Aerosmith – Big Ones (1994)

FrontCover1Big Ones is one of the many compilation albums by the American rock band Aerosmith, released on November 1, 1994. Big Ones featured 12 hits from the band’s three consecutive multi-platinum albums, Permanent Vacation (1987), Pump (1989), and Get a Grip (1993), as well as the hit, “Deuces are Wild” from The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience (1993), and two new songs, “Blind Man” and “Walk on Water”, which were recorded during a break in the band’s Get a Grip Tour. These songs were also included on the band’s 2001 compilation album, Young Lust: The Aerosmith Anthology. Big Ones is the band’s second best-selling compilation album, reaching #6 on the Billboard charts, and selling four million copies in the United States alone. The album quickly became a worldwide hit reaching the Top 10 in nine countries before the end of the year. (by wikipedia)

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Big Ones serves up the hits and nothing but the hits; Aerosmith’s excellent debut for Geffen, Done with Mirrors, is conveniently overlooked. So what’s left is some of the finest mainstream hard rock of the late ’80s and early ’90s — the fruits of one of the most remarkable comebacks in rock & roll history. Unfortunately, there’s precious little of the classic Aerosmith raunch; in fact, the two new tracks are the hardest, slinkiest tracks here.

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Otherwise, the up-tempo tracks bog down in over-production (“Love in an Elevator”), and the frequently embarrassingly overwrought power ballads (“Angel” and “Crazy”) dominate too much of the album. So what’s left? The band’s best stab at social commentary (“Janie’s Got a Gun”), a sublime slinky throwaway (“Deuces Are Wild”), deliciously sleazy blues-rockers (“Rag Doll,” “[Dude] Looks Like a Lady”), and their best ballads (“What It Takes” and “Cryin'”). (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tom Hamilton (bass, background vocals on 02.)
Joey Kramer (drums)
Joe Perry (lead guitar, backgroun vocals, pedal steel guitar)
Steven Tyler (vocals, keyboards, harmonica)
Brad Whitford (guitar)
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Drew Arnott (mellotron on 14.)
Paul Baron (trumpet)
Desmond Child (keyboards on 12.)
Henry Christian (trumpet)
Bob Dowd (background vocals on 02.)
Bruce Fairbairn (trumpet, background vocals on 02.)
Don Henley (background vocals on 08.)
Tom Keenlyside (saxophone, clarinet)
Ian Putz (saxophone)
Bob Rogers (trombone)
Richard Supa (keyboards on 08.)
Jim Vallance (organ on 03.)
John Webster (keyboards)
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Polynesian log drums on 13.:
Mapuhi T. Tekurio – Melvin Liufau – Wesey Mamea – Liainaiala Tagaloa – Sandy Kanaeholo – Aladd Alatina Teofilo, Jr.

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Tracklist:
01. Walk On Water (previously unreleased) (Tyler/Perry7Blades/Shaw) 4.57
02. Love In An Elevator (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Perry) 5.23
03. Rag Doll (from the album Permanent Vacation) (Tyler/Perry/Vallance/Knight) 4.25
04. What It Takes (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 5.12
05. Dude (Looks Like A Lady) (from the album Permanent Vacation) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 4.26
06. Janie’s Got A Gun (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Hamilton) 5.30
07. Cryin’ (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Rhodes) 5.10
08. Amazing (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Supa) 5.59
09. Blind Man (previously unreleased) (Tyler/Perry/Rhodes) 4.02
10. Deuces Are Wild (from the album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience) Tyler/ Vallance) 3.37
11. The Other Side (from the album Pump) (Tyler/Vallance) 4.04
12. Crazy (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 5.17
13. Eat The Rich (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Vallance) 4.13
14. Angel (from the album Permanent Vacation) (Tyler/Child) 5.08
15. Livin’ On The Edge (from the album Get a Grip) (Tyler/Perry/Hudson) 6.19
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16. Dude (Looks Like A Lady) (Live) (Tyler/Perry/Child) 5.10

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Various Artists – More Good Whiskey Blues – Tennessee Vol 2 (1993)

FrontCover1.jpgThe concept of TALKING WITH THE BLUES is based on a view of the various US states as blues regions. Even casual blues listeners are familiar with the fact that there is Chicago Blues or Mississippi Blues and the gripping social history of the music is very much marked by its geography. But there is much more that just those two places and to this day blues music stays committed to local styles. Moreover, many US states are endowed with a unique cultural identity grown out of the prevailing social, historical and ethnic realities. Reflections of these specific identities are also expressed in the blues.

Contemporary American blues practice is not limited to just a handful of states and comes in many shapes and colors. Blues is part of everyday culture and people from all walks of life choose it as their favorite soundtrack for social activities. Blues culture can be found in many places, especially in the network-like multitude of bars, live music clubs and juke joints. These blues strongholds are mostly dominated by local heroes who do not lag behind when compared with the big names of the business. Many of these contemporary and still to be discovered artists are the cornerstones of this anthology.

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The notion of a recurring blues renaissance in the US is misleading and deceptive inasmuch as the blues has never disappeared. The infrastructure of the blues scene is not based upon the music industry’s PR efforts but kept alive by the inherent qualities of the music and the profound dedication of blues lovers all over the country. Good blues does not have an expiration date. Blues is soulful, emotional, direct and intense. The best of contemporary blues is blessed with the special kind of truthfulness that can turn the affairs of everyday life into something special. These are features which seem to have more or less disappeared from the world of modern pop music.

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Neglecting the theoretical baggage of blues scholarship TAXIM aims at presenting an entertaining and regionally relevant cross-section of fine contemporary US blues like it is blossoming on the fringes of the music industry. So get ready for exceptional talent from a multitude of blues regions. TALKING WITH THE BLUES is about the special qualities that can still turn this music into a way of life. Put together with expertise and thought, these compilations feature artists who disprove the prejudiced notion of blues as a music paralyzed by cliches. The blues is alive and well. Not only in Texas, Chicago or Mississippi but everywhere from Shreveport to Milwaukee, from San Diego to Jersey City. Welcome aboard. (jazznblues.club)

And here´s the 2nd Tennessee edition … oh yes … I love this good old fucking blues …

.. And I love the cover, too …

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Personnel.

Metropolitan All-Stars:
Rick Baldwin (bass)
Caroline Dahl (piano on 05. + 12.)
Rodney Hatfield (harmonica)
Keith Hubbard (organ on 05.)
Frank Schaap (guitar)
Nick Stump (guitar, vocals)
David White (drums)

Tim Wagoner & Wild Blue Yonder:
Gary Kubal (drums)
Johnny Neel (keyboards, programming on 14.)
Rusty Russell (bass)’
Camille Schmidt (background vocals)
Tim Wagoner (guitar, vocals)
Jim Wilson (keybboards)

Hypnotics:
Richard Fleming (guitar, vocals)
Jimi Foglesong  (drums)
Casey Lutton (lead guitar)
Geoff Newhall (bass)
Tom Pallardy (saxophone)

Dean Hall:
Dean Hall (guitar, vocals)
Tim Loftin (bass on 08.)
Milton Sledge (drums)
Terry McMillan (harmonica)
Peter Newland (harmonica on 08.)
Bill Swartz (drums on 08.)
Willie Weeks (bass)
Jamie Whiting (piano on 08.)

Planet Rockers:
Eddie Angel (leadguitar)
Sonny George (vocals, guitar)
Bill Swartz (drums)
Mark Winchester (bass)

Chip Vandiver:
Dave Pomeroy (bass)
Milton Sledge (drums)
Chip Vandiver (guitar, vocals)
Biff Watkins (keyboards)

Buddy Flett & The Bluebirds:
Bruce Flett (bass on 13.)
Buddy Flett (guitar, vocals)
Carey Hunter (drums on 13.)
Steve “The Loser” Kilmer (drums)
Chris Michaels (bass)

Johnny Neel:
Dale Armstrong (drums)
Tim Loftin (bass)
Johnny Neel (vocals, harmonica, keyboards)
Jack Pearson (guitar)

Lost In Detroit:
Bob Babbitt (bass)
Dennis Locorriere 8guitar, harmonica, vocals)
Rod Smarr (guitar)
Steve Turner (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Metropolitan All-Stars: Devil Gets His Due (Stamper) 6.20
02. Tim Wagoner & Wild Blue Yonder: Make It Rain (Russell/Wagoner) 5.17
03. Hypnotics: Blues Patrol (Fleming) 4.35
04. Dean Hall: I Know Something ’bout The Blues (Hall) 3-30
05. Metropolitan All-Stars: Strom Comin’ Thru’ (Schaap/Stamper) 4.50
06. Planet Rockers: Tennessee Woman (unknown) 3:30
07. Chip Vandiver: Love Ain’t Never Satisfied (unknown) 2.47
08. Dean Hall: My Milkman Was Freddy King (Hall) 3.52
09. Metropolitan All-Stars: I Would Do For You (unknown) 3.01
10. Buddy Flett & The Bluebirds: Blues In A Honkey Tonk Key (Flett) 3.34
11. Johnny Neel: While She’s In Love (Neel) 4.20
12. Metropolitan All-Stars: Bad Situation 5:19
13. Buddy Flett & The Bluebirds: Third House On The Left (Flett) 3.21
14. Tim Wagoner & Wild Blue Yonder: 
My Old Friend The Blues (unknown) 4.05
15. Lost In Detroit: I Want To Make Love To You (Dixon) 7.15

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Various Artists – Sacred Souls – A Hunting Selection Of Traditional And Contemporary Native American Music (2001)

FrontCover1The tracks featured on this compilation have all been selected from the vaults of Canyon Records. Formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1951 Canyon Records was the first company to market albums specifically to Native Americans. From an initial recording of Ed Lee Natay, son of a Navajo leader and medicine man, by Ray Boley who owned the first recording studio in Phoenix, Canyon has gone on to record over 400 albums of Native American flute music, healing songs, pow-wow, jazz classical and contemporary songs on Native themes.

Until Canyon, most ethnic recordings were for the benefit of scholars, ethnomusicologists and libaries, Canyon released what Native Americans were singing and wanted to listen to, including Country-Western, Rock n Roll, Gospel and “chicken scratch”; the popular dance music of the Tohono O´odham people.

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Canyon´s music broke down the stereotypes of what “Indian” music was imagined to be. Our compilation cannot do justice to the enormous wealth of material recorded by Canyon over the last five decades but we hope that the tracks featured highlight some of the many captivating forms and styles of Native American music. (take from the original liner notes)

Indeed … a wonderful compilation … an if you are interested in World Music, than you have to listen … what a magic kind of music !

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Tracklist:
01. Philip Cassadore: Mountain Spirit Dance (1998) (Traditional) 1.41
02. Clan/Destine: Crazy Horse (1996) (Poocha/Gatlin/Montour/Harris/Sanchez) 5.38
03. R. Carlos Nakai: Shaman’s Call (1987) (Nakai) 2.52
04. Joanne Shenandoah: Mother Earth Speaks (1994) (Shenandoah) 2.33
05. Robert Tree Cody, Rob Wallace & Will Clipman: White Buffalo (1996 (Cody/ Wallace/Clipman) 4.44
06. Keith Mahone: Hualapai Bird Song (1995) (Traditional) 2.18
07. Nakai, Eaton, Clipman & Nawang: A Gathering Of Eagles (2000) (Nakai/Eaton/ Clipman/Khechog) 7.46
08. Sharon Burch: In The Balance (1995) (Burch) 3.10
09. Robert Tree Cody: Lakota Lullaby (1993) (Cody) 5.53
10. Judy Trejo: Manuel Popeye McCloud’s Flag Song (1997) (McCloud) 2.01
11. R. Carlos Nakai: Amazing Grace (1992) (Traditional) 2.19
12. Black Lodge Singers: Intertribal (1997) (Robe) 3.55
13. William Eaton Ensemble, The Drepung Monks & Robert Tree Cody: The Fire Within (1996) (Eaton/Cody/Tulip/Ames/Monks) 7.17
14. Patsy Cassadore: Goodbye, I’m Leaving (1998) (Cassadore) 1.09
15. Robert Tree Cody: Farewell (Aria For Native American Flute) (1999) (Cody) 3.16

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Etta Baker – Railroad Bill (2015)

FrontCover1.jpgThe “premier woman Piedmont blues guitar instrumentalist” is a wordy but accurate description of 87-year-old Etta Baker of Morganton, NC. One of the last pickers who was around when the music was first being recorded, Baker’s 83 years of practice is manifested in these wonderful recordings of traditional folk ballads. One highlight follows another, and although “Brown’s Boogie” trips up the album’s gentle flow, the rest is front-porch perfect. This is music you never get tired of listening to. Newcomers to guitar should buy this album, both to marvel at the intricate technique and to amuse themselves with how frustratingly difficult it can be. (by Jim Smith)

Railroad Bill was the folk hero of the turpentine workers in the Red Hills of Alabama. These ‘woods-riders’ bleed the trees on great slash-pine plantations, collect the resin, and manufacture turpentine in crude stills. Living in camps far out in the piney woods, turpentiners were often held to their poorly paid jobs by a system of peonage. Thus the legend of Railroad Bill was born and his ballad traveled out of Alabama into the mountains, becoming a guitar-picker’s showpiece.

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Baker, of Morganton, N.C. was born in 1913 and has been playing guitar since the age of four. She is the premiere Piedmont blues guitar instrumentalist. Her only contemporary was the late Elizabeth Cotton of Carrboro, N.C.

Music Maker master mind Tim Duffy sits in on second guitar on the track “John Henry.” Otherwise, the rest of the CD’s 18 inspiring cuts are comprised of Baker performing solo in or outside her home along with the sounds of Mother Nature live in the background. Some real tasty Piedmont blues here folks that should not be overlooked. -(by Matt Alcott)

Recorded at Etta Baker’s home in Morgantown, North Carolina
on 5/95, 11/95, 2/96 and 6/98

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Personnel:
Etta Baker (guitar)
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Timothy Duffy (guitar on 18.)

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Tracklist:
01. Carolina Breakdown (Traditional) 3.12
02. Railroad Bill (Traditional) 2.43
03. I Get The Blues When It Rains (Johnson) 3.04
04. Careless Love (Traditional) 3.26
05. Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (Traditional) 2.38
06. Sunny Tennesse (Baker) 1.48
07. Mint Julep (Traditional) 3.09
08. Browns Boogie (Traditional) 2.34
09. Lonesome Road Blues (Traditional) 2.15
10. Goodbye Booze (Traditional) 2.00
11. Nobody’s Business (Traditional) 1.54
12. One-Dime Blues (Traditional) 1.43
13. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad (Traditional) 2.38
14. Candyman (Traditional) 2.23
15. Miss A Little Miss (Baker) 2.12
16. Baby Let Me Lay It On You (Traditional) 2.52
17. Chilly Winds (Traditional) 2.22
18. John Henry (Traditional) 3.17
19. Cripple Creek (Traditional) 1.57

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Etta Baker (March 31, 1913 – September 23, 2006)

Al Kooper – Rare + Well Done (Greatest And Most Obscure Recordings (1964-2001) (2001)

FrontCover1.jpgEveryone knows Al Kooper in one form or another. If the name isn’t instantly recognizable, then Kooper’s long list of musical contributions and achievements should very well be. After all, this is the man who not only played the legendary and unforgettable organ part on Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, but Kooper also did everything from having a hand in penning the classic tune “This Diamond Ring” to founding such incomparable Sixties groups such as Blues Project and Blood, Sweat and Tears. The man even started out as a member of The Royal Teens who charted with “Short Shorts”. He hung out with Hendrix, “discovered” Lynyrd Skynyrd, and produced a ton of classic albums. And he’s still going strong.

So much so, in fact, that Kooper has recently released Rare & Well Done, a two disc collection that fully represent the album’s title. All the tracks were 24-bit remastered with Kooper’s own supervision. Disc one is a 19-track collection of hard to find and previously unreleased material from the Kooper vaults, while disc two features plenty of the artist’s best known work, in solo and various band formats. For longtime fans, this collection is a welcome addition to their Kooper collection. For anyone else who’s even mildly curious about Kooper’s legacy, this album works as a nice springboard from which to begin exploring the man’s vast catalogue. As it usually is with such releases, not everything here works and not every “rare” found here needed inclusion, but overall Rare & Well Done is an indispensable look back at one of rock music’s most prolific artists.

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The “Rare” disc opens with a new demo, “I Can’t Quit Her 2001”. It’s not the best song on the disc that the collection could have started with. In fact, it’s a bit schmaltzy and sounds like something that you might hear Paul Schaffer’s band doing on Letterman. It’s certainly not the best version of this classic, as the live version included on the “Well Done” disc proves. However, things fall into place and start to genuinely rock with track two, Kooper’s 1964 demo of “Somethin’ Goin’ On”. Amazingly soulful, gospel tinged and incredibly deep, “Somethin’ Goin’ On” seems light years away from everything else that was coming out in ’64 — especially Beatlemania. Kooper’s voice instantly moves one emotionally as much as those fantastic piano, organ, and guitar parts. Stunning.

But then again, the disc manages to dip down for a moment as “Autumn Song” sounds like a mid-’80s fusion/muzak piece. It would have been better had the contents of this disc been arranged chronologically as the time warps back and forth through the years certainly mess up the grooves more than once. Kooper’s own phrasing of some of the words here, like “winter” also seem a bit silly as if he were just goofing off on the track. “I Can’t Stand The Rain” which follows is a bit better, though the horn section sounds like nothing more than synth brass. These are the kinds of rarities that may have been better off left on the shelves.

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Still, one can’t argue with the slow cooking “Baby Please Don’t Go” offered here in a live version from 1971 and getting and eight-and-a-half minute workout. Kooper’s amazing piano work on the track just simply burns, as does his vocal prowess once again. Giving Big Joe Williams a run for his money, “Baby Please Don’t Go” encapsulates not only the blues here, but also takes on funk and classical vestiges that must simply be heard to be appreciated. The band’s solo spots are equally remarkable, with the other-worldy synth break being especially dazzling.

But then the record shifts once more and we’re back into smoove rock territory with “I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers”, a number on which Kooper seems to be doing his best Lou Rawls impression that turns out to be not so good in the end. The sax and guitar parts are overwrought and cheese up the track way too much. “The Earthquake of Your Love” restores the good groove with an undeniably Seventies bounce and charm. This time, Kooper vocally sounds almost like Steve Miller. And that’s not too strange, considering Miller himself went on to create such plastic, yet likable boogie like “Abracadabra” a bit later on.

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Getting back to the downright essential tracks on the disc, of important note is the inclusion of Al’s very first single from 1965, “New York’s My Home (Razz-A-Ma-Tazz)”. Again, this long lost Sixties chestnut doesn’t sound much like anything else going on at the time with its pretty flute and string arrangement outdoing the Fab Four (again), and that indelible swinging jazz outbreak at the middle of the tune being especially captivating. If Kooper wasn’t influencing both Brian Wilson and Lennon and McCartney at this time, then I’d damn sure be surprised as Al had created his own “mini-epic” right here . . . in 1965 . . . in two-and-a-half minutes.

The “English Hall” cover of XTC’s “Making Plans for Nigel” is also excellent. Dare I say that it’s even better than XTC’s. Sure. I’m not so taken with that group that I can’t see that their career has been spotty through the decades. But even better than that is Kooper’s blistering version of Dylan’s “Went To See The Gypsy”, an outtake from Bob’s New Morning LP that rock fiercer than Dylan’s own take. Of course, that version was so subdued (yet equally great) that it wouldn’t be difficult to rock harder. But here, Kooper’s band injects stunning guitar parts that do sound distinctively Sixties, but all the better.

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Also of interest is Kooper’s instrumental rehearsal version of “Hey Jude” from 1969 with orchestra. Kooper jazzes the Beatles tune up with swinging horns and lickety-split drumming. It sounds a bit like a Vegas spectacular, but it’s by no means horrible. Hearing someone with Kooper’s talent reconfigure such a song in this format is impressive. Although it is hard not to laugh at “The Big Chase”, a piece of incidental music that was left out of an episode of TV’s Crime Story. It sounds like Jan Hammer and Harold Faltermeyer got together and created the most hellish cop music they could think of. Lots of fun (seriously).

Turning to the “Well Done” disc of the collection now, the old fans should finally start feeling like they’re on familiar territory as nothing on the CD here hasn’t been released before. Things start with a live 1994 take of “I Can’t Keep from Cryin’ Sometimes” recorded with the Blues Project. Once again, Al is in his element when he has a band behind him that complements his own talent. The organ work, the guitar licks are both hot, and Kooper puts in some of his most soulful vocalizing. Tasty.

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Set the Way Back Machine for 1968 then, because it’s time to hear Blood, Sweat and Tears’ “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”. Again, there’s a stunning amount of soulfulness ripping through this track with the undeniable organ and vocal parts (especially those of the backup singers). A slow burner if there ever was one, it’s followed up with a 1975 version of “This Diamond Ring” complete with funky keyboards a-la Billy Preston’s “Outa Space”. Personally, I dig this version a lot more than the original by Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

There’s still no getting over the Kooper/Bloomfield (as in Mike) number “Albert’s Shuffle” from ’68. Here it is once again in all of its blistering glory. The blues as pounded out by two of the best. All you have to do is hear that organ and guitar and those horns and that’s all it takes. Next thing you know, you’re somewhere else. All great music should move you. Here’s a number that does it every time. And the movement continues with the classic “Bury My Body” recorded with Shuggie Otis in 1969 and “Season of the Witch” with Stephen Stills in 1968. It’s truly a joy to hear Kooper’s phenomenal work from the Sixties here all laid out. The man was clearly an inspired and enviable musician at that point in his career.

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“New York City (You’re A Woman)” is also great. Here, Kooper’s organ sounds just like Booker T.’s good old Hammond B-3. And who could forget such brazen opening lines like “New York City you’re a woman / Cold hearted bitch ought to be your name / Oh you ain’t never loved nobody / Yet I’m drawn to you like a moth to flame/ . . . Yeah”? This piece of classic funkiness is then followed with a damned great live version of “I Can’t Quit Her” from 1994 that shows just how great the song really is (you wouldn’t know it from that limp version that opened the “Rare” disc as stated earlier).

The classics just keep on coming from there, from the fantastic “I Stand Alone” to another slow burner, this time in the form of “I Got a Woman”. Also included is the closing “Love Theme from The Landlord”, which is the only Al Kooper disc not currently on CD. All in all, “Well Done” lives up to its name and then some

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It’s just too bad that the “Rare” portion of this collection didn’t include an equal portion of indispensable tracks. The nuggets from the Sixties and Seventies are cool and wonderful, but with only a couple of exceptions, like “Making Plans for Nigel”, and “The Big Chase”, the rest of the rarities kind of bring about a cringe-inducing element, proving once and for all that there was a very good reason a lot of the tracks here were previously unissued.

Yet the “Well Done” disc is impeccable, making this collection a must-have. It’s great to have all these tracks in once place. Al Kooper continues to play a highly influential part in the music industry. His well-documented history up this point has been preserved beautifully and put on display for all to hear in this collection. Kooper has certainly been deserving of a release like this for a long time, and even if the whole thing isn’t flawless, it damn sure rocks 95% of the time. Thanks for the memories, Al. (Jason Thompson)

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Tracklist:

CD 1 (Rare):
01. I Can’t Quit Her (New Studio Version) (Kooper)Levine) 4.25
02. Somethin’ Goin’ On (Demo) (Kooper) 3.04
03. Autumn Song (Kooper) 2.50
04. I Can’t Stand The Rain (Bryant/Miller/Peebles) 4.29
05. Baby Please Don’t Go (live) (Williams) 8.24
06. I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers (Kooper) 5.01
07. The Earthquake Of Your Love (Demo) (Kooper) 3.19
08. Bulgarya (outtake) (Kooper) 2.32
09. Nuthin’ I Wouldn’t Do (For A Woman Like You) (Kooper) 3.29
10. New York’s My Home (Razz-A-Ma-Tazz) Aka The Street Song (Kooper) 2.32
11. Making Plans For Nigel (Moulding) 4.07
12. I Believe To My Soul (outtake) (Charles) 4.28
13. Went To See The Gypsy (Dylan) 3.30
14. Rachmaninoff’s Birthday (Kooper) 4.08
15. Hey Jude (rehearsal tape) (Lennon/McCartney) 5.11
16. Living In My Own Religion (demo) (Kooper) 4.51
17. The Big Chase (Kooper/Calello) 3.24
18. They Just Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore (Kooper) 2.25
19. A Drive Through The Old Neighborhood (Kooper) 4.37

CD 2 (Well Done):
01. I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes (live) (Kooper) 4.01
02. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (Kooper) 5.56
03. This Diamond Ring (Kooper/Levine/Brass) 4.08
04. Albert’s Shuffle (Bloomfield/Kooper) 6.53
05. Bury My Body (Kooper) 8.56
06. Season Of The Witch (Leitch) 11.05
07. New York City (You’re A Woman) (Kooper) 4.45
08. I Can’t Quit Her (live) (Kooper/Levine) 3.46
09. I Stand Alone (Kooper) 3.42
10. Flute Thing (Kooper) 6.02
11. You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Kooper) 2.53
12. I Got A Woman (Charles) 6.29
13. Brand New Day (Kooper) 5.09
14. Love Theme (Jolie) (Kooper) 3.41

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Various Artists (Putumayo World Music) – Italian Cafe (2005)

FrontCover1Putumayo World Music is a New York City-based record label, now specializing in compilations of music from various nations, regions, or musical styles which may be classified as world music.

In 1991, on his way home from Bali, Dan Storper stopped in San Francisco, California. In Golden Gate Park, he heard the Nigerian band Kotoja. He was impressed by the music and the way it gathered many different people. He made a compilation of music he had gathered on his journeys and gathered a positive response. This led him to give out his first release in 1993. Storper took the name of his record label, Putumayo, from Colombia’s Putumayo Department where he travelled in 1974, which subsequently came from the name of Putumayo River. The word is said to be the name of a bird (heron).

Every release features the art of Nicola Heindl. Her art is both folky and modern, and, according to the Putumayo website, “represents one of Putumayo’s goals: to connect the traditional to the contemporary.”

Typically a Putumayo World Music compilation is presented as a theme under the title “Putumayo Presents:” The themes can be regional (South Africa, Caribbean, Asia), music types (reggae, folk, Latin, jazz) and other themes (lounge, groove, party).

The Putumayo Kids division was created in 2002. Since the release of the World Playground CD in 1999, Putumayo Kids has achieved honors from Parents’ Choice Awards and the National Parenting Publications Association, and has grown to be one of the more important children’s record labels.

Putumayo launched the Putumayo World Music Hour in 2000, a commercially-syndicated world music radio show. Rosalie Howarth of KFOG hosts the Music Hour. The weekly show is heard internationally on over 150 commercial and non-commercial stations.

Putumayo has ten offices worldwide. Their products are sold at a network of more than 3,000 book, gift, clothing, coffee and other specialty retailers in the US. The label claims to distribute their CDs in more than 80 countries around the world. (by wikipedia)

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This is a charming, if ultimately fairly inconsequential, collection of recordings from 1950s and 1960s Italy, along with a handful of songs by a few modern artists whose stylistic roots go back to the postwar era as well. The overall sound may come across as a bit kitschy to American ears — there are lots of accordions and crooning, emotive vocals — but if you spend some time with these recordings most of them will grow on you. Highlights include the quirky Vinicio Capossela’s “Che Cossè l’Amor,” Quadro Nuevo’s jazzy instrumental “Tu Vuo’ Fa’ l’Americano,” and Quartetto Cetra’s slightly cute but really very engaging “Un Bacio a Mezzanotte.” On the slightly less compelling side are Gianmaria Testa’s contributions, the willfully goofy “Dentro al Cinema” and the self-consciously intense (and ultimately self-parodying) “La Traiettorie delle Mongolfiere,” but the high points outweigh the low ones on this ultimately charming collection. Recommended. (by Rick Anderson)

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This review is not correct: Most of the recordings are NOT from the 50´s, … and in the reat booklet you can read, that Quadro Nuevo are from Austria … this is wrong .. Quadro Nueva are from Bavaria (Southern Germany) … but … much more important …

… more recordings from this great label will come !

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Tracklist:
01. Fred Buscaglione: Juke Box (1958) (Beretta/Malgoni) 2.23
02. Quartetto Cetra: Un Bacio A Mezzanotte (1952) (Kramer/Garinei) 2.14
03. Giorgio Conte: Cannelloni (2003) (Conte) 2.55
04. Vinicio Capossela: Che Cossè L’Amor (1994) (Capossela) 4.14
05. Maria Pierantoni Giua: Petali e Mirto (2004) (Martinell/Giua) 3.25
06. Giorgio Conte: Gnè Gnè (2003) (Conte) 3.28
07. Renato Carosone: Piccolissima Serenata (2001) (Carosone/Nisa) 3.23
08. Gianmaria Testa: Dentro Al Cinema (2003) (Testa) 3.43
09. Daniele Silvestri: Le Cose In Camune (1995) (Micelli/Silvestri) 4.16
10. Quadro Nuevo: Tu Vuo’ Fa’ L’Americano (2002) (Carosone) 3.57
11. Gianmaria Testa: La Traiettorie Delle Mongolfiere (1995) (Testa/Bertone) 3.29
12. Nicola Arigliano: Carina (2001) (Testa/Poes) 3.17

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Coffee

ZZ Top – One Foot In The Blues (1994)

FrontCover1One Foot in the Blues is a compilation album by the American blues rock band ZZ Top, released in 1994 (see 1994 in music). The album contains a selection of the band’s songs which fall into the blues genre. With the exception of the songs taken from the Degüello, El Loco, Eliminator and Recycler albums, the 1987 digital remixes were used. (by wikipedia)

Before they sweated their image down to beards, babes and hot rods, ZZ Top were a down ‘n’ dirty blues-rock trio with a bonafide hot guitar player in Billy Gibbons. On this 14-track offering, Warner goes back through the back ZZ catalog and cobbles together an interesting collection of the Texas trio’s bluesier sides that originally appeared on their earliest albums. Highlights include “Brown Sugar,” “A Fool for Your Stockings,” “My Head’s in Mississippi,” “Apologies to Pearly” and Gibbons’ storming stringwork on “Bar-B-Q.” (by Cub Koda)

Wow, where do I start with this compilation of Texas’s greatest Little Ole Band from Texas ! I love this album. Alot of these songs didnt get alot of airplay , but they are some of my favorite ZZTOP song’s of all time .These songs are the reason I love ZZTOP , Oldman, Hot,Blue and Righteous,Sure got cold after the rain fell, Bron Sugar,I need you tonight, 2000 blues ! All these songs on one album. ya gotta get it. (by Judy Kopeck)

And “Hot, Blue and Righteous” and “Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell” are one of the finest rock ballads ever written.

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Personnel:
Frank Beard (drums, percussion)
Billy Gibbons (guitar, vocals)
Dusty Hill (bass, keyboards, background vocals, lead vocal on 06.)

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Tracklist:
01. Brown Sugar (Gibbons) 5.20 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
02. Just Got Back From Baby’s (Gibbons/Ham) 4.09 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
03. A Fool for Your Stockings (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.16 Originally from Degüello (1979)
04. I Need You Tonight (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 6.15 Originally from Eliminator (1983)
05. She Loves My Automobile (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.23 Originally from Degüello (1979)
06. Hi Fi Mama (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2,24 Originally from Degüello (1979)
07. Hot, Blue and Righteous (Gibbons) 3.17 Originally from Tres Hombres (1973)
08. My Head’s In Mississippi (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.20 Originally from Recycler (1990)
09. Lowdown In The Street (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.49 Originally from Degüello (1979)
10. If I Could Only Flag Her Down (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 3.39 Originally from Eliminator (1983)
11. Apologies To Pearly (Gibbons/Hill/Beard/Ham) 2.44 Originally from Rio Grande Mud (1972)
12. Sure Got Cold After The Rain Fell (Gibbons) 6.47 Originally from Rio Grande Mud (1972)
13. Bar-B-Q (Gibbons/Ham) 3.21 Originally from Rio Grande Mud (1972)
14. Old Man (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 3.32 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
15. Certified Blues (Gibbons/Beard/Ham) 3.25 Originally from ZZ Top’s First Album (1971)
16. 2000 Blues (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 4.42 Originally from Recycler (1990)
17. Heaven, Hell Or Houston (Gibbons/Hill/Beard) 2.32 Originally from El Loco (1981)

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Still alive and well … ZZ TOP in 2017

Various Artists – Land Of The Midnight Sun – Music and images from Finland (2006)

FrontCover1This special photo album + CD product illustrates the unforgettable experience of summers in Finland, which have inspired so many Finnish composers to write some of their greatest works.

Finland is perhaps best known for its peacefulness and beautiful nature: vast forests, a unique archipelago and thousands of lakes present a striking mixture of wooded hills and waters.

The best season to discover this pristine wilderness is summer, which in Finland is characterized by long days and – in more norther regions where the sun is visible for continuous 24 hours – by the dazzling phenomenon of the Midnight Sun.

15 outstanding nature photographs and 24 tracks of wonderful Finnish classical music invite to discover or remember the uniqueness of Finland as Land of the Midnight Sun.

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And here are some beautiful pictures from the land of the midnight sun:

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Personnel:

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Tracklist:

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
01. Rakastava (The Lover), Op. 14  / 3.57
02. Suite champêtre, Op. 98b / 3.19

Erkki Melartin (1875-1937)
Prinsessa Ruusunen (Sleeping Beauty Suite), Op. 22:
03. Minuet 3.08
04. Butterfly Waltz 2.02
05. Minä metsän polkuja kuljen (Along forest paths I wander) 1.49

Ilmari Hannikainen (1878-1951)
06. Rauha (Peace) 2.17

Bernhard Henrik Crusell (1775-1838)
Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in E-flat Major, Op. 1:
07. Adagio 3.24

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)
Bagatelles, Op. 34:
08. Valse 1.45
09. Souvenir 1.41
10. Danse Pastorale 0.46
11. Reconnaissance 0.42
12. Jouer de harpe 1.37

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-)
Concerto for Birds and Orchestra “Cantus Arcticus” (1972):
13. Melancholy 4.17

Toivo Kuula (1883-1918)
14. Aamulaulu (Morning Song) 1.43

Martti Turunen (1902-1979)
15. Sunnuntai (Sunday) 3.20

Traditional
16. Jo Karjalan kunnailla (The Hills of Karelia) 2.21
17. Soittajapaimen (The Piper Shepherd) 1.38
18. Orvon huokaus (An Orphan’s Sigh) 2.44

Väinö Raitio (1891-1945)
Kesäkuvia Hämeestä (Summer pictures from Häme):
19. Kesäyö (Summer Night) 2.26
20. Paimenlaulu (Herdsman’s Song 2.09
21. Kukkien kuningatar (Queen of the Flowers) 3.03

Leevi Madetoja (1887-1947)
Syksy-sarja (Autumn song cycle), Op. 68:
22. Lintu sininen (Bluebird) 1.59
23. Tule kanssani (Take My Hand), Op. 9/3 / 2.04

Erkki Melartin (1875-1937)
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 30/1 (1902):
24. Scherzo 5.14

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Midnight Sun

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.)

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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