sexta-feira, 25 de outubro de 2013

Laura Nyro - More Than A New Discovery 1967

These 12 sides represent singer/songwriter Laura Nyro's earliest professional recordings. More Than a New Discovery was originally issued on the Folkways label in conjunction with Verve Records in early 1967. The contents were subsequently reissued as The First Songs in 1969 after she began to garner national exposure with her first two LPs for Columbia -- Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968) and New York Tendaberry (1969), respectively. Many of these titles became international hits for some of the early '70s most prominent pop music vocalists and bands. Among them, "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Blowing Away" were covered by the Fifth Dimension. "And When I Die" became one of Blood, Sweat & Tears signature pieces. Likewise, "Stoney End," as well as "I Never Meant to Hurt You," are both arguably best known via Barbra Streisand's renditions. Accompanied by a small pop combo, Nyro's prowess as both composer and performer are evidence that she was a disciple of both Tin Pan Alley as well as the Brill Building writers. Additionally, Nyro was able to blend the introspection of a classic torch ballad with an undeniable intimacy inherent in her lyrics. "Buy and Sell," as well as "Billy's Blues," exemplify her marriage of jazz motifs within a uniquely pop music structure. Also immediately discernible is that these were far from simplistic, dealing with the organic elements that tether all of humanity, such as love, death, loss, and even redemption. While artists such as Tim Buckley and Joni Mitchell were attempting to do the same, much of their early catalog is considerably less focused in comparison. For example, "Lazy Susan" incorporates the same acoustic noir that would become the centerpiece of her future epics "Gibsom Street" and the title track to New York Tendaberry. There are a few differences worth noting when comparing More Than a New Discovery and First Songs. After Columbia Records bought Nyro out of her contract with Verve/Forecast, they also issued this collection in 1973 as First Songs, boasting a revised running order, as well as a title change from "Hands Off the Man" -- as listed here -- to "Flim Flam Man." Beginning in 2002, Sony/Legacy began an exhaustive overhaul of Nyro's classic '70s albums. In addition to remastered sound and newly incorporated artwork and liner notes, the series also boasts "bonus tracks" where applicable. Both casual listeners, as well as seasoned connoisseurs, can find much to discover and rediscover on these seminal sides from Laura Nyro. AMG.

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Kaleidoscope - When Scopes Collide 1976

Six years after the end of the Kaleidoscope, members Stuart BrotmanChris DarrowSolomon FeldhousePaul Lagos, and Chester Crill (alias Max Buda, alias Templeton Parcely) teamed up again to record this reunion album forMike Nesmith's Pacific Arts label. (It has also been reported that the "De Paris Letante" credited on the album is, in fact, another ex-member, David Lindley.) The song selection is, if anything, even more eclectic than the band's earlier work. Covers of the Coasters ("Little Egypt"), Duke Ellington ("Black and Tan Fantasy"), and Chuck Berry ("You Never Can Tell") are included, along with the traditional folk song "Man of Constant Sorrow," Middle-Eastern-inspired music, and even an Eastern European bit, "Stu's Balkan Blues." Feldhouse's bag of exotic instruments has expanded, and both he and Brotman play tuba(!). The results are less exciting than all this might indicate, seemingly underproduced and a bit lacking in spirit. But there are highlights, the most effective being the Feldhouse-sung recasting of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" as a slow, spooky tune (it's reminiscent of Gregg Allman's solo version of "Midnight Rider") featuring two ouds -- and where else could you hear that? AMG.

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Maurice McIntyre - Humility In The Light Of Creator 1970

In the 1960s, bop snobs who condemned avant-garde jazz made comments that were not only uninformed and narrow-minded, but sometimes, their attacks on jazz's "new thing" (a term that was used to describe free jazz and Chicago AACM jazz as well as a lot of modal post-bop) were even mean-spirited and hateful. Such bop snobs loved to ridicule and mock the spirituality that characterized a lot of modal and avant-garde jazz; they treated it like a joke and a fad. But spirituality in music is hardly faddish; when explorers like John ColtraneArchie SheppPharoah Sanders, and Yusef Lateef were influenced by traditional Hindu, Islamic, or Jewish music, they were drawing on musical traditions that had been around for centuries. Spirituality is a big part of Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre's Humility in the Light of the Creator, a superb inside/outside date that is arguably his finest, most essential album. Recorded in 1969, this AACM classic owes a lot to the spiritual music of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, and there are times when the Chicago saxophonist also blends avant-garde jazz with Native American elements. When singer George Hines is featured on three pieces, his wordless vocals show an awareness of the music used in traditional Native American religious ceremonies. Humility, McIntyre's first album as a leader, is a perfect example of the AACM approach to avant-garde jazz; while the blistering free jazz of Albert AylerCecil Taylor, and late-period Coltrane favors density, McIntyreand his fellow AACM explorers use space and silence to their creative advantage. As a result, Humility is often dissonant without ever being claustrophobic. (Not that claustrophobic is a bad thing: Coltrane's ferocious, claustrophobic Om is a gem, although it's a gem that isn't for everyone). McIntyre has a lot to be proud of, but if you were limited to owning only one of his albums, Humility would be the best choice. AMG.

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P.J. Proby - Three Week Hero 1969

As a rule, P.J. Proby albums cut much later than 1966 are to be avoided like the most virulent plague imaginable. And based on the singing here, an awkward mix of vaguely bluesy and country-ish rock, interspersed with excessively dramatic pop ("Reflections of Your Face"), none of which is going to make anyone forget Chris Farlowe, never mindSteve Marriott or Terry ReidThree Week Hero shouldn't rate much better than that. What sets it apart, and makes it worth writing about, is the fact that John Paul JonesJimmy Paige (sic), Robert Plant, and John Bonham are at the center of Proby's studio band, albeit augmented by Clem Cattini (drums), Alan Parker (guitars), and a slew of backup singers. There's actually not much of a Zeppelin-ish sound here, but the release date puts the making of this record within the historical framework of Led Zeppelin. For completists, that may make it an important acquisition. And if they can get past over-orchestrated dreck like "Little Friend," noisy, annoying crap like "Empty Bottles," and the awful Johnny Cash impression "Today I Killed a Man," they may enjoy the medley of "It's So Hard to Be a Nigger/Jim's Blues/George Wallace Is Rollin' In This Mornin'," on which PagePlant, and company at last strut their stuff -- although one wishes they'd cut it with Plant singing. AMG.

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Ohio Players - Ecstasy 1973

Throughout the 1970s, the Ohio Players were famous (or infamous) for their erotic album covers. But there are major differences between the covers of Mercury albums like Skin TightFireHoney, and Contradiction and the covers of such Westbound releases as Pleasure and Pain. At Mercury, the Players' album covers favored softcore erotica à la Playboy or Penthouse, whereas the covers of their Westbound LPs were more bizarre and offered kinky bondage/S&M imagery. Those covers came under attack from different parts of the political spectrum; some of the more radical feminists accused the Players of objectifying women, while Republicans and Christian fundamentalists accused them of promoting moral decline. And the Players were laughing all the way to the bank -- at least from 1974 on. When their third Westbound album, Ecstasy, came out in 1973, they were still a year away from signing with Mercury and becoming really huge. But they did have a small cult following, which found that Ecstasy fell short of the excellence ofPain and Pleasure. Nonetheless, the material is respectable and generally decent. Serious Players fans will find sweaty funk items like "Spinning," "Black Cat," and the title song to be enjoyable even though they aren't among the band's essential recordings. While Ecstasy isn't recommended to casual listeners, it isn't a bad album to have in your collection if you fancy yourself a hardcore Players addict. AMG.

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Kanguru - Dreaming 1976

Kanguru are an Australian hippy band from the first to mid seventies. They were based in Northern New South Wales in Nimbin and Byron Bay. Maximum of the musicians peace and quiet stick music in other bands in Northern New South Wales.
They genuinely did a imperial transformation of of 4 raga's in this note down 'Dreaming' twisted in 1976...with the stimulating viola 'duelling' with sarod and tabla- it gets up to a faint extremity.

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Papa John Creach - Papa John Creach 1971

At the time this album was recorded, Jefferson Airplane had expanded from a rock group into something of a San Francisco collective of musicians and launched its own record label, Grunt, necessitating a flow of product. As a result, there was a flurry of releases by the Airplane itself and several offshoots, with each of these records featuring several members of the loose aggregation informally dubbed PERRO (the Planet Earth Rock 'N' Roll Orchestra). Papa John Creach, violinist for the Airplane and its spin-off group, Hot Tuna, was the leader on this set, which featured members of the Airplane (Grace Slick, for example, duets with Creach on the lead-off track, "The Janitor Drives a Cadillac"),Quicksilver Messenger Service, and the Grateful Dead. The result sounds like the Airplane records of the period, with a bit more of Creach's electric violin soaring over the proceedings. AMG

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Pugsley Munion - Just Like You 1970

Started in mid 1969 under the guise 'Mask,' the members of Pugsley Munion - keyboardist/vocalist/main songwriterJohn Schuller, guitarist Ducky Belliveau, and drummer Ed Kelly - came together as a vehicle for their own original material, after years playing in high school cover bands. A homemade demo they made that year found its way to J&S Records, a small R&B label in New York City that had gone a couple years without a hit. The label put up some cash to cover recording costs and brought the band to the city to record an official demo tape, also signing them to a single album deal. Shortly after the demo was recorded, the label discovered the 'Mask' name had already been registered to another band, and the members started to consider new names. They took 'Pugsley' from a street sign outside New York, while 'Munion' was the name of a local cop who gave the band's road crew dirty looks following a gig in a local donut shot. They put the two words together originally as a joke name to use for a single gig, but the name stuck. In mid 1970, Pugsley Munion began the two days of recording at Bell Sound Studios in New York City they had booked for their first album. Live, they played as an organ/bass pedal, guitar, and drum trio, but they decided to use bass guitar in the studio to get a better sound. As they laid down the tracks, the band experimented with different bass parts with the intention of going back in during a later session to complete or replace them. Rough mixes were prepared of the songs after the two days, and trio assumed they would go back into the studio to overdub the bass tracks and polish up the vocals. To their surprise, however, the record company released the album in its unfinished form, without the original artwork selected by the band and with incorrect liner notes. The title of the album had been altered as well toJust Like You, after the song released as the first single. Pugsley Munion tried unsuccessfully to stop the album's release. In spite of the record label's disingenuous treatment of the band, the album did get some airplay, but shortly after its release, Schuller was drafted, bringing a halt to the project. His stint in the Navy was short, however, for medical reasons, and he rejoined the band, which had added a bass player and a vocalist in his absence. They played throughout the next couple years in local clubs and developed a solid following but never again recorded as a unit, although each member went on to experience success as studio players. AMG.

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Rod Stewart - Gasoline Alley 1970

Gasoline Alley follows the same formula of Rod Stewart's first album, intercutting contemporary covers with slightly older rock & roll and folk classics and originals written in the same vein. The difference is in execution. Stewartsounds more confident, claiming Elton John's "Country Comfort," the Small Faces' "My Way of Giving," and the Rolling Stones' version of "It's All Over Now" with a ragged, laddish charm. Like its predecessor, nearly all of Gasoline Alley is played on acoustic instruments -- Stewart treats rock & roll songs like folk songs, reinterpreting them in individual, unpredictable ways. For instance, "It's All Over Now" becomes a shambling, loose-limbed ramble instead of a tight R&B/blues groove, and "Cut Across Shorty" is based around a howling, Mideastern violin instead of a rockabilly riff. Of course, being a rocker at heart, Stewart doesn't let these songs become limp acoustic numbers -- these rock harder than any fuzz-guitar workout. The drums crash and bang, the acoustic guitars are pounded with a vengeance -- it's a wild, careening sound that is positively joyous with its abandon. And on the slow songs, Stewart is nuanced and affecting -- his interpretation of Bob Dylan's "Only a Hobo" is one of the finest Dylan covers, while the original title track is a vivid, loving tribute to his adolescence. And that spirit is carried throughout Gasoline Alley. It's an album that celebrates tradition while moving it into the present and never once does it disown the past. AMG.

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Leonda - Woman In The Sun 1969

Though it was released on a major label (Columbia's Epic subsidiary) in the late '60s, Leonda's sole album, Woman in the Sun, is extremely rare, and little known even among fans of singer/songwriters of the era. Because Leonda is Native American, and sometimes uses prominent vibrato in her vocal phrasing, she might generate comparisons to the most well-known Native American singer/songwriter of that era, Buffy Sainte-Marie. Actually, however, she's almost as similar to Annisette of Savage Rose or (more distantly) Melanie, or perhaps some of the gutsier woman singers from late-'60s West Coast rock bands. While Leonda has an appealing, somewhat raspy voice, her folk-bluesy material (with backup help from members of the Canadian rock band the Paupers) is less impressive. The songs are fairly meandering and not all that tuneful, if good-natured with a vaguely hippie uplifting vibe. Things are better when she moves away from a blues base to a folkier one, as she does with the orchestrated "When I Lived in My Grandmother's House" and the acoustic "Zono My Bird." The album was reissued on CD by Fallout in 2007. AMG.

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Freddie McCoy - Soul Yogi 1968

Soul-jazz vibraphonist Freddie McCoy was never a hit with the critics, spending most of his time laying down coolly funky grooves and covering contemporary R&B and pop tunes (or doing original material in a similarly accessible vein). However, his albums later became underground collector's items among acid jazz and rare-groove enthusiasts.McCoy started out with Johnny "Hammond" Smith in 1961, then signed with Prestige and cut his first album, Lonely Avenue, in 1963. Over the next five years, McCoy cut seven albums for the label, highlighted by 1965's Spider Man, 1967's Beans and Greens, and 1968's Listen Here. His groups usually featured pianist/organist Joanne Brackeen, in some of her first work after temporarily retiring to raise her family. McCoy later recorded for the small Buddah subsidiary Cobblestone, debuting with Gimme Some!, a circa-1971 jazz-funk session featuring some trippy electric piano work. However, the label was short-lived, and McCoy disappeared from jazz after its demise. 

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Ely Camargo - Cantos da minha gente 1974

Born in Goiânia (Goiás), she choose a difficult genre of music to interpret, but it really needed to be widespread: folklore, folk songs, the serenade ... She had several invitations to perform in various international music events representing Brazil, and, her voice offer genuinely Brazilian.
Having received the award for best female radio, Goiânia and Brasília in 1960 and 1961, Ely recorded a series of long-plays entitled "Songs of My Land". Her latest recording is called "Blue Crow" and is entirely dedicated to the folklore of Paraná.

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Ellis - Why Not 1973

Steve Ellis formed the band Ellis with his friend Zoot Money in 1971. Jim Leverton joined on bass (ex Fat Mattress), Dave Lutton was the drummer and Andy Gee (real name Andy Gröber) became their guitar player. He was a friend of Steve from the Love Affair days, having played in Springfield Park, another CBS band managed by Sidney Bacon. Andy had also played alongside Steve on Peter Bardens' "The Answer" LP, alongside Steve. Ellis recorded two albums for Epic - "Riding On The Crest Of A Slump" was produced by the Who's Roger Daltrey, and "Why Not?" by legendary producer Mike Vernon. Jim Leverton left the band after the first album, not willing to tour with them, and was replaced by Nick South (ex Vinegar Joe/Alexis Korner).

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segunda-feira, 21 de outubro de 2013

El Chicano - Viva Tirado 1970

Over the years, El Chicano has often been compared to Santana and, to be sure, there are a lot of parallels. Both are from California (although different parts of the state), both are led by Mexican-Americans, both have recorded in English as well as in Spanish, and both have favored a very eclectic and unpredictable mixture of rock, soul, funk, jazz, blues, and Afro-Cuban salsa. Further, there is no getting around the fact that El Chicano (whose Spanish name means "the Chicano" or "the Mexican-American") has been heavily influenced by Carlos Santana's outfit. Nonetheless, El Chicano has a style of its own and Santana isn't the band's only influence. Over the years, El Chicano has been affected by everyone from Chicano soulsters like Cannibal & the Headhunters and Thee Midniters to Latin soul-jazz favorite Pucho to salsa heavyweights such as Tito PuenteRay Barretto, and Mongo SantamariaEl Chicano's members were not only affected by the Mexican-American experience, they were also well aware of what Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians were doing on the East Coast and in the Caribbean. El Chicano, which was originally called the V.I.P.'s, was founded in East Los Angeles (a heavily Mexican-American area) in the late '60s. The band's original members included co-founder/leader Bobby Espinosa (organ, electric keyboards, acoustic piano, vocals), Freddie Sanchez (bass, vocals),Mickey Lespron (lead guitar, vocals), Andre Baeza (congas), and John De Luna (drums). Along the way, El Chicanohad more than its share of personnel changes; members who didn't join until the '70s included Ersi Arvizu (lead vocals), Hector "Rudy" Regalado (timbales, vocals), Max Garduno (congas), Danny Lamonte (drums), Brian Magness(bass), Joe Perreira (bass), Jerry Salas (lead vocals, guitar), Rudy Salas (guitar), and Steve Salas (lead vocals), among others. (The Salas brothers went on to join another East L.A. band, Tierra, which was an El Chicano spinoff and is best-known for its hit 1980 cover of the Intruders' Philadelphia soul ballad "Together"). After creating a buzz in East L.A. in the late '60s, El Chicano signed with MCA in 1970 and recorded its debut album, Viva Tirado. The instrumental title song, which was written by jazz pianist Gerald Wilson, was released as a single and became El Chicano's biggest hit; the recording reached number 28 on Billboard's pop singles chart and number 20 on its R&B singles chart. On regional L.A. charts, "Viva Tirado" spent about 12 weeks at number one. "Viva Tirado" (which was inspired by Mexican bullfighter Jose Ramon Tirado) was a rarity; in the '60s and '70s, one rarely saw any type of jazz instrumental -- straight-ahead, fusion, soul-jazz, or otherwise -- climbing that high up the national Billboard charts. When a jazz instrumental became a hit single in the pop or R&B markets, it was the exception instead of the rule. While the "Viva Tirado" single didn't make El Chicano national superstars -- they were never as big as Santana -- the band did acquire a loyal cult following and was especially popular in the Mexican-American neighborhoods of the southwestern United States. After the Viva Tirado LP, El Chicano went on to record several more albums for MCA, including 1971's Revolucion, 1972's Celebration, 1973's El Chicano, 1974's Cinco, 1975's The Best of Everything, and 1976's Pyramid of Love & FriendsEl Chicano's second biggest hit came in 1973 when MCA released the brown-eyed soul classic "Tell Her She's Lovely" as a single. Nationally, the tune (which features Jerry Salas on lead vocals) wasn't a major hit; "Tell Her She's Lovely" only reached number 40 on Billboard's pop singles chart and number 98 on the magazine's R&B singles chart. But in Mexican-American neighborhoods, the song was huge -- among Chicano Baby Boomers, "Tell Her She's Lovely" was as popular as War's big '70s hits. El Chicano's contract with MCA ended in 1976; that year, the band recorded its first post-MCA album, This Is...El Chicano, for the independent Shady Brooke label (where the L.A. residents enjoyed more creative control than they had during their six years at MCA). The band's next LP, Look of Love, was released on Musidisc in 1977; then in the early '80s, El Chicano briefly recorded for Columbia, which released the romantic blue-eyed soul tune "Do You Want Me" as a single in 1983. Although not a national chart-buster, the song became a minor hit (primarily in Mexican-American areas). El Chicano didn't do a lot of recording in the '80s or '90s, but the band made a long overdue return to the studio with 1998's Painting the Moment. Released on Thump, that CD marked the return of original lead guitarist Mickey Lespron, who had not recorded withEl Chicano since the '70s. AMG.

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