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Saturday, June 30, 2007
Jimmy McGriff - Blues For Mr Jimmy

I bought this vinyl from a Leeds carboot sale in 1999. It was part of my frenzied quest for rare grooves, especially those of the organ-guitar-drums combos. I was expecting the usual hammond groove stuff before listening to the album and, my expectations were met, albeit with a small difference: reverb! Indeed, Blues For Mr Jimmy contains a lot of it! Every instrument is drenched in auditorium reverb and you sometimes get the feeling that the combo are playing in a haunted cavern! This gives the tracks a certain dark feeling that collides with the overall "uplifting" effect of hammond grooves. I don't know if Jimmy McGriff had this in his mind but it is definitely true that the sound is unique.

Great instrumental stuff.
Line-up: Jimmy McGriff (org); Larry Frazier (g); Jimmie Smith (d)
Production year: 1964
01 Discotheque U.S.A.
02 Cash Box
03 Blues For Joe
04 Blues For Mr. Jimmy
05 The Dog (You Dog)
06 Bump de Bump
07 The Party's Over
08 Turn Blue
09 Sho' Nuff

(note: this is a vinyl rip)


Download here:

posted by Nada at 10:25 AM | Permalink | 1 comments
Sunday, June 24, 2007
In A Nostalgic Mood (podcast)

Here is a little podcast I made a few days ago. It certainly expresses my mood at that particular day.

Enjoy (in whatever way)


01 Cocorosie - Honey Or Tar
02 Kaiser's Orchestra - Jaevel En Tango
03 Susheela Raman - Music For Crocodiles
04 Sixteen Horsepower - Neck On The New Blade
05 Mountain Goats - Dilaudid
06 Iron & Wine - Evening On The Ground
07 Patricia Vonne - Guitarras Y Castanuelas
08 Castanets - Good Friend Yr Hunger
09 Jose Gonzales - Heartbeats

Download here:
posted by Nada at 3:56 AM | Permalink | 1 comments
Will Our Children Thank Us (various artists)

I hate it when they don't use the interrogation mark! Anyways, I should quit my philological rant and get down to writing a little review.

The story behind this compilation:

Leeds, winter of 1998. My classmate, Carl, invites me to a live gig of a band in which his cousin plays bass. The band is called Billy Mahonie. I never made that gig actually but the next day, at Carl's place, we were listening to a demo CD by Billy Mahonie when I suddenly started moaning about not being able to go and see such an incredible band. And incredible they were, since they played a kind of simple but really exciting instrumental math rock (if you're not familiar with the term, don't worry, terms and "tags" are useless anyway). A few months later, in 1999, Carl popped around for coffee one day and brought Will Our Children Thank Us with him, to listen to the Billy Mahonie track that was included in the compilation. For some strange reason, the particular compilation stayed with me, and it's been with me for 9 years now (Carl, if you're reading this, send me a message!!!).

Will Our Children Thank Us is dedicated to the British instrumental pop music that emerged in the form of countless bands in the mid-90s. Some of the bands featured in the compilation are still alive and kickin' today (Billy Mahonie, Appliance, Novak, Piano Magic). The tracks range from post-rock to electronica and dark-ambient, although I must say that they aren't easy to pigeonhole (which is good). My favourite ones are those from Electric Sound Of Joy, Appliance and Billy Mahonie, but the rest of the tracks are also really worth listening to.

It is a strange but enjoyable compilation and Foundry Recordings are responsible for it. It's worth dropping a visit to their page. You can also read a more detailed review of the compilation here.


Download here:
posted by Nada at 2:55 AM | Permalink | 1 comments
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The Blue Note Sampler Series - "The Six Vital Organs"

This is the first Blue Note album I've ever bought. It was October 1996, Leeds, England. The album belongs to the Blue Note Sampler Series, a now-collectible series of albums to introduce the Blue Note sound to novices.

The particular sampler was dedicated to six of the best hammond organ players of the time (and, perhaps, of all time): Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff (saw him later live, a few months before he sadly passed away), Larry Young, Jimmy McGriff, Big John Patton and Baby Face Willette (the latter performs a previously unreleased version of Hank Mobley's "Work Song" which is stunning). Blue Note at its grooviest, with toe-tapping swingers and hoppin' proto-mod-funk. "All About My Girl" and "The Turnaround" have also provided me with some great guitar licks to improve my technique (Grant Green rules!). Both are awesome tracks.

Update: scanner fixed, get the covers here:

CD covers.rar

Download album here:
posted by Nada at 2:25 AM | Permalink | 5 comments
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Natalie Merchant - "The House Carpenter's Daughter"
Magazine reviews:

Mojo (9/03, p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...THE HOUSE CARPENTER'S DAUGHTER is clearly a labour of love....The traditions that birthed these songs may be dying but, as Merchant subtly underlines, their politics are timeless..." Uncut (9/03, p.112) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Merchant's rich, expressive voice is imbued with all the awe, dread and authority the material requires..."

My opinion:

The voice of the 10000 Maniacs goes solo and the results are awesome. Many considered Merchant's solo efforts as pretentious (bollocks, I tell ya) and therefore failed to appreciate the wide range of an otherwise "restricted" singer due to her unique, indeed, voice. In The House Carpenter's Daughter, Natalie Merchant goes back to traditional folk songs which she performs with unparalleled talent and beauty. Songs such as "House Carpenter", "Poor Wayfaring Stranger (my favourite)" and the well-known "Which Side Are You On" - thanks to an whiskey ad, are perfect examples.

Don't be squares, give that lady a go!


Download here:
posted by Nada at 2:45 AM | Permalink | 3 comments
Gabor Szabo - "The Sorcerer"

Leeds, England, 1997.

I was wandering aimlessly in the city centre when I decided to pay a visit to Relics Records on New Briggate st. I hadn't decided what to buy; I was only going to browse for a while; yet, the moment I entered the shop, I heard that strange-sounding guitar along with bass a drums playing Sonny Bono's "The Beat Goes On" in a quirky, groovy and distinguishably "gypsy" manner. I asked the proprietor: "What's this?" "Gabor Szabo" he said reluctantly. "OK, I'll buy it" my reply was.

That was my acquaintance with Gabor Szabo, a hungarian-born guitarist who relocated to USA and became one of the major figures of "guitar fusion". Gabor Szabo left Budapest at the age of 20 to attend the famous Berklee School. His first notable recordings were those with the Chico Hamilton Group. He then recorded with the Gary MacFarland quintet and in 1966 he started his solo career which ended abruptly with his early death in 1982 at the age of 46.

Gabor Szabo's guitar style is so unique that once you've heard him, you can always distinguish his sound. His notes sound eloquently "out of tune" and he merges blues, jazz, gypsy, indian and asian music so successfully that often leaves you gawping in amazement.

The Sorcerer was recorded live at the Jazz Workshop, Boston, April 14-15, 1967 and it's a great example of his playing. It also contains 3 bonus tracks unavailable on the vinyl edition (which, however, I recommend buying).


Download here:
posted by Nada at 2:13 AM | Permalink | 2 comments
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Tom Verlaine - "Warm & Cool"

Now this is a treat!

How many of you have seen Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man"? How many of you have enjoyed Neil Young's soundtrack of the film? Many? OK, keep reading then... revelations are bound to emerge!

I first heard Tom Verlaine when I bought a tape copy of the third Television album from one of the then numerous "copy-tape stands" at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1990. I had seen a Television video on TV (It was "Call Mr Lee") and I had decided to buy a tape. The album was fine but finer was what was recorded at the remaining space of the tape: the first 5 tracks of Verlaine's solo effort, Warm & Cool, with Television's Billy Ficca on drums and Fred Smith on bass. Warm & Cool was one of the many albums Verlaine released after that 14 year interval between Television's 2nd and 3rd albums. Yet, it is definitely the best of all.

Haunting melodies, driven by Verlaine's impeccable and atmospheric Fender Stratocaster. Cloudy sceneries, old depots, darkness, optimism, introspection, all these are present. The music is as laconic as it can be. Neil young ripped off this sound for his soundtrack to the Dead Man. Just listen to the tracks "Ore", "Lore" and "Depot" and you'll understand.

I recommend listening to the album while driving or watching the view outside your window on a rainy day.

This is SUPERB music.

(note: this is a vinyl rip at 320 kbps - the quality is great)

Download Here:
posted by Nada at 2:55 AM | Permalink | 7 comments
The Tiger Lillies - "Births, Marriages & Deaths (1994)"
The Tiger Lillies - Births Marriages and Deaths

The Tiger Lillies are a three piece band from London. They consist of Martyn Jacques (vocals, accordion, trained as an opera singer with a castrati style voice) Adrian Huge (drums) and Adrian Stout (double bass). Jacques' distinctive poetry and voice (which, evidently, owes a lot to Klaus Nomi and the Monty Pythons, IMHO) and the acoustic - cabaret style rhythm section manage to create a unique atmosphere of a decadent yet sensitive Lautrec environment (and I am talking about the environment Lautrec lived). They have a serious cult following in London and as well as other countries (Czech republic, Greece etc).

Births, Marriages & Deaths is the band's first album which I will post in 2 parts.


Download here:
posted by Nada at 2:28 AM | Permalink | 2 comments
Monday, June 18, 2007
Chick Corea - "Return To Forever" (1972)

(Review by Steve Huey)

"The legendary first lineup of Chick Corea's fusion band Return to Forever debuted on this classic album (titled after the group but credited to Corea), featuring Joe Farrell on soprano sax and flute, the Brazilian team of vocalist Flora Purim and drummer/percussionist Airto Moreira, and electric bass whiz Stanley Clarke. It wasn't actually released in the U.S. until 1975, which was why the group's second album, Light as a Feather, initially made the Return to Forever name. Nonetheless, Return to Forever is every bit as classic, using a similar blend of spacy electric-piano fusion and Brazilian and Latin rhythms. It's all very warm, light, and airy, like a soft breeze on a tropical beach — hardly the sort of firebrand approach to fusion that Miles Davis, Tony Williams, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra were exploring, and far less rooted in funk or rock. Corea also bathes the album in an undertone of trippy mysticism, not only in the (admittedly dated) lyrics, but in his cosmic keyboard wanderings, which remain melodic and accessible through most of the record. There's one genuine pop song in the groovy samba "What Game Shall We Play Today," and while "Sometime Ago" has similar elements, it's part of an ambitious side-long medley that features a stream-of-consciousness intro and a jubilant, Spanish/Mexican-style closing section called "La Fiesta," complete with castanets and flamenco modes. The title track is another multi-sectioned work, featuring Corea and Purim in wordless unison on two different, catchy themes, plus breezy work from Farrell and lots of Brazilian-flavored rhythmic interplay. And the dreamy, meditative "Crystal Silence" is an underrated gem waiting to be rediscovered. Certainly, this edition of Return to Forever wasn't inclined toward high-voltage jazz-rock (as the next one was), but this group's two albums still stand as some of the most imaginative and distinctive early fusion recordings".


1. Return To Forever 12:06

2. Crystal Silence 6:59

3. What Game Shall We Play Today 4:30

4. Sometime Ago / La Fiesta 23:13

My point of view: great album, especially for the summer, compositions are not from this earth, will definitely make you feel "elevated"!

-The downer: Chick Corea is a member of the scientology sect (and of the highest rank, as I've learned), propagating metaphysical crap. Anyway, music is what's important...

Download here:
posted by Nada at 5:39 AM | Permalink | 3 comments
Armageddon - "Armageddon"

Armageddon were formed in 1974 by ex-Yardbirds singer Keith Relf, drummer Bobby Caldwell from Captain Beyond (see previous post), bassist Louis Cennamo and guitarist Martin Pugh from Steamhammer. Their one and only album for A & M Records saw light of day later the same year. None would actually expect from Keith Relf to front a band as such, since Armageddon's sound hasn't got the least connection with the music of the Yardbirds (except Relf's harmonica). The band plays a distinctive kind of progressive hard rock that contains elements of jazz, blues and even classical music (hard to trace but still there). The opening track, "Buzzard", is full of heavy wah wah guitar riffs and excellent drumming. Double guitar harmonies are to be found, too. The album's B side is more of a concept. Some memorable tracks are "Buzzard", "Silver Tightrope (absolutely great - reminds me of Steamhammer)" and "Basking in The White Of The Midnight Sun".

Note that this is a vinyl rip and therefore adjust your equalizer.

Oh, due to a couple of requests I received via e-mail, the vinyl is not for sale (for sentimental reasons - if I become poorer I'll let you know). Go have a look in a record shop and buy it.
posted by Nada at 2:42 AM | Permalink | 1 comments
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Humble Pie - "Rock On"

Humble Pie are one unfortunate band. Apart from being undermined by terms such as "one of the first supergroups in rock", they met with less success than they deserved. The band initially consisted of Steve Marriott (lead singer, guitarist, keyboardist of the great mod band The Small Faces), Peter Frampton (lead guitarist and vocals, from the sixties popsters The Herd), Greg Ridley (bassist and vocalist, from superb rockers The Spooky Tooth) and Jerry Shirley (drums, from Valkyrie). Their first single, "Natural Born Boogie (or Bugie)" made some notable success in the U.K. in 1969 and was followed by the debut album As Safe As Yesterday Is, which reached No 16. Their Second album, Town And Country never had any success, as well as their third album Humble Pie, for a different company now, A & M Records. Rock On, released in 1971, showcases the band at their rockiest, though it was destined to denote the split of the original line-up with Peter Frampton leaving to pursue solo career. That year, they also released the live album Rockin' The Fillmore, to promote Rock On. After several line-up changes, Humble Pie disbanded in 1975 (there had been some reunions in the 80s) and in 1991 Steve Marriott sadly passed away in 1991 in a fire.

Humble Pie are a band that showcases both dexterity and composing ability, matched by all the members; however, Marriott and Frampton were the one who penned the most memorable songs. All members sing and they actually share vocals in most of the tracks, but Marriott's bluesy voice is beyond any comparison. Twin guitars are present and Frampton's solos in predominantly Dorian Mode give a jazzy feeling in an otherwise heavy rock band. Mod elements and soul influences are to be found, too.

In a few words, Rock On does exactly what it says on the tin. Enjoy!

(Note: this is a vinyl rip)

Humble Pie - Rock On.rar
posted by Nada at 10:30 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Babe Ruth - First Base

Here's a band that deserves some extra appreciation credits for being both innovative and always fresh sounding. Named after the famous baseball player, Babe Ruth were formed in Hatfield, England in 1971. The band was more or less the vehicle for guitarist Alan Shacklock and his exceptional guitar playing and composition ability; however singer Janita Haan's "vocal power" is hard to ignore in this debut album (as well as in the rest of the works of the band which are not, unfortunately, as good as this album). "First Base" was released in 1972 penning great songs such as "Wells Fargo", "The Runaways" and the famous "The Mexican", noted for its numerous covers with Mark Hype & Lim Dunloop being the latest to cover this brilliant song. "First Base" is a must-have album, period.

Babe Ruth.rar
posted by Nada at 11:40 AM | Permalink | 2 comments
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Captain Beyond

Founded in 1971, Captain Beyond were sort of a "supergroup" for their time, since they consisted of bassist Lee Dorman and guitarist Rhino from Iron Butterfly, drummer Bobby Caldwell (then with the Johnny Winter band and later with Keith Relf's Armageddon) and singer Rod Evans, once responsible for the vocals in the first 3 Deep Purple albums (and my favourites of the particular band, if you ask me).

Captain Beyond cut three albums, their eponymous first, "Sufficiently Breathless" and "Dawn Explosion" with a few line-up changes but keeping their nucleus duo of Bobby Caldwell and Lee Dorman. Their music can be described as progressive hard rock (mind you, I have an innate dislike for tags as such) played with exciting energy and dexterity. Their first album is definitely my favourite, since it oozes all these elements that a proper hard rock band of the time should have: the guitars and bass are awesome, the vocals are efficient (or, should I say sufficient), the drummer is simply out of this world. As for the songs, they are all crafted in a conceptual and neat way: full of heavy riffs, psychedelic interludes, arcane, spacey and often esoteric lyrics.

Some wieners often try to undermine Captain Beyond by comparing them to Deep Purple: there is absolutely no connection between the two bands, apart from the fact that Rod Evans once was a member of Deep Purple. Captain Beyond's sound is unique and their composing ability miles ahead than many of the bands of their time (even by contemporary standards).

So, get on with downloading their debut album and overindulge. At least, I did.


Captain Beyond.rar
posted by Nada at 12:48 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Tom Rapp & The Pearls Before Swine

(This blog will be in english from now on)

Tom Rapp is an American poet-singer-songwriter who made moderate success in the late 60s and the early 70s as the leader and the "brains" behind the folk-psychedelic band "Pearls Before Swine". He belongs to that 60s folk movement that included, among others, Bob Dylan and the like. With "Pearls Before Swine" he released 9 albums between 1967 and 1973 and then he retired permanently from the music business, performing sporadically in folk festivals. he now works as a lawyer in Florida.

"Another Time" is taken from the Pearls Before Swine album "One Nation Underground" and it's a melancholic folk song with awesome lyrics.

Pearls Before Swine - Another Time.mp3
posted by Nada at 2:35 AM | Permalink | 0 comments