Wentus Blues Band & Dick Heckstall-Smith – Man Of Stone (2015)

FrontCover1Dick Heckstall-Smith was much more than “only” the Saxophone Player for one of the best Jazz-Rock bands, we ever had … Colosseum !
He was an extraordinary solo Artist and session Player, too. Here we can hear him with the Wentus Blues Band from Finland !

What can I say about Dick Heckstall-Smith? Brilliant jazz and blues sax player, composer and owner of the largest tea cups in history, and most importantly for me, my friend.

In 1998, I first met Dick Heckstall-Smith, at a recording session for his “Blues And Beyond” album. Soon afterwards I started running his official website, and soon after that, Dick asked me to be his manager. Dick lived to play on stage. He had semi regular gigs with The Hamburg Blues Band, then there were Colosseum tours, a jazz gig here and there, but that still left a lot of time to fill, gig wise.
In 2002, Dick wanted to put a blues based live band together. His ideal line-up would have included Clem Clempson on guitar and Gary Husband on drums. There hadn’t been much movement on this when we were contacted by Robban Hagnas of The Wentus Blues Band. They hailed from Kokkola in Finland. An accomplished blues act, they had found a unique way round the limited touring opportunities in Scandanavia by touring with classic blues artists such as Mick Taylor, centering their sets around each special guest. That way, they could tour several times a year, rather than just once.

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It was agreed that Dick would go out on a Scandanavian tour with them, and and he was as excited by the prospect as I had ever seen him. I remember him dragging me around pretty much every army surplus store in North London one Saturday afternoon in order to find enough cold weather clothing to combat whatever conditions might be faced on the road. I was very aware that my main role with Dick was to maintain a level of hope in the future for him, and this tour constituted the most hopeful he had been for some time.
Once Dick had travelled to Finland for rehearsals and the tour itself, I got daily updates from him by phone. He was particularly impressed by The Wentus Blues Band guitar attack which reminded him of Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac. They had tailored their set to him, with numbers associated with Blues Incorporated, Graham Bond ORGANization and The Bluesbreakers, as well as numbers from Dick’s jazz orientated solo work, such as the song that had become something of a signature for him, “Woza Nasu.” Dick enjoyed the tour immensely, and felt, (as I did when hearing the live recording) that his playing was near his best. I recall one particularly “up” call from Dick. He was staying in an isolated hotel not a million miles from the Arctic Circle, and raved about His ride there, via Reindeer and Sleigh. Dick came back from the tour as invigorated and enthused as I ever saw him in those later years, and I will always thank Robban Hagnas and his band for that.

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A few months later, I got to see Dick in action with the Wentus boys in action at a one off gig in Oxford. Dick drove myself and Pete Brown there, via Canada it seemed. Dick could be directionally challenged now and then. However, we did get there in time for the show, and it was wonderful how the band interacted with a true master of his instrument. This live album is testament to that wonderful interaction. (by Pete Grant; taken from the original liner-notes)
Such a great concert … including one of Dick Heckstall-Smith´s masterpieces … his own composition “Woza Nasu ” … Listen !

Recorded live in Helsinki at Cantina West April, 5th, 2002.

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Personnel:
Mikael Axelqvist (drums)
Robert Hagnäs (bass)
Nike Riippa (guitar)
Anders Sjöberg (vocals)
Kim Vikamn (guitar)
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Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
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Tracklist:
01. Key To Love (Mayall) 3.46
02. Missing You (Everton/Edward) 3.53
03. You Got Me (Where You Want Me) (Robey) 5.23
04. Suspicions – Part 2 (Mayall) 6.34
05. Woza Nasu (Heckstall-Smith) 17.04
06. Man Of Stone (Kirkland) 8.16
07. Have You Heard (Mayall) 8.41
08. Pretty Things (McDaniels) 3.06
09. Before You Accuse Me (McDaniels) 5.02
10. Looking Back (Watson) 4.25
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Taste – Same (1969)

FrontCover1Taste was the debut album by the Irish rock band of the same name, released in 1969.
The fact that they, like so many late-’60s contemporaries, were molded in the image of Cream has often been cited to diminish the stature of Irish power trio Taste. But, all things being equal, it’s impossible to dismiss their fine eponymous debut based solely on obvious source of inspiration, nor, by any means, the singular talents of the band’s creative and performing focal point, vocalist and guitarist Rory Gallagher — barely 20 years of age upon its release in 1969. After opening with the menacing staccatos and power chords of the forward-looking, proto-metal classic “Blister on the Moon,” Taste turn right back around and indulge their retro-fueled Brit-blues influences with a bottleneck run through Leadbelly’s “Leavin’ Blues” — a show of contrasts that speaks volumes to the breadth of Gallagher’s instrumental versatility. The blues keep coming with the guitarist’s self-penned showcase “Sugar Mama” and a more restrained acoustic “Hail,” then the hard rock fires are stoked once again with “Born on the Wrong Side of Town” — a track whose regional folk music accents did much to foment Gallagher’s enduring status as a blue-collar, Emerald Isle legend.

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And so it goes until the album’s conclusion: with alternating glimpses of past and future musical tendencies peppering remaining tracks “Same Old Story,” “Dual Carriageway Pain” (both gritty blues-rockers showing riffs that sometimes smacked of the then brand-new Led Zeppelin), “Catfish” (a traditional blues standard turned monster jam), and “I’m Moving On” (a spare but spunk-filled Hank Snow cover). Ultimately, it’s a stylistic stew that would arguably get honed to better focus and achieve greater distinction from the competition on Taste’s second album, a year later. But who’s to say that Taste didn’t have almost as much influence as Cream on future bands such as Rush, whose early records are quite literally mapped out on this release — a worthy addition to collections of this exciting period in British rock. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

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Personnel:
Rory Gallagher (guitar, vocals, saxophone, harmonica)
Richard “Charlie” McCracken (bass)
John Wilson (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Blister On The Moon (Gallagher) 3.27
02. Leavin’ Blues (Ledbetter) -4.17
03. Sugar Mama (Traditional) 7.15
04. Hail (Gallagher) 2.37
05. Born On The Wrong Side Of Time (Gallagher) 4.01
06. Dual Carriageway Pain (Gallagher) 3.14
07. Same Old Story (Gallagher) 3.33
08. Catfish (Traditional) 8.04
09. I’m Moving On (Snow) 2.28
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Blister On The Moon (lyrics):
Everyone is saying what to do and what to think,
And when to ask permission when you feel you want to blink.
First look left and then look right and now look straight ahead,
Make sure and take a warning of every word we’ve said.
Now you lay you down to sleep make sure and get some rest,
Tomorrow is another day and you must pass the test.
Don’t try and think too different now what we say is best,

Listen little man you’re no better than the rest.

Don’t lay beside the wayside all around the road we’ve set,
Smile and look happy fool or we’ll throw you in the wet.
Now if you learn your lesson well and step upon the line,
Save your breath until forever we should get along just fine.
We’ll bend your heart until it breaks make sure you feel no pain,

We’ll be the one to crush you and give you to the rain.

But now you want to run away oh can I see you run,
Run across the frozen air try resting on the sun.
And if you feel it burn you don’t yell out in pain,
Or wish you had a velvet sponge full of soothing rain.
So let’s have that stiff upper lip now take a long deep breath,
Close your ears you cannot hear the rules are all pre-set.
You thought we were illusions but we meant the word we said,
We’re in command, you tiny fly, we’ll crush you till you’re dead.

Sylvie Vartan – Au Palais Des Congres (1977)

FrontCover1Although actor/pop singer Sylvie Vartan is Bulgarian, she would eventually receive recognition from the French, usually singing entirely in the language of her adopted homeland. Born August 15, 1944, in Iskretz, Bulgaria, Vartan showed great talent for both acting and singing at an early age, resulting in an appearance in the Bulgarian film Under the Yoke in 1950. Two years later (while only ten years old), Vartan and her family relocated to France. 1961 would prove to be an important year for Vartan’s career, as she entered a recording studio for the first time, picked up some TV work, and appeared at the famed Olympia Theater. The early ’60s saw the release of a steady stream of singles, EPs, and albums (such as 1962’s Sylvie), in addition to further appearances in European movies — including A Moonlight in Maubeuge and Just for Fun.
Other impressive accomplishments for Vartan in the early ’60s included recording a pair of songs (“If I Sing” and “Most Beautiful to Go to Dance”) with famed country artists Chet Atkins and Ray Stevens, and playing on the same bill as the Beatles at the Olympia in January of 1964.
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During the mid-’60s, Vartan concentrated on making inroads to the American music market, as she appeared on such TV shows as The Ed Sullivan Show, Hullaballooh, and Shindig, while one of her best singles, “2’35 de Bonheur,” hit the charts in early 1967. Subsequently, Vartan kept on issuing albums and touring at a steady rate right up to the 21st century, as 2001 saw the release of the 14-track career overview L’Essential. (by Greg Prato)
And here´s one of her glamourus Performance from the mid-seventies … and, oh yes … more or less in the disco-style … not really my world … but many fantastic colors, you know.
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Photography by Helmuth Newton
Personnel:
Michel Barrault (trumpet)
Simon van der Cam (guitar)
Marc Chantereau (percussion)
Michel Ciric (violine)
Gilbert Ciuffi (saxophone)
Gérard Daguerre (piano)
Gilbert Dall’Anez (saxophone)
Pierre Defaye (violine)
Daniel Faidherbe (viola)
Christian Guizien (trombone)
André Laidli (trumpet)
Dino Latore (drums)
Pierre Louis (violine)
Alex Perdigon (trombone)
Slim Pezin (guitar)
Tonyo Rubio (bass)
Georges Tapie (piano)
Louis Toesca (trumpet)
Stephan Wiener (viola)
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Background vocals:
Catherine Bonnevay – Cora Carnier – Dominique Poulain – Francine Chabot – Martine Latorre

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Tracklist:

01. Ouverture (Kaufman) 3.03
02. C’est Instant Est A Moi (E. Vartan/Mallory) 4.27
03. Petit Rainbow (Summer Love Sensation) (Martin/Coulter/Grillet) 3.41
04. 4  L’Amour C’est Comme Les Bateaux (Popp/Thibaut) 3.32
05. Dieu Merci (Si Sisto) (Covecchio/Chammah/Thibaut) 3.00
 3:01
06. Qu’Est-Ce Qui Fait Pleurer Les Blondes (Kongos/Leroy/Delanoé) 1.26
07. Arrete De Rire (Sail On) (Rivat/Warren) 4.31
08. Ne Pars Pas Comme Ca (Don’t Leave Me This Way) (Manilow/Mallory) 4.26
09. Le Temps Du Swing (House Of Swing) (Thibaut/Stonebridge/McGuinness) 5.48
10. Tout Le Bazar (All That Jazz) (Stillman/Carter/Mallory) 7.01
11. Ouverture (Swing) (Kaufman) / Georges (George’s Disco Tango) (Hall/Mallory/Simon´/Billon/Strasser) 5.29
12. La Drole De Fin (Last Tango) (Libert/Rivat/Vincent/Meakin) 3.47
13. 2’35 De Bonheur (Thomas/Renart/Rivat) 2.32
14. Jubilation (Harris/Anka) 3.12
15. Operator (featuring Gary Chapman + Peter Newton) (Spiveri) 4.21
16. Photo (featuring Gary Chapman + Peter Newton) (E.Vartan/Mallory) 5.25
17. Medley (4.13)
17.1. Danse-La, Chante-La (Dibbens/Shepstone/Dessca)
17.2. Irrestistiblement (Aber/Renard)
17.3. Ta Sorcière Bien Aimée (Di Nino/Gouty/Mallory/Billon)
17.4. L’Amour Au Diapason (Renard/Mallory)
17.5. Danse-La, Chante-La (Dibbens/Shepstone/Dessca)
18. Parle-Moi De Ta Vie (Bourtayre/Dessca) 3.28
19. Je Suis Nee Dans Une Valise (E. Vartan/Mallory) 3.15
20. Dancing Star (Vartan/Mallory) 4.58
21. Finale (E. Vartan/Mallory) 2.38

22. Side 1 (uncut) 20.19
23. Side 2 (uncut) 22.10
24. Side 3 (uncut) 20.16
25. Side 4 (uncut) 25.37

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Sylvie Vartan , 1968

Manfred Mann´s Earth Band – Solar Fire (1973)

OriginalFrontCover1Fans of muscular progressive rock will love Solar Fire, a concept album loosely designed around cosmology. The album opens with the majestic “Father of Night, Father of Day,” which has the drive and complexity of a prime King Crimson track. As unlikely as it may seem, the track was controversial in Mann’s native South Africa because of the “Father of black, father of white” line, implying that apartheid might not extend to infinite space. The album moves on to the progressive rock/jazz fusion of “In the Beginning, Darkness,” a swinging, even funky track that benefits from soulful vocals by Doreen Chanter and Irene Chanter of the Grove Singers. The same duo contributes to the title track, a slow piece that begins with a fairly standard rock structure and incorporates a massive progressive jam in the middle. The instrumental suite which follows is a showcase for the combination of angular, sometimes slightly dissonant guitar with fluid keyboard work, and the band rocks straight through with stately grace.

Once again, one is reminded of early King Crimson, which was about the only other group to turn out complex, shifting instrumentals of this quality. The album closes with the strange “Earth, the Circle, Pt. 1,” which begins almost like a nursery rhyme, switches to a jazz shuffle, and fades out as an odd combination of the two. The album was groundbreaking when it was released and is still a delightful listen. If you like the hard-edged side of Manfred Mann, this may be your favorite album. (by Richard Foss)

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Personnel:
Manfred Mann (Keyboards, Synthesizer, vocals)
Colin Pattenden (bass)
Mick Rogers (guitar, vocals)
Chris Slade (drums)
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Peter Miles (percussion on 02.)
Paul Rutherford (trombone)
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background vocals:
Doreen Chanter – Irene Chanter – The Grove Singers

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Tracklist:

01. Father Of Day, Father Of Night (Dylan) 9.55
02. In The Beginning, Darkness (Slade/Mann/Rogers) 5.22
03. Pluto The Dog (Slade/Pattenden/Mann/Rogers) 2.48
04. Solar Fire (Slade/Rogers) 5.16
05. Saturn, Lord Of The Ring / Mercury, The Winged Messenger (Mann/Rogers) 6.31
06. Earth: The Circle Part Two (Mann) 3.32
07. Earth: The Circle Part One (Mann) 3.46
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08. Joybringer (Bonus track) (Holst/Mann/Rogers/Slade) 3.25
09. Father Of Day, Father Of Night (edited single Version) (Dylan) 3.03

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SingleSleeves

Various “Father Of Day, Father Of Night” single sleeves

Father of night, Father of day
Father, who take the darkness away
Father, who teacheth the bird to fly
Builder of rainbows up in the sky
Father of loneliness and pain
Father of love and Father of rain

Father of day, Father of night
Father of black, Father of white
Father, who build the mountain so high
Who shapeth the cloud up in the sky
Father of time, Father of dreams
Father, who turneth the rivers and streams

Father of grain, Father of wheat
Father of cold and Father of heat
Father of air and Father of trees
Who dwells in our hearts and our memories
Father of minutes, Father of days
Father of whom we most solemnly praise

 

 

 

Available again: Herbie Mann – Zoot Money – Paul Brett – Bradley´s Roadshow

Herbie Mann – Latin Fever (1964)

Zoot Money – Mr. Money (1980)

Paul Brett – Songs From The Compleat Angler (2009)

Paul Brett Sage – Schizophrenia (1972 )

Paul Brett – Earth Birth – The First Twelve String Guitar Suite (1977)

Various Artists – Bradley´s Roadshow – Live At The Marquee (1973)

Paul Brett Sage – Same (1970)

 

Let me know, if links are dead and I will make them available again … Please write to:

post-fuer-sammelsurium@gmx.net