Fleetwood Mac – Blues Jam In Chicago (1969/2004)

FrontCover1.jpgBlues Jam at Chess/Fleetwood Mac In Chicago/Blues Jam In Chicago Vols. 1 & 2 was the result of a recording session in early 1969, at Chess Records in Chicago (home to Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, et al.) with Fleetwood Mac, then a young British blues band, and a number of famous Chicago Blues artists from whom they drew inspiration. (by wikipedia)

This set, recorded at Chess Record’s Ter-Mar complex in Chicago, pairs Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac with some of the Windy City’s blues legends including Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, Buddy Guy, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Put together on short notice, and recorded in one day, the sessions have something of a ramshackle feel, but the energy of the performances transcends any shortcomings on this date. Dixon oversaw the proceedings, and can be heard during the between-song banter giving directions and chastising Walter “Shakey” Horton for missing his cues.

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Since the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac was so directly influenced by Chicago blues, the session acts as a kind of stylistic homecoming for the band. Bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood contribute driving rhythms while guitarists Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer lend both rhythms and the occasional lead. Green’s stunningly fluid guitar work is at the fore, as usual. But the real treat is picking out the Chess players–Otis Spann’s piano on “I Got the Blues,” J.T. Brown’s tenor sax on Elmore James’s “I Can’t Hold Out,” or Guy and Edwards, who go toe-to-toe with Green on “Red Hot Jam,” one of the session’s indisputable highlights.

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Like VOL. 1, BLUES JAM IN CHICAGO VOL. 2 documents collaborations between some of Chess Records’ most prominent bluesmen and the late-1960s version of Fleetwood Mac (the blues-rock power outfit, as opposed to the commercially successful soft-rock incarnation from the ’70s). Given that the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac was already deeply rooted in Chicago blues, the project proved to be a natural for the group, with Green’s blues-drenched leads and the chops of Mick Fleetwood (drums), John McVie (bass), Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer (guitars) providing a perfect framework for contributions by Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards, among others.

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Green and company bring an edge to the proceedings, playing with the kind of muscle and unbridled energy associated with rock music. Interestingly, VOL. 2 has greater variety in the lineup than VOL. 1, with Dixon substituting on bass for McVie on a number of tracks, along with much swapping of vocal duties. This last fact gives the second installment the edge over the first, with Edwards singing on his own tunes (“Honey Boy Blues” is a highlight), and the inimitable Spann singing “Someday Soon Baby” and “Hungry Country Girl.” This is one of the finer snapshots of British blues-rock meeting its source. (by allmusic)

This album is not only a highlight in the career of the early Fleetwood Mac, but in the history of Blues …

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Personnel:
Mick Fleetwood (drums)
Peter Green (vocals, guitar)
John McVie (bass)
Danny Kirwan (vocals, guitar)

Jeremy Spencer (vocals, guitar, slide guitar)
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J. T. Brown (saxophone)
Willie Dixon (bass)
David “Honeyboy” Edwards (guitar)
Buddy Guy (guitar)
Walter “Shakey” Horton (harmonica)
S.P. Leary (drums)
Otis Spann (vocals, piano)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Watch Out (Green) 4.20
02. Ooh Baby (Burnett) 4.06
03. South Indiana (take 1) (Horton) 3.21
04. South Indiana (take 2) (Horton) 3.47
05. Last Night (Jacobs) 5.01
06. Red Hot Jam (take 1 with studio talk) (Green) 5.55
07. Red Hot Jam (take 2 – master version) (Green) 6.02
08. I’m Worried (Green) 3.47
09. I Held My Baby Last Night (James/Taub) 5.16
10. Madison Blues (James) 4.56
11. I Can’t Hold Out (James) 4.49
12. Bobby’s Rock (previously unreleased) (James) 4.00
13. I Need Your Love (John Jr.) 4.32
14. Horton’s Boogie Woogie (take 1 with studio chatter – previously unreleased) (Horton) 3.37
15. I Got The Blues (master version with previously unreleased false start) (Horton) 4.55

CD 2:
01. World’s In A Tangle (Rogers) 5.26
02. Talk With You (Kirwan) 3.28
03. Like It This Way (Kirwan) 4.25
04. Someday Soon Baby (Spann) 7.37
05. Hungry Country Girl (Spann) 5.47
06. Black Jack Blues (Brown) 5.08
07. Everyday I Have The Blues (Slim) 4.55
08. Rockin’ Boogie (Spencer) 3.58
09. My Baby’s Gone (Edwards) 4.04
10. Sugar Mama (take 1 – previously unreleased) (Traditional) 0.49
11. Sugar Mama” (take 2 – master version) (Traditional) 6.08
12. Homework (Clark/Perkins/Rush) 3.21
13. Honey Boy Blues (previously unreleased) (Edwards) 2.20
14. I Need Your Love (take 1 – previously unreleased) (Rogers) 2.15
15. Horton’s Boogie Woogie (take 2 – previously unreleased) (Horton) 3.40
16. Have A Good Time (previously unreleased) (Horton) 4.55
17. That’s Wrong (previously unreleased) (Horton) 4.13
18. Rock Me Baby (previously unreleased) (Jackson) 3.25

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Jan Garbarek – Esoteric Circle (1971)

LPFrontCover1.jpgJan Garbarek had studied with the great American composer George Russell, and had previously appeared on Russell’s venture into jazz-rock, Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved By Nature. Whereas his teacher’s usage of rock rhythms in an avant jazz context often came off as rather clunky, for Garbarek and his guitarist, Terje Rypdal, formerly a member of the popular Norwegian band the Vanguards, such a melding was more second nature. The Esoteric Circle, the first album by their band of the same name (hey, this was still the ’60s after all), is a highly successful and enjoyable effort, one that can stand comfortably with work being done at that time by Tony Williams or John McLaughlin. Garbarek’s compositions range from deeply felt homages to Coltrane (“Traneflight” and “Nefertite”) to rocking jams like “Rabalder,” where Rypdal gets to showcase his considerable chops. In fact, some of these themes were used by Russell in his aforementioned work. Garbarek’s own playing, here entirely on tenor, come largely out of Albert Ayler as well as Coltrane, and his general attack is much more raw and aggressive than the style for which he would eventually become more widely known through his recordings for ECM. Listeners who enjoy his first several albums for that label (from Afric Pepperbird to Witchi-Tai-To) will find much to savor here. (by Brian Olewnick)

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Jan Garbarek’s solo debut, released on US-label Flying Dutchman under “Esoteric Circle” project’s name (and later re-released as his solo album), is really interesting release for every Garbarek fan.
First of all,music presented there is a bit raw but innovative mix of post-bop, fusion and avant- garde jazz. Musician’s line up is the same as on Garbarek second, much better known album (and his debut on ECM), but the music sounds different. Rhythm section is more conservative there and rarely leaves post-bop tradition, but Garbarek’s tenor sax and partially Rypdal’s electric guitar make some trips to fusion and avant-garde zones. As a result, album in whole sounds slightly unfocused, but raw,dirty and even explosive in moments (what is impossible for any Garbarek’s recorded on ECM music).

Some compositions have strong emotional vibes, nice tunes, and Coltrane’s influences are obvious there.At the same time, Jon Christensen and Terje Rypdal bring some heavier and rockier elements, from jazz-rock to rock jamming. Eclectic and quite unusual musical mix for Garbarek’s album, isn’t it?

Rare and interesting release illustrating Garbarek’s (and Rypdal’s) early musical influences,inspired and innovative as few first Garbarek’s ECM albums are. (by snobb)

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Personnel:
Arild Andersen (bass)
Jon Christensen (drums, percussion)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone)
Terje Rypdal (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Traneflight 2.57
02. Rabalder 8.21
03. Esoteric Circle 5.28
04. Vips 5.47
05. SAS 644 7.53
06. Nefertite 2.09
07. Gee 1.14
08. Karin’s Mode 7.36
09. Breeze Ending 3.44

Music composed by Jan Garbarek

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The Who – My Generation (Deluxe Edition) (1969/2005)

FrontCover1.JPGTommy is the fourth studio album by the English rock band The Who, a double album first released in May 1969. The album was mostly composed by guitarist Pete Townshend as a rock opera that tells the story about a “deaf, dumb and blind” boy, including his experiences with life and his relationship with his family.

Townshend came up with the concept of Tommy after being introduced to the work of Meher Baba, and attempted to translate Baba’s teachings into music. Recording on the album began in September 1968, but took six months to complete as material needed to be arranged and re-recorded in the studio. Tommy was acclaimed upon its release by critics, who hailed it as the Who’s breakthrough. Its critical standing diminished slightly in later years; nonetheless, several writers view it as an important and influential album in the history of rock music. The Who promoted the album’s release with an extensive tour, including a live version of Tommy, which lasted throughout 1969 and 1970. Key gigs from the tour included appearances at Woodstock, the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, the University of Leeds, the Metropolitan Opera House and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. The live performances of Tommy drew critical praise and rejuvenated the band’s career.

Subsequently, the rock opera developed into other media, including a Seattle Opera production in 1971, an orchestral version by Lou Reizner in 1972, a film in 1975, and a Broadway musical in 1992. The original album has sold 20 million copies and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

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Tommy has never had a definitive plot, but the following synopsis was published following the original album’s release.

British Army Captain Walker goes missing during an expedition and is believed dead (“Overture”). His widow, Mrs. Walker, gives birth to their son, Tommy (“It’s a Boy”). Years later, Captain Walker returns home and discovers that his wife has found a new lover. The Captain murders this man in an altercation as Tommy watches. Tommy’s mother convinces him that he did not see or hear the incident and must never tell anyone about it; as a result, he becomes deaf, dumb, and blind to the outside world (“1921”). Tommy now relies on his sense of touch and imagination, developing a fascinating inner psyche (“Amazing Journey/Sparks”).

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A quack claims his wife can cure Tommy (“The Hawker”), while Tommy’s parents are increasingly frustrated that he will never find religion in the midst of his isolation (“Christmas”). They begin to neglect him, leaving him to be tortured by his sadistic “Cousin Kevin” and molested by his uncle Ernie (“Fiddle About”). The Hawker’s drug addicted wife, “The Acid Queen”, gives Tommy a dose of LSD, causing a hallucinogenic experience that is expressed musically (“Underture”).

As Tommy grows older, he discovers that he can feel vibrations sufficiently well to become an expert pinball player (“Pinball Wizard”). His parents take him to a respected doctor (“There’s a Doctor”), who determines that the boy’s disabilities are psychosomatic rather than physical. Tommy is told by the Doctor to “Go to the Mirror!”, and his parents notice he can stare at his reflection. After seeing Tommy spend extended periods staring at a mirror in the house, his mother smashes it out of frustration (“Smash the Mirror”). This removes Tommy’s mental block, and he recovers his senses, realising he can become a powerful leader (“Sensation”). He starts a religious movement (“I’m Free”), which generates fervor among its adherents (“Sally Simpson”) and expands into a holiday camp (“Welcome” / “Tommy’s Holiday Camp”). However, Tommy’s followers ultimately reject his teachings and leave the camp (“We’re Not Gonna Take It”). Tommy retreats inward again (“See Me, Feel Me”) with his “continuing statement of wonder at that which encompasses him”.

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Townshend had been looking at ways of progressing beyond the standard three minute pop single format since 1966. Co-manager Kit Lambert shared Townshend’s views and encouraged him to develop musical ideas coming up with the term “rock opera”. The first use of the term was applied to a suite called “Quads”, set in a future where parents could choose the sex of their children. A couple want four girls but instead receive three girls and a boy, raising him as a girl anyway. The opera was abandoned after writing a single song, the hit single, “I’m a Boy”. When the Who’s second album, A Quick One ran short of material during recording, Lambert suggested that Townshend should write a “mini-opera” to fill the gap. Townshend initially objected, but eventually agreed to do so, coming up with “A Quick One, While He’s Away”, which joined short pieces of music together into a continuous narrative.[6] During 1967, Townshend learned how to play the piano and began writing songs on it, taking his work more seriously.[7] That year’s The Who Sell Out included a mini-opera in the last track, “Rael”, which like “A Quick One…” was a suite of musical segments joined together.[8] A portion of “Rael” is the basis of the Tommy instrumental track “Sparks”.

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By 1968, Townshend was unsure about how the Who should progress musically. The group were no longer teenagers, but he wanted their music to remain relevant. His friend, International Times art director Mike McInnerney, told him about the Indian spiritual mentor Meher Baba, and Townshend became fascinated with Baba’s values of compassion, love and introspection. The Who’s commercial success was on the wane after the single “Dogs” failed to make the top 20, and there was a genuine risk of the band breaking up. Live performances remained strong, and the group spent most of the spring and summer touring the US and Canada but their stage act relied on Townshend smashing his guitar or Moon demolishing his drums, which kept the group in debt. Townshend and Lambert realised they needed a larger vehicle for their music than hit singles, and a new stage show, and Townshend hoped to incorporate his love of Baba into this concept. He decided that the Who should record a series of songs that stood well in isolation, but formed a cohesive whole on the album. He also wanted the material performed in concert, to counteract the trend of bands like the Beatles and the Beach Boys, whose studio output was not designed for live performance.

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In August 1968, in an interview to Rolling Stone, Townsend talked about a new rock opera, which had the working title of Deaf, Dumb and Blind Boy, and described the entire plot in great detail, which ran to 11 pages. Who biographer Dave Marsh subsequently said the interview described the narrative better than the finished album. Townshend later regretted publishing so much detail, as he felt it forced him to write the album according to that blueprint. The rest of the Who, however, were enthusiastic about the idea, and let him have artistic control over the Project.

The Who started recording the album at IBC Studios on 19 September 1968. There was no firm title at this point, which was variously referred to as Deaf, Dumb and Blind Boy, Amazing Journey, Journey into Space, The Brain Opera and Omnibus. Townshend eventually settled on Tommy because it was a common British name, and a nickname for soldiers in World War I. Lambert took charge of the production, with Damon Lyon-Shaw as engineer. Sessions were block booked from 2pm – 10pm, but recording often spilled over into the early morning.

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The album was recorded onto eight track tape, which allowed various instruments to be overdubbed. Townshend used several guitars in the studio, but made particular use of the Gibson J-200 acoustic and the Gibson SG.[24] As well as their usual instruments, Townshend played piano and organ and bassist John Entwistle doubled on french horn. Keith Moon used a new double bass drum kit owned by roadie Tony Haslam, after Premier had refused to loan him any more equipment due to continual abuse.[22] Though Townshend wrote the majority of the material, the arrangements came from the entire band. Singer Roger Daltrey later said that Townshend often came in with a half-finished demo recording, adding “we probably did as much talking as we did recording, sorting out arrangements and things.” Townshend asked Entwistle to write two songs (“Cousin Kevin” and “Fiddle About”) that covered the darker themes of bullying and abuse. “Tommy’s Holiday Camp” was Moon’s suggestion of what religious movement Tommy could lead. Moon got the songwriting credit for suggesting the idea, though the music was composed and played by Townshend. A significant amount of material had a lighter style than earlier recordings, with greater prominence put on the vocals. Moon later said, “It was, at the time, very un-Wholike. A lot of the songs were soft. We never played like that.”

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Some of the material had already been written for other projects. “Sensation” was written about a girl Townshend had met on the Who’s tour of Australia in early 1968, “Welcome” and “I’m Free” were about peace found through Meher Baba and “Sally Simpson” was based on a gig with the Doors which was marred by violence.[28] Other songs had been previously recorded by the Who and were recycled; “It’s A Boy” was derived from “Glow Girl”, an out-take from The Who Sell Out, while “Sparks” and “Underture” re-used and expanded one of the instrumental themes in “Rael”. “Amazing Journey” was, according to Townshend, “the absolute beginning” of the opera and summarised the entire plot. “The Hawker” was a cover of Mose Allison’s “Eyesight to the Blind” (written by Sonny Boy Williamson). A cover of Mercy Dee Walton’s “One Room Country Shack” was also recorded but was scrapped from the final track listing as Townshend could not figure out a way to incorporate it in the plot.

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Recording at IBC was slow, due to a lack of a full plot and a full selection of songs. The group hoped that the album would be ready by Christmas, but sessions dragged on. Melody Maker’s Chris Welch visited IBC studios in November and while he was impressed with the working environment and the material,  the project still did not have a title and there was no coherent plotline. The Who’s US record company got so impatient waiting for new product that they released the compilation album Magic Bus: The Who on Tour which received a scathing review from Greil Marcus in Rolling Stone over its poor selection of material and misleading name (as the album contained studio recordings and was not live).

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The Who took a break from recording at the end of 1968 to tour, including a well received appearance at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus on 10 December.[33] They resumed sessions at IBC in January 1969, block booking Monday to Thursday, but had to do gigs every weekend to stop going further into debt. A major tour was booked for the end of April, and the group’s management insisted that the album would have to be finished by then, as it had been well over a year since The Who Sell Out. Lambert wrote a script, Tommy (1914–1984) which he professionally printed, and gave copies to the band, which helped them focus the storyline, and also decide to make the album a double. The group were still coming up with new material; Lambert insisted that the piece should have a proper overtur,  while Townshend wrote “Pinball Wizard” so that Nik Cohn, a pinball fan, would give the album a favourable review in the New York Times. Lambert wanted an orchestra to appear on the album, but Townshend was strongly against the idea, and time and budget constraints meant it could not happen anyway.

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By March 1969, some songs had been recorded several times, yet Townshend still thought there were missing pieces. Entwistle had become fed up with recording, later saying “we had to keep going back and rejuvenating the numbers … it just started to drive us mad.” The final recording session took place on 7 March, the same day that “Pinball Wizard” was released as a single. The group started tour rehearsals and promotional activities for the single and Lambert went on holiday in Cairo. The mixing was left to Lyon-Shaw and assistant engineer Ted Sharp, who did not think IBC was well suited for the Task. The album overshot its April deadline, as stereo mastering continued into the end of the month. (by wikipedia)

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The full-blown rock opera about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy that launched the band to international superstardom, written almost entirely by Pete Townshend. Hailed as a breakthrough upon its release, its critical standing has diminished somewhat in the ensuing decades because of the occasional pretensions of the concept and because of the insubstantial nature of some of the songs that functioned as little more than devices to advance the rather sketchy plot. Nonetheless, the double album has many excellent songs, including “I’m Free,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Sensation,” “Christmas,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” and the dramatic ten-minute instrumental “Underture.” Though the album was slightly flawed, Townshend’s ability to construct a lengthy conceptual narrative brought new possibilities to rock music. Despite the complexity of the project, he and the Who never lost sight of solid pop melodies, harmonies, and forceful instrumentation, imbuing the material with a suitably powerful grace. (by Richie Unterberger)

This is a great example of a most imperfect 5 star album. Find all the flaws you can and it remains one of the most impressive rock albums ever made. (Howard Sauertieg)

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Personnel:
Roger Daltrey (vocals, harmonica)
John Entwistle (bass, french horn, vocals)
Keith Moon (drums, Percussion)

Pete Townshend (vocals, guitar, Keyboards, banjo)

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Tracklist:
01. Overture (Townshend) 3.50
02. It’s a Boy (Townshend) 2.07
03. 1921 (Townshend) 3.14
04. Amazing Journey (Townshend) 3.025
05. Sparks (Townshend) 3.45
06. The Hawker (Williamson) 2.15
07. Christmas (Townshend) 5.30
08. Cousin Kevin (Entwistle) 4.03
09. The Acid Queen (Townshend) 3.34
10. Underture (Townshend) 10.04
11. Do You Think It’s Alright? (Townshend) 0.25
12. Fiddle About (Entwistle) 1.31
13. Pinball Wizard (Townshend) 3.01
14. There’s A Doctor (Townshend) 0.24
15, Go To The Mirror! (Townshend) 3.38
16. Tommy Can You Hear Me? (Townshend) 1.36
17. Smash the Mirror (Townshend) 1.35
18. Sensation (Townshend) 2.29
19. Miracle Cure (Townshend) 0.13
20. Sally Simpson (Townshend) 4.11
21. I’m Free (Townshend) 2.39
22. Welcome (Townshend) 4.33
23. Tommy’s Holiday Camp (Moon) 0.57
24. We’re Not Gonna Take It (Townshend) 3.28
25. See Me, Feel Me (Townshend) 3.42

(Though later released as a single, “See Me, Feel Me” was not a track in its own right on the original album, and is included as the latter half of “We’re not Gonna Take It”.)

+ the bonus disc (The first twelve tracks are out-takes and demos and the last five are stereo-only demos.)
01. I Was (Townshend) 0.17
02. Christmas (Outtake 3) (Townshend) 4.43
03. Cousin Kevin Model Child (Townshend) 1.25
04. Young Man Blues (Version one) (Allison) 2.51
05. Tommy Can You Hear Me? (Alternate version) (Townshend)  1.59
06. Trying To Get Through (Townshend) 2.51
07. Sally Simpson (Outtake) 4.09
08. Miss Simpson (Townshend) 4.18
09. Welcome (Take two) (Townshend) 3.44
10, Tommy’s Holiday Camp (Band’s version) (Townshend) 1.07
11. We’re Not Gonna Take It (Alternate version) (Townshend) 6.08
12, Dogs (Part Two) (Moon) 2.26
13. It’s a Boy (Townshend) 0.43
14. Amazing Journey (Townshend) 3.41
15. Christmas (Townshend) 1.55
16. Do You Think It’s Alright (Townshend) 0.28
17. Pinball Wizard (Townshend) 3.46

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John Fahey – Zabriskie Point Sessions (1969)

FrontCover1The Story, basically… In 1969, John Fahey was asked (and paid) to compose music for director Michelangelo Antonioni’s film, Zabriskie Point. Fahey flew to Rome, tinkered around, recorded some solo guitar, and had some additional recording sessions with various musicians. Fahey got into a fight with Antonioni during a dinner, and his recordings were scrapped in favor of other artists – although an edited version of an old Fahey song was included in the film. History aside, here we have John Fahey playing some nice solo guitar for 50 minutes. It’s good stuff, enjoy. (by badpainter)

Zabriekie Notes, from John Fahey:
(from John Fahey’s book “How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life”)

“If I had to do it all over again, I honestly don’t know whether I would do it or not. I did make a lot of money. But it wasn’t any fun. I’ll tell you that.”

MoviePoster“I played and improvised and worked out on the guitar for many, many hours. I had the guitar fixed so the low A string was where the B string should be and vice versa, and I put it at a random tuning. It was harmonicallly in tune but was scordatura, that is, detuned. That way I would get a unique sound. And furthermore nobody would ever be able to figure out how I did it. And I played and played and played until I came up with a reasonable facsimile of some desert young-death-love music”

“I had a closed session of just me and an engineer. And with my detuned guitar, I made three takes of Antonioni gangbang, young-love obscenity music out on the desert…”

“When I first recorded with just my guitar, the third take was just what I think the Big Ant (Antionioni) wants. I have listened to it again and again and it’s really good… I had a copy of the third take made, see, and I’ve heard it time and time again and it’s great.”

The Antonioni Fiasco, by Byron Coley (Spin magazine, 1994):

“To assemble the soundtrack, Michaelangelo Antonioni (the director) reportedly asked various American hippies what music they liked.

‘Zabrieski Point’ features one particularly long sequence with couples making love in the desert, and this is the one Antonioni wanted Fahey to score.”

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Fahey, 1994: “Antonioni says ‘What I want you to do is to compose some music that will go along with the porno scene.’ I kept saying, ‘Yes, sir.’ Then he starts this, ‘Now John, this is young love. Young love.’ I mean, that’s young love? All these bodies? ‘Young love. But John, it’s in the desert, where there’s death. But it’s young love.’

He kept going ‘young love/death’ faster and faster. I was sure I was talking to a madman.

So I experimented. I had instrumentalists come in and I told them just to play whatever they felt like. They had to pretend to understand what I was talking about, especially if Antonioni came in the room.

I came up with some sections of music that sounded more like death than young love. I played it for Michaelangelo and he thought it was great.”

John Fahey

Alas, it seems that after the music was all agreed, there was a celebratory dinner, and as the wine flowed the discussion turned heated. Antonioni began explaining to Fahey how he hated the USA. Fahey made him govern his Marxist malevolence.

Antonioni took offence and couldn’t understand why Fahey wasn’t part of the revolution which was engulfing the nation at the time. They had reached the point of no return.

Fahey left, and Antonioni, strangely, ditched the composed music and just used the first 3 minutes of “Dance of Death” instead.

What happened to the stuff with the instrumentalists playing whatever they felt like, and who were they anyway? What we have left to us is just Fahey alone, as usual, but sounding very subdued.

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Elsewhere, Fahey has said: “This stupid film is in the book ‘The 100 Worst Ever Films Made’. It deserves inclusion.”

Thanks to badpainter for sharing the tracks at Dime.

Michaelangelo Antonioni


Personnel:

John Fahey (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Track 1 10.49
02. Track 2 18.39
03. Track 3 17.18

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Music composed by John Fahey

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Al Kooper – You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (1969)

FrontCover1You Never Know Who Your Friends Are is the second solo album by American multi-instrumentalist Al Kooper, issued in 1969 on Columbia Records.

Kooper wasted no time recording this album, coming just seven months after his debut release. It is a continuation of sorts of his debut; the album contains another eclectic mix of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, pop, and blues, though without the psychedelics that had somewhat permeated through I Stand Alone. Utilizing a large group of musicians under the direction of Charlie Calello, known collectively as “The Al Kooper Big Band”, Kooper also strayed away from the heavy string orchestrations of his debut.

Relying on more original compositions, with nine of twelve tracks by Kooper, and the remaining three by Harry Nilsson and Motown Records staff songwriters, the album further helped to cement Kooper’s reputation. The album reached #125 on the Billboard 200 on October 25, 1969, and was on the charts for six weeks. (by wikipedia)

AlKooper02Al Kooper’s second solo album is a bit more uneven than its predecessor, I Stand Alone, for understandable reasons — it would have been nothing less than a miracle for Kooper to have matched the consistency and daring of that album, and he doesn’t have quite the same array of memorable tunes here. He’s still ranging freely, however, through pop, jazz, R&B, and soul, with some songs that are among the most glorious of his output. “Magic in My Sock” is a good enough opener, making up in its virtuoso horn parts and guitar for what it lacks in melodic invention; “Lucille” is hardly the best ballad that Kooper has ever written, but it forms a good bridge to “Too Busy Thinkin’ About My Baby,” a Motown cover that’s one of the highlights of Kooper’s entire output — from a black singer this track would be a priceless gem, but coming from Kooper it’s extraordinary in its every nuance. You get some blues instrumental (principally piano-based) and an abortive but entertaining effort at pop/rock with the title tune, and then Kooper plunges into arty balladry with the hauntingly beautiful “The Great American Marriage/Nothing.” He goes back into Motown territory, just as successful as before, on “I Don’t Know Why I Love You,” and back to moody art-song with Harry Nilsson’s “Mourning Glory Story.” Kooper returns to the soulful side of rock on “Anna Lee (What Can I Do for You)” and finishes with “I’m Never Gonna Let You Down” — the latter would be worth the price of the album by itself, a soaring, more lyrical and moody original classic that manages to be unpretentious yet epic in its treatment. by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Ralph Casale (guitar)
Eric Gale (guitar)
Paul Griffin (keyboards)
Ernie Hayes (keyboards)
Jerry Jemmott (bass)
Al Kooper (keyboards, guitar, ondioline, vocals)
John Miller (bass)
Frank Owens (keyboards)
“Pretty” Purdie (drums)
Chuck Rainey (bass)
Al Rodgers (drums)
Stu Scharf (guitar)
Walter Sears (synthesizer)
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trumpet:
Bernie Glow – Ernie Royal – Marvin Stamm

trombone:
Ray Desio – Jimmy Knepper – Bill Watrous – Tony Studd

saxophone:
George Young – Sol Schlinger – Seldon Powell – Joe Farrell

background vocals:
Hilda Harris – Connie Zimet – Albertine Harris – Lois Winter – Mike Gately – Lou Christie – Robert John – Charlie Calello

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Tracklist:
01. Magic In My Socks (Kooper) 3,57
02. Lucille )Kooper) 3.29
03. Too Busy Thinkin’ ’bout My Baby (Whitfield/Bradford) 3.24
04. First Time Around (Kooper) 2.52
05. Loretta (Union Turnpike Eulogy) (Kooper) 3.51
06. Blues, Part IV (Blues) 5.08
07. You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Kooper) 2.56
08. The Great American Marriage / Nothing (Kooper) 4.51
09. I Don’t Know Why I Love You (Hardaway/Hunter/Riser/Wonder) 3.25
10. Mourning Glory Story (Nilsson) 2.19
11. Anna Lee (What Can I Do for You) (Kooper) 3.20
12. I’m Never Gonna Let You Down (Kooper) 4.38

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Les McCann & Eddie Harris – Swiss Movement (1969)

FrontCover1Swiss Movement is a soul jazz live album recorded on June 21, 1969 at The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland by the Les McCann trio with saxophonist Eddie Harris and trumpeter Benny Bailey.[2][3] The album was a hit record, as was the accompanying single “Compared to What”, with both selling millions of units.

The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best jazz performance, small group.[6] It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s jazz album chart, No. 2 on the R&B chart, and No. 29 on the LP chart.
A Billboard writer commented in 2006 that “what put Montreux on the recorded-live-in-concert map was the legendary Swiss Movement album”.
The tapes of this impromptu concert were originally recorded by the festival’s organisers and then passed on to Atlantic, who decided to release them after paying a fee of less than 100 dollars. (by wikipedia)

Something of a happy accident, this recording from the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival has actually become one of the most talked about, exhilarating and fun live jazz performances ever captured on wax.

The session (on the last night of the festival) was a truly impromptu event – this particular line up had never played together before and at least half of the group had no idea what material they were going to play as they took the stage!

Kicking off with Gene McDaniels’; ‘Compared To What’, vocalist & pianist Les McCann sings this topical rant against Nixon and the Vietnam war over a funky backbeat. Horn men Eddie Harris and Benny Bailey take turns to blow some down home blues in between verses, surprisingly holding together brilliantly what was nothing more than a jam session to great effect.

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The Harris original “Cold Duck Time” continues with a similar feel, an extrapolated blues vamp in the key of F. This simple good-time approach may not have pleased those with more critical ears, but the sound of the enthusiastic crowd prove that an up-tempo groove with some spirited blowing was exactly what the audience wanted to hear.

‘Kathleen’s Theme’ swings in a more straight ahead approach and gives Harris’s tenor the opportunity to investigate the intricacies of the melody – before the gospel based ‘You Got It In Your Soulness’ takes us right back to funky soul-jazz territory. McCann probes into the piece with his spiky, articulated piano chords and solo lines whilst drummer Donald Dean provides a sanctified back beat that reminds us of the church roots of much jazz & blues music.

Montreux1969The more contemplative and modal piece “The Generation Gap” provides a brief respite from the blues before the final track (not included on the original vinyl issue of the date). ‘Kaftan’ written by bassist Leroy Vinnegar is a pleasing if not overwhelming jaunt with a mildly afro-Cuban feel. Swiss Movement has long been a sought after collectors piece and the addition of expansive sleeve notes and anecdotes from the musicians involved makes this anniversary edition a great live recording to enjoy once again – 35 years after this very happening event. (by Greg Boraman)

One of the most popular soul jazz albums of all time, and one of the best, although Harris (and trumpeter Benny Bailey) had never played or rehearsed with the Les McCann Trio before, and indeed wasn’t even given the music. Perhaps that’s what sparked the spontaneous funk coming through clearly on the tape of this show, recorded at the Montreux Festival in 1969. It’s actually much more of a showcase for McCann than Harris, although the tenor saxist’s contributions are significant. The sole vocal, a version of Gene McDaniels’ “Compared to What,” remains McCann’s signature tune. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Benny Bailey (trumpet)
Donald Dean (drums)
Eddie Harris (saxophone)
Les McCann (piano, vocals on 01.)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)

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 Tracklist:
01: Compared to What (McDaniels)
02. Cold Duck Time (Harris)
03. Kathleen’s Theme (McCann)
04. You Got It In Your Soulness (McCann)
05. The Generation Gap (McCann)
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06. Kaftan (Vinnegar)

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Lee Michaels – Same (1969)

LPFrontCover1An eclectic singer, songwriter, and performer, Lee Michaels made music that had the physical impact of hard rock, the creative ambition of psychedelia and progressive rock, and the passion and grit of rhythm & blues, the latter facet reinforced by Michaels’ vocals, which could swing from sweet to soulfully gritty at a moment’s notice. Michaels was also a gifted keyboard player, and often played full concerts at the organ with only a drummer to accompany him. (Michaels was also a sure hand at the piano and harpsichord.) One could argue that Michaels’ wide-ranging sound was one of the reasons he didn’t enjoy greater commercial success despite the loyalty of his audience, though Michaels did enjoy a Top Ten hit in 1971 with “Do You Know What I Mean.”

Lee Eugene Michaels was born on November 24, 1945, in Los Angeles, California. By the mid-’60s, Michaels was already a fixture on the California music scene; he was playing keyboards with the Sentinels, a surf rock band with an R&B influence that also featured John Barbata (who later played with the Turtles), and he wrote a tune that appeared on LeeMichaels04the debut album of the sunshine pop band the Holy Mackerel (featuring songwriter and media personality Paul Williams). Michaels later moved on to play in the band the Strangers, led by future Canned Heat guitarist Joel Scott Hill. Michaels soon bowed out of the Strangers, and his tenure in the Family Tree, a San Francisco band featuring future power pop icon Bob Segarini, was also short-lived, though Michaels opted to stay in the Bay Area. In time, Michaels struck out as a solo artist, and he landed a record deal with A&M Records, which released his debut album, Carnival of Life, in 1968. The psychedelic-influenced effort produced only marginal sales, and Michaels returned with the tougher-sounding Recital before the year was out.

Musically, Michaels hit his stride with his self-titled third album, released in 1969, which paired him with drummer Barry “Frosty” Smith and featured “Heighty Hi,” which became an FM radio staple, and Michaels’ signature cover of “Stormy Monday.” Frosty became Michaels’ on-stage foil, and his super-amped organ setup and Frosty’s drumming LeeMichaels03made for a power duo with enough muscle to share stages with the leading hard rock acts of the day. (by Mark Deming)

One of the masterpieces of the period, Lee Michaels was essentially recorded live in the studio by only Michaels (organ/bass pedals) and Frosty on drums. It’s a fabulous performance and one of the finest R&B/rock sets of the period. The first side is comprised of a medley of soulful workouts that come out sounding not unlike Led Zeppelin. Here, Michaels pulls out all the stops (literally) and showcases the organ as a bona fide rock instrument. Despite the lengthy drum solo, it’s one of the finest sides of Los Angeles rock & roll. Michaels also reprises “My Friends,” a song from his first album, to great effect. Lee Michaels is also home to the good-time, pro-drug anthem “Highty Hi,” as well as an awesome cover of “Stormy Monday.” A true party platter. (by Matthew Greenwald)

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Personnel:
Lee Michaels (keyboards, vocals, bass)
Bartholomew Smith Frost (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Tell Me How Do You Feel (Mayfield/Charles) 5.59
02. (Don’t Want No) Woman (Smith-Frost) 1.57
03. My Friends (Smith-Frost) 5.59
04. Frosty’s + Think I’ll Go Back (Smih-Frost/Michaels) 9.14
05. Stormy Monday (Walker) 5.11
06. Who Could Want More (Michaels) 3.41
07. Want My Baby (Michaels) 2.56
08. Heighty Hi (Michaels) 5.57
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09. Tell Me How Do You Feel (complete session uncut version) 20.2

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Single from Germany (1969)

 

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