Passport – Cross Collateral (1975)

FrontCover1Passport was a German jazz/fusion group formed in 1971. Founded by Ace Saxeman, composer and arranger Klaus Doldinger along with Curt Cress (percussion), Kristian Schultze (keyboards), and Wolfgang Schmid (bass & guitar). This was the classic lineup that started with their 4th album “Looking Thru” in 1973, their first US release. I’m not familiar with their first 3 albums, but outside Klaus, the lineup was pretty different. This classic lineup continued through the next 5 albums. Utilizing spacey electronic jazz with rock and classical styles, this group was very groundbreaking. Klaus has a knack for coming up with some of the most beautiful saxe melodies you ever heard.

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Curt Cress was probably one of the first drummers to experiment with electronic drums. Bassist Wolfgang Schmid’s classical guitar adds a nice demension. And Kristian Schultze’s use of synth and mellotron gives them an expansive orchestral sound. After their 8th album, PASSPORT went through many different incarnations with only Klaus as the common denominator in all of them. In the 80’s, Klaus did other projects like motion picture soundtracks, most notably “Das Boot”. But PASSPORT still to this day records and performs (mostly in Europe, they came to the US only once) with various personnel. But it was the classic lineup that expanded their audience and gave them critical acclaim. (by progarchives)

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And here´s the 6th album:

Along with “Infinity Machine”, this is probably the best of the German Jazz-Rock (actually more Rock-Jazz) combo’s run of classic albums in the 1970s, all of them distinguished by the colorful surrealism of their cover art. PASSPORT was never in the same league as the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA or WEATHER REPORT (the latter in particular an obvious influence), but the group nevertheless managed to carve their own distinctive niche in an overcrowded market: no small accomplishment at the time.

I love the way that jittery opening sequencer pattern (in what sounds like a hellishly complex time signature) suddenly gels into the easy Space-Jazz swing of “Homunculus”, with Klaus Doldinger’s saxophone dancing gracefully around a sparkling electric piano solo. And the 13+ minute title track covers a lot of territory, working almost like a Beginner’s Guide medley to the music of PASSPORT.

Wolfgang Schmid & Klaus Doldinger:
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In quick succession it moves from a kinetic start/stop introduction (featuring some primitive electronic percussion triggers) to a brief but lively drum solo by the incomparable Curt Cress, and from there into a relentless mid-tempo rocking section. A blast of rare high-amp electric guitar signals another change of pace, matching equal parts power and finesse before another saxophone freak-out reprise of the opening jam ends the track as it began: stopping on a dime.

Flipping the album over to Side Two (not recommended with a compact disc) doesn’t offer any immediate relief, throwing the unwary listener headlong into the full-throttle punch of “Jadoo”: three minutes of pure adrenalin guaranteed to raise your blood pressure a few notches. Kristian Schultze’s distorted electric piano solo is totally haywire, and the whole thing is propelled by the monster beat of Cress, again proving (and not for the first time) that he was one of the most dynamic and creative drummers of the decade…at least until he later briefly joined TRIUMVIRAT in their declining years.

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The rest of the album is almost a let-down after “Jadoo”: three tracks of pleasant instrumental music, played with Doldinger’s trademark melodic funk and flair, but still sounding tame after all the preceding fireworks. In retrospect, maybe the running order could have been rearranged to better effect.

PASSPORT was a band that was never about to change the world, but they did make it a more pleasant place to live for a while. This album would be an ideal introduction for newcomers, as easy as anywhere else in their long discography, but why not start at the top? (by Neumann)

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Personnel:
Curt Cress (drums, percussion)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, synthesizer, piano, mellotron)
Wolfgang Schmid (bass, guitar)
Kristian Schultze (keyboards)
Curt Cress01Tracklist:
01.Homunculus 6.18
02. Cross-Collateral 13.33
03. Jadoo 3.09
04. Will-O‘-The Wisp 6.20
05. Albatros Song 5.22
06. Damals 4.50

Music composed by Klaus Doldinger

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Manfred Mann – Soul Of Mann (1967)

LPFrontCover1Manfred Sepse Lubowitz (born 21 October 1940), known professionally as Manfred Mann, is a South African–English keyboardist, arranger, singer and songwriter. He is best known as a founding member and eponym of the bands Manfred Mann, Manfred Mann Chapter Three and Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.

Manfred Mann were an English rock band, formed in London and active between 1962 and 1969. The group were named after their keyboardist Manfred Mann, who later led the successful 1970s group Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. The band had two different lead vocalists, Paul Jones from 1962 to 1966 and Mike d’Abo from 1966 to 1969.

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Prominent in the Swinging London scene of the 1960s, the group regularly appeared in the UK Singles Chart. Three of their most successful singles, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, “Pretty Flamingo”, and “Mighty Quinn”, topped the UK charts. The band’s 1964 hit “5-4-3-2-1” was the theme tune for the ITV pop music show Ready Steady Go!. They were also the first southern-England-based group to top the US Billboard Hot 100 during the British Invasion.

The Mann–Hugg Blues Brothers were formed in London by keyboard player Manfred Mann and drummer/vibes/piano player Mike Hugg, who formed a house band in Clacton-on-Sea that also featured Graham Bond. Bringing a shared love of Jazz to the British Blues boom then sweeping London’s clubs, the band was completed by Mike Vickers on guitar, alto saxophone and flute, bassist Dave Richmond and Paul Jones as lead vocalist and harmonicist. By this time they had changed their name to Manfred Mann & the Manfreds. Gigging throughout late 1962 and early 1963, they soon attracted attention for their distinctive sound.

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After changing their name to Manfred Mann at the behest of their label’s producer John Burgess, the group signed with His Master’s Voice in March 1963 and began their recorded output that July with the slow, blues instrumental single “Why Should We Not?”, which they performed on their first appearance on television on a New Year’s Eve show. It failed to chart, as did its follow-up (with vocals), “Cock-a-Hoop”. The overdubbed instrumental soloing on woodwinds, vibes, harmonica and second keyboard lent considerable weight to the group’s sound, and demonstrated the jazz-inspired technical prowess in which they took pride.

In 1964, the group were asked to provide a new theme tune for the ITV pop music television programme Ready Steady Go! They responded with “5-4-3-2-1” which, with the help of weekly television exposure, rose to No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. Shortly after “5-4-3-2-1” was recorded, Richmond left the band, though he would record with them occasionally later. He was replaced by Jones’ friend Tom McGuinness—the first of many changes. After a further self-penned hit, “Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble)”, the band struck gold with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, a cover version of the Exciters’ No. 78 Hot 100 hit earlier that year. The track reached the top of the UK, Canadian, and US charts.

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With the success of “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” the sound of the group’s singles moved away from the jazzy, blues-based music of their early years to a pop hybrid that continued to make hit singles from cover material. They hit No. 3 in the UK with another girl-group cover, “Sha La La”[3] (originally by the Shirelles), which also reached No. 12 in the US and Canada, and followed it with the sentimental “Come Tomorrow” (originally by Marie Knight) but both were of a noticeably lighter texture than their earliest output. Meanwhile, “B” sides and four-song EPs showcased original material and instrumental solos. The group also returned to jazz and R&B themes on their albums: their first, 1964’s The Five Faces of Manfred Mann, included standards such as “Smokestack Lightning” while the second and last with this line-up, Mann Made, offered several self-composed instrumentals and a version of “Stormy Monday Blues” alongside novelties and pop ballads. With a cover of Maxine Brown’s “Oh No Not My Baby” began a phase of new depth and sophistication in the arrangements of their singles. The group began its string of successes with Bob Dylan songs with a track on the best-selling EP The One in the Middle, “With God on Our Side”, next reaching No. 2 in the UK with “If You Gotta Go, Go Now”. The EP’s title track reached the British top ten singles, the last self-written song (by Jones) and the band’s last R’n’B workout to do so. The run climaxed with a second UK No. 1 single, “Pretty Flamingo”, produced by John Burgess.

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The group had managed an initial jazz/rhythm-and-blues fusion, and then had taken chart music in their stride—but could not hope to cope with Paul Jones’ projected solo career as singer and actor, and with Mike Vickers’ orchestral and instrumental ambitions. Jones intended to go solo once a replacement could be found, but stayed with the band for another year, during which Vickers left. McGuinness moved to guitar, his original instrument, contributing the distinctive National Steel Guitar to “If You Gotta Go, Go Now” and “Pretty Flamingo”, and was replaced on bass by Jack Bruce, who had been playing for the Graham Bond Organisation for some time before a recent brief stint with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. In his brief tenure before leaving to form Cream, Bruce played on “Pretty Flamingo” and on the EP Instrumental Asylum (for which he and wind instrumentalists Henry Lowther and Lyn Dobson were included in the sleeve photo of the group), which began the group’s experiments with instrumental versions of chart songs. Bruce was replaced by Klaus Voormann. The band changed record companies just afterward, although EMI quickly released an EP of earlier unissued 1963–66 era songs titled As Was (a play on the title of their then new 1966 album, As Is), a hits compilation; Mann Made Hits (1966), an instrumental compilation LP that included one unissued instrumental track; Soul of Mann (1967); and, most controversially, used session players to complete the unfinished track “You Gave Me Somebody To Love” (c/w ‘Poison Ivy”—both sung by Paul Jones) which made No. 36 in the UK singles chart, upsetting the group—hence McGuinness’s wry comment “Manfreds disown new single” on the sleeve of their next studio album for their new record label. (wikipedia)

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Soul of Mann is a 1967 compilation album of mostly instrumental recordings by Manfred Mann, released by HMV Records shortly after the company dropped the group from its roster. It was not well publicised and did not sell strongly.

The album brought together:

Both sides of the group’s debut single, “Why Should We Not” and “Brother Jack” (1963)
“Sack O’ Woe” (Cannonball Adderley) and “Mr.Anello”, released on the group’s first album The Five Faces of Manfred Mann (1964)
“Bare Hugg”, “The Abominable Snowmann” and “L.S.D.”, from the group’s second album Mann Made (1965)
“Still I’m Sad” (Samwell-Smith), “My Generation” (Townshend), “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (Jagger-Richards) and “I Got You Babe” (Bono) from the 1966 EP Instrumental Asylum, with Jack Bruce, Henry Lowther and Lyn Dobson
“Spirit Feel” (Milt Jackson), previously released on the compilation Mann Made Hits, and two previously unreleased recordings, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Tengo Tango”.

CD releases contain extra tracks, mostly with vocals and from the group’s series of HMV EPs. (wikipedia)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great instrumentals
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on 3 December 2016
If you have problems identifying the jazz influence in Manfred Mann’s works, this compilation is for you. With the exception of one track, everything here is instrumental. Manfred shows that he is a great arranger with sometimes really bizarre versions of then current hits like “My Generation” or “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – the latter with a brute version of the famous guitar riff and some crazy jazzy breaks. “Still I’m Sad” with layered melodies and “I Got You Babe” changed beyond recognition are not bad either. These four songs were also available on the EP “Instrumental Asylum”, which is a fitting attribute. Only “Why Should We Not”, a rather gloomy melody, comes from Manfred himself. Except for Paul Jones (who can only be heard here from time to time with his blues harp), the other band members have also contributed one track each.

EP (with Jack Bruce)

“The Abominable Snowman” was written by Mike Vickers, who not only plays the guitar but also the saxophone very well. On Mike Hugg’s “Bare Hugg” (another pun) he plays the flute, while drummer Hugg enchants on the vibraphone. In addition, with Milt Jackson’s “Spirit Feel” and the two Cannonball Adderley numbers “Tengo, Tango” and “Sack O’ Woe”, there are three real jazz tracks that hardly sound like a British R&B band from the early sixties. None of the songs exceed the four-minute limit, which means that much here is fast, lively and entertaining (no hour-long solos!). Somewhat superfluous, however, are perhaps the two traditionals “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemenn” and “Brother Jack” (aka “Brother Jacob” aka “Frère Jacques”). And what the sung “LSD” is doing here, I don’t understand at all.

The whole album is in mono; apart from that, the versions of “Snowmann”, “Bare Hugg”, “Spirit Feel”, “LSD” and “Sack O’ Woe” are no different from the versions on “Five Faces”, “Mann Made” and “Mann Made Hits” respectively. However, “Mr Anello” is a longer version with intro and different guitar solo compared to the Five Faces version. (by Perfectionist)

In other words; excellent early Jazz-Rock from Britain !

And … “Brother Jack” is a is a French children’s song (“Frère Jacques”) from the 18th century.

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Personnel:
Mike Hugg (drums, vibraphone)
Manfred Mann (keboards)
Tom McGuinness (guitar, bass)
Mike Vickers (guitar, saxophone, flute)
+
horn section:
Henry Lowther – Lyn Dobson
+
Jack Bruce bass and arrangment  on 02., 07., 09. + 12.)

 The re-issue on See For Miles Records (1985):
Re-Issue Edition

Tracklist:
01. The Abominable Snowman (Vickers) 2.48
02. I Got You Babe (Bono) 2.2
03. Bare Hugg (Hugg) 3.53
04. Spirit Feel (Jackson) 2.42
05. Why Should We Not (take 5) (Mann) 2.24
06. L.S.D. (McGuinness) 3.51
07. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger/Richards)
08. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Traditional) 1.57
09. My Generation (Townshend) 2.28
10. Mr. Anello (version 2) (Mann/Hugg/Vickers/Jones/McGuinness) 2.19
11. Still I’m Sad (McCarty/Samwell-Smith) 2.43
12. Tengo Tango (Adderley) – 3:34- Bass- Jack Bruce
13. Brother Jack (Mann) 2.29
14. Sack O’ Woe (Adderley) 2.16

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Lighthouse – Lighthouse Live! (1972)

LPFrontCover1One of the finest (Jazz) Rock bands from Canada.

Drummer Skip Prokop formed Lighthouse in 1968 and began adding members soon after: guitarist Ralph Cole (whom Prokop had played with in the Paupers), Grant Fullerton, Pinky Dauvin, saxophonist Howard Shore, cellist Dick Armin, violinist Don DiNovo, keyboard player Paul Hoffert, saxophonist Keith Jollimore, vocalist Bob McBride, trumpeter Peter Pantaluk, trombonist Larry Smith, and bassist Louis Yackniw. The band released two albums on RCA in 1969 and played at the Newport and Monterey Jazz Festivals and the Isle of Wight Festival, though they had turned down Woodstock. In late 1970, RCA released Lighthouse’s third album, Peacing It All Together, then dropped the band, who then signed to GRT. 1971 brought One Fine Morning and Thoughts of Movin’ On, and in 1972, the group released Lighthouse Live! and Sunny Days. The band lost members, beginning in 1973 when Paul Hoffert left, followed by Bob McBride and Skip Prokop in 1974; the group eventually disbanded in 1976.

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Lighthouse had released Can You Feel It (1973) and Good Day (1974), and in 1975, The Best of Lighthouse appeared. Original members re-formed for live shows in 1982 and 1993, and another greatest-hits album, The Best of Lighthouse — Sunny Days Again, was issued in 1989. Postcards from Heaven followed in 1998. Both Bob McBride and Skip Prokop had somewhat successful solo careers. Sadly, Bob McBride lost his battle with substance abuse on February 20, 1998. He was 51. (by John Bush)

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But the band play on and on …

In April 2013, Skip Prokop suffered from ventricular tachycardia. A device was implanted to regulate his heart. Prokop toured with Lighthouse throughout 2013 but was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, then suffered more heart trouble requiring bypass surgery. He officially retired from music in 2016 and died at the age of 73 on August 30, 2017 from heart complications. He was replaced by his son, Jamie Prokop.

The band’s most recent compilation album, Icon, was released on August 10, 2018.

They continue to perform and tour extensively across Canada. (wikipedia)

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And here´s their 8th album, a live double album: This was the first time a Canadian album went platinum.

I have a special place for this album because of two reasons. I listened to the original concert which was broadcasted on a local FM station while I was at a drive-in movie back in ’72. Along with Tom Northcott and magician Doug Henning, they were the first concert I went to at the old Memorial Gardens in Victoria B.C.
This is a stong performance which yields such classic songs as “Eight Miles High”, “Take it Slow (Out in the Country)” and “One Fine Morning”. Lighthouse has great arrangements on all their songs especially the melodic “Sweet Lullabye” and “1849”. They tear a strip off on other notables such as “Insane” and “Rockin Chair”. Bob McBrides voice is powerful and blends well with the symphonic sounds of Canada’s premiere rock orchestra.

Lighthouse04If you listen to the introduction, they were hell bent on making the return to Carnegie Hall a triumph and the audience knew they were in for a great evening of music. Although slightly different order of the songs from the original vinyl, nothing is lost in the text. If you like Chicago, you’ll love Lighthouse. (Dale Caudwell)

In other words: Excellent stuff !

Recorded live at the Carnegie Hall, New York,  February 6, 1972

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Personnel:
Richard Armin (cello)
Ralph Cole (guitar, vocals)
Paul Hoffert (keyboards, vibraphone, percussion)
Keith Jollimore (saxophone)
Mike Malone (trumpet)
Bob McBride (vocals, percussion)
John Naslen (trumpet)
Don DiNovo (violin)
Skip Prokop (drums, percussion, vocals)
Howard Shore (saxophone, flute, vocals)
Larry Smith (trombone, vocals)
Louis Yacknin (bass)

LPBooklet

Tracklist:
01. Intro 0.35
02. I Just Wanna Be Your Friend (Prokop/McBride) 3.09
03. Take It Slow (Out In The Country) 3.34
04. Old Man (Smith) 7.45
05. Rockin’ Chair (Prokop/Cole) 3.51
06. You And Me (Shore) 9.15
07. Sweet Lullaby (Prokop) 5.18
08. 1849 (Prokop/Cole) 6.49
09. Eight Miles High (McGuinn/Crosby/Clark) 18.10
10. Insane (Prokop/McBride) 4.48
11. One Fine Morning (Prokop) 5.19

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“Been on the road 15 days all over the south. I all want you do is have one good hot shit time, man.” (Great opening banter for a great LP!!!!)

The official website:
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John McLaughlin – The Montreux Years (2022)

LPFrontCover1John McLaughlin (born 4 January 1942) is an English guitarist, bandleader, and composer. A pioneer of jazz fusion, his music combines elements of jazz with rock, world music, Indian classical music, Western classical music, flamenco, and blues. After contributing to several key British groups of the early 1960s, McLaughlin made Extrapolation, his first album as a bandleader, in 1969. He then moved to the U.S., where he played with drummer Tony Williams’s group Lifetime and then with Miles Davis on his electric jazz fusion albums In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson, and On the Corner. His 1970s electric band, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused electric jazz and rock with Indian influences.

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McLaughlin’s solo on “Miles Beyond” from his album Live at Ronnie Scott’s won the 2018 Grammy Award for the Best Improvised Jazz Solo. He has been awarded multiple “Guitarist of the Year” and “Best Jazz Guitarist” awards from magazines such as DownBeat and Guitar Player based on reader polls. In 2003, he was ranked 49th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.[3] In 2009, DownBeat included McLaughlin in its unranked list of “75 Great Guitarists”, in the “Modern Jazz Maestros” category. In 2012, Guitar World magazine ranked him 63rd on its top 100 list. In 2010, Jeff Beck called McLaughlin “the best guitarist alive”, and Pat Metheny has also described him as the world’s greatest guitarist. In 2017, McLaughlin was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a brilliant compilation:

Montreux Jazz Festival and John McLaughlin have shared a special bond since the English guitarist first performed at the internationally renowned Swiss festival in 1972, with The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Since then, the ever-searching McLaughlin has returned numerous times, with almost every formation he has ever led. This double vinyl or single-CD release is effectively a sampler, as all bar one of these tunes appeared on the mammoth 17xCD box set John McLaughlin Montreux Concerts (Warner Bros Records, 2003). The one song exclusive to the 180-gram vinyl is “Friendship,” from a 1978 performance by The One Truth Band. Otherwise, vinyl and CD cover the same ground, representing five different McLaughlin vehicles from 1984 to 2016.

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Two tracks from the last incarnation of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, the burning “Radio Activity” and the more lyrical “Nostalgia,” have McLaughlin in irrepressible form. On the former, McLauglin tears it up on electric guitar with arguably one of his finest solos committed to record. On the latter, the guitarist’s fluid yet tender lines on his Syncaliver synth guitar seem to foreshadow Is That So? (Abstract Logix, 2020), an achingly beautiful series of bhajans, or devotional songs, in the company of Zakir Hussain and Shankar Mahadevan. Notable too, the playing of saxophonist Bill Evans on tenor and soprano—a mainstay of Miles Davis’s early/mid-’80s bands—and keyboardist Mitchel Forman, whose distinctive musical personalities leave their own indelible stamps on this leaner, funkier—and somewhat underrated—version of The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

McLaughlin’s restless creativity meant that few of his ’80s or ’90s bands ran for long. The Free Spirits trio with drummer Dennis Chambers and organist Joey DeFrancesco, was only documented on Tokyo Live (Verve, 2002), so its smouldering interpretation of Carla Bley’s “Sing Me Softly Of The Blues” from MJF 1995 is a welcome offering. McLaughlin and DeFrancesco take turns to let bluesy sparks fly, with Chambers, a more subtle colorist than he’s often given credit for, serving the music unobtrusively.

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Chambers also commands the drum stool on “Acid Jazz” with The Heart Of Things at MJF 1998. One of McLaughlin’s favourite—though short-lived—bands, the sextet also features saxophonist Gary Thomas, brilliant electric bassist Matt Garrison, percussionist Victor Williams and Venezuelan keyboardist Otmaro Ruiz. A talented bunch of musicians, for sure, but this is, truth be told, a slightly meandering slice of jazz-fusion that only fires in fits and starts. Thomas and McLaughlin appear to pay homage to John Coltrane with brief melodic mantras that echo “Acknowledgment” from A Love Supreme before a bristling solo from the leader, shadowed by the ever-alert Chambers.

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The only acoustic tracks on the album, from MJF 1987, see McLaughlin reunite with flamenco maestro Paco de Lucia. Both “David” and “Florianapolis,” in turns caressing and passionately fiery, appeared on the aforementioned 17xCD box set, which is now out of print. Happily, the entire 90-minute performance was released on a CD/DVD package by Eagle Eye Media in 2016. Still, these two stellar selections, which feature unison passages every bit as enthralling as the solos, serve as a timely reminder of just how special this duo was, and what a versatile player McLaughlin has always been.

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Fittingly, the album closes with McLaughlin’s tribute to de Lucia, “El Hombre Que Sabia,” at MJF 2016. McLauglin’s original intention was to record the composition with de Lucia, but with de Lucia’s passing in 2014 the tune instead made its way into the repertoire of McLaughlin’s longest-lasting band, the 4th Dimension. Keyboardist Gary Husband and McLaughlin trade fiery runs back and forth over drummer Ranjit Barot and electric bassist Etienne Mbappe’s rhythmic bustle.

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McLaughlin, who compiled the The Montreux Years himself, dedicates it “to the memory and achievements” of his good friend and MJF founder, Claude Nobbs. Those achievements were considerable, as McLaughlin recalled for an AAJ feature to mark the 50th anniversary of MJF in 2016: “Claude and his passion eventually changed the economy of the town of Montreux, and even affected the entire Swiss economy, only by virtue of his passion and love for music.”

That the 4th Dimension’s appearance at MJF 2022 marks fifty years since McLaughlin first graced the festival is no small feat. McLauglin might not have affected a nation’s economy, but in his own steadfast way his music has touched millions. His own passion and love for music—and a very broad spectrum of it at that—are evident on this eclectic live compilation in every solo, in every dazzling unison line and in every lyrical phrase. (by Ian Patterson)

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Pesonnel:
Ranjit Barot: drums on 07.)
Dennis Chambers (drums on 03. + 05.)
Joey DeFrancesco (organ on 05.)
Bill Evans (saxophone on 01 + 02.)
Mitchel Forman (keyboards on 01 + 02.)
Matthew Garrison (bass on 03.)
Danny Gottlieb (drums on 01. + 02.)
Jonas Helborg (bass on 01. + 02.)
Gary Husband (keyboards on 07.)
Paco de Lucia (guitar on 05. + 06.)
Etienne Mbappe (bass on 07.)
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Otmaro Ruiz (keyboards on 03.)
L. Shankar (violin (on 02.)

Gary Thomas (saxophone on 03.)
Victor Williams (percussion on 03.)

T.M. Stevens: Bass Woody Theus: Drums John McLaughlin: Guitar Stu Goldberg: Keyboards LPBooklet03

Tracklist:
01. Radio Activity (McLaughlin) (1984) 10.07
02. Friendship (McLaughlin) (1978) 9.27
03. Nostalgia (McLaughlin) (1984) 11.18
04. Acid Jazz (McLaughlin) (1998) 13.03
05. David (McLaughlin) (1987) 11.16
06. Florianapolis (McLaughlin/Forman) (1987) 11.57
07. Sing Me Softly Of The Blues (Bley) (1995) 8.06
08. El Hombre Qu (McLaughlin) (2016) 7.25

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The Greatest Show On Earth – Same (1975)

LPFrontCover1The Greatest Show on Earth were a British progressive rock band, who recorded two albums for EMI’s progressive rock arm, Harvest Records, in 1970, who became known for their European hit “Real Cool World”.

The band had been conceived by Harvest Records in an attempt to create a horn-based rock combo, such as Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago.

The band was also notable for its album covers, designed by the artist group Hipgnosis.

Band members included Norman Watt-Roy and his older brother Garth Watt-Roy, Ozzie Lane, Mick Deacon, Ian Aitcheson, Tex Philpotts, Dick Hanson, Ron Prudence and Colin Horton-Jennings.

Their usual producer was EMI house producer Jonathan Peel, not to be confused with DJ John Peel. (wikipedia)

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This self-titled compilation features highlights from both Greatest Show On Earth (GSOE) LPs Horizons (1970) and The Going’s Easy (1970). The band had been conceived by Harvest Records in an attempt to create a horn-based rock combo, such as Blood Sweat & Tears or Chicago. The label requested the octet to find a new vocalist, the multi-faceted Colin Horton-Jennings, who began to compose originals that would allow GSOE the additional material needed in order to replace the R&B covers which had previously dominated their live sets. The band included the talents of Dick Hanson (percussion/trumpet/flugelhorn), Colin Horton-Jennings (guitar/flute,/bongos/vocals), Ron Prudence (conga/drums), Garth Watt-Roy (guitar/vocals), Norman Watt-Roy (bass/vocals) and Mick Deacon (organ/piano/harpsichord/vocals).

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Their debut disc Horizons was all but dismissed although there are several uniformly standout sides including the single “Real Cool World”, marked by its’ open throttle galloping tempo and some equally pungent electric organ riffs, as well as the aggressive rocker “Angelina”. The GSOE’s Going’s Easy (1970) became their second and final LP. The light and airy “Magic Touch Woman” foreshadows a similar treatment that the Hollies would give the track for a modest hit. The noir “Storytimes & Nursery Rhymes” also features some of the band’s best ensemble vocal work to date. The album’s stretched out opener, “Borderline”, is a group composition that lifts from the David Clayton Thomas-led Blood, Sweat & Tears. Unfortunately the same fate befell the Going’s Easy and with no consumer or industry interest, the combo separated by mid 1971. (by Lindsay Planer)

But … this band really deserves a much better cover (Illustration by Richard Evans) !!!

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Personnel:
Ian Aitchison (saxophone, percussion)
Mick Deacon (keyboards, harpsichord, vocals)
Dick Hanson (trumpet, flugelhorn, percussion)
Colin Horton-Jennings (vocals, flute, guitar, percussion)
Garth Watt-Roy (guitar, vocals)
Norman Watt-Roy (bass, vocals)
Tex Philpotts (saxophone, percussion)
Ron Prudence (drums, percussion)

The Greatest Show On Earth02Tracklist:
01. Real Cool World Watt-Roy) 4.52
02. Angelina (Horton-Jennings) 4.07
03. Magic Woman Touch (Horton-Jennings) 5.15
04. Again And Again (Watt-Roy) 4.02
05. Borderline (Aitchison/Deacon/Hanson/Horton-Jennings/G.Watt-Roy/N.Watt-Roy/ Philpotts/Prudence) 9.21
06. The Leader (Aitchison/Deacon/Hanson/Horton-Jennings/G.Watt-Roy/N.Watt-Roy/ Philpotts/Prudence) 5.45
07. Sunflower Morning (Horton-Jennings/Deacon) 4.59
08. Day Of The Lady (Horton-Jennings/Saunders) 4.12
09. Love Magnet (Hanson/Watt-Roy/Aitchison) 9.29

Selections of tracks taken from:
The Going’s Easy SHVL 783 1970
Horizons SHVL 769 1970

Cover designed by Hipgnosis
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Brand X – Product (1979)

FrontCover1Brand X were a jazz fusion band formed in London in 1974. They were active until 1980, followed by a reformation between 1992 and 1999, and were active following a 2016 reunion until 2021. Members have included John Goodsall (guitar), Percy Jones (bass), Robin Lumley (keyboards), and Phil Collins (drums). Jones was the sole constant member throughout the band’s existence until October 2020 when he left the band. Founding member Goodsall died on 11 November 2021.

In 1974, rehearsals began for developing a five-piece instrumental jazz fusion group at Island Studios in London, which was set to include Percy Jones on bass and Phil Collins (of Genesis) on drums. They had secured a recording deal with Island Records and prepared tracks for a studio album which originally included vocals. However, the vocals were negatively received from Island management, leaving the group to write new material,[5] at the suggestion of Island A&R man Richard Williams.

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With Collins tied up with other commitments, the band settled on a founding line-up of Jones, John Goodsall on guitar, Robin Lumley on keyboards and vocals, Pete Bonas on guitar, John Dillon on drums and percussion, and Phil Spinelli on percussion and lead vocals. Dillon had left by the end of 1974, and a newly available Collins took his place in 1975. The four recorded Unorthodox Behaviour in September and October 1975 at Trident Studios with Jack Lancaster on saxophone. They were named Brand X after Island Records staffer Danny Wilding wrote down “Brand X” to keep track of their activity on the studio calendar, and the name stuck. In preparation for their upcoming gigs, the four were joined by Geoff Seopardi on percussion by December 1975. Genesis manager Tony Smith became their manager.

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Brand X played their first gigs with a series of low key warm-up shows in November and December 1975. These were followed by a full-scale tour across the UK from February 1976, mainly on the college circuit. They had little funds, resorting to renting a synthesiser and PA system, operated with a small road crew, and often played support for the headlining act. Moroccan Roll was released in April 1977 and peaked at No. 37 in the UK and No. 125 in the US. With Collins leaving the group for other commitments, Kenwood Dennard of Pat Martino’s group was recruited in New York City in time for their 32-date US tour in May and June 1977. Collins briefly returned later in 1977 for a series of dates, including a spot at the tenth Crystal Palace Garden Party in London and the Fête de l’Humanité in Paris on the same day on a specially chartered plane, the latter attended by an estimated 200,000 people.

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Following the 1977 tour, the band would recruit keyboardist Peter Robinson and Chuck Burgi on drums to record the Masques album. Released in 1978, it was the first and only Brand X album during the period to not feature Phil Collins on drums. The band would once again embark on a tour to promote this album in 1978, with a couple different drummers in place of Chuck Burgi. The next year, 1979, signalled the end of Brand X’s recording sessions for over 10 years. It was in this time that they would record Product that same year, Do They Hurt? in 1980, and 1982’s Is There Anything About?.Following the completion of the recording sessions, the band embarked on a world tour, following which Collins departed for the final time. Clark returned to the drum stool, and the band toured the UK in April and May 1980 (co-headlining with Bruford).

With the passing of John Goodsall, Percy Jones and Robin Lumley confirmed on Facebook, on 14 November 2021, that the Brand X name is now officially retired. No further activity will be done under that name.

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Product is the fourth studio album by British jazz fusion group Brand X, originally released in 1979. It features primary member Phil Collins back once again on drums following his absence on Masques. Drummer Mike Clark and bassist John Giblin also appear on this album. (wikipedia)

Ad

Brand X’s most eclectic album to date, Product is perhaps most notable for its attempts at a pop crossover in the Phil Collins-sung “Don’t Make Waves” and “Soho.” The range of styles presented here — hard and soft fusion, pop, progressive rock — results from the now-interchangeable nature of the Brand X lineup, which, in addition to the returning Collins and Robin Lumley, is expanded to include bassist John Giblin and drummer Mike Clarke (Chuck Burgi having left after Masques). While the pop songs have a tart, new wave sound to them that is oddly ingratiating, they’re likely to leave longtime fans scratching their heads. (Genesis fans may hear in “Soho” the musical inspiration for “Illegal Alien,” and in Percy Jones’ “Dance of the Illegal Aliens” its titular inspiration.) Despite the presence of the original quartet — Collins, Goodsall, Lumley, Jones — the four don’t appear together on Product, although Goodsall is present for all but one song (the lone pairing of fretless bassists Percy Jones and John Giblin on “Wal to Wal”).

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Many of this album’s tracks have found a place in the band’s career retrospectives, including the airy fusion of “Dance of the Illegal Aliens” and the engaging “Algon.” While Mike Clarke’s impact on the music often goes unnoticed, John Giblin adds a new dimension to the band’s sound with two soft, evocative songs: “Rhesus Perplexus” (in which Goodsall’s acoustic guitar crosses into Pat Metheny territory) and “April.” The remaining tracks, “Not Good Enough — See Me!” and “…And So to F…,” are pleasant instrumentals with a more prominent role for the percussion; Collins thought enough of the latter to include a live version of it on a couple of 12″ singles from his subsequent solo career. By nearly doubling the band’s size, Product is able to indulge in an interesting game of musical chairs that occasionally overshadows the music itself. The band clearly has talent to spare, but can’t seem to agree where to strike. (by Dave Connolly)

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Personnel:
Phil Collins (drums, percussion, vocals)
John Giblin (bass)
John Goodsall (guitar)
Robin Lumley (keyboards, sound effects)
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Mike Clark (drums on 02., 08. + 10.)
Percy Jones (bass on 02., 07., 08., 10. + 11.)
Morris Pert (percussion on 02., 08. + 10..)
Peter Robinson (keyboards. sound effects on 02., 08., 10. + 11.)

CD1

Tracklist:
01. Don’t Make Waves (Goodsall) 5.31
02. Dance Of The Illegal Aliens (Jones) 7.50
03. Soho (Goodsall/Collins) 3.44
04 …And So to F… (Collins) 6.29
05. Algon (Where an Ordinary Cup of Drinking Chocolate Costs £8,000,000,000) (Lumley)  6.11
06. Rhesus Perplexus (Giblin) 4.02
07. Wal To Wal (Jones/Giblin) 3.15
08. Not Good Enough – See Me! (Jones/Robinson) 7.31
09. April (Giblin) 2.07
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10. Noddy Goes To Sweden (Single B-side) (Jones) 4.30
11. Pool Room Blues (Single B-side) (Collins/Goodsall/Lumley/Giblin/Robinson/Jones) 3.02

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Spectrum Road – Same (2012)

FrontCover1Four exceptional musicians with one and the same desire: the ultimate fusion of jazz and rock.

Vernon Reid, Jack Bruce, John Medeski and Cindy Blackman-Santana go wild on their instruments and pay homage to icons like Tony Williams and Co.

Now jazz rock has its supergroup too.

Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid and ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce have known each other for a long time, and they have one thing in common: their love for the music of jazz legend Tony Williams. Jack, who played in the Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute Band for years after the break-up of Cream, and Vernon, who has always been a great fan of Williams’ work, ennoble Williams’ work at every conceivable opportunity.

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In 2008, Jack Bruce revived the spirit of Williams and paid homage to the works of the drumming legend, who died in 1997, with an exclusive tour of Japan, bringing Santana wife Cindy Blackman-Santana, John Medeski and Vernon Reid on board. Vernon remembers: “It was a great time. It was more about the spirit of the whole thing than just replaying Williams songs.”

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During this time, the relationship between all those involved intensified to such an extent that they decided to continue working together after the tour. However, logistically this turns out to be more difficult than initially thought, and so they don’t meet up again until the beginning of 2011 to perform live again over a longer period of time.

The shows in North America sparked a desire for more from all involved, and the fans also made their voices heard and demanded something tangible for the CD player at home. The four musicians couldn’t resist any longer, renamed themselves Spectrum Road to give the whole thing more independence, and went into the studio.

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The quartet then takes ten Williams works and transports them into the modern age in a unique way. Reid’s lively guitar playing in combination with Blackman-Santana’s virtuoso rhythm skills, Medeski’s keyboard ecstasies and Jack Bruce’s powerful bass let something completely new emerge from the time-honoured material. The self-titled debut album will be released in June 2012. Vernon Reid bows to his colleagues: “It’s just incredible to be able to play with these people. Each one of them is very special, both musically and as people. (laut.de)

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Spectrum Road is a jazz-rock supergroup featuring bassist Jack Bruce, guitarist Vernon Reid, drummer Cindy Blackman-Santana, and organist John Medeski that formed as a tribute to the inspiration and music of Tony Williams’ pioneering Lifetime group (of which Bruce was a member). In the process of playing Lifetime’s music as a project, they became a bona fide band. All but two of these cuts are from Lifetime’s catalog. The set begins with the scorcher “Vuelta Abajo,” from 1970’s Turn It Over album. All four members come storming out of the gate on a syncopated, intense series of riffs and stops. Blackman-Santana, a Williams disciple, plays furiously with countless rolls and fills yet never drops her sense of groove.

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She pushes hard at Bruce’s bassline while Medeski washes it all with a counter pulse and Reid takes it over into the red zone. This is excess at its level best. The hippest thing is that not only does Bruce keep that insane pace, he revels in it and works with Blackman-Santana to keep the groove funky and weird. She takes the vocal on the spacey, 12-minute “Where,” which builds via her rolls and Medeski’s abstract painterly touches into a true freewheeling jam with Reid and Bruce going head to head. The group interplay on “Vashkar” (written by Carla Bley, and originally appeared on 1969’s Emergency) is a manic showcase for Medeski and Reid, but it’s the rhythm section that keeps moving the track further onto the ledge. Spectrum Road honors Williams’ example by taking real chances with his music.

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The way they break down “There Comes a Time” ( from 1971’s Ego) with Bruce’s bluesy vocals holding the ground firm under the band’s improvising moves it from a somewhat staid open modal blues into something more textured, aggressive, and expansive. Reid’s jazz chops on “Coming Back Home” walk a line between swing and Hendrixian blues, as Medeski swells and feeds his every line. Reid’s and Blackman-Santana’s rock strut on “Wild Life” would be nearly processional were it not for Bruce’s and Medeski’s deeply funky undercurrent. Spectrum Road’s self-titled debut delivers in full on the supergroup promise; in addition, they provide the kind of forward-looking tribute that a pioneer like Williams truly deserves. (by Thom Jurek)

In other word: One the finest Jazz-Rock albums from Jack Bruce !

CDBackCover1

Personnel:
Cindy Blackman (drums, vocals)
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
John Medeski (keyboards, mellotron)
Vernon Reid (guitar)

Downbeat

Tracklist:
01. Vuelta Abajo (Williams) 5.25
02. There Comes A Time (Williams) 4.17
03. Coming Back Home (Hammer) 4.36
04. Where (Hall/McLaughlin) 12.36
05. An T-eilan Muileach (Traditional) 4.29
06. Vashkar (Bley) 5.48
07. One Word (McLaughlin) 4.14
08. Blues For Tillmon (Blackman/Bruce/Medeski/Reid) 5.36
09. Allah Be Praised (Young) 4.07
10. Wild Life (Williams) 4.47

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Jack Bruce – Live ’75 (2003)

FrontCover1John Symon Asher Bruce (14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014) was a Scottish bassist, singer-songwriter, musician and composer. He gained popularity as the co-lead vocalist and ‍bassist ‍of British rock band Cream. After the group disbanded in 1968, he pursued a solo career and also played with several bands.

In the early 1960s Bruce joined the Graham Bond Organisation (GBO), where he met his future bandmate Ginger Baker. After leaving the band, he joined with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, where he met Eric Clapton, who also became his future bandmate.

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His time with the band was brief. In 1966, he formed Cream with lead guitarist Clapton and drummer Baker; he co-wrote many of their songs (including “Sunshine of Your Love”, “White Room” and “I Feel Free”) with poet/lyricist Pete Brown. After the group disbanded in the late 1960s he began recording solo albums. His first solo album, Songs for a Tailor, released in 1969, was a worldwide hit. Bruce formed his own band to perform the material live, and subsequently formed a blues-rock band West, Bruce and Laing in 1972, with guitarist Leslie West and drummer Corky Laing. His solo career spanned several decades. From the 1970s to the 1990s he played with several groups as a touring member. He reunited with Cream in 2005 for concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and at Madison Square Garden in New York.

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Bruce is considered to be one of the most important and influential ‍bassists ‍of all time. ‍Rolling Stone magazine readers ranked him number eight on their list of “10 ‍Greatest ‍Bassists ‍Of All Time”. He was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993,[2] and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006,[3] both as a member of Cream.

JackBruce

Live at Manchester Free Trade Hall ’75 is a live album by the Jack Bruce Band released in 2003. It was compiled from a rough mix of a recording of a performance at Manchester Free Trade Hall in June 1975, the only surviving remnant of an abandoned live album project. Bruce’s bass guitar is not very prominent in the mix. (wikipedia)

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This double-CD set was one of the unexpected bonuses of the 2001/2002 remastering of Jack Bruce’s RSO/Polydor catalog — amid a search of the vaults, a tape of this performance, the only official live recording of the Jack Bruce Band, was unearthed. They were news to Bruce at the time of their discovery, rough mixes done in contemplation of a concert album that was abandoned. It has its technical problems, but it was possible to clean up most of the sound to a fully professional modern standard, except for a couple of spots where extraneous noise does intrude, especially on the opening of disc two. But those are insignificant flaws in relation to the overall content of these tapes, which capture the band in fine form, especially Bruce, lead guitarist Mick Taylor, and keyboardist Carla Bley — Ronnie Leahy fills out the keyboard sound and Bruce Gary handles the drumming. Their sound is surprisingly tight and their playing rich and crisp, doing a mix of progressive rock and blues-rock in which there are at least four potential lead instruments beyond Bruce’s voice, which is extremely powerful throughout and, indeed, more expressive on-stage than it ever seemed amid the cacophony of Cream’s concerts.

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The repertory is drawn almost entirely from his solo catalog (though they do close with an extended version of “Sunshine of Your Love”), with a special emphasis on songs from Out of the Storm. Though Carla Bley gets a lot of the spotlight for her work on piano, organ, Mellotron, and various other keyboard instruments, Leahy gets an extended featured spot on the piano for the medley of “Tickets to Waterfalls”/”Weird of Hermiston”/”Post War.” Although there are a few standard-length songs here, this was a band that mostly preferred to stretch out, a fact illustrated by the presence of only four numbers on the second CD, which runs the better part of an hour. What made it work was that they had enough to say to fill that length, even on the 23-minute “Smiles and Grins,” and the otherwise familiar “Sunshine of Your Love,” here flexed out to over 13 minutes. They switch gears effortlessly between vocal numbers like “One” and instrumental-driven jams such as “You Burned the Tables on Me,” without skipping a beat or letting the listener go.

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It’s difficult to imagine how RSO would have released this recording reasonably intact in its own time — there are too many tracks here that would have taken up a full side of an LP, and while Leon Russell and a few others had made the triple-live album a reality in rock, one is hard-put to imagine RSO springing for that with Bruce, whose critical notices were fantastic but whose sales — especially in England — had never matched his reviews. So perhaps it’s just as well that this recording was forgotten but not lost, to show up today. The mix of blues, jazz elements, and hard rock, all in a free-form jam format, now seems all the more bracing and the CD market allows it to be kept intact. It’s also doubly fortunate that this show was recorded during the period in which technology had finally mastered the art of capturing the sound of various electronic keyboard devices on-stage intact — it’s a small matter, but fans of the Mellotron will probably love this release.(by Bruce Eder [-])

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Personnel:
Carla Bley (keyboard, clavinet, synthesizer)
Jack Bruce (vocals, bass piano)
Bruce Gary (drums)
Ronnie Leahy (piano, synthesizer)
Mick Taylor (guitar)

Booklet03A

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Can You Follow? (Bruce/Brown) 1.45
02. Morning Story (Bruce/Brown) 7.55
03. Keep It Down (Bruce/Brown) 5.44
04. Pieces Of Mind (Bruce/Brown) 5.55
05. Tickets To Waterfalls/Weird Of Hermiston/Post War (Bruce/Brown) 25.05
06. Spirit (Williams) 10.43

CD 2:
01. One/You Burned the Tables On Me (Bruce/Brown) 16.59
02. Smiles and Grins(Bruce/Brown) 24.36
03. Sunshine Of Your Love (Brown/Bruce/Clapton) 12.06

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The official website:
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Colosseum – The Collectors Colosseum (1971)

LPFrontCover1Colosseum are an English jazz rock band, mixing blues, rock and jazz-based improvisation. Colin Larkin wrote that “the commercial acceptance of jazz rock in the UK” was mainly due to the band. Between 1975 and 1978 a separate band Colosseum II existed playing progressive rock.

Colosseum, one of the first bands to fuse jazz, rock and blues, were formed in early 1968 by drummer Jon Hiseman with tenor sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith, who had previously worked together in the New Jazz Orchestra and in The Graham Bond Organisation, where Hiseman had replaced Ginger Baker in 1966. They met up again early in 1968 when they both played in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, during which time they played on the Bare Wires album. Childhood friend Dave Greenslade was quickly recruited on organ, as was bass player Tony Reeves who had also known both Hiseman and Greenslade since being teenage musicians in South East London. The band’s line-up was completed, after lengthy auditions, by Jim Roche on guitar and James Litherland (guitar and vocals), although Roche only recorded one track before departing.

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Their first album, Those Who Are About to Die Salute You, which opened with the Bond composition “Walkin’ in the Park”, was released by the Philips’ Fontana label in early 1969. In March the same year they were invited to take part in Supershow, a two-day filmed jam session, along with Modern Jazz Quartet, Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce, Roland Kirk Quartet, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, and Juicy Lucy.

Colosseum’s second album, later in 1969, was Valentyne Suite, notable as the first release on Philip’s newly launched Vertigo label, established to sign and develop artists that did not fit the main Philips’ brand, and the first label to sign heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath.

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For the third album, The Grass Is Greener, released only in the United States in 1970, Dave “Clem” Clempson replaced James Litherland. Louis Cennamo then briefly replaced Tony Reeves on bass, but was replaced in turn by Mark Clarke within a month. Then Hiseman recruited vocalist Chris Farlowe to enable Clempson to concentrate on guitar. This lineup had already partly recorded the 1970 album Daughter of Time.

In March 1971, the band recorded concerts at the Big Apple Club in Brighton and at Manchester University. Hiseman was impressed with the atmosphere at the Manchester show, and the band returned five days later for a free concert that was also recorded. The recordings were released as a live double album Colosseum Live in 1971. In October 1971 the original band broke up.

After the band split, Jon Hiseman formed Tempest with bassist Mark Clarke; Dave Greenslade formed Greenslade together with Tony Reeves. Chris Farlowe joined Atomic Rooster; and Dick Heckstall-Smith embarked on a solo career. Clem Clempson joined the hit group Humble Pie.

Hiseman formed another group called Colosseum II in 1975, with a stronger orientation towards jazz-fusion rock, which featured guitarist Gary Moore and Don Airey on keyboards. They released three albums before disbanding in 1978.

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Colosseum reunited on 24 June 1994 at the Freiburg Zelt Musik Festival, with the same line-up as when they split in 1971. On 28 October they played a concert in Cologne at E-Werk which was recorded for a TV Special. Recordings from this show were released in 1995 as a CD and a video, and re-released in 2004 as a DVD. The rejuvenated band then played a lengthy tour of mainly German concerts. A second tour followed in 1997, to promote their new studio album “Bread and Circuses”. They also appeared at major festivals in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

In 2003 they toured on the back of “Tomorrow’s Blues” CD, followed also by gigs in England in 2004. Hiseman’s wife, saxophonist Barbara Thompson, joined the band on various occasions. When Dick Heckstall-Smith died in December 2004 she became a permanent member of the band.

In 2005, there were three memorial concerts for Dick Heckstall-Smith, one in Hamburg Germany and two in England.

On 24 September 2005 they performed in Moscow, followed by more concerts in 2006.

In 2007, the made their first appearance in Japan and returned to play more dates in Germany.

Further tours of Europe were made in 2010.

Jon Hiseman

In October 2010, Jon Hiseman’s biography, Playing the Band – The Musical Life of Jon Hiseman, was published. In November 2012, a Kindle version (with minor re-edits) of Playing the Band was published.[6]

Colosseum played their “Summer 2011” tour of 22 gigs in Germany, Italy, Austria, Finland and Poland. The tour started in June and ended on 20 August in Germany, Rostock, at Bad Doberan “Zappanale” festival. According to the interview of the bandleader Jon Hiseman, Bad Doberan was the last concert of the band. Their second ‘last’ concert was in Poland, Slupsk, at “Legends of Rock” festival on 13 August 2011 and the third ‘last’ concert in Finland, Äänekoski, at “Keitelejazz” festival on the 23 July 2011. These announcements were based on Barbara’s worsening Parkinson’s condition preventing her from playing. However, with the arrival of new medication, her ability to play was renewed, so those announcements proved to be premature and the band continued to record and play until 2015.

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More studio releases followed, as expanded editions of Valentyne Suite and Colosseum Live, and several compilation sets of earlier work. From 2011 to 2014, Colosseum gradually recorded their final album, titled “Time on our Side”, which was eventually released late in 2014, to coincide with their final flurry of dates in Germany and the UK. These included 24 concerts during 2014 in Central Europe, starting 23 October at Steinegg Festival, Collepietra, Italy. Followed by concerts in February 2015 before ending on 28 of that month at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London. At all these concerts, Jon Hiseman confirmed from the stage that this tour would be Colosseum’s last.

After 23 years, the band played what Jon referred to as ‘the last hurrah!’ before a packed and very appreciative audience at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London on 28 February 2015. Special ‘guest’ was Ana Gracey, the daughter of Jon Hiseman and Barbara Thompson. Together with Chris Farlowe she sang her own composition “Blues to Music”, which was also included on the final Colosseum CD.

Jon HisemanColosseum reunited again after the death of Jon Hiseman to play selected shows in 2020. The line-up is Chris Farlowe, Clem Clempson and Mark Clarke, joined by Kim Nishikawara (sax), Adrian Askew (keys, organ) and Malcolm Mortimore (drums). In August 2021, it was reported that the keyboard position would be filled by Nick Steed. This line-up started touring on the 29th of August in Hamburg at Landhaus Walter to be continued in UK. On April 15 2022, they released their new studio album “Restoration”.

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The Collectors’ Colosseum is a compilation album (with some previously unreleased tracks !) by Colosseum that was released in England in 1971.

Enjoy this excellent music … Colosseum were in these days one of the most imporant Jazz-Rock groups and they are still today eminently important in the history of music ! And they are still active, although their founders, Jon Hiseman and Dick Heckstall-Smith has unfortunately long since died

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Personnel:
Dave Clempson (guitar, vocals on 01., 06. + 08.)
Chris Farlowe (vocals on 01.)
Dave Greenslade (keyboards)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
Jon Hisman (drums, percussion)
James Litherland (guitar, vocal on 02., 03., 04. + 05.)
Tony Reeves (bass)

An Italian re-issue:
ItalianRe-Issue

Tracklist:
01. Jumping Off The Sun (originally recorded late in 1969 (1) (Taylor/Tomlin) 3.36
02. Those About To Die (excerpt from their first LP) (Hiseman/Greenslade/Reeves/ Heckstall-Smith) 4.53
03. I Can’t Live Without You (recorded 1968; previously unreleased) (Litherland) 4.18
04. Beware The Ides Of March (from their first LP) (Hiseman/Greenslade/Reeves/ Heckstall-Smith) 5.38
05. Walking In The Park (from their first LP) (Bond) 3.55
06. Bolero (recorded late in 1969; previously unreleased) (Ravel) 5.28
07. Rope Ladder To The Moon (recorded late in 1969; previously unreleased) (Bruce/Brown) 3.20
08. The Grass Is Greener (recorded late in 1969; previously unreleased) (Heckstall-Smith/ Hiseman) 7.33

(1) with Chris Farlowe’s vocals overdubbed over Dave Clempson’s originals. In addition, there are extra guitar overdubs by Clempson.

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Colosseum – Transmissions – Live At The BBC (CD 1 + 2) (2020)

FrontCover1

Colosseum are an English jazz rock band, mixing blues, rock and jazz-based improvisation. Colin Larkin wrote that “the commercial acceptance of jazz rock in the UK” was mainly due to the band. Between 1975 and 1978 a separate band Colosseum II existed playing progressive rock.

Colosseum, one of the first bands to fuse jazz, rock and blues, were formed in early 1968 by drummer Jon Hiseman with tenor sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith, who had previously worked together in the New Jazz Orchestra and in The Graham Bond Organisation, where Hiseman had replaced Ginger Baker in 1966. They met up again early in 1968 when they both played in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, during which time they played on the Bare Wires album. Childhood friend Dave Greenslade was quickly recruited on organ, as was bass player Tony Reeves who had also known both Hiseman and Greenslade since being teenage musicians in South East London. The band’s line-up was completed, after lengthy auditions, by Jim Roche on guitar and James Litherland (guitar and vocals), although Roche only recorded one track before departing.

Single1

Their first album, Those Who Are About to Die Salute You, which opened with the Bond composition “Walkin’ in the Park”, was released by the Philips’ Fontana label in early 1969. In March the same year they were invited to take part in Supershow, a two-day filmed jam session, along with Modern Jazz Quartet, Led Zeppelin, Jack Bruce, Roland Kirk Quartet, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, and Juicy Lucy.

Colosseum’s second album, later in 1969, was Valentyne Suite, notable as the first release on Philip’s newly launched Vertigo label, established to sign and develop artists that did not fit the main Philips’ brand, and the first label to sign heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath.

Colosseum01

For the third album, The Grass Is Greener, released only in the United States in 1970, Dave “Clem” Clempson replaced James Litherland. Louis Cennamo then briefly replaced Tony Reeves on bass, but was replaced in turn by Mark Clarke within a month. Then Hiseman recruited vocalist Chris Farlowe to enable Clempson to concentrate on guitar. This lineup had already partly recorded the 1970 album Daughter of Time.

In March 1971, the band recorded concerts at the Big Apple Club in Brighton and at Manchester University. Hiseman was impressed with the atmosphere at the Manchester show, and the band returned five days later for a free concert that was also recorded. The recordings were released as a live double album Colosseum Live in 1971. In October 1971 the original band broke up. (wikipedia)

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“This is the BBC Radio 1 Service. We proudly present one of the world’s greatest bands… Colosseum!” Fans tuning into their wireless sets during the great age of progressive rock would have been thrilled to hear the announcer introduce one of their favourite bands about to hit the airwaves. They wouldn’t be disappointed. Few bands played with such power, fire and intensity whether in a club, at a festival or even in the confines of a radio station studio. Led by drumming legend Jon Hiseman, Colosseum was guaranteed to give an exciting performance as soon as the red recording light went on and the engineer gave the thumbs up. Even so, it seemed like a fleeting moment, once the broadcasts were over, never to be heard again. But here is the exciting news.

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Many of the shows when Colosseum roared into epic arrangements like ‘Walking In The Park,’ ‘Daughter Of Time’, ‘Tanglewood ’63’ and ‘Rope Ladder To The Moon’ were captured on tape for posterity, not only by the BBC but by listeners armed with their own home recorders. So now it is Repertoire’s turn to proudly announce the release of an amazing 6CD set Transmissions Live At The BBC featuring shows like John Peel’s ‘Top Gear’ and ‘Sounds Of The 70s’, and comprising some 60 tracks recorded between 1969 and 1971. We hear the earliest version of Colosseum with founder members Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Dave Greenslade and Tony Reeves joined by guitarist/vocalist James Litherland. Later classic line-ups include Dave Clempson on guitar with Chris Farlowe (vocals) and Mark Clarke (bass) with guest appearances by Barbara Thompson (sax/flute) and the New Jazz Orchestra. This vast treasure trove of material has been rescued from the BBC and Colosseum archives, along with rare recordings by fans and enthusiasts. It has been painstaking collected, collated, restored and digitalised by the combined forces of historian and archivist Colin Harper, Jon’s daughter Ana Gracey and Repertoire’s own audio genius the mighty Eroc. With liner notes by Repertoire’s Chris Welch including new interviews with Dave Greenslade, Tony Reeves and Chris Farlowe, this promises to be the biggest classic rock album release of the year. So ‘The Machine Demands A Sacrifice’? Here it is! (press release)

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I have just taken delivery of this set & am very impressed. I haven’t listened to a note though – that goes without saying. What I wish to comment on is the packaging. The box is beautifully made & the 6 discs & booklet fit snugly so whole thing takes up a minimum of space (& apart from the actual discs, contains no plastic) so it will easily be stored with other CDs. Would that all CD boxed sets were like this. (The Duckmeister)

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Superb collection of high class radio broadcasts. Brings me back to those fabulous days when I heard them when first broadcast when I was a teenager. Brilliant music. (Bob Mitchell)

Without any doubts: a must for every serious Colosseum collector !

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Personnel:

From Top Gear Januar 1969 to Radio 1 Jazz Workshop July 1969:
Dave Greenslade (organ, vibraphone)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
Jon Hiseman (drums)
James Litherland (guitar, vocals)
Tony Reeves (bass)
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Barbara Thompson (saxophone, flute on Top Gear July 1969)

from Top Gear November 1969 to Sounds of the 70’s April 1970:
Dave Clempson (guitar, vocals)
Dave Greenslade (organ, vibraphone)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
Jon Hiseman (drums)
Tony Reeves (bass)
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Barbara Thompson (saxophone, flute on Top Gear November 1969

Inlet01A

Tracklist:

CD 1:

Top Gear, 19 January 1969:
01. The Road She Walked Before (Heckstall-Smith) 2.51
02. Backwater Blues (Leadbetter) 5.01
03. A Whiter Shade Of Powell (Pale) (Brooker/Bach) 2.46

Symonds On Sunday, 16 March 1969:
04. Walking In The Park (Bond) 3.23
05. Interview with Jon Hiseman 1.00
06.Beware The Ides Of March (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 4.08
07. Plenty Hard Luck (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 2.41

Johnnie Walker, 24 May 1969:
08. Elegy (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 3.04
08. Walking In The Park (Bond) 4.19
10. Butty’s Blues (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 5.59
11. I Can’t Live Without You (Litherland) 4.48

Top Gear, 6 July 1969:
12. Elegy (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 2,51
13. The Grass Is Greener (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 7.25
14. Hiseman’s condensed history of mankind 2.30
15. February’s Valentyne (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman(Greenslade) 6.18

Symonds On Sunday, 20 July 1969:
16. Elegy (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 3.07
17. The Road She Walked Before (Heckstall-Smith) 2.24
18. Walking In The Park (Bond) 3.41
19. Butty’s Blues (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 3.12

CD 2:

Radio 1 Jazz Workshop, 17 July 1969:
01. Elegy (take 1) (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 3:01
02. I Can’t Live Without You (Litherland) 4.45
03. Walking In The Park (Bond) 4.17
04. Those About To Die (take 1) (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 6.29
05. Butty’s Blues (take 1) (Reeves/Hiseman/Heckstall-Smith/Litherland/Greenslade) 6.50
06. Mandarin (Reeves/Greenslade) 6.32
07. The Grass Is Greener (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 2.02

Top Gear, 22 November 1969:
08. Interview with Dick Heckstall-Smith 1.41
09. Lost Angeles (Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith)  8.47
10. Arthur’s Moustache  6.26

Unknown Session late 1969 / early 1970:
11. Jumping Off The Sun (Taylor/Tomlin) 3.29
12. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 3.57
13. Take Me Back To Doomsday (Greenslade/Clempson/Hiseman) 2.32
14 Lost Angeles (partial) (Farlowe/Greenslade/Heckstall-Smith) 1.28
15. Angle 3:52
16. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Hiseman) 2.44

CD2A

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Box front + backcover:
BoxFC+BC

Coming soon: CD 3 + 4, 5+ 6 + booklet

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