Flairck – Variaties op een Dame (Variations On A Lady) (1978)

OriginalFrontCover1Flairck are a Dutch ensemble formed by Erik Visser, an Indonesian-born acoustic instrumentalist with classical training and a strong interest in many forms of world music. The band released their first studio album ‘Variaties Op Een Dame’ (Variations on a Lady) in 1978, and has issued more than two dozen studio, live and compilation releases since then.

The band incorporates a number of world influences in their work, which has been described as chamber music but which actually features many styles including classical, folk, jazz and blues, as well as Eastern European and Celtic traditional music. The band primarily performs original compositions, and has worked with a number of renowned world music artists including Georges Moustaki, Nelleke Burg and Dimitri van Toren. The group has also recorded and performed with numerous symphony orchestras and has contributed scores for film, stage and ballet.

Flairck01Visser and the other band members have a strong interest in obscure and exotic acoustic instruments, and have amassed a collection of more than 150 wind, string and percussion instruments, many of which are used in their studio recordings and live performances.

The band celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2002 with the release of a multi-disciplined DVD dedicated to the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. The video features original scores by the band as well acrobatics, detailed views of Bosch’s work and interviews of various band members. Visser took advantage of a hiatus by the band in 2003 to release a solo work entitled ‘One Man Parade’.

Flairck are a classic example of a progressive musical collective with wide-ranging influences and a constantly evolving sound. (by progarchives.com)

Flairck’s first album. Aoife is a lullaby written for the birth of Mary Coughlan’s daughter. (‘Aoife’ is Gaelic for ‘Eve’.) Sofia’s Foreplay: a reflection of an amourous event in a big city in Eastern Europe. April 3rd: played for the first time on that date in 1977 in a church during the wedding of the piano-player/composer Jolyon Jackson and his bride Theresa. Odd Waltz: in which the three-fourth bar is used as the building stone in a rhythmically unusual construction. The piece Variations on a Lady nearly covers the whole B-side and is one of the eldest compositions of Flairck. It is written for a female violinist and exists of two parts that are separated by a violin solo. Doubles is a short guitar duet. (Flairck in their own words)

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Flairck are hardly known outside their home country Holland. They might have reached a few Belgian ears as well but they certainly haven’t dawned on the masses of PA yet. A shame really given how much potential their music might have amongst prog fans, especially amongst those to whom a mix of acoustic instrumentation and symphonic composition sounds alluring.

Flairck are a virtuoso acoustic instrumental quartet where each member plays a whole array of different mutations of his basic instrument. Erik Visser plays 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars. He also handles most of the song writing together with flutist Peter Weekers. Brother Hans Visser does acoustic bass guitars and the violin on this debut is caressed by Judy Schomper.

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The music takes inspiration from both classical and flok/world sources, and due to the influences of Celtic music, there’s some similarity to early Oldfield, be it in an entirely acoustic version, which is a plus as far as I’m concerned. Further similarities can be made with the softer side of Belgian chamber rock, with a band like Aranis for example. But it can’t be compared to the more avant-garde and harsher sounds of Univers Zero. Flairck keeps things very melodic and harmonious, delicate and gentle. Which doesn’t mean they don’t play at raging speeds!

Their debut album is an exceptional career start, there’s so much inspiration in the songwriting and arrangements that each of these tunes would become classic live staples for years to come. The execution and recording of the material is generally a bit better on the live albums but that might just be because I’ve only heard this album on my second-hand vinyl. I’m sure it sparkles and shines till today (by Bonnek)

In other words: That´s what I call timeless music on the highest level !

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Personnel:
Judy Schomper (violin, viola)
Erik Visser (guitar, sitar, mandolin, mandola)
Hans Visser (bass, guitar)
Peter Weekers (flute, panpipe)
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Fred Krens (vibraphone,marimba, glockenspiel, gong, percussion on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Aoife (E.Visser) 6.14
02. Voorspel In Sofia (E.Visser/Weekers) 6.54
03. April 3rd (E.Visser) 5.27
04. Oneven Wals (Weekers) 7.04
05. Variaties op een Dame (E.Visser) 21.02
06. Dubbelspel (E.Visser) 1.22

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This is another item from the great greygoose collection !
Thanks a lot !

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David Gilmour – Same (1978)

FrontCover1David Gilmour is the debut solo studio album by Pink Floyd guitarist and co-lead vocalist David Gilmour. The album was released in May and June 1978 in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively. The album reached number 17 in the UK and number 29 on the Billboard US album charts; it was certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. The album was produced by Gilmour, and consists mostly of blues, guitar oriented rock songs except for the piano-dominated ballad “So Far Away”.

The tracks used for the album were recorded between February and March 1978 with engineer John Etchells at Super Bear Studios in France. They were then mixed at the same studio by Nick Griffiths. Session musicians included bass guitarist Rick Wills and drummer Willie Wilson, both of whom (with Gilmour) used to be part of Jokers Wild.Album’s cover artwork.

The album cover used for the first EMI pressings of the album LP was done by Hipgnosis and Gilmour; Gilmour was credited on the cover for contributing “Keyboards, Vocals” although he played guitar. The CBS/Columbia pressings (outside Europe) listed Gilmour as contributing “Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals”. Among those depicted on the sleeve was Gilmour’s then-wife, Ginger.

The album’s only single was “There’s No Way Out of Here.” The single flopped in Europe, but became popular on Album-oriented rock radio stations in the US. The song was originally recorded by the band Unicorn (as “No Way Out of Here”) for their 1976 album Too Many Crooks (Harvest Records, US title Unicorn 2), which Gilmour produced. It was also recorded later by New Jersey stoner rock band Monster Magnet on their Monolithic Baby! album.

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One unused tune he wrote and demoed at the time would evolve, via collaboration with Roger Waters, into Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” from The Wall. However, a song included on this album, the piano ballad “So Far Away”, uses a chorus progression not unlike the chorus to “Comfortably Numb”, albeit in a different key.
Likewise, the song “Short and Sweet” can be seen as a musical precursor to “Run Like Hell” (also from The Wall), with its shifting chords over a D pedal point, using a flanged guitar in Drop D tuning.[6] “Short and Sweet” was written in collaboration with Roy Harper, who recorded his own version for his 1980 album The Unknown Soldier.

A five-song promotional film was made to promote the album. The band comprised Gilmour himself on guitars and vocals plus the two musicians on the album (bass player Rick Wills and drummer Willie Wilson) plus David Gilmour’s brother Mark on rhythm guitar and Ian McLagan on keyboards and performed “Mihalis”, “There’s No Way Out of Here”, “So Far Away”, “No Way”, and “I Can’t Breathe Anymore”. There were two female backing singers on “There’s No Way Out of Here” and “So Far Away”. It was recorded live at the The Roxy, London.
Also, Gilmour promoted the album with his first ever interviews with North American media and FM rock radio stations. The promotion paid off as the album made a respectable showing on the Billboard album charts peaking at number 29, which – until 2006’s On an Island – was Gilmour’s highest charting solo album in the US, eventually going Gold.Song variations.

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The performances of the tracks in the promotional film differed to the album versions. “Mihalis” had an extended ending guitar solo. “There’s No Way Out of Here” was slightly shorter as one of the verses was deleted but the ending guitar solo was different from that on the album and had a clean ending instead of fading out like on album version. “So Far Away” had an extended ending guitar solo on this performance and ended in a faster tempo than the album version.
The performance of “No Way” had Gilmour playing regular lead guitar solos at the end of the track on his Fender Esquire (with distortion) instead of the lap steel guitar solos (with distortion) that had appeared on the album version and had a clean ending instead of fading out like on the album (the remastered CD version of the album had Gilmour’s lap steel solo extended this time to feature a duel between himself playing high notes on his lap steel and lower notes on his trademark Stratocaster during the fadeout on the remaster). The middle part of the album version, for where the first of two lap steel guitar solos were on the album version, was deleted.

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“I Can’t Breathe Anymore” had Gilmour playing a regular guitar solo at the end of this song’s performance while on the album version (and on the remastered CD in an extended coda), a distorted lap steel guitar countered the ending guitar solo. The ending of the promo performance of “I Can’t Breathe Anymore” was longer than on the album.

In an interview with Circus in 1978, Gilmour said: “This album was important to me in terms of self-respect. At first I didn’t think my name was big enough to carry it. Being in a group for so long can be a bit claustrophobic, and I needed to step out from behind Pink Floyd’s shadow.” (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
David Gilmour (vocals, guitar; keyboards,  lap steel guitar on 07. + 09., piano on 04. harmonica on 02.)
Willie Wilson (drums, percussion)
Rick Wills (bass, background vocals)
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Mick Weaver (piano on 04.)
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background vocals on 02. + 04.:
Carlena Williams – Debbie Doss – Shirley Roden

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Tracklist:
01. Mihalis (Gilmour) 5.47
02. There’s No Way Out Of Here (Gilmour/Baker) 5.23
03. Cry From The Street (Gilmour/Stuart) 5.14
04. So Far Away (Gilmour) 6.05
05. Short And Sweet (Gilmour/Harper) 5.31
06. Raise My Rent (Gilmour) 5.52
07. No Way (Gilmour) 5.32
08. It’s Deafinitely (Gilmout) 4.28
09. I Can’t Breathe Anymore (Gilmour) 3.41

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Dave Mason – California Jam II (1978)

FrontCover1One of the best performances from this memorable event was delivered by Dave Mason, who was then riding the crest of one of his most successful albums, Let It Flow which had been released the previous year and spawned no less than three charting singles, including “We Just Disagree,” his biggest hit to date. By this point in his career, Mason had established quite the pedigree, having been a founding member of Traffic, a traveling member of Delaney & Bonnie’s road band and having recorded and shared the stage with some of the most high profile Los Angeles musicians, including Mama Cass Elliot and Crosby, Stills and Nash, who all helped champion his music.

By 1978, when this performance was recorded, Mason had assembled a well-seasoned band that featured his longtime guitar playing partner, Jim Krueger on second guitar and one of the era’s most talented keyboard players, Mike Finnigan, who had played on countless sessions, including Jimi Hendrix’s classic Electric Ladyland album, on which Mason also contributed (Mason played the acoustic guitar on “All Along The Watchtower” and Finnigan played organ on “Rainy Day, Dream Away”). With the tight rhythm section of Gerald Johnson and Rick Jaeger on board, Mason’s band was a force to be reckoned with.

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Personnel:
Mike Finnigan (keyboards, vocals)
Rick Jaeger (drums)
Gerald Johnson (bass, vocals)
Jim Krueger (vocals, guitar, vocals)
Dave Mason (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Introduction 0.55
02. Feelin’ Alright (Mason) 5.04
03. Pearly Queen (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.08
04. Let It Go, Let It Flow (Mason) 3.34
05. Look At You, Look At Me (Mason/Capaldi) 7.12
06. We Just Disagree (Krueger) 3.20
07. So High (Rock Me Baby And Roll Me Away) (Williams/Conrad) 5.09
08. Taking The Time To Find (Mason) 6.25
09. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 2.27
10. Gimme Some Lovin’ (S.Winwood/M.Winwood/Davis) 10.05
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11. California Jam II (1978) (complete show – uncut version) 49.45

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Abdullah “Dollar Brand” Ibrahim – Autobiography – Solo Piano (1983)

FrontCover1Autobiography is a live recording by pianist and flautist Abdullah Ibrahim (also known as Dollar Brand), taken from a June 18, 1978, concert in Switzerland. On the recording, Ibrahim recalls his childhood in South Africa through the songs he learned then, progressing to his own compositions in adulthood. Originally released as a two-disc LP set, the album has since been reissued on CD. (by wikipedia)

Recorded live, this two-LP solo set features pianist Abdullah Ibrahim performing songs from his youth, a Duke Ellington medley, “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “I Surrender Dear,” Thelonious Monk’s “Coming on the Hudson” and some newer pieces, including one (“Khoisan”) that he takes as a flute solo. The music is often taken as spontaneous medleys and, although the song titles are often incorrect, this twofer really does a fine job of summing up Ibrahim’s powerful and spiritual music up to 1978. (by Scott Yanow)

What a great piece of music  … listen and enjoy !

Alternate frontcovers:

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Recorded live at the Nyon Jazz Festival/Switzerland, on June 18th, 1978.

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Personnel:
Dollar Brand (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. What Really Happened in the Cornfields is that the Birds Made Musical all the Day and so I Let a Song Go Out of my Heart at Duke’s Place” + “Anthem For the New Nations (Ibrahim) 5.11
02. Biral (Ibrahim) 3.46
03. Gwidza – Yukio-Kahlifa – Intro Liberation Dance (Ibrahim) 7.15
04. African Marketplace – Tokai – Llanga – African Sun (Ibrahim) 9.04
05. The Dream (Ibrahim) 2.30
06. Liberation Dance (Ibrahim) 2.19
07. Did You Hear That Sound ? – Our Son Tsakwe – The Wedding – I Surrender Dear – One Day When We Were Young (Ibrahim) 12.33
08. Drop Me Off in Harlem 1.123
09. Take the “A” Train (Strayhorn) – Coming On The Hudson (Monk) – Moniebah (Ibrahim) 9.01
10. Little Boy (Ibrahim) 2.30
11. Cherry (Ibrahim) 2.04
12. Ishmael – Mannenberg – Children Of Africa/Banyana – Peace-Salaam – Anthem For The New Nations (Ibrahim) 13.41
13. Khoisan (Ibrahim) 5.28

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This is another item from the great greygoose record collection.
Thanks a lot !

Paul Brookes – Steps from Beyond (1978)

FrontCover1This is a real strange record, a sort of disco psychedlic funk !

Very nice Electronic Music. The second side is a multi-part suite that reminds a bit on Tangerine Dream, but very unique, with no sequences, relying on Rock rhythms instead (a bit similar to what is heard on “Bent Cold Sidewalk”). Also reminds on the sountrack to “Mystery of the Third Planet” in places – you know, sort of a cosmic, nostalgic sound. Side A has some Disco influences and is much weaker overall. (by spacewalker)

Bought it because it has  psychedelic looking cover-art and it was very cheap but musically it is just some boring arty/farty synthesizer dominated late 70s  track spread over The a-side and b-side. (by purpleoverdose)

Unfortunately I found no informations about Paul Brookes, sorry.

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Personnel:
Paul  Brookes (all Instruments)

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Tracklist:
01. Steps from Beyond – part one 17.14
02. Steps from Beyond – part two 17.36

composed by Paul Brookes

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Melanie – Ballroom Streets (1978)

FrontCover1Ballroom Streets is a 1978 double album released by Melanie. The album is essentially a live album but recorded in the studio with a small audience. It mixed new recordings of old songs with some new songs.

Melanie (born Melanie Safka) has recorded 19 LPs and has sold 22 million records. She has written innumerable songs, including universally recognized hits like “Nickel Song”, “Beautiful People”, “Look What They’ve Done To My Song”, “Brand New Key” and “Candles In The Rain.” And she has been the only female singer in the last 20 years to have three singles on the top forty at the same time. In 1975 Melanie recorded “Photograph” (Atlantic) which enjoyed a modest commercial success and introduced a new Melanie whose “far more assertive style” contained “her slightly guttural tones quiver, trill, blast and whisper, yet her originality is in these variant, imperfect timbres that startle and surprise” which combined to portray Melanie, at long last, as an adult, singing adult songs for an adult audience.

Her further growth was evidenced on her 1977 release for Midsong International, “Phonogenic: Not Just Another Pretty Face”. This LP included ten songs (four Melanie originals and six interpretations of tunes by other writers) that demonstrated Melanie’s extraordinary abilities as a musical and emotive interpreter.
Melanie’s first album for Tomato Records “Ballroom Streets” takes that potential of maturation and goes one giant step further, smack into the heart and soul of rock & roll. “Ballroom Streets”, a double LP was recorded live in the studio before an audience of thirty people. The LP contains all the spontaneity, exchange between performer and audience, and a band of impeccable rock musicians, to give “Ballroom Streets” a big joyful sound.

Melanie01With the release “Ballroom Streets” along with Melanie’s triumphant return to the concert stage last June at Carnegie Hall, a major phase has begun in her career.
Melanie notes: “I really am a survivor, too. I’m glad in a way that I’ve had time off. It’s given me the chance to think about a lot of things.”

Even now, some reviewers or critics still are unsure when you mention the name Melanie, they’re still thinking in terms of Earth Mother/Granola/Whole Wheat Dumplin’, well, hold on to your hats folks, Melanie’s not only found a “brand new key” but it’s a brand-new ballgame and this is one lady that’s not about to be eclipsed by any other woman on the rock scene today. She’s a killer, and one listen to “Ballroom Streets” will forever dispel any ‘bliss-ninny’ pictures anyone may still have about this fantastically talented lady.
Melanie is the kind of person one can instantly relate to, open and always in high humor, her life force shining through.
Her hair’s frosted with gray now but her eyes still twinkling with a mischievous glow. “Ballroom Streets” is the evidence that Melanie is a contender to be reckoned with and I reckon that the airplay, out of the box will finally and firmly establish Melanie as the bright alternative to the female singers on the charts today.

Personnel in the band include Sal DeTroia, Melanie’s long- time acoustic guitar sideman, Bob Leone on bass guitar and Robbie Georgia on lead and rhythm guitars who joined up with Melanie for the June Carnegie Hall concert (1978) and as Melanie puts it, “stood by for better or worse.” Louis Cabaza on keyboards came in from Los Angeles for this album and Stan Kipper on drums “found the pulse” and Tony Battaglia on lead, rhythm and bass guitars “quickened it.”

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Both Tony and Stan, masterful musicians and rock and rollers to the core injected an enthusiasm and energy that is clearly evident on the LP. This is particularly true on a cut entitled “Cyclone/Candles In The Rain”. Melanie delivers a powerful vocal on “Cyclone” which is inter-mingled with synthesizer producing vocals that are out of this world and the band goes into overdrive concluding with a perfect segue into an acapella version of “Candles In The Rain,” powerful rock & roll with drama and vivacity.

Melanie02“Running After Love” the first single from the album has all the urgency rock with the added dimension of a mature viewpoint.
The lyrics are true, spare, evocative and right on target. This is a woman who has loved, suffered and survived right along with the rest of us. Listeners will connect immediately, she’s coming from an honest place and has the grit to put it out there.
Welcome back Melanie, welcome to “Ballroom Streets” America: rock and roll needed a punch in the arm and this lady’s the one to deliver just that! — November 1978 (taken from the Tomato Records press release)
A thoughtful and ambitious collection of popular standards. (by Bruce Eder)

One ofm the finest Melanie live recordings ever includig hightlight like “Save Me” or a brand new Version of “Ruby Tuesday” … Melanie goes hard rock … listen … what a killer Version of this Stones classic.

And her backing band was really strong ! What a great album !

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Personnel:
Tony Battaglia (guitar, slide guitar, bass)
Luis Cabaza (keyboards)
Robbie Georgia (dobro, guitar, background vocals)
Stan Kipper (drums, background vocals)
Bob Leone (bass)
Mary McCaffrey (vocals)
Melanie (guitar, vocals)
John Tegthoff (organ, background vocals)
T.C. (background vocals)
The Persuasions (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Running After Love (Safka) 4.22
02. Holdin’ Out (Safka) 3.08
03. Cyclone / Candles In The Rain (Safka) 7.15
04. Beautiful Sadness (Safka) 5.37
05. Do You Believe (Safka) 3.46
06. Nickel Song (Safka) 3.03
07. Any Guy (Safka) 3.06
08. Look What They Done To My Song (Safka) 4.17
09. I Believe (Safka) 3.47
10. Poet (Safka) 3.44
11. Save Me (Safka) 6.51
12. Together Alone (Safka) 3.16
13. Ruby Tuesday (Jagger/Richards) 6.32
14. Buckle Down (Safka) 3.08
15. Miranda (Ochs) 3.42
16. Brand New Key (Safka) 3.35
17. Groundhog Day (Safka) 3.55
18. Friends And Company (Safka) 6.43
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Julie Felix – Hota Chocolata (1978)

frontcover1Julie Ann Felix (born 14 June 1938, Santa Barbara, California) is an American born, British-based folk recording artist who achieved success in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She continues to perform and releases albums on her own record label.

She graduated in 1956 from high school in Westchester, Los Angeles, California. The same year that she arrived in the United Kingdom, she became the first solo folk performer signed to a major British record label, when she gained a recording contract with Decca Records. Within a decade she had a well-established career. In 1965 she was reportedly the first folksinger to fill the Royal Albert Hall, and was described by The Times as “Britain’s First Lady of Folk”.

In 1966 Felix became the resident singer on the BBC television programme The Frost Report, presented by David Frost. She hosted her own shows for the BBC from 1968 to 1970, including the series Once More With Felix (the first episode was transmitted on 9 December 1967). Among those featured on her show were The Kinks, Leonard Cohen and Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, who played the “White Summer” and “Black Mountain Side” guitar solo pieces. On 1 May 1967 she appeared on the German TV show Beat-Club; in September 1968 at the International Essen Song Days. She performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.
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She had two UK Singles Chart hits in 1970. The first was with the song entitled “If I Could (El Cóndor Pasa)”, while the second, marginally less successful, was called “Heaven is Here”. 1990 saw the release of a new album, Bright Shadows.
On 24 March 2008 she appeared on a BBC Four programme in which stars of The Frost Report gathered for a night celebrating 40 years since Frost Over England; Felix sang “Blowin’ in the Wind”. She has appeared at the Wynd Theatre, Melrose, Scottish Borders, on an annual basis over the past few years.

She now lives in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England, and is still recording and performing, appearing on stage on her 70th birthday in 2008 (by Wikipedia)
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“I feel we need to welcome the divine feminine into our lives and into our hearts … Patriarchy has led to wars, killing, and the rape of mother earth. Both men and women need to feel the love of the feminine side of God.” (Julie Felix)
Listen to another beautiful album by Julie Felix … wonderful songs, fantastic lyrics … what a great artist !
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Single from Norway
Personnel:
Julie Felix (guitar, vocals, Percussion)
Steve Hayton (guitar, Percussion, background vocals)
Danny Thompson (bass, percussion)
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Ted Lazer (accordion on 06.)
Kesh Sathie (tabla, tambura on 12.)
Billy Stevens (harmonica on 03. + 09.)
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Background vocals:
Mick + Donna (on 01.)
Tanit + Samantha (on 06.)
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Tracklist:
01. Hota Chocolata (Felix) 3.31
02. Let Me Love You (Felix) 2.57
03. Deportees (Guthrie) 4.47
04. Solado De Levita (Traditional) 2.32
05. Da Me La Fuerza (Felix) 3.14
06. In Paris (Felix) 3.15
07. Hey Liley-Liley Lo (Austin/Lomax) 0.54
08. Windy Morning (Felix) 2:46
09. David (Felix) 2.37
10. Sydney Harbour (Felix) 4.51
11. Clotho’s Web (Felix) 3.38
12. Face Of The Moon (Felix) 3.12
15. Moon Light (Felix) 2.38
16. Pow Wow! (Felix) 2.23

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gigguide2017
Still alive and well …