Chicago – Christmas With Chicago (1998)

frontcover1In 1998 Chicago released their 25th album, called “The Christmas Album”.

And William Ruhlmann wrote about this album in “All Music Guide” (12/1999):

When Chicago first achieved national recognition in the late 1960s and early ’70s, it wasn’t hip for rock bands to make Christmas albums. Things changed, of course, but it took until 1998 for Chicago finally to fill this missing item in its catalog, at a time when the group seemed to have entered that phase of its career when it wanted to keep putting out records but didn’t want to risk releasing new material. (Chicago’s three previous releases had consisted of an album of big band standards and two greatest hits sets.) Whatever the circumstances, however, it was good to hear the Chicago style applied to seasonal standards. As ever, the group was a cooperative unit, with the three lead singers-Bill Champlin, Robert Lamm, and Jason Scheff-taking turns on the different songs, arranged by various band members and always allowing for generous contributions by the horn players Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, and Walt Parazaider. The songs were all seasonal favorites except for Loughnane and John Durrill’s “Child’s Prayer, ” featuring a choir dominated by the musicians’ children, which sounded so much like a Middle Ages English hymn that it fit right in. Highlights included a particularly moving vocal on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by the gruff-voiced Champlin, a wonderful doubled flute passage by Parazaider on “O Come All Ye Faithful, ” and a rare lead vocal by Loughnane on “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” But the whole album, pristinely produced by E Street Band pianist Roy Bittan, was well performed. It sounded exactly like you would expect a Chicago Christmas album to sound, and if you liked the band and holiday music, you’d like the record, too.

And here ist a very rare live performance from Chicgo, to promote this album, recorded live at the House Of Blues, Los Angeles, CA, December 8, 1998 —  it´s a broadcast recording … so, we can hear the sound of Chicago in an excellent quality …

Enjoy this album … but I have to say …  the early incarnation of Chicago (Transit Authority) was much better !

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Personnel:
Bill Champlin (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
Keith Howland (guitar, keyboards)
Tris Imboden (drums)
Robert Lamm (vocals, piano)
Lee Loughnane (trumpet, flügelhorn, vocals)
James Pankow (trombone)
Walter Parazaider (woodwinds)
Jason Scheff (vocals, bass)

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The Christmas studio album (coming soon in this blog)

Tracklist:
01. Intro 1.23
02.Little Drummer Boy (Davis/Onorati/Simeone) 4.39
03. You´re The Inspiration () 4.30
04. Hard Habit To Break () 3.49
05. The Christmas Song () 3.59
06. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Kahn/Styne) 4.03
07. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (Traditional) 3.43
08. Saturday In The Park () 2.55
09. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin/Blane) 4.17
10.  Just You N Me () 6.04
11. Hard To Say Sorry + Get Away () 5.31
12. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Gillespie/Coots) 4.11
13. Outro 1.18

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Various Artists – An Easy Christmas (2001)

frontcover1This is just a sampler, full with 20 old and classic christmas songs, performed by many stars in the easy listening style.
You can hear singers like Don McLean, David Bowie, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Perry Como and Al Green.

“This is my most favourite christmas album ever-I had to order a second copy as the first had a scratch on. I listen to it all the time. Not your average Christmas album!”(by miss r aughton)

“Great to listen to while wrapping presents” (by Zoe Bell)

And I guess, I will play this album (amongst others) on December 24, 2016 … Enjoy this romantic and sentimental sampler.

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Tracklist:
01. Andy Williams: Most Wonderful Time Of Year (2001) (Pola/Wyle) 2.34
02. Nat King Cole: Christmas Song (1963) (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Tormé/Wells) 3.14
03. Eartha Kitt: Santa Baby (1953) (Javits/Springer) 3.26
04. Dean Martin: Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow (1965) (Cahn/Styne) 1.58
05. Judy Garland: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (1944) (Martin/Blane) 2.45
06. Harry Belafonte: Mary’s Boy Child (1957) (Hairston) 2.59
07. Bing Crosby: White Christmas (1954) (Berlin) 3.04
08. Al Green: Silent Night (1963) (Gruber/Mohr) 3.19
09. Crystal Gayle: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer (1996) (Marks) 2.57
10. Anne Murray: Snowbird (1978) (MacLellan) 2.11
11. Don McLean: Winter Wonderland (1991) (Bernard/Smith) 2.54
12. Charles Brown: Please Come Home For Christmas (Christmas Finds Me Oh So Sad) (1961) (Brown/Redd) 3.18
13. Doris Day: I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1964) (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.27
14. Andy Williams: Sleigh Ride (live) (2001) (Anderson) 2.22
15. Crystal Gayle: Silver Bells (1996) (Livingston/Evans) 4.09
16. Don McLean: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1991) (Coots/Gillespie) 3.06
17. Perry Como: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1959)(Traditional) 2.56
18. Al Green: What Christmas Means To Me (1963) (Story/Gaye/ Gordy) 3.44
19. Bing Crosby + David Bowie: Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy (1977) (Fraser/Grossman/Alan Kohan/Simeone/Davis/Onorati) 2.38
20. Michael Ball: Happy New Year (1999) (Andersson/Ulvaeus) 4.18

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Eddie Hardin – Circumstantial Evidence (1982)

frontcover1Taken from the original liner notes of a reissue, published in 1998 by Angel Air Records:

In 1967, the successful R&B combo the Spencer Davis Group lost their key member Stevie Winwood who went on to form Traffic. He was replaced by the then completely unknown Eddie Hardin.

Straight out of school and only 18 years old Eddie was already showing signs of becoming a true master off mighty Hammond organ. He had a strong and bluesy voice, and he could also write good songs. A brief spell with the Mod group, The Wild Uncertainty, had produced the impressive single “Man With Money”. It seemed destined that Eddie Hardin would not only fill out the empty hole left by Winwood but also create a completely new image for Spencer Davis and his cohorts. Their first album featuring Eddie Hardin was titled “With Their New Face On”. There was also a string of brilliant and innovative singles such as ‘Mr. Second Class’ and ‘Time Seller’ which became huge hits, particularly on the Continent. Following, this, however, there were disagreements of various kinds and it wasn’t long before Eddie had left the group along with drummer Peter York.

They both embarked on a year or so of working separately as session musicians, playing in lesser known line-ups and for Eddie’s part, writing songs, before getting together again to form organ/drums duo Hardin & York – billed as “The World’s Smallest Big Band”.

Hardin & York were darlings with the press overnight. To those who refused to believe in the idea of an organ/drum duo the advice would quite simply be, “hearing is believing”. Perhaps the most incredible thing was that all this sound, though it obviously grew out of very high musicianship, was completely rid of empty flamboyance and the tendency to overstate.

Peter York was a jazz drummer, heavily into Buddy Rich. Eddie Hardin also had an affinity for jazz but furthermore had a background in classical music. Obviously, they complimented each other well.

From the outset, Hardin and York were destined to become press pets, a musicians’ act – and wildly popular on the Continent, where they scored a number of huge hits and toured large venues. During their brief but immensely successful career is a duo (1969-71), they recorded three magnificent studio albums: “Tomorrow Today”, “The World’s Smallest Big Band” and “For The World”. Since then a compact disc of live performances and unreleased demos has been released under the title, “Live in Europe”.

Both Eddie and Pete embarked on solo projects during 1971. Eddie Hardin released a solo album in 1972, “Home Is Where You Find It”, but they were soon seen working together again in the reformed Spencer Davis Group. After that lineup folded, Pete York was particularly active and successful as a studio musician. He moved to the Continent and worked several years for German television as a creative manager.

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Eddie Hardin got involved with ex-Deep Purple bass player Roger Glover and his “Butterfly Ball” project. Eddie co-wrote “Love is all”, the beautiful song which went hand in hand with an equally charming cartoon and became a huge hit all over the world. At one time it was the best-selling record in Holland ever, and went recently re-released it became a huge hit in France. The song is presented here in the form of a rare demo!

Eddie also wrote and produced the first “Wizards Convention” album and worked as a producer for Iris Williams and Mike D’Abo. A number of highly successful solo albums in the New Age genre established his name in Japan during the 1980s, where he also released the “Wizards Convention 2” album in 1995 (now available in the rest of the world as SJPCD009). He currently lives in France. Still active is a composer, keyboard player and singer he has written a musical score for “The Wind In The Willows”, which was broadcast by German television in the ’80s.

This current release, recorded in 1982, is Eddie Hardin’s second solo album. Eddie chose to make an album in perhaps the most difficult of styles. Like some of Paul McCartney’s solo efforts (and there is certainly a McCartney inspiration here) this is in album with the words “recorded at home” written all over it. Luckily Eddie was more or less living in a recording studio at the time, so the sound quality is perfect. However, there’s an intense “living room” atmosphere about this record which – along with its highly demanding “less is more” attitude, its precision in playing and arranging – makes it stand out.

Paul McCartney started the ball rolling in this department and there certainly are lots of fine gems to be found hiding on his solo records. However, none of his albums are as consistent and artistically successful as Eddie Hardin’s “Circumstantial Evidence”. No wonder this is Eddie’s own favourite among all the LPs he has made! (by Claes Johansen)

A very laid-back album by one of my favourite keyboards players …

And … the wonderful frontcover was drawn by the daughter of Eddie Hardin, Emma Elizabeth Hardin at the the age of three !

Recorded at Herne Place Studios 1981/82
All bonus tracks were recorded prior to Circumstantial Evidence
Produced by Eddie Hardin, Roger Glover & John Acock

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Eddie Hardin (19 February 1949 – 22 July 2015)

Personnel:
Bimbo Acock (saxophone)
Ray Fenwick (guitar,vocals)
Mo Foster (bass)
Roger Glover (guitar,bass,keyboards,vocals)
Kim Goody (vocals)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards,bass,vocals(
Michael O’Donnell (bass)
Mickey Lee Soule (vocals)
Rob Townsend (drums)
Pete York (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Little Teaser (Gosling/Hardin) 3.28
02. Mine Tonight (Hardin) 3.06
03. Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney) 4.21
04. That’s What The Lady Said (Hardin) 2.51
05. Long Tall Sally (Blackwell/Johnson/Penniman) 3.35
06. California (Hardin) 3.33
07. It Won’t Be Long (Lennon/McCartney) 3.46
08. Universal Dream (Fenwick/Hardin) 4.07
09. Maybe Baby (Fenwick) 3.53
10. Mess Of Blues (Pomus/Shuman) 3.15
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11. Accidental Instrumental (Glover/Hardin) 3.03
12. Strawberry Fields Forever (Lennon/McCartney) 3.58
13. Isolated Lady (Glover/Hardin) 2.58
14. Love Is All (demo version) (Glover/Hardin) 3.06
15. Move In The Right Place (Hardin) 3.11
16. Resurrection Shuffle (Ashton) 3.21
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Herne Place Studios, Sunningdale, Berkshire, England

 

Gregg Allman – One Way Out (1989) (VHS rip)

frontcoverAnd here´s another VHS rip from my collection:

“I had this originally many years ago on VHS video. I have been a fan for a long time, and this was a little productive spurt by Gregg Allman, Two albums and a Video in 3 or four years.
The show covers the I’m No Angel album and the line up includes the Toler brothers on Dums and Guitar, Chaz Trippy on percussion Bruce Waibel ion Bass and Tim Heading on Keyboards, as well as Gregg on Hammond Organ and Vocals.
The set is short at just under an hour and is pretty good covering a mix of Allman Brothers songs ‘It’s Not My Cross To Bear’ , ‘Statesboro’ Blues’ and ‘One way out ‘and Gregg Allman solo song from the period ‘I’m No Angel’, ‘Demons’ and ‘Just Before the Bullets Fly’. The show is short at just under 1 hour.
The picture quality is not ‘hi-def’ by any means and may be a very good dub from the original Video. Sound is slightly better though only Dolby and not LPCM.
Overall an ‘honest presentation’ of a Gregg Allman Band show of the time. Recommended for fans and those nostalgic for eighties production.” (by Fletch-a-sketch)

Enjoy this rare concert … And without any doubts … Gregg Allmann was one of the most impotant musicians of Southern Rock !

Personnel:
Gregg Allman (keyboards, vocals)
Tim Heading (keyboards)
Dan Toler (guitar)
David Toler (drums)
Chaz Trippy (percussion)
Bruce Waibel (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Want You No More (Davis/Hardin)
02. It’s My Cross To Bear (
03. Sweet Feeling
04. Just Before The Bullets Fly
05. Fear Of Falling
06. Demons
07. I’m No Angel
08. Statesboro’ Blues
09. Slip Away
10. One Way Out

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Leslie West – Theme (with Jack Bruce & Joe Franco) (1988)

lpfrontcover1Buried under an avalanche of criticism, Mountain activities were scaled down again while Leslie West tried in vain to resurrect his somewhat patchy solo career. Co-credited as a “Leslie, Jack & Joe” recording (alongside buddy Jack Bruce  and ex-Twisted Sister drummer Joe Franco), “Theme” was a part retrospective set of songs, showcasing a splendid reading of `Theme For An Imaginary Western’, and gritty but gruelling renditions of Jimi Hendrix’s `Red House’, Willie Dixon’s `Spoonful’ and a closing instrumental cover of `Love Me Tender’.

This album features a number of tracks closely associated with Leslie West. Original copies of this album sell for up top $150.

And fine mix of old and new songs … and  “Love Is Forever” is another highlight in Leslie´s career and to hear songs like “Spoonful” or “Theme For An Imaginary Western” is wonderful !

And this is another pretty good album by Leslie West, one of my favourite guitar players … I guess he´s one of the best we ever had !

As a bonus I add a very special recording:

From a June 1988 appearance at a Howard Stern Show taping in England, former Cream bassist Jack Bruce and Mountain guitarist Leslie West perform a trans-atlantic rendition of the Bruce-penned song. Jack plays piano and sings from Abbey Road studios with Leslie on guitar over the phone from his home in Long Island. The audio is from a 24kbps mono mp3 taped from radio.

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Joe Franco (drums)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)
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Alan St. Jon (keyboards, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Talk Dirty (Carp) 3.38
02. Motherload (West/Franco) 3.10
03. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 4.42
04. I’m Crying (West) 3.27
05. Red House (Hendrix) 4.39
06. Love Is Forever (West/Laing) 3.52
07. I Ate It (West) 2.49
08. Spoonful (Dixon) 7.38
09. Love Me Tender (Presley/Matson) 1.30
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10. Theme For An Imaginary Western  (Leslie West & Jack Bruce) (Howard Stern Show, 1987)

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My album was signed by Leslie West

Fela Ransome Kuti & Ginger Baker – The Afrika `70 (1971)

frontcover1Live! is an album recorded in 1971 by Fela Kuti’s band Africa 70, with the addition of former Cream drummer Ginger Baker on two songs. It was released in 1971 by EMI in Africa and Europe and by Capitol/EMI in the United States and Canada. It was reissued on CD  in remastered form by Barclay with a bonus track from 1978.

Baker travelled with Kuti into Africa in a Land Rover to learn about the continent’s rhythms. The bonus track on the Barclay CD reissue features a 16-minute drum duet between Baker and Africa 70s drummer Tony Allen recorded at the 1978 Berlin Jazz Festival.(by wikipedia)

Originally released in 1971, this LP had Fela Kuti solidifying the format that would take him into international visibility in the years to come: extended tracks with grooves that mixed African and funk rhythms, punctuated by rudimentary lyrics. There are just four songs on the album, none shorter than seven minutes, and all but one going over the ten-minute mark. More than a dozen strong, his band, the Africa ’70, cooks pretty well on tracks that fuse jazz, soul, and African music in a trancelike fashion that avoids becoming stale, despite the length of the arrangements. Ex-Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker’s name was given prominence in the billing, probably to attract rock- and pop-oriented listeners who might not ordinarily take a chance on music from the African continent. However, it’s Fela and Africa ’70, not Baker, who are the dominant presence on a record that sounds much like a mixture of James Brown, fusion, and Nigerian forms. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Tony Abayomi (percussion
Tony Allen (drums, percussion)
Lekan Animashaun (saxophone)
Peter Animashaun (guitar)
Ginger Baker (drums, percussion)
Igo Chiko (saxophone)
Maurice Ekpo (bass)
Eddie Faychum (trumpet)
Friday Jumbo (percussion)
Henry Koffi (percussion)
Akwesi Korranting (percussion)
Fela Kuti (organ, percussion, vocals)
Isaac Olaleye (percussion)
Tunde Williams (trumpet)

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Tracklist:
01. Let’s Start (Kuti) 8.06
02. Black Man’s Cry (Kuti)12.12
03. Ye Ye De Smell (Kuti) 13.55
04. Egbe Mi O (Carry Me I Want To Die) (Kuti) 12.37
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05. Ginger Baker and Tony Allen Drum Solo (live 1978) (Kuti/Baker/Tony Allen) 16.21

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Giora Feidman – Viva El Klezmer (1991)

frontcover1Giora Feidman (Hebrew: גיורא פיידמן; born March 26, 1936) is an Argentine-born Israeli clarinetist who specializes in klezmer music.

Giora Feidman was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his Bessarabian Jewish parents immigrated to escape persecution. Feidman comes from a family of klezmer musicians. His father, grandfather and great-grandfather made music for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and holiday celebrations in the shtetls of Eastern Europe. Feidman married Ora Bat-Chaim, his personal manager, in 1975.

Feidman began his career in Buenos Aires as a member of the Teatro Colón Symphony Orchestra. Two years later he immigrated to Israel to become the youngest clarinetist ever to play with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He was a member of the orchestra for over 20 years.[2] In the early 1970s he began his solo career. He has performed with the Berliner Symphoniker, the Kronos Quartet, the Polish Chamber Philarmonic, the Munich Chamber Philarmonic Orchestra, and the Munich Radio Orchestra. In 1974 the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned composer Misha Segal to write a concerto for clarinet and orchestra for Giora Feidman. The one movement piece, which was based on an original Nigun, premiered that same year.

giorafeidman01Giora Feidman in 2006

Movie director Steven Spielberg invited him to play the clarinet solos for the soundtrack of Schindler’s List, which won seven Academy Awards.

Feidman founded the “Clarinet and Klezmer in the Galilee” seminar and master class program, which takes place every year in Safed, Israel.(by wikipedia)

And this is another album in the long career of Giora Feidman … listen, discover and enjoy the magic of Klezmer music … a real treasure !

This is the German edition … so, the booklet is written in German.

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Personnel:
Giora Feidman (clarinet)
Ami Frenkel (bass)
Shmuel Hershko (tuba)
Ofer Shalhin (drums, percussion)
Oscar Sher (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. To My Friend Michale (Liberman) 2.59
02. Let’s Dance: Ancient Melody / Sherele (Ne’eman/Traditional) 2.53
03. The Sounds Of Safed (O. Sher) 2.58
04. Silk Night Gown (Traditional) 2.06
05. Rozhinkes mit Mandeln (Goldfaden) 2.49
06. Bublitschki (Traditional) 2.36
07. Vehaeir Eineinu (Karlibach) 3.36
08. The Old Klezmer Band (Traditional) 2.49
09. Let’s Sing (Traditional) 2:39
10. To Giora – The Klezmer (O. Sher) 2.31
11. Desert Dawn (Katz) 4.21
12. Come In Peace (Katz) 2.44
13. Bouncing (Niturim) (O. Sher) 1.55
14. The New Freilach (Alstein) 2.30

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