Macy Gray – On How Life Is (1999)

FrontCover1Natalie Renée McIntyre (born September 6, 1967), known by her stage name Macy Gray, is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, musician, record producer and actress. She is known for her distinctive raspy voice and a singing style heavily influenced by Billie Holiday.

Gray has released ten studio albums, and received five Grammy Award nominations, winning one. She has appeared in a number of films, including Training Day, Spider-Man, Scary Movie 3, Lackawanna Blues, Idlewild, For Colored Girls, and The Paperboy. Gray is best known for her international hit single “I Try”, taken from her multi-platinum debut album On How Life Is.

MacyGray01Natalie McIntyre was born in Canton, Ohio, the daughter of Laura McIntyre, a math schoolteacher, and Otis Jones . Her stepfather was a steelworker, and her sister is a biology teacher. She has a younger brother, Nate, who owns a gym in West Philadelphia and was featured on the season five finale of Queer Eye. She began piano lessons at age seven. A childhood bicycle mishap resulted in her noticing a mailbox of a man named Macy Gray; she used the name in stories she wrote and later decided to use it as her stage name. She was late developing and did not learn to hold conversation until just before her tenth birthday

Gray attended school with Brian Warner (later known as musician Marilyn Manson) although they did not know each other. She attended more than one high school, including a boarding school which asked her to leave due to her behavior.

She attended the University of Southern California and studied scriptwriting.

While attending the University of Southern California, she agreed to write songs for a friend. A demo session was scheduled for the songs to be recorded by another singer, but the vocalist failed to appear, so Gray recorded them herself.

I started forming bands and writing songs just for fun and then I really got into it and got attached to it. Then a friend of mine asked me to be a singer in his jazz band. He gave me all these jazz CDs and I studied all these different singers and I kind of taught myself how to sing for a gig, but I didn’t take it seriously until later.

MacyGray02

She then met writer-producer Joe Solo while working as a cashier in Beverly Hills. Together, they wrote a collection of songs and recorded them in Solo’s studio. The demo tape gave Gray the opportunity to sing at jazz cafés in Los Angeles. Although Gray did not consider her unusual voice desirable for singing, Atlantic Records signed her. She began recording her debut record but was dropped from the label upon the departure of A&R man Tom Carolan, who had signed her to the label. Macy returned to Ohio but in 1997 Los Angeles based Zomba Label Group Senior VP A&R man Jeff Blue, convinced her to return to music and signed her to a development deal, recording new songs based on her life experiences, with a new sound, and began shopping her to record labels. In 1998, she landed a record deal with Epic Records. She performed on “Love Won’t Wait,” a song on the Black Eyed Peas’ debut album Behind the Front.

MacyGray03

Gray worked on her debut album in 1999 with producer Darryl Swann. Released in the summer of 1999, On How Life Is became a worldwide smash. The first single “Do Something” stalled on the charts, but the second single “I Try” made the album a success. “I Try” (which was originally featured in Love Jones and the Jennifer Aniston-starring romantic-comedy Picture Perfect in 1997) was one of the biggest singles of 1999, and subsequent singles “Still” and “Why Didn’t You Call Me” ensured the album became triple platinum in the US and quadruple platinum in the UK.

MacyGray04

In 2001, Gray won the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “I Try”, which was also nominated for “song of the year” and “record of the year”.[26] She then collaborated with Fatboy Slim, the Black Eyed Peas, and Slick Rick (on the song “The World Is Yours,” from the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack), as well as acting for the first time, in the thriller Training Day. In August 2001, Gray was booed at the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition game after forgetting the lyrics to the American national anthem.

Singles

On How Life Is is the debut studio album by American singer and songwriter Macy Gray. It was released on July 1, 1999, by Epic Records and Clean Slate. Produced by Andrew Slater, it became Gray’s best-selling album to date, selling 3.4 million copies in the United States and seven million copies worldwide.

The album’s second single, “I Try”, became an international success, topping the charts in Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, while reaching number five on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2001.

On How Life Is was met with highly positive reviews from music critics upon its release, with many praising Gray’s songwriting and vocal performance. Q rated the album four out of five stars, calling it a “confident, bluesy soul debut […] with a lived-in sound – as if Rod Stewart were a girl.” (wikipedia)

Booklet03A

Macy Gray is such an assured, original vocalist that it’s hard to believe On How Life Is is her debut album. She recalls a number of other vocalists, particularly jazz singers like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, but she is unquestionably from the post-hip-hop generation, which is evident not just from the sound of the record, but the style of her songwriting, which is adventurous and unpredictable. Thankfully, she’s worked with a producer (Andrew Slater, who pulled a similar trick with Fiona Apple’s debut, Tidal) that lets her run wild and helps her find sounds that match her ideas. That’s not to say that On How Life Is is a perfect album — at times, Gray attempts more than she can achieve — but it’s always captivating, even during its stumbles. And when it works, it soars higher than most contemporary R&B. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)BackCover1

Personnel:
Steve Baxter (horn on 06.)
Jon Brion (organ on 02., 03., 08. + 10., synthesizer on 03. + 08., guitar on 03. – 06., 08. – 10., piano on 04. + 10.. marimba on 08.)
Lenny Castro (percussion on 01., 02., 07. – 09.)
Matt Chamberlain (drums), percussion on 01., 03., 09. + 10.)
Macy Gray (vocals)
Charlie Green (horn on 06.)
Michael Harris (horn on 06.)
Ngozi Inyama (saxophone on 08.)
Rami Jaffee (synthesizer on 05., piano on 10.)
Jay Joyce (guitar on 07.)
DJ Kiilu (turntables on 02., 08. + 09., programming on 08.)
Jinsoo Lim (guitar on 01. + 02.)
Arik Marshall (guitar on 01., 07. – 10.)
Blackbyrd McKnight (guitar on 05.)
Gabriel Moses (guitar on 05.)
Dion Derek Murdock (bass on 02. + 06.)
Greg Richling (bass on 06. – 10.)
Jeremy Ruzumna (organ on 01., 04.- 06., 08 + 10.., piano on 01., 02., 07. + 1., synthesizer on 02., clavinet on 03., background vocals on 01.)
Darryl Swann (guitar, background vocals on 03., programming on 01. – 03., 05., 06., 08. – 10.)
Miles Tackett (guitar on 06.)
David Wilder (bass on 01. + 04., background vocals on 01.)
Bendrix Williams (guitar on 04.)
Patrick Warren (vibraphone on 02., organ on 02. – 04., 07., 08 + 09. synthesizer on 03.).
+
background vocals:
Dawn Beckman – Musiic Galloway – Sy Smith

Booklet04A

Tracklist:
01. Why Didn’t You Call Me (Ruzumna) 3.12
02. Do Something (Brown/Murray/Wade/Gipp/Burton/Benjamin/Patton/Mays/Barnes/ Ruzumna/Swann/Barnett/Murdock/Clinton/Shider/Worrell) 5.00
03. Caligula (Gray/Swann/Ruzumna) 4.38
04. I Try (Gray/Ruzumna/Lim/Wilder) 3.59
05. Sex-o-matic Venus Freak (Ruzumna/Murdock) 3.57
06. I Can’t Wait To Meetchu (Ruzumna/Swann/Tackett) 5.19
07. Still (Ruzumna/Esses) 4.15
08. I’ve Committed Murder (Swann/Beckwith/Ruzumna/Harris/Lai/Sigman) 5.00
09. A Moment To Myself (Ruzumna/Tackett/Morales/Wimbley) 4.01
10. The Letter (Sherrod/Houston) 5.37

“Do Something” contains a sample of “Git Up, Git Out” by OutKast and “Funky for You” by Nice & Smooth.
“I’ve Committed Murder” contains a sample of “Live Right Now” by Eddie Harris and an interpolation of “(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story” by Francis Lai & His Orchestra.
“A Moment to Myself” contains a sample of “Human Beat Box” by The Fat Boys, excerpts of “The Wildstyle” by Time Zone, and a sample of “Entropy (Hip Hop Reconstruction from the Ground Up)” by DJ Shadow & the Groove Robbers.

All lyrics are written by Macy Gray

CD1

*
**

German sticker:
Sticker

The official website:
Website

Robbie Williams – Sing When You’re Winning (2000)

FrontCover1

Robert Peter Williams (born 13 February 1974) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. He found fame as a member of the pop group Take That from 1990 to 1995, but has achieved greater commercial success with his solo career since 1996. His discography includes seven UK No. 1 singles, and all but one of his 12 studio albums have reached No. 1 in the UK. Six of his albums are among the top 100 biggest-selling albums in the UK, with two of them in the top 60, and he gained a Guinness World Record in 2006 for selling 1.6 million tickets in a single day during his Close Encounters Tour.

Robbie Williams01

Williams has received a record 18 Brit Awards, winning Best British Male Artist four times, Outstanding Contribution to Music twice, an Icon Award for his lasting impact on British culture, eight German ECHO Awards, and three MTV European Music Awards.[2][3] In 2004, he was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame after being voted the Greatest Artist of the 1990s. According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), he has been certified for 19.9 million albums and 8.2 million singles in the UK as a solo artist.[4] Five of his albums have also topped the Australian albums chart, and has sold 75 million records worldwide. He additionally topped the 2000–2010 UK airplay chart. His three concerts at Knebworth in 2003 drew over 375,000 people, the UK’s biggest music event to that point.[5] In 2014, he was awarded the freedom of his home town of Stoke-on-Trent, as well as having a tourist trail created and streets named in his honour.

Robbie Williams02

After a 15-year hiatus from Take That, Williams rejoined the group in 2010 to co-write and perform lead vocals on their album Progress, which became the second fastest-selling album in UK chart history and the fastest-selling record of the century at the time. The subsequent stadium tour, which featured seven songs from Williams’ solo career, became the biggest-selling concert in UK history when it sold 1.34 million tickets in less than 24 hours. In 2011, Take That frontman Gary Barlow confirmed that Williams had left the band for a second time to focus on his solo career, although he stated that the departure was amicable and that Williams was welcome to rejoin Take That in the future. Williams has since performed with Take That on three separate television appearances, and collaborated with Barlow on a number of projects such as the West End musical The Band.

Robbie Williams03

Sing When You’re Winning is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. It was released on 28 August 2000 in the United Kingdom by Chrysalis Records and in the United States by Capitol Records. Following the critical and commercial success of I’ve Been Expecting You (1998), the North American release of The Ego Has Landed (1999) and the subsequent promotional tours for both albums, Williams reteamed with producers Guy Chambers and Steve Powers to create new material for his next record. Whereas I’ve Been Expecting You used the Britpop genre for its overall sound, Sing When You’re Winning incorporates a more post-millennial dance-pop approach while utilizing classic British rock elements. The album garnered positive reviews from critics. Sing When You’re Winning debuted at number one in the UK, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand, as well as the top 10 in countries like Australia, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. It spawned six singles: “Rock DJ”, “Kids” (with Kylie Minogue), “Supreme”, “Let Love Be Your Energy”, “Eternity / The Road to Mandalay” and “Better Man”.

HMV

Following the 1998 release of his album I’ve Been Expecting You, and in the middle of promotion and touring in 1999, Williams found time to start the work on what would be his third studio album.

The sound of the album was described as seeing Williams move “farther away from the increasingly dated visions of Oasis-style Britpop to embrace post-millennial dance-pop, complete with the bruising beats and extroverted productions to match.” The album features a variety of styles, “conjuring a panoply of classic British rock touchstones like psychedelia, slick country rock, Ian Dury, the Who, Elton John, and Madchester.”

The album’s title is a reference to a popular football chant of the same name that goes to the tune of “Guantanamera”, Williams being a fan of Port Vale. The cover art features multiple images of Williams celebrating winning a trophy at Chelsea’s stadium Stamford Bridge.

Booklet01A

Initial releases do not feature Williams’ name or the album title on the front cover, nor is a track listing featured on the back cover; these were all changed for future releases. The images were taken by photographer Paul M. Smith and, along with Williams’ complete football strip, were later sold at auction to raise money for his charity Give It Sum. Williams toured the United Kingdom with Kylie Minogue in October and November 2000 to promote the album, selling out in every venue.

The album contains a hidden message put on the album for humorous intent. After 24 minutes of silence following track 12, “The Road to Mandalay” (4:08 – 28:08), a spoken message from Williams saying “No, I’m not doing one on this album” is heard, which means that no hidden track on the album. This is a reference to how Williams’ past three albums (including the compilation album The Ego Has Landed) each contain hidden tracks at the end of the album.

Booklet12A

When the album was released in August 2000, it immediately became a hit in the United Kingdom, debuting at number-one and being certified 2× Platinum in the first week of release. The album also topped the charts in New Zealand, Ireland and Germany, and secured top ten placings in Argentina, Austria, Australia, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland. Sing When You’re Winning failed to reach the top 20 in Spain, reaching number 22. The album spent 91 weeks on the UK chart, going on to sell 2.4 million copies in the UK alone, being certified 8x Platinum by the BPI. The album became the best-selling album of 2000 in the UK, and the 51st-best-selling album in UK music history. The album found little success in the United States, however, peaking at 110 in the Billboard 200.

Initial critical response to Sing When You’re Winning was positive. From Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on 11 reviews. (wikipedia)

Singles

Poised for global domination with his third album, Robbie Williams and producer Guy Chambers hardly dared mess with the formula of their 1998 crossover hit I’ve Been Expecting You. As such, Sing When You’re Winning has plenty of introspective balladry akin to “Angels,” and a few irresistible party time tracks in similar company to “Millennium.” The album also moves Williams farther away from the increasingly dated visions of Oasis-style Brit-pop to embrace post-millennial dance-pop, complete with the bruising beats and extroverted productions to match. And Chambers certainly knows his production playbook well, conjuring a panoply of classic British rock touchstones like psychedelia, slick country-rock, Ian Dury, the Who, Elton John, and Madchester. Despite a small drop in songwriting from its predecessor,

Booklet08A

Sing When You’re Winning ultimately succeeds, and most of the credit must go to Williams himself. Amidst a few overly familiar arrangements and lyrical themes, Williams proves the consummate entertainer, delivering powerful, engaging vocals — no matter the quality of the material — and striking the perfect balance between tongue-in-cheek, self-mocking humor (“Knutsford City Limits”) and genuine feeling (tender ballads like “Better Man” and “If It’s Hurting You”). The radio-ready single “Rock DJ” is a piece of immediately gratifying pop candy floss with a surprisingly endless shelf life, though “Kids,” a vivacious, vacuous vamp of a duet with Kylie Minogue, doesn’t even hold its own after one listen. Toss in a few beautiful album tracks (the opener “Let Love Be Your Energy,” “Love Calling Earth,” “Singing for the Lonely”), but then counter them with a few bland singalongs (“Supreme,” “Forever Texas”), and the result is a scattered, entertaining album whose real star is Robbie Williams’ personality. (by John Bush)

This is a nice pop album – not only for scoccer fans.

BackCover1

Personnel:
Dave Bishop (saxophone on 03.)
Winston Blissett (bass on 03. + 09.)
Pauline Boeykens (tuba on 12.)
Dave Catlin-Birch (bass, guitar on 07.)
Guy Chambers (keyboards, , synthesizer, clavinet, omnichord (12), guitar on 02., 06. + 12.)
Pete Davies (keyboards on 09.)
Alex Dickson (guitar om10.), autoharp on 12.)
Melvin Duffy (pedal steel guitar (6, 12)
Andy Duncan (percussion on 01. + 02.)
Fil Eisler (bass on 01. + 10.)
Mark Feltham (harmonica on 10.)
Edgar Herzog clarinet on 12.)
Bob Lanese (trumpet on 12.)
Brad Lang (bass on 08.)
Steve McEwan (guitar on 10.)
Kylie Minogue (vocals (on 05.)
Gary Nuttall (banjo on 06.)
Phil Palmer (guitar on 02.)
Steve Power (vocoder on 03., glockenspiel on 12.)
Chris Sharrock (drums, ambient kit on 04, percussion on 05.)
Neil Sidwell (trombone on 03.)
Steve Sidwell (trumpet on 03.)
Phil Spalding (bass on 01., 04. + 05.)
Jeremy Stacey (drums on 07. + 11.)
Neil Taylor (guitar)
Robbie Williams (vocals)
+
background vocals:
Crystal Adams – Andre Barreau – Andy Caine – Dave Catlin-Birch – Guy Chambers – Derek Green – Marielle Hervé – Katie Kissoon – Sylvia Mason-James – Steve McEwan – Tessa Niles – Gary Nuttall – Pauline Taylor – Claire Worrall

Booklet06A1

Tracklist:
01. Let Love Be Your Energy (Williams/Chambers) 4.59
02. Better Man (Williams/Chambers) 3.22
03. Rock DJ (Williams/Chambers/Andrews/Pigford/Paris) 4.18
04. Supreme (Williams/Chambers/Perren/Fekaris) 4.18
05. Kids (with Kylie Minogue) (Williams/Chambers) 4.46
06. If It’s Hurting You (Williams/Chambers) 4.10
07. Singing For The Lonely (Williams/Chambers) 4.31
08. Love Calling Earth  (Williams/Chambers/Andrews) 4.05
09. Knutsford City Limits (Williams/Chambers/Andrews) 4.45
10. Forever Texas (Williams/Chambers) 3.37
11. By All Means Necessary (Williams/Chambers) 4.45
12. The Road To Mandalay (the song ends at 3:57, and includes the outro hidden track, which begins at 28:09) (Williams/Chambers) 28.15

CD1

*
**

Sticker

More from Robbie Williams:
More

The official website:
Website

Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left To Lose (1999)

FrontCover1Foo Fighters are an American rock band formed in 1994 in Seattle, Washington. The band was founded by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl as a one-man project following the dissolution of Nirvana after the suicide of Kurt Cobain. The group took its name from foo fighter, a nickname coined by Allied aircraft pilots for UFOs and other aerial phenomena. Over the course of their career, Foo Fighters have won 12 Grammy Awards, including Best Rock Album four times. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, their first year of eligibility.

Prior to the release of Foo Fighters’ 1995 debut album Foo Fighters, which featured Grohl as the only official member, Grohl recruited bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith, both formerly of Sunny Day Real Estate, as well as Nirvana touring guitarist Pat Smear. The band began with performances in Portland, Oregon. Goldsmith quit during the recording of their second album The Colour and the Shape (1997); most of the drum parts were re-recorded by Grohl. Smear departed soon afterward but appeared as a guest with the band frequently from 2005; he rejoined in 2010.

Foo Fighters01

Smear and Goldsmith were replaced by Franz Stahl and Taylor Hawkins; Stahl was fired before the recording of the group’s third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999). The band briefly continued as a trio until Chris Shiflett joined on guitar after the completion of There Is Nothing Left to Lose. Foo Fighters released their fourth album, One by One, in 2002. It was followed with the two-disc In Your Honor (2005), which was split between acoustic songs and heavier material. Foo Fighters released their sixth album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, in 2007.

For Foo Fighters’ seventh studio album, Wasting Light (2011), produced by Butch Vig, Smear returned as a full member. Sonic Highways (2014) was released as the soundtrack to the television miniseries directed by Grohl. Concrete and Gold (2017) was the second Foo Fighters album to reach number one in the United States and their first studio album to feature longtime session and touring keyboardist Rami Jaffee as a full member. The band’s tenth album, Medicine at Midnight (2021), was the last to feature Hawkins, who died in March 2022.

Foo Fighters02

There Is Nothing Left to Lose is the third studio album by American rock band Foo Fighters, released on November 2, 1999, through Roswell and RCA Records. It marked the first appearance of drummer Taylor Hawkins, and is often seen as a departure from the band’s previous work, showcasing a softer, more experimental sound. Dave Grohl has stated that the album was “totally based on melody” and that it might be “[his] favorite album that [they’ve] ever done.”

There Is Nothing Left to Lose won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2001, marking the band’s first ever Grammy win. The band would go on to win the Grammy for Best Rock Album for three of their next four studio releases (One by One; Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace; and Wasting Light).

There Is Nothing Left to Lose is Foo Fighters’s first album to be entirely released and marketed by RCA Records since their departure from Capitol Records after release of The Colour and the Shape two years earlier. Their two previous studio albums, originally distributed by Capitol, were since then distributed by RCA.

Foo Fighters03

Prior to recording, guitarist Franz Stahl was fired, as frontman Dave Grohl felt the guitarist had not found his place in the band. At that point, Grohl decided that the band would just be a three piece for the record, along with bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Taylor Hawkins. Having just slaved themselves in the studio making the last record The Colour and the Shape and losing two band members in the process, he decided to buy a house in Alexandria, Virginia and make the record in its basement without any record company presence during production. This was helped by the Foo Fighters’ leaving Capitol Records after president Gary Gersh left the label. Grohl named his home facility Studio 606, at first saying, “It’s just one of those numbers that’s everywhere. Like when you wake up in the middle of the night and it’s 6:06, or you see a license plate that says 606.” He later told the full story of the number’s significance in a July 20, 2020 Instagram post: spending the evening with his father in 1985, he received a particularly searing “what do you want to do with your life” lecture that defines the bittersweet moment he finally communicated to his father the depth of his commitment to becoming a professional musician, before sneaking out. “606” was his father’s apartment number.

Booklet03A

Grohl set up the studio with the help of Adam Kasper, who eventually co-produced the album. The biggest challenge, according to Grohl, was making the record sound good without computer programs such as Pro Tools or AutoTune.[6] Dave Grohl notes that he had:

“[…] been living in Los Angeles for about a year and a half, just being a drunk, getting fucked up every night and doing horrible shit, and I’d finally gotten sick of that new car smell. So I bought this great house in Virginia and told everyone I was building a studio in the basement. It was literally a basement with sleeping bags on the walls!”[1]

In 2006, Grohl stated that: “It was all about just settling into the next phase of your life, that place where you can sit back and relax because there had been so much crazy shit in the past three years. At that point it was me, Taylor and Nate and we were best friends. It was one of the most relaxing times of my whole life. All we did was eat chili, drink beer and whiskey and record whenever we felt like it. When I listen to that record it totally brings me back to that basement. I remember how it smelled and how it was in the Spring so the windows were open and we’d do vocals until you could hear the birds through the microphone. And more than any other record I’ve ever done, that album does that to me.”

Booklet04A

The title emerged to Grohl as he talked to a friend “about when you experience these emotions after you’ve been through a long, difficult period and you finally give into this feeling that, quite simply, there is nothing left to lose. It can seem… positive, desperate and reckless.” The frontman also said that it represented the band’s mood during production: “we just wrote off and played like all bets were off. No one was forcing us to be there, so it had to be fun—and the songs had to be the best we could possibly come up with at the time.”

After the album was ready, the band signed with RCA Records to distribute the album. For promotion, the label focused on “getting the Foo Fighters brand out there”, setting up the band’s official website, and arranging appearances on broadcast television and events such as the Gravity Games. There Is Nothing Left to Lose was released in an Enhanced CD featuring the music video for the first single, “Learn to Fly”, along with song lyrics and photographs.

Booklet01A

While the album was recorded as a three-piece, Grohl decided that he still needed a second guitarist for the live performances. After open auditions in which 35 musicians were tested, the band hired Chris Shiflett, whom Grohl considered the best guitarist and singer who auditioned, and “he fit in with the rest of us so well”, particularly for his background in punk rock bands. In September 1999, the band performed club dates in New York and Los Angeles, to both showcase the new songs and test Shiflett’s performance with the group. The There Is Nothing Left To Lose tour started in 2000.[8] The North American leg was overlapped with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication Tour.

Early pressings of the disc included a temporary tattoo, similar to the one featured on the album cover. The album was also re-released in 2001 in Australia as a two-CD edition which offers a second VCD disc of four videos and one bonus track, “Fraternity.” (wikipedia)

Ad

Foo Fighters were the most unexpectedly mercurial band in ’90s rock, boasting a different lineup for each of their three albums. The ever-shifting membership didn’t help erase the image that the group was merely a vehicle for Dave Grohl, and made it seem like Grohl was something of a dictator, at least to some biased outside observers. That’s why their third record, There Is Nothing Left to Lose, comes as somewhat of a surprise. It is the first Foo Fighters album that sounds like the work of a unified, muscular band, and the first one that rocks really hard. A lot of credit should go to Adam Kasper, who produced the record with the band. There Is Nothing Left to Lose has a stripped-down sound and an immediate attack that makes even the poppier numbers rock hard.

Single

The organic, natural sound is welcome, but the album also benefits from the strongest set of songs Grohl and Foo Fighters have yet written. There are the typical strong singles, but there’s no fat or filler; each track has a memorable hook or melody, and they seem all the more catchy because they’re delivered with conviction and confidence. And that’s why the album sounds like the first true band album Foo Fighters have made — the group sounds assured and confident, where they previously seemed like they had something to prove. It’s as if they know they have few peers in straight-ahead post-grunge hard rock, so they’re willing just to lie back and turn out a solid set of 11 songs. They make it sound easy and fun, and that’s what really sets them apart from their contemporaries. That and the fact that they’re getting better as they’re losing members and growing older, which is certainly a rarity in rock & roll. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Dave Grohl (vocals, guitars, drums, percussion, loops, mellotron on 08., talk box on 05.)
Taylor Hawkins (drums, percussion)
Nate Mendel (bass)

Booklet05ATracklist:
01. Stacked Actors 4.16
02. Breakout 3.21
03. Learn To Fly 3.55
04. Gimme Stitches 3.43
05. Generator 3.47
06. Aurora 5.48
07. Live-In Skin 3.53
08. Next Year 4.35
09. Headwires 4.36
10. Ain’t It The Life 4.15
11. M.I.A. 4.04

All songs written by Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel and Taylor Hawkins.

CD1*
**

Taylor Hawkins

Ibrahim Ferrer – Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer (1999)

FrontCover1Ibrahim Ferrer (February 20, 1927 – August 6, 2005) was a Cuban singer who played with Los Bocucos for nearly forty years. He also performed with Conjunto Sorpresa, Chepín y su Orquesta Oriental and Mario Patterson. After his retirement in 1991, he was brought back in the studio to record with the Afro-Cuban All Stars and Buena Vista Social Club in March 1996. He then toured internationally with these revival groups and recorded several solo albums for World Circuit before his death in 2005.

Ferrer was born at a dance club in San Luis, near the city of Santiago de Cuba. His mother died when he was 12, leaving him orphaned and forcing him to sing on the streets (busk) to earn money.

The following year, Ferrer joined his first ever musical group—a duet with his cousin—called Jovenes del Son (Spanish: Youths of Rhythm). They performed at private functions and the two youths managed to scrape together enough money to live.

Over the next few years, Ferrer would perform with many musical groups, including Conjunto Sorpresa and Chepín y su Orquesta Oriental. As lead singer of the latter, Ferrer recorded in 1956 his biggest hit: “El platanal de Bartolo”. In 1961, he also sang lead for Mario Patterson y su Orquesta Oriental on “Cariño falso”, a standard of the guaracha repertoire.

Ibrahim Ferrer04

In 1953, Ferrer began performing with Pacho Alonso’s group in Santiago, Cuba. In 1959, the group moved permanently to Havana, renaming themselves Los Bocucos, after a type of drum widely used in Santiago, the bocú. With Alonso, Ferrer primarily performed sones, guarachas and other up-tempo songs. However, he yearned to sing boleros.

Ferrer remained a member of Los Bocucos until his retirement in 1991. Starting in 1967, Los Bocucos became an independent group, since Pacho Alonso started a new band, Los Pachucos. Since then, Ferrer began to sing lead more often, instead of performing as a backing singer. The group released several LPs in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1998, Cuban label EGREM released on CD Tierra caliente, a compilation of tracks recorded by Los Bocucos between 1970 and 1988, featuring Ferrer as lead singer. The songs were directed and arranged by Roberto Correra, the group’s lead trumpeter.

In 1996, Ferrer took part in Nick Gold’s World Circuit sessions, when it was announced that an old-style bolero singer would be required. He first participated in the recording of the album A Toda Cuba le Gusta with the Afro-Cuban All Stars, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. This project was immediately followed by the recording of Ry Cooder’s Grammy Award winning Buena Vista Social Club album, which showcased Ferrer’s talent as a bolero singer and made him widely known outside Cuba.

Ibrahim Ferrer05

In 1999, Ry Cooder recorded Ferrer’s first solo album. In 2000, Ferrer, at the age of 72, received a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist.

In 2001, he appeared on the track “Latin Simone (¿Qué Pasa Contigo?)” on the self-titled debut album of virtual band Gorillaz. Following Ferrer’s death, Gorillaz played the song live as a tribute to him at concerts in 2005 and 2006, and again in 2018.

In 2004, Ferrer won a Grammy, but was denied permission by the U.S. government to enter the U.S. to receive his award” as a result of extremely restrictive visa laws enacted in the wake of 9/11.

Ibrahim Ferrer03

Ferrer released his second solo recording, Buenos Hermanos, in 2003 and continued touring in Europe into 2005. Ferrer’s contributed in 2005 to the APE Vision Artists Project Earth album Rhythms Del Mundo: Cuba, a collaboration with artists Coldplay, U2, Sting, Dido, Faithless, Jack Johnson, Maroon 5 and others. Ferrer’s last recording was Mi sueño, an album devoted to the bolero. It was released posthumously in 2006.

Ferrer was posthumously featured in the Gorillaz documentary films Bananaz and Reject False Icons in 2008 and 2019, respectively.

Ibrahim Ferrer died at age 78 of multiple organ failure on August 6, 2005, at CIMEQ hospital in Havana, Cuba after returning from a European tour.[6] He was buried in the Colón Cemetery, Havana.

Ferrer was an adherent of the Santería faith, a blending of traditional African religions and Catholicism (wikipedia)

Ibrahim Ferrer02

And here´s his first solo-album:

When the Buena Vista Social Club album was released to great acclaim in 1997, it revived the careers of quite a few incredibly talented aging Cuban musicians. Like Ibrahim Ferrer, most of those musicians (who had been legendary in the ’40s through the ’70s) hadn’t been performing professionally in decades. With the success of the Buena Vista Social Club, everything changed; they toured the globe, and plans for follow-up albums followed. Ibrahim Ferrer’s was the second of what became a line of Buena Vista releases, all hoping to cash in on the success of the first.

Booklet08A

Ferrer’s album is pleasant, the kind of album you could put on during brunch on a sunny morning. The album features many classic Cuban compositions. Original arrangers, musicians, and bandleaders were involved whenever possible. One standout is “Mami Me Gusto,” a rolling upbeat tune by the legendary Cuban composer/bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez. On that tune Ferrer is lively and loose, and he is joined by Rodriguez’s original pianist, the masterful Ruben Gonzales. The rest of the album is nice, but rarely as inspired or joyous as the original Buena Vista release. This is a much more romantic sounding album and on the right tunes, like “Aquellos Ojos Verdes,” they really hit the mark; Ferrer shines and Gonzales sends glistening piano lines cascading down the keys. At age 63-plus, Ferrer was long overdue for a debut album, and as a result the disc communicates a feel of easy satisfaction. If you’re looking for classy cocktail party music that will hold the attention of music fans, and won’t bother the uninterested, look no further.  (by David Lavin)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Joachim Cooder (udu drum, dumbek, drums)
Ry Cooder (guitar)
Ibrahim Ferrer (vocals)
Ibrahim Ferrer Jr. (clave)
Manuel Galbán (guitar)
Rubén González (piano)
Eliades Ochoa (guitar)
Papi Oviedo (tres)
Barbarito Torres (laúd)
Alberto “Virgilio” Valdés (maracas)
Amadito Valdés (timbales)
+
percussion:
Ángel Terry Domech – Roberto García – Carlos González
+
trumpet:
Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal – Octavio Calderón – Carmelo González – Yanko Pisaco Pichardo –  Alejandro Pichardo Pérez – Daniel Ramos
+
saxophone:
Carlos Montenegro Ruíz – José Ramírez Nurque – Antonio Francisco Jiménez Sánchez – Braulio Hernández Rodríguez – Adrian Corzo González – Gil Bernal
+
trombone:
Jesús “Aguaje” Ramos – Jorge Leal – Alberto Muñoz
violin:
Lázaro Ordóñez Enríquez – Julián Corrales Subidá – Alyoth Marichal Castillo – Pedro Depestre González – José Conyedo Román – José Pérez Fuentes – Ariel Sarduy Méndez –Rogelio Martínez Muguercia – Humberto Legat Yera
+
viola:
Rafael Cutiño Diequez – Angél Zaldívar Copello – Lenor Bermúdez Bermúdez
+
cello:
Angél Zaldívar Copello – Roy Ávila Serrano
+
bass:
Andrés Escalona Graña – Aleida Espinosa – Orlando “Cachaíto”
+
vocals:
José Antonio “Maceo” Rodríguez – Michelle Alderete Espigul – Estela Guzmán Vega – Laura Flores Hernández – Odette Tellería Orduña
+
background vocals:
Pío Leyva – Manuel “Puntillita” Licea – Lázaro Villa – Teresa García Caturla – Omara Portuondo – José Antonio “Maceo” Rodríguez

Booklet07A

Tracklist:
01. Bruca Maniguá (Rodríguez) 4.43
02. Herido De Sombras (Francia) 4.11
03. Marieta (Oramas) 5.55
04. Guateque Campesino (Romero) 5.09
05. Mami Me Gustó (Rodríguez) 5.04
06. Nuestra Ultima Cita (Medina) 3.57
07. Cienfuegos Tiene Su Guaguanco (Lay) 5.22
08. Silencio (Hernández) 4.38
09. Aquellos Ojos Verdes (Menendez/Utrera) 4.54
10. Qué Bueno Baila Usted (Moré) 4.39
11. Como Fue (Duarte) 3.33

CD1

*
**

Booklet04A

Grave

Ibrahim Ferrer06

Candy Dulfer – What Does It Take (1999)

FrontCover1Candy Dulfer (born 19 September 1969) is a Dutch jazz and pop saxophonist. She is the daughter of jazz saxophonist Hans Dulfer. She began playing at age six and founded her band Funky Stuff when she was fourteen. Her debut album Saxuality (1990) received a Grammy nomination. She has performed and recorded with Hans Dulfer, Prince, Dave Stewart, Van Morrison, Angie Stone, Maceo Parker and Rick Braun and has performed live with Alan Parsons (1995), Pink Floyd (1990), and Tower of Power (2014). She hosted the Dutch television series Candy Meets… (2007), in which she interviewed musicians. In 2013, she became a judge in the fifth season of the Dutch version of X Factor. (wikipedia)

You´ll finde more information about Candy Dulfer here.

Candy Dulfer 1A

And here´s her 6th solo album:

No doubt some very talented fashion and makeup artists got paid a bundle to entice your eyes with seductive, softly lit visions of the gorgeous blond Dutch sax star. The good news is, even without the hard to resist packaging, Dulfer once again hits the mark with one of those funky smooth jazz discs that could keep the dullest party humming. This is the second disc in a row — following 1997’s similarly enticing For the Love of You — marketed around an update of an old soul classic (this time, Junior Walker’s 1969 hit), and it makes great commercial sense to pair Dulfer’s snazzy riffs with labelmate Jonathan Butler’s kindly vocals. Such an obvious airplay hit, however, detracts from the real joys of the collection, which include bold, brassy covers of two from Sonny Rollins’ catalog. Dulfer plays “No Problem” pretty straightforwardly, but she and producer, partner, and all around groovemeister Ulco Bed twist “Island Lady” into a Bob Marley-inspired fantasy camp.

Candy Dulfer 6

The version also features a tenor solo by Dulfer’s dad, Hans, and a trumpet romp by Arturo Sandoval. Another unmistakable Dulfer trademark employed here is horn doubling and tripling. On “Fred’s Joint,” she plays multiple tracks of her alto over Fred Wesley’s bouncy trombone; on the Prince-like “2025,” she offsets the corny quasi-millennium rap and frothy disco groove with bursts of textured horn energy. Sanborn fans might complain that Dulfer has never gotten too far away from imitating her greatest influence. She’s never quite achieved her own innovative sound, but the contexts and production choices make her the primo smooth jazz party girl. (by Jonathan Widran)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Thomas Bank (programming)
Ulco Bed (guitar)
Jonathan Butler (guitar, vocals)
Ned Douglas (programming)
Jan van Duikeren (trumpet)
Candy Dulfer (saxophone, vocals)
Hans Dulfer (saxophone)
Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis (saxophone, flute)
Reece Gilmore (drums, programming)
Peter Lieberom (horns)
Steve McLaughlin (programming)
Jerry Preston (bass, vocals)
Arturo Sandoval (trumpet)
Dave Stewart (guitar, dobro, bass)
Fred Wesley (trombone)
+
background vocals:
Carin Verbrugen – Emi Preston – Ferry Drenthem Soesman

Candy Dulfer 5

Tracklist:
01. Mr. Slim (Bank/Pennon) 4.02
02. Fred’s Joint (Bank/C.Dulfer) 4.24
03. What Does It Take? (To Win Your Love) (Bristol/Bullock/Fuqua) 4.15
04. Nikki’s Dream (Bank/C.Dulfer) 3.59
05. Soulala (Bank/C.Dulfer) 4.04
06. 2025 4.40 (Bank/C.Dulfer)
07. So Cool (v.Dok/Herman) 4.39
08. Island Lady (Rollins) 4.49
09. I’m The One (Ball/Gorrie/Stuart) 3.48
10. No Problem (Rollins) 5.05
11. Cookie (bonus track; taken from the movie “Cookie’s Fortune”) (C.Dulfer/Stewart) 4.55

CD1

*
**
MC2

More from Candy Dulfer:
More

The Corrs – In Blue (2000)

FrontCover1The Corrs are an Irish family band that combine pop rock with traditional Irish themes within their music. The group consists of the Corr siblings, Andrea (lead vocals, tin whistle, ukulele), Sharon (violin, keyboards, vocals), Caroline (drums, percussion, piano, bodhrán, vocals) and Jim (guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals). They are from Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.

The Corrs have released seven studio albums and numerous singles, which have reached Platinum in many countries, and have sold 40 million albums worldwide. Talk on Corners, their most successful album to date, reached multi-Platinum status in Australia, and in the UK it was the highest selling album of the year. The band is one of only a handful of acts who have held the top two positions simultaneously in the UK album charts, with Talk on Corners at number one and Forgiven, Not Forgotten at number two. The latter was the year’s third highest selling album in Australia. Their third studio album, In Blue, went to number one in seventeen countries.

The Corrs01

The Corrs have been actively involved in philanthropic activities. They have performed in numerous charity concerts, such as The Prince’s Trust event in 2004 and Live 8 alongside Bono of U2 in 2005. The same year, they were awarded honorary MBEs for their contributions to music and charity. The band was inactive for almost ten years because Jim and Caroline were raising families, while Andrea and Sharon were pursuing solo careers while raising families of their own. According to Sharon, it was uncertain if and when The Corrs would reunite. Rumours of a reunion sparked in early 2015 and in a radio interview with Chris Evans in June 2015, Andrea confirmed that The Corrs were working on a new album and would play the BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park festival.[6] Their sixth studio album, White Light, was released on 27 November 2015, and was accompanied by a European tour. After two years, their seventh studio album, Jupiter Calling, was released on 10 November 2017.

The Corrs02

In Blue is the third studio album by Irish pop rock band The Corrs, released in 2000 which saw the band become known in the United States. The title of the album comes from a lyric in the song “Give Me a Reason”. As well as the UK number one single “Breathless”, the album also contains new versions of “Radio” and “At Your Side”, which had appeared on their previous album The Corrs Unplugged. Mutt Lange co-wrote and produced three songs from the album.

Booklet02A

Several of the tracks were used in various television programmes and films: “Rebel Heart” as the theme for the TV miniseries of the same name; “One Night” in Mad About Mambo; “At Your Side” in Say It Isn’t So and the trailer for the film The Holiday; and “All the Love in the World” in the film America’s Sweethearts. As of 2017, the album has sold 9 million copies worldwide. (wikipedia)

Singles

A very straightforward release from the Corrs, who spend the majority of this outing in full-blown pop mode, with the Celtic elements mostly being relegated to the backgrounds of several songs. The one exception is the closing instrumental, “Rebel Heart,” which stirs itself up full-bloodily to provide the album with an anthem. In Blue is a bright, peppy set that bears more than a few comparisons to the work of bands such as the Bangles and Fanny, though the Corrs have an additional advantage in that Caroline Corr is an impressively muscular drummer. (by Steven McDonald)

Booklet01A

I’ve heard so many fans saying they dislike it. Yet the songs are catchy, the band sounds they are enjoying. For me, it is their second best album, only behind “White Light” which was also made this kind of way. When the band sounds enjoying it, I am more willing to enjoy it. Their first two albums are good but this one sounds prefessional, and there are not many fillers. The Celtic elements are not as strong as during the first albums. The music should be about melodies and vocals, and lyrics – and rhythm of course – the opening song “Breathless” has their best rhythm – my favorite song from this band.

“Give Me A Reason”, “All the Love in the World”, and “Irresistible” are songs most fans like. “Radio” is good too but the unplugged version is better.

“No More Cry”, “At Your Side”, “Hurt Before”, and “Rebel Heart” are my favorite non-hit songs. (by Reijo Piippula)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Andrea Corr (vocals, tin whistle)
Caroline Corr (drums, bodhran, piano, vocals)
Jim Corr (guitar, keyboards, piano, vocals)
Sharon Corr (violin, vocals)
+
Anthony Drennan (lead guitar)
Keith Duffy (bass)
+
Ronan Dooney (trumpet)
Paul Duffy (saxophone)
Billy Farrell (keyboards)
Mitchell Froom (keyboards)

Booklet03A

Tracklist:
01. Breathless (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr/Lange) 3.28
02. Give Me A Reason (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.29
03. Somebody for Someone (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.01
04. Say (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.34
05. All The Love In The World (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr/Lange) 4:22
06. Radio (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.14
07. Irresistible (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr/Lange) 3.40
08. One Night (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.38
09. All In A Day (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.43
10. At Your Side (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.55
11. No More Cry (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 2.59
12. Rain (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.15
13. Give It All Up (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 3.28
14. Hurt Before (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.05
15. Rebel Heart (instrumental) (A.Corr/C.Corr/J.Corr/S.Corr) 4.06

CD1

*
**

Tom Jones – Reload (1999)

FrontCover1Sir Thomas John Woodward OBE (born 7 June 1940), known professionally as Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer. His career began with a string of top-ten hits in the mid-1960s. He has toured regularly, with appearances in Las Vegas (1967–2011). Jones’s voice has been described by AllMusic as a “full-throated, robust baritone”.

His performing range has included pop, R&B, show tunes, country, dance, soul and gospel. In 2008, the New York Times called Jones a musical “shape shifter”, who could “slide from soulful rasp to pop croon, with a voice as husky as it was pretty”. Jones has sold over 100 million records, with 36 Top 40 hits in the UK and 19 in the US, including “It’s Not Unusual”, “What’s New Pussycat?”, the theme song for the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, “Green, Green Grass of Home”, “Delilah”, “She’s a Lady”, “Kiss” and “Sex Bomb”.

Tom Jones02

Jones has also occasionally dabbled in acting, first making his acting debut playing the lead role in the 1979 television film Pleasure Cove. He also appeared as himself in Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks!.[6][7] In 1970 he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy nomination for hosting the television series This Is Tom Jones. In 2012, he played his first dramatic acting role in an episode of Playhouse Presents.[8] Jones received a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1966, an MTV Video Music Award in 1989, as well as two Brit Awards: Best British Male in 2000 and the Outstanding Contribution to Music award in 2003. Jones was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1998 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music in 2005. Jones experienced a resurgence in notability in the 2010s due to his coaching role on the television talent show The Voice UK from 2012 (with the exception of 2016).

Tom Jones01

Reload is the 34th album by Tom Jones, released in 1999. It contains fifteen duets with a range of artists including Van Morrison, Cerys Matthews, Stereophonics, Robbie Williams and Portishead, recorded with their usual record producers and in their usual studios. The tracks are mainly cover versions, with a new version of one of Jones’ own songs, “Looking Out My Window” (1968), and one original track, “Sex Bomb”.

Reload became the highest seller of Jones’ career, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart in 1999 and again in 2000. Its biggest single was the collaboration with Mousse T, “Sex Bomb”, which reached number 3 on the UK Singles Chart, and was later used in a 2003 episode of The Simpsons (a show Jones had guest starred on in 1992). The album has sold more than four million copies worldwide. The album was not released in the US; instead the compilation Reloaded: Greatest Hits was issued there in 2003 and featured highlights from Reload.

Singles

The album was released on 16 September 1999 in the UK by Gut Records and was released a little later in the US by V2 Records. Five singles were released from the album: “Burning Down the House” (September 1999), “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (December 1999), “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (March 2000), “Sex Bomb” (May 2000), and “You Need Love Like I Do” (November 2000)

Reload became the highest seller of Jones’ career, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart in 1999 and again in 2000. (wikipedia)

Booklet01A

It had been six years since Tom Jones released his last stateside record, but this one scored big in England and on the Continent, for good reason. Ultra-modern and topical, Reload suggests you can easily ignore Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?” past. Not only does Jones deliver one of the more invigorating workings of modern pop here, his selection of material and choice of mates prove that in addition to his routinely extraordinary performances, he’s still recording quite potently, thank you. Like 1994’s underrated “The Lead and How To Swing It,” a lesser seller from the Interscope label, “Reload” finds Tom in collaborative mode. But where The Lead stressed original tunes and producer chops (everyone from Teddy Riley to Flood to Trevor Horn weighed in), Reload focuses on contemporary artists and cover songs. The artists are a motley, and very talented, crew indeed. Jones more than holds his own, turning the tunes into unusually personal and expressive vehicles.

Tom Jones03

Jones launches the disc with Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House,” working it brisk and funky with the Cardigans and lending David Byrne’s opaque lyrics a fresh vigor. Then, with Stereophonics, he resurrects Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come,” refreshing the Three Dog Night chestnut with unexpected lasciviousness. The selections are as peculiar as they are successful, spanning “Sometimes We Cry” (a sparsely arranged duet with Van Morrison), a sharp interpretation of Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” with Chrissie Hynde’s Pretenders, and a fruity, truly bizarre take on the George Baker Selection’s “Little Green Bag” with Barenaked Ladies. Jones probably doesn’t do knee drops anymore, but he sure as hell does vocal swoops; check out “Ain’t That a Lot of Love” with Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall or his resurrection of Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” with Zucchero for throat acrobatics. Jones is in the uncomfortable position of being a retro novelty, and although he may not ignite the U.S. charts anymore (his last notable effort here was his great collaboration with the Art of Noise on the Prince tune “Kiss,” in 1988), his music is as contemporary and driving as ever. (by Carlo Wolff)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Tom Jones (vocals)
+
many, many other musicians (more details in the booklet)

Booklet05A

Tracklist:
01. Burning Down The House (with The Cardigans) (Byrne/Weymouth/Frantz/Harrison) 3.39
02. Mama Told Me Not To Come (with Stereophonics) (Newman) 3.00
03. Are You Gonna Go My Way (with Robbie Williams) (Kravitz/Ross) 3.27
04. All Mine (with The Divine Comedy) (Barrow/Gibbons/Utley) 4.00
05. Sunny Afternoon (with Space) (Davies) 3.26
06. I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (with James Dean Bradfield) (Kesler/Taylor) 3.40
07. Sex Bomb (with Mousse T.) (Mousse T./Rennalls) 3.32
08. You Need Love Like I Do (with Heather Small) (Whitfield/Strong) 3.50
09. Looking Out My Window (with James Taylor Quartet) (Jones) 3.20
10. Sometimes We Cry (with Van Morrison) (Morrison) 5.01
11. Lust For Life (with The Pretenders) (Pop/Bowie) 3.43
12. Little Green Bag (with Barenaked Ladies) (Visser/Baker) 3.49
13. Ain’t That A Lot Of Love (with Simply Red) (Parker/Banks) 2.42
14. She Drives Me Crazy (with Zucchero) (Gift/Steele) 3.35
15. Never Tear Us Apart (with Natalie Imbruglia) (Farriss/Hutchence) 3.08
16. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (with Cerys Matthews) (Loesser) 3.41
17. Motherless Child (with Portishead) (Traditional) 5.09

CD1

*
**

The official website:
Website

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.”

TonyAllen02

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.”

TonyAllen03

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.”

TonyAllen04

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.

TonyAllen05

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.

TonyAllen06

“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:
PromoFrontCover

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)

BackCover

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

BookletBackCover

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

CD1

*
**

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)

Septeto Nacional01

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)

Septeto Nacional02

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)

Septeto Nacional04
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)

BackCover1

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)
+
Pancho Amat (tres)
Tata Güines (percussion)
González ‘Rubalcaba’ (piano)
+
vocals:
Pío Leyva – Bertha Portuondo – Caridad Cuervo

Booklet08A

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

CD1

*
**

Septeto Nacional03

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.

Carlos Bica01

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)

Booklet01A

“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).

BackCover1

Personnel:
Carlos Bica (bass)
Jim Black (drums, percussion)
Frank Möbus (guitar)
+
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

CD1

*
**

Tray1