Wednesday, 30 January, 2008

Christian Marclay & Günter Müller - Live Improvisations (1994)

"All live improvisations should be this much fun. This live date between turntablist and electronic weirdmeister Christian Marclay and percussionist and electronics tinkerer Günter Müller is what the art of improvisation is supposed to be: fun, continually compelling textually, and inspired. While many intellectuals have made wild pronouncements about Marclay and his art -- and it is art, make no mistake -- writing all sorts of blather about how he strips the adult century bare by his cutting up of vinyl records and pasting them together with parts from other vinyl records, they never seem to mention that these sound collages of his are charming, very human, and quite often intentionally hilarious. When Marclay is paired with a mischievous percussionist like Müller, anything can happen and always does. Here, swathes of "beautiful music" from the likes of the Bert Kamphert Singers and Orchestra are layered against throbbing drum machines and slamming garbage can lids. There are snippets from the Wizard of Oz recordings, laid in swathes against thundering tom toms and shimmering cymbals, and then scratched against backwards recordings of "Diddy Wah Diddy" done by a bubblegum teen choir as sheets of glass shatter and the sounds of John Wayne movie gunshots punctuate the mix. Yeah, yeah. Marclay and Müller may sift through the detritus of dead cultural artifacts to make something new, but it's not to make a political statement -- it's because it sounds cool as hell". Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

01. Piñata
02. Dea ex machina
03. Pfiff
04. Sunny-side up
05. Sore Eros
06. Je ne vous oblierai jamais
07. The ransom note
08. Dreh-moment
09. Love gasoline
10. Vitalium
11. A rose is a rose is a rose...
12. Rififi
13. Arrivederci

Günter Müller: drums, electronics
Christian Marclay: turntables, records

Recorded live in France, Germany and Switzerland 1992-1993.
Design and collages by Christian Marclay. Type design by Tom Recchion.


Saturday, 26 January, 2008

Anthologie Musicale de la Péninsule Arabique Vol. 4: Le Chant des Femmes

Anthologie Musicale De La Péninsule Arabique
Vol. 4: Le Chant des Femmes
A Musical Anthology of the Arabian Peninsula
Vol. 4: Women's Songs

Simon Jargy Collection
Recorded in 1968-1990
Released in 1994, Disques VDE-Gallo

01-02. Chants de mer (Sea Songs)
03-14. Chants de mariage (Wedding Songs)
15-19. Chans de l'enfance et du travail (Childhood and Working Songs)


Friday, 25 January, 2008

Fred Wesley & the J.B.'s Band - Doing it to Death (1973)

"In spite of James Brown's 1974 hit "The Payback" and his future canonization in rap, 1973's Doing It to Death was, as the title now suggests, the sound of James Brown obsessing the almighty funk into commercial irrelevance. His tight circle of musicians was still creating a brand of R&B as distinct as it was influential. (You can hear it in the music of artists as disparate as Nigeria's Fela and Germany's Can.) But on his home turf, James was already competing with post-Superfly wah-wah pedal hoppers and the pre-disco Philly sound. So it's not surprising that he soaked up loose change from his pre-sold followers with cut-'n-press JB's albums like this one on his indie label, People.

Though composed by bandleader Fred Wesley and a bigger hit than any single released by James under his own name that year, the talky 10-minute title cut is still pure Godfather. And the unexpectedly solid album constructed around it is every bit a classically Jamesian combination of loose lip and tight ship. The boss man's mug is missing from the sleeve, but if there's any doubt who's in charge, just listen to the way he introduces the bass solo on "More Peas," relinquishing the groove only after giving the band notice that "if he lose the funk we gotta chunk him out."

The theme song, "You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks and I'll Be Straight," is ironic given James' re-election endorsement of the vulnerable funky president. JB had hoped to pressure Nixon for a Martin Luther King holiday ("You can't change a house from the outside," he'd told hecklers at the Apollo). By '73, he just wanted his 40 acres. Instead, he got a call from the IRS and belated thanks "for inventing modern music" some 23 years later". Peter S. Scholtes

"An incredible album -- a landmark piece of funk that nobody should be without, funk fan or not! The album is the second to feature James Brown's famous backing combo of the early 70s -- and unlike their first one, which was really more of a collection of singles, this album has the group playing hard, long, and loud, in the free funk improvisational mode that was James' real contribution to the music at the time. The tracks are all long, with James at the forefront, egging the band on with shouts and comments -- but also letting them open up large instrumentally, playing in a mode that's as much jazz as it is funky soul. The whole thing's peppered with some nice shorter seques between tracks -- but the long cuts are the winners, and are some of the best funk ever recorded" Dusty Groove America

1 - Introduction to the J.B.'s (0:23)
2 - Doing it to Death - Parts 1 & 2 (9:49)
3 - You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks and I'll Be Straight (0:14)
4 - More Peas (8:16)
5 - La Di Da La Di Day (5:32)
6 - You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks and I'll Be Straight (0:14)
7 - Sucker (8:00)
8 - You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks and I'll Be Straight (6:22)

James Brown - lead vocal
Fred Wesley - trombone
Darryl "Hasaan" Jamison - trumpet
Jerone "Jasaan" Sanford - trumpet
Ike Oakley - trumpet
St. Clair Pinckney - tenor saxophone
Eldee Williams - tenor saxophone
John "Jabo" Starks - drums
Jimmy Nolen - guitar
Hearlon "Cheese" Martin - guitar
Fred Thomas - bass
Maceo Parker - alto saxophone

back again

Tuesday, 22 January, 2008

Shelley Hirsch - O Little Town of East New York (1995)

"Besides her improvisations and collaborations, Hirsch writes and performs her own original compositions, amongst them three radio-plays: #39 (based on a text by Angela Carter), The Vidzer Family, and O Little Town of East New York. The Vidzer Family portrays a Jewish family with roots in Russia, who travelled to South America and ended up in Brooklyn's East New York in the 'sixties. O Little Town of East New York is a sort of sequel to it. It is a semi-autobiographical docu-musical about growing up in mid-century East New York. Hirsch recreates and inhabits remembered environments, situations and characters. She evokes the ethnically diverse neighbourhood: her Russian schoolmate's living room; the home of her own working class Jewish family; the synagogue; high school; the rallies against the Vietnam War; drugs. It's a hilarious, nostalgic, touching composition, merging avant and pop sensibilities. Critics praised her "dazzling technique" as well as her "wild, beautiful energy". The piece (later released on Tzadik) won the prestigious Prix Futura in Berlin (1993)".

"Hirsch's creative transformations of kitschy fragments and her skilled shaping of multiple dimensions suggest a quality central to the surrealist doctrine, the merveilleux: "a rupture in the order of reality." Her methods go beyond conventional definitions of composition and of performance. By violating logical, linear narrative forms, by opposing elements from our known world in disturbing ways, she plunges herself, and her audience, into collective reminiscences so visceral that they seem almost visual---a surreal accomplishment in itself". Anne Le Baron in Reflections on Surrealism in Postmodern Music.

David Weinstein: programming, sampling, performer.
Shelley Hirsch: lyre, programming, main performer, sampling, vocals.

megaupload |OR| rapidshare part1 : part2

Bravo Clippings #23

A small sample of Jane McDevitt's flickr collection of
East European matchboxes.

Sunday, 20 January, 2008

V/A - Pioneers of Electronic Music

In 1950, the Columbia University Music Department requisitioned a tape recorder to use in teaching and for recording concerts. In 1951, the first tape recorder arrived, an Ampex 400, and Vladimir Ussachevsky, then a junior faculty member, was assigned a job that no one else wanted: the care of the tape recorder. This job was to have important consequences for Ussachevsky and the medium he developed. Electronic music was born.

Over the next ten years, Ussachevsky and his collaborators established the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, which Ussachevsky directed for twenty years. It was the first large electronic music center in the United States, thanks to the path-breaking support of the Rockefeller Foundation and encouragement from two of the country’s leading universities. The Center became one of the best-known and most prolific sources of electronic music in the world. All of the music on this historic reissue is the result of the pioneering work of the Center and its composers.

The guest composers and Columbia-associated composers who have produced pieces at the Center include Bülent Arel, Luciano Berio, Mario Davidovsky, Jacob Druckman, Arthur Kreiger, Daria Semegen, Pril Smiley, and Edgard Varèse. Ussachevsky’s own students at the Center included Jon Appleton, Wendy Carlos, Charles Dodge, Robert Moog, Alice Shields, Harvey Sollberger, and Charles Wuorinen. Of the seven composers most closely associated with the Center from its early years, six are present on this disc.

01. Vladimir Ussachevsky - Sonic Contours (1952)
02. Otto Luening - Low Speed (1952)
03. Otto Luening - Invention in Twelve Tones (1952)
04. Otto Luening - Fantasy in Space (1952)
05. Otto Luening/Vladimir Ussachevsky - Incantation (1953)
06. Otto Luening - Moonflight (1968)
07. Vladimir Ussachevsky - Piece for a Tape Recorder (1956)
08. Pril Smiley - Kolyosa (1970)
09. Bulent Arel - Stereo Electronic Music #2 (1970)
10. Vladimir Ussachevsky - Computer Piece #1 (1968)
11. Vladimir Ussachevsky - Two Sketches for a Computer Piece #1 (1971)
12. Vladimir Ussachevsky - Two Sketches for a Computer Piece #2 (1971)
13. Mario Davidovsky - Synchronisms #5 (1969)
14. Alice Shields - The Transformation of Ani (1970)


Wednesday, 16 January, 2008

Arnold Dreyblatt & The Orchestra of Excited Strings - Nodal Excitation (1982)

"Nodal Excitation is a reissue of a key minimalist masterwork. Dreyblatt's documentation in the past has been slim, with albums on Hat Art, Tzadik and (shortly) Table of the Elements. This album features a 39 minute performance by Arnold's group known as The Orchestra of Excited Strings, recorded in 1981/82. Dreyblatt only had one record (Nodal Excitation, on the mostly post-AACM jazz label India Navigation), before he packed and moved to Berlin, were he concentrated on other activities, making only 2 more records over the next 10 years. But for those who caught the action, Arnold was the man. He was more rock than any of the other minimalists combined, and he was also the only one to really tap into that massive proto-minimal sound that Conrad had squelched out of his tin-contact mic violin in the early 60s. Indeed, in the early 70s, after being in school in Buffalo, where Conrad taught, Dreyblatt moved into Manhattan to work for LaMonte Young, where he witnessed first hand, and listened first-ear to those legendary recordings of the Theatre of Eternal Music. He got interested in long string sounds, and bought a bass that he wired with piano wire. By hitting the strings instead of bowing them, Dreyblatt was able to get those ringing overtones, but he also had added something new: pure rhythm...So what you have here is Dreyblatt's freshman record, a slice of minimal history that is as potent now, if not more, as it was then. It was a lighthouse that was aiming the wrong way when the tugboat came by, but now it's shining right in your face." - Drag City Press Release

Arnold Dreyblatt, Michael Hauenstein: Bass Viols with Excited Strings
Peter Phillips: Midget Upright Pianoforte
Kraig Hill: Portable Pipe Organ
Greg Lewis: Hurdy Gurdy

Recorded & Mixed Dec. 81/Jan. 82
First Release in 1982. Re-release in 1998.


Monday, 14 January, 2008

Bravo Clippings #22

Strange Adventures #85, DC Comics, Oct 1957
John Broome: script
Gil Kane: pencils
Joe Giella: inks

Miles Davis - Tutu (1986)

In 1985, Miles Davis' thirty year association with Columbia Records came to an end and the jazz legend, who managed to reinvent jazz a dozen times over managed to reinvent the price value of jazz recording contracts when he signed with Warner Brothers. What Davis unfortunately didn't seem to do was read past the bottom line and his royalties for songwriting would lie with Warner Brothers, not with him. As a result, Davis refused to compose anything on his own and instead brought his former bass player Marcus Miller to compose for him. Miller wrote compositions for Davis and set up a framework in which the trumpeter could solo. The first album resulting from this collaboration, "Tutu", proves to be one of the great records of Davis' career, and like "Sketches of Spain" before it, provides a powerful launching pad for Davis and coaxes out of him one of his best performances.

Musically, the album is guaranteed to alienate Davis fans everywhere -- while he'd abandoned acoustic instruments as the only way to go in the '60s, this album was an embracing of synthesizers, drum machines, and electric instruments, even more so than his previous records were. Miller performed all the electric and acoustic instruments (including bass guitar, electric guitar, at least some live drums, soprano sax, bass clarinet and synthesizers) with additional contributions in synth programming from Ron Miles and Adam Holzman and one track ("Backyard Ritual") where George Duke assumes the framing role. Most important is that Davis, who sometimes seemed a bit unengaged with his own music on his later recordings, is full of fire and passion-- blows powerfully in a number of different moods, be it passion and fir ("Tutu"), a deep romanticism and yearning ("Portia"), funky explosiveness ("Splatch") or bouncey ecstacy ("Perfect Way").

For the purists who claim it's not jazz if it has electric instruments, programmed beats, or synthesizers -- skip this, you'll find nothing to like and nothing I say will convince you otherwise, even though this album is one of the best of its form. For those who question bringing in Miller to frame Davis and would make the statement this is a Marcus Miller record thinly veiled as a Miles Davis album-- remember that Gil Evans set up the same kind of framings for Davis, and no one views "Miles Ahead" or "Sketches of Spain" (or for that matter "The Birth of the Cool" where Davis only co-wrote one piece) as anything other than a Miles Davis album. The fact is, this album is one of the best of its generation. "Tutu" is a relic of a time when artists were not afraid to try something new. Highly recommended. Michael Stack

1. Tutu
2. Tomass
3. Portia
4. Splatch
5. Backyard Ritual
6. Perfect Way
7. Don´t Lose Your Mind
8. Full Nelson

Miles Davis: trumpet
Marcus Miller: various instruments, bass, programming
George Duke: various instruments
Michael Urbaniak: electric violin
Adam Holzman: synthesizer, programming
Bernard Wright: synthesizer
Omar Hakim: drums, percussion
Steve Reid, Paulinho Da Costa: percussion
Jason Miles: programming


Sunday, 13 January, 2008

AMM - Ammmusic 1966

"The first recording by these pioneers of electro-acoustic improvisation, AMMMusic stands the test of time both as a remarkably prescient session and as an utterly powerful and deep piece of 20th century music. Drummer Eddie Prevost's superb and detailed liner notes document AMM's early history, including the confusion engendered not only in audiences and critics but even in the band members themselves, unsure if they were in a free jazz ensemble, a contemporary classical group, neither, or both. The aphorisms adorning the original LP issue (the disc includes additional portions of the concert) give some indication of what was facing listeners and musicians at the time: An AMM performance has no beginning or ending. Sounds outside the performance are distinguished from it only by individual sensibility. Or: Every noise has a note.

Even so, at this early stage in its development, there are more "normal" instrumental sounds with a conceptual basis in either jazz or classical music than there would be later on. Lou Gare's tenor saxophone wrings out occasional avant-garde peals that wouldn't have sounded too out of place in Sun Ra's band of the period, and Prevost's drumming shares some affinities with the energy players of the day. Similarly, Cornelius Cardew's piano and Lawrence Sheaff's cello sometimes refer to this or that modern classical tradition. But the overall sound of the group, even in 1966, was so different, so idiosyncratic, that it's not at all surprising that both new jazz and contemporary classical audiences were baffled, if not horrified. The experimentation in sonic assault, noise, and chance sound (including transistor radios) would, however, reach the rock fringes (as Prevost points out) in the work of '60s bands like Pink Floyd as well as later industrial groups like Test Dept. and the Jesus and Mary Chain. But the palpable thrill of producing such music at the time is unique to AMM. The group's sonic conception in its totality is so enveloping and comprehensive that, once heard, it becomes impossible to hear music the same way again. Recent devotees of electronica, free improv, industrial, and noise bands owe it to themselves to check out their primary source: AMM. Brian Olewnick, All Music Guide

Originally recorded and released in 1966, this has long been considered one of the early high-watermarks of contemporary improvised music/sound. AMM were one of the first completely non-idiomatic free improvising ensembles, and this was their very first release. Out of print for over 20 years, this includes 30 minutes of bonus material from the original sessions.

Lou Gare: tenor saxophone, violin
Keith Rowe: guitar, transistor radio
Eddie Prévost: percussion
Lawrence Sheaff: cello, accordion, clarinet, transistor radio
Cornelius Cardew: piano, cello, transistor radio

Recorded in 1966 in London. Originally released in 1967. Re-released in 1989.
Tracks 2 & 6 are from the 1967 LP, and are shorter edits of tracks 1 & 5 .
Tracks 3, 4 & 7 are from the same sessions, previously unreleased.


Thursday, 10 January, 2008

RD Burman - Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973)

Yaadon Ki Baarat is a movie directed by Nasir Hussain in 1973. It was a huge hit and it tells, in true Bollywood fashion, the story of three brothers separated during childhood. The eldest brother, played by Dharmendra, becomes friendly with a Muslim boy and grows up to be a good-hearted criminal; the younger one is adopted by a widower who works for a rich Bombay family, and leads a carefree life with his friends; and Ratan, raised by his family's maid, changes his name to Monto and forms a band, called The Avengers, sweeping Bombay's night scene with his wild tunes and eccentric clothing.

Unlike most Bollywood movies, the soundtrack is here crucial to the plot and holds the key to the family reunion that closes the film. In the opening scene, Lata Mangeshkar sings the title song with a children's choir and Padmini Shivangi, depicting the familial harmony that is soon to be destroyed by a villain who wears different sized shoes. This songs allows Lata to display her enormous vocal talent and remains an all-time favorite for Indians of all ages; it is also the song that will allow the three brothers to recognize each other and reunite in the end. After their parents' murder, the brothers go on with their separate lives, and the second song, Aap Ke Kamre Mein, introduces us to Monto and the Avengers, the Psych-Rock-Masala band that offers us the best songs in this soundtrack. Manic rock'n'roll guitars are here merged with fast paced grooves to take us through the various stages of the song. Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle (RD Burman's wife) are then joined by a semi-chaotic choir (reminiscent of Hair-related stuff!), quickly transporting us to a frantic succesion of psych musical sketches that eventually lead to a variation on Dum Maro Dum (probably RD Burman's best known tune in the West) and back again to the opening tune -- that good! Next comes Churya Liya Tumne, an extremely popular tune by Asha that illustrates the memorable courting of Sunita (the unbelievably gorgeous Zeenat Aman) by Vijay (Vijay Arora) at one of those Bombay high-class parties that Bollywood screenwriters fancy so much.

In O Meri Soni, RD Burman pulls one of his plagium/not-plagium tricks and has Asha and Rafi screaming "I Love You" to illustrate a lovers' strife up in the mountains (with suicide threats and all). Then comes Lekar Hum Diwana Dil, another brilliant Burman take on psych rock. The song kicks off with distorted guitars, proceeds to a horn section typical of 70s Burman, and rapidly develops to produce one of Bollywoods most dramatic and intense tunes ever. Violins play a minor role here, as the guitars, congas and organ pave the way for another memorable Asha/Kishore duet. The final song, Yaadon Ki Baarat, revisits the opening tune but now substitues Lata's vocal gimmicks with an emotional and apotheotic duet by Rafi, "the nasal", and Kishore, "the king", marking the final reunion of the three brothers (Dharmendra, the good-hearted criminal, never sings throughout the movie, and therefore remains silent, incognito, and crying while his brothers embrace each other).

Whereas most Bollywood soundtracks, and even Burman's, usually include one or two good songs and simply fill up the rest of the time with banal tunes and arrangements, Yaadon Ki Baarat is engaging from the beginning to the end. It is perhaps Burman's most accomplished recording, one in which his penchant for crazed-out Western psych elements and his continuous engagement with Indian modern musical traditions don't override one another. This is thus true "fusion music", much more than any recording ever produced by Ravi Shankar or Anand Shankar. The only thing to be regretted here is the absence of "incidental music", those scraps of sound and musical sketches in which Burman excelled and that, unfortunately, the publishers deemed unworthy of the CD edition. Jay Burman Jay!


Tuesday, 8 January, 2008

Other Dimensions in Music - Now! (1998)

"Titular infelicities notwithstanding, these worthies make delicious, big-boned music. Now! But to couch its essence to prose. First off, anything involving the bassist William Parker is going to sound unusual. Parker’s an original. Happily, his partners are in all respects peers. As an ensemble (rather, say, than upstaging egoists), they make music immersed in jazz’s easy phraseology, but in terms of enormous originality, with deft, virtuosic interaction as chief among delights. The annotator calls ODIM a collective. The term is apt. These are mature, imaginative, top-shelf players who’ve worked together for a great many years. As intense as the music sounds, its gist is lovingly lyrical. If your system does a good job with the low end, you may at first wonder why the engineer, Jim Anderson, goosed up the bass. Few recordings exercise my woofers as visibly as this. The poor things looked ready to pop from their moorings. Hearing this group in the flesh tells me that all Anderson did was make a true-to-life recording. These studio sessions capture an afternoon’s essence. Between Rashid Bakr’s low drums and Parker’s pungent bass, earthquake becomes the order of the day. Further, the louder you play the disc, the better. It won’t sound unlifelike". - Mike Silverton

"OTHER DIMENSIONS IN MUSIC is a collective creative improvising quartet of epic proportions. 'Now!' was their first new album in 9 years; only their second in 15 years of togetherness. This is soul improv at its most magical; I kid you not. A stone classic this album; for the ages. Soul-sonics of deep compassion and receptivity to the world which surrounds. When the time comes that a majority of Americans listens to ODIM once a week, then we'll all be happier for the wisdom imparted from within". - SJ

1. For The Glass Tear - After Evening's Orange
2. Tears For The Boy Wonder (For Winston Marsalis) [sic]
3. Blue Expanded
4. Whispers & Cries Of Change
5. Dawn
6. Steve's Festive Visions Revisited

Roy Campbell Jr. - trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet
Rashid Bakr - drums
Daniel Carter
- alto sax, tenor sax, flute, trumpet
William Parker - bass

Produced by Steven Joerg and ODIM
Recorded and mixed by Jim Anderson at Sound On Sound Studio, NYC on March 19, 1997


Friday, 4 January, 2008

Dror Feiler - The Celestial Fire (1991)

Dror Elimelech Feiler (Hebrew: דרור אלימלך פיילר‎; born 31 August 1951) is a Swedish-Israeli musician and artist. Though born in Tel Aviv, Israel, he has been living in Stockholm, Sweden since 1973. Feiler studied new music and its interpretation at the Fylkingen Institut for New Music from 1975 to 1977, musicology at Stockholm University from 1977 to 1978 and composition at the Music Academy of Stockholm from 1978 to 1983.

Feiler's father worked on a kibbutz and met a group of Palestinians in Bucharest in 1986 while it was still illegal and he was also sentenced to prison for it. His 80-year-old mother works with mobile health centrals in Palestinian villages in the West Bank that have no other access to health-care and other services. Feiler served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, but defected in 1973 as one of the first "refuseniks".
Feiler also plays saxophone in the jazz band Lokomotiv Konkret, and founded The Too Much Too Soon Orchestra. In January 2004 he made international news with his artwork Snow White and The Madness of Truth, which was vandalized by then Israeli ambassador to Sweden Zvi Mazel. He is active as a composer of modern music, which includes composition music for symphonic orchestras, opera, chamber music and electro-acoustic music.

Feiler has worked with Merzbow, Frith, Cora, Gustafsson, Tarasov, Karkowski, among others, and in this carefully crafted album one can understand the reason for such a diverse cast of collaborators (...) The opening piece ("Anzats") sounds like a meeting between the likes of Zoviet France and any given improv sax player, with the alto queeks clashing against a dense wall of noise-drones. The same post-industrial aesthetics is pursued in tracks like "Sendero Luminoso", although Feiler's use of the alto sax works its way to lend the piece a more free and unstable course. Tracks like "Hallel", "Sei Yabe" or "Even the Blood Must Sleep" take the listener in a different mood, with solo sax improvisations expanding on what could well be traditional European tunes. There is a sense of melancholy in these pieces, as well as a less in-your-face approach that manages to balance the record and allows the listener to engage in a less breath-taking experience. The album closes with "Umipnei Chatoenu", a track that could be mistaken for a darker piece from one of the early Crawling With Tarts recordings. Its sinister vinyl crackings and loops and the strange nostalgic gloom it evokes in the listener are almost frightening and are the perfect ending for the record, summing up the previous compositions from a (very) different angle. The highlight, however, is "Pig Iron", a brutal noise assault that somehow merges memories of Jazkamer, Merzbow and Napalm Death while being more hypnotic and elusive than these artists ever were. All in all, a very interesting record by Feiler, who in the past few years has taken a different -- and much less interesting -- approach to music making.

Dror Feiler: Saxophones & Electronics
Mixed by Dror Feiler & Raymond King


Thursday, 3 January, 2008

Joaquim Costa - Canta Rock 'N' Roll (1959 - 1979)

1. Rip It Up
2. Shake My Baby
3. Rock n' Roll
4. Tutti Frutti
5. Sixteen Baby Rock n' Roll



"It was the 50’s. Lisbon was a port to American ships that brought with them Rock’n’Roll, occupying all jukeboxes in bars and clubs of the lowest prostitution and gambling zones in town. The arrival of imported styles and cultures, specially American, changed traditional national songs and, slowly, Rock became the music of the youth. Inspired by American movies, young rockabilly groups began to pop up (or "teddy boys" as the press labeled them). They wore clothes, combed their hair and behaved like Elvis Presley or the “Wild One” Marlon Brando. At Parque Mayer, Joaquim Costa listened to Rock’n’Roll for the first time. It was Bill Haley & His Comets. “I reached there and saw two guys with a guitar inserting ten cents coins into the machine. I listened to that and was overwhelmed. It was like an shot of adrenaline into my body. Bill Haley changed my life”.
He immediately abandoned a promising football career to embrace that new sound. He went all over Lisbon looking for Elvis, the “wild singer”, in the jukeboxes. Though Bill Haley was his favorite at that time, and till today, Elvis became his model. Soon he became the “Campolide Elvis”, singing in some kind of improvised English to his friends and some naval soldiers. He refused to sing in Portuguese because in his opinion “Rock’n’Roll must be sung in its original language, even if you don't know a word in English. I put together ‘Rock’n’Roll’,
‘Baby’, ‘Tonight’ and made something”. When Estrela’s Market opened, it soon became a place where he and his friends could have some drinks and chat by the jukeboxes. They then decided to start a band and play for some pocket money. With a rebel and irreverent attitude they convinced the director, the producer Leitão de Barros, that they should be the Market's resident musicians. Described by advertisements as “Rock’n’Roll Kings”, Joaquim Costa and his “Estrela’s Guys” sang and played hit covers every night, from “Be Bop a Lula” to “Rip It Up”.

Later, they decided to record some tunes in Rádio Graça, a small local radio station built up with donations and old equipment. With a punk attitude, hardly knowing how to play, scarce money and no time at all, they recorded one of their wildest versions of “Rip it Up” and “Tutti Frutti”. On the label, he wrote “Joaquim Costa and his Comets”. This was the first Rock’n’Roll record made in Portugal. Nevertheless, the only existing copy had disappeared - possibly in a fire at the Valentim de Carvalho studios. The only survivors were the acetates, which even Joaquim Costa deemed lost. Many years later, he himself found one of those at a local flea market. Those are the sources for this edition,
proving that in the 50’s Portugal was already into Rock’n’Roll".

Joaquim Costa, 15.04.2007

Prince Nico Mbarga & Rocafil Jazz - Free Education in Nigeria (1977)

Bravo Juju is very happy to bring you this very nice Highlife record, ripped from vinyl

01. Free Education In Nigeria

02. Onye Ori Obi

03. Simplicity

04. Nature

The son of a Nigerian mother and a Cameroonian father, Mbarga embraced the musical traditions of both cultures. With his soulful vocals set to the light melodies of his acoustic guitar, Mbarga created a unique hybrid of Ibo and Zairean guitar playing and uplifting highlife rhythms. Mbarga's musical approach was inspired by the five years he spent in Cameroon during the Nigerian Civil War of the late '60s.

Sharpening his instrumental skills while playing xylophone, conga, drums, and electric guitar in school bands, he made his professional debut as a member of a hotel band, the Melody Orchestra, in 1970. Returning to Nigeria two years later, he formed his own group, Rocafil Jazz, to perform regularly at the Naza Hotel in the eastern Nigerian city of Onitsa.

Although he later formed the New Rocafil Jazz Band, Mbarga failed to match his early success. Leaving music, he turned his attention to managing the two hotels that he owned, Hotel Calbar and the Sweet Mother Hotel.

link @320 [vinyl rip]

Wednesday, 2 January, 2008

Joe McPhee, Evan Parker, Dauník Lazro - S/T (1996)

There are four pieces here, each of which is an exercise in polytonal inquiry or microtonal extrapolation. These four exercises are sound-on-sound explorations that come through a brief series of melodic ideas and are turned inside out to reflect the timbral essence of each note being played to construct them. McPhee draws many of these exercises in these pieces back to a blues or groove framework, evoking ghosts of heroes long since passed and seldom acknowledged by the rest of this hyper-literate mob.
Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Joe McPhee: soprano & alto sax, pocket trumpet, alto clarinet
Evan Parker: tenor & soprano sax
Dauník Lazro: alto & baritone saxophone

1. The Emmet's Inch
2. The Snake & the Scorpion
3. Fire on the Water
4. And Eagle's Mile

Recorded Live 13/5/1995 (Colmar) and 23/5/1995 (Vandoeuvre)

link1 : link2 @320

Bravo Clippings #21

The Ewings would like to wish all Friends of Juju
a highly lucrative New Gregorian Year.