Mannheim Steamroller – A Fresh Aire Christmas (1988)

FrontCover1Mannheim Steamroller is an American neoclassical new-age music group founded by percussionist/composer Chip Davis that is known primarily for its Fresh Aire series of albums, which blend classical music with elements of new age and rock, and for its modern recordings of Christmas music. The group has sold 28 million albums in the U.S. alone.

Mannheim Steamroller began as an alias for record producer and composer Chip Davis. The name “Mannheim Steamroller” comes from an 18th-century German musical technique, Mannheim roller (German: Mannheimer Walze), a crescendo passage having a rising melodic line over an ostinato bass line, popularized by the Mannheim school of composition.

Mannheim Steamroller02

Before the fame of Steamroller, Davis had been best known for collaborating with his friend Bill Fries on the songs of the country music character “C. W. McCall” (of “Convoy” fame). The song was based on the character created by Fries and music composed by Davis for a series of Clio winning ads for Metz Baking Company for their Old Home Bread product.[3] Davis was named Country Music Writer of the Year in 1976, a genre he is not fond of.[4]

Even before the height of McCall’s popularity, Davis produced an unusual album of classical music performed entirely by Davis and musical collaborator and keyboardist Jackson Berkey, using electric bass (played by Eric Hansen) and synthesizers.

Mannheim Steamroller03

Steamroller found its greatest fame beginning in 1984 when Davis released his first holiday album, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, featuring modern contemporary interpretations of Yuletide favorites. This was followed by A Fresh Aire Christmas (1988) and Christmas in the Aire (1995), which showcased creative approaches to old carols, as well as some new carol-like compositions. Steamroller had now become one of the most requested Christmas music artists of all time,[citation needed] in part by adopting a very radio-friendly approach. At the end of 1997, they released a live album of Christmas music, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Live. Their fourth all-new Christmas album, Christmas Extraordinaire, was released in 2001. However, sales of Steamroller’s third and fourth Christmas releases fell far short of the sales of Christmas and A Fresh Aire Christmas. Christmas Celebration, a compilation of favorite tracks from the previous studio albums (with one new song), was released in 2004. The studio album Christmas Song was released in late 2007 and features guest vocals by Johnny Mathis and Olivia Newton-John, but co-founder Jackson Berkey is absent from the lineup. The CD Christmasville was released in 2008. Their next release was a 25th anniversary Christmas box set consisting of previously released material, and in 2011 they released Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Symphony with members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. (wikipedia)

Mannheim Steamroller04

And here´s thier second Christmas album:

A Fresh Aire Christmas takes you back to the roots of a selection of beloved Christmas carols and exposes you to the origins of others, as they were composed and enjoyed around the world. Discover new favorites in the 19th century Ukrainian Carol of the Bells, the 15th century German carol Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming and the Austrian carol Still, Still, Still. Make A Fresh Aire Christmas part of your holiday soundtrack today and bring a little classical Christmas into your home!

12 beautifully performed and meticulously arranged Christmas carols
Delight friends and family with this classical Christmas album that explores the roots of many beloved carols. (press release)

Mannheim Steamroller05

To the outstanding ensemble sound of Mannheim Steamroller, Davis adds the majestic fanfare of a brass choir in this second seasonal recording gem. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” resounds with vibrant glory that only brass instruments can evoke, while the enchanting “Little Drummer Boy” brings us the magic of Santa’s workshop… (by allnusic)

Recorded at Sound Recorder, Omaha; St. Michaels Cathedral, Chicago; Universal Studios, Chicago; The Great Hall Of University College School, London; and The University Of Downstairs.


Jackson Berkey (keyboards)
Ron Cooley (guitar)
Chip Davis (winds, percussion, vocals)
Eric Hansen (lute, trumpet)
Bob Jenkins (oboe)
David Low (cello)
Willis Ann Ross (flute)
John Sharpe (cello)
Mary Walter (harp)
Liz Westphalen (vocals)
Barbara Butler (trumpet)
Charles Geyer (trumpet)
Russ Knutson (percussion)
George Vosburgh (trumpet)
Doug Waddell (percussion)
Charlie Schuchat – Rex Martin
Arnie Roth – Steven Shipps 
Charles Vernon – Ed Kocher
french horn:
Dan Gingrich – David (H.D.) Kappy – Jonathon Boen – Norman Schweikert 
Greg Sarchet – Joseph Di Bello – Joseph Guastafeste – Paul Dallas – Stephen Lester
The Cambridge Singers:
Caroline Ashton – Clare Wallace – Donna Deam – Jo Maggs – Mary Mure – Mary Seers –  Nancy-Jane Thompson – Simone Chambers


01. Hark! The Herald Trumpets Sing 1.27
02. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 3.28
03. Veni Veni (O Come O Come Emanuel) 4.13
04. The Holly And The Ivy 2.59
05. Little Drummer Boy 4.06
06. Still, still, still 3.39
07. Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming 2.24
08. In Dulci Jubilo 2.45
09. Greensleeves 3.25
10. Carol Of The Bells 3.50
11. Traditions Of Christmas 3.32
12. Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night) 5.18

All songs: Traditional
except 11. written by Chip Davis



“This album was recorded in 5 places on Earth, including and highlighting some of Earth’s finest performers”

The official website:




The Global Vision Project – Essential Elements – Cathedral Echoes (1998)

FrontCover1And here´s an voyage into the special atmosphere of a cathedral:

The mighty and ancient fruits of heruclean labour in the days of old. the great cathedrals were conceived to stimulate, awe snd inspire. Within their precints is a unique kind of quiet.

Visitors speak in hushed tones. Footfalls are soft despite the stone floors. And the music is rich and magnificent. Immerse yourself in the sounds of a magnificent cathedral, draw inspiration from its soaring architecture. grand scale and glorous histcory.

Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, New York

Imagine to the bright emerald green of the grass around its walls, the imagine of its spire soaring up into the heavens and the mighty stones that are its very fabric.

Absorb the very special atmosphere in and around a cathedral, and hear its echo in the music. (liner notes)


unknown studio musicians & choir


01. Convocation 18:47
02. The Ancient Order 13:48
03. The Sun Through The Stained Glass 17:54
04. Celibacy 9:10




Keith Clark + CSR Symphony Orchestra – Spanish Festival (1988)

FrontCover1Spain excersised a curious fascination over the nationalist composers of the ninenteenth century, with a particular appeal, in Russia, a country that was finding again it´s ohn identity in literature and music, after the Westerninisation initiated by Peter the Great. (taken orm the original liner notes).

And here is a really fine example of such compositions … all had the aim of approaching Spanish music, taking into account the folklore music there.

This album was recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (CSR), conducted by Keith Clark:

Keith Clark studied at the Vienna Academy of Music and Tanglewood, was awarded diplomas and the conducting prize from the Chigiana Academy in Italy, and received his PhD degree with honors in composition from the University of California Los Angeles. From Vienna’s Musikverein to the Royal Philharmonic Hall and from Lucerne to Los Angeles, Keith Clark has appeared widely as conductor of orchestras and opera.

Keith Clark01

He has participated in the Vienna, Bucharest and Siena Festivals as both conductor and composer, conducted on BBC, Austrian, Hungarian and Netherlands radio and television, and performed and recorded as conductor of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Following nearly ten years abroad, he returned to California as founding music director of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and in five years has brought the orchestra to national prominence. (Press release)

Keith Clark02

The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Slovak: Symfonický orchester Slovenského rozhlasu), previously known as Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and CSR Symphony Orchestra, is a symphony radio orchestra based in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Founded in 1929 to serve Slovak Radio, the orchestra became particularly associated with the music of Slovak composers, notably Alexander Moyzes, Eugen Suchoň and Ján Cikker.

Chief conductors of the orchestra have included Krešimir Baranović, Ľudovít Rajter, Ladislav Slovák, Václav Jiráček, Otakar Trhlík, Bystrík Režucha, Ondrej Lenárd (1977–90), Róbert Stankovský (1990–2001), Charles Olivieri-Munroe (2001–03), Oliver von Dohnányi (2006–07), and Mario Kosik. in 2019, Ondrej Lenárd was installed as the chief conductor.

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

The orchestra has become well known abroad through its broadcasts and recordings, particularly for the Naxos Records label. (wikipedia)

Liten to this wonderful compositions and enjoy it !


The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Keith Clark



Alexis Emmanuel Chabrier (1841–94):
01. España 6.00

Jules Emile Frederic Massenet (1842-1912): Le Cid (Balet Music):
02. Castillane 2.56
03. Andalouse 2.48
04. Aragonaise 1.42
05. Aubade 1.10
06. Catalane 2.59
07. Madrilene 4.14
08. Navarraise 3.07

Jules Emile Frederic Massenet (1842-1912): Don César de Bazan:
09. Sévillana 2.14

Edward William Elgar (1857–1934):
10. Sévillana 4.28

Rimsky Korsakov (1844–1908): Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34:
11. Alborada 1.10
12. Variations 7.17
13. Alborada  1.04
14. Scena E Canto Gitano 4.49
15. Fandango Asturiano 3.17

Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804–1857):
16. Summer Night In Madrid 9.16
17. Capriccio brillante on the Jota Aragonese 8.53



Chris Isaak – Speak Of The Devil (1988)

FrontCover1Christopher Joseph Isaak (born June 26, 1956) is an American musician and occasional actor. He is widely known for his hit “Wicked Game”, as well as the songs “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing” and “Somebody’s Crying”. He is known for his signature 1950s rock & roll style and crooner sound, as well as his falsetto and reverb-laden music. He is closely associated with film director David Lynch, who has used his music in numerous films and gave him a role in the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. His songs generally focus on the themes of love, loss, and heartbreak. With a career spanning four decades, he has released a total of 12 studio albums, toured, and received numerous award nominations. He has been called the Roy Orbison of the 1990s and is also often compared to Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, and Duane Eddy.

Chris Isaak01

Speak of the Devil is the seventh studio album by the American rock musician Chris Isaak, released in 1998. (wikipedia)

Speak of the Devil explores the same moody terrain as Chris Isaak’s previous records, though the songs are fleshed out with more contemporary touches. The leadoff track, “Please,” is unusually hard-hitting, with its acoustic/electric/soft/crash structure, Mellotron, and soundbite lyrics. “I’m Not Sleepy” is a roots rock rave-up (wherein Isaak lyrically quotes Lennon’s “Oh Yoko”: “In the middle of the night I cry your name”); the title cut is an eerie celebration of love lost and found; “Talkin’ ‘Bout a Home” is the album’s tour de force.


Yet, some of the loungy vocal touches in “Flying” and the final instrumental track, “Super Magic 2000,” would be right at home on an indie rock record. And of course there’s plenty of that thing Isaak does best: quintessential love’s-gone-wrong-‘n’-let’s-make-it-right songs, as on the loping, country-tinged “This Time” and the teary “Walk Slow.” (by Denise Sullivan)


Chris Isaak (vocals, guitar)
Kenney Dale Johnson (drums, vocals)
Rowland Salley (bass, vocals)
Hershel Yatovitz (guitar, vocals)
Rob Cavallo (guitar on 01. + 03.)
additional musicians
Curt Bisquera – Cynthia Corra – Dave Palmer – Frank Martin – Jamie Muhoberac – Jimmy Pugh – John Pierce – Julie Lorch – Mark Needham – Mary Dunaway – Matt Chamberlain, Patrick Warren – Steve Ferrone – Terry Wood – Weddy Waller


01. Please 3.33
02. Flying 3.08
03. Walk Slow 3.01
04. Breaking Apart 3.45
05. This Time 3.12
06. Speak Of The Devil 3.30
07. Like The Way She Moves 2.49
08. Wanderin’ 2.42
09. Don’t Get So Down On Yourself 3.11
10. Black Flowers 2.43
11. I’m Not Sleepy 2.36
12. 7 Lonely Nights 2.09
13. Talkin’ ‘Bout A Home 4.44
14. Super Magic 2000 3.45

All songs written by Chris Isaak
except 04.:written by Chris Isaak & Diane Warren




More from Chris Isaak:

The official website:

Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Journey Of Dreams (1988)

FrontCover1Founded by Joseph Shabalala during the 1960s, Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a Grammy-winning choral group from South Africa. Specializing in isicathamiya, a harmony-focused Zulu style of a cappella and offshoot of mbube, they became known to pop audiences around the world when Paul Simon featured them on his 1986 album Graceland. After joining Simon on his 1987 Graceland tour, they became regular headliners on the international touring circuit.

Born in 1941, Shabalala was one of eight children in a family that lived on a farm near the town of Ladysmith, South Africa. As the oldest boy, it was Joseph’s duty to take care of the family after his father died, and he eventually took up factory work.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo01

His first musical experience, save for a bit of fooling around on the guitar, came with a choral group called the Blacks. Shabalala eventually took over leadership of the group and became its main composer. The Blacks won the majority of the local vocal competitions and became the most popular Zulu vocal group, but Shabalala felt that something was missing. “I had been hearing a voice inside me,” he said. “I didn’t know it, but it was the voice of God.” Shortly thereafter he became a Christian. Blending the choral music he heard in the Christian church with multiple elements of the Zulu tradition not typically combined, he forged his own style.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo02

When the Blacks refused to take part in Shabalala’s experiments, he formed Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group consisted of seven bass voices, an alto, a tenor, and Shabalala singing lead. After signing with Gallo Record Company, their recording debut, Amabutho, arrived in 1973. The combo began releasing albums at a staggering rate, creating a massive catalog of vocal music.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo03

After Ladysmith Black Mambazo contributed to the eclectic mix of styles on Simon’s international hit Graceland and joined him on the subsequent tour, Simon produced a trilogy of Warner Bros. releases for the group. Shaka Zulu, released in 1987, won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Recording. It was followed by 1988’s Journey of Dreams and 1990’s Two Worlds One Heart. Among continued releases for other labels, including Gallo, a pair of best-of samplers appeared on Shanachie, including 1992’s Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The 2000 compilation In Harmony was issued by Wrasse. The group won another Grammy for 2004’s Raise Your Spirit Higher, this time for Best Traditional World Music Album, and No Boundaries, which featured the English Chamber Orchestra, arrived on Headsup Records in 2005. In 2007, Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu was released in South Africa with an American edition following in 2008. It took home the Grammy for Best Traditional World Music Album, and Live: Singing for Peace Around the World won the Best World Music Album Grammy in 2013.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo04

With a lineup featuring four of Joseph Shabalala’s sons, who by that point had sung with the group for over 20 years, Ladysmith Black Mambazo released Songs of Peace & Love for Kids & Parents Around the World in 2017. Joseph Shabalala died in Pretoria, South Africa on February 11, 2020. (by by Marcy Donelson)

Ladysmith Black Mambazo05

Amazing sounds of Africa, melodies that one has heard allover the world at one point or another, melodies that have touched your heart.
Their ability to sing these traditional songs in an expressive manner, even if you don’t understand the lyrics, you will feel the emotions.
It makes me very melancholic to think of the love expressed, for a country so beautiful yet dangerous. A country so rich yet robbed misused and exploited.
It touches my heart to listen to the songs and feel the love for their beloved south Africa. (Carmelina)

The labels from South Africa:
Labels(South Africa)

I love the complex harmonies of this a capella ensemble …  They blend their voices so well.

A great additon to ever World Music collection !


Jockey Shabalala – Jabulani Dubazana – Inos Phungula – Ben Shabalala – Geophrey Mdletshe – Headman Shabalala – Milton Mazibuko – Funokwakhe Mazibuko – Joseph Shabalala Walter Malinga – Russel Mthembu


01. Umusa Kankulunkulu 3.26
02. Lindelani 3.55
03. Ukhalangami 3.15
04. Bavimb’indlela 3.18
05. Bhasobha 3.18
06. Nomakanjani 3.23
07. Hamba Dompasi 3.39
08. Ungayoni into Enhle 4.11
09. Amaphiko Okundiza 5.06
10. Wayibambezela 5.37
11. Ungakhohlwa 3.23
12. Ibhubesi 3.35
13. Amazing Grace 3.09

All songs written by Joseph Shabalala
except 13.: Traditional




Jockey Shabalala

The official website:

Little River Band – Get Lucky (1990)

LPFrontCover1Little River Band (LRB) is a rock band originally formed in Melbourne, Australia in March 1975. The band achieved commercial success in both Australia and the United States. They have sold more than 30 million records; six studio albums reached the top 10 on the Australian Kent Music Report albums chart including Diamantina Cocktail (May 1977) and First Under the Wire (July 1979), which both peaked at No. 2. Nine singles appeared in the top 20 on the related singles chart, with “Help Is on Its Way” (1977) as their only number-one hit. Ten singles reached the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Reminiscing” their highest, peaking at No. 3.

Little River Band have received many music awards in Australia. The 1976 line-up of Beeb Birtles, David Briggs, Graeham Goble, Glenn Shorrock, George McArdle and Derek Pellicci, were inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame at the 18th Annual ARIA Music Awards of 2004. Most of the group’s 1970s and 1980s material was written by Goble and/or Shorrock, Birtles and Briggs. In May 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, named “Cool Change”, written by Shorrock, as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time. “Reminiscing”, written by Goble, received a 5-Million Broadcast Citation from BMI in 2020.

Little River Band01

The group have undergone numerous personnel changes, with over 30 members since their formation, including John Farnham as lead singer after Shorrock first departed in 1982. None of the musicians now performing as Little River Band are original members, nor members in the 1970s. In the 1980s, members included Farnham, Wayne Nelson, Stephen Housden, David Hirschfelder and Steve Prestwich. As from October 2020 the line-up is Nelson, Rich Herring, Chris Marion, Ryan Ricks and Colin Whinnery – none of whom are Australian. Various legal disputes over the band’s name occurred in the 2000s, with Housden filing suit against Birtles, Goble and Shorrock.

Get Lucky is the eleventh studio album by Australian group, Little River Band, released in April 1990, the album peaked at number 54 on the Australian ARIA Charts.(wikipedia)

Little River Band03

This album was recorded in 1990 and features three of the original and best members of a band with many lineup changes over the years.They now tour and record with no original members and their lead vocalist is Wayne Nelson who joined in 1980 at the tail end of their most successful period.The rights to the name `Little River Band’ belong to guitarist `Steve Housden’ who joined in 1981 and hasn’t toured with them since 2006 and he forbids the original singers and writers to use the name when they tour.Shame they can’t come to some amicable arrangement.

Little River Band04

This is a good but not essential LRB album.Apart from a couple of not so great ballads at the end the songs are catchy and the trademark harmonies are there.The production is very glossy which I found off-putting in some songs making the band sound like another version of Foreigner and the like.

All up a worthwhile purchase and the last time you’ll hear original lead vocalist `Glen Shorrock’ sing on a `Little River Band’ album. (R.Angel)


Graham Goble (guitar, background vocals)
Stephen Housden (lead guitar)
Wayne Nelson (bass, background vocals, vocals on 07. + 09.)
Derek Pellicci (drums)
Glenn Shorrock (vocals)
Claude Gaudette (keyboards, programming)
Dennis Lambert (keyboards, programming)
Jamie Paddle (keyboards, programming)
John Robinson (drums)


01. If I Get Lucky (Chapman) 4.15
02. There’s Not Another You (Goble) 3.50
03. Second Wind (Lambert/Reswick/Werfel) 4.15
04. Every Time I Turn Around (Beckett/Lambert) 4.38
05. I Dream Alone (Pellicci/Shorrock) 4.51
06. Time And Eternity (Goble) 4.09
07. Two Emotions (Goble) 4.29
08. As Long As I’m Alive (Goble/M.Nelson/G.Nelson) 4.36
09. The One That Got Away (Lambert/W.Nelson/Gaudette) 3.57
10. Listen To Your Heart (Kelly/Steinberg) 4.52



A road sign to Little River, on a trip by the fledgling band from Melbourne to Geelong, inspired Glenn Shorrock to suggest the band name:
Little River Band02

The official website:

Mo Foster – Bel Assis (1988)

FrontCover1Mo Foster (born Michael Ralph Foster, 22 December 1944) is an English multi-instrumentalist, record producer, composer, solo artist, author, and public speaker. Through a career spanning over half a century, Foster has toured, recorded, and performed with dozens of artists, including Jeff Beck, Gil Evans, Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Brian May, Scott Walker, Frida of ABBA, Cliff Richard, George Martin, Van Morrison, Dr John, Hank Marvin, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has released several albums under his own name, authored a humorous book on the history of British rock guitar, written numerous articles for music publications, continued to compose production music, and established himself as a public speaker. Foster is an assessor for JAMES, an industry organisation that gives accreditation to music colleges throughout the UK. In 2014, Foster was a recipient of a BASCA Gold Badge Award to honour his lifelong contribution to the British songwriting and composing community. (wikipedia)

You´ll find more informations about Mo Foster here.


And here´s his first solo-album and … it´s a masterpiece !

Bel Assis was originally released on Pete Van Hooke’s fledgling MMC record label in 1988 and was subsequently remastered and re-released in 2003 by Angel Air Records.

This album is really for those out there who are familiar with Mo Foter’s wonderful sessions work over the past decades, and I quite frankly think this album is great.

From the 1st track with has Gary Moore guesting on it, to the final track it showcases Mo’s ability as a great bassist and as a songwriter. Maybe you should take another listen to this album and enjoy it for what it is. Great music from a great musician. (Phillby01)

Such soft and gentle compositions, perfectly played by wonderful musicians from UK (check the line up of this album)


Rod Argent (keyboards)
Dave Dufries (trumpet)
Mo Foster (bass, keyboards)
Sal Galina (electronic woodwind)
Peter van Hooke (percussion)
Gary Moore (guitar)
Simon Phillips (drums)
Frank Ricotti (vibraphone)
Ray Russell (guitar)
Stan Sulzman (saxophone)


01.The Light In Your Eyes (Foster) 5.42
02. A Walk In The Country (Foster) 4.32
03. Gaia (Foster) 6.27
04. Crete Revisited (Foster) 4.45
05. So Far Away (Foster/Russell) 3.48
06. Analytical Engine (Foster) 5.01
07. Pump II (Foster) 6.05
08. Jaco (Foster) 6.12
09. Bel Assis (Foster) 3.44
10. And Then There Were Ten (Foster/Russell) 5.01
11 Nomad (Foster) 8.10




More from Mo Foster:

Don Grusin & Dave Grusin – Sticks And Stones (1988)

FrontCover1Sticks and Stones is an album by American pianist Dave Grusin with his brother Don Grusin. It was released in 1988, recorded for the GRP label. The album reached No. 14 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart. (wikipedia)

This set works very well. Dave Grusin and his younger brother Don Grusin use a variety of keyboards to create a series of colorful duets. Other than Dori Caymmi’s “Southern Wind,” all of the fairly spontaneous yet well-planned performances are originals by one or both of the brothers. Even listeners who are not that much into electronics will find much of interest on this melodic and funky, yet often unpredictable set. (by Scott Yanow)
“Sticks and Stones” is a very special album musically and personally. The year was 1988 and Dave Grusin’s GRP label was off in full force producing one unique recording after another. One of the album’s released during this peak period is this one.

Dave Grusin and brother Don produced and played everything on “Sticks and Stones” themselves and with the exception of the dual piano rendition Dori Caymmi’s “Southern Wind”, they wrote all the music as well.

Don Grusin

The Grusin’s employed what was then the very latest in keyboard technology on this album. Several of the sounds on the album, especially the rhythm tracks, don’t sound synthetic at all. Listen for the snare drum marches on the closing Celtic-tinged track “North-Tribal Step Dance” or the bass-lines on “This Little Pig’s Got The Blues” and you’d swear they were the real instruments instead of from synths or drum machines.

The music on “Sticks and Stones” is quite varied. Beside the two tracks mentioned above, Dave’s TV/Film Theme style is heard in the opening track “Birds With Long Legs” as well as “River Song”. “Pico Pica” and the title track both have a slight Brazilian Jazz feel to them while “Good Ol’ Boys” has a humorous country quality to it. Dave and Don also team up for two acoustic piano duets – one of which is the above mentioned “Southern Wind” and the other being a bluesy gospel-tinged romp entitled “Dog Heaven”.

Lee Ritenour Band , Featuring : Dave Grusin

With all this said, Dave and Don Grusin’s “Sticks and Stones” is a highly entertaining album which brings back some great memories for this reviewer. The CD is unfortunately out-of-print and has been for many years. However, it is still highly possible to find it used at a decent price.

If you’re looking for some pleasant yet eclectic instrumental music with a good relaxing feel, look no further that this album. It’s a great CD and it sounds like the Grusin brothers just had a plain ball making it together. (by Louie Bourland)


Dave Grusin (all instruments)
Don Grusin (all instruments)
Dori Caymmi (vocals on 10.)


01. Birds With Long Legs (Dave Grusin) 5.05
02. Pico Pica (Don Grusin) 4.57
03. Sailing At Night (Don Grusin) 4.19
04. River Song (Dave Grusin/Don Grusin) 5.13
05. Sticks And Stones (Dave Grusin/Don Grusin) 6.10
06. Glissade (Dave Grusin) 5.19
07. Good Ol’ Boys (Don Grusin) 7.29
08. This Little Pig’s Got The Blues (Don Grusin) 5.29
09. Dog Heaven (Don Grusin) 4.52
10. Southern Wind (Caymmi) 4.19
11. North-Tribal Step Dance (Dave Grusin) 4.50



Don & Dave

Sam Brown – Stop ! (1988)

FrontCover1Samantha Brown (born 7 October 1964) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and record producer.

Brown is a ukulele player and was a blue-eyed soul and jazz singer. She came to prominence in the late 1980s as a solo artist, releasing six singles that entered the UK Singles Chart during the 1980s and 1990s. Her solo singles, sometimes dealing with lost love included “Stop!”, “This Feeling”, “Can I Get a Witness”, “Kissing Gate”, “With a Little Love” and “Just Good Friends”. She worked as a session backing vocalist, working with artists such as Gary Moore, George Harrison, Small Faces, Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Jon Lord (of Deep Purple), Pink Floyd (also David Gilmour), The Firm and Nick Cave.

Brown released her debut album Stop! in 1988. Since then, she has released five studio albums, one EP and three compilation albums, as well as three albums as part of the group Homespun, but lost her singing voice in 2007.

Samantha Brown was born on 7 October 1964, in Stratford, east London, England. She is the daughter of musician Joe Brown and session singer Vicki Brown. Brown’s first work in the music industry was in 1978 at the age of 14, when she sang backing vocals on the final studio album by the Small Faces, 78 in the Shade. She also worked as a backing vocalist with several other bands, including Spandau Ballet and with her mother on former Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord’s third solo album Before I Forget.


Brown signed a recording contract with A&M in 1986. Her most successful song with A&M was “Stop!”, released as a single in 1988. She issued an album of the same name that same year.[1] Other singles taken from the album included “Walking Back to Me”, “This Feeling” and her cover version of “Can I Get a Witness”. The album Stop! has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide,[2] doing particularly well in the UK and Australia. Brown’s second studio album, April Moon (1990), included two hit singles, “Kissing Gate” and “With a Little Love”. Three further singles were released from the album: “Mindworks”, “Once in Your Life” and “As One”. She also played the ukulele.

Brown’s third studio album, 43 Minutes…, was made around the same time that her mother was dying from breast cancer.A&M, Brown’s record label at the time, were not satisfied with the album and wanted some potential hit singles recorded and added to the track listing.[2] Brown, unwilling to compromise and after a protracted legal battle, bought back the master recordings of the album and released them in 1992 on her own label Pod Music, a year after the death of her mother. Few copies were initially released, although it was re-issued in 2004.

Brown provided backing vocals for Pink Floyd on their fourteenth studio album, The Division Bell, released in 1994 and accompanied them on their tour to promote the release.[2] Her involvement was documented on the following year’s Pink Floyd release, Pulse, in which she sang backing vocals and was the first lead vocalist on the song “The Great Gig in the Sky”. In 1995, she had a minor chart hit with a duet with fellow singer-songwriter Fish, entitled “Just Good Friends”. In 1997, Brown returned with her fourth studio album Box, released via the independent record label Demon Music Group. Tracks on this album included “Embrace the Darkness”, “Whisper” and “I Forgive You” which was co-written with Maria McKee. McKee’s version of the song originally appeared on her second album, You Gotta Sin to Get Saved.


In 2000, her fifth studio album ReBoot was released via another independent label, Mud Hut, and the single “In Light of All That’s Gone Before.” In 2003, Brown formed the band Homespun with Dave Rotheray,[1] releasing three albums. Brown also released several solo recordings in this period, including an EP, Ukulele and Voice.[1] In 2004, Jon Lord released Beyond the Notes, for which she wrote almost all the lyrics.[3] In late 2006, she undertook an extensive UK tour as special guest of her father, Joe Brown. The shows also included appearances by her brother, Pete Brown.

In 2007, seven years after her last album, Brown released Of the Moment. She also returned to the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart in October 2007, when “Valentine Moon” was included on Jools Holland’s hit album Best of Friends.

That same year she lost her singing voice, and for as yet unknown reasons has not been able to sing since. In an interview from 2013 she explained that “I can’t get vocal cord closure and achieve the proper pitch simultaneously. It feels like there are some muscles that aren’t working.” After a cyst was found on her vocal cords, she had the cyst successfully removed, but problems with her voice persisted, leaving her unable to hold a note.


Brown currently runs the International Ukulele Club of Sonning Common, the North London Ukulele Collective and the People’s Ukulele Brigade (PUB).[5] Brown is also a patron of Tech Music Schools in London, made up of Vocaltech, Guitar-X, Keyboardtech and Drumtech.

As well as her solo career, Brown has had a successful career as a backing vocalist and collaborator with other artists. She has worked with the band Barclay James Harvest (1984), David Gilmour (David Gilmour in Concert) and Pink Floyd, Deep Purple (In Concert with The London Symphony Orchestra), Jon Lord, The Firm, Gary Moore, George Harrison and Nick Cave. She has often appeared as a member of Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and achieved further prominence with her 2002 performance at the Concert for George, which was a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death,[6] where she sang “Horse to the Water”. This song is included in the film of the concert, not on the album. In 2002, she was a backing vocalist at Buckingham Palace at the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II’s concert, Party at the Palace.

In 2015, Brown started teaching backing vocals classes at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford, Surrey, a school for rock and pop musicians.


Stop! is the debut studio album by the English female singer-songwriter Sam Brown. It was originally released in June 1988, on the label A&M, and was distributed by Festival in Australia. Produced by Sam Brown, her brother Pete Brown, Pete Smith, Danny Schogger, and John Madden the album was recorded at the Power Plant, in London, England, with then-Pink Floyd member David Gilmour’s guitar parts on “This Feeling” and “I’ll Be In Love” being recorded at Greene Street Studios, in New York, United States. The track “Merry Go Round” has lyrics slightly adapted from W. H. Davies poem “Leisure”. The CD edition of the album includes cover versions of Marvin Gaye’s Can I Get a Witness and Ike & Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits.

On release, the album was received favorably by the majority of music critics. Brown’s most commercially successful solo album, it went on to peak at #4 on the UK Albums Chart and reached #13 on the Australian ARIA Charts. The album also reached the top ten in five other countries including Austria, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. The album launched three charting singles in the UK. “Stop!” peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart; “This Feeling” peaked at #91; “Can I Get a Witness” at #15. The album has sold over two and a half million copies worldwide.[3] The album was certified platinum by Music Canada. In the UK, it sold more than 100,000 copies and was certified gold by the BPI.( by wikipedia)


A fine debut, full of original songs with much more depth and things going on than your average pop record. A few songs like “This Feeling”, I’ll Be in Love” and “High as a Kite” may be slightly pedestrian, but there’s nothing here I would call filler. (by Kim Alsos)
Sam Brown is a Superb artist…and this album was her debut release from 1988, though it spawned a couple of top twenty hits she has spent little time in the charts since but continues to produce some great work.

She has a huge cult following and has become an artist on the fringe of the mainstream which is a place many artists chose to be, and I believe she may be one of them; here they do not have to bow and scrape to popular demands and the whims of record producers. Here they can work freely, develop a strong fan base and maintian robust artistic integrity.


“Stop!” is recognisable now because Jamelia released it last year for the film, “Bridget Jones the edge of reason”, but she has not even half the depth and richness of voice to belt the song out like Sam does on this original. It’s an oldy but a goody and a descriptive work in terms where British pop/soul was headed in the late 80’s before the manufactured craze took over. Listen “Stop!”, and you won’t stop with Sam Brown! (by S. Hebbron)


Jim Abbiss (steel-guitar)
Bob Andrews (organ)
Dave Bishop (drums)
Stuart Brooks (saxophone)
Joe Brown (guitar, mandolin)
Pete Brown (guitar, keyboards, percussion, background vocals)
Sam Brown (vocals, keyboards)
Ken Craddock (organ)
Danny Cummings (percussion)
Dinesh (percussion)
Paul Fishman (keybords)
David Gilmour (guitar, background vocals)
Gavin Harrison (drums, percussion)
Jakko M. Jakszyk (guitar, background vocals)
Roland Vaughan Kerridge (drums)
Jim Leverton (bass)
Ian Maidman (bass)
Kevin Mazpas (synthesizer)
Richard Newman (drums, background vocals)
Phil Palmer (guitar)
Ed Poole (bass)
Danny Schogger (keyboards)
Danny Thompson (bass)
background vocals:
Vicki Brown – Margo Buchanan – Amy Caine – Helen Chappelle – Philip Saatchi – Peter Smith – Billy Vanderpuye
horn section:
Jeff Daly (saxophone)
Christopher Dean (trombone)
Simon Gardner (trumpet)
David Hancock (trumpet)
John Huckridge (trumpet)
Rex O’Dell (trombone)
Chris Pyne (trombone)
Steve Sidwell (trumpet)
Peter Smith (trombone)
Stan Sulzmann (saxophone)
Jamie Talbot (saxophone)
Alan Wicham (trumpet)
string section:
Peter Esswood (cello)
Kate Musker (viola)
J. Stringle (cello)
Bobby Valentino (violin)
Mark Wazton (violin)

01.Walking Back To Me (Brown/Sutton) 3.44
02. Your Love Is All (Brown/Buchanan) 4.09
03. Stop! (Brown/Sutton/Brody) 4.56
04. It Makes Me Wonder (Brown/Buchanan) 4.36
05. This Feeling (Brown/Buchanan) 3.17
06. Tea (Brown) 0.45
07. Piece Of My Luck (Brown) 2.57
08. Ball And Chain (Brown/Schogger) 4.36
09. Wrap Me Up (Brown/Schogger) 3.13
10. I’ll Be In Love (Brown/Schogger) 5.16
11. Merry Go Round (S.Brown/V.Brown) 3.09
12. Sometimes You Just Don’t Know (Brown/Malloy/Brennan) 3.08
13. Can I Get A Witness (E.Holland/Dozier/B.Holland) 3.01
14. High As A Kite (Brown/Schogger) 3.26
15. Nutbush City Limits (Turner) 3.14



Accordions Go Crazy – Overboard (1988)

LPFrontCover1Accordions Go Crazy was a six piece band formed in 1985 by the accordionist, pianist and performance artist Mike Adcock including Clive Bell, Dean Speedwell Brodrick, Nicola Hadley, Sylvia Hallet and Stuart Jones. The group featured the accordion as the lively, fresh and fun-loving instrument it was always meant to be. On occasion every member played an accordion, but usually the group presented two or three accordions complemented by combinations of bass guitar, drums, voices, violin, flute, piano, trumpet and trombone.

The music ranged from dance to folk to pop to experimental. As a dance band,
Accordions Go Crazy presented Cajun two-steps, French waltzes, Norwegian folk dances, rock’n’roIl and original material. For a Concert situation a wider range of pieces were available, maybe a Romanian birdsong scherzo compete with a forest full of larks, or an aching Roy Orbison baIIad. The band’s experimental side was much less predictable, venturing boldly into the uncharted territory of the avantgarde accordion.

They recorded three albums on the Trikont label: Overboard in 1988, Zombie Dancer in 1989 (with Nicola Hadley replaced by drummer Ann Day), and The art of paper folding in 1991, with Stuart Jones replaced by Ruth Bitelli on bass guitar. Gradually people got more involved in other projects, and Accordions Go Crazy last played on a short tour of Italy in 1991, with Dan Brown replacing Ruth on bass. (

Accordions Go Crazy01

An offshoot from the London Musicians’ Collective, Accordions Go Crazy, formed 1985, included musicians then playing with Kahondo Style, the English Gamelan Orchestra or British Summer Time Ends, as well as other British performance groups. They released 3 LPs on the German Trikont label between 1988 and 1991, this one being the first. Members Sylvia Hallett and Clive Bell also included one of the band’s compositions on their 1988 Golden Apples compilation, posted here.

All members (Mike Adcock, Clive Bell, Dean Speedwell Brodrick, Nicola Hadley, Sylvia Hallett and Stuart Jones) play accordion alternatively, in addition to various instruments. Overboard is a joyous celebration of the accordion’s ebulient potentialities through evocative, festive and multi-colored dancing numbers sourced from Cajun, Bulgarian, Romanian and Klezmer traditions. In line with the accordion’s generosity and profuse output, the arrangements favor musicians’ virtuosity and interplay, a trait further enhanced by live-in-the-studio recording conditions. Of course, the title of the band doesn’t imply the instruments are crazy but rather that the accordions will drive you crazy. You’ve been warned. (

What a great and funny album !


Mike Adcock (accordion, piano, vocals)
Clive Bell (accordion, flute, khene, vocals)
Dean Brodrick (accordion, percussion, bassoon, vocals)
Nicola Hadley (accordion, percussion, vocals)
Sylvia Hallett (accordion, violin, trombone, vocals)
Stuart Jones (accordion, bass, trumpet)

Mike Adcock

01. Symphony For Massed Bands No. 1 (Hallett) 4.02
02. Cotswold Twostep (Adcock) 2.48
03. Tango René (Adcock) 2.20
04. Halinka’s Fall (Brodrick) 4.06
05. Violin Solo “The Red Shred” / Imalamayka (Hallett/Traditional) 4.31
06. See My Baby Jive (Wood) 4.33
07. The Falcon Waltz (Adcock) 3.24
08. Ciocirlia “The Lark” (Traditional) 3.11
09. Lebedik un Freilach (Traditional) 2.18
10. Colinda (Traditional) 3.05
11. The Delta (Adcock) 2.18
12. Sea Cruise (Smith) 2.25
13. Diamond Tongued (Bell) 1.34
14. The Third Coming (Adcock) 5.16