Thursday, May 14, 2009
Alvin Lee & Company is an album released in 1972 by Ten Years After on their old record label Deram after they had switched to Chrysalis Records. It consists of songs that didn't make it on the older records and a few alternative versions of old songs.
1. "The Sounds" - 4:13
2. "Rock Your Mama" - 3:02
3. "Hold Me Tight" - 2:20
4. "Standing at the Crossroads" (Elmore James, Arthur Johnson)- 4:03
5. "Portable People" - 2:15
6. "Boogie On" - 14:31
7. "Spider in My Web" - 7:19
8. "Hear Me Calling" - 3:48
9. "I'm Going Home" - 3:37
* Alvin Lee - guitar, vocals
* Chick Churchill - organ
* Ric Lee - drums
* Leo Lyons - bass
Posted by . at 10:59 AM
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Ian Carr was working on this project even before the birth of Nucleus, as this was some kind of musical grant from England's Art council and under the patronage of Keith Winter (who incidentally will toy away with a VCS3 on these recordings). But as Carr was composing on a piano, it became clear to him that only Nucleus musicians could play what he was writing. If Ian Carr had only written 5 of 18 tracks over the two first Nucleus albums, he writes all of the material here
The project was to have two totally different themes, toy/expand them and then fused them altogether in the final track. However ambitious this was (especially for the times), this is only partially successful (IMHO) but also produces some great moments. The two themes are presented in the first tracks as Elements I & II, than the first one becomes very funky jazz rock in the second track and in the fifth track and the other element is developed in track 3 (with a great bowed double bass to start of and very subtle eastern music influences to follow) and 4 (Spirit Level is close to Free Jazz but fear not, nothing as Harsh as in KC's Moonchild or Providence, as it stays relatively wise).
But both elements are to be fused into Snakehips' Dream to last for the 15 min+ with an eerie ending on the afore-mentioned VCS3. There are some lengths in the developments and some repetitions, but overall this is yet another great Nucleus recording.
Studio Album, released in 1971
1. Elements I & II (2:12)
2. Changing Times (4:44)
3. Bedrock Deadlock (6:52)
4. Spirit Level (9:20)
5. Torso (6:12)
6. Snakehips Dream (15:16)
Total Time: 44:36
- Ian Carr / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Karl Jenkins / oboe, Baritone Saxophone, E-piano, piano
- Brian Smith / Tenor Saxophone, Soprano saxophone, flute
- Chris Spedding / guitar
- Jeff Clyne / bass, contrabass
- John Marshall / drums, percussion
- Kenny Wheeler / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Harry Beckett / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Tony Roberts / Tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
- Ron Matthewson / bass
- Chris Karan / percussion
- Keith Winter / synthesizer
Posted by . at 9:18 PM
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Hailing from Naples, Italy, Saint Just was initially the trio of singer Jane Sorrenti, guitarist/bassist/singer Antonio Verde, and saxophonist Robert Fix. They envisioned a much grander sound than they could create alone, and thus for their 1973 debut self-titled album, they brought in keyboardist Mario D'Amora, drummer/percussionist Antonio Esposito, and guitarist Gianni Guarracino. This lineup was evidently unstable, for by the time they recorded the La Casa Sul Lago album the following year, only Sorrenti and Verde remained, although Saint Just itself had expanded to a quintet. And even in this form, the group didn't remain on the scene long; not surprising considering the members were pulling in several different directions at once -- improvisational jazz, folk, and classical. Saint Just's two shortest numbers, the delicate "Dolci Momenti," and the folky, fairground flavored title track, wisely didn't mix and match their genres. On the rest of the album, however, the band created extended (each over six minutes long), segmented songs, which provided the space required to explore each style in turn. The epic, ten minute "Il Fiume Inondo'," for example, smoothly slips from classical into folk, then picks up speed and force spinning into improvisational jazz (with stunning work from D'Amora). There's a clean break before the band then launches into prog rock, with the electric guitars and organ now coming to the fore, before the piece returns to its classically styled opening. Each song seems to hold a single musical theme, which undergoes dramatic variations as the piece progresses, with Fix key to the improv jazz segments, and Verde and D'Amora to the classical/folk/prog sections, with Sorrenti adding another stylistic layer on top. On the highly experimental "Trieste Poeta di Corte," she even sallies forth into Yoko Ono territory. Extraordinarily deft arrangements hold the pieces together, allowing the band to sound like escapees from the Canterbury scene one minute and a top-notch jazz unit the next. However, with Fix's departure, and the arrival of a new group of musicians, Saint Just's sound would alter dramatically
Studio Album, released in 1972
1. Il Fiume Inondo (10:43)
2. Il riveglio (6:16)
3. Dolci Momenti (3:16)
4. Una Bambina (8:02)
5. Trister Peota di Corte (6:19)
6. Saint Just (3:58)
Total Time: 38:34
- Jenny Sorrenti / vocals
- Antonio Verde / classical guitar, bass
- Robert Fix / saxophone
- Mario D'Amora / piano, organ
- Tony Esposito / drums
- Gianni Guarracino / electric guitar
Posted by . at 10:49 AM
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Brian Auger (born 18 July 1939, Bihar, India), is a jazz and rock keyboardist, who has specialized in playing the Hammond organ.
A jazz pianist, bandleader, session musician and Hammond B3 player, Auger has played or toured with artists such as Rod Stewart, Tony Williams, Jimi Hendrix, Sonny Boy Williamson, Led Zeppelin, Eric Burdon and others. He has incorporated jazz, early British pop, R&B, soul music and rock, and he has been nominated for a Grammy.
In 1965 Auger formed the group The Steampacket, along with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll, Vic Briggs and Rod Stewart. With Driscoll and the band, Trinity, he went on to record several hit singles, notably a cover version of David Ackles' "Road to Cairo" and Bob Dylan's "This Wheel's on Fire", which was featured on Dylan Covered. In 1969 Auger, Driscoll and Trinity appeared performing on the national telecast of "33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee".
In 1970 he formed Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, shortly after abandoning the abortive "Wassenaar Arrangement" jazz-fusion commune in a small suburb of The Hague. The Oblivion Express served to cultivate several musicians, including future The Average White Band drummers Robbie McIntosh and Steve Ferrone, as well as guitarist Jim Mullen. Likewise, in 1971 he produced and appeared on Mogul Thrash's only album. Two members of that band, Roger Ball and Malcolm Duncan, would also go on to form the Average White Band.
In 1989, Auger was musical director for the thirteen-part film retrospective series "Villa Fantastica", made for German TV. A live recording of the series, Super Jam (1990), features Auger on piano, Pete York on drums, Dick Morrissey on tenor saxophone, Roy Williams on trombone, Harvey Weston on bass guitar, with singers Zoot Money and Maria Muldaur.
Auger toured with blues rocker Eric Burdon in the early 1990s, and recorded the live album Access All Areas with him in 1993. After several projects, including albums with family members, he reformed the Oblivion Express in the late 1990s, with a line-up that eventually featured both his son and daughter.
The Oblivion Express was revived with a 2005 recording and subsequent touring. The group featured Brian Auger, his son Karma Auger on drums, his daughter Savannah Auger on vocals, and Derek Frank on bass.
Posted by . at 10:35 AM
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Among the finest of rock's live documents, LIVE DEAD is a snapshot of the Grateful Dead circa 1969, applying the free-jazz lessons of John Coltrane to their finely-tuned, manic, and flowing boogie. It was the first released piece of evidence that the live Dead were a wholly different, multi-headed animal than the one that recorded in the studio. LIVE DEAD was also the culmination of the group's evolution into what'snow considered the vintage San Francisco sound--having perfected it, the Grateful Dead would soon leave it for fresher musical pastures.
While each of LIVE DEAD's selections calls to mind a specific trick from up the band's sleeve, the opening four songs (later dubbed "the holy quartet" by Deadheads) best indicates the Dead's burning trajectory. "Dark Star" lays out a wide-open musical terrain, allowing the band to leap anywhere from its minimalist-riff launching pad and its two verses of T.S. Eliot-inspired psychedelic prose. Here, it is a dark-hued and majestic sea of ambience and intensity. "St. Stephen" explodes like a shiny metallic cloud-burst, Bob Weir's fervent vocals carrying it like a holy torch. "The Eleven", a thunderous fury of a composition based on "The Twelve Days Of Christmas" and played in 11/4 time, continues the rumbling. By the time Pigpen ends the continuous sermon with a raucous sci-fi-R&B take on Bobby "Blue" Bland's "Turn On Your Lovelight", the Dead have seemingly sailed every corner of their musical universe and crash-landed with aplomb.
Posted by . at 11:36 AM