Jacques Loussier Trio – In Concert At The Royal Festival Hall (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgJacques Loussier (26 October 1934 – 5 March 2019) was a French pianist and composer. He was well known for his jazz interpretations in trio formation of many of Johann Sebastian Bach’s works, such as the Goldberg Variations. The Jacques Loussier Trio, founded in its original formation in 1959, played more than 3,000 concerts, and sold more than 7 million recordings, especially from the series Play Bach. Loussier composed soundtracks for films for cinema and televiosion, and classical music including a mass, a ballet and violin concertos, among others.

Loussier was born on 26 October 1934 in Angers, France. He started piano lessons aged ten, in Angers, and after three months he encountered his first music by Johann Sebastian Bach. He began composing music while studying at the Conservatoire National Musique, having moved then to Paris, under Nat, from the age of 16. At a competition at the conservatory, he played a prelude by Bach, and when his memory failed, improvised. He later said that he only followed a tradition, because musicians of the 18th century, including Bach, were great improvisers. Loussier played jazz in Paris bars to finance his studied. The fusion of Bach and jazz was unique at the time.

LoussierEarly in his career, he accompanied singers such as Frank Alamo, Charles Aznavour, Léo Ferré and Catherine Sauvage. In 1959, Loussier formed the Jacques Loussier Trio with string bass player Pierre Michelot who had previously played with Django Reinhardt and the Quintette du Hot Club de France, and percussionist Christian Garros. They used Bach’s compositions as a base for jazz improvisation and had many live appearances, tours, and concerts, as well as a number of recordings. Originally the trio recorded for Decca Records but in 1973 changed to Philips/Phonogram. The trio sold over six million albums in 15 years. Their best known recording is “Air on the G String” which was used for the Hamlet cigar advertisements in the UK for over 35 years. The trio played more than 3.000 concerts, and sold more than 7 million albums.

In 1978, the trio was dissolved. Loussier set up his own recording studio, Studio Miraval, in Provence, where he worked on compositions for acoustic and electric instruments. He recorded with musicians such as Pink Floyd, Elton John, Sting, Chris Rea and Sade. Parts of Pink Floyd’s album The Wall were recorded at his studio.

In 1985, Bach’s tricentenary of birth, Loussier revived the Jacques Loussier Trio with new partners, percussionist André Arpino and bassist Vincent Charbonnier. The bassist Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac has also performed in the trio, replacing Charbonnier (whose left hand was affected following a stroke, resulting in his being unable to continue to play the bass) on a number of albums and concerts from at least as early as 1998 (on the album Satie: Gymnopédies Gnossiennes). More recent recordings included interpretations of compositions by Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Antonio Vivaldi, and Robert Schumann. His last albums were released in 2014 on the occasion of his 80th birthday, My Personal Favorites, and Beyond Bach, Other Composers I Adore.

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In March 2002, Loussier filed a $10 million lawsuit against rapper Eminem and The Marshall Mathers LP executive producer Dr. Dre, claiming that the beat for the track “Kill You” was stolen from his composition “Pulsion”. He demanded that all sales of the album be halted and any remaining copies destroyed. The case was settled out of court.

Loussier suffered a stroke during a performance at the Klavierfestival Ruhr on 14 July 2011, and retired from the stage. He died on 5 March 2019 at the age of 84.

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Loussier composed soundtracks for over hundred films, made for cinema and television television series, beginning with The Happy Sixties in 1963. These included the scores for the films Heaven on One’s Head (1965), Living It Up (1966), The Killing Game (1967), Dark of the Sun (1968), Monique (1970) and The Man Who Went Up in Smoke (1980), the theme tune for the popular 1960s French TV series Thierry la Fronde, and the original sign-on music for La 3e chaîne, the predecessor television channel to France 3. He composed a symphonic mass, a trumpet concerto[3] and two violin concertos, and music for a ballet, among others. (by wikipedia)

To honor this great musician you can hear this pretty good live album from 1974 … enjoy his very special way to celebrae the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, London, England, Tuesday, January 1, 1974

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Personnel:
Christian Garros (drums, persussion)
Jacques Loussier (piano)
Pierre Michelot (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Toccata In D Minor (Bach) 11.20
02. Fugue No. 5 In D Major (Bach) 6.26
03. Esquisse (Loussier) 4.33
04. Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring (Bach) 5.00
05. Fantasie In C Minor (Bach) 3.29
06. Prelude No. 1 In C Major (Bach) 3.31

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Jacques Loussier (26 October 1934 – 5 March 2019)

The Dubliners – Live (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Dubliners were an Irish folk band founded in Dublin in 1962 as The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group after its founding member; they subsequently renamed themselves The Dubliners. The line-up saw many changes over their fifty-year career, but the group’s success was centred on lead singers Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew. The band garnered international success with their lively Irish folk songs, traditional street ballads and instrumentals. The band were regulars on the folk scenes in both Dublin and London in the early 1960s, and were signed to the Major Minor label in 1965 after backing from Dominic Behan. They went on to receive extensive airplay on Radio Caroline, and eventually appeared on Top of the Pops in 1967 with hits “Seven Drunken Nights” (which sold over 250,000 copies in the UK)[2] and “The Black Velvet Band”. Often performing political songs considered controversial at the time, they drew criticism from some folk purists and Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ had placed an unofficial ban on their music from 1967 to 1971. During this time the band’s popularity began to spread across mainland Europe and they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in the United States. The group’s success remained steady right through the 1970s and a number of collaborations with The Pogues in 1987 saw them enter the UK Singles Chart on another two occasions.

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The Dubliners were instrumental in popularising Irish folk music in Europe, though they did not quite attain the popularity of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the United States. They influenced many generations of Irish bands, and their legacy can to this day be heard in the music of artists such as The Pogues, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. Much adored in their native country, covers of Irish ballads by Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly tend to be regarded as definitive versions. One of the most influential Irish acts of the 20th century, they celebrated 50 years together in 2012, making them Ireland’s longest surviving musical act. Also in 2012, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards bestowed them with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Dubliners announced their retirement in the autumn of 2012, after 50 years of playing, following the death of the last of the founding members, Barney McKenna. However, the surviving members of the group, with the exception of John Sheahan, continued touring under the name of “The Dublin Legends”. As of 2019, Seán Cannon is the only former member still in this group, following Eamonn Campbell’s death in October 2017.

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And “Live” is a live album by The Dubliners recorded live at the Fiesta Club, Sheffield and released on the Polydor label in 1974. This was to be Ronnie Drew’s last recording with The Dubliners for five years as he left to pursue a solo career. Also following this album, Ciarán Bourke ceased to be a full-time member of the group when he suffered a brain haemorrhage. He sings “All for Me Grog” here. The reels that open this album (and which first were released on the group’s 1967 studio album A Drop of the Hard Stuff) have become the opening instrumental medley at most of their concerts since. (by wikipedia)

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To say that the Dubliners are Entertainers is to state the obvious. I can think of no better way of underlining this simple truth than in a live album.

‘The Dubliners Live” is a fairly typical Dubliners programme performed in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative audience in one of the Yorkshire Clubs These clubs have a well-earned reputation for expecting and getting the best in the entertainment field. This show is no exception It scores in other ways too Here is a completely new recording of a number of well loved Dubliners classics, alongside updated versions of numbers guaranteed to raise the roof. Then there are the first ever Dubliners recordings of “The Four Poster Bed” (a traditional Shetland wedding tune) and “The Belfast Hornpipe/Tim Maloney” medley played on tin whistle. John Sheahan then takes up his fiddle again for the “Blue Mountain Rag”.

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Add to this the between number talk and humour which is so much part of the Dubliners, and the atoum which has been long and eagerly awaited, is complete.

It is something of a minor miracle that five such diverse characters have remained together as a group for more than eleven years now. Maybe it is their very differences which provide the strong bond between them – that and the fact that they have never seen the need to use the slick trappings of showbusiness. To say that they have succeeded on a world stage is perhaps an over-simplification. However, it remains an irrefutable truth that by remaining themselves they have brought something very special to people the world over. Wherever they appear they engender warmth, affection, laughter and perhaps even an occasional tear.

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Their unique brand of magic has assured them of a niche in the annals of popular music. Even more important perhaps is their impact on people Barney McKenna once remarked that the Dubliners were made by their audiences No matter how talented they were individually or collectively, if people lost the will to listen to them then they would be finished This precept has undoubtedly played its part in their lives but as a member of innumerable audiences over the years one can say that without the Dubliners many lives would be the poorer. (by Mary Hardy, taken from he original linernotes)

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Personnel:
Ciarán Bourke (tin whistle, harmonica, guitar, vocals)
Ronnie Drew (vocals, guitar)
Luke Kelly (vocals, banjo)
Barney McKenna (banjo, mandolin)
John Sheahan (fiddle, tin whistle, mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. Fairmoyle Lasses And Sporting Paddy 1.52
02. Black Velvet Band 3.34
03. Whiskey In The Jar 2.31
04. All For The Grog 2.38
05. The Belfast Hornpipe/Tim Maloney 3.23
06. The Four Poster Bed/Colonel Rodney 2.26
07. Finnegan’s Wake 2.51
08. McAlpine’s Fusiliers 3.44
09. Seven Drunken Nights 3.44
10. Reels – Scholar/Teetotaller/The High Reel 4.12
11. Home Boys Home 3.20
12. Dirty Old Town 3.08
13. Blue Mountain Rag 2.31
14. The Wild Rover 3.04
15. Weile Waile 2.27
16. The Holy Ground 2.30

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One of my favorite tunes:

I met my love,
By the gas works wall.
Dreamed a dream,
By the old canal.
I kissed my girl,
By the factory wall.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

Clouds are drifting,
Across the moon.
Cats are prowling,
on their beat.
Spring-s-a girl,
From the streets at night.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

I heard a siren,
From the docks.
Saw a train,
Set the night on fire.
Smelled the spring,
On the smoky wind.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

I’m going to make,
Me a good sharp axe;
Shining steel,
Tempered in,
the Fire.
I’ll chop you down,
Like an old dead tree.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

I met my love,
By the gas works wall.
Dreamed a dream,
By the old canal.
I kissed my girl,
by the factory wall.

Dirty old town,
Dirty old town.

Slade – Old New Borrowed And Blue (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgOld New Borrowed and Blue is the fourth studio album by the British rock group Slade. It was released on 15 February 1974 and reached No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart. It has been certified Gold by BPI. The album was produced by Chas Chandler. For the album, Slade attempted to begin breaking away from their usual rock formula. For example, the singles “My Friend Stan” and “Everyday” were piano-led and did not have the typical “Slade” sound.

In the US, the album was released by the Warner Bros. label under the title Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet, minus the tracks “My Town” and “My Friend Stan” (as they had been previously released there on Sladest).

Old New Borrowed and Blue was recorded amid various touring and promotional activities in late 1973, and also during the headline-making recovery of drummer Don Powell, who was involved in a near-fatal car crash in July, briefly throwing the band’s existence into doubt. Despite his critical condition, Powell was able to make a recovery and the band soon entered the studio to record material for their new album. During recording of “My Friend Stan”, Powell was still walking with the aid of a stick and had to be lifted onto his drum stool. On the album, the band attempted to continue their usual formula on some tracks, while others took a change in musical direction. The album’s title, as explained by Holder, came from the album’s content, which the band felt had a mix of old, new, borrowed and blue songs.

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“My Friend Stan” was released as the album’s lead single in September 1973 and reached No. 2 in the UK. Over Christmas 1973, the band would also achieve success with their No. 1 single “Merry Xmas Everybody”. Old New Borrowed and Blue was released in February 1974 and reached No. 1 in the UK. In the UK, Old New Borrowed and Blue was awarded Gold by BPI prior to its release, based purely on pre-order sales. At the time, a Slade spokesman had reported to the Record Mirror: “The album has sold twice as many cartridges and cassettes than their previous offerings.” In March, the album’s second single “Everyday” reached No. 3. In America, Stomp Your Hands, Clap Your Feet reached No. 168. “Good Time Gals” was issued there as a single in February 1974. Later in May, “When the Lights Are Out” was also issued in America and Belgium. Both singles failed to make any chart impact.

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“Just Want A Little Bit” is a cover of the 1959 Rosco Gordon song. The song was later recorded in 1977 by The Animals too, of which Slade manager and producer Chas Chandler was bassist. At the time, the song was a regular inclusion in Slade’s live set. “When the Lights Are Out” is the band’s first track to feature Jim Lea on lead vocals. In a 1974 interview for the “19” readers, Holder jokingly commented: “There’s nothing like a good singer and Jimmy’s nothing like a good singer.” The song was later covered by Bob Segarini in 1978 and American rock group Cheap Trick on their 2009 album The Latest. Lea would also record his own version with his brother Frank Lea under the name The Dummies in 1979. “My Town” is originally appeared as the B-Side to “My Friend Stan”.

“Find Yourself a Rainbow” features honky-tonk piano as the main instrument, played by Tommy Burton, landlord of The Trumpet in Bilston. In a 1974 fan club interview, Powell stated: “Pub piano is played by a local landlord, Tommy Burton. He now owes us free booze for the rest of the year.” On the album’s inner gatefold sleeve, the lyrics of the song include an extra verse which was not on the song’s recording. “Miles Out to Sea” was another song to later be recorded by The Dummies. Of the up-tempo tracks “We’re Really Gonna Raise the Roof” and “Do We Still Do It”,

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“How Can It Be” is a country-flavoured track with acoustic guitar. “Don’t Blame Me” originally appeared as the B-Side to “Merry Xmas Everybody”. In a 1979 fan club interview, Lea said of the song: “”Don’t Blame Me” was a time-filler, I think that it was created as that. When it was used as a B-Side, we didn’t even know it was being used, it was chosen by the offices.”

Chandler had persuaded Lea to finish “My Friend Stan” after he heard Lea playing the melody at home on his piano. “Everyday” also features piano and was released as a single at Chandler’s insistence. When it was released, the band knew they were taking a risk but “Everyday” would become a firm favourite on stage. The song featured Lea on guitar as guitarist Dave Hill was away on honeymoon at the time of the recording sessions.[20] “Good Time Gals” also featured as the B-Side to “Everyday”.

Upon release, The Sun felt that the album marked the beginning of Slade becoming a “true album band”. The reviewer commented that the songs were “toughening up” and the album was “expertly produced”.American magazine Cash Box described the album as “another powerful collection of ‘Toons'”, with “raw power” being “the most immediate sensation you feel from the LP”. At the Disc Music Awards 1974, the album was voted the tenth “best album of the year”. (by wikipedia)

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What a crazy time, what a crazy band …

It took Slade two years and one hits-and-rarities compilation (Sladest) to get around to following up 1972’s U.K. chart-topping Slayed?, two years during which the entire complexion of the band had altered dramatically. No longer the rampant yobs out on the stomp of yore, the quartet members placed the rabble-rousing bombast of old far behind them during 1974, and switched their songwriting efforts to more mellow pastures — the gentle “Everyday,” the yearning “Far Far Away,” and the decidedly pretty “Miles Out to Sea.” Old New Borrowed and Blue was the album that introduced the chrysalis to its audience — not that you’d know it from the opening bellow. Riding a raw guitar line based, very loosely, around the guttural riffing of the Beatles’ “Birthday,” “Just a Little Bit” cranks in with almost metallic dynamics, even retaining the in-concert ad-libbing that had long since made it a highlight of the live show. “We’re Gonna Raise the Roof,” “When the Lights Are Out,” and “My Town,” too, offer little that Slade wasn’t already well renowned for and that, perhaps, was what the bandmembers were thinking as well.

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The glitter-soaked thunderclap was old news now; they could write those rockers in their sleep. The vaudeville piano-led “Find Yourself a Rainbow,” though, was new territory altogether, while the country-rock-inflected “How Can It Be” posited a direction that Holder himself admitted had long been a regular on his home turntable. It was “Everyday,” however, that held the secret of the band’s future, a crowd-swaying singalong of such scarf-waving majesty that it might well be single-handedly responsible for every great record U2 has ever made. It was certainly Slade’s most memorable new single in a while and, as the cue for further airborne anthems, it became one of the most crucial songs in the group’s entire repertoire. On an album that, at best, can be described as patchy, “Everyday” is a new day altogether. (by by Dave Thompson)

And their best moments of this album, Slade sounde like a mixture betwenn AC/DC and Humble Pie (listen to “Good Time Gals” or “The Bangin’ Man”)

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Personnel:
Noddy Holder (vocals, guitar)
Dave Hill (guitar, background vocals)
Jim Lea (bass, piano, guitar, violin, background vocals, vocals on 02.)
Don Powell (drums, background vocals)
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Tommy Burton (piano on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Just Want A Little Bit (Thornton/Bass/Washington/Brown/Thompson) 4.02
02. When The Lights Are Out (Holder/Lea) 3.06
03. My Town (Holder/Lea) 3.07
04. Find Yourself A Rainbow (Holder/Lea) 2.12
05. Miles Out To Sea (Holder/Lea) 3.50
06. We’re Really Gonna Raise The Roof (Holder/Lea) 3.10
07. Do We Still Do It (Holder/Lea) 3:01
08. How Can It Be (Holder/Lea) 3.02
09. Don’t Blame Me (Holder/Lea) 2.33
10. My Friend Stan (Holder/Lea) 2.42
11. Everyday (Holder/Lea) 3.12
12. Good Time Gals (Holder/Lea) 3.34
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13. I’m Mee I’m Now And That’s Orl” (single B-side) (Holder/Lea) 3.42
14. Kill ‘Em At The Hot Club Tonite (single B-side) (Holder/Lea) 3.21
15. The Bangin’ Man (1974 non-album single) (Holder/Lea) 4.12
16. She Did It To Me (single B-side) 3.20
17. Slade Talk to “19” Readers” (Issued on a single-sided flexi-disc) 5.35

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Quatermass – Same (1970)

frontcover1Quatermass were a British progressive rock band from London, active between 1969 and 1971. A related band, Quatermass II was active in the mid-1990s.

The trio consisted of bass player and vocalist John Gustafson, keyboardist J. Peter Robinson and Mick Underwood on drums. Underwood had previously played with Ritchie Blackmore in the Outlaws, while Gustafson had been a member of The Big Three and The Merseybeats. Underwood later became drummer with Episode Six, and was joined by Gustafson after Roger Glover left to join Deep Purple.[2] The band took its name from Professor Bernard Quatermass, a fictional scientist who had been the hero of three science fiction serials produced by BBC Television in the 1950s, and were signed to Harvest Records.

The group formed as a power trio with Hammond organ as the main instrument. Their first and only album sold itself through “…compactness, wealth of ideas, forceful lead vocals and complicated arrangements, enriched by pianist Robinson’s tasteful use of classical strings which are on display along with spacious keyboard passages at their height in the mold of The Nice.” One track, “Laughin’ Tackle”, includes 16 violins, 6 violas, 6 cellos, and 3 double bass, arranged by Robinson, and a drum solo by Underwood. Underwood remained in close contact with Blackmore, and visited Deep Purple in the studio while they were recording In Rock.

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The group split in early 1971. Gustafson formed a new band, Bullet with ex-members of Atomic Rooster.

The band’s song “Black Sheep of the Family” was the first track to be recorded by Rainbow, having been rejected for the Deep Purple album Stormbringer.
In 1994, Underwood, and founding Deep Purple member Nick Simper joined in a project titled Quatermass II. Gustafson contributed two songs on their album, Long Road (1997), which also involved Gary Davis and Bart Foley on guitars, with Don Airey on keyboards.

Quatermass is the only studio album by English progressive rock band Quatermass, released in May 1970 by Harvest Records.

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Despite the album had not performed well on the charts at the time of the release, it started to attract considerable attention in 1975, when guitarist Ritchie Blackmore covered the second track, “Black Sheep of the Family”, for the debut album from Rainbow. As a consequence of the revived interest, Quatermass was re-released and sold further 20,000 copies. Since then, it has gained a cult status  and has received favorable retrospective reviews. (by wikipedia)

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Quatermass’ only album is a must-have for prog rock enthusiasts, especially lovers of the keyboard-dominated style which flourished in the early ’70s. Although there are only three members of the band, their histories are just as colorful as the music they produced. Keyboard player Pete Robinson and bass man Johnny Gustafson met drummer Mick Underwood and founded Episode Six, a band which included Ian Gillan who later fronted Deep Purple. Underwood was also involved with the Outlaws as well as the Herd, only a few years before Peter Frampton arrived. When the band finally formed Quatermass in 1970, they had set their sights on a power rock format which would use Robinson’s keyboards to shape their sound. Both “Black Sheep” and “One Blind Mice” were released as singles which fell mostly on deaf ears, but the band’s sound was equally as moving as the Nice’s repertoire, for example, at around the same time. Quatermass’ sound is far from sounding hollow, isolated, or directionless, but all of the cuts are rather rock-sturdy and instrumentally voluptuous from all points.

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The string work that swoops in is encompassing, Underwood’s drumming exhibits personality, and the keyboard portions are remarkably striking and distinct. Even Gustafson’s robust vocals work well within the music’s structure, subsiding and ascending when called for, and all of the cuts result in worthy examples of well-built progressive rock, in both ballad and power rock form. Following this album, the band broke up, with Gustafson later doing session work for Kevin Ayers, Steve Hackett, and Ian Hunter, among others, while Robinson found new life within the jazz-prog band Brand X. Beautifully packaged with informative liner notes, Quatermass sounds as resounding today as it did in 1970, and upon hearing it, one can only wonder why it was so overlooked during its release. (by Mike DeGagne)

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This a very biased review from someone who is a Deep Purple fan. Now that that’s out of the way, it means that I’m a sucker for heavy keyboards a la Jon Lord. Look no further, but Quatermass delivers – big time. As mentioned from other reviewers, this is primarily a heavy rock album with some prog. rock flourishes. You won’t hear ELP here, but you might get a cross between Fields and Le Orme´s _Collage_ LP. Of note is the gut-wrenching vocal delivery of one John Gustafson of Roxy Music-fame. The vocal delivery on the track _Post War Saturday Echo_ rivals that of Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan on “Child In Time”. Not so much in the high decibel range, just the delivery in relation to the build up of the song and the emotion. The emotional despair must have left this man exhausted after it was recorded. “Black Sheep Of The Family” was later covered by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Peter Robinson’s keyboard sounds nothing like his work as a member of Brand X. His sound is strictly in the Atomic Rooster, Graham Field, Jon Lord and Ken Hensley school of prog. rock. Bottom-end heavy duty organ. In the heavy organ category, Quatermass is an undeniable masterpiece which has few rivals. (by Gooner)

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Personnel:
John Gustafson (vocals, bass)
Pete Robinson (keyboards)
Mick Underwood (drums)
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on “Bluegaloo/Broken Chords-Scales” (live 1974 in Sweden)
John Gustafson (vocals, bass)
Pete Robinson (keyboards)
Janne Schaffer (guitar)
Barry de Souza (drums)

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Tracklist:

Part 1: Original album:
01. Entropy (Robinson) 1.10
02. Black Sheep Of The Family (Hammond) 3.41
03. Post War Saturday Echo (Robinson/Gustafson/Ross) 9.43
04. Good Lord Knows (Gustafson) 2.54
05. Up On The Ground (Gustafson) 7.11
06. Gemini (Hammond) 5.54
07. Make Up Your Mind (Hammond) 8.44
08. Laughin’ Tackle (Robinson) 10.35
09. Entropy (Reprise) (Robinson) 0.42

Remastered Deluxe Edition (2013):
01. One Blind Mice (single A-side) (Gustafson) 3.27
02. Entropy (Robinson) 1.11
03. Black Sheep Of The Family (Hammond) 3.41
04. Post War Saturday Echo (Robinson/Gustafson/Ross) 9.52
05. Good Lord Knows (Gustafson) 3.12
06. Up On The Ground (Gustafson) 7.09
07. Gemini (Hammond) 5.55
08. Make Up Your Mind (Hammond) 1.44
09. Was What That (Hammond) 5.59
10. Make Up Your Mind (Reprise) (Hammond) 1.03
11. Laughin’ Tackle/Entropy (Reprise) (Robinson) 11.31
12. Punting (single B-side)  (Gustafson) 7.21
13. Afraid Not (previously unreleased) (Gustafson) 5.25
14. Bluegaloo (Gustafson)/Broken Chords-Scales (Robinson) (live 1974) 6.30

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John Frederick Gustafson (8 August 1942 – 12 September 2014)

Alan Stivell – Live In Dublin (1975)

FrontCover1.JPGIt’s has been my first Stivell’s vinyl and it’s still the one that I prefer. I was lucky in chosing this one because my second (and last) purchase was Tremain In’Is that’s only harp and voice. Too much also for me.

“Spered Hollvedel” is an impressive slow instrumental based on organ and a sort of trumpet. Electric guitar follows. Very folky but progressive enough. It fades into the mentioned “Delivrance” on which Alan speaks “Et sons venue les temps de delivrance” (The time of freedom is come). A song about wars and people’s freedom with a reference to Palestine.

“Ha Konpren’t Vin Erfin” may be kobaian. I think it’s Breton and I have no idea of what he says. A song with no drums and bass. Just keyboards, harp and voice. It’s possible that what I perceive as keyboard is some traditional instrument.

It’s followed by another Breton song but with a country-blues rhythm played on acoustic guitar: “Tenwal Eo’r Bed”. After some, it’s joined by a wooden flute on unison with Alan’s voice.

“Digor Eo An Hent ” starts with harp and voice, even if harp sounds very similar to an acoustic guitar. the only accompainment is provided by keyboards (this time they are keyboards for sure). A slow, maybe romantic, song.

I have to say that I really like Alan’s voice that fits perfectly in this kind of music.

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Now it’s time for a celtic traditional (I think it is) initially lead by violin first then by flute and harp alternatively. Welcome to the 13th century. I don’t know what proggers may think but I like this genre.

“Pachpi Kozh Pachpi New” Is another celtic instrumental. Traditional? I don’t think but I’m not sure. It sounds traditional but some passages make me think to something modern.

“Laridenn” is a surprise. It’s a fusion between celtic and funky. The band sings in choir and reminds in some way to the Renaissance’s debut. Celtic melody and funky rhythm. I also have the impression that the only word that they say is “Funky”, but it could mean everything in Breton, who knows? After two minutes there’s a violin solo and the rest of the song is pure celtic. Unusual.

Harp is back as leading instrument on “Ton-Bale Pourled” until Drums, keyboard and guitar turn it into rock. Half rock song, then celtic again.

“Bal Ha Dans Plinn” is progressive. Long notes of electric guitar, odd tempo sudden changes in rhythm and melody, drum interludes, this is an instgrumental that proggers can love and also the longest track. (5 minutes…).

This live is closed by “An Droiou”. A medieval-like instrumental. The rhythm is given by people’s claps which support a dou of wind instruments. Good to close a live. Unfortunately the production decided to fade it out privating us of the possibility to enjoy the final. I hate tracks fading out, and this is unacceptable on a live. (by octopus-4)

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Personnel:
Mik Ar Biz (bombarde)
Dan Ar Bras (guitar)
Alan Kloater (flute, bombarde, biniou kozh)
Pierre Mayel (bagpipe)
Dominique Mollard (scottish drums)
Padrig Mollard (bagpipe)
Michel Santangeli (drums)
Padrig Sicard (bombarde)
Pascal Stive (organ)
Alan Stivell (vocals, harp. bombarde, irish flute, bagpipe)
Jacky Thomas (bass)
Rene Werner (fiddle, dulcimer)
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Bagad Bleimor (performer on 09.2.)

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Tracklist:
01. Spered Hollvedel (Traditional) 3.58
02. Delivrance (Stivell) 2.00
03. Ha Kompren’t Vin Erfin (Stivell) 2.56
04. Tenwal Eo’r Bed (Evenou/Traditional) 2.14
05. Digor Eo An Hent (Stivell) 2.36
06. 1. Debhair An Rinceoir (Traditional) 1.45
06.2. Jig Gwengamp (Traditional) 1.25
07.1. Pachpi Kozh (Traditional) 2.10
07.2. Pachpi New’ (Stivell) 2.10
08.1. Laridenn (Traditional) 1.40
08.2. Mairseal O Neil (Traditional) 1.20
09.1. Ton-Bale Pourled – An-Dro (Traditional) 1.20
09.2. Hanter-Dro “Haou” (Traditional) 1.50
10. Bal Ha Dans Plinn’ (Traditional) 5.13
11. An Droiou (Traditional) 2.03

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The inlets

Jan Garbarek – Bobo Stenson Quartet – Witchi-Tai-To (1974)

LPFrontCover1.jpgWitchi-Tai-To is an album by the Jan Garbarek-Bobo Stenson Quartet released on the ECM label and performed by Garbarek, Stenson, Palle Danielsson, and Jon Christensen.

Witchi-Tai-To is an album by the Jan Garbarek-Bobo Stenson Quartet released on the ECM label and performed by Garbarek, Stenson, Palle Danielsson, and Jon Christensen. This selection of composers Carla Bley, Jim Pepper, Don Cherry, Palle Danielsson, Carlos Puebla keep this fast and free indeed. Jan Garbarek has stepped up to deliver and has all his taste and styles loaded. Bobo Stenson always seams to shine in all surroundings, this session he sounds more Jarrett-est with that touch of Tyner added then ever before indeed Sophisticated Post Bop and Progressive. Plenty for your ears and one to have in any collection. (by Rick Ransom)

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Long before he became the standard-bearer for the “ECM sound,” churning out discs with a mildly medieval or Scandinavian flavor spiced with enough new age fluff to guarantee sales, Jan Garbarek produced a string of superb albums, culminating in Witchi-Tai-To, his masterpiece. Intriguingly, with the exception of Palle Danielsson’s “Kukka,” all of the pieces here are cover versions, largely culled from the then burgeoning Jazz Composers Orchestra catalog or related musicians. It opens with Carla Bley’s “A.I.R.,” an incredibly infectious melody heard on her Escalator Over the Hill. Garbarek’s soprano slithers sensuously around the theme, searching for and finding all manner of variations, while Stenson, a chameleon-like pianist who shows aspects of Jarrett, Tyner, and Alice Coltrane, makes all the right choices in support. Charlie Haden used the Carlos Puebla composition “Hasta Siempre” as a cornerstone for his Liberation Music Orchestra, and Garbarek rips into it with total romantic gusto; his tenor playing has never sounded more robust, muscular, or inspired. The title track by Jim Pepper is given a short but lovely reading,

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Garbarek withholding its gorgeous theme until the end of the piece, leaving the listener dying to hear more. Which is exactly what Don Cherry did on his Relativity Suite, where his supremely beautiful song “Desireless” lasted barely a minute. Here, it’s stretched out over the 20-minute mark, Garbarek summoning the spirit of John Coltrane and offering a stunning amount of indefatigable creativity. He might never have reached similar heights since, but Witchi-Tai-To, along with Dave Holland’s Conference of the Birds, is one of the two finest jazz albums that ECM ever released, and simply one of the very top jazz albums of the ’70s. /by Brian Olewnick)

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Personnel:
Jon Christensen (drums)
Palle Danielsson (bass)
Jan Garbarek (saxophone)
Bobo Stenson (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. A.I.R. (Bley) 8.20
02. Kukka (Danielsson) 4.38
03. Hasta Siempre (Puebla) 8.15
04. Witchi-Tai-To (Pepper) 4.27
05. Desireless (Cherry) 20.25

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Cat Stevens – Buddha And The Chocolate Box (1974)

FrontCover1.jpgBuddha and the Chocolate Box is the eighth studio album by Cat Stevens. The title came to Stevens when he was travelling to a gig on a plane with a Buddha in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other. He pondered that if he were to die in the plane these would be the last objects with him, and he would be caught between the spiritual and the material. The album leans towards the spiritual path, and is an indication of the direction his life would follow. (by wikipedia)

While Foreigner was Cat Stevens’ fifth consecutive gold album and his fourth straight Top Ten hit, it actually marked a small drop commercially and encountered critical resistance for the lengthy suite that took up all of side one. Eight months later, Buddha and the Chocolate Box found Stevens back in England and back with producer Paul Samwell-Smith and second guitarist Alun Davies. It also marked a return to the simpler style of earlier albums. No song ran much over five minutes, the arrangements were sparer and featured more acoustic guitar, and the lyrics did not take off into discursive ruminations about the state of the universe.

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It was very much as if Stevens was deliberately trying to make an album like Teaser and the Firecat, his commercial and artistic apex. Having begun the album with an ode to “Music” and its potential for reforming the world, he ended with “Home in the Sky,” in which he sang, “Music is a lady that I still love.” Such statements of renewed commitment added to the sense that the album was consciously crafted as an attempted second wind for the singer, who had been recording and performing at a torrid pace since returning to the music business full-time four years before. But that was not to say that he had abandoned the spiritual nature of his creative quest, and the songs were, as usual, littered with religious imagery. Stevens’ fans responded warmly to Buddha and the Chocolate Box’s stylistic return to form. “Oh Very Young” became his first Top Ten hit in two years, and the album was held out of number one only by The Sting. The album’s tone, however, suggested that Stevens was once again wearying of being a pop star, even as he delivered a record that maintained that status. (by William Ruhlman)

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Personnel:
Gerry Conway (drums, vocals, percussion)
Alun Davies (guitar, vocals)
Bruce Lynch (bass)
Jean Roussel (strings, keyboards)
Cat Stevens (vocals, synthesizer, guitar, keyboards)
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Roland Harker (banjo)
Del Newman (strings)
Jim Ryan (guitar)
Mark Warner (guitar)
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background vocals:
Joanne – Judy – Sunny – Ruby – Barry – Joy – Brigette – Suzanne – Jacqui – Clifford – Danny – Rick – Jimmy – Larry – Suzanne Cox

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Tracklist:
01. Music 4.21
02. Oh Very Young 2.37
03. Sun/C79 4.36
04. Ghost Town 3.11
05. Jesus 2.14
06. Ready 3.19
07. King Of Trees 5.07
08. A Bad Penny 3.22
09. Home In The Sky  m3.38

All songs written by Cat Stevens

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