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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Budapest Klezmer Band - The Train 7.40 (1997)

Who doesn't like klezmer music? I may be biased, but i have always enjoyed the sound of a lively klezmer ensemble really kicking it up. I can't dance, butr when I hear good klezmer music I almost believe I can. This hard to find apparently out of print recording (I suspect they may be available at concerts which are very infrequent and always in Euroope judging by their 2010 schedule.) is a wonderful example of the kind of stuff I'm talking about.

The Budapest Klezmer Band, founded in 1990 as an experimental klezmer music, performs traditional klezmer tunes and songs with eastern influences mixed with classic, swing and jazz elements.  The band writes most of the songs themselves, but also reinterprets traditional Jewish and Eastern European songs. Listen for snippets of Grieg and Kachaturian in a few of their pieces. The featured recording is their second release.

Current members of the Budapest Klezmer Band:
  • Ferenc Jávori - band leader, composer and arranger - piano, vocal
  • Bence Gazda - violin, vocal
  • István Kohán - clarinet, bass clarinet
  • Gábor Tamás - trombone, vocal
  • Anna Nagy - accordion
  • Gábor Kiss - double-bass
  • Végh Balázs - drums, percussion
Track list:
1. A hejmishe Bulgar
2. Leymakh
3. Overture - Fiddler on the Roof
4. Sabbat Prayer - Fiddler on the Roof
5. Mazel tov
6. Papirossen
7. Donna
8. Skotchna
9. Hassid-tants
10. Firen di mehetonem aheym
11. Majn Jingele
12. Di Mamme is gegangen
13. Gasn Nigun
14. The Train 7:40
15. Roman'ye

Sources: Wikipedia (German), Budapest Klezmer Band Official Web Site.

Other Recordings:
 Download Link: Enjoy the Music!

Tom Howard & Bill Batstone - One on One (1985)

This is Tom Howard's third recording and it is much more contemplative and laid back with some very nice songs. My favorites are "When the Curtain Fall," "Storm Moving on" and "Show Me the Shepherd." One by One can be seen as a foreshadowing of Howard's New Age instrumental sound that later became his trademark. As an added bonus Mark Heard was the engineer and mixer for the recording.

I digitized this recording from my own vinyl copy a few years ago.

  1. When the Curtain Falls
  2. Storm Moving On
  3. Night and Day
  4. Think on These Things
  5. Heart of a Fool (Psalm 14)
  6. Your Constant Love
  7. He Took the Form of Man
  8. The Best Thing
  9. Show Me the Shepherd
  10. And He Heard Them Sing
  • Bill Batstone: Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Guitars, Basses, DMX Programming, Vocals
  • Jerry Chamberlain: Guitar Synthesizer
  • Mark Heard: Engineer, Mixed
  • Tom Howard: Producer, Arranger, Songwriter, Keyboards, Vocals
  • Alex MacDougall: Percussion
  • David Raven: Drum Overdubs
  • Harry Stinson: Percussion
Download Link: Enjoy the Music!
You can also download View from the Bridge.

Tom Howard - View from the Bridge (1977)

Just discovered in the news that Tom Howard, one of my favorite Christian artists from the Jesus Music Era died of a heart attack on Friday (January 29, 2010). He was one of Larry Norman's early discoveries who went on to complete several albums over the years. He is a keyboardist of considerable skill is also often creditied with nurturing the Christian New Age sound.

The featured album is his first, which was produced by Larry Norman on Solid Rock Records. In my opinion, this is Tom Howard's best recording and is bona fide Christian Rock of the highest caliber. This is a classic of the Jesus Music era and if you haven't listended to it, you need to do so now. The recording was digitized from my own vinyl copy of the album.

Track List: 
  1. Intro
  2. Come On In
  3. Mansion on the Sand
  4. To Learn By Living
  5. We All Mean Very Well
  6. One More Reason
  7. She Likes to Look at Pictures
  8. Blessed Are the Children
  9. Marriage of Our Souls
  10. All Through the Day
  • Jonathan David Brown: Engineer
  • Jim Coile: Saxophone, Flute
  • Tom Howard: Songwriter, Orchestrator and Conductor, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Piano, Vocals
  • Jim Johnson: Bass
  • Peter Johnson: Drums, Percussion, Harmony Vocals
  • Wayne Johnson: Electric Guitar, Harmony Vocals
  • Max McCoy: Auxiliary Keyboards, Flugelhorn
  • Larry Norman: Producer, Arranger, Acoustic Guitar, Harmony Vocals
  • Randy Stonehill: Acoustic Guitar, Harmony Vocals
  • Vance Tenort: Congas, Cabasa
Download Link: Enjoy the Music!
Other Recordings by Tom Howard:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Andy Statman - Nashville Mornings New York Nights (1986)

Andy Statman is a noted Klezmer clarinetist and bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist.

Andy Statman first gained acclaim as a mandolinist in pioneering bluegrass bands Country Cookin' and Breakfast Special. Statman, a Jew, began to be of the mind that bluegrass was not his music. He turned to Klezmer music, traditional Jewish folk music. Now playing clarinet, he recorded various Klezmer albums that were influential in the Klezmer revival that began in the late 70s. In the 90s, he began playing Chassidic melodies, fusing bluegrass, klezmer, and jazz along the way.

Statman learned Klezmer clarinet from legendary Klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras, who bequeathed his clarinets to him. Statman produced Dave Tarras's last recordings. Between this apprenticeship and his practice of teaching in addition to performing, Statman has become the dean of living Klezmer clarinetists.

The Andy Statman Trio, which includes bassist Jim Whitney and percussionist Larry Eagle, plays regularly at Derech Amuno Synagogue in Greenwich Village in New York City, and tours nationally as schedules allow.

Nashville Mornings New York Nights is more than just Statman. He is joined by Bela Fleck, Tony Trischka, Jerry Douglas, Vassar Clements, Russ Barenberg, and Kenny Kosek. This is a wonderful recording if you like progressive bluegrass and there is a lot of virtuosity displayed. Out of print, but still sometimes avialable used here and there.

Sources: Wikipedia

Track List:
  1. The Old Country
  2. Bath House Blues
  3. Apple Pickin' Girl
  4. The Whup of Love
  5. Ariela's First Step
  6. Tshure
  7. The County Brown
  8. Joshua's Waltz
  9. I Do Not Ride the Horse
  10. The Hermitage Smorgasbord
  11. George and Gladys Kazatski

Download Link: Part 1, Part2
Other Recordings by Andy Statman:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Al Grey - Basic Grey (1976)

Al Grey (June 6, 1925 - March 24, 2000) was a jazz trombonist who is most remembered for his association with the Count Basie orchestra. Grey is known for his plunger mute technique (comparable only to Tricky Sam Nanton, Bob Hunt and Wycliffe Gordon), and also wrote an instructional book called "Plunger Techniques".

After service in WWII, Grey was with the orchestras of Benny Carter (1945-1946), Jimmie Lunceford (1946-1947), Lucky Millinder, and Lionel Hampton (off and on during 1948-1953). He was a soloist with the Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra during 1956-1957 (remembered for his virtuoso solo in "Cool Breeze" at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival). He was with Count Basie's orchestra on three separate occasions (1957-1961, 1964-1966, and 1971-1977), led a band with Billy Mitchell in the early '60s, and had a group with Jimmy Forrest after leaving Basie in 1977.

He died of complications from diabetes on March 24, 2000.

Basic Grey is a two record set comrprising previously released recordings from 1959, 1961 & 1962. Notable other artists participating in the tracks on this set are Billy Mitchell, Bennie Powell, Sonny Payne, Art Davis, Ray Barretto, Bobby Hutcherson, Ed Williams, Donald Byrd and Herbie Hancock, to name a few. As far as I can tell this set has never been released on CD, making it long out of print.

Track List:
  1. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
  2. Open Wider, Please
  3. I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good
  4. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
  5. How Come You Do Me Like You Do
  6. Blueish Grey
  7. The Elder
  8. Bewitched
  9. Kenie-Konie
  10. Blueish Grey
  11. Wild Deuce
  12. Green Dolphin Street
  13. Bantu
  14. Melba's Blues
  15. Home Fries
  16. Grey's Blues
  17. Nothing But the Truth
  18. Three Fourth Blues
  19. Just Waiting
  20. R.B.Q.
  21. MInor On Top
  22. African Lady
  23. HiFly

Because of their combined size, the files for this recording are in two zip files.

Download links: Part1, Part 2

Other recordings available on CD:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Toby Twining - Shaman (1994)

I bought this CD about 10 years ago and it went out of print soon thereafter. It received mixed reviews when released, but I found it a very intriguing recording. It is acapella, with some clapping and other non-vocal sounds. About every standard and non-standard vocal technique used in 20th Century music is used, including what sounds like Tuvan throat singing. Although probably considered avant-garde by many, the works on this recording are actually very approachable, in my opinion. You need to listen to it and see what I mean. It is truly an adventure in listening. It leaves you wondering how some of the sounds were produced.

Track List:
  1. Hymn
  2. Richi Richi Rubel
  3. Munu Munu
  4. Shaman
  5. Sanctus
  6. Between Stars
  7. Hee-Oo-Oom-Ha
  8. Hotel Destiné 
  9. Hell's Kitchen Hootenanny 
  10. Nume Exotic
  11. Agnus Dei
  12. Himalaya

 Credits: Lisa Bielawa (Soprano (Vocal)), Toby Twining (Countertenor (Vocal), Gregory Purnhagen (Bass (Vocal)), Jeffrey Johnson (Tenor (Vocal)), Peter Stewart (Bass), André Gauthier (Producer), Andreas Becker (Liner Notes), Harris Welles (Photography), Peter Stewart (Bass (Vocal)), J.J. Stelmach (Art Direction), Tim Page (Executive Producer), Robert Friedrich (Engineer), Anthony Salvatore (Engineer)

Download Link: Enjoy the Music!

Antal Dorati Conducts Kodály & Bartók (1990)

A little 20th century classical for your enjoyment. Bartók is one of my favorite 20th century composers, and although the works in this recording are not my favorites by him, they are still wonderful to listen to. The works by Kodály are a good match for the Bartók.

Although released in 1990, this recording was a reissue of the out of print vinyl issue. The performances were originally recorded in 1956 and 1958, as can be seen by the scan of the back of the cover. Alas, the reissued recording is now also out of print and is only available from private sellers on Amazon Marketplace or Ebay.

Download link: Enjoy the Music!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mark Huff and The Inflatables - Truth is Chaos (1992)

Mark Huff is a folk/rock/blues/country/singer/songwriter. He was born in Florida, spent most of his time in Las Vegas, and has been in Nashville since 2003. His musical style is broad, but he seems to never stray too far from a bit of a country sound. His first album, "Happy Judgement Day" was released in 1990. Truth is Chaos is Huff's second album, and the only one that mentions the "Inflatables."

Although this album is not overtly a "Christian" recording, many of the songs have clear spiritual messages and I find many of Huff's lyrics excellent.

Track List:
  1. King of the End of the World
  2. Don't Believe a Word
  3. I Wanna Know Why
  4. Death
  5. Sold Down the River
  6. Ride That Train
  7. Dead Flowers

 Download link: Enjoy the Music!

Sources: Allmusic Guide, Mark Huff - Discography

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dave Catney - First Flight (1990)

Dave Catney was a jazz pianist with a very promising career ahead of him. He was widely acclaimed, but before he had the chance to reach his full potential he died from AIDS at the age of 33 in 1994. Only some of his recordings are still in print. First Flight is his first recording as leader. This album is a great sounding standard post-bop jazz trio with Dave Catney at the piano, Ed Soph on drums and Marc Johnson on upright bass. Sadly this is currently out of print.

Track List:

  1. First Flight
  2. Wishing Well
  3. Jumper's Way
  4. Since Then
  5. I Fall in Love Too Easily
  6. Lost and Found
  7. Summertime
  8. Sergei
  9. Put on a Happy Face
  10. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Download Link: Enjoy the music!!

Tony Banks - Still (1992)

 Anthony George "Tony" Banks (born 27 March 1950) is an English composer, and multi-instrumentalist, who performs as a keyboardist and a guitarist. He is one of the founding members of progressive rock group Genesis and one of only two members (the other being bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford) to belong to Genesis throughout its entire history.

As a member of Genesis, Banks has been a pioneer in the use of synthesisers, as well as in the use of many other keyboards (such as the Yamaha CP-70 and as an organist, notably on the Hammond T-102). Through most of the band's history, Banks was the leading force in Genesis' songwriting; although the group was often responsible as a whole for composing song, his ideas were often the nucleus of their music, and he would frequently write lyrics as well. Outside of Genesis, Banks has enjoyed a modestly successful career in the world of film scoring, and a limited solo career as well.

Still was released in the UK in 1991 on Virgin Records and in the US in 1992 on Giant. Although it did not sell well, the album is well done. Banks is joined on the album by Jayney Kilmek (Alphaville, Tangerine Dream), Daryl Struermer, Pino Palladino, Luis Jardim (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, ABC), Nik Kershaw, James Eller, Graham Broad, Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Allan Holdsworth), Martin Robertson, Andy Taylor, and Fish. Stylistically the music is progressive rock, but it dips into a more pop or new wave range throughout.

Track Listing:

  1. Red Day on Blue Street (Tony Banks & Nik Kershaw) 5:53
  2. Angel Face 5:23
  3. The Gift 4:00
  4. Still It Takes Me By Surprise 6:32
  5. Hero For an Hour 5:01
  6. I Wanna Change the Score (Tony Banks & Nik Kershaw) 4:34
  7. Water Out of Wine 4:43
  8. Another Murder of a Day (Tony Banks and Fish) 9:13
  9. Back to Back 4:38
  10. The Final Curtain 5:01
Sources: Wikipedia,

Download Link: Enjoy the Music.