Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Eleventh House Feat. Larry Coryell - 1976 [2014] "Aspects"

Never fit to be tied, Coryell decided to leave behind his jazz-rock fusion in pursuit of disco-funk. There is some good playing here (Coryell lays out on "Kowloon Jag"), but this is not a complimentary setting for him. John Lee and Gerry Brown were the correct sidemen for the job, as was the inclusion of David Sanborn, but Coryell sounds uncomfortable and continuously reverts back to his trademark licks when he runs out of ideas. Even the guitar solo, "Rodrigo Reflections," turns out to be a disappointment due to some very annoying and poorly recorded percussion accompaniment. A less than memorable session that probably seemed like a good idea at the time. All Music.

Reissue of this 1976 album from this band formed by Jazz great Larry Coryell. Larry is best known as one of the original Jazz-Fusion guitarists of the 1970s. He has issued solo albums, along with collaborations with John McLaughlin and other Fusion-Jazz luminaries. He also headed up the highly praised Fusion group the Eleventh House. This group featured keyboardist Mike Mandel. 

This is one of my all time favourite Coryell albums. I have Been waiting for a long time for this to come out on cd, I own the record! I discovered Coryell back when the fusion stuff was taking off, early - mid 70's. I got to see Larry open for John Mclaughlin with his "One Truth Band" at the Columbus Ohio Agora Larry and John even did an impromptu` just trading licks onstage. Kowloon Jag, Titus, and Aspects, are probably my fav's. One thing I always liked about Larry, he's famous for doing a song in one take, even if it meant leaving a 'pucker' (mistake) on the recording to keep it fresh. Watch out folks, don't be alarmed, this album comes from and era when every song on an album was good. Get This One! 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jaco Pastorius - 2014 "Anthology" - The Warner Bros. Years

Anthology: The Warner Bros. Years is a comprehensive anthology of Jaco Pastorius' output for the label, in 2 CDs, including collaborations with Airto Moreira and Mike Stern, as well as the previously unreleased "Donna Lee" from The Birthday Concert, available for the very first time. Accompanying the discs is a 16-page booklet, featuring a comprehensive essay by Bill Milkowski, author of Jaco: The Extraordinary And Tragic Life Of Jaco Pastorius, and photos by Shigeru Uchiyama.

In 1981, Jaco Pastorius left Weather Report to pursue work with his Word of Mouth Big Band. He released his second solo effort, Word of Mouth under his new contract with Warner Bros.

On December 1st of that year, Jaco celebrated his 30th birthday by hosting a party at a Fort Lauderdale, Florida club. He flew in musicians from the Word of Mouth project to perform, and the event was recorded by Jaco’s friend and engineer Peter Yianilos. Yianilos intended for the recording to be a birthday gift, but it remained unreleased until 1995, when Warner released it on The Birthday Concert.

In 1982, Jaco took his Word of Mouth band on a tour in Japan, which resulted in the release of Invitation in the U.S. by Warner.

Warner has just released an all-new anthology which collects remastered versions of many of the tracks on those three albums, along with some of Jaco’s guest appearances, and a previously unreleased performance of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee.”

The two guest appearances include “Nativity,” from percussionist Airto Moreira’s 1977 album I’m Fine, How Are You? and “Mood Swings,” from Mike Stern’s 1986 release, Upside Downside.

Jaco biographer Bill Milkowski contributed the liner notes for the anthology, saying “Through his brilliant innovations…Pastorius liberated his instrument from its traditional role in the background and re-imagined it as a potent solo axe and orchestral tool.”

Material from Jaco Pastorius’s solo career has been compiled many times over. That’s what happens to a musician who meets an untimely death. People want more, but there’s only a finite number of recorded goods. Pastorius recorded plenty of stuff during and after his tenure in the jazz fusion supergroup Weather Report. His legendary status came from him finding a highly specialized niche within the genre, that of a wizard of the fretless bass.

The hit title track from 1976’s Black Market gave a snapshot of Pastorius transforming the low end instrument into, if not a lead instrument, one capable of mighty hooks. Joe Zawinul’s Weather Report soared to new heights with Pastorius and Wayne Shorter in the lineup, but it’s tough to argue whether or not their respective departures resulted in Weather Report losing steam. At any rate, Pastorius’s next move was to wrap up work on an album called Word of Mouth.

This is the starting point of Anthology: The Warner Bros. Years, a collection that only spans three albums. So if you already have copies of Word of Mouth, The Birthday Concert and Invitation, you already have a majority of what Anthology has to offer. What remains are only three tracks of the 22 track double-disc compilation, two of which were previously accounted for on albums where Pastorius was a guest musician. The one not accounted for is a live recording of “Donna Lee”, which is interesting but not as refined as the version heard on Pastorius’s self-titled 1976 record.

Since The Birthday Concert and Invitation are both live albums, the studio tracks are naturally outnumbered on Anthology. One factor that strained the working relationship between Pastorius and Joe Zawinul was Zawinul’s distaste for Pastorius’s showmanship. Watching those old Weather Report shows, he sometimes looked like a rock star trapped inside a jazz band. But sure enough, the crowds as Pastorius’s shows ate it up. You hear it at the end of every live track, the sound of an audience getting pumped up after hearing jazz! With horns too! “Liberty City”, “Soul Intro/The Chicken” and “Invitation” are chock-full of zest, tight auxiliary percussion be damned. “Continuum” and the Weather Report leftover “Punk Jazz” slow the momentum to steady grooves. There is lots of overlap between these two live albums and, for many fans of jazz fusion, picking one version of “Continuum” over another is a matter of apples against oranges.

Proportionately, Word of Mouth is represented just as favorably. Six of its seven songs are here on Anthology, leaving out the 12-minute take of “Liberty City”. And what a brilliantly weird album Word of Mouth was. It begins with a bafflingly fast composition called “Crisis” where Pastorius plays seemingly every note on the neck as the horns scramble for a place to live. “Crisis” doesn’t seem to have a center or a main idea driving it, but it somehow feels like an appropriate opener. His band channel the majesty of the far east for “Chromatic Fantasy” and ram the Beatles’s “Blackbird” through a polyphonic skewer. Both tracks are short and end abruptly, as if someone accidentally sat on the mixing desk. And though Pastorius seemed to be taking a boppier direction in his solo career at this point, “Three Views of a Secret” and “John and Mary” demonstrate that he still had an element of Weather Report-esque fusion in his system.

Anthology: The Warner Bros. Years wraps up with the three outsider tracks mentioned earlier:  “Nativity”, Mood Swings” and “Donna Lee”. “Nativity” comes from percussionist Airto Moreira’s 1977 Warner release I’m Fine, How Are You? and “Mood Swings” is drawn from guitarist Mike Stern’s 1986 album Upside Down. Pastorius’ presence is felt heavily on “Nativity”, a track that swings from ambient world to something with considerably more drive to it. The duet with Mike Stern is some intense straight up jam fusion. The live recording of the Charlie Parker tune “Donna Lee”, the one and only exclusive to Anthology.

If you consider yourself a bass player and you don’t hold Jaco Pastorius in the highest esteem, then we can only presume you’ve never really listened to the man, because he’s one of those guys whose work with the instrument was so unique and groundbreaking that it’s hard to hear it without wanting to drop to your knees and begin recitation of the phrase, “I’m not worthy!”

‘Anthology: The Warner Bros. Years’ is one of many retrospectives of bass genius Jaco Pastorius’ work that have been issued since his tragic death at the age of 35. Containing music from his time with the Warner Bros. label, the vast majority of the album is made up of selections from his sophomore solo studio release ‘Word Of Mouth’ and live albums ‘The Birthday Concert’ and ‘Invitation’.

Among the four tracks which are not from these albums, first up is a live version of ‘Okonkole y Trompa’ from debut album ‘Jaco Pastorius’. This recording comes from the Japanese release ‘Twins I & II’ and stays pretty close to the original as an atmospheric piece featuring some beautiful French horn. ‘Nativity’ from Weather Report and Return To Forever percussionist Airto Moreira’s 1977 album, ‘I’m Fine, How Are You?’, continues in the atmospheric vein before a more upbeat mood is struck on ‘Mood Swings’ from Mike Stern’s ‘Upside Downside’.

While the idea of seeing Jaco in other settings could well provide some interest, if there are only a couple of token examples his work with Joni Mitchell or Pat Metheny would almost certainly lend more insight than the selections here. All three of the tracks here were in fact included on 2003's 'Punk Jazz: The Jaco Pastorius Anthology' alongside some of his work with Mitchell and Metheny as well recordings from the beginnings of Jaco's career in an altogether more cohesive and informative compilation.

Here’s the track listing, to get you further excited about diving into the set:

Disc One

1. “Crisis”
2. “Blackbird”
3. “Chromatic Fantasy”
4. “Word Of Mouth”
5. “Three Views Of A Secret”
6. “John And Mary”
7. “Continuum”
8. “Liberty City”
9. “Soul Intro / The Chicken”
10. “Reza”
11. “Happy Birthday”

Disc Two

1. “Punk Jazz”
2. “Amerika”
3. “Invitation”
4. “Domingo”
5. “Sophisticated Lady”
6. “Fannie Mae”
7. “Eleven”
8. “Okonkole’ Y Trompa”
9. “Nativity” – with Airto Moreira
10. “Mood Swings” – with Mike Stern
11. “Donna Lee” – previously unreleased

Larry Coryell - 1975 [1988] "The Essential Larry Coryell"

When Larry Coryell recorded the sides gathered on this 70-minute CD, fusion was still a new and radical idea -- and the guitarist was one of the adventurers who did more than his part to get the ball rolling. Coryell's diehard followers will be familiar with most of this material, but for novices, The Essential Larry Coryell can serve as a splendid introduction to his Vanguard output. This diverse compilation ranges from 1968's landmark "Stiffneck" (a duet with drummer Elvin Jones that is among the earliest examples of fusion) to the abrasive, Jimi Hendrix-influenced "The Jam with Albert" to the haunting "Spaces (Infinite)," which unites Coryell with another very influential fusion guitarist: John McLaughlin. It's hard to miss Miles Davis' influence on "Yin," a gem underscoring the initial excellence of Coryell's Eleventh House. But even so, there's no mistaking the fact that Coryell was very much a visionary in his own right.

Larry Coryell has had some great musicians around him over the years. I saw him in NYC in the late 60's early 70's. Mike Mandell was on keyboards. Best cut on this album for me is "Scotland." Sax on Scotland is Steve Marcus. Great players on a team bring out the best in each other. That is true on this album. Have not heard much that rises to the level of Scotland from Mandell or Marcus or for that matter from Larry Corryell. Still looking though. It is interesting how much popular music achieves its significance from its context in time and place. Larry Coryell was the early 70's for me.

Though I haven't heard this compilation, I've heard most of the songs on it. This is a great introduction to one of the least known guitar innovators. To put it bluntly, Coryell jams! If you like this album, check out "Coryell", his first album. A must for audiophiles!

Coryell shows the fluidity and passion which put him among the best of the jazz-rock guitarists. Like John McLaughlin, Coryell has a good ear for mesmerizing riffs. Until someone releases his "Barefoot Boy" album, this is the best place to hear him.

The most comprehensive and all you'll ever need Larry Coryell "greatest hits" collection to date.  Pulling all from his most explosive years at Vanguard, this album was released in 1975, the year the label and he split up.  So some tracks date back to 1969 through 1974, although I never knew that 2 songs (acoustic) were cut from the album release.
It is indeed so hard to collect Coryell's best as eclectic as he was, but this release is definitely the best anybody has done to this point and indeed "essential".

2 tracks were cut from the original release to fit onto a single CD: "Improvisation on Robert de Visée's Sarabande" and "Rene's Theme."  Still, there's over an hour of great rock, fusion, jamming, etc., all carried by Coryell's guitar prowess.  When I first popped this disc in and heard "Yin," I thought "oh boy, more fusion," but immediately after that track you get the "Elementary Guitar Solo #5" and things really take off from there.  Only "Are You Too Clever" has vocals, and while not anything great, they don't really detract from the song.

And the cover art is so cool.

Larry, his two sons and me :-)

Tracks Listing

1.Yin ( with The Eleventh House ) ( 6:02 )
2. Elementary Guitar Solo # 5 ( 6:51 )
3. Scotland I ( 6:31 )
4. The Jam With Albert ( 9:19 )
5. Stiffneck ( 7:13 )
6. Foreplay ( 8:15 )
7. Lady Coryell ( 6:32 )
8 Spaces ( Infinite ) ( 9:18 )
9. Are You Too Clever ( 5:28 )
10. After later ( 5:32 )

Track listing above is for 1988 CD re-issue
Total Time: 70:01

Original Vynil LP also includes :
1. Improvisation On Robert De Vissee`s Sarabande ( 5:19 )
2. Rene`s Theme ( 4:07 )
Total Time: 80:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / guitar, all
- Randy Brecker / trumpet, track 1
- Mike Mandel / piano, synthesiser tracks 1,2,3,5,9
- Danny Trifan / bass, track 1
- Alphonse Mouzon / drums, track 1
- Chuck Rainey / bass, track 2
- Bernard Purdie / drums, tracks 2, 4
- Steve Marcus / soprano saxophone, tracks 3,6,9
- Mervin Bronson / bass, 3,6,9,10
- Harry Wilkinson / drums, 3,6,9,10
- Albert Stinson / drums track 4
- Elvin Jones / drums, track 5
- Bob Moses / drums, track 7
- Mahavishnu John McLaughlin / guitar track 8 and track 2 on LP
- Miroslav Vitous / double bass, track 8 and track 2 on LP
- Chick Corea / piano, track 8 and track 2 on LP
- Ralph Towner / guitar, track 1 on LP *
- Glen Moore / bass, track 1 on LP *
- Colin Walcott / Tabla, congas on track 1 on LP *

* Name appears on original LP artwork which was also used for
CD reissue but does not appear on CD 

Miles Davis - 2016 "Freedom Jazz Dance" - The Bootleg Series Vol. 5

Columbia/Legacy Recordings Released Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5, a 3CD Set featuring 2+ Hours of Previously Unreleased Studio Recordings from 1966-1968, Newly Mixed and Mastered in High Resolution Audio

Latest Volume of Acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Landmark Miles Smiles Album with In-Depth Access to Full Session Reels including Rehearsals, Partial and Alternate Takes, Studio Conversation & More.

A 3CD box set collection chronicling Miles’ musical evolution in the studio from 1966-1968 working with his “second great quintet,” the latest edition in Columbia/Legacy’s acclaimed Miles Davis Bootleg Series provides an unprecedented look into the artist’s creative process, drawing on full session reels including all rehearsals, partial and alternate takes, extensive and fascinating studio conversation and more.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Miles Smiles, the groundbreaking second studio album from the Miles Davis Quintet–Miles Davis (trumpet), Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums)–this definitive new collection includes the master takes of performances which would appear on the Miles Smiles (1967), Nefertiti (1968) and Water Babies (recorded 1967, released 1976) albums alongside more than two hours worth of previously unreleased studio recordings from original sessions produced by Teo Macero (with the exception of “Fall,” produced by Howard A. Roberts).

“Circle,” “Orbits,” “Dolores” and “Freedom Jazz Dance” were recorded at the historic Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City on October 24, 1966. “Gingerbread Boy” and “Footprints” were recorded at the same location the following day, October 25, 1966. Full session reels – every second of music and dialogue – that were taped for the Miles Smiles album are included. Prior to this the only material ever released from the classic album were the master takes for the six songs. Never before have the full session reels for an entire Miles Columbia album been released, here providing an in-depth look at the studio process of one of jazz’s greatest bandleaders, and arguably the greatest small jazz group ever.

“Masqualero”, heard on the set in a previously unreleased alternate take, was recorded at Columbia 30th Street Studio on May 17, 1967. “Water Babies” and “Nefertiti” were recorded there on June 7, 1967. “Fall” was cut at the Columbia studio on July 19, 1967. Complete session reels for “Water Babies”, “Nefertiti” and “Fall” are included in the box.

“Country Son”, heard in a unique previously unreleased rhythm section only rehearsal, was recorded at Columbia Studio B in New York City on May 15, 1968.

Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 box set was produced for contemporary release by the multi Grammy Award winning team of Steve Berkowitz, Michael Cuscuna and Richard Seidel. The album was mixed from the original 4-track tapes and mastered by Grammy Award winning engineer Mark Wilder, Battery Studios, New York City, July 2016.

In addition to more than two hours of previously unreleased studio sessions, the collection includes “Blues in F (My Ding),” a rare and unique home recording featuring Miles, demonstrating on piano a new blues he was working on to Wayne Shorter.

Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 includes revelatory behind-the-scenes liner notes penned by Grammy Award-winning Ashley Kahn, author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, as well as new interviews with Quintet members Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter.

Sourced from original four-track analog session reels and master tapes transferred and mixed in high resolution at 24-bit/192 kHz, Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5 offers a profound and intimate look at Miles’ creative process in the studio, providing insight into the bold new musical directions Davis and members of his quintet would take as the 1960s drew to a close.

If ever a band of Miles Davis' deserved the high-intensity inspection/dissection represented by The Bootleg Series Vol. 5, it is his second great quintet. With that man with the horn as the great catalyst, the rapport between pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams is virtually unparalleled in the history of jazz, but to hear the machinations behind their creations here is almost as fascinating as the 'finished product' itself (liner notes rightly suggest use of headphones to hear all the spoken interludes).

One of the major revelations here is that, much more often than not, the working recordings lead to much shorter master takes, illustrations of the truism 'less is more.' The freedom of give and take, verbal as well as instrumental, between the five musicians (and often including producer Teo Macero), is completely unself-conscious, and fearless to boot: perhaps because there are no lack of ideas, there is no apprehension about cutting out parts and condensing longer performances to their essence.

Not surprisingly, one major exception to this working rule of thumb is Shorter's "Footprints." One of his most famous compositions and a regular part of the band's repertoire, unlike much of the material which would appear complete on Miles Smiles,(Columbia, 1967), Nefertiti (Columbia, 1968)and Water Babies (Columbia, 1976), the quintet offers mere sketches of the number: rather than allows itself the luxury of deep exploration of its melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities—relegating that to the concert stage—Davis & co barely scratch the surface while in the studio. It's almost as if they're collectively aware there can be no definitive version.

Rather than the plethora of multiple takes of the same tunes as appear on The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions (Legacy 2003), the preponderance of studio chatter and instrumental experimentation as unreleased content may limit the attraction of Freedom Jazz Dance. Most appropriately, the title tune does benefit from the addenda as it's a cover of an Eddie Harris tune made popular in a much more accessible version at the time of theses sessions beginning in 1966. Otherwise the concept of The Bootleg Series Vol. 5 is a especially focused and rightly so: the work of this band in a live setting already covered in some detail by the inaugural entry in this archival series Live in Europe 1967: The Bootleg Series Vol. 1 (Legacy, 2011) and Live at the Plugged Nickel (Legacy, 1995)

Colorfully packaged in a three-CD digi-pak, a booklet with all the pertinent recording information, in consummate detail, accompanies Ashley Kahn's informative essay; the esteemed jazz scholar provides a similarly accurate timeline of the dates and times involved in these session, besides commentary from principals Carter and Shorter. And the author's own presentation communicates the eye-opening delight he himself experienced in hearing these recordings, a sensation most all other listeners will share as well, and which, judging from the camaraderie among these great musicians, has its source in the relationship between the five players themselves.

Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5

Disc 1
1. Freedom Jazz Dance (Session Reel)
2. Freedom Jazz Dance (Master Take)
3. Circle (Session Reel)
4. Circle (Take 5)
5. Circle (Take 6)
6. Dolores (Session Reel)
7. Dolores (Master Take)

Disc 2
1. Orbits (Session Reel)
2. Orbits (Master Take)
3. Footprints (Session Reel)
4. Footprints (Master Take)
5. Gingerbread Boy (Session Reel)
6. Gingerbread Boy (Master Take)
7. Nefertiti (Session Reel)
8. Nefertiti (Master Take)

Disc 3
1. Fall (Session Reel)
2. Fall (Master Take)
3. Water Babies (Session Reel)
4. Water Babies (Master Take)
5. Masqualero (Alt. Take 3)
6. Country Son (Trio Rehearsal)
7. Blues in F (My Ding)
8. Play Us Your Eight (Miles Speaks)


Miles Davis :trumpet;
Wayne Shorter: tenor saxophone;
Herbie Hancock: piano;
Ron Carter: bass;
Tony Williams: drums.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Larry Coryell and The Eleventh House - 1974 [1978] "Live At Montreux"

The Eleventh House was an important jazz fusion group of the 1970s, led by the guitarist Larry Coryell. The band was formed in 1973 and disbanded in 1976. The Eleventh House, alongside bands such as The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Return to Forever, is considered as one of the pioneering jazz rock bands of the mid-1970s. Charter members of the Band beside Larry Coryell were Randy Brecker trumpet, Mike Mandel (keyboards), Danny Trifan (bass) and Alphonse Mouzon on drums.
The band recorded their first recording entitled Introducing Eleventh House with Larry Coryell in 1973, followed by Live In Montreux and Level One in 1974. A bootleg live recording was also released in 1975 entitled Live in Europe.
In 1974, Brecker was replaced by trumpet player Michael Lawrence and Trifan was replaced by bassist John Lee; after drummer Mouzon left the band in 1975, Gerry Brown replaced him. Their last incarnation in 1976 saw Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino replace Lawrence in a more horn-driven funk context. The Aspects album along with the Brecker Brothers as guests was the result of this collaboration.
1977 saw Coryell and Mouzon reunite with a more rock guitar oriented fusion band. Billed as the Coryell/Mouzon Band it also featured John Lee on bass and Philip Catherine on second guitar. They released one notable album entitled Back Together Again on Atlantic Records. They later performed in various rock or jazz capacities with alternating members including bassist Miroslav Vitouš until finally disbanding.
Eleventh House members Coryell, Mouzon, Mandel and Lee recorded a rather commercial recording in 1984 called The Eleventh House.
In 1998, the Eleventh House reunited and toured all over the world until the end of 1999. By then the Eleventh House Reunion Band consisted of Coryell on guitar, Brecker on trumpet, Richard Bona or Jeff Berlin on bass and Mouzon on drums. In 1999 original member John Lee joined the band on some occasions as did Coryell's son, Julian Coryell, on second guitar and either trumpeter Shunzo Ohno or Donald Harrison on saxophone replaced Brecker.

Guitarist Larry Coryell's Eleventh House was a particularly interesting fusion group of the mid-1970's for, in addition to the leader, keyboardist Mike Mandel, bassist Danny Trifan and the dynamic drummer Alphonse Mouzon, the unit featured trumpeter Michael Lawrence. Their appearance at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival makes for a rather brief CD (under 34 minutes) but has its moments of interest. Coryell starts the proceedings by playing his unaccompanied acoustic guitar on a classical piece, that number is followed by four passionate group originals full of fire and dated electronics, and the set finishes with the strongest piece, "The Eleventh House Blues." Although the music is not essential nor particularly innovative, the mixture of straightahead elements with prime period fusion is often stimulating. 

OMG- the very greatness of this guitarist stands along John McLaughlin, & so many other guitarists. He was on the cutting edge of jazz-fusion. So many great songs. Add Alphonse Mouzon on drums, Mike Mandel on keyboards, a bass, & Trumpet & you have a "cool" fusion band.Joyride is 9+ minutes & "The Eleventh House Blues is 8 minutes. Great music for jazz fusion enthusiasts. So much great music comes & goes in a flash. But when you find it, it is a great feeling. I had older lps, so on one day I got 6 of this guitar masters CDs . 

This Cd is really another Fusion classic and it ranks up to the first 11th House album - only this time it's played live with MUCH power. All members are on the very top, Mike Lawrence doing a great job, Larry Coryell plays great and with lots of powe, he especially sounds great on "11th House Blues" where he shows his great blues feeling. Alphonse fast and with lots of power , but he never overplays - incredible playing.
A great album overall,but unfortunatelly the running time is quite short...anyway, get it!

Tracks Listing

1. Improvisation On Villa-Lobos (Prelude No 4 In E Minor) (3:07)
2. Tamari (4:31)
3. Joyride (9:30)
4. Rasputin (4:11)
5. Song For A New York Rainmaker (4:24)
6. Eleventh House Blues, The (8:06)

Total Time 36:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Larry Coryell / guitar
- Mike Mandel / keyboards
- Alphonse Mouzon / drums
- Michael Lawrence / trumpet
- Danny Trifan / bass
Releases information

Recorded at the Montreaux Jazz and Pop Festival, Montreaux, Switzerland on July 4, 1974 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Oscar Peterson Trio - 1991 "Live at the Blue Note"

Live at the Blue Note is a 1990 live album by Oscar Peterson.

Pianist Oscar Peterson had a reunion with guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown at a well-publicized get-together at New York's Blue Note in March 1990. The trio (his regular group of the late '50s) was augmented by Peterson's late-'60s drummer Bobby Durham for spirited performances. Rather than using their complex arrangements of the past, the pianist and his alumni simply jammed through the performances and the results are quite rewarding. On the first of four CDs released by Telarc, the quartet performs "Honeysuckle Rose," a ballad medley, three of the pianist's originals and "Sweet Georgia Brown." As this and the other CDs in the series show, the magic was still there. 

In March of 1990, Oscar Peterson played a two-week engagement at the Blue Note in New York with a group billed as the Oscar Peterson Trio, even though it contained four players. Peterson was on piano, Ray Brown was on bass, Herb Ellis was on guitar and Bobby Durham was on drums. The billing was no doubt intended to capitalize on the fact that Peterson, Brown and Ellis had been one of the most popular jazz trios of the 1950s. The three had rarely played together between 1958 and this 1990 New York gig.

Telarc, a successful classical label just breaking into jazz at the time, recorded the last three nights of the engagement. Over the next two years, music from each night was released on individual CDs: The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note, Saturday Night at the Blue Note and Last Call at the Blue Note. Telarc took one last pass in 1993, with Encore at the Blue Note, a selection of “other fine moments” from the three nights. The first two albums won Grammy trophies. In late 2004, Telarc reissued this material in a four-CD set. You will look in vain for previously unissued tracks or remastering. But you get four CDs for the price of two, a very slick slip case (all four-CD sets should be packaged this way) and new liner notes by Alyn Shipton, jazz critic for the Times of London.

On Oscar Peterson, there are two broad critical schools of thought. The first (probably more widely held) is that Peterson is a virtuoso who deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence with Art Tatum. The second is that Peterson is a virtuoso, and that it is difficult to care very much about this fact. If it is the second perspective that holds sway in this review, it is hopefully not without respect for the first. Opinions about Peterson’s music are even more subjective than most judgments about art. If his works for you, then you are going to love this set, because it contains almost five hours of torrential floods of pure Peterson. You are going to love tunes like “Sushi” and “Blues Etude,” which prove that Peterson, at 65, could play as fast as any pianist who ever lived. You are going to marvel at his command of phrasing, his harmonic knowledge and his embodiment of so much jazz piano history. You are going to be dazzled by the hook-up with guitarist Herb Ellis, especially given the 32-year hiatus in their musical relationship.

But if Peterson does not move you, then you are likely to find his fast pieces rather like musical Formula One car races, complete with hairpin turns. You will find the rewards of the dazzling fours between Peterson and Ellis more athletic than aesthetic. You will have reservations about ballads like “It Never Entered My Mind” and “A Child Is Born,” believing that, for a jazz improviser, these songs should be occasions for self-revelation, but that in Peterson’s hands they are elegant, flawless and detached.

This 1990 recording reunites Oscar Peterson's nonpareil 1950s trio of Ray Brown and Herb Ellis, fleshing out the lineup with drummer Bobby Durham from the great pianist's '60s group. Though all the principals were in their sixties at the time of the recording, their performances are as tight and fleet as ever, with Ellis sounding especially inspired. The ballads "I Remember You," "A Child Is Born," and "Tenderly" demonstrate their mature, melodic empathy, while "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Sweet Georgia Brown" are the type of barn burners for which Peterson and company were famous. 

Track listing

1.    Introductions – 1:56
2.    "Honeysuckle Rose" (Andy Razaf, Fats Waller) – 8:50
3.    "Let There Be Love" (Lionel Grant, Ian Rand) – 12:00
4.    "Peace for South Africa" (Oscar Peterson) – 10:46
5.    "Sushi" (Peterson) – 8:06
6.    "I Remember You"/"A Child Is Born"/"Tenderly" (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger)/(Thad Jones, Alec Wilder) – 7:17
7.    "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, Kenneth Casey) – 8:21
8.    "Blues for Big Scotia" (Peterson) - 6:08


    Oscar Peterson – piano
    Herb Ellis – guitar
    Ray Brown – double bass
    Bobby Durham - drums

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

King Crimson - 2003 "The Power To Believe"

The Power to Believe is the thirteenth studio album by English band King Crimson, released in February 2003 by record label Sanctuary. It is a companion to the preceding mini-album Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With (2002).

Both Level Five and Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With acted as work-in-progress reveals for the album, which Fripp described as "the culmination of three years of Crimsonising". The album incorporated reworked and/or retitled versions of "Deception of the Thrush" ("The Power to Believe III") and four of the EP tracks, plus a 1997 Soundscape with added instrumentation and vocals ("The Power to Believe: Coda").

The Power to Believe (2003) marks the return of King Crimson for the group's first full-length studio release since ConstruKction of Light (2000). While it draws upon material featured on the live Level Five (2001) and studio Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With (2002) extended-play discs, there are also several new sonic sculptures included. Among them is the title track, which is divided into a series of central thematic motifs much in the same manner as the "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" movements had done in the past. This 21st century schizoid band ably bears the torch of its predecessors with the same ballsy aggression that has informed other seminal King Crimson works -- such as In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), Red (1974), and more recently THRAK (1995). This incarnation of the Mighty Krim includes the excessively talented quartet of Adrian Belew (guitar/vocals), Robert Fripp (guitar), Trey Gunn (Warr guitar/Warr fretless guitar), and Pat Mastelotto (percussion). Under the auspices of Machine -- whose notable productions include post-grunge and industrial medalists Pitchshifter and White Zombie -- the combo unleashes a torrent of alternating sonic belligerence ("Level Five") and inescapable beauty ("Eyes Wide Open"). These extremes are linked as well as juxtaposed by equally challenging soundscapes from Fripp on "The Facts of Life: Intro" as well as Belew's series of "The Power to Believe" haikus. The disc is fleshed out with some choice extended instrumentals such as "Elektrik" and "Dangerous Curves," boasting tricky time signatures that are indelibly linked to equally engaging melodies. Both "Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With" and "Facts of Life" stand out as the (dare say) perfect coalescence of Belew's uncanny Beatlesque lyrical sense with the sort of bare-knuckled, in your face aural attack that has defined King Crimson for over three decades. If the bandmembers' constant tone probing is an active search to find the unwitting consciousness of a decidedly younger, rowdier, and more demanding audience, their collective mission is most assuredly accomplished on The Power to Believe -- even more so than the tripped-out psychedelic prog rock behemoth from whence they initially emerged.

For all his scholarly quips and curmudgeonly demeanor, King Crimson founder and guitarist Robert Fripp has gone to great pains to keep his feet planted firmly on the ground. Unlike some of his first-generation progressive rock peers of the late 60s and early 70s, he never allowed his band to leap into the abyss of new age fantasy or wanky tech-pomp. At all points during Crimson's many-membered lifetime, Fripp has been the model of humble workmanship: You can usually count on him to 1) hate the music business, 2) refuse to rest on his laurels, and 3) practice his guitar. It makes sense that he wouldn't expect much pleasure from record sales or a cult of fans as obsessive as they come-- after all, it's the musician's job to strive for excellence in the face of commerce and compromise.

And it shouldn't bother him that during the course of his 35-year, single-minded crusade he's left himself on a desert island with only his comfortable legion of fans and bandmates to keep him company. It's been a few years since he was painting London red with Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie, and these days Fripp mostly celebrates advanced middle age with his wife, English garden and the latest version of his storied band. Sure, his records sound more than a little like shadows (albeit of the highest quality) of his classic past efforts, but it's not as if rock history is littered with grandfatherly figures re-inventing the wheel. "Hey man, lay off Fripp-- King Crimson is the best prog band ever!" I know it is, I do; I really wish I could get past the irony of a progressive rock band being unable to progress.

The Power to Believe is the band's 13th studio LP, and the third featuring the current lineup of Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto. Last year, the buzz about this record was that it was going to be the result of Crimson's ear to xFC-metal, and having toured with Tool-- in fact, the working title was Nuovo Metal. Last year's Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With EP offered some preliminary tastes of this direction, as did the deluge of recent live releases, including 2001's Level Five, and the Projekcts albums. I'm happy to report that Power is much less awful than that EP, and more consistently interesting than the sprawling live CDs. That said, there is an omnipresent residue of stagnancy that has covered just about everything King Crimson have released since 1995's Thrak, and this record is no less stained.

Robert Fripp and the ever-changing lineup of King Crimson continue to fascinate and challenge with The Power to Believe. The album’s opener is an a cappella version of the title track sweetly delivered by Adrian Belew that’s reprised three times later: once with jangling Eastern percussion and a soaring guitar; once as a sci-fi extravaganza that harkens to Crimson's glorious past; and finally as an a cappella closer. In between lies the disciplined, varied, and often mind-blowing playing one expects from these accomplished musicians. "Facts of Life" is dirty prog blues, while "Dangerous Curves" is like a low-key "Kashmir" until it rises to a metallic crescendo. Then there's the sarcastic "Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With," which finds Belew berating younger outfits for their lack of artistic ambition.

"The only reward the musician receives is music: The privilege of standing in the presence of music when it leans over and takes unto its confidence. As it is for the audience. In this moment everything else is irrelevant and without power. For those in music, this is the moment when life becomes unreal."
                                                                                --Robert Fripp, 1992

Tracks Listing

1. The Power to Believe I: A Cappella (0:44)
2. Level Five (7:17)
3. Eyes Wide Open (4:08)
4. Elektrik (7:59)
5. Facts of Life: Intro (1:38)
6. Facts of Life (5:05)
7. The Power to Believe II (7:43)
8. Dangerous Curves (6:42)
9. Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With (3:17)
10. The Power to Believe III (4:09)
11. The Power to Believe IV: Coda (2:29)

Total Time: 51:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Adrian Belew / guitar, vocals
- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Trey Gunn / Warr fretted & fretless guitars
- Pat Mastelotto / drums & drum programming

- Tim Faulkner / voice source (4)
- Bill Munyon / sound design (additional)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Doors - 1978 [1995] "An American Prayer"

An American Prayer is the ninth and final studio album by the Doors. In 1978, seven years after lead singer Jim Morrison died and five years after the remaining members of the band broke up, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore reunited and recorded backing tracks over Morrison's poetry (originally recorded in 1969 and 1970). Other pieces of music and spoken word recorded by the Doors and Morrison were also used in the audio collage, such as dialogue from Morrison's film HWY: An American Pastoral and snippets from jam sessions.
The album received mixed reviews and still divides critics, yet it has managed a platinum certification in the US. When the album was originally released, longtime Doors' producer Paul A. Rothchild labeled the album a "rape of Jim Morrison". Rothchild claimed that he had heard all of the reels of master tapes from both the 1969 and the 1970 poetry sessions, insisting that the three remaining Doors failed to realize Morrison's original intent for an audio presentation of the poetry. Morrison himself, prior to leaving for Paris, had approached composer Lalo Schifrin as a possible contributor for the music tracks meant to accompany the poetry, with no participation from any of the other Doors members. In addition, he had developed some conception of the album cover art work by January 1971, and was in correspondence with artist T. E. Breitenbach to design this cover in the form of a triptych (a three-paneled painting with various images embedded in each panel). However, John Haeny, who recorded the original session tapes with Morrison in 1970 and safeguarded them before the project was resurrected as An American Prayer, insisted that the album "was made by those people who were closest to Jim, both personally and artistically" and "everyone had the best intentions", stating: "Jim would be pleased. Jim would have understood our motivation and appreciated our dedication and heartfelt handling of his work.

Moody and mesmerizing, An American Prayer is an interesting album of Jim Morrison reading his poetry over the Doors' music. An American Prayer was finished by the remaining members of the Doors after Morrison's death and finally released in 1978 (it was remastered and re-released in 1995 with bonus tracks). Those familiar with the lyrics of the Doors will not be surprised, but others may be put off because Morrison is unafraid to use crude imagery and talk unabashedly about taboo topics such as sex and religion. Although many dismiss his poetry as simplistic random musings, Morrison is a gifted lyricist with a vivid imagination. The album also demonstrates how the other musicians in the band create a mood that breathes life into Morrison's dark, twisted visions. The music excerpts of "Peace Frog" and "Wasp (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" provide a welcome air of familiarity, and the definitive live version of "Roadhouse Blues" in the middle of the album provides a nice respite from the barrage of stories and metaphors. However, An American Prayer must be listened to in one sitting to be fully appreciated, preferably at nighttime when one is alone and can devote full attention to the listening experience. This album is not for everyone, but is a must-own for Doors completists and fans of Jim Morrison's poetry.

It was Robby’s idea. Jim had been haunting him for a while. Maybe it wasn’t a true haunting in the classic sense or definition but Robby had been having dreams of Jim Morrison reciting his poetry. Robby called engineer John Haeny to see if he knew where the tapes were that Jim had recorded on his 27th birthday on December 8th, 1970.  Haeny still had the tapes and the first step was taken in what would be an album of Jim Morrison’s poetry known as “An American Prayer”.

An American Prayer: The Cover

The Dec. 8th, 1970 recordings were made with an eye towards Jim Morrison recording a solo album of his poetry. Morrison had secured a contract with Elektra founder Jac Holzman for the album and he wanted to start recording it. He invited Frank and Kathy Lisciandro, Alain Ronay, and Florentine Pabst to the studio for the recording. Haeny gave Morrison a bottle of Old Bushmills whiskey (on the “An American Prayer” CD on the bonus track, “Ghost Song”, the tape was still rolling and Morrison says, “one more thing”, then you can hear him take a swig off the bottle; you have to turn the volume up to hear it), and the session lasted approximately four hours. If the scene sounds familiar Oliver Stone used it in his movie “The Doors”. Recordings from the March 1969 recording session were also used but by the 1970 “birthday sessions” Morrison had revised a lot of the previously recorded poems.

The surviving Doors recorded “An American Prayer” using (besides Morrison’s poetry sessions) materials from The Doors catalog, recordings of live Doors shows and sound effects. They recorded new music using much of the poetry, editing and splicing Morrison’s voice in and around the music.

“An American Prayer” was released in November of 1978* and roughly outlines the life of Jim Morrison from birth (‘wake up!’), childhood, teenage years and coming of age, to being a rock star/sex symbol, and the elegiac poem “An American Prayer”. “An American Prayer” was released to generally good reviews.  Although it didn’t get a lot of radio play because of Morrison’s use of expletives, it was the only Doors album nominated for a Grammy and at 250,000 copies sold upon its release makes it the largest selling spoken-word album.

All the members of The Doors ‘family’ thought “An American Prayer” a fitting tribute to Morrison and his wish to be regarded as a poet. The lone exception was longtime Doors producer Paul Rothchild, who called “An American Prayer” “the rape of Jim Morrison” and compared it to “taking a Picasso and cutting it into postage stamp-sized pieces and spreading it across a supermarket wall”. Rothchild also cited Morrison’s intentions of producing a poetry album as a solo project, separate from The Doors, and without rock music using more classical orchestrations or with avant garde orchestrations such as with Lalo Schifrin (who did the soundtrack to 60’s classics “Cool Hand Luke” and “Mission Impossible”). Part of Morrison’s vision for his poetry album was the commissioning of a triptych by artist T.E. Breitenbach, it shows the elements Morrison thought important, a moonlit beach with naked couples running around, a city at noon “insane with activity,” and a desert scene at night seen through the windshield of a car.

Tracks Listing:

- Awake -
1. Awake (0:36)
2. Ghost Song (2:51)
3. Dawn's Highway (1:22)
4. Newborn Awakening (2:26)
- To Come Of Age -
5. To Come Of Age (1:02)
6. Black Polished Chrome (1:08)
7. Latino Chrome (2:15)
8. Angels And Sailors (2:47)
9. Stoned Immaculate (1:33)
- The Poet's Dreams -
10. The Movie (1:36)
11. Curses, Invocations (1:58)
- World On Fire -
12. American Night (0:28)
13. Roadhouse Blues (5:53)
14. The World On Fire (1:07)
15. Lament (2:19)
16. The Hitchhiker (2:16)
- An American Prayer -
17. An American Prayer (3:04)
18. Hour For Magic (1:18)
19. Freedom Exists (0:20)
20. A Feast Of Friends (2:11)

Total Time 38:28

Bonus tracks on 1995 CD remaster:
21. Babylon Fading (1:40)
22. Bird Of Prey (1:04)
23. The Ghost Song (5:16)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Morrison - vocals, spoken word (recorded on February 9, 1969 and December 8, 1970)
- Ray Manzarek / keyboards, piano bass
- Robby Krieger / guitars
- John Densmore / drums

- Arthur Barrow / synth programming (10)
- Jerry Scheff / bass (20)
- Bob Glaub / bass (20)
- Reinol Andino / percussion (10)

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Doors - 2003 Legacy "The Absolute Best"

Legacy: The Absolute Best is a two-disc compilation album by the Doors released in 2003. This compilation includes the uncensored versions of both "Break On Through (To the Other Side)" (the lyrics "she gets high" are restored) and "The End" (with Morrison's liberal use of the word "fuck" during the song's interlude). Also included is an unreleased 1968 studio version of Morrison's epic stagepiece "Celebration of the Lizard" in its entirety.
The album debuted on the Billboard 200 on August 30, 2003 at number 63. It remained on the chart for 4 weeks. Wiki.

Truth be told, most casual Doors fans only need a well-assembled single-disc collection, containing all the hits and radio staples. Since that doesn't exist -- Rhino's 2001 collection The Very Best of the Doors missed too many key songs to suit the bill -- they'll have to settle for the comprehensive 2003 Rhino compilation Legacy: The Absolute Best, a double-disc set that replaces the previous double-disc Doors comp, the 1985 set The Best of the Doors. That collection contained 19 tracks, the number of songs that are on the first disc of this exhaustive 34-track overview. Every one of the tunes from The Best of the Doors is on Legacy, but not in the same order, since the songs on this compilation are put in roughly chronological order. Legacy also tries to give equal weight to each of the Doors albums, pulling anywhere from four to eight tracks from all the studio albums, adding "Gloria" from Alive, She Cried and a previously unissued "Celebration of the Lizard" to the end of the record. This winds up giving a thorough overview of the band's peak, whether it's on the familiar hits or on strong album cuts like "My Eyes Have Seen You" or "The Changeling." There are a couple of omissions -- most notably "Love Street" and "Summer's Almost Gone" from Waiting for the Sun and also "Ship of Fools" and "Land Ho!" from Morrison Hotel -- but overall, this draws as complete a picture as possible. It still may be a little bit much for those who just want the hits (they're all here, plus a whole lot more), but there's little question that Legacy is the best Doors compilation yet assembled. All Music.

Wow I'm there Utah them as they play it's like they are in my house playing my system is a jvc 470 watt so you know I'm in Door heaven. Riders on a storm is my fav yet after watching Val Kilmer rocked as Jim and watching other stuff on the doors one night I watched a documentary and I said I must get more of hat I heard this band is solid and stands the test of time I'll say this all the music made by then was classic music and will never be duplicated ever Iam buying all the greats and go back in time when brother and sister was real and the changing times blew our. Minds into truths about ourselves. By coolhandluke 19.

These tracks have been remastered, sounding better than ever, so, soundwise, there is no better compilation out there. No other compilation out there, even the 2CD's, has as many tracks as this. Of course, there will always be a personal favourite left out. One of my personal favs - The SPY - is not here, but its understandable, they cant please anyone. But all the BIG hits, the BIG album tracks are here. So, this compilation gives the newbie the best deal. When the Beatles 1 compilation was issued, many of us attacked it because it was just a cash in, nothing for the fans that had bought those titles dozens of times. Imagine how much better that compilation would have been if they had included the full 40 min jam session of helter skelter. So, why is everyone complaining on celebration of the lizard? This is a gift for the fans, that already have the best live versions of this song, but still want to listen to everything in the vaults. This is an excellent compilation, and except for the terrible linear notes, written by complete fools whom have nothing to say about the music of this band, this should serve as an example for other bands on how to put a decent compilation. By Blues Bro VINE VOICE.

The Doors' 2003 2-CD retrospective entitled Legacy : The Absolute Best of The Doors was released in August of 2003.
The band had been subjected to compilations before this like 1970's 13, 1972's Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine, 1973's Best Of the Doors, 1980's Greatest Hits and the 1987 2-disc version of The Best of The Doors. Then in 2003 came Legacy : The Absolute Best Of the Doors which was brilliantly put together by the three surviving Doors members (keyboard player Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robbie Krieger and drummer John Densmore) plus longstanding engineer Bruce Botnick with remastered sound plus an informative booklet with essays from T.C. Boyle and Jim Ladd plus album credits and chart position listings of tunes that were singles. This collection is still the best Doors compilation in my view, as I found out when I acquired in its first week in August of 2003.
Disc one focuses on material from the band's first three brilliant studio albums. The Doors' classic 1967 self titled debut album is represented by eight tracks which were the classic opener "Break On Through" (which is the uncensored version with the phrase "she get high" (which was eliminated from original mix)), the bluesy "Soul Kitchen", the relaxing "Crystal Ship", the rollicking "Twentieth Century Fox", the classic version of "Whiskey Bar (The Alabama Song)", plus the band's first #1 hit "Light My Fire" in all its 7 minute glory, their excellent version of "Backdoor Man" and the closing epic "The End" which is here uncensored with the late Jim Morrison letting out a barrage of "F bombs".
The band's October, 1967 second effort, the Top 10 charting Strange Days is represented by the title cut plus the album's big hit single "People Are Strange", the slithering "Moonlight Drive", the deep cut "My Eyes have Seen You" and the other classic epic closer "When The Music's Over" which is one of the best Doors tracks ever.
Then the band's only US #1 album, 1968's Waiting For the Sun is represented by the band's second US #1 hit "Hello I Love You", the fittingly Latin-tinged "Spanish Caravan", one section of the proposed side long track The Celebration Of The Lizard out of "Not to Touch the Earth" (which closes CD 1 of this compilation), the anti-Vietnam war track "The Unknown Soldier" (which has always been one of my favorite Doors tracks with Jim Morrison acting out the firing squad part brilliantly) and that album's rocking closer "Five to One".
Disc two picks up with 1969's controversial album but another Top 10 called The Soft Parade. It's represented by the album's opener "Tell All the People" plus the album's biggest hit "Touch Me" and also included is one of my favorite Doors rockers called "Wild Child" and the excellent "Wishful Sinful".
The classic back to basics album Morrison Hotel (another US Top 5 effort from 1970) is represented by the rollicking rocker "Roadhouse Blues", "Waiting For the Sun" (I believe written for the third album but scrapped until Morrison Hotel), the brilliant "You Make Me Real" and of course the rocker "Peace Frog".
Then half of the band's final album with charismatic frontman Jim Morrison, 1971's L.A. Woman is represented by the excellent opener "The Changeling", the Top 20 hit "Love Her Madly", the eight minute epic title cut, the excellent rock radio staple "The WASP (Texas Radio and Big Beat)" and of course the closing track "Riders On the Storm" (which fittingly was the last track Jim recorded with the band before his untimely death in July of 1971.
We fast forward to the 1983's posthumous live album Alive She Cried for their classic version of Van Morrison (no relation) and Them's "Gloria" which The Doors brilliantly made their own although they didn't ever do a studio version.
We close with the studio version of "The Celebration Of the Lizard" which is an excellent epic length piece.
Legacy : The Absolute Best Of the Doors did reasonably well on the charts but is now discontinued as the 2007 2-CD Very Best Of The Doors package which has all of the songs remixed with mixed results and some tunes replacing what is on here. If you want a best of with the original mixes remastered in an uncompressed manner, this is the Doors collection for you!
By Terrence J. Reardon.
Track listing:

Disc one

  1. "Break On Through (To the Other Side)" (Jim Morrison) – 2:29
  2. "Back Door Man" (Willie Dixon, Chester Burnett) – 3:34
  3. "Light My Fire" (Robby Krieger) – 7:08
  4. "Twentieth Century Fox" (Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison) – 2:23
  5. "The Crystal Ship" (Morrison) – 2:34
  6. "Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)" (Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill) – 3:19
  7. "Soul Kitchen" (Morrison) – 3:35
  8. "The End" (Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison) – 11:46
  9. "Love Me Two Times" (Krieger) – 3:16
  10. "People Are Strange" (Krieger, Morrison) – 2:12
  11. "When the Music's Over" (Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison) – 11:02
  12. "My Eyes Have Seen You" (Morrison) – 2:29
  13. "Moonlight Drive" (Morrison) – 3:04
  14. "Strange Days" (Morrison) – 3:09
  15. "Hello, I Love You" (Morrison) – 2:16
  16. "The Unknown Soldier" (Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison) – 3:25
  17. "Spanish Caravan" (Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison) – 3:01
  18. "Five to One" (Morrison) – 4:27
  19. "Not to Touch the Earth" (Morrison) – 3:54

Disc two

  1. "Touch Me" (Krieger) – 3:12
  2. "Wild Child" (Morrison) – 2:38
  3. "Tell All the People" (Krieger) – 3:21
  4. "Wishful Sinful" (Krieger) – 2:58
  5. "Roadhouse Blues" (Morrison) – 4:04
  6. "Waiting for the Sun" (Morrison) – 4:00
  7. "You Make Me Real" (Morrison) – 2:53
  8. "Peace Frog" (Krieger, Morrison) – 2:58
  9. "Love Her Madly" (Krieger) – 3:18
  10. "L.A. Woman" (Morrison) – 7:51
  11. "Riders on the Storm" (Densmore, Krieger, Manzarek, Morrison) – 7:10
  12. "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" (Morrison) – 4:15
  13. "The Changeling" (Morrison) – 4:21
  14. "Gloria" (Van Morrison) – 6:18
  15. "Celebration of the Lizard" (Morrison) – 17:01
    • "Lions in the Street"
    • "Wake Up!"
    • "A Little Game"
    • "The Hill Dwellers"
    • "Not to Touch the Earth"
    • "Names of the Kingdom"
    • "The Palace of Exile"
Line-up / Musicians:
- Jim Morrison / vocals
- Ray Manzarek / keyboards
- John Densmore / drums
- Robby Krieger / guitar

Additional Musicians:
- Douglas Lubahn / occasional bass (tracks 9-19, disc 1; tracks 1-4, disc 2), electric bass (track 17, disc 1)
- Kerry Magness / bass (track 16, disc 1)
- Leroy Vinegar / acoustic bass (track 17, disc 1)
- Harvey Brooks / bass (tracks 1-4, disc 2)
- Curtis Amy / sax solo (track 1, disc 2)
- Paul Harris / orchestral arrangements (tracks 1-4, disc 2)
- Ray Neopolitan / bass (tracks 5-8, disc 2)
- Lonnie Mack / bass (track 5, disc 2)
- G. Puglese (alias for John Sebastian) / harp (track 5, disc 2)
- Jerry Scheff / bass (tracks 9-13, disc 2)
- Marc Benno / rhythm guitar (track 10, disc 2)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

James Muller - 2006 "Kaboom"

Australian guitarist JamesMuller makes a potentstatement on his fourth release as a leader, originally issued in 2006 and recently re-pressed. Recorded in New York with drummer Bill Stewart and bassist Matt Penman, Kaboom showcases Muller’s startling six-string facility and fresh compositional style. Highlights include the swinging title track; the edgy “D Blues,” full of daring intervallic leaps and rapid-fire single-note streams; and Muller’s soulful and swinging tribute tune “Chick Corea,” on which he burns up the fretboard yet again. Muller closes with a straight reading of “All the Things You Are” that has him blowing over the bar line with jaw-dropping abandon. For sheer speed, spotless articulation and fertile ideas, Muller ranks right up there with fellow Aussie chopsmeister Frank Gambale.

Geography is the only reason that James Muller isn't as well-known as he should be. Having spent most of his life in his native Australia, the guitarist, now in his early thirties, has racked up a significant number of releases including Sonic Fiction's Changing With the Times, pianist Mark Isaac's Closer and the recent JazzGroove Mothership Orchestra's The Mothership Plays the Music of Mike Nock. Fusion fans may know him for his recent work with drummer Chad Wackerman. Every project seems to reveal another side to this virtuosic player, begging the question: will the real James Muller please stand up?
Kaboom, Muller's fourth album as a leader, comes from a session recorded during time spent in New York. He may be the sum of his influences, but his own voice emerges on this set of five self-penned tunes, plus two by fellow Aussie Sean Wayland and one standard. Muller eschews the heavily overdriven tone he used with Wackerman for a cleaner and occasionally chorused tone that's still got plenty of bite. Bassist Matt Penman and drummer Bill Stewart round out a trio rooted in the mainstream, but still filled with plenty of surprises.
Muller's chordal approach resembles John Scofield's, though he's less blues-informed. He communicates a hint of folksiness at times that references Pat Metheny, but he avoids any of the guitar icon's signatures, though his solo style is equally focused. The occasional descending legato run suggests Allan Holdsworth, but he's less abstruse in nature and isn't averse to letting his guitar sound like a guitar.
The charts are primarily solo vehicles, but they're memorable, despite their brevity. There's plenty of room to stretch, but Muller's innate sense of construction never loses sight of the bigger picture. Peppering linear phrases with attractive chordal voicings, Muller creates tension by taking things ever so slightly outside, but never at the expense of melodic development; this quality is shared by Stewart, one of today's most distinctly musical drummers.
The trio swings hard on "D Blues," evokes bittersweet melancholy on the balladic "Eindhoven" and burns brightly on the fiery "Chick Corea." There's plenty of energy, but despite Muller's pungent tone, the overall vibe is more about smooth surfaces than sharp edges. While there's underlying form, there's also a strong simpatico that lets the trio take enough chances to keep listeners on their toes.
With the number of guitarists flooding the jazz scene these days, it's hard to stand out, but Muller does just that on Kaboom, further evidence of a vibrant Australian scene that's still waiting to be discovered by an international audience.

2012 Re-press. Australian guitarist James Muller have been always spoken in musician circles highly praised by John Scofield, Chad Wackerman and others. On this brand new release he teams up with Scofield bandmate Bill Stewart on drums and Matt Penman on bass. Kaboom has five of James' compositions, two by Sean Wayland and one standard by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. Recorded in NYC it's a absolute blinder - listen to it and you'll see why John Scofield rates James as one of THE top players.

Really great compositions and inspired playing by everyone. I can't recommend this enough. You will not be disappointed. Muller is a monster guitarist, and Bill Stewart is his usual awesome self.

I find this CD from Australian guitarist James Muller to be a refreshing listen. Influences of early Metheny and Scofield are in the playing but he has his own style. Matt Penman is on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. Both have played with Scofield.My CD comes with a sticker recommendation from John Scofield. I quote "This is a great album.James has it all....I love his playing."
James Muller can also be heard on CDs by the Mark Isaacs Resurgence Band and the Subterraneans.

Track Listing:

01 Honeycombs;
02 Kaboom;
03 Stacked;
04 D Blues;
05 Eindhoven;
06 Chick Corea;
07 Marcello;
08 All the Things You Are.


James Muller: guitar;
Matt Penman: bass;
Bill Stewart: drums.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Chris Potter - 2002 "Traveling Mercies"

Chris Potter’s “Traveling Mercies,” the followup to his highly acclaimed “Gratitude” album, is in many ways better, but in all ways more adventurous. “Gratitude” paid saxophone debts to the past with tunes dedicated to Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, but on the new release, Potter is in a traveling mood — ready to explore. Part of his success comes from his ability to simultaneously face jazz’s past and future.

Potter wastes no time getting into a strong electric mode, with guitarist John Scofield sitting in on the first track, “Megalopolis.” They lay down the lead line with a quirky offbeat and plenty of energy. The band, whose players — keyboardist Kevin Hays, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Bill Stewart — are all top-notch, make complicated rhythms seem easy. They kick into 4/4 for a couple of tunes, but stick with a freer rhythmic structure that offers both tension and release. “Snake Oil,” for example, stops and starts, gets going, then hesitates, fast-forwards, and then takes a couple of steps back. It’s dizzying, but intriguing.

Other tracks, though, are as pretty and lyrical as any jazz around. “Invisible Man” has a lonesome melody that Potter renders on flute. The delicacy of the tune creates a faraway, natural space for everyone in the band to solo in careful whispers. In contrast, the meaty version of the traditional spiritual “Go Children” digs into hand-clapping, straight-up pleasure, the bass lines and chord changes tempering the gospel with gritty blues.

“Migrations” brings together his musical journeys, containing a little of everything. It starts with a funky, guitar-fueled melody, but then transforms entirely, easing into a reflective tempo that is light and otherworldly. These abrupt shifts may put off listeners who are more attuned to a consistent, straight-ahead beat, but the textures and nuances flow together effortlessly under Potter’s sax lines.

At times, he pushes jazz to its limits, but always returns to a satisfying coherence. This musical sense, along with his straight-ahead sax playing, has made him one of the most compelling young jazz players around. Acoustic-minded jazz fans may prefer the traditional flavor of “Gratitude,” but the electric guitar, well-chosen sampling and fresh arrangements show that “Traveling Mercies” looks in a different direction.

Chris Potter gets more and more adventurous. On this follow-up to the strong Gratitude, the tenor and soprano saxophonist beefs up strong writing and heady group interplay with occasional sampled sounds and miscellaneous textures like clavinet and reed organ. True to form, he plays additional wind instruments -- alto flute and bass clarinet in this case -- and isn't afraid of overdubbing them to create lush orchestration, on tracks like "Snake Oil" and "Any Moment Now." On the haunting "Invisible Man" he even doubles the alto flute melody with his singing voice. Not until the fifth track, a Meters-like adaptation of the spiritual "Children Go," do you hear a 4/4 tempo; loping lines over odd meters prevail, with pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Bill Stewart expertly laying down the edgy grooves. (Like on Gratitude, Hays doubles on Fender Rhodes.) John Scofield contributes tart solos on three tracks, while Adam Rogers adds nylon-string and slide colors on two others. The sweeping, Metheny-esque harmonies of "Highway One" bring the program to a head, followed by a closing bass clarinet/piano duo on Willie Nelson's "Just as I Am." As a jazz record, Traveling Mercies is very much a product of its post-millennial times, but it still comes across as highly individual. Its value will be lasting.

Walking in jazz saxophonist Chris Potter's shoes on his new recording Traveling Mercies may prove to be a rewarding experience for the exploratory listener. The multitalented musician has covered a lot of ground on recent tours and sessions with acclaimed recordings such as the Dave Holland Quintet's Not for Nothin' and Steely Dan's Two Against Nature. His skill as musician, composer, and arranger comes to the forefront on Traveling Mercies to give the listener a glimpse of the musical roads he has traveled so well.

The idea behind the new recording comes from the artist's reflections of recent tours as a bandleader and sideman. The listener will receive a musical itinerary that is layered with different textures and environments, which offers a modern jazz mentality. This is a departure from his previous recording Gratitude which paid homage to great saxophonists such as John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. The music now infuses elements such as sound samples, electric keyboards, guitars, and various elements to create a kaleidoscope of sound.

Potter possesses a strong tenor sound, which is throaty and deep with meaning, but it's a real treat to hear him on bass clarinet, flute, and odd instrumentation such as the reed organ. Combine this with exceptional compositional skills, and choice musicians; Traveling Mercies is a cut above the rest. Guitar wizards, John Scofield and Adam Rogers enhance the mix with progressive playing on many of the selections. Kevin Hays provides nice work on the piano and Fender Rhodes, while bassist Scott Colley and drummer Bill Stewart are a tried and true formula for tight rhythms. Highlights abound on the recording such as the atmospheric "Highway One" and the multi-textured "Any Moment Now," which is a testament to Potter's arranging skills. The recording concludes with the serene "Just as I Am," which features a lovely piano and clarinet duet.

Highly recommended.

Track Listing:

01 Megalopolis;
02 Snake Oil;
03 Invisible Man;
04 Washed Ashore;
05 Children Go;
06 Any Moment Now;
07 Migrations;
08 Azalea;
09 Highway One;
10 Just as I Am.


Chris Potter -tenor and soprano saxophone, alto flute, bass clarinet, reed organ, clavinet, sampler, percussion, voice;
John Scofield -guitar;
Adam Rogers -acoustic and slide guitar;
Kevin Hays -piano, Fender Rhodes, clavinet;
Scott Colley -bass;
Bill Stewart -drums