Ekseption – Beggar Julia’s Time Trip (1970)

FrontCover1.JPGFor this, their second album, the band had some changes in the line-up: both Rob Kruisman (saxophones, flute, guitar, vocals) and Huib van Kampen (guitar, Tenor saxophone) left the band, being replaced by Dick Remelink ( saxes, flute). Drummer Peter de Leeuwe also left the band (but returned for their next album), being replaced by Dennis Whitbread. Also the band had a lead singer called Michel van Dijk, plus some guest appearances from Tony Vos (saxes, tonytone, electronic effects, and also the main producer of some of their albums), Linda van Dyck ( voice on “Prologue” & “Epilogue”), and Eric van Lier (trombone, tuba), who also was going to participate in their ‘00.04’ album from 1971.

This album is really a concept album about a beggar named Julia who does a time trip through several centuries (more or less as I understood the concept). The main composer in the original musical pieces in this album is keyboard player Rick van der Linden, with some collaborations with lyrics from singer Michel van Dijk, who really only sings in two songs (‘Juila’ and ‘Pop Giant’), and from Linda van Dyck who does some narration. There are some sections in the album which really are done with electronic sound effects and their function is more to work as links to other musical pieces. These electronic sound effects make this album sound a bit influenced by psychedelia, and they really sound like ‘experiments’ maybe done with Moogs or with other electronic devices.

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As in every album by the band, there are several arrangements done to Classical Music pieces (Albinoni`s ‘Adagio’, J.S. Bach`s ‘Italian Concerto’, and Tchaikovsky`s ‘Concerto’). The appearance of an electric guitar solo in ‘Concerto’ and its previous appearance as the B-side of the ‘Air’ single in 1969 makes me think that ‘Concerto’ was really recorded for their first album, but was finally released in their second album. Of these Classical Music pieces I prefer more ‘Adagio’ and ‘Concerto’. There are also some brief appearances from other uncredited Classical Music pieces in some parts of the album, like some bars from Rachmaninoff`s First Piano Concerto and a bit from J.S Bach`s ‘Sicilano in G’, a musical piece which the band was going to record in a full arrangement for their ‘Ekseption 5’ album from 1972.

This is maybe their first attempt for a full Prog album, having a conceptual story, and with each musical piece being linked one after the other without interruptions (other to the natural end of the Side One in the old LP version). The Jazz, Rock, Classical and Pop influences are very present, and maybe in this second album the band sounds more ‘mature’, more ‘serious’, and with maybe having less inclinations to appear in the radio, even if they still released some singles. (by Guillermo)

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Personnel:
Rein van den Broek (trumpet, fluegelhorn)
Cor Dekker (bass)
Michel Van Dijk (vocals, percussion)
Rick van der Linden (keyboards, spinet, percussion)
Dick Remelink (saxophone, flute)
Dennis Whitbread (drums, percussion)
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Gerard Beckers (electronics, effects)
Linda van Dyck (vocals on 02 + 09.)
Eric van Lier (trombone, tuba)
Jan Schuurman (electronics, effects)
Tony Vos (saxophone, percussion, electronics, effects)

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Tracklist:
01. Ouverture (v.d. Linden) 3.23
02. Prologue (L. v. Dyck/v.d. Linden) 2.21
03. Julia (M. v. Dijk/v.d. Linden) 2.22
04. Flying Power (v.d. Linden) 0.32
05. Adagio (Albinoni) 3.45
06. Space I (Bach) 0.44
07. Italian Concerto (Bach) 5.03
08. Concerto (Tchaikovsky) 3.53
09. Space II (R. v.d. Linden) 0.25
10. Pop Giant (M. v. Dijk/v.d. Linden) 3.55
11. Space III (v.d. Linden) 0.21
12. Feelings (v.d. Linden) 3.08
13. Epilogue (L. v. Dyck/v.d. Linden) 0.57
14. Finale: Music For Mind/Theme Julia (v.d. Linden) 4.00

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Tony Joe White – Tony Joe (1970)

LPFrontCover1.jpgTony Joe White (July 23, 1943 – October 24, 2018) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie” and for “Rainy Night in Georgia”, which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote “Steamy Windows” and “Undercover Agent for the Blues”, both hits for Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of Turner’s producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who was a friend of White. “Polk Salad Annie” was also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.

Tony Joe White was the youngest of seven children who grew up on a cotton farm near Oak Grove, Louisiana. He first began performing music at school dances, and after graduating from high school he performed in night clubs in Texas and Louisiana.

In 1967, White signed with Monument Records, which operated from a recording studio in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and produced a variety of sounds, including rock and roll, country and western, and rhythm and blues. Billy Swan was his producer.

Over the next three years, White released four singles with no commercial success in the U.S., although “Soul Francisco” was a hit in France. “Polk Salad Annie” had been released for nine months and written off as a failure by his record label, when it finally entered the U.S. charts in July 1969. It climbed to the Top Ten by early August, and eventually reached No. 8, becoming White’s biggest hit.

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White’s first album, 1969’s Black and White, was recorded with Muscle Shoals/Nashville musicians David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and Jerry Carrigan, and featured “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” and “Polk Salad Annie”, along with a cover of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman”. “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” was covered by Dusty Springfield and released as a single, later added to reissues of her 1969 album Dusty in Memphis.

Three more singles quickly followed, all minor hits, and White toured with Steppenwolf, Anne Murray, Sly & the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other major rock acts of the 1970s, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and England.

In 1973, White appeared in the film Catch My Soul, a rock-opera adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello. White played and sang four and composed seven songs for the musical.

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In late September 1973, White was recruited by record producer Huey Meaux to sit in on the Memphis sessions that became Jerry Lee Lewis’s Southern Roots album.[citation needed] By all accounts,[citation needed] these sessions were a three-day, around-the-clock party, which not only reunited the original MGs (Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and the MGs fame) for the first time in three years, but also featured Carl Perkins, Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & the Raiders), and Wayne Jackson plus The Memphis Horns.

From 1976 to 1983, White released three more albums, each on a different label. Trying to combine his own swamp-rock sound with the popular disco music at the time, the results were not met with success and White gave up his career as a singer and concentrated on writing songs. During this time frame, he collaborated with American expat Joe Dassin on his only English-language album, Home Made Ice Cream, and its French-language counterpart Blue Country.

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In 1989, White produced one non-single track on Tina Turner’s Foreign Affair album, the rest of the album was produced by Dan Hartman. Playing a variety of instruments on the album, he also wrote four songs, including the title song and the hit single “Steamy Windows”. As a result of this he became managed by Roger Davies, who was Turner’s manager at the time, and he obtained a new contract with Polydor.

The resulting album, 1991’s Closer to the Truth, was a commercial success[citation needed] and put White back in the spotlight. He released two more albums for Polydor; The Path of a Decent Groove and Lake Placid Blues which was co-produced by Roger Davies.

In the 1990s, White toured Germany and France with Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton, and in 1992 he played the Montreux Festival.

In 1996, Tina Turner released the song “On Silent Wings” written by White.

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In 2000, Hip-O Records released One Hot July in the U.S., giving White his first new major-label domestic release in 17 years. The critically acclaimed The Beginning appeared on Swamp Records in 2001, followed by Heroines, featuring several duets with female vocalists including Jessi Colter, Shelby Lynne, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Michelle White, on Sanctuary in 2004, and a live Austin City Limits concert, Live from Austin, TX, on New West Records in 2006. In 2004, White was the featured guest artist in an episode of the Legends Rock TV Show and Concert Series, produced by Megabien Entertainment.

In 2007, White released another live recording, Take Home the Swamp, as well as the compilation Introduction to Tony Joe White. Elkie Brooks recorded one of White’s songs, “Out of The Rain”, on her 2005 Electric Lady album. On July 14, 2006, in Magny-Cours, France, White performed as a warm-up act for Roger Waters’ The Dark Side of the Moon concert. White’s album, entitled Uncovered, was released in September 2006 and featured collaborations with Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Eric Clapton, and J.J. Cale.

The song “Elements and Things” from the 1969 album …Continued features prominently during the horse-racing scenes in the 2012 HBO television series “Luck”.

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In 2013, White signed to Yep Roc Records and released Hoodoo. Mother Jones called the album “Steamy, Irresistible” and No Depression noted Tony Joe White is “the real king of the swamp.”  He also made his Live…with Jools Holland debut in London, playing songs from Hoodoo.

On October 15, 2014, White appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman alongside the Foo Fighters to perform “Polk Salad Annie”. Pointing to White, Letterman told his TV audience, “Holy cow! … If I was this guy, you could all kiss my ass. And I mean that.”

In May 2016, Tony Joe White released Rain Crow on Yep Roc Records. The lead track “Hoochie Woman” was co-written with his wife, Leann. The track “Conjure Child” is a follow up to an earlier song, “Conjure Woman.”

The album Bad Mouthin’ was released in September 2018 again on Yep Roc Records. The album contains six self-penned songs and five blues standards written by, amongst others, Charley Patton and John Lee Hooker. On the album White also performs a cover of the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel”. White plays acoustic and electric guitar on the album which was produced by his son Jody White and has a signature Tony Joe White laid back sound.

White died of a heart attack on October 24, 2018, at the age of 75 (by wikipedia)

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Alternate front + back cover

Tony Joe was the third studio album released by Tony Joe White. It was released on Monument Records and contained the singles “High Sheriff of Calhoun Parrish” and “Save Your Sugar For Me” It was recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Nashville and Lyn-Lou Studios, Memphis in 1970. It was produced by Billy Swan. A mixture of original recordings and covers, it featured White’s versions of “Hard To Handle” made popular by Otis Redding and “Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker. (by wikipedia)

A true icon of swamp rock, Tony Joe White parlayed his songwriting talent and idiosyncratic vocals into a modestly successful country and rock career in Europe as well as America. And on this album you can hear, why I will call him a criminally underrated musician … he was one of the finest in the white boy blues scene …

Various single sleeves (“Groupie Girl”) from all over the world:

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Personnel:
David Briggs (organ)
Jerry Carrigan (drums)
Sammy Creason (drums)
Tommy McClure (bass)
Norbert Putnam (bass)
Mike Utley (organ)
Tony Joe White (vocals, guitar, harmonica)
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The Nashville Horns & Strings

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Tracklist:
01. Stud-Spider (White) 5.36
02. High Sheriff Of Calhoun Parrish (White) 3.50
03. Widow Wimberly (White) 3.41
04. Conjure Woman (White) 3.58
05. Save Your Sugar For Me (White) 2.20
06. Groupie Girl (White) 3.04
07. Hard To Handle (Redding/Isbell/Jones) 2.52
08. What Does It Take (Bullock/Bristol/Fuqua) 3.40
09. My Friend (Fritts/Oldham) 3.09
10. Stockholm Blues (White) 3.27
11. Boom Boom (Hooker) 7.56

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Tony Joe White (July 23, 1943 – October 24, 2018)

REST IN PEACE !

Eric Clapton – Same (1970)

FrontCover1Eric Clapton is the debut solo studio album from British rock musician Eric Clapton, released in August 1970 under Atco and Polydor Records.

After being successful with bands including The Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind Faith, Clapton recorded an album under his own name in late 1969 and early 1970. The album cover shows Clapton sitting in a room which is going to be decorated and in which a ladder, a chair and some carpets are placed. Clapton holds a cigarette in his right hand and has his Fender Stratocaster Brownie electric guitar with him.

Clapton recorded some tracks in November 1969 at London’s Olympic Studios and went on to record more songs in 1970 which was divided into two sessions; one in January 1970 at the Village Recorders Studio in West Los Angeles and a second session in March the same year at Island Studios in London. A large amount of musicians that worked with Clapton on the album had been working with the band Delaney & Bonnie, which previously opened the Blind Faith gigs. The musicians included the core of Derek & the Dominoes, including co-creator and co-songwriter Bobby Whitlock. Bobby Whitlock can be heard on Let It Rain, a pre-Dominoes type song.

The song “Let it Rain” had originally been recorded with different lyrics as “She Rides”. Three mixes of the album were done, one by Delaney Bramlett, one by Tom Dowd and one by Clapton himself. The Dowd mix was the one used for the original release. Bramlett’s mix is included in the Deluxe Edition released on CD in 2006.

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In an interview from 2006, promoting The Road to Escondido, Clapton recalled that he was very happy making this album and was pleased with the results of the recording sessions, but also noted that “the only thing [he] didn’t like about the album is [his] voice”, because it sounds so “high” and “young”, which Clapton disliked, because he “always wanted to sound like an old guy”.

Contemporary reviews were largely positive. Rolling Stone noted the “warm, friendly” aspect of the record, commending “Clapton’s voice” and the “mean guitar”. Q magazine described the album as swinging “like leaves in the breeze”. Robert Christgau rated the album with the “B” mark and noted: “I blame a conceptual error, rather than Clapton’s uncertain singing, for the overall thinness. As a sideman, Clapton slipped into producer Delaney Bramlett’s downhome bliss as easily as he did into Cream’s blues dreamscape, but as a solo artist he can’t simulate Delaney’s optimism”. (by wikipedia)

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Eric Clapton’s eponymous solo debut was recorded after he completed a tour with Delaney & Bonnie. Clapton used the core of the duo’s backing band and co-wrote the majority of the songs with Delaney Bramlett — accordingly, Eric Clapton sounds more laid-back and straightforward than any of the guitarist’s previous recordings. There are still elements of blues and rock & roll, but they’re hidden beneath layers of gospel, R&B, country, and pop flourishes. And the pop element of the record is the strongest of the album’s many elements — “Blues Power” isn’t a blues song and only “Let It Rain,” the album’s closer, features extended solos. Throughout the album, Clapton turns out concise solos that de-emphasize his status as guitar god, even when they display astonishing musicality and technique. That is both a good and a bad thing — it’s encouraging to hear him grow and become a more fully rounded musician, but too often the album needs the spark that some long guitar solos would have given it. In short, it needs a little more of Clapton’s personality. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Delaney Bramlett (guitar, vocals)
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Jim Gordon (drums)
Tex Johnson (percussion)
Jim Price (trumpet)
Bobby Keys (saxophone)
Carl Radle (bass)
Leon Russell (piano)
John Simon (piano)
Bobby Whitlock (organ, vocals)
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vocals:
Bonnie Bramlett –  Rita Coolidge – Sonny Curtis –  Jerry Allison  –  Stephen Stills

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Tracklist:
01.Slunky (D.Bramlett/Clapton) 3.34
02. Bad Boy (D,Bramlett/Clapton) 3.33
03. Lonesome And A Long Way From Home (D.Bramlett/B.Bramlett/Russell) 3.29
04. After Midnight (Cale) 3.09
05. Easy Now (Clapton) 2.57
06. Blues Power (Clapton/Russell) 3.08
07. Bottle Of Red Wine (D.Bramlett/B.Bramlett/Clapton) 3.05
08. Lovin’ You Lovin’ Me (D.Bramlett/Clapton) 3.22
09. Told You For the Last Time (B.Bramlett/Cropper) 2.32
10. Don’t Know Why (D.Bramlett/B.Bramlett/Clapton) 3.12
11. Let It Rain (D.Bramlett/Clapton) 5.02

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Neil Linden & The Highlanders – The Pride Of Scotland (1970)

FrontCover1.JPGTaken from the original liner-notes:

“Neil Linden, Scotland´s all round entertainer is certainly an artist of great and varying taltent. He started his musical career whilst serving in the famous “Gordon Highlanders”. After attending the Royal Military School Of Music, he entertained troops in Germany and had his own programme on Radio B.F.N.  – Back in civvy street Neil toured the capitals of Europe including Moscow. After his return to the U.K. he appeared in B.B.C. T.V´s “Comedy Playhouse” and “White Heather Club”. Neil also represented Scotland in “World Show” and was voted Great Britain´s No. 1 virtuoso accordeonist and Jazz Clarinettist.

“The Highlanders” were formed in 1968 and all members are very close friends of the band leader. This album is a great collection of Scottish dances, many of which are Neil´s own compositions, performed in true Highland tradition.”

And so we hear some fine old tradtional scottisch tunes in a very “old fashinoned” style … enjoy and dance, if you want !

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Personnel:
Neil Linden (accordeon, clainet)
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The Highlanders conducted by Neil Linden

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Tracklist:
01. March Selection (Traditional) 3.59
– My Native Highland Home
– Bydand
– The Athol AndBreadalbine Gathering
02. The Aberdeen Waltz Medley (Traditional) 3.30
– The Northern Lights Of Old Aberdeen
– Aberdeen
03. The Hock Loch Pola (Linden) 1.36
04. Argyle´s Fancy (Traditional) 3.10
– Argyle Is My Name
– Doreen´s Delight
– Marget´s Fancy
05. Reel Selection (Traditional) 3.12
– Roxburgh Castle
– The Tweedsdale Reed
– Danny Nick Nack
– Hamilton Road
– The Marquis Of Tollibardine
– The Black Bear
06. Jig Selection
– Bonnie Dundee
– The Muckin’ O’ Geordie’s Byre
– The Cock O’ The North
– John’s Jig
– Major Moir Of Vale Voque
– Colhoun’s March
07. Whistling Rufus (Kerry/Mills) 2.28
08. Bluebell Polka (Traditional) 2.51
09. March, Strathspey (Linden/Neptun) 3.27
– Neil Linden Junior
– Mrs. Linden Strathspey
– Bonnie Scotland
10. Waltz Selection (Traditional) 2.49
– Rosebud By My Early Walk
– Lassie But Annie
– Loch Rannoch
11. Jig Selection (Linden/Lowes) 4.13
– Don And Betty Jig
– Heather Hills
– Debbie’s Jig N.

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Van Der Graaf Generator – The BBC Sessions (1968 – 1971) (Almost Complete) (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgVan der Graaf Generator are an English progressive rock band, formed in 1967 in Manchester by singer-songwriters Peter Hammill and Chris Judge Smith and the first act signed by Charisma Records. They did not experience much commercial success in the UK, but became popular in Italy during the 1970s. In 2005 the band reformed.

The band formed at Manchester University, but settled in London where they signed with Charisma. They went through a number of incarnations in their early years, including a brief split in 1969. When they reformed, they found minor commercial success with The Least We Can Do Is Wave to Each Other (February 1970), and after the follow-up album, H to He, Who Am the Only One (December 1970), stabilised around a line-up of Hammill, organist Hugh Banton, saxophonist David Jackson, and drummer Guy Evans. The quartet subsequently achieved significant success in Italy with the release of Pawn Hearts in 1971.

After several exhausting tours of Italy, the band split in 1972. They reformed in 1975, releasing Godbluff and frequently touring Italy again, before a major line-up change and a slight rename to Van der Graaf. The band split in 1978. After many years apart, the band finally united at a gig at the Royal Festival Hall and a short tour in 2005. Since then, the band has continued as a trio of Hammill, Banton, and Evans, who record and tour regularly in between Hammill’s concurrent solo career.

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The group’s albums have tended to be both lyrically and musically darker in atmosphere than many of their progressive rock peers (a trait they shared with King Crimson, whose guitarist Robert Fripp guested on two of their albums), and guitar solos were the exception rather than the rule, preferring to use Banton’s classically influenced organ, and, until his departure, Jackson’s multiple saxophones. While Hammill is the primary songwriter for the band, and its members have contributed to his solo albums, he is keen to stress that the band collectively arranges all its material. Hammill’s lyrics frequently covered themes of mortality, due to his love of science fiction writers such as Robert A. Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, along with his self-confessed warped and obsessive nature.

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His voice has been a distinctive component of the band throughout its career. It has been described as “a male Nico” and would later on be cited as an influence by Goth bands in the 1980s. Though the group have generally been commercially unsuccessful outside of early 1970s Italy, they have inspired several musicians, including John Lydon and Julian Cope. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a nice bootleg with many BBC live recordings and I found this item years ago in a blog called “isle-of-noises.blogspot”.

Discover one of the finest prog-rock bands from this period feat mastermind Peter Hammill.

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Personnel:
see backcover + tracklist

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Tracklist: 

18.11.1968 (broadcast 29.12.1968; Maida Vale 4; Top Gear; Hammill, Banton, Ellis, Evans)
01. People You Were Going To (Hammill) 3.29
02. Afterwards (Hammill) 4.40
03. Necromancer (Hammill) 4.04
04. Octopus (Hammill) 5.45

27.01.1970 (broadcast 07.02.1970; Maida Vale 4; Top Gear; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson, Potter)
05. Darkness (Hammill/Banton/Jackson) 6.49
06. After The Flood (Hammill) 10.54
07. Refugees (Hammill) 6.20

02.08.1970 (BBC in concert; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson, Potter)
08. Killer (Hammill/Ward) 8.58
09. Whatever Would Robert Have Said (Hammill/Jackson) 6.55
10. Squid One – Squid Two – Octopus (Hammill) 13.35

12.10.1970 (broadcast 24.10.1970; Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Ave.; Top Gear; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson)
11. Killer (Hammill/Ward) 6.07

10.06.1971 (broadcast 25.06.1971 except Vision 23.07.1971; Kensington House; Alan Black Sessions; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson)
12. Theme One (Martin) 2.59
13. Darkness (Hammill/Banton/Jackson) 7.17
18. Man-Erg (Hammill) 11.03
19. Vision (Hammill) 3.15

23.09.1971 (broadcast 05.10.1971; Concert for BBC; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson)
20. Man-Erg (Hammill) 10.37
21. W (Hammill) 5.06
22. Killer (Hammill/Ward) 7.57
23. Theme One (Martin) 3.09
24. March Of The Dambusters (Hammill) 1.19

14.12.1971 (broadcast 29.12.1971; Maide Vale 4; John Peel session; Hammill, Banton, Evans, Jackson, Smith)
25. An Epidemic Of Father Christmases (Smith) 5.00
26. Lemmings (Hammill) 10.51
27. Refugees (Hammill) 6.16

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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)
+
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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*
**

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

REST IN PEACE !