Roy Hargrove – Diamond In The Rough (1990)

FrontCover1.jpgRoy Hargrove was a hard bop-oriented musician (and acclaimed “Young Lion”) who became one of America’s premier trumpeters during the late ’80s and beyond. A fine, straight-ahead player who spent his childhood years in Texas, Hargrove met trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis in 1987, when the latter musician visited Hargrove’s high school in Dallas. Impressed with the student’s sound, Marsalis allowed Hargrove to sit in with his band and helped him secure additional work with major players, including Bobby Watson, Ricky Ford, Carl Allen, and the group Superblue. Hargrove attended Berklee for one (1988-1989) before decamping to New York City, where his studio career took flight.

In 1990, the young Hargrove (he was only 20 at the time) released his first of five recordings for Novus. He often toured with his own group, which for several years including Antonio Hart. In addition to Novus, Hargrove also recorded for Verve and served as a sideman with quite a few notable figures, including Sonny Rollins, James Clay, Frank Morgan, and Jackie McLean, and the ensemble Jazz Futures. His Verve album roster includes 1995’s Family and Parker’s Mood. Habana (a Grammy-winning album of Afro-Cuban music) and Moment to Moment followed at the end of the decade. Hargrove also went on to contribute to well-received R&B albums by Erykah Badu and D’Angelo, but he also remained indebted to hard bop with such albums as 2008’s Earfood. A year later, Hargrove returned with his 19-member big band on Emergence. Sadly, Hargrove died in November 2018 at the young age of 49; he had been on dialysis for well over a decade and died from cardiac arrest associated with his kidney disease.

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Trumpeter Roy Hargrove’s debut as a leader found him occasionally recalling Freddie Hubbard but already sounding fairly original in the hard bop genre. On a quartet version of “Easy To Remember,” Hargrove shows restraint and maturity in his lyrical ballad statement while featuring his strong bop chops on most of the other selections. Among the many other up-and-coming voices heard on this 1989 set are pianist Geoffrey Keezer (who contributes three originals and shows what he had picked up from McCoy Tyner), the fluid altoist Antonio Hart and drummer Ralph Peterson, Jr. Tenor-saxophonist Ralph Moore, pianist John Hicks and drummer Al Foster are also in the notable supporting cast. The one fault to the CD is that the performances and solos are often a little too brief, with all but “Whisper Not” in the 4-6 minute range. But for a debut, Roy Hargrove can still be proud of Diamond In The Rough. (by Scott Yanow)

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Personnel:
Scott Colley (bass)
Al Foster (drums)
Roy Hargrove (trumpet)
Antonio Hart (saxophone)
John Hicks (piano)
Ralph Moore (saxophone)
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Charles Fambrough (bass on 01., 05., 07., 09. + 10.)
Geoffrey Keezer (piano 01., 05., 07., 09. + 10.)
Ralph Peterson Jr. (drums on 01., 05., 07., 09. + 10.)

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Tracklist:
01. Proclamation (Keezer) 6.12
02. Ruby My Dear (Monk) 6.12
03. A New Joy (Hargrove) 6.03
04. Confidentiality (Hargrove) 4.59
05. Broski (Fambrough) 4.11
06. Whisper Not (Golson) 7.40
07. All Over Again (Hargrove) 5.47
08. Easy To Remember (Rodgers/Hammerstein) 6.06
09. Premonition (Keezer) 5.38
10. BHG (Keezer) 6.04
11. Wee (Best) 4.10

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Roy Anthony Hargrove (October 16, 1969 – November 2, 2018)

Paul Simon – Rhythm Of The Saints (1990)

FrontCover1The Rhythm of the Saints is the eighth solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon, released on October 16, 1990 on Warner Bros. Like its predecessor, Graceland (1986), the album gained commercial success and received mostly favorable reviews from critics.

In 1992, The Rhythm of the Saints earned two nominations for the 34th Grammy Awards – Album of the Year and Producer of the Year.

Following the success of 1986’s Graceland, on which he worked principally with South African musicians, Simon broadened his interests in diverse forms of music from around the world. He turned to Latin America for the musicians and rhythms which characterize much of this album, partnering with Afro-Brazilian superstars Grupo Cultural Olodum, masters of the heavily percussive sub-style of samba called Batuque or Batucada. The group’s drumming is featured on the opening song and first single, “The Obvious Child”. Brazilian singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento co-wrote “Spirit Voices” and contributed some vocals. Guest appearances were also made by mandolin- and “guitarra baiana” master Armandinho, another Bahia musician, and by Afro-Cuban drummer Francisco Aguabella, and Puerto Rican-born drummer Giovanni Hidalgo. Another collaborator was jazz percussionist and master of the berimbau, Naná Vasconcelos; jazz guitarist Rafael Rabelo also played on the album, along with many other Brazilian musicians.

The musical styles on The Rhythm of the Saints are, however, not uniformly Brazilian. US saxophonist Michael Brecker and other horn players contribute as session musicians (for example, on “Proof”), as well as American roots rock guitarist JJ Cale, Fabulous Thunderbirds vocalist Kim Wilson (contributing harmonica on “The Obvious Child”), R&B keyboards player Greg Phillinganes and jazz drummer Steve Gadd. Art rock guitarist and synth player Adrian Belew, who played on Graceland, is credited on “Spirit Voices”. There are also many backing vocals on The Rhythm of the Saints, such as “She Moves On”, a duet with Charlotte Mbango. Simon was also influenced by bikutsi for this album.

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The album is characterized by impressionistic lyrics (referring to the Chernobyl incident in “Can’t Run But,” an Amazonian ayahuasca experience in “Spirit Voices,” and the state of the world in “The Cool, Cool River”), with slower tempos than Graceland and an atmospheric flow. Along with Latin rhythms, the prime influence on the album was West African and Central African music. Cameroonian jazz composer Andre Manga plays bass, and South African guitarist Ray Phiri, who also collaborated on Graceland, plays one song of the album, while famed trumpeter and worldbeat bandleader Hugh Masekela is credited with playing flugelhorn on one song.

Although drums for “The Obvious Child” were recorded live at Pelourinho Square in Salvador, Bahia, Simon recorded most of the rhythms for the tracks in Rio de Janeiro studios before returning to The Hit Factory in New York City to record guitar accompaniment and, later, the final arrangements. The Rhythm of the Saints marks Simon’s first collaboration with Cameroonian guitarist Vincent Nguini, a member of his band up until his death in December 2017. Nguini is credited with creating the music and guitar arrangements for “The Coast”, although Simon still wrote the lyrics. Nguini also arranged guitar for other songs, such as “She Moves On” and “The Cool, Cool River,” and he arranged the horns for “Proof.” Together, Simon and Nguini created the melodies, lyrics, and arrangements that changed the bare rhythm and guitar recordings into (due to Simon’s studio experience) the expertly-edited final product.

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Promotion poster

The Rhythm of the Saints peaked at #4 on the US album chart, while Graceland had peaked at #3, both among Simon’s most commercially successful albums. The album was also commercially successful across the Atlantic, reaching #1 on the UK album chart. However, with the exception of “The Obvious Child”, none of its singles charted or received substantial radio play (“Proof” and “Born at the Right Time” were released as well). “The Obvious Child” also failed to reach the US top 40, although it came in at #15 in the UK – his last major hit in the UK. In the end, the album was certified multi-Platinum.
Central Park concert

Simon and his fellow musicians performed live versions of many of the songs from the album at a free concert in Central Park, New York City on August 15, 1991, in front of an audience of around 50,000 people. The performance was recorded and later released as the album Paul Simon’s Concert in the Park. (by wikipedia)

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Though he recorded the album’s prominent percussion tracks in Brazil, Paul Simon fashioned The Rhythm of the Saints as a deliberate follow-up to the artistic breakthrough and commercial comeback that was the South Africa-tinged Graceland. Several of the musicians who had appeared previously were back, along with some of the New York session players who had worked with Simon in the 1970s, and the overall sound was familiar to fans of Graceland. Further, Simon’s nonlinear lyrical approach was carried over: he continued to ruminate about love, aging, and the onslaught of modern life in disconnected phrases and images that created impressions rather than telling straightforward stories. But where Graceland had seamlessly merged its styles into an exuberant whole, The Rhythm of the Saints was less well digested. Those drum tracks never seemed integrated effectively into what had been dubbed over them; at the same time, they tended to lock the songs into musical patterns that reined them in from the kind of excitement the South African music on Graceland generated, making the melodies harder to grasp.

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Nelson Mandela & Paul Simon

At the same time, Simon sang his lyrics in a less involved way, which sometimes made them seem like collections of random lines rather than the series of striking observations Graceland seemed to contain. No Paul Simon album could be lacking in craft or quality, and The Rhythm of the Saints was a typically tasteful effort. But this time around, Simon hadn’t quite succeeded in bringing the wide-ranging elements together; the album sold about half as many copies as Graceland (that is to say, a none-too-shabby two million), and that’s about right — where Graceland was an exotic adventure, The Rhythm of the Saints was more of an anthropology lesson. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Paul Simon (vocals, guitar)
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Accordion – Jimmy McDonald (4), C.J. Chenier (7), Joao Severo Da Silva (10)
Background Vocals – Briz (1, 4), Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Karen Bernód, Myrna Lynn Gomila, Kia Y. Jeffries (3), Florence Gnimagnon, Charlotte Mbango, Djana’d, Elolongue Mbango Catherine (4, 6, 7)
Bass – Bakithi Kumalo (3, 4, 7, 9), Andre Manga (4), Armand Sabal-Lecco (6, 7, 9, 10)
Bongos, Congas, Bata, Gourd – Dom Chacal (4, 5, 6, 7, 9)
Bongos – Anthony Carillo (9)
Chakeire – Ya Yo De La Nelson (4, 7, 8)
Chicote – Mazzola, Paulo Santos (2)
Congas, Drums, Bells, Percussion – Mingo Araújo (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Congas, Bongos, Percussion – Sidinho (4, 5, 6, 7, 9)
Congas – Francisco Aguabella, Giovanni Hidalgo (9)
Cowbell – Wilson Das Neves (6)
Drums – Grupo Cultural Olodum (1), Steve Gadd (2, 4), Felix Sabal-Lecco (7)
Box Drum – Asante (8)
Electric Guitar – Georges Seba, Martin Atangana (4)
Euphonium – Dave Bargeron (5)
Flugelhorn – Hugh Masekela (5)
Guitar – J.J. Cale (2, 7), Rafael Rabello, Ringo Star (5), Ray Phiri (6), Armando Macedo, Kofi Electrik, Tommy Bilson-Ogoe (10)
Guitar, Bass, Clave – Vincent Nguini (3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Guitar Synthesizer – Adrian Belew (9)
Harmonica – Kim Wilson (1)
Percussion – Uakti (2, 8, 10)
Additional Percussion – Jorginho, Marcalzinho, Wilson das Neves, Canegal, Beloba, Luna, Pedro Sorongo (5)
Percussion, Gourds, Voice, Berimbau, Triangle, Congas – Nana Vasconcelos (2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10)
Saxophones – Charles Doherty, Jude Bethel (3), Alain Hatot (4), Michael Brecker (6), Charles Doherty (8)
Scraper – Pedro Sorongo (6)
Surdo – Gordinho (6)
Synthesizer – Michael Brecker (1, 3, 5, 8), Greg Phillinganes (3, 5, 8), Justin Tchounou (4)
Talking Drum – Remy Kabocka (2)
Trombone – Clifton Anderson (3, 8), Jacques Bolognesi (4)
Trumpets – Errol Ince, Clyde Mitchell (3, 8), Phillipe Slominski (4), Randy Brecker (5, 6)
Vocals – Milton Nascimento (9)

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Tracklist:
01. The Obvious Child (Simon) 4.10
02. Can’t Run But (Simon) 3.37
03. The Coast (Simon/Nguini) 5.05
04. Proof (Simon) 4.40
05. Further To Fly (Simon) 5.36
06. She Moves On (Simon) 5.04
07. Born At The Right Time (Simon) 3.48
08. The Cool, Cool River (Simon) 4.33
09. Spirit Voices (Simon/Nascimento) 3.56
10. The Rhythm Of The Saints (Simon) 4.21
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11. Born At The Right Time (original acoustic demo) (Simon) 3.50
12. Thelma (outtake) (Simon) 4.15
13. The Coast (work-in-progress version) (Simon/Nguini) 5.14
14. Spirit Voices (work-in-progress version) (Simon/Nascimento) 3.50

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Curved Air – Alive 1990 (1990)

AlternateFrontCover1Alive, 1990 is a recording from the Curved Air reunion concert 23 September 1990. The lineup reunited Sonja Kristina, Francis Monkman, Florian Pilkington-Miksa and Darryl Way, sixteen years after the last time all four of them played together.

Aside from the ambient introductory piece “Twenty Years On”, all the material was taken from Curved Air’s first three albums, with a particular emphasis on the debut album. Most of the running time is devoted to songs from the debut album.

The introductory track, “Twenty Years On”, was taken from an audience recording on a mono cassette recorder, and hence is of exceptionally poor sound quality. Since the album was compiled chiefly for fans of the group, it was decided that it would be better to include a low-quality recording of the intro than none at all. (by wikipedia)

What’s the connection between the next musicians: Eddie Jobson, Stewart Copeland, Ian Mosley and John Etheridge? Well , the all were members from the legendary Curved Air! Sonja Kristina.jpgHere’s the classic line up featuring Sonja Kristina, Francis Monkman, Florian Pilkington- Miksa, Darryl Way and special guest Rob Martin (bass on “Vivaldi”), sixteen years after they had played together for the last time. The music from Curved Air is eccentric progrock, not really in the vein of ELP, Yes, King Crimson, Gentle Giant or Pink Floyd. Apart from the first track “Twenty years on” (biting wah-wah guitar) the sound quality is good. During the other 12 songs Curved Air showcases their unique sound and great skills: powerful vocals and great electric violin play in “It happened today”, a swinging rhythm and rock & roll with again wah-wah drenched guitar and powerful vocals in “Stretch”, rock & roll meets classic in “Hide and seek”, a beautiful folky climate in “Melinda” (Jobson-like violin and acoustic guitar), more Jobson-like violin and exciting keyboards in “Young mother”, great interplay between electric violin and electric guitar and a long violin improvisation (including a Four Seasons interpretation) in a 10 minutes version of “Vivaldi” and a catchy rhythm featuring haunting vocals and sparklin keyboards in “Everdance”. This reunion gig prooves what a great (often overlooked) progrock band Curved Air was. (Eric Neuteboom)

THIS CD IS A GOOD START TO DISCOVER THEM!

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Personnel:
Sonja Kristina (vocals , guitar on 06.)
Francis Monkman (bass, guitar, keyboards)
Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums, percussion)
Darryl Way (keyboards, violin, background vocals on 13.)
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Rob Martin (bass on 11.)

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Tracklist:
01. Twenty Years On (Intro) (Monkman/Way) 4.09
02. It Happened Today (Kristina/Monkman) 5.31
03. Stretch (Monkman/Way) 4.29
04. Hide And Seek (Kristina/Way) 6.52
05. Marie Antoinette (Kristina/Way) 7.04
06. Melinda (More or Less) (Kristina) 4.14
07. Situations (Martin/Way) 5.43
08. Young Mother (Kristina/Way) 7.06
09. You Know (Kristina/Way) 3.45
10. Propositions (Monkman) 5.15
11. Vivaldi (Way) 9.59
12. Everdance (Monkman) 4.15
13. Backstreet Luv (Eyre/Kristina/Way) 4.26

 

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Twenty years on
And what have we got to show for it?
A little bit saddened
And a little bit bushed.
Flowers power upwards
Through politicians’ undertakings, you can
Hear the message loud and clear, but
You won’t read it in the papers
Somewhere in the mountains
A new dawn is breaking
Clouds hide the sun
But who knows clouds at all?
Oh, no!
Twenty years on
Feels like a long time
Where were you?
Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today

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Didier Lockwood – Live In Montreux (1990)

FrontCover1Noted French jazz violinist Didier Lockwood, a disciple of the late Stephane Grappelli, has died of a heart attack in Paris, his agent said.

Lockwood, who turned 62 on February 11, died early on Sunday morning. The night before his death, he had performed at Paris jazz venue Bal Blomet.

“His wife, his three daughters, his family, his agent, his co-workers and his record label are sad to announce the sudden passing of Didier Lockwood,” his agent said in a statement.

Lockwood was playing at a jazz festival when he met Grappelli, another French jazz great who founded a string quintet called the Hot Club of France in 1934 with gypsy guitar legend Django Reinhardt.

The violinist invited the then 20-year-old Lockwood to join him on a European tour, kicking off an international career in which he gave around 4,500 concerts and released more than 35 records.

“That was the start of my career, the launchpad that got me into the world of popular jazz,” Lockwood told Radio France in 2008.

DidierLockwood03Lockwood was committed to music education, in 2001 setting up the Didier Lockwood Music Centre in a town south of Paris teaching improvisation according to a jazz violin method he developed.

French culture minister Francoise Nyssen described Lockwood as “deeply generous and outgoing” and said he would be missed by “his friends, music and all the children he wished to enlighten with his passion”.

“He wanted to make music without borders or prejudices,” she added.
(L) Didier Lockwood performs with colleagues

Born in 1956 in Calais to a French-Scottish family, Lockwood, whose father was a music teacher, gained an early taste for improvisation thanks to his elder brother Francis, a jazz pianist.

Aged 17, Lockwood joined a popular French prog rock band called Magma. He later threw himself into a multitude of musical projects and collaborations, experimenting with varied jazz styles, both electric and acoustic, from classical fusion to gypsy swing.

During his career, he wrote two operas, violin and piano concertos, lyrical works and music for films and cartoons.

“France has lost an exceptional musician, a man with rare qualities,” wrote violinist Renaud Capucon on Twitter.

Lockwood’s widow is the coloratura soprano Patricia Petibon, acclaimed for her interpretations of French Baroque music.

The couple had just recorded an album together, said Lockwood’s agent Christophe Deghelt, who called him “Mr. 100,000 volts” and said the musician had a “huge” number of projects under way when he died.

Lockwood was previously married to the singer Caroline Casadesus, with whom he had created a musical called “Jazz and the diva”.(by The Independent)

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“After Stephane Grappelli and Jean-Luc Ponty, France now has a third great violin player, His name is Didier Lockwood.” (Liberation, Paris). Besides Grapelli and Ponty, Lockwood’s influences include Polish violinist Zbigniew Seifert, John Coltrane, and Frank Zappa. Born in 1956, Lockwood was classically trained, but moved on to rock-inspired jazz at an early age. He followed in Ponty’s fusion footsteps with the use of the electric violin, taking it one step further by experimenting in extending the sounds of the violin.

The 1980 Live in Montreux presents Didier Lockwood at his fusion best. He has multi-Grammy winner Jan Hammer (Mahavishnu Orchestra, music for Miami Vice) along for the ride, as well as the intense, soulful American saxophonist Bob Malach. On Fast Travel, the group performs up-tempo musical legerdemain as first Malach, then Hammer, and finally Lockwood pull out their bag of tricks.

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Flyin’ Kitten radiates a bouncy melodic rock-inflected ambiance, while Ballade des Fees portrays a haunting, wispy fairytale. With its infectiously gamboling 2-beat feel, there’s a folkish quality to Zebulon Dance; Lockwood’s plucked violin and Hammer’s guitar-like synth explorations are highlights. Four Strings Bitch shows off the violin’s willful eccentricities in a virtuoso one-man performance that ventures from classic and bluesy acoustic play on through to electronic experimentation.” (unknown source)

Listen to “Four Strings Bitch”: A masteroiece for the elctric violin !

All in all: a sensational album !

Recorded in the Casino Montreux July 16, 1980 and Mountain Recording Studio Montreux.
Mixed in the MPS Studio Villingen July 28, 29, 30, 1980. 

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Personnel:
Gerry Brown (drums)
Jan Hammer (synthesizer)
Didier Lockwood (violin)
Bob Malach (saxophone)
Marc Perru (guitar)
Bo Stief (bass)

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Tracklist:
01 Fast Travel (Lockwood) 7.15
02. Flyin’ Kitten (Lockwood) 7.43
03 Ballade des Fees (Lockwood) 5.01
04. Zebulon Dance (Lockwood) 3.58
05. ADGC (Lockwood) 5:46
06. Four Strings Bitch (Lockwood)3:45
07. Turtle Shuffle (Kajdan) 8.37

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Didier Lockwood (11 February 1956 – 18 February 2018)

Rest In Peace !

Eric Clapton – 24 Nights (1991)

ECFrontCover124 Nights is the fifth live album by Eric Clapton, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, in 1990 and 1991. It was released on 8 October 1991.

The album is a “best of” from the 42 concerts Eric Clapton did at the Royal Albert Hall in those two years. Clapton set a record by playing a run of 24 nights at the London Royal Albert Hall between 5 February and 9 March 1991, following an 18-night run in 1990. Clapton reportedly was not satisfied with the 1990 concert recordings and delayed the release of a CD until after the “24 Nights” of the 1991 dates. These concerts were performed with 4 different instrumental formations, 4-piece, blues, 9-piece and orchestra nights, the last featuring the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. The cover illustration is by Peter Blake.

The 4-piece recordings “Running on Faith”, “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” included on the CD and DVD were recorded on 24 January 1990. The band consisted of Clapton with bassist Nathan East, drummer Steve Ferrone and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes. The Blues Band titles “Worried Life Blues”, “Watch Yourself” and “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” Clapton recorded with Buddy Guy and Robert Cray were shot and recorded on 5 February 1990. The last of the 1990 live recording session took place on 9 February 1990 recording the Orchestra Night. “Bell Bottom Blues”, “Hard Times” and “Edge of Darkness” were used on both the CD and video recording.

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On 10 February 1991, Clapton recorded “Badge” for the CD release. Eight days later the concert for “Pretending”, “Bad Love”, “Old Love” and “Wonderful Tonight” featuring the 9-piece band lineup took place. “No Alibis”, “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Cocaine” had been released on various CD singles of “Wonderful Tonight” since. The versions of “Old Love”, “Wonderful Tonight” and “Pretending” (2nd solo only) on the “24 Nights” video are different from their album counterparts, but they were not taken from the previous night’s show. They may even have been taken the year before. The song “Hoodoo Man” featuring Jimmie Vaughan was recorded on 28 February 1991. (by wikipedia)

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Eric Clapton, who had not released a live album since 1980, had several good reasons to release one in the early ’90s. For one thing, his spare backup band of keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, bassist Nathan East, and drummer Steve Ferrone was his best live unit ever, and its powerful live versions of Cream classics like “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” deserved to be documented. For another, since 1987 Clapton had been playing an annual series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London, putting together various special shows (blues nights, orchestral nights, etc.). 24 Nights, a double album, was culled from two years of such shows, 1990 and 1991, and it demonstrated the breadth of Clapton’s work, from his hot regular band to assemblages of bluesmen like Buddy Guy and Robert Cray to examples of his soundtrack work with an orchestra led by Michael Kamen.

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The result was an album that came across as a lavishly constructed retrospective and a testament to Clapton’s musical stature. But it made little impact upon release (though it quickly went gold), perhaps because events overcame it — three months later, Clapton’s elegy for his baby son, “Tears in Heaven,” was all over the radio, and a few months after that he was redefining himself on MTV Unplugged — a live show as austere as 24 Nights was grand. Still, it would be hard to find a more thorough demonstration of Clapton’s abilities than the one presented here. (by William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Nathan East (bass, vocals)
Steve Ferrone (drums)
Greg Phillinganes (keyboards, background vocals)
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Alan Clark (keyboards on 14.)
Ray Cooper (percussion on 09. – 15.)
Richard Cousins (bass on 05. – 07.
Robert Cray (guitar on 05 – 07.
Buddy Guy (guitar, on 05. – 07
Johnnie Johnson (piano on 05. – 08.
Chuck Leavell (keyboards on 08. – 15.)
Jamie Oldaker (drums on 05. – 08.
Phil Palmer (guitar on 09. – 15.)
Jerry Portnoy (harmonica on 08.)
Ed Shearmur (keyboards on 14. + 15.)
Joey Spampinato (bass on 08.)
Jimmie Vaughan (guitar on 08.)
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background vocals (on 09. – 15.)
Katie Kissoon – Tessa Niles
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The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Micheal Kamen (on 14. + 15.)

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Tracklist:
01. Badge (Clapton/Harrison) 6.51
02. Running On Faith (Williams) 6-49
03. White Room (Bruce/Brown) 6.10
04. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 9.07
05. Watch Yourself (Guy) 5.39
06. Have You Ever Loved A Woman (Myles) 6.52
07. Worried Life Blues (Merriweather) 5.28
08. Hoodoo Man (Wells) 5.40
09. Pretending (Williams) 7.08
10. Bad Love (Clapton/Jones) 6.25
11. Old Love (Clapton/Dray) 13.01
12. Wonderful Tonight (Clapton) 9.07
13. Bell Bottom Blues (Clapton) 6.38
14. Hard Times (Charles) 3.45
15. Edge Of Darkness (Clapton/Kamen) 6.29
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Hubert Sumlin – Healing Feeling (1990)

FrontCover1Hubert Sumlin arguably did his best work during the 23 years he was Howlin’ Wolf’s guitar player, and his ragged, angular guitar style was a big part of Wolf’s rough-and-ready sound. The perfect sideman, Sumlin was by all accounts somewhat shy and reticent about taking center stage, and Healing Feeling, his second album for Black Top Records, much like his first, Hubert Sumlin’s Blues Party, is really more of an all-star blues jam than it is a fully realized project. Recorded May 5 and 6, 1989, at Southlake Recording Studios in Louisiana, with two additional tracks coming from a live show at Tipitina’s in New Orleans earlier in the day on May 5, the sessions were once again organized by guitarist Ronnie Earl, whose band the Broadcasters is used on most of the cuts. The vocal duties were shared by James “Thunderbird” Davis and Darrell Nulisch, with Sumlin singing on “Come Back Little Girl,” “Honey Dumplins,” and the set closer, “Blues for Henry,” all of which gain poignancy because of Sumlin’s somewhat fragile, whispered vocal approach.

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A clear highlight is Sumlin’s solo electric guitar version of “Down the Dusty Road,” which is focused, clear, and intimate. The sound of the album is a little thicker and punchier than Blues Party, but once again Sumlin pulls off the difficult task of sounding like a sideman on his own album project, which is a shame, since when he does step forward, things really start to take on a distinct character. The two Black Top albums (this one was originally released in 1990) are really like blues jam holding patterns recorded when Sumlin was still trying to figure out how to make the transition from ace sideman to revered bandleader. Both suffer a bit from not having a truly assertive Sumlin on board. (by Steve Leggett)

Originally released in 1990 on Black Top Records (BT-1053)

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Personnel:
James “Thunderbird” Davis (vocals on 01., 03., 06. +  08.)
Ronnie Earl (guitar)
Steve Gomes (bass)
Per Hanson (drums)
Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff (saxophone)
Darrell Nulisch (harmonica, vocals)
Richard “Dickie” Reed (keyboards)
Hubert Sumlin (guitar, vocals on 04, 10., 12. + 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. I Don’t Want To Hear About Yours (Nulisch/Gomes) 3.30
02. Healing Feeling (Sumlin/Kazanoff/Hanson/Earl/Gomes) 2.35
03. Just Like I Treat You (Burnett) 3.56
04. Come Back Little Girl (Sumlin) 4.46
05. Play It Cool (King) 5.12
06. Without A Friend Like You (Nulisch/Sumlin/Earl) 3.22
07. I Don’t Want No Woman (Veasey) 3.22
08. Blue Shadows (Fulson) 4.31
09. Down The Dusty Road (Sumlin) 2.50
10. Honey Dumlins (Sumlin) 5.30
11. Blues For Henry (Sumlin/Earl) 4.07

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Various Artists – Gnawa Music Of Marrakesh – Night Spirit Masters (1990)

FronzCover1As Paul Bowles states in his liner notes, the music of the Gnawa (Malinese slaves brought to Morocco in the 16th century) is very different than most of what’s heard in Morocco. Indeed, there’s a healthy strain of the kind of vocal and percussion styles heard in the Gnawa’s West African homeland on this fine collection. And even though the Middle Eastern darbouka drum is occasionally used and the language sung in is Arabic, the predominant sound comes from large, deep-toned drums called the tbola (akin to the talking drum of Ghana) and from the chorus of singers heard on half the cuts (the harmonies produced being similar to those in both traditional and popular West African song).

Sounding like a cross between the oud (the Middle Eastern predecessor to the lute) and the West African kora, the upright string instrument the sentir musically fuses the two cultures. Musicology aside, this Bill Laswell-produced recording is a must for fans of both African and Middle Eastern music. Half the pieces feature lead and group singers in call and response mode buoyed by a full compliment of sentirs, drums, hand clapping, and qrakechs (finger cymbals made from sheet metal). The other portion includes both drum features and sentir and vocal pieces. A great collection. (by Stephen Cook)

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Tracklist + Personnel:

01. Baba L’Rouami1 Baba L’Rouami 3.05
Goblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamSintir, Vocals – Mustapha BaqbouVocals – Ahmed Hamzaoui, Mahjoub El Khalmouss, Said Oughassal
02. . Mimoun Mamrba 5-12
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim Oughassal, Abelmar Bou NaamSintir, Vocals – Said OughassalVocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

03. Tramin 2.57
Drums – Abbes Larfaoui, Brahim El Belkani, Mahjoub Jaffer

04. Chabako 6.27
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim OughassalGoblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamHandclaps – Samir ZougariHandclaps, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdenbi Binizi, Aziz Radi, Hassan Zougari, Mohammed MslomiOud, Vocals – Said OughassalSintir, Vocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

05. Moulay Abdellah Ben Hassaine / Moulay Brahim 4.12
Shaker – Ahmed MamzaoiSintir, Vocals – Mustapha Baqbou

06. Toura Toura Tour Kelilah 4.07
Sintir, Vocals – Mustapha BaqbouVocals – Abdel Kbir Mershan, Mahjoub El Khalmouss, Mbarrek Ben Othane

07. Baniya 5.59
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim OughassalGoblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamHandclaps – Samir ZougariHandclaps, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdenbi Binizi, Aziz Radi, Hassan Zougari, Mohammed MslomiOud, Vocals – Said OughassalSintir, Vocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

08. Jillala 4.49
Sintir, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Mershan, Mustapha BaqbouVocals – Mahjoub El Khalmouss, Mohammed Qrifli

09. Said Fafy Drum Solo 2.15
Drums – Said Fafy, Said Oughassal

10. Toura Toura Tour Kelilah #2 3.12
Castanets [Qrakech], Vocals – Mahjoub MethoumHandclaps – Rachid El BelkaniSintir, Vocals – Brahim El Belkani

11. Hamouda 6.00
Castanets [Qrakech] – Abdellatif OughassalDrums – Abderrahim OughassalGoblet Drum [Darbouka] – Abdelhak Bou NaamHandclaps – Samir ZougariHandclaps, Vocals – Abdel Kbir Msolom, Abdenbi Binizi, Aziz Radi, Mohammed MslomiOud, Vocals – Said OughassalSintir, Vocals – Abdelqader Oughassal

Inlet

 

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MusicInMarrakesh