LeAnn Rimes – Lady And Gentlemen (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgMargaret LeAnn Rimes Cibrian (born August 28, 1982) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and author. Rimes rose to stardom at age 13 following the release of her version of the Bill Mack song “Blue”, becoming the youngest country music star since Tanya Tucker in 1972.

Rimes made her breakthrough into country music in 1996 with her debut album, Blue, which reached No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and was certified multi-platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album’s eponymous leadoff single, “Blue”, became a Top 10 hit and Rimes gained national acclaim for her similarity to Patsy Cline’s vocal style. When she released her second studio album in 1997, You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs, she moved towards country pop material, which set the trend for a string of albums released into the next decade.

Rimes has won many awards, including two Grammys, three ACMs, a CMA, 12 Billboard LeAnn Rimes03Music Awards, and one American Music award. She has released ten studio albums and three compilation albums and two greatest hits albums, one released in the U.S. and the other released internationally, through her record label of 13 years, Curb Records, and placed over 40 singles on American and international charts since 1996. She has sold over 37 million records worldwide, with 20.8 million album sales in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan. Billboard ranked her 17th artist of the 1990–2000 decade.[7] Rimes has also written four books: two novels and two children’s books. Her hit song “How Do I Live” was ranked as the most successful song of the 1990s by Billboard magazine. (by wikipedia)

 

Lady & Gentlemen is the tenth studio album by American country music recording artist LeAnn Rimes. The album is Rimes’ second cover album (the first being her self-titled album.) The only new songs on the album are the two bonus tracks, “Crazy Women” and “Give”. It was released on September 27, 2011 by Curb Records. Rimes co-produced the album with country singer, Vince Gill, and Darrell Brown, with whom she collaborated on her 2007 album Family. A vinyl record of the album was released on the same day.

Lady & Gentlemen consists of Rimes covering songs by male country artists, including LeAnn Rimes01Vince Gill, who helped produce the album, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and Waylon Jennings. Rimes also “revisited” her 1996 debut single, “Blue” on the album, which she picked up the tempo on. The album was released on September 27, 2011 by Curb Records. A vinyl record of the album was released on the same day. Rimes co-produced the album with country singer, Vince Gill, and Darrell Brown, of whom she collaborated with on her 2007 album Family.

Three singles were released from the album. The first single released for the album was a cover of John Anderson’s 1983 single, “Swingin'” on June 8, 2010. The second single, “Crazy Women”, was released on December 10, 2010. A third single, “Give”, was released on June 14, 2011. (by wikipedia)

Country diva LeAnn Rimes has been contending lately with flak from image-conscious types over paparazzi photos of her slimmed-down physique, but her leaner, meaner approach to a batch of classic country songs for her latest collection is mostly good news.

She’s collaborated with country standard bearer Vince Gill in this outing, recasting hits from nearly a dozen male singers to a female perspective. Ultimately, however, it matters little whether it’s a man or woman singing Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” The bittersweet character of a civilized romantic parting that Kristofferson sketched is gender-free.

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There is a bit of an emotional shift in her take on Waylon Jennings’ “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,” when she changes “daddy” to “mama,” but the more significant differences come from the arrangements she, Gill and her other associates have cooked up. John Anderson’s “Swingin’” becomes a peppy double shuffle, while Merle Haggard’s “The Bottle Let Me Down” is given a haunted “Long Black Veil”-like arrangement.

She revisits her own first hit, “Blue,” picking up the tempo a tad, treating it as a barroom one-step. She rounds out her excursion to old-school country with two new songs, the single “Give” and “Crazy Women,” that bring her back to the contemporary pop-country mainstream. (by Randy Lewis)

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Personnel:
LeAnn Rimes (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Swingin’ (Anderson/Delmore) 3.02
02. Wasted Days And Wasted Nights (Duncan/Fender/Meaux) 4.07
03. The Only Mama That’ll Walk The Line (Bryant) 2.39
04. I Can’t Be Myself (Haggard) 3.12
05. Sixteen Tons (Travis) 2.43
06. Help Me Make It Through The Night (Kristofferson) 3.01
07. Rose Colored Glasses (Conlee/Baber) 3.06
08. A Good Hearted Woman (Jennings/Nelson) 3.41
09. When I Call Your Name (Gill/DuBois) 3.41
10. He Stopped Loving Her Today (Braddock/Putman) 3.51
11. Blue (with The Time Jumpers) (Mack) 2.35
12. The Bottle Let Me Down (Haggard) 3.49
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13. Crazy Women (Clark/Dillon/McAnally) 3.26
14. Give (Harrington/Isaacs/Yeary) 4.32

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Leslie West – Unusual Suspects (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgIf you don’t know of Leslie West, then shame on you. Even decades since his band Mountain shook Woodstock, his name still remains disturbingly unknown among the masses. On Unusual Suspects, his latest solo release, the pioneering titan of blues rock demonstrates that his name still deserves a spot among the greats; his impact on blues rock guitar (and hard rock, for that matter) can be heard in bands that range from Gov’t Mule to Motörhead to Muse.

The most exciting aspect of Unusual Suspects is the appearances made by A-listers of the guitar world. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society), Joe Bonamassa, and session maestro Steve Lukather, best known for his role in Toto, are a crushing company that helps authenticate West’s status as a guitar legend. Despite their smoking presence, West towers above. It is also extremely noteworthy that Kenny Aronoff is by West every step of the way. With possibly the most impressive résumé of any working drummer, Aronoff continues to turn standard blues beats into flawless roaring beats that fit perfectly on Unusual Suspects.

When it comes to Unusual Suspects, there are no low points. If you drop the needle on any and every point of the album you are sure to witness heavy and fun displays of blues inspired rock. Of the tracks that brandish guest stars, there isn’t one that doesn’t demand an immediate listen.

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“One More Drink for the Road” is driven by Steve Lukather’s ominous keys. The chugging rock tune is as heavy as anything else on the album without every truly exploding. “Mudflap Mama,” featuring Slash, boasts a nasty bottleneck riff that sounds as if it just rolled off the Harley-Davidson line. “Standing On A Higher Ground” is nothing but an ideal parade of Billy Gibbons and his blunt coolness. Co-written by Gibbons, the tune is 100% ZZ Top. Two of the most coveted and renowned tones in rock history team up together on this track. Gibbons’ swaggering and sly playing teams with West’s momentous crunch to create a locomotion of desirable sleaze. The wildest part of this track is undoubtedly the opening riff: an absolutely bizarre hybrid of Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand” and a garage blues turnaround. It is beyond delightful.

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“Third Degree,” a cover of blues piano legend Eddie Boyd’s tune (co-written by Willie Dixon), flaunts the mesmerizing playing and vocals of Joe Bonamassa (a noted favorite of BluesRockReview.com). By dragging a spooky, heavier than heavy riff across an honored Chicago groove, and cutting loose on intimidating duels, West and Bonamassa provide an answer to those who have ever wondered what it would have sounded like if Muddy Waters were 10 feet tall and on steroids.

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“Nothin’s Changed” proves West’s prominent influence on modern playing. Zakk Wylde, the MVP of the metal scene, flashes his impeccably meaty chops. Wylde has always been vocal about his influences, but here you can downright hear it. West’s bottom-heavy tone is an evident predecessor of Wylde’s metal-savvy tone. As West and Wylde fire playful thunderbolts at each other, the true fun is hearing how much fun they are having. It sounds as if a lifelong master guitarist and his novice are finally able to out-duel each other with a wink and a nod. The last notable team effort is a cover of Willie Nelson’s “The Party’s Over.” This beer and whiskey guzzling tune features two of the best beer and whiskey guzzlers on the guitar scene: Slash and Zakk Wylde. Driven by down-home acoustic playing, cutting solos, and simple percussion/clapping, “The Party’s Over” proves that “heavy” isn’t loud; “heavy” is passion and attitude.

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It is worth mentioning that West’s cover of the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” may seem like an odd addition, but it is presented as a fast, hip-shaking, boogie. The intro calls to mind “Satch Boogie” by Joe Satriani. Much of the pop gloss of the original is stripped by West’s ability to beef up the main themes, thus transforming the track into a bouncy version of the Mountain classic “Mississippi Queen.”

Upon hearing of Unusual Suspects, I was thrilled. I knew the music would be great, and I knew that I would love hearing the collaborations between West and some of the greatest American-influenced rock players of the century, but I was most excited that West has yet another shot at becoming a widely respected name like “Clapton” or “Van Halen.”

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Still, with all of the respect and admiration of the guitar playing on this album, West never asks his guests to bow to him. They are there because West clearly respects them by trusting them to help his songs and by giving them their moment. The album comes full circle by the end as you realize that all of the talent, influence, mutual respect, and fun you just witnessed is the tangled behemoth that is Leslie West’s Unusual Suspects. (by Jason Bank)

And I included the great booklet … over 50 pages … with a story about Leslie West, written by Dave Ling from the Classic Rock Magazin)

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Personnel:
Kenny Aronoff (drums, percussion)
Fabrizio Grossi (bass)
Phil Parlapiano (keyboards)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)
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Joe Bonamassa (guitar, vocals on 05.)
Billy Gibbons (guitar on 04.)
Steve Lukather (guitar on 01.)
Slash (guitar on 02. + 11.)
Zakk Wylde (guitar on 07. + 11.)

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Tracklist:
01. One More Drink for the Road (Pizza/West) 3.14
02. Mudflap Momma (Pizza/West) 3.07
03. To the Moon (Bronham/West) 4.51
04. Standing on Higher Ground (Gibbons/Grossi/West) 4.27
05. Third Degree (Boyd/Dixon) 5.11
06. Legend (Pizza) 4.45
07. Nothin’s Changed (Pizza/West) 3.54
08. I Feel Fine (Lennon/McCartney) 2.57
09. Love You Forever (Pizza/West) 5.06
10. My Gravity (Tiven/West) 4.23
11. The Party’s Over (Nelson) 3.21
12. I Don’t Know (The Beetlejuice Song) (Christy/Green/West) 2.34

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Yuri Goloubev – Titanic For A Bike (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgYuri Goloubev (born 27 July 1972 in Moscow, Russia) is a jazz musician, composer and double bass player. He switched to jazz in 2004 after over a dozen years as a very successful bass player in classical orchestras, and has achieved notable success in jazz also as a performer with “perfect pitch, flawless execution and an improviser’s imagination”. He is also praised for his arco playing. Ian Patterson, writing in All About Jazz wrote “There are few better exponents of arco, and his tone has the warm resonance of a cello.”

Yuri Goloubev won the First Prize in the All-Soviet-Union Students’ Competition in 1990, then started work as the Principal Bass with the Moscow-based “Ensemble XXI” Chamber Orchestra (1990–1991). From 1991 til 1992 he also worked as a section bass with the Bolshoi Theatre. He studied classical composition at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and 1995 he received his master’s degree in double bass as a soloist and chamber music performer. From 1992 til 2004 he was the Principal Bass with the Moscow Soloists directed by Yuri Bashmet. It was during this time that he performed with many artists such as Mario Brunello, Sarah Chang, James Galway, Lynn Harrell, Barbara Hendricks, Kim Kashkashian, Gidon Kremer, Shlomo Mintz, Thomas Quasthoff, Sviatoslav Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov, Uto Ughi and Maxim Vengerov. He has performed at venues such as Sydney Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, Musikverein, Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall, Gewandhaus, Concertgebouw, Salle Pleyel, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Palais des Beaux Arts, Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Megaro. He Yuri02.jpghas also appeared at major festivals such as the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival (Finland), Hong Kong Festival of the Arts, Bath Music Festival (UK), Perth Festival (Australia), Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), Prestige de la Musique (France) and Omaggio a Roma (Italy).

In December 2004 Goloubev moved to Milan, dedicated himself solely to jazz and quickly gained the attention of many Italian musicians. He worked with such artists as Francesco Bearzatti, Fabrizio Bosso, Gianni Cazzola, Giovanni Falzone, Claudio Fasoli, Paolo Fresu, Rosario Giuliani, Guido Manusardi, Massimo Manzi, Enrico Pieranunzi and Glauco Venier. He also worked with Bob James, Pablo Held, Asaf Sirkis, Franco Ambrosetti, Kenny Werner, Klaus Gesing, John Law, Benjamin Henocq, Stan Sulzmann, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Julian Argüelles, Tim Garland, Rick Margitza, Manhu Roche, Gwilym Simcock, Mike Serin, Jason Rebello, Daniele Di Bonaventura, Chihiro Yamanaka and Bill Smith. In 2007–2009 he taught at the jazz faculty of Centro Professione Musica (CPM) in Milan and in 2010 became the Jazz Double Bass Professor at The Conservatorio di Musica F.A. Bonporti, Trento. Currently, he teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales.

Goloubev is also a composer and has released several albums as leader.

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He has performed on over 100 recordings and two of his recent trio recordings have been selected as Critics Choice Top 10 Jazz Albums in Japan: Roberto Olzer Trio – Steppin’ Out, #1 Best Jazz Album, 2013, Michele di Toro Trio – Play, #8 Best Jazz Album, 2014. Various albums with his participation have been featured in the inflight entertainment programs of such airlines as Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Swiss, Emirates. He has received widespread acclaim for his partnership with the pianist Gwilym Simcock in two recordings released on ACT Music in 2014. Their album “Duo Art: Reverie at Schloss Elmau” received a number of 4 star reviews. The critic Dave Gelly wrote in The Observer “In Russian bassist Yuri Goloubev, Gwilym Simcock has obviously found a collaborator with the same expansive imagination and equal virtuosity. The interplay between the two is like musical telepathy.” In JazzTimes H. Allen Williams wrote, “Goloubev’s playing is a sound of beauty with impeccable technique and heartfelt feel.” (by wikipedia)

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The old saying, “if you want a job done ask a busy person,” certainly applies to Russian bassist Yuri Goloubev, one of the hardest-working musicians in jazz. When not touring with his own small ensembles, he’s criss-crossing Europe in the trios of pianists Gwilym Simcock, Johnny Laws and Carlo Morena, or in the quartets of saxophonists Claudio Fasoli and Mattia Cigalini. And in the two years since Metafore Semplici (Universal, 2009)—his last outing as leader—he has also graced around twenty other recordings. Prodigious as well as prolific, Goloubev’s hypnotising playing is freer here than on the more compositionally focused Metafore Semplici, though the same group adherences to melody and a softly voiced lyricism are cornerstones of the music on this adventurous, yet wholly accessible offering.

Perennial Goloubev collaborator, drummer Asaf Sirkis, once again lends his guile, dobbing lingering colors on the collective canvas. Sirkis’ contribution is—for the most part—tremendously subtle, gliding furtively in and out of the mix. Vastly experienced soprano saxophonist Julian Arguelles brings strong melodic lines and flowing lyricism to almost half the cuts, and additional intuitive complicity, having previously recorded with Goloubev and Sirkis on pianist Carlo Magni’s Notturni (Music Center, 2011). A striking difference between this recording and Metafore Semplici is Goloubev’s more dominant presence as a soloist here. The liner notes state that he was searching for greater freedom by “treating the double bass rather as a wind instrument,” and Goloubev certainly blows a storm; the set is peppered with his wonderfully creative interventions, with and without bow.

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The final piece in the jigsaw is pianist Claudio Filippini, who leaves a lasting impression on compositions that exude individual expression. At 29, and with four CDs as leader to his name, the pianist from Pescara is no debutant. Though essentially a modernist, his naturally unfolding rhapsodic lines and constant melodic invention are evocative, though in no way imitative, of pianists Bill Evans and Bud Powell. Filippini’s talent is notable, and with a little luck he will reach a much wider audience. Goloubev has been an admirer of Filippini’s playing for some time, and must be delighted with the pianist’s scintillating contribution to this recording.

A simple two-note piano motif ushers in Sirkis’ composition “Sailing,” and the sound soon swells with the arrival of Goloubev on bowed bass. There are few better exponents of arco, and his tone has the warm resonance of a cello. Formerly a classical bassist with the Moscow Soloists for 12 years, Goloubev’s jazz recordings have used elements of contemporary classical composing—in particular harmonic—though on Titanic for a Bike the inevitable classical influence is most felt in his phrasing, a synthesis of the classical and jazz idioms. Downing his bow, the four-minute bass solo which follows is a killer. Melody drives Goloubev, and his playing has a lilting, folkloric quality. Filippini takes over the lead—with Sirkis slipping quietly in at the same time—and weaves a delightful course that is simplicity and grace personified. Bowed bass and the opening two-note piano motif return to close out this utterly seductive composition.

The loose compositional frameworks mean that no fixed patterns are readily discernible on tracks like “Philosophy” and “Well Seasoned Waltz,” other than the shared characteristic of a series of interconnected solos which gently immerse the listener. The playing is free, though the individual roles are carefully defined. Sirkis and Filippini steer the group rhythmically, with Sirkis displaying a deft percussive accent that at times could lull a baby to sleep, notably on “How We Were.” Argüelles hoists the melodic mast, and his solos have a spiraling beauty, whilst Goloubev and Filippini largely construct the tunes’ narrative flow.

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Elegance and melody, however, permeate the music, even at its most lively. On “Bagatelle 2,” Argüelles stretches out with soulful exuberance, buoyed by Sirkis’ most animated playing of the set. On “Elmau Revisited”—a notable exercise in counterpoint—the individual voices swirl around each other like currents. Empathy in the playing is ever-present too; Argüelles and Filippini’s voices entwine in a hypnotic rising-falling exchange on “Bill Gates Among Us,” another great tune. The piano-trio number “Love Stories” illustrates Goloubev’s ability to comp beautifully in totally free mode. On the same track, Filippini’s uncluttered solo reveals a sublime touch and an inherently emotive voice. The solo bass number, “Titanic on the Bike,” is a pleasing oddity, germinating with an urgent, King Crimson-esque bowed riff, over which Goloubev charts the famous theme from the James Cameron movie.

In the end, Goloubev—on arco—and Filippini combine in a beguiling duo-interpretation of Jimmy Hughes/Dorothy Fields’ song, “Don’t Blame Me.” It’s perhaps appropriate that these two musicians should take the final bow, as their playing throughout this record is simply wonderful. Titanic for a Bike is Goloubev’s most satisfying recording to date, and goes a long way towards elevating him to the ranks of jazz’s premier bass improvisers. It also states the case most persuasively, for Goloubev as a modern composer and leader of note. Highly recommended. (by Ian Patterson)

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Personnel:
Julian Argüelles (saxophone)
Claudio Filippini (piano)
Yuri Goloubev (bass)
Assaf Sirkis (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Sailing (Sirkis) 8.26
02. Philosophy (Goloubev) 8.13
03. Well Seasoned Waltz (Goloubev) 6.55
04. How We Were (Re: The Way We Were) (Goloubev) 7.44
05. Titanic For A Bike (Goloubev) 3.24
06. Love Stories (Re: Love Story) (Goloubev) 6.06
07. Elmau Revisited (Goloubev) 5.54
08. Bill Gates Amongst Us (Goloubev) 6.39
09. Bagatelle #2 (Goloubev) 7.20
10. Don’t Blame Me (Fields/McHugh) 2.51

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Blues Trackers – Smells Like Trouble … (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Blues Trackers started playing music in Larisa (Mount Tyrnavos to be specific)/Greece in 1996 and they are consisted of Panos Badikoudis (guitar/vocals), Tasos Litridis (guitar/vocals), Sakis Smarnakis (bass) and Thodoris Triantafyllou.

By then and until today they have swarmed Greece with lives, and have appeared in various European Festivals along side well respected artists such as Elias Zaekos and Louisiana Red to Dr. Feelgood. With 15 year experience in their hunch, it’s time for the bands debut release with original work – there was a CD with 6 love covers recorded in 2002. In this release, Marios Spiliotopoulos has replaced Sakis Smarankis in bass.

Smells Like Trouble is a blues record for the most part, but with touches of classic rock, folk and some bands that made a killing back in the famous “summer of love”. Three things that will catch your attention in this record are the delicate and meticulous production (made by the band members themselves), the dexterity and flawless performance by the members of the band, and last but not least, their general overview of the blues sound in circa 2011. The collaboration between Andy Moor and Giannis Kyriakidis show a different route for today’s blues.

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The albums starts out with the album’s name track (in a “I Put A Spell On You” style), with a piano fueled intro which travels you to the dingy infamous and outlaw bars of New Orleans, like the ones you see in the movies. Right next is the Desperate Man, where the Dire Straits style and the desperate soul of a heart broken man meets the solos and liveliness of the earlier blues. If it only was written 40 years ago… Next up is Dream. Imagine H.P.Lovecraft merged with West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band to write a blues song. I think that’s how they would have done it. In “Mind Starvation” is easy to spot how many things they Blue Wires have passed to their descendants. Nice song and very groovy, with blues and funky elements. The fifth track of the album is the dreamy “The Dolphin Dance Part 2”, and if you happen to be a psychedelic fan from the circa 1967-1970, you will surely enjoy this one. It feels like digging out a hidden treasure from that era. Perfect for these summer car drives in empty streets.

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Looking For Myself is an homage paid to Bob Dylan and Neil Young (the 70’s one-s). The atmospheric guitars and the harmonica will guide you there. In A Bad Condition, is another pure blues moment from the band. It sounds like whiskey taste. Jenny Star can be safely called the European way of playing the blues. Second to last is the Fake Fairy Tale: a contemporary example to show what guitar pop and folk music was all about in the 60’s. Slow paced. The album abides with The Dolphin Dance Part 1, which sounds like the Part 2, but fused with more dreaminess. This is where the title gets more meaningful: if dolphins can dance, this is how they would probably do it. (by Panagiotis Tzonos)

Okay … this is this fucking good, old and dirty blues-rock … and I guess it´s time to discover The Blues Trackers … worldwide !!!

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Personnel:
Panos Badikouthis (vocals, guitar, piano)
Tasos Lytridis (vocals, guitar)
Sakis Smarnakis (bass)
Thodoris Triadafillou (vocals, drums, keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. Smells Like Trouble (Badikouthis) 5.30
02. Desperate Man (Badikouthis) 4.14
03. Dream (Lytridis/Triadafillou) 4.19
04. Mind Starvation (Badikouthis) 4.05
05. The Dolphin Dance (Part 2) (Lytridis) 4.04
06. Looking For Myself Badikouthis) 4.27
07. In A Bad Condition Badikouthis) 4.21
08. Jenny Star Badikouthis) 3.37
09. Fake Fairy Tale (Lytridi/Beck) 4.35
10. The Dolphin Dance (Part 1) (Lytridis) 1.56

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Swing de Gitanes – Muza (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgSwing de Gitanes refreshing virtuosity creates a unique musical experience derived from the color and excitement of Gypsy music, the elegance of French melodies, the infectious bounce of American swing and the charm of the middle east. The band’s original compositions influenced by the Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and by the Israeli melting pot of music that the members of the band grew up on: Russian folk songs, Spanish- Ladino songs, Greek music and more…
Over its tenth year of varying activity, Swing de Gitanes has been in the forefront of the Gypsy Swing genre in Israel and has gleaned ample praise – with hundreds of performances in the most acclaimed stages and festivals.
The band has three albums under its belt, as well as hundreds of performances, participation in major Israeli music festivals, collaborations with leading local artists and collaboration with leading international Gypsy Swing and Jazz luminaries.  (by swingdegitanes.com)

What a great album … and I will call this music “world music”  Enjoy the beautiful sound of Swing de Gitanes !

Photo By Ronengoldman.com

Personnel:
Ori Ben-Zvi (guitar)
Yaakov Hoter (guitar)
Oren Sagi (bass)
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Daniel Weltlinger (violin on 04., 06., 11. + 14.)

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Tracklist:
01. You Made Me Love You (Monaco) / I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Mchugh) 3.36
02. The Godfather Love Theme – Speak Softly Love (Rota) 4.19
03. J’attendrai (Oliveri) 4.22
04. Sweet Sue (Harris/Young) 2.56
05. Montagne Sainte Genevieve (Reinhardt) 4.37
06. Rhythm Israel (Hoter) 2.56
07. Blue Drag (Myrow) 4.18
08. Honeysuckle Rose (Waller) 2.25
09. Honeymoon (Hoter) 3.58
10. Nuages (Reinhardt) 4.20
11. Burning Guatemala (Ben Zvi) 3.32
12. Tchavolo Swing (Schmitt) 4.49
13. Honey Pie (Lennon/Mccartney) 3.12
14. Black And White (Reinhardt) 2.43
15. Danube (lvanovici) 4.33

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Steely Dan – Toronto (2011)

FrontCover1.jpgSteely Dan is an American rock band founded by core members Walter Becker (guitars, bass, backing vocals) and Donald Fagen (keyboards, lead vocals) in 1972. Blending elements of jazz, traditional pop, R&B, and sophisticated studio production with cryptic and ironic lyrics, the band enjoyed critical and commercial success starting from the early 1970s until breaking up in 1981. Throughout their career, the duo recorded with a revolving cast of session musicians, and in 1974 retired from live performances to become a studio-only band. Rolling Stone has called them “the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies”.

After the group disbanded in 1981, Becker and Fagen were less active throughout most of the next decade, though a cult following remained devoted to the group. Since reuniting in 1993, Steely Dan has toured steadily and released two albums of new material, the first of which, Two Against Nature, earned a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. They have sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. VH1 listed Steely Dan at #82 as one of the 100 greatest musical artists of all time. Becker died on September 3, 2017, leaving Fagen as the only official member. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a pretty good bootleg:

And this is what Jane Stevenson commented at torontosun.com:

Becker, who recalled Santa Claus with his beard, glasses and tummy and stationary stance, as he played guitar to the side of Fagen’s keyboards was also in unusually chatty form, rambling on and on a couple of times during the show and even took over on lead vocals at one point. Fagen, meanwhile, was in his typical Ray Charles mode, in sunglasses and with his head tilted to the side, as he sang song after song in his delightfully raspy but still strong voice while occasionally jumping to his feet with one or both arms in the air.

As they often do in a live setting, Fagen and Becker gave the songs plenty of breathing space as they delivered longer versions than their studio counterparts and the infusion of younger players like Carlock and Herington kept them on their toes and it suits them.

This show has just surfaced and it’s thanks to Joe Blotz Records & Lawn Care for sharing the tracks.

Recorded live at the Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, Canada; July 22, 2011.
Excellent soundboard.

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Personnel:
Walter Becker (guitar)
Donald Fagen (keyboards, vocals)
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Jim Beard (keyboards)
Keith Carlock (drums)
Jon Herington (guitar)
Michael Leonhart (trumpet, keyboards)
Jim Pugh (trombone)
Roger Rosenberg (saxophone)
Freddie Washington (bass)
Walt Weiskopf (saxophone)
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background vocals:
Carolyn Leonhart-Escoffery – Cindy Mizelle – Catherine Russell

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Dizzy Intro (Adderley) 6.43
02. Aja (Becker/Fagen) 8.42
03. Black Friday (Becker/Fagen) 4.54
04. Hey Nineteen (Becker/Fagen) 9.23
05. Your Gold Teeth (Becker/Fagen) 8.53
06. Time Out Of Mind (Becker/Fagen) 6.04
07. Showbiz Kids (Becker/Fagen) 7.11
08. Bodhisattva (Becker/Fagen) 6.22
09. Dirty Work (Becker/Fagen)  5.18
10. Godwhacker (Becker/Fagen) 7.12

CD 2:
11. Neighbours Daughter (Toussaint) 8.46
12. Monkey In Your Soul (Becker/Fagen) 3.08
13. Josie (Becker/Fagen) 6.51
14. Peg (Becker/Fagen) 4.30
15. My Old School (Becker/Fagen) 6.27
16. Reelin’ In The Years (Becker/Fagen) 6.00
17. Pretzel Logic (Becker/Fagen) 7.05
18. Kid Charlemagne (Becker/Fagen) 6.03
19. Outro 1.56

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Gwilym Simcock – Good Days At Schloss Elmau (2011)

FrontCover1When Chick Corea calls you a creative genius, you know you’re on to something. Praise like this is nothing new to UK piano whiz kid Gwilym Simcock, though.

So, here´another album by a master of contemporary  jazz piano:

You have to worry about a man who entitles one of his pieces Can We Still Be Friends? It threatens a gloopiness which this album does sometimes deliver. But when Simcock stops mooning and becomes energised the results can be terrific. He’s a formidable musician as well as a formidable pianist, with a feeling for the way harmony can create architecture as well as momentary colours – a rare gift. (by Ivan Hewett)

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Unaccompanied piano performance is a challenge 30-year-old Gwilym Simcock hasn’t confronted since his childhood classical training, and one that’s all the greater because it invites comparison with a significant personal influence: Keith Jarrett. But this highly varied set is more explicitly classical in its harmonic mobility and melodic flourishes and more elaborately composed than Jarrett’s jazz work. Simcock can play so many things at once, while often developing pieces through progressions of modulations and changing motifs that a few listenings are required to tease it out. If this all-original and mostly first-take set has any drawbacks, they come from occasional over-elaboration and the odd hint of sugariness. But it’s mostly an awesome solo debut. The chord-rammed blizzard of sound on Wake Up Call borders on free music, Northern Song recalls Django Bates’s melodies and the bluesy, sublimely paced and faintly Mehldauesque Gripper is surely one of the great contemporary jazz piano performances. (by John Fordham)

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Personnel:
Gwilym Simcock (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. These Are The Good Days 6.06
02.  Mezzotint 6.37
03. Gripper 6.35
04.  Plain Song 5.49
05. Northern Smiles 5.44
06. Can We Still Be Friends? 12.17
07. Wake Up Call 5.27
08. Elmau Tage 9.28

Music composed by Gwilym Simcock

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Schloss Elmau (Gemany)

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