Paul McCartney – McCartney (1970)

LPFrontCover1McCartney is the debut solo album by English rock musician Paul McCartney. It was issued on Apple Records in April 1970 after McCartney had resisted attempts by his Beatles bandmates to have the release delayed to allow for Apple’s previously scheduled titles, notably the band’s Let It Be album. McCartney recorded his album during a period of depression and confusion, following John Lennon’s private announcement in September 1969 that he was leaving the Beatles, and the conflict over its release further estranged McCartney from his bandmates. A press release in the form of a self-interview, supplied with UK promotional copies of McCartney, led to the announcement of the group’s break-up on 10 April 1970.

McCartney recorded the album in secrecy, mostly using basic home-recording equipment set up at his house in St John’s Wood. Mixing and some later recording took place at professional studios in London, which McCartney booked under an alias to maintain anonymity. Apart from occasional contributions by his wife, Linda, he performed the entire album by himself, playing every instrument via overdubbing on four-track tape. In its preference for loosely arranged performance over polished production, McCartney explored the back-to-basics style that had been the original concept for the Beatles’ Let It Be project (then titled Get Back) in 1969.

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On release, the album received an unfavourable response from the majority of music critics, partly as a result of McCartney’s role in officially ending the Beatles’ career. Many reviewers criticised the inclusion of half-finished songs and McCartney’s reliance on instrumental pieces, although the love song “Maybe I’m Amazed” was consistently singled out for praise. Commercially, McCartney benefited from the publicity surrounding the break-up; it held the number 1 position for three weeks on the US chart compiled by Billboard magazine and peaked at number 2 in Britain. In June 2011, the album was reissued as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. (by wikpedia)

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Paul McCartney retreated from the spotlight of the Beatles by recording his first solo album at his home studio, performing nearly all of the instruments himself. Appropriately, McCartney has an endearingly ragged, homemade quality that makes even its filler — and there is quite a bit of filler — rather ingratiating. Only a handful of songs rank as full-fledged McCartney classics, but those songs — the light folk-pop of “That Would Be Something,” the sweet, gentle “Every Night,” the ramshackle Beatles leftover “Teddy Boy,” and the staggering “Maybe I’m Amazed” (not coincidentally the only rocker on the album) — are full of all the easy melodic charm that is McCartney’s trademark. The rest of the album is charmingly slight, especially if it is read as a way to bring Paul back to earth after the heights of the Beatles. At the time the throwaway nature of much of the material was a shock, but it has become charming in retrospect. Unfortunately, in retrospect it also appears as a harbinger of the nagging mediocrity that would plague McCartney’s entire solo career. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Linda McCartney (background vocals)
Paul McCartney (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion, wineglasses, mellotron, xylophone)

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Tracklist:
01. The Lovely Linda 0.43
02. That Would Be Something 2.38
03. Valentine Day 1.39
04. Every Night 2.31
05. Hot As Sun/Glasses 2.05
06. Junk 1.54
07. Man We Was Lonely 2.56
08. Oo You 2.48
09. Momma Miss America 4.04
10. Teddy Boy 2.22
11. Singalong Junk 2.34
12. Maybe I’m Amazed 3.53
13. Kreen – Akrore 4.15

All songs written by Paul McCartney

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Various Artists – Night Of The Mayas – Music of Silvestre Revueltas (1994)

FrontCover1Silvestre Revueltas Sánchez (December 31, 1899 – October 5, 1940) was a Mexican composer of classical music, a violinist and a conductor.

Revueltas was born in Santiago Papasquiaro in Durango, and studied at the National Conservatory in Mexico City, St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and the Chicago College of Music. He gave violin recitals and in 1929 was invited by Carlos Chávez to become assistant conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, a post he held until 1935. He and Chávez did much to promote contemporary Mexican music. It was around this time that Revueltas began to compose in earnest. He began his first film score, Redes, in 1934, a commission which resulted in Revueltas and Chávez falling out. Chávez had originally expected to write the score, but political changes led to him losing his job in the Ministry of Education, which was behind the film project Revueltas left Chávez’ orchestra in 1935 to be the principal conductor of a newly created and short-lived rival orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.

He was part of a family of artists, a number of whom were also famous and recognized in Mexico: his brother Fermín (1901–1935) and sister Consuelo (born before 1908, died before 1999) were painters, sister Rosaura (ca. 1909–1996) was an actress and dancer, and younger brother José Revueltas (1914–1976) was a noted writer. His daughter from his first marriage to Jules Klarecy (née Hlavacek), Romano Carmen (later Montoya and Peers), enjoyed a successful career as a dancer, taught ballet and flamenco in New York, and died on November 13, 1995, at age 73, in Athens, Greece. She is survived by three sons, and two kindred creative female heirs in Oceanside, California. His daughter from his second marriage, Eugenia (born November 15, 1934), is an essayist. His nephew Román Revueltas Retes, son of José, is a violinist, journalist, painter and conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Aguascalientes (OSA).

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In 1937 Revueltas went to Spain during the Spanish Civil War, as part of a tour organized by the leftist organization Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (LEAR);[2] upon Francisco Franco’s victory, he returned to Mexico. He earned little, and fell into poverty and alcoholism. He died in Mexico City of pneumonia (complicated by alcoholism), at the age of 40 on October 5, 1940, the day his ballet El renacuajo paseador, written four years earlier, was premièred. His remains are kept at the Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres in Mexico City.

Revueltas wrote film music, chamber music, songs, and a number of other works. His best-known work is a suite by José Ives Limantour drawn from his film score for La Noche de los Mayas, although some dissenting opinions hold that the orchestral work Sensemayá is better known. In any case, it is Sensemayá that is considered Revueltas’s masterpiece.

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He appeared briefly as a bar piano player in the movie ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (Let’s Go With Pancho Villa, Mexico, 1935), for which he composed the music. When shooting breaks out in the bar while he is playing “La Cucaracha”, he holds up a sign reading “Se suplica no tirarle al pianista” (“Please don’t shoot at the piano player”). (by wikipedia)
The music of Revueltas is too often overlooked and that is a shame. Only 41 years old when he died, he was not only Mexico’s greatest composer but an innovator combining native Indian music with traditional classical forms and instrumentations. The music is, indeed, “fiery and passionate” while evoking scenes of danger and horror. It will provide you with a wonderful journey, and this performance by the Orquestra Sinfonica de Jalapa under the direction of Luis Herrera de la Fuente is that experience. (by Robert Jager)

Tracks 1 to 2: recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall, London, in November 1975. Tracks 3 to 8: recorded in London in November 1979. Tracks 9 to 12: recorded in Sala Nezahualcoyotl, México D.F., in September 1980.

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Personnel:
London Sinfonietta Orchestra conducted by David Atherton  (03. – 08.)
New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Eduardo Mata  (01. + 02.)
Orquesta Sinfónica De Jalapa conducted by Luis Herrera de la Fuente (09. – 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Homenaje A Federico García Lorca 10.52
02. Sensemaya 5.57
03. Ocho X Radio 5.08
04. Toccata 3.34

Alcancías (10.07):
05. Allegro 3.05
06. Andantino 3.19
07. Allegro Vivo 3.38
08. Planos 7.34

La Noche De Los Mayas (25.24):
09. I. La Noche De Los Mayas 5.53
10. II. La Noche De Jaranas 4.59
11. III. La Noche De Yucatàn 6.42
12. IV. La Noche De Encantamiento 7.40

Composed by Silvestre Revueltas

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(December 31, 1899 – October 5, 1940)

Herbie Mann – Push Push (1971)

FrontCover1.jpgPush Push is a 1971 instrumental album by jazz flutist Herbie Mann, on his Embryo Records label with Atlantic, which features rock guitarist Duane Allman. The record explored a range of popular genres, such as R&B, rock and funk music to create what Allmusic calls a “generally appealing, melodic and danceable” album with an “impressive crew of musicians.”

The original cover, by Joel Brodsky, features an apparently nude Mann from the waist up, holding a flute resting on his shoulder. The album had the second “PUSH” die cut out, with the gatefold featuring a textured (flocked) duotone orange and black print of two torsos engaged in missionary style intercourse (no explicit content). The die cut reveals a small, unrecognizable portion of the print. The album’s images generated controversy at the time.[5] Later printings excluded the gatefold print, or eliminated the gatefold format entirely. Liner notes by Mann include: “P.S., Marvin Gaye’s album What’s Going On is the best album of the year!” (by wikipedia)

Flutist Herbie Mann opened up his music on this date for Push Push (and during the era) toward R&B, rock and funk music. The results were generally appealing, melodic and danceable. On such songs as “What’s Going On,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “What’d I Say” and the title cut, Mann utilizes an impressive crew of musicians, which include guitarist Duane Allman and keyboardist Richard Tee. (by Scott Yanow)

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Push Push contains a potent blend of jazz, funk, and R&B from the famed flautist and a crew of crack session players from both Memphis and New York. Mann was coming off a string of R&B-influenced releases when this 1971 album was released, so Push Push didn’t arrive as a revelation. It did, however, reiterate Mann’s capabilities as a purveyor of funky soul-jazz and laid-back, slow-jam R&B ballads. Among the Memphis players on the sessions was Duane Allman, who contributed all but one of the album’s guitar solos; Allman’s searing licks on the hard-grooving title track help make it one of the record’s finest moments. Mann’s take on the contemporaneous Marvin Gaye hit “What’s Going On” shows off the subtler side of the flute hero’s expertise, as does an ostensibly anomalous but undeniably lovely version of another 1971 hit single, Bread’s soft-rock smash “If.” Even sans vocals, Mann and his men make Ray Charles’s “What’d I Say” speak quite loudly. (by itunes)

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Personnel:
Duane Allman (guitar)
Gene Bianca (harp)
Donald “Duck” Dunn (bass)
Cornell Dupree (guitar)
Al Jackson, Jr. (drums)
Jerry Jemmott (bass)
Ralph MacDonald (percussion)
Herbie Mann (flute)
Bernard Purdie (drums)
Chuck Rainey (bass)
David Spinozza (guitar)
Richard Tee  (keyboards)

Guitar solos were by Duane Allman, except on “Man’s Hope”, which was performed by David Spinozza.

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Tracklist:
01. Push Push (Mann) 10.07
02. What’s Going On (Benson/Cleveland/Gaye) 4.17
03. Spirit In The Dark (Franklin) 9.28
04. Man’s Hope (Traditional, based on “Hatikvah”)
05. If (Gates) 4.36
06. Never Can Say Goodbye (Davis) 3.37
07. What’d I Say (Charles) 4.59
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08. Funky Nassau (Munnings/Fitzgerald) 4.54

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Herbie Mann (April 16, 1930 – July 1, 2003)

Chris Barber With John Lewis & Trummy Young – Swing Is Here (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgTaken from the original liner notes:

The only surprising thing about Chris Barber – according to BBC jazz presenter Peter Clayton – would be if he failed to surprise. “Surprise” puts mildly the initial reaction of many people when Eumig’s “Swing Is Here” package was first announced. After all, The MJQ, The Louis Armstrong All-Stars and “British trad Jazz” are still, in the minds of many so-called jazz fans as musically removed from each other as any three galaxies you may care to name.

Trummy Young does not live exactly a galaxy away from Britain – but he was persuaded away from his haven in Hawaii to join the tour – his first visit to Europe since touring with Louis in 1964. That he had turned down all previous offers of work in Europe is no small compliment to Chris and the Band. John Lewis has for many years been a confessed admirer of the Chris Barber Band – even before they recorded his “Golden Striker” in 1960. The suite that he composed specially for this tour was written with the sound of the original six-piece Chris Barber Band in mind. These days, of course, the Barber Band has evolved to an eight man line-up but the additional reed and string instruments have, naturally, been written into the suite.

In the year that Chris Barber was to form his first amateur band (1949) John Lewis was forming the MJQ and Trummy Young was embarking upon his marathon stint with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. The backgrounds of John and Trummy in music prior to that time (Swing, be-bop, blues) make their coming together with the Chris Barber Band far less of a surprise than may at first sight appear to be the case.

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The biggest surprise during the tour was to learn from John Lewis that when the package played at Southport we were just down the road from a venue where he had played his first ever gig in England: it was a Saturday night hop with a local dance band during the war! The pearls such as “Yes we have no Bananas” and “The Palais Glide” that John played in that Lancashire ballroom are NOT featured on this album! (Vic Gibbons)

The catalyst of Jazz and Jazz based popular music in Europe over the last fifteen years has been Chris Barber and his band. He has discovered that wonderful and rare experience of Jazz ensemble playing which can only be achieved by long time association (I know it from my years with the MJQ), and has also developed into one of the great and unique trombone soloists in Jazz. I enjoyed and appreciated the experience of performing with his great institution the Chris Barber Band. (John Lewis)

Recorded live during the “Swing Is Here” European tour

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Personnel:
Chris Barber (trombone, vocals)
John Crocker (saxophone, clarinet)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Roger Hill (guitar)
Johnny McCallum (banjo, guitar)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Sammy Rimmington (saxophone, clarinet)
Pete York (drums)
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John Lewis (piano)
Trummy Young (trombone, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01.  Home Folks (Lewis)
02. Time (Lewis)
03. Mood Indigo (Bigard/Ellington)
04.  ‘Tain’t What You Do (Oliver/Young)
05. Georgia (Carmichael)
06. Some Say You’ll Be Sorry (Armstrong)
07. Muskrat Ramble (Ory)
08. When The Saints Go Marchin’ In (Traditional)
09. Outro
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10. Swing Is Here (part one)
11. Swing Is Here (part one)

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Various Artists – Concert Of The Century (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGI guess this was a very special night at the Carnegie Hall, New York. This concert should celebrate the 85th anniversary of this legendary concert hall.

My uncle bought this double LP as a Christmas present for my father back when it first came out. It was recorded in celebration of the 85th anniversary of Carnegie Hall. That concert night featured Leonard Bernstein and members of the NYP, Isaac Stern, Rostropovich, Yehudi Menuhin, and of course, Dieskau and Horowitz! Bach’s double violin concerto in D minor is unpolished with Stern and Menuhin and the entire cast singing Handel’s “Hallelujah” from the Massiah at the end is a bit much and over the top.

Still, it was indeed a historical night and Dieskau and Horowitz’ performance of Schumann’s Dichterliebe made it so. A must have for anyone who loves this piece or wishes to fall in love with it. (Peter Chordas)

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The performance of the slow movement of the rachmaninoff cello sonata is among the most touching recordings that have ever been made. (Joerg)

The performance of the slow movement of the rachmaninoff cello sonata is among the most touching recordings that have ever been made. (Pete)

All lovers of Lieder seem to have a certain passion and veneration for Fischer-Dieskau’s interpretation of Schumann’s Dichterliebe. It is appearant that this singer’s understanding of the music, his vocal capacity, his beautiful phrasing, clear diction, and his general (outstanding) musicianship enable him to communicate these Lieder in a way nobody else has done before (save maybe Hotter) or since.
In this live-recording he is supported by no other than Vladimir Horowitz! And the inspiration between these two artists works wonders. Horowitz’ playing in crucial moments of the cycle fx “Ich Grolle Nicht” adds a spiritual dimension to the interpretation that you do not get from Moore, Brendel or Demus. We are dealing with the best interpretation of this cycle ever conveyed to disc. (Tommy Nielsen)

And … listen to “Pater Noster” … unbelieveable music … I call this music … spiritual music, even I don´t believe in god !

What a night !

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Personnel:
Leonard Bernstein (harpsichord on 05.)
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (vocals on 04. + 07.)
Vladimir Horowitz (piano on 02. – 04. + 07.)
Yehudi Menuhin (violin on 05. + 07.)
Mstislav Rostropovich (cello on 02., 03. + 07.)
Isaac Stern (violin on 02., 05. + 07.)

Members Of The New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein (on 01., 05. + 07.)
The Oratorio Society Orchestra conducted by Lyndon Woodside (o6. + 07.)

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Tracklist:
01. Leonore – Overture No3/Ouvertüre Nr3/Ouverture Nº3 Op.72a (Beethoven) 14.34
02. Piano Trio In A Minor/Klaviertrio, A-moll/Trio Pour Piano En La Mineur – Op.50, I – Pezzo Elegiaco (Tchaikovsky) 18.18
03. Sonata For Cello & Piano In G Minor/Sonate Für Violoncello & Klavier G-moll/Sonate Pour Violoncelle & Piano En Sol Mineur – Op.19, III Andante (Rachmaninoff) 5.47
04. Dichterliebe, Op.48 (Schumann/Heine) 29.30
05. Concerto In D Minor For Two Violins/Konzert Für Zwei Violinen, D-moll/Concerto Pour Deux Violons En Ré-mineur BWV 1043 (Bach) 15.29
06. Pater Noster (Tchaikovsky) 3.53
07. The Messiah/Hallelujah Chorus (Händel) 4.04

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