Florian Opahle – Europhonics (2006)

FrontCover1Florian Opahle (born 1983) is a German guitarist, best known for his work with progressive rock musician Ian Anderson and later his band, Jethro Tull. He played with Anderson from 2003 to 2019 and with a reformed Jethro Tull from 2017 to 2019 as lead guitarist with both.

Opahle grew up in Rosenheim, Bavaria. He started learning classical guitar at the age of five, and was later trained on the electric guitar. In 2001 and 2002, he attended master classes with Masayuki Kato, in 2002 he passed his high school diploma.

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In 2003 he started working with Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull. He appeared in Europe, North and South America and Asia on and played with musicians such as Al di Meola, Greg Lake and Leslie Mandoki. He accompanied the singer Masha on her Germany tour. From 2007 to 2008 he studied music arrangement and composition at the German Pop Academy.

Opahle took part in several tours with Anderson instead of longtime Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre, including on projects in which pieces by Jethro Tull were played with orchestral accompaniment. With Anderson and other musicians, he recorded the albums Thick as a Brick 2 (2012) and Homo Erraticus (2014). From 2017, Anderson toured under the name of Jethro Tull with his regular backing musicians.

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Opahle is also active as a studio musician and producer, among others for Alexandra Stan. At times he devotes himself to flamenco music.

Opahle also performed live with former King Crimson and ELP member Greg Lake, which resulted in him appearing on his 2006 album, Live.

Since 2017, he has been running a professional recording studio with his wife called RedBoxx Studios in the south of Germany. (wikipedia)

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Born in 1983, Guitarist Florian Opahle from Rosenheim, Bavaria in Germany, is the youngest regular musician to work with us but by no means any less talented.

His musical interests cover contemporary Rock styles as well as Classic Rock, Blues and Classical music. After a rigid music education background (including master class instruction from guitarists such as Al Di Meola), young Florian has worked in a number of live acts and studios in his native Germany.

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He has toured throughout Europe with female vocalist Masha, and in 2003, he began working with Jethro Tull front man, Ian Anderson, in his solo band and orchestral projects. As guitarist on the “Ian Anderson Plays Orchestral Jethro Tull” tour, he performed in Italy, Greece, France and Germany with Anderson’s band and a full orchestra. The tour has since been captured as a home DVD release.

In the Autumnal months of 2004, Florian returned to his work as a recording session player, contributing to a number albums and projects in Germany and other parts of Europe. Shortly thereafter, he was invited to join The Greg Lake Band for a tour in 2005.

Since 2003 – Florian has been touring with Ian Anderson in various parts of the world including Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, India, Hungary, Scandinavia, Iceland, South America, Russia, Germany, the UK, USA, Japan and Hong-Kong. (jethrotull.com)

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Here is his first and so far last solo album, released as a simple private pressing (“Limited Edition”); at that time he was only 23 years old and to call this album a “journeyman’s piece” would almost be an insult.

Discreetly accompanied by 2 colleagues, he unfolds here – mainly on the acoustic guitar – sounds that must be assigned to a master class.

Intimate intimacy (strongly influenced by his training on the classical concert guitar) spreads when he celebrates even the most adventurous guitar runs with playful ease. This is very impressive and so it is not surprising that I must once again give this album an urgent listening recommendation.

Of course, there are no hard rock sounds to be heard here … the lightness of musical being is the focus of his music at that time.

It’s a pity, a great pity, that there are no more solo albums by him.

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Personnel:
Florian Opahle (guitar, programming)
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Timucin Dincel (percussion)
Stephan Zeh (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. A Nice Day 5.20
02. Spanish Nights 5.38
03. Pick A Lick 5.58
04. Pavana 7.13
05. Synth 8.13
06. Lucca 4.15
07.  Dropped D 7.41
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08. Introduction (Ian Anderson) + Toccata And Fugue (live 2013) 4.10

Musik Florian Ophale
except on 04.: Francisco Tárrega
and 08.: Johann Sebastian Bach

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The former official website:
Ehemalige Website

The current website, which serves more his recording studio and his wife’s photo studio:
Aktuelle Website

Jerry Lee Lewis – Last Man Standing (2006)

FrontCover1Jerry Lee Lewis (September 29, 1935 – October 28, 2022) was an American pianist, singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “the Killer”, he was described as “Rock and roll’s first great wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century.” A pioneer of rock and roll and rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. “Crazy Arms” sold 300,000 copies in the South, and his 1957 hit “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” shot Lewis to fame worldwide. He followed this with the major hits “Great Balls of Fire”, “Breathless”, and “High School Confidential”. His rock and roll career faltered in the wake of his marriage to Myra Gale Brown, his 13-year-old cousin once removed.

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His popularity quickly eroded following the scandal and with few exceptions such as a cover of Ray Charles’s “What’d I Say”, he did not have much chart success in the early 1960s. His live performances at this time were increasingly wild and energetic. His 1964 live album Live at the Star Club, Hamburg is regarded by many music journalists and fans in general as one of the wildest and greatest live rock albums ever. In 1968, Lewis made a transition into country music and had hits with songs such as “Another Place, Another Time”. This reignited his career, and throughout the late 1960s and 1970s he regularly topped the country-western charts; throughout his seven-decade career, Lewis had 30 songs reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Country and Western Chart. His No. 1 country hits included “To Make Love Sweeter for You”, “There Must Be More to Love Than This”, “Would You Take Another Chance on Me”, and “Me and Bobby McGee”.

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Lewis’s successes continued throughout the decades and he embraced his rock and roll past with songs such as a cover of The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace” and Mack Vickery’s “Rockin’ My Life Away”. In the 21st century, Lewis continued to tour around the world and released new albums. His 2006 album Last Man Standing was his best selling release, with over a million copies worldwide. This was followed by Mean Old Man in 2010, another of his best-selling albums.

Lewis had a dozen gold records in rock and country. He won four Grammy awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and two Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. Lewis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and his pioneering contribution to the genre was recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2022.

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In 1989, his life was chronicled in the movie Great Balls of Fire, starring Dennis Quaid. In 2003, Rolling Stone listed his box set All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology at number 242 on their list of “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. In 2004, they ranked him No. 24 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Lewis was the last surviving member of Sun Records’ Million Dollar Quartet and the album Class of ’55, which also included Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley.

Music critic Robert Christgau said of Lewis: “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano, and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee the quintessential rock and roller.” (wikipedia)

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Last Man Standing is the 39th studio album released by American recording artist, pianist, and rock and roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis in September 2006. The album consists of duets between Lewis and some of the biggest names in both rock and country music, past and present. The title derives from the generation of 1950s Sun Studios recording artists such as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley, all of whom have died, leaving Lewis the “last man standing”. Following the success of the album, a DVD Last Man Standing Live was released featuring similar duets with famous artists.

Last Man Standing received very positive reviews from critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called the recording, “a record that celebrates life, both in its joys and sorrows, and it’s hard not to see it as nothing short of inspiring” and the editorial team of the site gave it four out of five stars.[1] The same score was awarded by Gavin Edwards in Rolling Stone, praising the performance by writing, “his throat is in better shape than you might expect, most of his command now comes from the slamming, swinging passion of his barrelhouse piano”.[4] For PopMatters, Vladimir Wormwood gave the album seven out of 10, summing up his review by focusing on the Merle Haggard duet “Just Bummin’ Around”: “It is a portrait of the aging musician with the showmanship removed. Long live Jerry Lee Lewis”.(wikipedia)

L-r: Keith Allison, Nils Lofgren, Jimmy Rip, Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Hutch Hutchinson, Ivan Neville and Kenny Lovelace. From Last Man Standing sessions, The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA, March 2005:Jerry Lee Lewis03

It often seems like there are only two ways for rock, country, and blues veterans to launch comebacks when they’re senior citizens: confront mortality head on or surround yourself with superstar guests to help carry you through a half-hearted stroll through your back catalog, scattering a few new tunes along the way. At first glance, Jerry Lee Lewis’ Last Man Standing seems to fall into both categories: the title suggests that Jerry Lee is in the mood to take a long look back, and certainly the very concept of the album — pairing Lewis with 21 other stars for a succession of duets, often on material that his guests either wrote or made famous — seems like a typical superstar duet record. But the Killer has never been predictable, and nowhere is that truer than it is here, where Jerry Lee treats Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Page, and 16 other stars as he treated the Nashville Teens at the Star Club in 1964 — as game amateurs who have to sprint to keep up with the master.

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This is the only guest-studded superstar album where all the guests bend to the will of the main act, who dominates the proceedings in every conceivable way. Jerry Lee doesn’t just run the guests ragged; he turns their songs inside out, too — and nowhere is that clearer than on the opening “Rock and Roll,” the Led Zeppelin classic that is now stripped of its signature riff and sounds as if it were a lost gem dug out of the Sun vaults. Far from struggling with this, Jimmy Page embraces it, following the Killer as he runs off on his own course — he turns into support, and the rest of other 20 guests follow suit (with the possible exception of Kid Rock, who sounds like the party guest who won’t go home on an otherwise strong version of “Honky Tonk Woman”).

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The label might sell Last Man Standing on the backs of the duet partners — after all, it’s awful hard to drum up interest in a record by a 71-year-old man no matter how great he is, so you need a hook like superstars — but the album by no stretch of the imagination belongs to them. This is completely Jerry Lee’s show from the second that he calls out, “It’s been a long time since I rock & rolled,” at the beginning of the record — and those are true words, since he hasn’t rocked on record in a long, long time. Ten years ago he cut the Andy Paley-produced Young Blood, but that was a typically tasteful self-conscious comeback record; it was driven as much by the producer’s conception of the artist as it was the artist himself. The opposite is true here, where the production is simple and transparent, never interfering with the performances; it has the welcome effect of making it sound like there is simply no way to tame Jerry Lee, even though he’s now in his seventies. And that doesn’t mean that this is merely a hard-rocking record, although “Rock and Roll,” “Pink Cadillac,” and “Travelin’ Band” do indeed rock harder than anything he’s done since the ’70s — so hard that they stand proudly next to his classic Sun records, even if they don’t have the unbridled fire of those peerless sides.

Merle Haggard, Keith Richards, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis & Kid Rock:
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No, this album touches on everything that Jerry Lee has done musically through his career, as the furious rock & roll is balanced by pure hardcore country, piledriving boogie-woogie, rambling blues, old-timey folk songs, and, especially, reinterpretations of familiar songs that are so thoroughly reimagined they seem like they were written specifically for Jerry Lee. And he does this the same way he’s always done it: by singing and playing the hell out of the songs. His phrasing remains original and unpredictable, twisting phrases in unexpected ways — and, yes, throwing his name into the mix frequently, too — and his piano is equally vigorous and vital. This is a record that stays true to his music, and in doing so, it’s not so much a comeback as it is a summation: a final testament from a true American original, one that explains exactly why he’s important. But that makes Last Man Standing sound too serious, as if it were one of those self-consciously morbid Johnny Cash records — no, this is a record that celebrates life, both in its joys and sorrows, and it’s hard not to see it as nothing short of inspiring. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
B.B. Cunningham (bass on 01., 06.. 11., 19.)
Robert Hall (drums on 01., 06., 19.)
Hutch Hutchinson (bass on 02.- 05., 07., – 10., 14. -17., 20. + 21.)
Jim Keltner (drums on 02. – 05.. 07. – 10.,13. – 17., 20. + 21. percussion on 06., 07.)
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocals, keyboards)
Ken Lovelace (guitar on 02., 03.. 04., 06., 08. – 11., 13. – 16.,19., 20. + 21., fiddle on 20.)
Jimmy Rip (guitar on 01. – 11, 13. – 21.)
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Keith Allison (guitar on 09.)
Delaney Bramlett (vocals on 18.)
Eric Clapton (lead guitar on 16.)
John Fogerty (vocals on 07.)
Buddy Guy (vocals on 19.)
Merle Haggard (vocals on 10.)
Don Henley (vocals on 20.)
Mick Jagger (vocals on 04.)
George Jones (vocals, bass on 13.)
B.B. King (lead guitar on 02.)
Jimmy Page (lead guitar on 01.)
Toby Keith (vocals on 15.)
Kris Kristofferson (vocals on 21.)
Greg Lieze (pedal steel-guitar on 08., 15. + 21.)
Nils Lofgren (pedal steel-guitar on 09.)
Paddy Maloney (pipe, whistle on 20.)
Willie Nelson (vocals on 14.)
Ivan Neville (organ on 05., 09.)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica on 12.)
Keith Richards (vocals, lead guitar on 08.)
Little Richard (vocals on 17.)
Robbie Robertson (lead guitar on 06.)
Kid Rock (vocals on 11.)
Bruce Springsteen 8vocals on 03.)
Ringo Starr (vocals on 09.)
Bill Strom (organ on 06. + 19.)
James Stroud (drums on 11.)
Ronnie Wood (pedal steel-guitar on 04.)
Dave Woodruff (saxophone on 03., 07.)
Neil Young (guitar, vocals on 05.)
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background vocals (on 06.):
Brandy Jones Bernard Fowler – Bambi Jones – Stacy Michelle

background  vocals (on 11.)
Jewel Jones – Phyllis Duncan – Stacy Michelle

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Tracklist:
01. w/Jimmy Page: Rock And Roll (Page/Baldwin/Bonham/Plant) 2.15
02. w/B.B. King: Before The Night Is Over (Peters) 3.39
03. w/Bruce Springsteen: Pink Cadillac (Springsteen) 3.52
04. w/Mick Jagger & Ron Wood: Evening Gown (Jagger) 3.57
05. w/Neil Young: You Don’t Have To Go (Reed) 3.59
06. w/Robbie Robertson: Twilight (Robertson) 2.48
07. w/John Fogerty: Travelin’ Band (Fogerty) 2.01
08. w/Keith Richards: That Kind Of Fool (Vickery) 4.15
09. w/Ringo Starr: Little Sixteen (Berry) 3.05
10. w/Merle Haggard: Just A Bummin’ Around (Graves) 2.43
11. w/Kid Rock: Honky Tonk Woman (Jagger/Richards) 2.22
12. w/Rod Stewart: What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Sutton) 2.39
13. w/George Jones: Don’t Be Ashamed Of Your Age (Wills/Walker) 2.00
14. w/Willie Nelson: Couple More Years (Locorriere/Silverstein) 5.12
15. w/Toby Keith: Ol’ Glory (Lewis/Roberts/Darnell) 2.04
16. w/Eric Clapton: Trouble In Mind (Jones)
17. w/Little Richard: I Saw Her Standing There (Lennon/McCartney) 2.21
18. w/Delaney Bramlett: Lost Highway (Payne) 3.00
19. w/Buddy Guy: Hadacol Boogie (Nettles) 3.19
20. w/Don Henley: What Makes The Irish Heart Beat (Morrison) 4.10
21. w/Kris Kristofferson: The Pilgrim (Kristofferson) 3.00

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More from Jerry Lee Lewis:
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The official website:
Website

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But:

His third marriage was to 13-year-old Myra Gale Brown, his first cousin once removed, on December 12, 1957. His divorce from Jane Mitchum was not finalized before the ceremony took place, so he remarried Brown on June 4, 1958. In 1970, Brown filed for divorce on the grounds of adultery and abuse, charging that she had been “subject to every type of physical and mental abuse imaginable.” (wikipedia)

A man fucking a 13-year-old girl … is an asshole  … There is no excuse for that !

Pi(!)nk – I’m Not Dead (2006)

FrontCover1Alecia Beth Moore (born September 8, 1979), known professionally as Pink (stylized as P!nk), is an American singer, songwriter, actress and dancer. She was originally a member of the girl group Choice. In 1995, LaFace Records saw potential in Pink and offered her a solo recording contract.

Her R&B-influenced debut studio album Can’t Take Me Home (2000) was certified double-platinum in the United States and spawned two Billboard Hot 100 top-ten songs: “There You Go” and “Most Girls”. She gained further recognition with the collaborative single “Lady Marmalade” from the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack, which topped many charts worldwide. Refocusing her sound to pop rock with her second studio album Missundaztood (2001), the album sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and yielded the international hit songs “Get the Party Started”, “Don’t Let Me Get Me”, and “Just Like a Pill”.

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While Pink’s third studio album, Try This (2003), sold significantly less than her previous work, it earned her the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. She returned to the top of record charts with her fourth and fifth studio albums, I’m Not Dead (2006) and Funhouse (2008), which spawned the top-ten entries “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand”, as well as the number-one single “So What”. Pink’s sixth studio album, The Truth About Love (2012), was her first Billboard 200 number-one album and spawned her fourth US number-one single, “Just Give Me a Reason”. In 2014, Pink recorded a collaborative album, Rose Ave., with Canadian musician Dallas Green under a folk music duo named You+Me. Her next studio albums, Beautiful Trauma (2017) and Hurts 2B Human (2019), both debuted at atop the Billboard 200 chart, with the former becoming the world’s third best-selling album of the year.

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Pink is regarded as the “Pop Royalty” for her distinctive raspy voice and acrobatic stage presence, Pink has sold over 135 million records worldwide (60 million albums and 75 million singles), making her one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Her accolades include three Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, a Daytime Emmy Award and seven MTV Video Music Awards, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. In 2009, Billboard named Pink the Pop Songs Artist of the Decade. Pink was also the second most-played female solo artist in the United Kingdom during the 2000s decade, behind only Madonna. VH1 ranked her at number ten on their list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music, while Billboard awarded her the Woman of the Year award in 2013. At the 63rd annual BMI Pop Awards, she received the BMI President’s Award for “her outstanding achievement in songwriting and global impact on pop culture and the entertainment industry.”

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I’m Not Dead is the fourth studio album by American singer and songwriter Pink. It was released on April 4, 2006, through LaFace Records. Following the commercial underperformance of her third studio album Try This (2003), Pink parted ways with Arista Records and began experimenting with new sounds and collaborating with new producers, and stated she named the album after having an epiphany about adult responsibilities and the realities of everyday life. Pink served as the executive producer of the project and contributions to the album’s production came from several producers including Billy Mann, Butch Walker, Dr. Luke and Max Martin.

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Commercially, I’m Not Dead peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, and reached number one in several territories including Australia, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, and Switzerland. The album received positive reviews from music critics, many of whom complimented the risks Pink took on the record as well as her experimentation with rock music. “Stupid Girls” was released as the lead single from I’m Not Dead ahead of the album’s release, which generated controversy for its lyrical content and music video, for which Pink received the MTV Video Music Award for Best Pop Video and a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Five additional singles were released from the album, with “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand” reaching the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. I’m Not Dead has since been certified double platinum in the United States and certified gold in Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. Pink promoted the album through radio and television interviews, media appearances, and the I’m Not Dead Tour. (wikipedia)

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Although it hardly deserved it, Try This — P!nk’s 2003 sequel to her 2001 artistic and commercial breakthrough, M!ssundaztood — turned out to be something of a flop, selling considerably less than its predecessor and generating no true hit singles. Perhaps this downturn in sales was due to the harder rock direction she pursued on Try This, perhaps the songs she co-wrote with Rancid’s Tim Armstrong weren’t quite pop even if they were poppy, perhaps it was just a matter of timing, but the album just didn’t click with a larger audience, through no fault of the music, which was the equal to that on M!ssundaztood. When faced with such a commercial disappointment, some artists would crawl back to what made them a star, but not P!nk. Although she does pump up the dance on 2006’s I’m Not Dead, it’s way too simple to call the album a return to “Get the Party Started” — P!nk is far too complex to do something so straightforward.

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No, P!nk is complicated, often seemingly contradictory: she tears down “porno paparazzi girls” like Paris Hilton just as easily as she flaunts her bling on “‘Cuz I Can”; she celebrates that “I Got Money Now”; she’ll swagger and snarl and swear like a sailor, then turn around and write sweet songs of support to a teenager, or a knowingly melancholy reflection like “I Got Money Now”; she’ll collaborate with Britney Spears hitmaker Max Martin on one track, then turn around and bring in the Indigo Girls for support on a stripped-down protest song. She’ll try anything, and she does on I’m Not Dead. It Ping-Pongs between dense dancefloor anthems and fuzzy power pop, acoustic folk-rock and anthemic power ballads, hard rock tunes powered by electronic beats and dance tunes sung with the zeal of a rocker. It’s not just that P!nk tries a lot of different sounds, it’s that she seizes the freedom to hurl insults at both George W. Bush and a sleazoid who tried to pick her up at a bar, or to end a chorus with a chant of “Ice cream, ice cream/We all want ice cream.” Far from sounding cow-towed by the reaction to Try This, P!nk sounds liberated, making music that’s far riskier and stranger than anything else in mainstream pop in 2006.

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And it’s a testament to her power as both a musician and a persona that for this record, even though she’s working with singer/songwriter Butch Walker, Max Martin, and Teddy Geiger’s cohort, Billy Mann — her most mainstream collaborators since LA Reid and Babyface helmed her 2000 debut, Can’t Take Me Home — she sounds the strangest she ever has, and that’s a positively thrilling thing to hear. That’s because she not only sounds strange, she sounds stronger as a writer and singer, as convincing when she’s singing the bluesy, acoustic “The One That Got Away” as when she’s taunting and teasing on “Stupid Girls” or “U + Ur Hand” or when she’s singing a propulsive piece of pure pop like “Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely).” In other words, she sounds complex: smart, funny, sexy, catchy, and best of all, surprising and unpredictable. This is the third album in a row where she’s thrown a curve ball, confounding expectations by delivering a record that’s wilder, stronger, and better than the last. And while that’s no guarantee that I’m Not Dead will be a bigger hit than Try This, at least it’s proof positive that there are few pop musicians more exciting in the 2000s than P!nk. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Unfortunately I had technical problems converting the DVD to mp4 …sorry.

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Personnel:
Dan Chase (keyboard + dum programming)
Mike Elizondo (keyboards, guitar, keyboard programming)
Lukasz Gottwald (guitar + drum programming)
Mylious Johnson (drums)
Lee Levin (drums)
Robin Lynch (guitar)
Billy Mann (guitar, piano, drums, background vocals)
Lasse Mårtén (drums)
Max Martin (keyboard,  guitar + drum programming)
Justin Meldal-Johnsen (bass)
Molecules (guest MC)
Rafael Moreira (guitar)
Shawn Pelton (drums)
Jeff Phillips (guitar)
Pink (vocals, keyboards)
Niklas Olovson (bass, drum programming)
Roc Raida (DJ)
Christopher Rojas (guitar, bass, violin, keyboard + drum programming, violins, drum programming, background vocals)
Emily Saliers (guitar, background vocals)
Andy Timmons (guitar)
Butch Walker (guitar, bass, additional programming, background vocals)
Pete Wallace (guitar, piano, percussion, keyboard + drum programming)
Dan Warner (guitar)
Joey Waronker (drums)
Steven Wolf (tambourine)
Geoff Zanelli (guitar, bass, synthesizer)
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background vocals:
Beth Cohen – Amy Ray

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Tracklist:
01.Stupid Girls (Pink/B.Mann/Olovson/Lynch) 3.17
02. Who Knew (Pink/M.Martin/Gottwald) 3.28
03. Long Way To Happy (Pink/Walker) 3.49
04. Nobody Knows (Pink/B.Mann) 3.59
05. Dear Mr. President (featuring Indigo Girls) (Pink/B.Mann) 4.33
06. I’m Not Dead (Pink/B.Mann) 3.46
07. Cuz I Can (Pink/M.Martin/Gottwald) 3.43
08. Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) (Pink/Walker) 3.18
09. U + Ur Hand (Pink/M.Martin/Gottwald/Rami) 3.34
10. Runaway (Pink/B.Mann) 4.23
11. The One That Got Away (Pink/B.Mann) 4.41
12. I Got Money Now (Pink/Elizondo) 3.55
13. Conversations With My 13 Year Old Self (Pink/B.Mann) 3.50
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14. Fingers (Pink/B.Mann) 4.13
15. I Have Seen The Rain (featuring Jim Moore) (Moore) 3.30
16. Who Knew (Bimbo Jones Radio Edit) (Pink/M.Martin/Gottwald) 3.30
17. U + Ur Hand (Beatcult Remix) ((Pink/M.Martin/Gottwald/Rami) 6.42

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The official website:
Website

Torsten Goods – Irish Heart (2006)

FrontCover1Torsten Gutknecht was born in 1980 in Düsseldorf, the son of a German father and an Irish mother.
The family moved to Erlangen, Germany, where Torsten grew up. Thanks to his mother’s well-
stocked record collection, which included Irish folk songs alongside jazz greats ranging from Duke
Ellington to Oscar Peterson, Gutknecht found an early access into the world of jazz. His first steps as
a guitarist, however, were typically influenced by rock and pop. When he was 14 Gutknecht began to study in earnest. At the age of 17 he found a teacher who could instruct him in the intricacies of improvised music, the acclaimed guitarist Peter O’Mara. Torsten was 17 at the time, and his talent and enthusiasm were obvious. This quickly helped to get him into master classes with some of the greats of the guitar fraternity. While he was still in school he attended workshops given by Jim Hall and John Scofield in New York, and took lessons with the virtuoso gypsy guitarist Bireli Lagrene in
Strasbourg, France.

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This last experience was a major influence on his development.
In 2001 as a 20 year old Gutknecht travelled to New York with a stipend to study at the prestigious New York New School where he studied with Jack Wilkins and Vic Juris. But it was even more important for Torsten to plunge into the musical life of the “Big Apple”. He worked with Seleno Clarke, Barbara Tucker, Reverend Run (from Run DMC), and met George Benson, a major influence who inspired Gutknecht to sing along with his playing. He was also able to perform with guitar legend Les Paul, who also gave him his artist name “Torsten Goods”.

Before his stay in New York, Goods had been working with no less energy and determination in Germany. In 2000 he became a member of the German Youth Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Peter Herbolzheimer, and shortly thereafter – before his graduation – he recorded the first album under his own name, in 2001, “Manhattan Walls” (Jardis), with Tony Lakatos, Davide Petrocca, Dejan Terzic, Guido May, Jan Eschke, Andreas Kurz, and Rick Keller.
In 2004 there followed “Steppin” (Jazz4ever). His band at that time, which consisted of Jan Miserre, Marco Kühnl, and Christoph Huber, was augmented by crack German players Olaf Polziehn, Martin Gjakonovski, Dejan Terzic, Tony Lakotos, Johannes Enders, and Lutz Häfner. The album was nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award, and international critics acclaimed Goods as an “emerging new force in the jazz scene.

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Shortly after, in 2005 Goods was the only European to be chosen by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter for the final round of the “Thelonious Monk Jazz Guitar Competition” in Washington D.C. Since then Torsten Goods has been touring extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the USA. During this period he has worked with the likes of Bob James, Chris Potter, James Genus, Terri Lyne Carrington, Barbara Tucker, Dawn Tallman, Marcus Fugate, Jimmy Bruno, John Ruocco, Johannes Faber, Leszek Zadlo and Patrick Scales.

In 2006 Goods began to work exclusively as an artist for ACT. His ACT debut, “Irish Heart” on which he delves into his Irish roots, marked a decisive breakthrough: not only did it
introduce him wider public, first and foremost he became recognized as a singer. Goods is not only equipped with a virtuoso guitar technique – he also has an exceptionally sensitive and expressive singing voice that is at home with the blues as well as swing and pop. The “Irish Heart” tour took him through not only Germany, it also brought him invitations to some of the major European festivals such as the Paris Jazz Festival, Jazz Baltica, the Leverkusen Jazz Days, Burghausen Jazz Weeks, JazzKaar Estonia, the Pure Jazz Festival in Den Haag, the Traumzeit-Festival and Competitions in Brussels as well as the London International Jazz Competition, the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition, and the European Guitar Award in Dresden.

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With his second ACT album, “1980”, Goods once again substantially extends the range of his music. With adaptations of the works of outstanding artists from 1980 (the year Goods was born) along with his own compositions, Goods follows on the tracks of such great jazz guitarists and singers as Al Jarreau and Michael Bublé.
In June 2013 the long-awaited fifth album “Love Comes To Town” was released on
ACT. The new CD was produced by Nils Landgren. Besides him other well-known guests like Till Brönner, Wolfgang Haffner, Magnus Lindgren, Ida Sand and Viktoria Tolstoy appear on the album.
On “Love Comes To Town” Torsten Goods refers to his musical roots in blues, jazz and R&B while simultaneously focusing on the future as a matured artist. The album was well received in Germany for its groovy pop jazz-sound that was even compared to George Benson. (Press release)

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And here´s his second solo-alum:

After his album “Steppin'”, which was nominated for the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”, the young Torsten Goods from Erlangen presents another musical masterpiece. Excellently recorded and rearranged classics meet Irish traditionals and original compositions by the artist. I find the latter particularly successful. With the traditionals, the half-breed Torsten Goods skilfully ties in with his Irish roots. The cover versions are also very successful, although there are too many of them (!!!) on the album, which should not please the jazz police at all, especially since the whole thing seems to be pressed into a stiff corset, which, on the other hand, should probably be the purpose of a concept album like “Irish Heart” (compare Viktoria Tolstoy’s “My Swedish Heart”). Vocally, Torsten Goods sings and skats his way skilfully through all the highs and lows with his pleasantly warm voice. Till Brönner will have to dress warmly. His playing is excellent, the harmony between the musicians can also be heard.

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Stylistically, however, Goods has distanced himself from his Afro-American idols such as George Benson with this album, but this is to be seen as positive, as he shows with this album how versatile he is. If you are inclined towards pop-jazz, you will like Torsten Goods. With Kristiina Tuomi, the new high-flyer in the German jazz Olympus. The only shortcomings: the aforementioned strict repertoire selection with a high proportion of covers, which is probably due to the new record company Goods is now signed to, and perhaps the less than successful cover photo, in which the otherwise cheerful and open Torsten Goods looks very gloomy. But that is a matter of taste. (Grimbold)

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Besetzung:
Torsten Goods (guitar, vocals)
Christoph Huber (drums)
Marco Kühnl (bass)
Jan Miserre (keyboards)
+
Max Grosch (violin, viola bei 02.)
Henning Sieverts (cello bei 02.)
Julian Wasserfuhr (flugelhorn bei 03.)
+
The Jürgen Neudert Big Band (bei 04., 06., + 10.)

Inlet02A

Tracklist:
01. Sweet North (Goods) 4.43
02. No Religion (Morrison) 5.20
03. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You? (Morrison) 5.29
04. Moondance (Morrison) 4.23
05. She Moved Through The Fair (Traditional) 4.23
06 The End Of The Line (Goods) 3.58
07. Carrickfergus (Traditional) 7.05
08. What Makes The Irish Heart Beat (Morrison) 4:16
09. Riverdance (Whelan) 6.42
10. I’m Gonna Go Out Fishing (Goods) 2.55
11. The Londonderry Air (Traditional) 4.28

CD2

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The official website:
Website

Strip Music – Hollywood & Wolfman (2006)

FrontCover1Strip Music was originally a side project from around 2001 when Yvonne disbanded. Henric de la Cour was the founder and frontman, Christian Berg originally played bass but switched to synths.
They found Fredrik Balck (drums) in a club called Nightlife in Stockholm. He introduced them to bassist Valdemar Asp, with whom he used to play in a band called Vendor. Patsy Bay (guitar), was Yvonne’s old guitar tech, while Jens Hellqvist (synths) knew Christian from when they were both in the band April Tears.
The band recorded demos. In September 2003 Yvonne’s manager, by now also an executive at Swedish label Playground Music, agreed to promote Strip Music. Since their first gig that month, Strip Music have played over 50 dates around Sweden while their single ‘Desperation’ gained airplay.

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The debut ‘Strip Music’ was released in august/september 2004 in Scandinavia, with the setting Henric de la Cour (vocals), Christian Berg (synthesizer), Fredrick Balck (drums), Valdemar Asp (bass), Patrick Johansson and Jens Hellqvist (synthesizer).
First shows abroad in UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Finland followed.Two years later, the second album ‘Hollywood & Wolfman’ was released. The band signed to the German label Drakkar. After the album was recorded, Fredrik Balck and Patsy Bay quit.
In 2007, the band toured Germany with the setting Henric de la Cour (vocals), Christian Berg (synthesizer), Richard Ankers (drums), Valdemar Asp (bass) and Jens Hellqvist (synthesizer). The live line-up was enlarged by David Lindh (guitar).

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In 2006 it was time for their follow-up album, with the ambiguous title Hollywood & Wolfman. The big dramatic sound is still intact but this time Strip Music have become even more personal in their musical expression. “Hollywood & Wolfman is bigger and darker than our debut album”, singer/lyricist Henric de la Cour states. “This record might not be as easy to embrace, but it grows and grows on you with every listen.” It is well worth it in the long run.

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Many of the songs are lacking traditional song structures but rely on the distinctive atmosphere and mood created. Strip Musics biggest asset is still to achieve music sounding like a thunder storm while at the same time being soft like a gentle breeze. It is like their music lives within its own little universe. “Our music is not connected to any passing music trend or style”, declares Henric. “It is built upon timeless themes.”

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Hollywood & Wolfman is the sound of something so unusual as a band that paves its own way. Strip Music is a group who dares to listen to nothing else other than their private inner voices. Strip Music follows their very own convictions. In a music climate that is more and more streamlined and slick, Strip Music stand out in their very own way, due to the fact that they are true to themselves. They are willing to point out that the world they live in is not perfect and yet still beautiful and even if it will not get any better than this it is still ok. Perhaps the most important thing is for one to learn and live with it. (Pelle Olofsson)

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Personnel:
Valdemar Asp (bass)
Fredrik Balck (drums)
Patsy Bay (guitar, background vocals)
Christian Berg (synthesizer)
Henric De La Cour (vocals, lyrics)
Jens Hellqvist (synthesizer)
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background vocals:
Kicki Halmos – Kris Le Mans – Therese Johansson

Booklet03A

Tracklist:
01. Hollywood & Wolfman (Mörkret Över Tranås) (de la Cour/Berg) 3.42
02. Headlights (de la Cour/Berg) 3.27
03. This Morning (de la Cour/Berg) 3.22
04. Sugar And Lime (de la Cour/Lindh) 3.21
05. Bright Eyes (de la Cour) 4.12
06. When The Red Light District Feels Like Love de la Cour) 3.28
07. The Cat And The City (de la Cour/Berg) 4.32
08. God Speed Your Love To Me (de la Cour) 3.18
09. Remarkable Life (de la Cour/Berg) 3.04
10. Lucy (de la Cour/Berg) 4.54

CD1

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Booklet05A

The (now deleted) official website:
Website

Esbjörn Svensson Trio – Tuesday Wonderland (2006)

FrontCover1Esbjörn Svensson Trio (or e.s.t.) was a Swedish jazz piano trio formed in 1993 consisting of Esbjörn Svensson (piano), Dan Berglund (double bass), and Magnus Öström (drums). Its music has classical, rock, pop, and techno elements. It lists classical composer Béla Bartók and rock band Radiohead as influences. Its style involves conventional jazz and the use of electronic effects and multitrack recording.

The trio deliberately blurred genres, with Svensson’s musical catholicism drawing on a wide variety of artist influences. e.s.t. was also renowned for its vibrant style in live performances, often playing in rock and roll oriented venues to young crowds. It achieved great commercial success and critical acclaim throughout Europe. Its 1999 release From Gagarin’s Point of View started its international breakthrough, being the first e.s.t. album to be released outside of Scandinavia through the German label ACT.

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Svensson died in a scuba diving accident in Stockholm on 14 June 2008. He is survived by his wife and two sons. The publication All About Jazz remarked that the loss “will surely deeply sadden music lovers everywhere.”

Since 2013 Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund are touring with the project e.s.t. symphony with Swedish arrangeur and conductor Hans Ek, performing symphonic versions of the e.s.t. songs.
In 1995 and 1996, Svensson was awarded Swedish Jazz Musician of the Year and 1998 Songwriter of the Year, and the 1997 release Winter in Venice (consisting mainly of original material) was awarded the Swedish Grammy. Strange Place For Snow, e.s.t.’s 2002 release earned numerous awards including the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (from the German Phonoacademy), the German Jazz Award, Choc de l’année (Jazzman, France), the Victoire du Jazz – the French Grammy – as best international act and also the Revelation of the Festival award, a special award from Midem. In December 2004, e.s.t. was awarded the Hans Koller prize as European Artist of the Year.

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Tuesday Wonderland is the eleventh album by the Swedish jazz trio Esbjörn Svensson Trio in its fourteenth year. On the occasion of its release, the American jazz magazine Downbeat, the best-selling periodical in the genre, featured E.S.T. on its cover as the first European jazz formation in the magazine’s 72-year history. In turn, the album was received very positively to cautiously by critics.

Stuart Nicholson notes in the Guardian that, as with the previous album, there is no sign of musical stagnation in the Swedish jazz group, although that would be significant given the length of time they have been playing together. This album is influenced by classical music such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, which enriches E.S.T.’s signature blend of jazz, rock and pop. John Kelman feels that Tuesday Wonderland expresses the tendency for the formation – although Svensson’s piano playing is the main part of the sound – to act even more democratically and more parts of Berglund and Magnus Öström can be heard.

In 2007, Tuesday Wonderland received, among other awards, a platinum record (Jazz Award) for over 20,000 units sold in Germany. The album is thus one of the best-selling jazz albums in Germany. (wikipedia)

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Sweden’s preeminent jazz fusion band the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, named after the charismatic and inventive pianist, has been a sensation in Europe since the early ’90s, capturing numerous Swedish Grammys (including one for Tuesday Wonderland long before its Stateside release), a French Grammy, and gold and platinum awards in their home country, Germany and France. But they deserve more than this — a medal, actually — for finding a unique blend of melodic jazz, classical, electronica and rock — that has earned them an audience of both older jazz lovers and trendy hip-hop kids. It speaks to the freshness of their vibe that their videos play regularly on MTV Scandinavia and they’re the only European jazz band ever to grace the cover of Downbeat. Though there are traditional elements at work, Tuesday Wonderland thrives on being unconventional.

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On the opening track “Fading Maid Pendulum,” just as it’s hypnotizing with a gentle, classically tinged piano melody, Dan Berglund jumps in with a brooding, distorted heavy metal bass craziness and drummer Magnus Ostrom goes cymbal crazy. It’s electro-ambient jazz gone mad. The title track features Svensson’s David Benoit-like, melodic dark-meets-light piano dichotomy over Ostrom’s sharp, off-meter drums before some spacy electronica takes over for a spell. “Brewery of Beggars” is another inspired dose of insanity, darting from busy cymbal-piano swirls to softer, contemplative piano-bass moments. “Beggar’s Blanket” puts those pesky beggars to sleep with a sweet, lullaby-like, straightforward trio ballad. The Pat Metheny-esque “Dolores in a Shoestand” explores the melodic and rhythmic potential of jazz, a vibe which extends to other enjoyably seductive pieces like “eighthundred Streets by Feet.” “Goldwrap,” on the other hand, is a marriage between trippy jazz and explosive trance music — no wonder the kids love this stuff! Listening to this disc is a gloriously schizophrenic experience that will appeal more to adventurous listeners than those who prefer one style to another. But it was a great introduction to what makes Europe tick in the early 2000s jazz-wise. (by Jonathan Widran)

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Personnel:
Dan Berglund (bass)
Magnus Öström (drums)
Esbjörn Svensson (piano)

Booklet01+02

Tracklist:
01. Fading Maid Prelude 4.10
02. Tuesday Wonderland 6.32
03. The Goldhearted Miner 4.51
04. Brewery Of Beggars 8.22
05. Beggar’s Blanket 2.56
06. Dolores In A Shoestand 8.53
07. Where We Used To Live 4.27
08. Eighthundred Streets By Feet 6.48
09.Goldwrap 4.02
10. Sipping On The Solid Ground 4.37
11. Fading Maid Postlude 12.28

Music composed by Dan Berglund – Magnus Öström – Esbjörn Svensson

CD1

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BookletBackCover1

More from the Esbjörn Svensson Trio:
FrontCover1

The official website:
Website

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Mo Foster – Live At Blues West 14 (2006)

FrontCover1Mo Foster (born Michael Ralph Foster, 22 December 1944) is an English multi-instrumentalist, record producer, composer, solo artist, author, and public speaker. Through a career spanning over half a century, Foster has toured, recorded, and performed with dozens of artists, including Jeff Beck, Gil Evans, Phil Collins, Ringo Starr, Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Brian May, Scott Walker, Frida of ABBA, Cliff Richard, George Martin, Van Morrison, Dr John, Hank Marvin, Heaven 17 and the London Symphony Orchestra. He has released several albums under his own name, authored a humorous book on the history of British rock guitar, written numerous articles for music publications, continued to compose production music, and established himself as a public speaker. Foster is an assessor for JAMES, an industry organisation that gives accreditation to music colleges throughout the UK. In 2014, Foster was a recipient of a BASCA Gold Badge Award to honour his lifelong contribution to the British songwriting and composing community. (wikipedia)

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Live At Blues West 14 is Mo Foster’s fourth solo album:

Mo Foster said “Musicians tend to loosen up in a club setting: away from the pressures of the studio or the concert platform they feel generally more relaxed, new ideas are tried, and they feel free to re-interpret old favourites”

“Live At Blues West 14” is proof of how correct that statement is. Most of the tracks on this album were recorded live in small clubs in the 90’s and the majority were recorded at Blues West 14, a small basement club in Kensington, London Classic Jazz / Fusion / Rock performed by masters of their profession.

Renowned musician Foster recorded these tracks during the 90s at the Blues West 14 Club and other similar small clubs, getting that intimate sound. Playing bass, guitar and keyboards (not all at the same time I must add) he is accompanied by Ray Russell, Gary Husband and a host of others.

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The music is a gentle and easy mix of blues and jazz, the sort of music you’d listen to over dinner, where it fits in well.

Nothing too taxing, it’s hard to just listen to this CD, it’s excellent for what it is and the musicianship can’t be faulted, but great background music. (Joe Geesin)

…this was an exercise in Mo getting some of his friends together to perform some light improvised jazz…Mo has a deftness of touch, particularly on a fretless bass… (Feedback (July 2006)

…for the most part this album is a percolating collection of funk grooves, tender ballads and smooth jazz tunes. What’s nice about this recording is the live ambience really shines through… (Bass Guitar Magazine (Sep/Oct 2006)

Another high-calibre outing for bass king Mo and his usual hardy band of super-skilled session friends…great music to play and to listen to it, just relax and let it float. (New Gandy Dancer (September 2006)

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Lovely fretless bass, timeless piano, sweet saxophone – the tracks meander soothingly…Do yourself a favour and chill out for an hour. (Classic Rock Society (September 2006)

Beginning with its uptempo bass and guitar riffs, “The Importance Of Being Invoiced” is pure jazz-rock fusion, and its deft, energetic playing elicits vigorous applause in the intimate setting; the clever title refers to the working musician’s difficulty getting paid. “Hot Buttered Cats” has a silky jazz/R&B feel, dynamically building off Foster’s bass guitar lines. Foster earns songwriting credits on 10 compositions, including “Oh No,” a challenging jazz piece that moves through several variations, and “Tradewinds,” a catchy tune brightened by the Caribbean percussion background. (Joseph Tortelli Goldmine (November 2006)

…displays a rare breadth and imagination in both the choice of material and the skill in which it is delivered…the atmospheric jazz fills the air and carries you away to a better place…Class throughout. (Musician, August 2007)BackCover1

Personnel:
Iain Bellamy (saxophone)
Nick Brown (piano)
Simon Chamberlain (piano)
Mo Foster (bass, guitar, keyboards)
Dave Hartley (piano)
Gary Husband (drums)
Phil Peskett (keyboards)
Frank Ricotti (percussion)
Ray Russell (guitar)
Ralph Salmins (drums)
Corrina Silvester (percussion)

Booklet02ATracklist:
01. Hot Buttered Cats (Foster) 7.40
02. Prelude – That Dream Again (Foster) 1.07
03. So Far Away (Foster/Russell) 6.14
04. Oh No (Foster) 4.59
05. The Cry Of The Unheard (Foster) 4.59
06. Prelude – Blues SW19 (Chamberlain) 2.28
07. Tricotism (Pettiford) 4.18
08. Let’s Go On Somewhere (Foster) 5.24
09. Tradewinds (Foster) 4.14
10. The Four Susans (Foster) 6.04
11. The Importance Of Being Invoiced (Foster) 3.49
12. Crete, Yet Another Visit (Foster) 4.36
“Blues For B&C (Foster) 5.52

Unfortunately …
I have lost the CD, so there is no CD image this time.

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More from Mo Foster:
More

Various Artists – Sounds Of The World – Music Of The World – Asia – China and Japan (2006)

FrontCover1This is a low budget sampler with Exotica/Lounge or Chill Out music from Asia:

Lounge refers to a strain of easy listening music from the ’50s and ’60s that was based on the lush styles of latter-day swing and big band music. Lounge scaled these back, borrowing ideas from the worldbeat exploration of exotica, as well as the futuristic aspirations of space age pop. Lounge wasn’t as adventurous as either form, yet it wasn’t as watered down as Muzak — instead, it occupied the middle ground, appealing to fans of traditional pop as well as space-age pop. (allmusic.com)

You can hear such music in hotel lounges all over the world.

But you can also use the music to fall asleep better, just as you like.

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Tracklist:

CD 1

01. Michiko Tanaka: Geisha´s Dance 4.18
02. Yuki Morita: Sacred Fushimi – Inari 3.40
03. Michiko Tanaka: Ocean Of Eternity 3.50
04. Michiko Tanaka: Matsumae 5.31
05. Michiko Tanaka: Chanoyu Ceremony 3.53
06. Michiko Tanaka: Matsuri Festival 5.24
07. Yuki Morita: Ode To Basho 4.42
08. Yuki Morita: Cherry Blossom Melody 4.03
09. Yuki Morita: Holy Mountain 3.52
10. Michiko Tanaka: Nara 4.44
11. Yuki Morita: Amanohashidate 4.11
12. Yuki Morita: Beautiful Ibana 3.59
13. Yuki Morita: Sleeping Vulcano 3.53
14. Michiko Tanaka: Great Mystery Of Shinto 6.47

CD 2:

Yeskim:
01. Lotus Ode 5.33
02. Sichuan Mix 6.17
03. Dynasty Of Mercy 6.01
04. Yellow Riverthoughts 6.26
05. Jade Sky 5.58
06. Pearlriver Sunset 5.33
07. Wings Over Passes 4.17
08. Yangzi Waterballet 5.23
09. Echo Wall Song 5.51
10. Ricefield Chorus 5.57
11. A Tantric Ritual 5.17
12. The Birds Of Nam – Tso Lake 5.51
13. Palace Of Eternal Spring 5.31
14. Jokhang Soul 5.50

CD2A

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Booklet1

About the label:

Promosound Ltd. is a mid to low price record label from Ireland, offering a wide range of product with Original Artists, Wellness, Chill Out, Jazz, a great Irish Music Collection and much more.

Label Logo

Moneen – The Red Tree (2006)

FrontCover1Moneen (sometimes stylised as .moneen.) is a Canadian indie rock band from Brampton, Ontario.

Moneen formed in 1999 after the dissolution of another band, called Perfectly Normal. The founding members were singer/guitarist Kenny Bridges, bassist Mark Bowser, drummer Peter Krpan and singer/guitarist Chris Hughes.

The band recorded their first EP Smaller Chairs for the Early 1900s in Kenny’s basement. They then re-released it on Smallman Records with their second album “The Theory of Harmonial Value”, the band’s next release was Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now in 2003. The album appeared on the !earshot National Top 50 chart in August, 2003.

Bowser was replaced by Chris Slorach (Nu Chris), who left the band after the release of The Theory of Harmonial Value. Erik Hughes (who played bass for the band on their first Canadian tour) later became the permanent bass player for the band.

In 2003 the band’s lineup was Bridges, Krpan, and Chris and Erick Hughes. That year they performed in Austin.

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Moneen later signed to Vagrant Records. Smallman Records still distributes their albums in Canada. In 2005 they released a split EP with friends Alexisonfire on Dine Alone Records, on which each band covered two of the other’s songs, plus one original song.

In 2005, director Alex Liu followed the band through the recording process for The Red Tree, filming a documentary entitled The Start to This May Be the End to Another. The Red Tree was released on April 11, 2006 on CD and vinyl. The vinyl release of The Red Tree was limited to 300 copies. The band joined the 2006 Warped Tour to promote the album.[6] The documentary was released as part of The Moneen DVD: It All Started with a Red Stripe on May 13, 2008. The DVD had been nominated for a Juno Award for Music DVD of The Year.

In March 2008, Moneen parted ways with their drummer Peter Krpan, who decided to start a solo project named One Grand Canyon; the band recruited drummer Steve Nunnaro as a permanent replacement.

Moneen began recording their fourth studio album The World I Want to Leave Behind in December 2008,; it was released September 15, 2009 with Dine Alone Records. They released it on CD and vinyl. The vinyl release had a bonus track called “Dark & Ugly”. The band went on tour in the United States to support the album, including a stop in Los Angeles at the Troubadour.

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In 2010, Peter Krpan re-joined Moneen as the permanent drummer. The band opened for several dates on Alexisonfire’s farewell tour in December 2012, however the band had performed very little throughout 2012 and after 2013 were in hiatus. Krpan, along with Chris and Eric Hughes, formed a new band in 2013 named Seas, signed a deal with Black Box Music, and went out on tour. Bridges joined a band called Cunter, worked as the guitar tech for The Sheepdogs, toured with Say Anything on guitar, and released an EP in August 2015 “Love and Hate”.

In 2016, Moneen performed in Toronto at Cuchulainn’s Irish Pub.

In 2017 the band played a four-date tour leading up to the 10th anniversary of The Red Tree, held at Lee’s Palace in Toronto.

In January 2019, the band played three shows at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now. In April 2019, Alexisonfire announced that Moneen would be supporting then for one date in July 2019, describing Moneen as the “Siegfried to Alexisonfire’s Roy”.

The Red Tree is the third full-length album by the rock band Moneen. There was also a documentary that chronicled the writing and recording of this album. A music video was released for If Tragedy’s Appealing, Then Disaster’s An Addiction, and it has had some play-time on MuchMusic and FUSE. (wikipedia)

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For Moneen’s third full-length, the guys start with a bang and end with a whisper. Quietly perfecting an invigorating mix of emo (à la the Get Up Kids) and math rock since their 1999 debut EP, The Red Tree brings more textured backdrops of up-and-down dynamics complete with crashing guitars, ringing vocals, and mid-song drop-offs into piano bits or soft lyrics that fans have come to love. The six-minute “The Day No One Needed to Know” shows this recipe perfectly, as it fades near the halfway point, leaving vocalist Kenny Bridges singing alone, until the song — yup — kicks back in for an exuberant ending. The album starts in high gear with the opening track’s hyperactive drums rolls and layered vocal harmonies, which eventually spill over into a supporting backbone of frenzied guitar. Without pausing for breath, the second and third songs follow suit. However, this brisk opening trifecta isn’t especially distinctive, with each track mostly relying on the same animated formula of pent-up energy bursting around upfront vocal harmonies. Further into the album, songs become more of the up-and-down, fast-slow-fast variety, as Moneen play tight and harmonize with ease.

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The gentleness of “This Is All Bigger Than Me” is a definite standout (and not just for its concise title), while the surging “The Frightening Reality…” benefits from engaging riffs. The final two tracks are more fully developed ballads that escape the usual build-up of the rest of the album, but “There Are a Million Reasons…” somewhat has the feeling of being the requisite slow song for a band like the Used that the delicate “The Song I Swore to Never Sing” thankfully evades. It’s always nice to see a band attempt to step outside the boundaries constraining so many other groups of the emo new school, and Moneen seem to consistently separate themselves from the pack in this way. The Red Tree is another capable release to add to their others, but the time might be appropriate for an expansion on their own formula to occur. (by Corey Apar)

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Personnel:
Kenny Bridges (vocals, guitar)
Chris “Hippy” Hughes (guitar, vocals)
Erik Hughes (bass guitar, vocals)
Peter Krpan (drums, percussion)

Booklet03A
Tracklist:
01. Don’t Ever Tell Locke What He Can’t Do 2.58
02. If Tragedy’s Appealing, Then Disaster’s An Addiction 3.20
03. Bleed And Blister (Version 3) 3.27
04. The Day No One Needed To Know 6.05
05. This Is All Bigger Than Me 3.05
06. The Frightening Reality of the Fact That We Will All Have to Grow Up and Settle Down One Day 3.56
07. The Politics Of Living And The Shame In Dying 3.37
08. The East Has Stolen What The West May Want 3.35
09. Seasons Fade… Fevers Rage… It’s A Slow Decay 3.46
10. There Are A Million Reasons For Why This May Not Work… And Just One Good One For Why It Will 5.38
11. The Song I Swore To Never Sing 3.22

All songs written by Kenny Bridges – Chris Hughes – Erik Hughes – Peter Krpan

CD1

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Wishbone Ash – Clan Destiny (2006)

FrontCover1Wishbone Ash are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s. Their popular albums included Wishbone Ash (1970), Pilgrimage (1971), Argus (1972), Wishbone Four (1973), There’s the Rub (1974), and New England (1976). Wishbone Ash are noted for their extensive use of harmony twin lead guitars, which had been attracting electric blues bands since Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had played together in the Yardbirds in 1966. Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted “Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History” (Traffic magazine 1989), and to appear in the “Top 20 Guitarists of All Time” (Rolling Stone). Melody Maker (1972) described Powell and Turner as “the most interesting two guitar team since the days when Beck and Page graced The Yardbirds”. Several notable bands have cited Wishbone Ash as an influence, including Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, Dream Theater, Overkill and Opeth.

Formed in Torquay, Devon, in 1969, out of the ashes of trio The Empty Vessels (originally known as The Torinoes, later briefly being renamed Tanglewood in 1969), which had been formed by Wishbone Ash’s founding member Martin Turner (bass & vocals) in 1963 and complemented by Steve Upton (drums and percussion) in 1966. The original Wishbone Ash line-up was completed by guitarists/vocalists Andy Powell and Ted Turner. In 1974, Ted Turner left the band, and was replaced by Laurie Wisefield.

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The band continued on with strong critical and commercial success until 1980. There followed line-ups featuring former bass players from King Crimson (John Wetton), Uriah Heep (Trevor Bolder), and Trapeze (Mervyn Spence), Wisefield left in 1985. In 1987, however, the original line-up reunited for several albums – Nouveau Calls, Here to Hear and Strange Affair – until 1990, when Upton quit the band. After Martin Turner was replaced in 1991, the band recorded The Ash Live in Chicago, before Ted Turner left in 1993. This left Andy Powell as the sole remaining original founding member of Wishbone Ash to continue the band on into the future.

Clan Destiny is the nineteenth album (!!!) from Wishbone Ash. It is the first album to feature guitarist Muddy Manninen, who replaced his student, Ben Granfelt, in 2004. ((by wikipedia)

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Wishbone Ash was mistakenly lumped in with the boogie bands of the late ’60s and early ’70s when it first started out, but the group soon developed its own voice—a majestic sound of intertwining guitars and regal vocals, matched by a certain propensity to improvise upon lyrical imagery of knights and warriors that made the group sound like refugees from King Arthur’s court with guitars instead of swords.

Not surprisingly, the band’s been through more than its share of personnel changes since then, but it soldiers on under the aegis of guitarist Andy Powell these days, constantly touring and regularly recording. Clan Destiny is a play on words that carries more than a little significance when you listen to the current Ash lineup (though some more action photos would have been preferable to the lyrics printed in the CD book liner).

It’s one thing to deliberately try to recreate a distinctive sound and style, quite another to actually do it. Listening to the opening track, it’s absolutely uncanny to hear the tenor vocals mesh with the dual guitars that harmonize to create hooks. The effect is the same on the next track, “Dreams Outta Dust, but the little things make it sound different, including how the second vocal enters on the second line of the verse while a mandolin murmurs in the background. The largely original material on this disc, recorded in just over three weeks in Massachusetts, takes a variety of forms. “Healing Ground, for instance, alternates a dirty guitar figure that acts as a refrain, the dynamics of which are highlighted by way the instruments drop out on the bridge to reveal a sole falsetto vocal.

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Clearly Powell has assembled a band with a palpable chemistry, including some not untalented, though perhaps overachieving, musicians. Yet you can’t really deny the savvy of bassist Bob Skeat, second guitarist Muddy Manninen and drummer Bob Weston, nor their versatility: Skeat plays various keyboards, while Manninen handles lap steel and slide (the way he decorates “Your Dog demonstrates how he serves the song, instead of flashing pure technique). And for his part, Powell, still brandishing a Gibson flying-V guitar, does an admirable job on vocals—and like his three compatriots, he knows that less is definitely more when it comes to soloing.

In fact, Clan Destiny keeps improvisation in tight rein. Wishbone Ash uses the studio as a means to craft smart arrangements, rather than confine jamming. Nevertheless, the quartet generates some momentum on “Steam Town, while the instrumental “Surfing a Slow Wave sounds at once everything like vintage Wishbone Ash and something more, its delicate tandem lines echoed in the melancholy of “loose change. (by Doug Collette)

And I´m surprised how good this album was … listen to “Surfing A Slow Wave”, “Capture The Moment”, “Healing Ground” … or, or,or …

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Personnel:
Muddy Manninen (guitar, vocals)
Andy Powell (vocals, guitar, mandolin)
Bob Skeat (bass, piano, clavinet, vocals)
Ray Weston (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Eyes Wide Open (Andy Powell/Aynsley Powell/Manninen) 5.15
02. Dreams Outta Dust (Andy Powell) 4.27
03. Healing Ground (Cromwell/Nicholson/Greenberg/Rhodes/Wynans) 4.25
04. Steam Town (Andy Powell/Skeat/Manninen/Weston) 4.03
05. Loose Change (Andy Powell/Skeat/Manninen/Weston/Harris) 4.47
06. Surfing A Slow Wave (Kicklighter) 3.48
07. Slime Time (Powell/Manninen) 4.54
08. Capture The Moment (Andy Powell/Skeat/Manninen/Weston) 3.30
09. Your Dog (Andy Powell) 3.33
10. The Raven (Manninen) 4.46
11. Motherless Child (Traditional) 4.07

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And here … Wishbone Ash, live in 2006:

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