Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ray Riendeau - 2000 "Groove Therapy"

Ray Riendeau - Groove therapy

With the release of bass phenom Ray Riendeau's 1998 solo endeavor, All Funked Up, Riendeau set the standard in solo electric bass technique for the 21st century. In October of 2000, as the follow-up to his independently released benchmark recording, Riendeau offered listeners another glimpse at his impeccable skills with his second set of jaw-dropping tunes on Groove Therapy. Within the past couple years Riendeau has quickly become a prominent force in the bass community. Some of you may recognize Riendeau for his work as a touring sideman while others of you may have caught his solo performances as a clinician for Fender Musical Instruments. However, one thing is for sure. If you have not had the opportunity to see Riendeau in either of these capacities, you'll definitely want to check out Groove Therapy. On Groove Therapy you'll hear Riendeau take the art of solo bass performance to all new heights of achievement. It consists of ten Riendeau original compositions and two nicely orchestrated arrangements of Sly Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay" and the Elton John classic, "Benny and the Jets." For those of you looking for the true definition of the phrase, "rhythm section," look no further. This latest solo venture from Riendeau consists of 90% bass and drums and features some of the deadliest thumb work ever put to tape. On Groove Therapy Riendeau employs every solo electric bass technique conceivable and then some. Yet at the same time, Riendeau is able to accomplish this expression of true bass art without compromising the integrity of his main objective of blending all these techniques into a uniform and well produced composition. You'll most definitely hear Riendeau break from the standards of the traditional and conventional art of slapping with what has become his trademark signature style of immaculately clean linear double thumbing and double plucking chops. Alongside the skillful percussion work of Joe Morris, Riendeau kicks off Groove Therapy with a furious opening lick to the multi-bass voicings of the title track. Backed by Riendeau's slinky slapped bass tones, the Rippington's Kim Stone, an accomplished solo artist in his own, makes a special guest appearance as the lead bass voice on "Lotus Sutra." Riendeau shifts gears to a trio format of bass, drums, and keys for the next piece, "Cluster Funk", and interjects a small sampling of finger style funk material in between. Next, Riendeau presents his nicely arranged cover of Sly Stone's "If You Want Me To Stay" which consists of bass and drum loops performed by Riendeau along with a fantastic wha solo. From a technical perspective, "Unequilibrium" is simply extraordinary, definitely not for the timid! This is without a doubt the most adventurous composition on the entire recording. On "Prozac" Riendeau calls upon bassist Gary Gillespie to hold down the low end as Ray solos over the form on piccolo wha bass. Then, Riendeau offers another couple original compositions including the tight feels of "Gummo" and "Disturbing Behavior" before covering Elton John's classic hit tune, "Benny and the Jets." Riendeau's bass orchestration of "Benny and the Jets" is for sure one of the hippest arrangements of a cover tune using multiple bass tracks that I've ever heard. Likewise, all I can say is stand back and be prepared for Riendeau to get even more daring with the odd time feel of "Deranged" and the tribal trio sounds of "Species." Finally, Riendeau concludes Groove Therapy just as it began with more tight interplay between bass and drums on the phat beats of "Stretch." Bottom Line: With the release of Groove Therapy Ray Riendeau has again further advanced the state of bass to a higher level of achievement and brought a deeper respect to the art of solo electric bass.

1 Groove Therapy
2 Lotus Sutra
3 Cluster Funk
4 If You Want Me to Stay
5 Unequilibrium
6 Prozac
7 Gummo
8 Disturbing Behavior
9 Benny & the Jets
10 Deranged
11 Species
12 Stretch

Dennis Chambers - 2005 "Planet Earth"

Dennis Chambers - 2005 Planet Earth

A formidable and ultra-funky presence behind the kit, from Santana to Brecker Brothers, from George Clinton to John Scofield Dennis Chambers is everyone s choice for all-world drummer. On "PLANET EARTH" his third outing as a leader, he s supported by producer Jim Beard. The remarkably versatile drummer says This is the best one yet!
Among others this album features Kenny Garrett, Adam Rogers, Will Lee, Dean Brown, Anthony Jackson, Bob Malach, the Borneo Horns and Jim Beard.

 Songs / Tracks Listing
1.Planet Earth (4:40)
2.Dance Music For Borneo Horns # 13 (2:24)
3.Amos Ignored (4:40)
4.Elroy (6:05)
5.El Is The Sound Of Joy (5:03)
6.Camel Hump (6:08)
7.Dance Music For Borneo Horns #6 (4:19)
8.Overtones Of China (10:14)
9.Giphini's Song (2:32)
10.Ant (4:34)
11.Loose Bloose (6:20)
12.Dance Music For Borneo Horns #4 (3:13)

Total Time 58:52

Line-up / Musicians
- Dennis Chambers / drums
- Jim Beard / keyboards
- Dean Brown / guitar(1/3/5/6/8/9)
- Adam Rogers / guitar(4/10/11)
- Anthony Jackson / bass(4/10/11)
- Will Lee / bass(1/3/5/6/8/9)
- Kenny Garrett / alto sax(3/8/11)
- Bob Malach / tenor sax, alto sax, baritone sax, flute(1/3/5/6/8/9)
- Jim Hynes / trumpet(3/5)
- Mike Davis / trombone(3/5)

The Borneo Horns:

- Lenny Pickett / tenor sax(2/7/12)
- Stan Harrison / alto sax(2/7/12)
- Steve Elson / baritone sax(2/7/12)

Dennis Chambers - 2002 "Outbreak"

Dennis Chambers - 2002 Outbreak [FLAC]

Drummer Dennis Chambers is a first-call session ace who is comfortable within a variety of settings and/or genres. He has also evolved into one of the most admired drummers on the globe due to his high-powered polyrhythmic funk beats and supercharged sense of swing. In short, he's a dynamo! With his second solo release, he enlists his former boss, guitarist John Scofield, amid jazz superstars such as brothers Michael (sax) and Randy (trumpet) Brecker among others. Here, Chambers drives it all home via his now infamous attack, consisting of complexly woven tom fills and snappy, funk-drenched rhythms. Much of the credit should be directed towards arranger/producer/keyboardist Jim Beard, who once again demonstrates his prowess for achieving the desired effects. On the piece titled "Otay," fusion bassist extraordinaire Gary Willis leads the way via his impossibly fast lines in concert with Scofield's sinewy plucking and Chambers' sweeping funk pulses. Some of these works are marked by the Brecker Brothers' chirpy unison choruses and the ensemble's morphing of gospel, fusion, and jazz-based grooves. Through it all, Chambers' presence is undeniably felt, while this outing also benefits from strong material and the soloists' zestful endeavors.
Gary Willis is a breath of fresh air, particularly his wild, doinky sounds on "Baltimore, DC" and his infectiously burbling "Otay" intro. Jim Beard's keys are the real catalyst behind many tracks, and his "Roll Call" is one of the best selections. Bobby Malach's bass sax is a surprise on the closing James Brown tune, as is the humorous, choppy solo by John Scofield that follows. Chambers himself is in best form on "Otay," the slow and gripping "Paris On Mine," and Sly Stone's "In Time." Though it often seems the bandleader's spotlight has been commandeered by the sidemen, Chambers and friends have still turned in a highly entertaining show that's worth the price.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1.Roll Call (05:21)
2.Otay (07:03)
3.Groovus Interruptus (05:19)
4.Paris on Mine (06:08)
5.In Time (06:08)
6.Plan B (04:31)
7.Outbreak (10:59)
8.Baltimore, D.C. (05:46)
9.Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothin' (06:01)

Total Time 56:36

Line-up / Musicians
- Dennis Chambers / drums
- Jim Beard / keyboards
- John Scofield / guitar
- Michael Brecker / tenor sax
- Randy Brecker / trumpet
- Bobby Marach / baritone sax, tenor sax
- Jon Herington / guitar
- Nick Moroch / guitar
- Dean Brown / guitar, bass
- Will Lee / bass
- Gary Willis / bass
- Rodney "Skeet" Curtis / bass
- Matthew Garrison / bass
- Danny Sadownick / percussion
- Arto Tuncboyaciyan / percussion
- Michael Davis / trombone
- Jim Hynes, Aaron Heick / alto sax

Pat Martino - 1999 "Givin' Away The Store 3"

Pat Martino - 1999 Givin' Away The Store 3

Guitarist Pat Martino’s story is one of the most heartfelt in music today. After rising to incredible popularity in the 1970s, the Philadelphian suffered a brain aneurysm and subsequently dropped out of the music scene. Through a miraculous recovery, Martino learned to play the guitar once again and is now recording in the studio and playing live. This compilation is taken from Martino’s incredible 1970s work, which covers the many stages of Martino: the bebop of "The Visit" from Footprints (1972); the soul jazz of "Single Action" from Willis…..with Pat (1978); the ethereal duet with Gil Goldstein of "You Don’t Know What Love Is" on 1976’s We’ll Be Together Again, the endless live soloing of the interpretation of the popular pop song "Sunny" from 1974’s Head and Heart (This 32 album is actually a combination of Martino’s Live(1972) and Consciousness(1974)) ,and the post-bop that Martino became know for on "Benny Golson’s "I Remember Clifford" and the original "Slipback" from 1999’s Comin and Goin’ (A combination of Exit(1976) and The Return(1987)). There is also an example of Martino’s 1990s work with a version Miles Davis’ "Blue in Green" and his own "Nightwings" from 1999’s Mission Accomplished (A combination of Nightwings(1996) and Interchange(1994)). The two songs show his bebop and fusion sides and more importantly, that Pat is alive and well in his post aneurysm era.
 32 Jazz launched a retrospective series called Giving Away the Store. These are gateway recordings to an artist's entire catalog. Volume 3 is an introduction to Pat Martino. Jazz guitarist Martino is a technical virtuoso capable of great emotional expression. As with other recordings in the Giving Away the Store collection, this album serves as an excellent introduction for the uninitiated or a representative sampler for the knowledgeable fan.


  • The Visit
  • Blue in Green
  • Single Action
  • Nightwings
  • You Don't Know What Love Is
  • Along Came Betty
  • Sunny
  • I Remember Clifford
  • Slipback

Various Artists - 1986 "Atlantic Jazz Fusion"

Various Artists - 1986 Atlantic Jazz Fusion

This compilation starts off with "Freedom Jazz Dance" from Miroslav Vitous. This song was recorded before Bitches Brew from Miles Davis but it bears the mark of Davis' early electric jazz works. There is a total free-wheeling rhythm and playing from all instruments (piano, guitar, drums, bass and sax). It has a very improvised feel complete with a bass solo!
"Beaux J. Pooboo" from Les McCann follows. It's a moody and fairly relaxed piece of jazz fusion. Les is very good at creating a warm atmosphere with his electric piano and this song is no exception. It's a long song clocking in well over ten minutes and the mellowest on the album. Next is the most frenetic and rocking song. "Quadrant 4" from Billy Cobham off his awesome solo debut LP Spectrum blows you away with it's explosion of sound. Guitar, drums, electric piano and synthesizers assail you with their fury. Very energetic song. The shortest and arguably least remarkable cut on the album is next. "Beneath the Earth" is a fairly straight forward guitar fusion song from Larry Coryell and Alphonse Mouzon. Good drumming from Mouzon keeps the song from being just average. The next song is my personal favorite. After I heard this song, I ran out to the store to buy any Passport I could find. Unfortunately at the time (around 1990), I could not find any new stuff so I had to buy a used LP. "Homunculus" is a fantastic jazz/fusion song by Passport. For me it incorporates just about all that I love about the genre: Complex drumming (with an intricate 6/8 time rhythm), tasty (but not overly prevailing or obtrusive) horns, elegant electric piano flourishes and a melody that permeates the whole song even during the soloing or experimentation. If you love progressive rock or jazz fusion and have not sampled any Passport, I absolutely recommend you do so. The last song is another fantastic example of rock/fusion jazz. "Egocentric Molecules" by Jean-Luc Ponty is a funky slice of space fusion that pleases the ears.

Overall this is a great compilation. Hard to find now but a great starter for anyone new to or interested in fusion.

Tracklist / Artist:
A2     –Les McCann     Beaux J. Pooboo     13:05
B1     –Billy Cobham     Quadrant 4     4:18
B2     –Larry Coryell, Alphonse Mouzon     Beneath The Earth     3:00
B3     –Passport (2)     Homunculus     6:09
B4     –Jean-Luc Ponty     Egocentric Molecules     5:44

Santana - 1987 "Blues For Salvador"

Santana - 1987 Blues For Salvador

Blues for Salvador is a 1987 album by Carlos Santana, dedicated to his wife, Deborah Santana. The record was released by Carlos Santana as a solo project, not with the Santana band. It won the 1989 Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, his first Grammy ever.

On previous "solo" albums, Carlos Santana had made noticeable stylistic changes and worked with jazz, pop, and even country musicians. On this, his fourth Carlos Santana release, the line between a "solo" and a "group" project is blurred; this record is really a catchall of Santana band outtakes and stray tracks. For example, included are an instrumental version of "Deeper, Dig Deeper" from Freedom, and an alternate take of "Hannibal" from Zebop!, as well as "Now That You Know" from the group's 1985 tour. Given the variety of material, the album is somewhat less focused than most Santana band albums, but there are individual tracks that are impressive, notably "trane," which features Tony Williams on drums. (Blues for Salvador won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance).

Track listing

    "Bailando/Aquatic Park" (Santana, Thompson, Vialto) – 5:46
    "Bella" (Crew, Santana, Thompson) – 4:31
    "I'm Gone" (Crew, Santana, Thompson) – 3:08
    "'Trane" (Santana) – 3:11
    "Deeper, Dig Deeper" (Crew, Miles, Santana, Thompson) – 6:09
    "Mingus" (Crew, Santana, Thompson) – 1:26
    "Now That You Know" (Santana) – 10:29
    "Hannibal" (Ligertwood, Pasqua, Rekow) – 4:28
    "Blues for Salvador" (Santana, Thompson) – 5:57


    Greg Walker – vocals
    Alex Ligertwood – percussion, vocals
    Carlos Santana – guitar
    Chris Solberg – guitar, vocals
    Chester Thompson – keyboards
    Sterling Crew – keyboards, synthesizer
    Orestes Vilató – flute, percussion, timbales, backing vocals
    Alphonso Johnson – bass
    Graham Lear – percussion, drums
    Tony Williams – drums
    Buddy Miles – backing vocals
    Armando Peraza – percussion, bongos, vocals
    Raul Rekow – percussion, conga, vocals, backing vocals

Mahavishnu Orchestra - 1973 "Birds of Fire:

Mahavishnu Orchestra - 1973 Birds of Fire 

Birds of Fire is Mahavishnu Orchestra's second album. It was released in the first half of 1973 and is the last studio album released by the original Mahavishnu Orchestra line-up before the group dissolved, although Between Nothingness and Eternity, a live album, was recorded and released later that same year. (The final studio recordings by this line-up would be released as The Lost Trident Sessions in 1999).
As in the case of The Mahavishnu Orchestra's previous album, The Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire consists solely of compositions by John McLaughlin. This includes the track "Miles Beyond (Miles Davis)", which McLaughlin dedicated to his friend and former bandleader.
The back cover of the LP features a poem entitled "Revelation" by Sri Chinmoy.
A remastered version of the album, on CD, was released in 2000 by Sony Music Entertainment. It features a facsimile of the LP cover and a new set of liner notes by Bill Milkowski, as well as photographs of the band.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Birds Of Fire (5:41)
2. Miles Beyond (Miles Davis) (4:39)
3. Celestial Terrestrial Commuters (2:53)
4. Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love (0:22)
5. Thousand Island Park (3:19)
6. Hope (1:55)
7. One Word (9:54)
8. Sanctuary (5:01)
9. Open Country Joy (3:52)
10. Resolution (2:08)

Total Time: 39:48


Mingo Lewis - 1976 [2007] "Flight Never Ending"

James Mingo Lewis (born December 1940) is an American jazz percussionist who played with Carlos Santana's band, Return To Forever (Chick Corea) and as a sideman for Al Di Meola. Aside from his extensive work as a session musician—Paiste states Mingo "has recorded over 100 records"—, the percussionist also released a solo album, Flight Never Ending (Columbia, 1976).

Legendary Bay Area progressive jazz percussionist Mingo Lewis began performing with Santana in his teens. Lewis also worked with artists such as Al DiMeola, Chick Corea and Return to Forever, David Byrne, Jan Hammer and The Tubes. Many people got a first glance at Lewis’ extraordinary musicianship through Al DiMeola’s debut album from 1976 “Land of the Midnight Sun” where Lewis contributed one of the most memorable compositions, the opening track “The Wizard” (1st sample below), which has become a DiMeola classic. Lewis' debut album was also originally released in 1976 and it also contains a version of “The Wizard” (2nd sample below). DiMeola’s version of “The Wizard” is melodically stronger, which perhaps suggest that DiMeola might have heard Lewis’ version prior to him releasing his debut album. Nonetheless "Flight Never Ending" is classic 70's fusion much in the style of Return to Forever & Al DiMeola. The music combines the primitive Afro-Cuban rhythms with the newest dimension in progressive rock at the time. It only took 30 years for this recording to appear on CD as it was finally superbly digitally remastered in 2007. Musicians include: Mingo Lewis on percussion and keyboards, David Logeman on drums, Eric McCann on bass, Randy Sellgren on guitar, Michael Kapitan and Kincaid Miller on keyboards, and A. Louis Bramey on hand bells.

In my opinion this is a landmark recording. A somewhat obscure album that should have received more attention in the jazz/rock/fusion category. Featuring the guitar work of Randy Sellgren. Mingo Lewis and Al DiMeola were on pretty much on the same page at this point in time. Al DiMeola had featured Mingo on his "Land of the Midnight Sun" recording from the same year and did so again on his "Elegant Gypsy"(1977)/"Casino"(1978)/"Splendido Hotel"(1980)/"Scenario"(1982)/"Tour De Force"(1982"/"Electric Rendezvous"(1983) recordings. Al DiMeola did a rearrangement of Mingo's "Frankincense" on his "Casino"(Chasin' the Voodoo") lp with Mingo. Anyone who enjoyed DiMeola's work at this time should give Mingo Lewis' "Flight Never Ending" recording a listen. His influence is obvious. In my opinion, once again, all the above is great music from great musicians from a time that has rarely been equaled since.

Great lost fusion music from a great percussionist that has played with a variety of musicians and artists over the years. I have been looking for this album for years and finally someone came out with it on CD.

Delighted to see that Mingo Lewis "Flight Never Ending" is re-issued on cd. As many may know, he was the percussionist on several of Al DiMeola's early solo albums. When this album was released in the mid 70's, it was by far my favorite Fusion album. The track "Heart Song" still holds up. Searing guitar solos, propulsive drumming, synth solos and layered with Latin Percussion. A must have for anyone who enjoys re-visiting musicianship from the Fusion Era.

CD reissue. Mingo Lewis' career spans more than 45 years. He is a percussionist that has performed live and recorded with some of music's greatest names, including Al DiMeola, Santana, Miles Davis, Third World, Billy Joel, The Tubes and Chick Corea's Return To Forever. Flight Never Ending was originally released in 1976 on Columbia Records. This CD consists of searing guitar solos, propulsive drumming and synth solos layered with Latin percussion. A must-have for all who enjoy fusion! This album features two Mingo Lewis compositions recorded by Al DiMeola, 'The Wizard' (on his Land Of The Midnight Sun album) and 'Frankincense' AKA 'Chasin' The Voodoo' (on his Casino album.)
 1. Aba Cua
 2. Frankincense
 3. Heartsong
 4. The Wizard
 5. Visions of Another Time
 6. Trapezoid
 7. Maginary Monsters
 8. Flight Never Ending

Columbia Records, 1976

Mingo Lewis - percussion, synthesizers, congas, clavinet, and vocals
Louis Bramy - percussion, bells, vocals
Mike Kapitan - keyboards, piano, synthesizers, drums vocals
David Logeman - drums
Eric McCann - electric bass
Kincaid Miller - synthesizers, keyboards clavinet
Randy Sellgren - electric guitar, acoustic guitar

Jimi Hendrix - 1975 "Crash Landing"

Jimi Hendrix - 1975 Crash Landing:

Crash Landing is a posthumous compilation album by American guitarist Jimi Hendrix.[3] It was released in March and August 1975 in the United States and the United Kingdom respectively. It was the first Hendrix album to be produced by Alan Douglas.

Before Hendrix died in 1970, he was in the final stages of preparing what he intended to be a double studio LP, which was given various titles such as 'First Rays of the New Rising Sun', 'People, Hell & Angels, and 'Strate Ahead' [sic]. Most of the tracks intended for this LP were spread out over three posthumous single LP releases: The Cry of Love (1971), Rainbow Bridge (1971), and War Heroes (1972). In the case of the last two of these LPs, a demo track, a live track, and unreleased studio tracks were used to fill out the releases. In late 1973, his International label prepared to issue an LP titled Loose Ends which contained eight tracks, six of which were generally regarded as incomplete or substandard (the only two "finished" tracks on this release were "The Stars That Play with Laughing Sam's Dice", a heavily re-mixed stereo version of the B-side which had been released in the original mono mix on the 1968 European and Japanese versions of the Smash Hits, and a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Drifter's Escape", both of which would ultimately be re-released on the South Saturn Delta CD in 1997). Loose Ends was not released in the USA by Reprise because they considered the quality of the tracks to be subpar.
Hendrix had amassed a lot of time in the studio in 1969 and 1970, resulting in a substantial amount of songs, some close to completion, that were available for potential release. After the death of Hendrix' manager in 1973, Alan Douglas was hired to evaluate hundreds of hours of remaining material that was not used on earlier posthumous albums. "Peace In Mississippi," "Somewhere," and "Stone Free" were recorded with the original Jimi Hendrix Experience line up, while the rest of the material used on Crash Landing consisted of recordings Hendrix originally made with Billy Cox on bass and either Mitch Mitchell or Buddy Miles on drums and on one occasion by Rocky Isaacs.


1 Message To Love - Drums, Voice – Buddy Miles 3:14
2 Somewhere Over The Rainbow     3:30
3 Crash Landing - Voice – Barbara Massey, Linda November, Vivian Cherry 4:14
4 Come Down Hard On Me     3:16
5 Peace In Mississippi     4:21
6 With The Power - Drums, Voice – Buddy Miles 3:28
7 Stone Free Again     3:25
8 Captain Coconut     4:06


    Bass – Billy Cox (tracks: 1, 6, 8), Bob Babbitt (tracks: 2 to 5, 6)
    Drums – Alan Schwartzberg* (tracks: 2 to 5, 7, 8)
    Guitar – Jeff Mironov (tracks: 2 to 5, 7), Jimi Hendrix
    Percussion – Jimmy Maeulen* (tracks: 1, 3, 5 to 8)
    Producer – Alan Douglas, Tony Bongiovi
    Vocals – Jimi Hendrix (tracks: All except 5, 8.)

Joe Farrell - 1971 [2011] "Outback"

Joe Farrell - 1971 [2011] Outback:

Outback is the second and finest of Joe Farrell's dates for Creed Taylor's CTI label. Recorded in a quartet setting in 1970, with Elvin Jones, Chick Corea, and Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira, Farrell pushes the envelope not only of his own previous jazz conceptualism, but CTI's envelope, as well. Outback is not a commercially oriented funk or fusion date, but an adventurous, spacy, tightrope-walking exercise between open-ended composition and improvisation. That said, there is plenty of soul in the playing. Four compositions, all arranged by Farrell, make up the album. The mysterious title track by John Scott opens the set. Staged in a series of minor-key signatures, Farrell primarily uses winds -- flutes and piccolos -- to weave a spellbinding series of ascending melodies over the extended, contrasting chord voicings by Corea. Jones skitters on his cymbals while playing the snare and tom-toms far more softly than his signature style usually attests. Airto rubs and shimmers on hand drums, going through the beat, climbing on top of it, and playing accents in tandem with Farrell in the solo sections. "Sound Down" is a bit more uptempo and features Farrell playing wonderfully on the soprano. Buster Williams lays down a short staccato bassline that keeps Jones' bass drum pumping. As Farrell moves from theme/variation/melody to improvisation, he brings in Corea, who vamps off the melody before offering a series of ostinati responses. Corea's "Bleeding Orchid" is a ballad played with augmented modes and continually shifting intervals, mapped beautifully by Williams' adherence to the changes, with a series of contrasting pizzicato fills. Farrell's trills and arpeggiatic exercises combine both jazz classicism and Middle Eastern folk music. On Farrell's "November 68th," he invokes John Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things" as he digs deep into the tenor's middle register for a song-like voicing, played with a gorgeously bluesy sophistication. The other players rally around him and push his sonic flight to near manic intensity. Outback is a stunner, as inspired as anything -- and perhaps more so -- that Farrell ever recorded. 

Outback is a jazz album by Joe Farrell on the CTI Records label. It was recorded at the Van Gelder Studio in November 1971

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Outback" (John Scott) – 8:40
  2. "Sound Down" (Joe Farrell/Geri Farrell) – 8:30

Side two

  1. "Bleeding Orchid" (Chick Corea) – 6:45
  2. "November 68th" (Joe Farrell) – 9:25


Joe Farrell - 1973 [2001] "Moon Germs"

Joe Farrell - 1973 [2001] Moon Germs

Recorded in 1972 and released in 1973 with Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, and Jack DeJohnette, Joe Farrell's Moon Germs was a foray into the electric side of jazz. On the opener, "Great George," Farrell leads off with the hint of a melody before careening into legato streams of thought along striated intervallic paths. DeJohnette is like a machine gun, quadruple-timing the band as Clarke moves against the grain in a series of fours and eights, and Hancock's attempts to keep the entire thing anchored are almost for naught. On the title track there is more of a funk backdrop, but the complex, angular runs and insane harmonic reaches Farrell attempts on his soprano, crack, falter, and ultimately turn into something else; the sheer busy-ness of the track is dazzling. "Bass Folk Song" by Clarke, is the only thing on the record that actively engages melody rather than harmonic structures. Farrell uses his flute and Hancock strides into the same kind of territory he explored with Miles Davis, chopping up chordal phrases into single lines and feeding them wholesale to the running pair of frontmen--in this case Clarke and Farrell. DeJohnette uses a Latin backdrop to hang his drumming on and pursues a circular, hypnotic groove on the cymbals and toms. It's a gorgeous piece of music and utilizes an aspect of space within the melodic frame that the rest of these firebrand tunes do not. This is sci-fi Farrell at his creative best

Moon Germs is a jazz album by Joe Farrell, recorded at the Van Gelder Studio on November 21, 1972 and released on CTI Records

Track listing

  1. "Great Gorge" (Joe Farrell) – 11:48
  2. "Moon Germs" (Farrell) – 7:27
  3. "Time's Lie" (Chick Corea) – 8:32
  4. "Bass Folk Song" (Stanley Clarke) – 9:47


Joe Farrell - 1973 [2011] "Penny Arcade"

Joe Farrell - 1973 [2011] Penny Arcade

Joe Farrell gained his greatest fame with his popular string of CTI recordings. For this set, he performs three of his originals (none of which caught on), guitarist Joe Beck's "Penny Arcade," and a 13-minute version of Stevie Wonder's "Too High." Farrell (heard on tenor, soprano, flute and piccolo) is in excellent form, as are keyboardist Herbie Hancock, Beck, bassist Herb Bushler, drummer Steve Gadd and Don Alias on conga. As is true of his other CTI sets, this Joe Farrell effort expertly mixes together some slightly commercial elements and superior recording quality with strong solos.

Penny Arcade is a jazz album by Joe Farrell on the CTI Records label. It was recorded at the Van Gelder Studio in October 1973

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Penny Arcade" (Joe Beck) – 4:45
  2. "Too High" (Stevie Wonder) – 13:15

Side two

  1. "Hurricane Jane" (Joe Farrell) – 4:25
  2. "Cloud Cream" (Joe Farrell) – 6:15
  3. "Geo Blue" (Joe Farrell) – 7:30


Joe Farrell - 1974 [2011] "Canned Funk"

Joe Farrell - 1974 [2011] Canned Funk:

Joe Farrell's final of six CTI dates has fairly lengthy versions of four of his originals. Farrell, who adds baritone to his usual trio of instruments (tenor, soprano and flute), once again welcomes guitarist Joe Beck as his co-star, along with bassist Herb Bushler, drummer Jim Madison and percussionist Ray Mantilla. The music is melodic, sometimes funky, and enjoyable if not essential, but all of Joe Farrell's CTI sets are worth acquiring.  

 Canned Funk is a jazz album by Joe Farrell for CTI Records. It was recorded at Van Gelder Studios November and December 1974. The album was released in 1975.

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Canned Funk" (Joe Farrell) – 7:20
  2. "Animal" (Farrell) – 9:55

Side two

  1. "Suite Martinique" (Farrell) – 9:03
  2. "Spoken Silence" (Farrell) – 7:43


Armageddon - 1975 [1991] "Armageddon"

Armageddon - 1975 Armageddon

Armageddon was the only album released by British/American hard rock group Armageddon in 1975. It features vocalist Keith Relf of The Yardbirds and Renaissance, Martin Pugh, lead guitarist for Rod Stewart's "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down" and Steamhammer, US-American Bobby Caldwell, drummer for Captain Beyond and Johnny Winter, and Louis Cennamo who was the bass player and bandmate of Relf's in Renaissance and Pugh in Steamhammer.

Armageddon was the last band to feature The Yardbirds' (the band that launched Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page) vocalist Keith Relf. He had founded Renaissance after the dissolution of The Yardbirds in 1968, and left Renaissance after two albums (actually half way through the second album) - to produce bands like Medicine Head (for whom he also played bass), Hunter Muskett and Saturnalia.

Pugh and Cennamo had broken up Steamhammer in 1973 - they then decided, with Relf (who had assisted them in the production of the final Steamhammer LP), to leave England for L.A. They tried out a few drummers in California, and decided upon drummer Bobby Caldwell to complete the Armageddon lineup.

According to the booklet in the Repertoire Records CD reissue of the album in 2001, Frampton and Dee Anthony recommended Armageddon to A&M Records, and it is likely that because he was their top selling artist at the time, they agreed to sign the band.

Although the group's self-titled album was well received by critics and fans, the band did not tour to support it - consequently, sales suffered, and Relf returned to England due to poor health shortly after the album was released. He died shortly after returning to England, when he was electrocuted while playing guitar, although he did record one more song "All the Falling Angels" that is included on an album by Illusion called Enchanted Caress. (Illusion was the name the original members of Renaissance chose when they reunited, as the Annie Haslam incarnation of that band was still active at that time). After Armageddon folded, bassist Cennamo reunited with his Renaissance bandmates (the aforementioned Illusion), and later worked with Jim McCarty in the bands Stairway and Renaissance Illusion. Drummer Caldwell returned to Captain Beyond for an album and tour - and although guitarist Pugh appears to have retired from music after 1975, he did emerge to play guitar on sessions alongside legendary American rock guitarist Geoff Thorpe of Vicious Rumors in American rock & roll band, 7th Order on their debut CD, The Lake of Memory - released on the Big Island Sounds label in 2007

Track listing:
No.     Title     Length    
1.     "Buzzard"       8:16
2.     "Silver Tightrope"       8:23
3.     "Paths And Planes And Future Gains"       4:30
4.     "Last Stand Before"       8:23
5.     "Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun

    a) Warning Coming On - (1:00)
    b) Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun (3:03)
    c) Brother Ego - (5:10)
    d) Basking In The White Of The Midnight Sun (Reprise) - (2:18)" 


    Keith Relf - lead vocals, harp, harmonica
    Martin Pugh - electric and acoustic guitars
    Louis Cennamo - bass, electric bowed bass
    Bobby Caldwell - drums, backing vocals, piano, percussion

Danny Gottlieb - 1987 "Aquamarine"

Danny Gottlieb - 1987 Aquamarine

For a while there in the late 1980s there was a short-lived fusion comeback. The Chick Corea Electrik Band was having some success. The new Mahavishnu band was attracting attention. Musicians such as saxophonist Bill Evans, drummer Dennis Chambers, keyboardist Clifford Carter, bassist Mark Egan and others began to develop a following. Guitarist Allan Holdsworth was making a mark. Soon, however, the record companies clamped down on any creativity coming from this branch of jazz in favor of the now burgeoning "smooth jazz" movement. (Pardon me; I need a moment to gag.) Recording contracts and promotional funds evaporated faster than a bubble on a gas burner.
Danny Gottlieb was among those shortchanged by this corporate attitude. Gottlieb had been part of the very popular Pat Metheny Group and later the reformed Mahavishnu. Along with his musical partner, the wonderful bassist Mark Egan, he had formed the very impressive band Elements. Unfortunately, Aquamarine became one of his few bites of the apple. It is nonetheless a delicious bite.
An infectious semi-Caribbean percussive riff opens the title cut, which is a pleasing ballad powered by the sailing guitar synthesizer of John Abercrombie, Doug Hall's keyboards and Gottlieb's backbeat. Its beautiful melody even makes "Aquamarine" a potential smooth jazz vehicle. (Pardon me; I need another moment to gag.) Luckily, thanks to the players' advanced improvising, that terrible fate does not befall this memorable melody, and in time the ingratiating opening riff returns to keep everything afloat. This isn't deep-sea diving. But a little scuba in the coral reef can make for an exciting outing. The rest of the album ain't chum either.
1. Aquamarine 
2. Monterey 
3. The Aviary 
4. Alaska 
5. Waterfall 
6. Being 
7. Duet 
8. Upon A Time. 
9. Peace Of Mind

Personnel: Danny Gottlieb (drums), Doug Hall (keyboards, rhythm guitar), John Abercrombie (guitar synthesizer), Cafe (percussion), John McLaughlin, Steve Khan, Joe Satriani, Jeff Mironov (guitars), Mark Egan (bass), Mitchel Forman (keyboards), Bill Evans (sax), Dave Samuels (vibraphone)

Deodato - 1986 [2000] "Best Of Deodato"

Deodato - 1986 [2000] Best Of Deodato

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)
Arranged By, Adapted By – E. Deodato*Written-By – R. Strauss*
2 Prelude To Afternoon Of A Faun
Arranged By, Adapted By – E. Deodato*Written-By – Ch. Debussy*
3 Nights In White Satin
Written-By – Justin Hayward
4 Rhapsody In Blue
Written-By – George Gershwin
5 Pavane For A Dead Princess
Arranged By, Adapted By – E. Deodato*Written-By – M. Ravel*
6 Do It Again
Written-By – Fagin*, Becker*

Various Artists - 1993 "Guitar On The Edge Vol 1 No 4"

Various Artists - 1993 Guitar On The Edge Vol 1 No 4

Track listing / Personnel:

  • 1 Greg Howe - No Place Like Home 4:21
  • 2 Lanny Cordola - The Obstinant Toy Soldiers 5:13
  • 3 Carl Verhayen - Tango 5:49
  • 4 Ron Thal - Bumblefoot 3:42
  • 5 Dana Rasch - First Light and Turn Green 3:13
  • 6 The Prodigy - Schizoid 2:33
  • 7 Dave LaRue - Police Work 3:39
  • 8 Glen Alexander - The Black Line 6:42
  • 9 Glen Sherman - Ala Florida Jam 2:38
  • 10 Scott Boland - Grasshopper Lives 3:40
  • 11 Ernie Jackson - Divided We Groove / United We Jam 4:45
  • 12 Guthrie Govan - Rhode Island Shred 2:07
  • 13 Howard Hart - The Margin 4:07
  • 14 Darryl Gabel - Blue Fingers 3:50
  • 15 Wayne Krantz - Is Something I Don't Understand Yet 4:32
  • 16 Paul Hanson - Downswing 4:32
  • 17 Guthrie Govan - Waves 4:12
  • 18 Milan Polak - Absolutely Positive 4:41

Wayne Shorter - 1966 [2003] "Adam's Apple"

Wayne Shorter - 1966 [2003] Adam's Apple

The Allmusic review by Stacia Proefrock states "it really does rank with the best of his output from this incredibly fertile period. From the first moments when Shorter's sax soars out in the eponymous opening track, with its warmth and roundness and power, it is hard not to like this album. It might not be turning as sharp of a corner stylistically as some of his earlier works, like Speak No Evil, but its impact is only dulled by the fact that Shorter has already arrived at the peak of his powers. Taken in isolation, this is one of the great works of mid-'60s jazz, but when Shorter has already achieved a unique performance style, compositional excellence, and a perfectly balanced relationship with his sidemen, it is hard to be impressed by the fact that he manages to continue to do these things album after album. But Shorter does shine here, while allowing strong players like Herbie Hancock to also have their place in the sun"
One often returns to classic recordings with mixed feelings. On one hand, there's the anticipation of hearing great music, and on the other, trepidation that the recording has failed to hold up over time. By 1966 Wayne Shorter had entered one of his most creative periods, both as a solo artist and as a member of Miles Davis' second classic quintet. Besides his skills as a saxophonist, he also proved to be a prolific writer, penning five of Adam's Apple's seven pieces. It didn't hurt Shorter's musical vision to have pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Reggie Workman, and drummer Joe Chambers onboard here, sensitive players who were attentive to the thin lines connecting these post-bop concoctions. Hancock's solo in Jimmy Rowles' "502 Blues (Drinkin' and Drivin')," for instance, skirts gently into another realm, offering a tender counterpoint to Shorter's more aggressive horn. The band quickly sets "El Gaucho"'s framework only to let each player wonder freely in the fashioned space, creating a beautifully layered effect. There's also an early version of "Footprints" that would show up on Miles Smiles the very same year (with both Shorter and Hancock onboard). [The 2003 reissue of Adam's Apple includes a nearly seven-minute take on Hancock's "The Collector," offering yet one more reason to pick up this lovely album.]

Track listing

All compositions by Wayne Shorter except as indicated.
  1. "Adam's Apple" – 6:49
  2. "502 Blues (Drinkin' and Drivin')" (Jimmy Rowles) – 6:34
  3. "El Gaucho" – 6:30
  4. "Footprints" – 7:29
  5. "Teru" – 6:12
  6. "Chief Crazy Horse" – 7:34
  7. "The Collector" (Herbie Hancock) – 6:54 Bonus track on CD reissue


Anthony Jackson & Yiorgos Fakanas - 2010 "Interspirit"

Anthony Jackson & Yiorgos Fakanas - 2010 Interspirit

Although receiving billing as Anthony Jackson's first solo CD in a career spanning four decades, this is really a tale of two bassists. Greek bassist/composer Yiorgos Fakanas wrote all the music on Interspirit and takes all five bass solos. The music, however, was composed with the formidably talented Jackson in mind, and his legions of admirers will be delighted by his improvised and composed bass lines. His playing demands close listening behind the multi-instrument orchestration, plying fusion and funk with complex melodic and harmonic lines, often played at a pace.

Featuring a core of fusion notables from the United States with some of the cream of Greek jazz-fusion and classical musicians, the music runs from Return to Forever-like intensity to more accessible Bob James-informed terrain. Most of the compositions feature a brass section, and with up to fourteen musicians playing at any one time the music has the feel of little big-band.

Both Fakanas and Jackson are passionate devotees of classical music and the miniature "Cuore Vibes Part 1," which features the Kinisis String Quartet of Colors Orchestra, is a beautiful mood piece blending viola, violin and cello, with the addition of Tasos Kazaglis on double-bass. Fakanas is interested in the merging of classical music with jazz, and "Cuore Vibes Part 2" unites the string ensemble with the full lineup of jazz fusion musicians. On this composition there are no fewer than three bassists, though Kazaglis—unlike Jackson and Fakanas—plays in the upper octaves. Trumpeter Mihail Iosifov takes a lovely muted solo, and Mitchel Forman extends himself on piano, but this is primarily an ensemble piece.

Although Jackson does not solo out front as such, he is hardly breaking with tradition in a career spanning forty years and three thousand recording sessions. His role on Interspirit—and indeed throughout the years—is about embellishing the music, and his melodic lines as accompanist have the character of solos.

The music covers plenty of ground; from the flat out fusion of "Inner Power," with a seven-piece brass section, and the funk of "Interspirit" to the classical/jazz fusion of "Cuore Vibes Part 2" and "Seviglia." The latter number features some great acoustic guitar from Frank Gambale and a telling solo from tenor saxophonist Tony Lakatos. The only non-original is a fresh take on the Wayne Shorter classic "Footprints," with impressive unison playing between Jackson and flautist Takis Paterelis, who also doubles on alto and soprano sax.

Although the music can broadly be categorized as fusion, melody is to the fore, and the numerous impressive solos are short and punctuate the overriding ensemble playing. Fakanas—whether accompanying on electric or fretless bass, or soloing—bears favorable comparison to his legendary co-leader. Jackson's strongly melodic lines, composed or improvised, are as deep as the ocean.

Interspiritis a passionate affair which will appeal to fusion fans who will find in the multi-layered arrangements one of the most original fusion recordings of recent times.
Track listing:

1. Inner Power 8:39
2. Footprints 9:06
3. Cuore Vibes Part 1 1:30
4. Cuore Vibes Part 2 10:08
5. Interspirit 9:40
6. Seviglia 9:58
7. Caldera 8:40
8. Ionio II 8:10
9. Parhelia 7:54


Acoustic Guitar – Frank Gambale (tracks: 6)
Alto Saxophone – Takis Paterelis (tracks: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9)
Baritone Saxophone – Todor Tzachev (tracks: 1, 7)
Bass – Anthony Jackson (tracks: 1,2, 4 to 9), Yiorgos Fakanas* (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 9)
Cello – Vangjel Nina* (tracks: 3, 4, 6, 8)
Composed By, Arranged By, Producer – Yiorgos Fakanas*
Contrabass – Tasos Kazaglis* (tracks: 3, 4, 6, 8)
Drums – Dave Weckl (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 9)
Flute – Takis Paterelis (tracks: 2, 5)
Guitar – Frank Gambale (tracks: 1, 5, 7, 9)
Keyboards – Mitch Forman* (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 9)
Percussion – Enrique Bu* (tracks: 5 to 9)
Piano – Mitch Forman* (tracks: 4, 8)
Soprano Saxophone – Takis Paterelis (tracks: 2, 8)
Strings – String Quartet "+Kinisis", The
Tenor Saxophone – Sam Marlielrili (tracks: 1), Tony Lakatos (tracks: 4 to 7, 9)
Trombone – Velislav Stoianov (tracks: 1, 7), Antonis Andreou* (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 9)
Trumpet – Mihail Iosifov (tracks: 1, 4 to 7, 9), Manos Theodosakis* (tracks: 1, 7)
Viola – Elias Sdoukos* (tracks: 3, 4, 6, 8)
Violin – Franc Shestani (tracks: 3, 4, 6, 8), Odysseus Korelis* (tracks: 3, 4, 6, 8)

Blue Cheer - 1968 "Outsideinside"

Blue Cheer - 1968 Outsideinside

Outsideinside is Blue Cheer's second LP, released by Philips Records in August 1968. Its tracks were recorded both outdoors and indoors - hence the title of the album. The record's tracks feature contributions from all members, along with two covers: "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones and "The Hunter" by Albert King. The album was re-released on CD in 1999 by Italian-based Akarma Records, and included an additional cut from the original sessions entitled "Fortunes" as a bonus track.
Outsideinside was produced by Abe "Voco" Kesh and engineered by Eddie Kramer, who had worked with The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Rolling Stones and would later engineer releases by Led Zeppelin and Kiss, among others. The album's cover painting is by "Arab", and was designed by "Gut", legendary Hells Angel. The album photographs were taken by famed rock photographer Jim Marshall. Outsideinside was the last record to feature the original Blue Cheer line-up, as Leigh Stephens left the band after the album was released.
They had to record some songs at Pier 57 as the studio kicked them out for being too loud

The only raucous, LOUD and twisted exercise released in-between the advent of Hendrix and the ascension of The Stooges, side one of this wayward, careening and LSD-train wrecked album contains the most out of control power trio-ing EVER: easily dwarfing “Summertime Blues” as disjointed playing, shifting tempos and everything played so loud and so slow it fucking explodes all over the place like lighting a coffee can full of roman candles with a stream of flaming lighter fluid. Which is how I plan to spend every Fourth of July from now on: reveling in the glorious, howling fury that is “Outsideinside”, the second Blue Cheer album. What? I can’t hear you!! I said I just finished listening to “Outsideinside,” the second Blue Cheer album...!

Track listing:

1 Feathers From Your Tree 3:29
2 Sun Cycle 4:12
3 Just A Little Bit 3:24
4 Gypsy Ball 2:57
5 Come And Get It 3:13
6 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction 5:07
7 The Hunter 4:22
8 Magnolia Caboose Babyfinger 1:38
9 Babylon 4:22


Leigh Stephens - guitar
Dickie Peterson - bass guitar, vocals
Paul Whaley - drums
Additional personnel
Ralph Burns Kellogg - keyboards, organ, reeds

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gongzilla - 1995 "Suffer"

Yeah I now, this release is a bit on the older side of things but great fusion is ageless and a joyful listen no matter when it is discovered. The group Gong has mutated itself gladly through an endless morph of musicians. From deep in the way-back machine’s files we find You with Steve Hillage on axe to its days with fusion legend Allan Holdsworth on Expresso and with Bon Lozaga riffing it up on Time is the Key the spectrum is spanned. Out of Gong’s forehead doth sprout Gongzilla — a delightful little fusion-critter of curious seeds.

This release, Suffer features Bon Lozaga and Allan Holdsworth on awesome guitars. Most compositions are very Gong-ish in the Expresso period and vibes/marimba by Gong-cornerstone band mate, Benoit Moerlen, firmly places the sound in Gongfusionland. Ex-Gonger, Hansford Rowe handles the basslines deftly. Bobby Thomas is primary percussion with Lionel Cordew, Vic Stevens, and Ben Perowsky, (Lost Tribe), on drums. Samuel Rowe does a 10-second long outro of French vox — a Gong-weirdism.

Eleven songs carry you through heavy-hitting fusion blow-outs, “Gongzilla”, to mellow jazz gems, “Sing”,, and even dreamy drifts, “Allan Qui?”, through introspective soundscapes. When you are about to pass out in somnambulistic bliss of Bon Lozaga’s guitar wizardry, Holdsworth explodes into his typical volcanic caldera of molten jazz rock. Excellent cut this “Allan Qui?” turns out to be! I cease praising this release. Go find out for yourself fusion fan. You won’t be disappointed.

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Gongzilla (6:36)
2. Bad Habits (3:28)
3. Sing (4:28)
4. Gongzilla's Dilemma (5:17)
5. Mr. Sinister Minister (4:50)
6. Almost You (4:12)
7. Mezzanine (4:15)
8. Hip-Hopnosis (6:48)
9. Allan Qui? (7:22)
10. Senna (4:56)
11. Camel (0:24)

Total Time: 52:00

Line-up / Musicians 
- Hansford Rowe / basses
- Bon Lozaga / guitars & e-bow
- Benoit Moerlin / vibes & marimba
- Bobby Thomas / percussion
- Lionel Cordew / drums

- Allan Holdsworth / guitars (on 1, 2, 6, & 9)
- Vic Stevens / drums (on 9 & 10)
- Ben Perowsky / drums (on 5)
- Samuel Rowe / vocalize (on 10)