30 July 2006


29 July 2006

The Kings Of Rhythm featuring Ike Turner - The Sun Sessions

The Sun sessions are memorable for Rocket 88 alone (not on this CD) but Ike brought more songs to Sam Phillips. The tracks on this CD are sometimes unreleased or alternates, 1 from the 1951 session that also produced Rocket 88. Many tracks from 1953 and 1954, from the same time as the Rhythm Rockin Blues album, other tracks from 1958: just after the Federal sessions (tracklist).
Great vocals by Billy "The Kid" Emmerson, Tommy Hodge, Johnny O'Neil, Raymond Hill, Ike himself and Bonnie, his then girlfriend (who could play piano, freeing Ike's hands to take up the guitar. Bless you my dear!), also a couple of instrumentals.
'Nuff said. The man has even a website and still performs with a new bunch of Kings: IkeTurner.com.
Varèse Sarabande Records 2001

The Kings Of Rhythm featuring Ike Turner - The Sun Sessions
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Fontella Bass - The Very Best Of

"The very best of" is arguable but it's good stuff for sure. This album is one of those cute 'Chess' digipacks with good linernotes, pictures and great selection of music all for a decent price. It's also 'just' the Chess music, so you won't find colaborations with the Turners or her later work with hubby Lester Bowie with The Art Ensemble Of Chicago.
We all know Fontella Bass for her smash hit Rescue Me, the Chess attempt to break Motown's monopoly on hit parade success. Rescue Me also became a source of trouble as Bass didn't get credits for co-authoring the song and ultimately left the label, without ever parallelling that success.
What this compilation proves is that Fontella Bass is a lot greater and more versatile than I thought, knowing only 2, maybe 3 songs, the same ones you always find on cheap soul/60's compilations. She knows her way with jazz, soul and blues and turns all this into something to her own advantage.
You'll get 25 tracks of which the last 3 are duets with Bobby McClure.
Universal / Island 2006

Fontella Bass - The Very Best Of
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28 July 2006

Link Wray & The Wraymen - Slinky! The Epic Sessions '58 - '61

Legendary guitar master part so-many. If you enjoyed the Shadows perhaps you're ready for this, instrumental guitar driven rock 'n' roll (a sax and some vocals here and there) by one of the fathers of rock guitar-playing, superb in it's straightforward 'simplicity'.
If the tunes on this album sound familiar you could be right, Link covered some songs with his Wraymen but has been covered uncountable times by kids in a garage (and other serious musicians).
These are the early works of Link Wray including a couple of hits (tracklist) although not the earliest works and not the hit: when you see 'Ramble' it's not a typo, he was signed by Epic as a result of the success of 'Rumble' (an instrumental banned on radio, can you believe it?).
It's a 2CD, 46 tracks, booklet with good text and pictures, added with some recording info per song. Link is incredibly cool!
Sundazed Music / Sony Music Special Products 2002

Link Wray & The Wraymen - Slinky! The Epic Sessions '58 - '61 (100 + 45 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Soul: You Better Believe It! Vol. 2

Volume 2 to yesterday's post but what a world of difference!
For starters, this compilation has as subtitle: "Rare & modern soul gems from the vaults of Atco, Atlantic, Cotillion and Warner Bros. 1967 - 1979" (there are differences, just look closely), it has only 2 tracks released before 1970 and also a few never (properly) released tracks.
Volume 2 is not brought out by Warner but by Rhino and the 'thanks' list of compiler Richard Searling is twice as long as on volume 1, he's been very busy making friends in the 2 years between both releases apparantly.
Other than that they're reciprocal albums; like one, you'll like the other (tracklist).
Rhino / Warner Music 2006

You Better Believe It! Vol. 2 (100 + 4 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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27 July 2006

You Can Count On Me!

"City Soul Sound & Jazz Licks for Hipsters" the subtitles of the Manifesto Of Groove serie are just as good as the individual volumes.
For those of you who've been counting with me: this is indeed volume 6.
Golden selection again (tracklist), by the team of DJs that compiled the first volume.
"Can't wait for the next BROWN SUGAR bomb!"Brown Sugar logo
Brown Sugar Records / ZYX Music 2003

You Can Count On Me! (100 + 0.69 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Soul: You Better Believe It!

"Rare & modern soul gems from the vaults of Atlantic, Atco Cotillion, Reprise and Warner Bros. 1967 - 1978".
Seventies soul is a little slicker than it's 60's variety (all tracks but 3 from 1970 or later, Aretha, Archie and Dynells added for better sales?). See the tracklist as ultimate inspiration to get this CD. Atlantic et al sit on an incredible mountain of soul recordings so the quality of their output doesn't have to be bad and isn't with this CD (or it's volume 2, perhaps tomorrow). Good bunch of songs, compilation (and notes) by Richard Searling.
Booklet has short info on each track and release notes, the whole text is more 'EMI like' than of 'Ace quality', if you catch my drift.
Warner Music 2004

You Better Believe It! (100 + 2 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Aside: Donny Hathaway fans probably want to check this out for the alt take of 'Love Love Love', a 'till 2004 unknown 'monitor mix' of the song, slightly different from the 'original'.

26 July 2006

No heavy (up)load

I suffer from a lack of uploads lately. It's because I'm busy with a PROJECT.
No promises, no further info but I hope to enlighten you, my dear readers-cum-leechers, soon.

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

I suppose you're familiar with that beautiful movie Ghost World with that even more beautiful soundtrack? Collecting bakelite 78 rpm records is an important aspect of the movie and it's too of this 2CD set. Filmdirector Terry Zwigoff has it in common with coverartist Robert Crumb for example.
First the package: excellent except it's a bit hard to get the CDs from their holders (store them in sleeves next to the booklet), the kind people from Amazon have a picture: click.
Second: the book (again click) is an essay about record collecting with some hilarious examples of other collectors too and contains a comic strip by Crumb. Criticism here is that readability doesn't improve with recordlabels being printed in the middle of the page.
The soundquality then: decent to incredibly bad. The songs are taken from bakelite discs, quite often recored without electrical equipment, pressed badly and played often. The sound's been remastered and filtered but they've made the good decision to keep the focus on the music primarily and sound improvements only when it didn't interfere with the music.
The music finally is quite spectacular. Many of the songs you hear on this set have only one (1) known copy left, sometimes only a testpressing. The artists are all from good quality, the music diverse: country, blues, gospel. "46 super rarities - classic performances of early blues and old country music from the 1920's and 30's" is the slogan and although it's no real alternative to actually owning the records, it's fantastic to get to hear these artists.
Yazoo records 2006

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of (100 + 89 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Aside: What about Ghost World OST? When I started this blog you could find that one on many places out there and I made the very conscious (but hard) decision not to up it, in stead I upped Lionel Belasco. I'll have a look and see if I can locate my GW copy and put that up sometime.

25 July 2006

Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm - Trailblazer

albumcover Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm - Trailblazer
Pre-Tina Kings Of Rhythm, more to the point: if you liked the Rhythm Rockin' Blues album you're going to like this one too. Where Rhythm Rockin' is mainly from 1954, the recordings on Trailblazer are from 1956 and 1957 for the Federal label.
Ike gives his band a commercial treat on some of the songs, you can clearly hear contemporary influences like the Coasters and Bill Justis who probably had a hit around then. Most songs are sung by Billy Gayles and you can also hear Jackie Brenston who returned to the Kings after leaving with Rocket 88 (and who has a voice not unlike his baritone sax).
This CD was released in 1991 and has a booklet to prove it: single folded paper (reasonably informative). Afaik have these songs never been released again so you might find it difficult to obtain a copy of this CD although it's worth putting some effort in imho. Splendid rock 'n' roll!
Charly Records / Snapper Music 1991 (the latter seems to be the parent company and does have some Ike Turner in it's assortment, use search)

Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm - Trailblazer
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Bettye LaVette - Take Another Piece Of My Heart

albumcover Bettye LaVette - Take Another Piece Of My Heart
More Bettye, the grande dame with the golden throat. Recordings from 1969 and 1970 for SSS International and Silver Fox records, made with the Dixie Flyers.
Most of the tracks (tracklist on Amazon) were released on single, contrary to the Atlantic sessions of Child of the Seventies, the chronological follow up on this set. A few unreleased songs and 2 duets with Hank Ballard. Great stuff but that goes for all her stuff, check the archives all the way back to January for more Bettye.
Small informative booklet with pictures.
Varèse Sarabande 2006

Bettye LaVette - Take Another Piece Of My Heart
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24 July 2006

The Shadows - Complete Singles As & Bs 1959 - 1980

The Shadows started out as the backing band of Cliff Richard, once a good rocker and popular teen-idol. Having gained recognition and fame on their own, the Shadows were on the frontier of British popular music and scored an impressive string of hits. Their influence on music in general and guitarplaying in particular is immense, Eric Clapton is good but Hank B. Marvin is god!
You'd probably expect only instrumentals and the majority is but Hank Marvin and Bruce Welsh could sing too and display it on a number of songs. Next to vocal experiments you can hear many guitar effects and studio dubs, all done tastefully though.
They continued to a breakup in 1968 and had some reunions in the 1970's, with sometimes a more contemporary sound, disco-like. A few songs later they split up with label EMI in 1980 and that's the end of this box set.
The booklet describes the Shadows career briefly and contains a lengthy section with descriptions of each song and it's context. A few pictures.
EMI 2004, 4CD, 86 songs

The Shadows - Complete Singles As & Bs 1959 - 1980
CD 1 (78 MB)
CD 2 (79 MB)
CD 3 (76 MB)
CD 4, Part 1 (100 MB)
CD 4, Part 2 (5 MB)
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21 July 2006

---- Gornisht ----

Nada! Social life for the next couple of days. Mail etc. will be read and probably answered but no uploads. Back after the weekend!

20 July 2006

Soul: The Dial Records Southern Soul Story

White country music publisher Buddy Killen met talented but unsuccessful black singer Joe Tex in 1961 in Nashville. The idea to merge the best of R&B and country into "country soul" required a new record label: Dial (not the jazz label). No success until 1964 but then they hit pay dirt with 'Hold What You've Got'.
The Dial records story is largely the story of Joe Tex but this CD features other great artists aswell: Bobby Marchan, Clarence Reid, Len Wade and Clarence "Frogman" Henry (tracklist).
Joe Tex died in 1982 and the label was sold in 1989 and that was the end of Dial.
The music's from 1962 to 1974, quite diverse with all the different artists. Booklet and sleeve excellent with info on the label and each artist and many pictures.
Kent / Ace 2003

The Dial Records Southern Soul Story (100 + 91 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Paint It Black

"From Jazz to Soul 'n' Funk to Blaxploitation", the Manifesto Of Groove vol. 5. Tracklist.
Blaxploitation, soul-jazz and jazz-funk: searching for the origins of hip hop on this volume.
Superb serie: musical selection, booklet and package.
Brown Sugar Records / ZYX music 20002

Paint It Black (100 + 5 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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19 July 2006

Ike Turner & His Kings Of Rhythm - A Black Man's Soul

Instrumental funk tracks cut by Ike and his band in between touring (recorded in various sessions and cities). Released in 1969, I can't determine if the recordings are from the same year too.
Most songs are really great (Funky Mule!), some sound a bit too tame to my taste. The original 1969 album comes here with 4 bonustracks, the last 3 with Tina. It's not just her voice that was missing, the whole band sounds more mean-muthafucka like.
It's great how the band makes it appear so seemingly easy to create a good funk tune and the three Tina tracks are more proof of what a great duo they were (musically).
Linernotes with bio on Ike and some of his recollections on the recordings and the era. Minimal, just the (foldout) inside of the cover and no further info on the songs.
Funky Delicacies / Tuff City 2003

Ike Turner & His Kings Of Rhythm - A Black Man's Soul
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Johan - Pergola

Johan is very likely the best Dutch band atm (guitarpop). They release an album every 5 years, this is their second from 2001 and indeed #3 appeared a couple of months ago. And they're with very likely the best label of the Netherlands, Excelsior. Read more on this 'Rockomondo' page and view the band's website. Seeing the reviews are in Dutch only, it's compulsory download for those of you who are not Dutch or Flemish (songs are in English). And buy their records. This post is not hype/ exaggeration/ written by British press.
Excelsior / Munich 2001

Johan - Pergola
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18 July 2006

Candi Staton - Outside In

Pop/dance/disco, this is the more disposable Candi Staton as opposed to the rock solid soul material. The songs, with hits 'Young Hearts Run Free' and 'You Got The Love', are showcases of Staton's extraordinary voice, which here and there disappears in electronics, unfortunately (tracklist).
This 1999 album is the worldly comeback of Candi Staton, in the nearly 2 decades before, she recorded mainly gospels. Released on dance label React (now Resist) it has a strong beat overall and also some remixes. 'Sex and the city' fans will know the 'You Got The Love' version because it's the final song on the SATC last episode.
Anyway, it's not too bad but just not my cup of Candi. You'll love the hits though.
React / Resist 1999

Candi Staton - Outside In
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Rock 'n' Roll: The Treniers - Go! Go! Go!

Proto rockers, the Trenier family business served as an inspiration for the country boy Bill Haley, not in the least by a spectaculair live show. Plenty of sex -naughty tongue in cheek style- and podium fun thanks to identical twins Claude and Cliff Trenier (one would do a song and walk off stage when almost immediately the other would enter from the other side) all made this a remarkable band. Cliff died in 1983, Claude in 2003, they've been musicians since both were kicked of college in 1941 (with a brief pause to serve during WW2). Already from musical parents (dad played trumpet and mum piano) the band was later joined by other brothers and nephews and most have also recorded as solo artists.
The songs are from the start as "The Treniers" from 1947 to 1953 (tracklist).
This release is from Proper music; good linernotes, discography and neat package with good pictures. Serie is called "A proper introduction to" and has many more interesting releases.
Proper 2004

The Treniers - Go! Go! Go!
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17 July 2006

REQUEST: Lee Roberts & The Sweaters - Soulin'

Arthur Conley is an all time great of the soul pantheon. With Otis Redding he created 'Sweet Soul Music', probably the biggest soul hit of the 60's and instant success + fame for Conley.
It didn't make him happy at all and the death of Redding had a great effect on him. A tour through Europe where he felt at ease, made him decide to stay in Brussels and Amsterdam. He officially changed his name to Lee Roberts and disappeared into anonymity, until he performed live in Amsterdam in 1980 when he was recognized as Arthur Conley.
He buried himself in the Netherlands in a region called 'de Achterhoek' (literally "backcorner"), in the village of Ruurlo, a beautiful, agricultural area, close to the German border.
Here Roberts found the peace to deploy himself again, where he worked and ultimately died in 2003.
The 1980 concert was recorded and finally released in 1988 on a label called Blue Shadow under the title Soulin', in limited numbers on LP. Can someone please upload a decent rip of this album to RS and mail the link? I really like to hear it and I'd also love to put it here on my blog: it was one of the readers of this blog that made me this curious in the first place (thx Jack!) and set me on the start of the trail.
It's about Lee Roberts & The Sweaters - Soulin' (Blue Shadow 4703, released: 1988), recorded live at Ganzenhoef in Amsterdam January 6th 1980.

Ambient: Compounds + Elements - An Introduction To All Saints Records

Labelsampler. "All Saints Records was established in 1991 and is named after the street in West London" (label site), how anyone would confuse that with a girlband is a mystery to me! :-D
Anyway, take a look at the tracklist and you probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Vague stuff, good for the ears. Not the latest in electronic (sometimes no beat) music but a nice way for me to catch up with this kind of music and a good introduction to the label, and that's what it's all about. Music ranges from soundscapes via exotic via dance via minimalistic via trip-hop to weird. Refreshing.
It comes in a beautiful cardboard sleeve with poster and website.
All Saints Records / Rykodisc 2006

Compounds + Elements - An Introduction To All Saints Records (100 + 5 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
alt link for Part 2: Upld.sc
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Soul: Mama's Got A Bag Of Her Own

A nice fun soul compilation, unless you're heartbroken but even then the music's golden. Strictly female vocals, strictly 60's and 70's, strictly soulful (tracklist). Add a little bit of linernotes and recording info, a little artwork and the folks at EMI's were sensible enough to issue this without copy protection: you know it's good.
Especially if you know that this is sold at a neat price...
$tateside / EMI 2006

Mama's Got A Bag Of Her Own
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16 July 2006

Reggae: Lee 'Scratch' Perry & Friends - Upsetter Compact Set

The last Lee Perry on this blog, I reckon. There's been enough of the crazy Jamaican here (no really, check this, this and this and don't forget to look here and here but also here and here).
There's plenty more but I don't need it up here. If you're a Scratch fan by now go dig in the recordstore for nice stuff but listen everything before you buy.
What's this then? A compilation of full albums, 3 LPs on 2 CDs. 'Africa's Blood' (1973), 'Rhythm Shower' (1973) and 'Double Seven' (1974). The Rhythm Shower album is interesting because it's apparantly only been released in Jamaica.
The music is mostly "versioning" going toward "dub", many instrumentals and some toasting and DJ's. (oops I forgot, some killer tracks on Double 7)
Trojan Records 1988, decent booklet, 39 tracks.

Lee 'Scratch' Perry & Friends - Upsetter Compact Set (100 + 56 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Ike & Tina Turner - The Kent Years

The Kent years is a compilation of songs released on Kent and Modern Records recorded from 1964 to 1967, with a number of previously unreleased tracks. It's a good insight in the period with Ike's quick and dirty recording and producing but not definitive as he, true to his style, also released on other labels.
You'll hear a great variety of styles and different levels of quality. At the time of course, these were 'just' singles. Their main occupation was their live show.
Kent/Ace 2000, good booklet with pictures, 26 tracks.

Ike & Tina Turner - The Kent Years
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15 July 2006

Funk: Let There Be Funk!

"16 Thrillin' monstercuts from New Orleans to P-funk" aka The Manifesto Of Groove - Vol. 4!
Welcome to the "funk school of no compromise" (tracklist).
Brown Sugar Records / ZYX Music 2001

Let There Be Funk! (100 + 5 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Promo: Two Gallants - What The Toll Tells

Released 2006
9 Songs
Saddle Creek Records
Second album by American guitar & drum duo. They're young but sound like they've been playing in your favorite pub for years.

Two Gallants - What The Toll Tells

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi - Stabat Mater

There's no 'classical music' on this blog, plenty of classics yes and since I'm too young to have much memory of even the disco era I can say this blog is abundant with classical music but this is of a different category altogether.
The Stabat Mater is a religious text written in the 13th century and describes the suffering of Maria at the cross of her son. Not much fun in itself, therefore some musical backing wouldn't hurt. Over 400 composers have tried their hand in writing music for the text, from the 15th century to now, including J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Rossini and Verdi.
Pergolesi lived from 1710 to 1736 and his Stabat Mater, written when he was already terminally ill, is a highly emotional and beautiful composition. The reason you'll find it on this blog is because it's my favorite 'classical' (it's baroque actually, but never mind) music piece, in the best performance ever recorded.
Booklet contains some background in German, English, French and Italian (hopelessly outdated due to research on Pergolesi), the text of the Stabat Mater with translations in German, English and French, and some pictures of the performers.
I encourage you to doubt my opinion (I do know my stuff a little though): on the work, the composer and the performers; trust your own ears of course. I can't see other classical works appearing on this blog, so don't worry about that.
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado
Soprano: Margaret Marshall
Contralto (alt): Lucia Valentini Terrani
Organ: Leslie Pearson
"The Ultimate Stabat Mater Website" with indeed a lot of info: here.
Recording: 1985 for Polydor (Deutsche Grammophon) in DDD, ripped by exception @ 320 kbps.

Giovanni Batista Pergolesi - Stabat Mater
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Aside: Linernotes: "In order to preserve the natural timbre of orchestra and voices, noise from the wind motor of the positive organ has deliberately not been filtered out by electronic means." :-D

14 July 2006

The Ikettes - Fine Fine Fine

History started when Art Lassiter didn't appear on a recording session. Artettes became Ikettes and were a regular ingredient in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Infinitely touring and otherwise recording every year, performing 6 days a week and rehearsing the 7th (Ike Turner decided the looks and the choreography).
The Ikettes recorded under their own name on many different labels, many also owned by Ike. Tina was unique but The Ikettes could be duplicated; the original voices could be heard on the revue while a lip-synching quartet or trio would appear on tv and a 3rd set be touring somewhere else.
Some of the girls decided they were losing out on money being salaried members of the revue and they left the stable, forgetting it was Ike who owned the name Ikettes. As Mirettes (from their new label Mirwood) they continued to record, good stuff but little success.
The backbone of The Ikettes was Robbie Montgomery, Jessie Smith and Venetta Fields, other names include P.P. Arnold, Joshie Armstead, Bonnie Bramlett and Claudia Lennear, next to countless others.
The Ikettes were a good girlgroup at least but Ike Turner sometimes brought in some blues/rock influences that together with individual Ikette talent lift some of these songs far above regular girlgroup material. The bulk of the music is from 1965/'66, unfortunately not all the hits. It's an old Kent release with decent but thin linernotes and no pictures.
Kent/Ace 1992

The Ikettes - Fine Fine Fine
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Billie Holiday - The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes

'The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes' is a sturdy metalbox containing 6 CDs and a 50+ page book. The music's from the Verve period 1952 - 1959. A limited edition but I wouldn't be surprised if the CDs will become available separately at some point.
The book contains recording info like date and personnel, background information on Billie in the context of the music and many pictures of Lady Day. The price tag of 85 euro (my local shop, Amazon UK/US/DE: £19.97/ $69.98/ EUR 53,95) may seem a problem but divide that over 6 CDs or 100 songs and you'll see that it's actually a bargain.
The bad news: the CDs and book are fitted in a foldout jacket within the box which is very impractical. It also contains some 'artwork' of painted over photographs of Billie which are downright horrible. The box looks good but doesn't contain information for prospective buyers on the outside, so they glued a piece of paper on the back. It can be removed easily as it's done with a single dot of glue on the middle of the paper but that somehow gives it a bit of an amateurish look: you either have to remove it or glue it to the box firmly yourself.
In a picture:click, you see the box, book, paper from the back and some of it's artwork.
Nevertheless is this a box set that I can warmly recommend to Billie Holiday fans.
Verve 2005

Billie Holiday - The Complete Verve Studio Master Takes (between 77 and 93 MB each, 511 MB total)
CD 1
CD 2
CD 3
CD 4
CD 5
CD 6
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13 July 2006

Psychedelic Jazz & Funky Grooves

Compilation containing songs from 1968 - 1975 from Chess, rarities if you like because this material isn't the stuff you'd generally associate with Chess (although it has Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters too) (tracklist). The people that've been collecting the Manifesto of Groove discs will find this one entertaining too, it also has a mix of well known artists and obscure stuff.
The funk and jazz is most prevalent, the psychedelic part adds well and never gets annoying. Good stuff!
Chess/Universal/Island Records 2005

Psychedelic Jazz & Funky Grooves (100 + 4 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
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Folk: Harlan County USA, Songs Of The Coalminer's Struggle

Compilation from 2006, which is a bit odd as you can see this as the soundtrack to a 1976 documentary/ movie. Material on this CD has been released before on Rounder LPs from 1972 and 1984.
The documentary was about a 13 month strike in 1973 from the United Mine Workers, focused mainly on the women in the area. Coal as an economic commodity had it's ups and downs with effect on the population, leading to all sorts of strife and struggle.
The CD features some bitter folk music to reflect this. You'll hear big names like Merle Travis and Doc Watson but a large part is filled by artists from the scene; miners and children of miners.
Perhaps I should pretend that I knew all this and the purchase of this CD was a conscious decision to expand my music collection with another historically interesting piece of music. It wasn't though, I simply heard this CD being played in the store and was within 3 songs interested enough in the rest of the album to buy it. I'm not a folky, the strength and beauty of many songs is such that it's hard to walk away from.
Booklet contains background information on the history of the mining struggle and featured artists, few pictures.
Rounder Records 2006

Harlan County USA, Songs Of The Coalminer's Struggle
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UPDATE: If you like Hazel Dickens, you probably want to check out this post on Supreme Nothing.

12 July 2006

Promo: Scritti Politti - White Bread Black Beer

Released 2006
14 Songs
Rough Trade Records
Green Gartside is back: not as (post-)punk or hip-hop artist (or reggae/funk/whatever) but with something that's closer to the mid 80's stuff (but still not quite). It's a brandnew Scritti Politti incarnation in fact. 'Green Gartside' is now a 50-er but still has his Wiener Sängerknabe voice (kidding people, just kidding, you know what I mean, besides: I wouldn't want to insult those Austrian children ;-)) which makes this a genuine SP album. See what you think.

Link removed per request.

The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea

I'm not a real fan of The Fiery furnaces, I completely 'missed' their 2005 'Rehearsing My Choir' album, for example. I haven't even recovered from the Blueberry Boat (2004) experience yet. And already lies an even heavier task ahead of me with Bitter Tea.
Most of the music, lyrics and instrumentation by brother Matthew Friedberger, vocals by sister Eleanor Friedberger (which me likes very much), recorded in 2005.
Strange music, stranger than Blueberry Boat already was. Repeated listening unveils patterns and melodies, the electronic sound somehow feels less artificial after a while. But strange it remains, trust your own ears.
Fat Possum/Rough Trade 2006

The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
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Ike & Tina Turner - Don't Play Me Cheap / It's Gonna Work Out Fine

"This CD and it's companion The Soul Of Ike & Tina Turner / Dynamite contain most of the vocal performances recorded by Ike & Tina Turner for Juggy Murray's Sue label between 1960 and 1962".
The 2 albums on this CD were released in 1963 by which time the Turners were already moving towards other labels. When on the road for 11 months, Ike didn't want to be dependent on a label; he rather had recordings lying with several labels, including some of his own, to ensure a continuous stream of singles in support of their live act.
'Don't Play Me Cheap' will surprise compared to the 'Soul Of... / Dynamite' set. The music is more orchestrated than rockband style, calmer even, although undoubtly "Tina" of course (there's just no hiding a voice like hers). Makes an interesting comparison to the Spector production of River Deep Mountain High (1966).
The difference is apparent when the 'It's Gonna Work Out Fine' album starts with 'Gonna Find Me A Substitute', back to wellknown Ike & Tina territories.
$tateside/EMI 2004

Ike & Tina Turner - Don't Play Me Cheap / It's Gonna Work Out Fine
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11 July 2006

Blues: The Black Keys - Chulahoma

With 6 tracks this is not the new Black Keys album, this is an EP with a double purpose, if you like.
First it's a tribute to David 'Junior' Kimbrough, bluesartist, who's the writer of the 6 tracks. The Black Keys have covered Junior Kimbrough before, 1 song each on their debut and 2nd album ('Everywhere I Go' on Thickfreakness).
Junior Kimbrough recorded for Fat Possum too, he died in 1998.
The second 'purpose' of this EP is a farewell to Fat Possum. Their new label is Nonesuch records and the new album's called Magic Potion.
Is the music worth it? I think so, it's much more 'blues' than 'rock' and they do justice to the legacy of Junior Kimbrough. Just listen to the album, including track 7...
Fat Possum Records 2006

The Black Keys - Chulahoma
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

UPDATE: I'm not sure if this info is still relevant and I assume it's not relevant at all for people in N. America: this EP is available as import for something like 18 euro and also as 'regular' release for roughly 10 euro.

Soul: Spencer Wiggins - The Goldwax Years

More soul from Goldwax from another fine singer (before: James Carr). There's some spectacular tidbit on Spencer Wiggins' youth: he lived in Memphis close to other soul greats like Homer Banks and went to school on the Booker T Washington High School with people like Booker T Jones, William Bell, David Porter and Maurice White.
Wiggins signed with Goldwax in 1964 and released from 1965 to 1969 (when he signed with Fame, some Goldwax recordings were sold to Fame then and are not on this CD). Never really successful as he didn't have a manager.
In 1976 he decided to only do gospels (which he did in Al Green's studio in 1977 for example, never released) and he became a truckdriver in 1981, up to an early retirement in 2001. There are some recordings made in 1999 and 2002 but they've only seen local releases.
22 tracks digitally re-mastered by Ace, booklet excellent informative and a few pictures.
Ace/Kent 2006

Spencer Wiggins - The Goldwax Years
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10 July 2006

Promo: Love Wollberg - On The Heights Of Despair

Released 2006
11 Songs
Parkmaker via Konkurrent
Second album by this Swedish singer/songwriter. Vocals + guitar, there are other sounds. LW has a MySpace page and a website.
Deep and heavy stuff, the album title is a good indication of what to expect from the album, decidedly no party music.

Love Wollberg - On The Heights Of Despair
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60's collection: Quagmire Vol. 7

"60s Punk Groovers & Movers!!", regardless whether you call it rock 'n' roll, punk, psych or garage, it's just plain band fun from the 60's. 27 tracks, all unknown and from unknown bands. And even the latter is unclear, the linernotes only write about 'a band' (see comments, I've reproduced the entire linernotes).
American (I think, the label is Australian) underground music, Beatles inspired, 1965 - 1968. That's all I know and it's a bit of a pity as it would have been interesting to learn more about the artists and their world.
"Quagmire" is a serie of 8 CDs all filled with this kind of 60's music. This particular volume was recommended to me as particular psychedelic compared to the rest; I can't really say if it is. The other volumes are great fun too, some might be a bit hard to get by now but most are still available.
The linernotes are disappointing on this volume at least, the artwork is in a style of it's own (I think very ugly) but the soundquality is great.
Finest Hour Productions 2005

Quagmire Vol. 7
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Ike & Tina Turner - The Soul Of Ike And Tina / Dynamite

The history: Anna Mae Bullock met with Ike Turner somewhere in the late 50's. She became pregnant with a King of Rhythm but also impressed Ike with her singing. Not very much as she recorded only a few songs in 1958 but she was around for a recording session Ike had set up in 1960. Art Lassiter was to record 'A Fool In Love' but failed to show and Ike then recorded with 'Little Ann' as vocalist. This song landed Ike a deal with New York's Sue label. The money was spent on a house, the label refused to pay another advance 'till an album was ready and 'Tina', then the wife of Ike, was hauled out of the hospital, pregnant with their baby, to sing in the vocals of 'The Soul Of Ike And Tina'.
"The Artettes" became "The Ikettes" and "The Ike And Tina Turner Revue" was born: a touring monstrosity shaped after James Brown's show, playing gigs for 11 months in a row and recording the remaining time of the year.
This CD contains the first 2 LPs in a sensible fashion: no duplicate songs and a few not on LP released singles/B-sides as bonus.
Informative booklet with pictures/artwork, the material is from 1961 (The Soul Of...) and 1962 (Dynamite), the music: MINDBLOWING.
$tateside 2004

Ike & Tina Turner - The Soul Of Ike And Tina / Dynamite
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(In the memory of Telstar Ted's L.S.Bumblebee blog, thx for everything TT!)

UPDATE: I've discovered an error in the filename and ID3 tag of track 8: the title of the song should be "sLeepless" and NOT "sTeepless". Excuses.

09 July 2006

Cold Sweat

"From Jazz to Soul 'n' Funk to Blaxploitation". Does that ring a bell? This is volume 3 in the Manifesto Of Groove serie, a very favorite of mine. Well known tracks and artists and lesser/un- known tracks and artists (tracklist).
Compilation and linernotes by connoisseur Michael Möhring, the serie now consists of 8 volumes (check vol. 1, vol. 2 and vol. 7). Convincing enough I say to order this stuff, the die-hards go for the 2LP release as it contains even more music (2 tracks bonus).
Brown Sugar Records/ZYX Records 2001

Cold Sweat
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Blues: Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 5

"Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 In Chronological Order Vol. 5, 27 June 1940 to 12 December 1941"
Part 5/5.
Another big gap in recording dates (between this CD and the previous, on this CD 1 session in June '40, 1 in May '41 and a last on 12 December '41), more music from Memphis Minnie and Little Son Joe (only 2 with Joe's vocals, billed as 'Mr. Memphis Minnie').
Some great and famous tracks like 'Ma Rainey', 'Me And My Chauffeur Blues', 'Looking The World Over', the final session (9 tracks) interesting because of the use of an amplified guitar.
Memphis Minnie was a strong woman, literally, in the sense of capabilities (her guitar playing was as good as any male guitarist) and in her lyrics. Perhaps not an obvious example to feminists but there's enough in her music to be found that could qualify her as such. Consider all sorts of racial and sex issues of the time and appreciate that Memphis Minnie did not choose the most easy way to lead her life.
RST Records/Document Records 1991

Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 5
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

08 July 2006

Promo: Loose Fur - Born Again In the USA

Released 2006
10 Songs
Drag City Records
Project by Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Jim O'Rourke (all known from various other bands/projects, most noticeably Wilco).
Picture is from the album, promo came in a sleeve from Drag City.

Loose Fur - Born Again In the USA
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Blues: Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 4

"Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 In Chronological Order Vol. 4, 23 June 1938 to 6 february 1939"
Part 4/5, last part in the following days.
Only 1 recording date in 1938, unusual because of a mandoline present on the tracks. 2 recordingsessions in February 1939 in a very recognizable format: with 2 guitars (and drums). The second guitar is played by Ernest Lawlars, artist name Little Son Joe, Memphis Minnie's 3rd husband. They'd continue to work together 'till ill health forced them to stop more than a decade later. This CD has 6 tracks with Little Son Joe on vocals.
The 5 CDs from this serie are released by an Austrian label called RST Records, distributed via UK label Document Records. There are 4 CDs preceding this serie containing the period 1929 - 1934 through Document Records and a similar serie released on Wolf Records (Austria) with the postwar recordings 1944 - 1953 on 3 CDs. Actual availability unsure: see the Document (under 'Search') and Wolf (under 'Shop') websites for more details (and lots more other beautiful releases).
RST Records/Document Records 1991

Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 4
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Funk: Demon Fuzz - Afreaka!

What's this?!?! It starts with the cover already, a man carrying a knitted balaclava/ gimp mask. Then there's the title 'Afreaka!' with lots of connotations and possibly fantasies, added by the exclamation point. And finally the music.
It's a lot less mysterious when you read the linernotes of this 2005 re-issue of an original 1970 LP. The music isn't any less intriguing though. Funk for sure, jazz definitely, but rock, psychedelica, soul and a bunch of other influences too, all set in a sound that has it's home in the late 60's/ early 70's. There's vocals to be heard but extensive jamming too: 5 original album tracks of which 2 over 8 minutes and 2 over 9 minutes long.
Trust your own ears therefore, I can only say it's worth to be heard. This re-issue is remastered and sounds excellent. 5 original tracks + 3 bonus from an EP, over 50 minutes of musical afreakin!
Castle Music/Sanctuary Records 2005

Demon Fuzz - Afreaka!
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07 July 2006

Blues: Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 3

"Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 In Chronological Order Vol. 3, 9 June to 15 December 1937"
Part 3/5, next parts in the following days.
You may have noticed the time gap between volume 2 and 3: Memphis Minnie didn't record very often. The 9 June session is more music with (possibly) 'Black Bob' and 'Mr. Sheiks', 2 more sessions in June (6 + 1 takes) with piano and drums and a final session in December with piano, bass and clarinet (Arnett Nelson).
The music on this volume is fantastic, the general sound quality disappointing (varies greatly, some tracks are all right). I'm not one to complain about the white noise and the crackle but I feel the need to warn you, personally I'm only too happy to be able to actually listen to this music.
There are contemporary releases with most of this work in better quality and probably more accurate linernotes too, the enthousiast needs to do a bit of searching himself. Feel free to drop the results in the comments.
RST Records/Document Records 1991

Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 3
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Rock 'n' Roll: Ike Turner & His Kings Of Rhythm - Rhythm Rockin' Blues

"The legendary Modern recordings". Smart and musical creature Izear Luster Turner, leader of his band, recorded 'Rocket 88' (opening track of this CD) in 1950. It wasn't released under his own name but as 'Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats' on Chess and it's regarded by some as the first ever Rock 'n' roll hit.
Ike lost the band due to the success of that song and started to work for Modern as a session musician and talent scout and eventually also formed a new Kings Of Rhythm band, which would develop an awesome live reputation.
In Ike's youth, none less than 'Pinetop' Perkins has showed him how to play piano and Turner always saw himself as a piano player. Irony is that especially his guitar playing is now regarded as remarkable for the time. I also doubt whether Ike Turner was interested in 'inventing' the rock 'n' roll; I think he just wanted to score a hit.
The majority of the recordings on this CD are from 1954, featuring the Kings Of Rhythm as a backing band to some of Ike Turner's discoveries or Ike Turner himself (as 'Lover Boy'), some years before one Anna Mae Bullock was taken out for partying by her big sister. Will be continued... ;-)
Ace 1995, 21 tracks, linernotes on Ike Turner and other featured artists: excellent but less abundant than more recent Ace releases.

Ike Turner & His Kings Of Rhythm - Rhythm Rockin' Blues
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

06 July 2006

Promo: Radar Bros. - The Fallen Leave Pages

Released 2005
LP - CD/Vinyl
13 Songs
Merge Records (USA)
Chemikal Underground Records (EU) (2006)
Recorded at Skylab Phase III
In 2004 by Jim Putnam
(from the band's website)
Band from Los Angeles USA, this is their 4th long player apparantly.

Radar Bros. - The Fallen Leave Pages
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)


Having a good relationship with my local record store has many advantages and promo's are one of them. A promo: "Promotional copy - not for resale" is given to record stores to make them order the real CDs, a great way of testing new music. I like especially the 'not for resale' part. Most promo's are by relatively unknown bands, as yet unsuccessful, perhaps at the start of their career.
Might aswell put them on this blog, I thought. I've listened to them and decided not to buy the real album, else I'd have put that up here. I hope you do that too: if you hear something (promoted) on this blog you like, that you go out and purchase the music on-line or in a store. With these promo's I actually want you to go an extra mile: if you're enthousiastic about the music write the recordlabel, visit the artist's concert, tell your friends about it, etcetera. You never know what might tip the balance between unsuccessful attempt and megahit.
One more request: if you're a musical daredevil and did download such a promo, even found the time to listen to it, could you write a comment about what you heard and thought about it? Is it Hit or Shit? I'd appreciate that very much and perhaps your comment makes a difference for somebody else.

Hardkandy - Last To Leave

Last couple of days we've had an official heatwave in the Netherlands; that is our meteorologists agreed with the general population that it was, indeed, bloody hot. The definition for the Netherlands is 5 consecutive days with a temperature of more than 25 degree Celsius with in those 5 days, at least 3 days over 30 degree Celsius.
Luckily for us the temperature has dropped now to a mild 24 degree so we can have (and will have, according to said meteorologists) another heatwave in the next few days.
So when in the evening the temperature has dropped a little and direct sunlight is gone, when drinking a glass of wine doesn't have the immediate effect of a hammerblow on the head, I'd like to have a soundtrack for a summer's eve. In comes Hardkandy. You won't fall asleep, in fact it's even danceable but most important: it's cool music (with a warm feel).
It still sucks to have to get up for a new bottle but can't blame that on the heatwave: it's an all year round curse. Unlike CD players, refrigerators don't come with a repeat button.
Catskills Records 2005

Hardkandy - Last To Leave
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)

Blues: Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 2

"Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 In Chronological Order Vol. 2, 16 December 1935 to 12 November 1936"
Part 2/5, next parts in the following days.
Minnie accompanied by a band: piano and (standing) bass, even a trumpet on the last session. Piano played by 'Black Bob' (Hudson?). Especially the last 7 tracks with 'Mr. Sheiks' (Alfred Bell) on trumpet are interesting as you can hear 'Swing' in the Memphis Minnie songs. You'll also find a song with Bumble Bee Slim on this disc.
I urge people to buy the music they like from this blog but that may prove a little difficult here: most volumes are still available but volume 2 is getting rare. Distributor Document only offers a download version on their website but webshops and specialized blues record stores may have still a CD available.
RST Records/Document Records 1991

Memphis Minnie - Complete Recorded Works 1935 - 1941 Vol. 1 (100 + 1 MB)
Part 1
Part 2
(pass: CaesarTjalbo)