Raven – Back To Ohio Blues (1975)

OriginalFrontCover1975_1And here´s a real crazy, extremely rare album:

Jesus, where do I begin? Okay, earlier this week I went to one of my favorite music sites SHIT-FI and read lead scribe Stuart Schrader’s hilarious and dead on review of Ohio rock brute RAVEN’s ‘Back To Ohio Blues’. A lot of times, when you hear about ‘this is a crazy proto-punk assault’ it’s pretty tenuous, taking a bit of imagination to get you there. For his pure ‘life is fucked, fuck it’ lyrics and ‘I could give a shit’ attitude Raven is, in my book, a Proto-Punk on par with Ohio compadre’s Electric Eels, MC5 and yes, even Stooges.

Musically, ‘B2OB’ is definitely crude and rude; on album opener ‘Can’t You See’ the bass player is so off the mark it’s RIGHT FUCKING ON, adding a menace to a track that may have been merely ‘okay’ without it. Raven, who sings and plays guitar, definitely knows his way around a six string, pounding out the biker rock riffage and tearing off the solos after every obnoxious phrase. It’s certainly nothing new but the recordings were done quick, left rough and, if Raven’s lyrics are to be believed, fueled by sick amounts of hard drugs and booze. Needless to say, there’s an energy and violence at play here that is just missing in a lot of other so called ‘lost heavy psych gems’.

RavenPoster1

And those lyrics! And that voice!

Raven tries to play it cool, like on ‘Raven Mad Jam’ where he belts out the tried and true, ambiguous ‘Gotta Get High / Gotta Get Down’ mantra. But just when you’re ready to once again endure that farty old wink wink nudge nudge, Raven figures his listening audience may be sick of that old hat (or maybe too drunk to get it) and lays it bare with a ‘Gotta Get Stoned! / Gotta Get Fucked!’ coupling and with a hell of a lot more blood than the previous one. And in case you’re thinking that by ‘Gotta Get Stoned’ Raven is talking about smoking a little Acapulco Gold in a wicker chair, guess again Jack Webb!

AlternateFrontCoversAlternate frontcovers

Okay, Raven’s vocals are really great. He just doesn’t give a fuck. In the lyrically rewarding, musically trying title track, Raven starts with a lamenting tone (of course, I mean, he’s going back to OHIO) that , as the 13+ minute blues dirge marches on, turns into a howling, grunting psychopath screaming for a release only death (or some really pure heroin) can bring.

Frontover2007.jpgFrontcover from the 2007 issue

On the afore mentioned ‘Can’t You See’, Raven sings pretty well on the main vocal, but follows that up with a backing track where he’s so fucked up, he’s Raven01.jpgoff time and slurring. It’s GREAT!

In keeping a policy of honesty, I’ll say that the third track doesn’t hold up to the rest of the album, but just musically. The lyrics are still crazy.

Of course, like everyone else, Raven has a myspace page which held a surprise even bigger than the fact that he’s not dead or in jail: His track ‘Asshole 2007 EDIT’ is a solo guitar piece that has far more in common Keiji Haino than Jeff Beck! No shit! Also, homeboy has vinyl for sale and will sign that shit! (MarsHottentot)

After he finished his damaged-biker Back to Ohio Blues LP in 1975, the man known as Raven gave away most of the few hundred copies that were pressed. The little-heard album was both of its time and timeless. Today, after it’s reached a wider audience, mostly via word of mouth and the internet, it seems to hold an ethereal psychic influence over all the great lo-fi stoner music that’s emanated during the past 30 years from Raven’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio. (discogs.com)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Raven (guitar, vocals)
+
unknown musicians on  bass and drums

Booklet.jpg

Tracklist:
01. Can’t You See 5.08
02. Raven Mad Jam 8.18
03. Don’t You Feel 4.57
04. War With My Soul 3.29
05. Back To Ohio Blues 13.25

All songs written by Raven

LabelB1

*
**

OriginalBackCover1975Original backcover from 1975

 

 

Duke Ellington – Duke Ellington’s Greatest Hits (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgDuke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years. The two aspects of his career were related; Ellington used his band as a musical laboratory for his new compositions and shaped his writing specifically to showcase the talents of his bandmembers, many of whom remained with him for long periods. Ellington also wrote film scores and stage musicals, and several of his instrumental works were adapted into songs that became standards. In addition to touring year in and year out, he recorded extensively, resulting in a gigantic body of work that was still being assessed a quarter century after his death. (by William Ruhlmann)

Columbia’s Greatest Hits features many of Duke Ellington’s best-known songs and biggest hits, including “Satin Doll,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Solitude,” “Mood Indigo,” “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Prelude to a Kiss” and “Perdido.” It’s a fine sampling of Ellington’s most familiar melodies and works as a good introduction for novices. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Duke EllingtonDuke Ellington’s work cannot possibly be summed up in one CD. Even his most important and influential work could barely make up a three CD collection. When I was beginning to get interested in Jazz, though, I wanted an album that, for a low price, would best represent what he has done for the world of jazz and music in the twentieth century.
Well, this album more then achieved that. If you could only have 10 of the Duke’s songs, then these would be the ones to have. C Jam Blues, I’m Beginning to See the Light, and Perdido are something every musician and music lover should hear. I strongly recommend this album, cuz’ its muy perfecto! (by Jason Decristofaro)

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Duke Ellington Orchestra
+
Al Hibbler (vocals on 02.)
Betty Roche (vocals on 04.)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Satin Doll (1958) (Ellington) 3.54
02. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (1947) (Russell/Ellington) 3.06
03. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me (1947) (Russell/Ellington) 3.07
04. Take The “A” Train (1952) (Strayhorn) 8.03
05. Solitude (1957) (Ellington/DeLange/Mills) 4.44
06. C Jam Blues (1959) (Ellington) 4.55
07. Mood Indigo (1957) (Bigard/Ellington/Mills) 3.06
08. I’m Beginning To See The Light (1960) (George/Ellington/James/Hodges) 2.06
09. Prelude To A Kiss (1957) (Ellington/Gordon/Mills) 4.45
10. Perdido (1960) (Drake/Lenk/Tizol) 6.44

LabelB1

*
**

Taken from the original liner notes:

LinerNotes

The Who – Live At The Spectrum (1973)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Who Tour 1973 was The Who’s first concert tour supporting their Quadrophenia album.

Prior to recording the Quadrophenia album, the band played a one-off performance in Voorburg, Netherlands for a Dutch TV special in March. They then did one tour each in England and North America supporting the new rock opera, released in October; four additional dates in London were added after their November dates at the Lyceum failed to meet the large demand for tickets. The set list for these tours was altered considerably from their 1971 and 1972 tours, with a large part of the act devoted to Quadrophenia, while “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was the only Who’s Next track retained until “My Wife” was reintroduced during the North American dates. Unlike performances of the rock opera Tommy, the group opted to introduce and explain the context of most of the new numbers rather than play them one after the other without breaks. They often struggled with some of the new material, choosing to play to a number of pre-recorded backing tracks featuring the album’s original piano and synthesizer parts, as well as various sound effects. “The Dirty Jobs”, “Is It in My Head”, and “I’ve Had Enough” were only played in the first concert in Stoke-on-Trent before proving unworkable, and both “Helpless Dancer” and “The Rock” (also played to backing tracks) were eventually dropped. Drummer Keith Moon received a solo vocal spot during “Bell Boy”, with Pete Townshend often teasing him over his singing abilities.

TheWho02

Memorable (and infamous) performances during these tours included the group’s 5 November show in Newcastle upon Tyne, when troubles with the Quadrophenia backing tracks caused Townshend to suffer a meltdown that resulted in sound engineer Bob Pridden being dragged onstage and suffering an assault in front of the bemused audience. Additionally, Moon passed out about 70 minutes into the opening night of the North American tour at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California, resulting in audience member Scot Halpin sitting in with the band to help them finish the concert.[1] The show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia on 4 December was recorded and occasionally broadcast in incomplete form on the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio show starting in 1974; the following show at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland was also recorded, but was not aired (the King Biscuit recordings were rumored to be from both dates, but eventually proved to all be from the Philadelphia performance). The King Biscuit Flower Hour Shows were recorded on the Record Plant NY Remote Truck with David Hewitt and Crew. (by wikipedia)

AlternateFront+BackCover1.jpgAlternate front + backcover

I grabbed this off of Dime in Feb 2008, but still appears to be under-circulated, considering this one of the best Who shows circulating in terms of performance and sound quality. This version is mostly intact from the original grab, but I did make a few minor changes. I included the original artwork, but appears to be missing a track.

This does appear to be the complete show – minus Love Reign O’er Me, so for most of you, this should be a nice upgrade with several extra Quadrophenia tracks unavailable on the boot and KBFH versions.

Here is the Famous “Tales From The Who” show that has been around and incomplete for years. This seems to be the whole unedited show with The Punk and the Godfather, 5:15, My Wife and a great version of Naked Eye. In-between song banter with references to “Philly” and cursing are intact.

John Entwistle

I also found a site that had pics of the 16 track tape boxes that these shows were allegedly sourced from. What I am uploading here is from the 3-disc CD-R set.

I have owned various versions of this show on vinyl, silver CD and downloads.This is the most complete version I have ever heard. This is from a different source as the mix is different. The drums seem to be more upfront and the vocals aren’t as echoey. This was recorded for The King Bisquit Flower Hour radio broadcast, and when they got their hands on it they definately mixed/added crowd noise and a bit of echo.They are notorious for that. Makes it easier to trim performances to fit in an hour.

TheWho03

I am assuming this is how it sounded before KBFH got it. I am not positive. Last time this show was posted by “Freezer” it led to a nasty argument about the source tape, was it mixed in Quad, etc. Personally, i’m not too concerned with those details and hope i’ve answered any questions about this recording you may have. I hope I don’t add to the confusion. If an argument should break out, try to keep it down, I am listening to The WHO!! (by whotrader)

In other words: One of the best Who bootlegs ever in a superb soundboard quality !!!

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Roger Daltrey (vocals, harmonica, tambourine)
John Entwistle (bass, background vocals)
Keith Moon (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Pete Townshend (guitar, tambourine, background vocals)

TheWho01

Tracklist:
01. I Can’t Explain (Townshend) 3.27
02. Summertime Blues (Cochran/Capehart) 4.03
03. My Wife (Entwistle) 7.17
04. My Generation (Townshend) 8.19
05. I Am The Sea (Townshend) 1:43
06. The Real Me (Townshend) 5.51
07. The Punk And The Godfather (Townshend) 6.07
08. I’m One (Townshend) 3.03
09. 5:15 (Townshend) 6.33
10. Sea And The Sand (Townshend) 8.10
11. Drowned (Townshend) 9.07
12. Bell Boy (Townshend) 5.28
13. Doctor Jimmy (Townshend) 8.32
14. Won’t Get Fooled Again (Townshend) 9.09
15. Pinball Wizard (Townshend) 2.56
16. See Me, Feel Me (Townshend) 14.08
17. Naked Eye (Townshend) 13.18

Ticket

*
**

More from The Who:

More

 

Armik – Rain Dancer (1994)

FrontCover1.jpgIn a career that now numbers more than 36 recordings under his own name, Armik has established a variety of new benchmarks. He has developed an unsurpassed facility for integrating the Spanish guitar scales to give his songs a Spanish feel with the instrument’s conventional range, bringing a new edge and polish to the concept of extended technique. As a result, his imaginative recordings have topped the Billboard New Age charts for the past 16 years all while introducing and re-introducing Armik to his worldwide legions of fans.

A child prodigy, born in Iran of Armenian descent, at seven years old he pawned his watch for a classical guitar, which he hid and practiced on in the basement. By the age of nine, Armik had completed formal music lessons as well as a rigid instructional regimen. At 12, he was a professional recording artist. While his early career focused mostly on jazz, Armik discovered the beauty and passion of Flamenco while visiting Spain during the 1970s when he saw the legendary Paco de Lucia perform. Driven by a fire for the tradition that has defined his musical life ever since, the young musician immediately switched from his Jazz guitar for an in-depth journey to the heart of Spanish music.

Armik

In 1981 Armik moved to Los Angeles to pursue this new direction, playing with other artists live and in the studio. Armik launched his solo career in 1994, drawing upon his jazz roots and passion for flamenco music to create a revolutionary twist on the emerging Nuevo Flamenco sound. His solo debut album RAIN DANCER, was a critical and commercial success that he followed with 1995’s GYPSY FLAME which attained GOLD status in Australia. At this point, Armik’s reputation as a professional recording artist of Nuevo flamenco was such that expert Spanish luthier Pedro Maldonado created a guitar for him named the Rubia. Armik’s 1996 album was recorded with, and named after it. The following year Armik released MALAGA, his fifth album, ISLA DEL SOL in 1999, and ROSAS DEL AMOR in the spring of 2001.

Today the internationally renowned Nuevo flamenco guitarist/composer/producer continues to blaze his guitar virtuosity around the world as the owner of the Bolero Records imprint, which was established in 2002. Since its inception, all of Armik’s Armik2recordings have charted above the top ten spot on the Billboard New Age chart. His compositions and performances cover an entire range of provocative melodies honed throughout his formative years which fuse a delicate balance of Spanish guitar scales surrounded with flamenco improvisation, Latin jazz rhythms and classical elements. (taken from his website)

And here´s his debut album from 1994:

What a lively and uplifting cd. It makes you want to jump and dance. Armik in his earlier years was just so great. And he improves year by year. Truly, this is a cd to keep in your collection of good music. I highly recommend it. (Coco)

When Armik was only 7 years old, he became so enamored with the classical guitar that he pawned his watch to buy one. His foresightedness has been rewarded as Armik has become one of the finest flamenco guitarists in the world. With the strong chart success and sales on the Rain Dancer album, Armik has created a whole new music category to describe his sound, ‘Latin-gypsy-jazz’.

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Armik Dashchi (guitar)
Jeff Sudakin (keyboards, synthesizer)
+

unknown percussion players

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. For Annette (Dashchi) 4.47
02. Rick’s Cafe (Dashchi) 4.33
03. Concierto De Aranjuez (Rodrigo) 5.08
04. Nights In Negril (Dashchi) 4.29
05. Rain Dancer (Dashchi) 4.47
06. Entre Dos Aguas( Lucía/Torregrosa) 4.54
07. Sailing To Bimini (Dashchi) 5.16
08. Tender Passion (Dashchi) 5.09
09. Golden Palms (Dashchi) 5.05
10. Zingaro (Dashchi) 4.32

CD

 

*
**

Armik3

Passport – Looking Thru (1973)

USFrontCover1Well, Passport is not really prog, but it’s still a excellent fusion/jazz-rock band with some progressive elements on some songs (like the title track on this album). I like the playing from the band, especially Curt Cress’s (later Triumvirat) fantastic drumming and Klaus Doldinger’s great saxophone playing. The songs, with “Eternal Spiral” beign a personal favorite are all very good and accessible, and this one should do the trick for fans of this genre. The overall result is a tight, fast and impressive Jazz-Rock album by this great german band. I’ll with pleasure recommend this one! (by Bj-1)

Ah Passport. Underrated and sadly overshadowed by bands like Mahavishnu, RtF and Weather Report. This has always been one of my favorite jazz fusion albums. Not having heard any of their other albums means I have a fresh take on this album and I won’t be comparing it to other albums they have done. Anyways, “Looking Thru” is a very good fusion album slightly similar to Mahavishnu or Return to Forever but a bit more melodic and accessible than them while still remaining complex. “Rockport”, “Tarantula”, “Ready for Take Off” and the title track are prime examples. They are very well structured and played though. My favorite songs however, are when they branch out to a bit more of a progressive feel in the rhythm and keyboard playing.

Doldinger01

“Eternal Spiral, “Eloquence”, “Things to Come” and the title track all have fantastic keyboard, drum/percussion and sax playing with a slight prog feel. As with many fusion groups, the piano (electric here) is the main keyboard instrument and it sounds wonderful though there is also organ and moog abundant here as well. Great sax playing as well from Doldinger. His styie is very unique with a fantastic sense of style. I have many fusion albums and still have never found a band very similar to Passport so if you want a fairly unique progressive jazz-fusion album with great playing and VERY memorable melodies, give “Looking Thru” a chance. You probably won’t regret it. (dalt 99)

USBackCover1

Personnel:
Curt Cress (drums, percussion)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, synthesizer, piano, mellotron)
Wolfgang Schmid (bass, guitar)
Kristian Schultze (keyboards)

Doldinger02
Tracklist:
01. Eternal Spiral 4.04
02. Looking Thru 8.01
03. Zwischenspiel 1.37
04. Rockport 3.36
05. Tarantula 4.53
06. Ready For Takeoff 4.50
07. Eloquence 5.17
08. Things To Come 2.46

Music composed by Klaus Doldinger

USLabelB1.jpg

*
**

More from Passport:

More.jpg

Bob Dylan, Keith Richards & Friends – Something Else – Sevilla (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgGuitar Legends was a concert held over five nights, from October 15 to October 19, 1991, in Seville, Spain, with the aim of positioning the city as an entertainment destination to draw support for Expo ’92 beginning the following April.

The event featured 27 top guitarists, including Brian May, BB King, George Benson, Joe Walsh, Keith Richards, Les Paul, Robbie Robertson, Robert Cray, Roger Waters, Albert Collins, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. The vocalists included Rickie Lee Jones, Bob Dylan and Joe Cocker.

The event was conceived by British impresario and producer Tony Hollingsworth who originally agreed to stage the concert as a co-production deal with Spanish state television RTVE. But RTVE dropped out on the day the contract was due to be signed when the director-general (and film director) Pilar Miro Romero left the company.

Later, the organisers of Expo ’92 took on the project to help overcome the problem that PosterSeville was being seen merely as a civil engineering project. They provided half the $7.2 million budget, with Hollingsworth raising the rest from television pre-sales. RTVE bought the Spanish rights, but paid by providing television and radio airtime for advertising slots. These were then sold to Coca-Cola.

Five 90-minute shows and a one-hour documentary were broadcast. Forty-five countries showed at least one live show. Later, broadcasters in 105 countries broadcast one or more programmes. (by wikipedia)

And one of the hightlights of this festival is captured on this bootleg … musicians like BobDylan, Keith Richards, Jack Bruce, Richard Thompson, Roberty Cray, Steve Cropper, Dave Edmunds an manny ore jammed togehter.

A raw, but good audience recording from this event !

Recorded live at the Guitar Legends Festival, Sevilla, Spain
Tracks 1-9 October 17 1991
Tracks 10-13 October 15 1991

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 6.09
02. Boots Of Spanish Leather (Dylan) 3.21
03. Across The Borderline (Dickinson/Hiatt/Cooder) 5.15
04. Answer Me (Winkler/Rauch/Sigman) 3.25
05. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Calhoun) 3.41
06. Going Down (Nix) 5.16
07. Somethin’ Else (Sheeley/Cochran) 2.55
08. Connection (Jagger/Richards) 2.25
09. I Can’t Turn You Loose (Redding) 4.28
10. Sabre Dance (Khachaturian) 4.45
11. Standing On The Crossroads (Jupp/Edmunds) 4.03
12. Phone Booth (Cray/Cousins/Walker/Vannice) 3.53
13. Going Back Home (unknown) 4.15

CD1.jpg
*
**

Ticket.jpg

Dr. Feelgood – On The Job (1981)

FrontCover1.jpgDr. Feelgood are an English pub rock band formed in 1971. Hailing from Canvey Island, Essex, the group are best known for early singles such as “She Does It Right”, “Roxette”, “Back in the Night” and “Milk and Alcohol”. The group’s original distinctively British R&B sound was centred on Wilko Johnson’s choppy guitar style. Along with Johnson, the original band line-up included singer Lee Brilleaux and the rhythm section of John B. Sparks, known as “Sparko”, on bass guitar and John Martin, known as “The Big Figure”, on drums. Although their most commercially productive years were the early to mid-1970s, and in spite of Brilleaux’s death in 1994 of lymphoma, a version of the band (featuring none of the original members) continues to tour and record to this day.

The band was formed in Canvey Island in 1971 by Johnson, Brilleaux and Sparks, who had all been members of existing R&B bands, and soon added drummer John Martin. They took their name from a 1962 record by the American blues pianist and singer Willie Perryman (also known as “Piano Red”) called “Dr. Feel-Good”, which Perryman recorded under the name of Dr. Feelgood & The Interns. The song was covered by several British beat groups in the 1960s, including Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. The term is also a slang term for heroin or for a doctor who is willing to overprescribe drugs.

By late 1973, the band’s driving R&B had made them one of the most popular bands on the growing London pub rock circuit, and they recorded their debut album, Down by the Jetty, for United Artists in 1974. Like many pub rock acts, Dr. Feelgood were known primarily for their high energy live performances honed through constant touring and regular performances, although their studio albums like Down by the Jetty and Malpractice (1975) were also popular.

Dr.FLive

Their breakthrough 1976 live album, Stupidity, reached number one in the UK Albums Chart (their only chart-topper). But after the 1977 follow-up Sneakin’ Suspicion, Johnson left the group because of conflicts with Lee Brilleaux. He was replaced by John ‘Gypie’ Mayo. With Mayo, the band was never as popular as with Johnson but still enjoyed their only Top Ten hit single in 1979, with “Milk and Alcohol”. Johnson never achieved any great success outside the band, apart from a brief spell with Ian Dury and The Blockheads from 1980. Fans always speculated about a return by Johnson that never occurred.

Despite Mayo’s departure in 1981, and various subsequent line-up changes which left Brilleaux the only remaining original member, Dr. Feelgood continued touring and recording through the 1980s. However, the band then suffered an almost career-finishing blow when Brilleaux died of cancer on 7 April 1994. (by wikipedia)

DrFeelgood01

On the Job, recorded live at Manchester University, was the end of several eras for Dr. Feelgood. It was their last record for EMI, meaning it was their last major-label album, and it was their last recording with Gypie Mayo. As a result, it sounds rather tired — the group never sounds particularly bad, but it’s clear that their spirits were slightly broken, and neither the material, which is entirely from Let It Roll and A Case of the Shakes, or the performances are noteworthy. Unfortunately, On the Job sounds like the contractual obligation it was. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

No, no, no … I can´t agree. This is not  needless album but a strong live album with poer songs from this period of Dr. Feelgood …

Listen and enjoy the power of one of the best pub-rock bands ever !

BackCover.jpg

Personnel:
Lee Brilleaux (vocals, harmonica)
The Big Figure (drums)
John Mayo (guitar)
John B. Sparks (bass)

Mayo

Tracklist:
01. Drives Me Wild (Fasterly/Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 2.47
02. Java Blue (Danko) 3.59
03. Jumping From Love To Love (Fasterly/Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 3.06
04. Pretty Face (Daneski/Worman/Boyle/Sandall) 2.46
05. No Mo Do Yakamo (Linde/Rush) 2.07
06. Love Hound (Linde/Rush) 2.59
07. Best In The World (Lowe) 2.33
08. Who’s Winning (Brilleaux/Lowe/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 2.08
09. Ridin’On The L & N (Burley/Hampton) 3.23
10. Case Of The Shakes (Brilleaux/Mayo) 3.07
11. Shotgun Blues (Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks) 5.48
12. Goodnight, Vienna (Brilleaux/Martin/Mayo/Sparks)
Lee Brilleaux / John Martin / John Mayo / John B. Sparks) 0.44

LabelB1*
**

DrFeelgood02

Steve Morse Band – Out Standing In Their Field (2009)

FrontCover1.jpgSteve Morse (born July 28, 1954) is an American guitarist and composer, best known as the founder of the Dixie Dregs; and since 1994, the guitar player of Deep Purple. Morse’s career has encompassed rock, country, funk, jazz, classical, and fusion of these musical genres. In addition to his successful solo career, he was briefly a member of Kansas in the mid-1980s. Most recently, Morse became a member of the supergroup Flying Colors alongside long-time bandmate Dave LaRue. (by wikipedia)

A solid effort from an outstanding trio – well worth a listen, especially for guitar enthusiasts!

I recently had the pleasure to see these guys on their brief 2009. It seems like Steve is so busy playing with Deep Purple and other acts that he rarely has a chance to tour with this trio. I was so blown away by their stellar performance that I decided to pick up this album (their most recent at this time). Although I’m a fan of Morse’s guitar playing, I preface this review by saying that I’m not that familiar with his previous Steve Morse Band albums. So, my opinions on this album are relatively uninfluenced by his previous works.

SteveMorse01Overall, this is a spectacular album. I highly recommend it for fans of instrumental prog, particularly if you’re a fan of excellent guitar work and funky bass lines. For fans of Liquid Tension Experiment and Bozzio Levin Stevens, this is worth a listen. There are a lot of standout tracks on this album, with only a few tracks that are rather unmemorable. This album is highly recommended for road trips! Now on to the track-by-track:

1) Name Dropping – The album kicks off with solid, hard-driving riffing with a steady beat. A running eighth note melody is doubled on the guitar and bass which sets the foundation for Morse’s soaring guitar playing. Keep listening, because the mellow, spacey bridge adds nice contrast later in the song.

2) Brink of the Edge – Eclectic and dynamic, this piece combines heavy sections with softer passages in a true Steve Morse sound. Awesome guitar picking, as you’d expect from the master, which is complimented by La Rue’s prominent bass lines including the quintessential slap bass solo near the end (not the last one you’ll hear on this album).

3) Here And Now And Then – One of the best on the album and the first song to catch my attention. It starts out very mellow with nice use of syncopation and stays that way for a while. It eventually builds momentum and develops into a nice rock groove at the end with some great guitar work over top. The solo work at the end reminds me of John Petrucci (who, of course, was heavily influenced by Morse)? a plus for you Dream Theater fans out there (especially if you’re an early DT fan, like me).

4) Relentless Encroachment – Not the strongest song on the album, but worth a listen. The song starts out a bit weak, but gets better part way through. After some rather uninspired riffing, it switches to a softer section, which is then followed by some good ol’ riffing in the style of King’s X, followed by some good guitar work (no surprise there!).

SteveMorse035) John Deere Letter – OK, OK? cheesy name aside, this is a decent song, though not one of my favorites (I go for the heavier stuff). Morse fans will know what to expect from the title. For the rest of you, take a listen to better understand why these guys are classified as “eclectic prog.” The song showcases Morse’s signature “chicken-pickin”style as he trades 4’s and 8’s with La Rue, who pulls out some quick fingered solos of his own.

6) More to the Point – Another decent piece, but, again, not the most memorable on the album. Good use of syncopation in the main motif. Perhaps one of the better songs on the album for cranking up loud and driving down the highway.

7) Time Junction – This song is neat just for the fact that it includes featured guest Kevin Morse (Steve’s son, I presume?). In fact, the song is credited as being written by Kevin and Steve Morse (the only one on the album not credited solely to Steve). What’s more, this is a pretty awesome song. It starts off a bit weak, but takes off pretty quick. If this is the start of a rock dynasty, then I’m looking forward to hearing what’s to come!

8) Unnamed Sources – A rather uninspired offering on an otherwise outstanding album. This song starts rather pedestrian in tempo with so-so guitar and bass work. Just before the 3 minute mark it shows the potential to shine when they crank it up to a riff that’s reminiscent of Carrier on Wayward Son (makes sense with Morse’s connection to Kansas). But this shining moment is short lived. After about 15 seconds they put the breaks on and never pick it back up.

9) Flight Of The Osprey – Hands down, best song on the album. This song caught my attention right away. It starts out with a brief Baroque counterpoint section but quickly shifts to a driving rock that carries us through to the end. My only criticism of this song is that I wish it would last longer and perhaps include more soloing.

SteveMorse04

10) Baroque ‘N Dreams – An awesome piece that contrasts the rest of the album. This piece is bass and guitar only in a “classical” style that is at times dark, but always wonderful. Some nice flamenco-esque sounds find their way into the guitar line which is supported through much of the piece with a basso continuo from La Rue. No rock here, but awesome for fans of neo-classical (and good music in general).

11) Rising Power (live) – For those of you who couldn’t make it to their recent tour, here’s your 9 and a half minute consolation prize. This track is awesome and an excellent way to close out this album. You can really hear the energy they have on stage. This track has everything you would expect at a Steve Morse Band show: Romaine’s driving rock beat, La Rue’s funky slap bass fills (anyone who’s been to a show can attest to how essential these are? it seems like he spends half his time slapping!), and of course Morse’s versatile and precise guitar work. This song also showcases some great texture changes. Its got driving rock, spacey guitar-synth, bluesy breakdowns, the elongated buildup? not to mention great guitar and bass solos. If you can’t go to the show, this really is the next best thing. (by The Radiant Is)

BackCoverA

Personnel:
Dave LaRue (bass)
Steve Morse (guitar)
Van Romaine (drums, percussion)

SteveMorse02

Tracklist:
01. Name Dropping (S.Morse) 5.00
02. Brink Of The Edge (S.Morse) 4.44
03. Here And Now And Then (S.Morse) 5.08
04. Relentless Encroachment (S.Morse) 4.56
05. John Deere Letter (S.Morse) 4.44
06. More To The Point (S.Morse) 4.29
07. Time Junction (K.Morse) 5.16
08. Unnamed Sources (S.Morse) 4.31
09. Flight Of The Osprey (S.Morse) 3.21
10. Baroque `N Dreams (S.Morse) 3.16
11. Rising Power (live) (S.Morse) 9.28

CD1.jpg

*
**

Tray1

Benny Goodman – Featuring Peggy Lee (1993)

FrontCover1.jpgWhen Peggy Lee made her first recording with Benny Goodman’s orchestra, she was 19 and scared to death. The result, “Elmer’s Tune,” is one she probably wished were lost, but the other 15 recordings on this CD (all from 1941) find her improving month by month, struggling gamely through the difficult Eddie Sauter and Mel Powell arrangements. Many of these titles were formerly rare and offer an interesting look at the early Peggy Lee. (by Scott Yanow)

Just as Benny Goodman was enjoying another triumphant year in 1941, The King Of Swing attended a nightclub in Chicago when he saw a young jazz vocalist singing in a vocal group, and it was during this engagement she was hired by the bandleader to sing at the Ambassador West Hotel and the College Inn as this encounter resulted in a series of record dates from Goodman and Lee for Columbia Records. Presented in it’s own exclusive 78 set later that year, Benny Goodman Feat’ Peggy Lee bring to us a starting point for this talented young jazz vocalist who got shot to stardom with a lively set of superb songs that she performs in upbeat style after being welcomed into Goodman’s orchestra after one of it’s lead band singers, Helen Forest, had left where she took her place.

GoodmanLee

Beginning with there first class version of the Glenn Miller classic Elmer’s Tune, which was a huge success, the track set proceeds with great harmonic excellence on other classic jazz standards that include That’s The Way it Goes, Duke Ellington’s I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good, Shady Lady, the rousing Somebody Else Is Taking My Place, Winter Weather and Not Mine, as well as snappy takes of classic pop standards that include My Old Flame, How Deep Is The Ocean? and Everything I Love until ending with the final track Not A Care In The World. Just as Goodman was enjoying another triumphant year in 1941, Benny Goodman Feat’ Peggy Lee became another milestone achievement for The King Of Swing and Lee’s rise to national fame that would result into a highly successful and prolific music career for this master jazz vocalist, which makes this full recorded session (78 set) a landmark from jazz history. (by RH, amazon.com)

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
George Berg (saxophone)
Billy Butterfield (trumpet)
Big Sid Catlett (drums)
Ralph Collier (drums)
Cutty Cutshall (trombone)
Alvin Davis (trumpet)
Joe Ferrante (trumpet)
Chuck Gentry (saxophone)
Benny Goodman (clarinet)
Sol Kane (saxophone)
Peggy Lee (vocals)
Art Lund (vocals)
Skip Martin (saxophone)
Jimmy Maxwell (trumpet)
Lou McGarity (trombone)
Tom Morgan (guitar)
Vido Musso (saxophone)
Clint Neagley (saxophone)
Mel Powell (piano)
Bernie Privin (trumpet)
Julie Schwartz (saxophone)
John Simmons (bass)
Morty Stuhlmaker (drums, bass)
Sid Weiss (bass)
Cootie Williams (trumpet)

Booklet21

Tracklist:
01. Elmer’s Tune (Albrecht/Gallop/Jurgens) 2.53
02. I See A Million People (But All I Can See Is You) (Carlisle/Sour) 2.45
03. That’s the Way It Goes (Robin/Alex Wilder/Alexander Wilder) 3.10
04. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) (Ellington/Webster) 3.17
05. My Old Flame (Coslow/Johnston) 3.09
06. How Deep Is the Ocean? (Berlin) 3.07
07. Shady Lady Bird (Blane/Martin) 2.47
08. Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) (Porter) 2.03
09. Somebody Else Is Taking My Place (Ellsworth/Howard/Morgan) 3.11
10. Somebody Nobody Loves (Miller) 3.23
11. How Long Has This Been Going On? (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 3.17
12. That Did It, Marie (Higginbotham) 3.13
13. Winter Weather (Shapiro) 3.03
14. Ev’rything I Love (Porter) 3.06
15. Not Mine (Mercer/Schertzinger) 3.20
16. Not A Care In The World (Duke/Latouche) 3.22

CD1*
**

GoodmanLee2

Count Basie & His Orchestra – Pop Goes The Basie (1964)

FrontCover1.jpgPop Goes the Basie is an album by pianist and bandleader Count Basie featuring jazz versions of contemporary hits recorded in 1964 and originally released on the Reprise label.(by wikipedia)

This album might have received a five star rating but for track three. The singing on it sucks. In fact it almost ruined the album for me. The other tracks are big band arrangements of then current pop songs and meet Basie’s standards but if track three was omitted the album would be far better. Track three is a vile arrangement of Pretty Woman others tunes are: Your Cheatin’ Heart, The Huckle-Buck, Call Me Irresponsible, Walk Right in, Go away, Little Girl, Oh Soul Mio, Bye Bye Love, Do Wah Diddy, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, Shangri-la and At Long Last Love. (by A. C. Herrick)

But … it´s still a real good album by one of the greatest Big Bans in the history of Jazz … enjoy the power of Big Band Jazz !

BackCover

Personnel:
Al Aarons (trumpet)
Count Basie (piano)
Louis Bellson (drums by 05, 09. + 12.)
Henderson Chambers (trombone on  01., 04., 05., 07., 09., 11. + 12.)
Sonny Cohn (trumpet)
Henry Coker (trombone on 02., 03., 06., 08. + 10.)
Wallace Davenport (trumpet)
Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (saxophone)
Eric Dixon (saxophone)
Charlie Fowlkes (saxophone)
Freddie Green (guitar)
Al Grey (trombone on 01., 04., 05., 07., 09., 11. + 12.)
Bill Hughes (bass trombone)
Grover Mitchell (trombone on 02., 03., 06., 08. + 10.)
Sam Noto (trumpet)
Sonny Payne (drums on 01 – 04., 06. – 08., 09. + 11.)
Bobby Plater (saxophone)
Wyatt Reuther (bass)
Marshal Royal (saxophone)
Gordon Thomas (trombone on 02., 03., 06., 08. + 10.)
Leon Thomas (vocals)

Arranged and conducted by Billy Byers

CountBasie01
Tracklist:
01. Your Cheatin’ Heart (Williams) 2.35
02. Hucklebuck (Gibson/Alfred) 2.56
03. Oh, Pretty Woman (Orbison/Dees) 2.59
04. Call Me Irresponsible (van Heusen/Cahn) 2.49
05. Walk Right In (Cannon/Woods) 3.03
06. Go Away Little Girl (Goffin/King) 3.12
07. Oh Soul Mio (Byers) 3.10
08. Bye Bye Love (F.Bryant/B.Bryant) 2.34
09. Do Wah Diddy Diddy (Grennwich/Barry) 3.14
10. He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands (Traditional) 3.33
11. Shangri-La (Sigman/Malneck/Maxwell) 3.48
12. At Long Last Love (Porter/Katscher) 3.02

LabelB1

*
**

More from Count Basie:

More