quarta-feira, 20 de fevereiro de 2019

Paul Chambers - Bass On Top 1957

Bass on Top is another thoroughly engaging set of straight-ahead, mainstream jazz from Paul Chambers. The bassist leads a quartet comprised of guitarist Kenny Burrell, pianist Hank Jones, and drummer Art Taylor through a selection of standards, including "Yesterdays," "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," and "Dear Old Stockholm," as well as a handful of contemporary jazz numbers and originals. There's a relaxed, friendly atmosphere to the music, both in its tone and in the fact that Chambers lets Jones and Burrell have some time in the spotlight. The result is a warm, entertaining collection of mainstream jazz that nevertheless rewards close listening. AMG.

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Ronnie Von - A Misteriosa Luta do Reino de Parasempre 1969

The soon-to-be Jovem Guarda idol Ronnie Von, still as Ronaldo Nogueira, had just graduated in 1969 in economics and pilotage, but wanted to be a singer instead. After becoming acquainted with the members of the Brazilian Bitles, he impressed the group in an audition and the very next week the revelation was featured on their exclusive show on TV Excelsior's Brazilian Bitles Club. Noticed by Agnaldo Rayol, Von was also invited to perform on the extremely popular Corte Rayol Show for TV Record. For his part, he sang the Beatles' song "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," by John Lennon/Paul McCartney. His first single came next, with that song and "Meu Bem," Von's version of "Girl" (same authors), reaching even more success. Press speculations suggested Von would compete with Roberto Carlos, such was his popularity. Disinterested in the polemic, Von moved to São Paulo. Hired by TV Record (where he had his own show, O Pequeno Mundo de Ronnie Von) and Rádio Pan Americana, Von released his first LP in November 1966. That same year, he was awarded with the Roquette Pinto prize -- he also got the Chico Viola award in February 1967 for "Meu Bem." Von's single "A Praça" (Carlos Imperial) was released in 1967, sold 22,000 copies in two weeks, and remained at the number one spot for a month. This led the way for Von's hiring by TV Excelsior of Rio de Janeiro. His second LP, O Novo Ídolo, was released that same year and dethroned Roberto Carlos from first place on the top parade, with the double single "Nossa Canção" going to fifth place and selling more than 100,000 copies in one year.
Ronnie Von Number 3, recorded in 1967, had the accompaniment of the Os Mutantes and a vocal effort from Caetano Veloso in "Pra Chatear." Ronnie Von also achieved the remarkable distinction of recording the only iê-iê-iê song, written by Vinícius de Moraes, a serious detractor from the genre. The song, "Por Você" (w/ Francisco Enóe), was included on the soundtrack to the film Garota de Ipanema and was also released on an LP in 1967. Von was also featured in the movies A Greve do Sorriso and O Descarte (the latter, already in the '70s). Continuing to record regularly, Von made several albums for the Hispanic market and continues to appear on TV. Other hits of his include "Pequeno Príncipe" and "Escuta, Meu Amor" (Arnaldo Sacomani). AMG.
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Poco - From The Inside 1971

From the Inside is Poco's most unusual record, and one the band -- especially founder Richie Furay, whose songs were sort of pushed into the background -- finally didn't like all that much. But it was a very good one anyway, produced in Memphis by guitar legend Steve Cropper and featuring the group generating a leaner, more stripped-down, somewhat bluesier sound. The harmonies are less radiant and the guitars more subdued, and the spirits also a little more low-key than usual. But the sound they get is still appealing, the singing more reflective and a little bit closer to R&B than to the post-Byrds country-rock for which they were known -- the songs are pretty, and in listening terms George Grantham's drums and Timothy B. Schmit's bass are nice and upfront in the mix, and the guitars have a really close presence, even if they are turned down. Paul Cotton's "Bad Weather" was the best reviewed song, but other highlights were "You Are the One," "Hoe Down," "Railroad Days" (maybe their hardest rocker), and "Ol' Forgiver." AMG.

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Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity - Jools & Brian (1969)

The debut album from the formation of Julie DriscollBrian Auger & The Trinity, this record introduced to America a group that had been making some noise in England for some time already. The album is a bit fragmented, containing a few Julie Driscoll solo tracks, as well as some Auger/Trinity efforts without Driscoll. One of the most amazing moments opens the record: Driscoll's solo hit (in Europe), "I Know You Love Me Not." A swirling, churning string arrangement - not unlike a psychedelic Phil Spector - is the ground work for Driscoll's steely vocals. She come across as a combination of Dusty Springfieldand Annie Lennox with a passionate performance. It's truly one of the great lost British records of the era, and alone is worth the price of the record. There is, though, a lot more. Some excellent moments for Auger, such as the swinging-jazz drenched. "Kiko" illustrate what incredible jazz chops they had. There is also an excellent cover of "Didn't Want To Have To Do It," which renders this John Sebastion classic is a new, soulful light. An inspiring, fresh debut, and swinging London at it's finest. AMG.

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Procol Harum - Shine On Brightly 1968

After the multi-million selling "A Whiter Shade of Pale," Procol Harum coalesced around a new lineup and cut a debut album in two days, the sales of which were only fair (because the hit song wasn't on it originally). Then they did Shine on Brightly, which initially drew on recordings going back to late 1967 -- in the course of preparing their first proper LP, the band junked an entire side of blues-based numbers in favor of the 18-minute suite "In Held 'Twas I," which rivaled anything yet heard from such established progressive rock outfits as the Nice or the Moody Blues in length and surpassed them in audacity, with an extensive spoken part surrounded by virtuoso classical and psychedelic passages (and even a featured spot for Dave Knights' bass). It all proved that they were more than a one-hit wonder and, released in late 1968, the album extended the definition of progressive rock, even as it kept much of the music rooted in established rock genres. "Skip Softly," for all of its grand piano pyrotechnics, was also a showcase for Robin Trower's bluesy, high-energy guitar attack, and "Wish Me Well" was an even better vehicle for his instrument, while "Magdalene (My Regal Zonophone)" was an interesting exercise in nostalgia highlighted by Matthew Fisher's organ. AMG.

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Tom Waits - Closing Time 1973

Tom Waits' debut album is a minor-key masterpiece filled with songs of late-night loneliness. Within his chosen narrow range of the cocktail bar pianistics and muttered vocals, Waits and producer Jerry Yestermanage to deliver a surprisingly broad collection of styles, from the jazzy "Virginia Avenue" to the uptempo off-kilter funkiness of "Ice Cream Man." The acoustic guitar folkiness of the tender "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You" is an upside-down take on the Laurel Canyon sound, while the saloon song "Midnight Lullaby" would have been a perfect addition to the repertoires of Frank Sinatra and/or Tony BennettWaits' entire musical approach is highly stylized and, in its lesser moments, somewhat derivative of some of his own heroes: "Lonely" borrows from Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today." His lovelorn lyrics can be sentimental without penetrating too deeply, but they still get the job done since these are song portraits in miniature. The frameworks of most of the songs come from the songwriter's literary obsessions with Charles Bukowski and Jack KerouacWaits also has a gift for gentle, rolling pop melodies; his original scenarios are strikingly visual on the best songs, such as "Martha" -- which Yester discreetly augments with strings -- and the now iconic "Ol' 55." Waits' original version is far superior in conveying the early-morning emotions after leaving a lover's room to the Eagles' hooky hit cover -- which ultimately guaranteed Waits an income for life. Closing Time quietly announces the arrival of a talented songwriter whose self-consciousness, wry barroom humor, and solitary melancholy made him a standout from virtually all of his peers, and difficult to pigeonhole. AMG.

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Robert Fripp - Exposure 1979

Conceived as the third part of an MOR trilogy that included Peter Gabriel's second album and Daryl Hall's Sacred SongsExposure is concerned with a marketplace that Fripp saw as hostile to experimentation and hungry for product. Strangely, then, Exposure is one of his most varied and successful rock albums, offering a broad selection of styles. "Water Music I and II" is pure Frippertronics; "Disengage" and "I May Not Have Had Enough of Me But I've Had Enough of You" are angular, jagged rock like he would make with the reformed King Crimson; "North Star" is a soulful ballad led by Daryl Hall on vocals, and a less bombastic version of "Here Comes the Flood" with Peter Gabriel singing makes a melancholic ending. Peter HammillTerre Roche, and Narada Michael Walden also add vocals to a pleasant experiment in pop, Fripp style. AMG.

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New Riders Of The Purple Sage - Powerglide 1972

The group's second album is pretty much definitive, especially in its remastered version from Columbia's Legacy division (issued in 1996), which has really crisp, loud sound. Joe Maphis' "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)" is a great opener, a honky tonk-style number featuring David Nelson's lead vocals and Nicky Hopkins' piano sharing the spotlight with Nelson's and John Dawson's axes. The guitars on Dawson's "Rainbow" are nearly pretty enough to be a Flying Burrito Brothers or Poconumber. Most of what follows is as good or better, especially Dave Torbert's "California Day" and "Contract," and Dawson's "Sweet Lovin' One." The one letdown is their cover of "Hello Mary Lou," a flat, dullish rendition that could be any bad country-rock bar band, and which isn't going to make anyone forget the numerous versions before and since -- they do somewhat better with Johnny Otis' "Willie and the Hand Jive." Powerglide is a fun record and offers one virtue that the Dead, in particular, sometimes forgot -- they know how to end a song. Jerry Garcia is present on banjo ("Sweet Lovin' One," "Duncan and Brady") and piano ("Lochinvar") -- Bill Kreutzmann and Nicky Hopkins also turn up -- but the best lead guitar work here comes courtesy of David Nelson and Buddy Cage, who plays the pedal steel. AMG.

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Kahvas Jute - Wide Open 1971

After forming in 1971, Kahvas Jute earned an immediate reputation on the live scene and issued their only album, Wide Open, in January the following year. The album remains a classic progressive rock album, exemplifying their expansive tunes and outstanding guitar work. "Free"/"Ascend" was issued as a single in July 1971. Guitarist Tim Gaze left the band and they continued as a three-piece, traveling to the U.K. in June 1971, where they made little impact and broke up. Bassist Bob Daisley played with several heavy metal bands and appeared as a session player for guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen and Stevie Vai. Dennis Wilson eventually revived Khavas Jute in May 1973 with drummer Dannie Davidson and bassist Scott Maxey. They supported Bo Diddley on his Australian tour in October 1973. In March 1974, Maxey was replaced by Peter Roberts, but by May, the band changed its name to Chariot.
This obscure document of Australian '70s psychedelia comes repackaged and remastered from original source tapes on European archive specialist label Little Wing, issued in the '90s after appearing in 1972 to disparate reception. With an outstanding progressive rock album, Kahavas Jute rates alongside other heavy acid rock gems from the Southern Hemisphere -- Human Instinct's Stoned Guitar and Spacefarm. While these groups may have slipped under the carpet, fans of Cream, Blue Cheer, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience will find familiar territories explored on this explosive workout.  AMG.

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The Allman Brothers Band - The Allman Brothers Band 1969

This might be the best debut album ever delivered by an American blues band, a bold, powerful, hard-edged, soulful essay in electric blues with a native Southern ambience. Some lingering elements of the psychedelic era then drawing to a close can be found in "Dreams," along with the template for the group's on-stage workouts with "Whipping Post," and a solid cover of Muddy Waters' "Trouble No More." There isn't a bad song here, and only the fact that the group did even better the next time out keeps this from getting the highest possible rating. AMG.

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Neil Merryweather - Space Rangers 1974

Neil Merryweather (born Robert Neilson Lillie on December 27, 1945 in Winnipeg, Manitoba) is a Canadian rock singer, bass player and songwriter. He has recorded and performed with musicians including Steve Miller, Dave Mason, Lita Ford, Billy Joel and Rick James, and released an extensive catalogue of albums.

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One Horse Blue - One Horse Blue 1978

Gord Maxwell (vocals, bass), Larry Pink (keyboards), Michael Shellard (vocals, guitar, harmonica) and Rocko Vaugeois (vocals, drums, percussion, guitar) became successful in Canada during the late '70s when several singles reached that country's Top 40. The band's 1979 self-titled debut was followed by 1980's Bite the Bullet. After a change of direction and a long time off, One Horse Blue resurfaced in 1993 with another self-titled album. AMG.

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Show Of Hands - Formerly Anthrax 1970

The roots of San Diego jazz-rock trio Formerly Anthrax lie in the psychedelic band the National Debt, formed in 1967 by singer/guitarist/flutist Jerry McCann, keyboardist Jack Jacobsen, and drummer Rick Cutler. When McCann exited later that same year to join Framework, which later issued the underground classic "I'm Gonna Give," Jacobsen and Cutler continued collaborating as Anthrax, moving toward an instrumental fusion approach that earned the notice of Elektra Records producer Russ Miller.

The duo recorded an LP for the label in 1969, but Elektra president Jac Holzman declared the project too uncommercial for release, allowing that the addition of vocals could change his mind. So Jacobsen and Cutler lured McCann back to the fold, which spelled the end of Framework -- the album was reworked, but Elektra also objected to the name Anthrax, although inexplicably Holzman deemed "Formerly Anthrax" an acceptable moniker.

The revamped LP finally appeared in 1971 as Show of Hands, a title many listeners mistook for the name of the band -- perhaps not surprisingly, the record went nowhere, with the single "Stanley's Theme" generating little interest even on progressive radio. A planned concert LP, Live at the New Orleans House, never made it past the acetate stage, effectively bringing the curtains down on Formerly Anthrax's career -- while McCann later pursued solo projects, Jacobsen eventually resurfaced as a member of Huey Lewis & the News, while Cutler enjoyed fleeting success as a member of Tommy Tutone, the one-hit wonder behind the '80s classic "Jenny (867-5309)." Thanks to therockasteria.blogspot.com.

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segunda-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2019

A.B. Skhy - Ramblin' On 1970

A.B. Skhy was a blues-rock quartet from San Francisco consisting of guitarist Dennis Geyer, keyboard player Howard Wales, bass player Jim Marcotte, and drummer Terry Andersen. This lineup made the group's debut album, A.B. Skhy, in 1969, with a seven-piece horn section. The album failed to chart, but the instrumental "Camel Back" hit number 100 on the Hot 100 for one week in December. Andersen and Wales then left and were replaced by guitarist James "Curley" Cooke and drummer Rick Jaeger for the group's second album, Ramblin' On (1970), which was produced by Kim Fowley. They broke up during the recording of their third album. AMG.

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Oliver Nelson - The Blues And The Abstract Truth 1961

As Oliver Nelson is known primarily as a big band leader and arranger, he is lesser known as a saxophonist and organizer of small ensembles. Blues and the Abstract Truth is his triumph as a musician for the aspects of not only defining the sound of an era with his all-time classic "Stolen Moments," but on this recording, assembling one of the most potent modern jazz sextets ever. Lead trumpeter Freddie Hubbard is at his peak of performance, while alto saxophonists Nelson and Eric Dolphy (Nelson doubling on tenor) team to form an unlikely union that was simmered to perfection. Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Roy Haynes (drums) can do no wrong as a rhythm section. "Stolen Moments" really needs no comments, as its undisputable beauty shines through in a three-part horn harmony fronting Hubbard's lead melody. It's a thing of beauty that is more timeless as the years pass. The "Blues" aspect is best heard on "Yearnin'," a stylish, swinging, and swaying downhearted piece that is a bluesy as Evans would ever be. Both "Blues" and "Abstract Truth" combine for the darker "Teenie's Blues," a feature for Nelson and Dolphy's alto saxes, Dolphy assertive in stepping forth with his distinctive, angular, dramatic, fractured, brittle voice that marks him a maverick. Then there's "Hoedown," which has always been the black sheep of this collection with its country flavor and stereo separated upper and lower horn in snappy call-and-response barking. As surging and searing hard boppers respectively, "Cascades" and "Butch & Butch" again remind you of the era of the early '60s when this music was king, and why Hubbard was so revered as a young master of the idiom. A must buy for all jazz fans, and a Top Ten or Top Fifty favorite for many. AMG.

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8Th Day - I Gotta Get Home 1973

While not as arresting as their debut LP, this is still a keeper, if you can find a copy. It contains "Good Book," a solo release by Melvin Davis (who obviously was a member -- why else would Invictus stick his single releases on the 8th Day's albums?). The title track's a good Holland Dozier production, driven by a shuffling, soul-drenched rhythm. Two gospel songs are also featured: "Faith Is the Answer" (written by Davis) and "Heaven Is There to Guide Us" (also recorded by the Glass House). A compilation CD of the 8th Day's best efforts is available on Fantasy Records. AMG.

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Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown 1976

If you had to pick one album that best represents the pinnacle of the art of dub, you'd cull the candidates down pretty quickly to ten or 12, and it would get very difficult after that. Few would fault you for ending up with this one, though, which stands as perhaps the finest collaboration between two of instrumental reggae's leading lights: producer and melodica player Augustus Pablo and legendary dub pioneer King Tubby. Among other gems, this album offers its title track -- a dub version of Jacob Miller's "Baby I Love You So" -- which is widely regarded as the finest example of dub ever recorded. But the rest of the album is hardly less impressive. "Each One Dub," another cut on a Jacob Miller rhythm, possesses the same dark and mystical ambience, if not quite the same emotional energy, as "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown," and the version of the epochal "Satta Massaganna" that closes the album is another solid winner. Pablo's trademark "Far East" sound (characterized by minor keys and prominent melodica lines) is predominant throughout, and is treated with care and grace by King Tubby, who has rarely sounded more inspired in his studio manipulations than he does here. Absolutely essential. AMG.

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Natural Life - Unnamed Land 1976

Very good jazz fusion group. Don't miss it.

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10cc - 10cc 1973

Displaying a command of pop styles and satire, 10cc showed that they are a force to be reckoned with on their first album. Hooks abound, harmonies shine, and instrumentation is dazzling without being overdone. Though charges of "self-consciously clever" could be leveled at the group, their command of witty, Anglo-styled pop is so impressive that even those criticisms must be weighed against the mastery of styles. All four members sing lead and are talented songwriters, and this leads to a wide variety of styles that add to their vision. Featuring their number one U.K. hit "Rubber Bullets," 10cc wade through ten selections of satire and parody. One of the best is "Johnny Don't Do It," a parody of all the "death discs" of the late '50s and early '60s (the misunderstood "bad but really good" guy who is killed in a wreck). More contemporary and bitingly sarcastic is "Headline Hustler," a commentary on the ravenous, scandal-hungry media. Medical facilities and the treatment afforded there is given ripe 10cc commentary in "The Hospital Song." ("And when I go, I'll die of plaster casting love.") Whether doing loving parodies of the music they grew up with or satirizing contemporary issues, 10cc show themselves to be top-level purveyors of pop on their debut recording. Some might criticize the group for being too self-satisfied with their own intelligence, but there is no denying the true craftsmanship and humor on their 1973 debut. AMG.

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Art - Supernatural Fairy Tales 1967

Patchy but occasionally worthwhile British psychedelia, particularly when it's on the brooding side of that sub-genre. The heavy guitars and organ put this on the path to progressive rock, but the songs are rather more on the straightforward and popish side than those that Spooky Tooth would play when Art evolved into that group. "I Think I'm Going Weird" points to the morbid streak that would become sharper in Spooky Tooth; "African Thing," with its long African-styled drum solo, is the sort of strange, at least by the standards of 1967, item that groups would throw in to show they weren't limiting themselves to traditional rock forms anymore; "Come On Up" is almost a soul-rocker throwback to the V.I.P.s days; and the title track, with its mellotrons, is as close as Art got to the trippy baroque/whimsical mood that blew through so much British psychedelia in 1967 and 1968. The album has been reissued on CD by Edsel. AMG.

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Barry Gordon - Pieces of Time 1971

An american actor/singer that made some interesting records, folk with a subtil touch of jazz. Give it a try.

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Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore - Blowing In From Chicago 1957

Clifford Jordan's first date as a leader actually found him sharing a heated jam session with fellow tenor John Gilmore. Backed by pianist Horace Silver, bassist Curly Russell, and drummer Art Blakey, the two saxophonists square off mostly on obscurities (other than Gigi Gryce's "Blue Lights" and "Billie's Bounce"). This was one of Gilmore's few sessions outside of Sun Ra's orbit and, if anything, he slightly overshadows the cooler-toned Jordan. Recommended. AMG.

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segunda-feira, 4 de fevereiro de 2019

Roger Daltrey - Daltrey 1973

Although Roger Daltrey was by no means the first member of the Who to take the solo plunge (both John Entwistle and Pete Townshend beat him to the punch), he was the first to make any kind of commercial impact. While "Giving It All Away" peeled off his self-titled debut album to hit the U.K. Top Five, the album itself went Top 50 in America and, almost as an afterthought, introduced the writing talents of the young and then-unknown Leo Sayer to the public at large. Eight months ahead of his own breakthrough hit, "The Show Must Go On," Sayer and writing partner Dave Courtney composed eight of Daltrey's ten tracks; Courtney co-produced the album with Adam Faith, then wrote the remaining pair with Faith himself. Of Sayer's contributions, both "Giving It All Away" and the opening "One Man Band" would subsequently reappear on his own Just a Boy album, itself titled for the chorus line of "Giving It All Away." Daltrey's majestically plaintive rendition remains the definitive version, however, all the more so when linked with the "It's a Hard Life" lament that serves as prelude to the song on Daltrey. Far from the rocking bombast for which the Who were traditionally renowned, but far, too, from the somewhat maudlin melancholy of Pete Townshend's period balladeering, "Giving It All Away" showcases the sheer emotional dynamism that Daltrey was so capable of, a mood that the remainder of the album stretched in any number of directions. From the mock reggae of "The Story So Far" to the achingly fragile "You Are Yourself," Daltrey portrays its maker in colors that the Who could never have emulated -- a sometimes horrifying shock for die-hard fans, but a pleasant surprise for anyone tired of hearing him voice the increasingly dictatorial Townshend's self-aggrandizement. Indeed, the string-haunted "When the Music Stops" could almost be an open letter to his bandmate, just as "One Man Band" should have determined Daltrey's own immediate future. Sadly, however, his solo adventuring would remain just that, something to do between Who projects, with all the sad baggage that implies. There was a time, however, when Daltrey proved himself capable of operating far outside the Who's sphere of influence. And Daltrey still bristles with the pride of that discovery. AMG.

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