Various Artists – Havana Jam 1 (1979)

FrontCover1Havana Jam was a three-day music festival that took place at the Karl Marx Theater, in Havana, Cuba, on 2–4 March 1979. It was sponsored by Bruce Lundvall, the president of Columbia Records, Jerry Masucci, the president of Fania Records, and the Cuban Ministry of Culture.

The festival included, on the American side, Weather Report, the CBS Jazz All-Stars, the Trio of Doom, Fania All-Stars, Stephen Stills, Billy Swan, Bonnie Bramlett, Mike Finnigan, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge and Billy Joel. The Cuban acts included Irakere, Pacho Alonso, Zaida Arrate, Elena Burke, Orquesta de Santiago de Cuba, Conjunto Yaguarimú, Frank Emilio, Juan Pablo Torres, Los Papines, Tata Güines, Cuban Percussion Ensemble, Sara González, Pablo Milanés, Manguaré, and Orquesta Aragón.

In 1977, US President Jimmy Carter and Cuban President Fidel Castro started to loosen the political tension between the two countries and opened Interest Sections both in Havana and Washington. It was the first time in almost two decades after Castro’s rise to power that there was a real interest in establishing a normalization of diplomatic relations and the lifting of the United States embargo against Cuba.

With a real crisis in the music industry in the United States and the start of the salsa boom, in April 1978, CBS Records director, Bruce Lundvall, saw an open door to probe Cuban music and together with a group of the company’s music enthusiasts made a four-day trip to Havana, where they were overwhelmed by the sound of Cuban music, but especially by Afro-Cuban jazz band Irakere, one of Cuba’s most highly regarded and virtuoso musical acts.

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After months of talks, Lundvall managed to sign Irakere and in July the group traveled to New York to perform an unannounced guest set at the famed Newport Jazz Festival-New York. Rave reviews led to an invitation from the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

A few months later, Irakere won their first Grammy with the album Irakere, recorded at their Montreux Jazz Festival and Newport Jazz Festival performances, and Lundvall wanted to try his luck with other Cuban bands too. So, in the Fall of 1978, he joined forces with Fania Records director Jerry Masucci and convinced the Cuban cultural authorities to organize a three-day festival in Havana with the participation of Cuban and American musicians. The event would be recorded and televised for the enjoyment of both the Cuban and American people.

So they all agreed to set a date for the festival, spontaneously entitled Havana Jam. March 2 through 4, 1979, were the days earmarked for this historical step toward establishing a cultural exchange between the two enemy nations. In order to carry out the Herculean task of planning, Lundvall brought aboard Jock McLean and Phil Sandhaus, of Columbia’s artists development department. Both veterans of major concert promotion, they knew the festival needed professional production of the highest caliber, and enlisted Showco (a Dallas-based concert production company) and Studio Instrument Rentals for the task.

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At this point in time, Lundvall was diligently “feeling out” select members of the Columbia artist roster, all of whom were honored to accept the invitation to perform in Cuba. By early February the talent was confirmed. Representing the U.S. would be Billy Joel, Stephen Stills, Weather Report, Kris Kristofferson with Rita Coolidge, the Fania All-Stars and the CBS Jazz All-Stars. The latter group was conceptualized by Lundvall and scheduled to feature more than 20 top jazz artists on the label.

With the festival within grasp, other CBS Records personnel were summoned into the picture-rehearsals were set up for the CBS Jazz All-Stars, travel accommodations were made, equipment was rented, a wide cross-section of media was invited, and both recording and videotaping plans were confirmed.

Record producers Bert deCoteaux and Mike Berniker flew down with a crew from the CBS Recording Studios along with a support team and mobile 24-track Recording Studio from Record Plant NY.

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Engineered by David Hewitt with Phil Gitomer and Michael Guthrie. McLean, Sandhaus, Freston and various other people were already busy working in Havana’s Karl Marx Auditorium when the musicians landed at the José Martí airport on March 1.

Havana Jam was an invitation-only event, with mostly cultural personalities and members of the Communist Party and their children in attendance, though some students from different art and music schools were also invited.

The festival was hardly mentioned on the Cuban press, and thirty years later not many Cubans know it ever existed. (by wikipedia)

In 1979 many of Columbia’s top recording artists made a rare visit to Cuba where they performed (and recorded) at a series of concerts with some of the top Cuban groups. This double LP (unlike the strictly jazz Havana Jam 2) covers a wide range of music from Weather Report, the CBS Jazz All-Stars (an allstar group with Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz and Woody Shaw) and The Trio of Doom (John McLaughlin, Jaco Pastorius and Tony Williams) to Irakere, Stephen Stills, Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge. There is enough worthwhile jazz on the two-fer to make this set worth picking up (by Scott Yanow).

What a great jam recording !

Recorded live at the Karl-Marx Theatre, Havana, Cuba, March 2-4, 1979

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Personnel:

CBS Jazz All-Stars:
Willie Bobo (percussion)
Arthur Blythe (saxophone)
Stan Getz (saxophone)
Dexter Gordon (saxophone)
Jimmy Heath (saxophone)
Percy Heath (bass)
Bobby Hutcherson (marimba)
Hubert Laws (flute)
Woody Shaw (trumpet)
Cedar Walton (piano)
Tony Williams (drums)

Cuban Percussion Ensemble:
Frank Emilio Guillermo Barreto, Changuito, Tata Guines, Los Papines (percussion)

Irakere:
Jorge “El Nono” Alfonso (percussion)
Carlos Averhoff (saxophone)
Armando Cuervo (percussion)
Paquito D’Rivera (saxophone)
Carlos Emilio Morales (guitar)
Enrique Pla (drums)
Carlos del Puerto (bass)
Arturo Sandoval (trumpet)
Jesus “Chucho” Valdes (piano)
Oscar Valdez (percussion)
Jorge Varona (trumpet)

Stephen Stills Band:
Bonnie Bramlett (vocals)
Mike Finnigan (keyboards)
Joe Lala (percussion)
George “Chocolate” Perry (bass)
Stephen Stills (guitar, vocals)
Gerry Tolman (guitar)
Joe Vitale (drums)

Trio Of Doom:
John McLaughlin (guitar)
Jaco Pastorius (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

Weather Report:
Peter Erskine (drums)
Jaco Pastorius (bass)
Wayne Shorter (saxophone)
Joe Zawinul (electric piano, synthesizer)

And now, I´m too lazy to search all other musicians … sorry …

 

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Tracklist:
01. Weather Report: Black Market (Zawinul) 8.59
02. Irakere: Concerto Para Flaut y Adagio de Mozart(Rivera/Mozart) 9.48
03. Stephen Stills: Cuba al Fin(Stills) 7.48
04. Sara González: Su Nombre Es Pueblo (Gonzalez) 3.54
05. CBS Jazz All-Stars:  Project “S” (Heath) 8.36
06. Orquesta Aragón: Que Barla Mionda (Valdés) 7.37
07. Kris Kristofferson: Living Legend (Kristofferson) 4.29
08. Rita Coolidge: (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher (Smith/Miner/Jackson) 3:33
09. CBS Jazz All-Stars: Black Stockings (Laws) 6.24
10. Mike Finnigan + Bonnie Bramlett: How Wrong Can You Be (Gronenthal/Grace) 4.46
11. Fania All-Stars: Juan Pachanga (Blades/Ramirez/Masucci) 4.41
12. Trio Of Doom: Dark Prince (McLaughlin) 3.54
13. Cuban Percussion Ensemble: Scherezada/Sun Sun (Rimsky-Korsakov/Traditional) 7.41

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Saga – Images At Twilight (1979)

FrontCover1Saga are a Canadian rock band, formed in Oakville, Ontario. Jim Crichton and Welsh-born vocalist Michael Sadler have been the principal songwriters for Saga. Ian Crichton is the band’s guitarist; apart from his work with Saga, he has recorded several solo albums as well as sessions with Asia.

Currently, Crichton, as well as his brother Jim, the band’s bassist, are the only two original members who have appeared on every album. Lead singer Michael Sadler has appeared on every release by the band apart from their 2008 album The Human Condition, in which he was replaced by Rob Moratti. Though not present on the group’s first two albums, current keyboardist Jim Gilmour has been with the band since 1979, making his debut on the album Silent Knight. He briefly departed from the band 1986, returning later in 1992, and has remained in the band since then. Saga have been awarded gold and platinum albums worldwide and have sold more than 8 million albums

Originally known as Pockets, Saga formed in 1977 from the nucleus of Canadian rock band Fludd. In June 1978, they released their self-titled debut album Saga. A modest success in Canada, it would eventually sell over 30,000 copies in Germany as an import. It also became a major seller in Puerto Rico, after a local stereo equipment store featured the guitar-keyboard duet of the band’s single, “Humble Stance” as part of its radio advertisements. Two other songs, “How Long?” and “The Perfectionist” (a song about a psychopath, Ellery Sneed, who secretly poisons the attendants to a feast he has organized), also became local favourites.

Their 1979 follow-up album Images at Twilight gave them their first charting single in Canada with the song “It’s Time” peaking at No. 84 in the Canadian Charts. From the album, the songs “See Them Smile” and “Slow Motion” became strong radio favourites elsewhere.

Images At Twilight is the second studio album by the Canadian progressive rock band Saga and was originally released in May 1979.Images At Twilight is the second studio album by the Canadian progressive rock band Saga and was originally released in May 1979. (by wikipedia)

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t’s hard to believe you can go back a couple of years before Saga’s breakthrough album, Worlds Apart, and discover that Images At Twilight is actually better and far more consistent. It’s hard to find a bad song on this one. It’s Time (Chapter Three), You’re Not Alone, and Take It Or Leave It are top notch songs, but the stand out song is definitely Hot To Cold. This album should have been big. If it was released when Worlds Apart came out, 1981, I think Images At Twilight would have done even better on the charts than Worlds Apart. It’s almost like the band peaked a little too early. Highly recommended. (by Captain Nemoon)

Incredible epic-styled melodies, hard to believe their melodies are not more well known indeed, particularly the media, sports channels, etc. As one commenter said, they should have been a lot more popular. I prefer the early years myself, but I have to admitt I have not listened the newest stuff.
Of the almost near or over a thousand of CD’s from the 80’s and 90’s and beyond that I have, this group is one of the few groups I listen to all the time, and I know many rock bands !!! Your stereo eqipmente will sound incredible ! Trust me ! This band is amazing. (by Fernando)

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Personnel:
Greg Chadd (keyboards, background vocals, synthesizer, vocoder effects)
Ian Crichton (guitar)
Jim Crichton (bass, synthesizer)
Steve Negus (drums, percussion)
Michael Sadler (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, bass on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. It’s Time (Chapter Three) (J.Crichton/I.Crichton/Chadd/Negus/Sadler) 4.01
02. See Them Smile (J. Crichton) 3.25
03. Slow Motion (Sadler/J. Crichton) 3.55
04. You’re Not Alone (J. Crichton/I. Crichton/Negus/Rochon) 5.22
05. Take It Or Leave It (Sadler/J. Crichton) 3.58
06. Images (Chapter One) (J. Crichton/Sadler) 6.31
07. Hot To Cold (Sadler/Rochon) 5.02
08. Mouse In A Maze (J. Crichton/Negus/Rochon) 5.41

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Single sleeves from Germany

The English Concert + Trevor Pinnock – A Grad Concert Of Music – English Baroque Concerti (1979)

LPFrontCover1Archiv Produktion released A Grand Concert of Musick in 1985, and the performances by Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert are a high point in the label’s catalog. This album of concertos by John Stanley, Thomas Arne, Francesco Geminiani, Pieter Hellendaal, and Charles Avison, along with a symphony by William Boyce, provides a quick survey of some of the music that was popular in England in the late Baroque era.

Performing on original instruments and led from the harpsichord by Pinnock, the ensemble plays with crisp articulation, vigorous bowing, and bright tone colors, and the strings are surrounded by a wonderful aural halo produced by resonant acoustics. Pinnock and the English Baroque Concert took pride not only in playing in authentic period style, but also in providing the historical context behind the music, so this program represents musical activity centered in London circa 1730, when the English national style was developing in the wake of Purcell and contemporaneously with Handel. (by Blair Sanderson)

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Personnel:
The English Concert conducted by Simon Standage
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Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord)

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Tracklist:

John Stanley: Concerto in G major, Op. 2 No. 3:
01. Adagio – Allegro
02. Andante 1.43
03. Allegro

Thomas Arne: Concerto in G minor, for keyboard and orchestra:
04. Largo – Allegro con spirito 5.39
05. Adagio 1.20
06. Vivace 4.34

William Boyce: Symphony in B flat Major:
07. Allegro 2.37
08. Moderato e dolce 2.21
09. Allegro 2.02

Francesco Geminiani:
10. Concerto grosso in D minor (after Corelli: La Follia Variations, Op. 5 No. 12) 12.23

Pieter Hellendaal: Concerto in E flat major, Op. 3 No. 4
11. Grave sostenuto 3.57
12. Alla breve 1.40
13. Affettuoso 1.33
14. Presto 1.23
15. Pastorale 3.01

Charles Avison: Concerto grosso No. 9 in C major/A minor (after Domenico Scarlatti: Lessons for the Harpsichord)

16. Largo 2.10
17.Con spirito – Andante – Con spirito
18. Siciliana 3.17
19. Allegro 3.43Label1

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The Blues Band – Official Bootleg Album (1980)

OriginalFrontCover1England’s the Blues Band is led by ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones and guitarist/vocalist Dave Kelly, who, before forming the group in 1979, had been a member of the John Dummer Blues Band and issued several solo recordings on his own (Kelly had also received praise for his playing by such blues legends as Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker). After hooking up with friend/bassist Gary Fletcher, the seeds for the Blues Band were sown, resulting in countless albums (by Greg Prato)

The Blues Band is a virtual who’s who of the British blues scene. An ’80s supergroup of sorts, the band consists of Paul Jones, solo artist and former member of Manfred Mann (lead vocals and harmonica ); Dave Kelly, solo artist and former member of the John Dummer Blues band (lead vocals and slide guitar); Tom McGuinness, former member of Manfred Mann and McGuinness Flint (lead guitar and back-up vocals); Hughie Flint, also former McGuinness Flint (drums); and Gary Fletcher, formerly of Sam Apple Pie (bass and backup vocals).

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Taken from the inlets of this album

Although formed in 1979, the band released its debut album, The Bootleg Album, in 1980 as supposedly a one-time live project. The album was originally a private pressing, recorded live and released by the band themselves, but it sold so well it was re-released intact by Arista after signing the band to a contract. The Blues Band became so popular that they got together as a permanent unit.

A must for any fan of British blues music. (by by Keith Pettipas)

The Blues Band in their own words:

BluesBand01The individual members of The Blues Band were already held in admiration by generations of rhythm & blues fans when they formed back in 1979. Almost two and a half decades and over 16 albums later they continue to add to their growing army of followers, and it’s not unheard of to find three generations from the same family at a gig.

The band are today acknowledged throughout Europe and beyond as being amongst the very finest purveyors of rhythm & blues. They have inspired numerous other blues bands, many of which have come and gone …The Blues Band have remained a constant, increasingly popular fixture, however, and all with only a modicum of help from the record business – as Gary’s oft quoted comment states “the music industry doesn’t bother us and we don’t bother them.”

This independent streak goes right back to their early days when in an unusual move the band “bootlegged” their own first album – certain copies of which are now collector’s items. The ‘bootlegging’ came about because, having recorded their first album, the so called ‘major label’ which was to release it changed their minds and the band didn’t have the cash to pay the studio bill. So they got 1000 copies pressed up, mastered from a copy tape that they had, signed the plain white numbered sleeves and sold them at gigs & via mail order etc. Only then did another ‘major label’ pick up the album and release it widely. (taken from the website of The Blus Band)

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Personnel:
Gary Fletcher (bass)
Hughie Flint (drums)
Paul Jones (vocals, guitar)
Dave Kelly (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)
Tom McGuinness (guitar, background vocals)
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Bob Hall (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Talk To Me Baby ((James) 3.55
02. Flatfoot Sam (Willis/Lewis) 2.57
03. Two Bones And A Pick (Walker) 3.09
04. Someday Baby (Estes) 3.21
05. Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights) (Jacobs) 3.33
06. Come On In (Stonebridge/Jones/McGuinness) 2-03
07. Death Letter (House) 3.03
08. Going Home (Kelly) 3.54
09. I Don’t Know (Mabon) 4.55
10. Diddy Wah Diddy (Blake) 2.44

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And here you´ll find The Blues Band Songbook (click on the pic):

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Rainbow – Down To Earth (1979)

LPFrontCover1Down to Earth is the fourth studio album by the British hard rock band Rainbow. It is their last album to feature drummer Cozy Powell and their only album with vocalist Graham Bonnet. Released in 1979, it contains Rainbow’s first hit single “Since You Been Gone”, marking a more commercial direction of the band’s sound.

The writing of Down to Earth began at Ritchie Blackmore’s house in Connecticut in December 1978. By that time, the band leader had dismissed both bassist Bob Daisley and keyboard player David Stone soon after singer Ronnie James Dio quit the band. Blackmore had already recruited his old Deep Purple band mate Roger Glover as producer and started auditioning musicians for the vacant slots in the band, while songwriting progressed with the line-up of Blackmore, Cozy Powell and session musician Clive Chaman on bass. The backing tracks were largely written by Blackmore and Glover. By the end of 1978, Blackmore had recruited keyboardist Don Airey, under suggestion from Powell, and also considered Ian Gillan and Peter Goalby of Trapeze as replacements for Dio.

In April 1979, Jack Green of The Pretty Things was hired as new bass player for the recording sessions at Château Pelly de Cornfeld, in the countryside of Southern France, but he did not stay for long. Producer Glover ended up playing bass on the album and provided lyrics for all songs. While auditions for the new singer proceeded, Glover tracked down ex-The Marbles singer Graham Bonnet, who auditioned in France and was immediately hired.

During song composition, Bonnet made his vocal melodies though his contributions remained uncredited. His vocals were not recorded with the other tracks in France, but later at Kingdom Sound Studios in Long Island, when all other recording sessions were completed. Down to Earth is the only Rainbow album to feature Bonnet, though he was still part of the band when writing for Difficult to Cure began.

 

SinglesThe singles from this album

Also recorded for the proposed next single, but unreleased due to Bonnet’s departure, was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”. Bonnet had previously recorded this song for his first, eponymously titled, solo album in 1977. Rainbow’s version was recorded in the studio in May 1980, during rehearsals for the Japanese leg of the Down to Earth tour. It was subsequently played live throughout that tour.
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In 1980, Blackmore’s Rainbow headlined the inaugural Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in England.

Songs from Down to Earth have been performed by Graham Bonnet at his solo shows, as well as at concerts performed with Don Airey (2001) and Joe Lynn Turner (2007).

In the UK there was a limited edition clear vinyl LP release.

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“Bad Girl”, an outtake from the album sessions, was used as the B-side to the “Since You Been Gone” single. Similarly, “Weiss Heim”, an instrumental recorded in Copenhagen in January 1980, was the B-side to “All Night Long”.

AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine defines the album “a fine hard rock platter”, which “might not offer anything unique, but it delivers the goods.” He criticizes mostly Bonnet’s vocals, but praises “the guitar artistry and mystical sensibility of Ritchie Blackmore”, who “sounds invigorated on the album”. PopMatters’ Adrien Begrand, reviewing the 2011 Deluxe Edition, remarks how Down to Earth “is somewhat underrated compared to the towering Dio discography, but it remains a strong outing 31 years later”, even with “the new material sounding so much more stripped-down compared to the overtly epic heavy metal arrangements of Dio-era Rainbow”. The songs are “eight searing, hooky hard rockers”, remarkably rendered by Bonnet’s performance and energy. The album “is perhaps the most divisive record in Rainbow’s catalogue” according to Record Collector reviewer, because of “Blackmore’s single-minded pursuit of mainstream success” and the departure from the sound of preceding albums. He adds that this is a “strong” album with many “classic radio” staples, but the second disc of the Deluxe Edition does not add anything essential to the listening experience.

In 2005, Down to Earth was ranked number 431 in Rock Hard magazine’s book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.

In an interview with Sounds (magazine) in 1979, Blackmore said: “I have so much respect for classical musicians that when I listen to myself I think, oh, that’s nonsense. I can put down other people’s music because the fact is I put down my own music and say it’s rubbish. A lot of it is- not all of it- No Time To Lose definitely is but Eyes of the World is OK. But a good deal of it is a waste of time.” (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Don Airey (keyboards)
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar)
Graham Bonnet (vocals)
Roger Glover (bass)
Cozy Powell (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. All Night Long (Blackmore/Glover) 3:53
02. Eyes Of The World (Blackmore/Glover) 6.42
03. No Time To Lose (Blackmore/Glover) 3.45
04. Makin’ Love (Blackmore/Glover) 4.38
05. Since You Been Gone (Ballard) 3.25
06. Love’s No Friend (Blackmore/Glover) 4.55
07. Danger Zone (Blackmore/Glover) 4.31
08. Lost In Hollywood (Blackmore/Glover/Powell) 4.51

 

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Tantor – Same (1979)

FrontCover1This Argentinian Prog/Fusion act from Buenos Aires was sort of a supergroup, when it was formed back in late-70’s with Héctor Starc on guitars, Rodolfo García on drums and Carlos Alberto Machi Rufino on bass/vocals.Starc was an ex-member of Prog/Psych Rockers Aquelarre, Garcia played drums both in Almendra and Aquelarre, while Rufino was a former Invisible member.Tantor released their self-titled debut in 1979 on Phillips, helped by keyboardists Lito Vitale from M.I.A. (Músicos Independientes Asociados) and Leo Sujatovich of Spinetta Jade.
This is a perfect example of well-executed, tight and highly technical Prog/Fusion with some really georgeous interplays and fantastic grooves.Fast and furious rhythms led by incredible guitar work and delicate electric piano combine with jazzy pianos and distinct synths to present a number of consistent and well-arranged mostly instrumental tracks.The vocals are limited in just a couple of tracks, which come as a combination of light Jazz/Fusion and Soft Rock, but even these contain some good synth work and PromotionPostersmooth guitar playing.However the instrumental ones are the real winners here with top-notch performances by all the members, the sound is incredibly rich, the guitar and electric piano solos are stunning and the rhythm section is solid all the way.
One of the finest examples of fiery Prog/Fusion, only comparable to the consistency of CRUCIS.Both the original LP and the 2-CD reissue (along with the band’s second album) come highly recommended. (by apps79)

Consistently good to great fusion. Latin vibes are everywhere here, generating a warm melodic texture. The instrumentals with the outstanding electric pulses of piano, synthesizer and guitar levitate towards high jazzy peaks, while the frenetic drumming rains dynamic fills all over. Would’ve been four stars if some of these softer tracks had been replaced with something more progressive, but it’s an album worth checking out nonetheless. (by King Insano)

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Personnel:
Rodolfo García (drums)
Carlos Alberto Machi Rufino (bass, vocals)
Héctor Starc (guitar)
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Leo Sujatovich (keyboards on 01., 02., 04.
Leo Vitale (keyboards on 03., 05., 07. + 08., strings on 04.)

Tracklist:
01. Guarreras Club (Starc) 4.29
02. Niedernwohren (Starc) 5.18
03. Llama Siempre (Starc/Spinetta) 3.11
04. Oreja Y Vuelta Al Ruedo (Starc) 6.34
05. Halitos (Starc) 7.03
06. El Sol de la Pobreza (Starc/Spinetta) 4.33
07. Carrera de Chanchos (Starc) 7.32

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Paul Brett – Eclipse (1979)

FrontCover14 stars Brett’s RCA followup to “Interlife” was different enough to show that he was not going to sit still, but similar enough to sound like the same guy. He has opted for 10 shorter tracks and vocals appear on the weakest 2. The material is more varied, from disco funk to acoustic folk to calypso to heavy rock to Renaissance music to jazz standards. In general this release seems designed for greater digestibility. But none of that stops “Eclipse” from being another excellent album.

A whole new batch of thoroughly competent backing musicians provide Brett with the support to succeed again. Woodwinds add a new dimension to a few of the tracks, while brass has returned here and there. Old Tom Newman has a major behind the scenes role. The highlights are most of the instrumental cuts and the way they convincingly link together in spite of their disparity of styles. For instance, “Calypso Street” is a very accessible and jaunty number followed by the more serious and jazzy “Silent Runner”. The gorgeous flute and acoustic guitar combination of “This Side of Paradise” leads convincingly into the crunch of “Mentalmusic”, as unlikely as that sounds. The title cut is quite similar to the material on “Interlife” but far more concise, with a superb folk-based main melody expressed in a variety of accents and mingled with potent lead and sax soloing. “Overture to Decadence” is a well chosen follow up that persists with a ole Englishe theme more overtly and is enhanced by Rob Young’s string arrangements. The album closes with an entirely convincing acoustic rendition of the Dave Brubeck classic “Take Five”.

Sadly unappreciated and still without a digital treatment, this album eclipsed most of what came out in 1979 with its spirited best of breed arrangements and top notch musicianship. Highly recommended, although most here should start with “Interlife” (by kenethlevine)
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Paul Brett about this Album:
“1979 saw the third LP released by RCA Records. Again different to the other two. Instead of long pieces, I opted for shorter ones, but more tracks. Produced by Tom Newman and myself with arrangements by Rob Young. I changed the musicians with one exception, from those that played on Interlife to equally great ones including Tom Nicol (drums), Dave Olney and Dave Williams ( bass gtrs. ), Steve Gregory and  Ray Warleigh ( brass ), Alan Todd ( rythym guitar ) and my old mate Johnnny Joyce (acoustic 12 string guitar ). Rob Young played keyboards & recorder.  The track that got the most airplay was Johnny’s and my version of Dave Brubeck’s classic instrumental Take Five, which we had long played together as part of our acoustic duo act for a long time.  It was recorded and enginnered at T.W.Studios by Alan Winstanley (Stranglers) in Fulham. Cover artwork was by Sandra Goode.”

His acoustic tunes are the hightlights of this album, especially his great acoustic version of “Take Five” !

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Personnel:
Paul Brett (guitar)
Steve Gregory (bass)(
Chris Mercer (brass on 01.)
Tom Newman (vocals)
Tom Nichol (drums)
Ray Warleigh (brass)
Rob Young (keyboards, synthesizer, flute)
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Graham Jarvis (drums on 04. + 06.)
Johnny Joyce (guitar on 03. + 10.)
Dave Olney (bass on 01. + 03.)
Dave Williams (bass on 09.)
Alan Todd (guitar on 02., 05, + 10.)
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Tracklist:
01. Nineteen Ninety Nine (Brett/Young) 5.15
02. Calypso Street (Brett) 3.25
03. Silent Runner (Brett/Joyce) 3.09
04  This Side Of Heaven (Brett/Young) 2.55
05  Mental Music (Brett) 3.01
06. Eclipse (Brett) 4.02
07. Overture For Decadence (Brett) 3.00
08. Red Alert (Brett) 3.33
09. Chaos (Brett) 3.19
10. Take Five (Desmond) 4.48

More Paul Brett:

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