Jerry Garcia – Garcia (1972)

LPFrontCover1Garcia is Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia’s first solo album, released in 1972.

Warner Bros. Records offered the Grateful Dead the opportunity to cut their own solo records, and Garcia was released around the same time as Bob Weir’s Ace and Mickey Hart’s Rolling Thunder. Unlike Ace, which was practically a Grateful Dead album, Garcia was more of a solo effort, as Garcia played almost all the instrumental parts. Six tracks (specifically those coauthored by lyricist Robert Hunter) eventually became standards in the Grateful Dead concert repertoire.

Some reprints of the album are self-released. “Loser” was covered by Cracker on their 1993 album Kerosene Hat. (by wikipedia)

This disc was a happy byproduct of the Grateful Dead re-signing with Warner Bros. It was mutually beneficial for Bob Weir (guitar/vocals) as well as Mickey Hart (percussion) and his criminally overlooked debut long-player, Rolling Thunder (1972). Jerry Garcia’s (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass, piano, organ, samples, vocals) simply titled Garcia (1972) is arguably the most solo of all these projects, as only he and the Grateful Dead’s Billy Kreutzmann (percussion) contribute instrumentally. That said, Robert Hunter’s lyrics should not be underestimated as all six of his co-compositions became staples in the Dead’s live songbook for the remainder of their concert career.

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The infusion of new material can be attributed to the lack of any Dead-related releases since Workingman’s Dead (1970) over 14 months earlier. Although Garcia is the primary musician on the ten tracks, he has given each arrangement a wholly unique persona. These range from straight-ahead blues-based rock & roll (“Sugaree”) to the avant-garde (“Late for Supper”). Within those extremes are discerning renditions and solid performances of stone gems such as the noir folkie “Loser” as well as the lilting balladry of “Bird Song” and the cyclical psychedelia of “The Wheel,” the latter of which features some of the finest pedal steel guitar work to have come from Garcia’s brief infatuation with the twangy instrument. He brings an intimacy to the affective love song “To Lay Me Down” that was rarely equalled by the Grateful Dead. His prowess as an emotive pianist can be heard throughout not only that cut, but also on the trippy medley consisting of the previously mentioned “Late for Supper,” “Spidergawd,” and “Eep Hour.” Ever the self-effacing artist, at the time of release the guitarist overtly downplayed the album as “overindulgent.” Time has rendered that assessment utterly false, as Garcia is nothing short of a full-bodied artistic expression from one of rock & roll’s most multi-faceted musicians. Both initiated Deadheads as well as enthusiasts of the burgeoning early-’70s singer/songwriter movement will find much to cherish on this recording as Garcia redefines his immense talents and seemingly undiluted musical potential. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Jerry Garcia (guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass, keyboards, samples, vocals)
Bill Kreutzmann (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Deal 3.14
02. Bird Song 4.27
03. Sugaree 5.55
04. Loser 4.10
05. Late For Supper 1.38
06. Spidergawd 3.26
07. Eep Hour 5.08
08. To Lay Me Down 6.18
09. An Odd Little Place 1.39
10. The Wheel 4.12

Music Jerry Garcia + Billy Kreutzman
Lyrics: Robert Hunter

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Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)

The Kinks – The Village Green Preservation Society (1968) (Special Deluxe Edition 2004)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society is the sixth studio album by the English rock group the Kinks, released in November 1968. It was the last album by the original quartet (Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife, Mick Avory), as bassist Pete Quaife left the group in early 1969. A collection of vignettes of English life,[3] The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society was assembled from songs written and recorded over the previous two years.

Although the record is widely considered one of the most influential and important works by the Kinks, it failed to chart upon release, selling about 100,000 copies. In 2003 the album was ranked number 255 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. (by wikipedia)

Ray Davies’ sentimental, nostalgic streak emerged on Something Else, but it developed into a manifesto on The Village Green Preservation Society, a concept album lamenting the passing of old-fashioned English traditions. As the opening title song says, the Kinks — meaning Ray himself, in this case — were for preserving “draught beer and virginity,” and throughout the rest of the album, he creates a series of stories, sketches, and characters about a picturesque England that never really was. It’s a lovely, gentle album, evoking a small British country town, and drawing the listener into its lazy rhythms and sensibilities.

The Kinks

Although there is an undercurrent of regret running throughout the album, Davies’ fondness for the past is warm, making the album feel like a sweet, hazy dream. And considering the subdued performances and the detailed instrumentations, it’s not surprising that the record feels more like a Ray Davies solo project than a Kinks album. The bluesy shuffle of “Last of the Steam-Powered Trains” is the closest the album comes to rock & roll, and Dave Davies’ cameo on the menacing “Wicked Annabella” comes as surprise, since the album is so calm. But calm doesn’t mean tame or bland — there are endless layers of musical and lyrical innovation on The Village Green Preservation Society, and its defiantly British sensibilities became the foundation of generations of British guitar pop. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Mick Avory (drums, percussion)
Dave Davies (guitar, background vocals, lead vocals on “Wicked Annabella”)
Ray Davies (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, accordion, oboe, flute)
Pete Quaife (bass, baclground vocals)
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Rasa Davies (background vocals)
Nicky Hopkins (keyboards, mellotron)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. The Village Green Preservation Society 2.45
02. Do You Remember Walter? 2.23
03. Picture Book 2:34
04. Johnny Thunder 2.28
05. Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains 4.03
06. Big Sky 2.49
07. Sitting By The Riverside 2.21
08. Animal Farm 2.57
09. Village Green 2.08
10. Starstruck 2.18
11. Phenomenal Cat (spelled “Phenominal Cat” on the LP sleeve) 2.34
12. All Of My Friends Were There 2.23
13. Wicked Annabella 2.40
14. Monica 2.13
15. People Take Pictures Of Each Other 2.10
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16. Mr. Songbird (from 12 Track Edition) 2.24
17. Days (stereo mix from original 12-track edition released in France, Norway and Sweden) 2.53
18. Do You Remember Walter? (stereo mix from original 12-track edition released in France, Norway and Sweden) 2.25
19. People Take Pictures Of Each Other (stereo mix from original 12-track edition released in France, Norway and Sweden) 2.24

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CD 2:
01. The Village Green Preservation Society 2.45
02. Do You Remember Walter? 2.23
03. Picture Book 2:34
04. Johnny Thunder 2.28
05. Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains 4.03
06. Big Sky 2.49
07. Sitting By The Riverside 2.21
08. Animal Farm 2.57
09. Village Green 2.08
10. Starstruck 2.18
11. Phenomenal Cat (spelled “Phenominal Cat” on the LP sleeve) 2.34
12. All Of My Friends Were There 2.23
13. Wicked Annabella 2.40
14. Monica 2.13
15. People Take Pictures Of Each Other 2.10
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16. Days (single mix, mono) 2.55
17. Mr. Songbird (mono mix) 2.25
18. Polly (single mix, mono) 2.51
19. Wonderboy (single mix, mono) 2.49
20. Berkeley News (single mix, mono) 2.36
21. Village Green (with alternate doubled vocals) 2.13

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CD 3 (Rarities):
01. Village Green (with orchestra overdub, previously unreleased) 2.22
02. Misty Water (stereo) 3.05
03. Berkeley Mews (stereo) 2:40
04. Easy Come, There You Went (stereo, previously unreleased) 2.25
05. Polly (stereo) 2:52
06. Animal Farm (alternate stereo mix, previously unreleased) 3.02
07. Phenomenal Cat (mono instrumental, previously unreleased) 2.50
08. Johnny Thunder (stereo remix from the original multi-track tapes, previously unreleased) 2.36
09. Did You See His Name (mono mix, previously unreleased) 2.00
10. Mick Avory’s Underpants (previously unreleased) 2.19
11. Lavender Hill 2.56
12. Rosemary Rose 1.44
13. Wonderboy 2.44
14. Spotty Grotty Anna 2.07
15. Where Did My Spring Go 2.11
16. Groovy Movies 2:34
17. Creeping Jean (previously unreleased longer stereo mix, with some minor overdubbing missing) 3.12
18. King Kong 3.26
19. Misty Water (mono, previously unreleased) 3.12
20. Do You Remember Walter (BBC session remix, previously unreleased) 2.17
21. Animal Farm (BBC session remix, previously unreleased) 2.56
22. Days (BBC session remix, previously unreleased) 3.02

All songs written by Rax Davies, except “Creeping Jean” which was written by Dave Davies

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Georgie Fame And The Blue Flames – Rhythm & Blues At The Flamingo (1964)

LPFrontCover1.jpgRhythm and Blues at the Flamingo is a live rhythm and blues album recorded by Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames at the Flamingo Club in September 1963 and released by Columbia Records in 1964. It was the first album on which Fame appeared.

In the early 1960s Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were resident at a number of London clubs including The Flamingo  and the club’s manager Rik Gunnell managed the group. On this recording Gunnell’s younger brother Johnny can be heard announcing the songs over the noisy club clientele.
The album was produced by Ian Samwell, engineered by Glyn Johns and released on the Columbia label (Columbia 33SX 1599). It failed to chart and the single “Do The Dog”, taken from the album and released in the same year, was also commercially unsuccessful.
The vinyl album was re-issued in 1984 with cover notes by Johnny Gunnell. Gunnell noted: “To Do The Dog involves distinctly sensuous body movements and even the most cooly suburban members of the audience could not fail to be moved to an almost jungle like frenzy.” (by wikipedia)

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Besides the original ten track album with tracks from the Flamingo Club, thirteen extra tracks have been added to make a good album even better. The original album was recorded in ’64 and the extra tracks are all from that same year which really shows Fame’s style in his early days. This music is hip, swinging, and just plane cool sounding–redolent of it’s time period in Britain.

If the early days of British music interest you this album is something you should consider adding to your shelf. Fame (real name Clive Powell) had a bluesy, yet smooth, understated style of singing while his Hammond organ playing was obviously influenced by American players. And the band (on the Flamingo tracks) includes baritone sax, tenor sax, electric guitar, bass, drums, and congas besides Fame’s organ. The extra tracks from different venues have a similar size band with the same sound. Fame was influenced (among others) by Mose Allison and you can hear that style on this album.

As a long time fan of this era of British music this album is part of the foundation of all the music that came afterwards. It’s a good example of what hip young people, U.S.servicemen stationed in Britain, and others were grooving to back in the mid ’60s. There’s a feeling of excitement and change as Fame (and others) explored and assimilated different styles into their own sound.  (by Stuart Jefferson)

And here´s a sort of collector´s edition with lots of early singles and partly previously unreleased tracks.

And this is sensational good album from the very early days of British R & B !

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Personnel:
Michael Eve (saxophone)
Georgie Fame (vocals, organ)
Johnny Marshall (saxophone)
Red Reece (drums)
Boots Slade (bass)
Big Jim Sullivan (guitar)
Tommy Thomas (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Night Train (Forrest/Simpkins/Washington) 4.28
02. Let The Good Times Roll (Moore/Theard) 2.57
03. Do The Dog (Thomas) 3.24
04. Eso Beso (J. Sherman/N. Sherman) 2.44
05. Work Song (Allison) 2.50
06. Parchman Farm (Allison) 3.06
07. You Can’t Sit Down (Muldrow/Clark/Upchurch) 5.04
08. Humpty Dumpty (Morris) 3.19
09. Shop Around (Gordy/Robinson) 3.50
10. Baby, Please Don’t Go (Williamson) 3.10
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11. Baby Baby (Don’t You Worry) (Gale) 2.25
12. Prince Of Fools (Gale) 1.52
13.  J. A. Blues (Fame) 2.16
14. Orange Street (Fame) 2.11
15.  Stop Right Here (Rabersa) 2.52
16. Rick’s Tune (unknown) 2.58
17. Parker’s Mood (live) (Jefferson) 4.37
18. Money (That’s What I Want) (live) (Gordy/Bradford) 2.21
19. Money (That’s What I Want) (studio) (Gordy/Bradford) 2.04
20. Do-Re-Mi (King) 2.12
21. Bend A Little (Jay/Obrecht) 2.16
22. I’m In Love With You (Barett) 2.39

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Fantastic Negrito – The Last Days Of Oakland (2016)

FrontCover1Blues in the 21st century usually falls into two camps: hip revivalists raised on rock who are ready to shred and traditionalists content to confine the music on a narrow path. Fantastic Negrito — the new persona of Xavier Dphrepaulezz, who previously pledged allegiance to Sly Stone in the ’90s — disregards this playbook by offering a fresh take on blues with his 2016 album, The Last Days of Oakland. The title alone pushes against the sweeping tides of gentrification and the album begins with a litany of what’s good and bad within Oakland, a theme Fantastic Negrito touches upon throughout his album. Class and commerce aren’t the only thing on his mind: The Last Days of Oakland teems with all the turmoil of urban life in 2016, a place where racial, financial, technological, and political tensions all threaten to explode. Fantastic Negrito isn’t happy with certain classes being pushed to the margins but he’s not pining for the past: he respects tradition — a debt made explicit via a lithe cover of Lead Belly’s “In the Pines,” but heard throughout the album as he flits between jumping boogie, Dobro blues, flexible funk, and gospel — but he uses the past as a way of framing the present.

Xavier Dphrepaulezz

Certainly, his blues isn’t limited to thundering riffs or guitar solos, but that doesn’t mean that he resists the temptation of an overdriven six-string. “Hump Through the Winter” crunches with a color reminiscent of Led Zeppelin or, perhaps more accurately, Jack White or the Black Keys, a pair of millennial rockers whose blend of retro-tradition and modern sensibility is felt all through The Last Days of Oakland. What separates Fantastic Negrito from these 21st century peers is that he doubles down on funk and digitally erased cultural boundaries without losing a specific sense of self or place. There’s a reason why this album is named after his hometown: it’s an album about Oakland, just as it’s an album about Xavier, yet this city by the Bay stands in for any other city in America, just as Fantastic Negrito speaks for anybody frustrated by the loss of humanity in this era of gentrifications. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
“The Chilean” (guitar)
Xavier Dphrepaulezz (vocals, drum programming,guitar, piano)
LJ Holoman (keyboards)
Masa Kohama (guitar)
Colin Linden (slide-guitar)
Omar Maxwell (drums)
Cornelius Mims (bass)
Piwie (percussion)
Tomas Salcedo (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Intro – The Last Days Of Oakland (Dphrepaulezz) 0:35
02 Working Poor (Dphrepaulezz) 4:01
03. About A Bird (Dphrepaulezz) 3:40
04. Scary Woman (Dphrepaulezz) 3:10
05. Interlude – What Would Y.ou Do? (Dphrepaulezz) 1:20
06. The Nigga Song (Dphrepaulezz) 3:16
07. In The Pines (Leadbelly) 4:19
08. Hump Through The Winter (Dphrepaulezz) 3:54
09. Lost In A Crowd (Dphrepaulezz) 5:00
10. Interlude 2 – El Chileno (Dphrepaulezz) 0:41
11. The Worst (Dphrepaulezz) 3:52
12. Rant Rushmore (Dphrepaulezz) 5:01
13. Nothing Without You (Dphrepaulezz) 4.15

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Mbongeni Ngema – Sarafina ! The Music Of Liberation (Musical) (1988)

LPFrontCover1Sarafina! is a South African musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. It was also adapted into a 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. Sarafina! premiered on Broadway on 28 January 1988, at the Cort Theatre, and closed on 2 July 1989, after 597 performances and 11 previews. The musical was conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, who also wrote the book, music, and lyrics. The play was first presented at The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 1987. The cast included Leleti Khumalo as Sarafina.  Sarafina! is a South African musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. It was also adapted into a 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. Sarafina! premiered on Broadway on 28 January 1988, at the Cort Theatre, and closed on 2 July 1989, after 597 performances and 11 previews. The musical was conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, who also wrote the book, music, and lyrics. The play was first presented at The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 1987. The cast included Leleti Khumalo as Sarafina.

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Leleti Khumalo received a Tony Award nomination, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, as well as a NAACP Image Award for her Broadway theatre portrayal of the title character. The production was also nominated for the Tony Award for: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Direction of a Musical.
The show presents a school uprising similar to the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976. A narrator introduces several characters among them the schoolgirl activist Sarafina. Things get out of control when policemen shoot several pupils at the school. Nevertheless, the musical ends with a cheerful farewell show of pupils leaving school, which takes most of the second act.
The production of the play was chronicled in the documentary film Voices of Sarafina!. (by wikipedia)

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Conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, Sarafina! is the “little musical that could.” Despite considerable financial hardship in moving the show to production, it premiered in Johannesburg, South Africa and, within three months, was transported intact to New York for a limited engagement at Lincoln Center. It proved so popular there that it moved to Broadway, where it received five Tony Award nominations and ran for 597 performances. Sarafina! concerns apartheid and its repressive conditions as reflected in the lives of a group of high school students in Soweto during the 1980s.

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The title character is an endearing rebel who retains her zeal for civil rights despite harassment and incarceration. The score, by Ngema and Hugh Masekela, features the stomping dance rhythms, electronic keyboard, blasts of brass, and idiosyncratic vocal harmonies that are trademarks of Mbaqanga, the pop sound of South Africa’s black townships. The album offers exhilarating, letter-perfect performances that pulse and spin inexorably toward the climactic number, “Bring Back Nelson Mandela,” during which Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo) impersonates the then-imprisoned leader and imagines what he might say upon release. (by Charles Wright)

This is maybe one of the most important presentation in this blog, because you can hear the sound of black power … the sound of people who wants to be free …

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Personnel:
Baby Cele (Mistress It’s A Pity)
Dumisani Dlamini (Crocodile)
Khumbuzile Dlamini (Scabha)
Lindiwe Dlamini (Teaspoon)
Ntomb’khona Dlamini (Magundane)
Congo Hadebe (Silence)
Thamsanqa Hlatywayo (Bhoboza)
Lindiwe Hlengwa (Lindiwe)
Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina)
Siboniso Khumalo (Siboniso)
Thandani Mavimbela (Thandani, Priest)
Mhlathi Khuzwayo (S#ginci, Police Lieutenant)
Nonhlanhla Mbambo (Dumadu)
Linda Mchunu (China)
Pat Mlaba (Colgate)
Mubi Mofokeng (Mubi, Police Sergeant)
Nandi Ndlovu (Nandi)
Nhlanhla Ngema (Stimela Sasezola)
Thandekile Nhlanhla (Thandekile)
Cosmas Sithole (Timba, Policeman)
Kipizane Skweyiya (Kipizane)
Harrison White (Harry)
Vanessa Williams (Vanessa)
Thandi Zulu (Thandi)
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Lemmy “Special” Mabaso (saxophone)
Hugh Masekela (horns)
Master Eddie Mathibe (keyboards)
Douglas Mnisi (guitar)
Makate Peter Mofolo (trumpet)
Ray Molefe (trumpet)
Bruce Mwandla (drums)
S’Manga Nhlebela (bass)
Livy Phahle (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01 Overture (Ngema) 1.48
02. Zibuyile Emasisweni (Ngema) 2.06
03. Sarafina (Masekela) 3.18
04. The Lord’s Prayer (Ngema) 3.43
05. Yes, Mistress It’s A Pity (Masekela/Ngema) 5.15
06. Give Us Power (Ngema) 3.49
07. Afunani Amaphoyisa e Soweto (Ngema) 2.45
08. Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow (Ngema) 4.26
09. Excuse Me Baby (Ngema) 2,21
10. Meeting Tonight (Ngema) 1.06
11. Stand and Fight (Ngema) 1.30
12. Uyamemeza Umgoma (Ngema) 4.22
13. Voster Sisolilwela (Ngema) 1.37
14. Wawungalelani (Ngema) 5.09
15. Mama (Ngema) 5.15
16. Sechaba (Ngema) 4.19
17. Isizwe (Ngema) 3.05
18. Goodbye (Masekela) 2.10
19. Kilimanjaro (Ngema) 1.59
20. Africa Burning In The Sun (Masakela) 2.19
21. Olayithi (Ngema) 3.52
22. Bring Back Nelson Mandela (Masakela) 4.51
23. Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow (Reprise) 1.49

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Manfred Mann- Pretty Flamingo (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgManfred Mann were an English rock band, formed in London in 1962. The group were named after their keyboardist Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The band had two different lead vocalists during their period of success, Paul Jones from 1962 to 1966, and Mike d’Abo from 1966 to 1969.

Manfred Mann were regularly in the UK charts in the 1960s. Three of the band’s most successful singles, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, “Pretty Flamingo” and “Mighty Quinn”, topped the UK Singles Chart. They were the first southern-England-based group to top the US Billboard Hot 100 during the British invasion.

The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers were formed in London by keyboard player Manfred Mann and drummer/vibes/piano player Mike Hugg, who formed a house band in Clacton-on-Sea that also featured Graham Bond.[4] Bringing a shared love of jazz to the British blues boom then sweeping London’s clubs, the band was completed by Mike Vickers on guitar, alto saxophone and flute, bassist Dave Richmond and Paul Jones as lead vocalist and harmonicist. By this time they had changed their name to Manfred Mann & the Manfreds. Gigging throughout late 1962 and early 1963, they soon attracted attention for their distinctive sound.

After changing their name to Manfred Mann at the behest of their label’s producer John Burgess, the group signed with His Master’s Voice in March 1963 and began their recorded output that July with the slow, bluesy instrumental single “Why Should We Not?”, which they performed on their first appearance on television on a New Year’s Eve show.[5] It failed to chart, as did its follow-up (with vocals), “Cock-a-Hoop”. The overdubbed instrumental soloing on woodwinds, vibes, harmonica and second keyboard lent considerable weight to the group’s sound, and demonstrated the jazz-inspired technical prowess in which they took pride.

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In 1964, the group were asked to provide a new theme tune for the ITV pop music television programme Ready Steady Go!. They responded with “5-4-3-2-1” which, with the help of weekly television exposure, rose to No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. Shortly after “5-4-3-2-1” was recorded, Richmond left the band, though he would record with them occasionally later. He was replaced by Jones’ friend Tom McGuinness—the first of many changes. After a further self-penned hit, “Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble)”, the band struck gold with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, a cover of the Exciters’ No. 78 Hot 100 hit earlier that year. The track reached the top of the UK, Canadian, and US charts.

With the success of “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” the sound of the group’s singles moved away from the jazzy, blues-based music of their early years, to a pop hybrid that continued to make hit singles from cover material. They hit No. 3 in the UK with another girl-group cover, “Sha La La”, (originally by the Shirelles) which also reached No. 12 in the US and Canada, and followed it with the sentimental “Come Tomorrow” (originally by Marie Knight) but both were of a noticeably lighter texture than their earliest output.

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Meanwhile, “B” sides and four-song EPs showcased original material and instrumental solos. The group also returned to jazz and R&B themes on their albums: their first, 1964’s The Five Faces of Manfred Mann, included standards such as “Smokestack Lightning”[3] while the second and last with this line-up, Mann Made, offered several self-composed instrumentals and a version of “Stormy Monday Blues” alongside novelties and pop ballads. With a cover of Maxine Brown’s “Oh No Not My Baby” began a phase of new depth and sophistication in the arrangements of their singles. The group began its string of successes with Bob Dylan songs with a track on the best-selling EP The One in the Middle, “With God on Our Side”, next reaching No. 2 in the UK with “If You Gotta Go, Go Now”. The EP’s title track reached the British top ten singles, the last self-written song (by Jones) and the band’s last R’n’B workout to do so. The run climaxed with a second UK No. 1 single, “Pretty Flamingo”, produced by John Burgess.

The group had managed an initial jazz/rhythm-and-blues fusion, and then had taken chart music in their stride—but could not hope to cope with Paul Jones’ projected solo career as singer and actor, and with Mike Vickers’ orchestral and instrumental ambitions. Jones intended to go solo once a replacement could be found, but stayed with the band for another year, during which Vickers left. McGuinness moved to guitar, his original instrument, contributing the distinctive National Steel Guitar to “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” and “Pretty Flamingo”, and was replaced on bass by Jack Bruce, who had been playing for the Graham Bond Organisation for some time before a recent brief stint with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. In his brief tenure before leaving to form Cream, Bruce played on “Pretty Flamingo” and on the EP Instrumental Asylum (for which both he, and brass players Henry Lowther and Lyn Dobson, were included in the sleeve photo of the group), which began the group’s experiments with instrumental versions of chart songs. He was replaced by Klaus Voormann.

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The band changed record companies just afterward, although EMI quickly released an EP of earlier unissued 1963–66 era songs titled As Was (a pun on the title of their then new 1966 album, As Is), a hits compilation; Mann Made Hits (1966), an instrumental compilation LP that included one unissued instrumental track; Soul of Mann (1967); and most controversially used session players to complete the unfinished track “You Gave Me Somebody To Love” (c/w ‘Poison Ivy”—both sung by Paul Jones) which made No. 36 in the UK singles chart, upsetting the group—hence McGuinness’s wry comment “Manfreds disown new single” on the sleeve of their next studio album for their new record label. (by wikipedia)

And here´s their 4th album for the US record market … And it´s again a great mixture between Beat sings and hot Rhyhtm & Blues tunes …

Listen !

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Personnel:
Paul Jones (vocals, harmonica)
Mike Hugg (drums, vibes, keyboards)
Manfred Mann (keyboards)
Tom McGuinness (guitar, bass)
Mike Vickers (guitar, saxophone, flute)
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Jack Bruce (bass on 01,)

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Tracklist:
01. Pretty Flamingo (Barkan) 2.26
02. Let’s Go Get Stoned (Simpson-Ashford/Armstead) 3.49
03. Tired Of Trying, Bored With Living, Scared Of Dying (Jones) 2.39
04. I Put A Spell On You (Hawkins) 3.35
05. It’s Getting Late (Mann/Hugg/Jones/McGuinness) 2.33
06. You’re Standing By (McGuiness) 2.45
07. Machines (Shuman) 2.24
08. Stay Around (Vickers) 2.24
09. Tennessee Waltz (King/Stewart) 3.02
10. Driva Man (Roach/Brown, Jr) 2.28
11. Do You Have To Do That (Jones) 3.30

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Esther Phillips – Performance (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgThe decades-long battle with drug addiction, which ultimately led to her untimely demise, contributed to vocalist Esther Phillips’ status as a tragic second-tier figure in the larger annals of popular music history, but her music itself was often a triumph of soul-stirring ecstasy. By the time Phillips arrived at CTI’s sister label, Kudu Records, her early career hits—made under the name “Little Esther”—were a distant memory. A string of albums for Atlantic Records in the late ’60s helped bring her back into the spotlight, but she truly found her home under the auspices of the venerable Creed Taylor.
Her first album on Kudu, From A Whisper To A Scream (1972), contained a semi-autobiographical performance of Gil Scott-Heron’s “Home Is Where The Hatred Is,” which earned Phillips her second of four Grammy nominations and the respect of her peers, but it also signaled the start of her most prolific period of recording. While at Kudu, the singer recorded eight albums, cementing her reputation as a vocalist par excellence and establishing her as the Kudu queen of blues, soul and R&B.
Any one of Phillips’ albums would have been a nice addition to CTI Masterworks’ fortieth anniversary feast, but the powers-that-be decided to honor her by reissuing her fourth album on the label—1974’s underrated Performance. While the personnel list presents an imposing roster of jazz heavyweights, the jazz influences themselves are suppressed in favor of a soul-heavy sound. Notable solos still find their way into the mix, including tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker’s extended run on “Disposable Society” and guitarist Jon Sholle’s solo spot on “I Feel The Same,” but they’re rare. Instead, the music is used as it should: to showcase Phillips’ voice.

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Phillips knew how to establish herself when placed in a funky musical environment, whether gritty and urban (“Disposable Society”) or friendlier and fun (“Doing Our Thing”), but goes beyond this area on tracks like “Performance,” an R&B number with a gospel feel that’s augmented by some countrified steel guitar from Eric Weissberg, and “Such A Night,” which features some tack piano work from Richard Tee.
While the CTI Masterworks reissue campaign is largely a celebration of albums that have always been celebrated, the final wave—along with Performance, including efforts from saxophonist Hank Crawford, and organists Lonnie Smith and Johnny Hammond—is all about admiring the wrongfully overlooked and giving kudos to Kudu. (by Dan Bilawsky)

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Personnel:
Pepper Adams (saxophone)
Mike Brecker (saxophone)
Charlie Brown (guitar)
Jerry Dodgion (saxophone)
Pee Wee Ellis (chimes)
Jon Faddis (trumpet, flugelhorn)
John Gatchell (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Urbie Green (trombone)
Gary King (bass)
Hubert Laws (flute)
Ralph McDonald (percussion)
Esther Phillips (vocals)
Bernard Purdie (drums)
Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Richard Wyands (piano)
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Gordon Edwards (bass on 03.)
Steve Gadd (drums on 04. + 05.)
Bob James (piano on 04. + 05.)
Richie Resnicoff (guitar on 04. + 05.)
Jon Sholle (guitar on 01. + 07.)
Richard Tee (piano on 03. , 06 + 07., organ on 05.)
Eric Weissberg (steel guitar on 02.)
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background vocals:
Patti Austin -Lani Groves -J. Denise Williams – Carl Caldwell – Robin Clark – Tasha Thomas
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violin;
Max Ellen – Paul Gershman – Emmanuel Green – Charles Libove – Harry Lookofsky -David Nadien – Matthew Raimondi – Manny Vardi – violin, viola
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viola:
Manny Vardi – Al Brown – Harold Coletta – viola
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cello:
Charles McCracken – George Ricci

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Tracklist:
01. I Feel The Same (Smither) 8.27
02. Performance (Toussaint) 5.28
03. Doing Our Thing (Carter/Lee(McCants) 3.36
04. Disposable Society (McDaniels) 5.22
05. Living Alone (We’re Gonna Make It) (Lynn/Barnes/Pandarvis) 5.20
06. Such A Night (Rebennack) 3.25
07. Can’t Trust Your Neighbor With Your Baby (Hayes/Porter) 3.55
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08. Mr. Bojangles (Walker) 4.10

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Esther Phillips (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984)
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California, in 1984, at the age of 48, from liver and kidney failure due to long-term drug abuse