Jacques Loussier Trio – Ravel’s Boléro (1999)

FrontCover1Pianist/composer Jacques Loussier demonstrated musical ability at an early age, starting to play at the age of ten and entering the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris at 16. Loussier’s main professor there was Yves Nat, who in turn was encouraged by Faure, Saint-Saens, and Debussy as a student himself. Loussier continued this distinguished tradition, graduating at the top of his class.

After traveling the world as an accompanist, in the late ’50s Loussier formed the Play Bach Trio with Pierre Michelot and Christian Garros. The Trio fused Loussier’s classical background with his interest in jazz, using Bach’s compositions as the basis for improvisation. The group was an immediate success, playing many shows and selling over six million albums in 15 years.

By the end of the ’70s, however, the group ran its course and Loussier retired to Provence, spending his days composing and recording at his studio in Miraval, experimenting with electronic and acoustic arrangements. The studio also played host to rock artists like Pink Floyd (including sessions for The Wall), Elton John, and Sting.

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1985 marked the 300-year anniversary of Bach’s birth, which prompted Loussier to re-form the Play Bach Trio with new members and a wider musical range, adding rock and electronic elements to the basic blend of classical and jazz. Loussier also continued composing through the ’80s and ’90s, as well as performing pieces by Bach and Ravel live and on albums like 1999’s Ravel: Bolero and Bach Book 40th Anniversary Album with his signature jazzy flair. A year later, Take Bach and Music of Debussy were released.

Ravel: Bolero continues Jacques Loussier’s series of jazz-inspired interpretations of classical music. His version of “Bolero” emphasizes the hypnotic, rhythmic structure of the work, and highlights his inspired, energetic playing. (by Heather Phares)

In other words: One of these brilliant albums by Jacques Loussier

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Personnel:
Andre Arpino (drums)
Jaques Loussier (piano)
Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac (bass)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. Ravel’s Bolero (Ravel) 17.16
2. Nympheas: I. Allegro (Loussier) 6.11
3. Nympheas: II. Andante (Loussier) 5.46
4. Nympheas: III. Vivace (Loussier) 5.29
5. Nympheas: IV. Largo (Loussier) 6.03
6. Nympheas: V. Presto (Loussier) 3.55
7. Nympheas: VI. Cantabile (Loussier) 3.08
8. Nympheas: VII. Prestissimo (Loussier) 4.09

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Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Lady Land (1968)

LPFrontCover1And here´s one of the most important albums in the hisory of rock music:

Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 by Track Records/Polydor, and Reprise Records in North America. The double album was the only record from the band produced by Jimi Hendrix. By mid-November, it had charted at number one in the United States, where it spent two weeks at the top spot. Electric Ladyland was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by English-American rock band the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 by Track Records/Polydor, and Reprise Records in North America. The double album was the only record from the band produced by Jimi Hendrix. By mid-November, it had charted at number one in the United States, where it spent two weeks at the top spot. Electric Ladyland was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, where it spent 12 weeks on the chart.
Electric Ladyland included a cover of the Bob Dylan song, “All Along the Watchtower”, which became the Experience’s highest-selling single and their only top 40 hit in the US, peaking at number 20; the single reached number five in the UK. Although the album confounded critics in 1968, it has since been viewed as Hendrix’s best work and one of the greatest rock records of all time. Electric Ladyland has been featured on many greatest-album lists, including Q magazine’s 2003 list of the 100 greatest albums and Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, on which it was ranked 54th.

OriginalBookletRecording sessions for the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, began at the newly opened Record Plant Studios, with Chas Chandler as producer and engineers Eddie Kramer and Gary Kellgren. As recording progressed, Chandler became increasingly frustrated with Hendrix’s perfectionism and his demands for repeated takes. Hendrix allowed numerous friends and guests to join them in the studio, which contributed to a chaotic and crowded environment in the control room and led Chandler to sever his professional relationship with Hendrix. Redding later recalled: “There were tons of people in the studio; you couldn’t move. It was a party, not a session.” Redding, who had formed his own band in mid-1968, Fat Mattress, found it increasingly difficult to fulfill his commitments with the Experience, so Hendrix played many of the bass parts on Electric Ladyland The album’s cover stated that it was “produced and directed by Jimi Hendrix”. The double LP was the only Experience album to be mixed entirely in stereo.

During the Electric Ladyland recording sessions, Hendrix began experimenting with other combinations of musicians, including Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady and Traffic’s Steve Winwood, who played bass and organ respectively on the fifteen-minute slow-blues jam, “Voodoo Chile”. During the album’s production, Hendrix appeared at an impromptu jam with B.B. King, Al Kooper, and Elvin Bishop. Electric Ladyland was released in October 1968, and by mid-November it had reached number one in the US, spending two weeks at the top spot. The double LP was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and their only number one album. It peaked at number six in the UK, spending 12 weeks on the chart.

Hendrix’s studio perfectionism was legendary – he and Mitch Mitchell recorded well over 50 takes of “Gypsy Eyes” over three sessions. Hendrix was generally insecure about his voice and often recorded his vocals hidden behind studio screens. Hendrix sang all the backing vocals himself on the title track and on “Long Hot Summer Night”. He was said to be very happy with the vocal results on “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)”.

According to music journalist David Stubbs, Electric Ladyland is “undoubtedly a rock album, albeit rock on the point of evolving into something else.” Uncut magazine’s John Robinson said that its music reconciles the psychedelic pop of Hendrix’s earlier recordings with the aggressive funk he would explore on his 1970 album Band of Gypsys.

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During its recording, Kramer experimented with innovative studio techniques such as backmasking, chorus effect, echo, and flanging, which AllMusic’s Cub Koda said recontextualized Hendrix’s psychedelic and funk sounds on the album.

Electric Ladyland is a cross-section of Hendrix’s wide range of musical talent. It includes examples of several genres and styles of music: the psychedelic “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, a UK single the previous summer (1967), the extended blues jam “Voodoo Chile”, the New Orleans-style R&B of Earl King’s “Come On”, the epic studio production of “1983… (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)”, the social commentary of “House Burning Down”, and the Sixties-era Britpop of Noel Redding’s “Little Miss Strange”. The album also features an electric reworking of the Bob Dylan classic “All Along the Watchtower”, which has been well received by critics as well as by Dylan himself, and also “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, a staple of both radio and guitar repertoire. Rolling Stone’s Holly George-Warren praised “Crosstown Traffic” for its hard rock guitar riff.

“All Along the Watchtower” became the band’s highest-selling single and their only US top 40 hit, peaking at number 20; it reached number five in the UK. The album also included one of Hendrix’s most prominent uses of a wah-wah pedal, on “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, which reached number 18 in the UK charts.

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Hendrix had written to Reprise describing what he wanted for the cover art, but was mostly ignored. He expressly asked for a color photo by Linda Eastman of the group sitting with children on a sculpture from Alice in Wonderland in Central Park, and drew a picture of it for reference. The company instead used a blurred red and yellow photo of his head while performing at Saville Theatre, taken by Karl Ferris. Track Records used its art department, which produced a cover image by photographer David Montgomery, who also shot the inside cover portrait of Hendrix, depicting nineteen nude women lounging in front of a black background. Hendrix expressed displeasure and embarrassment with this “naked lady” cover, much as he was displeased with the Axis: Bold as Love cover which he found disrespectful. The cover was banned by several record dealers as “pornographic”, while others sold it with the gatefold cover turned inside out.

The double LP was the Experience’s most commercially successful release and Hendrix’s only number one album. In the UK, it peaked at number six and charted for 12 weeks.
Electric Ladyland confounded contemporary critics; reviewers praised some of its songs but felt the album lacked structure and sounded too dense. Melody Maker called it “mixed-up and muddled”, with the exception of “All Along the Watchtower”, which the magazine called a masterpiece. In a negative review for Rolling Stone, Tony Glover preferred the less difficult “Little Miss Strange” to songs such as “Voodoo Chile” and “1983”, which he said were marred by reactively harsh playing. Robert Christgau was more enthusiastic, naming it the fifth best album of 1968 in his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine’s critics poll.

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Over time, Electric Ladyland’s critical standing improved significantly, with author and musicologist John Perry describing it as “one of the greatest double-albums in Rock.” According to author Michael Heatley, “most critics agree” that the album was “the fullest realization of Jimi’s far-reaching ambitions”; Guitar World editor Noe Goldwasser called it his greatest work. The record was also deemed an essential hard rock album in Tom Larson’s 2004 book History of Rock and Roll, and Clash reviewer Robin Murray viewed it as a “true classic of the psychedelic rock era”. In a retrospective review for Blender, Christgau wrote that it was the definitive work of psychedelic music, describing the record as “an aural utopia that accommodates both ingrained conflict and sweet, vague spiritual yearnings, held together by a master musician”. In Charlotte Greig’s opinion, much like Are You Experienced, Electric Ladyland was “groundbreaking, introducing audiences to a style of psychedelic rock rooted in the blues”.

Electric Ladyland has been featured on many greatest album lists, including a number 10 ranking on Classic Rock magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Rock Albums Ever, and number 37 on The Times’ 100 Best Albums of All Time. Music journalist and author Peter Doggett argued that it is very likely the greatest rock album of all time because of its exceptional concept, artful melodies, experimentation, and skilled musicianship, which he felt remains unparalleled by any other rock artist. In 2003, Q magazine included it on its list of the 100 greatest albums ever, while Rolling Stone ranked it 54th on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. (by wikipedia)

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Jimi Hendrix Graffiti Tribute is a painting by Victor Cavalera

 

Jimi Hendrix’s third and final album with the original Experience found him taking his funk and psychedelic sounds to the absolute limit. The result was not only one of the best rock albums of the era, but also Hendrix’s original musical vision at its absolute apex. When revisionist rock critics refer to him as the maker of a generation’s mightiest dope music, this is the album they’re referring to. But Electric Ladyland is so much more than just background music for chemical intake. Kudos to engineer Eddie Kramer (who supervised the remastering of the original two-track stereo masters for this 1997 reissue on MCA) for taking Hendrix’s visions of a soundscape behind his music and giving it all context, experimenting with odd mic techniques, echo, backward tape, flanging, and chorusing, all new techniques at the time, at least the way they’re used here. What Hendrix sonically achieved on this record expanded the concept of what could be gotten out of a modern recording studio in much the same manner as Phil Spector had done a decade before with his Wall of Sound. As an album this influential (and as far as influencing a generation of players and beyond, this was his ultimate statement for many), the highlights speak for themselves: “Crosstown Traffic,” his reinterpretation of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” “Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” the spacy “1983…(A Merman I Should Turn to Be),” and “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return),” a landmark in Hendrix’s playing. With this double set (now on one compact disc), Hendrix once again pushed the concept album to new horizons. (by Cub Koda)

AlternateFrontCovers

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Personnel:
Jimi Hendrix (vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, harpsichord, bass on 02., 06., 08., 11., 14. + 15.)
Mitch Mitchell (drums, percussion, vocals on 05., background vocals)
Noel Redding (bass,  background vocals, guitar and vocals on 05.)
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Jack Casady (bass on 04.)
Larry Faucette (percussion on 10, + 13.)
Mike Finnigan (organ on 10. + 13.)
Brian Jones (percussion on 15.)
Al Kooper (piano on 06.)
Dave Mason (guitar on 15, , background vocals on 03.)
Buddy Miles (drums on 10. + 13.)
Freddie Smith (saxophone on 10. + 13.)
The Sweet Inspirations (background vocals on 09.)
Steve Winwood (organ on 04.)
Chris Wood (flute on 11.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. And The Gods Made Love (Hendrix) 1.20
02. Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) (Hendrix) 2.13
03. Crosstown Traffic (Hendrix) 2.26
04. Voodoo Chile (Hendrix) 14.59
05. Little Miss Strange (Redding) 2.53
06. Long Hot Summer Night (Hendrix) 3.27
07. Come On (Part I) (King) 4.10
08. Gypsy Eyes (Hendrix) 3.45
09. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp (Hendrix) 3.41
10. Rainy Day, Dream Away (Hendrix) 3.40
11. 1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) 5.49
12. Moon, Turn the Tides…Gently Gently Away (Hendrix) 7.51
13. Still Raining, Still Dreaming (Hendrix) 5.28
14. House Burning Down (Hendrix) 4.33
15. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 4.01
16. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) (Hendrix) 5.13

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OriginalFront+BackCover

“There must be some kind of way out of here,”
Said the joker to the thief,
“There’s too much confusion.
I can’t get no relief.

Businessmen – they drink my wine,
Plowmen dig my earth.
None will level on the line,
Nobody of it is worth.
Hey!”

“No reason to get excited,”
The thief – he kindly spoke,
“There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke.

But you and I – we’ve been through that.
And this is not our fate.
So let us not talk falsely now.
The hour’s getting late.
Hey!”

All along the watchtower
Princes kept the view
While all the women came and went.
Barefoot servants too.

Outside in the cold distance
A wildcat did growl.
Two riders were approaching,
And the wind began to howl, hey.

Fender – 1965-1966 Catalog (1965)

FrontCover1Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), commonly referred to simply as Fender, is an American manufacturer of stringed instruments and amplifiers. It is famous for its solid-body electric guitars and bass guitars, such as the Stratocaster (also known as the “Strat”), Telecaster (also known as the “Tele”), Precision Bass (also known as the “P-Bass”), and the Jazz Bass (also known as the “J-Bass”). Its headquarters are in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company, previously named the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, was founded in Fullerton, California, by Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender in 1946.

The company is a privately held corporation with Andy Mooney serving as the Chief Executive Officer. The company filed for an initial public offering in March 2012,[4] but this was withdrawn[5][6] five months later. In addition to its Scottsdale headquarters, Fender has manufacturing facilities in Corona, California (US) and Ensenada, Baja California (Mexico).[7]

The company also manufactures acoustic guitars, electric basses, mandolins, banjos, and electric violins, as well as guitar amplifiers, bass amplifiers, and PA (public address) equipment. Other Fender brands include Squier (entry level/budget), Jackson, Charvel, EVH guitars and amplifiers in collaboration with Eddie Van Halen, and the manufacture and distribution of Gretsch guitars under license.

Example10In 1950, Fender introduced the first mass-produced solid-body Spanish-style electric guitar, the Telecaster (originally named the Broadcaster for two-pickup models and Esquire for single-pickup).[8] Following its success, Fender created the first mass-produced electric bass, the Precision Bass (P-Bass). In 1954, Fender unveiled the Stratocaster (“Strat”) guitar. With the Telecaster and Precision Bass on the market for some time, Leo Fender was able to incorporate input from working musicians into the Stratocaster’s design. The Strat’s comfortable contoured edges and in-built vibrato system led to its soaring popularity.

While Fender was not the first to manufacture electric guitars — luthiers and larger musical instrument manufacturers had produced electric guitars since the late 1920s — the popularity of Fender’s instruments superseded what had come before. Furthermore, while nearly all other electric guitars featured hollow bodies — making them most similar to an acoustic guitar — or more specialized designs, such as Rickenbacker’s solid-body Hawaiian guitars, Fender’s instruments possessed an unprecedented level of versatility. The solid wood bodies of Fender’s instruments allowed for minimal feedback with high-gain amplification, an issue that plagued earlier guitars. The Fender guitars were popular with musicians in a variety of genres and are now revered for their build quality and tonal excellence.

The company began as Fender’s Radio Service in late 1938 in Fullerton, California. It got its name from the surname of its founder Leo Fender. As a qualified electronics technician, Leo Fender had been asked to repair not only radios, but also phonograph players, home audio amplifiers, public address systems and musical instrument amplifiers. (At the time, most of these were just variations on a few simple vacuum-tube circuits.) All designs were based on research developed and released to the public domain by Western Electric in the 1930s and used vacuum tubes for amplification. The business also sidelined in carrying records for sale and the in rental of company-designed PA systems. Leo became intrigued by design flaws in contemporary musical instrument amplifiers and began building amplifiers based on his own designs or modifications to designs.

By the early 1940s he had partnered with local electronics enthusiast Clayton Orr “Doc” Kauffman and together they formed the company K & F Manufacturing Corp to design, manufacture, and market electric instruments and amplifiers. Production began in 1945 with Hawaiian lap steel guitars (incorporating a patented pickup) and amplifiers sold as sets. By the end of the year Fender became convinced that manufacturing was more profitable than repair and he decided to concentrate on that business instead. Kauffman remained, however, unconvinced and he and Fender amicably parted ways by early 1946. At that point Leo renamed the company the Fender Electric Instrument Company. The service shop remained open until 1951, although Leo Fender did not personally supervise it after 1947.

A custom lap steel guitar made in 1946 for his friend Noel Boggs was probably the very first product of the new company, already sporting the familiar Big “F” logo.[9]

Example11In the late 1940s, Leo Fender began to experiment with more conventional guitar designs. As early as 1949, the familiar shape of the Telecaster can be made out in some of Fender’s prototypes. Early Telecasters were plagued with issues; Leo Fender boasted the strength of the Telecasters one-piece pine neck while early adopters lamented its tendency to bow in humid weather. Fender’s reluctant addition of a metal truss-rod into the necks of his guitars allowed for the much needed ability to fine-tune the instrument to the musician’s specific needs. With the design of the Telecaster finalized, mass-production began in 1950. The key to Fender’s ability to mass-produce an electric guitar was the modular design of the Telecaster. Its bolted-on neck allowed for the instrument’s body and neck to be milled and finished separately and for the final assembling to be done quickly and cheaply by unskilled workers.

Fender owed its early success not only to its founder and talented associates such as musician/product engineer Freddie Tavares but also to the efforts of sales chief, senior partner and marketing genius Don Randall. According to The Stratocaster Chronicles (a book by Tom Wheeler; Hal Leonard Pub., Milwaukee, WI; 2004, p. 108), Randall assembled what Fender’s original partner Doc Kauffman called “a sales distributorship like nobody had ever seen in the world.” Randall worked closely with the immensely talented photographer/designer, Bob Perine. Their catalogs and ads were innovative – such as the “You Won’t Part With Yours Either” campaign, which portrayed people surfing, skiing, skydiving, and climbing into jet planes, all while holding Jazzmasters and Stratocasters.

In Fender guitar literatures of the 1960s, attractive, guitar-toting teenagers were posed with surfboards and Perine’s classic Thunderbird convertible at local beachside settings, firmly integrating Fender into the surfin’/hot rod/sports car culture of Southern California celebrated by the Beach Boys, beach movies, and surf music. (The Stratocaster Chronicles, by Tom Wheeler; Hal Leonard Pub., Milwaukee, WI; 2004, p. 108). This early success is dramatically illustrated by the growth of Fender’s manufacturing capacity through the 1950s and 1960s.
Sale to CBS
In early 1965, Leo Fender sold his companies to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) for $13 million. (by wikipedia)

And the rest is history …. as we all know …

And here´s a little catalog (12 pages) with all these fantastic Fender instruments (and amplifiers) from 1965 … two years before Jimi Hendrix set the world in fire … with his Fender Stratocaser !

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Big Walter Horton & Paul Butterfield – An Offer You Can´t Refuse (1972)

FrontCover1“An Offer You Can’t Refuse” is one of the best blues harmonica compilations put together. Walter Horton’s material on this recording is some of the best music I have ever heard in my life. Horton’s control, note choice, and near endless well of ideas give a textbook example of what every harmonica player (and musician) needs to do in order to be a competent musician.
Horton’s treatment of “Easy” is a bit sparser than the one he did with Jimmy Deberry long ago; he takes a more restrained approach, but still lets it loose on certain parts of the song. Absolutely brilliant work.

“Have a Good Time” is a straight ahead exchange with Robert Nighthawk backing (as throughout the record), Horton lays it hard and down-home through his solos showing just how to treat the song. Horton’s virtue is that he leaves a good amount of space to let his notes breathe through his solos, so that they don’t bunch up and sound insignificant.
“Mean Mistreater” is a slow blues in 1st position that is soulful and pretty. This is how all you harp players need to solo over a slow blues, beautifully done; Nighthawk’s backing is simple and dead-on as well. All you SRV clone twits can learn a thing or two from Robert Nighthawk, it ain’t always about the soloing!

“In the Mood” is an upbeat frisky deal that has Horton throwing notes down with authority. Great singing and solid backing with Horton doing some very hard (yet musical) lines make this alone worth the price of the CD.
“West Side Blues” is a steady, high and lonesome blues feel with very tasteful soloing on Horton’s part. Horton plays the melody through much of this song, but makes it sound wonderful.
“Louise” is another steady feeling blues with Horton singing and dominating; beautiful lines, with acoustic harp make this a winner.

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“Tin Pan Alley” is a sweet lowdown song, Horton’s soloing is slow and well paced.
“Walter’s Boogie” rounds out the Horton section; uptempo, and seriously well done, Horton lays a lesson in tone and control that is near scary at times. Very well done.
The Butterfield section was taken from a 1963 night club gig with Smokey Smothers and Sam Lay. A nice recording, not Butterfield’s best, but a good sneak preview of what was to come from the illustrious Butterfield. A great recording that’s worth your money. If you are learning to play harmonica, this CD should be in your library; it will do more for you than most instructional books could ever do. (an amazon cutomer)

Paul Butterfield

Paul Butterfield’s 1960 high school yearbook photo

An album released on the Red Lightnin’ label in 1972 consisting of one side of Big Walter Horton and the other side with very early Paul Butterfield (1963) (See: Big Walter Horton). Contains six tracks with Butterfield, Smokey Smothers on guitar, Jerome Arnold on bass, and Sam Lay on drums. This was recorded at Big Johns, the North side Chicago club where the Butterfield Band first played in 1963 — some two years before the material on the first Paul Butterfield Blues Band album, which was released in 1965. The six tracks include two instrumentals, “Got My Mojo Working” and the Butterfield-authored tune “Loaded.” Although this is very early Butterfield, the harp playing is excellent and already in his own unique style. The singing is a little rough and heavy sounding. Butterfield fans will want to find this rare vinyl for musical and historical reasons. (by Michael Erlewine)

Recorded live  at the “Big Johns” Club,Wells Street, Chicago, Summer 1963 

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Personnel:

Big Walter Horton:
Big Walter Horton (vocals, harmonica)
Robert Nighthawk (guitar)

Paul Butterfield:
Jerome Arnold (bass)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Sam Lay (drums)
Smokey Smothers (guitar)

BackCover1

Tracklist:

Big Walter Horton:
01. Easy (Horton) 3.16
02. Have A Good Time (Horton) 3.18
03. Mean Mistreater (Carr/Horton) 3.03
04. In The Mood (Horton) 3.07
05. West Side Blues (Horton) 3-08
06. Louise (Morganfield) 4.04
07. Tin Pan Alley (Geddins) 2.52
08. Walters Boogie, This Is It (Horton) 2.45

Paul Butterfield:
09. Everythings Gonna Be Alright (Jacobs) 3.40
10. Poor Boy (Horton) 3.53
11. Got My Mojo Working (Morganfield) 3.07
12. Last Night (Jacobs) 4.38
13. Loaded (Butterfield) 2.52
14. One Room Country Shack (Walton) 4.54

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Bronco – Ace Of Sunlight (1971)

FrontCover1Bronco were an English rock/country band signed to Island & Polydor Records 1969-1973.

Formed August 1969 by Jess Roden following his split from The Alan Bown Set, Bronco were signed to Island Records by Guy Stevens and, after initially recording tracks at Olympic Studios with him, recorded their first album – Country Home – at Island’s own Basing Street Studios during 1970 with the final mix being overseen by Paul Samwell-Smith. The group similarly recorded their second album Ace of Sunlight at Basing Street (1971) which was produced by the band and Richard Digby Smith.

Following a serious motorway accident between Cheltenham and Bristol (in which the group’s crew – Dick Hayes and Alan Stone – and drummer Pete Robinson and bass-player John Pasternak were badly injured) and a later, ill-fated West Coast of America tour, Roden left the band after a final British tour with label-mates Mott The Hoople and John Martyn in the spring of 1972 to start a solo career. Guitarist Robbie Blunt soon followed and the remaining members drafted in Paul Lockey on vocals (who Kevyn Gammond knew from Band of Joy) and Dan Fone on guitar. This incarnation of Bronco signed to Polydor and released one album, Smoking Mixture.

Bronco’s bass player John Pasternak died of a heart attack in September 1986. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant fronted a tribute event for Pasternak in December of that year that featured Plant and The Big Town Playboys, and concluded with an ensemble band featuring Plant, Jimmy Page on guitar and Jason Bonham on drums.

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Two Bronco tracks are featured on Island records compilation albums: “Love” appears on Bumpers released in 1970 and “Sudden Street” appears on El Pea (1971).

“Time Slips Away” was included on the Island Records compilation Meet On The Ledge, released as part of Island’s 50th anniversary in 2009.

Singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward guests on their début album Country Home. Trevor Lucas sings back-up vocals on Ace of Sunlight. Both Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople also guest on Ace of Sunlight. (by wikipedia)
I loved most of the Island acts that I heard in the early 70’s (Free, Traffic, Fairport Convention, Spooky Tooth, etc.). Many of them were on A&M here in the States. Since Bronco apparently wasn’t on any State-side label, I didn’t hear them then, although based on my “buying trends” in those days … Can’t stop playing this disc since I’ve gotten it. Marvelous stuff that’s very evocative of what I remember about being great with most of those Island/A&M artists I loved then (and still do). Very nice vibe throughout. Wonderfully sung and played. Excellent songs like Sudden Street, and New Day Avenue. How could I have lived so long without these tunes spinning in my head? What a great, soulful voice Jess had! (by John S.)

In other words: A classic Island recording from this period … a forgotten jewels of British folk-rock … Listen and enjoy !

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Personnel:
Robbie Blunt (guitar)
Kevyn Gammond (guitar)
John Pasternak (bass)
Pete Robinson (drums, percussion)
Jess Roden (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano)
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Terry Allen (organ on 06.)
Paul Bennett (vocals on 02. + 07.)
Paul Davenport (piano on 03.)
Ian Hunter (piano on 01.)
Trevor Lucas (vocals on 02.)
Mik Ralphs (organ on 01.)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Amber Moon (Roden/Worth) 3.57
02. Time Slips Away (Blunt) 6.06
03. Some Uncertainty (Ward/Gammond) 3.39
04. 4 Woman (Ward/Gammond) 4.10
05. New Day Avenue (Roden/Worth) 6.34
06. Discernible (Gammond/Worth) 3.44
07. Sudden Street (Roden) 6.21
08. Joys & Fears (Roden/Worth) 3.37

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Guy Stevens & Richard Digby Smith (two very important persons for Island Records)

Gary Hoey – Deja Blues (2013)

FrontCover1Deja Blues is an interesting collection of blues tunes that features the blues skills of the talented rock and surf style guitarist Gary Hoey. Most people know him as an instrumental guitar player along the lines of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani because of his billboard hit “Hocus Pocus,” or possibly know him from his Ho Ho Hoey Christmas albums, or have seen trading licks on tour with Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent, Peter Frampton, and Dick Dale. Let’s set the record straight – Gary is not a one trick rock guitar shredder.

The album has many Gary Hoey originals, some of which feature great guest appearances, including James Montgomery on “Boot Hill Blues,” Jon Butcher on the Texas Shuffle “Almost Over You,” Johnny A on “She’s Walking,” and finally, Frank Hannon on the southern rocking “Got to Believe.” There are a couple of covers of traditional blues songs where Gary makes the blues rock. “Going Down” is a down, dirty rockin’ take on the Don Nix penned classic recorded by everyone from the late great Freddie King to Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam. Along with that is the lightly distorted Albert King classic “Born Under A Bad Sign.” An interesting track at the end is “Hold Your Head Up High” which features some slide guitar playing. If you close your eyes and forget who you’re listening to you might confuse this with an outtake form a Derek Trucks Band release.

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There are two stand out tracks on this album though. “Stranger” is an atmospheric mysterious blues where the tones clearly set the mood for one of the lyrics when Gary sings about being “like a stranger in my own town.” The best work on here though is when Gary lets his guitar do all the work on the instrumental slow blues title track – “Deja Blues.” The tension builds and reaches what you think is the peak at each chorus only to be taken to another level with another solo and then finally releases you back to the original slow blues jam.

If you’re looking for an album that straddles that fine line of blues and rock without turning into nothing but a guitar shredders excuse to solo than this fits the bill. It’s always interesting to see how artists who are mostly known for a different style of playing interpret the blues. Deja Blues does the blues justice with his pyrotechnic fretboard fluidity and ability to blend them with his rock background without losing the feeling and intent. (by bluesrockreview.com)

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Personnel:
Gary Hoey (guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards)
Matt Scurfield (drums)
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Johnny A. (guitar, slide-guitar on 05.)
Jon Butcher (guitar on 03.)
Frank Hannon (slide-guitar on 08.)
James Montgomery (harmonica on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Boss You Around (Hoey) 3.08
02. Boot Mill Blues /Hoey) 3.00
03. Almost Over You (Hoey) 4.44
04. Going Down (Nix) 3.40
05 She’s Walking (Hoey) 3.26
06. Stranger (Hoey) 4.22
07. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 3.59
08. Got To Believe (Hoey) 3.40
09. Deja Blues (Hoey) 4.22
10. Hold Your Head Up High (Hoey) 4.17

 

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Inlet

Hassan Boussou – Maalem (80´s)

FrontCover1Hassan Hakmoun is one of the most notable figures in contemporary Moroccan music.

Though schooled in the deeply traditional sounds of the Gnawa people in his native Marrakesh, since moving to the U.S. in 1987, his music has absorbed elements from a variety of popular styles, from jazz and “world music” to neo-classical contemporary Western music and cerebral pop, resulting in a diverse, award-winning and critically acclaimed body of work. His participation in such internationally renowned arts festivals as WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) and collaborations with respected artists, including David Sanborn, Peter Gabriel, Don Cherry and The Kronos Quartet, among countless others, have brought him further into the spotlight and inspired many artists from North Africa and around the globe to follow in his footsteps.

As a master musician whose vision and contributions have enabled a unique fusion and blending of traditions, cultures and genres in a world of ever-expanding global communication and exchange, his work maintains its profound and enormous capacity to joyously inspire and heal the individuals and communities it reaches, as Hakmoun undoubtedly remains a commanding and intriguing artist in the world music scene.

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Hakmoun’’s musical origins are rooted in the African folk music of the Islamic Gnawa sect, descendants from West African slaves brought to North Africa several hundred years ago. Their music combines complicated West African syncopations with long, sinuous North African melodies. Tracing their roots back to the Bilal, a freed slave known for his beautiful voice and believed to have been chosen by the Islamic prophet Mohammed to serve as the first muezzin to call the people of the faith to their prayers, Gnawa musicians often express their religious devotion through their music, using it to enter into spiritual trance states.

These rich, ancient Gnawa traditions have powerfully and intimately influenced Hakmoun’s early life and calling as a musician as his mother is a mystic healer known throughout Marrakesh for her derdeba trance ceremonies, often all-night affairs involving hypnotic playing and chanting to exorcise spirits. Steeped in Islamic mysticism and West African rhythms, the Gnawa musical form and its rituals lift the spirit and heal the sick and wounded through its songs of praise.

Hakmoun began learning Gnawa music after witnessing his first trance ceremony at the young age of four. Through a miraculous incident involving his younger sister, whose body was mysteriously touched by the spirit, covered in cigarette burns and then healed as a result of a meeting of the local Gnawa masters who proceeded to gather and conduct a ceremony of singing, drumming and playing instruments such as the sintir while asking for forgiveness and inquiring as to the cause of her ailments, Hakmoun proceeded to study percussion, as well as traditional trance-inducing dances.

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He eventually chose the sintir as his main instrument, a three-stringed lute with a body made of camel skin stretched over nutwood. The strings of the sintir are pitched low, enabling the instrument to serve as the bass foundation much like the Western string bass, while its tone is sweet, making it well-suited to carry the melodic line of a composition. By drumming on the body of the instrument, Hakmoun added his own percussion while contributing vocals, thereby creating a unique foundation for his musical explorations and growth. By the age of fourteen, he was an established musician performing at Gnawa lila ceremonies with his own ensemble.

Hakmoun made his U.S. debut in 1987 at Lincoln Center in New York City with Etian and Blanca Lee’’s Trio Gna & Nomadas dance group … (taken from his website)

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I guess this is very rare record by Hassan Boussou … I found no further informations in the internet (this is maybe a bootleg, I don´t know) … I bought it last week in Marrakesh  at the Jamaa el Fna market:

Jamaa el Fna (also Jemaa el-Fnaa, Djema el-Fna or Djemaa el-Fnaa) is a square and market place in Marrakesh’s medina quarter (old city). It remains the main square of Marrakesh, used by locals and tourists.

And I guess, this were very erly recordings from the Eighties … unfortunatley the covers gives no more informations ..

So … listen to the magic of a real unique world of music …

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Personnel:
Hassan Boussou (lute, vocals)
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Marie le Baron et la troupe Boussou Ganga

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Tracklist:
01. Part 1 / 22.07
02. Part 2 / 36.51

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