Monday, 26 December 2011

Satisfaction - Satisfaction (1971)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz-Rock, Prog-Rock
Original Release Date: 1971
Label: Esoteric

2008 digitally remastered reissue of the eponymous debut album from the Jazz/Rock outfit, originally released in 1971. Satisfaction was a short-lived Jazz/Progressive outfit formed by trumpet and horn player Mike Cotton, a veteran of the early '60's British R&B boom. The group also included John Beecham (trombone), Derek Griffiths (guitar, vocals), Bernie Higginson (drums, vocals), Lem Lubin (saxophone) and Nick Newell (saxophone). John Beecham had previously been in the Mike Cotton Sound, whilst Griffiths had been a member of the highly regarded Artwoods with Keef Hartley and Jon Lord. By the late 1960's, Jazz was crashing headlong into the world of Rock and Mike Cotton assembled a group of like-minded musicians to explore the musical possibilities in this area. Esoteric.

Joe Farrell Quartet - Joe Farrell 1970

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz
Original Release Date: 1970
Label: CBS

by Scott Yanow
Joe Farrell, known in the '60s as a solid hard bop tenor saxophonist, branched out in the '70s. On this near-classic album, Farrell switches between tenor, soprano, flute, and even oboe while being joined by a rather notable backup crew: keyboardist Chick Corea, guitarist John McLaughlin, bassist Dave Holland, and drummer Jack DeJohnette. In addition to a famous version of McLaughlin's "Follow Your Heart," the material includes originals by Farrell and Corea, and the leader makes a strong impression on each of his horns.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Vitalij Kuprij - High Definition 1997

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Neo-Classical Metal / Instrumental Metal / Progressive Metal
Original Release Date: 1997
Label: Shrapnel Records

Classic Rock Forum
The following compositions contain all the elements that make this music so grand; melody, harmony, structure, rhythm, precision, aggression, speed, synchronization, perfect execution, and sophistication. Every track on this album is exceptional! The energy these two musicians have together, along with the outstanding drumming from Jon Dornan, will undoubtedly set your ears on fire.

High Definition is a very intense album. A monstrous masterpiece that goes beyond the genre of neo-classical, which I hope you’ll find as inspiring and rewarding as I have.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sixun - Pygmees 1987

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz, Jazz-Funk
Original Release Date: 1987
Label: Open

MJBrady Published on: 24 Feb 2002
On Pygmees, We are hearing the definitive sound of this French fusion bands personality. They are a highly talented band that plays fusion in the Weather Report style, with a much more funky edge to the backbeat. Imagine if Jaco Pastorius, Miroslav Vituous or Alphonso Johnson(all Weather Report bassists at one time or another), were to have been replaced by the likes of Alain Caron, Louis Johnson, or some other super funky bassist. That is what the vibe is like, very uptempo music with sax, key, and guitar doing tight chart section melodies, and a killer rhythm section that just won't quit. The musicianship is as good as it gets, and though the music has the funk factor, the Zawinul influence is present in the way the band is utilizing chord developement, and of course the dissharmonic sax really captures the style of Wayne Shorter to a tee at at times. Sixun also explores the more ambiant side of fusion with some world music songs, though this is not representing the majority of music, these are only side dishes for the energetic stuff. Sixun is music that is best played loud, with the bass on high, it can even motivate you to get things done while listening. If you have a liking for funky, jazz heavy, fusion, with a big influence from Weather Report, this is highly recommended....

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Wardruna - Runaljod - gap var Ginnunga 2009

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Folk
Original Release Date: 2009
Label: Indie Recordings

Sowing New Seeds, Strengthening Old Roots
Wardruna is a Norwegian musical constellation set out to explore and evoke the depths of Norse wisdom and spirituality. Musically Wardruna has its main focus on the cultic musical language found in the near-forgotten arts of galder, seidr and the daily acts of the cultic life, mixed with impulses from Norwegian / Nordic folk music and music from other indigenous cultures.

The upcoming album entitled ‘gap var Ginnunga’ will be the first in the planned Runaljod trilogy that will interpret the runes of the elder futhark. The subsequent albums will be entitled ‘Yggdrasil’ and ‘Ragnarok’. Each album will feature eight runes, but not in accordance with the order of the three aettirs (families), which is most commonly used. ‘gap var Ginnunga’ will feature the following runes:

Hagal Bjarkan Thurs Jara Laukr Kauna Algir Dagr
Recordings partly take place outdoors at locations relevant to the different runes. The instruments we use are mainly old and historical instruments, such as deer-hide frame drums and ceremonial drums, mouth harp, clove / hoof rattles from deer and goat, bone flute, goat and cow horns, Hardanger fiddle and bowed lyres. More unconventional inputs like trees, stones, water, fire etc. are also employed to enhance the nature of the rune being ‘portrayed’.
-Kvitrafn, 2007

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Stanley Clarke - Journey To Love (1975)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz, Fusion, jazz - rock
Original Release Date: 1975
Label: Sony (This copy = Epic/Columbia)

Description By P. McKenna "theowlwatches" (Atlanta GA.) []

01 - Silly Putty

Stanley and George Duke kick out the funk with TONS of melody and good vibes. Great horn charts that would do Tower of Power proud, plus, I used to LOVE playing this tune on bass myself to warm up with. Great fun.

02 - Journey To Love

The one real weak track that could've been a gem if the dippy L Ron Hubbard lyrics and vocals were eliminated altogether, would've been a cool instrumental though not groundbreaking by any means....

Monday, 12 December 2011

Aghora - Aghora 1999

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz-Metal, Progressive Metal
Release Date: 1999
Label: Dobles Productions

Several acts have risen from the broken remains of technical jazz-metal
legends Cynic, and not the least among them is this shining gem of a band.
Aghora takes the deft rhythmic foundation of their progenitors and combines
it seamlessly with a presentation that's not so much metal as it is a melting
pot of Middle Eastern-influenced exoticism drenched in a metal aesthetic. I
suppose it would be accurate enough to say that there's about as much metal
on this disc as there was on Cynic's Focus.

Without a doubt, guitarist and primary songwriter Santiago Dobles employs
an arsenal of absolutely crushing riffs, as well as searing solos that evoke
images of John McLaughlin at his finest... but these things rarely dominate
the music. Indeed, inbetween occasional assaults of metallic fury Santiago
displays very subtle guitar work that includes classic Indian melodies which
stand as a consistent theme throughout the course of the album, exotic solo
pieces and soothing chord progressions as heard throughout "Frames",
atmospheric flailing as he dances with bassist Sean Malone on the
instrumental "Jivatma", and even extensive use of the sitar as heard primarily
on the closer "Anugraha". Santiago displays a wide range of influences that
stretch well past McLaughlin, and he effectively manages to not sound quite
like any of them - the result is extremely inspired, energetic, creative, and full
of fervor no matter what he happens to be playing....

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dusko Goykovich - Swinging Macedonia 1966

Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: Jazz
Original Release Date: 1966
Label: Enja

Japanese reissue of the classic jazz album originally released on Enja, digitally remastered with a limited edition miniature LP sleeve reproduction of the original artwork. Recorded in 1966. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Friday, 9 December 2011

G3 - G3 Live Rockin in the Free world (2004)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Guitar virtuoso, Rock
Release Date: 2004
Label: Epic

Recorded live at The Uptown Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri on October 21, 2003.

Eight years after its maiden jaunt, the G3 concert series continues to celebrate six-string excess for guitar geeks across the globe. The brainchild of legend Joe Satriani, G3 showcases Satch, his accomplished former student Steve Vai, and a wildcard support act. While the series has featured axe-slingers of a bluesier sort, the 2003 tour found the neo-classical king Yngwie Malmsteen joining the fretboard fray....

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Dominic Miller - Second Nature 1999

Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: Fusion, Acoustic Guitar
Release Date: 1999
Label: Rutis UK

REVIEW: The Times

As part of Sting's band, guitarist Dominic Miller sometimes gets overlooked. Even though the 40-year-old has the looks of a lean, shaggy-haired, Strat-toting youngster, he seems to get a little taken for granted in his role as guitar factotum. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the recent string of Sting gigs at the Albert Hall in which he was also accompanied by such jazz luminaries as keyboardist Jason Rebello and trumpeter Chris Botti. Now Miller's second solo album has arrived and it's time for him to take the spotlight. 'Second Nature' shows a very different side of this versatile Buenos Aires-born musician. Although Miller may have spent years playing rock'n'roll as a session player, his own music owes a huge debt to his Brazilian heroes Antonio Carlos Jobim and Baden Powell, and as a result the 12 songs here sing of South America - ringing, lyrical numbers plucked and strummed by a guitarist who remains true to his roots....

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Demon Fuzz - Afreaka! (1970)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz-Rock, Funk, Psychedelic , Acid Rock
Release Date: 1970
Label: Esoteric Recordings

Product Info;

This is the classic long lost British psychedelic funk album by Demon Fuzz

In a just world, Demon Fuzz would have been very successful. Sadly, however, the only real success they enjoyed is the fact that many club DJs now use their samples frequently. Although the band played most of the British underground festivals in the early seventies, Demon Fuzz were simply too way-out to make a significant impact on the college crowd and as a result they broke up after 18 months on the scene. Released in 1970 the band’s only album, the extraordinary Afreaka!, demonstrates their excellence in playing psychedelic soul, dub-heavy funk, progressive rock, Afro-jazz and black acid rock. Demon Fuzz these days are amongst the most bootlegged and sampled bands from the early 70s British underground. This re-release, which includes the stunning and rare EP that at the time was released along with the album, tells the band’s full story for the first time ever.

Jeff Berlin - Taking Notes 1997

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz, Fusion
Release Date: 1997
Label: Denon Records - AGAT

by Scott Yanow
Jeff Berlin is a superb electric bassist, and the music on this CD, although it has its rock and funk moments, is quite jazz-oriented. On some selections, Berlin is joined by four or five horns playing big-band-style riffs. While the bassist is in the spotlight much of the time (including a duet with keyboardist Clare Fischer on "Imagine" and an unaccompanied "Clinton Country," which is a medley of familiar patriotic songs), he was generous in allocating solo space; there are occasional spots for Rob Lockart (on tenor and alto) and trumpeter Howie Shear. Attention was paid to varying moods and styles, with the result being a satisfying release. And any musician witty enough to name an original "Hello Dali" deserves attention.....

Orchestra Baobab - On Verra Ca! (1992)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Afro-Pop, Afro-Cuban, Cuban Traditions, African Traditions
Release Date: 1992
Label: Melodie

Review by Don Snowden
Recorded in Paris in 1978, On Verra Зa is the first recording by the fully matured Orchestra Baobab. The rumba influence is pronounced on the opening "El Son De Llama," but mostly the Latin tinge has now been absorbed into a distinctive group sound, with upbeat, sprightly songs like "Africa" built around choppy, syncopated riffs flavored by horns and a galloping rhythm guitar. "Sibam" follows that blueprint, but the tempo is faster and there's a stronger percussion presence than the light norm here....

Tower Of Power - Monster On A Leash (1991)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Funk, Soul
Release Date: 1991
Label: Epic

Review by Alex Henderson
In contrast to the many soul veterans who who have turned to urban contemporary sounds in the hope of staying on the staying on the charts, Tower of Power has stuck with the type of horn-driven, live-sounding funk and soul that put the Bay Area band on the map....

Friday, 2 December 2011

Gabor Szabo - Gypsy 66 1966

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 1966
Label: Impulse! Records

by Scott Yanow
Guitarist Gabor Szabo's debut as a leader (after an important stint with the Chico Hamilton Quintet) is surprisingly successful. The reason this LP is a bit of a surprise is that the repertoire (in addition to two originals apiece by the leader and Gary McFarland) has a few unlikely songs by the Beatles ("Yesterday" and "If I Fell") and Burt Bacharach (including "Walk On By"). Usually jazz adaptations of rock songs in the 1960s are lightweight, but Szabo's original sound, the unusual instrumentation (two or three guitars, Sadao Watanabe on flute, Gary McFarland on marimba, bass, drums and percussion) and McFarland's clever arrangements uplift the music. The playing time at 35 minutes is a bit brief, but the performances are better than expected....

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Jorn - Starfire (2000)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Release Date: 2000
Label: Frontiers

The 2000 release Starfire is the debut solo offering from journeyman vocalist Jшrn Lande (ex-Vagabond, the Snakes, Millenium, Ark, Masterplan, Mundanus Imperium, Beyond Twilight, and a few others I've no doubt missed). For those of you unfamiliar with Jшrn, his vocal style is very (scratch that, VERY) reminiscent of David Coverdale with elements of Ronnie James Dio. Jшrn has become one of melodic rock and metal's best vocalists through both his session work as well as his solo career....

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Farmers Market - Speed,Balkan,Boogie 1995

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Folk, World, Jazz
Release Date: 1995
Label: Kirkelig Kulturverksted

Farmers Market released their 1st CD, “Speed/Balkan/Boogie”, 28th of February ‘95. The CD is a live recording of two concerts held by Farmers Market at Molde International Jazzfestival ‘94. Farmers Market brought with them four guest-musicians from Bulgaria of which two are singers in the world renown female choir “Lés Mystére Des Voix Bulgares”, now known as “Angelite”. The music on this CD takes the audience on a trip through the odds and even more odds of Bulgarian folkmusic. All is filtered through Farmers Market’s own musical upbringing.

Farmers Market thanks: Bulgarian sources of inspiration; musicians & moonshine-manufactors Molde Int. Jazzfestival ‘94; audience & promoters. Vesselina Illieva wishes to dedicate the CD to her sister.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Kitaro - Dream 1992

Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: New Age
Release Date: 1992
Label: Geffen

Joey Brown

Summary: Kitaro goes on a journey through time and space with Mozart and Jon Anderson.

It is a story forever written in the sands of time:

In the mid-80s, Kitaro, the world's leading New Age musician at the time, ran into Jon Anderson, former Yes-man and renowned cheese enthusiast, at a shady Beijing "business hotel." While staying at the hotel, the two promised to one day write an album together, one that would bring all peoples of the planet Earth together in unity, and in 1992 that dream finally came to fruition; it was appropriately titled Dream.....

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Leb i sol - Leb i sol (1977)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Fusion, Jazz-Rock
Release Date: 1977
Label: PGP RTB

In the first half of the seventies of the last century, the music scene in Skopje was rather small so the future members of the LEB I SOL often worked in same bands. The first more serious project Vlatko and Garo had, was with the jazz-rock band BREG which leader was Miki Petkovski....

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Avishai Cohen - Colors (2000)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 2000
Label: Stretch Records


Releasing already his third CD on the Stretch label, Avishai Cohen is further elaborating on the vision he revealed on "Adama" and continued through his second CD, "Devotion."

Make no mistake about it: "Vision" is the appropriate word for explaining the aesthetic he expresses on "Colors." Not only does Cohen possess an broad artistic perspective that becomes more evident with each release, but also he quite literally compares the music he embraces with the literal sense of vision. Indeed, in the liner notes, Cohen goes so far as to compare an E-minor chord to dark red and a G-major chord to light green. Now, that's a fairly detailed order within an overriding vision. Nonetheless, Cohen's appreciation of the inter-relatedness of art forms helps him borrow from experiences and sights for musical expression...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Alcatrazz - Live Sentence (1984)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Hard Rock
Release Date: 1984
Label: Polydor

Live Sentence (1984) was the only live album released by Graham Bonnet's Alcatrazz and contains some of the songs performed by Bonnet in his time with Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. The live show was based on their previous album No Parole From Rock N' Roll and had the same lineup. According to Billboard, the album spent 16 weeks on the chart and peaked at #145....

Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) - Zimbabwe (1987)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 1987
Label: Enja Records

This was a nicely blended, somewhat mellow and seemingly quite finished recording by Abdullah Ibrahim with Carlos Ward (alto sax, flute), Essiet Okun Essiet (bass), and Don Mumford (drums) called Zimbabwe. Interspaced with non-originals were four Ibrahim compositions, most of which were inspired by the imagery from Ibrahim's South African roots.
~ Bob Rusch, Cadence

Craig Chaqico - Once In A Blue Universe 1997

Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: New Age
Release Date: 1997
Label: Higher Octave

Former Jefferson Starship guitarist Craig Chaquico is one of the most successful and reliable of the crop of rock musicians who have recently switched genres into contemporary jazz. His fourth CD, Once in a Blue Universe continues to broaden his jazz horizons while providing some very satisfying and distinctive music. Fans of Craig's first two albums ( Acoustic Planet and Acoustic Highway ),

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Adam Nitti - Balance 1998

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Fusion
Release Date: 1998
Label: Renaissance Man Records

Adam Nitti has emerged as one of the cutting edge bassists and composers in the world of instrumental jazz and rock. Based out of Nashville, Tennessee, Adam currently has 3 CD's released on his own Renaissance Man Records label. Adam has toured with the Dave Weckl band, Jeff Coffin Mu'tet, the Justice League, and Angie Aparo, and has also performed with such legendary jazz artists as Scott Henderson, Peter Erskine, Jimmy Herring, Mike Stern, Kirk Covington, Wayne Krantz,

Friday, 18 November 2011

Art Blakey and The Afro-Drum Ensemble – The African Beat (1962)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 1962
Label: Blue Note Records

Bridging cultures, Art Blakey combined powerful African rhythms and American jazz melodies on a session that Blue Note reissued recently because the album explores roots common to all of jazz. Blakey’s ensemble for this 1962 project included artists from both worlds: Solomon G. Ilori and James Ola. Folami are from Nigeria, Chief Bey is from Senegal,

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

IOMMI - The 1996 Dep Sessions 2004

Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: Metal-Rock-Blues
Release Date: 2004
Label: Sanctuary Records

When musical heavyweights join forces on collaborative projects, the outcome is often times a watered-down version of their respective bands’ previous efforts. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but for the purists among us it’s usually somewhat disappointing, as we’re accustomed to the genuine article. This is precisely why the infamous mid ‘90s Iommi/Hughes pairing is so fascinating: It is completely unlike the classic Black Sabbath or Deep Purple that aficionados are familiar with

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Japanese Traditional Music - Percussion 1990

Format: wv + cue + log
Genre: Taiko- Drummers of Japan, Ethno
Release Date: 1990
Label: KING Record

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Fela Ransome Kuti - Fela With Ginger Baker Live! (1971)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Afrobeat
Release Date: 1971
Label: Universal

Baritone Saxophone – Lekan Animashaun
Bass Guitar – Maurice Ekpo
Composed By – Ransome-Kuti*
Congas – Akwesi Korranting, Friday Jumbo, Henry Koffi
Drums – Ginger Baker, Tony Allen
Percussion [Shekere] – Isaac Olaleye
Percussion [Sticks] – Tony Abayomi
Producer – Jeff Jarratt
Rhythm Guitar – Peter Animashaun
Tenor Saxophone – Igo Chiko*
Trumpet [Solo] – Eddie Faychum, Tunde Williams
Vocals, Saxophone – Fela Kuti

It's almost impossible to overstate the impact and importance of Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti (or just Fela as he's more commonly known) to the global musical village: producer, arranger, musician, political radical, outlaw. He was all that, as well as showman par excellence, inventor of Afro-beat, an unredeemable sexist, and a moody megalomaniac. His death on August 3, 1997 of complications from AIDS deeply affected musicians and fans internationally, as a musical and sociopolitical voice on a par with Bob Marley was silenced. A press release from the United Democratic Front of Nigeria on the occasion of Fela's death noted: "Those who knew you well were insistent that you could never compromise with the evil you had fought all your life. Even though made weak by time and fate, you remained strong in will and never abandoned your goal of a free, democratic, socialist Africa." This is as succinct a summation of Fela's political agenda as one is likely to find.

Born in Abeokuta, Nigeria, north of Lagos in 1938, Fela's family was firmly middle class as well as politically active. His father was a pastor (and talented pianist), his mother active in the anti-colonial, anti-military, Nigerian home rule movement. So at an early age, Fela experienced politics and music in a seamless combination. His parents, however, were less interested in his becoming a musician and more interested in his becoming a doctor, so they packed him off to London in 1958 for what they assumed would be a medical education; instead, Fela registered at Trinity College's school of music. Tired of studying European composers, Fela formed his first band, Koola Lobitos, in 1961, and quickly became a fixture on the London club scene. He returned to Nigeria in 1963 and started another version of Koola Lobitos that was more influenced by the James Brown-style singing of Geraldo Pina from Sierra Leone. Combining this with elements of traditional high life and jazz, Fela dubbed this intensely rhythmic hybrid "Afro-beat," partly as critique of African performers whom he felt had turned their backs on their African musical roots in order to emulate current American pop music trends.

In 1969, Fela brought Koola Lobitos to Los Angeles to tour and record. They toured America for about eight months using Los Angeles as a home base. It was while in L.A. that Fela hooked up with a friend, Sandra Isidore, who introduced him to the writings and politics of Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver (and by extension the Black Panthers), and other proponents of Black nationalism and Afrocentrism. Impressed at what he read, Fela was politically revivified and decided that some changes were in order: first, the name of the band, as Koola Lobitos became Nigeria 70; second, the music would become more politically explicit and critical of the oppression of the powerless worldwide. After a disagreement with an unscrupulous promoter who turned them in to the Immigration and Naturalization Services, Fela and band were charged with working without work permits. Realizing that time was short before they were sent back to Nigeria, they were able to scrape together some money to record some new songs in L.A. What came to be known as the '69 Los Angeles Sessions were remarkable, an indication of a maturing sound and of the raucous, propulsive music that was to mark Fela's career. Afrobeat's combination of blaring horn sections, antiphonal vocals, Fela's quasi-rapping pidgin English, and percolating guitars, all wrapped up in a smoldering groove (in the early days driven by the band's brilliant drummer Tony Allen) that could last nearly an hour, was an intoxicating sound. Once hooked, it was impossible to get enough.

Upon returning to Nigeria, Fela founded a communal compound-cum-recording studio and rehearsal space he called the Kalakuta Republic, and a nightclub, the Shrine. It was during this time that he dropped his given middle name of "Ransome" which he said was a slave name, and took the name "Anikulapo" (meaning "he who carries death in his pouch") . Playing constantly and recording at a ferocious pace, Fela and band (who were now called Africa 70) became huge stars in West Africa. His biggest fan base, however, was Nigeria's poor. Because his music addressed issues important to the Nigerian underclass (specifically a military government that profited from political exploitation and disenfranchisement), Fela was more than a simply a pop star; like Bob Marley in Jamaica, he was the voice of Nigeria's have-nots, a cultural rebel. This was something Nigeria's military junta tried to nip in the bud, and from almost the moment he came back to Nigeria up until his death, Fela was hounded, jailed, harassed, and nearly killed by a government determined to silence him. In one of the most egregious acts of violence committed against him, 1,000 Nigerian soldiers attacked his Kalakuta compound in 1977 (the second government-sanctioned attack). Fela suffered a fractured skull as well as other broken bones; his 82-year old mother was thrown from an upstairs window, inflicting injuries that would later prove fatal. The soldiers set fire to the compound and prevented fire fighters from reaching the area. Fela's recording studio, all his master tapes and musical instruments were destroyed.

After the Kalakuta tragedy, Fela briefly lived in exile in Ghana, returning to Nigeria in 1978. In 1979 he formed his own political party, MOP (Movement of the People), and at the start of the new decade renamed his band Egypt 80. From 1980-1983, Nigeria was under civilian rule, and it was a relatively peaceful period for Fela, who recorded and toured non-stop. Military rule returned in 1983, and in 1984 Fela was sentenced to ten years in prison on charges of currency smuggling. With help from Amnesty International, he was freed in 1985.

As the '80s ended, Fela recorded blistering attacks against Nigeria's corrupt military government, as well as broadsides aimed at Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan (most abrasively on the album Beasts of No Nation). Never what you would call progressive when it came to relationships with women or patriarchy in general (the fact was that he was sexist in the extreme, which is ironic when you consider that his mother was one of Nigeria's early feminists), he was coming around to the struggles faced by African women, but only just barely. Stylistically speaking, Fela's music didn't change much during this time, and much of what he recorded, while good, was not as blistering as some of the amazing music he made in the '70s. Still, when a Fela record appeared, it was always worth a listen. He was unusually quiet in the '90s, which may have had something to do with how ill he was; very little new music appeared, but in as great a series of reissues as the planet has ever seen, the London-based Stern's Africa label re-released some of his long unavailable records (including The '69 Los Angeles Sessions), and the seminal works of this remarkable musician were again filling up CD bins. He never broke big in the U.S. market, and it's hard to imagine him having the same kind of posthumous profile that Marley does, but Fela's 50-something releases offer up plenty of remarkable music, and a musical legacy that lives on in the person of his talented son Femi. Around the turn of the millennium, Universal began remastering and reissuing a goodly portion of Fela's many recordings, finally making some of his most important work widely available to American listeners. John Dougan, All Music Guide

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Luther Vandross - Dance With My Father 2003

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: R&B
Release Date: 2003
Label: J-Records

Given Luther Vandross's precarious state of health at the time of its release, Dance With My Father’s title track--a tale of yearning for a lost loved one--takes on added poignancy. It’s something of a centerpiece on an album that moves in several directions, reaching for varied constituencies, while ultimately staying focused on Vandross’s trademark buttery vocals. In addition to "Dance," there’s more adult-contemporary balladry ("Buy Me a Rose"),

Friday, 4 November 2011

TROUBLE - Trouble 1990

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Doom Metal
Release Date: 1990
Label: Def American

Following the conclusion of their recording deal with Metal Blade and three years of relative silence, few fans expected to ever hear from Chicago's Trouble again. But maverick producer Rick Rubin surprisingly entered the picture in 1990, signing the band to his Def American vanity label and helping them record the most consistent album of their career. As suggested by its eponymous title, the record found Trouble,

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Helmet of Gnats - A Helmet of Gnats II 2004

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz-Fusion
Release Date: 2004
Label: Ambient Records

The US band HELMET OF GNATS was formed in the early '80s. They started as a cover group, playing songs by Brand X, UK, Happy The Man and Return To Forever, amongst others, but later turned to all-original material. The band, as well as their label Ambient Records, presents this CD as their second (eponymous!) album, but doesn't give any concrete information on its predecessor, saying only it was independently released in 1996 and is now out of print.


Of course, the band's natural predisposition for Jazz-Fusion didn't change with years, and the experience they've gained while playing the works of the genre's brightest representatives has stood them in good stead. All this, however, does not signify that the album is done exclusively in the classic Jazz-Fusion traditions, i.e. not without the influence of the band's favorites. The music is highly original, with no cliches, not to mention borrowings. I would've been really surprised if it were vice versa. After all, this band has been around for nearly a quarter of a century. The album is excellent in its entirety, but the first two compositions: Almost Babylon and Chinese Leftovers (cool titles, as well as most of the others) are notable for some brave, really non-typical decisions. The parts of the rhythm section are mostly fixed, displaying a lot of hypnotic energy, especially when being accentuated by slow, pronouncedly heavy guitar riffs, which are available only here. The guitar and organ solos vary in tempo, tirelessly crossing the length and breadth of the basic themes and always contrasting with them. All in all, the music on said tracks appears as a really unique combination of quasi Jazz-Fusion and Cathedral Metal, though of course, it could have not managed without some leftovers:-) of Chinese music in the second case. Then follows Yesterday's Brain, where the guitar riffs and, thus, the heavy component as such, were out once and forever. The keyboards, particularly piano and synthesizer, apart from the Hammond, have not only widened their realms, but also prolonged the episodes with quiet arrangements, which resulted in the appearance of symphonic Space Rock and related textures. This is another brilliant composition in the set, though the story's climax is yet to come. On Crumbs and Misfit Toys, the number of composed themes and solos exceeds that of authentic improvisations, as well as everywhere on the album. However, these two are closer to a traditional Jazz-Fusion in sound. Partly, this event can be explained by the absence of Metal-related textures, though above all, it's due to the fact that here, the band often resorts to using such typical jazzy features (or methods, if you will) as swingy rhythms, syncopations, slap-solos on fretless bass, etc. Both are very good tracks, but aren't masterworks, as most of the others. Nevertheless, it's only the presence of Lesser Beings (among the Titans, figuratively speaking), which prevents me to rate the album with all the six stars I have. Performed by keyboardist Matt Bocchino alone, this short piece of spacey symphonic music, blended with synthesizer effects and naturalistic sounds, isn't bad, but being almost completely out of the general musical context, it looks like foreign matter here. In my view, the picture would've been more coherent without it. Although not as highly mesmerizing as the first two tracks, the 13-minute Chimps in Space surpasses them compositionally and is actually the highlight of this recording. The band shines with inventiveness and virtuosity, equally at easy working with improvisational and symphonic harmonies, sometimes turning even to Classical music forms, provided by the parts of acoustic guitar and piano. By the way, it's for the first time here that Chris Fox actively uses both of the guitars he has in his equipment.

Conclusion. Helmet of Gnats is a clever, genuinely inspired band, offering the listener a real progressive music, tasteful, original and highly intriguing all alike. Only to those frigid to Jazz-Fusion I wouldn't recommend this album. However, please note: this is predominantly a quasi Jazz-Fusion, with most of the themes and solos being thoroughly composed. Finally, here is the quote from the CD booklet. "The basic tracks for this SACD (Super Audio CD) were recorded live in the studio without the use of headphones. A highly analog multi-track tape machine was employed with no noise reduction at all, and all tracks were recorded to it as direct as possible. The mixes were made without the use of automation, directly to DSD (Direct Stream Digital). This SACD represents the sound of an all-analog production and can be played on any standard CD player, as well as on any SACD player." I don't have such a player, but I have ears to hear that this CD has an audiophile sound quality.

VM: Febrary 1, 2005

Friday, 28 October 2011

Zakir Hussain & Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan - Golden Krithis - Colours (1992)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Fusion, Tabla & Violin Solos, Indian Percussion, Symphonic, Indian Classical, Indian Raga, World Music
Release Date: 1992
Label: HOM Records/Crescendo

About The Album

The album is a fussion of mainly two instruments, tabla and violin. Ustad Zakir Hussain is on the tabla and the violin is played by Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan. The album is a perfect blend of Western, Hindustani and Carnatic classical music..

A. R. Rahman has assisted Ustad Zakir Hussain and Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan on their World tours as Keyboard player. At that time his name was Dileep. Later this concert was converted to album named "Colours-Golden Krithis". C. Jeyasekar was the music director,

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Royal Hunt - Land of Broken Hearts 1992

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Prog Rock, Melodic Metal
Release Date: 1992
Label: Art Music Group (Russia)

It was the year 1992, the year which saw DREAM THEATER release their classic “Images And Words” album, an album by which all else will be judged in the following years. But it was also the year when the guys from SHADOW GALLERY celebrated their debut and the same goes for the Danes of ROYAL HUNT. But the record has reached my ears only some years after its release and by that time I had already heard the later releases of the band, so it is really hard to tell what my first impression would have been, if this was the first album I heard from the band. I will never know...

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Alex Acuna - Acuarela De Tambores - Rhythms for a New Millennium (2000, DCC)

Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: Jazz Fusion, Jazz, Latin Jazz, Folk, World, & Country, Latin
Release Date: 2000
Label: DCC Compact Classics Inc.

Alejandro "Alex" Acuna is a percussionist extraordinaire who has been in demand for around twenty years, playing with everyone from Joni Mitchell to Julio Iglesias. His forte is hand percussion, meaning drums and other items that are beaten sans sticks. He had always wanted to do a record where hand percussion was the focus, and when he finally got the chance, he did himself proud. Top Percussion is just that.....

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Airto Moreira - Free (1972)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz Fusion, Jazz, Latin Jazz, Jazz-Funk
Release Date: 1972
Label: Sony/Epic

Other than a couple of obscure efforts for Buddah in 1970, this was percussionist Airto's debut as a leader, and this is still his most famous record. A brass section arranged by Don Sebesky is heard on two tracks, and such all-stars as keyboardist Chick Corea, flutist Hubert Laws, the reeds of Joe Farrell, and even pianist Keith Jarrett and guitarist George Benson make worthwhile appearances. Flora Purim joins Airto in the one vocal piece ("Free"), and "Return to Forever" receives an early recording. The music combines together jazz, Brazilian music, and aspects of fusion and funk quite successfully.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Alex Skolnick Trio - Goodbye To Romance 2002

Format: wv + cue + log
Genre: Modern Jazz, Fusion, Guitar Virtuoso
Release Date: 2002
Label: Skol Productions

Take classic hard rock tunes from the 70s and 80s by the likes of Kiss, Scorpions, Black Sabbath and others. Rearrange them with rich harmonies and pulsating grooves of swing, funk and Latin. Throw in fiery improvisations on hollowbody guitar, double-bass and drums. What do you get? The Alex Skolnick Trio. At age eighteen, Alex Skolnick became a guitar hero with the metal band Testament. A few years and several albums later, he went on to perform and study jazz in New York, earning a music degree. Now, the worlds of metal and jazz have come together. Hear the result on "Goodbye To Romance: Standards For A New Generation."

Glenn Hughes & Joe Lynn Turner - Michael Men Project 'Made In Moscow 2005

Format: ape + cue + log
Genre: Blues Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock
Release Date: 2005
Label: Inna Records

Made In Moscow is a studio album by the Michael Men Project, a Russian based hard-rock outfit founded by then Deputy Mayor of Moscow Mikhail Men (a.k.a. Michael Men). The album features two guest vocalists in the form of hard-rock veterans Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/ Trapeze/ Black Sabbath) and Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple / Rainbow/ Yngwie Malmsteen). The album was released in July 2005 on Inna Records.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Africando - Ketukuba 2006

Format: wv + cue + log
Genre: Mambo, Salsa, Cuban Traditions
Release Date: 2006
Label: Stern's Africa

After a year of musical soul-searching Africando have returned with arguably their best recording so far. It is hard to know if it is because the multi-cultural band was galvanised by the premature losses of Alfredo Rodriguez (who arranged three of the album’s songs) and Beninois crooner Gnonas Pedro. Or is it the result of the maturity they have accumulated in the last 15 years, allied to the injection of new blood, in the form of Senegalese singers Basse Sarr and Pascal Dieng, and American salsero Joe King.....

Friday, 9 September 2011

Shadow Gallery - Shadow Gallery (1992)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Progressive Metal/Progressive Rock
Release Date: 1992
Label: Magna Carta

This is Shadow Galleryґs debut album. The album was released in 1993 which was progressive metals heyday. Just about every progressive metal band who released albums in the early nineties were considered innovative and original. I clearly remember those days with joy. Bands like Dream Theater, Psychotic Waltz, Queensrяche, Sieges Even and Fates Warning were some of my favorites back then ( and some of them still are). I didnґt listen to Shadow Gallery then, but itґs really a shame as this album has lots of good elements.

Shadow Gallery is in the eighties progressive metal style that bands like Queensrяche and Crimson Glory is also an exponent for. There is a bit of Dream Theater in the instrumental runs but Shadow Gallery also has strong neo classical US power metal leanings that can be compared to a band like Symphony X. Their solos which are played by both guitar and keyboards have a similar style to the one used by Symphony X. The vocal style is comparable to Geoff Tate from Queensrяche even though I also hear a Midnight ( Crimson Glory) sneer once and again.....

Saturday, 3 September 2011

City Of Sound - Beneath The Smooth Surface (2002)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz, Acid Jazz
Release Date: 2002
Label: Liquid

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Cosmosquad - Cosmosquad 1997

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Fusion / Metal / Progressive
Release Date: 1997
Label: Marmaduke Records

Edwin Dare and solo guitarist Jeff Kollman has teamed up with ex-Yngwie Malmsteen and MSG rhythm section Barry Sparks (bass) and Shane Gaalaas (drums) to form the all-instrumental project Cosmosquad. The trio stretches beyond its classic hard rock/heavy metal background into funk and jazz all over this 10-song album. "El Perro Vaila" starts things off with a fluid, ktorsterjazzy feel, some great soloing, and a Latin-style drum break. The jazz aspects of the album range from the funk/jazz rock combo of "Epapo Funk" to the slower, smoky feel of "Slowburn" to the full-on jazz of "The Scene" and "Pugs In Central Park". (In fact, these last two sound like they'd be right at home as backing music in a "Peanuts" TV special--and that is *not* an insult!) Of the heavier/more straight ahead rock tunes, "I.N.S. Conspiracy" and "Stretch Hog" resemble Dream Theater in places and closer "Galactic Voyage" is a bass-driven number that's both laid back and commercial. All in all this is a pretty diverse album that might surprise fans of the band members' previous efforts....

Saturday, 23 July 2011

David Torn, Mick Karn, Terry Bozzio - Polytown (1994)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz, Fusion, Progressive Rock
Release Date: 1994
Label: Creative Music Prod. Records

Guitarist David Torn, bassist Mick Karn, and drummer Terry Bozio play a total of over 20 instruments in this far-reaching musical experiment, released in 1994 on avant- fusion label CMP Records. Led by Torn's scattered almost-melodies, these ten tracks present a tribal jazz ambiance and near-constant guitar and bass noodling that fans of Torn and Karn's prior work will enjoy. Bozio's expressive percussion stylings are up to the drummer's world-class standard, and carry Polytown beyond the new age oblivion similar records inhabit. Despite the virtuoso, heavily-nuanced performances, however, this challenging collection still might not posses the cohesion necessary to interest listeners unfamiliar with so much obsessive compulsive instrumentalism. There is an uncredited nugget of prose inside the CD case that says it best; "Rivers of warm sand like snakes coil around Polytown often flooding into larger reptiles." Impossibly meaningless, but odd and beautiful -- that's the dichotomy of Polytown...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Billy Sheehan - The Talas Years 1989

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Hard Rock
Release Date: 1989
Label: Relativity Records

"Billy Sheehan - The Talas Years", contains 20 tracks of the best of Talas. The disc is split into 2 different sections - Studio recordings from 1982 and the other of live performances from 1983.....

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Trilok Gurtu - Living Magic 1990

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Jazz, World Fusion
Release Date: 1990
Label: CMP Records

by Michael G. Nastos
With Jan Garbarek (saxes), Nana (per), Daniel Goyone (k). This is a septet doing Indian, Turkish, Scandinavian, and Brazilian world fusion, which is very well conceived. One of Garbarek's better efforts as collaborator or leader....

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Alfonzo Blackwell - Body Of Soul (1998)

Format: flac + cue + log
Genre: Saxophone, Smooth Jazz
Release Date: 1998
Label: Scotti Brothers

Original Release Date: June 30, 1998
Soulful jazz! Reaching beyond smooth jazz, Alfonzo has created a masterpiece that reaches deep into the body of one's soul. Blackwell's music is very mellow AND refreshing!

Listeners will discover that it "Feels Good" to experience love and "Passion" "Anytime".This soulful jazz music will touch your heart, body and soul. Let it move you!