Herbie Mann – Sunbelt (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgHerbie Mann played a wide variety of music throughout his career. He became quite popular in the 1960s, but in the ’70s became so immersed in pop and various types of world music that he seemed lost to jazz. However, Mann never lost his ability to improvise creatively as his later recordings attest.

Herbie Mann began on clarinet when he was nine but was soon also playing flute and tenor. After serving in the Army, he was with Mat Mathews’ Quintet (1953-1954) and then started working and recording as a leader. During 1954-1958 Mann stuck mostly to playing bop, sometimes collaborating with such players as Phil Woods, Buddy Collette, Sam Most, Bobby Jaspar, and Charlie Rouse. He doubled on cool-toned tenor and was one of the few jazz musicians in the ’50s who recorded on bass clarinet; he also recorded a full album in 1957 (for Savoy) of unaccompanied flute.

After spending time playing and writing music for television, Mann formed his Afro-Jazz Sextet, in 1959, a group using several percussionists, vibes (either Johnny Rae, Hagood Hardy, or Dave Pike) and the leader’s flute. He toured Africa (1960) and Brazil (1961), had a hit with “Comin’ Home Baby,” and recorded with Bill Evans. The most popular jazz flutist during the era, Mann explored bossa nova (even recording in Brazil in 1962), incorporated music from many cultures (plus current pop tunes) into his repertoire, and had among his sidemen such top young musicians as Willie Bobo, Chick Corea (1965), Attila Zoller, and Roy Ayers; at the 1972 Newport Festival his sextet included David Newman and Sonny Sharrock.

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By then Mann had been a producer at Embroyo (a subsidiary of Atlantic) for three years and was frequently stretching his music outside of jazz. As the ’70s advanced, Mann became much more involved in rock, pop, reggae, and even disco. After leaving Atlantic at the end of the ’70s, Mann had his own label for awhile and gradually came back to jazz. He recorded for Chesky, made a record with Dave Valentin, and in the ’90s founded the Kokopelli label on which before breaking away in 1996, he was free to pursue his wide range of musical interests. Through the years, he recorded as a leader for Bethlehem, Prestige, Epic, Riverside, Savoy, Mode, New Jazz, Chesky, Kokopelli, and most significantly Atlantic. He passed away on July 1, 2003, following an extended battle with prostate cancer. His last record was 2004’s posthumously released Beyond Brooklyn for Telarc. (by Scott Yanow)

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This is Herbie Mann just relaxing and chilling with very easygoing pop jazz laced with a decidedly, though not overtly, Brazilian flavor. Nothing flashy or obviously great here, but it’s nice to hear a master leaning back to enjoy himself, rather than straining forward with every muscle to excel as a maestro. (Steven Bruce Jones)

The third track, “What Would You Do?” is a gospel-type tune featuring the talents of the late, soulful pianist Richard Tee. The gem from this session is, without question, the title track. Once again you have great percussion coupled with acoustic guitar and The Girls of Bahia doing light vocals. There is a terrific, irresistable hook at the end of the melody. What more can I say, just should listen to this album, you won’t be sorry. (by pperglenn)

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Personnel:
Leroy Clouden (drums)
Rafael Cruz (percussion)
Frank Gravis (bass)
Herbie Mann (flute, saxophone)
Claudio Roditi (trumpet, trombone)
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Roy Ayers (vibraphone on 03.)
Ken Bichel (strings, synthesizer, whistle on 02.)
Cliff Carter (synthesizer on 02.)
Steve Gadd (drums on 03.)
Jeff Mironov (guitar on 01., 03., 05., 06.)
Portinho (drums on 07.)
Pat Rebillot (piano on 02.)
Barry Rogers (trombone on 04.)
Dom Salvador (piano on 01., 04., 05.)
Richard Tee (piano on 01., 03., 04., 05., 06.)
Danny Toan (guitar on 04.)
Amaury Tristao (guitar on 02., 05. + 07.)
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background vocals:
The Girls Of Bahia

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Tracklist:
01. Watermelon Man (Hancock) 7.15
02. The Closer I Get To You (Mtume/Lucas) 5.07
03. What Would You Do? (Tee) 5.09
04. Killian (Toan) 5.18
05. Dona Palmeira (Madame Palm Tree) (Lins) 6.24
06. Let’s Stay Together (Mitchell/Jackson) 4.57
07. Sunbelt (Mann) / Mulher Rendeira (Weaver Woman) (Traditional) 5.01

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Dickey Betts & Great Southern – 30 Years Of Southern Rock (1978 – 2008) 2010)

FrontCover1.jpgAnd here are great live recordings from Germany (1978 and 2008). Dickey Betts and Great Southern were the third highlight at the Rockpalast Festival on March 4th/5th, 1978. On those evenings they played for the first time in Europe in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Gruga-Halle in Essen/Germany and millions of viewers on television. Dickey Betts is not an unknown to those who are familiar with American Rock music. He was one of the original members of the Allman Brothers Band and formed his own band Great Southern in 1976. Nowadays, Dickey Betts and Great Southern are considered to be one of the most important and influential Southern Rock bands of all time.

The air in Germany definitely agrees with Dickey (see Ohne concert in 1991). I just got this music and it is phenomenal to compare him playing songs 30 years apart. The first side is from 1978 and Dickey is a madman–fast, furious, inventive, and uninhibited. This is the GS with the Toler brothers and Dan kicks ass as well. Every song is unique–in High Falls, Dickey does his Whipping Post solo. Inventive riffs on all solos throughout. Liz Reed and Jessica are other standouts. It’s a different GS in 2008 but no less original if a bit more mature. You can’t go wrong with this one. (by Mabulous)
A then and now collection, a live show from 1978 and on disc 2 a show from 2008. The sound quality on both these shows are excellent.It is amazing how Dickey has survived all these years and not loose too much of his guitar playing and singing.Dickey delivers on both these shows.This is a must have for any Dickey, Allman fan. (by Richard L. Raines)

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Personnel:

The 1978 Great Southern lineup:
Dickey Betts (guitar, vocals)
David Godflies (bass)
Dan Toler (guitar)
David Toler (drums/percussion)
Dani Sharbono (drums/percussion)
Michael Workman (keyboards)

The 2008 Great Southern lineup:
Andy Aledort (guitar)
Pedro Arevalo (bass)
Dickey Betts (guitar, vocals)
Duane Betts (guitar)
Michael Kach (organ, vocals)
Frankie Lombardi (drums)
James Vanardo (drums)

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Tracklist:

CD 1 (Essen/Germany, Grugahalle 1978):
01. Rockpalast-Intro 0.14
02. Run Gypsy Run (Betts/Buck/Paramore) 5.23
03. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (Betts) 11.39
04. Good Time Feelin’ (Betts) 7.06
05. Dealin’ With The Devil (Betts/Reynolds/Toler) 3.50
06. Jessica (Betts) 12.19
07. High Falls (incl. Drum Solo) (Betts) 29.13
08. Ramblin’ Man (Betts) 6.11

CD 2 (Bonn/Germany, Museumsplatz 2008):
01. Statesboro Blues (McTell) 6.09
02. Nothing You Can Do (Betts) 5.22
03. Blue Sky (Betts) 9.26
04. Get Away (Betts) 6.38
05. One Way Out (Sehorn/James) 8.36
06. Havin’ A Good Time (Betts) 5.51
07. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (Betts) 19.49
08. No One To Run With (Betts/Prestia) 6.27
09. Ramblin’ Man (Betts) 5.42

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Jan Akkerman & Claus Ogerman – Aranjuez (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgJan Akkerman and Claus Ogerman’s ‘Aranjuez’ (1978) is defenitely among the most beautiful records in my collection. Claus Ogerman arrangemends for orchestra are moody, mysterious and stylish. He can easily switch between peacefull and darker atmospheres or between bombastic and fragile environments.

All pieces are symphonic with a modern classical music feel with loads of interesting harmonies, making this interesting for progressive rock listeners. All tracks have slow, soulful pace. As a listener of Frank Sinatra’s all ballad string albums (I warmly recommend ‘No Once Cares’ and ‘Only The Lonely’), I almost feel like this could almost have been a Frank Sinatra record – which is not too far from the truth since Claus Ogerman has also written arrangments for the Voice.

The guitar of Jan Akkerman have never sound more emotional engaging, more sensitive and well performed. His jazz guitar with a slight distortion is recorded beautifully and reminds us of moviesoundtracks of dessert and western movies. Great phrasing and storytelling. I wish this side of Akkerman would have been more prominent in his carrere.

Conclusion. Beautiful, relaxing and soulfull music for when the sun is down. Warmly recommended. (by friso)

Claus Ogerman

Claus Ogerman (29 April 1930 – 8 March 2016)

This album from 1978 was kind of an anomalie for Akkerman during a period in his record output that saw albums like Eli (1976), Jan Akkerman (1977), Live in Montreux (1978), Santa Barbara – Live w/ Joachim Kuhn (1981), and Pleasure Point (1982) hit the record bins. His live concerts were usually exposés of funky, jazzy, hard rocking events with plenty of abrasive incendiary guitar work.
He may have wanted to proof that he was also able to sell a romantic semi-classical recording like the million selling Introspection LP’s by ex-Focus band mate Thijs van Leer at that time.
This recording has several things going for it: beautiful intimate yet razor sharp guitar sound, and a jazzy improvisational playing style which suits this music well. All pieces are beautiful, well known classical works or original compositions.
Unfortunately the strings are arranged and recorded with a “thick layer of sugar coating” that makes them sound like a Mantovani record.
I would have loved a more classical music approach of those strings, fronted with that beautiful electric guitar sound of his.
This record may be the pinnacle of easy listening (and that’s a compliment in my book), and is still highly listenable to my ears. (by Garrett de La Forêt sur La Pente)

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Personnel:
Jan Akkerman (guitar)
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Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass)
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Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claus Ogerman –

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Tracklist:
01. Adagio from “Concierto de Aranjuez” (Rodrigo) 5.57
02. Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 (Heitor Villa-Lobos) 5.59
03. Espanoleta (Sanz) 5.19
04. Love Remembered (Akkerman) 3.49
05. Modinha (Villa-Lobos) 5.49
06. Nightwings (Ogerman) 5.04
07. Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte (Ravel) 7.00
08. The Seed Of God (from “Magdalena”) (Heitor Villa-Lobos) 5.52

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Monty Alexander feat. Ernest Ranglin – Cobilimbo (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgMontgomery Bernard “Monty” Alexander (born 6 June 1944) is a Jamaican jazz pianist. His playing has a Caribbean influence and bright swinging feeling, with a strong vocabulary of bebop jazz and blues rooted melodies. He was influenced by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, and Frank Sinatra. Alexander also sings and plays the melodica. He is known for his surprising musical twists, bright rhythmic sense, and intense dramatic musical climaxes. Monty’s recording career has covered many of the well known American songbook standards, jazz standards, pop hits, and Jamaican songs from his original homeland. Alexander has resided in New York City for many years and performs frequently throughout the world at jazz festivals and clubs.

Alexander was born on 6 June 1944 in Kingston, Jamaica. He discovered the piano when he was four years old and seemed to have a knack for picking melodies out by ear. His mother sent him to classical music lessons at the age of six and became interested in jazz piano at the age of 14, and began playing in clubs, and on recording sessions by Clue Monty Alexander02J & His Blues Blasters, subbing for Aubrey Adams, whom he describes as his hero, when he was unable to play. Two years later, he directed a dance orchestra (Monty and the Cyclones) and played in the local clubs covering much of the 1960s early rock and pop dance hits. Performances at the Carib Theater in Jamaica by Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole left a strong impression on the young pianist.

Alexander and his family moved to Miami, Florida, in 1961, where he played in various nightclubs. One night Monty was brought to the attention of Frank Sinatra and Frank’s friend Jilly Rizzo. They were there to see the act in the next room, a Sinatra imitator. Somebody suggested they also check out the kid playing piano in the front room bar, “He’s swinging the room pretty good” they said. Thus, Monty was invited to New York City in 1962 to become the house pianist for Jilly Rizzo’s night club and restaurant simply called “Jilly’s.” In addition to performing with Frank Sinatra there, Alexander also met and became friends with bassist Ray Brown and vibist Milt Jackson. He also became friendly with Miles Davis, both men sharing a love of watching boxing matches.

In Los Angeles, in 1964, Alexander recorded his first album, Alexander the Great, for Pacific Jazz at the age of 20. The album was very energetic and upbeat with the climax tune being “Blues for Jilly”.

Monty Alexander at the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival, (c)2016 FFJM - Marc Ducrest

Alexander recorded with Milt Jackson in 1969, with Ernest Ranglin in 1974 and in Europe the same year with Ed Thigpen. He toured regularly in Europe and recorded there, mostly with his classic trio for MPS Records. He also toured around 1976 with the steelpan player Othello Molineaux. Alexander has also played with several singers such as Ernestine Anderson, Mary Stallings and other important leaders (Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, Jimmy Griffin and Frank Morgan). In his successive trios, he has played frequently with musicians associated with Oscar Peterson: Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Mads Vinding, Ed Thigpen and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.

In the mid-1970s he formed a group consisting of John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums, creating a stir on the jazz-scene in Europe. Their most famous collaboration is Montreux Alexander, recorded during the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 1976.

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Alexander formed a reggae band in the 1990s, featuring all Jamaican musicians. He has released several reggae albums, including Yard Movement (1996), Stir It Up (1999, a collection of Bob Marley songs), Monty Meets Sly & Robbie (2000), and Goin’ Yard (2001). He collaborated again with Ranglin in 2004 on the album Rocksteady.[3]

Alexander married the American jazz guitarist Emily Remler in 1981. They divorced in 1985. Alexander is currently married to Italian jazz singer Caterina Zapponi. (by wikipedia)

And here is his 19th album for the legendaray German jazz label MPS Records:

“Cobilimbo” is one of Monty Alexander’s more creative sets of the 70s, recorded Sept. 8.-9.,1977, at MPS Studio Villingen/Germany, with a strong Caribbean groove overall and with guitar from Ernest Ranglin and steel drums from Vincent Taylor.

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Personnel:
Monty Alexander (piano)
Charles Campbell (congas)
Frank Gant (drums)
Ernest Ranglin (guitar)
Andy Simpkins (bass)
Vincent Taylor (steel-drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Out Of Many People, One (Alexander) 5.22
02. Muko (Alexander/Taylor) 6.24
03. Many Rivers To Cross (Cliff) 4.25
04. Cobilimbo (Alexander) 7.06
05. Ripe Banana (Clayton) 5.41
06. Jammin’ (Malik) 6.15
07. Tropical Breeze (Nasser) 5.00
08. Caribea (Alexander) 5.04

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Rory Gallagher – Notes From San Francisco (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgNotes from San Francisco is a posthumous album by Irish musician Rory Gallagher. Released in 2011, It consists of two CDs. The first disc is a never released album that Gallagher recorded in San Francisco in December 1977. The album was to be a major shift for Gallagher. Rather than producing it himself, he worked with Elliot Mazer a successful producer who had a long track record with artists such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and The Band. At the last minute — causing great distress to his manager and brother Dónal and to his record company — Gallagher decided to just pull the record. In an interview, Gallagher stated “it wasn’t because of the material or the musicians or anything like that. It was a song thing that I didn’t think on the technical side everything worked. So I scrapped the thing” After scrapping the album Gallagher reworked his band firing all the musicians except the bass player and hiring a new drummer. This new Gallagher power trio re-recorded the San Francisco songs with Gallagher producing and released them as Photo-Finish.  Shortly before his death, Rory reportedly gave Dónal permission to eventually release the original San Francisco versions of the songs if they were remixed. Dónal had his son Daniel remix the songs in 2011. The second disc is a live performance also recorded in San Francisco in December 1979.  Peter Notes from San Francisco is a posthumous album by Irish musician Rory Gallagher. Released in 2011, It consists of two CDs. The first disc is a never released album that Gallagher recorded in San Francisco in December 1977. The album was to be a major shift for Gallagher. Rather than producing it himself, he worked with Elliot Mazer a successful producer who had a long track record with artists such as Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and The Band.

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At the last minute — causing great distress to his manager and brother Dónal and to his record company — Gallagher decided to just pull the record. In an interview, Gallagher stated “it wasn’t because of the material or the musicians or anything like that. It was a song thing that I didn’t think on the technical side everything worked. So I scrapped the thing” After scrapping the album Gallagher reworked his band firing all the musicians except the bass player and hiring a new drummer. This new Gallagher power trio re-recorded the San Francisco songs with Gallagher producing and released them as Photo-Finish. [1] Shortly before his death, Rory reportedly gave Dónal permission to eventually release the original San Francisco versions of the songs if they were remixed. Dónal had his son Daniel remix the songs in 2011. The second disc is a live performance also recorded in San Francisco in December 1979.

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It’s surprising, considering the interesting back story on the studio portion of this posthumous Rory Gallagher release, that there are no notes on the actual packaging to chronicle its eventual appearance in 2011, nearly 33 years after being recorded in December 1977. According to the press release though, Gallagher clashed with producer Elliot Mazer about the mix on these dozen tunes and not only shelved the tapes, but broke up his longtime band after the San Francisco session ended. Out went keyboardist Lou Martin and drummer Rod de’Ath, replaced by skinsman Ted McKenna (bassist Gerry McAvoy remained) to strip down the sound for his next phase. About half these songs, such as “Mississippi Sheiks,” “Fuel to the Fire,” “Brute Force & Ignorance,” “Cruise on Out,” and “Overnight Bag” appeared on 1978’s Photo Finish in different performances. Some, like the closing “Out on the Tiles” and “B Girl,” will be new to all but the most ardent Gallagher followers. Shortly before his death, the guitarist apparently mentioned to his brother Donald that he’d like the tapes to be released someday if they were remixed, which is exactly what Donald’s son Daniel did in 2011, resulting in these long-lost tracks finally seeing the light of day.

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Despite Gallagher’s reservations, everything here is up to his usual high standard, and he obviously respected the material enough to re-record the bulk of it with a different band and producer later that year. The electric violin on “Mississippi Sheiks” is a new twist on both Gallagher’s blues-rock style and the song, which helps differentiate this version from the more famous one that appeared on Photo Finish. Saxophone, played by Martin Fiero, enhances two cuts, also bringing a unique groove, especially to the lumbering “Brute Force and Ignorance.” The package includes a December 1979 live show, also recorded in San Francisco, that finds Gallagher and his two-piece in typically fine fettle. They revisit the Taste-era chestnut “Bullfrog Blues” and tear into the rarity “I’m Leavin'” with their notorious paint-peeling approach. He digs back some years for a tough take on “Tattoo’d Lady,” but most of the set is derived from his mid- to late-’70s albums Top Priority, Photo Finish, and Calling Card. A breathless “Sea Cruise” closes the set, and is probably a nod to Jerry Lee Lewis, on whose album Gallagher guested. It caps off a roaring, electrifying show that, along with the studio disc, makes a worthwhile addition to any Gallagher lover’s collection. Even lacking detailed liner notes, this is a keeper and an important historical document in Rory Gallagher’s short but eventful career. (by Hal Horowitz)

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Personnel:
Rod de’Ath (drums on CD 1)
Rory Gallagher (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Lou Martin (keyboards)
Gerry McAvoy (bass)
Ted McKenna (drums on CD 2)
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Martin Fiero (saxophone on CD 1 – 01.)
Joe O’Donnell (violin on CD 1 – 08.)

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Tracklist:

CD 1 (studio recordings):
01. Rue The Day 4.26
02. Persuasion 4.45
03. B Girl 4.42
04. Mississippi Sheiks 5.56
05. Wheels Within Wheels 3.40
06. Overnight Bag 4.46
07. Cruise On Out 5.19
08. Brute Force & Ignorance 5.45
09. Fuel To The Fire 5.43
10. Wheels Within Wheels (alternate version) 3.55
11. Cut A Dash 3.49
12. Out On The Tiles 4.22

CD 2 (live recordings):
01. Follow Me (from Top Priority) 6.25
02. Shinkicker (from Photo-Finish) 3.42
03. Off The Handle (from Top Priority) 7.01
04. Bought And Sold (from Against the Grain) 4.43
05. I’m Leavin’ 4.35
06. Tattoo’d Lady (from Tattoo) 6.49
07. Do You Read Me (from Calling Card) 6.11
08. Country Mile (from Calling Card) 3.51
09. Calling Card (from Calling Card) 5.51
10. Shadow Play (from Photo-Finish) 5.11
11. Bullfrog Blues  (from Live in Europe) (Traditiional) 5.38
12. Sea Cruise 3.29

All songs written by Rory Gallagher except as indicate

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Rory Gallagher (2 March 1948 – 14 June 1995)

Chris Barber With John Lewis & Trummy Young – Swing Is Here (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgTaken from the original liner notes:

The only surprising thing about Chris Barber – according to BBC jazz presenter Peter Clayton – would be if he failed to surprise. “Surprise” puts mildly the initial reaction of many people when Eumig’s “Swing Is Here” package was first announced. After all, The MJQ, The Louis Armstrong All-Stars and “British trad Jazz” are still, in the minds of many so-called jazz fans as musically removed from each other as any three galaxies you may care to name.

Trummy Young does not live exactly a galaxy away from Britain – but he was persuaded away from his haven in Hawaii to join the tour – his first visit to Europe since touring with Louis in 1964. That he had turned down all previous offers of work in Europe is no small compliment to Chris and the Band. John Lewis has for many years been a confessed admirer of the Chris Barber Band – even before they recorded his “Golden Striker” in 1960. The suite that he composed specially for this tour was written with the sound of the original six-piece Chris Barber Band in mind. These days, of course, the Barber Band has evolved to an eight man line-up but the additional reed and string instruments have, naturally, been written into the suite.

In the year that Chris Barber was to form his first amateur band (1949) John Lewis was forming the MJQ and Trummy Young was embarking upon his marathon stint with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. The backgrounds of John and Trummy in music prior to that time (Swing, be-bop, blues) make their coming together with the Chris Barber Band far less of a surprise than may at first sight appear to be the case.

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The biggest surprise during the tour was to learn from John Lewis that when the package played at Southport we were just down the road from a venue where he had played his first ever gig in England: it was a Saturday night hop with a local dance band during the war! The pearls such as “Yes we have no Bananas” and “The Palais Glide” that John played in that Lancashire ballroom are NOT featured on this album! (Vic Gibbons)

The catalyst of Jazz and Jazz based popular music in Europe over the last fifteen years has been Chris Barber and his band. He has discovered that wonderful and rare experience of Jazz ensemble playing which can only be achieved by long time association (I know it from my years with the MJQ), and has also developed into one of the great and unique trombone soloists in Jazz. I enjoyed and appreciated the experience of performing with his great institution the Chris Barber Band. (John Lewis)

Recorded live during the “Swing Is Here” European tour

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Personnel:
Chris Barber (trombone, vocals)
John Crocker (saxophone, clarinet)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Roger Hill (guitar)
Johnny McCallum (banjo, guitar)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Sammy Rimmington (saxophone, clarinet)
Pete York (drums)
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John Lewis (piano)
Trummy Young (trombone, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01.  Home Folks (Lewis)
02. Time (Lewis)
03. Mood Indigo (Bigard/Ellington)
04.  ‘Tain’t What You Do (Oliver/Young)
05. Georgia (Carmichael)
06. Some Say You’ll Be Sorry (Armstrong)
07. Muskrat Ramble (Ory)
08. When The Saints Go Marchin’ In (Traditional)
09. Outro
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10. Swing Is Here (part one)
11. Swing Is Here (part one)

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Albert Collins + Barrelhouse – Live (1978)

FrontCover1.jpgNot really an introduction nessecary:

Albert Gene Drewery, known as Albert Collins and the Ice Man (October 1, 1932 – November 24, 1993),[1] was an American electric blues guitarist and singer with a distinctive guitar style. He was noted for his powerful playing and his use of altered tunings and a capo. His long association with the Fender Telecaster led to the title “The Master of the Telecaster”. (by wikipedia)

A leading Dutch pop journalist, the well respected Jip Golsteyn,once wrote that Barrelhouse is and has been for a long time, the leading rhythm & blues group in the Low Countries.The band started in 1974, released 10 albums in as many years, among them a live album with the legendary Albert Collins from Texas.

After some changes in personnel during their acclaimed existence, the band split up in 1986, individual members finding new ways in different groups. But in spite of leadsinger Tineke Schoemaker’s chart success with One Two, a longing for the supple and solid band that once was theirs crept into the minds of the Barrelhouse members while time passed. In 1993 Barrelhouse hit the road again with their original line-up. It was an instant success, not in the least because of the flexibility with which the band renewed its repertoire. This renewed sound and approach was highlighted on the CD’s that followed: Fortune Changes (1993) and Time Frames (1998). By the end of the Summer of 2002 the third CD since the split was released: Walking in Time.

VideoClipTaken from the video clip

Some say that Barrelhouse is ‘magic’, a lucky combination of musicians that blends into an energetic and solidly lubricated piece of rhythm & blues, all at once catching the eye, forcing you to dance. The most obvious element is the powerful voice of the lead singer Tineke Schoemaker. She doesn’t need to imitate: her soul and sound are original, her range and timing touches the audience immediately. But where would she be without the band featuring bass player Jan Willem Sligting and drummer Bob Dros who make up the very solid rhythm section always leaving room for the soloist to perform on top with their very characteristic Barrelhouse groove. Both guitar players Johnny and Guus LaPorte prove that excellent guitar-solos and strong and inspired rhythm guitar go hand in hand. The brothers excel in both. The band is completed by the technical prowess of piano player Han van Dam, who adds to the solidity of the rhythm section both during solos or in accompaniment. Barrelhouse is dynamic in their slow blues and medium tempo, but even more so when they get worked up with an energetic number which they perform with a kind of enthusiasm that puts a spell on any audience lucky enough to catch a show.

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The band has appeared on Dutch television on several occasions and played on major European festivals like Breminale (Bremen – Germany), Moulin Blues (Ospel, The Netherlands), The R&B Festival Peer (Belgium), Blue Balls Festival (Luzern, Switzerland) and North Sea Jazz Festival (The Hague, The Netherlands).

And here´s a very fine live album from the early days of Barrelhouse (the band is still active !).

Collins is backed by a Dutch band on this recording of a December 1978 show in Alkmaar, Holland. Dividing his attention between originals and covers of tunes by the likes of Lowell Fulson and Guitar Slim, it’s a typically energetic set with long solos, the backup musicians playing competently, and female singer Tineke Schoemaker taking the vocals on “Blue River Rising.” (by Richie Unterberger)

I include a very rare video-clip from Dutch TV: Alber Collins & Barrelhouse the song “Conversation With Collins” … including a rely runny guitar-solo by Albert Collins … watch !

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Personnel:
Albert Collins (guitar, vocals)

with Barrelhouse:
Han van Dam (piano)
Bob Dros (drums)
Guus Laporte (guitar)
Johnny Laporte (guitar)
Jan Willem Sligting (bass)
Tineke Schoemaker (vocals)
Tony Vos (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Frosty (A.Collins) 4.44
02. Honey Hush (Fulson) 5.47
03. I’ve Got A Mind To Travel (G.Collins) 7.31
04. Don’t Loose Your Cool (A. Collins) 5.37
05. Blue River Rising (Shuler/Bonner) 6.32
06. Cock It On The Wall (Traditional) 3.04
07. Conversation With Collins (A. Collins) 9.28
08. Keep Your Business Straight (G. Collins) 9.27
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09. Things I Used To Do (Slim) 4.54
10. Conversation With Collins (video-clip) (A. Collins) 6.19

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