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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Still alive and well …

Sammy Hagar – All Night Long (1978)

frontcover1All Night Long (Loud & Clear in the UK) is Sammy Hagar’s first live album. The album contains no overdubs. The album was recorded during concerts in San Francisco, San Antonio, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica.
All Night Long is better than most hard rock live albums not only because Sammy Hagar is at his best when he’s on stage, but because the set list includes only his best songs, eliminating the filler that tends to clutter his albums. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
Sammy is now such a household name that it is nearly impossible to think of him as a guy that used to be in the band Montrose and later struggling with a solo career.  That’s just where he was when this live sucker came out.  Hagar was following up his third solo studio effort when he recorded All Night Long.  The year was 1978 and Sammy was close to breaking out big.
The album contains “I’ve Done Everything for You” which would become a huge hit for Rick Springfield a few years later.  The Montrose classic “Bad Motor Scooter” also is in the set list but there are plenty of other great musical moments.  Check out “Red” which is one of the Red Rocker’s best.  “Young Girl Blues” is another killer song that builds in energy as it continues.  “Rock ‘N’ Roll Weekend” is pure Hagar and “Turn Up the Music” is a true anthem.
This one is a must-own for Sammy’s early hardcore fans but it is also a great place for his younger fans to start when digging back through his past catalogue.
A live concert in every sense of the word, delivered with energy and class, which are two words that sum up what The Red Rocker is all about.
Turn this sucker up! (by classicrockrevisited.com)
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Personnel:
Denny Carmassi (drums)
Bill Church (bass, background vocals)
Alan Fitzgerald (keyboards, background vocals)
Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, guitar
Gary Pihl – guitar, Background vocals)
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Tracklist:
01. Red (Carter/Hagar) 5.03
02. Rock ‘N’ Roll Weekend (Hagar) 3.41
03. Make It Last/Reckless (Hagar) 6.40
04. Turn Up The Music (Carter/Hagar) 5.45
05. I’ve Done Everything For You (Hagar) 3.29
06. Young Girl Blues (Leitch) 8.58
07. Bad Motor Scooter (Hagar) 7.03

 

Sweet d’Buster – Friction (1978)

frontcover1“Friction” – an album released in 1978 by the Dutch group Sweet d’Buster. The collective was formed three years earlier and, most interestingly, they have included in its membership the former musicians very badsome commands such as: Golden Earring, Chain of Fools and Supersister! In Sweet d’Buster joined forces Bertus Borgers (vocals, saxophone, previously consisted of Mr. Albert Show, Sail and Watermelon), Paul Smeenk (guitar), Herman Deinum (bass, ex. Party Chain Of Fools), Hans Lafaille (drums, and this of Chain Of Fools) and Robert-Jan Stips (vocals, organ, percussion, ex. Supersister party and Golden Earring).
• Performed Sweet d’Buster quirky mix of funk, progressive and hard rock real hard and enjoyed popularity in native land. Their songs the band chose to perform in English, they have shown on his ring debut album (released in 1976). To record their second album, “Friction”, they say, it took almost half a year! Maybe that’s why meticulous audiophiles immediately rated it much higher than the debut. Group clearly progressed, but along with this confusion began with changes in the composition. Releasing the live album “Gigs” and third album “Shot Into the Blue” (1979) musicians dispersed to other teams (according to the information on alexgitlin.com, it happened at the end of 1980).
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 Two favorite tracks to choose from Sweet d’Buster’s “Friction” was released in early 1978, is actually impossible. On this album nine magnificent pieces. The band grew out of two solo projects (which Bertus Borgers – sax and that of Robert Jan Stips – keys), was “Friction” came out, a well-oiled music machine. Especially the work of Paul Smeenk – guitar provided the swinging – at abutting funk sound. But the rhythm tandem Herman Deinum – bass and Hans Lafaille – drums, since 1966 in Blues Dimension played together, provided a solid foundation. About a month after I had bought this album, I was present at a concert of Sweet d’Buster in Almelo. And live when they drove very energetic live testament to how good they were responding to each other. That concert was much better than what gets on their live album “Gigs” would appear.
• The opener “Friction”, Angel is a true overture, beautiful swinging and thrusting. With Can not Buy Me Love is just a small step back, but Sweet d’Buster’s design makes this Beatles song into a real experience. Hard Stone Jungle swings again like a train at the end Still Believe begins quietly – to catch our breath, but quickly picks up this laid back soulfull song you. With Money Song is the A side of this LP soulfull swinging closed.
• And then begins side B. Stir Up The Fire begins quietly, but gradually the fire higher and higher stoked … until … Ahhh, what a beautiful piece. With Smash the Mirror – a piece of R.J. Stips about Elvis among others – is a step backwards. I’ve Gotta Know brings the swing slowly back to a good preparation for the next piece to finish.
• And that is: It Takes a Lot of Time (To Let All The People Know). It is a R.J. Stips classic of his first solo album “Never Greens”, but in a more swinging Sweet d’Buster package. All burn audible to their contribution. A wonderful finale of this five-star album!
In other words: That´s what I call music ! And if you likeDutch groups like Focus or Alquin … you should listen !
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Personnel:
Bertus Borgers (vocals, saxophone)
Herman Deinum (bass)
Hans Lafaille (drums)
Paul Smeenk (guitar, vocals)
Robert Jan Stips (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
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background vocals:
Josee Van Iersel – Meike Touw
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Tracklist:
01. Angel (Borgers/Deinum) 5.19
02. Can’t Buy Me Love (Lennon/McCartney) 4.47
03. Hard Stone Jungle (Borgers/Smeenk) 5.03
04. Still Believe (Borgers/Smeenk) 4.05
05. Money Song (Borgers) 3.45
06. Stir Up The Fire (Borgers/Lafaille/Stips) 5.41
07. Smash The Mirror (Link/Stips) 4.12
08. I’ve Gotta Know (Link/Smeenk) 5.47
09. It Takes A Lot Of Time (To Let All People Know) (Deinum/Stips) 4.48

Pat Halcox All Stars – 7th Avenue (1979)

SONY DSCThis is the story of Pat Halcox:
Pat Halcox’s stature as one of the best trumpeters this country has produced is undoubted, but because he has played with Chris Barber for fifty years, he is almost unknown as a player in his own right. (This is not unusual: Trummy Young was never asked to record for anyone else during his long tenure in the Louis Armstrong All Stars.) The band plays over two hundred dates a year, and this leaves little time for doing much else. However, as I shall show, over the years Pat has had many other musical adventures. This brief survey is by no means complete, but aims to give a flavour of some of the guest appearances and other activities he has enjoyed.
It was only some two months after the Chris Barber Band started that Pat took part in his first non-Barber recording. Ian Wheeler had requested John R.T. Davies (he of the Temperance Seven, maestro of 78 rpm record restoration, and now co-producer of the Chris Barber Collection CDs on the Timeless label) to record a session with his colleagues in the Barber Band (minus Chris). This took place in the London Jazz Centre in Soho on 8 August 1954. It was possibly the only time Ian and Monty Sunshine played together, prior to the 1990s reunions of the old and new Chris Barber bands. There have been many requests for this session to be issued; so far no joy, a great pity. (Click here for session details.)
Pat has on occasion been asked to deputise for other band leaders. Two notable times occurred in 1964 and 1978. In 1964 Pat was asked to sit in for Alex Welsh when his band did pathalcox01a club session at the Georgian Jazz Club in Cowley. In the band were Roy Crimmins on trombone, John Barnes on saxes and clarinet (he later joined Humph’s band), the excellent Fred Hunt on piano, Jim Douglas on banjo and guitar (more of Jim later), Ron Mathewson on bass, and the slightly eccentric Lennie Hastings on drums. A marvellous session.
Humphrey ‘Humph’ Lyttelton was asked to appear at the 1978 Prague Jazz Festival (7 April) but had to pull out two days before flying out to Prague, and asked Pat to take over. This meant that Pat had to rush around sorting out a visa (it was in the days of the Iron Curtain) and a flight, but he made it, and joined Bruce Turner (again we will meet Bruce later), Malcolm Everson (baritone sax), Mick Pyne (piano), Dave Green (bass), and Tony Mann (drums). What Pat had not expected was to have to make all the introductions! He thought Bruce Turner would do those, but Bruce quietly reminded Pat that as Humph normally made them, and he was Humph’s dep it was Pat’s job! Another excellent performance.
The first album to include Pat away from the Barber band was Don Ewell Quintet. (Click here for session details.) Don was an American pianist, much recorded by George Buck for both his Jazzology and GHB labels. The recording was by Dave Bennett (at the time a school teacher, but now a full time record producer and recording engineer), recorded in February 1971 at the White Hart, Willesden. Besides Pat, some other familiar jazzmen were in the group: on clarinet was ‘Creole’ John Defferray, now a member of the Big Chris Barber band; on bass was Jackie Flavelle, at the time a member of the Chris Barber band; and on drums was Barry Martyn, who later moved to New Orleans, where he still lives.
In 1974 Pat played the first gigs with his ‘Summer Band’, basically a busman’s holiday. The idea was to play a few gigs during the Barber Band’s summer break. The first year it was the normal personnel of the time without Chris. The band played a more mainstream-slanted repertoire, and this become more pronounced as the personnel changed over the next few years. In 1974, the band brought back such items as ‘Worksong’, and added titles such as the Hodges tune ‘Squatty Roo’, and an acoustic guitar piece, ‘Plenty of Nothing’. Guests at the New River Club in Andover that year included local band leader Dave Morgan (trombone) and his banjo player Roger Dee
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The personnel in 1975 and 1976 remained as before except that Pete York replaced Graham Burbidge on drums. 1975 tracks included ‘Shanty in Old Shanty Town’, ‘That Old Feeling’, and ‘Your Eyes Say Yes But…’ Guests at The Lord Raglan in Wolverhampton were vocalist and band leader Sheila Colyer, and pianist-vocalist Tommy Burton. 1976 gave us ‘All My Eggs In One Basket’, ‘Looks Like Another Winter’s Here’ (Jackie vocal), ‘Sam’ (Jackie again) and ‘Cowbell Blues’. There was a change in personnel in 1977: Campbell Burnap was added on trombone and vocals, and Jackie Flavelle was replaced by Roger Limb on bass (he worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop on projects such as Doctor Who). Numbers included ‘Blues in the Closet’ (a feature for Roger Limb), ‘Hot Step And Jump’, ‘What’s The Racket’, ‘Theme From Black Orpheus’, and two Campbell vocals, ‘I Want A Little Girl’ and ‘Lock My Heart’.
In 1978 an album, Pat Halcox All Stars, was recorded by Nigel Pegrum, who at the time was a member of Steeleye Span. That year the personnel had changed again, with Johnny Parker added on piano, and Vic Pitt replacing Roger Limb; also John Slaughter dropped out. In 1979 the band remained the same, and new tracks included ‘High on An Open Mike’, ‘5 O’clock Drag’, ‘Rag Time Dance’, and ‘Three Four The Blues’.
An added attraction during some of the 1980 shows was the inclusion of the vocal group Sweet Substitute (at this time they were Angie Masterson, Terri Leggett and Kate McNab, with their musical director and altoist Andy Leggett, Terri’s husband). Sweet Substitute were a Bristol group who were quite well known. They had recorded for Decca and Black Lion. I have always thought that they never achieved the success they deserved. Sweet Substitute sang Ellington tracks, show tunes, and pieces from the Swing Era. Numbers included ‘Uncle In Harlem’, ‘Sleepy Suzy’, ‘The Monkey Song’, ‘Heebie Jeebies’, and ‘I’ve pathalcox02Got Ford Engine Movements In My Hips’, among many others. Pete York was unavailable, and Jimmy Garforth took the drum stool. New band numbers included ‘Charlie The Chula’, a Johnny Parker piece, ‘Tribute To Big Bill (Broonzy)’, and a clarinet feature, ‘Dusk’. The mix was similar in 1981, but without Campbell Burnap. Mel Thorpe joined on reeds, and Roger Munns replaced Johnny Parker (Mel and Roger were members of Pete York’s Band at the time). The band name became The Pat Halcox-Pete York All Stars. Sweet Substitute were as the previous year. Further new titles included ‘Cherry’ and ‘Take It Upstairs’.
The final year that Pat took the band on tour was 1982, and the members of the band were Pat, John Crocker, Mel Thorpe, Roger Munns, Johnny McCallum, Bill Coleman (bass), and Pete on drums. Bill Coleman was Helen Shapiro’s bass player at the time. Sweet Substitute again sang at some of the gigs. The programme was far removed from the music and style as played in 1974! Titles included ‘The Hawk Talks’, ‘An Ordinary Thing’, ‘Apple Honey’, and ‘Segue In C’. This was the end of a long run of very different concerts, which I and many others enjoyed during our younger years! There were at least two specials, the first in 1978, at the Chris Barber Party Night on 30 December at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London. Pat’s band that night was Pat, John, Jim Shepperd (trombone), Johnny Parker, Johnny, Vic, and Pete. They signed off with their signature tune, ‘The Theme From The Flintstones’. The other appearance was at the Repertory Theatre, Birmingham, on 13 December 1981. The reissued album is on Lake and should be available through them.
Returning to guest spots and other appearances, on 17 December 1977 the Chris Barber Band were at the Rep in Birmingham. The Strathallan Hotel ran a very successful weekly jazz club at the time, and issued a series of limited issue cassettes on the Neovox label. They hosted a session with well-known, mainly local, musicians, including Norman Field (reeds) and Ray Foxley (piano). Pat and Pete rushed over to the hotel and joined in on the last number, ‘Bourbon Street Parade’.
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In 1989 George Buck asked Pat to put a band together to record an album, There’s Yes! Yes! In Your Eyes, again for Jazzology. He was free to choose his own musicians. The album was recorded over two sessions, 16 June and 14 July. The second session was required as the piano at The Bull’s Head, Barnes, was flat — hence the final blues on the record, ‘Joanna’s Flat Blues’! The producer and engineer was our old friend Dave Bennett. This is a wonderful album, and we find Bruce Turner in fine form, but only playing clarinet. John Beacham on trombone had played with many bands, including a long stint in the 1970s as part of the horn section of the pop group ‘The Kinks’. Dick Smith’s brother Ray Smith was on piano (Dick was a member of the Chris Barber band for ten years from 1956). Jim Douglas (previously noted in the Alex Welsh Band), Vic Pitt on bass, and Geoff Downes on drums rounded out the personnel.
Pat has continued to guest with bands both in the UK and abroad (the Lake Records All Stars, and with John Service of the Piccadilly Six in Switzerland, among many others). (by Julian Purser)
Pat Halcox’s “Autobiography”, written in about 1961:
We always had a piano at home, and, although neither of my parents were particularly musical, there’s always been an interest. They tell me that when I was four years old I would sit at the piano and pick out phrases and actually copy out music, even before I could write. So they sent me to a series of lessons that resulted in my passing an exam when I was four and a half. This was too good to last, of course, and I soon slowed down to a more normal rate of progress. In fact, by the time I was six, I’d stopped playing altogether, and it wasn’t until I was nearly fifteen that I found out what a social asset playing the piano could be.
When I did start again, I’d become involved loosely in jazz. I would try and rattle out ‘Cow Cow PatHalcox05.jpgBoogie’. Pete Johnson’s ‘Roll ‘Em Pete’ was the first disc in my collection. I’ve always been fascinated by Boogie and the Blues ever since. It’s funny how the first influences stick hardest.
I first tried playing jazz in a band with Bob Dawbarn and a crowd of friends, including Mick Mulligan. It was one of those back-room-when-mother’s-out sort of bands. We used to make some terrible rows.
A friend of mine worked at Boosey and Hawkes, and he’d bring home lots of battered old instruments. I finally chose trombone, because that was what we needed. When I got into the RAF I played trombone there as well. I told them that I could read trombone music, which I couldn’t, so at first I had to sit at the back and fake. By the time that I came out as a fully competent trombone player I discovered that the band needed a trumpet player, so I had to switch again. As it happened it was a good job I did.
Leaving the musical side for a minute: I’d been training all this time to become a chemist, and I’d taken a job in a chemical laboratory, and was working away at nights, whenever my jazz would allow me. So, when I came out of the RAF in 1950, I went back to my chosen career of chemistry. Unfortunately for these studies a band called the Brent Valley Jazz Band was formed by my friend Colin Kingwell and myself, and it started to get odd jobs. We even went in for a talent competition organised by a detergent called Whisk, and got through a couple of semi-finals at various cinemas. We won enormous quantities of Whisk and five guineas, which we spent immediately in the nearest pub. After that I moved to the Albermarle Jazz Band – also playing in the West of London – and for about two years we played at Don Short’s club at the White Hart, Southall.
 
I almost joined Chris during that time when he was forming the band that later was joined and led by Ken Colyer, but I still hoped to make a career out of chemistry, and so I turned down the opportunity (or gamble as it was then) to turn pro, and had to wait until 1954 before I got my second chance to join Chris. Now I’m sure about what I want to do: play trumpet with the Chris Barber Band.
Looking back on the seven years that I’ve been with Chris, I think that one of the highlights was making the soundtrack for Look Back In Anger. I was absolutely fascinated, possibly because my strongest interest outside of jazz is photography. I’m working on building a darkroom in the house that I’ve just moved into with my wife. But of course there have been endless series of wonderful things with the band: New Orleans, the Hollywood Bowl, Denmark, Berlin, Sister Rosetta.
I suppose that my early influences on cornet were Muggsy Spanier and Tommy Ladnier. Now I like lots of people. In the early jazz club days I was a violent anti-modern, but now I like some of it. Mainly the people with roots, I think – Parker, John Lewis, Gillespie and Ellington, especially Ellington. I wouldn’t say that I’m content with the way things are at the moment – no musician ever really is content unless he’s lost all ambition, but I’m very happy with the way things are going. The Band is a happy place to work, and I love playing trumpet. That’s why you’ll find me creeping off to places like Wood Green to sit in with the Alex Welsh Band or Kenny Ball my nights off.
Pat Halcox
And this is his extremley rare and wonderful solo album … What can I say ? If you like the British jazz … it´s a must, if you like Chris Barber … it´s a must … if you like Music .. it´s a must … Listen and enjoy !
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Tracks 1-10 at Bray Studios, Windsor, 21 November 1978.
Tracks 11-14 at The Crown Jazz Club, Codsall, 15 July 1978
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Track 13 recorded at The Crown Jazz Club, Codsall, 7 July 1979
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Personnel:
Campbell Burnap (trombone, vocals)
John Crocker (clarinet, Saxophone)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Johnny McCallum (guitar)
Johnny Parker (piano)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Pete York (drums)
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Tracklist:
01. Flintstones (Bryson/Goldberg/Shows) 3.49
02. Blue & Sentimental (Basie/David/Livingstone) 4.29
03. I’m Gonna Lock My Heart & Throw Away The Key (Eaton/Shand) 3.05
04. China Boy (Winfrey/Boutiljie) 3.07
05. I Wanna Little Girl (Moll/Mencher) 6.30
06. What’s The Racket? (York) 5.06
07. Jeepers Creepers (Warren/Mercer) 2.59
08. You Took Advantage Of Me (Rodgers & Hart) 4.35
09 Three Four The Blues (Parker) 2.25
10 Dusk (Ellington) 4.26
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11. 5 O’clock Drag (Ellington/Adamson) 5.41
12. Fidgety Feet (LaRocca/Shields) 8.40
13. Deed I Do (Hirsch/Rose) 9.05
14. Dr. Jazz (Oliver/Melrose) 6.43
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Acme Thunder – Let´s All Get Naked (1978)

frontcover1Chicago’s Acme Thunder sprang from the ashes of area group, Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah in 1977. Where AHJ were decidedly hippy influenced, Acme Thunder were unquestionably a full on rock outfit. With essentially the same lineup as AHJ, the band enlisted Harvey Mandel on lead guitar and soon, their debut “Let’s All Get Naked” was issued the following year. Though Acme Thunder were a credible act in and around the Chicago area, the addition of Mandel helped elevate the band to a whole other level musically. Having a successful solo career for many years, as well as ties to artists like Canned Heat, John Mayall, The Ventures and Love, Mandel’s expertise was an instrumental factor in the development of the band’s new sound.

Strangely enough though, the band only lasted two years before fizzling out completely. Aliotta continued in music primarily as a session player, Haynes went on to form his own publishing company and has issued a drug rehabilitation self-help album. Jeremiah is living near St. Louis, but his musical activities are unknown at this time. Mandel continues to thrive as a solo artist.

“Let’s All Get Naked” is a respectable effort with a rather schizophrenic viewpoint. Swaying from bluesy rock to hard rock to glossy pop, the album doesn’t quite know where it’s going. The highlights are undoubtedly the rock tracks like “If I Only Had a Girl”, “Go Like a Beast” and “Flowers”. Several of the cuts including the fusion jam “Mexico”, lack the presence of strong hooks, rendering the overall impression of this album as a bit lopsided in the quality department. Despite the magnificent musicianship here, the album fails to stand up on its own as a whole. Taken in parts, however, “Let’s All Get Naked” is an interesting excursion into many genres. Never issued on compact disc, here’s a sweet vinyl transfer straight from the archives. Check it…

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Ted Aliotta in 2015

Personnel:
Mitch Aliotta (bass, vocals)
Ted Aliotta (guitar, vocals, harmonica, cowbell)
John Jeremiah (keyboards, vocals)
Harvey Mandel (guitar)
Bob Parisio (drums, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. If I Only Had A Girl (Prewitt/T. Aliotta) 2.50
02. Go Like A Beast (Prewitt/T. Aliotta) 3.33
03. Flowers (Mandel) 4.38
04. Heller (Prewitt/T. Aliotta) 4.51
05. Let’s All Get Naked (Hurc/T. Aliotta) 3.21
06. Harley (Prewitt/T. Aliotta) 2.32
07. Mexico (McPherson) 2.38
08. I’ll Get Down (T. Aliotta) 2.32
09. Love Tonight (Prewitt/T. Aliotta) 3.50
10. You Make It Hard (Mandel) 5.39

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