Madeleine Peyroux – The Blue Room (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgWhen Ray Charles’s Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music was released in the summer of 1962, it caused quite a stir. For those of us who already worshipped Ray Charles and were initially exposed to the album through its first single “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” the massive, very white choir that sang the first lines of the song made us cringe. It convinced us that our idol had sold out to the major label mentality. To purists with a tendency toward musical genre profiling, Ray Charles had no business giving credibility to redneck hillbilly music.

This wasn’t the first time Ray Charles had crossed the line in his pursuit of a natural fusion of the music he heard growing up. He dipped into boogie woogie for “The Mess Around.” But when he blended country blues and urbane rhythm & blues with Gospel music in mid-fifties hits like “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” and “I Got A Woman,” he added blasphemy to his list of crimes against humanity. Now he wanted to cross the color line with the music of the deep South. Clearly, he didn’t know his place.

Oh yeah, then there was the general public who came out in droves to make Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music Ray Charles’s most successful album to date rather than his most controversial. After all, genius is half talent and half impeccable instincts and Ray Charles was a genius. By September, he was in the studio cutting Volume 2. And everyone came around. The second single from the album was “You Don’t Know Me,” an eight-year-old song by Canadian country singer Eddy Arnold, who delivered the original version in his unemotive, plaintive style. Ray Charles, on the other hand, elevated it to its status of instant standard with a raw, poignant, heart-breaking reading.

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What we all eventually realized in hindsight was that this album, like no other Ray Charles recording before it, represented an artistic freedom that most recording artists over the past fifty years have routinely enjoyed. Nobody wanted Ray Charles to sing country & western songs… except Ray Charles. When he reluctantly left Atlantic Records where his musical artistry and style emerged and took shape, he signed a revolutionary recording contract with ABC-Paramount in 1960 where he retained artistic control of his sessions and ownership of his masters. It was unprecedented and a major blow to the label system that foisted bad songs and mediocre arrangers on singers in search of the almighty hit. In the process, he used his artistry and genius to break down musical categories and barriers and legitimize cross-pollinating, genre-bending music.

A year later, the ‘60s (the era, not the decade) began in earnest with the assassination of Medgar Evers and Governor George Wallace’s attempt to block the entrance of two black students at the University of Alabama in June, the Civil Rights March On Washington in August, the church bombing in Birmingham which killed four children in September and the assassination of President Kennedy in November. A succession of assassinations, protests, abuses of authority and riots defined the next seven years as race, war and class divided a country. Bob Dylan articulated our outrage and Ray Charles healed our wounds and fed our souls. Oh yeah, 1963 was also the year that Billboard combined its mono album and stereo album charts. Heavy stuff.

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By the time Larry Klein discovered Modern Sounds, he was 12 and it was 6. Modern Sounds was already a classic and its hits were golden oldies. By that time, the massive white choir didn’t sound so alien; it had just become an ingredient in the final work.

Larry found himself revisiting the album frequently over the next four decades.

In an inspired moment, he thought a re-examination of this album would be an ideal project for Madeleine Peyroux because “she comes from the same places – jazz, country and blues.” His concept was in no way intended to replicate the instrumentation or arrangements or style or sequence of the original album. Trying to beat Ray Charles at his own game is the true definition of “Born To Lose.”

Georgia-born and Brooklyn and Paris-bred with a New Orleans pedigree, Madeleine Peyroux grew up in a household rich in Southern culture and yet vehemently against the ignorance and racism associated with that region. Born in 1974, her childhood home was filled with the sounds of Fats Domino, Fats Waller, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Buddy Holly to name a few. “Ray Charles was a part of that mix and an important one,” she explains, “but I never knew that album per se. I knew many of the songs as part of anthologies alongside tunes like “Georgia On My Mind” and “Hit The Road, Jack.” But Ray Charles had a huge impact on me and even more so when I moved to Paris at age 11 because those American artists were so much more revered there than they were in the United States in the ‘80s.”

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Madeleine is an artist whose sensibility and eclectic musical mix make for magnificent story-telling. And the songs that Ray Charles chose for Modern Sounds are, above all, stories. Wisely, Madeleine felt that the infusion of newer but like-minded material was essential to this project and gems like Warren Zevon’s “Desparadoes Under The Eaves” and Randy Newman’s “Guilty” attest to her impeccable instincts, as does the resurrection of a wonderful and obscure Buddy Holly song “Changing All Those Changes.”

Larry Goldings, Dean Parks, David Piltch and Jay Bellerose form the group that provides the spare, tasteful backing arranged by Larry Klein for each song. Vince Mendoza’s string arrangements on six tracks are beautiful, unpredictable and perfectly appropriate to the tone and mood of each song. If there is a direct musical link to Ray Charles, it’s Goldings’s soulful, in-the-pocket keyboard work with the same kind of perfectly placed notes and use of space that were part of Charles’s signature.

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Larry Klein is a producer who knows his artists well and creates hand-tailored environments that suit them perfectly. When Madeleine takes “Bye Bye Love” slower than usual or “Take These Chains” faster than most, these are not decisions of style, but fundamental choices in her approach to the material. This is an album of music that is letter-perfect but coursing with blood, and it is as comfortable as an old pair of shoes. And like the Ray Charles album to which it pays homage, it reinvents everything it touches. (Michael Cuscuna)

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Personnel:
Jay Bellerose (drums, percussion)
Larry Goldings (keyboards)
Dean Parks (guitar, pedal steel-guitar)
Madeleine Peyroux (vocals, guitar)
David Piltch (bass)
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John “Scrapper” Sneider (trumpet on 04. + 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Take These Chains From My Heart (Rose/Heath) 3.12
02. Bye Bye Love (F.Bryant/B.Bryant) 3.28
03. Changing All Those Changes (Holly) 3.10
04. Born To Lose (Brown) 4.27
05. Guilty (Newman) 3.51
06. Bird On The Wire (Cohen) 5.37
07. I Can’t Stop Loving You (Gibson) 4.18
08. Gentle On My Mind (Hartford) 6.42
09. You Don’t Know Me (Walker/Arnold) 4.01
10. Desperadoes Under The Eaves (Zevon) 4.18

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Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill (2012)

FrontCover1The Whippoorwill is the third studio album by American southern/country rock band Blackberry Smoke. It was released on August 14, 2012 through Southern Ground Records in the North America and on February 17, 2014 through Earache Records in Europe. The latter contained three additional live tracks; “Country Side of Life”, “Pretty Little Lie” and “Six Ways to Sunday”. (by wikipedia)

Atlanta, Georgia’s Blackberry Smoke does upward of 250 shows a year, relentlessly crossing and re-crossing the various club, bar, and festival circuits, and the group’s classic Southern rock sound, which recalls bands like the Black Crowes and Lynyrd Skynyrd, has been honed to a sharp edge by the constant playing. This is a solid band with a good rhythm section in bassist Richard Turner and drummer Brit Turner, a stand-out keyboardist in Brandon Still, and plenty of electric guitar work from Paul Jackson and lead singer Charlie Starr. Starr’s voice is really what makes Blackberry Smoke more than a Southern rock nostalgia act, though. He’s a country singer with a rock attitude and heart, and when the song’s good, and the band’s on board, this is a top-tier group who merge country and rock so seamlessly that it’s both at once.

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There are several very good songs on The Whippoorwill, the band’s debut for Zac Brown’s Southern Ground label, including the chugging “Six Ways to Sunday,” which opens the set, the tell-it-straight-like-it-is small town anti-anthem “One Horse Town” (which sounds like Steve Earle in his heyday), and the cranky, defiant, and determined “Leave a Scar,” any of which deserve to be in regular rotation on contemporary country stations, but probably won’t be because they sound more like Muscle Shoals productions than they do Nashville. Think Steve Earle fronting Lynyrd Skynyrd. Great stuff, ragged and real, and yes, there are a lot of cliché stances and phrases woven into these songs, but Starr’s voice and this band’s loose yet crisp playing style pulls it all off more often than not. (by Steve Leggett)

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The second coming of Lynyrd Skynyrd… with some Black Crows, Allman Brothers and ZZ Top tossed in for good measure. An amazing album with no filler songs. I can listen to this from start to finish again and again. (Tim Pickering)

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Personnel:
Paul Jackson (guitar, vocals)
Charlie Starr (vocals, guitar, pedal steel-guitar banjo)
Brandon Still (keyboards)
Brit Turner (drums, percussion)
Richard Turner (bass, vocals)
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Clay Cook (percussion, harmonium on 04)
Matt Mangano (guitar on 04)
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background vocals:
Maureen Murphy – Lo Carter – Kyla Jade (on 03.,09.,12.,13.)
Sarah Dugas (on 09.)
Arnold McCuller (on 06.,10.,13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Six Ways To Sunday (Starr) 3.27
02. Pretty Little Lie (Meadows/Starr) 3.35
03. Everybody Knows She’s Mine (Starr) 3.50
04. One Horse Town (Meadows/Spillman/Starr) 4.16
05. Ain’t Much Left Of Me (Murphy/Jackson/Starr/Still/B.Turner/R.Turner) 4.59
06. The Whippoorwill (Starr) 5.32
07. Lucky Seven (Meadows/Jackson/Starr/Still/B.Turner/R.Turner) 4.17
08. Crimson Moon (Brown/Mangano/Starr) 4.01
10. Ain’t Got The Blues (Starr) 4.04
11. Sleeping Dogs (Kennedy/ackson/Starr/Still/B.Turner/R.Turner) 3.22
12. Shakin’ Hands With The Holy Ghost (Starr) 3.46
13. Up The Road (Starr) 5.53

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Thanks a lot to the greygoose, a woman with a real great taste for good music !

Atomic String Quartet – Places (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgThis is the second album by the Polish Jazz string quartet called Atom String Quartet, comprising of violinists Mateusz Smoczynski and Dawid Lubowicz, violist Michal Zaborski and cellist Krzysztof Lenczowski, which introduced a novel and revolutionary concept on the local scene combining the Classical Chamber music tradition and Jazz. Following the debut album recorded live, this is their first studio effort and it includes ten pieces, with just one originating outside the quartet (Chick Corea’s “Spain”); the rest are all originals: four by Lenczowski, two by Zaborski, one each by Lubowicz and Smoczynski and the remaining one co-composed by Smoczynski and Lenczowski. The album was recorded at the Polish Radio studios in Warsaw and mastered by Jan Smoczynski at his Studio Tokarnia, as usual with spectacular sonic results.

Following the spectacular debut, which took the local scene by surprise, the approach on this album is quite different. This album is much more concentrated on the compositions rather that the virtuosic performances and the element of novelty which dominated its predecessor. The album presents a “concept” of the relationship between music and the place it originates from, trying to show the different and the similar at the same time. Therefore many folkloristic themes from all over Europe appear here as part of the milieu, including of course the beautiful Polish melancholy, which is omnipresent in music originating from Poland. This World Music tendency takes this album a bit further away from Jazz, at least conceptually.

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As expected, the individual performances are nothing short of sublime, and the entire album is a deeply moving listening experience. However, listeners familiar with their debut might miss the “spark” and “spontaneity”, which was so evident there and which were replaced here by careful planning, maturity and eloquent elegance. It is therefore almost impossible to compare these two albums, as they in fact present the different facets of the same group. Listeners longing for the lively approach of the debut will have to see the group live or perhaps wait for the next live recording.

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For me the most important and meaningful aspect of this album is the progress in the quality and strength of the compositions, which start to become identifiable with the ensemble, which of course is an important step forward. Once the quartet develops its true individual musical identity (overcoming the fact that the music comes form four individual members), they will reach the apex of their development.

For now we are presented with another excellent album by one of the most intriguing music ensembles in contemporary music, which is definitely not only a great listening experience but also a victory of quality and intelligent music over our mundane “cultural” encounters in real life. Well done Gentlemen! (Adam Baruch)

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Personnel:
Dawid Lubowicz (violin)
Krzysztof Lenczowski (cello)
Mateusz Smoczynski (violin)
Michal Zaborski (viola)

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Tracklist:
01. Na Siedem (Lubowicz) 5.35
02. Irish Pub (Lenczowski) 5.13
03. Iława (Lenczowski) 7.28
04. Fugato & Allegrina (Lenczowski/Smoczyński) 6.30
05. Too Late (Zaborski) 6.40
06. LaTina (Lenczowski) 3.45
07. Spain (Corea) 5.29
08. Song for Mario (Lenczowski) 6.12
09. Zakopane (Smoczyński) 7.27
10. Fade Out (Zaborski) 5.42

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Rob Tognoni – Energy Red (2012)

FrontCover1Rob Tognoni and his guitar have been treading the stages worldwide for the past 35 years.

He has opened for the greats – Roy Buchanan, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s mentor Lonnie Mack, Joe Walsh from the Eagles, shared stages with Sting, ZZ Top, Bo Diddley. He has represented Australia at the Royal Wedding celebrations of Prince Frederik & Princess Mary of Denmark, performed for FIFA World Cup Football in Kaiserslautern, played from maximum security prisons in Australia to Mozart’s House in Vienna plus countless other experiences that have honed his skills.

Rob is originally from Tasmania, Australia and goes under the pseudonym of “The Tasmanian Devil”.

His style is fiery, energetic, inventive and explosive. His roots are from blues, blues rock & classic rock but also adding many other colours to the palate to give him his sound & uniqueness.

Rob is also energetic & physical on stage, a performer & not just a musician. Echos of Cream, Hendrix, BB King, AC/DC can be heard woven through his musical fabric.

20 albums over the past 22 years are to his credit through labels such as Provogue, Dixiefrog, Blues Boulevard coupled with countless, tireless tours.

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His shows are a true experience not to be missed. As written by a British journalist: “You have to admire Rob Tognoni’s stamina. He is able to sustain a ferocious pace, few could manage it…Perhaps his stamina is the consequence of 30 years conditioning. Perhaps it’s natural selection…” (Blues In Britian Magazine)

From Tasmania, Australia, Rob Tognoni delivers a 100% powerfully charged experience with every performance. After 30 years his explosive guitar playing and unique songs are now being compared with the greats of his genre and have firmly established him in the European venues & festivals as well as gaining many fans of hard blues rock worldwide. Her is the Rob’s new studio CD : “Energy Red” which contains 9 original tracks, as well as 4 covers from The Marshall Tucker Band, Crowded House, Rolling Stones & Australian bluesrock legends, Chain. A real boogie-rock oriented record, full of ideas and inventiveness! -(bluesweb.com)

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Personnel:
Mirko Kirch (drums)
Frank Lennartz (bass)
Rob Tognoni (guitar, vocals, percussion)
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Kel Robertson (keyboards)
Leigh Robertson (didgeridoo, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. Take You Home Now (Tognoni) 5.41
02. Boogie Don’t Need No Rest (Tognoni) 4.05
03. Fire From Hell (Tognoni) 3.32
04. Someone To Love Me (Tognoni) 5.24
05. Don’t Love (Tognoni) 5.03
06. Queensland Heat (Tognoni) 4.04
07. Blue Butterfly (Seven Reasons) (Tognoni) 4.51
08. Can’t You See (Caldwell) 6.03
09. I Remember When I Was Young (Taylor) 4.47
10. As Tears Go By (Jagger/Richards/Oldham) 2.36
11. Better Be Home Soon (Finn) 2.41
12. So Fuckin’ Bored (Tognoni) 2.59
13. I Wanna Play An Iggy Pop Record Today (Tognoni) 2.31

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Oblivion Sun ‎– The High Places (2012)

FrontCover1Oblivion Sun hail from Maryland, USA and rose from the ashes of Happy The Man (HTM). Founding members Frank Wyatt (keyboards, sax) and Stanley Whitaker (guitars, vocals) started this band in 2006 together with Bill Plummer (keyboards), Dave DeMarco (bass guitar) and Chris Mack (drums). Their eponymous debut album has been released in 2007. Now five years later they finally recorded a successor.

On The High Places their second keyboardist Bill Plummer has left the band. As a result you might expect that the music on this album sounds differently, or in any case more guitar-orientated than their first CD. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t; it depends on how you listen to the guitar and keyboard parts throughout the album, but I guess that’s a minor aspect as long as the songs are worth listening. And they surely are! The style of HTM can still be heard in the band’s compositions, but that seems logical to me. In the opening piece Deckard these influences are evident. This instrumental composition could have been taken from any of their albums. The drum patterns, the piano parts and the guitar riffs clearly tend towards the music of HTM.

On March Of The Mushroom Men, the second instrumental, the band shows to be capable of playing another type of music as well. This time the music refers to albums recorded by bands like Focus and Camel, mainly due to Whitaker’s melodic guitar parts. Sometimes his playing reminds me of Jan Akkerman’s or Andy Latimer’s playing. Whitaker proves to be a fine singer as well in Everything. This short ballad already appeared on the eponymous album recorded by another Whitaker-Wyatt project namely Pedal Giant Animals (2006). This rather short composition sounds like a track of Primary Elements from his other band Six Elements that contains musical elements from early Genesis and Cat Stevens. Next track Dead Sea Squirrels is the third instrumental piece on which the guitars sound rather heavy and a bit in the vein of the riff in Crazy Horses (The Osmonds). Fortunately the keyboards assure that this song holds enough prog rock sounds to keep you focussed till the end.

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The album ends with the title track. Having a playing time of 22 minutes it’s not only the longest track, but also the best one. It’s an adaptation of the old HTM piece Merlin Of The High Places from the Death’s Crown (1999) album. On this epic piece, which is divided into six chapters, they sound like a mixture of HTM and Genesis at the time of A Trick Of The Tail (1975). It’s mainly Whitaker’s voice and Wyatt’s playing on the acoustic piano, sounding like Phil Collins and Tony Banks respectively, which are responsible for this comparison. This piece also contains the best keyboard playing of the album; the synthesizer solo on the second chapter Awakening is just awesome! It makes you forget ex-HTM keyboardist Kit Watkins. After listening to this epic track I felt in a good mood and I realized that these musicians are still able to write superb compositions.

Of course Oblivion Sun aren’t HTM and The High Places isn’t an album like Crafty Hands (1978), but that doesn’t mean that the music of Oblivion Sun is less enjoyable. On the contrary! I’m inclined to say that people who cherished the music of HTM are obliged to listen to the music of Oblivion Sun! I’m certain that you won’t regret it; neither did I. The High Places contains music of a very high standard similar to the music of HTM! (by Henri Strik)

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Personnel:
Bill B. Brasso (drums)
David Hughes (bass)
Stanley Whitaker (vocals, guitar)
Frank Wyatt (keyboards, saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Deckard (Wyatt) 6.34
02. March Of The Mushroom Men (Whitaker) 3.38
03. Everything (Whitaker) 2.39
04. Dead Sea Squirrels (Whitaker) 6.35

The High Places (22,22)
05. My Eyes (Wyatt) 6.10
06. Awakening (Wyatt) 2.00
07. Flowers (Wyatt) 2.31
08. The Rules (Wyatt) 5.41
09. The Cage (Wyatt) 3.53
10. Our Eyes (Wyatt) 2.07

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Yasmin Levy – Libertad (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgArriving three years after Israeli singer Yasmin Levy’s previous album, Libertad exudes careful craft and consideration. She’s now including a greater ratio of original material, and these arrangements are very elaborate.

Much of this recording has an aura of intimate communication, yet its sound is considerably expanded, with contributions from The Strings Orchestra Istanbul. Producer Ben Mandelson harnesses these forces, fine-tuning them, and directs a further roster of guests.

Throughout, Levy refines her fusions. Flamenco is her foundation style, but across it she smears elements from Argentine tango and Portuguese fado. Three songs are delivered in Levy’s Ladino tongue, the rest in pure Spanish, but two are translations of songs from Turkey.

This might suggest that Libertad is something of a patchwork, but Levy and Mandelson have effectively squinted their eyes so that a single, cosmopolitan style prevails. It’s a canny move, as followers of flamenco, tango and fado tend to be gathered into a single camp, at least within the UK.

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The bulk of Libertad was recorded in Tel Aviv, with strings laid down in Istanbul. Levy’s father was Turkish, so this is a further exploration of her tangled roots. The core trio features acoustic guitar, upright bass and globally-aware percussion, but there are additional showcases for accordion, clarinet, trombone, flute, and more besides.

Levy’s delivery is characterised by a dramatic, emoting flair, but understated balance is provided by the measured moves of the band. The title track matches earthy cajón percussion with sleek strings. Flamenco is usually found fusing with Moroccan music, highlighting its own Andalusian roots, so it’s unusual to hear the disc’s Turkish or Persian flamenco mash-ups. But it all coheres in seamless fashion.

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The Spanish singer Buika guests on Olvidate de Mi, her smokier, huskier depth contrasting well with Levy’s voice. Aman Doktor features haunting spaces in the music, Levy’s voice poised carefully, awaiting the strings towards its conclusion.

Shoef K’mo Eved also has a different feel, slinking with sparing bass and guitar picking, with strings crowning the song once again. The orchestra makes an even bigger impact during La Rosa Enflorece, imposing a strong Turkish feel, and almost heading all the way down to Cairo.

A carefully crafted collection from the Israeli singer. (by Martin Longley)

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Personnel:
Itay Abramovitz (piano)
Itamar Doari (percussion)
Gilad Efrat (bass)
Yechiel Hasson (guitar)
Yasmin Levy (vocals)
Vitaly Podolsky (accordeon)
Amir Shahsar (ney, clarinet)
Shuky Shveiky (percussion)
Yair Slutzki (trombone)
Niv Toar (trumpet, flugelhorn)
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Concha Buika (vocals on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. La Última Canción (Levy) 3.23
02. La Nave Del Olvido (Ramos) 4.05
03. Libertad (Levy) 4.08
04. Firuze (Gürel/Özdemiroğlu) 5.04
05. Tal Vez (Levy) 4.36
06. Olvídate De Mí (Levy) 6.03
07. Aman Doktor (Traditional) 3.58
08. Recuerdo (Soghati) (Heidari/Sarfaraz) 6.32
09. Skalerikas De Oro (Traditional) 3.56
10. Cada Dia (Hasson/Levy) 4.47
11. Shoef Kemo Eved (Gvirol/Traditional) 5.02
12. La Rosa Enflorece (Traditional) 2.55

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Chuck Leavell – Back To The Woods (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgChuck Leavell pays homage to the early pioneers of blues piano including Leroy Carr, Little Brother Montgomery, Otis Span, Ray Charles and others. Guest appearances by Keith Richards, John Mayer, Danny Barnes and more.:

Pianist and ace session player Chuck Leavell’s many fans consider him to be a true master of his instrument; his fills and solos possess imagination, lightning-quick twists and turns, imaginative chord voicings, and a very physical attack. His detractors claim he plays far too many notes and plays them loudly, that he cannot be a backing or ensemble player because he always has to stand out. One has to ask this question of the latter group: if these criticisms are accurate, would he be sought out by the Allman Brothers, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and the Black Crowes (just to name a few)? Back to the Woods: A Tribute to the Pioneers of Blues Piano is a fine collection of 15 standards from the greats of the blues piano canon, with tunes by Leroy Carr, Little Brother Montgomery, Otis Spann, Memphis Slim, Charlie Spand, and Charlie Calhoun, among others.

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Leavell is backed by Chris Enghauser on upright bass and Louis Romanos on drums throughout, but there is a slew of well-known guests on the session to boot: Danny Barnes plays loads of guitar and banjo, Keith Richards and John Mayer each appear on a couple of tracks (both on Spann’s “Boots and Shoes”), and Randall Bramblett plays saxophone on a few more. Carr is obviously the muse here; five of his tunes are included in this mix, including “Mean Mistreater.” Other highlights include Barrelhouse Buck McFarland’s “I Got to Go Blues,” the title track authored by Spand, and the reimagined Skip James number “If You Haven’t Any Hay.” This is a spirited collection, played and recorded beautifully. If anything, perhaps it’s a bit too clean, but that’s a trifling. The set also includes song annotations by Leavell and a liner essay by blues historian Larry Cohn. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Chris Enghauser (bass)
Chuck Leavell (piano, vocals)
Louis Romanos (drums, percussion)
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Danny Barnes (guitar on 04., 07., 13. + 14., banjo on 06., vocals on 13., tuba on 07. + 13.)
David Blackmon (violin on 08.)
Randall Bramblett (saxophone on 05., 10. + 11.)
Davis Causey (guitar on 04., 05., 10. + 11.)
Neal Fountain (guitar on 01., bass on 11.)
Col. Bruce Hampton (vocals on 08.)
John Mayer (guitar on 03. + 09.)
Tom Ryan (saxophone 0n 05. + 11.)
Keith Richards (guitar on 02. + 09.)
Candi Staton (vocals on 10. + 14.)

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Tracklist:
01. No Special Rider (Montgomery) 3.00
02. Evening Train (Carr) 4.10
03. Wish Me Well (Slim) 2.46
04. Low Down Dirty Dog (Carr) 4.24
05. Losing Hand (Calhoun) 3.46
06. Naptown Blues (Carr) 3.41
07. Back To the Woods (Spand) 5.22
08. I Got To Go Blues McFarland) 3.04
09. Boots And Shoes (Spann) 4.02
10. Mean Mistreater (Carr) 5.08
11. Southern Casey Jones (James) 3.39
12. If You Haven’t Any Hay (James) 2.50
13. Memphis Town (Carr) 3.46
14. The Blues Is All Wrong (Manning) 2.45
15. Vicksburg Blues (Montgomery) 3.21

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