Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Code - 2000 "Figli di Baia"

Superb jams, killer compositions, amazing chops, great sound and production.

Any jazz guitar fan, fusion fan, or just great jazz fan needs to have this in their
collection. We could easily wax eloquently for two to three pages, going on and on about
how much listening pleasure guitarist/composer John Pelosi's powerhouse group The Code have
given this reviewer's ears. We'll spare you all of that.
As a reviewer and guitar-driven jazz lover that knows what goes flying and
what sits rusting on the tarmac – this is a supersonic treat. It is polished fusion, plenty of
excellent musicianship and satisfying songwriting. Figli di Baia is intelligent
fusion, jazz with intrigue, and a pure delight start to finish.

This new release titled Figli Di Baia, signifies the Italian town and birthplace of lead guitarist John Pelosi’s parents, as “The Code” combines contemporary - lead guitar driven musings with solid backbeats, a few tricky time signatures, percussion, electro-acoustic keys and lyric-less vocals. Throughout, Pelosi steers the group through a hodgepodge of fragmented unison choruses, shifting tempos and well stated choruses, witnessed on pieces such as “Fake Paradise”, “As If” and others.

Percussionist Paul Christopher Caldeira also injects his wordless vocals into the affable composition, “Invisible Cities” and the piece titled “Maria’s Grace” which is somewhat reminiscent of guitarist Pat Metheny’s mid to late 80’s hugely popular Brazilian influenced sound. Very nice groove orientated affairs featuring Pelosi’s penetrating, emotive leads and keyboardist Richard Evans’ jazzy soloing and multihued implementation of synth backwashes as the rhythm section generally maintains the straightforward backbeats amid a few slick tempo changes.

The musicians do indeed possess solid chops. Essentially, the band performs with a noticeable degree of ebullience and the crystalline recording does enhance some of the nuances and intricacies; otherwise, this outfit does have a great deal of potential when viewed as a whole!

Track listing:

1 Intro 0:36
2 Fake Paradise 6:50
3 As If 8:30
4 Word From Ben (Le Parole Di Benito) 8:35
5 Explaining Naples (Per Tomasso) 5:23
6 Invisible Cities 9:23
7 Corner Pocket 8:39
8 Enable This 7:45
9 Maria's Grace (La Grazia Di Maria) 8:30
10 Cena 0:06


Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer – John Pelosi
Bass – Patrick Kilbride*
Drums – Paul DeLong
Keyboards – Richard Evans, Rick Fellini (tracks: 7)
Percussion – Armando Borg
Synth [Solo] – Marco Luciani (tracks: 5)
Vocals, Percussion – Paul Christopher Caldeira

Monday, October 15, 2018

Steve Khan - 1992 "Headline"

Recorded in '92, "HEADLINE" brought the trio with Ron Carter & Al Foster back together, but, once again Polydor K.K.(Japan) had their own ideas about the direction I should pursue. Go Steve!This time, in addition to the trio tracks, they wanted me to record with the Eyewitness instrumentation. As Anthony Jackson, Dennis Chambers and I had been touring Europe as a trio, it was easy to add Manolo Badrena to the mix, and this VERY special chemistry came back to us without missing a beat. The CD, which was released in the USA on Bluemoon Records, presents the contrast of these two formats and, for some fans of Eyewitness, it turned to be a great thing that they could hear us playing 'odd-ball' standards as opposed to our own unique original compositions. Like "LET'S CALL THIS" the music is drawn from the great jazz of the mid-'60s. "Autumn in Rome" was only the 2nd tune by my late father which I recorded. It's a pretty obscure piece, but, that's why I chose it. Along with so much of the other material, I try to select tunes which most guitarists don't play as a rule. Though there are many special moments from both configurations of personnel on this recording, I am especially pleased with the performance of "All of Nothing at All," which demonstrates the scope and depth of Dennis Chambers' drumming, and Eyewitness-like interplay from everyone. Joe Henderson's "Caribbean Fire Dance" shows that Anthony and Dennis have developed their own very special way of making music together, and the 'free' Intro to Ornette Coleman's "Turnaround" gives them further room to explore this chemistry.

Guitarist Steve Khan is heard in two different settings on this CD: in an acoustic trio with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster on six songs, and jamming with electric bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Dennis Chambers and percussionist Manolo Badrena on three tunes. Actually, there is a definite unity to the program, and Khan is featured on a variety of jazz tunes including numbers by Larry Young, Ornette Coleman ("The Blessing" and "Turnaround"), Clare Fischer, Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk and Joe Henderson. He even plays a song ("Autumn In Rome") by his father, Sammy Cahn. The guitarist consistently stretches himself during these performances (which include a 10½-minute version of "All or Nothing at All") and is heard throughout at his most creative.

Track listing:

 [1] Tyrone(Larry Young)(5:54)
 [2] The Blessing(Ornette Coleman)(4:45)
 [3] Autumn in Rome(Sammy Cahn-Paul Weston)(6:31)
 [4] Turnaround(Ornette Coleman)(6:42)
 [5] Ontem a Noite(Clare Fischer)(5:52)
 [6] Water Babies(Wayne Shorter)(5:00)
 [7] All or Nothing at All(Jack Lawrence-Arthur Altman)(10:41)
 [8] Hackensack(Thelonious Monk)(5:23)
 [9] Caribbean Fire Dance(Joe Henderson)(8:06)


Guitar – Steve Khan
Bass – Anthony Jackson (tracks: 4,7,9), Ron Carter (tracks: 1,2,3,5,6,8)
Drums – Al Foster (tracks: 1,2,3,5,6,8), Dennis Chambers (tracks: 4,7,9)
Percussion – Manolo Badrena (tracks: 4,7,9)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Bill Bruford - 2017 "Seems Like A Lifetime Ago" [6 CD Box]

Bill Bruford - 2017 "Seems Like A Lifetime Ago"

Limited eight disc (six CDs + two NTSC/Region DVDs) box set from the prog rock icon. This set contains previously unreleased, remixed, or remastered material from the Bruford band of the late 1970s, presented in a 12" box complete with 16-page color booklet and a signed, numbered certificate of authentication. Four gatefold sleeves contain two discs each: Disc 1 (DVD): Feels Good To Me: 5.1 surround sound mix and original 1978 mix remastered; Disc 2 (CD): Feels Good To Me: 2017 Jakko Jakszyk remix from original master tapes; Disc 3 (DVD): One of a Kind: 5.1 surround sound mix and original 1979 mix remastered plus additional audio; Disc 4 (CD): One of a Kind: 2017 Jakko Jakszyk remix from original master tapes; Disc 5 (CD): Gradually Going Tornado: remastered; Disc 6 (CD): The Bruford Tapes: remastered with bonus track; Disc 7 (CD): Live at the Venue: previously unreleased: recorded London 1980; Disc 8 (CD): The fourth Album Rehearsal Sessions: previously unreleased: eighteen sketches of new material recorded 1980. Also includes:16-page 12" booklet with a Sid Smith essay, new interviews with producer, engineer, band members, eyewitnesses and others, previously unseen archive visual material, and the complete band date sheet with contemporary critical reaction. Also two black and white 10" x 8" band photos, one A3 size color poster accompanying Live at the Venue, and one signed, numbered certificate of authentication. The boxed set is produced by Bill Bruford.

Superb music, but this set is for completists and audio snobs. Do the discs sound appreciably better than earlier versions? That's going to be very subjective. To my ears, probably a bit better, but not in the way that some re-masters really open things up into a very different experience with music you already know pretty well. One of a Kind and Feels Good to Me get a 5.1 Surround Sound Mix and a new 2017 non surround mix. These sound good, but it won't be comparable to something like the 50th anniversary Sgt. Pepper revelations.
Gradually Going doesn't get a new mix or 5.1 treatment. It is basically unchanged from the most recent Winterfold version. The Bruford Tapes was a 2 Track recording of a radio broadcast that never sounded that great, and it does seem here that may be a bit more listenable than it was before.
That brings us to the completist side of things. You do get the ideas for the potential 4th Bruford album and a new (to me, at least) live recording of a John Clark era show (circa Gradually Going). The 4th album set is a bunch of idea fragments that don't for the most part give a real sense of how a song might've fleshed out eventually. Jeff Berlin is only on one of the 18 tracks, so it's basically moog bass from Dave Stewart and a "let's see where this might go" kind of flavor to things. The Live at the Venue show is on a sonic par with multiple Bruford boots that might've appeared on a Highland release or a torrent site. That is to say, it's not even on a level with the Bruford Tapes recording.
Why Rock Goes to College, featuring Allan Holdsworth isn't included in this set is a bit odd, as it's probably more historically interesting than either of the live shows that are here.
The booklet and individual cd booklets are nice and have good notes. There's a poster, band photos, and a certificate signed by Bill too. These are all kind of a poor man's version of what might be familiar to those who have seen some of the King Crimson boxes.
I'm glad I've gotten this, but paid about $40 less elsewhere than the current Amazon price. Is this set in any way essential? I'd have to say no, but it is great music from a bygone era all in one place and that does have some appeal.

Containing the collected works of Bruford on one extraordinary 6cd/2dvd-v box set, Seems Like A Lifetime Ago is a magnificent testament to one of the UK's most inventive and important Progressive Fusion bands.
Featuring 2017 remastered versions of the albums Feels Good To Me (1978), One Of A Kind (1979), The Bruford Tapes (1979), and Gradually Going Tornado (1980), the set additionally includes the previously unreleased Live At The Venue, 1980 and the highly sought after 4th Album Rehearsal Sessions (also from 1980).

Showcasing the prodigious talents of Bill Bruford, Dave Stewart, the late Allan Holdsworth (who the album is dedicated to), Jeff Berlin and The 'Unknown' John Clark, the set includes a 16 page colour booklet (with band interviews and an essay written by Sid Smith), a reproduction concert poster, two black and white photo prints of the band, and a signed and numbered certificate of authentication.

I personally wasn't happy with the remaster OR the $120.00 I paid for it. Crimhead420 :-(

Track listing:

Disc: 1
  1. Beelzebub (2017 Remix)
  2. Back to the Beginning (2017 Remix)
  3. Seems Like a Lifetime Ago: Part One (2017 Remix)
  4. Seems Like a Lifetime Ago: Part Two (2017 Remix)
  5. Sample and Hold (2017 Remix)
  6. Feels Good to Me (2017 Remix)
  7. Either End of August (2017 Remix)
  8. If You Can't Stand the Heat...(2017 Remix)
  9. Springtime in Siberia (2017 Remix)
  10. Adios a la Pasada (Goodbye to the Past) (2017 Remix)

Disc: 2
  1. Hell's Bells (2017 Remix)
  2. One of a Kind- Part One (2017 Remix)
  3. One of a Kind - Part Two (2017 Remix)
  4. Travels with Myself - and Someone Else (2017 Remix)
  5. Fainting in Coils (2017 Remix)
  6. Five G (2017 Remix)
  7. The Abingdon Chasp (2017 Remix)
  8. Forever Until Sunday (2017 Remix)
  9. The Sahara of Snow - Part One (2017 Remix)
  10. The Sahara of Snow - Part Two (2017 Remix)
  11. Five G Out-Take (Berlin / Stewart / Bruford) (2017 Remix)

Disc: 3
  1. Age of Information
  2. Gothic 17
  3. Joe Frazier
  4. Q.E.D
  5. The Sliding Floor
  6. Palewell Park
  7. Plans for J.D
  8. Land's End

Disc: 4
  1. Hell's Bells
  2. Sample and Hold
  3. Fainting in Coils
  4. Travels with Myself - and Someone Else
  5. Beelzebub
  6. The Sahara of Snow - Part One
  7. The Sahara of Snow - Part Two
  8. One of a Kind - Part Two
  9. Five G
  10. Manacles

Disc: 5
  1. Hell's Bells
  2. Sample and Hold
  3. Land's End
  4. Joe Frazier
  5. Gothic 17
  6. Plans for J.D
  7. Age of Information
  8. Five G

Disc: 6
  1. Hell's Midriff
  2. Sketch 1
  3. Restless Spirit
  4. Hope
  5. Consequential Circuits
  6. Matching Green
  7. Should've Been Something
  8. There Is No Reward
  9. Hooligan Juice 1
  10. Hooligan Juice 2
  11. Flat Bells, Claptrap and Trills
  12. Sketch 2
  13. Bedrock
  14. Plotting the Heavens
  15. Marrowbones and Cleavers
  16. Prophet Motive
  17. Sketch 1 [Reprise]
  18. Saturday, No School


Drums, Marimba, Percussion – Bill Bruford
Guitar – Allan Holdsworth (tracks: CD1 to DVD2), The Unknown John Clark* (tracks: CD3 to CD6)
Bass – Jeff Berlin (tracks: CD1 to CD5, CD6-9)
Bass [Additional] – Neil Murray (tracks: CD1, DVD1)
Bass [Minimoog Bass] – Dave Stewart (tracks: CD5, CD6)
Flugelhorn – Kenny Wheeler (tracks: CD1, DVD1)
Keyboards – Dave Stewart
Lead Vocals – Jeff Berlin (tracks: CD3)
Synthesizer [Prophet V], Electric Piano [Yamaha CP70] – Dave Stewart (tracks: CD5, CD6)
Vocals – Annette Peacock (tracks: CD1, DVD1), Jeff Berlin (tracks: CD5)
Voice [Electric Chat] – Bill Bruford (tracks: CD4)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Gary Husband - 2012 "Dirty & Beautiful" Vol. 2

If ever there was a musician whose efforts to redefine and reestablish himself are both worthy of attention and working, it's Gary Husband. Emerging as a powerhouse drummer with Allan Holdsworth in the guitarist's I.O.U. band of the early 1980s, Husband has striven to raise his profile as a keyboardist since the turn of the millennium, turning in two overlooked (and stunning) solo piano tributes to Holdsworth and John McLaughlin with The Things I See (Angel Air, 2001) and A Meeting of Spirits (Alternity, 2006), respectively. His career as a keyboardist took a major leap forward in 2007, however, when he began playing in McLaughlin's newly formed 4th Dimension (a collaboration that remains ongoing), and the last few years of touring and recording led to Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1 (Abstract Logix, 2010), where Husband truly arrived as drummer, keyboardist, composer and bandleader, in an album featuring a large cast of musical friends old and new that was one of the best of the year.

If Volume 1 was a consolidation of a multitude of musical interests, Volume 2 represents a step forward on a number of fronts—and not just for Husband, though there's plenty of forward motion for him, in particular his command of tone and color. If Husband's roots were more evident in the past, with Volume 2 they've become completely subsumed in an increasingly personal approach to color, the keyboardist shaping some of his meatiest, most substantial synth tones to date. Volume 2 also builds on Husband's expanding circle of musical friends, in particular those made at the 2010 New Universe Music Festival: guitarists Jimmy Herring, on Husband's brief but visceral "England Green," first heard on Diary of a Plastic Box (1999, reissued Angel Air, 2008); Wayne Krantz,contributing his unmistakably idiosyncratic yet gritty approach to the aptly titled "East River Jam" (with Husband handling everything else); and Alex Machacek, whose "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Brothers" may be the album's most overtly complex track, with dense harmonies, knotty melodies and, with Husband sticking to drums, a remarkable amount of episodic action in its relatively brief, six-minute duration.

As with Volume 1, Volume 2 is a celebration of electric guitar of all variants, with Robin Trower continuing his power trio exploration of trumpeter Miles Davis' "Yesternow" from Volume 1, channeling his inner Jimi Hendrix alongside drummer Husband and bassist Livingstone Brown. Ray Russell opens the album on a potent note with Husband's "If Animals Had Guns Too," demonstrating that his often-overlooked status is no reflection on his abilities, as he navigates Husband's irregularly metered chart with an aplomb matched and raised by the keyboardist, who sets an early high bar for himself with his dense sonic layering and incendiary synth solo. Mike Stern also makes his first appearance with Husband, his lengthy solo on "Rolling Sevens" a continuation of the heavy metal bebop he's been honing since his days with Miles Davis in the early 1980s, driven by bass up-and-comer Teymur Phell—and, of course, Husband's particularly fiery kit work.

Holdsworth shows up on a new version of his enduring Tony Williams New Lifetime track "Fred" (this time, "Fred 2011"), again with Husband sticking to kit, driving the groove in tandem with bassist Jimmy Johnson. After ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer's first synth solo reflects his signature ability to make emulate a guitar's expressive bending, a second solo—surely not Holdsworth, as it rocks out too hard, with harsher overdrive and filtering than is his habit—turns out to also come from Hammer, and so closely resembles a guitar that it'll likely fool even the most committed guitar geek.

Husband's keys and drums create the entire context for a look at a McLaughlin tune he's played in The 4th Dimension the past few years ("New Blues, Old Bruise"), but here featuring up-and-coming tenor saxophonist Sean Freeman on one of only two tracks that exceed the ten-minute mark, while McLaughlin gets a similar opportunity to stretch out on Husband's greasier "Sulley," bolstered by Level 42 cofounder/bassist Mark King's in-the-pocket funk on the other ten-plus minute track, making McLaughlin a more overall dominant force than on Volume 1.

But Volume 2 remains, unequivocally, Husband's date, and if the eclectic nature of the recording and the decision to forego the chemistry of a consistent lineup for the broader possibilities of working in a multiplicity of contexts might suggest a loss of consistency and focus in lesser hands, with Husband at the helm Dirty & Beautiful Volume 2's two common threads give it unequivocal unity: the friendships that drive every one of these eleven different collaboration; and, of course, Husband himself, whose kit work is as effortlessly inventive as ever—chops when needed, groove when demanded (usually simultaneously)—and whose keyboard work continues to evolve into a recognizable amalgam of timbral color and harmonic sophistication, with his sole solo piece, the ethereal, semi-symphonic and appropriately titled "Fugie" acting as a place of calm respite from the album's largely in-your-face stance.

If Volume 1 left many fans eagerly awaiting a second installment, the advances and newfound friends on Dirty & Beautiful Volume 2 should leave them satisfied, but equally hungry for Volume Three.

Multi-dimensional drummer, keyboardist, composer and arranger Gary Husband hits his stride with Dirty & Beautiful Volume 2, his latest release on Abstract Logix Records. Dirty & Beautiful Volume 2 features an explosive all-star line-up of guest musicians such as John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Jan Hammer, Robin Trower, Jimmy Herring, Wayne Krantz, Mark King, Alex Machacek and Mike Stern.

Dirty & Beautiful Volume 2 does not merely pick up where 2010’s Volume 1 left off. Volume 2 expands upon Gary’s musical vision of creating music that is passionate and sophisticated, yet infused with grit and rawness. The mix of Husband originals and cover tunes are driven by the combination of the dynamic powerhouse drumming, ferocious lead lines and distinctly evocative keyboard harmony that altogether define Gary Husband’s “multiple threat” of a musical voice.

Selected highlights of Dirty & Beautiful Volume 2 are FRED 2011: A reworking of the classic Allan Holdsworth song with Holdworth on guitar and synth-master Jan Hammer taking an extended fire breathing solo. SULLEY: a stompin’ rocker with the great John McLaughlin on guitar and bassist Mark King getting down and dirty. YESTERNOW EPILOGUE: guitarist Robin Trower continues his Strat-soaked blues rave-up that was teasingly hinted at on YESTERNOW PREVIEW from Volume 1. Alex Machacek deliciously smouldering on his self-penned LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BROTHERS. ENGLAND GREEN: an evocative Husband original with Jimmy Herring playing the lyrical theme on guitar. NEW BLUES, OLD BRUISE: a John McLaughlin composition given a jazzier edge featuring rising tenor sax star Sean Freeman. Not to mention other new GH originals featuring the angular intelligence of Wayne Krantz and the fiery, electric bop of Mike Stern.

With a roster of top-tier musicians and stellar performances, Gary Husband’s Dirty & Beautiful Volume 2 promises to be one of the most musically exciting and musically rewarding releases of 2012.

Track listing:

01 If The Animals Had Guns Too 5:28
02 Rolling Sevens 4:44
03 New Blues, Old Bruise 10:21
04 East River Jam 3:01
05 Fred 2011 4:48
06 Rain 2:48
07 Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Brothers 6:14
08 Fuguie 4:18
09 Sulley 10:08
10 England Green 2:52
11 Yesternow - Epilogue 4:52


Gary Husband: keyboards (1-4, 6, 8-11), drums (1-7, 9-11), percussion (2);
Ray Russell: guitar (1);
Jimmy Johnson: bass (1, 4);
Mike Stern: guitar (2);
Teymur Phell: bass (2);
Sean Freeman: tenor saxophone (3);
Wayne Krantz: guitar (4);
Allan Holdsworth: guitar (5);
Jan Hammer: keyboards (5);
Neil Taylor: guitar (6);
Alex Machacek: guitar (7), programming (7);
John McLaughlin: guitar (9);
Mark King: bass (9);
Jimmy Herring: guitar (10);
Laurence Cottle: bass (10);
Robin Trower: guitar (11);
Livingstone Brown: bass (11).

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The John Irvine Band - 2011 "Wait & See"

THE JOHN IRVINE BAND is a Progressive Jazz-Rock project lead by the composer and guitarist John Irvine.

"Intelligently written progressive fusion: 14.5/16" - Warren Barker (Progression Magazine)

“The John Irvine Band, a daring UK jazz fusion ensemble expertly doing its own thing. ” - Gregory Kemp, La Villa Strangiato (Ottawa/ CHUO 89.1 FM)

Being an enthusiastic devotee of guitar music I find my pleasure in searching for fairly unknown records containing music with a high quality level. However, this time the music found me. Our main editor sent me the album Wait & See by The John Irvine Band to review for Background Magazine. While reading the accompanying information, the words 'progressive' and 'jazz-rock' immediately attracted my attention. During my first listen, I tried to find some information about this all-instrumental trio hailing from the United Kingdom and consisting of guitarist and keyboardist John Irvine, who also occasionally plays the guitar synthesizer, bass player Doug Kemp, and drummer-percussionist Alan Emsle.

"Wait & See" is highly recommended to fans of the great guitarist Allan Holdsworth. On the short opening piece The Bat you can hear the Synthaxe guitar synthesizer inspired by Holdsworth, who once introduced this instrument on the album Atavrachon (1986). The next piece Hubbub also has similarities with this British guitar player, but the sound of the rhythm section slightly differs from the usual companions of Holdsworth. It's a combination of his musical style with John Irvine's own style. Frazzled goes in the direction of The David Becker Tribune, a band that might be unknown to the average reader. The heavier elements in this composition make it a very interesting song to listen to. CUL8R (Sweet Sorrow) is in line with one of my all-time favourite fusion bands, namely the no longer existing Triton. This is also the longest piece on the album lasting over eight minutes.

The interaction between the band members is just sublime. It's not just a showcase for the guitarist, but a successful band effort. During Zigzag the resemblance with the aforementioned David Becker returns, but only in the rhythm parts. Irvine's soloing is more in his own style. In April is a slower and more relaxed composition with smooth and fluent guitar sounds over a basic rhythm section; a nice song that will let your mind flow in different directions. When you get to the title track, you must have been impressed by the high standard of music that this new band produces. This piece is smoother with a catching melody line and after a while you'll be whistling the main melody along with the guitar. The final piece is called New Brunswick, a solo spot for John Irvine. Now you can enjoy the relaxed guitar sounds. Well, light a candle and have a good glass of wine...

This album by The John Irvine Band is a pleasant surprise. Wait & See has been musically influenced by Allan Holdsworth with hints of Pat Metheny. If you like the style of these musicians then this album is worthwhile buying. I'm glad that I got the opportunity to review this album and I'm sure this band has the quality to be signed to a major label that can provide worldwide promotion and support. Anyway, they have convinced me with their fusion the way it should be played. An impressive new band!

****+ Pedro Bekkers
(Very funny, while looking for reviews, I found one by my friend from many years...Pedro! lol.)

"Next Stop" is the 2nd release from the Scottish guitarist that heads his own project, The John Irvine Band and this record features 9 instrumental tracks in the Jazz-Fusion/Rock realm. The musicianship is all up to snuff and Mr. Irvine delivers some tasty and silky smooth melodic runs throughout his disc. A tune like "Pyramid Power" shows his Eric Johnson like side with fluid lines and an excellent harmonic interlude that further congers up the sonic imagery of EJ, while a song like "Slipstream" also demonstrates Irvine's mastery of the smooth and linear runs that seem to take the listener higher with every succeeding ascending run.

John Irvine does not play like a shredder and there aren't a lot of supersonic types of guitar flash on Next Stop and I for one are find this to be quite refreshing. Instead, Irvine opts for tasty runs that fit the songs and add flavor to each tune, while still peppering in some quality Fusion guitar playing. Irvine's chord phrasing is also a big part of his playing and also where I hear a lot of Eric Johnson and the amazing Allan Holdsworth in his playing.
Rounding out The John Irvine band are bass player, Doug Kemp and percussionist, Alan Emslie and this trio have a great disc here with Next Stop. This record would fit nicely in the Prog world just as well as in the Jazz-Fusion/Rock world. The musicianship is excellent and John Irvine's soloing style is ever expansive and expressive, which adds a quality often forgotten in the guitar playing world of our modern era


Track listing:

1. The Bat
2. Hubbub
3. Frazzled
4. CUL8R (Sweet Sorrow)
5. Zigzag
6. In April
7. Wait & See
8. New Brunswick


John Irvine - Guitars, Keyboards
Alan Emslie - Drums & Percussion
Doug Kemp - Bass

Friday, October 5, 2018

Steppenwolf - 1969 "At Your Birthday Party"

At Your Birthday Party is the third studio album by Steppenwolf, released in 1969 on the ABC Dunhill Records label. It was the first Steppenwolf album to feature bass player Nick St. Nicholas; and the last album to feature guitarist Michael Monarch, who left the band in August 1969. Although it was less critically acclaimed than their successful first two albums, Steppenwolf and The Second, it contains a few well-known hits, such as "It's Never Too Late" and "Jupiter's Child", as well as "Rock Me," which had been featured in the 1968 film Candy. Although the band would be very successful in the early 1970s, At Your Birthday Party would be their last top ten album and features their last top ten single. The album showcases Steppenwolf coming out of, but not yet completely abandoning, the psychedelia of The Second and stepping into the distinctive hard rock of their later releases.

The album's cover was designed by art director Gary Burden. The original LP was a gatefold with a punched-out front cover; the punchout revealed a photo of the band which comprised the inner sleeve's recto. This photo of the band was shot by Henry Diltz, and it shows the band sitting in the remnants of amplifiers and equipment in a charred house which had belonged to Canned Heat. (A 1969 fire ripped through Canned Heat's house and rehearsal studio on Lookout Mountain Ave in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, California.) Original lead guitarist Michael Monarch did not show up for the photo shoot. Steppenwolf producer Gabriel Mekler bore a physical resemblance to Monarch, and it was decided that Mekler would take Monarch's place in the photo. Mekler was able to hide himself all the more in the photo by sporting a pair of sunglasses. Initially, not too many noticed. Monarch was still in the band, however. (A dispelled myth is that Monarch was no longer in the band at the time of the photo shoot; he was in the band until the latter part of 1969, and the album came out in early 1969.) The LP was reissued on CD by MCA in late 1980's. MCA decided to not use the photo for their CD re-issue and opted only for the original unfinished war mouse painting, originally intended as the LP's cover. The resulting CD artwork indeed looks bare as a result. The surrounding black-and-white image of the LP's gate-fold sleeve was made by importing images of cartoon mouse heads onto the bodies of soldiers within an image of a U.S. Civil War trenched battlefield. The black-and-white portion of the album art was a collage made by Rick Griffin, who was supposed to paint a final version of what became the album art, but Dunhill Records declined to pay for the painting and so used Griffin's black-and-white prototype.

The recording sessions for "At Your Birthday Party" started to show the wear and tear of the road on all of us. In addition, some band members for the first time, tried their hand at songwriting and I had run out of tunes to contribute. This album nevertheless includes some of my favorite Steppenwolf tracks such as "Happy Birthday", "Jupiter's Child" and "Rock Me". Nick St. Nicholas (who had replaced our original bassist Rushton Moreve) had an idea for a song titled "It's Never Too Late", which triggered me to work out the rest of the song. That one is an all time favorite of mine. Gabriel Mekler (our Producer) had his hands full trying to be fair to all band members and stay neutral to allow us to work out the difficulties on our own. The fact that the song "Rock Me" (which had been written for the soundtrack of the motion picture "Candy") had already been a hit single before it was included in the "Birthday album" may have reduced the impact of the album because the initial sales of the LP were not what we had hoped for, although over the years, it became quite popular with many of our fans.

With two top ten albums and two top three singles in America in 1968, Los Angeles rockers Steppenwolf gave themselves some act to follow. But in the early months of the following year, they were at it again. On 7 March 1969, they released their third LP, At Your Birthday Party, and would soon see it residing in the top ten, along with its flagship single ‘Rock Me.’

The new album, more rock-leaning than the band’s previous work, was the first to feature Nick St. Nicholas on bass, replacing Rushton Moreve. The arrival of St. Nicholas divided opinion among Steppenwolf diehards, but the new band member had co-writes on two tracks, including a solo credit for ‘Sleeping Dreaming,’ even if that was little more than a minute-long jam. Frontman John Kay wrote ‘Rock Me,’ which had the further benefit of a placement in the 1968 feature film Candy, a period piece of permissiveness featuring Marlon Brando, Richard Burton and even Ringo Starr.

Steppenwolf Rock Me Single Sleeve web optimised 350The single made its Hot 100 debut the week before the album release, and although it only managed a ten-week chart stay, compared to 13 for ‘Born To Be Wild’ and 16 for ‘Magic Carpet Ride,’ it nevertheless reached No. 10. It was a similar story for At Your Birthday Party, which fell short of the gold certification already achieved by Steppenwolf and The Second, but still spent 29 weeks on the Billboard album chart.

Track listing:

01 Don't Cry 3:04
02 Chicken Wolf 2:51
03 Lovely Meter 3:12
04 Round And Down 3:15
05 It's Never Too Late 4:05
06 Sleeping Dreaming 1:11
07 Jupiter Child 3:24
08 She'll Be Better 5:15
09 Cat Killer 1:30
10 Rock Me 3:39
11 God Fearing Man 3:50
12 Mango Juice 3:14
13 Happy Birthday 1:20


John Kay – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica
Michael Monarch – lead guitar
Goldy McJohn – organ, piano
Nick St. Nicholas – bass
Jerry Edmonton – drums, backing vocals

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Deodato - 1972 [1987] "Prelude"

Eumir Deodato has participated as pianist/keyboardist, producer, or arranger in over 450 albums, and has won 16 platinum records. The list of top artists with whom he has collaborated is too extensive to cite, but includes Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jobim, Wes Montgomery, João Donato, Kool & the Gang (group with which he played between 1979 and 1983), Earth, Wind & Fire, and Michael Franks. He has also worked on the soundtracks of major films, like The Onion Field, The Exorcist, and many others. Artists who have recorded his compositions include Sarah Vaughan, Milt Jackson, Joe Pass, George Benson, Lee Ritenour, Perez Prado, and the Emotions.

Prelude is the eighth studio album by Brazilian keyboardist Eumir Deodato, released in 1973. With the signature track "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)" (an arrangement of the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey), Prelude would become the most successful recording for Deodato and CTI Records.

The album features guitarist John Tropea on three tracks, bassists Ron Carter and Stanley Clarke, and Billy Cobham on drums. The funk-influenced version of the "Introduction" from Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra, entitled "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)", won the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance and went to number two in the pop charts in the US, number three in Canada, and number seven in the UK. In 1977, the album was re-released as briefly 2001.

Prior to Prelude, Eumir Deodato was primarily known, if at all, as a tasteful, lyrical, bossa nova-based sometime arranger for the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra, Wes Montgomery, and others. Enter Creed Taylor, who gave Deodato a chance to step out on his own as a pianist/leader, doing a few tunes of his own plus a healthy quota of CTI-patented jazz interpretations of classical pieces by Richard Strauss ("Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)"), Debussy ("Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun"), and bowdlerized Borodin ("Baubles, Bangles and Beads"). Well, "2001" -- a clever, up-tempo Latin-groove takeoff on the opening measures of Strauss' tone poem suddenly exploded and became an improbable hit single. In its wake, Prelude soared to number three on the pop LP charts, and Deodato was propelled out of the arranger-for-hire business. Though overshadowed by "2001," the other tracks also hold up well today, being mostly medium-tempo, sometimes lushly orchestrated, conga-accented affairs that provide velvety showcases for Deodato's lyrical electric piano solos. The record also made a temporary star out of John Tropea, whose electric guitar has a lot of rock & rolling zip and fire, and Hubert Laws, Stanley Clarke, and Marvin Stamm each get a little solo room too. This would be the biggest hit Deodato and CTI ever had, and though short on playing time (32 minutes), it still makes enjoyable listening.

A legendary album from the 70s funk scene – and one of the crowning achievements of keyboard maestro Eumir Deodato! Deodato got his start during the bossa years of the 60s – where his sophisticated charts were already enough to make his career a landmark – but in the following decade he picked up the Fender Rhodes, and really took off in a great new direction with classic records like this! The set's a wonderful blend of larger charts and jazzy soloing – with sublime Rhodes lines from the leader, plus a mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation in the best CTI mode – underscored by percussion from both Ray Barretto and Airto. The features Deodato's remake of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" into the funky "2001" – soaring with Fender Rhodes lines that set a new standard for the instrument, with a funky undercurrent that few would have expected for the tune. Other tracks are nice too – and include a great bossa-y version of "Baubles Bangles & Beads", plus "Spirit Of Summer", "September 13".

Track listing:

1 Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001) 9:00
2 Spirit Of Summer 4:04
3 Carly & Carole 3:38
4 Baubles, Bangles And Beads 5:20
5 Prelude To Afternoon Of A Faun 5:13
6 September 13 5:24


Eumir Deodato - piano, electric piano
Ron Carter - electric bass (solo on "Baubles, Bangles and Beads"), bass
Stanley Clarke - electric bass (solo on "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)")
Billy Cobham - drums
John Tropea - electric guitar (solo on "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)", "Baubles, Bangles and Beads", "September 13")
Jay Berliner - guitar (solo on "Spirit of Summer")
Airto Moreira - percussion
Ray Barretto - congas
Hubert Laws - flute (solo on "Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun")
John Frosk - trumpet
Marky Markowitz - trumpet
Joe Shepley - trumpet
Marvin Stamm - trumpet (Solo on "Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun")
Wayne Andre - trombone
Garnett Brown - trombone
Paul Faulise - trombone
George Strakey - trombone
Bill Watrous - trombone
Jim Buffington - french horn
Peter Gordon - french horn
Phil Bodner - flute
George Marge - flute
Romeo Penque - flute
Max Ellen - violin
Paul Gershman - violin
Emanuel Green - violin
Harry Lookofsky - violin
David Nadien - violin
Gene Orloff - violin
Eliot Rosoff - violin
Emanuel Vardi - viola
Al Brown - viola
Harvey Shapiro - cello
Seymore Barab - cello
Charles McKracken - cello

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Allan Holdsworth - 1976 [2017] "Velvet Darkness"

Velvet Darkness is the first studio album by guitarist Allan Holdsworth, released in 1976 through producer Creed Taylor's CTI Records.

The tracks for the album were originally recorded by engineer Rudy Van Gelder at his Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey. According to Holdsworth, this was done during a rehearsal session, after which the tapes were released by CTI without his or the other band members' consent. None of the musicians involved ever received royalties for their work. Holdsworth therefore considered the album an unauthorised release and not part of his discography.

This debut solo release by Allan Holdsworth has an "in the raw," coarsely presented, jam-session quality complete with warts and all, as well as real gems of jazz fusion shining through. A first hearing of this release in its vinyl version might provoke laughter at how really bad it sounds compared to Holdsworth's other releases as well as his playing with other groups. As it turns out, Holdsworth himself abhors this release (considering it "a real terrible disaster"), and has taken legal action and had it removed from production for several reasons.

The original label used rehearsal tapes to compile it, deeming it unnecessary to finance real sessions. During the recording session, Holdsworth had to hurry through each song and apparently never obtained the masters to go over before release. In essence, the original release was nothing more than a taped rehearsal, packaged by CTI as an album without Holdsworth's permission.

This recording has been bootlegged by label after label, none of the musicians involved ever saw any royalties, and no legal paperwork exists. (The recording's known labels and release/re-release dates include CTI Records [1976], King Records [1976], Epic Associated Records [CD, 1990], King Records [Japanese-only CD, 1994], and CTI Records [Japanese-only CD, 1997]. Velvet Darkness was also released in 1997 on an unknown label in Japan as a bootleg CD; an original copy of the vinyl LP album had been transferred to the CD.)

The 1990 release with alternate takes (just more pieces dredged up from the jam-session practice tapes) is indeed an interesting snapshot of young stellar musicians doing their thing in a laid-back but energetic fusion-funk-rock groove. It is for all the above reasons that this is indeed a completist/collectors item nowadays. Included are the now very rare recordings of Holdsworth playing acoustic guitar and violin, which he does very well. The alternate take of "Gattox" is a special treat, featuring Holdsworth soloing with an intensity and emotive power that echoes all the best dynamics jazz fusion could offer in the '70s.

This 2017 reissue is from Talking Elephant and the remastering is awesome! You can hear clearly every instrument from the musicians, the scorching guitar and violin of Holdsworth, pounding bass of Alphonso Johnson and the monster drumming of Narada Michael Walden, Same as the 1990 CBS reissue it comes with 5 alternate takes of the original tracks. Original album only at 30 min. but with the alternate take the whole cd runs at 53 minutes. This is AH's first album though he disowns since it is a "practice session" and took legal action to stop the release back in the 1990s. Does it sound like a rehearsal session? Absolutely not, it is a great jazz rock fusion album. The only let down is that there is no booklet of reading just the CD sleeve album cover. Even if you have the CBS issue get this one since there is a big improvement in sound quality.

This album is very raw. High energy. Crisp sound. Keyboards are cheesy sounding, but when were they not from that era? The drums are GREAT. Allan plays violin on this one also. I met him once during the I.O.U tour (25 years ago???), and he told me he hated this album intensely. In fact I asked him to sign mine, and he refused. He actually tried to BUY it from me!! He was not kidding. He said he wanted it out of circulation. I cannot imagine why.

R.I.P. Allan Holdsworth.


Track listing:

01. Good Clean Filth (5:20)
02. Floppy Hat (2:46)
03. Wish (4:20)
04. Kinder (3:07)
05. Velvet Darkness (4:42)
06. Karzie Key (3:11)
07. Las May (1:38)
08. Gattox (4:51)

Bonus tracks:

09. Good Clean Filth (Alternate take) (5:38)
10. Kinder (Alternate take) (3:07)
11. Velvet Darkness (Alternate take) (4:44)
12. Karzie Key (Alternate take) (2:15)
13. Gattox (Alternate take) (6:47)

Total time 52:26


- Allan Holdsworth / acoustic (2,4,7) & electric guitars, violin (6)
- Alan Pasqua / electric piano
- Alphonso Johnson / bass
- Narada Michael Walden / drums

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Jimi Hendrix - 1975 [1989] "Midnight Lightning"

Midnight Lightning is a posthumous ninth studio album by American guitarist Jimi Hendrix, released in November 1975. There was the furious media debate that accompanied its release over whether it was appropriate to 'soup up' posthumous Hendrix albums. Producer Alan Douglas brought in many session musicians to overdub parts of songs; the only original recording (apart from those by Hendrix) was Mitch Mitchell's drumming on "Hear My Train A Comin'". Despite this conroversies, this album features one of his best Jimi's ballads ("Gypsy Boy"), instrumentals ("Trashman"), and the stellar studio version of "Midnight Lightning", which otherwise we could only hear live.

Midnight Lightning is a posthumous compilation album by American rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. It was released in November 1975 by Reprise Records in the United States and Polydor Records in the United Kingdom. It was the sixth studio album released after his death and the second to be produced by Alan Douglas and Tony Bongiovi. The songs used on the album consist of post-Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings that originally featured Billy Cox on bass and either Mitch Mitchell or Buddy Miles on drums.

Douglas continued the controversial methods he had adopted on Crash Landing and brought in many of the same session musicians to overdub parts of songs. The only original recording (apart from those by Hendrix) was Mitchell's drumming on "Hear My Train". In response to the previous outcry from fans and critics, Douglas did not claim co-writer credit for any songs on Midnight Lightning. Despite the fact that the album included reworkings of the popular live songs "Hear My Train" and "Machine Gun", the album was not as well received as its predecessor, peaking at number 43 in the US. and number 46 in the UK.

In a 1981 review, music critic Robert Christgau gave Midnight Lightning a "B+" and said that it was an improvement by Douglas over Crash Landing because of highlight instrumentals such as "Trash Man", overdubbed guitar from Jeff Mironov and Lance Quinn, and "the blues playing — as opposed to singing or writing".

The opening riff to "Foxey Lady" provides the foundation for the instrumental "Trash Man," and no amount of bastardization can take away from the genius guitarist his legacy. If you take this work at face value, without the baggage of what "producer" Alan Douglas did to the tapes, this time with Tony Bongiovi along for the ride, it's still Hendrix. Maybe God allowed the series of albums to happen so the world could see Hendrix's work could survive doctoring and musicians jamming with his art after the fact. That this disc goes for big bucks on Internet auction sites says something about the timelessness of the music. The title track, as with seven of the eight performances here, has session player Alan Schwartzberg on drums, a far cry from his work with Carole Bayer Sager.

Mitch Mitchell only appears on Hendrix's blues classic "Hear My Train," Schwartzberg adding shakers. Bob Babbit is the "designated bassist" on the entire project (no doubt what Billy Cox and Noel Redding thought about this), and Jeff Mironov shares guitar duties with Lance Quinn. That's not a misprint. Thankfully, the extra guitarists are somewhat invisible -- you know, what's the point of having co-vocalists add their talents to a Janis Joplin disc? What these recordings effectively do is offer the world a comparison between what the official Hendrix estate is doing, and what Douglas did. The Hendrix estate wins that battle, Eddie Kramer and John McDermott carefully restoring all the master tapes of Jimi Hendrix, and restoring them properly.

Discs like Midnight Lightning are also a statement on how a great artist's legacy can go through various hands and the artistic consequences of tapes traveling as if under their own steam. History is an excellent vantage point from which to view. The title track is great -- and it goes along with the cover painting very nicely. Is it blasphemy to say that this is a highly enjoyable disc? All the post-Cry of Love releases -- War Heroes, Crash Landing, Voodoo Soup, Blues, Hendrix in the West, Rainbow Bridge, the soundtrack to the Jimi Hendrix film, and this -- provide another crucial look at Hendrix. The more the merrier. It is great to have the official Hendrix estate with Janie Hendrix, John McDermott, and Eddie Kramer doing this properly, but this version of "Gypsy Boy (New Rising Sun)," the inclusion of Mitch Mitchell's "Beginnings," another "Machine Gun," and "Blue Suede Shoes" exist, thus they are important additions to the Hendrix archives. It will be interesting to see if the official Hendrix estate eventually re-releases the Alan Douglas masters just to keep these once-legit works from cluttering the market with counterfeits.


Tracks Listing:

1. Trashman (3:15)
2. Midnight Lightning (3:49)
3. Hear My Train A Comin' (5:43)
4. Gypsy Boy (3:45)
5. Blue Suede Shoes (3:29)
6. Izabella/Machine Gun (7:36)
7. Once I Had a Woman (5:20)
8. Beginnings (3:02)

Total Time 35:58


- Jimi Hendrix / guitars, lead vocals

- Mitch Mitchell - drums (3)

(All other original backing musicians were wiped in 1975 re-recordings)

Added in 1975:
- Jeff Mironov / guitar (1-3,5,8)
- Lance Quinn / guitar (2,4,6,7)
- Buddy Lucas / harmonica (7)
- Bob Babbitt / bass
- Allan Schwartzberg / drums (1,2,4-8), percussion (3,4)
- Jimmy Maelen / percussion (2,8)
- Maeretha Stewart / backing vocals (2,4,7)
- Hilda Harris / backing vocals (2,4,7)
- Vivian Cherry / backing vocals (2,4,7)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Miles Davis - 1971 [2003] "The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions" [5 CD Box]

The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions were recorded in April 1970 by Miles Davis, and released in September 2003. These sessions formed the basis for the 1971 album Jack Johnson, as well as some of the studio portions of Live-Evil.

Jack Johnson, also known as A Tribute to Jack Johnson, is a soundtrack recorded by American jazz musician Miles Davis. The album was the second film score Davis had composed, after Ascenseur pour l'échafaud in 1957. In 1970, Davis was asked by Bill Cayton to record music for his documentary of the same name on the life of boxer Jack Johnson. Johnson's saga resonated personally with Davis, who wrote in the album's liner notes of Johnson's mastery as a boxer, his affinity for fast cars, jazz, clothes, and beautiful women, his unreconstructed blackness, and his threatening image to white men.
Jack Johnson was a turning point in Davis' career and has since been viewed as one of his greatest works. Davis, who wanted to put together what he called "the greatest rock and roll band you have ever heard," recorded with a line-up featuring guitarists John McLaughlin and Sonny Sharrock, keyboardists Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, clarinetist Bennie Maupin, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Billy Cobham. The album's two tracks were drawn from one recording session on April 7 and edited together with recordings from February 1970 by producer Teo Macero. The music reflected Davis' interest in the eclectic jazz fusion of the time, but also foreshadowed the hard-edged funk that would fascinate him in the next few years.

The first major recording session for the album, which took place on April 7, 1970, was almost accidental: John McLaughlin, awaiting Miles's arrival, began improvising riffs on his guitar, and was shortly joined by Michael Henderson and Billy Cobham. Meanwhile, the producers brought in Herbie Hancock, who had been passing through the building on unrelated business, to play the Farfisa organ. Miles arrived at last and began his solo at about 2:19 on the first track.
The album's two long tracks were assembled in the editing room by producer Teo Macero. "Right Off" is constructed from several takes and a solo by Davis recorded in November 1969. It contains a riff based on Sly and the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song". Much of the track "Yesternow" is built around a slightly modified version of the bassline from the James Brown song "Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud".This may be a deliberate allusion to the song's Black Power theme as it relates to the film's subject. "Yesternow" also incorporates a brief excerpt of "Shhh/Peaceful" from Davis's 1969 album In a Silent Way and a 10-minute section comprising several takes of the tune "Willie Nelson" from a session on 18 February 1970.

"Right Off" comprises a series of improvisations based on a B flat chord, but changing after approximately 20 minutes to an E chord. "Yesternow" has a similar B flat ostinato and shifts to C minor. It concludes with a voiceover by actor Brock Peters: "I'm Jack Johnson, heavy-weight champion of the world. I'm black. They never let me forget it. I'm black all right. I'll never let them forget it." The album's liner notes provide a description of the music.
Michael Henderson launches into an enormous boogie groove with Billy Cobham and John McLaughlin. Miles immediately leaves the control room to join in with them. He achieved exactly what he wanted for the soundtrack by creating the effect of a train going at full speed (which he compared to the force of a boxer). By chance, Herbie Hancock had arrived unexpectedly and started playing on a cheap keyboard that a sound engineer quickly connected.

None of Miles Davis' recordings has been more shrouded in mystery than Jack Johnson, yet none has better fulfilled Miles Davis' promise that he could form the "greatest rock band you ever heard." Containing only two tracks, the album was assembled out of no less than four recording sessions between February 18, 1970, and June 4, 1970, and was patched together by producer Teo Macero. Most of the outtake material ended up on Directions, Big Fun, and elsewhere. The first misconception is the lineup: the credits on the recording are incomplete. For the opener, "Right Off," the band is Miles, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Michael Henderson, and Steve Grossman (no piano player!), which reflects the liner notes. This was from the musicians' point of view, in a single take, recorded as McLaughlin began riffing in the studio while waiting for Miles; it was picked up on by Henderson and Cobham, Hancock was ushered in to jump on a Hammond organ (he was passing through the building), and Miles rushed in at 2:19 and proceeded to play one of the longest, funkiest, knottiest, and most complex solos of his career. Seldom has he cut loose like that and played in the high register with such a full sound.

 In the meantime, the interplay between Cobham, McLaughlin, and Henderson is out of the box, McLaughlin playing long, angular chords centering around E. This was funky, dirty rock & roll jazz. There is this groove that gets nastier and nastier as the track carries on, and never quits, though there are insertions by Macero of two Miles takes on Sly Stone tunes and an ambient textured section before the band comes back with the groove, fires it up again, and carries it out. On "Yesternow," the case is far more complex. There are two lineups, the one mentioned above, and one that begins at about 12:55. The second lineup was Miles, McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea, Bennie Maupin, Dave Holland, and Sonny Sharrock. The first 12 minutes of the tune revolve around a single bass riff lifted from James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud." The material that eases the first half of the tune into the second is taken from "Shhh/Peaceful," from In a Silent Way, overdubbed with the same trumpet solo that is in the ambient section of "Right Off." It gets more complex as the original lineup is dubbed back in with a section from Miles' tune "Willie Nelson," another part of the ambient section of "Right Off," and an orchestral bit of "The Man Nobody Saw" at 23:52, before the voice of Jack Johnson (by actor Brock Peters) takes the piece out.

 The highly textured, nearly pastoral ambience at the end of the album is a fitting coda to the chilling, overall high-energy rockist stance of the album. Jack Johnson is the purest electric jazz record ever made because of the feeling of spontaneity and freedom it evokes in the listener, for the stellar and inspiring solos by McLaughlin and Davis that blur all edges between the two musics, and for the tireless perfection of the studio assemblage by Miles and producer Macero.

The role of guitarist Sonny Sharrock is finally defined here. It has previously been discounted and provided endless grist for the Davis rumor mill how he was mixed out of the session. Yes, he was, but so was almost everyone but McLaughlin and Miles at one point or another. Check out Sharrock's killer slide playing that appears on the second inset of "Willie Nelson." For those who worship at the McLaughlin altar, there are the extra minutes of screaming, fuzz-drenched wailing on "Right Off" that were left on the floor by Macero.


Track listing:
All compositions by Miles Davis except where noted.

Disc 1
1. "Willie Nelson (Take 2)**" February 18, 1970 at Columbia 30th Street Studio B 6:41
2. "Willie Nelson (Take 3)*" February 18, 1970 at CBS 30th Street Studio 10:21
3. "Willie Nelson (Insert 1)**" February 18, 1970 at CBS 30th Street Studio 6:33
4. "Willie Nelson (Insert 2)**" February 18, 1970 at CBS 30th Street Studio 5:22
5. "Willie Nelson (Remake Take 1)*" February 27, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 10:45
6. "Willie Nelson (Remake Take 2)" February 27, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 10:17
7. "Johnny Bratton (Take 4)*" February 27, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 8:18
8. "Johnny Bratton (Insert 1)*" February 27, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 6:39
9. "Johnny Bratton (Insert 2)*" February 27, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 5:20
10. "Archie Moore*" March 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 4:45

Disc 2
1. "Go Ahead John (Part One)**" March 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 13:07
2. "Go Ahead John (Part Two A)**" March 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 7:00
3. "Go Ahead John (Part Two B)**" March 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 10:06
4. "Go Ahead John (Part Two C)**" March 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 3:38
5. "Go Ahead John (Part One Remake)**" March 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 11:04
6. "Duran (Take 4)*" March 17, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 5:37
7. "Duran (Take 6)" March 17, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 11:20
8. "Sugar Ray*" March 20, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 6:16

Disc 3
1. "Right Off (Take 10)" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 11:09
2. "Right Off (Take 10A)**" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 4:33
3. "Right Off (Take 11)**" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 5:58
4. "Right Off (Take 12)**" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 8:49
5. "Yesternow (Take 16)*" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 9:49
6. "Yesternow (New Take 4)**" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 16:02
7. "Honky Tonk (Take 2)**" May 19, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 10:04
8. "Honky Tonk (Take 5)*" May 19, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 11:29

Disc 4
1. "Ali (Take 3)*" May 19, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 6:50
2. "Ali (Take 4)*" May 19, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 10:16
3. "Konda**" May 21, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 16:29
4. "Nem Um Talvez (Take 17)*" (Hermeto Pascoal) May 27, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 2:50
5. "Nem Um Talvez (Take 19)*" (Hermeto Pascoal) May 27, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 2:54
6. "Little High People (Take 7)*" (Hermeto Pascoal) June 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 6:52
7. "Little High People (Take 8)*" (Hermeto Pascoal) June 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 9:28
8. "Nem Um Talvez (Take 3)*" (Hermeto Pascoal) June 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 4:36
9. "Nem Um Talvez (Take 4A)" (Hermeto Pascoal) June 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 2:04
10. "Selim (Take 4B)" (Hermeto Pascoal) June 3, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 2:15
11. "Little Church (Take 7)*" (Hermeto Pascoal) June 4, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 3:18
12. "Little Church (Take 10)" (Hermeto Pascoal) June 4, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 3:15

Disc 5
1. "The Mask (Part One)*" June 4, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 7:47
2. "The Mask (Part Two)*" June 4, 1970 at Columbia Studio C 15:45
3. "Right Off" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B 26:54
4. "Yesternow" April 7, 1970 at Columbia Studio B ("Yesternow") + February 18, 1970 at Columbia Studio B ("Willie Nelson", uncredited) 25:36

"Right Off" includes an excerpt from an unaccompanied trumpet solo from November 19 or 18, 1969
"Yesternow" includes excerpts from the unaccompanied November 1969 trumpet solo with arco bass overdubbed, "Shhh/Peaceful" from In a Silent Way and the unaccompanied November 1969 trumpet solo with the following overdubs: orchestra arranged by Teo Macero and narration by Brock Peters
"Willie Nelson (Remake Take 2)" and "Duran (Take 6)" were originally released on Directions.
All takes of "Go Ahead John" were released as one assembled track on Big Fun.
"Honky Tonk (Take 2)" was partially released Get Up With It and Live-Evil.
"Konda" was partially released on Directions.
"Nem Um Talvez (Take 4A)", "Selim (Take 4B)" and "Little Church (Take 10)" were released on Live-Evil.
(*) Previously Unissued
(**) Previously Unissued in Full


Miles Davis - Trumpet
Bennie Maupin - Bass Clarinet
Steve Grossman - Soprano Saxophone
Wayne Shorter - Soprano Saxophone
Chick Corea - Electric Piano, Organ, Electric Piano with Ring Modulator
Herbie Hancock - Organ, Electric Piano
Keith Jarrett - Electric Piano, Electric Piano with Wah Wah
Sonny Sharrock - Electric Guitar, Echoplex
John McLaughlin - Electric Guitar
Dave Holland - Electric Bass, Double Bass
Michael Henderson - Electric Bass
Gene Perla - Electric Bass
Ron Carter - Double Bass
Jack DeJohnette - Drums
Billy Cobham - Drums
Lenny White - Drums
Don Alias - percussion
Airto Moreira - Percussion, Berimbau, Cuica
Hermeto Pascoal - Voice, Drums

Shane Theriot - 2003 "The Grease Factor"

The Grease Factor is the second studio album by guitarist Shane Theriot. It was released in 2003.

A heavy hitting dose of modern rock/jazz compositions mixed with equal doses of New Orleans funk. One of Shane’s more “guitar intensive” records that is a favorite among musicians and groove-lovers alike. Featuring some of the funkiest musicians on the planet- including Victor Wooten, Russell Batiste (The Funky Meters), Jeff Sipe (Apt Q-258), Johnny Vidacovich, Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck), Kirk Joseph (Dirty Dozen), Johnny Neel (Gov’t Mule) and others…

Here we have the second solo album from New Orleans native Shane Theriot pronounced "Terry O" for those of you who don't know. This album is a collection of eleven original compositions written by guitarist Theriot. If I had to label the music on "Grease Factor" I'd call it funk/rock fusion with strong connections to the second line New Orleans street beat grooves of his native city "The Big Easy".

Shane employés some high profile musicians on this collection of funky ditties, 6 string monster Adam Nitti shows how well he can lay back & groove with the drummer on one of my personal favorite tunes track 6 "Mr Longhair" a medium tempo funk workout that features a hip multi layered harmonized guitar melody set against some burbling greasy B3 organ played by Johnny Neel.

Track 4 "Shrimp Boots" brings the New Orleans vibe with founding member of The Dirty Dozen Brass Band Tuba & Sousaphone master Kirk Joseph laying down the bass & boy does he lay it down! Shane employes several masters of New Orleans style funk drumming such as Russell Batiste, David Northup, Jeff Sipe, Doug Belote. "Shrimp Boots" features the legendary John Vidacovich of the band "Astral Project" covers the beat as well as a short but sweet drum solo.

Track 7 "The Apartment" features living bass god Victor Wooten playing fretless 5 string. The best way for me to describe this tune would be mellow intensity if that makes any sense because the groove is a driving fusion groove with Shane dialing in a more processed wet tone sort of like a cross between Pat Metheny's tone with his Metheny Group & Steve Morse with his Dixie Dreggs. Wooten lays down melodic fretless grooves that support the song they don't dominate it, I think it's nice to hear Wooten on fretless rather than his usual four string fretted bass. Shane takes a ripping solo over Wooten's delft accompaniment.

Track 10 "Zydefaux" is pure Zydeco with accordion & the type of driving up tempo groove that makes Zydeco music so much fun to dance too.

Well there you have it, I hope you've found my review informative & I highly recommend this or Theriot's other two albums "Hywy 90" & "Dirty Power". In my opinion this music is just all around awesome! If you appreciate top self musicianship especially in the guitar department & funky bass & drums with that Big Easy grease factor than pick this up now!

The obvious points of reference when discussing Shane Theriot are Brian Stoltz and June Yamagishi. Like Stoltz and Yamagishi, Theriot is a hot shot New Orleans funk guitarist who plays with various bands associated with people named Neville. While Stoltz and Yamagishi worship at the alter of Hendrix, though, Theriot seems to have more of a thing for John Scofield, and his music has more of a jazz-rock fusion influence. Occasionally, it even sounds almost metal, like the work Shawn Lane did with bass phenom Jonas Hellborg. However, also like Lane and Hellborg, Theriot never loses sight of the fusion-funk groove, so he never goes into full metal mode. If find this album a bit more satisfying than Highway 90, mostly because there are a few moments on Highway 90 where Theriot's fusion gets a bit too smooth for my taste, but The Grease Factor is, well, a bit greasier. That suits me just fine.

Track listing:

Little Hat (4:50)
Swish (5:12)
Zodiac (4:08)
Shrimp Boots (3:40)
Dublin (5:43)
Mr. Longhair (5:57)
The Apartment (5:45)
Slow (5:42)
Woody (5:17)
Zydefaux (3:52)
Dear Ellen (1:15)


Shane Theriot - composer, producer, electric/acoustic guitars, programming
Johnny Vidacovich - drums
Russell Batiste - drums
Victor Wooten - bass
Adam Nitti- bass
Doug Belote- drums
David Northrup- drums
Johnny Neel - Hammond B-3, keys
Kiyoshi Tamai - voice
Steve Conn - accordion

Mike Miller - 2001 "Save The Moon"

The playful cover art immediately draws your attention -- it's like wacky video game characters, including a Planet of the Ape guy -- but it might not give off the right impression of the nature of this disc, which is a hip fusion explosion led by one of L.A.'s most ubiquitous guitar heroes who is known mostly as a first-call sideman. Though there's rhythm and melody to spare, the best way to describe Miller's brand of eclecticism is experimental rock. Over a bouncy bed of blues organ laid by Mitch Forman, Miller lives up to the title of "The Sky Lights Up," modulating his electric strings at different pitches while tweaking out a melody line over the moody grooves. "Beatnik" is less involving melodically, but has an irresistibly creepy groove, featuring Jimmy Johnson's throbbing low-end bass and the trombone harmonies of Bruce Fowler. The title track works as a funky rock-flavored anthem without words, highlighted by a sizzling duet by Miller and Fowler at their most intense. After the intentionally abrasive distorted guitar piece "Rocket Dog," a moody cover of John Lennon's "Julia" is a relief, introducing not only Miller's romantic side but also his love for the Beatles, which puts him on the musical path. He then goes "Lennon extreme" on a booming twist of "I Am the Walrus," which is psychedelic guitarisma at its finest. "A Dark Waltz" cools the pace for another romantic interlude. Miller's a bit all over the map, but that seems to be the point and such characterizes his life as an L.A. musician. Guitar fans will love this best of all, but Beatles fans really need to hear two of the finest instrumental covers ever.

I saw Mike and his California quintet at the Baked Potato in LA about 3 years ago. I had never heard of him, I actually went to see Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Johnson from Holdsworth's trio who were playing with him. I was simply killed. Mike's got to be one of the most imaginative, original guitarists anywhere. His playing is unique and defies description. This CD is a pretty good representation of his sound. He actually wails a little bit harder live.

The first time I had heard Mike's guitar was on the Yellowjackets 2nd LP.. Loved the phrasing. Saw him live at the Mt.Fuji Jazz Festival with Chick Corea in 1984, along with Band Overboard. Mike Miller is truly a great guitarist as well as a composer. Wish more people knew about him.

Mike Miller is clearly one of the most underrated,gifted guitarists of our time. This album clearly shows this. A great combination of taste and texture, harmonic simplicity and complexity, and chemistry between the players. Simply a joy to listen to all the way through. My favorite track is "Save The Moon". It's like Flim and The BB's crossed with an old Jazz Crusaders vibe. The build-up at the end is damn near orgasmic!
Mike Miller will absolutely blow you away live as well. He really deserves his due. See for yourself.

Mike Miller is a guitarist whose playing and writing communicates a stunning musical universe. While much is made of individuality and originality among musicians, Miller seems beyond those qualities: he is unlikely in the way he defies description. Consider that Miller has worked with jazz pianist Chick Corea, diva/comedienne Bette Midler, pop craftsmen Gino Vanelli and Burton Cummings, the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, british jazz-rock band Brand X, Wall of Voodoo´s Stan Ridgeway, film composer and former Devo front man Mark Mothersbaugh, the Frank Zappa Banned from Utopia alumni band, and many others. This is a range of experience that challenges the imagination -- edgy spontaneity in Corea´s electric jazz, slapstick \"comedy guitar\" with Bette Midler, and complex orchestration in the writing of Marc Anthony Turnage and Frank Zappa.

Then listen to his first solo CD, Save the Moon, which features Jimmy Johnson, Tom Brechtlein, Mitchel Forman, Peter Erskine, and Ralph Humphrey. The music on this CD reflects Miller´s commitment to develop his own voice, which juggles a rich and wonderful contradiction of qualities: the raw excitement of the electric guitar with a technique that pushes the boundaries of the instrument, and a broad vocabulary with a mischievous sense of humor -- he might play a part a pianist would work out with two hands, or grace the end of a bebop phrase with a Chuck Berry lick and dip of the tremolo bar. Miller is a riveting improviser who can draw you to the edge of your seat as you follow one musical idea developing into another or bending through a series of unexpected twists and turns... and the results are complex, yet melodic and accessible. A simple path lies beneath the surface of all this activity, revealing a guitarist engaged in a playful search for constant musical growth.



Track listing:

1. The Sky Lights Up
2. Beatnik
3. Save The Moon
4. Gold
5. Rocket Dog
6. Julia
7. I Am The Walrus
8. Dark Waltz
9. A Hair Less Bass


Mike Miller: Guitar, Keyboards, Loops
Mitchel Forman: Keyboards 1,4,6,7,8,9
David Witham: Keyboards 3
Bruce Fowler: Trombone
Jimmy Johnson: Bass
Peter Erskine: Drums 2,4,8
Tom Brechtlein: Drums 1,3,6,7,9
Ralph Humphrey: Drums 5

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Elements - 1990 "Spirit River"

Elements is an American jazz fusion ensemble founded by bass guitarist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb in 1982. Both Egan and Gottlieb were members of the Pat Metheny Group, and Elements's sound draws from their experience. Band members include Bill Evans, Gil Goldstein, Steve Khan and Clifford Carter

Quiet clearly, Mark Egan's years with Pat Metheny had a lasting impact on his composing and playing. When Spirit River was recorded in 1990, a decade had passed since the electric bassist's departure from the Metheny Group; but Metheny's influence remained. Nonetheless, the album makes it clear that Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb (Elements' other leader) have a collective vision of their own. This charming jazz/pop date isn't about intense or aggressive swinging, and tends to have an introspective, floating quality. Saxman Bill Evans (not to be confused with the late piano legend) is characteristically expressive and soulful on soprano, and Brazilian greats Flora Purim (vocals) and Airto Moreira (percussion) make some valuable, heartfelt contributions to the engaging CD.


Track listing:

01. Spirit River 5:48
02. Streets Of Rio 4:54
03. Amazon Beauty 5:57
04. Braza 2:24
05. Puerto Sagua 5:49
06. True Confessions 5:53
07. Let's Pretend 6:37
08. Calunga 1:46
09. Carnivaloco 2:42
10. Emerald Beach 7:34


Bass, Bass [Fretless], Bass [Fretted], Producer – Mark Egan
Drums, Producer – Danny Gottlieb
Keyboards – Clifford Carter
Saxophone [Soprano] – Bill Evans
Guitar - Jeff Mironov
Manzer Harp Guitar - Stan Samole
Vocals - Flora Pluim
Percussion - Airto Moreira, Manolo Badrena, Cafe

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Various Artists - 1993 A Brief History of Ambient Vol. 1 - "152 Minutes 33 Seconds"

Ambient 1: A Brief History of Ambient is a 1993 compilation album released on the Virgin Records label, as part of their Ambient series. The album was issued as a double CD, and was compiled by Simon Hopkins.

A great sampling of ambient music, both chronologically and technologically diverse. Includes excerpts from the classic Eno-4 and some of the others like John Hassell from his old EG Records label. Tangerine Dream appears as well as some great Indian Trance. Hawkwind and Killing Joke (!) are on here for Christ's sake. Quite an impressively diverse selection of great quality, especially for the price. Never boring on either disc, and makes for great background or headphone listening.
A real surprise!

Although it seemed to arrive out of nowhere in the early '90s, ambient music actually has a long and varied history, leading back to Brian Eno and Kraftwerk's electronic experiments in the 1970s, right up to Aphex Twin's textural techno soundscapes. As an introduction and history lesson, the two-disc A Brief History of Ambient Music can't be beat; it shows that the ambient-techno trend has roots that most fans wouldn't even realize existed.


Personnel / Track Listing:

CD 1:
01 Harold Budd Flowered Knife Shadows 7:05
02 Tangerine Dream Thru Metamorphic Rock (Edit) 9:46
03 Robert Fripp / Brian Eno Evening Star 7:30
04 Amorphous Androgynous Mountain Goat 4:28
05 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sea Of Vapours 3:49
06 Hawkwind The Forge Of Vulcan 3:01
07 Killing Joke Requiem (A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Dub Mix) 10:35
08 Brian Eno An Ending (Ascent) 4:11
09 Richard Horowitz Marnia's Tent 2:58
10 Irmin Schmidt / Bruno Spoerri Rapido De Noir 6:32
11 Ashra Kazoo 5:36
12 Harold Budd / Brian Eno Their Memories 2:38
13 The Grid Leave Your Body 4:46
14 Christopher Franke Electric Becomes Eclectic 3:39

CD 2:
01 Tangerine Dream Phaedra (Edit) 10:25
02 Brian Eno / Jon Hassell Delta Rain Dream 3:20
03 William Orbit The Monkey King 4:49
04 Gong Castle In The Clouds 1:02
05 Hawkwind Life Form 1:40
06 Laraaji The Dance #2 9:04
07 Sheila Chandra Sacred Stones 5:26
08 Michael Brook Earth Floor 4:44
09 Faust Läuft...Heisst Das Es Läuft Oder Es Kommt Bald...Läuft 3:19
10 Jon Hassell Gift Of Fire 4:41
11 Material The End Of Words 3:46
12 Edgar Froese Panorphelia 9:35
13 Roger Eno Voices 2:15
14 Holger Czukay Träum Mal Wieder 7:21
15 David Sylvian Home 4:14

Monday, September 17, 2018

Various Artists - 1995 "In From The Storm" - Tribute To Jimi Hendrix

The premise of this all-star tribute to the self-described “West Coast Seattle boy” is admirable: to focus on Jimi Hendrix's still-undervalued composing skills, and to flesh out (using the London Metropolitan Orchestra) the orchestral contours of haunting titles like “Drifting” and “...And the Gods Made Love.” Unlike a few previous attempts, Storm (made with the help of folks like drummer Tony Williams, guitarists John McLaughlin and Steve Vai, and bassist-vocalist Bootsy Collins) captures both the unabashedly funky (“Rainy Day, Dream Away,” “Purple Haze”) and lyrical (“Drifting,” “The Wind Cries Mary”) sides of the vocalist-guitarist. In fact, the collection is only annoying when the orchestra overreaches in its attempts to add “serious” overtones to otherwise enjoyable readings of the title track and “Have You Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland)”—the result being closer to Hendrix-lite than symphonic homage. Still, the deliciously raspy vocals of Taj Mahal and former Living Colour lead singer Corey Glover (“Drifting”), and McLaughlin's searing, sensitive axwork should not be overlooked because of the occasionally excessive frosting. By no means should Storm be considered an alternative to the real thing, but its best moments could serve as either a reminder or an introduction for anyone wondering what the enduring fuss over Hendrix is all about.

Beautiful tribute, including one by the late great Toots Thielemanns on harmonica. If you appreciate cover songs that don't try to imitate the originals, this is a great CD. I bought it at Wal Mart in the bargain bin back when it first came out, and paid 3.99 for it! Now it's a collectors item LOL.. "Hey Joe" by Body Count, with D-Roc on a tasteful, raw lead guitar is one of my favorite tracks on this CD. Seal sings "Manic Depression" and really does it justice. I think Jimi would have enjoyed this and been flattered. I love a great cover, so bear that in mind. These aren't pale imitations, they are mostly unique renditions with the artist's own spin. Music is subjective, hope this helps.

Some really super artists performing wonderful personal interpretations of Jimi Hendrix's most memorable tunes. Especially love the Joss Stone/Carlos Santana pairing on Spanish Castle Magic (which cannot be found online, otherwise), and the match-up between John McLaughlin and Sting in their version of Little Wing.

This CD has some amazing moments. It's a wonderful group of top flight players. It also sounds like they enjoyed being part of a great project.


Track Listing:

01. Tony Williams* - ...And The Gods Made Love 1:37
02. Buddy Miles/Steve Lukather - Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) 5:07
03. Taj Mahal/Robben Ford - Rainy Day, Dream Away 5:23
04. Sting/John McLaughlin/Vinnie Colaiuta - The Wind Cries Mary 4:34
05. Sass Jordan/Carlos Santana - Spanish Castle Magic 4:11
06. Toots Thielemans/The London Metropolitan Orchestra - Little Wing 3:04
07. Corey Glover/Billy Cox - In From The Storm 3:50
08. Corey Glover/Steve Vai/Hiram Bullok - Drifting 4:04
09. Paul Rodgers/Steve Vai - Bold As Love 5:11
10. Doug Pinnick/Noel Redding - Burning Of The Midnight Lamp 4:43
11. Buddy Miles/Steve Lukather/Dennis Chambers - Purple Haze 5:09
12. Brian May/Cozy Powell - One Rainy Wish 4:12


- Steve Vai / guitars
- John McLaughlin / guitars
- Carlos Santana / guitars
- Brian May / vocals, guitars
- Steve Lukather / guitars
- Robben Ford / guitars
- Eric Schenkman / guitars
- Doug Pinnick / vocals
- Buddy Miles / vocals
- Taj Mahal / vocals
- Sass Jordan / vocals
- Sting / vocals, bass
- Corey Glover / vocals
- Paul Rodgers / vocals
- Stanley Clarke / bass
- Billy Cox / bass
- Noel Redding / bass
- Bob Daisley / bass
- Neil Murray / bass
- Vinnie Colaiuta / drums
- Tony Williams / drums
- Dave Abbruzzese / drums
- Tony Beard / drums
- Dennis Chambers / drums
- Cozy Powell / drums
- The London Metropolitan Orchestra / Orchestra