Jazz Fiddlers – (N)Evergreens (1987)

FrontCover1.JPGUnfortunately, I don´t know very much about the Jazz Fiddlers …

… but what I know that the Jazz Fiddlers in an amazing group, an ensemble which celebrates all these classics from the early days of Jazz history.

The Jazz Fiddlers were an outstanding and exciting ensemble of traditional jazz.

And here´s an overview ot the their history:

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So, it´s time to discover The Jazz Fiddlers all over the world … And here´s your first chance !

Liste and enjoy !

Recorded at the FISYO Studio, Prague, June 1987

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Personnel:
Vít Fiala (bass)
Jiří Frühauf (banjo)
Petr Hasman (clarinet)
Jaromír Helešic (drums)
Petr Karen (saxophone)
Michal Pálka (clarinet)
Petr Skočdopole (piano)
Jiří Sova (trombone)
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Vítězslav Marek (guitar on 11. – 13.)
Jitka Vrbová (vocals on 07. + 12.)
Josef Šťastný (bass on 02., 05. + 08.)

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01. She Is The Great, Great Girl (Woods) 2.47
02. Davenport Blues (Bismarck/Beiderbecke) 3.04
03. Big Butter & Egg Man (Armstrong/Venable) 2.47
04. Limehouse Blues (Furber/Braham) 3.20
05. Blues In The Air (Bechet) 5.32
06. San (McPhail/Michels) 3.01
07. All By Myself (Berlin) 3.46
08. That Da-Da Strain (Dowell/Medina) 3.27
09. Lonesome Road (Austin/Shilkret) 2.59
10. If I Had You (Campbell/Connelly/Shapiro) 2.41
11. Voodte (Hawkins) 4.35
12. Raisin’ The Rent (Arlen/Koehler) 4.40
13. Easy Going Bounce (Lovett) 3.22

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Vladimir Horowitz – Horowitz The Poet (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgVladimir Samoylovich Horowitz (October 1 [O.S. September 18] 1903 – November 5, 1989) was an American classical pianist and composer born in the Russian Empire. He was acclaimed for his virtuoso technique, his tone color, and the excitement engendered by his playing. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time. (by wikipedia)

Vladimir Horowitz had a complicated relationship with Schubert’s last piano Sonata. He revered the Sonata from the 1930s on, but felt it was too small scale a work for performance in today’s large concert halls. He finally gave it a try in 1953, playing it at the 25th Anniversary of his American Debut. One critic wrote that “Horowitz subjects poor, innocent Schubert to the most neurotic bombardment.” The hypertense, oversized 1953 performance is one of the most uncomfortable piano recordings ever made.

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Despite his difficulties in bringing it to life, Horowitz remained fond of the Sonata and often played it at home. His conception mellowed over the years, and friends urged him to perform it again. Horowitz played the Schubert at several recording sessions in March of 1986, about one month before his Moscow concert. So, his mind may have been elsewhere during these sessions. On the positive side, there is a welcome sense of relaxation, he plays the often neglected first movement repeat, and he gets the tempos right. It’s nice to hear the second movement, marked Andante sostenuto, played at the intended tempo – instead of Adagio or even Largo. But there are too many negatives here: Horowitz gussies up the piano writing (adding fifths in the left hand and lowering bass notes), breaks apart phrases, and generally disrupts the flow of the music to the extent that what is left is a parody of Schubert’s most sublime piano sonata. He’s also not quite up to snuff technically in the last movement.

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The pianist himself recognized the problems with this performance – calling it “fussy” – and refused to grant Deutsche Grammophon permission to release it. (Other pieces recorded during those sessions, Schubert’s Moment Musical No. 3, the Schubert-Liszt Serenade, and Soirees de Vienna No. 6, were released on the “Horowitz at Home” CD in 1989.) In 1991, Wanda Toscanini Horowitz overrode her late husband’s rejection and allowed the Sonata to be released. It says something about Mrs. Horowitz’s musical judgment that she approved the release of a substandard performance of a highly regarded musical work, but she refused RCA permission to release Horowitz’s astounding live performances of Balakirev’s Islamey and Liszt’s St. Francis Walking on the Water because she felt they were unmusical warhorses. She was clearly more interested in associating her husband’s name with snob repertoire than in great performances.

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Horowitz had a more steady relationship with Schumann’s Kinderszenen. The pianist played it frequently in concert from the 1940s on. This version, his fourth official recording of the work, is from a live performance in Vienna’s Great Golden Hall in May of 1987, one of Horowitz’s last concerts. In many ways, it’s also his finest recording of Kinderszenen. Horowitz’s two studio renderings, from 1950 and 1962, are fairly straightforward accounts, with occasional lapses into pianistic micromanagement and hints of nervousness when there should be repose. A 1982 live recording is almost the opposite, with bizarre rubatos, distended ritards, slack rhythm, and almost no coherence. But here, in 1987, Horowitz has pulled himself together and plays with simplicity, controlled freedom, and conviction. It is often said that the elderly sometimes return to a childlike state. In old age, Horowitz had achieved communion with Schumann’s visions of childhood lost.

The sound is fine in both works, with remarkably little audience noise during the live Kinderszenen. (by Hank Drake)

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Personnel:
Vladimir Horowitz (piano)

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Tracklist:

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata In B Flat Major, D 960:
01. Molto Moderato 19.12
02. Andante Sostenuto 8.02
03. Scherzo: Allegro Vivace Con Delicatezza 4.12
04 Allegro Ma Non Troppo 7.38

Robert Schumann: Kinderszenen:
05. Von Fremden Ländern Und Menschen 1.35
06. Kuriose Geschichte 1.05
07 Haschemann 0.32
08. Bittendes Kind 0.50
09. Glückes Genug 0.40
10 Wichtige Begebenheit 0.51
11. Träumerei 2.34
12. Am Kamin 1.19
13. Ritter vom Steckenpferd 0.40
14. Fast zu ernst 1.29
15. Fürchtenmachen 1.38
16. Kind Im Einschlummern 1.40
17. Der Dichter spricht 2.07

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VladimirHorowitz1October 1, 1903 – November 5, 1989)

Tomasz Stanko – Live At Montreaux Jazz Festival (1987)

FrontCover1.jpgThis live recording at the Montreux Jazz Festival is the last of the glorious 1980s albums by the polish trumpet virtuoso / composer Tomasz Stanko and his Freelectronic ensemble, here consisting of keyboardists Janusz Skowron and Tadeusz Sudnik and bassist Witold Szczurek. Stanko is in top form and in a great mood, which is evident by the happy atmosphere captured herein.

His trumpet soars to incredible heights and the brilliant improvisations chase one another. In retrospect this is a perfect moment captured for posterity, just before the ever-changing Stanko would embark on yet another musical journey with the onset of the 1990s.

1980s Stanko’s Jazz-Rock period was about to be abandoned and replaced by a return to the Jazz tradition and the new (again) Stanko, which would capture worldwide audiences with his ECM recordings.

the 1980s period firmly remains as one of Stanko’s most productive and expressive periods and this album is an integral part of that legacy. A must to every Stanko fan!

And here´s a pretty good exampe of his way to play Free Jazz  !

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Personnel:
Witold E. Szczurek (bass)
Janusz Skowron (synthesizer, piano)
Tomasz Stanko (trumpet)
Tadeusz Sudnik (synthesir, electronics)

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Tracklist:
01. Lady Go (Stanko) 9.44
02 Asmodeus (Stanko) 7.15
03 Sunia (Stanko) 3.06
04 Too Pee (Stanko) 7.32
05 Switzerland (Stanko/Skowron) 2.04
06. Ha Ha Ha (Stanko) 7.08

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INXS – Kick (1987)

LPFrontCover1INXS (pronounced “in excess”) were an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. The band’s founding members were bassist Garry Gary Beers, main composer and keyboardist Andrew Farriss, drummer Jon Farriss, guitarist Tim Farriss, lead singer and main lyricist Michael Hutchence, and guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly. For twenty years, INXS was fronted by Hutchence, whose magnetic stage presence made him the focal point of the band. Initially known for their new wave/pop style, the band later developed a harder pub rock style that included funk and dance elements.

In 1984, INXS had their first number-one hit in Australia with “Original Sin”. The band would later achieve international success in the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s with the hit albums Listen Like Thieves, Kick, and X, as well as the singles “What You Need”, “Need You Tonight” (the band’s first and only number-one single in the United States), “Devil Inside”, “Never Tear Us Apart”, “Suicide Blonde” and “New Sensation”.

Following Hutchence’s death from suicide in November 1997, INXS made appearances with several guest singers and toured and recorded with Jon Stevens as lead singer beginning in 2002. In 2005, members of INXS participated in Rock Star: INXS, a reality television series that culminated in the selection of Canadian J.D. Fortune as their new lead singer. Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Gribbin replaced Fortune as lead singer in 2011. During a concert on 11 November 2012, INXS stated that the performance would be their last, although they did not announce the band’s permanent retirement.

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INXS won six Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards, including three for “Best Group” in 1987, 1989 and 1992; the band was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. INXS has sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide.

Kick is the sixth studio album by the Australian rock band INXS, released in 1987 by WEA in Australia, Atlantic Records in the United States and Mercury Records in Europe.

As the band’s most successful studio album, Kick has been certified six times platinum by the RIAA and spawned four US top 10 singles (“New Sensation”, “Never Tear Us Apart”, “Devil Inside” and “Need You Tonight”, the last of which reached the top of the US Billboard singles charts). At the 1988 MTV Video Music Awards, the band took home five Moonmen for the “Need You Tonight”/”Mediate” video.

The album was produced by British producer Chris Thomas and recorded by David Nicholas in Sydney, Australia, and in Paris, France. The album was mixed by Bob Clearmountain at Air Studios in London.

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Between 1980 and 1984, INXS had released four studio albums and had toured their native country Australia extensively. The 1985 release of Listen Like Thieves brought the group international acclaim, as well as a long-awaited breakthrough in the US.[5] The album peaked at No.11 on the US Billboard 200, and featured the band’s first top 5 single in the US, “What You Need”.
INXS gathered at the Sydney Opera House in Australia to begin the rehearsal sessions for Kick.

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After the success of Listen Like Thieves and its second single “What You Need”, INXS knew their next album would have to be even better. According to guitarist and saxophonist Kirk Pengilly, “We wanted an album where all the songs were possible singles”. Towards the end of 1986, the band members gathered at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, NSW, Australia to rehearse the songs that Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss had written for Kick. (by wikipedia)

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“What You Need” had taken INXS from college radio into the American Top Five, but there was little indication that the group would follow it with a multi-platinum blockbuster like Kick. Where the follow-ups to “What You Need” made barely a ripple on the pop charts, Kick spun off four Top Ten singles, including the band’s only American number one, “Need You Tonight.” Kick crystallized all of the band’s influences — Stones-y rock & roll, pop, funk, contemporary dance-pop — into a cool, stylish dance/rock hybrid. It was perfectly suited to lead singer Michael Hutchence’s feline sexuality, which certainly didn’t hurt the band’s already inventive videos. But it wasn’t just image that provided their breakthrough. For the first (and really only) time, INXS made a consistently solid album that had no weak moments from top to bottom.

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More than that, really, Kick is an impeccably crafted pop tour de force, the band succeeding at everything they try. Every track has at least a subtly different feel from what came before it; INXS freely incorporates tense guitar riffs, rock & roll anthems, swing-tinged pop/rock, string-laden balladry, danceable pop-funk, horn-driven ’60s soul, ’80s R&B, and even a bit of the new wave-ish sound they’d started out with. More to the point, every song is catchy and memorable, branded with indelible hooks. Even without the band’s sense of style, the flawless songcraft is intoxicating, and it’s what makes Kick one of the best mainstream pop albums of the ’80s. (by Steve Huey)

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Personnel:
Garry Gary Beers (bass)
Andrew Farriss (synthesizer, drum machine, guitar, background vocals)
Jon Farriss (drums, percussion)
Tim Farriss (guitar, background vocals)
Michael Hutchence (vocals)
Kirk Pengilly (saxophone, guitar, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Guns In The Sky (Hutchence) 2.21
02. New Sensation (Farris/Hutchence) 3.40
03. Devil Inside (Farris/Hutchence) 5.15
04. Need You Tonight (Farris/Hutchence) 3.01
05. Mediate (Farris/Hutchence) 2.37
06. The Loved One (Clyne/Humphreys/Lovett) 3.36
07. Wild Life (Farris/Hutchence) 3.10
08. Never Tear Us Apart (Farris/Hutchence) 3.07
09. Mystify (Farris/Hutchence) 3.18
10. Kick (Farris/Hutchence) 3.14
11. Calling All Nations (Farris/Hutchence) 3.03
12. Tiny Daggers (Farris/Hutchence) 3.30

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Review

Michael Kelland John Hutchence (22 January 1960 – 22 November 1997) was an Australian musician, singer-songwriter and actor who co-founded the rock band INXS, which sold over 60 million records worldwide and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2001. Hutchence was the lead singer and lyricist of INXS from 1977 until his death. According to rock music historian Ian McFarlane, “Hutchence was the archetypal rock showman. He exuded an overtly sexual, macho cool with his flowing locks, and lithe and exuberant stage movements.” Hutchence was named ‘Best International Artist’ at the 1991 BRIT Awards, with INXS winning the related group award.

Hutchence was a member of the short-lived pop rock group Max Q. He also recorded some solo material and acted in feature films, including Dogs in Space (1986), Frankenstein Unbound (1990), and Limp (1997).

Michael Hutchence

Hutchence had a string of love affairs with prominent actresses, models and singers, and his private life was often reported in the Australian and international press. In July 1996, Hutchence and English television presenter Paula Yates had a daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

On the morning of 22 November 1997, Hutchence was found dead in his hotel room in Sydney. His death was reported by the New South Wales Coroner to be the result of suicide by hanging. (by wikipedia)

Dave Brubeck – Moscow Night (1988)

FrontCover1.jpgThis album has some really all-time definitive best versions of several songs. Unsquare Dance is outstanding. Brubeck did nothing in 4/4 time. The audience is clapping, in time, the band picks up on it, rests for two beats, making the audience part of the music and then picks up the song on the next beat. This was improvised, not planned. That’s Jazz!

Theme For June on this album is the very best version I have ever heard. None of the other renditions come even close. The song was written by Howard Brubeck for his wife, June. In mood and style it starts out very quiet on piano as a nocturne. Next comes a slight tempo change and the mood is similar to Claire de Lune. Another slight tempo change and brushes on the drums and guess what, its Jazz! The song culminates in a classic piano solo, building, building, building , building to a crescendo and sliding back down to the nocturne for the finish.

As one who has been married for 34 years, the music moves me to tears. The crescendo seems to me like an orgasm followed by afterglow. June Brubeck must have been quite a woman to inspire such music in her honor!

The rest of the albumn is fabulous. This is live music, and Brubeck was the master of improvisation. He was married to his wife for 70 years until his death a few years ago. This album is in my top ten ever, never to be bettered. (by Richard)

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Although it is not the best Brubeck LP from the 80s, it is one of his better ones and is a fair representation of his quartet in concert at the time.
I saw this line-up several times during the 80s and early 90s. At the time, Dave had re-united with clarinetist Bill Smith (with whom he had worked during the late 40’s in an octet and again in a couple quartet settings during the 50’s, using Smith instead of Desmond to create a different sound). Bill Smith’s clarinet does not sound like Desmond’s alto, nor is it supposed to, nor can ANY reed player sound like Desmond. The idea is to appreciate Dave’s sound in a new setting.
Five of the six songs on this outing are inspired and invigorating (Theme for June is much more on the relaxed and mellow side). Brubeck unleashes his signature improv block chordal technique and Smith wails on the clarinet. Chris Brubeck gets a little funky on the bass and Randy Jones (one of my favorite jazz drummers) keeps every thing humming along.

Moscow Night is a significant recording historically because it marks Brubeck’s first performances in the USSR after 30 years. It is also his final recording for the Concord Jazz label. It is definitely worth owning for any serious Dave Brubeck fan. (by Steven Randazzo)

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Personnel:
Chris Brubeck (bass)
Dave Brubeck (piano)
Randy Jones (drums)
Bill Smith (clarinet)

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Tracklist:
01. Three To Get Ready (D.Brubeck) 8.31
02. Theme For June (H.Brubeck) 10.45
03. Give Me A Hit (D.Brubeck) 8.28
04. Unsquare Dance (D.Brubeck) 5.05
05. Louis Blues (Handy) 9.50
06. Take Five (Desmond) 7.16

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In 1987, The Dave Brubeck Quartet toured the Soviet Union to create peace with the U.S. in a time of turmoil through their music.

“In 1987 we performed 5 concerts in Moscow, with the last concert being taped by Soviet TV. We had the rights outside of the Soviet Union, and it became a special on A&E.”  (Russell Gloyd, Dave Brubeck’s former conductor and manager)

In 1988, The Dave Brubeck Quartet performed at the final meeting between U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Tensions broke as Americans and Russians realized they liked the same music. As a result, the two leaders signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to dismantle nuclear weapons.
In January of 1988, The Dave Brubeck Quartet was performing at the White House. Several weeks later,

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Russell Gloyd received a call from the White House informing him that President and Mrs. Reagan wanted to have The Dave Brubeck Quartet perform at the Gala Dinner that President Reagan was hosting. General Secretary Gorbachev would be at Spaso House, the residence of the American Ambassador to the Soviet Union. At each dinner, each table had Soviets sitting with their American counterparts. The audience was quiet and tense. Dave opened the performance with “Take the A Train.” The room suddenly became alive as both Soviets and Americans were amazed that they liked the same thing. (Summary from interview with Russell Gloyd)

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Billy Joel – Kohuept (1987)

LPFrontCover1Kontsert (/kɒntˈsɛərt/) (Russian: Концерт, [kɐnˈt͡sɛrt], commonly read as Kohuept or Kohliept, English: Concert) is the second live album by Billy Joel, released in 1987. The album was recorded during the Soviet leg of Joel’s 1987 The Bridge tour. This album was co-produced by Jim Boyer and Brian Ruggles, and mixed by Jim Boyer.

During the Cold War, rock music was not allowed in the U.S.S.R. because it was not seen as part of Soviet culture. In 1987, Mikhail Gorbachev implemented glasnost—the Soviet policy of managed openness—and the Kremlin invited Billy Joel to perform in the Soviet Union in 1986. Joel, being a history enthusiast, took advantage of this opportunity, knowing that this would impact the history of the Cold War. He was seen as a “nice, safe, first attempt at bringing in an American ‘pop star.'”

The tour of the Soviet Union consisted of six shows, three in Moscow and three in Leningrad. Joel brought his family with him to show the Russians that he felt safe and trusted the Russian people. During the show Joel gave new meanings to songs such as “Honesty.” Each time the song was performed, he dedicated the song to Vladimir Vysotsky because he was an inspirational Russian man who “spoke the truth.”[2]

Because rock concerts were unknown in the Soviet Union, Joel had to invite the crowd to stand and dance. During the second of the three concerts performed in Moscow at the Olympic Sports Complex, Joel flipped his electric keyboard, and broke his microphone stand on his grand piano. While performing “Sometimes a Fantasy,” the audience kept getting attention from spotlights, which angered Joel. He yelled, “Stop lighting the audience!” He then trashed his instruments, overturning his piano and breaking his mic stand. He later claimed that, “People like their privacy. They go to a concert to get that, to be in the dark and do their own thing.”

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Joel wanted the audience to feel comfortable, and most of all enjoy the show. To do so, he brought his daughter Alexa Ray Joel and his wife Christie Brinkley on tour with the band. He also crowd-surfed during his performances. While in Leningrad, Billy dove into the crowd during the performance of “The Longest Time.” This was another way for him to show that he trusted the Russian people.

Joel had played a tour in Europe prior to the tour in the Soviet Union, and was being interviewed during the day. As a result, his voice became hoarse. Joel himself stated that he was disappointed by the album, and believes his vocals were not up to par during its production.[5] Despite his opinion, Columbia Records released the album, claiming it was a “historic event.” Joel and his band jokingly refer to the album as “Kaput.”

Prior to this show, rock music was barely gaining ground in the Soviet Union. The implementation of Gorbachev’s glasnost allowed people of the Soviet Union to witness Western Rock. In result, the government had to learn how to put on concerts, while the people of Russia had to learn how to participate in them. Joel’s Russian tour was the first live rock radio broadcast in Soviet History. Joel and his band were one of the first western rock groups to perform in Russia, along with Elton John, James Taylor, and Santana.

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While in Russia, Billy Joel and his daughter Alexa met and became friends with a clown named Viktor. The song “Leningrad” would eventually be written about him. This song was released on the 1989 Storm Front album.

Joel went on to say:

The trip to Russia was probably the biggest highlight for me as a performer. I met these people and they weren’t the enemy. I also hoped that the people in America could see what we did. What happens when your kid says to you ‘what did you do in the Cold War, Daddy?’ And now we have something to say. (by wikipedia)

Once he had a decade of uninterrupted multi-platinum albums and had tasted the sweet fruit of the high life, Billy Joel decided that it was time for something different — it was time to get serious. The first hint of this was his celebrated Russian tour in 1987. Not many rock artists had been allowed to tour the U.S.S.R., so this was a big deal. Joel took his task very seriously, embracing his role as musical and cultural ambassador from the West and acting solemnly throughout the tour. Besides the temper tantrum where he pushed his piano off stage, of course, but even that could be seen as a rock & roller taking his message to the people. If you’re charitable, that is. That defining moment of the tour is captured at the end of Kohuept (sadly, it was trimmed for a subsequent CD reissue), a live double-album (single-disc) document of the Russian tour. At the time, it may have been a big event, and personally, it was a turning point for Joel, but musically, it wasn’t much of anything. Supported by an augmented version of his touring band, Joel runs through a predictable selection of hits, drawing heavily from The Bridge, but making sure to hit such favorites as “Angry Young Man,” “Honesty,” “Stiletto,” “An Innocent Man,” “Allentown,” “Only the Good Die Young,” “Big Shot” and “Sometimes a Fantasy.” For topicality’s sake, he adds “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “The Times They Are A-Changin'” to his repertoire. All of it is professionally performed, but most of it sounds like slicker versions of the original studio takes. Still, die-hard fans would want this as a souvenir of a show they were never able to see and perhaps casual fans would want to use this as a de facto greatest-hits collection. (by by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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No, no, no, I Can´t agree with this review. The following review is much beter:
Billy Joel’s tour of the former Soviet Union was truly historic since he was one of the very first American artists to be allowed to perform in the former USSR. This disc very nicely brings us the highlights of Billy’s tour and we get some great tracks to prove that it was very successful!

The track set begins with a Russian piece called “Odoya;” and after that we hear the musical prelude to Billy’s concerts. Billy sounds great on “Honesty;” this classic tune about a man who wants his one true love features great piano by Billy. Billy also sings it quite passionately and the crowd loves every minute of it! “Stiletto” makes the crowd go wild; and the horn solo at the very beginning gets it just right! The drums, percussion, guitar and piano carry the melody and Billy sings this with great sensitivity–great! I think you’ll enjoy this live track of “Stiletto” very much.

“Big Man On Mulberry Street” really rocks as Billy cries out to make this even more passionate. Billy never misses a note and the drums and chorus enhance “Big Man On Mulberry Street” even more! Listen for some great jamming on “Big Man On Mulberry Street,” too. In addition, “Baby Grand” gets the royal treatment from Billy Joel as he delivers this number with panache and sensitivity. The crowd hangs on his every word; Billy’s rapport with his audience is excellent. Good percussion and drums, too.

The mood and tempo pick up considerably for a rocking “Only The Good Die Young;” Billy does this to perfection with some really great guitar! “Uptown Girl” features a nice chorus to backup Billy’s vocals; and they harmonize very well. The energy is perhaps at his zenith when Billy plays the predictable but wonderful “Back In The U.S.S.R.” “Back In The U.S.S.R.” features good vocal backup, great drums and percussion, awesome electric guitar as Billy wails this out while playing piano. Excellent!

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The last track on this CD sends the message that Billy recognizes the former Soviet Union was beginning to undergo major social changes; we get the Bob Dylan standard “The Times They Are A Changin’.” Billy does this flawlessly after telling his audience that he believes the U.S.S.R. under Gorbachev was similar to the social changing times in America during the 1960s.

The liner notes include some great color photos taken of Billy and his band during his U.S.S.R. tour–great!

Billy Joel does indeed display his ability to perform as a socially conscious musician on this album. I wish it were a more complete version of perhaps a single concert; maybe in the future we will get that. All in all, this is still a phenomenal live Billy Joel CD; and I highly recommend it for rock and pop fans everywhere. (Matthew G. Sherwin)

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Personnel:
Liberty DeVitto (drums, percusion)
Kevin Dukes (guitars)
Russell Javors (guitar, harmonica, background vocals)
Billy Joel – vocals, keyboards piano, harmonica, guitar)
Dave Lebolt (keyboards)
Mark Rivera (saxophone, keyboards, lyricon, background vocals)
Doug Stegmeyer (bass)
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background vocals, percussion:
Peter Hewlett – George Simms
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The Georgian Rustavi Ensemble of USSR (vocals on01.)
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Oleg Smirnoff – on-stage translation

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Tracklist:
01. Odoya” (Traditional) 1.18
02. Prelude/Angry Young Man (Joel) 5.23
03. Honesty (Joel) 3.58
04. Goodnight Saigon (Joel) 720
05. Stiletto (Joel) 5.09
06. Big Man On Mulberry Street (Joel) 7.17
07. Baby Grand (Joel) 6.09
08. An Innocent Man (Joel) 6.08
09. Allentown (Joel) 4.23
10. A Matter Of Trust (Joel) 5.08
11. Only The Good Die Young (Joel) 3.34
12. Sometimes A Fantasy (Joel) 3.36
13. Uptown Girl (Joel) 3.08
14. Big Shot (Joel) 4.45
15. Back In The U.S.S.R. (Lennon/McCartney) 2.44
16. The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Dylan) 2.57

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Roky Erickson – The Holiday Inn Tapes + Mine Mine Mind (EP) (1987)

FrontCover1.jpgRoky Erickson — lead vocalist and principal songwriter for the psychedelic band the 13th Floor Elevators and one of the leading lights of Texas rock — died Friday in Austin. He was 71.

Erickson’s death was confirmed by his brother Mikel to Bill Bentley, who produced the all-star 1990 Erickson tribute album “Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye,” which included performances by R.E.M., ZZ Top, Doug Sahm and other stars.

“Roky lived in so many worlds, you couldn’t keep up with him,” Bentley told Variety. “He lived so much, and not always on this planet.”

Erickson specialized in a stormy, nightmarish brand of rock. His otherworldly original songs were often inspired by his favorite horror movies (a collection of his lyrics was published in 1995 by Henry Rollins’ book company 2.13.61). His intense, piercing yowl was the focal point of the Elevators’ seething 1966 single “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” A magnum opus of garage rock, it was featured on Lenny Kaye’s influential 1972 compilation “Nuggets.”

The band released four albums of churning psychedelia for Lelan Rogers’ independent label International Artists between 1966 and 1969; its first two collections, “The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators” and “Easter Everywhere,” are acknowledged classics of psych-rock.

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After the band folded — due in no small measure due to Erickson’s drug habits and escalating mental illness — the singer embarked on a lengthy solo career that was interrupted by periods of institutionalization.

He released a scathing series of singles flashing horror and sci-fi imagery — “Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog),” “The Interpreter,” “Starry Eyes,” “Bermuda,” “Don’t Slander Me” — during the ‘70s and ‘80s, and issued several solo albums, one of which, “Roky Erickson and the Aliens,” was issued by CBS.

While best known for his snarling garage-rockers, some of Erickson’s most memorable songs were haunting ballads like “You Don’t Love Me Yet” and “I Have Always Been Here Before,” whose heart-wrenching melodies belied the torment hinted in the lyrics.

Erickson’s battle with mental illness was chronicled in the affecting 2007 documentary “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”

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In later years, he toured regularly, backed by such acts as the Black Angels, and could often be found performing on his favorite holiday, Halloween.

Born Roger Kynard Erickson in Austin, Texas, on July 15, 1947, Erickson was a high school dropout who formed his first group, the Spades, at 18. The group scored a local hit with the single “We Sell Soul,” and cut the original version of “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”

The 13th Floor Elevators teamed Erickson with the aggressive guitarist Stacy Sutherland and Tommy Hall, who played an ululating, amplified jug. Their debut “Psychedelic Sounds” LP included their signature hit and “Fire Engine,” which became a signature tune in the early repertoire of the New York punk band Television.

The Elevators were a popular Austin act but fell apart thanks to Erickson’s instability, brought on by literally dozens of LSD trips. He was committed to psychiatric hospitals in Austin and Houston, undergoing involuntary electroshock therapy.

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He groped his way back to performing in the ‘70s, and some of his best recordings of the period were produced by his Austin contemporary Sahm and Creedence Clearwater Revival bassist Stu Cook. He toured backed by the Austin bands the Explosives and the Aliens (which featured another jug player, Bill Miller).

The ‘80s proved fallow for Erickson, who was sidetracked for a time by charges, later dropped, that he had stolen mail from his neighbors. He lived for several years with his mother in near destitution.

But projects like the Sire/Warner Bros. tribute album and the ardent fandom of younger rock musicians kept him in the public eye; a strong 1995 album, “All That May Do My Rhyme,” was released by Butthole Surfers drummer King Coffey. He appeared at the ACL festival in Austin that year for his first live date in 20 years.

After slowly weaning himself off medication employed to control his schizophrenia, Erickson worked U.S. stages regularly. He became a semi-regular at the South By Southwest Music Festival, and in 2015 he reunited with surviving members of the 13th Floor Elevators at Austin’s Levitation Festival, which was named after an Elevators song.

His survivors include another brother, Sumner, and son Jegar. (variety.com)

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And here´s is a strange solo album from the Eighties:

More or less, Roky Erickson playing folk rock. Definitely a far cry from anything he ever did with the 13th Floor Elevators. Liked his covering the two Buddy Holly songs here – “True Love Ways” and “Peggy Sue Got Married”, the so-so “I Look At The Moon”, “Don’t Slander Me”, the emotional “Mine Mine Mind”, the rocking “Two Headed Dog” and one TFE tune “May The Circle Remain Unbroken” (off the band’s less appreciated third lp ‘Bull Of The Woods’). Looks to be the title’s initial ten tracks + four added bonus cuts. Overall, not bad, but an okay pick. (Mike Reed)

Judged on its own as a music recording this is pretty rough. This is a Roky Erickson collectors album most interesting from the historical perspective. Recorded on a cheap portable recorder in a motel room, this album is upfront and claims no pretention. This is not a typical Roky Erickson collection of songs. There are some cover versions of old rock standards and some Roky tunes not often found.

Very informal, ragged playing that sounds like something just slapped together on the spur of the moment. And I guess that’s exactly what it is.

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Four stars for being kind of an interesting exploration of this legendary artist. Three stars and maybe less from anybody who doesn’t know who he is and just wants to hear some music. In other words, not everyone will get a kick out of this album and I doubt that anyone would put it on their list of favorites. (Arlee Bird)

I love this record. However, no one else seems to. Its bare, its minimalistic. Just Roky and acoustic guitar. Some of his songs, some Buddy Holly covers, some others. Hardly exciting, but very intimate. Very interesting to hear Holly’s songs covered by Roky acoustically and finger-picked at that, love it. But, it took a while for me to crack into it. If you want a different side of Roky (acoustic) I’d highly recommend this. But if you’re looking for 13th Floor or Two-Headed Dog or Night of the Vampire with all their energy and electricity, perhaps pass on this one. (Colin)

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Front + back cover of the “Mine, Mine Mind” EP

I add another rare EP from this period and on “Mine Mine Mind” you can hear the heavy side of Roky Erickson … what a great trip !

This EP was later re-released under the titel “2 Head Dogs”.

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Front + back cover of the “2 Headed Dog” EP

Personnel:
Roky Erickson (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. The Singing Grandfather (Erickson) 3.59
02. The Times I’ve Had (Erickson) 2.31
03. That’s My Song (Erickson) 1.03
04. True Love Ways (Holly/Petty) 3.40
05. Peggy Sue Got Married (Holly) 2.02
06 Mighty Is Our Love (Erickson) 4.16
07. I Look At The Moon (Erickson) 2.45
08. Don’t Slander Me (Erickson) 2.39
09. May The Circle Remain Unbroken (Erickson) 2.33
10. The Singing Grandfather (Reprise) (Erickson) 3.34
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The Mine Mine Mind EP (1987):
11. Mine Mine Mind (Erickson) 2.39
12. Click Your Fingers Applauding The Play (Erickson) 3.20
13. Two-Headed Dog (Erickson) 3.22
14. I Have Always Been Here Before (Erickson) 2.44

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Roky Erickson (July 15, 1947 – May 31, 2019)