Saturday, December 10, 2016

Alain Goraguer - 1973 - La Planete Sauvage

Alain Goraguer 
La Planete Sauvage

01. Déshominisation (II)
02. Déshominisation (I)
03. Générique
04. Le Bracelet
05. Ten Et Tiwa
06. Maquillage De Tiwa
07. Course De Ten
08. Ten Et Medor
09. Ten Et Tiwa Dorment
10. Ten Est Assome
11. Abite
12. Conseil Des Draags
13. Les Hommes-La Grande Co-Existence
14. La Femme
15. Mira Et Ten
16. Mort De Draag 17. L'oiseau
17. La Cité Des Hommes Libres
18. Attaque Des Robots
19. La Longue Marche-Valse Des Statues
20. Les Fusées
21. Générique
22. Strip Tease
23. Méditation Des Enfants
24. La Vieille Meurt

Animated sci-fi masterpiece La Planète Sauvage (a.k.a. Fantastic Planet), winner at Cannes Film Festival in 1973, is a bizarre and beautiful film. Towering blue-skinned figures, tiny humanoids in the midst of revolt, and drug-induced Tantric sex transport viewers to a truly magical setting.

Composer Alain Goraguer creates an equally hypnotic score from a palette of effects-laden guitars, flutes, Fender Rhodes and strings. While the lush arrangements are reminiscent of Goraguer's collaborations with Serge Gainsbourg in the 1960s, space-age synth flourishes suggest a more psychedelic era. Moody vignettes flow together in tense, slow-paced funk rhythms and Baroque textures.

It comes as no surprise that La Planète Sauvage has been cited as an influence on contemporary artists such as French duo Air and American hip-hop producers J Dilla and Madlib. Gorgeous, interplanetary soundscapes resemble the surreal meeting point between Pink Floyd's Obscured by Clouds and Broadcast's Future Crayon.

Even if you know nothing about the movie, this recording stands well enough on its own. Really trippy and dense, it is a testament to the unfortunate reality that they just don't make 'em like this anymore. Tastefully orchestrated and uniquely original. A must for the collector of the avante-garde, psychedelic, or experimental.
If you are familiar with the film (an animation milestone and a great film in its own right), you may be suprised at the length of the soundtrack and that there are many tracks that were not used in the film. NO B.S. here. And don't be turned off by the flat sound of the actual film. The sound quality is excellent; the music is even better.
Actually at times sounds like you are being persued by a race of giant blue aliens, but at the same time you are in awe of the mistique and odd beauty of the landscape-- the fantastic planet, with its strange unearthly creatures, creepy soundscapes, surreal psychic energy.
A classic by a quite unknown composer whom was rightfully selected to realize the score to this great film, and by the grace of the gods, and the mercy of the giant blue Traags, his work is available to us here on a planet which is just as savage, but not nearly as fantastic.
5 stars for the atmosphere that this album creates alone. It is genuinely creepy, but not like in a Halloween-like way. Not a rock album (has common elements), not really a new age type of album either. 5 stars for the instrumentation and occaisional backing vocals (that clavichord/ wah wah guitar just oozes from the speakers. Strings, drums, and bass complement nicely. The sound is just delicious. 5 stars for the actual music, which ranges from soothing to driving to outright freakish at times. Always odd, never boring. 5 stars for the production and originality.

This long out-of-print vinyl release features the original soundtrack recording and newly designed artwork. Recommended for fans of Ennio Morricone, Basil Kirchin and David Axelrod.

Houston Person - 1973 - The Real Thing

Houston Person 
The Real Thing

01. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life 8:55
02. Since I Fell For You 6:23
03. Until It's Time For You To Go 4:10
04. Pain 13:50
05. Angel Eyes 7:05
06. Easy Walker 8:30
07. Kittitian Carnival 7:15
08. Could It Be I'm Falling In Love 4:20
09. Where Is The Love? 4:00
10. Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do 3:50
11. Don't Go To Strangers 3:50
12. Crazy Legs 6:48

Houston Person, Wild Bill Moore - Tenor Saxophone;
Eli Fountain - Alto Saxophone;
Marcus Belgrave, Donald Townes - Trumpet;
Jimmy Watson, Sonny Phillips - Organ;
Buddy Caldwell - Congas;
Robert Lowe, Grant Green - Guitar;
James Jamieson - Bass;
Hank Brown, Idris Muhammad - Drums;
Spanky Wilson, Etta Jones - Vocals.

Recorded Live at Watt's Club Mozambique, Detroit, Michigan
Label: Eastbound Records – 2EB 9010 (US)

The Real Thing proved to be Houston Person’s Prestige Records’ swan-song. It was  a double album of cover versions. Songs by Stevie Wonder, The Spinners and The Ohio Players that feature on The Real Thing, which features the great and good of jazz.

Just like previous albums, Houston brought onboard guitarist Grant Green, drummers Hank Brown and Idris Muhammad and Hammond organists Sonny Phillips and Brother Jack McDuff. They were joined by vocalist Etta James, who added the vocal on Don’t Go To Strangers. This was one of twelve tracks on The Real Thing, which proved to be Houston Person’s Prestige Records’ finale.

On its release in 1973, The Real Thing, Houston Person’s twelfth album wasn’t a commercial success. It was however, well received by critics. Blues, jazz and R&B sat side-by-side. However, sales were what mattered, and The Real Thing proved to be the end of Houston Person’s time at Prestige Records. It would be two more years before Houston released another album.

Houston Person - 1972 - Sweet Buns & Barbeque

Houston Person 
Sweet Buns & Barbeque

01. A Song For You 4:35
02. The Trouble With Hello Is Goodbye (Love Theme From “Fuzz”) 4:00
03. Scared To Be Alone 4:20
04. Sweet Buns And Barbeque 3:05
05. This Masquerade 6:20
06. Down Here On The Ground 3:45
07. Put It Where You Want It 3:10
08. Groove Thang 3:00

Acoustic Guitar – Hugh McCracklin (tracks: A1)
Bass – Ron Carter (tracks: A1 to A3)
Bass, Electric Bass – George Duvivier (tracks: A4 to B4)
Congas, Percussion – Buddy Caldwell (tracks: A4, B1, B3, B4)
Drums – Grady Tate
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Joe Beck (tracks: A1, A2, A4 to B3)
Flute, Baritone Saxophone – Frank Wess (tracks: B2 to B4)
Guitar – Hugh McCracklin (tracks: A3)
Organ – Jimmy Watson (4) (tracks: B1)
Organ, Electric Piano, Piano – Richard Tee (tracks: A1 to A3)
Tenor Saxophone – Houston Person
Trumpet – Ernie Royal (tracks: B2 to B4), Victor Paz (tracks: B2 to B4)

After Broken Windows, Empty Hallways Houston returned with Sweet Buns and Barbeque. Unlike previous albums, Sweet Buns and Barbeque comprised only cover versions. There were no Houston Person originals on Sweet Buns & Barbeque. However, still, Prestige Records brought in some of the best musicians.

Pianist Richard Tee joined drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, bassist Ron Carter and guitarist Joe Beck. Along with what seemed like a cast of thousands, they recorded the six songs that became Sweet Buns and Barbeque. It was released in 1973.

On Sweet Buns and Barbeque’s release in 1973, reviews ranged from mixed to favourable. However, Sweet Buns and Barbecue wasn’t as well received as the albums produced by Bob Porter.

It seemed the breakup of the Bob Porter and Houston Person partnership had affected Houston’s music. No longer was the music as groundbreaking. That, however, may not have been Houston’s fault. Maybe, Prestige Records were looking for music that was commercial? Sadly, we’ll never know. What we do know, is that Houston Person’s time at Prestige Records was almost at an end.

Houston Person - 1971 - Houston Express

Houston Person 
Houston Express

01. Young Gifted And Black 5:15
02. The Houston Express 5:48
03. Enjoy 4:55
04. Give More Power To The People (For God's Sake) 3:40
05. Chains Of Love 7:30
06. Just My Imagination 5:35
07. Lift Every Voice 5:40

Guitar:Billy Butler
Piano: Paul Griffin
Flute, Saxophone: Harold Vick
Baritone Saxophone: Babe Clarke
Trombone: Garnett Brown
Trombone: Jack Jeffers
Trumpet: Ernie Royal
Trumpet: Money Johnson
Trumpet: Thad Jones
Trumpet: Cecil Bridgewater
Piano: Ernie Hayes
Bass: Gerry Jemmott
Congas: Buddy Caldwell
Drums: Bernard Purdie
Organ: Jimmy Watson
Tenor Saxophone: Houston Person

By 1971, funk was flavour of the month. Jazz was no longer as popular as it once had been. So, on Houston Express, Houston Person and a band that included drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie and guitarist Billy Butler, fused musical genres.

Houston Express was essentially an album of funk, jazz and R&B. It was quite different to Houston’s previous albums. However, Houston and Bob Porter realised the importance of moving forward musically. They realised that if a musician stands still, they risked becoming irrelevant. There was no chance of this happening to Houston.

When critics heard Houston Express, they hailed it one of Houston’s finest albums. The constant reinvention of Houston Person was working. He was still commercially successful in an era when jazz’s popularity was plummeting. That took some doing. However, Houston managed to do this. Would his success last though?

Houston Person - 1970 - Truth!

Houston Person 

01. Cissy Strut 8:35
02. On The Avenue 9:30
03. If I Ruled The World 3:22
04. Wadin' 8:40
05. The Pulpit 5:03
06. For Your Love 5:20

Bass – Bob Bushnell
Congas – Buddy Caldwell
Drums – Frankie Jones
Guitar – Billy Butler
Organ – Sonny Phillips
Tenor Saxophone – Houston Person

Recorded Feb 23, 1970 by Rudy van Gelder.

Commercial success and critical acclaim continued with Truth! Released in 1970, it featured guitarist Billy Butler and Sonny Phillips on Hammond organ. The result was a fusion of jazz and R&B. This went down well with critics and record buyers. Bob Porter had transformed Houston Person’s sound and career.