Martin Barre – Order Of Play (2014)

FrontCover1.jpg2014 release from the Jethro Tull guitarist. On ORDER OF PLAY, the band set up just as they were performing a live gig. Every song on the album is a first take. Martin’s guitar playing has earned him a high level of respect and recognition; he was voted 25th best solo ever in the USA and 20th best solo ever in the UK for his playing on Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung’. His playing on the album Crest of a Knave earned him a Grammy award in 1988. As well as numerous Jethro Tull albums, Martin has worked with many other artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Joe Bonamassa and Chris Thompson and has shared a stage with such legends as Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. As Jethro Tull are taking a long break from touring, Martin has put together a band to play the classic music from the Tull catalog. His band is a total commitment to give the Tull fans and a broader audience the chance to hear tracks not performed for many years. (Amazon Editorial Review)

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..but he certainly is a hero of the guitar. Never one to seek the spotlight, Martin lets his guitar do the talking, and he can say more with one note, put more emotion into it than any other guitarist I’ve heard. Separated from Jethro Tull after more than 40 years, he is now back to playing the music he loves: that blues-drenched rock that defined the early Tull sound before synths and squeezy things squeezed him to the back of the stage. So here on this live in the studio recording Martin is back with a vengeance, playing a “dirty, nasty, low-down blues” take of A New Day Yesterday, a rocking Song for Jeffrey, and even Fatman from Stand Up, and To Cry You a Song and Teacher from Benefit. We’re also treated to a nice slice of Thick as a Brick, and an excellent version of Robert Johnson’s Crossroads on the mandolin.
I can’t help missing the flute here and there, but Richard Beesley’s sax fills in nicely, without ever dominating. Dan Crisp too sounds out of place at first, as Ian’s voice is inseparable from these songs, but after a few plays you come to realize his Crisp’s voice too is well suited to the music.

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While it can be rightly said that Ian Anderson is the creative force behind Jethro Tull, and his quirkiness, humor and eccentricity have kept the music adventuresome and unpredictable, Martin was the engine that powered the band, a guitarist extraordinaire, a true virtuoso who can shred with the best but favors tone and control over speed. It is wonderful to hear him playing the music he loves, and if, like me, you love it too, you will thoroughly enjoy this set.
There are a lot of high profile guitar heroes out there, but Martin Barre is a name few recognize. Give this album a listen and you will wonder why. (by Matthew Bush)

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Personnel:
Martin Barre (guitar, mandolin)
Richard Beesley (saxophone, clarinet)
Alan Bray (bass)
Dan Crisp (vocals, guitar)
George Lindsay (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. A New Day Yesterday (Anderson) 5.15
02. Fatman (Anderson) 3.20
03. Watch Your Step (Parker) 4.16
04. Crossroads (Johnson) 3.46
05. Minstrel In The Gallery (Anderson) 4.36
06. To Cry You A Song (Anderson) 4.49
07. Steal Your Heart Away (Parker) 4.20
08. Thick As A Brick ( Excerpt) (Anderson) 8.50
09. Sweet Dream (Anderson) 3.40
10. Song For Jeffrey (Anderson) 3.29
11. Rock Me Baby (Traditional) 4.43
12. Teacher (Anderson) 4.42
13 Still Loving You Tonight (Anderson) 4.59
14. Locomotive Breath (Anderson) 5.19

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More from Martin Barre:

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Billy Hart Quartet – One Is The Other (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Billy Hart Quartet’s One Is the Other follows All Our Reasons, its noted debut for ECM, by less than two years. In one sense, this set shows the group’s growth (they’ve been together since 2005), and picks up where AOR left off, but more importantly, it reveals the more disciplined and inquisitive dimension of its collective persona, even as it revisits some tunes from its members’ pasts. Opener “Lennie’s Groove,” by saxophonist Mark Turner, was recorded much earlier in Turner’s career. Due to its complex harmonic and rhythmic components, it has subsequently become a workout classic for other jazz musicians. Pianist Ethan Iverson attacks the knotty lyric as if simultaneously playing all the dubbed parts of an unreleased tune from Lennie Tristano’s Descent Into the Maelstrom. As Turner enters, he twins these lines before moving toward Iverson contrapuntally. Ben Street’s bassline reveals the bridge between the bop and post-bop in the exercise while Hart shifts gears in tandem, accenting the ever-shifting meter. On Iverson’s “Maraschino,” the blues are the entryway into collective improvisation that remains commonly focused. Hart’s brushes not only accent and color the front line’s flourishes, but offer a map back to the center. The drummer’s “Amethyst” was the title piece of one of his earlier albums but is revisioned somewhat here. Its original melody — which retains its lyric beauty — is made more blocky here, Turner first, then Iverson, find its dark undercurrent. Hart rolls and breaks around their dialogue.

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Street engages as an interlocutor and interpreter, while Hart allows the three to dictate his fluid, articulate movements as the tune opens. Turner’s “Sonnet for Stevie” may be written for Stevie Wonder, but it’s fueled more by restraint, color, and texture than funk or R&B. Street’s opening bassline and the clipped rolls by Hart introduce a bluesy head, with Iverson extrapolating on them. He finds a lithe lyric inside and begins to slowly bring it out. Group statements remain brief on each chorus until Iverson’s solo finds the seam, and his upper register chord voicings become bell-like. Turner sticks close to the blues, while Hart breaks on them in a painterly fashion. One Is the Other is the sound of an experienced and deeply intuitive quartet speaking in a colorful and precise language comprised of numerous dialects and approaches to musical speech. (Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Billy Hart (drums)
Ethan Iverson (piano)
Ben Street (bass)
Mark Turner (saxophone)

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01. Lennie Groove (Turner) 6.51
02. Maraschino (Iverson) 5.52
03. Teule’s Redemption (Hart) 7.21
04. Amethyst (Hart) 8.06
05. Yard (Hart) 5.08
06. Sonnet For Stevie (Turner) 8.43
07. Some Enchanted Evening (Rogers/Hammerstein) 5.20
08. Big Trees (Iverson) 4.15

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Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – Nobody Sings Dylan Like Gill ‘n’ Dave (2019)

FrontCover1.jpgIf you saw Gillian Welch and David Rawlings on the Oscars this year, you know they’re amazing. You may not know they are also amazing interpreters of a certain Nobel Prize-winning singer-songwriter. They were featured often on my 40-volume Dylan cover collection “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan,” but when I heard that the Dave Rawlings Machine had covered “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts” at a San Francisco concert last year – opening the show with the first half of the song, and closing it with the second half – I decided it was time to give them their own NSD collection. A year later, here it is.

As always, thanks to the tapers – they are the true heroes of the ROIO world – and to Gill and Dave for daring to test their mettle on these incomparable songs. As you might remember, in the summer of 2015 Gill ‘n’ Dave did a 50th anniversary tribute at the Newport Folk Festival to the historic show at which Dylan first plugged in. Surprisingly, it has never turned up on any of the download sites I frequent, though there is a barely listenable/watchable version on YouTube. If you have a better version to offer, please do; if you don’t want to bother with the nuts and bolts of uploading, let me know and I’ll do it for you.

A few of these songs are featured on other NSD sets, but these are different versions. Finally, please allow me to dedicate this collection to my friend and fellow Dylan fan Erik, who first introduced me to Gill ‘n’ Dave’s music in 1996 by giving me a copy of “Revival” and telling me I’d love it. I did, and I still do. (jeffs98119 at dime)

Various dates and venues. Mix of audience and soundboard recordings
between 1996 and 2018

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Dave Rawlings & Gillian Welch (Oscar 2019)

Personnel:
Dave Rawlings Machine (on 01., 03., 05., 07., 11. + 13.)
The Esquires (on 02. + 09.)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (on 04., 06., 08., 10. + 12.)

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Tracklist:
01. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts (1) (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 7.36
02. Gotta Serve Somebody (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 7.31
03. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Oct 4, 2007, Tangier Restaurant, Los Angeles, CA) 5.00
04. I Dreamed I Saw St Augustine (Aug 21, 1996, Acoustic Coffee House, Nederland, CO) 3.42
05. As I Went Out One Morning (Sep 24, 2014, Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA) 5.32
06. Billy (Nov 18, 1998, Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO) 6.13
07. Oh, Sister (Mar 8, 2018, McDonald Theater, Eugene, OR) 5.10
08. Goin’ to Acapulco (Oct 13, 2004, McDonald Theatre, Eugene, OR) 5.53
09. Quinn The Eskimo (Sep 27, 1999, Radio Cafe, Nashville, TN) 3.29
10. Odds And Ends (Aug 2004, WXPN Studios/World Café session, Philadelphia, PA) 2.58
11. Queen Jane Approximately (Jun 20, 2014, Town Park, Telluride, CO) 10.28
12. Mr Tambourine Man (Oct 3, 2015, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA) 6.07
13. Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts 2 (Mar 1, 2018, Fillmore, San Francisco, CA) 5.05

All songs written by Bob Dylan

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Arve Henriksen – The Nature Of Connections (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgThe Nature Of Connections (released 22 August 2014 in Oslo, Norway) is an album by Arve Henriksen.

On this album, Henriksen is working in harness with some of the most distinguished and dynamic musicians of Norway. They come from different traditions like folk, improvisation and jazz. They bring their specialist competition, where the results are assembled and polished to sparkle. The Nature of Connections almost entirely features pieces composed by the personnel comprising the band on the album, recorded at the legendary Rainbow Studio in Oslo by Jan Erik Kongshaug. The album has closer connections to Nordic folk and contemporary, minimalist chamber music than any of his previous releases (by wikipedia)

Rune Grammofon paired Arve Henriksen’s Chron album with Cosmic Creation early in 2014, revealing two aspects of the composer/improviser’s meticulous, singular perception of sound as abstraction and perception, both inner and outer. While it is equally intimate, The Nature of Connections couldn’t be more different from its immediate predecessors. This is a completely acoustic recording whose approach combines neo-classical music with folk-inflected chamber jazz. Henriksen leaves most of the composing to his collaborators: Nils Økland (violin, hardanger fiddle, viola), Svante Henryson (cello), Gjermund Larsen (violin, hardanger fiddle), and Mats Eilertsen (double bass). Only ace drummer Audun Kleive stays out of the compositional mix.

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The set’s hinge piece, “Hymn,” was written by Henriksen’s Supersilent collaborator Ståle Storløkken, but these eight pieces are all gentle, beautifully textured and, for the most part, lyrical. “Blå Veg,” Henriksen’s only original, was arranged by the entire group. It opens with piccolo trumpet, hardanger, cello, and viola, following an elliptical yet defined melodic line of exposition. It is unequivocally “pretty.” The interplay of strings is supported by an underlying (quiet) drone. The smaller trumpet gives way to a muted, standard one, and the effect is so reverential, it is almost spiritual. Larsen’s “Hambopolskavalsen” is almost a folk song, with the strings employed as a chorus of harmonic voices. A tenderly articulated bassline and hardanger add dimension with percussion interceding only as a marker to reset the cyclical melody. Henryson’s “Seclusive Song” is a neo- classical chamber piece that employs something approaching jazz in its cadenzas. “Hymn,” with its thematic cellos, bowed double bass, violin, and viola with brushed snare, is almost cinematic, expanding the color palette of recording. Henriksen’s trumpet is used sparingly, with the melodic weight taken up by his piano. Eilertsen delivers a gorgeous bass solo to underscore that effect.

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Though Henryson’s “Keen” commences on a note of mild dissonance, its pulsing cellos, tight snare, and the interplay between piccolo and standard trumpet, almost make it a jazz-pop tune. Its groove is defined — though its middle section evidences an Eastern-tinged, more active dialogue between cello bass and trap kit. “Arko Akropolis” is a group piece that feels like an expanded intro, with rumbling middle-register piano, pulsing strings, and a hardanger solo interlude that frames the closer, Eilertsen’s “Salm.” The latter is a brief folk melody adorned by his bassline, offering a (slightly) wider dimension to its restrained lyric before Henriksen’s trumpet enters to expand its premise ever so slightly; it sounds and feels like a lullaby. The Nature of Connections may not have been primarily composed by Henriksen, but his refined dynamic and texturally subtle approach are trademarks that illustrate his spirit of inquiry into the mystery of sound — no matter how economic the musical structure. These works, taken as a whole, affirm by their very articulation the indefinable depths of beauty itself. (by Thom Jurek)

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Personnel:
Mats Eilertsen (bass)
Arve Henriksen (trumpet, piano)
Svante Henryson (cello)
Audun Kleive (drums)
Gjermund Larsen (violin, hardanger fiddle)
Nils Økland (violin, hardanger fiddle, viola d’amore)

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Tracklist:
01. Blå Veg (Henriksen) 3.57
02. Hambopolskavalsen (Larsen) 5.22
03. Budbringeren (Økland) 6.16
04. Seclusive Song (Henryson) 3.52
05. Hymn (Storløkken) 7.40
06. Aceh (Eilertsen) 4.39
07. Keen (Henryson) 5.13
08. Arco Akropolis (Henriksen/Kleive/Larsen/Eilertsen/Økland/Henryson) 3.41
09. Salm (Eilertsen) 2.06

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Paul Raymond – Rewind 50 (2015)

FrontCover1.jpgUFO guitarist/keyboard player Paul Raymond has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 73 years old.

The news of Raymond’s passing was broken by his “life partner,” Sandra, who wrote on Facebook: “With a desperate and broken heart, fully in tears and pains that feel like they will kill me, I have to tell you that my most beautiful and beloved darling Paul Raymond has passed away today. The doctors we’re trying to reanimate him and with success at first but then his system shot down again and there was nothing more they could do for him, he died of a heart attack.

“He absolutely enjoyed the last couple of weeks touring with UFO in the UK & Ireland and he was looking forward to the rest of this year’s tour.

“This photo was taken last Wednesday when we checked out of our last hotel before coming back to Germany!

“I will always love him and I hope he will rest in piece until I’ll see him again on the other side!!!

“I love you so much Paul”

Paul’s professional career began in January 1964. He started out as a jazz musician but went on to become best known as a member of legendary British rock band UFO’s classic lineup alongside Phil Mogg, Michael Schenker, Andy Parker and Pete Way. Raymond is also featured on classic records by CHICKEN SHACK and SAVOY BROWN as well as solo albums, plus those credited to PAUL RAYMOND PROJECT.

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Raymond was recruited by UFO in 1976 to replace the band’s first keyboardist, Danny Peyronel. When Michael Schenker left UFO, Raymond joined Schenker’s MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and later hooked up with Pete Way in WAYSTED.

Raymond appeared on more than a dozen of UFO’s albums, including “Lights Out” and the live classic “Strangers In The Night”.

Way posted on Facebook: “I’ve just heard the sad news of Paul Raymond’s passing. I won’t pretend that we were always the best of friends but I am completely shattered to hear this.

“My sincere condolences go out to his family, particularly Sandra.

“I’m gonna miss you mate! Sleep tight.”

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Schenker wrote: “It is unbelievable. Paul Raymond was a great musician and loved rock and roll. My condolences to his loved ones. Rest in peace, my friend.”

British heavy metal legends SAXON tweeted: “We are shocked & saddened to hear the news of our friend and touring mate Paul Raymond of UFO’s sudden passing today. RIP Paul.” (by blabbermouth.net)

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And here´s a very special solo album by Paul Raymond … I guess this a real legacy of his musical career:

Paul Raymond in his own words:

My latest offering – the clue is in the title! It’s a retrospective of my recording and songwriting as a professional musician which began way back in 1964 with Tony Jackson and the Vibrations. We got into the UK Top 20 with a cover of the Mary Wells song “Bye Bye Baby” (not to be confused with the Bay City Rollers song of the same name!) That was my first taste of success and it has continued with varying degrees of success to this day. The album goes through a wide range of genres, following the path of my musical career, from psychedelic pop with my band Plastic Penny through blues with Chicken Shack and Savoy Brown to hard rock or what is now referred to as “Classic Rock” with UFO, MSG, Waysted and my own solo work with PRP.

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A fascinating and personal retrospective from long-time UFO man Paul Raymond celebrating his remarkable 50 years in the rock music business. Featuring re-workings of some of the best songs he’s written over the decades with the likes of Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Michael Schenker Group, his own solo career and of course UFO. On top of that there is some previously unreleased stuff from a project with terry Reid which didn’t get off the ground.

You may have trouble getting your hands on it. Paul financed the project via a Pledge Music crowdfunding campaign which is where I obtained my copy from. I understand there are plans for a conventional release in the future perhaps.

Paul is an unheralded songwriter. Never the frontman over the last 50 years, if you are familiar with his UFO work you’ll know he’s the guy stage right usually bigging up the sound with essential keys and a chugging rhythm guitar. An essential part of the mix. He can and does write top notch stuff too as ably demonstrated here with this collection.

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You’ll love it if you’re a fan. If you’re not it’ll turn you in to one and show you the long-lived talents of a geezer who has been there, done it then come back to do it all again with some of the biggest names in rock.

A couple of his UFO tunes start us off. Revamped versions of The Fear (titled here as Unfinished Business) and then Sympathy from You Are Here. Nice and bluesy, rocking along too quite deftly.

Scream Blue Murder from his solo Paul Raymond Project Man on a Mission is next to get a revamp before we have a previously unpublished song which Paul wrote for the same album but not using it. It rocks too. Not a million miles from classic UFO/MSG and one hopes if Paul has more stashed away somewhere they might see the light as another PRP album. How about it Mr Raymond?

Next we go back in time to his brief period with Waysted (All Belongs to You) then another great surprise with The Sky and You – a quit magical collaboration with the great Terry Reid showing more virtuosity and class to the Raymond song writing craft.

My favourite MSG album is their self-titled second one. My favourite song on that album is Never Trust a Stranger. Bit of an epic. Well, Paul wrote that too and here it is given the treatment. A more bluesy soulful arrangement then anyone who owns Obsession with instantly recognise Looking’ Out for Number 1.

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Twice Nightly is another previously unpublished. A little bit pub rock and a lot of fun. I’d say it’s Cherry-esque sort of. Listen to the lyrics and you’ll see…..single material even.

The closing three to get the works take us all the way back to the 1960s and it’s all top, top stuff given a fresh sound.

A remarkable retrospective from a remarkable (and often unheralded) musician/songwriter. Such a long and varied career which, since the early 1970s has always seen Paul get drawn back to UFO time again.

Top marks Mr. Raymond, top marks indeed.

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Personnel:
Dave Burn (guitar)
Mark Coles (bass)
Andy Dodds (vocals)
Paul Raymond (vocals, keyboards, guitar)
Tony Steel (drums)
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Tracklist:
01. Unfinished Business (Raymond) 3.4302. Sympathy (Raymond) 4.37
03. Scream Blue Murder (Raymond) 5.14
04. Welcome To The Real World (Raymond) 4.46
05. All Belongs To You (Raymond) 4.03
06. The Sky And You (Reid) 4.14
07. Never Trust A Stranger (Raymond) 4.27
08. Lookin’ Out For No. 1 (Raymond/Mogg) 3.51
09. Twice Nightly (Raymond) 3.48
10. Reconsider Baby (Fulson) 3.30
11. Waiting (Raymond/Murray) 3.41
12. Bye Bye Baby (Wells) 4.29

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Paul Martin Raymond (16 November 1945 – 13 April 2019)

 

Howling Black Soul – Same (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgBased out of Essex, UK, Howling Black Soul are a powerhouse trio like they used to do. ‘Free’ meets ‘Black Sabbath’ with a 1972 valve amp thrown in for good measure.

”Howling Black Soul initially sprang from a shared obsession for bands such as Led Zeppelin, Free, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and other late 60’s/early 70’s music and the dark art of the blues specialists. They felt that this type of music was not being produced any more so decided to do something about it. Their sound is steeped in blues and maintains that retro groove of the late 60s/early 70s; however, they have managed to put their own spin on this classic genre and remain current offering something new. ”

Outstanding heavy blues rock with just a touch of doom! I haven’t enjoyed listening to a hard blues rock album since the first Led Zeppelin album. And with more hooks than a fish hook factory.Great blues-rock! Favorite track: Soul to lay. (Jonathan)

If you want and look for a band that give you high energy to wake up…you must buy this album!!! Favorite track: Soul to lay. (Tidou)

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Think gnarly, dirty blues coming from a smoke filled sleazy bar in the 70’s underground. 😉 Favorite track: See the Light. (Soshanna)

Another gem unearthed by Charles Dickerson.This has the ingredients of all of the great bands that influenced me during the 70’s such as Black Sabbath, Free, Bad Company, and Led Zep. (Howls Of Anguish)

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Personnel:
Dario Gibelli (guitar, vocals)
Dave Collins (bass)
Lee Gibbs (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Soul To Lay 3.24
02. Full Of Desire 3.54
03. Myself 3.16
04. Darlin’ You 4.45
05. See The Light 3.13
06. Shoot You Down 4.02
07. Brand New Soul 3.26
08. Another Dawn 2.52
09. Roll Out Your Head 4.19

All songs written by Howling Black Soul

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Various Artists – A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors – Light My Fire (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgSouthern California-based Purple Pyramid Records and producer, instrumentalist Billy Sherwood raised the bar with this tribute to The Doors by convening a star-studded cast, featuring classic rockers performing with progressive rock luminaries. And the jazz contingent is onboard, evidenced by jazz guitar great Larry Coryell appearing with Focus keyboardist Thijs Van Leer on “Love Me Two Times.”

When I first broke the seal on this recording and perused the personnel listing I was delighted yet partly suspicious, fearing this would be an unbalanced project and/or a riffing contest framed on The Doors songbook. Such is not the case. Thus, Todd Rundgren performing alongside Captain Beeheart Magic Band guitarist Zoot Horn Rollo and Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes signify one of many rather unlikely, yet markedly productive and enticing state of affairs. It’s a varied set, where all the vocalists retain their signature chops and modus operandi. Although one unremitting factor is centered on their penchant for extracting the force-field of The Doors’ vocalist Jim Morrison’s commanding delivery.

The production’s stunning sound quality yields additional bonus points and should warm the hearts of audiophiles. Ultimately, each rendition of The Doors’ songbook is imbued with the musicians’ idiosyncratic niceties amid a plethora of shrewdly placed dynamics, layered keys and guitar shadings. They inject distinct characteristics but don’t sacrifice The Doors’ core song-forms. Hence, disparate musical personalities uncannily attain an accord on many fronts by imparting a sense of ownership and camaraderie, whether or not they were recording tracks in the same studio at the same time.

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It’s easy to discern that Sherwood and associates maximized the talents and style of each artist’s strengths, juxtaposed by strong soloing spots and the obligatory personal touches that many of us would anticipate. Van Leer helps give “Love Me Two Times ” a modern uplift by instilling some good old Hammond-B3 organ style boogie rock, abetted by Coryell’s Texas blues patterns and hard rock phrasings. Moreover, guitar hero Leslie West (Mountain) does what he does best via his emphatically thick vocals, coupled with sinuous slide guitar leads atop Rod Piazza’s harmonica notes, as they punch it out on this husky finger-snapping spin on “Roadhouse Blues.”

Tony Kaye (Yes) uses a synth emulated electric piano sound during “Riders On The Storm” and Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) preludes “People Are Strange” with stride piano clusters and synths alongside time-honored session ace, guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter’s deft acoustic guitar work. Yet rockabilly vocalist Robert Gordon croons through “Touch Me” with the resonance and machismo of Morrison, complemented by pumping rhythms and Nik Turner’s (Hawkwind) swirling sax notes and prog rock keyboard great Jordan Rudess’ spiraling notes. Whereas, Rundgren tenders a pop-ish and clement outlook on The Doors’ swaggering and bluesy torch piece “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar).

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Highlights are thriving components, especially when infamous Yes alumni, guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Rick Wakeman delve into an extended call and response motif, spanning rock, jazz and classical nuances in the bridge section of “Light My Fire.” Here, Ian Gillan provides the antithesis of what we’d expect, considering his high-impact vocals with Deep Purple, as he counterbalances the soloists with a care-free and straightforward rendering of the familiar choruses. Indeed, this tribute endeavor covers all the bases and then some. It’s not to be overlooked. Kudos to the production team for bestowing their rather enlightening plan of attack as it’s quite apparent that a lot of thought prefaced the onset of this astonishing alignment of rock’s past and present rock stars. (by Glen Astarita)

First off readers let me say that I do not like cover bands, cover albums, tribute albums and compilation albums. I have always felt they should be considered a separate genre and that they usually do a disservice to the original composers and bands. After listening to “A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors” though I am rethinking those thoughts. It is hard to cover every song here, there are 16 of their greatest hits, so I will try to give an over view of what I think is important. I will leave the final decision up to you as to how good it really is after you listen to it.

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I was fortunate enough to see ‘The Doors’, 3 times, once at Cobo Hall in Detroit. They were a very unassuming band with almost no equipment. They used no special effects, fireworks, light shows or anything other than themselves, a few instruments and only a couple amps and speakers. The stage was pretty empty even by the standards of the 1960’s. What they lacked in equipment they made up by how tight and cohesive they were as a group when they were all in sync with each other and halfway sober. Jim Morrison usually took all eyes off the other 3 members but make no mistake that without them Jim Morrison would probably have become another undiscovered rock star.

Several of the guests on this album most likely knew ‘The Doors’ back in the day and are by all rights are ‘Superstars’ themselves. More than 42 of rock’s greatest classic ‘Superstars’ showed up to play on this album. That’s a lot of “tribute” to any person or group and shows the love and respect they all had for ‘The Doors’ and their music. By my count there are at least 7 tribute albums out there for ‘The Doors’ but from where I sit this is probably the only one that should matter.

The album starts off with one of my favorites, ‘LA Woman’. From their 6th, album released in 1971, ‘LA Woman’. Jami Jamison, Ted Turner and Patrick Moraz do an admirable job of covering this tune. The guitar work, Ted Turner I am assuming, gives an old favorite a different twist.

I could go into much more detail on more songs off this album but since space is limited I will just give some observations here. This is certainly an album to help introduce anyone who has never heard ‘The Doors’ before to their greatness. After listening to it I guarantee they will hunger for the original music just to hear who these 4 guys, who cut out a slice of rock history for themselves, really were.

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The guitar work on every song is clean, precise and shredded, something that Robby Kriegers “fingerstyle” guitar playing did not allow him to do. Not that Robby Krieger wasn’t great, he was just not as technical since “fingerstyle“ playing is better suited to Flamenco and Folk Music. It’s probably the most notable difference in all of the tunes here.

Conspicuous by its absence here though is ‘The Unknown Soldier’ which could have easily replaced the version of ‘People Are Strange’ with David Johansen and Billy Sherwood. This is the only song I really felt did not belong among the 16 cuts on this album.

The closing song is my all time favorite and appropriately is, ‘The End’, featuring Pat Travers and Jimmy Greenspoon. Listening to this version gave me goose bumps and almost brought tears to my eyes. The depth is so different but not nearly as dark as the original. I think you’ll find yourself listening to it over and over again! (Mike Langford)

One of the finest tribute albums ever !

Biggest

Personnel:

Jimi Jamison: vocals (1); Patrick Moraz: keyboards (1); Ted Turner: guitars (1); Scott Connor: drums (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16); Billy Sherwood: bass (all tracks), guitar, piano, synths (8), drums, keyboards (12); Lou Gramm: vocals (2); Thijs Van Leer: keyboards (2); Larry Coryell: guitar (2); Leslie West: guitar, vocals (3); Brian Augur: Hammond B-3 organ (3); Rod Piazza: harmonica (3); Mark Stein: vocals, Hammond B-3 organ (4); Mick Box: guitar (4); Joe Lynn Turner: vocals (5); Tony Kaye: Hammond B-3 organ (5); Steve Cropper: guitar (5); Edgar Winter: vocals (6); Chris Spedding: guitar (6); Keith Emerson: acoustic 7 ft. grand piano and original Moog, modular synthesizer (7); Jeff “Skunk” Baxter: acoustic guitar (7); Joel Druckman: acoustic upright bass (7); David Johansen: vocals (8); Robert Gordon: vocals (9); Jordan Rudess: keyboards (9); Steve Morse: guitar (9); Nik Turner: saxophone (9); Adam Hamilton: drums (9); Graham Bonnet: vocals (10); Christopher North: Hammond organ & Leslie (10); Steve Hillage: guitar (10); Ken Hensley: vocals, Hammond B-3 organ (11); Roye Albrighton: guitar (11); Eric Martin: vocals (12); Elliot Easton: lead and Spanish guitars (12); Todd Rundgren: vocals (13); Geoff Downes: keyboards (13); Zoot Horn Rollo: guitars (13); Mark Farner: vocals, guitar (14); Chick Churchill: keyboards (14); Glenn Grossman: drums (14); Ian Gillian: vocal (15); Rick Wakeman: keyboards (15); Steve Howe: guitar (15); Ricky Joyce: drums (15); Pat Travers: vocals, guitar (16); Jimmy Greenspan: keyboards (16).

For details see booklet

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Tracklist:
01. Jimi Jamison, Ted Turner, Patrick Moraz: L.A. Woman 7.28
02. Lou Gramm, Thijs van Leer, Larry Coryell: Love Me Two Times 3.21
03. Leslie West, Brian Auger, Rod Piazza: Roadhouse Blues 4.06
04. Mark Stein, Mick Box: Love Her Madly 3.26
05. Joe Lynn Turner, Tony Kaye, Steve Cropper: Riders On The Storm 6.19
06. Edgar Winter, Chris Spedding: The Crystal Ship 2.44
07. Keith Emerson, Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter, Joel Druckman: Intro (People Are Strange) 3.58
08. David Johansen, Billy Sherwood: People Are Strange 2.21
09. Robert Gordon, Jordan Rudess, Steve Morse, Nik Turner: Touch Me 3.49
10. Graham Bonnet, Christopher North, Steve Hillage: The Soft Parade 8.04
11. Ken Hensley, Roye Albrighton: Hello, I Love You 2.39
12. Eric Martin, Elliot Easton: Spanish Caravan 2.54
13. Todd Rundgren, Geoff Downes, Wake: Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar) 3.26
14. Mark Farner, Chick Churchill: Break On Through (To the Other Side) 2.51
15. Ian Gillan, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe: Light My Fire 7.00
16. Pat Travers, Jimmy Greenspoon: The End 11.23

All songs written by Jim Morrison – John Densmore – Ray Manzarek – Robby Krieger
except:
06.: written by Jim Morrison &
13.: written by Kurt Weil – Bertolt Brecht

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