Chet Baker – She Was Too Good To Me (1974)

FrontCover1Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker Jr. (December 23, 1929 – May 13, 1988) was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He is known for major innovations within the cool jazz subgenre leading him to be nicknamed the “prince of cool”.

Baker earned much attention and critical praise through the 1950s, particularly for albums featuring his vocals (Chet Baker Sings, It Could Happen to You). Jazz historian Dave Gelly described the promise of Baker’s early career as “James Dean, Sinatra, and Bix, rolled into one”. His well-publicized drug habit also drove his notoriety and fame. Baker was in and out of jail frequently before enjoying a career resurgence in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Early on May 13, 1988, Baker was found dead on the street below his room in Hotel Prins Chet Baker02Hendrik, Amsterdam, with serious wounds to his head, apparently having fallen from the second-story window. Heroin and cocaine were found in his room and in his body. No evidence of a struggle was found, and the death was ruled an accident. According to another account, he inadvertently locked himself out of his room and fell while attempting to cross from the balcony of the vacant adjacent room to his own. A plaque was placed outside the hotel in his memory. Baker is buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California, next to his father.

She Was Too Good to Me is an album by Chet Baker. The album was released in 1974 as what some would call a “comeback” album. The title track is an alteration of “He Was Too Good to Me”. There were three recording sessions (July 17, October 31, and November 1, 1974). (wikipedia)

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Baker began his comeback after five years of musical inactivity with this excellent CTI date. Highlights include “Autumn Leaves,” “Tangerine,” and “With a Song in My Heart.” Altoist Paul Desmond is a major asset on two songs and the occasional strings give variety to this fine session. (by Scott Yanow)

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A bit back ground for this album : This LP is Chet’s first major recording since the night in San Fransisco in ’68 when five junkies relieved him of his dope money and his teeth and made him decide he’d have to give up heroin or die .
The cool , the lyricism , deeper fuller tone , the high personal brilliance sound ..all those elements in this sweet LP will satisfy your quality hidden moment .

All the top notch CTI musician contribute in this marvelous album. Smooky ! (by Rofano Lubis)AdIn my view this is one of the better, and probably best, of Chet’s sessions, as the exciting and complex drumming of both Steve Gadd (in my view his best straight ahead gig) and Jack DeJohnette provides excellent contrast and stimulus to Chet’s more stolid playing, the pairing with Desmond is of course optimal, and the sound of Fender Rhodes really nicely fits Chet’s playing, and Bob James shows his great musicianship that one sometimes can ignore because of his “smooth” jazzyness… (by Balthasar Thomass)


Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals)
Ron Carter (bass)
Steve Gadd (drums)
David Friedman (vibraphone)
Bob James (piano)
Hubert Laws (flute)
George Marge (flute, oboe d’amore)
Romeo Penque (flute, clarinet)
Paul Desmond (saxophone on 01. + 04.)
Jack DeJohnette (drums on 05. – 07.)


01. Autumn Leaves (Kosma/Prévert/Mercer) 7.06
02. “She Was Too Good to Me” Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 4:40
03. “Funk in Deep Freeze” Hank Mobley 6:06
04. “Tangerine” Victor Schertzinger, Johnny Mercer 5:27
05. “With a Song in My Heart” Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart 4:04
06. “What’ll I Do?” Irving Berlin 3:55
07. “It’s You or No One” Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn 4:28
08. “My Future Just Passed” Richard A. Whiting, George Marion, Jr. 4:46



More from Chet Baker:

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The High Numbers (The Who) – Live + Studio (1964)

FrontCover1For just a few months in 1964 (approximately July to October), the Who changed their name to the High Numbers, releasing one single under that billing before reverting to the more inventive and appropriate “the Who.” The name change resulted from their association with Pete Meaden, a mod who briefly managed them in mid-1964 (Helmut Gorden was also involved in their management with Meaden for much of that time). Meaden was instrumental in getting the band to gear their music and image more toward the mod movement, and this was reflected in his choice of the name “the High Numbers,” which arose from mod slang.

The High Numbers did a single for Fontana in July, “I’m the Face”/”Zoot Suit.” Both sides of the 45 were written by Meaden, the A-side loosely adapted from Slim Harpo’s “Got Love If You Want It,” a popular cover choice among British bands of the time (including the Kinks and the Yardbirds). The flipside is often said to be similarly based on “Country Fool,” an obscure New Orleans R&B number by the Showmen, although the resemblance to a previous song is not as blatant as it is with “I’m the Face.” The lyrics, too, were rather blunt pastiches of mod jargon and sloganeering.

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Relatively little of the Who’s personality came through on the disc. Pete Townshend’s guitar in particular bore little resemblance to his power chords and searing feedback on the Who’s 1965 singles; the leads on the single were so jazzy and thin that one wonders if they were, in fact, the work of a session musician. In fact, “Zoot Suit” rather overshadows the routine R&B of the A-side, with its unusual minor-key tune and rushed tempo. In any case, the single went virtually unnoticed upon initial release. The group did record two R&B-soul covers at the same session, Bo Diddley’s “Here ‘Tis” and Eddie Holland’s “Leaving Here,” that showed them to better advantage, if still a long way off from their great 1965 power pop recordings. Both of those songs eventually found official release on archival Who compilations.

The High Numbers wisely changed their name back to the Who by November 1964, by which time they had also changed management, replacing Meaden with Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp. Whether this was intentional or not, it also erased any stigma that might have been attached to them as the result of the High Numbers’ flop 45, and allowed them to present their first 1965 single, “I Can’t Explain,” as the debut of a brand-new band, the Who. Very rare for a decade, “I’m the Face” and ‘Zoot Suit” appeared on Who compilation albums in the ’70s, and later on CD. (by Richie Unterberger)

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And here´a very intersting bootleg:

For those of us that consider a band’s music and history all part and parcel there are wonderful archival compilations such as this, The High Numbers Live 1964. This bootleg document includes what may be the best sounding and most complete version of the High Numbers (as the Who were know as for a short period in ’64) performance at the Railway Hotel and Lounge, Wealdstone on October 20, 1964. Also present are seven demos the band cut at EMI Studios, 3 Abbey Road, in St. John’s Wood, London UK on October 22, 1964.


The recordings are of interest to enthusiasts but really the Who had yet to get their shit together at this point. It’s amazing when you consider they were within a month of recording ‘I Can’t Explain’. That really goes to show how important having a skilled producer take command really is.

Things moved so fast in the sixties. The music business was really healthy at that time. I’m sure all of us could name tons of bands that have worked unbelievably hard for the past couple decades in order to establish a medium sized cult following. (mofoking )


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



Railway Hotel And Lounge, Wealdstone, 11 August 1964:
01. I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (Dozier/Holland) 3.41
02. You Really Got Me (Instrumental) (Davies) 1.36
03. Young Man Blues (Allison) 1.36
04. Green Onions (Cropper/Jackson/Jones/Steinberg) 2.55
05. I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (Dozier/Holland) 1.11
06. Instrumental Jam (You Really Got Me) (Davies) 1.57
07. I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying (Dozier/Holland) 1.13
08. Long Tall Shorty (Abramson/Covay) 5.00
09. Pretty Thing (McDaniel) 3.58
10. Smokestack Lightning / Money (That’s What I Want) (Burnett/Bradford/Gordy) 10.34
11. Here ‘Tis (McDaniel) 2.15

Abbey Road Studios, London (Probably), October 1964 (instrumental versions only):
12. Smokestack Lightning (Burnett) 2.17
13. Walking The Dog  (Thomas) 2.46
14. Unknown Instrumental 1.46
15. I’m A Man  (McDaniel) 4.52
16. Instrumental Jam / Country Line Special (Davies) 6.21
17. Memphis, Tennessee (Berry) 2.14
18. Unknown Instrumental 3.37
19. Zoot Suit (Single A-side) (Meaden) 2.04
20. I’m The Face (Single B-side) (Meaden) 2.37




More from The Who:

Maria Muldaur – Naughty Bawdy And Blue (2007)

FrontCover1Best-known for her seductive ’70s pop staple “Midnight at the Oasis,” Maria Muldaur (* September 12, 1943) has enjoyed a long career as an acclaimed interpreter of just about every stripe of American roots music: blues, early jazz, gospel, folk, country, and R&B. Originally known as Maria D’Amato, she first found a nationwide audience as a member of Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band (beginning with 1963’s Jug Band Music), and playing vintage folk and blues in an upbeat and entertaining style. After the Kweskin band split up, Geoff & Maria (who had married) recorded a pair of critically celebrated albums — 1968’s Pottery Pie and 1972’s Sweet Potatoes — that juggled folk, blues, jazz, and gospel influences. After the couple divorced, Muldaur went out on her own, and her self-titled debut album in 1973 was a savvy blend of country, blues, and pop that earned her a major hit single with “Midnight at the Oasis.”


Muldaur dug deeper into the blues on 1974’s Waitress in a Donut Shop, which included another successful single, “I’m a Woman,” but her next several albums found her struggling to balance her own instincts with the expectations of her label. Muldaur returned to independent labels with 1980’s Gospel Nights, a live album cut after she embraced Christianity. Muldaur returned to secular music with 1983’s Sweet and Slow, a set informed by vintage jazz and blues, and over the next three decades, she would lend her talents to swing numbers (1998’s Swingin’ in the Rain), tough R&B (1994’s Meet Me at Midnite), New Orleans grooves (1992’s Louisiana Love Call), polished double-entendre blues (1999’s Meet Me Where They Play the Blues), political activist songs (2008’s Yes We Can!), and even children’s music (2010’s Barnyard Dance: Jug Band Music for Kids). Muldaur has combined her eclecticism with the romantic sensuality that’s underpinned much of her best work ever since the beginning of her career. (by Steve Huey)

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Maria Muldaur’s trilogy of old-timey blues and jazz releases for the Stony Plain imprint (she simultaneously records more contemporary music for the Telarc label) concludes with this appropriately titled set. Much is made in the liner notes of the veteran jazz/blues/pop/gospel singer being mentored in her early jugband years by no less of an icon than Victoria Spivey, so it seems Muldaur feels this tribute to the style and material of Spivey and other “classic blues queens” of the ’20s and ’30s is a sort of closure. It is also a history lesson, with detailed booklet information, some of it written by Muldaur, providing fascinating capsule biographies of the women whose music is covered here.


Muldaur sure has the pipes and integrity for this approach, alternatively playful, sexy and downtrodden, and these dozen tracks find her inspired both by the strong, occasionally humorous material and the superb backing musicians in James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band. There is no attempt to modernize these classic vaudeville and Dixieland era tunes; rather the intent is to be true to the original style with acoustic backing played in, and with, the spirit that made them so popular in their day. Muldaur invigorates the incessant double entendres that surely caused lecherous grins when listeners heard Bessie Smith’s “Empty Bed Blues” or Spivey’s “One Hour Mama” for the first time.


Bonnie Raitt swings by for a cameo on Sippie Wallace’s “Separation Blues,” graciously not stealing the spotlight, but using her presence to pay tribute to one of her own inspirations. Other blues women covered here are Mamie Smith, Ma Rainey and Alberta Hunter. Muldaur’s versions aren’t simply covers, they reinvigorate the material, keeping the focus on the lyrics while Dapogny’s group swings along. It’s a fun, frisky and enlightening ride from a vocalist who has always promoted this music mixed in with her other styles, and an album that leaves the listener anticipating a follow-up. (by Hal Horowitz)


Kim Cusack (saxophone, clarinet)
Jon-Erik Kellso (trumpet)
Kurt Krahnke (bass)
Rod McDonald (guitar, banjo)
Maria Muldaur (vocals)
Pete Siers (drums)
Chris Smith (trombone, tuba)
Russ Whitman (saxophone, clarinet)
James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band
Rob Bourassa (guitar on 05. + 11.)
Dave Mathews (piano on 10.)
Kevin Porter (trombone on 10.)
Bonnie Raitt (vocals on 03.)


01. Down Home Blues (Smith/Bradford) 3.24
02. Up The Country Blues (Wallace) 3.18
03. Separation Blues (Wallace) 4.45
04. A Good Man Is Hard To Find (Green) 3.57
05. Handy Man (Razaf/Blake) 4.00
06. New Orleans Hop Scop Blues (Thomas) 3.34
07. Smile (Chapman/Parsons/Turner) 3.38
08. TB Blues (Spivey) 3.11
09. One Hour Mama (Spivey) 3.08
10. Empty Bed Blues (Johnson) 6.23
11. Early Every Morn (Hunter) 3.35
12. Yonder Come The Blues (Rainey) 2.45



More from Maria Muldauer:

Van Cliburn – Piano Concerto No. 1 In B-Flat Minor Op. 23 (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky) (1958)

FrontCover1Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn Jr. (July 12, 1934 – February 27, 2013) was an American pianist who, at the age of 23, achieved worldwide recognition when he won the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 (during the Cold War). Cliburn’s mother, a piano teacher and an accomplished pianist in her own right, discovered him playing at age three, mimicking one of her students and arranged for him to start taking lessons. Cliburn developed a rich, round tone and a singing-voice-like phrasing, having been taught from the start to sing each piece.

Cliburn toured domestically and overseas. He played for royalty, heads of state, and every US president from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama.

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The Wall Street Journal said on his death that Cliburn was a “cultural hero” who “rocketed to unheard-of stardom for a classical musician in the U.S. Calling him “the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status”, the Associated Press on his death noted the 1958 Time magazine cover story that likened him to “Horowitz, Liberace, and Presley all rolled into one”.

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A year after Cliburn’s death, a free anniversary concert was held on February 27, 2014, in his honor in downtown Fort Worth. “It’s part of the Cliburn ideology of sharing the music with the larger audience,” said Jacques Marquis, the Cliburn Foundation president. Cliburn lent his name to the International Piano Competition, which he viewed as a gathering of classical masterpieces played by young gifted artists.

A highlight of Cliburn’s legacy was the profoundly positive reception of his person and performances in the Soviet Union during and after the Tchaikovsky competition. The same is true of his reception during and after the Cold War in the Soviet Union. According to Life (1958), the excitement and hype surrounding the news of Cliburn’s debut in Moscow was almost too much to bear for some. They became infatuated with him and made no attempt to conceal it. “In the preliminaries, which had enlisted 50 young pianists from 19 different countries, Van was the big crowd-pleaser. Fans called him Vanyusha. Girls trailed him to the hotel. Soviet record companies pleaded with him to wax anything. In the finals, when he crashed out the last chords of the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto, the ecstatic audience in Moscow chanted “first prize-first prize.”

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Mark MacNamara of the San Francisco Classical Voice wrote: “The 6-foot 4-inch aw-shucks kid from Shreveport was 23, the son of an oil executive and a Juilliard graduate, and by all accounts didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Indeed, much of his charm, then and throughout his life, was that he seemed so genuinely unaware of intrigue and enmity. Cliburn’s talents were astounding, and he had a heart that loved people and music. This is a legacy that lasts.”

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As of the last International Tchaikovsky Competition (2019), Van Cliburn is still the only American to win the competition in piano. Two Americans have won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in its 58-year history. (wikipedia)

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Recorded hot on the heels of his landmark Gold Medal victory in the first Moscow Tchaikovsky Competition, the 23-year-old Van Cliburn’s million-selling 1958 Tchaikovsky First remains one of this war-horse’s most poetic, intelligently paced versions on disc. If an operatic aesthetic governs Cliburn’s golden tone and big technique, the heart of the ballet lies within Kondrashin’s enlivening support, especially in the Finale’s syncopations. (by Jed Distler)


Van Cliburn (piano)
RCA Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Kiril Kondrashin

Kiril Kondrashin


Piano Concerto No. 1, In B-Flat Minor Op. 23:
01 First Movement: Allegro Non Troppo E Molto Maestoso; Allegro Con Spirito 20.48
02 Second Movement: Andante Simplice Prestissimo; Tempo I 6.55
03 Third Movement: Allegro Con Fuoco 6.47

Music composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky




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Various Artists – Blues Avalanche (1972)

FrontCover1Chess Records was an American record company established in 1950 in Chicago, specializing in blues and rhythm and blues. It was the successor to Aristocrat Records, founded in 1947. It expanded into soul music, gospel music, early rock and roll, and jazz and comedy recordings, released on the Chess and its subsidiary labels Checker and Argo/Cadet. The Chess catalogue is currently owned by Universal Music Group and managed by Geffen Records.

Established and run by two Jewish immigrant brothers from what was then Poland, Leonard and Phil Chess, the company produced and released many singles and albums regarded as central to the rock music canon. The musician and critic Cub Koda described Chess as “America’s greatest blues label”.

Phil+Leonard Chess

Chess was based at several locations on the south side of Chicago, initially at South Cottage Grove Ave. The most famous was 2120 S. Michigan Avenue, from May 1957 to 1965, immortalized by the Rolling Stones in “2120 South Michigan Avenue”, an instrumental recorded there during the group’s first U.S. tour in 1964.[3] The building is now the home of Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation. In the mid-1960s, Chess relocated to a much larger building, the former home of Revere Camera Company at 320 E. 21st Street, the label’s final Chicago home. Shortly before the death of Leonard Chess in 1969, the brothers sold the company. (wikipedia)


And here´s s pretty good and rare double album, recorded live at the at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland, June 16 & 17, 1972.

Enjoy all these legendaries master of Chess Blues … musicians who influenced a whole generation of young musicians, not only in the Sixties !


Fred Below (drums, vocals on 04. + 05.)
“Mojo” Buford (harmonica)
Bo Diddley (guitar, vocals on 01. – 03.)
Willie Dixon (bass on 04., 05., 09. + 10.)
Lafayette Leake (piano)
David Myers (bass on 01. – 08., 13. – 16.)
Louis Myers (guitar on 01. – 08, + 11.)
Koko Taylor (vocals on 06. + 08.)
Cookie Vee (vocals on 01. – 03.)
T-Bone Walker (guitar, vocals on 14. + 15.)
Muddy Waters (guitar, vocals on 08., 11. – 13.)



Bo Diddley & Cookie Vee:
01. I Hear You Knoockin’ (McDaniel) 3.55
02. You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover (Dixon) 3.10
03. Diddley Daddy (McDaniel) 2.19

The Three Aces + Lafayette Leake:
04. Early In The Morning (Muddy Waters 5.08
05. Baby What You Want Me To Do (Reed) 2.48

Koko Taylor:
06. Wang Dang Doodle (Dixon) 7.07
07. Announcement 0.52
08. I Got What It Takes (w/Muddy Waters) (Dixon) 6:25

Lafayette Leake:
09. Wrinkles (Leake) 9.18
10. Swiss Boogie (Leake) 6.16

Muddy Waters:
11. County Jail (Morgenfield) 6.07
12. Trouble No More (Morganfield)  2.37
13. Got My Mojo Working (Morganfield) 4.48

 T-Bone Walker with Muddy Waters :
14. (They Call It) Stormy Monday (Walker) 6.02
15. Announcement 0.32
16. She Says She Loves Me (Walker/Jarest) 4.32





Dick Dale And His Del-Tones – Summer Surf (1964)

FrontCover1Richard Anthony Monsour (May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019), known professionally as Dick Dale, was an American rock guitarist. He was the pioneer of surf music, drawing on Middle Eastern music scales and experimenting with reverberation. Dale was known as “The King of the Surf Guitar”, which was also the title of his second studio album.

Dale was one of the most influential guitarists of all time and especially of the early 1960s. Most of the leading bands in surf music, such as The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and The Trashmen, were influenced by Dale’s music, and often included recordings of Dale’s songs in their albums. His style and music influenced guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Eddie Van Halen and Brian May.

He has been mentioned as one of the fathers of heavy metal. Many credit him with tremolo picking, a technique that is now widely used in many musical genres (such as extreme metal, folk etc.). His speedy single-note staccato picking technique was unmatched until guitarists like Eddie Van Halen entered the music scene.


Working together with Leo Fender, Dale also pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing thick and previously unheard volumes including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier. Dale also pioneered the use of portable reverb effects.


The use of his recording of “Miserlou” by Quentin Tarantino in the film Pulp Fiction led to his return in the 1990s, marked by four albums and world tours. He also won a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental for the song “Pipeline” with Stevie Ray Vaughan.

In “Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, Dale was ranked 31st in 2003 and 74th in the 2011 revision. (wikipedia)

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Summer Surf is the fifth studio album of surf music by Dick Dale and His Del-Tones.[1] Dale wrote three of the tracks on the album, with Beach Boys’ session musician Steve Douglas writing another three. The rest are culled from various writers that were not necessarily writing in the classic surf style. For example, the track titled “Glory Wave,” written in the style of a spiritual, was originally written for the 1964 beach party film, Surf Party, where it was performed by Jackie DeShannon.This was the last album Dick Dale recorded with the Del-Tones due to his battle with rectal cancer, and the last album he would record until 1986. (wikipedia)


On his fourth album for Capitol Records, 1964’s Summer Surf, Dick Dale seemed to be aiming for a glossier and more elaborate sound, and the production shows the occasional influences of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson, then the reigning titans of West Coast studiocraft. With banks of vocal choruses on several tunes, additional percussion fancying up the arrangements, and no fear of horns and keyboards, Summer Surf was the most polished Dick Dale set to date, and on tunes like the Spanish guitar exercise “Spanish Kiss” and the Hebrew-flavored “The Star (Of David),” Dale’s ambitions paid off — although not exactly rock & roll, they are compelling and absorbing instrumentals that find the guitarist expanding his boundaries. Similarly, “Banzai Washout” marries Dale’s trademark guitar attack to a big studio band, and this time the concept works like a charm.


However, for every successful experiment on Summer Surf, there are some severe miscalculations, such as the groan-inducing novelty tune “Mama’s Gone Surfin’,” the curious gospel-influenced “Glory Wave,” and Dale’s wobbly trumpet-led cover of “Never on Sunday.” (Just as significantly, these three songs make little if any room for Dale’s guitar work.) And many of the other tracks are simply dull, hardly disastrous but not much to write home about, either. Summer Surf proved to be Dale’s last studio album for Capitol, and since then he’s preferred to work with independent labels where he’s allowed to follow his own muse on his own terms, a lesson that seems especially valuable after listening to this album. (by Mark Deming)


Hal Blaine (drums)
James Burton (guitar)
Jerry Cole (guitar)
Dick Dale (guitar, trumpet, vocals)
Steve Douglas (saxophone)
Steve LaFever (bass)
Gene Garf (keyboards)
Edward Hall (drums)
Plas Johnson (saxophone)
Gail Martin (trombone)
Jay Migliori (saxophone)
Earl Palmer (drums)
Emil Richards (percussion)
Leon Russell (piano)
Neil LeVang (guitar)

… and who plays the harmonica on “Feel So Good” ???

Australian Edition:

01. Summer Surf (Douglas) 2.39
02. Feel So Good (Willis) 4.25
03. Surfin’ (Leiber/Stoller) 2.40
04. Spanish Kiss (Dale) 3.07
05. The Star (Of David) (Mason) 1.48
06. Banzai Washout (Douglas) 2.19
07. Glory Wave (Haskell/Dunham) 2.05
08. Surfin’ Rebel (Douglas) 2.04
09. Never On Sunday (Towne/Hadjidakis) 2.08
10. Mama’s Gone Surfin’ (Connors/Bruce/Barri) 2.14
11. Tidal Wave (Dale) 2.04
12. Thunder Wave (Dale) 2.22
13. Who Can He Be (Salmanca) 2.22
14. Oh Marie (di Capua/Russo) 2.05



More from Dick Dale And His Del-Tones:


West, Bruce & Laing – Live In K-Town (1990)

FrontCover1West, Bruce & Laing (WBL) were a blues rock power trio super-group formed in 1972 by Leslie West (guitar and vocals; formerly of Mountain), Jack Bruce (bass, harp, keyboards and vocals; ex-Cream) and Corky Laing (drums and vocals; ex-Mountain). The band released two studio albums, Why Dontcha (1972) and Whatever Turns You On (1973), during their active tenure. Their disbanding was officially announced in early 1974 prior to the release of their third and last album, Live ‘n’ Kickin’.

In 2009 West and Laing briefly relaunched the band, with Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm substituting for his father on bass. This incarnation of the band toured the UK and North America under the name ‘West, Bruce Jr. and Laing’.


The trio agreed to work together in London in January 1972 near the end of Mountain’s 1971–72 European tour supporting their album Flowers of Evil (1971), after Mountain’s bassist/vocalist/producer Felix Pappalardi announced he would leave the band at the tour’s end. (Pappalardi had, by late 1971, become addicted to heroin.) Jack Bruce knew Pappalardi well; Pappalardi had produced all but one of Cream’s albums, and occasionally also performed with them in the studio. Subsequently, as Mountain’s producer, Pappalardi would fashion his new band’s sound after that of Cream, in particular scoring a 1970 hit with a cover version of Bruce’s song “Theme for an Imaginary Western” (from Bruce’s 1969 album Songs for a Tailor, which Pappalardi produced). Bruce was thus viewed as a natural “replacement” for Pappalardi in West and Laing’s post-Mountain venture, with several record companies and management organizations expressing interest in signing the new band.


West and Laing’s manager Bud Prager, and Bruce’s manager Robert Stigwood, jockeyed for influence with WBL, with Prager ultimately establishing the more dominant position by brokering a $1 million USD, three-album contract (over $5 million in present-day dollars) for the band with CBS/Columbia Records – a large artist signing for the day.[3] As part of the deal, Prager arranged for WBL’s records to be distributed by CBS under his and Pappalardi’s Windfall Records imprint, and for Mountain’s back catalog of albums to be reissued by CBS/Windfall. CBS Records’ head at the time, Clive Davis, would be quoted as saying that the negotiations for WBL “showed record-company competition at its fiercest.”

Mostly leveraging material from Cream’s and Mountain’s back catalogs, West, Bruce & Laing began touring almost immediately after Mountain’s disbanding, completing a 30-date North American tour even before their record deal with CBS was finalized. The band remained a hot live commodity throughout 1972; notably, a November 1972 WBL show at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall sold out 6,000 seats within four hours.


Upon signing with CBS, WBL began work on their first album, Why Dontcha (November 1972). The album took longer than expected to complete, in part from inefficiency due to drug use by the band and their production team; upon its delivery to the label, CBS was dissatisfied with the album’s quality, and did not heavily promote it. In spite of this, however, Why Dontcha performed respectably in the marketplace, peaking at #26 on the Billboard album chart and staying on the chart for twenty weeks.

WBL continued to tour North America and Europe extensively during late 1972 and early 1973 in support of Why Dontcha. However, the band’s heavy drug use hurt their performances, and apparently at times even influenced their tour schedule. Corky Laing would later note:


[It was] a very, very dark time. New York meant coke, England meant heroin, because that’s where the best quality was. I had this Hayman drumkit made that was going to be shipped back to the States. This heroin connection of Jack’s said that her business connections would pay me $250,000 if they could ship heroin back in the drums. They were all metal so nobody would have noticed the extra weight.

The band took a break from touring in the spring of 1973 to record a second studio album, Whatever Turns You On, in London. The sessions became contentious – they became “really nasty because of the smack” according to the album’s co-producer Andy Johns[11] – with West and Laing electing to return home to New York before mixdown was complete. The album was released in July 1973, peaking at #87 on the Billboard chart.

The Whatever Turns You On sessions would be the last time West, Bruce & Laing would work together.[12] However, news of the band’s breakup would be publicly withheld until early 1974, with the band’s posthumous live album Live ‘n’ Kickin’ released shortly thereafter. (wikipdia)


And here´s a pretty good bootleg from their German tour in Apil 1973.

West, Bruce & Laing was one of the finest Power-Rock trios ever:

Maybe THE most underappreciated 70’s supergroups, along w Beck Bogert & Appice. Just amazing talents.

Alternate CD:

Listen and you´ll know why !

Recorded live at the Landwirtschaftshalle, Kaiserslauten, Germany, April 14th, 1973
excellent audience recording


Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Corky Laing (drums)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)


01. Don’t Look Around (Pappalardi/Collins/West/Palmer) 6.44
02. Pleasure (West/Bruce/Brown/Laing) 5.25
03. Why Dontcha (West/Bruce/Laing) 8.43
04. Third Degree (Boyd) 7.44
05. Mississippi Queen (cuts) (West/Laing/Pappalardi/Rea) 2.23
06. Guitar Solo / Roll Over Beethoven /Guitar Solo (West/Berry) 5.39
07. Love Is Worth The Blues (West/Bruce/Laing) 14.50
08. Politician (Bruce/Brown) 5.30
09. Sunshine of Your Love (fades) (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 3.58



One day before their Kaiserslautern gig they played in Munich … I was there …:

More from West, Bruce & Laing:

Jack Bruce
(14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014)

Leslie West
(October 22, 1945 – December 23, 2020)

Ed Thigpen – Out Of The Storm (1966)

FrontCover1Edmund Leonard Thigpen (December 28, 1930 – January 13, 2010) was an American jazz drummer, best known for his work with the Oscar Peterson trio from 1959 to 1965. Thigpen also performed with the Billy Taylor trio from 1956 to 1959.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Thigpen was raised in Los Angeles and attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon and Chico Hamilton also attended. After majoring in sociology at Los Angeles City College, Thigpen returned to East St. Louis for one year to pursue music while living with his father who had been playing with Andy Kirk’s Clouds of Joy. His father, Ben Thigpen, was a drummer who played with Andy Kirk for sixteen years during the 1930s and 1940s.

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Thigpen first worked professionally in New York City with the Cootie Williams orchestra from 1951 to 1952 at the Savoy Ballroom. During this time he played with musicians such as Dinah Washington, Gil Mellé, Oscar Pettiford, Eddie Vinson, Paul Quinichette, Ernie Wilkins, Charlie Rouse, Lennie Tristano, Jutta Hipp, Johnny Hodges, Dorothy Ashby, Bud Powell, and Billy Taylor.

In 1959 he replaced guitarist Herb Ellis in the Oscar Peterson Trio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1961 he recorded in Los Angeles, featuring on the Teddy Edwards–Howard McGhee Quintet album entitled Together Again for the Contemporary label with Phineas Newborn Jr. and Ray Brown. After leaving Peterson, Thigpen recorded the album Out of the Storm as a leader for Verve in 1966. He then went on to tour with Ella Fitzgerald from 1967 to 1972.

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In 1974 Thigpen moved to Copenhagen, joining several other American jazz musicians who had settled in that city over the previous two decades. There he worked with fellow American expatriates, including Kenny Drew, Ernie Wilkins, Thad Jones, as well as leading Danish jazz musicians such as Svend Asmussen, Mads Vinding, Alex Riel and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. He also played with a variety of other leading musicians of the time, such as Clark Terry, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Milt Jackson and Monty Alexander.

Thigpen died peacefully after a brief period in Hvidovre Hospital in Copenhagen on January 13, 2010. He had been hospitalized for heart and lung problems and was also suffering from Parkinson’s. He is buried at Vestre Kirkegård.

Thigpen was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame in 2002. (wikipedia)

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Out of the Storm is the debut album led by American drummer Ed Thigpen recorded in 1966 for the Verve label.

Drummer Ed Thigpen’s first album as a leader (recorded a year after he left the Oscar Peterson Trio) was reissued as a CD in 1998. Although not soloing much, Thigpen wrote three of the seven selections and occasionally played tuned drums, which sound a little bit like timbales. In addition to the leader, the main star is Clark Terry (on flugelhorn and trumpet), who plays quite freely on two numbers utilizing only a trumpet mouthpiece in spots. Guitarist Kenny Burrell gets in a few good solos and is showcased on “Struttin’ With Some Barbeque” while bassist Ron Carter and pianist Herbie Hancock also make strong contributions. Unfortunately, there are only 32 minutes of music on this CD (which is highlighted by “Cielito Lindo”), so ( its brevity keeps it from being too essential, but the performances are enjoyable. (by Scott Yanow)

What a line-up !


Kenny Burrell (guitar)
Ron Carter (bass)
Herbie Hancock (piano)
Clark Terry (trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals on 06.)
Ed Thigpen (drums, vocalson 06.)

01. Cielito Lindo (Fernandez) 4.43
02. Cloud Break (Up Blues) (Thigpen) 1.16
03. Out Of The Storm (Thigpen) 7.30
04. Theme From “Harper” (Mandel) 2.42
05. Elbow And Mouth (Burrell) 6.17
06. Heritage (Thigpen) 5.18
07. Struttin’ With Some Barbecue (Armstrong/Raye) 4.22



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Washboard Sam – Washboard Sam 1936-1947 (2000)

FrontCover1Robert Clifford Brown (July 15, 1910 – November 6, 1966), known professionally as Washboard Sam, was an American blues musician and singer.

Brown’s date and place of birth are uncertain; many sources state that he was born in 1910 in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, but the researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc suggest that he was born in 1903 or 1904, in Jackson, Tennessee, on the basis of Social Security information. He was reputedly the half-brother of Big Bill Broonzy. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in the 1920s, performing as a street musician with Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon. He moved to Chicago in 1932, performing regularly with Broonzy and other musicians, including Memphis Slim and Tampa Red, in many recording sessions for Lester Melrose of Bluebird Records.

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In 1935, he began recording in his own right for both Bluebird and Vocalion Records, becoming one of the most popular Chicago blues performers of the late 1930s and 1940s, selling numerous records and playing to packed audiences. He recorded over 160 tracks in those decades. His strong voice and songwriting talent overcame his stylistic limitations.

By the 1950s, his audience had begun to shrink, largely because he had difficulty adapting to the new electric blues. His final recording session, for RCA Victor, was in 1949. He retired from music for several years and became a Chicago police officer. He recorded a session in 1953 with Broonzy and Memphis Slim. Samuel Charters included Brown’s “I’ve Been Treated Wrong” on the compilation album The Country Blues for Folkways Records in 1959. Brown made a modest and short-lived comeback as a live performer in the early 1960s.

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He died of heart disease in Chicago, in November 1966, and was buried in an unmarked grave at the Washington Memory Gardens Cemetery, in Homewood, Illinois.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Washboard Sam among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

A concert organized by the executive producer Steve Salter, of the Killer Blues organization,[9] was held on September 18, 2009, at the Howmet Playhouse Theater,[10] in Whitehall, Michigan, to raise monies for a headstone for Washboard Sam’s grave. The show was a success, and a headstone was placed in October 2009. The concert was recorded by Vinyl Wall Productions and filmed for television broadcast in the central Michigan area by a television crew from Central Michigan University. It featured musical artists such as Washboard Jo and R.B. and Co. and was headlined by the Big House Blues Band. (wikipedia)

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And here´a a pretty good sampler (from Austria !) with the early songs from Washboard Sam … and you hear the roots of th urban blues … 

In the Sixties white boys discover this music again and the rest is history … 


Joshua Altheimer (piano)
Leroy Bachelor (bass)
Buster Bennett (saxophone)
Black Bob (piano)
Big Bill Broonzy (guitar)
J.T. Brown (saxophone)
Robert ‘Washboard Sam’ Brown (vocals, washboard)
Blind John Davis (piano)
Willie Dixon (bass)
Ransom Knowling (bass)
Josephine Kyles (vocals)
John Lindsay (bass)
Horace Malcolm (piano)
Herb Morand (trumpet)
Arnett Nelson (clarinet)
Frank Owens (saxophone)
Bill Settles (bass)
Memphis Slim (piano)
Roosevelt Sykes (piano)

01. I’m A Prowlin’ Groundhog (1936) 3.30
02. Mixed Up Blues (1936) 3.13
03. The Big Boat (1937) 3.01
04. Yellow, Black And Brown (1938) 2.49
05. Jumpin’ Rooster (1938) 2.51
06. Walkin’ In My Sleep (1938) 2.54
07. Washboard Swing (1938) 3.04
08. Good Old Easy Street (1939) 2.58
09. I Believe I’ll Make A Change (1939) 2.50
10. That Will Get It (1939) 3.09
11. Don’t Fool With Me (1939) 2.51
12. Jersey Cow Blues (1939) 2.43
13. So Early In The Morning (1939) 3.08
14. Digging My Potatoes – No. 2 (1940) 3.07
15. Morning Dove Blues (1940) 2.31
16. Dissatisfied Blues (1940) 3.03
17. Good Luck Blues (1940) 2.08
18. Ain’t You Comin’ Out Tonight (1941) 2.40
19. River Hip Mama (1942) 2.41
20. Don’t Have To Sing The Blues (1942) 2.56
21. You Can’t Have None Of That (1947)3.23



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ZZ Top – El Loco (1981)

FrontCover1ZZ Top call themselves “that little ol’ band from Texas,” a deceptively clever designation that explains everything about the trio while underselling their deep idiosyncrasies. At their core, the trio of Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard, and Dusty Hill were a down-and-dirty blues band from Houston, cranking out greasy rockers and slyly sleazy boogies about “Tush,” a “Pearl Necklace,” and “Legs.” Despite their deep roots in American rock & roll and blues, ZZ Top were the furthest thing from purists. During their hot streak — which ran all the way from the mid-’70s through the mid-’80s –- there wasn’t a fad they didn’t exploit, twisting new wave, synthesized dance-rock, and music videos for their own purposes. Throughout it all, they wrapped all their hooks and riffs up in a smile disguised by bushy beards and flashy showmanship that not only earned the group a massive audience, but endured well into the 21st century, when they were surrounded by disciples and acolytes, proof that they were a beloved American musical institution.


El Loco is the seventh studio album by the American rock band ZZ Top, released in 1981. The title means “The Crazy One” in Spanish. The band’s guitarist/singer Billy Gibbons has said that the recording of this album was the first time the three members of the band were isolated from one another in the studio, rather than recording simultaneously in the same room. It also foreshadowed ZZ Top’s synthesizer-driven direction later in the decade, with early experimentations in synthesizer backing on certain tracks.

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El Loco was produced by Bill Ham and recorded and originally mixed by Terry Manning. The biographer David Blayney explains in his book Sharp Dressed Men that the recording engineer Linden Hudson was involved as a pre-producer on this album.[5] Hudson did not receive credit for engineering the tracks on “Groovy Little Hippie Pad” which were used on the final album mix. In 1987, most of the band’s back catalog received a controversial “digitally enhanced” remix treatment for CD release; however, El Loco did not receive this remix treatment and the original mix of the album has been available on CD since 1987.

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On June 3, 2013, Gibbons told Joe Bosso of that the album was “a really interesting turning point”, explaining that the band had “befriended somebody who would become an influential associate, a guy named Linden Hudson. He was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing, starting in the studio and eventually to the live stage. [He] had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would frighten most bands. But we followed suit, and the synthesizers started to show up on record. Manufacturers were looking for ways to stimulate sales, and these instruments started appearing on the market. One of our favorite tracks was “Groovy Little Hippie Pad”. Right at the very opening, there it is – the heavy sound of a synthesizer. For us, there was no turning back.”[6] Gibbons would later cite seeing a Devo soundcheck in Houston as inspiring the synthesizer line on “Groovy Little Hippie Pad.” (wikipedia)


El Loco follows through on the streamlined, jet-engine boogie rock of Degüello, but kicking all the ingredients up a notch. That means that the grooves are getting a little slicker, while the jokes are getting a little sillier, a little raunchier. The double entendres on “Tube Snake Boogie” and “Pearl Necklace” are barely disguised, while much of the record plays as flat-out goofy party rock. Not necessarily a bad thing, but much of it is a little too obvious to be totally winning. Still, the most telling thing about El Loco may be the rhythm of “Pearl Necklace,” its biggest single and best song, which clearly points the way to the new wave blues-rock of Eliminator. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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If you thought Deguello was slick, you haven’t heard El Loco. The music is fast, sleazy, and full of what would be the sound of ZZ Top in the 80s. It has a pace you have to listen closely to just to keep up. It’s a record of energy, full of the cleverest lyrics the band had come up with to date. Most importantly, it furthers the direction ZZ Top had taken with Deguello and would carry through to the early 90s. Key tracks are Tube Snake Boogie, Leila, and Pearl Necklace. (Heath Bartlett)


Frank Beard (drums, percussion)
Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals)
Dusty Hill (bass, vocals on 05. + 10.)

01. Tube Snake Boogie 3.03
02. I Wanna Drive You Home 4.44
03. Ten Foot Pole 4.18
04. Leila 3.11
05. Don’t Tease Me 4.18
06. It’s So Hard 5.11
07. Pearl Necklace 4.05
08. Groovy Little Hippie Pad 2.41
09. Heaven, Hell Or Houston 2.31
10. Party On The Patio 2.48

All songs written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard.



More from ZZ Top: