Guido Toffoletti´s Blues Society – Ways Back (1987)

FrontCover1Unfortunatly I can´t speak or read the Italian language, and because I found only information about in Italian Website … I can´t give you many informations about Guido Toffoletti.
He was born in 1951 Venice and 15 years later he “run away from his Venice home in search of a tumultuous myth: The music world.

In Milan, he got to know Kim Brown from England and his group “The Renegades”. managed to get taken on as their Roadie ans was thus able to pass hours and hours admiring guitarist Mick Webley´s playing.

After various musically formative experiences, determined to make his career take a decisive turn, in 1975 he went to London where he worked as a dishwasher to make Ends meet and played in his free time.

In London het met his spiritual “father”, Alexis Korner, and thanks to him managed to find his feet in what was at the time Europe´s top blues circuit.

Toffoletti came back toItaly in 1976 with the precise aim of forming the “Blues Society”, an “open” Group of some of Italy´s top blues-men.

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As well as bearing testimony to a period from 1979 to the present day with unreleased songs, covers and alternative tracks, “Ways Back” ideally gathers round Guido all his English and Italian friends; those who helped him, loved him and in some cases let him down.” (taken from the liner notes by Guiseppe Barbieri)

And you´ll hear finest Britsh blues, recorded with musicians like Paul Jones, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Zoot Money, Mel Collins, Ian Stewart and Mick Taylor.

A forgotten jewel of the British blues music, recorded by a great guy from Italy !

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I was too lazy, to type all these informations down …

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Italian bluesman Guido Toffoletti
Born 1951 – † 22 August 1999 (Car accident injuries)

 

 

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Latin Quarter – Nothing Like Velevet (1990)

FrontCover1“This is not a “Best Of…” album. Although we have included tracks like “Radio Africa”, our main aim has been to provide songs or recordings that are not already available – and to do it in a way that shows a cross-section of our life as a band: studio recordings, bedroom demo recordings and some live recordings.

There was a temptations as we compiled the album, to go back and try and change some fo the tracks, to touch them up. But with small and easy exceptions, we’ve avoided that temptation. The bedroom demos remain the bedroom demos − cheap drum machines, microphone and all − and the live tracks … well we had a little choice. “See Him” and “Snow Blind” are exactly as they went to tape in Bochum, West Germany, sometime in February or March 1986. So yes, the voice on “Snow Blind” does only come up one side of the stereo, and no, there is no need to adjust your sets.” (taken from the original liner notes)

With three studio albums to its credit and a bona fide hit with “Radio Africa” (from Latin Quarter’s debut album, Modern Times), this politically minded worldly pop band decided to call it quits, leaving behind this compilation of oddities, rarities, unreleased demos, and re-recordings. For those looking for the hit, “Radio Africa” (album version) is here in all its splendor, but most of the remaining tracks are exclusive to this release.

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The ones that have been released elsewhere include the beautiful “The Colourscheme” (sung by Yona Dunsford), which was a B-side, and “The New Millionaires,” which is the same version as the one on their debut. Other songs from the debut (“Truth About John,” “America for Beginners,” “Toulouse”) are either in demo form or re-recordings, all equal to the passionate album versions. “See Him!,” “Snow Blind,” and “The Big Pool” are funky live tracks never released (or recorded?) in studio form. “February 1990,” “Pyramid Label,” and the title track are demos of songs never officially released.

“Dominion” is the German-language version of the “Swimming Against the Stream” album track. There are musical surprises around every corner, almost every one of them from the creative minds of vocalist/guitarist Steve Skaith and lyricist Mike Jones.

Packed with so much quality music unavailable elsewhere, this is the perfect introduction to Latin Quarter’s eclectic musical repertoire and the perfect rarities disc at the same time. Who woulda thunk it? (by Steve “Spaz” Schnee)

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Personnel:
Yona Dunsford (keyboards, vocals)
Greg Harewood (bass)
Steve Skaith (vocals, guitar)
Richard Wright (guitar)
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Darren Abraham (drums on 11., 15.)
Dave Charles (drums on 03., 09.)
Paulinho Da Costa (percussion on 07.)
Martin Ditcham (percussion on 13.)
Carol Douet (background vocals on 03., 08., 09., 11., 14. vocals on 06., 15., 16.,   percussion on 11.)
Steve Greetham (bass on 08.)
Steve Gregory (saxophone on 13.)
Steve Jeffries (keyboards on 06., 09., 14.)
Kate St John (saxophone on 04.)
Martin Lascelles (keyboards on 03., 09., 11., 15., 16.)
Ricky Stevens (drums on 06., 08., 14., 16.)
Paul Slowly (drums on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Truth About John (Recorded 1990) (Skaith) 3.41
02. Nothing Like Velvet (Demo Recording 1989) (Skaith) 3.29
03. See Him! (Live Recording 1986) (Harewood/Wright/Skaith/Dunsford) 3.56
04. February 1990 (Demo Recording 1990) (Skaith) 1.38
05. Race Me Down (Demo Recording 1988) (Skaith) 4.08
06. Toulouse (Skaith) 5.04
07. Dominion (German Lyrics) (Skaith)
08. Radio Africa (Keefe/Skaith) 3.53
09. Snow Blind (Live Recording 1986) (Keefe/Skaith) 3.41
10. The Colour Scheme (Skaith) 3.31
11. The Big Pool (Live Recording 1987) 4.24
12. It Makes My Heart Stop Speaking (Demo Recording 1988) (Skaith) 4.14
13. The New Millionaires (Jeffries/Skaith) 3.38
14. Pyramid Label (Skaith) 6.07
15. The Men Below (Skaith) 4.38
16. America For Beginners (Skaith) 8.07 (*)

All lyrics by Mike Jones
German lyrics on 07: Harry Gutowski

“See Him!” and “Snow Blind” were recorded live in Bochum, Germany 1986

 

(*) I dedicate this song to Ronald Trump !

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQXg0_3HdZM&spfreload=10

Denny Laine – Blue Nights (1994)

FrontCover1Denny Laine (born Brian Frederick Hines, 29 October 1944) is an English musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist. He was an original member of the Moody Blues, singing the band’s first hit “Go Now” in 1964, and was a member of Wings with Paul McCartney from 1971 to 1981.

Laine was born in Birmingham, where he attended Yardley Grammar School, and took up the guitar as a boy under the influence of gypsy jazz (jazz manouche) legend Django Reinhardt; he gave his first solo performance as a musician at the age of 12 and began his career as a professional musician fronting Denny Laine & the Diplomats, which also included future Move and Electric Light Orchestra drummer Bev Bevan.

In 1964, Laine left the Diplomats to join Mike Pinder in the Moody Blues and sang the group’s first big hit, “Go Now”; other early highlights included I Don’t Want To Go on Without You, another UK hit, plus two minor UK chart hits “From The Bottom of My Heart ( I Love You)”, Everyday (both written by Laine and Pinder), “Can’t Nobody Love You” and the harmonica-ripping “Bye Bye Bird” (a big hit in France).

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A self-titled EP and ‘The Magnificent Moodies’ LP on Decca followed. Laine and Pinder wrote most of The Moody Blues ‘B’ sides during the 1965-66 period, such as You Don’t (All the Time), And My Baby’s Gone and This Is My House. However, Laine’s tenure with the MB’s was relatively short-lived and, after a number of comparative chart failures,[citation needed] Laine quit the band in October 1966. The last record issued by the Moody Blues that featured Laine was “Life’s Not Life”/”He Can Win” in January 1967, just after Justin Hayward had replaced him in the band.

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Denny Laine with The Moody Blues

After leaving the Moody Blues, he formed the Electric String Band in December 1966, which featured himself on guitar and vocals, Trevor Burton (of the Move) on guitar, Viv Prince on drums and electrified strings in a format not dissimilar to what Electric Light Orchestra would later attempt. Laine made two singles, “Say You Don’t Mind”/”Ask The People” (April 1967, Deram) and “Too Much in Love”/”Catherine’s Wheel” (January 1968, Deram); and, in June 1967, the band shared a bill with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Procol Harum at the Saville Theatre in London. However, it did not achieve national attention, and the pioneering Electric String Band broke up. (There was apparently a third single recorded called “Why Did You Come?”. Why it was never released is unknown, but there have been rumors that the finished track – and probably the B side as well – was mailed to Decca and was lost.)[citation needed] Laine and Burton then went on to the band Balls from February 1969 until the band’s breakup in 1971, with both also taking time to play in Ginger Baker’s Air Force in 1970.[2]

Only one single was issued by Balls: “Fight for My Country”/”Janie, Slow Down” on UK Wizard Records. The top side was re-edited and reissued on UK Wizard and issued in the UK on Wizard and in the United States on Epic under the name of Trevor Burton; Laine and Burton shared lead vocals on the B side. The single was reissued again as B.L.W. as “Live in the Mountains” for a small Pye-distributed label, “Paladin”. Twelve tracks were recorded for a Balls album, but it has never been released. Laine’s 1967 song “Say You Don’t Mind” was a hit when recorded in 1972 by ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone.

Beispiel09Denny Laine with The Wings

In 1971, Laine joined Paul McCartney to form Wings, and stayed with the group for 10 years until it disbanded in 1981. Laine provided lead and rhythm guitars, lead and backing vocals, keyboards, bass guitar and woodwinds, as well as writing or co-writing some of the group’s material. Laine, McCartney, and McCartney’s wife, Linda McCartney formed the nucleus of the band. With Wings, Laine enjoyed the biggest commercial and critical successes of his career, including co-writing the hit Mull of Kintyre. He also co-wrote and sang lead vocal on Deliver Your Children, which was released as a Wings B-side but charted in the Netherlands.

In January 1980, McCartney was arrested for possession of marijuana on arrival at an airport for a tour in Japan. The tour was cancelled and the band members, except Linda, returned to England. After returning to England, McCartney decided to release his solo album, McCartney II, and plans for an autumn U.S. tour were dropped. Meanwhile, Laine released the single “Japanese Tears” and formed the short-lived Denny Laine Band with Steve Holley and released a solo album Japanese Tears that December. On April 27, 1981, Laine announced he was leaving Wings due to McCartney’s reluctance to tour in the wake of John Lennon’s murder.

He signed with Scratch records and began working on a new album, Anyone Can Fly. He then went on to record other solo albums such as Hometown Girls, Wings on Your Feet and Lonely Road before returning to Scratch to do his Wings at the Sound of Denny Laine. He has also had three fanzine publications, Ahh Laine, wrote the musical Arctic Song and released two more albums, Master Suite and Reborn.

DennyLaine03Laine moved to the United States in the 1990s, where he continues to tour, originally with the World Classic Rockers and later with the Cryers.

He was briefly married to Jo Jo Laine, with whom he had a son, Laine Hines, and a daughter, Heidi Hines. He has three other children from other relationships: Lucianne Grant (with Helen, daughter of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant), Damian James (with model Catherine James) and Ainsley Laine-Adams. (by wikipedia)

Denny Laine’s solo CD’s never have sold big, but I’ve found them very enjoyable. “Blue Nights” compiles songs from various albums he recorded in the 80’s and 90’s – most of which were only available as imports, and impossible to find, so this CD makes a nice sampling of some of his lesser known works. Standouts include the upbeat “Wings on my Feet” (not about his former band), “Hometown Girls” (a sad bit of longing for simpler times), “Caribbean Sun” (great summer sound), and “Blue Nights” (recorded with very simple instrumental backing). A few of the songs were familiar to me from his “Japanese Tears” and “Lonely Road” albums. “Japanese Tears” has been re-released more times than I can count, but “Lonely Road” has long been out of print, so those songs were welcome additions here. It’s also nice that they included a list of the musicians performing on every track, including Rick Wakeman and Denny’s ex-Wings mates. (by Ron)

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Denny Laine as a bass player in 1976

 

Personnel:
see booklet

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Tracklist:
01. Wings On My Feet (Laine) (1987) 3.29
02. Japanese Tears (Laine) (1980) 4.42
03. Go Now (Banks/Bennett) (1980) 3.22
04. Say You Don’t Mind (Laine) (1980) 3.10
05. Hometown Girls (Laine) (1985) 4.08
06. Weep For Love (Laine) (1979) 4.34
07. Send Me The Heart (Laine/McCartney) (1973) 3.39
08. Caribbean Sun (Laine) (1987) 3.25
09. If I Tried (Laine) (1986) 2.22
10. Money Talks (Laine) (1988) 3.38
11. Stay Away (Laine) (1985) 4.00
12. Roll The Dice (Laine) (1987) 3.57
13. Land Of Peace (Laine) (1986) 3.37
14. Blue Nights (Laine) (1985) 3.19
15. Blushing Bride (Laine) (1987) 4.02

 

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If you are interested in the German edition of Denny Laine´s “guitar Book” from 1979 click on th pic:

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Eric Burdon – The Unreleased Eric Burdon Vol I (1992)

EricBurdonFrontCover160+ minutes of unreleased studio & live performances, originally released as “The Unreleased Eric Burdon” in 1992, re-released as “Misunderstood” in 1995.

With an 11-minute jam on the blues standard “Crawling Kingsnake,” almost as long live takes of “No More Elmore,” “It Hurts Me Too,” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” and a handful of alternate studio mixes of obscure Burdon originals such as “The Road” and “Power Company,” THE UNRELEASED ERIC BURDON isn’t recommended for neophytes.

But unlike some re-recordings of classic Animals singles which give no indication that the songs are recent remakes, it’s not at all exploitative, and the folks at Blue Wave Records are clearly Burdon fans.

While it would be nice if the liner notes gave details as to where and when the live tracks were recorded, the performances themselves aren’t bad at all, with Burdon sounding as feisty and focused as ever. Fans will not feel cheated in the least. (by allmusic.com)

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Personnel:
Tony Braunagle (drums)
Eric Burdon (vocals)
Rosa King (saxophone)
Bobby Martin (saxophone, harmonica)
Snuffy Walden (guitar)
Terry Wilson (bass)
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Background vocals:
Debbi Neal – Kate Markowitz – Lisa Scott – Lynn Carey

On Heart Attack:
Chris Couchois (drums)
Pat Couchois (guitar)
Howard Messer (bass)
John Sterling (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Crawling King Snake (Hooker) 10.59
02. The Road (Burdon/Sterling) 4.50
03. Power Company (Burdon/Cash) 4.41
04. Heart Attack (C.Couchois/P.Couchois/Messer) 4,07
05. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Benjamin/Caldwell/Marcus) 6.36
06. Boom Boom (Hooker) 4.48
07. Don’t Bring Me Down (Goffin/King) 5.13
08. It Hurts Me Too (James/London) 10.17
09. No More Elmore (Burdon/Sterling) 8.38
10. I’m Crying (Burdon/Price) 5.02

Track 1 is an unreleased extended studio version.
Tracks 2 and 3 are unreleased studio versions.
Tracks 4 to 10 are unreleased live versions

 

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Various Artists – Flamenco For Beginners (2006)

FrontCover1Okay, I´m back from my trip to Andalusian … a real excellent destination (as Chris wrote) even we had many rainy days …

And I´ll start my spanish weeks with a fine compilation album called  “Flamenco For Beginners”:

Flamenco (Spanish pronunciation: [flaˈmeŋko]) is an artform native to the Spanish regions of Andalusia, Extremadura and Murcia. It includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping).

First mentioned in literature in 1774, the genre originates in Andalusian music and dance styles. Flamenco is strongly associated with the gitanos (Romani people of Spain)—however, unlike Romani music of eastern Europe, the style is distinctively Andalusian and the fusion of the various cultures of southern Spain is clearly perceptible in Flamenco music. Although there are many theories on its influences and origins, the most widespread highlights a Morisco heritage, the cultural melting pot that was Andalusia at the time (Andalusians, Moors, Castilian settlers, Romanis and Jews) fostering its development over time. Flamenco music, as a theatrical representation of Andalusian musical tradition, was first recorded in the late 18th century but the genre underwent a dramatic development in the late 19th century.

In recent years, flamenco has become popular all over the world and is taught in many non-Hispanic countries, especially United States and Japan. In Japan, there are more flamenco academies than there are in Spain. On November 16, 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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There are many suggestions for the origin of the word flamenco as a musical term (summarized below) but no solid evidence for any of them. The word was not recorded as a musical and dance term until the late 18th century.

The Spanish word flamenco could have been a derivative of “fire” or “flame”, as it is connected to the ‘Cante’ and the dance’s solemn, passionate nature. The word flamenco may have come to be used for certain behaviour in general, which could possibly have come to be applied to the Gitano players and performers.

Another theory, proposed by Andalusian historian Blas Infante in his 1933 book Orígenes de lo Flamenco y Secreto del Cante Jondo suggests that the word flamenco comes from the Hispano-Arabic term fellah mengu, meaning “expelled peasant”; Infante argued that this term referred to the ethnic Andalusians of the Islamic faith, the Moriscos, who in order to avoid forced exile and religious persecution, joined with the Roma newcomers.

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Palos (formerly known as cantes) are flamenco styles, classified by criteria such as rhythmic pattern, mode, chord progression, stanzaic form and geographic origin. There are over 50 different palos and a detailed description of them can be found in the main article. Some are sung unaccompanied while others have guitar or other accompaniment. Some forms are danced while others are not. Some are reserved for men and others for women while some may be performed by either, though these traditional distinctions are breaking down: the Farruca, for example, once a male dance, is now commonly performed by women too.

There are many ways to categories Palos but they traditionally fall into three classes: the most serious is known as cante jondo (or cante grande), while lighter, frivolous forms are called cante chico. Forms that do not fit either category are classed as cante intermedio.[citation needed] Cante jondo has clear traces of Arabic and Spanish folk melodies, as well as vestiges of Byzantine, Christian and Jewish religious music. (by wikipedia)

Let´s discover this fascinating music !

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Tracklist:
01. El Camarón de la Isla: Un Un Tiro Al Aire (1987) (Monge/Pachon) 4.41
02. La Paquera de Jerez: Que Dolor De Mare Mia (1975) (Traditional) 3.08
03. Paco de Lucía: Monasterio De Sal (1981) (Gómez/Lucía) 4.51
04. Ramon Algeciras + Paco Toronjo: De Mi Mismo Me Reia (1971) (Sanchez) 3.06
05. Juan Habichuela + Rancapino: La Pureza (1999) (Habichuela) 3.59
06. Paco de Lucía: Recuerdos (1971) (Sanchez) 3.06
07. Carmen Linares: Y Doy Suspiros Al Aire (1996) (Traditional) 5.32
08. Sernita De Jerez: A La Mare De Mi Alma (1959) (Traditional) 4.10
09. Terremoto Jerez: Yo Ya No Soy Quien Era (1969) (Traditional) 2.05
10. Paco de Lucía: Mi Nino Curro (1987) (R.Gomez/S.Gómez) 3.27
11. Bambino: Bambino, Piccolino (1969) (Molina) 2:13
12. José Mercé: Me Cierren los Ojos (1983) (Pernia) 1.57
13. Salmarina: A La Yala Yala (1994) (Evora/Muñoz) 3.29
14. Antonio Mairena: Por Tu Causa (1973) (Garcia) 5.32
15. Juan Peña: Lo Mismo Que Un Loco (1973) (Peña) 3.38
16. El Camarón de la Isla: Romance De La Luna, Luna (1983) (Bermejo/Lorca) 4.00
17. Fosforito: Te Quiero Más Cada Día (1980) (Diaz) 2.49
18. Jacinto Almaden + Justo Badajoz: Hablo Con Mi Dios Y Le Digo (1971) (Traditional) 3.45 19. Rafael Romero: Los Olivaritos Del Valle (1967) ( (Traditional) 1.16
20. Rosa Duran: Zapateado De Las Campanas (1956) (Traditional) 4.07

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Jack Bruce – Somethin Els (1993)

FrontCover1Jack Bruce’s only album between 1980 and 1987, the year the Somethin Els project was started, was the atypical electronica oddity Automatic from 1983. During that time, although touring occasionally Jack was doing battle with his personal demons, a battle he eventually won, helped by a new wife in a new country. Settling in Germany his live and studio work took an upturn, and calling on the help of his A-list musical friends, in between a long series of concerts, the six year gestation of Somethin Els took place.

Writing in partnership with his long-time lyricist of choice Pete Brown, Somethin Els covers all of Jack’s R&B and jazz rock styles with an easy panache that only a cast of stellar musicians can pull off.

Opening track Waiting On A Word starts so abruptly, and on a vocal too, that one wonders how on Earth Jack Bruce and his band ever managed to get it right live, but being the consummate professionals they were I guess it presented no problems at all. This is followed by a classic Bruce R&B belter, and Willpower has Jack’s soulful croon telling us about his sparring partner in the addiction wars. When you have the likes of Clem Clempson on rhythm guitar, and Eric Clapton turning in the kind of dirty lead breaks that his solo career so often badly lacks, you can’t really fail, can you? If your toes don’t tap to this, it’s probably because you lost them to frostbite last winter.

With...The delightful vocal duet with Maggie Reilly on Ships In The Night is a ballad, and again we are focussed on Jack’s personal battles. This is for all intents and purposes a blues, but only in tone and subject, for it is not a twelve bar. Mr Clapton turns in a trademark heart-tugging solo that fits perfectly. Showing his virtuosity, Jack also plays cellos, piano, and other keyboards on this one.

By the time the disturbing intro to Peaces Of The East rolls around we are well into the diary of Jack’s recovery nightmares, and this time we have an Eastern flavoured snake dance, twitching with the nervous energy of withdrawal. No bass guitar at all on this one, Jack turns in vocals, piano, keyboards and drums.

Becalmed in the middle of the album, Close Enough For Love allows the love light to shine through the dark nights of the soul that precede and follow this lovely piano-led ballad. Jack sings the melody line mirroring the fat keyboard chords, backed by his funky bass, and Stuart Elliot’s drums keep it nailed in simple unfussy fashion as they do throughout the album.

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G. B. Dawn Blues is a throwaway Booker-T styled organ based 12-bar blues that wakes up, scores, and goes to bed, all in less than three minutes. Criminality harks back to Automatic’s electronica, with a proto-Prince funk feel, and doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the album.

Jack finally finds redemption on Childsong, a song of rebirth that possibly draws parallels to Jack’s then new or impending parenthood. It is a smoky reflective affair where David Liebman’s soprano saxophone adds bags of atmosphere. The album ends with the instrumental FM, Jack alone at his piano in minor key jazz-classical mode.

Somethin Els oozes an effortless quality from every pore, and is as fine a testament to the sheer class of Jack Bruce when on form as anything he has produced in his long career. Perhaps his best ever album? That’s a subjective point, but I’m afraid that anyone who cannot see this album for the masterclass in progressive song writing that it undoubtedly is simply does not know what makes for real and timeless music. (by Roger Trenwith)

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Personnel:
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals, keyboards, cello, drums)
Eric Clapton (guitar on 01., 02., 03.)
Clem Clempson (guitar on 02., 05., 06.)
Gerd Dudek (saxophone on 02.)
Stuart Elliot (drums on 01., 02., 03., 04., 05., 06.)
Anton Fier (drums on 07.)
Bruce Fowler (trumpet on 02.)
Walt Fowler (trumpet on 02.)
Ray Gomez (guitar on 07.)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone on 06.)
Trilok Gurtu (percussion on 01., 06. + 08. drums on 05. + 08.)
Mark Nauseef (percussion on 08.)
Uli Lask (saxophone on 02.)
David Liebman (saxophone on 07. + 08.)
Maggie Reilly (vocals on 03., 04.
Peter Weihe (guitar on 01., 03., 05.)

Booklet01A

Tracklist:
01. Waiting On A Word (Bruce/Brown) 3.52
02. Willpower (Bruce/Brown) 4.26
03. Ships In The Night (Bruce/Brown) 5.20
04. Peaces Of The East (Bruce/Brown) 4.55
05. Close Enough For Love (Bruce) 5.51
06. G. B. Dawn Blues (Bruce/Brown) 2.41
07. Criminality (Bruce/Brown) 5.05
08. Childsong (Bruce/Brown/Hymas) 5.06
09. FM (Bruce) 3.33

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 Jack Bruce in 1993

The Isley Brothers – From The Heart (Beautiful Ballads) (2009)

FrontCover1Beautiful Ballads, released in 1994, contains 70 minutes of the Isley Brothers’ slow and romantic singles released between 1971 and 1983, adding Isley/Jasper/Isley’s number one 1985 R&B hit “Caravan of Love.” Most of what is here is undeniably classic, but no ballad-centric Isleys disc is complete without “Between the Sheets” or “Sensuality” — two omissions that would be justifiable deal breakers. The inclusion of lesser material, like “You’re the Key to My Heart” and their cover of Todd Rundgren’s “Hello It’s Me” (neither one of which charted), is pretty puzzling. The disc was repackaged and retitled in 2009, just in time for Valentine’s Day, and made part of Legacy’s From the Heart series. (by Andy Kellman)

Across the long span of their career, the Isley Brothers have shown themselves as adept at stirring romantic balladry as they are at generating funky grooves. FROM THE HEART proves the claim that the Isleys are masters of “baby-making music” by selecting 14 ballads and love songs from their catalog. Classic Isley slow jams like “Caravan of Love” and “Let’s Fall in Love (Parts 1 & 2)” nest alongside soulful covers like Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay.” The ideal soundtrack for a night of wine, candlelight, and silk sheets, FROM THE HEART is a sexy dose of classic soul.

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Personnel:
Ernie Isley (vocals, guitar, drums, congas, timbales, percussion)
Marvin Isley (vocals, bass, percussion)
O’Kelly Isley (background vocals)
Ronald Isley (vocals)
Rudolph Isley (background vocals)
Chris Jasper (vocals, keyboards, percussion)
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Gary Jones (percussion)
Kevin Jones (percussion)
George Moreland (drums, percussion)
Karl Potter (percussion)
Milton Westley (organ)
Chester Woodard (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Brown Eyed Girl (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/ Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 4.06
02. Hello It’s Me (Rundgren) 5.32
03. Let’s Fall in Love, Pts. 1 & 2 (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/ Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 4.40
04. You’re the Key to My Heart (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/ Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 3.23
05. You’re Beside Me, Pts. 1 & 2 (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 5.36
06. I Once Had Your Love (And I Can’t Let Go) (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/ Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 4.41
07. Caravan Of Love (E.Isley/M.Isley/Jasper) 5.43
08. All in My Lover’s Eyes (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 5.13
09. Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (Taylor) 4.00
10. Make Me Say It Again Girl, Pts. 1 & 2 (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 7.44
11. Voyage To Atlantis (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/ Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 4.30
12. Choosey Lover (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/ Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 4.43
13. Lay Lady Lay (Dylan) 4.52
14. Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time for Love), Pts. 1 & 2 (E.Isley/M.Isley/O.Isley/Ronald Isley/ Rudolph Isley/Jasper) 5.45

CD1*
**

IsleyBrothers