Quatermass II – Long Road (1997)

FrontCover1The original Quartermass was an early ’70s progressive band that recorded for the Harvest label in 1970. Widely sought after by collectors, the original lineup consisted of John Gustafson, Peter Robinson and Mick Underwood. The original band only recorded one album then split, with band members going on to other projects. Quartermass II was formed by original band member Mick Underwood in the mid ’90s. This incarnation of the band also features founding member of Deep Purple Nick Simper and top session players Bart Foley and Gary Davis. The music of Quartermass II is not progressive like that of its predecessor, but it is your basic commercial hard rock sound from bands as Whitesnake, Starship, Aerosmith or many others. While not overly spectacular, this band could attract some notice from the curious who were familiar with the original Quartermass or the reputations of Underwood and Simper. (Keith Pettipas)


Despite many Deep Pruple connections no DP sound, nor Quatermass I, but a very good rock album in many ways! Asks to be listened:

Where to start? Original Quarermass drummer Mick Underwood, as only surviving member, played on the first album, after one album the band stopped for a long time and has been resurrected some 25 years later, again for only one album. Before that he played in Episode Six, which spawned future lead singer Ian Gillan and bass player Roger Glover. After the departure of Gillan from Deep Purple he played with him in Gillan, the band. From Deep Purple Mark I stemss bass player Nick Simper, who later on formed Warhorse (2 albums) and Fandango (2 albums) on which his influence on bass and as songwriter is much bigger. Here he cowrotes only one track. Guest keyboard player Don Airy played at that time with Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and would ultimately replace longtime serving DP member John Lord. Bernie Tormé offered a song, he was the guitar player for Gillan. Finally John Gustafson, singer/bass player for original Quatermass delivered two songs for this album, but did not participate in the recording sessions. He was also part of the band Gillan, before Deep Purple was reformed again.


Guitar player Davis said he was teached by m. Blackmore. Nevertheless, all those leads to Deep Purple or their offspring acts doesn’t make this album sound like any of them. On the contrary, I would say. Each track is a fine, solid song, and stands out in the midst of so many rock albums from the nineties. it is a shame this band did not reach higher ground, they certainly had the potention. It seems that they stayed together for 4 or 5 years but only this album was released. Each member plays very well, they could write good songs, especially the singer Foley and lead guitarist Davis. They didn’t make it afterwards, sadly, as far as I know. So what went wrong with all the (loose) DP ties? I cannot tell, this album is a much better effort than most other albums at that time and even than the first album, which was more keyboard dominated, and lacked a singer and guitar player. In fact Quatermass I and II were separate bands. Maybe the public, after such a very long time, anticipated an album in the same vein as the first, maybe is was not such a good idea to name this, different, band the same. Anyhow, talent and succes are not always each others complement, they can do without that. This album has to be listened to from another point of view. It gives the listener great joy. I can strongly recommend it … so what went wrong, with all the (loose) DP ties? (J. Talsma)


Gary Davis (leadguitar)
Bart Foley (vocals, guitar)
Nick Simper (bass)
Mick Underwood (drums, percussion)
Don Airey (keyboards)


01. Prayer For The Dying (Foley) 4.50
02. Good day to die (Gary Davis/Bart Foley)
03. Wild wedding (John Gustafson)
04. Suicide blond (Gary Davis/Bart Foley)
05. River (Bernie Torme)
06. Long road (Bart Foley)
07. Woman in love (Bart Foley)
08. Hit and run (Bart Foley)
09. Daylight robbery (John Gustafson)
10. Coming home (Bart Foley)
11. Circus (Gary Davis/Bart Foley/Nick Simper/Mick Underwood)
12. Undercarriage (live demo) (Foley) 5.53



More from Quatermass:

En Vogue – EV 3 (1997)

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.

En Vouge04

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)

En Vouge03

EV3 is the third studio album by American female vocal group En Vogue. It was released by East West Records on June 17, 1997, in the United States. Recorded after a lengthy break during which the band members became mothers or established solo careers, the album was En Vogue’s first project to include a diverse roster of collaborators including credits from Babyface, David Foster, Diane Warren, Andrea Martin, Ivan Matias, and Organized Noize along with regular contributors Foster & McElroy. It marked their first album without Dawn Robinson, who decided to leave the group late into the recording of EV3 in favor of a solo recording contract, prompting the remaining trio to re-record much of the material for the album.

En Vouge05

Upon its release, EV3 received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom praised the band’s vocal performances but were critical with overall production of the album. In the US, the album debuted at number eight on both Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Billboard 200 with sales of 76,500 units, the band’s highest first-week numbers. Internationally, EV3 entered the top forty on most charts it appeared on and remains En Vogue highest-charting effort to date. Certified Platinum by the RIAA and Silver the BPI, the album produced three pop and R&B hit singles, including “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, “Whatever” and “Too Gone, Too Long”.


In 1992, En Vogue released their second studio album Funky Divas (1992). A major success, it sold 3.5 million copies worldwide and generated three top ten singles. Following extensive touring in support of the album, the quartet started what would become a longer hiatus. While band members Cindy Herron and Maxine Jones went on maternity leave, Terry Ellis reteamed with regular En Vogue contributors Foster & McElroy to work on her solo album Southern Gal which was released to lackluster success in November 1995. In the meantime, En Vogue lent their vocals to the collaborative single “Freedom (Theme from Panther)” (1995) and recorded “Don’t Let Go (Love)” for the soundtrack to the motion picture Set It Off (1996). Released in the autumn, it became the group’s biggest hit yet, selling over 1.8 million copies worldwide and becoming certified platinum by the RIAA.

En Vouge01

In response to the large commercial success of “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, the group steadfastly went to work on its third studio album. Originally called EV4, it marked En Vogue’s first project that was not fully produced by McElroy and Foster, with additional production coming from Babyface, Andrea Martin, David Foster, Diane Warren, and Ivan Matias to provide the group with a new modern sound. As the album was nearing completion, Dawn Robinson chose to leave the group in April 1997 for a solo recording contract with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records after difficult contractual negotiations reached a stalemate. Her abrupt departure from En Vogue forced the remaining trio to re-record several of her original lead vocals; however, not every track was re-recorded, with Robinson’s leads remaining intact on several tracks and her background vocals still appearing on every song with the exception of “Does Anybody Hear Me”. The track “Let It Flow” reuses the main riff of the 1977 hit single “Slide” by funk band Slave.

En Vouge02

In the United States, EV3 debuted at number eight on both the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and the Billboard 200 in the issue dated July 5, 1997. Selling approximately 76,500 copies in its first week of release, the album marked the band’s highest debut on both charts as well as their biggest first week sales yet. On August 26, 1997, EV3 was awarded platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), indicating sales in excess of 1.0 million copies. Elsewhere, the album entered the top forty on most charts it appeared on. EV3 reached top ten in Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom becoming the band’s second top ten album after Funky Divas.

EV3 spawned three hit singles. Lead single, “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, was a worldwide hit and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single sold 1.3 million copies in the United States and was certified platinum by the RIAA. The second single, “Whatever” peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was certified gold by the RIAA after sales of over 500,000 copies.[15] “Too Gone, Too Long”, the album’s final single released, was a top 40 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 at number 33 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at number 25. (wikipedia)


The sound of En Vogue isn’t greatly affected by the departure of Dawn Robinson for their third album, EV3, since the group’s harmonies remain remarkably supple and soulful. Instead, the group are hurt by its selection of producers and songwriters. En Vogue have decided to work with Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy only occasionally on EV3, choosing to hire such professional songwriters and producers as Babyface, David Foster, Diane Warren and Ivan Matias, who arranged their hit single “Don’t Let Go (Love).”


At times, these pairings work: Babyface’s “Whatever” is funkier than his previous work, and Matias brings a gospel-drenched sensibility to his songs. In the cases of Warren and Foster, they reshape En Vogue as an adult contemporary band, sapping the group of any of their energy or style. Still, there are enough strong moments scattered throughout the album to make it worth the wait. (by Leo Stanley)


Terry Ellis – Cindy Herron – Maxine Jones – Dawn Robinson (vocals)
Garry Barnes (bass)
Babyface (synthesizer, piano, drum programming)
Dennis Bolden (organ, programming)
Chanz (piano)
Mark Coleman (guitar)
Preston Crump (bass)
James Earley (guitar, bass)
Jason Eckl (guitar)
David Foster (keyboards)
Denzil Foster (keyboards, background vocals)
Giuliano Franco (synthesizer, drum programming)
Bernard Grobeman (guitar)
JAH (rap vocals)
Pro-Jay (programming)
Lil John (drums)
Tommy Martin (guitar)
Marlon McClain (guitar)
Thomas McElroy (keyboards, drum machine, background vocals)
Bill Ortiz (trumpet)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Nate Phillips (bass)
Adrion Sinclair( programming)
Norbet Stachel (saxophone)
Martin Terry (guitar)
Michael Thompson (guitar)
Kevin Wyatt (bass)


01. Whatever (Edmonds/Andes/Franco) 4.20
02. Don’t Let Go (Love) (Martin/Wade/Murray/Brown/Matias/Etheridge) 4.52
03. Right Direction (Bolden/Eckl) 5.07
04. Damn, I Wanna Be Your Lover (Martin/Matias/Pro-Jay) 5.24
05. Too Gone, Too Long (Warren/Foster) 4.42
06. You’re All I Need (Matias) 3.36
07. Let It Flow (Foster/McElroy) 5.38
08. Sitting By Heaven’s Door (Foster/McElroy) 4.34
09. Love Makes You Do Thangs (Foster/McElroy) 4.28
10. What A Difference A Day Makes (Foster/McElroy) 4.12
11. Eyes Of A Child (Foster/McElroy) 4.32
12. Does Anybody Hear Me (Ellis/Herron/Jones/Matias) 3.09




The official website:

Shania Twain – Come On Over (1997)

FrontCover1Eilleen “Shania” Twain (born Eilleen Regina Edwards; August 28, 1965) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She has sold over 100 million records, making her the best-selling female artist in country music history and one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Her success garnered her several honorific titles including the “Queen of Country Pop”. Billboard named her as the leader of the ’90s country-pop crossover stars.

Raised in Timmins, Ontario, Twain pursued singing and songwriting from a young age before signing with Mercury Nashville Records in the early 1990s. Her self-titled debut studio album was a commercial failure upon release in 1993.[8] After collaborating with producer and later husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Twain rose to fame with her second studio album, The Woman in Me (1995), which brought her widespread success. It sold over 20 million copies worldwide, spawned eight singles, including “Any Man of Mine” and earned her a Grammy Award. Her third studio album, Come On Over (1997), became the best-selling studio album by a female act in any genre and the best-selling country album of all time, selling over 40 million copies worldwide. Come On Over produced twelve singles, including “You’re Still the One”, “From This Moment On”, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and earned Twain four Grammy Awards. Her fourth studio album, Up! (2002), spawned eight singles, including “I’m Gonna Getcha Good!”, “Ka-Ching!” and “Forever and for Always”, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, also being certified Diamond in the United States.


In 2004, after releasing her Greatest Hits album, which produced three new singles including “Party for Two”, Twain entered a hiatus, revealing years later that diagnoses with Lyme disease and dysphonia led to a severely weakened singing voice. She chronicled her vocal rehabilitation on the OWN miniseries Why Not? with Shania Twain, released her first single in seven years in 2012, “Today Is Your Day”, and published an autobiography, From This Moment On. Twain returned to performing the following year with an exclusive concert residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Shania: Still the One, which ran until 2014. ShaniaTwain03In 2015, she launched the North American Rock This Country Tour, which was billed as her farewell tour. Twain released her first studio album in 15 years in 2017, Now, and embarked on the Now Tour in 2018. In 2019, she started her second Las Vegas residency, Let’s Go! at the Zappos Theater.

Twain has received five Grammy Awards, a World Music Award, 27 BMI Songwriter Awards, stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.[18] According to the RIAA she is the only female artist in history to have three (consecutive) albums certified Diamond by the RIAA[19] and is the sixth best-selling female artist in the United States. Altogether, Twain is ranked as the 10th best-selling artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era. Billboard listed Twain as the 13th Greatest Music Video Female Solo Artist of all time (42nd overall)


Come On Over is the third studio album recorded by Canadian country music singer Shania Twain. It was released on November 4, 1997, and became the best-selling country album, the best selling album by a Canadian and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the biggest-selling studio album by a solo female artist, and the best-selling album in the USA by a solo female artist. It is the ninth all-time best-selling album in the United States, and worldwide. It is also the sixteenth best-selling album in the United Kingdom.

As of 2020, Come On Over has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, shipped over 20 million copies in the United States, with over 15.7 million copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan, and another 1.99 million through BMG Music Clubs. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and stayed there for 50 non-consecutive weeks and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the album with the most weeks at No.1 on the US Top Country Albums chart. It stayed in the top ten for 151 weeks. Ten of the sixteen tracks hit the top 20 of the Hot Country Songs chart, eight of which hit top 10, including three No. 1s.


Seven of the tracks also made the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Twain promoted the album with television performances and interviews. It was further promoted with the successful Come On Over Tour, which visited North America, Oceania and Europe. Out of the album’s sixteen tracks, twelve were released as singles, including “Love Gets Me Every Time”, “Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)”, “You’re Still the One”, “From This Moment On”, “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”. The album was also promoted with a succession of music videos for the singles. The fifth single, “When”, was the only single from the album to not be released in the United States.

The album was nominated for six awards at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best Country Album. “You’re Still the One”, which peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 2, was nominated for four awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance, winning the latter two. The album received a further three nominations at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year for “You’ve Got a Way”, Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and Best Country Song for “Come On Over”, winning the latter two.


After releasing and promoting her breakthrough album The Woman in Me, Come On Over saw Twain entirely collaborating with producer and then husband Robert John “Mutt” Lange on a variety of country pop numbers, mostly uptempo. Given much more creative freedom than for its predecessor, Twain and Lange sought to break the conventional country music formula on the album and explore the country pop genre to its fullest extent.

Twain decided not to tour off The Woman in Me partly because she felt she needed more powerful music to do a powerful show. Twain and her husband commenced songwriting material for the album as early as 1994, and often wrote apart to later intertwine their ideas. The recording process was intensive, with Lange dedicating overzealous time and patience to each individual track. Though the singer indicated her sonic preferences, she ultimately ceded all production to Lange. On the international version, Twain and Lange revisited the tracks to strip them of country influences and increase the album’s marketability beyond the US and Canada.


The album was a blockbuster success, becoming the biggest-selling studio album of all time by a female artist, the biggest-selling country music album, the biggest-selling album by a Canadian act and the ninth biggest-selling album in music history. Three different versions of the album were released, the original country version, released in 1997, and the revised pop/international versions released in 1998 and 1999. The album was also supported by an extensive world tour by Twain.
Twain topped her own record with the release of Come On Over, beating out her previous Diamond selling album The Woman in Me, as the best-selling country music album ever released and the best-selling studio album ever released by a female artist in any genre. Debuting at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 with a moderate 172,000 copies (3,000 units behind Mase’s Harlem World), the album showed its consistency when it moved another ShaniaTwain01170,000 copies in its second week (a 1.2% decrease) to stay at No. 2 again behind Barbra Streisand’s Higher Ground. The RIAA certified Come on Over Gold, Platinum and 2× platinum on December 23, 1997. It sold more than 100,000 units in each of 62 weeks. During the Thanksgiving week of 1999, the Come On Over: International Version was released in conjunction to Shania’s Thanksgiving CBS special, Come On Over that week earned the Billboard chart “Greatest Gainer” title, jumping 24–11 on the Billboard 200, a 246% increase in sales from a 57,000 the previous week to a 197,000 the week after. The album’s best sales week was its 110th week, during which it sold 355,000 units to settle at number ten (Christmas 1999). The album stayed on the top 10 for 54 weeks, set a record for longest stay in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 of 112 weeks, and in top 40 for 127 consecutive weeks. Come On Over topped the Billboard Country album chart for a record 50 weeks, finishing second to Garth Brooks’ Sevens in 1998, finishing first in 1999, and third in 2000 behind Dixie Chicks’ Fly and Faith Hill’s Breathe. It was certified diamond by the RIAA on April 7, 1999. Despite its considerable sales, the album never reached the top of the Billboard 200.

Come On Over was the first album to reach both 14 million (in September 2001) and 15 million (in August 2004) in sales in the US since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan started tracking music sales. It ranks as the second best-selling album of the Nielsen SoundScan era in the US, with over 15.73 million copies sold by October 2017, behind its nearest rival, Metallica’s 1991 self-titled album (16.1 million as of 2015).[23] However, these figures do not include sales through such entities as BMG Music Club, where Come on Over has sold 1.99 million copies while Metallica has sold fewer than 298,000 copies.

The album topped the charts for 11 weeks in the UK. The album is one of the highest-selling albums ever in Australia, reaching 18 times platinum and spending 19 weeks at No. 1 and 165 weeks in the top 100 (or more than three years). It is still the best-selling album of the 1990s in Australia.(wikipedia)


Shania Twain’s second record, The Woman in Me, became a blockbuster, appealing as much to a pop audience as it did to the country audience. Part of the reason for its success was how producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange — best-known for his work with Def Leppard, the Cars, and AC/DC — steered Twain toward the big choruses and instrumentation that always was a signature of his speciality, AOR radio. Come on Over, the sequel to The Woman in Me, continues that approach, breaking from contemporary country conventions in a number of ways. Not only does the music lean toward rock, but its 16 songs and, as the cover proudly claims, “Hour of Music,” break from the country tradition of cheap, short albums of ten songs that last about a half-hour.


Furthermore, all 16 songs and Lange-Twain originals and Shania’s sleek, sexy photos suggest a New York fashion model, not a honky tonker. And there isn’t any honky tonk here, which is just as well, since the fiddles are processed to sound like synthesizers and talk boxes never sound good on down-home, gritty rave-ups. No, Shania sticks to what she does best, which is countrified mainstream pop. Purists will complain that there’s little country here, and there really isn’t. However, what is here is professionally crafted country-pop — even the filler (which there is, unfortunately, too much of) sounds good — which is delivered with conviction, if not style, by Shania, and that is enough to make it a thoroughly successful follow-up to one of the most successful country albums by a female in history. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Bruce Bouton (pedal steel-guitar, lap steel guitar)
Larry Byrom (slide guitar)
Joe Chemay (bass)
Stuart Duncan (fiddle)
Larry Franklin (fiddle)
Paul Franklin (pedal steel-guitar, “cosmic steel”
Rob Hajacos (fiddle)
John Hobbs (piano)
Dann Huff (guitar, bass, sitar, organ)
John Hughey (pedal steel-guitar)
John Barlow Jarvis (piano)
Robert John “Mutt” Lange (background vocals)
Paul Leim (drums)
Brent Mason (lead guitar)
Joey Miskulin (accordion)
Michael Omartian (piano
Eric Silver (mandolin)
Arthur Stead (keyboards, synthesizer)
Shania Twain (vocals)
Biff Watson (guitar)
Bryan White (vocals on 05.)
Carl Marsh and David Hamilton (strings on 05.)


01. Man! I Feel Like a Woman! 3:53
02. I’m Holdin’ On to Love (To Save My Life) 3.27
03. Love Gets Me Every Time 3.34
04. Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You) 3.34
05. From This Moment On 4.41
06. Come On Over 2.54
07. When 3.39
08. Whatever You Do! Don’t! 3.49
09. If You Wanna Touch Her, Ask! 4.04
10. Still The One 3:34
11. Honey, I’m Home 3.35
12. That Don’t Impress Me Much 3.39
13. Black Eyes, Blue Tears 3.40
14. I Won’t Leave You Lonely 4.12
15. Rock This Country! 4.22
16. You’ve Got A Way 3.30

All songs written by Shania Twain and Robert John “Mutt” Lange



Let me let you in on a secret
How to treat a woman right
If you’re lookin’ for a place in her heart
It ain’t gonna happen overnight
First you gotta learn to listen
To understand her deepest thoughts
She needs to know you can be friends
Before she’ll give you all she’s got
If you start from the heart
You’ll see love is gonna play it’s part
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
You must start from the heart and then
If you want to touch her
Really want to touch her
If you want to touch her, ask
A little physical attraction
Romantic, old-fashioned charm
And a lot of love and tenderness
Is gonna get you into her arms
If you start from the heart
You’ll see love is gonna play it’s part
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
You must start from the heart and then
If you want to touch her
Really want to touch her
If you want to touch her, ask
Let me let you in on a secret
How to treat a woman right
If you’re lookin’ for a place in her heart
It ain’t gonna happen no it ain’t gonna happen
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
If you want to get to know her
Really get inside her mind
If you want to move in closer
Take it slow, yeah take your time
If you start from the heart
You’ll see love is gonna play it’s part
If you want to touch her
Really want to touch her
If you want to touch her, ask

The offical website of Shania Twain:Website

Canned Heat – Blues Band (1997)

FrontCover1Canned Heat is an American blues and rock band that was formed in Los Angeles in 1965. The group has been noted for its efforts to promote interest in blues music and its original artists. It was launched by two blues enthusiasts Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, who took the name from Tommy Johnson’s 1928 “Canned Heat Blues”, a song about an alcoholic who had desperately turned to drinking Sterno, generically called “canned heat”, from the original 1914 product name Sterno Canned Heat, After appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals at the end of the 1960s, the band acquired worldwide fame with a lineup consisting of Hite (vocals), Wilson (guitar, harmonica and vocals), Henry Vestine and later Harvey Mandel (lead guitar), Larry Taylor (bass), and Adolfo de la Parra (drums).

The music and attitude of Canned Heat attracted a large following and established the band as one of the popular acts of the hippie era. Canned Heat appeared at most major musical events at the end of the 1960s, performing blues standards along with their own material and occasionally indulging in lengthy ‘psychedelic’ solos. Two of their songs — “Going Up the Country” and “On the Road Again” — became international hits. “Going Up the Country” was a remake of the Henry Thomas song “Bull Doze Blues”, recorded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1927. “On the Road Again” was a remake of the 1953 Floyd Jones song of the same name, which is reportedly based on the Tommy Johnson song “Big Road Blues”, recorded in 1928.


Since the early 1970s, numerous personnel changes have occurred. For much of the 1990s and 2000s and following Larry Taylor’s death in 2019, de la Parra has been the only member from the band’s 1960s lineup. He wrote a book about the band’s career, titled Living the Blues. Mandel, Walter Trout and Junior Watson are among the guitarists who gained fame for playing in later editions of the band.

Canned Heat01

And here´s another pretty good Canned Heat album:

A little tear came to my eye when the editor brought me a stack of CDs. There at the top was Canned Heat – the boogie band that peaked my interest in R&B, gulp, 30 years ago.

“Could this be the same band? I mean, aren’t they all dead?” I asked him. He shook his head, told me three of the original members are on the album and to have fun. And I did.

Singer Bob Hite, guitarists Alan Wilson and, recently, Henry Vestine, have gone to their reward, but the rhythm section of drummer Fito de la Parra and acoustic bassist Larry Taylor remains. And that’s one fine engine to have in your band and it boogies better than ever. The new Heat has slide guitarist/harp player Robert Lucas on vocals, Greg Kage on electric bass and lead guitarist Junior Watson has been a Canned Heat-er for a while now. Vestine, who died in December of ’97, made this his last work, playing on every cut and his sound remained distinctive to the end.

The Canned Heat of the late ’90s is pretty good and so’s the album, if you can look at them with a fresh eye and not with 1968-vision. The band that played Woodstock was magic and unique in their time. The new Heat isn’t magic, but it is a better-than-average blues band doing a good job of keeping the franchise boogying.


Lucas adds some energy with his slide playing, singing and original songs, but to be honest, the originals are only average at best. A version of Elmore James “Stranger” is excellent and a great opener for the CD, but I winced when I saw they had re-done Canned Heat classics “Going Up the Country” acoustically, “Boogie Music” and “One Kind Favor” here. But darned if they didn’t pull em off and in the process, saved the album.
I don’t know what the plans are for this band. They’ll probably stay together in some form or fashion forever. They remain popular in Europe and still have their fans stateside.
Give this one a listen. They brought a smile to my face and revived some great memories. I want to hear more from them. (Jack Clifford)

An outfit with deep blues/rock roots is Canned Heat Blues Band. Three members who date back to the 1960s version of the band, drummer Fito de la Parra, lead guitarist Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine, and bassist Larry “The Mole” Taylor, are on this latest self-titled disc on Ruf Records. They’re joined by Robert Lucas on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, Junior Watson on lead guitar, and Greg Kage on electric bass. This CD contains no big surprises, and is kind of what you’d expect from Canned Heat. If you miss the 60s, then take a listen to “Boogie Music,” which has a real feel of that wacky decade to it. The band also does an acoustic version of the Alan Wilson/Canned Heat standard “Going Up The Country”, with good slide guitar and raspy vocals from Lucas. By the way, this session constituted the last recordings by Vestine, who died in Paris late last 1997. (Bill Mitchell)


Robert Lucas (slide guitar, vocals,harmonica)
Gregg Kage (bass on 01., 03., 05., 07., 10. + 11.)
Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra (drums)
Larry “The Mole” Taylor (bass on 02., 04., 06., 08. + 09.)
Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine (guitar)
Junior Watson (guitar)
Brenda Burnes (vocals on 07.)
Juke Logan (organ on 04.)
01. Stranger (James/Robinson) 5.06
02. Quiet Woman (Lucas) 4.33
03. Iron Horse (Lucas) 5.12
04. Jr.’s Shuffle (Parra/Watson) 4.14
05. Creole Queen (Lucas) 3.45
06. Keep It to Yourself (Williamson II) 4.17
07. Boogie Music (Talman) 4.33
08. Going Up The Country (Wilson) 3.19
09. See These Tears (Lucas) 2.29
10. One Kind Favor (Talman) 4.25
11. Oh Baby (Lucas/Parra) 4.31
12. Gorgo Boogie (Lucas/Parra) 3.44




Larry Taylor

More from Canned Heat:

Derek Trucks Band – Same (1997)

FrontCover1Derek Trucks (born June 8, 1979) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and founder of the Grammy Award-winning The Derek Trucks Band. He became an official member of The Allman Brothers Band in 1999. In 2010, he formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band with his wife, blues singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi. His musical style encompasses several genres and he has twice appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He is the nephew of Butch Trucks, drummer for the Allman Brothers.

The Derek Trucks Band was an American jam band founded by young slide guitar prodigy, Derek Trucks, who began playing guitar and touring with some of blues and rock music’s elite when he was just nine years old. After experimenting as an adolescent with musicians he met between tours and recording sessions, Trucks founded The Derek Trucks Band in 1994. With family ties to The Allman Brothers Band, Trucks continued to experiment and play with others, carefully assembling his own band over a period of several years. Led by Trucks and loosely based in his family home in Jacksonville, Florida, the band generally consisted of six members.

The band drew upon the wide variety of the influences and musical preferences of its Derek Trucks01band members. Together, they have gained increasing public notice and critical acclaim for developing a unique sound of their own. Melding together blues, southern rock, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, soul, funk with Hindustani classical music, afro-beat and world fusion, the band has released six studio albums, two live albums, and a live DVD. The bandmates have combined their talents to perform pieces from some of the most highly regarded musicians before them, while at the same time collaborating on writing the songs they have recorded. The band’s eclectic sound is a way for Trucks to explore his own creativity alongside his role as a guest, and eventually a permanent member, in The Allman Brothers Band.

The Derek Trucks Band (often called simply, Derek Trucks) is the debut album by American jam band The Derek Trucks Band, released on October 7, 1997. The album was recorded between September 30-October 4, 1996 at Dockside Studios, Maurice. The album is composed mainly of re-arranged jazz and blues classics and the rest are original compositions by the band. Derek was seventeen years old at the time of the release of the album. In 2008, the album was made available digitally, and is now available on iTunes, and other online retailers like Real, Rhapsody, Yahoo! Music, eMusic, Napster and Puretracks. (wikipedia)

Derek Trucks02

Derek Trucks began building his own legacy at the age of 12, playing scorching slide guitar that prompted many to hypothesize that he was the reincarnation of Duane Allman in the flesh. The nephew of Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks, Derek was virtually born into a show business family, but don’t think for a minute that he doesn’t create his own opportunity. Backed by a skin-tight rhythm section and complimented by a top-notch organist, the youthful guitarist blazes through new arrangements of jazz and blues classics. He turns the trumpet wizardry of Miles Davis into slide-guitar magic, and his readings of a couple of Coltrane tunes pack a terrific punch. The band also contribute several of their own compositions, paving the way for a bright future as a group of tight-knit, talented musicians. A flawless recording. (by Michael B. Smith)


Bill McKay (keyboards, synthesizer, clavinet, vocals on 03.)
Todd Smallie (bass)
Yonrico Scott (drums, percussion)
Derek Trucks (guitar, sarod)


01. Sarod (Trucks) 0.35
02. Mr. P.C. (Coltrane) 5.32
03. 555 Lake (McKay/Scott/Smallie/Trucks) 6.37
04. D Minor Blues (Oakes/Trucks) 6.05
05. #6 Dance (Oakes/Trucks) 2.41
06. Footprints (Shorter) 4.23
07. Out Of Madness (Scott/Smallie/Trucks) 4.12
08. Naima (Coltrane) 5.02
09. So What (Davis) 4.41
10. Evil Clown (McKay/Scott/Smallie/Trucks) 4.34
11. Egg 15 (Roper/Smallie/Trucks) 7.41
12. Sarod Outro (Trucks) 0.43


  • (coming soon)

Derek Trucks04

Sandy Carroll – Memphis Rain (1997)

FrontCover1Sandy Carroll spent the early part of her career singing in venues throughout the South, and began writing songs – alone, or with a writing partner – in the early 80s, many of which were subsequently recorded by folks like Albert King, Luther Allison, Preston Shannon, and Barbara Blue. She released her debut album, Southern Woman, in 1993.

And here´s her second album:

Sandy Carroll is a throaty, Janis Joplin-style vocalist who is in fine voice on this album. James Solberg is best known as guitarist for the late Luther Allison. He produced and played guitar on this album, adding expressive guitar playing and up-front production touches that put a shine on the whole affair. Sandy has toured professionally and earned her doctorate in street music. This woman’s voice is unforgettable, Southern to the hilt, with a roughness around the edges that convinces you that she knows what she’s singing about. In true bluesmama tradition, Carroll mixes up metaphors about food, sex, and other domestic matters with wild abandon and a keen sense of humor. (dwmmusic.com)


Memphis Blues at it´s best:
To those who have never heard Sandy Carroll LIVE on Beale Street in Memphis, this CD is one of the best alternatives! The tempo of each song flows into the next keeping even the slow dramatic tunes lively. From the opening number, “Forecast Blues,” there is a Down South funkiness that starts one’s foot to instantly tapping. With funky songs like that and “Blues Thang,” to lighthearted whimsy like “Too Many Hats” and “Honey Lovin’ Gumbo,” the entire CD soundtrack offers something for everyone. First time that I played this was like heaven. Sandy has a blues voice that truly stamps her as one of the most unique and memorable talents to come along — this is especially evident with all of the “copy cat” sameness to most of American music these days. I must have played this CD to death the first 2 weeks that I had it. But, as much as I’ve played it, it draws me back like a good hot cup of Joe on a cold winter morning! (by Anon Emus)

Oh yes, that´s what I call music !


Sandy Carroll (piano, vocals)
Steve Potts (drums)
Dave Smith (bass)
James Solberg (guitar)
Ernest Williamson (keyboards)
Jeff Cargerman (percussion, background vocals)
Eddie Dattel (percussion, background vocals)
Richard Graham (percussion, washboard)
Wayne Jackson (trumpet)
background vocals:
Jacqueline Johnson – Susan Marshall

01. Forecast Blues (Carroll) 3.46
02. Too Many Hats (Carroll/Solberg) 3.26
03. Memphis Rain (Dattel) 4.26
04. While You Were Up (Carroll/Solberg) 2.33
05. Help Me Bear It All (Carroll) 5.03
06. Honey Lovin’ Gumbo (Cargerman/Carroll) 2.35
07. Blues Thang (Allison/Carroll/Solberg) 3.56
08. Just As I Am (Allison/Carroll/Solberg) 4.23
09. Feels Like Love (Carroll) 2.49
10. Good Line (Bingham/Carroll/Solberg) 3.42
11. Memphis (Spiby) 4.24
12. Bad Dog Boogie (Carroll) 3.36



“I have been playing, writing and singing music forever!” says singer/songwriter/pianist Sandy Carroll. “I am originally from McNairy County in West Tennessee (home of legendary sheriff Buford Pusser of Walking Tall fame), in a little town where our studio (her husband is Grammy-winning producer Jim Gaines) is now located. It is two hours east of Memphis, but I consider my musical home as Memphis.” (bessieblues.com)

Tim Rose – Haunted (1997)

FrontCover1A nearly forgotten singer/songwriter of the ’60s, Tim Rose’s early work bore a strong resemblance to another Tim working in Greenwich Village around 1966-1967 — Tim Hardin. Rose also favored a throaty blues folk-rock style with pop production flourishes, though he looked to outside material more, wasn’t quite in Hardin’s league as a singer or songwriter, and had a much harsher, even gravelly vocal tone. Before beginning a solo career, Rose had sung with Cass Elliott in the folk trio the Big Three a few years before she joined the Mamas and the Papas. Signed by Columbia in 1966, his 1967 debut album (which actually included a few previously released singles) is considered by far his most significant work. Two of the tracks were particularly noteworthy: his slow arrangement of “Hey Joe” inspired Jimi Hendrix’s version and “Morning Dew,” Rose’s best original composition, became something of a standard, covered by the Jeff Beck Group, the Grateful Dead, Clannad, and others. Years later, though, it was debated as to whether Rose wrote the song, or whether folksinger Bonnie Dobson penned the original version. Some non-LP singles he recorded around this time have unfortunately never been reissued, and although he made several other albums up through the mid-’70s, none matched the acclaim of the first one. An influence on Nick Cave and others, Rose died on September 24, 2002. A posthumous album called Snowed In, which contains material Rose was working on in the last year of his life, was released in 2003 by Cherry Red Records. (by Richie Unterberger)


This is a part-studio, part-live album. The live tracks were recorded at The Garage and the Royal Albert Hall, London (where Tim was appearing on the bill with Nick Cave) in 1997

Excellent studio versions of new songs and outstanding live performances of his classic songs,
“Morning Dew”, “Hey Joe”, and “Come Away, Melinda”. His best album since his debut album on Columbia Records. To this day, I prefer his versions of “Hey Joe” and “Morning Dew” from his first album and this wonderful semi-live album! (Gary Cornelius)

After Tim Rose released his classic debut album in 1967, and several not-so-good records in the following years, he almost disappeared in the late seventies. His 1977 album The Gambler was left unreleased untill 1991. Throughout the eighties he worked as a construction laborer, recorded TV jingles, studied history at college, became a stockbroker on Wall Street and struggled with alcoholism.


Things started picking up for him in the nineties, though. His big fan Nick Cave lobbied him, did some guest appearances at concerts, and let Rose open up for him at the Royal Albert Hall in May ’97. Six songs from that performance are featured here on this album.

According to some online biographies, Cave produced the studio tracks presented here, though the CD only lists Rose himself as producer (except “Natural Thing”; co-produced by one Trevor Cummins). I can’t imagine that Cave had anything to do with these studio tracks; his good taste would surely have opposed the cheesy production with programmed drums and similar atrocities.

The eight live tracks are preferable. They feature Rose solo with acoustic guitar (on two tracks accompanied by Michael Winn on electric guitar). He’s in good voice, and does fine versions of his three most famous songs; “(Hey Joe) Cold Steel ’44”, “I Ain’t Had No Lovin'” (a. k. a. “Long Time Man”) and “Morning Dew”, sounding like an old blues man.

Too bad they didn’t go for an all-live album, or got a better producer and band for the studio sessions. (by Einar Stenseng)

And I include many entries in the condolence book, published shortly after his death.


Tim Rose (vocals, guitar)
Alan Seidler (piano)
Pierre Tubbs (keyboards)
Mickey Wynne (guitar)
Darius Ditullio, David Zinno, Eric Sample, Shawn Bight, B.Wilson, David Clarke


01. (Hey Joe) Blu Steel ’44 (Roberts) 5.12
02. Give Your Lovin To The Livin’ (Rose) 3.35
03. He Never Was A Hero (Rose/Ditullio) 3.12
04. Natural Thing (Cummins) 4.26
05. A Mite Confused (Rose) 4.41
06. I Ain’t Had No Lovin’ (Rose) 4.02
07. Because You’re Rich (Ditullio/Rose) 3.37
08. The Dealer (Rose) 5.19
09. Come Away, Melinda (Minkoff/Hellerman) 4.40
10. Haunted (Rose) 3.39
11. Four Dancing Queens Rose/Gold) 3.19
12. Hanging Tree (Rose/Gold) 4.22
13. I Sold It With My Car ((Goin’ Down In Hollywood) (Rose) 6.50
14. Morning Dew (Dobson/Rose) 6.09

All live tracks: Royal Albert Hall, London, 1997



Timothy Alan Patrick Rose (September 23, 1940 – September 24, 2002)


Loreena McKennitt – The Book Of Secrets (1997)

FrontCover1Loreena Isabel Irene McKennitt, CM OM (born February 17, 1957) is a Canadian musician, composer, harpist, accordionist, and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. McKennitt is known for her refined and clear dramatic soprano vocals. She has sold more than 14 million records worldwide

The Book of Secrets is the sixth studio album by Loreena McKennitt, released in 1997. It reached #17 on the Billboard 200. Its single “The Mummers’ Dance,” remixed by DNA, was released during the winter of 1997–98, and peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #17 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. The album is certified double-platinum in the United States. It has now sold more than four million copies worldwide.

The DNA remix of “The Mummers’ Dance” was made into a music video.
“Skellig” relates the dying words of a monk from a monastery that existed during the 6th–12th centuries on the island Skellig Michael (Great Skellig), 11.6 km west of Ireland.
“The Highwayman” is an adaptation of the poem “The Highwayman” by Alfred Noyes.
“Night Ride Across the Caucasus” was featured in the 1998 film Soldier.
The music from “Night Ride Across the Caucasus” was featured in the song Kokli by Ulytau.
“Dante’s Prayer” is a reference to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. (by wikipedia)

Loreena McKennitt01

Some artists or albums can hit you so hard on a personal level that you can’t help but fall for them at first listen. Such is my liaison with Loreena McKennitt. Even though the level of my knowledge is nonexistent when it comes to new age/world/celtic music, McKennitt’s voice is such that blends perfectly with the instrumentation of her compositions. She sounds sincere in a manner that travels the listener right into the scene of the tale she narrates. Her music can transport you to the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, Ireland, all over the world. Most of all though, her work is introspective; by listening to her albums, one can view life from a different perspective.


The Book of Secrets is McKennitt’s sixth release and her most successful album in terms of sales, having reached double platinum status in the US. The nature of music on this release is mostly soothing with only a few faster and lively moments. Nevertheless, the majority of the album consists of mid tempo songs centered around McKennitt’s expressive voice. However, that doesn’t mean that the instrumentation is second rate or cannot stand by itself without the vocals. With string instruments ranging from acoustic guitars to violin, hurdy gurdy and cello to table, drone and bodhran used for percussion, the arrangements are lush and immaculate.


Another important aspect of the album is the lyrics. Often, Loreena McKennitt does extensive research on the subjects that her albums deal with to the point where she visits places that her music draws influences from. Therefore, those of you who like to read lyrics will definitely feel more engaged while listening to The Book of Secrets. Moreover, a flaw that one might find at albums consisting of mid tempo songs is that they tend to sound a bit samey and linear. For most part, that’s not the case with this album as it contains a variety of melodies coming from different cultures. Therefore, even though the tempo is almost constant throughout The Book of Secrets, one can hear influences from the Middle East or the Mediterranean accompanied by the relevant instruments; an element that helps diversify the songs.

Loreena McKennitt02

Overall, regardless of one’s taste, this is an album that people who seek for emotional music should give a chance. It’s a pity that Loreena McKennitt seems to be enjoyed mostly by older audiences because her work can appeal equally to younger folks so give this album a spin and you won’t regret it. (by manosg)


Anne Bourne (cello on 06.)
Aidan Brennan (guitar on 03.,  mandola 0n 04. + 07.)
Martin Brown (guitar, mandolin, mandola on 05.)
Stuart Bruce (assembled drone on 01., vocal drone on 04.)
Paul Clarvis (snare drum on 05.)
Nigel Eaton (hurdy-gurdy on 02. + 04.)
Steáfán Hannigan (bodhrán on 05.)
Nick Hayley (serang, rebec, lira da braccio on 07.)
Brian Hughes (oud on 02., 04., 07. , guitar on 01., 04., 06., 07.,  irish bouzouki on 04., 05., 07.,  guitar synthesizer on 04., vocal drone on 04.)
Robin Jeffrey (guitar on 06.)
Martin Jenkins (mandocello on 03., 04., 05. + 07.)
Manu Katché (drums on 01., 02., 04. + 07.)
Caroline Lavelle (cello on 02., 05. + 08.)
Rick Lazar (percussion on 01., 02., 04., 05. + 07.)
Joanna Levine (viola da gamba on 03. + 06.)
Hugh Marsh (violin on 02. – 08.)
Loreena McKennitt (vocals, piano on 08., keyboards, harp on 06., kanun on 01.,  accordion on 04. + 05.)
Osama (violin on 04.)
Steve Pigott (keyboards on 03. + 08.)
Donald Quan (tabla on 02., 04., 07., timba, esraj on 01., viola on 02., 04., 05., 06., 08.,  keyboards on 03., 04., vocal drone on 04.)
Hossam Ramzy (percussion on 02., 04., 05. + 07.)
David Rhodes (guitar on 02.)
Danny Thompson (bass)
Bob White (tin whistle on 03., shawm on 04.)
String Quartet (on 03. + 07.):
Andy Brown (viola)
Chris van Kampen (cello)
Iain King (2nd violin)
Jonathan Rees (1st violin)

01. Prologue 4.20
02. The Mummers’ Dance 6.04
03. Skellig 6.07
04. Marco Polo 5.11
05. The Highwayman 10.22
06. Night Ride Across The Caucasus 8.27
07. Dante’s Prayer 7.10

All music written by Loreena McKennitt. All lyrics written by Loreena McKennitt except 05, which was writen by Alfred Noyes)



  • (coming soon)


Astor Piazzolla – Tres Minutos Con La Realidad (1997)

FrontCover1Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (Spanish pronunciation: [pjaˈsola], Italian pronunciation: [pjatˈtsɔlla]; March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.

In 1992, American music critic Stephen Holden described Piazzolla as “the world’s foremost composer of tango music”  …

… Early in 1989 he formed his Sexteto Nuevo Tango, his last ensemble, with two bandoneons, piano, electric guitar, bass and cello. Together they gave a concert at the Club Italiano in Buenos Aires in April, a recording of which was issued under the title of Tres minutos con la realidad. Later he appeared with them at the Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires in the presence of the newly elected Argentine President Carlos Menem on Friday, June 9. This would be Piazzolla’s last concert in Argentina.

He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in Paris on August 4, 1990, which left him in a coma, and died in Buenos Aires, just under two years later on July 4, 1992, without regaining consciousness. (by wikipedia)

And here´s one of his last concerts in Argentina … live at the Club Italiano in Buenos Aires.

AstorPiazzolla2009_02This is one of the few recorded documents of the Sextet that represents the last (tragically short) phase of Piazzolla’s career. The music is extremely dark, passionate and intense.

These are, I believe, the only live versions of the La Camorra pieces and of the Tango Ballet

There are other live recordings of this group: The Lausanne Concert,Luna,Astor Piazzolla & The New Tango Sextet: Live at the BBC 1989. There’s a video of the BBC Concert included in Astor Piazzolla in Portrait

The sextet also produced some studio work (including new pieces not found elsewhere) that is available on the various versions of 57 Minutos con la Realidad – highly recommended, (by Thelonious)


José Bragato (cello)
Hector Console (bass)
Gerardo Gandini (piano)
Horacio Malvicino (guitar)
Tullio Pane (bandoneon)
Astor Piazzolla (accordion, bandoneon)

01. Luna (Levinson/Piazzolla) 10.08
02. Sexteto (Piazzolla) 10.18
03. Tres minutos con la realidad (Piazzolla) 3.06
04. Camorra II (Piazzolla) 6.40
05. Camorra III (Piazzolla) 10.13
06. Tango Ballet (Piazzolla) 11.49



Astor Piazzolla01

Pee Wee Ellis & The NDR Big Band – What You Like (1997)

FrontCover1.jpgAlfred “Pee Wee” Ellis (born April 21, 1941) is an American saxophonist, composer and arranger. With a background in jazz, he was an important member of James Brown’s band in the 1960s, appearing on many of Brown’s most notable recordings and co-writing hits like “Cold Sweat” and “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”. He also worked closely with Van Morrison.

In the 2014 biographical movie Get on Up about James Brown, Ellis is played by Tariq Trotter (Black Thought, MC from the Roots).

In later years, he became a resident of England, living in the town of Frome in the county of Somerset.

Ellis was born Alfred Bryant on April 21, 1941 in Bradenton, Florida to his mother Elizabeth and his father Garfield Devoe Rogers, Jr. In 1949 his mother married Ezell Ellis, and the family moved to Lubbock, Texas where Ellis was given his nickname “Pee Wee”. He gave his first public performance in 1954 at Dunbar Junior High School. After Ezell Ellis was killed in 1955, the remaining members of the family moved to Rochester, New York. While attending Madison High School he played professionally with jazz musicians including Ron Carter and Chuck Mangione. In 1957 he moved to New York City, where he attended Manhattan School of Music and had regular lessons with Sonny Rollins. In 1960 he moved back to Florida working as a bandleader, musical director and writer.


Ellis played with the James Brown Revue from 1965 to 1969. While with Brown he arranged and co-wrote hits like “Cold Sweat” and “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud”. In 1969 he returned to New York City. He worked as an arranger and musical director for CTI Records’ Kudu label, collaborating with artists like George Benson, Hank Crawford and Esther Phillips. In the late 1970s he moved to San Francisco and formed a band with former Miles Davis sideman David Liebman, with whom he recorded “The Chicken”, that was to become a favourite of Jaco Pastorius.

Between 1979 and 1986 he worked with Van Morrison’s band as an arranger and musical director and then again from 1995 through 1999. He also gave occasional performances in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2006 as guest appearances.[5]

In the late 1980s Ellis regrouped with some musicians he worked with during his time with James Brown to form the JB Horns. With Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker he recorded a number of albums that defined a version of jazz-funk. The group also toured in Europe. In 1992 he resumed his solo recording career. Ellis also appeared alongside Bobby Byrd in the J.B All Stars.


In 1995, showing the diversity of his musical interests and talents, Ellis played tenor sax and arranged the horns for the album Worotan, by Mali’s Oumou Sangare, the so-called “Songbird of Wassoulou” and worked with many other artists on the World Circuit label including Ali Farka Toure, Cheikh Lo, Anga Diaz and renowned Cuban bassist Cachao.

His own group The Pee Wee Ellis Assembly have continued to work consistently since 1992, and Ellis is always busy guesting with multivarious artists, arranging and recording both his own albums and as a respected session player and teaching.

Between 2009 and 2011 Ellis toured an African tribute to James Brown, “Still Black Still Proud”, to much acclaim in both USA and Europe. Special guest in the project included Vusi Mahlasela, Maceo Parker, Cheikh Lo, Mahotella Queens and Ghanaian rapper Ty.

Since 2012 Ellis has been touring with the Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion, a quartet comprising Ellis, drummer Ginger Baker, bassist Alec Dankworth and percussionist Abass Dodoo.

In July 2014 Pee Wee Ellis was honored with a doctorate by Bath Spa University, and he continues to support local music as patron (and a principal performer) of the Bristol International Blues and Jazz Festival (by wikipedia)


Leading the German NDR Big Band, saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis turns in a competent, occasionally stilted collection of soul-jazz and classic funk. The production and the playing is a bit too mannered for the music to actually catch fire, but there are moments — such as Fred Wesley’s cameo on “Tune with a View” or Van Morrison’s vocal spotlight on “I Will Be There” — that make the disc a worthwhile listen. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Pee Wee Ellis is a versatile cat. He claims that he doesn’t like pigeonholes, and yet he’s mastered all of them. Ellis’ stylistic diversity can be heard on What You Like (Minor Music), an album he recorded in ’97 that is finally hitting the streets. It’s Ellis’ first in a big-band setting since taking over the ensemble behind James Brown in 1967 at age 26, which came after he studied with Sonny Rollins and established solid jazz credentials. Then later it was on to Brother Jack McDuff and arranging for George Benson, Hank Crawford and Sonny Stitt.


All the above influences can be heard on What You Like, from the boogaloo of “The Prophet” to the down-home groove of “Far From Home.” Jenni Evans contributes three fine vocals, but Van Morrison’s guest shot could have been phoned in. Ellis shows his balladic purity on “I Get Along Without You Very Well” and shows off a screaming flat five to end “2 Dock C” (based on Rollins’ “Doxy”). Add to that the excellent backing of the Hamburg-based NDR Big Band, the keyboard work of Steve Hamilton, the guitaristry of Tony Remy, the drumming of Michael Mondesir and the arrangements of Jorg Achim Keller and What You Like should please any demographic. (by Harvey Siders)


Pee Wee Ellis (saxophone)
The NDR Big Band directed by Jörg Achim Keller:
Wolfgang Ahlers (trombone)
Lennart Axelsson (trumpet)
Detlef Beier (bass)
Peter Bolte (saxophone)
Lutz Büchner (saxophone)
Ingolf Burkhardt (trumpet)
Egon Christmann (trombone)
Fiete Felsch (reeds)
Joe Gallardo (trombone)
Edgar Herzog (reeds)
Mark Mondesir (drums)
Michael Mondesir (bass)
Tony Remy (guitar)
Lucas Schmid (trombone)
Steffen Schorn (reeds)
Claus Stötter (trumpet)
Jon Welch (trombone on 05., 08. + 11)
Reiner Winterschladen (trumpet)
Jenni Evans (vocals on 02., 07. + 10.)
Van Morrison (vocals on 04.)
Fred Wesley (trombone on 09.)


01. The Prophet (Ellis) 5.00
02. Take Me To The River (Green) 5.24
03. Soul Pride (Ellis/Brown) 4.56
04. I Will Be There (Morroson) 2.45
05. I Get Along Without You Very Well (Carmichael) 5.12
06. Dock “C” (Ellis/Rollins) 6.02
07. (Your Love Is) So Doggone Good (Ervine/Love)
08. Far From Home (Ellis/Payne) 6.52
09. Tune With A View (Ellis) 6.12
10. Step (Ellis/Roper) 3.48
11. What You Like (Ellis/Brown) 6.05