Ben Sidran Hammond Quartet – Cien Noches (2008)

FrontCover1Ben Sidran (* August 14, 1943) , a master of many trades in music and media, makes your average Renaissance man look like a slacker. Jazz pianist of international renown, lyricist of a rock classic, award-winning national broadcaster, record and video producer, scholar, author, journalist, and father to a second generation musical prodigy, Sidran has been a major player in modern jazz, rock and pop for over forty years. Ben Sidran is more widely recognized as the host of National Public Radio’s landmark jazz series “Jazz Alive”, which received a Peabody Award, and as the host of VH-1 television’s “New Visions” series, which received the Ace Award for best music series.

Born in Chicago in 1943”his father was a friend of Saul Bellow’s”Sidran was raised in the industrial lakeshore city of Racine, Wisconsin, going up to Madison to play keyboards at frat houses parties while still a teenager in 1960. The next year he was enrolled at the university, playing dates on campus and around town. He soon joined the Ardells, a Southern comfort party band led by frat boy singer Steve Miller and his friend Boz Scaggs. But when Miller and Scaggs went west to become stars, Sidran stayed to complete his degree in English lit.

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After graduating from the UW in 1966 (with honors), Sidran moved to England to pursue a Master’s Degree in American Studies at the University of Sussex. But when the Steve Miller Band came to England the following year to record with the legendary British engineer Glyn Johns, Sidran found himself back on the two-track life of academia and music.

It started with his haunting harpsichord break on Scaggs’ “Baby’s Calling Me Home” for the Miller band’s debut album, “Children of the Future.” A little later on, Ben would pen the lyrics for Miller’s “Space Cowboy,” earning a place in rock history (and enough royalties to pay

for his graduate degrees). While still pursuing his studies, Sidran also developed a relationship with Johns, often doing session work at Olympic Studios with musicians like Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. In 1969, Johns produced Sidran’s demo tape, featuring Charlie Watts, Peter Frampton and others.

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Upon receiving his doctorate in American Studies at the height of the war-induced grad school glut, Sidran faced bleak prospects in academia. Then he realized his time for studying the information was over; it was time to become the information. So in the fall of 1970, after dropping his dissertation with some publishers, he moved to Los Angeles to go into the record business. Things started to break in a hurry. First came competing bids to publish his thesis; Ben bypassed the low-key offer from Oxford University Press to take a lucrative (to him, at the time) offer from Holt, Rinehart & Winston to publish the dissertation as Black Talk, or How the Music of Black America Created a Radical Alternative to the Values of Western Literary Tradition. Then, thanks to an introduction from Johns, Sidran soon had his own record deal on Capitol Records. Feel Your Groove, a jazz/rock hybrid, featured Blue Mitchell on trumpet (the first of five such engagements), guitarists Scaggs and Ed Davis and Jim Keltner on drums.

Recognizing Ben’s skills on both sides of the studio, Capitol also offered him a job as staff producer. But because his wife Judy was unhappy in the isolated haze of the Hollywood hills, Sidran did the unthinkable and walked away from LA in the summer of ’71, returning to Madison just as Feel Your Groove was released and Black Talk was published (a set of circumstances which did not provoke the label into excessive promotional activity). Taking up the Hammond B3 residency at a local club, Sidran soon found another life- long musical partner when James Brown played in town and his drummer, Clyde Stubblefield, stayed behind. It wasn’t long before another national label came calling – Blue Thumb Records, which released Ben’s “I Lead a Life” in 1972, quickly followed by “Puttin’ In Time on Planet Earth”(1972) and “Don’t Let Go,” (1973).

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Sidran showcased his many talents in varied fields the year he turned 30 – leading a national tour, producing Tony Williams and Paul Pena, creating and hosting a weekly television series, even returning to academia to teach the social aesthetics of record production at the UW. His pace hasn’t slackened since.

After the demise of Blue Thumb, Sidran joined the Arista Records roster, releasing “Free in America” (1976), “The Doctor is In” (1977), “A Little Kiss in the Night” (1978), “Live at Montreaux,” (1979) and “The Cat in the Hat,” (1980). Although Ben developed a significant career in radio and television work during the eighties (see sidebar), he kept his hands on the keyboard, recording “Get to the Point”(PolyStar, 1981), “Old Songs for the New Depression,” (Antilles, 1982), “Bop City,” (Antilles, 1983), “On the Cool Side,” (Windham Hill, 1984), “Have You Met … Barcelona”(Orange Blue Productions, 1986), “On the Live Side,”(Windham Hill, 1986) and “Too Hot to Touch,” (Windham Hill 1987). His production credits that decade included “Ever Since the World Ended” and “My Backyard” for Mose Allison and “Born 2B Blue” for Steve Miller, with whom he and son Leo also toured.

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Sidran continued to click on many levels throughout the 1990s, even expanded his efforts to include starting his own label, Go Jazz records. Early Sidran-produced Go Jazz releases included Georgie Fame’s “Cool Car Blues,” and “The Blues and Me,” Ricky Peterson’s “Smile Blue,” and Phil Upchurch’s “Whatever Happened to the Blues.”

In 1993, Sidran combined his art with his soul on “Life’s a Lesson,” a jazz-infused collection of Jewish liturgical and folk songs. In a five-decade career (so far), this Go Jazz release is one of the crowning personal and artistic achievements.

The end of the century brought another emotional highlight – the release of “Concert for Garcia Lorca,” a tribute to the martyred Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. Recorded in the courtyard of Garcia Lorca’s home, the album earned Ben another Grammy nomination (he lost to Madonna).

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Ben has maintained his steady output of high-quality work, both on his own (“Mr. P’s Shuffle,” and “Live From the Celebrity Lounge,”) and with such artists as Van Morrison and David Sanborn. In 2001 he produced two more Grammy-nominated albums, “Mose Chronicles” (Mose Allison) and “It’s Like This” (Rickie Lee Jones).

Building on the Spanish influence that infused the Garcia Lorca release, in 2002 Ben wrote and produced (along with son Leo) the bi-lingual children’s CD, “El Elefante,” winner of the Parents’ Choice Award. That year, Ben somehow found time to return to the UW as artist-in-residence, and release his critically acclaimed memoir, A Life in the Music (Taylor).

In 2003, Ben and Leo joined with Liquid 8 Records & Entertainment to create Nardis Music, a full-service label featuring enhanced CD’s of all original releases. Among its first releases was Ben’s own “Nick’s Bump” (2004). Ben and Judy Sidran continued to reside in Madison, Wisconsin. Most Monday nights, you’ll find him behind the Hammond B3 at the Café Montmarte just off the Capitol Square, joined by Leo on drums and guitar.

A life in the music, indeed. (by Stuart Levitan)

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And here´s is one ofhis exciting live albums;

Be ready for a great groove time….

It’s rare that modern jazz crooners govern so many types of keyboard instruments to the best of its ability like Ben Sidran, whether they govern an instrument beyond their voice at all. Although Sidran’s voice is his trademark: a timeless tenor storyteller with wonderful fun and insightful lyrics, which almost has the stand up comedians ability to communicate details in situations, it is Sidran’s pianistic qualities which have been extensive documented and praised, as a leader and sideman. When decided to release a live album where he just plays the Hammond B-3 organ, and with no bass player like the jazz organ masters, it is with some excitement, admiration and concerns that arises when the music starts. “Cien Noches” is the first album in his own name where Sidran plays the organ himself on all the tracks, even though that he 40 years ago played in a organ duo with organist Mevin Rhyne’s brother on drums, Ron Rhyne, in a local jazz club!

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“Cien Noches” starts with Sidrans’ scatting intro supported by funky organ licks, before he welcomes us to Madrid’s famous Cafe Central backed by a band of experienced musicians from previous albums; saxophonist Bob Rockwell, brother and drummer Leo Sidran, and for me the unknown guitarist Louka Patenaude. The album contains a number of original songs – the album continues with “Get It Yourself, a bittersweet commentary on rock and roll industry, then” Cave Dancing, an extended parable about jazz and the roots of religion. Bob Dylan classics “Gotta Serve Somebody” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues” is performed better than the original (?) Saxophonist Bob Rockwell’s “Drinkin ‘and Thinkin’ is an obvious party favorite before groove time is announced where guest singer JJ Telesso folds out into jazz scatting ala Eddie Jefferson on “Straight No Chaser”.

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Ben Sidran is the complete musician which the quality of “Cien Noches” album proves. Those who expect an organ jazz record in the “Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFrancesco” tradition, must look elsewhere. I am charmed by Sidran’s daring approach to use a Hammond B-3 organ enormous capabilities WITH bass pedals, which piano-to-organ converts should learn of, and as he states: “Anybody who is a fan of Jimmy Smith or Groove Holmes or Larry Young or Jack McDuff knows that the bass line is everything. Not just the notes which are important too but how one uses the position of the notes within the groove to drive the music. Unlike playing in a normal trio or quartet, when you play organ you have the opportunity to set up and support the solos with complete authority using the bass groove”.

A great album for lovers of the modern crooner tradition….and the Hammond organ. (by Terje Biringvad)

Recorded live in the week of November 21, 2007 at the Café Central, Madrid(Spain)

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Personnel:
Hector Coulon (percussion)
José Luis Crespo Technical Assistance
Louka Patenaude (guitar, percussion)
Bob Rockwell (saxophone, percussion)
José Ma Rosillo Engineer, Technical Assistance
Amanda Sidran Back Cover Photo, Inside Photo
Ben Sidran (keyboards, percussion, vocals)
Leo Sidran (drums, percussion, vocals)
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Gegé Telesforo (vocals on 06.

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Tracklist:
01. Welcome To The Central (Sidran) 1.36
02. Gotta Serve Somebody (Dylan) 5.14
03. Take Me To The River (Rockwell/Sidran) 7.40
04. Drinkin’ N Thinkin’ (Rockwell) 5.04
05. A Room In The Desert (Sidran) 6.29
06. Straight No Chaser (Monk) 5.51
07. Something For You To Do (Sidran) 0.23
08. See That Rock (Sidran) 7.14
09. Subterranean Homesick Blues (Dylan)
10. Folio (Sidran) 8.58
11. Cave Dancing (Sidran) 10.37

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What a great frontcover:
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Filmed during the live recording in Madrid of Sidran’s 2008 “Cien Noches” record at the Cafe Central in Madrid, this video captures the environment and feeling in the club, and most of the first set of the final night of the two week club residency. The band features Ben Sidran on Hammond B3 and vocals, Leo Sidran on drums, Louka Patenaude on guitar and Bob Rockwell on saxophone. Inter-cut with interviews with the Sidrans about the experience. The sound is distorted at first and then improves. (Ben Sidan)

Terence Blanchard – A Tale Of God´s Will (2007)

FrontCover1A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) is a studio album recorded in 2007 by the Terence Blanchard Quintet. The album was originally released on August 14, 2007 by Blue Note Records.

In 2008, Blanchard won a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and was nominated for Best Jazz Instrument Solo for his work on the song “Levees”.

Film director Spike Lee commissioned New Orleans native Terence Blanchard to compose the score for his 2006 four-hour HBO documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, to show the agony of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2007 Blanchard recorded “A Tale of God’s Will”, which contains parts (“The Water”, “Levees”, “Wading Through”, and “Funeral Dirge”) of the recording that were heard in Lee’s documentary. Blanchard’s mother, Wilhelmina, lost her Pontchartrain Park home in the tragedy but survived.

For the tracks “Ghost of Betsy” and “The Water”, Blanchard drew on his own experiences as a little boy when Hurricane Betsy flooded his Lower 9th Ward neighborhood in 1965. He intended “Funeral Dirge” as a dignified repast for a montage of dead bodies. Pianist Aaron Parks contributed “Ashe” as a benediction. Drummer Kendrick Scott describes his “Mantra” as a “mantra for healing and renewal.” Bassist Derrick Hodge’s lush “Over There”, written before Katrina, nonetheless fit the CD’s theme. Saxophonist Brice Winston wrote “In Time of Need” after moving with his family from New Orleans to Tucson, Arizona. (by wikipedia)

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When director Spike Lee tapped Terence Blanchard to compose the score for his 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the agony of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was a story they both knew had to be told from a moral standpoint and with cultural credibility. Capturing the hurricane’s sorrowful consequences through music would have to take its final shape more from the attitudes of their minds, the devastation they witnessed, and from the inspiration emanating from the people they would meet during the making of documentary. On A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), Blanchard uses every principle he has mastered as a genius jazz trumpeter to relay the impact of the destruction, the frustration, the sadness and the hope for a future. Full of his beliefs, sustained and elevated by the power of his purpose, Blanchard, accompanied by his quintet and the Northwest Sinfonia (which he conducted and co-orchestrated), delivers a powerful explanation of the emotions surging through them during this devastating experience. Opening with “Ghost of Congo Square,” an African beat drenched in Blanchard’s articulate trumpeting, handclaps, percussion and the chant “This is the tale of God’s will” — the listener is immediately informed about why things beyond their comprehension will undoubtedly happen.

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The two-minute trumpet-based “Ghost of Betsy”(about Hurricane Betsy) and the plaintive “Ghost of 1927,” a tune reincarnating another flood that ravaged New Orleans and sketched out by saxophonist Brice Winston and drummer Kendrick Scott, complete a trilogy of brief ghost interludes interspersed throughout the recording to imply warnings from the past. Blanchard depicts “Levees” as perpetually in flux: the calm before the storm as captured by the string arrangement; the interlude which decries a breakdown in the security of the Crescent City, shifting, changing, crashing from the strength of thousands of waves, blown by all the winds that passed and losing their old forms in the backwaters of time. His horn registers the aftermath of the destruction — wailing, grieving and weeping. This song is absolutely amazing. Pianist Aaron Parks plays the unforgettable melody on “Wading Through” “The Water,” and mournful “Funeral Dirge” form the remaining nucleus of the material from the documentary. Songs written by four members of Blanchard’s quintet serve to offer their own perspective of the tragedy, yet all of the music flows seamlessly to create a brilliant, inspired requiem.

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The music is potent, tragic, and adept featuring full orchestral plunges and Blanchard’s stellar trumpet emerging to involve you the way he’s involved. “Dear Mom,” Blanchard’s heartfelt tribute to his mother who lost her home in the tragedy but thankfully survived with her life, closes the recording. The imagery of sadness and frustration is deeply prevalent but Blanchard builds in accents and hopeful rhythmic nuance to give the listener time to catch his breath, leave behind certain memories, and to realize the promise of a brighter future. The music here will leave you in a melancholy, contemplative mood and definitely in awe of the talented musicians, composers, and arrangers who told A Tale of God’s Will. This CD was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy award as Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and Blanchard’s improvisation on “Levees” was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. (by Paula Edelstein)

BackCoverPersonnel:
Terence Blanchard (trumpet)
Zac Harmon (tabla)
Derrick Hodge (bass)
Aaron Parks (piano)
Kendrick Scott (drums, percussion)
Brice Winston (saxophone)

TerenceBlanchard03Tracklist:
01. Ghost Of Congo Square (Blanchard/Hodge/Scott) 3.05
02. Levees (Blanchard) 8.11
03. Wading Through (Blanchard) 6.29
04. Ashé (Parks) 8.19
05. In Time Of Need (Winston) 7.54
06. Ghost Of Betsy (Blanchard) 2.09
07. The Water (Blanchard) 4.10
08. Mantra Intro (Scott) 3.22
09. Mantra (Scott) 9.52
10. Over There (Hodge) 7.46
11. Ghost Of 1927 (Blanchard) 1.40
12. Funeral Dirge (Blanchard) 5.55
13. Dear Mom (Blanchard) 3.39

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Babe Ruth – Que Pasa (2007)

FrontCover1Returning after a break of 33 years, you could be forgiven that Babe Ruth would be out of touch with music. You would be wrong. This marks a fantastic return to performing for Babe Ruth, an album that moves through countless genres to create something truly unique. There is still enough to mark this out as a Babe Ruth record, the ease with which they move from genre to genre is astounding. It may have been a long wait, but it was worth it. (Promo text)

But…

“Que Pasa” is the 6th full-length studio album by UK rock/hard rock act Babe Ruth. The album was released through Revolver Records in 2007. That´s 31 years after their last album release “Kid’s Stuff (1976)”. Drummer Ed Spevok is the only remaining member in the lineup from that album, but the four other members in the “Que Pasa” lineup are not strangers to fans of the band. It´s the four original members from the debut album “First Base (1972)” who have reunited. So in addition to Ed Spevok we have Jenny Haan on vocals, Alan Shacklock on guitars, Dave Punshon on keyboards and Dave Hewitt on bass. With a lineup like that I initially had high expectations to the quality of the music…

…the album soon turns into quite the disappointment though. The execution of the music is professional enough but I think the tracks on the album lack power and bite. Jenny Haan doesn´t quite sound like her own rock mama self anymore either and that´s a big minus in my book. To be honest she sounds a bit tired and worn.

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While the tracks as such are well composed they lack what made the early albums by the band so enjoyable and that´s attitude. There are 14 tracks on the album which are way too many when the music isn´t that interesting. My mind simply wanders several times during the album´s playing time. To call this a hard rock release is probably a bit misleading too as it leans more towards commercial pop/rock music than sweaty hard rock. There´s even some rather atrocious rap vocals featured on the album.

All in all “Que Pasa” is a big disappointment and a rather weak comeback album by Babe Ruth. As the sound production is of relatively high quality, the songwriting compositionally acceptable (but uninspired) and the musicianship on an acceptable level too I´ll give “Que Pasa” a 2 star (40%) rating, but it´s not an album I´ll put on for my own personal enjoyment. (by Umur)

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Personnel:
Janita (Jenny) Haan (vocals)
David Hewitt (bass)
Dave Punshon (piano)
Alan Shacklock (guitar, keyboards, programming)
Ed Spevock (drums, percussion)
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DJ Kidsmeal (turntables)
Kim Shacklock (saxophone, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. 4 Dear Life 6.46
02. Que Pasa 5.04
03. The Sun, Moon & Stars 5.18
04. Mother Tongue (Pt 1) 2.19
05. Apache 1.48
06. Mother Tongue (Pt 2) 4.35
07. Doncha Wanna Dance 5.28
08. Break For The Border 5.34
09. Killer Smile 5,47
10. 4 Letter Word 5.32
11. The Blues 7.35
12. The Mexican Millennium (Pt 1) 3.04
13. Santa Ana 2.10
14. The Mexican Millennium (Pt 2) 0.36

All songs written by Alan Shacklock
except 05. which was written by Jerry Lordan

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Colbie Caillat – Coco (2007)

FrontCover1Coco is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. The album was released on July 17, 2007 in the United States, debuting at number six on the US Billboard 200, selling 51,000 copies in its first week. It also became Caillat’s best-selling album to date, selling 2,100,000 copies in the United States and over 3,000,000 copies around the world. Caillat supported the album with the Coco World Tour, as well as four singles. The lead single “Bubbly” was a huge international hit, while the following two singles “Realize” and “The Little Things” were minor hits. The final single, titled “Somethin’ Special”, was released on July 29, 2008 to support the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. It was later mixed and titled “Somethin’ Special (Beijing Olympic Mix)”.

Caillat met producer Mikal Blue, who hired her to sing on techno songs used at fashion shows. Caillat began playing the acoustic guitar at the age of 19 and Blue helped her record her first song. She auditioned for American Idol but was rejected at the pre-audition stage and was unable to sing for the judges. The second time she auditioned for the show, she sang her own original song “Bubbly” and was rejected once again. However, Caillat expressed gratitude at the judges’ decision, saying “I was shy. I was nervous. I didn’t look the greatest.

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I wasn’t ready for it yet. I was glad, when I auditioned, that they said no.” The popularity of Caillat’s MySpace profile led her to become the number-one unsigned singer in her genre for four consecutive months.[6] Her father also produced her demo songs, and was involved in production of later albums. Coco was produced by Mikal Blue, with additional production by Caillat, her father Ken Caillat and Jason Reeves.

The album was titled “Coco” because Coco was Caillat’s nickname given to her when she was a young child. The album’s artwork was a still from Caillat’s music video for the album’s lead single “Bubbly”, released on May 15, 2007. There are differences between the artwork for the standard and deluxe editions. The standard artwork shows the photo with a brown frame, while the deluxe artwork shows the photo without the frame but with blue waves and the words “DELUXE EDITION” on top. Also, a little yellow flower drawn next to the album title wasn’t shown on the deluxe artwork.

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Coco was released on July 10, 2007 in Australia and Asia and a week later in North America. Its deluxe edition was released on September 3, 2008 in Japan and November 11, 2008 worldwide. The album was certified 2× Platinum by the RIAA with shipments to U.S. retailers of 2,000,000 units. The album’s first single, a smash hit, was “Bubbly”, followed by a second single, “Realize”, and the third, “The Little Things”, which became the final single from the album in the United States. The deluxe edition song, “Somethin’ Special (Beijing Olympic Mix)”, was released as a fourth single on July 29, to give support to the American athletes participating in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. The song also appeared on the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack.

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According to one of the pictures on Caillat’s MySpace page, it was assumed that her song “Battle” would have been the fourth and final single from Coco. Because of her collaboration with Jason Mraz, “Lucky”, being released as a single and with the release of her second album, it is assumed that the single and music video were canceled and all promotion was then focused on “Lucky” and her second album Breakthrough.

Coco was also promoted with two tours: Coco Summer Tour in 2007 and Coco World Tour in 2008.

“Bubbly” was released as the lead single from the album on May 15, 2007 in United States. It remains Caillat’s biggest hit in the US to date, and her only single to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100. The single’s music video, directed by Liz Friedlander, aired on MTV, VH1 and CMT. A still from the music video was used as the cover for the album. The video/single was also featured in the hit PlayStation 2 karaoke game SingStar Pop Vol 2 released in late September 2008 in the United States. It was also featured in SingStar Hottest Hits in PAL regions.

Singles
“Realize” was officially released in January 2008 as the second single from the album, peaking at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming her second Top 20 hit in the U.S. The song is musically similar to “Bubbly”, as it is an acoustic folk-pop song, where Caillat sings of having feelings for a best friend. Caillat and her backup band performed “Realize” as the featured musical performance that closed the May 23, 2008 broadcast of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
“The Little Things” was released as the third single in Germany on March 7, 2008 and in United States in October 2008. The single did not chart well in the US, and was her weakest charting single from the album, peaking at number seven on US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100. In 2008, she recorded a French translated version of this song.
“Somethin’ Special” was released as the fourth and final single from the album on July 29, 2008. The song was included only in the deluxe edition. It was released to give support to the American athletes participating in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. The song also was included on the AT&T Team USA Soundtrack. (by wikipedia)

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Sweetness rules on Colbie Caillat’s debut, Coco, which is perhaps only appropriate for an album bearing that name. The record doesn’t play like a toasty mug of chocolate on a winter’s day, though; it’s a sugary lemonade on a breezy summer afternoon. It’s light and comforting, a familiar blend of sunny pop and singer/songwriter tropes that flirt with cliché but never sound hackneyed — a lighter, brighter spin on Norah Jones that sounds like an ideal soundtrack to a few hours in a cozy coffeehouse or a montage on Grey’s Anatomy, whatever comes first.

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If that gives the impression that Caillat is a little calculated — and if her music-biz heritage (her dad co-produced Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tusk) gives the sense that she may have had a silver spoon, and if her celebrated MySpace popularity is also initially suspect — then as an album Coco shows no crassness or coldness: it flows easily and, yes, sweetly, filled with gently ingratiating melodies and delivered with warmth and a casual charisma that proves to be quite endearing by the end of the record. Caillat doesn’t attempt anything approaching a major statement — the album is filled with songs about love and life — but that’s her appeal: she sings about simple, everyday things in an unassuming manner, letting her melodies and girl-next-door charm carry the day, and they do so winningly on this nicely mellow debut. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Michael Baker (drums)
Stevie Blacke (cello, viola, violin)
Mikal Blue (bass, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer)
Colbie Caillat (vocals, guitar)
Jaco Caraco (guitar)
Brian Carr (keyboards)
Luis Conte (percussion)
Tim Fagan (guitar)
Cecil “Censi” Francis (steel-drums)
Victor Indrizzo (drums)
Mark Levang (piano)
Dave Marotta (bass, guitar)
Jason Reeves (guitar, piano, ukulele, backgroun vocals)
Yukihide Takiyama (bass, guitar)
Annaliese Wolverton (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Oxygen (Caillat/Reeves) 3.51
02. The Little Things (Caillat/Reeves) 3.46
03. One Fine Wire (Blue/Caillat/Reeves) 3.38
04. Bubbly (Caillat/Reeves) 3.17
05. Feelings Show (Blue/Caillat/Reeves) 3.10
06. Midnight Bottle (Caillat/Reeves) 3.42
07. Realize (Blue/Caillat/Reeves) 4.05
08. Battle (Blue/Caillat) 4.04
09. Tailor Made (Caillat/Reeves) 4.30
10. Magic (Caillat/Reeves) 3.25
11. Tied Down (Caillat/Reeves) 3.08
12. Capri (Caillat) 3.01

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Kila – Gamblers Ballet (2007)

FrontCover1Kíla are an Irish folk music/world music group, originally formed in 1987 in the Irish language secondary school Coláiste Eoin in County Dublin.

The band’s first performance was upstairs in the Baggott Inn, Dublin, and was attended by three people. The original lineup for the band was Eoin Dillon (uilleann pipes), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (fiddle), Rossa Ó Snodaigh (whistle, bones), Rónán Ó Snodaigh (bodhrán), Karl Odlum (bass), and David Odlum (guitar). Colm Ó Snodaigh, the brother of Rónán and Rossa, joined the band before the first recordings were made. Rónán, Rossa, and Colm Ó Snodaigh are sons of publisher Pádraig Ó Snodaigh and artist Cliodna Cussen and are brothers of Irish TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

In 1991, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Dave Odlum left Kíla to join The Frames, an Irish rock band. In the same year, Dee Armstrong and Eoin O’Brien joined the band as replacements. Dave Reidy also joined as a lead guitarist, though he emigrated to San Francisco a year later. Karl was then replaced by Ed Kelly on bass who emigrated to Scotland a little over a year after the recording Mind the Gap in 1994. Eoin O’Brien was replaced by Lance Hogan. Laurence O Keefe filled in temporarily on bass until Brian Hogan assumed that position prior to recording Tóg É Go Bog É.

In 2003, in a review of their album Luna Park, Kíla’s blend of Irish traditional music and world music with a modern rock sensibility was credited with breathing new life into contemporary Irish folk music.

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In 2009, Donegal guitarist Seanan Brennan joined the band to replace Lance who was on a sabbatical. He has remained with the band since then bringing an electric guitar to the line up for the first time since Eoin O’Brien was a member. He made his first appearance with Kíla in early January of that year on a televised version of Leath ina Dhiaidh a hOcht.

In 2008 Kíla recorded “The Ballad of Ronnie Drew” with U2, Shane MacGowan, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey, The Dubliners and a host of other artists. With proceeds going to The Irish Cancer Society. The song was later included on a U2.com-only album of collaborations that U2 recorded with other artists – Duals (2012).

Kíla have played at many festivals around the world, including Dún Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures, Electric Picnic, Womadelaide, Glastonbury, Féile an Dóilín, St. Chartier, Reading and Cambridge Folk Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival and the Stockholm Water Festival. All members of the group participate in composing and arranging Kíla’s songs. they have also performed at student events such as the NUIG Arts Ball in 2010, the biggest event of its kind in Ireland.

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The band collaborated with French composer Bruno Coulais on the soundtrack of The Secret of Kells, an animated film by the Irish studio Cartoon Saloon. The film was nominated for best animated film at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010. That same year their music was heavily featured in two other feature films – Maeve Murphy’s controversial Beyond the Fire and Ciarán O’Connor’s Trafficked. Kíla’s music also features in the award-winning documentary film Fight or Flight.

In late 2011, Kíla published their long-awaited Book of Tunes. Comprising over 100 of their compositions and lavishly decorated with photos, poems & prose, the book was a huge success, being described as ‘a masterpiece’ by Seán Laffey from Irish Music Magazine. The publication of the book ended a fine year for Kíla in style. Through this year they played three sell-out shows in Harare, Zimbabwe at the HIAFA festival, played at the Possibilities conference that welcomed the Dalai Lama to Ireland and played the inaugural concert in Temple Bar Meeting House Square, under the elegant retractable canopies, two days before Christmas.

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2015 could be termed the ‘year of the awards and nominations’ for Kíla. They collaborated on the music for the Oscar nominated animated feature, Song of the Sea with Bruno Coulais. They received an Annie Awards nomination for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Music in an Animated Feature Production’. They also received an Emmy nomination for their work on a Crossing The Line production called The Secret Life of the Shannon. In June Eoin Dillon left and James Mahon from Shankill took his place.

Gamblers’ Ballet is a 2007 album by the Irish folk band Kíla. It was nominated for the Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year 2007. The opening track “Leath Ina Dhiaidh A hOcht”/”Half Eight” was the first single taken from the album. “Cardinal Knowledge” was used as the outro music for the Cartoon Saloon, Oscar nominated animation The Secret of Kells, and “Dúisigí” and “Cabhraigí Léi” were used in the Japanese film Kadokawa, which was directed by Ryuichi Hiroki. (by wikipedia)

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They are back again. Better and bigger than ever. Irish band Kíla is about … ag scagadh soiscéal – spreading good vibes. Five instrumental dance tunes have been written and recorded by the band, ambient music on traditional Irish grounds (the first track features “Pachebel’s Canon” written in 1680 as a piece of chamber music for three violins and basso continuo) with bits of jazz, Balkan and Spain here and there. More precisely, it is almost exclusively reels and slow airs (though very varied), but Kíla exactly know how to please their audience. Four songs are executed by singer Rónán O’Snodaigh  in his own unimitable style, Irish language chant over African grooves. It is 21th century poetry about luaithreadán lán, gloiní ó aréir agus boladh biotáile, feadóga, fags, eochar an carr – a full ashtray, last night’s glasses and the smell of whiskey whistles, fags, the keys of the car. With their “Gambler’s Ballet”, Kíla set a new standard in roots music – for themselves, Ireland and the Celtic countries, entire Europe and the rest of the world. (folkworld.eu)

Another collection of fast and lively songs and tunes in Kíla’s gloriously eclectic style. World, Irish and Street music collide in a fusion of fun and full-on energy.

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Irish band Kila have been perfecting their musical skills for over twenty years. They formed in Colaiste Eoin school in Dublin, back in 1987. Since then they have travelled and toured extensively across the globe, enriching their musical skills and rich vocabulary of sounds.

Bubbling over with new ideas, but still full of the energetic tunes and percussive Gaelic vocals that are Kila’s trademark. (musicscotland.com)

“A record where you feel you’re getting your musical passport stamped in a different location on every song, it finds the septet losing nothing as they bring the energy and freewheeling quality of their live shows to the studio – and sounding like someone just remembered to hit record during one hell of a get together.” (RTE)

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“Kíla bring their particular blend of contemporary, paired with layered arrangements and an undoubted World music sensibility.” (Irish Times)

Another album from the masters of Irish Trad/World/Techno/ Dance/Electronica – the spellbinding Kila.
This certainly requires serious listening but we feel the effort will be worthwhile. Kila don’t do things the easy way, nor in half measures.
This is also a top class production job. Congrats to all! (allcelticmusic.com)

In other words: a perfect mix between old and new melodies from good ol´Ireland !

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Personnel:
Dee Armstrong (fiddle, vocals, dulcimer , banjo)
Eoin Dillon (uilleann pipes,whistles, background vocals)
Brian Hogan (bass, lap steel-guitar, guitar, percussion, background vocals)
Lance Hogan (guitar, drums, percussion, programming)
Colm O’Snodaigh (flute, percussion, whistle, clarinet, saxophones, vocals)
Ronan O’Snodaigh (bodhran, bocals, glockenspiel, percussion)
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Martin Brunsden (saw)
Mark Gavin (bass synthsizer)
Darach Mac Con Iomaire (fiddle)
Karl Odlum (programming, guitar, effects)
Liam O Maonlai (piano, background vocals)
Rossa O’Snodaigh (whistle, mandolin, lute, percussion & Lots of noisy things)
Dan ‘Klezmer’ Page (clarinet)
Hiroshi Yamaguchi (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Leath ina Dhiaidh a hOcht (R.O’Snodaigh/Dillon/Pachelbel) 3.19
02. Electric Landlady (Armstrong) 4.50
03. Cardinal Knowledge (C.O’Snodaigh) 5.09
04. Dúisígí (Armstrong/Dillon/B.Hogan/L.Hogan/C.O’Snodaigh/R.O’Snodaigh) 3.40
05. Seo mo Leaba (Armstrong/Dillon/B.Hogan/L.Hogan/C.O’Snodaigh/R.O’Snodaigh) 4.11
06. Fir Bolg (Armstrong/Dillon/B.Hogan/L.Hogan/C.O’Snodaigh/R.O’Snodaigh) 5.33
07. Boy Racer (Armstrong/Dillon/B.Hogan/L.Hogan/C.O’Snodaigh/R.O’Snodaigh) 4.19
08. Her Royal Waggeldy Toes (Armstrong/Dillon/B.Hogan/L.Hogan/C.O’Snodaigh/ R.O’Snodaigh) 4.09
09. Cabhraigí Léi (Armstrong/Dillon/B.Hogan/L.Hogan/C.O’Snodaigh/R.O’Snodaigh) 4.51

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Various Artists – Crossroads Guitar Festival (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgReleased almost exactly three years after the first, tremendously successful Crossroads DVD, this double-disc documents the 2007 benefit concert for Clapton’s Crossroads Center substance abuse facility. “Guitar” is the operative word here, since all the participants are six-string players. As in the last show, the genres include country (Willie Nelson, Vince Gill), gospel (Robert Randolph), Latin rock (Los Lobos), pop (Sheryl Crow, John Mayer), jazz fusion (John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck) and lots of blues (everyone else). Some performers such as Randolph, Mayer, B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan, Robert Cray, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy, and of course Clapton return from the 2004 lineup. That was a two-day event held in Dallas, TX. This was a one day — a very long day — show moved to the home of the blues, a stadium just outside of Chicago, and features a very funny Bill Murray introducing the acts.

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Based on the sunlight, it seems to be in chronological order, or close to it. Each artist gets one or two tunes cherrypicked from longer sets which keeps this album fast paced, even at its three-hour length. Still, it would make sense to release more music on a separate DVD or even CD for those who would like to hear the rest of the material. That is especially the case with Jeff Beck and Robert Randolph, two artists that burn up the stage with abbreviated performances. A highly anticipated reunion with Clapton and his Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood results in three songs, “Presence of the Lord,” “Can’t Find My Way Home,” and “Had to Cry Today” from that band’s only album.

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While it sounds fine, there is a noticeable spark and edge missing from the interaction, leaving it somewhat bland and certainly anti-climactic. Derek Trucks burns through Layla’s “Anyday,” though, and Clapton sounds inspired on “Tell the Truth,” another Layla track cranked up with Trucks taking the Duane Allman slide part. Collaborations also bring out the best in some axe slingers, with Vince Gill and Albert Lee’s hot-wired “Country Boy,” and Jimmie Vaughan fronting the Robert Cray band on a sizzling slow blues “Dirty Work at the Crossroads.” (by Hal Horowitz)

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Tracklist:
01. Sonny Landreth: Hell At Home (with Eric Clapton) (Landreth) 6.38
02. John McLaughlin: Maharina (McLaughlin) 8.00
03. Doyle Bramhall II; Outside Woman Blues (Reynolds) 3.45
04. Derek Trucks Band: Highway 61 Revisited (with Johnny Winter) (Dylan) 9.17
05. Robert Randolph & The Family Band: The March (Randolph) 12.04
06. The Robert Cray Band: Poor Johnny (Cray) 6.20
07. Jimmie Vaughan: Dirty Work At The Crossroads (with The Robert Cray Band) (Brown/ Robey) 4.09
08. Hubert Sumlin: Sitting On The Top Of The World (with he Robert Cray Band & Jimmie Vaughan (Burnett) 4.29
09. B.B. King: The Thrill Is Gone (Benson/Pettie) 7.14
10. John Mayer: I Don´t Need No Doctor (Ashford/Simpson/Armstead) 7.10
11. Vince Gill: Sweet Thing (Nicholson/Gill) 5.04
12. Albert Lee: Country Boy (with Vince Gill) (Lee/Smith/Colton)
13. Eric Clapton & Sheryl Crow: Tulsa Time (with Vince Gill & Albert Lee) (Flowers) 6.32
14. Willie Nelson: On The Road Again  (with Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill & Albert Lee) (Nelson) 2.50
15. Los Lobos: Chains Of Love (Hidalgo/Pérez) 6.53
16. Jeff Beck: Big Block (Beck/Bozzio/Hymas) 5.44
17. Eric Clapton: Little Queen Of Spades (Johnson) 12.59
18. Eric Clapton & Robbie Robertson: Further On Up The Road (Robey‎/Veasey) 7.18
19. Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton: Pearly Queen (Capaldi/Winwood) 5.47
20. Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton: Had To Cry Today (Winwood) 6.24
21. Steve Winwood & Eric Clapton: Cocaine (Cale) 9.30
22. Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood: Crossroads (Johnson) 5.59
23. Buddy Guy: Stone Crazy
24. Buddy Guy: Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues (Guy) 5.21
25. Buddy Guy & Eric Clapton: Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 9.18
26. Buddy Guy: Sweet Home Chicago (with Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, John Mayer, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmie Vaughan, Johnny Winter) (Johnson) 8.53

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Pete Gavin & The Life After Blues Band – Live And Guilty (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgPete Gavin might get confused with another musician by the same name, who likewise came out of the British blues scene. That was the drummer Pete Gavin, who worked in bands such as Vinegar Joe as well as backing up the likes of Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton. The drummer Gavin’s professional activities seem to have been winding down just around the time the guitarist decided to go professional, but they still have similarities in their early careers, one Gavin drumming in a blues band led by Long John Baldry while the other Gavin gave his all as a guitarist for bandleader and organist Spencer Davis.

Guitarist Gavin, who is usually featured on some kind of dobro or resophonic guitar, has been based out of Germany for most of his career, and indeed likes to be advertised as “Germany’s own British bluesman.” He is a native of London and began his career on the British folk scene, playing clubs around the Soho area as well as larger festivals. Until the ’80s he worked as a physicist and only dabbled in the music business.

Pete Gavin & The Life After Blues Band:

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Once he threw himself into full-time blues, years of travel throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States preceded the decision to live in Germany. In the ’90s he established the Life After Blues Band with bassist Sir Charles E. Williamson, an American who hails from Connecticut, and Berlin-based drummer Uwe Laemmche. Gavin’s repertoire includes some clever originals such as the instrumental “Spaghetti Eastern” as well as a generous portion of blues warhorses of the “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” and “Big Boss Man” variety. (by Eugene Chadbourne)

Born in London, Pete Gavin began his career in the folk-blues scene around Soho – playing in Bunjies, The Troubadour, The Marquee and other clubs with musicians such as Spencer Davies (Spencer Davis Group) and Keith Relf (The Yardbirds). Later he played at larger British festivals (Reading, Glastonbury).

His day job (as a physicist) kept him away from the music business for a few years, but at the beginning of the 1980s he jacked-in his sinecure and started to travel and make music.

The street became the hard school for his amazing blues-harp and guitar playing, and touring in Japan, USA and Europe helped form his style before he settled in Germany.

Pete Gavin am 11.  Februar 2012 im Gleis 1 in Waldenburg
Now comes a man who, through years of hard on-the-road music making, brings an unrivaled authenticity to your stage.

In his voice swings not only pride and bitterness, but the unrestrained energy of a now-is-the-right-time feeling. On stage, this energy is transformed into music – resolute, at times uncomfortable and melancholy, but always going forwards. Pete Gavin is one of the best slide-guitarists living in Germany – discernable by the full pearly tone he conjures from his instrument. (by perthbluesclub.com)

And this is one of his live album  … and it´s really time to discover the unique word of Pete Gavin and his way to play the Blues an archaic style … he´s one of these forgotten heroes in the European blues scene … Listen !

Recorded live at the
Yorckschlösschen, Berlin (05.11.07)
Nuremburg Volksfest (11.09.97)
Miles Club, Berlin (11.07.98)

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Personnel:
Pete Gavin (guitar, slide guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Uwe Laemmche (drums)
Sir Charles E. Williamson (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Gawain I (Anthony) 1.12
02. Statesboro Blues (McTell) 3.21
03. Fun On The Run (Gavin) 4.30
04. Big Bossman (Reed) 3.25
05. Pater Noster Boogie (Gavin) 3.40
06. You Make My Hair Curl (Gavin) 5.05
07. Kansas City (Littlefield) 3.36
08. Hard Times (Gavin) 3.41
09. Life After Blues (Gavin 3.51
10. Gawain II (Anthony) 0.30
11. Waisting Time Blues (Gavin) 5.49
12. San Francisco Bay Blues (Fuller) 3.23
13. I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 3.48
14. 634-5789 (Cropper/F’loyd) 3.35
15. Gawain III (Anthony) 0.34
16. Why Love (Gavin) 3.33
17. Make & Shake Boogie (Gavin) 4,08
18. Don’t Mess With Me (Gavin) 4.38
19. Gawain IV (Anthony) 0.34

The four tunes of “Gawain” were play by the Ray Antohny Orchestra

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Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis – Two Men With The Blues (2008)

FrontCover1.jpgTwo Men with the Blues is a live album by Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis. It was released on July 8, 2008 by Blue Note and sold 22,000 copies in it first week of release. It was recorded on January 12–13, 2007, at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

The album held the number one position in the Billboard Jazz Albums chart for four weeks. It spent a total of 67 weeks on that chart. It peaked at number 20 on both the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Digital Albums charts, spending eight weeks and one week on the charts respectively. (by wikipedia)

History has proven that Willie Nelson will duet with pretty much anybody who comes along, and while this open-hearted open mind sometimes backfires, more often than not it results in some of his most sublime recordings. Two Men with the Blues, his album with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis recorded over a two-night stand at Jazz at Lincoln Center on January 12 and 13, 2007, belongs in the latter category, standing as truly one of the most special records in either Nelson’s or Marsalis’ catalog. If the pair initially seem like an odd match, it’s only because Wynton long carried the reputation of a purist, somebody who was adamant against expanding the definition of jazz, which cast him as the opposite of Willie, who never found a border he couldn’t blur.

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Marsalis mellowed over the years, but it’s also true that he and Nelson share a common background in jazz and the Great American Songbook, so this pairing plays naturally, providing equal measures of comfort and surprise. The engine for this music is Marsalis’ band — pianist Dan Nimmer, drummer Ali Jackson, bassist Carlos Henríquez, and saxophonist Walter Blanding — with Nelson bringing his harmonica player Mickey Raphael along, which is enough to give this a flavor that’s quite distinct from a typical Marsalis session without being foreign. Similarly, this isn’t quite alien territory for Nelson either, as the repertoire relies heavily on blues standards, including a pair of tunes he cut on his jazzy breakthrough, Stardust (the title track and “Georgia on My Mind”), plus he’s always veered close to jazz in his vocal and guitar phrasings. All this means that Two Men with the Blues has the warm comfort of a reunion and the freshness of a new collaboration, feelings that are palpable as soon as the album kicks off with a loose yet nimble reading of Jimmy Reed’s “Bright Lights, Big City.” It’s a subtle arrangement that doesn’t draw attention to its unique touches, something that’s also true of the flashier take on Hank Williams’ “My Bucket’s Got a Hole in It,” which lurches and careens like a New Orleans marching band, coming to a highlight when Marsalis throws in a few lines from “Keep on Knockin'” for good measure.

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These sly spins on standards, along with a jump blues reworking of Merle Travis’ “That’s All” (first heard on a Willie Nelson record back in 1969), are balanced by numbers that are perhaps a bit more expected but are no less delightful, as “Night Life” is turned into a showcase for Wynton and the bandmembers sound as good skipping through “Caldonia” as they do laying back on “Basin Street Blues.” It’s music that flows so easily it’s perhaps easy to take for granted, but Two Men with the Blues is truly something special, as it captures two masters enjoying their common ground while spurring each other to hear old sounds in new ways. It’s a flat-out joy. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Walter Blanding (saxophone)
Carlos Henriquez (bass)
Ali Jackson (drums)
Wynton Marsalis (trumpet, vocals)
Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar)
Dan Nimmer (piano)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica)

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Tracklist:
01. Bright Lights, Big City (Reed) 5.21
02. Night Life (Nelson) 5.44
03. Caldonia (Moore) 3.26
04. Stardust (Carmichael) 5.09
05. Basin Street Blues (Williams) 4.57
06. Georgia On My Mind (Carmichael/Gorrell) 4.41
07. Rainy Day Blues (Nelson) 5.44
08. My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It (Williams) 4.57
09. Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Grainger/Robbins) 7.28
10. That’s All (Travis) 6.08

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I would like to dedicate this entry to greygoose … a real enthusiastic fan of Willie Nelson

Karl Jenkins (Cantorion + The Cory Band) – This Land Of Ours (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgSir Karl William Pamp Jenkins CBE (born 17 February 1944) is a Welsh musician and composer. His best known works include the song “Adiemus” and the Adiemus album series; Palladio; The Armed Man; and his Requiem.

Jenkins was educated in music at Cardiff University and the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a fellow and an associate. He was a member of the jazz-rock band Soft Machine. Jenkins has composed music for advertisement campaigns and has won the industry prize twice.

Karl Jenkins was born and raised in Penclawdd, Gower, Wales. His mother was Swedish and his father was Welsh. Jenkins received his initial musical instruction from his father who was the local schoolteacher, chapel organist and choirmaster. He attended Gowerton Grammar School.

Jenkins studied music at Cardiff University, and then commenced postgraduate studies in London at the Royal Academy of Music.

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The Collier Septet 1967 – from L to R: Karl Jenkins, John Marshall, Mike Gibbs, GC, Harry Beckett, Phil Lee, Dave Aaron

For the bulk of his early career Jenkins was known as a jazz and jazz-rock musician, playing baritone and soprano saxophones, keyboards and oboe, an unusual instrument in a jazz context. He joined jazz composer Graham Collier’s group and later co-founded the jazz-rock group Nucleus, which won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970.

In 1972 he joined the Canterbury progressive rock band Soft Machine. The group played venues including The Proms, Carnegie Hall, and the Newport Jazz Festival. The album on which Jenkins first played with Soft Machine, Six, won the Melody Maker British Jazz Album of the Year award in 1973. Jenkins also won the miscellaneous musical KarlJenkins02instrument section (as he did the following year). Soft Machine was voted best small group in the Melody Maker jazz poll of 1974. The albums in which Jenkins performed and composed were Six, Seven (1973), Bundles (1975), Softs (1976) and Land of Cockayne (1981). Jenkins composed most of the tracks on Seven and nearly all of the tracks on the subsequent three albums.

After Mike Ratledge left the band in 1976, Soft Machine did not include any of its founding members, but kept recording on a project basis with line-ups revolving around Jenkins and drummer John Marshall. Although Melody Maker had positively reviewed the Soft Machine of 1973 and 1974, Hugh Hopper, involved with the group since replacing bassist Kevin Ayers in 1968, cited Jenkins’s “third rate” musical involvement in his own decision to leave the band,[3] and the band of the late 1970s has been described by band member John Etheridge as wasting its potential.

In November 1973, Jenkins and Ratledge participated in a live-in-the-studio performance of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells for the BBC. It is available on Oldfield’s Elements DVD.

Jenkins has created advertising music, twice winning the industry prize in that field. From the 1980s, he developed a relationship with Bartle Bogle Hegarty, starting with composing musics for their Levi’s jeans “Russian” series. He composed a classical theme used by De Beers diamond merchants for their television advertising campaign focusing on jewellery worn by people otherwise seen only in silhouette. Jenkins later included this as the title track in a compilation called Diamond Music, and eventually created Palladio, using it as the theme of the first movement. Other arrangements have included advertisements for the Renault Clio.

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As a composer, his breakthrough came with the crossover project Adiemus. Jenkins has conducted the Adiemus project in Japan, Germany, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as London’s Royal Albert Hall and Battersea Power Station. The Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary (1995) album topped the classical album charts. It spawned a series of successors, each revolving around a central theme. In 2014 Jenkins released a tribute song for the 2014 Winter Olympics, performed by his new age music group also called Adiemus.

Jenkins was the first international composer and conductor to conduct the University of Johannesburg Kingsway Choir led by Renette Bouwer, during his visit to South Africa as the choir performed his The Armed Man: A mass for peace together with a 70-piece orchestra.

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Jenkins’ choral work The Peacemakers, features texts from Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank and Mother Teresa, as well as words from the Bible and the Qur’an with some new text specially written by Terry Waite. On the 2012 record the London Symphony Orchestra is joined by different vocal forces including Rundfunkchor Berlin, the City of Birmingham Youth Chorus, and the 1000-strong “The Really Big Chorus” made up of members of UK choirs from across the country brought together in one day, in one studio, to contribute to two movements on the album. Guest artists include violinist Chloë Hanslip, soprano Lucy Crowe, Davy Spillane on Uilleann pipes, Indian bansuri player Ashwin Srinivasan and jazz musicians Nigel Hitchcock and Laurence Cottle. The album was released on 26 March 2012. The world premiere of this seventeen-movement work took place, however, in New York City’s Carnegie Hall on 16 January 2012. Jenkins conducted from the podium and John H. Briggs, Sr. conducted the Children’s Chorus from a seated position. Briggs was the Choral Arts Conductor of one of the participating schools and its two choruses: Il Bel Canto and Die Meistersingers of Gwynn Park Middle School, Maryland.[citation needed] Additional concerts in the UK and US took place later in the year.

Jenkins composed the music for the 2012 BBC Wales series The Story of Wales presented by Huw Edwards.

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A work entitled The Healer – A Cantata For St Luke was premiered on 16 October 2014 (7:30 pm) in St Luke’s Church, Grayshott, Hampshire, and was recorded and broadcast on Classic FM.[9] The Healer received its US premiere at Carnegie Hall, New York on 19 January 2015. In September 2015, the recording of the premiere of The Healer was released on CD by Warner Classics as part of the 8 disc boxed set Voices.

A compilation CD, Still With The Music, was also released in September 2015, coinciding with the publication of his autobiography of the same name.

On 8 October 2016 Jenkins’ choral work Cantata Memoria: For the children, a response to the 1966 Aberfan disaster with a libretto by Mererid Hopwood and commissioned by S4C, premiered at the Wales Millennium Centre. The concert was broadcast the following evening on S4C and was released as an album by Deutsche Grammophon.

Jenkins holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Wales. He has been made both a fellow and an associate of the Royal Academy of Music, and a room has been named in his honour. He also has had fellowships at Cardiff University (2005), the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Trinity College Carmarthen, and Swansea Metropolitan University.

In 2008 Jenkins’ The Armed Man was listed as No. 1 in Classic FM’s “Top 10 by living composers”.

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He was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Leicester, the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Glamorgan and honorary visiting professorships at Thames Valley University, London College of Music and the ATriUM, Cardiff.

Jenkins was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours. In 2015 he was made a Knight Bachelor.

Jenkins is joint president of the British Double Reed Society and Patron of the International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS).

In 2016 Jenkins received the BASCA Gold Badge Award for his unique contribution to music. (by wikipedia)

Tracks on the album ‘This Land Of Ours’ are all special arrangements by Karl Jenkins and range from classical favourites and choral classics to traditional Welsh tunes and pop standards – all performed in that unique brass band style. (prestomusic.com)

This wonderful recording grabbed me at the first note and excepting for one track (“Delilah”, whose inclusion I did and do fail to understand). I was in turn moved to tears, exalted, enchanted and in all, delighted by this recording. Given the nationality of the composer, it’s not surprising that the land referred to in the title is Wales. The original songs by Karl Jenkens, performed in Welsh are gorgeous, showing a genuine affection for the music, and musicians of his homeland. The all male group, Cantorion are splendid. Some all-male (and-all female choruses, for that matter) can bring a sameness to their performances, but not Cantorion.

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The blend is awesome and the range of color of which this group is capable is nothing less than astounding. And as far as the instrumental ensemble, Cory Band, is concerned, the review who opined that this was ‘not a good recording for them’ must have been listening to something else entirely. First of all, the combination of male chorus and band is an ancient and honorable one in Wales. Also, the performances here are nothing short of awesome — in every sense of the word. The final selection ends with an extended cadenza for the band that absolutely takes my breath away every time I listen to it. And every time I play it on my radio program, “Sunday Evening Songfest” (on WMNR Fine Arts Radio — wmnr.org) I get calls from listeners who love what they hear and can’t wait to get this recording. (Annie Schwaikert)

It seems slightly unfair to label this as a ‘Karl Jenkins’ album, as the performers here are the multi-award-winning brassists Cory Band and male voice choir Cantorion. Of course, fellow Welshman Jenkins is the arranger and producer of the material included on this EMI Classics debut, and it’s his name that looms largest on the cover.

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Jenkins’ powerful use of surging vocal arrangements infused with drama, and the sprinkling of modern touches into classical structures is here in abundance – it’s a Jenkins work and no mistake.

The inclusion of the Cory Band generates a clean, brass sound and an almost-Christmassy atmosphere.

Some lesser-known Welsh-language pieces such as Cysga Di (Go To Sleep) vie with age-old favourites (Delilah, Abide With Me, Pie Jesu) but Jenkins’ skill comes in its own, allowing each to breathe; not one piece overwhelms another.

He’s on top form with this interperative collection, aided by some of the UK’s very best musical and vocal performers. (James McLaren)

Recorded at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, 31 August, 1 & 2 September 2007

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Personnel:
Cantorion (chor; musical director: Tim Rhys-Evans)
Cory Band (brass band; musical director: Robert Childs)
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David Childs (euphonium)

Conducted by Karl Jenkins

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Tracklist:
01. Cantilena: Ysbryd y Mynyddoedd (Spirit Of The Mountain) (Davies/Jenkins) 3.29
02. Cysga Di (Davies/Dvořák) 2.56
03. Delilah (Mason/Reed) 2.26
04. Abide With Me (Monk) 2.43
05. Suo Gan (Traditional) 3.23
06. Danny Boy (Traditional) 4.16
07. Son Of Maria (Barratt/Traditional) 3.03
08. Pie Jesu (From Requiem) (Jenkins) 4.34
09. Hyfrydol (Traditional) 3.38
10. Evening Prayer (Kelley/Humperdinck) 3.47
11. In These Stones Horizons Sing (Jenkins) 4.22
12. Flower Duet (Delibes) 1.41
13. Myfanwy (Parry) 4.16
14. Agnus Dei (From The Armed Man) (Jenkins) 3.39
15. Benedictus (From The Armed Man) (Jenkins) 7.38
16. Lle Cana’r Eryrod (Where Eagles Sing) (Lovatt-Cooper) 3.58

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Vanilla Fudge – Out Through The In Door (A Tribute To Led Zeppelin) (2007)

FrontCover1.jpgOut Through the In Door is the eighth album by Vanilla Fudge, released in June 2007, with the US finally following in August 2009. According to the band’s official webpage, it originally was to be released in February 2007. The following statement was taken from their website:

Coming in February, 2007… A New Album! It’s true! Mark, Vince, Tim, and Carmine were in California in July recording an album of Led Zeppelin covers. Mark said, “Basically, we rearranged some songs — we’re doing a lot of their stuff Vanilla Fudge style. Some of the arrangements are slowed down, and some speeded up but I think we’ve done the songs justice.”

The album title is a play on words of the 1979 Led Zeppelin album In Through the Out Door. (by wikipedia)

Throughout the years, there have been oodles and oodles of Led Zeppelin tribute albums. And many of these releases feature hard rock bands that merely replicate Zep classics note for note, karaoke-style. In 2007, along came Vanilla Fudge’s “tip of the cap” to Bonham-Jones-Page-Plant, titled Out Through the In Door. Unlike most other bands that have covered Zep, Vanilla Fudge actually have some honest to goodness history with the group they’re paying homage to, as Zep supported the Fudge on one of their earliest U.S. tours, back in 1969. And it’s common knowledge among drummers that John Bonham studied — and perhaps even borrowed a thing or two from — the Fudge’s powerhouse drummer, Carmine Appice.

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What makes Out Through the In Door work — unlike many other Zep tributes — is that Vanilla Fudge inject their own style and approach to the tunes, and aren’t afraid to stray a bit from the original compositions. One case in point is “Ramble On,” which gets much more soulful (especially in the chorus), and another is the nice touch provided by Mark Stein’s organ flourishes on “Fool in the Rain” — while both elements collide in an impressively haunting reading of “Dazed and Confused.” Few Zep tribute albums — or even most classic rock tribute albums in general — work as well as Out Through the In Door does. (by Greg Prato)

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Alternate front cover

Personnel:
Carmine Appice (drums, vocals)
Tim Bogert (bass, vocals)
Vince Martell (guitar, vocals)
Mark Stein (vocals, keyboards)
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Teddy (Zig Zag) Andreadis – Tom Vitorino

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Tracklist:
01. Immigrant Song (Page/Plant) 3.20
02. Ramble On (Page/Plant) 4.29
03. Trampled Under Foot (Jones/Page/Plant) 4.50
04. Dazed And Confused (Page) 5.59
05. Black Mountain Side (Page) 3.31
06. Fool In The Rain (Jones/Page/Plant) 5.36
07. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (Bredon) 7.05
08. Dancing Days (Page/Plant) 4.49
09. Moby Dick (Bonham/Jones/Page) 6.08
10. All My Love (Jones/Plant) 6.17
11. Rock And Roll (Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) 4.21
12. Your Time Is Gonna Come (Jones/Plant) 5.46

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I got this greaat album from Mr. Sleeve … he has a really great collection of records … thanks again !