Jo Harman And Company – Live At The Royal Albert Hall (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgJo Harman (born 21 September 1987) is a British singer and songwriter.

Born in Luton, England, Harman grew up in the Devon village of Lustleigh, before moving to London to study for a BA Performing Arts. After travelling to India, following the death of her father, she attended Brighton Institute of Modern Music in Brighton. In 2011, she self-released Live at Hideaway, whilst she developed her songcraft toward making a debut studio album.

This got the attention of Live Nation in the region and Harman’s first gig in Europe was to 7,000 people opening for The Cranberries both in Europe and in the UK. While opening for them, she played a number of multi-genre festivals, including the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival. Her second album, Dirt on My Tongue, was released in 2013. Harman’s song to her father, “Sweet Man Moses”, was JoHarman01nominated as best composition at the 2012 British Blues Awards and this was followed by “Worthy of Love” being nominated in the same category the following year, together with a “Best Female Singer” nomination.

In 2014, she and her bandmates in “Jo Harman and Company” were nominated for seven British Blues Awards. She appeared at BluesFest where her performance was recorded by the BBC and released as a live Album. Harman has worked with members of Average White Band.

In February 2017, she released her second studio album, People We Become. The first single from the album, “When We Were Young”, featuring backup vocals from Michael McDonald, achieved BBC Radio 2 playlist Status. (by Wikipedia)

Jo Harman is the female shining light of the British Blues scene. That is beyond doubt, the critical feedback on her debut album has been universally positive. The album Jo Harman and Company Live at The Royal Albert Hall was recorded at Bluesfest by the BBC in 2013 and it is fitting that it gets it’s UK release two days before Jo returns to perform with her amazing band this year. -(by amazon.co.uk)

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In 2012, this reviewer and e-zine discovered a blues chanteuse ‘across the pond’ in the UK named Jo Harman. Back then, she and her ensemble performed Live At Hideaway; now they’re Live at the Royal Albert Hall. This year Jo was selected from six finalists to be “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the British Blues Awards. According to her promotional materials, she revealed, “I’m not entirely sure music should be a competition in quite this way, which is why I never particularly mentioned the nomination or campaigned for votes.” This attitude is refreshing in an era of ‘winner-take-all’, no matter what the endeavor or the cost. Jo is never afraid to be herself above all, giving everything to her sultry take on blues rock and ballads. On this album, it’s typically low-key, despite a few fast and gritty numbers. Six out of eight are compositions either written or co-written by Harman herself. The three mentioned below showcase her voice best.

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Says Harman of their finished product, in the liner notes: “This is a caught-in-the-moment, as-it-happened, honest recording made by the BBC. There are no edits, no fixes, no processing, no colouring…What you hear is what we played, raw and untampered.”

Track 02: “Cold Heart” – Slightly reminiscent of Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe”, this original song is almost eerie. It’s a slow burner, but as hot as a certain infernal place. Harman tells her partner what absolutely no one wants to hear: “You’ve got one thing: a cold heart.” It’s an ultimatum as much as a description, the final word in a broken relationship. Steve Watts is understated yet brilliant on piano keyboards, which complement Jo’s lilting voice perfectly.

Track 03: “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” – This cover of an R&B hit by Michael Price and Dan Walsh, popularized by Bobby “Blue” Bland, is absolutely super. “Ain’t no love in the heart of the city; ain’t no love in the heart of town. Ain’t no love, and it’s sure ‘nuff a pity. Ain’t no love, ‘cause you ain’t around.” A timeless sentiment such as this is best backed up by Dave Ital’s rollicking electric guitar solo.

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Track 05: “Underneath the River” – With an irresistible rock ‘hook’ and thumping backbeat by Martin “Magic” Johnson, track five just might drive blues rock fans insane with excitement. It’s a surefire party anthem with just the right touch of sweetness amid the spice. “Girls,” Jo explains beforehand, “I think you’ll understand there are times when we feel a little bit crazy, and you know what? The men, too.”

Jo Harman and Co. will delight fans in Britain and worldwide with Live at the Royal Albert Hall! (by Rainey Wetnight)

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Personnel:
Jo Harman (vocals)
Dave Ital (guitar, vocals)
Martin “Magic” Johnson (drums)
Andy Tolman (bass)

Steve Watts (keyboards, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Through The Night (Harman/Mayfield) 5.43
02. Cold Heart (Harman) 6.31
03. Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City (Price/Walsh)
04. (This Is My) Amnesty (Davies/Harman) 6.40
05. Underneath The River (Davies/Harman) 5.21
06. Sweet Man Moses (Harman) 6.08
07. Sideways (Greenwood) 8.59
08. Better Woman (Haman/McKenzie) 6.00

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Ludovico Einaudi – In A Time Lapse (2013)

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Ludovico Maria Enrico Einaudi OMRI (born 23 November 1955) is an Italian pianist and composer. He trained at the Conservatorio Verdi in Milan. Einaudi began his career as a classical composer, and began incorporating other styles and genres—including pop, rock, world music, and folk music. (by wikipedia)

Einaudi composed the scores for a number of films and trailers, including This Is England, The Intouchables and I’m Still Here, the TV miniseries Doctor Zhivago, and Acquario in 1996, for which he won the Grolla d’oro for best soundtrack. He has also released a number of solo albums of piano and orchestra, notably I Giorni in 2001, Nightbook in 2009, and In a Time Lapse in 2013. Taranta Project, a collaborative album, was released in May 2015, and Elements was released in October 2015.

Ludovico Einaudi’s album In A Time Lapse was composed over a period of two years and recorded in October 2012 in a monastery near Verona. Epic and emotional as his bestselling album Divenire, experimental and adventurous as Nightbook,

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In A Time Lapse goes further by incorporating baroque and Italian folk music, late romantic strings textures, and a wide variety of colors through percussion and electronics. The theme is a deep reflection on the idea of time; in the words of Einaudi, ”When you get conscious that our time is limited, it’s the moment where you try to fill that space with all your energy and emotions… and live every moment of your life fully as when you were a child.” The album features Einaudi’s band and the string orchestra I Virtuosi Italiani. Violinist Daniel Hope appears on several pieces, including Orbits, where the solo violin climbs the sky towards infinity. (Editorial Reviews, amazon.com)

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Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, grandson of an early president of postwar Italy and student of Luciano Berio, has at times used either his first or his last name solo. His music is a bit difficult to pin down, for it treads up to the lines of minimalism, new age, and pop piano without quite going over any of them. It depends on repeated, slowly shifting piano figures but is too grand to be really minimalist. Stress reduction and contemplativeness are the chief virtues ascribed to it by its admirers, but it doesn’t have the improvisatory jazz basis of American new age music. And though individual junctures might sound like passages from Elton John, the music tends to stop short of pop emotional payoffs and go off in a new direction. This generic slipperiness is the key to Einaudi’s appeal, which seems set to expand to the U.S.: as in the days of old, where recorded music was conceived of primarily as an aid to selling live concert tickets, In a Time Lapse comes stickered with an American tour schedule. Should you try it out?

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Einaudi has the odd combination of being original without being especially challenging; his music sort of lies there. But this release may well be a good place to start. Its most noticeable new feature is a light overlay of pop electronics not present on Einaudi’s solo piano and piano-and-orchestra music. It actually works well, lending rhythmic and textural variety to the beginnings of each piece. The music soon enough progresses into chord arpeggios on Einaudi’s piano, but he has the opportunity to apply his simple musical logic to a variety of moods. This, too, sets the music apart from new age models. In short, who knows? Even if crossover is not your bag, you may find yourself drawn by this. Or maybe you just want something that will relax you in freeway traffic. Einaudi could work either way. (by James Manheim)

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Personnel:
Francesco Arcuri (kalimba)
Alice Costamagna (violin)
Marco Decimo (cello, glockenspiel)
Mauro Durante (violin,tambourine)
Leo Einaudi (loop)
Ludovico Einaudi (piano, bass, celeste, electronics, glockenspiel, guitar loops,  synthesizer
Alberto Fabris (bass, g)uitar)
Franco Feruglio (bass)
Svetlana Fomina (viola)
Redi Hasa (cello)
Daniel Hope (violin)
Antonio Leofreddi (viola)
Robert Lippok (electronics)
Alberto Martini (violin)
Federico Mecozzi (violin)
Francesca Tirale (harp)
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Parco della Musica Contemporanea Ensemble (percussion ensemblel)
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Virtuosi Italiani Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Corale 2.05
02. Time Lapse 5.31
03. Life 4.23
04. Walk 3.28
05. Discovery At Night 4.26
06. Run 5.32
07. Brothers 4.51
08. Orbits 2.57
09. Two Trees 5.26
10. Newton’s Cradle 7.53
11. Waterways 4.18
12. Experience 5.15
13. Underwood 4.14
14. Burning 5.09
15. Bever 4.01
16. The Dark Bank Of Clouds 3.11
17. Sarabande 4.14
18. Ronald’s Dream 3.46
19. Corale Solo 2.47

Music composed by Ludovico Einaudi

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Shannon McNally – Small Town Talk (Songs Of Bobby Charles) (2013)

FrontCover1Here´s a wonderful tribute album to the great Bobby Charles:

Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010), known as Bobby Charles, was an American singer-songwriter.

An ethnic Cajun, Charles was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, and grew up listening to Cajun music and the country and western music of Hank Williams. At the age of 15, he heard a performance by Fats Domino, an event that “changed my life forever,” he recalled.

Charles helped to pioneer the south Louisiana musical genre known as swamp pop. His compositions include the hits “See You Later, Alligator”, which he initially recorded himself as “Later Alligator”, but which is best known from the cover version by Bill Haley & His Comets, and “Walking to New Orleans” and “It Keeps Rainin'”, written for Fats Domino.

“(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do” was an early 1960s song that Charles composed, which Clarence “Frogman” Henry had a major hit with, and which was on the soundtrack of the 1994 film Forrest Gump. His composition “Why Are People Like That?” was on the soundtrack of the 1998 film Home Fries.

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Because of his south Louisiana–influenced rhythm and blues vocal style, Charles has sometimes been thought to be black, when in fact he was white.

Charles was invited to play with the Band at their November 26, 1976, farewell concert, The Last Waltz, at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. In the concert, Charles played “Down South in New Orleans”, with the help of Dr. John and the Band. That song was recorded and released as part of the triple-LP The Last Waltz box set. The performance was also captured on film by director Martin Scorsese, but did not appear in the final, released theatrical version. Charles did, however, appear briefly in a segment of the released film—in the concert’s final song, “I Shall Be Released”. In that segment, his image is largely blocked from view during the performance. That song, sung by Bob Dylan and pianist Richard Manuel, featured backup vocals from the entire ensemble, including Charles.

He co-wrote the song “Small Town Talk” with Rick Danko of the Band. “Promises, Promises (The Truth Will Set You Free)” was co-written with Willie Nelson.

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Charles continued to compose and record (he was based out of Woodstock, New York, for a time) and in the 1990s he recorded a duet of “Walking to New Orleans” with Domino.

In September 2007, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame honored Charles for his contributions to Louisiana music with an induction.
Death

Charles collapsed in his home near Abbeville and died on January 14, 2010. (by wikipedia)

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I don’t like to use the word perfection around music, because life’s beauty is often expressed with imperfection. But for lack of a better vocabulary I have to say this is about as perfect a record as I’ve ever heard. If you enjoy the New Orleans sound – casual and laid-back but at the same time never too casual in terms of musicianship – you may agree with me that this rates album of the year. The songs of Bobby Charles are extraordinary and his mastery has been celebrated for decades. The arrangements with production from Dr. John and Shannon McNally are spot-on, playful, intricate without being obvious, and ideal for these tunes.

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The musicianship, well it doesn’t get any better. Shannon McNally contributes a voice and interpretative gift that was born to sing these songs. Once in a blue moon somebody will make a record that perfectly encapsulates a mood and a feeling, where all the songs stack up just right. I’m thinking, for example, of Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, the Stones Exile on Main Street. Small Town Talk does that as well as any record I’ve ever heard – including those just mentioned. This record won’t be for everyone’s taste, mind you. But for those with whom it resonates it might just break your heart, make you laugh, blow your mind, and touch your soul. They say the way to tell if a pot of rice is cooked is to test one grain. So I suggest you listen to a tune or two off of this album. If you like what you discover, you’ll likely love this record. (by Constant Traveler)

In spite of not attaining his initial goal of becoming a successful singer Bobby Charles leaves behind a really rich legacy of timeless pop songs which are still being recorded, and performed today. As a testament to this legacy, have a listen to Shannon McNally’s tribute album, Small Town Talk: (Songs of Bobby Charles) … you’ll love it!

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Personnel:
David Barard (bass)
Alonzo Bowens (saxophone)
Natalia Cascante (violin)
Herman V. Ernest III (drums, percussion)
John Fohl (guitar)
Helen Gillet (cello)
Harry Hardin (violin)
Lauren Lemmler (viola)
Shannon McNally (vocals, guitar on 06.)
Charlie Miller (flute, trumpet)
Jason Mingledorff (saxophone)
Mac Rebennack (keyboards, background vocals)
Ken “Afro” Williams (percussion)
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Luther Dickinson (guitar on 02.)
Vince Gill (vocals on 03., guiar on 10.)
Will Sexton (guitar on 06.)
Derek Trucks (guitar on 05.)
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The Lower 911 Band (background vocals)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Street People (Charles) 3.15
02. Can’t Pin A Color (Charles) 3.17
03. String Of Hearts (Charles) 3.53
04. I Spend All My Money (Charles) 2.55
05. Cowboys And Indians (Charles) 4.07
06. Homemade Songs (Charles) 4.11
07. Long Face (Charles) 3.24
08. Small Town Talk (Charles/Danko) 4.07
09. I Don’t Want To Know (Charles) 4.03
10. But I Do (Charles/Gayten) 4.08
11. Love In The Worst Degree (Charles) 3.07
12. Save Me Jesus (Charles) 3.38
13. Smile (So Glad) (Charles) 3.18
14. I Must Be In A Good Place Now (Charles) 3.37

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Robert Charles Guidry (February 21, 1938 – January 14, 2010)

Gary Hoey – Deja Blues (2013)

FrontCover1Deja Blues is an interesting collection of blues tunes that features the blues skills of the talented rock and surf style guitarist Gary Hoey. Most people know him as an instrumental guitar player along the lines of a Steve Vai or Joe Satriani because of his billboard hit “Hocus Pocus,” or possibly know him from his Ho Ho Hoey Christmas albums, or have seen trading licks on tour with Jeff Beck, Ted Nugent, Peter Frampton, and Dick Dale. Let’s set the record straight – Gary is not a one trick rock guitar shredder.

The album has many Gary Hoey originals, some of which feature great guest appearances, including James Montgomery on “Boot Hill Blues,” Jon Butcher on the Texas Shuffle “Almost Over You,” Johnny A on “She’s Walking,” and finally, Frank Hannon on the southern rocking “Got to Believe.” There are a couple of covers of traditional blues songs where Gary makes the blues rock. “Going Down” is a down, dirty rockin’ take on the Don Nix penned classic recorded by everyone from the late great Freddie King to Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam. Along with that is the lightly distorted Albert King classic “Born Under A Bad Sign.” An interesting track at the end is “Hold Your Head Up High” which features some slide guitar playing. If you close your eyes and forget who you’re listening to you might confuse this with an outtake form a Derek Trucks Band release.

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There are two stand out tracks on this album though. “Stranger” is an atmospheric mysterious blues where the tones clearly set the mood for one of the lyrics when Gary sings about being “like a stranger in my own town.” The best work on here though is when Gary lets his guitar do all the work on the instrumental slow blues title track – “Deja Blues.” The tension builds and reaches what you think is the peak at each chorus only to be taken to another level with another solo and then finally releases you back to the original slow blues jam.

If you’re looking for an album that straddles that fine line of blues and rock without turning into nothing but a guitar shredders excuse to solo than this fits the bill. It’s always interesting to see how artists who are mostly known for a different style of playing interpret the blues. Deja Blues does the blues justice with his pyrotechnic fretboard fluidity and ability to blend them with his rock background without losing the feeling and intent. (by bluesrockreview.com)

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Personnel:
Gary Hoey (guitar, vocals, bass, keyboards)
Matt Scurfield (drums)
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Johnny A. (guitar, slide-guitar on 05.)
Jon Butcher (guitar on 03.)
Frank Hannon (slide-guitar on 08.)
James Montgomery (harmonica on 01.)

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Boss You Around (Hoey) 3.08
02. Boot Mill Blues /Hoey) 3.00
03. Almost Over You (Hoey) 4.44
04. Going Down (Nix) 3.40
05 She’s Walking (Hoey) 3.26
06. Stranger (Hoey) 4.22
07. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 3.59
08. Got To Believe (Hoey) 3.40
09. Deja Blues (Hoey) 4.22
10. Hold Your Head Up High (Hoey) 4.17

 

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Inlet

Teeny Tucker – Voodoo To Do You (2013)

FrontCover1Upon checking out the title, along with the track list, which includes song titles such as “Voodoo Woman”, “Voodoo Voodoo”, “It’s Your Voodoo Working” , and “Love Spell”, one might be able to identify the recurring theme of Teeny Tucker’s latest album, if hard-pressed. That being said, Teeny Tucker doesn’t need voodoo to get anyone to love this recording, Voodoo To Do You! She’s got it covered with powerful vocals, down-home blues, choice song selections and a great band which includes guitarist Robert Hughes, bassist Robert Blackburn, drummer Darrell Jumper, David Gastel on harmonica and keyboards.

Tucker kicks this thirteen track album off with a fantastic cover of Koko Taylor’s “Voodoo Woman”. It’s fast paced Blues, buttered on one side with her cool raspy vocals, and on the other side, with Hughes’ killer electric riffs. Linda Dachtyl, sitting in on this one with her B3, adds a cohesive bonding that nicely pulls the song together. Then without skipping a beat, the intro to Howlin’ Wolf’s “Commit a Crime” gently rolls in. Hughes scores big points on this one as he nicely sets the song in motion. Introducing new lyrics, Tucker tackles this one from a woman’s point of view. “Tough Lover” is another cover, with a little modification. This one isn’t your Etta James’ version. Tucker takes the original and slows it down a bit, which I think is a great decision. Interestingly, as the tempo increases, Hughes briefly steers the song from Blues to Rockabilly before bringing it back home again.

One of my favorite tracks on the album is Tucker’s rendition of “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”, originally by Gary Davis, and covered later by the Grateful Dead. I love the guitar licks Hughes lays down on this dark and sullen song. I can feel the emotion pouring off his guitar strings as he plays. This is probably the coolest song on the album.

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Tucker must have had her mojo working double time when she got the idea for the closer song, “Sun Room”. This upbeat original, about the history and spirit of the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, coincidentally was recorded at the Sun Studios. When this song plays, I feel momentarily transported to the studio itself. Tucker makes it easy to envision the iconic building at 706 Union Avenue, with her crafted lyrics. (by Phillip Smith)

Teeny Tucker comes honestly to the blues. Her father Tommy Tucker was the first to have a hit with “Hi-Heel Sneakers”. Her earliest musical experiences were in church in Dayton, Ohio but in her teens, Teeny discovered her true calling: deep, down-home blues. Since then she has paid her dues and gained national recognition as an independent recording artist, singer and songwriter. “Voodoo To Do You” is her fourth disc on TeBo Records. The fourth time may be the “charm” to catapult Ms. Tucker to worldwide fame. She tells great stories, struts her tough stuff, rocks with her band, delivers fresh covers of classics such as “I’m A Woman”, laughs at herself and croons tender blues ballads such as “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”. Many of the songs revolve around the mystique of “voodoo” from working it on a miscreant lover to the spells cast by a new love interest. Many CDs today are not worthy of listening from start to finish, but “Voodoo To Do You” by Teeny Tucker is one terrific tune after another. (by Linda Yohn)

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Personnel:
Robert Blackburn (bass)
David Gastel (harmonica, keyboards)
Robert Hughes (guitar)
Darrell Juper (drums)
Teeny Tucker (vocals)
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background vocals:
Mary Lusco-Ashley – Paula Brown . Teeny Tucker
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Linda Dachtyl (organ, piano on 01., 03., 06. + 09.)

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Tracklist:
01. Voodoo Woman (Taylor/Eyebell) 3.27
02. Commit a Crime (Burnett) 3.26
03. Love Spell (Hughes/Tucker) 3.59
04. Voodoo Voodoo (Coleman/Avril) 2.26
05. Tuff Lover (James) 2.22
06. Can Do All That (Hughes/Tucker) 3.18
07. Shoes (Tucker) 2.48
08. It’s Your Voodoo Workin’ (Sheffield) 2.28
09. Muddier Things Get (Hughes/Tucker) 2.47
10. I’m a Woman (Leiber/Stoller) 2.57
11. Hard Time Killing Floor Blues (Curtis) 2.51
12. Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Davis) 3.12
13. Sun Room (Hughes/Tucker) 3.12

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Peter Maxwell Davies – Piano Concerto; Worldes Blis (2013)

FrontCover1As with most releases in the Naxos series on Maxwell Davies, these recordings were previously issued on Collins Classics, Worldes Blis in 1993 and the Piano Concerto in 1998. On the back cover CD insert, there Read more The Sunday Telegraph to proclaim the concerto as “one of the most attractive and immediately likeable piano concertos to appear for some time.” Although I liked it, I would never make such a claim. This piece, though not as astringent or cerebral as some of Maxwell Davies’s music, is far from “immediately likeable.” It sounds, rather, like Prokofiev swathed in the harmonies of Berio or, at times, Ligeti, which makes it interesting but certainly not immediately appealing to the average listener. Crushed brass chords underscore the piano’s often atonal tinkling, and even attempts at producing melodic themes challenge the listener with their atonal or bitonal harmonic clashes.

Again, the liner notes belie what one actually hears, describing “the tense ‘Scots-snap’ rhythms” and “A vivacious dance.” If you can dance to this stuff, you must have three legs and be hardwired in your brain for shifting cross-rhythms. Again, this is not a criticism of the music, which I found to be extremely interesting and among Maxwell Davies’s best works, but it is a very challenging piece with almost foreboding harmonies, and to pretend otherwise is to deceive the potential listener.

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Since the concerto was dedicated to pianist Kathryn Stott, who plays it here, it is almost a foregone conclusion that her playing would be quite fine, and it is. I found her to be more of a cerebral rather than an emotional player, at least from this recording, and thus I’d have to say that the music suits her perfectly. Maxwell Davies appears to have assigned the most emotional passages to the orchestra, which keeps up an almost unbroken undercurrent of unease and menace, while the piano soloist merely overlays her commentary on this canvas. As a result I found this piece to be much more in line with Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta despite the very different melodic and harmonic style. The middle-movement Adagio , which is ironically the briefest of the three movements, presents the listener with a moment of relative inertia—the music barely, almost imperceptibly, nudges forward—but not of any calm or comfort. (Oddly enough, the use of pizzicato bass lines under the piano here almost, but not quite, put it in the realm of Third Stream music.) The third movement returns us to the unease of the first.

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Worldes Blis, written in 1966-69, is based on a 13th-century plainchant yet is entirely instrumental. Here, Maxwell Davies’s flirtation with the kind of sound world being created by Ligeti is all the more obvious; even the use of a harp keeps the textures in the low range for much of the piece, and it seems to me to be more concerned with texture than anything else, though the slowly rising melody that begins in a solo cello is in some ways more melodic than anything in the concerto. Much of Worldes Blis has the same kind of rhythmic stasis and aura of unease that one hears in the middle movement of the piano concerto. It is, however, an interesting experiment in sound textures and suspension of time, so to speak, and it works very well. Slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, the music becomes busier, yet these “ Allegro s” will never be confused with a Mahler scherzo or a Prokofiev symphonic finale.

As the music becomes busier, it also becomes denser both harmonically and rhythmically, pulling the listener along but not quite engaging one except to admire the cleverness of his construction. In brief, an interesting contribution to the growing Maxwell Davies collection. If only Naxos would do the same for the music of Nancy Van de Vate! —FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley,

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Personnel:
Kathryn Scott (piano)
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The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Peter Maxwell Davies

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Tracklist:

Piano Concerto (1997) (36:02)
01. I – Moderato – Più Mosso – Andante – Più Mosso – Andante 17.22
02. II – Adagio 8.35
03. III – Allegro 10.04

Worldes Blis (1966-69) (42:23)
04. Lento Recitando – Lentissimo 18.50
05. L’ Istesso Tempo 4.31
06. Allegro 3.30
07. Poco Più Mosso 6.19
08. Allegro 1.46
09. Lento 7.27

Music composed by Peter Maxwell Davies

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Trudy Lynn – Royal Oaks Blues Cafe (2013)

frontcover1Houston native Trudy Lynn has been singing rhythm and blues since the 60’s and has had albums issued on several labels since her Ichiban debut in 1989. In recent years she has not been prolific but, as she explains in the sleevenotes, she was searching for the right songs. The result is an album that brings together some fairly obscure songs from blues singers and writers of yesteryear with two of Trudy’s own compositions.
Trudy has a seasoned voice which has enough grit to convey the emotions of the songs, an excellent example being “Country Man Blues”, a song once covered by Candye Kane. Here Trudy’s voice really conveys the slightly risqué lyrics and both Steve and Jonn contribute significantly. The piano features on “Street Walkin’ Daddy”, a hit in 1950 for Margie Day but Jonn plays some wonderfully relaxed guitar too. Trudy’s own songs stand up well in comparison: her “Every Side Of Lonesome” has a live feel with lots of handclaps and backing vocals, Jonn on slide and Steve’s harp almost buzzing in the background, a very catchy shuffle with strong vocals from Trudy. “Down In Memphis” is Trudy’s other credit, a short tune with some striking harp leading on a rocking little number in praise of the Bluff city. Several of the songs Trudy has selected to sing here are what might be described as ‘suggestive’, trudylynn2none more so than Clara Smith’s “Whip It To A Jelly” which closes the album with Steve’s harp working very well with Trudy’s vocal, a late night piece with Jonn on acoustic guitar. Jay McShann’s “Confessin’ The Blues” provides a strong opener, a song that goes back to the 40’s, all three front line players providing strong solos.
On Don Robey’s “Play The Honky Tonks” (a hit for Marie Adams in 1951) Randy’s piano is well to the fore.
My research failed to discover anything about four other songs here. “Feel It” is credited to B Campbell, another suggestive lyric in a performance which, especially Steve’s harp, is relaxed but effective. Another relaxed performance is the fine “Effervescent Daddy” (E Bennett) on which Trudy’s voice is a little smoother than is typical of the album where she usually has more grit in her vocals. However, on this song she is much smoother, as befits the style of the song. “I’m Gonna Put You Down” (W Booze) is a slow blues on which Trudy’s expressive, deep voice is very effective and “Red Light” (V Green) is an upbeat rocker which makes use of some of the same imagery as “I Caught The Katy” and is a real toe-tapper as Jonn ramps up the pace in his solo as the piano and harp underpin Trudy’s vocals.
There is plenty to enjoy here and it is good to hear Trudy in such good voice, sounding very much like the early female pioneers that she has sought to celebrate on this Album. (by bluesblastmagazine.com)
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Personnel:
Steve Krase (harmonica, background vocals on 04.)
Eugene ‘Spare Time’ Murray  (bass)
Carl Owens (drums)
Jonn Del Toro Richardson (guitar)
Trudy Lynn (vocals)
Randy Wall  (piano)
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Richard Cholawian (drums on 07.)
Rock Romano (bass, background vocals on 04.)
Robert ‘Pee Wee’ Stephens (piano on 04. + 07., background vocals on 04.)

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Tracklist:
01. Confessin’ The Blues (McShan) 3.51
02. Play The Honky Tonks (Robey) 4.27
03. Feel It (Campbell) 4.44
04. Every Side Of Lonesome (Lynn) 3.56
05. Country Man Blues (unknown) 3.57
06. Street Walkin’ Daddy (G.Day/M.Day) 5.35
07. Red Light (Green) 4.38
08. I’m Gonna’ Put You Down (Booze) 5.19
09. Down In Memphis (Lynn) 2.43
10. Effervescent Daddy (Bennett) 4.10
11. Whip It To A Jelly (Smith) 5.05

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stevekraseSteve Krase