Syrinx – Same (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgI found a very personal review about this debut album of Syrinx:

It’s hard to describe what a deep and massive impact I got from this record. Syrinx were active only for two years from 1970 to 1972, but their legacy contains 2 LPs and one 7inch and it’s really indelible. I will try to tell you about the first Syrinx’ album, which is their best in my opinion. I’m trying to avoid this dusty, flacid and absolutely useless word Record in this occasion. The trio of maestro John Mills-Cockell, Alan Wells and Doug Pringle created a stream of Universal energy, powerful, tender and intimate at the same time. All seven songs-pearls are the embodiment of eternity, hope and despair. And what is the most intertesting: the album sounds absolutely solid, it is the canvas of the highest mark, which can be viewed from any angle, you can wallow in it, as in a waterfall. You feel yourself in the place, where some sort of ritual is happening, you hear quiet whisper of the wind, gigantic mountains are talking about ancient times, forest is echoing. Syrinx LP is the album of size of the Life for me.

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You will back to it again and again after the first listen. There are absolute freedom and purification along with the feeling af unbelievable drama and otherworldly eternity at the same time in the Moog-messages of Mills-Cockell. Their music is from the era of real emotions, Syrinx are drawing their masterpiece not about pointless and pathetic emotions. The song of Syrinx is about Eternal. (by krossfingers.com)

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Personnel:
John Mills-Cockell (keyboards, synthesizer)
Doug Pringle (saxophone)
Alan Wells (drums, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Melina’s Torch 2.59
02. Journey Tree 4.51
03. Chant For Your Dragon King 10.26
04. Field Hymn 1.49
05. Hollywood Dream Trip 4.59
06. Father Of Light 2.03
07. Appalosa – Pegasus 11.17

Music composed by John Mills-Cockell

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More about Syrinx here

Aretha Franklin – Live At The Jazzfestival Antibes (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgAretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and pianist. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1966, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”, and “Spanish Harlem”.

By the end of the 1960s she was being called “The Queen of Soul”. Franklin recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Young, Gifted and Black (1972) and Amazing Grace (1972), before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, she left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with the albums Jump to It (1982) and Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985), and her part in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1998, Franklin received international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma” at the Grammy Awards that year, replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that year, she scored her final Top 40 song with “A Rose Is Still a Rose”.

Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin’s other well-known hits include “Rock Steady”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 through to 1975, and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Aretha Franklin01Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, she was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists by Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

After being raised in Detroit, Franklin relocated to New York City in the 1960s, where she lived until moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. She eventually settled in Encino, Los Angeles where she lived until 1982. She then returned to the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to be close to her ailing father and siblings. Franklin maintained a residence there until her death. Following an incident in 1984, she cited a fear of flying that prevented her from traveling overseas; she performed only in North America afterwards. Franklin was the mother of four sons. She first became pregnant at the age of 12 (!) and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, on January 28, 1955. According to the news site Inquisitr, “The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school.” On January 22, 1957, then aged 14 (!), Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan. Franklin did not like to discuss her early pregnancies with interviewers.

Both children took her family name. While Franklin was pursuing her career and “hanging out with [friends]”, Franklin’s grandmother Rachel and sister Erma took turns raising the children. Franklin would visit them often. Franklin’s third child, Ted White Jr., was born in February 1964 and is known professionally as Teddy Richards. He has provided guitar backing for his mother’s band during live concerts. Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham was born in 1970 and is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.

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Franklin was married twice. Her first husband was Theodore “Ted” White, whom she married in 1961 at age 19. Franklin had actually seen White the first time at a party held at her house in 1954. After a contentious marriage that involved domestic violence, Franklin separated from White in 1968, divorcing him in 1969. Franklin then married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, on April 11, 1978 at her father’s church. By marrying Turman, Franklin became stepmother of Turman’s three children from a previous marriage. Franklin and Turman separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and they divorced in 1984. At one point, Franklin had plans to marry her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson. Franklin and Wilkerson had had two previous engagements stretching back to 1988. Franklin eventually called the 2012 engagement off. Franklin’s sisters, Erma and Carolyn, were professional musicians as well and spent years performing background vocals on Franklin’s recordings. Following Franklin’s divorce from Ted White, her brother Cecil became her manager, and maintained that position until his death from lung cancer on December 26, 1989. Sister Carolyn died the previous year in April 1988 from breast cancer, while eldest sister Erma died from throat cancer in September 2002. Franklin’s step-brother Vaughn died two months after Erma in late 2002. Her half-sister, Carl Kelley (née Jennings; born 1940) is C. L. Franklin’s daughter by Mildred Jennings, a then 12-year-old congregant of New Salem Baptist Church in Memphis, where C. L. was pastor.

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In 2010, Franklin canceled a number of concerts, after she decided to have surgery for an undisclosed tumor. Discussing the surgery in 2011, she quoted her doctor as saying that it would “add 15 to 20 years” to her life. She denied that the ailment had anything to do with pancreatic cancer, as had been rumored. On May 19, 2011, Franklin had her comeback show in the Chicago Theatre. In May 2013, she canceled two performances to deal with an undisclosed medical treatment. Later the same month, she canceled three June concerts and planned to return to perform in July. A show scheduled for July 27 in Clarkston, Michigan was canceled due to continued medical treatment. In addition, she canceled an appearance at a Major League Baseball luncheon in Chicago honoring her commitment to civil rights on August 24. She also canceled a performance of September 21 in Atlanta due to her health recovery. During a phone interview with the Associated Press in late August 2013, Franklin stated that she had a “miraculous” recovery from her undisclosed illness but had to cancel shows and appearances until her health was at 100%, estimating she was about “85% healed”. Franklin later returned to live performing, including a 2013 Christmas concert at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel. She launched a multi-city tour in mid-2014, starting with a performance on June 14 in New York at Radio City Music Hall.

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In 2017, Franklin canceled a series of concerts due to health reasons. During an outdoor Detroit show, she asked the audience to “keep me in your prayers”. In July 2017, Franklin reemerged, appearing to have lost more weight before a performance at the Wolf Trap in Virginia. In 2018, she canceled a series of shows, citing doctor’s orders. Franklin’s final performance was at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City during Elton John’s 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation on November 7, 2017.

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit. She was reported to be under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, and ex-husband Glynn Turman, among others, visited her on her deathbed. Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76. The cause was reported to be pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. Numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry and politicians paid tribute to Franklin, including former U.S. president Barack Obama who said she “helped define the American experience”. Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton called her a “civil rights and humanitarian icon”.

A private funeral was arranged for August 31, following a two-day public viewing of Franklin’s casket at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. (by wikipedia)

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To honor this great woman … here´s a rare live broadcast recording from 1970, recorded live at the Jazzfestival Antibes/France.

Thanks to cosmikd for sharing the show at Dime.

Recorded live at the Festival de Jazz d’Antibes, Juan-les-Pins,
Antibes, France; July 21, 1970. Very good FM broadcast.

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Personnel:
Hindel Butts (drums)
Aretha Franklin (piano, vocals)
Leslie Harvey (guitar)
Melvin Jackson (bass)
Ted Sheely (piano)
Truman Thomas (organ)
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trumpets:
Donald Towns – John Wilson – Charles Horse – Clay Robinson

trombones:
Chancey Outcalt – René Pitts

saxophones:
Louis Barnett – Miller Brisker – Donald Walden – Charlie Gabriel

background vocals:
Evelyn Green, – Almeta Latimer – Wyline Ivy

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Tracklist:
01. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger/Richards) 3.03
02. Respect (Redding) 3.15
03. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Goffin/King/Wexler) 4.18
04. I Say A Little Prayer (Bacharach/David) 4:31
05. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3.10
06. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone (Franklin/White) 4.54
07. Tighten Up Your Tie, Button Up Your Jacket (Make It For The Door) (Dawn) 1.53
08. Put On A Happy Face (Adams/Strouse) 2.26
09. A Brand New Me (Gamble/Bell/Butler) 3.04
10. Doctor Feelgood (Franklin/White) 4.36
11. You Send Me (Cooke) 5.23
12. Spirit In The Dark (Franklin) 11.41

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Aretha Franklin:
25th March 1942 Memphis, Tennessee, USA
16th August 2018 Detroit, Michigan, USA

REST IN PEACE !

No To Co – So What (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgPopular Polish folk-rock band of late 60s-early 70s, No To Co was a brainchild of Piotr Janczerski (born Piotr Janik). Janczerski started musical career in 1962 as a compere for Niebiesko Czarni (->), Polish pioneering beat group. By 1964 became one of their lead singers. In 1967 founded a skiffle band with Jerzy Grunwald. Being a Niebiesko Czarni’s side project at the beginning, newly formed aggregation made it’s first own TV appearance on December 1st 1967, playing a blend of beat, skiffle and Polish folklore music. Band’s name No To Co (‘So What’) was chosen from more that 5000 ones suggested by TV viewers. Jerzy Krzeminski, Jan Stefanek, Jerzy Rybinski, Aleksander Kawecki and Bogdan Borkowski completed line-up.

Winning musical formula of Polish folklore music being arranged in beat and skiffle tradition plus suitable image made No To Co an overnight nationwide success. Within 1968 alone band played more that 200 dates, appeared in 3 movies, recorded one LP and several chart-topping singles, made 19 radio sessions! Won grand prix at national song festival in Opole. 170000 copies of their debut album were sold within 4 month of release. Enjoyed big success at festival in Montreaux, Switzerland the same year.

In 1969 toured France, Hungary, USSR, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and USA. Been pronounced ‘the most popular Polish band in the USA’ in Chicago in June same year – a rather curious fact, immortalized with the golden medal. Much more vital was the prize from Polish Ministry of Culture, July 1969.

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1970 brought more successful tours of France, Canada, USA, Britain and socialist countries. Won grand prix at the national song festival in Opole with ‘Po ten kwiat czerwony’ (‘The Red Flower’) and ‘Te opolskie dziouchy’ (‘Those Opole Girls’). However, the original line-up broke-up later that year with departure of Grunwald.

Band’s career in homeland almost folded with departure of Janczerski in 1971. Others carried on for some time with Krzeminski as the new leader. Released one album for East German ‘Amiga’ label (1972) and two LPs for ‘Melodija’ in USSR (1973) before finally calling it a day. (green-brain-krautrock.de)

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And this is their third abum, the first with english vocals (even the liner notes was in english) and it´s real crazy album … a crazy mix between tradional polish songs and some internation tunes like “See See Rider” Or “Gimme Some Lovin´” … and this old Spencer Davis Group song is a highlight of this album … we hear a real great prog-rock version including an impressive bass-solo !!!

Another prog-rock song is “Saturday To Sunday ” … sounds like a little psychedelic trip !

This is a treasure from the early days of beat and rock behind the iron curtain !

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Personnel:
Bogdan Borkowski (banjo(guitar/harmonica, vocals)
Jerzy Grunwald (guitar, vocals)
Piotr Janczerski (vocals)
Aleksander Kawecki (drums)
Jerzy Krzemiński (guitar, vocals)
Jerzy Rybiński (bass, vocals)
Jan Stefanek (saxophone, keyboards, violin)

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Tracklist:
01. Dark – Blue Water (Traditional/Wiecko) 2.46
02. Market – Place Rooster (Krzemiński/Janczerski/Zielinski) 2.30
03. So Far Away From You (Krzemiński/Kondratowicz/Bromski) 3.12
04. If You Want Me (Traditional/Wiecko) 1.31
05. See , See Rider (Traditional/Rainey) 3.58
06. Highland Melodies (Traditional/Bromski) 3.17
07. Brass Bands (Kawecki/Wiecko) 2.29
08. Farmer’s Song (Traditional/Wiecko) 1.48
09. Saturday To Sunday (Krzemiński/Kondratowicz/Zielinski) 3.16
10. Marinka (Laudan) 1.54
11. Give Me Some Of Loving (Winwood) 7.00
12. Oh, Baby Jane (Krzemiński/Wiecko) 2.25

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No To Co – still alive and well in 2018 !!!

Miles Davis – Big Fun (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgBig Fun is a compilation album by American jazz musician Miles Davis. It was released by Columbia Records on April 19, 1974, and compiled recordings Davis had made in sessions between 1969 and 1972. Largely ignored in 1974, it was reissued on August 1, 2000, by Columbia and Legacy Records with additional material, which led to a critical reevaluation. (by wikipedia)

Big Fun presents music from three different phases of Miles Davis’s early-seventies “electric” period.

Big Fun is one of the forgotten items in Miles Davis’s discography. Recorded with four different bands (one for each of its album-side-long cuts), it falls somewhere between the expansive soundscapes of Bitches Brew and the chugging, anarchic funk-noise of On The Corner. As Miles’s early-70s works are re-evaluated, and found to be far from the negligible sellout moves they were branded at the time of their initial release, this album’s reappearance is welcome indeed.

All of Davis’s 1970s studio albums were hewn from long jam sessions, held on as little as 24 hours’ notice with anywhere from five to eleven musicians. Three of the sessions which spawned Big Fun’s tracks were recorded in 1969, and one in 1972. (The reissue has been padded with four additional tracks from 1969, amounting to about 45 minutes of material, all of which is also available on the Bitches Brew 4-CD boxed set. Each of these tracks is moderately interesting, but none are as compelling as the original album cuts.)

Disc One begins with “Great Expectations,” a funk vamp featuring a thick bassline from Harvey Brooks. Ron Carter also plays bass on the track, but it is Brooks’s Fender electric which sets the tone for the piece. As with almost all of Miles’s material from these years, solos emerge from an overall groove rather than a chord progression; the music does not rise and fall as jazz, nor does it beat the listener over the head with the obtrusive crescendos of rock. Instead, like the early work of George Clinton’s Funkadelic, it ambles along at its own pace, each set of sounds arising organically from, and receding back into, the whole. “Ife,” the 22-minute cut which originally formed Side Two of the vinyl release, was recorded in 1972 and shows a marked aggressiveness, compared with the relatively mellow mood of the 1969-vintage “Great Expectations.”

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But it is not until “Go Ahead John,” the first cut on Disc Two, that aggression becomes a prime factor in the music. Though it dates from 1969, this cut, recorded with only a quintet, is the most forward-looking of all the original four Big Fun pieces. It begins with another thick groove, this one played by bassist Dave Holland, over which Steve Grossman plays a pleasant, if not astonishing, saxophone solo. About seven minutes in, though, John McLaughlin takes his solo, and the results are like nothing heard in jazz (or jazz-rock fusion) before or since. Producer Teo Macero drops McLaughlin and drummer Jack DeJohnette in and out of the soundmix repeatedly, creating a disorienting whapping sound in the listener’s ear from the drums, and causing McLaughlin to produce what has to go into the musical history books as one of the ugliest guitar solos ever to see release on a major record label. His guitar, already distorted, begins to vibrate and resonate in the ear like a dentist’s drill switched rapidly on and off. What he’s playing is not revolutionary, but the use (in 1969) of dub-like production techniques most definitely is. After this, even Miles himself (who takes the next solo) seems somehow deficient, not bringing as much innovation or aggression to the table as his producer and his guitarist. Certainly after “Go Ahead John,” the original album’s final cut, “Lonely Fire,” superb though it is, can only serve as anticlimax.

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Big Fun is being released in conjunction with Get Up With It and On The Corner, respectively one of Miles’s more beautiful albums (particularly “He Loved Him Madly,” a memorial to Duke Ellington) and probably the most controversial in his entire career. All three of these albums are, along with the other recordings from the 1970s, some of the most probing, insistently creative music Miles Davis ever made, and it is gratifying that they are finally getting the treatment they deserve. (by Phil Freeman)

Personnel:

much too much … today I´m to lazy to type all the musicians … sorry

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Tracklist:
01. Great Expectations 27.23
02. Ife 21.34
03. Recollections 18.55
04. Trevere 5.55
05. Go Ahead John 28.27
06. Lonely Fire 21.21
07. The Little Blue Frog 9.10
08. Yaphet 9.39

Music composed by Miles Davis

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Paul McCartney – McCartney (1970)

LPFrontCover1McCartney is the debut solo album by English rock musician Paul McCartney. It was issued on Apple Records in April 1970 after McCartney had resisted attempts by his Beatles bandmates to have the release delayed to allow for Apple’s previously scheduled titles, notably the band’s Let It Be album. McCartney recorded his album during a period of depression and confusion, following John Lennon’s private announcement in September 1969 that he was leaving the Beatles, and the conflict over its release further estranged McCartney from his bandmates. A press release in the form of a self-interview, supplied with UK promotional copies of McCartney, led to the announcement of the group’s break-up on 10 April 1970.

McCartney recorded the album in secrecy, mostly using basic home-recording equipment set up at his house in St John’s Wood. Mixing and some later recording took place at professional studios in London, which McCartney booked under an alias to maintain anonymity. Apart from occasional contributions by his wife, Linda, he performed the entire album by himself, playing every instrument via overdubbing on four-track tape. In its preference for loosely arranged performance over polished production, McCartney explored the back-to-basics style that had been the original concept for the Beatles’ Let It Be project (then titled Get Back) in 1969.

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On release, the album received an unfavourable response from the majority of music critics, partly as a result of McCartney’s role in officially ending the Beatles’ career. Many reviewers criticised the inclusion of half-finished songs and McCartney’s reliance on instrumental pieces, although the love song “Maybe I’m Amazed” was consistently singled out for praise. Commercially, McCartney benefited from the publicity surrounding the break-up; it held the number 1 position for three weeks on the US chart compiled by Billboard magazine and peaked at number 2 in Britain. In June 2011, the album was reissued as part of the Paul McCartney Archive Collection. (by wikpedia)

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Paul McCartney retreated from the spotlight of the Beatles by recording his first solo album at his home studio, performing nearly all of the instruments himself. Appropriately, McCartney has an endearingly ragged, homemade quality that makes even its filler — and there is quite a bit of filler — rather ingratiating. Only a handful of songs rank as full-fledged McCartney classics, but those songs — the light folk-pop of “That Would Be Something,” the sweet, gentle “Every Night,” the ramshackle Beatles leftover “Teddy Boy,” and the staggering “Maybe I’m Amazed” (not coincidentally the only rocker on the album) — are full of all the easy melodic charm that is McCartney’s trademark. The rest of the album is charmingly slight, especially if it is read as a way to bring Paul back to earth after the heights of the Beatles. At the time the throwaway nature of much of the material was a shock, but it has become charming in retrospect. Unfortunately, in retrospect it also appears as a harbinger of the nagging mediocrity that would plague McCartney’s entire solo career. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Linda McCartney (background vocals)
Paul McCartney (vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, percussion, wineglasses, mellotron, xylophone)

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Tracklist:
01. The Lovely Linda 0.43
02. That Would Be Something 2.38
03. Valentine Day 1.39
04. Every Night 2.31
05. Hot As Sun/Glasses 2.05
06. Junk 1.54
07. Man We Was Lonely 2.56
08. Oo You 2.48
09. Momma Miss America 4.04
10. Teddy Boy 2.22
11. Singalong Junk 2.34
12. Maybe I’m Amazed 3.53
13. Kreen – Akrore 4.15

All songs written by Paul McCartney

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Spooky Tooth – Live In Europe (2001)

FrontCover1.jpgA new dawn broke in England in 1966-67 and it was a blues-rock dawn. Bands like Cream, Free, Ten Years After, The Rolling Stones and even Fleetwood Mac were blending their blues roots with the insistent beat of rock and gaining commercial success from it. and during the late 1960s, Spooky Tooth was one of a contingent of new British rock bands inspired by the first British Rock Invasion of acts like The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Animals.

Spooky Tooth took Europe and America by storm; alongside their Island Records label mates Traffic, Free and Jethtro Tull. From 1967 through 1974, they released seven Billboard-charting albums. After the band’s demise, all of the members went on to careers as solo artists or members of other successful bands.

It’s been 30 years since “It’s All About”, their first Stateside release on Bell Records (later reissued by A&M as “Tobacco Road”). For musicians who have not recorded together for many years, there were a number of obstacles to overcome. Each of the group members had created their own lives and coming together again presented somewhat of a challenge. Although the group wanted to honor some of their past material, they were also very conscious of writing contemporary new material which would reflect who they are now.

Part of the Spooky Tooth legacy is that they were always great at covering songs by then-unknown writers (Elton John, Robbie Robertson) and at recording songs by established writers and making them their own (Lennon/McCartney, Al Kooper, Bob Dylan) in the inimitable Spooky Tooth style.

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One of the more intriguing components of the blues-rock movement was Spooky Tooth. They differed from other bands in that they utilized two very distinctive, talented vocalists (Mike Harrison and Gary Wright) and they featured an ominous yet potent organ sound.

By 1968, they had broken through commercially in England and were on the verge of releasing their most popular material. It was at this time that they performed on several editions of BBC´s radio program Top Gear.

Six of the nine tracks presented on BBC Sessions are taken from those appearances and showcase a band poised at the brink of big-time success. An aural snapshot of a well known band at that juncture of its recording career is very rare.

~Spooky Tooth´s “BBC Sessions” is that rare photograph~

As a special bonus, three additional tracks are included, one an obscure 1966 recording from Deep Feeling (featuring Spooky Tooth guitarist Luther Grosvenor and pre Traffic drummer Jim Capaldi !)) and two alternate mixes from the Spooky Tooth´s 1999 reunion release Cross Purpose.

Music from Deep Yesterday, Classic Yesterday and Reunion Yesterday´s BBC Sessions is everything a title like this should be.

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This is a nice addition for every serious Spooky Tooth collector, but:

For years now bootlegs of Spooky Tooth’s BBC recordings have been circulating, most with less than excellent sound. Finally we get a chance to hear the band at its finest: LIVE “at the Beeb,” and what do we get? A truncated set, short in selections and definitely not what we would like to hear. The half dozen BBC songs come from but one or two of the numerous sessions the band recorded between 1968 and 1969, and many are faded in, suggesting that they are taken from transcription discs with spoken voice-over introductions that were simply edited out. Missing are some of the best BBC sessions, songs like “Tobacco Road,” and “Evil Woman” that were hallmarks of the band in concert. Although the studio outtakes from the 1999 reunion album are nice to have, they really do not fit comfortably into this collection. Equally disappointing are the two “bonus cuts” tacked on to the end of the disc which come from a 1970 Berlin concert, but which are rather shabby sounding, and which appear with no explanation as to their origins. In short we get a taste of what might have been, namely a Spooky Tooth BBC set to rival those recently issued by the Kinks, and the Who, but which instead winds up a missed opportunity. (by Christopher L. Dolmetsch)

More rare Spooky Tooth recordings will come !

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Personnel:

Live at the BBC:
Mike Harrison (vocals, keyboards)
Luther Grosvenor (guitar)
Mike Kellie (drums)
Greg Ridley (bass)
Gary Wright (vocals, organ)

Deep Feeling:
Jim Capaldi (drums, vocals)
Luther Grosvenor (guitar, vocals)
Gordon Jackson (guitar)
David Meredith (bass)
Poli Palmer (vibraphon, flute)

1999 Reunion:
Mike Harrison (vocals)
Luther Grosvenor (guitar, percussion)
Mike Kellie (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Dave Moore (keyboards, synthesizer)
Greg Ridley (bass, background vocals)

Live in Berlin, 1970:
Mike Harrison (vocals, keyboards)
Luther Grosvenor (guitar)
Mike Kellie (drums)
Andy Leigh (bass)
Gary Wright (vocals, keyboards)

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Tracklist:

Live at the BBC:
01. Sunshine Help Me (Wright) 2.03
02. Too Much Or Nothing (Dylan)I 3.54
03. Feelin’ Bad (Kellie/Wright) 2.56
04. The Weight (Robertson) 3.17
05. I Can’t Quit Her (Kooper/Levine) 3.02
06. Blues Town (Harrison/King/Wright) 3.35

Deep Feeling (feat. Jim Capaldi and Luther Grosvenor):
07. Pretty Colours (unknown) 2.41

1999 Reunion Recordings Studio Outtakes:
08. Sunshine (Wallinger) 4.55
09. How (Kellie) 4.49

Live in Berlin, 1970:
10. Better You Better Than Me (Wright) 4.17
11. Soulful Lady (unknown) 8.50

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Mike Harrison (03 September 1945 – 25 March 2018)
Mike Kellie (24 March 1947 – 18 January 2017)
Greg Ridley (23 October 1947 – 19 November 2003)

Kaleidoscope – Bernice (1970)

FrontCover1Kaleidoscope (originally The Kaleidoscope) was an American psychedelic folk and ethnic band who recorded 4 albums and several singles for Epic Records between 1966 and 1970. The band membership included David Lindley, who later released numerous solo albums and won additional renown as a multi-instrumentalist session musician.

The group was formed in 1966. The original members were:

David Lindley (b. March 21, 1944, Los Angeles, California)
Solomon Feldthouse (b. January 20, 1940, Pingree, Idaho)
Chris Darrow (b. July 30, 1944, Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
Chester Crill (a.k.a. Max Budda, Max Buda, Fenrus Epp, Templeton Parcely) (b. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
John Vidican (b. Los Angeles, California)

Lindley was an experienced performer on a variety of stringed instruments, notably the banjo, winning the Topanga Canyon Banjo Contest several years in a row in the early 60s. While studying at La Salle High School in Pasadena, he formed his first group, the Mad Mountain Ramblers, who performed around the Los Angeles folk clubs. There, he met Darrow, who was a member of a rival group, the Re-Organized Dry City Players.

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Soon afterwards, around 1964, the pair formed a new group, the Dry City Scat Band, which also included fiddle player Richard Greene (later of Seatrain), but Darrow soon left to set up a new rock group, The Floggs. Lindley also began forming his own electric group. In the course of this he met Feldthouse, who had been raised in Turkey and, on returning to the US, had performed flamenco music and as an accompanist to belly dancing groups. Lindley and Feldthouse then began performing as a duo, David and Solomon, when they met Chester Crill. They invited him to join their band, and by the end of 1966 added Darrow and drummer John Vidican, so forming The Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope03The group was founded on democratic principles – there was no “leader”. They soon began performing live in clubs, winning a recording contract with Epic Records. The first single, “Please”, was released in December 1966. It was produced by Barry Friedman (later known as Frazier Mohawk), as was their first album Side Trips, released in June 1967. The album showcased the group’s musical diversity and studio experimentation. It included Feldthouse’s “Egyptian Gardens”, Darrow’s “Keep Your Mind Open”, and versions of Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher” and Dock Boggs’ “Oh Death”. Crill, for reasons he never made clear (but ex-bandmates speculated had to do with concerns about overreactions from his “straitlaced” parents), was credited as “Fenrus Epp” on the first album and adopted various other pseudonyms on later recordings.

Between them, the group played a huge collection of stringed instruments in such psychedelic songs as “Egyptian Gardens” and “Pulsating Dream.” They played fusions of Middle-Eastern music with rock in longer pieces such as “Taxim,” which they performed at numerous venues including the Berkeley Folk Festival on July 4, 1967 and the Newport Folk Festival and The Family Dog at The Avalon Ballroom (San Francisco) in 1968. Live, band numbers were sometimes interspersed by solo instrumental turns from Feldthouse or Lindley, and occasionally Feldthouse brought belly dancers or flamenco dancers on stage. The band performed many different styles, including rock, blues, folk, jazz, Middle-Eastern and also featured music by Calloway and Duke Ellington in their repertoire. Kaleidoscope were one of the progenitors of World Music.
Cover of the Kaleidoscope’s second album “A Beacon from Mars,” with album art by Tad Hunter aka San Andreas Fault.

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The band’s second album A Beacon from Mars was released in early 1968, to generally good reviews but poor sales. The album was a mix of Middle-Eastern, country, folk and rock musical styles. The title track, inspired by a Howlin’ Wolf musical riff originally in his song Smokestack Lightning, was recorded live in the studio, and featured a long psychedelic electric guitar solo by Lindley, which later caused Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page to refer to the Kaleidoscope as his “favourite band of all time.”  In live performances of the tune, Lindley used a violin bow on his electric guitar, probably influencing Page to use the same effect later. Another live “no overdubs” track on the album was “Taxim,” with solos from Lindley on a “harp guitar” and Felthouse, who played oud and saz on the lengthy cut.

Liner notes to the much-later CD reissue claim the album’s original title was “Bacon From Mars,” but that the title was misprinted. This is a complete myth, initiated by a joke printed in the magazine ZigZag during their three-part feature on Kaleidoscope.

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Darrow left the group after recording the album and was replaced by bassist Stuart Brotman, previously a member of an early version of Canned Heat. However, Darrow returned briefly for studio work when the group backed first Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Larry Williams on their 1967 single “Nobody”, and later Leonard Cohen on “So Long, Marianne” and “Teachers” on his first album. Vidican was also replaced by drummer Paul Lagos who had a jazz and R&B background, having played with Little Richard, Johnny Otis, and Ike and Tina Turner.

The band recorded their third album, Incredible! Kaleidoscope, in 1968. It featured “Seven-Ate Sweet”, a long progressive instrumental piece in 7/8 time signature which they had been playing live since the early days of the group. The album reached No. 139 on Billboard in 1969, the only Kaleidoscope album to chart. Around this time they also did soundtrack work on educational and other films, and also made an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival.

Kaleidoscope’s fourth and final album from their Epic Records era, Bernice, featured more electric guitar work than the earlier albums, and more country influence. There were further personnel changes, adding singer-guitarist Jeff Kaplan, and bassist Ron Johnston who replaced Brotman during the making of the album. Feldthouse also left the group.

At the end of 1969, Kaleidoscope contributed two new songs (“Brother Mary” and “Mickey’s Tune”) to Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, and supported Cream on their American farewell tour. The band split up soon afterwards.

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After the end of Kaleidoscope, Lindley became a highly respected session and live musician with Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and others, before forming his own band, El Rayo-X, in the early 1980s. Feldthouse performed at Renaissance Pleasure Faires, and with various flamenco and Middle Eastern groups. Darrow formed the Corvettes with Bernie Leadon before becoming a leading session musician and solo performer. Crill became an underground comic writer for a time, co-writing the Mickey Rat series, and also produced the first 78rpm record by R. Crumb’s group, Armstrong’s Pasadenans. Brotman became involved with the LA folk dance scene and has done considerable work as a movie extra. In the 1980s he became active in the Klezmer Revival, playing bass and tsimbl for Brave Old World and most recently is a member of the San Francisco-based trio, Veretski Pass whose most recent CD, “Klezmer Shul,” was released in 2011. He is also a regular instructor at KlezKamp, KlezCanada, and other ethnic music gatherings. Paul Lagos died on October 19, 2009.

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In 1976, ex-members Brotman, Crill, Darrow, Feldthouse and Lagos reconvened for the reunion album, When Scopes Collide, which was released on Michael Nesmith’s Pacific Arts label. Lindley also contributed, but distanced himself from the project by appearing as “De Paris Letante.”

Fourteen years later, Crill and Darrow organized a second reunion session, this time for Gifthorse Records. Greetings from Kartoonistan (We Ain’t Dead Yet) again brought together the same lineup, with Brotman contributing the instrumental, Klezmer Suite. (Though invited, Lindley declined to participate.) (by wikipedia)

The American band Kaleidoscope was formed in southern California in 1966 and quickly became a fan favorite in the psychedelic scene due to their unique instrumentation and wild studio techniques. After three unique and acclaimed albums and a popular live career the band released their final album “Bernice” in 1970 on Epic Records.

Their fans didn’t particularly like the record, citing a lack of enthusiasm and creativity in comparison to the earlier albums. The band had gone through several personnel changes leading up to “Bernice”, with a new rhythm section appearing on the record alongside new singer Jeff Kaplan. With that much of a shakeup in members and the album’s straightforward ’70s rock vibe, many fans saw this as a completely different band from the Kaleidoscope they knew and loved.

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Despite the negative fan reaction and it’s reputation as a lackluster effort from a band on it’s last legs (they broke up shortly after the recording session) “Bernice” has some of my favorite Kaleidoscope songs on it. To me it sounds like a wild psych band doing their take on the heavy blues cock-rock that was all around them, and I can’t help but love it.

For instance, dig the country-fried funk of the first two tracks, “Chocolate Whale” and especially “Another Lover.”

…or the odd psychedelic honky-tonk of “Sneaking’ Thru The Ghetto”…

My favorite two tracks and what I consider the most unique offerings on the album are right in the middle. First up is track 4, “To Know Is Not To Be” transitioning us from the Southern California vibe of the early tracks with a breezy psychedelic treatise on consciousness, moving along in odd time and flavored with unique harmonies that herald back to earlier albums.

Then after a grungy revamp of an older song, entitled “Lulu Arfin Nanny” we have the spot-on Zappa impression “Lie & Hide” sports a slick riff over a laconic rhythm section, with deliberately cartoonish falsetto’s espousing the benefits of hiding your illicit behavior from law enforcement and society at large. The tongue in cheek commentary on the bold ideas but reclusive nature of hippie culture is strong in this one, and overall the song does manage to capture the band’s sense of humor.

With the exception of the aimless jamming of the final track, “New Blue Ooze,” the album is fairly balanced and moves along briskly, coming in at less than half an hour. If you’re just getting into Kaleidoscope, start off with one of their first two albums as an introduction. But if you’re a fan of both late ’60s Summer-Of-Love psych and early ’70s country/blues rock then “Bernice”, while not necessarily a legendary album, will satisfy your urges for a time as you move on to more substantial rock offerings of the era. (by Old Time Religion Radio Hour)

I can´t agree: The jam on “New Blue Ooze” is a great jam tune, especially the harmonica solos …

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Personnel:
Stuart Brotman (bass)
Connie Crill (keyboards)
Solomon Feldthouse (guitar, oud, vocals)
Jeff Kaplan (vocals)
Paul Lagos (drums,percussion, rap vocals)
David Lindley (guitar, vocals)
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Robert “Big Boy” Armstrong (saw)
Max Buda (Chester Crill) (harmonica)
Ron Johnson (bass on 01. + 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Chocolate Whale (Feldthouse) 2.24
02. Another Lover (Lindley) 2.44
03. Sneakin’ Thru The Ghetto (Crill/Lagos) 3.15
04. To Know Is Not To Be (Lagos) 2.14
05. Lulu Arfin Nanny (Lindley/Lagos/Crill/Feldthouse/Brotman/Darrow) 3.07
06. Lie And Hide (Crill/Lagos/Lindley/Brotman) 2.50
07. Ballad Of Tommy Udo (Lindley) 2.44
08. Bernice (Crill) 2.39
09. Soft And Easy (Feldthouse) 2.54
12. New Blue Ooze (Lindley/Lagos/Crill/Feldthouse/Brotman) 9.24

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