quarta-feira, 23 de agosto de 2017

Apple and The Thrre Oranges (Edward “Apple” Nelson) - Funk & Soul (USA)

Edward "Apple" Nelson is best known for the small clutch of 45s he released under the Apple and The Three Oranges name on local Los Angeles labels in the 1970s. He first found credit as "Apple" on a Marie Franklin single released on disc jockey Douglas Moore's Stage Music imprint. He would engage Moore to issue "Free And Easy", the first record released as Apple and The Three Oranges. This rapid development from road hog to recording artist inspired him to found Sagittarius Records, named after his zodiac sign. His run with Sagittarius contains six unimpeachable soul and funk numbers released under the Apple and The Three Oranges banner and one issued under his own name, Ed. (sic) Nelson. These songs, and his prior recordings, are ripe for a historical reappraisal. Monday's manic rant relegated "What Goes Around Comes Around" to the funk freak show, but Nelson's introductory 12 bars contain some of the most unique funk drumming ever cut to lacquer. The low fidelity of every Apple and The Three Oranges single was never a problem for the low-riding Eastside Angelenos, who lionized tracks such as "True Love Will Never Die", but their muddy quality cast Nelson outside of the canon in which troubled soul singers like Bobby Womack have held court for decades. Nelson's master tapes lost in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina will never surface to right this wrong. And the records themselves are rare: the "Love Brings Out The Best Of You", "Curse Upon The World" and "I'll Give You A Ring (When I Come, If I Come)" singles are amongst the most sought after and expensive Los Angeles soul and funk records to ever list at auction. Thus, we are privileged to present Nelson's complete works in our Free and Easy anthology. Nearly forty years after he gave up on his recording career, we're left with little more than Nelson s explosive music and his straight-shooting stories of his life's arc. The fact that he can't explain his life's contradictions are what makes the extensive interview contained in Free and Easy's book a compelling read. Whether it's his first hand experience with the great New Orleans drummers who laid the foundations of funk, or his relating the oft-told, and always sad, tale of lust supplanting love, Nelson offers confounding words to complement his all too beautiful soul and funk music.

MYTHOS Krautrock • Germany

MYTHOS emerged from the Berlin underground scene in 1969. Less known than others german bands and artists as AMON DUUL, Klaus SCHULZE... they also signed their debut effort for the legendary ohr label. Their first two albums "Mythos" and "Dreamlab" represent Krautrock at its finest. The general mood of the band during that period was orientated to free space/psychedelic music with a lot of electric organs and keyboard parts. Their self title album includes acoustic and oriental elements as flute, sitar... which add a mystical flavor to the music. The following albums will be very far from the space, peaceful and strange music developped in the two first albums. The releases of "Concrete City" and "Strange Guys" show a new musical direction taken by the band, they turned to something more mainstream, synth, with numerous short songs. Nevertheless their two first are an absolute must for prog completists and all fans of Krautrock. 

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE : : :

Thanks Magal

Susana Baca - Lo Africano en el Perú (Afro Peruvian songs)

Susana Esther Baca de la Colina (born 24 May 1944 in Chorrillos, Lima Province, Peru) is a prominent Peruvian singer-songwriter, school teacher, folklorist, ethnomusicologist and two-times Latin Grammy Award winner. She has been a key figure in the revival of Afro-Peruvian music. In July 2011, she was named Peru's Minister of Culture in the Ollanta Humala government, becoming the second Afro-Peruvian cabinet minister in the history of independent Peru. In November 2011 she was elected to the Organization of American States (OAS) as the President of the Commission of Culture for the period 2011–13.

Her songs are poetic (with lyrics composed by some of Latin America's premier poets, with whom she collaborates), rich with evocative imagery, and her voice is delicate yet soulful. She has an elegant and engaging stage presence, gliding gracefully about the stage while singing. Her delivery is so deeply felt and emotion-filled as to project a spiritual character, even in songs that are not expressly religious in subject matter.

Baca is an important figure in the revival of Afro-Peruvian music within Peru (see, for example, dancers from the Perú Negro troupe, as well as "Festejo" music), which, like the culture that produced it, had previously been little recognized, but which is now regarded as an important part of Peruvian culture. Baca has contributed much to its international popularity, which began in 1995 with the release of the compilation CD Afro-Peruvian Classics: The Soul of Black Peru. The album, which features the Baca song "Maria Lando", was released by the Luaka Bop record label, which belongs to ex-Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.

terça-feira, 22 de agosto de 2017

3BF - 3 Balls of Fire (ROCK - USA)

Based in both Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, CA - 3 Balls of Fire, AKA The Men with the Burning Guitars, was formed in 1987 by guitarist/composer/band leader Burnin' Mike Vernon. Vernon and joined his first band, Stoned Catsup, in Arlington, Texas, in 1969. From '73-'75 Mike studied Spanish guitar at the Univ. of Texas-El Paso and then returned to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where he played in various jazz, blues, rock, and western bands. During this time he had the opportunity to sit in with such greats as Freddie King, Big Joe Turner, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Gary Duncan of the Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Recorded in 1999 and released in 2000, Friday Night at Ego's Lounge is an original take on classic '60s instrumental surf rock combined with the flavors of Mancini-era spy tunes and '60s garage rock.

Bass Guitar – Vic Gerard
Bongos – Ted Roddy
Drums – Chris "Stix" Staples*
Engineer – Ted James
Guitar – Homer Henderson, Burnin' MIke Vernon*
Harmonica – Ted Roddy

Jackie Mitto & The SoulBrothers - Reggae, Funk, Ska (Jamaica)

After the Skatalites disbanded in the mid-'60s, Jamaican producer Clement Dodd brought in several of the group's members as the house band for his Studio One facility, teaming them with some of the younger musicians he had discovered. The Soul Brothers, as the in-house group was initially called, were led by keyboardist, arranger, and soul master Jackie Mittoo and the equally as talented tenor sax player Roland Alphonso. Officially, this configuration recorded for Dodd between 1965 and 1967, churning out hundreds of the now-trademark Studio One-styled rhythms that Dodd would use as backing tracks for his singing artists. Often, though, Mittoo, Alphonso, and company got to cut loose and create their own instrumentals over the rhythms, and several of these delightful sides are collected here. Recorded just as ska was giving way to the deeper, slower rhythms of rocksteady, tracks like the skipping and rolling "Train to Skaville" (which isn't really ska at all, although it shows up repeatedly on ska collections in the Ethiopians' vocal version), the push and pull feel of "Take Ten," the ragged yet sure "Chicken and Booze," and the infectiously bubbly "Home Made" are closer to being a kind of unique Jamaican version of soul-jazz than anything else (compare the one vocal track here, "Got My Boogaloo," to Jimmy Smith's version of "Got My Mojo Working" to hear how close to American soul-jazz this stuff really is). Whatever the label, it's all pure fun, and durable, as these incredible rhythms continue to be versioned well into the 21st century.

Following on from Soul Jazz Records' earlier Jackie Mittoo The Keyboard King at Studio One comes Jackie Mittoo and The Soul Brothers Last Train To Skaville. Jackie Mittoo is one of the most important artists in the history of Jamaican music. As founding member of the legendary Skatalites, as in-house arranger/producer at Studio One and as a solo artist in his own right leading groups such as The Soul Brothers, Sound Dimension and Soul Vendors. These classic and rare recordings were made in the mid-1960s at Studio One. The Soul Brothers bridged the gap between Ska and the arrival of Rocksteady mixing it all up with Funk, Jazz and Latin styles.

TEMPUS FUGIT Symphonic Prog • Brazil

When the century was dying, Andre Mello (Keyboard, vocals) and drummer Marcio de Almeyda (Former Visagem) joined to form a new band, almost immediately they recruited their two friends Bernard (bass) and guitarist Henrique Henrique Simões, but after a couple weeks Bernard decided to pursue his designing career and left the band, being replaced by Henrique's cousin Rolando Simões (later replaced by André Luiz). 

This lineup recorded their first two songs that later became part of their debut "Tales from a Forgotten World" which was released in 1997 with Ary Moura who took Marcio's place as drummer of TEMPUS FUGIT. 

From the start it was obvious that the band decided to keep alive the spirit of the 70's, with a relatively strong YES, CAMEL and MARILLIOJN influence, but a unique touch that only Brazilian bands can provide, the album was well received in the States but became really accepted in Continental Europe and specially in Japan, where they became some sort of minor icons.

With the same formation plus two guests (Marco Aurêh - flute on "O Dom de Voar" and Fernando Sierpe - vocals on "Discover"), the band releases their second album called "The Dawn After the Storm" (1997), and this time they hit the nail right in the head. If their debut was solid, this time they surpassed the expectations and gave us one of the best Brazilian albums full of lush keyboards and fresh ideas.

The next years live was like a roller coaster, they had tours and were invited to the most important festivals because everybody liked their style that combined nostalgia for the fiorst golden Symphonic era, with a modern twist. But as in any normal roller coaster they had their downs, like when they couldn't go to Baja Prog, because they were not able to get the money for the tickets (The eternal problem of Latin America bands), but on the other hand, they were able to play in Buenos Aires with Anekdoten, Nexus and many prestigious local bands.

In the dawn of the new century, TEMPUS FUGIT started to work in their third record, which only saw the light in 2008 only one change in the band (Andre Mello instead of Andre Luiz) and the name "Chessboard", an album that places them in the border that divides Symphonic from Neo Prog with a clear IQ, early GENESIS and KYRIE ELEISON influence, in other words, they demonstrated us during their career a great versatility and the capacity of combining different genres, styles and moods with special dexterity.

Today, only their website survives, but I've seen some movement around TEMPUS FUGIT sites that gives me hopes for a new reunion.

Iván Melgar Morey :::: Perú

Thanks Magal

segunda-feira, 21 de agosto de 2017

TOUCHSTONE Crossover Prog • United Kingdom

TOUCHSTONE are a five piece UK Progressive Rock band formed by Rob COTTINGHAM and Adam HODGSON. The band has developed in many ways since the early days, and morphed into the present line up with Andre P (Moo) MOORGHEN on Bass Guitar, Alasdair MELVILLE on drums and vocalist, Kim SEVIOUR. The debut album and follow up to their 'Mad Hatters' EP, 'Discordant Dreams' was recorded at Outhouse Studios in June 2007, and released on 10th September 2007. 

Mixing the complexities of progressive rock, with soaring keyboards and power-chords of melodic rock TOUCHSTONE form part of the growing UK scene of female-fronted bands that follow on from bands such as MOSTLY AUTUMN, MAGENTA and KARNATAKA, but with a harder, rock edge to them.

Thanks Magal

Jackson Conti - Latin Jazz

Sujinho is a latin jazz collaboration album between Otis Jackson Jr., an American hip hop producer and MC known as Madlib, and Ivan Conti, drummer for the Brazilian funk band Azymuth. This album features Brazilian samba music heavily and features one of Madlib's interests in Latin Jazz. So far this album has been released twice, once in the Netherlands on Kindred Spirits in 2x vinyl and in the US on Mochilla Records in CD format. 

The liner notes to Jackson Conti’s Sujinho introduce the album with a simple but intriguing declarative: “Madlib loves Brasilian music.”

First things first. The “Jackson” in “Jackson Conti” is Otis Jackson, Jr., known in music circles as Madlib. Yep, the same “Madlib” who, according to the liner notes, loves Brasilian music. The same Madlib who is quite possibly one of, if not the, hardest working hip-hop artists today. Even if you don’t know his name, chances are good you’ve been exposed to Madlib’s skills on the production tip. Madlib has been the man behind the boards for artists such as Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, De La Soul, Percee P., and Mos Def. 

THE GIFT Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom

THE GIFT are a Symphonic Prog band from, London, formed after Mike Morton (vocals, 6/12 string acoustic guitar, piano and string arrangements) and Leroy James (lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals, samples, effects and programming, piano and string arrangements) came up with the idea of creating a band and making a concept album at the same time. 

The concept was devised by Mike Morton and was initially meant to be just one piece.
They brought in other musicians to help with the recording, viz. Jim Thomas (bass), Rod Haverhill (keyboards) and David Storey (drums) and THE GIFT was born.

The band made some initial demos and pressed on with the idea. They sent the demos out to various places and general opinion was positive. So positive in fact, that the Cyclops label (responsible for bands such as Mostly Autumn, Pineapple Thief, Saens and Tr3nity) gave them a deal.

THE GIFT had the desire and conviction to record the album itself. The idea initially was to record one multi-themed piece (a suite called Awake and Dreaming), about "savagery and war and the final triumph of piece" (as their MySpace biography notes), but Cyclops felt it need to be longer and asked them to record a slightly extended finish. This ended up as another suite (of 30 minutes in length), called Fountains of Ash about "domestic violence, again seeking solace in the human spirit" (from their MySpace bio).

Their sound is quite varied, but takes on a definite symphonic rock air to it. They have hard rocking sections, pastoral songs, and "complex time signatures, wild key changes and ambitious concepts." 

Their progressive rock influences include Pink Floyd, Genesis (Gabriel era), Yes, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Rush and Dream Theater. They also take influence from non-prog bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, The Who, Beatles, Massive Attack, U2, Sex Pistols and Prince.

Their debut album (a double CD) Awake and Dreaming, was released on October 9, 2006, by Cyclops.

James R. Yeowell

Thanks Magal

domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu - Soul-Jazz, Afrobeat, Funk (Finland)

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu - 4th Dimension Finland's Jimi Tenor, a musician, composer and arranger known to constantly reinvent himself, has finished work on his latest album 4th Dimension, which is set for release in early 2009. On 4th Dimension, Jimi Tenor continues his exploration of Afrobeat music. The album also sees him reunite with Kabu Kabu, a group of West African musicians based in Germany, who debuted on Tenor's 2007 album Joystone. 4th Dimension's Afrobeat is highlighted with Tenor's jazzy, bohemian touches and ability to write irresistible tunes. Tenor's catchy-yet-challenging arrangements are reminiscent of the legendary Fela Kuti, and perhaps one can also sense the influence of the likes of Lalo Schifrin, Charlie Mingus and Sun Ra. Tenor's trademark high-pitched vocals are heard less this time around as the maestro concentrates on tooting his tenor sax, playing the flute and synth. The album's first single Mystery Spot is uplifting and uptempo Afrobeat. Global Party starts out moody but builds into a frenzied Disco groove. Grind! and Me I Say Yes are perhaps the album's most traditional Afro-inspired songs with their loping basslines and heavy percussion. Mogadishu Ave. is a surprise number of Goblin-esque psychedelic prog rock. Mega Roots and Fast Legs are lo-fi percussion jams similar to the African field recordings released by legendary labels Folkways and Ocora. 4th Dimension is yet another superb album by Jimi Tenor.

James Taylor - Folk Rock (USA)

James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single "Fire and Rain" and had his first No. 1 hit the following year with "You've Got a Friend", a recording of Carole King's classic song. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million US copies. Following his 1977 album, JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over a million copies. His chart performance had a resurgence during the late 1990s and 2000s, when he recorded some of his most-awarded work (including Hourglass, October Road, and Covers). He achieved his first number one album in the US in 2015 with his recording Before This World.

He is notable for his popular covers of other peoples' songs, such as "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and the aforementioned "You've Got A Friend", as well as originals such as "Fire and Rain".

Thanks Magal

sábado, 19 de agosto de 2017

TISARIS Symphonic Prog • Brazil

TISARIS, which means the bridge to quintessence is a progressive rock quintet (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass and drums) from Brazil. Superb Progressive productions in the spirit of the Seventies, alterning long suites structured in several parts ("What's Beyond"), instrumental tracks and some short pieces in concept albums taken from an opera. Expressive vocals, inventive guitar and keyboards solos and rich and cast spelling compositions compose these excellent releases.

CD "The Power of Myth", inspired on the book by Joseph Campbell, finishes the trilogy of concept albums. "An inevitable reference in the international progressive rock scene " (Harmonie Magazine - France), "... inspiration superbly materialized" (SRM - Germany), "... elegant, ambitious, daring." (Paperlate - Italy) are just a few reviews from the specialized press!

Thanks Magal

John Stubblefield - Jazz & Funk (USA)

John Stubblefield (February 4, 1945 – July 4, 2005) was an American jazz saxophonist, flautist, and oboist. Stubblefield was an adaptable musician; he was stationed with the World Saxophone Quartet (´86-´88), Reggie Workman (´89-´93), McCoy Tyner (´84 Clark), Freddie Hubbard (´85), and George Russell (´85).

On the surface, John Stubblefield and his compatriots offered a number of approaches (funk-fusion, Latin, calypso, swing) creatively rendered. But careful listening revealed an all-too-telling commercial underbelly that put subtle though damaging constraints on the music. So while the leader had a passionate tenor outing (shades of the Pharoah Sanders of yesteryear) on the Trane-influenced "East," and played some sinewy soprano on the Weather Report-like title cut and "Things," and keyboardist Geri Allen spotlighted her adept skills at imaginatively convoluting phrases over and around stated and implied bar lines (to say nothing of her solid chops overall), and the whole band illustrated solid facility as a group as well as individuals, overall, the album didn't reach the heights to which it aspired.

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