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31.5.08

Irmin Schmidt




Irmin Schmidt - Impossible Holidays - 1991 - Fine Line

Great album from Irmin Schmidt, a founding member of the legendary Can. It's a sophisticated recording, similar to the sound that marked Can, with subdued aggression and a beautiful fascination between harmony and discord. Highly evolved rock music and a rewarding listen. Check out his 1987 "Musk At Dusk" album, and listen to the two great Can albums, "Tago Mago," and "Ege Bamyasi."

TRACKS

1 Dreambite Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan 1:43
2 Le Weekend Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan 4:46
3 Surprise Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan 9:25
4 Shudder of Love Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan 6:28
5 Lullaby Big Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan 4:27
6 Time the Dreamkiller Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan 6:12
7 Gormenghast Drift Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan 8:29

Produced by Gareth Jones & Irmin Schmidt. All tracks composed and arranged by Schmidt, Irmin/Fallowell, Duncan
All lyrics by Duncan Fallowell

MUSICIANS

Irmin Schmidt vocals, keyboards, synths
Michael Karoli guitars
Jaki Liebezeit drums
Steve Shehan percussion
Franck Ema Otu bass
Juan José Mosalini bandoneon on "Time the Dreamkiller"
Geoff Warren altosax on "Time the Dreamkiller
Gitte Haenning backing vocals on "Le Weekend"
Özay Fecht backing vocals on "Le Weekend"
Claudia Stülpner backing vocals on "Le Weekend"
Duncan Fallowell Voice on Dreambite

BIO

Irmin Schmidt born in May 1937 received a formal musical education and between 1957 and 1967 he studied under modern composers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Ligeti. Between 1962 and 1969 he conducted numerous orchestras including Wiener Sinfoniker, Bochumer Sinfoniker, Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Norddeutscher Rundfunk Hannover and the Dortmunder Ensemble für Neue Musik, which he founded. Schmidt also worked as a musical director at the Stadttheater Aachen and taught Musicals and Chanson at the Bochum stage school. Schmidt also gave numerous new music recitals and was amongst the first German pianists to interpret the work of John Cage. His compositions "Hexapussy" and "Ilgom" were premiered by Radio Stuttgart in 1967 and 1968 respectively. During this period he also composed music for various film and theatre productions. His classical career was put on hold after a trip to New York in 1966 exposed him to emerging musical forms and ideas that led to him forming CAN in 1968. As the band's keyboard player, Schmidt's contribution to their groundbreaking career and the evolution of electronic music in general is formidable. When CAN was dissolved in 1978 Schmidt, relocated to the south of France where he established a studio and continued to compose and record over 100 film and television scores, a craft he had already become familiar with both before and during his work with CAN. This work is documented on CAN's "Soundtracks" LP (1970) and on his own solo soundtrack compilation, a 3 CD set entitled "Anthology:Soundtracks 1978 - 1993 "both of which are available on Spoon/Mute. His solo soundtrack features his fellow band mates Micael Karoli (guitar) and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). In 1981 he worked with Bruno Spoerri and released his first solo LP "Toy Planet" followed by "Musk at Dusk" in 1987. Schmidt rejoined his former colleagues for the reunion album, Rite Time (1989) and followed this with another solo album, "Impossible Holidays" (1991). In 1993, Schmidt was commissioned to write a fantasy opera based on Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy. The three act opera, with a libretto by Duncan Fallowell, was premiered at Wuppertal Opera House on November 15 1998 excerpts of which were released as a CD on Spoon/Mute in 2000 Thanks to Gormenghast, he met Kumo (UK musician Jono Podmore), sound engineer, producer and specialist in rhythm programming and immediately saw the potential for improvisational collaboration. They performed as Irmin Schmidt and Kumo for the Can solo projects tour. This project also toured events as diverse as the Montreux Jazz Festival, Sonar in Barcelona and the International Jazz festival in London and all to critical acclaim from their respective audiences. In 2001 Irmin Schmidt and Kumo released "Masters of Confusion" on Spoon/Mute. Like his fellow CAN bandmates, Irmin Schmidt has been taking a keen interest in the re-mastering of CAN material for both the 2003 CAN DVD release and overseeing the re-mastering of the entire CAN back catalogue for re-release on Spoon/Mute. June 2004 saw a new production of his Gormenghast opera staged at Völklinger Hütte in Saarbrücken, Germany, a colossal steelworks that is now a UNESCO world heritage site, together with performances at the Grand Theatre Luxembourg. In 2006 - 2007 he composed ballet music for full orchestra commissioned by the Deutschen Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf. In 2008 the ballet was premiered in Düsseldorf and Duisburg. This year also saw the release of the new Irmin Schmidt & Kumo album "Axolotl Eyes" (released world wide by Spoon/Mute/Warner/P-Vine) and he wrote the soundtrack to the new Wim Wenders film "Palermo Shooting", which is part of the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival 2008. © Spoon Records, All rights reserved.

Myra Melford




Myra Melford - Eleven Ghosts - 1994 - hatOLOGY

Pianist Myra Melford and percussionist Han Bennink splash about in blues and — of all things! — the blandly iconic "Maple Leaf Rag," as well as in their own, allusion-free interactions, in such a way as to give postmodernist importation the very best possible name. In a word, they’re that good. Give it a listen and don't be put off by any mental images of free or rambling avant garde jazz. This album is very accessable. Give it a fair hearing, and see what you think. Many of these type of jazz albums are discounted by critics, because they do not conform to certain structures, and are inclined to "go off at a tangent." Myra Melford's percussive melodies, highlighted by Bennink's jovial sonic booms make this recording most enjoyable. Lots of fun (2, 7, 8, 11) and some serious noise (5). Bennink does spectacular drumming alone on 3. The two converse very well as they explore all elments of the music. An excellent jazz album. Buy her great album "Alive in the House of Saints."

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

The First Mass - Han Bennink, Myra Melford
How Long Blues - Leroy Carr
Frank Goes To - Myra Melford
Another Mess - Han Bennink
Which Way Is That? - Myra Melford
Three Ghosts - Han Bennink, Myra Melford
Some Relief - Han Bennink, Myra Melford
And Now Some Blues - Myra Melford
Now - Myra Melford
And Now - Myra Melford
The Maple Leaf Rag - Scott Joplin

Recorded at Radio DRS, Zürich on 11/12 February 1994

MUSICIANS

Han Bennink (Drums)
Myra Melford (Piano)

REVIEW

Supreme musicians Myra Melford and Han Bennink join together for a duo recording as blues progressions, boogie-woogie, and Harlem stride become the trampoline from which they jump. It's free, free, but far less cryptic -- and more accessible -- than one might expect. Melford is a very accomplished pianist: straight and outside, serious and silly -- she's done it, and done it well. Bennink has a wide repertoire of percussive creativity. He's a light-hearted master who can re-create the sounds of a kitchen's ride through an earthquake. Rising uniquely to any level of playing -- abstract, straight, or wack -- he can play like three drummers at once. These two musicians play musical strands that run parallel, complementing each other nicely. The piano softly twinkles up and down the scales; gossamer strings connect Melford's hands to old barrelhouse tunes. Meanwhile, the drums unravel any hope of 4/4 time and get happily tangled up in the string. Melford bangs cluster punches while Bennink scrambles up one side of a song, only to roll down the other side, arms flapping. Playful, they twirl around each other. Masterful, they create an off-the-wall pair who surprise and delight. The longest piece, "Which Way Is That?," twists its own focus lens, alternately smearing the tune's structure until it's all blurred together and putting it back into focus until it's explicitly restated. "Some Relief" is a brief intermission, a straight little ditty as respite. "And Now Some Blues" sometimes allows the piano blues to roll, but often deconstructs it, and their take on "The Maple Leaf Rag" is quite excellent and an appropriate closer for this album. Although grouped in the more avant-garde end of jazz, Eleven Ghosts won't scare the audience off. Even people who stiffen at the words "outside jazz" will relax their shoulders while listening to this album. ~ Joslyn Layne, All Music Guide

BIO (Myra Melford) - Wkipedia

Myra Melford (born January 5, 1957 in Illinois) is a jazz pianist and composer. In recent years, Melford has begun playing the harmonium as well as piano. Melford grew up in the Chicago area. Based in New York City since the mid 80s, Melford has played as a side-person with Henry Threadgill, and has led her own bands including players such as trumpeters Dave Douglas and Cuong Vu, reed players Marty Ehrlich and Chris Speed, bassists Lindsey Horner and Stomu Takeishi, drummers Michael Sarin and Kenny Wolleson, and cellist Erik Friedlander. In addition she has played in a leaderless trio called Equal Interest which includes Joseph Jarman of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and AACM violinist Leroy Jenkins, and has played in duos with Marty Ehrlich, Dutch percussionist Han Bennink and flutist Marion Brandis. She is currently teaching at the University of California, Berkeley.

BIO (Myra Melford)

An ambitious composer/pianist with a taste for adventure, Myra Melford emerged in the late '80s and early '90s as one of the more highly acclaimed young jazz pianists of the day. Melford's early work reflected her primary musical mentors/influences: on piano, Don Pullen, whose percussive mannerisms she successively adapted; and, as a composer, Henry Threadgill, whose formal techniques she obviously studied. Melford professes an affinity to the blues styles she heard and studied as a youth in Chicago (she grew up in nearby Evanston, IL), which she incorporates into her avant-garde-tinged musical sensibility. As a youth she studied boogie-woogie piano with Erwin Helfer. Melford attended college at Evergreen State in Washington State, where she studied with the pianist Art Lande and developed an interest in jazz. She went on to also attend the Cornish Institute in Seattle. In 1984 she moved to New York, where she would play in the bands of Threadgill, Leroy Jenkins, and Butch Morris, among others. She also studied privately with Pullen. In the mid- to late '80s she performed and recorded in a duo with the flutist Marion Brandis. She formed a trio with bassist Lindsey Horner and drummer Reggie Nicholson, with which she recorded a pair of albums -- Jump (1990) and Now & Now (1991) -- for the rock-oriented Enemy label, which helped establish her reputation. As the '90s progressed, Melford added horns to her sound; the trumpeter Dave Douglas is a member of her Same River, Twice band, which has recorded albums for the Gramavision and Arabesque labels. She has continued to perform with bands led by Jenkins and Threadgill; she is also a member of one of Douglas' many ensembles. In 2000, Melford received a Fulbright Scholarship to study North Indian music on the harmonium with Sohanlal Sharma in Calcutta. © Chris Kelsey, All Music Guide

BIO (Han Bennink)

In the niche-oriented world of major-league jazz, it's almost unfashionable to be so multi-faceted a player as Han Bennink. Bennink is one of the unfortunately rare musicians whose abilities and interests span the music's entire spectrum, from Dixieland to free. His straight-ahead playing is absolutely convincing -- his time is solid, his sense of swing strong, and his technique flawless. He also possesses the requisite qualities of a free jazz virtuoso; Bennink's ability to interact quickly and creatively with horn players and pianists is great, as is his ear for timbral contrasts. What ultimately makes Bennink special is his manifest love for the music, a love that inclines him to tear down the cardboard walls that too often separate different schools of jazz. At his best, with colleagues who share his all-encompassing stylistic embrace, Bennink plays the continuum of jazz as an instrument unto itself. Bennink began playing drums while in his teens under the influence of his father, a classical percussionist. He played with hometown musicians in the early '60s. Between 1962 and 1969, Bennink backed local American jazz greats like Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and Eric Dolphy on their visits to Holland (he was the drummer on Dolphy's Last Date album, from 1964). In 1963, he formed a quartet that included pianist Misha Mengelberg, which played the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival. In the mid-'60s, Bennink began to play free jazz with the likes of Mengelberg and Willem Breuker. In 1967, those three founded the Instant Composer's Pool, a not-for-profit organization designed to promote the Dutch jazz avant-garde. Around that same period, Bennink began continuing associations with the saxophonist Peter Brotzmann, guitarist Derek Bailey, trombonist Alex Schlippenbach, trumpeter Don Cherry, and the Globe Unity Orchestra. In the '70s and '80s, Bennink led and played as sideman on a number of sessions on the FMP, Incus, and Soul Note labels; he made a notable contribution to Steve Lacy's Herbie Nichols tribute album, Regeneration, with Mengelberg, bassist Kent Carter, and trombonist Roswell Rudd. In the late '80s, Bennink started, with cellist Ernst Reijseger and saxophonist Michael Moore, the Clusone Trio, which has since become perhaps the percussionist's most ideal performance vehicle. Both Reijseger and Moore share Bennink's extraordinarily wide range of musical interests, to say nothing of his absurdist sense of humor. It is, in fact, Bennink's rather whimsical theatricality that mitigates -- for some, at least -- the seriousness and depth of his art. © Chris Kelsey, All Music Guide

29.5.08

The Yardbirds




The Yardbirds - Birdland - 2003 - Favored Nations

When this came out in 2003, it marked the first studio release by the Yardbirds in 35 years. In that time, of course, the personnel had changed quite a bit. Even those inclined to get excited by reunions of great bands should know right off that it includes just two original members, drummer Jim McCarty and rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja (though Jeff Beck plays guest guitar on one number, "My Blind Life"). Rounded out by three "new" members (including bassist John Idan, whose lead singing sounds fairly close to original Yardbirds vocalist Keith Relf in style and tone), the record also features guestmore… lead guitar cameos by Jeff Baxter, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Brian May, with Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls singing lead on "For Your Love." The instinct is to make cruel, sardonic jokes about how the absence of Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and (for the most part) Jeff Beck doesn't matter, as guitarists were always the weak links in the Yardbirds anyway. Yes, the non-presence of these fabled guitar heroes, as well as Relf (who died in 1976), does mean that this can't be compared in any way to the group's classic 1960s output, even if it's billed to the Yardbirds' name. For all that, however, this is a lot better than you'd expect, and certainly far more respectable than most reunion/comeback efforts by decimated lineups of classic outfits. The production is straight-ahead without the usual sellouts to modern technology, putting the sleek guitar work to the fore. Half the record has remakes of old Yardbirds staples like "For Your Love," "Shapes of Things," and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," but they're not done badly, though you feel as though you're listening to a really good Yardbirds tribute band rather than the real deal. The original material, though not as good as those old Yardbirds tunes, actually sounds — whether as a result of conscious or unconscious effort — in the Yardbirds style, with plenty of irregular tempos, minor-keyed melodies, metaphysically questing lyrics, and Gregorian vocals (as on the Relf tribute "An Original Man (A Song for Keith)").

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 I'm Not Talking - Mose Allison
2 Crying Out for Love - Jim McCarty
3 The Nazz Are Blue - Jeff Beck, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith
4 For Your Love - Graham Gouldman
5 Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout the News - Jim McCarty
6 Train Kept a Rollin' - Tiny Bradshaw, Howard Kay, Lois Mann
7 Mr. Saboteur - Jim McCarty
8 Shapes of Things - Jim McCarty, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith
9 My Blind Life - Chris Dreja
10 Over, Under, Sideways, Down - Jeff Beck, Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith
11 Mr. You're a Better Man Than I - Mike Hugg, Brian Hugg
12 Mystery of Being - Jim McCarty
13 Dream Within a Dream - Jim McCarty, Edgar Allan Poe
14 Happenings Ten Years Time Ago - Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Jim McCarty, Keith Relf
15 An Original Man (A Song for Keith) - Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja

BAND

John Idan – bass, lead vocals
Gypie Mayo - lead guitar
Chris Dreja – rhythm guitar
Jim McCarty – drums, percussion, vocals
Alan Glen - harmonica
Jeff Beck - guitar on "My Blind Life"

GUEST MUSICIANS

The Nazz Are Blue - Jeff Baxter
Train Kept A-Rollin' - Joe Satriani
Shapes of Things - Steve Vai
Over Under Sideways Down - Slash
You're a Better Man Than I - Brian May
Happenings Ten Years Time Ago - Steve Lukather

ORIGINAL YARDBIRDS' MEMBERS ((1963-68)

Keith Relf · Chris Dreja · Paul Samwell-Smith · Top Topham · Jim McCarty · Eric Clapton · Jeff Beck · Jimmy Page
Rod Demick · Laurie Garman · Alan Glen · John Idan · Ben King · Billy Boy Miskimmin · Ray Majors · Gypie Mayo

TRACKS / MUSICIANS INFO

The Yardbirds' first studio album release in 35 years. Most of the ''Birdland'' album was recorded at Steve Vai's Mothership studio in Hollywood with producer Ken Allerdyce, the finishing works took place in London. The CD contains newly recorded versions of eight of the Yardbirds' best known hits (I'm Not Talking / The Nazz Are Blue / For Your Love / Train Kept A Rolling / Shapes of Things / Over, Under, Sideways, Down / Mister, You're A Better Man Than I / Happenings Ten Years Time Ago) plus seven new songs (Crying Out For Love / Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout the News / Mr. Saboteur / My Blind Life / The Mystery of Being / Dream Within A Dream / An Original Man [A Song For Keith]).
Beneath the flock of Yardbirds (Jim McCarty, Chris Dreja, Gypie Mayo, John Idan, Alan Glen) the recordings feature guest spots by guitarists Jeff Beck, Slash, Brian May, Johnny Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), Steve Vai and Steve Lukather. Robert Knight and Dave Weiderman of Monolith Management secured the band their first recording contract as The Yardbirds since 1968.
I'm Not Talking / Crying Out For Love / The Nazz Are Blue (Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter, guitar) / For Your Love (John Rzeznik, vocals) / Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout The News / Train Kept A Rolling (Joe Satriani, guitar) / Mr. Saboteur / Shapes Of Things (Steve Vai, guitar) / My Blind Life (Jeff Beck, guitar) / Over, Under, Sideways, Down (Slash, guitar) / Mr. You're A Better Man Than I (Brian May, guitar) / Mystery Of Being / Dream Within A Dream / Happenings Ten Years Time Ago (Steve Lukather, guitar) / An Original Man (A Song For Keith)

REVIEWS

Birdland quite possibly qualifies for entry into the Guinness Book of Records under the "longest ever gap between studio albums" category. After all, when the Yardbirds last released a proper record (1967's Little Games, a mixed affair featuring some up-and-coming guitarist called Jimmy Page), man had yet to visit the moon, Tony Blair was a 14-year-old schoolboy, and the White Stripes were what you saw on the road at zebra crossings. Of course, nothing the Yardbirds could possibly do now will ever attain the dizzy, head-swimming heights of their psychedelic 1960s heyday, but Birdland--with some dignity--is certainly not the sound of washed-up ex-rock stars sucking their stomachs in and combing their hair forward. Reconvening around a nucleus of original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty, the latter-day lineup also boasts the pedigree of former Dr Feelgood guitarist and co-writer John "Gypie" Mayo as well as guest appearances aplenty from such ostentatious fretboard manipulators as Brian May, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Slash, and even Jeff Beck himself. And while dismissing the production work on their classic 1960s hits as "crap" may well be a poor excuse for offering these buffed-up re-recordings of their greatest moments ("Shapes of Things," "For Your Love," etc.), at least accusations of laurel-resting are convincingly countered by the inclusion of some stimulating new material. For example, "The Mystery of Being"--worryingly described by the band as "Afghan psychedelia"--is just the sort of Arabian rock illusion previously conjured up by Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. The tribute to Keith Relf on "An Original Man" is worthy of the Byrds at their brotherly prime, and "Crying Out for Love" is mature blues with heart, soul, and sensitivity. Frankly, one could only wish the Rolling Stones' songwriting skills were still as sharp. © Kevin Maidment, © 1996-2008, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

GROUP / ALBUM INFO

We won't attempt to write a book on the Yardbirds here; that's already been done three times (see the print and online bibliography at the end of this bio for further reading). We'll simply reiterate that the Yardbirds, perhaps more than any other group, brought guitar pyrotechnics to rock & roll in the 1960s. By introducing Clapton, Beck and Page to the world, and giving them plenty of space to create, the band set the template not only for Cream, the Jeff Beck Group and Led Zeppelin (whose original moniker was the New Yardbirds), but for virtually every rock group featuring distortion, feedback and in-your-face electric-guitar virtuosity. Now, that remarkable achievement would be more than enough for any band to fondly look back on, but this band is aggressively moving forward. Three years after their 1992 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ("We had roast duck," Chris Dreja says of that special night), the Yardbirds reformed, but they chose to stay below the radar, tweaking their lineup and working up material. That has changed with the release of their first new studio recording since 1967's Little Games. What's surprising about the new longplayer, Birdland (on Steve Vai's Favored Nations Records), is that, a full 35 years later, the sound remains distinctly and electrifyingly that of the Yardbirds. It's also very much of the moment, as another generation of gritty, guitar-slinging units like the White Stripes, the Hives, the Strokes and the Vines connects with the reinvigorated rock audience. Among the talents of founding members Dreja (rhythm guitar, backing vocals) and Jim McCarty (drums, backing vocals) is a knack for locating brilliant guitar players, and they've done it yet again by centering the current Yardbirds around the fleet-fingered explosiveness of one John "Gypie" Mayo, the best axeman you never heard of (unless you followed the exploits of Dr. Feelgood from 1977-80, when Mayo played with that revved-up British R&B unit and came up with the fondly remembered "Milk and Alcohol"). "Gypie never plays anything quite the same way twice," Dreja says. "He's very inspired and of the moment, like Beck - he's a fantastic player who's spectacular when he's ‘on.'" Filling out the group are Detroit-reared frontman/bassist John Idan, a lifelong Yardbirds fan who views his gig as a labor of love, and onetime Nine Below Zero member Alan Glen blowing harp in the spirit of the late Keith Relf, the band's original lead singer, who was electrocuted in 1976 while recording at home. Both charismatic performers -- John with his astonishing range and visually exciting stage presence, and Alan, a hauntingly soulful player and one of the UK's most in-demand session players -- have developed devoted followings. Mesmerizing and most blues-wailing indeed! This crack crew has plenty of company on Birdland, which features guest appearances by six-string notables Brian May, Slash, Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Vai and Jeff Beck, who returns to take a spin in his onetime vehicle. This array of talent, along with the introduction of their skilled contemporary Mayo, makes the album a feast for rock-guitar aficionados. In order to introduce the group and its oeuvre to a new generation of music lovers, the band members, at Vai's urging, decided to make new recordings of eight Yardbirds classics: "I'm Not Talking" (with Mayo taking the lead), "The Nazz Are Blue" (featuring Baxter), "For Your Love" (with the Goo Goo Dolls' Johnny Rzeznik on vocals), "Train Kept a Rolling" (Satriani), "Shapes of Things" (Vai), "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" (Slash), "Mr. You're a Better Man Than I" (May) and "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago" (Lukather). "Some of the back catalog is absolutely stunning live," Dreja marvels, "and today, with better sound equipment, it's gone into the 21st century really well." "I consider it a great honor that such highly respected musicians have decided to come and join in," says McCarty. "But then again, the Yardbirds have always been a collecting point for authentic and explorative musicians, past and present." These reinterpretations are interspersed with seven new songs that perpetuate the Yardbirds' musical tradition - "Crying Out for Love," "Please Don't Tell Me 'Bout the News," "Mr. Saboteur," "My Blind Life", "Mystery of Being," "Dream Within a Dream" and "An Original Man (A Song for Keith)" - while giving full rein to the range and firepower of the new lineup. "The current material connects with the original material," McCarty maintains, "in that there were definitely two different sides to the previous material, namely the bluesy-riffy ideas such as ‘I'm Not Talking' and ‘I'm a Man,' and the more moody songs such as ‘For Your Love' and ‘Shapes of Things.' I feel that this is still evident with songs like ‘Mystery of Being' and ‘Dream Within a Dream,' which are both quite haunting, whereas ‘News' and ‘Mr. Saboteur' bring in more of the bluesy influence." McCarty composed five of the seven new songs: "Mystery of Being," "Dream Within a Dream," "News," "Mr. Saboteur" and the minor-key, blues-based "Crying Out for Love." "Jim's a composer, so he probably out of all of us possesses the ability to bring a song to the table," Dreja says of his partner. "Then we Yardbirdize it - we seriously birdshit all over it." Dreja penned "My Blind Life" in the spirit of Bo Diddley and Howlin' Wolf, and "An Original Man" is a group composition that pays tribute to Relf. Working with producer Ken Allardyce (Weezer, Fleetwood Mac, Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls), a relocated Scot who fell in love with the Yardbirds when he saw them open for the Beatles in 1964, the band cut the bulk of the record at Vai's Mothership Studios in Hollywood, with additional work done at two London facilities and Jeff Beck's home studio in Sussex. "To make our first album in so many years has been a lasting ambition of ours," says Dreja. "We wanted to do our original songs and our new ones with modern production, while preserving the essence of our sound. To me, it doesn't sound like we've been away for 35 years. The Yardbirds are still a kick-ass, high-energy band, and that comes across on this album." What were once and future Yardbirds up to in the years between the breakup and the reformation? "In the mid-'80s," Dreja recalls, "we felt the need to record some more material, which became the Box of Frogs. We had people like Ian Dury, Graham Parker, Roger Chapman, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher and Steve Hackett. It was not a touring band; it was an outlet for middle-aged men to get together and play music - group therapy," he quips. "Then there was another long break because of other commitments - other careers, really." Dreja has been a professional photographer for 32 years, while McCarty, who, with Relf, founded the '70s group Renaissance, has more recently recorded several solo albums. "But Jim and I always kept in contact. Then, after you guys honored us in '92, there came a discussion about playing again, if we could find the right people for the Yardbirds." McCarty picks up the narrative thread: "Motivation for reforming the band came in about 1995, when Chris and I were approached by an agent who was already working with a reformed Animals. I had been playing since about 1989 in the Jim McCarty Band, a London blues band formed with Top Topham, the original Yardbirds` guitarist from 1963, who was replaced by Eric Clapton after playing with the band for about six months. A recording of the band made in 1993 was recently released for the first time. We had met John Idan while he was in London buying guitars for a U.S. business, and he decided to join up with us. Eventually, Top left and was replaced by Ray Majors, who had played on a track for Box of Frogs back in 1984. "John and Ray were invited to join the new Yardbirds lineup, with John on bass. John brings to the band an energy and enthusiasm, as well as a very good knowledge of the original group and a respect for the original material. He also looks a bit like Keith Relf, but sings more like a Chicago blues singer. We then asked Laurie Garman, another musician who would occasionally jam with us in the pubs, to join us on harmonica. We started with some ‘retro' shows and festivals, finding it good fun and enjoying playing the old songs. Ray was a pretty heavy guitarist, and we thought it would be better to replace him with somebody more spontaneous in his playing, a la Jeff Beck. Laurie Garman had played with Gypie Mayo previously in a band called the Cobras, and so we gave him a go. It was obvious to me that Gypie was just right for the band, as he was incredibly creative, especially on stage. Around 1997, Laurie was replaced by Alan Glen. "Over the process of creating the new material for Birdland, we have all opened up much more to our various individual and collective potentials," McCarty says of the modern-day Yardbirds, "and there is now a new dynamism amongst us the original excitement and energy is still there, but with added experience, which definitely helps in some aspects." Dreja explains how the band managed to attract that impressive array of big-name guests for the project: "All the guitar players, people in music, especially in America, have always held a sort of reverence for the Yardbirds. Steve and the gang in America helped to get Slash and Satriani on board. Once the ball started rolling, you get one or two great people on it and others want to follow. This is an album of passion and love, not a marketing exercise." What would Dreja say to skeptics who will inevitably question the band's motives in revisiting vintage material and wheeling out the guest stars? "The decision to remind people of the energy of those original songs was important because we went away. We were not a band like the Who or the Stones that just carried on and everybody grew old with - we took a long holiday. "Every artist likes to better what they did originally, and I really prefer a lot of our interpretations now to the originals. The originals were done in a short amount of time, and the production was crap. It was very interesting to go back and stage the play again, so to speak. And anyway, the album is a mix of new and old, and the old material has subtle changes, and of course those guests really knocked their socks off to put something special into those songs. When I listened to the reference master, I tried to distance myself. And I realized that this band still has that urgent edge. There's blood and sweat, which is what this album took." And what of those who would accuse the band of cashing in now that its musical approach has become popular again? "That garage sound never really went away," Dreja replies. "I've been hearing it all over the place for years, and for some reason it's fashionable again. But that's not us picking up the phone saying, ‘Hey man, it's all coming back. Let's get out there and make an album.' We were way ahead of that. It just sort of happened that the album's coming out at a time when the Hives and the Strokes are getting a bit of press. And believe me, it's not easy getting a record deal after 35 years," he says with a rueful laugh, "especially with all the reshuffling at the major companies, who were dropping very good acts themselves. Steve came along and said if we could do it this way, he'd love to do an album. He was really cool about... and he did a great solo too." Shrewd move, Chris, giving props to the label head. McCarty was at London's Festival Hall last year when the White Stripes played some Yardbirds songs with none other than Jeff Beck in a sort cross-generational rave-up. "I spoke with Jack the singer afterwards," Jim recalls, "and he was very complimentary towards me. The set with Jeff was exciting and full of youthful enthusiasm." These Yardbirds are channeling a similar enthusiasm, three-and-a-half decades down the line, as these inveterate rock & rollers wail away, still capable of achieving godhead, still having a blast. "It'll be extremely fascinating to see what happens - who lambastes us, who doesn't," Dreja reflects. "We are obviously going to come to America and work the album; it's very important to us. None of us are youngsters, of course, and we don't know how many years left of touring there may be. So this is going to be a pivotal moment for us, no doubt. But this is a band. That is what the Yardbirds are - warts and edginess and all. It's the real thing." © 2007 Favored Nations Entertainment LLC.

ALBUM INFO (Wikipedia)

Birdland is a 2003 album by English blues rock band the Yardbirds and was the first Yardbirds release in over 35 years. The musicians in this version of the Yardbirds differed greatly from their 60's counterpart containing only drummer Jim McCarty and rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja, although Jeff Beck makes a cameo on one track. Aside from the new replacements (John Idan, Gypie Mayo, Alan Glen) several guest cameos are done by notable guitarists such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Johnny Rzeznik, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, and Brian May. The album contains seven new tracks composed mostly by McCarty or Dreja, and eight remakes of Yardbirds songs from the 1960s.

BIO

The Yardbirds are mostly known to the casual rock fan as the starting point for three of the greatest British rock guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Undoubtedly, these three figures did much to shape the group's sound, but throughout their career, the Yardbirds were very much a unit, albeit a rather unstable one. And they were truly one of the great rock bands; one whose contributions went far beyond the scope of their half dozen or so mid-'60s hits ("For Your Love," "Heart Full of Soul," "Shapes of Things," "I'm a Man," "Over Under Sideways Down," "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago"). Not content to limit themselves to the R&B and blues covers they concentrated upon initially, they quickly branched out into moody, increasingly experimental pop/rock. The innovations of Clapton, Beck, and Page redefined the role of the guitar in rock music, breaking immense ground in the use of feedback, distortion, and amplification with finesse and breathtaking virtuosity. With the arguable exception of THE BYRDS, they did more than any other outfit to pioneer psychedelia, with an eclectic, risk-taking approach that laid the groundwork for much of the hard rock and progressive rock from the late '60s to the present. No one could have predicted the band's metamorphosis from their humble beginnings in the early '60s in the London suburbs as the Metropolis Blues Quartet. By 1963, they were calling themselves the Yardbirds, with a lineup featuring Keith Relf (vocals), Paul Samwell-Smith (bass), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar), Jim McCarty (drums), and Anthony "Top" Topham (lead guitar). The 16-year-old Topham was only to last for a very short time, pressured to leave by his family. His replacement was an art-college classmate of Relf's, Eric Clapton, nicknamed "Slowhand." The Yardbirds quickly made a name for themselves in London's rapidly exploding R&B circuit, taking over THE ROLLING STONES' residency at the famed Crawdaddy club. The band took a similar guitar-based, frenetic approach to classic blues/R&B as the Stones, and for their first few years they were managed by Giorgio Gomelsky, a colorful figure who had acted as a mentor and informal manager for the Rolling Stones in that band's early days. The Yardbirds made their first recordings as a backup band for Chicago blues great Sonny Boy Williamson, and little of their future greatness is evident in these sides, in which they were still developing their basic chops. (Some tapes of these live shows were issued after the group had become international stars; the material has been reissued ad infinitum since then.) But they really didn't find their footing until 1964, when they stretched out from straight R&B rehash into extended, frantic guitar-harmonica instrumental passages. Calling these ad hoc jams "raveups," the Yardbirds were basically making the blues their own by applying a fiercer, heavily amplified electric base. Taking some cues from improvisational jazz by inserting their own impassioned solos, they would turn their source material inside out and sideways, heightening the restless tension by building the tempo and heated exchange of instrumental riffs to a feverish climax, adroitly cooling off and switching to a lower gear just at the point where the energy seemed uncontrollable. The live 1964 album Five Live Yardbirds is the best document of their early years, consisting entirely of reckless interpretations of U.S. R&B/blues numbers, and displaying the increasing confidence and imagination of Clapton's guitar work. As much they might have preferred to stay close to the American blues and R&B that had inspired them (at least at first), the Yardbirds made efforts to crack the pop market from the beginning. A couple of fine studio singles of R&B covers were recorded with Clapton that gave the band's sound a slight polish without sacrificing its power. The commercial impact was modest in the U.K. and non-existent in the States, however, and the group decided to change direction radically on their third single. Turning away from their blues roots entirely, "For Your Love" was penned by British pop/rock songwriter Graham Gouldman, and introduced many of the traits that would characterize the Yardbirds' work over the next two years. The melodies were strange (by pop standards) combinations of minor chords; the tempos slowed, speeded up, or ground to a halt unpredictably; the harmonies were droning, almost Gregorian; the arrangements were, by the standards of the time, downright weird, though retaining enough pop appeal to generate chart action. "For Your Love" featured a harpsichord, bongos, and a menacing Keith Relf vocal; it would reach number two in Britain, and number six in the States. For all its brilliance, "For Your Love" precipitated a major crisis in the band. Eric Clapton wanted to stick close to the blues, and for that matter didn't like "For Your Love," barely playing on the record. Shortly afterward, around the beginning of 1965, he left the band, opting to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers a bit later in order to keep playing blues guitar. Clapton's spot was first offered to Jimmy Page, then one of the hottest session players in Britain; Page turned it down, figuring he could make a lot more money by staying where he was. He did, however, recommend another guitarist, Jeff Beck, then playing with an obscure band called the Tridents, as well as having worked a few sessions himself. While Beck's stint with the band lasted only about 18 months, in this period he did more to influence the sound of '60s rock guitar than anyone except Jimi Hendrix. Clapton saw the group's decision to record adventurous pop like "For Your Love" as a sellout of their purist blues ethic. Beck, on the other hand, saw such material as a challenge that offered room for unprecedented experimentation. Not that he wasn't a capable R&B player as well; on tracks like "The Train Kept A-Rollin'" and "I'm Not Talking," he coaxed a sinister sustain from his instrument by bending the notes and using fuzz and other types of distorted amplification. The Middle Eastern influence extended to his work on all of their material, including his first single with the band, "Heart Full of Soul," which (like "For Your Love") was written by Gouldman. After initial attempts to record the song with a sitar had failed, Beck saved the day by emulating the instrument's exotic twang with fuzz riffs of his own. It became their second transatlantic Top Ten hit; the similar "Evil-Hearted You," again penned by Gouldman, gave them another big British hit later in 1965. The chief criticism that could be levied against the band at this point was their shortage of quality original material, a gap addressed by "Still I'm Sad," a haunting group composition based around a Gregorian chant and Beck's sinewy, wicked guitar riffs. In the United States, it was coupled with "I'm a Man," a re-haul of the Bo Diddley classic that built to an almost avant-garde climax, Beck scraping the strings of the guitar for a purely percussive effect; it became a Top 20 hit in the United States in early 1966. Beck's guitar pyrotechnics came to fruition with "Shapes of Things," which (along with {the Byrds}' "Eight Miles High") can justifiably be classified as the first psychedelic rock classic. The group had already moved into social comment with a superb album track, "Mr. You're a Better Man than I"; on "Shapes of Things" they did so more succinctly, with Beck's explosively warped solo and feedback propelling the single near the U.S. Top Ten. At this point the group were as innovative as any in rock & roll, building their résumé with the similar hit follow-up to "Shapes of Things," "Over Under Sideways Down." But the Yardbirds could not claim to be nearly as consistent as peers like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Kinks. 1966's Roger the Engineer was their first (and, in fact, only) studio album comprised entirely of original material, and highlighted the group's erratic quality, bouncing between derivative blues rockers and numbers incorporating monks-of-doom chants, Oriental dance rhythms, and good old guitar raveups, sometimes in the same track. Its highlights, however, were truly thrilling; even when the experiments weren't wholly successful, they served as proof that the band was second to none in their appetite for taking risks previously unheard of within rock. Yet at the same time, the group's cohesiveness began to unravel when bassist Samwell-Smith -- who had shouldered most of the production responsibilities as well -- left the band in mid-1966. Jimmy Page, by this time fed up with session work, eagerly joined on bass. It quickly became apparent that Page had more to offer, and the group unexpectedly reorganized, Dreja switching from rhythm guitar to bass, and Page assuming dual lead guitar duties with Beck. It was a dream lineup that was, like the best dreams, too good to be true, or at least to last long. Only one single was recorded with the Beck/Page lineup, "Happenings Ten Years Time Ago," which -- with its astral guitar leads, muffled explosions, eerie harmonies, and enigmatic lyrics -- was psychedelia at its pinnacle. But not at its most commercial; in comparison with previous Yardbirds singles, it fared poorly on the charts, reaching only number 30 in the States. Around this time, the group (Page and Beck in tow) made a memorable appearance in Michaelangelo Antonioni's film classic Blow Up, playing a reworked version of "The Train Kept-A-Rollin'" (retitled "Stroll On"). But in late 1966, Beck -- who had become increasingly unreliable, not turning up for some shows and suffering from nervous exhaustion -- left the band, emerging the following year as the leader of the Jeff Beck Group. The remaining Yardbirds were determined to continue as a quartet, but in hindsight it was Beck's departure that began to burn out a band that had already survived the loss of a couple important original members. Also to blame was their mysterious failure to summon original material on the order of their classic 1965-1966 tracks. More to blame than anyone, however, was Mickey Most (Donovan, Herman's Hermits, Lulu, the Animals), who assumed the producer's chair in 1967, and matched the group with inappropriately lightweight pop tunes. The band's unbridled experimentalism would simmer in isolated moments on some b-sides and album tracks, like "Puzzles," the psychedelic U.F.O. instrumental "Glimpses," and the acoustic "White Summer," which would serve as a blueprint for Page's acoustic excursions with Led Zeppelin. "Little Games," "Ha Ha Said the Clown," and "Ten Little Indians" were all low-charting singles for the group in 1967, but were travesties compared to the magnificence of their previous hits, trading in fury and invention for sappy singalong pop. The 1967 Little Games album (issued in the U.S. only) was little better, suffering from both hasty, anemic production and weak material. The Yardbirds continued to be an exciting concert act, concentrating most of their energies upon the United States, having been virtually left for dead in their native Britain. The b-side of their final single, the Page-penned "Think About It," was the best track of the entire Jimmy Page era, showing they were still capable of delivering intriguing, energetic psychedelia. It was too little too late; the group was truly on the wane by 1968, as an artistic rift developed within the ranks. To over-generalize somewhat, Relf and McCarty wanted to pursue more acoustic, melodic music; Page especially wanted to rock hard and loud. A live album was recorded in New York in early 1968, but scrapped; overdubbed with unbelievably cheesy crowd noises, it was briefly released in 1971 after Page had become a superstar in Led Zeppelin, but was withdrawn in a matter of days (it has since been heavily bootlegged). By this time the group was going through the motions, leaving Page holding the bag after a final show in mid-1968. Relf and McCarty formed the first incarnation of Renaissance. Page fulfilled existing contracts by assembling a "New Yardbirds" that, as many know, would soon change their name to Led Zeppelin. It took years for the rock community to truly comprehend the Yardbirds' significance; younger listeners were led to the recordings in search of the roots of Clapton, Beck, and Page, each of whom had become a superstar by the end of the 1960s. Their wonderful catalog, however, has been subject to more exploitation than any other group of the '60s; dozens, if not hundreds, of cheesy packages of early material are generated throughout the world on a seemingly monthly basis. Fortunately, the best of the reissues cited below (on Rhino, Sony, Edsel and EMI) are packaged with great intelligence, enabling both collectors and new listeners to acquire all of their classic output with a minimum of fuss and repetition. Thirty-five years after their break up in 1968, original members Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty pulled together a slew of new musicians to record a new album under the Yardbirds moniker, titled Birdland, and followed it with a tour of the United States. © Richie Unterberger, © 2008 All Media Guide

Burnt Friedman




Burnt Friedman - First Night Forever - 2007 - Nonplace

First Night Forever uses a motley crew of guest vocalists to sing Friedman's skeletal dub scores. This is a wonderful collection of dub, jazz, and funk-infused electronica. by a master of production skills. Famous for collaborating with top-notch electronic musicians and vocalists, Friedman here, is up to his usual high standard of excellence. Funkstörung vox contributor Enik, and Grace Jones-meets-Eartha-Kitt Berliner Barbara Panther are but two musicians who contribute to this brilliant polyrhythmic work. It is complex at times, but it's a very enjoyable album, and very accessable. Check out the Nine Horses album, "Snow Borne Sorrow," which is a great album and features sme beautiful jazzy arrangements by Friedman, and David Sylvian . If you can find it, try to hear Burnt Friedman's "Con Ritmo" album which is a unique blend of digital-age and latin lounge fusion. Marvellous futuristic electronica of the highest quality.

TRACKS

1. Where Should I Go - (with Steve Spacek)
2. Machine in the Ghost
3. Walk With Me - (with Steve Spacek)
4. Need Is All You Love - (with Theo Altenberg)
5. First Night Forever - (with Daniel Dodd-Ellis)
6. Healer - (with Theo Altenberg)
7. Western Smoke - (with Enik)
8. Thumb Second - (with Enik)
9. Chaos Breeds 1
10. Chaos Breeds 2 - (with Daniel Dodd-Ellis/Barbara Panther/Theo Altenberg)

CREDITS

Acoustic Guitar - Tim Motzer (tracks: 7)
Acoustic Guitar, Guitar [Electric Rhythm], Bass - Mandjao Fati
Backing Vocals - Adulis Ghebru (tracks: 3, 5, 6) , Don Abi (tracks: 4) , Sascha Cohn (tracks: 1, 9)
Bass - Daniel Schroeter* (tracks: 4)
Drum Programming, Bass, Percussion, Keyboards - Burnt Friedman*
Drums - Jochen Rueckert* (tracks: 5, 7)
Guitar [Electric Rhythm] - Richard Pike (tracks: 1, 8)
Guitar [Electric] - Joseph Suchy
Lead Vocals - Barbara Panther (tracks: 2, 10) , Dodd-Ellis* (tracks: 5, 10) , Enik (tracks: 7, 8) , Steve Spacek (tracks: 1, 3) , Altenberg* (tracks: 4, 6, 10)
Producer [Backing Vocals] - Enik (tracks: 7, 8)
Recorded By - B. Friedman* , James Fletcher (tracks: 1, 8) , Jochen Rückert (tracks: 5, 7) , Steve Spacek (tracks: 1, 3) , Tim Motzer (tracks: 7)
Recorded By [Intro, Transition Field Recordings] - David Franzke
Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute - Hayden Chisholm
Strings - Alexander Meyen (tracks: 3, 7) , Claudio Bohórquez
Voice - Burnt Friedman* (tracks: 2, 9)
Written-By - Friedmann* , Dodd-Ellis* (tracks: 5, 10) , Enik (tracks: 7, 8) , Steven A. White* (tracks: 1, 3) , Altenberg* (tracks: 4, 6, 10)

REVIEWS

Burnt Friedman has a rep for flirting with the funk. Early on, his approach and his output-- intricately polyrhythmic, meticulously crafted "hypermodern jazz" tracks full of shimmering vibraphones and cheeky Latin percussion-- often found him branded as an ironist. But his productions, whether solo, with Atom Heart (as the duo Flanger), or alongside a growing cast of collaborators-- like Root 70 saxophonist Hayden Chisholm, improvising/experimental guitarist Joseph Suchy, vocalist Theo Altenberg and, perhaps most importantly, Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit-- have never been reducible to kitsch. Listen to Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players' 2003 album Can't Cool: for all the obvious digital traces (oddly truncated hi-hats, drum patterns physically impossible for a single percussionist to play) there are no winks or nudges. To say that "Fuck Back", the record's lead cut, is a postmodern take on Afrobeat is hardly to deny its ferocity: no matter how many steps removed from the source, urgency remains coded in the music's DNA. Indeed, it's in the collaborative work that Friedman has really dug into the groove, particularly on his two records with Liebezeit: both volumes of Secret Rhythms offer an approach to polyrhythm rarely heard in electronic music. By slowing everything down, the two amplify the wiggle room, leaving more space for drum hits to bounce beyond the strictures of quantization, allowing for rhythms that restore liquidity to the idea of pulse. After 2006's sublime Heaps Dub-- in which the jazz quartet Root 70 performed acoustic versions of Friedman and Flanger classics that Friedman, in turn, remixed into 10 tracks of exactly five minutes apiece, a sort of dub of a dub of a dub-- Friedman, aided by an expanded cast of characters, returns with a far more conventional album. Formally, it's probably the most conventional of his career: these aren't krautrock jams or ambient dub meditations or electro-cumbia dustups, they're proper songs fronted by a rotating crew of vocalists. Longtime Friedman collaborator Theo Altenberg lends a Tom Waits-like croak to three songs; Hamburg soul singer Daniel Dodd-Ellis, Berlin's Barbara Panther, Funkstörung collaborator Enik and UK broken-beat veteran Steve Spacek all guest on two apiece. All of them dusky, throaty singers, they give First Night an unmistakably late-night vibe. The closest reference point might be to the acoustic-guitars-and-edits approach to soul practiced by His Name Is Alive on 2001's Someday My Blues Will Cover the Earth, which might not be as surprising as it first seems: Friedman actually covered "Someday" on Can't Cool, and he also remixed H.N.I.A.'s "Nothing Special" for a set of Someday-derived singles. Timbre and voicing play a central role, because these songs hardly live and die by their chord changes: propelled by scraggly guitar figures and dub's ruminative bass lines, they remain classically minimalist in spirit, splitting the difference between Steve Reich and Roy Ayers' RAMP (or Philip Glass and Tony Allen). What makes even the most static of the songs so engaging is the way they seem to shimmer in place, as diverse lines of winds, strings, guitar, accordion, synthesizers and effects weave porous webs. It's somewhat shocking that only two tracks are credited to a session drummer, Root 70's Jochen Rückert-- the majority of the record's rhythms are presumably Friedman's own programmed creations. If true, it's one hell of a percussive coup; for all their understatement, these are among the most sophisticated beats Friedman's ever come up with. Like virtually everything on the album, they never call attention to their own virtuosity. The whole record, in fact, has been put together so subtly that at first it may fail to stick. For a long time, I thought of First Night Forever as a nice, relaxing mood piece, and bided my time for a new Friedman/Liebezeit collaboration. But somehow I kept coming back to the album; where most records on my review-assignments list find their way back to the shelves, this one crept into regular rotation in those rare slots I listen to music for pleasure: morning coffee, cooking dinner, the bedtime wind-down. Such domestically functionalist music often gets the short end of the critical stick; 30 years after Music for Airports, we still have an innate distrust of music as wallpaper. First Night Forever's trick is that it functions on two levels at once: behind that calming, rippling, jazzy veneer there are strange forces at work, peeling back the wallpaper to reveal a passageway to points unknown. © Philip Sherburne, February 06, 2008, © 2008 Pitchfork Media Inc. All rights reserved

Veteran producer and master of electronic kraut-funk, Burnt Friedman returns for another solo album after his acclaimed collaboration with David Sylvian, Stina Nordentsam and Arve Henriksson on the Nine Horses project. First Night Forever finds Friedman recruiting a number of vocal contributors, including Australian singer Steve Spacek, Funkstorung collaborator Enik, Berliner Barbara Panther and Daniel Dodd-Ellis. The productions themselves are the real stars here though, Friedman's multi-layered studio excursions sewing together detailed drum edits, misty horn sections and even the odd burst of strings when needed. There are some very peculiar moments on the album though, most of which come on tracks lent vocals by Theo Altenberg, an artist whose roots lie in the Berlin commune scene of the '70s. He makes a number of appearances on the album, seemingly styling he's hollered, gruff vocals on a hybrid of Tom Waits and James Brown, resulting in the screeching electro-gospel mania of 'The Healer' and dub freakshow 'Need Is All You Love'. Good stuff. © www.boomkat.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Bernd Friedmann (also Burnt Friedman) (born 1965 in Coburg, Germany) is a german musician and producer who works under a variety of project names in the fields of Electronica, Dub und Jazz. Friedmann was raised in Kassel where he studied painting, performance and video at the Kunsthochschule from 1984 to 1990. His first recordings of found and self-built instruments, done with Wolfram Der Spyra from 1978 to 1982, have been released under the name TOXH in 1989. Since then the ever-growing list of projects includes: Some More Crime (1990 - 1995, Friedmann and Frank Hernandez) ; Drome (1991 - 1995, Friedmann and Frank Hernandez) ;Nonplace Urban Field (1992 - 1997) ; Flanger (1999 - , Friedmann and Atom Heart) ; Nine Horses (2005 - , Friedmann and David Sylvian). Friedmann's music defies easy categorisation. His instruments include ambient noise and speech samples, analogue synthesizers and organs, as well as toy piano, steeldrum, kalimba, vibraphone or Melodica. Over the years his trademark sound became easily recognizable even in his remix work for other artists. Often complex polyrhythmic patterns stand beside long passages without audible drums. Since 2000 Friedmann runs his own "nonplace" label. He lives in Cologne.

28.5.08

Rory Block




Rory Block - I've Got a Rock in My Sock! - 1986 - Rounder

Rory's broadest-based and most accessible album of blues, folk ì and contemporary pop-oriented material, with guests Taj Mahal, Stevie Wonder and others. Rory Block is one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists. She can hold her own with the legends who inspired her. Her playing is perfect, her singing otherworldly as she wrestles with ghosts, shadows and legends. If you like blues rock/country blues music steeped in tradition and genuine feeling, Rory Block is your woman. There is info on the superb "Sisters & Brothers" album by Eric Bibb, Rory Block & Maria Muldaur @ Sisters & Brothers/Block and check out her "The Lady And Mr. Johnson" album @ BLOCK/LAMJ PW = Zappa

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1.Send the Man Back Home - Rory Block
2.Moon's Goin' Down - Charlie Patton
3.Gypsie Boy - Rory Block
4.I've Got a Rock in My Sock - Rory Block
5.Foreign Lander - trad.
6.Goin' Back to the Country - Rory Block
7.M & O Blues - Willie Brown
8.Lovin' Whiskey - Rory Block
9.Highland Overture - Rory Block

MUSICIANS

Rory Block: synthesized bass, drum programming (1,8), acoustic guitar (2,3,6,8,9), background vocals
Warren Bernhardt: piano (4,6,8), synthesizer (8)
David Bromberg: fiddle (4), electric guitar (6)
Gary Burke: drums and percussion (6)
Stephen Foote: synthesizer (9)
Howard Johnson: tuba (4)
Taj Mahal: harmonica (2,7)
Vinnie Martucci: synthesizer (3)
Melody McCully: background vocals (1)
Huey McDonald: bass (4,8)
Scott Petito: bass (3)
Bud Rizzo: electric guitar (1,6,8)
Donnell Spencer: drums (3,4)
Arthur Stead: synthesizer (6)
Pamela Vincent: background vocals (1)
Joyce Wislon: background vocals (1)
Stevie Wonder: harmonica (3)

BIO

Rory Block (born as 'Aurora Block', November 6, 1949) is an American female blues guitarist and singer, a notable exponent of the country blues style. Rory Block was born in Princeton, New Jersey and grew up in Manhattan. Her father, Allan Block, ran a sandal shop in Greenwich Village in the 1960s, and the constant presence of members of the Greenwich Village folk music scene made an impression on the young girl, who studied classical guitar. Around age 14, she began to be fascinated by old Mississippi Delta blues, listening to old albums, transcribing them, and learning to play the songs. At age 15, she left home to seek out the remaining blues giants, such as Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis and Son House, and hone her craft in the traditional manner of blues musicians; then she moved to California where she played in clubs and coffeehouses. After retiring temporarily to raise a family, Block returned to the music business in the 1970s with middling success until signing with Rounder Records in 1981, who encouraged her to return to her love for the classical blues form. Since then she has carved out her own niche, releasing numerous critically acclaimed albums of original and traditional songs, including many Robert Johnson covers. Block has won four W. C. Handy Awards, two for "Traditional Blues Female Artist" (1997, 1998), and two for "Acoustic Blues Album of the Year" (1996, 1999). Copyright. (c) Mojohand. 2001. All rights reserved

25.5.08

Keith Urban And John Fogerty




Keith Urban And John Fogerty - CMT Crossroads - 20.1.05 - Unofficial Recording

This episode of CMT Crossroads pairs two of the most electrifying guitarists and performers to hit the stage -- legendary rocker John Fogerty and country star Keith Urban. The show was taped in front of an invitation-only audience in Los Angeles. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Fogerty is one of America's greatest singer-songwriters and musicians. "Bad Moon Rising," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Lodi," "Looking out My Back Door," "The Old Man Down the Road," "Proud Mary" and "Centerfield" are just a few of the rock standards he created both as a solo artist and with his seminal '60s and '70s band Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fogerty blended rockabilly, R&B, swamp rock and country music into a potent mix all his own. In addition to his revered work with CCR, he released hit solo albums such as Centerfield (1985), Eye of The Zombie (1986) and the Grammy-winning Blue Moon Swamp (1997). In 2004, he produced and released Deja Vu All Over Again and joined Bruce Springsteen on the Vote for Change tour. Urban won the Country Music Association's male vocalist trophy in 2004. He has been electrifying audiences across the country since his debut release in 1999 and has sold millions of albums. He earned three 2005 Grammy nominations including best male country vocal performance and best country album for Be Here. That album debuted at No.1 on Billboard's country album and went platinum in just six weeks. He recently celebrated his fifth No. 1 single ("Days Go By"), has had eight consecutive Top 5 songs and has performed to packed houses all over the world. The original CMT series, CMT Crossroads, teams country music stars with music stars from other genres -- pop, rock, R&B -- to play together, swap stories and share their common love of music. © 2008 Country Music Television, Inc., a Viacom company. A division of MTV Networks. All Rights Reserved.
For more detailed info about this recording session, check out FOGERTY/URBAN/CMT

TRACKS

1.Bad Moon Rising
2.Walkin' The Country
3.Days Go By
4.Rambunctious Boy (Acoustic Rehearsal)
5.Centerfield
6.You'll Think Of Me
7.Willie and The Poor Boys
8.Sugar-Sugar(In My Life)
9.Somebody Like You

Golden Earring




Golden Earring - Continuing Story Of Radar Love - 1989 - MCA

An excellent compilation from the great Dutch hard rock band, Golden Earring. Contains their three best known tracks, "Radar Love," "Twilight Zone" and "Candy's Going Bad." Golden Earring have recorded over 30 gold and platinum albums and singles. Artists like U2, White Lion, R.E.M. and Bryan Adams have covered their international hit and rock classic "Radar Love." Over 200 covers exist of this classic song. For the best introduction to Golden Earring, check out their marvellous "Moontan" album @ MOONTAN

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Radar Love (Hay/Kooymans) - 6:22
2. The Vanilla Queen (Hay/Kooymans) - 9:15
3. Candy's Going Bad (Hay/Kooymans) - 6:12
4. She Flies on Strange Wings (Kooymans) - 7:22
5. Ce Soir (Fenton/Hay/Kooymans) - 6:16
6. Mad Love's Comin' (Hay/Kooymans) - 7:45
7. Leather (Hay/Kooymans) - 5:00
8. Clear Night Moonlight (Hay/Kooymans) - 3:33
9. Lost and Found (Gerritsen/Hay) - 3:55
10. The Devil Made Me Do It (Hay/Kooymans) - 3:20
11. Quiet Eyes (Hay/Kooymans) - 4:12
12. Twilight Zone (Kooymans) - 7:55

MAIN MUSICIANS

Cesar Zuiderwijk - Drums
Barry Hay - Vocals
George Kooymans - Vocals & Guitar
Rinus Gerritsen - Bass

Members have included -

Bertus Borgers
Peter De Ronde
Jaap Eggermont
Eelco Gelling
Rinus Gerritsen
Barry Hay
George Kooymans
Frans Krassenburg
Robert Jan Stips
Cesar Zuiderwijk

REVIEW

The Continuing Story of Radar Love is a 12-song hits collection from Dutch rock band Golden Earring, containing both the chug-a-long rock staple "Radar Love" and the full eight-minute version of "Twilight Zone." These two songs are the most renowned on this compilation and both cracked the Top 20, with "Radar Love" hitting number 13 in 1974 and "Twilight Zone" peaking at number ten nine years later. The other ten songs on the album consist of long, heavy guitar-filled runs that surround obscure lyrics, sometimes sounding like modern psychedelia. Some of the songs, like "The Vanilla Queen" and "Mad Love's Comin'" harbor a distinguishable progressive edge, thanks to woven keyboard and guitar interplay. A mild blues and rock feel creep into such tunes as "Candy's Going Bad" and "Lost and Found" but fail to ignite any type of serious musical flare compared to their two singles. Much of Golden Earring's music consists of average rock riffs that are either sped up or slowed down by accompanying synthesizer, helped along by the mysteriousness of Barry Hay's voice. Even though this compilation is a dozen songs deep, it still holds as a worthy best-of. © Mike DeGagne, All Music Guide

ABOUT THE BAND

Best known in the U.S. for its hard rock material, Golden Earring has been the most popular homegrown band in the Netherlands since the mid-'60s, when they were primarily a pop group. The group was founded by guitarist/vocalist George Kooymans and bassist/vocalist Rinus Gerritsen, then schoolboys, in 1961; several years and personnel shifts later, they had their first Dutch hit, "Please Go," and in 1968 hit the top of the Dutch charts for the first of many times with "Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong," a song that broadened their European appeal. By 1969, the rest of the lineup had stabilized, with lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Barry Hay and drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk. They experimented with their style for several years before settling on straightforward hard rock initially much like that of the Who, who invited them to open their 1972 European tour. Golden Earring signed to the Who's Track label, which released a compilation of Dutch singles, Hearing Earring, helping the group break through in England. 1974's Moontan LP spawned the single "Radar Love," a Dutch number one, U.K. Top Ten, and U.S. number thirteen hit. The group toured America opening for the Doobie Brothers and Santana, but the lack of a follow-up ensured that their popularity remained short-lived in America, even though they remained a top draw in Europe over the rest of the 1970s. 1982 saw a brief American comeback with the album Cut and the Top Ten single "Twilight Zone," but as before, Golden Earring could not sustain its momentum and faded away in the U.S. marketplace. All of Golden Earring's basic lineup has recorded as solo artists in Europe. "Radar Love" enjoyed a second round of popularity when pop-metal band White Lion covered the song in 1989. © Steve Huey, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Golden Earring is a Dutch rock band, founded in 1961 in The Hague as the Golden Earrings (the 's' was dropped in 1969). They had international chart success with the songs Eight Miles High in 1969, Radar Love in 1973, Twilight Zone in 1982, and When The Lady Smiles in 1984. In their home country, they had over 40 hits and made over 30 gold and platinum albums. Current members of Golden Earring are Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute and saxophone, member since 1968), George Kooymans (vocals and guitar, founder of band), Rinus Gerritsen (bass and keyboard, founding member), and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums and percussion, member since 1970). Golden Earring have sold millions of albums worldwide, and are perhaps the oldest rock band in the world that is still performing. March 13th and 14th 2009 Golden Earring celebrates its comeback in the UK with concerts in London and Ipswich after the upcoming release of their latest studio-album. Golden Earrings was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally called The Tornados, the name was changed to Golden Earrings when they discovered that The Tornados was already in use by another group. The name Golden Earrings was taken from a song, originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in 1947 and a hit for Peggy Lee in 1948, with which they opened their concerts. Initially a pop rock band with Frans Krassenburg as lead singer, Golden Earrings had their first chart success with their debut single Please Go, recorded in 1965. It reached number 9 on the music charts in The Netherlands. Unsatisfied with Dutch recording studios, the band's manager and co-discoverer Fred Haayen arranged for the next single to be recorded at the Pye Records studios in London. The record cut at Pye, That Day, reached number two on the Dutch charts, prevented from reaching number one by The Beatles' Michelle. In 1968, the band earned their first number one hit in the Netherlands with the pop song Dong Dong Diki Diki Dong. This was followed by a successful psychedelic album Eight Miles High, which featured an eighteen-minute version of the title track, itself a cover of the 1966 hit song by The Byrds. The live version, which could last 45 minutes, was considered by some to be a highlight in their first and second American tours, in the middle of the hippie and flower power era in the same year Woodstock was organised:1969. Golden Earring embarked on their first major US tour in 1969 - 1970, and were among the first European bands to do so. Due to American influences, their music evolved towards hard rock, and they performed along with Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed thirteen US tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, The Doobie Brothers, Rush and .38 Special. In the early seventies, when Radar Love was a hit, they had KISS and Aerosmith as their opening act. They enjoyed a brief period of US stardom but were unable to secure further chart success until 1982's Twilight Zone. After a disappointing reaction in the US to When the Lady Smiles in 1984, Golden Earring turned their focus towards Europe where they continue to attract standing-room-only crowds. Golden Earring have recorded over 30 gold and platinum albums and singles. A number of artists like U2, White Lion, R.E.M. and Bryan Adams have covered their international hit and rock classic Radar Love. In total, over 200 covers exist of this song. In 1991, Golden Earring scored another hit in the Netherlands with "Going To The Run", a rock-ballad about a Hell's Angels motorclub member who was a friend of the band and died in a crash. The 'run' is how the Angels call their meetings, when they go driving their bikes together somewhere. The Russian rock band Aria made a successful cover of "Going To The Run". From 1992 to 2004, the band released three acoustic live unplugged albums, which became an instant success. Since 1992, they have performed acoustic unplugged theater-shows which continue to this date and usually sell out. The acoustic albums feature unplugged versions of famous hits of the band. Known for their powerful live performances, Golden Earring perform over 200 concerts a year, mainly in their home country of the Netherlands and occasionally in Belgium, Germany and the UK. These energetic live performances have been recorded on several live albums - Live, recorded at London's Rainbow Theater in 1977; 2nd Live, 1981; Something Heavy Going Down, 1984 (also released on DVD as Live from the Twilight Zone); and Last Blast of the Century, a live recording of their last concert of the 20th century (available on both CD and DVD). Furthermore, there are the acoustic live albums The Naked Truth (1992), Naked II (1997) and Naked III (2005). Their latest live album, Live from Ahoy 2006, is a DVD with bonus CD. Golden Earring have not toured in North America and other continents since 1984, however they still maintain a core group of loyal fans. They have never toured Asia, South America or Australia, although their music has always been released worldwide. It is still played on US, Canadian, British, Australian and other radio stations, and receives many awards. Their songs continue to top-rank in music polls, and are covered by many colleagues who are inspired by them. A new American and European tour is rumoured for 2009, although nothing has been announced officially yet. Currently, the band is working on their latest studio release, their first studio album since the 2003 album Millbrook USA. This album was recorded in Millbrook, New York state, at the studio of fellow musician Frank Carillo, indicating that the band has not lost touch with the US over the years. The new album is due for release at the end of 2008-early 2009. To promote the release of the album, Golden Earring will do two gigs in the UK fot the first ime in thirty years. One concert on the 14th of March 2009 at The Shepherd's Bush Empire in London and one show at Ipswich Regent theatre on March 13th 2009. Later in 2009, the band will possibly cross the Atlantic again and do a short promotional tour in the USA. Golden Earring celebrated their 47th anniversary in 2008 and have been performing almost continuously since their foundation in 1961. They have had the same unchanged line-up of the same four musicians and friends since 1970, augmented time to time with a fifth member. Along with the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, and Germany's The Lords, Golden Earring are one of the oldest rock bands that are still performing, and Golden Earring has arguably the most stable lineup of these veteran bands. For now, Golden Earring's gigs are scheduled on a "one month on - one month off" basis. The reason for this is mainly due to lead singer Barry Hay's relocation to the Dutch Antilles island of Curacao in the Caribbean, where he put up his new residence and lives during the band's time off. Golden Earring was one of the first major European rock bands to tour the United States, in 1969. They were at first inspired by The Beatles and other typical sixties pop groups like The Kinks. In 1966, Golden Earring performed together with The Kinks (famous for 'Lola') during a legendary concert in The Hague, Holland. On their first USA tour bands like Led Zeppelin and The Doors inspired Golden Earring's music and professionality. They saw that the Americans had very good soundsystems and electrical equipment. Later they were influenced by Pink Floyd, Santana, The Who when they performed together during their many American tours. In total, the band has been in over 40 US states, including Hawaii. Golden Earring has utilized many styles of rock and pop music; and in many of the over 400 songs they have recorded, you can hear influences of hard rock, rap, disco, folk, country, gospel and even Latin. In the past, their music was more psychedelic and progressive; this you can hear on albums like 'Moontan', 'Wall of Dolls' and 'Eight Miles High'. Golden Earring always seek ways to experiment with new styles and variations in the music they make. The band has always used the newest fashion in gear and equipment and were also experimenting with several PA systems, like quadrophonia, which would make Barry's flute sing trough the whole venue from all four directions where the speakers were positioned. Usually they are their own producers, backed up by other professionals. The band has developed a strong influence in the studio, because it is very important to 'catch' the typical Earring-sound in the recording-studio. This is why the band often plays together 'live' in the studio, so the original live sound is approached in the best way possible, instead of recording every vocal and instrument separately and putting them together in the final mix. Interestingly though, some of the best albums were not produced by the band themselves alone, but in association with 'fresh' producers with a cutting edge who have not been familiar with the typical Earring style and thus have been able to deliver groundbreaking performances.

23.5.08

Stealers Wheel




Stealers Wheel - Right Or Wrong -1975 - A&M

This is a great seventies rock album, with terrific harmonies and melodies by two great songwriters, Joe Egan & Gerry Rafferty. The album, their third, was recorded under protracted contractual and managerial hassles, which seemed to be the norm for many seventies albums. It took eighteen monthhs to see the light of day, by which time they'd effectively ceased trading. Ironically, it remains a fine epitaph to Stealers Wheel, being at least as good as its predecessors, and giving absolutely no indications that it had been recorded in anything less than idyllic circumstances. Their self titled "Stealers Wheel" abum is worth getting your hands on as it is a brilliant debut album. If you can track it down, Joe Egan's 1979 "Out of Nowhere " is a great album, and anything by the great Gerry Rafferty is worth having in your collection, sepecially his "City To City" album. There is a biography of Gerry Rafferty, and info on his great "Best Of" album @ BIO/G.RAFFERTY/BESTOF

TRACKS

A1 Benediction
A2 Found My Way To You
A3 This Morning
A4 Let Yourself Go
A5 Home From Home

B1 Go As You Please
B2 Wishbone
B3 Don't Get Me Wrong
B4 Monday Monday
B5 Right Or Wrong

All songs composed by Joe Egan & Gerry Rafferty

MUSICIANS

Bass - Dave Wintour
Drums, Percussion - Andy Steele
Guitar - Bernie Holland , Hugh Burns
Harp - Chris Neill
Piano, Guitar, Clavinet - Geraldine & Josephine
Saxophone - Chris Mercer

BIO (Wikipedia)

Stealers Wheel was a Scottish folk/rock band formed in Paisley, Scotland in 1972 by former school friends Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty. In the beginning of the 1970s, the band was considered as the British version of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and, after two unsuccessful singles, came to worldwide fame with their hit "Stuck in the Middle With You". The track in the style of Bob Dylan and The Beatles reached the top ten of the single charts in Great Britain and the US in 1973 - number 6 in the USA, number 8 in UK - and sold over one million copies worldwide. Some decades later a dance version was a September, 2001 UK Top 10 hit for Louise, with a music video that drew heavily on the original song's appearance in the sound track of Reservoir Dogs. The first two albums were produced by the well-known Leiber & Stoller, the last because of disagreements and managerial problems by Mentor Williams. All three had particularly striking, slightly surrealist sleeve designs by artist John Byrne. Although the band's self-titled debut album sold quite well, (number 50 in the US-album-charts) and was critically acclaimed, Stealers Wheel could not repeat this success with following releases. In 1973/1974 the two singles "Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine" (the single version is different from the version on their albums and all subsequent CDs) and "Star" would also reach the top 30 of both the UK and US charts, but only the latter track is still relatively popular today. Former Spooky Tooth member Luther Grosvenor (later of Mott the Hoople) participated in the recordings for "Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine" and replaced Rafferty who left the band for quite some time. By 1973, Coombes, Pilnick and Williams had all left en masse, Williams later went on to tour with Jethro Tull in 1978 teaming up with old acquaintances from Blackpool Ian Anderson and Barriemore Barlow. Because Rafferty and Egan could not agree whether they should continue as a full band or duo, and because of artistic differences, there was a delay of over 18 months in the release of their third and last album. After frequent changes in the line-up, Stealers Wheel broke up in 1975, and their last album Right Or Wrong was released without a band to promote it. Almost two years after Ferguslie Park (1973), the group was hardly known and the two last single releases silently faded away in the charts. In 1992 director Quentin Tarantino used the track "Stuck in the Middle with You" in the soundtrack of his debut film Reservoir Dogs, bringing new attention to the band. All three albums have been unavailable for years, but in 2004/2005 the British independent label Lemon Recordings (of Cherry Red) re-released them with remastered sound and new liner-notes.

MORE ABOUT STEALERS WHEEL

Although remembered today primarily for one or two songs, Stealers Wheel in its own time bid fair to become Britain's answer to Crosby, Stills, Nash Young. Only the chronic instability of their line-up stood in their way after a promising start. Gerry Rafferty (b. Paisley, Scotland, Apr. 16, 1946) and Joe Egan (b. 1946) had first met at school in Paisley when they were teenagers. Rafferty had seen three years of success as a member of the Humblebums before they split up, and he'd started a solo recording career that was still-born with the commercial failure of his album Can I Have My Money Back? (Transatlantic, 1971). He'd employed Egan as a vocalist on the album, along with Roger Brown. Rafferty and Egan became the core of Stealers Wheel, playing guitar and keyboards, although their real talent lay in their voices, which meshed about as well as any duo this side of Graham Nash and David Crosby-Brown joined, and Rab Noakes (guitar, vocals) and Ian Campbell (bass) came aboard in 1972. That line-up, however, lasted only a few months. By the time Stealers Wheel was signed to AM later that year, Brown, Noakes, and Campbell were gone, replaced by guitarist Paul Pilnick, bassist Tony Williams, and drummer Rod Coombes (ex-Juicy Lucy and future Strawbs alumnus). This band, slapped together at the last moment for the recording of their debut album in 1972, proved a winning combination working behind Rafferty's and Egan's voices. The self-titled Stealers Wheel album, produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was a critical and commercial success, yielding the hit "Stuck In The Middle With You" (top 10 in America and the UK). Even this success had its acrimonious side. Rafferty had quit the band by the time Stealers Wheel was released, replaced by Spooky Tooth's Luther Grosvenor, who stayed with the groupon tour for much of 1973. Delisle Harper also came in for the touring version of the band, replacing Tony Williams. With a viable performing unit backing it, the Stealers Wheel album began selling and made No. 50 in America, while "Stuck In The Middle With You" became a million selling single. As all of that was happening, the group's management persuaded Rafferty to come back-whereupon Grosvenor, Combes, and Pilnick left. Having been through a dizzying series of changes in the previous year, Stealers Wheel essentially ended up following a strategy-employed for very different reasons-that paralleled Walter Becker and Donald Fagen in the American band Steely Dan (funny, the similarity in the names, too). Egan and Rafferty became Stealers Wheel, officially a duo with backing musicians employed as needed in the studio and on tour. There was pressure for more hits. "Everyone Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine" was a modest chart success, the mid-tempo, leisurely paced "Star" somewhat more widely heard, cracking into the top 30 on both sides of the Atlantic. A second album, Ferguslie Park (named for a district in Paisley), completed with session players as per the duo's plan, barely cracked the top 200 LPs in America (although it was somewhat more popular than that number would indicate, among college students), and that would lead to a poisonous internal situation for the duo, as the pressure on them became even greater. In fact, the record was first rate, made up of lively, melodic, inventive pop-rock songs. The commercial failure of the second album created a level of tension that all but destroyed the partnership between Egan and Rafferty. Coupled with the departure of Leiber and Stoller, who were having business problems of their own, and the inability of the duo to agree on a complement of studio musicians to help with the next album, Stealers Wheel disappeared for 18 months. Ironically, the contractually mandated final album, Right Or Wrong, that emerged at that time came out a good deal more right than anyone could have predicted, given the circumstances of its recording. The group had ceased to exist by the time it was in stores. The break-up of Stealers Wheel blighted Rafferty's and Egan's careers for the next three years, as legal disputes with their respective managements prevent either man from recording. After these problems were settled, Egan made a pair of albums for the European-based Ariola label. Rafferty, in the meantime, emerged as a recording star with a mega-hit in 1978 in the form of "Baker Street" and the album City To City. Stealers Wheel disappeared after 1975, its name and identity retired forever by its two owners (although, ironically, Rafferty did an album in the mid-1990's, Over My Head, on which he re-invented several Stealers Wheel-era song that he'd co-written with Egan. He and Egan have both made records that refer in lyrics to the troubled history of Stealers Wheel, immortalizing their acrimonious history even as at least three best-of European collections of Stealers Wheel material immortalize their music, and "Stuck In The Middle With You" remains a popular '70s oldie, revived most recently on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's movie Reservoir Dogs, and was recut by the Jeff Healy Band. © Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

21.5.08

Eldar Djangirov





Eldar Djangirov - Eldar - 2005 - Sony Classical

Eldar Djangirov is an incredibly gifted jazz pianist, relatively new to the jazz scene. This album is astonishingly good. Born in former Soviet Kyrgyzstan to a musically talented family, this 21 year old guy began playing piano at the age of three, and even then was playing note for note creations of recordings that he heard. He began to study in earnest at the age of 5 and played his first jazz festival at 9. An amazing album with four of his own original compositions. Watch this guy's career. He is going places, and someday he may be on that pedestal with Brubeck and Silver.! VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy his 2006 album, "Live at the Blue Note," which is pure class.

TRACKS

1. Sweet Georgia Brown (3:21) Composed by Ben Bernie and His Orchestra
2. Nature Boy (5:30) Composed by Eden Ahbez
3. Moanin' (7:38) Composed by Bobby Timmons
4. Point of View (6:55) Composed by Eldar
5. Raindrops (2:46) Composed by Eldar
6. Lady Wicks (5:00) Composed by Eldar
7. Maiden Voyage (6:57) Composed by Herbie Hancock
8. 'Round Midnight (6:22) Composed by Cootie Williams
9. Ask Me Now (4:16) Composed by Thelonious Monk
10. Watermelon Island (5:39) Composed by Eldar
11. Fly Me to the Moon (3:23) Composed by Bart Howard

MUSICIANS

Michael Brecker - Guest Appearance, Sax (Tenor)
John Patitucci - Bass, Bass (Acoustic), Bass (Electric)
Todd Strait - Percussion, Drums
Eldar - Arranger, Main Performer

REVIEW

Eldar Djangirov, who was already a promising pianist at a very tender age, was able to immigrate along with his parents to the United States in order to better develop his amazing talent. After he appeared on the nationally syndicated radio program Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz at the age of 12, he was already displaying formidable chops for one so young. After two earlier releases for the small DD label, he recorded his major label debut in early 2004 for Sony Classical. Already able to play at furious tempos normally associated with greats like Oscar Peterson and the late Art Tatum, especially in the stunning opening rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," he sometimes has trouble restraining his ability to show off his technique, nearly overwhelming Bobby Timmons' soulful "Moanin'" at times. Better are his reserved but refreshing approach to "Nature Boy" and the superb original ballad, "Lady Wicks." Bassist John Patitucci and drummer Todd Strait provide excellent support for the young man on the trio tracks (especially in the introspective take of "'Round Midnight"). Tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker is added on the Latin-tinged original "Point of View." Like all players who demonstrate tremendous technique at a young age, critics will be watching Eldar Djangirov with great interest to see if he successfully builds upon his amazing gifts. © Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Eldar E. Djangirov, most commonly known only as Eldar, is a jazz pianist. He was born on January 28th 1987 in Kyrgyzstan (ex-Soviet Union) and then moved to Kansas, United States. He currently resides in New York City. He began playing the piano when he was 3 years old, learning from his Russian parents. The first thing he remembers learning was C Jam Blues. He later took classical lessons and was "discovered" at age 9 by the late New York City jazz aficionado Charles McWhorter, who saw him play at a festival in Siberia. The family moved to Kansas City, drawn there in large part by the city's jazz history. During his Kansas City years, even before reaching his teens, Eldar already started building a reputation as a true child prodigy, appearing on Marian McPartland's award-winning NPR show, Piano Jazz, when he was only 12 years old, being the youngest performer to ever appear on her show. Eldar attended St. Elizabeth's grade school in Kansas City, Missouri. Eventually, the family moved to San Diego where he attended the Francis W. Parker School, and then to the Los Angeles area where he attended University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. Eldar has three albums released by Sony Classical, his debut album Eldar in March 2005, his album Live at the Blue Note in May 2006, and his latest album, re-imagination in June 2007.

MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST

Hard bop/post-bop pianist Eldar Djangirov has accomplished something that the vast majority of jazz artists -- pianists or otherwise -- will never accomplish: he landed a contract with a major label (Sony Classical) when he still wasn't old enough to vote. It is not uncommon for people to learn to play jazz during their adolescent years (especially in Western Europe), but most of them won't record an album as a leader until they are in their twenties; many won't even be recorded as sidemen until after they reach their twenties. Djangirov, however, started recording as a leader when he was in his mid-teens, and had recorded three albums before his 18th birthday. Djangirov, an immigrant from what used to be the Soviet Union, brings an intriguing variety of bebop, hard bop, post-bop and swing influences to his work. The acoustic pianist (who also plays electric keyboards but is essentially straight-ahead in his approach) has been greatly affected by the clear, crystalline playing of Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Keith Jarrett, and Ahmad Jamal; like those musicians, he can be quite lyrical (sometimes in an impressionistic way). But he has also shown his appreciation of Oscar Peterson and Red Garland's funkiness at times, and his other influences range from McCoy Tyner to Bud Powell to pre-bop master Art Tatum. A Djangirov solo might acknowledge anything from Thelonious Monk's angularity to Garland's use of what musicians refer to as "block chords" (a technique that is easy for jazz listeners to recognize even if they don't understand the exact technical meaning of the term). Despite having recorded for Sony Classical, Djangirov is not a classical-oriented musician -- straight-ahead jazz is definitely his main focus. But like many jazz musicians, he has been influenced by the European classical tradition and can bring some of the Euro-classical vocabulary to his improvisations. Djangirov was born on January 28, 1987 in Kyrgyzstan in the former Soviet Union, which did away with communism when he was only a child. At the age of five, he began studying the piano with his mother Tatiana Djangirov (who was a music teacher in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). In 1996, a nine-year-old Eldar Djangirov performed at a jazz festival in Novosibirsk, Russia, where a visiting American jazz supporter named Charles McWhorter heard him for the first time. Feeling that the young pianist had a great deal of potential, McWhorter arranged for him to attend a summer camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. Djangirov ended up staying in the United States; after leaving Michigan, he lived in Kansas City before making San Diego, CA his home. The improviser's first album, Eldar [D&D], was released in 2001, when he was 14; that disc was followed by the release of his sophomore disc, Handprints, in 2003. In 2004, Djangirov signed with Sony Classical and recorded his third album, which is also titled Eldar [Sony]; the album boasts John Patitucci on bass and Michael Brecker on tenor sax and was given a March 2005 release date. Two years later Eldar released Re-Imagination, which saw the pianist stretching out into solo acoustic piano and even electronica territory. © Alex Henderson, 2008 All Media Guide, LLC

18.5.08

Coral Egan




Coral Egan - My Favorite Distraction - 2004 - Justin Time

For those of us who like music that moves and modulates, Coral Egan’s My Favorite Distraction is a treat. In fact, the entire collection of 11 original songs can be heard as a protest against the tide of monophonic music that has crashed down over and disfigured our once favorite and familiar shores of sound. If Canadian winters are endless and unchanging, Egan’s music plays like spring, bursting with new life and exciting, unpredictable transitions. Mixing jazz with other genres, her music restores faith in composition where each song reveals the architecture upon which the fate of all lasting music depends. The writing, led by a highly developed creative impulse, can be edgy and restless, but always at the service of her emotions that she lays bare with refreshing subtlety and nuance. And if she is sometimes guilty of over-composing, the consolations are in abundance. Not yet 30, Egan has delivered a collection of compelling material that does us proud; just as we know that she’s only going to get better at what she already does well: compose and perform original music. © Robert J. Lewis,
http://www.artsandopinion.com/
You really should buy Coral Egan's "The Path Of Least Resistance" album. The lady is a breath of fresh air in the doldrums of what is classified as pop music today. Both these albums should be bought to promote Coral Egan's rare talent. (A.O.O.F.C).


TRACKS

1 State Of Grace
2 I Don't Think So
3 Sacrifice
4 Just Animals
5 Breathe
6 Lullaby Life
7 My Favorite Distraction
8 Here's Hoping
9 Fair-weather Friend
10 Idiotsyncrasies
11 Power

REVIEWS

"She says she finally found her place / It did not take a fortune, no just a pleasant pace." So begins Coral Egan's album My Favorite Distraction, released February 10 by Justin Time Records. And if this eclectic and compelling recording is any indication, Egan is certainly on her way to establishing her place in the Canadian music scene. But where, exactly, does she fit? Until now, Egan has been known in Quebec as a jazz vocalist, an easy and natural niche for her to fill as the daughter of Karen Young. Like the title she chose for her debut recording of jazz standards with guitarist Alex Cattaneo, she had certainly followed The Path of Least Resistance. But My Favorite Distraction could not be more different; it's a myriad of styles and genres comprising folk, reggae, pop, R&B, soul, and world beat, as well as jazz. Egan no longer wishes to be locked into the jazz vocalist category; her music is "without borders," she says, and "whatever demographic enjoys my music, they're the people I want to be playing to." Her new niche? Simply "Coral the singer/songwriter." The new space Coral Egan is creating for herself doesn't come without unforeseen challenges, however. Up until now, she says she always felt "an incredible sense of liberty in interpreting other people's songs," a sense now replaced by the weighty and restrictive responsibility of being true to herself in her own work (Egan wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on her new album). In this recent process of establishing her own voice, the singer has discovered the paradoxical phenomenon of "freeing yourself from the melody you've written." This has proven difficult, but she feels that through recreating her own songs again and again in concert, she will eventually rediscover her former interpretive freedom, but with a new edge. In the meantime, she is working on "making the song the whole, rather than the singer," with raw emotions dictating all aspects of her music making, be they the poetic themes conveyed, the musical structures created or her interpretations of the material. As she goes further inward, Egan believes her music can only become more authentic, her contribution more distinct. "Intuition is the best way to express profound things," she claims. And this effusive 30-year old has a lot to express; in fact, Coral the singer/songwriter/philosopher might be a more accurate title for her. Her lyrics are generally earnest in tone, touching on themes ranging from political activism to more personal angst-ridden reflections. In her view, "change or resistance to change" acts like a common thread in all her poetry, a preoccupation that clearly mirrors her current artistic position. One can hear that, for example, in the politically charged refrain of the song Just Ani25mals when she intones, "My greatest fear is that all that's going on here/Will continue to flow as it has throughout time/My greatest wish is to be part of some great change." And such sentiments, it can be safely said, apply to her own career as well. For now, we will be watching for those great changes with interest, but in the meantime, Coral Egan's My Favorite Distraction seems like a good space to settle down in, at least for a while. © Lenore Alford / April 26, 2004, © La Scena Musicale, www.scena.org/lsm/sm9-7/Coral-Egan-en.htm

“Singer Coral Egan is getting a lot of media attention these days, but as she tells Mark Miller, she’s not letting it distract her ” - The Globe And Mail Justin Time Records was just one of the record companies interested in signing singer/songwriter Coral Egan. We’re very pleased that our offer prevailed; My Favourite Distraction is the exciting result of our labours. The Montreal-based artist’s first recording, The Path Of Least Resistance, revealed a great voice with a rare, resplendent phrasing style able to cast a fresh light on standards. With this new album, Coral Egan shows her highly personal approach to songwriting and reveals her talents as a complete artist. Involved in every aspect of the production, from the lyrics, the music and the arranging, Coral also plays both piano and guitar. But it’s the voice, first and foremost, that will captivate you. Coral Egan’s music was influenced by aspects of soul, reggae, folk, pop and jazz, creating a focused, fresh and innovative hybrid all her own. The daughter of singer Karen Young, Coral was from an early age immersed in music - and it shows. At eleven, she joined her mother on stage singing a Brazilian composition a cappella, and her first song-writing efforts came soon after. Regardless of the genre or the language of the song, Coral Egan charms her audience with her committment to excellence, authenticity and above all, her passion for music. © 1999 - 2007 : Distribution Fusion III Inc.

BIO

With a voice that glistens like a snowflake caught on a spider’s web in the late winter sun, warmed by a quilt of meandering musical threads that envelope even the most weary music fan, Coral Egan may well be Canada’s next international diva-in-waiting. Known predominantly in Quebec as a jazz vocalist, the release of My Favorite Distraction will serve as a captivating introduction for mainstream audiences to this beautiful and talented artist. Jazz, R&B, folk, pop, soul, reggae - Coral has explored them all, and it is that eclectic approach to music that has shaped the sounds found on My Favorite Distraction (Justin Time Records). Hers is a unique, hybrid style, accented by bittersweet melodies and a certain solemnity, but lifted by a healthy dose of humour and observation. The songs are incredibly personal, with lyrics that have something to say, and although rooted in her jazz heritage, Coral incorporates such a mélange of sounds on her first original recording that it makes it difficult to pigeonhole her to a particular musical genre. Produced by longtime collaborator Charles Papasoff, whom Coral met when she was 16 and has worked with ever since, and recorded in Montreal’s Studio Frisson, My Favorite Distraction is in every way Coral’s project and demonstrates her completeness as an artist. Coral wrote the lyrics, composed the music, participated in the arrangements and played both piano and guitar on the album. Although taking the leap to recording her own material came with some trepidation, she wholly embraced the process. “It’s definitely the most challenging thing I’ve done,” she claims, which is saying something when you consider that she has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, recorded a Jazz Box special for Musique Plus, and is a top-flight player on the Quebec Sr. beach volleyball tour. “People hearing me as a singer-songwriter is a lot more terrifying than people hearing me as a jazz singer.” Her longtime association with Papasoff and his understanding of her needs as an artist was both a comfortable and reassuring element in the studio. “Charles did a wonderful job of letting me find the styles and the colours that I wanted for the songs,” Coral states. “Neither of us had done anything like this project before so it was very much new territory and every day we were learning. We didn’t want to limit ourselves, and I’m not sure we would have known how to.”Unlike her first album, the 2002 Juno-nominated collection of jazz standards entitled The Path Of Least Resistance that was also recorded by Papasoff and completed in essentially a couple of weeks, the recording process for My Favorite Distraction ran from May-September 2003, including six-weeks of pre-production and nearly two months recording time. Many of the songs that would eventually appear on the album were drafted during the pre-production sessions, allowing for greater input from the musicians she worked with on the album. Working with a core group comprised of respected Montreal musicians Gilbert Fredette on drums, Remy Malo on bass guitar, and Guy Kaye on guitar, the songs were recorded digitally through an analog board, to give the final outcome “as organic a feel as possible,” Coral explains, and rather than treat individual tracks as a part of the project, they approached every song as its own entity, using the vocal and melodies to link the pieces. “We worked on each song in respect to its nature and didn’t necessarily focus on the continuity of the entire thing. Charles allowed me the room, the time and the space to really choose what I wanted for each song. I’m very easily influenced by the people I work with and he knows that so he really tried to give me the opportunity to get what I wanted to out of each song.”Although the inevitable comparisons to other artists expanding the reach of jazz-based music - Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Sade to name a few – are likely to be made, Coral is comfortable with the connection. “If I’m going to be related to them, if I’m going to be brought into the pop world by association, and because the music’s accessible enough, then I will consider myself extremely lucky. It’s not something that you can anticipate with this kind of album.”Growing up around music and the industry, it is not surprising her path has led Coral to this point. The daughter of well-known Quebec singer-songwriter-arranger Karen Young, who, while best known for her jazz recordings, over her career has increasingly incorporated a mélange of sounds from around the globe, creating an diverse and constantly evolving style of music. Coral drifted into music naturally, or as she puts it, “I always did it by interest and occasion.” She began singing occasionally with her mother in concert when she was only 11 years old, and was performing on her own by 16, but it would be more than a decade after her initial taste of stage life before she would see the inside of a recording studio for the first time. “My mother didn’t try and turn me into a star. In fact, she was probably a little wary of it,” Coral says. Instead, she took her time and moved forward with pursuing her passion at a pace that made sense for her. The added maturity borne of having been involved in the business since such a young age brings an ageless beauty to her work that is captured in the grooves of each track on My Favorite Distraction. “I always wanted to do music for the enjoyment of it,” she explains. “The last year has been incredibly enjoyable, and also incredibly committed. I’ve finally realized what I have to gain from immersing myself in this. I look at this as a crossroads, a beginning for me. Where I want to go is limitless if I’m given the opportunity.” [ (Bio info courtesy of the Justin Time Records website). From www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/ All rights reserved. Copyright Cégep Vanier College. ]