Monday, September 21, 2020

Eric Clapton - Jeff Beck - Jimmy Page - 1983 - The A.R.M.S. Concert - Great Three (Moonchild)

Eric Clapton - Jeff Beck - Jimmy Page 
The A.R.M.S. Concert - Great Three

Moonchild Records ‎– MC-022

01. Westwood One Intro
02. Band Intro
03. Everybody Oughta Make A Change
04. Lay Down Sally
05. Wonderful Tonight
06. Rambling On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman
07. Rita May
08. Cocaine
09. Man Smart, Woman Smarter
10. Road Runner
11. Slowdown Sundown
12. Take Me To The River
13. Gimme Some Lovin'
14. Star Cycle
15. The Pump
16. WXRT Westwood One Part 2 Intro
17. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
18. Led Boots
19. People Get Ready
20. Hi Ho Silver Lining
21. Prelude
22. Who's To Blame
23. City Sirens
24. Stairway To Heaven*
25. Tulsa Time
26. Wee Wee Baby
27. Layla
28. Bomber's Moon
29. Goodnight Irene
30. Outro

* The 2000 rebroadcast did not include Stairway To Heaven, so its not included on the Moonchild bootleg either, I included a version a ripped from another CD, the quality is not as good but still very good.

Eric Clapton Guitar Vocals
Steve Winwood Keyboards Vocals
Bill Wyman Bass
Charlie Watts Drums
Kenny Jones Drums
Ray Cooper Percussion
Andy Fairweather Low Guitar Vocals
Chris Stainton Keyboards

Jeff Beck Guitar Vocals
Tony Hymas Keyboards
Simon Phillips Drums
Fernando Saunders Bass
Andy Fairweather Low Vocals

Jimmy Page Guitar
Simon Phillips Drums
Fernando Saunders Bass
Steve Winwood Keyboards Vocals

AND Ronnie Lane Vocals

Recorded on September 20, 1983 at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

The ARMS Charity Concerts were a series of charitable rock concerts in support of Action into Research for Multiple Sclerosis in 1983. The first (and initially planned to be the only) event took place at the Royal Albert Hall on September 20, 1983, with subsequent dates occurring in the United States, with slightly different lineups of musicians
The idea for hosting the concert was envisaged by Ronnie Lane, ex-bassist for The Small Faces and The Faces, himself a casualty of multiple sclerosis. The concert was billed as The Ronnie Lane Appeal for ARMS and featured a star-studded line-up of British musicians, including Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Steve Winwood, John Paul Jones, Andy Fairweather-Low, Bill Wyman, Kenney Jones and Charlie Watts. The concert was particularly notable in the fact that it was the first occasion on which Clapton, Beck and Page, each a former lead guitarist for The Yardbirds, had performed together on stage.

Pretty good set from Beck and Page no real Meat and Potatoes from Clapton. Beck Focuses on his Material from the mid to late seventies. No tracks are any better then the Studio Classics. As for Page Prelude and Who's to Blame with Winwood on vocals are priceless. Jimmy is wasted but far outplays the studio versions without a bad note. The rest of his set is sub par with City Sirens and A sloppy stairway to heaven. I expected better from Clapton but this was a week stage in his career and it shows.

And lets talk about the huge white elefant in the room that always is avoided when people talk about these shows. Jimmy Page is obviously in an advance state of heroin addiction. Well, at least it should be obvious -- wake up, people! He's not merely rail thin here, but emaciated, and he visibly stumbles around the stage. His behavior is at times quite strange, and you can see the discomfort on Eric's face -- having been through this himself, he clearly knows what's going on. Some people have commented on him merely being a bit sloppy, but I'm just surprised he didn't drop dead right then and there. I always suspected Page would have been shocked at his appearance if he'd seen the footage, and it turns out, it's said that he was. Supposedly, it was a big catalyst for him to finally get cleaned up.

All flaws included, I must say non of it mattered back on September 20, 1983 when as a teenager I sat full excitement next to the radio at insane o'clock listening to the show, and reliving those moments weeks and years after listening to the tape a friend of mine made from the US Westwood One radio show at the time. So, play it loud, it's not perfect, but it's still a great show.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Mizuhashi Takashi - 1977 - One Tuesday In New York

Takashi Mizuhashi and his Friends
One Tuesday In New York

01. Blues For Gon-San 8:25
02. Samba De Negrito 10:30
03. La Esmeralda 6:28
04. Reaching To The Sun 6:20
05. Cantaloupe Island 7:39

Bass – Takashi Mizuhashi
Bass – Teruo Nakamura
Drums – Bruno Carr
Piano, Electric Piano – Herbie Hancock

Recorded and Location: February 22, 1977,
A&R Recording Studio, New York City.

Takashi "Gon" Mizuhashi ( Japanese 水 橋 孝 , Mizuhashi Takashi ; born March 2, 1943 ) is a Japanese jazz musician ( double bass ).
Takashi Mizuhashi played in the Japanese jazz scene from the late 1960s; The first recordings were made with Chris Connor ( Softly and Swingin ' ), which he accompanied with Hideo Ichikawa , Shungo Sawada and George Otsuka at a studio session in Tokyo. In the following years he worked a. a. with Kimiko Kasai , Yuji Ohno , Masaru Imada , Kohsuke Mine , Isao Suzuki , George Otsuka, George Kawaguchi , Hideo Ichikawa, Shigeko Toya , Emiko Kai , Dave Burrell ( Lush Life, 1978), Shingo Okudaira , Yoshiaki Miyanoue , Hidehiko Matsumoto , Archie Shepp ( Tray of Silver , 1979) and Marion Brown .

Mizuhashi also worked with his own formations from the early 1970s. With his quartet (with Yoshio Otomo , Fumio Karashima , Hideo Sekine ) he recorded two LPs for Three Blind Mice and accompanied the singer Yoshiko Goto . 1977 Mizuhashi played with Herbie Hancock the album One Tuesday in New York ( Denon ), on which Teruo Nakamura and Bruno Carr also participated; it was the first production of the new Denon Jazz label. On his albums Early Summer in Tokyo and Gon's Delight(Denon / Nippon Columbia) Horacee Arnold , Cecil Bridgewater , Archie Shepp and Mickey Tucker were involved in a session in Tokyo in 1978 . In 1989 he played again with Dave Burrell, with whom he recorded the duo album Plays Ellington & Monk (Denon). In the 90s he worked on the recordings of Takashi Miyazawa , Eri Kayama and Hioaki Panryu . In the field of jazz, the discographer Tom Lord lists his participation in 51 recording sessions between 1969 and 2012.

1979 reissue cover artwork

Japanese bassist Takashi Mizuhashi gathered with "his friends" in a studio in New York during an afternoon in February 1977 and laid down some great acoustic jazz tracks, players are Takashi Mizuhasi on bass, Teruo Nakamura on bass, Herbie Hancock on piano & electric piano and Bruno Carr on drums. The LP was released on Denon Records.

Mizuhashi Takashi - 1974 - Who Cares

Mizuhashi Takashi 
Who Cares

01. Who Cares 5:55
02. Sometime Ago 6:45
03. Deep In My Thought 6:09
04. In A Little Spring Waltz 5:20
05. Green Dolphin Street 2:56
06. Blues For Andrew 8:47

Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Yoshio Otomo
Bass – Takashi Mizuhashi
Drums – Hideo Sekine
Piano – Fumio Karashima

Recorded Aug. 28, 1974 at Aoi Studio, Tokyo.

Who cares? We care! And it's hard not to – given the strength of this sweet little set from Japanese bassist Takashi Mizuhashi – a hell of a player who really knows how to keep things exciting throughout! The group's got some tremendous talent in the front – both Fumio Karashima on piano and Yoshio Otomo on alto and soprano sax – each players who get plenty of time i the spotlight, driven onto heights by Mizuhashi's bass – but sometimes in a very subtle way, too. Karashima plays Fender Rhodes a bit – which we really love for his spacious handling of the keys – and Takashi sometimes bows the bass in a way that makes for these really magical sound next to the Rhodes. The set's definitely on the more soulful side of the Japanese jazz spectrum from the 70s.

Mizuhashi Takashi - 1974 - When A Man Loves A Woman

Mizuhashi Takashi Quartet +2
When A Man Loves A Woman

01. When A Man Loves A Woman 11:49
02. So What 15:12
03. Sugar 18:26

Alto Saxophone – Yoshio Otomo
Bass – Takashi Mizuhashi
Drums – Hideo Sekine
Piano – Fumio Karashima
Tenor Saxophone – Seiichi Nakamura (tracks: side B)
Trombone – Shigeharu Mukai (tracks: side B)

Recorded on Nihon Tohsi Center Hall
on March. 23 & 26, 1974

A mighty soulful set from the group of bassist Takahashi Mizuhashi – served up in a really strong range of sounds that are spun out over the album's very long tracks! The set begins with a soulful rendition of "When A Man Loves A Woman", but then soars into freer jazz territory at the start of "So What" – which begins with one of the most outside readings of the Miles Davis classic we've ever heard! The album really sparkles – thanks to some strong work on alto from Yoshio Otomo, and piano from the great Fumio Karashima – and side two features guest trombone from Shigeharu Mukai and tenor from Seiichi Nakamura – who really help things stretch out on an 18 minute take on Stanley Turrentine's classic "Sugar".

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Eric Burdon & War (featuring Jimi Hendrix) - 1970 - Ronnie Scott's Club

Eric Burdon & WAR featuring Jimi Hendrix
September 16, 1970
Ronnie Scott's

First Set
101. Unknown Title 1:20
102. Gun 2:58
103. Black on Black in Black 15:08
- Paint it Black I
- Laurel & Hardy
- Pintelo Negro II
- P.C. 3 Out of Nowhere
- Blackbird
- Paint it Black III
104. Spill the Wine 8:07
105. Mystery Train 6:00

Second Set
201. Gun 7:31
202. Black on Black in Black 15:08
- Paint it Black I
- Laurel & Hardy
- Pintelo Negro II
- P.C. 3 Out of Nowhere
- Blackbird
- Paint it Black III
203. Blues for Memphis Slim 20:09
- Birth
- Mother Earth
- Mr. Charlie
- Mother Earth
204. Tobacco Road 14:55
- Tobacco Road
- I Have a Dream
- Tobacco Road

Eric Burdon - vocals
Jimi Hendrix - guitar (on Blues for Memphis Slim & Tobacco road)
Howard Scott - guitar
Dee Allen - percussion
Harold Brown - drums
B.B.Dickerson - bass
Lonnie Jordan - organ & piano
Charles Miller - sax & flute
Lee Oskar - harmonica

Several years ago the (nearly) complete recording came into circulation of Jimi with Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott's in September of 1970. Unfortunately we didn't get a clean, lossless copy of the master; various technical issues prevented the taper from supplying that. So the circulating copy is a lossy copy of the master originally transferred to microsoft's wma-format, which in addition had some line hum in the audio.

In December 2010 the taper allowed his master cassette to be transferred directly to uncompressed digital wav, and we now have a clean digital master. This transfer sounds substantially better than the previous copy, a greater improvement than would be expected just from the compression. Perhaps this was due to better equipment being used this time around.

The details of how the recording appears on the master cassette has already been described in an article published in Jimpress issue 87 some time ago, and there's no need to repeat the details. Here is a summary

The recording captures most of both sets that night, with Set 1 on side 1 of the tape, and Set 2 on side 2. The 2nd tape side was running out just after Tobacco Road started, and the taper, not wanting to miss the unexpected contribution by Jimi, flipped the tape back to side 1 and recorded over the start of the 1st set. Thus over 10 minutes of the start of the opening set is missing due to the tape-over.

The taper didn't run the tape all the way to the end of side 2 when he turned it back to side 1; there was a little over a minute left on the side when he flipped it. This also means that a little over a minute at the start of side 1 was not taped over. For some reason, this part was not included on the previous transfer. It's an instrumental (at least the part that survives) which may be just an untitled opening jam; but it may also be a titled song that hasn't been identified. 

The last minute of side 2 contains an unrelated recording (by the group Status Quo) which apparently was already on the cassette before the War recording. Because the previous transfer had only a second or two of this, it was thought that it was at the start of side 1 of the tape.

Like the previous circulating copy of the tape, this one presents the material in the order in which it was recorded. Thus the part of Tobacco Road on side 1 has been moved to the end of the recording.

The transfer is also at correct speed now, a little faster (about 2%) than the previous copy. At least the transfer has been done at the proper speed; we don't know if the original recording on a portable cassette recorder was done exactly at the correct speed. But any remaining speed error is probably small.

The guest appearance of Jimi Hendrix with Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club occupies a special place in the recorded Hendrix legacy. Occurring only a little over a day before Hendrix's untimely death, the jam represents his last public performance. Considering that very few of Jimi's club appearances were recorded (other than those that Jimi recorded himself in the spring of 1968), the fact that this final performance would be recorded must be considered extremely unlikely. But in fact it was recorded, and parts of this recording have circulated for about 30 years. Until now it has never been known exactly how much of this performance was committed to tape, or by whom. Some guessed that a member of War had made this recording; others thought that the taper was Jerry Goldstein, War's manager at the time. But very recently the whole recording has appeared, and the man that recorded it, Bill Baker, has also stepped forward.

The first appearance of this material was on a bootleg LP, Can You Please Crawl out Your Window, that was produced sometime in the mid to late 1970s. That LP included two tracks from the Ronnie Scott's Club performance, Mother Earth and Tobacco Road, which closed sides one and two respectively. Of reasonable quality, these recordings represented the only portions of the concert available until a 40-minute tape of the jam came into circulation some years later. This tape contained slightly longer versions of Mother Earth and Tobacco Road and also included several songs on which Jimi didn't play Paint It Black, Spill the Wine and Mystery Train. All of these songs were incomplete to varying degrees, and the entire tape was of poor audio quality, substantially worse than the quality of the two tracks on the bootleg LP. It was not known whether other songs were played during the show, and if so whether Jimi had played on them.

This remained the state of affairs until 2010, when the taper of this concert came forward with his story and a complete copy of his master tape. The fan that taped this recording is Bill Baker, a resident of West London. He never intentionally kept this recording back; in fact, he gave copies to numerous people throughout the years. One of these was the source for the poor-quality tape copy that came into circulation. However, somehow the complete recording in master quality had never made it into general circulation within the collecting community.

Bill was 20 years old in 1970, and had recently become a big fan of Eric Burdon and War. He tells the story of how he came to attend and record the show that night at Ronnie Scott's Club.

I first heard 'Spill the Wine' while on an extended holiday in Italy. When I heard it, it completely blew me away, he says. I couldn't believe how good it was. I also heard about the Isle of Wight festival but unfortunately returned to England a week late for that. After I got back I went to a QPR [Queens Park Rangers] football game with an old friend and he told me about a free show by Eric Burdon and War in Hyde Park coming up on Saturday the 12th of September. So I went to that with a few mates. I recall that John Sebastian was also on the bill. During the concert, Burdon told the audience to make sure to go to the shows they were playing at Ronnie Scott's during the upcoming week, and to 'freak all those jazz freaks out of the place.' So I decided I'd have to be at one of the shows. I ended up deciding to go on Wednesday night, the 16th.

I invited my younger brother to go with me, but he had to work the next day and decided not to go. I was out of work at the time. So I ended up going alone. I got there early and was just about the first into the club, so I was able to be in the very first row. Front row seat, about two feet away from the drum kit. I talked with the members of the group a bit before the room filled up. I had brought my Sony cassette recorder with me, and one Philips C-90 cassette. I set the microphone on my table right there at the edge of the stage.

There were other groups on the bill that night; I remember a gospel group, and the Alan Haven Trio, who I liked quite a lot. There was a disco above the main room; I went up there between live acts. I recall there was lively salsa music with lots of people dancing. The live music started around 8 o'clock and ended around 2 or 3 AM Thursday morning. So War was late getting on stage, maybe around midnight, and most or all of the War performance was actually during the early hours of the 17th. I taped the first set, got a good recording of that, although the first side of the tape ran out before the end. I wanted to save the other side for the second set.

At intermission I went back to the dressing room and talked with the group between sets. I told them I had taped the set, and they said that was fine with them. I got them to autograph my copy of 'Spill the Wine' that I had brought with me. When I went out for the second set, my seat was taken so I went to the upper level. A young lady, an American, was there with a guy, and she invited me to join them at their table. So I sat with them there, right at the front and to the left of the stage, right above Lonnie Jordan, the organist for War. So the second set was taped from a different seat. The girl saw I was taping the gig, and asked me to make a copy for her, which unfortunately I never did.

During the set the girl I was sitting with said, 'Look, Jimi Hendrix and Eric's wife!' I didn't see him enter, but Hendrix had appeared, and I saw him sit with Angie Burdon, at a table to the left of the stage. Jimi had his guitar with him. You can hear Eric invite Jimi up onto the stage for 'Mother Earth'. He got up and played on the song with the band, using his white strat. Near the end of that song, Hendrix left the stage to go back and sit with his girlfriend. Burdon asked him to come back, which is also on the tape. He did rejoin the band for the end of the song and also played on 'Tobacco Road' The tape side ran out shortly after this song started, but I flipped it over and re-recorded over the start of the first set on side one.

After the show was over, Hendrix hung around for a bit and I went over to talk with him. He was sitting there with a pint in front of him, but white wine rather than beer; he offered some to me and I accepted. So we 'spilled the wine' together on that night. He was polite and friendly, and happy to chat. I asked if I could record the conversation, but he said that probably wasn't a good idea. So we just talked. I borrowed a pen and asked if he would sign the sleeve that I had with me for War to sign. He said sure, 'but take the record out so it doesn't fuck up the grooves. 'I had an apple and he asked if he could have a bite, and I said sure, so he took one; in fact, I think he kept the apple and finished it. Finally Jimi got up to leave with his girlfriend and said to me, 'Hope to see you soon, man.' I left the club in the early morning hours and took a cab back home.

I remember that there was a U.S. photographer at the show, from New York City if I recall correctly. He took pictures throughout the evening. I have no idea what became of him, or of the photographs.

I got back home and later that day (Thursday) I made a dub of the cassette onto a 5' reel tape, since I wanted to give a copy to the group, who were staying in a hotel in London for several days. On Friday (the 18th) I went to the hotel, and found Jerry Goldstein (War's manager), Eric Burdon and his parents, Zoot Money, and some others in the upper-floor lobby. I gave Goldstein the tape dub, and talked with them and with some other people for awhile. Jerry recalls that he gave me 20 pounds sterling for the tape. When I left I took the lift down to the ground floor, and when I got out I saw a group of people standing there. Some of the girls were crying, and I recognized them from the group that had been with Eric earlier. I asked them what was wrong but they didn't answer, they just got in the lift crying. I took the tube home. It was only later that day that I read in the evening paper that Jimi was dead.

In the mid-70s, Bill approached an employee at the BBC to investigate the possibility of releasing his recording from Ronnie Scott's. He wasn't able to arrange this, but he did make copies of the tape onto 7'reels. Bill took these to a record shop owner in Hammersmith, who agreed to have LPs made. But after a short while he told Bill that he had decided to pull the plug on the deal, so Bill retrieved the reels from the man. However, as we know an LP did appear. What eventually came from this was the well-known bootleg LP Can You Please Crawl out Your Window This LP was a hodge-podge of material, combining material from a 1976 BBC radio show with the Reprise Christmas promo single. The LP also included nearly complete versions of three BBC recordings (the original radio show only contained incomplete versions). But the real gems on the LP were the two Hendrix tracks from the War recording. Bill never made a penny from this release, although he received some LPs from the deal. But the unpleasant episode discouraged him from ever trying again to release this in any formal way, either officially or unofficially.

Grateful Dead - 2008 - Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978

Grateful Dead 
Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978

101. Jack Straw 6:44
102. Row Jimmy 11:46
103. New, New Minglewood Blues 6:26
104. Candyman 7:29
105. Looks Like Rain 8:52
106. Stagger Lee 7:30
107. I Need A Miracle 5:45
108. It's All Over Now 7:40
109. Deal 7:04

201. Ollin Arageed 6:56
202. Fire On The Mountain 14:06
203. Iko Iko 7:03
204. Shakedown Street 15:31
205. Drums 3:31
206. Space 2:26
207. Truckin' 10:14
208. Stella Blue 8:19
209. Around And Around 8:21


01. Bertha 5:39
02. Good Lovin' 7:52
03. Row Jimmy 11:20
04. New, New Minglewood Blues 6:07
05. Candyman 7:08
06. Looks Like Rain 8:33
07. Deal 6:52
08. Ollin Arageed 7:49
09. Fire On The Mountain 9:12
10. Iko Iko 6:04
11. I Need A Miracle 5:54
12. It's All Over Now 3:30
13. Truckin' 9:23

Jerry Garcia: guitar, vocals
Bob Weir: guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh: bass, vocals
Keith Godchaux: keyboards, vocals
Mickey Hart; drums, percussion, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann: drums, vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux: vocals
Hamza el Din: percussion, vocals
Nubian Youth Choir: vocals.

30th Anniversary Edition.
Deluxe packaging (8- panel cardboard sleeve) with 20 page colour booklet featuring rare photos and firsthand essay in gatefold fold-out card case with pop-up artwork.

Marking the thirtieth anniversary of its historic 1978 concerts in Egypt, the Grateful Dead's two-CD/one-DVD Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 documents the legendary performances in front of the pyramids at Giza. The CDs are compiled from performances recorded on September 15th and 16th, with the DVD taken from the September 16th show, during which there was a lunar eclipse.

The band rolls through a fine set featuring classic Dead songs as well as a 15-minute version of "Shakedown Street" and "I Need A Miracle" from their soon-to-be-released Shakedown Street (Arista, 1978). Fans of the band know that a Dead show isn't a real Dead show unless there are a number of extended jams and Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 doesn't disappoint. In addition to "Shakedown Street," the band rambles through a just under 12-minute version of "Row Jimmy," a ten-minute version of "Truckin'" and a spectacular, enthralling 14 minutes of "Fire On The Mountain."

The Dead's musical performance during these concerts was rumored to be less than stellar. Poor quality bootlegs seem to support this opinion but this official release entirely dispels the rumor. Though by no means The Dead's best live performances, Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 is an enjoyable and sometimes dazzling concert album. It is different—unlike other released and unreleased Grateful Dead concerts—because the performance is out of the ordinary and unique. "Ollin Arageed," an Egyptian song that the band had never before performed features Hamza el Din and the Nubian Youth Choir. Keith Godchaux's piano is slightly out of tune during "New, New Minglewood Blues," creating a completely different feel, texture, shape and color. The electrifying performances of "Jack Straw" and "Stella Blue" are mystical, spacey and exquisite.

The recording is brilliant, featuring an amazingly clear and crisp mix where the separation of the instruments is breathtaking. It is possible to pick out Phil Lesh's bass lines and Bob Weir's rhythm guitar, as well as Godchaux's underlying keyboards.

Though a bit rough, the DVD provides some very interesting footage of the band behind the scenes and in concert, albeit with the feel of a home movie. The camerawork is a bit herky-jerky and in many places of amateur quality.

The collection also contains an informative booklet featuring many previously unpublished pictures and liner notes by Alan Trist, detailing the origins of the event. Packaged inside a digipak, when Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 is opened, pop-ups of the Sphinx and pyramids are revealed.

Grateful Dead
September 14, 1978
Sphinx Theatre
Giza, Egypt

Set One:
101. Hamza el Din Set
102. Ollin Arrageed
103. Not Fade Away
104. Me And My Uncle
105. They Love Each Other
106. New Minglewood Blues
107. Peggy-O
108. Beat It On Down The Line
109. Deal

Set Two:
201. Sugaree
202. Samson And Delilah
203. Scarlet Begonias
204. Fire On The Mountain
205. Truckin'
206. The Other One 
207. Drums 
208. Space 
209. Black Peter 
210. Around And Around

Grateful Dead
September 15, 1978
Sphinx Theatre 
Giza, Egypt

Set One:
101. Introduction
102. Hamza el Din set
103. Ollin Arrageed 
104. Promised Land
105. Friend Of The Devil
106. Mama Tried 
107. Big River
108. Loser
109. I Need A Miracle
110. Stagger Lee

Set Two:
201. Jack Straw
202. Ship Of Fools
203. Estimated Prophet 
204. Eyes Of The World 
205. Drums
206. Space 
207. Terrapin Station
208. Sugar Magnolia

Grateful Dead 
September 16, 1978
Sphinx Theatre 
Giza, Egypt

Set 1
101. Bertha 
102. Good Lovin'
103. Candyman
104. Looks Like Rain
105. Row Jimmy
106. El Paso
107. Ramble on Rose
108. New Minglewood Blues
109. Deal

Set 2
201. Hamza el Din Set
202. Ollin Arrageed 
203. Fire on the Mountain 
204. Iko Iko
205. I Need a Miracle 
206. It's All Over Now
207. Sunrise
208. Shakedown Street
209. Drums
210. Space 
211. Truckin'
212. Stella Blue 
213. Around & Around
214. One More Saturday Night

The essence of the Grateful Dead has always been spiritually inclined. From their early days as the live soundtrack of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters‘ “Acid Tests,” the band embraced the idea of using their music as a vehicle to express the energy of their surroundings. Guitarist Jerry Garcia explained that navigating these bizarre, experimental LSD-fueled gatherings as musicians taught them to “Play with a certain kind of freedom that you rarely get as a musician. We didn’t have to fulfill the expectations about us, or expectations about music. It allowed us to experiment with music freely.”

The Dead maintained this sense of exploration as their live shows began to attract a devoted following. In an interview in the documentary series Conversations with Ken Kesey (produced by a young Peter Shapiro), Kesey commented on this phenomenon, “[The Dead] weren’t just playing what was on the music sheets, they were playing what was in the air. When the Dead are at their best, the vibrations that are stirred by the audience is the music that they play.”

The Grateful Dead’s ability to channel the energy of their surroundings through their music became the band’s calling card. Naturally, as the band’s popularity and financial means rapidly grew, they sought to exhibit their famous spiritual super-powers on an increasingly larger scale. This pursuit reached its peak on this day in 1978, when the Dead began arguably the most spiritually and mystically significant run of shows of their career—in the shadows of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo, Egypt.

The plan to stage these remote shows was the brainchild of bassist Phil Lesh. 

“It sort of became my project because I was one of the first people in the band who was on the trip of playing at places of power,” the bassist said in The Grateful Dead Reader. “You know, power that’s been preserved from the ancient world. The pyramids are like the obvious number one choice because no matter what anyone thinks they might be, there is definitely some kind of mojo about the pyramids.” The date of the shows also held mystical significance, as a full lunar eclipse was due on the run’s final night.

Perhaps the strangest, most inexplicable part of the event was how the ancient energy of the locale manifested during the performance. As Bob Weir explained in the 2015 Netflix documentary The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir,

I felt the weight of the antiquity. Time went away. Future, past, all of it was right here…when the Pyramid was lined up with the Sphinx, I would hear echoes that seemed to go far beyond this place in time. At dusk, the mosquitoes come out, and I looked at my arm and it was covered by mosquitoes. And I’m thinking ‘OK, welcome to Hell.’ And then something flies by my face–it was a bat! I look across the stage, and the stage is swarmed with bats, and they’re taking out the mosquitoes, they’re saving our asses! Here’s a rock ‘n roll band on a thousands-of-years-old stage at the foot of the Great Pyramid, surrounded by a cloud of bats…and I think to myself ‘take me now, Lord, I wanna remember it just like this.’

Maybe the ancient energy in the theater was just too big to capture that night, as technical issues prevented the band from capturing usable audio recordings for the first show of the run and much of the second. Years later in 2008, Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 was released, consisting of the usable tracks from the second and third performances. While the Egypt ’78 performances were not the most musically remarkable of the Dead’s career, their spiritual resonance and seemingly mystical energy place them irrefutably among the most significant shows the band ever played.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Albert - 1970 - The Albert (PLP 9)

The Albert
The Albert

01. Pity The Child 6:11
02. Things Ain't Easy 7:07
03. Cold 'N' Hard 5:44
04. Been So Good (For So Long) 8:26
05. Misery 4:35
06. Let It Fall 6:00

Bass – Paul Petruccelli
Drums – Barry Lazarowitz
Guitar – Paul Dickler
Organ, Piano – Howard Wyeth
Tenor Saxophone – Frank Vicari
Trombone [Lead] – Michael Gibson
Trombone [Solo], Trumpet – Jon Huston
Trumpet [Lead] – Jay Silva
Trumpet [Solo] – Richard Meisterman
Vocals, Congas – Otis Smith

Not as good as their first, but makes an interesting companion piece to it considering four of these six tracks are re-recordings of tracks from their debut. This one's considerably better recorded than their first, much jammier, and with more lead guitar spots... but the jams tend to center on extended saxophone and/or trumpet solos, their guitarist (while still outstanding) is staying away from the fuzz and dirt he used on their first album, it's considerably less funky, and I don't think the four re-recordings are as good as the debut versions.

The two new tracks (A2 and B1) are totally decent, but they're too long. B1 in particular is WAY too long. And the cool thing about their debut was that the balance was 35% early Chicago and 65% mean funk, but on these two tracks it's the other way around. Both feature an instrumental "prelude" intro, and A2's intro is biting the first Chicago album so hard it's left tooth marks.

Oh, and A3's way too long as well, though you wouldn't know it by the track duration that's given on the LP. It's actually seven and a half minutes long, and at least two and a half of those minutes are a bore. And again, the version of Cold 'n' Hard on their debut is just over four minutes long and it's much better there, not just on account of it being a buttload funkier, but because it doesn't have the flab this one does. Hell, *every* track they re-recorded for this one has flab that the debut versions don't. The drum solo on B3 is a minute long. The drum solo on the version from their first album? Under thirty seconds.

The Albert - 1970 - The Albert (PLP 4)

The Albert 
The Albert (PLP 4)

01. Let It Fall On Me 5:00
02. Try 2:50
03. Misery 4:20
04. One Life 3:15
05. Pity The Child 5:15
06. Cold 'N Hard 4:00
07. Candle Burns 6:42
08. All Her Vows 4:40
09. Tribute

Bass – Billy Elmiger
Cornet, Trumpet – Jay Thomas
Drums – Barry Lazarowitz
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass – Steve McCord
Lead Vocals, Percussion – Otis Smith
Organ, Piano, Vibraphone [Vibes], Timpani – Howard Wyeth
Tenor Saxophone, Bass – Joe Brazil
Trombone, French Horn, Organ, Piano – Michael Gibson
Trumpet – Mike Mattia
Valve Trombone, Cornet, Piano, Vibraphone [Vibes], Tenor Saxophone – Jon Huston

I've been looking for this one for a couple years, and it didn't disappoint. Imagine Chicago Transit Authority through the prism of late 60s Stax hard soul/funk. A lotta complex horn charts, acid fried guitar, and good god's 'n have mercy's. And their lead singer's a dead ringer for Terry Kath.

And the award for most confusing discography goes to.... The Albert! Two albums, both self-titled, same year (OK, I see now that RYM is crediting this one as 1971 - though Discogs maintains the 1970 date), and on the same label. Yea, that makes it easy to research.

The Albert definitely fall on the soul-jazz/pop side of the horn rock equation. But there's some really fine horn charts, hard guitar, and organ that separate this one from the pack. Also check out the well done sax and trumpet solos. So not the best the genre has to offer, but fans of same will want to investigate.

from progressreview blog:

I (Bill Elmiger) played bass on most of the album reviewed above--that was the first "The Albert" album. We formed in NYC as remnants of 2 Syracuse-based bands, Otis Smith and The All Night Workers along with The Tradewinds, Howie Wyeth's band. Howie added horns from Juillard, and we were just going to be a recording band with Otis as singer. When the band decided to tour, some of us left and the rest cut the second self-titled album which benefited greatly from the band having played live gigs together. In between, we recorded a jazz album called "The Teacher" with James Moody, and a single instrumental cover of "Didn't I Blow Your Mind this Time" with Moody. Otis went on to record a number of singles after The Albert broke up (can be found on YouTube), and Howie joined Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. Barry Lazarowitz, the drummer, later toured in Janis Ian's band. Jay Thomas, one of the horn players, returned to Seattle where he has a Big Band. Steve McCord from the ANW played the "Spanish Grenada guitar" on "All Her Vows" reviewed above, and I still have that guitar which I later bought from Steve.

Joel Kaye - 1973 - Joel Kaye And His New York Neophonic Orchestra

Joel Kaye 
Joel Kaye And His New York Neophonic Orchestra

01 Say
02 Petty Grievance
03 2001
04 The Euphrates
05 I Don't Know How To Love Him
06 Goodbye Sweet Janice
07 OFO
08 MacArthur Park
09 Spinning Wheel

Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute – Dave Tofani
Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet – Johnny Campo
Bass – Joel Reiff
Congas – Joe Daddiego
Drums – Barry Lazarowitz
Flugelhorn – Dean Pratt
Flugelhorn – John Eckert
French Horn – Bill Hamilton
French Horn – David Jolley
French Horn – Janet Donaruma
French Horn – Lloyd Rosevear
French Horn – Peter Gordon
French Horn – Virginia Benz
Guitar – Jeff Layton
Piano – Johnny Knapp
Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute – Billy Kerr
Tenor Saxophone, Piccolo Flute, Flute, Alto Flute, Oboe – Lew Delgatto
Trombone – Dave Taylor
Trombone – Gerry Chamberlin
Trombone – Lew Kahn
Trombone – Sam Burtis
Trombone – Vinnie Fanuele
Trumpet – John Gatchell
Trumpet – Bob Millikan
Trumpet – Tom Rheam

Before he recorded this live album in 1973, Joel Kaye had played with a lot of big band heavy hitters. Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Billy May and Johnny Richards. Following this invaluable experience he assembled his own ensemble - The New York Neophonic Orchestra. The results are very impressive.

The record starts with the first of two Seals and Crofts numbers. Say is well-crafted horn rock with some clever time signatures - worthy of any Chicago LP of the era. The Euphrates is a slow-burner, a funky heavyweight with a dope street sound while Party Grievance is a broody piece of smooth night time jazz. The groove picks up with the lively proto-disco take of 2001 and a stupendously hip-shakingly magnificent I Don't Know How To Love Him.

Kaye's sole composition on this LP is the upfront Goodbye Sweet Janice with plenty of sweet brass action. Old mate Johnny Richards' OFO consists of an amazing array of well-executed solos - piccolo, French horn, trumpet and alto. Storming versions of two contemporary reliables - MacArthur Park and Spinning Wheel conclude this extremely well-played performance.

James Moody - 1971 - Heritage Hum

James Moody 
Heritage Hum

01. Heritage Hum 4:57
02. Sound For Sore Ears 6:52
03. Road Runner 4:30
04. Can't Fool Around With Love 5:07
05. Rainy Days 6:15
06. Travel On 7:32
07. Soul Searching 7:24
08. Parker's Mood 4:04
09. Pennies From Heaven 2:24

Acoustic Bass – Samuel Jones
Drums – Frederick Waits
Piano – Michael Longo
Saxophone, Flute – James Moody
Vocals – Eddie Jefferson

One of the champions of Dizzy Gillespie's music, James Moody was an accomplished musician on the tenor and alto saxophones, as well as the flute, despite being born partially deaf. In addition to his instrumental prowess, Moody was an engaging entertainer, captivating audiences with his personal charm and wit.
Although born in Savannah, he was raised in Newark, New Jersey. His interest in jazz was sparked by a trumpet-playing father who gigged in the Tiny Bradshaw band, and he took up the alto sax, a gift from his uncle, at the age of 16. His first musical training came in the Air Force, and after leaving the service in 1946 he joined the Dizzy Gillespie big band, staying until 1948. Gillespie became his musical mentor. In 1949, he moved to Paris for three years, often playing with visiting American musicians, including the Tadd Dameron- Miles Davis band.
In Sweden he recorded his famous improvisation on "I'm in the Mood For Love" in 1949, playing on an alto saxophone instead of his usual tenor. His solo was later set to lyrics by Eddie Jefferson and recorded by King Pleasure, known as "Moody's Mood for Love," becoming a surprise hit in 1952. Throughout the rest of his career, Moody was more known for the vocal version of the song based on his solo than for the instrumental version itself, and obliged requests for the song by singing his famous solo.
Through the 1950s and 1960s, he led his own bands, and worked alongside other saxophonists, notably Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt, with whom he co-led a three-tenor sax band. In 1963 he returned to the Gillespie small group, where he largely remained until 1971. In 1975, he moved to Las Vegas and worked numerous hotel and casino shows with singers and comics, picking up the clarinet along the way. In 1979, he left Las Vegas and moved back to New York to lead his own quintet.

Then in 1989 he moved to San Diego, working as a consummate soloist and member of all-star touring units. In the 1990s, he teamed up again with his lifelong friend Dizzy Gillespie to tour Europe and the United States as a member of the United Nations Orchestra. He continually experimented with his music, sometimes including synthesizers and strings on his recordings. Demand for his musicianship extended to college and university campuses for master classes, workshops, and lectures, and he received honorary doctoral degrees from the Florida Memorial College and the Berklee College of Music. In 1997, he played an acting role in the Clint Eastwood film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In 2010, he was honored with the Jazz Journalists Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz.

James Moody - 1970 - The Teachers

James Moody
The Teachers 

01. The Teachers 7:57
02. Rest Sweetly Brother Dove 2:11
03. Unchained 6:05
04. The New Spirit 4:40
05. Hello, Goodbye ("Right On Brother Beatles") 3:39
06. Behind Every Good Man 5:28
07. Street Talk Suite

Joe Brazil: Sax
Bill Chelf: Piano
Paul Dickler: Guitar
Billy Elmiger: Bass
Michael Gibson: Trombone
Clint Houston: Bass
John Hutson: Trombone (Valve)
Adam Ippolito: Tuba
Barry Lazarowitz: Drums, Timbales
Steve McCord: Guitar
Richard Meisterman: Trumpet
James Moody: Flute, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Peter Petruccelli: Bass
Jay Silva: Trumpet
Otis Smith: Percussion
Bob Summers: Trumpet
Jay Thomas: Trumpet
Chip White : Drums
Howie Wyeth: Drums, Organ, Piano

Evident in this collection is Moody’s virtuosity at his instrument and his ability to tell a story and convey his thoughts or emotion using his instrument as a vessel, all while keeping your attention with a funky groove and catchy melody. It is no doubt the best way to convey a message. Particularly enjoyable is Moody’s take on the Lennon / McCartney penned “Hello Goodbye,” and his poignant composition “Unchained.”

Moody’s career mirrors that of Dizzy Gillespie quite often. Moody joined Gillespie’s band in the mid-forties and like Gillespie ventured into the world of Afro-Cuban music with the aid of Chano Pozo. So, it should be no surprise that both Gillespie and Moody would both venture into the 1970’s fusion of jazz with funk and soul. Not to say that Moody is simply a follower of Gillespie’s musical paths, it is simply an acknowledgement that two great musical players think alike, especially when they are open to outside musical and cultural influences.

The Teachers is a delightful collection from this legendary saxophonist (soprano, alto and tenor with a flute thrown in) and sometimes (as in Ken Burns’ Jazz ) underappreciated figure.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Bobby Callender - 1972 - Le Musée de L'Impressionnisme

Robert Callender
Le Musée de L'Impressionnisme

01. Nadars (The Baptism Of Impressionism) 5:22
02. Senses And Soul 2:56
03. Interlude No. 1 0:30
04. Les Impressionistes 3:53
05. Bienvenue Au Musée De L'Impressionisme 1:44
06. Interlude No.2 0:33
07. Senses And Soul (Reprise) 2:58
08. Claude Monet 3:26
09. Pierre Auguste Renoir 3:33
10. Edgar Dégas Prologue 0:25
11. Bienvenue à Monsieur Dégas' Classe de Danse 1:17
12. Morisot Motif 0:55
13. La Classe De Danse - Reprise 1:16
14. Morisot Motif - Reprise 1:30
15. Berthe Morisot 2:02
16. Vincent Van Gogh 3:59
17. Paul Gauguin (Tahitian Man) 3:40
18. Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec 4:10
19. Jean Frederick Bazille 2:45
20. Nadars (The Baptism Of Impression) Reprise 1:34

Vocals – Deborah Salt, Indira Danks
Guitar, Mellotron – Mark Suozzo
Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone – Luois Cortelezzi
Drums – Charles Padro
Lead Vocals – Robert Callender

The back notes say that this "concept album [is] bound to delight fans of prog, psych and funk worldwide". Well, to my ears, it is a pure Soul album. A very weird one, because it is also a thematic album about French Impressionist painters ! I do not dig Impressionism, but I am French and I love sweet Soul music, and I love this album. To give you an idea, it sounds a little as Curtis Mayfield (without the falsetto voice), except "Paul Gauguin (Tahitian Man)", which sounds West Indian (someone should have told Mr. Callender that Tahiti is in the Pacific !). The production is opulent, but this album was originally issued only in ... the Netherlands. A real weird one, I told you ...

Ah, I can picture myself, strutting on the dancefloor on "Bienvenue au Musée de l'Impressionnisme" ! ...

Bobby Callender - 1971 - By The Way

Bobby Callender
The Way

Akarma CD / LP Tracking 2002:

01. Drone - Going Back -1st & 2nd Movement 2:44
02. Awaken John - Lord Am I Dreaming 2:56
03. The Bodhi Tree 2:04
04. Satori 2:26
05. Story Of Rasha & Dhara 4:25
06. Chant: Rasha & Dhara & Love, Love, Love 0:57
07. Shringara 2:00
08. 3rd Movement: Satyagraha 6:35
09. Transmigration - Travel With Me 3:41
10. Karma Yogi 2:14
11. 4th Movement / Ooda Rats Travel With Me 2:21
12. Story Of Shepard 3:47
13. Let Thy Will Be Done 2:15
14. Hari Om & Deva Chant / Interlude 4:16
15. Shanta Grace 3:14
16. Going Back Instrumental / Ooda Chant & Ending 4:42

Original tracking:

A01. Drone Avatar In F# Major 2:25
A02. Goin' Back (First Motif) 1:55
A03. First Movement (Instrumental) 0:25
A04. Second Movement (Instrumental) 0:15
A05. Awaken John 0:17
A06. Lord Am I Dreaming 2:45
A07. Introduction To Bõdhi Tree 0:35
A08. Bõdhi Tree 1:25
A09. Introduction To Satori 0:22
A10. Satori 2:07
A11. Drone Avatar In F# Major 1:20
B01. I'm Going Back (Where I Came From-Second Motiv & Introduction To The Story Of Rasha And D'Ahra) 1:20
B02. The Story Of Rasha And D'Ahra 3:35
B03. Shringara 2:10
B04. Chant To Rasha And D'Ahra 0:30
B05. The Love Song (Love, Love, Love ...) 0:34
B06. Third Movement Introduction To Transmigration 0:17
B07. Transmigration 1:18
B08. Oode-Rata Chant (Why Doncha Travel With Me To The Up Country) 2:11
B09. Karma Yogi 2:34
C01. Fourth Movement (Instrumental) 1:47
C02. Inroduction To The Story Of The Sheperd 0:15
C03. The Story Of The Sheperd 3:35
C04. Let Thy Will Be Done 2:18
C05. Goin' Back, Goin' Back (Third Motif) 3:30
C06. Hari Om (Chant) - Sixth Movement 3:40
C07. Deva Chant 2:12
C08. Om Shanti (Chant) 0:15
C09. Hari Om (Chant) 1:19
D01. Seventh Movement (Instrumental) 1:00
D02. Satyagraha 7:01
D03. Shanta Grace 4:19
D04. First Motif (Instrumental) 1:00
D05. Second Motif (Instrumental) 1:49
D06. Third Motif (Instrumental) 2:25
D07. Ooda - Rata Chant 1:24

I only have the 2002 re-release, so I have always wondered how the 2002 release compares to the original one... what got left out, or what got condensed into one track etcetera, etcetera... (The original 1972 LP is a Double, the Akarma LP only has three sides) if anyone out there has any idea, or a rip from the LP I would surely appreciate a copy. Having said that, lets continue todays proceedings!

Vocals: Bobby Callender
Bells, Esraj, Mridangam, Percussion, Piano, Guitar, Sitar, Tabla – Collin Walcott
Harmonica, Mellophone, Guitar, Piano – Ralph Towner
Bass, Flute, Piano, Violin – Glen Moore
English Horn, Oboe – Paul McCandless

Bobby Callender's second offering is a similarly lush and psychedelic slice of late-'60s/early-'70s mysticism. Again, the listener is transported into a hazy, opium den world of spoken word poetry and David Axelrod-inspired production. The Way follows the self-explorative travels of 'John', the album's protagonist, as he discovers the meaning of love, life and happiness. Be prepared for a number of references to serene meadows, matriarchal sunlight and transcendental harmony throughout. While, generally speaking, the vibe here is very similar to Rainbow, there seems to be less of an emphasis on sitars and Eastern sounds than before. Perhaps his overtly Christian offering, "Let Thy Will Be Done," is an explanation for this. Regardless, this time the overall feel of is more All Things Must Pass than Wonderwall. Collaborators on this highly recommended set include producer, Alan Lorber and members of Oregon.

An orchestral and eastern influenced psychedelic pop gem, Bobby Callendar’s “The Way” sometimes gets the shaft to “Rainbow,” but I like “The Way.”

Sometimes, when folks are asked if they could interview anybody from any time, it would be Gandhi. But, The Rising Storm chooses Bobby C. Seriously, somebody needs to get the scoop on this mysterious and intriguing record. Bobby’s intense lyrics are matched with a mix of eastern instruments, lush strings, and tambourine. I can’t say why but the tambourine sticks in my memory. Nothing says 60s pop like that wonderful percussion instrument.

Bobby C. was clearly very into the Mike Love style 60s eastern Buddhism thing. “Sitting ‘neath the bodhi tree… as one. The Story of Rasha & Dhara is essential listening for psychedelic music fans. It’s pretty, and strange, and sports one of the smoothest basslines of the 60s.

Not to say that this record is flawless. There are a few skippable tracks, all in all it’s nothing to brag about, but there are some real nice gems in here. The opening is miraculous, while others are catchy, and others take you quite by surprise. Be prepared for religous themes and a generally trippy experience.

During the late 60's, Bobby Callender was one of the most mythical figures in popular music. Conceptually his musical universe delivers all the originality of an artistic freedom, really awakened of alternative lifestyle, cross cultures and psychedelic "civilization". Callender is an afro American who turned to mystic and reaches himself into Indian raga, philosophies from the East. The two albums he recorded under his name ("Rainbow" in 1968, "The Way" in 1971) are currently seen as the two logical sides of a grandiloquent project including numerous musicians from the jazz and raga scenes. Among the featured musicians we can quote the famous "India raga style" guitarist Collin Walcott. Bobby Callender composes almost all titles and make some recitations. "Rainbow" released in 1968 is a fantastic effort, really amazing, played freely with numerous dialogues between sitar and tabla, with subtle adds of violin, piano and bass (electric). The main elements of composition are the rhythm, very structured, complex and the improvisational jazz / "raga" which introduces us in a spiritual and floating psychedelic atmosphere. The two albums are really conceptual, developing short, esoteric tales mostly served by basic themes of eastern instrumentations and odd, spoken words. Bobby Callender's musical signature is a perfect illustration of free form "ethnic" jazz improvisations in adequacy with the growing effervescence of the 60's "acid", psychedelic philosophies.

Bobby Callender - 1968 - Rainbow

Bobby Callender 

01. Rainbow 3:48
02. Nature 4:31
03. Sade Masoch 2:53
04. Purple 11:38
05. Mother Superior 4:25
06. Autumn 3:02
07. A Man 4:00
08. I'm Just High On Life 4:45
09. Symphonic Pictures 4:52

Bass – Richard Davis
Cello – Lynn Russ, Maurice Brown
Piano, Harpsichord, Organ – Paul Harris
Drums – Bernard Purdie, Robert Gregg
Electric Bass – Robert Bushnell, Joseph Macho, Jr., Louis Mauro
French Horn – Donald Corrado
Guitar – Eric Gale, Hugh McCracken
Oboe, Saxophone – Harold Keins*
Sitar, Tabla, Percussion – Collin Walcott
Soloist [Violin] – Louis Haber (tracks: B2)
Tambora, Sitar, Percussion – Donald Robertson
Trombone – Alan Raph
Trumpet – Joseph Shepley, Myron Shain
Viola – David Sackson
Violin – Anahid Ajamian*, Denyse Nadeau*, Elliot Rosoff, Joseph Haber, Louis Haber, Louis Stone, Paul Winter, Stuart MacDonal
, Thomas Buffum
Vocals – Bobby Callender

During the late 60's, Bobby Callender was one of the most mythical figures in popular music. Conceptually his musical universe delivers all the originality of an artistic freedom, really awakened of alternative lifestyle, cross cultures and psychedelic "civilization". Callender is an afro American who turned to mystic and reaches himself into Indian raga, philosophies from the East. The two albums he recorded under his name ("Rainbow" in 1968, "The Way" in 1971) are currently seen as the two logical sides of a grandiloquent project including numerous musicians from the jazz and raga scenes. Among the featured musicians we can quote the famous "India raga style" guitarist Collin Walcott. Bobby Callender composes almost all titles and make some recitations. "Rainbow" released in 1968 is a fantastic effort, really amazing, played freely with numerous dialogues between sitar and tabla, with subtle adds of violin, piano and bass (electric). The main elements of composition are the rhythm, very structured, complex and the improvisational jazz / "raga" which introduces us in a spiritual and floating psychedelic atmosphere. The two albums are really conceptual, developing short, esoteric tales mostly served by basic themes of eastern instrumentations and odd, spoken words. Bobby Callender's musical signature is a perfect illustration of free form "ethnic" jazz improvisations in adequacy with the growing effervescence of the 60's "acid", psychedelic philosophies.

"My rainbow of colours reflects the past and present. Each change has been indicated by the spectrum of my life and only it knows the hidden colours of my future"

A very colourful, personal and polyphonic album by this curious American jazz rock artist. The main objective pursued is to create a ravishing mental journey through ragas and different jazz like improvisations. Bobby Callender easily used the traditional instruments of eastern classical music for circular motifs (but without turning minimalist or obsessional) and combines this force with groovy & jazzy experimentations. The title track is a brief western raga featuring floating sitar lines, echoing manipulated voices (which provide an "acid" temper) and orchestral arrangements. The atmosphere is very "kitsch" and romantic but definitely curious. "Nature" is an impressive psychedelic raga rock composition with "stoned" vocals, electric guitar sections and usual eastern ingredients. "Sade Masoch" includes a jazz part for trombone mixed to a dancing sitar / voice duet. "Purple" is closed to new age (before time); a long flowing, ethereal composition with easy effects and charming sounds taken from the elements. "Mother Superior» is a melodramatic ballad for orchestra. "Autumn" is a track for piano and violin which covers different kind of "world" jazz and popular music. "Man" is a sleeping pop jazz ballad which meets a hippie-like background. This album is not a milestone in jazz indo fusion for the reason that it sometimes turns "raga" into an object of "common" meditation and mainstream ballad...abandoning the goal of trancey state and visceral, emotional effervescences. However it's a nice addition for fans of "world" music and fusion jazz.

This bizarre, Alan Lorber-produced psychedelic album appeared originally in 1969 on Boston Sound. Bobby Callendar was an incredibly gifted poet and lyricist whose complex texts could only be compared to Scott Walker; the concepts of a U.K. artist of Indian heritage post-psychedelia were augmented by the lush arrangements of Paul Harris and Bob Gallo. The cast of musicians on this album included some of the highest-caliber sidemen of the time, most notably Richard Davis, the master bassist of Van Morrison's Astral weeks fame (not to mention a jazz musician in his own right), the guitars of Eric Gale and Hugh McCracken, and the astonishingly subtle Burnard Purdie on drums. The album is a rich and complex exploration of Eastern-inspired psychedelic rock and folk centered on the incredibly complex texts and vocals of Bobby Callendar. When reading the lyric sheet, it is most astonishing how such elaborate poetic evocations were somehow made to fit popular song forms. Sure, at these highly conscious times of the late '60s it was not uncommon for deeply poetic, socially conscious, or hallucinogenic themes to appear in the lyrics of pop music, yet this is album is absolutely brilliant for being one of the most ostentatious animations of the written word, yet absolutely vital and musical throughout. Fans of Scott Walker's solo material, Colin Blundstone, and Duncan Browne should give this album a few hours -- if not a week -- of their attention. This excellent Italian reissue from Akarma is packaged and remastered exquisitely.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Henry Franklin - 1974 - The Skipper At Home

Henry Franklin
The Skipper At Home

01. Blue Lights 7:03
02. What Was 8:28
03. Soft Spirit 7:35
04. The Magic Boy 8:49
05. Venus Fly Trap 6:17
06. Waltz For Boobuss 3:33

Bass, Leader – Henry Franklin (Nyimbo)
Drums – Ndugu (Leon Chancelor)
Guitar – Kenny Climas
Soprano Saxophone – Kemang Sunduza (Bill Henderson)
Tenor Saxophone – Charles Owens
Trombone – Al Hall, Jr.
Trumpet – Oscar Brashear (Cache)

Having enjoyed many recordings from this era of Jazz, and lacking familiarity with much of the Black Jazz roster, I was delighted to explore this recent series of reissues. Skipper at Home is a keen slice of Soul Jazz in the vein of Donald Byrd's early 70's recordings prior to his more overtly 'Pop' collaborations with the Mizell brothers, e.g. Ethiopian Knights, Blackbyrd, Fancy Free, Kofi, etc... Some very nice grooves and tight arrangements with Franklin's ebullient playing and distinct tone at the forefront. Henry Franklin is in good company on this set. This is West Coast conscious Jazz music.

Jazz-man Henry Franklin, widely respected for his service to the finest jazz players, brought that ineffable quality called soulfulness into play when he made his first record for producer George Porter at Black Jazz, The Skipper. Not unexpectedly, his follow-up affair titled The Skipper at Home teems with the same jaunty uplift. In sync with Franklin's musical spirit on the second recording are returnees Charles Owens on saxophone, Oscar Brashear on trumpet and Kenny Climax on guitar

Henry Franklin - 1972 - The Skipper

Henry Franklin
The Skipper

01. Outbreak 10:00
02. Plastic Creek Stomp 3:22
03. Theme For JoJo 7:34
04. Beauty And The Electric Tub 12:33
05. Little Miss Laurie 7:36
06. The Skipper 5:18

Henry Franklin Fender & Upright Bass
Charles Owens Tenor & Soprano Saxophone
Oscar Brashear Trumpet
Bill Henderson Electric Piano & Fender Rhodes
Kenny Climax Guitar & Electric Tub
Michael Carvin Drums
Fred Lido & Tip Jones Percussion

For decades, the Los Angeles jazz community has been fortunate to have bass player Henry 'The Skipper' Franklin in their midst. He's a paragon of jazz consistency, as trusty as they come. The best musicians living in the area or visiting the area have called on this technically-assured bass player for gigs and/or recording dates: Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp, Freddie Hubbard, Roswell Rudd, Hugh Masekela, Willie Bobo, the list stretches on and on. Franklin even turns up on the gold record Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.

Franklin's made about two dozen albums under his own name and led his own bands on countless scores of performances in leading clubs. Franklin first made his mark in the early 1970s. The Los Angeles native was in a funky swing-bebop trio with pianist Hampton Hawes and drummer Michael Carvin that traveled to Europe, where they were recorded for one of the best concert records of the day, Live in Montreux 71. These same three worthies joined with expatriated saxophonist Dexter Gordon in Paris for yet another splendid record, Live at the Montmartre. Franklin also got around to making his first headlining record, The Skipper, assisted by seven Los Angeles players, notably trumpeter Oscar Brashear, saxophonist Charles Owen, electric pianist Bill Henderson and drummer Carvin." --Frank-John Hadley

Doug Hammond & David Durrah - 1975 - Reflections In The Sea Of Nurnen

Doug Hammond & David Durrah  
Reflections In The Sea Of Nurnen

01. Fidalgo Detour 7:32
02. Space II 0:35
03. Wake Up Brothers 3:05
04. Reflections 4:23
05. For Real 2:56
06. Space I 2:00
07. Sea Of Nurnen 4:34
08. Moves 4:29

Violin – Trevis Mickeel
Violin – Charles Burnhan
Percussion – Frederick Boon
Percussion – Thomas (Turk) Trayler
Alto Saxophone – Otis Harris
Bass – Charles Metcalf
Drums, Melodica, Vocals – Doug Hammond
Piano – David Durrah

An incredible session from the legendary Tribe Records scene – an equal effort from leader Doug Hammond and keyboardist David Durrah, who contributes some groundbreaking Fender Rhodes and moog work to the set! Hammond handles drums plus a bit of vocals and synthesizer on the session – working alongside Durrah in a groove that mixes electric and acoustic instrumentation into a totally righteous sound with lots of heavy Afro Jazz leanings. A number of tracks feature great vocals from Hammond – righteous, and with a beautifully soulful message-oriented approach – and a few other tracks, such as the classic "Space I" and "Space II", feature a sparer all-electric sound. The whole thing's wonderful – skittishly rhythmic, warmly flowing, and righteously beautiful. 

Cleveland Eaton - 1975 - Plenty Good Eaton

Cleveland Eaton
Plenty Good Eaton

01. Chi-Town Theme 5:03
02. Keena 5:12
03. Moe, Let's Have A Party 4:33
04. Are You OUt There Somewhere Caring 7:23
05. Kaiser 405 6:41
06. All Your Lover, All Day, All Night 9:26
07. Hamburg 302 8:37

Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Vocals, – Cleveland Eaton
Bass Trombone – Steve Galloway
Electric Piano – Kenneth Prince
Guitar – Ernest Johnson
Organ, Electric Piano – Odell Brown
Percussion – Morris Jennings
Percussion, Flute – Derf Raheen
tenor Saxophone – Arie Brown
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Artee "Duke" Payne, Edwin Daugherty
Trombone – John Watson
Vibraphone – Bobby Christian
Violin, Viola – Ed Green

Cleveland "Cleve" Eaton is a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, right there with Nat Cole, Wilson Pickett, Martha Reeves, Jerry Wexler, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, and a few dozen other notables. "I don't play like nobody else," he told The Birmingham News when inducted in 2008. "I do my own thing. It's absolutely Alabama." Eaton's Plenty Good Eaton, recorded in Curtis Mayfield's soul Chicago at Chess Recording Studio with local hired-guns and first out in 1975, belongs to the R&B genre, even though there are side paths into soul-jazz. The lushly arranged "Chi-Town" proceeds from a cloned "Shaft" introduction into a lushly-produced funk romp with Eaton's upright bass guiding a chicken-scratch funk guitar, electronic keyboards, strings, horns, and a female singer or two. With Eaton's acoustic bass typically prominent in the mix, and with Ed Green's violin steering its melodic course, "Keena" exists as a happy union of R&B and disco. In spite of lame repetitive chants of its title, "Moe, Let's Have A Party" makes the right dancefloor moves with a funk groove that popular bands like Rufus and the Ohio Players wouldn't mind claiming as their own. 

Cleveland Eaton - 1973 - Half and Half

Cleveland Eaton
Half and Half

01. Keep It Funky 5:20
02. Day Dreaming 3:36
03. Here Comes Funky Lou 4:00
04. Betcha By Golly Wow 4:15
05. People Make The World Go Round 5:34
06. Slipping Into Darkness 7:15
07. Missing You 3:17
08. John's Groove 2:55
09. The Love Gangster 3:20
10. Lie 2:15
11. Ah Movin' On 4:00

Drums, Percussion – Morris Jennings
Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass – Cleveland J. Eaton II
Electric Piano, Electric Harpsichord – Odell Brown
Guitar – Larry Blasingaine
Guitar – Victor Comer
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Artee Duke Payne Jr
Trombone – John Watson
Violin, Viola – Ed Green 

Half and Half brings Eaton's bass lines to a talented group of Funk/Fusion musicians. Original music added to covers by Aretha, the Stylistics, and War accented with solos by each member of the band is a highly recommended addition to any true fan of Funk and Fusion. Album cuts vary in tempo and temperament, but all will make a body move. Although I should limit my comments to what is there, not to what is not there, I would wish for vocals on several of the cuts. Nevertheless, that was then and this is now. Still, an important inclusion to anyone's Funk/Fusion collection.

Half and Half makes me think "Fred Wesley";then, the flute kicks in, and I'm left wondering exactly what is going on. Diverse? Check. Some strings? Yes. Funky ass grooves again and again until you're ready to formally bow before the human headed bull on the cover and swear allegiance to whatever pagan god spawned this bass monster? Sure.

Incredible jazz-funk from 1973. Cleveland Eaton keeps the bass funky throughout as expected but the horns steal the show. The original compositions are great, but some of the covers ("People Make the World Go Round", "Day Dreaming", "Slipping Into Darkness") could be called the definitive versions. A must have for fans of jazz funk.

Like the winged, part-man/part-bull creature that adorns its bizarre cover, Cleveland Eaton's Half and Half is a mutant, a jazz-funk monster that lays to waste everything in its path. Despite the structural complexity of its fusion-inspired arrangements, the record remains rooted in the driving soul-jazz grooves of Eaton's past collaborations with Ramsey Lewis, resulting in celebratory music that appeals equally to the mind and the body. Eaton also proves an imaginative composer, with originals like "Keep It Funky" and "Here Comes Funky You" fitting comfortably alongside covers including War's "Slippin' into Darkness" and the Stylistics' "Betcha by Golly, Wow." Out of print by the early 21st century, Half and Half demands a reissue worthy of its excellence.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Chester Thompson - 1971 - Powerhouse

Chester Thompson

01. Mr. T 6:21
02. Trip One 9:00
03. Weird Harold 5:49
04. Power House 6:30

Drums – Raymond Pound
Organ – Chester Thompson
Saxophone – Rudolph Johnson
Trombone – Al Hall 

Of all the musicians that recorded for the short-lived, innovative Black jazz label, organist Chester Thompson’s career, obviously because it was outside jazz, was most succesful. Thompson, who had grown up playing organ in church, and like many of his generation fell under the spell of modern organ jazz pioneer Jimmy Smith, toured the chitlin’ circuit with saxophonist Rudy Johnson in the late sixties. After his record debut Powerhouse in 1971, Thompson joined Tower Of Power, playing a crucial role in the popular and inventive funk group from 1973 till 1983. Thompson’s stretch on organ and keyboards with Carlos Santana lasted an impressive quarter century, from 1983 to 2009. During the mid-eighties, Thompson temporarily changed his name to Chester “T” Thompson to avoid confusion with the band’s drummer, Chester “Hey, I’m the real Chester!” Thompson. Leaving Santana, Thompson returned to his straigh-ahead jazz roots, recording Mixology in 2010 and performing frequently in the Bay area.

Black Jazz was founded in 1971 by pianist Gene Russell and Dick Schory, former drummer, audio tech and owner of Ovation Records, which came to distribute Black Jazz. It specialized in funk jazz and free jazz and shares the honor with Stanley Cowell and Charles Tolliver’s Strata-East label, which was also founded in ’71, of being a groundbreaking jazz record label of Afro-American ownership. Like Strata-East, Black Jazz is highly collectable and characterised by trademark, classy black and white sleeves. Powerhouse is number 6 in a catalogue that runs to only 20 albums and includes albums by pianists Walter Bishop Jr. and Doug Carn, who was a bestseller and the label’s most succesful artist.

A versatile player, Chester Thompson embellishes slow-dragging funk cuts like Powerhouse with tacky blues voicings not unlike those of the great Jimmy McGriff, while his propulsive right hand lines occasionally decide to dribble playfully through the defense of the astringent, basic chords changes. The mid-tempo Trip One’s a more modern jazzy tune, in which Thompson’s style is close to the bebop-infested, pianistic lines of Jimmy Smith and Don Patterson. Underneath the cuts of Powerhouse boils a fat groove provided by drummer Raymond Pound (and Thompson’s bass lines) that show the influence of master funk jazz drummer Idris Muhammad. It may lack Muhammad’s crisp touch, but it’s deep and baaaaad.