Dave Pike is a class act, unafraid to try any style, at least for an album, and usually succeeding wildly at it. His earliest LPs and session work are classics and mostly hard to find. Then as he “freaked out” in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he laid down some monster cuts of psychedelic soul jazz, James Brown covers, funky-sitar beats, and more that still enjoy new favor in the nightclubs of the subsequent century. There are not that many soul-jazz and funk vibraphonists of great note, but Dave Pike is the first name in hip vibe records.
Born in 1938 Detroit, he first played piano and drums, even joining the Detroit Junior Symphony Orchestra at age eleven. Having moved to Los Angeles, Pike in 1954 discovered the vibraphone at a drum shop. This became his chief instrument, seconded by the marimba, which he played early on with Mexican bands and later on his albums. He played rock and Latin in his early days, and later this experience lent his music great versatility as well as popular appeal. Playing always with great earnestness, humor, and even earthiness, he can be heard chanting along with the tunes on several LPs.
Pike began to gig with such jazz stars as Elmo Hope, Buddy DeFranco, and Paul Bley by 1956. By 1958 Pike had moved to San Francisco to be closer to New York musicians, and in 1960 he made the move to New York. Siz years of stints with globetrotting Herbie Mann exposed him to some of the world’s farther-flung music. In 1966 he moved to Germany, where the newly formed Dave Pike Set quickly became the leading jazz act. Pike’s usually thematic albums are recognized as seminal jazz and soul-jazz classics, and at least one cut has reached immortal status among disc jockeys.
He returned to the United States in the mid 1970s and talked the owner of Hungry Joe’s, a tiny Huntington Beach hangout for bikers and surfers, to let him play there. With pianist Tom Ranier, guitarist Ron Eschete and bassist Luther Hughes, Pike and his group became regulars and turned the establishment into a lively jazz club.
And here´s one of his unique solo-albums … Another brilliant trip with his band and his vibraphone.
Noted jazz historian Leonard Feather wrote in 1973 that Pike played the amplified vibraphone with “ingenuity, dynamism and improvisational energy,” extracting from it “a resonance on top of resonance, to which at certain points he adds a grating but sometimes attractive fuzz tone.”
Ron Eschete (guitar)
Ted Hawke (drums, percussion)
Luther Hughes (bass)
Rudolph Johnson (saxophone)
Dave Pike (vibraphone)
Tom Ranier (piano, saxophone)
01. Lazy Afternoon (Moross/Latouche) 9.30
02. Gigi (Lerner/Loewe) 2.58
03. Regards From Freddie Horowitz (Pike) 8.00
04. Secret Mystery Of Hensch (Pike/Kriegel) 9.30
05. Everytime We Say Goodbye (Porter) 2.22
06. Scrapple From The Apple (Parker) 5:23
07. Visions Of Spain (Pike) 1.58
David Samuel Pike (March 23, 1938 – October 3, 2015)
Here´s a wonderful tribute album to the great Bobby Charles:
Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010), known as Bobby Charles, was an American singer-songwriter.
An ethnic Cajun, Charles was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, and grew up listening to Cajun music and the country and western music of Hank Williams. At the age of 15, he heard a performance by Fats Domino, an event that “changed my life forever,” he recalled.
Charles helped to pioneer the south Louisiana musical genre known as swamp pop. His compositions include the hits “See You Later, Alligator”, which he initially recorded himself as “Later Alligator”, but which is best known from the cover version by Bill Haley & His Comets, and “Walking to New Orleans” and “It Keeps Rainin'”, written for Fats Domino.
“(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do” was an early 1960s song that Charles composed, which Clarence “Frogman” Henry had a major hit with, and which was on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Forrest Gump. His composition “Why Are People Like That?” was on the soundtrack of the 1998 film Home Fries.
Because of his south Louisiana–influenced rhythm and blues vocal style, Charles has sometimes been thought to be black, when in fact he was white.
Charles was invited to play with the Band at their November 26, 1976, farewell concert, The Last Waltz, at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. In the concert, Charles played “Down South in New Orleans”, with the help of Dr. John and the Band. That song was recorded and released as part of the triple-LP The Last Waltz box set. The performance was also captured on film by director Martin Scorsese, but did not appear in the final, released theatrical version. Charles did, however, appear briefly in a segment of the released film—in the concert’s final song, “I Shall Be Released”. In that segment, his image is largely blocked from view during the performance. That song, sung by Bob Dylan and pianist Richard Manuel, featured backup vocals from the entire ensemble, including Charles.
He co-wrote the song “Small Town Talk” with Rick Danko of the Band. “Promises, Promises (The Truth Will Set You Free)” was co-written with Willie Nelson.
Charles continued to compose and record (he was based out of Woodstock, New York, for a time) and in the 1990s he recorded a duet of “Walking to New Orleans” with Domino.
In September 2007, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame honored Charles for his contributions to Louisiana music with an induction.
Charles collapsed in his home near Abbeville and died on January 14, 2010. (by wikipedia)
I don’t like to use the word perfection around music, because life’s beauty is often expressed with imperfection. But for lack of a better vocabulary I have to say this is about as perfect a record as I’ve ever heard. If you enjoy the New Orleans sound – casual and laid-back but at the same time never too casual in terms of musicianship – you may agree with me that this rates album of the year. The songs of Bobby Charles are extraordinary and his mastery has been celebrated for decades. The arrangements with production from Dr. John and Shannon McNally are spot-on, playful, intricate without being obvious, and ideal for these tunes.
The musicianship, well it doesn’t get any better. Shannon McNally contributes a voice and interpretative gift that was born to sing these songs. Once in a blue moon somebody will make a record that perfectly encapsulates a mood and a feeling, where all the songs stack up just right. I’m thinking, for example, of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, the Stones Exile on Main Street. Small Town Talk does that as well as any record I’ve ever heard – including those just mentioned. This record won’t be for everyone’s taste, mind you. But for those with whom it resonates it might just break your heart, make you laugh, blow your mind, and touch your soul. They say the way to tell if a pot of rice is cooked is to test one grain. So I suggest you listen to a tune or two off of this album. If you like what you discover, you’ll likely love this record. (by Constant Traveler)
In spite of not attaining his initial goal of becoming a successful singer Bobby Charles leaves behind a really rich legacy of timeless pop songs which are still being recorded, and performed today. As a testament to this legacy, have a listen to Shannon McNally’s tribute album, Small Town Talk: (Songs of Bobby Charles) … you’ll love it!
David Barard (bass)
Alonzo Bowens (saxophone)
Natalia Cascante (violin)
Herman V. Ernest III (drums, percussion)
John Fohl (guitar)
Helen Gillet (cello)
Harry Hardin (violin)
Lauren Lemmler (viola)
Shannon McNally (vocals, guitar on 06.)
Charlie Miller (flute, trumpet)
Jason Mingledorff (saxophone)
Mac Rebennack (keyboards, background vocals)
Ken “Afro” Williams (percussion)
Luther Dickinson (guitar on 02.)
Vince Gill (vocals on 03., guiar on 10.)
Will Sexton (guitar on 06.)
Derek Trucks (guitar on 05.)
The Lower 911 Band (background vocals)
01. Street People (Charles) 3.15
02. Can’t Pin A Color (Charles) 3.17
03. String Of Hearts (Charles) 3.53
04. I Spend All My Money (Charles) 2.55
05. Cowboys And Indians (Charles) 4.07
06. Homemade Songs (Charles) 4.11
07. Long Face (Charles) 3.24
08. Small Town Talk (Charles/Danko) 4.07
09. I Don’t Want To Know (Charles) 4.03
10. But I Do (Charles/Gayten) 4.08
11. Love In The Worst Degree (Charles) 3.07
12. Save Me Jesus (Charles) 3.38
13. Smile (So Glad) (Charles) 3.18
14. I Must Be In A Good Place Now (Charles) 3.37
Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010)
Procol Harum is the debut studio album by English rock band Procol Harum. It was released in September 1967 by record label Regal Zonophone following their breakthrough and immensely popular single “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. The track doesn’t appear on the original album but was included in the US issue of the album.
All songs were originally credited written to Gary Brooker (music) and Keith Reid (lyrics), except “Repent Walpurgis” written by Matthew Fisher, after works by French organist Charles-Marie Widor and German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.
In 2005, Matthew Fisher filed suit in the Royal Courts of Justice against Gary Brooker and his publisher, claiming that Fisher co-wrote the music for “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. On 30 July 2009, the House of Lords issued a final verdict on the case in Fisher’s favour. A lower court had ruled in Fisher’s favour in 2006, granting him co-writing credits and a share of the royalties. A higher court partly overturned the ruling in 2008, giving Fisher co-writing credit but no money. The Court of Appeal had previously held that Fisher had waited too long to bring his claim to court. The House of Lords disagreed, stating there was no time limitation for such claims. Lord David Neuberger of Abbotsbury’s opinion stated: “Fisher’s subsequent contribution was significant, and, especially the introductory eight bars, an important factor in the work’s success…”.
Procol Harum’s lyricist Keith Reid told Songfacts that the music for “Conquistador” was written before the lyrics. He added that this was unusual as “99 out of 100” of the Procol Harum songs, back then, “were written the words first, and then were set to music.”
The track “Salad Days (Are Here Again)” is credited as being from the film Separation.
Procol Harum was released in September 1967. Though the album was recorded on multitrack, it was issued as mono-only in the UK, and in mono and rechannelled stereo in the US. Despite extensive searching, the original multitrack tapes have not been located and thus a stereo mix of the original ten tracks may never be possible.
The album was included on Classic Rock magazine’s list “50 Albums That Built Prog Rock”. It was included in Rolling Stone’s 2007 list of “The 40 Essential Albums of 1967”. (by wikipedia)
Procol Harum’s self-titled debut album bombed in England, appearing six months after “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Homburg” with neither hit song on it. The LP was successful in America, where albums sold more easily, but especially since it did include “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and was reissued with a sticker emphasizing the presence of the original “Conquistador,” a re-recording that became a hit in 1972. The music is an engaging meld of psychedelic rock, blues, and classical influences, filled with phantasmagorical lyrics, bold (but not flashy) organ by Matthew Fisher, and Robin Trower’s most tasteful and restrained guitar. “Conquistador,” “Kaleidoscope,” “A Christmas Camel,” and the Bach-influenced “Repent Walpurgis” are superb tracks, and “Good Captain Clack” is great, almost Kinks-like fun. Not everything here works, but it holds up better than most psychedelic or progressive rock. (by Bruce Eder)
Gary Brooker (vocals, piano)
Matthew Fisher (organ)
Dave Knights (bass)
Robin Trower (guitar)
B.J. Wilson (drums)
01. A White Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 4.05
02. Conquistador (Brooker/Reid) 2.39
03. . She Wandered Through the Garden Fence (Brooker/Reid) 3.25
04. Something Following Me (Brooker/Reid) 3.39
05. Mabel (Brooker/Reid) 1.54
06. Cerdes (Outside the Gates Of) (Brooker/Reid) 5.02
07. A Christmas Camel (Brooker/Reid) 4.49
08. Kleidoscope (Brooker/Reid) 2.54
09. Salad Days (Are Here Again) (from the film Separation, 1968) (Brooker/Reid) 3.39
10. Good Captain Clack (Brooker/Reid) 1.31
11. Repent Walpurgis (Fisher) 5.ß2
Does anybody know, what this lyrics means ?
We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray
And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale
She said, ‘there is no reason
And the truth is plain to see.’
But I wandered through my playing cards
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might have just as we’ve been closed
She said, I’m home on shore leave,’
Though in truth we were at sea
So I took her by the looking glass
And forced her to agree
Saying, ‘you must be the mermaid
Who took Neptune for a ride.’
But she smiled at me so sadly
That my anger straightway died
If music be the food of love
Then laughter is its queen
And likewise if behind is in front
Then dirt in truth is clean
My mouth by then like cardboard
Seemed to slip straight through my head
So we crash-dived straightway quickly
And attacked the ocean bed
GRP has cobbled together a set of performances from labels it now has under its umbrella, such as Impulse and Cadet, as well as from albums released under its own name. There’s no intent here to put together a survey of the development of the tenor saxophone. Rather, this album is an unabashed effort to attract those who celebrate good tenor sax playing in general, and ballad sax in particular — and it works. If there were a hall of fame for tenor sax players, all the performers present on this disc would have been inaugural inductees. Coleman Hawkins, the first true tenor sax improviser, is represented with “Solitude” and “Mood Indigo” from the memorable recording he made with Duke Ellington; an added treat on “Solitude” is the fine violin playing of Ray Nance. John Coltrane’s inimitable ballad style is put on display with “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and “It’s Easy to Remember,” an effort by the Impulse label to make Coltrane more “popular” with jazz fans. The playing of the tenor saxophone’s psalm, “Body and Soul,” is awarded to Paul Gonsalves, who follows the improvisational path that Hawkins took on his 1939 recording. Ben Webster, James Moody, Sonny Stitt, Illinois Jacquet, and the soul-laden horn of Stanley Turrentine are also present.
Turrentine’s rendition of “Deep Purple” is a highlight of the album, as is Jacquet’s languid rendering of “You’re My Thrill.” A priceless set of performances by major practitioners of the tenor saxophone. Heartily recommended. (by Dave Nathan)
If you love tenor sax and music from the ’40s and ’50s and prefer melody, this is the CD for you.
It´s time to discover all these great jazz musicins from the past … timeless music !
01. Ben Webster: Stardust (Carmichael/Parish) 2.27
02. Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins: Solitude (DeLange/Ellington /Mills) 5.54
03. John Coltrane: You Don’t Know What Love Is (DePaul/Raye) 5.15
04. Paul Gonsalves: Body And Soul (Eyton/Green/Heyman/Sour) 5.27
05. Sonny Stitt: I’m Getting Sentimental Over You (Bassman/Washington) 4.18
06. Duke Ellington: Single Petal Of A Rose (Webster) 3.21
07. Stanley Turrentine: Deep Purple (DeRose/Parish) 4.51
08. Duke Ellington & Coleman Hawkins: Mood Indigo (Bigard/Ellington/Mills) 5.58
09. John Coltrane: It’s Easy to Remember (Hart/Rodgers) 2.48
10. Illinois Jacquet: You’re My Thrill (Gorney/Lane/Washington) 3.50
11. Ben Webster: Over The Rainbow (Arlen/Harburg) 4.45
12. James Moody: Don’t Blame Me (Fields/McHugh) 4.31
Billboard (stylized as billboard) is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style. It is also known for its music charts, including the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular singles and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows. Billboard was founded in 1894 by William Donaldson and James Hennegan as a trade publication for bill posters. Donaldson later acquired Hennegen’s interest in 1900 for $500.
In the early years of the 20th century, it covered the entertainment industry, such as circuses, fairs, and burlesque shows. It also created a mail service for travelling entertainers. Billboard began focusing more on the music industry as the jukebox, phonograph, and radio became commonplace. Many topics it covered were spun-off into different magazines, including Amusement Business in 1961 to cover outdoor entertainment, so that it could focus on music. After Donaldson died in 1925, Billboard was passed down to his children and Hennegan’s children, until it was sold to private investors in 1985, and has since been owned by various parties. (by wikipedia)
And here´s another nice example from 1961 … This issue was the 20 anniversary editon !
Enjoy this sentimental journey in the Sixties … when we were young … very young …
Recorded Live is the third live album by British blues rock musicians Ten Years After, which was released as a double LP in 1973.
This album, containing no overdubs or additives, was recorded over four nights in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Frankfurt and Paris with the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording truck and later mixed from sixteen tracks to stereo at Olympic Studios in London. The album was rereleased as a CD in 2014, with seven previously unreleased tracks. (by wikipedia)
It may not be the best live album in the world, but it’s certainly in the race for one, together with a couple dozen other notorious records – although as of now, it’s been somewhat overshadowed by the even superior Fillmore East. However, if you can’t locate that archive release or are upset with the price of the double CD, I’d strongly recommend any TYA novice to start here (that is, if you’re able to tolerate speedy, but lengthy guitar jams; otherwise, you’d be much better off with either Ssssh or Space In Time, although I actually doubt that otherwise you’d be interested in TYA at all), especially because not only does this record stand as a ‘great live’ record, it also stands for a ‘greatest hits live’ record. Just look at the track listing!
It’s interesting, too, to compare this record with Undead. You’ll see how ‘huge’ they have grown – almost in every sense. From a secluded club scene to large arenas in major European capitals; from a homemade lousy equipment to the Rolling Stones mobile; from half-hour gigs to extended concerts; from half-obscure jazz covers to international hits; finally, from the raw, unpolished, even though mighty energetic tones to a well-polished, professional, intoxicating ‘wall-of-sound’. Just compare the two versions of ‘I’m Going Home’ on both records and you’ll see the difference. Some may regret the loss of that original ‘raw’ sound, but I say I don’t mind. I like both albums, but Recorded Live is longer, has more songs and doesn’t have any embarrassments like the lengthy slow uninteresting blues of ‘Spider In My Web’ and the stupid drum solo on ‘Summertime’. Sure, it was recorded at a rather late period in the band’s career, when they were already almost spent creatively and on the brink of dissolution, but it is a well-known fact that live playing and “general creative state” are two absolutely different things.
Live playing and its quality depend on quite a few factors, including, simply speaking, the particular mood of the band’s members on the day of the gig, which, in turn, may depend on the weather or the expression on that guy in the front row’s face. Luckily, most of the performances on this album were drawn from moments when the band seemed to be in relatively high spirits.
For the record, the album does feature a lengthy run-through of their most driving and famous numbers. Practically none of them are superior to the studio recordings, but none are inferior, either. On the other side, the live performance does give them a ‘spontaneous’ edge which might make them more suitable for some listeners. They kick off with ‘One Of These Days’ (wow! but somebody cut down that ending jam, please!), only to continue with the unforgettable riff of ‘You Give Me Loving’: what a wise choice from their worst record so far, and I don’t even mind that Alvin messes up the lyrics because they were so convoluted in the first place. Later on, the band, as usual, breaks in some of the oldies, like ‘Help Me’ and ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’.
On the way, Alvin displays some cute little tricks, like showing his prowess at classical guitar (‘Classical Thing’), resurrecting the ‘Skoobly-oobly-dooboob’ ditty (‘Scat Thing’) and just playing the fool (‘Silly Thing’). The two highlights of the show are, of course, a terrific fifteen-minute version of ‘I Can’t Keep From Crying’, which is again transformed into tons of different things on the way, including even a few lines from ‘Cat’s Squirrel’ and even ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ – sic!, and ‘I’m Going Home’. The former also was the central point for showing Alvin as a ‘guitar experimentator’ – in particular, he liked to tune his guitar and play it at the same time, which sometimes resulted in a truly awful, ear-destructive sound which I kinda like nevertheless. And the latter (‘I’m Goin’ Home’, that is) is predictably close to the Woodstock version, except that the various sections are interspersed in a different way and the drums are much more prominent. And damn the stupid audience that mars the opening chords with its silly applause! Otherwise, though, it’s simply a superb version: with all the ‘boo-boo-babys’ in place, and the old rockabilly classics medley in the middle. It does seem a bit worn off as compared to the Woodstock version, but you can excuse the guys: after all, the piece was like a stone around their neck, and it’s a wonder they were still able to do it with enough authenticity and patience.
For me, the only letdown on the album is the seven-minute ‘Slow Blues In C’. They should have left things like that to the Allman Brothers. But then again, it’s just a minor flaw in an almost flawless seventy-minute record! Be forgiving! This doesn’t sound like the Allmans at all! And I don’t have anything against the Allmans, I just don’t have a lot in favour of them doing similar things. They put me off to sleep. Berk. Ever heard ‘Mountain Jam’? How many times do you have to sit through these thirty minutes to dig it? Ah, if only everything these guys played were akin to their version of ‘You Don’t Love Me’… This record, on the other hand, is instantly amiable and friendly – and it features lots of guitar jams, too. But these kids are so frantic, so full of energy and they love the stuff they’re playing so much you’ll be sure to be caught in the fun. This is no Yessongs, either – just your basic love for dat electro guitar sound. And no ‘supergroup’ hype, either – they just play and they don’t give a damn. I like it when a record doesn’t have balls. (by George Starostin)
I can´t agree with this negative opinion to “Slow Blues In C” or to “MountainJam” by the great Allman Brothrs Band …
This album is one of the finest Ten Years After live albums ever recorded !
And enjoy all these bonus tracks … listen to “Standing At The Station” (featuring a long and wild organ solo by Chick Churchill or “Jam” (including a great bass solo by Leo Lyons !) or “I Woke Up This Morning” … and you´ll know what I mean … that was the freedom of music in the Seventies …
The cover of Ten Years After’s 1973 album Recorded Live depicts a giant reel-to-reel recorder, which certainly captures the era when this double-LP set was recorded. Approaching the end of their run — only one more album would come, 1974’s Positive Vibrations — Ten Years After were deep into the thick of ’70s arena rock, so everything they played on-stage wound up stretching well beyond the five-minute mark, sometimes reaching upward of 11 minutes. Everything on this double-LP places improvisation over groove — a sentiment that is accentuated on the 2013 expansion, which winds up running 21 tracks over two discs, adding bonus outtakes to the original double-LP set. The best parts here are the improvisations, particularly Alvin Lee’s long, languid guitar solos, but this album — either in its original incarnation or in its expansion — is a distinctly ’70s creation: it’s unhurried and indulgent, reveling in its slow, steady march to a virtuosic, never-ending guitar solo. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Chick Churchill (keyboards)
Alvin Lee (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Ric Lee (drums)
Leo Lyons (bass)
01. One of These Days (A. Lee) 6.20 (Frankfurt)
02. You Give Me Loving (A. Lee) 6.10 (Frankfurt)
03. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Willamson) 7.27 (Frankfurt)
04. Hobbit (R. Lee) 8.36 (Frankfurt)
05. Help Me (Willamson/Bass) 10.49 (Amsterdam)
06. Time Is Flying (A. Lee) 5.36 (Frankfurt) (bonus track)
07. Standing At The Station (A. Lee) 11.51 (Frankfurt) (bonus track)
08. Jam (A. Lee/R. Lee/Churchill/Lyons) 18.09 (Amsterdam) (bonus track)
09. Help Me” (Williamson/Dixon/Bass) 12.06 (Paris) (bonus track)
10. I Woke Up This Morning” (A. Lee) 4.26 (Rotterdam) (bonus track)
11. Sweet Little Sixteen (Berry) 4.24 (Frankfurt) (bonus track)
12. Jam (A. Lee/R. Lee/Churchill/Lyons) 16.33 (Frankfurt) (bonus track)
13. Classical Thing (A. Lee) 0.53 (Paris)
14. Scat Thing (A. Lee) 0.57 (Paris)
15. I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes (Part 1) (Kooper) 1.57 (Paris)
16. Extension On One Chord (A. Lee/R. Lee/Churchill/Lyons) 10.45 (Paris)
17. I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes (Part 2) (Kooper) 3.12 (Paris)
18. Silly Thing (A. Lee) 1.09 (Frankfurt)
19. Slow Blues in ‘C’ (A. Lee) 8.14 (Frankfurt)
20. I’m Going Home (A. Lee) 10.54 (Frankfurt)
21. Choo Choo Mama (A. Lee) 3.21 (Frankfurt)
Toe Fat was an English rock music band, active from June 1969 to 1971, notable for including two future members of Uriah Heep.
Formed in June 1969, the band was fronted by former Rebel Rouser Cliff Bennett and, in the course of its two-year, two-album career, featured lead guitarist and keyboardist Ken Hensley; bassist John Glascock (who replaced original bassist John Konas (Joseph Stanley Konas)); and drummer Lee Kerslake. After the first album, Kerslake and Hensley were replaced by Brian Glascock (drums) and Alan Kendall (guitar) respectively.
The band was founded by Bennett, a former pop star, after the dissolution of the Cliff Bennett Band. He teamed with the former Gods keyboard player Hensley, who drafted in fellow ex-Gods members Kerslake and Glascock. The name was decided over dinner when Bennett and his manager attempted to create the most disgusting band name possible.
Toe Fat was signed to the record label, Rare Earth, in the US. In the UK, the band signed with EMI, who released their first album on the Parlophone label, and the second on Regal Zonophone.
The eponymously titled first album flopped commercially, but gained considerable critical praise. Such was their stir that after their first single, “Workin’ Nights”, (the B-side was an early Elton John composition “Bad Side of the Moon”) they were booked for a tour supporting Derek and the Dominos in the US. The album was also notable for its cover designed by the recently formed graphic art company Hipgnosis. The cover showed a beach scene with four people who have large toes superimposed over their heads. For the US release, a man and a topless woman in the background were replaced by the image of a sheep. The photo of the band on the back of the US album shows Cliff Bennett, Alan Kendall, John Glascock, and Lee Kerslake even though Alan Kendall did not play on the first album. This was an interim line-up, Lee Kerslake would soon depart also before second album was recorded.
Hensley quit the band to form Uriah Heep. Alan Kendall replaced Hensley, before their second album, Toe Fat Two. Bennett admitted in the sleeve notes of his Rebellion album that when asked he “probably should have joined them”. Kerslake left to join the National Head Band, before also joining Uriah Heep in 1971. Glascock later joined Jethro Tull. Another ex-Gods man, Brian Glascock, became the new drummer.
Jonathan Peel (not the DJ) produced Toe Fat 2, after hearing them on several BBC radio sessions, including one for Terry Wogan. However, this LP also flopped, despite more radio airplay, and a reasonably successful US tour promoting it. Following these successive failures, their management and labels informed the group that they could no longer fund them.
Bennett recorded Rebellion, before quitting the music industry to become a shipping magnate. He used to occasionally tour with the Rebel Rousers. Wh
Alan Kendall and Brian Glascock went on to play with, and write for, the Bee Gees. (by wikipedia)
Rare single from Italy, 1970
The late-’60s success of heavy-handed acts like Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Led Zeppelin instigated many British musicians — young and old — to grow their hair and start hard rock bands, and London’s oddly named Toe Fat were no exception. Formed in June 1969 by veteran singer Cliff Bennett (ex-Rebel Rousers) with multi-talented guitarist and keyboard player Ken Hensley, bassist John Glascock, and drummer Lee Kerslake (all of them ex-Gods), Toe Fat quickly parlayed their respectable résumés into a deal with Parlophone in the U.K. and Rare Earth in the U.S. But their eponymous first album didn’t pack nearly as much bombast as the musical titans named above, sounding more like contemporaries Savoy Brown, Status Quo, or Humble Pie (at about 75 percent of Steve Marriott’s intensity). If anything, the group’s typically midpaced, R&B-steeped fare owed as much to the on-the-wane British blues boom as anything hot and heavy; although at their best, memorable cuts like “That’s My Love for You,” “But I’m Wrong,” “Working Nights,” and the driving “You Tried to Take It All” cast out great hooks to match the band’s top-notch musicianship and Bennett’s emotionally soulful voice. Some controversy remains as to who really played on the record, but if Hensley was truly the man, as credited, he really takes over on “Nobody” (boasting wildly distorted fuzz guitars and extended soloing) and “I Can’t Believe” (featuring more forceful guitar work and just as many keyboards), then strums along in suitably controlled fashion on the acoustic-laced “The Wherefors and the Whys.” Speaking of dubious performances, largely forgotten Ian Anderson doppelgänger Mox was brought in to add flute to “Just Like All the Rest,” which only serves to bring about inevitable Jethro Tull comparisons.
But the album’s two covers fare quite well, with “Just Like Me” delivering a punchy update on the standard popularized by the Coasters and Hollies, while the album’s tough-rocking first single, “Bad Side of the Moon,” was actually written by none other than the emerging Elton John/Bernie Taupin team (and would also be covered by Canadians April Wine a short time later). Unfortunately, although it met with widespread critical kudos, Toe Fat’s debut was a resounding commercial flop, and may now be best remembered because of its curious, Hipgnosis-designed cover art, featuring toe-headed people lounging on a beach. The group would persist through one more album, but with Hensley and Kerslake already gone to form Uriah Heep (they had left even before Toe Fat’s first American tour in support of Derek & the Dominos), that album’s greater stylistic inconsistency did the band no favors. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)
Alternate backcover from the US edition
Cliff Bennett (vocals)
Ken Hensley (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
Lee Kerslake (drums, vocals)
John Konas (bass, vocals)
Mox Gowland (flute, harmonica)
01. That’s My Love For You (Bennett/Allen/Roberts) 4.05
02. Bad Side Of The Moon (John/Taupin) 3.25
03. Nobody (Beatty/Cooper/Shelby) -6.07
04. The Wherefors And The Whys (Bennett) 3.43
05. But I’m Wrong (Bennett) 3.58
06. Just Like Me (Guy/Carroll) 4.14
07. Just Like All The Rest (Bennett) 2.32
08. I Can’t Believe (Bennett) 4.00
09. Working Nights (Bennett) 2.31
10. You Tried To Take It All (Bennett) 4.23
Wardell Gray was one of the first great tenor sax players of the modern era. Born in Oklahoma Cityand brought up in Detroit, he started out playing clarinet in high school. He played in a variety of bands before joining up with Earl Hines, one of the old guard who was most open to the new sounds emerging in jazz. For three years Gray enjoyed the openness of Hines’ band. In 1946, with his style fully developed, he settled in Los Angeles.
A vibrant scene had sprung up around Central Avenue in the wake of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie’s appearance at Billy Berg’s Swing Club. Gray fitted right in alongside Dexter Gordon, Charles Mingus, Chico Hamilton and others who were defining West Coast modern jazz. Some of the best nights were the Just Jazz jam sessions organised by local disc jockey Gene Norman. “Way Out Wardell” is the recorded evidence of two of those 1940s nights. Four numbers featuring Gray alongside Howard McGhee, Barney Kessel, Erroll Garner and a member of Garner’s Trio make up the album. What the tracks lack in high fidelity they make up for in excitement and high quality improvising. The album, originally released after Gray’s mysterious death in Las Vegas in 1955, is an essential record of a long-lost scene. (by Dean Rudland)
This album was recorded live in Los Angeles in 1948, and finds the great Wardell Gray amidst some of the finest musicians of the time. In the late 1940s, the West Coast jazz scene introduced the big band jazz concert idea to the public. At this time in his short career, Gray was starting his ascent and would achieve lasting fame in tenor sax history. The recorded sound on the album is tinny, given that it was recorded in a hall, and the echo is distracting. However, the compact disc cleaned much of this up, and the dueling between the two tenors shines right through. Vido Musso, the other fine tenor here, was with Stan Kenton for a time. His punchy style plays off the smoother swing of Gray. There’s also some strong, bright soloing by Howard McGhee, Ernie Royal, Barney Kessel, and Red Callender. The rhythm section swings hard throughout the session, and Gray knows how to ride the wave with a vengeance. He had that effortless tone of Lester Young, and was full with the fire of bop at the same time. His improvisation was prodigious, and he could translate a landslide of ideas through his horn. The genius Erroll Garner, then only 35, renders a fine solo version of “Tenderly.” The compact disc version adds the bonus cut “Sweet Georgia Brown.” This is what ignited jazz at the summit sounded like in concert in the late 1940s. Recommended. (by Mark Romano)
Irving Ashby (guitar)
Harry Babasin (bass)
Red Callender (bass)
Vic Dickenson (trombone)
Erroll Garner (piano)
Wardell Gray (saxophone)
Barney Kessel )(uitar)
Don Lamond (drums)
Howard McGhee (trumpet)
Jackie Mills (drums)
Vido Musso (saxophone)
Arnold Ross (piano)
Ernie Royal (trumpet)
01. Blue Lou (Finckel) 6.10
02. Sweet Georgia Brown (Casey/Bernie/Pinkard) 10.29
03. Tenderly (Gross/Lawrence) 3.01
04. Just You, Just Me (Greer/Klages) 10.28
05. One O’Clock Jump (Basie/Gaines) 11.27
Body and Soul is a studio album made by jazz singer Billie Holiday, released in 1957. In their 1957 review of the album, Saturday Review wrote:
With changes in her voice which bring Miss Holiday’s singing closer to recitative has come an occasional timidity about altering a melody where before there was boldness. But she remains one of the best jazz singers, not only for her unique sound and attack, but for her straightforward, honest, musical communication.” (by wikipedia)
This session comes from close to the end of the line (1959) in the erstwhile swinging company of Barney Kessel on guitar, Ben Webster on tenor, and naysayers will be quick to point out that Lady Day wasn’t in peak form here. But Billie Holiday with some of the platinum chipped off the pipes is still way better than a buncha finger-snappin’ wannabes anyday. Her interpretations of the title cut, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” and “Darn That Dream” hold you in the palm of her hand with their gentle swing and the band support here is never less than stellar. This Mobile Fidelity reissue (also available as an audiophile vinyl pressing) features in-the-control-room sound that makes this session sound even cozier. The Lady sings and swings. (by Cub Koda)
Larry Bunker (drums on 02., 04., 06. + 07.)
Harry “Sweets” Edison (trumpet)
Billie Holiday (vocals)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Red Mitchell (bass)
Jimmy Rowles (piano)
Alvin Stoller (drums on 01., 03., 05. + 08.)
Ben Webster (saxophone)
01. Body and Soul (Green/Heyman/Sour/Eyton) 6.20
02. They Can’t Take That Away From Me (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 4.09
03. Darn That Dream (v.Heusen/DeLange) 6.16
04. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 3.22
05. Comes Love (Stept/Brown/Tobias) 3.58
06. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You (Razaf/Redman) 5.35
07. Embraceable You (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 6.46
08. Moonlight In Vermont (Suessdorf/Blackburn) 3.48