Chris Andrews – Lady Oh Lady + Something On My Mind (1966)

FrontCover1I want to reduce my single collection …

Christopher Frederick Andrews (born 15 October 1942) is an English-German singer-songwriter whose musical career started in the late 1950s.

Andrews was born in Romford, Essex, England, and by his mid teens had formed his own group, Chris Ravel and the Ravers. On 14 March 1959, he made his British television debut, performing on the Oh, Boy! show. He would later return in April to perform a cover of Cliff Richard’s, “Move It”.

For Adam Faith, Andrews wrote “The First Time” (No. 5 on the UK Singles Chart, 1963) and “We Are in Love” (No. 11, 1964), and then a string of hits for Sandie Shaw. They included “Girl Don’t Come” (No. 3, 1964/65), “I’ll Stop at Nothing” (No. 4, 1965), “Message Understood” (No. 6, 1965) and “Long Live Love” (No. 1, 1965). The latter remained a chart topper in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks. “Girl Don’t Come” was covered by Cher on her debut album, All I Really Want to Do.

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Also in 1965, Andrews as a solo artist, got to No. 3 in the same listings with “Yesterday Man”, which peaked in Germany at No. 1 for four weeks; followed up with a No. 13 hit in the UK “To Whom It Concerns”. The instrumental section of this song was used as the theme for RTÉ’s long-running TV programme, The Late Late Show, until 1999, and a re-arranged version returned as the show’s theme music in September 2009. As well as obtaining a high placing in the UK chart, “Yesterday Man” climbed to No. 1 in Ireland and Germany. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Later releases were not as successful, but his own hits are seen as early examples of bluebeat influenced white pop music. Although his chart appearances dwindled in Britain by 1966, his chart topping success continued in mainland Europe for a number of years, particularly in Germany, and Andrews often recorded in foreign languages.

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It is possible that Chris Andrews’ huge success in Germany was connected to the fact that his two UK hits, at least, were rhythmically redolent of Oom-pah music (although not intentionally so; see above), thus making them more acceptable to older German audiences who would not have liked many of the other Anglophone songs which became hits there.

In South Africa, his later single releases proved particularly popular, with “Pretty Belinda” (1969), “Carol OK” and “Brown Eyes” (both 1970) all topping the charts there. “Yo Yo” reached No. 7 at the end of 1970.

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Andrews remains active in his career as a singer-songwriter, working primarily in continental Europe and in the United Kingdom. He lives with his second wife Alexandra, who is also his manager, in Selm, Germany, and Mallorca. Because of the Brexit vote, Andrews also obtained German citizenship in 2016. (wikipedia)

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And here´s one of his countless singles from the Sixties … As far as I know, this single was only released in Germany.

And “Lady Oh Lady” is a real hot Beat-number … but was not so sucessful as “I´m Her Yesterday Man”.

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Personnel:
Chris Andrews (vocals)
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Ken Woodman Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Oh Lady (Andrews) 2.54
02. Something On My Mind (Andrews) 2.20

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Christmas 2021 (02) – Amor Artis Choir & Orchestra – A Baroque Christmas – Concertos & Cantatas (1966)

FrontCover1Amor Artis (founded in 1961) is a distinctive chamber chorus and orchestra, featuring dynamically balanced programs of well-known favorites together with important works rarely heard. The ensemble has achieved considerable recognition internationally through its many concerts and extensive discography, encompassing more than forty recordings.

One of the first and foremost presenters in New York of lesser-known Baroque masterpieces, Amor Artis has distinguished itself through authentic versions in style and setting, paving the way for the performances of these works given in the USA today.

Audiences and critics have also hailed AmorArtis for musical excellence in all repertoires: from Dvorak’s Requiem, performed at Carnegie Hall, to its recording of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabeus on compact disc.

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The Amor Artis Chamber Chorus and Orchestra have recorded for seven labels. Their most recent recordings include discs for Newport Classic and the Vox Music Group: a recording of Mozart’s Requiem, with original instruments; a disc entitled Musica Dei, featuring choral music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Lassus, and a disc entitled Christmas Around the World, featuring favorite carols from many nations. About Musica Dei, the American Record Guide says that the listener will find on this disc “beautiful singing, superbly recorded.” (bach-cantatas.com)

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And here´s a real beautful christmas album … What wonderful and mature voices.

Enjoy it !

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Personnel:
Amor Artis Choral & Orchestra conducted by Johannes Somary
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Elizabeth Humes (soprano vocals on 02.)
Melinda Kessler (soprano vocals on 02  + 07.)
Anthony Tamburello (bass vocals on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. In Dulci Jubilo (Praetorius) 2.34
02. In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum (Charpentier) 15.59
03. O ihr lieben Hirten (Hammerschmidt) 6.06
04. Magnificat (Pachelbel) 5.28
05. Vom Himmel Hhoch (Schein) 1.39
06. In Dulci Jubilo (Buxtehude) 8.00
07.bLauft, ihr Hirten, allzugleich (Haydn) 9.26

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Crispian St. Peters – You Were On My Mind + What I´m Gonna Be (1966)

FrontCover1Crispian St. Peters (born Robin Peter Smith, 5 April 1939 – 8 June 2010) was an English pop singer-songwriter, best known for his work in the 1960s, particularly hit songs written by duo The Changin’ Times, including “The Pied Piper” and Ian & Sylvia’s “You Were on My Mind”.

Robin Peter Smith was born in Swanley, Kent, and attended Swanley Secondary Modern School. He learned the guitar and left school in 1954 to become an assistant cinema projectionist. As a young man, he performed in several relatively unknown bands in England. In 1956, he gave his first live performance, as a member of The Hard Travellers. Through the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as undertaking National Service, he was a member of The Country Gentlemen, Beat Formula Three, and Peter & The Wolves.

While a member of Beat Formula Three in 1963, he was heard by David Nicholson, an EMI publicist who became his manager. Nicholson suggested he use a stage name, initially “Crispin Blacke” and subsequently Crispian St. Peters, then promoted his client as being nineteen years of age, shaving off five years from his actual age of 24. In 1964, as a member of Peter & The Wolves, St. Peters made his first commercial recording. He was persuaded to turn solo by Nicholson and was signed to Decca Records in 1965. His first two singles on this record label, “No No No” and “At This Moment”, proved unsuccessful on the charts. He made two television UK appearances in February of that year, featuring in the shows Scene at 6.30 and Ready Steady Go!

SheetMusicIn 1966, St. Peters’ career finally yielded a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart, with “You Were on My Mind,”a song written and first recorded in 1964 by the Canadian folk duo, Ian & Sylvia, and a hit in the United States for We Five in 1965. St. Peters’ single eventually hit No. 2 in the UK and was then released in the US on the Philadelphia-based Jamie Records label. It did not chart in the US until after his fourth release, “The Pied Piper,” became known as his signature song and a Top 10 hit in the United States and the UK.

Although his next single, a version of Phil Ochs’ song “Changes,” also reached the charts in both the UK and US, it was much less successful. In 1967, St. Peters released his first LP, Follow Me…, which included several of his own songs, as well as the single “Free Spirit”. One of them, “I’ll Give You Love,” was recorded by Marty Kristian in a version produced by St. Peters, and became a big hit in Australia. St. Peters’ album was followed by his first EP, Almost Persuaded, yet by 1970, he was dropped by Decca. “You Were on My Mind” was featured in the 1996 German film Jenseits Der Stille (Beyond Silence).

Later in 1970, he was signed to Square Records. Under this new record deal, St. Peters released a second LP, Simply, that year, predominantly of country and western songs. Later still they released his first cassette, The Gospel Tape, in 1986, and a second cassette, New Tracks on Old Lines in 1990. His third cassette, Night Sessions, Vol. 1 was released in 1993.

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Several CDs also came from this record deal, including Follow Me in 1991, The Anthology in 1996, Night Sessions, Vol. 1 in 1998, The Gospel Tape in 1999, and, finally, Songs From The Attic in 2000. He also performed on various Sixties nostalgia tours, and continued to write and arrange for others until his later ill health.

From 1969 to 1974, St. Peters was married to Collette. The marriage produced a daughter, Samantha, and a son, Lee.

On 1 January 1995, at the age of 55, he suffered a stroke. His music career was severely weakened by this, and in 2001 he announced his retirement from the music industry. He was hospitalised several times with pneumonia after 2003.

St. Peters died on 8 June 2010, after a long illness, at the age of 71. (wikipedia)

Acetate:
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And here´s is very sucessful single … a soft Folk-Pop version of the classic song written by Sylvia Fricker.

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Personnel:
Crispian St. Peters (vocals)
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a bunch of unknow studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. You Were On My Mind (Fricker) 2.42
02. What I´m Gonna Be (St. Peters) 2.23

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Crispian St. Peters (5 April 1939 – 8 June 2010)

Big Brother and The Holding Company- The Lost Tapes (2008)

FrontCover1The Lost Tapes is a two disc compilation album by the San Francisco psychedelic-acid rock band, Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin as their lead singer. The material featured here contains twelve previously unreleased Big Brother tracks from 1966 when Joplin first joined Big Brother up until before she left.

The second disc was originally released as a live album in 1966 entitled Live In San Francisco. (by wikipedia)

The Lost Tapes combines previously unreleased material with performances that have been floating around on bootlegs for years. Listening to these early live recordings from late 1966 and early 1967, it’s hard to imagine that this is the same band that would level the audience at the Monterey Pop Festival — alongside Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding — and propel Janis Joplin into superstardom.

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The 26 songs are a loose mix of originals from their self-titled Mainstream album, along with cover versions of “Amazing Grace,” “Hi Heel Sneakers,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “I Know You Rider,” and “Moanin’ at Midnight.” By far, the oddest cover is “Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!,” which musically has absolutely nothing in common with the version performed in the Russ Meyer film by the Bostweeds. The rambling spoken intro is longer than the actual song itself! Very weird! This material is unquestionably sloppy and miles away from the slick soul-rock Joplin would perform with Full Tilt Boogie and the Kozmic Blues Band after leaving Big Brother in late 1968.

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It’s also what makes this relic so charming; hearing a young Janis Joplin not burdened with being the star, but just another member of the band, relaxed and playful. Airline’s 2008 version of The Lost Tapes was licensed from Big Brother & the Holding Company, with 24-bit remastering and notes by drummer David Getz and guitarist Sam Andrew. (by Al Campbell)

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Personnel:
Peter Albin (bass, vocals)
Sam Andrew (guitar)
David Getz (drums)
James Gurley (guitar)
Janis Joplin (vocals)

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Tracklist:

Recorded Live At The Matrix, San Francisco, 1967:
01. Bye, Bye Baby (St. John) 4.11
02. Great White Guru (unknown) 5.47
03. Women Is Losers (Joplin) 5.09
04. Oh My Soul (Penniman) 2.35
05. Amazing Grace (Traditional) 11.31
06. Caterpillar (Albin) 4.11
07- It’s A Deal (Andrew/Albin) 2.14
08. Hi Heel Sneakers (Higginbottam) 3.37
09. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill (unknown) 2.23
10. Turtle Blues (Joplin) 6.47
11. All Is Loneliness (Moondog) 9.05
12. Light Is Faster Than Sound (Albin) 6.27

Recorded Live At California Hall, San Francisco, 1966:
01. (Come On Baby) Let the Good Times Roll) (Goodman/Lee) 2.38
02. I Know You Rider (Traditional) 3.14
03. Moanin’ At Midnight (Burnett) 4.58
04. Hey Baby (Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin) 2.51
05. Down On Me (Traditional) 2.46
06. Whisperman (Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin) 1.46
07. Women Is Losers (Joplin) 3.48
08. Blow My Mind (McCracklin) 2.35
09. Oh My Soul (Penniman) 2.34
10. Ball And Chain (Thornton) 6.43
11. Coo-Coo (Traditional) 2.30
12. Gutra’s Garden Albin/Andrew/Getz/Gurley/Joplin) 4.37
13. Harry (Getz) 0.38
14. Hall Of The Mountain King (Grieg) 6.51

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Joe Pass – The Stones Jazz (1966)

FrontCover1The Stones Jazz is an album by jazz guitarist Joe Pass that was released in 1967. Except for one song, all tracks are jazz covers of songs recorded by The Rolling Stones. (by wikipedia)

An album of songs by the Rolling Stones hardly sounds like promising material for any jazz release, even in the hands of a master guitarist like Joe Pass. Featuring ten of their hits with arrangements by Bob Florence and an unidentified cast of musicians, other than tenor saxophonist Bill Perkins, this LP was clearly one for a paycheck when most jazz players were scratching for work. Unlike the works of Lennon and McCartney of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones’ music doesn’t lend itself to jazz. Pass doesn’t solo with the gusto one came to expect from his many great sessions from the 1970s to the end of his life for Pablo and elsewhere. Even the closing blues “Stones Jazz,” credited to Florence and Pass, sounds severely dated and not worth a second hearing to today’s jazz listener. A very unlikely candidate for reissue on CD, this record will be sought by Joe Pass fanatics only. (by Ken Dryden)

This was recorded for the Pacific Jazz label in Los Angeles in a single session on July 20, 1966.

JoePass01I grew up listening to the stones and even playing their music in a garage band circa 1964-65, so this album piqued my interest.

To be perfectly honest, this is an album of somewhat lopsided arrangements that no neither jazz nor the Stones justice in my opinion. Yes, the musicianship is excellent. No doubt about that. The song selection is also representative of what the Stones recorded (except for track 11, which is Pass’ composition). Why I probably am not as excited about this as I should be is I covered these tunes back with I was a teen drummer, and before I discovered jazz in a bigger way.

Above I described the arrangements as lopsided. That is because the main two instruments are a three piece guitar section and a four piece trombone section, the latter of which adds a lot of low end to the music. Those are augmented by a lone tenor saxophone, and a typical rhythm section comprised of a piano, bass, drum kit and percussion. As expected, the songs are going to sound completely different than the ones the Stones recorded. I wish there were sound samples to convey this. Also, just because I am not totally fond of this album is not to be construed as it’s bad – I am expressing my personal taste. You may actually love it. (Mike Tarrani)

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Personnel:
Milt Bernhart (trombone)
Ray Brown (bass)
Dennis Budimir (guitar)
Victor Feldman (percussion)
Bob Florence (piano)
John Guerin (drums)
Dick Hamilton (trombone)
Herbie Harper (trombone)
Gail Martin (trombone)
Joe Pass (guitar)
Bill Perkins (saxophone)
John Pisano (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Play With Fire (Nanker Phelge = Jagger/Richards) 3.00
02. 19th Nervous Breakdown (Jagger/Richards) 2.59
03. I Am Waiting (Jagger/Richards) 3.05
04. Lady Jane (Jagger/Richards) 2.51
05. Not Fade Away (Holly/Petty) 2.35
06. Mother’s Little Helper (Jagger/Richards) 2.52
07. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger/Richards)
08. Paint It Black (Jagger/Richards) 3.34
09. What A Shame (Jagger/Richards) 2.58
10. As Tears Go By (Jagger/Richards/Oldham) 3.04
11. Stone Jazz (Pass) 2.46

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Mulatu Astatke & His Ethiopian Quintet – Afro Latin Soul (1966)

FrontCover1Mulatu Astatke (born 19 December 1943) is an Ethiopian musician and arranger considered as the father of Ethio-jazz.

Born in the western Ethiopian city of Jimma, Mulatu was musically trained in London, New York City, and Boston where he combined his jazz and Latin music interests with traditional Ethiopian music. Astatke led his band while playing vibraphone and conga drums—instruments that he introduced into Ethiopian popular music—as well as other percussion instruments, keyboards, and organ. His albums focus primarily on instrumental music, and Mulatu appears on all three known albums of instrumentals that were released during Ethiopian Golden 1970s.

Mulatu’s family sent the young Mulatu to learn engineering in Wales during the late 1950s. Instead, he began his education at Lindisfarne College near Wrexham before earning a degree in music through studies at the Trinity College of Music in London. He collaborated with jazz vocalist and percussionist Frank Holder. In the 1960s, Mulatu moved to the United States to enroll at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He studied vibraphone and percussion.

While living in the U.S., Mulatu became interested in Latin jazz and recorded his first two albums, Afro-Latin Soul, Volumes 1 & 2, in New York City in 1966. The records prominently feature Mulatu’s vibraphone, backed by piano and congas playing Latin rhythms, and were entirely instrumental with the exception of the song “I Faram Gami I Faram,” which was sung in Spanish.

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In the early 1970s, Mulatu brought his new sound, which he called Ethio-jazz, back to his homeland while continuing to work in the U.S. He collaborated with many notable artists in both countries, arranging and playing on recordings by Mahmoud Ahmed, and appearing as a special guest with Duke Ellington and his band during a tour of Ethiopia in 1973.

Mulatu recorded Mulatu of Ethiopia (1972) in New York City, but most of his music was released by Amha Eshete’s label Amha Records in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, including several singles, his album Yekatit Ethio Jazz (1974), and six out of the ten tracks on the compilation album Ethiopian Modern Instrumentals Hits. Yekatit Ethio Jazz combined traditional Ethiopian music with American jazz, funk, and soul.

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By 1975, Amha Records had ceased production after the Derg military junta forced the label’s owner to flee the country. Mulatu remained to play vibes for Hailu Mergia and the Walias Band’s 1977 album Tche Belew (which included “Musicawi Silt”) before the Wallas also left Ethiopia to tour internationally. By the 1980s, Mulatu’s music was largely forgotten outside of his homeland.

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In the early 1990s, many record collectors rediscovered the music of Mulatu Astatke and were combing stashes of vinyl for copies of his 70s releases. In 1998, the Parisian record label Buda Musique began to reissue many of the Amha-era Ethio-jazz recordings on compact disc as part of the series Éthiopiques, and the first of these reissues to be dedicated to a single musician was Éthiopiques Volume 4: Ethio Jazz & Musique Instrumentale, 1969–1974. The album brought Mulatu’s music to an international audience.

Mulatu’s music has had an influence on other musicians from the Horn region, such as K’naan. His Western audience increased when the Broken Flowers (2005) directed by Jim Jarmusch film seven of his songs, including one performed by Cambodian-American rock band Dengue Fever. National Public Radio used his instrumentals as beds under or between pieces, notably on the program This American Life. Samples of his were used by Nas, Damian Marley, Kanye West, Cut Chemist, Quantic, Madlib, and Oddisee.

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After meeting the Massachusetts-based Either/Orchestra in Addis Ababa in 2004, Mulatu began a collaboration with the band beginning with performances in Scandinavia in summer 2006 and London, New York, Germany, Holland, Glastonbury (UK), Dublin, and Toronto in 2008. In the fall of 2008, he collaborated with the London-based collective The Heliocentrics on the album Inspiration Information Vol. 3, which included re-workings of his Ethio-jazz classics with new material by the Heliocentrics and himself.
Mulatu performs with Black Jesus Experience members Chris Frangou (bass) and Liam Monkhouse (MC) in Addis Ababa in 2015.

In 2008, he completed a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard University where he worked on modernization of traditional Ethiopian instruments and premiered a portion of a new opera, The Yared Opera. He served as an Abramowitz Artist-in-Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, giving lectures and workshops and advising MIT Media Lab on creating a modern version of the krar, a traditional Ethiopian instrument.

On 1 February 2009, Mulatu performed at the Luckman Auditorium in Los Angeles with a band that included Bennie Maupin, Azar Lawrence, and Phil Ranelin. He released a two-disc compilation album to be sold exclusively to passengers of Ethiopian Airlines, with the first disc containing a compilation of styles from different regions of Ethiopia and the second consisting of studio originals. On 12 May 2012, he received an honorary doctor of music degree from the Berklee College of Music.

In 2015, Mulatu began recording with Black Jesus Experience for Cradle of Humanity, which premiered at the Melbourne Jazz Festival in 2016 and was followed by a tour of Australia and New Zealand. (by wikipedia)

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A few years ago, a friend of mine bought me this record for my birthday. My friend knew I had never heard of Mulatu Astatke and his Ethiopian Quintet, but because she used to live with me, knew all about my love for Jazz, Mexicali Brass, Latin Jazz and Afro Funk. In hindsight, she couldn’t really go wrong with this gift, it’s obvious that I would love it and with no surprise at all, I instantly fell in love with this album.

Mulatu Astatke, who was born in 1943 in Ethiopia, is known as the father of Ethio-Jazz. His album, Afro-Latin Soul was recorded in Brooklyn, NYC and was released in 1966 on Worthy Records. This album is almost a 50 year old creation, which speaks volumes to its quality and significance and to the fact that it can still be enjoyed today. If you’ve seen Jim Jarmusch’s film Broken Flowers starring Bill Murray, you’ll be a bit familiar with Mr. Astatke and his Ethiopian Quintet, as their music is found on the majority of the soundtrack and even features three songs off Afro-Latin Soul. I especially like the album art of the record, it’s simple yet eye catching and the informative commentary found on the back of the record sleeve is short and sweet!

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“[…] Mulatu a multi-talented musician, composer and arranger, has created a new sound “Afro-Latin Soul”. He has taken the ancient five-tone scale of Asia and Africa and woven them into something unique and exciting; a mixture of three cultures, Ethiopian, Puerto Rican and American.

Mulatu has brought to America a pulsating dance, called the “Skista”. Wherever he plays the “Skista”, it becomes an immediate craze. Louis Rodriguez, the singer, gives a magnificent interpretation in Spanish of an Ethiopian Skista with “I Faram Gami I Faram”.

During the Session, Mulatu masterfully jumps from vibes to piano to drums. Rudy Houston switches from piano to trumpet to give a soul-stirring rendition of a haunting melody. Felix Torres and John Perez, keep up an exciting conga and bongo background along with the real boss bass of Robert Cuadrado and the tremendous tymbali work of Tony Pearson.

This album is one you will always treasure. (by Gil Snapper)

So if you’re like me and felt genuinely offended by this week’s Montreal Weather Network temperature predictions, I have one thing to suggest as a means to cope with the cold – play this gem of an album while drinking a big ass glass of red wine at the end of a long day and enjoy this warm creation indoors!

I Faram Gami I Faram, Mulatu’s Hideaway and A Kiss Before Dawn are my favorites. (by Devon Eye)

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Personnel:
Mulatu Astatke (vibraphone, piano, drums)
Robert Cuadrado (bass)
Rudy Houston (piano, trumpet)
Tony Pearson (timbales)
John Perez (percussion)
Felix Torres (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. I Faram Gami I Faram (Astatke) 2.20
02. Mascaram Setaba (Astatke) 1.49
03. Shagu (Astatke) 3.05
04. One For Buzayhew (Astatke)
05. Alone In The Crowd (Snapper) 3.55
06. Almaz (Astatke) 2.53
07. Mulatu’s Hideaway (Astatke) 2.55
08. Askum (Houston) 2.10
09. A Kiss Before Dawn (Snapper/Weiss) 3.10
10. Playboy Cha Cha (Garcia) 3.56

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Paul Butterfield Blues Band – East-West (1966)

FrontCover1East-West is the second album by The Butterfield Blues Band led by Paul Butterfield, released in 1966 on Elektra Records, EKS 7315 in stereo, EKL 315 in mono. It was recorded at the famed Chess Studios on 2120 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It peaked at #65 on the Billboard pop albums chart, but is regarded as highly influential by rock and blues music historians.

Like the band’s eponymous record debut, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, this album features traditional blues covers and the guitar work of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Unlike the debut album, Bishop also contributed guitar solos; drummer Sam Lay had left the band due to illness and was replaced by the more jazz-oriented Billy Davenport. The social complexion of the band changed as well; ruled by Butterfield in the beginning, it evolved into more of a democracy both in terms of financial reward and input into repertoire.

One result was the inclusion of two all-instrumental extended jams at the instigation of Bloomfield following the group’s successful appearance at The Fillmore in San Francisco during March alongside Jefferson Airplane.[4] Both reflected his love of jazz, as the blue note-laden “Work Song” featuring harmonica by Butterfield had become a hard bop standard, and the title track “East-West” used elements of modal jazz as introduced by Miles Davis on his ground-breaking Kind of Blue album. Bloomfield had become enamored of work by John Coltrane in that area, especially his incorporation of ideas from Indian raga music. The album also included Michael Nesmith’s song “Mary, Mary,” which Nesmith would soon record with his band The Monkees – although original pressings of East-West did not include a songwriter’s credit for this track.

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On October 29, 2001, a reissue of this album remastered by Bob Irwin at Sundazed Studios and coupled with the debut appeared on Rhino WEA UK for the European market.

In 1996, original Butterfield Blues Band member Mark Naftalin (keyboards), who recorded on the album and is pictured on the cover of East-West, released a CD on his own ‘Winner’ label entitled East-West Live, comprising three extended live performance versions of the tune “East-West”. Noted music critic and prolific author Dave Marsh contributed a substantial essay in the liner notes regarding the historic importance of the song, both the original 1966 recording and the live versions.

Marsh, interviewing Naftalin, notes that the tune was inspired by an all-night LSD trip that “East-West”‘s primary songwriter Mike Bloomfield experienced in the fall of 1965, during which the late guitarist “said he’d had a revelation into the workings of Indian music.”

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Marsh’s expansive liner notes observe that the song “East-West” “was an exploration of music that moved modally, rather than through chord changes. As Naftalin explains, “The song was based, like Indian music, on a drone. In Western musical terms, it ‘stayed on the one’. The song was tethered to a four-beat bass pattern and structured as a series of sections, each with a different mood, mode and color, always underscored by the drummer, who contributed not only the rhythmic feel but much in the way of tonal shading, using mallets as well as sticks on the various drums and the different regions of the cymbals. In addition to playing beautiful solos, Paul [Butterfield] played important, unifying things [on harmonica] in the background – chords, melodies, counterpoints, counter-rhythms. This was a group improvisation. In its fullest form it lasted over an hour.”

In his summation, Marsh points out that “‘East-West’ can be heard as part of what sparked the West Coast’s rock revolution, in which such song structures with extended improvisatory passages became commonplace.”

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Going on to call the Butterfield Blues Band “one of the greatest bands of the rock era”, Marsh concludes that “With ‘East-West’, above any other extended piece of the mid-Sixties, a rock band finally achieved a version of the musical freedom that free jazz had found a few years earlier.”

The album is also credited with spawning the harder acid rock sound. The track “East-West”, with its early use of the extended rock solo, has been described as laying “the roots of psychedelic acid rock”[8] and featuring “much of acid-rock’s eventual DNA”.[9]

The band members appearing on the album were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

The album front cover was photographed at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. (by wikipedia)

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The raw immediacy and tight instrumental attack of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s self-titled debut album were startling and impressive in 1965, but the following year, the group significantly upped the ante with its second LP, East-West. The debut showed that Butterfield and his bandmates could cut tough, authentic blues (not a given for an integrated band during the era in which fans were still debating if a white boy could play the blues) with the energy of rock & roll, but East-West was a far more ambitious set, with the band showing an effective command of jazz, Indian raga, and garagey proto-psychedelia as well as razor-sharp electric blues. Butterfield was the frontman, and his harp work was fierce and potent, but the core of the band was the dueling guitar work of Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, especially Bloomfield’s ferocious, acrobatic solos, while Mark Naftalin’s keyboards added welcome washes of melodic color, and the rhythm section of bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Billy Davenport were capable of both the rock-solid support of veteran blues players and the more flexible and artful pulse of a jazz combo, rising and relaxing with the dynamics of a performance.

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The Butterfield Blues Band sounded muscular and exciting on classic blues workouts like “Walkin’ Blues,” “Two Trains Running,” and “I Got a Mind to Give Up Living,” but the highlights came when the band pushed into new territory, such as the taut New Orleans proto-funk of “Get Out of My Life, Woman,” the buzzy and mildly trippy “Mary, Mary,” and especially two lengthy instrumental workouts, the free-flowing jazz of Nat Adderley’s “Work Song” and the title track, a fiery mix of blues, psychedelia, Indian musical patterns, and several other stops in between, with Butterfield, Bloomfield, and Bishop blowing for all their worth. East-West would prove to be a pivotal album in the new blues-rock movement, and it was the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s greatest achievement; Bloomfield would be gone by the time they cut their next LP to form the Electric Flag, and as good as Bishop was, losing the thrust and parry between the two guitarists was a major blow. But East-West captures a great group in high flight as the bandmembers join together in something even more remarkable than their estimable skills as individuals would suggest, and its importance as a nexus point between rock, blues, jazz, and world music cannot be overestimated. (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Jerome Arnold (bass)
Elvin Bishop (guitar, vocals on 08.)
Mike Bloomfield (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Billy Davenport (drums)
Mark Naftalin (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Walkin’ Blues (Johnson) 3.19
02. Get Out of My Life, Woman (Toussaint) 3.15
03. I Got A Mind To Give Up Living (Traditional) 4.59
04. All These Blues (Traditional) 2.24
05. Work Song (instrumental) (Adderley) 7.56
06. Mary, Mary (Nesmith) 2.53
07. Two Trains Running (Morganfield) 3.55
08. Never Say No (Traditional) 2.59
09. East-West (instrumental) (Bloomfield/Gravenites) 13.12

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The Leaves – Hey Joe (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Leaves were an American garage rock band formed in San Fernando Valley, California, United States, in 1964. They are best known for their version of the song “Hey Joe”, which was a hit in 1966. Theirs is the earliest release of this song, which became a rock standard.

The band was founded by bass player Jim Pons and guitarist Robert Lee Reiner, who were inspired by hearing The Beatles while students at Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles. Originally called The Rockwells, they were fraternity brothers who formed a group and then taught themselves how to play. Besides Pons and Reiner, the original line-up included John Beck (vocals), Bill Rinehart (lead guitar), and Jimmy Kern (drums); in early 1965, Kern was replaced by drummer Tom Ray.

They began by playing surf and dance music at parties. Their first actual show was in the school gym with Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band. In 1965, The Byrds left their residency at Ciro’s on Sunset Strip after making their first hit, and The Leaves (as they were by now known) were chosen to replace them. It was there they were discovered by popular singer and actor Pat Boone, who got them their first record contract, with Mira Records.

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Their first single, “Too Many People”, was a local hit in Los Angeles The Leaves released “Hey Joe” in November 1965, and dissatisfied with the sound, pulled it. They released a second version in early 1966, which flopped. Original guitarist Bill Rinehart left, and The Leaves redid the song again with a fuzztone by new guitarist Bob Arlin. This version of the song became a hit, and debuted on both Billboard and Cash Box on May 21, 1966. It peaked at No. 31 on Billboard and No. 29 on the Canadian RPM Magazine charts, while showing a humbler peak position of No. 43 on Cash Box. The song ran nine weeks on both national charts.

Their debut album Hey Joe followed. It took a run on the Billboard charts for five weeks, beginning on July 30, 1966, peaking at No. 127. The album did not make it onto the Cash Box charts.

Ad.jpgThe band appeared on TV shows – American Bandstand, Shivaree, Shebang – and briefly in a Hollywood film, The Cool Ones (1967). One more album, All the Good That’s Happening, was released before the band broke up in 1967 when Pons left to join the pop group The Turtles; In the early 1970s, Pons played bass with Frank Zappa.[1] Arlin went on to form heavy psychedelic band The Hook[1] and The Robert Savage Group. The band reunited in 1970 before Pons became a member of Zappa’s band. The reunited lineup included Jim Pons on rhythm guitar, John Beck on lead guitar, Buddy Sklar, lead singer from The Hook and The Spencer Davis Group, Al Nichols on bass from the Turtles, and Bob “Bullet” Bailey on drums. The band did some touring and performed at local Los Angeles based nightclubs before disbanding in 1971.

A new generation of music fans discovered the band when their version of “Hey Joe” was included in the classic 1972 garage rock compilation, Nuggets. According to the Nuggets liner notes, the as yet unnamed band was hanging around a tree-shaded pool, smoking, when a newcomer gave the traditional 1960s greeting, “What’s happening?” “The leaves are happening”, came the answer, which struck them all as a good name for a band. (by wikipedia)

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This is one hell of a debut album, especially for a group that only lasted for about a year after its release. The Leaves perform some superb folk-rock in a Byrds/Beatles vein (“Just a Moment,” “Girl From the East”), excellent lyrical garage punk (“Words,” “Tobacco Road”), and solid hard rock (“Hey Joe,” “Too Many People”), and cross swords with the Rolling Stones (“You Better Move On,” “Back On the Avenue” — the latter a ripoff of the Stones’ “2120 South Michigan Avenue”) and Bob Dylan (“Love Minus Zero”).

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The sound isn’t exactly consistent, given the gamut of influences at work here, from Bo Diddley (“Dr. Stone”) to primitive psychedelia (“War of Distortion”), but there isn’t a bad song on the disc, and the CD reissue has about the best sound ever heard on this material, bringing out the guitars in a genuinely crisp and vivid fashion. Maybe the strangest and best track in that regard is their cover of “He Was a Friend of Mine,” which incorporates elements of both the Searchers’ “When You Walk In the Room” and the Byrds’ “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better” into its structure and beat — the guitars are a real kick there. The bonus tracks may have come from vinyl sources rather than tape, but they hold up very well for sound quality. Anyone who enjoyed the first two Byrds albums must own this disc. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Bobby Arlin (lead guitar)
John Beck (vocals)
Jim Pons (bass)
Tom “Ambrose” Ray (drums)
Robert Lee Reiner (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Dr.Stone (Pons/Beck) 2.19
02. Just A Memory (Arlin) 2.22
03. Get Out Of My Life Woman (Toussaint) 2.50
04. Girl From The East (Jameson) 3.00
05. He Was A Friend Of Mine (Traditional) 3.24
06. Hey Joe! (Roberts) 2.52
07. Words (Hart/Boyce) 2.24
08. Back On The Avenue (Arlin/Pons/Beck/Reiner/Ray) 3.11
09. War Of Distortion (Arlin) 2.15
10. Tobacco Road (Loudermilk) 2.14
11. Good Bye, My Love (McNally/Pender) 3.09
12. Too Many People (Rinehart/Pons) 3.22
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13. Be With You (Rinehart/Pons) 2.10
14. You Better Move On (Alexander) 2.29
15. That’s A Different Story (Rinehart/Pons) 2.34
16. Love Minus Zero (Dylan) 2.32
17. Funny Little World (Arlin) 2.11

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Gabor Szabo – Jazz Raga (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgJazz Raga is an album by Hungarian guitarist Gábor Szabó featuring performances recorded in 1966 for the Impulse! label.

Jazz Raga, recorded in August of 1966, and released in early 1967, is Hungarian jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo’s third album for Impulse!, and his most exotic and mysterious. Szabo not only played guitar on the live-to-two-track sessions, he also overdubbed sitar on nine of the album’s eleven cuts. Produced by Bob Thiele and engineered by Rudy Van Gelder, it combines Szabo’s singular guitar sound (equally influenced by West Coast jazz, Hungarian gypsy folk songs, and Indian music — which he began studying as early as 1961), as he fronts a rhythm section of drummer Bernard Purdie and upright bassist Jack Gregg on nearly half of the album with an expanded lineup that also included electric bassist Bob Bushnell on the rest. On what has now become Szabo’s signature tune, “Mizrab” (perhaps the first truly psychedelic jazz composition) Ed Shaugnessy was added on tablas. Musically, Jazz Raga dwells in the no man’s lands between jazz, psych rock, Indian, and Eastern European music. Its track selection includes two standards — “Caravan” and “Summertime” — a smoking cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black,” and eight Szabo originals. While some of the titles, like “Search for Nirvana,” “Raga Doll,” and “Krishna” seem dated, they don’t taint the power of the music. “Mizrab,” with its driving tablas, mantra-like bassline, open-tuned, droning guitar and a call-and- response sitar, creates a melody that is at once haunting, inviting, and affecting. The groove is monstrous, infectious, and dizzying. Szabo’s glorious staccato playing on “Raga Doll” complements the hypnotic but gentle Latin groove laid down by Purdie. Gregg’s descending five-note bass pattern that breaks in the middle, creates a halting, anticipatory breath in the listener.

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“Sophisticated Wheels” adds a tough samba rhythm and a taut engagement between Purdie and Gregg. The sitar and guitar create a contrapuntal feel, adding to the dimension of the tune. “Paint It Black” one ups the Stones’ version; it employs the sitar right up front, not for coloring the melody, but as a foundational element. “Ravi” is actually funky thanks to Purdie’s drumming, while Szabo’s instruments play alternately at one another, communicating intensely. “Caravan” comes off as something completely otherworldly, while “Summertime” is one of the most original versions ever recorded. “Comin’ Back” combines a 12-bar blues with a surf riff and R&B drums, with a killer tone by Szabo. The album received mixed reviews at the time but developed a lasting cult following. Jazz Raga is a classic for its barrier-breaking invention and startling creativity.  (by Thom Jurek)

This album include one of the finest cober versions of “Paint It black” from the Rolling Stones.

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Personnel:
Johnny Gregg (bass)
Bernard Purdie (drums)
Gábor Szabó (guitar, sitar, vocals)
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Bob Bushnell (guitar on 01. – 03., 05., 07. + 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Walking On Nails (Szabo) 2.51
02. Mizrab (Szabo) 3.35
03. Search For Nirvana (Szabo) 2.12
04. Krishna (Szabo) 3.15
05. Raga Doll (McFarland) 3.47
06. Comin’ Back (Szabo) 2.01
07. Paint It Black (Jagger/Richards) 4.47
08. Sophisticated Wheels (Szabo) 3.56
09. Ravi (Szabo) 3.04
10. Caravan (Juan Tizol) 3.04
11. Summertime (Gershwin/Heyward) 2.36

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Gábor István Szabó (March 8, 1936 – February 26, 1982)

Earl Hines – Blues In Thirds (1966)

FrontCover1.JPGEarl Kenneth Hines, also known as Earl “Fatha” Hines (December 28, 1903 – April 22, 1983), was an American jazz pianist and bandleader. He was one of the most influential figures in the development of jazz piano and, according to one source, “one of a small number of pianists whose playing shaped the history of jazz”.

The trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (a member of Hines’s big band, along with Charlie Parker) wrote, “The piano is the basis of modern harmony. This little guy came out of Chicago, Earl Hines. He changed the style of the piano. You can find the roots of Bud Powell, Herbie Hancock, all the guys who came after that. If it hadn’t been for Earl Hines blazing the path for the next generation to come, it’s no telling where or how they would be playing now. There were individual variations but the style of … the modern piano came from Earl Hines.”

EarlHines01The pianist Lennie Tristano said, “Earl Hines is the only one of us capable of creating real jazz and real swing when playing all alone.” Horace Silver said, “He has a completely unique style. No one can get that sound, no other pianist”. Erroll Garner said, “When you talk about greatness, you talk about Art Tatum and Earl Hines”.

Count Basie said that Hines was “the greatest piano player in the world”. (by wikipedia)

And here´s one of his countless solo – albums, only the man and his piano.

And if you listen to this album, you may know why his unique playing style made him one of the most influential musicians in jazz history.

Recorded at Pye Studios, London, April 20, 1965

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Personnel:
Earl Hines (piano, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Tea For Two (Caesar/Youmans) 6.22
02. Velvet Moon (De Lange/Myrow) 5.47
03. Blues After Midnight (Hines) 6.34
04. Shiny Stockings (Foster) 4.16
05. Blues In Thirds (Hines) 5.29
06. When I Dream Of You (Hines/Carpenter) 6.28
07. Sweet Lorraine (Burwell/Parish) 5.58
08. Stanley’s Dance (Clayton) 3.36

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Earl Hines (December 28, 1903 – April 22, 1983)