terça-feira, 3 de maio de 2016

21ST Century Schizoid Band - Live in West Hollywood

21ST Century Schizoid Band - Live in West Hollywood - 2004

21st Century Schizoid Band were a King Crimson alumnus group formed in 2002. The name derives from the famous song "21st Century Schizoid Man" from the first King Crimson album, In the Court of the Crimson King. The initial band featured Mel Collins on saxophones, flute and keyboards, Michael Giles on drums, Peter Giles on bass, Ian McDonald on alto saxophone, flute and keyboards, and Jakko Jakszyk on guitar and vocals. All but Jakszyk had previously been members of King Crimson in its early years. Ian Wallace, another former Crimson member from that same period, replaced Mike Giles in early 2003 after the band's Japanese tour. Further international touring followed in 2003/04.

The band played live with sets concentrating on compositions from King Crimson's first four albums and other works from the band members' back catalogues, including McDonald and Giles. They have released four albums, mostly of live work but including newer and/or recent compositions, such as Ian McDonald's "Let There Be Light" (from his solo album Driver's Eyes) and "Catley's Ashes," a Jakszyk instrumental which later appeared on his solo album The Bruised Romantic Glee Club (2006).

The band has been inactive since 2004; with members based in different countries, touring proved to be logistically and financially difficult. The possibility of performing again in 2005 was considered following offers from festivals, possibly with Guy Evans (of Van der Graaf Generator) on drums to replace Wallace who had other commitments, but the idea was abandoned. Wallace's death in February 2007 would seem to have closed the lid on the band for good.

Jakszyk and Collins went on to record as a trio with founding Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp (and with rhythmic support from fellow members Tony Levin and Gavin Harrison) on the Scarcity of Miracles album in 2011. This was followed in 2013 by the announcement of a new King Crimson formation including all five, plus two additional members.
01.A Man, a City
02.Cat Food 
03.Let there be Light
05.Cadence and Cascade
06.The Court of the Crimson King
07.Ladies of the Road
08.Catley's Ashes
09.Formentera Lady
10.Sailor's Tale
11.I Talk to the Wind / Band Introduction
13.21st Century Schizoid Man

Ian McDonald - Alto Sax, Flute, Keys, Vocal and Percussion
Peter Giles - Bass And Vocal
Mel Collins - Baritone, Tenor and Alto Sax, Flute, Keys and Vocal
Ian Wallace - Drums and Vocal
Jakko Jakszyk - Vocal, Guitar, Flute and Keys


quinta-feira, 28 de abril de 2016

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin - Lost Time

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin - Lost Time - 2015

from AmericanSongWriter
The title of the Alvin brothers’ follow-up to their Grammy-nominated 2014 Common Ground reunion project that found them working together for the first time in 30 years is multi-faceted and bittersweet. Clearly they are trying to make up for that lost time after not working together since Dave amicably left the Blasters in 1987. But more than that, these dozen covers are predominantly tunes that were also lost to time. Phil and Dave dig deep to reveal these hidden blues and R&B gems, then polish, rearrange and unleash them with pent up energy, providing the tracks with new leases on life.

Dave’s short yet informative liner notes explain the disc is also a tribute to ’50s blues shouter and Alvin brothers friend Big Joe Turner, whose photo adorns the back cover. Four tracks are Turner covers and it’s no secret that much of Phil’s distinctive singing style dates back to that of Big Joe. But from the opening guitar and walking bass lick of Oscar Brown, Jr.’s demonic “Mr. Kicks” to the closing acoustic gospel of “If You See My Savior” (one of the few times both guys sing on the same tune), it’s clear the brothers are having a blast reviving songs they obviously love and have influenced them for decades.

Not surprisingly Phil does the bulk of the singing. Even after his near-death scare a few years back, he sounds strong, vibrant and often, as on a version of James Brown’s “Please Please Please” that nearly beats the classic original, stronger and more powerful than ever. Old Blasters piano man Gene Taylor makes a welcome guest appearance on the salacious public domain blues of “Rattlesnakin’ Daddy,” one of Dave’s few vocals, while letting Phil display his dynamic harp abilities.

The twosome takes Willie Dixon by way of Otis Rush’s “Sit Down, Baby” down to the swamp with another of Dave’s baritone vocals and knock Turner’s “Wee Baby Blues” out of the park with a wild Dave guitar solo, searing slide work from Chris Miller and Phil’s emotional singing.

This is a blues album, but with styles that range from ragtime to jump with Chicago, Texas and Piedmont thrown in it’s diverse, fresh and rocking. There’s not a weak track in the dozen making this another candidate for blues release of the year from brothers who almost never got to play another note together. Making up for lost time never sounded so good.

01. Mister Kicks
02. World's In A Bad Condition
03. Cherry Red Blues
04. Rattlesnakin' Daddy
05. Hide And Seek
06. Papa's On The House Top
07. In New Orleans (Rising Sun Blues)
08. Please Please Please
09. Sit Down, Baby
10. Wee Baby Blues
11. Feeling Happy
12. If You See My Savior


sábado, 23 de abril de 2016

Rick Grech - The Last Five Years

Rick Grech - The Last Five Years - 1973

from AMG
The late Rick Grech was given a unique retrospective by his label RSO Records, much like the rare 1971Winwood double LP on United Artists. The big difference being that the recalled UA package on Winwood had a lavish eight-page photo essay spread written by Bobby Abrams, while Grech's single LP contains one photo page with very little information on where the material came from. Eight of the nine songs are written or co-written by bassist Rick Grech, the one hold-out being Steve Winwood's "Sea of Joy." Now listen up history buffs, because AMG is the first publication to see this musical nugget myth in print. When the late Jimmy Miller was at the residence of this writer (who represented the producer for many years) looking over the vast collection of his work, he smiled when seeing "Sea of Joy" on a "best-of" Rick Grech. To paraphrase Miller as best as possible "The best of Rick Grech? It's Jack Bruce playing bass on "Sea of Joy"!" According to archivist John McDermott in the Blind Faith Deluxe Edition, the song is "highlighted by Rick Grech's striking violin work," that being true, "Sea of Joy" is certainly a key track on a Grech compilation -- but Jimmy Miller was absolute that Jack Bruce is performing on some of the Blind Faith material. Is this truly Cream meets Traffic? Perhaps only Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, or engineer George Chkiantz know for sure, but it certainly adds some intrigue to a much revered song and album.

The Last Five Years is an extraordinary collection because it focuses on Rick Grech the songwriter as much as the journeyman. Where it fails is not in the music, but in the presentation. "Second Generation Woman" is taken from 1969's Family Entertainment album by Family, which contained three Rick Grech compositions. Track three here, "Face in the Cloud" is also from those sessions. The third composition from that Family disc, "How-Hi-The-Li," is track three on side two of this LP. "Kiss the Children," the second track, is from the 1972/1973 G.P. solo disc by Gram Parsons -- the diversity in Grech's work certainly worthy of better attention than just slapping the tunes on the disc with little commentary. "Just a Guest" was written solely by Grech and features the superb vocals of Rosetta Hightower, produced by Ian Green. It's such a great track, yet looking at the listing on the back cover, even hardcore fans would think it is Grech performing his own tune. This was licensed from Phonogram, most likely from Hightower's own record. It is followed by Ginger Baker's Air Force, the final track from that live double album produced by Jimmy Miller, the Baker/Grech piece "Doin' It." Side two opens with 1968's "Hey Mr. Policeman" from Family's Music in a Doll's House album, produced by Dave Mason. "Rock & Roll Stew" from Traffic's brilliant 1971 disc, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys is probably the track with the most recognition, next to "Sea of Joy.." And there you have it, the tracking information to what was a brilliant concept -- housing stunning performances from many of Grech's ensembles. The pity here is that the music is so good, a better presentation and package could have been a blessing to all involved. The Last Five Years is a brilliant collection of songs that can get you riled up over how labels treat precious art like this as so much "product" to be issued on a budget line like a Camden or Pickwick.


01. Family - Second Generation Woman
02. Gram Parsons - Kiss the Children
03. Family - Face in the Cloud
04. Rosetta Hightower - Just a Guest
05. Ginger Baker's Air Force - Doin' It
06. Family - Hey Mr. Policeman
07. Traffic - Rock N' Roll Stew
08. Family - How - Hi - The - Li
09. Blind Faith - Sea of Joy