Geri Allen Trio – Twenty One (1994)

FrontCover1Twenty One is an album by pianist Geri Allen with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams recorded in 1994 and released on the Blue Note label.

Pianist Geri Allen has thus far been a very consistent performer, and all of her recordings are easily recommended. This particular set finds her in a trio with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams performing six of her originals along with six jazz standards. Allen’s style is fairly original, with hints of Herbie Nichols, and her chancetaking but logical solos are generally quite stimulating. (by Scott Yanow)

This female Jazz pianist can play from traditional jazz to free form,classic music,bebop style.That is this pianist has a wide range of musical capacity.In this album GERI plays her original songs with a distinct power and prowess.The sound she makes is so challenging and beautiful.Indeed,there is a crystalized beauty in her touch.In a sense well-controled touch of madness is to be seen.This album is a overlooked and underestimated album.This is a MUST ITEM for jazz piano trio fans. (by Sound Profiler)

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Geri Allen, a musically adventurous jazz pianist and bandleader who performed with the leading musicians of her time, from Ornette Coleman to Wayne Shorter, and who furthered the careers of other women in jazz, died June 27 at a hospital in Philadelphia. She was 60.

The cause was cancer. Her death was announced by the University of Pittsburgh, where she directed the jazz studies program.

In a career spanning more than 35 years, Ms. Allen was known for her eclectic approach to music, exploring the traditions of jazz and reaching into some of its more arcane byways. She portrayed pianist Mary Lou Williams in the 1996 Robert Altman film “Kansas City,” set in the 1930s, but she also dipped into a variety of other styles, from the Motown music of her childhood home town Detroit to electronic music and classical works.

“I like to look at the piano as a drum,” she said in a 1992 interview with the Contemporary Musicians reference guide, “as 88 drums with pitch. Rhythm is the core of my music.”

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Ms. Allen was considered one of the leading pianists of her generation and, as Los Angeles Times critic Don Heckman wrote in 2006, “long overdue for the sort of recognition that accrues for the top level of jazz ­performers.”

In the 1980s, Ms. Allen toured with Mary Wilson, a onetime member of the Supremes from whom she said she borrowed fashion ideas. A decade later, Ms. Allen accompanied another singer from Detroit, jazz vocalist Betty Carter, and performed on Carter’s Grammy Award-winning album ­“Droppin’ Things.”

Ms. Allen released more than 20 albums as a bandleader, many of which featured her own compositions, and she collaborated on recordings with rock guitarist Vernon Reid of Living Colour and jazz masters including bassists Ron Carter, Charlie Haden and Dave Holland, and drummers Paul Motian and Jimmy Cobb.

In 1996 she became the first acoustic pianist in almost 40 years to record with Coleman, the innovative saxophonist. Their work was documented on two albums, “Sound Museum: Hidden Man” and “Sound Museum: Three Women.”

“Why can’t I explore the whole universe of music that’s available to me?” Ms. Allen told the Los Angeles Times in 1992. “There’s a point of view that suggests that you can do something much better if you focus on one thing, but it’s my nature to be curious, and to go back and forth between different contexts, such as playing solo, trio and large groups, or using electronic stuff.”

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Ms. Allen also found time to write symphonic works, develop theatrical projects and to become a prominent jazz educator, first at her alma mater, Howard University, and later at the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh.

Throughout her career, Ms. Allen helped rediscover the historical role of women in jazz. Ms. Allen recorded Williams’s “Zodiac Suite” and often appeared at what is now the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center. She also performed the music of Lil Hardin Armstrong, who was the pianist on the early recordings of her husband, trumpeter Louis Armstrong.

“There is a really strong legacy of great female piano players, and women have played really important parts in the history of the music,” Ms. Allen told the British newspaper the Independent in 1998. “The issue of Lil Hardin in Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five is an important one. She was the first piano player in the first major group in jazz, and that’s a big hole left undiscovered.”

Among other ensembles Ms. Allen led in recent years, she often performed with the ACS Trio, an all-female group, with drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and Grammy-winning bassist ­Esperanza Spalding.

“If you want to be true to tradition, you must find your own voice,” Ms. Allen told Newsday in 1992. “It isn’t just in playing on what’s already there. If you come to this music on its own terms, then you have to come to it on your own terms.”

Geri Antoinette Allen was born June 12, 1957, in Pontiac, Mich., and grew up in Detroit. Her father was a school principal, and her mother worked as a contracts administrator with the federal government.

Her parents often played jazz and classical records at home, and Ms. Allen began studying the piano at age 7. She went to Cass Tech, a Detroit high school that produced many other talented musicians, and studied under trumpeter Marcus Belgrave.

In 1979, Ms. Allen became one of the first graduates of Howard’s jazz studies program, and she received a master’s degree in ethno­musicology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982.

Among other projects, she collaborated on musical plays with actress and director S. Epatha Merkerson and writer Farah Jasmine Griffin. She also wrote musical tributes honoring civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Her marriage to trumpeter Wallace Roney ended in divorce. Survivors include three children; her father; and a brother. (by Matt Schudel)

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Personnel:
Geri Allen (piano)
Ron Carter (bass)
Tony Williams (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. RTG” (Allen) 2.47
02. If I Should Lose You (Rainger/Robin) 4.35
03. Drummer’s Song (Allen) 3.52
04. Introspection/Thelonious (Monk) 4.36
05. A Beautiful Friendship (Kahn/Styne) 3.23
06. In The Morning (Allen) 6.09
07. Tea For Two (Caesar/Youmans) 3.19
08. Lullaby Of The Leaves (Petkere/Young) 5.14
09. Feed The Fire (Allen) 6.16
10. Old Folks (Hill/Robison) 6.14
11. A Place Of Power (Allen) 3.14
12. In The Middle (Allen) 4.25

CD
*
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Rest In Peace:
Geri Allen (June 12, 1957 – June 27, 2017)

Loreena McKennitt – The Mask And Mirror (1994)

FrontCover1The Mask and Mirror is an album by Loreena McKennitt. Released in 1994, the album has been certified Gold in the United States.

 

Like most of Loreena McKennitt’s albums, The Mask and Mirror is heavily influenced by her travels. Her experiences in Spain and Morocco, specifically, serve as the inspiration for this album.

As her introduction to the album, McKennitt wrote:

I looked back and forth through the window of 15th century Spain, through the hues of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and was drawn into a fascinating world: history, religion, cross-cultural fertilization….For some medieval minds the mirror was the door through which the soul frees itself by passing…. for others the pursuit of personal refinement was likened to polishing the mirror of the soul. From the more familiar turf of the west coast of Ireland, through the troubadours of France, crossing over the Pyrenees, and then to the west through Galicia, down through Andalusia and past Gibraltar to Morocco….the Crusades, the pilgrimage to Santiago, Cathars, the Knights Templar, the Sufis from Egypt, One Thousand and One Nights in Arabia, the Celtic imagery of trees, the Gnostic Gospels…who was God? and what is religion, what spirituality? What was revealed and what was concealed…and what was the mask and what the mirror?

Accompanying all the selections, as the liner remarks, are some of the entries in a traveler’s log that McKennitt kept all throughout her journey.

The album’s cover uses a collage made from the medieval The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries.

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Photo by Donna Griffith

Press play and enter the world of Loreena McKennitt, where walls dissolve into thick, billowing mists as the ground beneath your feet turns to compacted earth and the sky above opens up to reveal a black cloak dotted with shimmering stars draped beneath silk-like clouds. Were McKennitt’s composing and songwriting abilities lacking of any luster (as they most certainly are not), her voice would still possess the strength to hold her fifth album, The Mask and Mirror, up on its own. But the combination of this talented woman’s vocal prowess and songwriting ability makes her all the more similar to her work — ethereal and almost unbelievable in its level of quality. A mythical menagerie, The Mask and Mirror contains songs that lift the veil to reveal the soul of McKennitt’s work in eight dreamlike, Celtic-inspired tracks.

The opening track, “The Mystic’s Dream” (featured on the TNT movie The Mists of Avalon, based on the novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley), is a haunting tune that features McKennitt at her most heavenly peak as a vocalist, evoking the spirits of the instruments and Gregorian chant-like background vocals that accompany her on the track. The album excels at conjuring up mythical visions in the listener’s imagination, as with the gypsy-like tune “Marrakesh Night Market,” which echos of the picturesque scene the title invokes. The soul-searching “Full Circle” best exhibits McKennitt’s ability to transpose the true meaning of the lyrics into her songs.

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Even after the song ends, the somber mood lingers softly in the air. The balalaika (a three-stringed triangular-shaped instrument), the bouzouki (an eight-stringed instrument), and the hurdy-gurdy (a stringed instrument that also has keyboard and percussion parts) are among the rare, strange instruments introduced on many of the songs, including the lighthearted, uplifting “Ce He Mise Le Ulaingt? (The Two Trees),” on which these instruments demonstrate their incredible quality and prowess. The lyrics of this track are none other than the words of the poem of the same name by William Butler Yeats. McKennitt’s unique use of the lyrical words of William Shakespeare, combined with her skillful adaptation of the words to the heavenly, undulating music, make the final track, “Prospero’s Speech,” an inspiration in itself. (by Kerry L. Smith

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Personnel:
Anne Bourne (cello, background vocals)
Al Cross (drums)
Nigel Eaton (hurdy gurdy)
Ofra Harnoy (cello)
Brian Hughes (guitar, oud, balalaika, sitar)
Patrick Hutchinson (Bagpipes, pipe)
George Koller (bass, tambura, cello, esraj, tambura)
Rick Lazar (drums, percussion, udu)
Donal Lunny  (bouzouki, bodhrán)
Hugh Marsh (fiddle)
Loreena McKennitt (vocals, keyboards, goblet drums, accordion, piano,pipe)
Ravi Naimpally (tabla)
Abraham Tawfik (oud)
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background vocals:
Victoria Scholars Choir conducted by Jerzy Cichocki
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strings (on 07.2.)
Adele Armin – Andy Benac – David Hetherington – David Miller –  Douglas Perry –  Fujico Imajishi – Heinz Boshart – Kent Teeple – Mark Sabat – Marie Berard – Morry Kernerman – Sharon Prater – Susan Lipchak – Sylvia Lange

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Tracklist:
01. The Mystic’s Dream (McKennitt) 7.43
02. The Bonny Swans (Traditional) 7.21
03. The Dark Night Of The Soul (Traditional/St. John Of The Cross) 6.44
04. Marrakesh Night Market (McKennitt) 5.30
05. Full Circle (McKennitt) 5.57
06. Santiago (Traditional) 5.59
07. 1. Cé Hé Mise Le Ulaingt? (“Who Am I To Bear It”) (Hutchinson) 1.31
07.2. The Two Trees (Traditional/Yeats) 7.35
08. Prospero’s Speech (Traditional/Shakespeare) 3.23

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Inlet02ACommunication … before we had the internet

Najee – Share My World (1994)

FrontCover1One of the best-selling instrumentalists of the late ’80s to mid-’90s, Najee has been a consistent favorite in the quiet storm and so-called “smooth jazz” markets. Often compared to Kenny G, George Howard, and Dave Koz, the New Yorker has been greatly influenced by Grover Washington Jr. — although he hasn’t been nearly as adventurous. Heavily produced and quite formulaic, Najee’s albums have tended to avoid improvisation and strive for commercial radio airplay above all else. Debuting in 1987 with Najee’s Theme, Najee was an immediate hit in the new adult contemporary (NAC) market. Similar pop/urban jazz dates like 1988’s Day by Day and 1990’s Tokyo Blue did nothing to jeopardize his niche on smooth jazz radio.

Onstage, Najee takes some risks and stretches out more. Morning Tenderness was released in 1998, followed by Love Songs (2000), Embrace (2003), My Point of View (2005), True Spirit (with John Grant, Victor Williams, and Dennis Chambers in 2006), Rising Sun (2007), and Mind Over Matter (2009). In 2012, Najee released his 14th studio album, The Smooth Side of Soul, featuring the track “First Kiss,” a collaboration with R&B vocalist Phil Perry. Najee returned in 2013 with The Morning After: A Musical Love Journey which included the song “Shinjuku,” a tribute to the late jazz keyboard legend George Duke. (by Alex Henderson)

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Well played typical set of Smooth Jazz with R&B vocals, nothing major here just good music for mellow moments. I actually find this one more playable than his 1990 album “Tokyo Blue” the production has improved greatly since then, the melodies are well-balanced. Since some songs can get boring at points my standouts are “Secret Admirer” “My Angel” If only “Laid Back” didn’t have that corny male hook then it woulda been a huge standout, how could they funk up a couldhave been great song, it was a fusion between Hip-Hop/R&B & Jazz which some call “Urban Jazz” which is an nice title IMO and “Broken Promises” is another nice one. Fans will enjoy this. (by Oldspice Evans)

And “I Didn’t Know (Instrumental) / Reprise “is one of the best smooth jazz compositions ever !

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Personnel:
Victor Bailey (bass)
Buz (vocals)
Robert Damper (keyboards, strings)
Bernard Davis (drums)
Fareed (guitar, synthesizer, programming, drums, percussion);
Bill Jacobs (vibraphone)
Pocket, D “Dirty Mugg” James (guitar)
Barry Johnson (bass, background vocals)
Morris Pleasure (keyboards, strings),
Najee (saxophone, various instruments)
Artie Reynolds (bass)
Richie Ruiz (percussion)
Alec Shantzis (keyboards)
Andrew Sherman (keyboards)
Bryan Tate (clavinet)
Issac Wiley Jr. (drums)
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background vocals:
Jerry Elcock – Christian – Armstead – Amanda Elliot – April Spikes – Lori Ann Velez – Angela Stribling – Ushanda Tiana Goldsboro

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Tracklist:
01. My Angel (Najee/Sherman/Fareed) 6.16
02. Laid Back (Christian) 4.51
03. Now That I’ve Found You (Pleasure) 6.53
04. Joy (Najee/Christian) 4.52
05. I Didn’t Know (Holmes/Basby) 5.53
06. Secret Admirer (Najee/Fareed) 4.59
07. (G) Street (Christian)  5:15
08. Broken Promises (Najee/Fareed) 5.11
09. Heart Like Mine (Christian) 6.37
10 Saleemah’s Dream (Najee) 2.00
11 Share My World (Sherman/Glannille/Najee/Fareed) 4.44
12. I Didn’t Know (Instrumental) / Reprise (Najee) 6.27

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**

Vanessa Mae – The Violin Player (1995)

frontcover1The Violin Player is the first techno/pop album by classical and pop musician Vanessa-Mae, released in 1995. It is the first album Vanessa-Mae released on the EMI label. The album was produced by Mike Batt, and recorded and mixed by Gareth Cousins, who also programmed the synthesisers and beats for the album.

The Violin Player features a varied blend of music – covers of some classical (J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor), remakes of old favourites (including American composer Mason Williams’ “Classical Gas”) and originals (seven tracks composed by British musician and songwriter Mike Batt), and one original by Vanessa-Mae herself, co-written with Ian Wherry (“Red Hot”).
Singles released from the album include “Toccata and Fugue”, which reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart and “Red Hot” which reached number 37.
The Violin Player reached #11 in the UK Albums Chart in February 1995, and was certified Gold by the BPI in June 1995. It has sold over 8 million copies worldwide, and is still regarded by many as Vanessa-Mae’s best work. (by Wikipedia)

Vanessa-Mae was just a teenager when her major-label debut, The Violin Player, was released. This may account for her ability to successfully fuse old-world classical styles with a contemporary new age sensibility. She comes out scorching on the Bach classic “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” showing off her world-class talent as a revolutionary violinist. The new arrangements by producer Mike Batt add a flavorful world music appeal that both compliments and showcases her masterful skill. While all ten tracks are performed as instrumentals, Vanessa-Mae manages to squeeze every ounce of passion out of a note, transcending the necessity for lyrics. Her ability to play off of other instruments is brought to the forefront on the final track “Red Hot.” She goes toe to toe with a forceful electric guitar and her four-string violin leaves the challenging six-string in the dust. This record will delight those who are bold enough to challenge themselves by listening to a collection of songs that defy standard genre classifications. (by Erik Crawford)

And you´ll hear one of my favourite guitar players: Dave “Clem” Clempson !
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Personnel:
Mike Batt (Keyboards)
Martin Bliss (guitar)
Dave “Clem” Clempson (guitar)
Dick Morgan (oboe)
Richard Morgan (oboe)
Maurice Murphy (rumpet)
Philip Todd (saxophone)
Unspecified Enemies  Composer
Vanessa-Mae (violin)
Vasko Vassilev (viola, violin)
Ian Wherry (Keyboards)
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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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Tracklist:
01. Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Bach) 7.47
02. Contradanza (Batt) 3.49
03. Classical Gas (Williams) 3.21
04. Theme from ‘Caravans’ (Batt) 5.06
05. Warm Air (Batt) 3.38
06. Jazz Will Eat Itself (Batt) 3.30
07. Widescreen (Batt) 3.58
08. Tequila Mockingbird (Batt) 3.26
09. City Theme (Batt) 4.32
10. Red Hot (Wherry/Mae) 3.16
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The CD singles

Jewel – Pieces Of You (1995)

frontcover1Jewel Kilcher (born May 23, 1974) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, actress, author, and poet. She has received four Grammy Award nominations and, as of 2008, has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
Jewel’s debut album, Pieces of You, released on February 28, 1995, became one of the best-selling debut albums of all time, going 12 times platinum. The debut single from the album, “Who Will Save Your Soul”, peaked at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100; two others, “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games”, reached number two on the Hot 100, and were listed on Billboard’s 1997 year-end singles chart, as well as Billboard’s 1998 year-end singles chart. She has crossed several genres throughout her career. Perfectly Clear, her first country album, was released on The Valory Music Co. in 2008. It debuted atop Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and featured three singles, “Stronger Woman”, “I Do”, and “‘Til It Feels Like Cheating”. Jewel released her first independent album Lullaby in May 2009.
Jewel was the co-host, as well as a judge, with Kara DioGuardi on the songwriting competition reality television series Platinum Hit, which premiered May 29, 2011, on the cable network Bravo. Jewel has the vocal range of a lyric soprano. On July 2, 2013, NBC announced that Jewel would be a judge on the fourth season of the a cappella competition The Sing-Off.
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Jewel was born in Payson, Utah and raised in Homer, Alaska, where her grandfather, Yule Kilcher, a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention and a state senator, settled after emigrating from Switzerland. Yule also made the first recorded crossing of the Harding Icefield. Jewel is the daughter of Lenedra Jewel (Carroll) and Attila Kuno “Atz” Kilcher. She is a first cousin once removed of actress Q’orianka Kilcher.
Jewel spent most of her young life in Homer, living with her father. The house she grew up in lacked indoor plumbing and had only a simple outhouse. The Kilcher family is featured on the Discovery Channel show Alaska: The Last Frontier, which chronicles their day-to-day struggles living in the Alaskan wilderness. Jewel and her father sometimes earned a living by singing in bars and taverns. It was from these experiences she learned to yodel, which she does in many of her songs. Her father was a Mormon but they stopped attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shortly before she turned eight.
Jewel learned to play the guitar while at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, Michigan, where she majored in operatic voice. She started writing songs at 16. While at school, she would sometimes play at Ray’s Coffee House in Traverse City, Michigan.
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For a time Jewel lived in her car while traveling around the country doing street performances and small gigs. She gained recognition by singing at The Inner Change Cafe and Java Joe’s in San Diego. (Jewel made her debut at Java Joe’s when it was in Poway, where she was a barista.) Her friend Steve Poltz’s band, The Rugburns, played the same venues. Jewel later collaborated with Poltz on some of her songs, including “You Were Meant for Me”. (He also appeared in the song’s second, better-known video.) The Rugburns opened for Jewel on her Tiny Lights tour in 1997. Poltz appeared in Jewel’s band on the Spirit World Tour 1999 playing guitar.
Jewel was discovered by Inga Vainshtein in August 1993 when John Hogan, lead singer from the local San Diego band Rust, whom Ms. Vainshtein was managing, called to tell her about a girl surfer who sang at a local coffee shop on Thursdays. Ms. Vainshtein drove to The Inner Change with a rep from Atlantic Records, and after the show they called Danny Goldberg, the head of Atlantic Record’s West Coast operations, and asked him to pay for Jewel’s demo. (At the time she was living in a van and lacked the means to record any of her own music.) Vainshtein, who at the time was working as a film executive at Paramount, eventually became Jewel’s manager and was instrumental in creating a major bidding war that led to Jewel’s deal with Atlantic Records. She continued to manage Jewel until the end of the first album cycle. Jewel’s debut album Pieces of You was released in 1995 when she was only 21. Recorded in a studio on Neil Young’s ranch, it included Young’s backing band, The Stray Gators, who played on his Harvest and Harvest Moon albums. Part of the album was recorded live at The Inner Change Cafe in San Diego, where she had risen to local fame. The album stayed on the Billboard 200 for an impressive two years, reaching number four at its peak. The album spawned the Top 10 hits “You Were Meant for Me”, “Who Will Save Your Soul”, and “Foolish Games”. The album was a huge success and eventually sold over 12 million copies in the United States alone, more than all of her subsequent albums put together.
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Pieces of You is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Jewel, released on February 28, 1995 by Atlantic Recordings. The album was produced by Ben Keith, who has also produced works for artists such as Neil Young and Patsy Cline.
Though it made little impact initially, the single “Who Will Save Your Soul” eventually received airplay and the album peaked at #4 on Billboard 200 almost exactly two years after its release. Other hits included were “Foolish Games” and “You Were Meant for Me” as well as the UK single “Morning Song”.
After two years, the album was re-released featuring the re-recorded versions of “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games”. Despite a somewhat mixed critical response, the album is listed as one of the “Definitive 200” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As of 2010, the album had sold 7.3 million copies in US. Worldwide, the album sold 15.4 million copies.It was certified 12x Platinum for shipments of 12 million copies in the U.S., making it one of the best selling debut albums of all time.(by Wikipedia)
Jewel’s debut album is a charming collection of light alternative folk-rock from the teenage singer/songwriter. Her songs are occasionally naive, but her melodies can usually save her lyrics. (by Sara Sytsma)
What a great debut album, what a unique voice … sensational !
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Personnel:
Robbie Buchanan (piano)
Oscar Butterworth (drums)
Charlotte Caffey (piano)
Tim Drummond (bass)
Mark Howard (bass)
Jewel Kilcher (guitar, vocals)
Spooner Oldham (keyboards)
Kristin Wilkinson (strings)
Craig Young (bass)
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Tracklist:
01. Who Will Save Your Soul (Kilcher)  4.00
02. Pieces Of You (Kilcher) 4.15
03. Little Sister (Kilcher) 2.29
04. Foolish Games (Kilcher) 5.39
05. Near You Always (Kilcher) 3.08
06. Painters (Kilcher) 6.43
07. Morning Song (Kilcher) 3.35
08. Adrian (Kilcher/Poltz) 7.02
09. I’m Sensitive (Kilcher) 2.54
10. You Were Meant For Me (Kilcher/Poltz) 4.13
11. Don’t (Kilcher) 3.34
12. Daddy (Kilcher) 3.49
13. Angel Standing By (Kilcher) 2.38
14. Amen (Kilcher) 4.32

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Jazz at the Movies Band – White Heat Film Noir (1994)

frontcover1At times, the heavily arranged performances of the Jazz at the Movies Band ended up being pleasant, if unremarkable, background music. But the outfit could also be intriguing, and 1994’s White Heat: Film Noir is arguably their best release. This CD isn’t perfect; talented jazzmen like pianist Bill Cunliffe and saxophonist Gary Foster don’t have enough room to stretch out and improvise. Nonetheless, anyone who is a fan of ’40s and ’50s film noir will find a lot to admire about this disc, which contains slightly Ellingtonian arrangements of the themes from black-and-white classics like Laura, The Postman Always Rings Twice, White Heat, and Key Largo. All of these movies are definitive examples of film noir, a genre that got its name from French film critics. Noir is the French word for night, and that wave of ’40s and ’50s crime thrillers did, in fact, have a dark, shadowy quality — they were cynical movies that painted a not-so-rosy picture of what some people regard as the “good old days.” In the 21st century, the ’40s and ’50s are often depicted as a simpler, more innocent time, but 1944’s disturbing Double Indemnity — one of the film noir gems that this CD acknowledges — demonstrates that the “good old days” weren’t always so innocent. And it’s important to note that ’40s and ’50s film noir was a major influence on directors Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, both of whom are masters of more modern film noir. One questionable choice for this disc is David Raksin’s theme from The Bad and the Beautiful; that 1952 classic, which starred Kirk Douglas as a controversial Hollywood director, isn’t really film noir. Nonetheless, the Jazz at the Movies Band offer a tasteful arrangement of Raksin’s charming melody. Despite its imperfections and shortcomings, White Heat: Film Noir is an interesting celebration of film noir’s golden era. (by Alex Henderson)

Yes, indeed … a really fine album … and I will hear it again on December 31, very late in the evening …

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Personnel:
Bill Cunliffe (piano)
Bernie Dresel (drums)
Brad Dutz (percussion)
Gary Foster (saxophone, clarinet)
Matt Harris (synthesizer, piano)
Warren Luening (trumpet)
Tim May (guitar)
Mark Portman (synthesizer)
Jack Sheldon (trumpet)
Bob Tricarico (saxophone)
Roberto Valle (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. This Gun For Hire (Buttolph) 4.40
02. The Bad And The Beautiful (Raksin) 3.49
03. White Heat (Steiner) 3.2
04.Double Indemnity (Rózsa) 3.33
05. Touch Of Evil (Mancini) 3:41
06. Key Largo (Steiner) 4.36
07. Laura (Mercer/Raksin) 5.25
08. The Lost Weekend (Rózsa) 3.46
09. The Postman Always Rings Twice (Bassman) 4.21
10. The Asphalt Jungle (Rózsa) 3.35
11. The Big Sleep (Steiner) 4.20
12. The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers (Rózsa) 3.17
13. The Naked City (Rózsa/Skinner) 4.38

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Albie Donnelly – The Spirit In Me (1994)

frontcoverALBIE DONNELLY, Liverpool- born singer/saxophonist and bandleader began his career in London as a session musician playing on recordings by Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats, Graham Parker and many others.

In 1973 he formed the now legendary band SUPERCHARGE. The band’s blend of R. ‘n’ B. and Funk plus their wild on- (and off!) stage-show made them a sensation on the British 70’s live- club scene.

In the 80’s the band signed with Virgin Records and toured extensively in GB and all over Europe with such names as Ray Charles, Fats Domino, B. B. King, Chuck Berry and Queen – culminating in the Hyde Park concert in front of more than 100,000 people.

From then on ALBIE has led successful tours all over Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland) and recently back home again in GB, confirming the bandleaders consistent popularity.

His soulful voice and unique horn-sound attest to his R. ‘n’ B. roots and his being steeped in the music of the all-time greats

Quote from B. B. King: “SUPERCHARGE is Europe’s finest Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Band.”

This is his first soloalbum …  which contains a selection of some personal favourite songs.

And you will hear Albie … crazy and loud and you will hear Albie in a sometimes very sentimental mood … both sides of Albie are real great.

He is one of these criminal underrated musicians !

Listen to this album and you will believe me !

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Albie Donnelly

Personnel:
Mal Bowers (keyboards)
Albie Donnelly (vocals, sacophone)
Lance Donnelly (drums)
Gaz Gaskell (saxophone)
Dick Hanson (trumpet)
Terry Kennaugh (guitar)
John Lewis (guitar)
Phil Loughran (guitar)
John McCormick (bass)
Roger Morris (percussion)
Paul Owens (saxophone, strings, keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Don’t Do That She Might Get Mad (Cracklin) 3.19
02. Main Squeeze (A.Donnelly/Shepley) 3.17
03. I Won’t Cry Anymore (Brown) 2.34
04. You Had Your Chance (A.Donnelly/Shepley) 2.43
05. Hold It (Vinson) 4.10
06. Sir La Dude (A.Donnelly) 4.35
07. Personal Manager (Jones/King) 4.19
08. The Spirit In Me (Fahey) 3.27
09. Cried Last Night (Brown) 3.30
10. In A Sentimental Mood (Ellington/Mills) 3.10
11. Cakewalk Into Town (Mahal) 2.27
12. Gotta Be The Boy (A.Donnelly/Shepley)  2.57
13. Every Time We Say Goodbye (Porter) 3.40

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