David Gilmour – On An Island (2006)

FrontCover1On An Island is the third solo album by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour. It was released in the UK on 6 March 2006, Gilmour’s 60th birthday, and in the US the following day. It was his first solo album in twenty two years since 1984’s About Face and twelve years since 1994’s Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.On an Island is the third solo album by Pink Floyd member David Gilmour. It was released in the UK on 6 March 2006, Gilmour’s 60th birthday, and in the US the following day. It was his first solo album in twenty two years since 1984’s About Face and twelve years since 1994’s Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.

The album features Robert Wyatt, Jools Holland, Georgie Fame, David Crosby, Graham Nash, late Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, early Pink Floyd member Bob Klose and Pink Floyd session and touring musician Guy Pratt. Chris Thomas and Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera assisted with production. The lyrics were principally written by Gilmour’s wife, Polly Samson.

Much of the album was recorded in Gilmour’s private studio aboard his houseboat Astoria. The track “Smile” was heard briefly in an unmastered form on the BBC2 show Three Men in a Boat which retraced a trip on the River Thames that passed the houseboat. Other sections were recorded at David’s farm in Sussex and Mark Knopfler’s British Grove Studios
Orchestrations on the album were arranged by noted Polish film composer Zbigniew Preisner and conducted by Robert Ziegler. The orchestra was recorded at Abbey Road Studios by Simon Rhodes.


The album also produced two singles; the title track “On an Island” and “Smile”, the latter peaking at #72 on the UK Singles Chart. “On an Island” also peaked at #27 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Promo Single edits of “Take a Breath” and “This Heaven” were issued to coincide with the US leg of the tour, while “Smile” was the second single in the UK.

On an Island entered the UK charts at #1, giving Gilmour his first ever chart-topping album outside of Pink Floyd. It reached #1 on the European Chart, and #2 in Canada, Portugal and Iceland. It has also provided Gilmour with his first US Top 10 album, reaching #6. The album has achieved platinum status in Canada and has sold over 1,000,000 copies worldwide.


Gilmour toured the album with Richard Wright, Phil Manzanera and long-time members of the live Pink Floyd band, Guy Pratt and Jon Carin. Steve DiStanislao was brought in as drummer. The shows included the entire On an Island album plus Pink Floyd songs such as “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, “Echoes”, “Arnold Layne”, “High Hopes”, “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb” among others. No songs from Gilmour’s two previous solo albums were played. The tour is documented on the DVD/Blu-ray Remember That Night and the live album & DVD Live in Gdansk. (by wikipedia)


To think that David Gilmour waited 22 years to record his third solo album is a pretty solid indicator that he’s not the kind of bloke to merely cash in on his name. After all, he’s the guy who sold his house for four million English pounds and gave the money to charity. Perhaps now that the Pink Floyd reunion happened and he and Roger Waters are at least civil to one another, the Floyd enigma can finally find its way into the annals of history and rock legend. This catches listeners up to On an Island. Those desiring something edgy and dramatic will have to wait. Gilmour wrote six of these ten tunes with his wife, Polly Samson, who also plays a bit of piano and sings. Musically, On An Island is mostly a laid-back, utterly elegant English record. It has the feel of taking place between twilight and dawn. There are a few rumblers to upset the overall balance of tranquility and stillness, like flashes of heat lightning across the dark skies; they add dimension and a quiet power to these proceedings. Produced by Gilmour, Phil Manzanera (who appears on keyboards), and Chris Thomas, the album features guest spots from the likes of Richard Wright, Robert Wyatt, B.J. Cole, Floyd/Sly Stone drummer Andy Newmark, Georgie Fame, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Jools Holland, Willie Wilson, and many others.


The set opens with “Castellorizon,” a moody showcase with Gilmour’s guitars backed by the orchestral arrangements of Zbigniew Preisner as conducted by Robert Zeigler. Preisner’s arrangements throughout are wonderful and not quite as dark as one might expect, given his track record. Atmospheric and dramatic, it offers a lovely if off impression of the album. The title track, which follows, is all breezy strummed chords, keyboards by Wright, and dreamy vocals with Gilmour backed by Crosby and Nash. It’s a slow, textured, and spacy love song. “The Blue” follows suit; it too is so utterly full of air that one can hear the wind rustling through the palms. Wright’s backing vocals lend a slight PF “Echoes” slant (as does the Hammond organ); the instrumentation just shimmers, hovers, and floats the track along. There are rockers here, though — “Take a Breath” features chunky razor-wire chords, Leszek Mozdzer’s piano, and Manzanera’s synth work winding around one another, and the mood is wonderfully plodding, dramatic, and futuristically “heavy.” On the gauzy wee-hours instrumental “Red Sky at Night,” Gilmour plays sax as well as guitars, and it gives way to “This Heaven,” a bluesy stroller that’s given deluxe organ treatment by Fame.


There’s a delightfully nocturnal feel that makes the track feel a bit sinister, but really it’s the sound of eros making itself heard, and Gilmour contributes a biting solo and fills amid the drum samples and strings. Wyatt appears on the back-porch spacehead soundtrack-like tripnotica of “Then I Close My Eyes.” His and Gilmour’s wordless voices slip under and around the considerable space between instruments — which include Wyatt on cornet and percussion as well as Cole playing a Weissenborn guitar, Caroline Dale’s cello, a pair of harmonicas, and of course Gilmour’s high-register blues twang. The set ends on a gentle note in “Where We Start” — so much so that it may make some scratch their heads and wonder where the cranky, diffident Gilmour has wandered off to, but others will be drawn into this seductive, romantic new place where musical subtlety, spacious textures, and quietly lyrical optimism hold sway. (by Thom Jurek)


BJ Cole (guitar on 07.)
David Crosby (vocals on 02.)
Caroline Dale (cello on 04., 05. + 07.)
Ilan Eshkeri (programming on 05. + 09.)
Georgie Fame (organ on 06.)
David Gilmour (guitar, vocals, lap steel guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass, saxophone, cümbüş, harmonica)
Jooly Holland (piano on 03.)
Rado Klose (guitar on 02, +  03.)
Chris Laurence (bass on 05. + 09.)
Alasdair Malloy (glass harmonica on 07. + 09.)
Phil Manzanera (guitar on 04., 06. + 07.)
Leszek Możdżer (piano on 04. + 09.)
Graham Nash (vocals on 02.)
Andy Newmark (drums on 02.,03., 96. + 10., percussion on 07.)
Guy Pratt (bass on 02. + 04.)
Polly Samson (piano on 03., background vocals on 08.)
Chris Stainton (organ on 03.)
Chris Thomas (keyboards on 09.)
Lucy Wakeford (harp on 09.)
Willie Wilson (drums on 08.)
Richard Wright (organ on 02., vocals on 03.)
Robert Wyatt (cornet, percussion, vocals on 07.)
Zbigniew Preisner (orchestration)


01. Castellorizon (Gilmour) 3.54
02. On An Island (Gilmour/Samson) 6.47
03. The Blue (Gilmour/Samson) 5.26
04. Take A Breath (Gilmour/Samson) 5.46
05. Red Sky At Night (Gilmour) 2.51
06. This Heaven (Gilmour/Samson) 4.24
07. Then I Close My Eyes (Gilmour/Samson) 5.26
08. Smile (Gilmour/Samson) 4.03
09. A Pocketful Of Stones (Gilmour/Samson) 6.17
10. Where We Start (Gilmour) 6.45




Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express – Looking In The Eye Of The World (2006)

frontcover1Since forming this groundbreaking fusion ensemble in 1970, the legendary rock and jazz organist has thrived despite various incarnations of the group and numerous personnel changes. The early 2000s lineup was one of the best, in part because of the powerful, emotional contributions by Brian Auger’s children, lead vocalist Savannah Grace Auger and drummer/percussionist Karma D. Auger. Savannah’s soulful turns on a moody rendering of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” and a magical, retro-soul/funk reading of Marvin Gaye’s “Troubleman” are early highlights here, as are Brian’s brisk and lively “Happy Overture” and the buoyant, horn drenched “Freddie’s Flight.” Savannah and Karma collaborate with bassist Chris Golden on the mystical ballad “Homeward,” another showcase for Savannah’s heartfelt voice. Most of the rest of this supercharged date is a mix of original barnburners (“Meet Mr. Eddie”) and the wistful, low-key title track, with a few cool retro exceptions: a soulful, bluesy rendering of Donovan’s thought-provoking ballad “Season of the Witch” and a unique, mid-tempo arrangement of “Light My Fire” that makes it a jazzy torch tune. Although Brian’s magical retro keys are front and center, every brilliant, transcendent moment here belongs to his daughters, who carry on her father’s tradition in grand style. (by Jonathan Widran)


Brian Auger (keyboards)
Karma Auger (drums)
Savannah Grace Auger (vocals)
Katisse Buckingham (saxophone, flute)
Chris Golden  (bass)
Larry Williams (trumpet)


01. Happy Overture (B.Auger) 2.04
02. Butterfly (Auger/Hancock) 6.15
03. Troubleman (Gaye) 4.44
04. Freddie’s Flight (B.Auger) 6.01
05. Homeward (K.Auger/Golden) 6.52
06. Light My Fire (Krieger/Morrison) 5.31
07. Meet Mr. Eddie (B.Auger) 5.53
08. Looking In The Eye Of The World (B.Auger) 4.43
09. Ghostown (B.Auger) 6:38
10. The Night Town (B.Auger/K.Auger/Golden) 4.59
11. Season Of The Witch (Leitch) 6.59
12. Mugusic (B.Auger) 4.13
13. Soundcheck (B.Auger/K.Auger/Golden) 6.08



Styx – Big Bang Theory (2005)

FrontCover1Big Bang Theory is the fifteenth studio album by the band Styx, released in 2005. It consists of cover versions of classic rock songs.

In 2004, Styx performed a cover of the Beatles song “I Am the Walrus” at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival, where the song was received so well that it was released as a single, reaching the Top 10 in the Mediabase Classic Rock charts.[4] The video featured original bassist Chuck Panozzo as the “eggman”. The single’s success resulted in the band recording this album of cover songs. The album reached #46 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums, Styx’s highest charting album in 14 years. (by wikipedia)

Styx2005Like 2004’s less than stellar Cyclorama, those looking for this to be the big Styx record that will catapult them back into the mainstream will be sorely disappointed in the contents of this record. It’s not a CD of new material, rather, it’s a 14-song collection of covers from some of the band’s influences and all-time rock favorites. Starting with a live recording of the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus,” the band works its way through the great rock & roll songbook with safe, relative ease. Also included are the Who’s “I Can See for Miles,” the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City,” Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression,” Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath,” and Free’s “Wishing Well.” All fine choices, and in combination with Styx’s usual clean production and relaxed atmosphere around the usually serious album format makes Big Bang Theory a record that die-hard fans will enjoy and casual fans might regard as a passing novelty stopgap in between records. (by Rob Theakston)

Lawrence Gowan (keyboards, vocals)
Ricky Phillips (bass)
Tommy Shaw (guitar, vocals)
Todd Sucherman (drums)
James Young (guitar, vocals)
The Oracle Diva (vocals on 04. + 13.)
Chuck Panozzo (bass on 11.)
Johnnie Johnson (piano on 14.)
Koko Taylor (vocals on 14.)

01. I Am the Walrus (Lennon/McCartney) 4.41
02. I Can See for Miles (Townshend) 4.28
03. Can’t Find My Way Home (Winwood) 3.24
04. It Don’t Make Sense (You Can’t Make Peace) (Dixon) 4.10
05. I Don’t Need No Doctor (Armstead/Ashford/Simpson) 4,23
06. One Way Out (Williamson II/James/Sehorn) 4.42
07. A Salty Dog (Brooker/Reid) 4.01
08. Summer In The City (Boone/J.Sebastian/M.Sebastian) 3.25
09. Manic Depression (Hendrix) 3.59
10. Talkin’ About The Good Times (May/Taylor/Waller) 3.57
11. Locomotive Breath (Anderson) 3.33
12. Find The Cost Of Freedom (Stills) 1.04
13. Wishing Well (Bundrick/Kirke/Kossoff/Rodgers/Yamauchi) 3.40
14. Blue Collar Man @ 2120 (Shaw) 6.29


Calixto – Tarahumara Guitar (2005)

FrontCover1Cakixto is a Tarahumara from Cusárare, a small village located in the Copper Canyon in the state of Chihuahua – where he has lived almost all of his life, except for the occasions when he has to travel to Cuauhtémac or Los Mochis to work picking either apples or grapes.

His interest in music startet at a very early age. During theTarahumara Holyweek celebrations, he plays “pascol” and “matachin” songs with his homemade guitar for the dancers, that, according to their beliefs, preserve the earth.

He started serenading visitors around a camp fire for tips, and someone gave him the idea to record his music and sell it to tourists, that way, he will have more time to practise, find his own style and why not, record the great tradition of Tarahumara guitar from the deep Sierra Madre. (taken from the original liner notes)

Unfortunately you can´t find the titels of these 13 tracks … I don´t know why. But this is a nice addition to every world music collection.


Tarahumara storehouse and goat shelter

Calixto (guitar, vocals)

01. Track 01 / 3.47
02. Track 02 / 3.42
03. Track 03 / 3.32
04. Track 04 / 2.37
05. Track 05 / 2.10
06. Track 06 / 2.52
07. Track 07 / 2.40
08. Track 08 / 3.02
09. Track 09 / 4.29
10. Track 10 / 4.01
11. Track 11 / 2.35
12. Track 12 / 3.03
13. Track 13 / 2.33



Marshall Tucker Band – Carolina Christmas (2005)

FrontCover1So it’s come to this: a Marshall Tucker Christmas album. The first urge is to dismiss this as another attempt to cash in on the holiday record market, but right from the onset of the opener, “White Christmas,” it becomes evident that this is an album a long time in the making, reassembling bandmembers from incarnations spanning over three decades. The performances are inspired but relaxed, much like their earliest releases, and there are moments when their signature hard rock sound can easily wipe away the notions that this is a Christmas record if it weren’t for the timeless melodies and lyrics. Much of this album (like Marshall Tucker’s career) is a bold move, especially as there are very few Southern rock Christmas records available. A nice alternative to the ho-hum various-artists holiday compilations and ideal for those looking for their holiday records to have a little hot sauce thrown in the mix. (by Rob Theakston)

Barry “B.B. Queen” Borden (drums, percussion, vocals)
Pat Ellwood (bass)
Doug Gray (vocals, percussion)
Chris Hicks (guitar, vocals)
David Muse (saxophone, flute, harmonica, keyboards)
Stuart Swanlund (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)
Clay Cook (guitar, vocals)
Jerry Eubanks (saxophone)
Brianna Foister (background vocals)
Jaci Foister (background vocals)
Keith Glenn (bells, shaker)
Dale Gray (background vocals)
Renee Gray (background vocals)
Robert Gray (background vocals)
W.L. Guthrie (mandolin)
Wynelle Hicks (background vocals)
Paul Hornsby (keyboards)
Steve Keeter (keyboards)
Alan Kerr (percussion)
Gabrielle Gray Leopard (vocals)
George McCorkle (guitar)
Buddy Strong (guitar, shaker)
Alan “Red” Walden (background vocals)
Christian Walden (background vocals)

01. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.48
02. Christmas in Carolina (Hicks) 4.22
03. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.33
04. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Martin) 3.17
05. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Cahn/Styne) 1.12
06. Silent Night (Gruber/Mohr) 4.24
07. Snowfall In Georgia (Clark) 3.54
08. My Christmas In Custody (Borden) 2.41
09. Jingle Bells (Traditional) 2.14
10. Merry Christmas Baby (Baxter/Brown) 3.43
11. Leave the Christmas Lights On (Geiger/McCorkle) 3.02
12. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Traditional) 3.28


Mulo Francel & Evelyn Huber – Aventure For Saxophone And Harp (2005)

FrontCover1Saxophone and harp – two characters that seem so adverse fuse to unexpected sound worlds: ballads and Bossa Nova, Tango and Valse, improvisations and melodies of the old Europe. Mulo Francel from Quadro Nuevo and the virtuoso world music harpist Evelyn Huber go on a magical journey.

Taken from the original liner notes:
“Aventure was a promising word in medieval times. It developed into the contemporary word adventure. You can experience an adventure on just an afternnon or in just one night. But a real adventure means much more: A journey full of wondrous enccounters that leads the hero through foreign lands and to enchanted places. The traveller will grow with the many tasks and cahllenges he has to pass. This adventurous trip can take days, weeks, years. In this spirit, we also understand the more then ten years of coaction of our instruments harp and saxophone as aventure.”

Mulo Francel (saxophone, clarinet)
Evelyn Huber (harp)

01. Angelo Del Gatto (Francel) 4.37
02. Canzone Della Strada (Francel) 3.58
03. Aventure (Francel) 7.18
04. Nordic Summer Song (Traditional) 4.35
05. Dillasdie (Huber) 3.55
06. Felicias Valse (Francel) 3.49
07. Wenn der Sommer wieder einzieht – A Little On The Lonely Side (Cavanaugh/Robertson/Welden) 3.55
08. Liebesleid (Kreisler) 4.33
09. Miserlou (Traditional) 4.49
10. Forest Of Fairytales (Huber) 4.48
11. In die Ferne (Francel) 2.46
12. Tristano (Traditional) 4.42
13. Sohnesherz (Francel) 6.12


Mediaeval Baebes – Mirabilis (2005)

MedivealBabesMirabilisFC“Mirabilis” is a Latin word with pre-Christian or pagan origins that was used in the Mediaeval period to describe a supernatural force on the fringes of this world. Eight beautiful women with equally beautiful voices and a fetish for stunning costumes (which they model in the exquisite full-color liner notes and which are now approaching the size and complexity of costumes created for SF’s “Beach Blanket Babylon”) continue to prove that 13th-15th century English music and poetry are totally hot and sexy. The Baebes, now down to 8 members, bring us another exotic collection of 18 songs largely from early English sources, with music and arrangements by Katherine Blake and other group members. Most songs are lightly accompanied by percussion, dulcimer, zither, saxophone, guitar, keyboards, strings and other instruments. Particularly wonderful are “Musa Venit Carmine,” “Lhiannan Shee,” “Umlahi” (with words and music by Blake), the haunting “Tam Lin,” a sweet and lively cover of “Scarborough Fayre,” the folk tune made famous by Simon & Garfunkel, the rhythmic “Come My Sweet,” “This World Fareth As A Fantasye,” and the ethereal “Away” which features Blake on lead vocal. “Mirabilis” is the 6th recording by the Baebes and you have to have noticed 3 things–each album is excellent, each seems better than the last, and the Baebes are having as much fun dressing up and creating this magical music as we are, seeing and listening to them!
Maple Bee, Katherine Blake, Teresa Casella, Audrey Evans, Rachel Van Asch, Cylindra Sapphir, Marie Findley, Emily Ovenden

01. Star Of The Sea (Blake/Galloway) 3.32
02. Trovimmi Amor (Blake/Petrarch) 4.38
03. Temptasyon (Ovenden) 3.19
04. San’c Fuy Belha Ni Prezada (Cadenet) 1.35
05. All For Love of One (Bee) 3.38
06. The Lament (Blake/Marsh /Burns)
07. Musa Venit Carmine (Blake) 3.26
08. Kilmeny (Blake/Hogg /Galloway) 3.59
09. Lhiannan Shee (Sapphire) 2.56
10. Umlahi (Traditional) 2.14
11. Cittern Segue (Traditional) 0.52
12. Return of the Birds (Blake) 3.45
13. Tam Lin (Blake) 4.24
14. Scarborough Fayre (Traditional) 3.23
15. Come My Sweet (Casella) 3.20
16. Mark Hur Var Skugga (Bellamn)
17. The World Fareth As A Fantasye (Blake) 4.07
18. Away (Evans) 2.20