Saturday, March 4, 2023

Tribal Tech - 1993 "Face First"

Face First is the sixth album by jazz fusion band Tribal Tech. It was released in 1993. The album is more improvisational than the band's previous works, and features elements of funk, bop and blues. "Boat Gig" is the only track on the album that contains singing, with vocals by drummer Kirk Covington.

Guitarist Scott Henderson and bassist Gary Willis, known as Tribal Tech (the renegade rock/jazz/fusion warriors) are back with the release of their 1993 album, entitled "Face First". Equally adapt at recalling Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix, the band successfully bridges the gap between jazz and rock, blending elements of entities such as Weather Report, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa and Return To Forever, while simultaneously expanding the dimensions of jazz. Scott Henderson (also known for his work with the Chick Corea Elektric Band and The Zawinul Syndicate) is generally admired as one of the most exciting fusion guitarists in the world today. Gary Willis first made a name for himself in the bands of Wayne Shorter and Allan Holdsworth. Incredibly tasteful phrasing and standout guitar playing dominate "Face First", and interestingly, in a somewhat bizarre move, the band dedicated the song "Boat Gig" to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King.

Although it was their sixth album overall, Tribal Tech's 1993 release, Face First, was only the second to feature the still-existing lineup of guitarist Scott Henderson, bassist Gary Willis, keyboardist Scott Kinsey, and drummer Kirk Covington. Previously, Henderson and Willis had juggled lineups and eased further away from traditional jazz toward improvisational fusion through the 1985-1991 albums Spears, Dr. Hee, Nomad, and Tribal Tech. But the quartet of musical leftists gelled on Face First, improving on its promising 1992 debut, Illicit. Henderson's solo on the opening title track -- over a percolating Willis bassline -- shows the guitarist's range of influences from Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix to Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Funk pieces like "Canine" and "Uh...Yeah OK" show glimpses of the group's future, all-improvised CDs; hummingbird-quick drummer Covington's lead vocal on the cover-band farce "Boat Gig" set the stage for Henderson"'s solo blues debut the next year. In between, synth-master Kinsey's jazzy "After Hours" and Henderson's New Orleans-tinged "Revenge Stew" provide thought-provoking rest areas -- necessary because of breathtaking ten-minute thrill rides like the blues, bop, and beyond of "Salt Lick." Willis' Weather Report-like "The Precipice" and "Wounded" ease you to the finish of Face First, the album that made a statement that Henderson, Willis, and company have not yet begun to finish.

Track listing:

01.    "Face First"    7:04
02.    "Canine"    6:24
03.    "After Hours"    7:23
04.    "Revenge Stew"    6:07
05.    "Salt Lick"    9:45
06.    "Uh... Yeah OK"    6:44
07.    "The Crawling Horror"    7:44
08.    "Boiler Room"    1:35
09.    "Boat Gig"    6:00
10.    "The Precipice"    6:17
11.    "Wounded"    5:39


    Scott Henderson – guitar
    Gary Willis – fretless bass
    Scott Kinsey – keyboards
    Kirk Covington – drums, vocals

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Jimi Hendrix - 1969 [2022] "Los Angeles Forum" (April 26, 1969)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969 on 2LP vinyl, CD and all digital platforms.

Following the massive success of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1967-68 studio album trifecta (Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love, and Electric Ladyland), the trio (singer/guitarist Jimi Hendrix, drummer Mitch Mitchell, bassist Noel Redding) had developed into the most popular international touring attraction in rock music. This widescale public interest coincided with the construction of new arenas for sporting events, among them the Forum in Inglewood, CA. Designed by famed architect Charles Luckman (who also designed New York’s rebuilt Madison Square Garden), this multi-purpose venue opened in 1967 as the home of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, but also began to serve as a music venue. Among the earliest concerts held there was Aretha Franklin in January 1968 and the Cream farewell tour with opening act Deep Purple in October of that year. The Jimi Hendrix Experience were booked to perform on April 26, 1969 with opening acts Chicago Transit Authority (soon-to-be renamed Chicago) and Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys, the latter of whom shared management with the headliners. Floor seats cost $6.50 ($51.20 adjusted for inflation).

By the time The Jimi Hendrix Experience took the stage to blaze through a spirited set, live concert sound had drastically improved from the time of The Beatles baseball stadium tours, but crowd control was still a major concern. Between songs, Jimi pled with audience members to stop rushing the stage. A heavy police presence is felt; lyrics for their hit “Purple Haze” are altered (“’Scuse me while I kiss that policeman!”) and Jimi dedicates “Spanish Castle Magic” to “the plain clothes police out there and other goofballs.”

Hendrix treated each performance as a unique event. He never relied on a standard set list comprised only of his biggest commercial hits. This approach was on full display at the Forum performance, blending more familiar tunes such as “Foxey Lady” with “I Don’t Live Today” from Are You Experienced and his signature blues original “Red House”(“Everybody want to know what America’s soul is; everybody think it’s Motown … America’s soul is something more like this here”) which had still not yet been released in the US at this time.

Furthermore, the group opened their set with a cover of “Tax Free” – an obscure 1967 instrumental by Swedish duo Hansson & Karlsson (consisting of Bo Hansson and Janne Karlsson), with whom The Experience had previously shared bills in Stockholm. Another unique highlight featured within the Forum performance was an early reimagining of “Star Spangled Banner,” which Jimi would canonize four months later at Woodstock. “Here’s a song we was all brainwashed with,” Jimi trenchantly declares, at a time when the nation was in a state of great political unrest. The group closed their performance with a unique, extraordinary medley of “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” The song was an Experience favorite and a perfect live vehicle for the trio’s unparalleled improvisational skill.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969 was recorded by Wally Heider and Bill Halverson contemporaneously, and recently remixed by longtime Hendrix producer/engineer Eddie Kramer for maximum audio fidelity. The package’s liner notes are by former LA Times staff writer/critic Randy Lewis with a preface by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons who attended the Hendrix Forum show, having toured with the Experience, as part of The Moving Sidewalks, his pre-ZZ Top band.

This pristine recording—available in its entirety for the very first time—newly mixed by Hendrix’s longtime engineer Eddie Kramer, captures the original Jimi Hendrix Experience in their unrivaled, peak form and is sourced directly from the original eight-track master tapes.

The accompanying illustrated booklet (24-pages in the CD release and 12-pages in the 2LP release) features liner notes from ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons plus LA Times music critic Randy Lewis who both witnessed the show first-hand. The deluxe 2LP vinyl release is packaged in a lavish gatefold jacket and is pressed on 150 gram vinyl at Quality Record Pressings’ (QRP) legendary Salina, Kansas facility.

Track Listing:

    1. Intro
    2. Tax Free
    3. Foxey Lady
    4. Red House
    5. Spanish Castle Magic
    6. Star Spangled Banner
    7. Purple Haze
    8. I Don’t Live Today
    9. Medley: Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
    10. Sunshine of Your Love
    11. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)


Jimi Hendrix: Guitar & Vocals
Mitch Mitchell: Drums
Noel Redding: Bass

Jimi Hendrix - 1990 "Lifelines" [4 CD Box]

Lifelines: The Jimi Hendrix Story is a posthumous box set by Jimi Hendrix. The four compact disc set was released by Reprise Records on November 27, 1990, and produced by Bruce Gary. The first three discs comprise Live & Unreleased: The Radio Show, a narrated radio presentation of Hendrix's career. The fourth, titled The L. A. Forum Concert, contains live recordings from the Jimi Hendrix Experience's performance at the Forum in Los Angeles on April 26, 1969. The complete Forum performance was released in 2022 as Los Angeles Forum: April 26, 1969.

Lifelines is another debacle foisted on the public by Alan Douglas, redeemed only by the inclusion of a 1969 performance at the L.A. Forum. The other three discs are nothing but a radio show featuring interviews and commentary. Sure, among well-known performances there are some surprising and revelatory alternates and rarities, but these are either incomplete performances, faded in or out poorly, or worse yet, they serve as background while some talks over them. A frustrating and annoying listen for fans, and much too esoteric for casual listeners, the out of print Lifelines can only be recommended for absolute completists, and only marginally at that.

A very interesting combination of known songs, rarities and unknown takes mixed with alternates, interviews and commentaries. All in all, a very cool combination. Not just for completists but for everyone interested in Hendrix' work.

Track listing:

All songs were written by Jimi Hendrix, except where noted.

Disc one

    "Testify" (Ronald Isley, O'Kelly Isley, Rudolph Isley)
        Performed by The Isley Brothers; Hendrix on guitar
    "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" (Lloyd Price)
        Performed by Little Richard; Hendrix had no involvement with this track
    "I'm a Man" (Ellas McDaniel a.k.a. Bo Diddley)
        Performed by Curtis Knight and the Squires; Hendrix on guitar and lead vocals
    "Like a Rolling Stone" (Bob Dylan)
    "Red House"
    "Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts)
    "Hoocie Koochie Man" (Willie Dixon)
    "Purple Haze"
    "The Wind Cries Mary"
    "Foxey Lady"

Disc two

    "Third Stone from the Sun"
    "Rock Me Baby" (B.B. King)
    "Look Over Yonder/Mister Bad Luck"
    "Burning of the Midnight Lamp"
    "Spanish Castle Magic"
    "Bold as Love"
    "One Rainy Wish"
    "Little Wing"
    "Drivin' South"
    "The Things I Used to Do" (Eddie Jones a.k.a. Guitar Slim)
        Jam with Johnny Winter, Stephen Stills, and Dallas Taylor
    "All Along the Watchtower" (Dylan)
    "Drifter's Escape" (Dylan)
    "Cherokee Mist"
    "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"
    "1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be)"

Disc three

    "Voodoo Chile"
    "Come On (Part 1)" (Earl King)
    "Manic Depression"
    "Machine Gun"
    "Room Full of Mirrors"
    "Rainy Day Shuffle"
    "Valleys of Neptune"
    "Send My Love to Linda"
    "South Saturn Delta"
    "Dolly Dagger"
    "Night Bird Flying"

Disc four

    The L. A. Forum Concert

    "Tax Free" (Bo Hansson, Janne Carlsson) – 13:57[a]
    "Red House" – 11:07
    "Spanish Castle Magic" – 11:43
    "Star Spangled Banner" (Francis Scott Key, adapted by Hendrix) – 2:30
    "Purple Haze" – 6:57
    "I Don't Live Today" – 7:06
    "Voodoo Chile / Sunshine of Your Love" (Hendrix / Pete Brown, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton) – 17:15


"Foxey Lady" was played in between "Tax Free" and "Red House" and can be found as a CD bonus track on The Jimi Hendrix Concerts.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Marc Johnson - 1986 [2008] "Bass Desires"

“Samurai Hee-Haw,” the opening track of Marc Johnson’s Bass Desires, is one of the most memorable cuts in the ECM catalogue and a signature one for this transient project. Yet beyond its leader’s deeply rooted bass and Peter Erskine’s key-to-lock drumming, the pairing of Bill Frisell and John Scofield is what truly sets this firecracker a-sparkle. Their combined forces are enough to make one dizzy, and more than once they slip past our expectations by the skin of their teeth. Perhaps nothing could bear the weight of this resounding call to electric arms more confidently than a movement lifted from John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Hence “Resolution,” a groovy flower in which Erskine proves his own mettle with a tripped out solo against the metal string game being woven before him. The band turns the tables once more with the keening “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair.” This Appalachian folk song of Scottish origin finds not new but old life in the stretch of sonic hallway down which it is led. Lest we fall too deeply into elegy, the title track counters with rip-roaring fun. Erskine and Johnson lay down plenty of traction to spare as the two pickers fry the ether with their song. Elmer Bernstein’s “A Wishing Doll” sports a dancing synth guitar that can’t help but put one in mind of Pat Metheny. Flip a switch, though, and suddenly we’re riding Johnson’s “Mojo Highway,” of which the reggae-ish beat and lumpy bass complement smoldering mood swings from guitars.

The pairing of electric guitarists Bill Frisell and John Scofield had to be one of the most auspicious since John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana. Acoustic bassist Marc Johnson's stroke of genius in bringing the two together on Bass Desires resulted in a sound that demonstrated both compatibility between the guitarists and the distinctiveness of the two when heard in combination. Add drummer Peter Erskine and you had a bona fide supergroup, albeit in retrospect a short-lived one, before Frisell and Scofield would establish their own substantial careers as leaders. The guitarists revealed symmetry, spaciousness, and a soaring stance, buoyed by the simplicity of their rhythm mates. This is immediately achieved on the introductory track, "Samurai Hee-Haw," as hummable, head-swimming, and memorable a melody as there ever has been, and a definite signature sound. A perfect country & eastern fusion, the guitarists lope along on wafting white clouds of resonant twang, singing to themselves while also playing stinging notes, supported by the insistent two-note funk of Johnson and the rolling thunder of Erskine. The title track is a one-note ostinato from the bassist with a popping, driven drum rhythm and the guitars more unified in their lines, but broadening their individualistic voices. The light reggae funk of "Mojo Highway" sounds more conversational and jam-like, while "Thanks Again" is a relaxed, unforced waltz, again eschewing Asian-Missouri folkloric alchemy fired by Frisell's wah-wah and Scofield's stairstep strums. Ethereal and effusive sky church inflections lead to loose associations, especially from Frisell's moon-walking guitar synthesizer on "A Wishing Doll." There are three covers: a take on Elmer Bernstein's "A Wishing Doll;" "Resolution," the second movement from John Coltrane's A Love Supreme suite, with a more spiky bass and spacy lead melody played only once; and the standard "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," floating and eerie, held together by silk and lace threads. One of two Bass Desires albums, this debut has stood the test of time -- it is priceless, timeless, and still far from being dated.

This is a must for any ECM lover’s collection and ranks among the best of the Touchstones series. Like the title of Scofield’s “Thanks Again” that ends it, it holds up as a sprawling love letter to those on either end of the musical stick.

Track listing:

Samurai Hee-Haw    7:43
Resolution    10:28
Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair    7:07
Bass Desires    6:08
A Wishing Doll    6:13
Mojo Highway    8:42
Thanks Again    7:15


Marc Johnson - Bass
John Scofield - Guitar
Bill Frisell - Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer
Peter Erskine - Drums

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Brecker Brothers - 1994 "Out Of The Loop"

Out of the Loop is an album by the Brecker Brothers that was released by GRP Records in 1994. In 1995 the album won the brothers two Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance (now known as Best Contemporary Jazz Album) and Best Instrumental Composition (for Michael Brecker's "African Skies").

On Out of the Loop, Randy and Michael Brecker stepped up to the plate with their second long-player of the '90s, 20 years after their first foray into the jazz-funk-fusion realm. The album is surprisingly strong, and any fears of a paint-by-numbers attempt to cash in on past glories are quickly dispelled with the opening "Slang," which is reminiscent of Amandla-era Miles. Here, as throughout the disc, Michael's sax solo burns with abandon, while brother Randy's trumpet glides across a tastefully smooth and melodic terrain. "African Skies" has a decidedly Yellowjackets feel, with Michael again turning in a remarkably energetic solo turn. The set-closing "And Then She Wept" features Randy's attractive flügelhorn, as does the Eliane Elias-produced "Secret Heart," where Michael's soprano sax and EWI share the spotlight. "Scrunch" is a funky piece of programmed hip-hop over which the brothers Brecker play a riff similar to those they and the Average White Band delivered in the mid-'70s. Both Randy and the late Michael Brecker went on to make names for themselves in the jazz world after fronting their brotherly band in the '70s, earning the respect of critics and jazz fans alike. With Out of the Loop, they made a solid musical statement in a contemporary format, one they helped create and in which they proved to be masters.

Track listing:

1.    "Slang"    Michael Brecker    6:11
2.    "Evocations"    Chris Botti, Michael Brecker    5:16
3.    "Scrunch"    Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Maz Kessler, Robbie Kilgore    4:28
4.    "Secret Heart"    Randy Brecker, Eliane Elias    5:03
5.    "African Skies"    Michael Brecker    7:46
6.    "When It Was"    Brecker, Brecker, Kessler, Kilgore    4:29
7.    "Harpoon"    Randy Brecker    7:43
8.    "The Nightwalker"    Michael Brecker    8:44
9.    "And Then She Wept"    Randy Brecker    4:53


    Randy Brecker – trumpet, flugelhorn, arranger
    Michael Brecker – soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, EWIs, arranger
    Chris Botti – trumpet
    Maz Kessler – keyboards, rhythm programming, arranger, producer, mixing
    Robbie Kilgore – guitar, keyboards, rhythm programming, arranger, producer, mixing
    Andy Snitzer – bass, drums, keyboard programming, arranger, producer
    George Whitty – bass, keyboards, percussion programming, arranger, producer
    Eliane Elias – keyboards, vocals, arranger, producer
    Dean Brown – guitar
    Dennis Brown – acoustic guitar
    Larry Saltzman – acoustic guitar
    James Genus – bass
    Armand Sabal-Lecco – bass, vocals
    Mark Ledford – backing vocals
    Rodney Holmes – drums
    Steve Jordan – drums
    Shawn Pelton – drums
    Dave Weckl – drums
    Steve Thornton – percussion

Sunday, January 15, 2023

King Crimson - 1971 [2010] "Islands" (40th Anniversary Series)

Islands is the fourth studio album by King Crimson, released December 1971. Islands would be the last King Crimson studio album before the group's trilogy of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red. It's also the last to feature the lyrics of Peter Sinfield.

The harmonic basis for the tune "The Letters" is derived from the Giles, Giles and Fripp song "Why Don't You Just Drop In," available on The Brondesbury Tapes compilation. The bridge section is also taken from the King Crimson version of the song, performed by the original line-up, titled simply "Drop In" and later released on the live-album Epitaph. The original basis for the song "Prelude: Song of the Gulls" is derived from the Giles, Giles and Fripp song "Suite No. 1". The first vinyl release of the album features a hidden track. At the end of side two there is a recording of studio chatter followed by Fripp saying, among other things, "...What we're going to do, umm... do it twice more, once with the oboe, once without it, and then... we finish." This was included on the initial CD release but was accidentally left off the first pressings of the 1989 Definitive Edition CD remaster. It was restored on all subsequent reissues.

The original United Kingdom and European cover depicts the Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius and displays neither the name of the band nor the title. The original United States and Canadian album cover (as released by Atlantic Records) was a Peter Sinfield painting of off-white with coloured "islands". This was used as an internal gatefold sleeve in the UK. When the King Crimson catalogue was re-issued by EG, they standardised on the "Trifid Nebula" cover world-wide.

Recorded between the band’s numerous live dates, Islands continues King Crimson’s penchant for mixing contrasting styles and dynamics; from the gothic melodrama of The Letters, the warm laid-back musings of Formentera Lady, the stately chamber orchestra setting of Song Of The Gulls, through to the raucously skewed blues of Ladies Of The Road and the yearning, poignant title track. The stand-out however, is Sailor’s Tale which breaks with the symphonic and jazz-inspired leanings of their previous albums. Propelled by Ian Wallace’s insistent cymbal and Mel Collins’ acerbic sax break, it also introduces a spikier, fractious metal-edged guitar sound that ultimately points the way towards Larks’ Tongues In Aspic. Originally released at the end of 1971, Islands also marks the end of lyricist Peter Sinfield’s tenure in the group.

This 40th Anniversary edition on CD/DVD-A features new stereo & 5.1 mixes by Robert Fripp and Steven Wilson plus high resolution stereo mixes of the original, extensive additional audio material.

Track listing:

01        Formentera Lady    10:17
02        Sailor's Tale    7:35
03        The Letters    4:29
04        Ladies Of The Road    5:34
05        Prelude: Song Of The Gulls    4:17
06        Islands    12:02
Bonus Tracks:    
07        Islands (Studio Run Through With Oboe Prominent)    2:02
08        Formentera Lady (Take 2)    2:23
09        Sailor's Tale (Alternate Mix/Edit)    3:37
10        A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls (Previously Unreleased)    3:55
11        The Letters (Rehearsal/Outtake)    2:43
12        Ladies Of The Road (Robert Fripp & David Singleton Remix)    5:43


    Robert Fripp - Guitar, Mellotron, Peter's Pedal, Harmonium and Sundry Implements
    Mel Collins - Flute, Bass Flute, Saxes and Vocals
    Boz Burrell - Bass, Vocals
    Ian Wallace - Drums, Percussion and Vocals
    Peter Sinfield - Words, Sounds and Vision

Dimension - 2005 "Impressions"

Dimension "Impressions" takes Jazz and Fusion to a new level, takes themselves to a new level with their new album which can only be described as a masterpiece. Produced by Hiroyuki Hosaka.

Track listing:

    Impressions - 7:36
    Flyback - 5:58
    Energtic - 7:36
    Circle Sky - 5:38
    The Sea Song - 8:32
    Tip Tap Toe - 4:54
    Predict The Future - 6:04
    Moon Avenue - 6:14
    Monologue - 1:19
    Snow Breath - 4:51


Akira Onozuka - Acoustic Piano (1,3,4,5),Keyboard & Programming (except on 9),Wurlitzer (2,6), Fender Rhodes (3,7,8,9), Electric Bass (10)
Kazuki Katsuta - Alto Sax (except on 5,7), Soprano Sax (5,7)
Masaharu Ishikawa - Drums (except on 6,7,9)
Takashi Masuzaki - Electric Guitars (except on 9), Acoustic Guitars (except on 2,3,8), Bass (1,2,3,4,5)
Minoru Toyoda : Rhythm Track Programming (6,7)

Jeff Beck - 2011 "Rock 'N' Roll Party" (Honoring Les Paul)

Rock 'n' Roll Party (Honoring Les Paul) is a live album by Jeff Beck, recorded as a tribute album to the late guitarist Les Paul.

The album is recorded at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City where Les Paul played almost every week until his death in August 2009. It was recorded on 9 June 2010, which would have been Les Paul's 95th birthday. The songs played were popular hits from the 1950s and 1960s, including many songs Les Paul played himself. Jeff Beck is joined by Imelda May and her band, in addition to Jason Rebello, Brian Setzer, Trombone Shorty and Gary U.S. Bonds. On some of the songs, May sings together with a pre-recorded voice of herself, imitating the recording technique used on songs sung by Les Paul's wife Mary Ford.

A year after Les Paul's death, Jeff Beck saluted the guitar pioneer by staging a rousing tribute show to the great man at Paul’s regular stomping ground, the Iridium Jazz Club. Backed by his current running mates the Imelda May Band, Beck enlisted some heavy-hitters for help -- Brian Setzer comes in for the rock & roll, Trombone Shorty for the jazz, Gary U.S. Bonds sings some oldies -- all the better to get the party started. Despite its title, Rock 'N' Roll Party skews ever so slightly to the old-fashioned swing and standards that were Paul's specialty and with the notable exception of tightly wound versions of “The Train Kept A Rollin’” and “Twenty Flight Rock,” even the rockers feel closer to jump blues than rockabilly. And that’s fine: a tribute to Les Paul's music shouldn’t be greasy, it should be a jumping, joyous blast of nostalgia, which is precisely what this party is.

Track listing:

01.    "Double Talking Baby" (feat. Darrel Higham)    Danny Wolfe    2:08
02.    "Cruisin'" (feat. Darrel Higham)    Gene Vincent, Bill Davis    2:13
03.    "The Train It Kept a Rollin'" (feat. Darrel Higham)    Tiny Bradshaw; Lois Mann; Howie Kay    2:36
04.    "Cry Me a River" (feat. Imelda May and Jason Rebello)    Arthur Hamilton    2:46
05.    "How High the Moon" (feat. Imelda May)    Nancy Hamilton; Morgan 'Buddy' Lewis    2:10
06.    "Sitting on Top of the World" (feat. Imelda May)    Raymond Brost (Ray Henderson); Joe Young; Samuel Levine (Sam M. Lewis)    2:23
07.    "Bye Bye Blues" (feat. Imelda May)    Fred Hamm; Dave Bennett; Bert Lown; Chauncey Gray    2:12
08.    "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" (feat. Imelda May)    Ernest Seitz    2:21
09.    "Vaya Con Dios" (feat. Imelda May)    Buddy Pepper; Inez James; Larry Russell    2:57
10.    "Mockin' Bird Hill" (feat. Imelda May)    George Vaughn Horton    2:23
11.    "I'm a Fool to Care" (feat. Imelda May)    Ted Daffan    2:59
12.    "Tiger Rag" (feat. Imelda May)    Nick LaRocca; Eddie Edwards; Henry Ragas; Tony Sbarbaro; Larry Shields; Harry DaCosta    2:22
13.    "Peter Gunn" (feat. Jason Rebello and Trombone Shorty)    Enrico Nicola "Henry" Mancini    4:49
14.    "Rocking Is Our Business" (feat Darrel Higham, Jason Rebello and Trombone Shorty)    Gene Gilbeaux; Don Hill; Claude Trenier; Cliff Trenier    3:38
15.    "Apache"    Jerry Lordan    3:07
16.    "Sleep Walk"    Santo Farina; Johnny Farina    2:50
17.    "New Orleans" (feat. Gary U.S. Bonds and Jason Rebello)    Frank Guida; Joseph F. Royster    4:34
18.    "Walking in the Sand" (feat. Imelda May)    George "Shadow" Morton    4:39
19.    "Please Mr. Jailer" (feat. Imelda May)    Wynona Carr    4:54
20.    "Twenty Flight Rock" (feat. Brian Setzer)    Ned Fairchild; Eddie Cochran    3:44


Jeff Beck - Guitars
Imelda May - Vocal
Darrel Higham - Guitar, Vocal
Al Gare - Bass
Jason Rebello - Keyboards
Stephen Rushton - Drums, Backing Vocal
Dave Priseman - Trumpet
Leo Green - Saxophone
Blue Lou Marini - Baritone Saxophone
Gary U.S. Bonds - Vocal
Brian Setzer - Guitar
Trombone Shorty - Trombone

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Jeff Beck - 2003 "Jeff"

Jeff is the ninth studio album by guitarist Jeff Beck, released on 5 August 2003 through Epic Records. The album reached No. 92 on the French albums chart and No. 122 on the U.S. Billboard 200. "Plan B" won the award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 2004 Grammys.

"If the voice don't say it, the guitar will play it," raps Saffron on "Pork-U-Pine," the third track on Jeff Beck's minimally titled Jeff. And he does. Beck teams with producer Andy Wright, the man responsible for his more complete immersion into electronic backdrops on his last outing, You Had It Coming. This time the transition is complete. Beck used electronica first on Who Else!, moved a little more into the fire on You Had It Coming, and here merges his full-on Beck-Ola guitar heaviness with the sounds of contemporary spazz-out big beats and noise. Beck and Wright employ Apollo 440 on "Grease Monkey" and "Hot Rod Honeymoon," and use a number of vocalists, including the wondrously gifted Nancy Sorrell, on a host of tracks, as well as the London Session Orchestra on others (such as "Seasons," where hip-hop, breakbeats, and old-school Tangerine Dream sequencing meet the guitarist's deep blues and funk-drenched guitar stylings). As for atmospherics, David Torn (aka producer Splattercell) offers a shape-shifting mix of glitch tracks on "Plan B" for Beck to wax on both acoustically and electrically, and make them weigh a ton. But it's on cuts like "Trouble Man," a purely instrumental big drum and guitar skronk workout, where Beck truly shines here. With a rhythm section of Dean Garcia and Steve Barney -- and Tony Hymas appears as well -- Beck goes completely overboard: the volume screams and the sheer crunch of his riffs and solos split the rhythm tracks in two, then four, and finally eight, as he turns single-string runs into commentaries on everything from heavy metal to East Indian classical music.

The industrial crank and burn of "Grease Monkey" is an outing fraught with danger for the guitarist, who has to whirl away inside a maelstrom of deeply funky noise -- and Beck rides the top of the wave into dirty drum hell and comes out wailing. For those who feel they need a dose of Beck's rootsier and bluesier playing, there is one, but the context is mentally unglued. "Hot Rod Honeymoon" is a drum and bass sprint with Beck playing both slide and Texas-style blues à la Albert Collins, letting the strings bite into the beats. The vocals are a bit cheesy, but the entire track is so huge it's easy to overlook them. "Line Dancing With Monkeys" has a splintered Delta riff at its core, but it mutates, shifts, changes shape, and becomes the kind of spooky blues that cannot be made with conventional instruments. His turnarounds into the myopic rhythms provide a kind of menacing foil to their increasing insistence in the mix. Before gabber-style drum and bass threaten to break out of the box, Beck's elongated bent-note solos tame them. "JB's Blues" is the oddest thing here because it's so ordinary; it feels like it belongs on an updated Blow By Blow. In all this is some of the most emotionally charged and ferocious playing of Beck's career. Within the context of contemporary beatronica, Beck flourishes. He find a worthy opponent to tame in the machines, and his ever-present funkiness is allowed to express far more excess than restraint. This is as fine a modern guitar record as you are ever going to hear.

Track listing:

01.    "So What"    Dean Garcia, Jeff Beck    4:19
02.    "Plan B"    Ron Aslan, Simon White, Beck, David Torn    4:49
03.    "Pork-U-Pine"    Beck, Andy Wright, Paul Holroyde    4:06
04.    "Seasons"    Ishmael Butler, Craig Irving, Maryann Viera, Syze-up, Beck, Wright, Matthew Vaughan    3:48
05.    "Trouble Man"    Beck, Garcia, Wright    3:34
06.    "Grease Monkey"    Howard Gray, Trevor Gray, Noko Fisher-Jones, Beck    3:34
07.    "Hot Rod Honeymoon"    H. Gray, T. Gray, Fisher-Jones, Beck    3:33
08.    "Line Dancing with Monkeys"    Aslan, White, Torn    5:18
09.    "JB's Blues"    Garcia, Beck    4:20
10.    "Pay Me No Mind (Jeff Beck Remix)"    Me One, Beck    3:18
11.    "My Thing"    Beck, Nancy Sorrell, Wright    4:10
12.    "Bulgaria"    trad., arr. Beck, Wright    2:00
13.    "Why Lord Oh Why?"    Tony Hymas    4:41
Total length:    51:35


    Jeff Beck – guitar, mixing (track 13), production (track 12)
    Saffron – vocals (track 3)
    Andy Wright – vocals (track 3), engineering (tracks 3–5, 11–13), production (tracks 3–5, 11, 12)
    Ronni Ancona – vocals (track 4)
    Nancy Sorrell – vocals (tracks 6, 7, 11)
    Apollo 440 – vocals (track 6), engineering (tracks 6, 7), production (tracks 6, 7)
    Baylen Leonard – vocals (track 7)
    The Beeched Boys – vocals (track 7)
    Me One – vocals (track 10), mixing (track 10), production (track 10)
    Wil Malone – orchestration arrangement (tracks 4, 12)
    London Session Orchestra – orchestration (tracks 12, 13)
    Steve Barney – drums (tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 11)

 More Jeff Beck on this blog:

Jeff Beck - 2000 "You Had It Coming"

You Had It Coming is the eighth studio album by guitarist Jeff Beck, released in 2000 through Epic Records. The album reached No. 17 and 110 on the Billboard Top Internet Albums and Billboard 200 charts respectively, as well as No. 96 and 123 on the German and French albums chart. "Dirty Mind", went on to win the award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 2002 Grammys; this being Beck's third such award, after the albums Flash (1985) and Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop (1989). Singer Imogen Heap is featured on "Dirty Mind" and "Rollin' and Tumblin'", and would later tour with Beck in 2004.

Jeff Beck returns two years after the ten-years-in-the-making Who Else?, and You Had It Coming isn't surprising just for its rapidity, but for its music. From the moment the electronicized, post-rave beats of "Earthquake" kick off the record, it's clear that Beck isn't content to stay in place -- he's trying to adapt to the modern world. To a certain extent, this isn't an entirely new phenomenon, since each of his records is clearly, inextricably of its time, from the crunching metal of Truth through the breezy jazz fusion of Blow By Blow to the modernized album rock of Guitar Shop. This is just another side of that, as Beck works with electronic music, both noisy and new age introspective. It's a bit clever, actually, since Beck's playing has always been otherworldly, dipping, bending, and sounding like anything other than a normal guitar. The problem is, when he's surrounded by lockstep, processed beats and gurgling synths, his guitar doesn't leap to the forefront and capture attention the way it does on his best recordings. Still, there's something to be said for the effort, because even if it doesn't sound like a Beck record, it isn't a bad record, and it's certainly a helluva lot more successful than Clapton's similar forays into these waters. Besides, knowing that he knocked this out so quickly makes it a little endearing.

Track listing:

01.    "Earthquake"    Jennifer Batten    3:18
02.    "Roy's Toy"    Jeff Beck, Aidan Love, Andy Wright    3:35
03.    "Dirty Mind"    Beck, Love, Wright    3:50
04.    "Rollin' and Tumblin'"    Muddy Waters    3:12
05.    "Nadia"    Nitin Sawhney    3:50
06.    "Loose Cannon"    Beck, Batten, Wright    5:17
07.    "Rosebud"    Beck, Randy Hope-Taylor, Wright    3:44
08.    "Left Hook"    Beck, Steve Alexander, Wright    4:22
09.    "Blackbird"    Beck    1:27
10.    "Suspension"    Beck, Wright    3:20
Total length:    35:55


    Jeff Beck – guitar
    Jennifer Batten – guitar
    Imogen Heap – vocals (tracks 3, 4)
    Aidan Love – programming
    Steve Alexander – drums
    Randy Hope-Taylor – bass

Jeff Beck - 1999 "Who Else!"

Who Else! is the seventh studio album by guitarist Jeff Beck, released on 16 March 1999 through Epic Records. The album reached No. 99 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and marks the end of a decade-long absence of original material from Beck since the release of Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop in 1989. Stylistically it showcases the first addition of electronic and techno music into his repertoire, along with the blues-based instrumental rock and jazz fusion of previous albums.

Fellow guitarist Jennifer Batten, having often cited Beck's influence on her playing, is featured as a collaborator and subsequently joined him on tour for three years. The album features the collaborative songwriting of Tony Hymas. "Brush with the Blues" became a signature tune and concert staple, and along with "Angel (Footsteps)" made it onto his 2008 concert album Live at Ronnie Scott's. "What Mama Said" samples Dick Shawn's dialogue from the 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Jeff Beck has never shied away from following trends, at least as far as the musical styles he uses to back up his signature guitar sound. Back in 1969, in a sleeve note on Beck-Ola, he noted that he hadn't come up with "anything totally original," and instead made an album "with the accent on heavy music" at a time when the "heavy music" of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Led Zeppelin was all the rage. In 1975, at the height of the jazz fusion movement, he made a jazz fusion album, and a good one, too. In both cases, however, the fashionable genres only provided a contemporary-sounding context in which his playing could flourish. If anyone has ever needed to be inspired to work, it's this recluse. So on his first regular studio album of new material in ten years, Who Else!, Beck, on at least a few tracks, solos over heavily percussive techno tracks reminiscent of Prodigy. But whether he's piercing such a rhythmic wall, rearranging the blues on the live "Blast From the East," or floating over an ambient soundscape on "Angel (Footsteps)," it's the same old Beck, with his stinging and sustained single-note melodies, his harmonics, his contrasting tones, his drive. And the man who played "Greensleeves" straight on Truth in 1968 is the same one who is faithful to the Irish air "Declan" here. Older fans who haven't been spending time at raves in recent years may want to program their CDs to avoid the electronica, but they should at least give those tunes a listen -- are they any heavier than the "heavy music" of 1969?

Track listing:

01.    "What Mama Said"    Jennifer Batten, Jeff Beck, Tony Hymas    3:22
02.    "Psycho Sam"    Hymas    4:55
03.    "Brush with the Blues" (live)    Hymas, Beck    6:24
04.    "Blast from the East"    Hymas    4:46
05.    "Space for the Papa"    Hymas    7:41
06.    "Angel (Footsteps)"    Hymas    6:30
07.    "THX138"    Hymas    6:15
08.    "Hip-Notica"    Hymas, Beck    4:40
09.    "Even Odds"    Jan Hammer    3:29
10.    "Declan"    Dónal Lunny    4:02
11.    "Another Place"    Hymas    1:48
Total length:    53:52


    Jeff Beck – guitar, arrangement, producer
    Jennifer Batten – guitar, guitar synthesizer
    Mark John – guitar (track 10)
    Tony Hymas – keyboard (except track 9), sound effects, arrangement, production
    Jan Hammer – keyboard (track 9), drums (track 9)
    Simon Wallace – synthesizer (track 10)
    Steve Alexander – drums (except tracks 2, 9, 10)
    Manu Katché – drums (track 2), percussion (track 2)
    Randy Hope-Taylor – bass (except track 2)
    Pino Palladino – bass (track 2)
    Bob Loveday – violin (track 10)
    Clive Bell – flute (track 10)

Jeff Beck - 1995 "Best of Beck"

Ever restless as a musician and constantly changing directions and trying new things, guitarist Jeff Beck is difficult to reduce to a 14-track overview, although this set probably does as well as one could at sketching in the portrait. Beginning as a guitarist for the Yardbirds in the 1960s, Beck hit his stride with the Jeff Beck Group (which featured a then relatively unknown Rod Stewart as lead singer) later in the decade, and "Shapes of Things" (initially a radio hit for the Yardbirds), "Plynth," and "Beck's Bolero" are represented here from that era. Also here are several of Beck's mid-'70s fusion tracks, including "Freeway Jam" and "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," as well as his 1980s reunion with Stewart, “People Get Ready.” Again, Beck is a difficult artist to capture in a single-disc drive-by, but for folks curious about this fine guitarist and wanting a quick sampler of his work in several of his various guises, this set works fine as an introduction.

This is the best kind of "best of" CD to own. With groups/artists that have had any measure of success on the charts what you always get is a collection of their overplayed "greatest hits," songs that may or may not truly represent the gist of what the musician/band is all about. But with more eclectic artists like Jeff Beck and Frank Zappa (the "Strictly Commercial" album is well worth the coin) such an assemblage of tunes isn't restricted to tired, familiar ditties and allows the listener to enjoy a compilation that contains outstanding aspects of their career. While I rarely agree with the tracks picked to include on these kinds of packagings, in this case I think they pretty much got it right.

My opinion is that all serious proggers should have some JB albums in their stash of music. But if you're a novice and you've been unsure about where to start with one of the very best electric guitarists who has ever graced this planet's contributions, this reasonably-priced overview of his career won't give you a false impression or let you down. Look, the man is important. So much so that I doubt that any guitarist worth his salt would deny being influenced to some extent by the amazing Jeff Beck.

Track listing:

01 The Pump    5:48
02 People Get Ready    4:54
03 Freeway Jam    5:00
04 Shapes Of Things    3:19
05 Where Were You    3:17
06 Beck's Bolero    2:52
07 Going Down    6:51
08 Jailhouse Rock    3:14
09 Goodbye Pork Pie Hat    5:29
10 Blue Wind    6:11
11 Plynth (Water Down The Drain)    3:06
12 Two Rivers    5:21
13 Scatterbrain    5:40
14 She's A Woman    4:29

Jeff Beck - 1989 "Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop"


Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop is the sixth studio album by guitarist Jeff Beck, released in October 1989 through Epic Records. The album reached No. 49 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and won the award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 1990 Grammys; this being Beck's second album to win that award, after Flash (1985).

"Stand on It" was released as a single and reached No. 35 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart; "Sling Shot" was featured in the 1990 horror comedy film Gremlins 2: The New Batch; several other tracks were used as part of the soundtrack for the 1990 South Atlantic Raiders episodes of the British comedy series The Comic Strip Presents.

In a further move from his previous jazz fusion stylings, Beck adopts a more straightforward instrumental rock approach on Guitar Shop, save for two tracks ("Guitar Shop" and "Day in the House") on which drummer Terry Bozzio provides quirky spoken vocals.

Guitar Shop represents guitar hero Jeff Beck's return to the scene following his 1985 pop/rock-based recording, Flash; an outing that featured his one time lead vocalist, Rod Stewart. Essentially, this 1989 release provides Beck's ardent admirers with a power-packed outing, brimming with memorable melodies, drummer Terry Bozzio's often blistering rock drumming, and keyboardist Tony Hymas' effective synth textures. Here, Beck surges onward in altogether stunning fashion via his quirky lead lines, sweet-tempered slide guitar work, disfigured extended notes and deterministic mode of execution. With "Behind the Veil," the band delves into a reggae groove, featuring Beck's lower register thematic statements and well-placed notes. Otherwise, the ensemble tackles the blues and hard rock motifs amid Beck's crunching chord clusters, animated lines, and soaring heavenward soloing on the lovely and somewhat ethereal ballad titled "Two Rivers." Simply put, this is a wonderfully produced effort and a significant entry into the artist's extensive recorded legacy.

Track listing:

1.    "Guitar Shop"    Jeff Beck, Terry Bozzio, Tony Hymas    5:03
2.    "Savoy"    Beck, Bozzio, Hymas    3:52
3.    "Behind the Veil"    Hymas    4:55
4.    "Big Block"    Beck, Bozzio, Hymas    4:09
5.    "Where Were You"    Beck, Bozzio, Hymas    3:17
6.    "Stand on It"    Beck, Hymas    4:59
7.    "Day in the House"    Beck, Bozzio, Hymas    5:04
8.    "Two Rivers"    Beck, Bozzio, Hymas    5:25
9.    "Sling Shot"    Beck, Hymas    3:07
Total length:    39:51


    Jeff Beck – guitar, production
    Tony Hymas – keyboard (including bassline), synthesizer, production
    Terry Bozzio – drums, percussion, spoken vocals, production

Jeff Beck - 1969 [1997] "Beck-Ola"


Beck-Ola is the second studio album by English guitarist Jeff Beck, and the first credited to The Jeff Beck Group released in 1969 in the United Kingdom on Columbia Records and in the United States on Epic Records. It peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, and at No. 39 on the UK Albums Chart. The album's title puns on the name of the Rock-Ola jukebox company.

After the release of their previous album Truth, by the end of 1968 drummer Micky Waller was replaced by Tony Newman, as Jeff Beck wanted to take the music in a heavier direction and he viewed Waller as more of a finesse drummer in the style of Motown.[2] Pianist Nicky Hopkins, who had also played on Truth, was asked to join the band full-time for his work in the studio.

Recording sessions for the album took place over six days in April 1969 – the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th and 19th.[3] Two covers of Elvis Presley tunes were chosen, "All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock", as well as "Girl From Mill Valley", an instrumental by and prominently featuring Hopkins. The remaining four tracks consist of band originals, with the instrumental "Rice Pudding" ending the album dramatically cold. The album cover features a reproduction of Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte's The Listening Room. On the back cover to the original vinyl issue, beside "Beck-Ola" is written the tag "Cosa Nostra", Italian for "Our Thing".

Following the sessions for this album, the Jeff Beck Group toured the United States. They were scheduled to play Woodstock and are listed on posters promoting the festival, but by then internal friction had reached the breaking point and both Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart were out of the band.[4] Stewart and Wood would form The Faces with members of the Small Faces in 1969, while Hopkins played Woodstock with Jefferson Airplane, joined Quicksilver Messenger Service, and toured the world with The Rolling Stones in 1971, 1972 and 1973. Beck himself would be out of commission by December due to an automobile accident.

When it was originally released in June 1969, Beck-Ola, the Jeff Beck Group's second album, featured a famous sleeve note on its back cover: "Today, with all the hard competition in the music business, it's almost impossible to come up with anything totally original. So we haven't. However, this LP was made with the accent on heavy music. So sit back and listen and try and decide if you can find a small place in your heads for it." Beck was reacting to the success of peers and competitors like Cream and Led Zeppelin here, bands that had been all over the charts with a hard rock sound soon to be dubbed heavy metal, and indeed, his sound employs much the same brand of "heavy music" as theirs, with deliberate rhythms anchoring the beat, over which the guitar solos fiercely and the lead singer emotes. But he was also preparing listeners for the weakness of the material on an album that sounds somewhat thrown together. Two songs are rehauls of Elvis Presley standards ("All Shook Up" and "Jailhouse Rock") and one is an instrumental interlude contributed by pianist Nicky Hopkins, promoted from sideman to group member, with the rest being band-written songs that basically serve as platforms for Beck's improvisations. But that doesn't detract from the album's overall quality, due both to the guitar work and the distinctive vocals of Rod Stewart, and Beck-Ola easily could have been the album to establish the Jeff Beck Group as the equal of the other heavy bands of the day. Unfortunately, a series of misfortunes occurred. Beck canceled out of a scheduled appearance at Woodstock; he was in a car accident that sidelined him for over a year, and Stewart and bass player Ron Wood decamped to join Faces, breaking up the group. Nevertheless, Beck-Ola stands as a prime example of late-'60s British blues-rock and one of Beck's best records.

 Track listing:

 All Shook Up    4:52
 Spanish Boots    3:34
 Girl From Mill Valley    3:49
 Jailhouse Rock    3:12
 Plynth (Water Down The Drain)    3:06
 The Hangman's Knee    4:48
 Rice Pudding    7:22


    Jeff Beck – guitars, backing vocals on "Throw Down a Line"
    Rod Stewart – lead vocals
    Nicky Hopkins – piano and organ
    Ronnie Wood – bass guitar
    Tony Newman – drums

Monday, January 9, 2023

John Coltrane - 1965-1970 [1993] "Transition"


Transition is an album of music by jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, recorded in 1965 but released posthumously only in 1970. As its title indicates, Transition was a bridge between classic quartet recordings like A Love Supreme and the more experimental works of Coltrane's last years.

Coltrane's playing alternates between blues idioms and the free jazz that would dominate his final work. Of the four musicians on this album, pianist McCoy Tyner was still the most grounded in traditional jazz. Bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones were finding new ways to approach their instruments, while Coltrane took the lead with a newfound musical freedom.

Transition's title track is a fifteen-minute modified blues, whilst "Dear Lord" is a ballad featuring Roy Haynes substituting for Jones on drums. "Welcome," which replaces "Dear Lord" on the album's compact disc release, is a five-minute ballad with a theme pitched high in the tenor saxophone's altissimo register and making extensive use of multiphonics. The closing "Suite" is a twenty-minute performance, covering a variety of moods. "Vigil", which concludes the CD release of the album, is a fiery duet between Coltrane and Jones.

Recorded in June of 1965 and released posthumously in 1970, Transition acts as a neat perforation mark between Coltrane's classic quartet and the cosmic explorations that would follow until Trane's passing in 1967. Recorded seven months after the standard-setting A Love Supreme, Transition's first half bears much in common with that groundbreaking set. Spiritually reaching and burningly intense, the quartet is playing at full steam, but still shy of the total free exploration that would follow mere months later on records like Sun Ship and the mystical atonal darkness that came in the fall of that same year with Om. McCoy Tyner's gloriously roaming piano chord clusters add depth and counterpoint to Coltrane's ferocious lyrical runs on the five-part suite that makes up the album's second half. In particular on "Peace and After," Tyner matches Trane's range of expression. The angelically floating "Dear Lord," a meditative pause in the album's center, holds true to the straddling of the line between modes of thinking and playing that define Transition, not quite as staid as the balladry of Trane's earlier hard bop days, but nowhere near the lucid dreaming that followed. Only nearing the end of "Vigil" does the quartet hint at the fury of complete freedom it would achieve later in the year on Sun Ship, or even more, provide a precursory look at terrain Coltrane would explore in duets with drummer Rashied Ali on Interstellar Space in 1967. [The omission of "Dear Lord” on some issues is replaced with the similarly subtle "Welcome" and still other issues include bonus album closer "Vigil"]

Three months after this recording, Coltrane's quartet moved further into experimental territory with the album Sun Ship.

Track listing:

1. "Transition" – 15:31
2. "Welcome" – 5:34
3. "Suite" (Prayer and Meditation: Day, Peace and After, Prayer and Meditation: Evening, Affirmation, Prayer and Meditation: 4 A.M.) – 21:20
4. "Vigil" – 9:51


    John Coltrane – tenor saxophone
    McCoy Tyner – piano
    Jimmy Garrison – double bass
    Elvin Jones – drums

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Jimi Hendrix - 1991 "Stages" [4 CD Box]


Stages is a four-CD box set consisting of live performances by Jimi Hendrix covering four years of his career. Disc one is the complete September 5, 1967, concert in Stockholm. Disc two is the complete January 29, 1968 (late show) concert in Paris; this was later released on Dagger Records as part of Live in Paris & Ottawa 1968. Disc three is most of the May 24, 1969 concert in San Diego with "Foxey Lady" missing from the set. Disc four is a majority of the July 4, 1970 concert at the Atlanta International Pop Festival with five songs missing from the set. These additional five songs can be found on the album Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival, which also presents the performance in the correct playing order.

What more could a Hendrix fanatic searching for the ultimate live Jimi experience ask for? The 1991 box set Stages contains a total of 4 CDs, each containing one full concert from the years 1967 (in Stockholm), '68 (Paris), '69 (San Diego), and '70 (recorded in Atlanta just two months before his death). Many Hendrix fans already owned bootlegged copies of these concerts, but this was the first time that they were released officially, in crystal clear sound and with informative liner notes. The four discs are an obviously interesting musical journey, showing the rapid musical transformation of Hendrix from showman to serious virtuoso. And although there is a bit of overlap on the discs ("Purple Haze" rears its head on all four), the versions of the repeated songs are strikingly different.

Disc 1 (Stockholm '67) features the Jimi Hendrix Experience in their formative stage, and contains the only official release of the Experience's raw cover of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." This disc is the shortest of the four (barely over 30 minutes in length), containing no-nonsense (and almost 100% jam-less) versions of such standards as "Fire" and "Burning of the Midnight Lamp." The second disc (Paris '68) shows the group starting to stretch out musically (near nine-minute cover versions of both Muddy Waters' "Catfish Blues" and Curtis Knight's "Drivin' South" are the proof), and includes an absolutely gorgeous version of the electric ballad "Little Wing."

Disc 3 (San Diego '69) catches the Experience on one of their final tours with original bassist Noel Redding. The group is dedicated to jamming, combining a red-hot version of their "Spanish Castle Magic" with an explosive cover of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love." Also included is a long take of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," which ends the show on a highly energetic and inspired note. By the final disc (Atlanta '70), Hendrix had assembled the Band of Gypsies, with Hendrix's army buddy Billy Cox replacing the ousted Noel Redding on bass (with Mitch Mitchell still behind the drums). Jimi had completely shunned his early concert gimmickry (lighting his guitar on fire, etc.), and by 1970 was making a conscious attempt at forcing his audience to listen to the music, without any distractions. This disc has three songs that were not released while Hendrix was alive ("Lover Man," "Straight Ahead," and "Room Full of Mirrors"), intended for his never really completed First Rays of the New Rising Sun album. You'll also be treated to a rare live version of "Stone Free," with its tempo sped up a notch. Admittedly, Stages may be too much to take for the new Jimi fan, but for diehards, it simply can't be beat.

Stages was released in November 1991 on Reprise Records, and is currently out of print.

Track listing:

All tracks written by Jimi Hendrix except where noted.

Stockholm '67

1.    "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Lennon-McCartney)    1:58
2.    "Fire"    3:11
3.    "The Wind Cries Mary"    3:58
4.    "Foxy Lady"    3:48
5.    "Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts)    4:13
6.    "I Don't Live Today"    4:43
7.    "Burning of the Midnight Lamp"    4:17
8.    "Purple Haze"    5:27
Total length:    31:35

Paris '68