Albert Mangeldsdorff & Giancarlo Schiaffini – Roma (1980)

frontcover1One of the few shows organized by the Italian RAI in 1980. I had doubts on how to credit this set, from an idea of Pasquale Santoli to unite some famed soloists with RAI Big Band, playing Ellington tunes or tunes dedicated to Ellington composed by the soloists: the Incostant Sol blogspot lists this as “Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet with RAI Big Band”, which could be correct since Mangelsdorff’s name is top of the official bill included here, BUT all spoken intros are by Schiaffini, a couple of his own tunes are played too, and track, Saint James Infirmary, is played by a trio featuring him as the only soloist, so it seems he is the actual leader of the “group”. Quite probably, this was a one-off affair [actually, there was a second date played in Mestre the following day], since Mangelsdorff at the time was mainly playing solo or in duos, and not with a quintet. The show took form in two diferent sets: only the early part of the second set is here (re)broadcast [Incostant Sol has a longer version of this]. This program is introduced by a short speech by Schiaffini (recorded late) remembering the show. (survivor69)

Recorded live at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Roma, Italy; April 21, 1980

Thanks to survivor69 for sharing the show at Dime.

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Personnel:
Paolo Damiani (bass)
Billy Higgins (drums)
Albert Mangelsdorff (trombone)
Giancarlo Schiaffini (trombone)
Manfred Schoof (tromba, flugelhorn)
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RAI Big Band
Gennaro Baldino (trombone)
Giancarlo Beccattini (trombone)
Doriano Beltrame (trumpet)
Beppe Carrieri (saxophone, flute)
Alberto Corvini (trumpet)Michele Lacerenza (trumpet)
Sal Genovese  (saxophone, flute)
Baldo Maestri (saxophone, flute)
Maurizio Majorana (bass)
Carlo Metallo (saxophone)
Gianni Oddi (saxophone, flute)
Marco Pellacani (trombone)
Dino Piana (trombone)
Roberto Pregadio (piano)
Pino Rucher (guitar)
Cicci Santucci (trumpet)
Roberto Zappulla (drums)

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Giancarlo Schiaffini

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Interview – Schiaffini 2.10
02. Supraconductivity 10:08
03. Spoken Introductions 1:00
04. Introduction / March of The Jazz Aspects 13.42
05. Horizon 15.47

CD 2:
01. Mood Indigo 6.59
02. Saint James Infirmary 10.28
03. Band introductions 1.36
04. Duke of Medley 20.49
05. Radio Outros 0.30
06. Mood Azur 3.42

albert-mangelsdorffAlbert Mangelsdorff

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Miles Davis – Miles Ahead (1957)

frontcover1Miles Ahead is an album by Miles Davis that was released in 1957 by Columbia Records. It was Davis’ first collaboration with arranger Gil Evans following the Birth of the Cool sessions. Along with their subsequent collaborations Porgy and Bess (1959) and Sketches of Spain (1960), Miles Ahead is one of the most famous recordings of Third Stream, a fusion of jazz, European classical, and world musics. Davis played flugelhorn throughout.

Evans combined the ten pieces that make up the album into a suite, each flowing into the next without interruption; the only exception to this rule was on the title track since it was placed last on side A (this has been corrected on the CD versions). Davis is the only soloist on Miles Ahead, which features a large ensemble consisting of sixteen woodwind and brass players. Art Taylor played drums on the sessions and the then current Miles Davis Quintet member Paul Chambers was the bassist.

A fifth recording date involved Davis alone (re-)recording material to cover or patch mistakes or omissions in his solos using overdubbing. The fact that this album originally was produced in mono makes these inserted overdubbings rather obvious in the new stereo setting.

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Original frontcover

Miles reportedly was unhappy about the album’s original cover, which featured a photograph of a young white woman and child aboard a sailboat. He made his displeasure known to Columbia executive George Avakian, asking, “Why’d you put that white bitch on there?”[10] Avakian later stated that the question was made in jest. For later releases of the record, however, the original cover-photo has been substituted by a photograph of Miles Davis.

The Penguin Guide to Jazz gave Miles Ahead a four-star rating out of a possible four stars, and called the album “a quiet masterpiece… with a guaranteed place in the top flight of Miles albums.”[8] Of Davis’ flugelhorn, Kevin Whitehead of Cadence wrote that it “seemed to suit [Davis] better than trumpet: more full-bodied, less shrill, it glosses over his technical deficiencies.”[9] The Penguin Guide, on the other hand, opined that “the flugelhorn’s sound isn’t so very different from his trumpet soloing, though palpably softer-edged…. [S]ome of the burnish seems to be lost.” (by wikipedia)

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Gil Evans + Miles Davis

This album is perhaps most significant for the process it set in motion — the collaboration between Gil Evans and Miles Davis that would produce Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain, two of Davis’ best albums. That said, this album is a miracle in itself, the result of a big gamble on the part of Columbia Records, who put together Evans and Davis, who hadn’t worked together since recording the critically admired but commercially unsuccessful sides that would later be issued as The Birth of the Cool. Columbia also allowed Evans to assemble a 19-piece band for the recordings, at a time when big bands were far out of fashion and also at a time when the resulting recordings could not be released until two years in the future (because of Davis’ contractual obligations with Prestige). Davis was also expected to carry the album as its only soloist, and manage not to get lost among a cast of supporting musicians that included a huge horn section. To a large extent, he succeeds. Evans’ arrangements in particular are well-suited to the format, and cd1he and Davis formed a deep and close partnership where ideas were swapped back and forth, nurtured, and developed long before they were expressed in the studio. Davis gets off to a great start, with the hyper-kinetic “Springsville,” which seems to almost perfectly embody Evans’ and Davis’ partnership with its light, flexible exchanges between soloist and orchestra. He is strongest on the ballads, though, where his subdued and wistful tone rises high above the hushed accompaniment, especially on “Miles Ahead” and “Blues for Pablo” (which foreshadows the bluesy, Latin-tinged sound of Sketches of Spain). The upbeat “I Don’t Want to Be Kissed (By Anyone but You)” is another strong song, but shows the weakness of the format as Davis intersperses a charming, bright, technically challenging solo with a blasting horn section that occasionally buries him. It is a fine end, however, to an album that gave a hint of the greatness that would come as Evans and Davis fine-tuned their partnership over the course of the next several years. (by Stacia Proefrock)

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Barney Wilen (ts), Miles Davis (t), René Urtreger (p, hidden), Pierre Michelot (b), Kenny Clarke (d)
during the concert in  the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, December 8, 1957

Personnel:
Danny Bank (clarinet)
Bill Barber (tuba)
Joe Bennett (trombone)
Jim Buffington (french horn)
John Carisi (trumpet)
Paul Chambers (bass)
Jimmy Cleveland (trombone)
Sid Cooper (flute, clarinet)
Miles Davis (flugelhorn)
Bernie Glow (trumpet)
Taft Jordan (trumpet)
Wynton Kelly (piano)
Lee Konitz (saxophone)
Tony Miranda (french horn)
Tom Mitchell (trombone)
Louis Mucci (trumpet)
Romeo Penque (flute, clarinet)
Frank Rehak (trombone)
Ernie Royal (trumpet)
Willie Ruff (french horn)
Art Taylor (drums)

Arranged and conducted by Gil Evans

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Tracklist:
01. Springsville (Carisi) 3.27
02. The Maids Of Cadiz (Delibes) 3.53
03. The Duke (Brubeck) – 3:35
04. My Ship (Weill) – 4:28
05. Miles Ahead (Davis/Evans) – 3:29
06. Blues For Pablo (Evans) – 5:18
07. New Rhumba (Jamal) – 4:37
08. Medley Pt. 1: The Meaning Of The Blues (Troup/Worth) 2.48
09. Medley Pt. 2: Lament (Johnson) 2.14
10. I Don’t Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone but You) (Elliot/Spina) 3.05
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11. Springsville (Remake take 7) (Carisi) 3.16
12. Blues For Pablo (Take 1) (Evans) 3.32
13. Meaning Of The Blues-Lament (Rehearsal) (Troup/Worth) 5.10
14. I Don’t Wanna Be Kissed (By Anyone But You) (Alternate take) (Elliot/Spina) 3.11

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Herbie Mann – Latin Fever (1964)

frontcover1Latin Fever is an album by American jazz flautist Herbie Mann recorded for the Atlantic label and released in 1964. The album features tracks from the 1962 sessions that produced Do the Bossa Nova with Herbie Mann with more recent recordings. (by wikipedia)
Yes, other jazz musicians played Bossa Nova in the early sixties however, they jumped on the bandwagon after Herbie Mann began the craze. From the liner notes of Latin Fever originally recorded in 1964, “In recent years jazzman Herbie Mann has been recognized as the leading exponent and interpreter of the music emanating from Latin America. He traveled throughout Brazil before the music, which came to be known as the bossa nova, had yet to be exported, and on his return to the States, Mann introduced this musical goldmine to audiences in night clubs from New York to California.”
Herbie Mann was also one of the few who recorded with musicians from the particular region that piqued his musical interest. Latin Fever features such Brazilian luminaries as Sergio Mendes Antonio Carlos Jobim and guitarist Baden Powell.(piperglenn)

Recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 15, 1962 (track 8), October 16, 1962 (tracks 7 & 10), October 17, 1962 (track 5) & October 19, 1962 (track 9) and in New York City on October 8, 1963 (tracks 1-3 & 6) and January 29, 1964 (track 4)

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Personnel:
Otavio Bailly Jr. (bass on 07. + 10.)
George Devens (vibraphone, percussion on 01. – 03, + 06.)
Durval Ferreira (guitar on 07. + 10.)
Gabriel (bass on 08.)
Paul Griffin (piano, organ on 01. -03., + 06.)
Antônio Carlos Jobim (piano, vocals on 05. + 09.)
Juquinha (drums on 08.)
Herbie Mann (flute)
Sérgio Mendes (piano on 07. + 10.)
Paulo Moura (saxophone on 07. + 10.)
Pedro Paulo (trumpet on 07. + 10.)
Baden Powell (guitar on 08.)
Dom Um Romão (drums on 07. + 10.)
Ernie Royal (trumpet on 01. – 03. + 06.)
Bill Suyker (guitar on 01 – 03. + 06.)
Clark Terry (trumpet on on 01. – 03. + 06.)
Bobby Thomas (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Harlem Nocturne” (Earle Hagen, Dick Rogers) – 2:15
02. Fever (Cooley/Davenport) 1.52
03. Not Now – Later On (Sherman/Meade) 1.51
04. The Golden Striker (Lewis) 2.14
05. How Insensitive (Jobim) 3.04
06. You Came A Long Way from St. Louis (Brooks/Russell) 2.28
07. Batida Differente (Einhorn/Lelys) 5.12
08. Nana (Powell) 3.59
09. Groovy Samba (Mendes) 5.06
10. Influenza de Jazz (Lyra) 5.38
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Viktor Lazlo – She (1985)

frontcover1Viktor Lazlo (real name: Sonia Dronier, born 7 October 1960 in Lorient, France) is a French-Belgian singer of Grenadian and Martiniquan descent. She studied in Belgium, where she is primarily known. Her biggest hit was “Breathless” in 1987. That year she also hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 1987 held in Brussels.

Dronier took her stage name from Paul Henreid’s character Victor Laszlo in the 1942 film Casablanca. She sings in French, English, Spanish and German.

She is the first studio album by French-Belgian singer Viktor Lazlo.

The album consists of several original jazz pop compositions and includes two cover versions, the first one being Rita Hayworth’s Put the Blame on Mame and a French version of the Julie London song Cry Me a River, entitled Pleurer Des Rivieres. The song was successful on the French single charts peaking at No. 27.

viktorlazlo02Seven songs were eventually released as a single off the album: Backdoorman, Last Call For An Angel, Loser and Sweet, Soft’N’Lazy, which although it never charted anywhere became quite successful.

Another single, Canoë Rose, however was successful in Belgium, peaking at No. 33 on the single charts, and in France, peaking at No. 14.[1] The song Slow Motion was later added to the CD version of the album and released as a single too, but was not included on the original album.

The album became an overnight success, and fell just short of platinum in Belgium, where it was released as a Mini LP. It went on to sell over 100,000 copies in Germany and 60,000 in Japan.

singles

Lazlo presented songs off this album on various TV shows, such as the single Loser on the Michael Schanze Show in September 1986.(by wikipedia)
I first became aware of this incredible performer in the late 80s when I was spending a considerable amount of time in Brussels. I speak both English and French so her songs in either language had a lot of meaning for me. Over the years I had lost this CD. I was so happy to find it here. It brings back many good memories of Bruxelles and my friends there. A great jazz sound. (dcbart)

I first heard this belgium band while in Switzerland, in the 1980s. The vocalist here is in some ways easier on the ears than even the great Sade Adu. I loved this collection- and will recommend it as all time winner for those enjoying romantic lounge jazz. (Mark Hollenstein)

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Personnel:
C. Bofane (saxophone)
G. Cadiere (saxophone)
Michel Delory (guitar)
P. van den Driesche (saxophone)
Genael (keyboards)
Steve Houben (saxophone)
Pietro Lacirignola (saxophone)
Viktor Lazlo (vocals)
Jean Pierre Onraedt (drums, percussion)
F. Philipot (bass)
Danny Willems (violine)

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Tracklist:
01. She (Cadiere) 1.36
02. Sweet, Soft N’ Lazy (Bofane/Cadiere/Lazlo) 5.20
03. Ain’t Gonna Come (Vandormaele/Lazlo) 4.00
04. Stories (Wady/Walravens/Lazlo) 4.40
05. Put The Blame On Mame  (Alan) 2.:47
06. I Don’t Wanna Love Again (Antioco/Philipo) 4.17
07. Pleurer Des Rivieres (Hamilton/Bergman) 3.42
08. Last Call For An Angel (Bergman/Roger) 3.36
09. Backdoorman (Chamfort/Bergman) 3.25
10. Loser (Roger/Lazlo) 3.30
11. Canoë Rose (french version of Stories) (Bergman/Walravens) 4.40
12. Slow Motion (Verheyen/Vandenheuvel) 4.22

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Jazz at the Movies Band – White Heat Film Noir (1994)

frontcover1At times, the heavily arranged performances of the Jazz at the Movies Band ended up being pleasant, if unremarkable, background music. But the outfit could also be intriguing, and 1994’s White Heat: Film Noir is arguably their best release. This CD isn’t perfect; talented jazzmen like pianist Bill Cunliffe and saxophonist Gary Foster don’t have enough room to stretch out and improvise. Nonetheless, anyone who is a fan of ’40s and ’50s film noir will find a lot to admire about this disc, which contains slightly Ellingtonian arrangements of the themes from black-and-white classics like Laura, The Postman Always Rings Twice, White Heat, and Key Largo. All of these movies are definitive examples of film noir, a genre that got its name from French film critics. Noir is the French word for night, and that wave of ’40s and ’50s crime thrillers did, in fact, have a dark, shadowy quality — they were cynical movies that painted a not-so-rosy picture of what some people regard as the “good old days.” In the 21st century, the ’40s and ’50s are often depicted as a simpler, more innocent time, but 1944’s disturbing Double Indemnity — one of the film noir gems that this CD acknowledges — demonstrates that the “good old days” weren’t always so innocent. And it’s important to note that ’40s and ’50s film noir was a major influence on directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, both of whom are masters of more modern film noir. One questionable choice for this disc is David Raksin’s theme from The Bad and the Beautiful; that 1952 classic, which starred Kirk Douglas as a controversial Hollywood director, isn’t really film noir. Nonetheless, the Jazz at the Movies Band offer a tasteful arrangement of Raksin’s charming melody. Despite its imperfections and shortcomings, White Heat: Film Noir is an interesting celebration of film noir’s golden era. (by Alex Henderson)

Yes, indeed … a really fine album … and I will hear it again on December 31, very late in the evening …

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Personnel:
Bill Cunliffe (piano)
Bernie Dresel (drums)
Brad Dutz (percussion)
Gary Foster (saxophone, clarinet)
Matt Harris (synthesizer, piano)
Warren Luening (trumpet)
Tim May (guitar)
Mark Portman (synthesizer)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Bob Tricarico (saxophone)
Roberto Valle (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. This Gun For Hire (Buttolph) 4.40
02. The Bad And The Beautiful (Raksin) 3.49
03. White Heat (Steiner) 3.2
04.Double Indemnity (Rózsa) 3.33
05. Touch Of Evil (Mancini) 3:41
06. Key Largo (Steiner) 4.36
07. Laura (Mercer/Raksin) 5.25
08. The Lost Weekend (Rózsa) 3.46
09. The Postman Always Rings Twice (Bassman) 4.21
10. The Asphalt Jungle (Rózsa) 3.35
11. The Big Sleep (Steiner) 4.20
12. The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (Rózsa) 3.17
13. The Naked City (Rózsa/Skinner) 4.38

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Charlie Byrd – The Christmas Album (1982)

frontcover1Charlie Byrd performs 14 Christmas songs on this set as quiet and generally introspective solo guitar recitals. The music is well played, as one would expect, but there is not much variety in mood; all of the renditions are under three minutes, and humor is absent in favor of reverence. Pleasant and sincere background music. (by Scott Yanow)

Charlie Byrd is best known for two things: his incorporation of classical acoustic guitar techniques and sensibility in his jazz playing – and – playing a major role along with Stan Getz and others in popularizing the bossa nova beyond the shores of Brazil in the 1960’s. This CD of all-time Christmas favourites focuses on the classical acoustic guitar techniques and sensibilities. If you are looking for jazz or bossa nova Christmas music, you need to look elsewhere.

Charlie plays 13 songs in a no-frills, straight forward style. Some are traditional carols, some are more modern secular Christmas songs, and a few are relatively obscure Christmas songs (such as ‘Lully, Lullaby’ and ‘Coventry Carol’). It is this mix of songs that makes this so enjoyable. The songs you played more or less how you have heard them a thousand times, which makes them perfect if you want to sing along. Indeed, the liner notes contain the lyrics to the songs so you can sing along. The thing that separates these recordings from being mere background music is the fact that Charlie has impeccable taste and outstanding technique. So if you are a guitarist, pay close attention because this man studied for a year under Andres Segovia. And let us not forget that ‘Silent Night’ was written by Franz Gruber to be played on guitar in 1818.
These recordings were made in 1982 and have great sound quality. Charlie made an earlier Christmas album, 1967’s Christmas Carols for Solo Guitar that is also worth exploring.(by D.R.L.)

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Personnel:
Charlie Byrd (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. O Come All Ye Faithful (Traditional) 2.15
02. Deck The Halls (Traditional) 1.52
03. Mistletoe And Holly (Stanford/Sinatra/Sanicola) 2.56
04. Lully, Lullay (Traditional) 1.09
05. What Child Is This? (Dix) 2.05
06. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (Wesley/Mendelssohn) 2.27
07. The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 2.45
08. In The Bleak Midwinter (Rossetti/Holst) 2.07
09. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Traditional) 1.55
10. Oh Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum) (Traditional) 1.58
11. White Christmas (Berlin) 2.19
12. Angels We Have Heard On High (Traditional) 2.24
13. The Holly And The Ivy (Traditional) 1.51
14. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane) 2.59

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Mose Allison – Mose Allison Sings (1963)

frontcover1At first glance, Mose Allison Sings might seem to be just another reissued jazz recording from the 1950s. Like most CDs of this ilk, it has been digitally remastered and has additional “bonus” tracks now possible without the space limitations of vinyl records.

A cynic might use the term “old wine in new bottles” to characterize many of these reissues. There are exceptions, of course, and this album is one. The most compelling reason to reexamine an old album stems from the recognition that there may be much we either have forgotten or did not properly appreciate the first time. Mose Allison Sings reminds us how true that can be.

The legendary Rudy Van Gelder engineered the session and mastered the original LP. However, since the advent of CDs, others have made the masters—until he was given the opportunity. “I remember the sessions well,” Van Gelder recounts. “I remember how the musicians wanted it to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks.” In this light, it’s difficult to argue with his assertion that he is now their authentic “messenger.” The warm, full sound quality here is everything one would expect from Van Gelder.

Eminent jazz scholar Ira Gitler adds a few paragraphs to his original liner notes, including the fact that he briefly served as Allison’s manager. He points out that Allison started out moseallison2playing trumpet as well as piano, but stopped when his horn was stolen in Philadelphia. One of the bonus tracks, “Trouble in Mind,” displays Allison’s trumpet playing, and listeners hearing his soulfully understated horn style for the first time are likely to ask, along with Gitler, why he never replaced it.

While the dry wit of Allison’s singing eventually eclipsed his piano skills, he was a bona fide jazz musician who played with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan and Zoot Sims before achieving fame in his own right. Allison effectively absorbed influences from Sonny Williamson to Nat Cole, says Gitler, describing his piano solos as “unspectacular but effective… models of brevity and wit.”

Allison’s range, and his seemingly effortless ability to balance it, is evident here. Along with his own composition “Parchman Farm,” the other tune for which he is best known is Willie Dixon’s “The Seventh Son.” Both are good examples of his down-home, Delta blues style. Yet he sounds equally comfortable covering the jazz of Duke Ellington, the rhythm and blues of Ray Charles, and the country and western of Jimmy Rogers.

In the confessional style appropriate to the blues, Gitler admits he hasn’t listened to much of Allison’s recent work but promises to mend his ways “as soon as the opportunity presents itself.” He strongly implies we would do well to follow suit. (Victor Verney)

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Personnel:
Mose Allison (piano, vocals, trumpet)
Ronnie Free (drums)
Taylor LaFargue (bass)
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Addison Farmer (bass on 10. + 12.) (10, 12)
Frank Isola (drums on 10. + 12.)
Nick Stabulas (drums on 04., 06., 07., 09. + 11.) (4, 6, 7, 9, 11)

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Tracklist:
01. The Seventh Son (Dixon) 2.39
02. Eyesight To The Blind (Williamson) 1.43
03. Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me (Ellington) 3.12
04. Lost Mind (Mayfield) 3.32
05. I Got A Right To Cry (Liggins) 2.50
06. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand (Charles) 3.16
07. Parchman Farm (Allison) 3.19
08. If You Live (Allison) 2.31
09. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington) 2.48
10. One Room Country Shack (Walton) 3.01
11. I Hadn’t Anyone Till You (Noble) 2.33
12. Young Man (Allison) 1.26
13. That’s All Right (Rogers) 2.25

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