James Brown & The Famous Flames – The Amazing James Brown (1961)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Amazing James Brown is the fourth studio album by American musician James Brown and The Famous Flames. The album was released in 1961, by King Records. (by wikipedia)

1961’s THE AMAZING JAMES BROWN, credited to JAMES BROWN and his FAMOUS FLAMES, was his fourth album release for King Records (K-743). As usual, the album contained a host of recent singles, and a few that would be released later on. For example, “So Long,” “Dancin’ Little Thing” and “Tell Me What You’re Gonna Do” were released on singles in 1964 while Brown and King honcho Syd Nathan were battling over his contract with Smash Records (see my OUT OF SIGHT review). “So Long” had also been released on the preceding album, THINK! King also reissued the album in 1963 with a different cover as “THE ALWAYS AMAZING JAMES BROWN” and in England it was known as “TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE GONNA DO” with it’s own unique cover art. They did this regularly with a lot of his albums hoping to get repeat sales from those not paying attention to the track list. In 1963 half of the album’s tracks were used again for the release SHOUT AND SHIMMY aka GOOD, GOOD TWISTIN’ aka COOL-TOUGH-PURE EXCITEMENT “Mr. Dynamite.” (byJohn H. McCarthy)

And this is a real “hot” LP …a great ixture between’Rhythm & Blues an Soul … James Brown was a real master of his own … Listen for example to “Come Over Here” or “So Long” (both songs with great saxophone solo) … and you´ll know, what I mean.

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Personnel:
James Brown (vocals. piano)
Les Buie (guitar)
Bobby Byrd (keyboards, background vocals)
Alfred Corley (saxophone)
J.C. Davis (saxophone)
Alfred “Fats Gonder (keyboards)
Nat Kendrick (drums)
Roscoe Patrick (trumpet)
Herbert Lee Perry (bass)
Sonny Thompson (piano)
+
background vocals:
Eugene “Baby Lloyd” Stallworth – Bobby Bennett

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Tracklist:
01. Just You And Me Darling (Brown) 2.49
02. I Love You Yes I Do (Glover/Nix/Seiler/Wood) 2.50
03. I Don’t Mind (Brown) 2.48
04. Come Over Here (Brown/Turner) 2.47
05. The Bells (Ward) 2.58
06. Love Don’t Love Nobody (Brown) 2.08
07. Dancin’ Little Thing (Ballard) 2.22
08. Lost Someone (Brown/Byrd/Stallworth) 3.10
09. And I Do Just What I Want (Brown) 2.28
10. So Long (Harris/Melsher/Morgan) 2.53
11. You Don’t Have To Go (Brown) 2.51
12. Tell Me What You’re Gonna Do(Brown) 2.12

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James Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006)

Richard Thompson – Nashville (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgRichard Thompson OBE (born 3 April 1949) is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

He made his début as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. He continues to write and record new material regularly and frequently performs live at venues throughout the world.

Thompson was awarded the Orville H. Gibson Award for best acoustic guitar player in 1997. Similarly, his songwriting has earned him an Ivor Novello Award[2] and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio. Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music.Many and varied musicians have recorded Thompson’s compositions. (by wikipedia)

Named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Richard Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic – from the Americana Music Association in Nashville to Britain’s BBC Awards. Thompson’s genre defying mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar along with dizzying energy and onstage wit continue to earn Richard Thompson massive new fans and a place as one of the most distinctive virtuosos in Folk Rock history.

In September 2018, Richard Thompson released his 18th solo studio album, 13 Rivers.

Thanks to indykid for sharing the HDTV webcast at Dime.

Recorded live at the AmericanaFest. Day Stage, The Local, Nashville, Tennessee;
September 14, 2018.
Very good audio (ripped from HDTV webcast).

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Personnel:
Richard Thompson (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Introduction by Jessie Scott/Trying (Thompson) 6.20
02. The Rattle Within (Thompson) 4.53
03. My Rock, My Rope (Thompson) 3.49
04. Bones of Gilead (Thompson) 4.40
05. The Storm Won’t Come (Thompson) 5.49
06. Her Love Was Meant for Me (Thompson) 4.29
07. Persuasion (Thompson/Filleul/Finn) 4.16
08. 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (Thompson) 7:01

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“1952 Vincent Black Lightning” is a song by guitarist Richard Thompson from his 1991 album Rumor and Sigh. It tells the story of a thief named James and the girl Red Molly whom he charms with a ride on his 1952 Vincent Black Lightning motorcycle. In 2011 Time magazine listed the song in its “All TIME 100 Songs”, a list of “the most extraordinary English-language popular recordings since the beginning of TIME magazine in 1923,” praising it as “a glorious example of what one guy can accomplish with just a guitar, a voice, an imagination and a set of astonishingly nimble fingers.”

Despite not being issued as a single, the ballad became a fan favourite and is one of Thompson’s most highly acclaimed solo compositions. (by wikipedia)

Jukka Tolonen – Crossection (1975)

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Jukka Jorma Tolonen (born 16 April 1952) is a Finnish jazz guitarist. Tolonen became famous as guitarist for the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti (which means “president of the republic”).

He had grown up playing the piano, but received his first guitar at age eleven. From 1966-67 Jukka Tolonen, at age fourteen, played guitar with Arto Sotavalta and the Rogues. Their first single, recorded in 1967, was “No Milk Today,” backed by “Lady Jane.” For several months in 1969 he was a member of the Eero Raittinen-Help band which eventually split up. It was then that Tolonen and drummer Vesa Aaltonen founded the group Tasavallan Presidentti with whom he toured and recorded several albums from 1969-1974. Their third album, Lambertland, reached number seven on the Finnish charts in 1972, followed by Milky Way Moses which peaked at number twelve in 1974. Tolonen also played on albums Tombstone Valentine (1970) and Fairyport (1971) by Wigwam.

Tolonen01His first solo album Tolonen!, recorded and released in 1971 while he was only nineteen years old, displayed his prowess on both guitar (electric and acoustic) and piano, and instrumental songwriting which comfortably segues from classical, jazz, folk, blues, and rock. Tolonen! peaked at number six on the Finnish charts in 1971, winning the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s Album of the Year disk. In 1972 he married Taija Sippola, his girlfriend of several years, and studied piano and composition at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki while continuing to perform and record. Jukka’s guitar solo on “Paradise,” a hit single from Rauli ‘Badding’ Somerjokis 1974 album “This is Rock and Roll,” made it the most played song on Finnish radio for three subsequent years. Tasavallan Presidentti broke up in 1974 just before it was to embark on a US tour in support of Kraftwerk. “Windermere Avenue”, a song from Tolonen’s 1975 Hysterica album, became a minor radio hit in the USA. Also in 1975 he was asked to join ABBA as a session musician on tour, but he declined, due to the birth of his first child Dimitri and his concurrent solo career.

Tolonen is a virtuoso guitarist, who is highly respected in his native Finland as well as in Sweden, where he has lived for long periods. Among Tolonen’s side projects are Guitarras Del Norte, Trio Tolonen, and Jukka Tolonen Band (JTB). He has used many different guitars over the years, such as the Gibson ES-335 and Ibanez Artist. Since the 1990s he has used Finnish handmade instruments by Ruokangas Guitars (electric) and Lottonen Guitars (acoustic).

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Despite his earlier successes, Jukka Tolonen was eventually twice divorced, homeless, and drug-addicted. In May 2008 Tolonen was found guilty of stabbing his girlfriend and was sentenced to 27 months in jail for aggravated assault. When released in 2010, he told the media that he was quitting guitar playing due to osteoarthritis. While in prison Jukka Tolonen dedicated his life to Jesus Christ, and in 2011 he released Juudan Leijona (“Lion of Judah”), a CD of traditional Finnish hymns, in which he sings and plays piano, occasionally accompanied by other instruments and voices. He continues to perform live concerts of Christian music on piano along with other musicians and vocalists.

On 2 May 2014 Gateway Films released “Tolonen,” a career-spanning documentary. A concurrent Tolonen CD was issued, featuring many young Finnish jazz and rock musicians’ interpretations of Jukka Tolonen’s songs. In autumn 2014 he played guitar for the first time in many years (and sang) on the album “Blind Joe” by Kari Peitsamo. The same year he began to receive a State Arts Pension in Finland for meritorious activities of a creative or performing artist. Jukka Tolonen is actively involved with the Salem Pentecostal Church in Helsinki, and has enrolled in a local Bible Institute. In 2017 he began to perform on bass guitar in live concerts as part of the Ramblin’ Jazz Quartet in Finland. (by wikipedia)

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As with most Jukka Tolonen solo albums, the backing on this album, is mainly made up from members of the notable Finnish prog bands, Tasavallan Presidentti (Pekka Pöyry; Vesa Aaltonen; Heikki Virtanen) and Wig Wam (Mans Groundstroem; Esa Kotilainen).

The music a mostly Guitar/Piano/moog based Jazz Rock, with some longer solo’s parts not unlike early Santana , but with very beautiful use of Flute and Sax changing the impression into an almost Folk like texture at times. Most tracks (Northern Lights/Windermere Avenue/Silva the Cat) are mid tempo, with an laid back feeling, easily able to support a Sunday morning hangover. But three tracks need a bit more explanation, they fall outside this general description.

Tolonen2012Witchdrum: A wonderful track, starting out in a more frantic tempo than the other tracks, shifting between distinct Tull’ish flute sections, and wild guitar/bass/drum parts.

Last Quarter: Another very interesting track that makes this Tolonen album stick out. The only track that is with vocal. And written in a style, that shows an clear Gentle Gain influence, the vocal not of Giant quality, but the composition itself supreme, one of the only examples I know of anyone attempting to make a Gentle Giant style song, and actually making it very close.

Wedding Song: The last track on the album, in a slow tempo, with acoustic string bass, and acoustic guitar, flute and trombone playing the melody lines, soft percussion, very Nordic melancholic, very beautiful ending. (by Suomi Lights)

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Personnel:
Esa Kotilainen (organ, synthesizer)
Pekka Pöyry (saxophone)
Esko Rosnell (drums)
Jukka Tolonen (guitar, keyboards, synthesizer)
Heikki Virtanen (bass)
+
Jussi Aalto (trombone on 06.)
Sakari Kukko (saxophone, flute, percussion on 03.)
Paroni Paakkunainen (saxophone on 01., flute on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Northern Lights 4.12
02. Hysterica 6.28
03. Tiger 6.56
04. Windermere Avenue 7.16
05. Silva The Cat 4.45
06. Wedding Song 4.48

All compositions by Jukka Tolonen

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Teaze – One Night Stand (1979)

FrontCover1.jpgThe story of Teaze is one of unbridled success in foreign lands, yet often a constant struggle at times for mere recognition on their native soil. They were formed in Windsor, Ontario in 1975 by Brian Danter on bass guitar and vocals, guitarists Mark Bradac and Chuck Price, and Mike Kozak on drums.

“In the beginning, Teaze played hardly any bars – but highschools – which were still the rage then. We really didn’t play clubs period,” Bradac said.

Powered by a heavy but no-nonsense approach, they honed their sound while playing mostly at highschools, and were signed to Stan Whitcher Management, along with Mel Shaw from Stampeders fame. “Mel was the first to put us on out on exclusively on a label called Force One Records, distributed by London Records,” he added.

Their self-titled debut album was in the stores in ’77, but failed to make a dent in the top 40 charts. Still, driven by straight-forward production, the record was as raw a sound as one could capture in a studio, as evidenced by the tracks “Rockin With The Music”, co-written by George Young – older brother and producer of Ac/Dc’s Angus & Malcolm, “Hot To Trot,” and “Boys’ Night Out”. They caught the attention of Bob Rags at Terry Flood Management, and the group was signed to Aquarius records in 1977, who re-released the album.

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Their follow-up, ON THE LOOSE, was released early the next year and although still holding true to the band’s simple approach, the record showed a maturity in the writing and featured the rockers “Nobody’s Fool” and a re-make of “Gonna Have A Good Time Tonight.” Also noteable were the title track, “Ready To Move,” and “Sweet Misery.” It was the band’s only ever hit single, and the tender piano and acoustic guitar driven ballad also showcased their versatility.

The group moved operations from Windsor to Montreal the next year and continued touring eastern & central Canada and in the US, but still couldn’t seem to get their ‘big break’. This all changed for Teaze in the fall of 1978 when they travelled to Japan and were met with sold out stadiums and mobs at the airports. But the jury was still out as to whether or not Teaze simply cashed in on rock and roll starved Japanese kids after the likes of KISS, BTO and Cheap Trick had already paved the way. Whatever the reason, the reception of Teaze in Japan was almost comparable to the reception the Beatles or Rolling Stones enjoyed in the United States. Their ten day tour of the Orient led to 1979’s live album, TOUR OF JAPAN.

Teaze02.jpgLater that year the band released their third studio album, ONE NIGHT STANDS. With Myles Goodwyn of April Wine (also on the Aquarius label) behind the helm, it showed a definite progression from its predecessors. Ranging from the typical ballad “Loose Change”, the record’s only single, to the straight forward – grab you by the balls “Back in Action” and “Young & Reckless”, ONE NIGHT STANDS was typical Teaze, but with a maturity. However the tour that followed was a disappointing failure, considering management’s expectations following the band’s success overseas.

The group cut BODY SHOTS in the summer of 1980, their final album. Though two singles were released, “Roses and Chrome” and “Living On The Edge”, the record still failed to garner enough radio interest to support another full-fledged attempt at cracking the North American market. Management at Aquarius by this time had decided that “Teazemania” was never going to catch on here and chose not to commit to any more records.

Now without a deal, Teaze continued to do arena and theatre dates in and around the Toronto area, but disbanded in 1981. Everyone went on to do individual projects and life outside of music. Bradac opened up a pawnshop, and eventually became so established in the business he landed a role on “Pawnathon Canada,” a TV show where experts buy people’s relics and memorabilia.

A ‘best of’ package titled A TASTE OF TEAZE was released in ’84 and the compilation OVER SIXTY MINUTES WITH TEAZE, the definitive collection with 17 tracks, followed in 1990. (by canadianbands.com)

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One Night Stands was the third album released by Teaze on the Aquarius Records label, and their debut release in the U.S. on Capitol. With the success of the live album, Tour of Japan, the Montreal-based band became one of the hottest Canadian acts of the late ’70s. For this U.S. debut album, all the stops were pulled out by the band’s management. Myles Goodwyn, from April Wine, was brought in for production and eight new songs were written by the bandmembers for the album. The songs were powerful hard rock numbers with intelligent lyrics and good choruses. The album had all of the right ingredients to make it a hit, but, despite this, the timing was just not right. Disco was dominating the charts, new wave music was becoming the current rage, and punk rock was rearing its ugly head. The music world in general was in turmoil and commercial styled hard rock was just not where it was at in 1979, causing the album to become a commercial failure. There was no single released from the album, and because of that Teaze failed to attract the attention it deserved. The failure of One Night Stands in the U.S. prompted Capitol Records to drop the band from its contract midway through the recording of a follow-up album. Teaze’s shot at international stardom had been dashed. The band was still signed to Aquarius Records in Canada, so there still was an outlet for the album they were working on, which was to be called Body Shots. (by Keith Pettipas)

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Teaze was a terrific band from Ontario, Canada that produced four studio albums in the late ’70s/early ’80s and—sadly and shamefully—generated only little more than a cult following here in America.

One Night Stands, the band’s third release, contains both slamming rockers (“Back In Action,” “Boys Night Out,” “Young and Reckless,” etc.) along with AOR-tinged songs (“Heartless World,” “Stay Here,” “Touch The Wind,” etc.), all of which undoubtedly repeat in one’s head upon initial hearing, and all mega-classics that should have made Teaze ultra-famous and ultra-rich.

With high quality in everything from songwriting to musicianship to production, this band should have been HUGE. Yes, it’s a “heartless world” indeed. (by zap_niles)

What as great album … listen to “Heartless World” … one of the finest Heavy Metal ballads ever !

Oh yes, the boys were hot !

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Personnel:
Marc Bradac (guitar, slide guitar, background vocals)
Brian Danter (bass, synthesizer, vocals)
Mike Kozak (drums, percussion)
Chuck Price (guitar, background vocals)
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unknown saxophone player on 03.

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Tracklist:
01. Back In Action (Bradac/Danter/Kozak) 3.25
02. Young And Reckless (Bradac/Danter/Kozak) 3.55
03. Heartless World (Bradac/Kozak) 5.40
04. Boys Night Out (Bradac/Kozak) 4.07
05. Through The Years (Bradac/Danter/Price/Kozak) 4.10
06. Reach Out (Danter) 3.44
07. Stay Here (Bradac/Kozak) 3.33
08. Red Hot Ready (Bradac/Kozak) 3.22
09. Touch The Wind (Danter) 5.02

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You’re a living sin
You’re the harlequin in a one-act play
And you’ve given up
Even though you can’t say why
So your hero died back in 69
Well that’s no excuse
To go lose yourself in a FM headphone high
It’s a heartless world
It’s a heartless world

Have you had enough?
Are you going back to that crazy place?
Are you listening?
Am I talking to myself?
Well it’s sad to say but it’s just that way and it’ll
never change, never change
Have you won or lost?
You know it’s hard to tell
It’s a heartless world
It’s a heartless world
And some room to breathe may be all you need
to get on your feet
And the time to step outside and see outside and see the sky
Oo, no, no, no, it’s a heartless world
It’s a heartless world
Will you control me
Would you please hold me
Don’t let me show my vicious side

If you disown me
If you’ve outgrown me
I’ll change my name, and say goodbye

Joe Cocker – Fire It Up – Live (2013)

FrontCover1.jpgThis 2013 release from the veteran British vocalist, was his first live recording in over 20 years: Fire It Up: Live documents his celebrated European Fire it Up tour, witnessed by millions of delighted fans since its kick off in March 2013. Fire it Up: Live presents the show at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne in April 2013. “I’m very flattered”, Joe Cocker confessed at the show, “because there’s so many young artists on the scene now – it’s amazing that we can still pull them in”. This success is due to an exceptionally gifted artist, who thrills his audience merely with the immense power of his voice, as well as the timeless magic of hits like “With a Little Help of my Friends”, “You Can Leave Your Hat On”, “Unchain My Heart”, “Up Where We Belong” and “You Are So Beautiful”.

Simply stated, Joe Cocker is like a fine wine. He seems to get better with age. This is Cocker at the pinnacle of his craft. An amazing song line up and a voice that belts out every tune with a passion that is fired up like no other time in his career. The tightest live band of all time. Rolling Stone Magazine, you should put this one in your Top 100 Albums of all time. A must have CD for your collection. You’ll listen to this one over and over and over again! Thank you Mr. Cocker for your finest work yet. (by Philip T)

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What a great concert! Cocker was in great form and the band was tight. Since it was a live album they move from song to song with efficient dispatch. This was the first live concert album for the Englishman in decades. Rumors were this was to be his retirement album and as fate would have it, that is exactly how it played out with the passing of Cocker just a short time later. (by Avid One)

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The last and very best Joe Cocker concert. The German audience, just like the Brits and us Americans were in a loving, exuberant, appreciative mood and Joe gave his all. If you had to write your own epitaph or history, Mr. Cocker gave it the very best anyone could.
My only regret: Not being there. (by JayDub)

This was the last album by Joe Cocker … what a great legacy …. !!!

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Personnel:
Gene Black (guitar)
Jack Bruno (drums)
Joe Cocker (vocals)
Norberto Fimpel (saxophone, percussion, accordion on 14.)
Herman Jackson (organ)
Nick Milo (keyboards)
Oneida James-Rebeccu (bass)
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background vocals:
Laura Jane Jones – Nichelle Tillman

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. I Come In Peace (Brewster/Wilson) 4.42
02. Feelin’ Alright (Mason) 4.42
03. The Letter (Thompson) 5.49
04. When The Night Comes (Adams/Warren/Vallance) 5.10
05. You Love Me Back (Matkosky/Bently/Diamond) 4.07
06. I’ll Be Your Doctor (Trott/McMorran/Horn) 3.40
07. Up Where We Belong (Sainte-Marie/Nitzsche/Jennings) 6.03
08. Come Together (Lennon/McCartney) 5.44
09. Eye On The Prize (Turner/Gilmore/Clement/Johnson/Kenney/Broussard) 5.01
10. You Don’t Need A Million Dollars (Giles) 4.28
11. You Are So Beautiful  (Preston/Fisher) 4.10
12. Younger (Burr) 4.22

CD 2:
13. Fire It Up (Frew/Reid/Dodson) 4.32
14. N’oubliez Jamais (Cregan/Kunkel) 6.37
15. You Can Leave Your Hat On (Newman) 4.42
16. Unchain My Heart (Sharp/Powell) 6.10
17. With A Little Help From My Friends (Lennon/McCartney) 11.30
18. Summer In The City (j.Sebastian/M.Sebastian/Boone) 4.24
19. Hard Knocks (Broussard/Ramsey/Sanders) 3.58
20. Cry Me A River (Hamilton) 5.32
21. You Don’t Know What You’re Doing To Me (Hilton/Kirkpatrick) 4.34

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Joe Cocker (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014)

Avishai Cohen – Adama (1998)

FrontCover1Adama is an album by bassist Avishai Cohen. This was Cohen’s first recording as leader. He co-produced it with Chick Corea.

Avishai Cohen showed enormous promise as both a composer and an acoustic bassist on his first album as a leader, Adama, which he produced with Chick Corea for the company Corea co-owned, Stretch records. Reminding listeners of his Israeli heritage, the post-bopper brings a heavy Middle Eastern influence to such impressive originals as “Reunion of the Souls,” “Ora,” and “No Change.” Although Cohen’s 1997 music wasn’t innovative — John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, and Miles Davis successfully experimented with Middle Eastern elements when they embraced modal jazz in the late ’50s — Adama has a certain freshness to it. “Madrid,” “Dror,” and the title song find one of Cohen’s sidemen, Amos Hoffman, putting down his guitar in favor of the oud, and his use of this lute (which is prominent in traditional Arabic music) works so well in a jazz setting that one wishes Cohen employed Hoffman on the instrument even more. Cohen’s Spanish-influenced “Gadu,” meanwhile, features Corea on electric keyboards. Captivating from start to finish, Adama made it clear that Cohen was someone to watch out for. (by Alex Henderson)

Bass.jpgHandling the acoustic bass like a flamenco guitar, then applying the blues, newcomer Avishai Cohen has produced a session in the modern mainstream with considerable intensity. The “fire” comes from his writing; these are all the bassist’s compositions except for the standard “Besame Mucho.” In putting together his arrangements, Cohen mixes meters in various combinations, allowing them to shift frequently, and couples that concept with a built-in intensity through his harmonic approach. With a core trio consisting of bassist Cohen, pianist Jason Lindner and drummer Jeff Ballard, the melodies are presented with a nod to the leader’s improvisational strengths. Soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson and trombonist Steve Davis provide support as well.

“Madrid” opens with the bowed bass and presents a unique approach to blending. Adding the oud of Amos Hoffman to the ensemble, Cohen has combined two distinct flavors – the oud is an Arabic stringed instrument commonly used with quarter tones; thus, the musical effect here is similar to inviting Spanish flamenco dancers and traditional Middle Eastern dancers to the same stage. The savory multi-ethnic flavor continues with “Dror” and “Adama.” Cohen stretches out on “Bass Suite #1,” providing both bass and percussion parts by slapping the bass and strings. Here and elsewhere, Hoffman, Cohen and Ballard are given an opportunity to stretch out; it is unfortunate that Davis, Wilson, and Lindner are bound by the arrangements and cannot improvise as freely.

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Cameos by pianists Brad Mehldau, Danilo Perez and Chick Corea appear at the close of the session. On “Besame Mucho” Mehldau spurs Cohen onward to some of his most lyrical playing on this album. Danilo Perez is at the piano and Chick Corea at the Fender Rhodes piano for “Gadu,” which allows the listener to appreciate the difference between the two instruments. Corea and Perez alternate, converse, and trade phrases as conguero Don Alias and bassist Cohen share the spotlight. Newcomer Avishai Cohen has assembled a unique session, largely through his interesting compositions, and is clearly a welcome voice on today’s jazz scene. (by Jim Santella)

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Personnel:
Jeff Ballard (drums, percussion)
Avishai Cohen (bass)
Steve Davis (trombone)
Jason Lindner (piano)
Steve Wilson (saxophone)
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Claudia Acuna (vocals on 12.)
Don Alias (percussion on 11.)
Chick Corea (piano on 11.)
Amos Hoffman (oud on 02., 05. + 08., guitar on 04. + 12.)
Brad Mehldau (piano on 10.)
Danilo Perez (piano on 11.)
Jorge Rossy (drums on 10. + 11.)

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Tracklist:
01. Ora (Cohen) 4.19
02. Madrid (Cohen) 4:45
03. Bass Suite #1 (Cohen) 5:51
04. Reunion Of The Souls <(Cohen)
05. Dror (Cohen) 5.17
06. No Change (Cohen) 4.31
07. Bass & Bone Fantasy (Cohen) 4.09
08. Adama 5.57
09. Bass Suite #2 (Cohen) 4.38
10 Bésame Mucho (Velázquez) 7.27
11. Gadu (Cohen) 6.24
12. Jasonity (Cohen) 1.18

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Little Feat – Same (1971)

LPFrontCover1.jpgLittle Feat is an American rock band formed by singer-songwriter, lead vocalist and guitarist Lowell George and keyboardist Bill Payne in 1969 in Los Angeles. George disbanded the group due to creative differences in 1979, shortly before his death. Surviving members reformed Little Feat in 1987, remaining intermittently active to the present.

Little Feat is the first studio album by the rock band Little Feat. It was released in 1971 on Warner Bros. Records.

The album was recorded mostly during sessions between August and September 1970. Its sound is in a similar vein as the band’s more widely known later recordings, such as 1973’s Dixie Chicken and 1978’s Waiting For Columbus. The record features Little Feat’s Mk. 1 line-up, with Roy Estrada on bass. It was the first of eight albums by the band before its initial 1979 break-up. The cover shows a mural, “Venice in the Snow”, which was painted by the L. A. Fine Arts Squad in 1970 in Venice, Los Angeles. In 2007, the album was released as a gold CD through the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. (by wikipedia)

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It sold poorly (around 11,000 copies) and the band never cut anything like it again, but Little Feat’s eponymous debut isn’t just one of their finest records, it’s one of the great lost rock & roll albums. Even dedicated fans tend to overlook the album, largely because it’s the polar opposite of the subtly intricate, funky rhythm & roll that made their reputation during the mid-’70s. Little Feat is a raw, hard-driving, funny and affectionate celebration of American weirdness, equal parts garage rock, roadhouse blues, post-Zappa bizarreness, post-Parsons country rock and slightly bent folk storytelling. Since it’s grounded in roots rock, it feels familiar enough, but the vision of chief songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Lowell George is wholly unique and slightly off-center. He sees everything with a gently surreal sense of humor that remains affectionate, whether it’s on an ode to a “Truck Stop Girl,” the weary trucker’s anthem “Willin’,” or the goofy character sketch of the crusty old salt “Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie.”

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That affection is balanced by gutsy slices of Americana like the careening travelogue “Strawberry Flats,” the darkly humorous “Hamburger Midnight” and a jaw-dropping Howlin’ Wolf medley guest-starring Ry Cooder, plus keyboardist Bill Payne’s terrific opener “Snakes on Everything.” The songwriting itself is remarkable enough, but the band is its equal — they’re as loose, vibrant and alive as the Stones at their best. In most respects, this album has more in common with George’s earlier band the Factory than the rest of the Little Feat catalog, but there’s a deftness in the writing and performance that distinguishes it from either band’s work, which makes it all the more remarkable. It’s a pity that more people haven’t heard the record, but that just means that anyone who owns it feels like they’re in on a secret only they and a handful of others know. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Roy Estrada (bass, background vocals)
Lowell George (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Richard Hayward (drums, background vocals)
Bill Payne (keyboards, vocals on 01. + 10., background vocals)
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Ry Cooder (slide guitar on 05., + 07.)
Sneaky Pete Kleinow (pedal steel guitar on 09.)
Russ Titelman (percussion, background vocals, piano on 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Snakes On Everything (Payne) 3.08
02. Strawberry Flats (Payne/George) 2.25
03. Truck Stop Girl (Payne/George) 2.32
04. Brides Of Jesus (Payne/George) 3.23
05. Willin’ (George) 2.25
06. Hamburger Midnight (George/Estrada) 2.32
07. Forty-Four Blues / How Many More Years (Sykes/Burnett) 6.32
08. Crack In Your Door (George) 2.19
09. I’ve Been The One (George) 2.24
10. Takin’ My Time (Payne) 3.50
11. Crazy Captain Gunboat Willie (Payne/George) 1.57

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Lowell Thomas George (April 13, 1945 – June 29, 1979)