Pat Travers – Makin’ Magic (1977)

FrontCover1Patrick Henry Travers (born April 12, 1954) is a Canadian rock guitarist, keyboardist and singer who began his recording career in the mid-1970s.

Pat Travers was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Soon after picking up the guitar at age 12, he saw Jimi Hendrix perform in Ottawa. Travers began playing in bands early in his teens; his first bands were the Music Machine (not to be confused with the Californian psychedelic/garage band of the same name), Red Hot, and Merge, which played in clubs in the Quebec area.

While performing with Merge, he was noticed by rock artist Ronnie Hawkins, who invited Travers to perform with him. In his early twenties Travers moved to London and signed a recording contract with the Polydor label. His self-titled debut album was released in 1976, and featured bassist Peter “Mars” Cowling, who would become a mainstay in Travers’ band for several years. An appearance on the German TV show Rockpalast in November 1976 was later released on DVD under the title Hooked on Music. This performance showcases an early version of Travers’ band featuring Cowling and drummer Nicko McBrain. (wikipedia)

PatTravers01

And here´s his second solo-album:

What a revelation “Making Magic” was after Pat’s first sincere, but pedestrian & hurried (Ten days) effort “Pat Travers”. No one could have expected the wonderful music that was to come from this visionary Canadian guitarist. “Making Magic” just jumped off the vinyl through the speakers into my head like some sort of sonic train that I could ride on the rest of my life! The album starts off with the funky intense namesake song filled with snaking snarling leads & intricate time changes that were to become a Pat Travers signature. Next came “Rock’N’Roll Susie” & “You Don’t Love Me,” showing PT’s roots in the blues, but faster & more high energy than most artist have ever dreamed of at that time or since. “Stevie” is a moving song dedicated to PT’s little brother that shows what a sense of beautiful melody PT has & how he could sonicly build a song structure to epic purportion. “Statesoro Blues,” retools the old blues tune in everyway made famous by The Allman Brothers. “Need Love” & Hooked on Music” are the real crown jewls of this album for me. Killer, killer, fast funky rock that would inspire later bands like Extreme. “Need Love” starts with funk that is just pure groove & seamlessly runs into the fast & furious metal tinged funk of “Hooked on Music”! The all instrumental ending tune “What You Mean to Me” is another prime example of Pat’s melodic sense, & serves as a taste of even better songs to come on the next album, “Putting it Straight.” (James McCormick)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Peter “Mars” Cowling (bass)
Nico McBrain (drums, percussion)
Pat Travers (guitar, vocals
+
Roy Dyke (drums on 05.)
Glenn Hughes (background vocals on 04.)
Brian Robertson (guitar on 05.)
Peter Solley (keyboards on 03., 04. + 08.)

Inlet02A

Tracklist:
01. Makin’ Magic 4.58
02. Rock ‘N’ Roll Susie 3.39
03. You Don’t Love Me 3.28
04. Stevie 7.14
05. Statesboro Blues 3.47
06. Need Love 5:04
07. Hooked On Music 6.19
B4 What You Mean To Me 4.34

All songs written by Pat Travers,
except 05, written by Blind Willie McTell

LabelB1

*
**

PatTravers02

Steve Goodman – Say It In Private (1977)

FrontCover1Steven Benjamin Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984) was an American folk music singer-songwriter from Chicago. He wrote the song “City of New Orleans,” which was recorded by Arlo Guthrie and many others including John Denver, The Highwaymen, and Judy Collins; in 1985, it received a Grammy award for best country song, as performed by Willie Nelson. Goodman had a small but dedicated group of fans for his albums and concerts during his lifetime, and is generally considered a musician’s musician. His most frequently sung song is the Chicago Cubs anthem, “Go Cubs Go”. Goodman died of leukemia in September 1984.

On September 20, 1984, Goodman died of leukemia at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. He had anointed himself with the tongue-in-cheek nickname “Cool Hand Leuk” (other nicknames included “Chicago Shorty” and “The Little Prince”) during his illness. He was 36 years old.

Four days after Goodman’s death, the Chicago Cubs clinched the Eastern Division title in the National League for the first time ever, earning them their first post-season appearance since 1945, three years before Goodman’s birth. Eight days later, on October 2, the Cubs played their first post-season game since Game 7 of the 1945 World Series. Goodman had been asked to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before it; Jimmy Buffett filled in, and dedicated the song to Goodman. Since the late 2000s, at the conclusion of every home game, the Cubs play (and fans sing) “Go, Cubs, Go”, a song Goodman wrote for his beloved team.

SteveGoodman02

In April 1988, some of Goodman’s ashes were scattered at Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs He was survived by his wife and three daughters.[9] His eldest daughter, Jesse, died in 2012.

In 2006, Goodman’s daughter, Rosanna, issued My Old Man, an album of a variety of artists covering her father’s songs.

Interest in Goodman’s career had a resurgence in 2007 with the publication of a biography by Clay Eals, Steve Goodman: Facing the Music. The same year, the Chicago Cubs began playing Goodman’s 1984 song “Go, Cubs, Go” after each home game win. When the Cubs made it to the playoffs, interest in the song and Goodman resulted in several newspaper articles about Goodman. Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn declared October 5, 2007, Steve Goodman Day in the state. In 2010, Illinois Representative Mike Quigley introduced a bill renaming the Lakeview post office on Irving Park Road in honor of Goodman. The bill was signed by President Barack Obama on August 3, 2010 (wikipedia)

SteveGoodman01

Steve Goodman reached the charts with his first two albums for Asylum Records, Jessie’s Jig & Other Favorites (1975) and Words We Can Dance To (1976), and that may have convinced the label to spend more money on his next LP (money intended to be recoupable against royalties should the album take off, of course), because the sessions for Say It in Private appear to have been quite elaborate. For the first time since his second album, Somebody Else’s Troubles (1973), Goodman had a real producer (i.e., somebody who produced records for a living), Joel Dorn, and among the six dozen singers and players who contributed to the sessions were plenty of arrangers and string players. Nevertheless, Say It in Private ended up being a fairly typical Steve Goodman album. In a sense, the cover art told the story. It featured a painting by Howard Carriker that replicated Jacques Louis David’s famous 1793 portrait Death of Marat, in which French revolutionary and invalid Jean-Paul Marat was shown lying in his medicinal bath after having been assassinated. In Carriker’s version, the body belonged to Goodman, who was alive and smiling. So, here was an expensive-looking illustration that was making a macabre joke, and the album was more of the same, really. For all the production and all those musicians, Goodman was still doing what he loved to do, writing a few modest, entertaining songs and gathering other ones from various genres. The covers included the 1913 ballad “There’s a Girl in the Heart of Maryland,” which, despite the strings and chorus, was essentially a duet between Goodman’s voice and Jethro Burns’ mandolin; the 1936 country song “Is It True What They Say About Dixie?,” another frantic Goodman/Burns duet; Hank Williams’ “Weary Blues from Waitin'”; and Smokey Robinson’s account of romantic schizophrenia, “Two Lovers.”

SteveGoodman03

With his own pen, Goodman turned out a couple of warm love songs that were sequenced back to back at the start of the disc, “I’m Attracted to You” and “You’re the Girl I Love,” followed by a novelty, “Video Tape,” and then the four cover tunes. Next came two consecutive musical obituaries, both of them surprising. “Daley’s Gone” was this Chicago native’s lament for the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, a man much despised by those of Goodman’s generation in connection with his activities during the Democratic Convention of 1968. Even more personal was “My Old Man,” about Goodman’s own father. Some relief was needed after that, and it came in the form of a folk anthem co-written by Goodman and his pal John Prine, “The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over.” Again, there was a big vocal chorus, but again the song was in some ways just a duet between Goodman and an acoustic musical instrument played by another mentor, in this case the banjo of Pete Seeger. There may have been 73 musicians in the credits for Say It in Private, but it still ended up sounding like an old-fashioned folk collection most of the time. (by William Ruhlmann)

BackCover1

Personnel:
David Amram (flute on 05.)
Ken Ascher (piano on 02. + 03.)
Erroll Bennett (percussion on 05.)
Saul Broudy (vocals, harmonica on 07.)
Peter Bunetta (drums on 01.)
Steve Burgh (guitar on 07.)
Jethro Burns (mandolin on 04. + 06.)
Francesco Centeño (bass on 02. + 03.)
Rick Chudacoff (guitar, piano, bass on 01.)
Tony Conniff (bass on 07.)
Steve Goodman (guitar, vocals)
Milton Grayson (vocals on 05.)
Scott Hamilton (saxophone on 01.)
Milt Hinton (bass on 04.)
Will Lee (bass on 05.)
Jimmy Maelen (percussion on 01. – 03.)
Cliff Morris (guitar on 05.)
Denny Morouse (saxophone on 02.)
Rob Mounsey (piano on 05.)
Gary Mure (drums on 05.)
Larry Packer  (fiddle on 07.)
Leon Pendarvis (piano on 05.)
Pete Seeger (vocals, banjo on 10.)
Allan Schwartzberg (drums on 02. + 03.)
Mauricio Smith (saxophone on 02.)
David Tofani (saxophone on 02.)
John Tropea (guitar on 05.)
Roger Rosenberg (saxophone on 02.)
Eric Weisberg (guitar on 02., pedal steel-guitar on 03.)
+
strings:
Alan Shulman – Alfred Brown – Barry Finclair – Charles Libove – Charles McCracken – David Nadien – Guy Lumia – Harold Kohon – Harry Cykman – Joseph Malin – Julien Barber – Kathryn Kienke – Kermit Moore – Marvin Morgenstern – Max Ellen – Max Pollikoff -Ralph von Breda-Selz – Richard Sortomme – Sanford Allen – Selwart Clarke – Yoko Matsuo
+
background vocals:
Andrew Holland – Arlene Martell – Benny Diggs – Bill Swofford – Chris King – Delores Hall – Ellen Bernfeld – Heather Wood – Helen Miles – Helene Edner – Jack Tobi – Jean Denise Quitman – John Prine – Kenny Vance – Linda November – Mary Sue Johnson – Michael Gray – Rob Mounsey – Sally Lloyd – Sheila Ellis – Thomas Dunn – Vivian Cherry – Yvonne Lewis

Inlet02A

Tracklist:
01. I’m Attracted To You (Chudacoff/Goodman) 3.17
02. You’re The Girl I Love (Goodman) 3.54
03. Video Tape (Goodman) 3.16
04. There’s A Girl In The Heart Of Maryland (MacDonald/Carroll) 1.55
05. Two Lovers (Robinson) 3.43
06. Is It True What They Say About Dixie? (Marks/Caesar/Lerner) 2.21
07. Weary Blues From Waitin’ (Williams) 3.49
08. Daley’s Gone (Goodman) 4.32
09. My Old Man (Goodman) 4.07′
10. The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over (Prine/Goodman) 5.09

LabelB1

*
**

Back in 1899, when everybody sang “Auld Lang Syne”
A hundred years took a long, long time for every boy and girl
Now there’s only one thing that I’d like to know
Where did the 20th century go?
I’d swear it was here just a minute ago
All over this world

And now the 20th century is almost over
Almost over, almost over
The 20th century is almost over
All over this world
All over this world, all over this world
The 20th century is almost over, all over this world

Does anyone remember the Great Depression?
I read all about it in True Confession
I’m sorry I was late for the recording session
But somebody put me on hold
Has anybody seen my linoleum floors
Petroleum jelly, and two World Wars?
They got stuck in the revolving doors
All over this world

And now the 20th century is almost over
Almost over, almost over
The 20th century is almost over
All over this world
All over this world, all over this world
The 20th century is almost over, all over this world
The winter’s getting colder, summer’s getting hotter
Wishin’ well’s wishin’ for another drop of water
And Mother Earth’s blushin’ ’cause somebody caught her
Makin’ love to the Man in the Moon
Tell me how you gonna keep ’em down on the farm
Now that outer space has lost it’s charm?
Somebody set off a burglar alarm
And not a moment too soon
Because…

The 20th century is almost over
Almost over, almost over
The 20th century is almost over
All over this world
All over this world, all over this world
Now the 20th century is almost over, all over this world

Old Father Time has got his toes a tappin’
Standing in the window, grumblin’ and a rappin’
Everybody’s waiting for something to happen
Tell me if it happens to you!
The Judgment Day is getting nearer
There it is in the rear view mirror
If you duck down I could see a little clearer
All over this world!
And now the 20th century is almost over
Almost over, almost over
The 20th century is almost over
All over this world
All over this world, all over this world
The 20th century is almost over, all over this world

SteveGoodman04

Steve Goodman (July 25, 1948 – September 20, 1984)

Quantum Jump – Barracuda (1977)

FrontCover1Quantum Jump was a 1970s British band, consisting of singer and keyboard player Rupert Hine (21 September 1947 – 4 June 2020), guitarist Mark Warner, bass player John G. Perry (then of Caravan), and drummer Trevor Morais (who had previously played in The Peddlers). The band is best remembered for its 1979 UK hit single “The Lone Ranger”.

Quantum Jump were formed in 1973 at Farmyard rehearsal studios by Trevor Morais and Jeffrey Levinson. The idea for the name came from a conversation Rupert Hine had with Anthony Stern, an ex-Cambridge University friend and filmmaker. “He had told me about the relatively recent discovery at Cambridge of the manner in which an electron’s energy increases and decreases, not linearly as had been long assumed, but in a discrete step, known as a “quantum”. The term “quantum jump” (later to be commonly referred to as “quantum leap”) was coined by the Cambridge team. I preferred “jump”, as it had more of a “soul / funk” music connotation”.

Quantum Jump’s sound was a hybrid of fusion, funk, and jazz rock. The first album was written and arranged in 1973–1974, and recorded (with equipment hired from AIR London) at Farmyard. Hine produced the sessions, with Steve Nye as sound engineer. The sessions were independently financed by Jeffrey Levinson (of Mountain Fjord) but, explained Hine, after some 18 months of managerial and contractual problems, the rights to the album were sold to The Electric Record Company in 1975. The label’s MD, Jeremy Thomas, believed that the song “The Lone Ranger” was a potential hit single if only it had something more “interesting” for the intro.

QuantumJump01

Hine picked up on his remark and sang the longest word in the world (listed in The Guinness Book of Records) a capella, replacing the original intro to the song altogether.[1] The word in question, taken from the language of the Maori, New Zealand’s indigenous people, was the name of the hill Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. On the record, the word (made to sound as if it were Native American, in keeping with the Lone Ranger and Tonto theme) is chanted as follows:

Taumata-whaka-tangi-hanga-kuayuwo
tamate-aturi-pukaku-piki-maunga
horonuku-pokaiawhen-uaka-tana-tahu
mataku-atanganu-akawa-miki-tora

“The Lone Ranger” was first released in 1976. After it was chosen as Tony Blackburn’s BBC Radio 1 “Record of the Week” (the nationwide morning radio show with the highest ratings in the UK at the time), it was banned when some fragments of lyrics were deemed to contain references to drugs and homosexuality. The BBC stopped playing the record, and it failed to chart. Disillusionment with the length of time it had taken to get the original record deal, and the lack of any really cohesive management, led to guitarist Mark Warner’s decision to leave and join Cat Stevens’ live band.

QuantumJump02

Quantum Jump soldiered on for a second album, recorded in late 1976 as a trio with the help of various musician friends, most notably Caravan multi-instrumentalist Geoffrey Richardson. Barracuda was released in April 1977, coinciding with the band going out on the road for a couple of UK tours with Roye Albrighton (of Nektar) on guitar. The album had been expensive to record, and when it did not sell well enough, Quantum Jump disbanded at the end of 1977.

The band would, however, make an unexpected return two years later when a re-release of the “Lone Ranger” single became an unexpected hit. The song had been widely played by Kenny Everett on both his radio and TV shows. Re-released in 1979, it eventually reached number 5 in the UK Singles Chart. The band (including Mark Warner) reconvened for an appearance on Top of the Pops. A third Quantum Jump album was released to coincide with this unexpected “smash” single. Titled Mixing, it was essentially a collection of the best tracks from the first two albums, albeit heavily reworked and remixed.

QuantumJump03

Hine went on to become the producer of more than 100 albums for artists as varied as Tina Turner, Bob Geldof, Chris de Burgh, the Thompson Twins, Stevie Nicks, Rush, the Waterboys, Suzanne Vega, Duncan Sheik, the Fixx and Howard Jones. He would also appear to form another band in the mid-1980s, called Thinkman, but this was simply another name for his solo recordings. In addition, there is the Soundtrack album Better Off Dead on A&M Records, featuring Rupert Hine, Cy Curnin (the Fixx), Martin Ansell, Terri Nunn, Thinkman, and E. G. Daily. The production is centered on Rupert Hine, and this is the first appearance of Thinkman. (by wikipedia)

QuantumJump04

QJ’s second album more or less continues on the sound built-up with their debut, even taking the loss of Mark Warner (to Cat Stevens’s group) without that much notice. Their light jazzy rock bordering on the Canterbury was never that demented or incredibly attention-grabbing. On more than one occasion, I was brought to think of Steely Dan’s rather funky jazz-laced almost-MOR rock as the closest musical cousin. This may not be that attractive a description, but if you bear along with me a few minutes (and a few dozen listens of the album), you will find also some Happy The Man and maybe also the second part of Camel’s career (with Caravan members).

One can hear all the class of keyboard man Rupert Hine as well as (ex-Caravan) John G Perry’s funky bass lines, and if no tracks really stands out, none are weak bar the slightly less even Europe On A Dollar A Day.

Inlet02A

Worthy of notice is Simon Jeffes’s Penguin Café String Ensemble, but they stay very wise (and well clear of the RIO of their own albums) and blend in quite nicely with the overall soft and genteel mood of the album on the title track for example. The Tower Of Lowther horn section also intervenes but do not add that much, either. What I find is lacking in this album is the more aggressive feel and wished that Manzanera had guested on a few tracks.

Not usually a fan of Voiceprint Records, I must say that this re-issue of a minor work is almost flawless, although the bonus tracks are completely forgettable and the sound a bit flat, but since I have never heard the original vinyls… not that I was missing that much for the last three decades with QJ. (by Sean Trane)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Rupert Hine (vocals, keyboards)
Trevor Morais (drums, percussion)
John G. Perry (bass, vocals)
+
Elkie Brooks (vocals)
Ray Cooper (percussion)
Paul Keogh (guitar)
Helen Liebmann (cello)
Geoffrey Richardson (guitar, viola, flute)
Gavyn Wright (violin)
+
The Tower Of Lowther Horn Section;
Jeff Daly (saxophone)
Henry Lowther (trumpet, flugelhorn)
+
The Penguin Cafe String Ensemble:
Helen Liebmann (cello)
Gavyn Wright (violin)

Inlet01A
Tracklist:
01. Don’t Look Now (Hine/Morais/Perry/Hall) 4.13
02. The Seance (Hine/Morais/Perry/Obstoj) 3.45
03. Barracuda (Hine/Morais/Perry/Hall) 6.05
04. Starbright Park (Hine/Morais/Perry/Hall) 5.46
05. Love Crossed (Like Vines In Our Eyes) (Hine/Morais/Perry/Obstoj) 6.26
06. Blue Mountain (Hine/Morais/Perry/Obstoj) 3.45
07. Europe Ona Dollar A Day (Hine/Morais/Perry/Hall) 3.44
08. Neighbours (Hine/Morais/Perry/Obstoj) 6.39
+
09. Dont Look Now (mixing version) ((Hine/Morais/Perry/Hall) 3.29
10. Blue Mountain (mixing version) (Hine/Morais/Perry/Obstoj) 5.57
11. Barracuda (mixing version) (Hine/Morais/Perry/Hall) 3.38
12. Take Me to the Void Again (incomplete work-in-progress mix) Take Me To The Void Again (Hine/Morais/Perry/Hall) 3.42
13. Summer In The City (J.Sebastian/M.Sebastian/Boone) (4:02)

LabelB1

*
**

Logo

Rupert Hine

Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express – Happiness Heartaches (1977)

FrontCover1Brian Albert Gordon Auger (born 18 July 1939) is an English jazz rock and rock music keyboardist who specializes in the Hammond organ.

Auger has worked with Rod Stewart, Tony Williams, Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin, Sonny Boy Williamson, Eric Burdon. He incorporated jazz, early British pop, R&B, soul music, and rock into his sound. He has been nominated for a Grammy Award.

In 1965, Auger played on “For Your Love” by The Yardbirds as a session musician. That same year, Auger formed the group The Steampacket with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll, Vic Briggs, and Rod Stewart. Due to contractual problems there were no official recordings made by the band; nevertheless, nine tracks were laid down for promotional use in late 1965 and released on a CD by Repertoire Records in 1990 (licensed from Charly Records) as well as 12 live tracks from Live at the Birmingham Town Hall, February 2, 1964. Stewart left in early 1966 and soon thereafter the band broke up.

BrianAuger01

With Driscoll and the band Trinity, he went on to record a cover version of David Ackles’ “Road to Cairo” and Bob Dylan’s “This Wheel’s on Fire”, which appeared on Dylan Covered. In 1969 Auger, Driscoll, and Trinity performed in the United States on the NBC special 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee.

In 1970, he formed the jazz fusion ensemble Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express shortly after abandoning the abortive “Wassenaar Arrangement” jazz rock commune in a small suburb of The Hague. Oblivion Express cultivated the talents of several notable musicians, including Average White Band drummers Robbie McIntosh and Steve Ferrone, as well as guitarist Jim Mullen. In 1971 he produced and appeared on Mogul Thrash’s only album, Mogul Thrash. Two members of that band, Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan, would go on to form the Average White Band.

BrianAuger02

Auger toured with Kim Simmonds, Gregg Errico, and Tim Bogert in the mid 1980s in a band they called Maestro. No album resulted from this collaboration and tour. In 1986, he played keyboards for the Italian singer Mango on the album Odissea.
Brian Auger after a show at the Cabaret de Monte-Carlo with bassist-arranger Pino Presti in 2006

In 1989, Auger was musical director for the thirteen-part film retrospective series Villa Fantastica made for German TV. A live recording of the series, Super Jam (1990), features Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass guitar, and singers Zoot Money and Maria Muldaur.

Auger toured with Eric Burdon in the early 1990s and recorded the live album Access All Areas with him in 1993. Oblivion Express was revived in 2005 with recording and touring. The group featured Brian Auger, his son Karma Auger on drums, his daughter Savannah Auger on vocals, and Derek Frank on bass.

In 2012, Auger released Language of the Heart, one of the few solo albums of his career, produced by Tea. It features Jeff “Skunk” Baxter and Julian Coryell on guitars.

BrianAuger03

In 2014, Auger was invited by producer Gerry Gallagher to record with El Chicano as well as Alphonse Mouzon, David Paich, Alex Ligertwood, Ray Parker Jr., Lenny Castro, Vikki Carr, Pete Escovedo, Peter Michael Escovedo, Jessy J, Salvador Santana, Marcos J. Reyes, Siedah Garrett, Walfredo Reyes Jr., and Spencer Davis. This major recording project is due for release in 2019.

In 2014 Brian Auger and Oblivion Express played at the KJAZZ festival in Los Angeles and toured in Japan and Europe with Karma Auger on drums, daughter Ali Auger on vocals, Alex Ligertwood on vocals, Yarone Levy on guitar, Les King on bass, and Travis Carlton on bass. (by wikipedia)

BrianAuger04

Originally released in 1977, and reissued on CD by Wounded Bird, Happiness Heartaches is a rock solid date by the Oblivion Express. Along with Brian Auger’s gigantic musical personality, the set is also driven in equal part by former Miles Davis and Return To Forever drummer Lenny White, as well as percussionist Lennox Laington. Rhythm is the key to groove, and it is displayed here in overdrive. This is “groove jazz” with teeth, and a deeply funky and welcome alternative to the increasing presence of disco drum machines in jazz recordings. And make no mistake, Happiness Heartaches is a jazz record, a claim many of the era’s jazzmen who were recording cannot hope to claim, so complete was their cave in to disco’s chart influence. “Spice Island,” with its languid vocal line and melody, influenced by Airto and Flora to be sure, but also by Leon Thomas’ solo recordings, is a case in point. Auger’s contrapuntal solo coming as a tag off the vocal and being played foil to by Jack Mills’ guitar is simply sublime. On “Gimme A Funky Beat,” the band takes the notion of Brazilian Carnaval into overdrive, with a rollicking bassline by Clive Chaman.

AlexLigertwood.jpg

Alex Ligertwood’s vocals leave a bit to be desired, as he is clearly not a jazz singer, but they aren’t too irritating. The set ends with a tour de force by Auger entitled “Paging Mr. McCoy,” a keyboard orgy propelled by the rhytmnatist’s percussion team. It’s full of crescendos, stops, starts, and side passages (like a beautiful, sped-up quote from the theme of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”) as well as regal overtones. The only real complaint is a consistent one regarding Wounded Bird’s reissues: rather than recasting and re-contextualizing the original cover art, they just shrink it, and there are no liner notes, making for a shoddy little package. Nevertheless, the music’s the important thing, so despite the real lack of aesthetics shown by the label visually, this is certainly a welcome addition to ever Brian Auger collection. (by Thom Jurek)

Oh yes, this is the funky side of Brian Auger !

BackCover1

Personnel:
Brian Auger (keyboards)
Clive Chaman (bass)
Lennox Langton (percussion)
Alex Ligertwood (vocals, guitar)
Jack Mills (guitar)
Lenny White (drums, percussion)

BrianAuger01
Tracklist:
01. Back Street Bible Class (Auger) 5.28
02. Spice Island (Mills/Auger) 8.56
03. Gimme A Funky Break (Ligertwood) 4.39
04. Never Gonna Come Down (Chaman) 5.34
05. Happiness Heartaches (Dennison/Ligertwood) 5.14
06. Got To Be Born Again (Langton) 4.18
07. Paging Mr. McCoy (Auger) 4.30

LabelB1

*
**

More from Brian Auger:
More

The Band – Islands (1977)

FrontCover1Islands is the seventh studio album by the Canadian-American rock group the Band. Released in 1977 to mixed reviews, it is the final studio album from the group’s original lineup.

Primarily composed of previously unreleased songs from the Band’s career (including their 1976 cover of “Georgia on My Mind”, which was recorded to aid Jimmy Carter in his presidential bid), Islands was released to fulfill the group’s contract with Capitol Records, so that the soundtrack to their film The Last Waltz could be released on Warner Bros. Records. In the CD liner notes, Robbie Robertson compares the album to the Who’s Odds & Sods. (wikipedia)

Single2LabelA+B
Ever since I first heard the magnificent ‘Acadian Driftwood’ and marvelled in particular at Garth Hudson’s tasteful use of synthesiser, it has always been a mystery to me why The Band’s last album, Northern Lights, Southern Cross, wasn’t universally hailed as an all-time classic.

I reckon it vies pretty closely with their second one as being the best Band album of them all, and if you missed it or were dissuaded from listening to it by some bird brained ‘critic’, then you are well and truly advised to make amends.

Meanwhile, the boys from Woodstock, who you may remember ceased operations earlier in the year – and held a million dollar bash in San Francisco to convince everybody of the fact – have gone and made another album! A good job too, because while almost every other ‘established’ band in America has become hopelessly erratic, or splintered off into and thousand and one nebulous side-trips, The Band remain constant, as reassuring an outfit as there’s ever been in rock music.

TheBand01

I can’t for one minute believe that there are any of you out there who are not 100% convinced of the outstanding contribution The Band have made to contemporary American music, so I will not waste my limited supply of superlatives on preaching to the converted. I will employ then instead to transmit the pleasure I’ve gained from repeatedly listening to this new album.

At first I must admit that I was disappointed with it, and Richard Williams’ unfavourable review in MM seemed less of a hatchet job than it does now. However, I continued to play it day and night, and sure enough, its intricacies, subtle melodies and lyrical strength began to permeate my bleary senses.

It’s true it hasn’t got an epic on the scale of ‘Acadian Driftwood’, or a ballad with the power and beauty of ‘It Makes No Difference’ (we can really only expect to hear a handful of songs like that every year), but Islands does have many oustanding moments. Robbie Robertson, as usual, dominates the songwriting credits, and of the eight cuts which he wrote or co-wrote, ‘Right As Rain’ (also the new single), ‘Let The Night Fall’, a superb song called ‘Christmas Must Be Tonight’, and the somewhat ethereal instrumental title track are all well up to accepted Band standards, while the other songs, substantial thought they are, do not (for my ears) distinguish themselves individually yet.

Two standards, ‘Georgia On My Mind’ and ‘Ain’t That A Lot Of Love’, complete the album, and are treated with the same degree of sensitivity and enthusiastic reappraisal that made their ‘oldies’ album, Moondog Matinee, such a success.

TheBand02

The quality of the arrangements, musicianship and production are, naturally, faultless; and if there is much less evidence of Robbie Robertson’s precise and imaginative playing than I would have liked, the splendidly authoritative work of Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel, in particular, compensate to some extent.

Although (God help me) I can’t for the life of me find ANY of my Band albums except the last one, I’ve never yet heard a record of theirs that I didn’t like a great deal, and the same goes for this one. I’ve already spent more time listening to it than all but three or four other albums released this year, and its several memorable passages stand up to the most exacting comparisons.

Even if they carry out their intention of staying off the road, I sincerely hope they keep making records for a very long time, especially if they are as good as this. (by Andy Childs. from ZigZag magazine, May 1977.)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Rick Danko (bass, vocals)
Levon Helm (drums, vocals)
Garth Hudson (keyboards, piccolo, saxophone)
Richard Manuel (keyboards, vocals)
Robbie Robertson (guitars, vocal on 09.)
+
Jim Gordon (flute on 06.)
Tom Malone (trombone on 06.)
Larry Packer (violin on 06.)
John Simon (saxophone on 06.)

Single1LabelA
Tracklist:
01. Right As Rain (Robertson) 3.52
02. Street Walker (Robertson/Danko) 3.16
03. Let The Night Fall (Robertson) 3.11
04. Ain’t That A Lot Of Love (Banks/Parker) 3.08
05. Christmas Must Be Tonight (Robertson) 3.37
06. Islands (Robertson/Hudson/Danko) 3.54
07. The Saga Of Pepote Rouge /Robertson) 4.15
08. Georgia On My Mind (Carmichael/Gorrell) 3.09
09. Knockin’ Lost John (Robertson) 3.52
10. Livin’ In A Dream (Robertson) 2.51

LabelA1

*
**

More from The Band:
More

Rick Danko
(December 29, 1943 – December 10, 1999)

Levon Helm
(May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012)

Richard Manuel
(April 3, 1943 – March 4, 1986)

Bo Hansson – Music Inspired by Watership Down (1977)

FrontCover1Bo Hansson (10 April 1943 – 23 April 2010) was a Swedish musician best known for his four instrumental albums released in the 1970s.

Music Inspired by Watership Down is a progressive rock album by Swedish musician Bo Hansson. The album is Hansson’s fourth solo album and is, as its name suggests, built around musical ideas inspired by Richard Adams’ heroic fantasy novel Watership Down. It was the second album of Hansson’s to have been based on a novel; his first solo album, Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings, had likewise been based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Hansson had already composed and released a musical suite inspired by Watership Down on his previous album Attic Thoughts. However, beyond its title, the Music Inspired by Watership Down album contains few overt references to the novel and instead features excerpts from the works of various poets, such as John Keats and Alexander Pope.

Music Inspired by Watership Down was originally released in Sweden as El-Ahrairah by YTF Records in 1977. This title was taken directly from the pages of Watership Down, with El-Ahrairah being the name of a trickster, folk hero-deity rabbit, known as “The Prince with a Thousand Enemies”. The album was subsequently released with its English title by Charisma Records in the United Kingdom and Sire Records in the United States, but it failed to chart on either side of the Atlantic. Music Inspired by Watership Down was reissued on CD in 2004 by Virgin Records. (by wikipedia)

Bo Hansson02

Bo Hansson’s fourth, & sadly his last, major album was inspired by the Richard Adams novel about the world seen through the eyes of rabbits. But even if you couldn’t care less about rabbits & you’ve never read the book & never will, this is still thoroughly enjoyable musical imagery. This is music that sounds like the theme it depicts. At times the listener can just picture the wind rippling grass in the fields or the sunset over the meadows. And yet at the same time it is still essentially rock music.
I agree with reviewers who have praised “Born of the Gentle South”, the lenghty opening track, & a miniture masterpiece in itself. But also, I have always enjoyed this album for it’s continuity. It has a near continuous flow of music following a single theme, and some segments are linked by delightful piano interludes.
By the time of this release (1977) many advances had been made in synthesizer design, & so organ was becoming obselete. Bo plays a variety of synthesizer/keyboards on this album, as well as piano & some guitar & some bass, and there are six other Swedish artists providing basses,drumming,concert flute,& wooden flute.
Guitarist Kenny Hakansson who appeared on “Attic Thoughts” & “Magicians Hat” makes some fine contributions of his unusual electric guitar style, but he also played a considerable role in the composition of parts of this music.

Bo Hansson03

There is a well composed air to this record & it has a realism about it. If other Hansson albums tend to carry you into a fantasy in some way, this one is a more feet on the ground affair.
Those familiar with the original vinyl version may feel at first that the addition of the “Migration Suite” seems out of place, but I have lived with both the vinyl & the CD for some time & I now consider this bonus piece an essential part of the music. Hakansson’s guitar playing alone on this extra track, & the fact that it was recorded live in the studio, make it worthwhile listening.
For me “Watership Down” represents the closing of an era when for a time rock music was often fused with other styles to produce some very sophisticed instrumental works. But a new young generation soon emerged who favoured a return to a strong rock back beat. At the time of this release [which was largely ignored by critics] terms such as “progressive rock” & “new age” didn’t exist. But whatever we call it nowadays this type of music has stood the test of time, & I am glad the works of Bo Hansson & similar artists are being remastered into CD format for all to enjoy, now & in the future. (by Stephen Keen)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Sten Bergman (flute)
Torbjörn Ekman (wooden flute)
Kenny Håkansson (guitar, bass)
Bo Hansson (keyboards, guitar, bass, tambourine)
Göran Lagerberg (bass)
Tomas Netzler (bass)
Fredrik Norén (drums)
Pontus Olsson (piano)
Bo Skoglund (drums, percussion)

CoverIllustration
Tracklist: 
01. Born In The Gentle South (Hansson/Håkansson) 16.34
02. Allegro For A Rescue (Hansson) 1.23
03. Legend And Light (Hansson/Håkansson) 3.39
04. Trial And Adversity (Hansson) 4.10
05. The Twice – Victory (Hansson) 8.14
06. The Kingdom Brightly Smiles (Hansson) 1.24
+
07. Migration Suite (live studio recording) (Hansson/Håkansson) 11.39

LabelB1

*
**

Bo Hansson01

John Abercrombie – Characters (1977)

FrontCover1John Laird Abercrombie (December 16, 1944 – August 22, 2017) was an American jazz guitarist. His work explored jazz fusion, free jazz, and avant-garde jazz. Abercrombie studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He was known for his understated style and his work with organ trios- (by wikipedia)

Characters is a solo album by guitarist John Abercrombie that was recorded in 1977 and released by ECM in 1978.

Just four months after the historic Gateway 2 session, John Abercrombie stepped into Oslo’s Talent Studio to record Characters, his first and only solo album for ECM. While the guitarist’s trademark electric lurks here and there, a modified mandolin takes the strongest lead. The album also features about as much acoustic as one is likely to hear from Abercrombie in one sitting. All of this makes for sonic perfection.

At nearly 11 minutes, “Parable” is the longest cut on the album. A plaintive mandolin seems to stretch its strings as Abercrombie adds almost sitar-like cadences until, about halfway through, we realize this is but the stem of an overarching flower, which reveals its full bloom in an acoustic umbrella. With peerless thematic acuity, Abercrombie reconfigures his melodic matrix in “Memoir,” a nostalgic acoustic duet, each channel part of a spontaneous conversation. It is the most fleeting track on the album, but also the most intuitive. Next, Abercrombie transmits a “Telegram” straight into our souls. Like the message of its title, it is formless during transmission, but arrives in tangible form through the advent of technology, of which performance is Abercrombie’s medium of choice. His involuntary humming harmonizes with itself in a subconscious overdubbed chamber choir. “Backward Glance” recalls the title of Steve Kuhn’s classic tune.

JohnAbercrombie

Dense acoustic chording spins powerful thermals upon which Abercrombie spreads his electric wings, drawing a feathered curtain over our eyes in the final strum. The spindly diversions of “Ghost Dance” percolate like anesthesia through the bloodstream before “Paramour” makes its debut as another acoustic duet (Abercrombie would soon resurrect it at the heart of his first quartet album, Arcade). More of the same awaits us in “After Thoughts,” where every pause feels like a deep breath that is at last exhaled in a luxurious chord. Lastly, through the liquid sheen of “Evensong” we catch visions of ourselves at different ages. After a silence, an acoustic hand opens its fingers wide as one electric swells in accompaniment and the other glides like a stingray for a sublime finish.

The album’s title is a prescient one. In addition to glyphs on a writing surface, “characters” are people, animals, or any other living creature whose desires animate a story. They might also be the traits of those creatures, or even the morals that define their personalities. Here, we encounter all of these and more, threaded ever so genuinely by one musician’s unique sense of space-time. For anyone wishing to peer into the soul behind the sound, let this be your window. (pree release)

John Abercrombie

Always unique and uncompromising, John Abercrombie gained a good deal of his popularity from his solo playing. Not the virtuoso of his primary influences — Django Reinhardt, Tal Farlow and Jim Hall — Abercrombie is much more the introvert. He often bypasses traditional techniques to pursue experimental sounds and rhythms. Along with Ralph Towner, whom he has recorded with before (see Sargasso Sea), Abercrombie makes excellent use of space within both his compositions and solos. Upon the first listen there may not appear to be very much here; however, this music needs to be absorbed over several listens to appreciate Abercrombie’s brilliance. (by Robert Taylor)

BackCover1

Personnel:
John Abercrombie (guitar, mandolin)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Parable 10.40
02. Memoir 3.14
03. Telegram 4.36
04. Backward Glance 4.37
05. Ghost Dance 7.02
06. Paramour 3.52
07. After Thoughts 3.22
08. Evensong 7.35

Composed by John Abercrombie

LabelB1

*
**

JohnAbercrombie3
John Laird Abercrombie (December 16, 1944 – August 22, 2017)

Fela Kuti And Afrika 70 – Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977)

FrontCover1Sorrow Tears and Blood is an album by Nigerian Afrobeat composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti recorded in 1977 and originally released on the Nigerian Kalakuta label. (by wikipedia)

Sorrow Tears and Blood (1977) accurately depicts the trail left in the wake of the February 18, 1977, raid by 1,000 armed Nigerian army men on Fela Kuti and his Kalakuta Republic. In keeping with the format upheld on a majority of Kuti’s long players, this LP contains a pair of extended works, featuring one title per side. In contrast to the hard-edged and aggressive Afro-funk that Kuti and his Africa 70 became synonymous with, both the A-side title track and B-side, “Colonial Mentality,” are seemingly staid, in light — or perhaps because — of the cruel state-sponsored attacks that he and his extended family suffered. “Sorrow Tears and Blood” is neither a full-blown, uptempo funk drone nor a somber FelaKuti01dirge. The even-handed, midtempo groove trots along at a steady pace and features some comparatively sedate sax work from Kuti. Even the instrumental introduction — which has been known to clock in at over five minutes — is reduced to well under three. His lyrics are starkly direct — “Everybody run, run, run/Everybody scatter, scatter/Some people lost some bread/Some people just die” — yet the emotive center is gone. Perhaps this is the result of fear, shellshock, or a combination of the two. Kuti’s words, however, remain as indicting as ever: “Them leave sorrow, tears, and blood/Them regular trademark.” “Colonial Mentality” returns to a more seething and slinky musicality. The dark and brooding bassline undulates beneath a brass-intensive Africa 70. Rarely has Kuti’s musical arrangements so perfectly imaged James Brown’s J.B.’s or Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra. The message is delivered as a fable, demonstrating that it is the individuals who live in a stifling “Colonial Mentality” who are the slaves. His preface, stating that the colonial man had released them yet they refuse to release themselves, sets out to prove that slavery is a continual and concurrent state of mind for Africans. (by Lindsay Planer)

BackCover

Personnel:
Ayoola Abayomi (percussion)
Shina Abiodun (percussion)
Tony Allen (drums)
Lekan Animashaun (saxophone)
Nweke Atifoh (bass)
Leke Benson (guitar)
Clifford Itoje (guitar)
Nwokoma Jkem (trumpet)
Oladeinde Koffi (percussion)
Oghene Kologbo (guitar)
Fela Kuti (saxophone, piano, vocals)
Addo Nettey (percussion)
Babajide Olaleye (maracas)
Tunde Williams (trumpet)
+
background vocals:
Alake Anikulapo-Kuti – Emaruagheru Anikulapo-Kuti – Fehintola Anikulapo-Kuti – Kewe Anikulapo-Kuti – Ronke Anikulapo-Kuti – Shade Anikulapo-Kuti – Tejumade Anikulapo-Kuti

FelaKuti

Tracklist:
01. Sorrow Tears And Blood 10.16
02. Colonial Mentality 13.43

All compositions by Fela Kuti.

LabelB1

*
**

FelaKuti02Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997)

ZZ Top – Tejas (1977)

FrontCover1Tejas is the fifth studio album by the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released in late November 1976. The title is a Caddo language word meaning ‘friends’, which is the origin of the name of the band’s home state, Texas.

Frontman Billy Gibbons said about the album:

It’s fair to say that this is a transitional record, although I’m not really sure what we were transitioning from and what we were becoming. (laughs) It may be representative of how rapidly things were changing in the studio.

The equipment was becoming more modernized, and the way that music was being recorded was different – things were moving faster. It was still pre-digital, but there was better gear that was more readily available. We made use of it all.

This period was the wrinkle that kind of suggested what was to come, and change would become a necessary part of the ZZ Top fabric.

Ticket

Tejas was produced by Bill Ham and recorded and mixed by Terry Manning. In 1987, a digitally remixed version of the recording was released on CD and the original 1976 mix version was discontinued. The remix version created controversy among fans because it significantly changed the instrument balance and the sound of the instruments, especially the drums. (by wikipedia)

ZZTop1977_01

1977s Tejas is a transition album for Texas rockers ZZ Top. It is the beginning of their step away from the Blues Rock that had brought them fame and a lot of record sales and towards the 1980s Electronic Blues that would eventually make them a worldwide phenomenon. There is more of the former Blues Rock than the latter Electronica here though. Tejas is almost as good a ZZ Top’s masterpiece Deguello, but is held back by some weaker tracks, something Deguello didn’t suffer from. Still there are some amazing songs here, notable the blazing, yet tongue in cheek Arrested for Driving While Blind, the countrified and rollicking She’s a Heartbreaker, and the achingly beautiful Asleep in the Desert. Overall Tejas is an important part of ZZ Top’s discography, and a very good album.(by Karl)

Booklet01A

On Tejas, ZZ Top countrified the bluesy posture of their previous albums, resulting in a slight detour between the madcap spirit of Fandango and the psychedelic strut of Deguello. While the album lacks any singles as strong as “Tush” or “La Grange,” “Arrested for Driving While Blind” is one of ZZ’s classic anthems, capturing the group’s wacky humor and jaunty good-time boogie. Other highlights include the driving “Enjoy and Get It On,” “Avalon Hideaway,” and the fine instrumental “Asleep in the Desert.” (by Jim Smith)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Frank Beard (drums, percussion)
Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals, harmonica, fiddle)
Dusty Hill (bass guitar, keyboards, vocals on 01., 06., 07., 08., background vocals)

CoverIllustration

Tracklist:
01. It’s Only Love 4.24
02. Arrested For Driving While Blind 3.09
03. El Diablo 4.22
04. Snappy Kakkie 2.59
05. Enjoy And Get It On 3.26
06. Ten Dollar Man 3.41
07. Pan Am Highway Blues 3.15
08. Avalon Hideaway 3.08
09. She’s A Heartbreaker 3.02
10. Asleep In The Desert 3.25

All songs are written by Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard,
except 10 (written by Billy Gibbons)

Label1

*
**

More ZZ Top:
More

 

Harry Edison & Eddie Davis – Live At Paris (1977)

FrontCover1In 1937, American jazz trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison moved to New York and joined the Count Basie Orchestra. His colleagues included Buck Clayton, Lester Young (who named him “Sweets”), Buddy Tate, Freddie Green, Jo Jones, and other original members of that famous band. In a 2003 interview for the National Museum of American History, drummer Elvin Jones explained the origin of Edison’s nickname: “Sweets had so many lady friends, he was such a handsome man. He had all these girls all over him all the time, that’s why they called him Sweets.” “Sweets” Edison came to prominence as a soloist with the Basie Band and as an occasional composer/arranger for the band.He also appeared in the 1944 film Jammin’ the Blues. He passed away in 1999, at the age of 83.

American jazz tenor saxophonist Edward F Davis, known professionally as Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, played with Cootie Williams, Lucky Millinder, Andy Kirk, Eddie Bonnemere, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie, as well as leading his own bands and making many recordings as a leader. He played in the swing, bop, hard bop, Latin jazz, and soul jazz genres. Some of his recordings from the 1940s also could be classified as rhythm and blues. He died of cancer at the age of 64 in 1986. (bigozine2 magazine)

EdisonDavis02

And here´s a beautiful concert of this two masers of Swing, recorded live in Paris, 1977.

This is actually good old school jazz . Heavy on horns and piano and light on theatrics ala the hack McLaughlin. Big thumbs up from me . Give this a listen as it has my approval. (by Smashmouth)

Recorded live at the Espace Cardin, Paris, France; January 23, 1977
Very good FM broadcast.

EdisonDavis03

Personnel:
Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis (saxophone)
Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison (trumpet)
Major Holley (bass)
Oliver Jackson (drums)
Gerry Wiggins (piano)

EdisonDavis01Tracklist:
01. Three Little Words (Ruby/Kalmar) 4.17
02. Broadway (Woode/Bird/McRae) 9.42
03. I’ve Got A Crush On You (Gershwin) 8.04
04. Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Jobim) 4.31
05. Just Friends (Klenner/Lewis) 9.30
06. Lady Is A Tramp (Rodgers/Hart) 4.28
07. (This Is The End Of) A Beautiful Friendship (Kahn/Styne) 5.57
08. Blues In G (Edison) 6.49
09. Like Someone In Love (Van Heusen/Burke) 8.05
10. Days Of Wine And Roses (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer) 8.50
11. Bye Bye Blackbird (Henderson/Dixon) 9.12
12. But Beautiful (Van Heusen/Burke) 4.38
13. Satin Doll Ellington/Strayhorn/Mercer) 7.08
14. Indiana (Hanley/MacDonald) 9.51
15. Blues In C (Davis) 4.39

EdisonDavis04

*
**

Alternate frontcover:
AlternateFrontCover