Marino Risi & Antonello Sassone – Last Acoustic (2003)

FrontCover1Unfortunately I found hardly informations about this absolut great guitar duo from Italy.

Both guitar player can play the classical guitar, and both musicians have a great faible for Jazz, and they were impressed and influenced by musicians like Al di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco de lucia, Larry Coryell, Bireli Lagrene),  Maurizio Colonna, Frank Gambale and Sylvian Luc.

I guess this was their first and last album … but it´s an album with high-class acoustic guitar music … played by so much underrated musicians. What a shame !

It´s time to discover Marino Risi & Antonello Sassone !

Listen and enjoy his brilliant, this superb album !

BackCover1

Personnel:
Marino Risi (guitar)
Antonello Sassone (guitar)

Booklet1

Tracklist:
01. Concierto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo) 3.23
02. Frevo Rasgado (Gismonti) 4.02
03. Camaiore (Gambale/Colonna) 3.18
04. Fantasia Suite (Meola) 4.26
05. Roxanne (Summer) 5.03
06. Suite (9.51)
06.1. Mediterranean Sundance (Meola)0.44
06.2. Rio Ancho de Lucia) 0.52
06.3. Could`ve Been Love (Polak) 0.57
06.4. Africa (Mariono) 1.03
06.5. Bullfighter`s Dreams (Liebert) 2.14
06.6. Bridges And Rain (Hughes) 1.23
06.7. Erotomania (Portnoy/Petrucci/Myung/Moore) 1.41
06.8. The Silent Man (Petrucci) 0.17
07. Villa Borghese (Gambale/Colonna) 4.35
08. Pacific Palisades (Gambale/Colonna) 4.32
09. Isn’t She Lovely (Wonder) 4.37
10. Cinema Paradiso – Love Theme (Morricone) 4.43
11. La leggenda del pianista sull’oceano (Morricone) 5.38

CD1

*
**

Marino Risi & Antonello Sassone

Maybe some readers of the blog can read and understand  this:

Recente uscita in CD per Antonello Sassone e Marino Risi, due bravissimi chitarristi che in questo CD si cimentano alla chitarra acustica e classica (ambedue in versione elettrificata), riportandoci alle atmosfere dei grandi guitar duo e guitar trio degli ultimi anni.

Su tutti mi vengono in mente i vari supertrio (Di Meola, Mclaughlin, Delucia, Coryell, Lagrene) il Guitar Duo tra Maurizio Colonna e Frank Gambale, il Guitar Duo fra Bireli Lagrene e Sylvian Luc (e con il ?nostro? Giuseppe Continenza)

La coppia chitarrista appare ben affiatata e l?utilizzo di diversi strumenti – Maton (steel) per Antonello Sassone e Godin (nylon) per Marino Risi ?conferisce ai vari brani eseguiti un ottimo equilibrio sonoro.

In rapida successione i due eseguono con ottima padronanza dei rispettivi strumenti brani resi famosi proprio dalle esperienze discografiche e live dei chitarristi pi?famosi quali ad.es. Frevo Rasgado (De Lucia ? Mclaughlin), Mediterranean sundance (Di meola ? De lucia), Camaiore (Colonna ? gambale), isn?t she loving (Lagrene ? Luc). In aggiunta spiccano alcune ri-elaborazioni per chitarra di Roxanne dei Police, dei temi dei file ?Cinema Paradiso? e ?la leggenda del pianista sull?oceano?.

Un ottimo disco il cui ascolto procede di brano in brano senza annoiare e mantenendo sempre una ottima immediatezza e freschezza sia nelle composizioni sia nelle improvvisazioni. L?affiatamento e l?empatia fra i due chitarristi sono davvero notevoli cos?come la qualit?delle composizioni ed il livello tecnico, in particolare di Antonello Sassone, che riesce a spaziare dalla tecnica ?tutta plettro? di Al di Meola/Mclaughlin alle pi?recenti tecniche acustico-percussive inventate da Michael Hedges. Ottimo anche il contributo (ed il ?tocco?) di Marino Risi, in particolare per quanto riguarda il supporto agli arrangiamenti cos?come alla strutturazione armonica dei brani.

Abbiamo chiesto ad Antonello Sassone di raccontarci questa esperienza tra l?altro assolutamente singolare nel panorama chitarristico italiano.

Antonello, perch?la scelta di un CD solo Acustico?
La scelta dell?acustico proviene appunto dalla collaborazione con il mio collega M? Marino Risi, con il quale condividevo gi?da tempo un repertorio basato sull?incontro fra il classico e l?acustico. Essendo lui prettamente classico e io decisamente elettrico abbiamo in passato raggiunto una specie di compromesso che con gli anni ci ha portato ad esibirci nei locali e teatri della nostra zona, fino poi a spingerci anche pi?lontano

Come si ?formato il sodalizio con Marino Risi e cosa vi ha portati all?idea di registrare un CD in duo?
Il sodalizio fra noi due nasce chiaramente da un amicizia molto solida nata ai tempi della scuola? Qui avrei molto da dire, ma ?meglio non soffermarci troppo?basti pensare che le nostre ore di educazione fisica o di laboratorio le passavamo suonando nella nostra classe di nascosto e senza farci sentire?

Quali sono state le principali difficolt?nella registrazione/realizzazione di un cd di questo tipo?
Non abbiamo mai pensato di registrare un cd per proporlo a case discografiche o cose del genere. La nostra registrazione ?dipesa esclusivamente dalla volont?della nostra etichetta discografica (Azzurra Music) la quale ci ha contattato dopo che ci eravamo esibiti in un locale di Roma. Diciamo subito che per quanto concerne la registrazione, un certo tipo di pressione c??stata eccome. Praticamente il tempo utile per registrare ?stato pochissimo e le difficolt?molte visto che il genere lo prevede

Come sono nati gli arrangiamenti dei brani e quale impostazione avete utilizzato in studio per la registrazione dei brani?
L?acustico ?un genere un po? delicato; bisogna far attenzione a molte cose compreso il fatto che i pezzi erano suonati in duo e non con una band.

infine quali chitarre avete usato?
Riguardo gli arrangiamenti non abbiamo avuto particolari problemi in quanto li avevamo metabolizzati gi?da tempo,mentre le chitarre usate sono la godin nylon per M? Marino Risi e una maton steel per meRiguardo gli arrangiamenti non abbiamo avuto particolari problemi in quanto li avevamo metabolizzati gi?da tempo,mentre le chitarre usate sono la godin nylon per M? Marino Risi e una maton steel per me. Aggiungo che abbiamo da poco finito di registrare il secondo cd che vedr?la collaborazione del chitarrista Milan Polak con il quale abbiamo instaurato uno splendido rapporto. Ecco credo che la forza venga proprio da l? quando in un musicista trovi un certo tipo di intesa caratteriale allora hai gi?raggiunto il 99% dell?obbiettivo prefisso. Vi assicuro una splendida persona, un grande musicista.Essendo Milan Polak per noi una figura mitizzata che sei abituato a vedere solo su un poster,un giornale, un sito,devo dire che ?stata dura lavorare con lui, ma il tutto ?stato emozionante e gratificante.

Grazie di tutto Franco e complimenti per questo splendido sito e per quello che ogni giorno metti a disposizione dei musicisti.
Alla prossima…Antonello Sassone

Flora Purim – Speak No Evil (2003)

FrontCover1Speak no evil is a 2003 album by the Brazilian singer Flora Purim. The name of the album is a tribute to a 1965 album and song by Wayne Shorter.

The album is a fusion of jazz, samba, and other Latin rhythms, featuring Airto Moreira, Oscar Castro Neves, and her daughter, Diana Booker.

The album reached number fifteen on the jazz album chart at Billboard magazine. (by wikipedia)

Two realities are abundantly clear from listening to this Brazilian songstress legend’s latest mix of standards and originals — she swings magnificently with great jazz company (including her husband, percussion legend Airto Moreira) and she’s far more emotionally effective singing in her native Portuguese than in her heavily accented English. Her phrasing is solid on classics like “You Go To My Head” and the samba flavored “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” but her thick accent keeps the ears distracted somewhat from the message her heart seeks to convey. Fortunately, on these and other English language tunes by Don Grusin, Wayne Shorter and the vastly underrated L.A. keyboardist/songwriter Bill Cantos, she’s surrounded by bandmates that propel her to great heights.

FloraPurim

On the opener “This Magic,” that includes Moreira’s jamming with flutist Gary Meek and members of The Yellowjackets. The same crowd turns “Speak No Evil” into a similarly wild trad-jazz affair. But compare her strained vocals on those tracks with her effortless vocal magic on Brazilian classics like “Tamanco no Samba” and “O Sonho” and the distinction between mere very good and close to perfection is clear. Another gem is the samba-lite tune written by Airto and Yutaka Yokokura, “Primeira Estrela,” which rolls along on the strength of Purim’s vocal harmonies with Yutaka and Oscar Castro Neves’ beautiful acoustic guitar. To truly speak no musical evil, Purim should concentrate on mas Portugues. (by Jonathan Widran)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Oscar Castro-Neves (guitar, keyboards on 04.)
Trey Henry (bass)
Gary Meek (flute, saxophone, clarinet)
Airto Moreira (drums, percussion, vocals on 07.)
Flora Purim (vocals)
+
Diana Booker (vocals on 07.)
Jimmy Branly (drums on 01, percussion on 03.)
Gary Brown (bass on 05., 07. + 10.)
Bill Cantos (keyboards on 06. + 09.)
Russell Ferrante (keyboards on 01. + 03.)
Jimmy Haslip (bass on 01. + 03.)
Christian Jacob (keyboards on 02. + 08.)
Michito Sanchez (percussion on 01. + 03.)
Marcos Silva (keyboards on 05. + 10.)
Yutaka Yokokura (keyboards on 07.)

BookletBackCover2
Tracklist:
01. This Magic (Grusin/Booker) 5.06
02. You Go To My Head (Gillespie/Coots) 3.55
03. Speak No Evil (All for One) (Rubin/Shorter) 5.13
04. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Porter) 2.52
05. Tamanco No Samba (Divo/Menezes) 5.05
06. Don’t Say A Word (Cantos) 6.29
07. Primeira Estrela (Moreira/Yokokura) 5.02
08. It Ain’t Necessarily So (I.Gershwin(G.Gershwin 5.22
09. I Feel You (Cantos) 4.38
10. O Sonho (Moon Dreams) (Gismonti) 6.40

CD1

*
**

Motorpsycho + Jaga Jazzist Horns – In The Fishtank (2003)

LPFrontCover1In the Fishtank 10 is a 2003 EP by Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist Horns, recorded in 2002 during their European tour and released via the Konkurrent label in 2003. Motorpsycho did a handful gigs together with the horn section of Jaga Jazzist and used to opportunity to record their addition to the Fishtank series.

The style differs heavily from both Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist records, consisting of mainly jazz fusion. The first three tracks can be described as rather soothing, with track 2 (a reworking of the song from Angels and Daemons at Play) as highlight. “Theme de Yoyo”, a cover of the Art Ensemble of Chicago song, steps (partly) into free jazz and “Tristano” is built around a hypnotic bassline (which is a recurring trademark of Motorpsycho) and clocks in at nearly 21 minutes, making it the second-longest studio track the band has recorded (the longest being the title track off of Little Lucid Moments).

Although this release clocks in at over 46 minutes, it is still regarded as an EP due to the number of songs, the usage of a re-worked older song and a cover tune. (by wikipedia)

Motorpsycho01

As stated in the liner notes, IN THE FISHTANK “offers a space for expression and experimentation.” And true to that mission statement, this EP features long jazzy jams from the Motorpsycho crew, with help from the horn section of Jaga Jazzist. “Bombay Brassiere” shines and shimmer, the horns adding a certain brightness. “Pills, Powders and Passion Plays” is much more introspective, with “sensitive guy” lyrics. The rock-influenced “Theme de Yoyo” takes its lyrics much less seriously, and is humorous in an odd way (with moments of instrumental chaos). The final track, “Tristano,” wanders about on its own merry way, and you can either go with it or not. The important thing is that you’ve been invited. (by scoundrel)

The horn section of Jaga Jazzist

You could argue that with Konkurrent’s In the Fishtank series, getting a great record is beside the point. The ten Fishtank albums released so far– featuring bands like June of 44, Low + Dirty Three, Tortoise + The Ex, and Willard Grant Conspiracy + Telefunk– all follow the same template: the label grabs bands that are touring through Holland, sticks them in a studio for a couple of days (most don’t even rehearse) and persuades them to cut records that are more experimental, offbeat and, critically, more casual than they would ever make in their normal studio time. Although strict jazz and improv artists toss out live records and unrehearsed meet-ups as a matter of course– Some Guys That Showed Up at the Velvet Lounge, Vol. 3 or what have you– it’s rarer for avant-rock, post-rock and jazz-informed bands to just scribble out an album and release it: LPs are events, and even EPs are policy statements.

It’s telling that even with bands as adventurous as Norway’s Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist, it’s hard to imagine any of their albums coming out as loose or random as this thrown-together EP. Jaga Jazzist– represented here by their horn section– is the jazz/fusion/techno nonet known for their densely pancaked instrumentals and gymnastic arrangements. Motorpsycho is a long-running psych-rock band, extremely popular in their home country, whose work jumps from classic rock jams and pastoral acoustics to hypercatchy psychedelia. (Their latest record, It’s a Love Cult, serves as a great introduction.)

In other words: This is a unbelieveable album … a hell of a record … and now it´s up to you to discover this album !

Motorpsycho02

The Jaga Jazzist horns have tagged along on a few Motorpsycho tours and done session work on their records, but In the Fishtank is their first real two-way collaboration. On the Mingus-referencing “Doffen Ah Um”, a typically knotty Jazzist instrumental rubs against Motorpsycho’s rock drums and grungy rhythm guitar; the soft psych-folk song “Pills, Powders and Passion Play” gets an extended instrumental break, highlighted by Mathias Eick’s muted trumpet. (by Chris Dalen)

LPBackCover

Personnel:

Motorpsycho:
Håkon Gebhardt (drums, percussion)
Hans Magnus Ryan (guitar, bass)
Bent Sæther (bass, guitar, piano, solina string ensemble, percussion, vocals)
+
Baard Slagsvold (piano, clavinette, nord electro, vocals)

Jaga Jazzist Horns:
Mathias Eick (trumpet, marimba, percussion, vocals)
Lars Horntveth (saxophone, clarinet, marimba, vibraphone, percussion, vocals)
Jørgen Munkeby (flute, saxophone, clarinet, marimba, percussion, vocals)

Booklet02+03

Tracklist:
01. Bombay Brassiere (Horntveth) 5.57
02. Pills, Powders And Passion Plays (Sæther) 7.06
03. Doffen Ah Um (Munkeby/Sæther) 4.57
04. Theme de Yoyo (Bass/Bowie/Favors/Jarman/Mitchell/Moye) 7.28
05. Tristano (Ryan) 20.54

Labels

*
**

Motorpsycho was founded in October 1989 in Trondheim, the main city of Trøndelag in the central part of Norway. The first line-up was Bent Sæther (vocals, bass), Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan (guitar, vocals) and Kjell Runar “Killer” Jenssen (drums). They came up with their band name while watching a Russ Meyer triple-feature in London. Two of the film titles (“Mudhoney” and “Faster Pussycat”) were already taken by other bands, the name “Motorpsycho” was still available. Their first album was “Lobotomizer” in 1991, after which Killer quit and Håkon Gebhardt took over on drums, forming the nucleus of Motorpsycho for 14 years until Gebhardt left Motorpsycho March 2005 persuing other projects.

 

The Moody Blues – December (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgDecember is the sixteenth and final album by the Moody Blues. The Christmas themed album released in 2003 is their first album since The Magnificent Moodies to feature covers in addition to original material. It is also their first album following Ray Thomas’ retirement from the band. (by wikipedia)

One must give the Moody Blues credit for tenacity and a single-pointed focus. For 37 years they’ve put forth a startlingly consistent series of themes: optimism, a kind of blind-faith spirituality that the universe is in good hands and that people are by and large decent and kind, and love songs that can be a bit twee, but nonetheless connect when one is in the emotional space to hear them. Their music has always been intimate and pretentious in the best sense of the words. December is the Moodies’ first Christmas album. The classic lineup has been whittled down to three: John Lodge, Justin Hayward, and Graeme Edge; Ray Thomas decided to call it quitsin 2002.

MoodyBlues03

The band is augmented by unofficial member and producer Danilo Madonia in the studio. This is the most curious of Christmas recordings. December is an album about the spirit of Christmas but, with its lack of carols (though it does feature Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” near the end), it sounds more like another chapter in the Moody Blues’ legend, and that’s exactly what it is. Like many Moody Blues records since the 1980s, the original songs are nostalgic, pointing listeners back to memories of an idyllic past when things were simpler, and toward the hope that social and spiritual renewal are just around the corner. The set features a number of Hayward and Lodge originals, obscure and traditional Anglo folk songs, a transposed piece by Bach, and a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” — alas, if only that were true. If you’re a fan or a detractor, you already know what the album sounds like.

MoodyBlues01Unpredictability left the band’s vocabulary in the 1970s, but that doesn’t mean that this collection is without merit. For starters, it is one of the most original Christmas albums you’ll hear all year. There is no new age drivel here; its topics and themes are indeed Christian, but weigh on the side of those that are universally held: brotherhood, compassion, hope, goodwill, and generosity. In addition, it’s beautifully orchestrated and produced. Its sound is pristine, and Hayward and Lodge with their trademark elegance sound as if they mean every word they write and sing. And it’s easy to believe that. It most certainly is sentimental and lush, and has nothing whatsoever to do with rock & roll, but that hardly matters. As the latest Moody Blues album, it likely lives up to fans’ expectations; as a holiday recording, it’s unlike anything else out there. (by Thom Jurek)

BackCover1

Personnel:
Graeme Edge (drums, percussion)
Justin Hayward (vocals, guitar)
John Lodge (vocals, bass)
+
Danilo Madonia (keyboards, sequencing)
Norda Mullen (flute)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Don’t Need A Reindeer (Hayward) 4.00
02. December Snow (Hayward) 5.11
03. In The Quiet Of Christmas Morning (Bach/Hayward/Lodge) 2.51
04. On This Christmas Day (Lodge) 3.40
05. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Lennon/Ono) 2.37
06. A Winter’s Tale (Batt/Rice) 4.28
07. The Spirit Of Christmas (Lodge) 4.53
08. Yes I Believe (Hayward) 4.21
09. When A Child Is Born (Zacar/Jay) 3.34
10. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.09
11. In The Bleak Midwinter (Holst/Rossetti) 3.22

CD1

*
**

 

Simon & Garfunkel / The Everly Brothers – Atlanta (2003)

GARFUNKEL SIMONIn 1968, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sang about two old friends at 70 ”sharing a park bench silently.” Simon and Garfunkel, now both 62, opened a sold-out three-night stand at Madison Square Garden last night, singing ”Old Friends.” They are on a reunion tour — doing their first shows together since 1993 — that’s likely to sell more than $50 million worth of tickets.

That’s not bad for an act that hasn’t bothered with new material in a generation. The best they could do was have Mr. Garfunkel join in on songs from Mr. Simon’s solo career since they broke up in in the mid-1970’s.

The songs Mr. Simon wrote for Simon and Garfunkel in his 20’s were acutely conscious of time passing. Songs like ”Hazy Shade of Winter,” ”Leaves That Are Green” and ”Old Friends,” and one the duo performed from Mr. Simon’s solo career, ”Slip Slidin’ Away,” see the present disappearing into a past that can never be recaptured. ”Preserve your memories,” the duo sang, ”they’re all that’s left you.” It was a theme the concert embodied far too well.

S&G01
In the 1960’s, Simon and Garfunkel offered thoughtful, lapidary music that recognized turbulent times in songs like ”The Sound of Silence.” But Simon and Garfunkel were at their least graceful making grand statements, and they increasingly turned inward, following Mr. Simon’s more whimsical lyrics and expanding musical vocabulary.
Sign up for the New York Today Newsletter

Each morning, get the latest on New York businesses, arts, sports, dining, style and more.

They were comforting without seeming escapist; Mr. Simon’s lyrics were too smart, his music too intricate.

S&G02

What Simon and Garfunkel are selling now, at up to $250 a ticket, isn’t harmony. Mr. Simon, both songwriter and guitarist, and Mr. Garfunkel, whose job was to add airy upper harmonies and sing an occasional Simon song by himself, have been famously estranged through the years.

On stage, Mr. Simon said they started singing together at 13 and started arguing at 14. And since they first broke up in the 1970’s, they have found it increasingly difficult to recreate the precise vocal blend preserved on Simon and Garfunkel albums. A live album, like the one they made from a 1981 reunion, would need a lot of doctoring.

Mr. Garfunkel briefly put an arm around Mr. Simon as they began ”Old Friends,” and S&G03while he made a point of calling Mr. Simon’s songwriting a gift, he still seems to have trouble believing he’s the second banana. When he had a foreground part in a song, he sustained it to the point of dragging the tempo; ”I Am a Rock” and ”The Boxer” were nearly transformed from folk-rockers to dirges. When Mr. Garfunkel had a high note in the background, he often pushed it, perhaps because he now has to strain to reach it.

Mr. Simon’s voice has, like his songwriting, grown more supple and conversational through the years. But Mr. Garfunkel’s voice has frayed; it buzzes like a drafty old house. When the duo traded verses on formerly solo Simon songs like ”El Condor Pasa,” ”American Tune,” and on Mr. Garfunkel’s old showpiece, ”Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the contrasts were glaring.

Although nostalgia was thick in the arena from an audience filled with baby boomers, Simon and Garfunkel didn’t try to replicate their younger selves. Sometimes, as in ”Scarborough Fair,” they simplified the music, using a cello to replace what had been vocal counterpoint; sometimes Mr. Simon sang improvisational variants of his old melodies.

S&G04‘The Sound of Silence,” which was released during the 1960’s in an acoustic guitar version but became a hit after as a folk-rock remake, segued between both versions. The band also added touches of Mr. Simon’s more recent delvings into world music. ”The 59th Street Bridge Song” included a slide version of a didgeridoo, an Australian wooden trumpet.

Singing the old songs together, Simon and Garfunkel don’t follow some of the rudiments of vocal harmony groups, like breathing in the same place or watching each others’ faces.

It’s something that might not have occurred to a spectator if Simon and Garfunkel weren’t touring with the duo they learned their harmonies from, the Everly Brothers.

Don Everly, 66, and Phil Everly, 64, haven’t always gotten along, either. But when, in mid-concert, they sang their hits like ”Wake Up Little Susie” and ”All I Have to Do Is Dream,” their brotherly unanimity was virtually untouched by time. (by Jon Pareles)

Recorded live at the Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA, December 20, 2003
Soundboard Recording

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Art Garfunkel (vocals)
Paul Simon (vocals, guitar)
+
Warren Bernhard (piano)
Jamey Haddad (percussion)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Pino Palladino (bass)
Larry Saltzman: Guitar;
Rob Schwimmer (keyboards, theremin)
Mark Stewart (guitar, cello)
+
The Everly Brothers (on 10. – 13.)
Don Everly (guitar, vocals)
Phil Everly (guitar, vocals)

The Everly Brothers

Tracklist:

Simon & Garfunkel:
01. Old Friends 3.36
02. A Hazy Shade Of Winter
03. I Am A Rock
04. America
05. At The Zoo
06. Baby Driver
07. Kathy’s Song
08. History of S&G
09. Hey Schoolgirl

The Everly Brothers:
10. Wake Up Little Suzie (The Everly Brother
11. All I Have To Do Is Dream
12. Let It Be Me
13. Bye Bye Love (with S&G) 3.14

Simon & Garfunkel:
14. Scarborough Fair (Traditional) 4.05
15. Homeward Bound 6.07
16. The Sound Of Silence 5.10
17. Mrs Robinson 5.51
18. Slip Sliding Away 5.08
19. El Conda Pasa (Traditional) 3.53
20. Keep The Customer Satisfied 3.32
21. The Only Living Boy In New York 4.32
22. American Tune 5.06
23. My Little Town 4.35
24. Bridge Over Troubled Water 8.57
25. Cecilia 4.40
26. The Boxer 8.21
27. The Leaves That Are Green 2.52
28. Feelin Groovy 7.12
29. Mrs. Robinson 3.27

All songs written by Paul Simon except as indicated

S&G05

*
**

S&G06

Howe-Wooten-Chambers – Extraction (2003)

FrontCover1.jpgExtraction is a collaborative studio album by guitarist Greg Howe, drummer Dennis Chambers and bassist Victor Wooten, released on October 7, 2003 by Tone Center Records.[2] According to Howe, the album went through a very difficult recording process which spanned two years, resulting in disagreements between the three musicians and Shrapnel founder Mike Varney, as well as several delays in the release date.

“A Delicacy” is a re-recording of an instrumental released on Now Hear This, a 1991 album by Howe II (an earlier band formed by Howe). “Proto Cosmos” is a jazz fusion composition by pianist Alan Pasqua that appeared on The New Tony Williams Lifetime’s 1975 album Believe It.

Todd S. Jenkins at All About Jazz gave Extraction a mixed review, describing it as “just about evenly divided between well-crafted, thoughtful compositions and dead-end chops demonstrations.” Praise was given to each musician for their technical craft and musical contributions, but criticism was directed at some of the songs for being “pretty much inconsequential filler, the kind of aimless noodling that almost put fusion in its grave a decade ago.” Furthermore, he remarked that Howe “tries to say too much at times” and Wooten “tends to fall into the 16th-note babble pattern.” Jenkins concluded by saying “Extraction does have its moments, but it’s not the most wisely considered entry in anyone’s catalog here.” (by wikipedia)

Dennis Chambers

Greg Howe’s first record, critically acclaimed by the guitar cognoscenti, was voted by readers of Guitar Player Magazine as one of the best two records of that year. Throughout the decade Greg has developed his style further and has amassed a legion of fans which have led him to gigs as a guitarist for Michael Jackson, Enrique Englesias, N’Sync and Justin Timberlake. Greg’s solo albums have always been laden with musical integrity and have inspired many. “Extraction” brings him together with bassist Victor Wooten who has carved out a brilliant career as a solo artist, music educator and as a member of the critically acclaimed Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Dennis Chambers is known for his work with Steely Dan, Parliament, Funkadelic, John McLaughlin, and Santana. Each musician on this CD is arguably the best at what they do and they are three of the most three of the most respected players in the circle of musician’s musicians. (guitar9.com)

Victor Wooten

Although he’s primarily known as a heavy metal shredder, guitarist Greg Howe can pretty much adapt to any style thrown his way — including jazz fusion. And this is precisely the style that is featured throughout 2003’s Extraction, which saw Howe joined by such top-notch instrumentalists as Victor Wooten on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums (as well as David Cook on keys). Longtime fans of Howe who are hoping for at least a glimpse of his hard rock roots are out of luck here, as the tunes often recall the carefree fusion days of the 1970s, when such artists as Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke, and Al di Meola were consistently giving a clinic with chops-heavy tunes.

Greg Howe

As far as modern-day fusion goes, Extraction is pretty darn consistent from front to back, as evidenced by such uptempo ditties as “Extraction” and “Crack It Way Open,” as well as more tranquil moments like “Tease” and “Ease Up.” Howe, Wooten, and Chambers have certainly succeeded in summoning up a heavy ’70s vibe throughout Extraction, and as a result, the album wouldn’t sound out of place played between School Days and Where Have I Known You Before. (by Greg Prato)

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Dennis Chambers (drums)
David Cook (keyboards)
Greg Howe (guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards)
Victor Wooten (bass)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Extraction (Howe) 6.14
02. Tease (Howe) 6.07
03. Crack It Way Open (Howe) 6.00
04. Contigo (Howe) 6.30
05. Proto Cosmos (Pasqua) 4.16
06. A Delicacy (Howe) 2.25
07. Lucky 7 (Howe) 6.02
08. Ease Up (Howe) 6.21
09. Bird’s Eye View (Howe) 6.19

CD.jpg

*
**

Tray1

Ann Vriend – Soul Unravelling (2003)

FrontCover1Ann Vriend is a Canadian singer-songwriter and pianist based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Vriend has played festivals and venues around the world.

Vriend released a popular demo in 2000 which received immediate radio play on stations across western Canada and earned her a spot at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. A year later she won a songwriting contest which took her to Nashville, Tennessee and helped fund her debut album, Soul Unravelling (2003), which was well received by critics and sold well for an independent release. The album is now in its fifth pressing.

Vriend’s second album, Modes of Transport, was released two years later. “Feelin’ Fine”, the album’s first single, was put on heavy rotation by a local adult contemporary/jazz radio station. A third album, When We Were Spies, was released on March 11, 2008. Produced by Juno-nominated Douglas Romanow, it contains fuller production, drawing on modern pop sounds. A single, “St. Paul”, received heavy rotation in her hometown of Edmonton and hit the Top 30 on radio stations in Toronto and Cologne (Germany). Vriend’s first music video, for “(If We Are Not) Spies”, was released in mid-2008.

Ann Vriend01Love & Other Messes, Vriend’s first studio album in almost three years, was released in early 2011. The album features a seven piece band, including vocalists Coco Love Alcorn and Chloe Albert, and includes a duet with Matt Epp. The recording, produced by Vriend herself, was influenced by Nashville, Muscle Shoals, classic R&B and Motown sounds. Vriend released a video for “Graffiti on my Heart”. Love & Other Messes was number 1 on the CKUA album charts for two weeks and received a 3.5 star review in the Toronto Star.

In 2011, Vriend provided vocals for a topical single called “William and Kate”.

Vriend has toured Canada, Australia and Europe extensively, both solo and backed by a band. Live recordings from 2008 and 2009 shows, along with new songs recorded live “off-the-floor”, were released in late 2009 as Closer Encounters. She released videos for “A Dollar and a Suitcase” and “On Your Street”, the two new songs on the album, in 2010.

Vriend is also the curator and host of the Bluebird North performance series in Edmonton. She also performs with the popular 1980s cover band Valiant Thieves.

In August 2010, Vriend appeared on the Australian music and comedy show Spicks and Specks. She has also been featured on a regional news program in the Netherlands and has performed on network television in Canada and Australia.

Vriend’s literary writing style reveals the influence of 1970s singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, and Cat Stevens. Her distinctive voice has been compared to the clear and vulnerable Nashville sound of Dolly Parton, the playfulness of Cyndi Lauper, and the raw power of Aretha Franklin and Etta James. (by wikipedia)

Ann Vriend02.jpg

“Soul Unravelling” is the debut CD from Ann Vriend. A prolific writer and tremendous music fan, Ann has been putting words to music since her childhood days spent noodling on the piano in her parents’ basement. “The Weather”, “The Only Living Girl in New York”, and the local hit, “Waterfront” will likely be popular requests for the rest of her life.

Meticulous and thought provoking, infectious and imaginative, Ann Vriend is serious about the craft of writing pop music. She approaches it with the flair of an artist and the love of a fan. Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, and Nikka Costa are a few of the major influences on this songwriter whose work seems much older than she.

Ann Vriend03

Here is a test for you all. Play an Ann Vriend song for some friends. Note how often a new listener will start to sing along before the song is over. There is a timelessness to Ann’s music that creates a familiarity. In a short time it seems as though you have known these songs for years.

Some remarkable mile stones have already been marked for an artist with such a fresh career: performances at prestigious venues such as the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, New York City’s Bitter End, Fez and Arlene Grocery, demos recorded at Sony NY, command performances for major labels, and a first place winner of a songwriting contest, which took Ann to Nashville. (Chris Martin)

BackCover1.jpg

Personnel:
Thom Bennett (drums)
Moni Mathew (bass)
Doug Oran (organ)
Ann Vriend (vocals, piano)
Alan Wallace (guitar)
+
background vocals:
Angela Roy – Lorna Wildgoose

Booklet

Tracklist:
01.  The Knot Song Part I 0:05
02. The Knot Song Part II 5:10
03. Reverberation 3:15
04. Waterfront 4:21
05. The Only Living Girl In New York 4:32
06. Crazy Things 4:38
07. Still Live #7 5:16
08. The Weather 3:47
09. Brand New House 4:14
10. On Being Perfect 3:01
11.Words From The Thightrope Walker/You Will Not Fall 3:54
12. Sometime In May 5.21
13. All Good Things 6.15

All songs written by Ann Vriend

CD

* (temporally offline)
**

BookletBackCover