domingo, 20 de agosto de 2017

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu - Soul-Jazz, Afrobeat, Funk (Finland)

Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu - 4th Dimension Finland's Jimi Tenor, a musician, composer and arranger known to constantly reinvent himself, has finished work on his latest album 4th Dimension, which is set for release in early 2009. On 4th Dimension, Jimi Tenor continues his exploration of Afrobeat music. The album also sees him reunite with Kabu Kabu, a group of West African musicians based in Germany, who debuted on Tenor's 2007 album Joystone. 4th Dimension's Afrobeat is highlighted with Tenor's jazzy, bohemian touches and ability to write irresistible tunes. Tenor's catchy-yet-challenging arrangements are reminiscent of the legendary Fela Kuti, and perhaps one can also sense the influence of the likes of Lalo Schifrin, Charlie Mingus and Sun Ra. Tenor's trademark high-pitched vocals are heard less this time around as the maestro concentrates on tooting his tenor sax, playing the flute and synth. The album's first single Mystery Spot is uplifting and uptempo Afrobeat. Global Party starts out moody but builds into a frenzied Disco groove. Grind! and Me I Say Yes are perhaps the album's most traditional Afro-inspired songs with their loping basslines and heavy percussion. Mogadishu Ave. is a surprise number of Goblin-esque psychedelic prog rock. Mega Roots and Fast Legs are lo-fi percussion jams similar to the African field recordings released by legendary labels Folkways and Ocora. 4th Dimension is yet another superb album by Jimi Tenor.

James Taylor - Folk Rock (USA)

James Vernon Taylor (born March 12, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

Taylor achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with the No. 3 single "Fire and Rain" and had his first No. 1 hit the following year with "You've Got a Friend", a recording of Carole King's classic song. His 1976 Greatest Hits album was certified Diamond and has sold 12 million US copies. Following his 1977 album, JT, he has retained a large audience over the decades. Every album that he released from 1977 to 2007 sold over a million copies. His chart performance had a resurgence during the late 1990s and 2000s, when he recorded some of his most-awarded work (including Hourglass, October Road, and Covers). He achieved his first number one album in the US in 2015 with his recording Before This World.

He is notable for his popular covers of other peoples' songs, such as "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and the aforementioned "You've Got A Friend", as well as originals such as "Fire and Rain".

Thanks Magal

sábado, 19 de agosto de 2017

TISARIS Symphonic Prog • Brazil

TISARIS, which means the bridge to quintessence is a progressive rock quintet (vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass and drums) from Brazil. Superb Progressive productions in the spirit of the Seventies, alterning long suites structured in several parts ("What's Beyond"), instrumental tracks and some short pieces in concept albums taken from an opera. Expressive vocals, inventive guitar and keyboards solos and rich and cast spelling compositions compose these excellent releases.

CD "The Power of Myth", inspired on the book by Joseph Campbell, finishes the trilogy of concept albums. "An inevitable reference in the international progressive rock scene " (Harmonie Magazine - France), "... inspiration superbly materialized" (SRM - Germany), "... elegant, ambitious, daring." (Paperlate - Italy) are just a few reviews from the specialized press!

Thanks Magal

John Stubblefield - Jazz & Funk (USA)

John Stubblefield (February 4, 1945 – July 4, 2005) was an American jazz saxophonist, flautist, and oboist. Stubblefield was an adaptable musician; he was stationed with the World Saxophone Quartet (´86-´88), Reggie Workman (´89-´93), McCoy Tyner (´84 Clark), Freddie Hubbard (´85), and George Russell (´85).

On the surface, John Stubblefield and his compatriots offered a number of approaches (funk-fusion, Latin, calypso, swing) creatively rendered. But careful listening revealed an all-too-telling commercial underbelly that put subtle though damaging constraints on the music. So while the leader had a passionate tenor outing (shades of the Pharoah Sanders of yesteryear) on the Trane-influenced "East," and played some sinewy soprano on the Weather Report-like title cut and "Things," and keyboardist Geri Allen spotlighted her adept skills at imaginatively convoluting phrases over and around stated and implied bar lines (to say nothing of her solid chops overall), and the whole band illustrated solid facility as a group as well as individuals, overall, the album didn't reach the heights to which it aspired.

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THE DEAR HUNTER Crossover Prog • United States

THE DEAR HUNTER was originally a side project by guitarist and vocalist Casey CRESCENZO of post-hardcore band THE RECEIVING END OF SIRENS. On leaving that band, CRESCENZO worked on THE DEAR HUNTER fulltime, producing 'Act 1: The Lake South, The River North' as the first part of a six-album concept concerning the life of a boy at the turn of the 20th Century. After its release CRESCENZO recruited Luke DENT (Keyboards), Erick SEMA (Guitar), Sam DENT (drums) and Josh RHEAULT (bass) to record the second part of the hexology 'Act 2: The Meaning of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading' and toured extensively to promote its release. During this time RHEAULT and the DENT brothers left the band, leaving only CRESCENZO and SEMA.

Having recently announced that they are also working on a nine album concept based upon the seven colours of the rainbow and the two tones, black and white, indicates that THE DEAR HUNTER are not light on ambition, the next step is to see if they can deliver against such bold claims.

Falling somewhere between THE MARS VOLTA and COHEED AND CAMBRIA, THE DEER HUNTER may appeal to some fans of either band.

Thanks Magal

sexta-feira, 18 de agosto de 2017

JADIS Neo-Prog • United Kingdom

JADIS was formed by guitarist / vocalist Gary Chandler, and drummer Stephen Christey in the late 1980s. They quickly achieved notoriety by opening for IQ, and then Marillion on the "Clutching at Straws" tour. Steve Rothery was impressed enough to produce some demos tapes, which became very popular. As often happens during a band's beginnings, members move on before the big break happens. Nick May became the new bass player, and Martin Orford shared some of his spare time from IQ to help out on keyboards. This lineup proved even more popular, and JADIS became headliners. Nick didn't last very long, and they went to the IQ pool again to recruit John Jowitt.

Having established themselves as a prime live act over the course of several years, they felt it was finally time to record an album. 1992's "More than Meets the Eye" became not only the band's first release, but it was also the debut for Martin Orford's new GEP label. The album was met with much acclaim, and even got some radio play. SI Magazine voted it 'Album of the Year.' Many still maintain that this is JADIS' finest work. 

They spent the next year concentrating more on a follow up than live work. Striking while the iron was hot was important, but they also had a reputation to protect. While working on the new album, they also wanted to keep interest alive. So, a mini CD called "Once Upon a Time" was offered. It was originally intended to start a series of discs dedicated to new recordings of the band's early work. The second album, "Across the Water" was released in May 1994, and sold out the first pressing in ten days. Once again the critics were also on board. Classic Rock Society voted JADIS 'Best Band,' and "Across the Water" got 'Album of the Year.'

By 1995, it was time for the "unofficial" members of the band to move on. The funny thing is, they didn't leave just because of their commitment to IQ. John and Martin joined John Wetton's band for his tour. Martin did stick around long enough to appear on one track from the 1996 EP "Once or Twice," but Mike Torr was brought in as the new keyboardist. Steve Hunt came in to fill the bass slot. This lineup stayed intact for 1997's "Somersault." This album was also an opportunity for the band to go independent. They had a friendly split with GEP, and did "Somersault" on their own. It was distributed by Steve Rothery's label, Dorian Music. This is also the point where the critical accolades start to fade. "Somersault" did not generate the type of enthusiasm the first albums had enjoyed. However, the live shows were still going strong. To capitalize on that, "As Daylight Fades" was released in 1998.

Shortly after the release of the live album, it was time for another lineup change. As luck would have it, Martin Orford was able to take his old spot back. By the time they were ready to get back to the studio, John Jowitt had also returned to complete the 'classic' JADIS lineup. In 2000, "Understand" was released. The IQ faction would never leave the ranks again.

JADIS released a box set in 2001 (largely made up of re-mastered versions of the previous EP tracks), another live disc, a third EP, a DVD, and continued to record studio albums. Comparisons to IQ are obvious, but the music tends to be more upbeat, and guitar driven. The fact that they are busy with other projects, and no longer are the critics' darlings does not seem to deter them. The band appears to be going as strong as ever. 

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

Thanks Magal

Ju-Par Universal Orchestra - Soul-Jazz, Funk (USA)

In 1976, John "Juney" Garrett and Richard Parker launched Ju-Par Records in Detroit and immediately arranged for distribution to be handled by the giant Motown empire, an association that lasted through 3 albums before ceasing the arrangement. One of those albums was the one you see here converted to CD format with the same title - Mooves & Grooves - by an aggregation assembled by Garret and Parker they named The Ju-Par Universal Orchestra.

This assembly consisted of guitarist Phil Upchurch (who had a 1961 # 29 Billboard Pop Hot 100 hit with You Can't Sit Down, Part 2 as The Philip Upchurch Combo for the small Boyd label), trumpeters Art Hayle and Murray Watson, tenor/baritone saxophonist Ken Soderdlom, flutist Rich Rudoll, trombonist Ralph Craig, bassist Lou Satterfield, keyboardist (and producer-arranger) Dick Boyell, percussionist Derf Walker, drummer Quinton Joseph, and vocalists Kitty and Vivian Haywood and Bonnie Herman.

As a vinyl LP the contents were: A1. Funky Music (3:15); A2. Beauty And The Beast (3:00); A3. Time (3:08); A4. Chicago Calypso (3:22); B1. Mocha Velvet (4:18); B2. Is Anyone Listening? (3:12); B3. Flute Salad (4:47); B4. Gotta Get-A-Way (3:52). As a CD converted by Traffic Entertainment Group the same order runs 1 to 8. Sleeve notes are by John Edwards, WJLB Detroit radio host of "Jazz on A.M."

In June-July 1977 as single from the album saw Funky Music go to # 32 R&B and # 101 Hot 100 Bubble Under as Ju-Par 8002 b/w Time. That appears to be the only single released by the group, and since both sides are part of the CD, that will certainly please completist hits collectors. Short on lyrics, it most definitely is funky, but personally, I think if the Djs had flipped it over now and then, the B-side, Time, would have become a much bigger hit for the group. Beauty And The Beast and Flute Salad would have made another great paring as a single.

Morphine - Alternative Rock (USA)

Morphine was an American alternative rock group formed by Mark Sandman, Dana Colley, and Jerome Deupree in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1989. After five successful albums and extensive touring, they disbanded in 1999 after frontman Sandman died of a heart attack. Founding members have reformed into the band Vapors of Morphine, maintaining much of the original style and sound.

Morphine combined blues and jazz elements with more traditional rock arrangements, giving the band an unusual sound. Sandman sang distinctively in a "deep, laid-back croon",[1] and his songwriting featured a prominent beat influence. The band themselves coined the label "low rock" to describe their music, which involved "a minimalist, low-end sound that could have easily become a gimmick: a "power trio" not built around the sound of an electric guitar. Instead, with sly intelligence, Morphine expanded its offbeat vocabulary on each album."[2]

The band enjoyed positive critical appraisal, but met with mixed results commercially. In the United States the band was embraced and promoted by the indie rock community, including public and college radio stations and MTV's 120 Minutes, which the band once guest-hosted, but received little support from commercial rock radio and other music television programs. This limited their mainstream exposure and support in their home country, while internationally they enjoyed high-profile success, especially in Belgium, Portugal, France and Australia.

Thanks Magal

quinta-feira, 17 de agosto de 2017

Jackson Browne - Folk Rock (USA)

Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded songs such as "These Days", "The Pretender", "Running on Empty", "Lawyers in Love", "Doctor My Eyes", "Take It Easy", "For a Rocker", and "Somebody's Baby". In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

Thanks Magal

Keith Hudson - The Dark Prince of Reggae (Jamaica)

Keith Hudson aka the "Dark Prince of Reggae" (1946 – 14 November 1984),[1] was a Jamaican reggae artist and record producer. He is known for his influence on the Dub movement. In 1976 he moved to New York City and signed a four-year contract with Virgin Records, the first release being the soul-influenced album, Too Expensive, which was poorly received by critics and didn't sell well. Hudson returned to reggae with the "(Jonah) Come Out Now" single, released under the pseudonym Lloyd Linberg, and Virgin terminated his contract. Hudson then started a new label of his own, Joint. He resumed working with the Soul Syndicate, who had backed him on many of his best recordings in Jamaica. His album Rasta Communication (1978), which had been preceded by its issue on dub as Brand, was well received by a wider audience and is considered a roots reggae classic. It was followed by Nuh Skin Up Dub and its vocal counterpart From One Extreme to Another in 1979. Hudson also released a deejay album by Militant Barry based on the Brand rhythms, Green Valley. By the early 1980s, he was considerably out of step with modern trends in "dancehall" music. He reverted to his classic rhythms for his next to last album Playing It Cool (1981), recording new vocals on heavily overdubbed mixes of the earlier tunes. He released one final album in 1982, Steaming Jungle, which attracted little attention. It was reported in 1984 that he was once more working with Aston and Carlton Barrett, who had played on Pick a Dub and Torch of Freedom. Hudson was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 1984, and appeared to be responding well to treatment, but on the morning of 14 November he complained of stomach pains, collapsed and died.

Jack DeJohnette, John Patitucci & Danilo Perez - Jazz

At first glance it might appear that Jack DeJohnette’s Music We Are is simply a jazz piano trio recording, albeit one that has a compelling lineup since the other players include pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci. That said, appearances can be, and in this case are certainly, deceiving. These musicians have all played together before in other contexts: DeJohnette and Patitucci have worked together on a pair of Steve Khan’s recordings, while Perez and Patitucci are members of Wayne Shorter’s quartet. The music here ranges widely. One highlight among many is the straight-ahead Latinized modern jazz of “Cobilla.” Here Patitucci’s upper-register playing on the electric bass is nothing short of startling but is balanced by the multi-layered, double-timed percussive attack by DeJohnette as Perez comps large chords inside the syncopation. The opening cut is the delightfully playful and inventive “Tango African,” on which DeJohnette and Patitucci multi-track more than one instrument -- in the former case it’s the melodica on top of drums, in the latter it’s electric bass over an upright one. Perez stretches the melodica’s simple melody, harmonically enhancing it while responding in sprightly ways to the rhythm section’s dancelike vibe. But then there’s the great improvisational flavor on this record as well: “Seventh D” is a piece DeJohnette has recorded before but here it appears in two movements. The first is a gorgeous Latin groove with Perez showcasing his contrapuntal post-bop chops taking the melody and knotting it tightly while swinging the entire way; in the second part, it’s Patitucci's chance to solo on some of the same themes articulated earlier, with double-timed comps by Perez in polyrhythmic ways as DeJohnette pushes both with his trademark-style double tom-tom attack. “Panama Viejo” is an improvisational ballad with Patitucci’s arco work articulating a melancholy melody as Perez improvises on the chord structure of the piece and DeJohnette shimmers his cymbals and hi-hat to create a timelessness and space in the proceedings. This is a solidly enjoyable yet very expansive take on the piano trio format. It was obviously a blast to record it as well. This is evidenced by the bonus DVD that includes a 20-minute documentary on the making of the album.

Thanks Magal

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