Tony Allen – Black Voices (1999)

FrontCover1Tony Allen, the pioneering drummer who helped define Afrobeat during his tenure with Fela Kuti, died Thursday evening. He was 79.

Allen’s manager, Eric Trosser, confirmed the musician’s death to Rolling Stone, adding that Allen was taken to Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, where he died of abdominal aortic aneurysm. “He was in great shape,” Trosser added to France 24. “It was quite sudden.” Sahara Reporters first reported Allen’s death.

As a member of Kuti’s band Africa ’70, Allen helped revolutionize the art of drumming, simultaneously anchoring and propelling classic albums like 1973’s Gentleman, 1975’s Expensive Shit, and the Afrobeat legend’s most enduring work, 1976’s Zombie. Each release depended on Allen’s slippery, ferocious, polyrhythmic grooves. “Without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat,” Kuti once said. Damon Albarn and Brian Eno were also famously enamored with Allen’s playing; Eno called him “one of the great musicians of the 20th century — and the 21st.”

“There was no band like the Africa ’70,” Femi Kuti, Fela’s son, told Rolling Stone in 2017. “And there is no drummer like Tony Allen.”

“Tony Allen was one of the giants of African music — who, with Fela Kuti, created the highly original and influential hybrid that became Afrobeat,” Peter Gabriel wrote on Twitter. “As a musician and aspiring drummer, it was thrilling to get lost in their new, smart, sexy and political music full of killer grooves.”

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Allen was born in Lagos, Nigeria; he didn’t pick up the sticks until his late teens. He studied the work of a variety of jazz drummers, from Art Blakey to Elvin Jones to Philly Joe Jones to Gene Krupa. Speaking with The Wire, Allen credited Max Roach with turning him on to the potential of the hi-hat, which he believed many of his peers were neglecting. Allen later met the drummer Frank Butler, who influenced him to practice drumming on pillows. “It adds flexibility,” Allen told The Guardian.

Allen also picked up a wide-ranging musical education on the club circuit in Nigeria. “Latin American, African horns, jazz, highlife… you had to be able to play it all, because in the club they asked for it,” Allen said. He played in an outfit dubbed the Cool Cats and then moved on to help better known highlife artists like Victor Olaiya.

Kuti initially met Allen in 1964. “The first thing he asked was, ‘Are you the one who said that you are the best drummer in this country?’” Allen recalled. “I laughed and told him, ‘I never said so.’ He asked me if I could play jazz, and I said yes. He asked me if I could take solos, and I said yes again.”

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Allen went on to serve as the drummer in Kuti’s band Koola Lobitos. Initially, listeners weren’t sure what to make of the group. “It was like a revolutionary music style coming to the country,” Allen explained. “They were used to the highlife thing.… It was kind of strange for the people.”

After a visit to the United States in 1969, Allen and Kuti began to cement the endlessly copied sound of Afrobeat. This was full-band dance music, boosted by searing, intricate horn parts, scratchy, relentless guitar, and agitated, hyperactive bass lines. Like American funk, each instrument could function as a percussive engine, driving the song forward, but Afrobeat made more room for solos and inventive melodic digressions that sprawled out over 10, 12, or 17 minutes.

Allen was the whirlwind at the center of it all, producing a darting web of rhythm, invigorating but never overpowering, that entranced generations of musicians. “I was accustomed to a hard and rigid sort of drive in the drums,” Meshell Ndegeocello said in 2017. “Hearing Tony Allen really opened my mind up to fluidity and the understanding of agility within the pulse.”

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Eno bought a Kuti album on a whim in a London record shop in the early Seventies. “I think I liked the cover, and I think I liked the fact that the band had so many members,” he told The Vinyl Factory in 2014. “It changed my whole feeling about what music could be.… when I first met Talking Heads and we were talking about working together, I played [Kuti’s 1973 album Afrodisiac] for them and said: This is the music of the future.”

“I love the density of the weave between the players,” Eno added. “I love the relationship of discipline and freedom shown in this. It’s not jamming in the do-whatever-you-like sense. But it’s not constrained parts in the orchestral sense either.”

Allen and Kuti were a prolific and indefatigable team for more than a decade. Kuti released multiple albums a year with ease. He was also a tireless performer. “We’d play six hours a night, four days of the week with Fela,” Allen told Clash. “That’s what the people want.”

Kuti quickly became known for his blunt condemnations of government corruption and ineptitude. “What [Fela] was challenging, he was right,” Allen said in 2016. “But it was too direct and that’s why he got all this shit. There were too many arrests, too many bombardments. You’re a musician — why do you leave yourself to be beaten up all the time like that?” Government retaliations against Kuti became increasingly fierce, and Allen decided to strike out on his own in 1978.

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In addition to his work with Kuti, Allen was known for his collaborations with Albarn: Allen was a member of the Good, the Bad and the Queen alongside Albarn, the Clash’s Paul Simonon, and the Verve’s Simon Tong. That band released a pair of albums, a self-titled 2007 LP and 2018’s Merrie Land. Allen, Albarn, and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea — under the moniker Rocket Juice & the Moon — also released a collaborative album in 2012.

“The greatest drummer on Earth has left us,” Flea wrote on Instagram. “What a wildman, with a massive, kind and free heart and the deepest one-of-a-kind groove. Fela Kuti did not invent afrobeat, Fela and Tony birthed it together. Without Tony Allen there is NO afrobeat.”

In recent years, Allen reconnected with his jazz roots, recording a tribute EP for his “hero” Art Blakey and teaming up with Jeff Mills for 2018’s Tomorrow Comes the Harvest. Earlier this year, Allen released Rejoice, a collaboration with late South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela.

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“Today, we’ve just lost the best drummer that has ever lived,” Mills said in a statement. “Rhythms and patterns so complex and on such a high level of communication, there are not words yet created to describe what he created. It was otherworldly. He was otherworldly! A master musician and a master thinker.”

While many listeners think drumming and clobbering a rhythm are synonymous, Allen never felt that way. “Some drummers don’t know what it means to play soft, it’s not in their book,” he said in 2016. “I know I can make my drums bring the house down if I have to. But I know how to make it subtle. You listen to it flowing like a river.” (

Promo album frontcover:
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Black Voices is Afro-beat drum groove originator Tony Allen’s return to action after leaving Nigeria, settling in Paris in 1985, and dropping off the map as far as making records goes. It’s a remix project of tracks from singles more than an LP per se, a largely two-person affair with Allen manning the drums and keyboards and Doctor L supplying the modern dub mixology. While it’s hard to imagine a minimalist or trip-hop take on a sound as big-band maximalist as Afro-beat and related rhythm forms, that’s pretty much what these two have come up with here. “Asiko” is an effective opener with updated Fela electric piano lines — Allen’s drums are the lead instrument and central to mix with the melodic shards darting in and out around the rhythms. “Get Together” is alternately sunny and weird with nice closing horns, and “Black Voices (We Are What We Play Mix)” is minimalist dub Afro-beat with a bass spine blended to spooky keyboard burbles, stabbing clavinet explosions, and whispered head-trip lyrics. Those misterioso internal musings sorta recall some Lee Perry dub or Tricky trip-hop. The fragmentary “The Same Blood” (is that a sample from Allen’s “Discrimination” in there?) ebbs and flows around a single guitar riff for too long and the minimal drums, voice, and occasional percussion of “Asiko (In a Silent Mix)” isn’t worth nine and a half minutes. The original mix of “Black Voices” is too low-key to sustain interest, but the fuller “Ariya (Psychejujumix)” does, with Allen’s drums complemented by guitar, bass, and vocal chants. Black Voices was obviously designed to connect Allen with the international electronica dancefloor crew, and it works fairly well on that level. But it also sounds like a strong EP — “Asiko,” “Black Voices (We Are What We Play Mix),” “Ariya (Psychejujumix),” and “Get Together” — padded with filler to make it a 50-minute, full-list-price CD. (by Don Snowden)

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Personnel:
Tony Allen (drums, percussion)
Cesar Anot (bass)
Fixi (keyboards, clavinet)
Seb Martel (guitar)
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Gary “Mudbone” Cooper (vocals on 02.)
Doctor L (percussion on 05.)
Da-Link (drums on 03.)
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background vocals:
Cathy Renoir – Mudbone Cooper

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Tracklist:
01. Asiko (Allen) 7.55
02. Get Together (Cooper) 5.55
03. Black Voices (We Are What We Play Mix) (Payne) 7.35
04. The Same Blood (Allen) 8.11
05. Asiko (In A Silent Mix) (Allen) 9.29
06. Black Voices (Payne) 5.41
07. Ariya (PsychejujuMix) (Allen) 6.57

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TonyAllen01Tony Oladipo Allen (12 August 1940 – 30 April 2020)

Septeto Nacional & Guests – Mas Cuba Libres (1999)

FrontCover1Founded by Havana-born bassist and vocalist Ignacio Piniero in 1927, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero have played an important role in Cuba’s music for more than seven decades. Pioneers of Son, a rhythmic blend of African and Cuban music that evolved into Salsa, the Mambo, and Latin jazz, the group was the first Son band to incorporate trumpet as a lead instrument.

Attracting global recognition with their performance at the World Exposition in Seville in 1928, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero were, reportedly, the first band to mention “salsa” in a song, “Echale Salsita,” recorded in 1933.

Sexteto Occidente, New York (1926)

The song, composed by Piniero, was adapted by George Gershwin for the opening theme of his “Cuban Overture.” Since Piniero’s death in 1968, following 41 years at the band’s helm, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero has been directed by a series of leaders. Guitarist and composer Rafael Ortiz, who took over after Piniero’s death, bequeathed the position to lead singer Carlos Embale in 1982. Leaving the band due to illness in 1998, Embale’s leadership was inherited by guitarist Richard Aymee Castro. Remaining true to their original musical roots, Septeto Nacional De Ignacio Piniero continue to serve a dance-inspiring mix of montano, merengue, bolero, rumba, and cha cha cha. (by Craig Harris)

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And this album was recorded in 1999. the seventieth aniversary of its foundation by Ignacio Pineiro in 1927 !

This is a must have for the cuban son-afficionados. It’s solid, great music, in the classical form, that’ll keep you entertained for hours. I have three or four of CDs like this and put them on a loop during the day, haven’t gotten bored of it yet 🙂 If you like those, check out Orgullos de los Soneros, and the Israel Lopez Cachao Descargas CD. As well as the Estrellas de Areitos, which is a bit more coarse but still so much closer to the real stuff that some of what the music industry’s been trying to promote after the BVSC hype (which was good nevertheless to promote the style and introduce listeners to this kind of music – for which I am very graceful). (Herve Bronnimann)

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This is a star-studded album, which will remain on the best selling lists for a long time. Guests include “tresero-magnifico” Pancho Amat, composer/pianist Gonzalo”Rubalcaba”,veteran percussionist “Tata”Guines,rookie singer Bertha Portuondo, veteran sonero Pio Leyva and to increase the historical importance and value of this CD, the last recordings of cuba’s guarachera singer Caridad Cuervo, who unfortunately died right after these recording sessions. All I can say is that by listening to these recordings by the all new Septeto Nacional, I know the great tradition of excellence of this group will continue under its new administration. Excellent job by “Network”. (luis de quesada)

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In the rich flow of wonderful Cuban music reaching our part of the world, this is a true pearl. As the already worldfameous recordings from World Circuit this recording from Network deserves the same world fame. With legends in the son traditions such as Pin Leyva, Francisco Loenel Rodriquez “Pancho Amat”, Guillermo Gonzalez Camejo “Rubalcaba” and the percussion highpriest of Cuba ,Tata Günes, the listener will be merged into the true magic of African-Cuban music tradition. (Susan Rahim)

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Personnel:
Ignacio Esteban Aymme Castro ‘Richard’ (guitar, vocals)
Fernando Carlos Sánchez Chavez (trumpet)
Enrique Abdon Collazo (tres)
Francisco David Oropesa Fernández (percussion)
Apolinar Orlando Aguiar Hernandez (vocals)
Eugenio Rodriguez ‘Raspa’ (vocals, claves, maracas)
Bárbaro Sánchez Illa (bass)
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Pancho Amat (tres)
Tata Güines (percussion)
González ‘Rubalcaba’ (piano)
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vocals:
Pío Leyva – Bertha Portuondo – Caridad Cuervo

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Tracklist:
01. Llora Como Llore (Ramirez) 3.50
02. Oye Como Suena (Leyva) 4.48
03. Sazonabdi (Martínez) 3.34
04. No Jeges con los Santos (Piñeiro) 4.33
05. Arrolla Cubano (Vera) 4.47
06. La Vida Es Una Semana (Ortiz/Ginoris) 4.58
07. La Mulata del Cha Cha Cha (Landa) 5.11
08. Coco Mai Mai (Piñeiro) 3.56
09. Se Te Olvido la Sal (Mena) 4.29
10. Dulce Habanera (Ortiz) 4.06
11. El Mujeriego (Rodriguez) 4.13
12. Alma Rumbera (Blanco) 4.57
13. Uno, Dos y Tres (Ortiz) 3.26
14. Quimera (Daza) 3.28
15. Tu Mi Afinidad (Piñeiro) 3.56

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Ignacio Piñeiro
Ignacio Piñeiro Martínez (May 21, 1888 – March 12, 1969)

 

Carlos Bica & Azul – Twist (1999)

FrontCover1Carlos Bica, born in Lisbon (Portugal) and currently living in Berlin (Germany), is a double bass player and composer.

Bica studied at the Academia dos Amadores de Musica in Lisbon[1] and the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg. He was “Musician of the Year” in Portugal in 1998. He has played at important jazz festivals across Europe and Asia.

He has also composed for several theatres as well as dance and film productions. He worked for many years with Portuguese vocalist Maria João – a cooperation that established him on the international scene. He has also worked with the likes of Portuguese Fado singers Carlos do Carmo, Camané, Cristina Branco, Ana Moura, José Mário Branco, and jazz musicians Ray Anderson, Kenny Wheeler, Aki Takase, Paolo Fresu, Julian Argüelles, Frank Möbus, Jim Black, Steve Argüelles, Lee Konitz, Mário Laginha, Matthias Schubert, João Paulo Esteves da Silva, Markus Stockhausen, Antonio Pinho Vargas, Alexander von Schlippenbach among others. (by wikipedia)

This is the follow-up to Carlos Bica’s widely acclaimed best-selling album “Azul” that earned delighted reviews everywhere and was voted Jazz Album of the Year in Portugal. The band played big European festivals (e.g. Lissabon, Berlin, Nuremberg) and did several radio productions. Bridging Portuguese roots with creative freedom à la Knitting Factory, Azul gives a new and airy definition of guitar trio aesthetics.

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Bassist Carlos Bica, one of Portugal’s premiere jazz musicians, teams up with drummer Jim Black and electric guitarist Frank Möbius for a zany yet accessible romp through a musical landscape that runs the gamut, from the serene hills of 16th century art song to the beaches of tongue-in-cheek surf music. Bica has a fat, gorgeous cello-romantic tone, perfect when bowed on the opening tango, “Roses for You,” and “Paixao.” Fans of the Portuguese group Madredeus will be familiar with the faraway, melancholy tone of many of the tunes here, not to mention pleasantly surprised by Black’s snickety-snackety ingenuity and Möbius’ shimmering, Bill Frisell-inspired guitar. The ballad, “Sera,” strikes a beautiful balance between arco bass and single-note guitar, the evocative “O Profeta” evolves into waltz-time swing, and the obsessive “Pastilha Elástica” veers toward a jazz/rock trio sound. Actress Ana Brandão contributes a clarion vocal on the pretty renaissance song “Ay! Linda Amiga” (reprised as an instrumental at disc’s end) and a quite wonderfully theatrical and existential delivery of a poem by the Portuguese national poet, Pessoa. A hidden, unlisted take on “Tea for Two” lurks after the last track. Sweet stuff. (by Paul De Barros)

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“Azul has a great spectrum – not at least because the musicians represent very different musical cultures thanks to their origins. This results in an emotionally stamped searching for new sounds” (A Capital, Portugal). “Each member of the trio is exciting as a soloist, accompanist and musical painter. Fusion sounds are locked out. Nevertheless (or just because of that) the music sounds fresh, unused and – beautiful” (Zitty, Germany).

“The musicians dare to leave open spaces – one of the most obvious strenghts of the trio. Southern lightness, highly energetic density, humorous playfulness, dramatical heaviness – all that comes together for a stimulating palette of blue shades” (Jazzthetik, Germany).

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Personnel:
Carlos Bica (bass)
Jim Black (drums, percussion)
Frank Möbus (guitar)
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Ana Brandão (vocals on 03. + 08.)

Booklet03A

Tracklist:
01. Roses For You (Bina) 4.06
02. Perfume (Bina) 7.25
03. Ser Pessoa (Bina) 1.14
04. O Profeta (Bina) 7.34
05. Pastilha Elástica (Möbus) 3.34
06. Será (Bina) 3.37
07 D.D. From B. (Bina) 4.37
08. Ay! Linda Amiga (Traditional) 6.24
09. Paixão (Bina) 7:31
10. Twist (Bina) 3.47
11 Ay! Linda Amiga (II) (Traditional) 1.30
12 [hidden silent track] 0.04
13 [hidden silent track] 0.05
14 [hidden silent track] 0.06
15 [hidden silent track] 0.10
16 [hidden silent track] 0.05
17 [hidden silent track] 0.05
18 [hidden silent track] 0:06
19 [hidden silent track] 0.19
20. Tea For Two (hidden bonus track) (Bina) 3.46

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Dixie Chicks – Fly (1999)

FrontCover1Fly is the fifth studio album by American country band Dixie Chicks, released in 1999. The album was very successful for the group, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It has received diamond status by the RIAA on June 25, 2002 in the United States, for shipments of 10 million units.

The tracks “Ready to Run”, “Cowboy Take Me Away”, “Without You”, “Goodbye Earl”, “Cold Day in July”, “Heartbreak Town”, “Some Days You Gotta Dance” and “If I Fall You’re Going Down with Me” were all released as singles; “Sin Wagon” also charted without officially being released. “Some Days You Gotta Dance” was previously recorded by The Ranch, a short-lived country trio founded by Keith Urban in the late 1990s. Urban plays guitar on the Dixie Chicks’ rendition. (by wikipedia)

Wide Open Spaces unveiled the new incarnation of the Dixie Chicks, revealing an eclectic, assured group that was simultaneously rootsy and utterly modern, but if that 1998 de facto debut captured the band just leaving the ground, Fly — perhaps appropriately, given the title — finds the group in full flight, in full possession of their talents.

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This time around, the different sounds they draw upon are more fully integrated, which only makes them more distinctive as a group. Even if the whole of the album feels more of a piece, they still take the time to deliver a slice of pure honky tonk on “Hello Mr. Heartache” and a piece of breakneck bluegrass on the rip-roaring, wickedly clever “Sin Wagon,” which is also one of the group originals here, a collaboration between Natalie Maines and Emily Robison and outside writer Stephony Smith.

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It — along with the Maines-cowritten “Without You,” the Maines/Robison “Don’t Waste Your Heart” and Martie Seidel’s co-written “Ready to Run” and “Cowboy Take Me Away” — showcase the trio’s increasing craft as writers, which is one of the reasons this album sounds unified. But even the outside-written material feels like the group, whether it’s the twangy boogie “Some Days You Gotta Dance,” Patty Griffin’s “Let Him Fly,” the melancholy “Cold Day in July” and, especially “Goodbye Earl” where a wife gets revenge on her abusive husband. Like before, the group moves gracefully between these different styles, with Maines providing a powerful, compelling focus with Robison and Seidel offering sensitive support, and this blend makes Fly a rich, nuanced album that just gets better with repeated listens. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

In other words: This is one of the best Country orientated albums I ever heard  … and … enjoy the great booklet !

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Personnel:
Natalie Maines (vocals)
Emily Robison (guitar, banjo, dobro, vocals, lap steel guitar)
Martie Seidel (fiddle, mandolin, viola, background vocals)
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Pat Buchanan (guitar)
Blake Chancey (handclapping)
Steve Conn (accordion)
Marcus Hummon (guitar on 01.)
Mike Henderson (guitar on 12.)
Dennis Linde – acoustic guitar on “Goodbye Earl”
Terry McMillan (percussion)
Lloyd Maines (steel guitar)
George Marinelli (guitar on 05. + 12.)
John Mock (concertina, bodhrán, tin whistle)
Greg Morrow (drums)
Steve Nathan (keyboards)
Michael Rhodes (bass)
Tom Roady (percussion)
Charlie Robison (handclapping)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Randy Scruggs (guitar)
Adam Steinberg (guitar on 10. + 15.)
Bryan Sutton (guitar on 09.)
Keith Urban (guitar on 11.)
Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (guitar on 01. + 10.)
Paul Worley (guitar, background vocals)
“Iffy harmony” vocals on “Goodbye Earl” performed by
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background vocals on 06.:
The “Do-Wrongs”:
Blake Chancey – Paul Worley – Charlie Robison.
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String section on 10.:

Violins:
Martie Seidel – Carl Gorodetsky – Pamela Sixfin – Lee Larrison – Connie Ellisor  – Alan Umstead – David Davidson – Mary Katherine Van Osdale – David Angell – Janet Askey – Karen Winkelman – Cate Myer – Catherine Umstead

Viola:
Kris Wilkinson – Jim Grosjean – Gary Van Osdale – Monisa Angell

Cello:
Bob Mason – John Catchings

Conducted by Dennis Burnside

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Tracklist:
01. Ready To Run (Hummon/Seidel) 3.52
02. If I Fall You’re Going Down With Me (Berg/Roboff) 3.05
03. Cowboy Take Me Away (Seidel/Hummon) 4.51
05. Cold Day In July (Leigh) 5.12
06. Goodbye Earl (Linde) 4.19
07. Hello Mr. Heartache (Henderson/Hadley) 3.49
08. Don’t Waste Your Heart (Robison/Maines) 2.50
09. Sin Wagon (Maines/Robison/Smith) 3.41
10. Without You (Maines/Silver) 3.32
11. Some Days You Gotta Dance (Johnson/Morgan) 2.30
12. Hole In My Head (Lauderdale/Miller) 3.22
13. Heartbreak Town (Scott) 3.48
14. Ain’t No Thang But A Chicken Wang 0.07
15. Let Him Fly (Griffin) 3.08

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Keith Jarrett – The Melody At Night, With You (1999)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Melody at Night, with You is a solo album by American pianist Keith Jarrett recorded at his home studio in 1998 and released on the ECM label in 1999. It was recorded during his bout with chronic fatigue syndrome and was dedicated to Jarrett’s second and then-wife, Rose Anne: “For Rose Anne, who heard the music, then gave it back to me”.

In an interview in Time magazine in November 1999, he explained ″I started taping it in December 1997, as a Christmas present for my wife. I’d just had my Hamburg Steinway overhauled and wanted to try it out, and I have my studio right next to the house, so if I woke up and had a half-decent day, I would turn on the tape recorder and play for a few minutes. I was too fatigued to do more. Then something started to click with the mike placement, the new action of the instrument,… I could play so soft,… and the internal dynamics of the melodies… of the songs… It was one of those little miracles that you have to be ready for, though part of it was that I just didn’t have the energy to be clever.″

The album contains eight jazz standards, two traditional songs, and, uncharacteristically for Jarrett, only one improvisation (“Meditation”, the second half of track six).

The album was very successful commercially, becoming one of the best-selling jazz instrumental albums of the 2000s, and winning a number of awards; The second track, “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)”, was nominated for the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.

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The critical reception was more mixed, however, with some critics praising its intimacy, while others criticized its simplicity. On the negative side, the Allmusic review by Richard S. Ginell awarded the album 2½ stars (out of 5) and states, “these performances lack color, contrast and life; and while you pull for Jarrett to summon the energy to make music again, the results are touching for awhile [sic] but soon pall”. On the positive side, it was ranked the #2 Jazz album in the Down Beat “Critics Poll 2000”, and Entertainment Weekly rated it an “A”. (by wikipedia)

Tender is the night on what is, perhaps, Keith Jarrett’s most intimate album. It is comprised of solo piano renderings of jazz ballads and folk songs, recorded at home and played with unmistakable affection. Jarrett dispenses with the jazz soloist’s conventional emphasis on dexterity, the ‘clever’ phrase, the virtuosic sleight-of-hand. Instead he strips these songs to their melodic essence and, gently, lays bare their emotional core. (press release)

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Personnel:
Keith Jarrett (piano)

Booklet03A

Tracklist:
01. I Loves You, Porgy (Gershwin/Heyward) 5.46
02. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) (Ellington/Webster) 7.07
03. Don’t Ever Leave Me (Hammerstein II/Kern) 2.43
04. Someone To Watch Over Me (Gershwin) 5.04
05. My Wild Irish Rose (Traditional) 5.20
06. Blame It On My Youth/Meditation (Heyman/Levant/Jarrett) 7.15
07. Something To Remember You By (Dietz/Schwartz) 7.12
08. Be My Love (Brodszky/Cahn) 5.37
09. Shenandoah (Traditional) 5.49
10. I’m Through With Love (Kahn/Livingston/Malneck) 2.50

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More Keith Jarrett:

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Jeff Beck – Plus Nobody In Japan (1999)

JeffBackFrontCover1.jpgThis is a great performance by one of the best players ever, if not the best depending on your taste. Jeff has the aid of Jennifer Batten on this show and they perform some of the songs from their sudio albums. If you are a fan of the albums Who Else! and You had it Coming then you will like this CD. This is a sound that is unique to Jeff and an example of a very good performance by him and the band. I saw this tour and it is still one of my favorite shows. Jeff takes 90 % of the solos and Jennifer provides 90% of the backing guitar, keyboard sounds and effects. There is a lot of sound coming from two guitars, a bass and a drum. In fact I kept looking for the keyboard player on the stage, until I realized there wasn’t one. It was Jennifer playing her guitar through the effects she had. You may or may not dig every song played because there is such a huge variety of sounds coming from Jeff’s guitar. But there is enough material on the two discs to justify the price of admission. A Day In the Life is so over the top that it remains one of my favorite concert experiences. But I like it all so I am very pleased with this two CD set. (by Chris)

It’s Jeff- It’s Live and it is very very good. I have a few live outings from Mr Beck and they are all good and all slightly different showing that he just doesn’t go through the motions JeffBeck02when he performs live. This is a very solid and the bass is heavy and driving. Good (but probably not audiophile) recording – if you are a Jeff beck fan you need this in your collection. And if you are a Jeff Beck fan you will know that out of the Great English Guitar Triumvirate (Beck, Page & Clapton) he is the best, the most innovative and the most under rated by the music world. (Ducman)

It sounds better and more acoustically even than a soundboard recorded bootleg I’ve got. The set list is less than an hour and a half, but this CD set is worth twice the price. As I recall, the concert got progressively louder and louder until it became quite painful, but the mastering of these CDs takes care of that. What an enjoyable show to hear again and again. Beck sounds amazing as you might guess, and Jennifer Batten sits prominantly in the mix. She’s a gifted player–but this is Jeff’s show. (David Porter)

A splendid album, all the way around. The audio clarity highlights the astonishing midi playing of Jennifer Batten and her interplay with beck amazes me. There is no keyboard person: the keyboard and synthesizer is Batten. Which gets me to a gripe: I have read reviews saying that Batten plays inaudible guitar. This is simply wrong and evidence of a lack of information that is preposterous in people writing reviews for publication.
Beck is, as always, a joy, delight, inspiration, and unique. (Philosophical Lizard)

I add the official tour programm from this tour through Japan.

Recorded live at the Club Kanagawa Kennin, Kaikan, Japan, May 25, 1999
 excellent soundboard quality

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Personnel:
Steve Alexander (drums)
Jennifer Batten (guitar)
Jeff Beck (guitar)
Randy Hope-Taylor (bass)

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Tracklist
01. What Mama Said (Beck/Batten/Hymas) 3.55
02. Psycho Sam (Hymas) 4.50
03. Brush With The Blues (Beck/Hymas) 6.42
04. Star Cycle (Hammer) 3.52
05. Savoy (Beck/Bozzio/Hymas) 4.17
06. Blast From The East (Hymas) 4.40
07. A Day In The Life (Lennon/McCartney) 5.09
08. Declan (Lunny) 4.02
09. THX 138 (Hymas) 6.23
10. The Pump (Phillips/Hymas) 5.47
11. Led Boots (XXX) 9.18
12. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers (Wonders) 4.39
13. Angels (Hymas) 6.34
14. Even Odds (Hammer) 2.44
15. You Never Know (Hammer) 6.15
16. Blue Wind (Hammer) 7.23
17. Where Were You (Beck/Bozzio/Hymas) 3.19
18. Big Block (Beck/Bozzio/Hymas) 7.55

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Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – Nobody Sings Dylan Like Gill ‘n’ Dave (2019)

FrontCover1.jpgIf you saw Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on the Oscars this year, you know they’re amazing. You may not know they are also amazing interpreters of a certain Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter. They were featured often on my 40-volume Dylan cover collection “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan,” but when I heard that the Dave Rawlings Machine had covered “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” at a San Francisco concert last year – opening the show with the first half of the song, and closing it with the second half – I decided it was time to give them their own NSD collection. A year later, here it is.

As always, thanks to the tapers – they are the true heroes of the ROIO world – and to Gill and Dave for daring to test their mettle on these incomparable songs. As you might remember, in the summer of 2015 Gill ‘n’ Dave did a 50th anniversary tribute at the Newport Folk Festival to the historic show at which Dylan first plugged in. Surprisingly, it has never turned up on any of the download sites I frequent, though there is a barely listenable/watchable version on YouTube. If you have a better version to offer, please do; if you don’t want to bother with the nuts and bolts of uploading, let me know and I’ll do it for you.

A few of these songs are featured on other NSD sets, but these are different versions. Finally, please allow me to dedicate this collection to my friend and fellow Dylan fan Erik, who first introduced me to Gill ‘n’ Dave’s music in 1996 by giving me a copy of “Revival” and telling me I’d love it. I did, and I still do. (jeffs98119 at dime)

Various dates and venues. Mix of audience and soundboard recordings
between 1996 and 2018

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Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch (Oscar 2019)

Personnel:
Dave Rawlings Machine (on 01., 03., 05., 07., 11. + 13.)
The Esquires (on 02. + 09.)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (on 04., 06., 08., 10. + 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts (1) (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 7.36
02. Gotta Serve Somebody (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 7.31
03. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Oct 4, 2007, Tangier Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA) 5.00
04. I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine (Aug 21, 1996, Acoustic Coffee House, Nederland, CO) 3.42
05. As I Went Out One Morning (Sep 24, 2014, Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA) 5.32
06. Billy (Nov 18, 1998, Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO) 6.13
07. Oh, Sister (Mar 8, 2018, McDonald Theater, Eugene, OR) 5.10
08. Goin’ to Acapulco (Oct 13, 2004, McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR) 5.53
09. Quinn The Eskimo (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 3.29
10. Odds And Ends (Aug 2004, WXPN Studios/World Café session, Philadelphia, PA) 2.58
11. Queen Jane Approximately (Jun 20, 2014, Town Park, Telluride, CO) 10.28
12. Mr Tambourine Man (Oct 3, 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA) 6.07
13. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts 2 (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 5.05

All songs written by Bob Dylan

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The Brandos – Live At Loreley (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Brandos are an American rock band formed in 1985 in New York City by Dave Kincaid (vocals, guitar), Ernie Mendillo (bass, vocals), Ed Rupprecht (guitar, vocals) and Larry Mason (drums, vocals).

The Brandos achieved commercial success in the United States in 1987 with the release of their first album, Honor Among Thieves and the single “Gettysburg”. They have also established a strong fan base in Europe, where they have done promotion and extensive touring since the late 1980s. They have occasionally made it high on the record charts in countries such as the Netherlands.

In 2010 the recordings from the 2004 Irish Tour were mixed and the live album David Kincaid and The Brandos – Live in Europe was released on Dec. 1, 2010 and distributed in Europe by Blue Rose. The only current member of The Brandos is singer, guitarist and songwriter Dave Kincaid.

The passion, grit and power of New York’s The Brandos has origins in the Seattle scene of the early eighties. In the fall of 1984, Dave Kincaid and Larry Mason were playing the Seattle club circuit as members of The Allies. With a local radio hit (‘Emma Peel’), critically acclaimed recordings, and a video under their belts. At the same time, New Jersey based Soul Attack (with Ernie Mendillo and Ed Rupprecht) were playing gigs in and around their home state, with occasional jaunts into New York City. They had also made and released a local record in 1984.

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Frustrated with The Allies’ lack of success, Kincaid decided to move to New York in 1985. Immediately upon arrival Kincaid began scouring the local music papers, namely the Village Voice, looking for a new band. Soul Attack had just lost their principal singer and songwriter, and had just placed an ad looking for a replacement. Kincaid joined the band and they eventually changed their name to The Brandos and performed their first show on February 14, 1986. Featuring Kincaid on vocals and guitar, Ernie Mendillo (bass, vocals), Ed Rupprecht (guitar), and Larry Mason (drums), the band began playing most of New York’s most renowned clubs such as CBGB, Tramps, The Bitter End and Kenny’s Castaways. The band also spent one month touring the Pacific Northwest. By October they had enough material for an album. While recording, the band continued to perform in the New York area, along with a brief tour of Germany in May 1987.

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The Brandos released their debut album, Honor Among Thieves, on Relativity Records in late August 1987. The album spent 19 weeks in the Billboard charts and peaked at No.108 in late October. During this period, the band began touring the U.S. and Europe, opening for well-known bands such as The Georgia Satellites, INXS, The Cars and The Alarm. Their first video was released and was placed in medium rotation on MTV. The favorable reviews began to pour in: the Gavin Report dubbed them “Best new American band”, Rolling Stone magazine ran a full-page story describing them as “Real contenders”, and Time magazine clinched it with their quote “The Brandos’ roots run deep and offer great nourishment”. In early 1988, the band won Best Album (Independent Label), and Kincaid was honored with Best Male Vocalist (Independent Label) at the New York Music Awards. The Brandos also left Relativity that year and signed with Geffen Records. Their relationship with Geffen was strained from the outset and the group ended up at RCA Records in 1989. After a massive corporate restructuring, RCA dropped The Brandos upon completion of their second LP, Trial by Fire (unreleased), in 1990.

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The better part of 1991 was spent writing and recording new material for a new album that would become Gunfire at Midnight, which would land a contract with SPV GmbH in Germany in the spring of 1992. Two singles from the album (‘The Solution’ and ‘The Keeper’) would reach the top 100 in the Netherlands. Extensive touring in Europe would follow, solidifying the band’s fan base even further, however Rupprecht and Mason decided to leave the band in 1993. The Brandos recorded their next album The Light of Day with the help of a few friends, especially ex-Del Lords members Scott Kempner (guitar, vocals) and Frank Funaro (drums, vocals). They filled out the live band, and an extensive tour and live album, recorded in Amsterdam in December 1994, followed. In 1996, The Brandos returned with Pass the Hat and Frank Giordano (guitar, vocals) replacing Kempner. The album marked a return to a more stripped-down guitar sound. Kincaid released a solo album, The Irish Volunteer, in 1997 but returned to The Brandos for another album (Nowhere Zone) in 1998 followed by two tours of Europe with the likes of Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, and Deep Purple.

1999 saw the release of Contribution: The Best of 1985-1999. The band continued to tour Europe over the next few years. (by wikipedia)

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And here´s one of their high energy gigs … recorded live in Germany, 1999:

1999 the Brandos did another European tour with the line-up Dave Kincaid, Ernie Mendillo, Frank Giordana and Tom Engels. One of the anchor dates the four piece played a outdoor festival for German TV show “Rockpalast” at Loreley on July 9th. The ste included nine songs, two more live tracks have been added to the disc; “I got It”, a Little Richard cover, was recorded at the Stadsfest in Bremen, germany 1987, another one in 1998 at the Kongresshalle in Giessen, also in Germany. (by sonicrendezvous.com)

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Personnel:
Tom Engels (drums, vocals)
Frank Giordana (guitar, vocals)
Dave Kincaid (vocals, guitar, mandolin)
Ernie Mendillo (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Introduction (in German by Alan Bangs)/Can’t Go Home (Kincaid) 5.06
02. The Solution (Kincaid) 4.29
03. Trial By Fire (Funk/Kincaid) 6.54
04. Nothing To Fear (Funk/Kincaid) 6.38
05 The Warrior’s Son (Kincaid) 5.25
06. My Father’s Gun / Connachtmans’s Rambles / The Mist Covered Mountain (Kincaid) 6.48
07. Gettysburg (Funk/Kincaid) 4.57
08. Walk On The Water (Fogerty) 5.36
09. Gunfire At Midnight (Kincaid) 5.03
10. Strange Interiors (Funk/Kincaid) 3.54
11. I Got It (Penniman) 3.56

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Pornosonic – Unreleased 70s Porn Music (1999)

lpfrontcover1Pornosonic is a project by Don Argott inspired by the style of music in adult films. Two albums have been released.

This album claim to be soundtracks from non-existent unreleased porn movies, but they are modern creations. Famous adult film actor Ron Jeremy was to hired by Mini Mace Pro Records to perform voice overs. (by wikipedia)

Especially in the wake of Boogie Nights, it’s common to think of the ’70s as the golden age of porn, before a more businesslike, crank-’em-out approach and lower-budget production techniques began to rob the films of some of their liveliness. It’s also possible to link the music used in their soundtracks to that general trend, since much ’80s and ’90s porn used cheap-sounding, repetitive vamps played by generic synth/guitar rock combos, which never quite augmented the films like the classic, sexy ’70s sound. That sound — wah-wah guitars sometimes spiced with organ or horn accents, and a backbeat that’s half funk, half hard rock — is all over Pornosonic: Unreleased 70s Porno Music, which purportedly contains soundtrack excerpts from mid-’70s porn flicks. However, there are a few too many knowing winks in producer/guitarist/composer Don Argott’s presentation to believe that — from the spoken introductions by highly recognizable porn veteran Ron Jeremy, which mimic the blindingly obvious innuendo of porn-film dialogue, to the way the song titles play off of the titles of their supposed “source films.”

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Alternate frontcovers

But even if it isn’t genuine, Pornosonic accomplishes its mission quite well — so well, in fact, that the wink-wink-nudge-nudge dialogue snippets can actually break the mood created by some pretty sexy music. The irony is kind of fitting in a way, since porn rarely takes itself too seriously, but the slinky grooves are so effective at recreating their intended atmosphere that it isn’t really necessary. Quibbles aside, though, it’s a highly entertaining project. (by Steve Huey)

You don´t have to like porns from the Seventies … this is a pretty good Funk album … and it´s  a sort of a trash album …

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Personnel:
Jarred Alterman (bass, piano (clavinova)
Don Argott (guitar)
Rob Giglio (drums)
Jo Hewitt (vocals)
Nick Kendall (percussion, violin)
Daniel Lee (trumpet)
Dan McKinney (organ)
Benjamin Shwartz (flute)
Mike Viggiani (guitar)
+
Nancy Falcow (vocals on 10.)
+
background vocals:
D. Mason Bendewald – Laura Shepherd
+
Ron Jeremy as Ron Jeremy

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Tracklist:
01. Dick Dagger’s Theme (from: Dick Dagger’s Big Dick Dilemma) (Argott) 3.10
02. Cramming For College (from: Cramming For College) (Argott) 2.53
03. Nice n’ Sleazy Does It (from If It Ain’t Easy It Ain’t Sleazy) (Argott) 3.25
04. Spiderpussy (from Spiderpussy) (Argott) 2.40
05. Special Delivery (from A Happy Ass) (Argott) 2.40
06. Sex Starved Secretaries (from Takin’ Dictation) (Viggiani/Argott) 3.52
07. Prepare For Take Off (from: Mile High Club) (Argott) 2.50
08. Her Magic Carpet (from: Donna Does DeNise) (Argott) 3.19
09. Laying Pipe (from Plumber’s DeLight) (Argott) 2.23
10. Spiderpussy (Slight Return) (from Spiderpussy 2: Caught in the Web) (Argott) 4.59

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US porn Star Ron Jeremy in action during the Seventies

Alpha Blondy – Elohim (1999)

FrontCover1.jpgAlpha Blondy (born Seydou Koné; 1 January 1953 in Dimbokro, Ivory Coast) is a reggae singer and international recording artist. Many of his songs are politically and socially motivated, and are mainly sung in his native language of Dioula, French and in English, though he occasionally uses other languages, for example, Arabic or Hebrew.

Elohim is his 1999 reggae album.

Six years old when it finally reached America, Elohim isn’t the great lost Alpha Blondy album as much as it is an exciting collection of tunes with a crummy cover and so-so production. The original Elohim cover displayed Blondy as a righteous, cross-carrying warrior, but ignore the post-concert, shoved-in-the-corner singer here and you’re in for an excellent — sometimes chilling — set of conscious lyrics with breezy music. Breezy to a fault, actually, since Blondy’s Solar System band seems flattened by the thin production most of the time. Compare the version of “Black Samourai” on the live Paris Bercy album to the one included here for proof, or consider how the wicked lyric “We take no prisoners/And we eat the wounded” sits on mannered, sterile beats. The tougher Merci from 2002 displayed that Blondy would grow as an executive producer, but Elohim is filled with prime Blondy songs, ones good enough to forgive the musical stiffness. “The Devil’s Tail” is up there with his best, “Take No Prisoner” is tougher than tough, and “Black Samourai” became the man’s anthem. To Shanachie’s credit, Elohim is 80 percent in French and the label does an excellent job of translating the lyrics for the booklet. Elohim is hardly the first reggae album to be brought down a peg by cheap, sterile production, but it makes you pine harder than usual for what could have been. (by David Jeffries)

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Personnel:
Wayne Armond (guitar)
Alpha Blondy (vocals)
Jacques Bolognesi (trombone)
Christopher Burch (keyboards)
Alain Hatot (saxophone)
Christophe Hebert Assistant
Clive “Azul” Hunt (bass)
Samuel Kone (drums)
Guy N’Sangue (bass)
Mao Otayeck (guitar)
Rohan Romain (programming)
Guy Sangue (bass)
Philipp Slominski (trumpet)
Abou Watt (percussion)
+
background vocals:
Sarr Julia – Julia Fenere Sarr – Marylou Seba – Lydie “Oliza” Zamata

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Tracklist:
01. Black Samouri (Blondy) 4.39
02. Haridjinan (Blondy) 4.25
03. Les Voleurs de la République (Blondy) 4.22
04. Dictature (Blondy) 4.18
05. La Queue du Diable (Blondy) 4.52
06. Journalistes en danger (Démocrature) (Blondy) 4.13
07. When I Need You (Blondy) 3.48
08. Djeneba (Blondy) 4.37
09. Sabotage (Dekker) 4.01
10. Take No Prisoner (Cannibalistic) (Blondy) 4.43
11. Lune de miel (Honeymoon) (Blondy) 3.55
12. Waïkiki Rock (Blondy) 4.35
13. Petini Go Gaou (Blondy) 5.05
14. Mônin (Blondy) 4.13

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