Trio Beyond – Live At The Umbria Jazz Festival (2006)

FrontCover1.jpgTrio Beyond is an avant-jazz fusion organ trio, formed in 2003.

The trio was formed by drummer Jack DeJohnette and guitarist John Scofield, after conversations between the pair about how important Tony Williams was for them in that he provided musical influence as drummer and bandleader. Organist Larry Goldings, another admirer of Williams’ uncanny sense of time and rhythmic pulse, was invited to join Scofield and DeJohnette to form the trio that pays tribute to The Tony Williams Lifetime band of the 1970s.

The trio have performed many concerts since their formation. A concert from the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the 2004 London Jazz Festival was released in 2006 on ECM. The double disc album was named Saudades. (by wikipedia)

Here´s a broadcast recrding from the Umbria Jazz Festival, Perudia/Italy.

With the exception of Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew, Tony Williams’s group Lifetime–the pioneering late ’60s trio featuring organist Larry Young, and guitarist John McLauglin–wrote the book on jazz-rock fusion. This 2004 London concert features two former Miles sidemen as well as Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, and Larry Goldings, who was contacted by Williams to join his band before his untimely death in 1997.

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It brilliantly updates music from Lifetime’s seminal recordings Emergency! and Turn it Over. DeJohnette succeeded Williams in Davis’s band, and his articulated drumming drives Scofield’s blues-trenched, Hendrixian guitar licks and Goldings’s evocative organ voicings, electric piano, and digital sampling. Their rewiring of the combustible blues “If,” the spacey ballad “As One,” and the rock-out numbers “Spectrum” and “Emergency” shows that this music is as durable as it is dynamic. The cooperatively composed title track further highlights Williams’s never-ending influence and the exceptional improvisational acumen of these musicians. (by Eugene Holley, Jr.)

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Personnel:
Jack DeJohnette (drums)
Larry Goldings (organ)
John Scofield (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Punjab (Henderson) 9.41
02. Medley 18.38
02.1. As One (Goldings)
02.2. Allah Be Praised (Young)
02.3. Saudades (DeJohnette/Scofield/Goldings)
03. If (Henderson)
04. Pee Wee (Williams) 14.29
05. Emergency (Williams) 18.06
06. Out Of The City (Scofield) 7.48

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Erik Bosgraaf – Der Fluyten Lust-hof (Jacob van Eyck) (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgJonkheer Jacob van Eyck (c. 1590 – 26 March 1657) was a Dutch nobleman and musician. He was one of the best-known musicians in the Netherlands in the seventeenth century as a carillon player, organist, recorder virtuoso, and composer.

He was an expert in bell casting and tuning, and taught the Hemony brothers how to tune a carillon. He is credited in developing the modern carillon with them when they cast the first tuned carillon in 1644.

Van Eyck was born blind into a noble family in the small town of Heusden. In 1625 he left home and became carillon player of the Dom Tower of Utrecht, in 1628 he became the Director of the Carillons of Utrecht. René Descartes, Isaac Beeckman and other scientists praised his knowledge of acoustics, bell casting and tuning and bell players came to Utrecht to study with him. He died in Utrecht.

Jonkheer_J._van_EyckJacob van Eyck composed the Der Fluyten Lust-hof (The Flute’s Garden of Delights, or The Flute’s Pleasure Garden). Editions of this work appeared in 1644, 1646, 1649, 1654, and 1656. Der Fluyten Lust-hof is a very extensive collection of about 140 melodies, each with a number of diminutions or variations, for solo soprano recorder. The themes include folk songs, dance tunes, church works, Psalms, and songs of the day. Some of the variations are considered challenging even for an experienced recorder player. Der Fluyten Lust-hof remains the largest work for a solo wind instrument in European history; it is also the only work of this magnitude to have been dictated rather than written down by the composer.(by wikipedia)

A merely occasional recorder player, I have never attempted entry into Dutchman Jacob van Eyck’s Flute’s Garden of Delights. As Thiemo Wind has it in the introduction to his substantial booklet-notes, “this repertoire is both loved and feared by professional recorder players today”. Thank goodness, then, for the likes of Erik Bosgraaf, who has recorded a generous selection from this masterpiece for us mortals to stroll through in relative ease and comfort.

Blind at birth, van Eyck (c1590-1657) was not only a campanologist of international renown but also a virtuoso recorder player, entertaining his fellow citizens by playing in the Janskerkhof (St John’s churchyard) in Utrecht on summer evenings. Der Fluyten Lust-hof, a collection largely comprising variations for solo recorder on popular tunes and psalm melodies, was printed in Amsterdam between 1644 and 1649, and was a great success.

Bosgraaf’s virtuosity is stunning, as is his artistry. I particularly enjoyed the variations on tunes that I was most familiar with, like Dowland’s Lachrymae Pavan and Can She Excuse, or Caccini’s Amarilli mia bella, but many new friends were made along the way, like the wonderful Wat zalmen op den Avond doen or the Sarabande. Twelve different instruments are used in order to capture the different characteristics of each piece, ranging from sopranino to tenor; in three of the tracks, Bosgraaf is sympathetically accompanied by Izhar Elias. As a reference work this set should be considered indispensable; as one to be dipped in for pleasure, highly desirable. (by William Yeoman)

In other words: A masterpiece of early music !

Erik Bosgraaf (born May 9, 1980) is a Dutch recorder player and musicologist.[1]

ErikBosgraaf was born in Drachten, Netherlands. He received his Master of Arts in musicology from Utrecht University in 2006. In 2007 Bosgraaf, under the supervision of musicologist Thiemo Wind, released a 3-CD-box with compositions of the Dutch composer Jacob van Eyck (1589–1657), a collection which attained unexpected commercial success and sold more than 25,000 copies. In the 2011–12 season he was nominated by Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, on behalf of the German ECHO music award organisation, to take part in the Rising Stars series for a tour of the most important concert halls in Europe.

In 2005 Bosgraaf, guitarist Izhar Elias and Italian harpsichord player Alessandro Pianu founded the ensemble Cordevento. The trio at first focused mainly on 17th-century music, then, under the same name Cordevento, the ensemble from 2008 also works as a small baroque orchestra in single strength. In this broad formation the ensemble mainly aims at 18th-century repertoire. The first CD, featuring recorder concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, was released in 2009. A CD featuring recorder transcriptions of concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach was released in 2011, and an album title La Monarcha was released in 2012.

Beside his activities in chamber music Bosgraaf frequents the orchestral stage with symphony and chamber orchestras. He has worked with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Jaap van Zweden), Netherlands Kamerorkest (Gordan Nikolić), Residentie Orchestra (Reinbert de Leeuw), Holland Symfonia (Otto Tausk), The North-Netherlands Orchestra (Johannes Leertouwer), Dutch Radio Chamber Philharmonic, (Thierry Fischer Andreas Delfs) and Sinfonia Rotterdam (Alessandro Crudele). He often plays a mixture of early and more recent music with these orchestras. He has also performed with The Royal Wind Music. Bosgraaf made a transcription of Pierre Boulez’ Dialogues de l’ombre double which was authorized by the composer. It was released in 2015.

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In 2009 Bosgraaf received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award which enabled him amongst others to purchase a set of special recorders. In 2009 Erik and Izhar were awarded the Amsterdam Canal Festival Award. In 2011 Erik Bosgraaf received the most prestigious Dutch Music Prize, the highest national prize for music. He was also awarded the ‘Golden Violin’ Prize, a prize given triennially to a classical artist who has made outstanding contributions to the classical music scene of the northern Netherlands.

Recorded 27 & 28 October, 1, 2, 15 & 16 December 2006 at Kapel Mariënhaven, Warmond

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Personnel:
Erik Bosgraaf (recorder)
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Izhar Elias (guitar)
Inmaculada Muñoz Jiménez (tambourine)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Preludium Of Voorspel 0.43
02. Phantasia 2.25
03. Lavolette 2.22
04. Een Schots Lietjen 2.08
05. Comagain 5.14
06. Silvester In De Morgenstont 1:57
07. Lanterlu 1:39
08. Pavaen Lachrymæ 4:36
09. Rosemont 1:53
10 Balet, Of Vluchste Minphje Van De Jaght 2:45
11. Tweede Carileen 3:15
12. Stil, Stil Een Reys 0:50
13. Blydschap Van Mijn Vliedt 2:30
14. Derde Doen Daphne D’Over 4:53
15. De Eerste Licke-pot (I) 1:15
16. De Eerste Licke-pot (II) 1:12
17- Malle Symen (Malsimmes) 3:50
18 2. Courant, Of Harte Diefje Waerom Zoo Stil 2:10
19. Wat Zalmen Op Den Avond Doen 5:53
20. Almande Prime Roses 4:10
21. Bravade 2:51
22. Princes Roaeyle 3:16
23. Onder De Linde Groene 1:47
24. Lossy 2:03
25. Gabrielle Maditelle 1:56
26. D’Lof-zangh Marie 2:52
27. 3. Ballet 1:31
28. O Slaep, O Zoete Slaep 4.49

CD 2:
01. Præludium 0:24
02. Fantasia 1:32
03. Excusemoy 3:42
04. Prins Robberts Masco 3:04
05. Amarilli Mia Bella (I) 7:49
06. Amarilli Mia Bella (II) 3:35
07. Engels Nachtegaeltje 4:56
08. Ballette Bronckhorst 3:45
09. Ballette Gravesand / Laura 4:13
10. Eerste Carileen 4:20
11. Doen Daphne D’Over Schoone Maeght 3:04
12. Si Vous Me Voules Guerir 5:24
13. Psalm 118 7:42
14. Courante Mars 1:48
15. 4. Ballet 1:47
16. Onse Vader In Hemelryck 4:58
17. Psalm 9 5:47
18. Kits Almande 3:31

CD 3:
01. Vande Lombart (More Palatino) 0:46
02. Fantasia & Echo 1:51
03. De France Courant 2:37
04. Psalm 140, Ofte Tien Geboden 3:31
05. Courante 1 3:00
06. Courant, Of Ach Treurt Myn Bedroefde 2:12
07. L’Amie Cillæ 2:47
08. Boffons 1:43
09. Repicavan 1:54
10. Bocxvoetje 0:38
11. Wilhelmus Van Nassouwen 2:50
12. Noch Een Veranderingh Van Wilhelmus 1:44
13. Philis Schoone Harderinne 3.29
14. Orainge 2.16
15. Derde Carileen 4.10
16. Psalm 119 5.38
17. Questa Dolce Sirena 2.05
18. Sarabande 2.18
19. Tweede Lavignone 3.55
20. O Heyligh Zaligh Bethlehem 3.48
21. Vierde Carileen 4.35
22. Batali 4.53
23. Een Spaense Voys 1.31

Music composed by Jacob van Eyck

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SheetMusic

World Drummers Ensemble – A Coat Of Many Colors (2006)

FrontCover1For those who think that percussion should be restricted to timekeeping, A Coat of Many Colors may come as something of a surprise. On the other hand, listeners familiar with Swiss percussionist Pierre Favre’s Ensemble and his remarkable Singing Drums (ECM, 1984) will find the idea of a full programme from four percussionists much less of a shock. But what differentiates the World Drummers Ensemble from Favre’s is its broader cultural spectrum.

Drummer Chad Wackerman, best known for his work with Frank Zappa and Allan Holdsworth, has pursued a more fusion-centric direction in recent years with albums like Scream (Favored Nations, 2000) and Legs Eleven (Chad Wackerman, 2004). Afro-Cuban percussionist Luis Conte has contributed across the musical continuum, working with artists like Carlos Santana, James Taylor and Ray Charles. Master percussionist Doudou N’Diaye Rose, who founded the Drummers of West Africa, is considered to be Senegal’s greatest griot drummer. Bill Bruford began life as an art rocker with bands including Yes and King Crimson, but in recent years has devoted himself more completely to his acoustic Earthworks band, featuring woodwind multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland in a jazz context that blends complex composition with open-ended improvisation.

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The spirit of Favre looms large over the World Drummers Ensemble, which even delivers an extended version of “Prism from Singing Drums—though that won’t be any surprise to Bruford fans who are familiar with the duet version he performed with drummer Pat Mastelotto in the 1994-95 incarnation of King Crimson. But what makes the World Drummers Ensemble unique is the group’s cross-cultural approach to the compositions—and they are compositions. While everyone has an opportunity to stretch and improvise, these are not bombastic free-for-alls, but organized and orchestrated percussion pieces that range from being purely visceral to surprisingly melodic, in their own way, despite being perpetually rhythm-happy. The fifteen-minute video performance on the DVD side of this DualDisc release (which also has two bonus audio tracks) allows one to see just how orchestrated the music is, revealing the synchronicity that takes place between the four players.

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The mix perfectly mirrors the onstage image on the front cover—Wackerman on the left, followed by Rose, Conte and, finally, Bruford on the right—making it possible to not only absorb the music as a whole, but also resolve and hear what each individual is contributing to the blend. A little over a third of the CD is taken up by compositions by Rose, which range from primitive simplicity to complex interaction. But most strikingly, throughout all the music, rhythm and melody intersect effectively on instruments that many have come to think of in purely metric terms.

The biggest surprises of A Coat of Many Colors are how eminently listenable it is and how captivating its diversity is from start to finish. This album of percussion compositions, perhaps unexpectedly, should attract a broad audience. (by John Kelman)

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Personnel:
Bill Bruford (acoustic and electronic drums)
Luis Conte (conga drums, timbales, cajon, percussion)
Doudou N’Diaye Rose (sabar, gorom babass)
Chad Wackerman (acoustic drums, pitched drums, pitched cymbals)

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Tracklist:
01. Conundrum 1.21
02. Majorette 11.15
03. Prism 12.42
04. Baye Kene N’Diaye 5.04
05. Ritm Kompozisyon 9.09
06. A Coat Of Many Colours 4.48
07. Self Portrait 7.06
08. Sa N’Diaye 7.01

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Doudou N'Diaye Rose

Senegalese master drummer Doudou N’Diaye Rose, who was considered a ‘living human treasure’ for keeping his country’s traditional rhythms alive, has died. The drummer passed away today, August 19, 2015, at the age of 85. Doudou died in a Dakar hospital after being taken ill on Wednesday morning.

 

Alessandro Scarlatti – Con voce festiva (2006)

FrontCover1During the course of his long life, Alessandro Scarlatti was not only a prolific composer of opera, he wrote more than 700 cantatas, many of which consisted of miniature scenes and often incorporated solo instruments to set off the voice. These works demonstrate the utility of the Neapolitan/Roman cantata for smaller chamber venues, and the composer was certainly much in demand for his expressive music of a more intimate sort. That being said, this group incorporates several pieces with a trumpet, so one supposes that the concept of “intimacy” must have been quite flexible, given its often high tessitura and virtuoso line. This disc contains a selection of pieces that could have been used in the various venues in Rome he haunted during the period around 1700, and thus it is a sort of grouping that works well.

It is clear from the notes that Jean-Marc Andrieu, the conductor of the home-grown early music ensemble in Lyon, Les Passions Baroque orchestra, was responsible for putting together the selections on the disc, driven partly, one suspects, by the availability of the soprano soloist, Isabelle Poulenard, and a guest trumpeter, Serge Tizac. In any case, the selections do go well together, and the range of tone provides considerable variety, from a recorder concerto to a rousing soprano-and-trumpet tour de force battle aria that concludes the disc. The vocal and instrumental pieces are generally (though not always) alternated, even further demonstrating Scarlatti’s versatility as a composer.

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The orchestra is typical for Italy during this period, generally restricted to a pair of violins and basso continuo. For the latter, Andrieu uses combinations of theorbo, Baroque harp, and the usual lower strings plus harpsichord, which result in a rather varied sound anchoring the various movements. The Sonata a 4, for example, is marked by the composer “senza cembalo al tavolino” (in this case, probably best translated as “without a keyboard on the little stand or table”), which means that some other instrument is required to provide the inner harmonies. For this, the harp/theorbo combination works quite well. In the concerto, really a five-movement da chiesa style suite of alternating contrapuntal and slow movements in which the recorder is integrated and really has few solo moments of the sort one associates typically with a concerto, the continuo texture varies. Indeed, often the violins are there solely for use in the ritornellos , a remnant of the old Italian Baroque practice that makes the pieces, especially the cantatas, sound a bit old-fashioned. Still, the blend is generally well considered, and Scarlatti was certainly able to use his textures effectively. As for the works with the trumpet, from the florid “Mio tesoro” to the rousing “A battaglia, pensieri battaglia,” the competition between the voice and brass is omnipresent, and one is reminded of the famed battle between a clarion player and the castrato Farinelli that took place in Naples not too many years later (and in case you are interested, Farinelli won!).

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As for the performances themselves, I’ll confess to having mixed feelings. Andrieu’s recorder playing is superb, with a full, rounded tone and nice phrasing. He also blends much better with Poulenard in their duo cantata, in particular the delicate “Onde ciare che spargete.” His tempo for the fugue of the concerto in the third movement is rollicking, giving the counterpoint additional interest in the way he weaves in and out of the violin parts. On the other hand, Poulenard’s soprano is variable. In La Fenice , she floats with subtle ornamentation and clear voice in the second aria pastoral “Ogn’or cantando passare il giorno,” indicating that she is fully aware of the demands of Baroque singing style. On the other hand, in much of the rest she sings with lots of vibrato. This is most apparent in those arias that include the trumpet, as if she is afraid that a straight tone might be lost. The result is a sound that is often far too modern and operatic for the delicacy of the pieces, and she doesn’t blend well with the clarion sounds of the trumpet. Tizac’s playing also tends to be technically adept but sometimes without too much finesse.

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Finally, the recording venue seems to have produced an annoying reverberation that makes it seem like certain numbers were recorded in an echo chamber. The less said about the accompanying notes, the better; these lack any sort of real context for the works on the recording and are difficult to follow. Can one really be interested in “micro-modifications” of formal structure, not to mention the really awkward translation into English? (My favorite howler: “From a musical point of view, cantatas are of variable geometric genre.” Say what?) Moreover, the texts are translated into French only. Still, if one is able to put up with these annoyances, some of which are petty, then one will find some interesting and unusual music by one of the period’s greatest composers. (by Bertil van Boer)

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Personnel:
Jean-Marc Andrieu (recorder)
Isabelle Poulenard (soprano)
Serge Tizac (trumpet)
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Les Passions Orchestra conducted by Jean-Marc Andrieu

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Tracklist:
01. Con voce festiva (Aria con tromba sola) 1.33
02. Il giardino dAmore (Sinfonia): I. [Allegro] 2.20
03. II. Largo e piano 1.03
04. III. Allegro 1.26
05. La Fenice (Cantate pour soprano, 2 violons et b.c.): Introduzione 0.59
06. Recitativo: Su lhora appunto che colcaro dOro 0.54
07. Aria: Se disciolti son quel nodi che rendevan 3.11
08. Recitativo: Gradita liberta quanto sei cara 1.04
09. Aria – Ritornello: Ognor cantando passare il giorno 3.11
10. Recitativo: Oh quanto piu gioisce allor chesposto 1.04
11. Aria: Che tal volta cupido tiranno 2.07
12. Recitativo: O come piu felice tra le selve dArabia 0.51
13. Aria: Dunque mio cor 1.47
14. Arioso: Al ciel donde discese 0.44
15. Mio tesoro (Aria pour soprano, trompette, 2 violons et b.c.) 3.38
16. Concerto en la mineur pour flite a bec, 2 violons et b.c.: I. Allegro 1.49
17. II. Largo 1.43
18. III. Fuga 2.14
19. IV. Piano 1.56
20. V. Allegro 1.53
21. Su le sponde del Terbo (Cantate pour soprano): Sinfonia [Grave] 1.48
22. Recitativo: Su le sponde del Terbo 0.49
24. Recitativo ed Arioso: Mesto, stanco… Infelici miei lumi 4.33
25. Aria e Ritornello: Dite almeno, astri crudeli 1.41
26. Recitativo ed Aria: Allaura, al cielo… Tra lascia pur di piangere 2.19
27. Sonata 3 a 4, senza cembalo al tavolino: I. Sinfonia 2.11
28. II. Grave 1.38
29. III. [Allegro] 2.10
30. IV. Minuet 1.23
31. Clori mia, Clori bella. Recitativo: Clori mia… 1.01
32. Aria. Adagio: Onde chiare che spargete 4.55
33. Recitativo: Si, si narrate gli pur bell onde 0.50
34. Aria: Parla, parla il cor 2.38
35. A battaglia (Aria pour soprano): Sinfonia [Grave-Allegro] 1.27
36. Aria. Allegro: A battaglia, pensieri battaglia 2.10

Music composed by Alessandro Scarlatti

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Linernotes

 

Blackmore’s Night – Winter Carols (2006)

FrontCover1Winter Carols is the sixth studio album by the group Blackmore’s Night, released in the United Kingdom on October, 2006, and in the United States on November 7, 2006. It is a Christmas themed album. The cover artwork for this album, painted by Karsten Topelmann, is an adaptation of a street in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, in line with the band’s heavy Renaissance influence. The same street is portrayed in the cover of Blackmore’s Night’s second studio album, Under a Violet Moon. In the cover of “Winter Carols” the street is painted as winter time, whereas Under a Violet Moon’s cover takes place on apparently a summer night. While the selections “Winter (Basse Dance)” is credited to Ritchie Blackmore as composer, it is an adaptation of the second section of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Fantasía para un gentilhombre,” which Rodrigo composed for classical guitar virtuoso Andres Segovia in 1954.

On December 2006, Winter Carols entered at #7 on USA Billboard New Age Charts.

The album won the New Age Reporter Lifestyle Music Award as the Best Holiday Album.(by wikipedia)

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Ever wonder what Christmas carols sounded like back in time when the finest form of transportation was by horse and wearing armor was a hip fashion statement? Well then, the second release of 2006 by Blackmore’s Night, Winter Carols, may offer some insight. As with their previous efforts, the music on Winter Carols is of the Renaissance-inspired folk variety. And while the majority of the songs are traditional compositions, there are also a few originals, including “Winter (Basse Dance),” which includes some simply gorgeous acoustic guitar doodling by once Fender Strat/Marshall amp abuser Blackmore. Elsewhere, songs such as “Hark the Herald Angels Sing/Come All Ye Faithful” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” would sound splendid sung around the campfire — if it were still the 15th century. Unfortunately, a rendition of the Chipmunks’ “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)” is not included. (by Greg Prato)

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This is one of the most refreshing albums of Christmas music released in many years! There are no Santa Clauses, Rudolphs, or Sleigh Rides here. Candice Night (vocals) and Ritchie Blackmore celebrate Christmas without all the commercialism that saturates most Christmas albums and tastefully interpret carols with a few original compositions added for flavor. Of the originals, “Christmas Eve” and “Winter (Basse Dance) are most notable, although the latter is an adaptation of a classical guitar piece written for Andres Segovia by Joaquin Rodrigo (“Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre”). Candice Night’s vocals are perfectly suited to the music on the album, and if you want to celebrate the season by listening instead of partying, WINTER CAROLS comes highly recommended! (by Tom Daly)

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Personnel:
Ritchie Blackmore (guitar, mandola, nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy, percussion)
Robert Curiano (Sir Robert of Normandie) (bass)
Candice Night (vocals, shawm, pennywhistle)
Pat Regan (keyboards)
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David Baranowski (Bard David of Larchmont) (keyboards)
Albert Dannemann (bagpipes, background vocals)
Anton Fig (drums)
Sarah Steiding (violin)
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Sisters of the Moon:
Lady Madeline and Lady Nancy (Madeline and Nancy Posner) (harmony vocals)
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background vocals:
Ian Robertson and Jim Manngard

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Hark the Herald Angels Sing / Come All Ye Faithful (Traditional) 3.50
02. I Saw Three Ships (Traditional) 2.40
03. Winter (Basse Dance) (Blackmore) 3.07
04. Ding Dong Merrily On High (Traditional) 3.16
05. Ma-O-Tzur (Traditional) 2.19
06. Good King Wenceslas (Traditional) 4.44
07. Lord Of The Dance / Simple Gifts (Carter/Brackett) 3.34
08. We Three Kings (Traditional) 4.48
09. Wish You Were Here (Teijo) 5.02
10. Emmanuel (Traditional) 3.32
11. Christmas Eve (Blackmore/Night) 4.20
12. We Wish You A Merry Christmas (Traditional) 1.21

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The cover artwork for this album, painted by Karsten Topelmann, is an adaptation of a street in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany, in line with the band’s heavy Renaissance influence. The same street is portrayed in the cover of Blackmore’s Night’s second studio album, Under a Violet Moon. In the cover of “Winter Carols” the street is painted as winter time, whereas Under a Violet Moon’s cover takes place on apparently a summer night.

And here´s the same scene … in our time:

Rothenburg

Percy Sledge – Live In Kentucky (2006)

FrontCover1Percy Tyrone Sledge (November 25, 1940 – April 14, 2015) was an American R&B, soul and gospel singer. He is best known for the song “When a Man Loves a Woman”, a No. 1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts in 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the RIAA.

Having previously worked as a hospital orderly in the early 1960s, Sledge achieved his strongest success in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a series of emotional soul songs. In later years, Sledge received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Sledge was born on November 25, 1940, in Leighton, Alabama. He worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two. An audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract.

Sledge’s soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called “emotional classics for romantics of all ages”. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s first song recorded under the contract, and was released in March 1966. According to Sledge, the inspiration for the PercySledge03song came when his girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965, and, because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them. It reached No. 1 in the US and went on to become an international hit. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was a hit twice in the UK, reaching No. 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at No. 2 in 1987. The song was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge’s career, and was followed by “Warm and Tender Love” (covered by British singer Elkie Brooks in 1981), “It Tears Me Up”, “Take Time to Know Her” (his second biggest US hit, reaching No. 11; the song’s lyric was written by Steve Davis), “Love Me Tender”, and “Cover Me”.

Sledge charted with “I’ll Be Your Everything” and “Sunshine” during the 1970s, and became an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent; he averaged 100 concerts a year in South Africa.

Sledge’s career enjoyed a renaissance in the 1980s when “When a Man Loves a Woman” re-entered the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 2 behind the reissued Ben E. King classic “Stand by Me”, after being used in a Levi’s commercial.[3] In the early 1990s, Michael Bolton brought “When a Man Loves a Woman” back into the limelight again on his hit album Time, Love, & Tenderness. On the week of November 17 to November 23, 1991, Bolton’s version also hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, exactly 25½ years to the week after Percy’s did in 1966.

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In 1994, Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg produced Sledge’s album, Blue Night, for Philippe Le Bras’ Sky Ranch label and Virgin Records. It featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, and Mick Taylor among others. Blue Night received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, and in 1996 it won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album.

In 2004, Davis and Goldberg also produced the Shining Through the Rain album, which preceded his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Songs on the CD were written by Mikael Rickfors, Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Carla Olson, Denny Freeman, Allan Clarke and Jackie Lomax. The same year Percy recorded a live album with his band Sunset Drive entitled Percy Sledge and Sunset Drive – Live in Virginia on WRM Records produced by Warren Rodgers.

In May 2007, Percy was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in his home city of Baton Rouge, LA.

In December 2010, Rhino Handmade issued a four-CD retrospective, The Atlantic Recordings, which covers all of the issued Atlantic masters, as well as many of the tracks unissued in the United States (although some were simply the mono versions of songs originally issued in stereo; Disc 1 comprises Sledge’s first two LPs which were not recorded on stereo equipment). In 2011 Sledge toured with Sir Cliff Richard during his Soulicious tour, performing “I’m Your Puppet” (by wikipedia)

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And here´s a very rare live album …orginal released as a DVD … a perfect show with all these soul music from the Sixties …  what a night !

Recorded live at the Mountain Arts Center, Prestenburg, Kentucky,
July 2006

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Personnel:
Percy Sledge (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown musicians

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Tracklist:
01. My Special Prayer (Simon/Scott) 4.44
02. Cover Me (Greene/Hinton) 4.05
03. Take Time To Know Her (Davis) 3.44
04. My Girl (Robinson/White) 4.34
05. Warm And Tender Love (Robinson) 5.13
06. Bring It Home To Me (Cooke) 4.39
07. At The Dark End Of The Street (Penn/Moman) 3.02
08. Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Cropper/Redding) 3.39
09. 24-7-365 (Herron/Sutton) 3.45
10. It Tears Me Up (Oldham/Penn) 2.54
11. I’ll Be Your Everything (Souke) 3.29
12. Blue Water (James) 4.12
13. Out Of Left Field (Oldham/Penn) 4.13
14. Big Blue Diamonds (Carson) 3.37
15. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 5.05
16. Sudden Stop (Russell 3.16
17. Going Home Tomorrow (Domino/Young 3.53
18. When A Man Loves A Woman (Lewis/Wright) 5.52

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Percy Sledge (November 25, 1940 – April 14, 2015

Larry Coryell – Laid Back & Blues (Live at the Sky Church in Seattle) (2006)

FrontCover1Here´s a very rare album by Larry Coryell:

Laid Back & Blues finds journeyman jazz guitarist Larry Coryell performing live with his quartet at the Sky Church in Seattle, WA. Backing Coryell here are pianist Mark Seales, bassist Chuck Deardorf, and drummer Dean Hodges. Also joining in for an inspired off-the-cuff take on Tracy Chapman’s “Gimme One Reason” is vocalist Tracey Piergross. Throughout, Coryell does a nice job of mixing in such jazz standards as “Body and Soul” and “Straight No Chaser” alongside his more contemporary and challenging compositions including “The Dragon’s Grate” and the pretty midtempo ballad “Tracy.” This is an intimate-sounding album that truly showcases Coryell’s superb post-bop style and deft guitar technique. (by Matt Collar)

True, Larry has been playing utterly fantastic guitar for years and years, but this release showcases his many sides in a manner somewhat lacking in recent projects. Included are some very nice renditions of Coryell “standards” plus a standout vocal performance by Tracey Piergross. Keep an ear out for this new talent! Highlights include Larry’s solo, “Denver in April”, a return to a slightly phased acoustic sound that suits Larry so well. Also exceptional is his closing blues statement on the final track. Highly recommended!!! (by Andy)

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Personnel:
Larry Coryell (guitar, vocals)
Chuck Deardorf (bass)
Dean Hodges (drums)
Mark Seales (piano)
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Tracy Chapman (vocals on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. No More Booze Minor Blues (Coryell) 8.27
02. Intro To Tracey (Coryell) 1.28
03. Tracey (Coryell) 7.34
04. Gimme One Reason/Rock Me Baby (Josea/King) 4.36
05. Body & Soul (Coryell) 8.28
06. Intro to Straight No Chaser 0.32
07. Straight No Chaser (Monk) 8.17
08. Denver In April (Coryell) 5.03
09. The Dragon’s Gate (Coryell) 8.14
10. Not Exactly Like BB (Coryell) 7.17

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Larry Coryell
(* 2. April 1943 in Galveston, Texas; † 19. Februar 2017 in New York City)

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