Lester Young with The Oscar Peterson Trio – Same (1952)

FrontCover1Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio is a 1954 studio album by Lester Young, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet, although the title incorrectly states the band is a trio. The music on this album was originally released as three separate albums: Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio #1 and Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio #2, both released in June 1954 (MGN 5-6), and The President Plays with Oscar Peterson (April 1956, MGN 1054). It was collated for this 1997 reissue by Verve Records. (by wikipedia)
Defying what has become conventional wisdom, tenor saxophonist Lester Young cut some of his greatest recordings in the 1950s — that is, when he was reasonably healthy. On this wonderful effort with pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer J.C. Heard, Prez performs definitive versions of “Just You, Just Me” and “Tea for Two,” and plays a string of concise but memorable ballad renditions: “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Almost Like Being in Love,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” and “I’m Confessin’.” This is essential music from a jazz legend. [Some reissues augment the original dozen songs with a version of the good-humored “It Takes Two to Tango,” which features Young’s only recorded vocals, plus a rather unnecessary false start (on “I Can’t Get Started,” ironically), along with some studio chatter.] (by Scott Yanow)

Lester YoungPersonnel:
Ray Brown (bass)
J. C. Heard (drums)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Oscar Peterson (piano)
Lester Young (saxophone, vocals on 13.)

Front + backcover of the first EP (1952)

Front + backcover of the first EP (1952)

Tracklist:
01. Ad Lib Blues (Peterson/Young) 5.54
02. I Can’t Get Started (Duke/I.Gershwin) 3.41
03. Just You, Just Me (Greer/Klages) 7.40
04. Almost Like Being In Love (Lerner/Loewe) 3.34
05. Tea For Two (Caesar/Youmans) 7.45
06. There Will Never Be Another You (/Gordon/Warren) 3.28
07. (Back Home Again In) Indiana (Hanley/MacDonald) 7.04
08. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (Fields/McHugh) 3.27
09. Stardust (Carmichael/Parish) 3.35
10. (I’m) Confessin’ (That I Love You) (Daugherty/Neiburg/Reynolds) 3.41
11. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Fields/McHugh) 3.22
12. These Foolish Things (Link/Marvell/Strachey) 3.27
13. (It Takes) Two To Tango” (Rehearsal, False Start and Chatter (Al Hoffman, Dick Manning) 6.06
14. I Can’t Get Started (false start) 0.53

CD1*
**

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John Lee Hooker – House of the Blues (1959)

FrontCover1In 1951 Delta emigre’ John Lee Hooker was a Detroit resident enjoying the raging success of recent singles and gearing up to wax his urgent folk blues for a host of record companies under various noms de blooze. Chess was one of the firms, and twelve sides cut between 1951 and 1954 eventually turned up on this 1959 long-player. Hooker’s singing, lubricious and steely, inveighs against annoying women; his rudimental guitar is exciting; and his stamping the plywood floor in ruttish insistence makes for exemplary blues rhythm. Most of the tracks JohnLeeHooker01Ahave him solo. Caveat emptor: Two songs have atrocious sound. (Frank John Hadley)

John Lee Hooker is in my opinion the first true Detroit rock and roll artist that follows in a fine tradition of the Stooges, The MC5, and Motown. The music on this album is probably the heaviest type of blues of ever heard. A little more ferocius, and darker than most stuff I’ve heard. If you like your blues squeeky clean like something Eric Clapton would record these days then you’ll probably feel like the reviewer below that only gave this album two stars. But if you’re like me and can just appreciate an individual with a lot of soul then this album will shake the foundation. (by Hippie Smell)

JohnLeeHooker03Personnel:
John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar)
+
Eddie Kirkland (guitar on 09., 11. + 12.)
Bob Thurman (piano on 04.+12.)
Tom Whitehead (drums on 12.

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. Walkin’ The Boogie 2.44
(with double-tracked vocal and speeded up guitar – recorded April 24th, 1952)
02. Love Blues 3.01
(Recorded April 24th, 1952)
03. Union Station Blues 2.58
(Recorded circa April, 1951)
04. It’s My Own Fault (a.k.a. Baby, I Prove My Love to You)  2.59
(Recorded circa 1952)
05. Leave My Wife Alone 2.48
(Recorded circa April, 1951)
06. Ramblin’ By Myself 3.20
(Recorded circa April, 1951)
07. Sugar Mama 3.16
(Recorded April 24th, 1952)
08. Down at the Landing 2.56
(Recorded April 24th, 1952)
09. Louise 3.06
(Recorded circa April, 1951)
10. Ground Hog Bluesb2.58
(Recorded circa April, 1951)
11. High Priced Woman 2.44
(Recorded April, 1951)
12. Women and Money 2.53
(Recorded 1952)

Label1*
**

Amalia Rodrigues – The Queen Of Fado (2011)

FrontCover1When Amalia Rodrigues died October 6th, 1999 (aged 79) the government of Portugal declared three days of national morning. Political activity in the country’s general election campaign came to a halt. The president was the chief mourner at the singer’s state funeral. It was a singular expression of national grief and in some ways a peculiar one.

Entertainers, however famous, rarely, if ever, depart in such ceremony. It did not happen to Maria Callas, perhaps the most celebrated opera singer of recent times, when she died in 1977; or to Frank Sinatra, who died in 1998. There was some sadness, certainly; a lot of reminiscences, of course; but life went on largely uninterrupted in Greece and America. The sanctifying of Amalia Rodrigues may say something about the nature of the Portuguese as well as about what the prime minister called “the voice of the country’s soul”.

Amalia01She was known simply as Amalia. The diminution of her name was itself a reflection of her fame (as was Britain’s Diana, or Di, whose death in 1997 also briefly interrupted the life of her country). Her style of singing is called fado, the Portuguese word for fate. “I have so much sadness in me,” Amalia said. “I am a pessimist, a nihilist. Everything that fado demands in a singer I have in me.” Amalia’s message of fatalism seems to have echoed a mood among her admirers. Portugal is still among the least modern of European countries, though it has been modernising rapidly of late. It expects its economy to grow by about 3% this year, compared with an average of only 1.9% growth for the rest of the euro area. But GDP does not change a country’s sentiment overnight. Portugal was the first European country in modern times to carve out a great trading empire. Go almost anywhere in the world and you find traces of Portuguese architecture, language and genes. Generation by generation, the once-rich Portuguese have seen their empire slowly vanish, and not very gracefully. East Timor is still formally Portuguese. “I sing of tragedy,” Amalia said, “of things past.”

Amalia02Amalia Rodrigues was never sure of her exact birthday. Her grandmother said it was in the cherry season, so she assumed she was born in early summer. Other details of her childhood were also obscure. Some accounts said her father was a shoemaker; others that he was a musician. The story that as a teenager she sold fruit on the docks of Lisbon, capturing the hearts of her customers with her singing, was willingly believed by those who adored her. The adoration was put to the test in 1974 when Portugal emerged from half a century of dictatorship. Amalia’s critics said she had benefited from the patronage of the most enduring of Europe’s fascist regimes.

“I always sang fado without thinking of politics,” Amalia responded angrily. It was a claim impossible to contradict. Yet fado, with its melancholy fatalism, was an appropriate accompaniment to the thinking of the Portuguese leader, António de Oliveira Salazar. Not for him the ruthless urgency of Hitler. Rather, in his corporate state he wanted to preserve Portugal as a rural and religious society where industrialisation and other modernising influences would be excluded. He kept Portugal out of the second world war. It was too wearisome.

Amalia03Fado was the music of Portuguese tradition. If it had any foreign ingredients they were from Africa, but these were acceptable: huge areas of Africa had been Portuguese. And here was Amalia, the queen of fado, clad all in black, her throbbing voice accompanied by two guitarists, her head thrown back, her eyes closed. She was the essence of sadness, bearing the memories of two marriages; both unhappy. When Salazar heard “O Grito” (“The Cry”) he allowed himself a tear.

Unsurprisingly, the Portugal that followed the dictatorship wanted cheering up, as well as modernising. The question of whether Amalia had been a supporter of the old regime became irrelevant. Fado itself fell out of fashion. Rock was the music of democracy.

Amalia, however, had built up other audiences abroad. The Brazilians, whose language is Portuguese, flocked to see her dozen or so films. A six-week tour to Rio and other cities had to be expanded to three months. In the United States record collectors said that her songs, with their four-line stanzas, were like the blues, and she did indeed make some recordings with a jazz saxophonist, Don Byas. Italians claimed to see links between fado and opera. The French said Amalia reminded them of Edith Piaf, who sang nostalgically of the tragedies in her life. A fado song given the English title “April in Portugal” became a hit in several countries.

In Portugal fado and Amalia gradually made a comeback. Amalia showed that she was really a democrat at heart by recording “Grandola Vila Morena”, the song that had swept the country when the dictatorship ended. The socialist government presented her with the country’s highest decoration, the Order of Santiago. She was giving concerts up to a year ago, and every one was sold out. “The sadder the song, the more the Portuguese like it,” she said. In this new time of change, pessimism was back in fashion. For Amalia, it was the happiest of endings.(by economist.com)

And this is a unique collection of her greatest and most popular songs from a glittering career spanning more than 50 years.

Amalia04Personnel:
Amalia Rodrigues (vocals)
+
various orchestras and musicians

Booklet03ATitel:
01. Barco Negro (1955) (Mourão/Ferreira/Velho) 4.12
02. Nao Digas Mal Dele (1953) (Barbosa/Armandinho) 3.26
03. Uma Casa Portuguesa (1953) (Ferreira/Seqeira/Fonseca) 2.28
04. Novo fado da Severa (1953) (DantasdeFreitas) 3.11
05. Perseguicao (1945) (deSousa/Pereira/da Maia) 2.35
06. Duas luzes (1945) (de Mata/do Amaral) 3.20
07. Faz hoje um ano (1952) (Galhardo/Ferrao) 4.40
08. Passei Por Vocк (1945) (de Brito/Marceneiro) 2.55
09. Fado do ciume (1945) (do Vale/Valério) 2.57
10. Sei finalmente (1945) (Barbosa/Armandinho) 2.53
11. As penas (1945) (Caldeira/Bacalhau) 3.10
12. A tendinha (1945) (Gallhardo/Ferraro) 2.06
13. Fado Amalia (1951) (Gallhardo/Valerio) 3.01

CD1*
**

AlternateFrontCoverAlternate frontcover

Various Artists – A New Orleans Jazz Festival 1949 – 1952 (1974)

FrontCover1This ia a very rare album from 1974 with traditonal jazz & dixie music … recorded live.

The highlights are tracks 9–11 where you hear not less than 5 Bigbands playing (mostly) simultaneously. The event was called “Gene Norman & Frank Bull Dixieland Jubilee Concert”. Later in the 50ies Gene Norman & Frank Bull startet a record label called “Dixieland Jubilee”.
When I hear historical recordings like this, I always try to compare them to something in our time. In 1950 Jazz was as old as Techno is today, about 25 years. So for the visitors this event must have been similar to the LoveParades of today.

BackCoverTracklist:

George Lewis And His Ragtime Band (Artisan Hall, New Orleans, December 14, 1952):
01. At A Georgia Camp Meeting (Mills) 3.43
02. Chimes Blues (Oliver) 5.03
03. Burgundy Street Blues  (Lewis) 5.20

Kid Ory’s Creole Band (Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, October 7, 1949):
04. Tiger Rag (LaRocca) 3.39
05. Savoy Blues (Ory) 2.54
06. Twelth Street Rag (Bowman) 3.35
07. Eh! La Bas (Traditional) 3.05

The Massed Jazz Bands (Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, October 7, 1949):
08. High Society (Steele) 2.57
09. Who’s Sorry Now (Kalmar/Snyder/Ruby) 2.10
10. Muskrat Ramble (Ory) 2.43
11. South Rampart Street Parade (Ory) 2.48
Kid Ory’s Creole BandKid Ory’s Creole Band