Philip Catherine Trio – Moods Vol. 1 (1993)

FrontCover1An immensely gifted Belgian guitarist, Philip Catherine is a highly regarded performer known for his harmonically nuanced, deeply lyrical playing and crisply rounded fretboard touch. Born in London in 1942 to an English mother and Belgian father, Catherine moved to Brussels with his family at a young age. As a teenager, he became interested in the guitar, influenced at the time by French singer/songwriter and poet George Brassens. By age 14 he was taking lessons, and learning the basic elements of jazz improvisation when he discovered Django Reinhardt. He quickly absorbed the jazz legend’s distinctive style, and eventually picked up other influences, including Belgian guitarist René Thomas. He also immersed himself in albums by such luminaries as Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, and others. (by Matt Collar)

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The trio of guitarist Philip Catherine, flügelhornist Tom Harrell, and bassist Hein Van DeGeyn mostly performs group originals on this introspective, relaxed, and thoughtful set. Michel Herr’s keyboards add atmosphere to three numbers. The music is subtle post-bop, sometimes quite eerie (such as the closing “A Time for Love”), and generally unpredictable. This set, and the slightly superior Moods, Vol. 2, deserve several listens. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Hein van de Geyn (bass)
Tom Harrell (flugelhorn, trumpet)
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Michel Herr (keyboards on 01., 05. + 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Côté Jardin (Catherine) 12.29
02. The Man I Love (Gershwin) 9.09
03. Moods (Catherine) 2.01
04. December 26th Variation I (Catherine) 7.56
05. Romance (Harrell) 6.35
06. Fridge Blues (de Gey) 7.15
07. Côté Cours (Catherine) 2.45
08. Angel Wings (Catherine) 5.38
09. A Time For Love (Mandel) 3.39

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Hein van de Geyn

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Fela Kuti And Afrika 70 – Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977)

FrontCover1Sorrow Tears and Blood is an album by Nigerian Afrobeat composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti recorded in 1977 and originally released on the Nigerian Kalakuta label. (by wikipedia)

Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977) accurately depicts the trail left in the wake of the February 18, 1977, raid by 1,000 armed Nigerian army men on Fela Kuti and his Kalakuta Republic. In keeping with the format upheld on a majority of Kuti’s long players, this LP contains a pair of extended works, featuring one title per side. In contrast to the hard-edged and aggressive Afro-funk that Kuti and his Africa 70 became synonymous with, both the A-side title track and B-side, “Colonial Mentality,” are seemingly staid, in light — or perhaps because — of the cruel state-sponsored attacks that he and his extended family suffered. “Sorrow Tears and Blood” is neither a full-blown, uptempo funk drone nor a somber FelaKuti01dirge. The even-handed, midtempo groove trots along at a steady pace and features some comparatively sedate sax work from Kuti. Even the instrumental introduction — which has been known to clock in at over five minutes — is reduced to well under three. His lyrics are starkly direct — “Everybody run, run, run/Everybody scatter, scatter/Some people lost some bread/Some people just die” — yet the emotive center is gone. Perhaps this is the result of fear, shellshock, or a combination of the two. Kuti’s words, however, remain as indicting as ever: “Them leave sorrow, tears, and blood/Them regular trademark.” “Colonial Mentality” returns to a more seething and slinky musicality. The dark and brooding bassline undulates beneath a brass-intensive Africa 70. Rarely has Kuti’s musical arrangements so perfectly imaged James Brown’s J.B.’s or Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra. The message is delivered as a fable, demonstrating that it is the individuals who live in a stifling “Colonial Mentality” who are the slaves. His preface, stating that the colonial man had released them yet they refuse to release themselves, sets out to prove that slavery is a continual and concurrent state of mind for Africans. (by Lindsay Planer)

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Personnel:
Ayoola Abayomi (percussion)
Shina Abiodun (percussion)
Tony Allen (drums)
Lekan Animashaun (saxophone)
Nweke Atifoh (bass)
Leke Benson (guitar)
Clifford Itoje (guitar)
Nwokoma Jkem (trumpet)
Oladeinde Koffi (percussion)
Oghene Kologbo (guitar)
Fela Kuti (saxophone, piano, vocals)
Addo Nettey (percussion)
Babajide Olaleye (maracas)
Tunde Williams (trumpet)
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background vocals:
Alake Anikulapo-Kuti – Emaruagheru Anikulapo-Kuti – Fehintola Anikulapo-Kuti – Kewe Anikulapo-Kuti – Ronke Anikulapo-Kuti – Shade Anikulapo-Kuti – Tejumade Anikulapo-Kuti

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Tracklist:
01. Sorrow Tears And Blood 10.16
02. Colonial Mentality 13.43

All compositions by Fela Kuti.

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FelaKuti02Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997)