Leslie West – Dodgin’ The Dirt (1993)

FrontCover1Leslie West (born Leslie Abel Weinstein; October 22, 1945 – December 23, 2020) was an American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He was best known as a founding member and co-lead vocalist of the hard rock band Mountain.

West was born on October 22, 1945, in New York City to Jewish parents, but grew up in Hackensack, New Jersey, and in East Meadow, New York, Forest Hills, New York, and Lawrence, New York. After his parents divorced, he changed his surname to West. His musical career began with the Vagrants, an R&B/blue-eyed soul-rock band influenced by the likes of the Rascals that was one of the few teenage garage rock acts to come out of the New York metropolitan area itself (as opposed to the Bohemian Greenwich Village scene of artists, poets, and affiliates of the Beat Generation, which produced bands like The Fugs and The Velvet Underground). The Vagrants had two minor hits in the Eastern United States; 1966’s “I Can’t Make a Friend” and a cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” the following year.

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Some of the Vagrants’ recordings were produced by Felix Pappalardi, who was also working with Cream on their album Disraeli Gears. In 1969, West and Pappalardi formed the pioneering hard rock act Mountain, which was also the title of West’s debut solo album. Rolling Stone identified the band as a “louder version of Cream”. With Steve Knight on keyboards and original drummer N. D. Smart, the band appeared on the second day of the Woodstock Festival on Saturday, August 16, 1969, starting an 11-song set at 9 pm.

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The band’s original incarnation saw West and Pappalardi sharing vocal duties and playing guitar and bass, respectively. New drummer Corky Laing joined the band shortly after Woodstock. They had success with “Mississippi Queen”, which reached No. 21 on the Billboard charts and No. 4 in Canada. It was followed by “Theme For an Imaginary Western”, written by Cream bassist Jack Bruce. Mountain is one of the bands considered to be forerunners of heavy metal.

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After Pappalardi left Mountain to concentrate on various production projects, West and Laing produced two studio albums and a live release with Jack Bruce under the name West, Bruce and Laing. West, along with keyboard player Al Kooper of Blood, Sweat & Tears, recorded with The Who during the March 1971 Who’s Next New York sessions. Tracks from the sessions included a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Baby Don’t You Do It,” and early versions of “Love Ain’t For Keepin'” and The Who’s signature track “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Though the tracks were not originally included on the album (recording restarted in England a few months later without West or Kooper), they appear as bonus tracks on the 1995 and 2003 reissues of Who’s Next and on the 1998 reissue of Odds & Sods.

Mountain reformed in 1973 only to break up again in late 1974. West had acting roles in Family Honor (1973) and The Money Pit (1986).

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West also played guitar for the track “Bo Diddley Jam” on Bo Diddley’s 1976 20th Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll all-star album. Since 1981, Mountain has continued to reform, tour, and record on a regular basis. West teamed up with Ian Gillan of Deep Purple renown, to co-write and play guitar on the song “Hang Me Out To Dry” from the Gillan album ToolBox, released in Europe in 1991. West and Joe Bonamassa recorded Warren Haynes’ “If Heartaches Were Nickels” together. West released it on Guitarded (2005), and Bonamassa on A New Day Yesterday (2000). In May 1987, West played the band leader in a series of late night pilot shows for Howard Stern on the FOX network. He taped a total of five shows with Stern, which never aired. Stern went on to create a new show dubbed the Channel 9 show without West. West continued to make occasional appearances on radio, notably on Stern’s radio show.

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West contributed the music and co-wrote the lyrics to the song “Immortal” on Clutch’s 2001 album Pure Rock Fury, which was a reworked cover of the song “Baby I’m Down” from West’s first album. In 2005 he contributed to Ozzy Osbourne’s Under Cover album, performing guitar on a remake of “Mississippi Queen”. In addition to fronting Mountain, West continued to record and perform on his own. His solo album, entitled Blue Me, was released in 2006 on the Blues Bureau International label. West was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15, 2006. In 2007, Mountain released Masters of War on Big Rack Records, an album featuring 12 Bob Dylan covers that saw Osbourne providing guest vocals on a rendition of the title track.

West married his fiancée Jenni Maurer on stage after Mountain’s performance at the Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in Bethel, New York (August 15, 2009). A concert crowd of over 15,000 people was present, as West and Maurer were wed under a canopy of upraised electric guitars. On June 20, 2011, West had his right leg amputated as a result of complications from diabetes. West made his first public appearance after his surgery on August 13, 2011. In 2014, West was a guest performer on Eli Cook’s album, Primitive Son. His 2015 album, Soundcheck, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top Blues Albums chart.

Weeks before his death West was scheduled to begin recording a new studio album with a variety of guitarists. That group of musicians including Slash, Zakk Wylde, Dee Snider, and others, came together to record the album, titled Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West, which was released on 25 March 2022.

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By the late 1970s, West was recovering from addiction to heroin, morphine, and cocaine. West said in various interviews that his drug problems and similar drug abuse problems of other bandmates, had interfered with the success of both Mountain, and West, Bruce and Laing. In the mid-1980s, just as he was overcoming the drug problems, West was diagnosed with diabetes and his weight fluctuated over the years as he struggled with the disease. In the early 2000s he also survived a short bout with bladder cancer. In 2011, due to complications from his diabetes, West’s right leg had to be amputated. West said in a 2014 interview that he believed his past smoking also contributed to the crisis with his leg.

West went into cardiac arrest on Monday, December 21, 2020[16] and was rushed to a hospital in nearby Palm Coast where he never regained consciousness. After being contacted by Rolling Stone, West’s brother Larry West confirmed that Leslie West had died. A report by Variety based on social media posts made by Larry West states that Leslie West died on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. He was 75. (wikipedia)

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5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive comeback in the nineties
Reviewed in Germany on 5 April 2013
Leslie West is a legend. Anyone who has played at Woodstock, jammed with Hendrix, recorded and toured with Felix Pappalardi and Jack Bruce has earned that designation. Back then, West was the thickest and hardest blues guitarist in the world. But the Eighties were a tough time for the old heroes. Leslie, too, failed to build on his successes. The albums “Go for your Life”, “Theme” and “Alligator” were mediocre at best – and sonically cheesy for the times.

But with “Dodgin the Dirt” West made an impressive comeback in 1993. Earthy sound, a strong band (Steve Hunter on rhythm guitar) and a mixture of own and well-known songs in typical scratchy-rough West interpretations. Billy Joel’s “New York”, the Gillan collaboration “Hang me out to dry”, the groovy “Cross Cut Saw” and the instrumental “Sambuca” are just a few examples. The album ends with “Red House”, an obligatory and great Hendrix bow. All in all, the album is worth five stars to me. Rock on, Leslie … wherever you are ! (Alexander Gärtner)

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If he ever had one foot in the grave, it was tapping time. They could never cover up this Dirt Dodgin’ Rock ‘n’ Roll Death Camp survivor. Leslie West loves to laugh at the irony of his perpetuity and the fact that “Dodgin’ The Dirt” might be his finest work. The big man from Mountain has lost weight but the figure he cuts is no less imposing. Leslie has a signature sound. You can hear it in everything he does from “Mississippi Queen” to three cuts on Billy Joel’s “River Of Dreams”. “Dodgin’ The Dirt” – there’s that distinctive tone and violin control vibrato. ‘His kind of guitar’ is clear focused, coming from that center inside where talent transcends personality, time and Long Island. Turn it up. LOUD. It won’t escape you. (Tom Davies)

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Personnel:
Randy Coven (bass)
Steve Hunter (guitar, dobro)
Kevin Neal (drums)
Leslie West (lead guitar, vocals)
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Paul Beretta (drums on 13.)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 08.)
Brad Russell (bass on 08.)
Kevin Russell (guitar on 08.)
Riche “The Bat” Scarlet (bass on 13.)
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Tracklist:
01. Whiskey Train (Reid/Trower) 4.23
02. Daddy Are You Angry (West) 4.09
03. New York State Of Mind (Joel) 3.18
04. Sambuca (West) 2:42
05. Juke Joint Jumpin’ (live) (Carey/West) 2.54
06. Easy Street (Carey/West) 2.53
07. One Last Lick (West/Coven) 2.43
08. Cross Cut Saw (Sanders/Ingram/Walker/Person/Ford/Moss)4.08
09. Hang Me Out To Dry (Gillan/West) 4.45
10. Wasted Years (Morrison) 3.35
11. My Friend Sam (West) 1.54
12. Thunderbird (Carey/West/Hunter) 5.13
13. Red House (live) (Hendrix) 8.05

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Nils Lofgren – Wonderland (1983)

FrontCover1Nils Hilmer Lofgren (born June 21, 1951) is an American rock musician, recording artist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Along with his work as a solo artist, he has been a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 1984, a member of Crazy Horse, and founder/frontman of the band Grin. Lofgren was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the E Street Band in 2014.

Lofgren was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, to an Italian mother and a Swedish father. When he was a young child, the family moved to the Washington, D.C., suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. Lofgren’s first instrument was classical accordion, beginning at age five, which he studied seriously for ten years. After studying classical music and jazz, throughout his youth, Lofgren switched his emphasis to rock music, and focused on the piano and the guitar.

Lofgren had been a competitive gymnast in high school, a skill that was used on stage later in his performing career and reflected in the name of his 1985 album, Flip.

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In 1968, Lofgren formed the band Grin with bassist George Daly (later replaced by Bob Gordon), and drummer Bob Berberich, former players in the DC band The Hangmen. The group played in venues throughout the Washington, D.C., area.

Lofgren met Neil Young while Young was performing at the Georgetown club The Cellar Door, and began a long association. Young invited Lofgren to come to California and the Grin trio (Lofgren, Daly and Berberich) drove out west and lived for some months at a home Neil Young rented in Laurel Canyon. Lofgren would eventually use his album credits from working with Young to land Grin a record deal in 1971.

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Daly left the band early on to become a Columbia Records A&R Executive and was replaced by bassist Bob Gordon, who remained through the release of four critically acclaimed albums[7] of catchy hard rock from 1971 to 1974, with guitar as Lofgren’s primary instrument. The single “White Lies” got heavy airplay on Washington, D.C.-area radio. Lofgren wrote the majority of the group’s songs, and often shared vocal duties with other members of the band (primarily drummer Bob Berberich). After the second album he added brother Tom Lofgren as a rhythm guitarist. Grin failed to hit the big time, and were released by their record company.

Lofgren joined Neil Young at age 19 to play piano and guitar on the album After the Gold Rush. Lofgren maintained his musical relationship with Young, appearing as a part of the Santa Monica Flyers on Young’s Tonight’s the Night album and tour, and again on the Trans album and tour. He has also been a recurring member of Crazy Horse (1970–1971; 2018–present), appearing on their 1971 LP and contributing songs to their catalogue. In 2018, Lofgren re-joined Crazy Horse and along with the band performed on Young’s 2019 album Colorado and 2021’s Barn.

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After Grin disbanded in 1974, Lofgren released his eponymous debut solo album which was a success with critics; a 1975 Rolling Stone review by Jon Landau labeled it one of the finest rock albums of the year, and NME ranked it fifth on its list of albums of the year.[8] Subsequent albums did not always garner critical favor, although Cry Tough was voted number 10 in the 1976 NME Album round up; I Came to Dance in particular received a scathing review in the New Rolling Stone Record Guide. He achieved progressive rock radio hits in the mid-1970s with “Back It Up”, “Keith Don’t Go” and “I Came to Dance”. His song “Bullets Fever”, about the 1978 NBA champion Washington Bullets, would become a favorite in the Washington area. Throughout the 1970s, Lofgren released solo albums and toured extensively with a backing band that usually included brother Tom on rhythm guitar. Lofgren’s concerts displayed his reputation for theatrics, such as playing guitar while doing flips on a trampoline.

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In 1971, he appeared on stage on the Roy Buchanan Special, PBS TV, with Bill Graham. In 1973, he appeared with Grin on NBC on Midnight Special, performing three songs live. In 1978, he wrote and sang the “Nobody Bothers Me” theme for a D.C. Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do advertisement, and also appeared in the ill-received Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie. Lofgren appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, to promote his 1985 solo release Flip. Lofgren is credited on two of Lou Gramm’s (of Foreigner) solo albums: Ready or Not released in 1987 (Lofgren listed as lead guitarist) and Long Hard Look released in 1989 (Lofgren listed as one of the guitarists). In 1987, he contributed the television show theme arrangement for Hunter. In 1993 he contributed to The Simpsons, with two Christmas jingles with Bart. In 1995, he appeared on a PBS tribute to the Beatles along with Dr. John. From 1991 to 1995, he was the CableAce Awards musical director and composer.

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Lofgren continues to record and to tour as a solo act, with Patti Scialfa, with Neil Young, and as a two-time member of Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. Many of the people he worked with on those tours appeared on his 1991 album, Silver Lining. During the 2000s he got his own “Nils Lofgren Day” in Montgomery County, Maryland (August 25). In 2006 Lofgren released Sacred Weapon, featuring guest appearances by David Crosby, Graham Nash, Willie Nelson and Martin Sexton. In 2006 he recorded a live DVD Nils Lofgren & Friends: Acoustic Live at the Legendary Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Virginia.

On June 23, 2006, Lofgren performed at a benefit concert for Arthur Lee at New York’s Beacon Theater, along with Robert Plant, Ian Hunter, Yo La Tengo and Garland Jeffreys. In 2007, he appeared playing guitar as part of Jerry Lee Lewis’ backing band for Lewis’ Last Man Standing Live concert DVD. He released The Loner – Nils Sings Neil, an album of acoustic covers of Neil Young songs, in 2008.

In September 2008, Lofgren had hip replacement surgery for both of his hips as a result of years of playing basketball, “performance ‘flips’ on stage, and age.”[12]

In August 2014, a box set, Face the Music, was released on the Fantasy label. The career-spanning retrospective contains nine CD’s and a DVD covering 45 years.

The creation of Lofgren’s 2015 live album UK 2015 Face the Music Tour was inspired by his wife Amy commenting that his recent live shows were the best she’d seen him do, as well as fans wanting to have a recording of the show they’d just seen.

In December 2018, PBS NewsHour aired a 10-minute career retrospective Nils Lofgren: 50 years of ‘just being a guy in the band’.

Lofgren was a guest on a “Private Lives” one-hour radio special on East London Radio in the UK in October 2020. This series is shared across radio stations online and on FM/DAB, covering much of the UK.

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In 1984, he joined Bruce Springsteen’s backing band the E Street Band,[2] as the replacement for Steven Van Zandt on guitar and vocals, in time for Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Lofgren would appear on his first Springsteen album with 1987’s Tunnel of Love and its Tunnel of Love Express and Human Rights Now! supporting tours. In 1989 Springsteen broke up the E Street Band and Lofgren returned to his solo work.

In 1995, the E Street Band, featuring both Lofgren and Van Zandt, recorded new songs for Springsteen’s Greatest Hits album however nothing else came from this reunion. In 1999, Springsteen, minus the E Street Band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The E Street Band would finally be inducted fifteen years later in 2014. Despite not being inducted in 1999 with Springsteen, the E Street Band (again with Lofgren and Van Zandt) would perform with Springsteen for the first time since 1988 at the induction ceremony. This would soon lead to a hugely successful Reunion Tour which took place from 1999-2000 and a lineup now featuring both Lofgren and Van Zandt as full-time members. The reunion tour resulted in 2001’s album,The Rising, marking the first album featuring the E Street Band since 1988, and another huge tour in 2002 and 2003. Following this tour, Springsteen would work on other projects and tour without the E Street Band’s involvement until 2007’s Magic album and tour of 2007/2008.

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This tour was followed by 2009’s Working on a Dream album and tour. In 2012, Springsteen released his album, Wrecking Ball, which featured some of the E Street Band member however Lofgren did not appear though he did perform with the band on the album’s supporting tour. 2014 saw the release of the album High Hopes along with another tour. In 2016, Springsteen would celebrate the 35th anniversary of his album, The River, with a tour in support of The Ties_That_Bind: The_River_Collection box set.[13]In 2020, Springsteen released his album, Letter to You which featured the E Street Band. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a tour in support of the album was unable to happen in 2020 or 2021 however Springsteen has said he hopes to tour with the E Street Band at some point in 2022.

The late novelist Clive Cussler lived close to Lofgren’s Arizona home, and collaborated on a song with him titled “What Ever Happened to Muscatel?”

On August 17, 2017, Lofgren was inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

In May 2018, Lofgren replaced Frank Sampedro in Crazy Horse for their reunion concerts with Neil Young.

On January 29, 2022, Lofgren pulled his music from Spotify, after Neil Young and Joni Mitchell had done the same. This was in response to their belief that COVID-19 misinformation was spread by the streaming service’s The Joe Rogan Experience. (wikipedia)

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Wonderland is a surprisingly commercial work from guitarist/vocalist Nils Lofgren, opening with a very catchy and impressive “Across the Tracks,” followed quickly by the beautiful “Into the Night,” which has flavors of Bruce Springsteen, though Lofgren’s vocal is more precise and radio-friendly than his boss, the Boss. That’s the strange thing about the music biz — when a voice is superior and the music more commercial, it still takes a back seat to personality; listen to any hit song from Neil Young to verify that statement. And take, for example, the only cover here, Bobby Womack’s classic “It’s All Over Now.” Everything’s in tune, but the band sounds like it was programmed by a computer and Lofgren’s vocal has none of the drive found in his originals. Indeed, he is again sounding like Springsteen on the very next track, “I Wait for You,” which has that Springsteen swagger with Lofgren’s to-the-point presentation. The excellent production by the singer along with his rhythm section — bassist Kevin McCormick and drummer Andy Newmark — is much more exciting than Jeffrey Baxter’s thin sound on Night Fades Away or Newmark and Lofgren’s co-produced effort, 1977’s I Came to Dance, which had none of the snap, crackle, and pop found here.

Singles

The title track reflects that observation perfectly. Interesting that on both those aforementioned albums the cover tunes are the most successful performances, while here the originals are what work and are among Lofgren’s best, with superb sound to bring them to life. The vibes on “Lonesome Ranger” add spice, and having Edgar Winter, Carly Simon, and Louise Goffin adding their voices to the mix on this LP is indicative of the class spread all over these tracks. Even more cohesive than the 1979 classic Bob Ezrin-produced Nils album, Wonderland has tons of great moments, sparkling guitar work, and a groove that is commanding. The key thing that’s missing to bring music this good to the masses is an overpowering persona, and it seems Nils Lofgren is just too nice a guy to put that driving arrogance behind the sounds to catapult them onto AM and FM radio. Even more of a pity is that Backstreet/MCA couldn’t do it for him, because the artist certainly gave them extraordinary product to work with here. (by Joe Viglione)

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Personnel:
Nils Lofgren (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
Kevin McCormick (bass, background vocals)
Andy Newmark (drums)
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Louise Goffin (vocals on 06. + 09.)
Robbie Kondor (synthesizer)
Jim Maelen (percussion)
Carly Simon (vocals on 08.)
Edgar Winter (vocals on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Across The Tracks (Lorgren) 2.59
02. Into The Night (Lofgren) 3.44
03. It’s All Over Now (Womack) 3.43
04. I Wait For You (Lofgren) 3.40
05. Daddy Dream (Lofgren) 4.53
06. Wonderland (Logren) 3.29
07. Room Without Love (Lofgren) 3:05
08. Confident Girl (Lofgren) 3.05
09. Lonesome Ranger (McCormick/Lofgren) 3.47
10. Everybody Wants (Lorfgren)
11. Deadline (Lofgren) 4.04

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Charlie Mariano & The Karnataka College Of Percussion (feat. R.A. Ramamani) – Jyothi (1983)

LPFrontCover1Carmine Ugo “Charlie” Mariano (November 12, 1923 – June 16, 2009) was an American jazz alto saxophonist and soprano saxophonist.

Mariano was born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, the son of Italian immigrants, John (Giovanni) Mariano and Mary (Maria) Di Gironimo of Fallo, Italy. He grew up in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston, enlisting in the Army Air Corps after high school, during World War II. After his service in the Army, Mariano attended what was then known as Schillinger House of Music, now Berklee College of Music. He was among the faculty at Berklee from 1965 to 1971. Mariano moved to Europe in 1971, settling eventually in Köln (Cologne), Germany, with his third wife, the painter Dorothee Zippel Mariano.

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He played with one of the Stan Kenton big bands, Toshiko Akiyoshi (his then wife), Charles Mingus, Eberhard Weber, the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, Embryo and numerous other notable bands and musicians.

He was known for his use of the nadaswaram, a classical wind instrument from Tamil Nadu.

Mariano had six daughters, including four with his first wife, Glenna Gregory Mariano: Sherry, Cynthia, Melanie, and Celeste, and was step-father to Glenna’s son, Paris Mariano. Mariano is father to musician Monday Michiru with his second wife, Toshiko Akiyoshi. He had his youngest daughter, Zana Mariano, with partner, Charlotte Bulathsinghla. Mariano had six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. Mariano died of cancer on June 16, 2009, at the age of 85. (wikipedia)

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R. A. Ramamani (* c. 1956) is an Indian singer, composer and teacher.
Table of Contentsni studied music at Bangalore University (Master 1977). She is a virtuoso of classical Carnatic music, which is cultivated in South India. In 1978, together with her husband, percussionist T. A. S. Mani, Ramesh Shotham and jazz pianist Louis Banks, she founded the Indo-Jazz combo Sangam, which later became her band Jazz Yatra. She toured Europe with the Dissidents and the Karnataka College of Percussion in 1980. In 1983 she performed at the Berlin Jazz Festival together with saxophonist Charlie Mariano. In the same year ECM released the joint album Jyothi.

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Mike Herting organised a first meeting of Ramamani, the percussionists and the WDR Big Band Cologne in 2000, which was documented on CD (Sketches of Bangalore). She toured Europe with Lennart Åberg and Oriental Wind in 1987. Ramamani then formed the ensemble KCP 5 with Herting, Mariano, T. A. S. Mani and Ramesh Shotham, which also performed at the Moers Festival in 1999 and the Leverkusener Jazztage in 2003. She has also recorded with Okay Temiz and with David Rothenberg. At the RuhrTriennale she was a guest with Century of Song in 2007.

Ramamani co-directs the Karnataka College of Percussion with T. A. S. Mani and also teaches at other institutions such as the Choreographic Institute in Bangalore. (wikipedia)

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Karnataka College Of Percussion
A percussion academy from Bangalore, in the Indian province of Karnataka. The touring music project was directed by T. A. S. Mani, and was originally documented as a large ensemble, later more often as a duo or trio, with Ramesh Shotham, and also usually featuring vocal soloist Smt. R. A. Ramamani. (discogs.com)

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And here´s a real thrilling alum:

Since 1964 the Karnataka College of Percussion has been committed to its mission of expanding awareness of Indian Classical (especially Carnatic) music. Part of this outreach has involved a number of jazz-oriented and fusion projects through which the institution has spread its affirmative message. Thus do we come to this intriguing, if seemingly forgotten, collaboration with American saxophonist Charlie Mariano, who left us in 2009 at the age of 86. The result is a fluid and respectable blend of cultural signatures that transcends any ties to genre in favor of a purely emotive experience. The voice of R. A. Ramamani figures prominently, as in the ruminative opening track, titled simply “Voice Solo.” She traces long stretches of landscape, one hill at a time, where the dry rolling plains offer up their secrets for the reward of rain. Her prayers are bifurcated through overdubbing, lending both a smile and a promise to the title.

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In this diffusely lit portal we find only further portals. In “Vandanam” we are regaled with tales of old by Mariano’s rolling flute, gilded by the pleasant jangle of the kanjira and mridangam. Ramamani’s ululations walk hand in hand with flute for a unified sound. “Varshini” and “Saptarshi” are smooth and graceful spaces in which voice is both cause and effect. Mariano’s soprano is a voice in and of itself, caught in flurries of percussion and passionate resolutions. These lively stops give way to the interweaving lines of reed and voice in “Kartik,” which closes on some transportive drumming from T. A. S. Mani on mridangam. Lastly is “Bhajan,” featuring doubled voice and a palpable communication with the beyond. As the drums anchor us, so too do they spring forth to those less definable stretches of land, where only the human voice can wander in its ephemeral laudation, threaded by the twang of the morsing (Indian jaw harp) and dancing a slow and careful surrender.

Without neither pretension nor ulterior motive, Jyothi is a delicacy in the ECM catalogue and a careful coming together of thought and performance to be taken as it comes…and goes.

Recorded February 1983 at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg/Germany
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Personnel:
T. A. S. Mani (mridangam)
Charlie Mariano (saxophone, flute)
R. A. Rajagopal (ghatam, morsing, konakkol)
R. A. Ramamani (vocals, tamboura)
T. N. Shashikumar (kanjira, konakkol)

PosterTracklist:
01. Voice Solo 5.08
02. Vandanam 7.52
03. Varshini 8.33
04. Saptarshi 6.50
05. Kartik 11.12
06. Bhajan 6.27

Music: R. A. Ramamani

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Asia – Alpha (1983)

FrontCover1Asia are an English rock supergroup formed in London in 1981. The most commercially successful line-up was its original, which consisted of four members of different progressive rock bands that had enjoyed great success in the 1970s: lead vocalist and bassist John Wetton of King Crimson and U.K., guitarist Steve Howe of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes of Yes and The Buggles, and drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Their debut album, Asia, released in 1982, remains their best selling album and went to number one in several countries. The lead single from the album, “Heat of the Moment”, remains their top charting and best-known song, reaching the top 40 in over a dozen markets and peaking in the U.S. at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

The band underwent multiple line-up changes before the original four members reunited in 2006. As a result, a band called Asia Featuring John Payne exists as a continuation of John Payne’s career as Asia’s frontman from 1991 until Wetton’s return in 2006. In 2013, the original line-up was broken once again when Howe retired from the band and was replaced by guitarist Sam Coulson. After a few years of inactivity, Billy Sherwood (of Yes, World Trade and Circa:) replaced an ailing Wetton (who died shortly thereafter) in Asia for a summer 2017 tour with Journey. Following the end of the tour, the band went on hiatus again, re-emerging in 2019 with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal replacing both Sherwood on vocals and Coulson on guitar.

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Asia began in early 1981 after the apparent ending of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, two of the founding bands of British progressive rock. After the break-up of King Crimson in 1974, various plans for a supergroup involving bassist John Wetton had not been successful, including the abortive British Bulldog project with Bill Bruford and Rick Wakeman in 1976. In 1977 Bruford and Wetton were reunited in U.K., augmented by guitarist Allan Holdsworth and keyboardist/violinist Eddie Jobson. Their self-titled debut was released in 1978. But by January 1980, U.K. had folded after one lineup change and three recordings. A new project was then suggested involving Wetton, Wakeman, drummer Carl Palmer and (then little known) guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin, but Wakeman left this project shortly before they were due to sign to Geffen and before they had played together.

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In early January 1981, Wetton and former Yes guitarist Steve Howe were brought together by A&R man John Kalodner and Geffen Records to start writing material for a new album. They were eventually joined by drummer Carl Palmer and finally by Howe’s fellow member of Yes, keyboardist Geoff Downes. Two other players auditioned and considered during the band’s formation were former The Move and ELO founder Roy Wood and the aforementioned guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin, who would end up replacing Steve Howe in a reformed Yes in 1983. Rabin, in a filmed 1984 interview included in the DVD 9012Live, said that his involvement with Asia never went anywhere because “there was no chemistry” among the participants.

The band’s first recordings, under the auspices of Geffen record label head David Geffen and Kalodner, were extremely popular with record buyers, while considered disappointing by music critics and fans of progressive rock, who found the music closer to radio-friendly album-oriented rock (AOR). However, Asia clicked with fans of popular arena acts such as Journey, Boston and Styx; Kalodner had once introduced Wetton to Journey’s short-lived frontman Robert Fleischman, with a view to Fleischman becoming Asia’s lead singer. As they worked on material together, Fleischman was impressed by Wetton’s singing and felt the voice best suited to the new material was Wetton’s own. He left Asia amicably.

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Rolling Stone gave Asia an indifferent review, while acknowledging the band’s musicianship was a cut above the usual AOR expectations.

Asia’s eponymous debut album Asia, released in March 1982, gained considerable commercial success, spending nine weeks at number one on the United States album chart and selling over four million copies in the States alone. The album sold over 10 million worldwide and has never been out of print. The singles “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell” became Top 40 hits, both boosted by popular MTV music videos. Both tracks went on to become stadium favourites at United States sporting events.[citation needed] “Sole Survivor” also received heavy air play on rock stations across the United States, as did “Wildest Dreams” (another MTV video) and “Here Comes The Feeling”. The band’s best performing single, and perhaps their most recognised and popular hit song, “Heat of the Moment”, spent six weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Album Rock Tracks chart and climbed to #4 on the Hot 100.

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In the United States the band sold out every date on their debut tour, which began at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York on 22 April 1982, and continued in theatres but quickly expanded into massive arenas because of high ticket demand. Asia would go on to receive a Grammy Award nomination as Best New Artist of 1982. MTV also played Asia videos on heavy rotation—as many as five times a day. Both Billboard and Cash Box named Asia’s debut the #1 album of the year. Asia’s logo and cover art were created by illustrator Roger Dean of Yes and Uriah Heep fame.

Asia’s second album Alpha (released in July 1983) and future Asia albums did not achieve the chart success of their debut release; however, Alpha’s “Don’t Cry” was a #1 Album Rock Track and Top 10 Pop hit in the summer of 1983, and the video received considerable attention on MTV, while “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” was another Top 40 hit for the band. The video for “Smile” also scored heavy MTV play. However, Rolling Stone criticized Alpha as an over-produced commercial album, while others stated that Howe and Palmer were effectively reduced to session musicians. Alpha received indifferent reviews from various critics, while attaining platinum status and reaching #6 on the Billboard album chart.

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In October 1983 Wetton left the group after the comparatively disappointing sales of Alpha. The band stated that Wetton quit; Wetton stated that he was fired by phone; there is no universally-agreed version of what happened. Wetton later stated a factor may have been his alcohol dependency. The next leg of their 1983 United States tour (which began in the summer but shut down suddenly on 10 September following a performance at Pine Knob in Detroit), scheduled for the autumn, was abruptly cancelled, reportedly because of low ticket sales.

Alpha is the second studio album by British rock supergroup Asia, released on 26 July 1983 in the United States and on 12 August 1983 in the United Kingdom by Geffen Records. It was recorded at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec, and Manta Sound in Toronto from February to May 1983. Alpha adopted a notably more polished sound with radio-friendly elements and less emphasis on progressive rock sections. Like its multi-platinum predecessor, the album was produced by Mike Stone. It was also the last album to feature the band’s original line-up for twenty-five years until Phoenix, which was released in 2008.

The cover artwork was designed by Roger Dean, known for his work with Yes, of which Howe and keyboard player Geoff Downes had previously been members.

After Asia wrapped up their world tour for the debut album, they opted to move to La Studio to record the followup. Inner band conflict ensued, particularly between John Wetton and Steve Howe over who was more responsible for the band’s initial success. Record label executives requested for most of the songs to be written by Wetton and Downes, which left Howe with very little to do in terms of writing. His only song credit, “Lying to Yourself”, was released as a B-side. The song “Don’t Cry” was written and added at the last minute, as the band felt the album lacked a strong opener. Due to tensions within the group, producer Mike Stone was put in charge of mixing the album, where technical glitches delayed its release by several months. The band was unhappy with his final mix, with Howe describing it as a “wall of sound”.

Singles

A music video was shot for “Don’t Cry”, reportedly costing over $100,000 to film due to the elaborate set designs involved in it.

The album reached number 6 on the Billboard 200 chart and has been certified platinum for over 1 million copies sold in the United States. In the United Kingdom, the album peaked at number 5 and has been awarded a silver certification for over 60,000 copies sold. Despite this, it failed to meet the expectations of the record company executives, who wanted it to match the sales of the debut album.

Alpha spawned two singles. The lead-off single, “Don’t Cry”, reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and climbed to the top of the Mainstream Rock chart. It was the sole Top 40 entry for Asia in the United Kingdom, peaking at number 33. The B-side of the single, “Daylight”, was featured as a bonus track on album original cassette editions. The second single, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes”, reached number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 25 on the Mainstream Rock charts and was the group’s last major hit. Along with the singles, “The Heat Goes On” and “True Colors” were quite popular on mainstream rock radio stations.

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The album has received lukewarm reviews from music critics. J. D. Considine in his review for Rolling Stone described Alpha as “a sort of sonic confection, a concoction of tasty melodies, sweet harmonies and goopy lyrics intended more for greedy consumption than for artistic appreciation”. Chas de Whalley of Kerrang! was less than restrained and openly said that “this album is complete and utter rubbish from beginning to end and a waste of the good vinyl it’s pressed on”. Tom Demalon has given the album a retrospective rating of three stars out of five on AllMusic. “Don’t Cry”, “My Own Time (I’ll Do What I Want)” and “Open Your Eyes” have been selected as three “Track Picks”. He has compared the album with Asia and has summarized that “nothing on Alpha packs the sheer sonic force of the band’s debut”. ((wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Geoff Downes (keyboards)
Steve Howe (guitar)
Carl Palmer (drums, percussion)
John Wetton (bass, vocals)

Inlet01Tracklist:
01. Don’t Cry 3.32
02. The Smile Has Left Your Eyes 3.12
03. Never In A Million Years 3.44
04. My Own Time (I’ll Do What I Want) 4.48
05. The Heat Goes On 4.56
06. Eye To Eye 3.09
07. The Last To Know 4.39
08. True Colors 3.52
09. Midnight Sun 3.47
10. Open Your Eyes 6.25
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11. Lyin’ To Yourself 4.15

All songs written by John Wetton and Geoff Downes
except 02., written by John Wetton
and 11. written by John Wetton and Steve Howe

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More from Asia:
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Steve Khan – Eyewitness (1983)

FrontCover1Steve Khan (born April 28, 1947)[1] is an American jazz guitarist.

He was born in Los Angeles, California, United States. According to Steve Khan, his father, lyricist Sammy Cahn, “loved to hear of any and all versions of his songs”. Thus Khan grew up in a house with music. He took piano lessons as a child and played drums for the surf rock band the Chantays. The band’s guitarist exposed him to the albums Tough Talk by The Crusaders and Movin’ Wes by Wes Montgomery. In his late teens he quit the drums and started playing guitar. He was a member of the R&B band Friends of Distinction, recorded with keyboardist Phil Moore, then played on the album Bullitt by Wilton Felder (“one of my heroes”). Despite his father’s advice to avoid a career in the music business, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in music composition and theory.

In the early 1970s, he performed in an acoustic guitar duo with Larry Coryell and was a member of the Brecker Brothers band. As a session musician, he appeared on albums by Ashford & Simpson, Rupert Holmes, Billy Joel, and Steely Dan. He was signed to Columbia Records through the efforts of Bobby Colomby and Bob James.

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On his first three albums Tightrope (1977), The Blue Man (1978), and Arrows (1979), he was trying “to single-handledly keep alive the sound of the original Brecker Brothers band.” His next album was Evidence (1980), which contained an eighteen-minute medley of songs by Thelonious Monk.

He has also produced recordings for fellow guitarists Larry Coryell, Mike Stern, Biréli Lagrène, and Bill Connors, as well as pianist Eliane Elias. (wikipedia)

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I’m not certain just how this all happened, but, in 1981 I was still searching for a direction on the electric guitar and it led me to go back to the most basic sound, the one I began with when I was 19 yrs. old and at U.C.L.A.! Steve Jordan, Anthony Jackson, and Manolo BadrenaIt was pretty simple, just plug into an amp with a Gibson, dial in a little reverb, and play! I had owned a Gibson 335 for many years, but was so linked to my Telecaster and its sound that it was hard to change. I began as a Gibson player and decided to go back to it for the warmth and body of the sound. I was also ready to surround myself with a totally different group of players in conjunction with a new spirit of making music….something much looser, something not so married to having everything neatly in place and perfectly played(not that I was ever the best at that!). Some phone calls were made, and two of my favorite players and I were to get together to “see what happens.” Those players were drummer Steve Jordan, and bassist Anthony Jackson. I also felt that I wanted to include the brilliant and unique percussionist Manolo Badrena. Manolo and I had recently worked together on Mike Mainieri’s recording “WANDERLUST,” and I just knew somehow that he was the right player for this new concept.

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We used to meet to ‘rehearse’/’jam’ at Steve Jordan’s loft in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. I’m still not certain just what to call what we did….but, we would just begin to play…..sometimes ideas or grooves that didn’t seem to have a place in any other musical setting. Here you had four very unique perspectives on music making….and four of the most stubborn maniacs one could gather in a room, but somehow it was working. It was magical! I would always record CSTEs of each session and bring them home for study. As the months went by, I just KNEW that we had something exceptional, and I wanted to get it recorded before we actually figured out just what it was that we were doing. So, with the help of our old friend George Braun, who put together deals for Japan, we were able to record on a weekend in November of 1981, and to this day, “EYEWITNESS” remains one of my favorite recordings….perhaps THE favorite. Only five tunes….not one with a real ending…..but, the spirit and approach to music-making was the best I’d ever felt. No matter where I have traveled, there is always a drummer or bassist who, when speaking with me, reveals that he has been influenced by the work of Anthony Jackson and Steve Jordan on the three recordings we made together. The word “genius” is a pretty scary label to throw out there without great thought and care, but, in my opinion, Anthony Jackson and Manolo Badrena possess this gift…..the moods and textures they are able to create are just not of this earth. I treasure these musical friendships.

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In 2015, as part of his Rediscovery reviews series by, allaboutjazz.com’s senior writer John Kelman wrote an incredible review of the “EYEWITNESS” album from 1981.. The review points out how this recording has informed and influenced all of Steve’s work right up to the present. If a generation or two has missed the “EYEWITNESS” album, this is a great opportunity to rediscover it!!!
And, as if this wasn’t enough, the French magazine MUZIQ, in a fantastic column by Peter Cato, also sang the praises of the Eyewitness as a group, mentioning all 3 recordings and making a case for a musical relationship to the Rock group The Police! Very interesting!! (Steve Kahn)

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Personnel:
Manolo Badrena (percussion)
Anthony Jackson (bass)
Steve Jordan (drums)
Steve Khan (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Where’s Mumphrey? (Jackson/Badrena/Jordan/Khan) 7.31
02. Dr. Slump (Khan) 8.24
03. Auxiliary Police (Jackson/Badrena/Jordan/Khan) 5.30
04. Guy Lafleur (Khan) 10.33
05. Eyewitness (Khan) 7.19

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Ewan MacColl with Peggy Seeger – Freeborn Man (1983)

FrontCover1Ewan MacColl may well have been the most influential person in the British folk song revival. From his early manhood until his death in 1989, he remained passionately committed to folk, though not exclusively; he was also a poet, playwright, organizer, activist, songwriter, husband, and father. MacColl was born James Henry Miller in Salford, England in 1915. His father was a lowland man who spoke Scots English, his mother a highlander who spoke Gaelic. Both of his parents were singers. MacColl left school at 14 to busk and act in the streets, and was quickly discovered by the BBC. Soon he was not only singing, but also writing programs for the radio. He founded the first folk club in England, the Ballads and Blues Club, as well as the Critic’s Group, an influential early singing group that included such singers as Frankie Armstrong, Anne Briggs, and John Faulkner.

MacColl was one of the foremost interpreters of traditional songs ever recorded. The most ambitious project he undertook was to record a representative sampling of Professor Francis James Child’s English and Scottish popular ballads. While his early repertoire was mainly of street songs and traditional material, he was also an important songwriter. Most impressive was his competence in producing expressions that had an appeal to all levels of society; his songs have been covered by performers as diverse as Dick Gaughan, the Pogues, Roberta Flack, and Elvis Presley, and many have been collected in several versions from the oral tradition. They range from savage political satire to tender love songs, and are supremely effective at producing the desired emotions.

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Beyond his activities as a singer and songwriter, MacColl was an actor and a playwright. In 1947, George Bernard Shaw commented, “Apart from myself, MacColl is the only man of genius writing for the theater in England today.” His playwriting and songwriting joined seamlessly in his “radio ballads,” radio plays that bordered on ballad operas. Many of his most lovely and best-remembered songs were written for these plays, some of which have been released in album form.

MacColl was married to Peggy Seeger, herself a singer of folk songs (and half-sister to American icon Pete Seeger). Together MacColl and Seeger, sometimes accompanied by their children, also skilled musicians and singers, recorded quite a few albums as well. Many of MacColl’s albums are out of print products of long-defunct record companies. Some, however, are readily available. All, like MacColl himself, are important factors in the history of the folk revival, to be cherished by all who encounter them. This great singer made many, many albums over many years. All of them are recommended for fans of great singing, though some may be a bit specialized (i.e., unaccompanied singing in broad Scots dialect) for some listeners. ( by Steve Winicka)

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And here´s a pretty good “Best Of” album … with new recordings of his finest songs (Recorded at Pathway Studios, London)

Acknowledged by the family and Ewan himself as the very best versions of his best known songs.

A very intimate album with his strong voice and wonderful music … listen to the jazzy “Dirty Old Town” !

Enjoy this brilliant album !

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Personnel:
Dill Katz (bass)
Calum MacColl (dulcimer, guitar, whistle, zither)
Ewan MacColl (vocals, guitar)
Neill MacColl (guitar, mandolin)
Peggy Seeger guitar, vocals,. autoharp, banjo, concertina)
Chris Taylor (harmonica)
Ian Telfer (fiddle)
Bruce Turner (clarinet)
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background vocals:
Calum MacColl – Hamish MacColl – Kirsty MacColl – Neill MacColl

Rounder Records front + backcover:
RounderLPFront+BackCover

Tracklist:
01. North Sea Holes 2.39
02. The Shoals Of Herring 3.52
03. The Lag’s Song 2.48
04. Come, Me Little Son 3.50
05. Moving-On Song 3.17
06. Sweet Thames, Flow Softly 4.57
07. I’m A Rambler 4.34
08. Freeborn Man 3.46
09. The Driver’s Song 2.09
10. The Ballad Of Springhill 3.21
11. Thirty-Foot Trailer 3.56
12. Down The Lane 3.05
13. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 2.21
14. The Big Hewer 3.05
15. The Battle Is Done With 3.05
16. Dirty Old Town 2.49

All songs written by Ewan MacColl
except on 09.: Peggy Seeger

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Amiga ( German Democratic Republic) front + backcover:
AmigaFront+BackCover

Jan Akkerman – Can´t Stand Noise (1983)

FrontCover1Jan Akkerman (born 24 December 1946) is a Dutch guitarist.He first found international commercial success with the band Focus, which he co-founded with Thijs van Leer. After leaving Focus, he continued as a solo musician, adding jazz fusion influences.

The son of a scrap iron trader, Akkerman was born in Amsterdam. At age five he took guitar lessons and his first single was released in 1960, when he was thirteen years old. Akkerman won a scholarship to study at the Amsterdam Music Lyceum for five years, developing his composition and arranging skills.

At eleven he was in the rock band Johnny and his Cellar Rockers with his friend Pierre van der Linden. Both then joined The Hunters. After seeing a performance by classical guitarist Julian Bream, he became interested in medieval music and the lute. He started the band Brainbox with van der Linden, Kaz Lux, and Bert Ruiter. They recorded for Parlophone.

Johnny And His Cellar Rockers featuring Jan Akkerman:Johnny And His Cellar Rockers Featuring Jan Akkerman

Akkerman joined the Thijs van Leer Trio in late 1969 which, as the nascent band Focus, was the pit band for the Dutch theatrical production of Hair (recorded as an album in 1969). Under the name Focus, the band explored progressive rock, an amalgam of classical, jazz, and rock music, and had hits in the seventies such as “Hocus Pocus” and “Sylvia”. The band’s albums Focus II and Focus 3 were certified Gold. In 1973 Akkerman was voted Best Guitarist in the World by readers of the UK magazine Melody Maker. With manufacturer Framus he helped produce one of the first signature guitar models.

Atlantic released his solo album Tabernackel, which contains his playing the lute. His concept album Eli, recorded with Kaz Lux on vocals, won the Dutch Edison Award for best album in 1976. On the album, Akkerman experimented with a 12-string guitar tuned in parallel fifths. In the late 1970s he began to use a guitar synthesizer, as on the album Oil in the Family. In 1985, he reunited Focus with van Leer for concerts and an album. The band reunited again in 1990 for the Dutch television program Goud van Oud (Old Gold).

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Akkerman was a session musician with André Hazes and worked with Alan Price, Herman Brood, Peter Banks, Jack Bruce, Charlie Byrd, Phil Collins, Paco de Lucía, Ice-T, and B.B. King.

In 1992, he was involved in a car accident, but he resumed playing in 1993. In the late 1990s, after an absence of nearly 20 years, he was persuaded to tour the UK again. He wrote for the Dutch magazine GitaarPlus. In 2013, Akkerman released the album North Sea Jazz. (wikipedia)

UK frontcover, 1986:
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Through this album Jan Akkerman demonstrates his consistency in terms of musical approach where he chose jazz-rock as a platform and let the improvisation, not necessarily using guitar as main soloist, works on top of that platform. He proves it through the composition he crafted at the opening track “Pietons” where the basic platforms is so obvious in jazz-rock landscape. Well, not all of his albums in the same vein though.

As far as composition, I enjoy the fourth track “Journey (A Real Elegant Gypsy)” which initially presumed would be similar, musically, with Al Di Meola’s. One really can sense his guitar style having listened to some of his albums. Other tracks “Back To The Factory” and “Just Because” demonstrate his virtuosities not only in playing his guitar strings but also in composing music under jazz-roxck vein … Peace on earth and mercy mild (by Gatot)

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Personnel:
Jan Akkerman (guitar,  bass, lute, percussion)
Tom Dijkman (drums on 07. – 10.)
Marc van de Geer (keyboards on 02. – 06.)
Lesly Joseph (bass on 07. – 10.)
Willem Swikker (keyboards on 07. – 10.)
Dino Walcott (bass on 05. + 06.)
Hans Waterman (drums on 05. + 06.)

CD front + backover:
CDFront+BackCover

Tracklist:
01. Piétons (Akkerman) 8.00
02. Everything Must Change (Ighner) 6.29
03. Back To The Factory (Akkerman) 7.51
04. Journey (A Real Elegant Gipsy) (Flynn) 4.29
05. Heavy Treasure (Akkerman) 8.58
06. Just Because (Akkerman) 5.40
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bonus tracks (Recorded live 1993, at the Schauspielhaus Lelystad)
07. Crackers (Akkerman) 9.38
08. Burgers Blues (Intro) (Akkerman) 3.18
09. Prima Donna (Akkerman) 5.19
10. Sketches Of Pleasure (Akkerman) 11.10

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More from Jan Akkerman:
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Marillion – Script For A Jester’s Tear (1983)

FrontCover1Script for a Jester’s Tear is the debut studio album by British neo-progressive rock band Marillion, released in the United Kingdom on 13 March 1983 by EMI Records. The album reached number seven and spent 31 weeks in the UK Albums Chart, eventually achieving a platinum certificate, and produced the Top 40 single “He Knows You Know” and the Top 20 single “Garden Party”.

Script for a Jester’s Tear is the only studio album by Marillion to feature the band’s original drummer and founding member Mick Pointer, who was dismissed following the album’s UK tour. In Martin Popoff’s 2016 biography of Yes, the album is credited with being part of a “new wave” of British progressive rock which also helped to give a second life to earlier bands.

Marillion released their first single, “Market Square Heroes”, on 25 October 1982. It was a minor hit, peaking at number 53 on the UK Singles Chart. It was produced by David Hitchcock, who was also contracted to work on the group’s first full-length album. However, he was heavily injured in a car accident when he drove home after completing work on the single. EMI took advantage of the opportunity and persuaded the group to replace him with Nick Tauber, a producer known for his work with new wave band Toyah and regarded by the record label as more modern.

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Neither “Market Square Heroes”, nor the B-sides of the 12″ single, “Three Boats Down from the Candy” and the 17-minute-long epic “Grendel”, were included on Script for a Jester’s Tear, although a short radio segment of the A-side can be briefly heard prior to “Forgotten Sons”. As stated in the original liner notes, the music from the album was composed, arranged and performed by Marillion and the lyrics were written by Fish alone. However, in the 1997 remastered edition, four out of six songs are additionally credited to bass player Diz Minnit and keyboard player Brian Jellyman, who were both the initial members of the group. The recording sessions for the album started in December 1982 at The Marquee Studios in London and finished in February 1983, with Tauber producing and Simon Hanhart engineering.

The cover artwork was designed by Mark Wilkinson, who would be commissioned to the role on all Marillion releases through The Thieving Magpie (1988).

Script for a Jester’s Tear was released in the United Kingdom on 13 March 1983 by EMI on vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve. In the United States, it was available through Capitol Records.

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Dave Dickson in his review for Kerrang! said that “as a debut album this [Script for a Jester’s Tear] is extremely impressive, fully living up to the band’s previous promise”. John Franck has given the album a retrospective rating of four-and-a-half stars out of five on AllMusic. He has called it “a vital piece for any Marillion head and an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan”.

Script for a Jester’s Tear was a commercial success, reaching number 7 in the United Kingdom and spending 31 weeks on the charts, the second-longest album chart residency for Marillion. It was awarded a platinum certification by British Phonographic Industry on 5 December 1997 for over 300,000 copies sold. In the United States, however, it failed to make any impact, peaking at number 175 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The album generated two hit singles in the United Kingdom. The first single, “He Knows You Know”, preceded the release of Script for a Jester’s Tear and launched the group into the Top 40, reaching number 35. The second single, “Garden Party”, was released on 6 June 1983 and became even more popular, peaking at number 16. “He Knows You Know” gained some airplay in the United States and reached number 21 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. (by wikipedia)

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At the time, Marillion’s remarkable, full-fledged 1983 debut Script for a Jester’s Tear was considered an odd bird: replete with Peter Gabriel face paint and lengthy, technical compositions, Marillion ushered in a new generation of prog rock that bound them forever to the heroics of early day Genesis. Intricate, complex, and theatrical almost to a fault, Script for a Jester’s Tear remains the band’s best and sets the bar for their later work. Filled with extraordinary songs that remained staples in the band’s live gigs, the album begins with the poignant title track, on which Fish leads his band of merry men on a brokenhearted tour de force that culminates with the singer decrying that “…the game is over.”

Mark Wilkinson

“He Knows You Know,,” a song sprinkled with drug paranoia and guilt; as the song veers to its chorus, Fish announces, “Fast feed, crystal fever, swarming through a fractured mind.” If “The Web” hints at a grain of commercialism, “Garden Party” is a joyous anthem that showcases Marillion at the peak of its powers. Bogged down by some hilariously over-the-top British poetry, “Chelsea Monday” may be one of the album’s lesser moments (if there are any), but the magical “Forgotten Sons” concludes the opus magnificently. Luckily for Marillion fans, EMI released a remastered version of Script with two different versions of “Market Square Heroes,” “Three Boats Down from the Candy,” “Grendel,” “Chelsea Monday,” the demo of “He Knows You Know,” and an alternate track titled “Charting the Single.” A vital piece for any Marillion head and an essential work for any self-respecting first- or second-generation prog rock fan. (by John Franck)

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Personnel:
Derek William Dick “Fish” (vocals)
Steve Rothery (guitar)
Pete Trewavas (bass)
Mark Kelly (keyboards)
Mick Pointer (drums, percussion)
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Marquee Club’s Parents Association Children’s Choir (choir (on 06.)
Peter Cockburn (newscaster’s voice (on 06.)

Singles

Tracklist:
01. Script For A Jester’s Tear 8.43
02. He Knows You Know 5.24
03. The Web 8.52
04. Garden Party 7.20
05. Chelsea Monday 8.18
06. Forgotten Sons 8.24

Music: Derek William Dick “Fish” – Steve Rothery – Pete Trewavas – Mark Kelly – Mick Pointer Derek William Dick “Fish”

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Prog Issue 104

I add a long article about this album, from the Magazine “Prog” called
“How Marillion made Script For A Jester!

Dr. John With Chris Barber – Same (Marquee Club London; VHS-rip) (1983)

FrontCover1In 1983 the famous London music venue the Marquee celebrated its silver jubilee. One of the founders in 1958 (it was then in Oxford Street, now situated in Wardour Street) was Chris Barber; so it was fitting that he should do something special with his Jazz & Blues Band to mark the occasion. He therefore asked well known New Orleans musician Mac Rebennack, better known as Doctor John, to tour again with his band and to give two special concerts at the Marquee which would be recorded for future audio and video release; the recordings being made on the second night.

Julian Purser, co-compiler of the Chris Barber Discography, was there and reminisces: “When you enter the Marquee for the first time it is amazing, almost as though time has stood still for a couple of decades; it is cellar like and small; the dressing room is not much more than a broom cupboard. On the night of the 15th of April it was standing room only, and with the cameramen, technicians, cameras and cables there was hardly space for the very large crowd, and how the band managed to march around and through the audience was astonishing. Doctor John was a very tall, striking figure, with his carved walking stick and had a magnetic stage presence. He was happy to be either band pianist or solo vocalist and pianist.”

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Both evenings were sold out, and fans of Doctor John and Chris Barber all enjoyed themselves listening to the feast of music. Alexis Korner was there on the second evening immersed in the music. It was an evening full of interesting and differing New Orleans Jazz and Blues. Listening again brings the memory of the evening very much back to life. (by Gerard Bielderman)

This 59 minute concert (listed as 55 minutes on the package) was recorded in 1983 Dr. John in his prime! And great camera work in this rare Marquee Club gig!

DrJohnChrisBarber01during the 25th anniversary of London’s famous Marquee Club. It features the NOLa legend Dr. John (Mac Rebennack) playing on stage with British band leader and trombonist Chris Barber and his “Jazz and Blues Band”. Dr. John starts it off with a solo and then the band gets a shot and then they combine efforts – with solos throughout). There are 10 numbers, with some running almost 1o minutes.

Mac Shows his Professor Longhair piano chops on “Mac’s Boogie Woogie” and his blues vocals on “Stranded”. Barber and the band shine on “New Orleans Memories (Medley) and “Little Liza Jane”. Of, course, it all culminates with “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Of particular mention is the camera work which has some amazingly sharp images of Dr. John’s fingers on the piano keys and Barber on Trombone.

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As I said, this was 1983 and Dr. John was in his prime them, not relying on the “same old” that he kept doing in the 1990s. He was wearing no “hair jewelry” that he did in later years and you can tell that the older – and more experienced Barber was really into Dr. J’s playing that night. (Steve Ramm)

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Personnel:
Dr. John (piano, vocals)
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Chris Barber (trombone)
John Crocker (saxophone, clarinet)
Norman Emberson (drums)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Roger Hill (guitar)
Johnny McCallum (guitar, banjo)
Vic Pitt (bass)
Ian Wheeler (clarinet, saxophpne, harmonica)
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The Chris Barber Brass Band on 10.:

Chris Barber (trombone)
Roy Maskell (trombone)
Pat Halcox (trumpet)
Teddy Fullick (trumpet)
John Crocker (saxophone)
Ian Wheeler (saxophone)
Dick Cook (clarinet)
Johnny McCallum (snare-drum)
Vic Pitt (tuba)
Norman Emberson (bass drum)

Alternates frontcover:
AlternateFrontCovers

Tracklist:
01. Stack-A-Lee (Lopez) 3.33
02. New Orleans Memories / Panorama (Barber/Tyers) 13.50
03. Right Place, Wrong Time (Rebennack) 4.46
04. You Lie Too Much (Rebennack) 4.54
05. Memories Of Smiley (Rebennack) 5.00
06. Blues Down In San Antone (Stranded) (Rebennack) 5.54
07 The Wicked Shall Cease (Rebennack) / When The Saints Go Marching In (Traditional) 7.46
08 Mac’s Boogie-Woogie (Rebennack) 1.58
09 Little Liza Jane (Rebennack) 4.07
10 When The Saints Go Marching In (Tradtional)
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11. Marquee Club London; VHS-rip) 54.44

VHS-Tape1

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My copy of this old VHD-Tape was signed by Dr. John:
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Whitesnake – Sapporo (2nd Night) (1983)

FrontCover1Whitesnake are a hard rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band’s commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an’ Willing (1980), Come an’ Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum. (wikipedia)

And here´s a pretty good bootleg (excellent audience recording):

This work recorded at such a show is exactly an audience recording of shock. First of all, full show recording. As a matter of fact, this show has been around for a long time, but it is an incomplete version in which the solo time of “Love Hunter” and each member has been greatly dropped, probably to fit on one CD. On the other hand, this work can enjoy a full show from before the start to “We Wish You Well”. And even better is the sound. It has been made into a CD from a master cassette that was directly transferred from the recording artist himself, and it is fiercely neat anyway! Although it is not a sound board-like close feeling, its sound is mellow and mellow, but it does not conceal details. The essence is a wicked core. The core of each musical instrument arrives at hand so that the sound of the hall can be forcibly swept away, and it is vivid to the sense of separation without clumping.

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Such a show could be enjoyed all over Japan, but here in Hokkaido, the special performance is amazing. The essence is cozy. In 1984 there was even heavy metallic due to a chemical change with John Sykes, but in 1983 it was powerful but hard rock. Of course, it’s totally different from the suppleness of Ian Pais, but it’s groovy with a powerful attack. I guess Colin Hodgkinson is a big part of this. It is said that he did not hear what Koji said, but that is why he does not lose the groove. Just like the jazz rock rise, it’s in sharp contrast to Neil Murray, who is dexterous and reads the air, who has been accustomed to the metallic style.
And the sound of this work can taste the taste of such 1983 to the maximum. Hodgkinson is a bassist whose attack sound is too sharp (depending on the sound), although the bass is actually somewhat round. However, in this work, the sense of unity with the drum is turned into power by the sound, and the gap between the grooves in the core of the rugged feel emerges. In this case, the cozy suddenly comes to life. Bashabasha Dokandkan and the rampage roar with a tremendous force, but still do not buzz, the guitar, organ, and the singing voice of the majestic Cavadale come in clearly. Even if you pay attention to the melody and beat that each person spins while fully enjoying the power and groove, it is clear. It is a name recording like a special sound to taste “1983 white snake”.

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WHITESNAKE is different from the delicate feeling of Bernie Marsden era and the aggressive metal feeling of John Sykes era. This live album allows you to enjoy the whole body of blues rock specializing in strong power and grooves. It’s not just a first-time rarity, it’s not a piece that fills the collection. Permanent preservation press 2CD that plenty of “real value of 1983” that can be drawn only by the audience. One of the rich and powerful British blues rock extremities. Please enjoy it to your heart’s content. (giginjapan.com)

Recorded live at Hokkaido Koseinenkin Kaikan,
Sapporo, Japan 8th February 1983

BackCover1

Personnel:
David Coverdale (vocals)
Mel Galley (guitar, background vocals)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass, background vocals)
Jon Lord (keyboards)
Micky Moody (guitar, background vocals)
Cozy Powell (drums)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Intro 1.02
02. Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues (Coverdale/Marsden) 4.12
03. Rough An’ Ready (Coverdale/Moody) 4.12
04. Ready An’ Willing (Coverdale/Paice/Lord/Moody/Murray) 5.04
05. Don’t Break My Heart Again (Coverdale) 5.52
06. Here I Go Again (Coverdale/Marsden) 6.33
07. Love Hunter (Coverdale/Moody) 4.11
08. Micky Moody Solo (Moody) 1.09
09. Colin Hodgkinson Solo (Hodgkinson) 4.21
10. Micky Moody Solo (Reprise) (Moody)
11. Love Hunter (Reprise) (Coverdale/Moody) 2.38
12. Crying In The Rain (Coverdale)  / Mel Galley Solo (Galley) 11.11
13. Soldier Of Fortune (Coverdale/Blackmore) 2.29

CD 2:
01. Jon Lord Solo (Lord) 7.21
02. Cozy Powell Solo Feat. 633 Squadron & 1812 Overture (Powell/Goodwin/Tchaikovsky) 10.36
03. (Ain’t No Love) In The Heart Of The City (Price/Walsh) 8.00
04. Fool For Your Loving (Coverdale/Moody/Marsden) 5.25
05. Thank You
06. Wine, Women An’ Song Murray/Paice/Marsden/Moody/Coverdale/Lord) 6.00
07. We Wish You Well (Coverdale) 0.48

CD2A

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