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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kollektiv - Kollektiv (1973)

A bit diffiuclt to classify, Kollectiv is at times in the krautrock direction, but they also range across jazz/rock/fusion territory and even head a bit into avant-garde territory. Instrumental rock of a high caliber, whatever you want to call it. There is even a bit of early pre-Kraftwerk-like sound in the mix. An enjoyable recording that I am glad to have found. This 2007 release contains four bonus tracks totaling almost another thirty minutes of music.

Track List:
    1. Tambo Zambo (11:49)
    2. Baldrian (7:05)
    3. Försterlied (1:49)
    4. Gageg - Andante/Allegro/Pressluft (20:00)
    5. Intro (2:23) 
    6. Pull Moll (7:16)
    7. Pap-Jack (13:17)
    8. Rozz-Pop (5:34)

Download Links: Part 1, Part 2.

Espiritu - Crisalida (1975)

Argentinian progressive rock group heavily influenced by Yes, Genesis and other early progressive rock groups. This is their first album and is a classic. Very nicely produced, recently re-issued but now out of print again already (although copies can be had from independent sellers, see below). This recording is their best according to most fans of the group.

Track List:
  1. La Casa De La Mente (The House Of Mind) (6:58)
  2. Prolijas Virtudes Del Olivido(Tedious Virtues Of Olivido) (2:52)
  3. Suenos Blancos Ideas Negras(White Dream Black Ideas) (6:10)
  4. Sabois De Vida (6:10)
  5. Eterna Evidencia (Eternal Evidence) (2:59)
  6. Tiempo De Ideas (Idea Of Time) (3:38)
  7. Hay Un Mundo Cerrado Dentro Tuyo (Yours Is A Closed World Inside) (4:20)
  8. Hay Un Mundo Luminoso (There is A Luminous World) (8:07)

Download Link:Download link removed due to copyright complaint.

Unfortunately, even though this recording is out of print, there has been a copyright complaint and the recording has been removed. Copies of unknown provenance are available at Amazon here: Crisalida.

 Recordings by Espiritu:

Chimera - Des Duivels Oorkussen (1979)

This progressive folk from the Netherlands, very much a Celtic kind of sound. This is Chimera's first release. In some ways their second is better and incorporates more of a rock sound, but this one is great as well, in my opinion. This group is not to be confused with one of the several other groups by the same name, including a Chimera from Belfast.

"CHIMERA began as a duo of fellow students Bas and Marry Verkade. The Verkades soon wed, and along with Marry's brother Koos became a trio whose music consisted largely of British and popular American folk covers. By the late seventies the group had migrated to Dutch folk themes and original compositions, leading to their first studio release ('Des Duivels Oorkussen') on the Stoof label in 1979. This was followed with a second and final album, 'Obstakel' in 1981, where the band expanded their sound to include electric instruments and a somwhat more rock-oriented sound, particularly on the second half of the album. The second release was well-received and the group had a planned international tour and tracks recorded for a third studio album, but as Bas and Marry felt the call to full-time parenthood for their two children they disbanded the group in 1982. The band reformed several years later and existed in varying degrees until illness led to a second retirement in 1995, but no further recordings were issued."

Source: Progarchives

Track List:
  1. Daphne (6:12)
  2. Een Aardig Vrouwke (4:40)
  3. Warris (8:11)
  4. St Vitusdans (4:03)
  5. De Droghen Haring (1:57)
  6. De Loteling (9:20)
  7. Des Duivels Oorkussen (5:48)
  8. Een Boerman (6:14)

 Download Links: Part 1, Part 2.

Arti and Mestieri - Giro di Valzer per Domani (1975)

My weakness for Italian progressive rock is showing again. Just found a copy of Giro di Valzer per Domani by Arti and Mestieri and just had to share it. Unlike a lot of other progressive groups their songs are on the shorter side, but are nevertheless well crafted.

The sextet Arti & Mestieri was formed in 1974 in Torino, Italy, by drummer Furio Chirico, following his departure from the Trip. Drawing membership from the cream of the local jazz rock scene, Arti & Mestieri frequently found themselves sharing a bill with Area, the long-running kings of that particular arena. However, their renown was such that they also opened for a number of visiting acts, most notably Gentle Giant. An intereswting tidbit considering that Gentle Giant is one of my favorites and I still remember a concert I attended in the 70s where Starcastle opened for them.

Track List:
  1. Valzer Per Domani
  2. Mirafiori
  3. Saper Sentire
  4. Nove Lune Prima
  5. Mescal
  6. Mescalero
  7. Nove Lune Dopo
  8. Dimensione Terra
  9. Aria Pesante
  10. Consapevolezza Parte 1a
  11. Sagra
  12. Consapevolezza Parte 2a
  13. Rinuncia
  14. Marilyn
  15. Terminal

 Download Links: Part 1, Part 2.
Other Recordings by Arti and Mestieri:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Jack Teagarden - Has Anybody Here Seen Jackson? (1992)

Weldon Leo "Jack" Teagarden (August 20, 1905–January 15, 1964), known as "Big T", was an influential jazz trombonist, bandleader, composer, and vocalist.

Teagarden's trombone style was largely self-taught, and he developed many unusual alternative positions and novel special effects on the instrument. He is usually considered the most innovative white jazz trombone stylist of the pre-Bebop era, and did much to expand the role of the instrument beyond the old tailgate style role of the early New Orleans brass bands. Chief among his contributions to the language of jazz trombonists was his ability to interject the blues or merely a "blue feeling" into virtually any piece of music.

Track List:

All tracks by JACK TEAGARDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA: Chicago, October 1941:
TRUMPETS: Jimmy Simms, Pokey Carriere, Truman Quigley
TROMBONES: Jack Teagarden, Jose Guiterrez, Joe Ferran, Fred Keller SAXES: Danny Polo, Tony Antonelli, Clint Garvin, Art Moore, Art Beck PIANO: Ernie Hughes
BASS: Myron Shapler
DRUMS: Paul Collins
VOCALS: David Allyn, Kitty Kallen, Jack Teagarden

Standard Transcription P477:
1. FORT KNOX JUMP (2:58)
(Sid Feller; (D1944)
2. SING A LOVE SONG (2:46)
Vocal by David Allyn.
Vocal by Kitty Kallen.
4. MR. JESSIE BLUES (2:51)
(Phil Moore, (D1944)
Vocal by Jack Teagarden.
(Phil Moore, (D1944)
(Serge Rachmaninoff)
Vocal by Kitty Kallen.
8. BASHFUL BABY BLUES (2:45) (Unknown)
9. SOFT AS SPRING (2:48)
(Alec Wilder, 1941) Vocal by David Allyn.
10. BARCAROLLE (2:03)
(Jacques Offenbach)

Chicago, January 1942:
TRUMPETS: Roy Peters, Jimmy McPartland, Chuck Tonti
TROMBONES: Same as above
SAXES: Abe Aaron, Jim Battenburg, Clint Garvin (clarinet soloist), two others, possibly Tony Antonelli or Art Beck RHYTHM: Same as above
VOCALS: Same as above

Standard Transcription P488:
(Homer Wills, (D1944)
AGAIN (2:46)
Vocal by Kitty Kallen.
SORRY (2:07)
Vocal by David Allyn.
MATTER (2:45)
(Van Loman, Martin Block, Buddy Kaye & Al Fritsch, 1941)
Vocal by David Allyn.
(Luigi Denza, 1880)
16. SHERMAN SHOUT (2:23)
(Phil Moore, (D1944)
(Sid Feller & Winston Johnson, 1942)
18. DIG THE GROOVE (2:33)
(Ed Coliaco, C1944)
TAIL (2:36) (Phil Moore, (D1944)
WELL AS I DO) (2:19)
Vocal by Jack Teagarden.

Trianon Ballroom, South Gate, California, 22 August 1944:
TRUMPETS: Clair Jones, Val Salata, Tex Williamson, Bob McLaughlin (Salata, Williamson and McLaughlin divide the trumpet solos)
TROMBONES: Jack Teagarden, Wally Wells, Ray Olsen, Fred Keller
SAXES: Dale Stoddard, Gish Gilbertson (tenor sax soloist), Vic Rosi (clarinet soloist), Ken Harpster, Clark Crandell PIANO: Don Seidel
BASS: Don Tosti (possibly Jimmy Lynch) DRUMS: Frank Horrington
VOCALS: Jack Teagarden

Standard Transcription Z492:
21. TIME OUT (2:05)
(Eddie Durham, 1937)
22. PIED PIPER (2:53)
(Jack Teagarden, 1944)
23. OCTOROON (3:35)
(Harry Warren, 1939)
Vocal by Jack Teagarden.
STOMPIN' (2:18) (Unknown)
SONG) (1:59)
(Jack Teagarden)

Download Links: Part 1, Part 2.

Other Jack Teagarden recordings:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Silenced Voices: Victims of the Holocaust (1992)

I have owned this CD for about 10 years and it always saddens me to realize that two of the three composers represented here were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust, and the third probably would not have died but for the war. What a loss. Schulhoff I was already somewhat acquainted with, as he left a larger number of works and was better known in his day, but the other two are more obscure. The whole recording is wonderful and should be required listening for those who like 20th century chamber music.

Liner Notes:
Victims of the Holocaust

Ervin Schulhoff
Born: 8 June 1894, Prague, Czechoslovakia
Died: 18 August 1942, Wülzburg Concentration Camp

Ervin Schulhoff's early life and career showed all the earmarks of potential greatness. Like many famous composers and musicians he was a prodigy: by the age of ten, he had begun piano studies at the Prague Conservatory (at the urging of Antonin Dvorák). His subsequent formal education followed a typical path toward musical importance—studies in Vienna, at the conservatories of Leipzig and Cologne, and with Reger and Debussy. By 1918 he had won the Mendelssohn Prize twice—once for piano and once for composition.

In 1923 Schulhoff settled in Germany where he quickly became involved with the burgeoning arts scene of the late Weimar Republic. There he collaborated on productions with leading visual artists including Däubler, Grosz, and Klee.

He returned to Prague in 1929 where he taught composition and score-reading at the Prague Conservatory while continuing to make a name for himself as a composer, pianist, and champion of the music of his contemporaries (particularly Alois Haba). Not surprisingly, he was also a dedicated jazz pianist.

Like a number of his contemporaries, Schulhoff took an interest in the Communist Party, and he became an active member in the early 1930s. The combination of his political views and his Jewish background would truncate his career and his life. He was imprisoned during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, and died in the Wülzburg Concentration Camp on 18 August 1942.

Schulhoff's compositions were influenced by a remarkably wide range of musical styles. Impressionism, late German Romanticism, Czech and Slavic folk music, Expressionism, and even jazz can all be discerned in a very personal and eclectic body of work.

The works on this recording (the String Quartet No. 1, the Flute Sonata, and the Concertino for Flute, Viola, and Bass) were all composed between January 1924 and June 1925.

Vítĕslava Kapralova
Born: 24 January 1915, Brno, Czechoslovakia
Died: 16 June 1940, Montpellier, France

Like Schulhoff, Vítĕslava Kapralova's formal education and early career should have destined her for musical importance. She studied composition with Vítĕslava Novak and conducting with Vaclav Talich in the master classes at the Brno Conservatory from 1935 to 1937. She subsequently studied in Paris with Bohuslav Martinu and Charles Munch. During this three- year period she became one of Munch's most popular conducting students.

But again the Nazi upheaval interfered. Attempting to flee the Nazis, she went to the South of France in hope of making her way to the United States. She contracted military tuberculosis in Montpellier and died there on 16 June 1940.

The Dubnova Preludia Suite was dedicated to the eminent Czech pianist Rudolf Firkusny who befriended Kapralova during her years in Paris.

Gideon Klein
Born: 6 December 1919, Prerov, Czechoslovakia
Died: January 1945, Fürstengrubbe Concentration Camp

Gideon Klein's Duo for Violin and Cello, previously lost, was among the compositions that his sister, Eliska Kleinova, found in a package in June 1990. The first movement is dated (in Klein's own hand) 6 November 1941. The second movement is incomplete, the act of composition interrupted by his transport to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in December 1941. This incomplete work is tragically symbolic of Klein's truncated life and career. Karl Ancerl (the renowned conductor) wrote: "Had he survived, Gideon would have achieved the highest standard as piantist, composer and conductor."

Klein's formal studies Were also cut short. In 1939 he enrolled as a doctoral candidate in Musicology and Philosophy at Charles University in Prague while continuing his studies in composition with Alois Hába at the Prague Conservatory. But in 1940 the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and the enforcement of the Nuremberg Racial Laws put an end to these studies as well as to Klein's performances as a pianist (although for a while he continued to perform secretly under the name Karel Vranek).

Klein was among the first to be sent to the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp where, incarcerated among many other artists, composers, and writers, he soon became an extraordinary force as a pianist, educator, conductor, and composer. But even this exceptional creative activity amidst horror and deprivation was short-lived. Like almost all of those who did not die in Theresienstadt, Klein was sent to other camps: first to Auschwitz and finally to Fürstengrubbe, where he died in late Janary 1945.

Those compositions which survive reveal the influences of Janacek and Schoenberg and a blending of expressive folk elements from Gideon Klein's Moravian background. But these works are not derivative; rather they display a deeply mature and creative command of compositional techniques, especially in Klein's treatment of thematic material and use of tonal textures.

In this world premier recording of the Duo for Violin and Cello, the listener will not hear a reconstructed version of the second movement. Instead, it ends abruptly, unfinished as Klein left it. Perhaps what is unheard speaks most powerfully.

—Mark Ludwig and Martin Donoff

Some Notes about Musical Culture in Terezin
by Gideon Klein
While inspecting the weekly music program published by the Freizeit Gestaultung,* people who never lived here will look at the multitude of music reproduced here with admiration and amazement. They will admire both the feasibility of producing demanding works and the multitude of choices.
The quantitative (cultural) calculation of Theresienstadt would correspond to the cultural activity of a metropolitan area. Of the highest standard are the performances by instrumental soloists; these musicians played a major role in the musical life of their respective countries. If we consider the demands of the programs connected with the strain on the artist who lives in a changed setting under unfavorable living conditions we will understand that these artistic efforts cannot be evaluated alone by the standards of a metropolitan critic.
Written 20 August 1944 at the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. Translation by Dr. George Homer.
* "Administration for Free Time Activities," a prisoner organization responsible for organizing cultural activities in Theresienstadt.


Theresienstadt was not just a Concentration Camp or a transit point to the Nazi death camps. It was a propaganda device, which the Nazis used to deny the existence of the Final Solution.

On 24 November 1941, a transport of Jews was sent to transform the small garrison town of Terezin into the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp. In this camp the Nazis incarcerated some of Europe's most gifted artists, musicians, and writers. Despite the inhuman living conditions, an active cultural community sprang up. Musical instruments were smuggled in and performances were given secretly in the barracks.

But these very activities were co-opted by the Nazis and used as part of a plan to deceive both the international community and Jews under German occupation. Performances were staged for a visit of the International Red Cross; the camp was transformed into a Potemkin-like village with gardens, playgrounds, and an outdoor music pavilion for a propaganda film entitled "The Fuhrer Presents the Jews With a City," all designed to give the impression that Theresienstadt was a "Paradise Ghetto" for the Jews.

But of the 140,000 people who were transported to this "Paradise Ghetto," 33,000 died from starvation, lack of medical care, disease, starvation, overcrowding, and torture. Of the 87,000 people transported from Theresienstadt to the Nazi death camps, five percent survived. Of the 15,000 children who passed through, only 93 survived.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chick Corea and Lionel Hampton - Live at Midem (1978)

MIDEM (short for Marché International du Disque et de l'Edition Musicale) is the world's largest music industry trade fair, which has been held annually at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, since 1967. Bringing together musicians, businesspeople, cultural policy makers, and journalists from many countries, it provides a forum for business talks, discussing political and legal issues, and showcasing new artists, musical trends and music-related products.

This recording was recorded live at MIDEM on January 22, 1978. The brief liner notes appear to be in error when they mention 1980. I like both Chick Corea and Lionel Hampton, so I love this recording. Long out of print I think it deserves a hearing.

Track Listing:
  1. Sea Breeze
  2. Moment's Notice
  3. Come Rain or Come Shine
  4. Fiesta Piano Solo
  5. I Ain't Mad at You

 Download Link: Enjoy the Music!
Recordings with both Chick Corea and Lionel Hampton:

Chris Spheeris and Paul Voudouris - Passage (1994)

Chris Spheeris has followed a diverse musical path, but in the 80s and 90s he was known for his new age recordings. He frequently teamed up with his childhood friend Paul Voudouris, which is the case for this recording. Passage is in an ambient/new age style and comprises three long tracks originally commissioned in 1982 as a work for meditation. This recording is from the 1994 CD on Epiphany Records.

Track List:
  1. Prism
  2. Mosaic
  3. Passage
Download Link: Enjoy the Music!
Recordings featuring Chris Spheeris and Paul Voudouris: