Nine Below Zero – Don’t Point Your Finger (1981)

FrontCover1Nine Below Zero are an English blues band, who have a cult following throughout Europe, and were most popular during the period 1980–1982.

The band was originally formed in South London in 1977, by guitarist and lead vocalist Dennis Greaves. He was joined by bassist Peter Clark, Kenny Bradley on drums, and vocalist and harmonica player Mark Feltham. They were originally names ‘Stan’s Blues Band’, and for the next two years they played in London clubs.

In 1979, while playing at The Thomas A’Beckett pub in the Old Kent Road they accepted an offer from former musician Mickey Modern to manage them. Modern persuaded the band to change their name. Greaves chose Nine Below Zero after the Sonny Boy Williamson II song. Modern was signed to A&M Records and he persuaded A&M to give him a record label, M&L Records, to launch Nine Blow Zero.

In 1980 the band released their first album, Live at the Marquee, which was recorded on 16 June 1980. Bradley was replaced as drummer by Stix Burkey. By the end of that year they had built an audience, particularly amongst fans of the new wave of British heavy metal attracted by their high-energy, fast-tempo sound. They headlined at the Hammersmith Odeon and featured Alexis Korner, a long-time champion of new electric blues talent.

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In 1981, they released their second album, Don’t Point Your Finger, produced by Glyn Johns. Johns complained the bass was too basic for the new songs, so the band subsequently replaced Clark with bass player Brian Bethell. The band appeared on The Chris Tarrant Show, The South Bank Show, O.T.T., The Old Grey Whistle Test, and the BBC2 comedy series The Young Ones performing “11+11”. They also supported The Kinks and The Who on tour. Don’t Point Your Finger reached number 56 on the UK Albums Chart. Their third album, Third Degree, contained “11+11”, written by Greaves and Modern. The album spent six weeks in the chart and peaked at number 38. After this, the band split up. Bethell joined The Blow Monkeys and Feltham went on to session work, most notably for Rory Gallagher. Arnold became manager of The Truth, and refused Modern’s suggestions to re-form Nine Below Zero. In 1990, IRS Records’s interest in The Truth was fading, and Modern persuaded Feltham and Greaves to reunite for a tenth anniversary concert.

Arnold – now worked at Harvey Goldsmith Ents – promoted the band at the Town and Country Club. They added Gerry McAvoy and Brendan O’Neill from Rory Gallagher’s band on bass and drums. In 1992, Feltham left due to musical differences and was replaced by Alan Glen. Feltham returned in 2001 and the band has continued to tour and record. In 1995, harmonica player Billy Boy Miskimmin was added.

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In 2005, their track “Go Girl” was included in the Of Hands and Hearts: Music for the Tsunami Disaster Fund compilation album. In 2007, Nine Below Zero performed two acoustic concerts, producing the DVD Bring It On Home, including a live CD. Blues guitarist Gary Moore joined the band on stage to promote the DVD. In August 2008, Nine Below Zero appeared at the Rhythm Festival in Bedfordshire and later opened for Chuck Berry at The 100 Club. In 2009, the band started working towards a show to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of their debut album, Live at the Marquee.

Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze offered to record the album that Greaves and Feltham had been writing. They recorded It’s Never Too Late – their first collection of new songs since Refrigerator. European tours followed, including supporting Jools Holland and Paul Jones.

In 2011, they worked with Tilbrook under the name The Co-operative. In July 2011 one track, the Beatles song “You Never Give Me Your Money” was used on a Mojo magazine special celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of Abbey Road. The band were preparing for a tour in 2012. Gerry McAvoy left at the end of 2011 to pursue a solo career.

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2012 saw the return of Brian Bethell who played on Third Degree. The new lineup started performing in January with shows in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, as the band enter their 35th year.

Following on from 2012’s remastered re-release of Nine Below Zero’s live debut Live at the Marquee came a double instalment; remastered editions of the first two studio albums Don’t Point Your Finger and Third Degree, each with a separate disc of bonus material, was released on 24 February 2014 through Universal Music.

A nationwide month-long 22-date tour in support of The Stranglers began on 27 February 2014.[citation needed] The band then undertook a 35th Anniversary tour in Autumn 2014.[citation needed] The second half of 2016 saw the release of the band’s first “big band” album, this new line made their live debut at Glastonbury Festival in June after which the big band toured extensively through the autumn and beyond. On 27 October 2018, the band played King George’s Hall, Blackburn, supporting Bruce Foxton’s From The Jam, with Russell Hastings performing lead vocals with songs from The Jam’s All Mod Cons. (wikipedia)

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For many discerning fans, Nine Below Zero far outpaced the Jam wannabes that doomed Britain’s so-called mod revival era. They even opened for the Who, whose favorite producer, Glyn Johns, oversaw this second A&M album. (Like other 1979-era revivalist bands, the group has re-formed on an intermittent basis.) Nine Below Zero show themselves as sharp players with plenty of hooks up their sleeves. Stix Burkey and Peter Clark whack out a disciplined rhythm attack without fussiness or flourishes, leaving the interplay to singer/harpist Mark Feltham and the main songwriter, lead guitarist Dennis “The Menace” Greaves. Greaves’ tunes successfully execute ’60s R&B toughness, yet are updated enough to grace a teen scooter fanatic’s good books. “One Way Street” is a punchy, doing-it-my-way anthem (“They told me to go by the book/But look at the time that it took”), while the roughhouse R&B of the title track and “Treat Her Right” come across like a speedier Yardbirds.

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The feel’s that close, but Greaves and cohorts have the skill to pull it off. The group expresses their bluesier side on “Ain’t Comin’ Back” and the slow-burning “Sugar Mama,” and also dips back into ’50s-style roots rave-ups with a credible cover of “Rockin’ Robin.” “Helen”‘s trebly poppiness offers another nice diversion, being a working stiff’s plea to his anxious wife (“You’re the one I’m thinking of/When I come home late from my job”). An unpretentious sense of humor also makes itself heard on the title track and “Liquor Lover,” which chides a girlfriend who’s too fond of the fizzy stuff (which is reminiscent of how Rockpile sent up overeating on their own “Knife and Fork”). Greaves’ quest for authenticity occasionally falls flat; “Three Times Enough” is as barely disguised a rewrite of “The Train Kept a-Rollin'” as you’ll ever hear. However, the group’s enthusiasm is contagious in all the right places, as typified by its anthemic closer, “You Can’t Please All the People All the Time.” Don’t let the revivalist tag stop you from putting this album in your collection. (by Ralph Heibutzki)

Listen to this high speed, high energy R & B … or: the Pretty Things meets The Blues Band …

And they know of course Chuck Berry … listen to “Doghouse” … and The Kinks … listen to “Treat Her Right” … and enjoy the powerful sound of Nine Below Zero !

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Personnel:
Stix Burkey (drums)
Peter Clark (bass)
Mark (The Harp) Feltham (vocals, harmonica)
Dennis (The Menace) Greaves (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. One Way Street (Greaves) 3.43
02. Doghouse (Greaves/Turner) 2.21
03. Liquor Lover (Greaves/Turner) 2.52
04. Helen (Greaves) 3.42
05. Ain’t Comin’ Back (Greaves/Turner) 2.53
06. I Won’t Lie (Greaves) 3.42
07. Treat Her Right (Head) 2.23
08. Three Times Enough (Greaves/Burkey) 1.58
09. Sugar Mama (Burnett) 5.08
10. Don’t Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man (Greaves/Turner) 2.44
11. Rockin’ Robin (Thomas) 2.23
12. You Can’t Please All The People All The Time (Greaves) 5.18

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Richard Galliano La Strada Quintet – Tribute To Nino Rota (Jazzfest Berlin) (2011)

FrontCover1Richard Galliano (born December 12, 1950, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes) is a French accordionist of Italian heritage.

He was drawn to music at an early age, starting with the accordion at 4, influenced by his father Luciano, an accordionist originally from Italy, living in Nice.

After a long and intense period of study (he took up lessons on the trombone, harmony, and counterpoint at the Academy of Music in Nice), at 14, in a search to expand his ideas on the accordion, he began listening to jazz and heard records by the trumpet player Clifford Brown. “I copied all the choruses of Clifford Brown, impressed by his tone and his drive, his way of phrasing over the thunderous playing of Max Roach”. Fascinated by this new world, Richard was amazed that the accordion had never been part of this musical adventure. In this period, Galliano won twice the first prize in the “world accordion cap competition” which took place in Spain (1966) and France (1967). In the Spanish competition, the participants’ duty work was “Chaconne” by the Israeli accordionist Yehuda Oppenheimer. Galliano and Oppenheimer kept up their musical collaboration and personal friendship until Oppenheimer’s death in 2012.

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Some later collaborations include Astor Piazolla, George Mraz, Brigitte Fontaine, Al Foster, Juliette Gréco, Charles Aznavour, Ron Carter, Chet Baker, Enrico Rava, Martial Solal, Miroslav Vitouš, Trilok Gurtu, Jan Garbarek, Michel Petrucciani, Michel Portal, Eddy Louiss, Biréli Lagrène, Sylvain Luc, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Ivan Paduart, Anouar Brahem, Wynton Marsalis, and Toots Thielemans. He was a key member of Claude Nougaro’s band for several years as a pianist and accordionist. (wikipedia)

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The French accordion-virtuoso Richard Galliano is an exceptionally versatile musician, able to make his mark in all kinds of musical contexts, from solo appearances to playing with a full big band.

Quite early in his career, his friend and ‘Tango Nuevo’ creator Astor Piazzolla had advised him to stay true to his roots and establish a kind of ‘New Musette’. Galliano’s exceptional abilities as a soloist are now well-recognized, and he continues to explore a vast range of music, without ever losing that lyrical quality that infuses the ballads on Love Day that he recorded with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Charlie Haden and Mino Cinelu, or the French Touch which allowed him to make the link between Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, with the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

For La Strada Galliano has gathered a squad of leading-edge transatlantic jazz musicians. His latest project is an homage to the great film composer Nino Rota (1911–1979) who, a.o., composed the music for all of Fellini’s movies and whose score for Coppolas’s Godfather remains unforgotten. (taken from the festival programme)

The studio album with music from Nino Rota:Studioalbum

Nino Rota’s timeless movie themes interpreted by an elite international jazz quintet featuring Dave Douglas on trumpet, John Surman on reeds, Boris Kozlov on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. Listeners attracted more by the lineup than the material should note that the jazz shades and subtly skews the compositions rather than taking them over, and that Surman in particular isn’t much heard outside of his ensemble role. The group’s jazz energies make the biggest difference in the engine-room, with the superb Kozlov and Penn applying circus-music strutting, 1950s Miles Davis swing-groove hipness, brooding drama and New Orleans funeral-march rhythms as needed. Douglas’s brassy, slewing lines whirl across La Strada – Tema and he and Surman then switch into 50s Miles Davies mode over Penn’s rimshots – with the saxophonist probably delivering his most straight-ahead recording in decades. La Strada Processione is a Carla Bley-style dirge; The Godfather Love Theme is exquisitely played by Galliano against only a bass commentary; Surman sounds Sidney Bechet-like on La Notti di Cabiria; and Giuglietta Degli Spiriti is gurgly free-improv that turns into a Latin dance. They are beautiful themes, and this set prioritises their sympathetic rendition. (by John Fordham)

Recorded live at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin/Germany, 4 November 2011
excellent broadcast recording

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Personnel:
Dave Douglas (trumpet)
Richard Galliano (accordion, trombone)
Boris Kozlov (bass)
Clarence Penn (drums)
John Surman (saxophone, clarinet)

Taken from the festival proramme (written in German):
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Tracklist:
01. The Godfather: Waltz 1.41
02. La Strada 2.07
03. I Vitelloni 10.47
04. I Tre Suonatori / La Processione 6.40
05. Huit et demi / La Passerella D’Addio 6.05
06. Solitudine Di Gelsomina / Il Circo Giraffa 4.31
07. Il Matto Sul Filo 2.06
08. The Godfather: Love Theme 5.20
09. Gelsomina 1.49
10. I Notti Di Cabiria 7.26
11. Zampano E La Vedova 1.35

Music composed by Nino Rota

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VA – Nicola Conte Presents Viagem – A Collection Of 60’s Brazilian Bossa Nova & Jazz Samba (2008)

FrontCover1Nicola Conte is an Italian DJ, producer, guitarist, and bandleader, known initially for introducing an innovative style of acid jazz that incorporates bossa nova themes, melodies drawn from Italian film scores of the 1960s, easy listening themes, and traditional Indian music. Recently, he has focused much more on Latin jazz. This focus is evident in his albums Other Directions (2004, Blue Note & Schema) and Rituals (2008, Schema), and many remixes he has done for contemporaries stretching across many closely related genres.

Conte, a classically trained musician, is an innovative jazz revivalist and part of what was termed “The Fez Collective”, based in the Apulian city of Bari, and the Idizioni-Ishtar/Schema Records, a record label known for promoting a distinctly Italian approach to acid jazz as well as jazz music as a whole.

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Conte’s first album was Jet Sounds (2000). The single “Bossa Per Due” gained international recognition and was an underground hit. It was used within a short time for a prime-time commercial for Acura automobiles. In 2002, the title track also gained recognition in the United States after it was used in two popular commercial advertisements for Joe Boxer underwear being sold by K-Mart stores. The album was licensed for US distribution by Thievery Corporation’s Eighteenth Street Lounge (ESL) label in the summer of 2001 as Bossa Per Due (2001), and was a slightly reconfigured version of the Italian Jet Sounds album. This was followed by the remix album Jet Sounds Revisited (2002). Two years later, Blue Note’s French subsidiary released Conte’s next album Other Directions (2004). Conte released his next album, Rituals (2008).

Conte released The Modern Sound of Nicola Conte – Versions in Jazz-Dub (2009) on Schema Records. Unlike his 2002 remix album which featured artists largely reworking his songs, this two-CD set had Nicola releasing original titles and featured some of his jazz styled remixes of other people’s works.

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His album Love & Revolution (2011) was released on a deluxe two-CD set, and a standard single CD by Universal Classics and Jazz, while album Free Souls (2014) was released on Schema.

Conte has also produced albums by other artists including Paolo Achenza Trio (album Ombre, 1997), Rosalia De Souza (album Garota Moderna, 2008), Stefania Di Pierro (album Natural, 2016), and Marvin Parks(album Marvin Parks, 2017). (wikipedia)

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And here´s the first part of his great trilogy called “A Collection Of 60’s Brazilian Bossa Nova & Jazz Samba”:

As “happiness is like a leaf carried by the wind trhough the air”, the music of VIAGEM portray´s the Brasilian moods of mid 60´s, a vibe that swings gently from bossa nova tunes to the more hard edged jazz samba works.A hybrid which blend´s muic of south and north Amberica, Africa and Europe in a poetic, inzteööectual, most unique was.

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This collection is a declaration of love for the great musicians, composers and singers who ceated it, a sublime sound which … travelled like a soft breeze tjhrough the time and years …  (Nicola Conte)

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Why wait  … it´s time to discover this fantastic album and this fantastic color of music … 

Listen and enjoy !

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Tracklist:
01. Tenório Jr.: Nebuloso 12.54
02. Trio Maraya: Canto De Ossanha 2.51
03. Hector Costita Sexteto: Tokio 3.53
04 Wanda Sá: Vivo Sonhando 2.17
05. Ana Lúcia: Balanço Do Mar 2.10
06. Zimbo Trio: Zimbo Samba 2.01
07. Djalma Dias & Sambossa 5: Cidade Vazia 2.59
08. Octeto De Cesar Camargo Mariano: Samblues 2.15
09. Yvette: Preconceito 3.49
10. Bossa Jazz Trio: Vamos Embora Uau 2.18
11. Sansa Trio: Samba Em Blue 2.27
12. Edgard E Os Tais:– Bambe-Lo 3.27
13. Claudia  & Brazilian Octopus: Gosto De Ser Como Sou 1.59
14. Som 3: Margarida B 3.03
15. Tenório Jr.: Samadhi 3.14

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