Monthly Archives: May, 2020

THE BLUE NILE-HIGH

The Blue Nile-High.  Label: Confetti Records. Format: Vinyl. Release Date: ‘5th’ June 2020. Enigmatic, reluctant and contrarian are words that best of describe The Blue Nile. They’re the complete opposite of most bands. The Blue Nile have been described as publicity shy. That’ is an understatement. Ever since Paul Buchanan, Robert Bell and Paul Joseph …

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CULT CLASSIC: TEENAGE FANCLUB- TALES FROM NORTHERN BRITAIN.

Cult Classic: Teenage Fanclub-Tales From Northern Britain. There aren’t many Scottish bands have enjoyed the longevity and commercial success that Teenage Fanclub have enjoyed over the past four decades. Scotland’s Kings of jangle pop have been together for thirty-one years, released ten albums and toured the world several times and are still going strong. However, like many bands before them, it took  a couple of albums …

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CULT CLASSIC: MACARTHUR-MACARTHUR.

Cult Classic: MacArthur-MacArthur. Having completed a tour of duty with the United States Marine Corps, Ben MacArthur returned home to Sagina, Michigan in 1977. By then, jobs were few and far between, and it looked as if a recession was about to hit the rustbelt. It was hardly the welcome home he had envisaged. The …

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DR JOHN-DR JOHN’S GUMBO.

Dr John-Dr John’s Gumbo. Label: Music On Vinyl. Release Date: ‘29th’ May 2020. Success didn’t come overnight for the late, great Dr John. His first three albums failed to chart and his fourth album The Sun, Moon and Herbs stalled at 184 in the US Billboard 200 in August 1971. This was progress for one of music’s great survivors. He was on his way and returned in …

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PETE LA ROCA-BASRA. 

Pete La Roca-Basra. Label: Blue Note Records. Sadly, Pete La Roca’s career is another case of what might have been. The New York born jazz drummer only released a triumvirate of solo albums during an eventful career that promised much.  During the early years of his career he worked with Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, Tony …

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SEAHAWKS-ISLAND VISIONS.

Seahawks-Island Visions. Label: Be With Records. Ten years ago in 2010, Jon Tye and Pete Fowler embarked upon a new chapter in their career when they released Ocean Trippin’, which was their debut album as Seahawks. Since then, the intrepid musical explorers have released at least one, sometimes two or even three albums a year. …

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CULT CLASSIC: LARAAJI: VISION SONGS VOLUME 1.

Cult Classic: Laraaji: Vision Songs Volume 1. During a career that has spanned five decades, American multi-instrumentalist Laraaji has released around thirty albums and countless collaborations. Many of these albums were self released by Laraaji on cassettes, and feature his unique and inimitable genre-melting sound. This best described as a fusion of ambient, avant-garde, experimental …

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LOST ALBUM FOUND: TAPIMAN-HARD DRIVE.

Lost Album Found: Tapiman-Hard Drive. During the seventies, the hard rocking Spanish power trio Tapiman, released a trio of albums between 1972 and 1979. This includes Tapiman, which is a cult classic, that nowadays, changes hands for over £800. It was, without doubt Tapiman’s finest hour. Sadly, these three albums amount to everything that Tapiman …

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CULT CLASSIC: MICHAEL CHAPMAN-WINDOW.

Cult Classic: Michael Chapman-Window. Michael Chapman never set out to be a make a living as a musician and originally, he was a teacher. By day, Michael Chapman taught art and photography and music was something he did in his spare time. However, there was a sense of inevitability that one day soon, Michael Chapman would …

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CULT CLASSIC: DAVID KAUFFMAN AND ERIC CABOOR-GREETINGS FROM SUICIDE BRIDGE.

Cult Classic: David Kauffman and Eric Caboor-Greetings From Suicide Bridge. Often when recording an album, an artist thinks about an album cover only once they’ve finished recording. Not David Kauffman and Eric Caboor. They put the cart before the horse, in the spring of 1983, and came up with an album cover before they had …

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ANDREAS ROYSUM ENSEMBLE-ANDREAS ROYSUM ENSEMBLE.

Andreas Røysum Ensemble-Andreas Røysum Ensemble. Label: Motvind Records. Over the last decade, the Norwegian jazz scene  has been thriving, and today is one of the most vibrant in Europe as a new generation of up-and-coming musicians follow their dreams to make a living playing jazz. They hope to follow in the footsteps of Jan Garbarek, …

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LOST CLASSIC FOUND: HEAT EXCHANGE-REMINISCENCE.

Lost Classic Found: Heat Exchange-Reminiscence. Heat Exchange’s root’s can be traced to a Toronto high school, in the late-sixties. That was when four school friends decided to form a blues band, which they named Cloud. Just a couple of years later, and Cloud were one of the top bands in Toronto.  Several record labels were chasing …

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ROB LUFT-LIFE IS THE DANCER.

Rob Luft-Life Is The Dancer. Label: Edition Records. When Rob Luft released his debut album Riser in July 2017, it was to widespread critical acclaim, with some critics drawing comparisons to such jazz luminaries as Wes Montgomery and Pat Metheny. This was high praise indeed for the twenty-three year old bandleader, composer, producer and guitarist from …

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DR JOHN-IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD.

Dr John-In A Sentimental Mood. Label: Music On CD. There aren’t many musicians who enjoy the longevity that the late, great Dr John enjoyed. His career lasted the best part of sixty years and he released thirty studio albums and nine live albums. Dr John also won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the …

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CULT CLASSIC: AUDIENCE-FRIEND’S, FRIEND’S, FRIEND.

Cult Classic: Audience- Friend’s, Friend’s, Friend. In October 1969, Audience were offered the opportunity to support Led Zeppelin at the Lyceum in London. For Audience, this was the opportunity of a lifetime as Led Zeppelin had just released their eponymous debut album on 12th of January 1969. It was well on its way to selling …

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CULT CLASSIC: JADE WARRIOR-FLOATING WORLD.

Cult Classic: Jade Warrior-Floating World. All too often, musical innovators don’t get the credit they deserve. That was the case with Jade Warrior. Their fourth studio album, Floating World was released in 1974, and pioneered both ambient and world music. Floating World was the most ambitious album of Jade Warrior’s career and almost wasn’t released.  …

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CULT CLASSIC: MOGWAI-COME ON DIE YOUNG.

Cult Classic: Mogwai-Come On Die Young. It’s hard to believe that twenty-one  years have passed since Mogwai released their sophomore album, Come On Die Young, in March 1999. Back then, Glasgow-based Mogwai were one of the best up-and-coming bands not just in Scotland, but Britain. Since then, Mogwai have established a reputation as one of Britain’s top bands. …

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JACKIE MCLEAN-A FICKLE SONANCE.

Jackie McLean-A Fickle Sonance. Label: Blue Note Records. On October the ’26th’ 1961, thirty year old alto-saxophonist Jackie McLean made the now familiar journey to the Van Gelder Studio, at 445 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to record a new album with his quintet. The album became A Fickle Sonance, which was released in …

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INSTRUMENTAL GEMS VOL. 1: SPANISH FUNK AND GROOVE 1974/1977.

Instrumental Gems Vol. 1: Spanish Funk and Groove 1974/1977. Label: Adarce Records. During the seventies, many Spanish musicians found themselves struggling to make ends meet. Times were tough, especially for up-and-coming musicians. Some of them had dreamt of becoming a professional musician since the first started to play the guitar, bass or drums. Eventually, after years of practise, …

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CULT CLASSIC: THE SEEDS-FUTURE.

Cult Classic: The Seeds-Future. For any band with what might be described as a “generous” recording budget, the temptation to experiment and push musical boundaries must be tantalizing. Especially back in 1967, at the dawn of the psychedelic era. For The Seeds, resisting temptation was impossible. The Seeds can’t be criticised for this. They had …

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