Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Live At Carnegie Hall (1997)

FrontCover1.jpgLive at Carnegie Hall is the ninth album (and third live album) by American blues rock band Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, released by Epic Records in July 1997. The album consists of live selections from their sold-out October 4, 1984 benefit concert at Carnegie Hall for the T.J. Martell Foundation. Backed by a ten-piece big band for the second half of the event, Vaughan had celebrated his thirtieth birthday the night before, and called the concert his “best birthday ever, forever”. The band’s double-set performance, which included several blues and R&B standards, was highly successful, receiving mostly positive reviews from music critics.

Initially ranked as the top blues album of 1997, Live at Carnegie Hall peaked at number 40 on the Billboard 200, where it spent twelve weeks on the chart. The album was S.T.W01.jpgultimately certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after selling over half a million units. Guests on the album include Vaughan’s brother Jimmie Vaughan (guitar), Dr. John (keyboards), George Rains (drums) and the Roomful of Blues horn section, along with vocalist Angela Strehli. Related to the album, two outtakes from the concert were released on the SRV box set in November 2000.

The album charted at #40 on the Billboard 200, and was the #1 blues album for eight weeks. Entertainment Weekly said that his “blistering fretwork is so technically formidable that it should awe even the most unflappable aficionados.” Stephen Holden from The New York Times described the concert itself as “a stomping roadhouse.” (by wikipedia)


Live at Carnegie Hall captures Stevie Ray Vaughan on the supporting tour for his second album, 1984’s Couldn’t Stand the Weather. The Carnegie Hall concert was a special show, since it was the only time Vaughan and Double Trouble added the brass section from Roomful of Blues to augment their sound; in addition, the concert featured guest appearances from Stevie’s brother Jimmie and Dr. John. There might have been more musicians than usual on-stage, but Stevie Ray remains the center of attention, and he is in prime form here, tearing through a selection of his best-known songs which generally sound tougher in concert than they do in the studio. It’s the best live Stevie Ray record yet released. (by Thom Owens)


Chris Layton (drums)
Tommy Shannon (bass)
Stevie Ray Vaughan (guitar, vocals)
Porky Cohen (trombone)
Bob Enos (trumpet)
Dr. John (keyboards)
Doug James (saxophone)
Rich Lataille (saxophone)
Greg Piccolo (saxophone)
George Rains (drums)
Angela Strehli (vocals on 10.)
Jimmie Vaughan (guitar)

01. Scuttle Buttin’ (S.R.Vaughan) 2.43
02. Testify (R.Isley/K.Isley, Jr./R.Isley) 5.20
03. Love Struck Baby (S.R.Vaughan) 3.05
04. Honey Bee (S.R.Vaughan) 3.05
05. Cold Shot (Kindred/Clark) 4.45
06. Letter To My Girlfriend (Jones) 3.08
07. Dirty Pool (Bramhall/Vaughan) 6.40
08. Pride And Joy (S.R.Vaughan) 4.48
09. The Things That I Used To Do (Jones) 5.26
10. C.O.D. (Gooden) 5.32
11. Iced Over (aka “Collins’ Shuffle”) (Collins/S.R.Vaughan) 5.11
12. Lenny (S.R.Vaughan) 7.14
13. Rude Mood (S.R.Vaughan) 2.22




Stephen Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990)

Big Country – Wonderland (Special Limited Edition) (1984)

FrontCover1.jpgBig Country are a Scottish rock band formed in Dunfermline, Fife, in 1981.

The height of the band’s popularity was in the early to mid 1980s, although it retained a cult following for many years after. The band’s music incorporated Scottish folk and martial music styles, and the band engineered their guitar-driven sound to evoke the sound of bagpipes, fiddles and other traditional folk instruments.
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Big Country comprised Stuart Adamson (formerly of Skids, vocals/guitar/keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar/mandolin/sitar/vocals), Tony Butler (bass guitar/vocals) and Mark Brzezicki (drums/percussion/vocals). Before the recruitment of Butler and Brzezicki an early incarnation of Big Country was a five-piece band, featuring Peter Wishart (later of Runrig and now a Scottish National Party MP) on keyboards, his brother Alan on bass, and Clive Parker, drummer from Spizz Energi/Athletico Spizz ’80. Parker had approached Adamson to join his new band after the demise of Skids.


Adamson auditioned Parker (1980) at The Members’ rehearsal room in Ladbroke Grove, London and the next day was called on to play drums on demos for CBS Records at their Whitfield Street studios. The demos were produced by Adam Sieff and just featured Adamson, Parker and Watson. Adamson had asked bassist Dave Allen from Gang of Four to join the band but he declined. Adamson asked Parker to join the band, which led to eight months of rehearsal in Dunfermline in a disused furniture warehouse.

The culmination was a concert at the Glen Pavilion at Dunfermline and an interview with BBC Radio Scotland where the CBS Studio demos were utilised. The band then played live with Alice Cooper’s Special Forces tour for two concerts in 1982 at The Brighton Centre.

Butler and Brzezicki, working under the name ‘Rhythm for Hire,’ were brought in to play on “Harvest Home.” They immediately hit it off with Adamson and Watson, who invited them to join the band.


Big Country’s first single was “Harvest Home”, recorded and released in 1982. It was a modest success, although it did not reach the official UK Singles Chart. Their next single was 1983’s “Fields Of Fire (400 Miles)”, which reached the UK’s Top Ten and was rapidly followed by the album The Crossing. The album was a hit in the United States (reaching the Top 20 in the Billboard 200), powered by “In a Big Country”, their only US Top 40 hit single. The song featured heavily engineered guitar playing, strongly reminiscent of bagpipes; Adamson and fellow guitarist, Watson, achieved this through the use of the MXR Pitch Transposer 129 Guitar Effect. Also contributing to the band’s unique sound was their use of the e-bow, a device which allows a guitar to sound more like strings or synthesizer. The Crossing sold over a million copies in the UK and obtained gold record status (sales of over 500,000) in the US. The band performed at the Grammy Awards and on Saturday Night Live.

Big Country released the non-LP extended play single “Wonderland” in 1984 while in the middle of a lengthy worldwide tour. The song, considered by some critics to be one of their finest, was a Top Ten hit (No. 8) in the UK Singles Chart[2] but, despite heavy airplay and a positive critical response, was a comparative flop in the US, reaching only No. 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the last single by the band to make the US charts. (by wikipedia)

And here´s is of their many “Special Edition” singles from the Eighties:

Booklet03A.jpg“Wonderland” and “Giant (one of their rare Insrumentals; it was the instrumental version of “All Fall Together”)  … not released on their second album “Steel Town” and “Lost Patrol” recoded live at their legendary New Year´s Eve Concert at Barrowland, Glosgow 1993/1994.

So, here´s another cance to discover “Big Country”, one of the finest bands from the Eighties … Listen and enjoy !


Stuart Adamson (guitar, vocals)
Mark Brzezicki (drums)
Tony Butler (bass)
Bruce Watson (guitar)


01. Wonderland 3.51
02. Giant 5.12
03. Lost Patrol (live) Part 1) 2.27
04. Lost Patrol (live) Part 2) 2.26

All songs written by Stuart Adamson – Mark Brzezicki – Tony Butler – Bruce Watson



Adamson returned for the band’s ‘Final Fling’ farewell tour, culminating in a sold-out concert at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on 31 May 2000. They played what turned out to be their last gig in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in October that year.

In November 2001, Adamson disappeared again. Numerous appeals were put on the Big Country website asking for Adamson to call home and speak to anyone in the band, the management company, or his ex-wife. The website also requested that any fans who might have been ‘harbouring’ the singer to contact the management company and alert them to his whereabouts. Mark Brzezicki and Tony Butler had indicated they were concerned but the reason Big Country had lasted so long was they stayed out of one another’s personal lives, and both later noted they were unaware of the extent of Adamson’s problems. He was found dead in a room at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii on 16 December 2001. (by wikipedia)

More from Big Country:


David Gilmour – About Face (1984)

LPFrontCover1About Face is the second solo studio album by the English musician David Gilmour. It was released in March 1984 by Harvest in the UK and Columbia in the United States. Co-produced by Bob Ezrin and Gilmour, the album was recorded in 1983 at Pathé Marconi Studio, in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. The lyrics of two tracks, “All Lovers Are Deranged” and “Love on the Air,” were written by Pete Townshend of the Who.

The album received positive reviews and peaked at #21 on UK Albums Chart and #32 on the US Billboard 200. Two singles were released: “Blue Light” peaked at #62 in the United States, while “Love on the Air” failed to chart. The album was certified gold by the RIAA. A remastered reissue was released in 2006 on EMI.

The album was recorded with engineer Andy Jackson at a time when Pink Floyd’s future was uncertain. It was mixed by James Guthrie at Mayfair Studios in London, England.

Gilmour said he wanted to take his time and make “a really good album” and “get the best musicians in the world that I could get hold of to play with me.”[8] Musicians on the album include drummer Jeff Porcaro, bass guitarist Pino Palladino, Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, backing vocalists Roy Harper, and Sam Brown, orchestral arranger Michael Kamen (who had also worked on The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking and The Wall), and keyboardist Steve Winwood.

Gilmour01I think Pete feels some restrictions on what he would like to do with the Who, as I guess we all feel restrictions within everything we attempt [to do], just because of the types of personalities and role you’ve created for yourself. I know he’s felt uncomfortable about certain things— things he could express in solo stuff. For me, the restriction was the scale of what Pink Floyd had become more than anything. It’s nice to get out and do something on a slightly different scale; go out and do theatres, which is not really a possibility with Pink Floyd until we get a lot less popular. (David Gilmour)

When Roger Waters began production of the Pink Floyd album, The Final Cut, Gilmour claims, he requested Waters wait another month for Gilmour to develop some musical ideas himself, but Waters felt he was “on a roll” and already had plenty of material to complete the album, a very personal project about his father’s death in World War II, and the further victimization of those who survived it. Waters, seeing Gilmour and Mason’s lack of interest in the concept, offered to make The Final Cut as a solo album, but Gilmour and Mason still wanted a Pink Floyd album, of any kind, to sell. “[T]hey know [that] songs don’t grow on trees,” Waters told David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine. “They wanted it to be a Floyd record.”

Gilmour was later interviewed by Texas-based DJ Redbeard, on the radio program, In the Studio during which the focus was his 2006 third album On an Island. He commented on About Face saying that, “looking back on it, it has some great moments on there but the whole flavor of it is too ’80s for my current tastes.”


“Murder” was an outcry by Gilmour about the senseless killing of John Lennon, a longtime musical peer and inspiration to him. Gilmour embellished the song with a solo fretless bassline (played by Pino Palladino), adding an edgy funk groove to the acoustic beginning of the song, leading to an instrumental bridge, where the song picks up in the speed of the beat with more electric instruments. Gilmour collaborated with Townshend on the songs “Love on the Air” and “All Lovers Are Deranged,” as Gilmour recalled: “I sent him three songs and he sent back three sets of lyrics. Two of them suited me well. One didn’t. He did the two on About Face and he did the other one [‘White City Fighting’] on his White City album.” The lyrics for “Love on the Air” were written in a day, after Gilmour had asked for Townshend’s help. “You Know I’m Right” was written in a similar vein to Lennon’s “How Do You Sleep?” and was a dig towards to Waters.”Cruise” was about Ronald Reagan having cruise missiles stationed in Britain at the time.


The cover of the LP is a little wider than usual, approaching 12 1/2 inches. The inner sleeve bears lyrics and photographs of Gilmour, and exists in at least two variations. A sleeve for the UK Harvest edition has rounded corners and opens to the side; one for the USA Columbia edition has square corners and opens to the top, relative to the lyric text. Like the cover, the latter sleeve is wider than it is tall, and may not fit into the outer sleeve if turned 90 degrees. In one corner of both versions are printed the words “Fleudian slip,” a play on the words “Freudian slip” and “Pink Floyd.” (by wikipedia)


David Gilmour released his second solo venture in 1984, following the apparent dissolution of Pink Floyd. He had released a record on his own in 1978, but About Face is much more accessible. Gilmour has a stellar band backing him, including Jeff Porcaro (drums), Pino Palladino (bass), and Anne Dudley (synthesizer). The songs on About Face show a pop sensibility that Pink Floyd rarely was concerned with achieving. Although the album didn’t attract the attention of a Floyd release, several cuts did manage to get airplay. “Until We Sleep” is rife with shimmering synthesizers and cavernous drums, and “Blue Light” was a minor pop hit, with Gilmour’s trademark delay-drenched guitar giving way to a driving, horn-laced rocker. Pete Townshend wrote two of the tracks: “Love on the Air” and the propulsive “All Lovers Are Deranged.” Of course, there’s more than enough of Gilmour’s fluid guitar playing to satisfy, including the gorgeous “Murder,” a gentle acoustic track that explodes with some fiery organ by Steve Winwood and concludes with a fierce coda. About Face is well-honed rock album that is riveting from beginning to end. (by Tom Demalon)


David Gilmour (vocals, guitar, bass)
Ian Kewley (keyboards)
Pino Palladino (bass)
Jeff Porcaro (drums, percussion)
Ray Cooper (percussion)
Anne Dudley (synthesiser)
Bob Ezrin (keyboards)
Luís Jardim (percussion)
Jon Lord (synthesiser)
Steve Rance (Fairlight CMI programming)
Steve Winwood (organ on 04., piano on 03.)
The Kick Horns (brass)
background vocals
Roy Harper – Sam Brown – Vicki Brown – Mickey Feat
The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted Michael Kamen

01. Until We Sleep (Gilmour) 5.18
02. Murder (Gilmour) 5.01
03. Love On The Air (Gilmour/Townshend) 4.21
04. Blue Light (Gilmour) 4.38
05. Out Of The Blue (Gilmour) 3.38
06. All Lovers Are Deranged (Gilmour/Townshend) 3.17
07. You Know I’m Right (Gilmour) 5.08
08. Cruise (Gilmour) 4.42
09. Let’s Get Metaphysical (Gilmour) 4.12
10. Near The End (Gilmour) 5.36




Gary Moore – We Want Moore (1984)

FrontCover1.jpgWe Want Moore! is a live album by Irish guitarist Gary Moore, released in 1984.

This album is a jaw-dropping affair for anyone who believes that Eddie Van Halen is the ultimate guitar-shredding experience. Gary Moore’s classic live album We Want Moore! is about as good as it gets. Drawing mainly from the Irish guitarist’s previous two studio albums, every cut gets a shot in the arm from Moore’s extended soloing, most notably the Yardbird’s “Shapes of Things” at almost nine minutes. Recorded in places as distant as Tokyo, Glasgow and Detroit, the performances also benefit from the impressive vocal tag team between Moore and rhythm guitarist Neil Carter. (by Eduardo Rivadavia)

“We Want Moore” is Gary Moore’s first official live album to be available worldwide (Rockin’ Every Night was initially only available in Japan) and is not only a superb live album but also one of the strongest albums he has ever recorded. It is clear from the off that Moore is keen to show off his metallic side with album opener Murder In The Skies, which was one of the standout tracks from his brilliant Victims Of The Future album and remains one of the heaviest tracks he has ever recorded. Although the guitarist isn’t GaryMoore1exactly a natural vocalist, his vocals are more than adequate for the job in hand and are reasonably consistent throughout this live album. In fact it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that his vocals actually sound better at times here than they did on his two previous studio albums, however keyboard player and rhythm guitarist Neil Carter does take over on lead vocals on occasion.

Moore’s take on The Yardbirds classic Shapes Of Things follows on from the energy of the album’s opener and features a truly breathtaking extended guitar solo, which shows that Moore’s guitar skills are right up there with the greats.

Following a blistering performance of the title track from his previous album, Victims Of The Future, Cold Hearted marks the albums first song from 1982’s Corridors Of Power and is possibly one of the bluesiest tracks on the album and hints towards Moore’s later days as a blues guitarist/singer. This version of Cold Hearted also incorporates an extended version of the intro to the next song, the epic End Of The World. End Of The World, also from the Corridors Of Power album is quite possibly one of the best songs he GaryMoore2has ever recorded and features some truly jaw-dropping guitar playing particularly during the intro. This live version certainly does the song justice, there’s just one thing missing from the studio version; Jack Bruce’s vocals. Former Cream member Jack Bruce, who provided lead vocals for the original version of the song, unfortunately does not make a guest appearance on this album, however, between them, Gary Moore and Neil Carter manage to do a good job of the vocals and this version is energetic, dramatic and overall a fine performance of a truly great metal song.

Back On The Streets, with it’s sing-a-long chorus, provides a bit of light-hearted relief following the darker, heavier sound of the previous song and is one of only two songs on the album not taken from either Corridors Of Power or Victims Of The Future. This is followed by the emotional ballad, Empty Rooms, before Moore and his boys launch back into much heavier territory with the opening track from Corridors Of Power, Don’t Take Me For A Loser.


Closing track, Rockin’ And Rollin’ is the only track on the album taken from 1980’s G-Force album and is a great way to close the album, the song features a surprising guest appearance from Jimmy Nail, who, in Gary Moore’s words, gives the crowd “a singing lesson”. All this leaves you and evidently the crowd wanting mo(o)re…


Overall this is an astonishingly good live album by a criminally underrated musician and like Moore himself, doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. We Want Moore is the kind of live album that can leave you with a big smile on your face as well as leaving you awestruck by the band’s (and in this case particularly the guitarist’s) technical ability. It is possibly Gary Moore’s best and most consistent heavy metal album, and is a good place to start if you’re looking to get into early to mid 80’s era Gary Moore. This is one of those live albums that makes you wish that you could have been there, but if you weren’t, listening to this is a damn good compromise. (by Jamie Twort)


Neil Carter (keyboards, guitar, background vocals)
Bobby Chouinard (drums on 01. – 03. + 09.)
Craig Gruber (bass, background vocals)
Gary Moore (vocals, lead guitar)
Ian Paice (drums, percussion on 04. – 08 + 10.)
Phil Lynott (bass, vocals on 11.)
Jimmy Nail (background vocals on 10.)
Paul Thompson (drums on 11.)


01. Murder In The Skies ( Moore/Carter) 5.33
02. Shapes Of Things (Samwell-Smith/Relf/McCarty) 8.14
03. Victims Of The Future (Moore/Carter/Paice/Murray) 8.25
04. Cold Hearted (includes “Majestuoso E Virtuoso” and “White Knuckles” from other concerts) (Moore) 10.24
05. End Of The World (Moore) 4.33
06. Back On The Streets (Moore) 5.21
07. So Far Away (Foster/Russell) 2.39
08. Empty Rooms (Moore/Carter) 8.31
09. Don’t Take Me For A Loser (Moore) 5.43
10. Rockin’ And Rollin’ (Moore/Nauseef) 6.15
11. Parisienne Walkways (Moore/Lynott) 7.04 (*)

(*) Recorded live at the Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 17 December 1984




John Fahey – Let Go (1984)

FrontCover1.jpgLet Go is an album by American fingerstyle guitarist and composer John Fahey, released in 1984. It was his first release on the Varrick label after over 25 years on his own label Takoma, as well as a few releases on other labels.

Since his move to Salem, Oregon in 1981, Fahey met guitarist and producer Terry Robb, who accompanies him on all but three of the songs on Let Go.[1] He would work with Robb on three subsequent releases. Since his final album on Takoma (Railroad) Fahey had signed with Varrick Records, an imprint of Rounder Records. It was to be his first of four releases on the label.

His liner notes distance himself from the folk music label he had had since his career began. The notes begin “No folk music on this record—not even that sounds or suggest folk music… it’s hard to break out of a bag I never intended to be in—never thought I was in… I’m not a Volk. I’m from the suburbs.” He also noted the influence of the Brazilian guitarist Bola Sete. He had commented on Sete’s influence in 1977 in the notes to his guitar transcription book The Best of John Fahey 1959–1977. He did his first cover of a Sete composition on his 1979 album John Fahey Visits Washington D.C..

He had previously recorded the “River Medley” on the 1972 Reprise release Of Rivers and Religion. “Dvorak” is based on themes from Antonín Dvořák Eighth and Ninth symphonies. Regarding the duo’s cover of the Derek and the Dominos song “Layla”, Fahey commented: “Talk about ambition, Chutzpah—that’s us.”

The original LP lists a track titled “Lost Lake”. There was never such a track. (by wikipedia)

John Fahey1

Anyone who has read liner notes on John Fahey albums knows they are not necessarily to be taken as strict truth, but in the case of Let Go, it seems likely that the man was talking straight. Most of the back cover of the LP is a caustic, satirical diatribe against “Volkmusik” fans who try to pigeonhole Fahey as a folk artist. Almost the first words are “No folk music on this record, not even anything that sounds like or suggests folk music.” Fahey almost delivers on that promise on this album of Brazilian jazz, blues, old-time medleys, and other miscellany. In the hands of a guitarist with a less individual style this could have been a chameleon act or a hopeless mishmash, but Fahey pulls it off nicely. Producer and session guitarist Terry Robb duets with him on about half the cuts, and there are sparse but effective bits of percussion and bass that flesh out a vastly superior remake of “River Medle,y which originally appeared on Of Rivers and Religion. Other highlights include the peaceful “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise and the energetic two-guitar remake of “Layla.” On the latter, Fahey plays Clapton’s bridge note-for-note, but makes it completely his own thanks to his distinctive phrasing. If everything else on this album was trash, that cut would make it worth buying, but thankfully that isn’t the case. Let Go may not be the definitive John Fahey album, but it is a very good one from end to end. (by Richard Foss)

John Fahey2

John Fahey (guitar)
Terry Robb (guitar, bottleneck guitar)
Ron “Dr.” Manfredo (bass on 05.)
Johnny Riggins (percussion on 05. + 06.)

01. Let Go (original title in Portuguese: Canto de Ossanha) (Powell) 6.33
02. Black Mommy (Chargas/Martius) 8.02
03. Dvořák (Traditional) 8.02
04. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise (Lockhart/Seitz) 2.30
05. River Medley 4.51
05.1. Deep River (Traditional)
05.2. Ol’ Man River (Hammerstein II/Kern)
06. Lights Out (Fahey/Robb) 2.42
07. Pretty Afternoon (Sete) 3.05
08. Sunset On Prince George’s County (Fahey) 4.13
09. Layla (Clapton/Gordon) 5.15
10. Old Country Rock (Traditional) 1.18



Pascal Rogé – After The Rain – The Soft Sound Of Eric Satie (1995)

FrontCover1.jpgPascal Rogé (born 6 April 1951) is a French pianist.

His playing includes the works of compatriot composers Saint-Saëns, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, and Poulenc, among others. However, his repertoire also covers the German and Austrian masters Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven.

Rogé first appearance in public was in 1960 with a performance of Claude Debussy’s Préludes. He won the piano prize at the Paris Conservatory and worked for several years with Julius Katchen. At seventeen, he gave his first recitals in major European cities, landing an exclusive contract with Decca in the process. He has a particular affinity with French composers such as Claude Debussy, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc. He also performs chamber works, with the Pasquier Trio, and with musicians such as Pierre Amoyal or Michel Portal, with whom he recorded Poulenc and Tchaikovsky. He gives recitals worldwide, in all the major centres. A friend of conductor Charles Dutoit, he was regularly invited to Canada to work with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra while Dutoit was conductor there.

Pascal Roge01

In 2011 he and his wife Ami premiered the Concerto for Two Pianos by the Australian composer Matthew Hindson, which was commissioned to celebrate their recent wedding. (by wikipedia)

If you think the title After the Rain is silly, wait until you get to the subtitle: “The Soft Sounds of Erik Satie.” Oh, well, never mind titles and subtitles: it is ultimately the music and performance that make or break the disc and, in this case, the music and performances are both superb. Satie was, of course, the utterly unclassifiable composer who wrote pieces that are easy and hard, cold and hot, ironic and sentimental, ancient and modern, sublime and mundane. Pascal Rogé is, of course, the French pianist with a virtuoso technique (which, in a French pianist, is rare), a beautiful tone (which, in a French pianist, is typical), and superb taste (which, in a French pianist, is inevitable). In this set of Gymnopedies, Gnossiennnes, Nocturnes, and other short and improbably named works, Rogé shows that tone and taste triumph over technique, that is, that Rogé plays with precisely voluptuous tone and objectively subjective taste, but wholly without drawing attention to himself. The result is one of the best Satie recordings ever made. Decca’s ’90s digital sound was as warm and cool as the music itself. (by James Leonard)

Pascal Roge02.jpgIf you do not like instrumental, piano, slow, acoustic, older-than-you, or non-beat driven music then you may not like this disc; but then you might (but probably not). Hidden in Satie’s “classical” music are hints of jazz, new age, and ambient. I am prejudiced toward ambient jazz and Satie may have been the first to give us a glimpse of its future almost a century before. This recording is consistently smoothe, well engineered, and flawlessly performed. Each note is given its own space and invites you to savor each individual tone. Some of the pieces have melody lines; others seem to be random, sometimes progressive, series of notes/tones (sonorous, in any event). On the easy listening scale between ponderable/contemplative and zoned-out/trance-inducing at the extremes this disc falls in the middle of the spectrum and roams freely over the relaxation and meditation spheres. I placed this disc within my top ten favorite listens, right up there with with Pachelbel’s Canon (Kolbialka’s extended version), Twin Peaks, Scheherezade, Leonard Cohen (More Best of), Chet Atkins (Master and his Music), Nightingale’s Light Dance, Windham Hill’s Impressionists sampler, Oystein Sevag’s Visual, and another take on Satie’s Gymnopedies (Kolbialka’s extended version). (byLarry Deemer)

Eric Satie
Eric Satie’s [1866-1926] music is all over the map regarding quality and appeal – from gregarious, borderline-annoying, player-piano-like music to his more famous, luminescent, nocturnal slow masterpieces featured on this CD (without the former). Personally, I have little ear for the burlesque-inspired music on other Satie collections, so this compilation has found a nice niche in my collection for frequent playing when quiet, meditative music is in order (yes, often to help get to sleep assisted by the soothing Gymnopedies).

The sound quality of this CD is very rich and vivid as is Pascal Roge’s playing, with beautiful, bell-like sustained notes from Roge’s Steinway. What I most appreciated is his well-conceived tempos of these pieces – which for some reason suffer from too-slow, dirge-like tempos in other recordinds that strip the music of much of its life and enriching effects (as I find in fellow Frenchman, Jean Yves Thibaudet’s Decca recording – fitting for a funeral – why so slow?!)

In contrast, Roge to me finds the sweet-spot tempo and infuses these works with a subtle vibrancy in his tempos and colorations that allow the pieces to maintain constant interest to the listener and effect their simple magic. The highest Satie collection recommendation. (by Alan Lekan)

Music for the quiet moments in life …


Pascal Rogé (piano)


01. Gymnopédie No. 1 3.08
02. Gymnopédie No. 2 2.30
03. Gymnopédie No. 3 2.31
04. Gnossienne No. 1 3.41
05. Gnossienne No. 2 2.30
06. Gnossienne No. 3 3.08
07. Gnossienne No. 4 3.29
08. Gnossienne No. 5 4.02
09. Gnossienne No. 6 1.51
10. Nocturne I 3.17
11. Nocturne II 2.04
12. Nocturne III 3.03
13. Nocturne IV 2.55
14. Nocturne V 1.54
15. Avant-Dernieres Pensées 3.42
15.1 I Idylle, À Debussy
15.2 II Aubade, À Paul Dukas
15.3 III Meditation, À Albert Roussel
16. Pieces Froides – Trois Airs À Fuir 8.58
17. Pieces Froides – Trois Danses De Travers 6.26
18. Deux Reveries Nocturnes 3.20
19. Prélude De La Porte Héroïque Du Ciel 4.30

Music composed by Eric Satie

Tracks 1-9, 13 recorded in 1984.
Tracks 10-12, 14-19 recorded in 1989



Jean-Luc Ponty – Open Mind (1984)

frontcover1Open Mind is an album by French jazz fusion artist Jean-Luc Ponty, released in 1984.

Ponty embarks on more experiments in the future-is-now world of synthesizers and sequencers, where the painstakingly programmed machines often seem to generate an irresistible momentum of their own. As on Individual Choice, Ponty’s melodies are immediately appealing in an almost Continental manner, whether spelled out on violin, violectra, or on the sequenced synths that set up the ostinato underpinning. Ponty has even less help than before — no more than one or two supporting players on a few tracks. One of them is George Benson, who does his flavorful jazz/funk thing over Ponty’s rhythm computer on “Modern Times Blues”; the other is Chick Corea, who appears on two tracks. This is almost as essential as Individual Choice, and in some ways, even more confident and assured. (by Richard S. Ginell)

Jean-luc Ponty

Jean-Luc Ponty plays himself some really modern keyboards here, creating very atmospheric textures, rather urban, often flirting with a jazz-New Age style. To enhance the modern aspect of the music, Ponty plays a VERY “bottom” synth bass, which gives very much color, personality and depth to the music. Ponty is so much involved in the keyboards that it seems his electric violin almost becomes a secondary instrument here: his electric violin is however still very present, but it seems to be less monolithic and to merge more with the rest of the music: sometimes, it participates to the rhythm itself, or it is just simply played with less speed, focusing more on the sound or on the ambience itself. Chick Corea plays some good & nervous keyboards solos! The overall sound is very clean, fresh and modern. The complex keyboards exploration on “Orbital encounters” is absolutely impressive. The echoed atmosphere created with the violin sound on “Intuition” is really breathtaking! Every track is at least very good, so that this record is among his best ones. (by greenback)


Jean-Luc Ponty (violin, keyboards, piano, vocals, violectra, rhythm programming)
Casey Scheuerell – drums, tabla on 03.)
George Benson (guitar on 04.)
Chick Corea (synthesizer on 01. + 03.)
Rayford Griffin (drums, percussion on 05.)


01. Open Mind 8.06
02. Solitude 6.09
03. Watching Birds 5.02
04. Modern Times Blues 7.19
05. Orbital Encounters 5.19
06. Intuition 7.43

Music composed by Jean-Luc Ponty.