Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers – Same (1965)

FrontCover1.jpgCliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers are a 1960s British rhythm and blues, soul and beat group who had two Top 10 hits with “One Way Love” (#9 UK, 1964) and “Got to Get You into My Life” (No.6 UK, 1966).

Well-known members include Bennett himself (vocals, born Clifford Bennett, 4 June 1940, Slough, Berkshire, England) Chas Hodges (keyboards, bass, born Charles Nicholas Hodges, 28 December 1943, Edmonton, North London, England), Mick Burt (drums, born Michael William Burt, 23 August 1938, Middlesex, England) and Nicky Hopkins (piano, born Nicholas Christian Hopkins, 24 February 1944, Harlesden, North West London, England) and Maurice Groves , Birmingham

In 1957 Bennett formed the band the Rebel Rousers. They recorded several singles with record producer Joe Meek that were released by Parlophone. Bennett continued recording for Parlophone, issuing cover versions of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and “Got My Mojo Working”.

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Brian Epstein became their manager in September 1964 and their seventh release, “One Way Love” (written by Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy under their pseudonyms Bert Russell and Norman Meade) b/w “Slow Down”, reached No. 9 in the British charts. Their next, “I’ll Take You Home” (written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) b/w “Do You Love Him”, charted at No. 42. “Three Rooms With Running Water” (written by Jimmy Radcliffe and Bob Halley) did somewhat better. In early 1966, the band was the opening act for the Beatles on their final European tour. Bennett got the opportunity to hear the Paul McCartney song “Got to Get You into My Life”, which was used on the Revolver album but was never released as a single. Bennett recorded it, with his own composition “Baby Each Day” appearing on the B-side. McCartney was producer for the session. The record reached No. 6 on the British charts, becoming Bennett’s biggest ever hit.[1] Cliff returned to the songbook of McCartney / Lennon in 1968 when he recorded “Back in the USSR” as Cliff Bennett and his Band, a single on Parlophone but this failed to make any impression on the charts.

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Bennett went on to be part of Toe Fat, whilst Chas Hodges (keyboards) and Mick Burt became Chas & Dave with Dave Peacock. After Toe Fat disbanded, two of their members (Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake) joined Uriah Heep, and Bennett was asked to join them but declined. He was also considered for the lead vocalist position in Blood, Sweat & SheetMusicTears when David Clayton-Thomas left in the early 1970s but once again turned the position down. He released a solo album, Rebellion in 1971 but he was not to rekindle his success of the previous decade. Between 1975 & 1976, he was the vocalist for a band called Shanghai, which released two albums, in 1974 and 1976; other members included, Mick Green (guitar), Chuck Bedford (vocals, harmonica, 1974–75), Pete Kircher (drums, vocals), Mike Le Main (bass, keyboards, 1974–75), Brian Alterman (guitar, 1975–76), Pat King (bass, 1975-76).

In the late 1970s, Bennett retired from the music industry to go into shipping, through which he made a considerable amount of money. In 1988, Mark Lundquist reformed the Rebel Rousers and toured as manager and band leader of Cliff and the band until 1996. More recently he has toured alongside Mike d’Abo, Chris Farlowe, Zoot Money, Maggie Bell, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Manfreds, Steve Ellis and New Amen Corner. (by wikipedia)

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Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers were a British soul combo that featured Bennett as pretty-boy soul singer with strong backing from the two saxes-guitar-organ-bass-drums lineup of the Rebel Rousers. Between 1964 and 1966, they cut these two albums for EMI, hooked up with Brian Epstein, and almost made it. In truth, they were a couple of years ahead of the curve, with Bennett possibly one of the few Brits who could tackle material by Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Reed, Smokey Robinson, Little Milton, and Curtis Mayfield without looking or sounding ridiculous in the process. The Rebel Rousers are a minimal — but deceptively fat and full sounding — sextet that makes these tracks come alive with stripped-down vitality. They make old soul tunes sound like Liverpool pop and pop throwaways sound like R&B rarities. This is one of the missing chapters in British rock that every fan ought to get around to sampling. (by Cub Koda)

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Personnel:
Cliff Bennett (vocals)
Mick Burt (drums)
Maurice Groves (saxophone)
Sid Phillips (saxophone)
Bobby Thomson (bass)
Dave Wendells (guitar)
Roy Young (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. I Can’t Stand It (McAllister) 4.06
02. Sweet And Lovely (Arnheim/Tobias/Lemare) 2.39
03. Make Yourself At Home (Sherman/Clare/Tobias) 1.58
04. You Really Got A Hold On Me (Robinson) 2.34
05. Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby (Reed) 2.45
06. Sha La La (Taylor/Moseley) 2.06
07. One Way Love (Russell/Meade) 2.19
08. Steal Your Heart Away (Parker) 3.29
09. It’s All Right (Mayfield) 2.47
10. Beautiful Dreamer (Foster) 2.09
11. Mercy Mercy (Covay/Miller) 2.39
12. Talking About My Baby (Mayfield) 2.30
13. The Pick-Up (Twitty) 2.07

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Ludwig Güttler + Virtuosi Saxoniae – JS Bach Orchestral Suites (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgLudwig Güttler (born 13 June 1943) is an internationally known German virtuoso on the Baroque trumpet, the piccolo trumpet and the corno da caccia. As a conductor, he founded several ensembles including the chamber orchestra Virtuosi Saxoniae. His name is sometimes written in English as Ludwig Guttler.

He received a number of awards including Discovery of the Year in 1983, and Frankfurt’s Musikpreis for extraordinary achievements in 1989. He was a founding member of the Rheingau Musik Festival and has appeared regularly since the first season in 1988.

As head of the society of the Dresdner Frauenkirche, Ludwig Güttler promoted the reconstruction of this famous Baroque church, which was destroyed during World War II and was rebuilt in 1994–2004. In recognition of these contributions, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in November 2007.

Güttler was born in 1943 in Sosa, in the Ore Mountain region of Saxony. He studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Mendelssohn-Akademie in Leipzig with Armin Männel. From 1965 to 1969 he played in the orchestra of the Handel Festival in Halle and from 1969 to 1980 with the Dresden Philharmonic. He has been teaching the trumpet at the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber in Dresden until 1990, and at the annual Güttler01International Music Seminar in Weimar from 1980 to 1990.

Since the mid-1970s, Güttler has been mainly active as a soloist and later as a conductor, at home and abroad, devoted mainly to the trumpet literature of the 18th century, especially the high-pitched piccolo trumpet. He was also involved in the development of a modern brass instrument to play parts designated for the historic corno da caccia. The instrument was made by Friedbert Syhre in Leipzig.

Güttler is also musical director of the festival “Sandstein und Musik” (Sandstone and Music) in Saxon Switzerland, founded in 1983 and of the festival Musikwoche Hitzacker in Hitzacker. Güttler is a member of the Sächsische Akademie der Künste (Saxon Academy of Arts).

Güttler founded the Leipziger Bach-Collegium in 1976, the Blechbläserensemble Ludwig Güttler in 1978, and in 1985 the chamber orchestra Virtuosi Saxoniae.[3] The group of members of the Staatskapelle Dresden concentrates on performing music from the 18th century found in Dresden libraries, in the fields of opera, sacred music and chamber music.

He supported the Rheingau Musik Festival from the beginning in 1988, both as a performer and a curator. In 2011 he appeared with his Brass Ensemble.[5] In 2012, he conducted his orchestra Virtuosi Saxoniae in Eberbach Abbey in works by Bach, Handel, Johann Friedrich Fasch, Christoph Förster, Telemann and Mozart, as part of the series “Companions along the way”.

Güttler03In 1983 he received a record prize of the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in Hamburg as “Discovery of the Year”. In 1988 he was the second recipient of the Georg-Philipp-Telemann-Preis of Magdeburg, in 1989 the Frankfurter Musikpreis. In both 1978 and 1985 he received the National Prize of East Germany, which he returned in 1989, asking that the money should be devoted to the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche.

After the German reunification, Ludwig Güttler became chairman of the society for promoting the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche Dresden and curator of the foundation Stiftung Frauenkirche. He regularly conducted “Wiederaufbaukonzerte” (concerts for the reconstruction).[9] For his involvement in the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche, he received several honours. President Horst Köhler awarded him in September 2007 the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Erich Iltgen awarded him the Sächsische Verfassungsmedaille on 26 May 2005. Queen Elizabeth II appointed him Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in November 2007 in recognition of his contributions to the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche and his significant contribution to the reconciliation of the two peoples by this project. (by wikipedia)

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Can one ever tire of the dancing inspiration that animates these four portmanteau collections which have delighted both serious and casual listeners ever since Bach compiled them for use in social occasions as the 30-something Kapellmeister at the briefly enlightened court of Prince Leopold of Cöthen, exulting in the multifarious influences which he had absorbed and could place at the service of a compositional mind of unequalled intellectual brilliance yet always conscious of his music’s need to entertain, to give delight as well as accompany the sober thoughts of his congregations?

Not, at any rate, in these performances from a virtuoso German ensemble hailing from Bach’s own part of the world and masterminded by a superb trumpeter-turned-conductor who well understands the exuberant, public character of these suites, their occasional purposes, for all that in such moments as the famous Air from the G major Suite, No.3, they appear to take on a more confiding aspect, drawing the listener in before dispelling the tension with another jolly minuet or charming sarabande.

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This generously filled CD presents the complete Orchestral Suites (Overtures) by J.S. Bach. Bach’s Suites count among his most popular and most frequently performed works, they are quintessential Bach: majestic, noble, tender and full of energy. They contain some of Bach’s evergreens: the Air from the 3rd Suite and the Badinerie from the 2nd Suite.

Played by the Virtuosi Saxoniae conducted by trumpeter-conductor Ludwig Güttler, modern instruments in Historically Informed Performance Practice, the best of both worlds. (press release)

Recordings: 1990-1992, Lukaskirche, Dresden/Germany

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Personnel:
Joachim Bischof (cello)
Ludwig Güttler (trumpet)
Eckart Haupt (flute)
Friedemann Jähnig (viola)
Thomas Käppler (timpani)
Günter Klier (bassoon)
Manfred Krause (oboe)
Andreas Lorenz (oboe)
Heinz-Dieter Richter (violin)
Roland Rudolph (trumpet)
Mathias Schmutzler (trumpet)
Roland Straumer (violin)
Guido Titze (oboe)
Werner Zeibig (bass)

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Tracklist:

Suite In C BWV 1066:
01. Ouverture 5.37
02. Courante 1.38
03. Gavotte I & II 2.27
04. Forlane 1.16
05. Menuet I & II 2.45
06. Bourrée I & II 2.25
07. Passepied I & II 3.02

Suite In B Minor BWV 1067:
08. Ouverture 6.25
09. Rondeau 1.39
10. Sarabande 2.52
11. Bourrée I & II 1.50
12. Polonaise I & II 2.59
13. Menuet 1.09
14. Badinerie 1.20

Suite In D BWV 1068:
15. Ouverture 6.35
16. Air 4.16
17. Gavotte I & II 3.11
18. Bourrée 1.15
19. Gigue 2.39

Suite In D BWV 1069:
20. Ouverture 6.49
21. Bourrée I & II 2.53
22. Gavotte 1.44
23. Menuet I & II 3.29
24. Réjouissance 2.17

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Black Sabbath – Vol. 4 (1972)

FrontCover1.JPGVol. 4 is the fourth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in September 1972. It was the first album by Black Sabbath not produced by Rodger Bain; guitarist Tony Iommi assumed production duties. Patrick Meehan, the band’s then-manager, was listed as co-producer, though his actual involvement in the album’s production was minimal.

In June 1972, Black Sabbath began work on their fourth album at the Record Plant studios in Los Angeles.

“It’s the first album we’ve produced ourselves,” observed Ozzy Osbourne. “Previously we had Rodger Bain as a producer – and, although he’s very good, he didn’t really feel what the band was doing. It was a matter of communication. This time, we did it with Patrick, our manager, and I think we’re all very happy… It was great to work in an American studio.”[1]

The recording was plagued with problems, many due to substance abuse. In the studio, the band regularly had speaker boxes full of cocaine delivered.

Struggling to record “Cornucopia” after “sitting in the middle of the room, just doing drugs”,[3] Bill Ward feared that he was to be fired: “I hated the song, there were some patterns that were just horrible. I nailed it in the end, but the reaction I got was the cold shoulder from everybody. It was like ‘Well, just go home, you’re not being of any use right now.’ I felt like I’d blown it, I was about to get fired.”

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According to the book How Black Was Our Sabbath, Ward “was always a drinker, but rarely appeared drunk. Retrospectively, that might have been a danger sign. Now, his self-control was clearly slipping.” Iommi claims in his autobiography that Ward almost died after a prank-gone-wrong during recording. The Bel Air mansion the band was renting belonged to John du Pont and the band found several spray cans of gold DuPont paint in a room of the house; finding Ward naked and unconscious after drinking heavily, they proceeded to cover the drummer in gold paint from head to toe. According to Sharon Osbourne’s memoirs, a Doberman at the mansion got into part of the band’s cocaine supply, laced with the baby laxative mannitol, and became ill from the effects of the drug.

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The Vol. 4 sessions could be viewed as the point when the seeds were planted for the demise of Sabbath’s classic line-up. Bassist Geezer Butler told Guitar World in 2001: “The cocaine had set in. We went out to L.A. and got into a totally different lifestyle. Half the budget went on the coke and the other half went to seeing how long we could stay in the studio … We rented a house in Bel Air and the debauchery up there was just unbelievable.” In the same interview, Ward said: “Vol. 4 is a great album, but listening to it now, I can see it as a turning point for me, where the alcohol and drugs stopped being fun.” To Guitar World in 1992, Iommi admitted, “L.A. was a real distraction for us, and that album ended up sounding a bit strange. The people who were involved with the record really didn’t have a clue. They were all learning with us, and we didn’t know what we were doing either. The experimental stage we began with Master of Reality continued with Vol. 4, and we were trying to widen our sound and break out of the bag everyone had put us into.” In the liner notes to 1998’s Reunion, Iommi reflected, “By the time we got to Bel Air we were totally gone. It really was a case of wine, women and song, and we were doing more drugs than ever before.” In his memoir Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven & Hell with Black Sabbath, the guitarist says, “Like Tony Montana in the movie Scarface: we’d put a big pile (of cocaine) on the table, carve it all up and then we’d all have a bit, well, quite a lot.”

BlackSabbath02In his autobiography I Am Ozzy, Osbourne speaks at length about the sessions: “In spite of all the arsing around, musically those few weeks in Bel Air were the strongest we’d ever been.” But he admits, “Eventually we started to wonder where the fuck all the coke was coming from … that coke was the whitest, purest, strongest stuff you could ever imagine. One sniff, and you were king of the universe.” Osbourne also recounts the band’s ongoing anxiety over the possibility of being busted, which worsened after they went to the cinema to see The French Connection (1971), about undercover New York City cops busting an international heroin-smuggling ring. “By the time the credits rolled,” Osbourne recalled, “I was hyperventilating.” In 2013, Butler admitted to Mojo magazine that heroin, too, had entered the picture: “We sniffed it, we never shot up … I didn’t realize how nuts things had gotten until I went home and the girl I was with didn’t recognize me.”

Vol. 4 saw Black Sabbath beginning to experiment with the heavy sound they had become known for. In June 2013 Mojo declared, “If booze and dope had helped fuel Sabbath’s earlier albums, Vol. 4 is their cocaine … Despite their spiraling addictions, musically Vol. 4 is another ambitious outing. The band’s heavy side remains intact on the likes of ‘Tomorrow’s Dream’, ‘Cornucopia’ and the seismic ‘Supernaut’ (a firm favorite of Frank Zappa, featuring Bill Ward’s soul-inspired breakdown), but the guitar intro on ‘St. Vitus Dance’ possesses a jaunty, Led Zeppelin-flavoured quality, while ‘Laguna Sunrise’ is an evocative neo-classical Iommi instrumental.” After being up all night and watching the sunrise at Laguna Beach, Iommi composed the song. In the studio, an orchestra accompanied Iommi’s guitar, although they refused to perform until their parts were properly written out. The same orchestra performed on “Snowblind”.

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“Snowblind” is the band’s most obvious reference to cocaine, their drug of choice during this period. Snowblind was also the album’s working title, but Vertigo Records executives were reluctant to release an album with such an obvious drug reference. The liner notes thank “the great COKE-cola” and, in his autobiography, Osbourne notes, “Snowblind was one of Black Sabbath’s best-ever albums – although the record company wouldn’t let us keep the title, ‘cos in those days cocaine was a big deal, and they didn’t want the hassle of a controversy. We didn’t argue.”

Although most of the album is in the band’s trademark heavy style, some songs demonstrate a more sensitive approach. “Changes”, for example, written by Iommi with lyrics by Butler, is a piano ballad with mellotron. Iommi taught himself to play the piano after finding one in the ballroom of the Bel-Air mansion they were renting. It was on this piano that “Changes” was composed.[2] “Tony just sat down at the piano and came up with this beautiful riff,” Osbourne writes in his memoir. “I hummed a melody over the top, and Geezer wrote these heartbreaking lyrics about the break-up Bill was going through with his wife. I thought that was brilliant from the moment we recorded it.”

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“FX” came about unexpectedly in the studio. After smoking hashish, the crucifix hanging from Iommi’s neck accidentally struck the strings of his guitar and the band took an interest in the odd sound produced. An echo effect was added and the band proceeded to hit the guitar with various objects to generate odd sound effects. Iommi calls the song “a total joke”.

Of “Wheels of Confusion”, Henry Rollins said: “It’s about alienation and being lost in the wheels of confusion, which is the way I find myself a lot of the time. Sabbath could be my favourite band. It’s the ultimate lonely man’s rock. There’s something about their music that’s so painful and yet so powerful.”

Tourposter.jpgThe album, Tony Iommi told Circus’s sister magazine Circus Raves, “was such a complete change – we felt we had jumped an album, really … We had tried to go too far.”

The album cover features a monochrome photograph of Ozzy Osbourne with hands raised throwing the peace sign, taken during a Black Sabbath concert. The album’s original release (on Vertigo in the UK, on Warner Bros. in the United States and on Nippon Phonogram in Japan) features a gatefold sleeve with a page glued into the middle. Each band member is given his own photo page, with the band on-stage at the Birmingham Town Hall (and photographed from behind) at the very centre.

Vol. 4 was released in September 1972, and while most critics of the era were dismissive of the album, it achieved gold status in less than a month, and was the band’s fourth consecutive release to sell one million copies in the United States. It reached number 13 on Billboard’s pop album chart and number 8 on the UK Albums Chart. The song “Tomorrow’s Dream” was released as a single but failed to chart. Following an extensive tour of the United States, the band toured Australia for the first time in 1973, and later Europe. (by wikipedia)

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Vol. 4 is the point in Black Sabbath’s career where the band’s legendary drug consumption really starts to make itself felt. And it isn’t just in the lyrics, most of which are about the blurry line between reality and illusion. Vol. 4 has all the messiness of a heavy metal Exile on Main St., and if it lacks that album’s overall diversity, it does find Sabbath at their most musically varied, pushing to experiment amidst the drug-addled murk. As a result, there are some puzzling choices made here (not least of which is the inclusion of “FX”), and the album often contradicts itself. Ozzy Osbourne’s wail is becoming more powerful here, taking greater independence from Tony Iommi’s guitar riffs, yet his vocals are processed into a nearly textural element on much of side two. Parts of Vol. 4 are as ultra-heavy as Master of Reality, yet the band also takes its most blatant shots at accessibility to date — and then undercuts that very intent. The effectively concise “Tomorrow’s Dream” has a chorus that could almost be called radio-ready, were it not for the fact that it only appears once in the entire song. “St. Vitus Dance” is surprisingly upbeat, yet the distant-sounding vocals don’t really register. The notorious piano-and-Mellotron ballad “Changes” ultimately fails not because of its change-of-pace mood, but more for a raft of the most horrendously clichéd rhymes this side of “moon-June.”

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Even the crushing “Supernaut” — perhaps the heaviest single track in the Sabbath catalog — sticks a funky, almost danceable acoustic breakdown smack in the middle. Besides “Supernaut,” the core of Vol. 4 lies in the midtempo cocaine ode “Snowblind,” which was originally slated to be the album’s title track until the record company got cold feet, and the multi-sectioned prog-leaning opener, “Wheels of Confusion.” The latter is one of Iommi’s most complex and impressive compositions, varying not only riffs but textures throughout its eight minutes. Many doom and stoner metal aficionados prize the second side of the album, where Osbourne’s vocals gradually fade further and further away into the murk, and Iommi’s guitar assumes center stage. The underrated “Cornucopia” strikes a better balance of those elements, but by the time “Under the Sun” closes the album, the lyrics are mostly lost under a mountain of memorable, contrasting riffery. Add all of this up, and Vol. 4 is a less cohesive effort than its two immediate predecessors, but is all the more fascinating for it. Die-hard fans sick of the standards come here next, and some end up counting this as their favorite Sabbath record for its eccentricities and for its embodiment of the band’s excesses. (by Steve Huey)

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Personnel:
Geezer Butler (bass, mellotron)
Tony Iommi (guitar, piano, mellotron)
Ozzy Osbourne (vocals)
Bill Ward (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Wheels Of Confusion (including The Straightener) 8.12
02. Tomorrow’s Dream 3.09
03. Changes 4.43
04. FX (Instrumental) 1.40
05. Supernaut 4.44
06. Snowblind 5.28
7. “Cornucopia” 3:55 [26]
8. “Laguna Sunrise” (instrumental) 2:56
9. “St. Vitus Dance” 2:30
10. Under The Sun (including Every Day Comes And Goes) 5.53

Music written by Geezer Butler – Tony Iommi – Ozzy Osbourne – Bill Ward)
Lyrics: Geezer Butler.

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Terry Gibbs – More Vibes On Velvet (1959)

FrontCover1erry Gibbs (born Julius Gubenko, October 13, 1924) is an American jazz vibraphonist and band leader.

He has performed or recorded with Tommy Dorsey, Chubby Jackson, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Alice Coltrane, Louie Bellson, Charlie Shavers, Mel Tormé, Buddy DeFranco, and others. Gibbs also worked in film and TV studios in Los Angeles.

In the 1950–1951 season, Gibbs was a popular guest on Star Time on the DuMont Television Network. Thereafter, he was a regular in 1953–1954 on NBC’s Judge for Yourself.

In the late 1950s, he appeared on NBC’s The Steve Allen Show, on which he regularly played lively vibraphone duets with the entertainer and composer. In 1997, he appeared on Steve Allen’s 75th Birthday Celebration on PBS. Gibbs was also the bandleader on the short-lived That Regis Philbin Show. As an instrumentalist, together with his big band, the Dream Band, Gibbs has won prestigious polls, such as those of Downbeat and Metronome.

When Gibbs moved from New York to California in 1958 he began planning for his next big band album. In early 1959 he booked extended residencies at two Los Angeles night clubs, the Seville and the Sundown for what became known as the Dream Band.

TerryGibbs02The band usually played on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday night when the cream of Hollywood jazz and studio musicians would be available. The core band always remained stable with Mel Lewis holding down the drum chair.

Some of the key players were lead altoist Joe Maini, tenor saxists Bill Holman and Med Flory, trumpeters Al Porcino and Conte Candoli and trombonists Frank Rosolino and Bob Enevoldsen.

New arrangements were commissioned from Bill Holman, Marty Paich, Med Flory, Manny Albam and Al Cohn, among others, to feature Gibbs’ vibes in front of the band. The band released four albums from 1959 to 1961.
In the mid 1960s, Gibbs opened a music store in Canoga Park, California, with former Benny Goodman drummer Mel Zelnick. Terry Gibbs and Mel Zelnick Music Stop was also the first teaching facility of the drum guru Freddie Gruber and Henry Bellson, brother of Louie. (by wikipedia)

Terry Gibbs is sometimes deemed more the hard-driving swinger and jack-in-the-box of modern vibraharp than musician of sensitive feeling for a ballad.

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Clearly, his first Vibes On Velvet album (MG 36064) proclaimed the 34-year old Brooklynite (now resident in Southern California) one with a signal way with a pretty melody.

When the ballads are illumined by the perceptive arrangements of Manny Albam, the musical setting becomes such that the listener is presented a Terry Gibbs far removed indeed from the dazzling thrust-and-parry youngsters-in-jazz who erupted so potently in the Second Herd of Woody Herman during the ’40s. While the wisecracks and gum chewing remain indissolubly part of Gibbs personality, his maturity in musical expression has seldom been more evident than in his treatment of these ballads. Contrasting sharply with the bulk of his recorded output during the past decade, this subdued selection reveals a more restrained facet of Terry’s assertive jazz approach.

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“It’s very hard to play a straight melody on vibes,” mused Terry, listening to a playback. “You keep wanting to play little figures and things around the tune and it’s really tough to stay on the melody line.”

He lapsed into silence for awhile, then abruptly observed, “You know, my wife is right about my playing. She says I play best on the songs I don’t know. Take this one, What Is There To Say. It was new to me. I guess on new tunes you have to think more. You don’t have time to get lazy and fall into playing ideas you’re used to.” (taken from the original liner notes)

A superb album, smooth jazz from the late 50´s. Perfect for an evening in a small Jazz-Bar.

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Personnel:
Max Bennett (bass)
Med Flory (saxophone)
Terry Gibbs (vibraphone)
Bill Holman (saxophone)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Charlie Kennedy (saxophone)
Mel Lewis (drums)
Joe Maini (saxophone)
Jack Schwartz (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Moonlight Serenade (Miller/Parrish) 3.03
02. Blues In The Night (Mercer/Arlen) 4.13
03. Impossible (Allen) 3.13
04. What Is There To Say (Harburg/Duke) 3.00
05. I Remember (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs) 2.48
06. The Things We Did Last Summer (Cahn/Stynes) 3.17
07. You Make Me Feel So Young (Gordon/Myrow) 2.46
08. At Last (Gordon/Warren) 2.46
09. Lazy Sunday (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs) 4.00
10. Every Day Is Spring With You (Legan/Gibbs)
11. With All My Love To You (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs/Legan) 3.26
12. Don’t Cry (D.Gibbs/T.Gibbs) 3.59

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Les Dudek Band – KSA Record Plant (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgLes Dudek (born August 2, 1952, at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island, United States) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter.

In addition to his solo material, Dudek has played guitar with Steve Miller Band, The Dudek-Finnigan-Krueger Band, Stevie Nicks, Cher, Boz Scaggs, The Allman Brothers Band, as well as Maria Muldaur, Bobby Whitlock, Mike Finnigan, Jim Krueger and Dave Mason.

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Les Dudek01Les Dudek’s father, Harold, was born in Campbell, Nebraska, and was a World War II veteran in the United States Navy. His mother, Alma, born in Brooklyn, was a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette. Les has one older sister, Sandy, who was born in Brooklyn. The family is of Czech, German, Italian, and Russian ancestry. Six years after Les was born, his father retired from the Navy and the family moved to Florida where he grew up.

The Beatles caught Dudek’s ear at an early age. In 1962, at the age of ten, Les asked his parents for a guitar for Christmas. They bought him an acoustic guitar from Sears & Roebuck. His musical influences, along with The Beatles, were Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and The Ventures. He had built quite a reputation around the Florida area as a proficient guitar player, having started playing in local bands as a teenager. Those bands were “The United Sounds”, “Blue Truth” and “Power”. That reputation would place him in the studio with the Allman Brothers Band for the recording of the Brothers & Sisters album. He played guitar harmonies with Dickey Betts on the well-known song “Ramblin’ Man” and acoustic guitar on “Jessica”.[1][4] In Alan Paul’s book, One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band, Dudek claimed to have written the part in “Jessica” from when it modulated into G then eventually back to A.

Les Dudek02His next stops were as a guitarist for Boz Scaggs and The Steve Miller Band. Dudek was invited to play with Journey,[citation needed] but he had received an offer to record for Columbia Records as a solo artist. He recorded four solo albums for Columbia Records, Les Dudek, Say No More, Ghost Town Parade and Gypsy Ride. He had two minor hits with “City Magic” and “Old Judge Jones” which were played frequently on local radio stations in the Los Angeles, California area, where he lived at the time, having moved to West Hollywood in the mid-1970s.

He later collaborated with Cher, Stevie Nicks, and with two other Columbia artists, Mike Finnigan and Jim Krueger, with whom he formed The Dudek Finnigan Krueger Band in 1978. A DFKB album was released by Columbia Records a year later.

Between the years 1979 and 1982, Les and Cher had a personal as well as professional relationship. Dudek wrote and performed some of the music for the 1984 movie Mask starring Cher, Sam Elliott, Eric Stoltz, and Laura Dern. He had a small part in the film as “Boner”, a biker.[8] Dudek also appeared in the TV movie, Streets of Justice (1985). He has worked for NBC, ABC, ESPN, Fox Sports, and E! Entertainment Television. He can be heard on many television series including Friends.

In 1985, Dudek played guitar with Stevie Nicks on her album, Rock a Little, and undertook her subsequent tour.

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In 1989, he did a brief stint with Canadian rock group John Kay & Steppenwolf as their guitarist. But problems developed between Dudek and Kay which led to him leave the band after a month of touring.

Two more solo albums later, Deeper Shades Of Blues (1994) and Freestyle, Dudek hit the road again with his own band, and has been performing songs from all his records, plus a few hits he has recorded with other artists.

In 2013, he released another solo album, Delta Breeze. (by wikipedia)

After touring with Boz Scaggs and Steve Miller in 1973-74, Miller asked Dudek to join his band so Dudek moved to California. He formed Polar Bear with members of the Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs bands. They did some demos for Warner Brothers who passed. Dudek was then invited to the first Journey rehearsal to audition. On the same day, he was offered a solo contract by Columbia Records and he chose Columbia. In addition to his solo material, Dudek has played guitar with The Dudek-Finnigan-Krueger Band, Stevie Nicks, Cher, The Allman Brothers Band, as well as Maria Muldaur, Bobby Whitlock, Mike Finnigan and Dave Mason. (b-igo)

These recordings are from The Record Plant – Sausalito, California, when Les was playing with a band called Polar Bear. This was a live in the studio setting, I guess. The source seems to have been a cassette tape, so it’s a little slurry sounding at times. But not that bad. Not hardly bad enough to spoil the fun of hearing Les doing Les before we knew of him. Knowing that, it’s actually quite a nice sounding recording. (http://skydogselysium.blogspot.com)

Thanks to Dowling for sharing the KSAN broadcast at The Traders’ Den.

Recorded live at the Record Plant, Sausalito, CA; November 10, 1974.
Fairly to very good KSAN FM.

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Personnel:
Les Dudek – guitar
Gerald Johnson – bass
Joachim Young – keyboards
Billy Meeker – drums

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Tracklist:
01. Jam (Dudek/Johnson/Young/Meeker) 7.29
02. Time To Pick It (unknown) 5.48
03. Take The Time (Dudek) 5.37
04. Band intro / Sarah (unknown) 6.12
05. Bulldog’s Groove (unknown) 7.56
06. Avatar (Dudek) 7.55
07. Time Out 5:55

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Les Dudek today

Savoy Brown – Witchy Feelin’ (2017)

FrontCover1.jpgKim Simmonds founded Savoy Brown in October 1965. At 69 he still is Savoy Brown as the band is pretty much Kim Simmonds on guitar and vocals and whoever he has a back-line. Here we have him with Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums doing a great job backing up this 69 year old British master of the blues guitar.

“Why Did You Hoodoo Me” is a nice an above mid-tempo blues rocker where Simmonds demonstrates his prowess on guitar for us. He questions why he’s been cursed by his woman in this slick production. Kim switches things up with ”Livin’ On The Bayou” with a little creole inspired stuff. A Cajun ballad with some pretty and somewhat ethereal guitar. “I Can’t Stop the Blues” has Simmonds growling out the lyrics in a song about loneliness. The guitar work is what this one’s all about- steady handed and cool. The title cut is up next, a cool slow blues with nice guitar picking, and a ghostly bass line and sound. “Guitar Slinger” picks up the tempo a little and gets into what the title says- guitar slinging. “Vintage Man” shuffles and shines nicely as Kin sings about being a vintage sort of guy in Levis, blue suede shoes and listening to his record player as he listens to and plays Jimmy Reed.

The slide comes out for “Standing In A Doorway.” Slow blues with voice and slide in a melancholy repartee, nicely done. “Memphis Blues” gives us a driving beat and some big guitar and some more slide, but this time it’s greasy and slick. “Can’t Find Paradise” is a big, blues rock anthem sort of piece with some more slide work.

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Simmonds guitar cries and wails in “Thunder, Lightning and Rain.” It’s a big cut with lots of guitar that goes on for nearly 8 minutes of 6 string soling to a steady bass and drum beat. The CD closes to “Close to Midnight,” a sultry and thoughtful instrumental of Simmonds showing us why he’s highly regard as a guitar man.

If you love Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds then you’ll be spinning this CD a lot because this is right up your alley. Simmonds shows us he’s still got what it takes. The guitar is not overdone, but it’s big and impressively done. It’s a really enjoyable set of new songs all penned by Kim. (Steve Jones)

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Personnel:
Garnet Grimm (drums)
Pat DeSalvo (bass)
Kim Simmonds (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Why Did You Hoodoo Me 5:15
02. Livin’ On The Bayou 6.01
03. I Can’t Stop The Blues 5.27
04. Witchy Feelin’ 4.38
05. Guitar Slinger 3.53
06. Vintage Man 3.08
07. Standing In A Doorway 5.41
08. Memphis Blues 4.14
09. Can’t Find Paradise 4.30
10. Thunder, Lighting & Rain 7.56
11. Close To Midnight 4.08

All songs written by Kim Simmonds

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More from Savoy Brown:

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Toy Caldwell – Can´t You See (live 1992) (1998)

FrontCover1.jpgToy Talmadge Caldwell Jr. (November 13, 1947 – February 25, 1993) was the lead guitarist, main songwriter and a founding member of the 1970s Southern Rock group The Marshall Tucker Band. He was a member of the band from its formation up until 1983. In addition to his guitarist role, he occasionally performed lead vocals for Marshall Tucker Band, including on one of the band’s best-known hits, “Can’t You See.”

Caldwell was born November 13, 1947, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Mr. and Mrs. Toy Talmadge Caldwell Sr. He began playing guitar before his teen years with his younger brother Tommy Caldwell. He developed a unique style of playing, playing the electric guitar using his thumb rather than a pick. Toy played basketball and football in high school with friends George McCorkle, Jerry Eubanks, and Doug Gray. While very involved in sports, the boys eventually became interested in music including jazz and blues. By the age of sixteen, Caldwell was passionate about music, sports, and his other obsession, motorcycles. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

ToyCaldwell03Caldwell decided to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In 1966, he reported for recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. After being wounded in Vietnam in September 1968, he was evacuated for two weeks, then returned for duty. Caldwell was discharged in 1969 and once again began playing music with his high school buddies. The Spartanburg chapter of the Marine Corps League is named the Hutchings-Caldwells Detachment in honor of Toy, his brother Tommy and another Marine.

He later formed the Toy Caldwell Band and released an eponymous CD in 1992; the record was later renamed Son of the South by Southern country rocker and Caldwell’s personal friend, Charlie Daniels. The album was digitally re-released in 2009 through Hopesong Digital / GMV Nashville.

Caldwell died on February 25, 1993, at his home in Moore, South Carolina. The cause of death was reported as cardio-respiratory failure due to cocaine ingestion by Spartanburg County Coroner Jim Burnett.

Caldwell married his wife Abbie on September 12, 1969. The song “AB’s Song” from The Marshall Tucker Band’s debut album was written for her. He was also the father of two girls Cassady and Geneal Caldwell.

He was the older brother of co-founder and bass guitarist Tommy Caldwell, who was killed at age 30 in an automobile accident on April 28, 1980, and to Tim Caldwell, who on March 28, 1980, one month prior to Tommy’s death, was killed at age 25 in a collision with a Spartanburg County garbage truck on S.C. Highway 215. (by wikipedia)

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Toy Caldwell was best known as the lead guitarist and main songwriter in the Marshall Tucker Band. A unique personality as well as a formidable musician, he was a peer of both Dickey Betts and Charlie Daniels, and his best work crossed effortlessly between country, blues, and rock & roll. A few years after the breakup of the Marshall Tucker Band in the late ’80s, he re-emerged as leader of the Toy Caldwell Band, which played small-scale shows of the kind that the Marshall Tucker Band couldn’t do. He also recorded one solo album before his death in early 1993. Although most of his fame inevitably rests with the Marshall Tucker Band, Caldwell left behind a small but glorious body of solo material. (by Bruce Eder)

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First let me say I respect Abbie Caldwell and her belief that Toy would not have wanted this released. That said, me being a true blue TC fan I want anything and everything I can get a hold of from Toy. This album and his 1984 unreleased album with the song Cry Cry Cry are “must haves” to the real fan. This album may be some of the last we get from Toy and that’s a shame.
Yea the picture on the cover and sound quality aren’t the best but it’s Toy and his guitar, I could care less about the cover pic. I want to hear him play and man does he play!
It was Toy’s songwriting and the bands performances that first took a hold of me and many others back in early 70s and still today we thirst for anything from Toy. Adding this to your MTB, Toy Caldwell collection can’t be a bad thing. Buy it, sit back, crank it up and listen to some good ol boy chicken pickin. You wont be disappointed.
Toy was a US Marine / V Nam veteran and a gifted songwriter, awesome guitarist who is deeply missed.
Ride in Peace Tommy, Toy & George….. we miss you brothers. (by ‘J’ Willys)

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The Marshall Tucker Band was one of the more successful acts under the Allman Brother’s umbrella on Capricorn Records. I confess until the MTB band album “Where We All Belong” I didn’t know just how much the main reason I liked MTB was Toy Caldwell. That album was a eye-opener to the prowess of Toy’s “red-hot pickin'”! And boy could the man tear up the fretboard.

MTB, like the Allman Brothers had some hard-knocks and here we find Toy after MTB’s breakup doing what he does best without any cares. It’s a crack band (by all indications) supporting him, but here we really have the total “Toy Caldwell Show” and it is raw and rocking with infectious power! The focus is on the great songcraft melded to some of the absolutely tastiest guitar rips and the rawness only drives it home better.

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This is a highly recommended album if you, like me, found Toy’s guitar playing and song-writing to be the cornerstone of what made MTB memorable. Recently I saw MTB live of which Doug Gray is the only remaining original member. Maybe I saw them on an “off-night”, but it fell flat to these ears…This, on the other hand, brings excitement and joy as it underscores just what a fantastic picker Toy was. He was an amazing guitarist and quite a fine song-writer which this CD easily reveals in an electric way. For those who appreciate the man it is a must buy. One other thing I always knew is that the rhythm section of MTB was tight and in-sync totally with Toy (like Toy, brother Tommy’s bass-playing was also underated and Paul Riddle is a fantastic drummer), the rhythm section here is up to the task. Enough said! (John Werner)

Recorded live at Shooters, Spartanburg, SC, May 8 & 9, 1992

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Personnel:
Mark Burrell (drums)
Toy Caldwell (guitar, vocals)
Tony “Ray” Heatherly (bass, background vocals)
J. “Pic” Pickens (guitar, slide-guitar)
Kenny Smith (keyboards)

on 12.:
Tommy Cathey (bass)
Paul Hornsby (strings, tipani)
Robert Johnson (guitar)
Greg Morrow (drums)
Pete Pedersen (harmonica on 12.)

on 13.:

Tommy Cathey (bass)
Charlie Daniels (fiddle)
Paul Hornsby (keyboards)
Robert Johnson (guitar)
Greg Morrow (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. I Hear The South Calling Me (Bettis/Bannon) 4.21
02. Searchin’ For A Rainbow (Caldwell) 4.20
03. Heard It In A Love Song (Caldwell) 4.46
04. Long Hard Ride (Caldwell) 4.23
05. Mexico (Caldwell) 5.04
06. 24 Hours At A Time (Caldwell) 14.00
07. Milk Cow Blues (Kokomo) 9.39
08. Fly Eagle Fly (Caldwell) 5.40
09. Can’t You See (Caldwell) 6.23
10. Night Life (Bettis/Buskirk/Nelson) 3.58
11. Ab’s Song (Caldwell) 1.24
12. High Noon (Bonus Studio Track) (Tiomkin/Washington) 3.50
13. Trouble In Dixie (Bonus Studio Track) (Caldwell) 4.01

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Toy Talmadge Caldwell Jr. (November 13, 1947 – February 25, 1993)