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28.1.08

Paul Rodgers







Paul Rodgers - Electric - 1999 - SPV

Paul Rodgers is one of rock's greatest singer/songwriters. It is sometimes forgotten that he is also a brilliant instrumentalist. He has been performing now for over forty years. As well as being the main man of mega rock groups like Free, Bad Company, and the Firm, Paul has performed with many of today's rock, jazz and blues legends, (too numerous to mention here), and his phenomenal voice is in constant demand by musicians. Rodgers has never failed to add a touch of class to hundreds of recordings. Rodgers is known as "The Voice," in the music business, but Abdul "Duke" Fakir of The Four Tops, of whom Rodgers is a great admirer, may have been more accurate when he said that Paul Rodgers is "the soul of rock." On this album, Paul Rodgers does what he does best. Ten great tracks of no frills, straightforward blues rock. There is nothing too commercial or over the top here, and there doesn't need to be. Paul Rodgers has never sold out to commercialism. He sings today what he sang thirty or forty years ago, and his talent speaks for itself. Rodgers also produced and mixed this album. Buy his magnificent 1994 "Muddy Water Blues" album, on which he is joined by guitarists, Brian May, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Buddy Guy, and Ritchie Sambora. How about that for a line-up!

TRACKS

Deep Blue (2:33)
Walking Tall (3:34)
Find a Way (5:37)
China Blue (3:01)
Love Rains (3:18)
Over You (6:29)
Drifters (4:19)
Freedom (3:53)
Jasmine Flower (3:59)
Conquistadora (4:55)

All songs composed by Paul Rodgers

CREDITS

Geoff Whitehorn - Guitar
Jim Copley - Drums
Jaz Lochrie - Guitar (Bass)
Saffron Henderson - Vocals (Background)
Tania Hancheroff - Vocals (Background)
Zach Blackstone - Assistant Engineer
Dean Maher - Assistant Engineer
Stephen Croxford - Coordination
Paul Rodgers - Guitar, Piano , Vocals, Producer, Mixing

REVIEW

If you didn't know that Electric was completed in 2000, you could easily assume that it was recorded back in the 1970s. That's because this solo offering isn't much different from the recordings that Paul Rodgers made with Bad Company and Free during his youth. Instead of trying to be relevant to the alternative rock scene of 2000 like some veteran rockers have done, Rodgers excels by sticking with what he does best: 1970s-type arena rock that is slick and bluesy at the same time. "Freedom," "Deep Blue," "Jasmine Flower," and other selections don't break any new ground for the British singer (who wrote and produced all of the material himself), and Electric will hardly be considered cutting-edge by 2000 standards. But Rodgers doesn't need to be innovative in the 21st century; arena rock is his forte, and on this CD, he sings it with a lot of feeling. Although Electric isn't quite in a class with Bad Company's Straight Shooter album of 1975 or Rodgers' best work with Free in the early 1970s, it's a respectable, sincere effort that the rocker's hardcore fans will easily appreciate. © Alex Henderson, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Paul Rodgers, (born December 17, 1949) is an English rock singer-songwriter best known for being a member of Free and Bad Company. Both bands experienced big international success in the 1970s. Before establishing a career as a solo artist, he was also a member of The Firm and The Law. He has recently toured and recorded with Queen. Rodgers was born in the northern English town of Middlesbrough. He played in local band The Roadrunners, which just before leaving Middlesbrough for the London music scene changed its name to The Wildflowers. Other members of this band were Micky Moody (later of Whitesnake) and Bruce Thomas (later of Elvis Costello and The Attractions). Rodgers appeared on the British music scene in 1968 as singer/songwriter for bluesy rockers Free. In 1970, they shot up the international radio charts with All Right Now, which Rodgers wrote with the group's bassist Andy Fraser. It was a number one hit in more than 20 territories and recognised by ASCAP in 1990 for receiving more than a million radio plays in the US alone. The song played a pivotal role in introducing Rodgers's stylistic metier, while helping to establish the sound of the British blues/rock invasion. At the time, Free and Led Zeppelin were the biggest grossing British acts. Free released four top five albums with a combination of blues, ballads and rock. The Multi Million Award was given to Paul Rodgers in 2000 by the British Music Industry when All Right Now passed two million radio plays in the UK. Rodgers formed his next band, Bad Company, with Mick Ralphs, former guitarist of Mott the Hoople. Rodgers said: "Mick and I were trying to come up with names for the band. When I called him and said 'Bad Company', he dropped the phone." Bad Company toured successfully from 1973 to 1982, and had several hits such as Feel Like Making Love, Can't Get Enough, Shooting Star, Bad Company, and Run with the Pack. Rodgers also showcased his instrumental talents on several tracks: Bad Company and Run with the Pack featured him on piano; Rock and Roll Fantasy on guitar; and on the ballad Seagull Rodgers played all of the instruments. Bad Company earned six platinum albums until Rodgers left in 1982 at the height of their fame to spend time with his young family. In 1973, after singer Ian Gillan had left Deep Purple, the band tried to hire Rodgers, but he declined. In the early 1980s, it was rumoured that Rodgers would sing with The Rossington-Collins Band (made of up the survivors of Lynyrd Skynyrd), but the pairing never came off. Early in 1984, Rodgers released his first solo LP Cut Loose. He composed all of the music and played all of the instruments. The album peaked at a disappointing number 135 in Billboard's pop albums chart. When his friend Jimmy Page started to come around to his house, guitar in hand and Led Zeppelin at an end, The Firm was born. The duo's first live pairing was on the US ARMS Tour (rock music's first big charity fundraiser) including Jeff Beck, Joe Cocker and others. Rodgers agreed to two albums and two tours. Both Firm world tours managed only average attendance. Despite being panned by critics, The Firm's two albums, The Firm and Mean Business, achieved moderate sales success, and produced the radio hits Radioactive on which Rodgers played the guitar solo, Satisfaction Guaranteed, and, in the UK, All The King's Horses. The Law, Rodgers's 1991 musical venture with former Who drummer Kenney Jones, produced Billboard's number one AOR chart hit Laying Down the Law written by Rodgers, but the album peaked at number 126 on the Billboard's pop albums chart. A never-released second album can be found on the bootleg market. The album is often referred to as The Law II. Rodgers acknowledged the influence of Jimi Hendrix by collaborating with Slash, Hendrix's Band Of Gypsys (Buddy Miles and Billy Cox) and recorded the track I Don't Live Today, on the Hendrix tribute album In From The Storm. Then Rodgers teamed with Journey guitarist Neal Schon and released [[The Hendrix Set /Paul Rodgers]] a live CD, released in 1993 with's Rodgers's interpretations of Hendrix songs. A Canadian and US tour followed. His Grammy-nominated solo CD, Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters was released in 1994. Rodgers wrote the title track and was backed by guitarists Brian May, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Buddy Guy, Richie Sambora, Brian Setzer, Slash & Trevor Rabin to name a few. For Woodstock's 25th anniversary in 1994, Rodgers pulled together drummer Jason Bonham, bassist Andy Fraser (from Free), guitarists Slash and Schon at the last moment to perform as the Paul Rodgers Rock and Blues Revue. His first double solo CD, Now and Live, charted internationally in the top 30. The single Soul of Love remained in rotation on more than 86 US radio stations for six months. His 1997 world tour included Russia, Japan, Canada, US, UK, Germany, France, Romania, Bulgaria, Israel, Brazil, Greece and Argentina. Rodgers and Bad Company hit Billboard's US BDS charts with the number one single Hey, Hey in 1999, one of four new tracks off Bad Company's The Original Bad Company Anthology. The second single release, Rodgers's Hammer of Love, reached number two. For the first time in 20 years, all the original members of Bad Company toured the US. Rodgers focused on his solo career in 2000 and released Electric, his 6th solo CD. In its debut week, the single Drifters was US rock radio's number one Most Added FMQB Hot Trax, number two Most Added R&R Rock and number three Most Added Album Net Power Cuts. Drifters remained in the top 10 for eight weeks in Billboard's rock charts. That year, he played sold-out concerts in England, Scotland, Australia, United States and Canada. After his appearance on TV's Late Show with David Letterman in New York, he met and jammed with B.B. King. Rodgers said: "The thrill was definitely not gone... for me. B.B. is a blues giant." That same year, Paul Rodgers, Jimmie Vaughan, Levon Helm, bluesmen Hubert Sumlin, Johnnie Johnson, James Cotton and others performed a sold out concert in Cleveland as a Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters. The spring of 2001, Rodgers returned to Australia, England and Scotland for the second run of sold-out shows. That summer he toured the US with Bad Company. Paul Rodgers and Bad Company released their first live CD and DVD Merchants of Cool in 2002. It included all the hits and a new single Joe Fabulous penned by Rodgers which hit number one at Classic Rock Radio and Top 20 in mainstream rock radio in the US. In its debut week, the DVD sales sound scanned at number three Canada, and number four in the US. The Joe Fabulous Tour kicked off in the US and sold out in the UK. While in London, Rodgers performed with Jeff Beck at the Royal Festival Hall. Rodgers was invited by long-time fan Tony Blair to perform at the Labour Party Conference. "I had the entire Labour Party singing the chorus of Wishing Well, a song I wrote and shared with Free, ...'love in a peaceful world'. 'Love in a peaceful world'... over and over and over hoping the words would sink in but we went to war" recalled Rodgers. Twice in 2002, Rodgers performed on Britain's TV show Top of the Pops 2. In 2003, Rodgers toured as a solo artist for the first time in two years playing 25 exclusive US dates. In his solo band are guitarist Howard Leese (Heart), bassist Lynn Sorensen and drummer Jeff Kathan. BBC TV/radio host Jools Holland invited Rodgers to record I Told The Truth for Holland's album Small World Big Band. The CD also featured Eric Clapton, Ronnie Wood, Peter Gabriel, Michael McDonald, Ringo Starr and others. This led to Rodgers performing two sold-out nights at London's Royal Albert Hall with Holland and his 18-piece rhythm and blues orchestra, and several UK TV appearances. In autumn 2004, Rodgers took part in an all-star line-up of some of the world's greatest guitarists and thousands of fans gathered at London's Wembley Arena to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Fender Stratocaster guitar. In 2005, he took part in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Four Tops. Early in 2004, Rodgers joined Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox (Hendrix's Cry of Love), Buddy Guy, Joe Satriani, Kid Rock's Kenny Olson, Alice in Chain's Jerry Cantrell, Double Trouble, Indigenous, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and blues legend Hubert Sumlin (Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Water) and performed three sold-out shows in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco as "Experience Hendrix". Once again, Rodgers only played 25 concerts in the US and Canada. He performed at Wembley for the fiftieth anniversary celebration for the Fender Stratocaster, along with David Gilmour who played Strat #001, Ronnie Wood, Brian May, Joe Walsh, Gary Moore, Rodgers sang and played a custom designed Jaguar Fender Strat. Rodgers was invited by The Four Tops to be part of their fiftieth anniversary TV/DVD concert celebration at Motown's Opera House and performed along side Aretha Franklin, Dennis Edwards & The Temptations Revue, Sam Moore, Mary Wilson, Ashford and Simpson and The Four Tops. "The call from THE TOPS' Duke Fakir just about knocked me out. I've been a fan since I was a boy and had no idea that they even knew I existed!" exclaimed Rodgers. For years the media and fellow musicians have referred to Rodgers as "The Voice"'. But The Four Tops' Duke Fakir says, "Paul Rodgers is the soul of Rock!" In late 2004, after a successful live television performance, surviving members of the British rock group Queen proposed a collaboration with Rodgers, in which he would sing lead vocals on a European tour. Rodgers thus joined Brian May and Roger Taylor, with the group billed as Queen + Paul Rodgers and they subsequently toured worldwide in 2005 and 2006. The participants clearly stated, including on Brian May's own website, "that Rodgers would be "featured with" Queen as: "Queen + Paul Rodgers", not replacing the late Freddie Mercury". The group subsequently released a live album with songs from Queen, Bad Company and Free, called Return of the Champions, and a DVD of the same name. Both featured live recordings from their Sheffield Hallam FM Arena concert on 9 May 2005. The DVD features "Imagine" from Hyde Park. Queen + Paul Rodgers also released a single featuring "Reaching Out", "Tie Your Mother Down" and "Fat Bottomed Girls". There are many bootlegs from nearly every show of the 2005/2006 tour in audio, as well as a few in video form of the 2005 European tour, and in October 2005 in Aruba, the United States (two concerts) and Japan; then North America in March/April 2006 playing 23 venues, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Toronto, Seattle, Vancouver and Portland. From a live performance in Japan, the band released a DVD in 2006 called Super Live in Japan. The summer of 2006 saw Rodgers again focused on his solo career with a world tour, which commenced in Austin Texas, U.S. in June, then on to Japan, finishing in Glasgow, Scotland, in October 2006. On August 15, 2006, Brian May confirmed through his website that "Queen + Paul Rodgers" will begin producing a new studio album beginning in October, to be recorded at Roger Taylor's home. In April 2007 Rodgers released a live album of his 2006 tour, recorded in Glasgow, Scotland October 13, 2006, with a DVD of the same show released the following month. On December 27-28, 2007, Rodgers surprised many by joining the Trans-Siberian Orchestra during their Winter 2007 Tour in Houston, Texas and Dallas, Texas. Unannounced, he joined the band at the end of their show to sing Bad Company and All Right Now.

25.1.08

Sheila Jordan







Sheila Jordan - Portrait Of Sheila - 1962 - Blue Note Records (USA)

To quote the Rolling Stone Record Guide, - " Sheila Jordan is, historically and emotionally, one of the finest jazz singers extant." They gave this debut album a 5 star rating. It remains her definitve album, and arguably her best recording. It includes her classic version of "Baltimore Oriole." Buy her sperb album, "Jazz Child. For a taste of the same vocal style, try and listen to the great album, "Steal the Moon," by Carolyn Leonhart, one of the great modern day jazz vocalists.

TRACKS

1. Falling in Love With Love (2:31) Composed by Richard Rodgers
2. If You Could See Me Now (4:32) Composed by Tadd Dameron
3. Am I Blue (4:12) Composed by Harry Akst
4. Dat Dere (2:43) Composed by Bobby Timmons
5. When the World Was Young (4:43) Composed by Johnny Mercer
6. Let's Face the Music and Dance (1:14) Composed by Irving Berlin
7. Laugh, Clown, Laugh (3:11) Composed by Sam M. Lewis
8. Who Can I Turn To? (3:21) Composed by Alec Wilder
9. Baltimore Oriole (2:34) Composed by Hoagy Carmichael
10. I'm a Fool to Want You (4:55) Composed by Frank Sinatra
11. Hum Drum Blues (2:15) Composed by Oscar Brown, Jr.
12. Willow Weep for Me (3:28) Composed by Ann Ronell


MUSICIANS

Sheila Jordan (vocals)
Barry Galbraith (guitar)
Steve Swallow (bass)
Denzil Best (drums)

Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on September 19 and October 12, 1962.

REVIEW

Sheila Jordan's debut recording was one of the very few vocal records made for Blue Note during Alfred Lion's reign. Accompanied by the subtle guitarist Barry Galbraith, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Denzil Best, Jordan sounds quite distinctive, cool-toned, and adventurous during her classic date. Her interpretations of Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Hum Drum Blues" and 11 standards (including "Falling in Love With Love," "Dat Dere," "Baltimore Oriole," and "I'm a Fool to Want You") are both swinging and haunting. Possibly because of her originality, Sheila Jordan would not record again for over a dozen years, making this highly recommended set quite historic. © Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Sheila Jordan (born Sheila Jeanette Dawson November 18, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American Jazz singer and songwriter. Sheila Jordan grew up in Summerhill, Pennsylvania before returning to her birthplace in 1940/41 playing the piano and singing semi-professionally in Detroit clubs. She was influenced by Charlie Parker and was part of a trio called Skeeter, Mitch and Jean (she was Jean) which composed lyrics to Parker's Arrangements. Sheila also claimed in her song "Shelia's Blues" that Charlie Parker wrote the song, "Chasing the Bird" for her, as she and her friends were known to chase him around the Jazz Clubs in the 40's. In 1951 she moved to New York and started studying harmony and music theory taught by Lennie Tristano and Charles Mingus. From 1952 to 1962 she was married to Charlie Parker's pianist Duke Jordan. In the early 1960's she had gigs and sessions in the Page Three Club in Greenwich Village and was working in different clubs and bars in New York. In 1962 she was discovered by George Russell who did a recording of the song "You Are My Sunshine" with her on his album Outer View (Riverside). Later that year she recorded the Portrait of Sheila album (recorded in September 19th and October 12th, 1962) which was sold to Blue Note. Later in the decade she sang jazz liturgies in different churches such as Cornell and Princeton, NYC. Jordan played with Don Heckman (1967-68), Lee Konitz (1972), Roswell Rudd (1972-75) and began her long working relationship with Steve Kuhn around this time. In 1974 she was "Artist in Residence" at the City College and was teaching there in 1975. On the 12th of July 1975 she recorded "Confirmation". One year later she did the duet album simply called Sheila with Arild Andersen (Bass) for SteepleChase in the end of 1976. In 1979 she founded a quartet with Kuhn, Harvie Swartz and Bob Moses. During the 1980's she was working with Harvie Swartz as a duo and played on several records with him. Until 1987 she worked in an advertising agency and recorded Lost and Found in 1989. Sheila Jordan is also a songwriter and is able to work in both bebop and free jazz. In addition to the musicians referred to, she has recorded with the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band (TCB, ECM), Harvie Swartz (MA Recordings), Cameron Brown, Carla Bley (Escalator over the Hill) and Steve Swallow (Home). In addition to Blue Note, she has led recordings issued by Eastwind, Grapevine, SteepleChase, ECM, Palo Alto, Blackhawk and Muse.

MORE ARTIST INFO © Charles L. Latimer

"Bebop is with me from the time that I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I believe that I even dream about it,” says vocalist Sheila Jordan, now 75 years old. “That is how much I’m dedicated to this music.”
Although a bebopper at heart, Jordan has performed with musicians as diverse as trumpeter Don Cherry, vocalist Carla Bley, pianist Don Pullen and trombonist Roswell Rudd. Since gaining recognition with her 1962 Blue Note release “Portrait of Sheila”, Jordan’s crafted a vocal style unrivaled by her peers.
Jordan’s voice is as delicate as a Bee making love to a flower. Her voice drips off your ears like warm honey off a spoon. She prefers to work with only a bassist, a format avoided by most singers; it leaves the two musicians exposed and very much on there own, but Jordan has always thrived on challenge. “I like the sound of that string instrument,” she states. “I like the feeling of freedom that I experience while singing with the bass. I always liked working off that sound.”
Bebop captured her soul in 1947 when Dawson (her father’s surname, although Sheila never knew him), a sophomore at Cass Technical High School, heard one of Bird’s recordings in a hamburger joint near the high school.
“The place had a little jukebox. On it I heard Charlie Parker and his Re-boppers. It wasn’t called be bop yet. I said, ‘oh my God!’ I was always a singer from when I was a tiny little kid. But I never knew this was the kind of music that I wanted to do until I heard Bird.” Parker’s music became her obsession; Jordan forged a fake birth certificate to gain entry into Detroit’s many nightspots, like Club Sudan, that featured the ‘new music’. She met some of Detroit’s premier young musicians, like Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Burrell and Barry Harris and two vocalists, Leroy Mitchell and William “Skeeter” Speight, who became lifelong friends. Mitchell, who became Jordan’s mentor, recalls their first meeting at a neighborhood club.
“We were scatting along with the tunes, and over in the corner was this little white girl scatting. I was shocked because back then…most of the black musicians couldn’t follow along with those Bebop tunes. But Sheila was unique. She came across as one of those white people that were sorry they were white. But she was very hip – she got that from hanging around us! She made a special effort to speak like all the beboppers. One night at the Blue Bird Inn she was talking jive to my wife, and afterward my wife told me that she couldn’t understand a thing that Sheila was saying!” Mitchell recalls.
Mitchell says that Jordan wasn’t a good singer, at first. She had tonality and phrasing problems, and often sang off-key. But she had a solid sense of rhythm, a prerequisite for any jazz musician or vocalist. Mitchell knew Jordan would make a name for herself because of her determination.
In 1948 Mitchell, Jordan and Speight formed a vocal trio they called Skeeter, Mitchell and Jean, a kind of forerunner to Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. They performed Bebop tunes with lyrics added by Skeeter and Mitchell. Although they never gigged on their own, the trio was well known among Detroit musicians and often sat in. Their love for “the music” kept them together for a couple of years.
As a single white female performing with two African American men, Jordan was subjected to harassment and prejudice. Sheila had black friends since she was a small child. “I was comfortable with Afro-Americans because I understood how they thought. I understood how they felt, and I understood the struggles they went through,” she recalled. Detroit was strictly segregated and mixing of the races was taboo. Most African Americans lived in the near east side enclave known as “Black Bottom”. The Detroit Police Department was nearly all white, and blacks were subjected to brutality at the whim of cops patrolling in their neighborhood.
But the Police weren’t the sole perpetrators of bigotry, or violence. Skeeter Mitchell recalled when their trio sat in at the Latin Quarter one night and got a very hostile reaction.
“Most people walked out on us when they discovered that a white girl was signing with two black guys,” he said. “Most of the people in the audience were white.” This would not be their last encounter with bigots and racist cops. Mitchell says Jordan received the brunt of the hostility. “I went through a lot with the music because it was very prejudiced in Detroit back then. Being white you know I was constantly at the police station. They were always taking me down questioning me because I was hanging out with my black brothers and sisters,” Jordan recalls.

Her history in black and white

Although born in Detroit (on November 18, 1928), Jordan spent her first twelve years with her maternal grandparents in a poor Appalachian coal-mining town in Pennsylvania. As a youngster she hung out with the black kids in her Pennsylvania neighborhood. She experienced prejudice because her family was the poorest family on the block, with a history of alcoholism, to boot.
She rejoined her mother in Detroit at age thirteen. Jordan only stayed there for two years; her mother was an alcoholic, and was married to an abusive husband. Jordan moved into a girl’s home. She first attended Cass Technical High School, then transferred to, and graduated from, Commerce High School, a clerical trade school. Although the school was integrated, Jordan was an outcast because she socialized with the black students. “The principal of the school called me down to her office one day. She said…’you look nice and dress nice, so why do you hang out with all the black girls?’”

Romance & Rhythm

At age twenty Jordan met a handsome twenty-year old tenor saxophonist named Frank Foster at the Blue Bird Inn. They quickly developed strong feelings for each other and fell in love. They lived together until Foster was drafted in 1951.
Their relationship made her more of a target for the Police. The bigotry started to unnerve her. She recalls the incident that convinced her to leave Detroit. “I was with Frank. It was Frank and I and my friend Jenny and her date. The cops stopped us. I was smoking a cigarette before they stopped us, and I flicked it out the window. They thought it was dope. One cop literally crawled under the car to get it. They took us down to the police station and interrogated us. They put the guys in a different cell. This plainclothes cop looked me in the eyes. He had the coldest eyes that I have ever seen in my life. He said that he had a young daughter at home, and that if he thought that he would find her the way that he found me tonight that he would take out his gun and blow her brains out. That is what he said. I remember saying to myself that I had to get out of this city. I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Foster went to fight in Korea, and Jordan moved to New York. Ever the optimist, she believed things would be better for her racially – and musically. “I went to New York for two reasons,” she recalled. “One, I was chasing Charlie Parker. I was totally mesmerized by him…totally addicted to Bebop. I needed to be around Bird. I also left because of the prejudice,” she added.

Typist by day, bebopper by night

Once in New York, she got a day job as a typist at an advertising agency. She shared an apartment with her friends Jenny King and artist Virginia Cox. On Monday and Tuesday nights Jordan performed at a gay bar in the Greenwich Valley called the Page Three. There she worked with pianist Herbie Nichols and bassist Steve Swallow. Nichols, a true jazz original, was, like Jordan, a brilliant musician who never attracted a mainstream following. His style was audacious and his harmonic sense highly developed; only a vocalist with a quick ear could appreciate Nichols. Jordan met bassist Charles Mingus, and drummer Max Roach. Mingus introduced her to pianist Lennie Tristano, and she studied with Tristano for three years. He helped Jordan improve her phrasing by listening to Parker and Lester Young solos. He also instilled in Jordan the importance of following one’s own path in life. “What I learn from Lennie more than anything else…was the ability to be more of myself, and not to worry because I didn’t have this fantastic voice. He told me that I could do anything as long as I stayed true to myself and didn’t force improvisation, and to learn as many good songs as I could,” Jordan says.
She moved from the shared apartment to a loft in Manhattan on 26th Street that became a popular spot for late-night jam sessions. Life was good; she hung out with Parker regularly, going to his gigs and often sitting in; Bird would introduce her as “the singer with the million dollar ears.” Bird, too, had golden ears, and he knew an original sound and style when he heard one. Jordan’s loft became a safe haven for Parker. He used to bring over stacks of classical albums that they listened to for hours. “There wasn’t anything romantically happening between us,” she said. “I just loved him and loved his music.”
Jordan married Parker’s former pianist Duke Jordan, whom she’d met in Detroit during a Parker Quintet engagement; she joked that she married Duke to be closer to Parker. They had met in Detroit when he came to town with Parker. She jokes that she married Duke to be closer to Parker.
Unfortunately, the bigotry she’d hoped to avoid in life resurfaced. One night she’d left her loft with two black friends when three white men attacked them, one of whom brandished a gun. Jordan’s front teeth were kicked out in the ensuing beating. The incident marked the start of a slow downward spiral for Sheila Jordan. Duke’s drug use increased, and he split after their daughter Traci was born. Worse, her dear friend Charlie Parker was steadily deteriorating.
“I was with Bird the night that they turned him away from Birdland. They wouldn’t let him in because of the way that he was dressed. He had on t-shirt that was soiled. He was so hurt. He turned to me and said, ‘can you believe that they won’t let me into the club that they named after me?’ We went to a penny arcade after being turned away.” Bird, too, was on a downward spiral; he died a few months later, at 34. Jordan finally divorced Duke in 1957. She continued working as a typist, and at night performed at Page Three.

New beginnings and habits

It was during her Page Three performances that Jordan’s style took shape. She met composer/pianist George Russell and Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion, two men who recognized her distinct sound & style and gave her career a boost. Jordan worked with pianist Jack Reilly, a student of Russell’s, who brought Russell to the club one evening. “Sheila’s voice had an authenticity to; it reflected all her life experiences,” Russell said of Jordan’s singing. Impressed with Jordan, Russell used her on his album The Outer View. She sang a memorable version of You Are My Sunshine.
Russell got the idea to record the song while accompanying Jordan on a visit to her hometown.
“Sheila took me to an economically devastated area of Pennsylvania to meet her grandmother; upon our arrival, her grandmother took us to the local beer garden where the unemployed mine workers were passing the time. There was an old piano, and Sheila was asked to sing, with me accompanying her. The miners didn’t like our choice of music, and told us to do something familiar. We did ‘Sunshine,’ which planted the idea of the version, which I arranged for ‘The Outer View’,” Russell recalled.
He helped Jordan helped record a demo, which he then shopped around to various record labels, including Blue Note. Alfred Lion’s wife Ruth, also a vocalist, knew of Jordan and had told Lion about Jordan, but Lion hadn’t made it to Page Three for a Jordan performance. After hearing her demo, he went to hear Jordan.
“Alfred told me that he like the performance. A few weeks later George told me that I had a record date. George was more or less representing me then,” Jordan said. At that time (1962) Blue Note was recording only instrumentalist like Hank Mobley, Horace Silver, and Art Blakey, not vocalists. Jordan became the first female vocalist to record for the label. “A Portrait Of Sheila”, used a trio comprising drummer Denzil Best, guitarist Barry Galbraith and Steve Swallow, her friend and longtime bassist. Jordan initially wanted to use only bass, but Russell convinced her that a larger group was a better showcase for her voice.
The album received favorable reviews, and Down Beat magazine voted her vocalist more deserving of wider recognition. “A Portrait Of Sheila” was the only album Jordan made for Blue Note. It became a classic, but it didn’t jumpstart her career. Jordan didn’t have an agent. Raising her daughter and working full-time didn’t leave her much time to solicit gigs. Jordan’s style and sound didn’t have the widespread appeal of vocalists like Sarah Vaughn, June Christy, Carmen McRae and Anita O’Day. In fact, Jordan’s career stalled, and she started drinking heavily. Club Patrons would buy her drinks. She refused, at first, but found that one or two drinks made her feel better about herself. “(At first) I would pretend like I would swallow the drinks, but I would spit it back into the glass,” she said. “Eventually I started drinking it little by little.” Those little sips turned Jordan into an alcoholic. She made attempts to straighten up, but she endured eight years of hell before finally quitting for good in 1978. Recovering from a drinking binge she had an epiphany. “I had a spiritual awakening…I saw this message and it said, ‘I gave you a gift and unless you respect it and take care of it, I’m going to take it away from you and give it to somebody else.’ I said, ‘WHOA!’” Jordan hasn’t had a drink since. She joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and has been sober for twenty-six years.

Second chances are the best

Since she’s been sober, Jordan accepted a buyout package from the Advertising agency and has been working full time as a jazz singer. “My whole musical life changed,” she recalled. “I started working all the time. I’m 75-years-old and I’m working in places that I never dreamt I would be working in.” She started working in other jazz clubs in New York such as Birdland, Village Vanguard, and the Blue Note. Jordan’s very much in demand on the national and international festival circuit. She’s been a featured attraction at jazz festivals in Austria, Czechoslovakia, England, Italy and Japan. Jordan also began teaching music at City College Of New York; she’s still on the faculty. Word of her teaching prowess spread, and Jordan is now a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts and Stanford University. In 1995 filmmaker Cade Bursell made a documentary about Jordan titled “Sheila Jordan: In the Voice of A Woman”. The same year she was honored in Detroit with a lifetime achievement award from the Societie of the Culturally Concerned, one of many such awards she’s received.
Jordan’s recording activities increased. As a leader she recorded a string of outstanding albums like Heartstrings, Lost and Found, The Crossing, Body and Soul, Sheila, and Confirmation. But her several duet LPs with bassist Harvie Swartz gained her the most recognition.
“I worked very hard to be able to play this music because I love it, and I believe in it. I knew from the get go that I got the inspiration to do this music to put my feeling and emotions, my life experiences into it from other jazz musicians. But I think that the music is too important to bring all the hatred that I experienced into it,” Jordan says.
After 60 years of boppin’, scattin’ and singin’, Jordan still has the same hunger and enthusiasm to perform and record the music that transformed her life. And that’s a blessing for us all.

Final thoughts…

Sheila Jordan’s style and sound are unique. She bends, shapes and changes words/sounds to express what she’s feeling; Jordan is the purest jazz singer on the scene today. Jordan puts a lot of feeling into each song, but her straight bebop scatting is a wondrous thing to hear. © www.detroitmusichistory.com/Shelia.html

23.1.08

Caravan


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Caravan - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert 1975 - 1992 - Strange Fruit (UK)

A wonderful live album from Caravan, one of the most original and talented "Canterbury" rock bands of the seventies. Caravan's improvised jazz rock with it's complex symphonic and classical structure was very impressive, and they were a brilliant live band. Sound quality on this recording is very good. The weakest track is arguably "Hoedown," but this is only a minor criticism. All the performances by the line-up on this recording are top notch. This is an album that should be heard by more people. Check out their classic " In the Land of Grey and Pink " album. If you are unfamiliar with "Canterbury" rock, then It is worthwhile listeming to " The Rotters' Club " album by Hatfield & The North, and the "Live at the Paradiso 1969" album by Soft Machine. Both of these groups were pioneers of "Canterbury" rock in the U.K, and produced some of the best progressive rock of the late sixties, and seventies.

TRACKS

1. Intro
2. Love In Your Eye
3. For Richard
4. Dab Song Concerto, The
5. Hoedown

MUSICIANS

David Sinclair (keyboards)
Geoffrey Richardson (viola, guitar)
Mike Wedgewood (bass, vocals)
Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals)
Richard Coughlan (drums)

BIO (Wikipedia)

Caravan are an English band from the Canterbury area, founded by former Wilde Flowers members David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan. Caravan rose to success over a period of several years from 1968 onwards into the 1970s as part of the Canterbury scene, blending psychedelic rock and jazz to create a distinctive sound like their contemporaries Soft Machine. Caravan still remains active as a live band in the 21st century. Following the dissolution of their former band, Wilde Flowers, David Sinclair, Richard Sinclair, Pye Hastings and Richard Coughlan formed Caravan in 1968. The band became the first British act to sign for American record label, Verve, who subsequently released the band's debut LP, Caravan, later the same year. After this Verve closed their rock and pop division, causing Caravan to move to Decca Records for the release of If I Could Do It All Over Again, I'd Do It All Over You in 1970, from which the title track gained the band an appearance on Top Of The Pops, and then Deram (Decca's progressive subsidiary) for 1971's In the Land of Grey and Pink. After the third album's release Sinclair chose to leave the group, to be replaced by Steve Miller. The change in keyboardist caused a change in musical direction, and the band's next album, Waterloo Lily, was distinctly more jazz influenced than earlier work. This caused some unrest for followers of the group, and the band disintegrated soon after Waterloo Lily's release, leaving just Hastings and Coughlan. The duo recruited viola player Geoffrey Richardson, bassist Stu Evans and keyboardist Derek Austin and toured extensively. This line-up did not make any recordings before Evans was replaced by John Perry and Dave Sinclair rejoined the group in 1973. The resulting album For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night was cited as a return to form and is now heralded as one of the group's finest moments. A regular cult favourite, the band's chart performance in the UK and US was minimal, charting one album, Cunning Stunts at US#124. In the UK, Cunning Stunts (#50) and Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's (#53) were their only hits. A loyal following has ensured steady back catalogue sales and a lengthy live career for the band, who continue to this day featuring founder members Pye Hastings (guitar, vocals, songwriting) and Richard Coughlan (drums). Caravan's best-known recording is the 1971 set In the Land of Grey and Pink, their second album for Decca. 30 years after it's release this album finally received a platinum disc for sales of over 100,000. It has been said of that album that it "showed off a keen melodic sense, a subtly droll wit, and a seductively smooth mix of hard rock, folk, classical, and jazz, intermingled with elements of Tolkien-esque fantasy".A fair summary of Caravan's late sixties to late seventies work. Prolific and inventive, the band appeared to have too many ideas to produce direct, radio-friendly singles. 21st century reissues of their albums featured lengthy tracks, previously unissued, demonstrating the huge amount of releasable material that had failed to make their 1970s albums. The band were largely dormant in the eighties until a 1990 reunion, planned as a one-off for television, restarted their career. Latterly they have also achieved steady sales and a fan following with the support of the more eclectic corners of radio, like BBC Six Music's "Freak Zone" and the growing re-emergence of progressive rock. They released Unauthorised Breakfast Item album in 2003.

22.1.08

Renee Olstead


reneeolstead-reneeolsteas2004




Renee Olstead - Renee Olstead - 2004 - Warner Bros. Records

Renee Olstead has a long way to go before she will be regarded as one of the great jazz blues singers, but she is surely halfway there with this album. She has shades of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Maria Muldaur in her beautiful bluesy jazz voice.This is a very mature jazz album recorded, incredibly when Renee was only fourteen. Her ability to sing some of these great American standards cannot be faulted, and her voice can only get better. A very good album from a very promising young singer. Buy her 2006 album, "Skylark."

TRACKS

"Summertime" (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward)
"Taking a Chance on Love" (Duke, Fetter, Latouche)
"Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" (Austin, Jordan)
"Someone to Watch Over Me" (Gershwin, Gershwin) - [(featuring Chris Botti)
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (Greenfield, Sedaka) - (featuring Peter Cincotti)
"A Love That Will Last" (Foster, Thompson)
"Meet Me, Midnight" (Manilow, Sussman)
"Sunday Kind of Love" (Belle, Nye, Prima, Rhodes) - (featuring Chris Botti)
"On a Slow Boat to China" (Loesser) - (featuring Carol Welsman)
"What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" (Adams, Grever)
"Midnight at the Oasis" (Nichtern)
"Sentimental Journey" (Brown, Green, Homer)

MUSICIANS

Renee Olstead - vocals
Carol Welsman - vocals
Peter Cincotti - piano, vocals
Alan Broadbent - piano
Billy Childs Trio - piano
Chris Dawson - piano
Chris Botti - trumpet
Warren Luening - trumpet
Rick Baptist - trumpet
Dean Parks - acoustic guitar, guitar
Dennis Budimir - guitar
David Tull - drums
Jeff Hamilton - drums
Vinnie Colaiuta - drums
Joe LaBarbera - drums
Brian Bromberg - bass instrument
John Clayton - bass
Don Shelton - alto saxophone, tenor saxophone

REVIEWS

Back in 2002, producer David Foster oversaw the debut disc of a young jazz/pop singer named Michael Bublé. With his handsome looks and Sinatra-like voice, Bublé quickly saw his star begin to rise and the success of his disc kicked off a mini-revival of old standards and big band singers. Striking while the iron was hot, Foster fed the flame by introducing an even younger female counterpart to Bublé. Reneé Olstead was a 14-year-old actress mostly known for her co-starring role in the CBS television series Still Standing, but while acting has been her day job since childhood, Olstead has also dabbled in music. Unlike Bublé, who was studying classic songs at a young age with his grandfather, Olstead first latched onto traditional country music and at the age of ten and released Stone Country, which found her singing mediocre tunes in a hiccuped, down-home accent. Four years and a 180-degree turn later, Olstead discovers her inner ingénue with the assistance of Svengali Foster and released her major label debut of pop and jazz standards. The results have the same lovely, glossy sheen that Foster tweaked to perfection on Natalie Cole's Unforgettable album, and Olstead's newfound voice is a vast improvement from her faux twang days. With a voice that is reminiscent of Nicole Kidman's singing debut in Moulin Rouge, Olstead sounds more like a young, bubbly starlet than a newly discovered diva. There is no question that she has a pretty voice and is more than capable of performing undemanding standards like "Taking a Chance on Love," however, her voice lacks the depth and experience truly needed to tackle more difficult song like "Summertime" or "Sunday Kind of Love." In taking on Barry Manilow's "Meet Me, Midnight" she dives in with gusto but ends up barely treading water mid-song with a scat section that sounds uncomfortable and forced. Age is certainly a factor in making these songs sound convincing and, for the most part, Foster smartly chose songs that do not reach too far beyond her young years. This helps to make a song like "Someone to Watch Over Me" sound like a sweet, teenage fairy tale. On the other hand, the sensuality of Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis" is far too mature for her to grasp at this time. She does much better on the Norah Jones-styled original "A Love That Lasts" as the song's quiet demeanor compliments Olstead's vocals, making her sound comfortable and natural. It is going to take more time and experience for her to sound as convincing on songs like "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby," but Foster has given her a great crash course and that helps to make her debut disc a pleasant listen. Reneé Olstead has a solid foundation from which to work and if she can continue building up from there, she just might have to set aside her acting career for a while. © Aaron Latham, http://www.allmusic.com
After a hesitant start,emerging Jazz singer Renee Olstead finally lets rip on knockabout standard Summertime.From then on it’s cruise control on a sentimental journey of a superbly arranged covers album.As much as she may not like it,she’s probably going to join the ranks of Katie Melua in terms of branding.That’s were comparisons end,as her range is much wider and more profound.Vocally she’s a lightweight,but don’t dismiss her,as she can cut it with the likes of Clare Teal,and show Amy Winehouse the door.Pristine and clear as the driven snow:like a rollercoaster Olstead can rise and fall in an instant.Her male counterpart Michael Buble’s similar efforts on This Time sounds the poor relation in every way.Here the chemistry between artist and song is very explosive-in the nicest possible way of course.She can let rip and tone it down like a past master-check her mesmerising duet with singer-songwriter Peter Cincotti on Neil Sedaka’s Breaking Up Is Hard To Do.Elsewhere she flirts with the lyrics and the listener e.g A Love That Will Last as she do-wops her heart away.Maria Muldaur’s hit Midnight At The Oasis is done as straight cover-spot the difference?Given the right exposure(BBC Radio 2) this sexy young lady could be a huge star. The singing is as passionate as her red hair-so look out Olstead’s gonna grab you quite soon. © Elly Roberts, www.allgigs.co.uk
In a bold move that even more experienced singers might think twice about, Renee Olstead opens her self-titled major-label debut with a stark, a cappella verse of Gershwin's melancholy classic "Summertime." Olstead sings with confidence and swings with authority on this set of standards, an astonishing accomplishment for a young lady, who, at the time of this recording, was only 14 years old. Very little indicates that this album is the work of a teenager, and certain vocal touches even bring to mind the bold vocal style of K.D. Lang. The record features big-band arrangements with lush strings, punchy horns, and even a quasi-Swingle Singers backdrop on "On a Slow Boat to China." Chris Botti provides sexy trumpet obbligato on two numbers, and Peter Cincotti joins Olstead on a stellar duet of Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," rounding out a remarkable first outing by a notable talent. Copyright 1997-2008 Buy.com Inc., All rights reserved

reneeolstead-portrait



BIO (Wikipedia)

Rebecca Renee Olstead (born June 18, 1989) is an American actress and singer. Olstead was born in Houston, Texas, to Christopher Eric Olstead and Rebecca Lynn Jeffries. As a child actress, she made films and commercials from age eight onwards. From 2002 to 2006, she appeared in the TV sitcom Still Standing as middle sister Lauren Miller. She also had a small part in the 2004 film 13 Going on 30. In 2004, Olstead released an eponymous album of jazz songs and pop standards for Warner Bros. Records to good reviews; since her previous releases had limited distribution, this album was considered her true debut. She subsequently performed in Berlin during the Live 8 concert on July 2, 2005. Additionally, she recorded with trumpeter Chris Botti on his 2005 album To Love Again: The Duets and appears on the 2006 DVD Chris Botti Live with Orchestra and Special Guests. Her singing style and talent has already been compared with such great jazz vocalists as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. Reportedly her musical talent was discovered by composer David Foster, who produced her 2004 album. She later also performed with Foster on the Oprah Winfrey Show. she has also released a Christmas song called "Christmas In Love". A followup album entitled Skylark, also produced by Foster, was originally announced for release in 2005, but it has subsequently been pushed back several times, with release dates in the summer of 2006 and early 2007 being mentioned on online retailers such as Amazon.com. It is currently slated for a spring 2008 release.

21.1.08

The Open Mind


theopenmind-theopenmind1969




The Open Mind - The Open Mind - 1969 - Philips

A very good British sixties psychedelic/progressive rock album. The album has great vocals and guitar playing, and is well worth listening to. There are no dud tracks here. A well above average album of this genre, and a very enjoyable listen. Any info on this group would be very welcome by A.O.O.F.C

ORIGINAL TRACKS

A1.Dear Louise
A2.Try Another Day
A3.I Feel The Same Way Too
A4.My Mind Cries
A5.Cant You See
A6.Thor The Thunder God

B1.Horses And Chariots
B2.Before My Time
B3.Free As The Breeze
B4.Girl Im So Alone
B5.Soul And My Will
B6.Falling Again

N.B: This album was released on a limited edition VIRGIN VINYL LP in 2006, and included two bonus tracks, "Magic Potion ," & "Cast a Spell." ). Both tracks are included here -

13Magic Potion (Bonus Track) - Released on a limited edition VIRGIN VINYL LP in 2006
14.Cast a Spell (Bonus Track) - Released on a limited edition VIRGIN VINYL LP in 2006

BAND

Mike 'Bryan' Brancaccio - Guitar, Vocals
Timothy Du Feu - Bass
Phil Fox - Drums
Terry Martin, a.k.a. Terry Schindler - guitar, vocals
Jon Anderson briefly sang in the band but left to form Yes


theopenmindsportrait1969




REVIEW

As a defining point of the U.K. psychedelic/progressive rock crossover, the Open Mind's sole album is the perfect specimen. With a singing style rooted in the freakbeat era, rather than the operatic tenor screams hard rock ushered in, and acidic duel guitars, heavier than those of a typical psychedelic act, The Open Mind filled the gap between the beginning of one era and the end of another. "Magic Potion" is unarguably their greatest moment. Its monotonous rhythm guitar anticipates the stoner rock of Hawkind while double bass drum fills and doom-laden fuzz guitar ragas combine bombastic rock power with Eastern-influenced psychedelia. Magnificent! "Girl, I'm So Alone" — a remake of early Open Mind lineup, mod band the Drag Set's "Get out of My Way" — harks back to a 1967 feel, as do a number of other songs that show the band being not quite as progressive as they intended. However, both the heavier and mod styles work well, but where they fall down is on some rather laborious numbers that just don't take off. Unfortunately, "Magic Potion" is the benchmark that everything they wrote is compared to, and when a song is that good, nothing else measures up. Still, as a whole, this album is a solid product of the time. It might not merit the "classic" status dealers apply to it, but it won't disappoint either. © Jon 'Mojo' Mills, www.allmusic.com
A.O.O.F.C Note - The track, "Get out of My Way," mentioned in the above review is not included on this album issue.

BIO (Wikipedia)

The Open Mind were a London-based psychedelic rock band active in the 1960s and 1970s. The band was formed in the mid 1960s by four musicians from Putney, South London. Initially named The Drag Set, they released a little-known single in February 1967, Day and Night/Get Out of My Way. Shortly thereafter, they changed their name to The Open Mind and in July 1969 released a self-titled LP which has since become a highly sought-after collectible. The band, however, is best known for its druggy August 1969 single Magic Potion, which did not appear on the album. The Open Mind disbanded in 1973; its members wanted to move into jazz-influenced music, but The Open Mind was too well-known as a psychedelic band. The band members (minus Phil Fox) went on to form Armada, which lasted about three years but did not release any recorded material. Despite their paucity of recorded material, The Open Mind have proven to be influential in the psychedelic rock genre. The noted 1990s psych group Sun Dial paid tribute to the band with a cover of Magic Potion on their 1993 album Return Journey.

20.1.08

Mock Duck


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Mock Duck - Test Record - 1968 - No label (5 track acetate) [Re-released in 2000 by Gear Fab records]

Mock Duck was a legendary underground psychedelic band from Vancouver, B.C. that recorded three singles, "Groundhog, " "Do Re Mi" and "Easterdog" for the local Baroka label in 1968. The band also made a live album that was recorded at the Village Bistro in Vancouver in 1968. The original album was only distributed to a few fans and there were reportedly only 14 copies ever pressed and it was only available in acetate form. Test Record, released through Gear Fab Records, gathers together the bands' three singles for Baroka, the complete live album tracks together with additional tracks recorded, but never released, by the band for R& D studios in Vancouver in 1968 & 1969, as well as two tracks consisting of live jams recorded in 1968. This is the complete recorded output of the Mock Duck and debut CD release of the band's material. The music of this band is mainly of an experimental nature of such bands as Soft Machine, Matching Mole or some of the other so called experimental bands of the British Canterbury scene. The music of Mock Duck consists of swirling organ , blues guitar, wailing jazz saxophone and off tempo time shifting drumming. Sophisticated music that was many years ahead of their contemporaries and very uncharacteristic of a Canadian band performing in the late 60's. The sound quality of these recordings is excellent despite the fact that many of the songs were privately recorded by the band themselves. This CD also features an essay on the band written by band member Joe Mock as well as archival photos of the band members and detailed information on the band line ups and recording sessions. © Keith Pettipas. CanEHdian.com, 2000
Has anybody got any info on this band? Comments appreciated.

TRACKS

1. Home Made Jam/Introduction
2. Ground Hog
3. Hurt on Me
4. Sitting on Top of the World
5. My Time
6. Fat Man [Bonus Track]
7. Crosscut Saw [Bonus Track]
8. Easter Dog [Bonus Track]
9. Funky Song [Bonus Track]
10. Do-Re-Mi [Bonus Track]
11. Playing Games [Bonus Track]
12. Jazz Mock [Bonus Track]

Major Members: Rick Enns, Ross Barrett, Tom Hazelitt, Spense Sutton, Steve Barrett, Lee Stevens

ABOUT THIS ALBUM

A stellar archival collection uncovered by reissue label extraordinaire Gear Fab, Test Record brings together a group of terribly rare recordings from Canadian band Mock Duck, a deservedly popular draw on the Vancouver ballroom scene due to its arresting musical fusion. The original Test Record was actually just an acetate pressing made of the first five tracks off the Gear Fab CD, only 14 copies of which are know to exist. Those five tracks, along with two of the bonus tracks, were recorded live at the Village Bistro in Vancouver in late 1968. Four of the other bonus songs were off 1968 singles, and the final "Jazz Mock" is a nearly 20-minute jam from the same period. Better than most, Mock Duck discovered a true nexus between early rock & roll, blues, and exploratory jazz, and they tied those strains into a really exciting amalgam that fit well into Vancouver's developing psychedelic scene . The music certainly has its drawbacks. Joe Mock is only an adequate vocalist, his nasally release (which probably better fit the Dylan slant of the original unit) doesn't create much of a spark at all and is almost devoid of the virtuosic intensity that the music requires. That is no more evident than on the band's cover of "Sitting on Top of the World," one of the few moments on the album when even the band sounds uninspired. The band turns tunes like the 13-minute "Home Mad Jam," the traditional "My Time," and the cool "Jazz Mock" into smoking free-rock with plenty of psychedelic ambience to satisfy the trippy mood of the era. Rarely, however, is Mock Duck predictable, and their sound is all their own. A creative and individual band, they sound great even outside the context and milieu in which they existed. Although maybe not as inventive as likeminded peers such as Captain Beefheart, Spirit, and Traffic, they are nevertheless a dynamic footnote to the era. © Stanton Swihart , http://shopformusic.microsoft.com/

BIO

During the mid- to late '60s, Mock Duck emerged as one of the most popular rock bands on the burgeoning music scene of Vancouver, BC. They were one of a plethora of Canadian bands (alongside peers such as Spring, Papa Bear's Medicine Show, the Seeds of Time, and Hydroelectric Streetcar) who packed local psychedelic ballrooms such as the Village Bistro, Retinal Circus, and Big Mothers in emulation of the San Francisco and Seattle scenes to the south. Although they never made much of an impression outside their local region, they were good enough to support visiting names of the day like Fleetwood Mac, B.B. King, Country Joe & the Fish, and the Steve Miller Band.
Like a whole generation of youngsters, Joe Mock picked up the guitar in the early '60s, spurred on by rock & roll. By 1966 he was good enough to play live, and subsequently formed the first incarnation of Mock Duck with Steve Barrett (drums), Spense Sutton (vibes), Tom Hazelitt (bass), and David Sinclair (guitar). At the time they were calling themselves Joe Mock & No Commercial Potential and were chiefly enamored of folk-rock, particularly Bob Dylan. The band played at the Afterthought, a venue where Jefferson Airplane and Country Joe would sometimes perform. They eventually changed their name to Mock Duck when Sutton's girlfriend, unhappy with yet another band practice, appended a frustrated, four-letter epithet to bandleader Mock's surname.
By the beginning of 1967, the first lineup dissolved and a second version of the band was formed when drummer Glen Hendrickson witnessed Mock performing a solo set and approached him with the possibility of starting a new band. With the addition of bassist Lee Stevens, Mock Duck became a trio and began making the rounds of the local psychedelic scene, which was significant enough by this time to lure artists such as the Doors and Mad River from the States. The trio worked into the next year before Stevens was replaced by Rick Enns and Ross Barrett was brought in on saxophone, flute, and keyboards. They began recording at the nascent R&D Studios, releasing two singles in 1968. The second, "Do Re Mi," received substantial airplay at regional radio stations, although not enough to make any inroads in America. By the end of 1969, this version Mock Duck also dissipated, and Mock formed one more band under the moniker, moving into a psychedelic R&B realm before calling it quits in 1970. © Stanton Swihart, All Music Guide

Yes


yes-yes1969




Yes - Yes - 1969 - Atlantic Records

Quite a good debut album from Yes. Contains some great progressive jazz rock guitar and organ parts. Compared to later releases by Yes, this is a very basic album. However, it has it's moments, and definitely laid the foundation for the future progressive symphonic Yes sound. Sound and production quality on the 1969 Atlantic release could be much better, and you should really check out the 2003 remastered version of this album album with six bonus tracks, 'Everydays' (Single Version), 'Dear Father' (Early Version #2), 'Something's Coming', 'Everydays' (Early Version), 'Dear Father' (Early Version #1), & 'Something's Coming' (Early Version) on Elektra/Rhino. Also check out their 1979 masterpiece, "Relayer "


TRACKS

A1 Beyond And Before (4:50) Written By - Clive Bailey Chris Squire
A2 I See You (6:33) Written By - David Crosby , Roger McGuinn
A3 Yesterday And Today (2:37) Written By Jon Anderson
A4 Looking Around (3:49) Written By Jon Anderson/Chris Squire

B1 Harold Land (5:26) Written By - Jon Anderson/Chris Squire/Bill Bruford
B2 Every Little Thing (5:24) Written By - John Lennon , Paul McCartney
B3 Sweetness (4:19) Written By - Jon Anderson/Chris Squire/Clive Bailey
B4 Survival (6:01) Written By Jon Anderson

BAND

Jon Anderson: vocals
Chris Squire: bass and vocals
Peter Banks: guitars and vocals
Tony Kaye: keyboards
Bill Bruford: drums

Wikipedia Album Info.

YES is the 1969 debut album from British progressive rock band Yes, considered among the first progressive rock albums. With the original Yes line-up of vocalist Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford, Yes was the quintet's original musical statement, one that merged harmonic beauty with heavy instrumental backing. While many music critics regarded it as a strong initial effort, the album was not a large commercial success, due in part to the inexperience of the band and the producers. The album was also overshadowed by Led Zeppelin's debut album, released earlier that year. Two of the eight songs on the album are covers, which the band use to demonstrate their penchant for massively reworking others' songs; The Beatles' "Every Little Thing" is turned into a grungy wall of sound with several tempo changes, and The Byrds' "I See You" becomes a jazzy psychedelic workout for Banks and Bruford to display their instrumental virtuosity. Lester Bangs favourably reviewed the album in Rolling Stone, writing that it was "the kind of album that sometimes insinuates itself into your routine with a totally unexpected thrust of musical power."

REVIEW

Yes' debut album is surprisingly strong, given the inexperience of all those involved at the time. In an era when psychedelic meanderings were the order of the day, Yes delivered a surprisingly focused and exciting record that covered lots of bases (perhaps too many) in presenting their sound. The album opens boldly, with the fervor of a metal band of the era playing full tilt on "Beyond and Before," but it is with the second number, a cover of the Byrds' "I See You," that they show some of their real range. The song is highlighted by an extraordinary jazz workout from lead guitarist Peter Banks and drummer Bill Bruford that runs circles around the original by Roger McGuinn and company. "Harold Land" was the first song on which Chris Squire's bass playing could be heard in anything resembling the prominence it would eventually assume in their sound and anticipates in its structure the multi-part suites the group would later record, with its extended introduction and its myriad shifts in texture, timbre, and volume. And then there is "Every Little Thing," the most daring Beatles cover ever to appear on an English record, with an apocalyptic introduction and extraordinary shifts in tempo and dynamics, Banks' guitar and Bruford's drums so animated that they seem to be playing several songs at once. This song also hosts an astonishingly charismatic performance by Jon Anderson. There were numerous problems in recording this album, owing to the inexperience of the group, the producer, and the engineer, in addition to the unusual nature of their sound. Many of the numbers give unusual prominence to the guitar and drums, thus making it the most uncharacteristic of all the group's albums. [Its first decent-sounding edition anywhere came with the 1997 remastering by Atlantic.] © Bruce Eder, www.allmusic.com/

BIO

The English band Yes were among the pioneers of what came to be known as "progressive rock" or "art rock." Their tightly orchestrated songs—usually outfitted with vaguely mystical lyrics—are noted for their dense harmonies, wild time signatures, and virtuosic soloing to produce what singer and co-founder Jon Anderson called "arranged excitement," though detractors have singled the band out as purveyors of pompous, overwrought soundscapes. From their formation in 1968, Yes have gone through numerous personnel changes and stylistic explorations, surviving over two decades of changing musical fashion; in 1991 they brought together most of their alumni for the collective effort Union.
Yes was the brainchild of two musicians: singer Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire. The two met in 1968 at London's Marquee Club, Anderson told Rolling Stone's Steve Turner, and the singer figured Squire to be "a Simon and Garfunkel type." He was correct in assuming the bassist liked Simon and Garfunkel; in any case they found enough In common musically to begin writing songs together. They found drummer Bill Bruford through an advertisement in Melody Maker—Bruford appeared in the add with his cheap drumkit, which he had painted to look like a more expensive brand—and enlisted guitarist Peter Banks and keyboardist Tony Kaye. The band began to work toward a new sound that would blend the intensity of rock with the formal grandeur of classical music and the stylistic and rhythmic adventurousness of jazz.
The band made converts with their early live appearances and released their first LP, Yes, for Atlantic Records in 1969. In addition to their originals, Yes featured cover versions of songs by The Beatles and The Byrds. Lester Bangs, reviewing the album for Rolling Stone, declared Yes "a fine, developing group" and called the record "a pleasurable one," though "the excitement of true innovation is missing." Their sophomore effort, Time and a Word, released in 1970, included a souped-up rendition of folk star Richie Havens's "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" that sported symphonic keyboards and a theme from a cowboy film. The record was engineered by Eddie Offord, whose consistent production work with Yes in ensuing years would make him virtually a band member.
Neither of these two albums, however, had much commercial impact; meanwhile, Banks had left the band, and Yes had to find a new guitarist. They hired Steve Howe, a classically trained musician whose style was heavily influenced by jazz players like Django Reinhardt and Wes Montgomery. With Howe's creative input, the group set to work on its next record. Released in 1971, The Yes Album marks the beginning of the signature sound that would bring them international fame in the seventies. In addition to epic tracks like "Starship Trooper," "Yours Is No Disgrace," "Perpetual Change," and "I've Seen All Good People," the LP sported a live solo acoustic piece by Howe entitled "The Clap," Anderson's story-song "A Venture," and several others. Anderson's lyrics, like the band's sound, took their most recognizable form beginning with this record. The world seemed ready for rock and roll with words like, "On a sailing ship to nowhere leaving anyplace/If the summer change to winter yours is no disgrace." Rolling Stone's praise for the album was measured: reviewer John Koegel admired the band's new maturity and original material but lamented the lack of cover versions; even so, he wrote that the band "play[s] as though of one mind," singling out Squire's "creative bass work."
Original members include Jon Anderson (born October 25, 1944, in Lancashire, England; left group, 1980, rejoined, early 1980s, left, late 1980s, performed with Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe [ABWH], beginning in 1989, and with Yes, 1991), vocals; Peter Banks (left group, 1969), guitar; Bill Bruford (born May 17, 1948, in London, England; left group, 1972, performed with ABWA, beginning in 1989, and with Yes, 1991), drums; Tony Kaye (left group, 1969, rejoined, 1982), keyboards; and Chris Squire (born March 4, 1948, in London), bass.
Later members include Geoff Downes (joined group, 1980, left, early 1980s), keyboards; Trevor Horn (joined group, 1980, left, early 1980s), vocals; Steve Howe (born April 8, 1947, in London; joined group, 1969, left c. 1981, performed with ABWH, beginning in 1989, and with Yes, 1991), guitar; Patrick Moraz (born June 24, 1948, in Morges, Switzerland; joined group, 1973, left, 1976), keyboards; Trevor Rabin (joined group c. 1981), guitar, Rick Wakeman (born May 18, 1949; joined group, 1971, left, 1973, rejoined, 1976, left c. 1979, performed with ABWH, beginning in 1989, and with Yes, 1991), keyboards; Alan White (born June 14, 1949, in Durham, England; joined group, 1972), drums.
Group formed in London, England, 1968; released first album, Yes, on Atlantic Records, 1969.
Yes embarked on its first U.S. tour to support The Yes Album, but shortly thereafter keyboardist Tony Kaye left the band, joining Banks to form a new group called Flash. Yes sought out Rick Wakeman, formerly of the folk-rock band The Strawbs, to take Kaye's place. Wakeman, a classically trained pianist and rock session player who had already been deemed a new superstar by the British rock press, brought to Yes a flashy virtuosity that suited the band's increasingly challenging arrangements. The ensemble's next record, Fragile, would become one of the textbook examples of the "progressive rock" LP. Released in 1972, Fragile included the band's first hit single, "Roundabout," a few other group compositions, and a solo turn by each band member. Wakeman's solo track was an electronic rendition of a piece by composer Johannes Brahms. The record is noteworthy not only as the band's breakthrough hit but as the first of many Yes albums to feature cover art by graphic artist Roger Dean. Dean's fantasy landscapes and distinctive lettering would become the visual coefficients of the Yes sound for legions of fans worldwide.
Fragile was also the group's first hit with critics. Richard Cromelin's Rolling Stone review—though not an unqualified rave—suggested that Yes had cleared a big hurdle. Cromelin noted the "show-off syndrome" marring some of the songs but admired the record overall; he called "Roundabouf's instrumental break "a tourde-force, a complete knockout, and perhaps the most quietly devastating moment to appear on a record in recent memory." The 1972 follow-up album, Close to the Edge, broke even more new ground. With its title track taking up the entire first side—separated into "movements"—Close to the Edge gained a reputation over time as one of the band's finest works and perhaps the definitive "progressive rock" album. Containing three symphonic tunes—"Close to the Edge," "And You & I," and "Siberian Khatru"—the LP fulfills the genre's promise to provide a mental and emotional journey. The elaborate arrangements, critics and fans agreed, had never seemed so integrated before. Cromelin's review again chided the band somewhat for its signature faults and Anderson's "inaccessible" lyrics but noted that "Yes have formed a coherent musical language from the elements that have been kicked around by progressive rockers for ages."
Yes went on tour to support the two albums in 1972, but Bruford left the band before the tour began and was replaced by Plastic Ono Band alumnus Alan White. Highlights of the shows appeared on a three-record live set, 1973's Yessongs, and in a concert film with the same title. While on tour, Anderson was reading Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi and—inspired by a footnote—began to write songs with Howe that would form the group's next opus, the two-record Tales From Topographic Oceans. Released in 1973 and divided into four "movements," Tales tried the patience of critics and even alienated some fans. Gordon Fletcher began his Rolling Stone review by remarking bluntly that "this album is too long" and went on to complain about the band's "psychedelic noodling" and the "mechanical" feel of the music. "Composers Jon Anderson and Steve Howe no doubt understand the relationship between Tales and their personal search for Truth, Knowledge, Culture and Freedom," he added, "but they haven't clued in the rest of us." Rolling Stone's 1975 review of the next Yes album, Relayer, reminded readers that 7a/es was "four sides of hopelessly dense complexity that left many observers recoiling in utter dismay and taxed even the group's most ardent supporters."
Even Wakeman found Tales a bit too pompous to stomach and took a hiatus from the group. As Pulse! critic and avowed progressive rock fan Steve Hochman remarked, something too overblown for Wakeman had to be pretty overblown: "This is a man possessed of such refined taste and sense of proportion that he later staged his rock version of the Arthurian myths as an ice show!" Anderson and company hired Swiss-born keyboardist Patrick Moraz to take Wakeman's place. The group's next LP, Relayer, hit the stores late in 1974 and went gold, despite mostly negative reviews. Relayer, commented a writer for Rolling Stone, "may exhaust even the devoted. Singer Jon Anderson's words plumb the depths of turgidity," while the record as a whole, despite some nice moments, "is an excessive, pretentious and ill-conceived album. The folly of Yes's extreme approach is becoming only too apparent." Reviewers for Melody Maker continued to favor the group, however, and commented approvingly of Moraz's contribution to the live sound in a 1976 concert review. Even Rolling Stone admitted as much: "The evening's surprise," commented Elliot Cahn, "was how much the five-man group sounded like Yes before the departure of Wakeman."
In 1975 Atlantic released Yesterdays, an anthology of tracks from the first two Yes albums and a ten-minute rendition of Paul Simon's "America" recorded in 1972 with Wakeman and Bruford. That year Yes won five awards in a Melody Maker readers' poll, indicating, along with their impressive concert turnouts, that critics and fans differed over the band's direction. The various band members had done some solo work, and started work on some new material; Moraz expressed dissatisfaction with the new songs. By 1977, Moraz had departed and Wakeman returned to Yes. A1977 Rolling Stone article suggested that the veteran multi-keyboardist's return brought the group back to earth, quoting White as saying that "I feel a touch of lightheartedness now in the band. Rick brings that touch of humor back into the music." The group completed its next LP, Going for the One, for a fall release. Rolling Stone's John Swenson wrote that with this record the band had overcome its "cosmic torpor." A writer for Melody Maker was more enthusiastic, labeling Going for the One a "triumphant return .. . a classic Yes album." The album features several hardrocking songs, including the title track, Squire's "Parallels," and "Awaken."
Anderson told Melody Maker that year that he was moving away from the "cosmic interplanetary thoughts" of his past songwriting, and promised that the following year the group would "put out a really hot album." In the studio in 1978, the band expressed excitement over its new material. "Rejoining the band was the best day's work I ever did," Wakeman confided to Melody Maker's Chris Welch. Welch was similarly enthusiastic about the album when reviewing Tormato a few months later: "Anybody who has followed Yes from their inception will be delighted with this in some ways startling rebirth of their music." A writer for Rolling Stone, however, had little good to say about anything on Tormato but Squire's playing, deriding the album with tomato-related puns like "squishy," "overripe," and "rotten." Fans, however, showed enthusiasm over the album and its single "Don't Kill the Whale," which helped Tormato to become Yes's radio breakthrough in the U.S., going gold and ultimately platinum.
Despite this success, a new shakeup changed the Yes lineup. Squire, Howe, and White differed with Anderson about the new album's direction; Wakeman wanted to send his parts in on tape from his home in Switzerland. As a result, the singer and keyboardist drifted away from the project, leaving Squire and company to try to piece something together. An unlikely solution came in the form of Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes, known for their work as the new wave duo The Buggies. Horn and Downes had submitted a song to the band, were invited into the studio to help record it, and soon found they'd been recruited as members of the group. Many Yes fans were shocked at the news, but as Howe told Melody Maker's Karl Dallas, the new lineup seemed "the logical next step." Horn took over vocals and Downes played keyboards, and the group put together a new Yes album, Drama. The lyrics and arrangements for songs like "Into the Lens," "Tempus Fugit," and "Machine Messiah" were consistent with classic Yes stylings, but a writer for Melody Maker found Drama "mediocrity disguised as majesty." The band toured "in the round"—using a unique revolving stage—to support the LP.
After Drama the group was quiet for a while. In 1981 Atlantic released an anthology of live material called Yesshows, which Dallas found "a better album than Drama on the whole" and a more interesting variation on the recorded version of the songs than was offered by Yessongs. Steve Howe left the group to play with the pop supergroup Asia—a brainchild of Horn's and Downes's—so he wasn't available for the next project, 1985's 90125. But that project took a while to assemble.
In 1982 Squire and White had hired South African guitarist Trevor Rabin, while Tony Kaye reclaimed the keyboard position. The new lineup was going to be called Cinema when it recorded the album, with Horn producing. The lead vocals weren't working out, however. As Squire told Rolling Stone, "I just threw this out one night—'Let's get Jon Anderson back'—and it sort of freaked everyone out." Anderson listened to the new material, and agreed to return as lead vocalist. His presence made everyone comfortable with calling the group Yes again. 90125 was Yes's first album on the Atco label (its title came from its catalog number).
The new sound was extremely streamlined, as best exemplified by the radio-smart single "Owner of a Lonely Heart," penned by Rabin. Thanks to the single, the album zoomed up to the U.S. top ten albums chart. Squire told Rolling Stone th at this was "not really a reunion; it's more a reestablishing, I think." J. D. Considine, reviewing the LP for the magazine, lauded its "surprisingly spritely and poppish" sound, crediting Horn for skillfully orchestrating the band's "choirboy vocal harmonies." Musician noted that the new Yes's concerts were impressive as far as new material was concerned, "but the old songs sat there like a lump. Trevor Rabin isn't Steve Howe. Tony Kaye isn't Rick Wakeman or Patrick Moraz.... Having made a stunning rock comeback, Yes can afford to leave 'Starship Troopers' behind on its path toward new music."
By 1987 musical fashion had so changed that Melody Maker lumped its former darlings in with other "dinosaurs" of progressive rock: "More carefully informed observers of the genre might disagree, but if only for the sheer long-windedness of virtually everything they ever recorded, Yes deserve to be recognised as the definitive prog-rock band." Yes had left that image behind, however, and in 1987 released another slick pop album for Atco records, Big Generator, which a writer for Guitar Player called "a mixed offering, but in the balance a fine showcase for [Rabin's] wide-ranging talents."
By 1989, new divisions caused new squabbles. Rolling Stone reported that Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe were working on a new project but couldn't call themselves Yes because Squire, White, and Kaye owned the name. The foursome had signed to Arista, and the two record companies issued conflicting statements about which band was really Yes. Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe was the name of the non-Yes LP released in 1989 by Arista. A Stereo Review writer gave the album a mixed review: "Singing about transcendence is not necessarily the same thing as getting there." People was less kind: "The toothless foursome flail around for almost an hour, trying to recapture some of their old glory.... The end result is tedious." Rolling Stones Jimmy Guterman ventured, "On Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe, four musicians play their parts without coming into any contact, without establishing any common ground." Nonetheless, the album yielded a hit single, "Brother of Mine."
"Common ground" was exactly what the various members of Yes were about to find. Anderson was working on the new Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe (ABWH) record when he ran into Rabin, who brought Anderson in to work on his solo project. Meanwhile, Squire, White, and Kaye had been working with Offord on a new Yes album, and asked Anderson to contribute some vocals. Squire was then persuaded to sing some parts for the ABWH record, and it became clear to everyone involved that a unifying project would be ideal.
After some negotiation, the new Yes came together for an album—1991's Union—and a tour. The group meant "union" in a literal sense, and so included Anderson, Howe, Rabin, Squire, Wakeman, Kaye, Bruford, and White. With two drummers, two keyboardists, and two guitarists, this new outfit struck progressive rock fans like Hochman as a wonderfully appropriate "monument to excess," but Arista—which got the new band as Atlantic combined Atco with another subsidiary—evidently found it just right. A press release gushed, "The unified Yes combines the best of classic Yes with the best of modern Yes," and quoted Anderson as saying, "It will be good for Yes to get under one banner and wave the Yes flag in the nineties."
Produced by Jonathan Elias, a longtime Yes fan, Union wasn't exactly the bona fide sensation that Arista hype suggested. Rolling Stone panned it as "an eclectic miscarriage that almost isn't worth laughing about." Such critical disapproval had accompanied some of the band's biggest successes, however; the band's apparent lack of enthusiasm was another matter. "It would be fair to say none of us are entirely happy in any way, fashion or form with the Union album," Wakeman told Parke Puterbaugh in a Rolling Stone profile. "However, having said that, there's a lot of really good songs—it shows in small areas what can happen, and it acts as a vehicle for this tour and the future." The single "Lift Me Up" garnered substantial rotation on Top 40 radio, and the group began its tour to sellout crowds. As if to put to rest any doubts about the ongoing appeal of Yes's older material, Ateo—just prior to its merger with the EastWest label—assembled a four-CD boxed set of remastered Yes material entitled Yesyears. Reviewers may have sneered—"It isn't the package .. . that makes this box set seem excessive," wrote Considine, "It's the music"—but fans were delighted.
Whatever critics might say about Yes, the band's unmistakable fusion of cosmic lyrics, symphonic arrangements, and rock and roll theatrics has struck a resounding chord with listeners for well over two decades. And in spite of various lineup changes, bad reviews, and a measure of infighting, Yes have managed to maintain their unique union and place in rock history. Additional information for this profile was obtained from an Arista Records press release, 1991. © Simon Glickman, © 2008 eNotes.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved

18.1.08

Graham Central Station


grahamcentralstation-mirror1976




Graham Central Station - Mirror - 1976 - Warner Bros

Terrific seventies funk soul grooves reminiscent of Stevie Wonder. Throw in a slight jazz touch and some gospel, and you have a great album. Check out their great 1974 album, "Release Yourself." For music in a similar groove, check out the "Soul Vaccination: Live" album from the great soul funk band, Tower Of Power, some of whose members also played with Graham Central Station

TRACKS

A1.Entrow (7:09)
A2.Love (Covers A Multitude Of Sin) (3:49)
A3.Mirror (3:50)
A4.Do Yah (3:55)

B1.Save Me (5:17)
B2.I Got A Reason (3:48)
B3.Priscilla (3:15)
B4.Forever (6:54)

CREDITS

Arranged By - Larry Graham , Tom Salisbury
Arranged By [Horns] - Greg Adams , Larry Graham
Bass, Synthesizer, Vocals - Larry Graham
Clavinet, Vocals - Hershall "Happiness" Kennedy*
Drums, Vocals - Gaylord "Flash" Birch*
Engineer - Tom Flye
Guitar, Vocals - David "Dynamite" Vega*
Organ, Piano, Vocals - Robert "Butch" Sam*
Percussion, Drum Programming, Vocals - Patryce "Chocolate" Banks*
Written-By, Recorded By - Larry Graham

Musicians who have been in Graham Central Station, include

Willie Sparks: vocals, drums,
P. CaboOse: tenor saxophone,
Milt Holland: percussion,
Lenny Williams: vocals,
Freddie Stone: guitar,
and Noel Closson: Drums

REVIEW

Larry Graham and crew are definitely going for a fuller sound on this set -- starting off the record with a funky marching band, in Tusk-like fashion -- then rolling into some bass-heavy funk that tops even their previous records for tightness! The groove is a key element in the growth of west coast funk in the 70s -- bass in the lead, but keyboards percolating in all over the place, in a style that's almost got touches of jazz -- and which sets the stage for many of the Zapp-sounding projects of the future. Titles include "Love", "Mirror", "Entrow", "Do Yah", "Save Me", and "I Got A Reason". © 1996-2008, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

BIO (Wikipedia)

Graham Central Station was a funk band named after founder Larry Graham (formerly of Sly & the Family Stone) and is a pun on New York City's Grand Central Station. The band's origins date from when Santana guitarist Neal Schon formed the band Azteca along with Larry Graham (bass guitar) and Gregg Errico (drums), both from Sly & the Family Stone, and Peter Sears (keyboards), from Hot Tuna and Jefferson Starship. Santana bass guitar player Tom Rutley would move into to the bass spot with Azteca. That band, like Santana with heavy Latin influences, would eventually morph into Graham Central Station, while Schon would find Journey. Graham Central Station's biggest hit was "Your Love", which charted at number 9 in 1975. The group also integrated gospel music sounds into their music, and played with the dichotomy between the funk/rock star image and the "sanctified" gospel group image. Some of their recordings feature the Tower of Power horn section.

Mountain


mountain-bestofmountain1973




Mountain - The Best Of Mountain - 1973 - Columbia

This album was recorded in 1973, a year after Mountain had disbanded.. Mountain had a three year lifespan, and a sparse recording output, releasing only four studio albums. Yet, several of their songs are regarded as hard rock classics,including "Mississippi Queen," "Nantucket Sleighride," "Never in My Life," and the Jack Bruce penned "Theme for an Imaginary Western." Even today, these tracks receive plenty of airplay. The talented keyboard player, Steve Knight, and the incomparable rhythm section of Felix Pappalardi, (arguably an underrated vocalist), on bass and Corky Laing on drums produced some of the best blues-based hard rock music of the seventies. This is a great compilation album, including four bonus tracks, from the short lived Mountain. Buy their classic 1971 album " Nantucket Sleighride," and hear Mountain at their best.

TRACKS

1.Never in My Life - Collins, Laing, Pappalardi, West
2.Taunta (Sammy's Tune) - Pappalardi
3.Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) - Collins, Pappalardi
4.Roll Over Beethoven - Berry
5.For Yasgur's Farm - Collins, Gardos, Laing, Pappalardi, Rea, Ship
6.The Animal Trainer and the Toad - Palmer, West
7.Mississippi Queen - Laing, Pappalardi, Rea, West
8.King's Chorale - Pappalardi
9.Boys in the Band - Collins, Pappalardi
10.Don't Look Around - Collins, Palmer, Papalardi, West
11.Theme for an Imaginary Western - Brown, Bruce
12.Crossroader - Collins, Pappalardi
13.Long Red - Landsberg, Pappalardi, Ventura, West [Bonus Track on 1990 Columbia CD Re - Issue]
14.Dreams of Milk & Honey - Landsberg, Pappalardi, Ventura, West [Bonus Track on1990 Columbia CD Re - Issue]
15.Silver Paper - Collins, Gardos, Knight, Laing, Pappalardi, West[Bonus Track on1990 Columbia CD Re - Issue]
16.Travelin' in the Dark (To E.M.P.) - Collins, Pappalardi [Bonus Track on1990 Columbia CD Re - Issue]

Recorded between 1969 & 1971.

CREDITS (1973 12 track LP)

Corky Laing - Drums
Steve Knight - Percussion, Keyboards
Felix Pappalardi - Bass, Vocals, Producer
Leslie West - Guitar, Vocals
Bob D'Orleans - Engineer

REVIEWS

Mountain's meteoric ride through the early '70s was as memorable as it was brief — so much so that this excellent greatest-hits set was released less than four years after the band had inaugurated their career at Woodstock. In retrospect, its easy to understand why the strange chemistry (pun intended) struck between boogie-loving, Clapton-worshiping guitar hero Leslie West and eclectic bassist and Cream producer Felix Pappalardi was fated to be a short one. But during their brief run, Mountain's adventurous proto-metal did indeed resemble a somewhat twisted but effective American version of the legendary power trio that inspired them. Of course, Mountain would continue to re-form off and on over the years, but seeing as most of their later efforts were disappointingly under par, this set covers all the stuff you'll need — most essentially, Homer Simpson's favorite song, the immortal "Mississippi Queen." © Ed Rivadavia, http://wc07.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:gxfyxqr5ldhe
While West, Bruce and Laing travel around the nation belching "Why Dontcha's" at enthusiastic audiences, it is only fair that we pay our last respects to the group that started it all for Leslie... Mountain. No matter how simple or crude the music appeared to be, Mountain made it all come alive with raw energy and fierce power. With willowy Felix Pappalardi laying the bass foundation and drummer Corky Laing and non-existent organist Steve Knight adding additional coverage, Mountain spotlighted the rugged, distorted guitar licks of massive Leslie West. Included on The Best are tunes done by Mountain at the beginning and end of their career. From the hot 'n nasty "Mississippi Queen" to the hotter 'n nastier "Roll Over Beethoven," Best of Mountain proves to be a musical avalanche of power rock. © Ed Naha, Circus, 3/73, © Rockforever.com LLC and the Voices of Classc Rock - All rights reserved
Whenever I listen to Mountain it always surprises me how heavy the band is. I mean, yeah, this was back in the early days of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, but Mountain has a heavy sound all their own - what Sabbath probably would have sounded like if they'd been from the South instead of Britain. This collection, first released on LP back in 1973, contains twelve of the band's best known tracks, including well-known Mountain hits like "Mississippi Queen," "Nantucket Sleighride" and "Theme From an Imaginary Western" and lesser-known tracks like "The Animal Trainer and the Toad" and "Don't Look Around." Also featured is a raging cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven." As with all Mountain CDs, the real stars are the guitars of Leslie West. West knew when to crunch and when to rip into a lead - and knew whether or not that lead should be a bluesy laid-back one or a blisteringly fast one. This 2003 re-release also contains four bonus tracks: 1969's "Long Red" and "Dreams of Milk & Honey," 1970's "Silver Paper" and 1971's "Travelin' in the Dark." The remastering sounds great - this CD sounds much better than the original vinyl. "The Best of Mountain" is a great place to start for those unfamiliar with the band but who are fans of early Sabbath, Deep Purple and Creedence Clearwater Revival. © R. Scott Bolton, www.roughedge.com/cdreviews/m/mountain.htm
Biggest hits from this now defunct group, highlighted by Leslie West's fine guitar playing, excellent bass work from Felix Pappalardi and top vocals from each. Pappalardi, also responsible for producing Cream, handled the same job expertly on this set. Good collection for fans who want the group's top efforts on one set and those who are just now being introduced to the sound through West, Bruce & Laing, the band that grew out of this one. Best Cuts: "Nantucket Sleigh ride," "Mississippi Queen" (their biggest commercial success) and "Tickets For An Imaginary Western." © Billboard, 1973.

BIO (Wikipedia)

Mountain is an American rock band, popular in the early 1970s. The band broke up in 1972, reformed shortly thereafter, broke up soon after that, and now has begun touring again in recent years. Mountain remains popular in some circles despite having fallen out of the mainstream during the seventies. Mountain was influential during the development of hard rock, and their hit song "Mississippi Queen" became a radio hit and a hard rock classic. VH1 ranked Mountain as number 98 on its 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band formed when guitarist Leslie West, having left the Long Island R&B band the Vagrants, recorded a solo album called Mountain with bassist and former Cream producer Felix Pappalardi producing. The album, Mountain, also featured former Remains drummer N.D. Smart and keyboard player Steve Knight. West's raw vocals and melodic, bluesy guitar style, and Pappalardi's heavy and elegant bass lines were the elements of Mountain's distinctive sound. The band was inspired by the power trio Cream, of which Pappalardi was an "unofficial" member: he featured heavily on Cream's third album, Wheels of Fire, contributing organ, viola, trumpet and handbells as well as producing. Mountain played their fourth live gig at the Woodstock Festival, but the band did not appear in the film of the event nor was it included on the first album. Soon after, Smart was replaced by Laurence "Corky" Laing. The group's first album, Climbing!, was released in 1970 and featured the band's best-known song, "Mississippi Queen"; the song reached the middle of the top 40 charts and the album reached the top 20 on the US album charts. The follow-up album Nantucket Sleighride (1971) also reached the top 20 on the US albums chart but failed to yield a hit single. After these early releases the band continued to receive a certain measure of critical acclaim but never achieved great commercial success. After Nantucket Sleighride, the band faced creative difficulties and failed to progress on their next album. The band broke up in 1972. West and Laing later formed West, Bruce and Laing with Cream bassist Jack Bruce. They released three albums (two studio and one live). In 1974 West and Pappalardi reformed Mountain with Allan Schwartzberg on drums and Bob Mann (of Dreams) on keyboards and guitar - a tour yielded the live double album Twin Peaks. The studio work Avalanche, with Laing on drums and rhythm guitarist David Perry, who as an African American was also credited for "added color". It was the last heard from Mountain until the mid 1980s since which West, sometimes with and sometimes without Laing, has worked under the name Mountain, New Mountain or the Leslie West Band. On April 17, 1983, Gail Collins Pappalardi, Felix's wife and songwriting partner who had designed many of the band's album covers, shot Pappalardi in the neck in their fifth-floor East Side Manhattan apartment. He was pronounced dead at the scene and Collins was charged with second-degree murder. She was cleared of that charge but convicted of the lesser criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to 16 months to four years in jail. After her release from jail, she vanished into private life. The band has reformed, and Richie Scarlet has taken over as bass player on the band's recent tours. Scarlet is also known for his work with Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach and for his multuiple solo records. In 2003 West and Laing produced a book of recollections called "Nantucket Sleighride" detailing their time with the band at its peak and their subsequent careers. Published by S.A.F. Publishing ISBN 0 946719 62 4

17.1.08

Thomas Dolby


thomasdolby-thegoldenageofwireless




Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age Of Wireless - 1983 - EMI America

Thomas Dolby was streets ahead of most of the numerous synth-pop composers during the 1980's. He created a unique blend of pop ingenuity, with an eccentric touch. It is hard to explain this, but listen to the album, and you will "get the drift.." This album is a new wave classic. Try and catch the brilliant Prefab Sprout "Steve McQueen" album remastered in 2007 by Thomas Dolby, who originally produced the album in 1985. You should also listen to Dolby's great "Aliens Ate My Buick" album.
N.B - There have been numsrous versions of this album. The original vinyl album was first released in the U.K on Venice In Peril Records in 1982. It did not include "She Blinded Me With Science," or "One Of Our Submarines," but did include a track called "The Wreck Of The Fairchild."

TRACKS

A1.She Blinded Me With Science (5:09)
A2.Radio Silence (4:32)
A3.Airwaves (3:35)
A4.Flying North (3:50)
A5.Weightless (3:45)

B1.Europa And The Pirate Twins (3:18)
B2.Windpower (3:58)
B3.Commercial Breakup (4:15)
B4.One Of Our Submarines (5:11)
B5.Cloudburst At Shingle Street (5:45)

All tracks composed by - Thomas Dolby

CREDITS

Piano , Synthesizer & Synthesizer [Wave Computer], Drum Programming - Thonas Dolby
Synthesizer - Daniel Miller
Brass [Leadline], Flute - Simon Lloyd
Bass - Mark Heyward-Chaplin
Drums - Justin Hildreth
Guitar - Kevin Armstrong , Dave Birch
Percussion [Electronic] - Thomas Dolby
Percussion [Backwards] - Justin Hildreth
Harmonica - Andy Partridge
Backing Vocals - Lesley Fairbairn, James Allen , Judy Evans , Lene Lovich , Les Chappell, Akiko Yano
Vocals [Monks] - Bruce Woolley , Dave Birch , Thomas Dolby
Vocals [Shipping Forecast] - John Marsh
Vocals [Operatics] - Lene Lovich , Les Chappell

REVIEWS

One of the most satisfying examples of the genre of early-80s British synthpop. Thomas Dolby's debut is surprisingly warm, human, and at times nostalgic, qualities not usually associated with synthesized music. Ballads like "Airwaves," "Weightless," and the enveloping, operatic "Cloudburst At Shingle Street," are thoughtful and direct, and the more upbeat songs, like "Radio Silence" and the manic "Europa and the Pirate Twins" (featuring harmonica by XTC's Andy Partridge), are as fun and catchy as anything released in 1982. Purists may feel that the original version of the album, featuring two early tracks dropped off this second US edition, is superior, but in either incarnation THE GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS is a synthpop classic. ©1996 - 2008 CD Universe; Portions copyright 1948 - 2008 Muze Inc. For personal non-commercial use only. All rights reserved

Thomas Dolby's The Golden Age of Wireless is one of the most impressive debuts so far this year. Dolby, who played on Foreigner IV and wrote "New Toy" for Lene Lovich, takes after the Bowie side of Gary Numan. Even his most enigmatic songs ("Leipzig," "Radio Silence") have Bowie's substance and narrative completion. Yet he manipulates studio hardware with Numan's eerie familiarity. Several tracks have a submerged, barely audible layer of almost random sound that serves as a constant (and disturbing) subtext, occasionally erupting into the song – like the descending quintet of notes that interrupts the melody of "Weightless" whenever "the empty feeling" is mentioned. This sonic underworld is all part of Dolby's mechanical wizardry; one can imagine him as a boy genius alone in the basement with his tapes and wires and synths and rhythm machines, making this dense, dazzling record and sticking in weird, subliminal noises to amuse himself.
The results are hardly hermetic. The jaunty pulse of "Europa and the Pirate Twins," in which a lad tries to contact a childhood friend who's now a celebrity, hooks you into the album immediately. "Windpower," "Radio Silence," and "Flying North" are as irresistibly melodic as Paul McCartney's work. And unlike many synthesizer bands from England, Dolby eschews morbid, droogy drones. "Cloudburst at Shingle Street," the possibly apocalyptic number that closes the album, faces annihilation with a vision that is positively ecstatic. © (RS 380), DON SHEWEY, Oct 14, 1982, ©Copyright 2008 Rolling Stone
Is it just my memory playing tricks on me or did 'She Blinded Me With Science' really go top ten in America and not chart at all in the UK? I remember the video being played on TV a lot, but didn't realise it never breached the top 40. Indeed, checking out the reliable everyhit.com, only one song from this collection breached the top 40 and that was 'Windpower' which nestled in at number 31. I think part of the reason then is I remember the video but I also remember the album ( which also failed to breach the top 40 ) because my elder brother who turns 40 this year has played it a lot throughout the years. I know so many of these songs. It's a good album mind you, definitely a superior synth-pop effort. Well, it should be. There's been at least two different versions of the album, 'She Blinded Me With Science' and 'One Of Our Submarines' were replacement tracks on the album after the former became a US hit single. This is the version currently on CD, although the other tracks can easily be picked up on compilations. Right. Down to business! Thomas Dolby came from an academic family but chose synths and stuff instead of engineering or whatever. He would appear on stage surrounded by the things, much like we remember Howard Jones, although Thom Dolby got there first. In more recent days, he's famous for composing polyphonic ringtones for the likes of Nokia and for running a thriving technology/mobile phone ringtone business of sorts. Back in the eighties, it was once rumoured he'd replace Andy Partridge as singer in XTC when Andy didn't want to tour. He was a much in-demand session musician and oh, also found time to make a few albums of his own and produce several albums for Prefab Sprout.

'She Blinded Me With Science' is annoying but catchy, it features samples of Magnus Pyke and Thomas Dolby himself apparently hates the track. It's also not in fact one of the best songs on the LP. I like the old wireless theme of the LP by the way, the retro futurism. I like 'Radiosilence' which if I had my way would have been a top 40 hit back in the day. 'Airwaves' is another super-strong track. Dreamy ballad synth mode with Thomas reaching for the notes surprisingly effectively given he doesn't seem to be a naturally powerful vocalist. Well, the whole thing is supremely well produced and he doesn't in fact need a lot of power, he softly reaches upwards. Speaking of airwaves, how about 'Windpower'? It was a hit, hoorah! It's speedy and quirky, much like 'Europa And The Pirate Twins' which spins along most enjoyably. Thomas Dolby doesn't actually try to blind you with science or virtuosity on the LP. Pop melodies are always much to the fore and the synth sound has a pleasingly natural lightness of touch. It sounds human. 'One Of Our Submarines' is also lovely by the way and only a couple of tracks misfire, namely the clunky 'Flying North'. Still, an excellent LP this that will please every synth-pop lover with good taste. 2001-2007 Adrian Denning, Adrian's Album Reviews, www.adriandenning.co.uk/albums.html

BIO

Though he never had many hits, Thomas Dolby became one of the most recognizable figures of the synth-pop movement of early-'80s new wave. Largely, this was due to his skillful marketing. Dolby promoted himself as a kind of mad scientist, an egghead that had successfully harnassed the power of synthesizers and samplers, using them to make catchy pop and light electro-funk. Before he launched a solo career, Dolby had worked as a studio musician, technician, and songwriter; his most notable work as a songwriter was "New Toy," which he wrote for Lene Lovich, and Whodini's "Magic's Wand." In 1981, he launched a solo career, which resulted in a number of minor hits and two big hits -- "She Blinded Me with Science" (1982) and "Hyperactive" (1984). Following "Hyperactive," his career faded away, as he began producing more frequently, as well as exploring new synthesizer and computer technology. Dolby continued to record into the '90s, but by that time, he was strictly a cult act.
Dolby's interest in music arose through his interest in computers, electronics and synthesizers. The son of a British archeologist, Thomas Dolby (b. Thomas Morgan Robertson, October 14, 1958) originally attended college to study meteorology, but he was soon side-tracked by electronics, specifically musical equipment. He began building his own synthesizers when he was 18 years old. Around the same time, he began to learn how to play guitar and piano, as well as how to program computers. Eventually, his schoolmates gave him the nickname of "Dolby," which was the name for a noise-reduction technology for audiotapes; he would eventually take the nickname as a stage name.
In his late teens, Dolby was hired as a touring sound engineer for a variety of post-punk bands, including the Fall, the Passions and the Members; on these dates, he would use a PA system he had built himself. In 1979, he formed the arty post-punk band Camera Club with Bruce Woolley, Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Matthew Seligman. Within a year, he had left the group and joined Lene Lovich's backing band. Dolby gave Lovich his song "New Toy," which became a British hit in 1981. That same year, he released his first solo single, "Urges," on the English independent label Armageddon. By the fall, he had signed with Parlophone and released "Europa and the Pirate Twins," which nearly cracked the UK Top 40.
Dolby started playing synthesizer on sessions for other artists in 1982. That year, he appeared on Foreigner's 4, Def Leppard's Pyromania and Joan Armatrading's Walk Under Ladders. Also in 1982, he wrote and produced "Magic's Wand" for Whodini; the single became one of the first million-selling rap singles. Even with all of these achievements, 1982 was most noteworthy for the release of Dolby's first solo album, The Golden Age of Wireless, in the summer of 1982; the record reached number 13 in England, while it was virtually forgotten in America. "Windpower," the first single from the record, became his first Top 40 UK hit in the late summer.
In January of 1983, Dolby released an EP, Blinded by Science, which included a catchy number called "She Blinded Me with Science" that featured a cameo vocal appearance by the notorious British eccentric Magnus Pike, who also appeared in the song's promotional video. Blinded by Science was a minor hit in England, but the EP and the single became major American hit in 1983, thanks to MTV's heavy airplay of the "She Blinded Me with Science" video. Eventually, the song reached number five on the US charts and it was included on a resequenced and reissued version of The Golden Age of Wireless, which peaked at number 13 in America.
The Flat Earth, Dolby's second album, appeared in early 1984 and was supported by the single "Hyperactive." The single became his biggest UK hit, peaking at number 17. Though The Flat Earth reached number 35 on the US charts, Dolby's momentum was already beginning to slow -- none of the singles released from the album cracked the American Top 40. Nevertheless, Dolby was in demand as a collaborator and he worked with Herbie Hancock, Howard Jones, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, and Dusty Springfield. During 1985, he produced Clinton's Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends, Prefab Sprout's Steve McQueen (Two Wheels Good in the US), and Joni Mitchell's Dog Eat Dog, as well as supporting David Bowie at Live Aid. Also in 1985, he began composing film scores, starting with Fever Pitch. In 1986, he composed the scores for Gothic and Howard the Duck, to which he credited himself as Dolby's Cube. That credit led to a lawsuit from the Dolby Labs, who eventually prohibited the musician from using the name "Dolby" in conjunction with any other name than "Thomas."
Aliens Ate My Buick, Dolby's long-delayed third album, appeared in 1988 to poor reviews and weak sales, even though the single "Airhead" became a minor British hit. That same year, Dolby married actress Kathleen Beller. For the rest of the late '80s and early '90s, Dolby continued to score films, producing and he began building his own computer equipment. His fourth album, Astronauts & Heretics, was released in 1992on his new label, Giant. Despite the presence of guest stars like Eddie Van Halen, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Ofra Haza, the album was a flop. The following year, Dolby founded the computer software company Headspace, which released The Virtual String Quartet as its first program. For the rest of the '90s, Headspace occupied most of Dolby's time and energy. In 1994, he released The Gate to the Mind's Eye, a soundtrack to the videotape Mind's Eye. Also that year, Capitol released the greatest-hits collection, Retrospectacle. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide