Anton Karas – Vienna, City Of Dreams (1963)

FrontCover1Anton Karl Karas (7 July 1906 – 10 January 1985) was an Austrian zither player and composer, best known for his internationally famous 1948 soundtrack to Carol Reed’s The Third Man. His association with the film came about as a result of a chance meeting with its director. The success of the film and the enduring popularity of its theme song changed Karas’ life.

Anton was born illegitimate at Marchfeldstraße 17, Brigittenau, Vienna to Theresia Streckel. He was later legitimized by her marriage to a factory worker, Karl Josef Karas. One of five children, Anton Karas was already keen on music as a child. He wanted to become a bandleader, which was impossible because of his family’s financial situation. He was allowed to learn to play an instrument, as were his two brothers and two sisters. He later reported that his first zither was one he found in his grandmother’s attic at the age of 12.

Autogrammkarte, 1951

As ordered by his father, he became an apprentice tool and die maker at the age of 14, while taking evening courses in music at a private institution. He finished his apprenticeship in 1924, and worked in a car factory until becoming unemployed in January 1925. Having already begun to study at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna in 1924, he subsequently earned a living as an entertainer in a Heuriger. He soon earned more than his father, and continued his studies until 1928.

In 1930, he married, with the birth of his daughter following three months later. From 1939 to 1945 he was with the German Wehrmacht anti-aircraft warfare, temporarily in Russia, where he took a zither along. He lost more than one instrument from war action, but always managed to find another one.

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In the summer of 1948, director Carol Reed was preparing to shoot The Third Man in Vienna and was staying in the Hotel Sacher, along with many of the British elements of the Allied Control Commission for Austria. Robert Baty, the young son of the Director of Education, C.W. Baty, was tasked with showing the director around the city. On the second day, they stopped at a Heuriger and heard Karas playing the zither in the background. This is described in Karas’ L.A. Times/Reuters obituary which states that:

Reed, desperately searching for a theme tune … chanced on the tavern in Vienna’s Grinzing wine-growing district. Struck by the simple zither melodies, Reed asked a stunned Karas if he would compose the music for the film. Karas protested, saying he had never actually written music. As Karas later told the story, the director insisted and invited Karas to England. The Austrian became homesick and asked to return. Reed told him he could; when he had written the music. Under this pressure, Karas wrote his Harry Lime theme.

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The film—with the music a contributing factor—was a success, and Karas’ life was changed drastically.[4] As a result, he toured globally and performed for many celebrities, including members of the British Royal family. Princess Margaret invited him to London’s Empress Club, where he played twice a week while in London. He also appeared before Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, members of the Swedish royal family, and Pope Pius XII.

By the end of 1949, half a million copies of “The Harry Lime Theme” had been sold, an unprecedented number. The success of the score caused a surge in zither sales.

In Austria, the film opened on 10 March 1950, in Vienna’s Apollo Kino, and it initially offended some Viennese inhabitants, as it focused on the disgrace of the destroyed city. Vienna’s newspaper critics hated the film, except for its music. When Karas returned to Austria after his first world tour in July 1950, he was welcomed by Chancellor Leopold Figl and other members of the government. Most importantly, the public liked the film. In Brigittenau, where Karas was born, people queued for tickets which were sold out eight days in advance.

The original single from 1948:
Single

Karas disliked the glamour, and his soundtrack proved to be an enduring one-hit wonder. He later stated, “I never was a star, and never felt like one. It is because of that film that I was pushed from one place to the other … My only desire was to be back home again.”[citation needed] He toured again in 1951, travelling to Montreal and Las Vegas, followed by other tours, including Japan in 1962, 1969 and 1972, where he performed for Emperor Hirohito.

In 1954, he opened a Heuriger, which became fashionable among cinema celebrities including Orson Welles, Gina Lollobrigida, Curd Jürgens, Hans Moser, Paul Hörbiger, Marika Rökk and Johannes Heesters, thereby becoming a tourist attraction. He was not satisfied, as he preferred to perform for locals who would understand him, his language and music. Because of this, he retired and retreated from the limelight in 1966, explaining, “I’m not a tourist guy, and what I did there had hardly anything to do with ‘Vienna Heuriger’.”

The first few bars of “The Third Man Theme” are engraved on his grave marker in Vienna. (wikipedia)

And here´s a nice sampler with many ofhi beautful mloies.

Enjoy this trip to Vienna, the city of dreams:

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Personnel:
Anton Karas (zither)
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Die 2 Rudis:
Rudi Kurtzmann (bass)
Rudi Schipper (accordeon)

Der dritte Mann

Tracklist:
01. The Harry Lime Theme (Karas) 3.12
02. Nothing Doing! (Keine Ahnung) (Karas) 2.11
03. Drink Brothers Drink (Trink, trink, Brüderlein) (Lindemann) 2.13
04. Ottakringer-March (Foderl) 2.01
05. In Grinzing (Benatzky) 3.29
06. Im Prater blühn wieder die Bäume (Stolz) 2.07
07. Lili Marlene (Leip/Schultze/Connor) 2.07
08. Vienna, City Of My Dreams (Sieczynski) 2.42
09. Zither Man (Karas) 1.59
10. Mei Matzleinsdorf (Obermayer) 3.15
11. Mein Herz Binker-Waltz (Karas) 2.33
12. Liebes Wien, du Stadt der Lieder-Waltz (Strecker) 1.42
13. Mei‘ Muatterl war s Wienerin-Polka (Gruber) 2.25
14. The Cafe Mozart Waltz (Karas) 2.54

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The official website:
Website

Ry Cooder – Live At The Bottom Line (1974)

FrontCover1Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, record producer, and writer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in traditional music, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.

Cooder’s solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with John Lee Hooker, Captain Beefheart, Taj Mahal, Gordon Lightfoot, Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, David Lindley, The Chieftains, The Doobie Brothers, and Carla Olson and The Textones (on record and film). He formed the band Little Village, and produced the album Buena Vista Social Club (1997), which became a worldwide hit; Wim Wenders directed the documentary film of the same name (1999), which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.

Cooder was ranked at No. 8 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, while a 2010 list by Gibson Guitar Corporation placed him at No. 32. In 2011, he published a collection of short stories called Los Angeles Stories. (wikipedia)

Ry Cooder

Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder’s chameleon-like guitar virtuosity, songwriting, and choice of cover material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles from rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. Cooder is also an unofficial American cultural ambassador who was partially responsible for bringing together the Cuban musicians known globally as the Buena Vista Social Club. (by Steve Huey)

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Ry Cooder, live at the Bottom Line in New York on May 16th, 1974. By 1974, Ry Cooder was firmly established as one of America’s leading guitarists and arrangers. This superb live set was broadcast on WNYU-FM, just after the release of his classic Paradise and Lunch album (1974), and finds him tackling a typically eclectic range of material.(taken from the original liner notes)

…Live At The Bottom Line” is the release of a sensational performance by Ry Cooder in NY in 1974.
He had just delivered his masterpiece “Paradise & Lunch” when the US radio station WNYU-FM asked him to come on stage for an evening solo performance. The master didn’t let himself be asked twice and told stories of Steinbeck’s dimension in duo with his Bottleneck.

Ry Cooder02Woody Guthrie and Sleepy John Estes sent their regards. Not a single weak point among the ten titles presented – all of them musical storytelling at the highest level.
With this recording, a lost treasure has clearly been retrieved from the Roots box.
Press quality of the – by the way excellent sounding – 180g LP: Impeccable, no crackles, no corrugation, so all around a success … Absolutely recommendable! (by Friedrich Wurm)

In other words: A man and his guitar: Ry Cooder !

Recorded live at the Bottom Line in New York on May 16th, 1974
excellent broadcast recording

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Personnel:
Ry Cooder (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Too Tight Blues No.2 8Blake) 3.29
02. FDR In Trinidad (McLean) 4.53
03. The Tattler (Phillips/Cooder/Titelman) 5.47
04. Crazy About An Automobile (Emerson) 4.48
05. I Can Tell By The Way You Smell (Davis) 3.24
06. Kentucky Blues (Jones) 4,43
07. One Meatball (Singer/Zaret) 1.36
08. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? (Reed) 7.58
09. Preacher (Davis) 2.51
10. Vigilante Man (Guthrie) 4.04.

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More from Ry Cooder:
More

The official website:
Website

Florian Opahle – Europhonics (2006)

FrontCover1Florian Opahle (born 1983) is a German guitarist, best known for his work with progressive rock musician Ian Anderson and later his band, Jethro Tull. He played with Anderson from 2003 to 2019 and with a reformed Jethro Tull from 2017 to 2019 as lead guitarist with both.

Opahle grew up in Rosenheim, Bavaria. He started learning classical guitar at the age of five, and was later trained on the electric guitar. In 2001 and 2002, he attended master classes with Masayuki Kato, in 2002 he passed his high school diploma.

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In 2003 he started working with Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. He appeared in Europe, North and South America and Asia on and played with musicians such as Al di Meola, Greg Lake and Leslie Mandoki. He accompanied the singer Masha on her Germany tour. From 2007 to 2008 he studied music arrangement and composition at the German Pop Academy.

Opahle took part in several tours with Anderson instead of longtime Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre, including on projects in which pieces by Jethro Tull were played with orchestral accompaniment. With Anderson and other musicians, he recorded the albums Thick as a Brick 2 (2012) and Homo Erraticus (2014). From 2017, Anderson toured under the name of Jethro Tull with his regular backing musicians.

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Opahle is also active as a studio musician and producer, among others for Alexandra Stan. At times he devotes himself to flamenco music.

Opahle also performed live with former King Crimson and ELP member Greg Lake, which resulted in him appearing on his 2006 album, Live.

Since 2017, he has been running a professional recording studio with his wife called RedBoxx Studios in the south of Germany. (wikipedia)

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Born in 1983, Guitarist Florian Opahle from Rosenheim, Bavaria in Germany, is the youngest regular musician to work with us but by no means any less talented.

His musical interests cover contemporary Rock styles as well as Classic Rock, Blues and Classical music. After a rigid music education background (including master class instruction from guitarists such as Al Di Meola), young Florian has worked in a number of live acts and studios in his native Germany.

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He has toured throughout Europe with female vocalist Masha, and in 2003, he began working with Jethro Tull front man, Ian Anderson, in his solo band and orchestral projects. As guitarist on the “Ian Anderson Plays Orchestral Jethro Tull” tour, he performed in Italy, Greece, France and Germany with Anderson’s band and a full orchestra. The tour has since been captured as a home DVD release.

In the Autumnal months of 2004, Florian returned to his work as a recording session player, contributing to a number albums and projects in Germany and other parts of Europe. Shortly thereafter, he was invited to join The Greg Lake Band for a tour in 2005.

Since 2003 – Florian has been touring with Ian Anderson in various parts of the world including Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, India, Hungary, Scandinavia, Iceland, South America, Russia, Germany, the UK, USA, Japan and Hong-Kong. (jethrotull.com)

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Here is his first and so far last solo album, released as a simple private pressing (“Limited Edition”); at that time he was only 23 years old and to call this album a “journeyman’s piece” would almost be an insult.

Discreetly accompanied by 2 colleagues, he unfolds here – mainly on the acoustic guitar – sounds that must be assigned to a master class.

Intimate intimacy (strongly influenced by his training on the classical concert guitar) spreads when he celebrates even the most adventurous guitar runs with playful ease. This is very impressive and so it is not surprising that I must once again give this album an urgent listening recommendation.

Of course, there are no hard rock sounds to be heard here … the lightness of musical being is the focus of his music at that time.

It’s a pity, a great pity, that there are no more solo albums by him.

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Personnel:
Florian Opahle (guitar, programming)
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Timucin Dincel (percussion)
Stephan Zeh (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. A Nice Day 5.20
02. Spanish Nights 5.38
03. Pick A Lick 5.58
04. Pavana 7.13
05. Synth 8.13
06. Lucca 4.15
07.  Dropped D 7.41
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08. Introduction (Ian Anderson) + Toccata And Fugue (live 2013) 4.10

Musik Florian Ophale
except on 04.: Francisco Tárrega
and 08.: Johann Sebastian Bach

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The former official website:
Ehemalige Website

The current website, which serves more his recording studio and his wife’s photo studio:
Aktuelle Website

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir – Forgotten Peoples (Veljo Tormis) (1992)

FrontCover1Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) is a professional choir based in Estonia. It was founded in 1981 by Tõnu Kaljuste, who was its conductor for twenty years. In 2001, Paul Hillier followed Kaljuste’s tenure, becoming the EPCC’s principal conductor and artistic director until September 2008, when Daniel Reuss took over the task. Since 2014 the choir’s principal conductor has been Kaspars Putniņš. The repertoire of the EPCC ranges from Gregorian Chant to modern works, particularly those of the Estonian composers Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis.

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The group has been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, and has won the Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance twice: in 2007 with Arvo Pärt’s Da pacem and in 2014 with Pärt’s Adam’s Lament, the latter was shared with Tui Hirv & Rainer Vilu, Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis. In 2018 Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir won the prestigious Gramophone Award with its recording of Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Arvo Pärt and Psalms of Repentance by Alfred Schnittke (conductor Kaspars Putniņš). (wikipedia)

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Veljo Tormis (7 August 1930 – 21 January 2017) was an Estonian composer, regarded as one of the great contemporary choral composers[1][2] and one of the most important composers of the 20th century in Estonia.[3] Internationally, his fame arises chiefly from his extensive body of choral music, which exceeds 500 individual choral songs, most of it a cappella. The great majority of these pieces are based on traditional ancient Estonian folksongs (regilaulud), either textually, melodically, or merely stylistically.

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His composition most often performed outside Estonia, Curse Upon Iron (Raua needmine) (1972), invokes ancient Shamanistic traditions to construct an allegory about the evils of war. Some of his works were banned by the Soviet government, but because folk music was fundamental to his style most of his compositions were accepted by the censors.

More recently, Tormis’ works have been performed and recorded by Tõnu Kaljuste with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and others. In the 1990s, Tormis began to receive commissions from some a cappella groups in the West such as the King’s Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble.

Tormis famously said of his settings of traditional melodies and verse: “It is not I who makes use of folk music, it is folk music that makes use of me.” His work demonstrates his conviction that traditional Estonian and other Balto-Finnic music represents a treasure which must be guarded and nourished, and that culture may be kept alive through the medium of song.

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Born in Kuusalu in 1930, Tormis had a profound experience with choral music starting at an early age. His father was a choral director, organist, and music teacher. His delight in the contrasting timbres provided by the organ stops may also be connected to his later orchestration of choral textures, a hallmark of his mature style.[3]

Tormis began his formal musical education in 1943 at the Tallinn Music School, but was interrupted by World War II and illness. In 1949, he entered the Tallinn Conservatory and continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory (1951–1956). He quickly acquired teaching positions at the Tallinn Music School (1955–60) and the Tallinn Music High School (1962–66), but by 1969 was supporting himself exclusively as a freelance composer. One of his pupils was composer Kuldar Sink.

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From his student days until his retirement from composition in 2000, Tormis composed over 500 individual choral songs, as well as other vocal and instrumental pieces, 35 film scores, and an opera. Despite the censorship of several of his more politically provocative works in the late 1970s and the 1980s, he remained an incredibly celebrated composer whose works were performed throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe, he is regarded as one of the great contributors to the 20th century repertory of choral music. Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 has allowed increased access to the Soviet censored compositional output. The music of Tormis, along with other composers in the region, is experiencing increased rates of programing and publishing, allowing for increased appreciation of the choral and vocal music traditions. (wikipedia)

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And here´s  real highlight of his work:

“I do not use folk song, it is folk song that uses me,” said Estonian composer Veljo Tormis (1930-2017). Tormis’ grasp of folk song and the intensity of the performance lend a shamanistic quality to Forgotten Peoples. This set of six song cycles aims to preserve the song heritage of peoples in the area from Estonia through Karelia and towards Finland, peoples whose language and songs have all but disappeared – “forgotten” peoples. There are, then, important socio-political concerns behind this work. And, as producer Paul Hillier noted, “The music of Veljo Tormis taps the most ancient of roots in a fluid, powerful idiom, and offers a fascinating counterpart to the work of another Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt.” In general one could say that Tormis as composer is extrovert, where Pärt is introvert.

The song cycles that make up Forgotten Peoples were composed over a twenty-year period, beginning in 1970, and had become widely known through the performances of the Estonian Chamber Choir under the direction of Tonu Kaljuste. in Forgotten Peoples, subtitled “The Ancient Songs of my Balto-Finnic Kinsfolk”, there are echoes of Bartok and the Stravinsky of “Les Noces” but the dominant impression is of the folksong-shamanistic essence. It is tonal music, based on modal idioms of traditional songs, and its repetitive nature frequently attains an almost hypnotic power. (taken from the original liner notes)

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The Estonian composer, Veljo Tormis, has long pursued a mission to preserve the musical heritage of the minority groups—the Forgotten Peoples—who live along the shores of the Gulf of Finland from Lithuania in the south to Karelia on the Russian-Finnish border. Over a period of years, he has composed six song-cycles for mixed chorus based on the folk music and poetry of these peoples who are now dying out or losing their separate identity. In an informative note, the composer points out that Estonian and Finnish folk-song is part of an ancient culture which these people brought with them from the Danube basin, from a pre-Christian, shamanistic civilization which was very close to nature.
Tormis integrates folk-material into his own style in much the same way as Bartok does. As a result, there is a great variety of timbres and textures in the songs that make up these six cycles. Pedals, ostinatos and dance-rhythms abound as does frequent alternation of solo and choral singing. He makes extensive use of accompanied Sprechstimme to narrate some of the lengthy ballads in Izhorian Epic. These ten songs are settings of creation stories (similar to the Kalevala epic) or poems which point moral dilemmas in either a sad or a humorous way.
Many of these delightful and attractive songs are about the natural world around us: birds, animals, the seasons of the year, life and death in the country. Each cycle is based on the folk music of the particular region and each cycle has an overall theme. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under their conductor Tonu Kaljuste have been associated with these settings from the beginning and they sing them most beautifully. In fact, many good amateur choirs would find these songs a most rewarding challenge if they could manage to pronounce the words or if they could find someone to provide singable translations. (gramophone.co.uk)

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Personnel:
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste

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Tracklist:

CD 1:

Livonian Heritage 16:16:
01. Waking The Birds 5.20
02. Day Of A Herdsboy 3,23
03, Shrove Tuesday 1.38
04. Wee Winky Mouse 2.53
05. Sang The Father, Sang His Son 3.19

Votic Wedding Songs 11:36:
06. The Ritual Whisking Of The Bridge 1.06
07. The Arrival Of Wedding Guests 1.59
08. Mockery Singing 1.28
09. Distributing The Dowry Chest 1.26
10. Instructing The Newly-Weds 1.40
11. Praising The Cook 1.06
12. When I, Chick, Was Growing Up 2.59

Izhorian Epic 31:25:
13. Creation Of The World 3.09
14. The Call Of Three Cuckoos 4.24
15. The Wedding Song 1.56
16. A Son Or A Daughter 3.18
17. Recruitment 3.30
18. Oh, I’m A Luckless Lad 1.20
19, My Mouth Was Singing, My Heart Was Worrying 3.39
20. A Sword From The Sea 3.32
21. Incantation Of Snakes 0.49
22. Undarmoi And Kalervoi 5.52

CD 2:

Ingrian Evenings 19.04:
01. Röntuska I (A Dance Song) 3.07
02. Röntuska II 1.46
03. Röntuska III 1.52
04. Chastushka I (A Village Party Song) 1.25
05. Chastushka II 1.25
06. A Roundelay 2.03
07. Röntuska IV 2.33
08. Röntuska V 1.24
09. Ending And Going Home 3.33

Vepsian Paths 20.06:
10. My Sister, My Little Cricket 1.50
11. Urging Her Into The Boat 1.41
12. Heavenly Suitors 1.50
13. I Went To Kikoila 0.34
14. Cuckoo And Cuckoo 0.58
15. I Went To Fetch Some Water 0.15
16. Pussy-Cat, Pussy-Cat 0.36
17. I’d Like To Sing You A Song 0.36
18. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? 0.44
19. What Are They Doing At Your Place? 0.31
20.The Ox Climbed A Fir Tree 0.44
21. Forced To Get Married 2.05
22. A Cradle Song 1.47
23. The Only Son 1.56
24. Toot-Toot, Herdsboy 4.04

Karelian Destiny 26.40:
25. A Weeping Maiden 4.34
26. Suitors From The Sea 5.04
27. A Thrall In Viru 5.14
28. The Oak Cutter 5.28
29. A Lullaby 6.23

Music: Traditional/Veljo Tormis

Adapted By [Text] – Ada Ambus (Titel: 2-1 to 2-9), Arvo Laanest (Titel: 1-13 to 1-22), Elna Adler (Titel: 1-6 to 1-12), Herbert Tampere (Titel: 1-1 to 1-5), Jaan Õispuu (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29), Kari Laukkanen (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29), Maare Joalaid (Titel: 2-10 to 2-24), Tõnu Seilenthal (Titel: 1-6 to 1-12), Ulo Tedre (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29)

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Various Artists – Songs And Dances Of Turkey (1956)

FrontCover1Turkish folk music (Türk Halk Müziği) is the traditional music of Turkish people living in Turkey influenced by the cultures of Anatolia and former territories in Europe and Asia. Its unique structure includes regional differences under one umbrella. It includes popular music from the Ottoman Empire era. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ordered a wide-scale classification and archiving of samples of Turkish folk music from around the country, which, from 1924 to 1953 collected around 10,000 folk songs. Traditional folk music was combined with Western harmony and musical notation to create a more modern style of popular Turkish music. (wikipedia)

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The geographical bridge between Europe and Asia, the folk dance and music of Turkey is an amalgam of Eastern and Western cultures. Their folk dances demonstrate various relationships found in the world around them (i.e. man and nature, man and woman, man and war, man and agriculture, etc.).(folkways.si.edu)

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Songs and Dances of Turkey presents ancient classical music, folk songs, popular songs, and modern classical music from Turkey. Native instruments such as the darbuka (hand drum), kaval (end-blown flute), and baglama are featured prominently. Also included are dances such as the zeybek (from the Aegean provinces) in which dancers spread their arms broadly in imitation of an eagle in flight. Liner notes include a brief introduction, track notes, and illustrations of some of the featured instruments. (Press release)

For most of us this music will sound very unfamiliar, but this music is nevertheless very magical and fascinating.

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Personnel:
unfortunately the most of the musicians are unknown
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The Historic Turkish Music Chorus And Orchestra Of Radio Istanbul (on 14. + 15.)
The Band Of The Military Academy (Harp Okulu) In Ankara (on 20.)

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Tracklist:
01. Dance Of Kars 1.54
02. Hop, Hop, Hop (Love Song From Central Turkey) 2.10
03. Zeybek (1) (Dance From Izmir) 1.31
04. Zeybek (2) (Dance From Izmir) 1.19
05. Girl From Kermen (Love Song From Central Turkey) 2.03
06. Dance (from Rize on the Black Sea) 1.34
07. Camel Bells (Caravan Song From Trabzon On The Black Sea) 1.43
08. The Waters Of The Valley (Love Song From Erzurum) 2.01
09. Kazaska (Dance From Kars) 1.39
10. Dance (From Rize On The Black Sea) 1.10
11. Shepard’s Song (From Rize On The Black Sea) 0.43
12. Bacon Is In The Larder (Dance From Rize On The Black Sea) 1.35
13. Black Pepper (Popular Love Song From Istanbul) 1.38
14. Classic Song (1) (Istanbul) 3.55
15. Classic Song (2) (Istanbul) 2.36
16.Flute Solo (Istanbul) 1.34
17. Zurna And Davul (1) (Dance From Ankara) 1.50
18. Zurna And Davul (2) (Dance From Ankara) 1.07
19. Mehter (Classical, From Istanbul) 5.02
20. Izmir March 3.14
21. Dance From Kars 2.15
22. Every Morning, Every Dawn (Love Song From Trabzon On The Black Sea) 2.28

All songs: Traditional

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Alan Stivell – Renaissance Of The Celtic Harp (1971)

FrenchLPFrontCover1Alan Stivell ( born Alan Cochevelou on 6 January 1944) is a French, Breton and Celtic musician and singer, songwriter, recording artist, and master of the Celtic harp. From the early 1970s, he revived global interest in the Celtic (specifically Breton) harp and Celtic music as part of world music. As a bagpiper and bombard player, he modernized traditional Breton music and singing in the Breton language. A precursor of Celtic rock, he is inspired by the union of the Celtic cultures and is a keeper of the Breton culture.

Alan Stivell was born in the Auvergnat town of Riom. His father, Georges (Jord in Breton) Cochevelou, was a civil servant in the French Ministry of Finance who achieved his dream of recreating a Celtic or Breton harp in the small town of Gourin, Brittany and his mother Fanny-Julienne Dobroushkess was of Lithuanian-Jewish descent.

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In 1953, Alan began playing the instrument at the age of nine under the tutelage of his father and Denise Megevand, a concert harpist. Alan also learned Celtic mythology, art, and history, as well as the Breton language, traditional Breton dance, and the Scottish bagpipe and the bombarde, a traditional Breton instrument, from the oboe family. Alan began playing concerts at the age of eleven and studied traditional Breton, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh folk music, also learning the drum, Irish flute, and tin whistle. He competed in, and won, several Breton traditional music competitions in the Bleimor Pipe band. Alan spent his childhood in Paris, with its cosmopolitan influences. But he fell in love with Breton music and Celtic culture, in general, and often went back in his teens to Brittany.

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Stivell’s first recording came in 1960 (“Musique gaelique”), a single that was followed by the LP Telenn Geltiek in 1964. He already recorded solo harp and harp backing singers in 1959 with Breiz ma bro (“Brittany my country”) and a Mouez Breiz EP (“Voice of Brittany”) with the female singer Andrea Ar Gouilh. His stage name, Stivell, means “fountain” or “spring” in Breton. The name refers both to the Breton renewal and to his surname Cochevelou (an evolution of kozh stivelloù, “the old fountains”).

With a new bardic harp with bronze strings, Stivell began experimenting with modernized styles of music that became known as Celtic rock. In 1966, Alan Stivell began to perform and record as a singer. The following year, he was signed by Philips Records. This was during the birth of the New Breton and Celtic music movement.

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In 1968, after two years of touring and regular appearances at the American Students and Artists Center in Paris, Alan joined the Moody Blues onstage to perform in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

In 1970, Stivell released his first hits, the single “Broceliande” and the album Reflets, both on the Philips record label. He became closely associated with the burgeoning Breton roots revival, especially after the release of the purely instrumental 1971 album Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, which won one of the most famous awards in France, the prize of the Académie Charles Cros. (wikipedia)

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And here´s is his second album;

People who hear this record are never the same again. Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, one of the most beautiful and haunting records ever made, introduced the Celtic harp to many thousands of listeners around the world. To call this music gorgeous and ravishing would be the height of understatement; indeed, there are barely words in the English language to describe it adequately.

The US Edition from 1982:
US Edition1982

The opening work, “Ys,” is a piece inspired by the legend of the fifth century capital of the kingdom of Cornwall, which was engulfed by a flood as punishment for its sins. (Debussy wrote one of his finest works, The Engulfed Cathedral, later adapted by the group Renaissance into “The Harbor” on Ashes Are Burning, based on the same legend). The reflective “Marv Pontkellec” is every bit as sublimely beautiful, but the highlight of this record is “Gaeltacht,” a 19-minute musical journey by Stivell’s harp across the Gaelic lands of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Mig Ar Biz (bombarde)
Dan Ar Bras (guitar)
Guy Cascales (drums)
Michel Delaporte (percussion, tabla)
Jean-Marc Dollez (bass)
Alan Kloatr (bombarde)
Gérard Levavsseur (bass)
Yann-Fanch Ar Merdy (scottish drums)
Gérard Salkowsky (bass)
Alan Stivell (harp)
Gilles Tinayjre (organ)
viola:
Gabriel Beauvais – Paul Hadjaje – Pierre Cheval – Stéphane Weiner

cello:
Henri Delagarde – Jean Huchot – Manuel Recasens

FrenchBooklet

Tracklist:
01. Ys (Stivell) 8.55
02. Marv Pontkalleg (Traditional) 3.38
03. Extracts From Welsh Manuscripts (Traditional) 3.01
03.1. Ap Huw
03.2. Penllyn
04. Eliz Iza (Traditional) 3.04
05. Gaeltacht (Traditional) 18.55
05.01. Caitlin Triall
05.02. Port Ui Mhuirgheasa
05.03. Airde Cuan
05.04. Na Reubairean
05.05. Manx Melody
05.06. Heman Dubh
05.07. Gaelic Waltz
05.08. Struan Robertson (Strathspey)
05.09. The Little Cascade
05.10. Braigh Loch Lall
05.11. Port An Deorai

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Renaud Garcia-Fons – Entremundo (2004)

FrontCover1Renaud Garcia-Fons (born December 24, 1962) is a highly accomplished French upright-bass player and composer.

Garcia-Fons started his musical studies at an early age. At five years old he picked up playing the piano, switched to classical guitar at eight, then turned to rock in his teens, and finally settling for the upright bass when he was 16. He got formal musical training at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied with François Rabbath, who taught him his special technique of playing arco.

Garcia-Fons is known for his melodic sense and his viola-like col arco sound; he is sometimes referred to as “the Paganini of double bass.” Garcia-Fons has been deeply influenced by his mentor, the bassist François Rabbath.

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He started playing jazz with the band of trumpeter Roger Guérin, and thereafter had many collaborators, including symphony orchestras, jazz groups, and a trio. In 1987-93, he was part of the French all-double bass ensemble ‘L’Orchestre de Contrebasses’. He remained with them for six years, also appearing with the ‘Orchestre National de Jazz’ directed by Claude Barthélemy during some of this time. Enja Records released his debut solo album Légendes (1992). Alboreá (1995) was his next album release, featuring his quartet including Jean-Louis Matinier (accordion), Jacques Mahieux (drums), and Yves Torchinsky (bass).

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His third album, 1998’s Oriental Bass, featured his own compositions and was well received in the press. Next he combined with accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier on the album Fuera (1999). On many occasions he is accompanied by a variety of instruments, including guitar, lute, derbouka, flutes, trombone, and accordion. Garcia-Fons has collaborated with jazz musicians like Jean-Louis Matinier, Michael Riessler, Sylvain Luc, Nguyên Lê, and Michel Godard, and contributed to recordings of Gerardo Núñez and to Middle Eastern players such as Kudsi Erguner, Dhafer Youssef, and Cheb Mami.

In his musical journey to meet world music, Renaud Garcia-Fons is interested in oriental music and more particularly that of the master of Iranian lute tanbur Ostad Elahi, including finding a source of inspiration for his compositions such as Hommage à Ostad (CD Oriental Bass) and Voyage à Jeyhounabad  ( CD / DVD SOLO The Marcevol Concert). His interest in this music leads him in 2019 to participate, at the invitation of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, in a tribute concert organized as an extension of the exhibition: the sacred lute, the art of Ostad Elahi (2014-2015).

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In addition to his career as a soloist, Renaud Garcia-Fons has been developing composition work for several years. He writes various pieces for String Quartet at the initiative of France Musique for the program Alla Breve. He creates for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the ‘Ensemble de Basse-Normandie’ Mundus Imaginalis. He is part of the credits for the France Culture program Les Racines du Ciel. On the international scene, he regularly plays with his various groups in the biggest Jazz Festivals. In July 2009, the Montreal International Jazz Festival invited him for a White Card of 3 concerts.

Fruit of a collaboration of several years with the lutenist Claire Antonini, he publishes in 2019 the duet album Farangi , from the Baroque to the Orient. (wikipedia)

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Some records are instantly captivating, with an ambience that immediately draws the listener in. Others require more attention, revealing layers of reward with each successive listen. The best records do both. Bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons has managed with his latest disc, Entremundo , to create one of those rare recordings whose first spin compels the listener to play it again and again, revealing richer substance each time.

That Garcia-Fons has been called “the Paganini of the double bass” is no surprise. One listen to the closing piece, the solo “Aqâ Jân,” and the breadth of his capabilities is clearly evident. With his five-string double-bass giving him access to the range of a cello in addition to the deeper resonance of the traditional instrument, Garcia-Fons’ virtuosity is remarkable. From percussive pizzicato to sweeping arco, his ability to coax distinct and unusual sonorities from his instrument is uncanny.

Tray

And while Garcia-Fons’ technical skill is evident from the first note of “Sueño Vivo,” which opens the album, he is equally matched by his trio mates, percussionist Jorge “Negrito” Trasante and flamenco guitarist Antonio Ruiz “Kiko.” Yet, for all their formidable abilities, Entremundo is never about needless pyrotechnical demonstration. From the light and airy folk sound of “Cristobal” to the lush classical leanings of the title track, Garcia-Fons and his trio, supplemented by a variety of musical guests on various tracks, are never less than lyrical and transcend being mere players.

Entremundo means “Between Worlds,” and while the majority of the record has a strong flamenco flavour that will appeal to fans of, for example, Strunz and Farah, it’s distinguished by a breadth of world view. There are elements of Middle Eastern harmonies, Oriental lines and Latin American rhythms amidst the Andalusian themes of “40 Dias,” the brief and dark “Doust,” and “Sarebân,” which blends in an Indian-inflected theme.

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Garcia-Fons states that the intention of the record is to be celebratory, and there is, to be sure, a vivacious joy to be found throughout. Passion runs wild, with Garcia-Fons leading the way with his vibrant and emotive playing. Few bassists straddle the line between being a supporting rhythm section instrument and a leading voice as well as Garcia-Fons. Regardless of where he is placing his priority, the augmented trio shuffles responsibilities seamlessly and effortlessly. This is strongly groove-centric music that moves the body as well as the heart.

LinerNotes

Another characteristic of exceptional records is to make one forget about the individual contributions and experience the music as a transcendent whole. While the admirable skill of all involved makes this sometimes difficult, at the end of the day the album succeeds as an incredibly broad cross-fusion of ethnic influences from around the globe. Entremundo succeeds in making music that draws a coherent link between various musical worlds and, consequently, lives up to its name by fusing the music of a diversity of cultures with an improvisational verve and, in the final analysis, a pure and unadulterated joy in making evocative and provocative music. (by John Kelman)

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Personnel:
Renaud Garcia-Fons (bass, percussion, vocals)
Antonio “Kiko” Ruiz  (guitar)
Jorge “Negrito” Trasante (drums, percussion)
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Claire Antonini (lute)
Bruno Caillat (tala, daf, kanjira)

Allan Hoïst (saxophone)
Philippe Slovinsky (trumpet)
Henri Tournier (bansuri, flute)
Angel “Cepillo” Sanchez-Gonzalez  (percussion)
Gaston Sylvestre (cimbalom)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Sueño Vivo 4.49
02. Chrístobal 4.54
03. Entremundo 4.02
04. Mahoor 4.08
05. 40 Días (Soleá) 4.46
06. Entre Continentes (Buleria) 7.01
07. Mursiya 0.51
08. Rosario 5.18
09. Doust 1.44
10. Sarebân 6.01
11. Aqâ Jân (Bass Solo) 7.52

Music composed by Renaud Garcia-Fons

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LinerNotes

The bansuri:
Bansuri

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Tony Scott And The Indonesian Allstars – Djanger Bali (1967)

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Tony Scott (born Anthony Joseph Sciacca June 17, 1921 – March 28, 2007) was an American jazz clarinetist and arranger with an interest in folk music around the world. For most of his career he was held in high esteem in new-age music circles because of his involvement in music linked to Asian cultures and to meditation.

Born in Morristown, New Jersey, United States, Scott attended Juilliard School from 1940 to 1942. In the 1950s he worked with Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. He also had a young Bill Evans and Paul Motian as side-men on several albums released between 1957 and 1959. In the late 1950s, he won on four occasions the DownBeat critics poll for clarinetist in 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1959. He was known for a more “cool” style on the instrument than his peer Buddy DeFranco who often played a more aggressive bebop style.

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Despite this, he remained relatively little-known as the clarinet had been in eclipse in jazz since the emergence of bebop. In 1959, he left New York City, where he had been based, and abandoned the United States for a time. In the 1960s, he toured South, East, and Southeast Asia. This led to his playing in a Hindu temple, spending time in Japan, and releasing Music for Zen Meditation in 1964 for Verve Records. In 1960 a DownBeat poll for Japan saw readers there name him best clarinetist while the United States preferred Buddy DeFranco. He did a Japanese special on Buddhism and jazz, although he continued to work with American jazz musicians and played at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1965. In the years following that he worked in Germany, Africa, and at times in South America.

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He settled in Italy in the 1970s, working with Italian jazz musicians such as Franco D’Andrea and Romano Mussolini. He also played the part of a Sicilian-American Mafia boss in Glauber Rocha’s film Claro (1975). In later years he began showing an interest in electronica and, in 2002, his Hare Krishna was remixed by King Britt as a contribution to Verve Remixed.

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In 2010, a documentary film by the Italian director Franco Maresco about the life of Scott was released titled Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l’Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz (English: I am Tony Scott. The Story of How Italy Got Rid of the Greatest Jazz Clarinetist).

He died of prostate cancer in Rome at the age of 85. (wikipedia)

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Indonesia and jazz? Not so far-fetched! Improvisation is a part of traditional gamelan, and modal playing goes back 1000 years; jazz began seriously delving into modes with Miles Davis in the 1950’s. Clarinet icon Tony Scott proselytized jazz during his six-year sojourn in Asia, and in so doing brought Asian music masters, including players on this album, into the jazz world. Down Beat called pianist Bubi Chen “The Art Tatum of Asia”, and saxophonist Marjono, whose influences include John Coltrane, is an authority on traditional Balinese and Javanese music. Djanger Bali is a Balinese sitting dance with a gamelan- style melody and the pentatonic Bali-Javanese pelog scale for improvisation. Mahlke rollicks with a guitar-clarinet duo – this group can smoke on straight-ahead jazz changes. Javanese for xylophone and flute, Gambang Suling keeps to the feel of this piece from central Java. Marjono sings the lyrics on the Javanese children’s ghost song Ilir Ilir. There’s a taste of Caribbean, swing, and gamelan in the play. Burungkaka Tua is taken at ballad pace with beautiful solos by Bubi on piano and Marjono on flute. Summertime is all about heated solos and the juxtaposition of the pelog and Dorian scales. A classy early exploration of world music combining the best of both worlds. (Press release)

The Indonesian All-Stars at the Jazz Festival Berlin/Germany, October 1967:
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This record is of historical importance and should be listened to as there were very few attempts at fusioning jazz and gamelan by the time and Tony Scott should be respected for being a pioneer in that field, but to my opinion it’s a failure: the western jazz is prominent and the gamelan is often only a kind of background noise. André Jaume is to my mind the only one who managed to make something really creative and consistent in the mid 90s’, though in Java: Merapi and Borobudur Suite (with Sapto Raharjo). (Irama)

Recorded at SABA Tonstudio, Villingen, Black Forest/Germany
on the 27th and 28th of October, 1967.

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Personnel:
Bubi Chen (piano, zither, ketjapi)
Yopi Chen (bass)
Jack Lesmana (guitar)
Marjono (saxophone, flute, vocals)
Benny Mustafa (drums)
Tony Scott (clarinet)

LPBooklet

Tracklist:
01. Djanger Bali (Traditional) 6.01
02. Mahlke from “Katz Und Maus” (Zoller) 6.03
03. Gambang Suling (Sabdo) 7.09
04. Ilir, Ilir (Traditional) 3.58
05. Burungkaka Tua (Traditional) 5.17
06. Summertime (Gershwin) 8.13

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More from Tony Scott:
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Ry Cooder – Same (1970)

LPFrontCover1Ryland Peter “Ry” Cooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, record producer, and writer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in traditional music, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.

Cooder’s solo work draws upon many genres. He has played with John Lee Hooker, Captain Beefheart, Taj Mahal, Gordon Lightfoot, Ali Farka Touré, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, David Lindley, The Chieftains, The Doobie Brothers, and Carla Olson and The Textones (on record and film).

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He formed the band Little Village, and produced the album Buena Vista Social Club (1997), which became a worldwide hit; Wim Wenders directed the documentary film of the same name (1999), which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000.

Cooder was ranked at No. 8 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, while a 2010 list by Gibson Guitar Corporation placed him at No. 32 In 2011, he published a collection of short stories called Los Angeles Stories. (wikipedia)

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Ry Cooder is the debut album by roots rock musician Ry Cooder, released in 1970:

Already a seasoned music business veteran at the age of 22, Ry Cooder stepped out from behind the shadows of the likes of Jackie DeShannon, Taj Mahal, the Rolling Stones, and Captain Beefheart, signing his own deal with Warner Brothers records in 1969. Released the following year, Cooder’s eponymous debut creates an intriguing fusion of blues, folk, rock & roll, and pop, filtered through his own intricate, syncopated guitar; Van Dyke Parks and Lenny Waronker’s idiosyncratic production; and Parks and Kirby Johnson’s string arrangements. And while he’s still finding his feet as a singer, Cooder puts this unique blend across with a combination of terrific songs, virtuosic playing, and quirky, yet imaginative, arrangements. For material, Cooder, the son of folklorist parents, unearths ten gems — spanning six decades dating back to the 1920s — by legends such as Woody Guthrie, Blind Blake, Sleepy John Estes, and Leadbelly, as well as a current Randy Newman composition.

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Still, as great as his outside choices are, it’s the exuberant charm of his own instrumental “Available Space” that nearly steals the show. Its joyful interplay between Cooder’s slide, Van Dyke Parks’ music hall piano, and the street-corner drumming creates a piece that is both loose and sophisticated. If “Available Space” is the record’s most playful moment, its closer, “Dark Is the Night,” is the converse, with Cooder’s stark, acoustic slide extracting every ounce of torment from Blind Willie Johnson’s mournful masterpiece. Some of the eccentric arrangements may prove to be a bit much for both purists and pop audiences alike, but still, Cooder’s need to stretch, tempered with a reverence for the past, helps to create a completely original work that should reward adventurous listeners. (by Brett Hartenbach)

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Personnel:
John Barbata (drums)
Max Bennett (bass)
Bobby Bruce (violin)
Ry Cooder (guitar, vocals, mandolin, bass)
Van Dyke Parks – piano
Chris Ethridge (bass)
Roy Estrada (bass)
Richie Hayward (drums)
Milt Holland (drums, percussion)
Gloria Jones & Co. (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Alimony (Jones/Young/Higginbotham) 2.56
02. France Chance (Callicott) 2.48
03. One Meat Ball (Singer/Zaret) 2.29
04. Do Re Mi (Guthrie) 3.04
05. My Old Kentucky Home (Turpentine & Dandelion Wine) (Newman) 1.48
06. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? (Reed) 2.47
07. Available Space (Cooder) 2.14
08. Pigmeat (Ledbetter) 3.09
09. Police Dog Blues (Blake) 2.47
10. Goin’ To Brownsville (Estes) 3.24
11. Dark Is The Night (Johnson) 2.48

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Nestor Amaral And His Continentals – Holiday In Italy (1957)

FrontCover1Back from my holidays in Italy:

Nestor Amaral (São Paulo, 16 September 1913 – Los Angeles, 26 February 1962) was a Brazilian musician, composer and singer.

An accomplished Brazilian musician, Nestor Amaral had a career in Argentina and was part of the Bando da Lua – replacing Aníbal Augusto Sardinha – accompanying Carmen Miranda to the United States in the early 1940s. Alongside Carmen and the Moon Gang, Amaral appeared in films such as It Happened in Havana (1941), My Brazilian Secretary (1942), Between the Blonde and the Brunette (The Gang’s All Here) (1943), and Copacabana (1947). Besides having participated in the soundtrack of the film Você Já Foi a Bahia? where he sings the English lyrics of the song Na Baixa do Sapateiro by Ary Barroso. Other participations include: The Promised Song alongside Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo, and in Romance on the High Seas (1948) where she sings with Doris Day the song It’s Magic, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In 1957, he released the album Holiday in Brazil already as Nestor Amaral And His Continentals.

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He died of a heart attack on 26 February 1962, and was buried in Los Angeles, California.[3]
Personal life

Nestor Amaral was the brother of São Paulo singer Roberto Amaral, and settled permanently in the United States, where his son, designer producer Roy Alan Amaral was born on 25 September 1950. (wikipedia)

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And here´s a nice “holiday” album with beautiful melodies from the old Italy … sweet memories …

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Personnel:
Nestor Amaral (violin, guitar, mandolin)
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his Continentals

Nestor Amaral03Tracklist:
01. O Sole Mio! (My Sun) 2.24
02. Funiculi Funicula 2.17
03. Oh, Marie 2.48
04. Anema E Core (With All My Heart And Soul) 2.37
05. Vieni, Vieni 2.10
06. Torna A Surriento (Come Back To Sorrento) 2.52
07. Ciribiribin 2.23
08. Chitarra Romana (Roman Guitar) 2.54
09. Vieni Sul Mar (Come To The Sea) 2.13
10. Tango Delle Rose (Tango Of Roses) 3.00
11. Reginella Campagnola (Woodpecker Song) 2.15
12. Te Voglio Bene (I Love You So) 2.42
13. Mattinata (I’m Always The One) 2.52
14. La Spagnola 1.54

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