Monthly Archives: April, 2021

PORCUPINE TREE-STUPID DREAM.

Porcupine Tree-Stupid Dream. Label: Transmission. Format: CD. When Steven Wilson founded Porcupine Tree in 1987, the nascent progressive rock group was essentially a solo project for the twenty year old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He had no idea that the group would eventually release ten studio and twelve live albums. The story begins in 1988. In …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOBBY HUTCHERSON-OBLIQUE.

Cult Classic: Bobby Hutcherson-Oblique. On July the ‘21st’ 1967, Bobby Hutcherson journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to record Oblique which was his sixth solo album for Blue Note Records. It was just the second album he had recorded with a quartet.  The first was Happenings, an album of modal hard bop …

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CULT CLASSIC: JIMMY SMITH WITH STANLEY TURRENTINE-PRAYER MEETIN’.

Cult Classic: Jimmy Smith With Stanley Turrentine-Prayer Meetin’. When Jimmy Smith entered Van Gelder Studio on February the ‘8th’ 1963, he was about to record his fourth album in a week. This meant that he had fulfilled the terms of his contract with Blue Note and could sign with Verve. The album he was about …

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FAREWELL RODION LADISLAU ROSCA.

Farewell Rodion Ladislau Rosca. Nowadays, the word innovator is used far too often, but the music that Rodion Ladislau Rosca the founder of Romanian experimental rock group Rodion G.A. recorded  was innovative, influential and way ahead of its time. Sadly, living and making music behind the Iron Curtain meant music fans in the West never …

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PIERRE MOERLEN’S GONG-DOWNWIND.

Pierre Moerlen’s Gong-Downwind. Label: Esoteric Recordings. Format: CD. In January 1973, Daevid Allen invited drummer and percussionist Pierre Moerlen to join Gong following the departure of Laurie Allan. He agreed and became the group’s new drummer.  However, in June 1973 he was asked by Virgin Records’ founder Richard Branson to play percussion at the premier …

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GEORGE OHTSUKA QUINTET-LOVING YOU GEORGE.

George Ohtsuka Quintet-Loving You George. Label: Wewantsounds. Format: CD. When the George Otsuka Quintet took to the stage at the Nemu Jazz Inn on the ‘19th’ of July 1975 the Japanese bandleader, composer and drummer was thirty-seven and about to record a live album. He was following in the footsteps of Norman Connors, Eddie Henderson …

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GENE RUSSELL-NEW DIRECTION.

Gene Russell-New Direction. Label: Real Gone Music. Format: CD. In 1969, pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California. The nascent label’s raison d’être was “to promote the talents of young African American jazz musicians and singers.” This was only part of their vision for their new label. They …

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ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-MOANIN’.

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Moanin’. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. Although Philly-born tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s tenure with The Jazz Messengers was short-lived, he still played an important part in the development and history of the group. He joined in 1958, and during the summer, helped Art Blakey recruit three new Messengers. They …

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CULT CLASSIC: HORACE SILVER QUINTET-FURTHER EXPLORATIONS BY THE HORACE SILVER QUINTET.

Cult Classic: Horace Silver Quintet-Further Explorations By The Horace Silver Quintet. By 1950, composer and pianist Horace Silver was twenty-two and living in Hartford, Connecticut, where he had formed his own trio. They were already a familiar sight in the local clubs and are were quickly establishing a reputation as one of the up-and-coming jazz …

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CLASSIC ALBUM: DR JOHN-IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

Classic Album: Dr John-In The Right Place. Very few musicians or bands can be accurately described as an overnight success. That is something that hardly ever exists except in the minds of a few tabloid journalists . The reality is that most bands need to do the hard yards and hone their sound before commercial …

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CULT CLASSIC: JACKIE MCLEAN-IT’S TIME!

Cult Classic: Jackie McLean-It’s Time! When Jackie McLean and his band journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on August the ‘5th’ 1964, it was his fourteenth solo session for Blue Note Records and resulted in the album It’s Time! It which featured a new band and saw him revisit his old …

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KEITH MANSFIELD-VIVID UNDERSCORES.

Keith Mansfield-Vivid Underscores. Label: Be With Records. Format: LP. Composer, arranger and musician Keith Mansfield nowadays is recognised and regarded as one the doyens of library music and original copies of his albums are now highly collectable. This includes Vivid Underscores which was released in 1977, a year after his other genre classic Contempo. Both …

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PORCUPINE TREE-LIGHTBULB SUN.

Porcupine Tree-Lightbulb Sun. Label: Transmission. Format: CD. Between 1987 and 2010 progressive rockers Porcupine Tree released ten studio and twelve live albums. Their sixth studio album was Lightbulb Sun which was released  on May the ‘22nd’ 2000 and was the much-anticipated followup to Stupid Dream, which was released in March 1999. It marked the start …

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SLY AND THE VISCAYNES-YELLOW MOON: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS 1961-1962.

Sly and The Viscaynes-Yellow Moon: The Complete Recordings 1961-1962. Label: Ace Records. Format: CD. By 1960, there were only two high schools in the city of Vallejo which is situated in the northeastern corner of San Francisco Bay. St Vincent’s and the Vallejo High School which was where the members of The Viscaynes would matriculate. …

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ROCKSTEADY GOT SOUL.

Rocksteady Got Soul. Label: Soul Jazz Records. Format: CD. When Soul Jazz Records was founded by Stuart Baker in London, in 1993, the nascent label began to draw “cross cultural connections between various music genres.” This included Brazilian, dub, jazz, Latin, soul and reggae which is one of the genres the label has specialised in since …

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CULT CLASSIC: ENO/CALE-WRONG WAY UP.

Cult Classic: Eno/Cale-Wrong Way Up. Brian Eno and John Cale first worked together in 1974, when they also recorded the album June 1, 1974. When it was released twenty-seven days later on the ‘28th’ of June 1974 it was credited to Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Brian Eno and Nico. Two of the three men who …

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CULT CLASSIC: KELLEE PATTERSON-MAIDEN VOYAGE.

Cult Classic: Kellee Patterson-Maiden Voyage. When pianist Gene Russell and percussionist Dick Schory founded Black Jazz Records in Oakland, California, in 1971, the nascent label’s raison d’être was “to promote the talents of young African American jazz musicians and singers.” This was only part of their vision for their new label. They were determined that …

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CULT CLASSIC: QUICKSAND-HOME IS WHERE I BELONG.

Cult Classic: Quicksand-Home Is Where I Belong. Musical history is littered with examples of groups who only ever released one album during their what proves to be a short-lived career. Especially, during the late-sixties and early seventies when many record companies had unrealistic expectations. All too often, when a band’s debut album failed to find …

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HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO-DING DONG, YOU’RE DEAD.

Hedvig Mollestad Trio-Ding Dong, You’re Dead. Label: Rune Grammofon. Format: CD. Just nine months ago award-winning Norwegian guitarist, vocalist, bandleader and composer Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen released her critically acclaimed debut solo album Ekhidna.  By then, she was one of the leading lights of Norway’s vibrant music scene. She had founded the Hedvig Mollestad Trio in 2009 …

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