Jacinta – Convexo (A Música De Zeca Afonso) (2007)

FrontCover1“Her approach to music is absolutely adult and mature. Jacinta is an assertive singer, solid, with excellent expression and musical sense” –All Jazz, Portugal

Critically acclaimed for her “warm, velvety and powerful voice” (Com・rcio do Porto, Portugal), Jacinta won “Best New Artist” honors in 2001 by Cinco Minutos de Jazz (Antena 1 since 1966) and was referred to as “The Portuguese Jazz Singer” by Jose Duarte

“Self-confident and knowledgeable” (Jornal de Noticias, Portugal), Jacinta’s singing has both the fleshiness, that bluesy quality, and also an incredible depth to the swing. Her amazing intonation and vocal command set her apart from the average jazz singer. From classic Bossa Nova and acrobatic Djavan tunes, or from her own Portuguese originals to swinging Monk tunes and soulful jazz ballads, Jacinta reveals a capacity to present a mixture of repertoire that is given structure by her well trained vocal instrument.

Coming from an unlikely background for a jazz singer–delving into classical training in composition and piano, and even heading up a progressive rock group–Jacinta’s boundless musical energies finally found full expression in the field of jazz.

A jazz vocal performance on a popular Portuguese television show propelled her to national fame and jump started her vocal career, eliciting numerous concert appearances.

Jacinta traveled to perfect her craft at the Manhattan School of Music where she was granted a full scholarship toward her Masters degree. Her study of improvisation continued with Chris Rosenberg of the Ornette Coleman Band and Peter Eldridge of the New York Voices.

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Still in New York, Jacinta participated in workshops with renowned names of contemporary jazz, such as Maria Schneider, Ed Neumeister, Mark Murphy, Dave Holland and Annie Ross.

Later, during her four year residency in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, Jacinta performed regularly with several musical bands, with whom she appeared at top jazz venues such as Kimball’s East and Yoshi’s.

In 2001, invited by trumpeter/producer Laurent Filipe, Jacinta sings in a live concert series paying tribute to Bessie Smith. Jacinta was considered by the Portuguese critic as “One of the top vocalists of our day” (Blitz, Portugal), as having “a remarkable presence on stage, confident and graceful” (Correio da Manh・, Portugal), and as owner of a “strong and sovereign voice” (Sete, Portugal).

Jacinta02She is “an inspired and skilled jazz improviser” (Correio da Manh・, Portugal), with an incredible deep sense of groove and swing that is unlike any other singer. The success of this project culminated with its discographic edition on the prestigious Blue Note/EMI Portugal, in February 2003. This album, Tribute to Bessie Smith, reached the Portuguese national top sales and was warded a Gold Record for sales over 25.000 copies, something never before achieved in Portuguese jazz history.

After this big hit in the Portuguese musical scene, Jacinta looked for new ways and new approaches by dedicating herself to several satellite projects such as Jacinta Sings Monk and Jacinta Sings Brazil. In her study of Thelonious Monk music, the singer picks challenging ways preferring a more instrumental approach and highlighting not only the swing but also the angular melodies and the less obvious harmonies.

The project Jacinta Sings Monk was premiered in jazz Quintet format and later enlarged for jazz Quartet with classical orchestra. Amongst the several orchestras with whom the singer worked, the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra stands out. In this project, just as noticeable are the directors Gra・a Moura, Vasco Pierce de Azevedo, Rui Massena and the arranger Paulo Perfeito.

The project Jacinta Sings Brazil emerges from the singer’s need to explore sonorities and swings which are distinct from the American jazz. Here, the singer revisits and deepens an already experimented style with her American bands. The repertoire of this project is marked mostly by Jobim and Djavan tunes, presented with jazz Quintet.

With this specific program, Jacinta appeared seven nights at the Winter Garden of the S・o Luiz Theatre, selling out every performance. The singer’s rhythmic sense stands out once again showing total indulgence and an intrinsic musical knowledge providing the listener with a sense of lightness and great naturalism.

In March 2006, Blue Note/EMI Portugal releases Day Dream, Jacinta’s new studio album. This is a new musical phase, where the singer rediscovers Duke Ellington and enlarges her musical spectrum when including tunes of very distinct styles. The greatest challenge came from Greg Osby, saxophonist, arranger and producer of the project, by proposing the inclusion of composers as diversified as Djavan, Cole Porter, Tom Jobim, Duke Ellington, Zeca Afonso, Martin and Monk.

Rui Caetano

This record could be considered a landmark by the way instrumentalists play and expand creatively, in constant dialog between themselves and with the singer who, in turn, interacts with the band, approaching the melodies with the fluidity of a wind instrument. This approach results in fresh music, marked with a strong mainstream jazz swing but of contemporary flow. Osby suggested the inclusion of adaptations of some of the songs to Portuguese language, in an effort to bring this music style closer to the Portuguese public. In the Day Dream tour, a series of 20 huge box-office success concerts throughout Portugal, Jacinta was enthusiastically welcomed by an euphoric and appreciative audience.

In 2007, Jacinta dedicated herself to new projects, including a homage show to Zeca Afonso (Portuguese traditional singer-songwriter) in Trio format, which resulted in her third album Convexo [the music of Zeca Afonso]. In this new work, Jacinta takes this strongly flavored Portuguese traditional music and transforms it with a cool jazz approach. The new harmonies and the strong rhythmical concept develop these compositions and give them freshness and modernity.

Again, with Convexo, Jacinta sells over 18.000 copies and carries out an amazing 20 venues Tour, around the country, between March and May 2008.

”Convexo reveals an unorthodox repertoire of the author (Zeca Afonso), far from the cliches where Jacinta develops and explores, recreates and expands the music of the author… “ (by allaboutjazz.com)

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Zeca Afonso;
José Manuel Cerqueira Afonso dos Santos, known as José Afonso, Zeca Afonso (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈzɛkɐ aˈfõsu]) or just Zeca (2 August 1929 – 23 February 1987), was born in Aveiro, Portugal, the son of José Nepomuceno Afonso, a judge, and Maria das Dores. Zeca is among the most influential folk and political musicians in Portuguese history.

He became an icon among Portuguese left-wing activists due to the role of his music in the resistance against the dictatorial regime of Oliveira Salazar, resistance that triumphed in 1974 with the pro-democratic leftist military coup of the Carnation Revolution. His song “Grândola, Vila Morena” is closely associated with the revolution, since it was chosen to be the password transmitted by radio for the beginning of the movement that toppled the dictatorship.

In the ensuing revolutionary process, Zeca was a very active musician and continued composing political and folk songs, often criticizing the post-revolutionary changes. Years after his death, Zeca Afonso is still widely listened to, not only in Portugal, but also abroad. (by wikipedia)

Zeca Afonso

Personnel:
Rui Caetano (piano)
Jacinta (vocals)
Bruno Pedroso (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Adeus Ó Serra Da Lapa 4.51
02. O Homem Voltou 5.42
03. A Formiga No Carreiro 4.40
04. Era Um Redondo Vocábulo 5.17
05. Cantigas De Maio 5.33
06. Tenho Um Primo Convexo 4.09
07. Se Voaras Mais Ao Perto 3.28
08. A Morte Saiu À Rua 4.10
09. Que Amor Que Me Engana 5.40
10. De Não Saber O Que Me Espera 5.32
11. Coimbra Do Mondego 4.43

All Songs written by Zeca Afonso

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Various Artists – Dear Mr. Fantasy – A Celebration For Jim Capaldi (2007)

FrontCover1Following his death, several tributes in celebration of Capaldi’s life and music came out under the name Dear Mr Fantasy. The first was a tribute concert that took place at the Roundhouse in Camden Town, London on Sunday, 21 January 2007. Guests included Bill Wyman, Jon Lord, Gary Moore, Steve Winwood, Cat Stevens, Paul Weller, Pete Townshend, his brother, Phil and many more. The performances were evenly split between Capaldi’s solo songs and his work with Traffic. All profits went to The Jubilee Action Street Children Appeal. A recording of the concert was released as a double CD set the same year. (by wikipedia)

In January 2007 a fantastic line-up of guests gathered at the Roundhouse in London to pay tribute to the late Jim Capaldi of Traffic and to raise money for his children’s charity The Landmark Trust. Old friends such as Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), Pete Townshend of The Who, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Jon Lord of Deep Purple, Gary Moore, Dennis Locorriere of Dr Hook and of course his Traffic colleague Steve Winwood, were joined by younger admirers such as Paul Weller and The Storys to perform their favourite Traffic and Jim Capaldi tracks in front of a sell out audience.

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And this is a preview of the Show:

Jim Capaldi played with Traffic as well as Hendrix, Clapton, and others. At last there’s a celebration gig.
‘Jim Capaldi is a bit of an unsung hero, a really under-rated drummer, and one of the greatest musicians and lyricists to come out of this country,’ says Paul Weller, who knows a thing or two about Sixties heroes. Later on this week, the Modfather will join another two of his idols, Capaldi’s Traffic bandmate Steve Winwood and the Who mainman Pete Townshend, as well a host of other musicians, for Dear Mr Fantasy: A Celebration For Jim Capaldi, at the Roundhouse in London.
Weller first heard the group in 1967, and later recorded with Winwood and Capaldi. ‘I would have been nine when I heard Traffic through the first singles, ‘Paper Sun’, ‘Hole In My Shoe’, ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’, ‘No Face, No Name. No Number’, all the early stuff. I came in at the pop end of it all. I just loved those records, I still do. They’re real magical. ‘Paper Sun’ is probably my all-time favourite Traffic song. It’s such a brilliant melody and the words are great. All that stuff is fantastic, the psychedelic pop thing, whatever you want to call it, but, ultimately, their music encompassed everything. They had all different styles all mixed into one,’ expands the Jam and Style Council frontman, who drew on Traffic’s sound when he launched his solo career.
‘They influenced what I did, especially on Wild Wood. Steve Winwood played organ on a couple of tracks on my next album, Stanley Road. Steve said Jim had mentioned to him to check out Wild Wood so that was nice,’ says Weller. ‘A few years later, I played with Jim on what would have been his last solo album, Living On The Outside.
‘Jim was a great character. We sang ‘No Face, No Name, No Number’ and ‘Paper Sun’. He was talking about those days in Berkshire, when Traffic were all living together and making music. They would come back from gigs and play all night. It must have been amazing,’ muses Weller.

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Born Nicola James Capaldi in Evesham, Worcestershire in August 1944, Capaldi came from a musical family but forsook his father’s accordion for the drums and played in covers bands around the Midlands. With Dave Mason, Capaldi formed the Hellions and recorded three singles, for Piccadilly, which got nowhere fast in 1965.
At the time, Winwood was a teenage prodigy singing and playing organ with the Spencer Davis Group. By the middle of 1966, they’d topped the British charts with ‘Keep On Running’ and ‘Somebody Help Me’, but Winwood was having a better time jamming with Deep Feeling, Capaldi’s new group. ‘We used to go and meet at this club called the Elbow Room in Birmingham,’ says Winwood. ‘We started as friends. With Traffic, we could explore so much more.’ He has vivid recollections of his friend thinking up the group’s name. ‘We’d been in a coffee bar in Worcester. We came out and we wanted to cross the road and we stood waiting. Suddenly Jim, with the massive burst of enthusiasm he always had when he thought of an idea, said: ‘I’ve got it! That’s it! Traffic!’ And from that day on, we became Traffic.’

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Mr Fantasy, the band’s debut album, and their 1968 follow-up simply called Traffic, both made the Top Ten, as did their first three singles, but a rift developed after the success of ‘Hole In My Shoe’. ‘We never really felt that was Traffic, because Dave Mason wrote it and sang it. That caused him to leave,’ reflects Winwood, who briefly joined Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in the super-group Blind Faith before reuniting with Wood and Capaldi in 1970 for John Barleycorn Must Die, arguably Traffic’s finest album. ‘Jim was a great help to me as a writer. When we wrote together in Traffic, there was no outside influence from record companies. Everything we created was born out of the playing we did. ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ is an absolute gem. ‘Forty Thousand Headmen’, ‘Withering Tree’, a slightly lesser-known one, ‘Stranger To Himself’, all great songs.’
Though Winwood played keyboards, guitar and sang lead on most tracks, the more outgoing Capaldi was the perfect foil. He proved so prolific a writer that he managed to record three excellent solo albums – Oh How We Danced, Whale Meat Again and Short Cut Draw Blood – alongside his work with Traffic between 1972 and 1975. That year, the group split and the drummer scored a Top Five solo hit in the UK with a cover of ‘Love Hurts’, recorded by Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers.

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Capaldi’s writing often had a prescient tone, as the Free and Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, another long-standing friend, is keen to emphasise. ‘Jim was one of the first guys in rock’n’roll to voice his worry, his concerns with was going wrong with the environment, 35 years ago. And then he took up the cause for the children of the favelas in Brazil. He was a wonderful man,’ says Kirke. (Profits from the Roundhouse concert will go to the Jubilee Action Street Children Appeal, with which Aninha, Jim’s Brazilian wife, is involved.)
Capaldi went on to release 12 more solo albums, often contributed to Winwood’s post-Traffic output, and co-wrote ‘Love Will Keep Us Alive’, the hit from Hell Freezes Over, the Eagles’ mid-Nineties comeback album. In 1994, Capaldi and Winwood reactivated Traffic – without Wood, who died in 1983 – for the Far From Home album, toured with the Grateful Dead and sounded like they’d never been away. In 2004, they were inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall Of Fame. Jim Capaldi died the following January.
‘Jim and I had an agreement that neither of us would go out as Traffic without the other,’ says Winwood, ‘but I play some of those songs. I want to make this show as special as I can.’

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Pete Townshend, too, is looking forward to joining Yusuf Islam, Winwood, Weller, Joe Walsh, Gary Moore, Jon Lord, Bill Wyman and Simon Kirke for an event that echoes another occasion 34 years ago. ‘Jim took part in the Eric Clapton Rainbow concert in 1973. He was an extraordinary artisan on the drums. I’m such a huge fan.’
Dear Mr Fantasy: A Celebration For Jim Capaldi is at the Roundhouse, London on Sunday, 21 January (by Pierre Perrone, The Independent)
I include a fantastic review from this concert (taken from The Coloured Rain E-Zine)

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Personnel:

The Dear Mr. Fantasy Band:
Pete Bonas (guitar)
Dave Bronze (bass)
Ray Cooper (percussion)
Simon Kirke (drums, percussion, vocals on 05.)
Andy Newmark (drums, percussion)
Mark Rivera (Saxophone, flute, Percussion, vocals on 20.)
Paul ‘Wix’ Wickens (keyboards)
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Margo Buchanan (vocals on 15., 19.)
Phil Capaldi (vocals on 14.)
Yusuf “Cat Stevens” Islam (vocals, guitar)
Stevie Lange (vocals on 02., 13., 19.)
Jon Lord (organ on 03., 13., 14. + 20.)
Gary Moore (vocals, guitar on 11. + 20.)
Dennis Locorriere (vocals, harmonica on 04., 19.)
Pete Townshend (vocals, guitr on 16.)
Joe Walsh (guitar, vocals on 03., 07., 17. + 20.)
Paul Weller (vocals, guitar on 01., 12.)
Steve Winwood (vocals on 09., 10., organ on 09. + 20., guitar, on 10.)
Bill Wyman (bass on 03., 14., percussion on 20.)
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The Storys (on 06., background vocals on 20.)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:

01. Paul Weller: Paper Sun (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.23
02. Stevie Lange: Lost Inside Your Love (Santana/Thompson/Walker/Capaldi/Vilató) 3.46
03. Joe Walsh, Bill Wyman, Jon Lord:  Living On The Outside (Capaldi) 5.56
04. Dennis Locorriere: Elixir Of Life (Capaldi/Anderson) 5.31
05. Simon Kirke: Whale Meat Again (Capaldi) 4.25
06. The Storys: Love’s Got A Hold On Me (Capaldi) 5.34
07. Joe Walsh: Forty Thousand Headmen (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.11
08. Yusuf Islam: Man With No Country (Capaldi/Cipra) 4.50
09. Steve Winwood: Light Up Or Leave Me Alone (Capaldi) 7.26
10. Steve Winwood: Dear Mr. Fantasy (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) 8.22

CD 2:
11. Gary Moore: Evil Love (Capaldi/Wullemse) 8.24
12. Paul Weller:  Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood) 3.28
13. Stevie Lange & Jon Lord; Let Me Make Something In Your Life (Winwood/Capaldi) 5.14
14. Phil Capaldi, Jon Lord & Bill Wyman: Gifts Of Unknown Things (Capaldi) 6.02
15. Margo Buchanan: Love You ‘Til The Day I Die (Capaldi) 4.47
16. Pete Townshend: No Face, No Name, No Number (Winwood/Capaldi) 3.25
17. Joe Walsh: John Barleycorn Must Die (Traditional) 6.43
18. Paul Weller: Pearly Queen (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.27
19. Dennis Locorriere, Margo Buchanan, Stevie Lange: Rock And Roll Stew (Winwood/Capaldi) 4.36
20. Steve Winwood, Joe Walsh, Mark Rivera, Gary Moore, Jon Lord, The Storys & Bill Wyman:  Love Will Keep Us Alive (Capaldi/Carrack/Vale) 4.54
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AutographedGuitarGuitar signed by many of the performers on the night, presented by Coloured Rain contributor Steve Milner to Aninha Capaldi with the intention that the guitar be auctioned and proceeds given to The Jubilee Action Trust.

Good Charlotte – Good Morning Revival (2007)

frontcover1Good Morning Revival is the fourth studio album by American pop punk band Good Charlotte and the follow-up to the 2004 release The Chronicles of Life and Death. It is the first album to feature Dean Butterworth on drums, who joined the band in March 2005 after former drummer Chris Wilson departed in 2005. Billy Martin has mentioned in an interview that Benji Madden came up with the name for the album. This style can be heard in the album’s third single, “Dance Floor Anthem”, which is the most successful song on the album by debuting at No. 2 on the Australian charts and reaching No.25 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is the final album by Good Charlotte to be released through Daylight Records; they subsequently signed a deal with Capitol. (by wikipedia)
It’s not that Good Charlotte is incapable of writing good pop songs, it’s that the band’s music has never had any authenticity to it. The high-gloss pop rock of 2002’s The Young and the Hopeless masqueraded as punk, cynically emphasizing image over music, while 2004’s bloated The Chronicles of Life and Death attempted to show growth musically, and save for the odd pleasant surprise (the oddly contagious “I Just Wanna Live”, for instance), it sputtered, trying far too hard to seem more profound than the band actually is. Whether it’s Joel Madden’s persistently flat singing voice that sounds devoid of any personality, the hackneyed lyrics and song titles, or his band’s constant hopping onto whatever the musical trend is at the moment, Good Charlotte has all the focus of the MySpace and Facebook-addled children the band caters to, appropriating whatever’s in fashion, mangling it all in a soul-killing process of musical mastication and masturbation, and spewing out a product whose triteness is overshadowed only by its complete lack of sincerity.
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This time around, it’s the kid-friendly angst of Fallout Boy, the post-punk-infused pop of Panic! At the Disco, and the slick flamboyance of the Killers that the band is keen on grabbing a slice of, but unlike past efforts, the scary thing about Good Morning Revival is just how close these boys have come to actually succeeding. The hooks are there, the production, courtesy Linkin Park producer Don Gilmore, is there, the window dressing is all there (dance-inspired beats, soaring emo choruses), but there’s not a second where we believe that Good Charlotte means it, and their complete inability to show any eloquence in their lyrics makes this record ring all the more hollow. If you’re going to sing banal lyrics, you had damn well better sell it like it’s gospel, but Madden simply mails it all in, as if he’s seeing the words for the first time as he sings them.
For three quarters of the album, as mentioned, this is very catchy music. Backed with sequenced beats, blips, and synth chords, “Misery” boasts a borderline gorgeous chorus, but is completely undermined by Madden’s witless diatribe about “plastic people” and how, you guessed it, miserable he is. The pulsating “The River” is watered down thanks to Madden’s imitation of Brandon Flowers imitating Bruce Springsteen, while “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl” boasts a killer falsetto hook, but we can’t tell if the song’s posturing is supposed to be genuine or satire. If there’s one song that comes closest to getting it right on all levels, it’s “Dance Floor Anthem”, which audaciously swipes the Rapture’s tiresome dance-punk gimmickry and leans heavily on Good Charlotte’s goofiest chorus to date (“Everybody put your hands up / Say, I don’t wanna be in love”) to great effect. And buried late in the album, long after we’ve given up hope, lies the oddly charming “Something Else”, a little tune that nicely mimics the ebullient pop of Fountains of Wayne, from the call-and-response vocals to the undulating Moog synth.
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Too often, though, we get dragged down into the depressing morass of Good Charlotte’s faux-profundity. “Where Would We Be Now” shamelessly rips off Coldplay’s piano-driven balladry, “Victims of Love” takes the dance shtick too far, and “March On”‘s attempt at a populist anthem falls flat. Nothing can quite compare to the level of ridiculousness the band stoops to on the unintentionally hilarious “All Black”, a flirtation with goth rock that has us wincing from the bombastic, pseudo-orchestral intro, and guffawing by the time we hear those lyrics: “Take a look at my life, all black / Take a look at my clothes, all black / Like Johnny Cash, all black / Like the Rolling Stones / Wanna paint it black”. Please, Joel, just stop.
Going back to that album five years ago, it’s clear Good Charlotte knows how to come up with a good melody or two, but they either need to make what for them would be a quantum leap in the lyric writing department, or find a singer who can convince us that such schlock is genuine. We can live with the genre-hopping; you have to do what you can to stay in the heads of the kids these days. Just try and sound like you mean it, alright? (Adrien Begrand)
In other words: This is the perfect power-pop-rock Album !
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Personnel:
Dean Butterworth (drums, percussion)
Benji Madden (guitar, background vocals)
Joel Madden (vocals)
Billy Martin (lead guitar, keyboards)
Paul Thomas (bass)
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Synyster Gates (lead guitar, background  vocals on 03.)
M. Shadows (vocals on 03.)
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The Incognito Horns (horn on 08.)

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background vocals:
Bobbi Page – Carmen Carter – Maxine Waters – Terry Wood
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Tracklist:
01. Good Morning Revival (J,Madden/B.Madden) 0.56
02. Misery (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore) 3.49
03. The River (J,Madden/B.Madden) 3.15
04. Dance Floor Anthem (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore) 4.04
05. Keep Your Hands Off My Girl (J,Madden/B.Madden) 3.25
06. Victims Of Love  (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore) 3.45
07. Where Would We Be Now (Martin/J,Madden/B.Madden) 3.58
08. Break Apart Her Heart (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore(Thomas) 3.19
09. All Black (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore) 4.19
10.Beautiful Place (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore) 3.50
11. Something Else (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore)  3.19
12. Broken Hearts Parade (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore) 3.15
13. March On (J,Madden/B.Madden/Gilmore) 3.13
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Trio Mediæval – Folk Songs (2007)

FrontCover1Corresponding with Trio Mediaeval’s tenth anniversary, their fourth ECM album is a powerful and compelling recording of Norwegian folk songs. Performed in concert over the years, these songs are always received ecstatically – this is the album that Trio Mediaeval’s fans have been waiting for. The infectious melodies and haunting harmonies of this music will communicate across categories to a very broad listenership. Joining the trio on several selections is percussionist Birger Mistereggen, a specialist in the Norwegian folk drumming tradition. The inclusion of percussion not only widens the sonic spectrum of the group, but also adds a rhythmic element to these ballads, hymns, psalms, love songs and lullabies. Founded in Oslo in 1997, the Norwegian- Swedish vocal group Trio Mediaeval was taken up the following year as protégés of the Hilliard Ensemble. Hilliard tenor singer John Potter was especially excited by their potential and brought the group to ECM, acting as producer or coproducer on each of their New Series discs, Words of the Angel, Soir, dit-elle and Stella Maris. Each of these recordings has had great success with fans and critics alike and the trio has maintained a consistent touring presence in the US and all over the world.

This wonderful trio of Scandinavian women, based in Oslo, has long tantalized audiences with samplings of Norwegian folk songs. Here, at last, is a full helping, infectious and addictive, as warm or meditative lyricism alternates with joyous friskiness (by James R. Oestreich).

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I haven’t been enthusiastic about this ensemble of women singers, Trio Mediaeval, on their previous CDs, singing potpourris of chant and polyphony. Their voices are more individually interesting than those of the better-known Anonymous Four, but they’ve ‘schmalzed’ up the reverb and used other little gimmicks to trick themselves out as ‘spiritual-sounding.’ On this CD, however, they’ve tapped into their Norwegian roots, utilized the special vocal quality of Norwegian women singers, caught all the trollish mystery of ancient runes and isolated fiords. We Swedes depend on our Samii and Finnish singers for equally “weird” and heathenish vocal effects, but we can’t match the Norwegians. I’ve never heard this music before except when kayaking farm to farm on one of the northernmost fiords. Trio Mediaeval has saved something very deep and enchanting from oblivion. (by Gio)

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Personnel:
Anna Maria Friman (vocals)
Linn Andrea Fuglseth (vocals)
Torunn Østrem Ossum (vocals)
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Birger Mistereggen (percussion, jew´s harp

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Tracklist:
01. Det Lisle Bånet (The Little Child) 4.43
02. So Ro, Godt Barn (Rest Now, Sweet Child) 3.07
03. Villemann Og Magnhild (Villemann And Magnhild) 1.49
04. Tjovane (The Thieves) 2.36
05. Nu Solen Går Ned (The Sun Is Setting) 3:56
06. I Mine Kåte Ungdomsdagar (In My Reckless, Youthful Days) 3.41
07. Gjendines Bådnlåt (Gjendine’s Lullaby) 3.52
08. Buremarsj Frå Gudbrandsdalen (Wedding March From Gudbrandsdalen) 3.05
09. Rolandskvadet (The Song Of Roland) 2.49
10. Solbønn (Sun-Prayer) 1.20
11. Eg Veit I Himmerik Ei Borg (I Know A Stronghold In Heaven) 2.57
12. Nu Vilar Hela Jorden (All The Earth Now Rests In Peace) 3.28
13. Springdans Fra Vestfold (Dance From Vestfold) 1.37
14. Eg Aktar Inkje (I Don’t Think Much Of Those Boys) 1.36
15. Den Elskte Jerusalem (Beloved Jerusalem) 3.24
16. Till, Till Tove 4.54
17. Lova Line 3.44
18. Danse, Ikke Gråte Nå (Dance, Do Not Cry Now) 1.58
19. Den Signede Dag (The Day Of Joy) 2.49
20. Folkefrelsar, Til Oss Kom (Saviour Of The Nations, Come) 3.02

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Pink Martini – Hey Eugene! (2007)

FrontCover1Hey Eugene! is the third full-length album from the band Pink Martini. It was released on May 15, 2007 by Pink Martini’s own record label, Heinz Records.

The album is named after the track “Hey Eugene”, a fan favorite at the band’s live concerts. As with most Pink Martini albums, Hey Eugene! features lyrics in several languages: French, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, and English. The song Bukra wba’do, meaning ‘tomorrow and the day after’ in Arabic, describes a lover’s anticipation of a first date.

Hey Eugene! debuted at number 30 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling about 19,000 copies in its first week. It was certified platinum in France by the UPFI in 2013. (by wikipedia)

ChinaForbes
It took Pink Martini a full decade — their debut, Sympathique, came out in 1997; the follow-up, Hang on Little Tomato, was released in 2004; and now Hey Eugene! arrives in 2007 — but they’ve finally perfected their particular good-time blend of cabaret pop, pre-“world music” international fare, golden-age Hollywood scores, and lounge-informed, classy jazz. It’s still tempting to be wary of a group that wears its eclecticism so ostentatiously on its sleeve, but in the end nothing about the Oregon-based Pink Martini feels pretentious or mannered. While there is more than a taste of the tongue-in-cheek to China Forbes’ vocals, Pink Martini, a dozen strong, never come off as precious or stylized, as did so many of the bands that came along during the ’90s lounge revival and then disappeared from the planet.

PinkMartini01

While on one hand they fine-tune what it is they do, Pink Martini also expand their focus on their third album. The Latin elements of the first two albums are still present, no more so than on “Tempo Perdido,” a samba-rhumba written by Ataulfo Alves, originally sung by Carmen Miranda and abetted here by a high-school choir, but the group’s passport has many new stamps on it. “Bukra Wba’do,” originally sung by Egyptian star Abdel Halim Hafez, is PM’s first foray into the world of Arabic music, and the foamy “Taya Tan” is a sweet but somewhat foreboding Japanese pop confection. “Ojala” takes the group into French chanson; “Dosvedanya Mio Bombino,” obviously, leans Russian (great line: “I tried to storm the Kremlin of your heart”), but not so obviously also tilts toward various other Latinstrains from samba to son, which are touched upon elsewhere. Alternating between English (a touching, minimal “Tea for Two” with vocal jazz legend Jimmy Scott guesting; the opening, Forbes/Lauderdale-penned “Everywhere,” a lush ’40s-style torch song that could just as easily have been an old Judy Garland or Peggy Lee hit) and foreign-language vocals, Forbes is at ease in any situation.

PinkMartini02
Bandleader/founder Thomas Lauderdale has become a masterful helmsman, guiding the core orchestra through its tricky, subtle paces. Ironically, the title track is the least interesting thing here, a slow-jam R&B bird-flip to a guy who took the singer’s number and never bothered to call. Such silliness isn’t becoming of the talent and originality on display all over Hey Eugene!, and they’d be wise to stick to the globe-hopping and genre-splicing in the future without resorting to downtown-styled faux coolness. (by Jeff Tamarkin)

BackCover

Personnel:
Phil Baker (guitar, bass)
Gavin Bondy (trumpet)
Pansy Chang (cello)
Nicholas Crosa (violin)
Brian Davis (percussion)
Dan Faehnle (guitar)
China Forbes (vocals)
Paloma Griffin (violin)
Thomas Lauderdale (piano)
Maureen Love (harp)
Timothy Nishimoto (vocals, percussion)
Derek Rieth (percussion)
Brant Taylor (cello)
Robert Taylor (trombone, trumpet)
Martin Zarzar (cavaquinho, drums, percussion)

Booklet02A
Tracklist:
01. Everywhere (Forbes/Lauderdale) 3.10
02. Tempo Perdido (Lost Time) (Alves) 3.42
03. Mar Desconocido (Uncharted Sea) includes an excerpt of “Waltz in C#-minor”) (    Zarzar/Chopin) 3.12
04. Taya Tan (Izumi/Yamagami) 2.42
05. City Of Night (Forbes/Lauderdale) 4.19
06. Ojalá” (Hopefully) (Lauderdale/Quiñoy/Nishimoto/Lemay/Forbes) 3.02
07. Bukra Wba’do” (Tomorrow and The Day After) (Mourad/Qorah) 3.56
08. Cante e Dance” (Sing And Dance) (Baker) 4.28
09. Hey Eugene (Forbes) 3.10
10. Syracuse (Salvador/Dimey) 3.49
11. Dosvedanya Mio Bombino (Farewell My Bumblebee) includes an excerpt of “The Happy Wanderer” (Forbes/Maya Forbes/Möller) 4.41
12. Tea For Two (Youmans/Caesar) 5.02

CD1
*
**

 

PF Sloan – In The Woods (2007)

Front+BackCover1American pop-rock singer and songwriter PF Sloan was very successful during the mid-1960s, writing, performing, and producing Billboard top 20 hits for artists such as Barry McGuire, The Searchers, Jan and Dean, Herman’s Hermits, Johnny Rivers, The Grass Roots, The Turtles, and The Mamas & the Papas. His most successful song as a writer was Barry McGuire’s 1965 hit, Eve of Destruction. He died of pancreatic cancer on November 15, 2015 at the age of 70. – wikipedia

Duane Jarvis, a stalwart of the Los Angeles roots music scene whose lead guitar work landed him stints playing with Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Michelle Shocked and others when he wasn’t recording and touring as a respected singer-songwriter in his own right, died on April 1, 2009 after a long bout with colon cancer. He was 51. Jarvis died at his home in Marina del Rey, where he was receiving hospice care after stopping treatment that in recent months had included two major surgeries and three rounds of chemotherapy. Jarvis’s guitar work was prized by some of the most esteemed practitioners of Americana music for its emotive power, musical economy and sonic atmospherics.

BackCover1

As a songwriter with a handful of solo albums to his credit, he often sought out the light in even the darkest life scenarios, which he sang in a laconic, reedy voice that fell between the Southern rock drawl of Tom Petty and the bluesy scowl of Mick Jagger. (by latimes.com)

Recorded live at the Concert In The Woods, Dorpshuis de Furs, Lage Vuursche, The Netherlands; October 16, 2007.
Very good soundboard.

PFSloanLive01

Personnel:
Duane Jarvis (guitar, slide-guitar, vocals)
PF Sloan (vocals, guitar, harmonica)

PFSloanLive02

Tracklist:
01. Take Me For What I’m Worth (Sloan)  3.46
02. If You Knew (Sloan) 5.20
03. You Baby (Barri/Sloan) 4.03
04. Where Were You When I Needed You (Barri/Sloan) 3.27
05. Secret Agent Man (Barri/Sloan) 4.38
06. From A Distance (Sloan) 3.48
07. Hollywood Moon (Sloan) 3.17
08. Love Is 4Giving (Sloan) 5.11
09. Love Me Tender (Presley/Matson) 4.51
10. Let Me Be (Sloan) 4.59
11. A Normal Life (unknown) 4.47
12. California Dreaming (Philipps) 3.27
13. Eve Of Destruction (Sloan) 5.27

*
**

P. F. Sloan (born Philip Gary Schlein; September 18, 1945 – November 15, 2015) was an American pop-rock singer and songwriter. He was very successful during the mid-1960s, writing, performing, and producing Billboard top 20 hits for artists such as Barry McGuire, The Searchers, Jan and Dean, Herman’s Hermits, Johnny Rivers, The Grass Roots, The Turtles, and The Mamas & the Papas. Many of his songs were written in collaboration with Steve Barri. His most successful song as a writer was Barry McGuire’s 1965 hit “Eve of Destruction”.
Sloan died on November 15, 2015 at his home in Los Angeles. He had pancreatic cancer for several months and his death was attributed to that disease

Amy MacDonald – This Is The Life (2007)

FrontCover1The debut album from Scottish singer / songwriter Amy MacDonald, This Is the Life achieved a remarkable feat — it entered the charts at number two. MacDonald admits that the song “Poison Prince,” which received a limited release as a single, is based on the life of Babyshambles/Libertines singer Pete Doherty, but the first nationally released single “Mr. Rock & Roll” has nothing whatever to do with him. With a finger on the pulse of news items of 2007, she fills “Footballer’s Wife” with observations on WAG (wives and girlfriends) culture, in which female spouses are famous for nothing much more than their celebrity partners, and uses the title track “This Is the Life” to reflect upon the lifestyle she had always envied since the early days of practicing her guitar and honing her songwriting skills. Meanwhile, “Let’s Start a Band” is exactly what it looks like: a song about being successful in the fickle career of pop music, a theme that is further developed on the song “Barrowland Ballroom,” named after a venue in Glasgow that many an aspiring artist wishes to play. MacDonald captures the feelings of ordinary people in the crowd wishing that something exciting would happen in their lives (“I wish I saw Bowie playing on that stage”). There is a nostalgic feel to the album, which conjures up vocal images of Kirsty MacColl and vintage coffeehouse folk singers, and even the cover art evokes the ’70s with its frayed edges and warm, lived-in appearance. (by Sharon Mawer)

AmyMacDonaldPersonnel:
Seton Daunt (guitar)
Susan Dench (viola)
Jolyon Dixon (guitar)
Johnny Dyke (keyboards)
Sarah Erasmus (background vocals)
Adam Falkner (drums, percussion, harmonium)
Richard George (violin)
Jonathan Hill (violin)
Amy Macdonald (vocals, guitar)
Laura Melhuish (violin)
Audrey Riley (cello)
Jamie Sefton (saxophone, flugelhorn, trumpet, bass)
Chris Tumbling (viola)
Pete Wilkinson (keyboards, percussion)
+
Philip Mason (bagpipes on 19.b.)
Martina Nagel (cello on 05.)
Jamie Sefton (vocals on 15.)

Booklet04ATracklist:

CD 1:
01. Mr. Rock & Roll (MacDonald) 3.35
02. This Is The Life (MacDonald) 3.06
03. Poison Prince (MacDonald) 3.29
04. Youth Of Today (MacDonald) 4.00
05. Run (MacDonald) 3.51
06. Let’s Start A Band (MacDonald) 4.05
07. Barrowland Ballroom (MacDonald) 3.59
08. L.A. (Wilkinson) 4.07
09. A Wish For Something More (MacDonald) 3.46
10. Footballer’s Wife (MacDonald) 5.05

CD 2 (Bonus Disc):
11. This Is The Life (acoustic version) (MacDonald) 3.19
12. This Much Is True (MacDonald) 2.44
13. Somebody New (MacDonald) 3.30
14. Footballer’s Wife (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (MacDonald) 5.02
15. Fairy Tale Of New York (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (MacGowan) 5.51
16. Mr. Brightside (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (Keuning) 4.06
17. Mr. Rock & Roll (live from Glasgow Barrowlands) (MacDonald) 3.28
18. Rockbottom (MacDonald) 3.46
19a. The Road To Home (MacDonald) 2.24
19.b.Caledonia (MacLean)  2.07

CD1+2*
**