Jo Ann Kelly – Jo Ann (1988)

FrontCover1Jo Ann Kelly (5 January 1944 – 21 October 1990) was an English blues singer and guitarist. She is respected for her strong blues vocal style and for playing country blues guitar.

Kelly was born in Streatham, South London, England on 5 January 1944. She had two younger siblings, Susan and Dave. Her early interest in performing music grew out of hearing the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Skiffle in the late 1950s. She learned 3 or 4 guitar chords from her younger brother, Dave Kelly

She appeared on several compilation albums with her first in 1966 being New Sounds In Folk and then two years later on Blues Anytime Vol. 1: An Anthology Of British Blues (1968) Immediate Records before releasing her first solo album titled Jo-Ann Kelly (1969), this was issued on CBS in the UK and Epic Records in the US. She was also a core member of Tramp (band) along with her brother Dave Kelly.

Jo-Ann Kelly and her brother Dave helped raise donations for Memphis Minnie in the 1960s.

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Canned Heat and Johnny Winter both tried to recruit Kelly, but she preferred to stay in the United Kingdom. She expanded to the European club circuit, where she worked with guitarist Pete Emery and other bands. In the early 1980s, she was a member of the Terry Smith Blues Band.

In 1988, Kelly began to suffer from headaches. In 1989 she had an operation to remove a malignant brain tumour. She died on 21 October 1990, aged 46.

Obituaries for Kelly appeared in major English newspapers, including The Independent,[9] The Times, and The Guardian. Remembrances and obituaries also appeared in contemporary Blues magazines such as Blues & Rhythm and the British Blues Review.

The obituary in The Independent remarked, “To many American performers Jo Ann Kelly was the only British singer to earn their respect for her development of what they would be justified in thinking as ‘their’ genre”. (wikipedia)

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I guess this was her last studio recordings and this is a real brilliant album:

Her voice was incredible and her feeling and appreciation for the blues was radiated to anybody that knew her.

Amd here´s a review from “British Blues Review”, No. 4 (October 1988):

Review

Listen the Quieen of Britsh Blues, listen to “I Can’t Be Satisfied” or “Moon Going Down” and you´ll know what I mean !

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Personnel:
Steve Donnelly (bass, guitar)
Pete Emery (guitar)
Jo Ann Kelly (vocals, guitar)
Geraint Watkins (keyboards, accordion)
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Tracklist:
01. I Can’t Be Satisfied (Morganfield) 3.51
02. Wide Open Road (Brown) 4.49
03. Death Have Mercy (Traditional) 2.25
04. Moon Going Down (Traditional) 3.07
05. River Jordan (Traditional) 4.08
06. You’ve Changed (Carey/Fisher) 2.40
07. Little More Time (Kelly) 4.03
08. Love Blind (Kelly) 2.55
09. Jonah In The Belly Of The Whale (Traditional) 2.07
10. Sugar Babe (Traditional) 3.51
11. Rising Sun Shine On (McCoy) 2.52
12. Come See About Me (Kelly) 4.36

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Obituary

Carole King – Welcome Home (1978)

FrontCover1Carole King Klein (born Carol Joan Klein; February 9, 1942) is an American singer-songwriter who has been active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100. King also wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK, making her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts between 1962 and 2005.

King’s major success began in the 1960s when she and her first husband, Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen chart hits, many of which have become standards, for numerous artists. She has continued writing for other artists since then. King’s success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts. After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album Writer, King scored her breakthrough with the album Tapestry, which topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.

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King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her record sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be so honored. She is also a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree.

Welcome Home is the 9th album by American singer-songwriter Carole King, released in 1978. (wikipedia)

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After seven straight gold-selling, Top 20 albums, Welcome Home demonstrated thoroughly that Carole King was on the wrong track. Her third husband, Rick Evers, who wrote lyrics for some of her songs and is pictured with her on the record cover, died of a drug overdose after this album was recorded in January 1978, but before it was released in May, which seems emblematic of the problems here.

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They include “Venusian Diamond,” a song that deliberately borrows gimmicks from Beatles records, and “Disco Tech.” That’s right, Carole King goes disco. There were no hits, although “Morning Sun” made a brief appearance in the adult contemporary chart, and there was certainly nothing that was up to King’s usual standards. The album failed to make the Top 100 and effectively removed King from the top echelon of pop artists. (William Ruhlmann)

Oh … this album is not so bad at all … it´s a good album.

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Personnel:
George Bohanon (trombone)
Israel Baker (violin)
Oscar Brashear (trumpet, fluegelhorn)
Denyse Buffum (viola)
Ronald Cooper (cello)
Rollice Dale (viola)
Marcia van Dyke (violin)
Rick Evers (cowbell)
Frank Foster (violin)
Rob Galloway (bass, background vocals)
Anne Golia (tamboura)
Mark Hallman (guitar, background vocals)
Richard Hardy (flute, saxophone, clarinet, background vocals)
Bob Harrington (hammer dulcimer)
William H. Henderson (violin)
Dick Hyde (trombone)
Dennis Karmazyn (cello)
Georgia Kelly (harp)
Carole King (vocals)
Robert McEntee (guitar, background vocals)
Miguel Rivera (percussion)
Nolan Andrew Smith, Jr (trumpet, fluegelhorn)
Charles Veal, Jr. (violin)
Dorothy Wade (violin)
Ernie Watts (saxophone)
John Wittenberg (violin)
Michael Wooten (drums)
Kenneth Yerke (violin)
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background vocals:
Stephanie Spruill – Alexandra Brown – Ann White

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Tracklist:
01. Main Street Saturday Night (King) 5.46
02. Sunbird (King/Evers) 4.06
03. Venusian Diamond (King/Evers/Hallman/McEntee/Galloway/Rivera/Hardy/Wooten) 4.32
04. Changes (King) 2.29
05. Morning Sun (King) 4.34
06. Disco Tech (King/Hallman/McEntee/Galloway/Rivera/Wooten/Hardy) 5.12
07. Wings Of Love (King/Evers) 3.27
08. Ride The Music (King) 3.13
09. Everybody’s Got The Spirit (King) 3.47
10. Welcome Home (King) 3.20

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Maurizio Pollini – 24 Preludes Op. 28 (Frédéric Chopin) (1975)

LPFrontCover1Frédéric François Chopin, born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period who wrote primarily for solo piano. He has maintained worldwide renown as a leading musician of his era, one whose “poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation.”

Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola in the Duchy of Warsaw and grew up in Warsaw, which in 1815 became part of Congress Poland. A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising. At 21, he settled in Paris. Thereafter – in the last 18 years of his life – he gave only 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon. He supported himself by selling his compositions and by giving piano lessons, for which he was in high demand. Chopin formed a friendship with Franz Liszt and was admired by many of his other musical contemporaries, including Robert Schumann.

Chopin.jpgAfter a failed engagement to Maria Wodzińska from 1836 to 1837, he maintained an often troubled relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin (known by her pen name, George Sand). A brief and unhappy visit to Mallorca with Sand in 1838–39 would prove one of his most productive periods of composition. In his final years, he was supported financially by his admirer Jane Stirling, who also arranged for him to visit Scotland in 1848. For most of his life, Chopin was in poor health. He died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39, probably of pericarditis aggravated by tuberculosis.

All of Chopin’s compositions include the piano. Most are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, and some 19 songs set to Polish lyrics. His piano writing was technically demanding and expanded the limits of the instrument, his own performances noted for their nuance and sensitivity. His major piano works also include mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, the instrumental ballade (which Chopin created as an instrumental genre), études, impromptus, scherzos, preludes and sonatas, some published only posthumously. Among the influences on his style of composition were Polish folk music, the classical tradition of J. S. Bach, Mozart, and Schubert, and the atmosphere of the Paris salons of which he was a frequent guest. His innovations in style, harmony, and musical form, and his association of music with nationalism, were influential throughout and after the late Romantic period.

Chopin’s music, his status as one of music’s earliest celebrities, his indirect association with political insurrection, his high-profile love-life, and his early death have made him a leading symbol of the Romantic era. His works remain popular, and he has been the subject of numerous films and biographies of varying historical fidelity. Among his many memorials is the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, which was created by the Parliament of Poland to research and promote his life and works. It hosts the International Chopin Piano Competition, a prestigious competition devoted entirely to his works. (wikipedia)

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And here can we hear here his “24 Preludes Op. 28” played by Maurizio Pollini:

Maurizio Pollini (born January 5 1942) is an Italian pianist. He is known for performances of compositions by Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy, among others. He has also championed and performed works by contemporary composers such as Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, George Benjamin, Roberto Carnevale, Gianluca Cascioli and Bruno Maderna. Works composed for him include Luigi Nono’s ….. sofferte onde serene …, Giacomo Manzoni’s Masse: omaggio a Edgard Varèse and Salvatore Sciarrino’s Fifth Sonata.

Life and careerPollini was born in Milan to the Italian rationalist architect Gino Pollini, who has been said to be the first to bring Modernist architecture to Italy in the 1930s.[2] Pollini studied piano first with Carlo Lonati, until the age of 13, then with Carlo Vidusso, until he was 18 He received a diploma from the Milan Conservatory and won both the International Ettore Pozzoli Piano Competition in Seregno (Italy) in 1959 and the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1960.

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Arthur Rubinstein, who led the jury, declared Pollini the winner of the competition, allegedly saying: “that boy can play the piano better than any of us”. Following his success at the competition, Pollini didn’t perform for a year in order to expand his musical experience, leading to erroneous rumors that he had become a recluse. Soon afterwards, he recorded Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in E minor with the Philharmonia Orchestra under the Polish conductor Paul Kletzki for EMI, and taped performances of Chopin’s etudes. When the Philharmonia offered Pollini a series of concerts, he experienced what EMI producer Peter Andry has called “an apparent crisis of confidence”. After this, he studied with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, from whom he is said to have acquired “a precise technique and emotional restraint”, although some have expressed a concern that Michelangeli’s influence resulted in Pollini’s playing becoming “mannered and cold”. During the early 1960s, Pollini limited his concertizing, preferring to spend these years studying by himself and expanding his repertoire.
There was a lot of tension in the air. We have to remember the situation in Italy back then. People were even talking about a possible Fascist coup. […] I once read or rather tried to read a declaration against a hideous atrocity in the Vietnam War when the United States bombed Hanoi and Hai Phong. Several Italian musicians had signed the declaration: Claudio Abbado, Luigi Nono, Manzoni and the Quartetto Italiano, as well as Goffredo Petrassi, Luigi Dallapiccola. Contrary to all my expectations, at the mere sound of the word ‘Vietnam,’ the audience exploded in a kind of collective delirium, which made it impossible to continue my recital. I made several attempts to read this short statement. This was interrupted by the arrival of the police. Eventually, the piano was closed and that was that.

Maurizio Pollini04Since the mid-1960s, he has given recitals and appeared with orchestras in Europe, the United States, and the Far East. He made his American debut in 1968 and his first tour of Japan in 1974.
Pollini with Pierre Boulez in Paris (2009)

In 1985, on the occasion of Johann Sebastian Bach’s tricentenary, he performed the complete first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier. In 1987 he played the complete piano concertos of Ludwig van Beethoven in New York with the Vienna Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado and received on this occasion the orchestra’s Honorary Ring. In 1993-94 he played his first complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle in Berlin and Munich and later also in New York City, Milan, Paris, London and Vienna. At the Salzburg Festival in 1995 he inaugurated the “Progetto Pollini”, a series of concerts in which old and new works are juxtaposed. An analogous series took place at Carnegie Hall in 2000–01 with “Perspectives: Maurizio Pollini” and at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2010–11 with the “Pollini Project”, a series of five concerts with programmes ranging from Bach to Stockhausen. Throughout his career, Pollini has advocated the performance of little known or forgotten works.

In March 2012 it was announced that Pollini had cancelled all his forthcoming appearances in the US for health reasons.

In 2014, Pollini played on a tour including the Salzburg Festival[14] and his debut at the Rheingau Musik Festival, playing in the Kurhaus Wiesbaden Chopin’s Preludes (Op. 28) and Book 1 of Debussy’s Preludes.

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Pollini is father of the pianist and conductor Daniele Pollini.

Pollini’s first recordings for Deutsche Grammophon in 1971 included Stravinsky’s Trois mouvements de Petrouchka and Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata and are still considered a landmark of twentieth century piano discography.[17] He recorded Chopin’s Etudes, Opp. 10 and 25, also under Deutsche Grammophon. In 2002, Deutsche Grammophon released a 13-CD commemorative edition to celebrate the pianist’s 60th birthday, and a complete edition on 58 discs of his recordings for the label, on the occasion of his 75th. His Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle was completed in 2014 and was released in an 8-CD box set.

While known for possessing an exceptional technique, Pollini has been criticised for emotional conservatism. However, in his interviews, Maurizio Pollini has stated that throughout his career his concern has been to express the composer as accurately as possible. He is not concerned with his own emotion.

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During the 1960s and 1970s, Pollini was a left-wing political activist. He collaborated with Luigi Nono in such works as Como una ola de fuerza y luz (1972), which was to mourn the accidental death of Luciano Cruz, a leader of the Chilean Revolutionary Front. He performed with Claudio Abbado at La Scala in a cycle of concerts for students and workers, in an attempt to build a new public as they believed that art should be for everybody.[19] At least one of Pollini’s recitals was beset by audience unrest and concluded upon police intervention when he mentioned Vietnam. Pollini has said that he now questions the way left-wing activists operated in Italy, although he still identifies with the left.

In 1996, Pollini received the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize. In 2001, his recording of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations won the Diapason d’or. In 2007, Pollini received the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without orchestra) for his Deutsche Grammophon recording of Chopin nocturnes. He was awarded the Praemium Imperiale in 2010. He entered the Gramophone Hall of Fame in 2012. (wikipedia)

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I recently got back into the etudes after watching/listening to Sviatoslov Richter perform a couple of them on Utube. I loved the playing, especially with the visual additive, but when I went to buy I remembered he hasn’t been heard from for a very long time.
These performances were from the 1950s, and the sound would be dated; probably in mono. After searching available recordings I decideded on Pollini, without regret. Pollini delivers performances with the virtuosity of playing, finely etched precision demanded by the more difficult of these works, that they deserve. Recordings are quite good, sound great through my phones in dedicated listening, and I would reccommend this, and his recordings of the Preludes, unconditionally. I have them by Perahia, and his rendition is fine, but Pollini really hits it for clarity in every note. (by Pangaea)

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Personnel:
Maurizio Pollini (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. No. 1 In C Major – Agitato 0.38
02. No. 2 In A Minor – Lento 2.20
03. No. 3 In G Major – Vivace 0.59
04. No. 4 In E Minor – Largo 2.02
05. No. 5 In D Major – Allegro Molto 0.37
06. No. 6 In B Minor – Lento Assai 1.49
07. No. 7 In A Major – Andantino 0.42
08. No. 8 In F Sharp Minor – Molto Agitato 1.46
09. No. 9 In E Major – Largo 1.14
10. No. 10 In C Sharp Minor – Allegro Molto 0.38
11. No. 11 In B Major – Vivace 0.33
12. No. 12 In G Sharp Minor – Presto 1.08
13. No. 13 In F Sharp Major – Lento 2.33
14. No. 14 In E Flat Minor – Allegro 0.30
15. No. 15 In D Flat Major – Sostenuto 5.00
16. No. 16 In B Flat Minor – Presto Con Fuoco 1.05
17. No. 17 In A Flat Major – Allegretto 2.50
18. No. 18 In F Minor – Allegro Molto 0.51
19. No. 19 In E Flat Major – Vivace 1.19
20. No. 20 In C Minor – Largo 1.44
21. No. 21 In B Flat Major – Cantabile 1.40
22. No. 22 In G Minor – Molto Agitato 0.42
23. No. 23 In F Major – Moderato 0.55
24. No. 24 In D Minor – Allegro Appassionato 2.23

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More from Maurizio Pollini:
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More from Frédéric Chopin:
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Jaco Pastorius – Same (1976)

LPFrontCover1John Francis Anthony “Jaco” Pastorius III (December 1, 1951 – September 21, 1987) was an American jazz bassist who was a member of Weather Report from 1976 to 1981. He worked with Pat Metheny and Joni Mitchell, and recorded albums as a solo artist and band leader. His bass playing employed funk, lyrical solos, bass chords, and innovative harmonics. As of 2017, he is the only electric bassist of seven bassists inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame, and has been lauded as one of the best electric bassists of all time.

Pastorius suffered from drug addiction and mental health problems throughout his professional life, and despite his widespread acclaim, over the latter part of his life he had problems holding down jobs due to his unreliability. In frequent financial trouble, he was often homeless throughout the mid 1980s. He died in 1987, as a result of injuries sustained in a fight outside of a South Florida after hours club.

After his death, his work continued to influence musicians. He was elected to the DownBeat Hall of Fame in 1988. He was the subject of the 2014 documentary film Jaco. (wikipedia)

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It’s impossible to hear Jaco Pastorious’ debut album today as it sounded when it was first released in 1976. The opening track — his transcription for fretless electric bass of the bebop standard “Donna Lee” — was a manifesto of virtuosity; the next track, the funk-soul celebration “Come On, Come Over” was a poke in the eye to jazz snobs and a love letter to the R&B greats of the previous decade (two of whom, Sam & Dave, sing on that track); “Continuum” was a spacey, chorus-drenched look forward to the years he was about to spend playing with Weather Report. The program continues like that for three-quarters of an hour, each track heading off in a different direction — each one a masterpiece that would have been a proud achievement for any musician. What made Jaco so exceptional was that he was responsible for all of them, and this was his debut album.

CD frontcover:
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Beyond his phenomenal bass technique and his surprisingly mature compositional chops (he was 24 when this album was released), there was the breathtaking audacity of his arrangements: “Okonkole Y Trompa” is scored for electric bass, French horn, and percussion, and “Speak Like a Child,” which Pastorious composed in collaboration with pianist Herbie Hancock, features a string arrangement by Pastorious that merits serious attention in its own right. For a man with this sort of kaleidoscopic creativity to remain sane was perhaps too much to ask; his gradual descent into madness and eventual tragic death are now a familiar story, one which makes the bright promise of this glorious debut album all the more bittersweet. (This remastered reissue adds two tracks to the original program: alternate takes of “(Used to Be a) Cha Cha” and “6/4 Jam”). (by Rick Anderson)

Pastorius received two Grammy Award nominations in 1977 for his self-titled debut album: one for Best Jazz Performance by a Group and one for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist (“Donna Lee”)

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Personnel:
Don Alias (percussion)
Julien Barber (viola)
Arnold Black (violin)
Paul Bley (piano)
Michael Brecker (saxophone)
Randy Brecker (trumpet)
Al Brown (viola)
Selwart Clarke (viola)
Stewart Clarke (viola)
Harry Cykman (violin)
Alex Darou (keyboards)
Alex Darqui (piano)
Richard Davis (bass)
Bruce Ditmas (drums)
Bob Economou (drums)
Paul Gershman (violin)
Peter Gordon (french horn)
Peter Graves (trombone)
Herbie Hancock (clavinet, keyboards)
Howard Johnson (saxophone)
Harold Kohon (violin)
Beverly Lauridsen (cello)
Hubert Laws (flute)
Harry Lookofsky (violin)
Joseph Malin (violin)
Charles McCracken (cello)
Homer Mensch (bass)
Pat Metheny (guitar)
Othello Molineaux (steel-drums, percussion)
Kermit Moore (cello)
Sam Moore (vocals)
David Nadien (violin)
Jaco Pastorius (bass)
Max Pollikoff (violin)
Dave Prater (vocals)
Matthew Raimondi (violin)
David Sanborn (saxophone)
Wayne Shorter (saxophone)
Alan Shulman (cello)
Ron Tooley (trumpet)
The Manny Vardi (viola)
Narada Michael Walden (drums)
Lenny White (drums)
Leroy Williams (steel drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Donna Lee (Charlie Parker or Miles Davis) 2.28
02. Come On, Come Over (featuring Sam & Dave) (Pastorius/Herzog) 3.54
03. Continuum 4.34
04. Kuru/Speak Like A Child (Pastorius/Hancock) 7.43
05. Portrait Of Tracy (Pastorius) 2.23
06. Opus Pocus (Pastorius) – 5:30
07. Okonkolé Y Trompa (Pastorius/Alias) 4.26
08. (Used To Be A) Cha-Cha (Pastorius) 8.58
09. Forgotten Love (Pastorius) 2.15
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10. (Used To Be A) Cha-Cha (alternate take, previously unreleased) (Pastorius) 8.50
11. 6/4 Jam (previously unreleased) (Pastorius) 4.25

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Ten Years After – Naturally Live (2019)

FrontCover1Ten Years After are a British blues rock band, most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1968 and 1973, Ten Years After scored eight Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart. In addition they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard 200.[2]

They are best known for tracks such as “I’m Going Home”, “Hear Me Calling”, “I’d Love to Change the World” and “Love Like a Man”. Their musical style consisted of blues rock and rock.

The band’s core formed in late 1960 as Ivan Jay and the Jaycats. After several years of local success in the Nottingham/Mansfield area, they changed their name in 1962 to the Jaybirds and later to Ivan Jay and the Jaymen. Ivan Jay (born Ivan Joseph Harrison, 1939, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire; died April 2009, USA) sang lead vocals from late 1960 to 1962 and was joined by Ric Lee in August 1965, replacing drummer Dave Quickmire (born David Quickmire, 1940, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire), who had replaced Pete Evans (born Peter Evans, 1940, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire) in 1962. Roy Cooper (born 11 November 1943, Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire) played rhythm guitar, plus did vocals from 1960 to 1962. In 1966, The Jaybirds moved to London to back the Ivy League. In the same year, Chick Churchill joined the group as keyboard player. That November, the quartet signed a manager, Chris Wright, and changed their name to Blues Trip. Using the name Blues Yard they played one show at the Marquee Club supporting the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Alvin Lee and Leo Lyons again changed their name in 1966 to Ten Years After – in honour of Elvis Presley, one of Lee’s idols. (This was ten years after Presley’s successful year, 1956). Some sources claim that the name was pulled by Leo Lyons from a magazine, advertising a book, Suez Ten Years After (referring to the Suez Crisis).

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The group was the first act booked by the soon-to-be Chrysalis Agency. It secured a residency at the Marquee, and was invited to play at the Windsor Jazz Festival in 1967. That performance led to a contract with Deram, a subsidiary of Decca — the first band Deram signed without a hit single. In October 1967 they released the self-titled debut album, Ten Years After. In 1968, after touring Scandinavia and the United States, Ten Years After released a second album, the live Undead, with a first version of the noteworthy song, “I’m Going Home”. They followed this in February 1969 by the studio issue Stonedhenge, a British hit that included another well-known track, “Hear Me Calling”, which was also released as a single. (In 1972, this song was covered by the British glam rock rising stars, Slade.) In July 1969, the group appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival, in the first event rock bands were invited to. Between 26 and 27 July 1969, they appeared at the Seattle Pop Festival held at Gold Creek Park. On 17 August, the band performed a breakthrough American appearance at Woodstock; their rendition of “I’m Going Home” featuring Alvin Lee as lead singer/lead guitar, was featured in both the subsequent film and soundtrack album and catapulted them to star status. In 1970, Ten Years After released “Love Like a Man”, the group’s only hit in the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at #10. It was the first record issued with a different playing speed on each side: a three-minute edit at 45 rpm, and a nearly eight-minute live version at 33 rpm.[citation needed] The full studio version song appeared on the band’s fifth album, their most successful in Britain, Cricklewood Green. In August 1970, they played the Strawberry Fields Festival near Toronto, and the Isle of Wight Festival 1970.

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In 1971, the band switched labels to Columbia Records (US) and Chrysalis (UK) and released the hit album A Space in Time, which marked a move toward more commercial material. It featured the group’s biggest hit, “I’d Love to Change the World”. In late 1972, the group issued their second Columbia album Rock & Roll Music to the World and, in 1973, the live double album Ten Years After Recorded Live. The band subsequently broke up after their final 1974 Columbia album, Positive Vibrations.

In the second half of the 1970s and early 1980s, Alvin actively toured with a new band he called Ten Years Later. The original Ten Years After reunited in 1983 to play the Reading Festival, and this performance was later released on CD as The Friday Rock Show 
In 1988, the members reunited for a few concerts and recorded the album About Time (1989) with producer Terry Manning in Memphis. They stayed together for their longest continuous period, until 2003, however without releasing new studio effort. In 1994, they participated in the Eurowoodstock festival in Budapest.

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In 2003, the other band members replaced Alvin Lee with Joe Gooch, and recorded the album, Now. Material from the following tour was used for the 2005 double album, Roadworks.Alvin Lee mostly played and recorded under his own name following his split from the band. He died from complications during a routine medical procedure on 6 March 2013. Ric Lee is also currently in a band called Ric Lee’s Natural Born Swingers, along with Bob Hall. In January 2014, it was announced that both Gooch and Lyons had left Ten Years After. Two months later, veteran bass player Colin Hodgkinson and singer/guitarist Marcus Bonfanti were announced as their replacements. In October 2017, the band released its most recent studio album, A Sting in the Tale. (wikipedia)

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About two years ago the veteran boogie/blues and hard rockers of Ten Years After surprised me with a very entertaining new record called ‘A Sting In The Tale’ on which long serving members Ric Lee (drums) and Chick Churchill (keyboards) were accompanied by bass player Colin Hodgkinson (also a veteran of many years and ex-Whitesnake) and ‘young’ gun Marcus Bonfanti on guitar and vocals. Especially Bonfanti sounded impressive with a semi-rough yet melodic voice, excellent riffs and solos making ‘A Sting In The Tale’ the best effort of this band in years. After that release Ten Years After went on the road in the UK and Europe, the USA and more. For Lee (who released his autobiography ‘From Headstocks To Woodstock’ this year), Churchill and Hodgkinson, all being in their seventies certainly not a vacation. If you visit their website and see the gigs already done and the shows yet to come it is as clear as day that these men must love what they do.

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Germany has been a place where Ten Years After was always a very welcome guest and it should come as no surprise that the band decided to record their live-album during a show in that country, in the town of Erfurt to be more precise. It is amazing to hear how strong and in tune these guys still perform. The record has a really ‘rough around the edges’ sound and Bonfanti is the man who has given Ten Years After a new lease on rock and roll life. The song material is mainly from ‘A Sting In The Tale’ (,,Land Of The Vandals’’ is an energetic start to the proceedings) but there is also room for some golden classics like ‘’I’m Going Home’’ and ,,50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain’’ with extensive and flamboyant guitar explosions from Bonfanti. And just hear the interaction between Bonfanti and Hodgkinson during ,,Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’’! ‘Naturally Live’ is a lovely registration from a band that wrote history in the past and that has still enough charisma and endurance to write another and more up to date new chapter in their career with ‘Naturally Live’’. It might not be as wild as it used to be when Alvin Lee was the main man but these boys still know how to rock. Judge for yourself! (by Michel van de Moosdijk)

Ok., this is Ten Years After Mk. III  …. but they did a real good job !!! And their “50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain” is the best version ever !

Recorded live at the HSD Museumkeller, Erfurt, Germany on 24th March 2018

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Personnel:
Marcus Bonfanti (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Chick Churchill (keyboards)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass)
Ric Lee (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Land Of The Vandals (Churchill/Hodgkinson/Bonfanti/R Lee) 3.46
02. One Of These Days (A.Lee) 5.08
03. Hear Me Calling (A.Lee) 6.28
04. I’D Love To Change The World (A.Lee) 6.37
05.Silverspoon Lady (Churchill/Hodgkinson/Bonfanti/R Lee) 4.15
06. Last Night Of The Bottle (Churchill/Hodgkinson/Bonfanti/R Lee) 5.51
07. Portable People (A.Lee) 3.01
08. Don’t Want You Woman (A.Lee) 4.03
09. Losing The Dogs (A.Lee) 3.36
10. 50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain (A.Lee) 7.39
11. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (A.Lee) 7.52
12. I’m Going Home (A.Lee) 10.37
13. Ric Lee Introducing TYA 2.30

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Sophie Tucker – Cabaret Days (1954)

FrontCover1Sophie Tucker, original name Sophie Kalish, also called Sophie Abuza, (born Jan. 13, 1884, Russia—died Feb. 9, 1966, New York, N.Y., U.S.), American singer whose 62-year stage career included American burlesque, vaudeville, and nightclub and English music hall appearances.

Born somewhere in Russia as her mother was on her way to join her father in the United States, Sophie Kalish grew up in Boston and then in Hartford, Connecticut, where her mother ran a restaurant. Her father had changed the family name to Abuza after his arrival in the United States. From her childhood she wanted to be an entertainer, and she began by singing in the family restaurant, in part to escape waiting on tables and dishwashing. In 1906 she changed her name to Sophie Tucker and landed a few singing jobs.

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Her professional career began in 1906 when, after a successful amateur appearance, she opened in a blackface routine at the old Music Hall in New York City. In 1909 she appeared with the Ziegfeld Follies. Tucker traveled the vaudeville circuits from coast to coast for more than 20 years and also made occasional appearances in England, where she gained a substantial following. Her brassy, flamboyant style, set off by her warm and ample presence, was perfectly suited to both sentimental ballads and risqué songs, and she became a great favourite of audiences. In 1911 she first sang “Some of These Days,” which became her trademark. Tucker’s first appearance at the Palace Theater in New York City, which was considered the summit of success in vaudeville, came in August 1914. It was in 1928, at the Palace, that she was first billed as “The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas.” She also appeared in numerous editions of Earl Carroll’s Vanities and the SophieTucker04.jpgShuberts’ Gaieties and in such shows as Louisiana Lou (1911), Round in Fifty in London (1922), Charlot’s Revue (1925), with Gertrude Lawrence, and Cole Porter’s hit Leave It to Me (1938). For a time in the 1920s she operated her own New York club, Sophie Tucker’s Playground.

In the early 1930s, when vaudeville was beginning to seem passé, Tucker turned to nightclubs, while many of her fellow vaudevillians either attempted the movies or slid into oblivion. She made several films, including Honky Tonk (1929), Broadway Melody of 1937 (1937), and Follow the Boys (1944), but she preferred live audiences, and she played to them with great success for more than 30 years. She also made occasional television appearances, mainly on The Ed Sullivan Show, during the 1950s and early ’60s, and she was an active performer until 1965. Her autobiography, Some of These Days, was published in 1945. (britannica.com)

And here´s another pretty album from the Fifities, a wonderfil retrospective of very old songs from this great lady of the Vaudeville scene

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Personnel:
Sophie Tucker
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unknown orchestra

Alternate frontcovers:
AlternateFrontCovers

Tracklist:

Cabaret Days (Part 1): 12.50
01.1.Cabaret Days (Walsh)
01.2. Wanna Say Hello (Hoffman/MacDonald)
01.3. After You’ve Gone (Creamer/Layton)
01.4. Margie (Davis/Conrad/Robinson)
01.5. I’m Living Alone And I Like It (Dougherty/Yellen)
01.6. Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey (v.Tilzer/McCree)

Cabaret Days (Part 2): 13.14
02.1. Nobody Loves A Fat Girl (Carver/Tucker/Shapiro)
02.2. I’m Sorry I Made You Cry (Clew)
02.3. Hello, My Baby (unknown)
02.4. Waiting For The Robert E Lee (Gilbert/Muir)
02.5. Some Of These Days (Brooks)

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The inlets:
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Little River Band – Diamantina Cocktail (1977)

FrontCover1Little River Band (LRB) is a rock band originally formed in Melbourne, Australia in March 1975. The band achieved commercial success in both Australia and the United States. They have sold more than 30 million records; six studio albums reached the top 10 on the Australian Kent Music Report albums chart including Diamantina Cocktail (April 1977) and First Under the Wire (July 1979), which both peaked at No. 2. Nine singles appeared in the top 20 on the related singles chart, with “Help Is on Its Way” (1977) as their only number-one hit. Ten singles reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Reminiscing” their highest, peaking at No. 3. Only First Under the Wire appeared in the top 10 albums on the Billboard 200.

Little River Band have received many music awards in Australia. The 1976 line-up of Beeb Birtles, David Briggs, Graeham Goble, Glenn Shorrock, George McArdle and Derek Pellicci, were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame at the 18th Annual ARIA Music Awards of 2004. Most of the group’s 1970s and 1980s material was written by Goble and/or Shorrock, Birtles and Briggs. In May 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, named “Cool Change”, written by Shorrock, as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time. “Reminiscing”, written by Goble, received a 5-Million Broadcast Citation from BMI in 2020.

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The group have undergone numerous personnel changes, with over 30 members since their formation, including John Farnham as lead singer after Shorrock departed in 1982. None of the musicians now performing as Little River Band are original members, nor did they contribute to the success the band had in the 1970s.[1] In the 1980s, members included Farnham, Wayne Nelson, Stephen Housden, David Hirschfelder and Steve Prestwich. As from October 2020 the line-up is Nelson, Rich Herring, Chris Marion, Ryan Ricks and Colin Whinnery – none of whom are Australian. Various legal disputes over the band’s name occurred in the 2000s between Housden vs Birtles, Goble and Shorrock. Two former members have died, Barry Sullivan in October 2003 (aged 57) and Steve Prestwich in January 2011 (aged 56). (wikipedia)

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Diamantina Cocktail is the third studio album by the Australian rock group Little River Band. The U.S. version of the album was actually a partial compilation of the Australian versions of After Hours and Diamantina Cocktail. Also noteworthy was that three songs–“Broke Again”, “The Inner Light” and “Another Runway”—were radically different mixes from those released on the original Australian After Hours LP, remixed especially for the US market. In 1980 Capitol Records released the remaining tracks on a U.S. version of After Hours.[2]

The album was the band’s breakthrough in the United States, reaching #49 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart in 1977 and containing two top 20 singles in “Help Is on Its Way” and “Happy Anniversary”. The album was certified Gold in the U.S. by the R.I.A.A. in January 1978 for over 500,000 copies sold.

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On 30 July 2010, the original Australian version of Diamantina Cocktail became available for download (in digitally remastered form) at the iTunes Store for the first time in the U.S. The U.S. versions of “Days on the Road” and “Take Me Home” were added as bonus tracks, and the cover art for both the original Australian LP and the American version was used ignoring the alternate sleeve used in the UK.

A “diamantina cocktail” is a drink invented in the area of the Diamantina River in Queensland, Australia. It consists of Bundaberg Rum, condensed milk and an emu egg. (wikipedia)

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Diamantina Cocktail was the first Little River Band album to make signficant commercial headway in America, peaking at number 49 on the album charts and spawning the hit singles “Happy Anniversary” and “Help is on Its Way.” With its laidback, sweet country-rock, the album has a simliar sound to the band’s debut, but the melodies are a little sharper and catchier, making the album a better, more fully-rounded collection. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Beeb Birtles (guitar, vocals)
David Briggs (guitar)
Graham Goble (guitar, vocals)
George McArdle (bass)
Derek Pellicci (drums, percussion)
Glenn Shorrock (vocals, piano)
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Tony Buchanan (saxophone)
Eddy Denton (cor anglais)
Ric Formosa (guitar on 02., 04. + 05.)

Ian Mason (piano)
Roger McLachlan (bass on 04. + 08.)
Graeme Lyall (flute)
Peter Sullivan (piano)

Alternate edition from Australia:
AlternateEdition (Australia)

Tracklist:
01. Help Is On Its Way (Shorrock) 4.06
02. Days On The Road (Goble) 4.55
03. Happy Anniversary (Birtles/Briggs) 4.04
04. Another Runway (Birtles, Ric Formosa) 6.34
05. Every Day Of My Life (Birtles) 3.53
06. Home On Monday (Birtles/Shorrock) 3.54
07. The Inner Light (Goble) 3.32
08. Broke Again (Birtles/Goble) 3.28
09. Take Me Home (Birtles) 3.49

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Karnataka – Same (1998)

FrontCover1Karnataka are a Welsh progressive rock band formed in 1997 by Ian Jones (bass/acoustic guitar), Jonathan Edwards (keyboards) and Rachel Jones (vocals). The band started as a project to record songs in Ian’s home studio, that had been written and performed by Jonathan, Rachel and Ian in earlier bands. The project was augmented by additional musicians, Paul Davies (electric guitars) and Gavin Griffiths (drums), who had played with other members of Karnataka in earlier bands. At the end of the recording the decision was made to continue the project as a band. The name Karnataka was chosen by the band, from a suggestion by Ian, following his trips to that state of India.

The five-piece recorded what would become their debut album, Karnataka in 1997. In the beginning, the band had no thought of actually releasing the album – they made the recording for their own pleasure. As they started to play live shows in their new configuration, however, word of mouth ensured that an increasing number of people started asking for copies.

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It was recommended to the band that they send a copy of the album to Martin Hudson at the Classic Rock Society. Martin gave the band their first break by positively reviewing the album in the society’s magazine, and then offering them a gig for the Classic Rock Society in Rotherham, supporting the Genesis tribute band ReGenesis in 1999. The show was a success and Karnataka were offered another support with Jump in October 1999. Encouraged, the band had already started writing the material that would eventually appear on their second album, The Storm.

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The Storm was recorded between August–November 1999 in Ian’s studio. The album was then mixed at Rockfield Studios in Mounmouthshire, Wales—a studio used by such notable bands as Rush, Hawkwind, Queen and Clannad. Further live performances brought the band to the attention of record company Voiceprint through whom they are now distributed. The band toured the UK extensively with the new album, culminating in a show before an audience of die-hards at London’s Mean Fiddler, which was filmed and subsequently released on DVD under licence to Classic Rock Productions. The DVD, entitled simply In Concert, was well received by fans but frustrated the band, who still felt that the results did not fully reflect their acclaimed live performances.

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The In Concert DVD did, however, feature some new material the band was working on for their third album, although the songs were destined to change a little before they were recorded in the sessions for what was to become the band’s breakthrough album. Delicate Flame of Desire, the band’s third album, was recorded with producer Steve Evans and mixed by Joe Gibb. The album brought the band’s music to a much wider audience with Radio 2 airplay and widespread media coverage. This album was the only Karnataka studio album to feature new member, Anne-Marie Helder, on flute and backing vocals. She had previously appeared on the band’s In Concert DVD as one of three guest backing vocalists.

An in-depth interview with Ian Jones, Jonathan Edwards and Rachel Jones was conducted by Jon Hinchliffe in 2002, shortly before the release of. ‘Delicate Flame of Desire’. In the interview, all three talk extensively about the origins of the band, the writing process and the dynamics of how the band operates.

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Shortly after the release of Delicate Flame of Desire, Karnataka were invited to play their first shows overseas: indeed one of their first shows in the US was filmed and released on DVD as Live in the USA, again through Classic Rock Productions. The band were also working on more new material, some of which was premiered over the course of 2003 and 2004, as the band continued to expand their fanbase and received increasingly positive reviews. A double live album, Strange Behaviour, was released in mid-2004 to accompany what was to be the band’s final tour with the existing line-up.

The live album is particularly notable for containing two previously unreleased new songs – Talk To Me and These Dreams Are Over.

Although another tour of the UK was in the early planning stages, in August 2004 the band’s website was updated with a notice that due to unforeseen personal circumstances, the band had decided not to continue. There followed a period of inactivity, during which the members of the band embarked upon new musical projects.

Ian Jones joined forces with songwriter Steve Evans and guitarist Ian Simmons to record an under the moniker Chasing The Monsoon and would be joined later by Lisa Fury performing vocals.

Lisa Fury

Rachel Jones decided to take time out from the music business and returned to college, although she appeared on recordings from other bands and occasionally took to the stage as well, most notably with Mostly Autumn. She subsequently joined Cardiff-based rock band, The Reasoning, as a vocalist in late 2006.

The remaining members of the original line-up of Karnataka, Paul Davies, Jonathan Edwards, and Gavin Griffiths, along with Anne-Marie Helder, formed Panic Room in 2008.

Karnataka was then resurrected as a band when Ian Jones started writing with keyboardist Gonzalo Carrera. The new Karnataka featured a line-up consisting of Jones and Carrera along with vocalist Lisa Fury, drummer Louie Palmer, and guitarist Enrico Pinna. This new line-up of the band toured in Spring 2007 playing a selection of fan favourites and four or five new songs to provide a flavour of the work in progress.

Following Palmer’s departure from the band later in 2007, Karnataka were joined by Ian Harris, who had previously played with a multitude of acts, including Chris Rea, Mica Paris and Nitin Sawney.

Work on the band’s fourth studio album The Gathering Light continued in 2007 although started in 2005 with all three writers; Ian Jones, Lisa Fury & Gonzalo Carrera. The band continued to tour. This time the old favourites took a back seat to a slew of new material, showcasing the band’s confidence in their post-split writing. The tour was very well received, resulting in strong voting for the band and the individual musicians in 2008’s Classic Rock Society awards, even though the band had yet to release any recordings with the new line-up.

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The fourth Karnataka studio album, The Gathering Light, was finally released in February 2010, although fans who had pre-ordered a special edition of the album received their copies slightly earlier. The band embarked on a string of live dates to promote the album, which had already received some exceptionally positive reviews. It also featured in many music magazines – Classic Rock Society, Get Ready To Rock, Fireworks Magazine with a featured track on the accompanying cd, Dutch Progressive Rock Page, Powerplay Magazine, Musical Discoveries & Where Worlds Collide, inc front page of Classic Rock Society Magazine. The Gathering Light also Winner of Best International Album at the Prog Awards.

“The Gathering Light stands true to Karnataka’s heritage, yet illustrates significant artistic growth since the former lineup’s Delicate Flame of Desire release six years ago. progressive rock influences are more apparent […] While their fans have waited a long time for this release, the care taken in the writing, recording and production of The Gathering Light has delivered an outstanding progressive rock album…”

Hayley Griffiths

In May 2010, Ian Harris, Gonzalo Carrera and Lisa Fury announced on their websites that due to personal reasons they would be leaving the band. It was announced in October 2010 that Ian Harris would be replaced by former Karnataka drummer Louie Palmer, and in October 2010 multi-instrumentalist Colin Mold was revealed as having joined the band in a new role. In February 2011, it was announced that Hayley Griffiths was the new lead vocalist for the band replacing Lisa Fury. Hayley was previously a lead vocalist with global phenomena Riverdance and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. The band’s new lineup was completed in March 2011, when Cagri Tozluoglu was announced as the band’s new keyboard player. In Sept 2011 the new line-up announced an extensive 15 date tour of the UK would take place early in 2012, subsequently named the “New Light Tour”. Due to the second departure of Palmer, the band were joined by session player Matt McDonough for the tour (and continued to tour with the band until 2014). Following the completion of the 2012 tour, Mold departed the band, and was not replaced.

The band filmed and recorded their show at The Met Theatre in Bury on the New Light Tour. The show was enhanced bylights and lasers, and filmed in high definition. The live DVD and was released in late 2012. The band continued to tour this show into 2013.

The band revealed in August 2013 that they were working on a new album. It was revealed on 31 May 2014 that the band had hired drummer Jimmy Pallagrosi as an official replacement for Louie Palmer. The long-awaited album was released on 7 March 2015, with the first copies being available at the concert in Derby and preorders shipped the next week. The album contains 8 tracks, including the title track, a ’20-minute epic opus’. Other tracks on the album include Forbidden Dreams, Poison Ivy and Feels Like Home, which were previewed on the Forbidden Dreams tour in 2012/13. The band went on a UK tour starting on 28 February, playing every track from the new album each night.
Dissolution of Secrets of Angels line-up and the future.

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The band continued to tour the Secrets of Angels album through 2016 and 2017, both in the UK and Europe. A DVD was recorded in London in 2016 and was released in December 2017. 2017 also saw a tour entitled ‘End II End’, which saw the band perform the albums The Gathering Light and Secrets of Angels in their entirety. Keyboard player Cagri Tozluoglu decided to step down from the band towards the end of 2017, with guitarist Enrico Pinna also indicating he was likely to leave the band to pursue other commitments. Following a concert at the Robin on 3 December, band leader Ian Jones announced on Facebook that the current line up of the band had come to an end and it would likely continue with a new line up.

In February 2018, Ian Jones announced on the band’s website that Gonzalo Carrera had rejoined the band, and that they were working together on new material. In August 2018, the band announced new drummer Filippo Galli. (wikipedia)

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I always admire young band splaying the music they want to play. The enthusiasm often results in something refreshing and spontaneous. Some things may sound cute or naive, but that only means the band is working towards a sound of their own. In the case of Karanataka, the latter is not the case.This young band seems pretty comfortable with what they’re doing on their debut CD.
The music is based on prog as it was in the Eighties, and most of all Marillion (Misplaced Childhood era), with playful melodies, no complex song structures. I said “based on”, not copied – there is more. The songs are softer and sweeter. Guitar solos are giving the music a sharper edge, but the music remains a bit light – they never get heavy or bombastic.
Karnataka don’t try to be a progressive rock band, but have their own ideas, and mix melodic song structures with Clannad’s atmospheric folk influences.

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And I also had to think of T’Pau a bit if you leave out their poppy songs, and Solstice. The female vocals are somewhere between Clannad and T’Pau by the way, but on the sweet side.
Personally, I prefer music a bit more bombastic and heavier, and would have liked more keyboards (solos?) or a more powerful voice. But I’m here to give you an objective view on the music, and so I have to conclude that this is a very fine debut CD, on which the band has already been able to show they have found a sound of their own. (by Jerry van Kooten)

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Personnel:
Paul Davies (guitar)
Jonathan Edwards (keyboards)
Gavin John Griffiths (drums, percussion)
Ian Jones (bass, synthesizer)
Rachel Jones (vocals)
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Steve Simmons (saxophone)

Alternate front+ backcover:
AlternateFront+BackCover

Tracklist:
01. Must Be The Devil (I.Jones/R.Jones/Edwards) 7:05
02 Tell Me Why (I.Jones/R.Jones) 4:46
03 Crazy (I.Jones/R.Jones/Edwards) 6:26
04 Until Next Time (I.Jones/R.Jones) 7:50
05 The Woman In Me (I.Jones/R.Jones/Edwards) 4:50
06 There Must Be A Way (I.Jones/R.Jones/Edwards) 7:18
07 Closer (I.Jones/R.Jones) 4:17
08. Run To You (I.Jones/R.Jones/Edwards) 7:49

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More from Karnataka:
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The official Karnataka website:
Website

Joe Hisaishi – Works I (1997)

FrontCover1Joe Hisaishi is a Japanese composer and musical director, known for his eminent film scores for world famous directors.

Hisaishi was born as Mamoru Fujisawa, on December 6, 1950 in Nakano, Japan. At the age of five, he started taking violin lessons, at which he made rapid progress. At the age of nineteen, Hisaishi enrolled at the Kunitachi College of Music, where he majored in composition. He then started working as a typesetter for ‘minimalist’ music, where he gained valuable experience in the works of the ‘New York Hypnotic School’.

In 1974, Hisaishi’s career gained speed after a composition that he wrote for an animation movie titled “Gyatoruzu” earned widespread praise and acclaim. Hisaishi’s other works during this time included composition for “Tekuno porisu 21C” and “Sasuraiger”.

In 1981, Hisaishi released his first album titled “MKWAJU” and his second album, titled “Information” in 1982. It was also in 1982 that he adopted the stage name “Joe Hisaishi”, inspired by the legendary record producer Quincy Delight Jones. Then, in 1983, Hisaishi met film director Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki was greatly impressed by Hisaishi’s “Information” and “MKWAJU” and he asked Hisaishi to compose for his future films. Hisaishi’s collaboration with Miyazaki would help him achieve great fame, Hisaishi wrote the scores for “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” in 1986, “Porco Rosso” and “Princess Mononoke”.

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Hisaishi’s works between 1980 and 1988 included scores for “Mobile Suit Gundam Movie II: Soldiers of Sorrow”, “Mobile Suit Gundam III: Encounters in Space”, “Arion”, “Robot Carnival”, “Crest of the Royal Family”, and “Totoro”. In 1983, he also wrote the score to the highly popular science fiction television series titled “Mospeada”, which went on to be used by Carl Macek for “Robotech”. Two of Hisaishi’s greatest works were also composed in the 1980’s, these included scores for “Sasuga no Sarutobi” and “Futari Taka”.

Hisaishi is also highly reputed for his scores for anime productions. He has been credited for theme songs for highly popular productions, including “Hello! Sandybell” in 1981, “Maho Shojo Lalabel” in 1980, “Ai Shite Knight” in 1983, “Creamy Mami, the Magic Angel” in 1984, and “Kimagure Orange Road: The Movie” in 1988. These also included Hisaishi’s collaborative works with Hayao Miyazaki, for whom he also composed scores for “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” in 1984, “Kiki’s Delivery Service” in 1989, “Spirited Away” in 2001, “Howl’s Moving Castle” in 2004, and “Ponyo” in 2008. According to BBC, Hisaishi also received training in anime compositions from renowned anime composer Takeo Watanabe, who was extremely famous for composing the scores to “Cutie Honey” and “Lone Wolf and Cub”.

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Hisaishi went on to create his own recording label, which he titled “Wonder Land Inc”. He was then honored with being commissioned to write the soundtrack for the 1998 Winter Paralympics. Hisaishi’s solo career was also very promising as in 2004, he went on a piano tour with Canadian Musicians. In 2006, he released another studio album titled “Asian X.T.C”.

Hisaishi also wrote the score for “Departures”, a film that won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film. Joe Hisaishi himself has been highly decorated for his works. He received the Medal of Honor with purple ribbon by the Japanese Government in 2009. He is also a six time winner of the Japanese Academy Award for Best Music, which he last won in 2011. (famouscomposers.net)

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And here´s a sort of soundtrack:

This is a symphonic arrangement by Joe Hisaishi (subtitled “JOE meets 3 DIRECTORS”) in which he takes his most prominent works from 3 different directors (Hayao Miyazaki, Takeshi Kitano and Nobuhiko Obayashi) and rearranges them for performance with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

You don´t have to see the movies, because all compositions stand for themselves. What a great composer !

Recorded at Air Studios (London) and Wonder Station (Tokyo) in August, 1997

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Personnel:
Joe Hisaishi  (piano)
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The London Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Nick Ingman
Nick Ingman01Tracklist:
01. Symphonic Poem “Nausicaä” (Parts I, II, III) 17.31
02. For You 4.15
03. Sonatine 7.57
04. Tango X.T.C. 5.06
05. Two Of Us 5.02
06. Madness 4.17
07. Silent Love 5.32

Music composed by Joe Hisaishi

Track 1: From “Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind” (1984) (Film Director: Hayao Miyazaki)
Track 2: From “Mizu no Tabito – Samurai Kids” (1993) (Film Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi)
Track 3: From “Sonatine” (1993) (Film Director: Takeshi Kitano)
Track 4: From “Haruka, Nostalgia” (1992) (Film Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi)
Track 5: From “Futari” (1991) (Film Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi)
Track 6: From “Porco Rosso” (1992) (Film Director: Hayao Miyazaki)
Track 7: From “A Scene at the Sea” (1991) (Film Director: Takeshi Kitano)

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I was given the information about this composer by lovely Linda

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