sábado, 26 de março de 2022
Pepper Tree hailed from Nova Scotia and was formed in 1967. After a few years of saturating the club scene in Canada, the band finally landed a contract with Capitol Records in 1969.
Producer, Jack Richardson, was drafted to produce a single which saw the band charting in their native country. Lineup changes ensued over the next year, until "You're My People" hit store shelves in 1971.
The album was a solid mix of folk, pop, prog, and organ-driven hard rock. With stellar harmonies and a real wealth of musical diversity, the album seemed poised for success, but for one reason or another that never came to pass. More lineup changes took place over the next two years with Capitol issuing numerous failed singles. By 1973, the band was belly up and members went on to such bands as Rhinegold, Molly Oliver, Hanover Fist, Wrabit, Lee Aaron, Chilliwack, and Headpins. Many of them are still active in both performing and producing music.listen here or here
The Rotterdam-based band started as The Swinging Soul Machine and changed to Machine. Their sound was a mixture of Psych, progressive, hard rock, and brass rock. Nederbeat was one of the more healthy psych/garage scenes coming out of continental Europe and Machine were like the latter stages of those groups such as Q65 and Cosmic Dealer.
Singer John Caljouw came from the legendary dutch band Dragonfly. The strong Hammond organ presence adds a proto-prog sound similar to Deep Purple and Mainhorse. Horns were frequently inserted in those days to increase the odds of a chart appearance, given the wild success of Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears. And, as expected, there's also a strong blues influence throughout.listen here or here
Lou Donaldson has long been an excellent bop altoist influenced by Charlie Parker, but with a more blues-based style of his own. His distinctive tone has been heard in a variety of small-group settings, and he has recorded dozens of worthy and spirited (if somewhat predictable) sets throughout the years.
Donaldson started playing clarinet when he was 15, soon switching to the alto. He attended college and performed in a Navy band while in the military. Donaldson first gained attention when he moved to New York and in 1952 started recording for Blue Note as a leader. At the age of 25, his style was fully formed, and although it would continue growing in depth through the years, Donaldson had already found his sound. In 1954, he participated in a notable gig with Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver, and Tommy Potter that was extensively documented by Blue Note and that directly predated the Jazz Messengers. However, Donaldson was never a member of the Messengers, and although he recorded as a sideman in the '50s and occasionally afterward with Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson, and Jimmy Smith, among others, he has been a bandleader from the mid-'50s up until the present.
Donaldson's early Blue Note recordings were pure bop. In 1958, he began often utilizing a conga player, and starting in 1961, his bands often had an organist rather than a pianist. His bluesy style was easily transferable to soul-jazz, and he sounded most original in that context. His association with Blue Note (1952-1963) was succeeded by some excellent (if now-scarce) sets for Cadet and Argo (1963-1966). The altoist returned to Blue Note in 1967 and soon became caught up in the increasingly commercial leanings of the label. For a time, he utilized an electronic Varitone sax, which completely watered down his sound. The success of "Alligator Boogaloo" in 1967 led to a series of less interesting funk recordings that were instantly dated and not worthy of his talent.
However, after a few years off records, Lou Donaldson's artistic return in 1981 and subsequent soul-jazz and hard bop dates for Muse, Timeless, and Milestone have found the altoist back in prime form, interacting with organists and pianists alike and showing that his style is quite timeless. AMG.listen here or here
This Dutch blues band was formed in the Hague around 1967, becoming a regular outfit from 1969. The early line-up included Bjorn Toll (vocals), John Lagrand (harmonica), Ted Oberg (guitar), Ruud Fransen (bass), and Niek Dijkhuys (drums) but although the name remained wholesale changes soon took place, bringing in a new singer, Nicko Christiansen, and new bass and drums, Peter Kleinjan and Beer Klaasse, the latter pair being swiftly replaced by Gerard Strutbaum and Cesar Zuiderwijk, while keyboard player Henk Smitskamp was added. Other changes followed through the 70s, by which time the band’s repertoire was more inclined towards the rock. Musicians involved included bass players Ruud van Buuren, Jan van der Voort, Jaap van Eijk and André Reynen, drummers John Lejeune, Herman van Boeyen, Cor van Beek, Michel Driessen, Kenny Lamb, and Arjen Kamminga; the latter pair played in the band simultaneously for a spell. Smitskamp sometimes played bass, singer Johnny Frederiksz came in, as did organist Paul Vin and guitarist Ron Meyes.
Although best known in the Netherlands, Livin’ Blues also gained a following elsewhere in Europe, especially in Poland. At the start of the 80s, the band included Oberg, Christiansen, Evert Willemstein (bass) and Boris Wassenbergh (drums). Spin-off bands formed by ex-members of the Livin’ Blues included Nitehawk and the J&T Band, while most members also played with other Dutch blues and rock bands. The band recorded from 1968, cutting a few singles with its first album coming in 1969. The band appears to have drifted from the limelight after the early 80s but interest in its recorded work remained high into the new millennium. AMG.listen here or here
domingo, 20 de março de 2022
In 1971 George Duke, having just recently done his time with the Mothers of Invention was engaged by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. Beginning in April of that year, Duke made two recordings over a short timespan that on their release in 1973 as a double LP (against the desire of the artists, by the way), would be a major statement. In Chapter One of his fusion autobiography, Solus, Duke, along with the skeleton crew of bassist John Heard and drummer Dick Berk, tries out the new compositional philosophy he had absorbed from his work with Adderley. The album was obliged to maintain a jazzy environment, illustrated by the harmonically flowing piano improvisation on Love Reborn and the bop-influenced busyness of The Followers. But the record also signifies the importance of the keyboards in all their diverse contexts – the funky rock of Au-right, and the smoldering, dreamy feel of Peace, for instance. And on Manya Duke lives it up as he shows off his exuberant experimental synth side.
The Inner Source continues in the same vein. So There You Go is a downright delightful waltz featuring e-piano, whereas Some Time Ago is pure tonal color and atmosphere. We find an exotic gem in Nigerian Numberumba in which an African Lamellophone is craftily simulated with an echoplex and ring modulator. Duke also begins to vary the lineup here. Feels So Good und My Soul are reinforced with Latin percussion, and incisive horn and reed instruments (luminaries from the Thad Jones and Santana entourages). The same with the title track, a masterstroke of quintet dramaturgy, with Duke on his first instrument, the trombone. As a curiosity, two basses compete with each other on Twenty Five. The last piece, Always Constant, is a more open piece that spontaneously unfolded in the studio.