Harvey Mandel – Righteous (1969)

FrontCover1Harvey Mandel (born March 11, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan, United States) is an American guitarist known for his innovative approach to electric guitar playing. A professional at twenty, he played with Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, and John Mayall before starting a solo career. Mandel is one of the first rock guitarists to use two-handed fretboard tapping. Mandel was born in Detroit, Michigan but grew up in Morton Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
His first record was the album Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band in 1966 with Charlie Musselwhite. Described in 1997’s Legends of Rock Guitar as a “legendary” album, it was influential in bridging the gap between blues and rock and roll, with Mandel’s “relentless fuzztone, feedback-edged solos, and unusual syncopated phrasing.”

He relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, performing often at a club called The Matrix, where local favorites like Jerry Garcia or Elvin Bishop would sit in and jam. He then met up with pioneering San Francisco disc jockey and producer Abe ‘Voco’ Kesh (Abe Keshishian), who signed Mandel to Philips Records and produced his first solo album, Cristo Redentor in 1968. Mandel recorded with Barry Goldberg on a bootleg from Cherry Records and recorded with Graham Bond. He cut two more solo LPs for Philips, Righteous (1969) and Games Guitars Play (1970), followed by three more solo albums for the independent record label Janus in the early 1970s, which included Baby Batter. (by Wikipedia)

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And this is his second solo-album for Philips Records:

Not as consistent as his debut, due to the presence of a few pedestrian blues-rock numbers. The better tracks, though, show Mandel continuing to expand his horizons with imagination, particularly on the cuts with string and horn arrangements by noted jazz arranger Shorty Rogers. Harvey’s workout on Nat Adderley’s “Jive Samba” is probably his best solo performance, and an obvious touchstone for the Latin-rock hybrid of Carlos Santana (whose own debut came out the same year); on the other side of the coin, “Boo-Bee-Doo” is one of his sharpest and snazziest straight blues-rockers. (by Richie Unterberger)

As Mr. Ärmel wrote in this blog a year ago: “One of the most underrated guitar players ever.” …

HiteMandelHarvey Mandel with Bob Hite (Canned Heat), 1970

Personnel:
Duane Hitchings (organ)
Eddie Hoh (drums)
Harvey Mandel (guitar)
Art Stavro (bass)
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John Audino (trumpet on 07.)
Mike Barone (trombone on 07.)
Buddy Childers (trumpet on 07.)
Gene Cipriano (saxophone on 07.)
Stan Fishelson (trumpet on 07.)
Victor Feldman (vibraphone on 07.)
Plas Johnson (saxophone on 07.)
Pete Jolly (piano)
Bob Jones (guitar on 02., 05. drums, vocals on 04. + 09.)
Richard Leith (trombone on 07.)
Lew McCreary (trombone on 07.)
Ollie Mitchell (trumpet on 07.)
Pete Myers (trombone on 07.)
Jack Nimitz (saxophone on 07.)
Earl Palmer (percussion on 02., drums on 07.)
Bill Perkins (saxophone on 07.)
Howard Roberts (guitar on 07.)
Ernie Watts (saxophone on 07.)
Bob West (bass on 07.)

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Tracklist:

01. Righteous (Mandel) 3.22
02. Jive Samba (Adderley) 5.56
03. Love Of Life (Mandel/Jones) 3.14
04. Poontang (Jones) 3.54
05. Just A Hair More (Mandel) 3.39
06. Summer Sequence (Burns) 4.12
07. Short’s Stuff (Rogers) 7.19
08. Boo-Bee-Doo (Hitchings) 3.55
09. Campus Blues (Mandel) 4.43

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Passport – Heavy Nights (1986)

frontcover1Heavy Nights finds Passport founder and veteran sax man Klaus Doldinger in rare form. On this offering from 1986, the veteran sax player delves into the world of pop-jazz. Although, given his vast palette and the different settings here, it would be a mistake to simply call Heavy Nights a pop-jazz record. Doldinger’s tastes have always been eclectic and he brings his own unique jazz contributions to the table. Furthermore, he possesses that rare ability to produce jazz that is accessible without having to sacrifice substance in the process. Whatever you chose to call it, Heavy Nights is just great music. The songs here range from the playful “Bahia Praia” to the upbeat, big-band feel of “It’s Magic.” On board for this incarnation of Passport are Kevin Mulligan (guitar), Dieter Petereit (bass), Curt Cress (drums), Herman Weindorf (keyboards), and Victoria Miles (vocals). The performances of this lineup are certainly noteworthy throughout, but Heavy Nights is really a one-man show. Doldinger takes charge here performing, producing, arranging, and, composing all of the tracks. As expected, he excels in all of these areas, but it’s his ability to speak in cohesive melodic sentences that are both lyrically and emotionally satisfying, and which makes this disc so enjoyable. The melodies aren’t just good, they’re memorable. The beautiful “Forever,” as romantic a piece as you will find, is not just memorable, it actually borders on unforgettable. In addition, Doldinger’s distinct phrasing punctuates each of the tracks adding the dramatic pauses that help to distinguish Heavy Nights.
The arrangements, for the most part, are straightforward with a few twists thrown in. Doldinger makes wonderful use of the sparseness constructing interesting passages that enhance the mood of each piece. On almost all of the tracks, Doldinger handles the lion’s share of the soloing chores. Not surprisingly, his focus and restraint speak volumes. When he steps forward he delivers, and when appropriate he steps back, allowing his bandmembers and session people to add the right touches. Benny Bailey’s flügelhorn solo on the title track, for instance, is the perfect contrast to Doldinger’s tenor sax, and is one of the records highlights. Some of the other stand-out tracks include the atmospheric “Here Today,” and the jazzy “Easy Come, Easy Go.” As he has been known to do, Doldinger continually experimented and found new directions for Passport. The rock guitar-based Running in Real Time and the spacy Earthborn, also from this era, are both noteworthy. Heavy Nights, though, is arguably the high-water mark for Doldinger thus far. (by Jeri Montesano)
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Personnel:
Curt Cress (drums)
Biboul Darouiche (percussion)
Klaus Doldinger (saxophone, keyboards on 04., lyricon on 07.)
Dieter Petereit (bass)
Kevin Mulligan (guitar)
Hermann Weindorf (keyboards)
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Benny Baily (flugelhorn on 05. + 06.)
Andreas Haderer (trumpet on 08.)
Nadeen Holloway (background vocals on 08.)
Franz Weyerer (vocals on 08.)
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Tracklist:

01. Bahia Praia  5.13
02. Playing Games 4.13
03. Here Today 5.57
04. Forever 4.50
05. Heavy Nights 6.03
06. Easy Come, Easy Go 4.24
07. Remembrance 5.36
08. It’s Magic 4.14
Music: Klaus Doldinger
Lyrics: Victoria Miles (08.)
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Larry Coryell Group – Boston 1972

frontcover1Legendary guitarist Larry Coryell died on February 19, 2017 at the age of 73 in his New York City hotel room, according to a statement sent to Billboard from jazz publicist Jim Eigo. Coryell, who passed away in his sleep from natural causes, had performed his last two shows this past weekend at the city’s Iridium Jazz Club. Known as the “Godfather of Fusion,” Coryell was a pioneer of jazz-rock. He made his mark in the music world with his highly acclaimed solo work, releasing more than 60 solo albums in his lifetime. His most notable album, Spaces, came in late 1969. The guitar blow-out, also featuring John McLaughlin, is considered the beginning of the 1970s’ fusion jazz movement. Coryell performed with mid-’70s powerhouse fusion band The Eleventh House and collaborated with jazz greats including Miles Davis, Gary Burton, Alphonse Mouzon, Ron Carter and Chet Baker. Though his commercial fame didn’t match some of his ’60s-’70s guitar contemporaries, Coryell continued to tour the world and had planned an extensive 2017 summer tour with a reformed The Eleventh House. (Billboard)

Thanks to goody for sharing the show at Dime.
Another tribute in honor of the already missed master Larry Coryell, here’s an early one I fixed up, originally posted by our friend, mr mags, who got it from agalli.
Thanks to ethiessen1 for the artwork.

What a brilliant concert to promote his solo-album “Offering”
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Personnel:
Larry Coryell (guitar)
Mike Mandel (Keyboards)
Steve Marcus (Saxophone)
John Miller (bass)
Harry Wilkinson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Untitled (unknown) 13.26
02. Ruminations (Davis) 9.13
03. Hen-Hopper (Mandel) 7.06
04. Scotland, Part 1 (Coryrell) 7.06
05. Offering (Wilkinson) 6.10
06. DJ Announcements 1.09

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Larry Coryell
(* 2. April 1943 in Galveston, Texas; † 19. Februar 2017 in New York City, New York)

RIP and thanks for the music !

Colosseum – Valentyne Suite (1969)

frontcover1Valentyne Suite was the second album released by the band Colosseum. It was Vertigo Records’ first album release, and reached number 15 in the UK Albums Chart in 1969.[1]
Though the song “The Kettle” is officially listed as having been written by Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman, a credit which is confirmed by Hiseman’s liner notes for the album, bassist and producer Tony Reeves later claimed that it was written by guitarist and vocalist James Litherland. (by Wikipedia)
One of England’s prime jazz-rock — or, more accurately, rock-jazz — outfits, most of the members of Colossuem had apprenticed in blues bands, and it shows very strongly on some of the material here. Both “The Kettle” and “Butty’s Blues” are essentially tarted-up 12-bar blues, although they work well in a grander context; in the latter case much grander, as a brass ensemble enters for the last part, drowning out everything but the guitar, an indication that this recording is in dire need of remastering. “Elegy” is a fast-paced, minor-key blues that stretches guitarist James Litherland’s vocal abilities. Things do get far more interesting with “The Machine Demands a Sacrifice,” which offers solo opportunities to organist Dave Greenslade and sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith before re-emerging in what can only be called a proto-industrial style, all heavily treated clattering percussion.
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The album’s real joy comes with “The Valentyne Suite,” which takes the band out of their bluesy comfort zone into something closer to prog rock. Bandleader Jon Hiseman is a stalwart throughout, his busy drumming and fills owing far more to jazz than the studied backbeat of rock. Greenslade proves to be a largely unsung hero, his only real solo in the suite something to offer a challenge to vintage Keith Emerson, but with swing. As to criticism, bassist Tony Reeves has very little flow to his playing, which severely hampers a rhythm section that needs to be loose-limbed, and Litherland’s guitar playing is formulaic, which can be fine for rock, but once outside the most straightforward parameters, he seems lost. In retrospect this might not quite the classic it seemed at the time, but it remains listenable, and for much of the time, extremely enjoyable. (by Chris Nickson )
Without any doubts: This is one of the finest jazz-rock albums ever recorded and this is one of my most favourite Albums.
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Live at the Bath Festival, June 28th, 1969
Personnel:
Dave Greenslade (keyboards, vibraphone, background vocal on 03.)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophones, flute)
Jon Hiseman (drums, percussion)
James Litherland (guitar, vocals)
Tony Reeves (bass)

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Neil Ardley (conductor)
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Tracklist:
01. The Kettle (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 6.46
02. Elegy (Litherland) 3.14
03. Butty’s Blues (Litherland) 3.28
04. The Machine Demands A Sacrifice (Litherland, Heckstall-Smith/Brown, Hiseman) 3:55
05. Valentyne Suite Theme One: January’s Search (Greenslade) 6.20
06. Valentyne Suite Theme Two: February’s Valentyne (Greenslade) 6.57
07. Valentyne Suite Theme Three: The Grass is Always Greener (Heckstall-Smith/Hiseman) 3.37
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Bernie Marsden – And About Time Too (1979)

frontcover1Bernard John “Bernie” Marsden (born 7 May 1951) is an English rock and blues guitarist. He is primarily known for his work with Whitesnake, having written or co-written with David Coverdale many of the group’s hit songs, such as “Fool For Your Loving” and “Here I Go Again.”

After playing with a Buckinghamshire band called Skinny Cat, Bernie Marsden got his first professional gig with UFO. He next played with Glenn Cornick’s Wild Turkey in 1974, before Bernie Marsden joined Babe Ruth in 1975, and played on two releases, Stealin’ Home (1975) and Kid’s Stuff (1976), before moving on to Paice Ashton Lord in 1977, with Tony Ashton and ex-Deep Purple members, Ian Paice and Jon Lord. (by sessiondays.com)

And this is his first solo-album during his Whitesnake period:

Bernie Marsden was well into a recording career when he struck out on his own for 1979’s And About Time Too, which may explain the album’s joking title. At the time, Marsden was playing guitar in Whitesnake, following years with UFO, Wild Turkey, Cozy Powell’s Hammer, and Babe Ruth, among others, so he had a significant résumé, all suggesting that he was ready for a spot of heavy rocking, but And About Time Too is much softer than his past or present, a slick and phased collection of ’70s album pop and rock featuring such impressive players as Powell, Jack Bruce, Ian Paice, and Jon Lord. Again, all this suggests a harder record than what And About Time Too actually is. Certainly, much of its appeal is down to its period stylings, particularly when he indulges himself on a piece of sprightly pop like “Love Made a Fool of Me” or “Sad Clown” — songs that could’ve crossed over from album rock to adult contemporary — and these tunes are strong enough that they make such heavy blues workouts as the grinding “Brief Encounter” and the woozy, solo-laden closer “Head the Ball” feel like detours even when they’re much closer to Marsden’s main line of work. Other remnants of the time, such as the heavy layers of analog synths from Don Airey and the long stretches of instrumental pyrotechnics, keep this somewhat at a remove from modern listeners, but it is those aforementioned poppier numbers that do make this worth a spin; they may not capture Marsden at his most representative but they may capture him at his best. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

This edition includes the single B-side “You & Me,” a pretty good arena rockerand two more live recordings, including a great version of the classic “Shakey Ground”.

And itßs the jazz-rock part of this album, that is more than brilliant (listen to “Head The Ball” sounds a little bit like “Colosseum II”)

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Personnel:
Don Airey (keyboards, synthesizer on 01., 02., 03.,  04.,  05., 07., 09.)
Jack Bruce (bass on 01., 02., 04., 06, 07., 08., 09.)
Jon Lord (organ on 06., 07. , 08, clavinet on 08.)
Bernie Marsden (guitar, vocals)
Neil Murray (bass on 03., 05.)
Ian Paice (drums on 01., 07., 08.)
Simon Phillips (drums on 02., 04., 06., 09.)
Cozy Powell (drums on 03., 05.)
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background vocals:
Alan Carvell – Stuart Calver – Tony Rivers – Doreen Chanter – Irene Chanter

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Tracklist:
01. You’re The One (Marsden) 3.58
02. Song For Fran (Marsden) 2.52
03. Love Made A Fool Of Me (Marsden) 3.48
04. Here We Go Again (Marsden) 3.30
05. Still The Same (Marsden) 6.27
06. Sad Clown (Marsden) 5.13
07. Brief Encounter (Marsden) 4.25
08. Are You Ready (Marsden) 3.38
09. Head The Ball (Marsden(Airey) 5.30
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10. You And Me (Marsden) 2.53
11. Who’s Fooling Who (live) (Marsden) 4.17
12. Shakey Ground (Bowen/Boyd/Hazel) 4.20

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Return To Forever feat. Chick Corea – Where Have I Known You Before (1974)

lpfrontcover1Where Have I Known You Before is the fourth album by jazz-rock fusion band Return to Forever, the second since leader Chick Corea had “revamped” the line-up and moved towards electric instrumentation, playing jazz fusion with clear influences from progressive rock.

While the style of music did not change much since the previous album, Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy (1973), important changes took place in the band’s sound and line-up. Chick Corea, for instance, had started to use synthesizers (most notably the Moog Minimoog and ARP Odyssey synthesizers), developing the distinctive sound he became known for. An equally important change in the band was the replacement of guitarist Bill Connors with the then 20-year-old virtuoso Al Di Meola. Connors left the band before the recording of this album to concentrate on his acoustic solo career. Overall, the band developed a clearer, more focused sound and style. This was due in part to the personnel changes, the implementation of new technology, and new playing techniques, but it was also a product of more careful recording and production in the studio.

Between the album’s longer tracks are three of Corea’s short piano improvisations that all bear a title that begins “Where Have I…”. The first track is Stanley Clarke’s “Vulcan Worlds”, which features some melodic motifs that would also appear on Clarke’s self-titled second solo album Stanley Clarke the same year. The song proved Clarke “one of the fastest and most facile electric bassists around”. Each player except for drummer Lenny White takes long solos. The next long track is Lenny White’s composition “The Shadow of Lo”, a complex piece with many changes in mood. The last track on Side A is Corea’s “Beyond the Seventh Galaxy”, a sequel to his “Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy”, the title track from the group’s previous album.

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Side B begins with the collective jam “Earth Juice”. Most of Side B is taken up by Corea’s 14-minute epic “Song to the Pharaoh Kings”, a song notable for its use of the harmonic minor scale. The track has a long keyboard intro, after which Chick Corea is joined by the full band, and an “eastern” theme appears. Each member of the band plays a long solo.

This Return to Forever set finds guitarist Al DiMeola debuting with the pacesetting fusion quartet, an influential unit that also featured keyboardist Chick Corea, electric bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White. On this high energy set, short interludes separate the main pieces: “Vulcan Worlds,” “The Shadow of Lo,” “Beyond the Seventh Galaxy,” “Earth Juice” and the lengthy “Song to the Pharoah Kings.” Acoustic purists are advised to avoid this music, but listeners who grew up on rock and wish to explore jazz will find this stimulating music quite accessible. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Stanley Clarke (bass, organ, bell tree, chimes)
Chick Corea (keyboards, synthesizers, percussion)
Al Di Meola (guitar)
Lenny White (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Vulcan Worlds (Clarke) 7.51
02. Where Have I Loved You Before (Corea) 1.02
03. The Shadow of Lo (White) 7.32
04. Where Have I Danced With You Before (Corea) 1.14
05. Beyond The Seventh Galaxy (Corea) 3.13
06. Earth Juice (Corea/Clarke/White/Di Meola) 3.46
07. Where Have I Known You Before (Corea) 2.20
08. Song To The Pharoah Kings (Corea) 14.21

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Rick Sanders – String Time (1983)

frontcover1Richard ‘Ric’ Sanders (born 8 December 1952, in Birmingham, West Midlands) is an English violinist who has played in jazz-rock, folk rock, electric folk and folk groups, including Soft Machine and Fairport Convention.

Sanders’ first experience with a professional band was in the summer of 1972, touring Europe with classical/rock percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta’s Red Buddha Theatre. He later went on to play with jazz pianists Johnny Patrick and Michael Garrick. In the late 1970s he briefly toured as a member of the jazz-rock group Soft Machine and followed with a stint in The Albion Band. In 1981 he co-founded a recording studio, Morgreen Studios, with which he remained active for a few years. In 1984 he joined Fairport Convention and recorded his first album with them, Gladys’ Leap, the following year. Since 2002, in addition to his work with Fairport, he has also been working regularly with his trio, known as the Ric Sanders Trio, which features Vo Fletcher on guitar and Michael Gregory on drums and percussion.

Over the years Sanders has worked with a diverse roster of artists, including: Rick Wakeman, Dave Cousins of Strawbs, Jethro Tull, Robert Plant, Roy Harper, Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, Pentangle, Gordon Giltrap, Andrew Cronshaw, June Tabor, Martin Simpson, Charlie Landsborough, All About Eve, The Mission, Fred Thelonious Baker, Catherine Howe and John Etheridge (guitarist with Soft Machine and Stéphane Grappelli) with whom he co-led the group 2nd Vision, whose record has been re-released on Blueprint Records (Voiceprint Records Group).(by wikipedia)

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This is his first soloalbum, recorded for a small German independent label calles “Jeton Records” (so the liner notes are in German only). Together with Steve Richardson and Pete York (from “Pete York´s New York”) he recorded a very unique and exciting album with great instrumentals … sometimes he reminds me to the great Sugar Cane Harris.

This is not only a very rare record … this is highclass Jazz-rock, recorded in direct to disc procedure  (Direct-to-disc recording refers to sound recording methods that bypass the use of magnetic tape recording and record audio directly onto analog disc masters.)

In other words: This is a masterpiece !

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Personnel:
Steve Richardson (bass)
Rick Sanders (violin)
Pete York (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. New Years Day Celebration (Sanders/Jiving Broth.) 7.09
02. Something (Harrison) 5.04
03. Every Little Thing She Does (Sting) 4.26
04. Ebony Slide (Richardson/Jiving Broth.) 4.52
05. Mother Nature’s Son (Lennon/McCartney) 2.37
06. Allois Manius Syneda + Don’t Fret (Sanders/Baker/Jiving Broth.) 9.43

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