Charles Lloyd – Wild Man Dance Suite (live at The Temple of Dendur, New York) (2015)

FrontCover1.jpgCharles Lloyd (born March 15, 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American jazz musician. Though he primarily plays tenor saxophone and flute, he has occasionally recorded on other reed instruments, including alto saxophone and the Hungarian tárogató.

Mr. Lloyd has been a notable solo artist in jazz for some 50 years, though his track record hardly suggests an unbroken line. He found fame in the latter half of the 1960s, selling more than a million copies of the album “Forest Flower” and becoming the first jazz artist to headline the Fillmore Auditorium. Then, at the height of his prominence in the early ’70s, he retreated into meditative seclusion in Big Sur, Calif. (The arc of his career forms the subject of “Arrows Into Infinity,” a recent documentary film directed by his wife and manager, Dorothy Darr, and the producer Jeffery Morse.)

Mr. Lloyd’s major resurgence as a jazz artist came about in the ’80s, with a series of tours and albums that includes the only other Blue. (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)

In April 2015 he released a live Album, called “Wild Man Dance” (on Blue Note again) and it was original recorded in 2013:

Response was generally positive, with AllMusic calling it “a success on virtually every level.” All About Jazz noted that “While plenty of musicians tend to slow down as they get older, the opposite seems to be happening with this septuagenarian”, and said it “is every bit as magical as the best of Lloyd’s output.”[3] The Los Angeles Times stated “Here the dulcimer-like Hungarian cimbalom and the bowed lyra color the open-ended framework of a six-part suit (by wikipedia)

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And here´s another live version of this Suite … rerded live in 2015 to promote the original album.

Wild Man Dance Suite is a sweeping new masterpiece from Charles Lloyd. Blending traditional jazz elements with visceral sounds and textures from antiquity, Lloyd has created something altogether new and exciting. Composed for a quartet of piano, bass, and drums, with the addition of Greek lyra and the Hungarian gypsy cimbalom, the ensemble performs the six movements of the suite like a flowing orchestral unit. (metmuseum.org)

Charles Lloyd turned 80 on March 15.

Thanks to Lewojazz for sharing the HDTV webcast at Dime.

Recorded live at The Temple of Dendur, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; April 18, 2015. Very good audio (ripped from HDTV webcast).

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Personnel:
Eric Harland (drums)
Charles Lloyd (saxophone, flute, tarogato)
Miklós Lukács (cymbalom)

Jason Moran (piano)
Joe Sanders (bass)
Sokratis Sinopoulos (greek Lyra)

 

 

Wild Man Dance Suite:
Part 5 Rumination – Flying Over The Odra Valley
Gardener – Lark – The River – Invitation – Wild Man Dance

 

Tracklist:
01. Part A 16.42
02. Part B 8.08
03. Part C 10.19
04. Part D 8.42
05. Part E 15.08
06. Part F 9.59
07. Part G 7.15
08. Part H 6.06
09. Part I 11.48
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10. Video version 1.34.22

Music composed by Charles LLoyd

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Arvo Part – Cardiff (Adam’s Lament + Stabat Mater) (2015)

Front+BackCover1Arvo Pärt (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈɑrvo ˈpært]; born 11 September 1935) is an Estonian composer of classical and religious music. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs his self-invented compositional technique, tintinnabuli. Pärt’s music is in part inspired by Gregorian chant. His most performed works include Fratres (1977), Spiegel im Spiegel (1978), and Für Alina (1976). Since 2010 Pärt has been the most performed living composer in the world. (by wikipedia)

Unlike [Arvo Part’s] Magnificat, the tragic musical content [of Stabat Mater] is justified through the text that describes the grieving state of Mary at the cross. In this piece, the idea of the connection of time and timelessness is much clearer than in the Magnificat. The piece is filled with minimalist influences and also contains several unmistakable references to the Gothic period, that is, the use of rhythmic modes and strict adherence to the aeolian mode. These two works also are based almost completely on the tintinnabulation technique. (arvopart.org)

Recorded live at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Wales; May 23, 2015. Very good BBC radio broadcast.

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Personnel:
Eesti Filharmoonia Kammerkoor
Tallinna Kammerorkester

Conductor: Kristjan Järvi

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Tracklist:
01. Adam’s Lament – Part A 14.16
02. Adam’s Lament – Part B 12.24
03. Announcer 0.07
04. Stabat Mater – Part A 8.42
05. Stabat Mater – Part B 10.17
06. Stabat Mater – Part C 10.19

Music composed by Arvo Part

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The Tallinna Kammerorkester (Estonia)

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Steve Hackett – Wolflight (2015)

FrontCover1.jpgThe concept of this album is about the relation between human and the Wolf. Also important is the hours before dawn, because it’s the time that the wolf are hunting and that Steve Hackett like to write his songs. It’s a unique time to let things comes naturally without any distractions. Steve has met some real wolves and played with them even if the cover could look digitally made. Now for the music, there’s enough variations from one song to the other to have a good time listening the whole album all the way through. There is also many variations possible with the guitar that can be used to make percussive sounds. There’s some classical sounds, flamenco and naturally some more heavy rock passages. So there is a contrast in the music with some dark ambiances and lighter atmosphere. The use of harmonica gives another color to the music. The world music sounds makes you travel in a foreign country. The choir harmonies are developed and Steve who never was the best vocalist did not push his voice too much here with better results.

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“Love songs to a Vampire” feature Chris Squire on bass and after a peaceful intro has many mood changes. “The Wheel’s turning” put you in the amusement park’s ambiance and remind me of music from his first albums. The excellent “Corycian Fire” has a world music atmosphere with world music instruments. “Black Thunder” is another great track with dark atmosphere and some nice drums and bass. There is also some interlude pieces and some less memorable songs that complete the picture of this enjoyable album. (by rdtprog)

The sweeping success of Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited II project clearly had a direct impact on his first solo album in four years — and the result live up to those lofty aspirations.

First, Wolflight had to be recorded in the moments in between shows, and that seems to have dilated Hackett’s fertile imagination. The album represents some of the best developed, most intricately conveyed work of his lengthy solo career. Second, he has returned to more Genesis-like lengths of time (the deeply involving title track, “Love Song To A Vampire”) to let those narratives unfold. Re-engaging with songs from that classic 1971-77 era in such a deep and profound way seems to have convinced Steve Hackett once more than he has a license to similar kinds of long-form thoughts.

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Lastly, and this may be the most interesting part of all on Wolflight, that lengthy period of introspection and remembrance sparked some very real leaps forward in the way Steve Hackett constructs musical settings. He’s using orchestrations here (“Wolflight,” “Corycian Fire,” “Black Thunder”) as if he’d only just discovered them. They move well outside of the expected atmospherics with arrangements that often take center stage, unfolding with a musculature and power typically reserved for the rock bands standing in front of those wailing strings. The use of soaring polyphonic vocals adds striking new textures, as well.

That combines to gird what may be Steve Hackett’s most fully realized album yet, and certainly — after the solo-career re-capitulation that was 2011’s Beyond the Shrouded Horizon — one of his bravest. Combined with Genesis Revisited II, Hackett emerges from a reminiscent period reach to charge forward to the far horizons of his own restless muse.

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He boldly explores a variety of world- and ancient-music elements, from the tar (an age-old lute-like instrument) on “Wolflight” and the duduk on “Corycian Fire,” to the turbulent rhythms of “Dust And Dreams.” At the same time, Wolflight — and this is what brings you back to its amazing complexities, time and again — never edges off into the academic. There’s a fizzy sense of joy (“The Wheel’s Turning,” “Heart Song”) that was missing amidst the devastating sadness that surrounded the heartbreaking 2009’s Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth, and a series of audacious moves scarcely hinted at over Steve Hackett’s last two studio efforts.

While a theme on the struggle toward freedom seems to run throughout, Steve Hackett’s Wolflight also takes time to celebrate that freedom. That, too, mirrors his time with — and now without — the Genesis Revisited project and the lengthy tour that followed. This is the sound of an artist who’s taken a loving look back, only to realize he still has room to grow. (Nick DeRiso)

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Personnel:
Nick Beggs (bass, chapman stick on 08.)
Steve Hackett (guitar, vocals banjo, oud, tiple, harmonica, percussion)
Roger King (keyboards, programming)
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Hugo Degenhardt (drums on 09. + 10.)
Jo Hackett (vocals on 04.)
Sara Kovács (didgeridoo on 02.)
Amanda Lehmann (vocals on 02. – 04. + 08.)
Malik Mansurov (tar on 02.)
Gary O’Toole (drums on 01. – 05. + 08.)
Chris Squire (bass on 03.)
Christine Townsend (violin, viola on 01. – 04. + 08.)
Rob Townsend (saxophone on 04. + 08., duduk on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Out Of The Body (S.Hackett) 2.29
02. Wolflight (S. Hackett/J.Hackett) 8.00
03. Love Song To A Vampire (S.Hackett) 9.18
04. The Wheel’s Turning (S. Hackett/J.Hackett/King) 7.24
05. Corycian Fire (S. Hackett/J. Hackett/King) 5.47
06. Earthshine (S.Hackett) 3.20
07. Loving Sea (S. Hackett/J. Hackett) 3.23
08. Black Thunder (S. Hackett/J. Hackett) 7.33
09. Dust And Dreams (S. Hackett/King) 5.33
10. Heart Song (S.Hackett) 2.51

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Thanks to greygoose and Bludgeon for the inspiration !

And here´s the offical videoclip of “Wolflight”

 

John Pizzarelli – Midnight McCartney (2015)

FrontCover1Paul McCartney had a great idea for an album. He just needed John Pizzarelli to make it. On September 11th, Concord Records will release Midnight McCartney. I got an idea in my head, McCartney wrote to Pizzarelli in late May 2014. “It might be interesting for you and Bucky to do a few of my songs that are lesser known than some of the others. I realize this may be a little immodest, if not pushy. I imagine the songs would include post-Beatles melodies of mine like ‘Love in the Open Air’ (from the soundtrack to 1967 film The Family Way), ‘Junk,’ ‘Warm and Beautiful’ and, possibly, ‘My Valentine.'”

“My Valentine” was the one McCartney composition on his album of songs from the ’30s and ’40s, Kisses on the Bottom (MPL/Hear Music/Concord). Pizzarelli played guitar on the album and backed Sir Paul on a handful of prestigious live performances, including the GRAMMY Awards, MusiCares Person of the Year gala and the initial iTunes/Apple TV live broadcast. McCartney concluded in his letter, “The attraction for me is lesser-known tunes done in a mellow jazz style and, if it gets some traction, maybe the album could be titled Midnight McCartney. As I said, this may tickle your fancy or you may decide these are the ramblings of a deranged composer with too much time on his hands.”

To say John Pizzarelli was tickled is putting it mildly. Pizzarelli, his wife Jessica Molaskey co-producer of Midnight McCartney – and pianist Larry Goldings immediately went into research mode, digging through McCartney’s albums of the last 45-plus years to find songs that could be re-harmonized and adapted for Pizzarelli’s trademark style. The beauty of the project was having a lot of time to sit and listen to these things and make sure it was right, Pizzarelli says. “There were a lot of things we had never done before a lot of background vocals, additional horns and handclaps. That really made it into something.”

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And like most Pizzarelli records, it’s a family affair: wife Jessica Molaskey co-produced the album and provides background vocals; John’s father Bucky adds rhythm guitar on several tracks and a stunning solo on “Junk”; brother Martin is on bass throughout; and teenage daughter Madeline got into the act, transcribing “Warm and Beautiful” for her father to sing in a different key. “We’re McCartney fans and this is our way of letting people know these are good songs”, he says. “It’s a take on the songs within a style we’re comfortable with. If one became a hit, we’d be fine with playing it for the next 20 years.”(Editorial Reviews, amazon.com)

John Pizzarelli lays it all out in the title of his 2015 album: this tribute to Paul McCartney is designed for play in the smoky late-night hours, when everything turns sweet and mellow. Furthermore, this is a tribute to McCartney, not the Beatles. There isn’t a Fab song to be found here, as Pizzarelli focuses entirely on Paul’s solo work (for these intents and purposes, this includes Wings records), concentrating on the ’70s but also sliding McCartney’s Great American Songbook wannabe “My Valentine” into the mix.

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Pizzarelli digs up a few other obscurities — the early Wings song “Some People Never Know,” the Speed of Sound deep cut “Warm and Beautiful” — and he also plays around with expectations, making “Let ‘Em In” swing like mad and relaxing “Hi Hi Hi” so it doesn’t rock, it grooves. He also invites Michael McDonald to sing on “Coming Up,” which swaggers like Sinatra in Vegas, but for as delightful as that is, the key to the record’s success is Pizzarelli himself, who delivers upon the laid-back promise of the title but is savvier than he needed to be, which is why Midnight McCartney satisfies. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Booklet1

Personnel:
Harry Allen (saxophone)
Hélio Alves (piano)
Chris Cardona (viola)
Duduka Dafonseca (drums, percussion)
Katherine Fink f(lute)
Andy Fusco (saxophone)
Larry Goldings (keyboards)
Tony Kadleck )trumpet)
Kevin Kanner (drums)
Michael McDonald (vocals on 04.)
John Mosca (trombone)
Mairi Dorman Phaneuf (cello)
Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar)
John Pizzarelli (guitar, vocals)
Martin Pizzarelli (bass)
Pamela Sklar (flute)
Paul Woodiel (violin)
Robin Zeh (violin)
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background vocals:
Jessica Molaskey – Madeleine Pizzarelli
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Don Sebesky: Orchestration

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Tracklist:
01. Silly Love Songs (L.McCartney/P.McCartney) 3.5
02. My Love (L.McCartney/P.McCartney) 4.25
03. Heart Of The Country (L.McCartney/P.McCartney) 3.11
04. Coming Up (P.McCartney) 3.56
05. No More Lonely Nights (P.McCartney) 5.07
06. Warm And Beautiful (L.McCartney/P.McCartney) 3.33
07. Hi, Hi, Hi (L.McCartney/P.McCartney) 3:52
08. Junk Paul (P.McCartney) 3.37
09. My Valentine (P.McCartney) 3.39
10. Let ‘Em In Linda (L.McCartney/P.McCartney) 2:53
11. Some People Never Know (L.McCartney/P.McCartney) 3.23
12. Maybe I’m Amazed (P.McCartney) 4.00
13. Wonderful Christmastime (P.McCartney) 4.17

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Echoes Of Swing – Dancing (2015)

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Swing is not dead, infact it never left us. This is a real treat for intent music listeners. In the music of Avant-Garde jazzers such as Lester Bowie or Dave Douglas, one is facinated not only by their moderness, but also by their parallel respect & affection for the history of jazz. With the German-English-American quartet ‘Echoes of Swing’ there appears here to be a musical situation going in the opposite direction. As the band name gives away, Swing is the basis of their music. From there, the four of them travel along a winding path of musical mysteries, some of which Swing helped to form. And where the acoustic footprints have left their mark in such a productive way as here, it would be absurd to talk about music that belongs in a museum or locked up in some collection. …hard to believe but this music, with ingenious arrangements, performed ‘en passant’, elegant, inspired, has all the qualities to keep the jazz fans of not only yesterday content, but also of the jazz fans of tomorrow. (Tom. R. Schulz)

EchoesOfSwing01This extraordinary band take earlier forms of jazz and do radical things to them. It’s not done to mock or parody them in any way, but to coax out hidden delights and add a few of their own. It’s witty and stimulating, and it depends on the superb musicianship of just four players – their pinpoint accuracy of timing and tonal delicacy, not to mention originality and sheer instrumental technique. I know of nothing else quite like it. (The Guardian)

>Another outstanding album from this versatile and creative group: The excellent and detailed arrangements are performed with meticulous skill, infused with intense collective flair, making the quartet sound much bigger. With ist intriguing fresh-spin approach to the vintage jazz legacy and high standard of performance, this international quartet deserves high praise and widespread recognition. (Jazz Journal International)

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Personnel:
Colin T. Dawson (trumpet, vocals)
Chris Hopkins (saxophone)
Bernd Lhotzky (celesta, piano)
Oliver Mewes (drums)

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Tracklist:
01 Hipsters Hop (Hopkins) 4.10
02. Gavotte I, English Suite No. 6 (BWV 811) (Bach) 3.00
03. CharlestonJames P. Johnson / Cecil Mack 3:42
04. Dream Dancing (Porter) 4:38
05. Diplomata (Vianna, Jr. (aka Pixinguinha) 3.0
06. Lion’s Steps (Lhotzky) 4:00
07. Ballet Of The Dunes (Hopkins) 4:58
08. All You Want To Is Dance (Johnston/Burke) 2:38
09. Sandancer (Dawson) 3:03
10. Carioca (Youmans/Eliscu/Kahn) 3:36
11. Premier Bal (Bechet/Dimey) 4:08
12. Ragtime Dance (Joplin) 4:05
13. Moonlight Serenade (Miller/Parish) 4:40
14. Salir a la Luz (Lhotzky) 4:13
15. Original Dixieland One Step (Jordan/LaRocca/Crandall/Robinson) 3.10
16. Dancing On The Ceiling (Rodgers/Hart) 3.45

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Roscoe Mitchell Quartet – Celebrating Fred Anderson (2015)

FrontCover1Chicago saxophone icon Fred Anderson died in 2010 and since then his birthday has been celebrated by friends, admirers and colleagues. For the 2015 event saxophonist/composer Roscoe Mitchell assembled a quartet for a tribute. The quartet is completed by cellist Tomeka Reid, bassist Junius Paul and drummer Vincent Davis. Mitchell prepared four original pieces and adaptations of two Fred Anderson compositions, Bernice and Ladies in Love. The concert was presented at Constellation in Chicago on March 27, 2015.

This concert, recorded live this year at a Chicago club, celebrates the 2010 death of Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson. Unlike colleagues in the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Anderson stayed close to home most of the time through his productive life, owned, operating and playing in the Velvet Lounge. At different times, his combo included AACM luminaries like trombonist George Lewis and demon drummer Hamid Drake. Every year since his death, his musical soul mates celebrate his legacy with a concert like this.

If anyone qualifies for this gig, it’s brilliant reed player group leader and composer Roscoe Mitchell, who is to jazz music what the Hungarian composer Gyorgi Ligeti (d. 2006) was to ‘classical’ music, an artist of resolutely modernist bent who has always quested for new ways to express himself. This new album is one of Mitchell’s more adventuresome outings.

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Thus, for the jazz novice, it is also one of his less accessible. It’s good, as almost anything Mitchell does is good. But it’s not easy to get into unless you’re already used to Mitchell’s innovations, which include the use of tone rows (Mitchell’s theme statement on “Cermak Road,” the final cut on the album, could have been written by Webern or Berg, except for the churning turmoil of rhythm underpinning it) and long passages of non-stop sax playing made possible by circular breathing. Mitchell’s associates on the album include Vincent Davis, a fiery drummer who has played with him fro a while, and newcomers Tomeka Reid on cello and Junius Paul on bass. Reid and Paul play their instruments with equal facility bowed and plucked. One of Mitchell’s compositions, “The Velvet Lounge,” is an extended solo outing for cellist Reid, playing arco: drummer Davis joins her halfway through and Paul on bass helps them wrap the piece up. Of the six songs, two are by Anderson, the other four Mitchell’s.

Roscoe Mitchell

Some of Mitchell’s playing on this lively album clearly qualifies as jazz, though of a distinctly modern persuasion, but all of it falls under the Mitchell’s Art Ensemble of Chicago used to categorize its music: this is “Great Black Music.” If you’re not used to Mitchell’s playing, it may take you a while to tune into this music but it’s the real thing. As is Mitchell, one of the most innovative, exciting –and best– musicians still performing. (And he’s 75!) —David Keymer)

Attention please: This is Free Jazz !

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Personnel:
Vincent Davis (drums)
Roscoe Mitchell (saxophone)
Junius Paul  (bass)
Tomeka Reid (cello)

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Tracklist:
01. Song For Fred Anderson (Mitchell) 17.24
02. Bernice (Anderson) 10.40
03. The Velvet Lounge (Mitchell) 6.43
04. Hey Fred (Mitchell) 17.05
05. Ladies In Love (Anderson) 13.46
06. Cermak Road (Mitchell) 4.27

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Leslie West – Soundcheck (2015)

FrontCover1Soundcheck is the sixteenth solo album by legendary rock guitarist Leslie West. It follows 2011’s critically acclaimed Unusual Suspects, which featured contributions from such accomplished guitarists and close friends as Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Steve Lukather and Joe Bonamassa, and 2013’s Still Climbing, which included blistering duets with the late, great Johnny Winter, Jonny Lang and Mark Tremonti.

For this new release, Leslie lays down some of his most inspired musical magic to date with the assistance of true rock royalty: the renown British guitarists Peter Frampton and Brian May, ex-Jeff Beck keyboard virtuoso Max Middleton, vocalist extraordinaire Bonnie Bramlett and the late great Cream bassist and longtime friend of Leslie’s, Jack Bruce. Back in 1972, Leslie made musical history with Jack when they joined forces to form the super group West, Bruce and Laing. Soundcheck is co-produced and engineered by West’s collaborator Mike “Metal” Goldberg, who he shared, “helped me get my sound down on ‘Tape’ as they used to say, and did an amazing job as he always does.”

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Leslie West (born Leslie Weinstein, October 22, 1945) first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 as the guitarist and singer in the groundbreaking rock band Mountain. West’s wholly unique sound, distinguished by beautifully melodic phrasing, his slow, wide vibrato, and a crushing guitar tone set the standard in the late sixties and early seventies for blues/rock guitar playing of the highest order. Along with the hugely influential Top Ten hit “Mississippi Queen,” Leslie’s brilliant guitar work serves as the driving force behind the Mountain classics, “Nantucket Sleighride,” “Never In My Life,” “Don’t Look Around,” “Blood of the Sun,” “Dreams of Milk and Honey,” and the incredible Jack Bruce composition, “Theme For an Imaginary Western.”

That one-of-a-kind signature guitar sound propels Soundcheck throughout, evidenced by such powerful tracks as, “Left By The Roadside to Die,” “Here For the Party,” “Empty Promises–Nothing Sacred,” “Going Down,” “Spoonful,” “A Stern Warning” and five other Leslie West03stellar songs. “I wanted to surprise myself with this record,” Leslie discloses. “On that very first track, ‘Left By The Roadside to Die,’ I initially played the synthesizer part on the guitar, but I thought it would be really cool to start the record with a sound other than the guitar. I decided to have my keyboard player David Biglin come in and re-do it with the synth. That synth part provides a great groove, which enables me to first come in with the acoustic guitar and then bring in the heavier electric guitars right at the second verse. Another twist is that I add some acoustic slide guitar on the track, with the guitar in a really unusual open D tuning. All of the strings are tuned to either a D or an A note-no thirds in any of the chords.” For the solo, Leslie lays down a blistering slide guitar solo that burns with the power and precision that has earned him the respect and admiration of multiple generations of guitar players.

Included among Leslie’s many fans and disciples are six-string luminaries such as Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, John McLaughlin, Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre, Warren Haynes, and Richie Blackmore of Deep Purple. Blackmore has stated that Leslie’s phenomenal playing on “Mississippi Queen” served to redirect the course of Deep Purple’s music in an instant, ultimately resulting in the brutal hard rock intensity displayed on Deep Purple In Rock. “I’ve always really loved Leslie West’s playing,” says Blackmore. “I remember being in a place in Germany, and Ian[Paice, DP drummer] and I were out drinking together. In those days, you could go to a club and listen to the new records in their entirety that had just come out. Paice and I heard, ‘Mississippi Queen,’ and we both went white! We were thinking, ‘Who the hell is that?!’ It had such a big sound! For three guys, it was incredibly heavy. And Leslie’s vibrato is just great. Hearing Mountain directly influenced the direction of the Purple, and you can hear that influence on what was to become our next record, [1970’s], In Rock. At the time, we were trying to find our way as a band, some sort of ‘category.’ Jon [Lord, the late DP keyboardist] was into the classical stuff, and, although I love classical music, I wanted to follow up the Deep Purple album, the last one with the original line-up, with something much heavier, out-and-out rock. And that’s how In Rock came about.”

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For Martin Barre, meeting Leslie in 1970 served to inspire the writing and playing on Jethro Tull’s most successful album in the band’s history, Aqualung. “Prior to going into the studio to record [1971’s] Aqualung, I met Leslie, whose playing I absolutely loved,” Barre reveals. “Leslie is well known for his association with Les Paul Juniors, and just after meeting him, I picked up a 1958 Junior because his sound was so incredible. I would say that he’s the only guitarist who has ever influenced me directly.”

Leslie was also influential in the development of the music for The Who’s masterpiece, Who’s Next. In early 1971, he was invited to record with the Who for the band’s initial NYC Record Plant sessions for the album, which sparked a close friendship with The Who’s leader, Pete Townshend. Says Pete, “Leslie gave me a really great Les Paul Junior with one pickup on it for me to use on Who’s Next, and Eric Clapton gave me an old Strat. They both gave me really good instruments and I still have those instruments today. Along with my Gretsch Chet Atkins, those three guitars were the only ones I used on Who’s Next.”

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Another fan of Leslie’s was none other than Jimi Hendrix, with whom Leslie jammed at famed NYC clubs like Ungano’s and elsewhere. “I first met Jimi while I was recording Climbing! at the Record Plant and he was in another room mixing Band of Gypsys,” Leslie recalls. “Jimi came in and after hearing the first track, ‘Never in My Life’ he looked over at me and said, ‘That’s a great riff, man.’ I started shaking! There’s a great picture of us playing together at Ungano’s, and Jimi’s playing Felix [Pappalardi’s] bass. Getting to know and play with Hendrix is one of my greatest life experiences.”

Closing out his new album “Soundcheck”, is a treasure for all longtime fans of Leslie West: a live version of Willie Dixon’s, “Spoonful,” recorded with Jack Bruce on bass and vocals and Joe Franco on drums, played in the classic Cream style as captured on 1968’s Wheels of Fire. “Back in 1988, I recorded an album called, Theme, which featured Jack on bass. We recorded at Millbrook in upstate New York, and the owner of The Chance in Poughkeepsie called and asked if we wanted to come over and do a set there, with no advertising, no nothing. Jack was into it, and the engineer at Millbrook, Paul Orofino, came with us and recorded the gig with a small portable stereo machine. “After hearing of Jack’s passing, we edited it down from its original length and decided it would be great to include on the record. As you can hear, I was trying to reincarnate myself into Eric Clapton! The first time I listened to Jack’s voice and the tone of his bass on the recording, I had tears in my eyes. I loved Jack so much.”

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Leslie is looking to close out 2015 and kick off 2016 with major touring in the states and in Europe, performing a combination of his time-honored classics plus the material from Soundcheck. “I’m so happy with the sound of this new record,” Leslie affirms. “The guitar sound we captured is fantastic, and my voice is feeling better than ever.” (by bluesmagazine.nl)

What a hell of a record … another hightlight in the long career of the one and only … Leslie West !

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Personnel:
Dave Biglin (keyboards, guitar on 04. + 09., strings on 04.)
Mike “Metal” Goldberg (drums, percussion)
Rev Jones (bass)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)
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Bonnie Bramlett (vocals on 08.)
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals on 11.)
Elaine Caswell (background vocals on 05.)
Martin Ditcham (drums on 08.)
Peter Frampton (guitar on 04.)
Joe Franco (drums on 11.)
David Hood (bass on 08.)
Brian May (guitar on 08.)
Max Middleton (piano on 08.)
Ariela Pizza (vocals on 09.)
Bobby Whitlock (organ on 08.)

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Tracklist:
01. Left By The Roadside To Die (J.West/L.West) 4.08
02. Give Me One Reason (Chapman) 4.04
03. Here For The Party (Kenny/Wilson/Rich) 4.00
04. You Are My Sunshine (Davis) 3.49
05. Empty Promises / Nothin’ Sacred (J.West/L.West) 3.46
06. A Stern Warning (L.West) 4.15
07. People Get Ready (Mayfield/Kahne/Miller) 3.08
08. Going Down (Nix) 4.16
09. Stand By Me (King/Leiber/Stoller) 2.56
10. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 1.35
11. Spoonful (Dixon) 8.16 (*)

(*) Recorded live at The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY in 1988.

CD1

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I include a very intensive interview, not only about this album, but about his career … including really crazy stories about Noel Redding, who played with Leslie for a year.