Clifton Chenier – Clifton Chenier And His Red Hot Louisiana Band (1977)

FrontCover1.jpgLike many before me, my early interest as a teenager in jazz, funk and blues led me to the music of New Orleans. That interest piqued further when I found a collection of sides recorded for Atlantic by Professor Longhair in the 1950s at a public library , and then went out and bought everything I could get my hands on. Before long my ear wandered up the countryside to the bayous and swamps where music sounded a little different than in the city, namely to cajun and zydeco records. Not speaking any French, let alone Acadian or Creole, I couldn’t understand a word of much of it, yet I still felt like I connected to the music. Before the term ‘zydeco’ came into common musical parlance outside its region of origin, Clifton Chenier was said to have played “the blues accordion.” That description makes sense. Chenier, who had been recording since the early 60s, had a style capable of filling the space usually filled by a harmonica in a blues band and blending it with the piano or organ riffs you would expect from a keyed instrument. Reeds and keys together in one place. But his musical ladle also dipped into a stew containing fiddle tunes from around Louisiana’s “Cajun belt,” along with rhythm and blues, boogie-woogie, and early rock and roll music. His band briefly featured his brother Morris Chenier on fiddle in the 60s, but his lineups more typically counted on saxophone, electric guitar, bass, organ and piano to back him up. And he was always accompanied by his brother Cleveland on the washboard, who is credited with being the first washboard player to wear his instrument draped over the torso in a customized breastplate-type thing. Cleveland would tap out his rhythms using up to a half-dozen bottle openers in each hand.

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This particular album has quite a few tunes that are fairly straight forward blues, and “Hungry Man” may strike many as being eerily close to a certain McKinley Morganfield song. It is also from the period when a young Stanley Dural (aka Buckwheat Zydeco) was playing keyboards with Chenier. It might be Dural (who previously played in a funk band) whose influence we hear on the one tune that deviates a bit from the rest on this album. “Party Down (At The Blue Angel Club)” is positively funky with a taste of wah guitar and some delicious sax riffs. Between the ballads and the burners there is one tune that cries out for fiddle, the waltz-time “Tante Na Na,” but Chenier’s accordion carries the day with grace and grace notes. The song is kind of a staple in a lot of dance band repertoires and I’d be interested in knowing its origins if there is anyone out there who knows. (All the tracks are attributed to Chenier, which seems like a bit of legal fiction by the folks at Arhoolie). The next track (Do Right Sometime) disposes with everything but the drums, washboard and the sax which just plays rhythm, but the chord changes somehow still sound fleshed out.

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This is also a cool record because it catches Chenier’s band at an interesting time, riding a wave of mounting interest in the genre that he played a huge in creating. By the late 70s he could be found playing both the Montreux and New Orleans Jazz Festivals. But zydeco would become even more famous in the next decade, and Chenier himself would become the first zydeco musician to win a Grammy award. (flabbergasted-vibes.org)

Recorded April 25, 1977 at Sea-Saint Studios, New Orleans, La. except 04- which was recorded October 27, 1975 in Bogalusa, La.

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Personnel:
Joseph Bruchet (bass)
Cleveland Chenier (washboard)
Clifton Chenier (vocals, accordion)
tanley “Buckwheat” Dural (keyboards)
John Hart (saxophone)
Robert Peter (drums)
Paul Senegal (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Grand Prix 3.09
02. Hungry Man Blues 4.45
03. Parti De Paris 2.24
04. Take Off Your Dress 4.41
05. Party Down (At The Blue Angel Club) 4.36
06. Falksy Girl 3.57
07. Easy, Easy Baby 3.10
08. Tante Na Na 3.46
09. Do Right Sometime 3.41
10. Highway Blues 3.21

All songs written by Clifton Chenier

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Chenier Brothers performing at Jay’s Lounge and Cockpit, Cankton, Louisiana, Mardi Gras, 1975 (Clifton Chenier on accordion, brother Cleveland on washboard and John Hart on tenor saxophone):

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Paice Ashton Lord – BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert 1977 (1992)

CDFrontCover1Paice Ashton Lord was a short-lived British rock band featuring Deep Purple band members Ian Paice and Jon Lord with singer Tony Ashton. The band was formed in 1976, released its only album in 1977 and broke up in 1978.

After Deep Purple broke up in 1976, drummer Ian Paice and keyboard player Jon Lord created a new band, Paice Ashton Lord, with friend Tony Ashton, a British keyboardist and singer of Ashton, Gardner and Dyke. After extensive auditions they chose Bernie Marsden to play electric guitar and Paul Martinez as the band’s bassist.

Tony Ashton had previously played with Lord on the 1974 album First of the Big Bands and on Lord’s Gemini Suite project in 1971, singing lead vocals on one track. He collaborated on Lord’s solo work and Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover’s solo projects.

Soon after Ashton broke his leg falling off a stage in the dark at a London concert, the group was wound up. Lord, Marsden and later Paice joined David Coverdale’s Whitesnake. Martinez joined Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack for a short time, before joining John Otway for one album, and going on to play with Robert Plant. Later on, Paice played in Gary Moore’s band before he and Lord joined the re-formed Deep Purple in 1984.

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Tony Ashton died of cancer on 28 May 2001, as did Jon Lord, of pancreatic cancer, on 16 July 2012.

The band recorded their debut album Malice in Wonderland at Musicland Studios in Munich in September and October 1976. The record was released in February 1977. The music included elements of rhythm and blues, funk and soul, with several tracks featuring a brass section and backing vocals from Sheila and Jeanette McKinley.[2] Despite some critical appreciation, the album was not a great commercial success. A second album was planned but was not released.

PAL02Film of the band recording the album in the studio was later released as Lifespan.

The band appeared on the BBC2 & BBC Radio 1 simulcast series “Sight And Sound: In Concert”, in 1977, performing songs from “Malice In Wonderland”, plus “The Ballad Of Mr. Giver”, from Ashton & Lord’s 1974 album, First of the Big Bands. This recording was later released, subsequently with a DVD. (by wikipedia)

Recorded in 1977, on the tails of the post-Deep Purple supergroup’s Malice In Wonderland album, this extremely well-recorded broadcast catches the trio (and friends) stretching out in directions that the album itself never managed. On vinyl, after all, PAL sounded constricted, forever teetering on the brink of a no-holds-barred jam, but never quite mustering the strength to leap in. On stage, however, the improvisational instincts that Paice and Lord had built their very reputations upon were given full rein to spread and stretch.

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All but two songs from the album are included, and each is effortlessly superior to its studio counterpart — “Ghost Story” is especially effective, while the funky motions that Malice hinted at explode into view. One cannot simply marvel at what was included in the band’s live set, however; one should also applaud Paice Ashton Lord for what they didn’t play. At a time when other ex-Deep Purple-ers were blithely grafting great swathes of that band’s repertoire into their solo shows, PAL resolutely avoided even a hint of such things. (For Ashton fans, meanwhile, there’s no “Resurrection Shuffle” either.)
The result is what could (and should) have been a whole new beginning for the three mainmen of PAL, and one of the best live albums you’ll find anywhere in the Deep Purple family tree. (by Dave Thompson)

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Recorded live on 10th March 1977 at the Golders Green Hippodrome in London for the BBC’s In Concert-series.

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Personnel:
Tony Ashton (keyboards, vocals)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Paul Martinez (bass)
Bernie Marsden (guitar)
Ian Paice (drums)
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Howie Casey (saxophone)
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unknown background vocals

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Tracklist:
01. A Ghost Story (Paice/Ashton/Lord) 4-31
02. On The Road Again, Again (Paice/Ashton/Lord/Marsden) 5.25
03. Silas And Jerome (Paice/Ashton/Lord) 4.00
04. Arrabella (Oh Tell Me) (Ashton) 4.43
05. The Ballad Of Mr. Giver (Ashton/Lord) 7.28
06. I’m Gonna Stop Drinkin’ (Paice/Ashton/Lord) 5.16
07. Steamroller Blues (Taylor) 5.21
08. Lord Remember The Good Times (Paice/Ashton/Lord/Marsden/Martinez) 6.28
09. Sneaky Private Lee (Paice/Ashton/Lord/Marsden) 7.36

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Unicorn – One More Tomorrow (1977)

FrontCover1And this is the story of Unicorn:

Fans of rock music from the 1970s may remember Unicorn, a local band, that made some great albums, but unfortunately never had the fame they justly deserved.

Unicorn’s bass player was Pat Martin, who grew up in Send. In 1963 he began making music with Ken Baker, a friend from St Bede’s School, in Send. During the summer holidays Pat would ride his bike from his home to Ken’s house in Ockham with his guitar. They then both plugged into a home-made amplifier that Ken’s uncle had made.

Pat says: “My dad thought that if continued to pursue my love of beat music, it might keep me away from what he termed ‘the yobs’ he said I was mixing with.

“He bought us some better equipment, became our manager and we soon recruited a drummer, Pete Perryer.”

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The band was originally called the Senders. They then became the Pink Bears, later changing their name to the Late. They played many gigs in and around the local area and not long after they had left school aged 17, they were performing as a living. In the early days various members came and went, including, Trevor Mee. He was a gifted guitarist, so Pat switched to playing bass guitar.

Other gigs Pat recalls playing with his band include the Stereo club that was above the Co-op store in Woking. He says: “We got a gig there as a replacement to another band. I don’t think it was a licensed premises, but there was a lot of good beat and rhythm ’n’ blues bands who played there.”

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Not only did Pat and his bandmates play at Woking’s famous Atalanta club, he saw many other bands there – some of whom are now legendary. He says: “I saw the Who, the Turtles, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Graham Bond Organisation, and Cream, who were playing their second-ever gig when I saw them there.”

Atalanta owner Bob Potter managed Pat’s band the Late for three years. Pat recalls: “We did an audition for him and he liked us as we sounded like the Hollies. We were signed to him from 1967 to 1969. He had a studio in Mytchett and when we had some free time we recorded some demo tapes there.

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“Under his management we got gigs from Hampshire down to Cornwall and up to North Wales. We never made much money, but it was great fun.”

The band rehearsed in Pat’s dad’s garage, which he had converted into a studio for them. They called it The Shed. Some recordings they made in it, have now been released on CD.

After a while their bookings for gigs slowed up, but they were lucky in that they became singer Billy J Kramer’s backing band. It was regular money, but they quit after about nine months as the routine of playing a medley of all of Kramer’s hits every day became somewhat tiresome.

By this time band member Ken Baker was writing his own songs and they got a break when Transatlantic Records offered them a deal. Now named Unicorn, the album was titled Uphill All The Way and was released in 1971.

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Their style was soft rock with a country tinge plus lots of vocal harmonies. Gigs took them to countries in Europe such as Sweden and Italy where they were well received.

In 1973, David Gilmour, the guitarist in the world famous rock band Pink Floyd took Unicorn under his wing and the results were the albums Blue Pine Trees (released in 1974), Too Many Crooks and Unicorn2 (both released in 1976) and One More Tomorrow (1977).

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Pat recalls this as an exciting time as they toured the USA, playing support to such bands as Fleetwood Mac, Manfred Man’s Earthband, Billy Joel and Linda Ronstadt. Unfortunately, Unicorn never made it big in their own right and by 1977 the emergence of punk music meant only the biggest country-soft rock bands could survive.

Unicorn played its last gig that year in Canning Town, London, to an audience that was so small the band cut the performance short.

After driving lorries for a living and also driving a mobile library bus for a while, Pat has now retired, but music is in his blood and he still plays. (by David Rose)

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77’s One More Tomorrow proved to be the final Unicorn album. Capitol Records issued it first in the U.S., before Harvest brought it home to the U.K. in early 1978. While David Gilmour returned to helm the album, the record label also brought in Muff Winwood. Muff had played with his younger brother Steve in the Spencer Davis Group before transitioning into an A&R role at the Island and CBS labels. Winwood was enlisted by EMI (parent of Harvest and Capitol) to add a commercial sheen to the album. (The cover, a departure from the Hipgnosis-designed sleeve for Crooks reflected this as well.) Winwood recorded four tracks with the band which would supplement the Gilmour sessions, and in fact, his quartet of productions was selected to lead off the LP.

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Hoping for a hit, Winwood brought along a pair of songs from outside writers – the first time Unicorn had recorded non-original material since the band’s debut. Covering John Fogerty’s CCR (“Have You Ever Seen the Rain”) and Eagles pal Jack Tempchin (“Slow Dancing,” a contemporary hit for Johnny Rivers in 1977), Unicorn nonetheless sounded comfortable. Muff also helmed two Ken Baker songs – the catchy, upbeat “New Shoes” and smooth, ironic “Get Along Fine.” Surprisingly, Winwood’s productions fit snugly on the album with Gilmour’s; “The Night,” like “Get Along Fine,” would reside comfortably on a so-called “yacht rock” playlist. The SoCal-inspired country-rock of Crooks wasn’t abandoned entirely, cropping up on songs like “Eric,” “The Way It Goes” and the jaunty, breezy “British Rail Romance.”

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The Byrds’ influence is keenly felt on title track “One More Tomorrow,” with Baker adopting a natural drawl for his rueful lyrics. Baker’s bandmate Kevin Smith teamed with Roy St. John to pen the atmospheric “Magnolia Avenue.” One More Tomorrow was elegantly-crafted soft rock with impeccable musicianship guided, in large part, by David Gilmour’s deft and organic production touch, but like its predecessor, it failed to make a chart impact. After a brief parting of the ways between Baker and his bandmates, resulting in a handful of singles, Unicorn quietly broke up. The bandmates went their separate ways, though all remained involved in music, in one capacity or another.

This edition adds the non-LP B-sides “Give and Take” and “Nothing I Wouldn’t Do” plus three demos, and two performances from the same December 1975 radio session.

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Personnel:
Ken Baker (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards)
Pat Martin (bass, vocals)
Peter Perrier (drums, percussion, vocals)
Kevin Smith (guitar)
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Howie Casey (saxophone on 10.)
Bill Livsey piano on 03., 04.)
Chris Pidgeon (keyboards, percussion on 03., 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Have You Seen The Rain (Fogerty) 3.11
02. New Shoes (Baker) 3.02
03. Slow Dancing (Tempchin) 3.33
04. Get Along Fine (Baker) 3.29
05. British Rail Romance (Baker) 3.10
06. Eric (Baker) 4.19
07. One More Tomorrow (Baker) 3.14
08. So Hard To Get Through (Baker) 3.42
09. I’m Alright (When I’m With You) (Baker) 2.48
10. The Night (Baker) 4.29
11. The Way It Goes (Baker) 3.53
12. Magnolia Avenue (Smith/St.John) 3.26
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13. Nothing I Wouldn’t Do (Single B-side) (Baker) 4.51
14. Give & Take (Single B-side) (Baker) 3.54

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Larry Coryell & Philip Catherine – Twin House (1977)

LPFrontCover1Twin House is an album by American guitarist Larry Coryell and Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine that was released by Atlantic Records in 1977. The duo recorded a second album, Splendid, in 1978. (by wikipedia)

The first of two fine guitar duet recordings with Phillip Catherine. Of the two, Catherine’s sound is more rooted in the tradition of Django Reinhardt and tends to be more introspective. Coryell is his usual incorrigible self; however, Catherine’s presence seemed to inspire more experimentation and intelligent playing on Coryell’s part. As expected, this session will appeal primarily to guitarists — and for good reason, as both players exploit their chops — but it should be noted that the compositions here are quite memorable. Whether soloing over one riff (“Mortgage on Your Soul”), playing the blues (“Twin House”), or showing off (“Airpower”), this is an excellent collaboration and one of Coryell’s most ambitious performances. (by Robert Taylor)

I heard Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine together for the first time at the Berlin Jazz ConcertPoster.jpgFestival in 1975. Their creative compability, the enthusiasm and mutual understanding inspired me to take them into the Olympic Sound Studios in London to cut “Twin House” in just one day. This was only possible because both the music and the artists were ready to go on.

“Twin House” became one of those rare jazz records well recieved by both the record buying public and the critics. Two years later we were back in the studio recording the “Splendid Sessions”.

Both records were never before released on CD. I am grateful to the artists an my ex-colleagues at WEA, Germany, to let me release what I believe is the best of “Twin House” and “Splendid” on my ACT label. “Mortgage of Your Soul” was taken off and replaced by the previously unreleased track “Dance Dream”.

This record is dedicated to the memory of the great gipsy guitar player Django Reinhardt. (by Siegfried E. Loch, producer)

Excellent! Exceded Expectations!

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Personnel:
Philip Catherine (guitar)
Larry Coryell (guitar)
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Joachim Kühn (piano on 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Ms. Julie (Coryell) 5.28
02. Homecomings (Catherine) 6.00
03. Airpower (Catherine) 4.05
04. Twin House (Catherine) 5.19
05. Gloryell (Webb) 7.20
06. Nuages (Reinhardt) 5.19
07. Twice A Week (Catherine) 4.46
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08. Dance Dream (Mikkelborg) 5.26
09. Snowshadows (Coryell) 3.32
10. Deus Xango (Piazzolla) 5.29
11. My Serenade (Reinhardt) 4.54
12. Father Christmas (Catherine) 2.40
13. The Train And The River (Giuffre) 4.49

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Woody Shaw With Anthony Braxton – The Iron Men (1977/1981)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Iron Men is an album led by trumpeter Woody Shaw which was recorded in 1977 but not released on the Muse label until 1981. The Iron Men was reissued by Mosaic Records as part of Woody Shaw: The Complete Muse Sessions in 2013.

This is a particularly interesting set by Woody Shaw because it teams the trumpeter with the great saxophonist Anthony Braxton and such forward-thinking players as altoist Arthur Blythe, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Joe Chambers. Highlights are versions of Eric Dolphy’s “Iron Man” and Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” that are based on renditions Shaw had recorded with Dolphy back in 1963; the latter has Braxton playing clarinet. A couple of brief free improvisations by the trio of Shaw, Abrams and McBee in addition to Andrew Hill’s “Symmetry” and the trumpeter’s epic “Song Of Songs” round out this continually intriguing and adventurous program. (by Scott Yanow)

This album starts with Eric Dolphy’s “Iron Man” in a hard bop vein with exciting solo work from alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, trumpeter Shaw, and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams. Michael Cuscuna’s liner notes indicate that Woody Shaw dedicated this LP to “Eric Dolphy, Andrew Hill, Jackie McLean,McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson and all the otheriron men.”

@ Keystone Korner, San Francisco CA 
11/10/1979

“Jitterbug Waltz” features Shaw with a more fluid tone on cornet, Anthony Braxton on clarinet, Abrams and bassist Cecil McBee with exciting solo work, in a standard take on Fats Waller’s classic tune. Shaw’s original composition “Song of Songs” lends an air of serious drama; there’s a Spanish bullfight intensity, presenting the trumpeter’s daring and flexible range. Saxophonists Blythe and Braxton follow Shaw’s stirring solo with a duet chorus, Blythe on alto and Braxton on soprano. Together, they weave more excitement into the piece before turning it over to the Abrams, who offers a hailstorm of a piano solo. For two brief trio numbers, “Diversion One” and “Diversion Two,” with piano and bass, Shaw eschews the hard bop idiom and picks up the flugelhorn to float a few examples of his pure, natural tone. Highly recommended. (Jim Santella)

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Personnel:
Muhal Richard Abrams (piano)
Anthony Braxton (clarinet, saxophone)
Joe Chambers (drums on 01. + 03..)
Victor Lewis (drums on 02 + 05.)
Cecil McBee (bass)
Woody Shaw (trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn)
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Arthur Blythe (saxophone (on 01. + 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Iron Man (Dolphy) 6.23
02. Jitterbug Waltz (Waller) 8.25
03. Symmetry (Hill) 8.21
04. Diversion One (Shaw/Abrams(McBee) 2.59
05. Song f Songs (Shaw) 12.48
06. Diversion Two (Shaw/Abrams(McBee) 2.52

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Jack DeJohnette’s Directions – New Rags (1977)

FrontCover1.jpgToday’s Rediscovery is an album that, despite never being released officially on CD, is a relatively regular play chez Kelman, getting spun at least a couple times every year. New Rags (ECM, 1977), the third—and, sadly, final—recording by drummer Jack DeJohnette’s Directions group, pares down the quintet of its second album and ECM debut to a quartet, where Cosmic Chicken bassist Peter Warren is replaced by Mike Richmond and keyboardist Warren Bernhardt is eliminated from the lineup after making his single set appearance with the group on Untitled (ECM, 1976).

The Chicago-born drummer is left, on New Rags, alongside guitarist (and fellow ECM label mate) John Abercrombie, lesser known but still busy session saxophonist Alex Foster and Richmond, another name less familiar to casual jazz fans but with a sizeable discography to suggest plenty of name power amongst musicians, It’s an album that, perhaps even more than its broad-scoped predecessor, succeeds in positioning DeJohnette as not just one of jazz’s most impressive drummers—even at this relatively early stage, about a decade into the then 35 year-old drummer’s career, having already clocked up two major gigs with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis—but as a composer, instrumentalist and bandleader of increasing significance.

DeJohnette and Abercrombie were already good friends by this time, the guitarist having played on the drummer’s two Prestige dates: 1974’s Sorcery, as well as 1975’s Cosmic Jack DeJohnette01.jpgChicken—neither particularly well-received. DeJohnette returned the favour by appearing on Abercrombie’s Timeless—the guitarist’s 1975 ECM leader debut that quickly became a classic for both Abercrombie and the label—while the two began their on-again/off-again collaborative trio with bassist (and fellow Miles Davis alum) Dave Holland, Gateway, with its critically acclaimed eponymous ECM debut the same year.

But if Timeless explored a combination of keyboard-driven electricity and stripped down acoustic elegance, and Gateway found that unique nexus where Holland’s predilection for groove met with the freewheeling trio’s collective improvisational chemistry, New Rags explores three DeJohnette compositions of remarkable diversity, along with Foster’s more harmonically ambiguous but potently swinging “Flys,” and “Steppin’ Through”—the rocking, near (but not quite) fusion powerhouse that closes the album on a supremely fiery note, moving from pedal- to-the-metal intensity with Foster’s opening salvo to more spacious, open terrain, only to return to its unrelenting, riff-driven intro for a solo from Abercrombie. Overdriven and unfettered, it’s one of the guitarist’s best of the set—pushed to even greater extremes by DeJohnette’s cymbal-heavy power groove before the entire quartet brings things down for an ultimate fade-out.

One of DeJohnette’s most enduring qualities as a writer throughout the years has been a wry sense of humor, which has imbued many of his best compositions, including “One for Eric” and “Zoot Suite,” both from the drummer’s eponymous 1980 debut of the twin-saxophone (and occasionally trumpet)-driven Special Edition group, whose four ECM recordings were reissued in one of the label’s Old & New Masters Edition boxes, Special Edition, in 2013. New Rags may wax lyrical on “Lydia,” a gorgeous ballad named after the drummer’s wife that features DeJohnette on piano, but on his episodic title track, DeJohnette drives his group to shift gears seamlessly between ambling free bop, challenging stop/start compositional segues with brief moments of bump-and-grind burlesque…and an irregularly metered calypso ending that may seem like a non sequitur but, ultimately, makes perfect sense in DeJohnette’s stylistically unbound musical universe.

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It’s not particularly uncommon for drummers to play piano, but few are as good as DeJohnette, who could easily have focused his energy on that instrument rather than drums with similar success…but we’ll never know, as it’s an instrument he only brings out occasionally. Still, when he does—as he does here on “Lydia” and later on the even more memorable “Silver Hollow”—a standout track on the subsequent debut of his reconfigured New Directions group (with only Abercrombie remaining in the lineup) on its 1978 ECM debut of the same name—he invariably demonstrates a particular penchant for melodic specificity.

The lengthy, open-ended “Minya’s the Mooch”—named after his then-young daughter and a play on “Minnie the Moocher,” made famous by Cab Calloway—opens the album with an elliptical, visceral bass line from Richmond that anchors an atmospheric collection of delicate cymbals and volume pedal-swelling guitar. Foster enters with powerful aplomb, ultimately pushing the group first towards double time energy, but then dissolving into a melée of apparent chaos—except for the cued figure that reveals more method than madness—before a closing section that returns to the more ethereal atmospherics of the intro.

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How the entire group moves through these various passages as one is what makes Directions such a memorable group that, building on the success of Untitled, delivers an even more impressive sophomore effort. What’s less impressive is that both Untitled and New Rags remain unavailable—and would make a perfect double-disc set to bring all of DeJohnette’s albums as a leader on ECM into print on CD. Until then, both albums—both worthy of Rediscovery, but with New Rags beating out Untitled by a hair— are enjoyed, chez Kelman, in a vinyl>CDR transfer that sounds absolutely wonderful on the Tetra Listening Instruments. ECM’s painstaking attention to sonic transparency and pristine clarity is a particularly beautiful thing to behold here, on a record that covers considerable dynamic territory…and is all the better for it.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you know this record, and if so, how do you feel about it?(John Kelman)

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Personnel:
John Abercrombie (guitar, mandolin)
Jack DeJohnette (drums, piano)
Alex Foster (saxophone)
Mike Richmond (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Minya’s The Mooch (DeJohnette) 11.30
02. Lydia (Foster) 3.43
03. Flys (Foster) 6.07
04. New Rags (DeJohnette) 9.08
05. Steppin’ Thru (Foster) 10.29

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Thin Lizzy – Live And Dangerous (1978)

FrontCover1.JPGLive and Dangerous is a live double album by the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, released in June 1978. It was recorded in London in 1976, and Philadelphia and Toronto in 1977, with further production in Paris. It was also the last Thin Lizzy album to feature guitarist Brian Robertson,[a] who left the band shortly after its release.

The band decided to release a live album after their producer Tony Visconti did not have enough time to work on a full studio session. The group listened through various archive recordings from earlier tours and compiled the album from the best versions. Various studio overdubs were made to the live recordings during early 1978 in Paris; exactly how much of the album is overdubbed has been a contentious topic since its release. The album reached No. 2 in the UK album charts, ultimately selling over half a million copies. It has continued to attract critical acclaim and it has appeared in several lists of the greatest live albums of all time.

By the mid-1970s, Thin Lizzy had stabilised around founding members, lead singer and bassist Phil Lynott and drummer Brian Downey, alongside guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. The band had found commercial success with several hit singles and developed a strong live following, including headlining the Reading Festival. Robertson had briefly left the band in 1977 but subsequently returned. The group had planned to ThinLizzy01make a new studio album at the start of 1978. Working with producer Tony Visconti, Thin Lizzy retained commercial success with the album Bad Reputation, and the group wanted to work with him again. However, Visconti had a very tight schedule and had committed to producing several albums for other artists, so Lynott suggested instead that they spend two weeks together compiling a live album from earlier recordings.

The band and Visconti listened to over 30 hours of archive recordings, looking for the best performances to release.[3] The album sleeve notes credit two concerts as the source of the album – Hammersmith Odeon, London, England on 14 November 1976 (as part of the tour for Johnny the Fox, released earlier that year), and Seneca College Fieldhouse, Don Mills, Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 28 October 1977 (as part of the tour for Bad Reputation).[1] Visconti later revealed that shows at the Tower Theater, Philadelphia on 20 and 21 October 1977, a week earlier than the Toronto gig, had also been recorded. The band had listened back to the Hammersmith tapes shortly after recording and agreed that the performances sounded better than the studio versions. Thin Lizzy biographer Mark Putterford believes the majority of recordings on the finished album are from the Hammersmith show. Visconti later said the performance of “Southbound” came from a soundcheck before one of the Philadelphia gigs, with the audience reaction dubbed in from another song.

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On this album, the band segues immediately from “Cowboy Song” into “The Boys Are Back in Town”, on the line “a cowboy’s life is the life for me” – the last chord of the former was the first of the latter, although their studio versions were recorded as separate songs.[8] This segue between the two tracks remained a staple of the band’s setlist for the rest of their career, and examples can be found on other live releases. The band had rearranged “Still in Love with You” to be slower and more emotional than the original studio version, and the version recorded on Live and Dangerous was considered by Putterford to be the highlight of Lynott’s musical career.

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To promote the album, the group filmed a gig at the Rainbow Theatre, London on 29 March 1978 for a television broadcast. However, this was cancelled and the footage went unaired.

The album was mixed and overdubbed at Studio Des Dames, Paris in January 1978. All sources agree that overdubbing took place on Live and Dangerous, although there is considerable disagreement about the extent of them. According to Visconti, the album was “75% recorded in the studio” with only the drums and audience noise remaining from the original live recordings. Visconti later said the overdubs and production were essential in order that the listener could hear a professional sounding band. He claims to have created some audience sounds from a keyboard-triggered tape loop in a similar manner to a Mellotron or sampling keyboard. Nevertheless, Visconti was happy with the production and believes the end result sounds authentic.

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However, manager Chris O’Donnell said the album was 75% live, with overdubs restricted to backing vocals and a few guitar solos to “clean the sound up”. Lynott said that there were a few necessary overdubs, but “anything else would have ruined the atmosphere on those recordings and made a mockery of putting out a live album”. Robertson has been particularly critical over Visconti’s view. He has said the album is almost all live, and the sound levels on stage would make overdubbing impossible due to the lack of acoustic separation between instruments. He claims a recording of “Still In Love With You”, featuring a guitar solo he felt was better than the one at the gig that was eventually released, could not be used due to phaser noise on the bass. From this, he concluded that if the bass could not be overdubbed, nothing else could either.

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O’Donnell hired Chalkie Davies, a photographer for New Musical Express for two weeks to photograph the band on a US tour in early 1978 in order to capture enough pictures suitable for the album artwork. The front cover, featuring Lynott in the foreground, was originally supposed to be the back cover as the group wanted equal coverage of all members. O’Donnell disagreed and reversed the front and back photographs at the last minute. The album had a working title of Thin Lizzy Live but Lynott decided that Live and Dangerous was better.

The record sleeve includes a montage photograph in the studio consisting of a mirror, straw, razor blade and a rolled up five pound note (as an overt reference to cocaine consumption). Lynott insisted on adding the picture over the rest of the band’s objections.

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Live and Dangerous was released as a double album on 2 June 1978. In the UK, it was released on Vertigo Records and reached a high of No. 2 in the UK album charts, held from the top spot by the Grease soundtrack album. It remained in the charts for 62 weeks[16] and eventually sold 600,000 copies. It was also the first album to be released by Warner Bros. Records in America after the band left Mercury Records in that area. A single from the album, “Rosalie / Cowgirl’s Song” was released in April and reached No. 20 in the UK single charts.

The band began touring to promote the album, but after a one-off gig in Ibiza, Lynott and Robertson had an acrimonious argument. Robertson subsequently quit Thin Lizzy permanently to form Wild Horses with former Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain. He was replaced by a returning Gary Moore, who had already been a band member in 1974 and 1977.

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The album was reissued on CD in 1989. The March 1978 footage from the Rainbow Theater concert was released a first time in 1980 on VHS by VCL Video and as a 60-minute edit by Castle Communications in 1994 and titled Live & Dangerous.[21][22] The complete footage was released on DVD in 2007, with other group performances including a show from their farewell tour on 26 January 1983, and four Top of the Pops clips from the 1970s.

In 2009, the live album Still Dangerous was released, which features material from the 20 October 1977 gig at Philadelphia that was used for some of Live and Dangerous. There is some overlap of tracks between the two albums, though Still Dangerous is completely live with no overdubs.

Kerrang! magazine listed the album at No. 50 among the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time”.

The album continues to attract critical praise. In 2010 Live and Dangerous was ranked number one in PlanetRock.com’s The Greatest Live Album Top 40. The following year, the British music magazine NME ranked Live and Dangerous at No. 1 in its 50 Greatest Live Albums of All Time. In 2015, Rolling Stone put the album at No. 46 in its list of the greatest live albums. The album is included in the 2011 revision of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. (by wikipedia)

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Released in 1978, just as the hot streak starting with 1975’s Fighting and running through 1977’s Bad Reputation came to an end, Live and Dangerous was a glorious way to celebrate Thin Lizzy’s glory days and one of the best double live LPs of the 70s. Of course, this, like a lot of double-lives of that decade — Kiss’ Alive! immediately springs to mind — isn’t strictly live; it was overdubbed and colored in the studio (the very presence of studio whiz Tony Visconti as producer should have been an indication that some corrective steering may have been afoot). But even if there was some tweaking in the studio, Live and Dangerous feels live, containing more energy and power than the original LPs, which were already dynamic in their own right. It’s this energy, combined with the expert song selection, that makes Live and Dangerous a true live classic. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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I usually prefer to listen to studio albums than live albums, but this one, as Made in Japan to Deep Purple, is an exception: it is the best option to get into Thin Lizzy and start to know them. It works like a greatest hits, including the best themes of the band until this album, but offering the listener a high level performance. I’ve read somwehere that it is re-recorded so it isn’t “pure live”, but listening to the result I don’t care a lot, because it’s excellent.
I especially love, for example, the transition from “Dancing in the moonlight” to “Massacre”, the solo in “Emerald” and “Still in love with you”. Lynnot really put sentiment into his singing. (reymonmvc toledo)

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Personnel:
Brian Downey (drums, percussion)
Scott Gorham (guitar, background vocals)
Phil Lynott (vocals, bass)
Brian Robertson (guitar, background vocals)
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John Earle – saxophone on “Dancing in the Moonlight”
Huey Lewis (as “Bluesey Huey Lewis”) – harmonica on “Baby Drives Me Crazy”

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Tracklist:
01. Jailbreak (Lynott) 4.33.
02. Emerald (Downey/Gorham/Lynott/Robertson) 4.33
03. Southbound (Lynott) 4,41
04. Rosalie (Seger)/ Cowgirl’s Song (Downey/Lynott) 4.13
05. Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight) (Lynott) / Massacre (Downey/Gorham/Lynott) 6.48
06. Still In Love With You (Lynott) 7.41
07. Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed (Downey/Gorham/Lynott) 3.44
08. Cowboy Song (Downey/Lynott) /  The Boys Are Back In Town (Lynott) 9.43
09. Don’t Believe a Word” Lynott 2:05
10. Warriors (Gorham/Lynott) 3.56
11. Are You Ready (Downey/Gorham/Lynott/Robertson) 2.47
12. Suicide (Lynott) 5.13
13. Sha La La (Downey/Lynott) 5.33
14. Baby Drives Me Crazy (Downey/Gorham/Lynott/Robertson) 6.41
15. The Rocker (Bell/Downey/Lynott) 4.01
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16. Live And Dangerous (full album – uncut edition) 1.16.51

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Philip Parris Lynott (20 August 1949 – 4 January 1986)

 

When I passed you in the doorway
Well you took me with a glance
I should have took that last bus home
But I asked you for a dance

Now we go steady to the pictures
I always get chocolate stains on my pants
And my father he’s going crazy
He says I’m living in a trance

But I’m dancing in the moonlight
It’s caught me in its spotlight
It’s alright, alright
Dancing in the moonlight
On this long hot summer night

It’s three o’clock in the morning
And I’m on the streets again
I disobeyed another warning
I should have been in by ten

Now I won’t get out until Sunday
I’ll have to say I stayed with friends
But it’s a habit worth forming
If it means to justify the end

Dancing in the moonlight
It’s caught me in its spotlight
It’s alright, alright
Dancing in the moonlight
On this long hot summer night

And I’m walking home
The last bus has long gone
But I’m dancing in the moonlight