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30.6.10

Eddie Martin


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Eddie Martin - Play The Blues With Feeling - 2005 - Blue Blood

Martin's command of blues guitar styles, acoustic and electric, is unparalleled in this country – and he will give anyone round the world a good run for their money. As confident and eloquent with intricate finger-style national steel playing as he is with incendiary electric soloing, the most amazing thing is that he is also one of our top harmonica players. These instrumental skills sprinkle this album like gold dust and are all the more amazing for the fact that guitar and harmonica are played simultaneously on this live-to-tape album with no overdubs. Of the 10 tracks, 9 are original – including the International Songwriting Competition finalist "Someone's Making Money", 2 solo acoustic, 7 raw electric trio arrangements with slide guitar to the fore, and a big band ska-like swing tune "Bubble Blues". With nine albums almost in as many years, Eddie Martin is one of the most prolific blues performers on the international circuit. With this cd he has come up with another winner which is bound to consolidate his position at the top of the blues hierarchy. © 1996-2010, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.co.uk/Play-Blues-Eddie-Martin/dp/B0007ZB3D6

London bluesman, Eddie Martin condenses the rural pre-war blues of Robert Johnson with contemporary artists like Taj Mahal, or even the Texas grooves of Freddie King and Albert Collins. This guy is an incredibly talented blues guitarist and harmonica player, and is really keeping the traditional blues styles alive. "Play The Blues With Feeling" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Eddie's brilliant"Ice Cream" album, and promote this great blues artist

TRACKS

1 Someone's Making Money
2 Selfish Guy
3 My Black Mama
4 Bubble Blues
5 Bristol Shakedown
6 Play the Blues With Feeling
7 Tell Me Why
8 One-Man-Band Rag
9 Barbed Wire
10 Bone Shaker

All songs composed by Eddie Martin except Track 3 by Eddie James

MUSICIANS

Eddie Martin - Guitar, Harmonica, Foot Percussion
Tony Caddle - Bass
Marion Dolton - Bass, Double Bass
Paddy Milner - Piano
Gary Baldwin - Hammond B3
Michael Wiedrich, Mike Hoddinott - Drums
Little Big Horns - Horn
Steve Trigg, Andy Gilliams, Patsy Gamble - Horn

BIO

Born in London in the 60's British Blues Boom, Eddie Martin turned professional after being nominated for Best British Blues Guitarist, Band and Album between 1996 and 1998. Since then he has played or recorded with many greats from both sides of the Atlantic, including John Mayall, Peter Green, Buddy Guy, and Taj Mahal. His prolific recording and touring schedule takes him from his native UK all round the world to major events - first touring the USA to some acclaim in 1999. 2005, for example, saw his big band headline the Colne International Rhythm and Blues Festival in the UK, his trio perform at the prestigious Cahors Blues Festival in France, and brought him to the World Harmonica Festival in Germany where he performed solo, held a harmonica masterclass and judged the world blues harmonica competition. He has recorded numerous live sessions for national radio programmes (BBC Radio 2 in the UK). His songs have found their way to the finals of the International Songwriting Competition and to the song stable of Alligator Records. And his live performances. whether as his unique one-man-band or fronting his trio or big band, have always attracted accolades. "a live act not to be missed" said Blues Revue USA. He continues to tour in all three guises. The trio features top drawer rhythm section Bill Banwell on Bass and Tim Price (ex Gary Moore) on drums. His songwriting seamlessly updates blues tradition to the modern world and his solo and band performances fill even hardened blues audiences with new enthusiasm for the expressiveness and power of this genre. His acoustic style has developed into a percussive blend of traditional blues slide and fingerpicking blues styles with flamenco rasguerdo techniques. These he combines with rack harmonica playing and foot percussion in the style of the one-man-blues bands such as Duster Bennett, Joe Hill Louis and Dr Ross. On the electric, his forbears are Freddy King, Albert King and Buddy Guy, as, for example, "the Times" has noted. His guitar-playing alone has seen his cd work commended by the Guitar Press around Europe, receiving "excellent" tags from "Guitar" in the UK and "Guitar and Bass" in Germany. Most strikingly innovative is the simultaneous rack harmonica and guitar style that he has developed and which caused the International Harmonica Federation to single him out as one of the innovators on the instrument at the World Harmonica Festival in Germany. A master acoustic and electric guitarist, harmonica player, songwriter and powerful singer, Eddie Martin has been described as "the most remarkable blues man of his generation" by Blues in Britain. ©2003-2010 MySpace, Inc. All Rights Reserved http://www.myspace.com/eddiemartinblues

Damo Suzuki Band


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Damo Suzuki Band - V.E.R.N.I.S.S.A.G.E - 1998 - Damo's Net Work

Despite the fact that two-thirds of Damo Suzuki's lyrics are incomprehensible, the power of Suzuki's delivery makes it okay. Vernissage, released in 1998, features the sprawling songs that guarantee Damo Suzuki Band will never get airplay on the local station (the shortest song on this record is over 8 minutes, the longest an epochal 26:39). Ever since Damo Suzuki added his primal vocal power to Krautrock pioneers Can, he has been exploding conceptions of what constitutes how rock is done. Take for example the fact that, beginning with Vernissage, his band apparently intend only to release live albums — some of which are seven CDs long (P.R.O.M.I.S.E.). Listeners will recognize in Vernissage what could be described as the Police meets Pink Floyd as interpreted by Can. Here you have former Can drummer Jaki Leibezeit's trademark rhythms holding down occasional bursts of '80s-style keyboard and David Gilmore-esque arpeggios, while Suzuki's howls swell and shrink as the obvious impresario sees fit. If you have the head space to drift in and out of your own thoughts during a 20-plus-minute song, then Vernissage might provide a comforting aural landscape in which to do it. © Sean Hurley © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:kpfrxqy0ldfe

Recorded live in Linz, Austria on 11.1.90, "V.E.R.N.I.S.S.A.G.E" is arguably more rooted in basic rock than the unique, primal, angular rhythmic progressive sound of Can. There are good extensive rock improvisations, often lightweight and simple, but overall, quite effective. Dominik von Senger's great guitar work, Jaki Liebezeit's drumming and Damo Suzuki's amazing "gibberistic" vocals contribute greatly to the album. (Craig Johnson brilliantly described Damo's vocal style by saying "His sometimes serene, other times terrifying spontaneous vocal delivery and the drugged funk, space-age gothic repetition of the band (Can) carved a significant notch onto the draft of modern music". [from "Damo Suzuki : HollyAris : I Am Damo Suzuki".] © http://www.spikemagazine.com/0205damosuzuki.php). But sometimes the keyboard bass work by Mathias Keul lacks originality and excitement. A little more originality and innovation by Mathias Keul would have improved the album. "Halleluwah" and "Mushroom" may be the album's best tracks. However for fans of Can, Damo Suzuki, Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt, or Jaki Liebezeit, "V.E.R.N.I.S.S.A.G.E" is a worthwhile addition to your collection. Try and listen to the Damo Suzuki Band's "Seattle [live]" album. Listen to Can's brilliant "Tago Mago", and "Ege Bamyasi" albums. Dunkelziffer's "Live" album is @ DUNKELZ/LIVE Check this blog for more Can and Irmin Schmidt releases

TRACKS

1 Date Line Today / Yesterday 13:20
2 Ballad Of Diver 8:30
3 Don't Forget Ya Job, Halleluwah, Mushroom, Day Lily 26:39
4 Weekend Paradise 13:53

All tracks played and composed by Damo Suzuki, Mathias Keul, Dominik von Senger, and Jaki Liebezeit except Halleluwah, and Mushroom by Can

BAND

Damo Suzuki - Vocals [ex-Can, Dunkelziffer]
Dominik von Senger - Guitar [Dunkelziffer]
Mathias Keul - Keyboards [Dunkelziffer]
Jaki Liebezeit - Drums [ex-Can, Phantom Band]

DAMO SUZUKI BIO

The longtime lead vocalist for Krautrock pioneers Can, Kenji "Damo" Suzuki was born in Japan on January 16, 1950. An expatriate street poet inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road, he spent the better part of the late 1960s wandering through Europe, and while busking outside a cafe in Munich in May of 1970 was discovered by Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit; asked to replace the group's former frontman Malcolm Mooney, Suzuki joined them onstage that very night, making his recorded debut later that same year on the LP Soundtracks. With Suzuki in the lineup, Can produced its most enduring and innovative work, including classic LPs like 1971's Tago Mago, 1972's Ege Bamayasi and 1973's Future Days; however, upon completing work on the latter, he left the band to become a Jehovah's Witness. Absent from music for a decade, in 1983 Suzuki began showing up unannounced to perform at shows by the band Dunkelziffer, eventually joining the group full-time and recording a pair of LPs; in 1986, he formed the Damo Suzuki Band with fellow Can alum Liebezeit on drums, Dominik von Senger on guitar, and Matthias Keul on keyboards. Four years later the group mutated to become Damo Suzuki and Friends, its loose-knit lineup playing in and around the Cologne area on a weekly basis; in 1998, he founded the Damo's Network label, issuing a series of live recordings including V.E.R.N.I.S.S.A.G.E., Seattle and the seven-CD box set P.R.O.M.I.S.E.. © Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

BIO (WIKIPEDIA)

Kenji Suzuki Suzuki Kenji?, born 16 January 1950, in Japan), universally known as Damo Suzuki, is a singer best known for his membership in the German krautrock group Can. As a teenager, Suzuki spent the late 1960s wandering around Europe, often busking. When Malcolm Mooney left Can after recording their first album Monster Movie, Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit encountered Suzuki singing on a street in Munich, Germany whilst the two were sitting outside at a street café. They invited him to join the group, and he did, performing with them that evening. Suzuki was with Can from 1970 to 1973, recording a number of well-regarded albums such as Tago Mago, Future Days and Ege Bamyasi. Suzuki's first vocal performance with Can was "Don't Turn the Light On, Leave Me Alone" from Soundtracks. His freeform, often improvised lyrics, sung in no particular language gelled with Can's rolling, psychedelic sound. Suzuki converted to the Jehovah's Witness faith when he married his German girlfriend, who was also a Jehovah's Witness, after the release of the album Future Days, and retired from music in 1974. He returned to music in 1983, and currently leads what is known as Damo Suzuki's Network - as he tours, he performs live improvisational music with various local musicians (so-called "Sound Carriers") from around the world, thus building up a 'network' of musicians with whom he collaborates. As far as more recent recorded material is concerned, Damo is featured on electronic/hip-hop producer Sixtoo's album, "Chewing on Glass and Other Miracle Cures" (Ninja Tune, 2004). Among the musicians in his live shows have been Michael Karoli and Jaki Liebezeit of Can, Mani Neumeier of Guru Guru, Dustin Donaldson of I Am Spoonbender, Cul De Sac, Passierzettel, The Early Years, The Bees, Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene, Airiel, Acid Mothers Temple, The Holy Soul, The Sandells, the Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Quintet (with whom he has recorded the 2007 EP Please Heat This Eventually), The Skull Defekts, AIDS Wolf, Edmondo Ammendola and Dave Williams of Augie March, Gordon J Watson & Simon Doling of Terminal Cheesecake, Stephen Mcbean from black mountain, The Prestidigitators, Gary Jeff of God, Calamalka, Karl Asa of J>A>W>, Hamish Black, tynder and many, many others. Suzuki has been recognised by name by at least three different bands. The Fall's 1985 album This Nation's Saving Grace features a song "I Am Damo Suzuki," inspired by and dedicated to the singer. The rock band The Mooney Suzuki takes its name from Damo Suzuki and Can's earlier vocalist Malcolm Mooney. And most recently UK based psych/prog rockers Dudes Of Neptune have dedicated an entire album "Jamming For Damo" to Suzuki.

28.6.10

Stealers Wheel


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Stealers Wheel - Late Again The Hits Collection - 2001 - Rotation

Stealers Wheel were a folk rock band formed by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan after the break up of the Humblebums (Gerry Rafferty plus comedian Billy Connolly). An early line-up of SW included the great Scottish singer/songwriter Rab Noakes (ex-Lindisfarne), who plays with Joe Egan on Gerry Rafferty's "Can I Have My Money Back" album. That version broke up before recording, leaving SW fronted by Egan and Rafferty, with Rod Coombes on drums, De Lisle Harper on bass. Luther Grosvenor (aka Ariel Bender in Mott the Hoople) played electric guitar. By the time the band released it's s/t album, Gerry Rafferty had left as well, but was lured back by the huge success of "Stuck In The Middle With You". SW later operated as a band with a nucleus of Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, and various session musicians who replaced Coombes, Harper and Grosvenor. SW released other albums including "Ferguslie Park" and "Right Or Wrong" before breaking up. Gerry Rafferty went on to megastardom with songs like "Baker Street" and a few classic late 70's albums like "City To City", and "Night Owl". Many of his later albums remain obscure, which is a pity, as the guy is still a hugely talented and influential musician. Joe Egan has not received much success after the break up of SW, but his 1979 "Out of Nowhere " is a great album, and can be found @ PVAc to 44.1 kHz Gerry Rafferty's "Night Owl" album is @ GERRAFF/NO and SW's "Ferguslie Park" album is @ STEAWHEE/FPK N.B: "Late Again The Hits Collection" has been released on different labels, although not all the compilations contain the 18 tracks on this version. If you are a Gerry Rafferty/Stealers Wheel fan then you probably have all these tracks. If not, then this album is a good introduction to a brilliant folk rock band. Tracks like "Star", "You Put Something Better Inside Of Me", and "Right Or Wrong" are terrific songs which you seldom hear nowadays, and are an example of beautifully constructed, melodic pop/folk rock songs.

TRACKS

1 Stuck In The Middle With You
2 Everything'll Turn Out Fine
3 Star
4 Late Again
5 Good Business Man
6 You Put Something Better Inside Of Me
7 Found My Way To You
8 Right Or Wrong
9 Wishbone
10 Benediction
11 I Get By
12 Waltz (You Know It Makes Sense)
13 Nothin' Gonna Change My Mind
14 Next To Me
15 Johnny's Song
16 Gets So Lonely
17 Go As You Please
18 Blind Faith

All songs composed by Gerry Rafferty, & Joe Egan except Track 15 by Gerry Rafferty, and Tracks 3,11,12,13,16 by Joe Egan

STEALERS WHEEL 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

ABOUT JOE EGAN (WIKIPEDIA)

Joe Egan (Irish name: Seosamh MacAodhagain) (born Joseph Egan, 18 October 1946, in Paisley, Scotland) is a Scottish singer and songwriter. In the 1960s Egan, together with former school mate Gerry Rafferty, played in various smaller British bands, for example The Sensors and The Mavericks, and worked as a session musician. In 1972 he and Rafferty founded the folk / rock band Stealers Wheel. After two unsuccessful singles the track "Stuck in the Middle With You", which he had co-written with Rafferty, surprisingly became a hit in 1973 and reached the Top Ten of both the UK Singles Chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Subsequently the band had a few smaller successes, amongst others with the Egan penned song "Star", but stagnating sales figures and artistical differences finally led to the band's break-up in 1975. Egan eventually recorded his solo debut album Back On The Road, but this did not occur until 1979 as he and Rafferty were contractually obliged not to release any recordings for three years. In 1978 Rafferty had a worldwide hit with "Baker Street" and the following year Egan registered a minor hit with his first single release, also named "Back On The Road". The same year Egan's second single "Out Of Nowhere" turned out to be a flop. 1981 saw the release of his second album Map, which was not a critical or commercial success. Egan disappeared from the music industry and has not released any new recordings. According to the Wikipedia-biography for Gerry Rafferty, Joe Egan was involved in the recording of Rafferty's solo album 'On a Wing and a Prayer'. As of 2005, Egan lives in Renfrewshire and runs a publishing company from his home.

GERRY RAFFERTY BIO

Gerry Rafferty was a popular music giant at the end of the '70s, thanks to the song "Baker Street" and the album City to City. His career long predated that fixture of Top 40 radio, however; indeed, by the time he cut "Baker Street" Rafferty had already been a member of two successful groups, the Humblebums and Stealers Wheel. Rafferty was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1947, the son of a Scottish mother and an Irish father. His father was deaf but still enjoyed singing, mostly Irish rebel songs, and his early experience of music was a combination of Catholic hymns, traditional folk music, and '50s pop music. By 1968, at age 21, Rafferty was a singer-guitarist and had started trying to write songs professionally, and was looking for a gig of his own. Enter Billy Connolly, late of Scottish bands like the Skillet Lickers and the Acme Brush Company. Connolly was a musician and comedian who'd found that telling jokes from the stage was as appealing an activity to him -- and the audience -- as making music. He'd passed through several groups looking for a niche before finally forming a duo called the Humblebums with Tim Harvey, a rock guitarist. They'd established themselves in Glasgow, and were then approached by Transatlantic, one of the more successful independent record labels in England at the time, and signed to a recording contract. After playing a show in Paisley, Rafferty approached Connolly about auditioning some of the songs he'd written. Connolly was impressed not only with the songs but with their author, and suddenly the Humblebums were a trio. They were a major success in England both on-stage and on record, but not without some strain. Connolly was the dominant personality, his jokes between the songs entertaining audiences as much as the songs themselves. Additionally, Rafferty began develop a distinctive style as a singer, guitarist and songwriter, and this eventually led to tension between him and Harvey: the latter exited in 1970, and Rafferty and Connolly continued together for two more albums, their line-up expanding to a sextet, but their relationship began to break down. The records were selling well, and the gigs were growing in prominence, including a Royal Command Performance. Connolly, however, worked himself to the point of exhaustion amid all of this activity, and when he did recover, he and Rafferty ultimately split up over the differing directions in which each was going. Rafferty had noticed that Connolly's jokes were taking up more time in their concerts than the music he was writing. They parted company in 1971. Transatlantic didn't want to give up one of its top money-makers, however, especially if there was a new career to be started. Rafferty cut his first solo album for the label that year. "Can I Have My Money Back?" was a melodious folk-pop album, on which Rafferty employed the vocal talents of an old school friend, Joe Egan. The LP garnered good reviews but failed to sell. Out of those sessions, however, Rafferty and Egan put together the original line-up of Stealers Wheel, which was one of the most promising (and rewarding) pop/rock outfits of the mid-'70s. Unfortunately, Stealers Wheel's lineup and legal history were complicated enough to keep various lawyers well paid for much of the middle of the decade. Rafferty was in the group, then out, then in again as the lineup kept shifting. Their first album was a success, the single "Stuck in the Middle with You" a huge hit, but nothing after that clicked commercially, and by 1975 the group was history. Three years of legal battles followed, sorting out problems between Rafferty and his management. Finally, in 1978, Rafferty was free to record again, and he signed to United Artists Records. That year, he cut City to City, a melodic yet strangely enigmatic album that topped the charts in America, put there by the success of the song "Baker Street." The song itself was a masterpiece of pop production, Rafferty's Paul McCartney-like vocals carrying a haunting central melody with a mysterious and yearning lyric, backed by a quietly thumping bass, tinkling celeste, and understated keyboard ornamentation, and then Raphael Ravenscroft's sax, which you got a taste of in the opening bars, rises up behind some heavily amplified electric guitars. It was sophisticated '70s pop/rock at its best (and better yet, it wasn't disco!) and it dominated the airwaves for months in 1978, narrowly missing the number one spot in England but selling millions of copies and taking up hundreds of cumulative hours of radio time. The publisher and the record company couldn't have been happier. Everyone concerned was thrilled, until it became clear that Rafferty -- who had a reclusive and iconoclastic streak -- was not going to tour America to support the album. The album, which finally reached number one, might've gone double-platinum and meant it (lots of records were shipped platinum in those days, only eventually to return 90-percent of those copies) had Rafferty toured. His next record, Night Owl (1979), also charted well and got good reviews, but the momentum that had driven City to City to top-selling status wasn't there, and Snakes & Ladders (1980), his next record, didn't sell nearly as well. Ironically, around this time, Rafferty's brother Jim was signed to a recording contract by Decca-London, a label that wasn't long for this world -- something that Gerry would soon have to face about his own situation at United Artists. United Artists Records had seen some major hit records throughout the '60s and '70s, but by the end of the decade, the parent film distribution and production company was revamping all of its operations in the wake of the mass exodus of several of its top executives. The record label was one of the first things to go -- running a record company was a luxury that the current UA management felt it could do without. Rafferty was practically the last major artist signed to the label, and if City to City had been a hit when the label was sold to EMI, he'd probably have been treated like visiting royalty. But by the time United Artists Records was sold to EMI around 1980, his figures weren't showing millions of units sold anymore. His contract was merely part of a deal, and, in fact, almost none of the UA artists picked up by EMI fared well with the new company -- as with many artists caught up in one of those sale-and-acquisition situations, even if Rafferty had been producing anything comparable to "Baker Street" in popularity, it's doubtful the record would've gotten the push it would've taken to make it a hit. Sleepwalking (1982), issued on the Liberty label, ended that round of Rafferty's public music-making activities, and he was little heard from during the mid-'80s, apart from one song contributed to the offbeat comedy Local Hero, a producer's gig with the group the Proclaimers that yielded a Top Three single ("Letter from America") in 1987. A year later, he released his first album in more than five years, North & South, which failed to register with the public. By that time, Transatlantic had begun exploiting his early recording activity, reissuing his early solo and Humblebums tracks on CD. On a Wing and a Prayer (1992) was similarly ignored by the public, although the critics loved it, and Over My Head (1995) was an attempt to reconsider his own past by re-thinking some Stealers Wheel-era songs. Gerry Rafferty is still remembered, two decades after it was a hit, primarily for "Baker Street" and City to City, which have been released as gold-plated audiophile CDs. And every so often, when some Stealers Wheel track gets picked up for some soundtrack (as "Stuck in the Middle with You" was for Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs) or commercial, his voice and guitar also get a fresh airing. © Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

MORE ABOUT GERRY RAFFERTY (Wikipedia)

Gerry Rafferty (born Gerald Rafferty, 16 April 1947, in Paisley) is a Scottish singer and songwriter. He is the son of a Scottish mother and an Irish father. In his early years, Gerry Rafferty earned money by the formerly illegal practice of busking on the London Underground. Poetically, his biggest hit "Baker Street" was about busking at a tube station. After working with Billy Connolly (now better known as a comedian) in a band called the Humblebums, he recorded a first solo album, Can I Have My Money Back. In 1972 Rafferty and his old school friend Joe Egan formed Stealers Wheel, a group beset by legal wranglings but which did have a huge hit "Stuck in the Middle With You" (made famous for a new generation in the movie Reservoir Dogs) and the smaller top 40 hit "Star" ten months later. The duo disbanded in 1975. In 1978, Rafferty cut a solo album, City to City, which included the song with which he remains most identified, "Baker Street". The single reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 2 in the U.S. The album sold over 5.5 million copies, toppling the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in the U.S. on 8 July 1978, while "Baker Street" remains a mainstay of radio airplay. A cover version by Undercover (not to be confused with the Christian rock band of the same name) also made the Top 3 in the UK singles chart in 1992. Another song from the City to City album, "Right Down the Line", also continues to receive copious radio airplay. "Home and Dry" managed a top 30 spot. One of the more obscure tracks from that time is "Big Change in the Weather" (the B-side of "Baker Street"). His next album, Night Owl, also did well, and the title track was a UK No. 5 hit in 1979. "Days Gone Down" reached #17 in the U.S. The follow-up single "Get It Right Next Time" made the UK and US Top 30. Subsequent albums, such as Snakes and Ladders (1980), Sleepwalking (1982), and North and South (1988), all fared less well, perhaps due partly to Rafferty's general reluctance to perform live. "Don't Give Up On Me", from his 1992 collection On A Wing and a Prayer, is a much-featured oldie on BBC Radio 2. That album reunited him with Stealers Wheel partner Joe Egan on several tracks. Rafferty redid his own "Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway" on the album Over My Head (1994). His latest effort was Another World, released in 2000 and was originally available only through direct order from his no longer active website, but is now on general release through the Hypertension label. Another World featured an album cover painting by J. Patrick Byrne, who also painted the covers for City to City, Night Owl, and Snakes and Ladders. Rafferty also sings on the soundtrack to the film, Local Hero - "The Way it Always Starts" (1983), and co-produced The Proclaimers first UK hit single Letter From America in 1987 along with Hugh Murphy.

26.6.10

Ian Carr's Nucleus


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Ian Carr's Nucleus - Awakening - 1980 - Mood Records

Formed in 1969 by the late trumpeter and flugelhornist Ian Carr, Nucleus aka Ian Carr's Nucleus was among the very first groups to fuse rock and jazz from the jazz perspective. The band was regarded as one of the most technically brilliant jazz rock/fusion bands in the world. Ian had played for ten years, first in the EmCee Five (which included the brilliant guitarist, John McLaughlin) and then in the Rendell-Carr Group, which released five albums prior to 1969. "Awakening" is recommended to lovers of all jazzrock/fusion fans, and also to those who enjoy good Canterbury Rock style bands like Soft Machine, or Matching Mole. Search this blog for other Ian Carr/Nucleus releases

TRACKS

A1 Awakening 10:05
A2 Midnight Oil 6:25
A3 Mutatis Mutandis 5:40

B1 White City Blues 7:00
B2 Thing Past 10:00
B3 You Can't Be Serious / You Must Be Joking 6:10

All compositions by Ian Carr except B1 by Geoff Castle

BAND

Ian Carr - Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Chucho Merchan - Bass [Bass Guitar]
Geoff Castle - Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes], Electric Piano, Synthesizer [Mini Moog, Korg Polysynthesizer]
Nic France - Drums, Percussion
Brian Smith - Saxophone [Tenor, Soprano], Percussion

IAN CARR BIO

Ian Carr has been on the cutting edge of the British jazz scene for nearly four decades. Self-trained as a musician, Carr played an important role in the development of jazz-rock fusion, playing with John McLaughlin in the early '60s, forming one of England's first electronic jazz-rock fusion groups, Nucleus, in 1969 and playing with the international band the United Jazz Rock Ensemble, since 1975. In 1982, Carr received a Calabria award in southern Italy for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Jazz. Wire Magazine presented him a special award for services to British jazz in 1987. Carr has been equally influential as a music journalist and educator. The co-author of a jazz encyclopedia, The Essential Companion, Carr was also the author of Music Outside, an examination of contemporary British jazz published in 1973; Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography, published in 1982; and Keith Jarrett: The Man and His Music, published in 1991. Since 1992, Carr has written a monthly column for BBC Music Magazine. Carr is an associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Dance and lectures weekly on jazz history. Born in Scotland and raised in England, Carr thought little of a career in music until he was nearly 30 years old. Educated at King's College in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where he studied English literature, Carr served in the Army in the late '50s. Shortly after his discharge, he formed a band, the EmCee Five, with his brother Mike and John McLaughlin. Carr remained with the band for two years, leaving to form the Rendell-Carr Group with saxophonist Don Rendell in 1962. During the seven years he worked with Rendell, Carr helped the band record five albums. In September 1969, Carr helped form the groundbreaking fusion band Nucleus. The group attracted international acclaim when it took the top prize in a competition at the Montreaux International Festival in 1970. Carr continued to play with Nucleus until 1989 when he left to tour the United Kingdom and Europe as a soloist on electric trumpet with an Anglo-American orchestra led by American composer George Russell. Old Heartland was recorded with the Kreisler String Orchestra in 1988 while Sounds and Sweet Airs was recorded with organist John Taylor in 1992. © Craig Harris, allmusic.com

IAN CARR BIO (WIKI)

Ian Carr (21 April 1933 – 25 February 2009) was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator. Carr was born in Dumfries, Scotland, the elder brother of Mike Carr. From 1952 to 1956, he went to King's College, now Newcastle University, where he read English Literature, followed by a diploma in education. At the age of seventeen Carr started to teach himself trumpet. After university he joined his brother in a Newcastle band, the EmCee Five, from 1960 to 1962, before moving to London, where he became co-leader with Don Rendell of the Rendell–Carr quintet (1963–1969). In its six years, the group (including pianist Michael Garrick, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Trevor Tomkins) made five albums for EMI – all of which have been re-issued – and performed internationally. After leaving the quintet, Carr went on to form the ground-breaking jazz-rock band Nucleus. This led to the release of twelve albums (some under the band's name, some under Carr's), and a successful international career. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released their first album (Elastic Rock), and performed at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. He also played with the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble since 1975. Carr worked as a session musician in non-jazz contexts, with Nico, No-Man, Faultline, and others. He also doubled up on flugelhorn. Apart from writing a regular column for the BBC Music Magazine, Carr wrote biographies of the jazz musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis. He was also the co-author of the reference work The Rough Guide to Jazz which has passed through four editions from 1994 (originally Jazz, The Essential Companion, 1988). In addition he contributed sleeve notes for the albums of other musicians (e.g. Indo-Jazz Fusions by Joe Harriott and John Mayer). In 1987, he was appointed associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he taught composition and performance, especially improvisation and was founder of the jazz workshop at the Interchange arts scheme, where pianist Julian Joseph, amongst others, was one of his students.

NUCLEUS BIO

Nucleus began its long jazz-rock journey in 1969, when it was originally formed by trumpeter Ian Carr. They attracted a following after a successful performance at the Montreux International Festival in 1970, which led to the critical success of albums Elastic Rock and We'll Talk About It Later. The other members consisted of saxophonist Karl Jenkins, drummer John Marshall, and guitarist Chris Spedding. Spedding split after the first two albums, but the rest of the lineup lasted until 1972, when Jenkins and Marshall both left to join Soft Machine. Belladonna was the first album with only Carr, and although he enlisted the help of guitarist Allan Holdsworth, the band eventually became a solo venture for his music. They finally broke up in the mid-'80s after several Carr-only albums. © Bradley Torreano, allmusic.com

NUCLEUS BIO (WIKI)

Nucleus were a pioneering jazz-rock band from Britain who continued in different forms from 1969 to 1985. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released the album Elastic Rock, an essential creation in the crystallization of a new musical expression, Jazz fusion, and performed both at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. They were led by Ian Carr, who had been in the Rendell-Carr Quintet during the mid and late 1960s, and was a respected figure in British jazz for more than 40 years. Their jazz-based music evolved from an early sound incorporating elements of progressive and psychedelic rock towards a funkier sound in the mid and late 1970s. Nucleus' first lineup was leader and trumpeter Ian Carr, keyboardist/oboist Karl Jenkins, saxophonist/flautist Brian Smith, guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Jeff Clyne and drummer John Marshall. By their third album, the band had expanded to include trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Harry Beckett, saxophonist Tony Roberts, bassist Ron Mathewson, percussionist Chris Karan and Keith Winter on VCS3 synthesizer. Dave MacRae joined soon after for several albums.Over the years the band has seen many members: Trumpet & flugelhorn: Ian Carr, Kenny Wheeler, Harry Beckett, , Chris Batchelor: Tenor sax, soprano sax, flute: Brian Smith, Bob Bertles, Phil Todd, Tim Whitehead: Clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax: Tony Roberts, Tony Coe: Baritone sax, oboe, piano, electric piano: Karl Jenkins: Piano and electric piano: Dave MacRae, Gordon Beck, Geoff Castle: Guitar: Chris Spedding, Allan Holdsworth, Jocelyn Pitchen, Ray Russell, Ken Shaw, Mark Wood: Bass guitar: Jeff Clyne, Ron Mathewson, Roy Babbington, Roger Sutton, Billy Kristian, Mo Foster, Dill Katz, Rob Statham Drums: John Marshall, Clive Thacker, Tony Levin, Bryan Spring, Roger Sellers Percussion: Chris Karan, Trevor Tomkins, Aureo de Souza, Richard Burgess, Chris Fletcher Synthesizer: Keith Winter, Paddy Kingsland, Geoff Castle, Neil Ardley Vocals: Norma Winstone, Joy Yates (Mrs. Dave MacRae), Kieran White Organ: John Taylor. In August 2005, a special one-off reincarnation of Nucleus, with old and new members, performed at London's Cargo venue, to an enthusiastic reception. This was followed on 30 March 2007 by a Nucleus Revisited concert at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club as part of a series of concerts to mark Jazzwise magazine's 10th anniversary. Nucleus Revisited featured, amongst others, Nucleus stalwarts, Geoff Castle, Mark Wood and Tim Whitehead and on trumpet, as at the 2005 Cargo concert, Chris Batchelor. Although Ian Carr did not play due to ill health, he was present at the concert and received a standing ovation from the ecstatic audience. Nucleus Revisited also appeared at Ronnie Scott's club in London on 4 August 2009 as part of their two week long Brit Jazz Fest. The double billing with Michael Garrick's Quartet drew an appreciative packed house.

Ian Carr's Nucleus


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Ian Carr's Nucleus - Live at the Theaterhaus - 1985 - Mood

Formed in 1969 by the late trumpeter and flugelhornist Ian Carr, Nucleus aka Ian Carr's Nucleus was among the very first groups to fuse rock and jazz from the jazz perspective. The band was regarded as one of the most technically brilliant jazz rock/fusion bands in the world. Ian had played for ten years, first in the EmCee Five (which included the brilliant guitarist, John McLaughlin) and then in the Rendell-Carr Group, which released five albums prior to 1969. "Live at the Theaterhaus" recorded at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Germany, 6 Apr 1985 is recommended to lovers of all jazzrock/fusion fans, and also to those who enjoy good Canterbury Rock style bands like Soft Machine, or Matching Mole. The album contains all previously unreleased compositions, and also heralded the return of John Marshall. Search this blog for other Ian Carr/Nucleus releases

TRACKS

1. Dawn Choruses
2. Bouquets Pour Ma Belle
3. For Miles and Miles
4. Easy Does it Now
5. Something for Mister Jelly Lord

N.B:Track order in rtf file is incorrect. Thanks to speedyg1962 for pointing this out to me (A.O.O.F.C)
All compositions by Ian Carr

BAND

Ian Carr (tpt/fghn)
Phil Todd (saxes)
Mark Wood (g/g-syn)
Dill Katz (b)
John Marshall (d/pc)

IAN CARR BIO

Ian Carr has been on the cutting edge of the British jazz scene for nearly four decades. Self-trained as a musician, Carr played an important role in the development of jazz-rock fusion, playing with John McLaughlin in the early '60s, forming one of England's first electronic jazz-rock fusion groups, Nucleus, in 1969 and playing with the international band the United Jazz Rock Ensemble, since 1975. In 1982, Carr received a Calabria award in southern Italy for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Jazz. Wire Magazine presented him a special award for services to British jazz in 1987. Carr has been equally influential as a music journalist and educator. The co-author of a jazz encyclopedia, The Essential Companion, Carr was also the author of Music Outside, an examination of contemporary British jazz published in 1973; Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography, published in 1982; and Keith Jarrett: The Man and His Music, published in 1991. Since 1992, Carr has written a monthly column for BBC Music Magazine. Carr is an associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Dance and lectures weekly on jazz history. Born in Scotland and raised in England, Carr thought little of a career in music until he was nearly 30 years old. Educated at King's College in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where he studied English literature, Carr served in the Army in the late '50s. Shortly after his discharge, he formed a band, the EmCee Five, with his brother Mike and John McLaughlin. Carr remained with the band for two years, leaving to form the Rendell-Carr Group with saxophonist Don Rendell in 1962. During the seven years he worked with Rendell, Carr helped the band record five albums. In September 1969, Carr helped form the groundbreaking fusion band Nucleus. The group attracted international acclaim when it took the top prize in a competition at the Montreaux International Festival in 1970. Carr continued to play with Nucleus until 1989 when he left to tour the United Kingdom and Europe as a soloist on electric trumpet with an Anglo-American orchestra led by American composer George Russell. Old Heartland was recorded with the Kreisler String Orchestra in 1988 while Sounds and Sweet Airs was recorded with organist John Taylor in 1992. © Craig Harris, allmusic.com

IAN CARR BIO (WIKI)

Ian Carr (21 April 1933 – 25 February 2009) was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator. Carr was born in Dumfries, Scotland, the elder brother of Mike Carr. From 1952 to 1956, he went to King's College, now Newcastle University, where he read English Literature, followed by a diploma in education. At the age of seventeen Carr started to teach himself trumpet. After university he joined his brother in a Newcastle band, the EmCee Five, from 1960 to 1962, before moving to London, where he became co-leader with Don Rendell of the Rendell–Carr quintet (1963–1969). In its six years, the group (including pianist Michael Garrick, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Trevor Tomkins) made five albums for EMI – all of which have been re-issued – and performed internationally. After leaving the quintet, Carr went on to form the ground-breaking jazz-rock band Nucleus. This led to the release of twelve albums (some under the band's name, some under Carr's), and a successful international career. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released their first album (Elastic Rock), and performed at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. He also played with the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble since 1975. Carr worked as a session musician in non-jazz contexts, with Nico, No-Man, Faultline, and others. He also doubled up on flugelhorn. Apart from writing a regular column for the BBC Music Magazine, Carr wrote biographies of the jazz musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis. He was also the co-author of the reference work The Rough Guide to Jazz which has passed through four editions from 1994 (originally Jazz, The Essential Companion, 1988). In addition he contributed sleeve notes for the albums of other musicians (e.g. Indo-Jazz Fusions by Joe Harriott and John Mayer). In 1987, he was appointed associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he taught composition and performance, especially improvisation and was founder of the jazz workshop at the Interchange arts scheme, where pianist Julian Joseph, amongst others, was one of his students.

NUCLEUS BIO

Nucleus began its long jazz-rock journey in 1969, when it was originally formed by trumpeter Ian Carr. They attracted a following after a successful performance at the Montreux International Festival in 1970, which led to the critical success of albums Elastic Rock and We'll Talk About It Later. The other members consisted of saxophonist Karl Jenkins, drummer John Marshall, and guitarist Chris Spedding. Spedding split after the first two albums, but the rest of the lineup lasted until 1972, when Jenkins and Marshall both left to join Soft Machine. Belladonna was the first album with only Carr, and although he enlisted the help of guitarist Allan Holdsworth, the band eventually became a solo venture for his music. They finally broke up in the mid-'80s after several Carr-only albums. © Bradley Torreano, allmusic.com

NUCLEUS BIO (WIKI)

Nucleus were a pioneering jazz-rock band from Britain who continued in different forms from 1969 to 1985. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released the album Elastic Rock, an essential creation in the crystallization of a new musical expression, Jazz fusion, and performed both at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. They were led by Ian Carr, who had been in the Rendell-Carr Quintet during the mid and late 1960s, and was a respected figure in British jazz for more than 40 years. Their jazz-based music evolved from an early sound incorporating elements of progressive and psychedelic rock towards a funkier sound in the mid and late 1970s. Nucleus' first lineup was leader and trumpeter Ian Carr, keyboardist/oboist Karl Jenkins, saxophonist/flautist Brian Smith, guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Jeff Clyne and drummer John Marshall. By their third album, the band had expanded to include trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Harry Beckett, saxophonist Tony Roberts, bassist Ron Mathewson, percussionist Chris Karan and Keith Winter on VCS3 synthesizer. Dave MacRae joined soon after for several albums.Over the years the band has seen many members: Trumpet & flugelhorn: Ian Carr, Kenny Wheeler, Harry Beckett, , Chris Batchelor: Tenor sax, soprano sax, flute: Brian Smith, Bob Bertles, Phil Todd, Tim Whitehead: Clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax: Tony Roberts, Tony Coe: Baritone sax, oboe, piano, electric piano: Karl Jenkins: Piano and electric piano: Dave MacRae, Gordon Beck, Geoff Castle: Guitar: Chris Spedding, Allan Holdsworth, Jocelyn Pitchen, Ray Russell, Ken Shaw, Mark Wood: Bass guitar: Jeff Clyne, Ron Mathewson, Roy Babbington, Roger Sutton, Billy Kristian, Mo Foster, Dill Katz, Rob Statham Drums: John Marshall, Clive Thacker, Tony Levin, Bryan Spring, Roger Sellers Percussion: Chris Karan, Trevor Tomkins, Aureo de Souza, Richard Burgess, Chris Fletcher Synthesizer: Keith Winter, Paddy Kingsland, Geoff Castle, Neil Ardley Vocals: Norma Winstone, Joy Yates (Mrs. Dave MacRae), Kieran White Organ: John Taylor. In August 2005, a special one-off reincarnation of Nucleus, with old and new members, performed at London's Cargo venue, to an enthusiastic reception. This was followed on 30 March 2007 by a Nucleus Revisited concert at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club as part of a series of concerts to mark Jazzwise magazine's 10th anniversary. Nucleus Revisited featured, amongst others, Nucleus stalwarts, Geoff Castle, Mark Wood and Tim Whitehead and on trumpet, as at the 2005 Cargo concert, Chris Batchelor. Although Ian Carr did not play due to ill health, he was present at the concert and received a standing ovation from the ecstatic audience. Nucleus Revisited also appeared at Ronnie Scott's club in London on 4 August 2009 as part of their two week long Brit Jazz Fest. The double billing with Michael Garrick's Quartet drew an appreciative packed house.

Nucleus


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Nucleus - Direct Hits - 1976 - Vertigo

Formed in 1969 by the late trumpeter and flugelhornist Ian Carr, Nucleus aka Ian Carr's Nucleus was among the very first groups to fuse rock and jazz from the jazz perspective. The band was regarded as one of the most technically brilliant jazz rock/fusion bands in the world. Ian had played for ten years, first in the EmCee Five (which included the brilliant guitarist, John McLaughlin) and then in the Rendell-Carr Group, which released five albums prior to 1969. "Direct Hits", a retrospective of key Nucleus recordings from key albums such as Elastic Rock, Belladonna and Solar Plexus, is recommended to lovers of all jazzrock/fusion fans, and also to those who enjoy good Canterbury Rock style bands like Soft Machine, or Matching Mole. Search this blog for other Ian Carr/Nucleus releases

TRACKS

1. Song for the Bearded Lady (Jenkins)
2. Crude Blues Part One (Carr/Jenkins)
3. Crude Blues Part Two (Carr)
4. Suspension (Carr)
5. Torso (Carr)
6. Bull Dance (Carr)
7. A Taste of Sarsaparilla (Carr)
8. Sarsaparilla (Carr)
9. Roots (Carr)

MUSICIANS

Ian Carr / trumpet, flugelhorn
Allan Holdsworth, Chris Spedding, Ken Shaw, Jocelyn Pitchen / guitar
Roger Sutton, Ron Matthewson, Jeff Clyne, Roy Babbington / bass
Dave Macrae, Gordon Beck / electric piano
Karl Jenkins / keyboards, saxophones
Tony Levin, John Marshall, Clive Thacker, Bryan Spring / drums
Chris Karan, Trevor Tomkins, Aureo DeSouza / percussion
Brian Smith / Tenor & Soprano Saxophone, Alto & Bamboo flute
Bob Bertles / saxophone
Kenny Wheeler / trumpet
Tony Roberts, Tony Coe / wind
Norma Winstone / vocals

IAN CARR BIO

Ian Carr has been on the cutting edge of the British jazz scene for nearly four decades. Self-trained as a musician, Carr played an important role in the development of jazz-rock fusion, playing with John McLaughlin in the early '60s, forming one of England's first electronic jazz-rock fusion groups, Nucleus, in 1969 and playing with the international band the United Jazz Rock Ensemble, since 1975. In 1982, Carr received a Calabria award in southern Italy for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Jazz. Wire Magazine presented him a special award for services to British jazz in 1987. Carr has been equally influential as a music journalist and educator. The co-author of a jazz encyclopedia, The Essential Companion, Carr was also the author of Music Outside, an examination of contemporary British jazz published in 1973; Miles Davis: The Definitive Biography, published in 1982; and Keith Jarrett: The Man and His Music, published in 1991. Since 1992, Carr has written a monthly column for BBC Music Magazine. Carr is an associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Dance and lectures weekly on jazz history. Born in Scotland and raised in England, Carr thought little of a career in music until he was nearly 30 years old. Educated at King's College in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where he studied English literature, Carr served in the Army in the late '50s. Shortly after his discharge, he formed a band, the EmCee Five, with his brother Mike and John McLaughlin. Carr remained with the band for two years, leaving to form the Rendell-Carr Group with saxophonist Don Rendell in 1962. During the seven years he worked with Rendell, Carr helped the band record five albums. In September 1969, Carr helped form the groundbreaking fusion band Nucleus. The group attracted international acclaim when it took the top prize in a competition at the Montreaux International Festival in 1970. Carr continued to play with Nucleus until 1989 when he left to tour the United Kingdom and Europe as a soloist on electric trumpet with an Anglo-American orchestra led by American composer George Russell. Old Heartland was recorded with the Kreisler String Orchestra in 1988 while Sounds and Sweet Airs was recorded with organist John Taylor in 1992. © Craig Harris, allmusic.com

IAN CARR BIO (WIKI)

Ian Carr (21 April 1933 – 25 February 2009) was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator. Carr was born in Dumfries, Scotland, the elder brother of Mike Carr. From 1952 to 1956, he went to King's College, now Newcastle University, where he read English Literature, followed by a diploma in education. At the age of seventeen Carr started to teach himself trumpet. After university he joined his brother in a Newcastle band, the EmCee Five, from 1960 to 1962, before moving to London, where he became co-leader with Don Rendell of the Rendell–Carr quintet (1963–1969). In its six years, the group (including pianist Michael Garrick, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Trevor Tomkins) made five albums for EMI – all of which have been re-issued – and performed internationally. After leaving the quintet, Carr went on to form the ground-breaking jazz-rock band Nucleus. This led to the release of twelve albums (some under the band's name, some under Carr's), and a successful international career. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released their first album (Elastic Rock), and performed at both the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. He also played with the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble since 1975. Carr worked as a session musician in non-jazz contexts, with Nico, No-Man, Faultline, and others. He also doubled up on flugelhorn. Apart from writing a regular column for the BBC Music Magazine, Carr wrote biographies of the jazz musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis. He was also the co-author of the reference work The Rough Guide to Jazz which has passed through four editions from 1994 (originally Jazz, The Essential Companion, 1988). In addition he contributed sleeve notes for the albums of other musicians (e.g. Indo-Jazz Fusions by Joe Harriott and John Mayer). In 1987, he was appointed associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he taught composition and performance, especially improvisation and was founder of the jazz workshop at the Interchange arts scheme, where pianist Julian Joseph, amongst others, was one of his students.

NUCLEUS BIO

Nucleus began its long jazz-rock journey in 1969, when it was originally formed by trumpeter Ian Carr. They attracted a following after a successful performance at the Montreux International Festival in 1970, which led to the critical success of albums Elastic Rock and We'll Talk About It Later. The other members consisted of saxophonist Karl Jenkins, drummer John Marshall, and guitarist Chris Spedding. Spedding split after the first two albums, but the rest of the lineup lasted until 1972, when Jenkins and Marshall both left to join Soft Machine. Belladonna was the first album with only Carr, and although he enlisted the help of guitarist Allan Holdsworth, the band eventually became a solo venture for his music. They finally broke up in the mid-'80s after several Carr-only albums. © Bradley Torreano, allmusic.com

NUCLEUS BIO (WIKI)

Nucleus were a pioneering jazz-rock band from Britain who continued in different forms from 1969 to 1985. In their first year they won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released the album Elastic Rock, an essential creation in the crystallization of a new musical expression, Jazz fusion, and performed both at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club. They were led by Ian Carr, who had been in the Rendell-Carr Quintet during the mid and late 1960s, and was a respected figure in British jazz for more than 40 years. Their jazz-based music evolved from an early sound incorporating elements of progressive and psychedelic rock towards a funkier sound in the mid and late 1970s. Nucleus' first lineup was leader and trumpeter Ian Carr, keyboardist/oboist Karl Jenkins, saxophonist/flautist Brian Smith, guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Jeff Clyne and drummer John Marshall. By their third album, the band had expanded to include trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Harry Beckett, saxophonist Tony Roberts, bassist Ron Mathewson, percussionist Chris Karan and Keith Winter on VCS3 synthesizer. Dave MacRae joined soon after for several albums.Over the years the band has seen many members: Trumpet & flugelhorn: Ian Carr, Kenny Wheeler, Harry Beckett, , Chris Batchelor: Tenor sax, soprano sax, flute: Brian Smith, Bob Bertles, Phil Todd, Tim Whitehead: Clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor sax: Tony Roberts, Tony Coe: Baritone sax, oboe, piano, electric piano: Karl Jenkins: Piano and electric piano: Dave MacRae, Gordon Beck, Geoff Castle: Guitar: Chris Spedding, Allan Holdsworth, Jocelyn Pitchen, Ray Russell, Ken Shaw, Mark Wood: Bass guitar: Jeff Clyne, Ron Mathewson, Roy Babbington, Roger Sutton, Billy Kristian, Mo Foster, Dill Katz, Rob Statham Drums: John Marshall, Clive Thacker, Tony Levin, Bryan Spring, Roger Sellers Percussion: Chris Karan, Trevor Tomkins, Aureo de Souza, Richard Burgess, Chris Fletcher Synthesizer: Keith Winter, Paddy Kingsland, Geoff Castle, Neil Ardley Vocals: Norma Winstone, Joy Yates (Mrs. Dave MacRae), Kieran White Organ: John Taylor. In August 2005, a special one-off reincarnation of Nucleus, with old and new members, performed at London's Cargo venue, to an enthusiastic reception. This was followed on 30 March 2007 by a Nucleus Revisited concert at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club as part of a series of concerts to mark Jazzwise magazine's 10th anniversary. Nucleus Revisited featured, amongst others, Nucleus stalwarts, Geoff Castle, Mark Wood and Tim Whitehead and on trumpet, as at the 2005 Cargo concert, Chris Batchelor. Although Ian Carr did not play due to ill health, he was present at the concert and received a standing ovation from the ecstatic audience. Nucleus Revisited also appeared at Ronnie Scott's club in London on 4 August 2009 as part of their two week long Brit Jazz Fest. The double billing with Michael Garrick's Quartet drew an appreciative packed house.

23.6.10

Paul Carrack


Photobucket


Paul Carrack - It Ain't Over - 2003 - Carrack-UK

'It Ain't Over' is the stunning 2003 studio LP from ex-Mike + The Mechanics frontman Paul Carrack. Released on his own Carrack-UK label, the album features eleven previously unreleased tracks, including three collaborations with his former Squeeze band mate Chris Difford - including the first single to be released from the album, the wistful 'She Lived Down The Street'. With the exception of some string & horn arrangements, Paul produced & performed the entire album himself, playing everything from drums & bass to guitar & organ at his Hertfordshire home studio. © Carrack-UK.
If ever a guy deserved more it's Paul Carrack. Carrack has fronted some of the most symbolic pop/rock bands in the last 30 years, from Ace to Squeeze to Mike + the Mechanics. He's written brilliant songs -- "Tempted," "How Long" -- and issued brilliant solo records -- Suburban Voodoo -- but is still regarded as a journeyman, rather than as a star in his own right. That's just wrong. It Ain't Over is a case in point for Carrack's consistency and brilliance. This set of 11 new songs were all penned and played by Carrack himself, with the exception of horns and strings. From the gorgeous soul groove of "Nothing to Lose," to the laid-back, sultry hook in the title cut, to heartbreaking Stax-styled R&B of "Empty Space," to the dirty funk of "Never Too Late," Carrack showcases his amazing versatility and his taut, in-the-pocket style of writing. As a singer, he's one of the most disciplined around, and still he manages to get across the deeper, subtler emotions in a song. If there some kind of "Pop Justice," Carrack's It Ain't Over would be on every adult contemporary station in the States. But alas, Clear Channel's not exactly known for its vision, and other programmers seemingly have no place on their playlists for smart, sophisticated, sassy, classy pop music. © Thom Jurek, All Music Guide © 2010 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/it-ain-t-over-rock-album

Baz "Vinyl man", said on amazon.co.uk, "Paul Carrack is undoubtedly one of the greatest underrated talents this country has ever produced. His list of credits is almost endless yet most people haven't a clue who he is. Best seen live - don't hesitate. He only plays in small venues and is constantly touring so you dont have to wait too long before he will be somewhere near. I must have seen him a dozen times in the last 6 ears or so and he never disapppoints. Fabulous voice, pianist, guitarist and song writer and all accompanied by some very decent musicians. If you like quality soul, pop and soft rock all mixed up Paul is your man". http://66.102.9.132/search?q=cache:72Qr_NAe7YcJ:www.amazon.co.uk/Old-Borrowed-Blue-Paul-Carrack/dp/B000WTNCVI+paul+carrack+groovin+credits&cd=12&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ie

That article says a lot about Paul Carrack. Not a household name, but one of the greatest British vocalists, songwriters, and musicians ever born. The guy is a legend. His name may be unfamiliar to many, but his great soulful voice is one of the most recognizable voices in the rock business. He has been a member of several bands including Warm Dust, Ace, Squeeze, Mike + The Mechanics, and Roxy Music, been a session and touring musician for several others, and has enjoyed success as a solo artist as well. His distinctive voice shows up on some of his affiliated bands' best-known hits, two of the most memorable being "How Long" with Ace, and "Tempted" with Squeeze. Will Paul ever be forgotten for writing Ace's "How Long"? As a result of this song much of Paul's later work has been largely overlooked. Even on some of Paul's "eightyish" AOR style albums, his great voice made some average songs listenable. On his later albums he abstained from the trendy, '80s style dance orientated pop sound, he was becoming accustomed to, and reverted to a more soulful, adult contemporary, pop soul sound, which is the real sound of Paul Carrack. The great vocalist has always been heavily influenced by '60s and '70s soul and pop music. "It Ain't Over" is another brilliant blue-eyed soul album from this great musician, and extraordinary vocalist. The 11 tracks here speak for themselves - wonderful, sophisticated soul pop, and VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Paul's "Suburban Voodoo" album can be found @ PAUCAR/SUBVOO Listen to his brilliant "I Know That Name" album. Search this blog for other releases

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. She Lived Down The Street - Chris Difford, Paul Carrack
2. Nothin' to Lose - Paul Carrack
3. It Ain't Over - Paul Carrack
4. Happy To See You Again - Paul Carrack
5. Where Did I Go Wrong ? - Paul Carrack
6. Empty Space - Chris Difford, Paul Carrack
7. One Small Step - B.A. Robertson, Paul Carrack
8. Forever - Paul Carrack
9. Never Too Late - Paul Carrack
10. Just A Little Lie - Charlie Dore, Paul Carrack
11. Ain't No Love - Paul Carrack

MUSICIANS

Paul Carrack (vocals, drums, guitar, bass, organ)
Steve Beighton (saxophone)
Edmund Collins (trumpet, flugelhorn)

BIO

Paul Carrack was pop music's ultimate journeyman. A vocalist and keyboardist who enjoyed considerable success over the course of his lengthy career while in the service of bands ranging from Ace to Squeeze to Mike + the Mechanics, his finest work often came at the expense of his own identity as a performer; indeed, of the many big hits on which the unassuming singer was prominently featured, only one, 1987's "Don't Shed a Tear," bore his own name. Carrack was born April 22, 1951, in Sheffield, England; he joined the pub rock group Ace in 1972, eventually writing and singing their debut single, "How Long." After reaching the Top 20 in the group's native Britain, the record hit the number-three position in the U.S.; however, after subsequent material failed to match the success of "How Long," Ace disbanded in 1977, and Carrack signed on with country artist Frankie Miller. He soon resurfaced in Roxy Music, appearing on the LPs Manifesto and Flesh and Blood before releasing his solo debut, Nightbird, in 1980. Carrack next joined Squeeze, replacing keyboardist Jools Holland; in addition to contributing to the group's 1981 creative pinnacle East Side Story, he also assumed lead vocal duties on the single "Tempted," their best-remembered hit. However, Carrack's stay in Squeeze was brief, and after working with Nick Lowe he again attempted to forge a solo career with the 1982 LP Suburban Voodoo, cracking the U.S. Top 40 with the single "I Need You." A tenure as a sideman with Eric Clapton followed, and in 1985 he joined Genesis' Mike Rutherford in his side project Mike + the Mechanics. Their hits include "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" and "All I Need Is a Miracle." While remaining a rather anonymous figure at home, Carrack achieved a higher level of visibility in America as a result of Mike + the Mechanics' success; subsequently, his third solo album, One Good Reason, proved to be by far his most popular effort to date, with the single "Don't Shed a Tear" reaching the Top Ten. Another tenure with the Mechanics followed, and with the title track of 1988's The Living Years, the group scored their first number-one hit. After the 1989 Carrack solo LP Groove Approved, Mike + the Mechanics issued 1991's Word of Mouth, which failed to repeat the chart performance of its predecessors; by 1993, Carrack was again a member of Squeeze, appearing on the album Some Fantastic Place and also resuming lead chores for a re-recording of "Tempted." However, he was once again back in the Mechanics' fold for 1995's Beggar on a Beach of Gold; the solo Blue Views was issued the next year, followed in 1997 by Beautiful World. Satisfy My Soul was issued in 2000, his first album for Compass Records. © Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide © 2010 Answers Corporation http://www.answers.com/topic/paul-carrack

22.6.10

Steve Gornall


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Steve Gornall - Steppin' Out - 1997 - Golden Gate Records

Sideman for Bob Seger and Joe Cocker steps out on his own. From Detroit Michigan, blues guitarist Steve Gornall tears it up with some west coast heavies: Don Bassey: Bass, Kevin Hayes: Drums ( Robert Cray Band), Jimmy Pugh: Keyboards (Robert Cray Band, Chris Isaak), Jim Boggio: Accordion (Sonoma Swamp Dogs). The vocals wail, and the guitar soars as the band thunders through ten songs (eight new originals). This isn't "fall asleep in your beer" blues. No, this is "get on your feet and have a good time" rockin' blues! Awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership by ther Detroit Blues Society © http://www.globerecords.com/cgi-bin/db/search.cgi?phrase=Steve+Gornall&specific=focus

Steve is originally from Detroit where he received an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Blues Society in 1992. He has played guitar for Bob Seger; and in 1996, he toured the USA as Joe Cocker's lead guitarist on the House of Blues Barnburner Tour. This is Steve's 2nd CD. It features Robert Cray's drummer and keyboard player (Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Pugh, respectively). Steve's long-time bass player, Don Bassey, lays down a nice heavy groove for Steve to play some amazing blues-guitar licks. There's some nice slide work on here as well! There are 10 originals and 2 covers on this recording. A good "Honest To God" blues rocker. Check out Steve Gornall & The Blue Collar Blues Band's s/t album

TRACKS

1 Vodka, Beer, Wine & Whiskey
2 Blue Monday
3 Who's Been Talking?
4 Howl, Wind, Howl
5 Highway 29
6 Steppin' Out
7 Good Woman Blues
8 Honk If You Have The Blues
9 Cajun BBQ
10 Seven Year Itch

All songs composed by Steve Gornall except "Who's Been Talking?" by Chester Burnette, and "Steppin' Out" by James Bracken

MUSICIANS

Steve Gornall - Guitar, Vocals
Don Bassey - Bass
Kevin Hayes - Drums [ Robert Cray Band]
Jimmy Pugh - Keyboards [ Robert Cray Band]
Jim Boggio - Accordion on "Cajun BBQ" [ Sonoma Swamp Dogs]

Reuben Wilson


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Reuben Wilson - Movin' On - 2006 - Savant

A veteran of the '60s soul-jazz movement, Reuben Wilson sounds in fine form throughout this set which was recorded when he was 71-years-old. The music is reminiscent of the late '60s with catchy grooves, long vamps and some heated solos from Wilson, saxophonist Robert Chaseman and guitarist Grant Green Jr. (who occasionally scats). The mixture of basic originals and R&B covers works well and even if the program is not all that memorable, the good-time music will please fans of the idiom. © Scott Yanow © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:wvfpxqldldhe

A classy album of soul-jazz funk. Even though the album was released in the mid 2000's, it's very much in the late '60's/early '70's acid jazz and soul funk style. "Movin' On" is as good as any urban contemporary music of the same genre. If you're into great B-3 playing, you'll like this album. Reuben Wilson may not be a household name, but he's a soul jazz great, and an organ maestro. This is timeless music, and it's great to hear this kind of sophisticated funk still being played today. "Movin' On" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy his amazing "Azure Te" album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Movin' On - Cunningham, J./C. Carson Parks 4:11
2 Slick Willie - Reuben Wilson 4:58
3 Waita Minute - Reuben Wilson 7:14
4 Miss Mansfield - Samuels, G. 5:12
5 Funk Farm - G.C. Green/Wilson, R. 7:03
6 Watch Me Fly - Reuben Wilson 4:26
7 Feel Free - Reuben Wilson 4:59
8 What You Won't Do for Love - Caldwell, R./Kettner, A. 4:13
9 Caught Up in the Rapture - Glenn, G./Quander, D. 4:43

MUSICIANS

Reuben Wilson - Organ (Hammond), Hammond B3
Grant Green, Jr. - Guitar
Wilbur Bascomb, Jr. - Bass
J.T. Lewis Jr, Shawnique Hill - Drums

BIO

Reuben Wilson was one of many soul-jazz organists to emerge in the late '60s, but he was one of only a handful of new organists from that era to be signed to Blue Note. By that point in the label's history, most of their artists were concentrating on accessible soul-jazz, and while he occasionally strayed outside of the conventions of the genre, Wilson more or less followed their rule. Between 1968 and 1971, he recorded five sessions for the label. None of his records received much acknowledgment at the time, but they were later rediscovered by a new generation of soul-jazz fans, becoming collector's items within acid jazz and soul-jazz revivalist circles. Wilson began performing professionally in 1962. A native of Mounds, OK, he moved to Pasadena, CA, as a child, where he attended school with such future jazz musicians as Bobby Hutcherson and Herb Lewis. As a teenager, Wilson began to teach himself to play piano, but his attention was diverted by boxing. When he was 17, he moved to Los Angeles and married a nightclub singer, through whom he met a number of professional musicians. Associating with musicians conviced Wilson to return to music. Instead of pursuing the piano, he decided to take up the organ, and it wasn't long before he became a regular at the Caribbean club, where he played with drummer Eddie Williams, guitarist George Freeman, and, eventually, Clifford Scott. He played the L.A. circuit for several years before deciding to try his luck in Las Vegas. That venture proved unsuccessful, so he moved back to L.A., where he struck up a friendship with Richard "Groove" Holmes, an organist who would greatly influence his own style. In December 1966, Wilson relocated to New York, where he formed the soul-jazz trio the Wildare Express with drummer Tommy Derrick. The Wildare Express lasted about six months, playing venues throughout the East Coast and Detroit, and then Wilson decided to concentrate on more complex variations of hard bop and soul-jazz. Eventually, such respected musicians as Grant Green, Roy Haynes, and Sam Rivers began playing with Wilson. Around the same time, Blue Note offered the organist a contract based on a demo he had sent the label. On Broadway, Wilson's first album for Blue Note, was a quartet session featuring his old bandmate Derrick and was recorded in October of 1968. It was followed in March of 1969 by Love Bug, which featured contributions from trumpeter Lee Morgan and guitarist Grant Green. His third album, Blue Mode, was cut in December 1969 and offered some of his hottest playing. With his fourth album, 1970's A Groovy Situation, Wilson moved in a commercial direction, much like many of his Blue Note peers. In July of 1971, he recorded Set Us Free, his final album for the label. Wilson's contract with Blue Note expired after Set Us Free and he moved to Groove Merchant, where he released three albums — Cisco Kid, Bad Stuff, and The Sweet Life — during the mid-'70s. Throughout the decade, he also played on sessions by funk, soul, and jazz artists, including a record by the Fatback Band. During the late '70s, he recorded sporadically, eventually retiring from music in the early '80s. By the late '80s, Wilson's music had been rediscovered by a new generation, listeners who didn't dismiss his records as commercial fluff. Like several of his peers, his late-'60s and '70s records, through sampling, became cornerstones in the newly emerging acid jazz and jazz-rap genres. Soon, his out of print records became collector's items, and his sampled licks were appearing on dancefloors throughout England and parts of New York. Eventually, samples of his records were included on hit albums by A Tribe Called Quest, Us3, Brand New Heavies, and Nas. In light of all this new attention, Wilson decided to return to performing, and he toured with Guru's Jazzamatazz revue in 1995. He also began writing new material and performing in new groups, including combos he led himself. In 1996, he signed to Hip Bop and released two albums, Live at SOB's and Organ Donor. The following year, he recorded Organic Grooves with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Doug Carn. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:w9foxql5ldte~T1

D.F.A


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D.F.A. - 4th - 2008 - Moonjune Records

4.5 stars "..too fabulous to describe...so thoroughly composed...4th's shortcomings seem so slight that one is inclined to greet the album with unabashed enthusiasm. For anyone waiting past 30+ years for a worthy successor to [Hatfield & The North's] The Rotters' Club, here it is! Long live Canterbury, Italy!" – Dave Lynch, All Music Guide/Billboard.com

"D.F.A.'s reputation as one of the best of the new breed of progressive/fusion groups remains intact." – John Kelman, AllAboutJazz.com

"Definitely a 2008 top 10 candidate. Highest recommendation!" – Laser's Edge, USA

"D.F.A. has reached the enviable artistic maturity." – Vincenzo Giorgio, contributor to Musica Jazz Magazine & WS Magazine, Italy

"Explosive!" – Progpulsion, France

"Spectacular" – Tom Gagliardi, Gagliarchives Z88.9 Radio, USA

"Believe me You want this! Highly recommended" – Wayside Music, USA

(15 out of 16 stars) "Masterful musciians... D.F.A.'s music brims with Rhythmic crosscurrents, varying textures, dynamic ebb and flow and absolutely monstruous chops. There's also a cool melodic sensibility in play throighout, if not deliberately structured melodies, per se. " – Progression Magazine, USA

A blend of 70s Canterbury Rock, Focus, Magma, classical piano, and jazz rock fusion. The album is composed of epic, mainly largely instrumental compositions played with amazing skill. Try and listen to D.F.A's great "Duty Free Area" album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Baltasaurus (DeGrandis / Bonomi) (14:19)
2 Flying Trip (DeGrandis) (7:51)
3 Vietatao Generalizzare (Bonomi/ DeGrandis) (6:40)
4 Mosog Runa (Bonomi/ DeGrandis) (18:57)
5 The Mirror (DeGrandis) (10:16)
6 La Ballata de S'Isposa 'e Mannori (Nulchis / DeGrandis; lyrics traditional) (6:16)

MUSICIANS

Silvio Minella - electric guitars
Luca Baldassari - bass guitar
Alberto Bonomi - Hammond A-100 organ with Leslie 760, Fender Rhodes piano
Alberto De Grandis - drums, percussion, vocals on 5
Steinway acoustic piano, synths, flute
Andhira vocals on 6: Elena Nulchis, Cristina Lanzi, Egidiana Carta
Zoltan Szabo cello on 4 & 6
Maria Vicentini violin & viola on 4 & 6

ALBUM PROFILE

It's been just one year short of a decade since D.F.A.'s second studio album, 1999's critically acclaimed Duty Free Area. Although two additional releases have seen the light of day in the interim - Work In Progress Live, documenting their performance at NEARfest 2000, and Kaleidoscope, an anthology of their first two albums with bonus live material - none contained any new music. So what happened ? Well, membership of a leading progressive rock band is hardly a full-time job these days, and our lads were simply getting on with their "real" lives - families, jobs and the like... So music took a back seat for a while, gigs became less frequent (which they never really were anyway), and it took much longer than planned for them to get to the point where making a new studio album seemed a realistic prospect. Listening to the results now, the impressive amount of musical substance on offer speaks for itself, and more than makes up for the seemingly endless wait. Most of the album is D.F.A. as we know and love them, with their sonic and stylistic trademarks fully intact - the warm analog sounds, the impressive interplay, with guitar (Silvio Minella) and keyboards (Alberto Bonomi) trading or sharing leads over an ever-shifting rhythmic foundation (Luca Baldassari and Alberto De Grandis), and the unmistakably "Latin" extroversion and exuberance. Anyone who liked the band's first two albums will welcome 4th as a worthy successor. In several ways it is even superior - there is more subtlety, restraint and nuance in the instrumental performance, which allows the epic, largely instrumental compositions to unfold naturally and organically, as if created on the spur of the moment. This is saying a lot about D.F.A.'s almost telepathic interplay, as very little of their music is actually improvised. Although it may display strong similarities to 1970s jazz-fusion at times, it ultimately owes more to the (often maligned) tradition of progressive rock, with its heavily structured compositions characterised by a constant turnover of thematic content. It should be noted that D.F.A.'s main composer is drummer De Grandis - ably assisted by Bonomi -, and he is no exception to the rule that drummers usually have an excellent orchestral feel. The way the opening track, "Baltasaurus", slowly but surely builds up to jamming frenzy from its rather minimalist starting point, is a textbook example of how to structure a group performance. Another example of the band's maturity is "Vietato Generalizzare", which balances passages as intricate as the infamous "Trip On Metro" (from DFA's debut Lavori In Corso) with welcome contrasting, quieter sections. In true "progressive" tradition, there are also moments on the album that depart more radically from the established D.F.A. "formula". The piano- and strings-based intro and outro bookending "Mosoq Runa" mark an unprecedented foray into pure classical music. More importantly, "La Ballata de 's'Isposa e Mannorri", a collaboration with the Sardinian vocal trio Andhira, in an oustanding achievement. If anything, it shows that the human voice can be integrated satisfactorily into the D.F.A.'s music - which has long been a moot point despite the best efforts of Alberto De Grandis and assorted guest vocalists - and suggests exciting new developments for the future. In any case, D.F.A.'s new album is an unmitigated success which not only re-establishes the Italian quartet as a musical force to be reckoned with, but is also certain to be acclaimed as one of the best progressive rock releases of 2008, quite possibly the best - but the competition remains open, of course. © Aymeric Leroy http://www.moonjune.com/MJR021-N.htm#alb

ARTIST PROFILE

With two critically-acclaimed albums - now reissued as one double-CD package with bonus live material - under their belts, D.F.A.have proven themselves one of Italy's leading lights in the new generation of progressive rock bands that appeared in the wake of the genre's 1990s revival. With fifteen years of experience and live appearances across the globe, they are now ready to confirm their status with their highly anticipated third studio effort. Formed in Verona during 1991 around Alberto De Grandis, drummer, occasional vocalist and main composer, and bassist Luca Baldassari, D.F.A.was initially an instrumental keyboard-led trio, a formula that evolved over the years, first with the arrival of guitarist Silvio Minella in 1993, and two years later with the introduction of vocal parts in the compositions, following the release of a demo tape entitled Trip On Metro. Later in 1995, Alberto Bonomi replaced the original keyboard player and D.F.A.found its definitive shape. Bonomi was soon to become an essential creative force in the band alongside De Grandis, co-writing most of the material with him. The new quartet made its live debut in January 1996, and soon afterwards embarked on the recording of their first proper album. Alberto Piras, the frontman of fellow Italian proggers Deus Ex Machina, had heard the demo tape, and offered to produce the album for his own label, Scolopendra. By 1996 Lavori In Corso ("works in progress") was ready, and was soon greeted by many favourable reviews. A staff writer for the respected US new music publication Exposé called the album "an absolute masterpiece of complex progressive rock". The high level of musicianship and the attention to detail in the compositions and arrangements - which drew comparisons with luminaries such as Gentle Giant, National Health, Gong, Banco or Weather Report - helped to make Lavori In Corso a natural candidate for a lot of "Best Of '97" lists among fans of the genre. During the following months,D.F.A.'s profile as a live band increased, supporting the likes of Italian veterans Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso and Le Orme. Meanwhile, work started on new material, and by June 1999 the quartet was finally back in the studio to record the eagerly-awaited follow-up to Lavori In Corso, which saw the light of day the following October on Italian Mellow Records - its title, Duty Free Area, finally revealing what the three letters stood for. "We liked the idea of an area free from all constraints", explained Bonomi, "where we can play what we feel". With their second work,D.F.A.broadened their musical palette with new sounds, especially in the keyboard department (occasionally bringing to mind Ozric Tentacles), and further perfected their craftmanship, both as composers and players. Critics unanimously acclaimed Duty Free Area as a major progression from the already excellent Lavori In Corso, particularly in terms of melodic accessibility and overall coherence of the often fiendishly complex epic compositions masterminded by De Grandis and Bonomi. Another significant improvement on Lavori In Corso was to be found in the vocals, arguably not D.F.A.'s forte. A larger percentage of the music was instrumental (showcasing the breathtaking interplay between Minella's guitar and Bonomi's keyboards), the one track sung by De Grandis (with backing by Bonomi) was ideally suited to his range, and the other two pieces with vocals used guests - Alberto Piras and female singer Giorgia Gallo. All in all, Duty Free Area could be called a success in all departments : little could be improved upon. D.F.A.'s watershed appearance at NEARfest in June 2000 was documented on a best-selling live CD, brining together the best of both albums and proving that the band was able to "pull it off" on stage like the best of them ! Invitations to other foreign festivals and venues duly followed, in France, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, USA and Italy. Meanwhile,D.F.A.started work on their next album, aiming at breaking away from existing musical categories (such as progrock, jazz-rock, etc.) and further establishing the unique D.F.A.identity. This long process is now over, and D.F.A. is expected to follow it with festival appearances and concerts in the next few years, worldwide, supplyuing as their best a well deserved demand. © Aymeric Leroy http://www.moonjune.com/MJR021-N.htm#alb