Saturday, May 21, 2016

Jimi Hendrix - 1971 [1991] "Isle Of Wight"

Jimi Hendrix's August 8, 1970 set at the Isle of Wight festival in England resulted in two types of posthumous LPs in the 1970s: illegal bootlegs from various underground labels, and legal releases from Polydor. One of the legal releases that Polydor put out in England was Isle of Wight, a single LP that is consistently exciting but doesn't tell the whole story. Hendrix's performances of "Foxy Lady," "Lover Man," "Midnight Lightning," "All Along the Watchtower," "In from the Storm" and "Freedom" are excellent and made Isle of Wight well worth the price of admission when it first came out in 1971. But the LP is missing some of the other gems that Hendrix and colleagues Billy Cox (bass) and Mitch Mitchell (drums) performed at the festival, including "Red House," "Ezy Rider," "Machine Gun," "Power to Love" and "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)." In 1971, Polydor's British division should have made Isle of Wight a double-LP and released Hendrix's set in its entirety.

Recorded just weeks before his death, this is one of his very last concerts. Apparently there were all sorts of issues with the organisation of the festival, and there were equipment problems, the most obvious being them occasionally picking up the security's walkie talkies through the monitors. In some ways it's a bit of a disappointing finale to his career, he's seems a little tired or to be just going through the motions on much of this, maybe he was just getting tired of the band screaming out for Fire and Wild Thing, but at times the playing is as sublime as ever, and it's interesting to see how the band with Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell continues to expand their style. Billy Cox makes the ensemble work much better than Noel Redding ever did, a fine example being where Hendrix sits out for some time on what is easily the longest of my 20 versions of Foxy Lady. The full set is available on the album "Blue Wild Angel: Live at The Isle of Wight" and I'm not sure why they didn't release a double album first time around. I don't think is necessarily even the best selection of songs from the gig so I'd recommend getting Blue Wild Angel instead. This isn't his finest performance, but they're all unique, so if you haven't heard it, and you're a Hendrixphile, you need to. 

Between August 26th and 30th 1970 half a million people gathered at East Afton Farm on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. It marked the return of Jimi Hendrix to the British stage for the first time in 18 months. What fans heard was the swan song of a genius and an era; 18 days later Jimi died in London.


1     Intro/God Save The Queen 3:00
2     Message To Love     6:26
3     Voodoo Chile     8:01
4     Lover Man     3:25
5     Machine Gun     12:37
6     Dolly Dagger     5:32
7     Red House     11:10
8     In From The Storm     4:20
9     New Rising Sun     7:31


    Bass – Billy Cox
    Drums – Mitch Mitchell
    Guitar, Vocals – Jimi Hendrix

Friday, May 20, 2016

Jimi Hendrix - 1971 [1988] "Isle Of Wight"

Isle of Wight was a posthumous live album by Jimi Hendrix, released in November 1971 by Polydor in the U.K. only. The album documents Hendrix's performance at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival on August 30, 1970, his last performance in England before his death in September. The album was engineered by Carlos Ohlms (a British based engineer). The record company did not use a picture from the Isle of Wight concert. The cover photo is from a live concert from Berlin, Deutschlandhalle, September 4, 1970. The album spent only two weeks in the U.K. albums chart, peaking at No. 17.
Isle of Wight contains just part of the concert, but this release has a unique mix compared to the Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight 2002 release). The entire performance was released on the 2002 album Blue Wild Angel: Live at the Isle of Wight.

 In August 1970 Jimi Hendrix was at the Isle of Wight festival along with another 600,000 people. His performance took place in the early hours of the morning of August 31. Less than a month later on September 18 Jimi Hendrix died.
The Hendrix set of 62 minutes has not been regarded as one of his best performances. Nevertheless it was good. Hendrix could play his guitar. His musical ability and phrasing was quite extraordinary. Amongst some of the favourites that he played were Machine Gun (where the security personnel’s radio was picked up through the amp), All Along the Watchtower and Red House. He was very much alive.

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.

1.     "Midnight Lightning"       7:21
2.     "Foxy Lady"       8:40
3.     "Lover Man"       3:18
4.     "Freedom"       4:21
5.     "All Along the Watchtower" (Bob Dylan)     4:27
6.     "In from the Storm"       6:08


    Jimi Hendrix – guitar, vocals
    Mitch Mitchell – drums
    Billy Cox – bass guitar

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Kirwan Brown Henrique de Almeida - 2004 "Deux"

Henrique De Almeida holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi. He is a graduate of The Berklee College of Music in Jazz Composition. Henrique is the owner and music director for the
Percussion Institute of Colorado (PIC.) He is the leader of his own group, The Brazilian Jazz Project. He is a Yamaha Drums, LP Percussion, Vic Firth Sticks, Paiste Cymbals, HQ Pads, and Evans drumheads Artist. A published author, and producer, he has educational materials available on Carl Fischer Publishing.

Deux album for sale by Kirwan Brown Henrique De Almeida was released Oct 11, 2005 on the CD Baby label. Henrique De Almeida holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi. Deux buy CD music He is a graduate of The Berklee College of Music in Jazz Composition. Deux songs Henrique is the owner and music director for the Percussion Institute of Colorado (PIC. Deux album for sale
) He is the leader of his own group, The Brazilian Jazz Project. Deux CD music He is a Yamaha Drums, LP Percussion, Vic Firth Sticks, Paiste Cymbals, HQ Pads, and Evans drumheads Artist. Deux buy CD music A published author, and producer, he has educational materials available on Carl Fischer Publishing. Deux songs
He has performed, toured, recorded and or worked with: Nat Adderley, Bill Cosby, Antonio Hart, Christopher Holiday, Donny McCaslin, Chris Speed, Igor Butman, Dave Valentin, Scotty Barnhart, Tiger Okoshy, Larry Coryell, Jeff Berlin, Stanton Moore, Billy Cobham, Nelson Rangel, Jeff Narell, Ira Sullivan, Victor Mendonza, Danilo Perez, Phil Wilson, Baron Brown, Matt Garrison, Bill Summers, Hilton Ruiz, Betty Carter, Willie Williams, Nando Lauria, Alceu Valenca, Gilberto Gill, Raul De Souza, Luiz Gonzaga, Hermeto Paschoal, Brian Lynch, Ronnie Matthews, David Williams, Luciana Souza, Katy Webster, and Oscar Kartaia among others. For more information, music, or educational materials by Henrique De Almeida visit: CarlFischerdrums henriquedealmeida myspace /henriquedealmeida percussioninstitue. 

Track listing:

01 Minute to Breath
02 One for Nico
03 Dark Vehicle
04 Brown Bag Improv
05 Civic Posse
06 Walkaway
07 Cafe 64
08 Jaco Beach - Olecumbe


Kirwan Brown - Bass
Henrique de Almeida - Drums

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Led Zeppelin - 2008 "Definitive Collection 40th Anniversary" Mini-LP Replica [12 CD Box]

The Definitive Collection of Mini-LP Replica CDs boxed set is a twelve compact disc collection of albums by English rock group Led Zeppelin, distributed by Atlantic Records in conjunction with Rhino Entertainment on 4 November 2008. It contains all nine of the original Led Zeppelin studio albums digitally remastered and compressed, with the inclusion of previously unreleased tracks that had surfaced on the 1990 Boxed Set, on disc 12, as well as the two disc remastered edition of the film soundtrack The Song Remains the Same, which also includes bonus tracks. The albums are placed in chronological order all with miniature replica sleeves of the original vinyl releases. Previous to this boxed set, these replica CDs were only available as individual releases from Japan. A Japanese deluxe boxed set was made available initially from 10 September 2008, limited to 5,000 copies on SHM-CD format.
The miniature replica sleeves have made all efforts possible to preserve the original artwork and functionality of the original vinyl releases. As such, the sleeves and CD labels only list what songs were originally released, omitting the bonus tracks from the packaging.

1969 Led Zeppelin I 

Led Zeppelin is the eponymous debut studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded in October 1968 at Olympic Studios in London and released on Atlantic Records on 12 January 1969 in the United States and 31 March in the United Kingdom. Featuring integral contributions from each of the group's four members, the album established their fusion of blues and rock. It also attracted a large and devoted following to the band; Zeppelin's take on the emerging heavy rock sound endeared them to parts of the counterculture on both sides of the Atlantic.
Although the album was not critically well-received when first released, it was commercially successful, and critics have come to view it in a much more favourable light. In 2003, Led Zeppelin was ranked 29th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, keeping that position when the list was updated in 2012. In 2004, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Tracks Listing

1. Good Times, Bad Times (2:46)
2. Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You (6:41)
3. You Shook Me (6:28)
4. Dazed And Confused (6:26)
5. Your Time Is Gonna Come (4:34)
6. Black Mountain Side (2:05)
7. Communication Breakdown (2:27)
8. I Can't Quit You Baby (4:42)
9. How Many More Times (8:28)

Total Time 44:37 

Line-up / Musicians
- Jimmy Page / acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitar, backing vocals
- Robert Plant / lead vocals, harmonica
- John Paul Jones / bass guitar, organ, backing vocals
- John Bonham / drums, tympani, backing vocals

Additional musician
- Viram Jasani / tabla drums (6)

1969 Led Zeppelin II

Led Zeppelin II is the second studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released on 22 October 1969 in the United States and on 31 October 1969 in the United Kingdom on Atlantic Records. Recording sessions for the album took place at several locations in the United Kingdom and North America from January to August 1969. Production was credited to lead guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Page, while it also served as Led Zeppelin's first album to utilise the recording techniques of engineer Eddie Kramer. With elements of blues and folk music, Led Zeppelin II also exhibits the band's evolving musical style of blues-derived material and their guitar and riff-based sound. It has been described as the band's heaviest album.
Upon release, Led Zeppelin II sold well and was the band's first album to reach number one in the UK and the US. In 1970, art director David Juniper was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package for the album. On 15 November 1999, it was certified 12× Platinum by the RIAA for sales in excess of 12 million copies. Since its release, writers and music critics have regularly cited it in polls of the greatest and most influential rock albums.

Tracks Listing

1. Whole Lotta Love (5:34)
2. What Is And What Should Never Be (4:46)
3. The Lemon Song (6:18)
4. Thank You (4:47)
5. Heartbreaker (4:14)
6. Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman) (2:38)
7. Ramble On (4:24)
8. Moby Dick (4:21)
9. Bring It On Home (4:21)

Total Time: 41:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Jimmy Page / acoustic, electric & pedal steel guitar, backing vocals
- Robert Plant / vocals, harmonica
- John Paul Jones / bass guitar, organ, backing vocals
- John Bonham / drums, backing vocals

1970 Led Zeppelin III

 Led Zeppelin III is the third studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. It was recorded between January and August 1970 and released on 5 October by Atlantic Records. Composed largely at a remote cottage in Wales known as Bron-Yr-Aur, this work represented a maturing of the band's music towards a greater emphasis on folk and acoustic sounds. This surprised many fans and critics, and upon its release the album received rather indifferent reviews.
Although it is not one of the highest sellers in Zeppelin's catalogue, Led Zeppelin III is now generally praised, and acknowledged as representing an important milestone in their history. Although acoustic songs are featured on its predecessors, it is this album which is widely acknowledged for showing that Led Zeppelin were more than just a conventional rock band and that they could branch out into wider musical territory.

Tracks Listing

1 Immigrant Song (2:23)
2 Friends (3:54)
3 Celebration Day (3:28)
4 Since I've Been Loving You (7:24)
5 Out On The Tiles (4:05)
6 Gallows Pole (4:56)
7 Tangerine (2:57)
8 That's The Way (5:37)
9 Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (4:16)
10 Hats Off To (Roy) Harper (3:42)

Line-up / Musicians

- John Bonham – drums, percussion, backing vocals
- John Paul Jones – bass guitar, Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, mandolin, double bass in "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp", string arrangement
- Jimmy Page – acoustic, electric and pedal steel guitars, banjo, dulcimer, production, bass guitar on "That's the Way", backing vocals
- Robert Plant – lead vocals, harmonica

1971 Led Zeppelin IV

The untitled fourth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, was released on 8 November 1971 on Atlantic Records. Produced by guitarist Jimmy Page, it was recorded between December 1970 and March 1971 at several locations, most prominently the Victorian house Headley Grange.
After the group's 1970 album Led Zeppelin III received lukewarm reviews from critics, Page decided their fourth album would officially be untitled. This, along with the inner sleeve's design featuring four symbols that represented each band member, led to the album being referred to variously as the Four Symbols logo, Four Symbols, The Fourth Album, Untitled, Runes, The Hermit, and ZoSo (which was derived from Page's symbol). In addition to lacking a title, the original cover featured no band name, as the group wished to be anonymous and to avoid easy pigeonholing by the press.
Led Zeppelin IV was a commercial and critical success, producing many of the band's best-known songs, including "Black Dog", "Rock and Roll", "Misty Mountain Hop", "Going to California", and the band's signature song, "Stairway to Heaven". The album is one of the best-selling albums worldwide at 37 million units, and with a 23-times platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America, it is the fourth-best-selling album in the United States. Writers and critics have regularly cited it on lists of rock's greatest albums.

Track listing:

01 - Black Dog (4:56)
02 - Rock And Roll (3:41)
03 - The Battle Of Evermore (5:52)
04 - Stairway To Heaven (8:02)
05 - Misty Mountain Hop (4:39)
06 - Four Sticks (4:45)
07 - Going To California (3:32)
08 - When The Levee Breaks (7:08)


Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Paul Jones - Bass, Organ
John Bonham - Drums
Sandy Denny - Vocals (3)

1973 Houses of the Holy

 Houses of the Holy is the fifth studio album by English rock band Led Zeppelin released by Atlantic Records on 28 March 1973. It is their first album composed of entirely original material, and represents a musical turning point for the band, who had begun to record songs with more layering and production techniques.
Containing some of the band's most famous songs, including "The Song Remains the Same", "The Rain Song", and "No Quarter", Houses of the Holy became a huge success, and was certified eleven times platinum by the RIAA in 1999. In 2012, it was ranked #148 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The title track was recorded for the album, but was delayed until the band's next release, Physical Graffiti, two years later.

Track listing:

1 The Song Remains The Same (5:30)    
2 The Rain Song (7:38)    
3 Over The Hills And Far Away (4:49)    
4 The Crunge (3:15)    
5 Dancing Days (3:41)    
6 D'yer Mak'er (4:21)    
7 No Quarter (6:59)    
8 The Ocean (4:31)


Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Paul Jones - Bass, Organ
John Bonham - Drums

1975 Physical Graffiti

 Physical Graffiti is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released as a double album on 24 February 1975. The band wrote and recorded eight new songs for the album at Headley Grange. These eight songs stretched the total time of the record beyond the typical length of a single LP, so the band decided to make Physical Graffiti a double album by including unreleased tracks from earlier recording sessions: one outtake from Led Zeppelin III, three from Led Zeppelin IV, and three from Houses of the Holy, including the unused title track.
Physical Graffiti was commercially and critically successful; the album went 16x platinum in the US in 2006, signifying shipments of eight million copies, and was a number one album in both the US and UK.

Track listing:

01 Custard Pie     4:20
02 The Rover     5:54
03 In My Time Of Dying     11:08
04 Houses Of The Holy     4:01
05 Trampled Under Foot     5:38
06 Kashmir     9:41
07 In The Light     8:46
08 Bron-Yr-Aur     2:07
09 Down By The Seaside     5:15
10 Ten Years Gone     6:55
11 Night Flight     3:37
12 The Wanton Song     4:10
13 Boogie With Stu     3:45
14 Black Country Woman     4:30
15 Sick Again     4:40


Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Paul Jones - Bass, Organ
John Bonham - Drums

1976 Presence

Presence is the seventh studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released by Swan Song Records on 31 March 1976. The album was a commercial success, reaching the top of both the British and American album charts, and achieving a triple-platinum certification in the United States, despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and being the slowest-selling studio album by the band (other than the outtake album Coda).
It was written and recorded during a tumultuous time in the band's history, as singer Robert Plant was recuperating from serious injuries he had sustained the previous year in a car accident. Nevertheless, guitarist Jimmy Page describes Presence as the band's "most important" album, proving they would continue and succeed despite their turmoil.

Six of the seven songs on the album are Page and Plant compositions; the remaining song being credited to all four band members. This can be explained by the fact that the majority of the songs were formulated at Malibu, where Page (but not Bonham and Jones) had initially joined a recuperating Plant.  With Plant at less than full fitness, Page took responsibility for the album's completion, and his playing dominates the album's tracks.
Both Page and Plant had planned this album's recording session as a return to hard rock, much like their debut album, except at a new level of complexity. It marked a change in the Led Zeppelin sound towards more straightforward, guitar-based jams. Whereas their previous albums up to and including the previous year's Physical Graffiti contain electric hard rock anthems balanced with acoustic ballads and intricate arrangements, Presence was seen to include more simplified riffs, and is Led Zeppelin's only studio album that features no keyboards, and with the exception of a rhythm track on "Candy Store Rock", no acoustic guitar. The record stands in sharp contrast to their next studio album In Through the Out Door, which features keyboards on all tracks and pushes Page's guitar into the background on several songs (most notably on "Carouselambra", where Jones takes the lead on a synthesizer for most of the song, and Page is not truly heard until four minutes into the song).
The changed stylistic emphasis on this album was a direct result of the troubled circumstances experienced by the band around the time of its recording.
 Track listing:

1. "Achilles Last Stand"   10:30
2. "For Your Life"   6:21
3. "Royal Orleans"    2:59
4. "Nobody's Fault but Mine"       6:28
5. "Candy Store Rock"   4:08
6. "Hots On for Nowhere"  4:44
7. "Tea for One"   9:23


Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Paul Jones - Bass, Organ
John Bonham - Drums

 1976 The Song Remains the Same

 The Song Remains the Same is the live soundtrack album of the concert film of the same name by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The album was originally released in October 1976, before being remastered and reissued in 2007.
The Song Remains the Same is not without its charm. This, more than any of their studio albums, captures both the grandiosity and entitlement that earned the band scorn among certain quarters of rock critics and punk rockers in the mid-'70s, which makes it a valuable historical document in an odd way, as the studio records are such magnificent constructions and the archival live albums so powerful. Plus, there is a certain sinister charm to the sheer spectacle chronicled on The Song Remains the Same, particularly in the greatly expanded 2007 reissue, which adds six previously unreleased tracks, helping pump up this already oversized album into something truly larger than life. At this stage, Zeppelin only seemed concerned with pleasing themselves, but they only did so because they could -- others tried to mimic them, but nobody could get the sheer size of their sound, which was different yet equally monstrous on-stage as it was on record. It wasn't as consistent on-stage as it was on record -- a half-hour "Dazed and Confused" may be the stuff of legend, but it's still a chore to get through -- but the very fact that Led Zeppelin could take things so far is part of their mystique, and nowhere is that penchant of excess better heard than on The Song Remains the Same.

Track listing:

CD 1
    Rock And Roll
    Celebration Day
    Black Dog (including Bring It On Home)*
    Over The Hills And Far Away*
    Misty Mountain Hop*
    Since I've Been Loving You*
    No Quarter
    The Song Remains the Same
    The Rain Song
    The Ocean*

CD 2
    Dazed And Confused
    Stairway To Heaven
    Moby Dick
    Whole Lotta Love


Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Paul Jones - Bass, Organ
John Bonham - Drums

1979 In Through The Out Door

In Through the Out Door is the eighth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, and their final album of entirely new material. It was recorded over a three-week period in November and December 1978 at ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, and released by Swan Song Records on 15 August 1979. In Through the Out Door was the band's eighth and final studio release to reach the top of the charts in America, and was the last released by the band before the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980.
The album is a reflection of the personal turmoil that the band members had been going through before and during its recording. For example, frontman Robert Plant and his wife had gone through a serious car accident, and their young son, Karac Plant, died from a stomach illness. All four band members also felt weary of dealing with record companies and other associates. Despite this, the release wound up being a huge commercial success, particularly in the United States (sitting at the #1 slot on Billboard's chart in just its second week on the chart).

Track listing:

1. "In the Evening"    6:53
2. "South Bound Saurez"    4:13
3. "Fool in the Rain"   6:10
4. "Hot Dog"            3:18
5. "Carouselambra"      10:34
6. "All My Love"        5:53
7. "I'm Gonna Crawl"     5:29


Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Paul Jones - Bass, Organ
John Bonham - Drums

1982 Coda

Coda is the ninth and final studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in 1982. The album is a collection of unused tracks from various sessions during Led Zeppelin's twelve-year career. It was released two years after the group had officially disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham. The word coda, meaning a passage that ends a musical piece following the main body, was therefore chosen as the title.
Coda is a unique album for us to review. Although it is listed officially as the ninth and final studio album by Led Zeppelin, it could just as well be listed as a quasi-compilation of unreleased tracks in the tradition of The Who’s Odds and Sods or Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes. Like those, this is a fine and entertaining album, and a must-have for any serious fan of the artist. But we internally debated whether it was proper to include Coda with our reviews from 1982. After all, it had been a full two years since the death of drummer John Bonham and the subsequent disbandment of Led Zeppelin as a cohesive group. Also, the most recent recordings on Coda were made four years prior to its November 1982 release, with the earliest recording stretching back to the late 1960s. The truth is, we simply could not overlook this album. After all, this IS Led Zeppelin and this band is likely to be the only one which Classic Rock Review covers every single studio album (I mean, we’ve already done Presence, what can we possibly exclude?)

The album spans the band’s entire career, from live performances just after their debut album to unused songs from In Through the Out Door sessions. However, it focuses mainly on the bookends of very early material and very recent material with very little representation from the band’s most popular “middle” years. This is most likely due to the fact that 1975’s Physical Graffiti included many unreleased songs from that era.

With such a chasm between the early and recent material, producer and lead guitarist Jimmy Page did a great job making it all sound cohesive. This included extensive, yet not overwhelming, post-production treatment of each track. According to Page, the album was released because there was so much bootleg stuff out following the disbandment. However, Coda was not a comprehensive collection in its original form. The 1982 LP contained eight tracks and ran at a mere 33 minutes in length. Eleven years later, four more tracks were added to CD versions of the album, tracks which were mysteriously excluded originally. Some have suggested it was really only released to fulfill a contract obligation to Atlantic Records.

Track listing:

01 We're Gonna Groove
02 Poor Tom
03 I Can't Quit You Baby
04 Walter's Walk
05 Ozone Baby
06 Darlene
07 Bonzo's Montreux
08 Wearing and Tearing
09 Baby Come On Home [Bonus Track]
10 Travelling Riverside Blues [Bonus Track]
11 White Summer,Black Mountain Side [Bonus Track]
12 Hey Hey What Can I Do [Bonus Track]


Jimmy Page - Guitars
Robert Plant - Vocals
John Paul Jones - Bass, Organ
John Bonham - Drums

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Al Foster - 1978 [2016] "Mixed Roots"

Al Foster (born January 18, 1943) is an American jazz drummer. Foster played with Miles Davis during the 1970s, and was one of the few people to have contact with Davis during his retirement from 1975–1981. Foster also played on Davis's 1981 comeback album The Man with the Horn in 1981. He was the only musician to play in Davis's band both before and after his retirement.
Foster has toured extensively with Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson. He is a versatile drummer who has played in musical styles ranging from bebop to free form to jazz/rock.

Foster was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up in New York. He began playing drums at the age of 13 and made his recording debut with Blue Mitchell at 21.
He joined Miles Davis's group when Jack DeJohnette left in 1972, and played with Davis until 1985. In his 1989 autobiography, Davis described the first time he heard Foster play live in 1972 at the Cellar Club in Manhattan: "He [Foster] knocked me out because he had such a groove and he would just lay it right in there. That was the kind of thing I was looking for. Al could set it up for everybody else to play-off and just keep the groove going forever."

He was recording with Blue Mitchell (as "Aloysius Foster" on the Blue Note album The Thing to Do). In 1969, at the Cellar Club on 95th St. in Manhattan, Foster got his big break; as he was backing up bassist Earl May in a quartet, his drumming was noticed by trumpeter Miles Davis. Davis hired Foster on the spot as a replacement for Jack DeJohnette, who was then departing the ever-enlarging Davis group of that period. This indeed would prove a long commitment for Foster, who played on every Miles Davis album ranging from Big Fun to You're Under Arrest, and toured with him extensively.
Foster left Miles Davis in 1985, and since then has worked independently, sometimes as leader, sometimes as sideman. Over his lengthy and enduring career Al Foster has worked with Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Haden, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Liebman, Herbie Hancock, and Joe Henderson.

Track listing:

01. Mixed Roots
02. Ya' Damn Right
03. Pauletta
04. Double Stuff
05. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Dedicated to Miles Davis)
06. El Cielo Verde
07. Soft Distant


Al Foster - drums (#1-7), piano (#4)
Michael Brecker (#1-7) - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Bob Mintzer (#1,2), Sam Morrison (#5,6) - soprano saxophone
Jim Clouse - alto saxophone, flute (#5)
Paul Metzke - guitar (#1-3,5-7)
Masabumi Kikuchi (#1-6) - piano, keyboards
Teo Macero - piano (#7)
Jeff Berlin (#1,2), T.M. Stevens (#3-6), Ron McClure (#7) - bass

Recorded at CBS Recording Studios, New York in 1978.

Pat Martino - 1997 "Fire Dance"

Fire Dance is an East-meets-West fusion recording that was the brainchild of Peter Block (flute) and Habib Khan (sitar). Block recruited Pat Martino for this session after hearing his work on The Maker and Baiyina, making him a logical choice. Martino is mostly relegated to a sideman/group member role, but he is given plenty of space. While Block, Khan, tabla player Zakir Hussain, and violinist Ilya Rayzman sound perfectly at home here, Martino doesn't always sound comfortable. That is not to suggest this isn't a worthy effort, as the session as a whole is very rewarding. In fact, coupled with Martino's adventures on All Sides Now, this recording proved that he was not content to stay within any sort of comfort zone. While the results do not match the inspired work John McLaughlin did with Shakti, they are comparable to his much-beloved and influential Baiyina.

After finishing All Sides Now for Blue Note in 1997, the concept album of pairings with musicians of various compatability, Pat Martino headed off to San Francisco to record this intriguing east-meeting-west project. In a sense, it has a collaborative spirit that extends the earlier project, but here, the musicians cross freely over cultural boundaries, mainly in the direction of Indian classical tradition. The session is led by flutist Peter Block and sitarist Habib Khan, who provide the compositions-improvisational vehicles more than anything-and are joined by violinist Ilya Rayzman and the ever-robust Zakir Hussain on tabla. But it is Martino who provides the greatest excitement here, partly because of the unorthodoxy of the electric guitar in this setting, and partly because he burns, pure and simple. He serves a clean-but-ferocious style that is inimitably his own, and yet which adapts itself to other modes of musical thinking.

Far more adventurous is Firedance, a 1997 recording in which Martino guests with an organic quintet that includes the stunning tabla player Zakar Hussain and sitarist Hibab Khan. In a set of inspired performances, Martino rises to the challenge of fusing his bittersweet style with the rapturous, intense skills and songs of these Indian masters. Weaving his notes around the others with pure selflessness, he seems more intent on listening and learning than leading. He adds funky riffs to the lustrous "Sacred River" and thoughtful, Wes-like chords and inspired picking to the shimmering "Forgiveness."

To start off I am not very versed in traditional Indian music at all, but this album changed that, it gave me my first (aware) exposure to the mastery of Zakir Hussain and I have since delved deeper. I'm already a huge Pat Martino fan and I actually got this from an acquaintance giving away his old cd's, and this is quite possibly my favorite among them. Considering he gave me a giant box of cd's including the majority of the works of Joe Pass and Pat Martino, that's saying something. This album is a perfect merger between the surprisingly similar worlds of modern jazz and traditional Indian music. Many times Pat will barely be audible, just letting the band go its course, each member a phenomenal player sewing this epic yarn of expression.

FireDance presents a pleasing and well balanced blend of international starts who are masters of their own respective instruments, including the well known jazz name of Pat Martino and the tabla superstar, none other than Ustad Zakir Hussain.. Block on the flute is quite noteworthy as well.. the tracks present themselves as frolicking, fanciful light pieces with each instrumentalist taking his turn on the improvisational wheel, amidst the constant rhythmic wizardry of Zakir, who is the highlight of the disc as far as this listner is concerned.. if you are looking for the intense, hard core improvisational jams of Shakti, you will not really find them here - this cd is less intense (improvisationally) and caters to the listener whose ear is perhaps not accustomed to an international blend.. however, an essential piece for the indian classical music-jazz fusion collection.

Track listing

01. Firedance
02. Amrita
03. Sacred River
04. Garland for a Poet
05. Summer Stars
06. Avatar
07. Forgiveness
08. Zeeshan
09. A Season in Solitude
10. Song for Yogam


Pat Martino - Guitar
Peter Block - Alto and Bass Flutes
Habib Khan - Sitar
Ilya Rayzman - Violin
Zakir Hussain - Tabla, Percussion 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mahavishnu Orchestra - 1973-1975 [2014] "Between Nothingness & Eternity" "Visions of the Emerald Beyond"

Mahavishnu Orchestra - 1973-1975 [2014] "Between Nothingness And Eternity"

Between Nothingness & Eternity is the first live album of Mahavishnu Orchestra, and last with the original line-up, released in 1973. According to the Mahavishnu Orchestra Gigs listing by Walter Kolosky, it was recorded live at the Schaefer Music Festival, held in Central Park, New York on August 17 and 18, 1973, even though, available recordings seems to prove that all of the material from the album was actually taken from the second night only. Originally, Mahavishnu Orchestra's third album was to be a studio one, recorded in June 1973 at Trident Studios in London, but was scrapped during the final days of the project. A live album containing versions of three out of the original six tracks came out instead. The original studio album was later released in 1999 as The Lost Trident Sessions.
Between Nothingness & Eternity was included in 2011 as part of The Complete Columbia Albums Collection boxset, along with the other albums by the first line-up of the band, including "The Lost Trident Sessions". This new version was a new different mix with an additional minute of music on "Sister Andrea". The boxset also contained an album called "Unreleased Tracks from Between Nothingness & Eternity" which contains other selections from the two Central Park shows.

The first Mahavishnu Orchestra's original very slim catalog was padded out somewhat by this live album (recorded in New York's Central Park) on which the five jazz/rock virtuosos can be heard stretching out at greater length than in the studio. There are only three selections on the disc, all of which were to have been on the group's then-unissued third album -- two of them, guitarist John McLaughlin's "Trilogy: Sunlit Path/La Merede la Mer" and keyboardist Jan Hammer's "Sister Andrea," are proportioned roughly as they were in their studio renditions, while the third, McLaughlin's "Dream," is stretched to nearly double its 11-minute studio length. Each develops organically through a number of sections, and there are fewer lockstep unison passages than on the earlier recordings. McLaughlin is as flashy and noisy as ever on double-necked electric guitar, and Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman are a match for him in the speed department, with drummer Billy Cobham displaying a compelling, raw power and dexterity to his work as well, especially on the CD edition, which also gives bassist Rich Laird a showcase for his slightly subtler work. Yet for all of the superb playing, one really doesn't hear much music on this album; electricity and competitive empathy are clearly not enough, particularly on the 21-minute "Dream," which left a lot of fans feeling let down at the end of its side-two-filling run on the LP. In the decades since this album was released, the studio versions of these three pieces, along with other tracks being worked up for their third album, have appeared as The Lost Trident Sessions -- dating from May and June of 1973 -- thus giving fans a means of comparing this repertory to what the band had worked out (or not worked out) in the studio; and Between Nothingness and Eternity has come up a bit in estimation as a result, benefiting as it does from the spontaneity and energy of a live performance, though even that can only carry this work so far -- beyond the personality conflicts that broke up the band, they seem to have been approaching, though not quite reaching, a musical dead end as well.

Tracks Listing

1. Trilogy Medley (12:01)
... The Sunlit Path
... La Mere De La Mer
... Tomorrow's Story Not The Same
2. Sister Andrea (8:22)
3. Dream (21:24)

Total Time: 41:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Jerry Goodman / violin
- Jan Hammer / synthesizer, piano, keyboards, Moog synthesizer
- Rick Laird / bass
- John McLaughlin / synthesizer, guitar
- Sri Chinmoy / poetry
- Billy Cobham / drums

Mahavishnu Orchestra - 1975 [2014] "Visions of the Emerald Beyond"

Visions of the Emerald Beyond is an album by the jazz fusion group Mahavishnu Orchestra, and the second released by its second incarnation.
According to the liner notes, the album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City from December 4 until December 14, 1974. It was then mixed at Trident Studios in London from December 16 until December 24, 1974.

As the second album to document the second Mahavishnu Orchestra, this one isn't as, well, apocalyptic as its predecessor, yet it does focus more intently on the band itself. Jean-Luc Ponty's curling electric violin lines help give this Mahavishnu band a more European sound than its predecessor, and some of the orchestral concepts of Apocalypse work their way into the picture via comments by a string trio and trumpet/sax duo. This band also had some interest in a bombastic funk direction that may have been borrowed from Mr. "Chameleon" Herbie Hancock, and would later be followed by Mahavishnu Two's drummer, Michael Walden. Gayle Moran's ethereal vocals don't date as badly as those on many jazz-rock records; at least she can sing. Overall, this Mahavishnu edition is more refined and not as aggressive as the first -- although they could charge ahead pretty hard, as "Be Happy" and "On the Way Home to Earth" demonstrate -- yet they were still capable of making memorable electric music.

Visions of the Emerald Beyond is the most-overlooked and under-appreciated recording John McLaughlin has ever made. This album, released in 1975, features an expanded Mahavishnu line-up that went beyond a horn and string section to include the dynamic Narada Michael Walden on drums and fusion superstar Jean Luc Ponty on violin.

This album is drenched in a new sort of funkiness that McLaughlin had not explored in previous Mahavishnu recordings.

"Eternity's Breath" opens the album, and right away you know you are in for a sonic treat. McLaughlin's notes are fat and strong. Walden's drumming is powerful and propulsive. Ponty's violin literally soars to heights he has never attained on his own recordings. The strings and horns do not have that superfluous quality found in many other "third-stream" efforts. They are relevant to the musical event. Vocals even pop up now and then, and although they can be somewhat "holier than thou", they too add to the orchestral milieu of Visions.

Many listeners wanting to hear a clone of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra never accepted this band. That is too bad, because MO2 had a lot to say. The band has a full and engaging sound, plus the balls to present it in a grandiose fashion.

Michael Walden's "Cosmic Strut' opened up side two of this album on the original vinyl release. Talk about FUNK! This tune envelops you in it. Walden, who has gone onto to become a superstar producer, was a great fusion writer.

"Lila's Dance" is another gem. When Branford Marsalis served as the musical director of America's Jay Leno Tonight Show, his band, also featuring the fine jazz guitarist Kevin Eubanks, would regularly perform the tune, along with "Meeting of the Spirits." Even two decades years later these tunes were too much for the establishment to take. Management told Marsalis to stop playing this type of music. That attitude, along with some other issues, convinced Branford that he no longer had a job. Eubanks has the gig now, and although he's a huge McLaughlin fan, he doesn't play any of these tunes. He wants to keep his job. That's how dangerous this music can still be.

Tracks Listing

1. Eternity's Breath Part 1 (3:10)
2. Eternity's Breath Part 2 (4:48)
3. Lila's Dance (5:34)
4. Can't Stand Your Funk (2:09)
5. Pastoral (3:41)
6. Faith (2:00)
7. Cosmic Strut (3:28)
8. If I Could See (1:18)
9. Be Happy (3:31)
10. Earth Ship (3:42)
11. Pegasus (1:48)
12. Opus 1 (0:15)
13. On The Way Home To Earth (4:34)

Total Time: 39:57

Line-up / Musicians

- John McLaughlin / 6- & 12-string guitars, vocals
- Gayle Moran / keyboards, vocals
- Jean-Luc Ponty / violins (electric & baritone electric) (10 solo)
- Ralphe Armstrong / bass, double bass, vocals
- Michael Walden / drums, percussion, clavinet, vocals

- Bob Knapp / flute, trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals
- Russell Tubbs / alto & soprano saxes
- Steven Kindler / 1st violin (5 solo)
- Carol Shive / 2nd violin, vocals
- Phillip Hirschi / cello

Crusaders - 1979 [1984] "Street Life"

Street Life is a studio album by the American jazz band The Crusaders. It was a top 20 album on three Billboard charts and represents the peak of the band's commercial popularity. The title track, featuring singer Randy Crawford, was a Top 40 pop single (#36) and became the group's most successful entry on the soul chart (#17).[3] It was #5 on the UK charts.. "Street Life" also hit the disco chart, peaking at #75,[4] and was re-recorded by Doc Severinsen with Crawford reprising her vocal for the opening sequence of the noir crime drama Sharky's Machine, directed by Burt Reynolds in 1981. This faster paced and more powerful version was also featured in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, released in 1997. The song is also featured in Grand Theft Auto V.

Although the Crusaders could not have known it at the time, their recording of "Street Life" (which features a memorable vocal by Randy Crawford) was a last hurrah for the 20-year old group. Their recordings of the next few years would decline in interest until the band gradually faded away in the '80s. However this particular set is well worth picking up for the 11-minute title cut and there is good playing by the three original members (Wilton Felder on tenor, soprano and electric bass, keyboardist Joe Sample and drummer Stix Hooper) along with guitarist Barry Finnerty; horn and string sections, plus additional guitarists are utilized on Sample's commercial but listenable arrangements..

 I bought this album when it first came out in '79. This is the album that introduced the Crusaders to a much wider audience and did the same for MISS RANDY CRAWFORD. This is a musical match made in HEAVEN. The only drawback is that Randy and the group didn't work together more often after this project.
This album is one of the classic jazz/funk exercises of the era. A time when the fusion of jazz and funk was at perfection. To me, jazz/funk has evolved into "acid jazz" more so than "smooth jazz" and with the Crusaders, and this album, you're listening to the innovators of both genres.
The jam "Street Life," starts the album off with a bang. This tune paints a picture of "street life" at its classiest, thanks to Randy's vocal performance. You are given a picture of how you can "play your life away," but because Randy's vocal is so seductive, you want to take your chances and play anyway.
From there, you move to the funky/smooth "My Lady" and Wilton Felder's melodic sax. Then it's back to groovin' with "Rodeo Drive." The Crusaders keep it funky with "Carnival of the Night" and "The Hustler." Then they smooth it out with "Night Faces."
Adding to the seductive nature of the album is Wilton Felder's horn work. It is his playing along with the standout title track that sets the mood for your musical experience. You listen to this and you can picture yourself living the "street life." A masterpiece. 

Of all the great albums the Crusader's have issued, Street Life is tops. Its kind of ironic that I didn't really like the title cut when it was released,(preferring instrumentals instead) but now it is one of my two favorite cuts on the album. Its not just the tremendous voice of Randy Crawford, its the awful plain truth of the lyrics. People in the fast lane living the street life would do well to heed the song's powerful message. The instrumentals are great too, but the real stand-out is the sax-powered Rodeo Drive (High Steppin'). I can listen to that over and over again. I've owned Street Life since its release more than 20 years ago and I never get tired of hearing it as it is positively mesmerizing.

The Crusaders' 1979 album 'Street Life' would have to be one of the greatest albums ever made to date. The reason for that would have to be the classic disco-jazz-funk song of the same name in which the great soul singer Randy Crawford helped make into a huge hit.
Wilton Felder (saxophones/bass), Joe Sample (keyboards) and Stix Hooper (drums) show why they know how to keep things together on the whole album musically and universally, even with the help of other sessions musicians like bassist Robert 'Pops' Popwell and guitarist Larry Carlton and the use of some peachy string, horn or other instrumental arrangements here and there.
A Must-Buy and Must-Hear Experince for any Crusaders fans wherever you might be in the world.

Track listing

    "Street Life" (Will Jennings, Joe Sample) – 11:18
    "My Lady" (Wilton Felder) – 6:43
    "Rodeo Drive (High Steppin')" (Sample) – 4:28
    "Carnival of the Night" (Felder) – 6:24
    "The Hustler" (Stix Hooper) – 5:18
    "Night Faces" (Sample) – 5:10


    Arthur Adams - guitar
    Roland Bautista - guitar
    Oscar Brashear - trumpet
    Garnett Brown - trombone
    Randy Crawford - vocals
    Paulinho Da Costa - percussion
    Wilton Felder - saxophone, bass guitar, producer
    Barry Finnerty - guitar
    William Green - saxophone
    Stix Hooper - drums, producer
    Paul Jackson Jr. - guitar
    James Jamerson - bass guitar
    Alphonso Johnson - bass guitar
    Robert O'Bryan - trumpet
    Jerome Richardson - saxophone
    Billy Rogers - guitar

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Joe Henderson, Lenny White - 1982 "A Very Special Concert"

This concert features Chick Corea playing with members of the "Return to Forever" band, which includes the legendary players Stanley Clarke on bass, the much celebrated Lenny White on drums plus the multi-GRAMMY® winner Joe Henderson on tenor sax. Songs include "L#s Bop," "Why Wait," "500 Miles High," "Guernica." Chick Corea#s four-decade career is the stuff of jazz legend, a blend of influential, limit-breaking musical experiences which have filled pages of 20th century music history encyclopedias. Jazz has never been the same since the birth of the samba-flavored ensemble of Return to Forever.

Lenny White's introduction of his bandmates as 'The World's Greatest Musicians' is no exaggeration - this music performance is indeed special, and as the previous reviewer mentioned is a perfect place for newcomers to begin exploring modern acoustic jazz. [there is also another, separate DVD available - released four years ago - of Corea playing acoustic music: "Chick Corea & Friends: Remembering Bud Powell" (live 1996).]

This concert was video taped at Wolf & Rissmiller's Country Club in Reseda, California [not Tokyo, Japan as the previous review states] in 1982.

as mentioned in the other review, this DVD video focuses on Return To Forever music and musicians - but without electric instruments. The Chick Corea/Stanley Clarke/Lenny White section reunites from early-mid '70s album classics such as Stanley Clarke's "Children Of Forever" and RTF's "Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy".

Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson had worked with each of these musicians in various jazz contexts for many years before this 1982 reunion. Clarke and White had appeared on Henderson's own 1970-71 Milestone label albums "In Pursuit Of Blackness" and "If You're Not Part Of The Solution, You're Part Of The Problem" (memorably with Lenny White and trumpeter Woody Shaw on a smoking Sept. 1970 live at The Lighthouse session). White and Henderson also famously appeared together on Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay" [CTI label, 1970] album. Corea and Henderson had worked together on recordings such as "Mirror, Mirror" [MPS label 1980, w/Ron Carter and Billy Higgins], "Relaxin' At Camarillo" [Contemporary label 1979, w/Peter Erskine and Tony Williams], and a great 1981 set "Live In Montreux" [Corea's own Stretch label, w/Gary Peacock and Roy Haynes].

Henderson is prominently featured on three of the tracks (he sits out for the trio to perform Corea's '500 Miles High'), giving a beautiful glimpse of his blues-inflected playing on Clarke's composition 'Why Wait', extended improvisation on 'Guernica' (Clarke - bowed bass), and his tour-de-force technique on the swift opener 'L's Bop' (which Lenny White - who co-produced the audio on this recording - closes with a bravura drum solo). Each musician is joyfully sensitive and alert to one another throughout the set; a display of jazz improvisational magic at its finest.

 The Corea/Clarke/Henderson/White lineup was being billed at the time as 'Echoes Of An Era', and the Musician label released a few LPs of this group featuring: Freddie Hubbard, trumpet, and Chaka Khan, vocal on one, Nancy Wilson, vocal [sans Hubbard and Khan] on another, and a third called "The Griffith Park Collection" [slyly announced by Chick in this video as their current release]. Three (or possibly four?) cameras were employed; audio was done as a digital, two-track live recording. Legon also explains those funky, casual threads worn by the musicians: an airport snow delay and their last-minute arrival to the gig.

Before the CHICK COREA AKOUSTIC BAND, Chick Corea was writing and performing acoustic music. To my knowledge this is the first concert of Chick Corea playing acoustic music on DVD. This quartet is particularly impressive seeing that it has 3/4 of the Corea led Return To Forever. RTF did perform acoustic music but this group is closer to jazz/bebop than RTF ever was. Chick Corea is joined by RTF veterans Lenny White on Drums and Stanley Clarke on bass as well as Joe Henderson on Tenor Saxophone. The result is a set of acoustic jazz that is, at times, amazing and always engaging.
The show is only about an hour long, but what an hour it is. Joe Henderson is a very good tenor sax player and is impressive at times on this disc. Lenny White shows that he can play drums in a non-electric setting. Lenny is solid throughout but doesn't do anything mind boggling like Dave Weckl does on the Akoustic Band CDs. Chick Corea shows why he is THE keyboard virtuoso/composer of the last 30 years. Stanley Clarke is Stanley Clarke. If you have never heard/seen Stanley play the acoustic bass then you are going to be blown away. The interplay between himself and Corea or White is amazing. Stanley Clarke knows how to link the melody and rhythm together and when he solos, look out. At long last, a chance to see Stanley on DVD.
The DVD is one set from the band, captured live in California in 1982. The music sounds as if the Akoustic band hired a Saxophone player to join them. The tunes are very similar to the Akoustic band in tonality/style although the saxophone adds a new dimension. The set includes only 4 songs so you know that it is heavy on improvisation. This is post-bop jazz. The band, as a whole, soars and Chick and Stanley are amazing. All of the songs are bop-influened. They also contain elements of othere jazz influences, most notably Chick Corea's '500 Miles High'. '500 Miles High' is the highlight for me. Henderson sits this song out and the trio performs another latin influeced Corea composition. The magic of RTF is revisited as all 3 are given space to do their thing. The interplay picks up from where Romantic Warrior left off. During this piece Stanley Clarke takes upright bass playing to unparalled heights. The Coltranesque technique that he plays on electric is unleashed on acoustic. Nobody plays upright like Stanley.
In conclusion, if you are familiar with Chick Corea's impressive acoustic catalog and you like what you've heard; then you'll also like this. IF you are a fusion fan and haven't yet begun to listen to bebop or straight jazz then this would be a good place to start. It has all of the elements that make acoustic jazz what it is.

Recorded live at Wolf & Rissmiller's Country Club, Reseda, California, 7 April 1982.
Playing time: 56.22 min.

Courtesy: Original uploader 


1. L's Bop – Lenny White
2. Why Wait – Stanley Clarke
3. 500 Miles High – Chick Corea
4. Guernica – Lenny White


Chick Corea - Keyboard
Stanley Clarke - Bass
Joe Henderson - Tenor Sax
Lenny White - Drums

Friday, May 6, 2016

Colosseum - 1969 [1990] "Those Who Are About To Die" - "Valentyne Suite"

Those Who Are About to Die Salute You - Morituri Te Salutant is the debut album by Colosseum, released in 1969 by Fontana. It is one of the pioneering albums of jazz fusion.[1] The title is a translation of the Latin phrase morituri te salutant that according to popular belief (but not academic agreement), gladiators addressed to the emperor before the beginning of a gladiatorial match.
The album reached number 15 in the UK Albums Chart
Allmusic's review was laudatory, saying the album "is a powerful one, unleashing each member's instrumental prowess at one point while consolidating each talent to form an explosive outpouring of progressive jazz/rock the next." They highly praised the variety and uniqueness of each song, the playing of the musicians, and the group's ability to create a blend of jazz, rock, and classical elements that was unconventional yet accessible.

Valentyne Suite was the second album released by the band Colosseum. It was Vertigo Records' first album release, and reached number 15 in the UK Albums Chart in 1969.[1]
Though the song "The Kettle" is officially listed as having been written by Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman, a credit which is confirmed by Hiseman's liner notes for the album, bassist and producer Tony Reeves later claimed that it was written by guitarist and vocalist James Litherland
 Allmusic derided the first three tracks, referring to "The Kettle" and "Butty's Blues" as, "tarted-up 12-bar blues", and claiming that "Elegy" was beyond James Litherland's abilities as a vocalist. They were more approving of the rest of the album, and described Dave Greenslade's solo on "The Valentyne Suite" as, "something to offer a challenge to vintage Keith Emerson, but with swing." They were critical of Litherland and Reeves's playing on the song, however, and concluded, "In retrospect this might not quite the classic it seemed at the time, but it remains listenable.

This is one of the pivotal progressive bands that emerged in the second part of the Sixties. Unfortunalety the progressive world was more impressed by The NICE and KING CRIMSON, so in my opinion COLOSSEUM is a bit underestimated progrock band. In 68 the founding members were drummer Jon Hiseman, tenor sax-player Dick Heckstall-Smith and bass player Tony Reeves, later joined by Dave Greenslade (keyboards), Dave Clempson (guitar), Chris Farlowe (vocals) and Mark Clark, he replaced Tony Reeves. COLOSSEUM made three studio albums: "Those Who Are To Die We Salute You" and "Valentyne Suite" (both from 69) and "Daughter Of Time" (70). The music is a progressive mix of several styles (rock, jazz, blues) with lots of sensational solos and captivating interplay. In 71 the band released their highly acclaimed live album "Colosseum live", a proove of their great skills on stage but also showing that at some moments the compositions sounded a bit too stretched. After COLOSSEUM was disbanded in 71, most of these members formed or joined known groups like HUMBLE PIE (Clem Clempson), ATOMIC ROOSTER (Chris Farlowe), GREENSLADE (Dave Greenslade re-united with Tony Reeves) and COLOSSEUM II (founded by Jon Hiseman). In 91 the label Castle Communications released the comprehensive compilation CD entitled "The Time Machine".
The second album "The Valentyne Suite" is considered as their best. It sounds mature and varied with the epic titletrack as the highlight: its build up around a mindblowing solo on the Hammond organ by Dave Greenslade and great guitarwork by James Litherland. And if you like brass (I dont!), Dick Heckstall-Smith delivers stunning tenor-saxophone work.

Tracks Listing

Those Who Are About to Die Salute You: (40:22)
1. Walking in the Park (3:51)
2. Plenty Hard Luck (4:23)
3. Mandarin (4:27)
4. Debut (6:20)
5. Beware the Ides of March (5:34)
6. The Road She Walked Before (2:39)
7. Backwater Blues (7:35)
8. Those About to Die (4:49)

Valentyne Suite: (35:27)
9. The Kettle (4:25)
10. Elegy (3:10)
11. Butty's Blues (6:44)
12. The Machine Demands a Sacrifice (3:52)
13. The Valentyne Suite (16:35)
- a. Theme One - January's Search
- b. Theme Two - February's Valentyne
- c. Theme Three - The Grass Is Always Greener...

Total Time: 75:49

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Greenslade / organ, keyboards, vocals
- Dick Heckstall-Smith / tenor & soprano saxophone
- Jon Hiseman / drums
- James Litherland / guitar, vocals
- Tony Reeves / bass guitar

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Allan Holdsworth - 1995 "One City Night"

Allan Holdsworth - 1995 One City Night - Philadelphia PA. 07.12.95

Rare One City Night Allan Holdsworth CD
Live Theater of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA. 7/12/95 Mega-Ranch Records 1995 ~ catalog# 73368-2 Featuring: Allan Holdsworth Steve Hunt Skuli Sverrisson Chad Wackerman A Hard to Find CD!

By the fans, for the fans of Allan Holdsworth.

Track Listing

01    Funnels
02    Looking Glass
03    Auhkukah
04    Low Levels, High Stakes
05    Pud Wud
06    Shallow Sea
07    Devil Take The Hindmost
08    House Of Mirrors
09    Water On The Brain, Part 2
10    The Things You See
11    Postlude


Allan Holdsworth - Guitars
Steve Hunt - Keyboards
Skuli Sverrisson - Bass
Chad Wackerman - Drums

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Jean-Luc Ponty - 1976 "Imaginary Voyage"

Imaginary Voyage is a studio album by French Jazz-Fusion artist Jean-Luc Ponty. It was released in 1976 on Atlantic Records.

As of 1976, Jean-Luc Ponty's variations on the Mahavishnu Orchestra theme were still fresh and imaginative, cast in a distinctively different, more lyrical, more controlled framework. For Imaginary Voyage, Ponty's instrumental lineup is identical to that of Mahavishnu -- electric violin, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums -- but he turns the emphasis on its head, with all commands coming directly from the violin (his) and less competitive crossplay emanating from his colleagues. For starters, "New Country" is a lively jazz-rock hoedown, one of those periodic C&W side trips that some fusioneers attempt for a lark, and "The Gardens of Babylon" is a wonderfully memorable tune, the beginnings of which grow out of "New Country." The last half of the LP is taken up by the title composition, a strong four-part suite that hangs together with barely a snag in interest over its 20-minute span. 

If you are a considering buying a Luc Ponty CD and you're not sure where to begin....well the answer is, Imaginary Voyage. I own most of his music and this one stands out as being the most musical and beautiful compostion. (I might add that Egnimatic Ocean is another gem). Listen on all you progressive Jazz lovers :)

Back in the 70's, I bought this album - the second ponty Album I got after Cosmic Messenger. the music was PERFECT for the time period and for things going through me back then. Like Cosmic messenger, it takes you on that achetypical "trip" that some of us discovered later can be experienced without "medical assistance." ;-) This will do it for you! in fact, this is the sort of music that you put headphones on for and sit it out on your most comfortable chair ... close your eyes and "travel." The music is compelling and extrememly well orchestrated. The melodies are extremely unique keeping in mind when it came out (that is if you heard similar, you probably heard copy cats from later periods.) This is a highly recommended piece of the Ponty Collection which I will keep updating at every improvement of technology (Album to Tape to CD to DVD, whatever ...) This album was part of the "fusion" music that took my out of my high brow classical phase into the "modern era." 

Imaginary Voyage is awesome. Jean Luc Ponty shows that there is such a thing as violin jazz, but his sound is one that can't be pigeonholed. Just listen to county and western influenced 'New Gardens' and it will have you bobbing your head and tapping your feet. The slower paced 'The Gardens of Babylon' is just as powerful. I think that every cut is a winner. Imaginary Voyage Parts I through IV just flows from one cut to the next. You can hear the instruments talk to one another. This is one of my favorite CD's. Try listening to it through earphones. Awesome! Highly recommended.Vannie(~.~)

For his second album of 1976 Jean Luc Ponty finaly realized the combination of musical ideas that would offer him his distinctive sound. While his previous two albums were certainly nothing to skimp on,they were actually part of a process which would lead up to a string of late 70's musical triumphs for him. Beginning with this album. After a period of seeing which,where and how of his own musical ideas fit his sound best,it seemed that everything was building to what happened here. And I can honestly say it's one of his very best musical achievements.

"New Country" is likely one of the most unique compositions ever. It sounds rather like some combination of a country/western howdown and a firey jazz rocker. Very inventive. "The Gardens Of Babylon" and "Once Upon A Dream" showcase the best aspect of his "new sound" very well: sleek,glossy and streamlined fusion with a good emphasis on melody and rhythmically powerful as well. "Tarantula" goes an excellent job at blending the pounding jazz rock with more rhythmic jazz funk. Not as simple to do as one might think but it works here. The title track,a four part rhythmic extravaganza ending with an intense eight minute jazz funk groove again allows for some exciting soloing from Ponty.

Jean Luc Ponty's musical journey was always as ongoing one. I suppose if you followed his musical progression from his earliest days to his latest release the progression would be more obvious. But even taken in scattered bits it's not difficult to hear. This basic format of one half of seperate compositions and another of several parts of the title song would be something he'd stay with for a little while. And it was quite a good concept really. It gave him the chance to lead into his main theme. That way nothing could come off as underwelming. Any way you look at it,in this case it definitely worked on every level. 

Long ago, I got the LP "Imaginary Voyage," and played it until it was worn out. Then I got the cassette tape and played that until it was worn out. Right now, I'm working on the CD version of the album, and am far from tired of listening to it. This is, in my opinion, the best album that Jean-Luc Ponty has recorded: the best variety of music and the best that he has written. Starting with "New Country" and moving into the dreamy "Gardens of Babylon" and "Wandering On The Milky Way," into the urgencies of "Once Upon A Dream" and then into the sharp "Tarantula," Ponty displays a variety of emotions with his mastery of the electric violin. He then tops that with the epic 4-part "Imaginary Voyage," which culminates in the wonderful eight-minute "Part IV." Jean-Luc Ponty has been around a long time and has a lot of recordings, and if you haven't heard this album before, get it. It's definitely worth buying.

(As an aside, I had heard about this album from watching "Soundstage," an old PBS show from long ago, when they had an episode called "Fiddlers Three," featuring Doug Kershaw, Itzahk Perlman and Jean-Luc Ponty. A wonderful show, showing three different types of violin performances: Ponty, so smooth and even in using the bow, even in fast songs, it seemed like he wouldn't break a sweat. Perlman played classical music, his movements so precise, sharp and clean, carefully and exacting in his bow work. Kershaw played Cajun country music, all elbows and movement, the strings on his bow breaking from his sawing motions on the violin, it appeared so sloppy compared to the other two but sounded so good. At the end, all three combined on one song, playing various parts in their own style. A great show with great talent using the same instrument but playing diverse ways.)

Tracks Listing

1. New Country (3:07)
2. The Gardens Of Babylon (5:06)
3. Wandering On The Milky Way (Violin Solo) (1:50)
4. Once Upon A Dream (4:08)
5. Tarantula (4:04)
6. Imaginary Voyage
Part I (2:22)
Part II (4:05)
Part III (5:28)
Part IV (8:00)

Total Time 38:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean-Luc Ponty / Electric and acoustic violins, organ and background synthesizers
- Marc Craney / Percussion
- Tom Fowler / Electric bass
- Daryl Steurmer / Electric and acoustic guitars
- Allan Zavod / Electric keyboards and acoustic piano