune which probably received very little, if any, airplay due to the lyrics, followed by Blake’s brief synth interlude, “The Octave Doctors and the Crystal Machine.” “Zero the Hero and the Witch’s Spell,” another lengthy composition, features Malherbe’s sax playing, which, at this early point in the Gong evolution, is credited for most of the jazz sounds heard in the music (remember, Pierre Moerlen has yet to join the band). This cut becomes quite heavy near its end before making a clever transition into the final cut, “Witch’s Song/I Am Your Pussy.” Here you hear Smyth’s strange, sexually explicit lyrics, which she embellishes with ethereal voicings and cackling. This, combined with a jazzy sax from Malherbe and some very groovy musical lines near the closing, make for another fun tune. by David Ross Smith)

Gong

Personnel:
Laurie Allan (drums)
Daevid Allen (vocals, guitar)
Tim Blake (synthesizer, vocals)
Steve Hillage (guitar)
Rachid Houari (percussion)
Didier Malherbe (saxophone, flute)
Francis Moze (bass, piano)
Christian Tritsch (guitar)
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Gilli Smyth (space whisper)

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Tracklist:
01. Radio Gnome Invisible (Allen) – 5:32
02. Flying Teapot (Allen/Moze) – 12:30
03. The Pot Head Pixies (Allen) – 3:00
04. The Octave Doctors And The Crystal Machine” (Blake) – 2:00
05. Zero The Hero And The Witch’s Spell (Allen/Blake/Tritsch) – 9:45
06. Witch’s Song/I Am Your Pussy (Smyth/Allen) – 5:10

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Keith Jarrett Trio – Live At Tagskaegeet Denmark (The Dylan Concert) (1969)

FrontCover1A surprising recording emerged late last week of the Keith Jarrett Trio playing Bob Dylan tunes. Apparently, back in 1968, Jarrett together with Paul Motian and Charlie Haden did a trio recording for Vortex [Vortex LP 2012] called Somewhere Before and recorded two Dylan numbers – My Back Pages and Lay Lady Lay. This long out-of-print record was issued on CD in 1990 and Amazon still lists it for sale but we haven’t tried yet.

Anyway, this live recording [the original LP was also a live recording but different time and place] is by a different trio that includes Gus Nemeth [bs] and Bob Ventrello [drms]. It took place a year later in Denmark and comes from a very good FM source. This is the fixed version with the correct speed.

What was Jarrett thinking playing Bob Dylan in Europe? Clearly the free jazz movement had failed to gather mass appeal, not that that was its intent. Even Miles Davis by ’69 was conceding that jazz was no longer “king” and concessions had to be made to rock music.

But the less than energised reading of the two Dylan tunes suggests that Jarrett was uncomfortable covering rock. It was to be a difficult time for jazz musicians. In hindsight, their golden age had passed and the ’70s offered a marriage of convenience called jazz fusion. Even worse, along came jazz lite and Kenny G.

Since that time even more concessions have been made. Classical music and jazz. A whole new constellation of jazz singers with an eye on pop singles. Jazz as conservative music. Whatever happened to the shock and awe of free jazz?

This was originally shared by ricola. In turn it was speed corrected by Perv/twat Production. Thanks to all who shared this rarity. Never officially released before. (Professor Red/Big O)

Alternate frontcovers:

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Personnel:
Keith Jarrett (piano, saxophone)
Gus Nemeth (bass)
Bob Ventrello (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Pretty Ballad (Jarrett) 5.57
02. Lay Lady Lay (Dylan) 4.42
03. Unknown Title 12.05
04. My Back Pages (Dylan) 7.01

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George Fenton + Jonas Gwangwa – Cry Freedom (OST) (1987)

FrontCover1Cry Freedom is a 1987 British epic drama film directed by Richard Attenborough, set in late-1970s apartheid era South Africa. The screenplay was written by John Briley based on a pair of books by journalist Donald Woods. The film centres on the real-life events involving black activist Steve Biko and his friend Donald Woods, who initially finds him destructive, and attempts to understand his way of life. Denzel Washington stars as Biko, while actor Kevin Kline portrays Woods. Cry Freedom delves into the ideas of discrimination, political corruption, and the repercussions of violence.

The film was primarily shot on location in Zimbabwe and in Kenya due to political turmoil in South Africa at the time of production. As a film showing mostly in limited cinematic release, it was nominated for multiple awards, including Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. It also won a number of awards including those from the Berlin International Film Festival and the British Academy Film Awards.

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A joint collective effort to commit to the film’s production was made by Universal Pictures and Marble Arch Productions. It was commercially distributed by Universal Pictures cinematically, and by MCA Home Video for home media. Cry Freedom premiered in cinemas nationwide in the United States on 6 November 1987 grossing $5,899,797 in domestic ticket receipts. The film was at its widest release showing in 479 cinemas nationwide. It was generally met with positive critical reviews before its initial screening in cinemas. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s the soundtrack:

The original motion picture soundtrack for Cry Freedom was released by MCA Records on 25 October 1990. It features songs composed by veteran musicians George Fenton, Jonas Gwangwa and Thuli Dumakude. At Biko’s funeral they sing the hymn Nkosi Sikelel’ i Afrika. Jonathan Bates edited the film’s music

This is a beautiful album. The blend of African and Orchestral music is gorgeous. Transcends the movie, in my opinion! A rare find too! (by Matt)

Oh yes … what  a great soundtrack … you can hear the tragic of the black people … not only in South Africa …

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Personnel:
Mervin Africa  (piano)
Ken Freeman (synthesizer)
David De Fries (trumpet)
Churchill Jolobe  (drums)
Fats Mogoboya (percussion)
Ernest Mothle (bass)
Bheki Mseleku (saxophone)
Thebe Lipere (percusssion)
Dudu Pukwana (saxophone)
Teddy Osei (saxophone)
Lucky Ranku (guitar)
Torera (mbira)
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Orchestra conducted by Peter Whitehouse
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Nicola Emmanuel (vocals on 01.)
George Fenton (vocals on 18.)
Thuli Dumakude (vocals on 09.)
Jonas Gwangwa (vocals on 11. + 18.)

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Tracklist:
01. Crossroads-A Dawn Raid 2.16
02. Gumboots 1.49
03. Black Township 2.28
04 .Shebeen Queen 2.58
05. Asking For Trouble 2.23
06. Dangerous Country 1.38
07. Detention 2.00
08. The Mortuary 2.25
09. The Funeral 4.42
10. At The Beach 3.25
11. The Getaway 3.23
12. The Frontier 2.58
13. Last Thoughts 1.34
14. Deadline 2.17
15. The Phone Call 2.01
16. Telle Bridge 2.46
17. Soweto-& Vocal Reprise 1.09
18. Cry Freedom 4.42

All songs written by George Fenton – Jonas Gwangwa – Thuli Dumakude

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Louisiana Red & The City Blues Connection – World On Fire (1985)

FrontCover1Taken from the original liner notes:

“The themes of the album “World On Fire” came out of Louisiana Red’s own life. The title song is almost gospel-like although rocking along aggressively, and give warning against the nuclear fire, sung by Red with wild emotion. “When I Was A Boy” is a country honk song about the times on the cotton fields.

“Mississippi Girl” and “Voodoo Woman” are love songs, but with the typical Red excitement. “For My Friend” is dedicated to Bo Diddley, played in the hand jive style, while “Soul Food” shows Red’s old love for soul music. And besides all the “babies of the Blues” (Red) as Rhythm & Blues, Rock and Soul the authentic stuff itself – listen to “Suffering”. The last song of the album is an adaption of an old gospel, “On My Way To The Kingdom Land”. Most of the songs were recorded some kind of live, Red often refused to play a title twice or do overdubs. The spontaneous expression was more important to him. A difficult way to work, but the “City Blues Connection” was the right partner. After the sessions in Volkspark Studio, Hamburg, Red commented: “They are better than any band I had before, even in Chicago”.

“The themes of the album “World On Fire” came out of Louisiana Red’s own life. The title song is almost gospel-like although rocking along aggressively, and give warning against the nuclear fire, sung by Red with wild emotion. “When I Was A Boy” is a country honk song about the times on the cotton fields. (by itrockandroll.com)

In other words:This is a killer album … If you like blues, blues-rock … than you have to listen ! Unbelieveable !

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Personnel:
Rev. Josh Blackwell (keyboards)
Norbert Egger (guitar)
Heiko Petcke (harmonica)
Louisiana Red (vocals, guitar)
Mick Schreiber (drums, percussion)
Uwe Seemann (bass)
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Ben Ahrens (drums on 10.)
Ulrich Maske (guitar on 01. 09 – 10.)
Audrey Motaung (background vocals)
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The Nite Riders (horns)

BackCover
Tracklist:
01. World On Fire 3.23
02. Mississippi Girl 2.56
03. Mini Skirt 1.58
04. When I Was A Boy 2.21
05. Voodoo Woman 3.54
06. Suffering 5.16
07. Pittsburgh 2.45
08. Special Medicine 3.57
09. For My Friend 4.43
10. Soul Food 4.27
11. On My Way To The Kingdom Land 4.24

All songs were written by Louisiana Red, except 11. (Traditional)

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The City Blues Connection

Sky – Same (Vol. 1) (1979)

FrontCover1Sky were an English/Australian instrumental rock group that specialised in combining a variety of musical styles, most prominently rock, classical and jazz. The group’s original and best-known lineup featured classical guitarist John Williams, bass player Herbie Flowers, electric guitarist Kevin Peek, drummer Tristan Fry and keyboard player Francis Monkman.

In 1971, John Williams (already one of the most acclaimed classical guitarists in the world) released the fusion album Changes – his first recording of non-classical music, and the first on which he played electric guitar. Among the musicians working on the album were Tristan Fry (an established session drummer who was also the timpanist for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and had played Timpani on The Beatles ‘A Day In The Life’) and Herbie Flowers (a former member of Blue Mink and T. Rex, as well as a busy session musician who, amongst other things had recorded the bassline for Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’).

The three musicians became friends, kept in touch and continued working together on various projects during the 1970s. One of these was Williams’ 1978 album Travelling, another substantially commercially successful cross-genre recording. As well as Fry and Flowers, the record featured former Curved Air member Francis Monkman (who in addition to his progressive and psychedelic rock background as guitar and synthesizer player, was a trained and accomplished classical harpsichordist).

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In 1979, Monkman performed on Louis Clark’s album (per-spek-tiv) n., on which he collaborated with an Australian session guitarist called Kevin Peek. Peek was a musician equally adept at classical guitar and pop/rock styles, having built up a reputation both as a chamber musician and as a long-standing member of Cliff Richard’s band, as well as for working Manfred Mann, Lulu, Tom Jones, Jeff Wayne, Shirley Bassey and Gary Glitter.

The success of Travelling inspired Williams and Flowers to set up Sky, their own long-term cross-genre band. Fry and Monkman were swiftly recruited, with Kevin Peek being the final addition. The band began writing and recording instrumental music drawing on their collective experience of classical, light pop, progressive and psychedelic rock, light entertainment and jazz. After a protracted search for a record company, Sky signed with the small European label Ariola Records.

Singles

Although Sky was run democratically (with all members contributed music and/or arrangements), the presence of John Williams in the lineup was regarded as the band’s biggest selling point and was emphasised in publicity. Williams’ concurrent solo instrumental hit – “Cavatina – Theme from The Deer Hunter” – also helped to raise the band’s profile. However, this selling was counterbalanced by some negative reviews from critics accustomed to Williams’ classical performances, who remained unimpressed by his new direction with Sky.

Sky’s self-titled debut album (released in 1979) was highly successful in Britain and Australia, quickly reaching gold record status and eventually topping out as a platinum record. The album featured versions of Eric Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1” and an Antonio Ruiz-Pipò ‘Danza’ , as well as original compositions by Monkman and Flowers. Monkman’s ‘Cannonball’ was a minor hit single, and the keyboard player also contributed the twenty-minute second-side composition “Where Opposites Meet” (intended to combine and display the band’s diverse influences) (by wikipedia)

This is the debut album from the session musician supergroup Sky. The idea behind this band was to assemble virtuoso instrumentalists and adept composers who possess an appreciation for classical music, allowing it to infiltrate their own playing and writing. The concept was admirable, and was manifested more fully in future albums; however, on this recording the songs never seem to unfold completely.

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With the exception of Kevin Peek’s fiery adaptation of Antonio Ruiz-Pipó’s Spanish guitar piece “La Danza,” this album plods along with no apparent destination. Melodies seem undeveloped but trudge forth nevertheless, presumably for the sake of completing the album. Given the presence of world-class guitarist John Williams, his contribution is hardly detectable, and Francis Monkman’s omnipresent harpsichord becomes tiresome midway through the album. And the monotonous rhythm of bassist Herbie Flowers and drummer Tristan Fry does nothing to alter the tediousness of these pieces. It would be a stretch to call this progressive or classical rock; it is merely instrumental pop/rock. (by Dave Sleger)

I can´t agree with this review … maybe this album is not a masterpiece, but´s it´s the beginning of one of the finest classic-rock formations from this time … with a lot of very interesting sounds … especially in “Where Opposites Meet” … or: listen to the guitars on “Danza” … what a sound …  !

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Personnel:
Herbie Flowers (bass)
Tristan Fry (drums, percussion)
Francis Monkman (piano, synthesizer, harpsichord)
Kevin Peek (guitar)
John Williams (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Westway (Flowers) 3.39
02. Carillon Flowers) 3.29
03. Danza (Ruiz-Pipò) 2.58
04. Gymnopedie No. 1 (Satie) 3,41
05. Cannonball (Monkman) 3.42
06. Where Opposites Meet (Monkman) 19.22.
06.1. Part 1 (3.38)
06.2. Part 2 (2.24)
06.3. Part 3 (5.28)
06.4. Part 4 (5.39)
06.4. Part 5 (2.21)

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Milva – Tango (1968)

FrontCover1Maria Ilva Biolcati (born 17 July 1939), known as Milva [ˈmilva], is an Italian singer, stage and film actress, and television personality. She is also known as La Rossa (Italian for “The Redhead”), due to the characteristic colour of her hair, and additionally as La Pantera di Goro (“The Panther of Goro”), which stems from the Italian press having nicknamed the three most popular Italian female singers of the 1960s, combining the names of animals and the singers’ birth places. Popular in Italy and abroad, she has performed on musical and theatrical stages the world over, and has received popular acclaim in her native Italy, and particularly in Germany where she has often participated in musical events and televised musical programmes. She has also released numerous albums in France, Japan, Korea, Greece, Spain and South America.

She has collaborated with European composers and musicians such as Ennio Morricone in 1965, Francis Lai in 1973, Mikis Theodorakis in 1978 (Was ich denke became a best selling album in Germany), Enzo Jannacci in 1980, Vangelis in 1981 and 1986, Franco Battiato in 1982 and 1986.

Her stage productions of Bertolt Brecht’s recitals and Luciano Berio’s operas have toured the world’s theatres. She has performed at La Scala in Milan, at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, at the Paris Opera, in the Royal Albert Hall in London, and at the Edinburgh Festival, amongst others.

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Having received success both in Italy and internationally, she remains to this day one of the most popular Italian personalities in the fields of music and theatre. Her artistic stature has been officially recognised by the Italian, German and French republics, each of which have bestowed her with the highest honours. She is the only Italian artist in contemporary times, in fact, who is simultaneously: Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honour of the French Republic (Paris, 11 September 2009), Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Rome, 2 June 2007), Officer of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Berlin, 2006) and Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Paris, 1995).

In 1968, Milva released her fifth studio album, Tango, an album that consisted of tango standards sung in Italian. The album was released in Italy, Germany, Spain and Brazil and featured an orchestra conducted by Iller Pattacini. (by wikipedia)

And here´s this beautiful album … if you like Tango music combined with a real strong and erotic voice … than you should listen ….

Milva was one of the greatest singers from Italy ! Believe me !

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Personnel:
Milva (vocals)
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Iller Pattacini Orchestra

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. La Cumparsita (Questo Tango) (Rondinella/Rodriguez) 3.20
02. A Media Luz (Guardando Intorno A Te) (Lonzi/Donato) 2.36
03. Bandoneon Arrabalero (Il Cantastorie Col Bandoneon) (Bachica/Contursi/Bertini) 2.43
04. Inspiracion (La Mia Vita Cambiera) (Paulus/Rondinella) 3.30
05. Cielo Azzurro (Stanotte Sognero) (Rixner) 3.57
06 Adios Muchachos (Vodani/Sanders) 3.02
07. Duelo Criollo (La Donna Del Buono A Nulla) (Rezzano/Bayardo) 3.01
08. Rodriguez Pena (Rodriguez Morirai) (Rondinella/Juan/Vicente) 2.47
09. El Choclo (All’osteria) (Villoldo) 3.01
10. Blue Tango (Il Diario Sa) (Rondinella/Anderson/Parish) 2.50
11. Poema (So Cho Nol Cielo) (Bianco/Melfi) 3.16
12. Adios, Pampa Mia (Canaro/Pelay/Larici/Mores) 4.17

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