Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir – Forgotten Peoples (Veljo Tormis) (1992)

FrontCover1Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC) is a professional choir based in Estonia. It was founded in 1981 by Tõnu Kaljuste, who was its conductor for twenty years. In 2001, Paul Hillier followed Kaljuste’s tenure, becoming the EPCC’s principal conductor and artistic director until September 2008, when Daniel Reuss took over the task. Since 2014 the choir’s principal conductor has been Kaspars Putniņš. The repertoire of the EPCC ranges from Gregorian Chant to modern works, particularly those of the Estonian composers Arvo Pärt and Veljo Tormis.

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The group has been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards, and has won the Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance twice: in 2007 with Arvo Pärt’s Da pacem and in 2014 with Pärt’s Adam’s Lament, the latter was shared with Tui Hirv & Rainer Vilu, Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis. In 2018 Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir won the prestigious Gramophone Award with its recording of Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Arvo Pärt and Psalms of Repentance by Alfred Schnittke (conductor Kaspars Putniņš). (wikipedia)

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Veljo Tormis (7 August 1930 – 21 January 2017) was an Estonian composer, regarded as one of the great contemporary choral composers[1][2] and one of the most important composers of the 20th century in Estonia.[3] Internationally, his fame arises chiefly from his extensive body of choral music, which exceeds 500 individual choral songs, most of it a cappella. The great majority of these pieces are based on traditional ancient Estonian folksongs (regilaulud), either textually, melodically, or merely stylistically.

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His composition most often performed outside Estonia, Curse Upon Iron (Raua needmine) (1972), invokes ancient Shamanistic traditions to construct an allegory about the evils of war. Some of his works were banned by the Soviet government, but because folk music was fundamental to his style most of his compositions were accepted by the censors.

More recently, Tormis’ works have been performed and recorded by Tõnu Kaljuste with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and others. In the 1990s, Tormis began to receive commissions from some a cappella groups in the West such as the King’s Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble.

Tormis famously said of his settings of traditional melodies and verse: “It is not I who makes use of folk music, it is folk music that makes use of me.” His work demonstrates his conviction that traditional Estonian and other Balto-Finnic music represents a treasure which must be guarded and nourished, and that culture may be kept alive through the medium of song.

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Born in Kuusalu in 1930, Tormis had a profound experience with choral music starting at an early age. His father was a choral director, organist, and music teacher. His delight in the contrasting timbres provided by the organ stops may also be connected to his later orchestration of choral textures, a hallmark of his mature style.[3]

Tormis began his formal musical education in 1943 at the Tallinn Music School, but was interrupted by World War II and illness. In 1949, he entered the Tallinn Conservatory and continued his studies at the Moscow Conservatory (1951–1956). He quickly acquired teaching positions at the Tallinn Music School (1955–60) and the Tallinn Music High School (1962–66), but by 1969 was supporting himself exclusively as a freelance composer. One of his pupils was composer Kuldar Sink.

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From his student days until his retirement from composition in 2000, Tormis composed over 500 individual choral songs, as well as other vocal and instrumental pieces, 35 film scores, and an opera. Despite the censorship of several of his more politically provocative works in the late 1970s and the 1980s, he remained an incredibly celebrated composer whose works were performed throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe, he is regarded as one of the great contributors to the 20th century repertory of choral music. Dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 has allowed increased access to the Soviet censored compositional output. The music of Tormis, along with other composers in the region, is experiencing increased rates of programing and publishing, allowing for increased appreciation of the choral and vocal music traditions. (wikipedia)

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And here´s  real highlight of his work:

“I do not use folk song, it is folk song that uses me,” said Estonian composer Veljo Tormis (1930-2017). Tormis’ grasp of folk song and the intensity of the performance lend a shamanistic quality to Forgotten Peoples. This set of six song cycles aims to preserve the song heritage of peoples in the area from Estonia through Karelia and towards Finland, peoples whose language and songs have all but disappeared – “forgotten” peoples. There are, then, important socio-political concerns behind this work. And, as producer Paul Hillier noted, “The music of Veljo Tormis taps the most ancient of roots in a fluid, powerful idiom, and offers a fascinating counterpart to the work of another Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt.” In general one could say that Tormis as composer is extrovert, where Pärt is introvert.

The song cycles that make up Forgotten Peoples were composed over a twenty-year period, beginning in 1970, and had become widely known through the performances of the Estonian Chamber Choir under the direction of Tonu Kaljuste. in Forgotten Peoples, subtitled “The Ancient Songs of my Balto-Finnic Kinsfolk”, there are echoes of Bartok and the Stravinsky of “Les Noces” but the dominant impression is of the folksong-shamanistic essence. It is tonal music, based on modal idioms of traditional songs, and its repetitive nature frequently attains an almost hypnotic power. (taken from the original liner notes)

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The Estonian composer, Veljo Tormis, has long pursued a mission to preserve the musical heritage of the minority groups—the Forgotten Peoples—who live along the shores of the Gulf of Finland from Lithuania in the south to Karelia on the Russian-Finnish border. Over a period of years, he has composed six song-cycles for mixed chorus based on the folk music and poetry of these peoples who are now dying out or losing their separate identity. In an informative note, the composer points out that Estonian and Finnish folk-song is part of an ancient culture which these people brought with them from the Danube basin, from a pre-Christian, shamanistic civilization which was very close to nature.
Tormis integrates folk-material into his own style in much the same way as Bartok does. As a result, there is a great variety of timbres and textures in the songs that make up these six cycles. Pedals, ostinatos and dance-rhythms abound as does frequent alternation of solo and choral singing. He makes extensive use of accompanied Sprechstimme to narrate some of the lengthy ballads in Izhorian Epic. These ten songs are settings of creation stories (similar to the Kalevala epic) or poems which point moral dilemmas in either a sad or a humorous way.
Many of these delightful and attractive songs are about the natural world around us: birds, animals, the seasons of the year, life and death in the country. Each cycle is based on the folk music of the particular region and each cycle has an overall theme. The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under their conductor Tonu Kaljuste have been associated with these settings from the beginning and they sing them most beautifully. In fact, many good amateur choirs would find these songs a most rewarding challenge if they could manage to pronounce the words or if they could find someone to provide singable translations. (gramophone.co.uk)

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Personnel:
Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste

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Tracklist:

CD 1:

Livonian Heritage 16:16:
01. Waking The Birds 5.20
02. Day Of A Herdsboy 3,23
03, Shrove Tuesday 1.38
04. Wee Winky Mouse 2.53
05. Sang The Father, Sang His Son 3.19

Votic Wedding Songs 11:36:
06. The Ritual Whisking Of The Bridge 1.06
07. The Arrival Of Wedding Guests 1.59
08. Mockery Singing 1.28
09. Distributing The Dowry Chest 1.26
10. Instructing The Newly-Weds 1.40
11. Praising The Cook 1.06
12. When I, Chick, Was Growing Up 2.59

Izhorian Epic 31:25:
13. Creation Of The World 3.09
14. The Call Of Three Cuckoos 4.24
15. The Wedding Song 1.56
16. A Son Or A Daughter 3.18
17. Recruitment 3.30
18. Oh, I’m A Luckless Lad 1.20
19, My Mouth Was Singing, My Heart Was Worrying 3.39
20. A Sword From The Sea 3.32
21. Incantation Of Snakes 0.49
22. Undarmoi And Kalervoi 5.52

CD 2:

Ingrian Evenings 19.04:
01. Röntuska I (A Dance Song) 3.07
02. Röntuska II 1.46
03. Röntuska III 1.52
04. Chastushka I (A Village Party Song) 1.25
05. Chastushka II 1.25
06. A Roundelay 2.03
07. Röntuska IV 2.33
08. Röntuska V 1.24
09. Ending And Going Home 3.33

Vepsian Paths 20.06:
10. My Sister, My Little Cricket 1.50
11. Urging Her Into The Boat 1.41
12. Heavenly Suitors 1.50
13. I Went To Kikoila 0.34
14. Cuckoo And Cuckoo 0.58
15. I Went To Fetch Some Water 0.15
16. Pussy-Cat, Pussy-Cat 0.36
17. I’d Like To Sing You A Song 0.36
18. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? 0.44
19. What Are They Doing At Your Place? 0.31
20.The Ox Climbed A Fir Tree 0.44
21. Forced To Get Married 2.05
22. A Cradle Song 1.47
23. The Only Son 1.56
24. Toot-Toot, Herdsboy 4.04

Karelian Destiny 26.40:
25. A Weeping Maiden 4.34
26. Suitors From The Sea 5.04
27. A Thrall In Viru 5.14
28. The Oak Cutter 5.28
29. A Lullaby 6.23

Music: Traditional/Veljo Tormis

Adapted By [Text] – Ada Ambus (Titel: 2-1 to 2-9), Arvo Laanest (Titel: 1-13 to 1-22), Elna Adler (Titel: 1-6 to 1-12), Herbert Tampere (Titel: 1-1 to 1-5), Jaan Õispuu (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29), Kari Laukkanen (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29), Maare Joalaid (Titel: 2-10 to 2-24), Tõnu Seilenthal (Titel: 1-6 to 1-12), Ulo Tedre (Titel: 2-25 to 2-29)

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En Vogue – Funky Divas (1992)

FrontCover1En Vogue is an American R&B/pop vocal group whose original lineup consisted of singers Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron, and Maxine Jones. Formed in Oakland, California, in 1989, En Vogue reached No. 2 on the US Hot 100 with the single “Hold On”, taken from their 1990 debut album Born to Sing. The group’s 1992 follow-up album Funky Divas reached the top 10 in both the US and UK, and included their second US number two hit “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” as well as the US top 10 hits “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and “Free Your Mind”.

In 1996, “Don’t Let Go (Love)” became the group’s third, and most successful single, to reach number two in the US, and became their sixth number one on the US R&B chart. Robinson left the group in 1997 shortly before the release of their third album EV3, which reached the US and UK top 10. Jones left the group in 2001, Amanda Cole joined shortly thereafter. However, in 2003, Cole left the group, and Rhona Bennett joined the group during the recording of their album Soul Flower. In 2005, the original members briefly united before disassembling again. In 2009, the original members once again reunited for their “En Vogue: 20th Anniversary”. Shortly after the tour, Robinson and Jones again departed from En Vogue, with Bennett rejoining the group as a trio.

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En Vogue has sold more than 30 million records worldwide to date, and are often considered one of the best female vocal groups of all time. The group has won seven MTV Video Music Awards, three Soul Train Awards, two American Music Awards, and received seven Grammy nominations. In December 1999, Billboard magazine ranked the band as the 19th most successful recording artist of the 1990s. They ranked as the second most successful female group of the 1990s.  In March 2015, Billboard magazine named the group the ninth most-successful girl group of all-time. Two of the group’s singles ranks in Billboard’s most successful girl group songs of all-time list, “Don’t Let Go (Love)” (#12) and “Hold On” (#23)

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Funky Divas is the second studio album by American recording group En Vogue, released by Atlantic Records division East West on March 24, 1992 in the United States. Conceived after the success of their Grammy Award–nominated debut album Born to Sing (1990), En Vogue reteamed with their founders Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy to work on the entire album. As with Born to Sing, the pair borrowed from contemporary R&B, new jack swing, and hip hop, while also incorporating classic soul, blues and doo-wop elements, particularly on its on two Sparkle cover versions, as well as, in the case of “Free Your Mind,” heavy metal sounds.

At the time of its release, Funky Divas received a mixed reception from music critics, but has since earned retrospective acclaim and recognition from musicians, and producers. Praised for En Vogue’s vocal work and the production’s definitive character, it is often cited to have paved the way for other female bands such as TLC and Destiny’s Child who would emerge in the following years. The album became the quartet’s second album to earn a Grammy Award nomination in the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals category, while winning the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Album and the Sammy Davis Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year at the 1993 Soul Train Music Awards.

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Funky Divas debuted at number one on the US Billboard Top R&B Albums chart, and at number eight on the Billboard 200, while peaking at number four on the UK Albums Chart. It reached triple platinum status in the US, where it sold 3.5 million copies, becoming the seventh highest-selling R&B albums of the year as well as En Vogue’s biggest-selling album to date. The album spawned five singles, including “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”, Aretha Franklin cover “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”, “Free Your Mind”, “Give It Up, Turn It Loose,” and “Love Don’t Love You.”

In the United States, Funky Divas debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 album chart and reached the top spot on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart with first week sales of 60,000 units. A major commercial success, it became one of the biggest-selling R&B albums of year, exceeding sales of more than 3.5 million copies domestically. It was eventually certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on March 24, 1993. Billboard ranked Funky Divas 25th on its Billboard 200 year-end chart, while ranking it seventh on the Top R&B Albums year-end chart. As of 2018, it remain En Vogue’s highest-peaking album on both charts.

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Internationally, Funky Divas reached the top forty of the national album charts in Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Sweden. A steady seller in Canada, the album eventually was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). The album reached its highest peak in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart and reached gold status, indicating sales in excess of 100,000 copies. With a worldwide sales total of 5 million, Funky Divas remains En Vogue’s biggest seller within their discography.

Lead single “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” became an instant hit, peaking at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The accompanying video for “My Lovin'” won two MTV Video Music Awards. The song samples the funk guitar line of James Brown’s 1973 song “The Payback” from the album of the same name. Second single “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” a cover of the Aretha Franklin hit from the film Sparkle (1976), also became a top ten hit in the US. Funky Diva’s third single, the rock-infused “Free Your Mind”, became another top ten hit. In the UK, the song made the top 20. The video for “Free Your Mind” won three MTV Video Music Awards in 1993.

Singles

By the time the fourth single, “Give It Up, Turn It Loose”, was released in late 1992, the Funky Divas album was already certified triple platinum in the US by the RIAA. The single gave the group another UK top 40 hit. The fifth and final single released from Funky Divas was “Love Don’t Love You”, which was remixed for its release. The video for the single consists of clips from previous En Vogue videos “Giving Him Something He Can Feel”, “Free Your Mind”, as well as two of their 1990 videos “Lies” and “You Don’t Have to Worry”. A second edition of the album containing the later hits “Runaway Love” and “Whatta Man” (with Salt-N-Pepa) was released in the UK in 1994. This edition of Funky Divas also includes remixed versions of “Hip Hop Lover”, “It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings”, and “Love Don’t Love You” (a different remix from the US single release in 1993), along with slightly altered artwork inside the CD booklet. (wikipedia)

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The 1990s were a time when hip-hop infused with R&B became pop music, and at the forefront of this movement was En Vogue. Their most commercially and critically successful album, Funky Divas, stands as one of the best pop/R&B albums to emerge from that time, incorporating soul, hip-hop, pop, dance, and rock to create one of the era’s most diverse, dazzling, and exciting pieces of work. The album, which is basically free of filler, scored no less than five hit singles, three of which became Top Ten pop hits. Additionally, several other album tracks became dance hits and received considerable airplay as well. These include the unstoppable “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” which combined perfect harmonies, street sass, and 1990s female assertion to create one of the biggest hits of 1992, as well as a catch phrase which became ubiquitous in popular culture.

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Other hits include their sophisticated, shimmering Top Ten remake of “Giving Him Something He Can Feel,” a ghetto love fable initially popularized by Aretha Franklin, the doo wop good-feelin’ “Give It Up Turn It Loose,” the jazzy “Love Don’t Love You,” and the hard rock smash “Free Your Mind.” The last was a hit which, following the summer of the Los Angeles riots, struck a chord with national audiences by coaxing people to let down their guards about racism and prejudice. Other highlights include the great opener “This Is Your Life,” the hip-hop tracks “Hip Hop Lover” and “It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings,” the house track “What Is Love,” the sexy, Middle Eastern-influenced “Desire,” and their wonderful, should-have-been-a-hit version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Hooked on Your Love.” Combining sass, elegance, and class with amazing vocals and perfect production, this delightful set stands as one of the 1990s definitive pop albums. (by Jose F. Promis)

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Personnel:
vocals:
Terry Ellis – Cindy Herron – Maxine Jones – Dawn Robinson
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Jon Bendich (percussion)
Chuckii Booker (spoken words)
Juan Escovedo (percussion)
Michael Fellows (drums)
Denzil Foster (keyboards, drums)
Tony George (trumpet)
Les Harris (saxophone)
Wayne Jackson (rap)
Jinx Jones (guitar, bass)
Thomas McElroy (keyboards, drums)
Peter Michael (percussion)
Chris Mondt (trombone)

Booklet04ATracklist:
01. This Is Your Life (Foster/McElroy) 5.05
02. My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) (Foster/McElroy) 4.42
03. Hip Hop Lover (Foster/McElroy) 5.13
04. Free Your Mind (Foster/McElroy) 4.52
05. Desire (Foster/McElroy) 4.00
06. Giving Him Something He Can Feel (Mayfield) 3.58
07. It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings (Foster/McElroy) 4.13
08. Give It Up, Turn It Loose (Foster/McElroy) 5.11
09. Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney) 2.32
10. Hooked On Your Love (Mayfield) 3.36
11. Love Don’t Love You (Foster/McElroy) 3.57
12. What Is Love (Foster/McElroy) 4.20
13. Thanks/Prayer (Foster/McElroy) 0.44

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More from En Vogue:
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The official website:
Website

Des’ree – Mind Adventures (1992)

FrontCover1Desirée Annette Weekes (born 30 November 1968), known by her stage name Des’ree  is an English pop recording artist who rose to popularity during the 1990s. She is best known for her hits “Feel So High”, “You Gotta Be”, “Life”, and “Kissing You” (from the soundtrack of the film Romeo + Juliet). At the 1999 Brit Awards she received the Brit Award for Best British female solo artist.

Des’ree was born in Croydon, South East London, England, on 30 November 1968. Her mother is from British Guiana (now Guyana), and her father is from Barbados. She was introduced to reggae, calypso and jazz music by her parents. At the age of 22, and with no connections in the music industry, she was signed in 1991 to Sony 550 when she asked her boyfriend to send a demo to the label, and they quickly contacted her.

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Des’ree’s debut single, “Feel So High”, was released in August 1991, a mere 12 weeks after her signing. The single did not initially reach the UK top 40, but hit #13 when it was re-released in January 1992. Her debut album Mind Adventures was released in February 1992. It received good reviews and hit the top 30 in the UK. She spent in 1992 touring as the opening act to Simply Red. In 1993, Des’ree collaborated with Terence Trent D’Arby on the song “Delicate”, which was released as a single and hit the UK top 20 and the US top 100. She ended the year singing with a host of other artists at the first concert of secular music at the Vatican City, on 23 December 1993, which was aired on Italian TV. The concert, named Concerto di Natale, has been held with different artists every Christmas in the years since.

Des`ree01In 1994, her single “You Gotta Be” hit the Billboard Hot 100 Top 5, peaking at number 5, and was a hit in the UK three times. “You Gotta Be” became the most played music video on VH1 and remained on the Billboard Recurrent Airplay Chart for 80 weeks. Following the single’s success, Des’ree’s second album, I Ain’t Movin’, sold in excess of 2.5 million copies worldwide. Her success led to an American tour with Seal in 1995. The following year, she contributed the song “Kissing You” to the soundtrack of the film William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. She appears in the film singing the song. In 1997, her song “Crazy Maze” was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Nothing to Lose with Martin Lawrence and Tim Robbins. In the same year she provided vocals on “Plenty Lovin'” on Steve Winwood’s album Junction Seven.

In 1998, her single “Life” became a hit in Europe, reaching number 1 in many countries, as well as in Japan. In 1999, she won a Brit Award for the British Female Solo Artist category. The album from which the single was taken, Supernatural, was also released in 1998 to mostly positive reviews. It was somewhat successful in the UK, but was a commercial flop in the United States. In 2007, Des’ree also notably won a BBC poll for the “worst lyrics ever” for the single, the offending lyrics being “I don’t want to see a ghost/it’s the sight that I fear most/I’d rather have a piece of toast/watch the evening news”.[7] In 1999, she sang The Beatles’ song “Blackbird” at a concert in honour of Linda McCartney. At the concert, she met the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo and she collaborated with them on a cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine”, which was released in late 1999. After that, Des’ree put her music career on hold to focus on her private life and disappeared from the public eye.

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A compilation of rare songs and live tracks, Endangered Species, was released in 2000. In 2001 she contributed vocals to the charity single “Wake Up The Morning”, which was released in honour of the death of Damilola Taylor. Billed as Together As One, other contributors to the song were Gabrielle, Andrew Roachford and Courtney Pine. In 2002, she contributed a sung sonnet from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to the various artists album When Love Speaks. Sony released Dream Soldier in 2003. Only one track from the album was released as a single, “It’s Okay”, which peaked in the UK at number 69. The single did not chart in the US. The video, directed by Jake Nava, was shot in London’s Notting Hill. “Dream Soldier” was not a critical or commercial success. Des’ree was subsequently dropped by her label, Sony/550 Music, following the release of the album in March 2003.

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Shortly afterwards, she took a hiatus from music to focus on her interest in naturopathy, also training as a nutritionist. In 2008 she came out of her hiatus to perform at the O2 Arena for Young Voices’ “The Big Sing” charity concert. She helped break the record for “most people simultaneously singing the same song” by leading 600,000 schoolchildren across the United Kingdom in singing “You Gotta Be”. In 2011, she performed “You Gotta Be” at the wedding for George Medal recipient Paul Jacobs.[citation needed] That same year, she sung a lullaby on naturopath Julie Langton-Smith’s sleep therapy CD Sleep Talk Lullaby.

In September 2019, it was revealed that her fifth album, her first in sixteen years, would be titled A Love Story and would be released by her own label Stargazer Records on 11 October 2019. She had begun work on the album in 2012, but took a break to care for her mother.

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“Silent Hero”, written by Des’ree and Prince Sampson, featured in Spike Lee’s 1995 film Clockers, “Feel So High”, written by Des’ree and Michael Graves, featured in the 1996 film Set It Off, and “You Gotta Be” featured in The Object of My Affection and The Next Karate Kid. In 1997, Des’ree’s hit “Feel So High” was interpolated into the Janet Jackson song “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” from Jackson’s CD The Velvet Rope without due credit to Des’ree as a contributor. The maxi single, however, lists Des’ree and Michael Graves as two of the song’s writers, after winning a lawsuit against Jackson. She also considered suing Robyn and Cleopatra due to the similarities between their songs (“Show Me Love” and “Life Ain’t Easy” respectively) and “Feel So High”; however, nothing came of it. In 1999 she recorded a duet with Ladysmith Black Mambazo on a cover of the Bill Withers song “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

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Des’ree has won several awards, including a Brit Award, an Ivor Novello Award, World Music Award, Urban Music Award and a BMI Award for over five million plays of “You Gotta Be” in America alone. Des’ree also won a BBC poll for “Worst Pop Lyricist” for the 1998 single “Life”, though it went to number 1 in Japan, Spain and several other European countries.
Personal life
Des’ree is a vegetarian. In 2002, she did short courses in photography and ceramics at the Camberwell College of Arts.

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Mind Adventures is the debut album by British soul singer-songwriter Des’ree.[3] It was released on 17 February 1992 on the Sony Soho Square record label, and features the UK top 20 hit, “Feel So High”. The album became Des’ree’s first top 40 album, peaking at number 26 on the UK Albums Chart.

The album was not released in the United States at the time. It got a belated release on 4 April 1995, after Des’ree’s second album I Ain’t Movin’ had been released there the previous year and she was achieving success with the single “You Gotta Be”. Since “Feel So High” had been included on the US edition of I Ain’t Movin’, the US edition of Mind Adventures excluded it from its track list. (wikipedia)

The US edition:
USEdition

They have become rare, the true singer/songwriters: singers who can also compose. That’s why the black Londoner with the exotic stage name Des’ree, although only born in 1969, can consider herself in the top group of this rather mature genre. And probably also for lack of real competition. Des’ree’s third album, meaningfully titled Mind Adventures, like its two predecessors, sounded strongly of peace, joy, campfires and a fierce longing for a balanced, spiritually-oriented life. The tack was almost entirely acoustic and extremely sparsely orchestrated, which brought the soulful, smoky voice of its performer all the more to the fore. Des’ree, for all her funk and reggae leanings, certainly seemed like the calm herself: Mind Adventures, these are peaceful songs in an extremely peaceful ambience. The established competition looks old in comparison. The real adventures take place in the head. (Michael Fuchs-Gamböck)

Singles

This album is one of the earlier outputs from Des’ree’s incrediblely successful career. There is no mammoth hits on this album as these come later, but it is a wonderful collection of subtley different songs, each with their different melodies and each portraying a different message. Track 4 ‘why should I love you?’ in my opinion is the gem of the album, which is the classic des’ree ballad which shows just how bountiful her voice is. A close second is the upbeat track 6 ‘Competitive world’ which makes you feel positive and it’s very catchy.
Throughout the album des’ree’s voice appears to become stronger, and the low, sensual tones of her voice are like no other and sure to melt even the strongest cynics heart. I would recommend this ablum to any soul music fan – it takes a few listens to fall into the album fully, but once you do it will be a favourite for a very long time! (Pixiedeviluk)

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Personnel:
Ian Alleyne (guitar)
Gary Barnacle (saxophone)
Des’ree (vocals)
Pete Hinds (keyboards)
Ashley Ingram (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards)
Nick Ingram (strings)
Malcolm Joseph (bass)
Phil Legg (drums, bass, guitar)
Greg Lester (guitar)
Harry Morgan (percussion)
Trevor Murrell (drums)
Glenn Nightingale (guitar)
Fionn O’Lochlainn (bass)
Jeff Scantlebury (percussion)
Ritchie Stevens (drums)
Pete Wingfield (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Average Man (Des’ree/Graves) 5.07
02. Feel So High (Des’ree/Graves) 3.55
03. Sun Of ’79 (Des’ree) 5:14
04. Why Should I Love You (Des’ree) 4.17
05. Stand On My Own Ground (Des’ree/Graves) 4.09
06. Competitive World (Des’ree/Graves) 5.32
07. Mind Adventures (Des’ree) 4.46
08. Laughter (Des’ree) 4.49
09. Save Me (Des’ree) 5.30
10. Momma Please Don’t Cry (Des’ree) 4.28

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The official website:
Website

K.D. Lang – Ingénue (1992)

FrontCover1Kathryn Dawn Lang OC AOE (born November 2, 1961), known by her stylized stage name k.d. lang, is a Canadian pop and country singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Lang has won Juno Awards and Grammy Awards for her musical performances. Hits include the songs “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine”.

A mezzo-soprano, lang has contributed songs to movie soundtracks and has collaborated with musicians such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Elton John, The Killers, Anne Murray, Ann Wilson, and Jane Siberry. She performed at the closing ceremony of the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, and at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.

Lang has also been active as an animal rights, gay rights, and Tibetan human rights activist. She is a tantric practitioner of the old school of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Ingénue is the second solo album by Canadian singer k.d. lang, released in 1992. It is Lang’s most successful album on the pop charts, both in her native Canada and internationally, and has more of a cabaret flavor than her earlier more country-influenced work.

“Constant Craving” was the first single released from the album. It peaked at number 8 in Lang’s native Canada, number 38 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 15 in the UK Singles Chart when re-released, becoming her biggest solo hit single there. “Constant Craving” inspired (albeit subconsciously) The Rolling Stones’ 1997 single “Anybody Seen My Baby?”, from their Bridges to Babylon album, with the result that the Stones gave writing credits on that song to Lang and her collaborator Ben Mink.

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“Miss Chatelaine” was released as the second single from the album. The song’s video depicted Lang—who was usually best known for a fairly androgynous appearance—in an exaggeratedly feminine manner, surrounded by bright pastel colours and a profusion of bubbles reminiscent of a performance on The Lawrence Welk Show,[citation needed] complete with an accordion in the instrumentation.

A third single, “The Mind of Love”, was also released.

Both “Save Me” and “Still Thrives This Love” were used in the 2003 Showtime film Soldier’s Girl.

The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.(wikipedia)

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On her early albums, k.d. lang was a country traditionalist with a difference — while she had a glorious voice and could evoke the risen ghost of Patsy Cline when she was of a mind, there was an intelligence and sly humor in her work that occasionally betrayed her history as a performance artist who entered the musical mainstream through the side door. And while the three years between Absolute Torch and Twang and Ingénue were full of controversy for lang that may have encouraged her to seek out new creative directions (among other things, she came out as a lesbian and her outspoken animal rights activism alienated many fans in the C&W mainstream), the former album suggested lang had already taken her interest in country music as far as it was likely to go. Ingénue presented lang as an adult contemporary artist for the first time, and if she felt any trepidation at all about her stylistic shift, you’d never guess after listening to the record; lang’s vocal style is noticeably more subtle on Ingénue than her previous albums, but her command of her instrument is still complete, and the cooler surroundings allowed her to emotionally accomplish more with less. lang’s songwriting moved into a more impressionistic direction with Ingénue, and while the literal meanings of many of her tunes became less clear, she also brought a more personal stamp to her music, and the emotional core of “Save Me,” “Constant Craving,” and “So It Shall Be” was obvious even when their surfaces were evasive.

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And the production and arrangements by lang and her longtime collaborators Ben Mink and Greg Penny were at once simple and ambitious, creating a musical space that was different in form and effect than her previous albums but one where she sounded right at home. Ingénue disappoints slightly because while lang was a masterful and thoroughly enjoyable country singer, she was a far more introspective adult contemporary singer/songwriter who seemingly demanded the audience accept her “as is” or not at all. However, the craft of the album is impressive indeed, and few artists have reinvented themselves with as much poise and panache as lang did on Ingénue. (by Mark Deming)

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Personnel:
Teddy Borowiecki (keyboards, accordion, santur)
Graham Boyle (percussion, tympani, tambourine)
Gary Burton (marimba, vibraphone)
Ingrid Friesen (violin)
John Friesen (cello)
Martin Laba (violin)
K.D. Lang (vocals, guitar, mandolin, tamboura, tambourine, percussion)
Greg Leisz (pedal steel-guitar,  and lap steel-guitar)
Ben Mink (guitar, bass, viola, violin, percussion, beatboxing)
Greg Penny (percussion, beatboxing)
David Piltch (bass)
Mryon Schultz (clarinet)
Randall Stoll (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Save Me (Lang/Mink) 4.33
02. The Mind Of Love (Lang/Mink) 3.49
03. Miss Chatelaine (Lang/Mink) 3.49
04. Wash Me Clean (Lang) 3.17
05. So It Shall Be (Lang/Penny) 4.31
06- Still Thrives This Love (Lang/Mink) 3.35
07. Season Of Hollow Soul (Lang/Mink) 4.58
08. Outside Myself (Lang/Mink) 4.57
09. Tears Of Love’s Recall (Lang/Mink) 3.49
10. Constant Craving (Lang/Mink) 4.37

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The official website:
Website

R.E.M. – Automatic For The People (1992)

FrontCover1R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe, who were students at the University of Georgia. Liner notes from some of the band’s albums list attorney Bertis Downs and manager Jefferson Holt as non-musical members. One of the first alternative rock bands, R.E.M. was noted for Buck’s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style; Stipe’s distinctive vocal quality, unique stage presence, and obscure lyrics; Mills’s melodic bass lines and backing vocals; and Berry’s tight, economical drumming style. In the early 1990s, other alternative rock acts such as Nirvana and Pavement viewed R.E.M. as a pioneer of the genre. After Berry left the band in 1997, the band continued its career in the 2000s with mixed critical and commercial success. The band broke up amicably in 2011 with members devoting time to solo projects after having sold more than 85 million albums worldwide and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music acts. (wikipedia)

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Automatic for the People is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released by Warner Bros. Records on October 5, 1992 in the United Kingdom and Europe, and on the following day in the United States. R.E.M. began production on the album while their previous album, Out of Time (1991), was still ascending top albums charts and achieving global success. Aided by string arrangements from John Paul Jones, Automatic for the People features ruminations on mortality, loss, mourning and nostalgia.

Upon release, it received widespread acclaim from critics, reached number two on the US Billboard 200, and yielded six singles. Rolling Stone reviewer Paul Evans concluded of the album, “This is the members of R.E.M. delving deeper than ever; grown sadder and wiser, the Athens subversives reveal a darker vision that shimmers with new, complex beauty.” Automatic for the People has sold more than 18 million copies worldwide.

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What would become Automatic for the People had its origins in the mixing sessions for R.E.M.’s previous album Out of Time, held at Paisley Park Studios in December 1990. There, demos for “Drive”, “Try Not to Breathe” and “Nightswimming” were recorded. After finishing promotional duties for Out of Time, the members of R.E.M. began formal work on their next album. Starting the first week of June 1991,[13] guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry met several times a week in a rehearsal studio to work on new material. Once a month they would take a week-long break. The musicians would often trade instruments: Buck would play mandolin, Mills would play piano or organ and Berry would play bass. Buck explained that writing without drums was productive for the band members.[14] The band, intent on delivering an album of harder-rocking material after Out of Time, made an effort to write some faster rock songs during rehearsals, but came up with less than a half-dozen prospective songs in that vein.

The musicians recorded the demos in their standard band configuration. According to Buck, the musicians recorded about 30 songs. Lead singer Michael Stipe was not present at these sessions; instead, the band gave him the finished demos at the start of 1992. Stipe described the music to Rolling Stone early that year as “[v]ery mid-tempo, pretty fucking weird […] More acoustic, more organ-based, less drums”. In February, R.E.M. recorded another set of demos at Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studios in New Orleans.

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The group decided to create finished recordings with co-producer Scott Litt at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York, starting on March 30. The band recorded overdubs in Miami and New York City. String arrangements were recorded in Atlanta. After recording sessions were completed in July, the album was mixed at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle.

Despite R.E.M.’s initial desire to make an album of rocking, guitar-dominated songs after Out of Time, music critic David Fricke noted that instead Automatic for the People “seems to move at an even more agonized crawl” than the band’s previous release. Peter Buck took the lead in suggesting the new direction for the album. The album dealt with themes of loss and mourning inspired by “that sense of […] turning 30”, according to Buck. “The world that we’d been involved in had disappeared, the world of Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, all that had gone […] We were just in a different place and that worked its way out musically and lyrically.” “Sweetness Follows”, “Drive”, and “Monty Got a Raw Deal” in particular expressed much darker themes than any of the band’s previous material and “Try Not to Breathe” is about Stipe’s grandmother dying.

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The songs “Drive”, “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”, “Everybody Hurts” and “Nightswimming” feature string arrangements by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. Fricke stated that “ballads, in fact, define the record”, and noted that the album featured only three “rockers”: “Ignoreland”, “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite” and “Man on the Moon”.

“It pretty much went according to plan,” Litt reported. “Compared to Monster, it was a walk in the park. Out of Time had an orchestral arrangement—so, when we did Automatic, judging where Michael was going with the words, we wanted to scale it down and make it more intimate.”
A live version of “Drive” recorded at this November 19, 1992 show appears on Alternative NRG.
A live version of “Drive” recorded at this 11/19/1992 show appears on Alternative NRG.

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Automatic for the People was released in October 1992. In the United States, the album reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album charts. The album reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom, where it topped the UK Albums Chart on four separate occasions. Despite not having toured after the release of Out of Time, R.E.M. again declined to tour in support of this album. Automatic for the People has been certified four times platinum in the US (four million copies shipped), six times platinum in the United Kingdom (1.8 million shipped), and three times platinum in Australia (210,000 shipped). The album has sold 3.52 million copies in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan sales figures as of 2017.

Automatic for the People yielded six singles over the course of 1992 and 1993: “Drive”, “Man on the Moon”, “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”, “Everybody Hurts”, “Nightswimming” and “Find the River”. Lead single “Drive” was the album’s highest-charting domestic hit, reaching No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles charted higher overseas: “Everybody Hurts” charted in the top ten in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.[29]

A live, harder, version of “Drive” appears on the Alternative NRG, recorded at Athens’ 40 Watt Club on November 19, 1992, during an invitation-only concert supporting Greenpeace Action. A re-recorded, slower version of “Star Me Kitten”, featuring William S. Burroughs, was released on Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by the X-Files. (wikipedia)

A live version of “Drive” recorded at this 11/19/1992 show appears on Alternative NRG:
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Turning away from the sweet pop of Out of Time, R.E.M. created a haunting, melancholy masterpiece with Automatic for the People. At its core, the album is a collection of folk songs about aging, death, and loss, but the music has a grand, epic sweep provided by layers of lush strings, interweaving acoustic instruments, and shimmering keyboards. Automatic for the People captures the group at a crossroads, as they moved from cult heroes to elder statesmen, and the album is a graceful transition into their new status. It is a reflective album, with frank discussions on mortality, but it is not a despairing record — “Nightswimming,” “Everybody Hurts,” and “Sweetness Follows” have a comforting melancholy, while “Find the River” provides a positive sense of closure. R.E.M. have never been as emotionally direct as they are on Automatic for the People, nor have they ever created music quite as rich and timeless, and while the record is not an easy listen, it is the most rewarding record in their oeuvre. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Bill Berry (drums, percussion, keyboards, bass, background vocals, melodica on 12.)
Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin, bass, bouzouki on 07.)
Mike Mills (bass, guitar, keyboards, accordion, background vocals)
Michael Stipe (vocals)
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Scott Litt (harmonica, clavinet)
Deborah Workman (oboe on 01., 03., 04. + 11.)
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violin:
Denise Berginson-Smith – Lonnie Ottzen – Patti Gouvas – Sandy Salzinger – Sou-Chun Su –  Jody Taylor

cello:
Knox Chandler – Kathleen Kee – Daniel Laufer – Elizabeth Proctor Murphy

viola:
Reid Harris – Paul Murphy – Heidi Nitchie

Booklet03ATracklist:
01. Drive 4.31
02. Try Not To Breathe 3.50
03. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite 4.09
04. Everybody Hurts” 5.20
05. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 2.16
06. Sweetness Follows 4.21
07. Monty Got A Raw Deal 3.17
08. Ignoreland” 4.27
09. Star Me Kitten 3.16
10. Man On The Moon 5.14
11. Nightswimming 4.18
12. Find The River 3.49

All tracks are written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe

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More from R.E.M.:
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The official website:
Website

Wilton Felder – Nocturnal Moods (1992)

FrontCover1Wilton Lewis Felder (August 31, 1940 – September 27, 2015) was an American saxophone and bass player, and is best known as a founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, later known as The Crusaders.

Felder was born in Houston, Texas and studied music at Texas Southern University. Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper founded their group while in high school in Houston. The Jazz Crusaders evolved from a straight-ahead jazz combo into a pioneering jazz-rock fusion group, with a definite soul music influence. Felder worked with the original group for over thirty years, and continued to work in its later versions, which often featured other founding members.

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Felder also worked as a West Coast studio musician, mostly playing electric bass, for various soul and R&B musicians, and was one of the in-house bass players for Motown Records, when the record label opened operations in Los Angeles in the early 1970s. He played on recordings by the Jackson 5 such as “I Want You Back”, “ABC” and “The Love You Save”, as well as recordings by Marvin Gaye including “Let’s Get It On” and “I Want You”. He also played bass for soft rock groups like Seals and Crofts. Also of note were his contributions to the John Cale album Paris 1919, Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic (1974), and Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Streetlife Serenade albums. He was one of three bass players on Randy Newman’s Sail Away (1972) and Joan Baez’ Diamonds & Rust. Felder also anchored albums from Grant Green, Joni Mitchell and Michael Franks.

Wilton Felder05His album Secrets, which prominently featured Bobby Womack on vocals, reached No. 77 in the UK Albums Chart in 1985. The album featured the minor hit, “(No Matter How High I Get) I’ll Still be Looking Up to You”, sung by Womack and Alltrinna Grayson.

Felder played a King Super 20 tenor sax with a metal 105/0 Berg Larsen mouthpiece. He also used Yamaha saxes. He played a Fender Telecaster Bass, and also played Aria bass guitars.

Felder died in 2015 at his home in Whittier, California from multiple myeloma.[1] He was 75. (wikipedia)

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This is his 7th solo album

It is strange that none of tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder’s solo releases are very significant, for he was an important part of the Jazz Crusaders’ (and later Crusaders’) sound. On his derivative and poppish date, Felder emulates Grover Washington, Jr. (but without the sincerity and drive), the electronic background is propelled by a drum machine, and there are many simple rhythmic vamps disguised as “originals.” Ironically, Felder is the least important element to the dance date; the drum machine rules. (by Scott Yanow)

A nearly perfect Smooth Jazz alum from this period of music !

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Personnel:
Wali Ali (guitar on 07. – 09.)
Wilton Felder (saxophone, bass)
Rob Mullins (keybopards on 02., 03. + 09.)
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Mayouto Correa (percussion on 05.)
Lenny Williams (vocals on 06.)
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background vocals:
Augie Johnson – KeEsha Bell – Phillip Ingram

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Tracklist:
01. Feel So Much Better (Gill) 4.59
02. Night Moves (Felder) 5.34
03. Southern Pearl (Felder) 5.20
04. If I Knew Then, What I Know Now (Graham/Glass) 3.52
05. Sugar Loaf (Felder) 4.45
06. Love Steps (Ingram/Henderson) 5.53
07. Out Of Sight, Not Out Of Mind (Mabry) 3.59
08. Since I Fell For You (Johnson) 5.00
09. Music Of The Night (Hart/Stilgue/Webber) 6.28

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Various Artists – Honeymoon In Vegas (OST) (1992)

FrontCover1Honeymoon in Vegas is a 1992 American romantic comedy film directed by Andrew Bergman and starring James Caan, Nicolas Cage, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Private Detective (“Private eye”) Jack Singer (Nicolas Cage) swore to his mother on her deathbed that he would never marry. His girlfriend, Betsy (Sarah Jessica Parker) wants to get married and start a family, and he proposes a quick Las Vegas marriage. They check into the Bally’s Casino Resort.

Before the wedding, however, a wealthy professional gambler, Tommy Korman (James Caan), notices Betsy has a striking resemblance to his beloved late wife, Donna. He arranges a crooked poker game (with Jerry Tarkanian as one of the other players) that prompts Jack to borrow $65,000 after being dealt a straight flush (7-8-9-10-Jack of clubs), only to lose to the gambler’s higher straight flush (8-9-10-Jack-Queen of hearts); Tommy offers to erase the debt in exchange for spending the weekend with Betsy.

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After Tommy agrees to no sex, the desperate couple consent. Jack discovers that Tommy has taken Betsy to his vacation home in Kauai. The gambler asks his taxi driver friend, Mahi Mahi (Pat Morita) to keep Jack as far as possible from him and Betsy. Jack discovers this, steals the taxi. He sees Betsy outside the Kauai Club where he is attacked by Tommy and arrested. Jack’s dentist friend, Sally Molars (John Capodice), bails Jack out of jail. Mahi Mahi meets Jack outside and admits that Tommy left for Las Vegas with Betsy and has convinced her to marry him. Mahi races Jack to the airport. Betsy decides she cannot go through with the wedding and escapes from Tommy.

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Meanwhile, after changing many planes and finding himself stuck in San Jose, Jack tries frantically to find a flight to Las Vegas. He joins a group about to depart for Las Vegas but discovers mid-flight that they are the Utah chapter of the “Flying Elvises” – a skydiving team of Elvis impersonators. Jack realizes he has to skydive from 3,000 feet to get to Betsy. Jack overcomes his fear. He lands and spots Betsy, ruining Tommy’s plans.

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Jack and Betsy are married in a small Las Vegas chapel with the Flying Elvises as guests. Jack is wearing a white illuminated jumpsuit and Betsy in a stolen showgirl outfit. (wikipedia)

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And here´s the soundtrack from the movie:

Country singers rule this soundtrack of Elvis Presley covers, which is every bit as flawed, frivolous and fun as the film from whence it came. While Billy Joel parodies “All Shook Up” and “Heartbreak Hotel,” John Mellencamp labors to avoid parodying “Jailhouse Rock,” and U2’s Bono transforms “Can’t Help Falling in Love” into an obsessive parable about hero worship, folks like Ricky Van Shelton and Trisha Yearwood just sit back and sing the things, which at least makes them pleasant after more than one plaing.

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Dwight Yoakam’s power-chord-country version of “Suspicious Minds” and Travis Tritt’s “Burning Love” rank with their best remakes. Breaking the trend are pop crooner Bryan Ferry, who sings a seductive British soul version of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and the usually trustworthy Vince Gill, whose Pat Boone-style rendition of Arthur Crudup’s classic blues “That’s All Right” cleans up the grammar. (by Brian Mansfield)

And if you are interested in rarities from musicians like Billy Joel, Bono, Jeff Beck, Willie Nelson. Bryan Ferry, Amy Grant or John Mellencamp …

… you should listen and enjoy !

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Tracklist:
01. Billy Joel: All Shook Up (Blackwell/Presley) 2.10
02. Ricky van Shelton: Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (Carroll/Russell) 2.14
03. Amy Grant: Love Me Tender (Matson/Presley) 3.52
04. Travis Tritt: Burning Love (Linde) 3.35
05. Billy Joel: Heartbreak Hotel (Axton/Durden/Elvis Presley) 3.22
06. Bryan Ferry:  Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Handman/Turk) 5.00
07. Dwight Yoakam: Suspicious Minds (James) 3.52
08. Trisha Yearwood: (You’re The) Devil In Disguise (Baum/Kaye) 2.38
09. Jeff Beck &Jed Leiber: Hound Dog (Leiber/Stoller) 2.13
10. Vince Gill: That’s All Right (Crudup) 2.44
11. John Mellencamp: Jailhouse Rock (Leiber/Stoller) 3.36
12. Willie Nelson: Blue Hawaii (Rainger/Robin) 2.37
13. Bono: Can’t Help Falling in Love (Creatore/Peretti/Weiss) 2.04

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Luciano Pavarotti – Pavarotti & Friends (1993)

FrontCover1Luciano Pavarotti Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who during the late part of his career crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed and loved tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for his tone, and achieving the honorific title “King of the High Cs”.

As one of the Three Tenors, who performed their first concert during the 1990 FIFA World Cup before a global audience, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances. From the beginning of his professional career as a tenor in 1961 in Italy to his final performance of “Nessun dorma” at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Pavarotti was at his best in bel canto operas, pre-Aida Verdi roles, and Puccini works such as La bohème, Tosca, Turandot and Madama Butterfly. He sold over 100 million records, and the first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time. Pavarotti was also noted for his charity work on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross, amongst others. He died from pancreatic cancer on 6 September 2007.

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Pavarotti & Friends was a series of benefit concerts hosted by Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti between 1992 and 2003 in his home town of Modena, Italy. Proceeds from the events were donated to humanitarian causes including the international aid agency War Child[1] and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The concerts featured Pavarotti performing with special musical guests[3] and each concert was released as a compilation album and DVD under London Records/Decca Records.
Ten benefit concerts were held between 1992 and 2003. The concerts have been broadcast in various countries and each concert was released as a compilation album and DVD under London Records/Decca Records. The Pavarotti & Friends Collection: The Complete Concerts, 1992–2000, a DVD featuring the first eight concerts, was released in November 2002 under Decca.

Pavarotti&Friends01The first Pavarotti & Friends concert was held on 27 September 1992, featuring guest stars Sting, Bob Geldof, Brian May and Mike Oldfield. A compilation album and DVD was released under Decca Records. The compilation album sold 120,000 units in the US and around 1.5 million units worldwide. (wikipedia).

From left: journalist Vincenzo Mollica, Luciano Pavarotti, Lucio Dalla & Zucchero (1992):
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On the one hand a nice mixture of different music styles, on the other hand this music is too weak and shallow for me … not my kind of stuff !

Recorded live at the Venue Parco Novi Sad, Modena, Italy, September 27, 1992

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Personnel:
Orchestra da Camera “Arcangelo Corelli conducted by Aldo Sisillo

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Tracklist:
01. Luciano Pavarotti & Sting: Panis Angelicus (Franck) 3.52
02. Luciano Pavarotti & Zucchero: Miserere (Bono/Zucchero) 4.14
03. Zucchero & Sting: Muoio Per Te (Sting/Zucchero) 3.54
04. Luciano Pavarotti & Lucio Dalla: Caruso (Dalla) 5.19
05. Neville Brothers: One More Day (C. Neville/Wolinski/G. Neville) 4.41
06. Aaron Neville: Ave Maria (Schubert) 4.40
07. Suzanne Vega: In Liverpool (Vega) 4.38
08. Mike Oldfield: Sentinel (Oldfield) 3.53
09. Zucchero: L’Urlo (Brown/Moss/Zucchero) 3.20
10. Brian May: Too Much Love Will Kill You (May/Lamers/Musker) 4.28
11. Sting: It’s Probably Me (Clapton/Kamen/Sting) 5.01
12. Bob Geldof: Room 19 (Geldof) 4.40
13. Patricia Kaas: Les Hommes Qui Passent (Kaas) 3.39
14. Luciano Pavarotti, Lucio Dalla, Brian May, Zucchero & Sting: La Donna E’ Mobile (Piave/Verdi) 2.25

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Paolo Conte – 900 (1992)

LPFrontCover1Paolo Conte (born 6 January 1937) is an Italian singer, pianist, composer, and lawyer notable for his grainy, resonant voice. His compositions are evocative of Italian and Mediterranean sounds, as well as of jazz music and South American atmospheres.

Paolo Conte was born in Asti, Piedmont. His parents were avid jazz fans and Conte and his younger brother Giorgio spent their formative years listening to a lot of early jazz and blues recordings. After obtaining a law degree at the University of Parma, Conte started working as an assistant solicitor with his father, simultaneously pursuing his musical studies. He learned to play the trombone, the vibraphone and the piano,[1] and formed a jazz band with his brother on guitar. Conte’s skill for composing music and original arrangements was noted by music producer Lilli Greco, who paired Conte with lyricist Vito Pallavicini. They wrote songs for Adriano Celentano (“Azzurro”, 1968), Caterina Caselli (“Insieme a te non ci sto più”, 1968), Fausto Leali (“Deborah”, 1968) and Enzo Jannacci (“Messico e nuvole”, 1970). In 1974 Conte recorded his first album, Paolo Conte. The following year, he released another eponymous album. Following a series of well-received shows at Club Tenco in Sanremo in 1976 and the commercial success of his third album, ‘Un gelato al limon’, Conte concentrated almost exclusively on his solo career.

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Some of Conte’s most popular songs have been used as film soundtracks, including “Come Di” in I Am David (2003) and Mickey Blue Eyes (1999), “Via con me” in French Kiss (1995), Mostly Martha (2001) and Welcome to Collinwood (2002). In addition, Conte’s song “L’orchestrina” is featured during the end credits for episodes 3 and 4 of the television series The New Pope (2020). In 1997 Conte won the Nastro d’Argento for Best Score for the film La freccia azzurra.

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On 24 March 1999, Paolo Conte was awarded with the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, by President Giorgio Napolitano for his “outstanding cultural achievements”. On 15 May 2001, France ordered Paolo Conte Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2015, Conte was awarded a Premio Galileo for contemporary music.

Has also received several honorary doctorates, including one from the University of Macerata (1990) (wikipedia)

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And here´s his 14th album:

The musical lawyer from Asti goes on another nostalgic journey of discovery. His destination is the “900” (“Novecento”), the “Twentieth Century”, more precisely: the time of elegant entertainment in the European metropolises. The gentleman from the Mediterranean Piedmont has absorbed tango fever, swing and French chanson like an elixir of life since childhood – and he passes this inspiration on to his audience in fascinating performances. After Paolo Conte wrote love letters on the typewriter for his last work (“Parole D’Amoure Scritte A Macchina”), this time he reached for the fountain pen again. The accompaniment of the 13 new chansons obeys the acoustic purity rule. Only a synthesiser is occasionally allowed to intersperse flat harmonies, otherwise double bass, bandoneon, saxophone, vibraphone, guitars and violin create an ideal framework for the rhetoric of this fabulous man in his mid-fifties, who embellishes his wild dreams with imaginative linguistic images. 900″ does not contain compositional masterpieces like “Aquaplano” or “Azzurro”. But that does not detract from the enigmatic magic of this music. From the Dixie arrangement for “Gong-Oh” to the contemplative finale with the double bass-supported “Do Do”, there is a wide stylistic arc. Conte whispers and scratches his way through the lines of verse in his inimitable manner, miming the grief-stricken senior as well as the risk-taking airhead. Here is an original at work that has become rare in the European music scene. (Stereoplay Magazine)

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If you like, you can breathe the air of a circus or a fairground, cuddle with your cuddly beloved or tango in a jazz bar at blue hour, brood over your umpteenth whisky alone and forlorn at dawn or ponder on a park bench in the sunshine. Italian chansonnier Paolo Conte conveys such and similar moods with a smoky voice and this time again without any synthetics. So double bass, piano, sax or accordion can swing all the more sensual and relaxed. (Audio Magazine)

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Personnel:
Paolo Conte (vocals, piano, kazoo)
Daniele Di Gregorio (drums, percussion, vibraphone)
Davide Di Gregorio (saxophone)
Leo Martina (synthesizer)
Eleonora Nervi (bass tuba)
Daniele “Pirri” Dall’ Omo (guitar, ukulele, trumpet on 01.)
Massimo “Max Pitz” Pitzianti (bandoneon, accordeon, saxophone, clarinet)
Jino Touche (bass)
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Massimo Barbierato (violin)
Roberto Caviglione (viola)
Claudio “Dado” Dadone (guitar on 07.)
Sergio Gavioli (violin)
Luciano Girardengo (violoncello)
Marc Laferrière (saxophone on 08.)
Renzo Marino (guitar on 07.)
Massimo Dall’Omo (drums on 10.)
James Thompson (saxophone on 11.)
Jino Touche (vocals on 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Novecento 3.35
02. Il Treno Va 3.43
03. Una Di Queste Notti 3.16
04. Pesce Veloce Del Baltico 3.49
05. La Donna Della Tua Vita 3.35
06. Per Quel Che Vale 3.48
07. Inno In Re Bemolle 3.14
08. Gong-Oh 3.17
09. I Giardini Pensili Hanno Fatto Il Loro Tempo 3.30
10. Schiava Del Politeama 3.21
11. 
Chiamami Adesso 2.56
12. Brillantina Bengalese 3.14
13. Do-Do 3.13

All songs written by Paolo Conte

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Vangelis – 1492 (Conquest of Paradise) (OST) (1992)

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Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou[a] (born 29 March 1943), known professionally as Vangelis, is a Greek musician and composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score to Chariots of Fire (1981), as well as for composing scores to the films Blade Runner (1982), Missing (1982), Antarctica (1983), The Bounty (1984), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), and Alexander (2004), and for the use of his music in the PBS documentary Cosmos: A Personal Voyage by Carl Sagan.

Vangelis began his career working with several popular bands of the 1960s such as The Forminx and Aphrodite’s Child, with the latter’s album 666 going on to be recognized as a progressive-psychedelic rock classic. Throughout the 1970s, Vangelis composed music scores for several animal documentaries, including L’Apocalypse des Animaux, La Fête sauvage and Opéra sauvage; the success of these scores brought him into the film scoring mainstream. In the early 1980s, Vangelis formed a musical partnership with Jon Anderson, the lead singer of progressive rock band Yes, and the duo went on to release several albums together as Jon & Vangelis.

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In 1981, he composed the score for the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Score. The soundtrack’s single, the film’s “Titles” theme, also reached the top of the American Billboard Hot 100 chart and was used as the background music at the London 2012 Olympics winners’ medal presentation ceremonies.

Having had a career in music spanning over 50 years and having composed and performed more than 50 albums, Vangelis is considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of electronic music

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1492: Conquest of Paradise is a 1992 music score to the film of the same name by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis. The film, a recount of the voyage to America in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, was directed by Ridley Scott, for whom Vangelis had previously composed the music score for Blade Runner, in 1982. The album and the single “Conquest of Paradise” enjoyed a revival in 1995 for various reasons and broke many sales records.

Due to the soundtrack’s success, Vangelis won an Echo Award as “International Artist Of The Year”, and RTL Golden Lion Award for the “Best Title Theme for a TV Film or a Series” in 1996. The album was nominated for “Best Original Score – Motion Picture” at the 50th Golden Globe Awards in 1993.

On this soundtrack, Vangelis plays together with a number of performers, including two Flamenco guitarists and vocalists, violin, mandolin and flutes. As on a number of previous albums by Vangelis, the English Chamber Choir, directed by Guy Protheroe, performs the choral parts.

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The sound engineering was done by Philippe Colonna and coordination by French musician Frederick Rousseau (also known for his collaborations with Jean-Michel Jarre), who has been Vangelis’s studio partner since the 1980s till the recording of the Alexander soundtrack.

Vangelis plays all synthesizers, using mainly string patches but also several ethnic ones, to reflect the character of the film, and electric piano and harp patches. Some calmer, atmospheric pieces (tracks 3, 7, 11 and 12) are entirely performed by Vangelis, using pianos, strings and harp.

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For the ethnic music, Vangelis consulted with French specialist Xavier Belanger, who has advised other artists on similar issues, including Jean-Michel Jarre.

A video clip was shot in Paris with Vangelis in his Epsilon Studios (since dismantled), with the choir performing.

Three tracks of this album contain lyrics. In “Monastery of La Rabida” and “Deliverance”, the choir sings Latin hymns (“De Profundis” and “Dies Irae, respectively”). In “Conquest of Paradise” Vangelis used a pseudo-Latin invented language.

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Both the album and the EP had poor sales upon their release in 1992, but success came three years later, in 1995, for disparate reasons: In Germany, local boxer Henry Maske used the album-track “Conquest of Paradise” as his introduction theme during boxing bouts. When he became the IBF world title holder in the light heavyweight category, the piece received wide coverage and a single was hastily released.

In Portugal, the local Socialist Party also used “Conquest of Paradise” as its theme for the general election campaign (it won). The song has also been used as a theme for the Crusaders, a Super Rugby team based in Christchurch, New Zealand, for English rugby league team the Wigan Warriors, for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and for the 2010 and 2014 cricket World Twenty20 championships.

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The soundtrack album charted very well, and went on to be certified gold and platinum in over 17 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K., culminating with over million copies in Germany.

The single “Conquest of Paradise” also topped the charts in a number of countries, including 10 weeks at No. 1 in the Netherlands and Germany, where it sold 1.5 million copies, 8 weeks at No. 1 in Belgium and Switzerland. (by wikipedia)

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Suitably grand in scale and far-reaching in its scope, this soundtrack is the first new music from Vangelis since 1990’s The City. 1492 stands up well next to Vangelis’s classic Chariots of Fire, due to his innate ability to get right inside the material and provide an integral part of the film itself. Vangelis succeeds in capturing the 15th-century mood, mixing rich choral portions with modern elements, and portraying the larger than life character of Columbus, complete with full-range, dynamic sound. (by All Music)

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Personnel;
Francis Darizcuren (mandolin, violin)
Didier Malherbe (flute)
Pepe Martinez (guitar, vocals)
Guy Protheroe (vocals)
Vangelis (keyboards, synthesizer)

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Tracklist:
01. Opening 1.22
02. Conquest Of Paradise 4.48
03. Monastery Of La Rábida 3.39
04. City Of Isabel 2.16
05. Light And Shadow 3.47
06. Deliverance 3.29
07. West Across The Ocean Sea 2.53
08. Eternity 2.00
09. Hispañola 4.56
10. Moxica And The Horse 7.06
11. Twenty Eighth Parallel 5.14
12. Pinta, Niña, Santa María (Into Eternity) 13.20

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